Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011.)




















Two days ago I watched "Crazy, Stupid, Love" (2011.) and as I am still thinking about it I've decided to write a few words on the topic.

I did not like the movie.

I think this is well made, actually pretty good movie.

How can this be?

There is an lasting anecdote saying Alfred Hitchcock was once asked about nature of movies and that he replyed that "A lot of movies are about life, but mine are slices of cake" - and surely, so they were.

This movie definitely isn't slice of cake. It neither amuses us (being awkwardly paced) nor educates us (having nothing to say), it does not impress us (as we've already seen it all if we ever looked around us) nor it seduces us with beauty (we've all seen better) so this movie is a slice of life.

And in life - cast is brilliant!

Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, Kevin Bacon... it is a godawful mixture of unpairable puzzle pieces - which comes over weirder still as they have all been made parts of romantic relationships. But it is not weird. Life is not a Hollywood movie and in all sincerity this IS how living people pair up. Society IS a canopy of mediocrity not frequently interrupted with intelligence and/or beauty.

And then - there's a thing with the title "Crazy, Stupid, love" and the way it beautifully sums it up:

CRAZY - for which other adjective could you slap onto man's longterm best friend who leaves him in his hour of need with the words:"My wife said we have to choose between you and Emily and I cannot see you anymore." or the fact that same man still comes to prune "his" roses and groom "his" lawn after being divorcely evicted.

STUPID as there is nothing better to be said about a man who thinks he and his wife stopped being "us" after she slept with a coworker and not after a millenia of quiet despair in invisibility and routine.

LOVE as there is nothing to give our life meaning IF WE DON'T. Stories that steer our lives are not facts but interpretations - our thoughts and feelings that we use to explain, to predict, to understand. Soulmate? One and only? Destiny? Hell yeah! It surely sounds better than:" I squandered my life on mediocre twat because I lacked guts in the beginning and later I was to lazy to change anything." So there is love. There has to be love. Because interpretations are our facts. And if love is what motivates us - sky is the limit!

I especially liked the ironic addition of Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) - obviously intelligent, beautiful, hardworking and accomplished character with seemingly moral significance. And if you watch carefully this pretty picture educates no moral whatsoever. There is no fallacy in his womanizing nor is he reprieved by discovery of love. He is the only intelligent, purposeful subject of this entire story even being only an object.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!
















Now that all gifts have been sent to their intended recipients I can bask a little bit more in the happiness of job well done. There were some non-glove gifts made - in case you were wondering - but they were not very photogenic un-modeled.
















Through the sea of gloves to the shores of Truth Will Set You Free.

There's no time better than Christmas time to set the record straight; to show love to deserving ones and serve some clear-cut honesty carpaccio to ones that earned only disgust and mistrust. Things may not end well but everyone knows where they stand - and if any effort will be spent in bettering oneselves there will be no more days fucked up by selfish disregard of community by catering to own whimsical needs.

Addictions are not diseases - they are markers of character weakness!


Also, I got most wonderful Christmas gift from my friend.
















It's good to have someone to love who actually deserves it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thank God, Winter Solstice Has Passed
















As I work from 9 to 5 this regime before winter solstice leaves me no day whatsoever during working week, a fact that annoys me and tires me immensely. So I wait for winter solstice to bring an end to my suffering - being the longest night, shortest day of the year - it psychologically sets my mind from "shrinking daytime" into "expanding daytime" mindframe. And I love it.

I took this lousy photo of wonderful sunset over Šestine-Lukšić pass above Zagreb on 22.12.2011. and it already felt like life is returning to my daily routine.

Also I had more FO this week:
















I made simple stripped sweater for my offspringess.

This is top-down raglan sweater, made on 3mm needles (bamboo 20'' circulars for body and dpns for sleeves - eBay I loooove you! :-)) using Jelka yarn leftovers. I wanted to use up some lost bits and skeins to make sweater for Tea to play in - but it turned out so lovely she insists of wearing it to school also. I am pretty pleased.

So I will proceed with some gift-wrapping and we're all set for Jesus's birthday anniversary.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hospital Orange
















I'm just coming to terms with handmade section of this year's Christmas gifts. Jewelry set for my mother done, two more small knits to go and I can continue with usual setup. I'm a bit impressed by myself this year - just one lingering WIP left! - I'm not sure if I was ever so well behaved.

I'll be driving my mother to hospital on Wednesday. Seems she has rheumatoid arthritis and she'll be hospitalized for ten days to confirm the diagnosis. I'm a bit worried but this will also be improvement on current situation of fear and lack of certainty.

Monday, December 12, 2011

More FO Gloves
















As this is one serious case of glovemaking dissease I'm going to rant a bit more about wondefulness of Ringwood Gloves and their versatility.

On the picture above the gloves on the left are original ringwood gloves - just as Rebecca Blair envisioned them - with moss stitch cuff panel and buttons and made in smallest size described in the pattern, using 3mm dpns and wool for 4 mm needles. They are super warm and they fit my hands beautifully and very snugly.

In the middle there are slightly altered Ringwoods - starting with 2x2 rib cuff (as that fits more tightly than buttoned cuff) and with shortened fingers - made without additional alterations, also using smallest size pattern but on 4mm dpns and with yarn for 4mm needles. They are beaultifuly light and I use them the most as I cannot bring myself to wear full gloves when driving so shortened fingers allow me more feel.

