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Friday, 9 October 2015

Hello Weekend! This Week's Re-cap!

Well it has been a whirlwind of a week! Again. Are you all waiting for the day when I am like "Well, it was a quiet week.", well that is NEVER going to happen! Heh. So I salute you Friday. I would say that it will be a quiet weekend but it won't be. Tonight is a friend's housewarming party and I imagine ridiculously loud Tova will be out to play. Saturday I will go to spinning (I have missed you so much, let's never be apart from each other this long again!), and then in the afternoon we are meeting the psychology student. On Sunday I might be meeting a friend with her sons and the Kid. We will play it by ear and maybe in the afternoon I might drop by a potluck. And of course on Sunday is the election and I am damn nervous about the outcome. If you can vote, please do so!! (And I am not going into more detail because this blog is not political).

Yesterday after work I met a friend to discuss The House of Canada. We planned to meet at Cafe Hawelka around the corner from Stephanslplatz. This cafe is an Vienna institution and a place for students, professionals and apparently every.damn.tourist in the city. When I walked in, it was obviously packed to the gills but luckily they had chairs outside and an awning so I was able to secure a place. There is something intrinsically romantic about sitting outside in the rain (covered of course - I wear a lot of make up, water makes me melt). My friend showed up and we got to work. I ordered a blaufrankish wine and the waiter was pretty darn cute. My friend later told me she overheard him telling customers that he is the grandson of Hawelka and because I am a terrible snob, he suddenly got even more attractive. I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON! He forgot our order and yet was so charming that we didn't really care. And yes I know that the only reason any man flirts with me is for a tip. And that is o.k. because once in a while, we all need to feel pretty. Or rich.

After our veryimportantbusinessmeetingweareincrediblebusinesspeople we headed towards the Stephansplatz Ubahn station but then realized we were smack dab in the FPO rally. This is the right wing party of Austria (I have no words to describe my feelings about this party). There were, of course, protesters and many many many police. We had to take a bit of a detour but made it in the end. I headed home and then a little while later another friend came over to borrow some stuff for the party tonight. We of course had to test the wine she would be serving. Just doing our jobs. The Husband brought the Kid to bed and then my friend headed home and I did some work... badly. I also saw that I had received an e-mail telling me that my registration to the Autism Symposium was approved and I am so super excited. I guarantee there will be an amazing blog post resulting from that event. My surrounded by therapists and doctors? What could possibly go wrong? Heh. It is the day before the Halloween party so of course I will be incredibly stressed but that is my natural resting state.

Next week promises to be busy as well: I am going to see The Tempest on Monday at the Staatsoper and then on Tuesday I have a dinner with two friends who I met at the company I used to work for. On Thursday I am going out for dinner with some girlfriends. We also have therapy for the Kid on Tuesday and Friday and I need to finish up a few more things for the party... by the way, is Clorox bleach? Because I tried to bleach the bejeebus out of a pale yellow nightgown for my Halloween costume and I think I might have given myself brain damage and the kerblasted thing is still yellow. I think it might even be more yellow now? I might have to dye it grey instead and call it a day. I am going as a ghost bride because it is easy and requires very little work. Probably should look into a ghost pre-nup while I am at it.

So I wish you all a fabulous weekend! There will be some more Halloweeny posts coming soon. One of them will sum up the best Halloween episodes on TV shows and of course I need to continue my Fall bucket list! Happy Friday!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

So Yesterday was Heart Breaking

I was in an incredibly good mood yesterday, ready to take on the world and then POW! POW! POW! POW! Another situation! Of course! The Husband had written me yesterday that he had talked to the director of the kindergarten and that she was very happy with the Kid's progress and pleased we were doing all the things we were doing for him (obviously does not know about the cake he eats all.the.time). That made my day and I walked around all smug like. I didn't wonder why the Husband had talked to the director because she is usually pretty accessible and friendly so it seemed normal that he would have ended up chatting with her in the morning.

