schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
I had yet another spectacularly unproductive week, so, to distract myself from that: Cooking!

DD moved in two weeks ago, and it's been great. Apart from all the other bonuses – an actual friend in the apartment that I can talk to, someone to share chores with and watch hockey and movies with – I love being able to cook and eat together. I eat a lot more regularly since she moved in.

DD is vegetarian and, because of allergies, practically vegan. That's fine with me, I usually eat meat once a week when I visit my parents and sometimes I just add cheese to my portion of a dish. We're eating very healthy, a lot of vegetables. Today, for example, pizza, which is basically bread with vegetables. Yesterday I made a mushroom and potato casserole, which was good (unfortunately required a lot of clean-up, and that on the one day this week when I did it all on my own because DD had a deadline.)

I had a very limited spice sortiment – salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, that was basically it. DD cooks with a lot more different spices, which is interesting; I just have to occasionally remind her that I'm not good with very spicy stuff. She also cooks with ingredients I almost never used, like lentils and chick peas and broccoli and soy sauce and tahini. I'm learning new recipes (although to be honest just as often the "recipe" is basically just "put all that together in a pan.") When I got her into watching "Nirvana on Fire" she made Chinese dumplings, they were very good. (We had them with left-over tomato salad, not exactly traditional but good.)

We also explored some of the shops around here that I'd never really used before. In a five minute radius on foot around our apartment there is one Austrian supermarket, a German discount supermarket, a Thai shop, an Afro-Asiatic shop, an Indian shop (new), and three(!) Turkish shops. It's pretty cool. We got spices from the Indian store and we occasionally get fruits from one of the Turkish stores, they have the best fruits. The Afro-Asiatic and the Indian shop also have a lot of fish, and some very strange vegetables I hadn't even seen before.

As a moving-in present from her mom DD got a soup-maker, which I'd never heard of before but which is very convenient. Just put whatever you want in there, wait for ~20 minutes, soup! Excellent, I predict we'll use it a lot especially when it gets colder. We can also use it to make smoothies, yum.

Tomorrow is my grandparents' fiftieth wedding anniversary, so dad + LB + I are driving seven hours there and then seven hours back on Sunday. The things we do for family. I'm not exactly thrilled – the celebration will be nice but the travel time is such a hassle - but LB said he made good playlists for the drive so maybe it'll be entertaining. I told him to add Hamilton because he still hasn't listened to it, and he apparently also included several other musicals, we'll see.

ETA: Aand I just found out that we need to find a new third roommate. Let's hope I get this lucky again.
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
In our latest D&D session:
- we explored the library and then burned it down
- we decided to try and ally with the huge sentient magical spider instead of fighting it: the enemy of my enemy, the enemy in this case being the approaching army
- my undead cat familiar is very invested in me learning necromancy. She is suspiciously familiar with the details of the army of the undead that devastated the world and killed some of the gods eighty years ago. Oh and she also accidentally revealed that not all of the necromancers who led that army are dead (my familiars are so cool) (details)
- there is still a demon in my head, but at least now my character wants to get rid of her too
- my character can turn into a gargoyle now.


Speaking of death, LB and I recently attended the funeral of our "honorary grandfather", who babysat us when we were kids. I hadn't seen him in about ten years, but his widow was very happy that we came. It was a very religious and serious ceremony. Afterwards LB and I discussed which songs we wanted to be played at our funerals, we both agreed we wanted something a bit lighter. I suggested the theme song from Ghostbusters, LB for some reason wasn't convinced…


Today together with dad and LB we wandered around on the Kahlenberg, really more of a hill near Vienna. It was sunny and very nice. We even saw a snake! I saw snakes much more often when I was a kid, but not in several years, so I'm happy I finally saw one again. I think it was a small Aesculapian snake, but I'm not sure.

Now for some reason I'm exhausted, it's barely 11pm yet and I usually go to bed later. WCOH Sweden-Europe went to OT, which I wasn't thrilled by, but then Team Europe won :)

The week wasn't very productive, but at least since DD moved in (more on that later) I've been eating very well, and it's nice to live and cook and eat with someone else again. Next step, actually Do More. I've started dreading my therapy sessions because having to admit how little I've done is embarrassing. Ah well, there's still hope.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
My mom has been learning Spanish for several years now and will soon spend several months as a music teacher in Bolivia (!) She got a new ebook-reader for the trip and LB and I want to get her some novels to read in Spanish. I know very little about Spanish/South American literature, so recommendations would be very helpful. A friend already recommended Frederico Garcia Lorca and Isabele Allende and "that one author whose names escapes me right now but I'll tell you later", but not specific works.
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
Sooo much good food during the Easter holidays. Each year, but this year especially. I want to talk about food because food is delicious.