Third pair, right one in the picture above, uses 2x2 rib cuff, also smallest original ringwood patern size, but it is made on 2mm dpns using yarn which recommends 2,5-3mm needles. They are perfectly fitted for my 7 year old daughter's hands. They have been made in two days as I found out that practice makes so perfect when you're knitting your fourth* pair in bit over a month that one glove can be made in a Mythbusters rerun watching evening.

















*Fourth pair (actually second one made) went to someone who had Santa's visit somewhat early this year. They were original ringwoods with moss stitch cuff, on 3mm dpns in yarn for 3mm needles and, as they had to be narrow but longer, for very slender hands, I adapted addition repeats for thumb gusset to every 6th instead of 4th row. They were very beautiful and they went to kind and beautiful hands who will treasure them as it is only appropriate for such wonderful gloves.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dreaming
















Few days ago I dreamt of stroking a cock. Cock as in not the chicken kind but the human male copulation organ kind. It was beautifully pink and with purplish veins ringing with every heartbeat. It was warm and it shined and it sprang with life with every stroke I did and it smelled fresh and salty with a dark musk note.

It was an experience so overwhelmingly beautiful I woke up, aroused and heavily breathing, and I did not forget even the slightest bit of that experience picture. The smell, look, the touc... grasp of it.

I remember it being attached to a person but the person had no importance in that dream.

I paced the floor, drank some water, watched through the window and took above photo of beautiful winter sunrise.

The beauty of the experience stayed with me, just below the surface, for this entire week. Everything I did, everyone I talked to, everything I enjoyed in was tinted more pleasurable with this beautiful picture.

I almost wish there was a jeweler like this one to celebrate this experience.




Thursday, December 8, 2011

Homemade Wreath
















It is eerie sometimes to see how similar tastes my offspringess and I have; we endeavored to make a yarn wreath for our door (following this great tutorial) and without any negotiations we decided to make decorations more geometrical and less flowery. We have omitted only gluing decorations on and instead fastened them on with pins - so we can change them next year without destroying "clothed" polystyrene ring.

I love how it turned out.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mistletoe
















One of my friends is just going through nauseating breakup.


Dating while being over 30 is awkward business, having kid and dating is ordeal without real comparison - and that is only when things go well. If they're not going well...


She told me what is happening; not the whole deal - just bits and pieces, as us shy ones usually do - and my blood boiled from fury. I sat there, listening, just breathing, while sounds of blood gusts from my heart rang in my ears like traffic-jam noise, while she put out self-doubt after self-doubt, justification for him after justification for him.


And then I started replying - at first slowly and trying my best to use Socratic method and not to yell, but it did not really go well as I was ingulfed in desire to go out and break his knee-caps. She was startled but at the same time freed of constant societal pressure to act as a lowly female and it felt as my anger and my assuredness was healing some desperate wound in her, filling up a void of uncertainty and doubt. Later on we met some people, we laughed loud and were jovial and relaxed and I felt our hearts reach out and hug. Like they would if we were war veterans - roles that would be more easily socially accepted having post-traumatic stress syndrome then our current ones - being single parents dating. And I went home and kept quiet.


Later on, I started talking about this, verbalising stuff I've just let sit a day or two, and monstruos words came out. Words celebrating disconnectedness and fear. I was appalled by myself and just sat there with tears rolling down my cheeks.


So I went out yesterday morning, to walk and to socialize without speaking, went to Samobor and as we went by Vugrinščak pools there were those high trees from the photo above covered in mistletoe shrubs.


Mistletoe: "to be kissed under it" plant.


And it is holliday season.


Against better judgement we will all succumb to hope.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It Arrived!!!
















Some three weeks ago, while I was rummaging through Kate Davies blog Needled I came across a reference of a book which was linked to online book seller page - The Book Depository that has free delivery worldwide (including Croatia!!!) so I preordered myself a gift.

The book - Mary Jane Mucklestone's 200 Fair Isle Motifs - already arrived!

I can already see that this was one wise purchase and that this book will see a lot of use. Apart from wonderful photos and easily readable patterns it has bunch of other tips, tricks and various interesting stuff (oOoo there are 11 diferent undyed wool colors "produced" by Shetland sheep!) and it is all so well organized my meticulous mind is overwhelmed with joy.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kimiko - From Our Room To Yours - album promotion
















I've listened to Kimiko live once before - preceding  great Notwist show in 2008 and I remember them being fun but not much else so when I came across Andrija Škare's review of Kimiko's new album "From Our Room To Yours" I was a bit stupefied...

They're what?! Can this be true?

... and I have immediately gone and bought digital copy of the album.

It is worth every penny and more.

Third day after the official release there was album promotion party and this is where I've been last night.

It was one great promotion party! On entrance, we were welcomed by lovely angel and demon hostesses who served us some champagne and then ushered us into Their Room (note the album title). Mocvara was set up with cozy sitting areas with small table lights and tables filled with cups and thermoses with tea with rum.


















Whole area was warm and aromatic and relaxing as it can get, lighted with red and green spotlights.


















And slowly the show started.

First up there was Felon, beat singer-songwriter with artsy lyricised songs and nervous disposition. There is unquestionably some wild beauty in both his word and music (and more so in his appearance!) yet he just isn't my cup of tea, even with some rum in it.

