Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blocked

I hate when that happens.
And it has happened to me several times. Not only on the internet I guess. But recently there. It's so much easier, I guess.

My first reaction normally is to worry. Has something happened to them (losing my first ex-bf didn't leave me unscarred)? Or are they just busy? After some time, in case they don't show up somewhere else, I'll do some research. Probably I'll find they're healthy.
So then it dawns on me: they ignored me.
Followed by all the questions. Why? Did I say someting wrong? Am I too "depressed", to pessimistic? Did they just get bored of me? Do they think I fell in love (it difficult sometimes, liking guys as friends)? Did they fall for me (discarded very soon, not logical)?
And I'm hurt. I get more obsessed with them than I'd usually be. It's both annoying and unlogical, but true: rejection makes me obsessed.
I'll miss talking to them; for very different reasons for each. Then I wonder what to do. To me online friends are friends. In a way I know they don't share this feeling, they never do; but I do think of myself as their friend. So just give up? I always plan to, I think to myself "let them go". But I can't. I have to try to get contact. Most likely I'll try more than once. And hate myself for it. I'm probably annoying them. Probably I'm making everything worse. But I just can't let go that easily.
I'll wonder for a very long time. I'll still think of them for a long time. I'll watch them from afar. I'll worry if they're not well, rejoice when they're happy. And wish I could take part a little more in their life. Sometimes things happen in my life, and I just wish I could tell them, share those experiences.

And you never get a reason. Not really, never. There's only silence.
I wonder if I could have changed, if I knew. Could I have explained? Would I have been forgiven?
I wish I would know why.
But then: wouldn't it have hurt more? I imagine it would at least have put an end to the questions.

The truth is, most probably I did the same to others. Maybe I should be more aware; to not act like this.

Those experiences made me insecure with those who are left. I am afraid to make a mistake. Sometimes when I feel like I have said something wrong, I feel really bad about it. For days. Anxious that they'll leave me, too. My name on one more block list.

One of those took me back, unblocked me. I'm thankful to have found forgiveness at least once. I appreciate this friendship. Read more on this article...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The grass on the other side

Work is tough recently. I'm accumulating overtime for weeks, for months now. There is always too much to do, and a project that's already weeks too late.
I have trouble getting up in the morning. I lack motivation. I am just tired. I can see no end. After work I'm tired, can hardly think straight (writing this blog entry isn't easy - I hope you excuse some faults that may have crept in), often I'm even too exhausted to talk with my mum on the phone. My holiday at the end of August seems so long away. And even thinking of of my holiday gives me stress, because I have nothing organized or planned yet. Weekends aren't relaxing because I have to do the housework that piled up during the week. I feel like heading towards a breakdown.
In short: it's no fun anymore.

I wonder why it's me having such trouble. Is it only me? Am I working more than others? Do I need more time because I'm less effective/good? Is my work-life balance off because I have no life? Do I simply have less energy, and if so then why?
I thought maybe I could do more, be more determined and committed if I was doing something I want to do. Coding never was something I wanted to do. I am not a programmer.

We had this workshop this week, with the e-commerce departement. Two other people who have studied the same as me, computer science in media, are working in that departement. Every one of us explained what we are doing. And sometimes I thought "well, that sounds really interesting, I'd like to do that".
The e-commerce departement is still looking for an information architect/usability specialist. I already was interested in the job during the internal advertisement. Now I'm again thinking about applying. There are several pros and cons of course.
Do I have the time, energy and motivation to really manage a good application? What if they decline, wouldn't that be embarrassing, wouldn't it affect my working environment badly? I am interested in the subject matter and it's what I'd like to do, but I have neither expert knowledge nor experience in that field. I do know our webshops very well though, after all I helped launching one of them. I like the team I'm working in right now, and I'm afraid the working environment in the other departement isn't quite as nice (for example I heard taking days off on overtime is hardly possible). I'd have a bad conscious leaving my team because I know how hard it is to find the right people and how much work lies on too few people. And actually I didn't want to stay too long in this dislikable city where I have no friends. I wanted to go abroad as long as I am (somewhat) young and have no ties here. But I have a quite safe job, in a mid-sized company that's part of a huge international corporate group.

So I'm afraid, regardless of how tired and exhausted as I am, I'll have to make a career decision soon.
Stay in a job with nice colleagues in a nice team, but do something I never really wanted to do long-term, and risking too become too specialized by staying too long. Or move on. And if I'm moving on, where to? Stay in the same city, the same company while trying to move into a field of work that I hopefully feel more comfortable in. Or look for a job within the corporate group? Or maybe try to get something abroad.

And while these thoughts are surely important now and will affect my future life greatly: they just add to the all the stress.
I just hope I somehow find the energy and the will to make it through.



