Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Come, Father Winter

This is winter. January 31st. I think of winter as cold, grey, wet. But green, always an underlaying green. The snow is temporary when it comes, the green is more powerful.

The green and the white.

A tale to be told

Some day I should tell the tale of Michael and Mopgirl. It is a tragi-comedy, it leaves you not knowing whether to laugh or to weep, until you realise it is actually true, and you sit slack-jawed thinking noone can be that stupid.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Taking advantage of my cold

Yes, you read correctly. There are advantages to having a cold. At least for me. There is some strange natural law that seems to say you can only have so many maladies at once - or my body gets so busy fighting off the cold-virus that it forgets that it is afraid of other things - or something. The result is anyway that I can eat whatever I want* at the moment, or so it seems. I am taking advantage of it and eating things like pizza, pasta with tomatosauce, and similar delicious dishes. I'd like lasagne but it's such a big project to make it from scratch just for me so I guess I wont.. but hmm :)

Footnote:
* "Whatever I want" equals (this time around) tomato-based food, mostly, since that it the, to me, biggest deprivation.

Packing

I was running out of things to do while home with a cold for the past two days. I had read six books. I had watched the season starts of three series I like. I was thinking about the fact that in a week I am leaving for Norway. So I started packing.

I did this in my normal systematic way; writing lists of what I might need and minimizing. Then I put things into my smallest carry-all to check if it would fit. Seems like it won't be an issue at all.

What is an issue... my cat thinks it is an issue that I am putting things into a bag. Very upsetting behaviour! What I find an issue is that I forgot to order books last week, and now it is too late. Alternatives: An expedition to book shops to get something, or re-read something from my own library. 5 hours on a train - each way - so about 1000 pages needed. Damn damn damn, something new would be nice.

Hopefully I will be well enough to make it to the book shops that has interesting things later in the week.

Modesty

Who wouldn't want a dishcloth with this print? (here)























Or why not a lovely matching set of luggage... (the rest is from here)


























A nice table... (the top one is detachable like a tray. The tray is also sold on its own.)



































Pretty cupboards in several variations and different prints:


















A chair or stool (I really like the white chairs. They would look good in my kitchen, four of them. And two or three or four stools as spares.)




















And a few more trays. I like trays. I always serve my meals on trays when I am alone ;)

Unexpected disasters

Most months I have enough of a buffer left in my bank account that I can manage 1, 2 or 3 weeks of survival foodwise in case something should go wrong come payday. I would of course not manage to get bills paid or to buy a new bus card, but I wouldn't starve.

This month I didn't have a buffer. And something did go wrong.

I had left work early due to fever, aching throat and runny nose - generally someone you don't want around in an office to hand over the bug to everyone else, and I certainly didn't want to be there considering how I felt. It is almost two years since I got a cold or flu this severe so I've been living on luck, but now my luck obviously ran out. On my way home, it being payday and since I had received a reassuring letter home the day before with the sum that would be paid me the day after, I stopped to get groceries; comfort food, tea, lemons, strong mints for my sore throat, and enough to drink.

But when I was paying my card was declined. What? Not possible! I got paid today! It was rather embarrassing since the shop was understaffed and there was a huge queue, and I was fevered and confused.

I called some workmates to check but they had gotten paid. Strange. I went home and checked my account - no salary. Called the salary office (we have outsourced it) and they after rummaging around a bit found out they had paid it to someone else's bank account. Uh, what?

My weekend turned rather miserable.

I had money on my credit "card"; I cut the card years back, but I can transfer money from it to my regular account - however it takes a few days, so I was pretty damn broke and I was too tired and confused and couldn't get enough air, else I would probably have thought to check what cash I had (not much but some) and bring bottles to the shop. As it was I was very glad I had honey and a little mint tea at home, as well as a loaf of bread in the freezer, a brick of yoghurt in the fridge and some cup-a-soups in the cupboard. Still, not the ideal food, I wanted chicken soup, veggies and fruit, juice.. and I don't really stop feeling hungry by eating white toast-bread and cup-a-soup. :(

Sorry to all those who have had to live with my whining about this in IRC; I was too unamused and miserable to shut up.

