The Obvious

le sigh

Posted in cat, nablopomo, uncategorized by theobvious on November 29, 2010

If anyone’s still wondering, the cat hasn’t come back yet.

Why would he? There’s plenty of food outside, and it’s only, what, eleven degrees below zero.

Why would he want to come back home when he can spend quality time in a warm, musty basement somewhere, in the company of lovely female cats (with whom, incidentally, he is physiologically incapable of starting a family)?

Why would he miss us, if all we ever did to him was force-cuddle, shower him with toys, and stuff him with the best possible food and countless treats?

Why would he miss his brother? Who wants hours of playtime interspersed with naps curled together on the sofa?

Why, if he came back, we’d think less of him. His brother certainly would, what with all the spoiling and the treats he’s been getting as he has regained his Only Kitty position.

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5 reasons why i want to live in nyc

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on November 8, 2010

Here’s a list which I mulled over when we were considering moving to New York for A.’s school (which has been postponed, if not canceled, because of several reasons that are A.’s, not mine to tell). These are the reasons why I both dream about going there and dread going as a tourist who spends a week there, wastes loads of money, and ends up seeing hardly any of these things:

1. The culture — what I wouldn’t give to be able to go to the Met (both museum and opera), the MoMA, Cooper-Hewitt, and many other places. Not, to reiterate, as a tourist, breathlessly, once, but slowly and surely over weeks or months or even years. Of course, it’s all quite different when you live in a city and the mundane reality may numb the desire to see and absorb all, but it’s still a city of immense cultural opportunities and I believe myself capable of remembering that.

2. The style — design and architecture are very dear to me, and New York is rich in both and more. There is so much to absorb, be inspired by, and learn. And after, there’s an abundance of ways to apply all this inspiration: the shopping, the people to meet, the gorgeous houses to live and work in (I admit, I’ve been browsing Craigslist for places to rent, and even the cheap ones have character).

3. The nature — Central Park and the other parks and gardens are one, and all the water is two. The city I was born and raised in is very green and stands on two rivers, so any city that has nature so intertwined with it is after my own heart. An urbanistic heart it may be, concrete-loving and mesmerized by roads, but it still knows the value of green and blue.

4. The food — even living here I know a dozen things I’d like to taste and a couple dozen places to taste them at. From treats on wheels to lovely cafes, to farmers’ markets for the days when we wouldn’t want to eat out — and I do believe there are more than four vegetarian/vegan places (like here), so we wouldn’t need to fish around a menu for something without fish in, as it were — or meat, or cheese, or eggs.

5. The opportunities — I know all about the unemployment, the outrageous rent, the crime, and the ruthless competition, but at least there are places to look for something to do, and places that need people, as opposed to here, where the few young people still unclaimed by Ireland and Germany delight at the offer of a management job in a building supplies chain store, run like a sweatshop. Besides, I can read and spell very well if I say so myself, and that gives me an edge over many people.

Granted, all this probably goes for at least several other large cities (London, Barcelona, and Paris come to mind), the list reeks of naivete which borders on the infantile (who can afford living in that city anymore?), and it’s probably silly to be so keen on a place I’ve only seen in movies and read about in books, but then a place that has so many movies and books about it is bound to be at least partly true to its reputation.

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a space of mine still

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on September 10, 2010

Oh God, she’s lost her will to blog! Someone put her out of her misery, quick! But seriously, I’m fine. Look, I’m eating an apple. Only healthy people eat apples, that’s common sense.

These days, I manage to combine a profound ongoing existential crisis with being just fine. Slightly like a schizophrenic or a set of conjoined twins, I’m in two minds and maybe two souls about everything. There’s actually a lot of writing and talking going on, but most of it is inside my head. Somehow, the value of putting it all out there has become less obvious to me. I’ve forgotten what blogging is for.

I have a self-portrait from a couple of months ago which sort of reflects the way I am now. My hair is now shorter. Insignificant as it may be, I feel compelled to mention this so that nobody is tempted to think that photography is ever faithful to reality. Here, as soon as I uploaded it for this post, it popped up on Goggle Buzz, and there’s no reason to keep it here. My point exactly.

self-p. in hotel room

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meets the eye

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on April 8, 2010

Swans are ugly.

I thought for a while what to add here. But, there really isn’t much I can add. They’re ugly mutant geese, and I don’t like most babies either.

