Showing posts from 2008

new year's

many Turks are jumping up and down in joy, dancing to loud music, looking at the tv, getting drunk or drunker, looking for a cab to get home, standing outside in the crowd (some girls are being harassed), being checked for alcohol levels as I write this. some are enjoying fireworks, as I listen. this Turk is working. it's not as bad as it sounds. it would have been nice to be with the extended family, but anything other than that seems exhausting. we had a low-key dinner, watched a movie, tried to drink a bottle of wine (unsuccessful), and enjoyed candle-light. now I'm listening to New Year's Day as it's my little tradition. 'nothing changes on new year's day'. maybe that's why I'm somewhat indifferent.


Does it matter where you land first when you open up your browser window? It’s just a thought, but for instance, my homepage is my own blog, even though I generally don’t turn off my computer, therefore browser window. But when I do, it’s kind of neat to see my own work, and to be reminded of my part-time passion. Some people prefer Yahoo!, where there’s a lot of content renewed constantly. They must be the type of people who are looking to be fed with information at every opportunity they get (my husband is one of them). I personally find Yahoo! homepage cluttered, and I would feel uncomfortable being bombarded with all that every time I open up a window. Some do Google, and I used to be one of these people – even when I’m not looking for something, I should be as close as I can do finding it. And Google’s homepage themes are always very well thought-out and cute. But now that there’s the Google search bar on the top right of every browser window that I use, there’s no need to start…


i love toiles. toiles are fabrics of french origin that depict daily life. i love pale blue. therefore, i fell in love with this duvet and its matchimg shams on sale at pottery barn. there is a huge sale going on right now -where isn't- but the price still isn't very affordable for us. this will have to wait like some others, but it's nice to see that they are doing the kind of things i like every once in a while.


I've been ignoring the blog for a while, I know. It's only because I'm swamped with translations. I couldn't even unpack after Ankara - I thought I might as well wait since we'll be packing for America anyway. But then not being sure about the visa, and the possibility it may not come through -yes, there is that possibility-, and now the place is a mess of unpacked items. In all this haze, D is a great help with his loving and support. Today we'll do something for Christmas and then I'll get back to work. It's exciting!

60s Drama

I’ve seen the movie 'Factory Girl' a long time ago, but kept being curious about Edie Sedgwick's life, and her relationship with Bob Dylan, possibly because the whole thing made me so sad about Edie(even though it seems like she brought most of it on herself). Then last week, D was listening to a Joan Baez song, 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down', and I was reminded of another one of her songs, which I used to listen to years ago, 'Diamonds and Rust'. And when I searched to see what the song could be about (other than what I think it to be), I found out that the song is most probably about Bob Dylan. Ha! All this 60s gossip made me even more curious and I read on.
I’ve been doing some research on the internet and at the local library (kidding) and I can’t say I have the most accurate information, but it’s the juicy gossip of the 60s, so why not? Even Patti Smith has something to say about the subject. I’ve seen both Patti Smith and Joan Baez in the stage …



Edie Sedgwick: The life and death of the Sixties star from The Independent

Cold, cold Ankara

We were on a compulsory trip to Ankara where we had to attend the visa interview at the embassy. We stayed at my friend's place, who was extremely hospitable, and were only able to see Anitkabir (Ataturk's Mausoleum) due to the cold (and also the fact that there wasn't much to do in the city). It either was the coldest place I've ever been, or I haven't experienced cold weather in a long time, I'm not sure. But I'm sure I didn't like it. D tells me I'm about to experience much colder weather soon, and that worries me. Today it is -7 C in Eastern Oregon. I think the lowest I had was -2 C. It's a disaster.
I liked Ankara in that the people seemed nicer, even cab drivers. It seemed like a place where people won't stare at you and mind their own business, but I can't say for sure since I was only on the streets for a few hours wrapped up in wool things.
It's certainly a no-nonsense city. D took a picture of an Ataturk statue-thingy on a bu…

