Just blogging

To new chapters in life

Congratulations to me – I started a new job on Friday! Thanks to my addiction to social media, I was lucky enough to get recruited by an amazing company I can’t wait to work for. I don’t want to give away too many details, because you know, privacy and stuff (as if Goolge hadn’t already sold this information, I mean I got there with the help of Maps). But let me tell you, it’s big. It’s prestigious. It’s everything I’ve always wanted. And it’s scaring the crap out of me.

The last time I had a job I put high hopes into didn’t go so well. That was a year ago. And it just went horribly. I even wrote a short post about it, but since I was in the middle of a legal dispute with that company which shall not be named, I of course didn’t reveal to much information. I don’t have to explain that a lawsuit is the shittiest way to end any sort of relationship, even if it’s just professional. So having to go through this sort of experience definitely has an impact. There are definitely some positive aspects to it. First of all, there was a settlement agreement which was in my favor, But I also learned so much about our legal system and my rights. I was also reassured that being a pain in the ass sometimes really pays off, quite literally. But most of all, I learned to pay attention to contracts and fine print. And all in all, I did come out stronger of this experience. I would even say it was such an important lesson that I’m actually grateful for. How many people my age can say they have already sued someone, not to mention a company? That alone is weirdly empowering.

However, it was also a somewhat traumatizing experience. And yes, this may sound very much like first world problems, but with every new job I take, my mind also goes back to that time. And depending on the job, it gives me more or less anxiety.

Right now, my anxietey level on a scale from 1 to 10 is very much like a million. And I get constant flashbacks from this last shitty work experience.
Right now, my fear is not being up to the task. Right now, I feel like everyone puts all their hopes in me, even though I have no idea how to tackle the projects I’m already assigned to. Of course, there are people to help me, people I can ask. But that didn’t prevent a major impostor syndrome from kicking in. After just one day.

So the question I’m asking myself now is: “What could actually stop me from being successful at that job?” And my answer so far is: “Nothing, you just have to get your shit together.”

I mean on a rational level, what could go wrong? That I don’t know what people are expecting? That I won’t know if I’m doing a good job or not? Both are highly doubtable, since my company attachs great importance to giving feedback. (Something that hasn’t been the case with the company I had to sue.) Also, even though I’m the first person in my position, I’m not the first one to do all the work. I don’t have to figure stuff out by myself, There’s always someone I can ask. Also, I was not hired because of the number of followers I have on Insta, but because of my skills. And though the word “skills” kinda seems weird to me – it sounds so meaningful, but it’s nothing more than a summary of my experience – it’s definitely a better reference value than any number on social media.

So I guess I really just have to get over myself and stop second guessing. But putting in the hard work instead. (Which I’m more than willing to do, the company is just awesome!) So despite all anxiety and unnecessary stress fabricated by my brain:
Cheers to me!

Just blogging, Lifestyle

Goals for 2019

I’m usually not a fan of new year’s resolutions, I don’t like the idea of unnecessarily putting on oneself, especially since the time between Christmas and NYE already can be stressful enough. So far, I’ve always had my goals for a new year to come some time during fall. This year, I decided to do a shopping (for clothes and accessories) detox for three months, and even though I had to push the date from when I begin, I’m not less committed to it. Until today, my other resolutions were pretty basic, the stuff you hear all the time: exercise more (which I keep telling myself throughout the year – but I went on a run yesterday and even today) and eat healthy (not so easy, because it’s still hard for me to find a balance). But these two were mostly it. At least up to this day.

As you may know, I just recently moved to Cologne. It was such a hassle to find a place at first, then I suddenly had two appartments (I was a catsitter in the second), which meant that I constantly had to go back and forth the places I lived. In addition to that, I’m currently working two jobs, neither of them in Cologne, and so on an average day, I spend at least 3 hours in public transportation. At the moment, the catsitting part has been sorted out. And by the end of January, one of my temporary work contracts will also come to an end. Things will become easier eventually.

Now that you know the story, my first resolution for the new year probably won’t come as a surprise. Spending an insane amount of time on trains has made me realize that getting a driver’s license isn’t that much of an option as I once thought. I used to think that having a car is a luxury I don’t need. But that was when I lived in Paris. Now, it’s very different, it even makes more sense to have a car than having to go by train all the time. Sure, it’s not great for the environment, but having to spend 3 hrs vs 40 min just to get to and from work, it’s a no brainer. And that’s coming from me, who hates driving, gets easily distracted and immediately feels the need of taking a nap as soon as the car starts moving. But passing my driver’s license would definitely be an achievement. And I would only drive automatic or hopefully one of these robot cars that do everything for you.

