May 1 – Public Holiday

Yesterday, I had my German class and managed to stay alert until 8 p.m. when the class fortunately ended. Since the next day was a holiday, I did a walkabout and found these things:

  • A lovely bratwurst from Bitzinger’s in front of the Albertina museum.
  • The Opera House was showing “Die Rosenkalvalier” on an immense screen mounted on the side of the building.
  • Rap music near the Musikverein.
  • Bob Dylan’s music from loudspeakers near Cafe Mozart.
  • A musical group playing Balkan (?) music next to Bitzinger’s.

Pictures and videos will appear shortly, depending on my level of procrastination. Total walking was 12,186 steps. Total sleep on Wednesday night – 10 hours & 10 minutes.

I really enjoyed turning off my alarm at 5:45 a.m. and sleeping in until 9:30, followed by a breakfast of 2 scrambled eggs topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream, delicious cold Vienna water, a piece of buttered rye toast (left over from the bratwurst) and an unsweetened cappuccino (I popped a Lactrase tablet first). While breaking my fast, I watched (season 1, episode 7) of “Mad Men”. I have to say that this show gives me lots of things to think about since, as a small child, I was surrounded by adults with attitudes that were molded by Madison Avenue in the 1950s and early 60s. I’d like to say that we have come a long way, baby but it seems that we are sliding backwards lately. I recently watched a video that said that 80% of what adults are exposed to in the media is absorbed unconsciously. The pull of media, especially for American women, is as powerful as those tractor beams on Star Trek – we are the puppets of the advertisers who tell us which clothing to buy, which shoes will make us feel good, which handbag will send a message to other people. Women are still spending lots of money and tons of time on the right makeup, the elusive bikini body, perfect nails, the right outfit for each situation, perfectly ironed hair. When will it end? Men take a shower, brush their teeth, get dressed & get on with life. This rant brought to you by Winston cigarettes (Winston tastes good like a cigarette should) – if only I could just remove those advertising slogans from my brain!

Meanwhile, I have had my fructose intolerance test. Lots and lots of fun. The allergy center in Florisdorf is possibly the most annoyingly-loud doctor’s office I have ever been in, and I had to hang out there with my “fructose buddies” for 4.5 hours. Now I am exploring/researching/googling the realm of sugar, fructose, inulin, sorbit, etc. so that I can find out what I can and can’t eat. I am not a fan of artificial sweetners, but I will give stevia a try. Strangely enough, I am allowed grape-sugar in small quantities but not grapes. On Monday I will repeat the same testing procedure but with lactose. I am still not able to find out conclusively if gluten is a problem – the only sure way to tell (according to my doctor) is with endoscopy, which I am not looking forward to.

I am on day 10 of my Tomatis program and I am enjoying it immensely! It was a bit tough to squeeze in 2 hours of listening a day but it was very relaxing and my brain feels somehow more organized when I do it.


My favorite neighborhood restaurant!

My favorite neighborhood restaurant!

Last Friday, we all got together to say goodbye to Anita who is leaving for China. Had a rollicking good time and also got to observe the strange custom of the Austrian “Polterabend” which is a bachelor night. The bachelor in question was wearing a Pink Panther onesie. In the ladies’ room a bouquet of roses was placed. When the ladies would visit the loo, they would take a rose out and present it to the bachelor.

119 Things About Me

This list was made about 9 years ago, I believe.

1. Favorite candy: liquorice

2. Favorite animal: horse

3. Which animal would I like to be reincarnated as: cat

4. Favorite ice cream: too many!

5. Last 2 movies seen: Le Divorce & Thirteen

6. Last book I read: too many – I read about 10 at a time

7. Favorite color: Caribbean blue

8. Favorite time of day: early morning

9. Phobias: snakes & heights

10. Favorite comedian: too many!

11. Favorite syndicated radio show: Bob & Tom

12. Stick or automatic?: stick, baby!

13. Obsession #287: I still have Mark Philippoussis’ photo ID from Key Biscayne! Yes, I can get into the men’s locker room with it. No, I won’t share any details!

14. Obsession #666: I wonder about Gary Condit-American Media-National Enquirer-Anthrax-GW Bush-Bohemian Grove-Chandra Levy. Are there 6 degrees (or less!!!) of separation there???