On Thursday my grandparents were still in Vienna so I ate with them at my parents' place, we had an excellent fish.

Friday I made pizza. I wanted to put zucchini on it but accidentally grabbed a cucumber (the sign said zucchini!, in my defense), so I put cucumber on one half just for fun. It actually wasn't bad, but next time I'll definitely pay more attention, and also maybe add some champignons. I have no idea what the comparative nutritional value is of home-made vs. frozen pizza, but it feels healthier because I know I put fresh vegetables on it.

On Saturday my parents invited the Syrian refugee family currently living in their parish to cook and eat together, and I was invited for lunch too. The food was fantastic, minced lamb meat over potatoes in the oven with tomato slices on top, green salad with couscous, and flat bread with hummus. Most of it was cooked by the mother and daughter, with my mom helping out (and dad occasionally but there wasn't really space), so hopefully mom can repeat the recipe once they buy the necessary spices. LB and Bashar, the father, made the fruit salad, and LB said he suspects Bashar never did that before, or anything in the kitchen ^^ Cultural differences. We later learned that the older boy had a kebab stand in Damascus, so he at least can cook something.

For Sunday breakfast my mom gave me hard-boiled eggs and traditional Easter pastries. For lunch/dinner I "only" had rice with tomato salad, one of my favorites because it's quick & easy & good.

Then at midnight I suddenly got the urge to finally make a recipe I'd been planning for several days: Maple Praline Bacon. It turned out fantastic. I left the bacon in the oven a bit too long (still shorter than in the recipe), but it hardly mattered. I ate three that same night, brought the rest for brunch the next day, and I have two strips of bacon left over that I will cook right after dinner. And then maybe go shopping for more bacon tomorrow.

Today I met with my parents for brunch. We had a huge ham and Italian mayonnaise salad, different pastries (klassische Pinzen und Osterlamm und Mohn- und Nusspinzen) and several different normal bread rolls, painted hard-boiled eggs, marzipan potatoes, and of course my maple bacon. Fortunately they gave me some of almost everything to take with me, otherwise I would have been even sadder that so much was left over, but I couldn't eat another bite.

And now dinner, probably soup with cheese dumplings. (Tbh half the reason I wrote this was to motivate myself to eat dinner because I've been having difficulties regularly eating lunch and dinner on the same day, not sure why. I'll figure it out eventually, hopefully before I lose too much weight.)
schneefink: (Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
I got very lucky this year, I got two amazing stories!

For Hockey Festivus:
Battle Ready by [personal profile] downjune
Relationships: Marc-Andre Fleury & Jeff Zatkoff, Sidney Crosby & Marc-Andre Fleury
So many goalie feelings! Goalies supporting each other, goalies in eyeliner, goalie & captain hug… goalies <3

For Yuletide:
Navigational Aids by [personal profile] genarti
Steerswoman series, post-canon epistolary
I love this fic a lot, instant new headcanon. The relationship between Willam and Rowan and Bel is great and so warm, I just want to hug the story and the characters too.

Some people liked the stories I wrote, so I'm happy :)

I spent Christmas with my family, it was nice. I even went to evening mass, which I originally didn't intend, but mom said she'd really like it if I came to listen to her and LB and also she needed someone to turn the pages for her on the organ. (The sermon was okay, but the mass as a whole emphasized that church is currently not for me. I am proud of the parish for taking in a refugee family.)

Among other things I got a cupcake recipe book from my parents, I'm looking forward to baking a lot! LB said he thought about what I might need now that I live in my own flat and got me a "Minions" DVD xD He's the best.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
Merry Christmas/happy holidays/relaxing vacation/whatever is applicable! Yesterday I got amazing food (Mongolian hot pot) at a birthday party, today and tomorrow I'll spend with my family and as is tradition today there'll be white fried sausages and tomorrow carp, yum. And Christmas cookies, of course. And singing :) I decided not to go to the masses my mom and LB are playing in tonight and tomorrow morning, but there'll be many Christmas songs in multiple voices regardless.

