Thursday 23 December 2010

Christmas Pole

So, another Christmas in Ireland for me, third one already. Time flies, doesn't it? This year I am going to celebrate it in Polish way, as I usually do. It's not very practical and kinda complicated (even with Polish food available here in Dublin, products are simply no good), but if anyone asked me what I like about my tradition the most, I would say: Christmas. Despite all the fever and nerves, all that cooking, shopping and cleaning, this is my favourite occasion. Recently it occurred to me that our Christmas customs are quite interesting an unusual to the foreigners I'd been talking to, so I though: what the bells, I might as well act as a cultural ambassador here and educate you a little.

Preparation

Polish windows open to the inside and one can wash them themselves,
without hiring someone with a ladder/crane for it - simple, yet brilliant
This is absolutely unavoidable, like a full moon: thou shalt clean thine home. I am trying to avoid that haze as much as I can, but family pressure is always strong. Christmas time starts with huge cleaning that includes even the darkest corners of one's home. I've heard that it comes from Jewish tradition and symbolizes welcoming a new year with a clean break. OK, it is nice to have clean house for Christmas, but nowadays it's just hard to have a full-time job and perfect household, especially with cat hair flying every-fecking-where. I have cleaned few days ago and today have to redo it... Sigh.
So, cleaning. Including windows, floors, top of high furniture, lampshades and all other places you normally don't care about.

Czubek, 29 cm long,
perfect for a huge tree
Another constant and quite obvious element of preparation is shopping. We're going to do a lot of cooking, so we need products. We celebrate gathering as much of our family as possible, so we need a lot of presents. We put on our Christmas trees plenty of cute things (there's even a saying Choince we wszystkim ładnie - meaning: "everything looks nice on a Christmas tree"; my friend tends to call it baroque tree), so it's really hard to resist when you see some nice decoration for your choinka (just because you have bombs in all colours and shapes possible, but you don't have one shaped like an angel yet! woohoo!).

Which leads us to the nicest part of the preparation: decorating a Christmas tree. In my family usually it is done by children, they are very eager to do this since they can eat some candies while preparing hooks to hang out the rest. On the top we usually do not put an angel, but some weird spiky thing called czubek choinkowy (meaning: "the Christmas tree top" - scorn not its simplicity :D). Sometimes it's star-shaped too.

Czubek in Polish also means "wacko", so beware. It's all about the context ;)

Cooking

This part is even more exhausting than cleaning. It is the tradition that there must be 12 (no, it's not a typo, twelve it is) dishes on the table during Dec 24th supper. The idea is to try a bit of every dish to have a good luck next year (12 months, figures). Fortunately, it's not as dramatic as it looks, for example, a soup with dumplings in it counts as two dishes. Bread is a dish, butter as well. Menu varies depending on the region of Poland, but there are some common elements:

beetroot soup with uszka
- a soup - in my home and mostly in the eastern part of the country it's beetroot soup with uszka (literally: "little ears", some sort of  mushroom ravioli), in the south it's a mushroom soup, central regions make a sour cabbage soup (kwaśnica or kapuśniak)
- a hot dish of cabbage (with mushrooms or with peas - the latter is rather disgusting and makes one's Christmas very farty experience, fortunately my family is the mushroom kind)
- dumplings (pierogi): cottage cheese & mash potato stuffing (so-called ruskie, literally: Russians; my boss who is Russian really lol'd at it) AND cabbage & mushroom stuffing
- herring fillets with onion - with sour cream or oil, usually both versions are served
- vegetable salad with mayonnaise (so-called "Italian salad")
- carp - usually served in several versions, my family prepares one fried in bread crumbles and one "Jewish", in grey onion sauce with raisins, recipe with sour jelly and vegetables is also very common; funny enough, even though carp is a very tasty fish, it is not eaten except for Christmas, one cannot even buy it at any other time
Nowadays it's rare, but when I was a kid, it was impossible
to buy a dead carp, we were buying alive ones, putting them
in the bath and then killing them on our own. How am I
supposed to be compassionate and kind when I was brought
up in the country where each household was turning into
a slaughterhouse during this special time? :D

- other fish dishes - at my home it's usually so-called ryba po grecku (literally: Greek fish salad; cod fillets fried with carrot, onion and tomato sauce, served cold)
- dessert with poppyseed - again, depends on a home, depends on a region; usually there is a roll cake with poppyseeds (so-called makowiec) and some sort of poppyseed salad - in the east and at my home it's kutia (poppyseeds+boiled wheat grain+raisins+figs+various types of nuts+honey+sweet cream), in the western part it's noodles with poppyseed and raisins
- other sweet things - mostly pies and cakes, like cheesecake, cupcakes etc.

