This fall I have taken a giant leap out of character. Brace yourself good and properly! I have started WORKING OUT!

There are a few reasons why I made this revolutionary decision. After having worked in shops (and as a teacher) for years, I realized I got a lot of free exercise from walking around all day (obviously, you might say). Thus, starting an office job for the very first time, my general crappy shape has crapped itself even further. A few years ago I was able to play an hour of squash without losing my breath and having to stop. My biggest issue was being the worst loser the world has ever seen – and being nicknamed John McEnroe. I never thought I’d say this, but when, half-game, I discovered I was so ruined I couldn’t even pronounce my usual fucks, I missed my nickname.

Me after 5 minutes of exercise

The results

The advantages of never really having worked out, is that you really feel your body reacting – the reaction being somewhere between Oh my, thank you for finally taking care of me and Good Lord in Heaven, what is this discomfort, whatcha doing to me, you masochist punk?!

It hurts the pride of my lazy ass to admit it, but it does feel good to notice that one’s shape is improving. That said, the soreness of muscles I honestly did not know that I had, is not to be underestimated. But at least you know it’s working, right?

Yeah, pretty much

The lies

I have never believed in the training gurus who tell you that regular working out makes you addicted. But, having done three times a week at my best, I thought my attitude towards movement would, for the very least, change slightly to the better.

I was wrong. I still fucking hate it. It hurts, and whoever says otherwise is lying.

Unfit, but cute. Just kidding, only unfit

So, now what?

I have not felt much body related difference after 5 months, but there is one thing I would like to emphasize. We women all have what I have come to call a fat day. This does not mean that we wake up fat in the morning – it’s a mental fatness that no one but ourselves can spot. Having a fat day and not having done shit about it, feels like crap. Having a fat day, but having gone to the gym, makes it a little better. Not to mention the joys of eating and feeling like you’re just evening out what you already lost, and that you deserve it.

To be continued…

True story

Cats: The most low status pet. Shelters are crowded by them – and foster homes and volunteers are swamped at all times, due to the constant, non-stop flow of homeless floofs. But as I find it boring to write ideological posts (I prefer to stick to the less serious), here are some reasons why cats are just as amazing pets as dogs. In other words, if you’re a dog person without a dog – because dawgs require a lot of work – I hereby challenge myself to make you consider a less work demanding, but equally amazing companion.

Sure, I am definitely a cat person, but in general I love all animals – dogs too. My lazy nature however goes better with the one of felines, but otherwise I would be super happy with a pup too, and love the crap out of it.

There, now you know I can be trusted. Just hear me out.

Yes, there will be photos of my cats in this post. Duh

Selectiveness is awesome when you are the one selected. It may take a while, all depending on the individual, but your cat will choose you. He might be an easy going cat who doggily greets everyone else too, but if not – who does not love being the only one approved by that cranky individual who hates the whole world?

Dogs are extroverted, while cats are introverted. Just like a human extrovert will greet you with a hug, all eager to catch up, an introvert human might just say hello and be a little shy before (s)he remembers that you’re great friends. That does not mean they love you any less.

Cats are anarchists. In my experience, most animals have certain individual personality traits, some of which can be altered by humans to a certain degree. That said, cats do not follow your rules. They’re not your baby, they’re your roommate. And sure, at times that fluffy, innocent looking roommate will steal your food and shed on your sheets, but most of the time it’s just really cool to be living your life next to someone else living theirs, while pretending not to depend on you. But you know they do, and sometimes they forget to pretend, and turn into chonky love balls.

At times my cat really does act like my roomie

I divide dogs into two categories: 1) Proud 2) Sorry for existing. Cats however only come in the first, AKA Look at all the fucks I give! One of my everlasting life goals is learning to give even more of those. I admire them. Cats are ~never~ sorry for existing.

Cats are self-cleansing. Did you know that wool very rarely needs washing? Most of the time it’s enough to put it on a hanger and let it air out for a day or two. Same goes for cats (without the hanger part). They can easily go their whole life without a bath, and still be really fresh. They don’t even smell. It’s super practical.