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diary

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on March 20, 2010

Many years ago, a child who had rapidly decreasing vision was considered lucky to be sent to a sanatorium, where for a month the child would be fed vitamin cocktails and pills and subjected to less pleasant procedures, some involving electricity. Should the child be very young and attached to its home and family, there would be lots of crying and pleading for mercy, but nothing would prevent it from being abandoned in a town an hour’s ride away from home. Such a child would develop a deep aversion to discos, for one thing, because those would happen on the only day the parents would come visit, and signal their departure.

For such a child, any distraction would be welcome. My mother once suggested to me (for I was this exact kind of child) that I should keep a diary during the month, and share the details of my life away from home with her upon my return. How does one keep a diary, I asked, and she explained that I was to write down the things that happened to me every day. She gave me a very nice notebook, and a month later the diary, kept faithfully to the surprise of all involved, looked like this throughout: “I woke up. I had breakfast. I had my procedures. I had classes. I had lunch. I had free time. I had dinner. I had an evening program. I wrote in my diary. I went to bed.”

These days such things seemed to be a fashionable meme, judging by the amount of “dailies”, “hourlies”, etc. cropping up all over the WWW. At any rate, if this was considered a remedy against loneliness when I was seven, why not try it when I am twenty-three, and my husband has once again left me to my own devices for a week. (If you were wondering, my procedures still include electrocution: the stove is not grounded, so washing the dishes can be rather piquant if one does not pay attention.) So, without further ado, today.

7.42 Woke up to see what the cats had broken (nothing, just thrashing about), went back to bed.
9.19 Got up after just two ‘snoozes’. Realized it was Friday, while I’d thought it was Thursday, so I’d missed Danish last night for no reason.
10.23 Walked out of the house, skipped my morning walk to school for fear of being late.*
11.05 Lithuanian literature class: presentations. Mine was on Vilnius: City of Strangers. Called it a bunch of beautiful lies, alarmed the lecturer, stood my ground.
12.45 Shopping for E.’s birthday present at the Contemporary Arts’ Centre Shop. Got blue things.
14.00 Coffee and games with I. and E. For the password ‘Eminem with my coffee’ I. and I got free M&M’s cookies: Customer Day at the Coffee Inn.
15.00 Came to work. Freaked out about possible declaration of property, studied the entire field of tax collection via internet banking, found out it wash’t applicable to me after all. Lunch: ginger tea, icky salad, muesli bar.
17.00 Left work, got on a bus, started suffocating, got off, walked home listening to music.
17.35 Got home, put away the dishes, started a load of laundry, sorted the previous load, made a deal with myself to spend the entire time of the laundry cycle working on my thesis.
20.15 Got up from the thesis having written just a couple pages but hunted down a bunch of articles and not been distracted.
20.20 Hung up the laundry, which had bundled itself handily inside a fitted sheet, solving the problem of carrying a crumbling pile of wet socks from the kitchen to the bathroom. Incidentally: how the heck does one hang a fitted sheet to dry?
20.46 Cleaned kitties’ litter, comforted Lorca who is upset because they’re fighting all the time and Oscar keeps winning, agonized over their neutering, for which there is need, but not time or money.
20.55 Dinner: orange juice, bagels and a fancy hard cheese bought on a whim and not very good. Cats don’t like orange juice, but cheese got them interested. Gave each their own lump, they fought over both, tried to separate them, they lost interest.
21.15 Made survey for participants of recent seminar.
21.50 Reading LJ and RSS. From here on it’s lazy time, this post, Flight of the Conchords, Neopets (I’ve been playing it for nine and a half years now), Project Runway and more orange juice.

*What I wrote originally was, ‘for fear of being afraid’, which is a lovely bit of recursion if I do say so myself.

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2009 summed up

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on January 3, 2010

Three days into the new year, it’s time to summarize the old. This is more for personal reference than anything, especially as in my mind the year really runs from September to June, and then there’s summer. So it’s under the cut.

(more…)

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extracts from an underwhelming novel

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on December 16, 2009

It is very cold. As I sit numbly in the trolleybus, lumps of ice float down the river, catching the corner of my eye and pulling it slowly and mightily towards a cluster of ice further down. This triggers a thought which starts churning in my brain: will the lumps stop when they reach the cluster or does it also float, ever so slowly, while everything around it rushes to try and escape the cold.

