Monday, December 26, 2011

The tale of the toast.

Today I fell into an inflamed discussion (not to say - an argument) with someone about why the toast always falls butter side down. First - this is a fact. Second - it's such an exasperating one that it deserves its own blog post.
When I was younger and more depressive I used to explain this phenomenon by Murphy's law. To paraphrase - if there is a way something could suck, it will suck. It's an easy way of perceiving the world,  however unsatisfactory as you're closer to leaving your teens (my argumentation is strong here as I just spilled my tea over my laptop. You see my point). When you're done with middle school physics you start saying that everything that happens is the result of gravity, star -> footnote -> air resistance is negligible. This was what I was saying arguing about the toast today morning. Yet, it's not quite the case, so let me tell you why this peculiarity is so. There are four factors:
1. Gravity, star -> footnote -> air resistance is negligible (like, butter weighs more than nothing)
2. The size of bread.
3. The height of the table/kitchen counter.
4. The angle at which bread starts its fall.

All these factors lead us to the ultimate reason. It's the period of rotation. It can be seen in astronomical objects (Earth rotates with the period of one day). The rotation period of a toast is considerably smaller because of its size (and mass). Here comes the factor number two. A cracker is smaller, hence its rotation period is smaller. We can therefore say that if we let a cracker and a toast fall at the same time from the same height, the cracker will be falling more rapidly. Here comes the factor number three - the average height of a kitchen counter and an average size of a toast are circumstances that make the cycle intersection equal precisely the floor. However if we got on a ladder (bet that's what I'm thinking about doing right now?), changing the height in this way, the toast would fall butter side up! If we changed the size of the slice instead of the height, for instance if we sacrificed a cracker and spared the ladder, the cracker would fall butter side up!
The fourth factor means more or less the fact that butter is never evenly distributed and that you rarely hold a sandwich at a perfect balance, which makes it more prone to rotate and fuel it's fall.
And the first factor is obvious. It's what they taught us in middle school - gravity is everything! Star ->footnote-> air resistance is negligible.
Isn't physics fascinating?! Fun science, fun science, it's the science that is fun!
I am sorry I haven't posted my own experiment results on here. I'd better go work on that now.

Song of the day: O Come All Ye Faithful - Elvis Presley

PS. Here's an adorable picture - the text says 'The sandwich always falls butter side down. You made it the wrong way'.

PPS. The Doctor Who Christmas Special, you guys!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

So this is Christmas.

You know what strikes me about the Nativity story? We've talked about it this week at Holla! It's Jesus Time and it was mentioned by our pastor today at church, which is curious as I was thinking about it a lot lately as well. Although the Scripture doesn't say that, many Apocryphal writings emphasize that Mary was fourteen at the time she gave birth to Jesus. Imagine being fourteen, engaged with a man you don't even really know and there comes the angel from the sky telling you that you're to give birth to the Son of God. She could go 'Sorry, Gabriel, but... biology?'. But instead she said 'Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word'. Let it be stressed that bearing Jesus was a massive humiliation for the entire family of Joseph, for He was believed to be a bastard. But despite the fact that she did not have the slightest idea what was going on, didn't care about humiliation, biology and convenances. Deep down inside, this was all she felt:

"My soul exalts the Lord, 
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 
“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; 
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. 
“For the Mighty One has done great things for me; 
And holy is His name. 
He has done mighty deeds with His arm; 
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. 
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones, 
And has exalted those who were humble. 
And sent away the rich empty-handed. 
“He has given help to Israel His servant, 
In remembrance of His mercy, 
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever.”

This is a lesson of humility and joy in the works of God. I believe she was the happiest woman in the entire world and I wish everything God does today filled me with such happiness and desire for obedience. 
I am grateful we have a day to celebrate the day when the unlimited became human. I wish all the the divine blessings for you all and if for those of you who believe in God, may you have trust in God's mighty deeds, may you have faith in His decisions for He has and will fill the hungry with good things.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Song of the day: Joy To The World - Nat King Cole

John Smith: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!

I looked at the TV guide today and almost choked on a gingerbread cookie when I saw the front page title. A very prominent celebrity in a Santa hat  making her way through the spruce branches, looking as if she'd found a door to Narnia there, at least. The title beneath the photo says "such-and-such: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles".
Now, the reason why I looked at the TV guide in the first place was because I wanted to check if it's in fact Christmas. Since there were no ads on which broadcasting station Home Alone was gonna be aired, I was sincerely worried that Christmas was to be cancelled. Luckily, we're saved! Home Alone is ON, this Christmas! Let's go back to the kitchen, now that we're sure.
Anyway, I was almost physically hurt when I saw that front page. I know this celebrity pretty well. I know all about her romances. I know that she ran in the competition for the most beautiful bust in the country. Now I even know that she believes in the Christmas Eve miracles. But I don't know what is it that she does. Surely she acts, probably sings, writes books and hosts talk shows. BUT. No. Nobody cares. The most important information is her belief in Christmas Eve miracles. And that bust thing of course. Weird they haven't mentioned her place in that article - Christmas has always been renowned to be the season of woman objectification.
I'm not mocking national press' choice of front page topics! Quite the contrary, I think everyone should share this important piece of information publicly! They give us so many days off, we might as well occupy ourselves with who believes in Christmas magic and who doesn't. This account is so significant I want to hear all about it.
See, I always consider a press article good, if I was to read it had it not been about the bust competition winner.
'George Bush: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!'
'Richard Dawkins: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!'
'Michael Jackson's doctor: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!'

That would make my day!

'John Smith (42 years old, Tarrytown, NY): I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!'

Oh, surely it would!

Song of the day: Celebrate the day - Relient K

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Top Ten 'Tuesday' - the books I hope Santa brings

In my recent days I've had very few things to be proud of. I messed up so many characteristic hallmarks of my talented self - my traditional salad ( I forgot to boil the vegetables), my so-called laboriousness ("it's snowing today, I guess I won't go to work. Oh, well") or my strong environmental standpoints (I had to start intaking gelatine. However painful that was to my beliefs and my...ego). I'm not even mentioning NaNoWriMo (I dropped out four days in). For a long time I used to be super proud of horse-like health - I haven't been sick since I nearly died being eight years old, due to pneumonia. I had to undergo a series of Mongolian alternative medical procedures (alternative for us. I wouldn't be that crazy to go for something that's alternative even in Mongolia. Okay, I'm not mocking Mongolia, I say their regular medicine is awesome enough :) that left me -seemingly- invincible to EVERYTHING. For ten years I would go out in winter without any overcoat layers, make eagles in the snow and eat ice cream when it's minus twenty outside. Nothing would get me. In addition to that, I've never broken a bone. This stopped my vigilance so much that it was decided I should probably care about The Organism more and bam, there's nasty tracheitis. What is more it's very highly probable that I broke my rib ('she's so lucky, she's a star!'). So there it goes - I totally lost my cool. To questions like 'what's so special about you?' I would always say two things: 'I never get sick' and 'I've never seen Home Alone'. The former is no longer adequate and the latter... well, tomorrow's Christmas Eve. I will be exposed to the temptation (not really. But you know, at that time of the year, EVERYTHING CAN HAPPEN).
I guess I'm trying to say I want to get back to blogging daily to restore my motivation and try to keep the awesome at a decent level. I'll start with a good ole' list. This is a Top Ten Tuesday meme from the Broke and the Bookish. It's on a Friday because I'm a slump. I also might have a broken rib. Just for the record.

