It was summer 1998 in Vienna, Austria. I was on the subway U4 on my way to Schwedenplatz coming from Heiligenstadt, the ride did not take very long. A few minutes later, a woman in her late twenties sat right in front of me: crying silently, her eyes wanting to meet eternity. There was something about her which caught my attention instantly. She had dark make-up on. What smokey-eyes!, I thought. But there was something else that struck me even more: she did not wipe out any of her tears. They just looked like a waterfall with a touch of black ink. Quite a work of art, really.
It must have been totally cruel of me to actually stare at her, and even more absurd to think the following: while I was studying every detail of her face like a painting... I saw something for the very first time: this woman was BEAUTY personified. And for this naive thirteen year-old, finding that kind of radiant beauty for the first time was truly a fantastic discovery and a moment to remember. The woman may have been devastated and inconsolable as she could not stop crying, but the truth was enclosed in the imperfection of her face and the expression of her face. She was so stunning, so ravishing, so incredibly marvelous -- just REAL. She soon found out that I was stalking her and I felt uneasy.
I found it perfectly normal to come up with a sincere SORRY and maybe even say something along the lines of "I apologize for looking. Please don't be sad, it's going to be alright". But instead, I just looked into her wet, dark, troubled eyes and told her: "For what it's worth, for every black tear that you shed, you look absolutely beautiful right now." I believe that she was about to kill me because she startled, and answered: " You don't even know me. I look like a total wreck, and you think that I look good right now?" Apologizing seemed to be the correct and appropriate thing to do at this very moment. I felt like a fool, it was minding none of my business. But on a second thought, I was not trying hard or kidding. I simply, truly meant it: " Ma'am, you have absolutely no idea how beautiful you are. And yes, right now." I half-smiled and was to go off at my stop; and then, I glimpsed a full-blown smile on the woman's face: " Thank you, that was really nice of you. You just brightened up my day."
I will never see her again. I will never know the reason why she sobbed nor find out the depth of her sorrow. I do not even know if she had a shoulder to cry on, which evidently I hope she had. In regards to this woman, my first glance at true beauty personified, I am left totally clueless. And to be brutally honest, it does not even matter.
This is one of the best memories of my early teenage years. Do you fancy it being so cheesy? Well, it might be perhaps, but it is a true (although slightly embellished!) story. What I learned from this brief episode that happened more than a decade ago is that THERE IS NOTHING COMPARABLE to going through our black tears with our family, our friends, our loved-ones and sometimes, even total strangers. Our hearts light up with joy and compassion in a second. And the moments afterwards, people are still there, holding our hand. When we hit the bottom, and believe that it is practically impossible to reach the top again, we may lose sight and hope. But God cares in ways we'll never fully grasp, because when we do forget -- even just for a split second, we get to meet them: what I call Earth Angels. They run around all day, every single day, and they are there for us when we need them the most, when we least expect them. They care... and more importantly, despite our deepest black, troubled tears, they can still see beauty in us.
After spending almost three months in “away-from-the-clubs” hibernation (fyi: such a world record for me hehe…), returning to the nightlife made me once again realize how much I just love, love, luuuuuuurve to PARTY! I sincerely thought that the dancing might have become a little rusty with time haha! but if you have the party gene in you, well, it is like riding a bike. Having a good time with your mates at the bar, checking the scene out, sHaking it on the dancefloor until the break of dawn (and I’m not even mentioning the crazy after-party…), eating something extremely greasy yet so very delicious being a perfect way to end the night... And of course, immortalizing the splendid (and sometimes embarrassing haha!) moments are only a few highlights of an awesome, (un)forgettable night-out!
Having had the privilege to experience clubbing in many different countries, from the underground scene to getting fancy limo service, I must say that my love for partying was accentuated when I discovered HOUSE/ELECTRO/PROGRESSIVE HOUSE/TRIBAL HOUSE/DISCO HOUSE/DEEP HOUSE/TEK-HOUSE/MINIMAL TECH in Berlin back in April 2005! I fell in love with electronic music. The “TRESOR… SAGE CLUB… PANORAMA BAR” night-outs have a very special place in my life for it is at that moment that I got my certified CLUBBER diploma!
