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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Patronus Charm.

Melinda asked this question: what happy memory would you draw upon to cast the Patronus spell? I've had a hard time thinking about it (no, I only pretend I thought about it. It seemed too hard; I'm hoping that a blog post will tell me, as it always does).
Because apparently blog responses are becoming my thing.

Patronus could be vanquished by imagining a very happy memory, something that would give you the strength to defeat your fear and the feeling of overall misery. But I don't always find happy memories so joyful. I don't know, but I think that when Harry was thinking about how he was feeling soaring into the sky on his broomstick he must have felt some kind of hollowness at the same time. Sometimes happy memories are so distant that they don't make the reminiscer delighted at all. But let's give it a try.

  • The very first time I was dancing on the stage. Or maybe the second time. The first time I was dancing my part was so tiny and my costume was ridiculous and the stage floor was unvarnished (= splinters). It was the part of a little bird in Cinderella. Everything was happening so fast I didn't really know what was going on (I was 6). However the second time was magical. My second part was the snowflake in the Nutcracker. The waltz of the snowflakes in the first act lasts 10 minutes. I took that time to realize that was THE place and THE time, that I was where I should be. However the strongest feeling of the kind I had  when I was dancing as the swan in the Ugly Duckling. I nearly cried because I felt I could do that for the rest of my life. Well, it didn't work out. (oh, and that was the first time my feet started bleeding on stage. Fun!)
  • This one time when me and my best friend were traveling from Warsaw. We live far from each other and every time we meet it's with all of our other friends. Which is super awesome! But we never get to hang out, just the two of us. Each of us had a heap of homework to do on the train, but somehow we couldn't shut up for three hours (also were probably very annoying ranking the cuteness of every little girl that was crossing the corridor).
  • Last year, when me and my choir were getting back home from a choir competition, that, ekhem, we won. We were ebullient because we formed a very tight inner-circle and felt very comfortable with each other at the time and knew that a lot of us were going to leave that year and also that it was our conductor's last performance with us. Add to that the euphoric triumph and rush (we were singing our final piece two times faster because we had to catch our train)= we were singing on the train all the way back to the city. But it's hard to tell one good choir-related memory while all of them were so good. All the trips we had, to Italy, Lithuania, our workshops... All of them would probably work as a pretty good charm.
  • The time I used to spend with my grandparents as a child. They lived in this charming village. My grandfather was a blacksmith, I sometimes helped my grandma with canning the cucumbers in July and jam-making in August. I helped her with collecting the carrots from her vegetable garden and in the evenings grandpa would set the fireplace and read. Now I wonder how is it that being so little I excelled at the art of cow-milking and right now I'm such a city-slicker.
  • Every vacation with my mom basically. Especially our boat trip to Bornholm, ice cream in the middle of the night and silly songs we used to sing.
  • I remember the final night of the camp I always go to with my friends. It was such a hot summer that we asked the head of the camp if we could all sleep in the basement and he said that we could, so in the end imagine twenty people, the heaps of mattresses and bedclothes, my friend making mint tea for all of us in the corner and us, talking the entire night away.
  • That gospel concert I sang when I finally understood Whom I trust and where is the Truth. It was the beginning of my walking with God and since then I've never lost faith in Him. May it never change. But if it does I always have that memory to lean on, to defeat all the dementors. Or something.
Song of the day: Light - Sara Bareilles

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Analyzing kitchen utensils.

Oh my God, now I'm actually blogging AND watching a movie. I usually perform poorly on multitasking especially that that's not the kind of movie to have your mind occupied by something else. On the other hand I don't know if it's very wise to watch a Stephen King production in the nighttime, ALONE. And I have to wear my glasses to look at the TV screen but when looking at my laptop screen they give me a headache. So many issues!

I wanted to write about a different issue that's been itching me since this morning. I always fall for a certain sort of questions that get my head cracked up; I still rack my brains over "If you could be a sound, what would you be?". Music and sounds are very important to me so I really want to give my best response at that one. But it's already taken me three years and I still don't have a clue. It took me only a little less time to realize that my favorite bone is clavicle. And right now I'm puzzling over Kitchen Utensil Reincarnation.
So basically the question is: "if you were to reincarnate into a kitchen utensil, which one would you be?"

I would be most inclined to reply that I would be a spatula, just because it's such an awesome word. If I had to just repeat one word until the end of my life I would probably end up randomly saying "spatula!" out of the blue. But when you come to think of it, spatulas aren't cool at all. They just turn the food from one side to another or scrape seared sauce from the bottom of the saucepan. I don't know why but to me spatulas seem kind of... obsequious...? I know, a weird connotation.