I still haven't finished drawing the gift vouchers for my parents and LB... I stayed up until 3am yesterday to finish editing my Yuletide fic ^^ Story comments are great presents. I also bought myself my first own hockey stick the day before yesterday!
We lost 0-3 against green yesterday (but won 2-0 against red, at least.) I had my worst case of "I don't wanna get up for practice" that morning, but in the end I was glad I went. Currently it's not very cold and sunny outside, that helped. Too warm and sunny for December actually - you can't even ski yet where my grandparents live, and that's next to the Alps! - but I'm trying to enjoy it. It's Christmas! It's almost a requirement to take a few days off worrying.

(Speaking of: I called the electricity company on Monday because I was surprised I hadn't gotten a bill yet, only to find out that I didn't have a contract yet and it was apparently pure chance that we still had electricity and heat. Great to hear that in the middle of December! But I sorted it out for now, even though it was a tiring day. Therapy is very helpful, and small successes feel good. I'm going to be awesome in 2016.)
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
Today LB and I made our first Christmas cookies of the year. A new recipe, coconut macaroons with chocolate filling, they are not excellent but they are good.
Dad made roast pork <3 With bread dumplings and sauerkraut (not exactly sauerkraut but translating kitchen words is hard.) He's already an expert at roast pork and gets better every time.

A third of my choir visited the already much smaller refugee camp at Vienna's central train station and we sang a few songs from last year (this year's songs aren't good enough yet.) It was nice, I'm pretty sure they enjoyed it.

I started playing Flight Rising, because pretty dragons! At first it was a bit confusing, but fortunately [personal profile] myrdschaem and [personal profile] forests_of_fire helped me out and then I discovered that Wind Flight is amazingly helpful and generous.
My first association with "dragon clan" were the Pit Dragon chronicles by Jane Yolen, where humans breed dragons, so it took me a few days to go from that to independent sapient dragon clans in my head. (Breeding for specific genes still feels a bit weird in this context, eh, handwaving.)
I already have several very pretty dragons in my lair. I can't not make up stories about them, and it's fun. Maybe one day I'll write more about my dragon stories, or actually write my dragon stories, but I wanted to post today because the twins grow up tomorrow. I have two beautiful blue male Skydancer babies from my second nest and I want to show them off :)
pics )
schneefink: (Hängebrücke)
I was raised Roman-Catholic, but growing up religion was pretty much only relevant during celebrations like Easter or Christmas. There have been times in my life when I was more and when I was less religious, currently it's the latter. (more details - talking about religion is hard.) My mom, however, started going to mass more often in the past few years.

I really like my home parish, always have. I was a member of the children's choir there, I went to first communion and confirmation there, I'm good friends with the pastoral assistant, and together with LB and SS, or with LB and my mom, we occasionally did the church music. (We wrote our own psalms sometimes!) It has a church as well as a smaller community building fifteen minutes away where mass is only held on Sundays, often by the chaplain. Chaplains change every few years and some are better than others.

Recently the parish (almost weird not to be able to say "we" anymore) got a new chaplain. In his latest sermon he talked about how homosexuals have no place in the church and that abortion violates the sanctity of life. My mom walked out in the middle of his sermon, and I'm pretty proud of her. I don't think she would have done it ten years ago, but now I'm less surprised that I thought I would be. <3

She later contacted the pastoral assistant and was told that apparently her leaving helped others realized how controversial (mildly put) the new chaplain's statements were, so that's nice. Nobody else left, but others I know apparently later tried to discuss the topic with the chaplain, with no success. Mom also got a message from the priest: he said that he didn't know about the extreme views of the new chaplain, definitely doesn't share them and believes it's not church policy either, and will talk to him about it. (The new chaplain studied in Poland and has been a chaplain in Austria since 2007, I'm not optimistic he'll be quick to change his view.)
Apparently our priest is also a member of a workgroup about the integration of LGB people in the church, I didn't know that, nice. I'm happy that I didn't misjudge him: I never really talked about these topics with him, but I always got the impression that he's fairly open and it's nice that I was right in this regard.

LB is now debating if he wants to do church music there again because he says he wants to be able to walk out in case something like this happens again, and as the musician it would be kind of awkward. We used to do music for the past several Christmas masses, but not this year anymore (which was decided before this.) My favorite part about (Christmas) mass was always the music, and we can sing and play at home as well.


