Friday, September 27

I dumped 8 bags of papers and newspapers yesterday. It was hard to get rid of some of these things, but it was much nicer to take a look at some of them. I’m really sentimental and it’s a really sorrow to part with it all. There were some of my very old English language homework, on which my teacher had written “horror” with her red pencil… there were some very old school notes, my test graduation exam of which I got B… There was even this small yellow piece of paper on which J. wrote me her address on the day we met. There was even my old diary. Hmm… A lot of things happened then... So I had to make some really difficult decisions what stays and what goes to the history dump. Certainly more than should left, but can I really help it?
I generally don't like people giving out leaflets, but yesterday a lady gave out not only them but some lovely smiles as well. I got one of them, and at once the world became nicer and happier.

it was Friday

Yesterday wasn’t really a „writing day”. I did not feel like doing a lot. Well, maybe not exactly, but when I sat by the keyboard in the evening, I had problems with the first sentence. Hmm… But it was a nice Friday. Maybe it was the weather? I am usually not affected by the weather, but it sometimes changes my mood. Generally I am satisfied, that I muster some energy up and did everything I wanted to do. After morning cleaning up I spent some time preparing English classes. M. did not show up today (again), which means that his declarations about how much he’s going to work and study, were just words. You may get nervous, don’t you? But I don’t feel like carrying about it – it’s his business and his exam. What can a teacher do without will of his student? Not much – you can’t learn a language, working just a bit on the lessons.
I finally have some money. Last week, if I may use the pilot slang, was flying just with vapours. I had to eat some savings, to pay for copying and food. I was lucky to have some frozen food, powder potato pancakes and some potatoes as well. I could not starve. But it’s the end of the month and it is much better. On the occasion I eat spicy fish in my favourite Asian bar. Well, I wanted the chicken, but I think I was a bit misunderstood. Anyway the time of savings are not over, as all the money will probably pay my bills and it won’t be enough.
Well – I spent the evening with some nice people at work. I fought quite long against myself - go or not to go – but I thought I must win with my laziness. These are somehow my duties. Because of this bad day the moods there weren’t spectacular. But we had some nice tea (to wash the cups you need to go to the other side of the building and of course I had to do that). E. was coming back in a company car, but I did not want to risk that the driver won’t go my way, so I used the bus and went alone…. Anyway… J. is coming back on Monday, so I may only demonstrate the big happiness: hurray!

quotation of the day:

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
(Henri Bergson)
Friday Five

1. What are your favourite ways to relax and unwind?

I think the best place for me to relax is my bathtub. When I am tired or angry or simply stressed I take a book, make a cup of tea or have a glass of wine and go take a bath. After an hour of enjoying hot water I am a changed man. Well, and I think that a long walk around a park or a forest is something I like. Besides there is no better place to relax that the arms of your beloved one.

2. What do you do the moment you get home from work/school/errands?

Throw he keys somewhere so I could never find them again andI turn on the computer to check my e-mail.

3. What are your favourite aroma therapeutic smells?

I think lemon or Roman chamomile are the nicest, but the second one is really expensive. The one I used very often is a combination of some smells, but I don’t really know what is in there.

4. Do you feel more relaxed with a group of friends or hanging out by yourself?

It depends on the mood. I live alone, so I don’t mind staying alone, but of course you can’t live like that all the time. I like meeting people from time to time and I feel very good just talking and laughing and simply being among friends. But living with some people is not relaxing. I used to have a roommate and moving out was the best thing to do.

5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don't?

I know it will sound very strange. My main interest of the Third Reich are concentration camps. I’ve been doing some guiding for quite a long time, and there is no quieter and calm place than a place of extermination. This is of course very sad, but after so long time you stopped noticing that and this is just a part of your job. Walking there alone for hours clears my mind from everything useless and unimportant and just makes me think clearly.

