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Making meatballs

Publié le par Charly C.

Actually, I was torn about posting this recipe. About 2 months ago or so I decided to give up meat from my diet. Or to eat as little of it as possible. I'm by no means a vegan, but I guess a vegetarian? I will occasionally eat meat, especially if it's given to me but I won't go out of my way to buy it. 

I have both ethical and religious reasons for this choice. However, I had the recipe in the making for quite some time now, and I wanted to post some fresh material. Pictures are old as well - 2015 old. 

hmm.. yea....

hmm.. yea....

I must say I love meatballs: fried meat, fat, flavor..? I mean, what's not to like, right? Sadly, I can't even eat minced meat, let alone fried stuff. 

Well, health related issues aside, today I want to tell you how you can prepare meatballs as well. Trust me: it's so easy, but you might have to make your hands dirty. I only dislike the frying process.

INGREDIENTS:

  • some 500 grams of minced pork meat. You can use pork and beef, chicken, or almost any type of meat I suppose.
  • 1 egg [2 if you have almost 1 kg /2 lbs of meat]
  • salt, pepper
  • some all purpose flour

METHOD:

mix everything together, until it looks similar to thismix everything together, until it looks similar to this

mix everything together, until it looks similar to this

Take small amounts, turn into balls or random shapes, and fry on both sides until they become brown

Take small amounts, turn into balls or random shapes, and fry on both sides until they become brown

they should look similar to this.

they should look similar to this.

Make sure there is no pink left on the inside of the meatball. You can do this by making it more flat - which is what I do, or by splitting one open to check the color change. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Kay's memories

Publié le par Charly Cross

On the same bus ride, Kay was also thinking of how he met Anna, the girl next to him. His memories took him further back in time, though. He was maybe 11 or 12 when his caretaker finally took him to this school. He was supposed to start attending it at a much younger age, but he knew that some issues related to money made his caretaker push this back. It wasn’t the lack of money - they had plenty - they just didn’t want to spend as much as it was requested, greedy bastards.

Kay was happy to finally attend this school as it offered him much wanted freedom, though it wasn’t real freedom. He also saw this school also as a time off from his household and everything it meant and came with living there.

The day he was introduced to his future classmates, the only available seat was next to a very pretty girl with blond hair and big brown eyes. 

not my picture, see the end for credits/ more info.

not my picture, see the end for credits/ more info.

Kay knew a lot about the school and why he had to attend classes there. It was because no other school would be able to teach him how to use or control his abilities. And he had to control them as his frustrations with his household started to be unbearable, especially for those surrounding him. 

Not all of them had such abilities and he could easily even kill any or all of them, especially those with no skills. The live of the un-skilled wasn't easy either as they always were scared for their life. They also couldn't teach anyone how to control or use their skills. 

Kay's enrollment was delayed. Mostly because they had no idea of just how powerful he was. Just now and then they would get a glimpse of his abilities and how strong he was - but they thought he was just lucky. It mostly happened when they were pushing things too far. 

It was before he turned 10 that Kay found out his powers scare the staff. He would test himself when he was alone, in secret. Indeed tis was a form of training, but with no guidance he couldn't know much or even if he was on the right track.

He noticed that sometimes he could get things he wanted if he kept at it. But of course it wasn't enough. Learning about the school happened by accident -or so he thought- and it took a lot of effort to find out more about it. Hearing that he could improve his skills by attending sorta helped him realize why he wasn't attending: the family would lose their power over him.

This was more than enough to make him do whatever he could to convince his family that he must be enrolled. However, upon enrollment, the school was also told that he's a trouble maker and that this is why he wasn't brought here sooner. The school was supposed to supervise him at all times.

The headmaster of the school ensured Kay's guardians they'll keep a close eye on him, just as instructed. However this was partially a lie due to the many rules the school had and not enough staff to enforce them. 

It didn't take Kay too long to see that many rules were constantly broken with no repercussions. The most important of them however, were followed to the T. Breaking those could mean getting expelled, even for the most talented or the most rich. 

