Monday, December 21, 2009

Title that escapes me goes here.

An overwhelming sense of sadness washed over me as I walked across the street last week, exhausted and pissed and angry yet all that was in my mind was how this year had passed, so quickly, so filled with joy, heartbreak, luck, health and so on and on and on... Had to keep reminding myself to be thankful.

'tis the season, I guess.

Another year, another year... has passed. Another year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

the 26 steps

step 1: figure out why my cell rings, but doesn't work. properly. like i cant receive a call. or dial out. but it keeps ringing. and i can't turn it off.
step 2: suspect the sim card.
step 2.5: take out sim card.
step 2.75: break the phone completely while reinserting the damn card.
step 3: rule out sim card problem.
step 4: dig the extra phone from who knows where (burak found it).
step 5: be thankful for accidentally setting the shortcut button to turn bluetooth on.
step 6: turn bluetooth on. the computer as well. it has to sync somehow.
step 7: isync works. all is saved. or synced. just to show burak how tech savvy i am, i tell him that i can actually go back to any given day on my computer thru my time machine. not a real time machine. though i suspect that's coming soon, too.
step 8: burak tells me i havent backed up my computer for.... ta daaa.. three whole weeks. not too shabbyi huh?
step 9: attempt backing up. cannot locate the external hard drives (ehd from now on, i know they must have a better name than that but i cannot remember for the life of me). all 3 of them. they were on my desk. yes, i'm sure.
step 10: locate the external hard drives. in the bookcase. cuz they look like books you know.
step 11: try very very hard to remember which ehd i used for backing up.
step 12: locate the cables.
step 13: not those cables.
step 14: those are the right ones but they don't work.
step 15: locate the power cable. yes! the right one on my first attempt.
step 16: bet on the black ehd. connect. power up. and burak says "that's my ehd."
step 17: disconnect after getting distracted looking thru burak's stuff.
step 18: bet on the other black ehd.
step 19: wrong cables.
step 20: those are broken as well.
step 21: consider trashing the broken cables. then think that maybe they're not broken and they're actually wrong cables.
step 22: find the right cables. the power cord is the same, thank god. i am exhausted.
step 23: wrong one again. disconnect after get distracted looking thru songs and stuff backed up from 2008.
step 24: the silver one. that has to be it. or i am so screwed.
step 25: freaking wrong cables. i am so not kidding. the first cable that i used for the black ehd fits, of course.
step 26: connect. back up.

the extra phone rings. and i have no idea who's calling.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Darkness of the night (hey that's a song!)

Some nights seem darker than others for some reason. There must be a scientific explanation somewhere that has to do with atmospheric stuff (see, all those freaky cold nights taking astronomy 101 at Mount Holyoke would come in handy if only I could remember a word or two of it) but my interpretation lies somewhere between my own physiological condition at that specific moment and my moodiness.

The darker the night, the better my eyes see. A gloomy sky with no moon (or the new moon? I really should look this stuff up) provides ample opportunities for cat watching, boat surveillance and just marvelous stargazing. The twilight-ish glow from the moon makes everything look hazy thanks to the multitude of stitches in my left eye, and the more the humidity, the moister my eyes are without any requirements of eye drops in good days and quinine related poison/medicine in bad days.

There were days when I wondered whether I would miss the sounds of the boats in the fog (I can hear them loud and clear from this new house) or the familiarity of the street I grew up in. I do, sometimes. But I can see shooting stars here. And that is exactly what I needed to see a few minutes ago. So I could make a wish.

Moving onto the next issue: gotta get lights for the house cuz if I were to trip up on one more thing (and we have “things” on the floors of our new place – toys, crayons, books, very dangerous cars, clothes, I am looking around right now and see scissors for gods sake! just like we did in our last place, and the one before that, because I hate picking after myself, or the children, or anyone else for that matter, and the children seem not have fallen far from the tree in terms of neatness) I know I will break something – most of the “things” don’t matter that much, but a hip replacement at the age of 35 is unacceptable). At least until I get some plastic surgery done. Yeah. There.