Thursday, September 26

quiotation of the day:

Whoever said, It's not whether you win or lose that counts, probably lost.
(Martina Navratilova)
0,001 second – that is nothing, something imperceptible and in fact it is the time we don’t really think about it – an eye wink lasts longer than that. And Mr Frenchman lost World Championship because of that, and it was on a 1000 meters. I would be mad. Well, Mr Frenchman was mad, in deed.
It’s done! All the signatures are in my credit book, so I can officially announce, that I have been promoted to the next year of my studies. Today I did not have to queue and wait at all. It only appeared that I wrote something not on the right page (how should I know that there is a separate page for trainings? I don’t think anyone reads the credit book. I just bend the corner at the last page for luck and done). But professor G. did not shout at all – she just signed it and went away. I think she was in a hurry. And then the last thing I needed was the signature from the physical education institute. The man there was really nice, although he asked some strange questions: “Why do you have only 2 signatures on your card”… “Stodo³a club? I think this is singing and dance class”… I had to explain him patiently that I started studying before the era of phys-edu registry cards and in the club there are dancing classes (because do I look like a singer?) I think that in this term I won’t do dancing any more. In all evenings I have students. Yesterday Dorothy asked if I could take one more. Well, some more money would do.
And a question to all university students – are there any superstitions you know about studies? I know two – bending the last corner in the credit book and not wrapping it when you’re a freshman.

Wednesday, September 25

quotation of the day:

Life is a great surprise, I do not see why death should not be a greater one.
(Vladimir Nabokov)
Body Age Test

Your age is 21.

Your Body Age is 21.

You actually received a Body Age score of -4.1 years, which would give you a Body Age of 16.9. However, 21 is considered the age of peak physical condition for this test. Therefore, you have a body considered to be in peak physical health.


Your general IQ score is 146.

A person whose IQ score falls in the range of 144-160 is considered to be "gifted".

mmm... considering it was taken in a foreign language, I thinl it is a good result (why shouldn't I?) :)
Student's life starts...

Mmm. I must admit that life with the radiator turned on is much better in such weather. I can sit in a t-shirt and it is really pleasant. I don’t get annoyed when some cold air gets through spaces in the windows when the wind blows.
I could not avoid going out and face this windy weather – I had some things to do before university starts. First I stood in a queue in history institute for half an hour to get one stupid stamp. There were some freshmen preparing applications to have the exam term prolonged, as they had failed some exams. They did not seem to be outstanding intelligent. I am sure this is good when the university earns money like that, but why should I suffer standing in this queue? But I neither shouted nor beat anyone, but waited patiently, and read some magazine. And I have the stamp in my credit book. Half an hour of standing, three seconds in the room. And why the lady in dean’s office could not do that? The stamp was the same. Student’s life is hard. Then I went to my institute. I did not have to queue there, but I met some friends. There were also some freshmen going around, looking at their timetable and asking weird questions. I used to be like that too… Our timetable is really nice – 2 classes, 2 lectures, specialization and some monographic lectures to choose from. It’s not going to be really arduous semester. But I am going to attend all the lectures – as I don’t have a job, I might study a bit, might not I? I also had to go to the radio and get the-training-period-ending certificate. So bureaucracy is over and I can finish all this tomorrow.

And there is nothing else going on at all. I cooked some potatoes with fried onion and sunny-side-up eggs for dinner. And had a glass of cold milk. Seventh heaven! I think that an Old Polish part of my soul had some fun. I like that kind of food. A piece of bacon would do, but I had to please myself with what I had in the fridge.

