Friday, April 28, 2006

London calling

Later today I will be flying to London. I can seriously do with some distraction and change of scenery and am positive that a girlie-weekend with l'Italiana should just about do the trick. I don't know if it is the weather (rain!) but several other of Coma HQ's inmates are walking around with sad faces and gloomy moods today. Ah, well. I'll just have to repeat the mantra Tate Modern-French Connection-Gap-Fifteen-Liberty-PretaManger-Fred Perry-Covent Garden-Waterstone and count the hours until my departure.

Speaking of which. More or less out of boredom and a near-autistic control-tick I checked the departure times for my shuttle bus to Bratislava, only to discover they have been changed after I booked. Just as well they don't notify customers who already have reservations. In my case, the bus leaves 40 mins earlier than I thought it would (and which my booking confirmation had me believe) which will considerably reduce the time I have for getting changed and grabbing my as yet not completely packed suitcase. Charming.

Lunch-break purchases: A mini Sachertorte for l'Italiana and snacks for me to prevent starvation on my Ryanair flight.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

hers 'n hers

metallica (onemorehandbag) Get your shades out, girls, these are the bags I bought yesterday. The bronze one is for l'Italiana, the blue (I know it looks silver on the picture, but you have to believe me) one for myself. I hope she likes it. Read: I hope she shares my perverted taste. And I wonder if this purchase officially marks my rapid descent into the murky realm of tartiness...

That was only a rethorical question.

I even got a discount on the second bag which just goes to show that it pays off to bulk buy.Hah!
Lunch-break purchases: Only groceries and washing powder. What an anticlimax after the glamourous bimbo bags, eh?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

progress report

I've already worn "Monday"and "Tuesday" and am test-driving "Wednesday" today. Perfect fit aside, it's very comforting to know that should you suddenly be afflicted by premature Alzheimer's or amnesia and can't remember what day of the week it is (that's assuming the unfortunate affliction occurs after you have chosen your underwear for the day...), all you need to do is to check your pants. I'm asking you, how in the world was I able to survive B7DotWU (Before 7 Days of the Week Undies)?

Lunch-break purchases: My mission was to get a gift for L'Italiana whom I'm visiting in London this (bank holiday) weekend. After some extensive browsing I found a funky metallic-look bag decorated with tiny tulle flowers and *mumbles, ever so slightly guilty* one for myself while I was at it. Ahem.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

procrastino ergo sum

Given my penchant for procrastination it's no surprise I'm still stuck in my dead-end job and a quite a few other circumstances that could do with a bit of un-sticking. If I had a Euro, or even a Cent for all the times I've pompusly announced the brilliant things I'm going to know, later, I'd be filthy rich.

Perfect procrastination example: doing my taxes. I received the forms months ago and only blew the dust off them last weekend, taking them into the office for a change of air and scenery yesterday. Today I finally completed the form, photocopied all enclosures and typed the cover letter. It's not that I have that many sums to add, nor that filling in the form takes hours. It's just that I H - A - T - E doing it and leave it to the last moment every year. The deadline for the 2005 return is May 2, by the way.

Interestingly, however, this slackness does not seem to apply to the realm of shopping. I'd never dream of postponing the purchase of a bag or pair of shoes. What? You're not surprised? Hmmm.
Lunch-break purchases: After lugging our, uhm, billions to the bank (payday!) FCN and I trekked to Hofer (limited stocks of Italian goodies!) for some shopping of the remotely sensible kind.

Monday, April 24, 2006

beautifying the hood

funky hydrants in KLU (onemorehandbag)When I was in Klagenfurt over the Easter weekend, I noticed new paint on the hydrants in my parents' quiet residential area. I have no idea who commissioned the beautification mission, but whovever did it obviously used stencils and put quite some time and devotion into the project. If anything, the new-and-improved hydrants must be so much more attractive to dogs who are said to have quite a favour them for marking their territory...

