Monthly Archives: October 2010

I’m an adult. When did that happen?

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Yeah, I confess, I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy today.

I had an idea for a post in my head, it was really brilliant – something to do with The Rocky Horror Glee Show (watching Glee too, yes, I think you can feel where this is headed) and some very deep and life-shocking questions like: how come in Prude America cheerleaders’ skirts are that short? and do they really wear those

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

uniforms in class and like all.the.time? do people actually get Slushee’d (or however it’s supposed to be written)? what is a Slushee anyway? and is your “status” in high school really defined by whether you’re in chess club or physic’s club? I’m not even sure I know what’s the thing with these clubs, I mean, what does a “chastity club” do? and does anybody know how I could find out where there’s a Rocky Horror being played somewhere here in Sweden? ‘Cause I got the feeling I’m missing out on something here.
 
You know… the really Big Questions.

Instead I’ve been home all day. Hey, if authorities refuse to call what I do “work” and insist on naming it “personal development”, then I can decide that my “personal development” requires me to stay home all day and watch Grey’s Anatomy in bed. And eat chocolate. And ginger bread.

The season 1 cast of Grey's Anatomy

Meredith makes me think too much. (Image via Wikipedia)

And then dear old Meredith throws you one of her deep, sensible one-liners in your face on responsibility and growing up. It got me thinking. Which, in my case, is most often not a good thing: the line between thinking and worrying is very thin in my head.

We face many challenges in our lives. Primary school. High school. First love. Escaping our overly anxious parents. You’re 16 now, you can handle it. Friendships. Exams. College. Juggling extracurricular activities. First relationships. More exams. Internships. Living on your own. First jobs. First everything.

But you handle it. You handle it and you pull through, because you’re not on your own. You got friends, you got people surrounding you who go through the same stuff, the same problems, the same ups and the same downs, people you can relate to. You talk to each other, learn from each other and pull each other through, because you’re friends and that’s not only what friends are for, that’s what friends do. They pull you through.

So here I am. And I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to get a personnummer, or how to sort out my health insurance. I don’t know how to open a bank account, where to go to complain about my paycheck not being correct, or how to change my mortgage plan.
Meanwhile my friends are struggling with organizing their marriage, building a house, breastfeeding the baby, following up on the contractors, trying to survive the sleepless nights.

And there is so little left. So little to relate, to talk about. They can’t help me, I can’t help them. We’re in different places.
They envy me, they tell me, because I’m the adventurous one, the smart one, the one who’s enjoying life to the fullest before settling down. But really, it’s me who envies them. It’s me who, quite literally, ran away from the newly built houses, the weddings, and the babies, from the friends, because they have what I can’t. As it turns out, that may not have been quite the right response.

But I’m an adult. Supposedly. And thus I have to take responsibility for the choices I make. Which, in this case, means I’ll have to sit through a year of personal development in Sweden. And figure out how to get health insurance all by myself. I guess it could be worse, but I’m pretty sure it could be better.

 
 
Meanwhile, in an attempt to make the best of it, I managed to get invited to a Halloween party! And I have NO idea what I’m supposed to wear – I don’t have any old clothes or shoes or helmets or even cardboard here, so DIY options are pretty limited. I guess I could always wear my labcoat and go as a scientist, but then again, there’s not too much dressing up in that, is there? ;) (look o look, a smiley! I can still SMILE!) (well, at least digitally… ;) ). Any ideas?
On a completely unrelated note T is coming to visit for two whole weeks on Sunday. I am not yet sure what I will do – I don’t really have the time to pre-write that many posts and my archive is pretty thin as yet, so chances are it will be a bit quiet around here until mid-november. I am still preparing a Smörgåsbord and a quote for this weekend though, so I’ll keep you posted on what I’ve decided to do!

Hi, I’m Lies, and I’m addicted to blogs

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There’s no more denying it.

When I first started this blog (well, strictly speaking not this one, but the try-out one before), I was subscribed to 3 blogs. Three. As in 1, 2, 3. I loved them. They updated a couple of times a week, and I liked my bit of fresh reading every morning before starting work.

But I had more time to spare than just reading 3 blogs in the morning. Sometimes neither of them had updated, and I had nothing to read. Enter: the quest for new blogs.