I know I certainly wouldn't be a zester. It looks very dangerous. And definitely NOT a blender. Bad memories.

Ladle is cool. You could just pour the soup from the pot into a bowl but a ladle enables you to do it more precisely, not to spill the soup. Also it looks just very sunny (now ladles look sunny, that time of the night,huh?), their stoutness make them seem very likable. But I don't think that this would necessarily be my characteristic.

Grater just doesn't seem nice. And it's hard to clean it. And even if you do clean it with a sponge, the fiber gets stuck in the holes. I mean, it's about hygiene too.

Mortars give me chills. Too many horror books.

Is nutcracker still a piece of kitchenware? I don't know. But still it seems more manly than any other one.

I don't really know what to think of a rolling pin. On the one hand it can turn a big ball of dough into something plane and straight. But on the other hand it's so heavy-handed and unsubtle.

Garlic press and a colander with handle are parallel I think. The former gets the best of garlic and the latter ensures you to get the core of given food, letting all the water go.

So in the end I think I'm a colander. I don't want to have pasta with its water from boiling. I want just the pasta.
 God, that was a weird post.

Song of the day: Any way the wind blows - Sara Bareilles

Just by the way, I've always wanted to own a waffle iron.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I bake a mayonnaise cake.

Do you know when some people like to combine different foods in some weird ways? Like the Belgians who eat their French Fries (Belgian Fries technically) with mayonnaise. Or people who eat cottage cheese with chives and sugar. Or me, when I was little I used to eat pickles with chocolate. Some of these things really taste great! (I also recommend eating rice with peanut butter).

So a lot of my foreign friends make the "pickles with chocolate WTF?!" face whenever I tell them that, for instance, I'm currently baking the mayonnaise babka. For those of you who don't know, babka is a spongy, brioche-like sweet yeast cake, in Poland baked traditionally for Easter. There are different variations but I am going to share my favorite recipe for a mayonnaise babka (pretending that I'm too preoccupied with Easter preparations to be bothered to blog). It's so ridiculously easy, it consists solely of "add" and "stir". 
Yes, you add a lot of mayonnaise. Yes, that's pretty gross. No, you actually can't taste the mayonnaise.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 glass of sugar
  • 1/2 of lemon essence (those that are sold in the little vials)
  • 1 vial of cream essence
  • 1 bag of cream pudding, pour into a glass and complete with potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 of a medium-sized mayonnaise jar 
Whip the egg whites into stiff peaks, add the sugar, yolks and stir. Add the flour with the pudding and baking powder. Stir. Add the essences and the mayonnaise. Stir.
Bake for 45 minutes in 170-180 C/ 338-356 F.

Happy Easter baking. (I'm not really baking. But I should be. So I figured blogging about baking would be just as fine.)

Also this was a pretty unpleasant day. I do not like doctors.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

BEDA failure.

Yay, so I managed to fail at this whole BEDA thing. I wouldn't bother if I were to tell you right now that I met a young NASA astronaut who took me to the space, then was killed by the uncontrollable turbulences when leaving the orbit and so I, not knowing what to do, settled down on Mars and set up a little stone garden there. In those circumstances blogging seems like a disadvantaged option. However, what I did was, I fell asleep. Uncontrollable that was too and unfortunately too long. Because right now my head feels as if I rented the apartment above the Babylon club and could not leave it.

So let's talk about yesterday. I met up with my good friend Klaudia at the tram stop and after some pretty epic tram issues we made it to the bus station (we ended up running to catch the bus but we were such enterprising travelers that despite the rush and general we-still-didn't-figure-out-what-we're-doing-today feeling we forced the driver to give us discount). Eventually we found ourselves in the charming town of Kórnik where we took our coats off in the first place (the weather is so freaky, it was 20 degrees Celsius yesterday but now it's around 5) and talked to a random dude who wanted a picture with us in the second.

Basically we were there to shoot for the Knightley Academy EP Music Video Contest (which by the way is a hell to edit) so we started off as soon as we got there. Klaudia switched her artsy director side on and I was teaching her the particularisms of YouTube ("You can't hold it vertically, GAAAH!!!"). We also spent a fortune on the groceries and found some random people in baroque costumes that we invited to take part in the video.

Then we proceeded to the beautiful castle of Kórnik (I don't know if I mentioned it earlier but I'm crazy about castellology, the study of castles that is. I've visited loads of them, but that's for another time).


We did some shooting, some visiting, we stalked a guy who was drawing the elevation of the castle and were hanging out on the drawbridge. The castle also has a beautiful park that we wanted to walk around but actually ended up sitting on a bench and eating all the junk food we had. We were also surfing on a collapsed tree trunk and taking silly pictures, missed a bus and then were super annoying in the next one we caught.

