Question of the day.

What is something that you refuse to spend money on?

My answer:

There are probably tons of things that I either consciously refuse, or just for whatever other reason don’t spend my money on that a lot of/most people do, but it feels so natural that I can’t even think of many such things at the moment. πŸ˜€

One such thing that does come to my mind though is films streaming services like Netflix or whatever else is out there. There are several reasons for that, but the major one is simply that I’m not all that much into movies. Or even regular, traditional TV, for that matter. Something has to really, really, really interest me for me to want to watch it and for my interest to keep going. Most people assume that this is normal, because duh, I’m blind. While I don’t care about how normal it is, it’s probably not the entire reason, because there’s quite a lot of content with audiodescription now on such streaming services and it’s growing. Plus, even without that, I know quite a bunch of blind people who enjoy watching TV or movies regardless, with someone being their personal audiodescriber or just things that are possible to follow more or less without audiodescription. Moreover, I’ve even came across a blind movie critic from Sweden. I guess I have something weird going on because, whether it’s with audiodescription or not, I find it quite difficult to follow movies, I get distracted or plain bored very easily. And this is very selective because I don’t have this problem with anything else really. Perhaps in some part it’s because when I was a small kid, Olek and me watched a fair bit of children’s television or cartoons, but no one really described everything for me in a very detailed way as is apparently the case with a lot of other blind folks and their families. And I didn’t really mind that, I didn’t think much of it and I’m not perfectly sure if I even understood it totally that other people take something else in other than the audio bit. πŸ˜€ And I think it just might not have crossed my parents’ minds that a blind child might need that. I usually don’t mind it these days either if someone isn’t up to describing, unless I’m really really really interested in something and totally can’t make sense of some scenes or a movie as a whole, then it absolutely can be frustrating. I suppose it’s difficult to do audiodescription while watching the movie yourself, especially for the first time, and describe things in a way that makes sense, and especially when a movie is fast-paced. In our family only Sofi can do this reasonably well, but will often get so engrossed in watching that she’ll forget to describe things when the plot gets more dense and it tends to be rather inconsistent. My Dad tries his best, but has no knack for describing, plus the same problem as with Sofi, and my Mum doesn’t do it nearly at all unless I explicitly ask her to. But like I said it’s not a big deal usually, it only helps me grow my deductive and analytical skills if I am interested in a movie, or if I’m not so much, then I don’t really care, I just zone out to my Brainworld which is always interesting, until Sofi’s back in multitasking mode. πŸ˜€

If I do watch things for some reason, it really has to engross me, or I watch for social reasons, that is as a way of spending time with my family, or for linguistic reasons, as a way to expose myself to a language or a particular accent in a language, which happens rarely these days because I can think of tons of more interesting ways of exposing myself usually but there was a time in my life where I’d be jumping out of my skin with euphoria at a possibility of watching a Swedish movie just to hear the language. πŸ˜€

So, as you can see, it’s not really worth it for me. Plus, Olek does have a subscription to Netflix, which Sofi also uses when she’s allowed and my parents use occasionally, so if I want to watch something specifically from Netflix I can watch it with Sofi. We watched Anne with an E, for example, which Sofi loved, and I had super mixed feelings about but mostly didn’t like it because I never like how movies based on the books change, simplify and cut out SO much of the original book plot line. πŸ˜€ We also watched Wonder, based on the R.J. Palacios book, which was amazing for Sofi who didn’t read the book, and pretty cool for me who did read the book. But, while I was kind of interested in how much both movies would differ or not from their book counterparts, there was a lot more of Sofi’s initiative in it, haha.

My Mum also subscribes HBO and a couple other things that I can’t remember now and sometimes we watch stuff from there, usually documentaries that we both find more or less interesting. Or one time we watched a whole Czech thriller or crime series or whatever that would be classified as in one night, that I originally only watched because there was a girl called Misha in there and I had nothing more constructive to do at the time, but it ended up being fairly interesting overall, even though I’m generally not a huge thriller person.

What’s such a thing(s) for you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What’s the worst ice cream flavour you have ever tasted?

My answer:

I’m not sure if there has been one that would stand out particularly much, so I’ll write about a few that I didn’t really like. I am definitely not a fan of salted caramel ice cream. I don’t hate it, but definitely don’t like it and totally don’t get the appeal that a lot of people seem to find in it. One ice cream flavour I strongly dislike and that I had a few times as a child is yoghurt, which I guess is a little weird, because I have nothing at all against yoghurt as such. I like different kinds of yoghurts, especially with some yummy additional stuff like fruit or cereal etc. or drinkable yoghurt. But literally every kind of yoghurt-flavoured ice cream that I’ve had is just gross and I wonder why. Perhaps they don’t use actual yoghurt in it or ice cream and yoghurt don’t make a good combination.

Some years ago I also had an alcohol-flavoured ice cream for the first and only time, a whisky-flavoured one, and that was quite impressively yucky too. Not that I expected it to be otherwise, I hate most if not all sweets that are alcohol-flavoured or contain alcohol, but my Mum just went to the shops and decided it would be cool to get one for herself and one for me. She didn’t like hers either, haha, but that was back when we enjoyed drinking whisky together, hence her idea.

Last year in summer I had some peanut butter ice cream, which was a lot worse than I expected it to be. I like most things that have to do with peanut butter, including ice cream, but that particular one was surprisingly bad.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What makes you instantly lose respect for someone?