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green, David Levithan
2. A Cassandra Clare book from either the Mortal Instruments or the Infernal Devices. 
3. The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins
4. It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini
5. Shine - Lauren Myracle
6. No way home - Carlos Acosta
7. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
8. The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
9. 420 Characters - Lou Beach
10. Tree of Codes - Jonathan Safran Foer

As you can see the majority of those are YA fiction. That is because I usually don't read those books and everybody on YouTube is talking about them all the time (like Stephanie Perkins or Lauren Myracle. All those videos make them really desirable).

I shall end with a song of the day:  December Snow - The Moody Blues and I will talk to you tomorrow (oh yes, this blogging daily whim is officially a thing now!).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A bundle of issues and a vivid discomfort.

A record of Swedish adventures might be coming or might be not. The scary thing is that my trip to Sweden was exactly what I had expected it to be - an Eureka moment. And it generally doesn't happen to me that things go the way that I expect. So I'm freaked out. And look like a bundle of issues at the moment.

I was writing a travel journal/scrapbook along the way and now I'm really glad that I did that. I might share some of it in the upcoming posts.

Right now I'm sitting in Galärparken.I wish I could say how I feel about Stockholm. It is one of the most beautiful places I've been to. It's most beautiful in the rain, it makes you feel just like when you're taking a ferry and stare far away at the ocean all the time. I understand why my mom loved it so much and I could live here; I think I could adjust easily. The only thing is that Stockholm makes me feel so lonesome. Or maybe, Stockholm makes me feel so real that I feel loneliness I try to hide otherwise. Still, I don't want to meet anybody and I don't want anybody to see me. I wish the city was all mine, but with people around. I want the city to live but it scares me that my presence changes it. Maybe it's weird but I don't want to be a part of the city. I want to be just an observer. The most observant one who doesn't need to be bothered by other people. To look at how people act but not to interact with them. It feels a lot like insanity. Maybe I don't like people at all? My God says that people will know us by the fact that we love them. So is not liking brothers and sisters a sin? God said that you don't hide the light but expose it to the world. Am I a light at all if I want to be hidden so desperately?


" (...) It is hard to see clearly or to think straight in the company of other people. Not only do I feel self-conscious but the perceptions that are necessary to writing are difficult to manage when someone close by is thinking out loud. I am diverted, but  it is discovery, not diversion, that I seek. What is required is the lucidity of loneliness to capture that vision, which, however banal, seems in my private mood to be special and worthy of interest. There is something in feeling abject that quickens my mind and makes it intensely receptive to fugitive impressions. Later these impressions might be refuted or deleted, but they might also be verified and refined; and in any case I had the satisfaction of finishing the business alone. Travel is not a vacation, and it is often the opposite of a rest. "Have a nice time", people said to me at my send-off at South Station, Medford. It was not precisely what I had hoped for. I craved a little risk, some danger, an untoward event, a vivid discomfort, an experience of my own company, and in a modest way the romance of solitude (...)."    from "The Old Patagonian Express" by Paul Theroux


This is exactly how I feel. I don't feel like mister Paul Theroux and I would easily become friends (he'd easily see how dumb I am, objectively speaking of course; I would see that coming) but still he managed to grasp everything I would not be able to express in words. I do feel a vivid discomfort. After a while you spend in your own company, romancing with solitude, you suddenly see tools to straighten the curves and clear the blurs. Except for that you're too unsettled to be able to either grasp your life and use the tools you saw in the rainy streets of Stockholm, or just do the next thing. So you just don't do anything. And start thinking what it is that you want. And then you're too tired thinking, so you read a great deal of Maureen Johnson and John Green. And it makes you feel depressed because you come to a realization that you'll never be Colin Singleton.

Song of the day: The National - I'm Afraid Of Everyone

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sweden adventures 101. Weird compartment.

So my epic trip began. I'm still not in Sweden though. Yesterday I took the train to Warsaw and today I am flying to Malmo.

Let me just say that my compartment crew in my train to Warsaw was one of the weirdest I ever travelled with. First there was this girl who sat right next to me who, for one, was texting for the entire trip and, for two, burst into tears every 30 minutes or so. At first I thought she was laughing so hard, but then the guy sitting on the opposite bench and I shared an alarmed look and the situation was pretty uncomfortable because we didn't know how to react. Particularly for me because I was sitting right next to her.
So this guy. He was one of the most bizarre people as well. He  couldn't force a smile throughout the whole trip although I was trying to make him do that (I'm pretty annoying). He remained cold as ice when the baby joined our compartment. I mean, the baby! EVERYONE was "He's so cute!!!"-ing him and the guy was just sitting there, bored and with contempt on his face. He looked kind of like a lizard, but not in a bad way, in a very cool way. O boy, what am I talking about?
In Warsaw I asked him if he could help me with my suitcase to which he responded that I am helpless (gentleman) but when we get off we talked for a while at the train station and we bonded over some things, so that was... weird?
Then, on my other hand was sitting an old dude, gravely, proffesor-like looking who was reading a Harlequin called "The Knight".

Another guy on the opposite bench was playing games on his laptop for the half of the trip and for the other half he was standing in the corridor, sticking his head out of the window screaming! (Titanic "I'm the king of the world!" impression). We were right next to the restaurant car and so there was a lot of people passing whom he wouldn't let pass through.

And the baby was cute. That's it. Of course he travelled with his parents.

Right now I'm in my friend's house in Warsaw. Yesterday we went to the stud where she's training (she's been riding horses for 7 years, she's very impressive) where I watched her make her horse inhale herbs from the "inhalator" (which looked more like a linen sack), clean her horse, ride him. I was totally eaten up by mosquitos and I talked a lot with some pretty cool horses (I particularly fell in love with the dude named McGyver).
Now I'm just hanging out at her house when she had to go to school.

Song of the day: "Head and shoulders knees and toes all belong to Jesus!". I don't know if that's on YT anywhere, but this song has been stuck in my head. Did I tell you that I teach at Sunday school? :) So expect more of those xD

Now, off to Sweden!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blog On Fire


I got the Blog on Fire Award from the sweet Nicole (we definitely should talk soon!). I guess I'm allowed to pass it to 5 other bloggers if I post 5 facts about myself.

1. I'm insomniac. The reason that I bring this up first is because it is freakin' 2 in the morning when I type these words. It frustrates me for I know that I have to get up at 5 o'clock and my eyes hurt from uninterrupted eye-page full of letters contact  for a few hours. Now I'm watching some movies. I want to rewatch Doctor Who 5 but something's not working so now I feel only like watching romantic comedies. I watched The Confessions of a Shopaholic (Lord save my soul, I hope college people don't google future students' blogs) and I'm starting Letters To Juliet (edit: why do I even watch those films if I know they're utter crap? ah, right, those happy endings... I just can't help it). I also watched "Bananas" by Woody Allen. I definitely recommend it, but I warn you that it will leave you feeling bitter.
There's actually loads to do in the middle of the night. LIke, clean the apartment, study, plan a trip, respond to all the e-mails, bake cookies for tomorrow morning, paint nails and such. BUT I feel like a burnt tire.

2. My hair color is in fact actually by nature red. That's the question I get asked the most so I respond. I understand why. My hair is just inherently weird.

3. In my childhood I missed out on video games. At some point I played the Sims but that was long before there was any news about later editions. Basically I was so obsessed with Harry Potter that I wanted to play the Sims Abracadabra, not because I was necessarily a fan of games but because it had this one magical word in it. I pretty much played only that in my entire life. I deleted it from my computer when I had so many charms saved that it was eating up all my little Toshiba 1998 laptop's memory. Believe it or not, but being a huge nerd I was never a gamer, I didn't even play Harry Potter games (not until last month when my friend and I got back from the premiere and were so pumped that we couldn't sleep, so we played Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and I was really excited. But then I got tired of that anyway, so no.) Nerd. But ain't got the littlest gamer's bone in my body.

