Zen Café – “Nainen Vailla Historia” (Woman Without History).

   Hey hi people, Bibielz are back! 🙂 

   I posted an announcement on here on Saturday that I’d be away on a camper trip, and while on it, I happened to listen to a lot of Finnish music while riding. And it keeps niggling at me that while I generally like a lot of Finnish music that I hear, I feel that I still don’t really know a lot of it, and rarely end up actually sharing something Finnish on here, which results in a gross underrepresentation of Finnish music in my song of the day series despite Finnish is one of my favourite languages. So I thought it’s time to share something Finnish today, and I chose a song that I really like and have a good associations with, though I also generally really like this band and it’s very possible that I’ll be sharing more of their music in the future, sooner or later. We shall see. 

   Zen Café is a band that I discovered thanks to the amazing programme in Polish Radio 3 called Strefa Rokendrola Wolna od Angola (Rock’n Roll Zone Free of English) which I have mentioned a couple times before because I’ve made some interesting discoveries thanks to it. It’s a programme where you can hear only music in languages other than English, and the vast majority of the time also other than Polish, except for some special occasions when Polish-language songs of foreign artists are played. And this song was the first one by Zen Cafe that I heard. I was finding myself a bit on the crossroads language learning-wise at that point, wondering which language should I actually start learning now that my Swedish was on a decent enough level for me not to need to devote my whole attention to it, and the two strong contenders were Welsh and Finnish, so I was definitely on the lookout for Finnish music then, and checked out more of Zen Cafe’s music and listen to them to this day and like a lot of their songs. 

   The band is actually no longer a thing really, well they haven’t disbanded officially but went into an indeterminedly long hiatus over ten years ago. It was formed in Turku in the 90’s. Its name is the idea of the band’s bassist Kari Nylander, based on Robert M. Pirsig’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Their vocalist, guitarist and lyricist – Samuli Putro – has released a lot of solo music since the band’s hiatus has started, and I really like his solo albums as well. Aside from the aforementioned Nylander and Putro, part of the band right before the hiatus was also Pete Parkkonen. 

   Sadly (also for mé because I can’t speak Finnish just yet) I haven’t been able to find a reliable, logical-sounding, properly grammatically English translation of this song, but what I was able to figure out of those not very good ones that I found as well as with the help of my multilingual friend Deepl, it’s about the lyrical subject’s relationship with, well, a woman without history, or perhaps not necessarily relationship but at the very least it seems like he’d be happy for one to develop. He’s also very curious about her past, and generally who she might be and what sort of life does she have. 

Question of the day.

   How do you people deal with heat? 

   My answer: 

   Thankfully, I have my AC now so that helps a lot. I would really like to be able to control it more than I can, because unfortunately its app is pretty much unusable with VoiceOver and the only thing that I can use with it is its remote, so the only thing I can do knowing what I’m doing is to turn it on and off, and even then it often likes to act up and I have to turn it both on and off repeatedly for it to actually take effect, but it’s definitely better than none. This is why I am thinking about getting myself a smart AC controller, it’s called Sensibo Air and is very accessible, you plug it in the AC, configure it with an app on your phone and it basically works like a remote. Except I’m not entirely sure yet if it’s compatible with my AC, and my Mum hasn’t really been able to help determine that, so we asked a guy who was setting it up for me to come over and check it, but so far he hasn’t. Anyway, yeah, AC is very helpful during a heatwave, and I also sporadically use it in winter to heat the room. 

   My room generally heats up really fast, so I also have blinds here, and they help somewhat as well, but not extremely much. 

   Other than that, I try to drink a lot, especially iced drinks, be it orange juice, water or Pepsi, iced coffee too but it’s not hydrating really. I really really love ice, I don’t know what it is and if it’s something about ice or something weird going on with me but I’ve always really loved ice, be it feeling it, sucking on cubes of it, hearing it, icicles, or drinking iced drinks, where you can actually feel bits of ice. When I was a kid, and even now, actually, I wanted there to be ice that wouldn’t melt, or not so easily at least, so that I could have like a whole container of it and feel it as long and often as I’d like without it melting. I know that health-conscious people like my Mum say you should actually drink hot drinks when you’re hot so that your body will start cooling itself down or something, but that doesn’t make much sense to me, and I bet that few people actually do it unless it’s somehow part of their cultural customs to do that, not even my health-conscious Mum actually does it. I typically have tea with my breakfast though no matter the season, or sometimes cocoa or I used to have coffee a lot too, because having a cold beverage with breakfast feels kind of weird to me and I don’t like cold or even iced tea, and I haven’t noticed that it would make me particularly cooler when it’s hot. Very cold kefir will also do, but iced kefir would be kind of odd I guess. 

   We are also very privileged people here because we have a river on our backyard, so while you wouldn’t necessarily want to swim in it I suppose, you can still sit by the shore and put your feet in it or even sit in the water where it’s shallow. A cold/very lukewarm shower is also something I like to take especially if I was out in the heat riding in the car or something. 

   I only tend to wear stuff like airy, breathable dresses or skirts when it’s hot, with leggings underneath if I have to people ‘cause I don’t like to show my legs if I really don’t have to, or I just wear a long enough skirt. If I go to the beach or for a trip or even out on a terrace or to sit by our river or for a walk, sunscreen is a must in summer ‘cause it’s quite ridiculous how quickly I can get sunburn, I typically use grape seed oil for that. 