My answer:

First off, I try not to lose respect for people. I believe that this is something we all have an unconditional right to due to the fact that we’re humans. At the same time though, because we’re humans, we’re flawed, and having respect for everyone can be difficult. I may find it very hard to show respect to someone if they seem very deliberately rude and jerky and cocky, this really irks me, or if I know that they can be cruel, or do things that I consider totally morally unacceptable, or don’t seem to make a good use of their brains despite there not seeming to be any major obstacles for them to do it, or when people are simply disrespectful of me or my beliefs or opinions or values, either trying to aggressively shove theirs down my brain, I suppose in an attempt to convince me that theirs are objectively superior or something, or ridiculing my perspective based on stereotypes or some one-sided view they have. I mean, it’s obviously totally okay to try to make someone see their perspective, to discuss things, even fiercely discuss things, and I try to be flexible-minded and when I hear about something someone believes in that is new or illogical or crazy or just not right for me I try to put myself in their shoes and think of what might appeal to them in it, just out of curiosity. But when it gets aggressive, I feel like it’s no longer fair play because I try my best to be respectful, and the other side doesn’t, so it feels like the only way to go is either for me to get down to their level and kick them back, which I’m usually not the one to do and which would probably end up in a proper fight or something, and respect would be difficult not to lose in the meantime, or stop playing with them and go home play with Misha. Still, I’ll try my best to respect people regardless. I don’t think there has been anyone I’d know that I could say I have NO respect for. In any case, even when I struggle with this, it hasn’t ever happened that I’d lose respect for someone instantly. I suppose they’d have to do something really really atrocious that my brain just wouldn’t be able to cope with.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What are you thinking of right this second?

My answer:

My main thought right now appears to be that we haven’t had a question of the day in a while. I’m also stressed about lots of mundane things which I probably don’t need stressing about but it feels like if I won’t, nothing will go right. I’m also thinking about Misha who is on the wardrobe, tossing a little bit right now. And that I’m feeling quite chilly for some reason so I think I’ll have a real warm bath in a while, I haven’t had one in a long time as we only use the shower most of the time. And I’m thinking about Sofi, who has started volunteering in a local stud last weekend (not the one I’ve gone to but an adjacent one, a kind of more mainstream/normal one I’d say, where there are healthy horses, or horses of private people, and mostly able-bodied kids and Sofi says they seem quite snobbish, meanwhile where I go there’s mostly traumatised, elderly, sick horses and people with all sorts of disabilities, but mostly with things like severe cerebral palsy and while some people do things like dressage or disabled riding competitions, most just do hippotherapy alone). My instructor had also offered Sofi that she could come to her stud, but for some reason Sofi doesn’t seem to like her, I guess their personalities are too strong for each other or something, and my instructor is certainly quite eccentric. Sofi goes there on weekends and she can’t ride, at least not for now, but she takes care of the horses or helps out with other things like acquainting new kids with the place and she loves it, especially the directly horses-related part, of course. She’s there nearly all day every weekend day and so far is loving it. When she was starting this, I was thinking that it would be a shame if Sofi was in a stud and I wasn’t, so I thought that perhaps I should try coming back to horse riding and maybe my anxiety around this would be more manageable now again, it also appears that my instructor’s life is a lot less hectic at the moment. Except, a few days before Sofi was to go volunteering for the first time, I got that yucky, recurring skin infection on my calf which heals for ages and can hurt like shit when it’s in full bloom, and from my previous experiences I know that it’s not the wisest thing to ride while this is going on because riding irritates it and makes it hurt more. So no riding for me still, at least for now. Part of me is relieved that I don’t have to confront this just right now, and probably for quite some time, but another part of me is like “THIS IS FLIPPIN’ UNFAIR!!! Sofi has way more horse time than me!” So I’m processing what Sofi has told me about her day at the stud, and how they were celebrating early st. Hubert’s day (which is actually November 3 and he’s something like a patron saint of equestrians and horses). This makes me also think of all the memories of my own that I have of this day across many years during which I was riding and how cool that was. Oh yeah, and some part of my brain is registering that my leg’s hurting, though it’s just in the background, at least when I’m not walking a lot. Also in the background, I’m listening to Swedish radio and trying to figure out where the guy who’s currently speaking might be from, because he has a really weird, quite intriguing accent. πŸ˜€ Doesn’t sound like foreign, but more like something Swedish that I just don’t think I’ve heard before.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Since it’s my parents’ civil wedding anniversary today, and only today they realised that it must have been a Friday 13th, my question for you is the following:

What’s the most inappropriate song to play at a wedding?

My answer:

I haven’t been to very many weddings at all, but a lot of the ones that I have been to, or that I’ve heard of, have featured a song that I think is incredibly cringeworthy to play at this very time. I don’t know if my parents had it too at their wedding, but if so, then it could seriously be seen as a double jinx. It’s a bit like a tradition to play this at weddings, as if people had no idea what it’s really about but just think it’s some rather sentimental, for many people beautiful, song about a wedding from the bride’s perspective. For the longest time I thought I was the only human being in Poland who noticed this or felt amused and/or bothered in even the slightest way by the dichotomy, and that everyone else only cares that this song is only ABOUT a wedding, and not necessarily perfect FOR a wedding, but some years ago I learned that my Mum feels this way too so perhaps there are even more of us outsiders who sometimes pay attention to lyrics. It’s really quite silly though how people can’t even understand the lyrics in their own language. πŸ˜€

The song I’m talking about is a Polish ’70s pop ballad called “WindΔ… do Nieba” (A Lift to Heaven) by 2 Plus 1.

Like I said, it’s written from the perspective of a bride who is writing her “last” love letter to a guy she’s actually in love with, on her wedding day where she’s supposed to marry another man. The guy she’s actually in love with is presumably an actor, because she says she saw him “once” “in technicolour”. She explicitly states that she doesn’t love the guy she’s about to marry, and that it’s the actor guy who plays the main role in her life, “but a girl cannot walk through the world completely alone”. And then in the chorus she describes how they’re already bringing her a wedding dress and a veil and all sorts of stuff that can give us some idea what this wedding actually looks like, and she concludes that they will carry her in a lift to heaven. I guess it’s this chorus that plays on people’s imagination and maybe it’s the only thing people pay attention to, and it makes an impression like it’s quite a grand wedding in a way I guess, so maybe that’s why people are so eager to play or perform it at weddings. Alternatively they don’t know what technicolour is so they get confused, but like I said, she says it clearly that she doesn’t love the one she’s marrying so I don’t think this knowledge is necessary, I don’t really have any idea about technicolour either other than it’s something with the cinema.

It’s quite hilarious, but also a bit jarring and grating and like I said also rather silly, and if I was superstitious I’d probably feel really concerned about couples who made a choice to have it played at their weddings. πŸ˜€ And personally I also just find this song in general rather cringey and kind of pathetic in a way.

