May 20, 2009

All good things...

I'm retiring this blog. After 5 years and 1004 posts it just isn't what it was anymore. I haven't been updating properly. I've been censoring myself because I realized there were things that some people who where dropping by here shouldn't read. I'm not saying this is an absolute never ever again thing, that I just couldn't do. I might come back, occasionally, maybe for good, so keep it in your feedreader. But like my blog peep LG I have created a safe haven for my thoughts elsewhere. Where, basically, you specifically and personally are welcome. So write me an email, fb-message, dm on twitter or contact me via kontactr if you want to continue reading my stuff and can handly a little explicit language, thoughts on sex and sexuality etc. I'd be happy to send you the link. For now I say "See ya, Squishy Thoughts", you have served me well, you're loved, and I could never ever destroy you... ever!

mcC xxx

P.S. oh shit, this is harder than I thought it would be :(
edit: P.P.S: maybe I'll keep it for the random stuff? *sigh*

May 05, 2009

The Banana Paradoxon

I have an obscure but fairly distinct dislike of ripe bananas. I think I always have had it. The smell alone turns my stomach upside down - to be honest we're talking about near disgust here.

Which is weird.
Because generally, I have nothing against bananas. Sure, I don't eat them all the time and they're definitely not my favourite fruit, but I do enjoy the occasional non-ripe banana. Yes, not ripe. In fact, the greener the better. I think maybe someone some time might have told me that eating green bananas isn't healthy. I might be mistaken in that memory but in any way: I still like my bananas unripe.

Should I decide to by some I can be found roaming the fruit section of the supermarket on my quest to find the perfect green banana. Finn is usually the person behind me saying - with a slightly desperate tinge to her voice: "Honey, I'm pretty certain you won't find a banana in the world greener than that", pointing to the thing under the scrutiny of my probing hands and eyes. She seems to be of the opinion that I'd have to eat a banana still attached to a tree to be content with its ripeness.

However, in a daring attempt to rid our kitchen of those three ugly brown fruit items that have been lying in the fruit basket for oh-too-long I now have a batch of banana/peanut butter cookies in the oven.

I withstood the pungent smell and taste, managing to keep the gagging down to a minimum. Now I am praying the taste of ripeness will be lost in the heat or the other ingredients will overpower it. I'm certainly willing to give them a chance, after all there's chocolate chips in them. And if I don't like - Finn will surely be grateful for an abundance of cookies. She's a lot less picky where I am going bananas...

Edit: recipe link.

April 21, 2009

LF Gamer Name

Much like Finn has asked you to help her decide between her chars, I am now asking you to help me find a gamer name for me. I'm planning to use it for registration on any games network and later on even as an xBox gamer tag (I realise I'm probably going to have to add numbers to it though).

So here are three choices I'm asking you to rate, but please feel free to add any other name you can think off incl. reasons why it would fit with me in the comments section (or within the poll if you don't feel comfortable commenting).

April 09, 2009

Come along with me - across the Danube

Today was the first day I rode my bike to work. I even managed to find a way that lets me stay mostly on bike paths, so I don't have to deal with crazy car traffic. And although I am sweating profusely while basically crossing half the city the view when riding across the Danube in late morning light totally makes up for it.

The water park on the "other" side of the Danube.

April 06, 2009

what a monday - meme time

Since for the first time the weather is making me feel less gloomy about work I decided to match my mood with an edition of manic monday for once. But before we go there I'd like to preserve the following for the interwebs-eternity:


Manic Monday #162

How often do you change your toothbrush?
As often as I can remember to buy one. When it's starting to look a bit frazzled I make a point of trying to get to the shop. Then it usually take me about 2 weeks to actually follow through with it ;)

What is your favorite item of clothing to shop for?
Since I absolutely HATE shopping for clothes I have to say shoes. Works fast and almost always makes me happy, for example when I find a pair of these.

Do you use social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)? Which do you use most often?
I mostly use Twitter and Facebook, and Xing in a professional context. I detest flickr but use it if and when it serves a purpose.

