Two posts in one: Award Season?! and Let us all mourn the end of Blogging101, it will be missed.

I post a post on Saturday, then life happened, I come back… and it’s like the Oscar’s all up in here, what the heeeeell? I’ve been blogging  for barely a month and two strange people I won’t name (kidding – it was Metamorphosis of a Wallflower and A Stitch to Scratch. “It was them, guv, it was them what done it!”) sent me awards.

one-lovely-blog-1liebster21

I don’t even have a speech prepared.

I didn’t even know those things existed. The awards want me to give them to another 15 people. Where am I going to find 15 people? Do I even know fifteen people? If I know fifteen people on the internet, I officially know more people online than offline. Guess I have to go find 5 more people. (I mean, it never said I have to give them to 15 people like right now.) (In case anyone hasn’t noticed, I’m not really good with this whole community thing. Or… anything that involves humans. I’m like a fleshy Dalek.)

Anyway, THANK YOU, Metamorphosis of a Wallflower and A Stitch to Scratch for the Lovely Blog Award, and thank you, Metamorphosis of a Wallflower, again for the Liebster Award! (That looks like a German word, did you know that?)

So without further ado, here are my nominees:

That’s right, you two, I’m nominating you back and you can’t stop me! Nothing in the rules that I can’t do that, neener-neener.

The rules of A Lovely Blog Award are as follows:

Nominations for this award are chosen by fellow bloggers in order to recognize newer and up-and-coming bloggers. As a new blogger myself, I am so thankful for being nominated and, in turn, I would like to recognize 15 bloggers whom I feel connect with their audience in a lovely way, whether it be through humour, sharing relatable life tales, creative writing, or any other manner. While I will completely understand if the people I nominate do not wish to accept this award, I would still like to acknowledge them here, and I hope that everyone will give their blog a good read. If those nominated would like to accept this award, then I ask that they please follow the guidelines listed below:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.

2. Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.

3. Share 7 facts/or things about yourself

4. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blog.

And now, according to the rules, I have to share 7 facts about myself:

  1. I have no idea what colour my hair is. It looks different in every kind of light. My passport says blond, but people usually refer to me as redhead.
  2. I’m 165cm (5’4”) tall. That’s not very tall.
  3. I read peer-reviewed journals for fun.
  4. I do calf raises while I brush my teeth.
  5. I wear glasses because I’m blind as a bat.
  6. Tea, not coffee. (Unless it’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but they put hardly any coffee in there.)
  7. I love 80s music.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the nominees for… the Liebster Award!

So, here are the rules for accepting the Liebster Award:

  •  Post the award on your blog.
  •  Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog
  •  Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  •  Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.
  •  Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

Below are the answers to the questions asked by my nominator (is that a word?):

  1. What is your favourite season, and why??? I’m a white girl, so according to the internet, fall, duh. No seriously, though, I like fall. It’s like spring but without the pollen (I’m allergic), not mercilessly hot like summer, not freeze-your-ass-off cold like winter… sometimes, at least.
  2. How do you like your eggs done??? There’s a joke: “How do you like your eggs in the morning?” – “Unfertilized.” Ba-dum-tss. Fried.
  3. Any pets??? Nope. Allergic to just about everything. I mean, we haven’t tried Ewoks yet, but…
  4. What are you good at??? Bitch, please, you want a list?! I’m good at a lot of things. Like procrastination, I fucking dominate that.
  5. Favourite Christmas special on TV??? Batman TAS “Christmas with the Joker”. (It was on TV once, it counts.)
  6. Name a random hobby. Writing obscure and weird fanfiction.
  7. Do you collect anything??? Bad habits.
  8. Name one thing or type of thing that you always have to buy, but know you don’t need. Facewash. I’m so paranoid I’m going to run out mid-shower that I always have to buy some. Most of it is still sitting on the bathroom shelf.
  9. Favourite scent??? Like perfume? I have a really good French vanilla perfume, I like it a lot. I run around smelling like a Christmas bakery.
  10. Pumpkin spice lattes: yay or nay??? Definite YAY!
  11. Mac or PC??? Eh… PC, though I can work just fine on Mac. Mac doesn’t support a lot of my games, though.

Now that that’s done, here are 10 questions (because there’s only ten nominees, everything else would be unfair) for my unfortunate nominees:

  1. Pea-green nail polish, edgy or icky? (Bonus points if you get the reference)
  2. Tea or coffee?
  3. Favourite holiday?
  4. List three of your hobbies.
  5. What’s your favourite genre of music?
  6. What’s your favourite genre of film?
  7. What was your favourite subject in school?
  8. Impulse purchasing: Fess up, do you do it?
  9. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?
  10. On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 10 (very, very much), how much of a procrastinator are you?

So remember, kids, I don’t often comment, but I ALWAYS read. My eyes are everywhere!

Now that that’s done, off to the second part of this post!

I was going to post all this yesterday already, but then I had an appointment with Aunt Eye Doctor and they gave me eye drops there. Like, right there, so their machine could test something or other. The stuff dilated my pupils until I looked like a stoned squirrel. No, really. That’s how big my pupils were.

