Thursday, March 29, 2007

On highly educated people

I had this presentation on Monday. I was aware that I might need to go in general matters because the subject, iconography of st. Bridget of Sweden on the Swedish soil is a bit out of the usual ways. However, all my system, not that there would be much of it, was totally shattered. They were arguing among themselves about the single pieces of art work - but no problem, it is a seminar after all, advising me that maybe I should dedicate my thesis to the Portrait Birgitta of Vadstena or the Tensta cycle (I'll maybe add some pics later. I don't have them at hand) and that I shoud concentrate more on style than on the contents of the art works. Still okay, although for this way of scientific haggling the buildings administration might install a coffee machine in every room. It would improve matters a lot, coffee is ideas' fertilizer. At leas mine ideas'.
At a certain point my presentation fell apart completely. People were asking where the hell Vadstena is and what is meant by central Sweden. I have maps in my diary so it saved me from sketching them on the board, I suck in both sketching and geography. Luckily no-one asked where Sweden is. I got totally lost in explaining like.... "the essay in the catalog to the exhibition of Kalmar Union...." ....puzzled glances from the auditorium..... "... Kalmar Union was".... and then I forgot where I ended.
Damn, it's university people. I know that the education system here is a bit here-centered, much more than I would consider practical... although I'm not sure, on the other hand, that knowing about, say, Kalmar Union or Dante or whatever is really necessary for surviving. I guess it's not but seems to me that knowledge is the candies of life... so why not to have some.
I got lots of useless advices, too, like "Hey, there's this partial translation from the 1930's, maybe it would be useful so that you don't have to read it in Latin." My Latin is pretty lousy but still, I'm not really getting why everybody is totally freaking out of it. It's art history department, people doing medieval stuff... and they have problems with Latin (which is okay, I have problems with Latin as well as mentioned) and they have some sort of problems that they have problems with Latin....... Or is it only me who starts doing things and learns how to do them during the process?
Anyhow, I realized that although people didn't notice it - after all I didn't let them notice - my wide gaps in knowledge, I have them. Damn many.
Now I'm off ordering strange books.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Life is boring

I spent the day cleaning and making pesto and lazying around. I wanted to take a pic of my new yarns so I arranged them nicely, took a picture and then Nora settled to sleep, creating a charming still life.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Not that I had anything to say.

There was another school trip today.
Just off somewhere, an excursion to a brewery where I had to do the interpreting. Tough job since I have no idea about the beer brewing terminology in my own dialect. Beer is just made somehow and I care a damn,since I don't drink it. Regardless of national statistics that require me to be a notorious drunk. But I managed somehow... and oddly enough, I was able to speak after. I basically hate yelling smartass things at people and I thought that I will ask for a bottle of Vincentka* for every such guiding job.
I also wonder where all the Finns appear from. Obviously, Finland, I"m not a total asshole. I mean, the university has to be full of them because on every school trip some other specimen appears. It doesn't happen with, say, Greeks.
Speaking of Finns, I would strongly like to remind that (1) not everybody who has a Marimekko bag needs to be Finn (I have a white one, too...). And no, (2) I didn't get that thing in Finland. I've never been to Finland,for that matter. Thank you for understanding, you can ask more original questions next time.
We dropped at Tesco. I needed a glue for my bathroom cushion (I read in the tub) and I got some basil and chocolate. Juha and Katariina needed food. On the way home, in the middle of the street Juha froze and produced another proof that we might be twins, saying that he forgot to buy some undies and socks. Since I'm older, I've already invented that doing the laundry has the same results as buying new clothes, i. e. clean stuff to wear tomorrow, and hinted him to do so..... Maybe he will thank me for this piece of enlightment in his memoirs in some sixty years' time.
I have some new yarn. Purple and green. Looks..... well, as usually, I'm absolutely not sure that I like it.
Tomorrow I'm going to the cinema. To see a movie that is 430 minutes long. I'll take some knitting with me, could be half of a sweater and a nice ache in my carpals.
And I need to write another piece of my crappy thesis.

