15 – 30 day poetry challenge

Day 15 – Post a poem (written by someone else) that you love (for any reason).

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Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

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Old and new

Never agree to marry a man because he has potential. Men are not houses, they do not make good fixer-uppers.

Jill Shalvis

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Houses, however… Well, take a look.

A touch of spring in the middle of winter

“We’d been apart so long–I’d been dead so long,” she said in English. “I thought surely you’d built a new life, with no room in it for me. I’d hoped that.”
“My life is nothing but room for you.” I said. “It could never be filled by anyone but you.”

‘Mother Night’, Kurt Vonnegut

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“I’m back in the grey wet bleakness known as home. The contrast with Barcelona is remarkable – only a few days ago I was walking in a zoo in just my jeans and a T-shirt, whereas returning here meant below zero temperatures and snow blizzards (and a rather morose mood after learning the fact that my luggage decided to spend way longer in Amsterdam than I did… got it the next day though). However, all that pretty white snow has melted into a yucky mushy brown substance and the sidewalks are covered in melting ice for that extra slippery touch. The flu season is also in full swing, so I hope that the vaccine I got in the autumn will help protect me, I could really do without all those pains and fevers, thankyouverymuch.”

deice

Yay, the plane is having a sauna!

The above is a paragraph that has been sitting in the drafts folder for two months now. I can proudly say that I did not get the flu, so I guess the flu shot worked. It’s looking a bit more like spring at home as well by now but just barely.

Anyway, Barcelona was fun and a lot less awkward than I thought it would be. I guess it might have been different but due to missing my initial connecting flight (my first plane needed thorough de-icing  which took a lot longer than expected) I was so tired and bent out of shape when I finally got there that I simply had no more fucks to give.

Long story short – me and the Handsome Gentleman are an item once again and it seems that the separation after the last time has had a positive effect. We’ve both had time to think about what we did wrong and communication between us seems to be a lot better than it was before. I hope the trend continues in the same way because it occasionally still hits me how we come from completely different worlds. Seeing as we grew up on the opposite ends of Europe, it’s no wonder.

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The weather really was wonderful

I think we had the perfect mix of being lazy and cuddling on the (terribly uncomfortable!) bed at the AirBNB and doing touristy stuff such as visiting museums and eating in fancy restaurants. But we also had KFC if we felt like it and lots of Netflix and chill, so that there wasn’t too much of oh-gods-we-need-to-get-going-if-we-want-to-do-this-and-that. I also had snails for the first time ever, that was definitely an adventure 😀

However, due to Circumstances I have no idea when we can meet again. Possibly end of June when I have another vacation coming up (the next one is about to begin on Saturday but I’ll spend it on Japan, yay) and hopefully I’ll have enough money left from all the renovations that I can afford plane tickets to the Handsome Gentleman’s current country. We both agree that a long-distance relationship can only last when it becomes a no-distance relationship at some point but currently neither of us knows when that can happen and it makes me kind of sad… but c’est la vie, right?

coffee

Last morning coffee in Spain

 

2015

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

“The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul”, Douglas Adams

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One of my favourite snapshots from 2015

So, it’s been a year since I last published a blog post. I haven’t felt much like putting stuff down, so I’ll just try to make one very compact post about what this year has been like, although in all likelihood this blog has no readers left 😀

I met several awesome new people this year, some more intimately than others. Quite a few of them have left the country by now but I’m getting used to that. I’ve become very picky when it comes to getting to know someone new and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Quality over quantity – amirite or amirite?

Some blasts from the past happened as well. There is someone I am trying really hard to steer clear of and hope like hell I will manage that next year as well. There is someone who has been trying hard to get another chance of being a part of my life – we’ll see how that goes, I’m being rather careful there. There is someone who I haven’t talked to in many years (mainly due to the first person mentioned in this paragraph) but we have now officially made peace with each other, so that is nice.

I lost a close friend this year, for good. In a way he is not completely gone, as he will always be a part of me but it’s still hard. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about something and that he’d love it… and then it hits me that he is not with us any more. I am grateful for having known him and I cherish the memories of laughing so hard together that we cried 🙂

owlie

I made this oil painting during one of those awesome times 🙂 It was the first time I ever used oil paints, so I’d say I did pretty well.

