An Ode to Yellow, or: Welcome to Suburbia.

Sooner or later the suburbian paradise will get you. Doesn’t matter how much you have laughed before about your neighbours with their range of suspiciously yellow tools, vacuuming their cars, steam cleaning their windows, or water blasting their garden paths… being industrious on a sunny Saturday morning while you sit on your balcony in your robe, drinking tea. You’re not one of them, the “two kids, big SUV, sparkly shiny house” world is not your cup of tea. Let them have their yellow tools, you are different. Not so…. German.

Then the day arrives when you encounter the need for a tool of that yellow brand yourself. You will try to talk yourself out of it, but you put it on your wishlist anyway – for reference. Then, after another frustrating round with your old vacuum cleaner, which just hasn’t enough power to deal with your beloved shaggy carpet and your long hair entangled in it, you give up. You order it.

It arrives, in a wonderful big box, and the minute you hold it in your hand, you know that you deal with quality “Made in Germany” – in other words: It’s sturdy. It’s heavy. It is huuuuge. And very yellow. Its powerful roar makes the dustbunnies shiver with fear, and rightly so: Vacuuming that shaggy carpet suddenly turns into an all-body workout. That thing has suction! Its wonderful water filter system shows you in a glorious gross way how much dirt was hiding in that shaggy carpet.

You are a convert. You love your big, yellow KÄRCHER, and there’s no way denying it.

Welcome to Suburbia. Resistance is futile.

behavioural pattern

It just dawned on me, that I’m fighting with a recurring enemy, a behavioural pattern ingrained in me, which is pretty annoying. Let’s say I decide I want to do something, like drawing a picture. Or something out of my comfort zone, as biking to work was. First step is to amass knowledge about the decided project. Cue me vanishing in the darkest depths of the internet, not emerging for days if I can1. Ordering books about it, if possible. Hey, another excuse to fill the ever growing library of mine! Then I process everything I learned, only to immediately fall into some state of shock when I actually want to do it. The internal dialogue goes something like this:

“Waddya mean, I should take that pencil-thing and DRAW? On paper?! You know that trees are an endagered species, right?”

“What, a bike is for riding it, you don’t put it into your living room as some sort of unsual decoration prop?! But there are freakin’ CARS out there!!!”

I think I’m sort of weird in wanting to do everything “right” – as it is supposed to be done2, not in a perfect way – as if the heavens would open and swallow me, if I won’t. As if there’s some sort of internal rule book that tells me how I have to do stuff. It really is strange. Some of it acts as a security blankett, I get that much, but it’s not like drawing will put me into any kind of danger… Sigh.

work in progress

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My sketching and painting skills are still very very rusty, but I think my first piece of ” artwork” is coming along nicely. Layers and the undo function help a lot. I think I botched up the eyes and the brown ones were better. And I am so so proud of the hair. The nose is a candidate for further trouble…

Oh, and to be honest – I traced the face from a random picture, because anatomy is a party pooper.

sluggish

Boy, did that switching back to “normal time” last weekend put me into a funk. I felt sluggish all week – still feel like that actually. And the holiday wasn’t helping either. Home time usually means nesting under my comfy blanket on the sofa, playing Fantasy Town on the iPad until I was hearing that background music in my dreams.1

The only productive thing I did: Copying my picture archive onto the Mac mini, after I finally found it. Yes – my biggest data treasure, my beloved photographs, the only thing I would really really mourn if I lose it – was hiding. I thought I had it on a hard drive, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t on the old Mac mini, nor on the iBook. I eventually fired up the ancient – really ancient – Power Book to find it “buried” under all my Scooby Doo movies. Good dog. There wasn’t a scratch on them. Old slow computer meant that the copy process took a long time to finish, but during waiting I did some research about cloud backups. The rest of the weekend was spent with reading Let’s go ride a bike.

Look what pretty pictures I found!

domestic bliss – or the art of going insane

A not entirely serious post where I momentarily forget feminism and want to go back into the 1950s.

I have to confess – and all feminsts will want to see me burn in hell for that – that I have moments when I envy my grandmothers for living in a time where women were expected to be homemakers. Not that I think that women should be forced to stay at home, but because a household is a frickin’ full time job!!! Even with all our magical appliances like washing machines, fridges, vacuum cleaners and dish washers.

The art of making a home is sadly very underrated – on all sides of the gender spectrum. Guess it’s not cool enough. But never the less, it’s an art, and I mostly enjoy working on keeping my home my pride and joy. As oldfashioned as this may sound, but living in a pigsty is not something that I consider a grown-up thing, and it’s also not very healthy.

The problem with homemaking, when you take it seriously, is that it takes a lot of time and discipline. Something I don’t always have, being one of those infamous career girls with mini skirts, polished nails and a very demanding job. So, I have three options:

  1. Letting the household spiral downwards when I have one of those uber-demanding periods at the day job and give the inner perfectionist a heart attack every time we enter the home.
  2. Trying to do both at 100% and fail miserably, or die from burnout.
  3. Converting the man to the dark side and *gasp* making him at least see where stuff has to be done.

As 2) is way to dangerous and 3) is not happening anytime soon, I have to make do with 1) and mourn the days when men were the breadwinners and women could polish their home to perfection and cook delicious meals every day. And to add insult to injury, they had fluffy petticoats and rock ‘n’ roll… *sigh*