Category Archives: friends

friday ‘finking | insecure me, insecure you

We all have them and they live at a particularly exact address: all over the cerebral cortex, with vacation homes in the frontal lobe and the limbic system.  You’ll often find them there, dancing a dancing plague with Oedipus’ and Electra’s complexes, hand in hand with unrevealed-yet Freudian slips and singing out loud tunes of past depressions.

Fears, insecurities, complexes, call them what you may- they’re a constant and they usually

a) come bundled up (where there’s one, it usually has friends- coocoo needs company, don’t it?);

b) are hard to get rid of- if anything, age and a combination of self-imposed “I finally like who I am now, I did two classes on self-discovery, it’s so great to embrace who I am” + a wide array of repeated self-fulfilling prophecies make them fatter, quicker to fire through our neurons and thirstier for those poisonous chemicals that support the whole thing;

c) affect us all- we ALL have them. Like I said, coocoo does need company.

So we know what they’re about. We try to address them by either confronting them straight up (you know, the classic I’m gonna jump out of a plane for my 30th birthday because I’ve always been afraid of heights. And I’m gonna start a support group for people like me, and I’m gonna write a blog about this experience, and I’m gonna throw a party for it because I-was-so-weak-and-this-was-sooooooo-liberating, haters gonna hate but I defeated the fear monster, ohmygodimsostrongnow) or by building smart, fluid, compensatory mechanisms to hide them from ourselves and others. Which is terribly human, and terribly ok- particularly when the result is self- awareness and acceptance that hey, not all of us mortals are perfect (and if we’re not, maybe others are not, either, so let’s play nice with each other, shall we?).

But when the playing nice does not happen, insecurities become more apparent, and we can’t help but notice them (it’s like staring at an ugly wound- it’s gross, but you can’t take your eyes off that damn pus). So here are a few signs someone in your life might have sensitivities towards you that you, the be-the-better-man should try to mind (if you can, that is. Sometimes knowing he/she is insecure doesn’t make it easier to deal with their grouchy, judgmental, unfriendly ass):

1. They like to take the opposite side (don’t be fooled by an affirmation- anything followed by a “but” is nothing but a contradiction in disguise: “yes, but…”)

2. They unassumingly, discreetly remind you how good they are at something. If you admire a new piece of clothing on a common friend, you’ll probably hear “hey, X, didn’t I help you pick that?”- or something along those lines.

3. They take their time introducing you to their friends or making you part of their outside-the-circle activities.

4. They’re askholes. Masked as someone with great intentions and respect for you and what you have to say, an askhole always asks for your opinion, but never follows your advice.

On the same note, they’ll try hard not to ever be in your debt. Whether that takes the form of them insisting on splitting the bill and paying back a gift with another (often more expensive, more carefully picked one) or by never asking for help (when you know they need it, and they know you would give it in a heartbeat), not owing you anything= power.

5. If you ever are so uninspired as to wrong them and fuck up, breach yourself. Doesn’t matter if your mistake is unintentional, if your dog died and you’re depressed, if you don’t speak the language or if you simply thought it wouldn’t be such a big deal- once they see you slip, they’ll prefer to think it’s because you’re badbadbad and will make it a mission to not only point it out, but find other victims of your destroying behavior and be their savior. Game over.

(Now, all of the above are points to look after in people who are close to you, whom you cherish and who care for you in return. If not, that means these behaviors are a pretty clear sign you’re not on the same page, and maybe you should be worried about whether they even like you… just sayin’.)

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Oleg Dou. Happy Hallo.

For Halloween, creepy should be creepy. This is. And gorgeous. Enjoy.

(Oleg Dou, Russian artist,

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friday ‘finking | women are vegetables

Women are savory, men are sweet. (Whoa, get back, this is not a value statement. It doesn’t mean anything but a play on concepts, so bare with me. You’ll say that it’s women who eat sweets, and men like salty, that the girls are soft and the boys are harsh, etc.etc. Sure. But maybe women eat sweets because they lack sugar, how ’bout that?!)

Assuming you do have the patience to go through this exercise (in-hale. ex-hale. now think), let me tell you why I believe women are savory and men are sweet (for the sake of this discussion, we’ll forget about sour, bitter and hot [which is not exactly a taste, since we perceive it not with the taste buds, but the pain receptors in our mouth]). Weeeeell… women are savory because they are food (you have to have it, no matter how gross, it still is nutritious). Men are sweet because they are dessert (you go on and fill in this parenthesis with whatever crosses your mind).

Now, if women were savory and we were to put them in a food category diverse enough to cover all their types, I will go on a limb here and say women are vegetables. They need some seeding, some water to grow, a lot of attention; they have a young phase (when eating them too young is both a pleasure and a sin) and a mature, perfect phase; they have a specific cooking temperature and a specific nutrient value; and they have a point where, even dead, they can make some damn good compost.