2015 also marks the year when I finally went to see a psychiatrist and got antidepressants. I must say that they are working – I’m feeling a lot better, even though it means I need to keep away from booze. Drinking apple juice or cola at a bar just isn’t quite the same but I still do that occasionally. The main effect of the meds is that in situations where I’d have lost my shit earlier, I now just sigh and try to explain my point of view in a calm but firm manner. It’s like I’ve finally found a point of balance within me that has been lost for many many years.

Due to various reasons I have gained far more weight this year than I am comfortable with. I guess one of the tasks for next year is trying to tackle it but I’m not sure if I’ll go back to calorie counting. We shall see. At least my dance skills have improved – not as much as I would like but I’m definitely better than I was last year.

Work has been OK although I hope I will be able to change my position (but stay in the same department) next year. I feel like my best assets are not used in my current job and I would be more useful doing something else.

twins

Twinsies!

Oh, and I bought a brand new car in July! 🙂 It’s not very big but it’s red and cute and I am very fond of it. Come to think of it, 2015 was a year for new vehicles, as I also bought a new bicycle.

herroyalhighness

Her Royal Highness

Speaking of vacations – I went to Ireland and Italy this year – loved the first trip and hated the latter because 7000 km trapped in a bus with a chipper tour guide who never shuts up is not exactly my cup of tea. It was the absolute worst vacation I have ever had! I still haven’t uploaded the photos of either trip but I should probably deal with that very soon because in January I’ll spend a week in Barcelona and in April I’m going to Tokyo and I know I’d be really sad if something happened to my hard drive and I lost all pics from Ireland AGAIN.

I’m not making any promises about getting back to blogging in 2016 but I’m secretly hoping that I might…

Evil feminazi lecture time

‘Anyway,’ said Angua, ‘if people can’t be themselves in Ankh-Morpork, where can they?’
‘There’ll be trouble when the other dwarfs notice,’ said Carrot. ‘I could almost see his knees. Her knees.’
‘Everyone’s got knees.’
‘Perhaps, but it’s asking for trouble to flaunt them. I mean, I’m used to knees. I can look at knees and think, “Oh, yes, knees, they’re just hinges in your legs”, but some of the lads-‘

Angua sniffed. ‘He turned left here. Some of the lads what”?’

‘Well… I don’t know how they’ll react, that’s all. You shouldn’t have encouraged her. I mean, of course there’s female dwarfs but… I mean, they have the decency not to show it.’

He heard Angua gasp. Her voice sounded rather far away when she said, ‘Carrot, you know I’ve always respected your attitude to the citizens of Ankh-Morpork.’
‘Yes?’
‘I’ve been impressed by the way you really seem to be blind to things like shape and colour.’
‘Yes?’
‘And you always seem to care for people.’
‘Yes?’
‘And you know that I feel considerable affection for you.’
‘Yes?’
‘It’s just that, sometimes…’
‘Yes?’
‘I really, really, really wonder why.’

“Feet of Clay”, Terry Pratchett

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I’ve been getting into quite a few heated arguments lately because somebody is wrong on the Internet and that someone is not me. The topics have mostly been about equal rights and certain privileges but the common denominator in all of those has been feminism and women’s issues in a broader sense. Last week I was called a ‘fundamentalist radical feminist’ pretty much due to the fact that I pointed out that Emma Watson’s UN speech was about concepts that should be elementary for every intelligent human being. A Facebook chat I had today ended with another guy wishing me ‘good luck with working against the well-being of society’, i.e. that awful feminist propaganda which will apparently bring about the four riders of the apocalypse or something. There are several more examples but I’ll just leave them be for now, those particular ‘debates’ are over in any case.

At some point I used to date someone who grew up in a deeply Catholic culture. In his conscious mind he is very much for equal rights for everyone but quite often he did or said something chauvinistic that irritated me to no end. I don’t think he ever quite understood the exact reason why I got mad, although I tried to explain the best I could. When I said that certain rape-y jokes are not funny, he concluded that I should lighten up – it was only a joke. I got really damn livid when he claimed that men and women aren’t able to grasp certain concepts the same way ‘because the hormones are different’… and out of the two I’m the one who has ever studied psychology and those interesting bits and pieces of biology that affect the way our minds work.

Sometimes it feels like I’m fighting windmills, it really does. It is quite disheartening to go to battle equipped with statistics, surveys and studies… and meet complete drivel on the other side. The trouble is that since the opponents rarely use any kind of rational arguments at all, it turns into a fight between facts and faith. However, there have been cases where after a long and calm discussion the other person has actually started to ponder on certain views they’ve been taking for granted so far. And this is exactly why I keep going with this talk about equal rights – changing the world, one person at a time.

