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Toasting Bread [blog entry]

Publié le par Charly C.

Hi all. Long time no sign. Sorry about that. 

This entry appeared back in 2015 on my first ever blog that i deleted. 

It's a very short entry, and most of the story is told through a drawing. We all know that a picture speaks a thousand words. 

This is a true story. It was quite normal back then for this to happen. It didn't happen i recent times anymore.  This is because I started using a timer to avoid this from happening. 

Whenever I want to toast some bread I have to be really careful. Or else my bread will turn to ashes.

i drew this in paint back then in 2015

I don't own a toaster and so I have to toast my bread in the oven. My oven works with gas and real fire, but the machine itself is so old it's not even funny.

At some point after that, we changed the cooking stove. But it still works with gas and fire, and I still managed to burn the bread meant to be toast. 

I also often forget I'm making toast, so I have to set up an alarm for when I think the toast might be done. When using this method, my toast is under-done. Basically, this means the bread is not golden-brown the way you see in commercials and stuff.

This was a rather upsetting event at the time. I even manage to burn water, if you know what i mean. 

Can anyone else relate to this?

My eyes are supposed to be green. [in case you were wondering]. Because that's my real eye color. 

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Two Museum Visits

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello, everyone!

As you already know from this entry, Bucharest is currently opened for business after last year's mess that leaked into this year as well.

This meant that museums also opened, and honestly, since we don't have any Louvre or other similarly popular museums, i see no reason not to visit some of the ones we have.

One of the museums in the city, Antipa Museum, holds temporary exhibits on a regular basis. This year it held at least 2 temporary exhibits. One was dedicated to butterflies and the other one to the Moon. 

Butterflies

We first went to see the butterflies first. These were tropical butterflies and they were alive. This exhibit will still be available for 1 month or so.

We decided to go early on a Saturday morning, hoping to be alone there. This didn't go as we had hoped since several families with kids also came. Most likely because it's a bit cooler in the morning than later in the afternoon. And that day was quite the hot one.  

the queue behind us

Luckily for us, not everyone came to see the butterflies. However, access into the museum [where the tickets are sold] was allowed to only small groups. The rule was to allow the groups to be decently distanced. 

The butterflies were not held inside the museum, but in its garden. We did have to walk through the museum to get to the special greenhouse built for them. 

follow the butterfly road, Dorothy!

We had to follow a special protocol to go in and out of this greenhouse:

  • show the tickets [to go in]
  • wait for the employee to let us in or out through the special curtains.
special tickets

The exit from this exhibit was separated from the entrance. of course, all due to "lovely 'rona." 

As i mentioned, the butterflies were alive, so we had to watch our steps, as not to step on one by mistake. 
Besides us, there was maybe a family or two more. 

The majority of the butterflies were blue when the wings were opened and brown when they were closed. The brown side seemed to have a pattern with eyes. The picture below is a bit blurry and doesn't do the butterfly any justice, sadly. There are actually 2 of them eating. Can you spot the 2nd one?

Most of these insects were resting with the wings closed, to show the eye (or perhaps scary side) of their coloring. See an example below:

The greenhouse was small, so the visit wasn't very long. An interesting corner of the enclosure was the box in which they showed the various stages of an insect that turns into a butterfly.

Even more interesting was the fact that some of the pupae were alive, especially those in the later stages. 

There were many stages, and i couldn't capture them all in a single picture, if i wanted to understand something from the image. hello to my reflection and of random people in there, hehe.  

Despite having a short visit, the butterflies made me really happy. this happened perhaps because they're usually associated with hope. they were also very colorful, and colorful stuff is cheerful. 

When we left, we bought this stone tree. I'm not sure what most of the stones are, and thus what's supposed to attract. 

Unfortunately, after we left, Anna started feeling bad and we couldn't continue our plans for the day.

Here are a few more pictures with the butterflies:

Look how beautiful this black butterfly is!

The Moon Impact Exhibit

As mentioned, the 2nd collection we went to see was dedicated to the Moon, and called "The Moon Impact."- link This exhibit will still be on until January. 