Although I am a music chameleon, and I enjoy listening and dancing to every genre of music, my preference and addiction will always be with electronic music, especially minimal-tech/house, because it simply, honestly, REALLY makes my heart beat faster! We got married, and it definitely did not need a prenup. *star* On a side note, there is a common misconception about electronic music lovers: it leads people to assume that only people on drugs can sincerely appreciate this kind of tunes and last that long on the dancefloor without eating or sleeping. I resent that prejudice: there are undoubtedly individuals who consume drugs on parties, but I am one of the millions who love to party to electronic music, who can last very long on the dancefloor without being on any of those drugs. One should get to know electronic music before understanding and growing to love it. Please take a look at the real deal, before concluding! Thus being said, I cannot wait to explore the capital of ELECTRO: IBIZA Summer 2008!! It is going to be a catastrophe (in a very good way haha!) I will then have my Ph.D., clubber degree! I can retire... Just kidding! I will never make excuses for living and adoring this lifestyle because, well, what can I say?
As it goes for the majority of women; I, too, am crazy about shopping. Shoes, bags, clothes, make-up, jewelery, electronics, music&film, souvenirs, decoration, books… SHOES, BAGS, CLOTHES… Need I say more? Crazy about shopping! I enjoy as much as looking around as looking for “…” as trying everything on as gift-hunting! To each its own occasion.
A favorite pass time indeed.
I think it is great especially because every mood goes with the shopping spree. When I am feeling blue and want things to be kept off my mind, I head to the shops and 99,99% of the time, I do not go empty-handed. When I am feeling really happy, especially on special I-deserve-a-treat-days, I also head to the shops and 100% of the time, I do not leave empty-handed. When I am in no particular mood -- which implies no intention of buying whatsoever --, I end up always asking myself why I get home not empty-handed. Actually, thus being said, I wonder if there has ever been a time I went home empty-handed. Hmm….Never? Once in a thousand years? Oh shame!!!!
But, there is worse than being a devoted shopper:
What is worse than shopping "loose" is to be window shopping, i.e. knowing you are not to buy anything.
First groan of a crazy shopper: window shopping is a torture so do not even dare taking a look at anything because you will probably buy what you fancy anyway/eventually.
What is worse than heading to the shops on a regular basis is to shop on pay day.
Second groan of a crazy shopper: spending regularly sounds much better than being overly happy i.e. overly spending on just one day: the day you know exactly that you will see things more... beautifully.
What is worse than going insane when you can afford NOT to buy something (but still end up doing so) is when you really cannot afford to buy it.
Third groan of a crazy shopper: it is completely outrageous to get that "..." (because you don't really need it), but if you do not, you will regret it (forever) and spoil all the fun.
What is worse than being a devoted shopper is being a crazy shopper
... coming up with this horrible list. Just dreadful haha! NOT TO BE taken seriously for this shopper, devoted and crazy, always knows how to rationalize.
But... But... But... Shoes, bags, clothes... Need I say more? Shopping is so good it should be illegal. And all know that anything above the law gives one the thrills. But at least, isn't shopping the sweetest taste of sin?
You never know who’s waiting for you… You never know when love is coming your way… But if tonight I look again into your eyes…And it’s you… And it’s me you love -Kaskade
The butterflies going crazy in your stomach, how you can feel your big heart grow fonder, the so-called cliché yet just genuine impression of walking on your own little cloud… Can everyone please shout: LOVE is in the air?! How it is so very warm and exciting to have this fire burning inside........................................................................ well, actually, once again!
After going through a hard break-up and unfortunately a (yet another) failed relationship, consequently there is nothing comparable to feeling it as if it were for the very first time! Something coming back to the surface when you strongly believed it got lost along the way. It might have even crossed your foolish little mind to think you'll not ever be able to experience love afresh. But it's real and it is yours. Everything is a first: his smile, his voice, his insights… Truly like you’ve never witnessed anything more beautiful! Looking into his eyes makes your knees weak and getting to know him better gradually becomes your favorite hobby. And although you might have been familiarized with these popular habits in the past, such as choosing your cheesy love song, making up your insider jokes or finding your lil’ nicknames for each other... Every step is still to be “surprisingly” revealed!
A fresh start: “To love like you’ve never been hurt before”
After analyzing what it really meant to start anew particularly when falling for someone “brand new”, what it involves suddenly got me thinking... For the longest time, I never presumed it was possible to start from scratch. For my simple conviction is that whatever can be found in the baggage you carry, letting it be nice, painful or even censored, as it always is, only becomes part of your persona. Some of us committed astronomical mistakes, others would be fiercely assured to have learned a thing or two about love, and there are those who still seem to be resentful upon "coming back to the middle" (India.arie). Either way, dreading it or not, taking any relationship to the next level leads to that point where you two are going to be straightforward, and will open up to each other. Being totally honest about the “THIS IS WHO I AM i.e. where I’ve been and how I got here”-speech takes a leap of faith, a lot of courage and of course, such a dose of love! You then realize that you have just trusted something “brand new” with this “brand new” person sitting next to you.
