Yinefra Benji 1.10.1996 – 28.10.2018

My Thai cat Yinefra Benji (or Yini for short) passed away at the age of 22, due to renal failure.

 

 

Before she came to live with us, I was catsitting her a few times and immediately came to like her calm but affectionate personality. After food had been prepared by me and enjoyed by her, we would sit on the sofa together: I would read, or doze a bit, and she would sit next to me, unobtrusively, just being there. This is her when I first met her, at age 15:

 

She came into my home shortly afterwards because her previous owner was looking to set her up with someone with less business trip duties.

When it was decided that she would move in with me, she accepted the situation with good grace and continued to be a gentle companion. She would always come to the front door to greet me when I came home.

We installed her favourite radiator hammock

but she also loved to sleep on top of the radiator

… or on the buttwarming device if it got really cold in winter.

She was playful despite her age

and graceful in her movements. More than one guest remarked about her “model” strut – paws criss-crossing when she walked.

Once at night she got stuck in between the myriad of knickknacks on top of my chest of drawers and did not dare to move anymore lest she’d knock something over. She remained motionless for 10 minutes until I took pity and rescued her.

 

 

She loved to complain about the birds in the hedge next to the window, making a sound I can best describe as soft bleating.

Apart from those short intervals of showing instinct, she raised her voice very rarely, mostly when she was exceptionally hungry and encouraged by us.

 

She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism when she was 16, but enjoyed a good life for a long time afterwards thanks to infusions and a thyroid ointment applied daily to the exposed skin inside the ear (a process she did not mind at all).

In general she was very well behaved and did not make a fuss at four a.m. to get fed. Instead she silently wandered around the flat, only sometimes choosing a path directly over my face.

She was very companionable, liked to follow me around and sit next to me, even when I showered and water drops got on her body. You could also call her to come and sit with you, like a dog. Many hours were spent on the sofa together, reading or playing videogames.

The outdoors were not her element – she escaped through an open front door once. After a frantic search I found her sitting in the staircase, looking confused and annoyed.

 

 

She was good at hiding – quite a few times I ran around looking for her while she was having a good nap beneath a blanket

    

A lot of her sleeping time was spent inside her plushy cat cave

One of her favourite things to have was a human arm to hug, like a cat glove, and have her belly tickled.

 

Sometimes she would start washing your arm to reciprocate the favour.

And if you found the secret tickling spot, she would start to clean her face – for reasons unknown, but it was a dependable reflex.

 

 

She also loved to sleep next to, or even better, on us. Monorail cat mode

was achieved many,

many times

with a bonus of tiny twitching paws when she was dreaming.

 

 

Her specialty were acrobatic cat yoga positions: the jellybean

the horizontal jump

and the dramatic facepalm

A very weird habit of hers was to vigorously push her eye into my fingernail – she managed to never get it poked out however.

 

 

When I moved to a bigger flat, she was confused at first about all the surplus space around her and decided to live on a carpet as a well-defined area for the first few days.

When all the unboxing and assembling of furniture started however, she was too nosy not to participate in all the excitement around her. She rarely sat in boxes (very unusual for cats, it seems), but she loved to inspect everything new, and always performed a thorough quality check by rubbing her face against the item in question.

 

 

One of her favourite new sleeping places was the big black sofa. We prepared a soft blanket that matched her colour, but of course she preferred to shed hair on the dark spots!

     

She soon found out that a balcony is a nice place for sunbathing and extended her realm a bit.

 

 

 

She declared her own water bowl to be boring and preferred to drink from our tea cups, the Christmas tree saucer, or the toilet…

         

 

Over time she became less agile and stopped using the stairs or jumping on higher objects, but other habits did not change – she always loved having her face and chin brushed, and would push her head into the brush with such motivation that her front paws lifted off the ground.

She also continued sunbathing in summer:

Her previous owner had gotten her used to travelling, so when we started her on regular infusions to improve her health, she would patiently sit inside her travel box and be carried over to the vets’ office, a 5-minute walk followed by a 3-minute treatment. When we returned home afterwards, she would be especially hungry and demand dinner immediately.

 

Her disgust of chilly weather became more pronounced over time; resulting in violent paw twitching when she was confronted with cold air streaming in from the balcony door.

She had to have dental surgery at age 19. We feared the worst, but she recovered and we were very relieved to see her enjoy eating again.

 

She was so skilled that it took us a long time to find out she had gone almost blind around age 21. It did never keep her from wandering around though, and even checking in on people whenever we had guests: she would make her rounds, enjoy being petted, and when she felt satisfied with the attention she would retire to another room to have a nap.

