zimena: Cross-country skier Johannes Høsflot Klæbo looking even more gorgeous than usual. (Default)
Okay, so this is mainly for [personal profile] gobtastic, because I've been bombarding her with info about this stuff elsewhere. However, if you care about my skiing fangirling, you might be interested as well. So... ready.... GO!

Remember how I said that the conditions during the last race of Toppidrettsveka were absolutely horrible and crazy? I found a couple of pics that show it pretty well. One was swiped from Emil Iversen on IG, the other one from a Finnish photographer who also posted a nice Johannes pic afterwards. You can't really see people clearly in these, but you can see the crazy conditions:

Remember the rollerski expert who was 2nd behind Johannes in Friday's sprint? He withdrew from this race, because he found the conditions unsafe and he didn't want to risk any accident or injury.

That says a lot, to be honest. He's a specialist on roller skis. In fact, I hardly ever see him compete in the regular season, because his main focus is this. And he withdraws because this was madness.

One bonus photo of the lovely guy who managed to hold on to his second place, despite both having a tough day on the track and having to deal with tough conditions:

Even though it's a competition photo, I love how he looks here. So fierce and with that intense look in his eyes, plus as you said, you can really see how strong his arms are. I know you can't see his hands properly here, but strong arms also means strong hands, which I love. In fact, I know I have seen a close-up pic of his hand somewhere, but I can't seem to find it now. Not to take attention away from this loveliness though...

I'm just so happy that I got to watch him compete at this event - and of course that I saw him both win a sprint and fight so fiercely for this second spot overall. He's impressive. Really!

Language mess

Friday, August 18th, 2017 11:15
zimena: (Scenery - Pink beach)
Sometimes my own brain makes me wonder.

Apparently, fic and fanstuff is very much tied to the English language in my brain. In fact, I have never even tried to write fic in my native language. I'm now working on building an archive of all my fics, with proper comments about every piece.

What do you think happens with that? The comments come out in a mixture of Norwegian and English. Long comments or personal talk about the writing process are in Norwegian, of course, but suddenly I notice sentences like "Sequel to some-other-fic" or "Exchange with this-or-that-person."

Exchange? Sequel? Yeah, right... these are not Norwegian words, brain - why do you just fill them in automatically?

Sometimes there are also full sentences in English, without any reasonable explanation apart from "it's what I wanted to include in my notes about that fic, at that moment."

Now that I think of it, I do the same with names of picture files that I save to the computer. Some get named in Norwegian, others in English. My pic folder would probably be hilarious to look at as an outsider...

Daily notes

Thursday, August 17th, 2017 14:36
zimena: Czech rock star Ladislav Křížek looking perfect. Photo from around 1991. (Music - Křížek perfection)
I need a new haircut. After the little disaster that was my previous visit to the hairdresser's, I feel like doing something new to my hair this time. I've been looking at various hairstyles online... and yes, I know that's a silly thing to do, because things that look good on pictures of other people might not necessarily look good on me. I'm considering a style kind of like this, though. I also want to dye the top part (rather than the whole hair), but I haven't decided on the colour yet. I guess either dye it red or bleach it blond, though.

Let's see what will happen. First of all, I need to poke my nose out of the door - which I didn't do so far today, so meh.

I've also changed back to a smaller keyboard and a trackpad instead of my regular mouse and keyboard combination. Honestly, I prefer the bigger keyboard (with proper arrow keys, not arrow keys squeezed together in a corner, sort of), but my regular mouse has been "cheating" for so long that I got tired of it. Cheating as in randomly interpreting single clicks as double clicks and being unwilling to make the drag and drop motion. Like, if you try to drag something across the screen, it's likely to just get dropped three times on the journey.... or also, it just refuses to get picked up in the first place. Oh, and forget doing things like autofilling whole columns in spreadsheet programs, because if you try to highlight a couple of cells and then try to drag to autofill that info to nearby cells, the highlighting is lost before you've autofilled two cells.

I'm tired of this, so trackpad it is... for a while, at least.

What else? Yes, I've made two new icons today. One is on this post - some of you might recognize my favourite singer, actually. If not, he's Czech, and his name is Ladislav Křížek. This pic is from 1991 or thereabouts, so he doesn't look ANYTHING like this anymore (he still sings, though - and he still does so fabulously well!) Anyway, a girl can dream, right? Even though my mind knows that this is years and years ago, I still always think of him like this.