They get really old. Absolutely something to bear in mind when getting one, but I would definitely call it an advantage that cats can live up to 20+ years if they’re lucky. Unfortunately our doggy friends usually last much less.

Dogs are horizontal, cats are multi angled – perhaps that is why they are the stars of YouTube. You never know how high (or low) you might find your long tailed roomie, and sometimes they just disappear, before reappearing in the middle of the floor, as if gone to another dimension. It doesn’t matter how small your flat is. And it’s super fun.

Cats are liquid. How else do they manage to fit into places half their size? A cat’s fear of the vacuum cleaner makes claustrophobia unheard of, and never an issue.

Dogs bark, which is probably the only thing I dislike about them. Cats on the other hand are quiet animals, and the sounds they do make are like precious, therapeutic gifts. A meow here, a purr there. No neighbor complaints, no horrified mailmen.

Unlike myself, cats have the abilty to look super cute even when fat. As much as I wish that were the case for my own appearance, I must sadly admit that I just cannot rock the chonk shape.

They make everything better. You turn on the fireplace, but not really getting in that snuggly mood? Put a cat. Have an ugly sofa that needs pimping up? Put a cat. Don’t feel like going to bed? Put a cat. Cold feet? Put a cat. Raining day? Put a cat. Heartache? Put a damn cat. Dying? Cat. Not kidding.

Like I have mentioned before (and again), Spaniards are probably the most relaxed people on earth. Although I have already spoken about how they bump into each other’s cars on purpose when parallel parking and how their bars are full of filth and dogs, I feel like the time has come to dedicate a whole post to the utter chill of this species.

Spain has great food. However, they do not know how to make it look good. This does not just go for the appearance of the dish when served. It is hilariously adorable to look through their homemade bar menus, seeing how they have somewhat tried to make their dishes delicious looking, but failed so thoroughly. Thankfully I know how it tastes, and it really is great, but the menus communicate something like “Look at our delicious… goo! It’s brown, slimy and weird! It’s great goo! MMM!”

Delicious, delicious bean goo

So, you order some goo. And it looks a lot better than in the pictures, and it is actually the best food ever! Then, suddenly, the complete stranger across the table (whom your friend brought along), starts eating from your plate. He does not ask first, he just grabs his fork and helps himself. WTF, dude? Just know that you can also steal from their plates. Which gives you access to lots of different stuff, so unless you’re a bacteria phobic, it’s pretty cool.

Lay off my food, stranger

They’re not very correct either. Latins are a bit like big children – they say what they think and have no filter. This applies to ethnicity, body shapes, behavior and everything in between. Be sure, if you have gained weight, you will be asked why you have become so fat all of a sudden. Just like they cannot stop commenting on how I stay as white as ever even after a month and a half in the sun. I won’t elaborate on other skin tones than my own, but let’s just say, words that are considered offensive in other languages, may not be seen like that among Latins. It’s just a fact, and they don’t mean anything by it, nor do they take offense.

Conversation between Spanish cats

This brings me to their temper. Sure, Latins are known to be a bit loud, and if they disagree on something they can spend a long time discussing it, sounding furious to everyone who has not spent enough time with them. But they’re not. The only thing they usually end up agreeing on, is that the other person has no idea, but when they’re done screaming, they order another beer and have a toast. Best friends again!

Somehow they manage to be charming even when telling each other to fak off

Also, their foul mouths. Words which are considered bad in other languages, just don’t carry any significance anymore to the Iberians. We all tend to swear from time to time, no matter where we’re from, but the Spaniards have really integrated their swear words into their language in an admirable manner. Where would you go to the doctor, and the doctor drops something on the floor, and says PUSSY! They don’t even react. It’s just like saying ops.

Shitting on someone’s mother is a fairly common phrase in Spanish

Let me return to their tendency to call people fat. Yes, they might be brutally honest about your weight gain, but they also use the word gordo (fat) affectionately. My mother in law once greated me by saying GORDA, all smilingly and thrilled to see me, and they tend to call kids/animals/people they love gordito, gordi, gordo (and all kinds of variations) just like other people use dear or darling.