I got home just before 6 and hugged my little man and started on dinner. I was looking forward to a chill night of wine in a skull hand glass, fuzzy slippers and satin pj's (popped collar... of course). The Husband came home and then my awesome night fizzled like Jewel's comeback back in 2003 with that terrible Intuition song. Boom! On fire today!

He told me that when he was home in the morning (man flu) he looked out the window (which overlooks the kindergarten) and saw that another boy had purposely rammed his bike into the Kid's bike and then started pulling and pushing him and trying to pull his jacket over his head. The Kid finally escaped and took off. The Husband went directly to the school to report it. When he told me this last night, my heart broke into a million pieces. The Kid can't talk so hasn't been able to tell us. He is also the loveliest, happiest little boy who purposely avoids other kids. I am now wondering how long this bullying has been going on for and if this is what caused his recent fits. If so...

I am literally sick to my stomach that this has happened. I trust the kindergarten to step up their vigilance because if not... ever seen a harpy? You will soon. I don't have anger towards the other boy (well, not that much anger) but I need to know what the deal is. And then I will stand outside his window in a clown suit... I jest I jest... Thank you everybody for your awesome messages and comments. I like that some of you considered a convoy of mafia-like infiltration. Someone else suggested sending the Kid's therapy bills to the parents. I am proud of all my friends today!

It's amazing how we turn into angry angry bears when our kids are hurt. We go from rational parents to "WANNA DANCE WITH THE BEAST, BOY?!?!" in 1 second. Gah. Have kids they said, it will be fun they said. Stay tuned for what happens next. And I would like to take this moment to ask the universe to give me a little break. The good news is that we are meeting the psychology student on Saturday so I will feel like we are doing more. His language is regressing again which could be due to the bullying as well. Actually, maybe I should send the therapy bills to the parents because

This afternoon I have a House of Canada business meeting at Cafe Hawelka with my lovely friend. We have a lot to do for the upcoming Feschmarkt and please check out the site for the awesome awesome stuff  The onesies are my favourite! You can also check out the stuff in person - just drop us a message via e-mail or pm and mention that you are coming by.

So that is it for now. The Kid is going to be smothered this weekend because you can't spell smother without mother. My poor little boy... Mommy will get to the bottom of this.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Another Awesome Vienna Night with an Americana Twist

I am in a ridiculously good mood! And it isn't just because of one single awesome thing... but rather because of several awesome things! I try to stay positive as best I can and I hope that translates into this blog. Sure, I get the blues, I get sad and sometimes things happen that sucker punch me. I don't like to dwell on these things on the blog because I prefer to linger on them in my mind in my free time. Kind of an unhealthy session of avoidance and self-pitying once in a while. I try my best to be a good person, a good friend, a good mother, a good daughter (failed miserably at that), a less shouty wife and yet, I don't always meet other people's expectations and that hurts. A friend wrote me yesterday with this quote from her dad "People's perceptions are their realities." and it did hit home. I can't please everybody and no matter what I do, some people are always going to dislike me or hate me and I have to learn to live with that. I think the hard part is knowing that I don't really hate anybody and so I don't understand other people's vitriol towards me. Whatever, it sucks, but that is part of growing up - only I can change me. But I will still allow myself to dwell on it... because I am still human.

So moving on... onto awesome stuff and why I am in a great mood... first of all, the Kid is doing a lot better. One hilarious side effect of his Friday therapy is his now insane amount of eye contact recently. But he has taken it to the next level. I think he thinks that by staring deeply into my eyes, he thinks I can read his mind and ergo I will know what he wants and give it to him (4 out of 5 times he wants cake). I am literally being followed around by a 4 foot tall unblinking child and it is actually cracking me up because while some people would find it creepy, I find it adorable and kind of a huge leap for him in terms of development. Another amazing thing we are celebrating is the re-claiming of our bed. FINALLY!!!

