Friday, 21 October 2011

Analog Days Ahead


finally I managed to hunt down all the books I wanted surround me during my vacation. In case on book does not please me, I like to have alternatives at hand.
I was grinning like Cheshire Cat in person, when I left the public library yesterday evening, books piling up in my arms. Thomas Bernhard, Bergdorf Blondes and Beigbeder, the perfect trio for long mornings, afternoons and evenings.

The record collection caught my eye while taking the photo above.
Why not play some music:
You see, I am in the mood for some plain, analog days. The name of village where we we are going to stay translates as "desert","wasteland" or "solitude". Teheh. Enviable, if you live the life I do.

See you in two weeks!

Two In – Two Out

You might be familiar with the mantra of simplifying and de-cluttering: One in, one out. Which means everytime you bring something new into your home, something has to go.

During the month of October I managed to pick to new things, I have been longing for over months. How handy it is that two old things are no longer of use or already used up.

Funny photo! I took it in my bed-room, on the top of the chest of drawers and it looks cropped!

The Dior lipstick is supposed to be a really nice lipstick. Hm. The packaging somehow made the lipstick smear all over the tube and the formular made my lips chip like crazy. I am glad it's gone.
And the two new in:
Beanies are my umbrellas: since I go everywhere by bike, even in the rain, there are no umbrellas to lose. But beanies! I have been looking for a new, non-itchy woolen beanie in a neutral colour. May I tell you the blonde hair combined with the grey is a very pleasant look.

The scent - Flower Bomb has been on my mind for years! It took me that long to grow into the scent. Somehow you sometimes have to match a perfume and get ready. Years ago I tested it in a perfumery and a woman in the street walked by and burst out "WONDERFUL PERFUME!" (actually I should quote her in German, because she said it in English, which is the foreign language in Vienna, that's why it would make sense to quote her in German, since German is the foreign language at the blog). I started off with 20ml, the ideal size for the purse and for 32 EUR I get the scent for a price that does not hurt.

This morning I felt like a chimpanzee ....
... seeing the reclection of himself for the first time in his life – the new windows vis a vis mirror my windows. I have been living here for 15 years and today for the first time i saw my windows "from the outside". I lost an unspoiled view but somehow the change excites me. Not much longer, and there will be neighbours living vis-à-vis I can great in the morning when I air the bed-room.

Dear future Neighbour, you better feel like greeting in the morning, because I do so!
And I promise, I will stop taking photos of your appartment. But maybe you like to tell me, how you managed to have those extra 900.000 to buy the appartment?

you neighbour from vis-à-vis.

This is what the site looks like today

We leave for our autumn vacation, starting tomorrow, I might be offline for some time, still undecided.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Painting your Face


Here you can see, what I put on my face for work. The tools are laid out neatly on my dressing table, with morning sunlight shining through the curtains:
from left to right:
foundation to cover blemishes, rouge, lipstick, gel eyeliner, kajal, mascara

The tools remind me of the tools I used for water-painting. Painting the face is fun and playful, I guess that's why I am doing it. Eyeliner has such a transforming power, makes your eyes look so different, so much better! The same with blush - 100:1.

Yesterday was a long evening out, I can use the transformation today!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Plans for tonight

Tonight I am going to see this movie. It dates back to 1926 and since it is a silent movie, an orchestra will be playing the music live, sitting below the screen in the concert hall. I have not seen the movie before and the art direction and light are said to be outstanding! So I am not only looking forward to listening to the live music but also to watching a cineastic masterpiece.

Here is more informatiom on this movie:
Rating: 8.1 / 10 by 5314 users

What would my monday evening be without friend B. by my side, who constantly thinks of me.

What are your plans for tonight?

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Last week I have been busy meeting girls age 12-15 and listening to their stories why they would dress so revealingly. I also talked to the parents and a woman who did projects with teengers for world-women-day. There is lack of understanding what is going on, why girls are not ashamed of their bust but show it in tight tops with huge cleavage age 12.

At that age I played with my chemistry set and we were excited to get our hands on acids for the magnesium-experiments. But today ... Of course not all girls are like that but it is a phenomenon that is widespread. In Slovakia it's the same as in Austria and in the UK it seems to be even worse Natasha Walter wrote a book on the topic: Living Dolls. I visited the public library to borrow the book.
It was raining heavily and the place was crowded with people. They would come even when chances were that they would be soaking wet by the time they arrive at the library. The librarian handed out plasic bags (shown on the photo) so everyone would carry home the books safely. I picked some books I have been looking out for and accidently stumbled over The Secret - the best reading to fall asleep! It works better than valerian. Not that it is so bad but it's just ... very relaxing.
Istanbul will wait for my vacation and I hope to get the english version of Bergdorf Blondes, can't see myself reading the german translated version. Oh, and Nick Hornby was the alibi-book, since I used Mr Paula's library-card. hehe. I might want to read it, too. I like Hornby.