Kay arrived at the school, his future home for a while, on a Friday evening. This gave him plenty of time to learn more about the school until Monday morning when he had his first class. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

If you want to learn more Chinese characters, go to archchinese.com. They own the copyrights for the image.

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Some money saving tips

Publié le par Charly C.

Recently I started watching videos on finances and minimalism. I'm not good with money and I'm not a minimalist either ... well, not really. I guess, I decided to start learning about the mistakes I could be faced later on, or how to fix the ones I already made [and I'm too embarrassed to talk about].

However, I realized that in a way I can be described with both epithets depending on the situation. Now, I decided to share with whoever reads this blog, some possibly new [and some definitely old ways] in which you can spend less money.  

yes, doing this saves me some money

yes, doing this saves me some money

"hacking" my clothes

Some of you might remember my post in which I shared how I added a pocket to my sweatpants that didn't have one. 

How does it save money? I didn't have to go buy another pair with pockets [not that I would have found something I liked] and I didn't pay someone else to do it for me. Of course, for this you have to know how to sew [by hand or with the machine]. 

To do this, you'd have to sacrifice some time. For this project I wasted a bit more time than I was supposed to, because of extra steps that proved not needed.

I have a similar project going on for a bag. Hopefully I can post it soon enough.

old stuff to rags

If you were to calculate how much you spend in a year for certain cleaning supplies - mop replacement, kitchen sponge, dust cloth, whatever else you use, how much do you estimate that would add up to?

Honestly, I didn't calculate myself because I'd have to keep track of how often I need to replace them. But my wallet is a bit happier I didn't have to buy kitchen sponges anymore - for like a year. 

Instead I use old kitchen towels that I cut into smaller pieces. Most my kitchen towels used to be bath towels that got too worn to still use as such. Yes they were that old. 

By doing this not only do I produce less waste and pollution, but I also save a bit of money. Why are kitchen towels so expensive? 

How about the clothes I mentioned, you say? Depending on the fabric type, I cut those into the shape and size I think I need, and use the rags to clean windows and their sills, doors and their frames, dust the few horizontal surfaces I have, or the tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. Cleaning the toilet with those rags is a good idea because once that's done, I can throw away the rag feeling less guilty about pollution. 

I have to mention that as long as I don't clean the toilet with said rags, I can wash them in the laundry machine, and re-use them until they can no longer be used. 

Some towels make an even better mop than the one I have, so why not taking advantage of that? Not to mention that once the dishes are done, I can rinse off the piece of towel I used, and hung it to dry - it's more hygienic than a sponge in this regard.

Tshirts, sweat pants and matching sweat-shirts are the best candidates here. I find this a really good idea for when cleaning due to moving

This is especially do-able for those who don't have a charity or some other place where to go donate or sell old clothes. Let's just say, towels are not a thing to make others use.

Some money saving tipsSome money saving tips

by cooking

Cooking can save you some money as oftentimes the ingredients are cheaper or add up to 1 meal at a restaurant, depending on what you order. Let's not forget that usually cooking means you get several servings of the food you make, and if you really like what you make, that's always cheaper and better. 

What I cook is usually sweets, soups, and stews. I can't really find the stuff I prepare at home in the store. Even if I did, the taste is not the same, and may have ingredients I want to steer away from (garlic, onions, preservatives, food coloring) from a health related perspective.

If you want to prepare a meal that is not really specific to the country you live in, the ingredients can cost quite a lot. You might actually save money if you went to have a serving of an "exotic" dish at a specialized restaurant. You'll also realize whether that food is really worth trying to make at home or not. 

 

eating directly from the pot

"Whaat? that's gross, weird!" - it's what you may be thinking. 

And you're right when you cook for a whole family and not just yourself. It's also not really gross if you just warm the food on the stove, in a small enough pot to hold 1 serving of whatever you eat. 

How does it save money? indirectly: you have only 1 container to wash, not 2. You save water and dish washer because you use less of both. Of course, this works only if you do the dishes by hand. If you use a dish washing machine, you might actually want to use a separate plate to eat in. 