My second resolution also has to do with my current living situation. Right now, I’m sharing an appartment with 3 other people. (3 seems to be the magic number in this post.) We get along well, at least so far (I think one month is hardly enough to assess that). But of course, it can also be challenging, especially because we only have a tiny kitchen and also just one typically German bathroom, meaning that the toilet is not separated. So you better don’t come home totally shit-faced – there’s always a risk of someone taking a long, relaxing bubble bath while you, destroyed from what was supposed to be just one drink after work, are frantically trying to find a bucket or anything to contain all the drinks you ingurgitated, and which are just about to make a second appearance. (Of course, wine country France has the toilet/bathroom situation figured out.)
I’ve also learned that living in a shared appartment with just one bathroom is not the moment for latent food intolerances to become apparant.

But it’s not just a question of practicality and comfort. Having to live with other people means adapting to their mentalities. I just found out that my roommates and I seem to have a different understanding of cleaning, which is funny, because I always thought to be the complicated one. It’s not new to me that cleanliness in a shared household becomes at least a tiny issue, sooner or later. What’s new is that I’m the one being told to clean better. And though I’ve never been an obsessive cleaner, I do like to keep my place nice and tidy. But my theory is that the 7 years I’ve spent in France as well as the years I worked in food service (which can be really gross) have changed my attitude towards cleaning and what is acceptable or not. In France, life is oriented to the outside. You go meet your friends in a café, go have a picnic, go out, most social activity happens outside of your home. In Germany, people tend to spend much more time at home. They invite people over, but they would never do so without having cleaned the entire appartment first. I remember that my parents would announce on a Wednesday that my grnad-parents would come over on the weekend. Just so that I had my room tidy and presentable. And my mom would go nuts vacuuming and dusting.
I’m much more relaxed than that. I don’t care if there’s still a dust particle in some corner. I don’t mind when people don’t take off their shoes when they enter my room. (I only would if I had a carpet.) And I definitely don’t want to spend hours cleaning. So I do small chunks throughout the week, whenever it’s necessary. On the contrary my roommates prefer to sacrifice an entire day to clean, no matter if things got disgusting two days before cleaning day. And so my second goal for 2019 is: Get a place on my own!

The third resolution is an old one. I still want to finish my studies, even though I find it really hard to make it a priority. It’s just more appealing to have job where I get paid. Of course I know that a degree can be useful for getting better positions with higher paychecks, but I have to provide for myself right now, too. And so far, working and studying at the same time hasn’t worked that well for me, and it’s not just an issue with time managment. I hope that’ll change this year.

Last but not least, I’d like to start a podcast with a friend. I have no idea what that’ll be like, but I’m sure it’ll be fun, even if no one will listen.

And that concludes my list. What are your resolutions? Also, happy new year!


Just blogging, Society

What does freedom even mean?

A few weeks ago, I went to an event for personal development. It was fun and got to know a few interesting people. Besides, some theories that have to do with personal development can be quite challenging. One that I’ve already mentioned here on the blog is the concept that a positive mindset can and will change everything. According to that idea, you are the creator of your reality because you can controll how your mind works. For example you can complain about a shitty party and regret having paid way too much to get in there and for the disgusting booze they serve, or you can choose to make the best out of it and decide to have an awesome time. Tbh, I have no clue how you can decide to have an awesome time if everything around you is awful, but I guess that’s just my underdevelopped personality speaking.
Now to sum up what I wrote in that other blogpost, I do think that a positive attitude is definitely helpful, but in my opinion that alone won’t help much.

Related to the the concept of being in control of your fate by choosing a positive mindset is the concept of freedom. The opposite of that are limiting beliefs – meaning stuff that’s based on personal assumptions. For example saying things like “I can’t just go talk to that person.”, “Bungee jumping is too dangerous.”, “Sharks are evil.”… would fall into the category of limiting beliefs. So in that logic, if you free yourself from your own limiting beliefs, then you’re free to do whatever you want. Which leads me to a conversation I had this afternoon.