"Inside my heart is breaking, my make-up may be flaking, but my smile still stays on." Read more on this article...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I love her.

She comes in once a week. The time in which she rolls in on her wheelchair is never the same, but it’s always a Thursday. Her warm presence separates her from every other customer. She is always smiling. She is always full of life. And I admire her for that.

I know her shopping list like the back of my hand by now. I know she always buys two packs of milk, pastrami, bread of the week, dried fruit, a tv-guide and a couple oranges or apples. Sometimes she even likes to treat herself to a moist cake for 19,90 kronors. But only when she can get her hands on a newly baked one. “I settle only for the best” she says with a heart-warming smile. We exchange a couple frases and pleasantries every time. Sometimes we even chat for a minute or two if there’s no one else in line. I’ve come to look forward to those simple meetings. How she always lifts my spirit; how she does it with such ease.

And I love her. Read more on this article...

Friday, April 24, 2009

An unhealthy relationship

At home. I’m staring at the glowing computer screen in the darkness of my newly decorated room. Rocking back and forth on my chair, covered in cold sweat. Muttering “oh god” to myself.

A month ago I joined this Swedish auction site called Tradera. I joined purely out of boredom. I thought it would be a fun thing, checking out some interesting auctions, following bidding wars on exclusive items, see how much some fools would be willing to pay for an autographed baseball.

Now it has taken over my life. I’m abusing it. I’m bidding on things to the left and right. Mostly on useless things – things that would neither serve to entertain me nor be of any use to me. But that doesn’t matter; all that matters is the rush I get from placing the highest bid. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel rich! But then I get this icy chill down my spine and I think to myself: “What have I done?”. Overwhelming feelings of regret, emptiness and shame wash over me, much like post-masturbation.

I often find myself looking at my page and realising that I’ve the highest bid on several different items that I don’t really want. And I pray that some kind soul would overbid me before the auction ends. I try to distract myself by visiting other sites, but it’s all futile resistance. Soon I’m back again, bidding on yet another useless piece of crap, feeling disgusted by my lack of self-discipline.

This has turned into quite an unhealthy relationship, huh? Read more on this article...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good morning!

I lie in bed looking at the cracks in the ceiling. I follow them from corner to corner. Choke an impulse to shout at a dog barking outside. I glance to my left and let my eyes rest on your placid figure. I watch as the morning sun gently brushes your back. I turn my eyes to the cracks again. Get up and sit on the edge. I look at the naked wood floor and take my first step without any sound being made. I pick up my mountain of clothes from the floor and start sneaking out. Not a sound echoes in the bedroom. I know this floor; I know where it creaks and I know where it squeaks. I can beat it. I carefully take a few steps and look back at the still figure lying on the bed. I'm terrified. I am Robin Hood and she is prince John in her comfortable slumber. Take a few more steps and then it happens. My phone drops from the pocket of my jeans. I know I've lost. Prince John wakes up. "Cut it out", she clears her throat and shifts position. I quickly take a few more steps and just before I close the door I say: "Good morning!". Read more on this article...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March

So! March has been a great month in many ways to me. I find myself smiling a smile that reaches my ears when I think back on this month. Lots of good things have happened. New and exciting things. Things that I was too afraid to hope for before have become a reality. And I feel good! Better than I have felt in a long while. Things are finally going my way, for the most part; I'm riding the wave of success, if you will. But I try not to think about it too much, in fear of jinxing it.

First of, I got my drivers license after passing both the written and practical test in one go. Very impressive, I think. Most of the people I know who've got a drivers license didn't pass either of the tests on their first time. And I've had to smear this piece of information in their faces, subtly hinting that I am superior. Luckily my friends are blessed with such kind hearts that they let me do it without feeling the need to point out how long it actually took me to get my license.

I've also met a few new and interesting people. One whom I've really taken a liking to. Together we've done some funny and exciting things. We've been to a reggae festival here among a few other events. The atmosphere was great! About 300 people crowding a small park, all having fun in their own way. No fights broke out. No one seemed miserable. We also paid a visit to Fair Erotica, a fair trade for erotic products. It was very interesting. And arousing. We also saw a woman dressed like a horse, complete with all accessories and a man brushing her 'tail' with a brush for horses. It was a very odd but funny sight.

And I've got a job again. I am now a salesperson in the building department of a mall not more than two minutes from where I live. I like it as I don't work full time, but around 30-35 hours/week. Gives me a bit more time to spend as I wish whilst making a decent amount of money. The people that I work with are nice and patient. They don't get angry or scream when I make a mistake. The customers, on the other hand, sometimes do. But you learn to shrug it off. And if all else fails, the guard who works there is a kick-ass girl who told me she'd protect me if a threatening situation should arise. I feel safe. A little emasculated but safe nonetheless.