All my favorite colors

This is Pamukkale, the natural beauty and ancient city near my hometown, where I spent a lot of Sundays and maybe Saturdays, where I climbed mountains with my dad and ate good food.
Life has a way of going on.

the whole package

for me, there was a constant element of separation between love life and family life until i got married. before that, boyfriends or lack thereof were out the door, somewhere outside the family sphere when i visited home. i dealt with them, daydreamed about them, handled the whole thing all on my own. it was my thing.
when you get married, suddenly, you're with your family and the person you love is around, too. you visit friends and hang out, and the only difference is that you might be holding his hand while doing the things you've done since forever. you fall asleep in his arms rather than alone in your room, dreaming about falling asleep in his arms. it's romance+family package deal while it's still young and fresh. it's a good feeling that i've come to like so far.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I baked oatmeal and raisin cookies the other day (with a little help from my husband and my sister), and they turned out rather delicious. It's the first time I tried this recipe -or baked cookies on my own- so we wanted to document it and also share the recipe. This recipe is originally from Epicurious.
Setting up the stage for whatever you're baking or cooking before you begin the actual process is very important, in my opinion. So I gathered up these ingredients on the table:

1 and a half cups all-purpose flour
Half a teaspoon baking soda (1 pack will do)
1 teaspoon salt
Half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
250 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Half a cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 pack will do)
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

My eggs weren't at room temperature but D told me not to worry about it, but I think it's good to stick with the recipe most of the time. Anyway- here's the rest o…
There is something funny about looking at your dad's old pictures, especially if you're seeing most of them for the first time. There is an element of surprise and feeling as if you have never met this person. The days of his youth in black and white, his mom and dad, his friends I've never seen or heard of, his moustache, the faded colors of apple orchards that he spent so much time in. Looking for similarities with myself in my grandmother's features, trying to discover something that runs in the family, anything (it's probably the nose). After a while spent scrutinizing all the pictures, zooming in, zooming out, a past you've never been a part of becomes a little more familiar. His military days, his drinking buddies, a random dog. Whereas I don't have a past he hasn't been a part of.


I have this gift registry on My Registry, and it's not like I expect people to check it out all the time, but I click on a button when I see things that I like (be it home-related items, clothes or accessories), and this way I have a collection of the stuff I like. It's also fun to click on that button and wishfully think that someday my wish will be granted. It also comes handy when your husband doesn't know what to get you for Christmas, etc.
My latest additions were these earrings and this vase at Hygge and West. I also love this wallpaper, but maybe I shouldn't add it to my registry, and just hope to get it myself one day, when we get our dream house in Portland, close to Reed College. One day!

Make a Material Wish

Have you ever sat down at the end of your birthday and put all your presents together, then wrote down all the people who called or came up to you personally to wish you a happy birthday? I have. I did that on many birthday evenings, many times. And then this one year, I think it was 2004, I was singing at this jazz club in another city on my birthday. We spent the day getting there by train, rehearsing, and performing. That was when I realized that for the first time since I've known myself, I wasn't obsessing over the fact that it was my birthday and it should be absolutely perfect. I was happy doing what I loved, and I didn't need the universe to remind me I'm special, or how much my friends loved me. I still carry that feeling around. 'Being' is usually enough. But sometimes 'having' accompanies that, which is nice.

I did give up the habit of putting all my presents together. But this year I loved my presents so much (some of them I picked, as you kn…

Jewels, Pretense, Courtesy

I'm up early today. D is taking a daytrip to Athens. I went to the Grand Bazaar -again- yesterday, second time this week after the wedding ring incident. This time it was for a good reason, looking for a birthday gift for myself. And not only I found a birthday gift from my family to me, I ended up finding one from myself to me, and also a Christmas gift from D to me. The Bazaar can be detrimental to your economy. If you're budgeting, stay away.
Walking around looking for a small piece of jewelry I might like, I was surprised once again by how much money is poured into bad design. I'm sure there is some sort of demand for it, but it can't be true that all this tasteless jewelry exists out there. I've always felt sorry for the resources spent on bad design - the materials, the time, effort, energy, money. Someone should tell people that simplicity is the way to go, and you don't get any happier in life as the jewelry gets shinier, tackier, more intricate. I'…