   Oh yeah, and I try to limit standing for long periods of time as much as possible. This is something that has always been a bit of a problem for me ever since I was a young child, that long periods of standing in one place would make me feel faint and like extremely tired and nauseated and my pulse would   get a lot faster, and just the whole thing is really weird and awful in general, and it’s regardless of the weather, but heat is one of the things that is a particular trigger for that. Sofi has the same thing which is even weirder because unlike me her blood pressure seems to usually be normal rather than usually low like mine, we both also had cardiological assessments because our Dad has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy but there was nothing wrong  with either of us. That’s why I always dreaded school trips, which typically took place at the end of school year when it was already pretty hot and would involve visiting stuff like museums or other such where you’d be standing for ages in front of every single exhibit and listen to a lecture about it. 😀 And I have to avoid Corpus Christi processions (Corpus Christi is a Catholic holiday) which are typically in May-June and it just absolutely always has to be hot when this day comes. Walking as such is okay with my system, but when it’s a procession, you first have to stand for quite a while before it starts so you’re already starting to feel a little weird before it starts properly, and then stop regularly and go from kneeling to standing to kneeling and so on, which doesn’t help, so that I usually am not able to make it through the whole thing before I get the ringing in the ears sensation and everything starts to feel oddly distant, so I would usually ruin it for my family because one of our parents would have to take me (and often Sofi as well) home and miss the rest of the procession as well. And I hate drama like that and ruining stuff for people, so while I don’t like having to avoid it,  I just go to the morning Mass with Mum and Sofi so that when Mum wants she can go to the procession later. Anyways, while I’ve never ever fainted, I don’t fancy experiencing it, so when it’s hot, like I said I prefer to avoid  standing  for too long if I can, but normal walking is fine. 

   What are your strategies? 🙂 

Clannad – “An Crúiscín Lán” (The Little Full Jug).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today let’s listen to a cheerful tune, a sort of drinking song I guess we could call it, from Clannad’s live album from Bremen. I’ve found a lot of crappy translations of this, and one that seems reliable which comes from here. 

   

When I die, don’t bury me, but take me to the alehouse. I’d rather listen to the beat of drinking mugs than to the sweet music of the cuckoo. So fill to us the little jug and keep it full.

There is a girl in this village as lovely as you’ll find anywhere … so fill the jug …

Will come and will you stay, Dónal, and have you drunk enough?. I’ll come, not stay, and I’ll have a lovely girl if she takes my advice, so fill the jug …

This is a great town … and wouldn’t it be a good place for a young woman to dwell in, even for just a quarter of a year, so fill the jug …

Georgia Ruth – “Madryn”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Even though it’s summer already, and pretty hot over here, I thought we’d listen to a song from Georgia Ruth’s spring-filled album from two years ago called Mai (May). I don’t really know much about this piece, I don’t even know what, if anything, Madrynn means in Welsh, as my dictionary doesn’t know this word, but I like how this song sounds. 

Question of the day.

   What are some positive things happening in the world right now that aren’t mentioned a lot? 

   My answer: 

   Misha is still alive! How can there be anything more positive than that there is happiness? Although personally, as a very selfish Bibiel, I am very happy that this isn’t mentioned a lot, because otherwise I might have ended up with my house turning into a pilgrimage destination of some sort, and neither me nor happiness would be happy, and he’d probably have stalkers galore. 

   What’s such a thing that you can think of? 

Plu – “Nos Da Nawr” (Goodnight Now).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   For today, I have a lovely little children’s lullaby for you, from Plu’s album called Holl Anifeiliaid y Goedwig (All Animals of the Forest). As far as I can tell, this lullaby is about what various animals do before bedtime and how they prepare for sleep. 

Li’l announcement.

   Just wanted to let you know that Bibielz will be MIA for the next couple of days, not sure how long exactly, but most likely from tomorrow until Tuesday. My Dad’s on holiday from Monday, and he actually wanted to go to Sweden once again (didn’t realise he liked it so much the last time we were there). Except we’ll go to Warsaw rather than Sweden after all. It’s because Sofi’s going to have some model casting there. Last year when she was out shopping with Mum they were approached by a scout who says that Sofi has a potential for a model and gave her his business card. Mum didn’t feel for a long time like getting Sofi into that sort of thing, even though Sofi was all for it, and we were worried if it could be a scam. But the guy was called Jacek, so he gave me good vibes and  I looked him up and it seems to be a legit agency, but my Mum still wouldn’t want to hear about it. Only recently, almost a year later, she changed her mind for some reason and they contacted him and he said he’d be happy to see Sofi next week Tuesday at 2 PM, and that agency is in Warsaw. My Mum is still a bit of a chicken for driving such long-distance (it’s 4-5 hours from us), even though she rode there a lot back when I was at the boarding school because it’s near Warsaw, so since my Dad is on leave they decided it would just be a camper trip and meanwhile Sofi would have her casting. I’m curious how it goes for her. We’re also likely going to stop by some lake in Masuria which is an ever so popular region with my family, because it’s been roasting hot all over the country. 

   But you’ll probably be thrilled to hear that Bibielz aren’t so cruel as to leave my readers completely lonely, because Bibielz have scheduled posts for the next three days in both of the daily series (yay! 😀 ), so hopefully that’ll be enough until I’m back, and if not, perhaps I’ll be able to write something on the go but generally would rather not, because I only take my iPhone and Bluetooth keyboard with me and that’s not fun for writing longer or even medium things. 

   Until then, I hope y’all will be doing well, and lemme know if you’re also going for some trips or other stuff like that soon. 🙂 

Mared – “Y Drefn” (The Order).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I have a beautiful song for you, the title track from Mared Williams’ last year’s album, which was deemed Welsh-language Album of the Year and from which I’ve already shared several songs because it’s really cool and very versatile musically. Mared is also someone whom I don’t think I really need to introduce on here, but for any newbies to my blog out there and people who are green in Welsh-language music, she is a young singer from Conwy, who is great at everything from jazz through pop to folk, and also rock, as part of the band Y Trŵbz. I really like this acoustic piece, and decided to share a live version of it with you. 

Question of the day.

   Your objective is to go back in time into the 1700’s and blow the minds of everyone there. What do you bring with yourself? 