Problem being, with a seriously dilated pupil you can’t see properly anymore. Everything right in front of my face, with or without glasses, was blurry as all hell. Everything at a 20-40 cm distance I could only see without glasses. Everything farther away, I could see with glasses on but not off.

So doing anything on the computer was a real task. Option 1: Put glasses on, sit so far back that I can’t reach the mouse anymore. Option 2: Take glasses off, put my face at a 20 cm distance from the screen, acquire neck cramps. Option 3: Sit normally, I’m fucked, I can’t see a damned thing.

So computer-related anything had to be delayed until now. Pupils are still kind of wide but no longer stoned-squirrel like.

Soooo I’m a bit late for the last Bloggin101 assignment, which was… what was it, anyway? Ah, yes, editorial calender. Okay, so we got Rant Day, which I’m definitely going to keep and which will possibly happen somewhere around the weekend. And then I thought I could introduce a little educational thing maybe every second week to tell you interesting stuff about Linguistics, anglophone literature, German, and other fun stuff! Won’t that be great, kiddies? Between that we still have my normal venting, which I guess will happen a lot more frequently than you’d like. Oh, sure, it’s funny at first, but it gets annoying real quick. It’s like a very active puppy.

And well, that was it for Blogging101. Anyone up for Blogging201? I’m still on the fence.

Introducing: Rant Day!: Things that pissed me off this week

New feature, you say? Alright, new feature it is. And I’m sure this will be easy to keep up.

I’m not yet sure if it will be every Friday, or Saturday, or just on the weekend, but I’m sure I’ll be able to vent once a week. I mean, c’mon, we’re talking about me here!

So what pissed me off this week? Well…

Item 1: Slow people. Where do you come from and why don’t you crawl back there? Why do you need to be… so… slow? Why are you always in front of me? Why do you insist of walking in the exact middle of the sidewalk so no one can overtake you? Why do you and your friends decide the sidewalk is yours and yours only and none shall pass? You’re not fucking Gandalf, but I swear I’ll go balrog on your ass if you don’t move out of the way right the fuck now! This goes double for suits! I don’t care if you’re lawyers! Even the Queen of England doesn’t insist on walking six men abreast on a public sidewalk! And don’t you dare give me the stink eye when my bicycle bell scares the shit out of you, that’s what you get for walking in the clearly marked bike lane! What are you good for and why do you exist?!

Item 2: People who stand in passageways. It may be a doorway, like the only entrance to the department building. It may be the door of the subway. It may be the door of the train. It may be a narrow corridor. They are there! And they will not leave! Seriously, why do you need to park your ass right in front of the train doors if you have no intention whatsoever of getting off at the next stop? I mean, I could kinda understand it if it was super crowded, but it’s not. Bugger off! And why do you and your friend think the only place to hold your friendly chat is in the middle of the fucking doorway? Take two steps to either side and blab to your hearts’ content there! And why do you and your 5-6 people clique scoff as I push through you on my way to the library? Do not scoff if I push you out of the way! If you don’t react to “Excuse me, please”, it’s push time in my book. You are in the way, you probably know you are in the way, that is, if you are possessed of any kind of reasoning facility, though with your pitifully small head I doubt it, and you deserved that push! I mean, I tried to be nice! Have you any idea how hard it is to be nice when all I want to do is murder you and bury you in the backyard? Fuck the hell off!

Item 3: Boyfriend: Yes, it’s nice that you decided to take a month long vacation before starting your advanced training to spend time with me, but did it have to be October? You know October is always hella busy, don’t complain! I warned you! And don’t tell me you’re not mad. I know you’re mad. Might as well just come out and say “Why did you have to find a job now?” Instead of turning around and saying it’s not even a real job. If you’re bored between your seemingly endless playing of three different PC games while I’m away, there’s plenty of work that needs doing around the house, so get going!

Item 4: My face: Did you really need to break out now? I know I’m stressed right now, but guess what, you’re not helping! You’re making me more stressed! By the way, do your eyes really have to be this close together? Can’t you move that up a bit?

Item 5: Myself: Stop procrastinating and get things done, dammit! Why do you always leave things to the last moment?! You know it only end badly for you! Get off your ass, stop the Doctor Who marathons, (quit the potato chips while we’re at it), and do something productive! Also, you haven’t worked out for two days in a row again, get your cunting arse in gear!

Item 6: My social life: Really, friends? No word from you all summer long, because you were all too busy going on holidays and “didn’t feel like doing anything” if you weren’t, and now all of a sudden it’s like “Have time for me!”? I do what I can but you just maybe have to wait a week! Why does my social life always come in clusters? Swarms? Quagmires? I’m being swamped with social things here!

Item 7: Weather: Pick a temperature and stick with it! What are you, Bella from Twilight? You’re the weather, dammit, not some Mary Sue who can’t decide between some stupid boys!

Item 8: Can’t a girl be alone anywhere?! Seriously, sometimes I get nostalgic about living with my parents because at least I had a room of my own! (And that was about the only good thing about that particular living arrangement, I keep reminding myself, but at least I could be alone somewhere.)

