internal inspection

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


“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.”


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.


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?


Last morning coffee in Spain


Categories: borrowed feathers, i maed dis, internal inspection, yay | Leave a comment


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



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 🙂


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.



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.


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…

Categories: borrowed feathers, i maed dis, internal inspection, toiling, yay | Leave a comment

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.’
‘I’ve been impressed by the way you really seem to be blind to things like shape and colour.’
‘And you always seem to care for people.’
‘And you know that I feel considerable affection for you.’
‘It’s just that, sometimes…’
‘I really, really, really wonder why.’

“Feet of Clay”, Terry Pratchett


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.

Categories: arrrgh, borrowed feathers, internal inspection | Leave a comment

Happy birthday, Flameblood!

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

Dr. Seuss


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.

Categories: borrowed feathers, internal inspection, yay | Leave a comment

Oh, look out you rock’n’rollers

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste
was not so sweet

“Changes”, David Bowie


Ch-ch-ch-changes indeed, in personal life and at work, too.

I’m hoping that 2014 will be better for me than 2013 has been. There were some really cool moments and times when I was really happy but the second half of the year was filled with continuous anxiety and heartbreak. I really don’t need any more of that shit in my life, thankyouverymuch. Funny how people manage to convince themselves that things aren’t that bad, really, and by ‘people’ I mean ‘me’. I’ve always preferred horrible endings to never-ending horror but somehow I could not put two and two together this time. I just dearly wish it all had ended in August for real, as it should have, instead of swinging on the proverbial fence for months to come. Anyway, this chapter has been finished, new and exciting ones are about to begin.

I think all my Inner Circle people noticed how the uncertainty of my situation throughout this autumn affected my well-being and they were totally there for me with the safety net when the inevitable fall took place. I could not ask for better friends even if I strained my imagination really hard. For these people I am deeply grateful to the Unnamed Spirit of the Universe and in return I will go through flaming brick walls for them, if necessary.

As for changes at work – weeeeell… I will move to a completely different position in February (same company, different floor). My future boss is extremely happy to have me there, he even told me that if they had had a vision of the ideal candidate, it would have been me. Awww yiss 🙂 I will have normal working hours – that means no more waking up at the ass-crack of dawn to make it to the morning shift, no more worrying whether or not I have the weekend off!

The funny bit is that I still have no idea what it exactly is that I’ll be doing 😛 The tasks are going to be rather versatile, which means there will be very little day-to-day dullness and that is very important for me. I definitely need to read up on VMware and remember all that Linuxstuffz I’ve forgotten by now. Perhaps the most intriguing bit about this change of positions is that at my current job we have procedures and guidelines for mostly everything but my boss-to-be said that there are no such things where I’m going and that he is very much looking forward to my suggestions for improvement etc., which – unless I completely misunderstood him – basically translates to “we’d like you to help us create procedures and put them down in written form”. I think that is awesome.

So, less than 2 weeks until the new year. It better be better or I’ll make it regret the day I was born!

Categories: internal inspection, moving pictures, toiling | Leave a comment


‘Where Are We Going?’ said Dorfl, as Vimes strolled across the Brass Bridge.
‘I thought I might break you in gently with some guard duty at the palace,’ said Vimes.
‘Ah. This Is Where My New Friend Constable Visit Is Also On Guard,’ said Dorfl.
‘I Wish To Ask You A Question,’ said the golem.
‘I Smashed The Treadmill But The Golems Repaired It. Why? And I Let The Animals Go But They Just Milled Around Stupidly. Some of Them Even Went Back To The Slaughter Pens. Why?’
‘Welcome to the world, Constable Dorfl.’
‘Is It Frightening To Be Free?’
‘You said it.’
‘You Say To People “Throw Off Your Chains” And They Make New Chains For Themselves?’
‘Seems to be a major human activity, yes.’
Dorfl rumbled as he thought about this. ‘Yes,’ he said eventually. ‘I Can See Why. Freedom Is Like Having The Top Of Your Head Opened Up.’

“Feet of Clay”, Terry Pratchett


I’ve always felt ambiguous about the meaning of freedom. On the one hand I don’t fancy being controlled by anyone except myself, on the other hand… I guess I’m taking the word rather existentially, as to me it mostly means “not being tied to anything, at all”.

When I was very depressed a few years ago, I used to feel free in a rather scary way. I felt like I was bouncing along the world in a hamster ball, while even gravity had mostly given up on me. Imagine walking on the Moon – you just bound along in slow motion. So I was just a passive passenger who felt she could not reach out to anything and nothing in the outside world could stop my journey either. Just gently gliding through Stuff That Matters To Other People, from whom I have been separated by that hard curving wall.

It was really fucking lonely.

When I finally managed to break that Hamster Ball of Depression, one of my first goals was to create new and strong ties with people, so I would not drift away like that again. I think the main reason why I did not seriously consider suicide while being depressed was that it simply seemed like too much effort. I had stopped caring about mostly everything, especially myself.

