Friday, February 27, 2009


Still waving, not yet drowning

I am prone to go crazy over work and balancing between work and personal life. I am going crazy recently.

On the side of good things: I found my watch; I made reservations for our trip next month.

But it's a hideous rainy morning when I feel like I'd like to live on the bottom of a pot of coffee. I can't wake up and there's work to do. Ideally, I should now be writing three mid-term papers and a conference piece and sending out wedding invitations that I haven't prepared yet....


If anyone knows a simple yet inventive way to make email invitations with pictures, pretty fonts, and background colors, this is the time to reveal your talents.

PS: I took that picture in Vienna in 2006--it's the Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK) adorned with an alternative to an exhibition poster. Unfortunately, they took it off the building a few months later. It is a wonderful metaphor for my state of mind.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Confessions

It's Sunday evening and after a week filled with 19th-century sentimental fiction, I feel whimsical.

The downside of studying literature is that though you do get to fill your life with reading interesting things, it's not necessarily that the assigned reading is what interests you at that particular moment...

So I started drawing up a list of what I'd really feel like reading now (but can't because I'm reading lots of other things). On top of the list is Stevie Smith. I only ever get to read her poems online, without the drawings, and read essays that mention the drawings but never reprint them. I need to change that. (And why did I ever give up drawing? At least I'd have another way to vent...) She's fun, brief, morbid, and didn't waste her time writing lofty manifestos. (Although I don't think planning and going about your suicide is a better way to spend your time.)

I'd also like to read Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado (since reading this post; yes, I know I didn't exactly run to get the book asap).

And Mary Jo Bang's last (i.e. most recent) book of poems. It took me shamefully long to get it.

This children's book, which I read at least three times as a child.

Since I already got in this oddly confessional mode (because I'm drafting a paper on the confessional poetry), I might as well say that I'm pushing away reading a batch of essays on New Criticism and its impact on contemporary literary criticism (snoring already?) by contemplating whether I should make myself another mug of tea with soymilk. Soymilk is fat and so New Criticism has better dietary effects.

(Snoring already?) Off, then, from the realm of unread to the realm of reading assignments...

PS: Tea in the US deserves a separate post.

Thursday, February 19, 2009



Nawet gdy cię nie ma w słowniku, jesteś cudny.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Don't Even Have a Door to Put This On...

but I want one for my imaginary house:

The designer is a friend of Mr. G's and, frankly, I'll be happy if by posting this I can support the cause of transforming the world's peepholes into little eyes of wonder.

For more nosy creatures visit Avelewa's site or stores Pakamera and Wylęgarnia.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Art of Losing

I lost my mother's watch. Actually, I lost the watch my mother gave me. And my favorite teaspoon. It should take me some time before I misplace this house and I can't really see myself hiding the continent from everyone, but I do feel like my losses are a disaster.

And a sign of a serious disability.

Card purchased at a store with vintage jewelry and trinkets, DeWitt Mall, Ithaca, NY.

Both domestic and foreign, given who I am and where.

Documenting Another Attempt to Wake Up and Stop Daydreaming

and get to work.

Somehow, that's not really happening...

As Mr. G. says, well, it's really July and we're in a meadow. Lazy.
(That last detail is true for this Monday morning in February.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Wish...

Mini Book Earrings, originally uploaded by MyHandboundBooks.

... I wasn't allergic to every possible kind of metal. I can't wear earrings. I got my ears pierced when I was 5 because I desperately wanted to wear earrings. After several painful infections I eventually realized I was not destined to have pretty things dangling from my earlobes.

But gosh I wish I could wear these...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Additional Reasons for Happiness (If You're Not Polish)

Please raise a glass to not being Polish (unless you're Polish):

you don't have to deal with Polish pseudodiplomacy, you're not dependent on those people's whims. Since your legal needs are not sabotaging their deepest desire to sit on their asses and do nothing all day, you are already so much better off.

Without going into all the disgusting detail, after waiting for our appointment for an insane amount of time and paying through the nose for the legal proceedings and ceremony, we learned that we cannot set the date of our own wedding. The date will be announced to us perhaps on the phone, who knows, some three or two weeks before the wedding, that is maybe, you never know...