15. Confession #3,456: I lived in Palm Beach County during the last presidential election.

16. I have always chewed pencils and pens.

17. Age: old enough to know better times 2.

18. Children: one.

19. Former hippie: yes!

20. Inhaled?: yes!

21. I speak 5 languages badly.

22. Married once (in a galaxy far, far away).

23. I was once in lust with a man who was nicknamed “dirt”. Actually I was younger-than-“dirt” by a few months. When he was around me, I felt nauseous and tongue-tied.

24. “Dirt” was married at the time.

25. I never did anything with “dirt” except fantasize.

26. One year I logged 100 scuba dives.

27. Pets: earthworms, horsehoe crabs, cats, dogs, parakeets, parrots, and horses.

28. Countries I have visited: Mexico, Canada, Honduras, Costa Rica, British Virgin Islands, Bonaire, the Bahamas, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Wales, and Italy.

29. There is only one true search engine on this planet and it’s name is google.

30. My nephews call me Auntie Google.

31. I use Google to dazzle my boss.

32. I have worked for two failed Internet companies.

33. I dislike wearing rings.

34. President(s) I have dreamed about: Clinton

35. Hurricane Andrew rearranged my priorities – I know that material things will not make me happy & they can all be gone in the blink of an eye.

36. I spend way too much money on books.

37. When am I ever going to finish this list? This is WAY harder than I thought!

38. It really bugs me when people whistle at work all day.

39. Pet peeve: uncomfortable shoes.

40. I was born in NJ.

41. I have never seen a shark while diving, only a nurse shark, which is more like an super-sized catfish.

42. If I had a dollar for every diet I’ve been on ….

43. I am addicted to true life murder mysteries, especially Ann Rule & Lifetime movies.

44. I like to watch dancing squirrels.

45. And singing kittens.

46. Is that so wrong?

47. The older woman/younger man thing: yes, a younger (under 30) co-worker hit on me and I confess, I did enjoy it and was flattered. Of course, I’ve always been a sucker for guys with French accents who are smart, good-looking, geeky, and artistic!

48. Nothing ever came of it – just some flirting over the monitors – he was married and I was in a relationship. But he taught me a bunch about Flash & _Javascript. But I was not allowed to speak French in his presence; listening to Americans mutilate his language was quite painful to him.

49. Many times my life seems like a Seinfeld episode. Elaine and Jerry go to Florida to visit Jerry’s parents at the condo with the sofa-bed from hell. Been there!!! My mom owned that same sofa bed with the evil metal bar that stabs you in the back and the mattrass that was almost as thick as a piece of Wonder Bread!

50. Like Elaine in Seinfeld, I have used too many exclamation marks!!!

51. OMG, my name IS Elaine!!!!

52. I can’t believe I passed the half-way mark – let’s see, I started this list on September 3rd …. *counting on fingers & toes*

53. Scorpio or Libra, Libra or Scorpio … can’t decide … I was born on the cusp.

54. Worst habit: not finishing what I start.

55. Second worst habit: my brain is going in too many directions at once.

56. There will be no smoking, spitting, or tobacco chewing in my journal-space! Please step outside while servicing your addiction.

57. Feel free to eat snacks, pour yourself a drink, kick off your shoes, listen to some music, giggle, snort, guffaw, make smart-ass remarks, or tell stories out of school.

58. I don’t like beans, peas, cauliflower or brussel sprouts.

59. I love, love, love potatoes in all their many incarnations! Esp. scalloped, home fries, mashed, twice-baked.

60. I rarely drink soda – water, ice tea, watered down juice, that’s more my style.

61. If you read all 100 of these, you deserve a prize! *searching around in my drawer for that keychain from the builder’s show*

62. And remember this, you Internet hooligans, I’m old enuff to be your mother. If you’re really clever, the clue is that I voted for Eldridge Cleaver in my first presidential election.

63. Another clue: Richard Nixon, George Wallace & Hubert Humphrey also ran.

64. Great choices, huh????

65. Enough politics! Back to Seinfeld, remember Elaine & the “Big Salad”? I like Big Salads too! Holy scheiss!

66. When Grease came out, people told me I looked like Stockard Channing (my hair was dark brown then).

67. Sequel to Grease is coming out called Trans Fat, starring Marlon Brando as Danny Zuko and Tyne Daly as Rizzo and Terry Garr as Sandy.

68. That wasn’t nice, now, was it?

69. In college, I minored in philosophy, quite by accident.

70. No, I don’t speak Elvish.

71. No, I don’t play computer games of any kind – I have an addictive personality and I would never stop. The last one I played was pacman.