My Istanbul

We had lunch at the new Kitchenette in Bebek today. The building looks gorgeous, one of the finest buildings in Istanbul (according to my humble taste), but the service wasn't that good. Everything we wanted to order, we had to ask 3 times, and that didn't even guarantee getting what we wanted. Fortunately it was in our favor to not be able to order dessert.
Kitchenette, an English word, kitchen, and a French suffix, -ette. And what happens when you have to visit restroom at Kitchenette? Well, you have to look for the sign that says Toilettes, which is supposed to give a flair to good old "toilets". The Kitchenette people must have a thing for that kind of mix up . . .
After lunch I walked home by the waterside, on my own. The weather was wonderful. Just a beautiful Istanbul day with the sun shining on the water, seagulls fighting over the available fish, and fishermen checking out the girls who walk by.
I admit that sometimes I feel sad about leaving this place. Leavin…


It's a sad day for me. I lost my wedding ring. To a thief.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today's Thanksgiving. We are a little nostalgic in the household because D is obviously, American, and he misses spending Thanksgiving with his bigger family, and to me it brings back so many fond memories of dinners with my American friends, where there have been times I ate to the point of getting myself sick (and it only happens with Thanksgiving food - I am a modest eater). I love cranberry sauce and stuffing, and the combination of all that Thanksgiving food, the warmth, the pumpkin pie with a little bit of ice-cream on the side, and the part in the beginning where you give your Thanks to whatever you are thankful for. This year I'm thankful for the abundance of love in my life, having a warm, safe, comfortable and happy place to stay, my family's well-being, the love and acceptance of my new family; and I'm thankful for my ability to float on, coast up and be happy. I hope for more things to be thankful for, without losing sight of the basics.
There are lovely vid…

Why Turks Don't Walk on the Sidewalk

My friend Suzanne brought the issue to my attention years ago when we were out on my street and Suz suddenly headed towards the narrow sidewalk. I suddenly realized I never even really stepped on that sidewalk except when a fast car was driving by. Then after seeing my husband insist so many times that I walk on the not-exactly-existent sidewalk -and myself getting irritated many times- made me wonder why Turks don’t like sidewalks. Except when there is a serious road and serious cars whizzing by, on the little backstreets and alleys all around Turkey, we refuse to walk on the sidewalk. We walk on the part of the road that’s (supposedly) designated for cars. Cab drivers will have to honk at people sometimes, as these ordinary pedestrians are in the way with grocery bags in their hands, occupying the guy’s speed track (now that’s another issue).And I realized that we don’t like to walk on the sidewalk because the sidewalk eithera- is non-existent
b- gets interrupted all the time, with c…


have you heard about goop? it’s gwyneth paltrow’s new project where there’s a website and a mailing list, but i’m not sure what to make of it. the design is surely elegant and simplistic, like ms. paltrow herself. the material seemed somewhat long to sit down and read and digest all at once, and i tried to break it down to pieces, but i couldn’t get back to it once the initial ‘you’ve got mail’-glow around it is gone. so i don’t know. it would have been better if she just came up with a website that one can visit and go around in one’s own time. but maybe she didn’t want to get all the material ready all at once (but that’s why we have blogs, isn’t it?), or she wanted to appear once a week and make people’s days. again, i’m not sure. i’ll observe it a little longer and will be able to post healthier comments.

Veronica Mars

What happened to Veronica Mars? The teen-detective-themed series with the cute, petite, sassy blond, Kristen Bell? Me, my sister, and our friend Baris were religiously watching the show a while ago, and three seasons went by like the wind when we were left high and dry (along with other fans) in anticipation of the fourth season: there would be no fourth season. I have enormous respect for the past, so when Baris came over a few weeks ago -husband having fun with poker buddies, I hang out with Veronica Mars buddy, yay- we popped out a thrilling episode and 3 other episodes followed. Since then, I can't stop watching Veronica Mars -me not working might have something to do with that-. In an effort to keep the husband-wife bonding bonfire alive, even D offers to watch it with me sometimes, and that's OK, but I don't understand why they put an end to such a witty and exciting series with beautiful and fairly interesting people. Sure, the answer to that question starts with an…

frugal, baby.

