Our Wednesdays

Wednesday evening, one train late again

jumping off the train, trying to find the right staircase down

and yet ending up on the wrong side of the street

impatiently I’d wait at the traffic lights

while the other two would be walking around the corner already

and as soon as the light turned green I’d be running

joining the walk to the gate among the ivy.

I kind of miss my weird habit of always choosing the wrong stairs

because running to catch up with the others felt like a promise of fun and adventure

and this used to be the beginning of our Wednesday evenings.

first attempt of making onigiri and a mini bento

A while ago I started looking at cute bentos and wondered whether it’d be fun making some myself. When we did our weekly grocery shopping last Saturday I decided to grab a bag of Japanese rice because I’m not particularly fond of non-sticky rice at the moment (and making mushy rice all the time just takes too long and can be messy). So today I ended up trying to make onigiri and then proceeded to eat most of them before taking pictures. But I saved the two I had made for my husband – both filled and decorated with a little chopped chilli and carrot – and included them in a mini bento:


It neither looks perfect nor will it provide a full meal, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Two onigiri, some grapes, four salty licorice starfish, and a piece of espresso-filled chocolate. I put the sweets in a silicone muffin mould so the licorice and the rice won’t get mixed up. All stuff could be found in our kitchen. And if Darling doesn’t want to take this to work with him tomorrow I’ll gladly eat it all by myself!

I won’t be making these all the time, but once in a while I might try to pack a nice bento-style lunch for at least one of us. They’ll all come without any seaweeds – the ones they sell here have a warning on them about having an extremely high iodide content; I have to be a little careful with that stuff. And as I’m not that fascinated by the taste of nori I don’t really mind.

The ones I ate today where all either plain rice (still tasty) or with olives (also nice). But I should go and buy new salmon this weekend … mmmh, smoked salmon as a filling for onigiri. Would be nice with some pickles on the side. Or meatballs and tiny onigiri for dipping in my beloved peanut sauce to go with some slices of cucumber? I really need to replace this ancient cucumber in our vegetable box … it’s all wrinkled and close to becoming petrified.



Favourite Friday: things I did with my hands today

What I did with my hands today. It included plants on the roof, my guitar, and doing a handstand.

Repotting plants and weeding the roof: the sun was shining today and I felt drawn to the outside, so when I wanted to put my aloe vera into a bigger pot (because I had discovered a baby aloe plant crammed into a corner) I ended up weeding the roof with the help of an old stick – somehow there had grown some plants with stronger roots than anticipated from the flower seed mix I had thrown there with some old soil and they threatened the tar paper; and I don’t really want grass to grow on the roof either because the nutrients in the soil are supposed to go to next year’s flowers. So the two aloe vera plants have separate homes now, the old weedy stuff is bagged to rot in a corner of the roof, and the beautiful reddish amaranth plants have been relocated to an unused flower box so they can’t destroy the roof and I’ll be able to move them inside for the winter. I really enjoyed sitting there in the soft sunshine, touching the plants and soil with my bare hands, and using a simple stick instead of fancy tools to rake the weeds.

Putting new strings on my guitar: not exactly a favourite pastime of mine, but it’s a job that needs to be done every now and then – and the time was now as one string had snapped a week back – and as long as the strings are cooperative it’s a good time to calm down and think a bit (or just listen to music) while turning and turning the little knobs.

Standing on my hands: after months of trying today was the day I managed to get into a handstand (against the wall) without any help! In capoeira class we’re supposed to work with our own weight to strengthen our muscles, and one of our instructor’s favourite methods is bending and flexing arms/legs/waist (like doing crunches or sit-ups) while doing a handstand against the wall. The last few weeks I had been getting closer and closer to the wall, but always fell to the left side before touching it – really weird and nobody knows why – but today I was able to reach the wall twice and each time standing there for a moment on my hands. A very happy moment for me! Now I will be able to work on my strength the way the others do.


science and cats and capoeira

http://cheezburger.com/2983994368 (I hope it’s okay to repost this …)

Normally I don’t post random cat pictures, but this one made me smile XD

And one more for the geeks among my readers:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/fourier.jpg (non-commercial use allowed by Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License)

I like this one very much as well :)

grey days

Some days I wake up and the world is grey. Sometimes this coincides with a flat grey sky outside, but it doesn’t have to.