And I cannot believe I just wrote an 8-line sentence. Eat your heart out Orhan Pamuk here I come.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mills and shots

When I was very young, my maternal grandfather put me in charge of grinding coffee beans. It was fun, kept me busy for a few minutes and made me feel useful while providing freshly ground beans for my grandmother to make Turkish coffee. When finished, they would allow me to experiment with the remaining wet ground(ed?) gunk in the bottom of the little cup, and often I poured cold water over it, added some sugar and just drank it. Then bounced off the walls for the next few hours.
Those three of you who seem to somehow follow me (hi, dad!) might think I'm going to into this tirade about how the "new" electric modern state of the art fancypants mills that grind a whole pound of coffee with the touch of a button are far worse than the original ones etc etc but no. I will not. I have no idea why I wanted to write about the coffee mill and me bouncing off the walls high on caffeine at the age of 5 but I really could use a shot of something right now and either one of the boys could use some "help mom and keep yourself busy" chore right now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

After the rain

The boxes are opened, the clutter is somewhat organized, and I as type, stuck in the realm of insomnia once again, again and again, sleepless as usual though my eyes are hurting from the exertion, I feel nauseous yet calm. Composed. Tranquil.

Tunca starts 1st grade on Thursday. He seems at ease. We'll see how that goes. My baby, riding the school service bus, every day. That came a bit quicker than I imagined, I guess.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Almost whole month...

Has passed since I last posted something, and that was a repost.

I should write about Arda's camp, Tunca's swimming lessons and how we decided to finally move and still wonder why we made that decision. We really like our place. We just never really "moved in." After 8 years in Istanbul, a friend recently told us our house looks like we just moved in.

I must have written about this place. It's on the same street where I grew up. It's a block from the Marmara sea, so close that we often hear the horns (what are they called anyways?) from ships on foggy nights, the smell of iodine is overwhelming after the rain for some reason and we have seagulls hanging out in our garden plus some weird flock of green parrots in addition to a zillion crows. Tunca was born here. Arda remembers this house as his house, not the one overlooking Bryant Park, not the one on York Avenue on the Upper East Side, but this one. They keep asking us whether we will take the doors with us (no), the bathroom fixtures (no), the curtains (maybe some), the sad attempt of Bilge’s and mine on stenciling on Arda's one wall.

So next week, we move. More on that later.

For you to muse upon, here's how gorgeous Seytan Deresi (The Devil's Creek) cove was.. It is still as peaceful, incredible, calming and mesmerizing as it was even though more than a decade has passed since we were there last...
And here's how the boys spent the last five weeks:
And more on that, later as well because I have to start doing some major cleaning - throw away everything we haven't used in the past year. Well maybe two. Except some sentimental stuff. Yeah.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Reposts. Because I am lazy like that

Some rambling from the past month, edited & posted simply because I don't have anything else to write since Arda is away at camp and Tunca's summer school plans went down the drain and I desperately need a few hours to myself just to get my head together and write about a few things in my mind starting with the utter devastation the Morgan family has faced this past week with the passing of Ryan and his mom, Missy the same week, from neuroblastoma and breast cancer.


You know how you always want to do the best for your kids and keep wondering every freaking step of the way whether you are doing the right thing or saying the right thing or even thinking straight? I am so tired of second guessing myself that I am, at 2Am in the morning, unable to sleep (surprise surprise) thinking over and over about stuff. Yeah, for lack of a more sophisticated word that covers this manic schedule and over thinking and all, and for all I care, it's "stuff."

The whole "I have it all together" act is wearing me down.

Please someone smack me in the face and tell me to pull it together or get over whatever this slum is so I can just go to sleep.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Today was Nathan's 9th birthday. I wanted to do something special for his family.. maybe make & sail a few paper-boats off in the sea towards the Prince Islands. Or something. Lingered over what would be appropriate, meaningful, anything.

I can only write that I thought of their family today, as I do often. I have "known" Nathan's family since Susan & I were pregnant back in late 1999. I know Nathan's birth, and heard his soft voice a few times over youtube, and watched him grow and become a sweet, loving, wise brother, son and friend. A wonderful, wonderful boy. I screamed with joy with every clear scan and shed tears with many set backs... His presence in so many lives, many of whom he never even met, still overwhelm us all, and always, always remembering him is the only thing I can do now.

So Nathan... Happy birthday - may you have a glorious one in the gardens of eden. We love you, and will always, always remember you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Utter confusion

I wake up at 6AM every week day morning utterly confused about why my cell phone is ringing. For the past 4 years, every morning as I wake up, I look at my cell phone and think to myself "why is this going off so early?"

I thought I would get used to it.

On the other hand, I spend each and every night struggling to fall asleep, drifting between being completely awake and aware of not falling asleep and restless sleeping during which I constantly dream of not falling or being asleep. I can literally count the number of nights when I fell asleep quickly, without going through this torture.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Such is luck. No such luck.