   My answer: 

   Some giant blow-dryer, I suppose, so that I could be able to blow as many minds at once as possible as quickly as possible, lol. But seriously, I think it wouldn’t be a difficult task at all to blow the 1700’s people’s minds, except for the actually getting there bit. My first thought was to show them some audio recording equipment, as well as something that music can be stored and played on, be it  a CD or an iPod or a computer with either audio files or a streaming service or whatever really. So I’d definitely have to get myself some pretty powerful power bank, or if even that fails back then perhaps I’ll actually have to borrow my grandad’s machine that produces electricity (I can’t figure out what its actual name is in English, but the huge, noisy thing that you use when there’s a power outage and whatever you make your living off doesn’t really allow for power outages) and drag it back in time with myself, plus something to keep it in that would muffle the sound so people wouldn’t think it’s the devil roaring. And then I’d also definitely pack my iPhone – but I wouldn’t actually be showing all its features to them, like what a phone actually is and stuff like that ‘cause they would either end up having some pretty bad shock, which can’t be good for your mental health, or wouldn’t be able to take it in anyway – I’d just use it to show them that there are such things that can record your voice, or anything really, for that matter, and then you can play it back and do sound editing and what not, and I’d show them some music, probably from just normal audio files because the only other way I listen to music and I guess most people do is streaming services, and I don’t think these peeps would be ready for the idea of the Internet quite yet and how you can stream something out of nowhere, plus I don’t know how I could take the Internet with me. It wouldn’t be anything  too modern like, dunno, dubstep,  lol, just some classical music and very traditional-sounding acoustic folk tunes or something like that, I don’t want the population to extinct in one mass heart attack. Perhaps this way, it would get them to think and develop ways of recording music earlier than people actually started doing it, and we would be able to have an even clearer idea of what people listened to back then, as well as they could simply make any other random recordings that could work as sort of family heirlooms for future generations, that they’d have recordings of their family members voices, and maybe as a result they’d learn to record video sooner as well. It would also be cool because for those who were still illiterate, or just weren’t very experienced at writing, they could just keep an audio diary, which would be sooo interesting for linguists because spoken language is so different from how it’s written, just in case you’ve never heard of this phenomenon before. 

   And then I’d also want to show them ebooks somehow, at least to the more educated folks out there. So I guess I’d need to take my Mac with me, explain what the screen and keyboard is all about and how you can display text, and read stuff, and I would show them how to read a text file and how to edit text files and generally type on a keyboard. I would probably also need to borrow a Kindle or something similar from someone and show them how books can be read on something like that. This would be for very selfish reasons – so that, once they’d hopefully wrap their minds around it, they’d also be able to write their books in other ways than just physical, which would make them accessible to Bibielz, which would mean that more deliciously old books in a deliciously rusty language would be available to all the Bibielz and non-Bibielz out there. As it is, a lot of old books are digitalised by libraries, but they’re typically just image scans that haven’t been converted to text, and a lot of classics to which copyright has expired can be downloaded for free very easily in accessible formats, but these are usually very obvious, very well-known books. It’s difficult to get something deliciously old and deliciously obscure, or simply not classic, in an accessible text format. 

   Problem is, I’m not sure I’d be the most fortunate person to blow their minds with this, because obviously I use screen readers, and screen readers are even later an invention than the Internet, and also fairly abstract to explain how it works (even to IT people sometimes *sighs*) and I’m pretty sure that even a computer alone could be quite a creepy thing for someone from 1700’s, let alone a talking one, and I actually wonder what would be worse, very robotic-sounding synths or the neural ones that even many people these days can’t tell apart from a human. Not to mention that the idea of blind people being able to basically read screens is still pretty difficult for many people to take in, so I would expect it to be even more spectacularly mind-blowing back then, and they’d probably think it’s some sort of prank or something supernatural or don’t know what else. 😀 

   What would your choice be? 🙂 

Masåva – “Klem” (Hug).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to introduce you to a Norwegian band, whose music I’m actually quite new to as well, and it could be described as a blend of jazz with the Nordic folk song genre called vise/visa. It consists of Selma French Bolstad, who is the group’s lyricist as well as the vocalist and fiddler, Martin Morland, who plays bass, Martin Sternberg, who plays piano, and Øystein Aarnes Vik who plays drums. I like this song for its cosy vibe, and lyrics which can be very relatable if you’re an overthinker or a ruminator. Below is my translation, although it probably leaves a lot to be desired, and there’s even one line that is missing because I had no idea what it was actually supposed to mean. 

  You said you were coming home
I’m here but you haven’t arrived
But I hope it was nice things that they said
[…?]
You said you were coming home 
Maybe you have to help a friend
Or maybe the tram isn’t moving again
I’m here when you need a hug
And everything you think about
It’s going to go well here now
Don’t need to think this thought again
I’ll take care of you when you get home
So can we say sorry?
You said you were coming home
So I think well to think well again
Oh I’m trying not to get jealous
You said that she is just a friend
And all I think about
It’s going to go well here now
No need to think this thought again
You’re going to take care of me when you get home
So can we say sorry?
Because you said you were coming home
You said it after all , I say it again
When you get home you will get a hug
And all you think about
It’s going to go well here now
No need to think this thought again
I’m going to take care of you when you get home
And all you think about
It’s going to go well, yes, this 
You can get rid of everything you think about
No need to think that thought now anymore 
So can we say sorry?
Because you said you were coming home
You said it after all, I say it again
When you get home you will get a hug
So can we say sorry? 

Question of the day.

   How much coffee do you drink in a day? 

   My answer:

   Sadly, usually none. I used to be a very enthusiastic coffee drinker, because I tend to have pretty low blood pressure (or as  – dr Jacek, aka “probably the best dermatologist in the county” told me this year when I had a checkup with him, it’s “Unmeasurable” 😀 ) and especially in the mornings, which, coupled with weird sleep patterns and dysthymia, means that most days my brains take quite a while to boot properly, and it’s not just that I feel sleepy – in fact if I had a good night’s sleep I don’t have to feel sleepy at all – I simply have very little energy, physical and mental. – It typically gets better on its own over time, but with coffee it’s faster, which is helpful if you have or want to be more or less functional soon after you wake up. So I developed a routine of having a cuppa strong, black coffee, either before or with my breakfast and it was one of the things that motivated me to get up because I loved my coffee very much. Then, if I woke up quite early, i’d often also have another cup later in the morning or around noon, either because the previous one didn’t quite do the trick on its own or simply because I felt like it, or sometimes I’d have it later in the afternoon instead, but it never was like a fixed part of my routine or something like that first cup of coffee was. Or if my Mum or Dad were having a cuppa, I’d often have it with them cuz why not, even if I just finished my morning coffee. So I’d typically have 1-3 cups of coffee daily. Or sometimes I’d have some iced coffee or something like that, but I don’t really see it as regular coffee.