This was a presentation with large images and some text, everything from the point of view of a billion of years globe Earth. If you believe in the Creationist theory or in the Hollow Earth, you're probably laughing at me for going to see this exhibit. 

The presentation started with the Big Bang theory, and who is not even a bit familiar with it? 

I didn't take pics at this exhibit, so, here are the tickets instead. 

special 'moon' tickets

I didn't take pics because i found this presentation rather disappointing. I think it was meant for kids who lose their patience rather easily. It was a small one, just like the one with butterflies. 

We also had to show our tickets before getting in, and the person checking them was sitting in such a dark corner we couldn't even see him. 

Anna and i were the only ones there, though a family tried coming in as well, but they didn't have tickets for this expo so they weren't let in.

There were 3 or 4 large cases in which various rocks and/or minerals were held. This was the only interesting part of this exhibit. 

Worth noting that the written presentation was both in Romanian and English. i completely recommend you go see something similar in your city, or even in Bucharest if you're in town until January. 

see ya!

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Why aren't all single-use plastic bags banned?

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

A few months ago I came across a post on Instagram, that made me think of this issue. I'll share the post with you later, in a different entry. 

Well, i thought about it before, but I somehow didn't have the right muse around me to write about it. I think the time is better now. 

Many types and shapes of plastic

I won't dive into what plastic is made of. We all know there are many different types and forms of plastic out there, and i believe this wiki page is only an opener for a whole can of worms on the topic.

Here, in the images below, you can see some types and shapes plastic can take:

  • the hard shell of a mouse and of a regular pen
  • the soft-cover protecting the wires of a mouse, 
  • the faux-leather cover of an agenda (that i use as a planner AND mousepad),
  • my home-pants made of 100% polyester that you get a small snippet of as well (flowery blue, in the lowest part of the image) 
  • a pencil - the green one (the blue pencil is made of the traditional wood)

In these images, most of the mentioned plastics can be used just once. Granted, they can be used for a VERY long period of time. I have to find a recycling program for the mouse, and I'll most likely keep the agenda -as I recorded some memories in it as well. 

The plastic pencil is both useful (when writing or drawing) and wasteful (when sharpening), but it has just 1 life as well. When it becomes too short to still sharpen/write with, I'll have to somehow discard it. 

I got the pants as already worn, but they were still in a good shape. When I'll be done wearing them, I can turn them into something else, until the fabric can no longer be used. 

Speaking of clothes, I have 2 more types of plastics to show you. Well, one is a repeat, while the other is not. 

The vest is made of faux-fur and the coat of faux leather and has a polyester lining. These items too, can be used for an extended period of time. Additionally, they can somehow be reused when they can no longer be used as clothes. 

So, overall, this type of plastic is a tiny bit less problematic.  

Soo ... single-use plastic bags?

I'm not sure where in the world you live, and what the situation is with single-use plastic bags over there. In Romania, these are seen everywhere, especially when you go do your groceries. just look here:

This is a typical plastic shopping bag. It used to be free of charge, now it costs a few cents, depending on the store. They say this bag is single-use. Well, it is not really, unless it breaks. 

I often reuse these when shopping and sometimes as trash bags, when they become a bit too worn out. This particular bag is filled with other plastic bags, and many households across the country have a big plastic bag filled with other (smaller) plastic bags.  

The irony is that most single-use plastic shopping bags of certain compositions have been banned. They have been replaced with "bio" single-use plastic bags. I'll show you one below:

This bag is for fruits and vegetables. it's very soft to the touch, breaks easily, and I'm not 100% sure, but i think it disintegrates quite rapidly once it gets punctured. Currently, shopping bags are very similar to the touch to this 'bio' bag. I still re-use these for lightweight trash, if they didn't already break. 

I made 1 bag for fruits and vegetables, but as you can expect, I forget to bring it with me when shopping. And it's not even guaranteed I'll buy such goods. 

Now, the biggest offenders

I'm not even done, because these previous items can be re-used or have prolonged use if you care to spend less and have a creative spirit. 

Now, I'll show you the biggest offenders of plastic products. 

