Thursday, August 31, 2006

that stung

The other night, somebody whose opinion I value despite myself declared that I was a "consuming" rather than "productive" person. Being a (self-)rigtheous bitch I immediately launched into self-defensive mode, knowing only too well that I keep postponing creative or "self-improving" projects infinitely, coming up with the lamest of excuses. Recently, or rather for the greater part of this year, I've experienced a veritable roller-coaster of emotions. Some people are great at channelling their negative energies into something tangible and ultimately satisfactory simply by working themselves silly. Unfortunately, I'm the (rare?) type of person who's at her most creative when she has reached some sort of emotional equilibrium and feels happy and secure. Right now, neither applies, alas.yet another necklace (onemorehandbag)In lieu of great World-changing projects I got down to a mini-project of sorts last night by snipping up the (carnelian?) necklace K. from the Book Club donated recently, combining the beads with others I already had and recycling it all into a new dangly necklace I'm wearing to the office today together with the white blouse and pin-striped trousers I bought yesterday at H&M. They are from the new "picked by Madonna and crew" collection and both really comfortable.
Sometimes I wish I had somebody right next to me to give me a daily kick in the behind.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

How to realise you're officially a dinosaur

On Saturday night I went out for dinner. The only other *girl* really still was one - a colleague's 19-year-old girlfriend. As she seemed a bit bored with the grown-ups' (ahem) conversation about cult TV series of the late 80s and the like, I tried to engage her in conversation. We discovered a mutual passion for ice-cream and she told me that she lived near Tichy, one of my favourite ice-cream parlours. When I mentioned that as a student I had a part-time job at a translation bureau round the corner from the ice-cream mekka, she piped up, "Don't tell me you worked at XXX". Me: "Yeah, do you know it?" She: "Well, I used to go out with the owner's son for a while." Me: "But!!!... oh, I see." Said son was about 11 years old when I worked there and used to drop by after school. I felt like an emissary from a former century.

Healthy office snack of the day: plums from my aunt's garden.
plummy (onemorehandbag)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Where can I claim my commission

...for ceaselessly promoting Volksgarten's beauty and virtues? Recently, I've noticed OAPs practicing Tai Chi in the morning when I take a shortcut through the park on my way to the office. Not just any oldies, no, genuine Chinese (well, Asian anyway) ones.tai-chi@Volksgarten (onemorehandbag)Wishing you all a good weekend. My internet connection at home has been acting up recently so it looks like I'll have to face an offline myself. Ah, well.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Was that IT?

Austrian weather men and women like to be overly pessimistic in their forecasts, possibly for fear of class-action, enraged lynch mobs, or something along those lines. Last weekend, they repeatedly stressed that we were to enjoy what was in all likelihood The.Last.Summer.Weekend of this year, with a chance of rain on Sunday afternoon. The Pampered Princess' Sister (PPS) and I decided to seize what could be our last chance this season of a Sunday bike trip and braved the typically Viennese (head)wind to cycle to Donauinsel, Vienna's intricate flood-protection system that doubles as a popular recreational area.Donauinsel (onemorehandbag)Looking over to the riverbank where "Uno City" and other high-rise buildings that make up our (very timid) answer to the Manhattan-skyline, you can't but feel...cosmopolitan.
mini-skyline (onemorehandbag) After vegetating in a deck-chair for an hour (photo WITH shoes below), regretting that we didn't bring our bikinis, we cycled back into the city centre, stopping at Strandbar Herrmann for some more deck-chair-(non)action, this time airing our pale feet in the process. Aaaah, the life!
with or without shoes, that is the question (onemorehandbag)By the time we had finished our first drinks, dark clouds intruded into our shiny happy urban summer bubble and made us hurry back to our trusty old bikes. At the intersection where I waved good-bye to PPS, who lives more central than I do, the first raindrops started to plop down on my sweaty back. By the time I got home, I was soaking wet.

In retrospect, I think I probably WOULD have sued the ORF Wetter-people if their predictions hadn't been accurate.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

it takes two

Last night, when the Mermaid and I met on Mariahilfer Str. for an after-work shop-crawl none of us was in the best of moods (so what's new...). Some ten shops -I was good and didn't buy anything, she bought a pair of skinny black jeans from H&M's Madonna-collection - and a coffee later, we were giggling like two high school girls on speed. Or Red Bull, more like.