   I always thought I had strangely high tolerance to caffeine, all the more strangely that things have suddenly changed at some point. In the past, I never felt particularly affected by coffee, as in, I never noticed that having coffee later in the day would interfere with my circadian rhythm, or even when I had my daily morning coffee, despite it was always strong coffee, it had never made me jittery or make me feel somehow extremely full of beans, just to a degree that was desirable or sometimes it didn’t even do that. I was actually often quite surprised whenever I heard someone saying that they get headaches from too much coffee, or coffee in general, no matter the amount, or can’t drink it past certain hour. But I supposed I might have it after my Mum, who is also very much dependent on her coffee and it doesn’t matter for her system if she drinks it at 6 AM or 11 PM.

   But then, some two or three years later, I started noticing that I was often feeling shaky in the morning, all my muscles felt really tense and some even quite sore as a result, and I had loads of anxiety seemingly for no reason, or for some really trivial reasons that weren’t quite my normal, if we can’t speak about normal here that is. 😀 Despite I was all jittery and jumpy and hypervigilant, I would also feel really weak physically and often had nausea and stuff like that, which I’m not sure if it was the result of anxiety because I often feel nauseated when I’m anxious, or perhaps it was a totally independent thing. I often physically felt as if I was really hungry, but at the same time had no appetite due to nausea and could barely eat anything when I felt like that. I didn’t see the correlation of that and coffee for a long time, but at some point someone suggested to me that if I have an anxious brain, coffee could be making things worse and that’s what is the case with her. So I started observing it and, very unfortunately for me, it started to be clear that coffee could well be a culprit, because my weird symptoms would start soon after I drank it. If I drank it early enough during the day, they would usually dissipate over time, but if I happened to wake up late, or have another coffee in the afternoon, my whole day would be screwed and I had even less physical energy than before I drank the coffee, and all the energy I did have was used on dealing with anxiety, so that sometimes I would just lie in bed and be unable to stop shaking, with my brain racing 1000000 miles/h and every little thing felt absolutely creepifying so I felt like it was some sort of sim game of what it’s like to be Misha so that I could understand him better, because he’s a lot like that. Whenever I did not drink coffee at all in a day, I never had these symptoms. But still, I loved coffee so much that it took me some time to come to the conclusion that, hm, actually, it could be a good idea to quit it, if that’s what it’s doing to me. I really didn’t want to do that, because I didn’t have anything else to wake up my brain in the mornings (not that coffee did it properly anymore either) and I was desperately holding on to the hope that perhaps if I used to have such high tolerance to coffee and this thing has come on so suddenly, perhaps it’s just a phase and I’ll be back to normal soon. ‘Cause I’d never heard of anyone’s caffeine tolerance regressing like that, in fact I still haven’t and I think it would be interesting to know why this happens. But nothing was changing and so I eventually had to make that move and quit caffeine colld turkey. I guess I didn’t really have any particular withdrawal symptoms beyond my normal sluggishly booting brains and really missing the taste of coffee (which I still do very much), which was a nice surprise, as I was suspecting it would be quite nasty after years of daily coffeeing. 

   I was looking for some alternative and tried a lot of green teas and some even worked and weren’t as yucky as the others, but despite I tried to convince myself otherwise, I don’t really like green teas, and I didn’t like how it felt so much more like a chore compared with drinking coffee. Then I tried cocoa ‘cause my Mum read somewhere that since it also has caffeine, it can be used as a good substitute for coffee. Well, I guess if that’s true, you’d have to drink quite an impressive amount, ‘cause for me it does absolutely nothing. Still, I love to have a mug of cocoa that’s strong enough to taste almost like coffee, and it can be a great flavour substitute for coffee. I’m very envious of people who can just drink coffee no problem and whenever someone says they’ll be making coffee, I still get a bad craving, so then I drink cocoa instead. It’s not the same, but still very good. I also really like Kopiko hard candies which have some caffeine in it. I guess it wouldn’t really work on anyone unless you’re super sensitive or allergic, but it’s always something that tastes kinda like coffee. I never even tried to drink decaf ‘cause it’s  profanation. As for brain-booting alternative, I just try to take in a lot of fluids (as in actual fluids, so usually simply water, not dehydrating stuff like coffee) in the morning and will suck on a few grains of our Polish Kłodawa rock salt if I feel like it. 

   Sometimes I do give in and have a cup of coffee, but it’s very rarely, and I always have to assess beforehand what my anxiety level is to begin with, so that it doesn’t get through the roof, and make sure I don’t have to do any peopling or other stuff for which you at least need to make an impression of functioning, and if I can allow myself for that, I’ll have that cup of coffee on occasion, even if I’ll regret it half an hour later. I remember one time after I’ve already quit coffee, but my Dad was having one on a Sunday morning and I decided I can’t be worst, so I had one too, and then we went for lunch to a restaurant, but I was so anxious and shaky that I couldn’t even hold my utensils properly, and was sure that someone is going to see it and think I’d either had something a lot stronger that just coffeine, or that I’m having a seizure or something like that, which obviously didn’t make me feel any less anxious, even though theoretically I’m pretty sure that people rarely notice my shaking even if it feels really intense from my perspective. So I’ll never do coffee again unless I’m absolutely sure that I won’t be going out anywhere or dealing with people etc. 

