Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 25: Sunshine in My Heart | I Really Am a Summer Person

I wasn't exaggerating when I recently wrote about how much I love the summer months. Sunshine and seemingly endless days really are the best mood lift I know. I feel so much happier and more energised and last week was no exception. Never mind that I might be unemployed in a few months (long story), am still old and single (even longer story) and our national football team caused small and big boys to shed tears of frustration by their bad performance, I was walking around with a huge smile and felt like hugging the world in ten minute intervals. The week started on a positive note with me and 12 more colleagues painting walls at a refugee shelter run by Caritas. It was a really gratifying experience and since I had organised everything, I was happy to hear my colleagues enjoyed it as well. I had a really good catch-up with my manager, who gave really nice feedback and I realised once more that work, for me, is all about the people I work with. I also attended some fun events with lovely people, so: happiness all around and even a major relapse on the "Don't!Pick!Up!Ignore!Him!" front didn't cause major drama.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 24: Public Viewings | A Murphy's Law Kind of Week

Last week I felt like a wound up tin toy, constantly running around, not necessarily in the right direction.  There was sh** on my mind that preoccupied and distracted me, I had people to chase at work (on behalf of someone else) that were unresponsive and everything that could go wrong did indeed go wrong. Mundane example - on Tuesday, I had agreed to go to a "public viewing" as non-native speakers of English like to call watching sports at a public place with a friend to see Austria play Hungary. She pinged me to say she was a bit late and would pick me up from the office a few minutes later and so I thought I would kill the time by touching up my make-up. I grabbed a blusher I keep in my drawer and wanted to dab it onto my cheeks. It is a loose (coral-toned) powder with a puff at the top, think of it like a salt-shaker construction. Well, the bottom part came off just and I ended up liberally sprinkling it over my desk, Mac keyboard, phone aaand my white trousers, where heaps of it landed on my thighs and in the crotch area. Standing up and shaking it off didn't work and so I went into the kitchen, trying to clean it with washing-up liquid and a sponge. Of course this resulted in pink wet patches - just the thing you need on white your crotch area. I wrapped my denim jacket around myself and we made a detour to nearby Tchibo, where I grabbed a pair of beige "cargo pants" and stuffed the disaster trousers in my bag. We ended up missing the entire first half of the game as all locations we had in mind, where "full", such as Herrmann Strandbar (pictured above) or even the huge area in front of City Hall that allegedly accommodates 25k fans. Well, not that we missed much, but it was another example of the week conspiring against me. It got decidedly better on the weekend, thankfully. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 23: At First Sight (Not What You Think!) | Girl Crush

Something interesting happened last Monday. I was early for an art performance by "Frida" (4 performers were scheduled before her and the first one had not even begun), and shortly after me, a friend of hers and her daughter joined us at our table. It was strange that we had never met as they have known each other for over 20 years and Frida often organises parties where she merges her various circles of friends, so I have come to meet a lot of her artist, mothers-of-her-kids'-friends, gym class buddy, neighbours, and other friends. Be that as it may, I instantly hit it off with that friend, S. Had she been a man, it would have been the perfect date and I would have fallen head over heals in love with her - same wavelength, lovely manners, funny banter, great sense of humour. I think the feeling was mutual and I could not help wishing it was so easy with encounters with the opposite sex - no need to play cool, but "permission" to signal to the other person you find them amazing.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Week 22: Energized | I Heart Summer

You know those Q&As in magazines where they ask stars to answer a few questions to make them more relatable to their fans or reveal previously unknown trivia? These often contain the questions "which is your favourite season?"I used to always think that this is a hard question and I would probably answer it with "all of them the same way", but as I got older, I discovered that I have a clear preference for summer. Technically, it is still late spring, but I am not bothered about what the calendar says. I simply mean the time when days are longer, you don't need a jacket and you feel that you can get so much more done because you (I at least) have so much more energy. I always feel a little high, in a good way, and everything seems better when the sun's out. If there ever is a petition to sign that is in favour of daylight saving time all year round, I'd be the first to sign it. I particularly love Vienna in the summer. Where some people feel the need to escape to the country, I fall in love with the city all over again in the hot months. Admittedly, I would not mind if Klagenfurt were a suburb of Vienna and I could jump into my beloved Wörther See right after work, but the Old Danube or public pools are a good enough substitute for this Aquarius. Bring on the heat!

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Things I Miss

Now that I am officially old enough (ok, I have met the criteria for quite some time, to be honest) to reminisce about "the good old times", let me mention a few things I sincerely miss from the not-so-distant less than 10 years ago.
1. Phone conversations. By that I mean actual conversations and not just brief updates that are amendments to messages or 5-second-calls along the lines of "Just got off the tram, will be there in 2 minutes. I can already see you.". I recently read a report that many people actually feel seriously annoyed when they get phone calls and people don't message instead. I am not one of these people and my phone gets used for voice calls less and less, which I regret. Don't get me wrong, I do like messaging people, but I dislike the obsessive element (guilty as charged) of interpreting why a message has been received and obviously "read", but not responded to within the time I deem "normal" and think back wistfully of the time when you called someone and by the simple fact that they picked up their phone (=landline) you could assume that they had time for a chat and decent catch-up and you could count on their undivided attention, more or less. If they had been in a meeting/at dinner, they would not have picked up and you would have called back later. Simple as that.
2. Spontaneous Get-togethers. I know, I know, this is largely due to the demographic of my friend circle (= 95% of them have children which require to be babysat and/or they have demanding jobs...the adults, that is, not the children), but it verges on frustrating to have to align with 5 people's schedules if you want to meet one member of the family, only to then be cancelled upon at the last minute. Admittedly, I only need to synch with me, myself and I, but even so, I tend to travel more than the average person and yet have been known to come to dinner parties, exhibition openings, etc. more or less straight from the airport if I wanted to see that person. Whatever the reason is, it seems to require such an effort to meet up with people and for me, group chats are a poor substitute, see 1.
3. Openly and blatantly un-sporty people. Back in the days when "running" was still called "jogging" and I was just as NOT attracted to the activity associated with it, only a rare minority of freaks had heard of triathlons or would list "working out" as one of their hobbies (this was back in the days when you still called it "hobbies"). Regardless of the fact that some people seem to regard workouts as the necessary evil to earn those instagrammable "post-workout smoothies" or protein shakes (bleurgh), I often feel that I am the only person on the face of the planet who is not preparing for at least a half marathon and who does not own an activity tracker. Even Swarovski has come out with a girly version now, but I still am not the target group.
4. Postcards. I love receiving them as well as writing them myself (ok, possibly the receiving part a little more...) but it has become harder to find them even in tourist destinations as thanks to WiFi and cheaper data roaming updating your loved ones with blurry selfies via WhatsApp has replaced them. 
5. Cars that don't look like clones. Not all that long ago, different car models by different manufacturers looked decidedly different. Nowadays, cars within the same price segment look strikingly similar in a very boring, uninspired way. Yawn. Handbags do too, as a matter of fact. I am looking at you, Michael Kors!
What do you miss?
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