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Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

Publié le par Charly Cross

As I write this, 2017 is almost over. Clearly I must draw a line and summarize what happened this year. I should also create a sort of bucket list or New Year resolution at the end of the post. I posted a half-year conclusion in July or so, therefore one at the end of the year is a must.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

One of the first things to happen to me, was to realize that full-time employment is not for me. And it's not as if I didn't try. See, I have a creative brain/ mind, and for me this translates into a difficulty to stick to a routine, to do what others [AKA bosses] tell me to do. I can do it but just short-term. Not to mention the effects full-time jobs had on my body and on the relationship with my partner.

We decided to focus our energies we know we can do, do them well, and try out new things. This basically means concentrating on the tasks and projects from the clients, this blog, and even starting a proper YouTube channel. I already uploaded a couple of videos there, and I only have a few views.

Another good thing that happened was for me to see a popularity increase for this blog. Again, it's not much, but seeing it has been viewed daily at least once, is a start. I started to post several times a week, I even have a "cultural" day, and things seem to be going well, even considering that now I'm technically on a break until I move the site. I'm also really excited about the short stories that will appear on the site.

On a personal level, my partner and me are now closer, we always hold hands when we go out, not to mention we're also almost always together. Can't tell you how happy I am, and not to mention less lonely. We got to experience many new thins this year, to visit new places - like the National Village Museum, try new treats like this ice cream. We even went on a ghost-hunt before Halloween, but we failed at seeing any ghosts.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

I also started cooking more, though I don't really have what to show for, except these "artsy" crepes. I also started bullet journaling, however it evolved more into a planner kind of thing. In any case, it seems to help me stay more organized, and to show me that I am doing things, and not just waste my time. It also seems I managed to keep a more clean house when compared to last year. I don't know if it's thanks to planning, but I'm pretty sure it's related to actually being home.

From a financial point of view, 2017 wasn't the most abundant, but we were together and this mattered more than the money. I rather be poor and with my partner than being rich and without her. <3

I'm also proud of myself for studying more Mandarin, for proving to myself I can even complete DIY projects. Of course this is not much, and other people are much more advanced than me, but I have to start somewhere. I'm proud and happy because I feel my creativity reached new levels I didn't think possible, and I feel more worthy.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION?

 

I never did something like this before, so I don't really now how to start.

 

  • [ ] workout more - make a habit out of it
  • [ ] walk more
  • [ ] cut the amount of swear words from my daily vocabulary
  • [ ] stop talking badly about others (ooops, I have a bad habit)
  • [ ] communicate more
  • [ ] continue with Mandarin (at least twice a week)
  • [ ] be less lazy
  • [ ] be less envious of other

 

I'll have to incorporate these into my planner somehow. I hope you had a good year, I pray the next one will be better, and for health for everyone.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

Pictures belong to their makers.

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Christmas is here ... again!

Publié le par Charly Cross

Today, as I type this, is Friday (1 week before Christmas. but I finished the blog entry on the 24th - call me lazy). I decided that today I'd decorate our "Christmas tree." Well, we don't have a proper tree, just the one my partner bought last year.

Christmas is here ... again!

I was a bit sad that we don't have any Christmas lights nor decorations, nothing. :( and I was storming my brains for ideas of how to make something more Christmas-y without spending too much money [because we need it for 1001 other things]. And all of a sudden the idea popped! :D

All I had to do was to find an alternative to all the decorations. I first came up with the idea to put under it a few items we haven't opened yet, even though we knew what they were - some nice tea, an orange, an unused candle, a pair of Christmas socks my partner got as a gift, and 2 pine cones. And then, I remembered I had these blue plastic beads from a necklace that broke. I thought I could paint them red or golden and then hang them on the branches.

The only thing I could use to paint these beads was some nail polish ... except it didn't work as planned.

Christmas is here ... again!

As a result, I decided to just leave them as they were. Then I proceeded to place each bead on some piece of string and hang them on the tree. I thought at first it would be nice to use the same string color for all the beads, but then I changed my mind.

I also used some extra string I had to wrap it around the tree like some sort of tinsel. I also used some other old jewelry - a shiny bracelet, another blue necklace, and a silver heart locket [in the back, barely seen in the picture]. The decor is 'original' I think, it's something that anyone can do, I believe, regardless of their budget and skills.

Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 
Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 

Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 

And because we got into the Christmas spirit - at least a bit, we decided to take a walk and go see the Christmas Market set up in the square in front on the infamous Palace of the Parliament. The boulevard got decorated for Christmas. The decorations are nicer from the Unirii Square towards the Palace.

bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"
bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"

bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"

The market has a big tree - that can actually be seen from downstairs, a stage, a nativity scene - the animals were even animated with sounds at least, there was a merry-go-round but just for kids, as well as an ice skating rink that was still designed for kids and children, but parents were skating with those that were too young.

Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!

If you know how Christmas markets work, you probably know what to expect when you get in. There are stalls with food, drinks, clothes, traditional crafts, and several sellers with almost identical merchandise. But that's OK because you have options - if you don't like the person selling, right?

Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!
Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!
Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!

These were the stuff we liked the most at this year's Christmas Market. I wish you a Merry Christmas [and if you don't celebrate it, Happy Holidays]! I hope you can be surrounded by your loved ones and that good luck and health will always be by your side!

Do you have a Christmas Market in your city or in your country? If Christmas is not a thing for you, please share some traditional stuff from where you are, even if they happen at other times of the year!


© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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End of the year updates and a recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

Wow, hello to whoever checks this out!

What are my updates? Firstly I hope my "cooking block" will stop and that I'll be able to share more stuff here. Well I do have a few recipes to share, and I can't wait to do so because I feel some of you did wonder if I'll ever post anything here or not.

Another update is that now I have an online identity, as you can see - points to the "author's name" and I hope that one day [in the next 5 years?] I will have a book published under this name. It's a pen-name but I feel it represents me well [I feel no connection to my ID name, sorry parents]. The book I want to publish will be a collection of short stories - horror and fictional? is that what they're called? - that I'm yet to write. :P

not my picture :(

not my picture :(

I think you want the recipe more than anything, right? I wish there was a spoiler function for the other part.

marble poundcake with poppy seeds

End of the year updates and a recipe

This recipe is rather good for Christmas [or New Years] dinner [or lunch], so it came just in time. I have to warn you that I didn't follow any recipe this time, so you can refer to this one for specific instructions and more pictures.

I will however tell you the [approximate] quantities:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 full table spoons of yoghurt [I used one with 1.5% fat content. Can be replaced with any fat percentage yoghurt, and even better, sour milk. ;) ]
  • 300 grams sugar [measured]
  • regular cooking oil [1 table spoon? I didn't measure it]
  • 10 grams of baking powder [most of baking powder in Romania comes in packets of 10 grams]
  • some orange essence [just because I didn't have vanilla essence. I didn't measure how much I used]
  • all purpose flour [not measured; enough to give the right consistency to the dough]
  • poppy seeds [I didn't measure, maybe 10 grams? a teaspoon? It's a very popular ingredient in Romania.]
  • cocoa powder, unsweetened [maybe 2 teaspoons?]

METHOD:

Preheat the oven. This is a step you can't skip, especially when cooking with gas.

This time, unlike other times, I just poured everything together in the bowl - except the flour, cocoa, and the poppy seeds. I mixed for some 20 seconds. I looked at the hour on my wrist watch for this one. ;)

Then I added in the poppy and the flour and mixed well. I prepared my round tray - maybe some 25 cm in diameter? and poured most of the dough in it. I saved maybe some 4 or 5 spoons in the bowl and added the cocoa powder.

End of the year updates and a recipe

I added the cocoa dough on top, trying to make some design - but you can't really see it since I didn't take pictures this time. I baked the cake for 45 minutes - 35 to 40 minutes would have been enough, but last times it was still underbaked [undocumented times] and I didn't want that to happen again.

When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.
When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.

When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.

I had my first try this morning, and I was pleasantly surprised and inspired to write this entry. YAY!

The coffee is from Japan, from the brand AGF Blendy. I have a Japanese friend and he kindly send me some Japanese coffee. I can barely read some hiragana and katakana... And although I started to learn some Chinese, it's definitely NOT enough to read the instructions. LOL

End of the year updates and a recipe

What can I say? This coffee was more bitter than life but really good :) The sachet in the cup was packed in the envelope I'm holding, and it smelled really good when I opened it. I added milk [off camera] to be able to drink it and also be sure I won't get shaky.

End of the year updates and a recipe

I hope you'll be able to try this recipe out.

I wish you Happy Holidays and lots of health in the upcoming year!