As much as I appreciate and also encourage personal growth, some of the personal development theories slightly make me think of cults. When you hear stuff like “Our fates are just the products of our thinking” and “We are all god-like creatures”, or even “Everything the universe has created is perfect” I can’t help but roll my eyes. I also hate phrases like “I love all creatures”. The person I talked to today claimed he loves Trump, just because he’s human as we all are. Sorry, but this is the dullest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Nothing in life is just love and happiness. There has to be some rage, some drama, maybe even a few schemes and feuds. And if it’s just to keep things interesting. If things were supposed to always be brilliant, nothing but peace and happiness, why would anyone love soap operas? Or Gossip Girl. I for one am a big fan. (And let’s be honest, the outfits weren’t THAT great.) – And if there’s some higher power that created humans, I guess it loves soap operas as well. Think of all the drama, wars, sex, crime, whatever we have on earth. And then imagine being able to get a private closeup to every single scene, like a VIP access. Who needs VR if you can have omnipresence?

Equally weird as the phrases I mentioned above is the belief that we’re absolutely free when in comes to the decisions we make. If we’re honest, can anyone experience absolute freedom? In my opinion, the answer to that question is a clear and resounding no. And the main reason is that we’re human beings, which means that we actually need the contact to others to stay alive. More, being in a relationship, being in love is like a drug, we’re nothing but little junkies getting high on our daily interactions. So of course, all of our conventions, all of our values are pretty much based on how each inviduum is acting within a group. And honestly, I don’t believe people who say that they don’t care about what others think of them. Maybe they don’t care about a certain group. I for example couldn’t care less about what people in a karaoke bar think of me (my poor friends can confirm). But then there are numerous situations where I actually do care and where I’ll probably be more likely to “play by the rules”, meaning and stick to social conventions, even if it’s just a facade. Like a little white lie.

Besides, did you know that keeping up the social charade where you don’t always speak your mind is actually is proof of good taste? A few centuries ago, this was described as decorum, or in another word, etiquette. And it wasn’t just used to make living and interacting with other humans easier. One could also use it strategically by wisely choosing what to say to whom. When I think of decorum, I always think of Cersei. (Side note: Why do people hate her? I honestly don’t get it.)

But are you truly free if your entire behavior only shows certain aspects of you? I don’t think so. And before you’re pronouncing that outcry I’ve already heard so many times, before you say, “Oh no, I’m always authentic!” or “I would never manipulate people that way!”, go ask yourself: Have you ever omitted an information just because you were embarrassed? Have you ever complimented someone on a new haircut that, in fact, was butt ugly? Have you ever cancelled a date or a party under some dumb pretext just because you preferred staying home with your cat instead of being social? Or have you ever called in sick at work when the only issue you had was a slight hangover paired with a massive feeling of laziness? (Just for the record, I would count massive hangovers as sick, I mean they’re just a version food poisoning.) Or have ever you worried about the neighbors or roommates being able to hear the noise of you while being with your significant other? If at least one of these scenarios is familar to, I welcome you to the world of everyday manipulation. And for every lie we tell, we give up a little amount of freedom, even if it’s nothing but the brain space which is used to remember which lie we told whom. But we’re social beings. If we would have to choose between absolute freedom aka no social conventions, just brutal honesty on one hand, and a healthy social life on the other, I’m pretty sure we would always choose the latter. So instead of telling your friend to get a life because s.he’s been annoying you with boring stories about her.his non-existing love life, you sit patiently, thinking about all the other possibilities how you could have spent your afternoon instead of listening to that crap, mourning the fact that you decided to be a good friend who’s there for the other, but already plotting your revenge – the moment when you need a catsitter, well knowing that your cat’s an asshole – but of course, not mentioning any of this because after all, you really really want to be a good friend, even if it means being in pain for a few moments. And since you’re such a good friend, you of course brought some wine to cheer your friend up, completly ignoring the fact that you’re the one drinking all of it, because your suffering in this exact moment is muuuuuch bigger.

Now one could argue that being free doesn’t mean not taking responsability for your actions, and I totally agree. But the thing is that the functioning on our socitey is mostly based on some sort of compromise, even if it’s a compromise we maybe wouldn’t make if our social standing wasn’t endangered if we didn’t play along. Besides, since we’re not even fully aware how conventions may or may not impact us, the idea of doing something just because you think it may be your personal preference is totally fake. Take shaving for example. Is it really a choice that you fully make on your own, or does shaving or not-shaving always include a message you want to send? Either way, it automatically includes other people. That in my opinion, has nothing to do with freedom.

And I won’t even get to the point where I explain that freedom, no matter if real or fake, is just momentarily. No one can ever claim it for forever. Other people can take way too much of control over your life, may it be by hiearchy, family status, or by holding you hostage. So saying that everyone is free in their actions is total BS. Maybe next time, I’ll ask one of the you-have-the-power-to-create-your-own-destiny-people what their opinion on prostitution is. Or if there’s an age threshold to pass in order to have the power of creating your destiny. I’m thinking of human trafficking and child abuse here. Are the victims free to choose their destiny? Or, referring to my previous blogpost here, did they have it coming because of their shitty mindset?
But also, just living in a normal household and having a curfew kinda limits your freedom.

