Friday, 30 December 2011

Very Superstitious

Friend A warned me to keep my laundry up on the laundry line over new years eve. It is said to bring ill luck. But what if the weekend is the time when do our laundry? That's what we do. Now I am not so sure ...

Any superstitious bloggers around here? Any experiences with ill luck laundry?

Superstitious men would never want a woman on board of their ship. Be warned! I will step on your boat one day. Until then, I am getting ready to fit in your codes. Unfortunately, those dresscoce-guidelines I posted below, are not available in english, since all search engines lead straight to the german website.

Garderobe an Bord
Die Atmosphäre an Bord der Cunard Schiffe ist tagsüber im Allgemeinen leger. Kurze Hosen oder Badebekleidung sind jedoch in den Hauptrestaurants an Bord zu keiner Zeit erwünscht. Legere Bekleidung ist stets im Kings Court Restaurant der QUEEN MARY 2 und im Lido Restaurant der QUEEN VICTORIA und QUEEN ELIZABETH willkommen. Höhepunkte der Kreuzfahrten mit Cunard sind die glanzvollen Abendveranstaltungen an Bord. Um die besonders elegante Atmosphäre der abendlichen Dinner zu unterstreichen, bitten wir Sie, sich zu diesen Anlässen wie für den Besuch eines exklusiven Restaurants zu kleiden.

Für die Abendgarderobe gelten folgende Definitionen:

Formal (formell): Smoking oder alternativ dunkler Anzug für die Herren. Abendkleid oder andere formelle Kleidung für die Damen. Das Ausleihen von formeller Kleidung für Herren ist an Bord möglich.

Semi-formal (semi-formell): Jackett und Krawatte für die Herren; Cocktailkleid, Kostüm oder Hosenanzug für die Damen. Jeans sind nicht erwünscht.

Elegant casual (elegant leger): Für die Herren Jackett ohne Krawatte. Für die Damen Rock oder Hose mit Pullover oder Bluse. Jeans oder Shorts sind nicht erwünscht.

Auf Kreuzfahrten ist die Kleiderempfehlung im Allgemeinen an Seetagen formell, semi-formell oder elegant leger und an Tagen, an denen das Schiff im Hafen liegt, semi-formell bzw. elegant leger. Details erhalten Sie mit Ihren Reiseunterlagen. Die Garderobenvorschläge stehen im Tagesprogramm der Schiffe und sind während des ganzen Abends ab 18.00 Uhr gültig.

Beispiele für Garderobenempfehlungen:

Erste und letzte Nacht an Bord: elegant leger
Seetage (max. drei pro Woche): formell
Hafentage (mit Abfahrt vor 18 Uhr): semi-formell
Hafentage (mit Abfahrt nach 18 Uhr oder über Nacht): elegant leger

QUEEN MARY 2 Transatlantik-Passagen
Erste und letzte Nacht an Bord: elegant leger
Drei Seetage: formell
Weitere Seetage: semi-formell

I love it, when manners turn into science!

Now I need to get my clothes into the washing machine, there might be a chance I can take the dry washed clothes off the laundry line by tomorrow evening. Keeping my fingers crossed. In German we say "Glück im Spiel, Pech in der Liebe" - Lucky in cards, unlucky in love. I hope this does not apply, since I was lucky and won a prize at déjá pseu's 10 Days Of Chrismukkah.
My brush can use some cleansing

Enough with all the superstition. I leave you while looking forward to eating a fish, starting from the tail, tomorrow around midnight.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Those Days Inbetween


I had to laugh, when I opened, searching for Downton Abbey's Season 1, because this is how amazon welcomes me these days: Yay, the drill hammer! I did it, I went to the DIY store and left with a green box and a set of drills.

4 days after Christmas and Mr Paula still has not figured out the differences between a drill hammer, a drilling machine and a percussion drill. Maybe he never will. And he was definitely NOT overly excited about the gift (I was with my family and he with his, when he opened his gift Dec 24). But I can assure you I was excited no end and quizzed him the next day.
The gift I received was at least as exciting: a spyderco sharpening tool for knives. Something I have been thinking about for years.

