Madness today

Madness today

whippey2

This little ones name may very well be Charlie, but for credits sake I will mention another name, namely Mulberry from whence this photo is taken. Madness unfortunately has a propensity to travel far and fast these days. I want to use those channels to have sanity journey along the same path. Hence a cute little Whippet brought to you from a snowy forest in Masuria where the hubs and I are chilling in front of the fire place, something only interspersed with bouts of horseback riding. The terror comes to us via high speed internet still. May very well be a symptom of long brewing societal issues in our jolie neighbours place. Arabs after all are at times somewhat second class citizens there. No apology for terror ever will pass my lips, but neither will a simple joining of the choir be my desire. Je suis desole mon cher!

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29 predictions for 2015: Fortune’s Crystal Ball

There’s a lot to look forward to in 2015: The Apple Watch will debut, medical science will advance, and most economists expect global growth to accelerate — led by a strengthening U.S. economy. Sure, China’s juggernaut is slowing, gridlock in Washington looks worse than ever, and there may be a coffee shortage, but most forecasts in the U.S. point to a sunnier 2015. Hopefully they’re right. As any meteorologist will tell you, predicting the future is nearly as difficult as it is important. Herewith are our educated guesses for what to expect in the year ahead. —By Scott Cendrowski, Erika Fry, Leigh Gallagher, Stephen Gandel, Erin Griffith, Robert Hackett, Beth Kowitt, Adam Lashinsky, JP Mangalindan, Chris Matthews, Tory Newmyer, Scott Olster, Daniel Roberts, Anne VanderMey, Phil Wahba, and Claire Zillman

The beginning of the end for email

Along with global warming, the Ebola virus, and gridlock politics, this year, for me at least, something far less life- and society-threatening also spiraled out of control: email.

It was long ago invented as something to make us more productive. But what productivity expert would ever say that it’s a good thing that instead of working, we now “answer email?” Or that on some days, I am wary to leave my desk to head into a meeting because it means taking my finger off the dike and knowing I will return to a flood of boldfaced new messages waiting patiently for my total attention?

Some people strive for “inbox zero.” But like many people, I now get so much spam and unsolicited pitches that if I were to adopt such a goal, I would spend the entirety of every workday doing nothing but deleting emails. To keep up with this…

Bride

The church is called a Bride in the Bible. Much like a Bride on a wedding day looking all superbly beautiful and yet, coming home, we know that this is not the final stage of that lady. Let me tell you, my bridal make up took effort. A bride is a sign of beauty, yet it is not a perfect beauty, for any Bride will eventually age and be sick and be far from the perfect form. Mostly, any Bride will finally die. Gosh, yes. Sorry for ruining your wedding day, but you, too, are going to die.

In a same way, people making up the church are far from perfect. Yet we are called the Bride. What can it mean? A Bride is a wife in the making, she is not yet it. I love that, we are not yet there. We are, similarly to a Bride, awaiting a promise, something that will have lasting impact. Imagine the legal implications alone that a wedding bring. You now own half.

I love my church. Not quite as much as God loves her, true. In fact, I find myself get bothered about that pore showing, and the nail polish not being applied quite correctly and those bobby pins showing. And look at the hem of that dress? Not appealing. Yes, there are things that are far from perfect, yet, I love my church.

So here, church, thanks for being made up of imperfect people, for how else could I possibly learn to love those that are unlovable? How else can I possibly see that I am actually one of them? And understand that I am loved regardless? Imagine a husband running off due to some flaw in the hem of the dress. See!

A very merry unbirthday

Some months ago the hubz turned thirty. Yes, I am somewhat of a cougar, having snatched a younger man. Not complaining=) So, his whole family invited themselves over to our studio flat for a little coffee before going out for a birthday dinner. Oh, my, I broke out in sweat. The whole casual nature of 15 people in our shoe box eluded me. It would be a disaster.

Planning started a month ahead of time, what cakes, what ingredients were needed etc. No, I am not a control freak so I tried to delegate as much as possible, yet to no avail. No one was able to make a cake for me, even for pay. Yes, surely I could have forked out something way above budget, but yeah, you don’t live in a shoe box for no reason.