But even if we don’t concentrate on the importance other people have on our freedom, we ourselves are not free. Our biological needs prevent that. If I want to go on a 60-days-hike, start just like that, not bring any water or food, well, I won’t be able to. I’ll die instead. If I have everything, even in abundance, just except human contact, I’ll die. Humans are not supernatural, god-like beings. We simply can’t do whatever pleases us just because. We would have to bring a suitcase for example. But that would be a compromise, since it would be hindering while moving around for example.
We’re not totally free.

So to answer to the question I raised in the hedline: Freedom is nothing but an idea. There’s no total freedom. For everything we do, every decision we make, there’s a price to pay. One could even go as far and say everything in life is a transaction. (Maybe I’ll get to that in another blogpost.) I know, it sounds depressing. But freedom is a concept created by humans, as is society. So it’s not really surprising that it’s flawed, is it?

Just blogging

Do you attract what you deserve?

Around two months ago, I went to see a life coach. I know, that’s probably one of the most pretentious things one could say – and I have to admit that I took great pleasure in talking about it, just because it’s sounds so decadent. I went to see him more or less by accident, I was just looking for a therapist and he seemed to be the most popular one. Something I didn’t think about at the time is that since it’s not High School, it’s more important to find a therapist that’s competent rather than popular, but that’s a different story.

But no matter what I think of him, he made some points that were quite interesting. One for example, that there’s no such thing as coincidence. At first, I was like “Ok, whatever, who cares”, especially because he gave this tired example of a butterfly that creates a tsunami with a flap of its wings. Sure, why not, if you want to believe in this kind of stuff. I mean if it were true, wouldn’t it be an eternal loop of tsunamis? There’s always a butterfly somewhere and I highly doubt that they’re choosing to walk because they don’t want to hurt the poor human kind and because they’re aware of the disastrous power of their devilish wings. On the other hand, now that I’m writing this, the movie The Mothman Prophecies makes total sense in the way that moths/ butterflies are superior to us. It’s been a while that I’ve seen the movie, so this summary is probably far from accurate. Also, sorry for going off topic once again.

Anyway, where was I? Coincidences. Yeah, apparently, they don’t exist. So the idea here is that once you put your mind to something, everything will align. Meaning that if bad things keep happening to you, it’s because you don’t have the right, positive attitude.

My two-sessions-life-coach also said that the universe takes care of things and told me that he “outsources” certain tasks to the universe every morning. Like, I need a new apartment, take care of it.

The universe part definitely does sound ridiculous, but I guess the general idea is that you don’t have to shoulder a difficult task on your own. So it’s just a different form of religion. Plus, if you believe that everything will be fine eventually, you’ll probably work towards that outcome subconsciously.

The funny thing is, since I heard these statement, I started to notice more and more things happening that were in alignment with the stuff I was working on or hoping for. Though it was nothing major so far, just a few occasions. For example, I feel like I’m slowly meeting more like-minded people. But I guess that’s rather because I’m trying to make new connections, outside of my usual crowd where it’s always the same people and always the same things. Which would bring me back to (subcosciously) working towards your goal.

But something I find truly surprising is when I hear about other people’s experiences, especially when it’s about their interactions with others. Personally, I’ve only met very few assholes in my life. Of course, it would have been much nicer if I hadn’t met them, but in the end, it doesn’t matter who crosses your path, there’s always something you can learn from them. And again, I was lucky with the small number of dickheads I had in my life. In contrast to that, one of my coworkers seems to have had her share of unpleasant encounters. But at the same time, her attitude in general isn’t great either, at least in my opinion. And I can observe the same thing in my family: those with a negative mindset seem to attract more shit than those who think positive. Or is it just that they only talk about the annoying/exhausting/chaotic things in their lives instead of focussing on what’s good?

Since the beginning of this month, I’m doing a gratefulness challenge. Everyday, I have to write down a couple of things I’m grateful for. I’ve already had some time to think about what it means to be grateful because earlier this year, I tried a meditation app where one of the topics was being grateful. Back then, my first reaction was a rather cynical one. It’s kinda hard to feel grateful when you rather adhere to a life-is-pain-philosphy. Thinking of stuff I could be grateful for didn’t lift me up, it actually made me spiral even more. I then decided that meditation isn’t for me, especially because I find people who are always zen kinda dull. I prefer outbursts of emotion, even if that’s not always the smartest or most constructive way to go. But at least it’s honest. Anyway, writing down the things I usually don’t really think about, like having two legs that work pretty well, having all of my limbs and organs for that matter; having a place to live, some money etc. has definitely helped me to realize how much we take for granted. Weirdly, I also feel more confident.