And that was all from me for now. What pissed YOU off this week?

In Which The Author Rants Quite Pathetically About the Wiles of Technology, the Social Pratfalls that Await Aplenty, and the Multi-Mouthed Beast of Fanfiction

Blavatar? What the flying tap-dacing fuck is that?

Oh, wait, I found it.

Now where do I put….

Oh wait, I found it.

Okay, I now am the proud owner of a blavatar. Does it show? Can anyone see it? I can’t see it.

Oh wait, I found it.

And that, in a nutshell, is me and technology. Ask stupid questions, then poke it with a stick until it obeys, all while ignoring the glaringly obvious. All in a day’s work!

So university classes started yesterday and already I’m like “Nooooo, I don’t wannaaaaa….”. Suddenly I have the overwhelming urge to stay in bed and do nothing. Like… more than usual. I almost miss those jobless, study-less, unproductive days of… two months ago. Also, it was warmer. We’ve reached the annoying part of our weather cycle where your toes freeze off in the morning, but by lunch time you die of heat stroke. I have no idea what to wear (like… more than usual) and I don’t want to carry my coat around, but I don’t wanna be cold, and warrgarrbl, I need a temperature control suit over here!

I’m currently doping myself up with satsumas for that extra vitamin C but I fear that it won’t help and I’ll get First Week Cold anyway. It’s always like this, start of the semester, weird cold-then-warm weather, hundreds of thousands of new people running all over the place, stress over seminar rooms and first assignments and books, being locked up with 20 to 549 persons and their germs in a room for a couple hours, aaaaand there you go, coughing, sneezing, the works, for about a week until your system acclimatises. No matter how often you wash and disinfect your hands. After all, you can’t disinfect your lungs, and wearing a hygienic face mask while in company is considered rather rude. Nuts.

Another annoying thing about the start of semester: meeting people that you know you’ve seen before, that you had a class with, but can you remember? No! Of course not! It’s like not being able to remember that one actor’s name (you know, the one with the eyes… and the nose… you know, the one with the face…), only there’s no IMDB to look up your colleagues. Did we have that course with prof X? Did we work on Y project? And then the anxiety starts: Did I say something stupid to this person, ever? Oh dear gods, please don’t let them remember if I said anything stupid! Was I being weird and awkward? Please don’t let them remember I was being weird and awkward!

Sometimes I don’t know which is worse, meeting someone new, or meeting someone who may or may not have been around when I made that joke about superhero porn.

And slowly but surely I have to face a terrible fact: I need to think about an actual topic for my thesis. I’d love to do something with scifi or fanfiction or both, but well… not sure if I can find a supervisor for either of that (old people be all up in this place). So right now I’m just digging through all other theses, master or otherwise, to see what all those who came before me got away with.

I’m not even sure what exactly I want to do, much less what theoretical approach to do it with. I’m thinking about something William Gibson, or Isaac Asimov, or cyberpunk in general for scifi, and I have no idea whatsoever what would be a good topic for fanfiction. I guess I could do something with the representation of female Original Characters, which, for the most part, are basically the authoress with better skin and bigger boobs (to everyone doing this: you are so transparent. Soooo transparent.), usually in a world where her clumsiness and awkwardness are not clumsy and awkward but attractive, endearing (and used as plot device every chance the author gets), and generally just the regular traits of a Girl With A Great Personality (Who Just So Happens To Be Smoking Hot But Doesn’t Realise It Because She’s Sooo Humble).

(Face it, girls, we’re all clumsy and awkward, and we don’t always know what we’re doing, and we’re overwhelmed by our daily lives, and we all look like shit, but it’s okay. It’s just how we were raised to think about ourselves in order to crush our self esteem and keep us preoccupied with insignificant things to make it easier for the patriarchy to continue. So get over it already and start writing something interesting.)

Seriously, not every story has to be “character I want to bang meets my more polished self”. Not every story that has an antagonist that you happen to find hot must run along the lines of “my more polished self will help wake the good side of bad character whatshisnuts because he doesn’t mean to be evil, he’s just misunderstooood”. If I want misunderstood I listen to Bon Jovi! For the love of kittens and sparkly unicorns, write something interesting! Because the only interesting thing in your story right now? That’s your own very obvious, hm, shall we say, idiosyncrasy. Get. Help. (You can’t write idiosyncrasy without ‘crazy’, amirite?)

And now all the unicorns are dead, good job.

As for the male writers, stop living out your hero fantasies, no one is impressed, you are not the big alpha male leader Sith/Jedi/knight/ranger/space cowboy/toaster strudel, how could you, you can’t even properly capitalize your words, not to mention your use of they’re/their/there (for English stories) and/or der/den/dem (for German stories), and we all know you don’t know how to properly “wield” your “light saber”, but I’m sure your low-self-esteem-girlfriend (who at the moment is furiously typing her imaginary sex with Avengers-Loki, Thor may or may not be involved as well) loves you anyway (at least until she learns to love herself.) (I like parentheses, so sue me.)