What’s such a song in your opinion? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What’s something that’s unnecessarily expensive?

My answer:

My first thought was cell phones. Most people need and/or want them, can’t live without them, and, while I’m by no means an expert in these things, I believe that due to this their price is upped and is higher than it actually needs to be based on what a phone’s specifications are, what it can do and what it’s made of and how much money was put in its production.

What’s such a thing in your opinion? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (9th October).

If you got unlimited money, what would be the first thing you’d buy?

My answer:

I really don’t know. It would certainly be cool having unlimited money and never have to worry about that stuff, be able to help people and live the way I want, but it’s not like I have any specific things that I’d dream of buying or anything. My Mum keeps saying that it’s a good thing to buy some land and/or property if one can afford to, in a good location, so that you can either sell it after some time if need be and make some money on it or start some business there or have a place to go on holidays or something. While if my money would be unlimited, I certainly wouldn’t need even more, it would be cool having an alternative place to live somewhere else, perhaps something very fancy like a castle, or just a small, cosy hideout, be it permanently or at some specific time of year or something, or I could give it to someone else in my family who’d be in need of a place to live or start a business in, like, Olek is currently looking into finding himself one somewhere in the countryside and potentially farming or doing something that could give him some more profit than his small business already does.

But more realistically, I always like to think things through, so even if I did indeed plan on buying some land or property after acquiring all that money, it would likely be some time until I’d actually decide that I seriously want to buy it and where exactly etc. and in that time, I’d probably already buy stuff like groceries or books or something like that. πŸ˜€

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What phrase do you absolutely hate?

My answer:

There are surely ones that I hate more than this one, but what came to my mind first is a sort of weird saying that we have in Polish that I have no clue why people use it, and more importantly, what sort of response or reaction do they expect to it. πŸ˜€ I’ve no idea if there’s an English equivalent, but I hope there’s none. It basically says that it’s only the guilty one or the culprit who explains himself. It’s not only freakishly nonsensical and annoying, but also potentially super harmful when used in more serious situations. Thankfully, it’s mostly used in very casual situations and is supposed to be like a joke or something playful, kinda teasing, but still, it can sometimes create a rather puzzling situation sometimes where the person at the receiving end is basically stuck. If you make up weird sayings, at least go an extra mile and make up some clear script that the other person could follow. Good thing that the law doesn’t work this way. πŸ˜€ If someone accuses you of something and you don’t defend yourself, they’ll say that you’re probably guilty after all if you don’t even have a good excuse. If you do explain yourself, they’ll say that only guilty people do it. So, I seriously wonder, what a non-guilty person is supposed to do in the situation? I see though that more and more people are realising how stupid this is so maybe it’ll die out at some point.

What’s your phrase? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What makes you cringe?

My answer:

A lot of things, I’m quite prone to cringing as it seems, at least internally, but today I’m going to write about one specific thing that I’ve recently been made more aware of and been thinking a fair bit about that I think is really weird how much it makes me cringe. I’ve always been aware of this being a problem more or less, but only when I read someone else (with AVPD as well) write about it, it made me think of it more and how weird it is and just observe the phenomenon in myself more closely and I learned that there’s even a term for this and it’s called vicarious embarrassment.

As you may or may not know, because of AVPD and several other things, I find social interactions, basically communicating with people, quite challenging a lot of the time – well let’s not sugar-coat it, all the time really, just sometimes more and sometimes less. – And there’s always plenty of situations where something I do or say or feel or think someone may think about me etc. etc. etc. makes me cringe. I guess that’s nothing new or uncommon or anything. Late night intrusive cringe sessions that I experience quite regularly, in which you relive all the cringey moments of your life, is apparently also something that a lot of people deal with.

The weird thing, which I’ve no clue how common or uncommon it might be, but given that it seems to do with empathy probably means that it’s not just limited to people with mental illnesses like AVPD or social anxiety, is that even observing or hearing other humans interacting and communicating, I cringe a lot too. It doesn’t even have to be objectively very cringey I guess and both sides of the actual interaction may not even care, in fact I suppose they usually don’t, and when at least one side seems to do care and actually be affected by it, it makes it all the worse for me. I mean, if there’s some kind of miscommunication, even relatively minor, I’ll pick up on it pretty quickly and it’ll make me, well, cringe. It’s like my brain doesn’t have enough of my own shit but also has to commiserate with everyone else in the world and cringe on their behalf, even when they don’t really need it because they do not cringe or think about it at all. πŸ˜€ I’m just allergic to awkwardness. I really love observing people, analysing their characters and behaviours and stuff, because people are quite fascinating, and since I most often do that from an outsider perspective, meaning I’m not directly participating in a situation so I don’t have to divide my attention between participating and analysing, plus because analysing other humans is one of the main ways in which I’ve been learning how the world and the society and single individuals work so I have quite an extensive experience in this field and seem quite good at it by now, I can often pick up on some things faster than the people engaged in the interaction. Even when it’s not the case but I just think I know what’s going on, it’ll naturally still make my brain cringe and shrink. Some random examples could be when one person clearly doesn’t feel comfortable in a situation and doesn’t know what to do, or worse does something as a result that causes some weird reactions from the other peeps. Or when one peep misunderstands another’s intentions or they misunderstand each other, in any way really, not only intentions, so that it actually has some sort of further bigger or smaller consequences, especially when they don’t even end up realising that they misunderstood because they missed something or whatever or because they were just too concentrated on getting their own point across. That happens a lot with my Mum, who has sometimes quite a peculiar sense of humour and especially loves to utilise it with strangers because it helps her test the ground and often wins people over and I guess that’s part of why so many people like her and tell her their entire life stories and stuff. πŸ˜€ However, equally many people don’t get it and it causes tons of awkward situations for her, especially on the phone (aaaah!!!). She doesn’t care about that one bit and thinks it’s funny. I also think it is, but it’s also extremely cringey. I guess it seriously must be to an extent because even Sofi often cringes at things Mum says to people. Or when someone does something that I and/or other people in this person’s surroundings find embarrassing, even very slightly embarrassing. Also even in books, or media, or online or whatever. Like someone making a blooper while reading the news. Or someone being interviewed and seeming very awkward, or when they’re asked daft questions. Any other situation when someone has to speak or do whatever publicly and seem not really in their element or are not good at it. And movies… ugh…

Your turn. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What would you wish for if there was a genie who would grant your one wish?