Kimiko show started wonderfuly - brilliant, generous, love and friendship filled, vibrant with effects, life, guest assistance - and progressed famously fulfilling high expectations. They played and talked, called for guests and tea and spread their happiness around. It was utterly pleasing to see to which lengths they have gone to make beautiful show for us and for themselves. There was Lana the cellist, there was Lydia "who really can sing", there was Felon Denis, there were Le Zbor - and they were all wonderful, like ornaments on Kimiko celebration cake...

... and then there was Mad Scientist and then they were over with playing - and there was real CAKE (beautiful, fondant covered Kimiko cake).

Congratulations guys, I wish you many more parties like this one!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Krum Bums at Attack! 23Nov2011




Going to a punk gig the night before two-day business trip of course has its benefits, yet it also fills me with ominous sense of being behind on some concert reviews - so I'm up and on to rectify this immediately.

There was  Krum Bums concert at Attack! in Zagreb on Wednesday night, 23rd November 2011.

My most noticeable ailment being nosiness I came early to watch the crowd gather and musicians adjust and prepare. I found it lovely how there is always something cute to look at and interesting stuff to admire and also food for thought to tuck away for slow digestion later.

The task of being local support went to Passive Aggressive, fun and surprisingly well-sounding hardcore punk band who performed with new drummer - and I could have sworn that their new drummer is, in fact, Black Gust guitarist. It could be that I'm developing some weird recurring motif illness but it seems to me Black Gust have somehow inexplicably found a way to infiltrate my every punk-gig-post so far. In either way - Passive Aggressive were pretty good - their sound firm and assertive, frontman cute and confident and when they finished their set I could honestly say I could have listened to them more.

As for Krum Bums I was both honored and humbled by their act and I feel I should digress a bit to describe the situation: they seem like a big and important enough band, who gets good reviews and has enough (even new) material to be interesting to Zagreb audience yet Zagreb audience chose to sleep in on this November Wednesday. And that is sad and humbling because I almost felt ashamed with our low turnout and tepid reception - especially because Krum Bums kicked ass!!! It felt as if they were shaken by fact that there were around 40-ish people in the audience but after initial dragging of feet they played for 40 of us like they would for a thousand. And it felt good and their music sounded great and I enjoyed their act and a sense of professionalism it was fueled by.

And it is a really nice professionalism as you can see in this great video for song Gasoline from their new album Cut the Noose:



Also, you can check out this clip - for S.O.S. from American Streetpunk and Oi! (the movie):








Monday, November 21, 2011

Hoero Zabimaru!
















Let me introduce you to Renji Abarai doll, my daughter's new best toy friend and my own pride and joy (look, it has removable shihakusho!).

As we're both avid Bleach fans some Bleach inspired fashion and aspiration for making Bleach inspired artifacts could not be avoided. It took quite a bit of planning and tinkering with design issues but in the end I knitted cute 4 inch high doll like the one Szayel Aporro Granz made with his resurrection Fornicaras before shamefully losing to Mayuri Kurotsuchi who delivered legendary and wonderful perfection speech on that occasion.

We're both quite pleased with latest results; the only thing Aka Pine is missing on this photo is Zabimaru - something that will be mended shortly.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Paramount Styles at Tvornica 18Nov2011

















... Intertwining of concepts...

Lately I had some heated arguments on value/usefulness/practical use of experience. As I am a psychologist that is somewhat of "my turf" and I could win those easily - yet mere cost of winning them could also easily be more than one is willing to pay so one has to tread carefully.

But here... here I can relax.

I went to Paramount Styles concert at Tvornica tonight.

It was an experience so wonderful and - surprisingly! - so easily comparable I am going to tell you about it before I even go to sleep.


Concept one:

You know that feeling when you are freshly in love and you go to sleep in your lover's bed and you are so content, so silently pleased and secure and happy you fall asleep instantly and then immeasurable amount of time passes by and you feel your lover waking you up, wanting you, and it is still dark, still night, and you're filled with desire.

Concept two:

There's a feeling - maybe once in hundred attempts, maybe once in a thousand - when having sex you feel orgasm coming as if from far, far away, like a distant thunder across the plain, and you wait for it and then realize you're already "in the zone" and have topped your best expectation and then, like a tremendous whitewater wave orgasm comes and washes over you - making you ever so alive, from fingers to toes, crescending in unison with the world...

...and the night and that personal happiness universe just lasts forever, never losing its force.

That is what this concert was like.

Sound was just perfect. From first minute Paramount Styles started to play the sound was exceptionally adjusted and crystal clear, Scott McCloud's voice atmospheric and sensual, in control, velvety, at the same time commanding and yearning. They gave everything and then more; From Race You Till Tomorrow through Come to Where You Are, from Amsterdam Again, The Crazy Years, Keep losing You to Paradise Happens - to name just a few of my favorites - it was brilliant performance, vivifying and lustrous.

...and the night and that personal happiness universe just lasts forever,


forever,
 
forever,

forever...

 
never losing its force.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

In for Lunch

There is so much going on these days (again) that I'm constantly haunted by thought I'm forgetting something.  But exceptions must be made and indulgences must be provided lest we pressure ourselves into survival without living. With that in mind I had this lunch on Saturday:
















This is my favorite lunch - homemade pizza (one sliced half shown here) with third-maize dough, with cooked ham, Podravec cheese, bacon and egg accompanied with tear-provokingly hot pickled pepperoncini and some pitted olives (and frosted lager, of course). I had this on Saturday while rummaging through my mind in search of appropriate words to be put on congratulation card for my best-friend's wedding.