I might be weird, but eh.

Laminator woes

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 14:48
zimena: Beautiful sundown (Scenery - Sundown)
It seems I managed to kill off my trusty old laminator. I've been printing out the competition schedules for the Athletics World Championship every day this week. Last night, when I had finished laminating the last few sheets, so that I now have the whole schedule until the competitions finish on Sunday, I was just going to look for a suitable piece of paper to pull through the laminator to remove excess glue.

I was going to go to bed afterwards, so I might have been a bit tired. Not making excuses here, but that's the truth.

Then... while I wasn't paying attention... the laminator had somehow grabbed the bookmark I had on my desk - a nice one, with a "nice" pom-pom-like-thingy on one end. I tried to pull the bookmark from its grasp, of course, but it insisted on trying to pull it through the machine. That isn't a very smart move with a thing that has a pom-pom on one end. Needless to say, the bookmark came out as normal on the other side, but the pom-pom got stuck in the machine. I've been trying all sorts of things to get it out, but I'm having no luck. What's more, the machine now refuses to heat up as normal, and it also doesn't grab regular paper if you try to pull a sheet through. I was hoping that it would at least do that, and then perhaps some part of the pom-pom would come out with the paper, so that I could grab it with a suitable tool and pull out the rest.

No such luck. And I still don't quite understand how it managed to eat the bookmark to begin with... I know I was tired, but that tired...?
zimena: Tux, the Linux mascot. (Misc - Tux on Ubuntu background)
So, I have a working dual-boot system now, with macOS and Ubuntu 16.04.

This time, installing Ubuntu was significantly more challenging than when I did it last time around... or rather, installing was okay enough, but once I booted into Ubuntu for the first time, it would simply take over the whole boot process. So, no rEFInd, no macOS, just Ubuntu - directly, and without any sort of boot manager in sight.

Okay, I fixed that via Recovery mode, where I could set my usual disk as the start-up disk. That worked fine, so I could just reinstall rEFInd (again, yes!) and now there is a proper boot manager which lets me pick which OS I prefer to boot into at startup.

...and that was only what happened before I had set up anything.

I have had Ubuntu up and running for a couple of hours now, so let's see what I've noticed so far:

  • Installing things is not just about picking what you want from the Software Center. Half of the time you need to add repositories and download your apps via the command line instead. I quite like doing things via the command line... if I understand what I'm doing and which parts of a command does what. Here, though? I've already had a few instances of having to copy commands from the net, because they're long and I can't fully decipher what they do.

  • In a similar vein to the above - Opera web browser actually claims to have an installer that should work with the Ubuntu software center. You download the installer, open it, it opens the software center with an install button, but once you click on that one, nothing much happens. It seems to attempt to start installing, but it just aborts after a second. I am typing this from Opera, though... because I installed it problem-free via the command line, heh.

  • I have also installed Gimp. Learning to use that has been on my list of things to do since forever, but whenever I've looked at it in the past, it has always done my head in. I suppose part of the problem is that I know how to do what I'm trying to do in Photoshop, and when things don't work the same way in Gimp, I get frustrated and return to the more familiar environment. Let's give it another chance, hm?

  • There's a slight difference between the macOS keyboard layout and the more Windows-like one that Ubuntu seems to use. Even if I selected the Mac keyboard option, some things are just not where I would expect. Especially the apostrophe (') sign had simply disappeared from Ubuntu's understanding of a Norwegian Mac keyboard layout, so for now I'm using the standard layout instead.

  • Generally speaking, I'm liking the colours and menus I'm seeing around me here. The menu font also seems to be beautiful and nicely readable. I believe it's called Ubuntu as well, and I had that font package installed even in macOS for a long time, because I quite like it. I don't like the default font in things like gedit, though - or in this online text area, for that matter. I can't quite point my finger at what's wrong with it, though, because it's definitely easily readable.

    More impressions later. These are just the first thoughts.
  • zimena: Tux, the Linux mascot. (Misc - Tux on Ubuntu background)
    So, I have decided to install Ubuntu again. Yes, mainly for learning purposes, and for playing around... and maybe also because I admit to being fascinated with how things can look over there. For now my idea is to use it as my main OS for some time after installing it, though, so that I can get a proper feeling for it.