The day before the big party I stood in the kitchen a total of eight hours. During high summer season, sweat dripping off every inch of my bodies surface. Early the next morning the decoration started, a Cheshire cat fondant cover for the cake, try drawing with liquid sugar with sweat dripping down your hands and the rabbits clock ticking away. Ah, the horror.

I called dad to come early to help decorating the cupcakes. A good eighty cupcakes in total. He agreed and soon there were two people sweating away in the heated shoe box. Schroedingers cat was certainly dead by now. Once the first guests arrived the hubz was no where to be seen. He had disappeared, so I had to entertain his grandparents whilst franticly planning my next steps in my head.

The kitchen was a disaster, and, his family not being too discreet, enjoyed the entire shoe box, walking around and taking in the whole view, with trashy balcony which served as our cupboard to chuck stuff in in order to cram sufficient chairs into the box. I was making small talk about the flowers on the balcony whilst sweating yet some more since one could have not missed the pile of trash blocking the view to the flowers even if one tried.

Well, it was a great success, everyone liked my cakes and cupcakes and decorations and the hubz finally showed up and we were all sweating in our box, hoping to follow Schroedingers cat soon to a better place. In that sense it was an unbirthday, as it surely will, unlike a birthday, never be repeated, at least not in the real world. Frankly, I don’t care what Alice does, I won’t. End of story.

Call me onion

She was delicate and plain, nothing about her appearance would make you want to take a second look. Her theories were quite the opposite, though. She had strong, outrageous and bizarre theories. She carried them like statement jewellery.  One of them was that she admired onions for being self-reliant to the highest degree. Although, whilst cutting onions, she would always wear proper wintery gloves.

At times she would voice envy towards the pot plant standing in the corner. In fact, it was the only pot plant I ever managed to keep for a while. Well, it is dead now. It is dead. I suppose this is what happens to entirely self-reliant entities, they whither and die. The hubs and I discussed the interdependence between individuality and the collective just yesterday. Can they co-exist or are they by definition at odds with one another?

The church speaks of itself as having many members, yet being all part of one body. This poetic depiction may not offer up much of insight to some, yet it captures perfectly an aspect of reality that is mostly overlooked in our times of individualistic living.  You and I can never be self-made, as we are by necessity a product of our preceding gene material and our surrounding.

Your brain would be incapable to have formed without an environment giving it impulses. And, without parental genetic material, well, fat chance there would be any brain ready to receive any environmental input at all. Yes, you can be a tube baby, yet this applies to you. Of course the same applies to your clone. Your original source genes must have come from somewhere for you to make a clone off.

Of course various issues arise with receiving of unwanted genetic material. You perceive yourself as you, yet you have never put in a clam anywhere asking to be a certain height or being born at a certain place. Yet you perceive yourself as you, and not just as a bundle of reacting physical matter. The question of individualism vs the collective is one of essentially the freedom of the will, something that will forever be impossible to answer.

So, back to my room mate onion. Her desires may not be all her desires after all. Surely some experiences marked her to be shy of human contact and reliance? Sorry, onion, solipsism collapses and simply can not hold. The hubz by the way was in favour of the collective, yet, this is not in accordance of an idea of love which claims that your concerns concern the other. In a truly collective world there would simply be no room for love. No, that would leave me full of tears, as though I was living with an onion.

In my head

Roughly a year ago the hubs and I gave some money to the church. Well, we oughtn’t boast in our giving, and so I won’t give you any amounts, all I can say is that it was a sum leading us to live off of about 25€ a week for several weeks. In that time we began to pray for my debts to disappear. My husband paid a great price for me, quite biblical, don’t you think?

I started to believe for the very sum to come in, yet the hubz was pushing bad. Over the course of roughly eight weeks my boundaries were going from a five figure sum up to a double digit million sum, at least in my head. I encountered several walls in my head, a real fear of big money, and I saw the hubz fearlessly marching ahead.

He surely has no fear of big money, there, I said it. Over the following year we really dug deep into the subject of big money, what to do with it, where to invest it, how to behave, who to bless etc. I started making lists on where the money would go, and they changed quite considerable over the year. Big money truly does not frighten me any more. Quite a step from thinking that money really is what’s wrong with the world.