Having told me and Mr. G. as much (after we had paid, of course), the official smiled and said: "Don't worry, we'll let you know at some point. I guess it's an important day for you."

No, you know, not at all. Let's all relax and screw it all, because it's not like we have jobs or any sort of responsibilities, and certainly the witnesses and guests don't have any of those stinking job-things. Also, we all spend our days hanging around Manhattan, so no one needs to book anything. No one has to fly to NYC, why we'll walk over water to get there for the ceremony. We'll put on our seven-mile boots and get there in five minutes, so actually, I don't even have to know when it is exactly. You can tell me on that day just as well. I will come in my bathrobe and rubber boots, au naturel, and sans photographer or flowers. And as for hotels and such crap, I suppose we can stay under a bridge, it will be like camping. Fun, fun, fun...


I never had a fantasy about my wedding day being 'the most beautiful day of my life.' But that doesn't mean I wanted it to be the worst. As scandalous as it may sound, I wanted it to be a good day on which I sign a bunch of documents and then me, my brand new husband, and our guests go and have ice cream.

I never would have guessed everything would depend on a bunch of knobheads who first cheat me out of money and then try to make it all impossible, disgusting, and sad.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Powitanie zamówienia

W mojej skrzynce znalazłem email pt. "Powitanie zamówienia". A w nim co następuje:

Może jesteś zajęty i nie mają czasu, aby znaleźć prezenty dla swoich kochanek, znajomych lub rodziny, na naszej stronie internetowej: (adres usunąłem). Wybierz najlepszy prezent dla nich. Możemy pakiet Twój pakiet jako dar i wysyłać je bezpośrednio do Twojej pokazać miłość.
Możemy dać ci przynajmniej masz czas na opakowanie.

Fairy Tale Generator

Based on Propp's Morphology of the Folk Tale. Here's what I got after randomly ticking 'complicity,' 'beginning counteraction,' 'receipt of a magical agent,' 'pursuit,' 'difficult task,' and 'transfiguration':

All of the people's voices came prying into me, digging through the hairs of my scalp to find answers to their questions. They sifted through my body like water sifts through rice. I felt their presence probing through the deep recesses of my head until they discovered what they longed to know. I told them how I was searching for my father. I told them that his shoes brought me here. I told them about his satchel and the magic that was inside. That magic would take me back home whenever I needed to leave.
"Let me go then," I said.
When I placed the needle I had taken on my palm, it moved in the direction where I needed to go. The bones taken from the ground shielded me from any harm.
With each step I took, the people of soil tried to clench my feet harder and began to pull me down.
"And who are you boy?" Mother asked me. Her weak eyes did not recognize my much-changed face and form. I told her I was her son but she did not believe me. "If you are the son that left so many days ago, and if you are the one who brought back this jade figure of father, then you are the one who will be able to restore him to his normal shape." She flicked her wrist and flung the jade piece at me.
Mother licked her fingers and placed them to my face, wiping the thick layer of dirt away. Then I truly began to look like my father's son, in form, face, and color.
Jade figure of the father? Ostentatious.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


wiewiórka, originally uploaded by Christ0ff.


rodzaj zwierzęcia z rodziny wiewiórkowatych, pochodzenie nieznane. Występuje w przypadkach oddalenia od bliskich i znudzenia pracą. W przeciwieństwie do wilkołaka ma świeży oddech. Zwierzę dość leniwe, czasem nie chce mu się nawet robić herbaty. Na ogół unika pisania esejów oraz innych form pracy umysłowej na rzecz pisania listów, emocjonalnych notek oraz zwyczajnego tęsknego patrzenia w przestrzeń.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gryzmaki, pćmy, murkwie*

We're reading Lem's Cyberiada. It's terribly cold outside and although it's not like I don't have other things to read for class, I really prefer reading this.

Back when I was younger and more naive, I thought more people realized that Solaris was not merely a movie in which George Clooney doesn't play a doctor, but, primarily, good book. One that makes you think twice before you swim in the ocean again, lest it should be a god of some kind.

