Weekly Photo Challenge: (The Sound of) Silence

Weekly Photo Challenge: (The Sound of) Silence

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence.


The prompt of this week’s challenge is inspiring me to multiple responses. Which is probably counter-intuitive because the prompt ask literally for silence. Here you go.

A Quick Log

A Quick Log

Bought a new yoga mat. Nothing wrong with the old one, but the cat needed the box.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Another Opportunity for Growth

Weekly Photo Challenge: Another Opportunity for Growth

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth.

I’m very much into growth but I’m very much against the idea of it. Growth is good but the idea is a fashion fad. Luckily, I was able to find a subversive representation of growth both in image and in video!

Here’s the literal ominous growth in a picture:

And here’s a delightful take on the idea of growth:

Small Weir, Big Noise

Small Weir, Big Noise

The post title isn’t some weird figurative saying. It’s literal. I went to the local weir and was surprised by how much noise such a small water work makes. It was deafening enough, though not enough to cancel the noise of my thoughts. I made an impromptu short footage of the terrifying water sounds.

The weir was disappointingly picturesque, so I was unable to shoot a dumporama. Instead, I took a traditional panorama. It is not only boring but also crappy, as you can see below. Let’s blame it on the lack of light and the lack of concentration of the photographer caused by the noise around.

Weir at twilight
What I Hated the Least Today 266/365: Freeedooom!!!

What I Hated the Least Today 266/365: Freeedooom!!!

I put the nation in procrastination. (That’s smart, no? Did you even notice there was a nation in procrastination? Now you know! You’re welcome.) I hate YouTube. (Wait for it, the link between procrastination and YouTube will shortly manifest itself, if it’s not already clear.)

So I go to YouTube to play some super focus brain food study music and—half an hour later I find myself watching cat videos. That’s where the procrastination comes in. It’s a guest that overstays its welcome, lives on your wi-fi, eats up your energy (if you had any to start with) and leaves you brain dead (if you had a brain to start with). Another half an hour later, I find myself watching:

  • Cultural differences between Korea and Japan. (Why the fuck would I watch that? What do I know about Korea or Japan? What do I get out of learning about their differences when I hardly tell them apart? I’m so dumb.)
  • Make-up tutorials for hooded eyelids. (What on earth are hooded eyelids? Is that a rare genetic disease? Do I have it? Why do I watch make-up tutorials when I’m intent on doing make-up my way anyway? [I just slash around with a black eye pencil and call it make-up.])
  • Weird things about the Czech Republic. (Seriously, though, what can I possibly be up to? I am a bloody native and I know the good stuff and the weird stuff already. Am I letting someone who’s clearly not a native educate me about my country? Phew.)

Where the nation in YouTube procrastination comes in is that two thirds of my time-wasting videos are about nations. I’m not sure how the YouTube algorithm came to believe that I’m keen on geography, but now I’m inclined to believe it myself. And since you’re now deep in the dark loop of the Mara algorithm (insert evil synthetic laughter), I suggest that you watch the following video purportedly about my country (it’s pretty accurate, actually). But don’t dare go away after you watch! I have more shit to say after that.

Hey, you’re still there? You’d better. I’ll cut this ridiculously branched-out post short already. By virtue (or vice) of free association (and YouTube suggestions), I ended up watching (several times) a video I’ve seen a while ago and still adore. I’ll post it below so you could partake at my pleasure (don’t think anything nasty, in all decency, of course). It’s about my favourite nation, which are the Scottish (duh).

When you think Scotland, you should think Freeedooom because stereotypes. Stereotypes are fine with me, they help us make sense of this fuckup (pardon me please, plus, credit me with this neologism) which is the world. And when I was thinking freedom, I thought, Wait, I’m still doing this self-imposed What I Hated (the Least) Today blogging challenge, what the heck, why do I even?

Well, I know well why I even, it’s because I’m unreasonably obstinate. I don’t know when to abandon the sinking ship because I’m no rat. I should learn from the rats. I hear they’re smart. Smarter than my dumb ass, clearly. The point of my rambling about freedom and rats is that I’m thinking the unthinkable: abandoning the challenge and getting myself some Freeedooom!!! You know, the challenge of blogging whatever I want whenever I wantever (that’s not a typo, that’s a feature, I mean, neologism).

So what do you think? Yeah, you probably can’t think right now because you’ve read so many words. Sorry about that. Please do soothe your nerves with the following hilarious (I promise!) video while allowing me one last love declaration: I absolutely adore the Scottish accent. Can you imagine the awkward moments I’ve had at numerous conferences when a fellow Scottish academic (especially when male) asked me a question and I wasn’t listening because I was just melting away in the beauty of the accent? Don’t even get me started.

