Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I moved my blog!!!

As I posted in my previous post I have some huge problems to login on my own (but also on some other´s blogs on blogger).
Now I´m using PC in the Institute Cervantes thinking what to do and I think it would be ridiculous to wait to things get solved. I saw so many people with the same problem who are screaming on Blogger Help Group but no one is giving them any advice or solution so I decided to move my blog on some other place...

Anyway this is my new nest: My New Blog!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Possibly moving... and my daemon ...

OK last few weeks I was unable to login on my blog to publish new posts. I thought it was some internal error but it seems I was wrong. Anyhow I was constantly getting some error code and I’ve sent it on Blogger Help group only to found out I’m not the only one with the same problem. Sadly, no one from Blogger support team hasn’t post solution or at least some advice.
During the waiting I went on so many events I’d like to post here and due to the login problem I lost my enthusiasm to write them and save for some future moment :(
Also I was quite angry because of the ignorance of the Big Blogger!
So I created new blog on Wordpress but it’s still under construction. Actually I'm kind of hesitating to start posting there because I like it here (I guess I’m so spoiled with easiness that blogger offers) but more because of all my previous posts here. It’s like I’m abandoning them (silly I know).
However tonight I accidentally logged in without any problem and therefore I’m posting this. I don’t know is this means that problem is solved or is temporary solution.
So if I disappear again that will mean I can’t login again and I’m definitively moving there (any advice with Wordpress or WP vs Blogger?)

My daemon

In the meanwhile I’ll post about my daemon.
Yep anyone who is fan of Philip Pulman’s The Golden Compass (I’m not but I like this idea) will know what I’m talking about. And who knows, since I like this idea maybe I’ll read Pulman’s trilogy :)
OK when I’ve done my ‘testing’ I was raccoon but I see now I’m wolf. That’s because some of my friends replied on some questions about who I am and apparently changed a little bit my image. Of course you can change my daemon’s shape as well by clicking HERE (My Daemon) or on the image above :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

WARNING! I am potentially offensive!!!

I just saw that my blog is flagged as "potentially offensive", the same day I found out that I’ve been nominated for Thinking Blogger Award! Not bad for one day, not bad at all…

OK personally I don’t know the reason but something is telling me it’s not because I wrote about vagina. Therefore I might guess it’s because of my post from Free Zone Festival and especially the last one about Iraq in Fragments because majority of visitors are from US.

I’m guessing that many of you know or have or have lost someone in Iraq but facts about reasons and effect of that war are evident and unquestionable in spite of the emotions (my sincere condolences to all who have lost someone in Iraq). And I am trying to be objective as much as possible (in spite the fact that I've spent 77 days under US bombs as well and I know better than you can even imagine what that means)

Yes 3300 American soldiers lost their lives in Iraq but also 655000 civilians have died and almost 2 millions live in refugees’ camps in neighboring countries. Iraq has lost its most valuable treasure – people. There is no educated elite there anymore... There are devastating consequences in whole region; the balance is destroyed; radicalism is awake

Do you remember that picture of a man who is hitting Saddam’s monument with the hammer? Picture that symbolizes Fall of Baghdad? Picture that is like the one of raising flag on Iwo Jima (in symbolical sense of course)? Well that man, Mr Khadim al-Jubouri now on fourth anniversary of his act say this:

- We got rid of a tyrant and tyranny. But we were surprised that after one thief had left, another 40 replaced him. Now, we regret that Saddam Hussein is gone, no matter how much we hated him.

Those are the words of man whose only wish for years was to smash Saddam’s monument. Describing his life now, four years after entrance of US troupes in Iraq he says:

- Now every Friday is better than Saturday and every Saturday is better than Sunday

Well think about that before you flag someone's opinion as offensive.
On the other hand thinking and using your own brain has always been potentially dangerous.