Saturday morning and I am off to the cubicle and take a litre of pumpkin-soup in the thermos with me. It might become a long day at work. Today I am going to listen through the interviews and make sure the picture I draw is a well balanced and not judgemental. I won't provide distinct answers, maybe leave the listeners with questions but that's ok with me. It is important people realize the shift that has been going on. One huge aspect is the matter of approval, validation and acceptation. Girls who show their cleavage on facebook get the highest scores of "likes". While listening to the feminist artist, I realised how adult women's behaviour resembles the 12 year old girl's behaviour. They long for approval and validation and want to be noticed. I want to be noticed, too. Only do I use my words and photos instead of my cleavage and legs. How much did I develop since playing with my chemistry set? Am I part of this huge backlash that's been going on? Nailpolish, no more baggy jeans ... oh gosh, who am I, what changes me and what do I want to reach and why?

I picked the subject for the broadcast and I am glad I did!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Colour vs Collar

There are days when the collar gives the answer. You have been undecided for months, whether to keep the red sweater or not. Until you notice how the collar has visibly changed over time. There is no room for worn collars in my drawers, especially when they come in red. Wait, didn't I once argue that I don't wear Reds? oops. Ok, this sweater dates back to 1998. Plus it is the only red I can wear - the cool-toned cherry red.

Am I the only one who can not easily part from beloved things? Especially when they don't show any visible damage like holes or stains. Them dating back to a time when everthing seemed posisble, the glorious days of Start Ups and the early days of the New Economy in Europe does not make it easier.

I know Lisa who is on the same page like me, when it comes to saying goodbye to sweaters who are past their age. How about you?

The red sweater is gone, so is a grey polyester-sweater with shrunken sleeves (too short!)
plus half a dozen sweaters of Mr Paula, he started de-cluttering within 24 hours, including some worn-put pants he kept for years. How I love this virus called de-cluttering!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


When life gets bitter, I am left behind, in disbelief, unable to believe, that the person you've known, who was always around, is gone for good. In my inner world, this person is still around, because he has been around and can not be otherwise. Until you come to rest and find yourself being unable to understand this new reality and how nothing will ever be like it has used to be.

I did not know this is a classified phenomenon - "The first stage of grief" (shock and denial). Does this mean it is ok, to deny the new reality?

Sleeping in Takayama

This heater stands in the corner of a room in a former temple in Takayama, Japan. Four years ago we slept a few nights in that room. After a few hours the heater would go out and the next morning the room would be chilly. This was 2007. One year ago, we were so sure to visit Japan again this fall. We will go there again in the hopefully not too far future. Japan never felt further away, out of reach. I read that tourism collapsed down to 50% of what it used to be.

With Japan it's a mystery to me: all the people I met who went there fell in love with Japan. So there must be a lot of people like me, missing what used to be far away but still within reach, at least within 12 hours flight and a bit of saving in advance.

Japan and the japanese lifestyle has accompanied me ever since Mr Paula moved into my apartment. We share a mere 610sqm, a place, that used to be occupied by me alone for years, now belongs to 2. At my age women usually buy there first home, coming with impressive mortgage fees or they rent a place 3times the size of our apartment. Maybe it is my love for the japanese lifestyle, that I appreciate the limits this small space provides. And believe me: nothing enables the change towards a minimalist lifestyle more than limited space. Even though you might be surprised, how many hoarders do live in their tiny houses in Japan, boxes piled up to the ceiling, sometimes even blocking the windows.

Returning to the beginning of this late night posting: My former colleague at work who left one year ago and I used to play this somehow intimate game: Shortly after the onset of winter, when temperatures dropped by 20° within a week, we sat at home on our sofas in the evenings, covered with blankets, cold noses, no heating. Because we somehow wanted to prevail over the beginning of a long winter that lied ahead. In the morning we used to ask the other one if one had finally given in and switched on the heating. Reaching November was an easy challenge for the two of us. This year everything feels colder than it used to. I am not sure if I will make it til mid-October.

Have a good night and stay warm!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Truth ...

Jill from Everything Just So tagged me with the "Tell me about yourself"-Award. Thank you Jill!

I am asked to share 7 things you probably did not know about myself ... here they are:

On Blogging:
I feel comfortable where Bloggers reply to comments. It feels akward commenting without a dialogue.

On Education:
My parents decided it would be better for me to take the scientific branch in school instead of languages, since my older sister had struggled with the languages at school. In the end I struggled a lot with 3-hours-long-written-exams on physics. You know, Heisenberg and so ...