My answer:

I would want to speak all “my” languages fluently, as fluently as possible, without having to learn them, especially the basic stuff when you hardly know anything at all in a language yet and you have to learn absolutely everything. A lot of people think that if I keep learning and learning and learning languages I must really like it, as in, the process of learning. But in fact I don’t. I think actually using a language is way more interesting, so if I could just acquire a language on the same or higher level of fluency that I’d be able to achieve via learning consciously, I’d take it, so I could use more time on actually using and sort of consuming the language rather than learning it. I mean, I’d probably still have to learn some things, even natives do, but this kind of learning doesn’t really feel like learning and is far more interesting when you already have a firm grasp of a language. Also learning of some of “my” languages, the less commonly spoken ones, is a pain with the whole practical side of learning, like how you’re supposed to do it, where you get the resources from, where do you practice and with whom, especially if you don’t live in the area where the language is spoken and even more especially if you’re blind so accessibility of things can be limited or there can be other obstacles on the way like lack of speech synths for a specific language or having to learn a Braille alphabet of every single language if you want to read Braille in them like I do. So that would be just extremely cool!

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If you had a choice to be immortal, would you take it? Why, or why not?

My answer:

Absolutely not! I mean, as a Christian, I do believe we are immortal anyway, in a spiritual sense, and that’s prettyy cool, but in this life, no way! Would be extremely exhausting, boring, and quite a curse. As someone who has quite a lot of passive suicidal thoughts or ideations humming in the background, which I usually ignore when I’m at my baseline mentally so it’s not a huge problem at this point but they’re still there, I’ve never been particularly attached to life. In that, most of the time I don’t hate my life or anything, I don’t actively want or do anything to die, I do have things in life that I really love, but if, say I’d become potentially deadly ill, I wouldn’t frantically fight for all means to survive, or if I learned that I’m going to die tonight, I’d be okay with it, as long as I could have at least a little while to prepare spiritually for it. Maybe I would have a bit of fear which is very natural for people when they die I guess, but so far I haven’t been afraid of death so I honestly don’t think I’d be very afraid if at all. To be honest, at this point in my life, from my current perspective, I’d be more scared of aging than death. But even if we’d invent things that could stop aging and make us immortal, that still wouldn’t do it to me. I must say I don’t understand the current trend or whatever that is, perhaps it’s not evenn current but something that’s always been a thing for humans, that a lot of us want to live LONG lives, that there’s so much talk about living a long life, here in Poland when it’s someone’s birthday people will often wish them “a hundred years”, and I’m always like wtf, how’s that supposed to be good wishes? When you say you don’t want to have a long life it’s like you’re saying a blasphemy. My grandma is like me and she always tells people not to wish her that, ’cause she already feels like her life’s been way too long, and everyone is horrified and indignant, even though she just says that normally and not in a suicidal way or anything. I can sort of understand people who say that they’d like to live a long life if they were very healthy and could be useful for their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren for many years and see things change in the world, ’cause that would be indeed very interesting to be able to have such a long perspective on all the changes in the world and its history. Like my Dad says he could happily live up to 200 years if he’d be relatively healthy. But still, even if I was healthy, I think it would be extremely tiring to live like that, with no end in sight. You see all your loved ones gradually die, one after another, the world changes like crazy so that you likely no longer feel as much a part of it because everything is so weird and different and difficult to relate, and other people have a problem relating to you as well, you wonder if you’ll ever die at all or will you keep going like that forever and in some 50 years maybe they’ll want you to be an exhibit in some museum and tell people stories from all the eras you’ve lived in. πŸ˜€ I don’t know about others but I am pretty sure I’d go hella cynical in all that time. I just totally don’t see the appeal. Especially that, after all, even living up to like 80 years old being perfectly healthy is a pretty rare occurrence, so while it can perhaps be an interesting dream to entertain, it doesn’t make sense to me that iin reality those people also do everything they can to live as long as possible. I realise it might change at some later point for me as I get older, but at thhis point, even living up to like 50 years feels like a freakishly long life. Not because I think 50 years is particularly old, but it definitely does feel long. Unfortunately for me though, my Dad’s family seems to have some pretty damn strong longevity genes, so I might have inherited them as well. The good thing is that his family also tend to stay very healthy even without some extremely healthy lifestyle, but still, the mere thought of living, and living, and living, and living makes me weary. πŸ˜€ Even when I play BitLife, which is a life simulation game, there it is really easy to make your character live quite a long life if you keep them healthy and happy and have a bit of a stroke of luck that nothing tragic happens to them and lead a low-risk life, and I once managed to make my character reach 120-something years. She was super healthy and happy and a millionaire withh a big, loving family, but living her for SOOO long was extremely boring, and seeing all her siblings, friends and then even children pass away, that was actually sad.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What is one thing you’d completely rid the world of?

My answer:

There are tons of yucky things in the world, like I’ve no idea why does stuff like vomit or vomiting have to be a thing, or neurodegenerative diseases, or some absolutely freaky sounds, or small talk, or any other stuff that I find more or less scary or overwhelming. But as I thought of this question, I thought that, actually, the best thing, in my opinion, to rid the world of, would be the primary sin. As I guess that would get rid of a whole lot of other yucky stuff. And I’d be really curious what would the world and our existence and everything really look like and function more long-term. That would be quite fascinating.

What is such a thing for you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Who, in your opinion, is an author or poet more people should know about?

