Saturday, March 25, 2017


"What happened here?" asks the person to whose flat you returned after being unable to find the cab you had called.
"Got bitten by an opera singer," you respond, truthfully, sending the call from the cab you were supposedly unable to find to voicemail. And finding, in that moment, life to be quite hysterical*.

* two parts haha, one part actual hysteria

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Just no

So your evening went a bit south. And here you are, trying to make the best of it. And there they are, a person of thoroughly questionable character, sending good vibes your way. Do you shut them out, like a sane person would? No. You squint enough not to see the fine print and take the momentary gratification at face value. Because if you keep to the very middle of this road, you won't see the potholes. Or that it leads to into a cesspool. And you don't need to. It's just tonight.

People are so pathetic. And by people I half-heartedly mean someone less generic than that.

Monday, January 12, 2015

State of the Turnip

So, eight months have passed.

I went to Croatia. I settled into the new flat and did what I could to make sure that I get some peace and quiet.

Dated someone for about 2 months. Obviously it wasn't a complete success, since I'm writing this in the past tense, but it was a nice experience overall, and trauma-free.

Family's good.

Issues... still present, but shifted. A big one seems to be gone. Not sure how, but it really does feel like you're cured when you can't even be bothered to tart yourself up for a meeting with your kryptonite.

Right now I'm in a weird little situation. I'm not 100% sure what it is, which gets confusing and occasionally upsetting  Usually I play my cards close to my chest for maximum deniability, but here I went back and forth on it so much that I don't know what to think anymore, Even worse, I lost track of what I've been putting out there, signal- and message-wise. Maybe there's something to be said for flying blind. I don't know.

Going to see Simon Amstell live this spring. Birthday gift from friends. Something to look forward to.

...and sleep is here. Finally.

Monday, April 21, 2014

...Most of the Time

On second thought, that Beautiful People Say Yes thing could use a qualifier. I just spent an evening in an apartment full of stoned strangers, and I can't say that the experience enriched me in any way. Thankfully I react to awkwardness with a sort of giddy hysteria, but still, were it not for the fact that I latched onto a friend who literally makes people feel comfortable and welcome for a living, I'd have gone fetal.

So that's this year's Easter.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I went on a blind date. It was arranged by a committee headed by a girl I've never met in my life, who knew the other guy, somehow learned of my existence, and took it upon herself to hook us up. She's also a staunch Catholic, and while masterminding the whole deal she would sometimes take the time to say that she can't talk about it too much, or she'll have to go to confession. I am not making this up. It was reason #2 for why I went along with it. Reason #1 being my new motto: Beautiful People Say Yes. I took it from a David Guetta* number. Which tells you everything you need to know about the extent of my decline.

The guy turned out to be very nice and kind of handsome and (I think) into me. I turned out to be dead inside. Ana claims that the one thing he was missing was unavailability, but what does she know, stupid Ana, she's not the boss of me.

There is some truth to it, but I feel it isn't the whole truth. And I'm clinging to that, desperately.

* well ok, Sia, but the association still stings

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Evening out

The past few months have been somewhat nightmarish. Hopefully things will improve from now on.

Let's ease back into this whole blog thing slowly with a random picture I stumbled upon today:

I like it. A lot.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Let's see how fast this thing can go...

Last night I went to an Amanda Palmer concert. I don't even like a lot of her music, but she is an experience, and she delivered. What's more, I am now crazy about this song:

It absolutely destroys me. Almost the way that one Iron and Wine number does, except it's also the reason why I can't listen to it, whereas I can't stop listening to this one.

I'm having major issues with my new neighbor blasting horrible music through the paper thin wall. It's been my #1 problem for the past two months, which I guess means that I don't really have any serious problems at the moment. Still, home stopped being a refuge, and for a closet introvert that kind of sucks.

It's also fall now, which is usually when the membranes get thinner for me, and I start jonesing for some... progress. So things are a bit raw.

Wow, this turned out to be a bit of a bummer entry. Then again with a song like that, what did I expect.