I realise of course I’m making this sound like only weird lonely individuals who are partial to escapism write fanfiction, which is an unfair judgment and I can assure you it is absolutely true. Just look at me!

Alright, enough with the fanfiction rant. You can always tell I like a topic when I present all its faults in excruciatingly boring detail. And oh, let me count the ways….

Anyway, did this post have a point? Oh, yes, it did. There.

.

(Alas, my jokes are never funny…)

Items From My Non-Existent Bucket List

Today’s task was to pick an event, and what should catch mine eye but the Silly Bucket List Sundays.

Okay, so it’s not Sunday. Do I look like I care? Is it my fault that it’s not Sunday? Why is Sunday only one day long anyway? Can’t we make Monday part of Sunday? I’d be all for extending Sunday over the course of three or four days. I say we could all use a week-long Sunday. But no one ever listens to me.

Anyway.

We don’t usually do bucket lists in Austria, sincerely or otherwise. Mostly because we don’t use the phrase “to kick the bucket”. We rather look at radishes from below, hand in the spoon, bite grass, or don our wooden pajamas. In typical German-speaking fashion we call it ‘list of things to do before I die’, if we even participate in this strange phenomenon, but I think we might need a new name.

So here are some items from my silly wooden pajamas list:

  1. Establish a human colony on the Saturn moon Titan.
  2. Use the giant methane lakes of Titan to establish a fancy overpriced spa.
  3. Be elevated to godhood under the name Bikkjuna, Goddess of Useless Complaints.
  4. Adopt Vincent Price as my grandfather.
  5. Get a hold of a time machine to retroactively kick my high school bullies in the nads, then convince Ben&Jerry to produce Apfelstrudel flavoured ice cream.
  6. Take a selfie with a Mars probe while on Mars.
  7. Teach extraterrestrials to crochet.
  8. Kick Darth Vader in the nads.
  9. Destroy another Death Star, there must be one lying around somewhere.
  10. Have a 30 cm (12 inch) pet Dalek and put little bows on it. It will be so cute!

Ta-da! I like these list things. Do you think I should do more list things? I think I should do more list things.

Do you think it’s annoying writing ‘list things’ over and over? List things, list things, list things!

New page? Uuummmm….

I’m at a loss.

Make a new page, Blogging101 said. It will be fun, they said.

I’m sure it would be, if I had even a remote idea what about. I don’t really do stuff, not enough to require a page, at least. I have no ongoing projects; I’m not writing a book or knitting the parliament a sweater or whatever it is that productive people do. I don’t have a pet whose funny antics could entertain these here faceless masses. Maybe I could do a page where I translate this whole thing into German, but that’s lots of work, and if you speak German you usually speak English anyway, and if you don’t, eh, sod off, I’m not your secretary. I thought about doing a disclaimer about the really obvious fact that this is a private blog full of private opinions not to be taken too seriously and if you are offended by anything, like the use of foul language, well, fuck you, but that can be done in one sentence, right? This blog is also fairly new, so there’s not really enough content one way or another to warrant FAQs or archives or whatever, really.

Can I do this assignment next month maybe?

So very reluctantly I added a contact form because that’s the only thing that makes sense at the moment (and I swear to whoever is listening that this thing gets thrown out again at the first, ahem, shall we say, uncouth request. Or just plain stupid question.). So feel free to spam me with questions regarding bound morphemes, Middle English literature, the confusing three articles of the German language, or the like. I mean, I don’t have to answer, right?

I’m not anti-social, I just like people the same way I like my clementines: quiet, at the back of my fridge, and ready to be eaten… wait, that didn’t come out right….

~~~~awkward silence~~~~

~~~~awkward crickets chirping~~~~

So… anyone else doing anything interesting with this… assignment… type… thing?

Let me tell you about my weekend! (Now with shitty cellphone pics!)

And now for something completely different.

It’s the weekend AGAIN?! How the hell did that happen?!

So after my initial shock (what happened to the week? There was a week! I know I saw a week around here and now it’s gone!) I decided to make the best about the fact that time just doesn’t stand still and went museum hopping.

But before we get to that, a word from our sponsor: When life gives you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade; but when life gives you old rotten bananas that you bought two weeks ago and then forgot about, you make cookies.

Tada! And now for the museum thing: Every October, there is an event in Vienna where you pay for one ticket and you can visit as many museums as you can fit into the 7 hour span of said event. It’s practically and all-you-can-look-at buffet, and I always use it to visit all the small museums that either are not usually open to the general public, or that I wouldn’t want to spend that much money on, because museums are hella expensive (knowledge doesn’t come for free, so bend over).

So I’m officially old now. I go out on a Saturday night to go to a museum, don’t even have a single drink, and go home at 1 am. Yup, that’s my exciting 20s right there.

(No museum pics for you, btw, because I was either not allowed or too lazy to take any. That’s the weird thing about museums, they won’t always let you take photos, but they don’t sell postcards either, all like “This whole picture business will wreak havoc on your memory!”)