Yesterday Mr Paula's mum and sister and I had the best time in the kitchen, sharpening Zwilling and Wüsthof knives. I will post photos. Mr Paula's mother had the best time holding the paper while I cut it after we had sharpened the knives. Everytime she laughed out, when the knife cut the thick paper like butter. sssssssp. ssssssssp. sssssssssp.

I took 2 days off from work and transformed the rather short Christmas weekend into a Christmas holiday. Lucky me I can take 2 days off. The excitement does not stop there. I am overall excited! 2011 was a staycation year and 2012 has not even begun and I already have a hotel room booked for 2012. The main ingredients for the short trip are of best quality only:
All you need is a 40th birthday, your sister and Hamburg in late spring. You can be sure, I sit here smiling while just thinking about this trip. As you might have noticed in the past: my sister and I aren't exactly close. I guess she was right, taking me on a get-away for my 40th birthday. It has been decades since we shared a bed. It's about time!
And as if this was not enough excitement already, I am going to watch almond blossoms in early spring in Sicily, together with Friend B. I can assure you, I am this close to booking a cabin on Queen Mary. If not Miss Cellany reassured me, 40 is not the best age for joining golden agers on a cruise.

I changed the blog's design to a "inbetween-days"-layout. A soft yellow seems to suit this time of the year. Our cleaning lady will visit us tomorrow and I am not sure if I should keep the Christmas decoration or clear the shelves and surfaces. I feel straight foreward, Carneval season to come soon! With lots of traditions you are probably not familiar with. Krapfen, Bälle and Fasching.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Almost there


December 22 and the gifts are already wrapped. Or should I say bagged? Because we changed to bags, paper bags and they go around. Last year I received gifts in those bags and this year I pass them on.
The brown creature in the back is not a mole but Mr Paula, fast asleep. I want to sleep soon, too!
But there is so much to see, lets take the investor's party that took place yesterday evening. The first new neighbours! At least for one night.
The architect was present. His car is a mobile billboard, it is covered with ads which promote the lofts on sale. I guess they did not sell all lofts yet. I can not blame the buyers for being hesitant - just thinking of the prosecutors who search the offices and files of former investores, prosecuting possible fraud. Big fraud. Massive fraud. The case already reached Liechtenstein. But that's a whole other story. I promise, the moment "real neighbours" move in, I will quit taking those nosey photos.
I took the day tomorrow tomorrow off from work, there are still some gifts left, that need my full dedication. To begin with the photo-safari my younger niece will get from me. During past birthday-family-meetings I noticed how she loves to sneak around with the point and shoot camera and take photos from every possible angle.

A photo safari seem to be the logical consequence as a Christmas gift for her. I have tomorrow to figure out which places we will visit during the day, what the mission at each location will be (a riddle that has to be solved and the photo will prove that we solved the riddle). I will join her and we will text Mr Paula at every station of the safari/marathon as soon as we solved the riddle. Mr Paula in return will send us the following riddle. And on we move.
I will have to include some stations that come with cake, hot chocolate, flowers or pizza. :-)
We don't want to starve.

And then there is this new, almost impossible idea: a gift for Mr Paula. He refused to accept any gift. But I know he needs to install lots of lamps and other stuff and we need to install the curtain rod in the living room. And that the walls that surround us are really tough to get in to. Tool time! te heh. I guess a year where I reward myself with a kitchen processor might be the right year to reward the man in the house with a decent tool. It should cut down the cursing to a minimum. Before I visit the DIY store, I should come clear with terms like drill hammer (Bohrhammer), percussion drill (Schlagbohrer) and a drilling machine (Bohrmaschine). Latest research showed, a drill hammer is what we need and percussion drills don't work very well when they hit concrete walls.

METABO - a brand which is new to me. A few hours ago I still lived in a BOSCH world. But then came METABO, on top of the google page ranks and converted me from camouflage-green BOSCH to timeless outdated petrol-blue. Not that the colours would influence my decision of course. I guess I will have to take what's left December 23.

The curtain with the stars decorates radio station's Christmas party year after year.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Lets Twist ... Again.

I did it!
I completed one of my last to do's: Tonight I finally sat down and did it: I wrote all the Christmas cards.

No need, to think I am perfect, because I am not: a perfect me would have created hand made cards and spent a whole evening scrapping unique Christmas cards, just like last year. No need to be perfect.