Nevertheless, I don’t believe that the mind controls all and that a positive attitude will get you anywhere. That would be like saying that if you’ve been struck by lightning, it’s probably because your mind wasn’t in the right place. The whole approach of letting positive thinking guide you and everything will work out is downright arrogant. But it’s a great way to sell books and seminars and whatnot. Because who wouldn’t want to believe that they already have the tools for a fulfilled and happy life, they just need to be uncovered!

Anyway, I do think life is easier with a positive approach. Besides, it’s more likely that people will help you out in difficult situations if you don’t act like Ebenezer Scrooge.

On that note, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Just blogging, Lifestyle

Moving and commuting

Lost time is never found again.

Benjamin Franklin

This week has been exhausting. Since I moved to Cologne, I roughly spend 3 hours of my day commuting. One reason is that my university and my friends are in Bonn, a town which is quite nearby, but if you don’t have a car (or a license) not exactly around the corner. Another is that my current workplaces are in Bonn as well. Since you probably don’t know the story: This summer, I started looking for a new place in Bonn, for personal reasons. I was rather optimistic and thought that one or two months should largely suffice to find a place, but it turned out to be more complicated than that. Tbh, the housing situation in Bonn is just crazy and people are clearly taking advantage of it. The amount of crappy shithole apartments people try to rent to you is insane. And so after I’ve annoyed everyone in my circle with my rants about how shitty the situation is, I realized, that I shouldn’t just concentrate on the area close by, but also consider other places. Besides, I haven’t exactly felt at home since I came back to Bonn – it’s quite provinical and I’ve always preferred cities to small towns. And even though Cologne is not exactly a metropolis either, it’s at least Germany’s fourth largest city. But more importantly, there’s stuff happening here! On my first weekend, I’ve already done more interesting stuff than I would have done in two months in Bonn. I went to series of talks, met up with a stranger, went to the Christmas market, checked out some art. I feel like Cologne is a city where I could actually see myself staying for more than just a couple of months. (To give you an idea, within the last ten years, I’ve moved exactly 10 times.) Besides, my new roommates are pretty dope. In short, I’m quite happy here. But of course, it would be too easy if that was all. 

So at the same time I was looking for apartments, I also had to get a new job. (The one I had before was on a fixed-term contract.) I was lucky. Instead of just one, I got two part time jobs, which I’m both currently doing. The only inconvenience is that not only they’re both in two different places, but also both in Bonn, which brings be back to the beginning of this post. In addition to that, I’m house- and catsitting at the moment, for a lady who has cancer. This one is in Cologne, but at the other end of the city.

Therefore, I’m constantly traveling back and forth from one of the apartments to one of the workplaces and also in between. And as you can imagine, it’s very time-consuming and also very exhausting. And especially this week, it’s gotten to a point where I felt that people would just randomly claim my time, without considering what a change of schedule could mean for me, how much planning ahead, and how much time lost it would be in the end. But fact is, it’s been three weeks it’s been like that. And since most of it is related to work, it makes me feel like I’m a slave to others, without a having a say on how I to use my time. Instead of being able to plan and take time for things that are important to me, I’m now always in reaction mode. It’s just exhausting and innecessarily time-consuming. And I can actually feel how it takes away from my quality of sleep and my general well-being. 

Now I know that my complaining comes from a place of privilege. I mean, at least I do have a job and a place to live, right? But the thing that really annoys me is that I’m not using all my capacities the right way and that I’m not reaching my full potential. I could and want to do so much more. And being in this situation where there’s basically no time for myself left just sucks. The only comfort right now is that everything about my current situation – or let’s say my jobs – is just temporary. I guess in the meanwhile, all I can do is to pack good books. 

Just blogging, Society

Get yourself a life

You probably noticed by now that I like spending time on social media, especially instagram. I also like stalking people I find interesting online – see where they live, try to find out what the odds are that we become best friends. And that’s why I always read people’s bios. Sometimes, I also stalk people who left really dumb comments on someone’s picture, just to know who the person behind the stupid statement is. I guess this little fact about myself shows that I should get myself a life, but this blogpost is not about me. It’s about how other people see and describe themselves.

