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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Wisdom from Grandma Part 4378: “You can’t take it with you”

Not long ago, I inherited the house of my grandmother. It’s in the middle of nowhere and it’s so little and pretty and from another century that it’s heartbreaking. I would move in the minute I could if it would be in Vienna. But since it’s not, I now want to rent it out to somebody nice. If I find someone who’s willing to move out there ๐Ÿ˜‰ And if I find someone who is willing to pay me some rent for such an old house…but that is a whole different story ๐Ÿ˜‰

The secretary of my grandfather isn't that beautiful, but that one caught my eye. Maybe I'm gonna treat myself to one of those when I'm older... picture via inetgiant.com

Until I find that certain someone, I have to clear out the house. Which is a difficult task, considering it’s full of stuff my relatives loaded there the last few years since my grandmother died. The only thing I would have liked to keep was a little secretary that belonged to my grandfather. It has those little drawers and doors with tiny, beautiful keys. It also has a hutch with a round, built-in ceramic picture. I don’t think it’s antique but it is definitely charming. My granddad stored his most beloved things in there and nobody even dared to touch it. He died before I was born but interestingly, drawings he drew when he was a child only came to light when I was already in my teens. Somebody “dared” to look into the secretary and found those little beautiful drawings of his childhood home in the woods with a pond in front. He never showed those pictures to anyone. Not even my grandmother knew of their existence. Nowadays, all of his children have a photocopy of that drawing in their home and the original hangs in the house I inherited now.

Just a nice little back story to get to the point … because last week I told my mom to ask her siblings or my cousins if they wanted to have something from the house. Never did I think that somebody would want the secretary…

As it happens, my mom visited a cousin of mineย  last week. When mom mentioned the house, my cousin carefully asked her what would happen to the secretary. THE secretary. Of course. At first I was shocked. Disappointed. Sad. I couldn’t believe that she had the nerve to suggest to give her the secretary. She put me in an awful position. How could I refuse her wish? I was very upset and felt trapped. Grumpily, I told my boyfriend the story who wasn’t very impressed, since we don’t even have room for it. I would store it in some place that doesn’t do it justice. I still brooded over it a few minutes, and then I let go.

via cartoonstock.com

My cousin still knew my grandfather. Maybe she even saw him sitting there, writing letters or something. She still knows the real purpose of it. Additionally, she studied art and definitely knows how to restore the secretary to its old glory. With me, I would maybe paint it, but I would spoil the old appearance. If she gets it, the secretary will definitely stand in a fitting place in her house so that everybody can admire it. And then people will ask where it’s from, and she can tell stories about our grandfather. People should definitely hear more stories of him! He seems to have been a wonderful man. If I would have it, nobody would get to see it since I don’t have space. And that would be a pity. The most important point though, as my grandma (the other grandma who’s still living) always says: “You can’t take it with you when you die.”

I think of this saying a lot whenever I treasure material things too much so that they start to become a burden. I don’t want this flat to be my last one. I don’t want to only live here in Vienna. I hope to move a lot and get to know lot’s of places. How can I possess furniture if I want to do that? Where would I store it? Would it be fair to the furniture? Definitely not. What’s also important is that I can make my cousin happy. I always like to make others happy and this gives more comfort than holding on to it. Besides, she has four children. Those kids didn’t know our grandfather either, maybe they will appreciate their roots through the secretary. In the end, I hope I can admire the secretary in her house sometime with a feeling of perfect contentment. And maybe this is the chance to get back my Game boy I borrowed one of her kids in 1999 or something … what can I say, yet another crazy backstory ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Worst soreness ever…

I am walking like an old lady, my every step is aching, I cannot climb stairs without moaning in pain. What did I do, you might ask? Well, I wanted to strive for the perfect body. Yeah…that sounds stupid. But not just any body. His body:

That's Cha seung-won via english.chosun.com

Not too shabby, huh ๐Ÿ˜‰ I might be a woman, but I wouldn’t mind to having a tenth of his toned body. He’s an actor and I recently saw him in the drama “The greatest love”. Which everybody should watch by the way…It is hilarious and might become the best Korean drama of 2011! When I discovered that this guy is already in his 40s I was amazed. A little shocked. But mostly amazed. I want to look as healthy and hot in my 40s too … So, when I found this article about his training regimen, I was even more impressed. It sounded pretty reasonable and I gave it credit for acknowledging alcohol. Every other workout regime strictly forbids drinking. Which is not very realistic for me, after all, I enjoy my occasional drink and a beer with friends. And speaking of Korea, you might have read my post about their drinking culture. I can imagine that it’s not easy not to drink in Korea. Especially when negotiating contracts…

