Friday, 28 February 2014


I grow my own kefir.
I got kefir grains from a friend who kept going on and on about billions of pets working on her sauerkraut, ginger beer, pickled anything, sake, fermented anything and, well, kefir. The grains look rather like snot but kefir snot wouldn't sound so cool. I threw the stuff, grains or snots, into a jar of cream and let them do their thing. It tasted great, kefirs kept growing and multiplying, I tried various milks and creams. The fermenting friend mentioned that the gossip has it that coconut milk is the only plant-based milk-like thing in which the kefirs multiply, I gave it a try and the thing didn't turn to sour coconut milk but to something orange, partly furry, that stank to high heaven. A rampant case of hitchhikers.

Hitchhikers are bacteria, yeasts or other little buggers that get to places where they shouldn't.

Said coconut nastiness went down the drain, fermenting friend mailed me a new batch which I keep happy in high fat milk or cream - in general. Usually I have a few batches brewing.

I generally hope for a boring life. A friend, not the fermenting one, said that I'd be better off if I sold the goddamn place and used the cash to move to Aruba. The idea of sitting on a porch, staring towards the horizon and doing nothing is extremely appealing and although I could do it legally, I decided not to as it wouldn't be fair, and kept hoping for boredom happening here. At which point we got hitchhikers. The school trip brought a stomach bug along and all the kids and teachers kept, how does one say it, suffering from sudden inner disturbances. The last thing I ever wanted, or the last thing I ever wanted of Thursday, Feb 27, as I foresee something nasty happening soon, was a hotel full of vomiting people with runs. I had to act so everyone got their personal bottle of bleach, washrag and gloves and their job was to disinfect all the door handles.

I talked to the nice guy in the Public Health Office, epidemics department; the mixture of wry humour and useful advice, along with actually talking to someone both literate and sane, was of substantial help.

The whole house smells of chlorine - very hygienic, what stinks of chlorine is disinfected - I decided to clean up the fridge. The other day, I left some herbs macerate in oil but instead of fragrant oil for my salads, I got oil with something gooey in it. I was worried that it might clog the pipes but they got clogged anyway so I used the good old cheap sodium hydroxide... and then the solution presented itself. Oil + sodium hydroxide = soap. If I were mean enough, I'd make bars and sold them on Etsy as hyper super organic handmade locally sourced soap but I just wanted my jar clean... and the other one that contained creme fraiche morphed to something orange that smelled of rotting cheese. Folks, hydroxide is as good as acid when it comes to getting rid of nasties. Also, my dishes are fully done now so I can go to bed (yes, at 4 pm) and be as depressed and tired as it gets.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, hold your hats and prepare for the wild downhill ride.


This building needs yardarms, which, I am told, are those things on which mutineering and otherwise annoying sailors are hung for punishment. The yardarms can be used to hang sails, too; practical, I say.

The thing is, one of the employees was extremely rude to my mother. So rude that she admitted she hadn't ever heard some of the Klatchian and she had been teaching for 20+ years. She also refused to quote the diatribe. Said employee was just somewhat rude to me and then she stormed away saying that nobody will be telling her what to do (the memo that she was made the Director of the Universe must've missed me). Mom wanted me to fire her on the spot but the whole situation made me a trembling sobbing wreck.

Today, dad yelled at me, and I know he didn't mean it as badly as it sounded, but I feel shitty enough, well, he told me that I should finally learn to solve problems myself, that he's not going to do it for me and if I don't want to work, then I can just get out of here and there was some stomping and door banging (not me).

I really feel like wandering into the woods. Or jumping on the first long-distance bus that goes away from here, regardless of direction. Been telling BossParents that I'm not able to manage this place, that I don't have the capabilities and stuff, that I can't handle the daily contact with people. Just get over it, they say. Or It's not that bad, you need to tough it out. Or I wouldn't be able to live among these hillbillies without turning crazy, I don't understand how you manage.

The little nasty ssecret is that I'm not managing. I don't sleep, I eat badly, I keep constantly washing my hands because of all that hand shaking and other interaction with the damn bags of pathogens (also known as guests in the business) while I barely force myself to shower when I either stink or it itches.

And... it feels like my brain is going on an off uncontrollably. Or, rather, off and a little bit working, I keep forgetting things, I can't concentrate and I forget what's been said before the sentence is finished. (And then I'm crying and told to get over it. Hey, I'm getting over so many things that sometimes I can't take it any more.) And when it gets worse, I just stare blankly and struggle with every single line of a bill or something.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


That's me, the disappointing one.

