Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bird watching at the office

I work in a new office for a couple of months now and it's in a quiet green(er) neighborhood. Last year I bought the Phillips bird guide, the Romanian edition. So now I'm always on a lookout for nearby birdies. And as a very junior birdwatcher I'm starting with what I have around. 
One of the first groups I started to follow in fascination was a fluttering gang of bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula). I couldn't miss them due to their adorable red chest and short fat beaks. They've been away for a couple of days, every day I could see them at lunch through the window. 
Now it's the time of the blackbirds (Turdus merula). I meet them in the morning, they like to snack around the nearby school and they seem to have become more and more accustomed to me. I still can't get a decent picture of one, though. I can't wait to hear them singing again.
A quite common presence is the great tit (Parus major). I can hear them when I come and go but they're restless little creatures. I think I'll never consider them to be common birds. That unusual green is nothing but special in the grey city.
Every morning there's a whole wire of puffed up carrion crows (Corvus corone corone) lining up the alley. They're also hanging around a lot in the trees I used to see the bullfinches on. There's always a lunch fight going on must mostly it looks like fun play. Their cousins, the hooded crows (Corvus corone cornix) are a bit more shy for some reason. In the country I remember they were quite used to having humans nearby all the time.
Aaand while I was stalking some blackbirds for a photo I happened accross a woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) going about its business. He did notice me for he was always going around the tree so I couldn't get a decent picture. 
Somehow we always think we are used to all these neighbors but we are strangers. Honestly, I couldn't name all of the birds when I first met them and I had to double check I got the species right. They are amazing resilient creatures in such cold days. 
I put up a bird feeder on my terrace but I think they're too shy to come so close to a home, especially when there's a river nearby where they can search the bushes and trees for food. But here close to my office they are living their little lives a bit closer. I'll keep looking at new places in the city and away for more and more birdies to watch and "collect".
*I didn't take any of the pictures - they're internet finds. But I want to start getting good at this. Hope I can soon use my own.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

In 2017 I'm an island

The more 2016 progressed, the more my anxiety grew. I'm now not sure whether I have heart problems or just a very fucked up manifestation of that anxiety. The first day of holiday - bam! I have left side chest pains and pains in my left arm. The ER says my life is not in any danger but they can't put a finger on whatever it really is.
The thing is, I am aware my anxiety has now reached a new peak. I no longer find it strange I worry about things because semi-consciously I think if I don't those things can happen. Well, I know for sure they can also happen if I worry so that gives me even more to worry about. Yeah. But that's just the light part.
I've been worrying about the future, but worrying for my life and safety, not just if I graduate or pay my bills. It's all in the light of recent international events. My life has been great. 2016 was a great year for me. Doing the work I like, traveling a lot, being married to the man I love, seeing my friends and having a good relationship with family, having a nice home and an increasing income and upward professional career, and I've been pretty healthy as well. But I'm terrified as fuck because now I have all these things to lose.
I'm making myself sick with all this worrying and fuck this shit I'm done with caring and following what goes on in the world. My husband is serene. He does his thing, he thinks about the bridge when he gets to it and generally he does what he feels like doing and it's a recipe for success in his life. He gets shit done and is happy. But I read the news, I follow the economy, I stress about nuclear war and financial depression and cancer. And I can't really do much about most of these things. The factors are so many and the mechanisms so complex, I can't even grasp let alone handle them.
So this year my resolution is to not give a fuck. I will do my things. But I will be an island. Fuck I'll dig that moat as deep and wide as I can. How? Well, no more TV. Today we got Netflix. Star Trek, cooking shows, crime series, that's all the TV I'll get. I'll try to stay off Facebook. As much as I can. I want to enforce a no Facebook at home rule. And even when I do go there, I'm unfollowing all bearers of bad news. However much I love them. Generally, I'll try that for most social media.
But I'll try to hang on to this blog. Because I need focus. And I want to focus on the stuff I care about  inside my castle - books, cooking, games, staying healthy. These things I'll need to keep me busy. In 2016 I've had too much time to worry and think about shit. I have podcasts and budgets and people to see. I have kilometers to run and swim and weights to lift. I have learning and writing to do.
This is the real fucking world. This is where I live every day and I don't even look at it because I live in my head. I want to take up bird watching. And bird feeding. And go hiking again. What the fuck point is it to worry about the nuclear winter if I can't really enjoy right now the stuff it would wipe out (here it goes again). But really, look. This is the real fucking world and I intend to live in it. As an island. I want to know my island and love my island and enjoy it. I want to get strong and fast and handy and fearless.
In the end, this is what I'm after. This amazing freedom that comes with peace of mind and being able to set aside, chase away fear. I used to work in the news. Not anymore. I now research people who grow things - food and life. And I intend to do the same. And if it takes a lot of shoveling to get me going, if it takes some horse glasses to finally see what's right in front of me, dammit, I owe myself to pull up my sleeves and go to work.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The big things