I wake up and feel too tired to sit up, to open my eyes, to be happy about the chances a new day might bring.

I wake up and everything looks like out of a dark movie, more black and white and sepia than actual colours, and even hazy morning sun turns into massive clouds and cold rain. I see the world in cold greys and feel too old for my age.

Some days I wake up and go about with my daily chores as far as I manage, but usually I don’t get far. Too cold inside out, too monotonous, too monochrome in low-key grey-scale with raspy noise like rain on ISO 1600.

Some days are dark and all I want to do is cry and sleep and eat, sometimes not even eat because there is nothing to be found tasty enough to be worth the effort of opening a tin, putting a pot on the stove, reaching for bowl and spoon.

I silently cry out to the walls, cry without real tears while knowing it will be long hours until I will see people I call friends, at least secretly, while being afraid of being told they hate me as soon as I will be bold enough to tell them how much I love being around them.

Some days I sleep away and ask myself why I can’t just quit this and instead work nine to five and be done, because the world is too cold and grey to move bold ideas and blurry concepts in a cluttered mind, trapped between black concrete walls. It takes hours to force myself to start concentrating on the task at hand, and by then the clouds are so heavy I feel I won’t be able to wake up ever again.

Some days I try to pray, while already knowing I’ve shut myself down so far I won’t hear the answer, shut down to feel only the cold surface of all the jagged emotions threatening to pierce the last remnants of calm sea, curled into a tight ball to keep the harsh winds from the raw landscapes of a bared soul.

Today is grey on both sides of the windowpane in my small corner of our study. Even though I know I will have to start and finish this work and then I’ll be able to play I can’t remove myself from my stupor. Writing helps a little, so does the faint hope of someone being there to offer a smile tonight, but I’m scared the clouds will be too black with rain by then to be able to walk the line between opening myself and not conjuring up a full force flooding sweeping away every tiny offered token of kindness.

Grey days mean not knowing when there will be warmth and sunshine again, hardly being able to believe in these concepts at all no matter how many people talk about these. Still, I know that I have to wait and do my best to stay in touch with this day, because it might become better. Playing is the only thing I look forward today, because music and sweat and laughter will push everything away if I stay strong until then. Writing, praying, waiting for the familiar rhythm of movements to grasp me, carrying me to faraway places of sun and sea for a while.


big ouch, or: shin meets head

Today was the first time I got hit in the head since school and P.E. (I got my driver’s license a few days after taking a blow to my brow and while I was still supposed to stay at home because of my mild concussion. And I had to celebrate my 18th birthday with a black eye. Never played basketball against huge people again after that.)

We were still warming up for capoeira class – at least I believe it was part of warming up – and were told to do foreward rolls (after which I was feeling really dizzy already) and then backward rolls. After a few of the latter I was so dizzy I didn’t move for a moment, and the girl behind me didn’t see me and her shin crashed down on my face. Ouch. Despite the fact that I couldn’t practise a lot today because of the resulting pain, dizziness, and bouts of nausea whenever I tried turning around too fast I’m still very lucky – a little more to the side, and I’d be sitting in some emergency room with a broken nose right now. And as the force of the blow was evenly distributed on my upper jaw and my temple I neither lost a tooth (just a little blood from the gums) nor suffered a really bad concussion.

I should have quit the training session right there and then, but I kept trying to do a little bit of everything. Not a good idea, I have to admit now. Stupid me. Should have listened to my friend and not to the instructors. My head is hurting, the world still moves a little more than it should, and I’m a tiny bit nauseous. but after a good night’s sleep it should be okay.

So now I’m at home in bed with what I still (want to) believe is only a very mild concussion and hope I’ll be back on track in time for capoeira class on Monday.

So a bit of advise I can give now: Don’t ever take a blow to the head lightly. You might feel fine after a moment when the first pain is gone, but if you push yourself you might pay for it later. Yeah, and don’t play sports while feeling so dizzy you aren’t totally in control and not aware of what’s happening behind you.

I hate being weak, but sometimes pushing myself too hard just isn’t worth the consequences. At least I didn’t cry (I used to be such a crybaby).

Update: … nope, I wasn’t totally back on track on track on Monday, and not even on Wednesday. I kept trying, but I felt even more dizzy than usually; and on both days we practised a lot of spinning movements >.< I felt like being back in my first year, unable to get the kicks right without falling over …