I have to say that these machines are not very common in Romania yet, though they can be found in stores. Younger families are more likely to own them, than older generations. They are more likely to be found in newer or renovated apartments. We don't own one.

Each household is different, of course, and what works for me might not work for you. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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some thoughts on moving to another country

Publié le par Charly Cross

Moving to another country is not what many people expect it to be. Sadly. 

It can't happen overnight - unless you're very rich, or maybe don't care about going into a big debt. To avoid this, you could sell everything you own of value - but what if you don't own anything at all? This is perhaps one of the first things to keep in mind especially if you're older and a school exchange program can't be applied to you.

You should choose a country where a language you know is spoken. In case you'll be interested in getting a job, having a diploma, degree, certification, or experience, will help greatly. Any of these attributes will help you secure decent employment. You do have other ways of generating income, and as a woman you could even get married to a rich man from that country - a practice frowned upon.

But I'm nobody to talk about those topics. As you know, we plan on moving to France, and it's not an easy process. We want to learn more about the life there, but there aren't many people writing or making videos about it. Following Youtube France ... I only get suggestions for comedy channels with pranks, or challenges. Not helpful at all, but we still try.

We're also trying slowly improving our grasp on French. We luckily learned some in school, but it's been so long ago. We do know that the quality of life in France is far better than over here, so why shouldn't we want to move there? After all you don't want to move to a country where you don't have access to running water or electricity, do you? You also want to have enough money from your paycheck to be able to have some fun as well.

The political atmosphere of the country is important. While I'm sure there are some people who would like to live in North Korea, they will never outnumber those who want to live in USA, Sweden, France, the UK, Japan, or any other country where people are free to say and do whatever as long as they don't hurt others. Not many people want to live in a very corrupt country either - Romania is one of the most corrupt ones out there.

some thoughts on moving to another country

Some countries have a more accepting attitude towards foreigners than others. This is why Canada is a place where foreigners are very welcomes, but countries like Japan, China, Switzerland are very enclosed and rejecting towards them. Sure there are reasons, however it is quite difficult for many people going to those last countries to feel at home, welcomed and accepted.

It is well known that some products or services you might need or like, are not available in other countries. For instance, Europeans going to USA won't be able to eat or even buy Kinder eggs, or that internet is heavily censored in China and that many sites are blocked over there. We're going to France, so I'll be missing some foods that I'm pretty sure I won't find there, unless I can find Romanian shops there. What's more, some stuff will shock you - maybe the so many vending machines in Japan qualify ...? Or that all the shops are closed on Sunday in France, Germany, and Switzerland - or this is what I heard.

Your safety is important, especially if you're a woman. You will want to know just how safe it is to walk down the street at night, or even in the daylight. Bucharest is rather safe, plus you definitely don't risk getting randomly shot because we don't own guns. We don't need them. Having thieves breaking into your home is relatively rare, as far as I know, especially since most buildings now have an intercom system, sometimes even a guard downstairs, and cameras.

What do you do if you have pets, like we do? You of course have the option to re-home them, but if you're like us, you probably think the pets are part of the family and can't imagine anyone else taking better care of them. Plu you'll be missing them a LOT. We decided to take 2 of them with us [we have 3], and to return for the 3rd one at some point when we become more stable with the money. But the pets need passports, vaccines, microchips, and I forgot what other documentation. What's more, is that we need money for all these vet visits and paperwork.

Then, we'll need more money for plane tickets, food while we're there till we find employment, and so on. Not to mention the time we need to invest in all of this. Just the pets' stuff might take up to 2 months. I always thought I can just pack my bags and be out the door, but I never really put much thinking into all these aspects that can be scary at times. Remember you can't succeed with fear in mind: you have to be somewhat brave.

I may have been a dreamer, and still am. There is nothing wrong with that as long as I'm aware of the effort needed to make my dreams come true, and being willing to do the work. And A and me ARE preparing to turn those dreams into reality.