Babka - a giant cupcake with a hole in the middle, more
common for Easter, but also eaten during Christmas; served sliced
Oh, I can hear it now: where's turkey? Well, we get to the most interesting part... (drum roll)

During Polish Christmas eve supper there is no meat and no alcohol.

Thus, loads of cabbage, dumplings and fish.

I can assure you, all dishes above are yummy, unfortunately quite difficult to prepare.

Wigilia

Finally, the supper itself. You might think that there isn't much of fooling around since we have to eat all that delicious 12 dishes we worked so hard to prepare, but it gets even more complex from here.

First of all, supper must start with the first star appearing in the sky. Obviously, my family is not very organized and I don't recall ever being on time with the commence of the feast, but this is the tradition. Secondly, celebration starts not with eating, but with opłatek (literally: a crisp) - each person is given a piece of white & very thin crisp and must approach every single person in the room in order to exchange Christmas wishes. During the exchange, one gets a bit of the crisp of the other person and must eat it to seal their wishful thinking. Opłatek is also widely celebrated in workplaces and schools shortly before Christmas holidays. Personally I think it's a beautiful moment and truly pictures the spirit of Christmas. I wish we had this here, it's a great opportunity to show one's good will and feelings towards all the people around you. No gifts, food or other distractions, just a good word and smile.
Opłatek is given away in churches, fee for it is voluntary and the crisp is consecrated.

Opłatek is usually patterned with nativity scenes
One more interesting thing: presents are opened straight after the supper, we do not wait until the next morning. This is really awesome :)

Carols

Kolędy (carols) are probably the only reason I'd ever liked going to church. They are all absolutely beautiful and singing them gives me a lot of joy. All of them are religious-themed, but rather loosely connected to the spiritual part of the occasion, more describing reaction of the surrounding (the shepherds, three wise men etc.) or feelings of Virgin Mary. My favourite one is Gdy śliczna panna (As the beautiful maiden) which is a lullaby sang by Mary to the baby Jesus just like a mother sings to her beloved baby, very sweet song.

At home we usually sing carols together with the whole family (during supper, sometimes even during cooking) and it's absolutely mandatory to me to accompany the crowd with my guitar. So, here it is (myself solo this time):



Sadly, carols are not usually played on the radio. However, there is another,

Little less serious tradition

"Last Christmas" by Wham. With the beginning of the December the haze starts and George Michael squeals about giving his heart zillion times a day, until New Year. This year someone even created an event on facebook called "'Last Christmas' on the radio" season. I hate this song, seriously.
I also hate "All I want for Christmas is you" by Mariah Carey, mostly because I hear it too often. But apart from these two, I like Christmas-themed songs a lot. Especially the classic ones like the one about Rudolf or White Christmas.



Another vital element of "new tradition" is Home Alone (and the sequel, of course) on Polsat channel . This year they initially planned to screen some other movies and got tons of letters from disappointed audience demanding seeing Kevin for 100th time. So, Kevin is back in the game and probably people will never ever dare to complain on these movies again.

There are only two certain things in this world:
death and Home Alone on TV during Christmas

Christmas without Kevin on Polsat
I feel as if I was about to spend Christmas alone

- Shouldn't you be in Polsat now?
- This year I'm on holidays!
- Really? See for yourself!
(news: "Finally, Christmas with Kevin")
Religion

Of course, it is essential that one goes to church during that time (especially to so-called Pasterka, literally: the shepherd's mass; starts on the verge of 24th and 25th). Well, I don't. I hate churches, I don't care about any religion at all. I believe that one can be a good human being without some guy in a dress who is trained to tell others what to do (No, Dougal, nazis are people who dress in black and tell others what to do, while us, Catholic Church... uhm... let's have a drink! - "Father Ted") - and that's exactly why I love Christmas. Being a rebel and rather eccentric bitch, I love the joy of giving, presence of my family and all that excitement buzzing in the air.