Looks like everyone's hit by the saving wave these days. Last night I was looking around on the internet for extra saving tips when I discovered a whole newblogosphereon frugal living.
For some reason I can't get my thoughts together this morning (could it be that I haven't had coffee yet?). But basically, this lady called Dawn started a post titled '25 ways I save money' on her blogFrugal for Life(unfortunately she lost all her older posts recently), andpersonal finance blogs likeGetting to Enough,The Finance Journey,A Path to Simplicity,Frugal Upstate, Zen Habits,Like Merchant Ships,The Good Human,Neat & Simple Living(oh God, there is more),Tired But HappyandMighty Bargain Hunterfollowed suit along with some others. It was good to see how other people are handling the stressful financial times, as well as finding out we're not doingtoo bad saving-wise (save for some eating out, we're trying to cut down on that). What else do I do? Well, I try to make…

Recipe: Broccoli Noodle

This is a recipe I came up with after researching online to cook something new. After all, I'm at home now and I should be able to welcome my husband with a table ready for dinner... that's not what happened last night. We went to the store together and got some groceries, but I was wise enough to remember the broccoli in the fridge and I made up this new recipe, which turned out to be really good. It's worth a try.

6-7 Broccoli roots, chopped into their smaller roots
a handful of pine nuts
5-6 garlics
juice of half a lemon
olive oil
salt to taste

Melt some butter in a pan and add some olive oil as well. When the oil is hot enough put in the pine nuts and saute a little. Then add the broccolis, give it a stir, add a little bit of hot water and cover the pan with a lid.
Crush the garlics with salt, and add the lemon juice. Stir this mixture in with the broccoli and leave it to cook, with the pan covered.
In another pan, prepare the noodles with salt and a little …


So far, "working from home" is going very well. As long as I've got something going on, it beats every other job I've ever worked at. I cook, I keep my home clean & neat, I do my translations, I organize (my life, my computer, the closets, our move), I go out for walks (ehm, on the water) at unexpected hours of the day, it's just been wonderful, knock on wood. And I realize just how much more I can do with my time. I still try to wake up early, but haven't been quite successful at meeting my targets, target being 8; my entry into the breakfast scene being 9.30. ish. In the end, I like owning the day-to-day in my life. I went to Nisantasi today and ran into so many people. Am I really popular or is Nisantasi popular? I ran into Eylem, then this girl I met a few weeks ago at a brunch at J&S, Mark (that's no surprise though, House Cafe is his cafe-office), and last but not least, Teri and her sister and friend. It was a great afternoon, with familia…


bugunlerde mazhar-fuat-ozkan'a kesin donus yaptigim icin sufi'yi ne zaman dinlesem icime bir heyecan doldugunu farkettim. melodiden midir, ritmden mi, temadan mi bilemedigim icin biraz arastirdim. sufi hangi yilda cikmisti, o zamanlar hangi evde oturuyorduk, kac yasindaydik, nasil bir insandim, bunlari dusundum. sonra isin icyuzu anlasildi. sufi sarkisiyla 1989 yilinda eurovision yarismasina katilmisiz. o yillarin eurovision heyecanini, mazhar-fuat-ozkan'in her zamanki naif sevimliligiyle birlesince, bende derin bir heyecan birakmis.
sonra neydi o karsidaki kulubun adi? bu tarafta da subesi olan? cubuklu hayal kahvesi. orada konserlerine gitmistik, ne cok eglenmistim.