March 28, 2009

She's damn worth my 1000th post

 This is my 1000th post. 4 years, 1000 posts, who knows how many words. I've been wondering for a while now what my 1000th post would be, should be. But all my careful planning just went out the window, because last night I saw Vienna Teng in concert at Porgy & Bess.

It was honestly the best concert I have been to. Ever. She even managed to get the whole room to sing with her - and sound good! Finn's theory is that the 1st district crowd is posh enough to know to shut up when they can't sing. She herself was being smart and kept out of the mix but I was singing along. And I loved it. It was such a once in a lifetime experience: Vienna Teng, an acoustic guitar, a cello and a whole room singing along with her, some even harmonizing successfully. It felt beautiful, a truly amazing end to an amazing concert.

I was also quite moved by the crowd's positive reaction to Teng's song 'City Hall' (which is about gay marriage). Now, maybe they didn't understand the lyrics, there's always that chance, but they were clapping and wooing and I kept thinking 'If this whole room is pro gay marriage maybe we do stand a chance here in this country that I'm so often ranting about'.

There's something about Vienna Teng... she completely commands the stage with her presence and this faszinating voice of hers. She's one of those people whose music works ten times better live. I had tried listening to her latest album prior to the concert, but I ended up always clicking past it on my iPod. It got to the point where I was wondering if it was a good idea to go to her concert when I wouldn't even listen to her songs on my headphones. Yeah... well, turns out she's not headphone material if you're not prepared to turn up the volume and ruin your ears, but damn, she's good in concert where her music profits immensly from the acoustics a small jazz club offers. Where you hear the nuances and little things that are hopelessly lost on the iPod with its crappy sound quality.

What I also appreciated about Vienna Teng is that she seems approachable, down to earth, a bit nerdy even. She was very shy while giving autographs after the show, but was very talkative on stage. That I like. I love the little bits some artists tell the audience about their songs, and Vienna Teng intricately weaves a net in which to embed her songs. Now that I have seen her live I'm pretty sure I'm going to be listening to her CDs a lot. With my headphones on full volume even if I have to...

Go look at this, but remember that the video doesn't do justice to the way the music fills the room at a concert. If you can manage, you should really go see her live.

btw L. - Vienna Teng's in Carinthia tonight. Maybe you should get your hubby to babysit and go see her :)

March 02, 2009

Writer's block sucks

It's been a while. I'm sitting on the couch enjoying what is soon to be twilight, with a nice cup of coffee. That's been a while as well so I'm enjoying that as well. A lot actually. I have some music on. Basically, I'm having me some alone time hoping to get my creative juices flowing.

I feel kinda out of touch with myself lately. I've tried to get back in touch as well, as the past couple of posts on this blog document. They mostly start with "It's been a while" and end with promises to get writing again. Yeah... so much for that.

I don't exactly know what I've been caught up with. Loads of different shit. I'm still working out work - it's been three months and I'm just now fully settling in, finding my place, my co-workers are getting used to there being another person now, a woman even, and I'm finding ways to get my opinions heard. We've shifted my schedule from two 8-hour days (+ 4 hours at home if a journalist needs something) to three 6-hour days (+2 at home). This was initially my idea because I felt a bit like an outsider, and I'm very happy with the result. I think my boss and co-workers are too. This way I'm a lot more "plugged in", get more of a feeling for what's going on at the job, know what projects to expect. I also asked to be included in meetings and that helps a lot too.

But I'm only working 20 hours so that's no excuse for not writing. I've been spending quite a lot of time playing World of Warcraft. I know, I know, addiction danger yadda yadda. But I'm sitting here writing right now and not playing so shut up about it already :) The game still is this fresh new thing for us. And since we're playing together most of the time it's not exactly an unsocial thing. It is however a reason for being out of touch with myself.