My answer:

There’s tons of authors writing in less popular languages than English who don’t get translated, or even if they do, I guess literature translated to English only gets some little bit of the attention that the actual English-language literature gets. Many of these authors are really good, so it’s sad to think what people are missing out on. And it’s not even just English speakers because while I believe there’s more literature that is translated between other languages, it’s still not all, and here in Poland, most of translated literature that we have is from English. I’m now trying to think when was the last time I read a book that was originally written in, for example, Hungarian. I can only think of two. Or say Icelandic. Nothing comes to mind except sagas. Or even, so as not to venture too far away, in some of my favourite languages like Finnish or Dutch. Well, for Finnish there’s mostly just Mika Valtari and Tove Jansson whom I both love, but not much more than that, and with Dutch even less than that. As for non-European languages if I ever read anything in any of them I think it was mostly stuff like fairytales or the like but even that I’m not sure if it’s always been translated directly from the original. Oh wait, I did read a book translated from Arabic earlier this year, but even the translator wrote that there aren’t many books translated from Arabic to Polish. Now I even remember once reading some article in a magazine where it said that it’s quite sad that there aren’t many Polish translations of Czech books, despite we’re neighbouring countries, after all. There are some classics and stuff but it feels like given the relationship between our languages we should share more literature with each other. I don’t think they’ve translated a lot of ours either, . So yeah, there are definitely a lot of great authors and poets that many people don’t know and often they’re only known within their country. I always feel sad that my favourite Polish author, MaΕ‚gorzata Musierowicz, isn’t better known abroad. I don’t think there are any English translations of her books. There are Italian ones, Japanese ones, I believe even Russian, but not English. Perhaps her colourful language, plus the quintessentially Polish vibe of her books and all the Polish nuances are difficult to translate. Actually not perhaps, but for sure. Still, it’s sad and I suppose if it was possible to transfer into Japanese, there should be a possibility to do it in English and someone who’d be able to do it.

But actually, the first author that sprang to my mind when I thought of the answer to this question was an English-speaking one. Namely another of my all-time, most favourite authors – Lucy Maud Montgomery. –
Yeah, I know, Anne of Green Gables, she’s super popular everywhere, and while I like her very much, I also think she’s a tiny bit overrated compared with her other heroines, and what I don’t like about her is that she’s not very realistic, at least as a child. How many people, who aren’t specifically and very hugely in love with her books, are even aware of those other heroines, or any of her other books existing, or of what they are called? Most people I’ve talked to about her have no idea she wrote anything else. And this is so sad because, like so many authors, she’s just been labelled as children’s author, even though, in my humble opinion, most of her books are actually better to read or re-read when you’re older as you get more out of them this way, and some, like The Blue Castle or A Tangled Web, I don’t think are suitable for children at all. Perhaps only Magic for Marigold is a proper children’s book. Then there are also all those short stories she wrote, some are better, some are worse, but I think they’re also definitely worth reading, perhaps unless you’re the type like my Sofi who needs instantly developing, quick-paced and adrenaline-filled action, then maybe you’ll feel underwhelmed with most of them. πŸ˜€ And her diaries are also a very interesting read.

As a bonus, I’ll also add Norwegian author and Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset, because I’ve read several of her books and now that I’m kinda sorta learning Norwegian I feel like I’d like to refresh them soon, not in Norwegian, I’m too scared for that just yet and I don’t know where to get Norwegian books from online, but in Polish or in English. Her books are probably not for everyone but I wish she was better known so that people could at least find out if they like or dislike her books.

Who’s such an author in your opinion? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What time of day does your energy level start to decrease?

My answer:

It’s actually nothing fixed for me, since my whole circadian rhythm likes to shift around a lot, so it can vary a fair bit, also depending on how I’m doing mentally and all sorts of things. But, very generally, as I think I’m more of a night owl, at least by default, I think I can say that for me it’s more like I tend to start with low energy levels and then they keep increasing. It usually takes my brain some time to get going when I wake up, and I’m also kind of physically sluggish in the mornings as well a lot of the time. It’s not because I tend not to have refreshing sleep though of course this can vary too, I guess my brain is simply the kind that takes its time to boot and I tend to have low blood pressure, and I guess the dysthymia may also have something to do with this. Coffee used to be extremely helpful with this, but now that it’s started to give me really bad anxiety, I can no longer rely on it so I have to use other things that are less effective but eventually my brain will get going on its own, it’ll simply take longer. If I’m peopling a lot during the day then my energy will be draining a lot faster. Currently (that is for about a week) my sleep/wake cycle has been pretty messy and I sleep A LOT, and I can’t even really put my finger on why it’s so because I can’t say I feel tired or sleepy, but once I do fall asleep I just can’t stop sleeping. I purposefully went to sleep very early last night wanting to hopefully wake up reasonably early yet give my brain time to sleep if it needs it so badly, but despite I fell asleep at like 10 PM I woke up after 11 AM! I didn’t even hear my alarm go off earlier in the morning and must have turned it off in my sleep. πŸ˜€ The other night I slept through a whopping 15 hours. Sofi managed to come back from school and I was still sleeping! Such things do happen sometimes so it’s absolutely not abnormal in Bibielland, or, in any case, not extraordinary, but I’m not a fan of it unless I’m really depressed and thus really escapist and sleep feels like the only way to live or when I have super cool dreams but lately it’s been meh where dreams are concerned. But at least I do feel rested after this sleep, so it’s not like it’s all wasted time, and things will probably shift in a few days anyway. So the way it is right now I also tend to start with lower energy that increases over time. But sometimes it can just as well be so that I wake up insanely early, say 3 AM even, and feel very energised, and then my energy will start to decrease around early afternoon.

How is it with you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What’s something people don’t worry about but really should?

My answer:

There are lots of such things that come to my mind but one that I thought I’d write about is extincting languages. On one hand it’s totally subjective because I love language and it’s so sad to think that we’ve already lost so many languages and so many are on the way to be lost and discriminated against or something that it’s kind of weird for me to think that most people don’t really care. πŸ˜€ But second, our languages are part of our heritage as humans, part of our history and our identity, so that’s why I think we should really be more concerned about it collectively than we are, because with each language that dies it’s like a piece of our collective history as humans sort of falls off and then it’s quite difficult to put it back in place even if you try, especially in a way that looks natural.

What’s such a thing in your opinion? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What are you currently worried about?