   How about your coffee intake? Or if you don’t drink coffee at all, do you have a drink that is like a part of your routine, like coffee is to a lot of folks? 🙂 

Lisa Howard – “Bra Ihop” (Well Together).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have another Swedish pop piece for you this month, which has recently got really stuck in my brain, and it’s actually quite cool, I like how it sounds as a whole. It comes from Lisa Howard, who, from what I’ve read, is from Stockholm. She left Sweden for a while and lived in the US, hoping to find an inspiration there, but according to an article about her that I read, she didn’t really find it there (must be frustrating to travel so far away and not get much out of it) so she came back home and has already released several singles which seem to enjoy good reception in her home country and they’re definitely easily likeable. I was able to translate the lyrics of this one for you guys and my translation is below: 

    Someone told Johanna
Who told her friend
Who told her boyfriend who apparently plays in the same football team as you
Could hardly believe it
That it was true
Felt so weird that you have a new one with almost the same name
I know that I will meet others
But you have barely moved out
You, I hear it on the radio
You fit so well together
I do not think so
How, how could you let go of us?
How could it happen so fast?
We fit so well together
So I called Johanna
And asked about you
How on Earth did you have time to meet another girl?
I forgot a sweater
While you forgot me
So how can you honestly say that it all feels okay?
Feels like you should be ashamed of yourself
But you seem just fine
You, I hear it on the radio
You fit so well together
I do not think so
How, how could you let go of us?
How could it happen so fast?
We fit so well together
You said that I was everything for you
And of course you can change your mind
But feels like you forgot me too quickly
It would have been easier if I just let go off it
And met someone else just as fast
Oh you, I hear it on the radio
You fit so well together
I do not think so
How, how could you let go of us?
How could it happen so fast?
We fit so well together

Travelle – “Small Talk”.

   Thought I’d share another song by Travelle  – the Norwegian electropop singer, songwriter and producer several of whose songs I’ve already shared before. – Like all of his songs, I think this one may be very relatable for people. It definitely is to me, as an introvert and sociophobic and hermit who really dislikes small talk. Although I cannot really relate to it in its entirety, because it seems like what he describes is more the “I-don’t-care-about-people” type of dislike for small talk, rather than, as it is in my case, because it’s really awkward and kind of stressful. I think people are actually very interesting and I usually don’t mind if someone randomly wants to share some details of their life with me, perhaps they really need it and I just happen to be the closest, and I’m okay with it as long as they don’t do that excessively, in a way that screams that they’re really self-absorbed, and don’t expect me to do the same just because it’s a rule, or don’t expect me to actually lead the conversation. But overall, yeah, it can be super draining and overwhelming. 

Song of the day (21st June) – Siân James – “Y Llyn” (The Lake).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Here’s the song that I was supposed to share with you yesterday, by a Welsh singer, harpist and pianist Siân James, whose music appears fairly frequently on here. 

Question of the day.

   Today’s elaborate question of the day is courtesy of my weird Mum. 

   What would you do, or what would your reaction be, in the following situation: you accidentally find an old letter addressed to your parents, in which it says that you were adopted. Or your parents sit down with you and are like: “You know, we have something to tell you. We never knew how and when to tell you this, but we think it’s about time now. So, um, well, we adopted you when you were a baby”. How would it make you feel? 

   My answer: 

   Lol well, I guess I’d feel a bit confused initially and need some time to process it and ruminate it through properly, but I guess most people would. Then I’d have to offer an apology to Sofi, because when she was little Olek and me teased her a lot that she was adopted from Russia (unless she actually were adopted too, everything’s possible now I guess 😀 ). I think I would feel a little resentful that they haven’t told me earlier about it, because, like, I think most people would like to know such things about themselves, but also I can appreciate that it surely would be a difficult thing to do for parents and why they might be tempted to wait with sharing this news for as long as possible, so I wouldn’t be really frustrated or mad or anything, this doesn’t really change a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, I guess, just would be good to know. 

   And then I’d probably do some research. A lot of research, knowing myself. It would actually be kind of funny, because I’ve just recently started playing with researching our family’s ancestry. I guess I always had a mild interest in this, but always thought it must be lots of effort and not very rewarding, plus a family tree isn’t something that is easy to show a blind person in an understandable and non-abstractive way, so I never thought I could do it even if I had more motivation. But then I became interested in praying for purgatory souls, and some time later started praying for my  great-great-grandfather (my maternal grandad’s grandad) Jacenty, because Jacenty is such a cool name, and whenever I was praying for him I was wondering what sort of person he was, but no one could tell me. And then a couple years ago, on my cousin’s 18th birthday party, my great-aunt told me how interesting it is in her opinion that I changed my name to Emilia because  her aunt (so my great-great-aunt) was called Emilia. And since then I started praying for her soul as well and kept wondering what she must have been like. And so finally a couple weeks ago my curiosity got the better of me and I thought I’d do some mini research and see where it takes me, with no high hopes because I’d heard that ancestry research apps aren’t really very accessible for the blind, and I wasn’t that determined to go searching beyond the world-wide web, so wouldn’t be running around cemeteries, visiting distant relatives or places where Jacenty and Emilia lived, just see where, if anywhere at all, my armchair research takes me.

   And it’s actually been going pretty well, because while I don’t have much of an idea about stuff like their personalities or even who my great-great-aunt was in terms of occupation (I do know that my great-great-grandad is said to be the first mayor in the country after Poland has regained its independence, yay!) I do have more of an idea about their lives now. It was going so well that I actually figured I really dig digging like that, so why not set up a proper, full-size family tree and dig some more through our ancestry as a whole? I knew my Dad would be over the moon if I had some interesting findings to share, ‘cause he likes such things too but would never do it himself. And that’s what I did, and this is going extremely well, given my meager ambitions. Like, one day I just decided to trace back the records of my paternal grandma’s mother’s ancestors, and I was able to go as far as to our one ancestress – Anna – who was born before 1742. This is one branch of my family that I know most about at the moment, and it was a very interesting and exciting experience to dig through the past and go further and further back in time and meet my old family and imagine them based on the usually very scant info on their lives that I was able to dig out.