© Charly Cross 2013 – present. all rights reserved.

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My offline work experience

Publié le par Charly Cros

For the past 7 years I've been working online as a ghost writer. I love this job, even though I'm not always the best at it.

However I did have several jobs that can be labeled as 9-to-5, therefore full time employment. I will talk about 3 of these jobs in this post, as they're in the same field - sales. I've been a sales assistant in a shoe shop and in 2 clothes stores, and this is where my worst experiences came from.

After reading this, you'll probably say that I should have sucked it up, and bear it ... but that's just not me. My brain is wired differently, and as a result I can't act the way the norms of society tell me to act - plus I'm still a rebel and I'm prone to disobey the rules. But that's for a different entry.

"Romanians find products made of genuine leather to be of a better quality, and looking better, and will prefer it."

I'll now talk about my experience working in a shoe shop. This store - or better said its name - is a well known Romanian brand. its products are made of real leather, and this includes shoes, bags, and belts. How they source their leather, I don't know, and I'm not here to discuss whether this is an OK practice or not. [I will however tell you that Romanians find products made of genuine leather to be of a better quality, and looking better, and will prefer it. This is especially true for those over the age of 35, as younger generations are more influenced by the animal rights movement.]

At this store, I worked 2 weeks in one location, then they moved me to another location. I hated working there -not sure why- and I also didn't understand what was I supposed to do there. They expected me to learn more than 100 products by heart, in a couple of days. Before getting hired, I thought that working in a shoe shop is easy - wrong!

This was my first ever experience working with so many products, clients, and high amounts of money. Despite my lack of experience, they wanted me to check the products on the register - when selling, and to so unsupervised. [So they'll have someone to blame should money be missing, I assume.] They might have shown me how's done, once or twice, but it was super fast, and didn't learn it - I learn at a slower pace.

The other girls didn't seem to like me, and I also disliked them. I remember having to obey weird rules such as standing in one spot if the store had no clients. However, when I did that, they would call the store and tell me to move around. So, am I a statue or not? make up your mind, people. I got fired after those 4 weeks. And you know what? I don't regret it one bit. I wouldn't advise anyone working for this company.

"The main job there was to convince the clients they needed those rags."

At the clothes shops, I also spent 1 month in each, but this was many years after the shoe store happening. I worked for the first clothes store back in 2015. That was another unpleasant experience that mostly messed up my feet. The items sold there were ridiculously expensive but made on the cheap - well, maybe there were a few exceptions, but too few to matter. The main job there was to convince the clients they needed those rags and to make sure we each sell of a certain amount of money each day, to get the sales commission.

That's because here, sales assistants get a fixed salary and a percentage of the total sales made in a month - usually the month before the payday. This store had a sales target per person, per day, equal to the fixed salary. So, if your monthly paycheck was 2000, you had to make sure you sell every day, merchandise worth 2000. Impossible? Well, maybe selling 2 dresses each day, was enough. Except there are not so many people needing a [fugly, elegant] dress every day.

What happened? I failed, and got fired. But I was happy because I had to lie to the clients - something I'm bad at, and dislike doing. Plus some people can tell quality from trash, and can buy the same product for a fraction of the price, from some other place. I also think the other chicks didn't like me as I wasn't as fake as them. I don't have the energy for that.

"The other girls here seemed nice to me."

Working for the 3rd store, was another fail story. I was supposed to receive a full uniform there - they only provided a top. And then they asked me why don't I have normal pants like the other chicks working there - take a guess, Einstein! Just like the first store, this one is another Romanian brand, and their designers are sisters - I had no idea of this before getting hired. Maybe this is why they fired me from here as well.

The worst part of working there, was the CEOs were checking the cameras at all times, not having alarm system, making it easy for people to shoplift. The other girls here seemed nice to me, but I learned they gossiped about me behind my back. I would assume none of the colleagues really liked me was because I didn't want to tell them all my life story from day one.

NOT a sob story nor asking for your pity

So this concludes the story of me working as sales assistant for 3 different shops. I'm not seeing it as a sob story, I don't need to be pitied or anything like that. I just want to point out that working a full time job outside the house is not something made for everyone.

And I wish society accepted this already, and the governments made it easier for people like me to make a living in different ways, not just the "traditional" way.

I still have some stories related to old-fashioned type of employment, but in different sectors. And the experiences there were still unpleasant from my point of view.


(c) Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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