Friday, 19 December 2014


It's been a while. I got sciatica, then I got nasty case of sniffles, meantime I was depressed, now I have bronchitis... well. About a month ago, I got a kitten. I was pondering getting a cat for long because I was essentially deprived of the Fat Meezer who is now generally referred as Grandma's Cat but parental units are what they are so I always saw a nice one in a shelter, asked a thing or two or not... until the little pointed kitten appeared out of nowhere. Actually, she was found with her tabby momma and tabby siblings, along with the whole collection of feline parasites and I was the first to ask for this genetic oddity.

These eyes only glow red, otherwise it's the garden variety pointed cat. I still don't have a stable name, she's going under Šiška which means, among more important and frequent things, Airhead, which she is.

And she's the most adorable kitten in the world. The pics are a few weeks old, now she's darker as pointed cats are darkening with age, bigger because kittens grow and plushier. And parental units are in love. Yes, my grumpy dad included. He shares his morning yoghurt voluntarily, even.

Parents were, obviously, furious. But, there is a thing about pointed cats. They're white and that always looks sorta cute, with cute dark paws and face and ears, and blue eyes. I'm positive that the blue-eyed beasts know their way around people, every owner of a full-bred Meezer, Siberian husky or something similar says that the sky blue gaze is just... something that makes the humans get up and fetch a snack.

Šiška is a basement cat. Not Basement Cat, just a cat that lives in the lower floor. Parents are worried that she could pee in their unguarded beds or eat the carpets so she's inhabiting the laundry room and the place that's called cellar but for practical purposes, it's a smokers' parlour. The cat already found out that a full ashtray is a great toy, and that everything is a great toy so the room will finally get tidied up from all the dad's dusty treasures covered in spider webs.

Hell yeah. Widdle white plushy kitty with widdle black feet and blue eyes.

Saturday, 25 October 2014


The white sweater has been on the needles since late 2012. It was meant to be something else, probably all in linen stitch, or with linen stitch details... or something. After five centimetres of linen stitch, I caved and switched to stockinette - unless it was planned and only then I discovered that linen stitch doesn't work as a decent hem. I possibly thought it all white. Or not.
At some point, I grabbed a book on folk costumes which has an extensive documentation of embroideries, grabbed a few motifs and made them mine. The local stuff is hardly ever red on white, it's usually white, yellow or sometimes black embroidery, placed differently on garments etc. But I needed a starting point so I used the general daisy shape. Foliage is mine. It all goes slowly and I lost the chart again. The current state is not really promising.

The basket was meant for yarns I intend to use very soon. Currently, it's a depository of yarns that were somehow around. It's getting fuller and fuller.

In all the Flash Your Stash debates, I would love to add a picture of my stash. It's dispersed in several rooms and stacked in various boxes so it wouldn't look pretty. However, due to memory impairment, I need to do an inventory (and chase the spiders away) so it may go as far as to have most of my stash spread out in one spot. I've taken up weaving and that eats up yarn rather fast. Or makes the stash grows fast, sources vary.

And then there's gift knitting. I would love to say that I have a bag, box or other receptacle with yarns carefully chosen for hats and scarves that will be given away but the lie may change the basics of relativity. It's the random yarn pile, a mixture of yarns I don't like but found its way to my stash (most often there was a batch of yarn on fleabay or somewhere that contained stuff I wanted and the rest was... stuff I wouldn't touch with a six foot pole under normal condition.), or leftovers, or yarn I liked but couldn't find a way how to use it for myself. Well, gift knitting. Makes people happy since who knows when.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Diagnosis of the day.

Ma'am magistra artium, your reflux is big as a swine. Your gastric juices spill like the contents of a kicked bucket and where there should be a hole tightly shut, your cardia is open wider than a barn door. Your oesophagus has better self-cleaning properties than an average cat because to my great surprise, there's no acid damage.

Excuse the bits of literal translation including the local abusive use of academic degrees of no major significance but I couldn't deprive you of the Monty Pythonesque sense of humour of my gastroenterologist. On paper, it said boring things like Massive GERD, no hernia. I got a script for A LOT of meds which they didn't have in my pharmacy because apparently, people are not supposed to use them by handfuls, a flyer that listed things to be avoided so I should deprive myself of the basic survival needs like coffee and the things that make life worth it at least for the time of consumation, such as wine, poppy seeds or chocolate. And I should prop the head side of my bed on a 4 x 4 so that the bucket contents stay where they should, which is not going to work because the headboard just reaches the lowered ceiling in one corner.
Tomorrow, I'm not seeing any doc so I should be just fine, I hope.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Advantages of bed rest

I finished a sweater.