real simple: life made easier

I love real simple's website.They have so many solutions for everyday life, and such good suggestions. It really makes life 'real simple' to tackle every day, and be content and happy with what you are achieving on a daily basis. Because that's something I value so much in life. To be able to enjoy the mundane details in life. Of course, this shouldn't mean that we should enjoy the mundane so much that we don't go out looking for new, bigger challenges that will give us more out of life. It is just to say that there is a lot to enjoy in real life as well, as opposed to a life that is all goals and fantasies and aspirations, and in fact, every day of every person you can imagine is made up of those small moments that are 'simple' and, well, mundane. . . Going back to real simple, look at their forms & checklists section, for instance! It's awesome, they have 'Essential Travel Information Worksheets' (checking that out RIGHT now), lots of …


vefa kelimesinin ingilizce karsiligini bulamadim. loyalty, trueness, gibi seyler diyor sozlukler. benim aradigim karsilik o degil. arayip sormak, 'orada olmak', aylarca ortadan kaybolmamak gibi bir seydir benim bildigim veda. sadakatle karistirmamak lazim. senelerce ses vermeyip de hala anilara sadik olan insanlar da var. sonuc olarak, nedir vefa ingilizcede?

First Day At Home

Observations: I work so much harder when I'm at home. There is no time to procrastinate, in a strange way. When I don't have work at hand (work being translations), I go do housework. Before that is over they call me for new work.
(Doug just said it's only 5.45. It's true! And we just came back from a walk to the forest, took deep breaths and saw a flock of birds burst out and fly in front of the moon. Beautiful.)
I also find that you need to be planned, organized, and keep yourself in a schedule when you're at home. Otherwise, you may not know where you're going and what you're supposed to do. My suggestion is to wake up at 8 every day, go for a walk/run, and then be home at 9 and start the day. I'll tell you how that goes!
One day is so long to sit in an office. There is so much to do in life. Day #1, I'm happy. But it doesn't stop there. Let's push it further, self.

sunday post #2

most of the time, i talk to people inside my head. i have long talks where i explain myself and my standpoint, why i do the things i do and why they should take my advice. these conversations never happen in reality, no one is convinced, and i keep living in my own world. in real life, i don't like talking that much, because i can't get my thoughts together on the spot. in my inner monologues, my thoughts are together, i'm poised and everything is in order. i wonder if i'll ever have a similar conversation in real life. probably not. it's like assigning a certain persona to a celebrity in your fantasy, a persona that has a readiness to find you cute and attractive.

yine mi sikayet?

Bu Turklerle ilgili bir sey mi bilmiyorum.
Doug'in dizi cekimi icin gittigimiz dizi setinde bizden baska herkes, istisnasiz herkes sigara iciyordu. Saat gecenin ikisi, ortalik dumandan gecilmiyor, acabilecegimiz bir pencere yok ve yorgunuz, ama herkes sigara iciyor. Hatta sigaralari bitiyor ve yeni paketler aldiriliyor, onlara baslaniyor. En son, ugur yucel ve ozan guven (tabii ki onlar da tiryaki) yeni sahnenin provasini yaparken reji asistani 20 yaslarinda bir kizin, tutmasi gereken kagitlar varken elinde hala tutmaya calistigi sigara yuzunden zor durumda kalip, sonra da sigarayi masadaki kulluge koymak zorunda kaldigini gorunce, 'eh yani' dedim. Basrol oyuncularinin prova yapmasina yardimci olurken 20'lik bir tipin elinde de mi sigara olabiliyor? Hic mi is ahlakimiz yok? Sigara icilmesi yasak degil diye, herkes, her an mi icmeli? O an Doug'la birbirimize baktik ve ikimizin de yuzunde 'bu ne bicim is' der bir ifade vardi.
Muhtemelen daha once de gord…

free as a bird

my blog is on again and i can post random -actually not so random, pretty special- pictures of my home, specifically, the top of my microwave! this should be taken as an indicator that there are totally harmless blogs out there, too! (take mine, for instance)

what's going to happen to that other blog now, the one that's a little sister to this? (

what of a morning

It was magical this morning. I could have taken so many pictures, if I had my camera with me. Not only because it was beautiful but also because I’m leaving and I want to take pieces of this world with me. Photographs make good mementos. My favorite color combination these days is a pairing of a really dark, bluish purple (the color of mountains in the distance) and a faded yellow (think wheat fields, or weakened sunlight). I wish I could decorate a room using the best representations of the memories of these two colors in my mind. The most recent memory comes from a road trip to Denizli in my uncle’s car. The rest is a deeply ingrained repetition of seeing those fields and mountains on other road trips within the Agean region over and over again –and not recognizing how beautiful it is until you leave and come back -, and even looking out the window of our house –that I always have dreams of, when my dreams visit the past-. I want to get out of here, I don't want to get out of he…