Lunch-break purchases: A grey-ish pleated (soft, used-look) cotton skirt from Esprit.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Getting in touch with my inner 4-year-old

udies (source:
My sun-deprived batteries fully charged after 7 hours spent outdoors in glorious sunshine yesterday, I'm in a great pre-weekendish mood. In case you're curious, yours truly had to entertain the crowds as an origami (that's the Japanese art of paper-folding, btw) instructor and take pictures of the other "attractions" at the 4th cherry blossom festival (minor detail: the buds were still firmly closed, but never mind) at Donauinsel, Danube Island. Unlike my boss, who suffered a mild sun-stroke (no joke), I had generously applied (anti-aging, no less) sun lotion, vividly remembering my tomato-red face after the festival '04. Anyway, it definitely was a welcome change from sitting in my stuffy office all day.

Today in my lunch-break I bought something which boosted my mood some more: "days of the week undies", which I had last worn in my kindergarten days. I can still remember the irritation at my mum if she failed to wash the whole batch in time and I had to wear, say, a "Monday" on a Thursday. The horror! Now that I am mistress of my own washing mashine (yes, the infamous mobile-phone-killing-Gorenje) embarrassments in the lingerie department should be a thing of the past and I'll be able to impress (or disgust, depending) the ladies in the changing room of Stadthallenbad with the correct pant de jour next Monday. Can't wait.
My colour-preferences obviously haven't matured much since kindergarden, either as I'm still quite partial to pink. Aaah, just one of the reasons why I'm glad I'm not a man and can openly act out my tackiest, most girlish fantasies...

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Thanks to excessive paschal chocolate swaps among colleagues and several donations by guests of Coma HQ, my infamous chocolate drawer is more than well-stocked at the moment. This drawer self-destructs in 5 seconds. Oh, no, I got it wrong, it's this drawer's keeper which will no doubt combust from chocolate-overindulgence any minute. Not a pretty sight that will be, trust me...chocolate drawer pending explosion (onemorehandbag) I'll be out of the office all day today, more about that tomorrow. Sayonara.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

provincial delights

Yesterday, I was too traumatised to post. Why? Because we got a scary sneak-preview of our soon-to-be boss who turned out to be a particularly arrogant, 100% charm-free, dried-up beaurocratic old fart. Don't get me wrong, we didn't exactly expect him to be drop-dead gorgeous or flirty, but, uhm, interrupting soon-to-leave-us-boss when he begins introducing us underlings by name, saying (in Japanese, but still) "There's no need, I won't remember the names anyway" is indeed somewhat lacking in etiquette, don't you think?

Let's dwell on a more pleasant topic, the Easter holidays. Predictably enough, mine were devoted first and foremost to eating. Then eating some more. Followed by E A T I N G. As in: copious amounts of cake, chocolate, ham and hard-boiled eggs. Burp.

Mere hours after my arrival in KLU last Friday, I had to check out the brand new huuuge shopping mall, City Arkaden:
City Arkaden KLU (onemorehandbag)

Huge it was indeed and the town center proper was pretty much deserted in spite of glorious sunshine. For spoilt residents of Vienna, the shops aren't much to write home about but for the poor deprived locals who until recently had to drive all the way to Graz to get their fix of Zara, Mango, et al, it must be pretty sensational. Thanks to my Mum who had just given me a really funky Camper-esque pair of shoes she got me on a two-day-trip to Zagreb, I managed to resist the handful of shoe-stores in the mall and didn't buy anything else there either.

Instead, I finally satisfied my almost physical craving for a bronze bag. A couple of years ago, suggesting I buy anything vaguely glittery or with a metal sheen would have been met with a withering look. Recently, however, I managed to convince myself I couldn't possibly survive summer 06 without a bronze (gold is too "loud" and trashy, even for yours truly) bag. However, I obviously did retain some sense in spite of myself, reasoning that it needn't necessarily have to be a leather bag as I'll no doubt revert to my metal-loathing ways by, say autum 06, so I bought the exhibit below at teenager-infested Orsay for a mere...tadah...€7,90.

tarty bag (onemorehandbag)