In other news, the NY Riveters finally won a game! Against Boston, no less. The EHV Sabres won both their games against Bratislava. The Baby Pens had an amazing 7-6 OT comeback win after being down 1-5. And the Pens... the game footage in the new In the Room is very pretty.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
Dinner conversation between my little brother and me yesterday:

LB: I just thought about Voldemort reading the Evil Overlord List. Especially [#29] "I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion."

Me: Yes! Or Emperor Palpatine. And Vader.

[brief discussion about Stormtrooper vs. Death Eater aesthetics, and which evil overlord could get away with it more easily. The mental image of Voldemort appearing in a Death Eater meeting all colorful is beautiful. Lucius could be appointed fashion advisor.]

Me: Imagine, when they're practicing against boggarts in Hogwarts, and one of the students is most afraid of Voldemort, and the goal is to make him look funny… A pink cape with flowers?

LB: Singing!

Then we started brainstorming which songs would be best:
- the "Schuh des Manitou" version of "Oh when the saints come marching in"
- "Pokerface"
- "Who wants to live forever"
- "My heart will go on"
- "If you wanna be my lover…" (we decided this was too morbid)
- dancing the Macarena
- the Voldemort rap line from Mysterious Ticking Noise
- moonwalking like Michael Jackson
- the Chicken Dance
- the dwarf dance: Hey Zwerge, hey Zwerge, hey Zwerge ho
- Voldy Style
- "Er heißt Voldemort" (The sequel Nie wieder so einen wie Voldemort comes after they won the war: "the boy was sometimes so strange, and unfortunately he lacked a soul, but sometimes I think it was a beautiful time.")

Obviously the students would need to practice a lot. And some of them have cameras. The wizarding world has moving photographs. Imagine photographs of Voldemort in a pink cape dancing in the "Daily Prophet"…
Voldemort's reaction: [Ahmed the dead terrorist voice] "I'll kill you!"

Other great ideas:
- "Maria" from West Side Story would definitely be sung by Snape, as "Minerva."
- In Voldemort's "Gangnam Style", Bellatrix Lestrange would try to be the sexy lady but Lucius Malfoy would trump her.
- In "Oppa Gandalf Style", one of the dwarves would be one lady and Thranduil another one.

Filed under: things I will miss when I move out.
schneefink: (Fleury)
With a 2-0 win against Buffalo in the last game of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins make the playoffs! I didn't stay up to watch the game and I knew that I would be very nervous this morning, but before I could even check the score I got a text message from DD saying "oh thank god", that was a relief.

Wow, this year it was close. No wonder, with three of our top four defenseman out (four of the top 6, at the very end, crazy.) Pens play the Rangers in the first round. I don't have high expectations, or any, really, because of the injuries: I do think that with Tanger and Maatta and Duper this team would have a good chance, but alas. (Speaking of Olli, his brother is called Antti Maatta (story). I think that's hilarious.) I'm really happy that we made it, especially for Sid (look at stuff like this), team MVP and league leader in shutouts Flower, Geno, Horny...
I still hate Marc Staal. If the unexpected happens and we do beat the Rangers, that'd be awesome. But no pressure, that's also nice.

Kings and Bruins didn't make it! I felt a bit sorry for their fans, but I can't say I was particularly sad about it. Calgary and Ottawa were very good stories, but I don't think they'll make it past the first round.

I still have to think about my picks for the NHL Bracket challenge. It's always hard to decide between picking what I want to happen and what I think will happen.


In non-hockey news, motorway driving is boring, but not hard. (Except in cities sometimes when the street signs are bad and you don't know where to go.) Not exactly news, but I got some practice. We drove 7 hours to my grandparents on Thursday and then back again yesterday for my grandmother's 70th birthday on Friday. I found out I don't like German motorways, apparently "no tempo limit" translates to "everyone drives as fast as they want and for some reason overall it's slower" and also less comfortable. (LB drove the majority of the way, for some reason I was really tired yesterday.)

The birthday party was nice, a lot of family we haven't seen in a while (I didn't realize there was so much drama in that family, almost country cliché at times, but it all went fine), the food was delicious and plentiful, and our musical numbers (a "Happy Birthday" arrangement where all kids and grandkids, ten overall, played an instrument, and 8 Udo Jürgens songs my dad re-texted) were well received.