    I have started making some preparations already, such as having already installed rEFInd (had that from before, including a config file with my adjustments... only, macOS doesn't like it much, so it tends to make rEFInd stop working after a time - I'm guessing probably after major system updates). Also, Apple's so-called System Integrity Protection is supposed to make installing things like rEFInd more difficult, but disabling that requires just one boot to recovery mode, and one terminal command, and voilà, rEFInd works again.

    I will have a lot of online time on Tuesday and Wednesday, as mom will be travelling to Sweden with her friend, so I suppose setting up Ubuntu properly could be a fun thing to do on Tuesday morning (or rather, afternoon, as I will definitely sleep in!). After that, I will have a lot of time to play around and get used to things.
    zimena: A cup with a hot drink inside. A heart drawn into the liquid, and the text "Coffee, love?" diagonally across the pic. (Misc - Coffee)
    I'm having one of those days where nothing gets done, and I don't feel like getting started on absolutely anything. I have a few things to do - grocery shopping, try to hang the outdoor carpet on our veranda over the edge/railing (?) of the veranda, so that it can dry after the recent heavy rainfall, try to make a list of tasks and then call someone about getting the front of the house painted...

    ... the latter task is not even my task that much. Mom is probably going to make the call once we have that stupid little list ready.

    The shopping and the carpet, though? Wouldn't take me too long, either, but I just have absolutely zero energy to do it.

    I'm not even doing useful things on the computer today. I'm practically just clicking around mindlessly, reading messages that I have already seen, playing brain-dead games that do not even make me think, or just generally sit around feeling annoyed at myself for being plain and uninteresting and boring, even online.

    Not saying this to fish for compliments and make you tell me that I'm not... just saying it because that's how I feel right now.

    Also, I'm - for the n'th time - considering installing Ubuntu alongside macOS. I had a dual-boot system a few times before, but I never truly found a good use for Linux as long as I still also love macOS and have a good system for everything on here. I can't help it; I'm fascinated with how Ubuntu looks, and I want to try out some interesting and unique window managers. Ratpoison seems especially cool - yes, to me it would be fun to learn something like that. Would also be fun to use if I'm going to show someone something on the computer, and then the system would have no menu line or other obvious way of opening applications. I'm trying to imagine the "huh?" look on the other person's face :)

    ... but of course, if I'm going to get there, I have to learn this myself first. And I guess installing Ubuntu purely as a learning environment (and, let's face it, also for the learning experience of getting it installed alongside OS X, even though I have done that before) would be a lot of work for a not-so-obvious reward? Because... what am I actually going to do with it, once I have it up and running?
    zimena: Asian-style artistic waterfall (Scenery - Waterfall)
    I've been voting for songs in a German music competition during the last few days. This is something I've been participating in every year for several years now. The basic idea is that everyone sends in a song that they like, then the participating songs are split into groups of 20, and then each participant votes for two groups of songs. In a few months, the results will be tallied, and the songs with the most votes will go through to a final round, where everyone votes again - but then of course for the songs in the final. The contest is a long project; something that runs for most of the year, actually. It's also a lot of fun, and a nice way to discover songs I would never know about otherwise.

    One such discovery is this song from 1993. The band Speelwark and their song "Die Wundergeige" got very high scores from me:

    What do you think?
    zimena: A stack of books (Misc - Books)
    It's always nice to hear kind words about your own fic, so the fic positivity meme sounded like fun. Here is my thread.

    Tell me something nice...?

    Fandom rant

    Saturday, July 29th, 2017 17:02
    zimena: A stack of books (Misc - Books)
    People who have more than one or two fandoms... how do you do it? I've been thinking of taking part in an exchange over at AO3, but now that the sign-up period is open, I don't think I can even sign-up? For some reason the exchanges I've seen over there so far all have it in their rules that you need to request and/or offer to work with a variety of different fandoms - typically three or four different ones.

    THREE fandoms, that I'm supposed to be willing to request or write for? Or worse, FOUR? That sounds like a joke to me. Typically, I'm only truly invested in like one fandom at a time. If I include past favourites and random ideas that might have entered my mind at some point even if they were never that important, I might be able to make requests from a couple of other fandoms as well... but I only truly want my main fandom of interest anyway.