I think a major upset in the status quo would not go amiss. Supposedly a lot of people fear looking back on their life on their deathbed and feeling that they have wasted it. I don't care about that - if I'm on my deatbed, I'll be dead soon, and therefore beyond caring. Getting hit with that realization at, say, 50 though? That scares the bejeezus out of me.

On the other hand, the Chinese probably would have something to say about people looking for something a bit more interesting in their times.

The day I stop playing both sides of the argument is the day that happens.

You are impossible, Delilah

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Shrike Cometh

So, apparently this thing still exists.

The first evening of this year when the windshields of cars were frosted over on the way back home. Winter is coming.

Yes, this is going to be one of those self-indulgent ones.

Switched flats. Didn't switch much else. Found a new, rather surprising connection. One that got sort of confirmed (to my surprise) tonight, actually. Nothing life-changing, and nothing to fill the - as Sia put it - "God-shaped hole", but I was surprised at the blue streak of recognition nonetheless. Gah, that's another obscure reference.

Having apartment issues. Trying new things professionally. Emotional life... contained again. My line for the moment is: if THIS is what passes for a problem for you, you've won the fucking lottery.

Are there things gnawing at the periphery? Of course. But "P" is so far down the alphabet.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

That's a nice place you brought me to

I inadvertently reenacted a scene from Weekend today, with minor adjustments, but right down to an actual line lifted from the movie and uttered (also unwittingly) by my companion.

There's a pattern again. Different than usual, but just as bad. This one actually seems easier to break though, and I think I'm going to try.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Austin: The Veterans, Day 2

A Pajiban girl just reminded me of Austin, so here's me trying to give this thing another nudge towards completion.

On the 2nd day at our new hosts it became clear that the Burmese guy decided to become part of our "group". Which to me made perfect sense, since he didn't know anyone else in the city, and our couchsurfing hosts were mostly unavailable, but didn't sit quite so well with Gosia, who at some point started just ignoring him.

We started the day, more or less, by meeting up with the Pajiba people again, this time at a cinema with a built-in bar. It was sort of redeeming, as I actually managed to talk to some of them, hang out, and was introduced to the concept of filling a gigantic cup with a free-refill soda (Dr Pepper in my case) and dumping the whiskey you order at the bar into said cup. Daydrinking is the best.

The Pajibans (mostly writers, plus Ian) were a bit hermetic, but not unmanageably so, and very funny and friendly. Unfortunately, by this moment I remember absolutely nothing about the conversation aside from giggling at stuff and leaving the theatre feeling relieved that I managed to overwrite the previous evening so neatly in my memory.

We went to see some movies, but I don't even remember what they were. To be honest, films were the most underwhelming portion of the whole experience. I probably saw around 20 or so, but remember only Much Ado..., Don Jon's Addiction (which I think changed its title in the meantime), and Sound City. Oh, and Before Midnight. All good films, but I wasn't extatic about any of them.

In the evening we went to our first proper free booze party, using our hard-earned badges. As it turned out, it was also the LAST film free booze party of the festival, because fuck you Polish amateurs. When we figured it out, we decided that we have to get absolutely hammered (7 drinks minimum) to start getting our money's worth, and should possibly split up. Because a crazy night of casual Western Hemisphere...ean sex is just around the corner, and obviously SO us. Gosia went to dance for a bit, and I stayed at the table, downing gin and tonic like... well, like it was free. Which, coupled with my legendary hearing, made the following conversation possible. I swear I'm not making this up.

Tipsy girl suddenly plops down at my table and extends her hand: I'm single!
Me, befuddled: I'm gay.
Girl: You're game?
Me: Gay. G-A-Y.
Girl: Oh... I don't care, I'm engaged.
Me: Then why did you say you are single?
Girl: I said I'm KENDALL.

Yes. Then her fiance came up to us. I have no idea what we talked about because I was busy alternately screaming in my head for the ground to open up and swallow me, and laughing like a maniac.

Eventually we stumbled out of the club and sauntered down the crazy-crowded avenue to catch our very first night bus (aka the Night Owl) of the trip. There was delicious pizza on the way, and a general feeling of awesomeness.