Now I have money (got both my salary and the money from the credit account at the same time), I have shopped, I have eaten some caesar sallad and I have a cup of chai with honey. Life is so much better. Unfortunately there was no chicken in the shop so still no chicken soup.

The entire shopping expedition exhausted me though. I was thinking I'd go to work tomorrow but now I have fever again, so maybe not. But damn.. what a stupid time to get ill workwise. Two weeks later would have been perfect!! My workload is going to stack up now and I am already stressed about it. Deadlines, deadlines...

Thursday, 24 September 2009

I am tired of your monologues. Your five-minute rambles, where at the end of your sentence you still haven't said what you want to say, just wasted our time with digressions, obfuscations, and your own confusion. I will continue to interrupt you and try to get to the point until you learn the meaning of "short" - referring to your promise to sum what you want to say up in a short sentence and only explain further if we don't understand.

I am tired of you spending hours complaining about my rude behaviour, that you make up things, claim to never have heard things that were agreed on and documented in writing, and if I dare say anything about the things you could do better, I am being aggressive and unreasonable.

Get a grip.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Long names

I remember now why I do not like “large-scale” science fiction. I was recommended a book and I started reading it after having it sitting around on my shelf for almost a year, but… I just don’t know if I can do it. The fantastically long names, titles, sentences, and timespans makes me completely lose track of what happened when and with who unless I take copious notes. Just not what I want from what is meant to be a relaxing read. I got a headache after the 23 first pages.

:(

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Empty brain

I've gotten some e-mails I should answer. I am just staring at them and not coming up with anything sensible to say. It is like those situations when people I don't quite know but happen to work with come and sit beside me on the bus. Emptiness.

Tomorrow will be interesting (if everything has run smoothly). But I have no expectations and no real thoughts about that either. I am wondering if I am beginning to become really tired, this indifference to everything is not like me.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Kitchen Lamp

The boring post.

Not much is going on. I have a draft of a post I should continue writing on, but while that is being fleshed out I feel rather silent.

Nothing much of interest has happened. Some drama at work and I wish I could just do the hermit thing and avoid people completely, it would be so much easier and a much happier existance.

My pupils came back to normal by the time I woke up saturday a week ago, my medicine has not started working yet but it has been fairly dry weather so I feel better anyway, the bug killer seemed to work with just one round of spraying of the rose, my hibiscus thinks it is high summer and is flowering daily, my basil threw all its leaves but decided to flower instead, and in two weeks I go to norway to spend some time with mother. Really boring in other words.

The high points of the week was when I had SEK 666 in my account, bought fresh garlic, and tried learning to apply eye-makeup as well as Julia. I don't think I have found my own life this bland ever before - I think it is just a hiatus, it is a long time since I got some real rest (just one week off since last christmas, and I didn't really rest then either) and my holiday is near (yay).

Oh, and I finished Flood (and was dreaming about the world flooding the night after), and I also read The Blood Detective which I enjoyed immensely. Now I am reading Modesty Blaise comics because I can't afford to buy anything new and it was the only thing I had unread apart from some science fiction which I don't feel like reading. I don't know why I haven't been reading these actually, there is a reason I collect them and I am rediscovering it today.

Eyes back to normal (all made up and nowhere to go):

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Important problems.

And by the way, I hate it when clothing manufacturers seem to accidentally look at inches instead of cm when they measure their clothes. Having to go down 4 dress sizes when buying jeans is just not normal. Could be flattering but no, too absurd. Merely annoying.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Self-quoting

I should probably throw this out here as well - posted it on FB earlier.

I have given up getting my HP laserprinter to speak with my laptop over wireless, now stuck using usb which means I have to walk to the printer with the laptop and connect it if I want to print something. I still want it to work. So: I am offering dinner and/or cake if someone wants to give it a shot. Embarrassing but I need tech-help! :( / :)

sad smiley because I can't fix it myself, happy smiley because I am friendly and bake good cakes! And this post is in existance because of Brian suggesting it. His fault!