Cling film!

Cling film is indeed a pretty decent invention for covering foods when putting them in the fridge, or for the sandwiches you make for your lunch break. It probably has other uses that I'm not aware of. 

Regardless, this item should be banned! Or people should stop buying this product altogether! It can be replaced with at least 3 other items:

  1. casseroles with lids: These can be used to store food in the fridge and to take your lunch in. These can easily be washed and reused. I wouldn't recommend the ones made of hard plastic, but it's not very convenient to carry glass stuff around. Maybe metal containers can do the trick here, but I'm not sure they still exist. 
  2. lids or plates used as lids: These can be used only in the fridge. These are more accessible to those who don't always have a fridge full, and they can occupy more space. 
  3. zip-lock bags: Yes, they're still plastic, not great, but if we carefully handle these, they can serve for a long(er) period of time compared to cling film. 
Plastic bottles!

This bottle held apple cider vinegar. When you walk into any store, you'll see hundreds if not thousands of plastic bottles: for beer, oil, sodas, milk, laundry and dish wash, and on and on. 

These are BIG one-time plastic use offenders. Granted, some of these products cannot be sold in a different type of container. 

I think that all stores should request buyers to come with the old/empty bottles when buying a new product of the same type (regardless of brand), or else be forced to pay more. The empty bottles should be collected and recycled. 

I know some people re-use plastic bottles for various things, mostly instead of a traditional pot for plants. This is great, but not everyone has a green thumb or is creative enough. 

Packaging!

There are SO many items packaged in plastic! Above you can see a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and 3 small containers (I'm not sure what to call them), for milk for coffee. 

The bag above is a single-use bag that should be banned. it's too small to be reused and breaks quite easily when not careful. The only re-use i can think of is for the above-mentioned lunch if it comes as a sandwich. I must admit, I'm not sure what can it be replaced by, and therefore it can be spared for some time. 

Trash bags!

I saved the worst for last and i don't even know what to say here. We literally buy these bags to throw them away! Make this make sense because it doesn't make any sense to me!  

As far as i saw here, these rarely have a 'bio' version. And even then, they're way more expensive than 'regular' trash bags. It's also not a guarantee those 'bio' bags last for less time in nature. 

P.S.! 

I know there are also single-use plastic plates, glasses, straws, and cutlery, however, i don't own any such items anymore. Precisely because of their single-use attribute. Additionally, it's not healthy to eat out of re-usable plastic plates either - plastic can leech into the food. This is akin to slow poisoning.  

I don't think paper is a good alternative to plastic, especially not the plastic/paper combo we see on some products. We need to cut trees to make paper, and we need trees to breathe cleaner air. Also, many animals rely on trees to survive. 

I think that paper could be recycled easier than plastic and it decomposes faster when left out in the open. Maybe we could make packaging out of bamboo instead? 

I didn't watermark these pics as I didn't see the need to, but they were taken by me in june/july of this year (2021).

See you next time! 

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Going out for some drinks when the restrictions lift

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

It's been a while since i posted. Well, i do blog for fun, not really for money, and I'm a freelancer, so this makes sense. 

We all know what happened in 2020. the lockdown wasn't easy and hit Romania in mid-March.
I don't think I need to explain what the lockdown means - we all know at this point. The only open places were supermarkets, drugstores, hospitals, along with some restaurants that do deliveries, such as pizza places. 

Walking the dog, taking a short stroll around our buildings, especially those with dogs, and helping the elderly were the main activities that we were allowed to partake in. It goes without saying that buying groceries, meds, or doctor appointments were also allowed but had to be restricted to the minimum. Going to work, for 'essential workers' was also allowed, of course. 

The times were hard on everyone. How hard was it for me? read here -link to post 1 of struggles. 

We also had to write a document stating where we went and why. This was a nightmare in itself. Why couldn't we just send a text or something to some call center or I don't know, somehow make things easy like in South Korea? Those without the paper risked heavy fines. 