    Actually WRITING for other fandoms, though? I mean: WHAT? Writing, for me, is largely an emotional process. At the very least, I need to have my own feelings around the people/characters I'm writing, and I can't imagine having that kind of connection to things in three, four, five or ten different fandoms. Maybe that's what I get for caring mainly about RPS fandoms, though, I don't know... But it's hard for me to understand how it's possible to care about a whole bunch of different things to the extent that you would want to write fic about it.

    I also see that I'm probably not going to get anything I truly want if it's a multifandom exchange, simply because the nominations consist of 98% things I don't know a thing about, so to me it doesn't seem likely that most people there will be familiar with or willing to work with my stuff either.

    I guess my years in football fandom spoiled me - at least there everything was from the same fandom, so I didn't feel strange for wanting RPS. Perhaps my weird likings weren't the easiest to match in exchanges then either, but at least I got a fair amount of exchange fics there - and some truly beautiful ones, even!

    I don't mean to complain, though. Of course I get that people must be allowed to enjoy things they like in the way that suits them, just like I do with stuff I like... but it's still strange to see how my way of thinking and feeling around this seems to be wildly different compared to the mindset that seems to be the required and done thing in multifandom exchanges.

    Oh, well... back to thinking of my next fic, then. I keep thinking of a certain very insipring videoclip, so I might try to write a fic based on that some day soon. Should be fun... except writing is hard work, so I didn't get started yet.


    Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 16:13
    zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
    I'm back after one week in beautiful Harrachov, Czech Republic!

    Czech phone call

    Thursday, July 20th, 2017 02:39
    zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
    Today I had to make a phone call in Czech. Not an easy thing to do, as my Czech is nowhere near as good as I wish it were. Believe me, I tried to speak English first, then German. None of that worked very well, so I had to try in Czech.

    And... it worked. At least in the sense that communication worked. I understood nearly everything, and the lady at the other end was super-pleased and helpful and wonderful.

    Okay, I know I made some grammatical blunders that I'm aware of by now, and probably others that I just didn't notice. But the point is that this kind of worked, even on the phone. HAH!

    In retrospect, it was fun, too. I need to work on this language more seriously, though. I haven't been doing that for years, sadly.
    zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
    Can July be over soon? Or rather, can the national holiday period be over soon, so that it will be possible to do things without planning them an eternity ahead again?

    I'm trying to plan a Sweden trip for my mom and her friend. Technically it is possible to travel there and back in a day, even from here, but it can be stressful and it's definitely better to stay one night in a hotel there. But - surprise, surprise - everything is full (or overly expensive) until at least the 6th of August.

    Ehm, they wanted to travel now or soon, not in August. For now I'm having no luck finding them a place to stay, though. There is one possibility left, but that hotel is not answering their emails, and I kind of don't feel like calling them on the phone... because, seriously, what kind of place doesn't answer its email in 2017, anyway?

    I just get a little bit frustrated with the holiday season, sometimes - especially if it affects my plans or wishes in a negative way.

    Maybe it's not a good reason to whine, though. At least I had a nice enough day otherwise. I've been to Lillesand (=the neighbouring town) today, so at least I did something slightly out of the ordinary. Had dinner at the roadside café there, too, so that was also nice. Now I'm a bit tired, though - also because it's rather hot (+30 degrees) today.

    Coffee time, now. And maybe watching Tour de France for a bit.

    Driving note

    Sunday, July 9th, 2017 10:58
    zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
    How do you get comfortable with driving, anyway?

    I've been working on it for months now, and I still feel shit at it. What's more, I promised to go for at least a short drive today, and I'm dreading it to the point that I feel sick. I'm literally in pieces inside.

    ...about something I technically know how to do?! Really?!

    Meme time

    Saturday, July 8th, 2017 17:59
    zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
    Swiped from [personal profile] hollymath, because it looked like fun:

    Are you named after someone? I have two middle names, after my grandmother and my aunt. I don't think I'm named after someone when it comes to the name I actually use, though.

    When was the last time you cried? I don't even remember.

    Do you like your handwriting? If I take the time to write neatly, then maybe I like it a little bit. I rarely write like that, though, because it's just too time-consuming.