Thus, dear readers, whatever religion you're into, whatever your tradition is, may you all have a happy time full of love, friendship and peace.

Happy Christmas!!!
Wesołych Świąt!!!

Joyeux Noël!!!
Nollaig shona dhuit!!!

Polish carol for dessert: Bóg się rodzi (God is born)

Saturday 2 October 2010

Love me three times

So, Chopin Year celebration is still going. It has it's good and bad sides. The bad (or not exactly bad, but slightly disgusting) side is - everyone's trying to benefit from it and simply use Freddie's name to promote themselves (and all that almost 200 years after he's gone - that's what I call FAME!). The good side is: since so many various musicians get themselves into that "Chopin Wow!" action, we get a chance to hear a lot of weird, surprising music combinations.


During my last Christmas holidays in Poland, to satisfy my huge patriotic-cultural hunger, I have bought a nice CD: Andrzej Jagodziński trio - "Chopin, Sonata in B flat minor". I like that CD a lot, although I must confess that it took it a while to grow on me and still I need to be in a mood to listen to it. But where I am in the mood, I truly relish it.

BTW, to me "Chopin in jazz style" sounds a bit like "Eminem in HH style"... Just saying.


As every jazz fan knows, jazz live will always outrank jazz from a CD, so when being in Szczecin (my home town, PL) I heard that Andrzej Jagodziński Trio is in town and giving a concert - simply had to go.

The gig was absolutely awesome. First, the band performed a few small pieces, jazz-ing them in the usual theme-solo-solo-solo-theme way (that part was a bit dull, actually). After that, they presented the sonata itself. What they really did was to split the themes and motives of the original piece between each other, like orchestras tend to do, but all that in jazz spirit.

I know it sounds a bit weird and kinda hard to imagine, so I prepared a little sample for you:


video


Holidays are long gone, I got back to Dublin.

On Tuesday morning, catching up on facebook, I have found an info that on the very same day, at 7 pm, in Polish House (being quite close to work), there is a small recital of Sam Law, young pianist from Belfast. Chopin and "admission free" were more than enough to make me anticipate evening, humming mazurkas all day long.

I believe I have written it before, but just in case, I'll write it again: Chopin needs to grow on musician. It takes time, years of practice and maturity. Sam is only 19 years old and therefore, was a bit tense and unnatural at the beginning. However, after first 2 pieces he felt comfortable with the audience & venue and completely lost himself in the music he played. He put all his heart, passion and sensitivity in every single note played. At that point, despite the stiff atmosphere in the room, I got carried away and simply sank in the beauty of Sam's performance.

The form of the gig was simple, classical and somewhat commonplace, but Sam's devotion and passion made it unique and worth to remember.

The other thing that seems worth to remember is the fact of me going to that gig. Just think about it - you leave work and go listen to Chopin, instead of Lady Gaga or other club crap. I should do that more often.

Easily said and... surprisingly easily done!


On the very same day when I found out about Sam Law's concert, I have wandered to a website http://www.chopinireland.org/, only to realize that in two days from then I can participate another interesting Chopin-like experience: a band called Sarakina presenting their interpretation of Freddie's pieces in... Balkan style! More out of curiosity than hope for spiritual experience, I have booked a ticket and went to the gig.
And got totally awestruck!

I have absolutely no idea how on Earth they have come up with this. Accordion? Bagpipes? Polonaise transformed into some crazy folk dance? Without a piano?

But still, it's full of Chopin. It's a pure Chopin's music, it's essence and beauty intact.

Still hypnotised, after the show I have bought a CD and thus I can present a bit of the whole material to you:

video


All that three events have made me realize - again - that Chopin was (and is, by his work) great. He is pianists' curse, inspiration, "elitist sadness", national pride... But above all - he's a great unity of musicians all over the world.