Having arrived at work, I see that there is nothing to do. I read my email (two unsatisfying new messages, more worries for my worry-box, later, later) and go on to browse unnecessary on-line stores. The items can be grouped by price, which is a very sensible option for me, with my very limited budget of zero. $0-50 wields few results, so my pretend wallet thickens to encompass the $50-150 group. I look at beautiful cufflinks and crave them. Not that I have any cuffs to link. Perhaps one day, when it will be fitting for me to write a memoir, I will call it ‘Escalating Escapism’. It will include a chapter on the cufflinks that I love so much despite (or because of) not needing them.

That unwritten memoir has had many potential titles. When I was a child, it was called ‘My Parents and All Their Friends are Alcoholics’, because the difference between social drinking and alcoholism escaped me. Now I’m looking at beautiful umbrellas. There is no rain, just snow, but the umbrellas are so magnetic. The website suggests I locate a store by country. Please choose your country, it says untruthfully. My country has been decided for me, and it is not featured on the disappointingly short list.

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filler

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on November 18, 2009

The truth is if it weren’t for NaBloPoMo, I’d probably be silent as a fish all month. I don’t even like talking to real people now. But here, look, this is a post for November 18th 2009.

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fictitious

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on October 19, 2009

Ugh, the stupid computer restarted, erasing my entire post. You will have to believe that the wit in the original draft was as sharp as it was elegant, and that you would have loved it. This edition will never measure up.

A while ago, A. applied to have his residence permit renewed. This has to be done yearly, and each time the amount of required papers, fees, and trips to the migration department grows exponentially, so the entire journey is really a quest for Permission to Stay With Your Actual Wife. However, this time the department was especially resourceful.

‘Hello, we would like you and your wife to come by our office this week,’ a clerk chirped to A. on the phone. And because the department apparently always gets what it wants, we schlepped through simultaneous rain and snow (no kidding, although hello? it is October? global cooling!) until we were at the door. As we squelched in, ‘Hello,’ she chirped again, ‘This is not the first time you’ve applied for a residence permit, so we have decided it is time to make sure your marriage is not fictitious!’ Her exact words. Nu, translated into English, don’t go ruining my dramatic presentation.

We were sat at two tables with our backs to each other and given a five-page questionnaire each to fill out in as much detail and precision as possible. The questionnaire featured such questions as:

– What language do you speak at home? How and where did you learn it? (Arabic. He learned it while training with the Al Qaeda, whereas I miraculously found myself speaking it fluently after narrowly surviving a plane crash organized by the same Al Qaeda. That’s how we met, actually.)

– What cultural differences do you expect to arise when you and your spouse start living together? (Gee, I don’t know, the same ones we’ve been having for the past five years? That he prays to God Almighty, while I — to the God of American Television?)

– Do you have any shared friends or acquaintances? If yes, please list them. If not, why is that? (Well, if you’re going to ask me to list seven hundred people, at least provide adequate space.)

– How many times had you met before you registered your marriage? (Three. The first time we could barely communicate through the thick layer of cultural misconceptions, the second time we really connected over our shared love of fifteenth-century Chinese stationery, the third time he proposed.)

Questions that for some reason were not on the questionnaire, even though they might have offered considerable insight into the fictitiousness of our union:

– Where and when did you consummate your marriage? And in what way exactly?

– Which of you gets to decide on the restaurant for lunch?

– How would you feel were your spouse to grow a huge beard? (On both of our copies.)

– If and when you are divorced, will you try and snatch the kids and the apartment and drive your spouse out to live with your in-laws? Will you then celebrate by getting drunk and yelling ‘We are not related anymore, you creeps!’ to said in-laws over the phone? Do you dream of the day that happens?

Because those questions were not there, we had to contend with ‘describing the apartment our spouse and us were living in’ and trying hard to ‘remember and list all the guests at our wedding’. This should bring about some conclusions on the part of the migration department, who is not intending to let us know whether or not we’re really married until the day A.’s permit expires and they either make him a new one or kick him out of the country. The upside is, it won’t be a boring wait, what with all those entertaining quirks A.’s exotic native culture has left him with.

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one benefit of growing old – the memories

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on September 27, 2009

A couple of days ago I realized that I remember the very beginning of the Spice Girls.

I was eleven at the time, and going to school in a village half an hour’s drive away from Oxford, UK. The school had beautiful grounds and an recess-outside policy. So every time the teacher would announce a break, the following would happen: 1) spontaneous fission of girls into groups of five; 2) yelled-out bench auctions; 3) frantic running about – and then the show would begin.