Stories in The Cyberiad don't seek to provoke theological fears. They're daunting in a different way: the linguistic ingenuity of the inventors Trurl and Klapaucius makes my head spin. After reading "Trurl's Electronic Bard" I sat down to write my final paper in the literature and theory course (last semester). Barthes, Kristeva, and a poetry machine that made planets explode. On the whole, I find most attempts at weaving pop-lit into a theoretical argument forced, because it's usually too formulaic to propose any novel perceptions of reality. After all, The DaVinci Code didn't start a religious schism. It only made the claims about Jesus' potential marriage more dubious, if anything.

With Lem, the label sci-fi complicates things more than explains them. You can of course find some guys in spacesuits in Lem. If you're looking for them. But in his fables of artificial intelligence you'll also find intimations of present-day technology dilemmas, the internet, and post-humanism (if you give the thinking ocean in Solaris some more thought).

In the 1990s, Lem became more skeptical of technological progress and switched to non-fiction. He would say that he was living in a state of constant amazement that the world became what he had unintentionally prophesied in his fiction.

You can read a good bit of The Cyberiad here and think about what he possibly could have meant. I don't really know.

*Sadly, the story featuring those creatures was not included in the google books excerpts, so I have no idea what they're called in English.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lowdown / High Heels

These are cute shoes. Exactly the kind I used to try on when I was four:

I just finished an article in Forum, in which Germaine Greer and Vivienne Westwood were saying very different things about high heels. The only thing the article told me was that I really don't know what I think about high heels. The facts are that I own a few pairs, I think they look adorable, and I almost never wear them. If I do, I always make sure I have a purse which fits a pair of ballerina shoes that I put on when I feel I'm approaching my pain threshold.

So I guess I'm with both Greer and Westwood and without a final verdict.

It does piss me off, though, when various celebs claim they would rather have their tendons cut up, removed, and what not than give up high heels. Because high heels are, erm, "more feminine." (Really? Maybe if you're standing, motionless, for a few minutes or are walking down the red carpet--from the car to a nearby seat.)

I'm waiting for the first martyrs to be established by that school of thought. I think it could be the most interesting thing since the anchorites and their bathroom dilemmas.*

*I'm sure you too have wondered many times how people walled in in towers handled their physiological needs.

Cogwheel Dogs

It could be that the world is going to the dogs. But if those dogs were made of cogwheels, the expression would be decidedly optimistic. It’s great to hear that there are still young bands who care enough to write to people about what they do and who they are. And who record in an attic. It’s obviously not the most convenient and luxurious way to work but for someone like me it flips the imagination switch. Attic, garage, and cellar are where the great musical stories begin and, really, there could not be too many songs eulogizing those places. At some point I stopped going to concerts because it seemed like no one snuck out to their attics, garages, and cellars to do music anymore. Part of the problem was my own skepticism, part of it was that truly the numbers of idealistic and hard-working beginner bands decreased sharply. That’s the wrong kind of dogs. It takes some openness and, I think, some atti(c)tude that is largely missing today to do these personal mud-stained things. That’s the right kind of dogs.
I tend to like music that is somewhat ascetic but based on a concept that unfolds in time. There must be a story behind it that can’t be written down so that music indeed is the one medium through which it can come. Hence perhaps my inability to do justice in writing to sounds.
Cogwheel Dogs
I most definitely lack talent to give you a verbal taste of what to expect when you click over here. I’m impressed by Rebecca’s blog, the band’s website–I’m a sucker for visual wit, I’m afraid. As for the sounds: I like where these songs are going. They are going places and can take you there, which is what songs, essentially, should do. That’s a great beginning and I’d love to see where the songs go from here. I hope there’s a song about the attic somewhere along the way…

[Written and originally posted elsewhere on July 5, 2008]

Wednesday, February 4, 2009



Gdy Pan Gryzmak pokonuje kolejne żabie skoki podróży, ja w domu czekam, śpiąc na wyrywki.

UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań, COP 14

Originally uploaded by sherabgyamtso

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Women: Know Your Limits!"

I hate it when YT does that. Embedding disabled, but here's the link. Thanks to the lovely Żurawina who only revealed that she has a blog when I begged her.


Czytając jednocześnie XVIII-wieczną powieść pisaną amerykańskim pannom ku przestrodze przed uwiedzeniem, oglądam Lekarstwo na miłość. PRL, lata 60-te XX wieku i komedia kryminalna, w której o uwiedzenie właśnie głównie chodzi. I panny tu bynajmniej nie są jak trusie.