Yesterday, I successfully managed to crash my car into the garage wall (again) thanks to my wonderful neighbor who parked his car like 3 feet from the interior wall, dropped Tunca off at school, drove to Arda's school for a meeting where we went through 8 grades worth school supplies in only 4 hours, drove home, parked the car because my wonderful neighbor had left and I just did not want to go through the same nightmare again in one day, called a cab, picked Tunca up from school, went to a swim lesson, took him shopping to bu a freaking YoYo and a Harry Potter movie, came home, checked Arda's homework (partly done, good enough for me) and cooked. The last part the most traumatic.

All this sounds like the complaints of a useless feeble woman. I do feel useless at times. Right now, I feel disappointed, worried, confused, sad, fed up, tired, physically sick and unable tell my 6 year old son that his name was not on the list. The list. The lottery list. The school that Arda attends has so many applicants that they have a lottery among applicants after an interview. And the lottery was today. I know that my Tunca will thrive wherever he goes. He has such a brilliant shine, such incredible qualities that he will be happy in any school. As a parent, I of course want both my children to attend the school I know and trust. The school he will be attending is an excellent one as well. A small private school where he will have a great education, friends and all. He deserves the best and he will make the most of it. I know he will.

Such is life. And luck. I love you babe.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Domesticide Pesticide

The comfort in every day domestic duties lull me. Not to sleep. Mostly. I do need a nap often but that is more related to the fact that I love sleeping, anytime, but mostly during the day. I hate making the beds. Filling the dishwasher. Sorting the colors and whites. Washing stuff. Emptying the dishwasher. Emptying the washing machine. Hanging stuff up to dry. And on and on and on... Yet all this stuff, no matter how miserable I feel during the actual action, make me feel somewhat fulfilled. That's how exciting life is. My life.

On a side note, I am damn lucky to have some help to do all this stuff and I only have to do them when they're off. One of the best presents I got ever was my husband giving the news that he had found a cleaning lady back when we were living in NYC. That turned out to be disastrous experience that we only realized when we were moving. That is a whole new post.

signed: vain and lazy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The never-ending program.

I am constantly haunted by my children's demands for programs on the weekends. And on holidays. And in the afternoons. Every day. Day after day.

To an extent, I am happy to oblige - many of our "outings" as a family end up being wonderful days and we all feel fulfilled, happy to have spent the day together, with family and sometimes friends.

The programs mostly include a meal outside, meeting friends, inviting friends, walks, bike rides, kite sessions, museums and parks and such. And according to the weather, and the fullness of the weekend schedule, they are more or less the same.

Add, however, the finicky basketball schedule of Arda's, a birthday party, someone (mostly myself) ill or miserable (with sun allergies), the terrible awful horrible no good senseless traffic for no good reason but the sun shining, the result is chaos and me screaming off the top of my lungs to just let me stay home. And sleep. Or watch TV. Preferably with a soccer game on.

After speaking to the boys about the limits of programs and my limits of sanity yesterday (ok, there was yelling involved, I admit) they were quietly playing with their toys and drawing today. Never even once asked for a program. My husband must have felt guilty that after basketball practice, he took them grocery shopping and bought the most unneeded yet essential items ever: almonds, ice cream cones, chocolate, a watermelon, 3 green apples and cocoa puffs.

We are determined to go to the beach or the forest next weekend close to the city. It's a 3 day weekend, May 1st is finally a legal holiday!

It's sad, I would have loved to take my children along to the protests, show them that the righteousness and purity of labor is something to celebrate, not frown upon or worse, look down on. No way. Never in İstanbul.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I don't know what to write. This is just a vent.

I am sick and tired of putting on 50+ sunscreen every day.. day after day after day.

I am sick and tired of having to wear long sleeved and/or UV filtered clothing.

I am sick and tired of the blistered hands and neck and legs and feet and toes and ears - yea! ears!!

I am sick and tired of not being able to play with my kids in the summer. Of hiding under umbrellas and shadows.

None of this would have mattered if I could avoid having the dreadful blisters. I hate polymorphic light eruption with a passion. I hate sun allergies.

On a lighter note: check out Arda & Tunca golfing:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A songwriter to be?

Tunca's latest songwriting adventure yielded to this:

the name of the song is some things changed
some things changed
everything changed
i changed
my brother changed, too
don't forget
the world changed
our family changed
the whole world changed.

Şarkının adı Bir Şeyler değişti
bir şeyler değişti
her şey değişti
ben değiştim
abim de değişti
unutmayın ki
dünya değişti
ailemiz değişti
bütün dünya değişti

I don't even want to think about what prompted him to write these. I am hoping that the whole "change" theme was used in a positive way, he insists that "this just popped into his mind" and he "totally made it up."
I don't have a scanner so I just took a photo of it so it's all upside down and left to right but it'll give those of you who know Turkish an idea...