The pic shows construction, starting from the hems and upper edge of the sleeves, decreasing and then... forget it, making it somehow. The sleeves got crocheted up and I'm finished now

My back keeps hurting, thanks for asking, and I'm slightly bored by all the bedrest. I went to pick a skirt from my dressmaker friend who lives two hundred metres away because I had an itch. It took me twenty minutes to walk there (well, the outing took an hour but we spent some time chatting at the fence) and while I got some fresh air, I admit that it wasn't the most brilliant idea. On the other hand, I apparently can run the hotel and do stuff over the phone, from my bed. Not bad.

Sunday, 12 October 2014


So that you know what's up. Not that the depression et al. would be anything like solved but sometimes, an urgent trouble sheds a new light on life.

Yesterday, I got up, brushed my teeth, got halfway dressed, looked into the new sunny day, thought to myself Today will be a good day for cleaning, picked a piece of paper from my table, something in my lower back cracked and it hurt like a damn hell. I was standing by a bookshelf so I held onto it, my bag was at my feet and I guessed I could have some painkillers in it but I wasn't able to bend. My faulty memory however conjured an image of metamizole on my nightstand so I was all like Oh, great, I don't need to bend. Then, I realized that I can barely stand on my right leg. I shuffled and stumbled to the other side of the room, leaned against the wall and pondered what next. Meantime, mom came back from the grocery and for the first time in many years, I caled Mommy for help. Mom helped me to splat me on the bed two steps away and I was so happy about my lousy habit of basically living in bed because I had a laptop, books and some noms at hand. Prescription painkillers didn't help so I asked mom whether she still has her secret stash of tramadol - that's an opioid analgesic painkiller for those who are not pharma geeks - because IT HURT.
Opioids being what they are, I felt slightly better. We have my cousin and her son and her dogs over, aunt is staying at grandma's and coming to annoy on regular basis so I put on a skirt and brushed my hair because of personal dignity, grabbed my knitting and crawled downstairs. Mom got annoyed because I was wearing my only short skirt at hand, and one wears sweatpants when sick, not a woolen office skirt. I uttered a few expletives hinting that struggling with hose when one can't stand without holding onto a building with both hands, or when one can't bend or turn, is one of the more idiotic ideas, and spent the day splatted on the sofa. What offended mom even more was my tramadol high, it was unbecoming to giggle stupidly when I was in pain. Well, fuck pain and fuck such ideas.
The internetz differential diagnosis was either herniated disc or sciatica so I called my friend Doc, who is an ENT but still a M. D., he said that sciatica sounds more likely, that if it's sciatica, it will improve on its own, if it's slipped disc, it will worsen, that I can go to ER but if I wait until Monday to see my orthopod, er, orthopedist, it's just fine. (I will. I need more painkillers, mom refused me more tramadol.)

I'm utterly pissed. I organized a photoshoot plus makeup gal plus a hairdresser, cousin would drive me to Prague with a suitcase of clothes and 20 kilos of cat kibble that belonged to the late Hotel Kitty that got run over, I yet need to cancel my shrink appointment and I need meds and serious shit to talk about, I was to pick a kitten at a shelter. Dressmaker and her business can wait, work can always wait, I'll read my policy because I have some sort of accident/illness/loss of income insurance. But I need to find someone to refer me to a neurologist for my memory issues and I need to get my psych meds because while back pain and hip pain are metaphorical and partly literal pain in the arse, depression is the ultimate pain in the arse, metaphorical or not.
Today, pain metamorphed and I can't sit or bend and I'm afraid that in these two days, I've used up a whole yearly supply of curses.

Next time: more depression.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The shoe odyssey

I'm a simple person. I like stuff that works and I like when it works forever. Alas, my old Pentax gave up eventually and since I do a lot of photography, I finally scraped up the money and got a new camera. And, obviously, being who I am, I'm pretty pissed.
Yes, the shutter opens which is a great improvement but the sound is different and, more annoyingly, louder. I like my shit quiet, grrrr. And the buttons and knobs are in different places. The thing feels different in my hand. And it's just different, damnit.
On the other hand, my bespoke leather bag is still almost like new and will remain so for several decades so there's at least some equilibrium in the world.