Lunch-break purchases: None. I strolled around with my Mum who drove back to Vienna with me on Monday.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Easter all of you! Early(ish) tomorrow morning, I'll be heading southwards for an Easter weekend at my parents'. I hope they won't get silly notions that their 34-year-old daughter is too old for a proper easter nest (although I do draw the line at expecting them to hide it for me in the garden) filled with chocolate eggs and bunnies. I want it all! I'll be back in Vienna on Monday night with "la Mamma" and at least 2 kilos gained from all the festive bingeing.
spring (onemorehandbag)

No lunch-break purchases other than a snack at Starbuck's where I was meeting Snow White.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Last Saturday, B2 gave me a lift to Amica's for our April-bookclub session. She also dropped her partner, H., at our place for TD to "babysit". I was overjoyed to see her since she hardly ever makes it to Vienna these days. What's more, she also brought me a gift, as original as it was unexpected - this bag:Klagenfurt bag (onemorehandbag) Now I've seen bags from this series with maps of other, proper cities but I had no idea they made one of my humble home town, Klagenfurt. Obviously, I wouldn't want to be cought sporting a "Vienna" bag in Vienna, that's just too tacky and touristy. But to get one of this 90,000-inhabitants-provincial capital (the scale of the map is the same as with the big cities) is borderline subversive, never mind that I got quite nostalgic and insisted on showing my colleagues my old haunts when I took the bag on its maiden outing on Monday. My parents' house is just outside the map, but then that's basically, ahem, downtown Klagenfurt on the bag, you see.
B2 bought it at Klagenfurt's recently opened huge (as in: unusually big for a town this size)shopping mall, City Arkaden, which I'm hoping to check out over the Easter weekend.
Luch-break purchases: Only a mango smoothie (didn't know you could get them here - very yummy, too!) but tonight I'll have to splurge out on another 90s pack of disposable contact lenses.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

low-cost carried

I must be one of the best customers of so-called "low-cost carriers", i.e. cheapo airlines. You know - the kind where you bring your own sandwiches or buy overpriced, tasteless ones on board. After trips to Paris (with FlyNiki/Air Berlin) and Rome (Skyeurope flight from Bratislava) earlier this year, I've now booked a Ryanair-flight to London (visiting l'Italiana) for the May 1 bank holiday weekend. They also fly from Bratislava and I'll get to experience yet another shuttle bus (Terravision) service from and to Vienna. Mind you, last year I flew to Paris on Air France and to London with Austrian Airlines and wasn't given any food on board either, so not only is the service not better on (short flights with) "traditional" airlines, it's actually worse when you compare it with Air Berlin of FlyNiki where you get free sandwiches and soft drinks and glossy (!) mags.

This is my - very personal and hence subjective - "ranking" of the low-cost carriers I've flown with so far:
1. Air Berlin: Proverbial German efficiency has a name! Friendly and efficient staff, departures on time, new(-looking) fleet, comfortable seats, free sandwiches and glossy mags (see above).
2. FlyNiki: Similar to Air Berlin, only with more Austrians among cabin crew. I personally like their corporate design less than AB's. Where Air Berlin has an air of "business", FlyNiki radiates "package tourist"...
3. Skyeurope: Ok service, comfortable planes, convenient shuttle-bus from/to Vienna. Not so good: horrible plasticky sandwiches and mumbled rapid-fire Slovakenglish announcements by flight attendants.
4. Germanwings: I've only flown with them once, several years ago and did not really like the way they sort of frowned upon passengers bringing their own food because they wanted to sell their own stuff (obviously). Otherwise, service was good, seating not too cramped and they might even have given out newspapers as well - can't remember. I really like their colour-scheme and the Cologne/Bonn airport where they are based is very modern and conveniently located.
5. Ryanair: Either I've always travelled with them on a bad day but I couldn't help feeling that here, you REALLY get to feel that you are made to suffer a tiny bit for being such a cheapskate: sagging seats under which you find tea-bags from previous flights, grubby on-board magazines, chaos at the boarding gates which isn't helped by mostly Spanish native speakers with poor command of English, really cramped seating. Recently, they've also introduced a bizarre system where you have to specify in advance how much luggage you intend to take with you and pay for it accordingly.