I really enjoyed my new e-book reader :) It's very light. DD recced me the book she used to distract herself from hockey anxiety and I enjoyed it a lot, I might have another Yuletide fandom. More later, I should probably eat something now.
Right now my dad is running the Vienna City marathon, fingers crossed it goes well for him :)
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
My little brother sometimes gives great quotes, and I always tell myself I'll write them down for some future use. (Maybe his wedding. Our cousin's brother did something like that and it was great.) Usually I forget and regret it bitterly later, but not this time! Some recent LB quotes:

"Mozart was already dead at the time of Creation."
Tbf we were talking about Haydn.

"Two violas playing together is a faux pas."
- when I asked about the composition of string quartets

To my mom's question of who was Alan Turing: "He built the first bombs."
Technically not true, the Polish did it first. The name of this cryptography device means bomb in German, I have no idea why they used the German word in English instead of translating it.

We also have a new secret code in case one of us is taken over by an alien. It's utterly nonsensical and neither of us remembers how we came up with it, but it's fun. I can't tell you, of course, because then it wouldn't be useful anymore in case one of us is taken over by an alien. (Of course it only works if the alien in question doesn't have access to our memories. Yeerks are scary.)

less pleasant family things )
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
Yesterday was LB's birthday, so I made him a Triple-Layer Blueberry Lemon Cake. Of course it's not as pretty as in the recipe, but it tasted quite good.pictures ) He invited 12 people for fondue and they all liked it :) And I still have self-made lemon curd left over, yum. And over a third of the cake - good thing we like our neighbours *g*
Basically all I did yesterday was go grocery shopping, bake, cook, and clean up. And eat, of course, and we played two rounds of werewolf.

Yesterday was also Coming Out Day. I came out as bi to my mom about a year and a half ago, spontaneously, it was nerve-wracking but ok. I still haven't told my dad because he has very conservative views in that regard (though I think he might be getting better? maybe? at least he says less stupid stuff when I can hear it now, but maybe just because I'm not discussing it with him anymore), but recently mom told LB and me that we can love whoever we want at the dinner table and dad didn't say anything, so I think it wouldn't be bad.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
This week I had surprisingly many discussions about feminism-related topics. One about child custody, one about gendered spelling, one about a women's quota in supervisory boards and yesterday was the strangest because LB thought he was talking about unclear phrasing in an article and didn't get that he sounded like he was dismissing violence against women. And also a few talks about the negative image of feminism and what is considered modern feminism. I'm tired. (Mostly because of my wonky sleep rhythm and study workload, but this didn't help.)

When arguing with my father (moderate conservative) I always "lose": he went to law school and later went into business law, he's well versed in politics and media, and he can argue well. Even in the topics where he doesn't "win" by default because he knows far more about them (how to argue for or against a law if one doesn't know exactly what the current legal situation is and what exactly the law would change?) he always brings up good points that I have trouble countering. Which is good! It makes me think and teaches me about the other side and stuff. It is frustrating at times, especially when I know I'm right but can't communicate it, can't convince him because I can't argue well enough, but I know what to expect. Anyway I'm getting better.

Talking with LB about it is different. LB recently started complaining about a teacher who constantly talks about sexism against women in two different subjects: it was getting boring, he already got it thank you very much, discrimination against men was not addressed at all, and it felt like the boys in the class were being directly accused of being sexist pigs. (Having had the same teacher myself I agree that she is occasionally boring and repetitive.)
Now LB and I grew up fairly sheltered (white middle-class academics' kids who kept to themselves, never had difficulties in school etc.) I know that he grew up thinking and is convinced that women and men are equal, but he doesn't get exactly how much this is still not the case. He sees the difference in wages, but not the difference in perception. He thinks women should not get jobs instead of better qualified men just because of a quota, but doesn't understand how many men get jobs instead of better qualified women just because of their genitalia already. When he talks about "male plurals always automatically refer to men and women equally" I shake my head about his idealism. When I talk about sexism in society he feels defensive and brings up examples of discrimination against men.

I want to make him get this, I really do - he's smart, he's for equality, he's my brother - but I don't know how. I sent him two links, Privilege 101 and The Male Privilege Checklist (and also some statistics about domestic violence and violence against women because seriously, "I don't know what kind of violence they were talking about, maybe some of them considered storming out of the house violent?" is not an appropriate response to "one quarter of women experience violence at least once".)
He hasn't reacted yet. I'm looking forward to the next discussion.
If LB doesn't get it I have little hope for society in general -.-

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schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
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