Everything is a first. Every step is a surprise. In matters of love, I came to the conclusion that yes indeed, we always have a clean slate. Wherever we’ve been and whoever we are -- even how badly we were bruised -- love is all about taking risks and giving chances.
A particular subject has always been an intriguing topic for me. Surely, although we have all heard of -- and maybe even been familiarized with this activity, I still couldn’t help but wonder about the implications of what many tend to call a « F.F.», which stands for... well, the F*** Friend. It is also commonly known as f*** buddy. An arrangement between two people, obviously into each other enough to be intimate with, yet with no strings attached and probably/perhaps no real future (get the shift) involved. No one gets to drama. No one gets hurt. Everyone knows about this popular doing, whether one agrees with it or not. So how do people actually get to this point : do you and I become F.F.s because we cannot work as a couple ? Are we F.F.s because we are great buddies who happen to be attracted to each other ? Is it the fact that two want to have fun without having the cons of having fun ? Sincerely, is having a F*** Friend the answer to a hip relationship, or is it a dangerous game people should never get into ?
This is not about one-night stands. This is not being in a relationship. And this is definitely not friendship (are we like this with all our friends?). This specific « thing » labeled F.F. is in my opinion, something in between and all three at the same time. It is complicated without actually being complicated. Even how absurd this may sound, I truly believe that this arrangement is a big step towards finding a perfect level of communication between two individuals. On the same wavelength, both know all the rules since the cards are put on the table since day one. Women, like men, cannot complain about the « where are we going ? » part for instance. They cannot get jealous because they don't belong to each other. They actually do not get romantic, despite the reality that the meetings are somewhat too friendly to make it only about sex. And more importantly, they usually can date someone else as well. And so on, and so forth. Perhaps not your favorite type of perfect communication, but no one can deny that it surely is one. A level of communication that is understood, shared, followed and respected by both parties. Those are the rules: they know all about it and everyone is agreeable.
... But as it always is, I do not believe that this mix of « friendship and sex » will remain innocent and so-called sane -- for both parties. F*** Friends could be like a drink we get to taste, but it is not a cocktail we want to continue drinking... indefinitely. I do not doubt that it could go on for a while but eventually, it is certain that one’s feelings will turn towards wanting more than just « that ». It is maybe cliche to think this way but having sex stays intimate and private. It is sharing. It is making love. As the above statements shows, it is not some one-night stand you can or want to forget as briefly as it happened. It is someone we wish to see, someone we want to have in our life. Can we continue sleeping with someone as if it were just for basic needs? And more importantly, can we really go on with this kind of connection when we know that the other may not feel the same way we do?
And real life is not like in the movies where in the end, the two involved wake up and realize that they belong together after all. When it comes to F.F.s, decisions must be taken soon enough. One may fall in love. But it certainly doesn’t mean that the other will. The funny part is that this factor is taken into account also since the beginning. The thing is: since the two are friends, feelings shouldn’t be hurt. But... Aren't they always ?
Every December one marks Worlds Aids Day, which is once again meant to raise awareness for the global AIDS issue caused by the spread of HIV. Yet I believe it to be relevant to reflect and mull over this devastating matter all-year round; because AIDS is still expanding (too) fast as I write these lines. And there is nothing more to it than to conclude that we are all aware of it We are all afraid of it. We all know better. Don’t we?
Then… Why still so many numbers every year when prevention / help is (almost) everywhere? I would guess: weakness. Is there progress? Someone may answer slight. And is there anything more we can do? Yes, I can ascertain that: we can understand opinions a little better.
For instance, one of the questions which remains always stuck in my head is why a great number of people often seem to name the Vatican and its teachings to be one of the source(s) to why the whole situation has not been able to improve “gradually”?
Indeed, many debate on why and how come the Vatican does not support and give the go! sign to CONDOMS... knowing that this method is still the only effective response today as a protection against AIDS and the trillions of other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (S.T.D.). It may surely appear immoral to many, even maybe very imprudent to be banishing condoms. And I fully understand this argument: thus remains a reality that it is much better to be having safe sex than to be reckless. Even just once. But I soon realized that this opposition against the use of condoms is yet for a deeper and more significant explanation. But as it seems, many pass right beside the point.