   What was also fascinating for me to see as a name nerd is the changing name trends. I mean, obviously people used to be very repetitive with names in the past so I think it was even easier to establish which names were popular than it is when looking at birth announcements these days. I’ve heard a lot that in American baby naming, there’s such a thing called 100 year rule. This means that it usually takes about 100 years for a name to become fashionable again. Like, parents rarely name their children after their own parents, but they’re often happy to name them after their grandparents or great-grandparents, although of course there are exceptions because some names just never come back. Well, while I’m pretty sure that something like this is more or less of a pattern in many other countries as well, including Poland, I was skeptical whether here it is as pronounced as in the US, because we seem to have a lot more exceptions from this rule and new parents already start embracing some names that are still pretty normal among boomers. But looking at all these names of my ancestors, my skepticism has lessened a fair bit. We may be a bit slower with the fashion cycle (but then we also have less names because not long ago we had quite a lot of restrictions on what a child can be named), but when you look at old records, something is clearly going on. When starting my research, I was thinking I’d be seeing a lot of your typical today’s Polish granny and grandpa names, because I always had an impression that most of them must have been very common and popular for centuries and only became rusty in 1970’s or so. What was my surprise when, around the earlier half of 19th century-latter half of the 18th century, the children’s names started to have an oddly late gen X/millennial vibe. I also enjoyed seeing some interesting onomastic retro rarities. 

   So, going back to the question, well, this would feel quite frustrating now, ‘cause… shit, did I really spend so much time on this to be told that it’s not my freaking family?! 😀 I’d want to know who actually my family are then. Not because I’d want to meet them and make my hypothetical new bio mum aware that I’m her daughter (although who knows, maybe if I did some research and thought it was worth a try, why not? I just wouldn’t do the research for the sake of meeting them necessarily), but more for the sake of quenching my own insatiable curiosity, and just to have an interesting rabbit hole to go down, ’til another one appears. My Mum asked if I’d do genetic testing, and, I guess it would be a good idea. But my friend Jacek of Helsinki once did, because his mum was supposed to have some Ugrofinnic ancestry and he really wanted to find out if he had some Finnish blood in him, but then he learned that he’s no Finn, and his genes are instead Armenian to quite an impressive degree, and he wasn’t too excited. So maybe that would keep my curiosity at bay? I wouldn’t mind learning that I’m largely Armenian or whatever other ethnicity, but I might end up learning that I’ve inherited, say, Huntington’s, or other degenerative unpreventable shit. Ew, why would I want to know that already? 

   Your turn. 🙂 

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Visa Till dig” (A Song for You).

   Hey all you people! 🙂 

   Yeah I know I shared a song by Cornelis only two days ago, but that one was sung by Sarah Riedel and this one is sung by himself, whereas it was written by someone else, so it’s a different category. 

   This song, just like the one called Babyland which I shared earlier this month, was written by Jan Ero Olsen from the Norwegian duo Tobben og Ero. I didn’t write a translation of this one, because there are some bits that I’m just not sure how to translate literally. But I can tell you that in this song, the lyrical subject is wondering what the “you” from the title is doing now in her life, and whether she’s perhaps in another relationship and what it might be like, and reflecting a little on his own relationship with her. 

How do I feel about my age?

   Thought I’d do some journal prompt-based post again, ‘cause, well, why not? 😀 

   I chose a prompt from Hannah Braime’s book The Year of You, which is the following: 

   How do you feel about your age? 

   Well, I think I’ve written on here before about how I feel there’s a kind of dissonance or something between my emotional vs intellectual maturity. There are people who get such an impression of me that I’m an old soul, and it makes sense in a way because ever since I was a child I always tended to prefer to hang out with people at least slightly older than me, I always found that a lot more interesting. Actually, as a very young child, I very much preferred hanging out with adults than other children, and especially being in adults’ centre of attention, like show off my singing abilities and stuff. 😀 I didn’t really do how to relate to other children back then, I guess. There are people, including, as I often share on here, my own Mother, who come for advice or opinions to me and seem to treat what I say very seriously, which in a way is cool because at least I guess I can be helpful for people, and it’s quite an honour, but also kind of fun and weird because, well, I have very little actual life experience, if not for any other reason then at least because I’m just 25, and sometimes it feels like a lot of responsibility to try to help people with their life experiences when they are not something that I have ever experienced. I guess part of why people see me the way they do is that I have a keen interest in analysing the characters and behaviours of my fellow humans and seem to have a very useful ability to often draw fairly accurate conclusions, and it gives others the idea that if you can judge someone’s character more or less accurately, you must be a very wise person as a whole. I am also considered intelligent by those who know me well like my immediate family, and I guess a lot of people see (verbal) intelligence as synonymous with wisdom. 