There was also some frantic knitting going on.
















Lacy legwarmers for my offspringess.

They are finished already but they were dashed out in such speed I only remembered to take one photo during whole process. I am very pleased how they turned out - they were made on 4 mm dpns and they keep shape and are also stretchy enough so she can wear them over her boots or on top of shoes. They actually came out when I started knitting Rebecca Blair's Oyster Mittens and I noticed I'd like the cuffs to become legwarmers instead of hand warmers. For next attempt at beautiful oyster mittens I think I'll go with thinner yarn and No.3 needles.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Just Thought to Show You - FO: Pile of Greenish Woolen Gloves

As I have already mentioned I had some lovely wool left over after finishing my Ringwood Gloves so I made one more pair of Garter Stitch Mitts - and now I have this wonderful pile of handware just before minus centigrade temperatures arrived.

This is going to be one warm winter for my hands and also these will most certainly be my go-to patterns for swiftly approaching gift season .

Monday, November 14, 2011

Autistic Youth at Attack! AKC Medika

















Some two months ago, exactly when I concluded that I'm too old for this shit, my internet friend sent me last.fm invite for Autistic Youth and Defect Defect gig at Attack! and I immediately included it into consideration as a helpful tool in my crusade against my evil ways.


Last night it proved to be wise and well recommended choice.


This gig was a real adventure for me; this is my first time to watch anyone in Attack! and on top of that my interest was very much fueled with Pavlov's recent article with some inconspicuous details about trouble in squatter-y free-culture haven. So I came early and poked my psycho-socially interested nose into all nooks and crannies, wore awkward wide-eyed grin and asked funny questions. I managed to nearly insult few of the natives but I was - all in all - very happy with things seen; there are many honest, endearing and good people there - people troubled with us-and-them, people generaly kind albeit naive. People who will grow up to be kind and honorous - and I liked that.

The gig itself was funny and great, but let me stray a bit more from instant immersion.

There was another punk performance a month ago and it held a prophetic story: on Rikk Agnew gig at KSET while Black Gust were playing one guitar wire pinged into non-existence and that caused a bit of a commotion and a funny verbal altercation between band members which ended with the singer slaping one on the bewildered guitarist saying: "Why the fuck do you need to change wires - are we a punk band or not?!" (while grandpa Rikk was snickering his ass off). Last night, while Black Gust were happily prancing in the front rows, guitare wires were breaking right and left - I never seen a gig so beset with technical difficulties. Both Defect Defect and Autistic Youth had trouble with wires, sound adjustment, microphonic squealing.

But they managed to overcome it all.

It was a gig blotched with technical oddments but energetic and fun neverthelles. Defect Defect were valiant in their effort to overcome adversity - so valiant that there were moments I genuinely felt moved with their candor and forgave them everything instantly. Autistic Youth were a little less troubled with technics and their sound is quite a bit more "professional" and evolved and I loved their set to bits. They played and exchanged places and have shown they thave skills and then some and they were as good showmen as they were musicians. I danced and jumped and hopped and shook my head and squirmed like an epileptic eel and I enjoyed it immensly. I was filled up with energy and enthralled with joie de vivre and high on serotonin from all that activity.

And after it ended I scuttled away through hoarfrost covered streets and into my car and I was home 14 minutes later as all the traffic lights were green on my 11 km drive.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

FO: Ringwood Gloves
















I've finished these beauties on Wednesday. They were sheer pleasure to knit and I enjoyed it immensely. Also, I have some leftover yarn which I have already paired up with one other lovely leftover to make one more pair of Garter Stitch Mitts. To think that I have bought this yarn for 2.85 $ and free shipping and now I have all these lovely accessories!

Week has been tiresome and beautifully rewarding at the same time; all my efforts to get some processes underway have finally came to fruition and more foundations have been set to build future endeavors upon. I love it :-)

Tonight I'll be celebrating my best friend's wedding - she got hitched yesterday - and today we're gonna eat and drink and dance and party and wish this marriage will be all she wants it to be and more. I feel I should have said "all they want it to be..." but in all honesty I cannot bring myself even to think it. There are so much variables one of them being my overabundance of experience in that department and because of that I can and want to say it as it is - I want her to be happy, because she is my friend and I know her a long time and I know she richly deserves to be dipped in and showered with happiness. I wish he will be the person to get this show on the road and keep it there a long, long time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ringwood Gloves
















I'm making an effort to track my knitting progress using Ravelry. I'm not very apt/good at it because I usually improvise patterns and knit without plan so this is an experiment to get some preliminary statistics.

Yesterday I started Ringwood gloves and this morning I'd say I'm half-way done. Pattern is straightforward and beautifully written and I really enjoy knitting them. Also, as it happens I had some 4-ply wool lying around as I ordered it from ebay some time ago to see how it would look like and since it is just one big skein I didn't really know what to do with it once it arrived - so this is a great solution. I see already that these will be super-toasty and beautiful.