Sunday 8 August 2010

Witty tweet

I have no fecking idea why I did it, but I created a twitter account.
Here it is:
http://twitter.com/margaret_friday

Sunday 11 April 2010

Steal the moon

Probably many of you, dear readers, already have heard about it, but just in case: yesterday, around 7AM G:MT Polish president Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria and over 90 other people, including Polish government officials, MPs and social activists, died in plane crash in Smoleńsk, Russia.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8613778.stm

This is a terrible tragedy for Polish state and Polish people. I must admit that I wan't a big fan of Kaczyński and his party Law and Justice, but on the list of casualties there are several people that I sincerely admired and respected, including Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, member of parliament and feminist, and Anna Walentynowicz, legend of Solidarity movement.

To commemorate Lech Kaczyński in my very own way, I watched a movie.

Probably very few of non-Polish know that Lech and his twin brother, Jarosław (president of Law and Justice, former prime minister of Poland) began their life of public figures as actors. In 1962, at the age of 13, they played the main roles in a classic piece "O dwóch takich, co ukradli księżyc" ("The two who stole the moon").

The story is about twin brothers, Jacek and Placek, who live in a village full of hard working people. Boys, being appalled by the idea of doing any work to make a living, decide to flee and seek for a country where one can get rich without working. On their way, they master the plan of stealing the moon in order to sell it and get loads of money, but also meet many creatures and people, who make them realize how valuable work is and how much they miss their mother.

BTW, after spectacular success of Law and Justice in presidential and general elections in 2005, eyes of all people were on that film again, revealing funny - although accidental - political connotation. I suppose that neither of you, with all good will in your hearts, would call politics "hard work", would you? ;)

Movie is unbearably sweet and it's message and atmosphere make an unique masterpiece. Talking trees and animals, bandits, monsters, even though looking tacky when comparing to nowadays' special effects, pull a spectator into a land of fairy tale within one blow. And most of all, Kaczyński brothers make an exquisite performance. Their cuteness and natural acting almost make all those Harry Potter and High School Musical kids look like robots.



I wonder, what would have happened if Lech and Jarosław had taken this career path and studied acting instead of law? Would they be any good as adult actors? Would a Polish political scene lose much? And most of all: would Lech die in less dramatic circumstances?

more about the film in wikipedia...

..and IMDB

Saturday 6 March 2010

Attack of Japanophilia

Long, long time ago, shortly after I joined deviantart.com community, I played around with kimono designs a little. At that time, I did those funny "tribute to Studio Ghibli" designs:


Totoro kimono and obi by *Margotka on deviantART


Mononoke Hime kimono and obi by *Margotka on deviantART


Kao-nashi kimono and obi by *Margotka on deviantART


Kiki kimono and obi by *Margotka on deviantART


Susuwatari kimono and obi by *Margotka on deviantART


Ohmu kimono and obi by *Margotka on deviantART
OK, I have no idea why the one above does not load (or maybe I do, but don't want to offend DA web developers...), but once you click on the link, you can see this one too.

As you can see, at that time google graphics was my little helper. Today however, I have decided to use my drawing tablet in order to create something genuinely mine. I have been given this thing for my 26th b-day and used it very few times since, but now I'm willing to work with it more. So, after 2 BSOD, 3 attempts to install drivers and googling how to make GIMP cooperate with it, I finally made my itty bitty Wacom Bamboo draw! And brought to the world this idea that had been growing in my mind for the last few days.

Voilà:


Kitty kimono by *Margotka on deviantART

Tuesday 23 February 2010

That classic sensation, sentimental confusion

Today (or, according to some, next Monday) we celebrate 200th birthday of Frederick "the great French composer" Chopin. Usually I couldn't care less about birthdays of writers, actors, celebrities etc., but for some reason this occasion has somehow moved that deeply hidden patriotic part of me.

I used to hate his music. I was always putting it next to smug guys in white ties, children tight up to their pianos by ambitious parents and Poles bragging about rises and independence while doing nothing. Someone somewhere once said, that jazz is like wine and olives - it just takies time to grow up enought to appreciate it. I think it's pretty much the same with Chopin.

What's more, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to appreciate Chopin without knowing jazz inside out first (don't think too big of me, I meant just listening, not playing). It seems almost like a natural path throught the imaginarium of music: jazz->electronics->Chopin...