If you're interested do read whole article written by The Washington Post's Sudarsan Raghavan:
4 Years After Hussein's Fall, Regret in Iraq

Thinking Blogger Award

Gosh! I’ve been tagged for Thinking Blogger Award by my dear friend WestofMars! This is first time I’ve been tagged and what situation makes even stranger is that she tagged me for my Thursday Thirteen posts BUT after regular 10 weeks of TTs I’ve made pause in my posting because I’m swimming in my Faculty obligations. And I really don’t like TTs like "For this Thursday I prepared 13 randomly chosen numbers!" Well otherwise I’d might be tagged for complete opposite Award LOL

OK, now according to rules I have to pick 5 other bloggers /posts which I found very thoughtful and this will be quite hard (only 5!);OK I’m helping myself and I’ll exclude all non-English blogs (Поздрав свима! Saludos a todos!)

First I'd like to nominate my friend Shanna (I’ve mentioned her in one of my TTs). I don’t know where to start really; She is one of few blogging friends on the (far) East and every morning when I check my e-mail I have small hope that I’ll find in my inbox message with subject: "New Blog Post from Shanna" and she often fulfill my wish :-) Then I run in the kitchen to prepare my first morning cup of coffee and savouring it slowly with Shanna’s adventures in Nepal! Yep, Miss Shanti is in Nepal teaching English and making music (I guess that is Nashville’s inheritance) but also makes magnificent observations (and photographs) about Nepalese culture, tradition, cuisine, mentality and again thru all that analysis of American society and it’s influence.
I'm so grateful cause I have such a friend!

Then comes someone who is guilty as charged for I'm having my own blog: my dear friend morsie! I was reading her fabulous blog with all those reviews and thinking how vividly I remember some of my favourites reads or some events or, whatever and realized that I don’t at all! I do remember the feeling, the emotion but what caused that feeling ... nope. So I decided to start writing my emotions so that I could preserve them. And I never expected I’ll be hooked this much! Thanks K!

Now someone whose blog I have to stop reading! LOL Whenever I visit (and that is very often!) lotus’s blog my book wish list becomes bigger and bigger and bigger or I’m starting manically to search if there is any title available and OF COURSE there aren’t because (and I don’t know how???) lotus is amazingly up to date with stuff she reads! Sometime I think authors are sending one copy to her before the book appears in bookstores and I could totally understand this and if you read her reviews you’ll know why? Since she is (in her own words) ”daughter of the tropics now living in the Great White North” personally I like the most her posts about her spicy homeland's culture ...

And look what my friend Zmrzlina would do if she had a million dollars! Zmrzlina is someone who introduced me with the internet community where I have found my best virtual friends (also nominated here); she doesn’t post on her blog often (probably because she is sending postcards like a lunatic and doesn’t have enough time for blogging LOL) but it always thrills me when I see new post on her ice-creamy blog :-)
Oh I so wish she has a million dollars!

And of course I’d like to nominate WestofMars (I’m not breaking the rule with this right?). Just look at her Thursday Thirteens (and not only TTs). How often you meet a writer (real one) who is sharing process of writing with you? And moreover includes you (in every personal way) in that process; you’re giving comments although beware! If you’re bad she might put you in the book!!!
Every Thursday you’re getting new episode of your heroes … it reminds me (WoM don’t become conceited!) of great Russian novelists who were writing their masterpieces (like “War and Piece”) in numerous small parts which were published in newspapers. On the other hand it reminds me of "Misery" (the movie) so WoM pay attention what you’re doing with your characters, some crazy fan might find you …

Here are the rules, for you newly tagged

How participation works:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Iraq in Fragments

Iraq In Fragments
by James Longley

I watched at Free Zone Film Festval another amazing film:
Iraq In Fragments by James Longley

This is breathtaking portrait of lives of ordinary people in Iraq after aggression and one of the most noticeable consequence that can be seen is that indeed Iraq is fragmented.

