This entry covers 10 days.
It started on the 12th, when I was so excited to leave on vacation to Berlin. However, a gloomy piece of news dampened my sunny disposition. My beloved Terry Pratchett left us for good.
Suddenly this planet is not so jolly any more. I wept and sobbed until late in the evening. I promised myself my first meal in Berlin shall be sushi, in his memory, as he loved this dish so much.
The next day I left with my bestie to the airport, where we parted for a while, as she wanted to eat and I wanted to smoke. You shall see that smoking is a leitmotif of this entry.
It was fun that we started dialoguing on FB, so people were confused: “why do you speak here, aren’t you together?!”
We looked like idiots, not that we’re not used to it.
Moving on, we traveled to Berlin. Yes, the first meal was sushi, honoring my beloved departed Sir Terry.
The trip was a complete success in every aspect. This time, my feet weren’t swelling like balloons, the weather was welcoming and everything was great: food, shopping, walks…
In one of the days we visited Charlottenburg, a castle where Sophie Charlotte lived a short but full life.
She collected china and fascinating people like Leibnitz or Corelli. She convinced her husband to support an Academy of Science. She played the
harpsichord and she held music in high regard. I’m sorry I didn’t write down her quote on music, which reminded me of the lyrics of a Marilyn song: “Men grow cold as girls grow old and we all lose our charms in the end.”, though it was about the power of music. I’m trying to approximate from memory: “lovers grow cold, friends become lukewarm, but music never lets you down.”
Both me and my friend shook our heads vigorously in approval of this statement.
Moving on, we lived in a rented apartment that allowed smoking inside, quite a rare gem these days. Well, surprise, surprise! I didn’t like it at all! I’m not used to the lingering smell of cigarettes inside anymore. I stopped smoking in my house since 2012, when I was on holiday in Stockholm, visiting friends and nobody is smoking inside there. Coming back home, I brought the good practice along, mostly because my beloved ALF was slightly asthmatic and I wanted to protect him. Though he’s gone, the habit stayed. Anyway, Joop can’t stand the smoke, she runs from the kitchen the moment I light a cigarette.
So now, though I’m a chain smoker, I HATE houses that stink with burned tobacco.
You’ll see I’m getting somewhere with this smoking thing.
Getting back to our trip, the apotheosis of the holiday was a mesmerizing Sting & Paul Simon concert. We sang our hearts out, we charged from Sting’s positive energy that radiates wide enough to cover the O2 Hall and we were happy as kids on Christmas morning.
OK, so we got back in Bucharest, only to attend two more concerts. One at my favorite concert hall in town – Ateneul Român, the other in a very unconventional space – a villa where there’s an art gallery, a minute concert hall and a space to enjoy delicious food. There I met a very special lady. At first, I thought she’s a Chef, but she started telling me about her projects and her foundation that preserves local traditions and values. I was wondering while talking to her how many special people are in this country that are trying to save our treasures of the past?! They have my entire veneration.
Oh, getting back to the leitmotif, it was interesting that in this location, though there were ash trays on the tables, nobody lit a cigarette until the host lighted one. After that, at least half of the audience started smoking. But in moderation, though the wine was pouring generously.
And we arrive on this Saturday when a friend of mine posted an article about banning smoking in bars. Bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, whatever. The law that is applied already in US since the 90s and in Europe since the 00s. The reason my friend posted the article wasn’t the actual content, but just one thought: “guys, we have more important things to fix in this country, this shouldn’t be top priority.”
I read the article because, as a smoker, I’m curious to find some solid evidence supporting smoking, because until now I couldn’t find valid reasons. I WANT to support smoking, but I can’t find the right arguments to support it.
Anyway, when my friend posted the article, he was flooded with comments. I’ve never seen such a demented debate, even during elections or any other local subject. To my surprise, the argument continued for almost two days, from reasonable pros and cons to personal abuse, invectives, accuses, offenses, and curses. I couldn’t believe my eyes people would spend such an amount of time and energy for such a trivial matter. I mean, for Christ sake, I haven’t seen such a war when animals or people were killed or abused, when flagrant illegalities were committed… Such anger, such hate…
You know what’s funny? The smokers were the balanced ones and the non smokers were aggressive! So smoking keeps you calm and level headed after all! OK, I’m joking, kids, don’t smoke.
Anyway, I’m done with the smoking trip. Getting back to my experiences, I bought a book I love. I heard about this character years ago, but now I’m reading the story and it’s amazing. It goes like this: a homeless recovering drug addict gets saved by a CAT. A ginger wise Tom that saves his life every day since the day they met.
I highly recommend this inspirational story, it warmed my heart beyond words.
Especially as I’m a firm believer in being saved by animals, especially a ginger Tom.
Should I brag about my progresses in Pilates classes and weight loss? Sounds boring. Just one line maybe. I love my trainer, she’s beautiful, smart, with a sense of humor, four stray dogs and two cats. You know how people develop emotional transfer for their therapist? Same here. I am so grateful for what she achieved… well, actually I achieved in such a brief time, that I truly love her. I can actually see in the mirror from one week to the next how my body morphs back into a human one, instead of the blob I became.