Here are some of the classic types:

Lady Onion– probably a Pisces, she is the most romantic of the bunch. Her outfits are complicated and well put together from multiple layers, and she is the only one who still owns petticoats, dress slips, silken thigh-highs and bustiers (if wealthy, she is likely to be a Vivienne Westwood aficionado). She likes dreamy soap operas, which she watches drinking tea from a very old and demure tea set. Her lashes are always long and perfectly mascara’d, and she uses them quite often when she’s flirting; another powerful weapon is the streams of perfume she disguises herself in but by which she is easily recognizable. She’s good in crowds, and whether young or old she can bring a plus of savor to any meeting. She sighs quite frequently and she is easily moved by crudeness or misplaced attention, usually ending up in a river of tears over the most trivial of issues. When cooked by the fires of love, she becomes a ghost of herself, almost translucid, sweet and sacrificially discreet. Madame Bovary was an Onion.

Lady Artichoke– a master of disguise and double-entendres, this gal makes the subject of movies, books and infatuations world-round. She’s smart, she’s shrewd and she can talk herself out of any situation. Words are her weapons, although she’s also good looking, poised and very put together. She possesses a huge reservoir of knowledge as well as the most random of abilities- from speaking ancient Greek to car-repairing skills to having an acute vision in the dark. Her sharp tongue and keen self awareness make her magnetic and irresistible to the hoards of men who are ready to die at her door, writing her poems and buying her gifts. She’s almost impenetrable and it takes a long time and a lot of discovering before truly getting to her core. When you do, you’ll discover a very intense, fascinating, umami heart as interesting and as capable as the person who’s carrying it. Most female politicians and all the spies we know of were artichokes.

Lady Potato– very plain but strong and oddly symmetrical, like one of those candidates for “Complete makeover” (has all the right elements to be comely, but no songs will be written about her looks. Her personality is rather beige, as well). Takes the right person to pull her out of her cozy environment, but once out she can adapt to any group and any situation- without ever standing out. She’s the universal companion, never too special but always there, sturdy and healthy like an ox, almost asexual but fertile like no other. No matter the age or girth, she’s always inelegant but never completely ugly, as her kindness and loyalty can easily be read and are always heartwarming. Sentimentally, it takes a long time to get her going because she’s the most stubborn of all women, but there are many ways to make her fall in love- once fully cooked she comes alive and turns into a comforting, familiar, purposeful and long-lasting partner.

Lady Tomato– this one is juicy, exotic, and fragrant- the woman all women admire and feel threatened by (and rightfully so). She’s warm and organic but also sharp and ballsy. She’s not necessarily trying to be in everyone’s faces, but she enjoys the spotlight and it’s usually impossible to ignore her. She’s artsy, crafty, well read and well travelled- a citizen of the world with interest in politics, arts and gastronomy who also has a taste for unique clothes and accessories. She personalizes everything she touches and her style is easily recognizable as a tasteful combination of unique elements, both old and new, bold and discrete, industrial and ethnic. She’s very social, probably dedicated to various charity causes and a community- builder. Interesting and delicious, she has the zest  for life that makes the subject of life- long passions and friendships. Comfortable in any situation and any entourage, she’s a fantastic lover and one of the few females who get better with age.

Lady Lettuce– out of the bunch, this one is the absolute party girl, the “yes” woman- for her, life is a fun game, and a breeze. Loud, sincere and unidimensional, she comes and goes as she pleases and can easily be mixed with any group, anytime, anywhere. She’s the one standing out through her outfits, her crazy hair, her voice and her ability to fill up the room with her presence. She knows the latest jokes, cares about the latest fashions, remembers everyone’s birthdays- she’s a true networker. She can be very smart, but she normally prefers not to get herself involved in delicate issues such as politics or religion (or philosophy, for that matter). She’s always down to play, ready for any adventure, simple and tonic, fun and actual. She rarely falls in love, and when she’s cooked smitten she retires in her den to lick her wounds- so you won’t ever see her other than rational, fresh and ready to go. The best PR agents are lettuces.

Lady Celery– you know a celery because 1. she’s probably wearing her hair short and 2. her perfume is something citrusy. She’s a tyrant of the gym and her body is a temple. She exercises, she eats well, she trims and plucks and moisturizes and she has very specific tastes in everything. She’s subject to a self-imposed draconic discipline which she respects and follows 24/7. She’s tough, she’s clean, she’s detailed and she makes a very dedicated friend, with the condition that you don’t mess with her routines, schedule or diet. She never half-asses things, and she’s always in control of her feelings, her surroundings and her professional life- in short, she’s a tank. She makes a great lover, because her relationships are built with the same dedication, discipline and no-drama attitude. Nadia Comaneci (if you don’t know who that is, shame on you- go look her up) is a classic celery.

Lady Bean– dry, smart and tough as nails, this gal is one of the most interesting in the whole bunch although she does have a tendency to be a misanthrope. She’s the ageless woman dedicated to reading, cats and fashion and usually she’s an apparition you want to touch, listen to, watch and have around. She’s probably a chain smoker, a master at cards and a connaisseur of all society games. Her tastes are refined but she sometimes surprises with her improbable choices- like her preference to drink beer dressed in the most elegant of gowns, at the most exclusive, champagne-only ball. She has an incredible sense of (dry) humor, which she uses to guard herself as she’s, in fact, a softie. It comes in all shapes and sizes, but it always takes a loooooooong time to get her going and reach her un-protected, raw, loving core- once there, though, she’s one of the most delicious, surprising, satiating girls out there.