In first part (fragment) we see painfully lonely 11 year old fatherless boy who works in garage whose owner ‘owns’ the boy as well. This man at first shows some kind of “love” in his own rough way and a boy is giving him a tribute how he is actually kind to him in one very moving way while we are looking how the owner is shouting at the boy and use him and hitting him with … something. We are listen conversations between adults how they think whole this war is because of the oil; how Americans ended Saddam’s regime and now they live under “100 Saddam”

In the second fragment, south with Shias majority we are seeing their pre election campaign and how they (Shias) are vigorously prosecute new Islamic revolution with horrifying arrests because of selling alcohol. One of the arrested said (screamingly in despair with bounded hands and with covered eyes) “My eyes were covered and hands bounded during Saddam and now, now again!!! Why!?!? Why?!?” It’s a rising of new “Saddamism” or more likely something much worse.

In third fragment, we see pious Kurdish man whose hope is that Kurds will finally get their country and independence. He knows he’s close to death (and decided to dedicate those days in praying in the mosque) but he is hoping that his children will breathe air in their country, Kurdistan. He knows that Kurds, Sunnis and Shias will never live in peace in the same land.

After the projection guests were Veljko Đurović (cameraman for Sky News, Reuters etc) and lady (I can’t remember her name at the moment, sorry) who came back in Belgrade recently after two years in Iraq working with some international organizations. Interesting thing is that both of them are saying how Iraqis are one of the most hospitable people in the world; Reporter said that he has worked on so many battle fields in last decade in every corner of the world but he never met people so kind in spite the fact the bombs are falling constantly. Lady (guest) has told us how women from her class have risked their lives to go and buy cake in other part of the town for her Christmass.

Also in the film you can barely see woman. It should be stressed that Iraq was one of the most liberated countries in Middle East. Few years ago women were free to go in University in mini skirt and actually life style was not so different comparing with Europe or USA. Now the situation is completely different. You cannot see that image anymore.
Of course people are in despair and they have enemy (Saddam is dead). And that despair have united them and (and this is probably worst consequence) has changed them.

People with millenniums old tradition, with customs with dignity, have been invaded by forces that have shown no interest in their customs, in their tradition, which have shown no respect in whom they are and where they came. They have been invaded by endless ignorance. And lack of respect is often worse than so many other things. To honorable people word is stronger weapon than a bullet.
Invaders often ask themselves “Why they hate us?” and the answer is “Because you don’t respect them”.

So of course they have changed under these circumstances, they become less hospitable and become sadder, more disappointed, angrier, more radical. Yes disappointment, sadness, anger is making fertile soil to fanaticism. And that is real threat. Country has been fractured irreparably. Boy from the beginning of the film said:
"Once it was so beautiful… now it’s not beautiful anymore …
I was dreaming when I grow up I will work; I’ll learn how to work and be independent. Then I started to work and keep dreaming how I’ll work when I grow up for my family and have one good life. I’m working, but I’m not dreaming anymore"

Those are words of 11 year old kid! How can you kill ability of dreaming to a kid? How can you do that and not be responsible? And be so ignorant?

That old Kurdish man said one story:
"Two men are wrestling and one spectator asks another:
- What do you think, who’ll win? On whose side is God?
And the other one replies:
- God is always on the winner’s side"

That is not God I believe in.
(today is 8th anniversary of NATO aggression on my country)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Yeah! I’m one of those lucky people who own ticket for RHCP’s concert 26th June at Greenfest in Inđija, Serbia!

This is one enormous THANK YOU! to Jelena and Marina who waited yesterday in the line from 11am ‘till 6pm to buy the tickets. They were so sweet and didn’t want to call me so that we could wait in shifts while I didn’t have a clue what are they doing. I just received phone call when everything was over.
Thank you girls!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If on a winter's night a traveller

If on a winter’s night a traveller
Italo Calvino

This is my February book for 2007 TBR Challenge.