Imagine your typical 1997 eleven-year-old British girl. Now imagine five of them. Imagine them standing on a bench in the school yard and screaming ‘SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT’ on the top of their relatively spacious lungs. They had this whole routine worked out: there was an elaborate sequence of jumps on and off the bench, exclamations and shout-outs as each ‘Spice’ presented herself, and ultimately – heaps of glee.

They took this very seriously, those girls. They took it seriously every single recess for the three months I was there. Seriously enough to have fights over the unlawful use of benches and to have memorized all the lyrics and all the steps from all the videos the Spice Girls were popping out. Actually, I tell a lie; there probably weren’t so many. At least, my pop-conscious classmates only had two or three routines.

So when it was time to leave, I, the reserved child who had only listened to music my parents had picked out prior to that, knew the phrase ‘I really really really wanna zig-a-zig-AHHH’ so well that it has stayed with me to this day. And then soon after we returned to Lithuania, there appeared Britney Spears. If pushed, I may still remember the dance we created to ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’.

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relocated

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on August 31, 2009

Day one. Us cleaning the room the bed will go in, talking to each other in serious adult voices; me mopping and you crawling about wiping the floor with paper towels. Us eating feta sandwiches in our underwear because our clothes are too dirty to sit on the mattress, using a paper-covered stool for a table; you cutting up the tomatoes with a blunt knife, kneeling because the mattress is too low for you to sit on; me transferring my teabag into your cup, because it’s larger and because you take stronger tea. Me showering for the first time, uneasy, bringing the mop rag and some laundry with me into the booth, washing the walls first, then myself; you writing in the dust on the other side of the glass ‘LOVE YOU’, messing up only the last letter of the mirrored words. You showering next, with splashing and weird noises; me writing this, worrying that the glass needs to be wiped afterwards, calling myself silly, still worrying, not feeling at home. Us settling down to sleep, surrounded by shadows of old belongings and by dust.

Day two. Me waking up the moment you close the door and leave, wandering restlessly about the place, noticing the floor is still as dirty as before. You telling me to go out, find something to eat, stop worrying; me buying a bucket, riding the bus back with it. Me coming home from a day of meetings, self-conscious about wearing the same t-shirt; you standing inside the bedframe, almost done building it, letting me screw in the last bit. Us watching the kitchen being built, listening to endless accounts of other kitchens, other clients, other problems. Us playing hosts to my parents, our first guests, you stretched on the new bed, a sheet protecting the linen from the dirt on your back; me pointing out little details, the way the drawers slide back and forth, the paint. You cutting up our only pear for me, eating using only the knife. Us falling asleep on the bed, with the overhead light dimmed to a glow, close above us.

Day three. You remembering to lock the front door and leave the bedroom door open; my fears abate, respected. Me washing the shower, enjoying the newness and the music streaming out of our hi-fi sitting cosily on the bedroom floor; it’s Bob Dylan. Me getting worked up about the tile job; you speaking in your adult voice to me on phone. Me making plans to escape; you making plans to come home from work. My fingers red and raw from the washing solution; you forbidding me to clean. Us meeting in town for a bit, you calm, me hysterical. The kitchen finished, us washing the dishes; you rinsing, me toweling. Talking about the place, always; what to buy, to finish, to paint, to bring over from my parents’ house. Me feeling homeless, my sense of home no longer (or not yet) attached to anything.

— I kept this diary for a while, and then we went away for two weeks, returning here, our natural habitat from there on. There is no more point in keeping a log of what goes on, because the place is no longer sacred. For Pete’s sake, we hardly ever mop the floor anymore, or wash dishes together, or care. There’s still a whole room to furnish, and in the bathroom, the tiles are covered in so much residue you pretty much can’t see they’re originally black; our sink is still in its box. Yet somehow, I am no longer in a constant state of shock at us living here now. I can even sleep when A. is not here, which, mark you, is no simple feat for Miss Neurosis 2009.

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schoolhouse rock

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on May 26, 2009

I’m gonna sing you a song, oh baby,
Gonna sing you of my school.
I’m gonna sing you a song, honey,
Gonna tell it like it is.

I got one teacher, mama, she ain’t what she wants to be, no.
Got this one teacher, mama, she ain’t what she thinks she is.
She is tuppence short of a shilling, is what I think of her.
Yeah, two sleeves short of a shirt, that is what I think she is.

