Monday, 28 September 2015

Accepting your weird self

photo credit: Marta Ryfiak

In my previous post Individual in a Community I tried talking about all the weirdness that we carry inside of us, and why is it so hard to be accepted sometimes. But at some point I leaned into the direction of philosophical / psychological reflections, so now I’m not even sure if that post makes any sense at all. Go read it and comment! I’d love to know your opinion!

I wanted to make a list of all the weird stuff about myself, limited to what I’m not too embarrassed to admit for obvious reasons. But to be honest, I now try to speak my mind more clearly. If I can’t be sure of my own thoughts, then how can I even respect myself, least expect it from the society. Be proud of your weirdness! Normal is boring. And who is normal anyway?

So just as promised, here’s a list of all the weird things about me.
  1. I’m very weather dependent.
  2. I start reading more books than I can finish.
  3. My version of daydreaming is basically fanfiction.
  4. I’m sometimes too naive and honest. I want to think good of people. It really hurts every time I’m proven wrong.
  5. I can’t lie. I hate hypocrisy.
  6. I used to hold strongly to my opinions. But thanks to my perpetual truth seeking, I wanted my opinions to be right, so gradually I’ve learned to be more open-minded and not so pushy with my ideas of right and wrong.
  7. English is almost like my super-power. It gives me the courage to express thoughts, I would’ve never dared to voice in my own native language. Whenever I write a blog post for my other blog, I always proof-read it for opinions that could seem too offensive. It doesn’t help though. I once got a lot of hateful comments for writing that cheating in school is wrong.
  8. I like to explain things and sometimes overshare. I’m afraid that it makes me seem rude. So I often write overly long comments, just to delete half of them, ‘cause of the extra unnecessary information.
  9. My first impressions of people are usually wrong.
  10. I’m a bit hypochondriacal. At the same time, I don’t like taking strong medication or too much of it.
  11. I overanalyze everything.
  12. I regret that I didn’t drop out of university after first year. I actually have a traumatic story about what has happened then, but I’m not ready to share it yet.
  13. I have a horrible memory for names and faces. More than once I would get to know two people with similar names and/or appearances. I would talk to them almost daily but still couldn’t tell them apart for months. Thankfully, I have another weirdness to help me deal with that.
  14. I don’t like addressing people by names. It feels too personal.
  15. I mostly listen to soundtracks or musicians, that I’ve discovered through movies or TV shows or anime.
Are you a weirdo too?

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Mini Reviews | Graphic Novels

For a while now I've had this idea of writing mini reviews on books, grouped by certain criteria, like Russian or Czech literature, short stories, memoirs etc. So today I'll be reviewing graphic novels!

Smile by Raina Telgemeier
My rating ★★★★

Based on true life experience of the author. Raina is about to get braces and she’s not happy about it. But wait, it gets worse! One evening she accidentally trips and knocks out her two front teeth. The novel also deals with many other problems like friendship and bullying. As simple as it may seem, the story is truly heart wrenching.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
My rating ★★★★

Anya is a Russian girl who immigrated to the USA with her mom and little brother. She is a normal teenager with regular teenage problems. Friends, boys, popularity. One day she falls down a well and meets a ghost of a girl named Emily, who died almost a hundred years ago. Well, actually she was murdered. Anya befriends Emily and promises to help her solve the mystery of her murder.

Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi
My rating ★★★★★

Ever since I’ve read Persepolis I really wanted to read something else by Marjane Satrapi. So I was really excited when I finally got my hands on Chicken with Plums. For whatever reason, I thought that it was a story for kids, and oh was I wrong! Based on the life of Marjane’s relative, it narrates the last days of a talented musician Nasser Ali Khan. One day Nasser gets into an argument with his wife, who cruel heartedly breaks his beloved tar, which is a traditional Iranian musical instrument. Nasser tries to replace his instrument, but other tars just don’t sound right. Devastated, Nasser decides that he has no more meaning in life, so he lays in bed waiting for death. Over the course of the next eight days he reminiscences on his life and how he has come to his current situation. I don't always cry over books, but this one broke my heart into myriad pieces.

Which of these have you read? What other great graphic novels would you recommend? Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Blueberry Blondies Recipe

A while ago I was watching some vlogs on youtube, where they were making blondies, and decided to make some too, as it's been a while since I've baked something sweet. I used this Chocolate Chip Blondies Recipe as a base, replacing the chocolate chips with fresh blueberries. I also had to make some adjustments, as I don't usually use butter in baked goods because they turn out too greasy. I guess Ukrainian butter isn't the best quality and getting worse. In fact, I've noticed that many of the brands that I used to love, now barely resemble butter at all (not speaking of the price though). I also wasn't sure what was the size of my cake pan and only bothered measuring it after I've baked that sweet deliciousness.

Blueberry Blondies

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
100 grams shortening, softened or melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
a few handfuls of fresh blueberries


1. Combine sugar, shortening, and eggs. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the blueberries.
2. Pour the batter into a greased 9х9 in. cake pan. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 40 minutes (or check if the blondies are ready by sticking a toothpick or a knife in the middle of the cake - if it comes out clean, it's ready!). Give it some time to cool down, cut into bars and enjoy!