Saying Yes

I mentioned elsewhere that I am taking acting lessons, didn’t I? This year is about improvisional theatre, and we started this week with a great first lesson. Our teacher has created an environment where everyone seems to feel safe and comfortable to try out new things. She gave us a homework for the whole year, and that is: say yes.

Those who often say No may be safe, but those who say Yes have more fun.

I laughed, because one of the movies I totally like is Yes Man, where Jim Carrey is cursed to say yes to everything and ends up happy, making lots of other people happy, too. Every time I watch the movie I feel like ‘I should totally do that’. And I never do. While I am happily accepting clients to bother me with demands for unpaid extra services, I would not drive an hour and a half to party. That’s so silly.

At the end of the movie, when the curse breaks, we learn that saying yes includes knowing when to say no. But you can switch the habbit of being against things.

I am curious where this term might lead me, saying yes. What should you say yes to?

Cheers, Nae73

Can I swap everyone’s gender, too?

I just realised that I do not have enough male friends. Or: I only know handsome guys and smart ladies. But I’d make for a poor Penny anyway. So, with the cast change I’d have to turn TBBT into a tale of female nerds.

Which would be:

  • Me as the ‘not crazy – my mother had me tested’ Dr. Dr. Sheldonia Cooper. And R. as my lovely partner who accepts me as I am.
  • A. as Dr. Leonardine Hofstadter. Smart, nice, but with a tendency to servility.
  • The wonderful, creative K. as Howard Zarah Wolowitz, and Mr. R. as her surprisingly successful husband.
  • J. as Dr. Rajesh Simone Koothrappali. She’s better when she’s not talking, too.
  • Who could live next door and just be pretty? … Mhm… Oh, that would be my boss S.

Coming to think of it: I am the casting director! Instead of a transgender season I could have a casting where my (male) friends have to tell me which role they want. Is there an English word for the German ‘Besetzungscouch’?

And then I would love to play Leonard’s mother 🙂

Cheers, Nae73

New Project: Standing Lesson

The other day I came across a study suggesting that sitting is not only totally bad for my health (I knew that), but that – contrary to common assumptions – doing sports for compensation would not prevent the bad results from sitting around the whole day. Amongst the health issues caused by excessive sitting are increased risk for depression, overweight, heart attacks, problems with the back and muscles, and the only way to stop the negative side effects of sitting is NOT sitting. I find that really interesting, as some people seem to delude themselves by thinking that running a marathon in their late 40ies would compensate for years of sitting in meetings, planes, offices, living rooms and restaurants. Having a job with much office work myself, I really wonder whether I can change the habbit of sitting.

Now that I deleted my social media life – which changed absolutely nothing, isn’t that sad? – I need a new project. So, I am going to see how much I sit. When I’m not teaching I suppose I make it to 12 hours on my butt. I’ll see whether I can reduce it to less than 5 hours (7 is the daily average for Germans, 9,6 hours for office workers).

What are your experiences? How much do you sit, and did you ever consider it a cause for your health issues?

Cheers, Nae73

Whiskey Sour

15 years or so ago, my best friend decided that she wanted to be a barkeeper. She was hanging out with this guy who had his own bar and soon she was working her ass off for him. She also tried to jump off my balcony when he left her, but that’s another story.

When she had recovered, she started learning how to make cocktails, and she also practiced how to make a show from mixing. It killed my illusions about Tom Cruise when I learned that for show barkeeping they do not use the actual bottles required for your chosen drink 😦

I can’t remember when I had my first Whiskey Sour. Bourbon, sugar, lemon juice. And a cherry. What a fresh kick! It makes the classy Bourbon look hot, and that’s pretty much the way I like life. Most barkeepers use too much sugar. But I prefer it Sour. 

The weirdest one I had in London, at The Hoxton. They serve Whiskey Sour with egg white. That’s disgusting. It was an interesting opener for my date, though, drinking egg white. Maybe that’s why they do it…

I have some more guilty pleasures.

  • Baileys I can’t withstand. If you like it, too, have you ever tried Häagen Dasz Baileys? If you really want to spoil your diet: there you go!
  • Coca Cola. Real coke. With sugar and caffeine. Not this crap with artificial sugar which gives you cancer and diabetes. And not Pepsi!
  • Red wine, dry. Preferrably from Italy: Chianti or Bardolino. 
  • Cosmopolitan: The occasional alternative to Whiskey Sour when I’m out with the girls.
  • Guinness. I miss Great Britain.
  • Pina Colada: The sweet holiday feeling.
  • Capuccino. Unfortunately, you rarely find a really good one.
  • Earl grey tea with some milk. For when I try once more to reduce my coffee input. Or to feel brit.