I compulsively started to read Freshly Pressed, often adding 2-3 new blogs to my reading list on a ‘good’ day. I followed up on commenters I encountered on other blogs, I googled, I followed links leading everywhere. And thus I found myself every morning, hurrying to read all updates and not succeeding – there was just too much to read and too little time. Half of it wasn’t even that interesting. But it had been written, and thus, it had to be read.

So, out of curiosity, I counted the number of blogs currently in my feed. 93. Ninety three. That’s a 30-fold increase (3000%) in a mere 3 months. And there I am wondering why I seem to have so little free time here… I’m spending it all reading about other peoples lives!
And thus, yesterday and tonight, I have followed up on all the blogs – have they updated recently, did I like at least half of their recent posts, … . I have removed blogs before, most often Freshly Pressed ones that I didn’t like as much as I thought I would, but this time I have withdrawn from a greater number than ever before, including some which I have come to ‘know’ well, but that simply do not seem to appeal to me as much as they used to.

I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it. I know it is not easy to keep on producing good, relevant posts, with the right balance of humor, information, personal involvement, … day after day after day. I am struggling so much myself. I know that behind each blog, each post is a person, who put their soul in that piece of writing, who wants (and deserves) to be read. And I don’t like taking that away from them. I don’t like it at all.

But it has been done – my Google Reader accepts feeds from ‘only’ 50 blogs anymore. It is still too much, but it is as much as I can handle to throw out right now. In addition, I have banned myself from reading Freshly Pressed – I know I will not be able to NOT subscribe if I really like a post.

So I apologize to all those who I will never read again… but it was nice knowing you while it lasted.

(and, with only 2 more minutes of laptop time – I forgot the charger at work – I publish this without re-reading… apologies for the spelling errors!)

Quote on a Sungday

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Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death.

— Harold Wilson

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Saturday “Halloween” Smörgåsbord

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In Belgium, we don’t have the strong Halloween tradition as they do in the US – sure, the shops and marketeers have jumped on the money-wagon: pumpkins, black spiders and fake cobwebs decorate black-and-orange colored displays, and some student club or school may organize the occasional Halloween party, but that’s about as far as it goes. I remember last year or so, we had trick-or-treaters at our door, and we were like: “Eh, what exactly are we supposed to do now?” They were lucky we even had candy in the house.
So while the whole trick-or-treat’ing isn’t exactly my type of… eh… candy, I see no reason not to enjoy the Halloween treats I see popping up everywhere! (all pictures have been shamelessly copy-pasted from the original websites)

Of course, I’m a scientist, so I’ve got a weak spot for geeky stuff, but I really love these candy blood slides. Basically it’s just sugar so they won’t taste like much, but you have to admit they look truly awesome!
Recipe can be found at forkable (via TYWKIWDBI).
 
Those who like it REALLY scary do not have to resort to fake candy blood, though… how about a real, non-candy spider? ThinkGeek sells oven-baked Tarantula’s for a mere $24.99. Apparently, these are much healthier than the “normal fried tarantulas you can get all over”. Ehm… yeah… . From their website: “Every Oven-Baked Tarantula is baked in its native Cambodia, and collected from monitored sources (to protect the tarantula’s natural population). Each one is baked, crunchy, and just a little hairy – but ready to eat right out of the package. Just don’t forget to remove the fangs first. Then, enjoy your yummy Cambodian delicacy – your very own Oven-Baked Tarantula.“. Insect lovers can also delight on Giant Toasted Leafcutter Ants, but I think I’ll just stick to the Giant Bleeding Heart Gummy Candy. (via Geekologie)

These witch’s hats are made with Nutella, so how on earth could they possibly not be delicious?? I haven’t tried to make them myself (yet), but the recipe seems easy enough so that even I should be able to handle it… .
Recipe at Virginia Hughes.
 
 
My favourite, however, (though you probably know them already because if I remember well they got Freshly Pressed some time ago) are these Yummy Mummy Cookies from Hershey’s (who, apparently, have a whole range of Halloween recipes… I need to check those out). Chocolate cookies coated in white chocolate, that beats even Nutella! They seem a bit more complicated (read: labour-intensive) to make than the Witch’s Hats, though, so I might need to get my sister to help me with them, but I’m betting they’re worth it. (via No empty chairs)
 

On a more serious note, much of the chocolate that will be given out on Halloween will not be child-friendly. I am not referring to any obesity-related matters, but to the (still widespread) occurence of child slavery in the cocoa industry. And it would be rather unfitting to make the children ringing your door happy with something other children suffered so heavily for, wouldn’t you agree? So please consider to Fair Trade your Halloween and pass out chocolate that makes ALL children happy!