I also started watching Wolf's Rain while knitting them and I'm loving it. I discerned Yagami Light* as soon as he spoke :-)


* seiyu Miyano Mamoru is voice talent behind both Kiba and Raito-kun

Sunday, October 30, 2011

For a walk
















Morning came with the sun.

We went for a walk, my friend and I, and nature was sonorous and serene. Air smelled of dry grass and fallen leaves ruffled under our feet.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Black Walnut
















It has been long and tiring week.

On Wednesday morning, as I drove to work, I was haunted by the notion that there is no person that I have trusted at some point who had not betrayed my trust, often in some blatantly public and extremely unpleasant way.

And then - I had a car crash.

It was raining and I was driving downhill and there was one black Clio coming out of the park-drive and I tried to stop and Fabia behind me tried to stop also - but failed. As the car behind me crashed into my Twingo I remember watching through rear view mirror and seeing big cloud of hair and I felt my right hand clutching steering wheel and my wrist exploding in a searing pain.

I got out of the car and told the very beautiful girl driver; "It hurt like a motherfucker!"

We moved our cars a bit so traffic could continue and then filled out traffic-accident forms, exchanged phone numbers and left for work.

Sadly, my car was really inconveniently damaged and I think this will be one very expensive repair. Also this had made ten more problems - all of the wrath-kindling kind - but beautiful girl driver proved so far to be wonderful and mild-tempered creature, with magical smile and persuasively apologetic of this whole incident - so much so that she restored my faith in myself and trust.

I am not guilty for people betraying my trust. People do sometimes betray trust of others and that could be preempted with not trusting them. But if I'm not trusting anyone - I'm not communicating with anyone. They do not reach my "soft center" and I do not reach their.

That alone makes us dislodged from humanity.

So I'll take my chances trusting people, still.

*        *        *

The photo above I took on my business trip on Friday  at Varazdin General Hospital. My colleague was driving and we got there and I was tired because I didn't sleep much and angry because of some other crap my ex-spouse is serving me with and tired of all this and in Varazdin sun was shining and it smelled of autumn and coffee and pastries and we bought some coffee and pastries and ate them on third story balcony surrounded with these fake walnuts. When I got home I searched web a bit and they seem like Juglans Nigra to me.

And now it is Saturday and I made myself wonderful hot chilies toast sandwich lunch and I enjoyed it with a cold beer and Future Islands music and all is well.

World is properly aligned again and my heart is at ease.

I will trust again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FO: Yellow Garter Stitch Set
















I've been knitting like mad last few days because keeping busy helps me think and also if I do not think of anything worthwhile I have something else to show for my time. So during my mad-knitting-marathon I (among other things) made this yellow garter stitch set in the picture above.

This already belongs to my offspringess who chose the yarn.

It was one skein of (I fear long discontinued) "filati cervinia caprice plus" in lemon-yellow (50g 133m/146 yds) and it became one set of Ysolda's Garter Stitch Mitts and small garter stitch scarf (3 mm needles, 20 stitches across).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Scorpios at Mocvara 22Oct2011














As you can see by photo quality above - we're in another league altogether today.

I confess: I do not remember when was the last time I forgot my mobile (which is my most loved possession, also being my camera, computer, internet window and reminder) at home when leaving for anywhere, much less concert night, but this time I was in luck because my lovely friend E saved me with some really good photos. Also, this streak of relaxation and absence of neurotic need for control was kind of landmark for the evening - a kind of laissez faire flag - that was planted in this evening like it would be in a seized mountain peak.

I liked the gig.

It was a peculiar, unconstricted performance, oddly reminiscent of less fervent times. There was good music, there was friendship, there was cheap liquor, there was most beautiful well groomed redhead in the audience.

Arrangements were different. My friend said: "This is so funny. People used to hear this songs played as punk/rock songs and what they got was singing around a campfire." but it was a beautiful campfire singalong! I liked how they moved around a lot, went backstage and back onstage again, how they were all different - and scorpios! to add - but they shined agreeableness, friendship and pure joy of performing for us. They played a bit each and they talked and were funny and nice. I liked Snodgrasses' parts the most (he has beautiful, beautiful voice that sends shivers down my musical spine) but it was all very inspiring and I felt motivated to research and to listen to more of their music.


In addition, all this was instrumental for me to make myself proud of myself again.

It has been years since the last time I introduced myself to anyone I'm interested in or admire. I mean... I meet people every day, I work with people and no adversary makes me cringe... but it has literally been years since I introduced myself to anyone I admire. I just tagged along people who do it and enjoyed vicariously in the experience.

But this gig helped me re-attach my broken old self.

And I also met someone I admire.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

View from the coal mine
















It was raining beautifully when we woke up for school and work. Sky was dark, morning was nowhere to be seen.

With dissapointed yelps we got up and went on with our day.

It seems my offspringess likes school. It has been a month already and she talks what they did and how they socialize with fondness and confidence. My fears are melting like dry ice.

Workday was nauseatingly stressful but I loved it. I love when there's no idling time away. I love how I reorganized stuff. I love ease that new organization brings. Then I have time to gaze through my cellar window.

To enjoy my view from the coal mine :grin:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Table Tennis
















The sunrise was so wonderful this morning I had to try to capture some while driving to work through Gornje Vrapce. Road was empty and there were fog-feathers stuck in between houses and hills.

