The Obvious

hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back from work we go

Posted in love, me myself, news, the thrilling goings-on, travel by theobvious on July 22, 2008

Dear diary, it’s been a while. In these past couple of weeks the following things happened:

1) our third wedding anniversary. Last poll showed we are both still pleased with the arrangement, so yeah, staying married for now. If this sounds cynical to you, rest assured we had lots of time for sappy professions of love as we boarded and rode an overnight train to Moscow. How creative is a second-class sleeping carriage for an anniversary venue?

2) we had a seminar in Moscow for work. You might have gathered as much already. After all, we only ever go to Russia, where most of our friends and all of A’s family live, for work. It seems that all we did this week was ride various trains and buses, wait for people, and argue with them. Oh, and goof around, of course. After all, these are the people we love.

3) I turned 22. A gloomy day it was indeed, despite the numerous gifts and celebratory text messages I got. I’d never spent my birthday bickering with people about insignificant aspects of reading texts with children before, and I’d rather it didn’t happen ever again. Oh, and we were hungry most of that day. And I didn’t get a birthday cake, which is plain sinful.

4) I read ‘A Midsummer-night’s Dream’ for the first time from beginning to end, and most of Neal Stephenson’s ‘Quicksilver’, and there are two more books of his Baroque Cycle remaining to read, and Pratchett’s latest, ‘Making Money’. Nothing bad about that.

What did you do? This is not a rhetorical question.


spaced in

Posted in home, important, news by theobvious on June 11, 2008

Living with one’s parents, as I’m sure I’ve said before, has its ups and downs, the most obvious up being all the free food – I mean of course, the meaningful experience of sharing one’s life with one’s family! – and the most obvious down being the absolute lack of privacy. Yes, now I come to think of it, I’ve definitely said this already. Once or twice or a bajillion times. You can probably tell it bugs me just a wee bit.

Well, since last night the tide has officially changed for A. and me, and it brought some valuable driftwood in the form of a new bed! (Which, for people who’d been sleeping on a fold-out crappo-bed for two years straight, is a big deal. I am posting this drunk and stoned, floating on a huge pink imaginary cloud of happiness, and singing a solemn hymn.) Okay, it’s a corner sofa. But it becomes a queen bed at night.

So in honour of this extraordinary purchase we have changed our whole living arrangement. We built a room around it, shaping a makeshift wall from bookcases, so it’s now a real enclosed space just for the two of us. And I say ‘we’ built it because I did all the heavy fussing. And I say ‘just the two of us’ because the cat and the dog are, for once, not welcome to sleep with us, and no, I don’t care what they think.

Now excuse me while I roll around on my new gloriously even bed with no bits of metal to get embedded in my back, and smell the gorgeously clean upholstery, maybe even lick it a little, just because it’s not likely to give me lethal poisoning. And after I’m done, you can come visit, we are not embarrassed of our room anymore, and we can probably spare a lick or two, if you’re into that sort of thing.

it has arrived!

Posted in news, photos by theobvious on April 10, 2008

Shhh! Don’t talk so loud! You’ll scare it away. My dream – it’s here.

(picture from

It turns out this is not as easy to switch to from a film SLR as I thought. The main controls with film are, of course, aperture and exposure. The settings for these are hidden somewhere inside this camera.

The easily accessible settings, on the other hand, I know from nothing, having never used them before. And the user manual only helps so much – it’s in German, so I get the general drift, but not all of it.

This is so exciting! New things to learn and major changes in my possibilities! I am waiting impatiently for the sun to come out, so I can go for a long walk with A. and the Nikon and experiment.

there’s a kind of hush

Posted in braces, exercise, news, the thrilling goings-on by theobvious on April 8, 2008

I know I ought to be posting more often. But you see, my teeth are hurting me, the weather is beyond disgusting, I am getting tireder and tireder, and honestly, all I could write right now is WHINE WHINE BLOODY WHINE – and would you like that? Would you? Huh?

It’s not like there’s any news to share, either. Today’s workout was latino dancing. Very enjoyable. Yes. Um. Still fat, but having fun. Tomorrow – Philosophy. Missed it. Sunday’s lecture was good enough. That’s, um, it.

I’ve been hovering over a certain rather expensive item all week, and tonight A. gave me the green light (actually, he said something close to ‘Will you go on already?! Buy the damn thing!’), so I ordered it and it should be here on Friday. Which will become a national holiday.

And if that is the way things are going to happen then I will post happies.


Posted in news by theobvious on March 21, 2008

It seems that we are leaving tomorrow after all. There might be internet access where we’re going, but it’s just as likely that there are only bears. I’ll keep you updated if and when possible.

Be back April 2nd, I believe. Please try not to panic and continue posting as usual. After all, we don’t want me to come back to an empty Google Reader, now do we?

currently relevant headlines

Posted in life, news, random by theobvious on January 27, 2008

– Laptop Snuffs It: Owner Inconsolable, Annoyed

– November Back In Town, Citizens Cranky

– Blogger Graduates Hotline Course, Anxious

– Teapot Googlers Reach New Low

– Blogger, 21, Found Dead Of Boredom

too soon to relax, there’s still new year!

Posted in bad, good, i don't know, me myself, new year, news by theobvious on December 29, 2007

First of all, sorry for the long absence. I was busy making a ‘my year in pictures’ post over at LiveJournal. I won’t repost it here to avoid boring the most faithful reader of both these blogs (duh, me), but here’s a link. No fear, it’ll open in a new window, you won’t be distracted from reading on.