I’ve come a long way since then but I still feel the need to check every once in a while if the ties I’ve made are still strong. Sometimes I haven’t tied knots very well or the rope just isn’t suitable for this purpose and it all comes undone. Other times the knots simply remain even tighter. And sometimes I just want to make a noose out of one.

Categories: borrowed feathers, dark tones, internal inspection, moving pictures | Leave a comment

I hurt myself today to see if I still feel

It’s an awful truth that suffering can deepen us, give a greater lustre to our colours, a richer resonance to our words. That is, if it doesn’t destroy us, if it doesn’t burn away the optimism and the spirit, the capacity for visions, and the respect for simple yet indispensable things.

Anne Rice, “The Queen of the Damned”


They say (and yes, it is the same ‘they’ as in ‘everybody knows’) that what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. In my psychology lectures I was taught that this is actually not the case at all – that which does not kill us (but gets pretty close to the mark), will leave us scarred. Some wounds are insignificant, others can take years or decades to heal, provided they are not experimentally ripped open over and over again – that bit I know far too well. “Does it hurt if I unravel the scenario in my mind like this? How about now? Ooh, yep, I could definitely feel that one!” What can I say – I love the scientific method.

I think it is somehow written into my national narrative that suffering will make you more noble, in a way. For roughly a thousand years we’ve always been the underdog, except for about half a century and even that little period of freedom was violently chopped into two bits. All of this has left a very strong imprint in our collective unconscious as a people, and that in turn has greatly influenced the way I see the world. If you want something done right, do it yourself because nobody else will do it for you. Trust nobody who has not proven their loyalty to you many times and even then you retain the right to remain suspicious of their motives. Be flexible like a willow tree – it can be bent in many ways but it is really difficult to break, and it will easily spring back to its former shape as if nothing happened.

Yeah. Even one of our (if not the) most famous literary quotes goes: “Do your work and toil; and then love will arrive.” This sets a very hard prerequisite: if you do not suffer at least a little bit first, you have no right to accept the reward. On the one hand it means that you should not turn back as soon as you see an obstacle on your way but should instead try to find a way around it; on the other hand it seems to suggest that you need to grit your teeth and bear it, come what may – in the end you will be thankful whether you like it or not!

So, here’s the ever-intriguing question on the subject: where can we draw that goddamn line of sanity?

Being somewhat of the emo persuasion (yes, I know what my username sounds like, thankyouverymuch) I sometimes tend to engage in the aforementioned wound prodding, perhaps even a bit too enthusiastically. Then again I completely agree with the quote above in the way that light and shadows are intertwined – you cannot have one without the other. People tend appreciate what they have a lot more when they have [almost] lost it; what they have achieved by fighting for what they believe in is always worth more than the stuff that they almost accidentally tripped over.

If you could line plot a person’s emotional ups and downs on paper, many people would be happy with a slightly wobbly result and that is perfectly okay. I am not of that kind, however, for me it should be a sine wave the size of a roller-coaster – that is the time when I feel truly alive. Trouble is, sometimes the decline is so abrupt that it is very difficult to spot any way up again… The ones who prefer to keep to their wobbling are definitely more at peace with themselves, it seems to me, and sometimes I secretly envy them. But not for long.

When I am overwhelmed by sorrow, I try to break it into small, manageable, bite-sized pieces that I can tackle one by one. All large things consist of little ones which, put together, form a whole and it would be insane to try and handle it all at once. I am used to analysing my thought processes and I already know the triggers which make me act irrationally (which does not mean that I can always handle them but at least I know to watch out for them). I can’t simply let things be – I need to understand myself and others to be able to make any sense of it all. This includes going through painful subjects over and over again in my mind until I have got the hurt out of my system and only facts remain. To some it may seem like pointless self-torture if you could just pack that kind of thoughts away in the back of your brain and after that let sleeping dogs lie but that is just how I roll. I have tried the .zip format of thoughts in the past and while it did work for me for a while, there’s only so much room in the attic, so to speak.

In short: getting hurt sucks but, sadly, life would not be half as interesting without it 😐 I just wish I had more of the uphill regions these days, seeing as I keep travelling on my sine wave. I have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Categories: borrowed feathers, dark tones, internal inspection, moving pictures | Leave a comment

Wishful thinking

“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”


“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”


“So we can believe the big ones?”


“They’re not the same at all!”


“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”


“Hogfather”, Terry Pratchett


When you wish for something to happen so hard that you’re willing to go great lengths to achieve it and you finally get it, you may learn that it is not what you were hoping for in the first place. It’s even worse when you discover that it is exactly what you asked for but very far from what you wanted. I am pretty certain that there’s this bunch of genies who are always on the verge of dying of boredom and therefore try to pick up any wishes in the ether they can get their hands on, just to make someone’s life miserable – and therefore entertaining – by fulfilling those wishes to the letter, only with a horrible twist.