You know the best part? Now I don't even know if I am able to get the video on my computer, because the camera is too old for its wire to go into my Mac but my PC is too slow for either Adobe or Corel and there is no way of capturing it. I HATE TECHNOLOGY. Or maybe I should get a flip? Blaaah! I'm angry.

Song of the day: Get Back To Hogwarts  from AVPM (Kristen reminded me of how I love this song :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lavender, Brown... (is annoying!)

Quick entry today as it's almost midnight, I've just gotten back home (I left after 6 AM. No comments.) and tomorrow I'm going on a trip with two of my good friends and I have to get up early. So as I can always find plenty of things to list that so far have been unlisted, let's list some colors. I've never listed colors.

Green is for the favorite. I've never really felt at home if there weren't any trees around. I love the grass, I love the leaves, the grasshoppers and all the sounds that come along. The scent of freshly cut grass. It is also the color of the significant content of my wardrobe, my eyes and Harry's eyes.

Lavender is for lavender. And the south of France where the climate is gorgeous, coasts and beaches are gorgeous and where Johnny Depp lives. In one word, everything is gorgeous.

Red is for red lipstick my grandma wears in an old black-and-white photograph where her red lips are the only colored thing.

Yellow is for corn. Because right now I'm psychic about corn. Thank you, John Green.

Orange is for my hair. Unsatisfying. Disappointing. Annoying.

Blue is for Atlantis in the heart of the ocean I wish I could dive into, but all this snorkeling gear is just so climatic. And there isn't really anyone to blaze the trail.

Black is for a noteworthy part of my junior high school self. I've had my gothic moments. Thank God that's over.

White is for milk because milk is awesome. And of course for Edward Cullen's chest.

Silver is for a Beanie Baby cat named Silver.

Purple is for a lovely skirt I saw the other day in Zara.

Gold is for Neil Young and his Heart of Gold.

Grey/gray is for squirrels in Central Park and for my love for the two spellings possible.

Pink is for blatant sticky notes I use to mark quotes in books (they're pretty ugly to be honest).

Brown is a tough choice between coffee and chocolate. Shall we combine the two? The result would bring us to a very nice coffee house where they serve morning cappuccino with a hot chocolate muffin with syrup.

Being as musically-inclined and over-thinking as I am I've formulated a theory some time ago. It's about the relationship between colors and musical keys. I strongly believe that the way something sounds can remind us of colors. For example - for me G-minor sounds like bottle green and A-major like amber. My piano teacher told me I was insane when I told her this. But I'm pretty convinced there must be something there.

Song of the day: Heart of Gold - Neil Young

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Places I've been: Part I

I live my life in lists. Let's list something! This list is inspired by Ryan.

Paris. Disenchanted. I had this image of Paris when I was leaving. You know, romantic strolls along the Seine, quaint little streets and  music from Amelie reverberating from somewhere above when you use those telephone boxes in Montmartre. Certainly, the fact that I was there with my class didn't make it much more charming. But still I was disappointed with annoying street vendors, plastic crappy souvenirs and the avalanche of uncivilized tourists (I hate tourists the most when I'm being a tourist myself. Maybe a symptom of a desire to detach myself from this crazy mob). Anyway my disappointment with Paris was so deep and painful, a beautiful picture from the head just ruining, that I want to enchant this place one more time. I'm going to Paris this fall and I'm gonna like it.

Vilnius. This was the only time I went East and it was absolutely beautiful. I went there with my choir,we were paying a visit to this Lithuanian choir we're friends with, and we were actually staying in Šiauliai, where is the amazing Hill of Crosses (Google it!). I remembered Vilnius as this beautiful place where two cultures intertwine and where you're bombarded with cultural reminiscences from every corner. I also remember the evening when I sang in the street with a bunch of friends, because we wanted to raise money to buy a T-shirt for my friend. No one really cared about our singing so we figured that moving the location to the front of casino would be more financially effective. Well, it worked.

New York City. I love everything about this city. I spend there a lot of time and it's the only place in the world that I remember so complexly. I've got memories from different parts of the city, I associate every neighborhood with different thing. And even though a lot of time has passed, it's still one of the cities that I feel I know. Of course I haven't been to the majority of places but I remember every single one I've been to. And I still want to get to know it better. Because that's the city I feel in tune with.