The wait for the bus was absolutely crazy - it was cold, so people were huddled together over a grate that spewed forth hot air. And all the buses were late, so the crowd kept growing. Apparently ours was the most anticipated, so when it finally arrived - 45 minutes late - there was a literal stampede. I remember no longer being quite drunk on alcohol, but feeling my brain switch to a sort of elated full-reception mode. As in: this is so surreal, so outside any of my usual points of reference, that all self-consciousness disappears. Whatever happens, go with the flow, and take this all in. Plus borderline hysterical giggling.

I particularly remember the gridlock outside the entrance to the bus. A sea of people unable to move, being crushed on all sides by equally giddy, confused and disbelieving festival-goers. No hostility, just a general sense of "WTF, are we really doing this?!" from all sides. And then, in a moment of perfect, cinematic silence, someone ACTUALLY saying: Ok... who farted?!

On the bus, we strike up a conversation with a random girl who proceeds to give us tips on the best Mexican and Tex-Mex places in town. Other people join in occasionally to concur or disagree with her choices. She looks us in the eye and says that if we go to this one place, we absolutely have to get the "boom boom sauce" with an intensity usually reserved for passing down the last secrets of a dying civilization. She writes down addresses on the margin of a newspaper (along with "boom boom sauce", underlined thrice), rips it off and hands it to us.

I love her and everything about this day. I've yet to realize that somewhere between the stampede and our getting off the bus my badge got lost/stolen.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Found my footing on all fronts, sprained an ankle in the process. So not laying off weepy McLachlan just yet.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I dreaded coming back here and reading what I wrote that night - I was so drunk I could only remember that I barfed SOMETHING into the Internet, but had no recollection of the actual content.

It's not good, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Small favors.

I'm trying to settle into the new flat. It's not going great. Nothing has collapsed, per se, but a lot of things started wobbling at once, and I found myself without anything to hold on to. Case in point: I was actually looking forward to getting back to translating a horrible 6-hour-long artsy film called HITLER, because it was familiar ground. Structure.

Listening to a lot of weepy McLachlan stuff today, a bit surprised at how comforting it is. Just something I know well, I guess.

Again, nothing bad is happening. I just can't seem to find my footing for the moment, and one of the wobbly bits traditionally terrifies me.

Enough self-indulgence, back to work.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fault line

I feel like today was important, but I also feel like I need to make this brief, because my body is not entirely complying with the recording impulse.

Today is the last day in my previous flat. I had to pack all my stuff into cardboard boxes and sign the new lease agreement. Then I got to spend the first hour in my new apartment and see just how much of the office building I see through the windows (all of it), how many trees (none), and how many cars I hear driving down the busy street right outside (all of them).

It was not a good day. There's other shit on top of that, but it shall go unaddressed.

Then in the evening A came. We bought some munchies, some rose wine, and went to the new flat. A talked. A lot. Then we had a conversation. Not about the flat per se, just about life. I drank most of the wine because she's ill. A thunderstorm came. She left. I felt... so much better. Things would be ok.

Then stuff happened, but it's inconsequential. The story really picks up when I was with B, looking for a cab to take them home, and talking about... stuff. Stuff that I decided I would talk about, on this particular day. Stuff that made us forego the cab and go for another drink somewhere else.

And we talked. About various things, some of them perhaps more vital than the trump subject, but... it was an important moment as well. There was a pretty rudimentary connection. Here I was with a good person who, as it turned out, had my best interest at heart. Which should have been obvious, but it wasn't. And it will be from now on.

Were, I to write this tomorrow, I'd probably do a better job, but I felt the need to mark this moment now. Today was important.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Reemergent shapes

Going to see a promising flat the day after tomorrow. Hope it pans out.

One of my instant imprints from a while ago popped back up under somewhat different circumstances. Potentially debilitating, but that's life. If nothing else, it will provide me with a poster child for getting in shape.