72. No, I will not send you naked pictures. Why would you even ask? Are you nuts???

73. Remember in Seinfeld, Elaine is having a great time on a date and the guy takes it out? The same thing happened to me!!! OMG!!! Except I was driving about 70 mph on I-95 in Miami and I couldn’t wait to get rid of him. Can you imagine if I had an accident & then had to explain why? “Well, officer, he took it out.”

74. My horses were named Sundance and Starbuck.

75. They lived in a chicken coop.

76. The other chicken coop had real chickens in it.

77. I do not like the smell of chicken manure. My best friend’s father was a chicken farmer and I didn’t like going over to her house for dinner or pajama parties.

78. If you’re thinking about getting a pony or a horse for your kid, don’t do it, unless you have money to burn!

79. Whenever I get the urge to ride, I go on a trail ride or check into a dude ranch for a while.

80. If you ride a lot, you need a hot tub or jacuzzi, trust me on this one!

81. I find watching squirrels very relaxing and amusing.

82. I often have nightmares about alligators.

83. I am myopic.

84. Chocolate: dark!

85. Like Elaine in Seinfeld, I liked the sponge, although it lacked that quality you often look for in contraception called reliability!

86. Unlike Elaine, I wasted many a sponge on men who were not spongeworthy.

87. I can be superficial, shallow and immature.

88. I am a huge fan of guilty pleasures.

89. My associates are horrified to learn that I like to read the National Enquirer and I believe the stories I read. Most of the time.

90. I am not politically correct.

91. True confession #2287: I cut my pasta with a knife.

92. I cut my food with my left hand and use the fork in my right hand. I never switch the knife and fork. Ask me if I give a crap. It works for me!

93. I idolize Tracy Ullman – she is a genius.

94. I’m not a big fan of organized religion, although I think there is more going on than humans can perceive or comprehend. So I guess you can call me spiritual.

95. Don’t like the smell of smoke at all!

96. I was the muffin.

97.  At one time, my bf was the muffin man.

98. Draw your own conclusions.

99. I can procrastinate better than you can.

100. I am very judgemental and I hate it when other people are judgemental.

101. Yes, it is true I took Latin in high school in ninth grade in Port Jervis High School.  There was a reason for that, Latin students had a cool club and dressed in togas from time to time.

102. I was a member of the East Side Black Cobras for one week at Harpur College.

103. My middle name is “Gay”.

104. Spelling checkers are evil.

105. I couldn’t live without Google – but I also like Froogle.  It’s a good way to search for those needful things you crave.

106. Speaking of needful things, I like to read Stephen King only on airplanes and remind myself that there are scarier things than crashing.

107. Yes, I was an English major.

108. I have lusted after Steve Martin.

109. Many times when I’m having a serious conversation with someone, I am thinking about “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

110. I wanted to be a nun when I was younger.  When I was older and the hormones kicked in, it didn’t sound like such a good idea.

111. I used to pretend my bike was a horse.

112. I used to pretend that I was a horse.

113. I used to pretend my dog was a horse.

114. I like kettle korn way too much. Embarrassing moment # 20135: Buying a huge bag of kettle korn at the farmers market & forgetting that my Weight Watchers name tag was in plain view.

115. I wore real metal braces with rubber bands from 13- 17 years old.  I never got detention for shooting the other kids in the back of the head with the slimy rubber bands.

116. I played the French horn in the school band.

117. I was born in New Jersey.

118. My father’s side of the family is English & Scottish & my mother’s side is Welsh (from Narbeth) with a dash of Irish (must have been a quickie before the last ferry).  I do not bear the faintest resemblance to Catherine Zeta-Jones.

119. I used to fantasize I was an only child with exceedingly indulgent and very cool parents.

1000 Awesome Things

I just love this site – it always makes me feel grateful for the little things in life that get lost in the shuffle. Today’s post is in honor of the U.S. Open. I used to love to play tennis when I was more agile (back in my 50s and late 40s). The competition was not important, just the feel of hitting a ball solidly was gratifying. Most of the time I didn’t even bother to keep score. Time on the court went by really quickly and I always got a great workout and it was fun socializing with fellow players. I loved working at the Key Biscayne tennis tournament in the spring (it changed names/sponsors so many times that I can’t remember what it is called now). My favorite job was making photo IDs for the players and their entourages. The perks were t-shirts, jackets, hats, free food, and the opportunity to watch as much tennis as you wanted.

Old peoples’ pants – oh yeah! It’s all about the elastic waistband! Let’s hear it for the oldies that flaunt their freak flags!