In conclusion, if you too wish to move to another country, get as informed as possible about your destination to ease the process, and then start doing the work for it. Don't forget that sometimes it just takes more time than expected. Good luck!


©2013 – present. Charly Cross. All rights reserved.

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Making French toast

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello World!

French toast is (or at least used to be) quite the popular dessert over here. I remember I watched a video last year in which the creator made them, so I suddenly started craving some. 

As you can see, I made this dessert last year in September, but I never got around to post the recipe. I think it's time to share this with the world. (and then go out to buy some milk to make another batch, haha)

Follow the pictures for ingredients and instructions ;)

In a larger bowl mix 2 eggs and half cup milk. Add 1-2 spoons of sugar if you want it more sweet.

In a larger bowl mix 2 eggs and half cup milk. Add 1-2 spoons of sugar if you want it more sweet.

On a plate mix together some sugar, cinnamon, and other spices you like.

On a plate mix together some sugar, cinnamon, and other spices you like.

Soak slices of bread in the milk mixture.

Soak slices of bread in the milk mixture.

Fry the soaked bread on a skillet that was just a bit greased. I used cooking oil, but they recommend melting some butter.

Fry the soaked bread on a skillet that was just a bit greased. I used cooking oil, but they recommend melting some butter.

Cook the bread on each side until they reach a light brown color. Then run through the sugar mixture.

Cook the bread on each side until they reach a light brown color. Then run through the sugar mixture.

You can now serve, hot or cold. You can serve with jam, syrup, honey depending on how sweet you want your dessert.

As you can see from my pictures, you can use any shape of bread, but it's best if it's white. 

I used real milk with a low fat content. While I think it's ok to replace it with soy or other type of milk, I haven't tried it. 

I recommend this as breakfast or as a quick afternoon snack, if you're at home. 1 serving shouldn't exceed 2 slices, and here I had maybe 8 slices of bread (but not all were shown). 

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Stuff I wish I knew before re-branding

Publié le par Charly C.

As some of you know, I recently moved my blog and I also re-named it. All this trouble can be called re-branding! YAY!

So my rebranding consist of:

  • new hosting platform 
  • new blog name
  • new author name 
  • new blog and author logo - that I designed

In case you're wondering, the old version of the blog still exists, still on the platform I was using before, however it is being hidden from the public. 

Like many other people that try new things for the first time, there are some things I wish I knew before doing this step. Well, to be completely honest, I did no research on what rebranding or moving a blog so it's partially my fault. In any case, if you want to learn a few things, or think you might need a few tips in the future, please read on. 

Backing up pictures

Not everyone posts pictures along their blog entries. You'll see some of my own entries with no pictures whatsoever - they're not always relevant. 

However, if you do have pictures on your blog, you might want to back them up. From the start. The same goes for your videos. 

When I rebranded, I noticed several posts [this is just one of them] had broken images, and I was really scared I didn't have them anymore. But thanks to the hoarder that I am, I did find them. 

You might want to edit them and have them bear your new brand if you watermark them. I didn't do this, but maybe I should. The thing is I am not 100% sure I still have the originals or that I want to waste even more time for that. 

that entry was deleted before rebranding, as i changed my mind about it since the time i wrote it.

that entry was deleted before rebranding, as i changed my mind about it since the time i wrote it.

Edit / delete posts / entries

Rebranding usually has something to do with having changed your mind about the purpose of your blog. This means you'll have to go back on your posts and see if there is anything that doesn't fit your new perspective. Rebranding is similar to a face-lift so to say, so you'll have to do this.

I had to delete some entries that for some reason or another were blank. Originally those were re-blogs on my other platform, but perhaps the original poster also deleted the entries or something weird happened. Blank entries look weird and unprofessional, so in the bin they went.

At the same time, you might want to delete or add new pages for a better organization of your entries. Editing them [their content] is also a good idea, to breathe in some fresh air. 