“I love you and I want to thank you for being in my life. Good morning. My fatty.”

KEEP IT CHILL, Spanish people!

Edit: I wrote this piece of text while taking a break from writing my Master thesis (yes, I actually take breaks from writing to…write). Now I am in a totally different state of mind, but it has become clear to me that the mental state of pre-finishing and post-finishing a degree are of two different worlds (Planets. Planes?). Now that I am all done, I see flowers and unicorns. This is what I saw in June, before I knew I would start a new and adult life as a full time employee at the Music Academy:

#1
Studying
I recently discovered, while finishing my final Master thesis, that my level of efficiency is turned up about five hundred percent when the sun goes down. While I cannot seem to concentrate properly more than about five minutes during the day, my inner owl is an effective little bugger, who prefers working from eleven to five. Five AM, that is.

#2
Diets
I am so very unable to eat healthy food on a regular basis, or work out weekly. Yet I totally have the will power to lose ten kilos in a month, by starving myself. All or nothing, guys, no problemo. My deepest apologies, body. I guess you weren’t first in line when they handed out souls.

#3
Cleaning
We have lots of visitors. That’s good, because having visitors makes me do chores. And that’s about the only time I do them. People have no idea what a filthy life we would live if it weren’t for our guests. Apparently I care way more about not being judged than having a house that would meet the health department’s minimal requirements.

#4
Speaking Spanish
Some days my Spanish sounds like I am a stuttering Tourettes patient. On those days I sometimes have my regular seven glasses of wine, and it all works out. (OR DOES IT?)

#5
Studying, again
I am not able to get a decent grade on assignments which are handed out a year before their deadline. I am however, very able to get an actual good grade on exams that last five hours or a couple of days. Oh, beautiful pressure. Am I only functional when stressed the fuck out? (Edit 2: I mysteriously got a good grade on the thesis I was writing at this point.)

#6
Photography
I don’t have super bad self esteem when it comes to my looks, but for some reason I look like I have a disease every time I am caught on camera. I have a theory about it; I am actually hideously ugly, but for some reason you can only spot it when you freeze time. You might be thinking, but that picture you have on your front page is really cool! Well, make no mistake, that picture is cool because I laid down on the couch to check something on my phone, my hat fell over my face and I clicked the camera button by mistake. This is when you applaud. Thank you.

#7
Money
Let’s say I get a salary of ten thousand NOK. Even knowing that bills of eleven thousand are awaiting, I can still pass by that expensive shop and buy the hell out if it. In a not-too-unusual moment of irresponsible, immature stupidity. And yet I am to be put in the category of ~adult human~? Can I please be appointed a guardian?

#8
Irony
I try to filter myself, but sometimes I totally forget who I am speaking to, and end up offending people. I am sure there are those out there who have mistaken me for both homophobic, racist and just a general asshole, while I was actually trying to make fun of those beliefs in my own ~I think I am super clever~-way. Is there some kind of turn off sarcasm-button on my body that I have still yet to find? Is there an app I can install? Can my future employer not read this?

9#
Career
I am good at a lot of things – non of which that generate money. Music, writing, languages, you name it. It’s like my personality has thought to itself HAHAHA, let’s see how resourceful AND useless a person can be at the same time! Challenge accepted!

#10
Studying – for the last time
Why is it so difficult to get down the right words for an assignment, and so damn easy to write about all my flaws? Guess what I was supposed to be doing when I wrote this? Why? Just why?

Having worked a great amount of time in cafés and retail, I feel like it’s about time to share some insight. Make no mistake, I always expect the best from my clerks and waiters, but most of the time, it is the customers that need education. Here are some useful tips.

#1
Smile

Just be friendly. The person greeting you when you enter a shop, is not a part of some evil plan to manipulate you into purchasing a quantity that will force you into prostitution. Fact is that most people who work in the service industry are friendly by nature – and if they are not, rest assured they will not last long.