We both miss our weekly chlorine-scented bitch-fest as Stadthallenbad is closed for maintenance until September 3. Until then, we have to resort to other ways to vent our work/men/fashion crisis-related frustrations.

No matter where you put the two of us together, we communicate in code. The kind of code all good friends develop sooner or later. With some people, you click and find the same wavelength straight away, with others, you become gradually attuned to each other. La Mermaid and yours were thick as thieves back at school and are just as childish at the tender age of 34.

Yesterday, both of us were somewhat sleep-deprived which makes an interesting combination when you're given to talking without thinking first even on a good day. On the escalators of H&M, the Mermaid turned to me and began to say "As my daugther's kids always say..." Me: "??? Your daughter's kids? How come you never told me you had a daughter, never mind those grandchildren!" What she meant to say was "My cousin's kids" and I admit that it's only mildly amusing to an outsider, but it cracked me up all right and I launched into a firework of lame jokes of the "Gee, you must tell me the name of your plastic surgeon!" variety. Sitting in a café later, I told her "As you know, darling, I'm a very superficial person and I only go out with you because you're so pretty". "I know, honey", she replied, "and I love you because you're so dumb, my blondie."

That pretty much sums us up. Men might come and go, but there's nothing to beat inane conversations with the girl(s).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Peer Pressure

Missus Gadget... (onemorehandbag) Yep. Looks like another one has succumbed to IPod-Mania and become what the Poulette so aptly called an IPod Whore.

Earlier today, the cool new white leather case I ordered from Amazon arrived and I rolled the pink "condom" aka "sports case" I'd bought as temporary protection off again. In my lunch-break, I bought a tiny white leather-bound notepad with silver edging. I don't actually use notepads, looks great with the IPod.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Watch me come undone...

So on Friday night I went to see Robbie Williams. Some of you might remember that I froze my ass off queuing 4 hours for the tickets back in November. Was it worth it? Hmmm...of the 3 times I've now seen him perform here in Vienna, it was definitely the least impressive show. This could be partly due to the fact that allegedly he had been close to cancelling the concert because of the flu and it was indeed quite noticeable that he was feeling under par. It could also have to do with the fact that it was the first time I had a standing ticket for Ernst-Happel-Stadion and a) could barely feel my calves by the time the show began and b) could only catch the odd glimpse of the Master (decidedly chubbier in real life than on the latest videos, btw) himself thanks to several giraffes wearing platform shoes and chivalrous men with girfriends on their shoulders and so had to rely on the video screens.

I was also sort of offended he didn't play my all-time favourite, Supreme. Shame on you, Robbie! The last encore was Angels which had the desired wave-your-lighter-in-the-air effect and came with a proposal by a fan on stage. I wonder whether that was part of the show and the guy has to propose to his (fake?) girlfriend every night of the tour.

He announced that "tomorrow's show will be Scheiße" before he went off stage. According to the Mermaid, who listened to the live broadcast of Satuday's concert on radio, his voice was indeed more hoarse than it had been the day before so we should consider ourselves lucky to have got the better deal.

Still, it was a fun excursion with the girls, all five of them. I suppose if he were to play Vienna again next year, I'd pass. Add another year and I'll have forgotten all the pain (sitting/standing on grotty plastic covered with litter for hours on end, queuing for the loos, having somebody sing into my left ear for the duration of the whole concert) and willingly queue for tickets again.

Mental notes for next time:
  • Bring a generous supply of bottle caps as (overpriced) drinks sold in the stadium (you can't bring your own for security reason but you can buy them inside...) are handed to you with the caps removed by the vendor.
  • Wear platform shoes or hire stilts
  • Alternatively, wear much more revealing clothes so as to allure gentleman with broad shoulders.
Lunch-break purchases: Two 90s packs of daily contacts, Clinique eyeshadow (colour surge in "Sugar Sugar").

Friday, August 18, 2006


Robbie ticket (onemorehandbag)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

because I'm worth it...

bad grammar, hot t-shirt(onemorehandbag) Remember the shipment from America for which I had to pay a hefty customs fee? Ah well, the t-shirt is so cool and so me, I didn't mind that much in the end.