The Vatican is of course not content about the HIV/AIDS situation in the world today, but it is not by “allowing” it to be safe, easy or/and attainable that will have a bigger impact on progress. The solution lies in the main core of the problem. WHY is AIDS still stretching, spreading, multiplying? To some extent, I really do not reckon the problem to be only about having sex –- with who, how, when, etc --- evidently, to each his/her own! But it is about the even more revolting -- and sad -- fact that people simply abuse and do not take care of their body, when in fact it should be considered holy.
It is not recklessness; it is pushing limits. Your body is your temple, and to abuse that gift is what the Vatican despises. Perhaps it will sound totally absurd, or I actually fathom the correct term would be utopian to be holy (or whole), but to be reminded of this certain belief can lead people to understand why the Vatican still and always will take a stand on this subject. The principle is that the Vatican does not disagree with “safe” sex i.e. the use of condoms (as it is often described); but they are actually banishing “unsafe” sex. They express their resentment over the current situation i.e. people being somewhat not careful enough with their body. I sense the difference. Do you? In my dreams and in yours, each day is hopefully a step forward.
Although the majority of the audience gave their « two thumbs up! » to the late Heath Ledger’s Joker in the latest, very acclaimed Batman film « The Dark Knight », to whom the kudos were, beyond doubt, fairly granted to. I couldn’t help but show more interest in the other “bad guy” featured in the movie, none other than my all-time favorite villain Two-Face. Aaron Eckhart was superb portraying the very righteous District Attorney of Gotham turned destabilizing Two-Face, who decides fate on the flip of a coin. Will his victims be spared or condemned? Lucky or cursed? Is it going to be life or death? One time right, the other wrong.
… Isn’t Two-Face the most disturbing yet fascinating character personifying – really symbolizing good and evil as/in one? There is more to him than being your average, typical enemy, who is scary and we need to be saved from. Harvey Dent represented justice and light, but unfortunate conditions brought out the worst in him. Could it have been that there was a naughty side to him all along? Or why still rely on his coin, which clearly proves he still believes in the good that’s left in him? He is a walking contradiction, a fierce oxymoron. Perhaps that is the reason why I am so intrigued by the chaotic Two-Face. To a certain extent, I am assured that there is a bit of him in everyone.
Looking deeper into the subject of « Two-Face » made me thoroughly question the terms good and evil. What exactly characterizes one as bad and the other good? Is it all written in the person’s manners, choices, lifestyle, behavior, personality… words and actions? As the left column stretches out the positive points, does that make one more worthy? And if that weren’t the case, will bad finally rhyme with his name? Not necessarily, not quite.
The world is far more perplex than that. An angry person is never regarded as an asset, but to get mad at times will work wonders. Being kind is the best quality one will ever possess, but living in the soft department too much can also lead to a lot of trouble. But unlike Two-Face perhaps -- who literally sees the world in black and white --, shades of grey could be the way one should perceive things and act through them. The right-hand mind and heart represents the “coin” in everyday life. One judges what is fair and what not, often just counting on basic instincts and morals. Yet it is relevant to know precisely when and how to react to different situations and people, even when in the books, the specific “element” – such as anger or kindness -- is usually defined as either plain faulty or strictly good. A very nice person is always admirable, but showing “violent” emotions when required is also exemplary. Why live on extremes when the key is to actually find balance? “Be gentle but not naive. Be very honest but sensitive. Be outrageous but still responsible.” Standing on the edge will eventually push someone overboard – too much of anything is not healthy. Like Two-Face’s personality (yet in a less fatalistic way, evidently), terms are often considered only as opposites when actually, they are on the same page. Of course one should aspire to always be good, but giving space to the mean bitch on occasions is equally as important.Being both does not mean weird or regarded as a sort of corruption, it is understandable. Sense the “positive” power of being a Two-Face?
Furthermore, it is presumed that behaving on good intentions genuinely makes one a model citizen. Very true statement, indeed. But as soon as one commits horrifying deeds, he’ll directly have the BAD label on his forehead. Very common thought as well, would you not agree? However, it does seem slightly superficial as I wonder: “Is it really just one or the other:are you angelic or devilish?” Once again, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Immediately, this generalization brought me to the conclusion that craving for a direct answer to “what is good?” and “what is bad?”, whether one is talking about behavior or figuring out the essence of an individual, was nearly impossible to achieve. This thought stirred up even more as“what’s good for me might sound bad to you” echoed in my head. I estimate the proper definitions of good and bad to be far too definite. They seem stranded on two islands with very deep waters between them. But contrary to common knowledge, it is not the case: I suppose good and bad not to be far apart at all. Actually, like Two-Face caricatures, only a fine line separates them.