*They don't have anything in some sort of normal** language on the website. So let me informyou that this mineral water contains a whole lot of minerals like iodine and idunnowhat. It is used for curing all sorts of sore throat, from plain cold to laryngitis. As for laryngitis, I can give a whole nice heap of credentials because at a certain point i had like three per year and those antibiotics that worked on it caused strong allergic reactions... so after several trial and error sessions which ended in strange rashes, all day puking or something like that the doc told me to take a few more bedsheets and drink this, that it would take a week or two longer to cure.... And, it cures hangover. I had less hangovers that laryngitides, laryngitises (does someone know the plural?) and it worked. It even worked on other people who absolutely didn't believe it, proving that it isn't psychology and it even worked on drunk Russians which is really something. Available in pharmacies.
** Spoken by more than a handful of people

Friday, March 23, 2007

Nothing happens.

I know I've been neglecting this place quite a bit. So,first, sweaters in progress. On my unmade bed, who should bother. From the right: One for Katarina, one for Sandy (I'm not very sure about the colours, maybe too candy?) and the evergreen one for Elisabeth. Hopefully it will be finished before next Christmas. During some journeys I at least made a sleeve. And Nora the foster cat, probably playing dead. She is cuddly and sweet and we aren't really sure whether it is some undefined mixture aged around ten months.. or whether it is a small Maine Coon. The latter theory is supported by the large paws but on the other hands, Nora doesn't seem to be growing. But I don't understand such stuff. She has some people to adopt her after she is vaccinated and castrated and I will have her around before that. I'm not really getting why the new people cannot enjoy having a cat with a stitched-up belly around. Maybe because a cat who was cut open tends to be in a bad mood and not sweet and cuddly? And what if they discover, getting a cat perfectly okay, that she is sweet and cuddly but sometimes pukes on the carpet? I would let them have it all.
I§m still pretty behind with my thesis. Bad bad me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Another boring and useless day

I created some more cool stuff. As usually I know that it is cool but still I'm not sure whether I like it and whether anyone else will like it. I'll get some self-confidence as soon as it is on sale.

Monday, March 19, 2007

No more instant coffee, I shifted to espresso.

Not that I decided to live healthier or something. Well, it is Monday so I could start some diet maybe, but in general, nothing changed. I just run out of my long-time supplies of instant Davidoff (okay, you can consider all instant coffee a disgusting crap but this is a good disgusting stuff, if nothing else. At work I drink the company bought Nescafe, yes, that with the funky red cups, I have a collection of them and I plan to bring them to my Prague... someday) so I wiped dust off the espresso machine I found at mom's office where no-one needed it... well, not that there wasn't a whole load of coffee maniacs but the tap water back home is too mineralized (comes from here) and they had to either buy bottled water or clean the thing every now and then. Which they didn't bother which tells something about the human nature.
So today I had my cup of something normal people would rather use for cleaning the drains. I have a nice espresso cup with cames, you see.... and some organic coffee from Finland someone had brought a long time ago. Yummy. A whole new dimension for my caffeine addiction.
By the way, I have read a few articles recently (cannot find them online and the paper version is somehow useless here....) which say that coffee is healthy and thus allowed again. I used to say it all the time that ten cups per day do no harm, look at me how cute I am.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Headlines only

I am behind with work,with school, with nearly everything. So:
I got money from the insurance, I can buy a camera.
Dad's camera (the soapbox I am using) doesn't work, that explains no pics.
I got two orders from etsy. One is large. I got four skeins of angora in wrong colors so I have to start again.
I have two new cats. Siberians (meaning long-haired. Meaning lots of cat hair all over. Meaning that I decided to learn to spin on a spindle.).They are disgustingly cute.
Yesterday one of the cats peed in my shoes. And in my knitting. I hate them.
Juha decided that we stop using English. Lots of strange fun expected.
Off working for now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Feelings of loss