Having fantasies is extremely important (and by this I don’t mean the kind that will get you off, although those are nice as well). Their purpose is exactly what the quote above says – “to be human”. The older you become, the more boring your everyday life tends to get and this is where the brain can kick in and help you cope with the mindnumbing dullness of routine in order to avoid you becoming this bitter aging person that gets on everyone else’s nerves.

Every social construct is, when you get right down to it, a fantasy. They are simply shared by a significant number of people and are therefore considered The Truth. A million flies on cowpats can’t be wrong, right? Doesn’t necessarily have to be a cowpat, other animals poop as well to the flies’ great delight (and different cultures have different fantasies), but the general principle remains the same.

I don’t understand people who say they have no imagination. I’m sure they do but it’s somewhere very deep down and they just don’t want to let it out because that would be silly or improper or childish. Mine, on the other hand, is more vivid than I would care for at times… Yet again it seems that I may have imagined something that drew me to a person in the first place, as it looks like these features have been washed off as time went by and now I don’t even know if they were ever there to begin with. I don’t know what to believe any more and reality seems to be harsher than I would prefer.

The moment you try to squeeze a fantasy into everyday life without making the necessary adjustments in your mindset first is the moment when things start going downhill. It’s like trying to push a square peg in a round hole – if you try really hard, you will probably manage it but is it worth the trouble and broken fingernails?

Categories: borrowed feathers, I am disappoint, internal inspection | Leave a comment


Choices. It was always choices…

There’d been that man down in Spackle, the one that’d killed those little kids. The people’d sent for her and she’d looked at him and seen the guilt writhing in his head like a red worm, and then she’d taken them to his farm and showed them where to dig, and he’d thrown himself down and asked her for mercy, because he said he’d been drunk and it’d all been done in alcohol.

Her words came back to her. She’d said, in sobriety: end it in hemp.

And they’d dragged him off and hanged him in a hempen rope and she’d gone to watch because she owed him that much, and he’d cursed, which was unfair because hanging is a clean death, or at least cleaner than the one he’d have got if the villagers had dared defy her, and she’d seen the shadow of Death come for him, and then behind Death came the smaller, brighter figures, and then-

In the darkness, the rocking chair creaked as it thundered back and forth.

The villagers had said justice had been done, and she’d lost patience and told them to go home, then, and pray to whatever gods they believed in that it was never done to them. The smug mask of virtue triumphant could be almost as horrible as the face of wickedness revealed.

“Carpe Jugulum”, Terry Pratchett


Making choices, especially ones that concern other people, is often difficult. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to chew off your own leg than to figure out which one of the available options is the lesser evil. And sometimes you just need to make out whether your struggles stem from your reluctance towards change or if the situation really is that complicated.

Changes can be uncomfortable indeed but can also bring about many wonderful things. Or it could all go to pot, of course, but if you don’t try, you’ll never find out. I’ve learned the hard way that the things I regret the most are things I could have done but did not do at the time, whether out of fear for the unknown future or because I was simply too comfy in my bubble.

A couple of years ago I realized that right now is the time in my life when I can still afford to make mistakes but I know better already than to make the really dumb ones over and over again. I reviewed my life – which was not in a very good place at that moment – and it dawned on me that if I don’t start taking leaps into the unknown, nothing is ever going to get better. Stepping out of my comfort zone seemed pretty scary, even though I was not actually happy with the way things were. I promised myself that even if my first reaction was “oh gods, no”, I would still give it a go when new perspectives/people/options popped up on my path. After a while it became a bit of a habit and now I have a job I love and also the luxury of spending evenings at a home where nobody is constantly sawing on my nerves.

Making choices for other people rarely ends well, however. This entails phrases like “you’re better off without me” or “you deserve better”. I’d rather be the one to make that choice, thankyouverymuch. Unless you’re Granny Weatherwax (see quote above), you don’t really know what is best for others. It is difficult enough to distinguish between “I want” and “I need” when the only person concerned is you but trying to convince others that you know what they need is basically asking for a slap in the face. The only thing you can do is give your opinion on the matter, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Although every now and again I have a very hard time suppressing the urge of trying to influence people so that they would make their choices based on what I want… The measure of failure to muffle this wish is directly correlated to how much I desire the outcome.

And then again, sometimes people actually want you to make their decisions for them. Maybe they are just too cowardly for deep introspection, maybe they’re simply so lost in all the pros and cons that they honestly cannot make head nor tail of it any more, maybe they just want someone else to blame later… In any case, it is a slippery slope and more often than not ends in tears for at least one person involved.

I know I often make my own life more difficult than it could be but it is my choice, goddamnit! I take responsibility for my decisions and know that if things go wrong, I only have myself to blame. The hardest bit is admitting to yourself that the choice you made was wrong but once you’ve gotten past that point, there’s still hope yet. Sometimes the harm can be rectified, other times you just need to learn from it so you’d know better next time.

Categories: borrowed feathers, internal inspection | Leave a comment

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