That’s what the “re” stands for

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I like my job, I really do. I won’t go as far as to say I love it – I don’t feel I have the experience (yet?) to be confident in what I’m doing, or even why, and as a result I’ve got this constant nervousness flowing through my veins whenever I’m at work, half expecting somebody to show up anytime, grab me in the neck and pull me out of the lab, shouting: “How many times have I told you not to play around with grown-up experiments?!?”. It keeps me from really enjoying, and loving, my job.

But still, I like it. I like it enough to spend 12+ hours a day in the lab if I feel it’s worth it, if I’m onto something.

And this week, I felt it. I’m working on introducing a specific mutation into a gene (for those of you opposed against GMO’s and the like, hold your comments, I’m trying to make biofuel here!) and I had been fumbling around with this PCR for a couple of weeks now, which really should’ve been a piece of cake to begin with, and finally managed to get it to work. At least, “something” was produced. Whether it was my gene or even whether I got it to mutate, I was about to find out.

I let you guess.

It didn’t mutate.

It should look like this...

but instead, it looks like this...

The worst part is, I have no idea WHY. I included all the controls, excluded all variables, and there is just no friggin’ way that it could’ve gone wrong. But it did.

So I’ll redo it.

Or as my former advisor would say: “That’s what the ‘re’ in ‘research’ stands for.”.

Why wouldn’t it be ok to be gay?

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When starting this blog, I made the conscious decision not to make this a gay blog. Yes, I am currently in a gay relationship, but I would be disappointed if that would be all that defines “me” (no offense to those who do decide to make it an important issue on their blog – it is simply not my choice).
So when I saw the blogosphere explode with posts on the recent outburst of news reports on gay teen suicides (because there is no huge increase in suicides… there is simply an increase in media attention), I kept quiet. Because of my relationship, I am obviously biased, and that generally doesn’t make a good base for a blog post. But reading the comments and arguments, especially from the contra-side… it cracks me up, saddens me and angers me all at the same time. So I thought I’d have a go at explaining why I feel that some arguments against gay marriage, gay adoption and gays in general simply do not make sense.

WARNING: since none of the “arguments” below are politically correct, I feel justified in replying to them in a politically incorrect manner. This is my, maybe twisted, kind of humor. Still, the fool speaks the truth through his jokes.

Rainbow flag, symbol of peace and tolerance (Amsterdam 2007)

Gay people choose to be gay, so they have to accept the consequences.
This is a recurring argument, and a really though one, too. But at the end of the day, why does it matter whether they choose to be gay or are born that way? Is it more ok for people to be bullied about something they choose than about something they are? Are you allowed to bully a kid for wearing glasses (he should’ve gone for contacts, really) but not for being black? Why are people who choose to rob a bank, murder their neighbor, … allowed to marry whoever they wish (of the opposite sex) but people who choose to have sex with a same-sex partner in the privacy of their home are not? I do not believe homosexuality is a choice, but even if it were, why aren’t people allowed to make that choice without losing many of their civil rights?

Gays have different moral values and beliefs, I do not want my children exposed to that.
Gays can have open or closed relationships, they can cheat on each other, have multiple partners at the same time, and may have the strangest fetishes. Or they could be the most boring, monogamous couple you’ve ever met. I am tempted to say gays tend to be more promiscuous, but then again, I more often talk about sex-related issues with gays than I do with straights, which may cause some bias in my perception. Gays do seem to be more at ease at discussing sex, but whether is an inherent feature of gay people, stems from the fact that gays have spent more time consciously discovering their sexuality, or even has any relation with promiscuity, I couldn’t say. That said, I have never had the impression that my gay friends are more prone to discuss their sex life or display morally unacceptable behaviour in public/in front of children – more on the contrary, I see more heterosexual teens making out on the central square than gays. From another point of view, pedophiles “also” have a different view on morality, but they can still marry (if their spouse-to-be is 18+ and of the opposite sex, obviously).