On Sucess:
Age 28 I was unemployed for over a year and I decided I wanted to learn french. I started watching french movies on TV5 with french subtitles (TV5 repeates the movies 3 times a day and time was what I had no end back then). I also took classes and 5 years later I headed to Paris and returned with recorded interviews I had lead in french for the Austrian Broadcasting Company and also managed to translate the interviews for the dubbing.

On Women:
I met a lot of adorable women so far and all of them had brown eyes. I think brown eyes are one of the best features a woman can own.

On Sleep:
I am an "owl": I could stay up forever and sleep till noon. At school I loved to go babysitting, especially the late night jobs, where the parents would come home at 2am. I sat in the kitchen and drew fine pencil graphics, studying light and shadow-still lifes. I still remember how the heating went off in those houses past 10pm and how cold it got ... but never got tired.

On Peculiarity:
Compared to me, Sally (When Harry met Sally) is low-maintenance. I keep wondering, how my friends can bear me. Friend B totally understands why I travel with a water kettle and a pillow (yes, there are hotels on this world, that don't provide a water kettle and the pillows are stuffed with down feathers which I am allergic to).

On Paula:
That's not my real name. But you knew that already, no? ;-)

I like to pass this award to following bloggers:

Macs from Macs in the City She lives Vienna, too!

fojoy tells us when she is annoyed but also entertains with truly funny episodes of her life:

Beate in Bavaria who likes to stay Sunday in Bed. She writes in a sunny, poetic way that intrigues me.

Mrs Stranded in Cleveland who lives a live on a similar wavelength like I do, only she runs half-marathon and I only 5 miles.

Vix from Building a Colourful Life, because I am sure there is a lot more we like to know about her

Friday, 7 October 2011

Why would I Wear This?

This is what happens when the Design Week Adrenalin drops and you find yourself wearing this:
Unflattering jeans

The last pair of jeans left in the drawer. There is a reason, why they are still tidy while all the others are used and dirty.
Because they are the most unflattering pair of jeans I could imagine!The harvest of one intense week out: Baskets and more baskets waiting ot be laundered.

Yesterday evening I went straight home from work, laundering and cooking.

I still enjoy my "cleaning out the kitchen cabinets"-mood (=using what you have instead of buying what you won't use). 1 pumpkin and several potatoes needed to be transformed. The way it works is easy: I google "ingredient #1 ingredient (potatoes) #2 (=pumpkin) jamie" and I always and up with phantastic recipes! To quote Jen from the baked life: 'nom nom nom'.

So if you end up with a some vegetables lacking the inspiration, you might want to give it a try.

Many people see cooking as a form of punishment. To me it is a way of recreation.

The dish before serving:
It was so yummy and tasted even better the following day.
(Not seen on the photo: a drizzle of olive oil I sprinkled on the dish after taking this photo.)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

What Fits in an Evening - a Lot!

There are easier things than keeping up with a blog when you live an exciting life. Susan, guess what an coincidence: yesterday we paid the MAK a visit!
What would make a better after-work-eye-candy than glass ware!

The designer Christian Haas collaborated with Theresienthal, a Bavarian manufacturer. The craftsman work the designs from their eyes - they look at the master design and then they transform it to the glass free hand!
I liked the ISS floating through space on a high end glass product. He adds ironic details where you need to take a second look to see it. At first glance you are blinded by the sheer beauty of the product itself.

Here you see the designer

After the glass ware we headed on to the Nespresso exhibition, theme was recycling. 10 years ago we refused to drink Nespresso at work because we could not stand the waste these machines produce. I studied in an environmental-focused field, so it was clear I would rebell against such a waste machine. To my surprise most of the co-workers (mainly educated in technologies and economics) were also against the coffee maker that produces one waste capsule per cup. Yesterday at the exhibition I realized how right we were back then: I mean Nespresso calls for entries for recycling solutions, sustain.ability, they ask how people can deal with the capsules and the whole system they built around the recycling process. Horror!
I knew back then that this product is not the future speaking in terms of sustainability, but until yesterday I had no idea how bad it actually is. Designers came up with ideas how people might collect the used capsules at home and bring them back to the store, 70% of the customers have stores nearby where they can return the capsules. Some designers invented ideas what the other 30% could do with the waste. One entry said that from all the capsules collected in one day, 1 child in the third world that suffers from hunger can be saved. 1 child? Looking at the company that stands behind the capsules, I would say they could save 1 child every minute of the day.
Coffee!!!!! Coffee is one of the most easily to compost goods in the kitchen. How a company could design a whole waste circle around something like coffee is miraculous. Ok, I stop here because I made my point clear how little I appreciate what this company is selling.