Outer Banks. High tides, the white beach house we lived in, parties thrown by the pastor and his wife, seashells, poker at night, my mom being hypochondriac about rattlesnakes in the garden, sailing by the moonlight and new Polish-American friends. Oh, and pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast EVERY  SINGLE MORNING! AND that's where Lauren shot her "Outside World" video, I thought that was cool.

Brighton. I love it how I can see the curtains in the window of my room there if I go on Google Maps. I loved the beautiful seaside atmosphere, the shrieks of seagulls that woke me up every morning, the rain that came always in the most unexpected moments making my afternoon beach-wandering look very attractive. I remember the excessive nighttime OREO intake with Christina, Harry Potter-centered discussions with Estela, awesome bus drivers, staying up late at McDonald's with my friends and how they pulled my leg to do a split at the airport. I also remember being transfixed researching the web about swine flu that just broke out, a random guitarist in the street that I ended up spending the evening with and some pretty epic things happening on the pier. Good times.

Babimost. A little village in western Poland no one really knows about, which will be remembered as the first airport in our region in the gloomy days of socialism and, as an ignorant observer would point out, nothing else. However a more inquiring observer would see the cobble-stoned streets which are hell for your very first bike ride, a queue of horses waiting to be hoofed by the most wonderful blacksmith, a field a little red-haired girl would be running away from ferocious cows, a jewish cemetery boys used to play in (I know. Playing in cemeteries. Kids liked it.). Finally he would see an old woman sweeping the front stairs, the smell of cabbage hovering in the kitchen, the smell of naphthaline in the wardrobe in the attic.
My childhood basically.

Anyway, I smelled a lot of naphthaline today in my chemistry class. Hence the sentimental journey to my original hometown. It's probably totally changed now; we had only one grocery store when I used to visit my grandparents, now they probably have even McDonald's.

Song of the day: Rabbit Heart - Florence + The Machine

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let's cure some cancer.

I just clicked on the "new post" button and I started going like "this video is a video response to Savannah" until I realized that it isn't an actual video response. So let's try something new!

Basically, the question Savannah asked was about someone who changed your life, the most influential person you've met. I planned on thinking these things through before I take to my college application so that I have them all figured out before I start rambling about it. But this one got me thinking for the entire ride from home to school. (which was long because road builders who work nearby found a bomb JUST IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE. It was an unexploded ordnance from WW2, but still getting out of house was kind of hard with all the sappers around and buses out of schedule. Just a fun fact. It made me realize that there might well be unexploded bombs underneath my garage. I'm cool with that though.)

I became aware, with a reasonable extent of concern, that it's a little too hard for me to pick the most influential person among the NOT-book characters and NOT-imagined friends and NOT-people from the internet than it would be considered normal. I think I might have been a very lonely child because the ones I could really think of were this list of nots. So even now when I think I worked it out, it's not a 100% sure choice. It's more about the process of finding this one influential person so I think it might be clearer for me when I'm done with this post.

After some serious thinking done on the bus while fighting for breath, I am ready to say that the person that's changed a lot in my life was our choir conductor in high school.  When I first came to the choir rehearsal I was 13. She was nice, but not too much, she was open to work with us, but she got furious when we did something not the way she wanted us to.
The funniest thing about those rehearsals was the fact that I enjoyed them and hated them at the same time. Today, again in public transportation (only it was the other way this time) I was thinking if John really likes writing his books. I mean sure he must enjoy his career, his writing, he has passion for his stories; otherwise he wouldn't be a writer, right? But I'm thinking about the very moment when he was like "Okay, dishes done, let's write some of that book". Does he really enjoy that very particular moment? Or is he more like "Oh no, all these words to write and no coffee, I'm so going to bed now"? I tend to think that while he enjoys his work as a writer in general, the particular activity of mere writing is more of a struggle.

It was the same with my choir. I loved the choir, I loved the program, people and all that we've accomplished. But at the same time it was a struggle to live through these rehearsals. Because, God, they were exhausting! They were very emotional, many times people ended up crying or were too scared to actually sing. But after we got some pieces ready for the show - it was completely different. Suddenly we realized that we COULD sing, that we were good. That our conductor actually appreciated us and was proud of us. That she was able to show us the same amount of love as of exigency.

I think that if I were to choose one person, I would say that she taught me some of the most important lessons. The one about working hard, the one about reaching high and the one about putting as much effort and as much passion into things I do as I can.

And I somewhat believe that it can be parallel to this "Go and cure some cancer! Now!" thing. Because we actually accomplished something working super hard, putting all our heart into the work, getting so sick of it eventually that we needed to be additionally stimulated to even show up to these rehearsals. But maybe this is how we should cure this cancer and all the other impossible things? We definitely shouldn't let go. Cause if John went to bed this one time, and another, and another, who would remind us to imagine people complexly?