And in case anyone asks, no, I’m not being paid by the department of tourism to write any of this. Sometimes I actually go out and do things.

The entire city was alive and running on Saturday. Between Long Night of the Museums and the usual weekend traffic of dance-happys and barflies there were also a good many events pertaining to the infamous Oktoberfest, aka the weekend everyone gets drunk and blames it on the Germans. So as I stepped outside my door, I was immediately greeted by the sight of various folk attired in Dirndl and Lederhosen, ready and eager to break it down to German Schlager, drink overpriced beer, and generally have themselves some Hüttengaudi (some of them evidently already regretting their choice of dress because it was going to be a cold, cold night).

Fun fact: Long before the Oktoberfest became popular beyond Germany, the word ‘Dirndl’ used to denote nothing more than the type of working dress worn by female farm workers in the Alpine regions. It comes from the German word ‘Dirne’ (which, in turn, apparently comes from ‘*þéornōn‘, a Germanic word meaning ‘unfree woman’ or ‘female servant’) which used to mean ‘girl’, but soon acquired the meaning of ‘prostitute’. However, with the added diminutive of ‘dl’, Dirndl is still used as ‘girl’ in rural regions of Austria and Bavaria (Upper German dialect continuum). So remember, kids: diminutives make girls less whorish.

So off we went. My ingeniously planned program ran thusly: Planetarium, Police Museum, which is only open for this specific event (because it’s a regular station otherwise), quick coffee break, film museum, and Roman museum. So after we learned about the history of astronomy complete with computer generated night sky it was time to go bother the police. On the way through the inner districts we found many an interesting thing, like the Soviet War Memorial:

We also found about a hundred young human females selfie-ing away at the fountain, as well as a dozen or so tourists armed with the type of heavy-duty cameras that tell everyone that they mean business with their vacation. Anyway, Police Museum. Hundreds of officers everywhere. Is it only me, or does anyone else ever feel guilty when in the presence of police officers, even though you haven’t done a thing? Does anyone else do that? I always feel like they feel like I’m up to something.

At any rate, coffee break time! So off we pranced to Starbucks because that’s the only coffee place that’s open at 10 pm. I have some sort of love-hate relationship with pumpkin spice lattes: I love them and they hate me. I know, everyone who is remotely American will now groan, because pumpkin spice?! You are probably sick to death with pumpkin related anything and it’s not even Halloween yet, but to me, that shit is downright exotic. We don’t have that over here! We don’t make pumpkin pie! (I tried last week and failed!) We don’t have pumpkin spice, much less pumpkin candles! I don’t even know what pumpkin pie is supposed to taste like. You know what we use pumpkin for around here? Soup. That’s pretty much it. So in the four weeks that Starbucks actually has pumpkin spice lattes I try everything in my might to get a hold of a cup of delicious overpriced pumpkin-flavoured mostly-milk.

And not only me, because it’s always sold out. (See? Exotic. That’s what makes it so popular.) Or I’m a week early. Or a week late. At any rate, pumpkin spice lattes apparently hate me because they won’t let me drink them. They flee. They hide. They probably laugh at me.

Also, according to the Internet I just outed myself as a typical basic white girl. Okay. Whatevs. I can’t even with that definition, like, totally.

(Before anyone asks, no, I don’t own a pair of ugg boots. You know why they’re called that? Because the first time the designer presented them, the audience went “Ugh! Ugly ass boots!” (Hehe, ‘ugg’ly. ‘Ugg’ly, get it? Geeeet it?))

What were we even talking about? Oh, yeah.

The film museum regaled us with the delightful topic of 100 years of WW1 by showing us real footage from 1914 soldiers and the declaration of the First Austrian Republic and so on. After that, because Vienna is tiny, we walked to our last planned point, the Roman Museum (don’t bother with the homepage, it hasn’t been updated since 2010, even though the entire museum has been renovated, like, twice in the last five years. That should tell you something about mine beloved countrymen and their attitude towards technology.). Here’s some pics from our walk:

Dun, dun, DUUUUN! Church all up in your face!

Vienna is a place of magic and light shows.

Even more church!

So, Roman museum. Boyfriend tries to re-enact Asterix the Legionary with the two poor dudes guarding the entrance dressed as Roman soldiers. Inside, there’s stones. And more stones. Stones, stones, stones, lotta stones. You might say the museum was stoned. (Haaaa, lame joke is lame, five bucks into the lame joke fund, please.)

And information. Lots of information about Roman life in Vienna some 2000 years ago. And sometimes I think Vienna really is something, like, historically. I mean, every European city is, but I was born here, so, you know? There have always been massive amounts of vastly different people in Austria, all kinds of folk all running around. 2000 years ago there were Celts to the South and West, Germanic people to the North, Slavs and Magyars to the East, and Romans fucking everywhere in between. And in the middle of all this a small Roman outpost which was many other peoples’ settlement before that. And the bigger streets they used, they have different names now and decent pavement, but mostly they’re still the same. Same goddamned street, same direction and everything.