When restrictions lifted, things became more bearable. clothes stores opened later than restaurants and cafes, of course. Even these places opened only if they gave food/drinks as a takeaway. 

the streets were eerie and empty the first time we ventured further away from home for a coffee:

The city looked beautiful, despite it being deserted. It looks as if the zombie apocalypse just hit or ended. The messed-up sidewalk is a sight to behold. Welcome to Bucharest, baby!

These two images are the 'entrance' so to speak, of the Old Town. Everyone gathers here during the weekend, but not only. When there's no pandemic or restrictions, of course. 

Of course, not everyone dared to go out just yet. I like the image above the most. It is also in the BEST area in the country to own property (aka an apartment). Some 5 years ago it used to look different. The blue building on the left didn't even exist.

This is another area of the city, across the street from the University of Bucharest. There are maybe 4 statues there? of various important historical people. 

These 2 images are from the Old Town. It'd obviously the same street from 2 different points.

The coffee we got was from Tedd's. I remember it as being just meh, but after 2 months of confinement, it felt like some sort of luxury. 

That's not the only place where we could find something to drink. Somewhere close to the University of Bucharest, there's a small bar called Rainbow. It serves cocktails and coffees, and not only. Most of the stuff they serve is take-away. 

I believe this is the first time we found it and we had to order something. A frappe, a fresh fruit juice, and a mojito, i believe. Drinking in public is allowed in Romania. You could get in trouble if you're getting very drunk/wasted. Besides, it's difficult to tell what the transparent drink is - perhaps some tonic water with lemon/lime, ice, and some mint for kicks, haha. 

The fresh juice is of catina (Seaberry?). It's apparently rich in Vitamin C and this helps fight this virus that messed up our lives. It' one of the best fresh juices I tasted, and it's amazing on a hot summer day. 

We couldn't sit at any table, just on benches or wherever else we could. 

I remember ordering some food from this fancier restaurant, Van Gogh. Here are some pics of the place:

Cases started increasing as soon as people were allowed to go places and do things, due to the rules relaxing further. 

One of the first things we purchased after the lockdown, was a VERY cute backpack. It's cute in my opinion, at least.

In July, we were allowed to sit at terraces with appropriate distancing. We had a raspberry gin tonic i believe and a very traditional Romanian dish.

The dish is polenta mixed with cheese, bacon, and eggs. I forgot if it had anything else added. It was delicious, rather a large portion and I was barely able to finish it. Polenta is rather filling, to begin with. 

Going out for some drinks when the restrictions liftGoing out for some drinks when the restrictions liftGoing out for some drinks when the restrictions lift

Over the winter, most restaurants were again closed for the most part, as well as the theatres. There were no events taking place either. Especially not the Christmas market. We thought we might have it at first, but then it was confirmed they canceled it. 

As the weather improved this year, the authorities started allowing more and more businesses to restart their activities as well. Even events started to slowly take place. 

We finally went and sat at cafes this year, after getting vaccinated. We had both cocktails and coffee-based drinks, just like before.

I missed this matcha latte! I only found one other place that makes it, Handsome Monk. I did order it from there once, but it sucked. :( 

I just don't understand why they don't bring napkins anymore, now that they started having customers again. The napkins you can barely see in the picture above with our drinks? I had to ask for them! 

One of the most exciting things we did this year after everything opened, was going to see a movie! 

The movie we saw was The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

At the movies, there was just one more couple. This place didn't run any ads before the movie, and it was pitch black. Also quite cold inside. I started shaking and not out of fear. I was actually not really scared.

There are a few other things I want to share in the (hopefully near) future, such as the visit to the City Hall. OOOH!

The entry will come maybe next week or in 2 weeks. 

until next time, bye~~~

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Cat-shaped "minciunele"

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello, world! 

Today I'll share with you my results trying to make a common Romanian dessert, called "minciunele." This word means little lies and they're a type of donuts. 

As you can see from the pictures, this recipe was supposed to appear quite some time ago. In fact, i had already posted this recipe on my first blog, before i rebranded for the first time. 