Check and fix your URLs

My URLs were a mess after I moved my blog. It took me several days to go through all my entries and fix them. As a curiosity, they read something like: "http://www.obscurejourney.com/http://theownertravelsto.wordpress.com/missing-entries-on-my-blog" - WordPress is my previous blogging platform. This type of URL looks complicated, not functional and very unprofessional. My old blog is still there, but it's hidden from the public: it's my way of backing up my site. 

Not only did I have to fix the ugly URLs, I also had to fix any links I had in any post as well! My links were directing the visitor towards my previous blog and therefore the links appeared broken. I hope I did well and managed to fix them all. 

Learn about your new host

This should be a no-brainer. But, I jumped on this new platform without reading too much about it. I still hope I won't regret it, haha. 

You should learn about your new host because you want to go LIVE as soon as possible, so learning about the host - how to post entries, customize the appearance of your site, so on, should be done beforehand. 

For instance, WordPress and over-blog work differently when it comes to creating new pages. In WordPress you create a new page and it appears at the top, by default. On over-blog, you have to create the menu yourself. Each method has its own advantages - and i like that here, on over-blog if i want to change what a page says, i can just change the URL of the old one [if I want to keep it] and create a new entry with the previous link. It sounds a bit complicated, but it's really easy. 

Let's just say it took me a while to realize a few things, and only because I didn't properly study my new host.

Matching social media

I decided I should make social media accounts that match my new brand and identity. This is because I want to appear more serious and more professional. however, don't expect to see me on those accounts too much for they make me anxious, and it's close to a panic attack. But, if you want to show your support, you can do so there, if it's easier for you. Send me a private message or a public one, and i'll make sure to reply to it [sooner or later]. 

Before I was "the owner of the blog" or "the owner travels to" or something weird like that. Now I decided to take on a pen name [yea, sorry this is not my ID name - I don't connect at all with it] and a easier to remember URL. 

I therefore created "matching" social media accounts: on twitter and on facebook, and I connected both to this platform. I also have a "matching" email account on gmail [4charlycross [at] so on]. There's also an instagram account by the same name - you have higher chances of seeing me active here. 

You don't have to be very active on all of these platforms, but it's nice I guess to give people options to get in touch with you, other than through your blog [or youtube channel -yes I have one of those as well, for when I think stuff are easier to show through a video rather than pictures and writing. but don't expect 4K HD quality or anything as I'm just an amateur]. 

the logo that i made myself in MS Paint.

the logo that i made myself in MS Paint.

Logo

As you can see, I also have a "logo" that I use "everywhere." It's like a virtual signature for easy recognition. 

Use the logo across your social media accounts or wherever you want to be recognized. You can use a picture of yourself, if you're ok with it [i'm not u_u] or the same handle across all your accounts [as I tried doing]. 

This idea came to me, after seeing a vlogger i was watching, renaming her Twitter, and now her old handle belongs to a random guy who will benefit from her hard work. Her new handle is difficult to write and pronounce, and doesn't really have a connection with her life, except slightly. I try not to make that mistake and you shouldn't either.  

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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raw carrot salad - vegan friendly

Publié le par Charly C.

raw carrot salad - vegan friendlyraw carrot salad - vegan friendly

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 or 2 large carrots, or maybe 2 to 4 smaller ones
  • some vinegar
  • some salt
  • some oil – the default cooking oil here is made from sunflower seeds. I remember using olive oil once, but it was too heavy and the taste was not the one I was used to.

For instructions, read below the images. ;) 

I used a pretty big carrot.

I used a pretty big carrot.

peel and wash the carrot(s)

peel and wash the carrot(s)

Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.

Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.

season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.

season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.

NOTES

  • You can add a green (or more sour) apple as well.
  • You can also add shredded raw white cabbage.
  • You can use mayonnaise instead of salt, oil, and vinegar. [not vegan anymore, and heavier]
  • I don’t think the apple and mayonnaise go well together, but you can try if you are that curious.