As a lot of you know, the last time we tried sleep training, the Kid had a seizure... yes, yes, I know that that was not the cause of the seizure and it was just a coincidence but a small part of me thinks that he inherited my tendency for drama and was like "Sleep alone, lady? I'll show you what I can do." Kind of a weird Firewalk With Me situation, oder? Anyway, the last couple of weeks we have moved his bed time up to 7:30 and instead of waiting until he falls asleep and army crawling out of there every night, we now put him in his bed, sit for about 5 minutes with him and then give him a kiss and then walk out. He doesn't fall asleep right away but he stays in his room and it is total and utter bliss. So that has been working well but we have still been battling him coming to our bed every night around 11:30. We are usually passed out so we don't know that he is there until we get a kick in the kidney at 2 a.m. We finally had had enough and over the weekend we started bringing him back to his bed. The first couple of nights was like dealing with a combative hissing kitten. There were tears and spitting and I am sure his own version of swearing. But we stayed calm and now, we are down to 1 visit a night around 2:30 in the morning. Last night I took  him back to his bed and he was defeated and quiet and he stayed there for the rest of the night. We broke his spirit! Parents: 1; Child: 0!  Isn't that what parenting is all about? Winning? So I guess calm and steady wins the race with this kid. Good to know.

So after that incredibly long intro, onto last night's fun fun experience. Last week a friend of mine mentioned the Ig Nobel Prize. Now, I know of the Nobel Prize but Ig Nobel? Nope, brand new information. Apparently the creator of these awards was back in Wien and he was hosting an evening at the Natural History Museum. Little side note: the Ig Nobel Prize is pretty much this:

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, and then THINK. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology.

I was a little worried that I would not be able to follow along, that somehow all of the scienci-ness of the evening would send me into a tailspin and I would end up in fetal position, crying about that time Taylor Armstrong said "I will go Oklahoma on your ass" Season 1, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Epic season. Cough. So I decided to invite an incredibly intelligent friend to join me so she could witness my discomfort. I do so love an audience. She works with all things science and ergo is a bazillion times smarter than I am. I am cool with uber intelligent people. I feel like the Odie to their Garlfield. It's cool man, cool. We met for drinks at Burgring 1 and had a couple of said drinks and chatted and then just before 6, headed to the Natural History Museum. We grabbed seats in the back because we had to dash at 7 because I made a last minute decision to take her second ticket to see Mosaique. The creator of the Ig Nobel prize, Marc Abrahams was there last night and he made a quick introduction. The place was packed and I was very relieved to see that everybody seemed ready to laugh. Within a couple of minutes, I realized I had pre-judged this event. THE WHOLE THING WAS HILARIOUS! I laughed out loud through out the hour and now I have a total crush on the whole thing. One winner was a zoologist who discovered that tortoises do not yawn contagiously. Amazing. There was such a lightness and accessibility to the night and I loved it! This was like Bill Nye the Science Guy met up with John Stewart and created an awesome and funny baby. This is the science I can relate to!

One day I hope to go to the actual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard because if what I saw last night was just a small example of the actual ceremony... it will be incredible. There is nothing better, in my opinion, than when people can let loose and make fun of themselves. And this is a prime example of incredibly intelligent people, for lack of better term, taking the piss. Loved IT! I totally recommend checking out the stuff on Youtube. That's my plan for tonight.

Unfortunately we had to bounce and leave but we were onto another event because we are fabulous. We grabbed a taxi and made our way to Fuenfgasse 5 in the Fuenfzehnte Bezirk. Yeah, that was fun saying that to the taxi driver. We arrived at this awesome lofty place and walked through the cobbled courtyard. It was my first time going and I am kicking myself for not having gone sooner. My friend generously donated two tickets to Mosaique in the spring for the autism fundraiser! Mosaique is a collection of incredible singers, performers and musicians who put together a show once a month. I was a little apprehensive to go because I have seen the line up in the past and since I hadn't heard of a lot of the composers I assumed I would once again end up in the corner in fetal position crying "Prostitution Whore!" Teresa Giudice Season 1, Real Housewives of New Jersey.