There are rules to follow, there are things you should keep away from, there are basic human values and a code of conduct one should respect. “Love all. Trust a few. And do wrong to none.” (William Shakespeare) The rule is to know the difference between right and wrong. But no one is born this good or has gone that bad. Only a little is enough to do and be good, as it is as easy to move to the other so-called dark side.But could it be that you perpetually swing in both camps because you are, obviously, only but a man? The thing is, like Two-Face, “mistakes and stardom” are ironically an all-in-one package. Don’t beat yourself up for falling on the X side of the coin. Everyone crashes at one point, then everyone rises. Again, and again. The human being will juggle between good and evil all through his life. But in comparison with what is often implied with either being “a sinner” or “a saint”, which, in my opinion, are also two too definite categorizations. I see distinctively that there is a Two-Face in everyone, not because there is both good and bad in all of us. But what a wonderful realization to know everyone holds the coin to be brighter than sunshine or on the other hand, become one who seeks the shadows instead! Accept flaws, bad habits and overcome failures, but reward the great achievements and fantastic gestures as well! No man is an ultimatum: Human beings are unfortunately capable of the worst, but I wholeheartedly believe even more in the best in people.Again, and again.
What will it be, Two-Face? I’ll let you flip that coin.
When we get to look back at our parents’ generation, LOVE, deep and unconditional, was once and forever lasting. You fall in love and love until the end!! Aww, isn’t it how it is supposed to happen ??!! [no answer needed haha!] But as we take a good look at our own little selves in this day and age, that LOVE, deep and unconditional, is… hmm… well, not quitethatonce and forever lasting (of course, generally speaking “Keep Hope Alive!” hehe...)
The definition of the One True LOVE doesn’t seem to have changed in the past decades though, since we still wish for it to then be a forever lasting commitment; but finding it might come not just once -in one go, the first time, only one try, with your one person-, but in different steps, lessons and timezones! As a result of such phenomenon, although the essence and our idea of “the special him” still rests in our hearts, do you not think that its way to it has maybe put LOVE on different levels? Is this perhaps the reason why some may complain about the fact that the word LOVE is misused? Finally, do you not reckon that to fall in love and to love - which used to be in one package, can somehow now be considered to be on different playgrounds? And if so… keeping the One love in mind, which of the following makes more sense?
You can love more than one time, but you fall in love only once!
You can fall in love more than one time, but you love only once!
After being confronted with this obviously weird question and be expected to choose between the two statements, I started to think thoroughly about it. And I must admit that I believed it would be relatively easy to give a straight answer since both sayings seem to have the same meaning, but as it appears, I then sensed the difference widen between to love and be in love with someone. Maybe it should only be a thread line separating the two (or even none at all!), but it has definitely left me a little confused. I guess it is a question of definitions. In love and to love: let me try?
I assume falling in love to be all about that fire burning inside as it hits like lightning! The palpitations and excitement ought to be getting out of control: a simple smile, touch, smell, sound, taste or even just the thought of this person is enough to make you go shouting yahoo! all over the place! Your knees are weak and your face is brightened! Absurd and childish you might appear, but all know it is only triggered by some sort of nervousness! As it is, this certain person gives you the thrill like no one.
But the thing about falling in love implies, in my opinion, the possibility of also falling out of love, sometimes as fast (or even faster) as the warm feeling was born. Often without even trying. Could that feeling ever be considered as love or was it really just plain infatuation?
To love is… the feeling that simply cannot be described! And to really love somebody is to know, respect and love him/her when he/she is at his/her best as well as when he/she is at his/her worst! Love is a future with a past, an evolution yet keeping the familiarity. Love can make you go beyond and above your limits as it truly gives you wings! You forgive and you change. You know about trying and chances. As it is, you will love this certain individual like no one.
But the thing about love is, in my opinion, to acknowledge and be aware of the high risks of an open heart. Of course this is meant to be positive! Even you can be surprised by the amount of energy, patience, sacrifice or simply love that can come out or be found in you! But in some cases, one can ask him/her-self: are you blinded by love or is this truly the real thing that is worth everything?
Oh LOVE!!! Perhaps the one sure thing is, throughout the ages, throughout the generations, you fall in love, just once. And you love until the end, only once. Everything before (almost) does not count. Boot camp.