WOW what a strange book!
I mean, have you ever thought about how huge your reading passion is? To be honest I didn’t. Of course I love to read and on question "Without what you can imagine your life?" my answer always includes books but what would you do (not in literally of course) to find your missing book and to heal your reading fever? I’m not sure I ever felt that agonizing reading fever… until now. I know sounds silly but let me explain:

Of course when you enjoy enormously in book you’re reading you’ll finish it in one swallow and maybe (probably) reread some of its parts or entire book; maybe you’ll copy some quote in your special notebook and memorize them etc. and that is I guess normal destiny after meeting right book with right reader. But imagine this situation: You’re reading one of the best books you've ever read and you’re aware of that fact so you’re eating, drinking, breathing pages, one after another; film is rolling in your mind, you thinking about surprise on the next page and you’re running to see what is behind the corner and then … nothing… blank wall, no streets, no cars, no people, no nothing … blank page…. OK maybe this is printing error, maybe after that blank page the story will continue … imagine that state of mind: no rereading, no quotes, no following of your new friends destiny. You’re feeling cheated. Isn’t that horrible? Oh it is, it is...
And this book is about that sudden emptiness you’re feeling and that desperate search to find next page. And yes, the main character is “You” (dear reader), and yes precisely you are feeling tachycardia and yes your blood pressure is rising in that dark, surreal chase ... for a book (imagine this!)

This postmodern novel is some sort of reader’s nightmare, always in search for your book or women (or both), or feeling writer’s agony. This book is from time to time dark, totally surrealistic, and breathtakingly inventive. Did I mention that “You” are the main protagonist?

With its 260 pages some might think it’s easy, light read but no, not easy read at all; sometimes you just need to rest a little bit to digest all what you eat so far (and it’s a quite menu), this book is for savoring, for letting each sentence to melt slowly on your tongue. Or that is case with me who doesn’t read several novels in the same time. However for some of you who practice that, reading this book will be, most likely, different experience.

Here I’d like to include one quote I like very much:

”Reading is always this: there is a thing that is there, a thing made of writing, a solid, material object, which cannot be changed, and through this thing we measure ourselves against something else that is not present, something else that belongs to the immaterial, invisible world, because it can only be thought, imagined, or because it was once and is no longer, past, lost, unattainable, in the land of the dead…
… Or that is not present because it does not yet exist, something desired, feared, possible or impossible. Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be …”


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #10 [Retirement Edition]

13 things about Vagina!

1. OK, this Thursday will be dedicated to vagina! Now, I’m very interested about your first reaction. Is there any initial uncomfortable feeling? Or one big simple WHAT? Seriously; since I’m medical worker when I talk with my colleagues (of course if it’s in context) we are using without any problem words like: vagina, penis, erection, clitoris, penetration, sperm, vulva, uterus, …etc. and don’t even notice that ‘something might be unusual’ until we have someone who is not from our professional world. Their reaction is indeed, different which is OK I guess. It seems that genital organs are not preferable topic in general. 2. I hope it’s OK for me to talk about vagina in spite that I don’t have it - between my legs that is and I always had to try hard and sometimes be what I’m not to get one (very wrong way to conquer vagina or is a good way to conquer wrong vagina which is worse!) And now why I choose to write about Vagina?

3. Well last week I saw movie V-DAY: UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS about the effect of Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.
4. Touching and witty, one of the favourites of the Sundance festival, the film V-DAY: UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS documents how Eve Ensler's Broadway hit monodrama developed into V-DAY, the international movement to end violence against women. The film by the director Abby Epstein shows emotionally charged interviews and readings by both ordinary and famous women from diverse local communities, namely, those in New York, the Philippines and Kenya (including Rosie Perez, Selma Hayek, Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda and Lisa Gay Hamilton). These women bravely reveal their intimate experiences and join forces to break the silence surrounding abuse.
5. The Vagina Monologues has been widely recognized as "a celebration of women's sexuality and a condemnation of its violation" (The New York Times) and praised as "frank, humorous and moving" (Chicago Tribune). Over eight hundred cities around the world have participated in V-Day by staging benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues.
6. It is there I saw that actually saying “vagina”, “cunt”, “coño”, pička“, ...etc. can be so ’liberating’ for many women. Yes it is funny when you see on the stage some actress (or local woman) who is screaming „Vagina!!!“ on the stage and then the whole audience is joining her, but then you have to ask yourself and then it;s not funny anymore.
7. This film was is to raise awereness that women are abused in so many, so incredibly many ways...
8. Violence against women is deeply embodied in society we live in. It shows in different ways – through underestimating almost all that women do, insult and humiliation, making fun rituals, economic exploitation and exhausting women resources, fear and disgust over female physiological needs, viewing female body and female sexuality as something dirty and dangerous, through suppressing female body and sexuality into the silence.