Tuesday, September 24

A dream

I had a weird dream. I dreamt that I was shopping at a local market. I walked and bought some things. All I needed at the end was some bread. I saw a man selling some country bread and I decided to get one, as there were many people standing and buying… Than I was eating supper with my sister in our old flat (so the whole family was together). The parents were out, and we were eating. We cut a slice… the bread was really good. After a few cuts I hear a silent crush… In the bread there was a nestling (baked of course). After that we found another one… It looked awful… Suddenly the stenography changed and I was in the office from Ally McBeal (it was weird to see Calista speaking Polish), and the lawyers said that this case is a winner and I can get a huge compensation and they are likely to go to the court with it… And I woke up, so I don’t know if I won those millions or not.
Friday Five (I know it's Wednsday, but I've just noticed that)

1. Would you say that you're good at keeping in touch with people?

I’d say I am good at keeping in touch with people. Sometimes I have absolutely no mood for answering letters or e-mails, and meeting people, and I just don’t open my mailbox or call anyone. But now I am feeling more and more need to be among people (I used to be quite a loner), so I try to care about those friends I have.

2. Which communication method does you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why?

I think that the best way of communication is a meeting. 80 % of what we say is in our voice, gestures, facial expression, so if I want to meet someone good, I need to see him or her and not the black letters on the screen. But of course e-mail and telephone and blog comments are things I use, because I can’t be everywhere – the world is too big.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it?

I have one, but it’s Polish. Why? It lets me send SMS for free and I can see if some of my friends are on-line. Just a useful tool. I use it whenever I am on-line.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away?

I live in the capital city, so sometimes the distances are quite big (although Warsaw is not a very big town). But I also have many “overseas” friends I e-mail. So fifty fifty?

5. Are you an "out of sight, out of mind" person, or do you believe that "distance makes the heart grow fonder"?

I believe that the Internet is just a tool, which helps to meet people. I don’t like distances and I do prefer to see people I like.

quotation of the day:

Optimists and pessimists have one fault in common : They are afraid of the truth.
(Tristan Bernard)
it's on

Ladies and Gentelman. I'm proud to announce that the central heating is on. Finally.
A happy rainbow

I've made it (and some random thoughts)

I have finally managed to find my tutor and get the final registration to my index credit book. It needed going to university twice, because at first time doctor K. was busy and asked me to visit him some time later. And so I had to do. I was not really happy about it, as it’s quite chilly today (I’ve decided not to suffer too much and I got my gloves out of the closet). But in the end he found a spare moment. We sat and talked a bit about progress in my Thesis, I got some advice for further work and we shook our hands. A master’s student is treated much better. On way or another I have just a few small things left to do and I will be able to hand my credit book in the dean’s office. Well, no one actually cares about it, because people bring them sometimes in December, but I want to finish it.
One more thing about the chips. This is not my vision of ideal society, but a thing that starts showing up and we will have to learn to live with it. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages – a knife can be used both to kill someone and cut the tomato. I am afraid that my generation will have to learn to live with it. I am an optimist and I believe that only a small minority of mankind is mean, stupid and evil, and that is why I am more interested in advantages than looking at once everything bad. Rather reluctant towards these electronic things British, after the recent event… kidnapping and murdering the two girls, look at the electronic “leash” much differently. I don’t trust it too much, but some of it seems interesting.
Despite my whole faith in humankind I don’t think that we have deserved – as the whole – to be absolutely independent and free – among other things because, we are humankind and there are much imperfection in us. Unfortunately a perfect society cannot be created – democracy with human’s faults is just a poor substitute for it. Things like that could exist only in perfect dictatorship, where the dictator would be more God – knowing all and almighty – then a human. But this is just unrealistic vision, so we have to use what we can. God gave us free will… but has anyone heard about the parliament of angels?

Monday, September 23

quitation of the day:

He who can take advice is sometimes superior to him who can give it.
(Karl von Knebel)
A chip problem