Last night I watched Ping Pong (2002.) and I loved it. I loved the nonchalance the actors brought into performance, I loved the cinematics and fun camera work and I absolutely loved how the complex story of rekindling and rediscovering one's dreams was told in a few well chosen details.

The things that direct our paths are so inconspicuous.

As I worked out, before going to bed, I thought about how it was a really good thing for me to break elbow last year. I never could do push-ups worth mentioning and now if I encountered someone who'd say: "Drop down and give me 20!" I could do just that.

And more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Catholic Spray at Spunk 15Oct2011
















Last night I went to see punk/rock gig at Spunk.

On Last.fm event page there was an interesting poster and a short blurb announcing the performance of some young Parisians and Zagreb/Sendai kamikaze The Welcomin' Committee in Flames and that alone piqued my interest.  And although it could be argued that this attains to my recent proclivity to check out all things Japanese - even when things clearly mean people - this was not the case. Word on WCIF's energetic performance and fun showmanship caught up with me long before now. Only thing left to do was to go and check for myself were the commenters rather generous on account of friendship and units of alcohol ingested and it turned out this was not the case.

The Welcomin' Committee in Flames most definitely delivered as expected and then some as they managed to, against all odds, sound and look great while performing in mere five square feet of smoke filled space. They were fun to watch, in good spirits, visually show-oriented, sexy. Their music still got across as firm, aggressive, dance and anthemic stuff of legend even though in far from perfect acoustic conditions. It was a pleasure to be there and I was very content with this gig as time well spent even before "main attraction" got to the stage.

And it was good that I was already so pleased...

... because main attraction sucked to high heavens.

As it turned out, Catholic Spray sport no more than beautifully ingenious name. Although they look as if they're making music and prowl the stage fairly confidently they sound like a bloody mess; unclean, withheld, noisy and broken. The horrible shrieking was too much for me so I left a bit of abruptly but driving home I decided to give them another go on account of discrepancy sometimes found in judging someone's music from live against recorded performance. I listened to their stuff two times more on last.fm and on myspace and they sound as bad here as they sounded live. I can imagine other people having taste for music like this but I could not stomach it, even as there was no effort spared on my part.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Slice of Saturday
















Floral forest in the picture above is our very own Jerusalem artichoke patch in our garden. They're almost ready to be unearthed and harvested but they look so lovely in bloom so we're leaving them a bit more to stand guard.

Autumn came without frost. Air is crisp and sun most beautifully yellow, making remaining green alive and crystalline.

It is beyond pleasure to knit beside remaining heliathuses in a garden warmed by the sun .

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kiwi
















I know I have crossed the border between tired and exhausted because I fall asleep in the middle of doing something in the evening and I wake up right at the moment when clock rings in the morning dragging my feet out of sticky-swamp-dream-mud.

Work-people are making me mad and innablity to implement positive changes is making me madder still.

But there are moments of pure joy in my day also.

Like these here kiwis I photographed in my neighbor's yard. I never knew they look so beautiful still attached to mother-plant.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rikk Agnew at KSET 04Oct2011
















There was a moment about a month ago when I realised I watch far too many indie gigs and that resolute action is needed to re-direct myself to better music homeostasis.One of attempts to mend my ways was going to see Rikk Agnew play at KSET and it was invigorating remedial fit.

Black Gust was just starting to play when I arrived. As this was my first time to see them play and there is little to none information on them available on the net I left myself some space to be surprised but sadly, it didn't really help. Allthough there was some raw power in the decibels they were far too much screamo for my taste. Lead singer has weird mannirisms singing - keeping his eyes closed all the time and making awkward gestures with his tongue - I was under more impression of what I saw then of what I heard but that seemed all right because from all that unintelligible screaming it seemed he just sings same words over and over on top of different music. Combined image of that performance and of strangely hick female posse afterward did not leave very good impression but I wish them luck as I definitely see interested clientelle in their future.

After a loooong break and sound check Rikk Agnew and his babies arived and it was as fun to watch as it was to listen. Toothless grandpa (as he stressed out during more then a few age-related jokes) has gathered musicians from all around the globe and he seemed happy to have them with just as they seemed to love his quirkiness. It was pure magic seeing them play and seeing the crowd respond - it felt like a gathering of comrades in arms more than a concert and I loved being there, mumbling away the lyrics and watching out for signs of too close mosh movements.

It ended with just one more song AFTER we were warned of curfew and I scuttled away into the night happily and with batteries filled for yet another stress filled day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Doctor Attire
















My dear friend had birthday last week and I made her this set in the picture.

It comes with a funny story;

We work together and see each other almost every day but we're both struggling to keep our relationship both personal and business - trying to keep the distance needed to get things done and closeness to overcome mere acquaintance stage. As hours are long but time is short we don't really get to share much of personal information.

Incidentally,  few days ago we chatted a bit and somehow we got to the topic of birthdays - and she said hers is one week from then and I remembered that I already know what would I like to give her as a birthday present. She is a doctor and I usually see her in white uniform. About two months ago she was on rounds and I saw her in purple uniform shirt - she looked so lovely and it suited her so well I was really struck with that image and when she said her birthday is close I immediately decided to make her a jewelry set connecting those two images - her in white and in purple and general feel of cute relaxed confidence.

And it all got out as this set; unique hand-made fimo beads, some glass beads and some golden jewelry pins, rings and clasps.