Kalina Jędrusik biega na szpilkach z fryzurą chyba utwardzaną gipsem, bo ani włosek drgnie, nawet gdy spada jej tynk na głowę. Hojnie nałożony (ekhm) makijaż i boskie sukienki.

Andrzej Łapicki czaruje głosem przez telefon, a sztuczki zna takie, że w XVIII-wiecznej Ameryce byłaby nagroda za jego głowę. Szkoda, że pali papierosy, ale oni wszyscy palą bez ustanku. A co na to minister zdrowia?

Ewidentnie węch mają uwodziciele osłabiony, bo odległość podczas konwersacji jest mniejsza niż według standardów latynoskich. Możliwe też, że czynnikiem dodatkowym jest tu PRL-owska polityka mieszkaniowa, gdzie na obywatela przypada bardzo ograniczony metraż. Tak więc, mimo bimbania sobie zaleceń ministerstwa zdrowia, uwodziciele zdają się brać bardzo poważnie budownictwo jak i zalecenia dotyczące oszczędzania energii elektrycznej.

Z filmu dowiadujemy się, że nie ma nic bardziej erotycznego jak wspólne omawianie zakupu żyrandola.

Koniecznie musimy to przećwiczyć w domu. Wolałabym jednakże nie wyrywać lampy z sufitu w wynajętym mieszkaniu. Dyskretne podsuwanie się na kanapie i chuchanie na policzek jest dla mnie bardziej kluczowym krokiem w rozwiązywaniu oświetleniowego dylematu.

Jak na załączonych obrazkach:

"Musimy omówić sprawę żyrandola, a PRL-owska polityka mieszkaniowa sprawia, że nie mam gdzie stanąć i muszę tuż przy panu."

(To nie jest fragment dialogu z filmu. Ale mógłby być.)

I dalej:

"Zna pan te dowcipy - ilu chemików potrzebnych jest do wkręcenia żarówki? Powiem panu, że jeden, ale marzy mi się żyrandol o wielu żarówkach. Spotkajmy się zatem jutro o 21."

(Bohater grany przez Łapickiego nie jest chemikiem. Gdybym ja pisała scenariusz pewnie by był.)

Consensus w sprawie żyrandola osiągnięty:

I w zasadzie tu się kończy podręcznik wzajemnego uwodzenia.

Dalsze mądre nauki jakie z filmu można wyciągnąć dotyczą zachowania w szalonej codzienności. Na przykład: jak nie złamać nogi chodząc w szpilkach po polskich płytach chodnikowych (tu należy uważnie patrzeć na rozmaite sceny, gdzie Jędrusik i Sienkiewicz truchtają po ulicy); jak umiejętnie brać kąpiel w pełnym makijażu oraz przeróżnej biżuterii i wiele innych.

Do moich ulubionych należą:

  • jak stylowo mieszać kawę lub herbatę w szklance (czarno-biały film: konia z rzędem temu, kto zgadnie czy to kawa, czy herbata)

  • jak niechcący obrazić na ulicy przypadkowego faceta (moja ukochana scena)

"Bardzo by ci było ładnie z takim dużym dekoltem"

A to akurat autentycznie z tego filmu. Cudo.
Idę psuć żyrandol.

Pan z gołą dupką

Pan z gołą dupką wydaje się istotną postacią w książce dla dzieci pt. Maciuś skowronek. Pan ów, książeczka oraz blog Tralaloskop należą do moich największych odkryć w ostatnim czasie, gdy zima zła, lód i ciemności i tylko czekam na przyjazd Gryzmaka i czekam…

Las Rzeczy

Las Rzeczy (Lat. silva rerum) was a type of book seventeenth-century Polish noble families kept at home and wrote down in it everything from recipes and expenses to anecdotes and poems. Arguably, it was one of the forerunners of the blog. We can only thank forest fairies that it was the silva rerum and not the coffin portrait that caught on some three centuries later.

This particular silva rerum belongs to Pani Misiula and Pan Gryzmak, who don't share too much with seventeenth-century nobility. Definitely not the taste in haircuts.

This blog is bilingual and features a boy and a girl, their various adventures and found things.

Witamy i zapraszamy.