4. People say that all the flight attendants have this issue with smiling - or not being able to stop smiling. Well, it's not only the thing with the flight attendants. Ballerinas have that too. Since I was a little child I performed on stage, my very first part was a bird in "Cinderella".  And they always told us to keep smiling, no matter what happens, if someone from the audience comes up on the stage (I swear, that happened once. It was a child, but still it was hilarious), if a dancer falls or faints, if a fire breaks up in the theater. Do not stop dancing. Do not stop smiling. Do not smile privately. Do not smile to particular people in the audience or to dancers. Stage it, damn it, stage that smile, Nela.
I guess that shaped me to be who I am right now, I don't stop smiling. I smile while I cry. I smile and laugh hysterically when someone close dies. Many people find this offensive or inappropriate. It's my way of dealing with life.

5. I just spent one of the most wonderful weekends! On Friday I met up with my friends from school and we had a coffee at my place. Then I had a Bible meeting with my brothers and sisters in Christ which lasted till 1 AM. I woke up at 3 AM to catch a train to Warsaw for the YouStars live meet up event. Unfortunately my poor vocabulary lacks the appropriate words to express how awesome this was. Let me just say: !@#$%^&*()_+!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's how awesome it was. I got to hang out with Kristina, Meghan, Cat, Will, Kate, Greg, Jimmy and a ton of terrific Polish people. All the YouTubers talked about their vlogging experience, Jimmy performed, we had some time to just chat and get to know everybody over some drinks and music. The next day the American guests had to complete the Urban Challenge which was about finding places and checking off if the particular challenge was completed. At some point I joined Cat, Will and Kristina who gave up racing for the pleasures of sightseeing and getting the proper and relaxed Warsaw experience. And so, we grabbed our ice-cream and enjoyed the pleasures of souvenir shopping, visiting churches (Will) and grabbing zebras flying in the air (Cat). Then I headed back to the club, but unfortunately I didn't have much time to stay at the after party for I had to catch my train. You can read more on Kristina's blog . Let me just say that it was one of the must fun-packed weekends I've ever had.

And so, I'm giving the award to 5 more people:
1. My lovely friend Skye - a nerdfighter and an aspiring writer who's blogging more frequently than I am.
2. Another lovely friend Julie - she's starting a job in PARIS next semester so she'll have a ton of awesome french stories to tell.
3. Lovely Melinda is lovely - maybe you know her as lifein2011. It's too bad she doesn't write as frequently as she used to... (a subtle suggestion, Melinda :)
4. Aifowy - she is a Polish blogger, but you don't really have to understand the language as what she mainly does is fashion. She posts awesome pictures and even I'm not that much into fashion, looking up the pictures on her blog is a mere pleasure for me.
5.Aimee is attempting BEDA this August so check her out because she's doing great.

Song of the day : High on You - Jimmy Wong

Saturday, August 13, 2011

People say nothing changes when you turn 18.

My motivation is like a product approaching its expiration date in your fridge. You know you have to use it quickly, entirely and effectively, but you just can't look at all the food you bought because you thought you'd consume it all. And of course you were wrong. Oh, how wrong were I thinking I could deal with all the items I packed into my shopping cart. Out of this madness I didn't make it for our YPO anniversary with my friends. But all the pantsers, if you are reading this, I'll make it up to you next week, I promise. I'll have something absolutely awesome!!!

In the spirit of our anniversary, I took a close-up look upon those past six months. And you know, I can definitely say that they changed my life as quickly and as strikingly as it never had happened before. It's not only because I gained great new friends that, oh my goodness, finally "get it" and that I got involved in a whole bunch of new fun  internet projects, but the fact that those two factors accompanied my lifetime milestone (how I missed those cliches in my blog) is somewhat significant. Let's make a list then. Just because we like listing, don't we?

1. I got baptized. Even though I was a converted christian before and I believed it would be just a symbol of confessing my faith and showing that I in fact do give everything to Christ, it was so much more. It was a life-changing day, it was indeed not only a token but I real baptism in Holy Spirit and a clear and definite declaration. Jesus is my number one. Period.

2. I noticed a really bizarre change in myself. I think it's the Holy Spirit's business because there is literally no way I could get like that and we all now that our God hates chaos. I, insert first and last name, actually started to care about cleaning. Before I was a typical hamstering creature that amassed every bus ticket, cardboard box or peanut butter jar (they really do come in handy sometimes) in the abyss of my attic and my garage (also, every other drawer). Now I turned into this Anthea Turner - type of person. It really really does scare me. I started my campaign to chuck every useless item in my house, so you're welcome if you can't fit stuff in yours. Because my house is 28 bags of rubbish emptier. And since I work a lot I usually do it all at night. For example, three days ago I couldn't sleep anymore and so this brilliant idea to clean the medicine drawer at 4 AM popped up in my mind. Well, this adventure ended up in my cat being literally drugged as a result of rolling in all of the expired herbal teas I had had and me having to lock her up in another room. But then she started meowing so hard because she's a drug-addict and, I swear, she woke up the whole street.

3. So future, hum? 6 months ago I would be freaking out at the mere sound of this word, now I know certain things for sure. First, don't care too much, because caffeine isn't that great in abuse and you might lose your hair. Second, you can do whatever you like to do, you just have to believe (Hillary Duff reference again, I am truly shamefaced). I couldn't believe I would get back to ballet and (after dancing 8 hours a day for a week) decided it was possible to get back to ballet school. Which I'm in fact in the process of doing.  Third, I think I finally know what I want to do with my life,or at least I have some alternative. So that's reassuring. Huh, a breath of relief, and we can start brain-cracking over something else. For example...

4. You know, 18 is that time when you come across some crucial decisions and have to stop for a while and just think these life-and-death issues through. For example, I finally found some time to contemplate the problems of the names for my children. Not that I'm planning anything. You just have to have a plan B.
 So here I go: Elizabeth, Esther, Edgar. Don't be hatin'. I've no idea what's the thing with the E.

5. I got over one thing of mine. That's one thing forward.

6. I met a  life-changing friend. The one who sets your priorities in order. The one who can make you cry again and who make you feel grateful for everything. And the one with whom you can eat tomato soup in abuse. Every freakin' day.

7. My dear friends from YPO. I rarely say this, because I don't want to go sentimental (that's not true, I'm just to busy to make it every Monday. Or ANY Monday. This has been a sad time for Mondays...) but I really appreciate how similar and how different we are. I really appreciate the difference of age and how I don't feel it at all. And I love you.

8. Oh well. That's the season. The universities started spamming my mailbox. The University of Washington sent me their brochure and since then I've been super pumped about Seattle. So who knows? Just give me that 38 K $ and I'm gonna be okay.

I have so much more, but some of them I don't want to share and some of them I don't remember and in addition, the sun hurts my eyes. So I should get going. One more thing - this week is gonna be awesome, so I wish you'd have fun during your weeks as well. I'm a bit sad I'm not BEDA-ing this month but I'm gathering my strengths for NaNoWriMo. I hope I can make it this year, so at least I'll try to write a bit more frequently. That's about it.

Song of the day: Niech Krolestwo Twe (Sorry, I doubt I ever inserted any Polish christian song? :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


So this blog post is a way for me to kill two birds with one stone and communicate with my YPO friends as well as make up for my absence around the blogosphere. I really don't feel like explaining myself although that would make an interesting story of some epic conflicts with Russian embassy, epic hearings where I was testifying, epic hotel rooms in Lower Silesia, epic week of dancing dangerously and some pretty epic acts of the Holy Spirit. Let's leave that aside and have a little chat.