When I first started blogging, I thought i'd have a cooking blog and another blog for other stuff. As we all know, things changed, and now i have this "general" blog and my site/blog dedicated to reviews, called Being Obscure, hosted by WordPress. 

The recipe goes something like this, and you can see the original recipe and results here. This is the blog dedicated to recipes for Romanian foods. The post shows you how these are supposed to look like, and you can clearly see my cats don't look as nice as the original. 

If you want to know why i chose to shape my donuts as cats, I'll add the story AFTER the recipe. I recently realized people don't appreciate too much talking BEFORE the recipe. So, without further ado, here we go!

Ingredients:
  • 500 g flour (1lb?)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
Additional ingredients:
  • some powdered sugar for coating
  • some sunflower oil for frying; whatever other type of oil you use for frying food should also work. 
Method:
  • Beat the egg whites until they're fluffy.
  • Mix the egg yolks with the sour cream and gently fold this mix into the egg whites. 
  • Sieve the flour and the baking powder on top of the mix.
  • Gently fold these also into the mixture above, until you have a smooth dough. 

The original recipe doesn't say to let the dough rest and raise a bit, so I didn't do that. However, I think it should be done, and i think it should be at least 30 minutes. 

Roll the dough onto a sheet on the work table (about 5 mm or 2/8in thick) and cut your shapes. Of course, you can cut whatever shapes you want - i also did that. 

To cut shapes you can use cookie cutters, a glass, or directly a knife. The difference is that with the knife things will be easier and much faster, while with the cookie cutters/glass you'll need to reroll the dough. You don't want to waste all that yumminess. ;)

Fry your shapes in hot oil, over medium heat, and on both sides. If you have too many donuts and you run low on oil, add some more oil, and make sure it gets hot before you fry more donuts. 

When they're brown on both sides, remove them and place them on a plate or a bowl covered with some paper towel or (unscented, dry) paper handkerhiefs. The paper will absorb the excess oil. 

In the picture above, you can see I'm frying donuts in other shapes than cats. 

Once you're done frying all the dough, sprinkle some confectioner's sugar on top. These are always better with some of that on top. 

I never tried, but these could also be good with some chocolate or cream on top. 

Bon Appétit! Enjoy!

Why cat-shaped?

I believe that at some point in 2017, the butter we usually buy came with a little cutter. There were 3 shapes: cat, car, and i forgot what else. They were meant to help mothers make cute sandwiches for their kids, to entice them to eat and enjoy the food more. 

I got the butter that had the cat-shaped cutter. I never really used it since, but one day, when i made these donuts, Anna jokingly challenged me to make them look like cats, thinking it would be impossible for me to do so. 

The expression on her face when i pulled out the cat-shaped cookie cutter? PRICELESS! 

So, this is how you make another type of easy doughnuts. i hope you liked the story about the cookie-cutter shaped like a cat as well. 

As a reference, i have 2 more cutters for cookies: one shaped like spectacles and another shaped like lips. These are from H&M Home. I got them on sale, i think right before the SHTF last year. 

The yellow disk is a cookie or cake decorator i found in the lid of a jar of Nutella. I forgot the year. maybe 2019. 

See you next time! 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Many people struggle - part 2

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello. 

This is a continuation of this post here. I didn't want that entry to be too long, so here we are.

I also wanted to talk about this relative of Anna's. She was the cousin of Anna's mother, on her mother's side. 

This poor woman is no longer with us. She died at the end of 2020 from some heart-related issue, in a mental hospital. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia years before. Her mother had also died earlier in 2020, in the same mental hospital. 

The mother was 91 years old or something, and the daughter 60-something. The daughter was so out of touch with reality, she had no idea where she was or why. :( Of course, she also had no idea her mother was no more either. 

This is the daughter with her adoptive father, sometime in the 1980s maybe, by the style of the photo. 

What is left of these 2 women is literally not much. There's an apartment and a studio that will be sold by the family at some point. 

There are little to no other valuables they left behind. From the mother, there are the Chinaware i talked about in this post and a few pots i took from their apartment. There was a family photo album as well, that we gave to Anna's mom, since it belonged to her relatives.