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friday ‘finking | 5 rules to com-mu-ni-cate

Communicate much? 

In my short life of living here and there, working here and there, making friends here and there and speaking this or that language, it happened many times to a) not get it, b) not being got and c) make crazy mistakes assuming people really understand not only what I’m trying to say, but also why I say it.

So here are a few things I learned.

1. Say what you mean. Beating it around the bush won’t cut it- people get bored, they get annoyed, and you’ll for ever be the princess who can’t gather the balls to voice their opinion. If you’re like me, crazy in the head and wild in their beliefs, you can choose to not say all that you mean- but better to have a drop of concentrated truth than a sea of blablablahs.

2. Mean what you say. Euphemism, metaphors, epithets are all good if you’re not comfortable delivering a shot of you (straight-up, olives on the side) every time you open your mouth. Use them instead of serving bullshit.

3. When in Rome, do what the Romans do. Try to adapt your discourse to the person in front of you, to the language you’re speaking in, to the local culture. It’s nice to be yourself 100% of the time, but if you’re trying to make yourself understood get it in your head that your collocutor may not have the cognitive tools to process your output accurately. Not because they’re stupid (although it does happen) or because they’re unwilling (although that happens, too)- but because they simply don’t know what to do with you. Like an exotic food they don’t know how to pair with wine.

4. If you’re a Roman, you have it easy- be nice, and meet your conversation partner mid-way. You’re at home, you know the culture and you speak the language- you have all the tools to understand what the other may want to say. Yes, they may be speaking your mother tongue with the grace of a military boot, wrongly conjugating some verb, or moving their hands too much, or misplacing prepositions; yes, they may commit some abhorrent cultural no-nos; and yes, they may take too damn long trying to say something simple- but they’re on your turf, and you’re equipped with everything you need to get it. So roll up your sleeves, work your brain and be patient. Your tolerance and your willingness to get it, I assure you, will be appreciated.

5. Get over yourself. MemememememeIIIIIIIIMineIthinkIwantMyopinionmemememememeIIIII… is straight-up lame. Stop being so me- centric, get out of your zone of fluff and understand that people come from different backgrounds (as solid and as valid as yours) and that a conversation is NOT a series of balanced, equally-spaced, repeated monologues (I said what I had to say, now you can say what you have to say, then step and repeat- how boring is that?!). It’s ok to interrupt, as long as it’s done respectfully and adds to the communication- so don’t take it personally. It’s ok to pause- silence is f-i-n-e. It’s ok to talk over each other, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the purpose of the talk. If the common purpose is com-mu-ni-cate, anything goes.

In my head, a perfect talk looks like a tapestry- well-constructed, intricate, made of different colors and threads. And, if not useful, at least beautiful.

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fashion wednesdays | DIY chain mail necklace

Who doesn’t like an armor?!

I’ve always imagined being covered in chain mail, moving like a strong warrior but shining in something that looks like a piece of jewelry all-over- how cool is that? The liquid property of moving metal is the stuff of alchemists and legends- and, with my fourth book of Game of Thrones coming to a much-avoided, painful end, I had to get me some. Chain mail, that is.

Without further ado I present you yet another DIY necklace (is this the third posting on neck-adorning contraptions?? Hm… not sure if I should grow another head or be happy that I’ll be well-clad when age will make me into a wrinkled, double-chinned, saggy-throated hag).

WHAT YOU NEED: a clasp, some pliers (any pliers), beads and wire for the finishings (optional- I used some old pearls) and jump rings- any kind, any color, any size. Just make sure you have loads of them. Mine are silver.

WHAT ELSE YOU NEED: Patience. A glass of wine won’t hurt, either. Or grab the bottle.


– start with creating a chain by clasping the jump rings together; adjust the length to your neck size

– make sure you open the rings not by pulling the two sides apart, but like this:

How to correctly open a jump ring

– after you created the desired length, attach the clasp on one end

– measure the middle and start adding rings to alternating rings of the chain, two at a time, to each side of the middle; make sure the last attachments on each side only have one ring and that in between all the sets of two are even-numbered. Every other ring of the chain should have 2 rings dangling from it for a portion as wide as you’d like, in the front of the necklace- like a second row attached to the main line

– moving on to the added row, connect each 2 dangling rings from the alternate rings above and attach another one to them; it should look like you’re creating little triangles (and by that adding yet another row)

– repeat the two steps above

– keep doing that until the last 2 are connected through a single ring. This is almost like knitting, in that each row will be shorter than the one before so in the end you get a triangle (mine is a bit fancier, as at some point i decided to keep the row as long as the one before it)

– if you wish, connect a bead to each of the loose end rings by wrapping it with a wire (you’ll feel like pulling your hairs out by the time you’re done, but it’s worth it)

This is what I got. If you’re having troubles, drop me a line (or a photo) and I’ll do my best to entangle you 🙂

Mail chain line and clasp

Chain mail- detail

Finished necklace

Goes with anything, this armor…

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