This salad is perfect throughout the year. I can’t say I like it more plain than I like it with mayonnaise, but the one with apples is my least favorite. I usually feel bloated after having this one. It tastes pretty nice by itself.

Bon Apetit~~

in between stages.

in between stages.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not vegan, but this doesn't mean I eat meat all the time. Yes, I used the tag [hoping] for more exposure, but I think it's connected or relevant. 

This salad can be enjoyed by those who follow a vegan diet or lifestyle as well. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

 

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Nothing new this week

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

Sadly, this week I have nothing new to share. Despite having 10 posts in the draft mode, none is complete nor near completion. I also don't have the time to edit them, as I have a deadline today and then I must start working on another task. 

Sometimes, being a freelancer means I can't take proper care of the blog, and this saddens me, but it's the lifestyle I chose and that I believe fits me most. I also really like what I do - as I mentioned several times, i believe. 

Have a great Sunday and week. I hope to be back on Thursday with a movie review I watched recently, so keep an eye open for that! 

PS: i haven't forgotten about my tarot entries, I was conflicted about posting because of my new found interest and belief in Jesus Christ. Don't worry, I won't be drowning you with Christianity stuff - but I will share some stuff I find interesting, from time to time. [And i do have something to share ... it will take some time though because the idea (inspiration) just occurred to me].

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Rapidly gaining weight - a nightmare

Publié le par Charly C.

Some of you might remember one of my past entries in which I talked about losing weight, and you can read it here. At the time I promised I'd talk about how I also gained weight. 

It wasn't very easy for me to talk about gaining weight, and the only reason I can find is that this is something a bit hard to think about. Right now, I passed through 2 periods of rapidly gaining weight. 

First time of weight gain

The first time happened after we rehomed a puppy we found on the street. There's no secret that owning a dog makes you go out a lot, and sometimes walk a lot. Owning a dog is great if you need an excuse to go for a walk to either stay in shape or lose some weight. Best results are when you find a dog that needs long walks, that is full of energy. 

Sadly, such a dog is not really happy in an apartment with other pets, or with people who are more lazy than active - such as myself. 

As you know, Kali [the puppy] found herself a home with a dog-loving family [we're more of cat people], and this meant I had no reason to go out and walk as much. This lack of exercise translated into extra 7 kg for me [about 15 pounds]. 

I gained this much weight in about 2 months. Sadly, I can't remember my before or after weight. 14 pounds in 2 months seemed a lot to me, but it really can be worse, like the second time around. 

Second time of weight gain

The second time when I gained weight happened at the beginning of 2017 after I gave up my job as a supermarket cashier. I haven't talked about this job because it needs a separate entry, and I'm not ready for that yet. You can read about other jobs I had though, if you're really curious. 

A bit of background info

Working in a supermarket as a cashier is close to working for the devil himself. And giving up that job was both a good and a bad thing for my health. If you ever worked in a supermarket, you'd know what I'm talking about. 

This place was opened from 7 am to 11pm and we were supposed to work only 2 shifts! i was very "lucky" [can you sniff the sarcasm there?] to work mostly the afternoon shift ... and this meant I'd get home at 1 am [because of random "duties" we were supposed to perform after the store closed]. 

This messed up my sleeping hours, that I tried hard to fix [I used to go to bed at about 3 or 4 am, and managed to make myself sleep quite early at midnight. with my new job, i'd go to bed at about 2 am]. A poor sleeping habit also means poor quality sleep, therefore not getting the rest I needed. Especially for the weekends I had to be there the whole day, from 7 am to about midnight. yes, you read that right - 2 days of 14 hours in a row, meaning on Saturday [make that Sunday morning] I'd sleep 2 or 3 hours? 

Of course, this further led to stress and having a breakdown at work and almost fainting. I also started to feel my overall health impoverishing as my diet was all over the place, not getting enough nutrients from my food. The breakdown and near-fainting happened after a couple of months on the job [wow, that was fast]. At that point I decided my health is far more important, so I decided to quit.