We also managed to salvage these 2 coffee table books:

The book on New York sells for around $2.5 on local sites, as it's by a Romanian author. The text is both in Romanian and English. The art book on Chinese prints is written by a Russian woman, and I saw it selling for various prices, starting at some $26 and up to $126. 

We like both the Big Apple and Chinese culture/art/history/traditional clothing. It goes without saying, these books will stay with us. We wouldn't have bought them if we saw them in a store, to be honest. But like this, for free, why not?

Everything else had to be discarded because they lived with bugs literally crawling everywhere, in an unbearable smell of feces, bug spray, dust, and only the Lord knows what else. 

Of the daughter, Anna kept these 3 notebooks. She wrote many notebooks. The ones we found/kept are dated 2013-2014. 

These notebooks have been used as planners, a diary, and somewhere to write her wishes, hopes, and random thoughts, basically. 

Many people struggle - part 2Many people struggle - part 2
Many people struggle - part 2Many people struggle - part 2

These are a few pages taken from 2 of the notebooks. The diary's name is "Anca". 

I like her handwriting. It shows her pain and hopes at the same time. I think she got bored or tired fast. Most likely, suffering from schizophrenia, this is normal. 

I myself try to write neatly when I put my hopes up for a change. It's like a prayer. Also, a meditation at the same time - writing neatly requires more effort and concentration. 

On some of the pages, The aunt was writing "we will get married." I believe that was more like a manifestation, her greatest wish. I think she also wished for her mother to live as long as possible. And, well, she did. 

In one of the notebooks, Anna read how the aunt was asking for some treatment that she never received. But she wanted it. She was asking for some sort of help that nobody gave her. 

Their apartment is on the 4th floor. All the windows had bars on them to prevent the aunt from jumping out the window. She must have felt even more like a prisoner, not only in her body/mind without proper medication, but also in her house, though it was for her own safety. 

That poor woman (her mother) lived for so long because she probably felt that nobody else could take care of her daughter. And she was most likely right. Though she was also in no condition to do so either. Not anymore. She lasted in the mental hospital for like half a year. I think she either realized she no longer has to worry about her daughter, or she finally gave up. It's hard to tell. 

If you read thus far and you see someone struggling, try to help them. Remember that not everyone shows their pain the same way

Until next time, stay safe!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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My china collection: part 2 - ARPO

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

I wanted to share something else today, but I kinda like to mix things up and not talk about the same topic in consecutive entries. 

So, in this entry, I talked about the china items I have 2 of, as for couples. I promised i'd present to you my ARPO collection as well. 

ARPO used to be a Romanian factory manufacturing fine porcelain items - plates, sets for coffee or tea, and decorative items. The factory is now defunct and its demise was the fall of communism back in 1989. This is a short presentation of the company, by Wikipedia, in Romanian. You can easily translate using Google Translate (not sponsored) or any other translation service. 

If you click this link, you'll see a selection of items made by ARPO. 

Ok, so now let's talk about my collection. I remember that I saw a youtube video in which the creator was saying that if you want to feel good, you should surround yourself with items that you enjoy seeing. In another video, the creator was saying that we all have a set of good things we keep for special occasions

She was saying that we all know that those special occasions rarely happen, and we should just use those special items. And I realized she was right. 

I don't know how I decided that I really like the porcelain plates made by ARPO. I think I just looked up the brand once I had some items in my possession, to try and learn more about it. 

I think my collection started with this set for coffee. It currently contains 4 cups, 6 plates, bowl for sugar with a lid, tall coffee pot with a lid, and a cup to pour milk from. 

My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO

You probably think that i don't have the coffee pot and the other items I mentioned. But you're wrong. 

The thing is that at the end of 2020, an aunt of Anna's died. She had no children, so Anna's family is in charge of figuring out what to do with the woman's possessions, which are not many. 

As it happens, she also had a set of this coffee set, but with different flowers. I took the set and gave it a good clean, and put it in my collection. in a storage box because i don't have enough space to display them. And i have other coffee or teapots to use instead. 