the greatest love via koreandrama.org

What makes it even better, his workout is pretty cheap too, since he only needs a jump rope and a chair. So, what does he do? He does 20 sets of 50 jumps, three times a week or something. I immediately dug up my old jumping rope and started. I’m not gonna lie, it was very exhausting. But I thought: “Well, you want to get as fit as him, so keep going!” I managed to make it to 17 sets of 50 jumps and it made me feel proud… I should have stopped at 10 sets, or even 5 … Because the next day I already started to feel soreness in my lower legs… Then it crept up to the upper legs…. And now it’s been three days and I cannot walk properly anymore!ย  I should have stuck to my running routine… At least my boyfriend is having a laugh every time I pass him by. Oh Cha Seung-won, what did you do to me?

How to break up with a friend?

I didn’t want to write such “downer” entries anymore, but this bothers me a lot. So here goes… ๐Ÿ˜‰

via parlourmagazine.com

Just received a mail of an old friend of mine. Every time I hear something from her, I get sad. And think about her for days. We spent much of our teens together and were BFF at the time. It was nice enough, and I really liked her. But then, when we grew older, she changed a lot. She had a lot of boyfriends, and with every new boyfriend she changed her personality. One liked to wear leather pants, that’s why she immediately bought one pair for herself too. There’s nothing wrong with leather pants. But I don’t think she would have bought them without him. Another guy liked her to be the cute sidekick, so she started to wear short skirts and dresses, trying to be quiet and cute all the time. The last one is very rude to her, but I think he’s a keeper, because he lasted the longest and she’s still with him. I find she has very low self-esteem to be like that but I couldn’t help her. She wouldn’t listen to me, because I didn’t have boyfriends at the time. So how am I one to talk?!

When we left for university and lived together, she started to annoy me. She always complained about her workload and only told me about her problems. I regularly wonder if she always was that way, and if it was only me that had changed. It bothers me that I was so close to her when I hate people like her nowadays. I wonder if she had treated me that way in our teens too, or if I only became aware of it when I was older. And if she always treated me like that, what does that say about my personality?

The toughest time was when my dad died. I wanted to be left alone and cry the whole time, but because we shared a room I couldn’t do it. I was a wreck, more like a ghost than a human and I couldn’t get anything done. I don’t know if she is aware of it, but there are so many instances when she hurt me with her remarks and I didn’t have the strength to counter them. I couldn’t believe that she would complain to me about her silly little problems when I couldn’t even handle my life. There was some kind of academic competition going on. While only one-sided, she consistently wanted to make sure she does more than me, gets better grades than me, is more successful than me. I never cared for that and it was easy for her to accomplish more than me at those days. It was an exhausting time. I blocked to talk about my dad, but I thought she would be sensitive enough to see that I didn’t have the mind to console her. Maybe there should be a manual for how to deal with people who just lost someone. You can never say the right thing, but you can act the right way. I also make mistakes when dealing with people who mourn, but I hope I am more aware of their feelings than she was of mine. I felt so worn out because of her, I was extremely happy when she left to study abroad for a year. That gave me time… Then I went abroad myself and I didn’t have to “see” her for a few years, but we still wrote each other mails. Luckily, I could escape the skype calls ๐Ÿ˜‰

When I came back I met up with her, but it was still the same. And awkward. I once told her via mail how much she sucked me dry at that time and how I felt let down by her. But we didn’t talk about it in person. She wanted to hold on to me and still thought about our friendship as something special. She still wanted to relive the old times with me. After a few meetings, I managed to avoid contact and now we only send each other little birthday messages. Which is silly, considering we don’t talk to each other anymore. I guess you cannot make a clear cut with a friendship like you can with a relationship. When a relationship is done, it’s done. But how do you know when a friendship is done? There should also be a manual for that…

I know this might not fit here, but I dig the picture ๐Ÿ˜‰ via fromgirltogirl.com

In her mail today she asks me what I’m doing now and so on. She attached a picture of old classmates of ours she recently visited. Told me she got a job. I guess she won the academic competition since I’m still here writing my thesis… Maybe she can take some comfort in that. The tone of the mail is somehow whiny. She added this smiley when she said that she didn’t hear from me in a while:ย  :-((((((((((((((((((( She always makes me feel guilty when she does that. And I really don’t know how to react to that. On the one hand, I feel sorry for her. I guess she doesn’t understand the impact of her demeanor on me at that time. But I cannot be around her anymore without hating on her. What’s worrying me, is she the scapegoat for my dad’s death or is she really that person? I think that’s why I cannot make a clear cut. There are many questions left unanswered. While I wanted to go on with my life without having to deal with those downers, I guess I cannot escape. The past always comes back…If only I knew how to answer her mail now.