I've also gotten a bit internet weary these days. Facebook, Twitter, reading blogs - I woke up one day and it had all turned into this big obligation. I had to check Facebook and lost hours on twitter every morning. Hell, even at work I caught myself spending an hour on the damn interwebs before getting any work done. And my feedreader... well, I'm a bit OCD when it comes to this shit, which means that unread feeds make me nervous. I like my feedreader all clean and empty. So I had to learn to let it go and let the damn feeds unread. And even though it sometimes makes me uneasy to look at the bulk of unread items in my Google reader I'm managing to only read something when I'm really in the mood for it.

Of course this also means that I'm hopelessly behind on all blogs and probably haven't noticed you have a new job/had a birthday/got married/had a baby (actually, I do think I'm up to date on all the new babies in my blogsphere) and even more likely haven't congratulated you on it. Sorry about that. So... I decided to "quit" the internet. Well, not actually quit quit, I'm not nuts yet. But I decided to not do the social media thing when I don't want to. And for now this is working fine for me.

So we have work and WoW and the interwebs. What else... ah yes, that tiny little matter called writer's block. To me writer's block was always something I associated with creative writing. Couldn't write a single poem? Writer's block. Couldn't write a novel? Life-long writer's block. But it's not something I ever connected to journalistic writing - heck that's partly why I became a journalist! I get stuck with my creative writing but I figured there's always going to be topics to write about for the media. Granted I was always a bit worried about actually finding those topics that other journos always claimed where lying on the street. It turns out I'm not that bad at finding things to write about, in fact, the list of topics in my Outlook tasks is immensly long.But surprisingly I can't seem to get them down on that virtual paper called MS Word. I've never ever experienced this before. Ever. I was always able to write. But these days I... I don't know. I did write a couple of articles lately, but nowhere even near the amount I could've written (and earned money for). If there's some pressure I'm fine, then I'll just end up doing it somehow. But no pressure - no write.

What's worked is a trick I found via The Golden Pencil. I wrote my last article shortly before going to bed, when I was dead tired, and ended up getting it done in about half an hour plus an hour of editing the next day instead of taking 3+ hours to get the damn thing down on paper, which is probably how long it would've taken had I been fully awake and editing myself right away. I guess I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and do a couple of graveyard shifts.

It also helps that I'm being by myself this afternoon. I love having Finn at home, but she's been sick with sinusitis for about 10 days and I didn't really manage to squeeze in any me-time for a while. This afternoon with my cup of coffee was exactly the right thing for me. I might actually manage to make the changes I have been planning to make now: Write more again, finally read the about eight non-fiction books I've let slide while plowing through tons of urban fantasy novels and slightly sappy science fiction crime stories.

Speaking of changes: I've decided to quit my membership at Shinergy Zone - because frankly, I'm not using it anyway. The people there are indeed to posh and stick-up-their-ass for me. And considering how much I'm paying I'm not happy with what I get for my money. Idiotic timing - the classes are from about 9 to 11 a.m. and pick up again at 6 p.m., for € 80 a month I expect there to be classes all fucking day long. They have still not managed to install a proper ventilation system and I'm not happy about sweating with about 20 other people in a stuffy room. And the showers seriously suck too.

Instead I've decided to try some new stuff. I might end up paying more in the end if I decide to do a bunch of different things instead of doing it all in one studio but at least I'll be getting something for my money. Tomorrow night I'm starting the dance-experiment. I have this theory which is actually more like a fact than a theory: I can't dance. But I'm willing to prove myself wrong so I'm going to go to a hip hop dance class tomorrow night. I'll then decide if I want to continue it for the whole semester. I'm also going to try out a different martial art, Wing Chun, on Thursday to see how that will go.

As soon as it's a bit warmer again I'll take the bike to work again. And to university which is starting next week. I've decided to do two courses (assuming I get in), that should be enough right now. If I get the feeling that I can easily handle some more I'll do more next semester.

Oh... I think I've run out of things to write. But since I'm getting close to the 1000th post of this blog I have been planning to get started on a couple of more insightful if not to say more meaningful posts.