She says, ‘let us read this poem y’all, let us discover what it sez.
Let us read this good old poem here, let the prosody sink in.
I got a wonderful surprise for y’all, it’s a reading you ain’t heard.
Just read the first word of each line, yeah, there’s a secret meaning there!’

Refrain (from picking my school)

I got this other teacher, mama, well she’s pretty well-disposed.
Oh yes, this other teacher, mama, she just loves me like her own.
She says, ‘you’re real smart, kid, you stand clear out of the bunch.
You know the answers to my questions, so I’ll be stingy with your grade!’

She asks me why I even bother, why I go to this old school.
She tells me I’m too smart for all of this, so why ever go to school.
Quite surprisingly, oh mama, I agree with my whole heart.
Anyone is too smart for this, dunno why it’s me she’s singled out.

Refrain (at least from picking my major)

There is this third teacher, baby, oh she is boring like my shoe.
In fact my shoe is way more fun, yeah, at least it’s got some pretty stripes.
Once when she finished teaching early, she just stood there real still.
I say, she done finished teaching, and she just stood for half an hour.

She gives us papers to present, baby, real big scholarly works.
Yeah, big old articles that sometimes we need to spell out just for her.
And she just sits there like a doll, baby, sits there smiling like a doll.
She just nods her head and smiles, yeah, I bet she doesn’t get a word.

Refrain

Oh come on over to my school, yeah, come on over, be my guest.
Yes, pay a visit to my school, babe, it’s a historic building too.
But all the history there is, babe, does not make it worth the while.
No, all the history they boast of don’t make it less of a joke.

The last news that I heard was, if you drop out they’ll make you pay.
You heard me right baby, if you drop out they make you pay.
Pay back the price of all the years, yeah, all the years you went to school.
Because of everything it gave you, the things you took and won’t return.

So this song’s about my school, honey,
Education’s so much fun.
This is a song about my school, baby,
That’s where they taught me how to rhyme.

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great concert

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on June 6, 2008

So Bob Dylan live in concert – legendary. This was experimentally proven yesterday, when we saw (and heard) him at the Siemens Arena. I’d never been to a concert at an arena before, it was quite something.

And true, you can’t understand a word he’s singing these days, but the band is awesome, the lighting was beyond fabulous, and, well, Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan.

I do believe he has an inhuman voice, though, an effect all the more noticeable when one is not distracted by the content of the song.

Also remarkable – the speed with which the band disappeared in two large black coaches right after the show.

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de-wait for it-nied

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on May 27, 2008

A little insight into the way I think, end-of-term style. I am sitting at the kitchen table, it’s 2:02 am, I am reading Baudrillard for tomorrow’s 11 am class, chewing things, and watching season 2 of How I Met Your Mother at the same time. Much like a diesel engine starting uphill, my brain is fluctuating between OVERLOAD! ROARRR! VROOOOMMM!! and that’s better… swooshhh… whoooo… rrrrrrrrr.

Jean Baudrillard: Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory – precession of simulacra – it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges subsist here and there, in the deserts which are no longer those of the Empire, but our own. The desert of the real itself.

Barney Stinson: This would never happen at a bar!

True conversation. Happened in my mind just a few minutes ago.

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twitter-style

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on May 21, 2008

I can’t move. Was planning to go to bed – plans canceled. The cat has crept up and nestled against my back. She is so cute and peaceful in these rare moments of not being a ferocious monster that I will do anything for her to stay that way. Like sit here and not move. Possibly forever.

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shall we overcome?

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on May 18, 2008

What I want to be doing right now:

– reading Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson and The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris,

– going to Venice,

– being out with my brother taking photos,

– hanging out with certain people and bears.

Instead, I am moping about the place with a dried-out brain, out of words to post here, trying to work, work some more, and write a paper at the same time, and not succeeding at any of it.

I am absolutely convinced at this point in time that my studies are the only thing keeping me from living my life happily, but everyone is at my throat for even voicing the idea of dropping out. Of course, if I did, that would be my 2.5th failure to thrive in an academic environment, that’s probably why my close ones are concerned. But really, threatening me with no pie was a bit much.

It seems to me that I need a break. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a sabbatical here. At least not for BA students. I just need to get my head straight, because I’m starting to feel increasingly stupid, and I know for a fact that I am not, not when I apply myself to something worthwhile. Ergo (do stupid people use Latin words? surely not!) what I’m doing now must not be worth my while.

