“A pirate’s life for me”

There’s something about a capella and Disney together that is fantastic. While out and about online, I discovered this catchy Pirates of the Caribbean medley by Peter Hollens and the Gardiner Sisters. Featuring some amazing voicework from both parties involved and showing faithful following of the best parts of the film’s soundtrack, this video will make you scramble to find that DVD and watch Jack Sparrow saunter across Port Royal and beyond. Savvy?


Heel! To toe

Once upon a time there might have been a girl who found some pumps that were just what she was looking for. She liked the click-clack of heels on a polished floor. Even if she was the only one making the noise on a subway platform in the early morning amongst sleepy commuters in flat shoes. After three successful promenades she discovered those particular pumps were available on sale and in different colours. So she bought some more shoes.

The above mentioned successful promenades had been short, however. After embarking on a longer walk, it was quickly obvious that practice was necessary. The mental pictures of strutting through the urban jungle translated neither to feet nor the limbs they were attached to. To be honest, she couldn’t walk in any of the shoes shown in the tutorial below and there’s a limit to her heel height. But it’s a very comprehensible video and the main rules are easy to remember:

Gel insoles for different parts of the shoe are a handy thing to have around. In fact, it’s practical to just stick them on the inside of your heels and keep them there.

A bright idea occurred when looking at all those shoes: what if the heel were shorter? And is it actually possible to make it shorter? A quick search online yielded results that showed many women were musing on the same subject. Answers on numerous forums seemed to split in to two groups. Group one: Sure, take a saw and go for it. Group two: Find a cobbler and ask him. Like the author in this earlier post on youlookfab.

Chances are the heel cannot be shortened, in which case there’s still the Youtube tutorial, or a swap with a friend who has the same shoe size and tastes.

Or you can just line them all up, stare at them and tell yourself they are decorating your apartment.

When at Home

For the Anxious Cook

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that most of us have to cook. Whether boiling an egg or making toast, or whipping up a birthday cake to ensure you get asked to bake cakes for the rest of your life. Cooking is unavoidable. Even for those of us who may have tried.

Rewind a few years back and I was standing in my student dorm kitchen, pouring boiling water in to a big mug filled with powder from a packet promising soup. A few energetic stirs with a spoon, et voila. This was a good solution for nights when the kitchen was too crowded for “real” cooking or when one had to study for exams. Not to mention it was easy on a student budget. Later I got to know a girl who studied nutritional science. When I asked her what was actually in those “soups”, she rolled her eyes and said I didn’t want to know.

I kind of thought so all by myself, but hearing this from someone who actually dealt with food put things in a different perspective.

I switched to canned soup.

Gone are the days. Of course I didn’t exist solely on powdered products that resembled food once you poured boiling water on them, even if the kettle was my big friend. But I had gotten in to the habit of easier cooking and sometimes the choices were based on convenience due to circumstances, rather than creativity.

Once I got my own kitchen to spread out in, I discovered that I was a bit of what’s mentioned in the title of this piece, a subject I also partly addressed in my previous post about hosting a dinner party at home. I felt anxious about cooking. So what is an anxious cook to do? Well:

Don’t stop trying new things when you actually really want to

I felt even more anxious when the blueberry loaf I wanted to bake came out runny and flat from the oven. This actually led to months of not baking. Wrong action! I had wanted to continue baking, but I was a deflated by the setback. After the initial trauma and neurotic reactions you can bake a few simple things to get a good idea of how your oven works and whether you might need to change a product you use. If you do have to throw something away, breathe through your nose a few times and try again. Obviously this example translates to other types of cooking, not just baking.

Work around and polish the skills you have

We don’t always stop to think about the sometimes basic, but useful things we do in the kitchen that we are good at. A friend of mine is adept at cutting vegetables in to thin, even strips, so he worked on it with those that needed some practicing, like potatoes. He usually fries everything he slices, and after a while he started including finely sliced meat with his dishes. It became a specialty of his and I discovered there were lots of recipes and ideas for cooking around this particular skill. It didn’t have to be hard, it just needed to stay enjoyable. If you’re good at tossing salads, you already know there’s a billion ways to keep that going. It also means you might be good at mixing things in general and probably have an eye for making food look attractive.

Bottom line: you can cook!

Also: recipes, cookbooks and food blogs were put on this planet to make life easier. Find authors and sources that appeal to you.


As a kid I’m guessing you couldn’t wait to get your hands in to that dough (even if for reasons not related to cooking), shell peas or help to carefully spoon cream on your favourite pastries?

Find that kid!

Auf Deutsch

Sag Bye-Bye

Es sind diese kleinen Alltagssituationen und Begegnungen unterwegs, die mich öfter schmunzeln lassen oder zum Nachdenken bringen.

Ein junges Elternpaar überquert die Straße. Mit einem Kinderwagen. Auf der anderen Seite verabschieden sie sich. Die Frau sagt ihrem kleinen Sohn, mit dieser komischen ich-rede-mit-einem-Baby-nicht-wie-mit-einem-normalen-Menschen Stimme: “So wir sehen uns später, ne? Mami geht jetzt zum Friseur. Bye-bye.” Sie winkt dem Kind fröhlich zu. Das Kind reagiert nicht.

Vater: Bye-bye! Sag Mama bye-bye!

Mutter: Bye-bye!

Vater: Bye-bye! Sag Mama bye-bye!

Beide winken wie bescheuert. Ich gehe weiter, höre aber, wie die zunehmend eifriger wiederholten bye-byes mit einem bemitsleidenwerten Wimmern unterbrochen werden.

Well, to quote Lesley Gore, you would cry too if it happened to you.

Auf Deutsch

So beruflich

Wenn ich Zeit habe, und das ist im öffentlichen Verkehr manchmal der Fall, beschäftige ich mich mit den Gesprächen meiner Mitreisenden.

Dialog von zwei Teenagern in der U-Bahn.

“Was willst du denn später so… beruflich machen?”(Oh. Mache ich etwas “beruflich” oder “so… beruflich”?)

“Ehrlich, ich hab üüüberhaupt keinen Plan!”

“Ja…viele in unserem Alter sind so, ich will das und das werden. Aber das kann sich bis zum Abi 30 mal ändern!” (Da haste Recht, Kleines, aber ich muss dir leider sagen, es kann sich auch nach dem Abi noch 30 mal ändern. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.)