My answer:

Surprisingly, I don’t seem to be having a lot of worries at the moment, usually my brain’s a lot more loaded with things like that so the current state is a rare occasion so I guess I should seriously celebrate it before things change or something. The main thing I’m worried about at the moment isn’t really something I can write in detail about on here as it’s awfully personal and not so much for myself as my family and something that we’re sort of struggling with and I’m not really sure how this whole thing will actually end. It’s getting a bit exhausting as it’s been dragging for months now and nothing makes it look like it’s going to be resolved any time soon, as the person who could have very easily resolved it with one word just doesn’t seem willing and long-term this may have all sorts of effects which are pretty scary to think of. That’s why for now I’m trying to avoid thinking long-term about this, and thankfully so far have been rather successful, which is also a pretty rare thing with my brain. More short-term, I’m worried because tomorrow I’ll basically have to spend the day one on one with this charming individual and how I’m gonna handle it, I mean, how I’m gonna handle being pissed and not showing it for the whole freakin’ day with no other people around. Moreover, I’m supposed to pretend that I don’t know about all the shit they’ve created. If I’ll make it I’ll be really proud of myself, or in any case I probably should be. πŸ˜€ Even without all that stuff going on right now, this individual can be really annoying and difficult when you spend a lot of time with them individually, so all my stifling skills will certainly come in handy tomorrow and hopefully won’t fail when they’re actually needed.

How about your worries? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What social stigma does society need to get over?

My answer:

As someone who is disabled and mentally ill, the most instinctive answer for me is disability/mental illness stigma, but since many of my readers also have mental illnesses and/or disabilities, I figured I’d leave that in case someone would like to write about this and I’d write about something else. Recently we’ve been talking with my Mum about stigma that mothers have to face, and if I were a mother, I’d be pissed off big time about it. Even when I’m not, I find it very annoying. Being conservative, Christian, traditionalist in a lot of ways, albeit an open-minded and quirky one, and all sorts of things like that I’m not necessarily a feminist the way feminism is typically understood these days, and neither is my Mum, but I think both of us still are, just in a different way. I suppose though that in this case the more modern feminists would probably agree with me. What I’m talking about is, when a man who has children goes out for a beer with his friends, no one investigates where and with whom he left his children, no one makes a tragedy out of it that a dad went out on his own without dragging his kids along. When a woman goes out with her friends clothes shopping and happens to come across someone she knows in the meantime, she’ll very likely be questioned about where her children are, as if her sole function was being a mother. Many will even procede to make such a “cruel” mother feel guilty or something. I’m not saying that a father can replace a mother, and there are definitely things that mothers tend to do better than fathers, and that fathers tend to do better than mothers, hence I believe that it makes sense that their respective roles in the family should be different, but their responsibility for children, and the right to have other identities and not just one of a parent, is something they both should share.

Also in the family department, the childless/single people stigma bites. I know a lot of young single and/or childless people and it’s crazy how often I hear people talking to them or about them how they should start looking for someone, how it would be super cool and cute and amazing and delightful if they became a mummy or daddy, how it would be good if they found another half to make them happy, ask them if they already have someone, or when they’re gonna have kids etc. etc. etc. Probably the most of that stuff that I witness is directed at my brother, who has no plans of finding a girlfriend any time soon and thus of having children either. I’m in a similar situation, but luckily I get way less of such bullcrap because duh, I’m blind so in most people’s brains it’s probably not even possible for me to be in a relationship and have children. πŸ˜€ Even my Mum, who is a very open-minded thinker and doesn’t like going with a life scheme and all that, and always tells us that she doesn’t want us to feel pressured to do any of the normal stuff that people do, she’ll still sometimes sigh how she’d like for Olek to “settle” and “find someone”. Thankfully she always has me to remind her of her no schemes philosophy lol.

The main reason why I’m so opposed to people imposing their relationship/children views on other people is not even so much because I don’t like schemes, but more so because I think not everyone is a good fit to be a parent. It’s a great thing to have a great family if you can and if you’re a good parent, but I think it’s a really bad idea to make it seem so that it should be the majority’s vocation to have children. My Mum and me have come up with that idea many years ago that people should be tested in all sorts of ways whether they’re fit to be parents and then be allowed or not allowed to have children. Obviously in practice there would be loads of problems and controversies around it that would be super difficult to handle in real life, and especially if you look at it from our Christian perspective, but in any case, parenting is a very difficult task, probably the most difficult in the world, and few people at the age of 20 when they’re often emotionally still much like children themselves are ready to start raising children of their own and the whole social pressure is an awful idea.

What is such stigma in your opinion? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (26th September).

We haven’t had any questions of the day for quite a while, so let’s do some now. πŸ™‚

What do you think is the most annoying piece of current slang?

My answer:

I’m in no position to make any particularly meaningful statements about English slang, given that I’m not an English native, don’t live in an English-speaking country to be able to immerse myself in slang regularly and know what’s current and what’s not, and I don’t really mingle with people who would use a whole lot of slang. Despite I’m very much into language(s) and linguistics and that definitely includes slang, even in Polish I don’t mingle with people who would use loads of it and I’m sure I’m very much behind as I’m quite an alien in general. These days I mostly get an idea about current slang from Sofi and if I like something I incorporate it into my own vocabulary, but Sofi herself doesn’t use a lot of slang and often doesn’t have much of a clearer idea what things are supposed to actually mean. Besides, a lot of what I’m introduced to by her is actually English words or English calques or some other Ponglish stuff, so to me that’s not even slang but normal English words. That’s why I don’t think I can say much about the most current Polish slang either. I guess one thing that annoys me a bit is that overanglicisation of everything that I mentioned. I mean, I absolutely LOVE English language, and for some kids (like Sofi) this way is one of very few of actively learning and actually retaining any English vocabulary, and English has SO many expressions and words that Polish doesn’t have so I too very often have super strong urges to use English words even with monoglots because otherwise it feels like there’s no way I’m going to get my point across and it’s frustrating. I’m not a purist, I don’t hate loanwords when they serve a purpose, and I believe a language is supposed to evolve or otherwise it’s dead, it’s also impossible to have a language with no loanwords perhaps unless it’s a conlang or something else rather artificial like that. But what I’m not a fan of is when the entire nation who has their own language suddenly starts replacing their own, perfectly functional words with foreign words that mean exactly the same, I guess just because the English words sound more trendy or something. Say there’s the word fame, which Polish youth tends to spell fejm which makes more sense with Polish phonetics. And that doesn’t make sense to me because we have our own words which express the same thing, and I’m a bit worried that in more long-term perspective this is gonna do a fair bit of damage to our language and many other languages as obviously it’s not like this process is limited to Polish. It can be funny mixing languages like that, I also often like throwing some English or other words into a Polish utterance for fun or expressive effect or because I like their sound more or because my brain sometimes just makes me do it for some not easily explicable reasons, but when it’s something more permanent and on a more collective level and we all speak like this ALL the time, like I said, gets slightly worrying. Also sometimes I have an impression that with some words those kids don’t even exactly understand the English meanings of those words, so I wonder if it isn’t a bit like that for every kid or teenager those English words mean something a bit different. For example Sofi claims that the word cringe (or krindΕΌ, as she prefers to spell it, which spelling always makes me cringe when I see it ’cause it looks so weird lol, and she pronounces it with an ee as well of course as that’s way more natural in Polish) is not so much about something being embarrassing in a disgusting, awkward or uncomfortable way but more in a hilarious way. I think something cringey certainly can be hilarious, but in her definition it’s a primary thing. Or maybe the Polish definition of krindΕΌ just really is different than the English definition of cringe.

Another thing which I guess could be classified as slang is acronyms and more exactly what I find grating is using them profusely in spoken language. Like, why?! I understand not having enough space or time or brain capacity to write in lengthy paragraphs, but when you speak in acronyms all the time it feels like you don’t really care about your interlocutor. Even when someone does that all the time in writing, I don’t like it. Sometimes when Sofi reads to me for some reason her texting interactions with her friends, to me it could just as well be some beat box exchange or something, there’s hardly any vowels. πŸ˜€ When she overdoses on acronyms while writing with myself or talks to me in acronyms I just go all the way like: “Y dnt u wrt lk a hmn?” (Why don’t you write like a human?). With other people, especially such that I don’t know too well, if I see that they use loads of acronyms without any particular purpose that I could figure out, my brain tends to quite automatically jump to the conclusion that they either don’t really like/struggle to write or aren’t particularly smart unless I have some evidence that challenges such conclusions. Too many acronyms can sometimes really affect the aesthetic feel of a language for me, and as both a linguophile and lexical (among others) synaesthete language aesthetics are important for me.

What’s such a thing(s) that annoys you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

I found this super cool name game on Reddit, on a subreddit called Namenerds, you can find it

here,

and as I had no idea for an actual question, and I myself love name questions, I thought we could do this, perhaps you’d find it fun too. πŸ™‚ In this game, you’re an influencer and you have twelve children, which you obviously have to name, and there are different rules for each child. You can of course use nicknames as well. Here are the rules for all the children and below are my kids’ names:

Kid 1: (Male, 13) Name of your hypothetical honeymoon location, middle name is animal-themed
Kid 2: (Female twin, 11) Name starts with the same letter as Kid 3, middle name is Greek mythology themed
Kid 3: (Female twin, 11) Name starts with the same letter as Kid 2, middle name is Roman mythology themed
Kid 4: (Female, 10) Flower name, middle name is an English monarch name
Kid 5: (Male triplet, 8) Name starts with letter K, famous author middle name
Kid 6: (Male triplet, 8) Name starts with letter K, Movie character middle name
Kid 7: (Female triplet 8) Name starts with letter K, Fairytale character middle name
Kid 8: (Male, 7) Named after your favorite relative, Middle name starts with the same letter as the first name.
Kid 9: (Male, 5) Named after a scientist/inventor, Middle name is gender-neutral
Kid 10: (Female twin, 4) Name starts with P, middle name is star and space themed
Kid 11: (Male twin, 4) Name starts with P, middle name is plant themed
Kid 12: (Female, 2) Name can also be used as a surname, middle name is color themed
BONUS::
Dog: (Pug, Male) food themed
Cat: (Calico, Female) old person name

Alright, let’s do it:

Kid 1: Gwynedd (pronounced like Gwyneth except the th is pronounced as in the, not as in Thursday) “Gwyn” Lynx (this is the only animal name that I like enough that I could perhaps use, plus it has feline connotations and sounds very influencer-like imo as influencers like lyn names and the letter x).

Kid 2: Marigold Helena (HE-le-nuh or heh-LEH-nah, NOT heh-LAY-nuh or heh-LEE-nuh!, perhaps she’d go by her middle because while I like both these names I love Helena more. In this case I’d happily call her something like Nellie or Hellie or Ellie but I’m gonna have a Kornelia as well so it’s not a good idea really. The Polish Helenka would have to suffice, and will work well to suggest the right pronunciation for strangers. If she’ll be called Marigold then I don’t think I’d use any nicknames, I’m not crazy about Goldie).

Kid 3: Michaela (either mee-khah-EH-lah or mee-ka-EH-la, NOT mi-KAY-luh!) Proserpina (would it be very very wrong if I used the nickname Micha or Michi? If yes, perhaps she’d be Mimi).

Kid 4: Salivia (sa-lee-VEE-ya) “Sallie” or “Via” Anne (salivia is Swedish (archaic I guess) for sage. It appears in a well-known Swedish folk song “Uti VΓ₯r Hage” (In Our Garden) along with several other plant names, and ever since I heard it for the first time I think all of them would make for great names, but Salivia is my favourite. It’s a herb, not a flower, but I guess it still counts, what do y’all think? Also, my other question to you is: even with the different pronunciation, does this still look/sound too much like saliva to you? I think I’d sometimes call her Sallie Anne as well).

Kid 5: Kristoffer (I very much like Polish Krzysztof too but I don’t want my followers to break their tongues and Kristoffer is also very cool) Jack (after Jack London whom I don’t care for, but… well, he’s a Jack πŸ˜€ I don’t like Chris quite as much as I do Kristoffer or Christopher but it’s a long name so I guess he’d end up being called that sometimes, as long as no one calls him Kris because that means crisis in Swedish).