Lunch-break purchases: An excursion to Bobby's with FCN to stock up on salt&vinegar crisps in obscene quantities (me) and novelty cartoon-character Easter eggs (her).

Monday, April 10, 2006

yet another baking orgy

yeast feast (onemorehandbag)Easter baking this time. On Friday night, I attempted my first ever Reindling, a yeast cake filled with raisins, sugar and cinnamon (see bottom left picture), which, topped with ham (!) and grated horseradish (!!) is part of the traditional Carinthian Easter dinner. In my family, though we eat it for breakfast and leave out the perverted ham-bit. My Mum not being quite the traditional housewifey kind and not originally from Carinthia either, has never baked a Reindling in her life but always gets a really yummy one from her cleaner. I asked her to get the recipe for me and this is what I tried on Friday.

Reasoning that I could double the quantities to make the hassle (leaving the dough to expand to an obscene degree a gazillion times) worth it, I got so much dough out of one kilogramme of flour that I made one regular Reindling, one without raisins (I know several people who hate them), a little plaited brioche and a tray full of cinnamon rolls. The two Reindlings have already been devoured by several of Coma HQ's inmates and overall, I'm quite pleased with the outcome of my first attempt, if I say so myself.

No lunch-break purchases. Instead of roaming the shops, I sat in the sun on a park-bench, reading.

Friday, April 07, 2006

It's official: Blogs are bad for you.

When I began writing this blog, I nurtured this vague idea that I was going to torture regale my 2.5 readers with "book reviews" every now and then. Well, so much about that. One reason for my slackness is the fact that I've remembered that I actually wasn't all that keen on book reviews at school/university and that I'm not likely to come out with anything mind-blowingly intelligent, either. I usually reserve inane book autopsies for my book club which, incidentally, is convening tomorrow night @Amica's. The real reason, however, is that ever since discovering blogs and blogging as a perfect way to while away the time at Coma HQ from 9-5:30 I've read miserably few books (and aborted my "made in Japan" jewellery production as well). Unlike FCN whose book list of 2006 is approaching the 3-digit-mark, I've read a meager 10 books so far, being:
1. Kathy Lette, Dead Sexy (horrible! I struggled to finish it)
2. Isabel Wolff, Out of the Blue (also very chick-lit-ey and predictable. Wouldn't recommend it)

3. Alan McArthur & Steve Lowe, Is it Just Me or Is Everything Shit? (I did actually write about that one)

4. Daniel Glattauer, Die Vögel Brüllen (liked that one a lot. It's a collection of Glattauer's very funny observations about daily life in an Austrian newspaper).

5. Marjane Satrapi, Embroideries (loved that one almost as much as I did her previous Persepolis series).

6. Steve McDermott, How to Be a Complete and Utter Failure in Life, Work and Everthing (I got that as a present. Not bad, but wouldn't have bought it myself. The title's funnier than the actual book).

7. Tim Binding, Anthem (the book club's February book. I found it hard to keep track of all the characters and to get "into" the plot).
8. Ian McEwan, Saturday (the book club's March book. I liked it).

9. Marina Lewycka, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (this was a birthday present from FCN and I absolutely loved it. Cool cover, too).

10. Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (the book club's April book. I found the style of narration really annoying and didn't find the subject matter interesting, either).

This morning, I began reading Kafka on the Shore by one of my favourite authors, Haruki Murakami. I'm determined to improve statistics and to remain's best customer. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Ahem.

