“Necessity… is the mother of invention” – Plato

There is a first time for everything, and tonight is the first time I wished I had amazing computer programming skills. Why would I want to venture into the murky world of geekdom? Because after much reading and googling (and I am an expert googler… like most people born in 1986 are), I still cannot find a website that can either offer English passages for translation to beginner-level French, nor a site where I can input English words and have a passage generated using them.

Somewhere, a programmer probably wrote the required code for this for fun and has it saved on a diskette.

Necessity, ftw


J’ai du pain sur la planche

quatre yaourts des pamplemousse

une livre, ou un livre?

un petit suisse, s’il vous plaît!

mûr, gentille, bleu clair.

du vin rouge pour servir avec le fromage

mais, je sers le poisson.

qu’est-ce que, est-ce que, pourquoi?

Je vois Randall; Je le vois.


Oui… je suis fatigué.




A Simple Friday Sunset


Further up the coast, a half dozen vultures are congregating. A little closer, I notice for the first time that there are vines on one of the sea-trees. To my right, there is a family enjoying a laugh. And an ambulance whizzes by on the highway behind me. A blackbird offers me an uncharacteristically pleasant chirp. Fourteen vessels and a steel carcass dot the horizon. The water laps the rocks gently, like old friends. The hidden currents stretch out a vast pattern for me on the water’s surface, swirling pathways into the distance.
And me? I wait for the sun to peep out from below it’s wispy blanket on it’s way to the next side of the earth.


The Best of the Collection – The Ayes Hav’ It!

A couple nights ago, I was on my way for a late-night coffee chiller and saw that bright lure known as a “sale” sign in my neighbourhood over-priced pharmacy. I had to check it out. Did I buy any items on sale? No. Was I happy with my purchase? Yes.

Like many women who wear makeup, the urge to try new things is the sort that overtakes sober thinking and easily turns into something akin to hoarding without notice. After my many travails in cosmetics, this is Part One of my favourites list.

There are a few things to note. Firstly, I do not buy MAC because I do not have a job that supports buying MAC. Secondly, I am dark-skinned so getting a good skin colour match or products that show up means trying every brand available. What started as a bother, turned into an adventure. Lastly, I am not a professional by any stretch of the imagination. Happily, one does not need to be an expert to enjoy makeup.


Folks, nobody knows eyes like Maybelline. Nobody. Others can try, and I sometimes try the others too. Yet when I buy Maybelline, I don’t have any qualms.

When it comes to colour it’s all about Maybelline’s Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24Hr Cream Gel Shadow. This is a long name meaning, “the best eye shadow, period.” I currently own Tough as Taupe, Edgy Emerald, Pomegranate Punk, and Fierce and Tangy. Let me assure you, Tough as Taupe is a must have. Be prepared to answer questions about what colour is that and smile politely when praised for looking like wonderful. Easy finger application, never creases, washes off with a dab of make up remover, pigmented colour. What’s not to love here?


My favourite eye shadow look is the  halo (achieved with a Revlon double-ended brush, and totally unfussy). I’ve found it’s easier to pull off bright colours this way.

no.. this is not my eye


Once the eyes are set, mascara is next. I first bought Maybelline’s Volum’ Express Falsies last year. The bottle was so pretty, the ad looked inviting and my old Revlon was nearing the end. Fullness and length and the admiration of ALL… check. Ease of application, and adding more product after it “dried”… check. Random women stopping me and asking me if these were my real lashes… check. Dear reader, when you are stopped with questions about your wonderful eyelashes, direct the inquirer to the product. Don’t be stingy. It’s just lashes. That said, when I went to buy a replace my Falsies the lady talked me into Illegal Lengths. Less volume, more length. This waterproof version is not happy with touching up after it dries. However, you can cry and still look long-lashed. I’d say it is an acceptable alternative to the untouchable greatness that is Falsies.


Of course, I have an assortment of eyeliners floating around. I use Avon’s Blackest Black which does a good job. I’ve also got a random liquid liner in the mix, but I’m always apprehensive to use it. What do you use? 🙂



Every now and again, one comes across something on the internet that makes you weep on the inside. Today I found a story about a Taiwanese photographer, Tou Chih-kang, who takes human portrait-styled photographs of shelter dogs before they are euthanized. His photographs are haunting, not only because of the context but also because he perfectly crystallizes the essence of the spirit of each doomed animal. I couldn’t help but reflect on my own pets, Sleepy and Nemo (the latter of which ran away, which is another blog post in itself). Sleepy is a little pompek (a Trinidadian breed which is really a mix between a Pekingese and a Pomeranian) and has a diva attitude that hasn’t quit even in her old age. Nemo was a German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix, who was ridiculously clumsy as a pup and grew to be quite playful. Tou captures personalities such as these with his camera.

“I believe something should not be told but should be felt,” says Tou, a thick-bodied 37-year-old with an air of quiet confidence. “And I hope these images will arouse the viewers to contemplate and feel for these unfortunate lives, and understand the inhumanity we the society are putting them through.”

There’s a lot to be said for the context of this story. According to this article, in Buddhism it is believed that dogs are reincarnated humans who misbehaved badly in a previous life. Yet, a quick Google search of “buddhism dog reincarnation” yielded a hit that seems to suggest that reincarnation as understood today is a gross misinterpretation of a parable. Nonetheless, it says little of the (supposedly) uninformed Buddhist Taiwanese if they think so little of those who they view as leading bad enough lives to return as dogs. Whatever happened to long-suffering mercy and forbearance? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an impractical tree-hugger or PETA activist in training. I’m just saying, don’t toss out your animals because you think they’re getting their “due”. That’s cruel.

That said, photographer Tou Chih-kang is doing a great work in this regard. 



A great reminder to truly build a relationship that caters to both parties involved. What’s under your “relationship roof”?

A Big Life

One thing people feel they have free rein to constantly comment on, is what language I speak in my home and to my partner. The most common refrain is, ‘You are in Germany, you should speak German to each other’ and other variations on the theme. Frankly, I tend to feel telling me what language to speak to my partner is like me telling you how often you should be having sex with yours. It isn’t any of my business and it is entirely up to you two. But that is by the by. This isn’t about what pisses me off, but instead about a little theory I have regarding bilingual relationships.

Obviously, I speak English. I came to Germany with three words of German (and one of them was ‘hallo’ under my belt) and have spent the past eighteen months simultaneously teaching English, writing in English and learning a…

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