Watch the video until the end so you don’t cheat yourself of the best!


Finding Everyday Inspiration: So, You Think Your President Is the Worst?

Finding Everyday Inspiration: So, You Think Your President Is the Worst?

Part of WordPress’s writing course Finding Everyday Inspiration.

Yes, I’ve noticed I’ve completed the challenge already! But I can’t see how it should stop me from getting challenged even more?

One of the writing tasks that I’ve done as part of the challenge was to respond to a prompt by your readers. Since I got multiple prompts, I think it appropriate to tackle all—when you bothered to waste a minute of your life suggesting something, how could I not bother taking up the suggestion?

Next is that little voice in my head. Wait, I mean, That Little Voice, which is not in my head this time but it’s actually Margo with this idea:

Write about something you like least, whatever it is. A hobby you don’t have, cats vs. dogs, the crazy president…

Thanks for playing with me, I specialise in writing about what I like least! I like pretty much everything the least. I’m hard to impress. What caught my attention though was the crazy president part. So, you guys think your president is crazy, huh? Don’t get me even started about ours.

I’m such a humanitarian, so I present below one past and one present Czech president, for education and entertainment, and so you could feel better about yours, wherever you’re from. Our past president got famous for petty theft, while our present one for being permanently drunk. It’s not that I blame him.

The Thieving President

The Drinking President

Feeling better now? You’re welcome.

What I Hated the Least Today 256/365: Bright New Things

What I Hated the Least Today 256/365: Bright New Things

What I’ve Been Up to Blogging-Wise

The desert of my inspiration

After many dry months with an average post precipitation of one to three pieces per month, I’ve been surprised by a sudden boost in my blogging mood. (Such as the local road maintenance services are surprised by snow each year, though I live in a country where it snows each winter.) I’ve produced more posts in the last few days than I did in the last few months together. So what’s going on? I can’t say (I would if I knew), so instead, here’s a clueless song which asks the same question.

Coffee Break: Clueless Song

Continuation: Blogging Plans

My new favourite halfie

Exactly forever ago I started my cheeky take on gratitude projects and called it What I Hated the Least Today. The idea was to run this on a daily basis but it went oops. Out of sheer stubbornness, I refuse to drop the project and instead drag it along, masquerading each my new post with this heading. I intend to continue to do so because I continue being stubborn.

I love exploring all new because discovering a new thing makes me feel less like I’m so old and like I’ve seen everything already. I’ve been looking for some bring new thing for my time-wasting through blogging and I got something. First, I’ve changed my avatar to my current favourite halfie. Second, I’ve changed my blog’s tagline. Remember how I hated on rainbows and sold the unicorn on eBay? Well, no more. The new tagline is in beta version. Please don’t tell me that it’s dumb unless you come up with a suggestion.

Third, I’m ambitious like it ever got me anywhere! As I was procrastinating researching WordPress’s Daily Post blog, I remembered how I hated the least their blogging challenges and courses. The courses used to be organised on particular days and tutored by WP editors. Well, no more. Now it’s on a self-served basis. I’ve however found something to my acquired taste. It’s called Finding Everyday Inspiration, which is what I very much subscribe to. Literally. I subscribed and will be likely seeing through this writing challenge at my own pace. If it sounds like something you fancy trying out too, do jump on the bandwagon—and (don’t) break a leg.

What I Hated (the Least) Today 251/365: A Week Off Meds

What I Hated (the Least) Today 251/365: A Week Off Meds

Due to the unforeseen circumstance of my bloody psychiatrist going on a bloody holiday, it so happened that I ran out of the meds that keep my brain from imploding. It was a fun week. One more, and I probably would have ended up behind bars, whether of prison or of a mental asylum. I managed to replenish my pill supplies today and this very success is already making me feel saner.

While off meds, I had a number of epiphanies, altered consciousness experiences and curious meltdowns, some of which I don’t care to share even with a professional lest I should be institutionalised for life. Here are some of the more harmless ones.

Discovery #1: Lucid Dreaming

I thought I had weird dreams when on sleeping pills, but without them, trying to sleep got so weird that I no more knew what I dreamt and what I didn’t. If lucid dreaming is about you being aware that you dream and being able to direct your dream, then I had it. This one was an extremely entertaining case because in my dream, I was a hot guy and was configuring myself, adding an ab here and there, choosing my facial features, hair style… I can’t believe I picked a man bun, but on my defence, I immediately took it back and went for short bed hair.

On which I was a girl again and gave birth to twins, who looked exactly like hotdogs. The boy I named Richard, the girl I wanted to call Victoria, but the father, whose identity remained mysterious even to me, didn’t think so. The poor girl ended up being Unnamed. Funnily enough, these two names are the exact ones I actually picked in real life when I was young and thought I’d want kids. When I realised I didn’t want kids, I named Richard my car (when I had a car) and Victoria my tortoise (when I had a tortoise).