And then I had my philosophical five minutes, which happens every couple of months, and suddenly my thoughts ran a little something like this:

“On the streets that I walk everyday, people have walked for over 2000 years. People have taken the same roads thousands of years before we were born and we are looking at their remains, studying, trying to understand, and maybe 2000 years onwards someone will exhume our computers from the rubble of these same streets and wonder.”

And then Boyfriend was like, “Do you think they ever excavated a Roman bordello?” aaaand it’s back to reality. And I was like, “Suppose they have, all the hookers are dead as dust. How would you even know what that place was? You think they wrote it on the door? ‘Park your biggus dickus here’?”

And on our way home our talk was the usual mix of comic book characters, the incalculability of public transport, and That One Time I Almost Got Run Over By A Police Car.

Sunday, I have decided, is pancake day. It’s also Sleep For Twelve Hours day, but we have to be flexible, right? When I was growing up every Saturday was pasta day. I kept with that particular tradition (which of course has nothing at all to do with pasta still being one of the cheapest food stuffs out there as well as goddamned yummy), but I also believe in adding my own. So, pancakes. Because… pancakes! Look at the cute widdle baby pancakes!

I call this one “Still Life with Hungry Man in the Background”.

Boyfriend didn’t even like pancakes until I started dressing them up a bit, because as we know, it’s aaaalll in the presentation. Now he feels indifferent towards them. Food is food, he says.

Then it was time to play mind-numbing MMOs, watch some episodes of the thankfully last season of Babylon 5 (why, Boyfriend, why?), and that was my weekend. Now it’s Monday (weeeell, it’s midnight, so yeah, technically it is already Monday). Mondays are generally dontwanna days with a side of meh. Let’s see what this week has to offer. Oh yeah, classes start on Wednesday. Joy.

Also – and I’m writing this with one hand while my other one is knocking on wood vigorously – I may or may not have a job.

Brought To You By Snoooorrrrrreee

Boyfriend finally left the house to meet his friends, and now I’m here with my cup of tea and my computer, all like aaaawwww yeeeeaaah. Silence. Aloneness. Alone, alone, all all alone, alone on a wide wide sea, the ancient Mariner had no clue he was in heaven already (okay, so apart from the rotting corpses, sometimes there’s budget cuts even in heaven).

In case someone doesn’t understand how I could possibly be happy that Boyfriend is not here… it’s an introvert thing. I love him an’ all, but I also love having the apartment to myself (also, we’ve left the stage of the relationship were you have to spend every free minute with your SO a long ass time ago). No TV running, no cursing over computer games, only the soft murmur of the computer fan and the gentle (okay, so that’s a lie) hammering of my typing.

I’m so tired I could fall asleep right here, and I haven’t even done anything today really (had a couple of mehdays in a row. Joy!), but instead of curling up on the sofa I’m going to tell you another thing I suck at. Have fun!

So today, kids, let’s play around with colours, says Blogging101, and I’m like… if only I wasn’t colourblind.

Okay, so I’m not actually colourblind, more like colourstupid. I’ve never developed an eye for colours. There’s a reason I mostly wear black, and it’s not because I’m some sort of existential goth poet (though I do own a beret). Here is a list of colours I can coordinate: black, grey, very dark red. Anything beyond that, fuuuuuck that shit, I have no idea what to do with it. Does this orange go with this yellow? Does this purple match the red drapes? What the hell is mauve even? Why are there fifty shades of salmon? What is the difference between teal and turquoise?

Somehow this whole colour-coordinating thing that women are supposed to do effortlessly was shamefully neglected in my upbringing. Maybe it was that my parents spent most of their being-young-times in the 70s and 80s, where you just threw every colour and shape together and hoped for the best. I couldn’t even do make-up before YouTube tutorials came around. When I was in my teens, I took way too much inspiration from 1994 The Cure and 1974 Alice Cooper. And even now that I know better I only stick to nude palettes lest I end up looking like the inspiration for the SWTOR character make-up options (seriously though, who designed these, a chimpanzee with double cataracts that somehow got hold of finger paint?)

So, for the blog thing, I changed the grey to a slightly lighter grey because, I don’t know… it looks friendlier? And the link thingies are still blue. Blue goes with grey, right? I don’t even know. Because I can’t colours. Also, because bright colourful shit gives me a migraine anyway.

So enjoy the new grey. I’m gonna go beat up some dwarf who owes me a mount. Byyyyeeee.

New Posting Style: And then I was like….

So since I normally ramble on for pages on end, I thought for today’s Blogging101 I’d try to post something short. So here goes this new thing I shall call Anecdote Time!:

Today’s anecdote: I’m Going To Hell And I’m Taking You With Me

So, a few years ago I was hanging out with a couple of friends between lectures and we were examining the notice-board outside the lecture hall with great interest and someone noticed a flyer for some kind of theological lecture-cum-mass type thing and spoke thusly: “15€ admission?! What? That’s hella expensive!” And then I was like, “God’s love doesn’t come for free, so bend over.”

BA-DUM-TSS!

And we all had us a merry laugh.