   But while I may well be a good judge of character and like to have deep or intellectual convos with people, I don’t actually consider myself very emotionally mature. Most of the time I feel very childish and clueless about life and most things really, apart from all the niche stuff that I’m into, to the point that it actually often feels pretty ridiculous. And most people, even those who simultaneously think of me as an old soul, especially those who actually know me in person, also see me as very child-like, if not infantile at times, in a lot of ways. I look pretty child-like and often react to things in child-like ways or have a lot of child-like behaviours in general. All my regular readers know that I like, especially in Polish, to talk about myself as Bibiel, as in “Bibiel likes this” or “Bibiel did that”. I used to do that all the time as a kid and teen, I wrote on one of my blogs like that all the time, now I usually do it when I’m really excited about something or stuff like that, but also when it simply kind of feels more adequate than just say I or me. Sometimes Bibiel feels just the only right thing to say. As I’ve written before, people have had all sorts of reactions to that – some think it’s cute, others think it’s eccentric and creative, others yet think it’s annoying or just plain childish or kind of sick. – And some like my Dad actually call me Bibiel pretty much all the time and think it’s kind of funny and really weird at the same time (btw just when I’ve been writing this post he yelled Bibiel outside my window so loud  that I almost shitted myself, not to mention Misha 😀 😀 😀 at least I know from whom I inherited my immaturity). In English I generally say Bibiel less, I’m kind of worried that since I’m not a native people might sometimes have a problem understanding me even without my throwing neologisms and weird constructions in, but recently I’ve been saying Bibiel more especially on here ‘cause it feels more genuine to just say “I” all the time, especially that it’s used so much more in English than it’s Polish equivalent, ‘cause in Polish everyone knows that you’re talking about yourself from the verb form. And unlike in Polish, I’ve also started to say Bibiels or Bibielz in English, even though there’s obviously only one Bibiel – well okay there are apparently some people in Brazil called Bibiel because years after we made up this word with Sofi I learned that it’s a (masculine) name in Brazil though it’s pronounced differently, but Bibielz in this sense as me, there aren’t any more  Bibielz in this sense I suppose so that’s just why it’s so funny to say Bibielz and make it seem like the whole universe must be bursting with Bibielz and literally creaking and cracking and moaning under the weight of all the billions of Bibielz and then some more and then their offspring, even though it’s not. 🙃 Does that even make sense what I’m saying to non-Bibielz? 😀 Aside from just calling myself Bibiel simply because I like that, I imagine Bibiel to be like the more child-like, spontaneous and carefree and crazy, but at the same time more mentally healthy, part of me. One who has a horribly childish sense of humour and likes to laugh a lot and is almost constantly either excited or obsessed in a positive way with one thing or another and can’t stop talking when she gets a chance to start. And while being kind of older and kind of younger than you actually are at the same time  can be tricky, I would never like to get rid of Bibiel, because also at the same time Bibiel makes everything easier. 

   I guess while in a way so far I’ve never grown up properly, in another way, I sort of had to grow up faster than most kids my age when I went to boarding school when I was five. And my little theory is that part of why I’m still so childish now is because Bibiel wants to make up for all that time. And there’s Sofi around, oh yeah, and Misha, and Jocky (and then my Dad, if all else fails) so there’s always someone to play, laugh and goof around with. Thankfully, even now that Sofi is 15, she’s also still pretty child-like herself, although sometimes I already start to feel that she’s becoming more mature than myself. 😀 Am I concerned? A part of me thinks that I probably should be, but mostly I’m not really. Sometimes I wonder whether some part of why I feel a lot younger than I am most of the time could be due to AVPD, because it seems to be a common experience of people with this disorder, so I’m curious if there’s really some link and how it works. 

   When Misha joined our family, Sofi and me felt it was such a pity that he can’t actually talk and tell us what he thinks and just chat with us. I still think it’s a pity, but one day I came up with an idea that we could play that Misha can have a connection with either of us, a brain connection, something kind of like Bluetooth or Internet or phone connection or stuff like that. He can connect to either of us, whoever is willing, and use this person to communicate through them. So we started playing like that and Misha would connect either to me or to Sofi and we could talk with him like that and incorporate him in our plays even more. But Sofi, while she liked the idea, felt awkward when lending her brain to Misha, because when she talked to Misha it could sound to an outsider like she was having a dialogue with herself and part of it in a child-like voice ‘cause of course we imagine that Misha would be rather child-like if he could talk, he might be middle-aged by cat standards but he’s so small and has only lived for six years, after all. I had no such inhibitions since I talk to myself anyway, so since then Misha talks mostly via me. It’s a very useful psychological tool, because even now when Sofi’s fair bit older than when we started doing this, she’s still more willing to share some of her more personal or deeper thoughts or problems with Misha than with Mum or just me, and it’s kind of easier and more fun for both of us, when she hears something from Misha who often points things out to her indirectly or asks her funny questions to make her think herself, rather than Mum or me directly lecturing her. I often come to Sofi with Misha when she’s in bed so that she can have a chat with him or we three can play together. Sometimes we even have distance chats, that is when Misha isn’t physically present in the same room as we are, but that doesn’t usually feel quite as genuine. Now the only thing we need is for someone to find a way to phone pets whenever  humans are away from home so that we could check on them. Over time, Sofi herself came up with an idea that it would also be cool if Misha could do other things through us, and for that he sometimes connects to me, and sometimes to Sofi, so like he can try peep food through us, do crafty stuff (or plast plast, as we call it) through Sofi, and write emails to Sofi through me. I wonder how many people my age or older do stuff like that. 😀 

   When I was a child, I never actually even wanted to be an adult, it always seemed insanely scary to me and I didn’t like how lots of kids seemed to look forward to it ‘cause I totally didn’t share the enthusiasm. I think I’ve shared with you how once when I was in nursery/preschool and laying in bed, I had that weird dream or other sort of vision or whatever (because I didn’t feel like I was really sleeping when it happened so I’m not sure how to call it) of myself as an adult, it was absolutely ridiculous and back then a bit scary for me because it felt so realistic. I saw myself standing in the middle of a huge but very crammed, messy kitchen, something was frying and it seemed like I was in the midst of or about to prepare a meal or something like that, the whole place was super hot, and I was wearing some sort of huge, wide apron which made me feel like an old lady, and I was apparently an adult, though I totally didn’t feel like I was. The worst thing was that there were small children literally all around, clinging to me and wanting something from me, and I felt utterly confused and didn’t know what to do with all that. I suppose my idea of adulthood then – so as a 5-year-old – must have been based on my Mum – that you have a family and kids and make them meals and you have to have everything together even if you don’t (although my Mum actually does, and she doesn’t have a messy kitchen, nor does she wear aprons usually 😀 ) and I didn’t think like I could ever be able to do that. After that dream thing, whenever someone would ask me what I wanted to do when I grow up, for a long time I responded that I wouldn’t have a baby, because if women want to, they can have a baby, but if they don’t, they don’t have to. 😀 Adulting is still something that I find scary, so while I indeed don’t have children and don’t even make my own food beyond the most basic like sandwiches or cereal, my premonition was kind of correct. 