So eff, yeah! Let's go and cure some cancer!

Thanks Savannah for these awesome thoughts!

Song of the day: Blackberry Stone - Laura Marling

But maybe John enjoys every moment of his writing just for the sake of writing. I don't really know.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I would be excellent at Hogwarts.

Oh my gosh, I am actually blogging at 7 PM instead of 11.30. That's new. It's still daylight. Weird thing.
I'm blogging this early only because I took a day off (which I'm not allowed to by the way) to repair this monstrous sleeping situation that was going on here. My headache disappeared and my mind reacts normally to an idea of some chocolate milk again. I figured out what was wrong with yesterday - I haven't had any coffee that day. Suddenly everything is so clear.
 So I spend today doing some math exercises, reading and worshipping. And had some of that chocolate milk.

So I want to talk about motivation a bit. There are people who can do many things just for the sake of doing them or accomplishing them or a need for them. Like for example:
Let's make some pizza because making it is fun.
Let's make some pizza because I've never made it before.
Let's make some pizza because I'm hungry.

I'm personally very jealous of this practical attitude. You've got some homework? Fine, let's do it because you have to do it.
However there is this other group of people. People who need to be stimulated all the time and who have to come up with new motivation ideas all the time, every time more extreme or bizarre. I am one of these people.

Of course there are things which  purpose for doing (? Grammar fairy needed!) is for me obvious, I don't even have to think about it. But then again, when we're dealing with things we don't enjoy doing (or we wish we enjoyed doing) it's harder to find inspiration every following time.

As Harry Potter-obsessed as I am, I used to find inspiration in this world. So whenever I feel like going to sleep I tell myself : "Hermione would make you study now!", I imagine Hermione standing just beside my desk telling me "Get a grip, girl, do you want to fail at your OWLs?!". And I go on.
Or two weeks ago when I lost my essay for French I was to hand in the following day. I was so angry about losing it, because I actually devoted a lot of time to it I was going to get an F and just not care about that. But then I remembered about how Henry was rewriting his lost essay in Knightley Academy and that was the trigger for me to do this.

It's not only with working, but work is just this thing I often I wish I enjoyed doing so I have to motivate myself more.
But when I want something to eat and am to lazy to be bothered with cooking, I tell myself to be like Julia Child or when I'm afraid to try something new to eat I remind myself of how Mike Lombardo eats his Mac 'n Cheese with  lemon yoghurt (I don't judge you Mike. But that's gross).

Do you have this thing? It's pretty interesting actually, it's like moving my life to the whole new level. Except that... I deeply believe that if lived on these levels I would actually SUCCEED. I know I would.
So I tell myself that studying chemistry is just like studying for a Potions class. But then I suck at chemistry. And I always imagine I'm excellent at all the Hogwarts subject! I know I would be, I just waste my potential here! So yes, basically now I'm imagining all the staff room conspiracy theories to ground me here, because I'm not prepared to face the possibility that maybe I'd suck at Potions. Let's not think about that.

Song of the day: This Isn't Hogwarts - Hank Green
This song's everything I feel right now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

People For Ethical Treatment of Books

I went on Your Pants the other day, and saw one post that I can't find now, but basically it said something about Nerdfighters uniting to buy old and unwanted books from eBay to save them from being kindling for someone's fireplace.
I was so touched by this post and by the fact that there are still people like that that I felt the consuming urge to decrease some Literary World Suck, however my zeal turned out to be a fiasco; a startlingly outlandish reaction for a person who haven't slept for three days, right? In the end I just told myself I would catch up on saving books from little bookstores going bankrupt and illiterateness. Plus I got a headache. So I am sorry, I feel like this post is being written by somebody else (maybe that's because you're seeing double vision, neither of which is probably even close to the real distance between the eyes and the screen?). Sorry if I don't make much sense. It's just the headache (not really, it's just an excuse. We've reached this point of BEDA. But then again, I really see double).


Throughout the years I have developed a continuously growing weakness for  books. When I was younger I liked to read them. It didn't matter if it was an interesting story or just a label on a product (technically I enjoyed Harry Potter more than a hair conditioner label, but the point is that I just had to read always). I remember this one time when I went to doctor and had nothing to read. There was only one sheet of paper hanging on the wall, something about vaccinations and I read it again and again.
Now I am not as obsessed but that probably stems from my constant lack of time. It's difficult to read my school books on time (or sometimes to read them at all) and even if I have some 30 minutes I can devote to reading I instantly fall asleep.