But it was Americana night and the music was by: Copland, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gershwin etc. The first act was a collection of folk songs and songs by Samuel Barber. It was lovely and the energy was fantastic; vocals by soprano Julia Koci and baritone David Corcoran and pianists Deirdre Brenner and Chanda VanderHart. There was also the band Vienna Symphony Jazz Project, composed of 11 musicians (my friend and I were definitely a little deaf at the end) . Twas a very big band. Since it was Americana night, they also had an apple pie competition (the struedel won because of course) and hot dogs and popcorn. During the intermission, we ordered sekt and had hot dogs because that is absolutely awesome and I am so pairing the two more in the future. Mosaique was founded by Deirdre Brenner and Chanda VanderHart in 2013 as an idea to provide a stage for international artists to perform. I was incredibly impressed and while that might not be quite a feat considering my love for all Taylor Swift songs, I do have to say it is a fabulous concept. The tickets are affordable and the location is pretty neat. Totally going to have a party there! So check them out on Facebook - their next show is on November 17th and it will be a totally different theme.

To celebrate the start of their third season, after the show, the audience was invited onto the terrace, given sparklers and sekt and there was something very surreal and amazing about this and a perfect way to end a very fun and different night. As I said on Facebook "THIS IS GOING IN THE BLOG!" My friend and I also kept saying it was kind of a New York night and as I sat in the taxi heading home, I felt a bit like (chubby) Carrie Bradshaw after another fabulous night out. I am lucky.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Tova's Recap of Scream

So this film came out in the 90's and I will always remember the first time I watched it. It was in Moscow at a friend's place on the American compound. We rented the VHS at the tiny video store on the compound and then turned her living room into a sleepover haven and ate and screamed and it was amazing. Now, I hate horror films. Hate.them. I hate gore, I hate seeing people in pain and yet... Scream is ok with me... I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I know which parts not to watch. And it has some amazing comedic moments! And a killer (heh) cast: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arguette, the Fonz, Matthew Lillard and Rose McGowan. I am not putting Skeet Ulrich in that list because homeboy never seemed to have taken a shower in the 90s. So come walk down memory lane with me and yes, caution, spoilers.

We start off with Drew Barrymore (dammit, she goes on the list too) sporting the best hair ever. She is making the popcorn and getting ready for the sex with her boyfriend (I am projecting here but I am assuming that if she is home alone and her football boyfriend is coming by, they ain't playing Monopoly... ifyouknowwhatimean). The phone rings and this is our first clue that shit about to go down.

What started out as a flirtatious phone call (BITCH, PUT DOWN THE PHONE!!) soon turns into a malicious game of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.. but with death and screaming. She is asked horror movie questions. When they ask her if she likes "Scary movies" she should respond with "No.". See, that is what I would have done and the killer would have been all like "Um, so, um, what's your favourite colour?" and then I would have hung up. Suddenly Drew with the great hair realizes that she is dealing with a psychopath and they tell her to turn on the backyard light. Look at that awesome pool! Oh wait, her boyfriend is tied up with duct tape on a chair outside. This cannot be good. They end up killing him in front of her (and I don't watch that part). Now Drew scared, Drew very scared. The killer breaks in and she gets a few kicks in but he gets her and she runs through the yard and is stabbed repeatedly (I don't watch that part). Meanwhile her parents come home to the fire alarm going off and look desperately for her and then they walk outside and see her hanging in the tree and holy shit at 16 this terrified the bejeebus out of me. And little observation here... the parents totally came home early to bust her having the sex with the boyfriend.

We then find ourselves (after dry heaving into a paper bag because of that opening scene) in Sidney Prescott's bedroom. Her boyfriend Billy pulls a Dawson and comes through the window. CREEPER! They make out and he tries to takeittothenextlevel but Sidney is all like I don't see no ring on this finger or something to that effect. We find out that her dad is going out of town (important to the plot) around the 1st anniversary of his wife's/her mother's death YOU HEARTLESS JERK! Sidney promises Billy that he will get some punani one day and he goes off to take a shower.. WASH YOUR HAIR!

