Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kivango @ Attack! 29Jun2012

I had terrific time last night on Kivango gig at Attack!

As this was my first night out since we moved I was a bit apprehensive about everything but I decided to go out and have a cold drink and mingle a bit.

And it went great.

Gig started a bit late for my taste (23:00 h!) but Zagreb was so hot and so void of air currents it seemed understandable. Also, it was nice to wait a bit because it gave me opportunity to check out "summer crowd" at Medika squat. There were no usual suspects and there was unusual proportion of shirts vs. tees. Ladies there always sport very creative attire and yesterday was no different. I especially loved the one in Madonna Desperatly-seeking-Susan stylings.

The gig itself was scrumptious slice of comedy audio pie.

Three guys wearing ski masks, playing beliavable metalcore, with lead singing into a ram scull.

I'm quite sad all photos turned pretty bad but I blame it on stupid-no-good-for-anything red lighting. You can almost see guy with no head on the left crouching over ram scull.(UPDATE: See some much, much better photos from this gig here on Facebook)

In between songs they introduced themselves and announced few songs: Rakija (Schnapps), Ide mama s kolačima (There goes mum with the cake) and Neno Belan's Stojin na kantunu (I'm standing on corner) for end-performance-cover and it was lovely, humorous mush of feelgood. After a few moments of getting used to distorted metalcore vocals I could discern words and they were exquisitely funny.

There is one great moment in Željko Vukmirica's one-actor play Povijest moje gluposti (History of my foolishness) in which he, after falling in love with blues music, searches for someone to translate the lyrics to him and is consequentially stunned with their triviality (lirics spell something like: "Potočić žubori i krave paseju" = "Creek gurgles and cows are grazing"). I had the feeling that Kivango boys spotted good market space for selling metalcore vocals and wonderful use of efffect switches to the flock (or should I say herd) and that exhilarated me immensly as I had distinct feeling this was purposeful and deliberate, showing signs of unquestionable intellect.

As it was midnight when they finished and I was so happy with their performance I did not want to spoil the impression so I decided not to wait main attraction (Mother Fucking Christians) and went home.

I'm very pleased with my first night out.

Concert nights are home.

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This is fifth post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one, twothree and four below.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crafting is home

I am knitting socks for my lovely beechwood 4-legged stool.


I don't like the noise it makes when I move it around oak flooring and I think the neighbours will appreciate it being quieter, too.

DIY rocks.

I love tinkering with ideas, designing, searching for appropriate materials and ways to do stuff I'd like done, mistakes, failures, successes, new knowledge and stuff made. To this purpose I sew, knit, crochet, tape, glue, cut, attach, bead, take apart and screw together.

I love having time and space to do more of it.

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This is fourth post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one, two  and three below.

Update (27Feb2014): I have posted this chair sock pattern here, and also on ravelry.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


School ended on Friday and in the aftenoon we packed our clothes and essentials and drove them to our flat in two runs. Everything was waiting for us: cupboards, table, warderobes, beds, stove, shelves and fridge. Stuff poured from the car into right places.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Left My Heart In ...

This is third post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one and two below.

x          x           x

So, house is not a home. But what is?

Few years before I met my ex-husband I gave notice at my job where I worked as psychiatric nurse and had great salary and working conditions and moved out from the house I lived in with my parents and brother to another city where I enrolled in college.

Psychology studies.

Zagreb, where I lived until then, also has psychology studies as a programme on University but I told everyone I did not want to study experimental (Zagreb) but general psychology (Rijeka)...

... But I moved to Rijeka to leave my life behind.

I moved to Rijeka in an effort to change who - no!, not really who but HOW I am. I assumed that mixture of changed environment and acquired psychology knowledge should make for at least adequate combination of healing properties to make me from who I was supposed to be into who I wanted to be.

In Rijeka I rented a room and I lived there from the first day all through 4 years of studies.

It was a room in a big apartment built for a family with servants. Long hallway had two entrances to "service rooms" on the right and toilet and bathroom on the left and at the long end it lead to "real apartment" - kitchen, dining room, living room and two bedrooms. "Real apartment" was locked for us students.