His spelling is great for a 5.5 year old, I think. But I'm biased that way because I also think that he's super cool.

ps.: I backed up. I also have a .mac account which was supposed to sync with my computer but for some reason did not before the horrible crash.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The warning

keeps flashing on my screen - "it's been 10 days since your last time machine back-up." All I have to do is swivel in my swiveling chair take half a step toward the bookcase and pick up the silver (not black) external hard disk and hit the "yeah baby" button. Or the OK button, I can't remember which.

Yet I stay still.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I apologize for the interruption...

But I recently lost my hard disc. Really. It just stopped working all of a sudden. When I sent it to get it fixed, the techies said "we'll rescue your data" and I believed them.

I confess.

My last back-up, was, unfortunately, in November. Early November. I thought I had backed up in January. I hadn't. Or maybe I had, and I can't find it now among the numerous external hard discs that pollute my library.

Anyways.. The techies rescued thumbnails of my iPhoto library and my whole iTunes library. Better than nothing, huh?

I feel really shitty about not backing up. Really. I hate it that I lost all that I had written, all that I had worked on, and all that I emailed and received. Almost all of my PTA stuff is lost (I have hard copies of most of the important documents, though, so that's good).

Oh, I went and got my computer from the techies Tuesday afternoon. The hard disc went kaput again Tuesday night. What part of "my hard disc is dead, it says hardware malfunction on Disc Warrior" did they not understand, I wonder?


It's a fresh start. I promise to make sure Time Machine is running and keep my folders organized.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Darn it I missed it.

The previous post about our W40th apartment thru the eyes of Google Earth's Street View was my 100th post, apparently. Joy to the world. Here's a favorite poem from the 90s when everything seemed dreary and sad in the never ending winter nights of Massachusetts, and the credit goes to my brother Sinan, for introducing me to Vikram Seth and making me more depressed than ever before:

All You who Sleep Tonight
All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above -

Know that you aren't alone
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.

Vikram Seth

Friday, February 20, 2009


The Engineer's Building, where we lived for over five years, is one of greatest memories I have of NYC. I often look at it on Google maps and am amazed by how the area has changed over the past decade. Here's a glimpse:

View Larger Map

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Take This Waltz

The trip we took to Austria for winter break seems to have turned into somewhat of a tradition. Two days in Vienna, five days in Hochkar, two more days in Vienna. Take that psychedelic waltz, Leonard.

Here's a day-by-day tell-all (oh I love hyphens, I really really do):

Day 1: wake up at 4:30AM, out of the house by 5Am to make the 7AM flight to Vienna. Boys slept in their sweatpants and shirts so we just woke them up an loaded them into the already loaded car. (Note: realize, at 2AM, that I forgot to pack winter boots for the kids and scramble to make space for them, fail, get an extra bag just to pack those). Hence the grumpy attitude. Breezy flight where the kids refuse to eat anything and I am already on vacation mode and don't really care they can live on crackers for 10 days for all I care.

Arrive in Vienna, rent two cars (because we have to travel like a herd and there are 7 of us total), drive to Rothensteiner Appartements, meet the gorgeous, wonderful, incredible, charming and sweet Bahar and Sima, take a walk to a nearby hot dog stand where everyone but myself has lunch. I have to walk around and look for a deli where I can get a plain cheese sandwich because I am picky like that.

After placing our stuff in our usual room and resting for a few minutes, walk to Museum Quarter and Zoom Kindermuseum for the MegaGreek Exhibition. I made a reservation ahead of time for all of us and the kids loved, loved it!

With the aide of a perfectly outlined map and Bahar's directions, walk to a classical Viennese restaurant whose name I could not read or pronounce so I cannot blog about it here, where the kids played with wooden blocks, scales (yep, real scales) and had more hot dogs and schnitzel and beef broth soup (rinde zuppe. yea!) I had a salad and soup. Plus more cheesy stuff. Plus Apfelstrudel (another word added to my dictionary this year, next to Melange ohne schlagobert).
Day 2: After breakfast, drive to a park on the frozen Danube and ooh and aah at the views from that big tower. Make your best impression of the Karate Kid on logs (The photos will speak for themselves).
My stylish hat.
The Danube is too far... We'll just play in the park.
Drive to a nearby famous restaurant, totally booked, skip to Schonbrunn zoo for lunch, which is jam packed because Austrians like to go out when it's sunny I guess. Or they made a pact to drive us crazy for some reason. Bernt makes us a delicious dinnner at the hotel and we drink a bit too much wine. Just a bit. Meanwhile, Bahar and Sima drive to their mountain house to pick up Sima's skiing gear and clothes, about 150 kms away, but drive back without picking them up because the road up to the house is icy. I just love their enthusiasm and love for adventure (and driving).
Where's my hat?