Wait, just another story, not exactly workout related, so not so boring. After one session, I was in the locker room with a lady. Just the two of us undressing back to back rather prude, when I noticed her dress, and I screamed like a hysterical groupie. It was a Moschino piece from a few collections back, that I loved. The lady froze, with her back against the wall, probably praying that I’m not some serial killer of a sort. I started explaining my sound until she was breathing regularly again.
But moving on… During summer we had a free lance designer helping us. We were warned not to try bonding, talking or even staying too close to her. She was supposed to be Satan in a tiny frame with a doll face. Long story short, she made an exception, she likes me. She likes my writing too. And she comes to me with this promising speech that started with: “OMG, your writing is sooo good, you HAVE TO WRITE A BOOK.”
I answered rather flustered: “I don’t think I have anything interesting to say… anyway, not for an entire book.”
“Oh but your writing is so amazing, yet you’re an online copywriter. I mean… all you do all day is write ‘click here’. How can this fulfill you?!”
I tried to object feebly that this is NOT the only thing I do, but I caved.
In other news, I’m not getting out of character with a Joop story. I was away on a teambuilding for the weekend. Joop was so happy to see me on Sunday afternoon that she behaved like a loyal dog, licking my face and jumping around. Well, she’s the feline version of a Saint Bernard, so no surprise here.
The surprise was yesterday, when I started to climb up the stairs coming back from work. From the first floor, I could hear her voice yodeling. At first, I couldn’t believe my ears. She can actually identify my steps on the stairs. Only ALF was able to do that. So, overwhelmed with emotion, I started screaming in the building, to be heard through the door on the 3rd floor: “YESSS, MY LOVE, MOMMY’S COMING, BE PATIENT!!!”
So I started regular massages and my feet are back together with my shoes.
I try to be more careful with what I eat. I had more salad last week than I had for the last two years. And I HATE salads.
Wearing high heels, especially my Casadeis makes me so happy already, but there’s still a lot of steep long way to go, as in losing a lot of weight and fitting in my wardrobe. No, not in the actual wardrobe as in furniture, but my wide range of clothing.
From Monday I am starting my Pilates classes. I begged for a very tolerant instructor. I had my eye on a blonde, graceful smiling sunny lady, but she’s free next week.
So they put me in someone else’s class instead. She seems a cross between a drill sergeant and an keen bulldog. We shall see whether she is as scary as she looks. I don’t want to burst in tears from my first session.
On the other hand I have experience with tough instructors. A few years ago, I subscribed to an Aqua gym class. For Christ sake, that woman was a Nazi. Shouting and scaring the shit out of me, I was panting desperately and swallowing gallons of water.
By the end of the training, I was her favorite student, best buddies and an example for the others. Let’s see if I can pull that again!
The fatalist predictions called 2013 the Year of Change. All the New Age theories were forecasting sort of a “selection” of humanity.
You must understand, I’m not a fan of new age, conspiracy theories, predictions, any kind of mass manipulation systems, but bear with me.
It was supposed to be a cataclysm of sort – a natural disaster or a nuclear holocaust by the end of 2012.
Well, nothing happened. Yet Change is obvious, I agree. And it’s like this. As economic climate is tragic, people are supposed to ADAPT. You succeed or you fail.
And failure is NOT loosing your job, but coping with it. Finding a new path, finding a new purpose. Enjoying what you have, when you lost more or less the material comfort.
Staying sane. I’ve seen people going completely out of their minds, becoming mean and filled with vile, hurting both others and themselves. These are the people who didn’t make it.
And there are the ones who found valves to vent. They turned towards charitable causes, art, family, friends. They found new hobbies, passions and reasons for joy and peace.
Some seem weird, some are benign. But they are GOOD. They are the fuel that keeps one sane.
I read again American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It has new meanings now. It’s about forgotten Gods, recent Gods that are already obsolete and Gods that are scared they will become forgotten and replaced.
From all over the world, from every age of humanity. By the way, have you ever thought how come everywhere and anytime people believed in something they couldn’t see or touch? And they relied on miracles and prayers and sacrifices of some sort?
Now it’s the time to find new Gods or to turn ourselves toward the ones we new. Whatever you choose, believe. Believe with all your might. Believe in Good, in Kindness, Patience, Laughter, Joy, Sun, Moon, Night, Rain, Flower, Cat… whatever makes you tick.
You’re not supposed to have imaginary friends after a certain age, or you might get diagnosed with some kind of mental illness.
I have an imaginary assistant. She lives in my brain. I can describe her rather thoroughly: she has a small face with pleasant yet common features, she has a shiny straight hair with bangs. Her bangs are cut straight and are supposed to fall like a curtain, but because she removes it with her hand often, is a mess. She has a plain blouse, I think it’s a grey twinset and a plaid midi skirt. I don’t know why.
