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Category Archives: Little stuff

Waiting for Christmas

Today, I could open the first window on my little Advent calender! To me, opening a window each day has become more exciting than Christmas itself, especially since I get kitchen appliances as Christmas presents ๐Ÿ˜‰

via 55plus-magazin.net

My sister already baked her Christmas cookies, stressing out all the other women in town that haven’t started yet, and I already gained a kilo from eating them on the weekend. My “Achilles heel” are Vanillekipferl, as I understand it, called sand tarts in the U.S. Is that true? Anyway, I could stuff myself with those all day. They are just too good!

Hope you enjoy the waiting with lots of delicious cookies too!

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What I learned in the past three months

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been three months since I wrote my last entry. Originally, I pledged to write at least once a month… please accept my apologies …

So what did I do?

  • I really focused on finishing my thesis to the point that I now can’t even look at it without contempt anymore. I really really hate it by now. I guess and hope that this is normal. The thing is, I still have to do a presentation and an oral examination. Only then I’m done. I dream of some kind of fire ritual to burn my thesis and clean my brain ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know, stupid, but it helps to read it for the 120th time…
  • I’ve chosen the worst possible guy to proofread my thesis. At first he hit on me although he’s twice my age and now he has let me down and needed a month for a whole of 30 pages. Please don’t judge. I thought he was professional. At least the work he did on my 30 pages is good ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, live and learn… Let’s hope the next one is more reliable.
  • I’ve been to every professor and secretary available at our institute to get the enormous amount of signatures to even hand in the thesis. Tracking down the guy who’s always out having his breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner is pretty much impossible …
  • I’ve had about 3-5 (maybe more like 5-10) nervous crying fits when something went wrong with my thesis. I’ve pledged to let my boyfriend have his when he will write his own thesis.
  • My computer “died” at the appropriate time, just when I was doing my literature list. I guess the thesis wore the computer down too … Of course, that prompted another crying fit. Luckily, I obey to the golden rule of backup, backup, backup and I only had to redo an hour. But still, that hour sucked! Badly!

    via cartoonstock.com

  • One of my uncles died and now it came out that he has another “secret daughter”. What is it with all those family secrets?! This was that uncle’s favourite saying, which I really liked:

Ohne Arbeit frรผh bis spรคt kann dir nichts geraten,

Neid sieht nur das Blumenbeet, aber nicht den Spaten.

Roughly translated (and very poorly, please forgive me … this saying means: Without work from dust till dawn, you will achieve nothing. Envy only sees the flower bed, but not the spade. (I’m sure there is some equivalent in English that I don’t know of …)

His children may not enjoy his lifetime’s work now because they have to share with another unknown sibling. So remember, if you have any secret children, make sure to tell the children you live with ahead of your death what awaits them!

  • I still feel bad because of my dad sometimes. But lately, I just tell people straight away that he’s gone to get it out of the way when they ask. And last time, a girl forgot that I had told her that he is dead and asked me what my mom or my dad think of something. That was pretty disturbing. I didn’t feel too troubled about it, but I think I need to readjust my strategy. What proofed to be successful in your experience to get the point across that someone’s dead?!
  • Somebody broke into our home last week. We thought that our apartment looks so crappy nobody would bother to even do that. Besides, Vienna is pretty safe. And we don’t live in a posh neighborhood. Apparently, that is no security. Mr. Burglar (it must have been a guy considering the things he’s stolen) stole the hard-safed money from my boyfriend, his PSP and, strangely enough, his brand new running shoes. Mr. Burglar has taste. He didn’t take my Nintendo DS, the Wii, or my boyfriend’s 10-year old running shoes that were standing next to the new ones. My boyfriend’s actually more pissed that his progress at GTA has gone to waste than about the money. And with the shoes, it’s getting personal

    via cartoonstock.com

  • Naturally, nobody told us that this apartment has been broken into two times already. Would have been nice if somebody advised us to change the lock when we were so stupid not to do it. So, I’ve learned the lesson that even the crappiest apartment is a target for burglars.
  • Me and my boyfriend actually bought the running shoes together and we used to merrily run alongside, like a cheesy couple. I liked it. Now Mr. Burglar has taken away that too, because it doesn’t have the same feel to it when I have my shiny new shoes while he has to run in his crappy old ones. That guy is so mean!
  • The secretary I wrote about inย this and this post is already shining in its new glory, courtesy of my cousin. Pictures will follow in a next post ๐Ÿ™‚ It was the right decision to give it to her!
  • Speaking of which, we’ve found a guy who’s willing to rent my grandmother’s house, but only for a very small amount of money. On top of all, I have to prepare myself for grueling negotiations over the weekend. It gets tiring, really.
  • I’ve watched a ton of Korean Dramas in these past months. Those are the best to keep your thoughts away and just turn off your brain. So if you have a hard time with something, I can give you a list of the most perfect “braindead” dramas that there are …Of course, this is also a way not to forget my Korean, even if it’s Drama-speech … so it’s a win-win ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Korean Dramas are also a perfect way to win new friends. There’s nothing like swooning over a guy with other girls. I’m currently in the “courtship” phase with a girl that wants to be my friend (yay ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) We will meet up to watch dramas, eat and drink. Another win-win ๐Ÿ™‚

    via cartoonstock.com

  • Speaking of drinking, I learned a few new drinking games, most of them from Korea. I’ve already established in that post that Koreans have a thriving drinking culture. It’s a funny contrast to us Austrians, who only sit together getting wasted while talking.
  • I found out that my English is pretty bad, so please don’t hesitate to point out any mistakes I make! Really!!
  • My family has lost all hope that I’ll ever graduate anymore. I lost hope that it still happens this year. I guess subconsciously I really put it off so not to get to the next stage, which is unemployment ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh my…