I don’t mind gay people, but I don’t want them to feature on television, in advertisement, or publicly display their relationship – my children might become gay as well.
This is closely related to the previous one, but what bothers me the most about this type of argumentation is the “I am ok with gay people, I just don’t want my kids to be one”. If you don’t want your kid to be “one”, then you’re not ok with gay people. I am perfectly ok with you not being ok with it (if you got decent argumentation), but let’s be honest, shall we?
What is really being said here, is that you “become” gay by seeing/interacting with gay people. Hum. I agree that there are more openly gay people allowed on screen (which I of course approve of), but more often than not “the gay” is just there for comical effect, and they rarely develop to have a stable relationship (but this makes for a whole different rant). Moreover, could anyone please explain to me how come there are so many gay people older than 50? Because I’m pretty sure their “exposure” to gay people was fairly limited.

Gays are an anomaly of nature/sick.
For the sake of the argument, let’s assume for a moment this is correct. Shouldn’t you then like… feel for them? Instead of bullying them? Just a thought. I’m also not sure what the reason is that people “suffering” from the disease homosexuality should not be allowed to procreate, but people with “other” “hereditary diseases” (if you’re also a fan of the hypothesis it is genetic) are? If it is indeed an incurable disease, shouldn’t you be happy that the “patient” is still capable of living a high quality life when allowed to live with a same-sex partner?

As I said, I realize I am not very politically correct in my wording and argumentation, but I hope you have enough common sense to see the irony, and what the point is I want to make. Homosexuality is not a disease, it is not a choice (it is ironic that, while both arguments are mutually exclusive, they are often used by the same people). What I’m trying to say is – these arguments are not only nonsense, they also serve no purpose. Because there are millions of people who want to live together, marry and raise children with a same-sex partner and who are not allowed to do so. They do not want to take over the world, they do not want to impose a different view on morality, and they by all means do not want to brainwash or “convert” your children. They want to live the life they feel they are most happy in. It is a simple family life, with highs and lows, with tears and laughter, a life which does not negatively effect anyone either in- or outside their family. So on which grounds do you claim to have the right to deny them this?

But the reality is that co-mothers see their children being taken away when their partner, the biological mother, divorces from them or passes away. Children are bullied for being gay or having gay parents. Couples are refused the entrance to a hotel, because they have the same sex. Employees are fired because they are gay. Many organizations, religiously or otherwise inspired, openly condemn homosexuals and get away with it. Legal protection is limited or non-existing. And it is this reality of discrimination and inequality that was the reason for many of the gay teen suicides. It is easy to blame the bullies, the school boards, the teachers, but ultimately it is this climate of intolerance that made the bullying possible. Because how can you explain to these bullies that they are wrong in not treating gays as equals when, by law, they are not equal?

This post was originally triggered by a – very adult and sincere – discussion over at Scary Mommy, who was brave enough to invite Texan Mama for a blog post on the subject. The discussion is very much worth the read, so if you’re interested, head over there!

Quote on a Sungday

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I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.

— Albert Einstein

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Saturday “Nobel” Smörgåsbord

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So, now that all Nobel Prizes have been awarded, I thought this week’s Smörgåsbord could be about this year’s winners! After all, they are Swedish, and I am in Sweden…
and then I though maybe I didn’t really have the right background to be presenting all these Big Important People and their (honestly pretty astounding) research/accomplishments to you. But… I could give you a selection of my favorite Ig Nobel Prizes!

The what?!?

The Ig Nobel Prizes for Improbable Research, which honor achievements that make people laugh first, and then think.

Among the winners this year were Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and her team, which perfected a method for collecting whale snot, Lianne Parkin and co-workers for showing that wearing socks over your shoes reduces the risk of slipping on ice, and Richard Stephens and colleagues, who won the Ig Nobel Price for Peace for confirming that swearing indeed helps relieve pain. Here is some more remarkable research that first makes you laugh, then think.

For those of us who have often tried to explain something by making analogies, the phrase: “You’re comparing apples and oranges!” is undoubtedly familiar, and is generally perceived as being a telling blow to the analogy since it is generally understood that apples and oranges cannot be compared. After being the recipient of just such an accusation, Scott A. Sandford from the NASA (!) Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California decided to see if this statement actually made sense.
“(…) the statement that something is like comparing apples and oranges is a kind of analogy itself. That is, denigrating an analogy by accusing it of comparing apples and oranges is, in and of itself, comparing apples and oranges.” He then proceeded to prove that apples and oranges can indeed be compared and, more importantly, are remarkably similar.
Interestingly, in Belgium we generally say: “You’re comparing apples and pears.”. I wonder if that makes more sense… .