Her work place (my memory) looks like the waiting room of a private detective from a 40s Hollywood movie. The ones with Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney. Think Maltese Falcon and similar.
It’s all wood – old and dusty, almost colorless with time. It has filing cabinets from floor to ceiling FILLED with files. I put the files in there. For decades now. I had no system, so it’s very hard to find a specific file.
Files on movies, books, songs, personal memories about lost lovers or friends, places I’ve visited or things I did. Some are bright pink and tied with a pretty bow. Some are dark and gloomy, like a November sky. Ranging from my first pair of heels to long-term relationships. Cats. Dogs. People. Beaches. Quotes. Jokes. Rumors. Some are a few days old, yet they are thrown in the back of a drawer out of reach, some are 30 years old, yet they are close and handy.
My poor assistant is very efficient. She moves fast among the drawers stuffed with files and she finds what I’m looking for. She’s quiet like a mouse, she’s my personal female version of Radar from M.A.S.H.
When I have a lapse, it means that she searched for the file all night long. I wake up and suddenly remember, but she’s exhausted, sleeping with her head on her heavy wooden desk.
Sometimes she’s out to lunch. Or she’s in love with a boy and she forgets herself walking hand in hand with him in the park during working hours.
As time goes by, she’s less helpful. Maybe she’s getting old too, maybe she’s bored and blasé with her routine job. True, I replaced some of her workload with Google search, but still, she has a heavy-duty job.
I just sit in my office and shout for various files:
“Hey, what’s the name of the guy who plays Sid in Ice Age? The Colombian very talented guy?”
“Who’s this lady talking to me? What’s her name and where do I know her from?!”
I need her more and more often and she’s growing more and more tired. I should grant her a leave. Maybe give her an all expenses paid holiday in a posh resort. Or at least a gym subscription.
Or a retirement plan.
Last Thursday I was supposed to attend a one man show with the best stand up performer I’ve ever seen. I was prepared for an hour of incessant laugh – I’ve seen his shows before and I already knew I’ll laugh my head off.
What I wasn’t prepared for was that life beats the show and the comedy that my life is. So on Thursday morning I heard the best joke in a long time that goes like this (I shall try not to waste the savor in translation).
Two old friends meet for a beer and one of them starts complaining:
– I don’t know what’s wrong with me, i’m saying the wrong thing all the time.
– How come?
– Well, I was in the park the other day with my kid and a lady was selling colorful balloons. And I wanted to admire them, but it came out: “wow, great boobs!”
– Oh, something similar happened to me, I was having breakfast with my wife and I wanted to say: “honey, would you pass the butter?” and I heard myself saying: “you fucked up my life, you miserable bitch!”
Later the day, I received this image that I couldn’t resist posting on FB, as I found it irresistible:
Here I need to break the story with a moment from the actual show: the classic moment when a man is sent for tampons by his wife and he’s embarrassed beyond words to ask the druggist.
So he mutters: “I need tampons…” with the inevitable answer/ question “What kind?” where the man usually feels like shouting: “the ones that plug the CUNT!”
Moving on with my day, I made a trip to a studio for a recording. I asked the receptionist to get me a cab. I didn’t listen what she was saying but after she hung up, she said: “3 minutes”. I asked “where from?” (as in from what company should I expect the cab?). The answer was: “from out front”. I snorted amused and darted out to laugh properly.
In the evening, FINALLY, the actual show, where I really, truly believed I shall have a stroke or choke with laughter. I drank a bucket of water and was still blue in the face.
We continued the evening to a wonderful restaurant and back home.
The next day, I was supposed to buy a bottle of alcohol for preparing a specific drink. From my entire shopping basket, obviously, the alcohol wasn’t perceived by the code bar reader. So the cashier started shouting: SECURITY! COME CHECK THE ALCOHOL PRICE! THE LADY’S ALCOHOL NEEDS A CHECK!!! WHAT KIND OF ALCOHOL??? IT’S JUST ONE KIND, GO TO THE ISLE! THE PRICE FOR THE LADY’S ALCOHOL!!!
I was leaning against the counter thanking God I didn’t buy tampons, condoms or vibrators. I just looked like an alcoholic middle aged lady, one of the many so who cares.
So that’s how my stand up hour turned into 24 hours of perpetual laughter which I felt like sharing with you. Never pass an opportunity to laugh, keeps you young for longer!
The Hummer in front of my tiny car swerves abruptly to avoid a dog. Kudos to the driver. Not all guys with big cars have small dicks.
The lady teller from the bank is grumpy. Maybe because she has the picture of an ugly kid on her desk.
I had to reach this age to love my feet. I used to hate them. Now I discovered mani pedi and I’m fascinated with how pretty they are.
With every person that disappoints me, there’s one that impresses me.
I shouldn’t allow people to charge me with bad energy before sleep. Preferably never.
Sometimes the sense of humor is not enough, but it’s a must.
Too many people don’t deserve their pets. The owners should be trained and tested. Parents too.