On to some far more relaxed environments: the Akademietheater. We had almost forgotten that we had tickets for yesterday's play, Thomas Vinterberg (yes, Dogma!), "Die Kommune"

Taking a break at the theatre cantine. The man to the right was on stage during the play.

The interior design is outdated and I hope it stays like that for another 40 years.
The crowds are coming
The Beginning
The Ending

And off we were to the MAK, Museum of Applied Arts, where the Coffee-House-Experiment Part II opened yesterday. How convenient, my jacket fits in the LV Neverfull, because there is no time to lose at the cloakroom.

Cute museum staff explaining the interactive exhibition device that showed me around.

I kept this photo in orginial size, you can read all the components that make a Viennese Café. Cute!
In the basement an architectural exhibition opened the same evening, on vertical public space.

Speaking of vertical public space, now I have a 360° scaffolded view at home. Not only the house vis a vis is under construction, our house, too!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Ways to Work II ... and to VDW

Since photos taken in the streets of Vienna seem to please you, I took some photos on my way to work and later in the afternoon on my way from work, heading towards the Vienna Design Week.

Today my day started in the kitchen, I peeled and cut and boiled this wonderful vegan soup:
Soup, brought to work in a Thermos, consumed throughout the day, last dosage given before heading to the next VDW presentation, keeps my energy level high.
Since silken tofu and yoghurt are not always available at our fridge, I reduced the soup to it's minimum - veggies.

It's akward having fingers that smell of onion and garlic in the morning, before breakfast! And I left the house with my smelly fingers* and found these gentlemen approaching:
Our house is getting a face-lift (leaving the house in the morning)

The streets are wet because they get a wash every morning.
The autumn light has been exceptional for days in a row!

A few hours later, heading to some presentations at the Vienna Design Week:
The light is even better in the afternoon!
Uli Budde unfolded a diamond at Köchert est.1814.

We attended three presentations, such a nice atmosphere at every venue!

Installation at J. & L. Lobmeyer

I heading off to some events plus a theatre play! Event collisions!!
And I take extra care I don't spill any soup on my favourite shirt - the Armor Lux striped cotton. Armor Lux is a brand that origines in Quimper, Brittany. That's where you find B&B's where the old lady has black/white photos hanging on the wall with her daughters, dating back from the 1960's, her girls wearing striped marine-heavy wool sweaters, trousers pulled up to the knees, posing in front of their fathers boat, barefoot in the sand. Marine as functional wear. I will never have that "cool" the girls from Brittany had, wearing the design as 100% functional wear, but enjoy bringing some cool to this Town. Whenever I see another woman wearing those stripes, it feels like meeting a new fashion-mate in the street.

... more to come!

* my fingers were not smelly at all, I found this miracukous "steel soap" that erases all unwanted scents from your hands.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Vienna Design Week 2011

Opening Night at the Palais Liechtenstein
The Vienna Design Week opened last Thurdsday and we are busy, visiting all the events, presentations, exhibitions, lectures, labs etc. ....
The Vienna Design Week as started and this year the talks and labs take place at a new venue, the Jean Nouvel Tower, close to the city centre.

Recycled designs
Designers at the VDW Lab
Another recycling design: reflecting buttons made of old license numbers

Next to the lab is the entrance to the Sofitel Stephansdom - a hotel that is situated somewhere in Vienna, but definitely not at St. Stephan's Cathedral.
Something went wrong - no hotel guests make use of the lobby
The building oposite the Jean Nouvel tower, what a contrast!

Speaking of buildings opposite - the construction site opposite our apartment is moving/changing slowly ...
There must have been 4 or 5 presentations going on at the same time.
les toilettes

Later on we moved to other venues, not as glossy as the Jean Nouvel building, but neverthe less very charming:
Today we visited an exhibition of polish designers:
The designers had to design objects that would fit in those boxes, I guess they are 1 x 1 x1 m
I liked these old drawers, that came to new life
The exhibition takes place in the building where the academy of fine arts has is placed:
Not a single cloud in the sky, bright light in early autumn.

Today's temperatures went up to the high 20's:
October 2nd in Vienna - unusual weather conditions

... still, winter goods already arrived in the shops.
I will pass on this pair of boots!
I have been carrying my LV Neverfull with my, it's the perfect purse since it's never full. Mr Paula thinks it's not the right design for the occasion and I guess he is right. What he does not know though - fashion needs fractions, by carrying this iconnic design I break the meaning of design whatever!
Right now Mr Paula is attending another lecture at the lab, later we will meet for a lecture in a movie theatre. I have to leave and save him a seat!!