Going down, down, down

That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.

“Prozac Nation”, Elizabeth Wurtzel

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failure

It’s autumn. It used to be my favourite season, what with the colourful leaves and gusts of strong wind and that melancholy rain drumming on my window sill for days on end. However, the older I get the more I dread the end of summer, as I become a lot more prone to depression when it’s cold and dark outside. I used to be angsty and tormented and oh so deep all the damn time and I really don’t care to go back to that state. I want to be creative without having the urge to slit my wrists open with a nail file, godsdamnit!

I want to be left alone but I hate feeling lonely. I don’t want to do anything but I fear boredom. I get hungry but food is tasteless and wants to come right back up… I think it shows clearly that I just can’t win.

Guess what was the first thing I did when I woke up yesterday? Those of you who placed their bets on ‘cried for no reason at all’ may collect their winnings now. So maybe I really should make that appointment with a specialist who can prescribe me some nice Fukitol pills and lie to me convincingly enough that it’s going to be all right in the end…

It is done!

My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.

Johnny Depp

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0wltat

I’ve wanted this tattoo for two years now and yesterday was the happy (and painful) day that the dream came true. The design is a collaboration between me and the tattoo artist 🙂

I became fascinated by owls a long time ago, can’t even remember how this craze got started but by now I have many owl-shaped trinkets from three different continents. My friends bring me all kinds of owl things as souvenirs from their trips and if you want to give me a present, owl-shaped jewellery is always welcome. The mythology built around owls is vast and complex and their eyes give them a very human-like expression, since they’re placed flat in the front of their face, not on the sides. Owls are also the only birds who move just the upper lid when they blink, which makes them look even more like us. However, their eyes are fixed in their skulls and therefore unmovable, so if they want to look at something that isn’t in their immediate view, they need to move their head. So the ‘moshing’ that owls do? That’s just how they get a 3D picture of what’s going on 🙂

Those+fur+boots+gurllll

Long story short – owls are cool 😀

In addition to my ‘spirit bird’ topic I wanted to make a connection to Ireland and Celtic knots were just perfect for this. The sun cross on the owl’s forehead symbolises the symbiosis of old and new – it is an ancient pagan sun symbol that Christianity ‘borrowed’ and Ireland is definitely full to the brim of religious monuments of both kinds. My other tattoos are also sort of pattern-ish, way more abstract than the brand new piece but it blends in well nevertheless, I think. Anyway – the point is that I have some relatives in Ireland and when I visited them a few years ago, a piece of my soul was left behind in those lonely mountains and grazing sheep and windy ocean shores. I think I’ll probably go looking for it in April, if everything goes well 🙂

Oh, and the tree is Yggdrasil. I know I’m mixing mythologies here a little but they aren’t that different after all.

And yes, it hurt. The outlines were the easiest part – mostly I didn’t even feel the needle. When the tattoo artist went for the shading, I was forced to admit that pain was indeed involved. And when he told me that he’ll do the white highlights as well, I actually thought about walking out of there because damn, it hurt 😀 Not even the poking of the needle but the fact that he had to lean on skin that was already hurt twice. Totally worth it, though! The needlework took about 5 hours from start to finish but we had a few smoke breaks along the way.

Good-bye, granny

Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, J.K. Rowling

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My grandmother died early this morning. She would have been 89 next Saturday but I guess this time we’ll just light a candle with no cake underneath.

89 years is a lot and time definitely took its toll on her. Maybe we could still have had a celebration next Saturday instead of a funeral on the upcoming weekend, had she not stumbled in her own home and broken her hip. She was taken to the hospital and operated on but in the end it didn’t go all that well and words like “internal bleeding” were involved, so… yeah. Her mind was getting all scrambled, too, even more than before, so perhaps death was almost a kindness at this point. I know my paternal grandmother used to pray for death while she lay in her bed, completely paralyzed from the neck down. She finally died at the age of 94 but had to endure five agonizing bedridden years before that moment of release. My grandfather died at the age of 84, all alone in his apartment, and was discovered only after my mom got anxious that he hadn’t picked up his phone for two days. I never met my paternal grandfather, since he died before I was born. Both of my “step-grandparents” have also been dead for a while now, so I guess that’s that then.