Tunca & Sima
The traditional "take a photo on a rhino" moment where I try and make sure noone falls off.
Day 3: Leave Vienna for Hochkar around 9AM. Optimum driving conditions, less than 2 hours. Arrive at Sporthaus Hochkar where the check in area is actually a bar, move our luggage to the rooms and have lunch. To our delight, the three star hotel is extremely clean, comfortable and cozy and like 20 meters to the lifts. I don't know, I didn't really measure, but let me say that one day I skied down from that blue-red-mixed-where the heck am I slope, I arrived right next to the lifts with the bubble thing and without even stopping I could ski to the entrance of the hotel. So that close.
Living room where the kids played...
The view from the living room...
The view from the room...
Rent skis, poles, helmets and all from the ski shop downstairs where I successfully fall from a stupid fold-out chair before even attempting to ski and break my butt or something because I still for the love of god cannot sit on it properly.

Arrive at the ski school, JoSchi where we meet Arda and Ali's instructor Katrina (we call her Katrin) from last year and "Luki" Lukas, and arrange for lessons for the rest of the week. Tunca gets to start his lessons the next day, so I attempt to teach him a bit and to my surprise he is quite eager and much stronger than the year before.

Ski for about 3 hours, get to the room exhausted, dinner and bedtime by 9pm.

Day 4, 5, 6: Kids ski in the morning with instructors Katrin and Tamas, Sinan and Zeynep ski with various instructors, I ski a bit by myself yet stay at the base area more often translate for Tamas and Tunca and hitch a free ride with whoever's going up to ski an easy slope. Let's just say I became very very good friends with people at the JoSchi Bar and they make great lattes. Burak stays at the hotel with a good wi-fi connection and makes quick runs to bring forgotten mittens and take photos.
The gang sans Burak (photographer) and Sinan (on the slopes)
Sister in law Zeynep's frozen hair.
Tunca taking the "butt lift" by himself.
He skis!
And is as stylish as I am!
Burak's occasional break... and I am asleep?
Tunca & Tamas
Building a snow castle...
Ali, Arda, Katrin, Tunca & Tamas. The boys all got medals and candy for their great efforts. Thank you, both!!! We miss you!!
Tunca & Tamas
Katrin & Ali & Arda
Day 7: Ski in the morning and afternoon, drive to Vienna.
Tunca takes photos on the way to Vienna.
And Arda hates that...
so he takes photos of the scenery...
and does a great job!
Have dinner at Grunspun, then drink ourselves silly with Bernd and Bahar back at the Rothensteiners.
Sima checking out Arda's game...
The greatest lobby of the world...
Day 8: After breakfast the guys all go to visit the Natural History Museum while my sister in law, Zeynep and I go shopping and end up buying socks and pajamas for the kids. Dinner at the Burgermeister (I am so no kidding!) where they serve the greatest fries, ever.
The Natural History Museum where Tunca got bitten by a dinosaur...
became a I have no idea, Inuit?
while my brother got attacked by a lionand Arda ran down the stairs (that's just the plain History Museum)
Day 9: Leave early for the airport, return to the hotel because Arda cannot find his Nintendo DS, frantically run thru the room to no avail, return to the car where Arda is crying and Tunca is offering his own to him, make them both shut up because it is my fault, I should have looked better. Arrive at the airport, while returning the car hear Arda say, "oh, here it is" and have eternal joy. Because I did not forget packing it.

Arrive in İstanbul, late, hungry and tired but happy to be home...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Talent and Production

I think that I lack both. I wish I could sew. Or draw. Or throw a pot with some sense of precision. I try, though.

Maybe singing is my calling, yet the call to create something, the terrible, horrible feeling of not being able to produce anything often overwhelms me. And I am once again left with the sucky feeling of dissatisfaction and futility. Not utility.

Check this out by Mike Lowery of ArgyleAcademy:
So Mike drew this when he went out to lunch with a friend. How cool, how simple yet witty and cute and funny is that?

Lauran Alane, my favorite felter/designer has the most amazing needle felted birds:
Now that's talent!