Other treats:
I booked a flight to Cologne yesterday. Yippeeee! I'm going to visit Chiquita (currently doing an internship in Düsseldorf and commuting from Cologne) over the December (8th) bank holiday weekend.
Last night I went to see American Dreamz which has been in Viennese cinemas for weeks, actually. The other option was the Break-Up but something told me it might perhaps not be the right film for my current frame of mind... Anyway - American Dreamz, which I'd assumed to be sufficiently entertaining turned out to be visciously bitchy and very funny indeed. Dennis Quaid as President of the United States (it's not hard to guess who he was trying to imitate) is priceless but I liked the guy who played Iqbal best.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ghost Town

Yesterday was a holiday in Austria, i.e. most people seized the opportunity to make it one looong weekend, taking Monday off as well.

Not so inmates @ Coma HQ who had to "work" yesterday. Oh, the joy of sitting in the office from 9-5:30 with no phone-calls, no mail, no newspapers, nor guests since no one assumes the place to be open. Not.

On your way to work in the morning, the baker's closed, at lunch-time, there's only Mac Donald's and the odd Würstelstand to keep you from starving. Afte work, the subway is pitifully empty.

Teinfaltstraße, which I pass through every morning and which on ordinary work-days is lined with parked cars on both sides, was completely deserted yesterday:
ghostly Teinfaltstraße (onemorehandbag)Spooky!

I had the foresight to bring in the new La Redoute catalogue to keep me company.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

make mine a gondoliere

My colleague M. (let's call her "the Tyrolian" for the purpose of this blog) was in Venice last week and brought me back my first calendar for 2007, "Il Calendario dei Gondolieri", adding that I might find the new man of my dreams on its black and white pages. We-hell, I'm not so sure. First of all, either the photographer's skills are somewhat questionable or the calendar was printed in a hurry at a corner-copyshop. Second, Latin Lovers those men definitely ain't. Take Mr. or should I say signor, August who incongruously is wearing an anorak with fur-rimmed hood. Mr. December, the only good-looking one in my opinion, on the other hand is in his short-sleaved striped gondoliere T-shirt. Mr. June is wearing a bizarre butcher's coat of sorts. Scary!

The Tyrolian said where she got the calendar from they also had one with Catholic priests but she considered those to be too celibate to adorn my walls. I'm not so sure about that and who knows, those thorn birds might have been far hunkier than the water-borne taxi drivers.

Monday, August 14, 2006

guest-bagging #2

After the picture of the sexy bags Tomaz sent me, I got this photo of cool arty-farty bags Alcessa took in Copenhagen:Danish bags (alcessa)

I'm thinking of turning this into a new feature - "guest-bagging" so if you come across any noteworthy bags, take a picture and mail it to me. Not that I'd mind if you sent the actual bag to me, either...

Lunch-break purchases: Making the most of a 10%-off-everything-voucher for BIPA, I bought a new electric toothbrush and stocked up on "anti-cellulite-placebo-cream", tried-and-tested Diadermine this time.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunny Sunday Trivia

After a rather depressing day yesterday (nasty weather, everyone on holiday) which I more or less spent reading (Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close -brilliant!), cleaning, de-cluttering and channel-surfing I decided to seize today's comparatively clement weather conditions and walk to the MQ.

Towards the end of the season, the red sofas look a little worse for wear, don't you agree?

mangy red sofa (onemorehandbag)After I had comfortably sprawled out on one of them, finished my newspaper and got down to reading my current book a guy blocked out the sun and asked what almost sounded like an indecent proposal, "Do you mind if I lie down next to you?" Having muttered my assent (it's a public place, alas) I moved to the far side of the sofa and resumed reading until his obsessive opening and closing the velcro strap of his watch became too much and I decided to make a move before I strangled him (death by velcro, how's that for C.S. I. experts? Hah!) with the very thing.

Fortified with an ice-cream I zig-zagged through the 6th and 7th districts.
wall-art (onemorehandbag)As it was still sunny when I was almost home - at Urban-Loritz-Platz, to be precise - I decided to climb up the gazillion steps of the Main Library Building and look down onto cars and trams whooshing along the Gürtel, Vienna's ring-road which is also notorious for being lined with seedy night clubs and (at night) prostitutes looking for business at red lights.
Urban-Loritz-Platz (onemorehandbag)

Weekend résumé: self-improvement (books!) and fresh-air: check. Social-life: zilch. Speaking of which, the ironing board is calling out to me...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Finishing off another fat one

I seem to read nothing but brick-sized books these days, the most recent one having been John Irving's Until I Find You which I finished last night. It would be a lie to say I struggled through the 839 pages, but in my opinion he has definitely written more captivating stories. Having read all of his previous novels as well, I feel fully entitled to make this judgement.