Silling - thank you for your sweet postcard! Good luck with LOTR, I really wanted to jump on the bandwagon with you both and take this opportunity to finally face it. But I have too many things to read at the moment... One is certain, SUPERSONIC KNITTING FTW.

Shara - we are so going to meet this fall! Seriously, I will sacrifice my college money to go to Sweden. I'm thinking Malmo for a week or something, then maybe I can stay in Lund with someone from Couch Surfing or any other every-parent's-nightmare-slash-possible-lethal-danger-slash-online-service. E-mail me! Also, I'm excited for you VEDA.

Leo - as above. I'm sure the three of us can hang out somewhere in Germany/Sweden. Or maybe Paris? :) I am really scared of your capitals-memorising skills. (I still haven't started! AAAARGH!). But that's still a challenge!

Alisha - I can't believe that I haven't said hi yet! HI!  It's great to have you in our team now. Also, your intro made me realize how the first response when I meet any Nerdfighter is "You're exactly the way I am". Even though we are all diverse, we have so much in common and I feel the same way every time someone new introduces his/herself.

Kate - it probably would be super weird to meet because we all internet people don't understand the relativism of height. I couldn't believe how short you are because you simply don't look so short. I am 5 ft 9. I bet you can't tell.
In Poland we also had Sesame Street, though it wasn't the same version as the American one. They don't broadcast it anymore, though :(

Toby - I really keep my fingers crossed for your space future! I used to dream to be an astronaut, which I believe I have said before, but I never was clever enough (high school physics really hurt) to make this dream come true. Aaaah, space is AWESOME! I'm sure you'll get up there one day. And that rap was hilarious.

Julie - I'm happy that you're happy to be back in Italy!  Also, that punishment was incredible. How do you know German so well? I don't speak German but I can tell that you're very good at it.

Alison - Pointless facts and pointless skills are pointless but how awesome they are! As Sanne (booksanquills) once said "Skills are cool, let's acquire them!". That's a particularly nerdy statement. But even though I like them I suck at solving Rubik's cube. I'm really really baaaaad. It's a great skill.

Roslyn - where are you? Are you lifeguarding ALL THE TIME? :) I think we should come up with a punishment together. And I swear, I get on that eventually.

I want to discuss Harry Potter with you all. Maybe we could have a HPDH2 movie discussion next week?
E-mail me your addresses and we'll deal with this security intrusion.

Song of the day: Canned Heat - Jamiroquai

Friday, June 3, 2011


Today was the very last chemistry test in my whole life. Nothing more to report, I just needed to commemorate this day. YES!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

For 24h supermarkets.

I am actually typing this sitting on my balcony watching the sun setting, and despite the people crossing the road and shouting to me "Is this apartment for sale?!" and me not shouting back because I'm so confused what it is about (not that my apartment is so awesome or it looks like it. My neighbors are selling theirs but people are too lazy to do the simplest math to figure out that the one for sale is not mine), it's great to hear only birds, steps on the sand road and drunk people from the front of the liquor store.

Speaking of stores... last week I visited my local Tesco. There probably isn't anything very fascinating about visiting supermarkets and I usually hate it. But this time I loved it and I remembered why I used to like it so much in the past. It's because now if I go grocery-shopping I do this on a Saturday, around noon. And that is THE worst time you can pick for such activity. Hate supermarkets? Go there in the middle of the night. Go there really early in the morning. You'll love it.

This Wednesday I was late for work, so I had to left later, so I missed the first bus, the first tram, the second tram and had 40 minutes to wait for the second bus, which is its very last run in the day anyway. (I don't know why, back when I was 14 walking by myself through the forest at midnight didn't scare me as much as it does right now and I wouldn't play around waiting for the bus. Maybe  I was less aware of sexual harassment in forests at that time of the day). It was cold so I did the whole math to take the right tram and get off at the right stop so that I could go someplace warm. And I ended up in Tesco.

Let me say, Tesco is absolutely my favorite place in the world at 11 PM. It's weird because it's still not that late but so few people were in there!
It's like your alone in the store but not in a creepy I'm-alone-and-the-street-person-is-going-to-kill-me / it-feels-very-Freddie-Krueger. You're alone and can have some fun but there still is security and cashiers and friendly ketchup staring at you from the "expired" stall. It feels like childhood when we were having so much fun when our parents took us to the supermarket and we were still living our own lives not caring about the socially accepted behavior. It feels just like that.
First off you can dance in the aisles. You can drive your cart (if you're buying anything else but candy) in the craziest way. You can be as disgusting as you like and buy as much candy as you like. You can drop this reflex action that tells you to buy vegetables and coloring books just to distract others from the fact that all you're paying for is candy. You can vlog in public. You can get overly excited about that little brain models in the "recommendations for the first communion gift" section. You can try clothes on and not feel dowdy for liking them. And you can sit there for hours, exploring every shelf in your own pace, listening to terrible music inside.

Usually during different conversations there always will be that one person who would awkwardly rant about how consumptionism contributes to the loss of the real values. That would usually be me. I don't know why I like supermarkets in the night so much, especially because I usually don't really buy anything (that's when not having money is okay). They somehow manage to calm me down. There is something peaceful about rows of tomato sauce cans.

 If this was a Thoughts From Places video there would be a meaningful windup to this rigmarole. But I really don't know what would that be, so Nerdfighters around, please help me out. And any other people, I'm sure you know better than I why I like supermarkets so much. Do you have any weird places you go to to calm down?

Today was awesome because a friend wrote to me on Facebook. We were best friends a long time ago and I haven't heard from her since I was 15. I've been meaning to write to her but was afraid she would not find time to talk to me/ be too busy/ not care. But I'm so happy we can meet.

Song of the day: Everybody loves a loser - Morcheeba

I found it very helpful to listen to The Antidote lately. I am so stressed. I myself can't believe how stupid schoolwork can stress me out so much. But apparently it does. Any tips, anyone?

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Aaand April is over! I am astounded at how quickly it passed, it feels like we were only halfway through or so. In fact I wish I could repeat April over and over again and I could even struggle with daily blogs as long as May doesn't come. Because as much as I gather, it is going to be truly a hell month.
Okay, right now it feels fabulous to have a 9 days-long spring break (I know that people over in the U.S. finish they semesters in college. Well, I'm only at the spring break phase right now). But this time will pass as quickly as April did and then come the most stressful 5 weeks of my entire high school career. No kidding. Entire high school career.
There are people who start stressing over a thing when the actual thing comes. There are people for whom the stress turns into productivity. I'm neither the former nor the latter.

But I am not going to describe the state of my stressed-out inwards, you can watch some Baby TV at 3 AM, that's about as psychic as that. Instead, I am going to share some reflections on BEDA.

There has been a lot of discussion about it throughout this month. The question is: does quantity win over quality and is BEDA simply pushing out junk?
I used to be of opinion "less but better" pretty much my entire life. This attitude changed this November when I attempted NaNoWriMo. Of course I can write now, tomorrow, next week. I enjoy writing regardless of what month it actually is. The thing though is that I don't. Nota bene, I haven't touched my novel since I sent it for the word count check on November 30th. I did like writing it although the final piece was terrible. The thing is that I had the project to push me and it was my dignity to be hurt if I didn't complete it. And sure it wasn't Pulitzer writing, but I know that if I hadn't forced myself to sit in front of the screen for several hours a day I would have never gotten those few really good passages.