The Peter Principle was first formulated by Laurence Peter, and published in 1969. The Principle states that men and women in hierarchies climb the professional ladder until they reach the level of maximum incompetence. While this may seem completely irrational, scientists have shown, using computer models, that if you assume that 1) the best members are rewarded with promotion and 2) the competence at the new level in the hierarchical structure does not depend on the competence at the previous level (since both levels often require different competences), the Peter Principle not only holds, but is

unavoidable and leads to an average decrease in efficiency of 10% – promoting the worst employees on the other hand increased efficiency by 12%. A more elaborate explanation can be found here.
I think it just comes down to this: if people are good at their jobs… let them do them! If people are not good at their jobs, well, maybe they’d better do something else. People who are doing a good job deserve a reward, but promotion may not be the best one.

In 1999, Dr. Len Fisher of Bath, England and Sydney, Australia, and professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck of the University of East Anglia, England, and Belgium (oh, allow me some chauvinism while my country still exists!) shared the Ig Nobel Prize for Physics for calculating the optimal way to dunk a biscuit, and calculating how to make a teapot spout that does not drip, respectively. The latter research was actually supported by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, and the National Science Foundation, since the mathematics that explains the flow of tea also apply to the resistance of waves to a ship’s hull. Which is… fascinating.
One year later, the Physics prize went to Andre Geim of the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, for using magnets to levitate a frog. Interestingly, this is the very same Andre Geim who won the (“real”) Nobel Prize for Physics this year for his completely unrelated (and by far less exciting) research on the two-dimensional molecule graphene.

Sleeping

Image by kaibara87 via Flickr

However, the life of a scientist can be hard. Ryan Shaun Baker found himself breaking up with his girlfriend after conducting exhaustive research on the factors influencing the amount of sleep he was getting. Based on whether or not he had attended social activities, read in bed, felt ill, … and whether he slept alone or not, he was forced to conclude that his girlfriend, in effect, proved to be sleep retardant. While I feel he did not have sufficient proof supporting his conclusions, I must say I appreciate a man who values a good night’s sleep.

 

And I haven’t even talked about the bra which can be converted to a protective face mask or that high-prized fake medicine is more effective than low-prized fake medicine, and all the questions that have been answered: is Kansas as flat as a pancake? (no, in fact, it is flatter), do cats always land on their feet? (only when they fall from at least 2 feet), how do you get girls interested in science? (with a good-looking (male) teacher) and why doesn’t a woodpecker get a headache?

Should you have your own little research going on which you think will benefit the world, you can send it in for publication in the Annals of Improbable Research, and/or nominate your or other’s research for the Ig Nobel Prizes next year. In each case, head over to their website if the above stories even mildly amused you… they got a lot more going on on there!

A tale from the road

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My apologies for leaving you all post-less last weekend, but I wasn’t exactly in the mood for blogging due to the circumstances that sent me home unexpectedly, and neither did I have time to prepare some scheduled posts – but for now regular posting is back! (well, at least until the end of the month)

As I said, I had to return home unexpectedly last weekend. And I took the train. From Lund. To Ghent.

A 17 hour journey*.

To this moment I have no idea why exactly I chose the train. It wasn’t that much cheaper (although, to say it with Tesco: every little helps!). Or actually… T told me to take the train. So I did.

And it started out great – the first train was 15 minutes late. Not when I got on, but for some reason or another, it stopped every 10 minutes. Without there being a train station. We stopped on the øresund-bridge, we stopped before getting into the tunnel, we stopped when we got out, … honestly, this train had issues. I was starting to fear I’d miss my connection and wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea of missing my grandfather’s funeral because of a train with issues. So once in Copenhagen I started to run – well, you know, the kind of run-hop-walking you generally do when you’re in a hurry but got a big backpack on your back and a full handbag on your front which bounces along happily. The platform was found easily enough, but this was the longest train I ever saw (not really… I saw a Guinness Book attempt for the longest train of over 70 wagons… but for the sake of this post: it was loooooong) and my coach was the very last one. And when I finally got there, I wish I hadn’t.