Discovery #2: OCD

My OCD is normally within the limits of cute quirks, but it went a bit wild when unchecked by pills. I had a legit breakdown over, quite ironically, my zen meditation schedule, which I printed out and pinned on my whiteboard, but couldn’t get the sheet align with the other papers that were already there. Besides spending time aligning shit all over the flat, I had a range of highly interesting compulsive impulses coming to me – that’s when your mind goes blank and you can only think of doing one particular thing, which is usually something pretty dumb.

On this note, I should stop watching TV series entirely because I watched an episode of Sense8, which was perfectly harmless, except for one unfortunate incident when a minor character slit her wrists. Now, that’s a huge trigger for me. Surprisingly, when people are shooting other people on TV, I have absolutely no urge to imitate them, but when someone slits their wrists on TV, I can’t help myself wanting to try it at home. I have however prepared for this pet peeve compulsive thought of mine in advance when I had both my wrists tattooed. I naturally don’t want to cut my designs.

Discovery #3: Am I Hallucinating or What?

No, I’m not hallucinating, but I seriously thought I was. It was when I went to the balcony to smoke and saw a small ape from the Planet of the Apes standing at the table at the common backyard and staring at me. Well, I decided I was just hallucinating, why not, after all, it’s an interesting new experience, right, so I calmly sat down and lit my cigarette. When I looked again, the ape was gone. When I looked yet again, there was a bunch of kids hiding behind the table. The ape-like kid should probably have a haircut soon. And the bloody kids should stop fucking with my mind. It’s not like it’s not fucked up enough already.

To conclude on the same cheery note, here’s a song that I currently can’t get out of my head (especially the very upbeat line “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had”).

What I Hated the Least Today 185/365: The Bridge

What I Hated the Least Today 185/365: The Bridge

Not THE Bridge
Not THE Bridge

I watch as much TV as though I were unemployed. I am self-employed, which boils down to unemployed, and I think someone should alert my boss that I should be working. Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting here watching The Bridge aka Bron/Broen.

It’s a Danish/Swedish co-production series, and while a US adaptation of it exists, I can’t see what the charm of it could be. I watch the original not so much for the crime plot as rather for the awesomely bleak Scandinavian landscapes and its quirky female lead.

This character, detective Saga Norén, Länskrim, Malmö, as she likes to introduce herself, is the human equivalent of the Star Trek Borg. Efficient, emotionless, and not great with people. She’s my role model, like the Borg.

Without giving away any major spoilers, here’s a dialogue from the second episode of Season One, when Saga goes out in a bar:

Guy: Can I buy you a drink?

Saga: No.

Guy leaves.

Saga approaches the guy: Why did you go away?

Guy: You said you didn’t want a drink?

Saga: I don’t want to drink. Do you want to have sex with me at my place?

Guy: Hell, yeah.

Brilliant, no? Gotta love the efficiency of it. And, here’s a trailer for the show with English subtitles.

What I Hated the Least Today 177/365: Sounds

What I Hated the Least Today 177/365: Sounds

Homely home sounds
Homely home sounds

Do you ever think of the sounds your home makes when it’s otherwise quiet? I don’t, unless I spend a night out of home and am confronted with an entirely different set of sounds. Moving homes a year and half ago also made me more attuned to the peculiarities of soundtracks of places, so to say.

My current home produces some sounds that were not entirely straightforward to get used to. In winter, the fuses tend to buzz when the floor heating kicks in; which sounds like electrical overload to me, but I had a technician checking the fuses and insisting that nothing was wrong with them. I eventually got used to the buzzing.

In all seasons, the water heater tunes in with random screeching sounds. It sounds as a train braking in distance. It’s sometimes hard to tell from actual train screeching, which I get as well, since I live near a cargo train depot.

In summer evenings, I have noise from the pub across the street, which is actually quite pleasant. It’s good to hear that there is life going on outside even when I’m locked inside working or blogging. The pub shuts its outside seating area at 10 p.m. sharp, which is probably the standard curfew to keep if night disturbance charges are to be avoided.

The best sounds of all are the cat sounds. I don’t mean the noise of the blinds being torn down or the squealing of the toy mouse being chased around, though in the case of the latter, I appreciate it when the cat  engages in human-approved, furnishings-friendly activities.

What I’m quite in love with is the sound of the cat’s paws tappity-tapping on the hard floor. I can hear her in my sleep as she is prowling around. It doesn’t disturb me, it’s a comforting heads up that the cat is live and well (and up to no good, but never mind that).

Speaking of good sounds, here’s a good song called “That Sound”. Whatever it is that works as that sound for you.