The two years prior to that I worked in the most luxury store around and I served the richest and most powerful people this country has to offer. I got a great insight in what not to do with big money, let me tell you. Ripping people off is one of them, and rubbing it into other peoples faces is another. One more is trying to impress others, the biggest waste of money there is.

Now let me tell you, I feel as though we are the owners of a double digit million sum, imagine. This pondering on the big money has opened my heart, for I began to consider that I do not have to have the big sums in order to bless people, I can use the little I have. And let me tell you, nothing makes me feel richer than giving money away. Strange paradox, for sure. And the day the double digits arrive,, we simply have more to give away. Like the hubz said, it’s only a tool, like a hammer, nothing more, nothing less.

Dumb, smart, weird

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Alf’s Title Music, Real Housewives Quotes and Southpark Quotes, LAMB, The Doors, Rachmaninov, Debussy, Camille Saint-Saens, Simpsons theme song, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails, Hillsong Music, Blind Boys of Alabama, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston and on and on it goes.

There would be muffled prayers, screaming prayers, prayers drowned out by heavy sobbing, ecstatic prayers, arrogant accusative prayers, speaking in tongues, loud and under my breath, yes, countless prayers, convulsively sobbed prayers, repetitive prayers and none of them ever went unheard.

Most importantly there would be the occasional silent interim, akin to a black screen, with absolutely nothing. During the day I have taken to closing my eyes for short periods of time and this little death from sensory input has done wonders in resetting my soul to semi-normal. In other words, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Please hold the line

The perfect day would certainly not contain those words uttered over the phone. Any day not holding this experience is nigh perfect. When arriving in London in 2000 for the second time, some of the luggage would have been too heavy for me to take onto the bus with me. Oh, look, here is a rabbit trail. So, said journey, my friend was supposed to pick me up. Despite having sent quite a fair bit by post, I still had a good 40 kg’s with me. I step outside the bus and? No one. Not one single soul there, apart from the anonymous masses frequenting Victoria Station.

So, with my few coins I get on the tube, literally dragging my one hockey bag on the floor. I would have never managed to pick it up, let alone carry it. So, I did have a mobile, but it was close to running out. I scribble down the address of my new abode and try a few times to call my friend. No answer. Can you believe I never even found out what happened that day? So I go to the nearest stop, please remember pre-smart phone. No cash, not knowing where to go. Some cab driver has a heart and promises to take me to where I need to go. Surely someone there can lend me some money?

We go to the address which turns out to be the wrong one, of course. Battery dead, me slowly dying.  Of anger, frustration, disappointment, tiredness. A bus ride takes well over 24 hours. The taxi driver is beginning to loose faith in me. And, also, to this day I don’t know what happened next. I simply can not remember. In London are several streets with the same name, yet located in different area codes. I do not remember if the cabby took me there, or did I walk the rest? I vaguely remember to have done some walking with that horrific bag.

As I arrive at my new flat share I do not remember what happened there either. Anyway, I get there, and the next few days I literally spend hours every day with holding the line, chasing up the parcels that, too, gotten lost in some vague unidentified place in space and time. Mostly Scottish accents greet me in the kindest manner, yes, what tragedy I have to call in due to such a terrible reason. After two weeks I give up. I literally have done everything, from travelling out to the entrepot of the delivery company to holding that line still.

The day it arrives I am informed that it had been by that very door I had gone to to check. Funny how none of those things are with me now, as they all seized to be of importance to me over the years. My friend, too, seized to exist. Not in general, only in her being a friend to me. Out of sheer anger I found it impossible to talk for a good six months. My life would have taken an entirely different route had she only been there awaiting me by the bus. I literally would be a different person now. The crowd I got into from that fateful day onwards truly took me places I never even knew existed.

Certain things exude an appeal and have this air of value, my luggage for instance or those parcels and my friend. Over time everything is subject to change I guess. One day I may even consider it to be a day well spent holding the line. Good to know some things do not change. Actually, Mikha, you know, had you not ignored me I would have probably never gone down that pit yet would have never gotten to know that Saviour who got me out of it. Thanks girl for being there for me by not being there for me, wait, one minute, hold the line please.