(Not funny? Well, I guess you had to be there.)

Truth serum comes in a little glass vial. – A little glass vial? – A little glass vial!

I had an eventful day yesterday.

I barely managed to complete the Blogging101 assignment of adding a simple widget, that was the kind of day I had.

Not a bad day, just so exhausting I fell asleep on the subway while standing. It was a day where I had so much to do and so many places to be. Everything suddenly has to be done TODAY, so much new stuff comes around that needs doing, and then there’s the stuff you’re supposed to do anyway. I call those days rush days. (You’ll notice that I have a name for any kind of day.)

Also, I’m a lazy sack o’ something.

Anyway, I don’t follow many blogs yet, mostly because I every time I go online I go into full on autopilot and bookmark everything but prove too stupid to press a simple ‘Follow’ button. I’m a dingus. And now I have to go through my bookmarks and catch up on pressing correct buttons.

I also have to answer to a very simple question from the daily prompt: You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?

Aaaand just like that, we’ve created ourselves a world of problems, because immediately I have like 652 questions

So prompts aren’t necessarily to be taken as serious questions but I waaaant to take it seriously because it’s really interesting because actually you can’t learn anything from this supposed truth serum.

Okay, first of, how do I even know this shit works? Was it tested? How? On whom? By whom? How big were the test and control groups? Where can I find the published and peer-reviewed results? For how long does it work? Will there be some sort of drug interaction with other meds? Does it cause allergic reactions? Is it vegan, because I know people who would make more of a stink about that than potential anaphylactic shock. What if it doesn’t even work and I don’t know about it? What if the person doesn’t give me their consent and I still want them to spill some delicious wordy tea? What if they don’t know the answer, will their head explode? I can’t even get around to answer the original question if I don’t know the specifics!

And as always, when I have so many questions, I like to imagine little scenarios.

Version 1: This serum actually works. I give it to someone, after asking them, of course.

What’s going to happen: Nothing, because if they wanted to keep anything secret from me they would have refused the serum outright. So this was a nice little exercise in complete futility.

Version 2: The serum doesn’t work.

What’s going to happen: I’ll never know and now I’m just left to believe every single word ever coming out of this person’s mouth.

Version 3: This serum actually works. I give it to someone without asking them.

What’s going to happen: Okay, I’m not actually supposed to do that, but I’m just going to mix it into someone’s vodka. Their drink being vodka, though, they’re probably already telling me more than I ever wanted to know (ever. Ever!), and I’ll never know if the truth serum had any effect.

Version 4: The serum doesn’t work. I give it to someone without asking them.

What’s going to happen: And since I don’t know whether or not the stuff works, I’m just left to believe every single word ever coming out of this person’s mouth. Even if they’re shady as fuck.

Version 5: I want to give someone the serum, but they refuse.

What’s going to happen: I will be suspicious as all hell and think they’ll have something to hide. Chances are they have, and what kind of idiot would take a truth serum if they have something to hide?

Version 5.1.: They take the serum anyway, I’ll never know if it works or not, so this was pretty useless.

So the hell with truth serums. Whatever happened to just buying people a couple rounds of drinks and pretending to be an empathetic and understanding person who they can tell everything? And if we want to get all secret agent-y about it, what happened to faking sexual interest, then slipping the guy a tranq and rifling through all his papers and computers while he’s unconscious?

If you really want to get all philosophical and metaphorical and bullshit, ask yourself what it says about YOU that you want to give someone a motherfucking truth serum. What are you, a control freak or something? Get help.

Bottom line, fuck truth serums. If you want to know something, just stalk people on facebook like a normal person.

Unless you’re a secret agent. I mean, what with today’s job market and all, I’m not judging….

P.S.: Bet you can’t guess what the post title is a reference to, ha ha!

Deck the house in puffs of bug spray, falalalala lalala…aaaaahhh!!!, or Linguistic Woes and Other Stories

“So long and thanks for all the blisters”, I wistfully said to my sandals, as I took them from their spot on the floor and returned them to the shoe rack. The view through he window presented a gloomy, not to mention cold and windy, outlook, and it seemed I wouldn’t have need of my trusty Roman styles in a very, very long time.

Jup, it’s autumn alright. Every autumn I return my designated walking shoes to a place where they won’t be in the way and think “Dammit! It’s officially cold now!”

Also every autumn, as if I’d send out invitations, golden lettering and engraved envelopes and all, the bugs return.

I live in a house that was built in 1930. The windows have never been changed, just painted over and over with white paint. Those windows are… well, for lack of a better word, they’re leaky. (Stay in school, kids, this is what happens when you’re poor.) Everything gets through. I dread every storm because I have to rush to soak up all the water building on the wooden inside window sill before it seeps into the the cracks, making them bigger. And apparently, there’s gaps big enough for giant, nasty, annoying bugs to climb through.