Dude, for the love of God, wash your hair. Or dry shampoo? That stuff is great!
Next scene is the school in this affluent Californian town and there are media trucks and people are talking about the murder of two teenagers (because that is kind of a big deal!). Sidney meets up with her friends and these teenagers are definitely acting like complete and utter asses considering that two of their classmates just got butchered. I think my mom would have kept me home. In the group we have: Greasy Billy, Tatum, Tatum's boyfriend Matthew Lillard and Randy (the dorky sidekick who needs a girlfriend).  Sidney's friend Tatum (Rose McGowan) tells her she can stay at her place since there is a psychopath running around, killing teenagers. Sidney heads home to her house. Oh, I am sorry... did I say house... I mean DREAM HOUSE! The most amazing house EVER!! LIKE BEAUTIFUL!

Cough, anyway, Sidney waits for her friend Tatum to come and pick her up for the sleepover. She suddenly gets a phone call and it is that damn voice again. Sidney also doesn't sense stranger danger and starts "playing" with the caller. DON'T DO THAT SIDNEY! NO! And then the call gets creepier and BAM! Killer in the closet! There is a chase scene and she runs upstairs to her room and tries to contact 911 on her computer which was just a wild concept back in 96! The future is now, folks. And then suddenly at her window is her boyfriend Billy and she is so happy to see him until a cellphone falls out of his pocket and dun dun duuuunnnn. And since it is a phone from the mid 90's probably made a dent in the floor as well. The police show up as she runs away from Billy and he is arrested and they are all brought to the station. Billy pleads his innocence through his greasy hair but Sidney doesn't believe him. Tatum (her friend and also sister to lovable Deputy Dewey) shows up to take Sidney back home. When they exit the back, they are accosted by Gail Weathers (Courtney Cox). Gail Weathers is Monica Geller in a terrible suit, was the woman who covered Sidney's mom's murder a year ago and still believes the guy who is in prison for the murder is innocent. She gets all up in Sidney's grill and Sidney ends up punching her.

At Tatum's house (Tatum is poor because I am using Sidney's house as a comparison), Sidney gets another call from the killer so this tells us that Billy could quite possibly not be the killer. Yaay! Greasy boyfriend is innocent! At school the next day Sidney bumps into Billy and being the caring and awesome boyfriend that he is, calls her a frigid bitch. Dude. She goes into the bathroom where she overhears two bitchy girls talking about her and the murders and you know that Sidney is having a bad day. Her day just gets worse when the killer in the mask tries to kill her in the bathroom. This is why I hate stalls. I literally will give myself a UTI trying to avoid public bathrooms; risk of disease and/or serial killers. Sidney escapes and that is when the school decides to close down for the day. The principal (Fonzeeeee)  also announces that there is a curfew and shows what a dude he is by expelling two assholey kids. Now, as a 16 year old I would not have thought that but now that I am an adult and a mother - expel those douches! So anyway, the Fonz gets it too  (I don't watch that part). Not the FONZ!

Because all of the teenagers besides Sidney are a bunch of uncaring jerks; they organize a house party that night. At another amazing house (everybody in this town is rich, besides Tatum. Poor Tatum) the cool kids have their beer and their angst. Sidney shows up and decides that even though her boyfriend is kind of a dick, she will have the sex with him. Meanwhile Tatum goes into the garage to get some beer and dun dun duuunnnn the killer is there. She thinks it is a game and tries to play along. I feel like I need to sit these girls down and tell them that foreplay does not involve scaring the bejeebus out of people. She ends up meeting her maker by getting crushed by the garage door. Ugh. Meanwhile Sidney and Billy are getting ready for the sex. And what is the one rule of a horror film? Virgins don't get killed. NOOO Sidney no! And also, girl, this is your first time and you chose a house party? Your house is empty! Your dad is away! What is wrong with you? Cough.