The same thing applies to BEDA/VEDA or any other daily videos project. The whole project is a wonderful idea, but we have to remember that the quality simply cannot be as high as if we weren't pressed for time and squeezing blogging in between everything else. And the quality will eventually go down, but all the same, amazing things can come out. Of course there are people who say that they can, let's say, write only when they feel the inspiration and this you cannot predict. But they can't say that working during fixed hours cannot be the solution. When you're sitting like this you simply have to write something and sometimes it will be utter crap. But sometimes you might open the floodgates up and get to the most amazing things.

I think that the reason so much junk is pushed on the internet in the month of April is because people cannot asses if they actually can do something like that. I definitely wouldn't take up the NaNoWriMo challenge if I knew someone was going to read this, I simply wouldn't have been capable of doing this. If someone wants to make videos just for the sake of making videos, that's wonderful, but he must be aware that he may be losing views, the audience he has might be disappointed with him andwill be unsubscribing if he doesn't have anything to say.
One just has to get measure of it and not be too lazy to actually think of something to say before turning the camera on.

Anyway, I am aware that quantity won over quality here, but I enjoyed it in every respect (not only doing BEDA but also following all the fellow bloggers' progress). I got used to BEDA so much I could do this for the next 30 days. But I won't. Because I think I'm going on an internet rehab.

It's not that I have a huge internet problem, but I do have to immensely cut down on my internet activities  and reschedule a lot in my plan. Because, as I said, these next 5 weeks are going to be evil.
But on the upside, rescheduling means planning and I love planning so I'm throwing myself into it at the moment. Things like the new video selection plan or going on YP only on Saturdays. I am going to write on here though. And maybe we can even do this some other time. How about this August?
Thanks for sticking with me and congratulations if you succeeded at BEDA/VEDA/Script Frenzy.

Song of the day: I Say A Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin

Johnny Durham is posting again! I missed him.

The one in which caffeine looses its power and grammar doesn't seem necessary anymore.

Lately I've been thinking without cease about one issue. Well, not just one issue, but this one keeps popping up in between all this other commotion in my head. And believe me, my head has been on fire lately. By the way, do you have any tips as to how to calm down the party in your head? I tried breathing, trying to focus on one object, closing eyes but it  doesn't work. I wish my thoughts had an on and an off switch.

And I am sorry if that post isn't posted on Friday/ Saturday night. I think I might accidentally fall asleep. I am just so tired. (I actually fell asleep writing An Open Letter To YouTube and I never found out if it actually made any sense because reading what I wrote then seemed too daunting).  You know what's funny? This assumption that if you do something in your bed you'll do it just as effectively as you would do at your escritoire (see, what I did there? Oh my, it's late). And you NEVER do but nevertheless you'll do that again next time. ("I'll study in bed later this evening, my desk is just so messy, I can't work here" is a classic.) But we all know how that ends...

I think that my miserable state is somewhat reinforced by the fact that I'm reliving my childhood by listening to Disney music in Swedish at the moment. When I was little my mum really wanted me to pick up some Swedish so I watched all the Disney movies in Swedish. It basically means that I usually feel very out of place when people start singing them. Because I just don't know regular lyrics.

Also, I now think that if  I had some superpowers I would most probably choose the power to animate inanimate objects so that I could take the life away from them. Like, my freakin' bus. I hate my bus. I think that if I were able to actually kill it, that would make me feel calmer. In the end, I know I wouldn't have guts to do it, I imagine it now being a proper living entity... that would be the meanest creature in the entire universe, I'm sure of it.

So what I've been thinking about... I'm extremely stressed when I think about what to do with my life. It's not that I'm afraid there will be no job for me or that I won't make as much money as I would like to. I don't even care about it. All I fear is to be stranded in a job I don't like. I have always wished to do something unusual, something I would be passionate about, not something boring. First I thought I was heading for a ballet dancer career but that didn't work out (also that would be a very stupid idea health-wise). But in the end, I don't really need to have a proper career. I can be an owner of an ice-cream cart. I just want to feel accomplishment. Ice-cream induced one would certainly be amazing. So I think it's time for a quick list of the coolest jobs.

  • astronaut (I was taking this very seriously in the past. Then I went to high school level physics.)
  • travel journalist/blogger
  • grammar fairy
  • castle caretaker/ tour guide/ most preferably owner (I have this thing for castles)
  • president of a medieval reconstruction group
  • caretaker of The Cemetery of the Forgotten Books (Zafon, anyone?)
  • Miley Cyrus
  • owner of a bookshop/cafe kind of place
  • fortune cookie writer
  • 5000+ episodes-long soap operas writer (The Bold and the Beautiful!)
  • slush-pile reader
  • rockstar
  • pastor  
I know how well the two last ones go together. I think I may be trying that out in the near future.

I don't know. I'm just really, really tired.

Other than that, let me just amuse you with an excerpt of an article I read today. It was about a woman whose husband used to be a catholic priest but now he's a catechist (I guess he took that decision so that he could marry her). She said something like: "I understand why my husband doesn't like me talking about God so lively. He works for Him several hours a day; God is his work, after all he must want to have some rest at home". I laughed SO HARD.

Song of the day: Jag ska göra män av er nu - Mulan 
(take a look at the first three comments. They are epic.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


There are black things, there are white things. There are beautiful things, ugly things, serene things, throbbing things. Sad things and happy things.
Straightforward things, secret things and two-faced things.
There are things we share, there are just things of ours.
There are filthy things, dark things, things in disguise. There are all the things Italian. There are all living things on earth. There are you-poor-things and you-precious-things. 
There are little things and big things. There are the first things that come to our minds and the only things that are left to do. There are things that have one thing in common.
There are things that we have a thing for and things that don't work out. There are things that are on to a good thing.
There are things that lead to another things. There are things inside and things outside.

There are things that are just THE thing. There are things that are just one of those things. 

But all of these are my things. 
Your things.
His things.
Her things. 
Our things.
Your things.
Their things.

But I know only about my things. You usually don't get my things. And I don't get your things, though you tell me about them so that I can say I can relate, believing that I really do.
But things make us. We're made of things.

Do I get my own things? Probably not. Probably that's just another way of saying "Imagine us complexly". Or "I'm confused". Either way.

(I don't even know if this song hasn't already been a song of the day on here but it just speaks really strongly to me lately. Meaning, yes, it's on loop.)

An open letter to YouTube.

 In response to this whole debate that broke out really strongly and was initiated by Andrew and then kindled by all the other YouTubers. I can't remember such an uprising in a really long time. I mean, yes, there was a huge feedback when Dan Brown asked if he should quit Dan 3.0 but his request was aimed at particular demographic. This time however, YouTubers from different groups passionately discuss one issue together, like they never have (meaning as far as my memory can reach) and generally seem to agree with each other. I think it's beautiful. One of the problems often raised is the lack of interaction and the agreement on the issue made everybody interact in an incredible way. It really amazes me. 

So here are some of my opinions on the topic. My viewpoint may not be the same as Andrew's or John's or Danielle's or Sarah's. Also the whole thing doesn't make me as angry as others. All the same, I probably won't have any original opinions, there has been so much going on and pretty much everything I'm about to say has already been said. 