On Friday I went to Olomouc. There was some family reunion... well, not some. My grandpa was 80 and there was to be a party.
I arrived Friday morning and I had some errands, like picking my passport, getting the LAN cable for Juha the perfect flatmate and picking some books from the library. I dropped at the ID office to discover that it is open to public only on Mondays and Wednesdays. Let me know what sort of a moron invented that the office days or however they call it are only two days a week? Business days are from Monday through Friday but the bureaucrats are always something special. I don=t plan to go anywhere outside the EU for now so my ID card is enough but anyway.
The spring has begun... the weather was well lit, so to say. Somewhere up there a stage designer lives since the city was well lit and the contrasting dark clouds were somewhere behind. The spring has been in the air for a few days.... and I needed to get the cable. So I got of the tram wherever I needed and went around the corner where was a computer shop. The corner used to be dominated by the design store where I bought my first (and only) Aalto vase for my first (and not the only one) wage. The notice on the display windows read that from March 1 the establishment is closed down. The computer shop a few metres further was not either. There was some travel agency or what. 'One leaves for a fortnight and everything gets messed up,' I thought on the way to Mom's office and I felt down. Not that I wasn't contemplating leaving this country and my hometown and Prague, first of all, thanx for understanding, but only now I felt as if my childhood was cut off.
The empty feeling remained for a time... I was contemplating how the things are changing (and how some of them should not be changing), how all the poetic things are disappearing - my parents live in a neighbourhood that is changing from normal to extremely posh and I'm afraid that all those beautiful and mildly neglected gardens will disappear in favour of those tasteless and soulless little display parks with various multicoloured low-maintenance shrubbery on vast lawns and mulched pads. And that the mildly neglected houses will give way to tasteless and soulles would-be villas that look as if mail-ordered from a bad catalogue. There's one such huge orange thing on the corner, used to be an old villa and now it looks like an office building with amputated roof. There were flowers growing wildly and crooked apple trees in the garden and now they have a swimming pool and a wall three metres high because they're not the common folk. Another old, mildly neglected villa on another corner was deprived of the ancient junipers surrounding it, slate roof and decorated window frames. It got the catalogue shrubberies around, huge entrance to some underground garage, the roof tiles are of some plastic or what - slate and shingles are the most beautiful materials for roof and slate lasts forever if done properly and it's recyclable. It just cannot be thrown on the ground from the third story but treating it nicely is too expensive, you see. Another villa, art nouveau, another garden with crooked apple trees - the guys must have invested a huge heap of money so why the fuck they didn't get a decent architect? And our neighbours started enlarging their house. Adding a winter garden so that they will be able to see directly to our kitchen. It's a row of terraced houses designed for as much privacy as there could be. But the neighbours care a damn, after all, when the woman is happy with running around the garden in old underwear, when they throw a huge barbecue party and even don't ask people to take their freshly laundered stuff away, when they argue in such a way that the only acceptable words are prepositions, throwing things at each other and the most ashamed are the people in the surrounding area, why should they care that some idiot next door doesn't fancy being looked at when having her coffee on the terrace? Our lawyers are handling that, not all the things are perfect about the whole construction. And should that go bad, Mom said that she'll have a superb job for Marek, my architect friend. "Mr. Architect, could you please build something here? Something really ugly, please?"
I didn't do any walking around as I planned, it started to rain and I got pretty soaked so I spent most of the day at home munching cakes and whatever was around and getting pretty stuffed.
The feast on Saturday was about the same, I was sitting there, eating whatever was there and there were lots of it. I think that I wasn't the only one who ate to the verge of sickness. My cousins were there with the kids, one of them was pregnant for her second time and she isn't much older than me and I felt that they are just different people. No fun, somehow. Does one really change so much with kids? And as a whole, the party was basically boring.
When I was 26, I was okay with it. Maybe pissed off that with the exception of the Finnish girl who lived across the street, nobody cared a damn, parents included. When I was 27, I felt terribly old and useless and I went to buy anti-wrinkle cream. My parents happily forgot about my birthday again, covering it up with stupid excuses like I didn't get you any flowers because you would have to carry them with you on the train. I used to buy flowers in Bratislava and take them to Olomouc with me and I was okay with it. So what the heck. And everybody knows that I love flowers.... I was 28 this year. I reminded gently that it's my birthday. I got a book and a memory stick... after at least 15 years got a book I didn't buy myself on behalf of the donor! I am old but I care a damn now. Or.... I pretend to care a damn but I still feel that something is slipping away and it cannot be helped.