I’m not terribly heartbroken, death is a part of life and it happens to all of us eventually, especially so when it comes to the elderly. I’m more worried about the implications this event has on my mother and her living arrangements – will she continue to reside in grandma’s apartment and pay for the communal charges? Will she return to living with my father? It’s a big can of worms either way. I know it’s not my problem to fix but I’m slightly anxious about it nevertheless.

Happy birthday, Flameblood!

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr. Seuss

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Turns out this blog is now exactly a year old, w00t!

Although I had the best intentions at heart when I started it, I haven’t really managed to post regularly. Hell, I haven’t even managed to write at least one post every month. Partly because as the internet grew larger and larger, it became more and more difficult to write publicly on personal topics; partly because I’m simply not used to putting my thoughts down in written form any more.

I don’t know whether it’s because the universally dreaded three-o occasion is coming up in 6 months but I’ve been thinking about putting my life in order more than I used to. There are some habits I’d love to acquire and others I’d like to kick, it’s all just up to my own perseverance. They say it takes 6 weeks for something to become a habit so that it wouldn’t require constant self-discipline any more and really – a month and a half isn’t that much for conscious effort but… yeah, I’m a lazy fucker, I’ll be the first to admit it.

Anyway – even if it’s just for the sake of dreaming – I want to improve in the following areas:

  1. resume blogging on a regular basis, even if it’s just one post per week. Even if the text I produce isn’t up to my general standards. Even if I’m busy. I like writing and I know I need practice, not just thinking about it, if I ever want to be anything more than mediocre at stringing words together.
  2. cook more Real Food which means I need to learn to prepare nomz for less than 6 people at a time. Seriously, this is an actual problem for me, unless I just dump a portion of fries and veggies on a pan. I love cooking but unless I have friends to force-feed later, I end up eating the same stuff for a week or so and by then I’m heartily sick of whatever it was that was so delicious in the beginning.
  3. draw and paint. I’ve never been particularly great at art but I’ve been told that I’m not entirely without talent, I just need to practice more. So, yeah.
  4. actually follow through when it comes to my sewing/knitting projects that are meant for myself. If I’m making a gift for someone else, it’s not a problem – this might mean that even if I’m making something for my own use, it should be possible to finish it as well instead of stashing it away out of sight together with the other unfinished attempts.

Making an actual timetable for myself would probably work – blocking out a couple of hours here and there for this or that activity (except the cooking thing, that’s something I need to incorporate into my everyday life). However, timetables work for people who have a daily routine… the only certainty in mine is that I work from 9AM to 6PM – even my belly dance classes will begin at a different time every day this year. Ah well, we’ll see.

Aaaaaaand we’re back to our regular emo broadcast

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.

“The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones”, Neil Gaiman

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Rant on interpersonal relationships ahead, yo.

I’m not sure why this is but every time I meet someone amazing, there’s always a catch. Other people seem to manage with far less drama (at least it doesn’t show on the outside) but in my case there’s always a certain amount of ‘well, fuck’ involved. Unfortunately, the more awesome that new person seems, the larger that particular showstopper is…

Goth Boy is a wonderful, smart, polite, attractive, sexy dude and we’re so alike in many ways that we began to call each other ‘clones’ pretty soon after we met online. We’ve also spent time together face to face which was filled to the brim with laughter and adventures of the sexy persuasion that were frankly amazing for both of us. However, he’s not in the same country as I am (AGAIN!) and… well, my position in his life could probably best be described with the word ‘lover’, as certain feelings are (were?) involved on both sides, though we always carefully tiptoe(d) around talking about them directly. There are other, more specific obstacles between us, which I’m not going to describe in detail but the general point is that I’m afraid this isn’t working out and it makes me really sad.

It’s much easier to let go of someone who isn’t treating you well than a person who is pretty much damn near perfect in every regard (and apparently thinks quite the same about you) but the trouble is that you simply cannot fit into each other’s lives at the moment. And nobody knows if a better time will ever come… it probably won’t anyway.

Right now I’ve been giving him time to sort his life out a bit, since there’s quite a lot on his plate and on the rational level I can understand that. However, I am getting tired of being reasonable and accommodating and undemanding. I don’t really like to pretend that I have the patience of a brick when I’m actually unhappy on the inside due to acute lack of attention. Although I really want to see him again and do all the fun things we can think of (and we both have extremely vivid imagination), I don’t think I can wait for as long as it may take him to get his shit together.