#2
Be efficient

Don’t get in line before you have made up your mind. The stress that goes with having to wait for someone go yeah but no but yeah but no with a million annoyed customers behind him or her, equals being chased by hungry velociraptors.

#3
Don’t argue with me

If an item comes from a brand we don’t sell, nor have ever heard of, you can be reasonably sure we are not messing with you when we say you must have bought it somewhere else. Service workers don’t have a very high societal status, but most of them are neither evil nor stupid.

#4
Don’t be an asshole

So you have a complaint? And you gotta work yourself up and prepare a little speech beforehand, making sure to intimidate your clerk into doing whatever you want him to? Bad move. We have rules to follow, and they might not always run in your favor, but we’re just so much more likely to bend those rules if you’re not being a dick about it.

#5
What if I told you…

We don’t decide the prices! Breaking news, right? This is the moment where you stop complaining about them to us, and send an email to management instead.

#6
Discounts

Don’t ask for them. Just don’t. Sure, I’d like to go buy a Porche at half price too, but living in the real world, I know it doesn’t work like that. This is a business, not a charity, and you don’t even look homeless.

#7
Clean up your mess

Do not smeer your overly tanned face all over our expensive silk blouses. This isn’t the shroud of Turin, and you’re not Jesus.

#8
Don’t cut the line

No, you can’t just buy a coffee. And you can’t just pay very quickly cause you’re in a hurry – your business isn’t busier than others’. Who even raised you?

#9
Don’t leave your dog outside the shop

Seriously, we want to snuggle. It’s the highlight of our day!

Just do this if it’s so problematic

I rest my case.

I was a very shy child. And teenager, horrified of awkward silences or saying something wrong. Until you’re an adult it is never cool to be the quiet one, and I was born an introvert, with all the traits that includes, but around age sixteen I decided that I was sick of it. I jumped out of my comfort zone and became more and more outgoing.

Now I think most people perceive me as exactly that, but the truth is that on the inside I am still very dominated by the typical introvert personality traits. I have taken several personality tests at work and during my studies, and I always come out from 49-51 per cent on one side of the scale, depending on the day. I am a perfect hybrid of an introvert and extrovert. I am an outgoing introvert.

If you wonder whether you or someone you know is also a (closet) introvert, here are some signs;

#1
Eating out alone

If you find me having a coffee or dinner by myself in a public place, it does not mean that no one wanted to come with me. It means that I needed some self maintenance or perhaps to get some work done, and make no mistake; I love it.

(Except the fact that I am actually not single, but I still do this)

#2
We are never bored

I am not claiming that introverts have a richer inner life than others, but I do believe that we have yet to figure out how to turn our minds off. At least I can keep myself busy for hours with only my thoughts as entertainment; every time I see people getting stuck under buildings after an earthquake or after some mining accident, I always think about what an advantage that would be. That is also why I sometimes don’t sleep very well.

#3
We usually express ourselves best in writing

Word always not come out way the right spoken when.

#4
Traveling alone

I admit not having done this as many times as I wish, due to meeting my husband at the age of twenty, but otherwise I would have loved to. In fact, when I travel with people, I tend to escape their company to enjoy my own. Sorry!

#5
We don’t enjoy phone calls

I have worked oh so hard with myself to accept the fact that grown ups sometimes have to talk to people through a device. Thanks to my stubbornness and will to overcome the things that make me uncomfortable, I have managed to become a decent phone talker. Just don’t expect me to call you just to chat. And don’t you dare face-time me.

#6
We tend to like animals

Especially cats. They also enjoy being alone and asleep.

#7
We sometimes overthink beyond what’s good for us

It can happen because I once cracked a joke someone did not laugh at. It can happen because I said something twenty years ago that may or may not have offended someone. And yeah, we know it’s irrational, but we do it anyway. It’s like an extra little person inside our heads doing his own thinking beside ours. We don’t like that guy.

#8
We can be a bit nerdy

Since we don’t depend on the company of others, we tend to dig into hobbies or studies that one typically does alone, being collecting stamps, reading, writing or playing an musical instrument. This is usually the time we feel most productive.