Here’s something else that happened in the last few days. I have managed not to drag a long-overdue work assignment over into the new year. My untraditional way of avoiding that unpleasant scenario was… to quit. A. will finish the job. Meanwhile, I am more than a little humbled by this experience.

See, I’m not a quitter by nature. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m renowned for my (often annoying) persistence. Yet this was something I just couldn’t finish – every time I’d sit down to do it, I’d get this wringing feeling in my belly. And let me tell you – it’s not very nice to have your belly wrung.

Now, as we’re getting ready to enter the year 2008 A.D., I find myself in the new role of a giver-upper. Or, to give it a more refined name – a sissy. Uh-oh, as the Teletubbies used to say. Incidentally, have you ever watched a whole episode of those? I have. Man, there’s some true wisdom in there!

Where was I… Well, the message of this embarrassing post is – there will be no New Year’s resolutions, because I’m a wimp, so no use. However, I want to wish all of you that all of your resolutions would come true. Also, if you’re to assume any new roles in the coming year, let them only be pleasant, i.e., Marie Curie or Clint Eastwood. Let nobody surprise you in disagreeable ways, least of all – yourself. And let every blog you read be exciting and updated every day. Twice.

Hooray for new beginnings!

all hail the tooth-monster

Posted in braces, news by theobvious on November 3, 2007

When I finished yesterday’s post with that elegant segue to braces, I was alluding to the fact that I, indeed, am getting them. Here’s what I think about it:

CRAP! CRAPPY FUCKING CRAP! Also – CRAAAAAP!!! Everyone’s gonna STARE at me, mommy! How do you not realize I CAN’T DO THIS?! Don’t wanna, don’t wanna, don’t waaannaaaaa!!!

On a slightly more civilized note, I am not thrilled. I do realize that this is necessary and unavoidable. I don’t fully realize it’s going to happen yet. They say it’s extremely painful. They also say you walk around looking like a freak for many months.

Yes, that’s what I meant the other day when I said I’m finally getting something taken care of. Yes, I remember being happy and proud when I agreed to it. Yes, I admit to weeping unattractively in a public space (namely, bus stop). No, I don’t want to talk about it.

I’m only writing about this for two reasons: a) I need to adjust to the idea, and b) everyone’s going to know anyway when they come on.

on musical terms

Posted in music, news by theobvious on October 26, 2007

I have renamed my blog. Mostly because I felt the title was too self-deprecating (I’m not all bad now, am I). But also because the new name speaks to me. El bilbilico means ‘a nightingale’ in Ladino. I found this word in the lyrics to this song:

La rosa enflorese / En el mez de mayo
The rose blooms / In the month of May
Y mi alma se oscurese / Sufriendo delamo
And my soul grows dark / Suffering from love

Los bilbilicos cantan / Sospiran del amor
The nightingales sing / They whisper of love
Y la passion me mata / Muchigua mi dolor
And passion is killing me / Multiplying my pain

This is one of the most beautiful Ladino songs I know, though granted, I don’t know that many. And I’ve been singing it a lot these days. I’ve been singing – that’s all the news.

We used to sing so much, my voice was sometimes hoarse by the evening. We sang on the underground, yelling over the noise of the wheels. We sang in parks, on buses, at school, and at home. A. played the old guitar I free-cycled off the Internet, and my ‘impartial observer’ inner voice kept telling me we sounded cute together.

And then we didn’t sing anymore. Just like that. We were still very much about the music in that we listened to it all the time, and we hummed to ourselves, and we always participated in sing-alongs. We just didn’t sing to each other, the two of us. The guitar was propped against the wall, and I went back to thinking I was completely tone-deaf.

Which I’m not, and I’m slowly understanding that now – when the music is returning. Fingers crossed, we might get it fully back into our lives pretty soon. It’s not easy, as we are now living with the family, and there is much less time and space for music, but damn it, singing is a basic human right! Right?

Also, I’ve downloaded the soundtrack to The Sound of Music. Bliss. On the other hand, I had to erase my whole history, which, ohhh the pain. I am, however, determined to view this as a fresh start.

talking in images

Posted in important, news, photos by theobvious on October 21, 2007

I am currently unable to force a blog post out of myself, especially as the top priority for forcing is work, of which I haven’t been doing much. So I will try and distract you, o readers, with a couple of photos – always entertaining, and easy for me to post.

The legendary courtyard on Jozefa street in Krakow. It was a bit of a walk, but that’s okay, because we found two bookstores and a pizza restaurant on the way (Pizza Factory – my gnocchi were top notch, and so were the other dishes, I hear). The courtyard itself was nice but not extraordinary, largely because of an ungodly eatery located smack in the middle of it.

tiny hand
An old family friend with a very new family friend. This is I. with baby E., born exactly two months ago to a couple of our dear friends. Even though I. has no babies of her own, she knows exactly what to do with them. As soon as she takes E. in her arms, the child stops whining and falls asleep. Look at those precious tiny little baby hands!


Look – E. has a face (sorry about the layout, if you click on the picture, you’ll see its full glorious version)! And I have watermarked my pictures! But only some of them – because who would want to steal my pictures. Right? Right?!

My computer is being excruciatingly slow, and I need to get back to writing some stuff and then maybe working. Don’t tell A. – he is sure that we’re both heading to bed now.


THIS JUST IN: Another couple of our friends just had a baby girl five hours ago! Yee-hah and mazal tov! Pictures will not be posted on this blog anytime soon, but let’s all think a great big good thought in honor of the new girl.