The wailing which greeted me coming from the train was just… mind-blowing. Think a 2-year-old which has been taken its lollipop, only this was an adult. And I’m pretty sure she wasn’t going to stop even if you gave her 10 lollipops. She was sitting in a couchette with her husband and 3 children, and was completely freaking out. The conductor was in there with them, trying to calm her (and her kids, which were getting really upset because, well, their mother was upset), so I wiggled my way past to try and find my couchette, hoping it would be as far away as possible from noise. It wasn’t. In fact, in passing the conductor I had already passed my spot.

It was there.

The one remaining seat in the couchette occupied by HER.

Please, no, please don’t tell me I have to spend 12 hours in a tiny couchette with a freaked out woman and her 3 kids. She has probably a very good reason to be upset and I’m a kind, tolerant person but please…

And then they got out. For whatever reason the lady had decided she would not continue her journey and she got out, her 3 kids and husband following her silently. I couldn’t believe it – not only did I not have to share a couchette with Mrs. Wail, I GOT A WHOLE COUCHETTE FOR MYSELF! Ah, bliss … .

And then they got back in. Apparently 3 ticket guys combined had been able to convince her to still take the train (strangely, her husband did not say a singly soothing word to his wife, let alone give her a hug or a kiss, rather he seemed embarrassed by the whole situation).

No… please… no… .

Fortunately, both the lady and the conductor had the same idea – it wouldn’t be healthy for me to spend the night in her company. Pfieuw…. for a second, I thought I would be assigned a private bed, since the couchettes seemed pretty much full, but I ended up sharing with two Croation women which fell asleep as soon as they found their seats.

The Thalys was late. And the train to Ghent was late. But I was home. And sometimes, that’s enough.

* For the sake of comparison, Copenhagen-Brussels takes 1h20 with the plane – 6 hours door-to-door.

Open letter to the former tenant

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Dear mr. Alvaro Gutierrez,

We have never met, but allow me to introduce myself: I am the person who is currently renting the apartment which you lived in last year. I am taking the liberty of writing you because I feel there is one or two things about keeping an apartment clean you might have misunderstood.

Take the dishes. I know that, as the perfect cook that you are, you only ever get the inside of the pots and pans dirty, but sometimes -just sometimes, against your will- it so happens that a drop or two of whatever is INside escape and run down along the OUTside, or some sizzling oil in the one pan sizzles its way onto the pot next to it. This is why it is custom to wash pots and pans inside AND out. While I am aware you are somewhat above that, I still suggest you would try to adopt this habit, since not only are clean pots and pans more aesthetically pleasing, they will also save you from many a food poisoning. And while we are on the subject of the kitchen, may I also suggest you consider to clean the area around the cooking plates? I realize the many yellow spots might have been mistaken for a pretty wallpaper pattern but really… it was grease. (I do agree with you an apartment painted all in white is pretty depressing, however, a wall covered in greasy yellow spots does not do much to undo that. More on the contrary, even… .)

I know you were also wondering about the bathroom – was there really so little light coming through that window? Wasn’t the shower hose white when you moved in? And most importantly – how come the joints between the tiles in the shower turned black over time? The answers to these questions are no, yes, and mold.
It is a bit crazy to install a shower next to a window, I agree, since it results in regular exposure of the inner window to drying drops. Think rain and outside windows but more frequently – they get dirty (but oh… I guess this is new for you too?). My traditional cleaning product couldn’t quite handle the lime deposit on the window, but it was easily enough removed with pure white vinegar – you’d be delighted at how much brighter the bathroom is now! On the hose – I’d have thought the stickiness would’ve been enough indication that a sponge was needed, but I can forgive you for not noticing: after all, I too have a hard time to keeping my eyes open during my morning shower. And admittedly, wet joints do look darker, which may be why you missed the mold slowly taking over. But no worries, they have these special products these days and it barely took me 2 hours to get the whole shower clean.

So while I understand you not washing the windows, the dishes, the toilet, the shower and everything else, and I wholeheartedly forgive you for these honest mistakes, there is one thing I do not grasp. Is this really snot that you wiped off on the bottom of the chairs?

Yours sincerely,
Lies

Seriously?