Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Teaching a blind cat new tricks - Living with Emily

Emily is our 16 year old blind cat (This blog has a cat - Lady Emily) that cries in the middle of the night until someone takes her to bed.

When she decides to jump herself she lands, most of the times, in our faces.

Because of that we have a project of making Emily learn how to climb to bed using cardboard boxes, we just need to collect them all around the bed now. 

Wish us luck!

If you want to know Emily's story you can read it here: http://how-we-walk.blogspot.de/2016/0...

Monday, 30 May 2016

Racism vs Sexism Made in Germany

Today I was surprised to read a shared German post by "Deutschland, deine Bildung" in Facebook.

This page with the support of a woman declares that "Eko Fresh owned Frau Kepetry [sic]".
Why do people think Eko Fresh “owned” Frauke Petry? I just see sexual objectification here.
Let’s introduce the main characters.

Mrs. Petry and Jörg Meuthen lead the AfD party. AfD stands for Alternative for Germany. It is a right-wing populisand Eurosceptic party

The media portrays the AfD as right wing extremists because of their beliefs about refugees and immigrants in Germany, especially those from a Muslim origin.
Although they are being called the worst thing since Hitler, this year the AfD has gained representation in eight German state parliaments.  

There has been an enormous backlash against the party. Recent party conventions have seen violent protests from a spectrum of left leaning activists. On the other hand a growing minority sees the AfD as the only antidote to Angela Merkel’s open-border policy and subsequent failure in handling the refugee crisis.

Eko Fresh is a rapper that had appeared in movies and launched a new album last month.
Why did she tweet this?

This tweet comes after Mr. Gauland, the vice president of AfD, allegedly commented on the German football player with immigration background Jérôme Boateng. He said that the people loved him as a football player, but they would not want him as their actual neighbor („Die Leute finden ihn als Fußballspieler gut. Aber sie wollen einen Boateng nicht als Nachbarn haben.“)
After this was published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, many outraged readers stepped up in the social media sphere with the hashtag #Nachbarn. Although Mr. Gauland denied saying it and Frauke Petry already apologized publicly.

The #Nachbarn movement is valid but not realistic. If you look at it from an immigrant’s perspective it is apparent that this is pure virtue signaling. Renting apartments is something that unites immigrants. Germans want us as neighbors so badly that is extremely hard to get a place with price/quality relation that is affordable. Run down apartments can still be rented for high prices because we will rent them as a last resort.

If it was hard for me, a white European, to get an apartment, I can only imagine the prejudice and difficulties that a person that looks like Boateng would face.

I’m veering off course. I don’t want to talk about racism and the hardships of being an outsider. I want to talk about people who think it’s valid to fight racism with sexism.

@FraukePetry posted an apology for her party member “Jêrome [sic] Boateng is an amazing football player and rightly a member of the national team. I’m looking forward to the EC”.

@EkoFreezy answered with “@FraukePetry you are so sexy when you lie.”

This was loved by 4100 people and retweeted 1200 times. Sadly many of these posts were done by women, signaling their non-racist virtue, while being indifferent a woman’s public humiliation.

I wonder how they would feel if their bosses told them they look sexy when they are incompetent.

But why is this sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment can be described in many ways but is simply a discrimination based on sex.

Whether you agree with her politics or not, Frauke Petry is a very strong woman. She is in front of a growing party and people think it is ok to reduce her value as a person instead of having an intellectual argument.

Eko Fresh did this tweet in complete trust that people would just have a laugh at it.  Petry can’t be taken seriously because she doesn’t only lie but she is just a woman and whose only function in society is to look good for him. It’s ok to take away her politic and social status that her career path gave her reducing her to this sexy woman.

Can you imagine the same statement geared toward a male politician?

Friday, 27 May 2016

The notebook rights advocate

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See this photo above?! 

This is a part of my notebook collection.

Yes, I have a problem with notebooks and everything that involves paper that wasn't used on both sides.

Paper comes from trees, living beings that deserve our respect. Therefore I have big guilt-trips when throwing away notebooks that I own for years and I never used them or single sheets of paper that I didn't use on both sides.

Right now I'm using an old 2014 agenda that was offered to me at my previous job. I try to use it to draft articles, make todo lists and sketch.

The great thing about it, is that it is "forcing me" to be more creative in my metro trips to work. Giving me a small break to be disconnected from the world!

I found out in the Stuttgart Airport bathroom that I'm not the only one with this paper=trees conscience. There is a Guerilla Paper Waste Elimination Project out there.