Lunch-break purchases: I'd run out of make up and bought the same brand again as I was quite pleased with its performance (Maybelline's dream matte mousse make-up in sun beige)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

it would have been rude NOT to get them

...those super-sleek, ultra stylish salad servers, wouldn't it? I picked them up for a mere €6 in my lunch-break yesterday. Eating my salad will never be the same. Obviously.coolest salad servers EVER (onemorehandbag) No purchases worth mentioning today. I was f**ing freezing in my mini(ish) skirt in spite of 2 (!, a lacy one with a sheer one underneath) pairs of tights and hurried back to the office after a visit to the supermarket where I bought all the ingredients for tonight's salad when the babies above will be inaugurated. Can't wait.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

April come she will*

Last weekend, the weather was lovely and spring-y with temperatures around 20°. I washed my woollen coat and a good deal of my gloves, hats and scarves, and vowed not to put on a pair of boots again until November. Today, I was freezing in my leather coat and lace tights and had to take off my rain-drenched shoes after my lunch-break, stuffing them with paper towels in the vain hope they'll get dry by 5:30. I love(d) winter as much as I am looking forward to spring but purleeeease, can we hurry up and keep the horrible transition period to an absolute minimum!

* Just in case your encyclopedic knowledge of soppy songs isn't as sound as I though it was.

No lunch-break shopping spree today as I had a lunch date at Pasta e Basta with the Pampered Princess and am now feeling pleasantly stuffed after a plate of ravioli filled with leek and truffles.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Vienna's best kept secret

drool, drool (onemorehandbag)In spite of the fact that I still had a bit of a cough on Saturday, I could not resist a little detour to one of my favourite (if not THE favourite) ice-cream parlours, Tichy, (they don't have a website of their own, apparently) on our way back from visiting friends who live in the 10th district. I'm the one in the cream leather coat, by the way and the "dumpling" is their famous (patented) "Eismarillenknödel" (ice cream apricot-dumpling). Mmmmhmmm!

When I was a child and only visited Vienna on rare occasions with my parents, Tichy ice-cream (generous portions for little money, quick service, the same staff every season) to me was perhaps the most attractive thing about our capital city. Well, and the annual trip to IKEA, possibly. Back then, two of my relatives lived just round the corner from Tichy's so we were sure to walk past (read: inside) it several times a day. With a few exceptions, most Viennese ice-cream parlours are open from March to September and I have vivid memories of holding Tichy cone in a gloved hand in gale-force winds towards the end of the season, trying in vain to keep loose strands of hair from getting stuck in the ice-cream.

My Mum is usually very restrained when it comes to sweets but a little pilgrimage to Tichy's is a ritual whenever she visits me in Vienna. She also always has the same flavours: strawberry and hazelnut. My dad (who hardly ever comes to Vienna, but that's a different story) loves ice-cream anyway and I guess I've inherited my passion from him. Whereas he's happy with a tub of good old shop-bought Eskimo, I insist that Viennese ice-cream is the best in the world. Don't let anyone tell you any different. I know that Italian ice-cream is supposed to be superior but the ones I've tried (and believe me, I've conducted quite an extensive...ehm...survey on the subject) were expensive and fancy-looking but rather bland in taste, i.e. mostly very heavy on the cream. Perhaps I've just been unlucky but my taste-buds were just never tickled enough by Italian gelati. Several popular ice-cream parlours in Vienna actually have Italian proprietors so possibly all the talent has moved here? Well, only guessing.

One of my colleagues' Dad also owns an ice-cream parlour and from her I know that there's an annual "ice-cream-summit" where owners agree on the price of basic cones and cups for the next season. Size does vary considerably though and not all parlours are as generous as Tichy where I can hardly ever manage more than the smallest cone (€1,50 this season) or cup (€1,60).

Interestingly, I eat different flavours at different ice-cream parlours. At Tichy's, for example I love classics like vanilla, chocolate or strawberry I would not eat elsewhere as they tend to be very boring. At Bortolotti's I always have natural yoghurt, "Bacio" and panna cotta. From "Eissalon am Schwedenplatz"I prefer "pralinata" (very rich and nougat-y), chocolate-orange and "maroni" (chestnut).

Guess who's more or less on an ice-cream diet from March to September every year...

Lunch-break-purchases: As I went on a spring-cleaning rampage on the weekend, I had to stock up on detergents and various cleaning accessories.
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