I hate shopping. I mean, I'm fine with going to the bakery getting my bread. I hate going through shops and never finding anything I need. The other day, I needed to buy shoes. Ordinary black flats, size 42, US 12, black, flat, leather, decent quality. I had a bit of time so I went to a mall. In one store, they had various stuff made from a large choice of synthetics, up to size 41 and the clerks looked pretty annoyed when approached so I just left. At Bata, they used to have that little shelf with "oversize" stuff where one could find a few pairs of something sligtly boring by brands that tend towards the expensive side but on the other hands, leather, good fit, looks slightly boring but reasonable so I went to look. After not finding anything, I asked the clerk and she said that yeah, sure, but they had to restock the oversize corner all the time and it was too much hassle so they don't have it any more. I sighed, saying that I need some nice black flats in 42, is there a chance of finding something, the clerk replied, let me check, there's this in 42, and brought me a pair of brown pumps with 10 cm heels. I politely thanked, thinking that it's certainly vodka o'clock. In a nearby boutique where they do have my size on a semi-regular basis, I held up a nice black flat and asked Could I have this in 42?, the clerk went to rummage and said Sorry, sold out. After repeating this about three times, I asked Are there ANY black flats in 42; the clerk merrily explained that I must come at the beginning of the season when they have new stock because they send some choice of models and sizes from the central, and not everything arrives up to 42 and when it does, there is only one or two pairs and they get sold fast. I nodded wisely and asked why they do not restock the stuff when it's in demand? Well, the central doesn't like it, there's paperwork and extra hassle, you know. Something similar happened in another store with the gem of "These sell too fast and we had to restock them all the time so we don't carry them any more" and in another shop, the nice clerk was a bit apologetic and gave me the model numbers and told me to order them from the international website of the shoe company. At the Högl boutique in Prague, I said I want this in 42, the clerk looked at me via her nostrils and said This is made only up to 40, with the unspoken Go away, you poor scum.
Meanwhile in Austria... I wanted those Högl shoes. I went to, found out that the model in question is made up to 42, messaged my Vienna friend explaining that I absolutely need those shoes, can she do something about that. Said friend went to a Högl shop, said I want this in 42 for a friend, they said We don't have them in this shop but leave your phone number, please, we'll ask around. Someone checked around, they found out that not a whole heap of 42s in this model was made but there are some left, got a pair delivered from someplace like Salzburg boutique, called my dear Anna that the requested shoes are ready to pick. And that it would be better if I came to the shop to try them in person because even if I wear Högl shoes regularly, it's always advisable. Well, when I came to Vienna, my feet got so swollen that I could barely fit into my worn sandals.
Meantime, my dressmaker gave me the phone number of her shoemaker. I brought him the worn-to-death Marc Jacobs flats I kept at the bottom of the closet for the remote chance I would ever find an affordable shoemaker and said This fits great over my heels, make ones like that in black, thankyouverymuch. Some time later, I got lovely black flats that did scrape the skin off my heels but not any worse than anything off the shelf and the shoemaker promised to work on it. I'm saved. Also, I'll get green and burgundy Marc Jacobs lookalikes that fit better. And many more, because now I can go and get shoes instead of damn shopping for them.
Fashion spreads sometime later.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Mild and hesitant progress

It seems that my meds kicked in. Fluoxetine tries its best to turn my stomach inside out when eaten before meal and upturned my sleep schedule but some ten days ago, I felt almost energetic. I went to work and instead of feeling that on the next corner, I'd die of sheer exhaustion, I walked and enjoyed the air and the movement and it was all nice.
I'm far from okay, though. It's about two years of a steep downward spiral. I feel better but I'm still very tired. I'm also horribly out of shape which makes me even more tired when I try for some physical activity. I'm worried about emotions because I grew terribly indifferent towards most things and very emotional, even sentimental, about a few and getting back to baseline might be quite interesting, as in "better be observed from another galaxy". My body seems to be in a constant state of threat - I'm crouching, not moving to go unnoticed and such. My personal hygiene habits suffered badly. I got used to not talking because I have nothing to add to the conversation anyway so why bother.

Whatever. It's not time to party and not caring has advantages because I don't care. Meantime, while I feel like doing something, I'll do some cleaning and decluttering. Depression ate my short-term memory so I'm somewhat aware that I for example bought things but I am not too sure what they were and where I dropped them so I'd better go through the random shopping bags. I may well vacuum the dead flies, too. And if things go well, I'll have a shower, too.