And I'm happy. Now I can't help but wonder what April will bring with it. Read more on this article...

Friday, February 27, 2009

The hunt

I’m not much for shopping. It’s not something that tickles me in the way that it seems to tickle most women. I don’t experience any sort of sexual pleasure from it. I know nothing of fashion and I quite prefer it that way. Only when it’s absolutely necessary – as in, when I haven’t bought any new clothes for, say, four years – will I even consider going on a shopping trip to town. But today was different. A female associate of mine somehow managed to pressure me into going to town with her to buy new clothes for me. Her reasoning was that I ‘look like a homeless person’. I don’t know about that. I’d like to think my look is avant-garde. Anyway.

Me and Malin are walking in town. She spots an interesting store, utters a short ‘o’-sound and scurries off inside with me walking five feet behind. Malin is walking around, carefully examinating each fabric by letting her soft hands glide over them, like general Maximus gently lets his hands stroke the high grass. I immediately scan my surroundings for the armchair. Where is the armchair? I find the armchair and park myself on it. Fiddle with my phone. Read old messages. Send a new one. Look at the floor. Look at the ceiling. Recite the 30 first numbers of pi over and over and over. Then suddenly Malin is standing before me, proudly showing off a dress she found in the deepest corner of the store and asks ‘What do you think?’. I really don’t know what I think of it. She has a, let’s say ‘interesting’ taste in clothing. I can’t quite decide if it’s high fashion or crap. It is beyond my understanding of fashion; something that just isn’t for me to grasp. ‘Yeah, it’s nice’ I answer. She runs off to the counter to pay for it and then we’re back on the streets.

Malin discovers yet another interesting store, utters a short ‘o’-sound and right there and then it begins anew. The hunt for the armchair. This process goes on to repeat itself five or six times before I decide to call it a day and start heading back home, with considerably less items purchased than Malin. Read more on this article...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meeting with Joakim

It's always interesting going to a meeting together with my friend Joakim, who is involved in a politically active group for teenagers in our community. There we are, 11 people in a room, trying to come up with good ideas. Someone's showing a PowerPoint presentation and the rest of us are sitting and nodding and scratching our chins. And Jocke is sitting and nodding and scratching too, but suddenly he gets an SMS. His phone goes 'beep-beep' and instantly he is lost. He dives on his phone, quick like a teenager he is, and then he sits there and smiles and shakes his head at something that I can only guess must be amusing, and he starts to answer it. He types on his phone with an incredible speed. Fingers flying over the buttons. Eyes glowing with such intensity. It's an impressive sight.

All the while the meeting is flowing forward, but Jocke isn't quite aware of it. He is lost for a moment. Then he presses 'send', smiles and shakes his head one last time and catches up with the meeting again. Nods and scratches his chin. Humms and comes with a sensible point. Until the next SMS arrives and he is yet again lost. Read more on this article...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Unexpected Recognition

Each evening after work I check my mails. I have quite a few different email addresses, for different purposes, but basically they all go to two accounts.
So today I’m about to check my “spam account”, but when I see their front page I stop dead. “Someone stole our idea!” is my first thought. But it doesn’t linger long because I realize that the photograph shown there is not an imitation, but indeed the one I took with some fellow students years ago.

The headline beside the picture says “Old masters in new splendour” and a small text says something about a project at a university. One click and I get to another page where the picture is shown bigger. No doubt – it’s ours. With me sitting there in the background.

The picture was made a few years ago. During studying I took a course in photography. We worked in teams of four, and the professor gave us several tasks. It was really mostly about learning the handicraft, not so much about artistic expression. We had to imitate pictures or scribbles he gave us, mostly. Some of it was more freestyle work. One of those was re-enacting a painting.
I can’t recall who had the idea, it wasn’t me because I’m not an art expert and I didn’t know that particular painting. Apparently the green party had already used a re-enactment of it on a poster once. Gabrielle d'EstrĂ©es et une de ses soeurs. It shows two naked women in a bath, with a servant in the background. Of course me and the other girl in the team did not mean at all to get undressed for it. The idea was to make the two guys do it. They weren’t particularly thrilled. One of them was a (nearly) nude model for the drawing lessons of the same professor, so at least for him it wasn’t about showing a naked breast, I guess. Of course the problem was that it might “look gay”, especially since he had to pinch the other guys nipple. But somehow we managed to convince them. The actual photo was taken by the other girl. We took the picture of me separately and photoshopped it in later.

Upon reading the actual article, it turns out that our professor has published a book with more re-enactments of old paintings. Probably he assigned this task to every course after ours (we were the first). Our picture is on the cover.