Hey, guys! It's been more than a year since I last posted. Maybe nobody's reading anyway. I added a little banner to the right to the new blog I've started with my husband. A lot has changed. I moved, we live in a house now. We have a new baby boy cat (the one with his eyes open). We got married. I got a new job. I gained weight. I didn't finish my PhD yet. Some of my friends moved to other countries. Some are coming back. Life is very different, in theory, but I feel the same.
Actually, in all honesty, I feel better about myself. I've been keeping away from people and situations that make me feel terrible. I gave up drinking. I gave up harmful friends. I no longer allow others to make me feel inadequate. And I've had a great time learning from people on an app called YOU about what a supportive community can bring to one's life. I've been conscious about the amazing happiness of having a family of my own. I've treated myself with kindness and tried to enjoy giving.
These are the things that actually matter when catching up. I sometimes wish I could sit down with a long time friend and tell them these things. But none of us really talk about the big things, do we?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I look around social media and everybody seems to have this great time, being successful and going places and having these amazing pictures everybody likes of themselves.
And I just sit here hating myself day in and day out and I still can't believe a meat suit gets to define everything I am and everything I do. It obliterates the hard work and the kindness and the joy I used to get from all the small things. It obliterates the small pleasures of vanity that come with clothing, the infinite delight that food can bring into one's life, it even obliterates the sun for me, because the meat suit is no longer compatible with the standards. If it ever was. It obliterates my love, for I have a constant desire to hide and not to play, not to enjoy, it obliterates me as a whole being because the vessel has come to represent everything inside, and really made it irrelevant. I have been obliterated by my aging body and it's taking over my whole life, replacing pleasure with shame, ambition with fear, love with loneliness. The more it grows, the less I am.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Dear 2015

I've just read a few bits about what you have in store for me and I it seems all the horoscopes agree on the major issues. I'll be working smarter and maybe harder and it will not go unnoticed. Although I was looking for a career change, you seem like the kind to take it easy. They say it'll not be about changing paths, but about being promoted. Also, completing a huge task this fall that I'll be getting to full speed in the spring. It sounds like the stars support me in my main objective of finishing my PhD this year. This will put me on my desired career track, they say.
Now that I've changed homes and gotten engaged, you will be the year I settle down for real and start growing roots. I'm more of an anchor kind of girl, so it will be a pretty big change in the way I relate to everything. What I want most is to practice kindness and to be aware of the things I need to grow. Really, most of all I want structure, so that I can enjoy this life of emotional comfort while navigating smoothly through tasks that usually drain me.
All in all, you seem like a nice year, with nice money (although they all recommend me to save and make the right decisions), constant work towards things I've wanted for myself (but without outstanding changes) and a good life with my loved ones. Honestly, I am still so beat after 2014, all of this looks great to me. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One of those days

Sometimes I'm like one of those bands that do a goodbye tour and then a final tour and then some other kind of last chance to bee seen by fans for years in a row but never actually retire. Just the
opposite of that. I keep saying I'm gonna start working on things but then I don't.
I at least changed the appearance of the blog again. It's more clean and easy to navigate, I've set four tab labels for things I should be writing every week. I should be sharing at least one of the awesome stuff I cook and at least a little of the books and movies that eat away my free time, and some memories of my travels and, the new thing, a little diary of the construction of my look. Which is not a defined thing, but more like a theatre dressing room, and that is fine, and it's fun and it's something I'd like to share. And then, if I still have the time, I want to keep whining on the main page of this blog.

I also want to start a PhD diary. I hope I get my ass to work so that I can say something about it. Anything at all. Because I want to finish it. I need a break from the academia for a while, because we've been having this distant relationship that doesn't make me happy or excited anymore. If we're not going to break up, we at least need to see other people. I might want to go back to school a year from now. But considering although they like me they didn't put at least a tutoring or research assistance offer on it I have to realize I'm not getting what I wanted from this relationship and move on. There are plenty of careers in the sea, and according to them I'm everything they ever wanted (ok, I'm pulling your leg here). But really, I can't do this anymore. And it's not me, it's them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm back. Eventually

It's been like more than a month since I said I'd start posting again. I've been rummaging through old ideas of post topics I should use and I yet need to structure my writing so that I don't lazy out and keep track of the things I'd want to read here. Right now I'm at work and while I should be working or checking up some files at the court house, I'm writing this. Actually, my whole life has gotten a bit messy, but in a good way. I guess it's a little like when a really quiet and tidy couple have their first child. Things get noisy and dirty and nothing is anymore where it should be, and a lot of stuff is put aside. But you are so happy and everything is so new and exciting, that you just don't care anymore.
 Not that my life is all new. I just feel like it is, every day. And I don't really get to plan or dwell in the past. Because I keep going while I get to enjoy so much. I work at the same newspaper and teach the same class. I haven't advanced with my dissertation and I rarely see my friends and family. But the times I do get to see them, it's great, and I am grateful every day. I am actually always in between homes and work and school and meetings, but it evens out, as I get to lay back and relax, watch a few show I enjoy and debate with my boyfriend and just be generally awesome.
This is my Monday voice, when everything is full of possibilities, because I, for one, don't mind going back to work or planning a full day, including workouts, cooking and some right about time housework. I'll be having a short week at work, actually two of them, and some five free days in between. So I'll use up as much of my energy as I feel like, because there will be plenty of time to replenish it. Yesterday I baked a really great chocolate peanut butter cake and if I'm not too lazy, I'll post it soon under yet another (not quite) Sunday baking post. Also, I must interest you in this Clive Barker novel I'm reading. It's exhausting, but freaking mindblowing. Like most things nowadays, I guess!