Well, here are the remaining and doubles of this set, if this makes any sense at all. Obviously, the set with the smaller monochrome-blue flowers belonged to the dead aunt. 

My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO

This blue set is the latest addition to my collection, as you can imagine. 

Now I'll show you the plates I have.

i already shared these plates in my previous post. I had 2 of them back then. Now I have 3, as 1 came from MIL maybe around Christmas. 

These are shallow, almost flat dishes. They're for serving semisolid or solid food on. 

My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO
My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO

I also have this set of 5 plates I got last year from my friend's mother. These plates are a bit deep, ideal to serve soup in. If you click on the image, you'll see the plates better. 

I don't like these plates as much as the other items in the collection, but what can I do. 

My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO

I almost forgot this plate. This is my favorite and needless to say I keep it as safe as I can. This picture doesn't do it justice, in my opinion.

The stamp on the back is also barely visible. It says ARPO and then a name. I can make out "C. Beargee" or maybe "C. Bearger", all in capital letters. 

The flowers on this plate have a texture to them, while the plate is as smooth as it gets. This is a shallow plate, almost flat. I forgot when and where this plate came from. 

My china collection is not done. My next entry will have to be on the remaining items that are either random sets or one of a kind. 

Stay tuned for that! 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Browsing Burda May 1996

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all! 

This is a pretty short entry as I want to present to you all, the Burda magazine for May 1996! 

I made a video browse-through of still pics with transitions and some notes, and even though it doesn't sound as interesting as it should, it did require some work on my part. 

I think it took me some 2 hours to put it together, without the taking pictures part.

Why is this issue important? No particular reason, This is currently the oldest Burda issue I own and I already made a pair of pants twice, in 2 different sizes. You can read more about the process here.

If you're wondering why i didn't post this entry on my Being Obscure reviews site/blog, is because I don't review the magazine. i just make a browse through. 

There's barely any commentary and all of it is written as captions. I think it fits more here. 

I hope you like the issue, and it's just in time for the month of May of this year. 

I have another browse through to prepare for June, but the year is 2013. Stay tuned for that! 

That's not the next issue I own, chronologically, but the one that fits with the time of the year. I hope you're OK with my choice.  

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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An all time favorite for Romanians - Polenta

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

I'm not sure I was supposed to post anything today, but I realized this recipe wasn't moved from my old cooking blog. I thought it might be time I moved it. 

Quite honestly, I almost forgot I still had recipes on that old blog. 

As you'll see, the pics are very bad, undated, but they're from at least 2015. That's why they're bad and I don't have a visual step-by-step of the process. 

Ok, below you'll see the "original" post. Enjoy your reading!

Coming to Romania you'll want to try some traditional food, even though I don't believe there is any dish that is exclusively "traditional Romanian." What you'll eat instead is food almost every Romanian knows how to make, especially in the countryside. Sadly, eating this in the capital, might not taste the same as it would in some forsaken village, but this doesn't mean it won't be tasty.

From my old blog. i need new pics.

Polenta seems to be every peasant's replacement for bread and therefore eaten mostly with other foods. However polenta is so popular it can be eaten by itself as well.. well sort of by itself. Mixing it with butter and some type of salty cheese will make it delicious and a dish that can be served as a stand-alone.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 liter of water (or less)
  • some cornflour, better known as polenta in some countries. [all i know its that it's dry, yellow, rough, and made of corn]
  • some salt
  • between 1 and 3 spoons of butter - margarine also works
  • some cheese - feta cheese is just an example. Make sure the cheese melts, you'll thank me later.
  • Optional:
    • black pepper
    • boiled egg
    • bacon or sausages
from my old blog. i need new pics.
METHOD
  • Place the water with salt on fire and bring it to a boil.
  • When it starts to boil, start slowly adding the polenta-corn flour. Make sure to mix in a circular motion with a wooden spoon. You're better off at mixing with its handle - it mixes better, trust me on this one. Make sure it boils well!
  • Cut the cheese into small cubes. Best size? about half your thumb finger.
  • Add the cornflour until the mixture thickens and sticks to your spoon. It is done when you have the impression you can form balls with it, without them falling apart. You'll want it rather thick and sticky than runny or soft.
  • Add the butter and mix well. The butter will soften the mixture - this is what you want.
  • Add the cheese and mix. The cheese will start melting - this is what you want to happen. ;)
  • Add some black pepper on top after you serve on a dish or in a bowl.