In today’s “Forum” the week topic is should we implant our children the chips, to could locate them easily. I’m thinking would I do that to my kid? It all depends on what are we driven by – or lack of trust and the will to control the child, or the concern for our children. Having such abilities is tempting – where does our children go after school, does it lie sometimes telling that he or she stays at her friends… But this is not the most important. But we have some arguments for. What should we do, when a child gets lost, or (God forbid) someone kidnaps him or her? The best solution would be a possibility of turning on the remote localization system, because it would certainly be useful in those cases. Both the child and the parents would feel much safer, because you would not have to search in panic – you’d just turn on the chip and it’s done. If I could turn on this “leash” in such moments, I could “implant” myself – just for my own safety.
And one more thing in which this technology would be useful. There are some people, towards who society trust is low. Democracy is democracy, but implanting the chip i.e. ex-murders or rapists could be brought up for discussion. Of course we can believe in rehabilitation, but not in this country. The man is not perfect that is why we don’t deserve perfect freedom. As a single person living among the society I would feel much safer, if we could i.e. check if one or another were at that place at that time. I’m just thinking – if we all had a chip like that, the problem of fights, some murders etc. would be gone. Our ways would be monitored… Let’s say someone beats you. Then you check whose chip was at that time at that place and it’s done. It all seems really simple, but creating just rules of using these possibilities will certainly be questionable – just because people are not perfect.

A day has passed...

I haven’t made anything special today. It’s cold and the central heating is not on yet, so I was much more tempted by a worm blanket and a cup of tea, than any kind of activity. Still… they might turn it on yet and not torment us – poor occupants. I only managed to force myself to two hours of English vocabulary – but some of that time was preparing today’s lesson. M. has postponed his for Friday, so I had some time for afternoon laziness. I had some pierogis and tomato and feta cheese salad for dinner and I went to bed. I have been going to bed definitely too late recently and I can feel it unfortunately.
My friend asked me what I would do with enormous amount of money. Accept a very old bottle of wine and a very expensive fountain pen… Once I dreamed about buying the National Opera House to live in. Those interiors has always fascinated me. Wide corridors, beautiful chandeliers, parquet floors… Mmm…The servants would skate around and I would use a bike to go from one room to another. And of course I would get a small castle in Scotland. But I can only wish I could do that! My account balance is 5,15. The say that money doesn’t bring luck. But what having no money brings? A smile on your face?


Is a chair padded with skin that comes from a foreskin of a whale, is still luxury or already perversion?

It’s cold like hell (I thought it’s rather cold there – is there an English idiom for that?), and the wind… I did not dare to go out just in the sweater, but I had to start the jacket season. I could also think about taking the gloves with me, but the pockets are yet enough. But I found some people in hats outside, but that is still rare. I had a big cup of briar tea in the radio, talked a bit and hurried to university. There was no trace of my tutor. I will try to find him tomorrow. But the timetable was posted up. I don’t have many classes, but there are some interesting monographic lectures, so I will probably attend some… And then home… I managed to wash the dishes after yesterday’s dinner – cooking is nice, but washing up is a small horror… and now it’s time to prepare the lessons.

Sunday, September 22

quotation of the day:

Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.
(Anton Czekov)
The holidays aren’t over yet and I went to see a lecture. I was tempted by the topic although it appeared that I was not really worth drugging myself out of bed and getting under a warm blanket. I was lying and watching the cyclist of Vuelta going up on some killer-mountain, which slope in some places was even 23 % (I think it would be difficult to walk there). But I felt quite stupid not to go. But let’s go back to the heart of the matter: the lecture and discussion, or rather quasi-discussion because the questions were almost nonexistent and they were not exactly to the point, were about an image of Poles and Germans in 90’s caricatures. There were about 50 images presented and two professors (my lecturer on history of Germany and a German History Institute manager) and an artist, who had problems in creating a compound sentence. Generally it wasn’t a rousing intellectual discussion, which was showed by people going out in the middle… But it was not boring and some images were really interesting and conclusions put forward might be called optimistic. It is slowly getting better in our relationships, although the reconciliation spelt with “R” and normal neighbourhood and some distance is still away. Luckily we stopped using the war propaganda of hate and guilt and we focus on some more recent issues and vices. But it’s not so good. A lady started a short and stupid discussion with the German professor about German policy on Silesia and she also accused professor Borodziej anti-Polish attitude, which can’t be agreed. Unfortunately – to talk normally about Germans, a generation affected by war must die out, because there will be some more cases like the one in Chorzów, when some citizen of merit was put up a statue, which was protested by those “fighting patriots”, as the man was a German. How dare we give a monument to a German!… Well… We can’t forget the history, but we can’t fall into paranoia, extremities and we can’t look only backwards putting some stereotypical patches. But it is getting better.