The hints of this "schism" were visible already some time ago. There was a huge debate round 2008 when a lot of people that I watch became partners and obviously many viewers weren't pleased with the fact that people make money off that while up until then it was treated like a creative outlet, a hobby  and a social-networking site. I personally thought that if someone does something he loves, has support and an audience, why can't he take YouTube as a more or less serious job? I thought that this would encourage people to make more quality videos and put greater care into them, be more consistent. 
I didn't have any problems with Johnny Durham selling his T-shirts or Mike Lombardo selling his music or Robyn Schneider selling her book through YouTube, because they're all awfully talented people. The funny thing was, they all seemed a bit embarrassed by it, they would often shyly say "I'm not trying to sell you stuff, I swear, I just thought that you might be interested. But you know guys, no pressure.". This was actually kind of adorable and everything they did was always just super good art. 
Neither was I very upset, as many people were, with the sponsor videos. I knew that Dan 3.0 was a huge enterprise and that a sponsor is necessary. But when Alex and Kristina were doing the Fiesta Movement project sponsored by Ford Fiesta, I felt like something there went terribly wrong. On the one hand, of course, once you have such audience and if someone  pays you/ gives you a car for showing the product in your video, why not do that? But on the other, it is taking advantage of what you gained through making friends to make money. I didn't have issues, but I just think that it was one of the first hints that YouTube would go in that direction (I'm speaking for people whom I watch. I'm really not a partner to talk about Shane Dawson. Not only because he's disgusting, but because for the aforementioned reason I just do not watch his videos).

Do I think that making money through YouTube has changed people on here? Yes. Of course, I am happy that Natalie Tran can be payed for spewing brilliance in everything she says and that Vlogbrothers can realize so many terrific projects through their partnership (not talking about Your Pants. A website like this is surely expensive to maintain). But for other people YouTube HAS become business and I am certain to say so. But I disagree if you say that YouTube has become all about money and that there is no space for friendships, interactions and great content. 
Something that Danielle mentioned, look at all those Collab Channels! I used to get annoyed at all the new ones starting with "5awesome..." and thought that the idea was generally old chestnut and doesn't make any sense NOW. But the interaction is amazing! Being on a collab channel now I realize how much it gives you, the interaction is amazing and friendships are being made. And I really like this thing we have. Maybe it's not about putting out first-class content or making anything new. It's about personal experience, I wouldn't care about boring the audience with unoriginal topical vlogs as long as we enjoy the experience that those who complain had had before.

This was basically in response to Sarah with whom I disagree when it comes to the actual content (by the way, I just hate the word "content" when applied to YouTube. Any other suggestions?). She says that she's bored with YouTube; she cannot even watch it anymore because there isn't anything new going on, people don't do anything that hasn't been done before. For me personally, YouTube right now is the best version of itself as I can remember. Maybe that's because back in 2007 I wasn't introduced to Nerdfighteria yet. But I am happy with the variety of my subscriptions, I watch partners, I watch friends, I watch Ena who vlogs going to and back from work, talking about who different customers were. I watch collab channels that all look the same but there is different  energy between the members. Of course I miss a bit Leah's videos (LCSsings, she took them all down from her channel page unfortunately) where she would draw her friends in crayola style or lipsinc to Queen. It was somewhat friendly, intimate, there wasn't any show-off involved, just you talking about your day and drinking a smoothie. I miss tag games, the times when you could watch 20 videos about what was under people's beds, lipsyncs. But I cannot say that this demand for "quality" means some people still don't do old school videos. Sure they won't get as recognition as in the old days, without using fancy editing software and effects. But they do this because they like those types of videos and because they have a faithful audience. And that's the whole point! There is so much talk about how it is important to make videos because you love it, not because you seek recognition! Those people do this!

Another thing that I heard was, I guess from John? Basically he said that YouTube changed so much, that people who actually make quality videos get lost in the mess of all those other videos, that they don't get promoted, because only big people, endlessly get promoted and that because all of this he doesn't want to make videos anymore and honestly he doesn't know what about. At the same time he's advocating making videos for the videos' sake and not to seek fame, so... do I have to comment? I mean, for me logic ends somewhere here.

Does YouTube's ( as company) policy needs to be changed? Definitely yes. And I think that we, as a community, can do this. The thing is about YouTube's front page (actually I had a look at it today for the very first time since I joined in... 2007? I'm always logged in so the whole piss-off people were experiencing doesn't really concern me) featuring only the most popular ones (usually being Shaytards) instead of having a random vlogger or a smaller vlogger as it used to. I still think that this YouTube revolution we're watching live right now should alarm the company and that we are able to convince them to improve this feature.

The thing about YouTube games and tricking people into giving you thumbs-up, annoying annotations and thumbnails... yes, it's all true. YouTube doesn't owe you to be famous and this site has never been about that! It was about social network and sharing your talent and opinions with other people. If your goal is just to "make it" on YouTube, then sorry, you're an idiot. Yes, Andrew, that shouldn't be the case, that shouldn't be the mentality. But this thing evolved naturally, it's people, not system. You cannot complain about that (not constructively), because it's not that people changed. What happened was, more people joined this website (as it grew) and YouTube made it possible for them to co-work with it. If there wasn't such thing as partnership in the first place would everything be different? I think that it would. But how unjust would it be for people who do awesome job on their channels and care about it? (Vlogbrothers)

So basically the point is, if you want to make videos because you enjoy it, because you have this circle of followers and it's friendly and fun, just do it! You can get annoyed with bigger YouTubers getting promoted but if you make videos for your own pleasure you should not seek that no matter what! It cannot be the trigger to stop making videos. Because that just doesn't make sense.

Is YouTube not supporting the smaller, passionate filmmakers? I think I could agree with that, on a daily basis that's what happens. However YouTube NextUp proved that claim to be wrong, it wasn't a voting for the biggest following. The point was to vote for the best videos. The reason why we all voted for those people was not because they begged and pleaded (I think we're somewhat intelligent to see through that, aren't we?) but because we liked what they were doing and they simply kindly reminded us to vote if we LIKED.

And yes, I'm looking forward to more video responses. This was an awesome way of communicating. I think we should work on that. As Kayley said, "say something". The change starts in us.

Another thing that I find significant - something that Lizzie said: learn how to tell from a good video and a cheap, artificial entertainment. Watch videos that make a difference, do not waste your time on stupid content. I think that was a really good point.

If you don't know what I'm ranting about: here. And a whole bunch of video responses. Sorry  that this is so long and that there is a very high probability I'm not making any sense, but  it's so long I can't be bothered to reread it. So please ignore ramblings and imagine some tasteful transitions.
And I have a chemistry test tomorrow. I didn't do absolutely ANYTHING. I know NOTHING about chemistry. And it usually takes me 9 hours of studying to get a decent C. So. Joy. I haven't slept for 38 hours now. Awesome.

Oh, and today I ate a lollipop I got from a (MALE!) stranger in the tramway. I didn't die. 

Song of the day: Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

In the name of reliving YouTube's golden era for vloggers I've been watching some RockinVloggers. I got sentimental.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ridiculous alphabet.

I love words and I always regret that there are some I don't get to use every day (because sometimes you just want to be taken seriously) so here is a list of some of them marked in red in my dictonary, in books (Roald Dahl outshines everyone here) and some internet discoveries of mine. I hope you'll enjoy them like I do, let's not pretend that we're normal and that we don't get excited by words.

