Archives

Passing time

 

  • Identify a moment in your life that made you feel like you had superpowers. What did you do exceptionally well? How did circumstances change as a result of your actions?

Um. I don’t know. I was totally calm and laughing when locked into a ship museum for the night and took it as a fun adventure. I’m pretty unexpectedly good in many crises when others panic and am always stunned by this.

  • When you’re feeling powerful, what song best motivates you?

I don’t usually feel powerful.

  • What is your spirit animal?

Claudia.

  • How has water impacted your life?

I love water very much and have spent many happy hours in it.

  • What would you like to go back and tell a teacher from your past?

Thank you for thinking I was more capable than I was. It made a difference.

  • Name three things you’d do if you weren’t so afraid.

Go travel to a warm country right now. Go tell absolutely every relevant person I know what I truly think and feel regarding them. Sell my flat and move elsewhere.

  • If time flies, what does dreaming do?

Embrace you.

  • What colors are your thoughts?

Flaming red right now.

  • Outside of your family, who is someone that has made a difference in your life?

Everyone’s that mattered anything to me has had an impact.

  • If people knew the real you, what would they think?

What a poor lost girl, or depending on their empathy levels, what a git.

  • What fantastical creature would you like to have come alive?

Dreams.

  • Are there any political issues that interest you?

Trees and not cutting them down. Animal and plant protection and welfare. Is that political?

  • What is special about the town or towns you grew up in?

Quite a lot of nature and possibilities for solitude.

  • What sounds irritate you?

Chalk on the board, of course. I’m not keen on traffic noise or leaf blowers either.

  • What is your favorite activity to do in the snow?

I’d like to have one of those old-fashioned push sleighs(?) and have some fun with that.

  • When is your most productive time of day?

Morning or late evening.

  • Have you ever been addicted to something?

Food (sweets and crisps)

  • Is life fair?

I doubt that but it might be to some.

  • What goals and aspirations do you hope to fulfill in the next year?

Write something good. Smell flowers in May and experience calm again. Make someone a little happier by my existence.

  • In a natural disaster, what three things would you grab first?

Depends where I was. This question isn’t very good.

  • What role does religion play in your life?

I pray when there’s nothing else one can do, like when someone’s seriously ill. Otherwise I’m not religious.

  • If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be? What would you want to do or discuss with this character?

I’d like to meet Anne Shirley and Dora and be best friends with both of them at the same time. Anne would be the leader, I’d be the middle one and Dora to balance us both out and charm me to bits with her sweetness.

I’d also like to meet Pierre Bezukhov and Andrey Bolkonsky together and discuss life with them, being once again the middle one in outlook between the two. My natural tendency is with the Pierres, but I have a mind like Andrey, so this seems like great fun to be part of their debate.

  • As a child, who is/was your favorite relative?

My grandmother.

  • Describe your first dance.

It must have happened in the kindergarten when we had some event there. I think I was embarrassed and awkward and hated it.

  • When is the first time you felt truly independent or older than your age?

Never?

  • Is it more important to be right or to be honest?

Neither. The two seem incomparable.

  • What old, worn out thing can you simply not part with?

There’s a ton of them. I got a special pencil, for example, that my primary school love used to borrow from me. It was enormously precious to me. He had touched it and this was very meaningful in those days. And then my grandmother took it for herself one day, thinking it’s an old unnecessary shabby thing she could easily borrow and no one would miss. At the time I didn’t know she had taken it. I assumed it had got lost. I only found out later after my grandmother had died, then I saw it in her sewing box.  It’s blue, with yellow flowers on it and it always reminds me of these two people now.

  • What messages do you keep repeating to yourself?

God give me strength.

  • What ethical dilemmas have you faced?

Too complicated for this hour and this survey.

  • Are you proud of your accomplishments?

If put like this, yes.

  • If a photographer were to capture you in your most emotional moment, what would they see?

Depends on the kind of emotional moment. Red nose and tears, or gleeful twirling.