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back

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on May 9, 2008

DSC_0040

We’re back, and it was awesome and awful and overwhelming.

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another update

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on April 27, 2008

Hi, we’re alive, made it to Israel and all. Lufthansa were very courteous: when we arrived, they had a team ready to solve all our troubles, everyone got new flights, hotel rooms, and food. However, they lost our luggage, and not in the good, ‘get huge refund and go buy new stuff’ way. It’s been located in Frankfurt, so we’ll get it tomorrow morning. Which basically means no new clothes, but dirty ones until tomorrow, and no shopping spree, but lots of lugging things around. At least we are safe and made it here just some ten hours off schedule.

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update

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on April 26, 2008

So much for Tel Aviv by this morning. Our flight has been delayed; we are missing our connection in Frankfurt. The next flight from there to Tel Aviv is at 10.15 in the morning. So, on the plus side we might have a fun night at the cool airport in Frankfurt. On the minus side, it’s really boring here in our very own Vilnius airport.

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i’m-all-about-the-dashes-sorry

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on April 23, 2008

Is there a way to stop being shocked with this whole springness of being? The sun just keeps on shining, there is no more rain, and it’s warm enough to wear a t-shirt and carry a cardigan in case of wind!

I spent yesterday hanging about town, reading weather-appropriate books (The Sun Also Rises and To Kill A Mockingbird are not happy-day books or beach-reads, but there is undeniably a lot of sun in there), wandering from one spot in the sun to another, squinting from the direct light, and meeting friends at the university for short meaningless conversations.

A. said we could go buy some clothes, so we went to the nearest thrift store just in time for happy hour. (That’s when the cheap clothes become almost-free clothes, yay.) We got me some trousers and a shirt, and then, as I sat in A.’s lap and cried about being fat (necessary ritual), I couldn’t help but register that we were sitting on actual, real, full-fledged, sittable grass.

On Saturday we are flying to Israel, and it was supposed to be our flight from the steely cold into the sunny heat, but it will be +20 centigrade in Jerusalem on Sunday, and while that’s still a bit warmer than it is here, I think the difference won’t be as striking as it could have been. Cool.

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zero contacts online

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on January 28, 2008

I don’t really do social networks. I use Facebook for birthday reminders, have accounts here and there from when I thought it rude to ignore a friend’s invite (I know better now), or when I sincerely believed that would help me connect with people from my past.

But since recently I believe it’s a little clingy to be like that. Hi, we haven’t talked for seven years, and before that we spent a week together in math camp (don’t get me wrong, I never really went to math camp). Now let’s hang out, tell me about your life, quickly like.

And being a desperately lonely kind of person, I need to fight the urge to be clingy every fricking day of my life. You have no idea how hard it is to not shower the people I love with texts, gifts, and stuff, just to make sure they love me back just as much, yea verily.

At one point in my life I felt the ‘living encyclopedia’ gig I had going was getting tired, wasn’t bringing in any more dividends, so I started pretending to be dumber than I was. I errrm’d and uhh’d a lot, used only short words, and said ‘how should I know’ all the time.

Now is kind of like that, only for emotional neediness. So I never switch on my MSN messenger anymore (oh, all the Arabic wedding proposals I used to get), I’ve forgotten the password to my ICQ account, and don’t expect me to accept your Orkut/Habbo invite.

I take pictures instead. Want a free portrait shoot? I’m better than you’d think.

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an exercise in stereotype (with a moral)

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on January 22, 2008

The language student: most often female, carries around a heap of assorted pages, has dozens of pens and pencils poking out of every bag pocket, looks a bit nerdy and very frazzled, especially around the end of term.

The history student: most often male, carries a backpack which looks empty, looks like a sweet hard-rock-nerd or like he’s not even a student, cycles everywhere even in the winter, the end of term makes him frazzled.

The psychology student: is modern, independent, a bit childish, takes up tons of activities and responsibilities, likes talking to everyone, is friendly and helpful to new and lost people, is only frazzled around the end of term.

The management student: looks very grown-up, wears fashionable clothes and accessories, drives to school, goes clubbing on Friday night through Sunday afternoon, has a part-time job, the end of term leaves him/her frazzled.

The law student: looks business-like, carries a serious-looking folder, dresses as though holding a position of attorney at a major law firm already, spends a lot of time studying, but is still very much frazzled at the end of term.