I admit, sitting down three days before Christmas at 11pm, returning from a Christmas party is not the most idyllic atmosphere. If only I had followed Miss Cellany's routine, her cards arrived at their destinations lets say weeks ago.

Box to the left: cards I did receive last year, better not forget those loyal card writer this year!

My love for the perfect outcome has been put to the test very recently.
There has been the plan - layed out weeks ago - that I would cook what you could call "the perfect dinner" for my parents, the day after Christmas - only to find out, that they've already bought all the foods - processed, frozen, convenicne food. My whole concept of a special, home-cooked dinner with my father happily assisting me went down the drain. Still, I will not let them de-frost their apple pie for dessert. I draw the line at the dessert. The pie will be home-made, coming from me, e basta!

I should not be surprised. It's how my familiy ticks. Why on earth would parents want to eat processed foods on a holiday instead of letting their daughter cook for them? Maybe they just enjoy the fact, that no one needs to work in the kitchen for hours, all thanks to convenience food. I guess they simply enjoy those conveniences just as much as I enjoy cooking and baking. I feel challenged and remember Vix's Twist on this occasion. Which finally brings me to the subject of this posting.

Have a nice Wednesday!
It's always nice writing to you.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Ellen Parsons or Carrie Mathison?

When I watch a movie, it happens that I forget to follow the plot, just because I am stuck with some details I see. Rose Byrne often made it hard to follow the plot. I can't recall another actress who has stirred me like Rose Byrne did during those four seasons of Damages.

Her sad eyes (the way they apply the khol around her eyes), her bangs in the 4th season, her drooping corners of the mouth. And yet, a perfect beauty. Rose Byrne's meaningless facial expressions probably cause some aggressions for some. Not for me!

While watching Bridesmaides, I did not recognize Byrne at first. I KNEW I knew her - but who was she? Having watched Damages (Season 1+2) quite a while long ago, Rose was not retrievable from my memory at first. As soon as I found out, I was startled. She looked 15 years older. Was her acting true irony? Can we be sure it was not "her"?

I have been watching Damages and Homeland. Having seen Damages, Homeland became a bit boring. Having seen Homeland, Damages became a bit boring. Two series, both on the subject of POW and War in the Middle East. You can easily get confused, what happened where?

Over at Homeland, we have a blondie, Claire Danes, struggling with her demons. Long ago, there was Julia (1996) and now there is Carrie. Both actrices, Danes and Byrne appeal to me.

How about you? Which actresses recently stirred you up? Maybe Kelly Macdonald aka Margaret Schroeder from "Boardwalk Empire"?

And then there was my my crush in my early 30's: Kathryn Morris aka Lilly Rush, Cold Case.
Those smokey hooded eyes plus the bleeding lipstick. Not just once I almost lost the plot, losing myself in the attempt of breaking down her eye make up. How do they create this look?

Lucky me ...
... the Cold Case-plot was quite simple, I never got lost.
... thousands of Youtube tutorials on smokey eyes have been published ever since.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Home Stretch Already

What happened?
Don't be afraid, it's only a Christmas-Template! Due to the ongoing lack of snow, I've decided to overdo it around here. Or should I say: Sugar intake: high?

Uh, this white on red really hurts. But wait for the green and red below. Those frames in green are a killer! This design will be gone by Dec.27. Til then, lets play it festive, ok?

And since I've spent a fair amount of time layouting/messing around, I will do a simple photo reportage. I don't have a story to tell, I let the pictures speak for themselves.

The Cast:
Christmas Market at Maria Theresien Platz and Freyung
Kasperl and his posse
Michaeler Tor / Seniors Choir + their audience
Passage of the Palais Ferstel
Herrengasse including Valentino
Swarovski Crystallized by Hely Design/Israel

The music they played was very calm and piano.
The seniors choir enjoys well deserved hot wine and hot punch.
sparkle, sparkle ...
In the shop the bracelet did not look special, not love at first sight. As you can tell from the photos I have taken, I fell for it. The mixture of the elegant stones and the casual leather plus the golden button - no one who knows me would have dared to hand me this as a gift. Too fancy, too stylish. But hey, guess what, I fancy fancy!

Have a wonderful 4th of Advent.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Being the +1

Tonight the Vienna Design Week crew held a Christmas Party. I went there as Mr Paula's +1.