Not being able to have a proper relationship with books I still have a lot of respect for them. So I am sad when I go to the attic and find all these books, scattered on a floor or  jam-packed in cardboard boxes, still unpacked after we've moved here (1996. Still waiting for a minute to do this).

I get this feeling when I come into an antique shop and see all these books that owners are desperate to sell as no one reads them. Or libraries when I see that a book that interested me was last borrowed 5 years ago.

I like everything about books. I like getting them new, because the smell is just incomparable but getting them from a library is awesome too as I feel I share something with other people on these pages.
The view of books that are lost, unwanted, abandoned make me want to punch their owners in the face.
However I know people who would open a book in gloves only so that it doesn't get dirty or people who scream like slaughtered pheasants when they see me marking a quote in a book.

I confess. I do mark quotes in books. IN PENCIL. And then with stickies. And I WRITE LITTLE NOTES IN PENCIL.
Am I therefore a bad reader? I feel that this makes me a more critical reader, the one that will take the book more analytically. Or maybe I just don't respect books? Do you mark sentences in books as well?

I am sorry that this post sucks so much, as I said, the constant partying in my head is getting really obnoxious. I was meaning to get to the point, but I don't see it any closer than it was at the beginning so:
I think that books too might need some protection. That we, conscious and eager readers should be the ones that protect them. So I'm putting the president of People For Ethical Treatment of Books society as a number two on my dream jobs list.
I am going to sleep now. Good night.

Song of the day: I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
(this one revolves around my top favorite songs)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Writing by the sunset (excited!)

You know what's beautiful about living in a tower? There are three windows in my room. One gives on east, so I have a nice wake-up, one gives on north and there is a beautiful meadow there; and one gives on west, in which direction I look when I sit at my desk. The setting sun hurts my eyes but the room seems like bathing in the golden sunlight. On the one hand I always say that Sunday should be a day for God and not work so I don't even include Sunday in my weekly planning. But there again on Saturday it turns out that I still have heaps of stuff to do and a plan for Sunday is awfully packed. In the end I didn't get anything done today so feel free to punish me (mentally or I don't know how). The fact is that I've been procrastinating once again but I managed to keep the procrastination levels to zero for the whole week so... be proud of me too.
This is going to be a casual blog post, I just don't feel at a position to think.
So what has been going on in my life? Today's Sunday, I got up, went to church, got back from church and then I can't remember. I was catching up on Ryan's and Hayley's blogs since I was extremely busy for the whole week. And I was planning my super triple awesome adventure this weekend!

If you know this book, Knightley Academy, then you probably know that Robyn Schneider, who wrote it, holds an awesome contest. The task is to shoot a music video to one of four songs about the book, written by YouTube artists. Well, I am going to do this. Or, at least I really really want to. I've got some ideas, they don't seem that brilliant though (I'm not a master at video making) but basically this is going to be great fun. I've got an awesome location to shoot and if only my friend, Aleksandra, would like to go with me on this adventure, we might do this :) So I'm waiting for her response; if she can go this Saturday, we're going to have a great weekend. It takes 2 hours by bus to get there and there is a great museum there and there are lagers. Yes. LAGERS. How cool is that? I'm so excited! The only thing I worry about is my camera. It can store 40 minutes of footage maximum and it's not like the battery would last that long anyway. But we'll see. I'm so excited! Did I mention I'm excited?

I am also so happy with the fact that I have to bear only 8 more days at school, then it's Easter, then I go to school for 3 days and again 9 days OFF. So I just have to survive this week.

What is more, I have loads of creative outlets to consume my energy and excitement. The first thing is this contest, but then there will be a whole avalanche of creativity. Excited!

Wow, that was a distinctly long post taking into account its lack of content. I just can't get a grip on myself today. I'm so excited that I don't know what to do with myself. I will be getting back tomorrow with a proper post. I feel like blaah. Did I tell you I just went totally bananas dancing around my room, lipsyncing to "Can't Be Tamed?". That 's what's happening in my head.
I need to think what to wear tomorrow, reply to people on YourPants, make some cocoa and then maybe around midnight start this book for Polish which is due tomorrow. Nice.

Song of the day: Lead Me To The Cross - Hillsong United

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dreams and evil.

Last night I've had this horrible dream. I rarely have nightmares in general and even if so it's usually caused by oral exams in French that people prepare for for 6 months and I start studying a night before or half a gallon of chocolate ice cream. These days however I try to moderate my chocolate ice cream intake (really, one third of a gallon is a maximum) so I was perfectly surprised by the striking occurrence of this dream. It's not even important what it was about, it was like a mixture of The Shining and my first days at work plus dead chickens hanging from the ceiling. There were also some normal bits and this was the weirdest. Why?

