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Showing posts from December, 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.

Homepage

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…

toile

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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.

Christmas

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 …

Clipping

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

Cold, cold Ankara

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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

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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

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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…
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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.

Registry

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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

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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

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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

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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…