These Come From Trees Sticker

These Come from Trees is the project that is trying to save a couple hundred thousand trees a year. Sticking a sticker in the right place and hoping that the person using the paper towels to dry their hands in the public bathroom, thinks twice before getting an extra load of paper and wasting it!

Check out this guy, that saved tons of paper just by teatching us how to clean our hands. His name is Joe Smith and it's worth your time.

and a twitter acount: https://twitter.com/TCFromTrees

Friday, 20 May 2016

Tip - Harvest NOW!

Pick always your fruits or vegetables that are already ready for harvesting. The more fruits or vegetables you harvest the more fruits and vegetables you’ll get!!

Friday, 13 May 2016

About Friendship

From the beginning of our lives we learn about the importance of choosing good friends. We learn a diverse set of rituals that have a moment and place in time to be performed to make our social endeavors successful and ideal.
We treat friendship as a gift that should only be given after an extended period of cautious interaction during which you try to make sure that you know about the other person’s likes and dislikes, personality, hobbies, family, origins, studies, profession. All these variables need to satisfy your mental check list of approval to your pool of candidates for the position to be filled. If the subject passes the first hurdle they may or may not be invited to your household; one of the higher echelons in the friendship hierarchy. Certainly friendship is not a singular category. Friends can be broken down into various classes, e.g. BFF, besties, football buddies, work friends.
However, when you decide to live abroad, especially alone, you find that it will be very tedious to create friends by this traditional protracted process. You are going to have a very lonely, joyless life.
I immigrated to Stuttgart (Germany) as a single woman, with only an engineering degree and a few Euros to my name, in search for a better life. I found myself in this situation right away. Here in this city of the luxurious automobile industry the most common things to find are German cars, men and engineers.
You find a lot of people complaining about the city. Promises to leave are made all the time. Some of my friends fulfilled these promises, but when they leave, it is even more common, that they terribly miss it. Does this sound odd?
I made my own hypothesis. The city is indeed unwelcoming. The local population really has little interest in making new friendships with the crowds of people coming and going, most of them looking for jobs. This cold atmosphere has an effect on the newcomers. They start to despise their new home, but they also band together in order to avoid solitude and depression at home.
Despite the lack of background variety (remember that this city is all cars and engineers) Stuttgart has one of the most active expat/immigrant communities. Besides the activities from several countries’ associations there are a lot of activities organized using social media like Facebook where you can find groups for:
  • Stuttgart Expat Meetups
  • Tuesday Night dinners
  • Book Clubs
  • Expat mom meetings
  • Sell and buy
  • Running
  • Knitting and Crochet
  • Cooking
The newcomers are in a situation where they feel the need to make friendships fast. Everyone is eager to make friends and meet new people, so we skip some steps of the traditional friendship dance.
Skipping steps can lead to bad falls. I got hurt a couple of times. One of those times my father told me that I should know people better before inviting them over to my house and I felt very guilty and dumb because I misjudged people.
Later I realized that I knew my best friend in Germany for less than 6 months (and he was and still is my best friend). How can you be expected to have longer relationships with people if you’re there for less than a year?
It’s never going to be like home where you know some of your friends for over 10 years, it doesn’t have to be. This means that you must keep positive and keep on trying.
Expats and future expats need to realize sooner or later that the adventure is not only the change of geographic location but also the breaking of many boundaries that were created during those years where they were in their safe bubble at home.  They are going to go out of home, with a soul full of hope and courage to go out and mingle and construct a network of future friendships, some more successful than others.
What we can know for sure is that outside home we are going to find people. We need to find people. A kaleidoscope of people!

Monday, 2 May 2016

DIY - Notebook with free Postcard

Free publicity postcards are lovely. They are designed to be catchy, lovely, modern, cool... But, unfortunately they are not very useful.

You can't send a free postcard. Most of them have a lot of things written in the back side and there is the possibility that the receiver will think it's rude for you to send a "free postcard" to him (assholes).

I remember that when I used to do Postcrossing back in the days a lot of users would write in their profiles "Please, no free postcards."

So, all that it's left for these little pieces of joy is to be accumulated and after a de-clutter fever to be discarded. Sad but true.

To solve this problem I decided to do something. \o/

I joined together the fact I can't send to recycling paper that isn't used in the both sides to the need of giving this postcards a new chance to shine.

And here it is my....


This is a super easy tutorial.

     1. You need a couple of A4 paper sheets, used in one side.

     2. Cut the paper sheets A6  size.

     4. Cut a carton in the size A6.

     3. Make holes in one of the edge of the paper pieces and in the postcard.

     4. Use some wire to tide all up.

     5. Here you have!!! Your Postcard Notebook!