During those occasions, people regularly mistook her for a young kitten due to her minuscule size.

 

 

 

Our home is less homely now that she’s gone. She embodied quiet contentment, trust and harmony, and we will not forget her.

 

 

The Cleaners

Watched The Cleaners today, a documentary about the “content moderators” of twitter, facebook and youtube – people who review and handle images and videos containing each and every act of violence humans are capable of devicing.

This job seems very comparable to working in the field of nuclear waste disposal, with very inadequate equipment…

 

(summary at cnet.com )

Summertime is coming

… glaubt zumindest das Wetter. Und unsere Walderdbeere.

 

Nachdem es jetzt tagsüber immer so heiß war, ging ich einfach vorwiegends abends und nachts fort :) zum Beispiel um Jo Quail und KrashKarma zu sehen (eine schräge, aber gute Mischung).

Ganz anders, aber ebenso schön war das Sommernachtskonzert im Schloßpark – zu den Sternen schauen und dabei ein Orchester zu hören ist einfach wunderbar.

Viel besser als manche Reviewer fand ich das Musical Lazarus, eine schöne Hommage an einen großen Künstler.

Beim Schwarzen Reigen gelang es mir, meine Stiefel kaputtzutanzen :D     D`:

 

Die Woche darauf beehrte uns John Cleese mit einem Abendprogramm über die Pythons, die Wissenschaft hinter dem Humor generell, und gesammelten Weisheiten und silly things zu Leben und Tod.

Und beim Novarock waren Iron Maiden wie immer genial <3

 

 

Monty Pythons – Always look on the bright side of life

 

WGT 2018

Whew – we went to WGT and it was incredible!

This year I managed to enjoy quite a few bands despite not stressing out over how many date clashes occur (since that happens every year).

 

Thursday started with an early flight, dropping off our luggage at the hotel, having copious amounts of breakfast and joining the others who had arrived the day before.
We went on a boat tour in the afternoon. Slowly cruising through the little channels that weave through the area was an amazing experience since one gets a unique view of lavish gardens and historical industrial buildings. Our captain/tour guide filled the 90 minutes with lots and lots of information on the history of the channels, architecture, economics, society, and current and historical states of affairs.

In the evening we joined the others to celebrate Blaue Stunde. This year we were early enough for the first time to actually see the sun set and the first stars appear.

 

On Friday we dressed up and went to listen to Koraktor at Sixtina. We got to hear their interpretation of Todesfuge, which was very intense.

The picnic (alternative picnic, not the one in Clara-Zetkin-Park) afterwards was cancelled due to bad weather, so we went to Agra and did a bit of leisurely shopping there. I got a brooch/pendant from Manufaktur Herzblut.
In the evening we managed to wedge into Stadtbad to see Ash Code, and the day ended at Kuppelhalle with some gin and tonic… I guess :)

 

Saturday was an opportunity to dress up for another picnic, or rather fancy get-together at an actual castle :)
To contrast the afternoon experience, we changed and went to Agra to see 3Teeth, and later at night a special concert by Wardruna – a magical experience.

 

Sunday was noise day at Täubchenthal: Greyhound, then a stopover at Felsenkeller to catch Dool (which I had missed at Metal Meeting), then back to Kiew.

 

On Monday we managed to get into Heidnisches Dorf which had been too crowded the days before, and I bought a cover for my ebook reader.

In the evening we met the others at Vodkaria for a last round of drinks and talking about our  festival highlights of the previous days.

Tuesday – WGT blues day – started with saying goodbye to the ones that left after breakfast. We went to the zoo for a few hours and spent a pleasurable afternoon. The evening plane took us home.

I do wonder if the blues feeling would be less pronounced if the festival lasted a few days longer…

Die Schatten des WGT

Laut Wetterbericht werden es wirklich schattige Pfingsten mit wenigen Graden, juhu!

Zuvor aber haben wir noch eine etwas anders gelagerte Veranstaltung besucht

(Spaß mit Gutalax, Nifelheim, Obscura, Tiamat und Abbath).

 

Und pünktlich zum WGT habe ich zwei Outfits fertiggestellt:

Gruftitarn (wenn mal wieder zuviele Fotographen umherlaufen) und streifiges Absinthkoko für den Göttertanz.

I has a happy

Derzeit reiht sich eine schöne Unternehmung an die andere <3

 

Bei Freunden mit Gemüselasagne und Tiramisu bekocht werden.