I lived in second service room on right and had intermittent flatmates residing in the first room.

Room had two beds, two small tables, rickety wardrobe, two bedstands and two small bookshelves.

I could live there undisturbed and even have guests spend the night. I could see the sea through my window and hear rustle of bay leaves as I fall asleep. At night I sometimes strolled up my street to see Kvarner gulf, like a bowl of melted silver, reflecting the Moon.

From the first day I arrived there it was home.

It took one non-stick pan and two pots, two cups and two glasses, two spoons, two forks, three knives, cutting board and small electric stove to make it fully functional and to make me totally independent. I cooked, I read, I played PC games and researched, I crafted, I studied and entertained there. I took the train to Zagreb one or two weekends a month (so I wouldn't raise suspicion) but I could hardly wait when I returned home. I even stayed through the summer, when there were no classes and no examinations.

I carried my books and trinkets, little by little (not to rise suspicion), from Zagreb to my Rijeka home.

And it went great for three years.

Last year in college, my fourth year in Rijeka, I cried through because end was closing in so fast. I spent countless nights rumaging through my mind in search of a way to stay in Rijeka. But there wasn't one.

I could only stay if I was willing to tell the truth: "I do not want to return." and hurt my folks with that notion. I could only stay if I found a job so I could support myself but that job itself would mean me telling that I don't want to return. They're not sharpest tools in the shed, they're bigots and hypocrites but they do the best they can given the possibilities. It is my duty to return. It is my duty to keep my mouth shut. I owe them life. Their life is theirs to lead and to govern as they please. There must be a way to coexist.


I felt fucked over with psychology because it taught me how to live but did not lessen the load of responsibility.

So I left my home and went back to my house.

Into exile.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A House Is Not A Home

This is second post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one and three here. 

x          x           x

What is home?

When I was furnishing my last apartment I was pregnant with my daughter and I was making a home for the man I loved and for me and for our child who will soon join us.

My brother's in-laws were selling their flat and we decided to buy it. As I was finishing college and didn't have permanent employment I was not eligible for credit so we decided it would be easiest for us that he takes care of contracts and credits for the place we'll all going to pay for and live in thereafter. I had many medical problems during pregnancy and had to stay in hospital for some time but I was so happy and so invested in making that flat a home no task was too big for me. I mobilized relatives and friends to check the place and make necessary reconstructions. Flat was stripped down to bare walls - everything was checked and changed; water installations, ceramic tiles, flooring, woodwork, heating elements, walls were torn down or moved. My parents lent us money and everyone pitched in with free work - as my family are all builders and contractors. I chose and bought tiles and parquets, sands and colors, nails and radiators.

After the apartment was completely renovated I met up with our carpenter and sketched for him the ideas for furniture; joint workstations, kitchen cabinets, bookcases, raised dining room table and lighting console for dining area with shelves - our space was to be epitome of functionality. I searched furniture shops for best deals on furniture I liked. I plotted car routes so it would be most cost efficient to visit them. I walked and worked and walked more until I had to be hospitalized once more for 14 days and when I left hospital I finished our nest and enjoyed it for two months before the baby arrived.

My home of cherry tree and light blue was lovely and immensely functional. It was beautiful to sit in it, to clean it, to cook in it, to entertain in it.

For two months until the baby came.

Growing responsibilities that I excepted with open heart were far from welcome to my then-husband.

For short time he tried to evade, evasion grew to resentment, resentment to malice and malice was drowned in alcohol and spite.

There was me, at first denying, standing up for him in front of others, defending him while trying to be understanding - "It really is a big change, he's just overwhelmed. Everything is OK."

But it wasn't.

Than I was angry. "Snap out of it! Everyone can do it, why can't you?!"

And he could, but he did not want to. It was too much work. I know that because I tried to bargain function out of him. I offered things beyond his power to turn them down - and it would work for a few days and subsequently tumble down to newer lows.

... and I grew tired of lying, of being alone, of working odd jobs to pay for our food and electricity and water and his bar bills, tired of calling his cell in the middle of night to check if he is coming home, tired of laying in bed listening to elevator rising to our floor - holding breath hoping that it's not the Police coming to tell me he killed someone after sitting behind the wheel drunk.