They do the deed and then the killer comes and stabs Billy  (I don't watch that part). Nooo!!! Greasy hair on the fancy carpet! And then I think the cameraman is killed  (I don't watch that part), Deputy Dewey gets stabbed and Gail/Monica crashes the car and there is all sorts of chaos. Oh, and at one point Gail/Monica planted a camera in the house so she saw that the killer was there and Randy (a friend I didn't mention before) is unaware that the killer is behind him and GAAH! so much killing. Sidney is running around manically, upset that the guy she just slept with for the first time is dead, she didn't even get a beer and now somebody is trying to kill her and yes, this is a very bad day. After a game of "he's the killer! Not me!" we find out that Billy isn't dead! Oh no, he is very much alive and that means that he is the KILLER! And wait, there's more, Tatum's boyfriend is also the KILLER! THE BIG TWIST. So long story short: Sidney's mom was a bit of a village bicycle: had affairs and ended up sleeping with Billy's dad. Billy's parents divorce and because he apparently has the maturity of a 6 year old, Billy decides to go on a rampage. He enlisted the help of Tatum's boyfriend and they killed Sidney's mother, then spent a year planning a mass killing. And at the end, they would "save" the day! The plan was that Sidney's dad would be the killer who had gone crazy. To make things more realistic, the two guys would have to have stab wounds so then begins one of the weirdest comic moments of the film.

Long story short, they both die with Sidney killing Billy by shooting him in the head  (I don't watch that part). Wowza. That was an adrenaline rush. I am not quite sure how teenage me felt about the ending. I think I thought it was AWESOME. And I think I was somewhat smug that I had survived sitting through a horror film. Watching this film as an adult I have to say that I still enjoyed the humor, still was unable to watch the gore and still don't understand the Skeet Ulrich appeal.

So that was my Scream recap... almost 20 years late. I have a few more films to watch to get in da mood for Halloween! And I hope to get in another recap as well. I wish you an awesome Tuesday and tell me what your favourite creepy film is!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Just Some Dis and Dat

Happy Monday everybody! I am back in my pj's, sitting on the sofa and watching the Austrian political debate on TV and trying to keep my blood pressure down. Gah! I could never go into politics. Anyway... today was a good day save for a little phone call from the kindergarten. And most of you know how I feel about phone calls concerning the Kid. My heart races and my stomach drops and I want to scream.

Apparently the Kid had been crying most of the morning and they called the Husband to ask if there was a reason why. Of course.. he is upset about the fact that his personal butler (me) is unable to serve his every whim and fancy. But luckily the Nanny told me tonight that he was perfect in the afternoon so I am feeling a lot better. Yesterday was the first time he had been outside since Tuesday and when he walked out of the building, he literally jumped up and down in excitement. We laughed and laughed and realized that he truly is a free-range kid. And then we realized we need to break his spirit before the cold weather rolls in.

Sunday truly was an idyllic day. After the last few weeks of sickness, fits, sickness, fits, I feel a lot better now. I also just came back from a great meeting with a great lady. She contacted me because of the Autism in Vienna page and I am very much looking forward to working with her in the future. November 5th will be the first parent wine night and I am aiming for a workshop about current therapies for autism in the middle of November. Come one come all! On Saturday we are meeting a psychology student who will hopefully start working with us and I cannot wait! So much to do!

Since this is a dis and dat post, here are some random moments:

The young drunk guy: I posted this on Facebook:  And I feel like I need to expand on that. It was a sight to behold. I watched as a very visibly drunk man swerved through the park, clutching his plastic cup. He couldn't walk straight but when he got to the recycling bins, he leaned heavily on one of them, and with one eye closed, he located the bin for plastics and tried to put his cup in it. It took a few tries but he finally did it. I silently applauded his determination. He must have woken up with a raging hangover but he should know that he is a hero for the environment! I salute you, Drunk Dude!