And to finish it all – a joke, which was about to show an attitude of West Germans towards the East Germans:

An Ester comes to the Western and says:
- we are one nation
- so are we

a good one…

It was a good Sunday. The first normal day since some time, when I don’t depress myself with thoughts about breaking appliances and all other mundane life problems. In the morning I did some cleaning, shopping for lunch and I gave a lesson of English to Chris, during which I was told in broken English about some differences of the game “Kozaks” and “Age of Empires”. Fascinating. But in general it was all fine. On my way back home I made a hunt for mushrooms. I was afraid that I won’t find any, but I luckily managed. Later I put on my lovely apron, which my sister had given my for my birthday or something…
Eva came punctually, which I respect a lot. We talked a bit about work, some life problems connected mostly with not having enough money, moods of our favourite superior (from whom I got his a bit used cell phone) and generally about many things. It’s nice to have a guest. And besides – I like cooking for people. Bustling about the kitchen, crushing garlic, mixing, chopping etc. gives me a whole lot of pleasure. Cooking is great. Period. After a short meeting (Eva had to go to work), I pleased myself with a short siesta and one more bowl of ice cream. Mmm… In fact I felt like having a short nap, but I decided to go and see the lecture, but I am writing about it in the next note.
And so was the Sunday. It’s got a bit chilly and generally it’s more and more autumn outside. But luckily a worm sweater is still enough. I have Chuck Mangione playing in the background and I am having a cup of hot tea with honey. I feel good.

chicken roulade recipe (improved by me)

ingredients (for 1 roulade)

a half of a big chicken breast
3 meadow mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
2 slices of becon
some fresh parsley
a slice of hard cheese
some cream
spices: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, soya sauce
3 toothpicks

First you cut the mushrooms onto small slices and fry it with crushed garlic and fine chopped parsley. When the water from mushrooms is gone, then the stuffing is ready. Then you must clean the chicken breast and tenderize the meat quite thin so that it has a shape of rectangle (this is the most difficult part). Sprinkle the breast with spices, rub some soya sauce in. Then spread the stuffing on it, put a slice of cheese and roll the meat into a roulade. Then you must wrap it around with bacon and use toothpicks to keep it all together. The roulade then goes onto a hot frying pan (and some oil on it of course). Fry it on all sides and when it is done, add a glass of water on the frying pan, cover it, and stew the meat for about 10 minutes (remember to rotate the meat from time to time). When there is only some water left, you take the breast out, and add a spoon of cream to the sauce… And then it’s ready. It is served with rise and salad (but that is work for your imagination).

bon appétit!

It was really difficult to get up today. But it happens, when you watch TV for too long. I watched the second part of “Alien”. It was a good movie, but not necessarily scary. But it’s my fault – I am not afraid of that kind of movies. Everything was all right – the special effects, the photography… Just these big monsters weren’t scary at all. Maybe those small getting out from people’s bodies were nice, but…. Definitely science fiction is not my genre…
Finally I had to clean my room – I have a guest on dinner today. So I’ve been cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and moving things from one place to another. But I like looking at my clean flat for a moment. For a moment, because in a while the whole order is going to be a history. It’s enough if I get the English books out and place then in the middle of the carpet again. As regards to the today’s menu… I am cooking chicken roulade with mushroom, parsley and garlic stuffing, wrapped in bacon. I gave the soup up – I don’t have enough pots. And the desert… I will try to make some small pancakes with peach jam and chocolate liqueur. I am on my way shopping.
On TV I found Leonard Bernstein’s tales about music. When I was a child I really liked to watch that. Today’s one was about orchestration. And my favourite work was dealt today – Ravel’s “Bolero. The one and only. Two melodies, constant rhythm and a magnificent demonstration of a large orchestra possibilities. One instrument after another shows their possibilities to the listener, families mixing, different tones, combinations and the big orchestra scream at the end. Seemingly it’s the music closed in its simplicity, but on the other hand this simplicity is the biggest difficulty here. I once had a CD with London’s orchestra performance, in which the drummer made a mistake. I was really proud of myself that I noticed it.