A few days ago, I came across two profiles that were really cool. Very cohesive feeds, great style, just everything I find nice to look at and maybe even inspiring. So of course, I thought about following them, but before, I had a look at their bios. The first one said “Wifey”, which is not uncommon on instagram, as is “bride to be”. The second bio read “pursuing him…”, something I’ve also read a couple of times already. Yikes!

I didn’t follow either of them. Instead, I was wondering why (at least some) women constantly define themselves through men or the relationships they have. Similar mentions to the bios I described above are bios such as “proud mommy” or “dog mom”, where it’s all about motherhood, whether that’s to a dog or a kid.

So when you’re creating an account on a platform where you can let all your narcissism out, why would you make it about someone else? I get it, you’re very proud to have a boyfriend and you constantly need to remind people that you’re oh so happy in your relationship or marriage because you can’t even believe it yourself. You love your dog to the point that you can ignore the fact that the little perv spends most of the day licking its balls and wants your supervision when pooping. You’re probably about to edit a pic that shows your dog’s nasty tongue in your face in this exact moment. And yes, of course you love your kids. You love them so much that you don’t give a shit about their privacy,  because after all, your pushed them out of your vag and that’s such a freaking miracle. Like one that has never happened before. So why would you keep these things private?
And of course I can also understand that you want all that, the happy happy, picture perfect family, but somehow, it just hasn’t happened for you yet and so you want to make sure you spread the word that you’re single. Sure, you’ve heard many times that you come across as aggressive or even creepy, but they just don’t understand what it means to be a true romantic. I know, it’s hard to accept when your crush doesn’t like you back and that giving, ahem, … subtle… hints on social media will magically have him infatuated, I mean how couldn’t he be, your photos are so pretty! After all, it’s what the fortune teller told you. AND HOW COULD PEOPLE DARE CALL YOU DESPERATE WHEN YOU’RE CLEARLY NOT!!!

I know, I know, you’re a strong independent woman and you need no man or whatever. But darling, please act like it. It’s ok to put yourself first from time to time, even if that means posting pictures of your Skinny Latte instead of your dog. If you like latte pictures, go for it. People are tired of seeing your dog, anyway. Take time to do stuff that only benefits you instead of pleasing others. In short: Go get yourself a life! One that passes the Bechdel Test.

Just blogging, Society

Triggering dots


You’ve probably seen memes like “Let’s eat grandma”, “Eat. You’re food” or “I find inspiration in cooking my family and my dog”, right?
Well, I’m OBSESSED with them, almost as much as I’m obsessed with typography and puns about kerning. Obsessed in a way that makes me wanna write the word in all caps. I’m the kind of person who, when receiving a badly spelled text, checks how close two letters are on the keyboard. I cannot go without correcting people when they mispronounce a word or when they’re just using stupid anglicisms that only exist in their imagination. I definitely judge people by the language they’re using and I don’t care how arrogant or how much of an asshole I can be when it comes to using the correct form.  In short, I’m a grammar nazi.

As you can guess, I take punctuation pretty damn seriously. A missing comma can drive me mad. That’s why, in my writing, I love using all sorts of punctuation marks in abundance. However, sometimes I wish people just would use them less. I’ll explain.

So yesterday, a friend texted me because she had a question regarding a paper. I didn’t reply right away because I had other shit to do first, but I stuck a mental post-it on my brain so that I would not forget to text her back later that day. It’s a system that works pretty well. However, she apparently couldn’t wait to hear back from me and so she sent me this:


And I was immediately fed up. By a single question mark.

There may be some deeper issues to this, but everytime someone sends me The Single Question Mark, I’m getting actually offended. Like how does this person dare to think I have nothing else going on but reply to their text? Well I got news for you honey, the world doesn’t evolve around you, calm the hell down. Also, even if our texts are sent instantly – unless you’re using Google Hangouts, which is the Internet Explorer of messaging services – that still doesn’t mean you’re entitled to an instant response. I’ll get back to you when I get back to you. And sending me annoying question marks won’t make me text you back any faster. On the contrary, they make me feel way more inclined to tell you to fuck off.

Another punctuation monstrosity I often see in text messages is the ellipsis. In books or any other kind of prose, even in dramas and poems, the ellipsis can be a great stilistic device. But in text messages the three dots are actually super creepy. Take these two phrases:

I like children.
I like children…

The first one: just a normal statement.
But the second… creepy as hell! If someone sent me a text like that, I’d probably call Child Rescue Service. The three dots make everything sound like a sleazy ad on Craigslist. So can please someone explain to me why people carelessly garnish their DMs with a countless amount of ellipses?