If Freddie lived nowadays, he wouldn't give a damn about white ties, he'd play jazz (of course, he'd perform in high class clubs in NYC, this guy was all about posh and loved high class grouppies). I simply cannot believe that this spirit would be able to stand the filharmony's smug. His all pieces sound like one big improvisation to me and I can imagine it must have been an unbearable torture for Freddie to write it all down. Nowadays he'd just sell records, instead of letting his music to be deadly assasinated during chic soirees by some snobs whi bought the notes.


More "Hollywood" version of Chopin - Hugh Grant starring in great British movie "Impromptu". I wonder if Chopin was as hot as Grant. I've always had a thing for pianists... ;)

Another common thing about jazz and Chopin occurred to me quite recently, while listening to a lot of various interpretations of his pieces on youtube. The problem with YT is that there are loads of videos (which is also it's greatest advantage), with various level of performers in them. However, when considering only the good ones, one can easily conclude this one thing: the older musician gets, the better they play. Young performers are always in such a rush, as if they were organizing some sort of race between each other, who'll play faster. Older, mature pianists, on the other hand, have this right feeling and know how to take things easy. I guess that's just the way it is - one has to live with music for many years, so that they could stop freaking out before every single date and wear bathrobe in her presence.

Every jazz standard can be interpreted in many ways. Those who cannot listen to "Summertime" by Gershwin any more know perfectly well what I'm talking about. While everybody got used to white-tie-sweaty-hands interpretation of Chopin, there was a great Polish band, who broke the taboo. Novi Singers - three guys and a gal, who, despite of their formal education in music, didn't mind confessing that their main inspiration are Duke Ellington, Beethoven and The Beatles - made an album called "Novi sing Chopin". I fell for this album from the very first hearing.

Since it is mainly due to this album that I fell in love with Chopin's music, they seem perfect to open the list of my favourite pieces.

Waltz op. 64 nr 1 ("minute waltz")
Charming and much too short.



Polonaise A major
In PL a lot of people call it "radio polonaise", because it's first few bars were some sort of sound logo of Polish Radio for many years. One of the very few pieces of music that I like to play out loud, without doing anything, just getting high on it's atmosphere and beauty. Performed by Janusz Olejniczak.



Funeral march
...in contemporary interpretation arranged by Jerzy Satanowski. This piece comes from an OST "Day of wacko" ("Dzień Świra", film by Marek Koterski).



Etude revolutionary
Great, passionate piece. Performer's name is Jessica Chang - 15-year-old musical prodigy from Taiwan, who started composing her strongly inspired by Chopin works at the age of 13. Check out her youtube channel, she rocks! (I know, interesting choice od words)
She's young and very technical, but this specific piece sound best when played by young, strong and fast fingers. After all, a revolution is made for young ones, right?



Nocturn E flat major, np. 9 no. 2
Suprise, surprise - not on piano this time! Funny, on a guitar it sounds almost like a composition of Sor or Tarrega. Instrument really matters... Performer is not that brilliant, just stumbled upon this clip while looking for some interesting version on this piece. It's just to spicy things up a little.



Mazurka F major op. 68 no. 4
...and Novi Singers again.




Polonaise A flat major
My perfect musical drug no. 2. I like listening to this and polonaise A major together to get double high.



So much for my private Chopin toplist. Of course, there's a lot more, but those are pieces that I distinguish the easiest.

I hate romantic literature (if you're not Polish, you won't understand why, just believe me I have good reasons for it), but romantic music is my cup of tea. For a dessert - nice piece by genuine, 100% French composer, Debussy - "Claire de lune". Clip has been taken from a movie "Tokyo Sonata", which is, btw, really worth seeing.




Quoting my long lost friend to me, all classical pieces have one common title "a gang wearing white ties", therefore I deeply apologize if I made a mistake in any title put above. The truth is, I hardly ever pay attention to the titles - whether it's fado, electro, Chopin... it's just too difficult to remember.

PS. The title of this note comes from an absolutely dreadful song "I like Chopin" by Gazebo. Google it if you want to check it out, I won't be responsible for this aesthetic rape you could experience.