So, that is a tiny fraction of what I did. Even if it’s pathetic, I hope you enjoyed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Treasures from my grandmother’s house

So, I’ve been to the house and took out a few things that I liked. Some of it very tacky. Stuff I wouldn’t buy myself, but since I know that one of my grandparents owned it, it’s making it cool by association! It’s a lot more meaningful to me than I thought. It’s not that much of a burden anymore. It rather became fun. And I still discover new things about my grandparents. They must have been lots of fun to be around. And I still get messages from my grandmother ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve taken home a cute little vase and inside I found the letter: “This vase is not waterproof” to warn future owners. It cracked me up. So thoughtful!

To the three readers who read my post about the secretary ๐Ÿ™‚ This is the one:

In my imagination, the secretary was in much better shape. And as it turns out, there is no built-in ceramic picture. I don’t know where that came from. Maybe it was just a picture standing there? I don’t know. It’s just weird. I’m actually even more glad now that my cousin took it, since future people who would rent the house would have definitely thrown it out. And I would have been overwhelmed with the work of restoring it. Instead, I took lots of pictures! (As I realized just now, blurry ones, but you get an impression…I hope) An item I took out of the secretary: A stapler that’s very beautiful to look at. And fully functional! Just saw a similar one in a store for 65โ‚ฌ. Can you believe that?!

This kitchen scale is very dirty, but very cool! I won’t use it, I think. I display it in my bookshelf right now.

This is something I never would have known. This “box” was standing in my grandmother’s bedroom where I also spent some nights as a child.

But I never knew what it was, let alone noticed it.

It’s a sewing machine ๐Ÿ™‚ Very clever!

We found this love letter from 1939 that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother. It is beyond romantic and I never knew this side of him. As I understand it, he was a very quiet man, somehow artsy and he supposedly never talked about his feelings. My mom has inherited this quality. She probably never heard one “I love you” from him, but he certainly showed his affection in other ways much more meaningful. She oftentimes tells me this wonderful story of the two of them going to church. Every Sunday after church, my grandfather treated my mom to a pair of sausages at the local inn. He only drank a glass of cheap wine or something, since money was scarce. He must have been hungry himself, after all, they had to go by foot for about half an hour or something. But he let her gain strength, since the journey home was much more arduous as they lived on a mountain. I think that’s why my mom is so persistent in going to church every Sunday her whole life. It makes me beyond sad that he died so early so that I didn’t know him. Not for me, but for my mom. She always wanted us to know what a person he was, but I, being an ignorant child, didn’t sense the scope of her sadness. But through the process of clearing out the house, I hope my mom knows that I care now. You see, I also inherited the thing to communicate feelings through actions rather than through words ๐Ÿ˜‰ Moving on ๐Ÿ™‚

That china was standing somewhere in the house for decades and nobody paid attention. It was too precious to use. Somehow, my mom doesn’t even know where it’s from but she insisted on me taking it and almost yelled at me when I said that I don’t care much for it. I don’t even drink coffee. But since she didn’t want one of my cousins to take it, it just changed location and is now standing in my old room at my mom’s house. Makes sense ๐Ÿ˜‰

Surprisingly enough, one of my cousins asked me for exactly that porcelain when the family had its last getting together in the house. That was very strange and my mom was delighted and gave me the “I told you so!” face for having had the foresight to force me to take it. Lastly, that button box is just too cute and I’m sure my grandfather made it himself.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the wonderful nature in August ๐Ÿ™‚

“But I wanna look at the stars…”

I’m an avid fan of stars. As a kid, I even listed “looking at stars” as my hobby in autograph books. To check out those stars and get a first-hand impression, I booked a tour to one of the observatories in Vienna. Last week, it was raining and the sky was pretty clouded, but our guides informed us via e-mail that we nevertheless could have our tour. But when we arrived, those clouds hadn’t gone away, like they were convinced of in the afternoon. It was very disappointing, we couldn’t look at anything else but clouds. Children were crying, desperate father’s yearned for amusement for their children, couples were crying out that their romantic evening was ruined, chaos ensued.

I wanna look through that ๐Ÿ˜ฆ via http://www.bda.at

Yeah…it wasn’t like that. But it could have been ๐Ÿ˜‰ Despite this throwback, I optimistically booked another tour for today. Today it couldn’t have been sunnier and I was really excited to finally see stars in the evening. Well, until half an hour ago. The tour isn’t happening ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Those clouds are coming back and we would not see anything. This is tragic! I think heaven doesn’t want me to look at it. But I’m not gonna give in … Maybe someone could put in a good word for me with heaven … Please, please let me have a look next week! I’ll be good …

That's the place ... I console myself with the fact that I've been to the tower ... via http://home.fotocommunity.de/link/index.php?id=11067&d=3904933

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˜‰

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.