I was trying to declutter (with mediocre success but at least I took a bag of trash to recycling) and at one point, my mind produced a thought:

I'm staying at the Hotel from Hell only because it makes my dad happy.

He's so happy that I'm managing it well - he says I'm doing it well, I'm keeping my doubts - and he wants me to have it as a source of income and all I give back is a burnout.

I'm angry at grandma all the time. She's a terrible gossip and she forces me food all the time but hey, she's over 80 and she's showing affection that way and I'm the bad one for being impatient with her.

And... en route to grandma's, we stopped in a grocery and they had a whole jamón serano for half price. Mom was picking bread for a few seconds too long and I spotted a chunk of dried meat. Well, I grabbed it and then needed to carry it home. Just 8-ish kilos of ham and the added carving board and I was so damn tired. The obvious train of thought: I should have done something to prevent it.

I know that it's my brain acting up but it's annoying nonetheless.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

There's something wrong with this world

First, a gratuitous kitty picture from my archives. Four Somalians waiting for something to happen, with an apparent hope that the photographer might explode into a rain of smoked salmon.

I spent the evening bartending. There was the optimum amount of guests - enough to keep me busy but not too many, I could chitchat a bit (and retreat to dishes if I didn't wish to).
As the evening went on, the alcohol level in guests' blood rose and I guess that some feel a bit embarrassed about now. They weren't rude, just silly. Aaaand, I got tips.

Some 200 euros altogether.

It's around 1/5 of the price of my upcoming surgery. Also, OMGWTFBBQ. Okay, now I'll need to invest 3-ish euros in an elastic bandage for my achy knee but there's still left enough.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The horror!

I'm getting a surgery in 11 days and in a month or so, I'll go to the mental hospital where I'll stay for a few weeks.

I wanted to be a serious person who plays fair and decided to sort out my shit, especially in the office and in the hotel room so that it's left clean and neat and understandable without a 4D origami map.
As anyone who ever did a large declutter knows, there's an early phase when the area looks as if it exploded. In my case, it's the second step, the first step involves picking all apparent trash from the floor and cleaning the visible bits of said floor, or, if possible, making a bit of space on which things can be placed. The amount of stuff on the floor waxes and wanes in the process and with a bit of luck, one ends up with clean floor, several bags for charity, recycling, non-specific trash and, from time to time, compost (1).

My situation is complicated due to commuting and staying in the hotel for prolonged periods of time so when I get home, to a town that has things like libraries, stationery shops, my friends and other hallmarks of civilization, I don't necessarily devote my time to cleaning. So, in one of the phases of high clutter, I took the memory card out of my computer to take a pic of something, or I took a pic and wanted to download it. One way or another, the card didn't reach its final destination and got stuck somewhere amidst of clothes, fabrics, books, papers and nondescript stuff.

At the time of finding out, it was the last straw. I had a lousy week of arguing with people, me who is not very fond of much interaction anyway, needed to cancel my therapy appointment, got yelled at by idiots, dealt with the wreckage caused by idiots... and that got topped by the diary frustration , yet another surgery in near future, then I forgot about the urine sample for the pre-surgery check-up and finally, my card went MIA.

I needed to find a super hyper important paper that was filed by the previous manager using the excellent method of Toss it on a pile and in irregular intervals, mix the papers randomly. My somewhat neatified office where my nicely labelled files are slowly taking over changed into a trash-sorting facility. Back to the beginning, then.
No, the super important urgently needed protocol wasn't found. What was found were several contracts - I meantime procured the copies, making a fool of myself because in any normal company, they have a file labelled Contracts where the contracts go, right?, various paperwork related to employees present and past, bills, notes, scribblings, things in triplicate that are probably a proof of someone's subconscious hate of trees, and all of these randomly inserted in folders or envelopes. This constituted half of the heap of shit in question, the other half were price lists, flyers, catalogs and the proofs of overt hate of trees in the advertising industry. The latter half of the godawful mess was already tossed, the rest will be filed or dealt with later. I already asked Teh Boss and Chief of Chiefs to get me a colony of termites to destroy the sensitive papers but I'm afraid I'll get an ordinary shredder at best.

I wanted to brag around with my new knits but as I can't take pics, there's a product of the habitat improvement:

A sweater from my knitterly beginning back at point zero. The yarn is pretty and not exactly cheap, if not exactly my colours either and now it's all back to stash, waiting for a better chance.

Also, a random kitty picture.

(1) If you stumble upon a person who has a trash bin for compost and it's not in the kitchen or conservatory, in 99 % of cases I'd recommend to duck and run. I do have a compost bin, or rather a box, for herbary trash which is nicely dry, if not necessarily perfectly sterile... well, you know what I mean.