This is my head right now:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Austin: The Veterans, Day 1

On the next day we got up really early, because we had to meet our next hosts at a cafe at 9:30 a.m. I have to say I don't exactly miss the early mornings. For two weeks or so I ended up being exhausted by 10 p.m. and that's just WRONG.

Anyway, we managed to locate the cafe, though not without problems, and were greeted by a sweet middle-aged couple. We started off by the guy trying to give me keys and me thinking he's going in for a fist bump, but it got better from there. They are veteran couchsurfers, to the point where they have several sets of keys to their place, and a whole FAQ on the inside of the door - wifi password, cat's habits, etc. As we were dragging our suitcases to their door, a guy dismounted from his motorcycle in the parking lot and asked if we were staying with them. And then he told us they actually hosted him a couple of years back, when he was couchsurfing, and he liked the city so much that he moved here, and now he's their neighbour. There was something completely cinematically economic about this moment - as in: all background characters serve some purpose, because there's just no time to have random people pop up and not tell us something about the protagonists.

Unfortunately, that 30 minutes at the cafe was also the longest we ended up talking to them, because they left for work before we got up, and we'd come home after they've already turned in for the day.

Once we had the keys, we moved our stuff from the kid's place to the other one, which turned out to be all the way across the city. Which made me miss my first movie. Once we got there, we met a fellow couchsurfer - a Burmese native who came to USA when he was about 16, lived in New York, and then had a quarter-life crisis, burned out, and is now traveling around the world and trying to figure out what he wants to do. Obviously, we went for tacos. They were my first proper tacos, and they were good, though we were kind of confused by the fact that you should apparently order 2 or 3 at once, because they're kind of small-ish.

After the tacos Gosia and the Burmese guy went to see a movie, and I decided that it was finally time for me to get a local SIM card. I googled the location of a T-Mobile store, and set out to find it. On foot, because Austin public transport suuuuucks. I found the street easily enough, and started walking. I walked. And I walked. And then I walked some more. It seemed like I was actually leaving the city. I crossed some railroad tracks, and in my book that's always a bad sign. Turns out that the street just went on forever. I had a crisis of faith after about 45 minutes, but I was already more than halfway there, judging from the home numbers, so I persevered. Eventually I reached that friggin' store, at about half an hour before closing time, and managed to get the SIM card. I was so happy I sat down on the curb and immediately replaced my Polish one with the new one. And everything worked! Off to the bus stop I went. Leaving my Polish card on the curb, never to be recovered again. Yay.

At the bus stop, there was a homeless guy sleeping on the bench, and a portly fellow staring at the road wistfully. 30 minutes later we were joined by someone from the transit authority who came by to get rid of the homeless person. He had no idea when the bus was supposed to arrive though, or even if it was going to come at all. This pretty much meant that I wouldn't make it to yet another movie. Eventually I started talking to the portly guy, and we agreed that we'll wait 10 more minutes, and then call a cab and split the fare. Our ultimatum worked, and God sent down a bus, so we got to talk some more. Turned out he was from England, came for the music part, and was on his way to some sort of animation screening accompanied by free booze. Because apparently there was that as well.

I managed to just miss my next screening, so for the next hour or so, I ended up wandering around the city like a total twat. At that time, it was the definite low point of the trip. Finally, I reconvened with Gosia, very happy to see a familiar face and have someone to talk to, and we went to see a documentary on some punk rocker lady. I wasn't overly impressed and skipped out on the Q&A to get ahold of Ian (who came down for the weekend from Dallas) and possibly meet up with some Pajiba people. Which is how I missed Amanda Palmer, who apparently was at the same screening and had some questions for the lady.

On my way to the Pajiba people I managed to get lost, and actually arrived at the bar after Gosia (who stuck around for the Q&A). I was completely deflated and ended up sitting on the very outskirts, next to all the people I knew, so I wasn't even able to interact with the people I came to meet. And they were all tired, so they called it a night pretty quickly. The whole evening ended up being a pretty stinky anti-climax to an exhausting day filled with failures great and small. Ian was loads of fun though, from what I recall, as was his childhood friend who was also there, though I don't recall why.