Interestingly, I just realise that coffee is not on the list. That’s a sign for an addiction, I guess, drinking it anyway.

It’s 8.30 am at my place, time for breakfast. Now I want Bourbon. Damn.

Cheers, Nae73

A world without FGM

I think the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a great move. It raises awareness in a fun way, and there is nothing wrong with entertaining people if it makes some of them think twice. I wish I had come up with an idea like that. There are several causes and ideas I find worthy to support: equality, democracy (as long as I am not Queen), mental health, to name but a few; and there are things I passionately fight: stupidity, racism, environmental pollution. But my heart beats for women’s rights. Not because I am not aware that many men needed support, too. But because I happen to be a woman. And I think it is reasonable to put your energy into something you can attach to emotionally. When I studied education, I learned about child abuse and the unspeakable tortures some kids go through. And I decided I did not want to work with victims. I wanted to prevent people from suffering, and that’s what I subscribed to ever since.

I turned to women’s rights, became a self defence teacher and learned more about the social structures which support violence. I learned that the urge to control female sexuality, or the group’s reproduction, is part of many, many cultures. Sometimes it happens quite subtle, e.g. by calling women sluts when they are too active. Sometimes it’s more obvious, e.g. making women wear scarfs. Sometimes it is masked as care, like allowing your son to stay out late with his friends while telling your daughter’s boyfriend to bring her home on time. But the most disgusting, horrifying, brutal method to control women’s reproductive power is female genital mutilation, also know as FGM.

If you never heard of it, you might be shocked when you learn that FGM in its various forms includes cutting off a girl’s inner and / or outer labia and / or clitoris with a razor blade, or scissors, often enough on the floor, without anesthesia or any basic hygiene. Well, at least in most countries. There are practitioners in Germany, Great Britain, the US (for example) who carry out this procedure in their clinics. Can you believe that! The girl is then closed again, sewed up with a tiny hole left for her urin and monthly blood. This causes pain and infections and requires her to be cut again for giving birth or even having sex. I cannot think of many tortures like that. The thing is that in societies which practice FGM parents have to do that to their daughters. ‘Intact’ women are regared unworthy to be married, hence to stay part of the community. It takes a lot to break up such complex situations.

I adore those activists who talk about their own experiences, like Waris Dirie, and I support a few women’s right’s organisations financially. I wish I did more. A world without FGM is a goal worth fighting for. A world in which no man or woman has to be afraid to be attacked for who they are is a worthy goal. Not one person can save the whole world. But every person can make it a little better. Find your cause and act on it! Be it human rights, environmental protection, animal rights, or even something seemingly banal like making people laugh.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the things that need to fixed. Then I remember Mother Teresa: We can do no great things – only small things with great love.

What is your cause?

Wonders, Nae73

But at least you have reproduced.

Ah, Ironic! I love that song. Because I know exactly what Alanis means since I have talked to that girl from my education class on the bus home, and we talked about her boyfriend, and how it hit me when she said his name, that I realised where I knew her from except studying. That bitch with that hollow-hearted asshole I had fallen for since he had looked at me and said: And, who are you? He had left out the information that she was not just a stalker but his actual girlfriend hanging around while he asked me out 10m away from her.

However, that was long ago, and I am done with that one. I wonder if she married him, by the way.

My ‘Ironic’

I was not aware of any spoons, but I knew my knife: My knife was a career for a very long time. I have been working in adult education most of my life, which is an industry with lots of limited contracts and freelancers. Ten years or so ago it boomed, and with more and more people deciding that teaching might be a nice add-on to their actual job – or an easy substitute for those who had lost their original employment – salary and working conditions dropped, and dropped, and dropped. In 2005, I had 3 contracts in a row with the same employer while part of my job was to help people into employment. Can you imagine finding jobs for others while yours is on constant jeopardy? Not to speak about the salary which was so bad, that some of my clients (especially those with children) got more benefits!

For a while I complained about my unsatisfying situation and how I did not know what to do about it. And then I learned about my spoon(s). Friends started to comfort me with: “Well, yeah, that’s really bad. But at least you have your son.”

***

What do you mean, son. That son I have to feed? Who is in school, has to live somewhere, and might expect me to pay for his studies one day? That son, I have at least, instead of a career???!!!???

In general, I think the 10,000 spoons in life are good advices. As a working single mother I have heard good advices on all my decisions. You simply cannot satisfy people when you confront them with their biggest fears. I have the child: brave, but idiotic. I go to work: And who looks after you child? I leave him alone: Are you not scared that he burns the house down? He nearly burns the house down: Told you! I stay with him: Don’t you think that you two are too close? I move to another country: Now she’s mental.

Over the years I have come to prefering actual help. And I even more appreciate when people who can’t help, just SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Please. Cheers, Nae73