Abibliophobia - the fear of running out of reading material.
Bumbershoot- an umbrella.
Chrysanthemum (because it's just so pretty).
Dringle - to waste time in a lazy manner.
Escritoire - writing desk ("Hey guys, I'm blogging sitting at my escritoire"-that would be just so sophisticated).
Fellmonger - a person who deals in animal skins or hides.
Gobbledegook - pretentious or untelligible jargon, such as that used by officials (but gerrymander is the runner-up here).
Haberdashery - a textile store  (because it's my favorite word).
Izzard- archaic name for the letter Z .
Jejune - lacking interest or significance; dull or insipid; dry; empty.
Knackatory - a souvenir store.
Loggorhoea  - Loquaciousness, talkativeness.
Mammothrept - a child brought up by its grandmother; a spoiled child.
Nincompoop -  a foolish person.
Obambulate - wander about (octopus has been my number one for a long time though).
Polyhistor - a well-educated person; widely learned.
Qualtagh - the first person you meet after leaving your house on some special occasioon (I see this words for the first time and I'm just so phizz-whizzed right now).
Rambunctious - aggressive, hard to control.
Scrumdidlyumptious- extremely delightful (Roald Dahl again).
Tatterdemalion - a person wearing ragged or tattered clothing.
Ugsomeness - loathing; ugliness or the quality of being horrible.
Viscerotonic - sociable, comfortable, easy-going.
Widdershins - in a contrary or counterclockwise direction.
Xesturgy - to polish.
Yestreen - yesterday evening. (from Scottish, but it's so adorable)
Zoilist - a person who takes joy in finding fault.

So I'm going to dringle a bit now - I'll read some of this amazing book "Words and their stories" by  Herbert Sutcliffe and Harold Berman.

Song of the day: Doctor What - Charlie McDonnell

Monday, April 25, 2011

Places I've Been: Part II

Odense - a beautiful place in Denmark where I went for the Hans Christian Andersen festival (I was dancing in a ballet based on one of his fairytales). What I loved so much about it was the rain. It rained every single day, the streets were hiding behind the fog, the actual city reflecting in puddles my friends splashed with such eagerness. Except for that - awesome Danish friends I've made, Elisabeth and her family (they had a trampoline in their garden!) and my friend Marta with whom I lived and with whom I lost touch and whom I miss.

Vermont - my uncle tried to teach me how to ski. He failed miserably. NEVER ever ever again am I going to touch ski. I also remember a charming chalet where I shared room with my cousin and her friend (now I start to wonder if she too wasn't a cousin or someone of the sort. Good to know your family.) and a lot of beer-drinking involved in the CAR RIDE (hey, I don't have to explain myself, I was 6).

Warsaw - I think I like this city because everybody hates it. Many say that it doesn't deserve being the capital of Poland. I am not a specialist, the places I know best are the underground and the train station - oh, this one is precious, believe me (NOT)- because when I'm there I usually don't do anything but rush to immediately see my friends. But I thoroughly explored the old part of the city, all the Coffee Heavens on the way involved, the museum of Frederick Chopin and the beautiful palace of Wilanow. There are places that you can can't describe by any word but ugly. And the places that no one really cares about. But then again, that's the city that some can't imagine living without.

Brussels - the most incredible mixture of people, languages and cultural differences that made an excellent formation, molded together. New York is diversity, Brussels is symbiosis.

Saint Malo - it's not fair because St. Malo is so incredibly beautiful and the first memory that comes to my mind is the apocalyptic sun, my pained body and my cavernous desire for a bath in sour cream. I spent my 17th birthday there with Aurore, Muriel, Marta and Anne-Laure and it was so hot we were remarkably confused as to what was going on (probably that's the reason why we noticed that the see was like 100 meters closer than it had been before only when we actually got wet).

Riva del Garda - I was there with my choir. Actually, we were making our way from the trip to Venice, back to Levico Terme where we stayed, and noticed a village so beautiful that our conductor said we had to stop there for an hour. Formidable view of the mountains over the magnificently blue lake and a harbor, perfect in any way a harbor can be perfect... The village was inhabited mainly by locals, but it still was more of a vacation spot than a tourist site. And the unpleasant thing about beautiful places is that they are either swamped with tourists or, if they're not, local people look at you with irritation. The best thing about Riva del Garda was that everybody was going on with their lives, not paying attention to tourists. That way we felt the whole entirety of local colors, everything seemed like it was just a little italian village, not the omg-the-creme-de-la-creme-spot-for-vacation.

Song of the day: Anchors Away - Sara Bareilles

I know, I recently have listened to her a lot.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


"Because isn't that the thing with fantasies? Fantasies are absolutely safe, as long as you never try to make them a reality. Whether you're fantasizing about wife-swapping, or cafe/bookshops, it's still a truism that they will always be safer when they are kept locked in your head"

This comes from the book "Bookends" by Jane Green. I picked it from the library only because the author's name was Jane Green and because the cover was excellent. I'm not too far in - so far I don't feel very captivated by the story and I'm at this stage where I mostly get annoyed with the characters. But I've just read these two sentences and they reflect my recent thoughts very well. Moreover, they reminded me of a conversation I once had with Silling, about glorifying our dreams and not being able to confront them with the reality.

What Silling was reflecting upon was the meaning of a "cloud", the one derived from saying "being on cloud nine" but also the one that touches the mountains gently and if you really want to, you can simply climb a mountain! And be in a real cloud! But then Silling realized that a cloud is just condensed fog. And if you really climbed that mountain, you would just find yourself soaked and not being able to see very well.
I've once been in a cloud. When I was in Italy with my choir, we lived on a peak of a mountain (this is an actual photo from Levico Terme). The parish house we lived in, dipped in the creamy sugar-flossy clouds, from the ground looked like in freakin' Peter Pan. Up there it was pretty normal, but chilly.

And recently I was thinking, in a sort of depressing fashion, about things we take as those clouds, dreams that we idolize, thinking that achieving them is THE purpose of our lives. Or other way, we take our dreams for granted, being certain that if the thought of achieving the goal has been always with us, the very wish must be our future. At the same moment, the desire is a kind of a sanctuary in our hearts, holy place that we are afraid to touch, so we just don't do anything. And we end up bitter either because we thought it would be so awesome and it's just plain and normal or because we were frightened to climb that stupid mountain.

So I don't know, I just don't know. I am afraid to waste my life, but on the other hand I don't know if I can reach for what I want to do, and then I don't even know if I can do this and am afraid that if I face this wish I will either fail or be ridiculed for trying and at the same time I am tired of all the work but I know that without training your muscles you cannot simply climb that mountain; on the other hand I feel like when I'm working too hard I can overlook something important. So let's summarize it by "blaaahhh", okay? (or as Ron puts it "One person can't feel all that at once, they'd explode". By the way, nice subject agreement, Ron)

Song of the day: It's Already Done - Evelyn Turrentine-Agee
So let's rejoice that it's already done. Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The bunny, the bunny, oh, I love the bunny.

Being as special as it is, today was one of those days you are afraid you won't be able to make as much of as you would wish.
I did everything there was to be done earlier so that I could devote this day entirely to what used to be something I could not imagine a day without in the past and what my daily routine sadly lacks in right now - reading.  I used to hide under the comforter with a flashlight and read until 3 o'clock (or until my mum would bust me). And when we went on vacation I took 3-4 books, believing that I would not be able to read more than that and not wanting the luggage to be too heavy, but I usually I ended up bringing new books from every single place we went.
It's rather depressing when I look at the list of books I read so far in 2011. I've been reading Great Expectations for 3 months! (with all the books for school I had to read and also the only opportunity to read for pleasure being on the bus).

So as I seriously needed to catch up on my reading, I took the opportunity of World Book and Copyright Day (April 23rd) to seclude myself from the outside life and bury myself in the world of ink and paper.
So here's the list of everything I read today:
-The Book of Judges (and developed even greater annoyance with Delilah)
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (finished)
-an amazing women's weekly magazine, this week featuring: the story about a very inspiring woman from my city who works on the resocialization of homeless alcoholics in London; an article about Annie Leibovitz; an article about the Duggar family; an interview with some playwright and some recipes using flowers (I love reading recipes by the way)
-Bookends by Jane Green (just started)
-BEDAs I'm following :)
-the labels of the chocolate bunnies I ate today. Which is a very large number.