  • How do male and female roles differ in your family?

I don’t understand the question.

  • Have you ever felt like the minority in a group setting?

When haven’t I? The rare times I don’t are experiences to remember with a warm feeling.

  • Have you experienced racism, sexism, or other kinds of discrimination?

Yes, of course, but not as much as there seems to be about.

  • What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever worn?

Difficult choice. I have worn some outrageous things. Baby blue stockings. White stockings with a mini skirt. All white skirt and top with Victorian style boots. Wearing shorts to school seems like an embarrassing choice too in hindsight but at least it looked alright compared to the other tastelessness. I miss that really.

 

Bad dream

This morning I woke up from a very deep sleep. I had dreamt I was dying of the corona virus. It was my second death dream. I had no cough or breathing difficulties. Everyone around me – I was in some strange establishment that seemed like an old-fashioned sanatorium. My mother was there and doctors and nurses. My only symptom was that I vomited. It was black, not chocolatey brown, but a deep black with a hint of rust. It was off-putting but I was quite set in thinking it’s nothing and will go away. The doctors seemed to think otherwise. There was a paper clock on the table. A clock made of paper, yes, thicker paper. It was deep green with a wheel of fortune on its number plate. It listed the descriptions of the young women who’d die next. It mentioned someone with olive skin. And a young girl whose life hadn’t even begun yet. She was going to die today. I thought that could be me. Which is a strange thought given how fine I felt and how I protested the opinion of the medical personnel about my prognosis. Probably one of those things the very ill sometimes do. I asked the nurse and she said no, that wasn’t me yet, the one in three days was me.

I begun to feel worse, tired, but I didn’t believe I’d die. I’d fight it. I went and stood before the green iron bars of my mother’s bed, realising I could infect her and should probably not be there, but she didn’t drive me away like a leper, and I was grateful, very grateful.

Then it became the waiting room and the dream slowly blurred as I got closer to dying. I woke up. Like with bad dreams, it’s always a huge relief to realise that my teeth hadn’t fallen out, I hadn’t accidentally cut my hair to ear-length and whatever misfortunes I’ve dreamt sometimes, but this time I hadn’t this consolation. For the brief interval before my senses fully returned, I thought COVID-19 was a dream too, just as giant snails, the Russian invasion of my home town and the Biblical flood I once dreamt of happening.

Objectively, I do love my more symbolistic dreams. They are like little works of art or potential horror stories. This was pretty good. Iron beds, black vomit and the deep green wheel of fortune clock.

 

 

Nostalgia

I won’t say what I’ve been doing. I will instead fill in this quiz from my teenage years once more. It’s supposed to be done at new year but what the.

 

1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?
Wanted to dance in a public place. Put putty on a wall and did a shoddy job of it. Ate foie gras and got a trauma for days. Felt a lot of things I have never felt before.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, will you make more for next year?
Obviously not to both.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Luckily not.

5. What countries did you visit?
Latvia.

6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?
Clarity of vision about what I want to do with myself and how.

7. What date from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, why?
I don’t remember the dates, but my diary could refresh my memory on them as they ended up having an entry.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Writing a poem that wasn’t terrible.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Continuing indecisiveness.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I injured my back. And then there is the usual anxiety and mood slumps.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My laptop, albeit practical, is pretty good after all.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Definitely not mine.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled, depressed?
Mine.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Household stuff.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Who can remember all such things? I suppose the times when I felt past could be shed and there is hope and magic ahead still. The times I forgot and lived in the present. The time I wanted to dance and went from one concert venue to the next, hoping to find a crowd I could dive into, but everyone was so passive. I was hyper though.

16. What song will always remind you of 2019?
I’d rather not say. It’s not a very good song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter
iii. richer or poorer? richer

I’m doing the classic middle-class man’s curve of life here, lol.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Written. Socialised.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Lying in bed in apathy or just lazying around doing nothing.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my family.