Quotation of the day:

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
(Oscar Wilde)

Saturday, September 21

I got it on my mail today…. funny

“I’ll sell a full edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
45 voluminous. Perfect condition.
1000 $ or the best offer.
I won’t need it any longer.
I got married last week.
My wife knows fuckn’ all!

Autumn has started...
The time passes really quickly. A week ago I was complaining about a burnt computer… And today? Hmm… All this reminds me a reconstruction of a city razed to the ground. I am slowly building more and more parts of it. This morning I spent 2 hours on typing some vocabulary in. I turned on some music, made a cup of tea and sat by the keyboard. Spanish is the worst – I just don’t feel like typing all this once again. But I will make it.
Enough of complaining. The sun come out from behind the clouds and beat down – that is the last breath of summer. Because it seems to be officially finished, doesn’t it? I didn’t even need a sweater. I was sitting in a bus, squinting, and trying to finish the book. But this is certainly not summer any more. The leaves are falling down, and the world is getting more and more colourful. And it’s even hard to get a nice conker. While going to my sister a squirrel crossed my path. Are there any superstitions connected with that? Maybe it’ll bring me some luck. I used to have a black cat at home, so I am not afraid of that. Kizzi (de Mizzi) was my cat. I brought it home one evening. My parents were out. I had to persuade my sister not to tell them anything until they get up the next day – maybe then they would bear it. I took the cat to my room and went to bed. When my parents came back from the party I heard my sister screaming: We have a cat! And the secret was gone. Fortunately I did not have to throw it out of the door – she stayed and lived in my room. She was incredible. What she liked the most was watching television with me. She lied on my knees and watched the shiny screen. She also, once a day, for an hour, got mad. She was running around the whole flat and there was nothing that could stop her. Well – but one day we had to give it away. I don’t really remember why – I think we had to go for holidays. So we gave her to my dad’s aunt, to the country. As the city cat, she was the only cat in the village allowed to sleep at home. But she hunted mice as no other cat. Unfortunately she didn’t know that she should not eat rat’s tails…. Enough of memoirs…
At my sister it was nice, as usual. Children were making noise, we made lunch… A family life, which is always a nice change. Maciek is speaking more and more. I really can’t fallow the new words, and my sister must translate. He absorbs knowledge in great speed and he finally stopped answering all the questions with “no”. In front of the entrance I noticed a big heap of produce – my sister got all the crops at one place before taking it to the basement. It looked like at harvest home. And the lunch? There was some broth (I haven’t eaten that for a long time), and some noodles with sausage and cabbage. And for the desert we had some leavened pie and jam. MMMmm … yummy
My friend has asked me a question: if I was offered an astronomical amount of money for one Russian roulette game, would I agree?… What shall I say? On one hand the probability calculus is on my side – the chance is 1:6. In one moment I could become a wealthy man, and live in peace until the end. Many problems would go away forever. But because there is one hand, so there is also the second. What would I feel putting a barrel to my head? Would I bear the fear running through my brain like electricity? Would I have enough fear to pull the trigger? If I did not hear a silent click, in a matter of fact I would not hear anything at all. Suddenly everything could be over. The bullet would splash my brain around. I don’t know. Maybe if I was older… I would not have so many things to lose… Maybe I would take this risk. But not yet. Not yet.
Anyway… Don’t we risk quite the same going out every day? There are so many things that can happen to us…

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