She loved the present but there is one more bit to this story.

Later I worked in another room and her colleague came to me and said "Oh, I saw that set you made for T. It is great but how did you know purple was her favorite color?"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Attack of the tropical snake

Yesterday I made green crocheted beed necklace on the photo. I love how glass beeds keep very attractive color, vibrant with life - making items made from them look so alive that this necklace seems just like a tropical snake.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Handsome Furs at Tvornica 30Sep2011
















Last night it was my third time to watch Handsome Furs.

I went to see them at Teatar &TD in 2008.

I have also watched them play at KSET in 2009.

They warm my heart and align the world to be better, friendlier and love-filled place.

There is a shout on the event page on last.fm (in Croatian) saying something like: "this attractive furries like us very much, it would seem :-)" and it would seem that they really, really do - and we love them back just as much.

Yesterday there were so many people at Tvornica Furs were frenzied with joy - almost so overwhelmed with happiness they shared half as much stories between songs (from what they usually do) with us but they were magnificent nevertheless. It is a celebration of love and of work well spent and of passion and of life to be with them there, for a brief moment forgetting the toil of everyday existence and being filled up with positive vibrations, with beauty of music and success of people who show - from performance to performance - that they richly deserve all the success they can get.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Been Obscene at KSET 29Sep2011
















Last night I saw the best live performance in my life so far.

So there you have it, I said it and I can now continue with description which will not surmount the experience itself or even give it justice, no matter how much I tried. Head on - here we go!

I got to KSET waaaay too early and I had a chance to soak in the atmosphere and watch how the audience slowly gathered for the event. Sitting there, listening to music play before the act I thought about how this, now, is a place where I could take my father out with me. He used to enjoy music like this before conformity irreversibly fucked him up. Maybe there is something that could snap him out of it - and that if such thing existed at all - it is possible that it would be music like this.

To put an end to my woolgathering She Loves Pablo started to play. Zagreb own, they have from the very start shown they can rock. Energetic and wonderfully adjusted, relaxed and funny they went through their set confidently, powerfully, beautifully - nothing was missing and everything was in its place. The audience seemed overflowing with their faithful fandom and that had given wings to their act even more. I was especially impressed with their second guitarist who in addition played keyboards, extra percussion and participated vocally in the act.


As they were playing I remember thinking how this the first concert I attended that hadn't had opening act suffer the toll of everything being set up and sound adjusted for main attraction - and then they finished their set and started gathering their things and, what do you know, all the stuff and instruments I thought set for the B.O. were taken off stage.

After short pause for more gathering and adjusting Been Obscene started to play - and it was an experience so beautiful and all-encompassing it send shivers down my spine. As they are promoting their new album Night O'Mine I expected they will play more of their new material but they have played many songs form The Magic Table Dance and I loved it to tears.

Driving home I saw Zagreb sleeping and birch leaves on Vukovarska fluttering in the breeze. My ears were buzzing from loudness and my body tingled with joy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Off the cliff
















I watched Drive last night.

It has been brought to my attention that it could be good movie and that it had good soundtrack.

Both of these characterizations are understatements.

During opening minutes of the movie it becomes absolutely clear that soundtrack here will be both actor and narration tool for quicker immersion into engrossing atmosphere of barely verbal interactions.

When we enter the story cards have already been dealt.

There is no way to go but down...

... but the lingering smell of hope is just too sweet to resist.

And things go as we expect them to go, reassuringly lulling us through characters' trip down the path of obvious and not so obvious destruction. We see here, among our group, presented in all simplicity all the mechanisms through which lives are disintegrated. And the mechanisms are not awkward, unusual, violent or malevolent. They're all logical, everyday, unobtrusive actions that we all know and use, every day, through our day. And it is painfully obvious that there is no comfort in post-dictive smartassedness; "Where they have zigged they should have zagged."

I have caught my mind remember and re-live similar experiences in many time points in the movie.

Promise. Love. Hope. Passive-aggression. Active-aggression. Rage.

One can, and very often one does survive through experiences like that. And some of that experience remains available in us...

...but most of it doesn't.

We could not take it.

And for that it is so overwhelmingly beautiful to have a movie like this one, wrapped in a tight bundle like a canned despair, to remind us - the surviving us - that we are still alive.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Omoshiro da ne?

















I have been in two minds with this self-sufficiency.

It all started with listening Oko Yushima defend loneliness while trying to present it as self-sufficiency:

"Loneliness is not a sin, no matter what the circumstances, I don't need help from others. Other people only get in the way. To help is mere pity. It is jealousy towards the strong. An insult to a noble spirit. To be alone is to be the only one. The privilege of a superior soul."

Truth be told, his words albeit well thought-out sound bitter and hollow.

Nietzsche said:

"The golden fleece of self-sufficiency guards against cudgel- blows but not against pin-pricks."


Interesting, isn't it?


What I am, in my heart of hearts, is a hunter. Not lone predator but a hunter* - no more and no less.


Yet I believe there is no personal gain that could justify putting one's self in front of others haphazardly, but... some things you cannot foresee.

It is a bit of a conundrum.

It is not that I do not want any company. Just that it is hard (try impossible) to find company that could last (in structural more than temporal kind of way) enough to outgrow "random encounter".