Kid 6: Kilian Alexander (that was a difficult one because I don’t really have any more favourite K names for boys, and because I hardly watch movies. πŸ˜€ I sort of like Kilian but I’ve heard that for many people Killian/Cillian sounds like killing or something, and while in Polish it’s pronounced with the ee sound rather than ih, I’m not sure I’d be able to get English natives to say it that way. Alexander simply fits well for Kilian imo, plus I like this name, plus it would honour Olek, and apparently there was some movie about Alexander the Great called just Alexander. Not sure how famous it is. Perhaps to avoid the kill trouble he’d go by Alexander, and then we’d nickname him Sandy or Xander or Alec, I don’t know, I like most Alexander nicknames).

Kid 7: Kornelia “Nellie” Zofijka (Kornelia obviously in honour of Cornelis Vreeswijk, and Zofijka obviously in honour of my sister Zofijka, whose full name is of course Zofia but I don’t like Zofia, I despise the default nickname Zosia, and I’m an influencer so I don’t give a flip, I’m gonna call her Zofijka. In Polish we pronounce it zaw-FEEY-kah, but I wouldn’t mind it being pronounced close to Zofika or something like that, and also it’s just a middle name which I have a feeling she wouldn’t use a lot, due to other Zofijka.

Kid 8″ Jacenty (my grandad’s middle name, pronounced yah-TSEN-ti) “Jacek” John (not very satisfied with this combo, ’cause John is so filler, but other J names for boys that I like also start with Jac-).

Kid 9: Fulton (officially after Robert Fulton to whom I have no connection whatsoever, unofficially after Venerable archbishop Fulton J. Sheen who would make for an amazing patron saint and whose name I kinda like despite I generally am not a big fan of surname names) Lux.

Kid 10: Pilar Stellamaris (could you go more Catholic than this?! πŸ˜€ But Pilar is one of my most favourite P girl names, and since it’s a name very closely connected with the Virgin Mary due to one of her titles being Our Lady of the Pillar, and since I chose Pilar I thought we’d go Catholic and Marian-themed all the way, ’cause Stellamaris is another of Mary’s titles, meaning star of the sea in Latin. And obviously it’s also star- and space-themed).

Kid 11: Pio (yeah, let’s keep the Catholic theme, and aside from the Padre Pio connection I think the name is quite cute and it matches Pilar well and I don’t really have better ideas other than Phillip, which feels very matchy-matchy sound-wise with Pilar and also I prefer Filip anyway, and Peter which I like but is underwhelmingly boring with my other kids) William (as in the flower sweet William, which is also a name with numerous patron saints so it fits this recent theme. If Pio turns out not very practical he could go by William and then I’d probably call him Billy).

Kid 12: Elwy (my current faza’s Jacob Elwy Williams’ surname, which is apparently also used as a girl’s name somewhere, and is also the name of a river in Wales) Sapphire.

Dog: Biszkopt (BEESH-kopt, sponge-cake biscuit in Polish, I love the word).

Cat: Euphemia (Fiffi).

Yay, it’s a freakishly diverse sibset, but I think, especially given that I’m an influencer so I’m allowed to go crazy, it doesn’t feel glaringly mismatched or anything. What do you think about my kids’ names?

And what do you choose for yours? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What’s a hundred times harder than it looks?

My answer:

Perhaps not exactly a hundred times, but one thing that jumps to my mind right away is horse riding. People who have never done it or just sat on the horse while someone else led it, or rode purely hippotherapeutically, often have no idea and are like “Well, you just sit on the horse, what’s difficult about that?” πŸ˜€ I’ve even managed to come across a person who thinks it isn’t a legit sport. Apparently the same applies to ballet, it looks like it’s an effortless thing and it’s supposed to look like that, but it’s absolutely not. And while I have no idea about ballet, I can tell you that there is a lot more to horse riding than sitting. You’re supposed to move as fluidly and smoothly as possible not only because it looks better, but also because you don’t want to screw your horse, or get an injury yourself, and it’s simply more effective in achieving the effects you want. So, for example, there’s a technique called rising trot, where you rise in the saddle every time the horse’s outside front leg moves forward as he’s trotting. This is because doing so is way easier on the horse’s back than sitting trot, especially when you trot for longer periods and/or can’t sit the trot very well yet and bounce a lot or something. Except it isn’t really rising. A lot of people, including myself, do that mistake at the beginning where you rise vertically, almost as high as possible, but that’s not how it should be, because it’s neither good on your muscles, nor the horse’s back either, and if the horse has a really powerful trot you can end up bouncing quite a lot still. What you should do instead is rise forwards. You move your upper body forwards, open your hips and swing them forwards, and straighten up your knees in the stirrups while keeping your heals down. I don’t know if I explained that well enough but oh well, I don’t know how to explain things like that and I’m sure you can check it out yourself in case you’re curious. My instructor says it shouldn’t even be very visible that you’re rising or anything, it should be very smooth. So uninitiated people looking from a distance like my Mum think you’re just sitting on horseback and relaxing while your thigh muscles get all wobbly after half an hour’s practice of this “sitting”. πŸ˜€ And you have to remember about rising and falling to the right leg, so you have to be synced with your horse, and, probably the most difficult thing for me, you obviously have to keep your balance and have everything coordinated properly. Now I can do it quite well (or could when I was riding the last time, I haven’t ridden in over a year now as you may remember) and even though it can seem like more hassle, once I learned to do it properly I found it more comfortable for my own muscles to rise to the trot than sit it, especially on my first horse –
ŁoΕ› – who was a very big and sturdy horse and had a really heavy trot, with Rudy I don’t really mind either way because, as my instructor says it, his trot is so soft that you could sit it while sipping on a coffee at the same time, and it makes rise trotting very easy too. Nevertheless, it took me ages to figure the thing out and learn to do it well. There are also more such examples in horse riding where the thing looks not only really great but also totally effortless but needs quite a lot of effort and getting along between the horse and the rider.

What’s such thing in your opinion? πŸ™‚