Happy birthday, Freddie!

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Catnippoting

Our couch is old and awful, the fabric is dirty and torn in few places. However, I am letting this apartment and this piece of furniture, and I must do my best to keep this awful, neck-breaking blue monster in "superb condition" (the term as accurate as it's usage in property letting ads, don't you think?).

Therefore, I bought a catnip spray for my black witch, to drag her away from sides of the couch and attract her to that lovely scratching mat my bf bought a while ago. Results are satisfying, so far.

Anyway, I made this funny video. Since I remember, I have always connected in my weird, creepy mind "Rhapsody in blue" with a cat (not necessarily doing drugs).

Voilà:

Sunday 31 January 2010

Friday 13th

Still searching for some fancy style for this blog. For a moment I came up with this creepy banner, I hope you like it.

For the record: I haven't seen this film and I hate horrors.

I really enjoy making banners and logos. Here are samples (made to advertise some of my blogs):

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


 
 my old lastfm playlist style (I don't even have an account there any more)

 
the writing says: "Regarding potential criticism, we must do everything to avoid criticism. Only applaud and full acceptation." (this is a quote from an old Polish movie, "Rejs" )






I think I will change that banner in a while, for something more "defining me" stuff, for a moment let's leave it like that...

Sunday 24 January 2010

Letting go

This is a direct translation of the newest note on Blog Azjofilki.

I must admit that I don't have a good opinion about this festival of commerce and fake smiles called Oscars. Judging by the list of "best pictures" in the last 10 years it's quite easy to see that original ideas and creativity lose when competing with spending loads of dough ("Lord of the rings"), "more shiny" sequels ("Chicago", "The Departed" - the latter was actually so shiny I couldn't look at it without pain) or very catchy subjects of poverty and racism, which make rich, fat people feel better about themselves by simply looking at the unfortunate ones for 100 minutes ("Slumdog millionaire", "Crash").

Nevertheless, I always follow what's going on in foreign films area, so when an award went to Japanese movie, I was very excited. Couple of weeks back I finally managed to see the picture. Why I waited so long with sharing my feelings about it? You'll find out soon.


"Okuribito"
"The departures"
year: 2008
movie page @ IMDB

Story is basically well-known to all fans of chick flicks: guy with high aspirations fails in achieving his goals in a big city, moves back to The Middle of Nowhere, discovers that family and friends are important, blah, blah, blah. Don't get me wrong, I like such stories, but only when they're told in an interesting, not too sentimental way (this is the moment where - I hate to say that - "Okuribito" fails).


So, there is a guy named Daigo Kobayashi. He is a mediocre cellist in mediocre orchestra in Tokyo. Orchestra is disbanded, he finds himself jobless and unable to pay for his cello. He decides to leave Tokyo, get back to his home town, move in to his mother's place and get a "normal" job. Normal job appears to be an encoffining - preparing dead bodies for the funeral. At first Daigo is disgusted, his friends feel ashamed to know him and his wife leaves him. But in a while, the job grows on him, he gets friendly with his collegues and finally finds peace of mind.


Now, why I postponed this review for a while? Truth be told, I was a bit disgusted right after seeing this picture. I did not like it's sentimental, Hollywood style (I suppose all foreign directors that get Oscars are basically rewarded for playing by Hollywood rules). However, a little bit later, when I started analysing what I saw, I appreciated the film.


First of all, mind the little detail that actually makes this film very Japanese: the motive of hard work in reaching perfection in any task or job you're taking in your life, stamina, responsibility. This way of seeing things is so much different from people of Western Civilisation: the job is boring, boss is a total bastard, salary is too small, and actually I'd rather do something else for a living. Japanese think: whatever it is that I am doing, this is my job and I have to do my best, period. This is something really worth considering.


Secondly, the main message of the film: to be happy, you have to let go. Daigo sells his expensive cello, which was the symbol of his unfulfilled ambition and frees his mind from sense of guilt and failure. Then, he moves out of Tokyo, which did not appreciate him as a human being and artist. Finally, when his wife leaves him, he does not run after her, just lets the things be. Instead of achieving, competing and aching, he simply lets it flow and finds the balance. 