This dish is best served hot, especially in winter, but having it cold in summer is just fine too.

I like it warm regardless of the season, lol. You could say this is a type of comfort food for me.

Here I had it with some fried soy pieces and some bell pepper. You can have it with sauerkraut, sausages, fish, and almost any other food that has sauce.

Bon Apettit!

PS: yes, all these failed pics are mine -_-' I need to make polenta again and to take better pics of the process. 


© Charly Cross 2013 - present.

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Many people struggle

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone. 

This is a rather sad entry. I'm not in a very good mental state right now. 

I think I started battling depression a few years back. I haven't been to any therapists until this year. I will soon start some treatment for this. I just need to go wait until my next appointment in about 3 weeks. 

I also suffer from anxiety and I'm pretty sure I have some BPD traits as well. Click here if you don't know anything about BPD. In any case, from a social point of view and as far as employment goes, it's not a very good thing to have a paper saying you have BPD or any other issues that could mean you're not emotionally or mentally stable. ok, moving on now. 

Almost everyone struggles. And everyone who struggles makes an effort to hide it. of course, depending on the severity of the problem, some hide it better than others. Some simply can't hide it. Some lose battles with themselves.

pic from july 2017

For me, things went really bad in 2020, when the shit hit the fan with the virus and we were all confined in our homes, and businesses closed. When the martial law was implemented illegally, about a week in - I forgot how long it's been, maybe 2 weeks? a month? i considered jumping out the window. 

i was very close to doing it. Living on the 5th floor, with granite tiles on the sidewalk downstairs. But also some metal things for shade for the shop space on the ground floor. I'm not sure what survival chanced i'd have. i probably would have been stuck in a wheelchair if I did survive. 

Luckily for me, anna was here and I could call her and talk to her ... and she managed to at least calm me down. I'm crying again, now thinking of that evening. I'm truly blessed with her. 

i don't want to hear "oh, but others...." fuck others! I'm not others, and others don't think of me either. I'm not others- I'm ME! I'm tired of these hurtful comparisons!

when you compare a child to other children, you ARE ONLY HURTING your own child and boosting the ego of the other kid. 

pic from july 2017

when you tell your partner "oh, but the spouse of so-and-so...." you are HURTING AND INSULTING YOUR partner! you make them feel miserable! and they wonder why are you with them if you think the other person is better. and the thing is, you can't even know the real face of the other person who you think is better. 

Sorry, I went off a tangent here. but people do that when they try to explain their feelings. i suppose. it makes it easier for them. 

so, around Christmas, I started feeling a bit better, and it lasted for a while. Though PMSing started being too much like a rollercoaster. anna couldn't take my crap anymore and insisted I seek professional help. and so I did, and about a week or so ago I started taking Xanax, as the therapist prescribed. And my anxiety went down, which is great because it was almost crippling me. 

the downside of taking Xanax was that while I was no longer anxious, but i started feeling the depression more. and it was maybe more intense? blank mind, foggy brain... Actually, the fog was almost there, all white and fluffy, around not only my head but my torso as well. i could almost see it with my eyes. 

And then, this site i was playing, suddenly bans me for having multiple accounts! when they already knew there's 2 of us playing there, on 2 different accounts! they knew this for almost 11 years! it's just unbelievable! we apparently broke a rule about exchanging too many items... 

I didn't even know there's such a rule.... well, ok, there is, we broke it indeed. but this is not the point. the point is that the ban-hammer was triggered at a bad time when i was feeling very low and foggy, and that site felt safe in the morning when i was drinking my coffee.  

I've been talking to an admin, but i don't put my hopes too high for getting my account back. Now, i don't care so much anymore. I'll need another morning habit. or just use this as a reason to procrastinate less. 

To be continued...

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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