And yes, I agree that you don’t write text messages the same way you’d write a letter. Does anyone still write letters btw? Or postcards? If you don’t, you should. Analog is the new cool. Anyway, if you’re overwhelmed with punctuation in text messages, just use emojis… and you might have a 50% chance of not coming across as creepy.


PS: My latest website discovery while searching for a featured image was Digital Synopsis. If you love creative stuff like digital design and typography, this will be your new drug.

Just blogging

Club goin’ up on a Tuesday

I got to talk about my favorite anecdote today. And since I haven’t shared it here, yet, I thought I should do that. It’s about a club on a Tuesday. (It actually was a Thursday, but who cares, it doesn’t really matter.)

I had just moved from the 17th to the 18th arrondissement in Paris. If you’re not familiar with the specific characteristics of every arronidssement, the 17th is rather posh (at least the good side, meaning the part that’s not right next to the 18th) and the 18th is rather sketchy. Pigalle and Moulin Rouge are in the 18th. If you look at the history and architecture of Paris, it’s actually not surprising that Montmartre (which is the 18th) and its tiny dark side alley used to be the epicenter of all kinds of unlawful activities. But also or maybe for that exact reason, it was also the meeting point of great artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Modigliano, Van Gogh…

Especially the affiches of Toulouse-Lautrec are essential to Parisian culture. They were also the reason why I was and still am kinda obsessed with Montmartre. Of course it’s very touristy and somewhat artificial today. It’s basically just strip clubs and sex shops. However, during my time in Paris, there was nothing I loved more that strolling around the area. I know, it’s weird. But I’m a fan of Toulouse-Lautrec, so I wanted to soak in the atmosphere.

So there was this one day where I had no idea what to do with myself. I had just moved to the 18th, my apartment still was an unfurnished mess, I’d just spent the day on painting my room. All of my stuff was still in boxes and instead of a bed I only had a sleeping bag. It was a Thursday and I had taken the day off my work at Subway that day. After I’d spent the day painting the day painting, I wanted to do something fun. Unfortunately, all my friends either had to work that day or had class the next morning and were being way too responsible about that. Little fuckers.

So I decided to go take a walk in my new hood. I even had something to get from the pharmacy. (Awesome thing about Pigalle, there’s a pharmacy that’s open until midnight. I saved me from getting a conjunctivitis, once.) On my way to the pharmacy, I passed my all the strip clubs and sex shops. It was summer (and I was dressed like it) and all the owners were standing outside trying to lure people in. One guy outside of a strip club apporached me. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I do remember that he was asking me if I’d want to work for him and therefore invited me in to have a look. I declined and continued my way to the pharmacy. But then on my way back from there, I thought: “Why not go in?” and so I decided that if he’d ask me a second time, I’d go in. Surprise, Surprise, he did. I even got a free drink. My boring Thursday had just gotten quite exciting. So I went to the strip club, on my own and still totally sober.

To be honest, it was one of the shittiest places I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t the fancy kind of strip club that Chuck Bass owns in Gossip Girl (gosh, I would have loved that!). No, it was just ugly and kinda sad. But I didn’t leave right away, it was way too interesting for that. I was introduced to the girls who worked there and sat down and had a chat with them. They basically told me that most part of their job was waiting. They’d arrive at 10pm, but apparently, the busiest time was from around 1 to 3 am. While we talked, two American dudes walked in. One of the girls danced for them. It was a Rihanna song. And wow was she amazing! I wish I could dance like that, it was amazing to watch. I was speechless when she told me that she learned it all on youtube. However, she didn’t get a big tip, even though her performance was awesome. I guess the shitty cheap atmosphere of the club made the guys act like shitty and cheap assholes. They left pretty quickly and then it was just the girls and me again. They told me about their lives and how they came to that place and I have to say, that night was one of the moments where I got a deeper understanding on what it means to be in that kind of industry. And just for the record, I don’t like the stigma around it. I hate it.

However, I very much appreciated the attitude of these girls. They were so warm and kind, it was amazing. I also liked that they had absolutely no shyness about their bodies. One girl showed me how her boobs could dance. Like she pulled away the tiny amount of cloth that was covering her nipples and let her naked boobs bounce with the rhythm of the music. You don’t see that everyday. And seriously, when it comes to body positivity, we should all be more like that.

Eventually, it was my time to leave. I could’ve stayed much longer, but I decided to call it a night after I’d seen literally everything. But I didn’t feel like just going home. So I stopped at a kiosk and bought a bottle of vodka and some diet coke before I made my way back to the appartment. (My friends were still being boring.)