The aftermath

As soon as I finished working there, on New Year's Eve, I went into a sort of coma for 2 weeks straight. I'd sleep for 22 or 23 hours of the day straight with whatever breaks for restroom and food. A lot of it. All of it. Can you imagine what food with no working out does to the body? 

Before starting the job from hell, I was about 59 - 60 kg [so about 130 - 132 pounds]. While on the job [for some 3 months] I went down to 56 - 57 kg [123 - 125 pounds]. When I finally started to need less sleep I noticed i reached 70 kg! [154 pounds].

Gaining some 13 kg [28 pounds] in 2 weeks is insane if you're not pregnant! This happened in January of 2017. Only in October I managed to start losing a little bit of weight. Now, in April I'm about 67 kg [147 pounds]. I'm trying to work out as often as I can, and of course I'm eating much less. 

some advice:

If your job is too demanding and you can barely get any rest, it might be better to give it up, unless it's your dream job. In my opinion, no job is worth risking one's health because health is something we take for granted, but it has no price when we have it. As soon as we get sick, we start shelling all the money we have and don't have, just to get better. 

 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Purple chokers

Publié le par Charly Cross

It was a long cold winter night. It started to snow for a couple of hours already - the first snow of the season, but it wasn't enough to cover the ground.

In the bus stop, a couple was sitting on the bench waiting for their bus. They were waiting already for 30 minutes but thankfully they weren't cold as they were dressed well. The girl was wearing a dark colored puffy jacket that reached her knees. The hood was pulled over her hair and she was resting her head on the guy's shoulder. His jacket was light in color and he was playing a game on his console. The hands that were closest were swirled together - a sign of their affection.
 
They were the only ones waiting for the bus that seemed to never come. They weren't in a hurry to reach their destination as they were comfortable there sitting like that. However things would change as soon as their ride arrived, but it was OK because they'd still be together.
 
After what seemed to be an eternity, an old bus arrived and stopped. The middle doors opened, the couple got on.  In reality, just ten to fifteen minutes more passed and that bus wasn't even supposed to be there.
 
The couple went to the back of the moving box and sat on 2 chairs in the same pose as on the bench. Their ride was fast, faster than the human eye could see, but our couple didn't seem bothered - perhaps they didn't notice? Or maybe it wasn't that fast to begin with.
 
They were wearing identical purple leather chokers around their necks, but you couldn't see them due to their clothes. The girl felt chocked by hers, even after all the time she wore it and had it enlarged. The guy was also feeling choked, however they were bearing with the sensation for they were together. They knew that those who made them wear these accessories, knew better ... however the girl still didn't want any of it.
 
She started thinking of how she met her Partner several years back. It was at school. A school she didn't remember anything about, let alone how come she was attending it. One day she woke up in his bed with no recollection of anything from the previous night or anything else from the past. Since that morning till present day she tried really hard to recollect anything, but the few figments of broken images her brain showed her made no sense at all.
 
Those images were of her making clothes with a bunch of people she couldn't recognize, and she had the feeling that they were way behind with the project - or was it a custom order for the next day? The images showed her worried faces and everyone hurrying up to make patterns and to sew - but what was that all about?
 
Her Partner was a rather popular guy at school, even among the teachers for he was very skilled. This meant he could break or bend though rules here and there with no (bad) consequences. He could even save other students from severe punishments if he could benefit from it later on. But was she really attending that school? wasn't she too old for it? The reality of her life starting that morning showed her something else.
 
That morning she woke up because he was softly kissing her. She later learned that whenever he wanted her to wake up in the morning or after any nap, he would gently kiss her, or nibble on her fingers or ears. She quickly noticed that despite the kisses being very sensual, nothing more than that had happened - they were still dressed on.
 
She was feeling bloated, so she needed to find a restroom quite fast. She then heard herself saying "I'm sorry, I'm not in the mood when I get my period..." These words made him stop the kisses, and he moved away - he knew better than to continue with anything whenever any girl was experiencing those few days every month. He answered something, but her current state of mind prevented her from hearing or understanding his words. Yet, she replied: "I'll take care of it, just wait here - I'll return as fast as I can."
 