I cried a river.

In daytime I worked like a maniac, tended to my child, cooked, told stories, inflate baby-pools and smiled and hugged and hugged and hugged her...

...and when I would put her to bed I would stand on the terrace, in darkness, and smoke and cry. Until the tears dried out.

My home of cherry tree and light blue. Lovely and immensely functional.

Just a house.

One night after spending few days on a binge he came home and started to yell. My daughter and I were already in bed and he screamed hoping I would retaliate. He got the phone and called the police and asked them to come and kick us out.

I refused to get up and hugged my girl. I told him we'll leave in the morning.

Police never came.

With first light I called my dad and my brother and asked them to come get us. I grabbed some personal things and clothes and put them in two trash bags under constant barrage of insults. His mother came and begged him to calm down, begged me to reconsider, so small in her powerlessness.

My daughter, then 3,5 years old, would later reflect on that time with: "You remember that time when we still lived in the apartment, when dad was yelling and you were crying and I hid in the closet?"

Yeah, baby, I remember that time acutely.

Later on he admitted he never called the Police, he only acted as if he did to freak me out. But it was too late for freaking out, too late for pleads and too late for tears.

He kept my things, my books, my clothes and my shoes and he refused to give them to me until divorce procedure was over and decree absolute reached - three years later. I had to hire a lawyer just to get my stuff because he was not letting go. I had to list all of the things I consider mine and lawyer told me: "Write only the things you want the most and think carefully before you close the list because you will not get anything you forgot to list."

When I came to apartment to get my stuff (from pre-approved list only) he was already living with another person, yet the apartment was the same as when I left it three years ago. My desk was undisturbed just like I just got up and went to fetch some coffee. All my books were where I left them and my shoes stood in the hallway just like I'm about to put them on. My wardrobe held my clothes and my drawer my stuff. Kitchen cabinets housed my knickknacks in the exact same places and I could get my things with my eyes closed if I wanted.

Nothing changed.

It was still beautiful (if unkempt) cherry tree and light blue house, lovely and immensely functional. It was so well planned and comfortable it didn't need changing, even though it was somebody else's house now.

But it wasn't home.

It wasn't my home for a long, long time. But it wasn't anybody else's home either - if it was they would live in it and leave personal marks on it.

It was still my house. It wouldn't be more MY HOUSE if I pissed on corners to mark my territory.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Straw that broke the camel's back

More furniture is arriving every day; chairs, table, kitchen cabinets, closet - flat looks more and more like home with every passing day - but what is home?

This time of change has made me concerned and pensive...

What you get here - what I choose to post here! - are now so small fragments of truth that almost noone, even people who see me daily and assume to know me well cannot interpret to resemble the truth.

Is it a good thing?

I do not think so.

I feel I should ease the reins.
And I feel I should leave myself some room to breathe.
And I feel I should allow myself to tell some stories uncensored, as they happen and as thoughts come.
Allow myself to retrospect without being cautious and worrying how stupid will it make me look.

So: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when?"

With wise words of rabbi Hillel let me start with fresh approach immediately.

What is home?

I thought about this a lot during last two months.

Since my ex-husband and I separated and my daughter and I had to ask my folks to take us in, living with my parents progressed from bad to worse. They're not bad people as such - I know that, but life is a bumpy ride and not all people strive to learn and find new ways to make it less unsufferable - so this was a bad fit for all included. Before I even married we did not get along very well and differences in our values and lifestyles only enlarged while I lived away. Return was unwanted and indication of failure.

This was not home.

This made me sad and angry and resolute to implement changes that were called for but we could not agree to what extent changes should change our lifestyles and habits so it did not work well. And it was less and less home every minute we spent here. Even though objective parametres proved me right and there was no doubt left that changes should be implemented in best interest of mere survival, if not quality of life.

Yet, objective parametres are poor predictors of change possibilities and poorer still of interpersonal relations.

It was not home.

X               X               X
This is first post in the series "What is home?". Read posts two and three here.