Terrorist tea pot

I keep going back to look at this. So cute. Like an elephant with a balaclava. Buy it for me? :) (from iwantoneofthose)



Treasure Box


I was digging around, and found this photo - taken by my father or my step-mother may 1998 in their home, me holding my then-baby brother Victor/Salman. He liked my hair and would grab and hold those green locks, giggling happily. I <3 my brothers and sisters. :)

Misanthropy

First, a disclaimer. This post is about my memories of the me that was, not necessarily reflecting sentiments I have today.

I was a misanthropic child. Already as an 8-10 year old I was cheering when large numbers of people died - earthquakes and similar natural catastrophes or more human made incidents, as when the cruise ship Estonia went down. I did not approve of cruelty, wars (and other situations) where people were hurting eachother I disapproved of - and would rather not know anything about if it was outside my power to do something about it, be they happening in front of me or far away and posted in the news. Ignorance is bliss, even to a child. But thousands starving to death in a drought - that was just nature, business as usual, nothing to worry about. In fact I was cheering nature on. "Death to all humans" was the slogan a 12-yo girl posted on her bedroom door. To my defense (?) I was surprisingly consequent in my sentiments - my wish for humankinds extinction (or at least vast reduction in numbers) included myself.

My father disapproved, my mother seemed faintly amused and tolerant in the way of a parent thinking that it is just a phase. At least that is the impression that stuck with me. But I am not a very confrontational person, then as now, and was not inclined to discuss my opinions with people unless they brought the issue up.

At the age of 14 I wrote dystopic science fiction, with big brother societies, enormous class differences between rich and poor, terraforming of mars (a chance to fuck up another planet), milehigh skyscrapers, people eking out a living as administrative workers in this society. It seems to my memory (I don't have any of these texts left, they might be in mothers basement) that my short stories were mostly from the view of "normal" people, lower middle class, and their observations - nothing extraordinary actually ever happened to them, they went to work daily, watched the news, etc.

Interesting, with hindsight, I think is the fact that I had at that point never read any science fiction myself. I was innocent of tv and the books I had access to was crime, romance and historical novels mostly. I am not sure where the inspiration came from - but there was alot of talk about the Future and what it would be like, so maybe it was just a natural step further - my own vision of where we were heading. And seem to be, to this day. But this is an ever so slight digression...

It was only in my early/mid-twenties that I started developing two things simultaneously: A survival instinct and a sense of compassion with other people. No longer taking as many risks and caring more about people generally - although I still prefer to stay ignorant of humanity's plight if it is outside my sphere of influence. But I have days where I wish I could do the things I used to do. Ride atop vans throwing waterfilled balloons at pedestrians, hitchhiking the length of Finland, just packing a bag and going to another country, climb cliffs and trees with no safety gear, going on impulse trips with train and bus to visit family and sleeping on the floor of the overfilled train. I was happy as long as I was doing these things and more.

Luckily I am happy with my current life too, but I am the first to admit that it can be more than a tad boring.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Memira

Today I went to Memira for an eye checkup since I am eating medicines that can cause blindness. I do not want that so I will do my yearly checkups while I am eating that. I like going to Memira because while their receptionist (at the clinic on Vasagatan/Sthlm) is rude and unfriendly, their doctors and optometrists give the most honest, explaining information regarding my vision I have ever gotten (I actually have better natural vision than a year ago thanks to them - no surgery required!), and they are very good at what they are doing. So I will rather go there than anywhere else (at least unless the anywhere else is someone I trust as much), and thus I pulled strings at work and yes, they were willing to make an exception and let me do that checkup even though it is not included in our deal. Yay!

To be able to look deeeep into the bottom of my eyes they gave me two rounds of eyedrops to distend my pupils. It worked. As you can see. This photo is in fact after the examination, after I walked to the train, boarded train, travelled with train, went off train and walked for 15 minutes back to work. Photo by Max, thankyou Max. The reason I look kindof retarded is that I could not see anything. It is surprisingly difficult to look anything but retarded without focus, I found. Probably just me.

Going back to work was no fun at all. I didn't have my sunglasses with me since I was not aware of the pupil distending drops - and you can imagine how light sensitive I was with those eyes. Also I couldn't get a focus on anything. Very annoying. I was terrified when crossing streets - crossing Vasagatan I trailed a person very closely to make sure I wouldn't get lost and run over by a taxi.