I think this is the message that makes "Okuribito" so special. It's a fine and ultimate answer to all those who feel prisoners in a cult of success and tired of running in the rat race. Let go, yield, step aside - and you'll find happiness somewhere where you did not even consider seeking for it.




There is one more reason for seeing this film, essential for all those who dig foreign cultures: the nokanshi (encoffinment) ceremony, especially the fact that it takes place in front of all mourners. It made me think a lot about my own feelings about death. I have participated several funerals in my life, but in fact never, ever seen a dead body. In Poland the deceased is usually shown to one member of the closest family for identification purposes (unless somebody else wants to "say goodbye"). I know that in some European countries there is a tradition of wake by dead body, but I've never come across such a thing. I connect death with singing some meaningless prayers on a cemetery, black clothes and tidying up the leaves on Nov 1st. All of that has nothing physical in it, as if the body after death did not exist any more. Japanese sees the body, it's physical, it's being washed, clad... and then cremated. The mourners say goodbye to the smoke flying to the sky and never go back to the same place to light the candles and do all that graveyard bullshit. Dead must go, so that the living could move on. Le roi est mort, vive le roi!



That's pretty much it. I guess an interesting subject of a movie and something to think about afterwards is good enough to make all film maniacs run to the theatres right now. In case you did not have enough reasons yet, I will give you another one: music composed by Joe Hisaishi.  I haven't heard from him in a while and really liked that get-together.


Go to the cinema! Now!







Wednesday 20 January 2010

All's well that starts well

Hello to all those who stumbled upon my blog!

I suppose I owe you all a bit of an explanation, why we even meet here.
Main reasons for that are the following two:
1. I love blogging.
2. I suffer from incurable narcissism.

I have been running some other blogs for a while now:
- personal one
- blog about Asian culture
- blog about French stuff I happened to fall for

All of them are in Polish, because I'm Polish and have always thought that expressing myself in any other language is impossible. This blog is a bit of experiment. I have noticed that when speaking/writing English, I seem not quite the same person, at least to myself. I hope this bilingual blogging won't lead to schizophrenia... Also, due to my all-Polish blogger's career, I hid the "about me" box on the left. I'm sorry about that. As long as blogger.com doesn't provide an option of displaying different description blocks on different blogs, it will remain like that. But hey, all that blog is "about me", so maybe it's not such a waste after all?

So, to give you a bit of introduction - a bunch of basic facts:
  • my name is Małgorzata (which is Margaret in English)
  • I am 28 (born on December 6th, 1981)
  • I was born in Szczecin, Poland, studied in Toruń, Poland, since August 2007 I live in Dublin, Ireland
  • I test software for living
  • I speak Polish (duh), English (fluent), German (theoretically), a bit of French, even smaller bit of Japanese and tiny, tiny bit of Russian (it all looks impressive at first glance, but truth be told only with English and Polish I feel comfortable)
  • I like: music (mostly listening, but I play guitar and sing a bit as well), good movies, good books, photography, chocolate, cats, Christmas, my birthday (no, I do not get cranky about getting older, because I know I cannot stop the time and neither of you can, so there's no reason to pretend we'll be 18 forever), all sorts of jokes and humour (from 4chan to Monty Python), wine, foreign languages and cultures
  • I don't like: blockbuster movies, tacky music, salt, Polish beer, working too much, being treated like an idiot, shallow and stupid people, television, Mondays, insects, football, heat
  • I have a cat (black, female, more details later) and a boyfriend (caucasian, male, won't provide more details unless you really beg me), we all live together

Apart from basic facts, I'm annoying, talkative, nosy, cheerful gal who cannot stop thinking about herself for even a second. Will anyone find that interesting? Well, the popularity of my personal Polish blog (amongst my friends in real life, friends on the internet and complete strangers who happen to be registered on the same website) shows that some people do. As for my English-writing self, we shall see.

In case you want to have a look, there's more of myself on:
- deviantart.com - my photos
- 4shared.com - a few songs performed by me

As for the -friday in blog address: my last name comes from Polish for "five" or "Friday". Just another excuse for me to slack off on Fridays :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa2nLEhUcZ0

This is what I look like:




Till the next time, dear readers!