    More under the cut )

    Bits and bobs

    Friday, July 7th, 2017 13:18
    zimena: (Misc - Meow!)
    1. I went to Denmark for the day yesterday. Nice trip - perhaps the nicest Denmark-daytrip in a while. The past few such trips have been so exhausting, and I've practically felt like I needed extra sleep for a week afterwards, but yesterday it was quite okay. I wasn't even that tired during the day, except for being tired early in the morning - which I usually am, so that's normal enough.

    2. I have a new handbag! It's quite small, but still with two main compartments, plus two small pockets. It also has a clip-on shoulder strap. This is one of my main requirements for a handbag, because it means that I can also wear it around my waist, as it will clip easily on and off as needed.. My plan is to use this as my main everyday handbag - as in, that thing I need for carrying money, keys, phone and perhaps some other small items when I go out to do random stuff. I have a couple of bigger handbags that I also like, but they're less practical for everyday use, really.

    3. My desk needs tidying. I have all sorts of papers and magazines and random junk lying about right now, but I'm not sure I feel like sorting through it all today. Might have to, though. Soon.

    4. There are lots of news and pics about Johannes, even though it's summer and he's been missing a couple of training camps due to illness. I want to make a picspam/fanpost about everything, though, so I won't ramble that much here. I don't know when I can do that, though - it feels like I'm online much less than I would prefer these days. I don't always know why that happens, though.

    5. Also, related to the point above: Ola Klæbo liked a couple of my comments on IG, and even replied to me once, a few days ago! I'm probably more excited about this than I should be. It's just very nice and cool, okay?

    6. I started a large-ish project to sort through all my digital photos. Back in the old iPhoto days, I had some kind of system where I would sort photos by event/category every time I imported new ones, but when iPhoto became Photos, I sort of hated it and therefore fell out of the habit of keeping things organized. Time to make a proper try now. Also, I used to save only own photos in this/these apps, but with the amount of screencaps and pic saves I make from the mobile phone nowadays, I guess it makes sense to make some categories for these as well.

    7. Yes, I caved in: There is now a "personal:fangirling" tag. Next project: add old posts that belong there to it. I have a feeling that it's going to be a huge job.

    I have a feeling that there were more things on my mind when I started writing this post, but it has escaped me by now. Therefore, I'll stop here. Have a nice evening, okay?

    TdF note

    Wednesday, July 5th, 2017 09:07
    zimena: (Text - Sometimes it hurts to be in love)
    I know what he did was not pretty, but there is no way Peter Sagan elbowed Mark Cavendish on purpose. I can understand placing him last on the stage as punishment, but expelling him from the rest of the Tour de France this year...?! That's far too harsh!

    We're only at stage 4, and the Tour has already lost some of the biggest names. Valverde on the first stage, Cavendish with this crash... and Sagan, due to this exaggerated punishment?!

    Seriously, Tour judges: Kicking out the biggest star and main attraction of the race because of a mistake that happened in a chaotic sprint? Really?

    As the kind of Sagan-fan I am, I'm heartbroken.

    There's an appeal going, though. Not that I think it's going to make a difference, but I'm clinging to that little hope for now.

    EDIT: Appeal declined. This is very sad. I can't believe they're going through with this stupidity. It's unfair, there's no other word for it.
    zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
    I'm back from Portugal!

    In fact, I got home Saturday evening, but this is the first time I'm on a computer since before leaving. There is so much to tell from this trip, but it's probably easier to split it by category instead of trying to write a long and coherent post. This might be rather long anyway, though.

    Are you ready? Do you have coffee/tea/something else to make your reading experience nicer? Good, then let's go:

    Flights: This was only the 4th flight in my adult life (of course not counting multiple flights during the same trip separately). As I'm not used to travelling this way, I find it (mostly) exciting. I'm not sure it's that fun to sit in a narrow seat with limited space for my legs and even more limited space to the person in the next seat for 4 hours, though. Seriously, the plane to and from Lisbon was so cramped. I had another flight to get home from Oslo yesterday as well, and that plane was slightly more spacious. I mean, shouldn't that have been the other way around, considering the fact that the flight to Lisbon is much longer?

    Hotel: We stayed in an absolutely awesome hotel in Lisbon. Almost everything was perfect there. Our room was nice and spacious, the beds were comfortable, we got free bottles of drinking water every day (very nice when you get home late, as we usually did). Also, they gave us four pieces of hand-made chocolate daily. On the day we arrived, they brought that to our room quite soon after arrival, while on the other days we found a plate with chocolate in the room when we got home. Did I mention yet that this chocolate was absolutely delicious? Well, it was. Especially the white kind.