Moral of the story: even though this was my worst exam session as yet, I couldn’t be happier, because today it is over. And I get to go to the theatre tonight, and then chill out for something like eleven days.

And now I’m going to hum along to Tom Lehrer, be proud that I resisted whining about the exams here, and ignore my inner perfectionist who is saying “B+? B plus?! That’s not nearly good enough!”

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roy g biv challenged

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on December 13, 2007

I’ve never liked colouring my pictures. When I was a kid, I thought very highly of my own artistic abilities, but grew bored of every picture as soon as the pencil sketch was done. My mother, when presented with these creations, usually expressed displeasure. She felt they were unfinished and wanted me to colour them. I, in turn, felt disappointed at her for not appreciating my ‘art’.

Today, I love colour and try to bring it into my life in every possible way. But at the same time, I’m faithful to my monochromatic self. I take black and white photos. All my Christmas cards are drawn in black ink on white paper and not coloured. I carry a notebook around, and a 0.1 Faber-Castell pen, and make little black-and-white sketches now and then. They are the way I see the world.

The picture above is a colourless still of a very colourful event. It’s the belfry of our university’s church (‘the Johns’), seen from a window in the library tower, which I visited today as part of a tour of the secret passageways of the library. It was an exclusive tour for university instructors. My mom took me. I believe she’s learned to appreciate my black-and-white side, and I’m delighted.

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subdued

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on December 7, 2007

The blogging client has been sitting here open, empty, waiting, for a while now. I’m in a quiet mood today. Woken by a friendly hello at an early hour, I have only been out of bed for ten minutes: brushed my teeth and got right back under the duvet. I don’t feel like talking.

What soothes you? What do you do when you’re one on one with yourself? Is there something you particularly enjoy? How do you ease yourself out of seclusion? (For me, the last question is the trickiest.)

Things that help me relax:

1. Taking and editing pictures of peaceful objects, like this:

2. Window shopping at design and decorating websites, like Etsy, NOTCOT, Design*Sponge, and even Martha Stewart’s Kingdom of Perfect.
3. Eating melon. And melted cheese.
4. Having tea with a book somewhere nice.
5. Looking at catalogs.
6. Shopping for safe items like stationery, tea, chocolate, scarves etc.
7. Watching shows like Friends, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and Malcolm in the Middle.
8. Browsing Flickr, IMDb, and YouTube
8. Making things.

Would anyone like to exchange postcards? Mine would be handmade, but I can also include standard ones with pictures of Vilnius if you’re collecting. I’d really love to get postcards this year – and if I promise to send you one, I’ll have to commit to making it, which would be an additional asset.

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november 30th, how i’ve waited for thee

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on November 30, 2007

So, uh, results. Well, as I’ve said elsewhere, NaBloPoMo was like a blogging crash course for me, because the need to do something every single day does so encourage you to improve in it.

I’m glad I participated because I learned a lot about blogging, a lot about writing, actually. And about time-management, although this is where I scored worst this year. I’m also thankful for a lovely new addition to my blogroll – and to my comment section, as a matter of fact.

Then there’s the minor issue of the amount of visitors to this humble blog increasing times twenty since October. Which, you know, I could do without, but HELL IS IT DEPRESSING to blog when nobody’s reading. Thanks, you anonymous darlings!

What I’m not so pleased with is the way I managed to remain a total sociopath through this whole experience. I mean, God, they don’t call it ‘a social network’ for nothing! I could at least have made a little effort to make friends. Sheesh, there’s no changing some people.

All in all, it was a useful and refreshing experience, and I’ll try to do it again next year. I will NOT in a million years promise to post every day for the rest of 2008, or my life, or even this week, but I will try to keep posting often and commenting on other people’s blogs.

Thanks go out to the incredible Eden (am I allowed to call her by her first name?). And to everyone who was on my list of ‘friends’ but never got a single word of encouragement from me – I’m sorry. Hope you had a blast, like I did.

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digest

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on November 27, 2007

Hi, I passed driving theory today, and had some solids – these could be reasons to write a cool long post; I’m incredibly tired, and have the longest possible day tomorrow – arguments against writing an exhaustingly long post. That’s a tie, and while I think about it, I need to study for a difficult test. Wait, that’s another con. Sold. Bye-bye.