You know, in some books or movies when a character realizes that some events are just a bad dream and he/she decides to wake up, usually using some hypnotizing mantra like "it's just a dream, pinch your arm and everything will be alright". It's never that way in real life! I always tell myself that when I'm asleep I'll try to wake myself up on purpose, or just being aware of the fact that I'm asleep - do things I wouldn't normally do. Like jump from the roof of a 10-story building. Cause it's not like I would die anyway, right? But I never realize that a dream is a dream and live it like it was reality (only slightly crazier).

However this time it was different. From the very beginning I was perfectly aware that it was a dream. I wasn't scared of the things that were going on, I just kept on saying things like "Guys, come on, unnecessary blood spill is unnecessary! I've stained my pajama!" I think that at one point I decided to profit from this dream and started doing those things I would never ever do in real life, being aware that it's just a dream and no one would mind since no one here really exists. I'm not talking about jumping without fear of breaking your backbone or being inappropriate (well...). I'm talking about being literally mean to other people. Of using them. Of utilitarianism.

I think that when I figured out that I was the only one there to really be I started perceiving people around differently. Suddenly it was okay to disdain, to command, to perform physical hurt or even sentence to death. Those people looked like people, acted like people, they seemed to have a lot more that just a body - they thought and they were scared. Only the assumption that my world was real and theirs was just an image in my head permitted me to think that they were mine, that they belonged to me. I was sure that everything was just happening in my head, that I could do everything I fancied with people, just for my own pleasure or benefit.

And I am thinking, in a situation where we're not limited by social position or we don't care what others will think about us, do we let our real selves show? Is someone who would keep his moral code in a situation of un unlimited power what we call a good person then? Would more humane of a behavior prove the real value of someone? Or maybe the internal triggers towards evil are just a natural thing?

And another side of the story... I wonder if people who reigned thanks to terror and unlimited power thought the world the image in their own heads. Did they perceive themselves as the creators, a crucial component of this machine? If so, I think I can finally understand fascism.

I wanted to write this post as an anecdote of a "guess my dream last night" kind but it made me a bit depressed. So on a more positive note:

Song of the day:  Hey Jude - The Beatles

Friday, April 8, 2011

HIghlights of the day.

As our wonderful Rebecca Black assures us we "gotta get down" on Friday. I'm such a disobedient Friday-er. On this blog only grammar goes down.

I've just gotten back home after 17 hours out. Without any break, except the time I spend in public transportation (which can be described as anything but relax). 17 hours of constant working either at school, choir rehearsal or at work. And I'm just exhausted. So no proper content today. Let's blog bloggily.

This weird thing happened to me this morning. I was crossing the street and an elderly woman stopped me abruptly. To my surprise she asked me what day the of the week it is, and I went totally blank. I took 10 seconds to respond that in my opinion it's Friday, but I don't think I sounded positive. I need to think about days of the week more soberly, really... because what a weirdo wouldn't know that? But then again, how often are you asked about a thing like that in the street, by a stranger?! Maybe when you're at the dentist's or post office, but it's always something like "It's Friday today, isn't it?". Nevertheless, I don't know what's more bizarre, asking strangers about the day of the week or the fact that they don't know.

After that I went to my ethics class (late as always). We talked about Immanuel Kant, with whom I generally do not agree, however he has his own finger puppet! (nerd euphoria)

Do you know all these movies where a character always stumbles on a banana peel? I thought it was the domain of slapstick comedies only and I didn't think anyone could actually stumble on one. But... I managed. No joke.

The wind is crazy here. As I mentioned earlier I sort of live in a tower so I hear the wind from all of the four sides and as a matter of fact, I am a bit afraid the walls are going to collapse. And I was wise enough not to take a hat today, oh, how my ears are grateful for that.
(I just looked through According to them "wind will be generally light". Suck out, meteorologists!)

I think it might be wise to go to sleep now. My brain just feels like a prune. Talk to you tomorrow!

Song of the day: Edelweiss from The Sound Of Music

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reasons to be happy and whatnot.

Seven heaven and all that. I've been either smiling or laughing or jumping excitedly, ALL THE TIME today. I do not have any reason, or maybe not a one I would be fully aware of. Apparently it is against all the logical implications, that I can't get over my silly blissfulness today. So I am thinking what is so special about today that I am so blessed to joy in it, to the deepest meaning of this word?  Melinda comes out with explanations from time to time, this is an installment of one of her series. Reasons to be happy:

1. It's beautiful outside, sun is shining, the wind is balancing between warm and chilly, but nevertheless it's time for tennis shoes again.