    What else? Yes, the hotel had a pool in the basement, as well as a slightly smaller (outdoor) pool on the roof. We tried both, but the coolest experience was definitely when we went swimming in the rooftop pool at 11:30pm once. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to stay there for long, because you weren't supposed to swim there after 8pm - only, there was no info about this anywhere. The woman from the staff who came to ask us to leave was very nice about it, though - she even gave us some extra soft towels because we were apparently not supposed to use the ones from our room that we had brought there (supposedly due to the high amount of chemicals they would put in the water for the evening/night-time cleaning process). Even though that was a short and kinda illegal swim, it was awesome, and much cooler than swimming in the same pool in the daytime would have been.

    City: First of all, Lisbon is NOT an ideal city if you are a wheelchair user or if you otherwise cannot walk perfectly. It's very hilly, and those hills are mostly very steep. That, coupled with streets covered in mini-cobblestones made of some slippery, glass-like material, makes for a big challenge. Our hotel was located at the top of a hill, and we actually had to take a bus just to get down from there in a reasonably comfortable way - because strangely enough, the two nearby metro stations were also located at the bottom of the hill.

    Other than that, what I saw of the city was very beautiful, though. My favourite spot was probably the Parque das Nações - a huge park with a long promenade along the river Tejo. This is also the location of the MEO Arena - which could possibly host next year's Eurovision Song Contest. Apparently, this whole area was made for Expo '98, and it was cool how there were also flag poles with flags and info about every country in the world.

    Another place I liked was the Praça do Comércio square. It reminded me a little bit on Prague's Staroměstské Náměstí. We also saw the only rain during our trip while we were here - it started raining enough that every restaturant around frantically moved all sorts of stuff indoors. By the time they were done with that, the sun came back out. HEH.

    ... and that brings me to:

    Weather: We had perfect weather all week. Perfect as in about 22-25 degrees and slightly cloudy much of the time. There was a slight breeze most of the time, too - apart from one evening when it got very windy and almost chilly (maybe mostly because I was just wearing a thin singlet-like shirt that had been enough all day, though). Strangely, I know that there was a heatwave with temperatures up to 40-45 degrees the week before we were there, and there's a forecast of up to 50 degrees for next week, so that makes the weather we had even more perfect.

    Metro: I'm madly fascinated with metro/subway systems. There is of course no such thing in my town, so perhaps that explains why I find it so cool. Lisbon's system was very cool when it was working, but also badly marked and with limited info available when something was out of the ordinary. For example, lifts to get into the metro were often located in strange places far away from the stairs to the same station. I mean two streets or so away, for example. Also, half of those lifts were either out of service or only available to one line and not the other at the points where you were supposed to switch between lines. Luckily, I can walk at least a bit, and the stairs were often quite good, so with some workarounds metro travels worked kind of okay.

    Seriously, though, Lisbon metro people, I know you were super-helpful and friendly and everything, but one thing: MAPS! How about putting a map near the stairs, showing where lifts and other stairs to the same station are? That would have been extremely helpful.

    That reminds me:

    Maps, signs and tourism: Getting around Lisbon on foot if you don't know the city can be somewhat difficult, because the signs with street names are either too small to read from a distance or simply not there at all. Especially near the hotel, lots of streets were simply unmarked. Also, the city does not seem to have much of that typical "tourist-y" stuff that other big cities do. I did not see a single souvenir shop, for example. (I'm sad about this, as I would have wanted at least something that said Lisbon or Portugal on it).

    I don't mean to complain, though, because I had an absolutely amazing time. Very much thanks to:

    People: I'm impressed by Portuguese people, really. They're so friendly and helpful, and I'm amazed at how they seem to genuinely care about you even if you are a total stranger. For example, sometimes we we were just standing around for a while because we got confused about where we were or where to go. My experience was that if we did that for more than a few moments, someone would stop on their own accord and ask if we needed help, or simply just try to resolve the issue if it was obvious what was up.

    For example, we had some trouble at a metro station because 1) there was no lift even though there was supposed to be one, and 2) the ticket barrier refused to work, even though we had valid tickets, and 3) there was no station assistant to be found anywhere.