 

Mit anderen Freunden einen Metal-Geburtstag feiern.

 

Ich war auf der Tribal Convention, und es gab volles Programm:

tolle Workshops mit Säbel, eine Impro-Flowclass auf einer märchenhaften Waldbühne, und Auftritte bei der Matinée – Unmata ITS – man sieht, wie viel Spaß wir hatten :), und als Sirius Tribe:

Birgit hat uns beim Entspannen fotografiert:

 

Wandern am Schneeberg:

mit der lieben Marion

Sakura 2

Nach der Arbeit noch auf einen netten Spaziergang gewesen, diesmal in einem anderen Kirschenhain:

 

Und am Rückweg hat mir meine Begleitung tolle Graffiti gezeigt – unter einer Brücke, wo nicht einmal ein Weg vorbeiführt. Das ist wirklich l’art pour l’art:

Und plötzlich – Frühling!

Kaum zu glauben, daß schon wieder zwei Monate vergangen sind – ich sollte doch öfter hier reinschauen.

Im Februar waren wir auf einem extrem guten Rotting Christ Konzert, und haben einen vergnüglichen Abend beim Musical “Vivaldi – Die 5. Jahreszeit” verbracht.

Im März durfte ich eine liebe Freundin ins Burgtheater zu Jedermann (stirbt) begleiten; eine Aufführung, die mich sehr begeistert hat. Außerdem hat sich unsere Musikreisegruppe aufgemacht zu einem Konzert von Therion, ein absoluter Höhepunkt in meiner Konzertliste. – Das alles klingt jetzt vielleicht so, als wäre ich leicht zu begeistern, aber ich kann durchaus kritisch sein :) ich schreibe momentan halt nur lieber über die superen Dinge.

 

Ostern war auch ein sehr schönes und erholsames Wochenende zum Thema “Essen mit ein paar Ritualen drumherum”.

 

Letzte Woche habe ich mich spontan aufgemacht zum Kirschblütenschauen im Setagayapark

 

Today was not the best of days workwise, on the other hand I got praised by my mum for being there for her, which makes me happy.

I had visited her after her first cataract surgery in the cute little town she now lives in,

and will do so again in a week, weather permitting :)

Not as planned

So – thanks to urban railways I just missed my train and will have to take the first one tomorrow morning leaving at 5:30.

Notes to self:

  • always, ALWAYS plan one hour for urban railway trips. They are not on time 50% of the times you NEED them to be on time.
  • delays that actually ARE  communicated have to be at least multiplied by 2 to come close to reality. This enables you to come to the right conclusion and chose an alternative mode of transport to arrive at your destination on time.

 

 

In town

Ich war am Nationalfeiertag in der Stadt, Leute und Sachen anschauen – glückliche Leute, die sich freuen, wenn sie Panzer sehen (und ich meine das ernst). Es gab für die Kinder sogar Gasluftballons in Kampfjet-Form, für die Erwachsenen gab es:

I ventured into town on National Day to do some people watching – we truly are the lucky ones, people who have no reason to be afraid of seeing tanks. Kids ran around holding balloons shaped like fighter jets, adults got to see the adult version:

Außerdem konnte man ins Kanzleramt, was auch von sehr vielen Besuchern genutzt wurde, es gab eine lange Schlange vor dem Eingang.

People could tour the chancellery, and it was nice to see that many took this opportunity even when they had to queue at the entrance.

Auf dem Weg zu meinem nächsten Tagesziel habe ich ein wenig die Gebäude über Augenhöhe betrachtet.

On the way to my next stop I paid attention to the upstairs a bit.

Danach gab es bei der Privacy Week spannende Vorträge, z.B. Maximilian Schrems‘ detaillierte Erfahrungen mit Klagen gegen Facebook. Die Nacht endete schließlich mit lieben Leuten in einem Lokal, welches unter einem mächtigen Minderwertigkeitskomplex leidet.

At Privacy Week people were already enjoying exiting talks, such as Maximilian Schrems presenting his detailed experience with suing Facebook. Afterwards I met some lovely people I haven’t seen for a long time, and the night ended in a place with a tremendous inferiority complex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Savage

Last night we, the Amphi squad, took ourselves to see Gary Numan during his Savage tour – what a great concert and performance!

 

I was too preoccupied with dancing, so this is the only picture of the night – travelling home at night with a happy, blurry mind.

I’ve been to Andromeda

Since the Mass Effect trilogy had regaled me with many a happy/excited/angry hour, I found time to continue space travel with the newest addition to the franchise: Mass Effect Andromeda.