I then spent the rest of the night watching The Rum Diary and take a sip of my Vodka Coke everytime Johnny Depp is having some of his drink. I got incredibly drunk that night and had one of my worst hangovers the day after. But so far, it’s one of my favorite anecdotes.

Just blogging

Are you raising a serial killer?

one of my favorite books this year is ‘When To Rob A Bank’ by the Freakonomics creators Steven  D. Levitt and Stepehen J. Dubner. I love it not only describes moments of our everyday life from an economic perspective, but also – and mostly – because it’s just very entertaining and covers a huge variety of topics. So one of the chapters was about how to name your kids, or rather, how NOT to name them. So far, that’s been one of my favorite chapters, because I truly believe that your personality and your name go hand in hand and that your name kinda predicts what character traits someone will develop. Have you ever had a moment where you were at a party where you didn’t know anyone and before you were introduced to people, you guessed their names? Sometimes, you can just tell if someone’s a Peter or a Mick or a Simone or a Lexy (or even Lexie) just by looking at how they interact with other people (and according to Barney Stinson, how slutty they are).
The name discussed in the Freakonomics article is Wayne, not as a first name, but as a middle name. Beautiful headline, too: The Perils Of Wayne. Apparently, it’s quite a dangerous thing to give your kid the middle name Wayne. As a reader of the Freakonomics blog pointed out, Wayne is the most common middle name among criminals, for example Chicago’s serial killer John Wayne Gacey Jr. If you want to read the original blog post (which I highly recommend bc I can’t stop fangirling), it’s right here.
According to the article, middle names that rhyme with Wayne are equally dangerous. And this immediately made me think of a friend who just became a dad somewhat recently. And guess what, his son’s middle name rhymes with Wayne. Now I don’t think that just because of a name his son will become a serial killer, at least I hope he won’t. But when I read this, I almost wanted to text him and ask if it was too late to change it. Well, I didn’t. It’s not my place and I also highly doubt that a blog post can change any parent’s mind. Why else would there be kids called Apple, Mowgli and Rocket? However, I do hope that this little kid will not follow the name path that’s been laid out for him. And as for all the other kids, I hope they’ll either make a living as creative people or have the patience to go through the all the bureaucrazy necessary in order to change their names.

Just blogging

This Will Never End Cause I Want More…

Today is one of the days where I wish I was any other person. Or at least not in my head. My day was actually pretty good, I had a good night’s sleep, had a great workout and a nice walk, ran some errands. I also made plans for the weekend (which I usually never do) – I#m going to see some Shakespeare-related performances and am actually really excited about it, even though or maybe especially because I’m usually quite lowbrow. I also received an H&M delivery today, a really cool bomber jacket I can’t wait to wear for the next shooting. So all in all, I would say it was a pretty good day. However, at some time after my workout, I suddenly felt this darkness creeping in. I think it was when I looked at some magazines and one headline I saw claimed that millenials have no money. I quickly read the article (yes, I’m that person who reads articles on magazines without buying them . That’s why I never remember my sources.) The article was depressing. It pretty much said that millenials are doomed because living expenses are constantly rising but wages stay the same. And if that wasn’t enough, one of my favorite bloggers just published a blog post about the change from analog to digital, which made me think of Fahrenheit 451 and that stuff is scary af.
My – let’s call it anxious state of mind – became even stronger on my way back home. On the train, there were two girls next to me talking about some guy they knew who was going to be incredibly successful with some app or whatever. At the age of 17. And my mind immediately jumped to the question of what I hve accomplished so far. Well, nothing, really. And I don’t even know what I wanna do in life. It sounds whiney and annoying, but I wish things weren’t as hard. I wish I just knew what I wanted to do in life instead of looking for something I’m “passionate about”. Or maybe I should rephrase that. I know a few things I’m passionate about, but I don’t know how to turn them into something that’ll make a living. Besides, I get the impression that if you wanna do something creative, you need to have a great set of skills – which I don’t have. It’s a litte discouraging, especially because I’m not really excelling at anything. And no one cares for mediocre. I don’t know if it makes sense to you, but I often feel like life can’t really provide a sense or something that I would want. It just seems too small and insignificant, which makes me feel small and insignfiicant. Because even if you have wealth and anything you wnat, where does it lead you? Basically no where. Because even the most successful people don’t have everything. And so that brings me back to the theory of anti-natalism and is also the reason why I’m listening to Fever Ray and drinking looooots of wine tonight.