Awkwardness on the elevator: This morning I got into the elevator at work. It was crowded and I was uncomfortable. A woman was behind me and another woman stepped in after me and stood in front of me. Suddenly the woman behind me started to poke the woman in front of me. The woman didn't turn around. The woman behind me poked her again. And I could see the woman in front start to get agitated and was giving me side eye... and still, she didn't turn around. The woman behind me reached out and poked her for the third time and then the woman in front of me turned around forcefully and looked at me and looked like she wanted to bitch slap me. I was about to yell "IT WASN'T ME!" but then she caught the woman in the back's eye and said "Oh hey!" and all was well in the world besides the fact that I felt like I was about to dance with the beast in an enclosed space.

Plans for tomorrow: I am meeting a friend for drinks in the afternoon and then we are heading over to the Natural History Museum. We will be attending the Ig Nobel awards and I am pretty curious about what this entails. My knowledge of science stops at condensation... and even then I am not quite sure what that is. I still don't understand how planes don't constantly fall out of the sky. Tons of metal floating thousands of feet in the air? Voodoo MAGIC!!

So it is slowly time for me to head to bed. It is going to be another long and exciting week. I also hope to do a Movie Recap about Scream.. you know, the film that came out like 20 years ago. It is one of my favourite films to watch around Halloween which is weird because I can't handle gore... maybe that is why I watch it behind a blanket. I wish you all an awesome night and catch you on the flipside!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Halloween Decorating, Chillaxing and 100,000 Blog Views

It was so exciting for me to see that this blog has reached 100,000 views! It took 3 years but wow, I am amazed! This blog has been my online journal, my place to vent and brag and talk about my bad life choices. The outpouring of love and support has been incredible! So thank you!! I am taking this as a sign to keep on blogging even though there are times I wonder if I should stop. I also am wondering why my stats show a big spike in readership in the Ukraine. Am I funny in the Ukraine?

Anyway, it is a foggy Sunday morning and I just got back from a great walk with one of my dearest friends. We took a break from the weekend walks over the summer when she went to Canada for a few weeks but I am happy that we are getting back into it. It's a 2-3 hour walk that allows us to catch up, kvetch and solve the world's problems. The walk this morning also allowed me to cross off another Popsugar Fall Bucket List. If you remember, back in September, I started my own Fall Bucket List. Here is the original. If the picture is too small, here is the link:

Already I have had a Spiced Pumpkin Latte:

And "tailgated":

And today I fulfilled: TAKE A FOGGY MORNING WALK

And here some more pictures because Vienna is gorgeous:

Ducks saying "Duck you"

Hofburg in the back

Besides being all hopped up on Fall feelings of happiness, I also got a lot of Halloween decorating done! I am so grateful for our friends who live around the corner and generously let me store my decorations in their basement! On Friday I picked up the key and got started. On my first trip back, the Husband opened the door and saw me and exclaimed "HOW DID YOU CARRY ALL THAT STUFF?!?!?" as I struggled through the with 4 big Ikea bags. I have super human strength when it comes to Halloween, guys. I could lift a truck if it meant getting a free skeleton or pumpkin. The Kid was also excited about the decorating. He was especially excited about his old buddy; the plastic crow. I also bought a couple of fake hands which he spent the afternoon carrying around. He also tried to bite them a few times... a) he's obviously not a vegan and b) I said "Don't bite the hand that feeds you" and nobody cracked a smile. Tough crowd. Here are a couple of pictures of the living room. It will look different with the proper lighting but for now I am super psyched and the Husband doesn't feel like throwing himself off a bridge.

You see, in our old apartment, I would tape scene setters to all the walls in the apartment. And may I just say that masking tape sucks big time in this country! How was I supposed to know that the paint would lift off? And did that stop me from doing it every year? No, not at all. When we moved into our new place, the Husband immediately said "No taping ANYTHING on the walls!!" to which I wanted to yell "WHY CAN'T YOU LET ME BE ME?!?!" but I followed the rules so the place is more Martha and less crack den.