Spoilers will follow.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

Space.

I enjoyed this game a lot. Pacing was quite good, and the main story developed naturally, which included getting to know your possible companions on the way – so no need for reading walkthroughs there to find them all.

I even enjoyed most of the obligatory fetch quests since the NPCs are written and voiced so well; a compliment which I gladly extend to how the companions have been executed: since you spend a lot of time driving around in your land vehicle together with your companions after raiding ancient vaults, it’s really a blessing to listen to their various chatter which made me laugh out loud many times. 
I equally liked to run with Vetra (turian), Drack (krogan), Cora (human) and Jaal (angara) – Peebee, the asari, seems to be a fan favourite but her whole “Indiana Jones on cocaine” behaviour was too over-the-top for my taste, and I also didn’t interact much with Liam (human).
Vetra, Drack, Cora and Jaal each have a lot of background story – Vetra is taking care of her little sister while running black-market activities on the side. She had to survive tough shit to keep herself and her sister going, and is fiercely loyal to those she considers friends/family.
Drack, a grumpy old warrior who has seen metric fucktonnes of shit go down in his time (he’s been around since the genophage, after all), rightfully calls everyone “kid”. He has his hearts in the right place though as I learned when he told me about how, after being wounded and hurting and ready to give up, someone dropped a little child in his lap which made him a granddad. And yes, I do want him to yell “get off my lawn” while firing warning shots from his Ruzad.
Cora is a tie to the Pathfinder’s father as she was his second-in-command. She is also trained as an Asari commando and thus quite biotically enabled.
Jaal is a member of the new race encountered in the Andromeda galaxy. He joins the squad even if the angaran leader does not trust the Initiative at all, and proves to be a loyal ally who is eager to learn more about the aliens who dropped into his home system unexpectedly.

I also enjoyed interacting with my ship’s crew a lot.

Image 1: My Pathfinder having tea with Dr. Anwar on board of the Tempest.

 

I won’t summarise the story since there are enough articles out there doing that far better than I could, I will just say that I enjoyed how events unfolded, it felt epic and kept me losing lots and lots of sleep since it was hard to stop.

 

Yes, story and characters are important for me, but I’ll say a few words about the other aspects of the game as well.

Graphics are glorious, the planets are diverse and a pleasure to look at. The combat system works well except the auto-cover (on console at least), and I was particularly happy to see that Ryder is not limited to a single class anymore: one can level up all capabilities – soldier, biotic, tech – equally and quickly switch between selected profiles to get different bonuses (and yes, the story explains how that works). I however as a devout disciple of the Church of Eternal Space Witch/Wizard had a lot of fun with my vanguard build – Charge gets you anywhere you want, and fast, plus you also get some nice combo primers from your companions.

*sigh* It’s been three days since I finished the main quest, and I already miss the galaxy. Hopefully Bioware will decide to work on a sequel at some point in time.

 

Image 2: down the gravity well she goes

 

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Tea party

I channeled elegant gothic lolita aristocrat vampire romance and attended a wonderful gothic lolita tea party, with a fashion show by Haenuli and shops like MissDanger and I do declare. None of my friends recognised me at first because of my temporary blondness :)

Among many other lovely people, I met Millarca there and we got a souvenir photo:

JSK, OTK, bat bag (barely made it into pic), choker, headdress: Moi-meme-moitie
part of headpiece: AatP
ankh necklace: Alchemy Gothic
shoes: Demonia

 

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In da Kuchl/in the kitchen

Mir war nach Reindling, traditionell gemacht in einem 2L Reindl von Riess.

Das schneckenförmige Einrollen üben wir noch.

 

Fertig gebacken fast doppelt so hoch.

 

Alles was nicht im Magen verstaut wurde.

 

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Traditional soul food: Reindling.

I got a pretty saucepan of suitable size for this treat from Riess.

The recipe says to roll the filled dough in a spiral, I’ll practice that some more. But it turned out fine after 50min of gentle baking, and we plan to finish eating the remains soon.

 

 

Saving money IV

I try to have a cohesive wardrobe, but sometimes I get sidetracked by things. By writing about them I try to get the need out of my system :)

 

AatP winery JSK II in black

Grapes, casks, squirrels – the bears weren’t necessary, but that’s just my opinion.

However that drinking angel is just cute:

 

 

And an alltime favourite item:

Btssb Usakumya, staring into your soul

It’s adorable and creepy, but I’d very rarely use it.

 

Come to think of it, maybe I’d use it with the winebear dress :)