2. I am happy to be in the position that allows to me to join in a conversation whenever I want and to quit it whenever it's not comfortable anymore. I am grateful that I'm not afraid to talk to people on the streets, I am grateful for new acquaintances I made at the bus stop and in the queue in the pharmacy. Because nothing unifies as much as waiting together.

3. I've had a hell lot of work in school today. Which means that it won't get worse, will it? I am happy that I screwed up the biology test because it's such a relief those things are behind me.

4. I am happy I'm ready to do things I'm not good at. Just for fun.

5. I am even happy to go to work tomorrow, as after 7 months of my work or so I finally see the effects.

6. I am happy for my choir rehearsal tomorrow, nothing builds up as much as joying in singing together with some talented people.

7. I might even have dinner with those talented people. That might be either Vegetarian Diner or Pancake Square. Either way it's tempting.

8. I might be hearing about my friends going to be engaged soon. I am happy.

9. I am happy because I've got so much to keep my mind occupied (like 18th birthday party, BANG)

10. I've got Knightley Academy contest to be drooling enthusiastically about even though there is no means I'm able to do that anyway. But just a mere thought makes me ecstatic.

11. I am grateful that I have eyes to see God's creation, that I have ears to hear all of His children giving Him praise and that I have lips to taste the rain that I pray to be the rain of enlightenment. 

12. I am grateful for living in a tower (seriously, I live in a tower). The wind blows the heck out of this place but the birds have their nest just above the roof. I am glad that their singing don't annoy me yet. Can you imagine a better way to start the day than hearing this singing?

13. I am grateful that I have people who want all the best for me.

14. I am grateful for my daily dose of chocolate milk tomorrow.

15. I am happy that my mind is created to think abstractly. That I can think of impossible. 

16. I am happy we've had Ivan The Terrible in my history class today. The guy was awesome (meaning his psychological complexity. Probably not in any other way.)

17. I am happy that I learn how to use words every day, hoping that one day I can handle them properly. I am happy to plan on using the words to confess my love to someone. Although I'm pretty sure it will turn out other way anyway which is as always.

I gotta go. Just have to dance around or something. Tomorrow's Friday, Friday! (I still can't get over this song, I just can't let go).  

Song of the day: Unfinished - Ana Free

Oh, and I'm happy because I've got a brand new jam-packed "to do" list for Saturday! Yay!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Listening closely.

Have you ever been watching Instant Star? (I reference TV shows way too many times). One thing that was said in the very first minutes of season one and stuck with me since then was a sentence that went like: "Sometimes, if you listen closely, you can almost hear this moment when your life changes. Forever."

At the moment I am sitting in this quaint lunch-cafe place, eating my broccoli-cheese soup and tomato-mozarella sandwich and drinking orange juice (Hayley writes about what she's eaten all the time; she says it attracts the audience). Anyway, I'm sitting here waiting to go to work, trying to stick the raspberries floating in my juice on a straw while pretending that I study for my citizenship education class and I hear the world changing.

Okay, that was cheesy, but I don't hear it very often; I actually wonder if I've ever heard anything like that before. For some reason I am certain that a change comes with a sound.

There is a lot happening in my life, but this is a monotonous kind of havoc. I might leave home at 6 AM and get back at 11 PM, being straight from school; my days filled with an astouding amount of chores and duties and just cool stuff that I do (if I were to live in Ryan's head I would be such a verb). But those are the things that I'm used to, I take the craziness for granted. Therefore I focus on particular activities that I do. I cross the street, the street is to support my feet, but nothing else. I do various things but I don't think how they affect my future, that they can be a turnabout.

I didn't experience anything like a turnabout, but I'm sitting in the cafe; a couple studying chemistry at the adjacent table and a girl with her English tutor behind me. She is so enthusiastic toward studying, she's inquiring, he says that those things he's about to say aren't as important and she doesn't need to memorize them all but she's going to do this anyway. Compared to my classes at school I suddenly realize that she has a point in sitting with her tutor. When I go to school I mainly go there just to go back home several hours later, I don't feel like every second of my being there is a step toward something. However the eagerness of this girl made it seem like this very moment MEANT something and that it LED someplace important.

The couple is laughing and talking about their plans as I'm trying to wade through a text on Non-Governmental Organizations. And suddenly I just hear it, I hear the change. Not like a revolution or the end of the chapter. I just hear that every little moment is meaningful and that every second changes everything. And I swear, to me it feels like a sound!
At first I didn't understand what "Life changes everything" name meant. But now I think I partly do.

Song of the day: What a Difference a Day Made - Jamie Cullum