She went out of the tiny apartment only to see she was on some grounds that looked like a campus. It was very early in the morning and there was no person around to see her, as far as she could tell. "Good," she thought to herself. Her legs took her to what it looked like a public bathroom complete with showers, bath tubs, and toilets.
 
She checked herself in the mirror -  a blond young looking girl with fair skin was looking back at her. She had big brown eyes and her hair was past her shoulders, no bangs, and needed to be brushed. She wasn't very tall but she wasn't short either, and she was thin. Her full lips looked chapped - she was dehydrated.
 
The bathroom had all sorts of instructions and rules plastered over its walls, and they were indicating the places with clean towels, new toothbrushes, as well as any other supply you could need. Instructions on what to do with the used items were also posted. She happily followed all of them to clean and arrange herself.

Having finished in the bathroom, she wanted to go back to the only location she currently knew in this place. However, she managed to get lost and to end up in the kitchen. This is when she did remember she was supposed to return to the apartment with a glass of water. She had no idea how would she accomplish this since everything seemed to belong to other people who she currently didn't know.

Luckily for her, some other girls showed up there, and they seemed both surprised and happy to see her there. She asked about the water and told them about her memory loss, and one of them was happy to show her around and to help her get some water. However she still had to figure out how to go back.

Except, HE appeared out of nowhere with a puzzled face, telling her “There you are! I was beginning to worry! Let’s go!” One of the girls in the group hearing this, became really annoyed, and also started to talk to her “Don’t even think about Kay - he’s mine as I saw him first!” Our girl was very shocked hearing this, and thought to herself <You can go ahead and have him, what do I care?!> however, before she could say these words out loud, she felt a pain in her chest, so she didn’t say anything anymore.

A group of guys also came, and they started to tease (or did they really mean it?) the guy called Kay “HAHA! You KNOW you’re not supposed to sleep together - they’ll kick you out for sure this time, if they find out! HAHA!”

“Kick us out? But he’s rich and he paid to have all the privileges!” our girl heard herself saying. Kay didn’t see this one coming, so he couldn’t stop her, even though she was quite right. He only decided to tell the new guys in a dry voice “Mind your own business!” and then to our girl “Anna, let’s go to class, I have your stuff.”

“So my name is Anna ... It’s a pretty name ...” she said to herself in a very low voice.

The next thing Anna knew was that she was in a classroom, trying to take notes. There were many students attending this first class, and the teacher was a middle aged lady. The teacher was pointing out the most important parts of today’s lesson. The classes ran one after the other, and each one seemed more and more weird for our amnesiac Anna.

After the last class of the day, everyone was preparing to leave. In the exit hall, there was a pretty long  table covered with a perfectly white cloth.  There were many students waiting, but very few were leaving. Some of them would place on the table what looked like a choker or some sort of jewelry. Another student, usually of the opposite gender, would pick it up and put it on and then they would leave with the person placing the item on the table. The one laying the item down was also wearing an identical piece.

Anna couldn’t see Kay anywhere, and she felt as if she had to wait for him. Or was it because he was the one bringing her here, she hoped he would take her back as well? She didn’t have to wait for too long to find out: Kay did come, and did place a choker on the table as well. He was now waiting for her to pick it up. She reluctantly did, and she tried putting it on, despite not having a clear idea of what it meant.

She couldn’t really operate the clasp on it. “Can you help me?” she turned to Kay, only to see him showing her that he only wrapped it around his fist. She copied him, and they were able to leave as well. On their way back, she started to look at the item on her fist: it was purple with some silver decors on it and she expected his to be the same. She heard him say “You know we can wear these things on our wrists too, right?”

Her reply was a short one “Oh...”

Anna was now thinking about her memory loss, about her current life, and what she should do from now on. In the end she decided that at least for now, this life was rather enjoyable, and she felt as if nothing could hurt her. In any case, it was far better than trying to make clothes at the very last minute.

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