Things Fall Apart

I just finished reading Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Not only was it refreshing to take a break from reading about Western ways of Western people, but it also offered a change of pace in language with sparing but precise wording.
Mr Achebe's non-dramatic, unsurprised, and almost matter-of-factly stating of facts and events encourages the reader to get involved in the story, even though what is being narrated for the most part is the daily comings, goings, traditions, religion, and worldview of the African clan we are reading about. Even when somebody is killed, Mr Achebe doesn't make a big deal out of it when most writers would choose to invest the all-human empathy that death, or dramatic events in general, seems to evoke in the audience, and therefore guarantee engagement. And that serene attitude is preserved even at the end of the book, where we are made to imagine that everything we have read so far is going to be crammed into a paragraph in a Western guy's…

good old days when the remote control was a puzzle

it occured to me very late, as in, around these days, that when i was growing up, the buttons of household appliances -stereos, tv and video remote controls, telephones- were labeled in english. even before i spoke english, play, stop, rewind (rew), record (rec), fast forward (ffwd) were part of my vocabulary - even though i didn't know what some of them stood for. for instance, take ffwd. Unless you're familiar with the term 'fast forward', you are never going to be able to decipher thisone. and when you have to tell someone to press that button, what do you say? or the speaker phone button on our old telephone. that one confused everyone in the family. but we didn't realize this. it was a given that these appliances weren't made in turkey, and therefore they couldn't be in turkish. and even if they were made in turkey, there was a good chance they were being exported as well (you don't really think that far when you're 10, but you get the point), …

how my day was

after i post my little collage-work that has bits from images of cloudy skies, doug asked me to write about how my day was. like he hasn't listened to me blow my nose into all qualities of tissue paper all day - toilet paper, paper towel, starbucks napkin... you name it and i'll blow it [that is, my nose]. i hadn't been sick for a while, maybe a year. and then the added imprisonment factor of not being able to run on a weekend, just 2 weeks before the 15k, this has been hard on me. but not being able to breathe is the worst. it's unbelievable how much we take life for granted. and how much of life we take for granted. then come to appreciate the blessing called uninterrupted breathing when you go down with the flu. so here i am, hoping and praying for a night that i can breathe.. so i can sleep.
i'm sure doug is praying for the same thing too. as in marriage two become one. you're no more strangers in the night, you wake up your husband in all that nose-blowing …


Desiderata speaks for itself so much that, everyone who quoted it on their websites didn't talk too much about it, just posted the script itself. I wanted to say some things, and that's why I kept it as a draft for a while, but I decided I'll just put it out there. Maybe I'll need it later on (not that I don't need it now, but I figure I'm doing OK for now), and it will be very easy to refer to, right under my nose, on my blog.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep i…


Last night my sister and I went to see this movie Get Smart, which was actually pretty funny. I love Steve Carell anyway, I'm ready to laugh at anything he happens to do. We then came home and found the boys slightly drunk, just done with poker. We saw Jon approximately 10 hours later when he came with Sandra for breakfast. I made 'menemen' and Doug made French toast in Sandra's honor, there were tomatoes and peppers picked from our garden, and it was a good start to the day we would be exploring Dali's art and enjoying the last days of summer/first days of fall - whatever you call that cross between seasons.I am not sure what to say about Dali's work. I really liked some of his earlier work, and I liked the part with his extremely detailed 'sketches' called the Inner Life of Salvador Dali. It's also interesting to see how his work resonates with the political and social ongoings of his time, such as the atomic bombings of 1945 and Freud's conce…