   Im very much a daydreamer and a bit of an escapist, and generally the idea of some major responsibility freaks me out. I’m terrible with stuff like money, for example, it feels very confusing and kind of abstractive to me. I generally don’t have a problem with abstract thinking, but thinking about stuff that has to do with counting, amounts of things etc. Takes a lot of brain CPU for me and I feel much better having someone assist me in making major purchase decisions, not because I cannot make my own decisions but to kind of make sense of things. Not to mention that I don’t do socialising. Socialising in general is pretty stressful for me as y’all probably know but sometimes an equally difficult thing is that I cannot make sense of social stuff, like when to do what, and need to ask my Mum for advice whether doing/saying, or not doing/saying something is appropriate, or what people usually do in such and such situation. I usually learn such things from books, stuff like body language for example, but I still don’t know loads of things. 

   I usually don’t think much about people’s ages unless it’s relevant for some reason, and so I normally don’t think a whole lot about mine either, but I usually totally donn’t feel my age. Usually I  feel a lot younger, especially when it’s my birthday I’m internally always like: “Really?! Am I this old already?! No way!” 😀 Or other times I feel like a total granny – cynical, weary of life, lacking brainergy after a migraine,   shaking my head at what kids do these days and what awful slang they use and what crap music they listen to and how people no longer do emails and can’t write properly but beatbox instead. 😀 Like, I remember once being part of a Polish forum for introverts, and they had a whole section with stuff like personality tests and such, including some sort of mental age test, and when I did that test (I must have been around 17 then) it said my mental age was 40. I wasn’t sure whether it was saying something more along the lines of: “Awww Bibiel, you’re so mature beyond your years, that’s amazing!” Or more like: “Your brain is rotting prematurely, do something!” 😀 

   But now that I’m 25, I do care a bit more about being this particular age, though for a very silly reason. 

   When I was in primary, I made up a really weird game together with one of my groupmates at  boarding school, that was supposed to predict your more or less distant future, or give you insight in whatever you wanted to know. When it was very quiet, so especially at night before falling asleep, you had to really focus and listen to your mind, until some random words, preferably a more or less coherent sentence, would pop into your mind, and that would be your prediction. Sometimes these ended up, at least for me, not to be sentences, but more complex imaginings, you know what sort of things can pop into your mind when you’re about to fall asleep, and I guess it’s all the stronger when you’re blind because when it’s quiet and your brain doesn’t get even auditory input, it likes to make things up. At least I am very prone to this. Sometimes the results we got from that were really hilarious, like my friend hear something like: “You’ll be bouncing on the waves of dynamite” and we were wondering whatever that might mean, or I once heard that I will be queen of Egypt, and then another time that my Dad will die by stoning in Sweden. It was all for fun and very hilarious. But one night, as I was falling asleep and trying to “predict” something, I ended up having an absolutely eerie half-dream or whatever it was. Inn it, I was aware that I was a lot older than I was at the time, I was climbing up the stairs of the old building of our boarding school (the building itself is pretty creepy for many newbies who come there, it’s pre-WWI, with a lot of corridors that go on and on, rooms within rooms that you can quite easily get lost in, and even some bathtubs with taps with black water running from them when you try to use them, and after all the groups were moved to the new building, that old building has become a lot quieter and one of its purposes was providing guest rooms for any family members staying for weekends, so for example my aunt whenever she visited me she was really creeped out by the place. For me it definitely wasn’t creepy because we were still living there when I had that dream so it was just normal and perhaps a bit atmospheric, but in this dream, it definitely added to the overall creepiness, and after having that dream I always got the creeps whenever walking those stairs. Then I opened what would normally be the door to our then-group, but as soon as I opened it, I heard an absolute cacophony of sounds, and the place I found myself in wasn’t anything like our group, it was like a small house within that huge building. That cacophony of sounds were all sorts of sounds that have given me sensory heebiejeebies in the past, and on top of them was certain evil British song with a Jamaican Patois chorus from 2005 which for some evil reason was topping the charts in Poland around that time and even still gives me the heebiejeebies whenever I hear it (probably because I never get to recover from it because Olek likes it and thinks it’s funny that I don’t and likes to tease me by playing it, at least I suppose in his mind it’s just supposed to be teasing, but the result is Bibiel z freezing 😀 ). It was my biggest sensory anxiety trigger at the time, so I got really scared. And as is often the case with my dreams, all these sensory anxiety triggers had like their personifications, and the one that personified that song came up to me and told me that they’ll be waiting for me here, and when I’ll be 25, I’ll die and I’ll come to them and we will spend the eternity together. Then it all disappeared, and that was the end of my playing the predictions game, because I was absolutely convinced that since I was expecting to have a prediction and ended up having this weird dream thing, then that was what I wanted – a prediction of what is going to happen to me. – Except that I would probably die some time before turning 25, of fear of what was going to happen to me. Over time, of course I started thinking that it must have been just a dream, things like that don’t come true, ‘cause how would it even be supposed to happen, is it like a form of hell or something? 😀 But still, for a long time I had that niggling feeling, what if, maybe it won’t happen exactly like in the dream, but what if something really creepy was to happen to me when I was 25? I’d never shared this with anyone, because for a long time it felt too scary and I couldn’t even articulate it I guess, and then it felt too silly. I only told my Mum about it shortly before my last birthday, when I was actually able to have more distance to it. And even though I no longer believe that this is what is going to happen to me and am able to laugh at this dream and that whole game thing, I guess the original impression was so strong that deep within my brain I still have a very small niggling feeling, what if something real creepy will happen to me soon? Other than that though, as I said, age is usually not a very important thing for me, whether it’s my age or someone else’s. 

   Now you tell me. How do you feel about your age? Do you care about such things? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   Are you glad you exist? Why or why not? 

   My answer: 

   Generally, I feel pretty neutral about this. I suppose I’d be just as glad if I didn’t exist. As I often say, I’m not very attached to life so I can’t say I’m super happy about it or that I’d care very much if I stopped existing here on Earth. 

   How about you? 🙂