9. The most horrifying story in the movie is the story of Mrs Agnes from the Valley of Rift River who (with support of V-day Project) erected sort of asylum for girls who escape (or were banned from their families because they refuse to do) female circumcision or Female genital mutilation (FGM).
Genital cutting, or excision, is a coming-of-age ritual that signifies a girl's entry into womanhood. It is accompanied by public celebrations and is often a source of pride for the girl. For some it also carries religious significance. Usually performed on girls between the ages of 4 and 12, but also on teenagers, it involves the partial or total excision of the external female genitalia.
10. It is performed by a female elder using a razor, knife, or piece of glass, usually without anesthetic, while several women hold the girl down. Agonizingly painful, it robs her of sexual pleasure and frequently causes medical problems, including hemorrhaging, infection, urinary incontinence, infertility, and complications in childbirth. There are several methods:
• Type I - excision of the prepuce, with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris;
• Type II - excision of the clitoris with partial or total excision of the labia minora;
• Type III - excision of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching/narrowing of the vaginal opening (infibulation);
• Type IV - pricking, piercing or incising of the clitoris and/or labia; stretching of the clitoris and/or labia; cauterization by burning of the clitoris and surrounding tissue;
Vaginas that were stitched stays with stitches until the wedding day when the husband tear them off. Or the best man takes a horn of the goat to make a passage for the husband.

11. And the reasons are:
- psychosexual reasons: reduction or elimination of the sensitive tissue of the outer genitalia, particularly the clitoris, in order to attenuate sexual desire in the female, maintain chastity and virginity before marriage and fidelity during marriage, and increase male sexual pleasure;
- sociological reasons: identification with the cultural heritage, initiation of girls into womanhood, social integration and the maintenance of social cohesion;
- hygiene and aesthetic reasons: the external female genitalia are considered dirty and unsightly and are to be removed to promote hygiene and provide aesthetic appeal;
- myths: enhancement of fertility and promotion of child survival;
- religious reasons: Some Muslim communities, however, practice FGM in the belief that it is demanded by the Islamic faith. The practice, however, predates Islam.

12. Of course there are loads of other types of violation toward women but this one is really even hard to imagine from this point of view. Sorry for this kind of TT but the feeling from the movie was just too strong so I had to share it with you.
13. Awareness is the first step!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Small Death Trilogy

A Small Death Trilogy
by Elfride Jelinek

Few weeks ago I was listening one contact radio show where the question for the audience was What were your biggest disillusions in the past 2006? and one girl said:”One of my biggest disillusions was that I thought its easy (possible) to understand “A Small Death Trilogy”!”
That was hilarious answer and I was laughing so hard. She was so sweet indeed!
... uhm ... and I’m afraid so right!

Horribly strange and tough play ... well after all we ARE speaking about Mrs. Jelinek and whoever has read anything written by her knows what that means.

"A Small Death Trilogy" is a drama about death of art, theatre and culture. It is a phantasmagoric-poetic picture of civilization where there is no more place for humanistic determinations. In it, contradictory ideas about individual, pretty and ugly, good and evil, love and hatred, libido and aggression, victim and crime are divided and then reunited in the final picture of death.

Elfride Jelinek derived titles of this trilogy from Schubert songs "Queen of Fairies", "Death and the Girl" and "Traveler".