22. Did you fall in love in 2019?
Who knows.

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
What I actually watched on TV? Hm. Lark Rise to Candleford. I was skeptical about it but it grew on me.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, but I like and appreciate some people who I didn’t last year

26. What was the best book you read?
Les Miserables.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That Pina Colada song was rather fun. I also liked one pretty classical piece but never found out what it was.

28. What did you want & get?
Um. Can such things happen too? Okay, realm of trivialities: I bought a new laptop. I realized I hated it. Then it broke down within a month. I handed it in to be fixed and hoped it was quite irrevocably damaged so I get to pick a different model. Yes. Yes I did.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Did I watch the King Ludwig movie this year? If so, that.

31. What did you do on your birthday, & how old were you?
It hasn’t happened yet.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Possibly: being asked by one person to do something.  Winning the lottery, of course. 10 000 would do.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019? Tru bohemian. I have never had a style and wear what I like, from dainty and girlish to messy and ill-fitting.

34. What kept you sane?
I did.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Charlton Heston. I’ve been faithful to him for many years now.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Elections, I guess.

37. Who did you miss?
J.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
With new it is too early to say. No one stands out particularly.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.
That personality is fate and in combination with the environment one is in, there is very little one can do to turn the tables, precious, precious little. I also learnt that my English has improved massively in 10 years, so keeping at it pays off.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“I’m in love with a fairy tale even though it hurts. I don’t care if I lose my mind, I’m already cursed”

 

 

Drivel

So I was watching this mafia series and had a thought. In most films, everything aligns with the general vision: the music, the scenes, the costumes, types of actors used and so forth. When someone is waiting at the airport and hears their child has been shot, you get appropriate background for that sort of news to align with the emotion you want to convey. In real life, you might have I’m a Barbie Girl playing in the background. So what I wanted to say is, I’d like to do that kind of thing in writing. Set the scene and then add a touch of jarring realism AND then reign the thing in again, so it won’t turn absurd or grotesque or banal. Not just to disrupt, but to bring back home and pull off a serious scene with I’m a Barbie Girl playing in the background, metaphorically speaking.

I don’t know if the ability to do that is sufficient for good writing, but one has to learn to compensate for one’s weaknesses with one’s strengths.

 

Idiocies

Would someone please, please tell Google not to give me endless pages of Chinese (and other) machine-translated websites when I search for things in my native language. A filter, please, for omitting machine-translations from the results.

#2019 #sucks #googlesucks #discrimination #money #pleasestop

Parendamine

Tõlgin parajasti ühte teksti, ja mõtlen, kas ma peaks kasutama sõna “parendama”. Sest see on just selline koht, kus üks laialdase kogemusega tõlkija seda kasutaks. Sest mõeldud on ju tõesti, et too asi X teeb head veelgi paremaks. Enne oli ka hea. Ja nüüd tehakse veelgi paremaks. Ma saan erinevusest aru, aga…. keegi ei räägi ju nii? Ainult tõlgitud lepingud ja kasutusjuhendid on parendamisi täis. Et jah siis. Tõrgun.

Ei suuda seda sõna trükkida. Eneseirooniaga, pihku itsitades suudaks. Aga no tõsimeeli. Minu sõrmed ei paindu. Või teeks ikkagi naljaga. Ega keegi aru ei saaks. Iseendal oleks siiski parem.

(ranting about my highly personal, language-specific translation struggles)

Language fun

“Most people come to exchange language and attraction”

(source: someone on the internet)

 

That phrase is too good not to be put down here. There is a certain delightful freshness in how non-natives use English and what they sometimes do with it. I’m a non-native too, so I know I occasionally do things a native wouldn’t. I’m not able to detect my imperfections myself, unless I put them there on purpose, but when those whose language skills are poorer than mine do it and hit upon a particularly good phrase by accident….I’m not outraged, I don’t think their English sucks, I find it wonderful.

Now I’ll go and exchange attraction with a book. I hope some of its charm will pass on to me too.