So… I’m on the cover of a book. Not bad, I guess.
Also, something I made (together with others) is published. Not bad either.
I admit I am only small in the background of the picture and also I only had a medium share in making it. But still.
And not only the book. The article was teasered on the front page of two of the major German freemail providers. I’m really glad it wasn’t me who showed their bare breast!

Of course I’ll have to buy the book, it’s not expensive, 10€.
I’ll also have to deal with the negative comments on it. There are already a few in the website. But it doesn’t bother me much. You can hardly see me, the picture is years old and it was never meant to be published. I never considered it as an attempt at art either. IT was just a fun thing to do for a good grade. Actually, I can’t remember the grade we got… Read more on this article...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Just Pray. Can You Do That For Me?

I've been a long time defender of the right to practice whatever religion one wants, supposing no one tries to impose his religion on me. I don't preach not to preach to the loyal followers of Jeziz and whatnot (mostly) but in return, I do expect the same courtesy. Of course, in this instance I can't really blame them. I walked straight into it.
 A few months ago I was talking to a Mormon acquaintance about his religion and it ended with an invitation to go with him to speak with a few missionaries from Utah (big surprise there.) I walked into a small, bare classroom, sat down with Ben (said acquaintance), and waited for the missionaries to arrive. Twenty minutes passed and they hadn't answered their cell phones after numerous calls, so Ben bent his head and prayed that they would arrive safe and not get into a car accident or be murdered or fall into a ditch or trip or fall or die. About five minutes passed and the missionaries arrived.
"Elders! I prayed you would arrive safely!"
"Ben! I thank God everyday for you! You've saved our lives, I'm sure!"
Uh, what? This exchange was enough to imprint a clearly confused look upon my face. Regardless, I sat down and we began our talk.
"Katharine, would you like to open the discussion? You must start and end with a prayer, and if you feel particularly close to God during it you must pray then, too. Begin with 'oh heavenly father' and close with 'in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.'" Of course, being raised by atheist parents has left me with little knowledge as far as prayers go, so I asked if I could pass.
"No. Thank the Lord for all He has given you. He's given you life, he's given you a wonderful friend who cares enough about you to give you this opportunity to be with us and learn about everything you don't know, being raised by atheist parents, God bless them. Just pray; can you do that for me?"
I said my prayer. Thank you for this or that or whatever nonsense they told me to say.
We then continued with our discussion about various subjects. The only real memorable phrase that comes to mind is at one point one of the Elders mentioned that on some days he just sits at home and reads the Book of Mormon all day and it gives him this warm, indescribable feeling. I asked if it was like an orgasm. He never answered.
Eventually though, we came to the following conclusions:
1) God does not hate homosexuals. These are good people, they are just tempted by the devil to do evil deeds and therefore need to be saved in order to get a place beyond the pearly gates.
2) The point of life is to learn so one can become perfect in the afterlife and be prepared to serve God unconditionally.
3) One will only be admitted to Heaven if he follows the Mormon religion. It is not acceptable to simply try to be a good person; if a person ignores the prophets, even though they cannot give substantial proof of being sent from God aside from a mark on his record of being in an asylum, he will go to Hell.
Then they made the mistake of bringing up sex.
At that point, I'd had enough of this. I simply said, "Well see, I'm not against premarital sex. I've even had an abortion this year, but hey, at least I took the proper precautions, right? I mean, I hate kids and killing off one or two isn't so bad, is it?" At this point, I received such a look of immense disgust that I had to leave before my skin started to sizzle or something of that nature. "Well I've got to go, thanks a bundle!" I swear I felt a flame beneath my feet as I walked out of those doors.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Read more on this article...

Friday, January 9, 2009

My morning.

I wake up at 4:50am. I get up and sit on the edge of my bed. Contemplate about nothing at all. Getting ready to face the day. I rise, cold parquet floor, creeking with each step I take and soon I’ve found my way to the bathroom. I shower in a stream of water much too hot for me. When I am done with myself I am completely drained. I stumble out of the shower with less energy than when I entered. I have to sit down, have to drink water. I park myself on the toilet cover and help myself to a glass of cold water. Regain myself for a few minutes. I say “Dear God” to myself, my body is dripping. I think about getting up for a while before I actually do so. Gather some energy and put my clothes on. I shouldn’t have showered in water that hot.

Deodorant under my arms, a quick spray of perfume and I head to the kitchen. The fridge sounds like a distant fishing boat. I loot the fridge of all the yoghurt I can find and down it all in 4 minutes and 20 seconds, give or take. I impress myself. A quick glance at the clock. I panic. I rush to put on the remaining pieces of clothing on me, open the front door and off I run, not bothering to lock it. I am very close to missing my bus but as luck would have it, the driver manages to see me running and doesn’t take off without me. I inform him that I am very grateful. He offers me a smile.

I arrive at work 06:05am. Good morning!

Read more on this article...