First part is addressing of one famous actress (dead actress of course) of famous Burg Theatre; she speaks about her artistic career, focusing on problems of glory and power. She is self-loving woman who depends on her image in public and in the end we can see the essence of glory that puts masks that will be unavoidable destroyed by death. ”No one shall be forgotten”
In the second part (“Death and the Girl”) we can see a hunter, Snow White and the seven Dwarfs, and one of the main themes is relation between beauty and truth, matter and spirit, surface and essence, ephemerality and eternity, death and life. Hunter (death?) is extremely cold and with explicit distance he’s making very convincing feeling of existential frisson toward idea of the end of physical life. It’s a story of narcissism, claustrophobia, about emptiness of the idea “to have” upon the abyss of the idea “to be”.
Third part is a speech of Traveler with accent on the problems of nonafiliation, transitoriness and loneliness, where the idea of ‘road’ has been crystallized as the main, basic metaphor of life (” When they erasing man, first they taking his road” - I like that very much!)

After the play on one festival recently audience was quite confused and the leading actress shared her own experience about this play, about that “theatrical something”. When she started to work on this play she was equally confused; the cast was ‘into’ the text two months before going on the stage. She even said to director “I’m not sure am I interested to work in such a play that will be understandable only to the few intellectuals or the ones who’ll pretend that they’ve understood it” but after many weeks of work she was ‘infected’. On the question “What we just saw?” she said “This is philosophic discussion about life, death, power, and not only on intellectual field but emotional as well. This is not text for drama, it’s not realistic play. One my friend, very famous film director said to me that he’s not sure if he understands the play but he loves it!”

I don’t know, maybe it’s the same case with me. I really liked the play but describe what is all about is a million dollar question!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9

13 things about 14th Feb - St Trifun’s Day!

You probably think that whole Christian world is celebrating 14th Feb as Valentine’s Day. Indeed we are celebrating 14th February but celebrating the Day of St Trifun.

1. St Trifun (just like St Valentine) has lived in third century and was killed (just as St Valentine) because he refused to give up Christianity.
2. He was a poor man who kept gooses but also he had ability to cure many human and animal diseases and to liberate people from the demons. 3. That was time of Roman Imperator Gordian whose daughter Gordiana was mentally ill and the best doctors were unable to heal her. 4. One day (according to the legend) from inside her demon has spoken that no one could make him to leave Gordiana but Trifun. 5. Demon hasn’t told which particular Trifun so the emperor Gordian ordered to all Trifuns in the Empire to come in the Rome until the order reached poor goose keeper in the village Kampsada in Frigia on the Small Asia. 6. When (our) Trifun has successfully healed Gordiana he earned enormous award of course but Trifun on his way home has gave all those precious presents to the poor. 7. In his village St Trifun continued to live modest life in great piety keeping gooses and healing people.
8. New Roman Emperor Decius Traianus knew about the grace that was on Trifun and being huge enemy of Christianity he throw Trifun in the dungeon and tortured him. But Trifun was strong in his faith and didn’t gave up Christ. 9. On 1st February (Julian calendar) or 14th February (Gregorian calendar) year 250 St Trifun was killed.
10. St Trifun is patron of the city of Kotor which is part of UNESCO World Heritage. You can see photo of the St Trifun’s church in Kotor erected in the year 809 .
11. There is special religious act dedicated to St Trifun on the vineyards and fields after some damage: oil from the St Trifun’s icon lamp and sanctified water have been used and sprinkle on the fields and vineyards. In Serbia St Tifun is patron of vineyards and on 14th Feb people are going to prune vine and pour over with wine to give it new strength after long winter.
12. People say “Trisha (Trifun in affection) has stabbed live coal in the soil so the snow and ice are melting”. There is belief that if St Trifun’s Day is rainy coming year will be rainy and bumper year and if the day is clear the year will be arid.
13.Now when I look through the window I see semi sunny day with loads of clouds (yesterday and whole last night was incredibly rainy!) so I say spring and autumn will be rainy and summer quite sunny and winter will be ... cold I guess. How good I am!? LOL

In Vino Veritas!

Sorry if I don’t reply right now but I have to go in bed (just look the clock on the left)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

::::: armywife ::::: Christine ::::: Sunflower ::::: Raggedy ::::: Celfyddydau ::::: Di ::::: Susan Helene Gottfried ::::: karen! ::::: Uisce ::::: jam ::::: sanni ::::: mike ::::: Imma ::::: Ryan Velting :::::

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!