I particularly love those of his books set in Vienna (e.g. Setting Free the Bears and The Hotel New Hampshire) where he briefly studied. When I read his memoir, The Imaginary Girlfriend, however, I was somewhat piqued to find out that a) he did not even bother to have German quotations proof-read and b) that he claimed a - now deceased - Professor at the University of Vienna who was still around when I studied there had an accent like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The gentleman spoke nothing but the most conservative RP. That Irving described the Viennese as being xenophobic didn't exactly thrill me, either, but it is unfortunately true.
Well, this time at least he got the German right. Is it just me, or do you also hate it when you read a book by a bestselling, or any author for that matter who casually inserts text or dialogue in a language you happen to understand and there's nothing but grammar and spelling mistakes? It is definitely one of my pet-hates and I've often contemplated writing to the publishing house or the author him/herself to vent my anger.
Wishing you all a good weekend from this windy and decidedly *autumnal* outpost.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

basic instinct

What is it with men and barbecues, I'm asking you? Last night at the Mermaid's post-birthday dinner, 3 men were basically fighting over the meat, provoking the birthday girl to get a hissy fit and accuse them of charring her carefully marinated chops and fillets to death. men at work (onemorehandbag) No matter how domesticated our suit-wearing pencil pushers might have become, the sight of a barbecue grill obviously triggers some primeval urge to show off both to their fellow men and to the helpless ladies who'd no doubt starve if it weren't for them.

Guys, come a little closer...we'll let you in on a secret now...psssst!....WE CAN CREMATE MEAT JUST AS WELL AS YOU CAN. Yep. But we'll let you do it as you seem to get such a kick out of it. Besides, we need someone to blame for the burnt meat.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Penélope in all her Technicolour g(l)ory

Last night I went to see Volver. It was a great film in due Almodóvar style and even la Cruz was somewhat less annoying and too-perfect-to-be-real in Spanish than she is when she speaks English. Be that as she may, she is SO the patron saint of smokey eye-shadow. In fact, her make-up was so smokey it could almost be called barbecue!

What struck me once more about the advantage of good old European films over Hollywood ones was the fact that women look like women. I especially liked Lola Duenas who played Sole(dad) and even Ms. Cruz, blemish-free skin, doe-eyes, x-rated cleavage and all, could pass as a real woman thanks to the brilliantly selected clothes she wore. What would no doubt shout a-stylist-specialising-in-vintage-clothes-painstakingly-trawled-L.A.'s-super-chic-vintage-shops-for-months-to-select-this-outfit in an American film looked natural and damn hot on her in Volver.

The title song, sung/lip-synched by Estrella Morente/Penélope Cruz was goose-bump-inducingly beautiful, too.


Go, see!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ingredients for a shitty holiday

  • miserable weather (rain, RAIN, RAIN) more or less all week.
  • an even more miserable mood.

Ah well. This is what Carinthia looks like when it doesn't rain:

lake and mountain(onemorehandbag)

What cheered me up and kept me from losing my mind for good: a cruise in the Pampered Princess' hubby's motor boat before the Deluge set in. Meeting B2 twice. A trip to Italy with obligarory purchase of a pair of shoes. Watching the first season of Grey's Anatomy more or less in one go. I got the DVD from Chiquita who told me it was highly addictive and had SatC-potential. I was sceptical at first, having never liked medical series at all. It turned out she was right and I was hooked pretty much from the first episode on.

To further convince me that the World-with-a-capital-W has conspired to annoy me, I just got the long-awaited delivery from an American mail-order company (content: a t-shirt, a mousepad, a magnet) together with an invoice - payable to the postman - for € 17,32 for custom and postal fees. Great. First of all I had no idea I'd have to pay customs fees and then I did not notice a sticker saying the sender had affixed inadequate postage. Needless to say, the postman had gone by the latter dawned on me. Did I just pay pocket-money for some clever postal employee? In any case, I'm very pissed off for the ultimately rather expensive order.

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