#9
We don’t like conflict

That does not mean we will tolerate anything. It just means that when we do raise our voices, it’s damn serious.

#10
Sometimes we are superstitious

Introverts like to look beyond the surface in search of a more profound meaning, which is why we tend to be a bit spiritual, superstitious or even religious. Should we really walk underneath that ladder? Was that a premonition? Is that my floor cracking or… is it demons?

These are the things that are going on on our insides, although we love to be social and can be perceived as super outgoing. And we are. But we’re also that other stuff.

I took six weeks of vacation this year, mainly because I got a job (Like a real adult job!) and it will be my last chance in a while. When you are away for such a long time, it feels a bit like living there, and you stop doing touristy things and start lazying around like a super useless entity with absolutely no purpose. Oh, the comfort.

Somebody would have probably done this to me if I had had a penis

Anyway, being in Spain for six weeks also makes time for some cool/funny/educative experiences. These are the ones I currently remember.

#1
I’m really so grateful and blessed for having six different people visiting us during these six week, but being three people with three languages in common is confusing as hell. Man, have we said some weird stuff. My husband’s best quote still stands strong; Sí, but egentlig no. (Yes, but actually no. Four words, three languages, and it’s not clear which one the last word belonged to.)

#2
I got the final confirmation that people always assume that a group of friends hanging out consists of people from the same country. Being in groups consisting of people from Norway, Spain, Venezuela and Morocco makes people ask the question Where are you from? with a big parenthesis containing THE HELL between the two first words of the sentence.

I think this is more or less what we look like

#3
A really inconvenient strike among Madrid taxi drivers hit the city in July. I was pretty pissed about having to walk for an hour at three in the morning after having consumed an amount of wine that will remain undefined, but on the bright side I finally discovered the beauty of Über. The good people of Spain reacted as they always do: they laughed their asses off and made fun of the situation. This was the result:

(The refrain goes No hay taxis, meaning that there are no taxis)

#4
Despite the fact that the summer has been colder than I have ever experienced in my eight years of going to Madrid, the papers have been bombarded with articles of a heat wave that we basically never felt. A few years ago we had fourty degrees four weeks in a row and no one made a fuzz. I am still confused.

#5
Leaving my cats with an over enthusiastic cat sitter with an evil plan to spoil my cats so much that they don’t love me anymore when I get back. Didn’t see that coming.

Thank you, María

#6
My ten year old nephew asked me if I wanted to hear his best insult (and of course I did), before proceeding to tell me that a good way to commit suicide would be to jump from my husband’s ego and down to my intelligence. Ouch!

#7
Mentally preparing myself to change my sleeping habits, going to bed at eleven and getting up at seven thirty. My friends and family have no faith in me regarding this, but I will show them! Being a student has also taught me to hunt cheap shops for cool clothes, and I managed to make it fun by pretending to be on a treasure hunt. That does not mean I am sad about finally getting a salary.

#8
My husband finally got over being burnt by a jelly fish in the forehead three years ago, and started swimming again. It was actually kind of dangerous, but I laughed so much when he arrived with a huge, swollen, red circle on his face. So did the Red Cross woman.

#9
Discovering the amazing comics by Francisco Ibáñez; Mortadelo and Filemon. I started reading it as a way to learn new vocabulary, but I ended up laughing way more than I should have.

#10
Seeing my cousin after eleven years. It felt so good to see the one person that connects me to my aunt who passed away in 2007. She also took very good care of my cats for a few days, which always means plus points in my book. Last week I received my favorite perfume, sent all the way from Elba in Italy, – the only place they sell it. Thank you so much! (If I put emojis in my posts I would have put a cat with heart eyes here.)

#11
I went through all of fucking Benidorm to get a long wanted yoghurt ice cream, and ended up getting food poisoned(?), throwing the whole thing back up with the force of a machine gun. I didn’t eat ice cream for two weeks. In July. But it passed!

#30 (~chuckling~)
Turning thirty! And nothing really changes! Life is still great!