Luckily the important part of the day's work left was meeting a person from another city, who gave me very strange looks. Had to explain that I was not drugged. Thus, still not able to work well, I gave up and went home half an hour early. Now, six hours later, things are starting to feel normal - as long as all the lamps are left off...

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Bulbs and poison

One day of early departure from work: already fifteen minutes past five in the afternoon. Plans: To go to Plantagen and then get an hour of exercise. The first half of that accomplished - but by the time I got home it was already 1930 and I was exhausted. At the moment I am drinking a cup of tea - which I barely have the strength to hold. New attempt at exercise tomorrow, I suppose - skipping out of the dinner at work in the evening.

Thanks to the helpful people at Plantagen for identifying the pest on my roses, suggesting several means of dealing with it, and generally being friendly and helpful. I wound up buying both the more environmentally friendly but less efficient bug-killer and the more efficient and more poisonous one. The latter can only be used twice on the plant and if you miss all the bugs some will survive and spread again. Thus I figured I'll have the other one as a backup. The advantage of the friendly one is that it can also be used against bugs on edible plants - yay! Finally!

And then I bought bulbs - I'll set them in october when I will autumn-proof my balcony anyway. Two different tulips, alot of double narcissus (probably a mistake, I think I am allergic to them, but they look impressive in clusters), and a few snow drops - the Galanthus kind which is what grew wild in abundance in my childhood's oak forests. Those tiny things were twice the price of the tulips :/ Wish I could afford an abundance of them on my balcony.

Now: Sleep. What a day.
Yay switchboard administration...


Monday, 7 September 2009

Disaster Comfort Read (and an open invitation..)

I finally realised why Flood feels like coming home to a wellknown book I have read before.

Baxter cowrote a trilogy with Arthur C. Clarke and I have read that, so the writing style is familiar and comfortable. The characters seem somehow familiar. This can be bad (lack of renewal) but it is also good. The characters are obviously not the same, but it still feels somewhat like it without being able to pinpoint it. But it is comfy. Like a wellfitting old coat.

Brian; if you read this, you should probably read Flood by Stephen Baxter. The world ends and all of that. And all those discussions we had about high ground, too. You will probably giggle your way through it.

By the way, I feel like going out and sitting in a cafe for hours drinking something warm and well-tasting and just talking idly and less idly about this and that. In sthlm and up to it? Give me a shout!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Flood

Started reading Flood finally - and finished eight chapters before I looked up again or noticed the page number. Good start.

Now I am going to go to bed - an hour of exercise around 9pm wearied me out so that I feel really sleepy in that good way. Yay :) But Linus tried to knock me over when I was stretching. Mean cat.

I <3 tea

Suitable for me - haha

Will those bloody neighbours just SHUT UP?

On my way out one morning, hence the gloves. The photos illustrate how I feel about my new neighbours very well however (if accidentally, it was rather unintended, I was trying to take a photo of how long my hair's grown when they started their noise. Never succeeded at documenting the hair though).

On the last photo I guess I am plotting their demise. Heh. Oh, by the way - do I really look under 20? I can't decide.

Friday, 4 September 2009

A very ripe cheese and a rather suspect wine to finish off a week I hardly noticed passing. Although, in all honesty, this is the case with most weeks.

Amusingly enough, when I went to buy a bottle of wine (not the one I am drinking) two days ago, the lady at the till studied me for a bit, looking more and more doubtful, then stated "You don't look old enough to buy." Carded! Though, what a compliment. That is a decade's difference right there.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

April 2008 - Concussion

I am still not quite sure what happened, since I cannot recall it. Big bang, whatever it was. The leading hypothesis is that I walked into a door. I have vague memories of seeing my temple go red in a mirror, without having a black eye. It was a shock to wake up to that black eye though!

Never published these on the blog before, but figured it was time. The first one is from monday; something like 24-36 hours after the bang. Then thursday the same week, saturday, and tuesday the following week. My zombie photo is from the same period of course. Six weeks of sick leave (though I really didn't want to and tried going to work several times - including the first monday!). Part of my face is still lame, hurt a nerve.

Did I mention that I am very graceful, somewhat less so than a blind elephant?
I saw a guy with a leafblower today! It is autumn! Yellow leaves! *points*
Happy september everybody!