The interesting thing is, I struggled so much with Dickens, because I had no time, and I was starting to get annoyed with my impossibility to finish it, but when I did, I felt sad. Reading it for the first time in original I remembered what I love so much about this book and that it was with me every single bus ride for one third of this year. It was a part of the daily routine and finishing it seems like stepping into a new era.

So a few thanks:
Thank you, Mr. Gutenberg for your movable type. I know this isn't very likely, but what if we skipped straight to E-readers? That would be a pure nightmare.
Thank you, Mr. Shakespeare for those 1700 words you invented and if I ever get to use the Tardis - you know I'm all yours.
Thank you, Mr. Dickens for being with my everyday for those past 3 months. It meant a lot to me.
Thank you, Lucy Maud for my childhood and my love for literature.
Thank you, Joanne Kathleen for my first long-term relationship with a guy (we've been together for 10 years, haven't we, Harry?) and for joining me with people I call my best friends now.
Thank you, Hans Christian for my passion for fairytales and storytelling.
I don't thank neither of you, Emily or Jane Bronte, for having my eyes cried out for multiple nights. But you know I still love you both.
Thank you, Woody Allen for making my laugh so hard.
Thank you, J.D. Salinger for making me realize I wasn't the only one who felt that way.
Thank you, John Green for imagining people complexly.
Thank you, Astrid Lindgren for the first book I read by myself.
Thank you, Truman Capote for the breakfast.
Thank you C.S. Lewis, because it was the good time, we've had.

Song of the day: The Bunny Song - Veggie Tales
Very appropriate today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

This post comes to you in 7 parts.

Part 1.
Apparently I've done a lot of things for the first time since we spoke yesterday. I have:

  • grocery-shopped online with FREE home delivery for the first time (from the internet service of the supermarket. Of course it's nice to go to the store but the online option is great when you have to use public transportation to get home from the supermarket so you can't, for instance, buy a six-pack of water bottles which, in the end, is cheaper or get three bags of cat sand). Plus, they delivered it in boxes, how awesome is that?
  • gotten the following phone call for the first time: "Hello, I'm calling from the customer's service. Unfortunately Cat Sand A is unavailable, can we replace it with Cat Sand B?" (see above)
  • gotten on my roof without using the ladder, for the first time.
  • talked on the phone in English with an official spokesman for the first time and didn't freak out (the bit about not freaking out isn't entirely true. But the point is that I handled the conversation). Also, I just can't wait to see my phone bill for calling to NYC from Europe.
  • eaten kiwis with a fork (instead of a spoon) for the first time. It was okay.
  • gotten sunburnt for the first time this year. I know, it's APRIL. All the red-heads of the world, don't ignore the early-spring sun. It is lethal.  Sun lotions, people!
  • tried to mix strawberry juice with kiwi juice for the first time. It has some potential.
Have you done anything for the first time?

Part 2. 
After Silling said that she tried to relearn Chinese because she completely forgot it and after hearing two Swedish guys talking on the tram today and realizing how little I understand of them talking (I literally could identify only "Vi ska äta grillad kyckling ikväl!" which means "We're going to have grilled chicken tonight!") I decided to dust off my Swedish a bit. It's depressing because I love this language but I don't have anyone to talk to (not that I would be able to actually talk in Swedish) and generally in the avalanche of everything I can't put aside even five minutes a day to relearn it. So that's my new, let's say, daily thing to do.

Part 3.
I probably should relearn the rules of punctuation as well. This blog is entitled "Words and SOME punctuation" but when I created it I didn't imagine how well it would correspond with what it actually is. Seriously, punctuation confuses me more than the relation between train timetables and their actual departures.

Part 4. 
Wild dreams. I hope I'm not the only one having those. Because sometimes they exceed my understanding of absurd. 
So there is me and John Green, traveling on a train looking like a one from the 18th century, somewhere through the snow drifts deep in Russia (for some reason we knew perfectly well that it was in Russia). We're both dressed up in giraffe costumes (pretty epic ones, like Nanalew's ostrich costume) and are making Christmas paper chains. Seriously?!

Part 5. 
Speaking of 18th century... Roslyn, I don't have any photo of my grandparents' house but I found this photo of the neighboring house on our street in that village. Pretty cool. They actually even had black-and-white TV where we used to watch The Bold and the Beautiful and grandma used to get excited over things like Ridge kissing someone-else's wife. TV explains a lot about the way the world works.

Part 6. 
I just read in the newspaper that an average Polish family uses 200 eggs during Easter(!!!).  I must be lowering the statistics a lot, I am going to use, like, 5?

Part 7. 
So tomorrow is the World Book and Copyright Day! What are your plans? 
I personally am going to read the entire day! Therefore I did all my Easter cleaning, shopping, other duties-and-stuff earlier this week so that tomorrow I can hang out in my room, with books, good tea and candy. Sounds like a perfect day to me. 
I am going to be finishing Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" (which is a reread), maybe start a new book, read some Bible and one medical book I'm wading through. What are you  currently reading?

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
John 15:13

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Storm of the Century (review)

First let me say that "The Storm of the Century" is the first and so far the only Stephen King film I've seen. I've read only one book written by him as well ("Carrie") so I'm not an expert in the matter. Nevertheless I enjoyed it thoroughly and although the ridiculous number of deaths makes this TV movie 4 hours long, I haven't looked at my watch even once (that's because I don't wear my watch). You know what I mean.

The events are set on the Little Tall island, Maine, when its inhabitants anticipate the storm of the century. On a usually peaceful island a murder of an elderly woman is suddenly found just as the crazy blizzard strikes and the murderer, Andre Linoge, is sitting tranquilly in his victim's living room, waiting to be arrested. After he is, a series of deaths occurs, all of which look like suicides or murders caused by the islanders.
"Give me what I want and I'll go away" are the words constantly repeated by Linoge and the words that in some way could always be associated with all of the deaths but meanwhile the dreadful events happen, Linoge is closed up in a cell, guarded.

The story is told from the point of view of Mike Anderson, the constable of Little Tall and is obvious that Anderson will be the one the most pained after Linoge gets what he wants. He will also be the only one figure who will stand for the principles and the defender of the righteousness, ready to fight the evil. But is he the bravest one in the end? I doubt it.

After Linoge has presented his offer, the islanders form a side who wants to save as many lives as possible. They are ready to sacrifice one life in favor of the evil and save the rest of the town. Mike however makes a stand against the satan and despite the possible destruction of the town he decides to fight in defense of principles. So we've got the life versus principles dilemma here. The movie is very thought-provoking, it makes you ask the question which choice was the right one. I'm inclined to believe that I would stand by Mike, especially because the "sacrifice one, save the rest" attitude was based on a belief that Linoge was undefeated. Which at least in once case proved itself to be wrong. I believe that those people had the power to defeat the satan and that the good could win this battle.

What is awesome about this movie is that it's full of allusions (I likes it). First of all, the image of the devil corresponds well with the image of Voland in "The Master and Margarita" by Bulgakov.
Second of all, Linoge is the anagram for "Legion". Luke8:26. Look it up. It makes sense in the plot.
And finally it makes loads of references to the mystery of Roanoke Colony and "Croatoan".

But the movie has some weak points as well. Some of the reactions people made to the events were psychologically incredibly far-fetched. Some of the acting was less-than-superb (Molly Anderson) and also the community, so ideally depicted, could most certainly not bear living in such symbiosis.

But I'd absolutely recommend it. One of the best films I've seen this year and one of the most evocative.

Song of the day: Mine All Mine - Crystal Bowersox

You can't imagine the extent of my irritation right now when I look at the smudges on the window pane I've cleaned today. GRRH.