    Well, a random Portuguese woman just stopped and tried to help out. She was very sorry that the info about the lift was incorrect, and that we were having problems. She also called the station assistant and waited for him to resolve at least the ticket barrier issue. Then she proceeded to tell him off for our problems, for not having info in any languages other than Portuguese and for a number of other things that I didn't understand clearly. The point is that she took the time to stay with us and make sure we were okay, even though we had never seen her in our life until then. We were total strangers to her, and she still got so emotionally involved in this whole situation.

    What's more - she wasn't one of a kind. People everywhere were just so friendly and caring and helpful. I don't think I have ever seen this general attitude in other countries, so it was amazing to see.

    I don't know if I feel like going back to Lisbon in the future, though. I had a fantastic time there, stayed in a wonderful hotel, and I'm very happy with having been there. However, the city is more than a little impractical from my point of view, and I would rather visit a new place next time I'm going to travel by plane; not go back to one I have already visited once.

    PS: I posted some photos from the trip on my Instagram account.

    Let's try this

    Monday, June 19th, 2017 14:45
    zimena: A cup with a hot drink inside. A heart drawn into the liquid, and the text "Coffee, love?" diagonally across the pic. (Misc - Coffee)
    I'm feeling lonely and somewhat bored today, so let's try this:

    Is there anything you would like to know about me? Anything that you're curious about, or just something random that you'd like to ask?

    Now is your chance. Ask me anything, and I'll try to answer in the best possible way.

    zimena: Beautiful, somewhat scary woman. (Misc - Mystery Ana)
    I had The Big Cleaning And Tidying Day today. My bedroom has been in need of cleaning and tidying for some time now, but somehow I kept postponing it. Today I not only cleaned everything, but I also cleared my desk and some other random stuff that has been lying around since forever.

    ...of course you might argue that I only cleared the desk because I need space to properly see what I'm gonna pack for the Portugal trip when the time comes, but let's not talk about that. Instead, let me enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after getting this done after postponing it a number of times before.

    On a different note, I got a new haircut the other day. It looked okay when I was at the hairdresser's, and it still feels good to have short hair again (as opposed to the unruly mess I had before the haircut. Even my hairbrush wouldn't comb through it, and I had to comb it in two layers, kinda). There is, however, one comment from the hairdresser that is starting to bother me now - even though I didn't react to it that much when I was actually there.

    Let's just say I've had the same general short hairstyle for years. I usually just comb all my hair backwards, and when it's newly cut, it should be short enough to stand upwards a little bit - but there should still be enough hair left that it can fall generally in a backwards direction. So, not so short that there are just a few centimetres of hair left, but also not so long that it falls out of shape - it'll do that after a couple of weeks, though.

    Usually this explanation gets me what I want, even though I hate explaining which haircut I want. I'm always afraid that I'll get something totally different... and this time that was exactly what happened. When the hairdresser was done, my hair was kind of generally in a "round" shape. I pointed out the problem of that to her, and she kinda fixed it a little bit, but even now you can still see that basic shape. When I tried to point out this to her, she said this: "I can't really cut more than I did now. And I tried to make a nice and feminine-looking shape."


    Okay, angry outburst aside, this makes me more furious the more I think of it. While it is true that she couldn't really cut much more hair, she could have simply asked if she had any doubts about what I said. I have no desire to do things that would make me fit some random person's standard of femininity. In fact, I have no desire to look feminine at all - and if I do it's either by coincidence or by annoying facts of life.

    I mean, I tried to show her what I usually do to my hair, so I don't understand why she couldn't just do what I asked. It's not like I could have stopped her earlier either, because when you're sitting there getting your hair cut, the hairdresser puts all sorts of pins and things in it, and you can't really tell what she's doing until it's done. Even then, I need to touch it and wash it myself before I'm completely sure what the new cut is like.

    Somehow, her comment about femininity bothers me more and more. When she said it, I just wanted to get out of there and be done with the whole thing, so I tried to not take it to heart too much. Now that I've had time to think of it, I can't stop thinking of how rude and hurtful and infuriating it was.

    I kind of want my hair to grow out again as soon as possible, so that I can go and get my usual cut again soon. Perhaps the current cut isn't "ugly" either, but it's not me and not what I asked for and the shape just bothers me a lot because of everything I said above.

    August 2017

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