Monday, November 30, 2009


Grade cutoffs, originally uploaded by ragesoss.

I once thought such ideas stemmed from teachers' cynicism. I stand corrected.

Unfortunately, I have to write comments on student essays, so I'll just admire this for a bit.

(Via a friend who shares my lot.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chcę, chcę, chcę

zobaczyć ten film:

Rewers, reż. Borys Lankosz

przeczytać tę książkę: Olgi Tokarczuk Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych.

Mam nadzieję, że ktoś tu notuje i przekaże Gwiazdorowi.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Duże zwierzę

Duże zwierzę was one of those films I had been planning to see for ages and kept missing. Luckily, the cat told us he's a fan of Kieślowski and we absolutely need to push Duże zwierzę to the top of our list. Well, so maybe that's not how I finally saw it, but the cat was indeed there.

The voice in the English trailer is terribly wrong when he announces that (1) the story happens in a village -- it's actually a town, (2) the villagers used to be lovely and kind -- the point is that those people have always been nasty, but maybe not as harmful: it's a film about Polish vices. In addition, the film description lies that it's a comedy -- it certainly is not, though you will smile listening to Jerzy Stuhr's conversations with the camel.

It's a story about irrational hate and destructive envy. I was heartbroken when someone in the mob raised a placard with the word "Precz" [Out!] and when Stuhr was dragged from one office to another to answer strange demands and accusations.

But I was also absolutely amazed when Anna Dymna and Jerzy Stuhr were dining with their camel, making a sweater for him, and taking him on long walks. And the closing scene with camels in the snow is incredibly beautiful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Witaj, kocie! (Welcome, Cat!)

The cat doesn't really have a name, which I found after I had already exchanged several emails with his human owner. "Kitty" doesn't somehow seem enough -- I have a penchant for epic names. If, as one of my professors argued, Old English found refuge in Ireland and heavy metal lyrics, it seems logical to me that the grand names of the past should be adorned with whiskers.

When he arrived, he seemed to me a bit of a Stanisław: something about him reminded me of the last king* of Poland. After our little misadventure in the middle of the night (he threw up all over our couch), I didn't think so anymore. He has since made it up to us by a great deal of purring, peaceful sleeping, and good toilet manners. And a wikipedia search yielded a better name for him.

This little guy looks like a miniature żbik (felis silvestris silvestris), with that same pattern of gray stripes and exceptionally furry ears and paws. In reality he probably is the fruit of an affair between a tabby cat and a Persian, unless he's a European expat, like us.

But now we call him Mały Żbik, which his human companion would most likely find unpronouncable.

He's made our Thanksgiving break very special, not just because of all the laundry and disinfecting the couch.

* Yes, I know that the last king of Poland was actually a Russian czar, but I don't accept it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


from bronchitis. I got out of bed today for the first time since Saturday. I still feel awful, but not so snotnosed anymore, luckily.

Pictured above: the cover of one of my favorite childhood books - Pan kotek był chory (Mr. Cat Was Sick).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I wish there had been a show like this when I was growing up. More importantly, I would like there to be more shows like this, in different countries.

Link: Smart Girls at the Party

Amy Poehler interviewing young feminist Ruby