The party took place in a shop where you can buy vintage design.
The shop's portal dates back to the 1970's
It is flattering, when your partner's business-partners greet you as the +1 with your name. They do know you. Ok, I admit, I must have arrived at the point, where I see them as pop-stars - which they are obviously NOT.

The review-brochures arrived from the print shop.
Everybody is curious and reads the Review-brochure, fresh from the print shop.
... while enjoying a delicious plate of goulash

After all the action during the 10 days of the VDW it was nice to have a chat and spend time together. The truly fabulous photographer who accompanies the VDW every year was somehow excited, because I had a fixed focal length. You could say I made him happy. He also holds workshops and he saw lots of potential by the way I used my camera. Starting with the fix focal length. It seems as if I had earned lots of karma tonight. To paint the picture in 3D: the one photographer who you admire for his skills tells you he likes what he sees and that you moving in the right direction. It was not the easiest thing, to take photos while he was around. I felt like in class. ;-)
During the Design Week it is him and his partners who take all the photos. Today, as a return, I went down on my knees.

Chair design: Roland Rainer 1954. Back then, Rainer bested* Aalto in the competition.

The most fun talks tonight were those about Old fashioned Viennese Marzipan potatoes and other baking challenges including disasters. How we all love baking!Have a beautiful weekend. The storm hit Austria, I hope the crane stays where it is. I don't like any crane nearby my bedroom during stormy nights. No, no, no.

*bested - really? sounds funny. I just looked it up in the dictionary, haven't used this word before.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

9 to 5

Who can not like this:

Makes me smile.
The lyrics. And the unique voice. The rhythm. Perfect.

10 to 6

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

From Russia ... with Nascha's

A few weeks ago, Anna aka Mangoblüte posted on Russian Style. What is it, that makes Russian women so recognisable? Every culture has its distinctive embodiment of style. (WARNING. Generalisations ahead!) Like Japanese women's faces never shine, US women wear foundation, Austrian neglect their hair and Russians behave in a "loud" manner. Ok, so far, so shallow. This is very, very thin ice. English is not my first language, I really do hope, you can sense the genuine curiosity in this posting, not to be mistaken with ill will.
Tonight, during a shop opening event, there was a lot of Russian Style around. I am not sure, if Style does the appearance justice. Because in my eyes, the typical Russian style would be just "all too much". You buy a phantastic mascara but you would apply one layer after the other and in the end, you got a cakey cheap looking make up. And then there is the love for long, blond hair as seen in the picture above. Showing cleavage where the pants already show the pantyline all to well. In the end, it's all too much. They are friendly, behaving well, but their over-done-styling .... I am curious, what drives them?
In case you have some shallow views on us Austrians, I would love to hear what it is that distinguishes the appearance of Austrian woman from other women.
I wonder if some of the older women tonight had their nip and tuck done in Vienna? (not seen in the photos) If so, I do NOT recommend plastic surgery 'Made in Vienna', under NO circumstances, because it looks bad. Do you ever find yourself staring at an incredible trout-pout when you see one in real life? Ever since my mother told me, those mouths are not meant to look good, but simply to stimulate men's phantasies. The shape is the perfect shape to lick and suck a ... YiKES!

The event proved how small Vienna is. Or should I say the Russian community? Anna (mentioned above) is from Russia. Not long ago she had posted a portrait photo of a friend of her's. He is a LV sales assistant. Where ever luxury is on the plan, Russian sales assistants are a must when it comes to luxury goods. This can make feel not at home in Vienna, when you enter a store and everyone around you speaks Russian and people greet each other in Russian. Guess who visited the Party tonight. Yes, it was that guy. Not that I know he is Russian of course. Phew, today I am proving profound shallowness.
Time to calm down. In case you did not flee this arrogant blog by now.
Many call the design kitsch, I call it irony.
Denis, the interior designer, not Russian and content with the result.
I am sure, these bottles of Champagne will not make it til dawn.
I guess the food on sale is not exactly in the price range of students (the place is close to the main university). Too bad, they were not on the guest list tonight.

Please, don't take my words badly. As the label says ... tonight is time for shallowness.

Good night!

Those, who don't care too much about other people's reception, quite often have all the fun!