I still have to work on the hallway and the kitchen. And over the next 3 weeks, I will be adding more things but for now, I am pretty much done. Which is a relief. Now where is that fog machine? Today I plan to do some laundry and cleaning and work on a couple of articles. The Kid had a fever yesterday but is back to his old self today so we will probably take a walk in the afternoon. And then I have a Skype date with an old classmate from Moscow and then I plan to put on a facemask (courtesy of Debra (she made me this mask using this recipe:  but added her own twist and I am OBSESSED with it)). I wish you all a fantastic Sunday!!!

Friday, 2 October 2015

What a Week!

Oh happy Friday! It is so good to be home and on the sofa and in my pj's and surrounded by my Halloween decorations. That's right, it is time to start spookying up the place. I actually have shown extreme restraint especially since the party is only in 3 weeks! GAH! So much to do!

So, yes, this week has been amazing! A Night Run, a book signing, dinner at Fuchs, and an awesome Ladies' night last night. I stayed home with the Kid due to his cold and when the Husband showed up from work, I put on my wedge boots and headed to Sobieskiplatz to a wine bar. It was organized by a friend through the American Women's Association and she did an awesome job. She had booked a room for us and in the end I think we were over a dozen women. We sat around a large table and all took turns introducing ourselves and this would usually make me groan and find an excuse to hide in the bathroom, but it actually turned out to be hilarious. It was a great great mix of women and I love nothing more than meeting interesting ladies. #girlpower #girlcode The conversations were all over the place and I learned about inverted nipples. What?!? TOTALLY NEW INFORMATION!!

And I have to stop here for a second and give a shout out to my dear friend who said last night that one of her biggest goals before leaving Vienna, was to be called a dear friend in my blog. Right now she is going like this because she told me she would if she saw me write this and I did it and now she is totally doing this:

There you go honey, you are a dear friend and I am super bummed you are leaving. But I am totally planning to visit you Stateside! We might spend most of the time at Michael's Crafts and Target but I will bring a flask!

After a couple of glasses of wine and amazing conversations about EVERYTHING! I took a taxi home, wrote a few e-mails and messages and crawled into bed. In the morning I woke up and got ready for work and decided to go for the casual Friday look (read: I'm feeling fat and wish I had fancy stretchy pants) which I rarely do. I also paired the look with an awesome cold sore. Awesome sexy Tova. Of course I got an e-mail suggesting lunch with two people I hadn't met before. The lunch had been planned for Thursday so of course I had to postpone, but I had not expected a lunch on Friday and so I immediately regretted my outfit choice and the lip herpes. The two people I met for lunch are actually parents of autistic kids. Thanks to the new Autism in Vienna page I started on Tuesday, I was contacted by a lovely woman who works in the same compound as I do. And she contacted another parent she had heard of and so the three of us met. I ordered pizza because lip growth equals self pity and we sat down and chatted and OMG! was it GREAT!

We all realized we had done the same useless therapy, been told the same crap and spent hours and hours of dealing with bigotry. I teared up a few times because it finally felt like somebodies (it's a new word) understood what the Husband and I have been through. I have had amazing support via e-mails and messages from around the world and it has meant the world to me, but to be able to share experiences with parents who have had to deal with autism in Vienna: incredible. After lunch we were standing and chatting and I apologized for almost crying a few times and the two other parents admitted that they also cry a lot... and it truly was a bonding moment. This meeting was all the proof I needed to keep pushing the Autism in Vienna page. So if you are a parent with an autistic child and you are in Vienna, send me an e-mail or pm if you want to join us for a wine night on November 5th. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders after that hour today. Feeling so blessed.

Next week promises to be another crazy week. On Monday I am meeting a woman about ABA who contacted me through the FB page. On Tuesday I am meeting a friend for early drinks and dinner and then we are going to the Natural History Museum for the Ig Noble awards. On Wednesday I have to work later and then on Thursday I might have another meeting and on Friday friends are having a housewarming party. This weekend will be spent hiding because of my lip grossness, decorating the apartment and perhaps a walk through Pötzleinsdorf on Sunday. Code word for this weekend: CHILLING! I hope you all have a great one, too!