I have no idea what kind of bugs they are. They are about two centimetres (a bit less than an inch for my non-metric peeps) long, they’re a dark brown, and they’re annoying. They seem to be some kind of tree bug things but I’m not going to check their catalogue number before screaming discretely and diving for the can of instant-death-to-bugs. Forget catching them and throwing them out. I tried; those things have wings and just come right back, as if they think I’m just playing a game with them. “Weeee! Throw me again, human!”

Bug killing is the only thing where my usual procrastinational (that’s a word now) tendencies do not hit me. Like, for obvious reasons. And speaking of procrastination (cower before my segue powers!), that brings us to today’s Blogging101 thing, because The Metamorphosis of a Wallflower hit the nail on the head with her post about this well-known topic. And then I ran around her blog for a bit longer and found a post about her fight with the IPA chart, which is relevant to my interests or lack thereof. (See here)

And my face flushed and my heart raced and like a nightmare from beyond time itself….

For once upon a time, I was an English undergrad struggling to understand the diabolic nature of Linguistics. I hated it and sucked at it, so my only choice was to become very, very good at it to pass the tests and then never hear about it again (or so I thought, until I checked the curriculum for the Master’s programme. Let me shake my fist at you, English department!).

[Random personal aside] I also flunked the pronunciation course three times. You see, the curriculum is just a teensy bit stupid: In the intro lecture for Linguistics they tell you over and over how most adult people cannot, even after years of living in another country, successfully change their natural accent. Then, two semesters later, they stick you in a course all like “Here! Do exactly what we told you is not possible in just three months!”

This was hell. This was also one of the reasons it took me so long to finish my degree. Because for some reason, speaking RP or speaking GA is SO IMPORTANT that they’d rather you drop out (and yes, I’ve seen it happen, and my thoughts go out to all my fallen brethren and sistren) than not be able to, y’know, change your natural accent to another one. I’m a German native speaker. Of course I’m not going to sound like some git from Oxford, godammit! You, person teaching the course, are a native speaker of German, and you sound it. Don’t tell me what to do. [/Random personal aside]

I have this theory that the field of Linguistics was started by engineers, because the whole idea of the thing sounds like something my dad would do. “Hm, how can we make it easier for people to learn a language? More importantly, how can we make it easier for academics to sound clever and academic-y? I know, dress everything in confusing symbols that do not at all represent what a sound might look like, slap some arbitrary not-always-the-case-but-sometimes rules on it and derive some formulas, I mean, it works for maths, right? Efficient communication is now rendered impossible but who needed that anyway? If you want to communicate, that’s what 1’s and 0’s were made for.”

Anyway, the poor Wallflower apparently has to learn the entire IPA chart. For anyone who has no idea what we language nerds are talking about here, it’s a chart of symbols that supposedly represent the sounds of human speech. No, I have no idea how that was done, seeing as there are some 5000 languages being spoken on this planet and some of them sound like they consist entirely of clicking sounds. Actually, learning symbols is not so much the problem as recognising them when they are spoken. Now, when they are spoken in isolation, that’s still sorta easy. In a sentence… not so much, especially in a language you don’t know.

Or even in a language you know, because in German? You’re lost. Sometimes I’m lost, and I’ve been speaking German for more than two decades now. Unlike British English and American English, German does not have an established spoken standard (RP for BE, and GA for AE, if you’re interested). I know people believe what we call “Hochdeutsch” (High German – misleading name if you as me) to be the standard, but it’s not official. Apart from that, speaking Hochdeutsch gets you beaten up in Austria anyway (trust me, I speak from painful experience). So spoken German is basically a hotchpotch (what we might call “Sammelsurium”) of dialects, and as we all know, dialects have different pronunciations as well as grammars.

But a problem all of them share is what we call “deutsche Auslautverhärtung” (German final devoicing. Man, you’re learning a lot today, aren’t you?), which is the reason most of us have so much trouble in English (besides “th” sounds and the vowel in words like bird) and which despite the big scary words only means: we mumble. Terribly. You know your consonant pairs like p-b, k-g, t-d? They are not readily discernible in German. In English, for example, tank and dank don’t sound much the same (okay, they sound the same except for one sound – what we Linguists call minimal pairs!). In German, you have to rely on context to find out what the flying fuck that German speaker just said, because the t and d somehow merged into one entity. (And yes, I know the same phenomenon exists in English dialects of every continent, but I’m talking about German here, so shut up and lemme finish.)

Interestingly, you have a better chance at distinction towards the north. Towards the south, once you cross the borders of Bavaria and head ever further down, forget it. “Bank” (bank) will be the same and “punk”. You think they’re trying to say English “dish”, but what they mean is “Tisch” (table). You come to the border and wonder if the custom officials are starting a band because they keep asking for your “Bass” (okay, it’s only funny if you know that passport is “Pass” in German.)

The distinction is supposed to be clearer in Hochdeutsch, because after all, it’s a northern variety. But even here, if you come from a language that has a very clear distinction, you might have trouble.

And that’s only a few tiny facts about pronunciation in German. Now multiply that by all other human languages. So to Wallflower I say, stay strong, hang in there, make your ear a warrior, because by damn, you’ll need it. And hope to a deity of your choice no one will make you pronounce stuff.