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good tv

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on November 9, 2007

I have been watching lots of House MD lately. I like watching series because it generally takes longer for the plot to end and my favorite characters to go away forever and ever, leaving me behind to wallow in misery, boo hoo.

Do you like House? I love House. He’s my hero. It’s also a great show: it mainly consists of great-looking people running around fighting. They also make lots of funny noises that sound like ‘jihagtrec-itis’ and ‘yrreeagll-ic syndrome’, which make me feel smart, because I still always know what’s going on.

Although on second thought that might be due to the many close-ups of people’s sick and gory insides. I don’t know. Anyway, I like watching it even if I have to look away or squint really really hard sometimes. Also: must remember never to eat while watching House.

Which show is your favorite?

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no pumpkins, just candles

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on October 31, 2007

We don’t have Halloween* here. That is, we do, but only in the same sense that we have Coke and techno music – everyone loves them, and could celebrate their existence all year long, but they’re not exactly integral to our culture.

What we do have (November 1st) is All Souls Day. That’s when people take the time to visit their deceased relatives at the cemetery and spend a little time taking care of the graves and reminiscing. It’s a national holiday, of course. Or, well, a national day off (an ever-awkward linguistic problem, as is ‘celebrate’).

During the previous weeks, all kinds of memorial candles go on sale, as people hurry to stock up and prepare. ‘I’m going to the graves,’ they tell each other – that’s a colloquial way of saying ‘cemetery’. Young people, too: even if it’s Hallo-techno-Coke-party the night before, the morning is dedicated to All Souls.

It’s a remarkably peaceful day. Sometimes it’s peaceful enough to forget all about it (especially if one is Jewish and inconsiderate *cough*me*cough*) and call someone. It’s always so strange to get the quiet response: ‘Hi, I’m visiting the graves right now, I’ll call you back.’ It gives me an acute feeling of reality.

I think it is very important to have what ultimately amounts to National Memory Day. All the more so because we tend to forget things most of the other days. Even if I don’t fully share this day with my compatriots, I still feel and appreciate its spirit. There should always be a time and place set aside for memories.

There are several people I’ll be thinking about tomorrow.

*Note how this word craftily links to two posts at once. These are two of my daily reads, writing about their Halloween this year.

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stupidity gives leisure

Posted in uncategorized by theobvious on October 26, 2007

Here I am, in a coffeehouse on the main street of town, sipping a mate, reading Hamlet and my blogroll in turns, even posting this – and not working. Meanwhile, the deadline is not looming anymore, so much as standing on my actual foot, stomping hard, and yelling in my ears – naked. Such is the need to work.

Why am I not working then, you ask? What, isn’t it obvious? Because when I was packing my schoolbag today, I remembered to put my rather heavy laptop in it, both my driving theory booklets, my big lumpy camera, and many other things. But not my writing appliances (i.e., pens, you know, for lectures) nor the sheets I need for work. You know, the work I should be doing right now.

Time for a head slap. No wait, the guy at the next table is looking at me. Maybe I should pretend I’m just enjoying my drink. *sip sip* Okay, I owe myself a head slap. Stay tuned.

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we’re back

Posted in places, rant, the thrilling goings-on, uncategorized by theobvious on October 14, 2007

Our vacation was incredible. I brought lots of photos and notes.

However, the trip home was thirteen hours on a bus, and here’s a curious tidbit: when you board a bus in the middle of its route, your journey is bound to be hellishly uncomfortable, the air – cold as ice, and your fellow travelers – horrid and inconsiderate. All in all – not much of a good night’s sleep.

So, I have been half asleep all day, but we still went on a long shopping trip (another bit of travel trivia: when you come back home, your fridge will most likely be empty, and you might be in need of a new couch), and then I had to catch up on my blogroll, and then there were photos to edit…

And then I uploaded the photos to Flickr, which promptly notified me that as a free user I only get 200 pictures on view, so it is going to hide the rest until I delete some or pay up. Needless to say, my money (Visa card) is no good there, even though I am willing to purchase a Pro account here and now.

Then, after some fuming, I opened my notebook in the hopes of at least doing some comfort blogging, and discovered enough notes for something like fifteen blog posts on existential subjects, and close to none – about the trip. There is a mention of kangaroos in there, though, but it’s going to need some work.

In short, it is now 1.48 a.m., and I am still not ready for bed. I am drowsy, crabby, and whiny – what, does it show? You must agree that it will be better for all of us if I get some sleep now and post more tomorrow.

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