It's like I want a glass that would fit well in my hand, be heavy enough empty and light enough full, be shiny enough to make me smile and practical enough to be easily put out of danger - but to find that glass I have to break a truckload of not-good-enough glasses.

It kinda brings me down even as I know that "you can't make an omelet if you don't break some eggs".

It could be argued that I could shorten my list of prerequisites for that glass but that is my short list already, and I'm really making an effort to be reasonable. And I'm modelling requirements on my abilities.

Maybe that is where I err.

*predator preys on the weak, hunter subdues strong

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Work In Progress - Variegated T-Sweater
















I am just finishing this hmmm... vest.

It is not really variegated as the yarn is not variegated but rather it is made with two strands of yarn held together to achieve this mixed structure. Also it is lovely fitted to allow for curves to be accentuated and that everything fits right where it is supposed to fit.

Now just to have a day cold enough for premiere wearing. I think I'll take some more photos of it propped on a model as this promises to be my best fitted garment so far.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunrise in Opatija

I spent last two days on hectic business trip in Opatija. There was much to do and even more to learn, oppinions to be traded and smiles to be dispensed - and it all went well and heartwarmingly pleasing. And the mornings, they were all mine; wonderful sunrises, sea breeze, sound of waves breaking on the rocky seashore, smell of mediterranian herbs. And I remembered to take this picture for you: Opatija bathing in the glow of sunrise mirrored from the sea.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nakama-tachi
















Morning has drawn fog across Zagreb. Stage is set, curtain is here - the show can start now.

I watched Bleach 340 last night. It always amazes me how much of societal critique and life coaching can fit into something as inconspicuous as anime. I deeply approve of this. Where else can you see in mere 20 minutes most important life concepts explained in detail and shown in practice - stripped to their components and shown as full-blooded functioning cogs in the machinery of meaning of life?

What is the meaning of frendship? What are its precursors? Its purpose?

There is no better way to embrace those answers than to take a peek into Kubo-sama's brain.

In the photo above - the clogs I got from a friend on my old job. We talked in night-shift about movie Grease and how I loved Olivia Newton-John's shoes and how it is impossible to find shoes like that and tomorrow night she showed up at work with these clogs. They are just like the ones I liked in the movie, only movie-version were red and these are ocher - and she had had them for fifteen years. I was so moved I cried and took the shoes and promised to take good care of them.

I have them over fifteen years now. They are in perfect shape still.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Threesome at Tvornica 17Sep2011
















I went to see Threesome perform in Tvornica last night.

I first listened to them play on Stross Summer Festival last year with Radost! and I liked their sound and energy. Seeing them play last night I can only say that they have unquestionably progressed in dynamism of their sound even more and that their sound is positively enthralling.

Yesterday they have been supported by Pistolrays from Zagreb who were surprisingly good and well rehearsed but sadly, they managed to loosen up a bit just only at the end of their act. I suppose more experience playing in front of an audience will surely harmonize and brush-up their performance what will be welcome improvement because the really deserve the attention.

The Threesome themselves were wonderful; in good spirits, young, good looking, fun and explosively energetic - they owned the crowd from the very start of their act. And it was an act sweetly evocative of 1994. movie Threesome. You see, Threesome are a band consisting of girl on drums and two guys on guitar and bass. They start their performance confidently but cautiously, with girl being clearly most relaxed and confident-looking. Guys slowly tag along - going through set-list like actors through movie, getting more and more convincing and forceful in their act - from awkwardness and caution through acceptance, persuasiveness and growing confidence through experimentation to confident mastery.

Lovely and fulfilling experience. Threesome at its best.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

True Blues
















As it happens,  my psychological world is essentially comprised of recurring motif cycles which bring me both serenity and discord.

I've been watching Life again.

I've been listening to Gomez.

I found this interesting article on Psyblog on succumbing to the incessant need to be involved in something.

From my experience so far - it is always easier to crave „absorption fix“ in adjustment-to-new-circumstance times. Its immersion is pleasurable in the short-run, highly motivational, quickly rewarding, endorphinously intoxicating.

Yesterday evening I made this bracelet and earrings set from matching glass beads. I waited for the first morning light to take some pictures because I still don't have good diffuse light source for taking pictures indoors or in poor light conditions. I am wearing the set now and I'm being noticed.

I love how applied psychology works.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

See The World


As I drive to work there is magnificent yellow sun low on the horizon blinding me with its allure, touching with its light-lance darkest pits of my soul, appeasing the monsters and feeding them beauty.

Flax bushes stand tall just below the sharp turn before I emerge into Mikulici. So beautifully blue, awkwardly inappropriate.

Almost autumn.

There is an itch under my skin, thirst that commands, heart that complies.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pink-black bracelet in the making

Yesterday morning I made this lovely bracelet for myself. It was a kind of experiment really, because I was not entirely sure how this would look like finished so I waited until I got some leftovers from other projects to give it a go. And this time I remembered to snap some pictures for you. What you see in the picture above is large spool of cotton thread with small alternating pink and black beads which are then crocheted one by one into bracelet - kind of small rope with thread on the inside and beads on the outside. I love it how it turned out. It is hypnotizing and feminine at the same time and it goes with lots of different clothing styles.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stitchmarker Invasion

This weekend I am finishing some projects and beginning new ones. It has been very productive summer this year and I suspect productive autumn is afoot - so I made bunch of helpful tools to intensify the experience.