A Square Week

A Square Week

My week wasn’t particularly square. Neither was it round though. I’m just running out of ideas what to call my posts in the challenge which consists of snapping and Instagraming a photo a day and throwing a week’s worth bunch together over on the blog. What would you call it? The lazy challenge? The recycle challenge? The zerofucksgiven challenge?

Here you go. I challenge you to scroll down. Not in one mighty scroll, preferably. You know, I did put some minimum effort into making captions for the pictures. I challenge you to read them. Or not to read them. Whichever you find more challenging. Or less challenging. Wait. I know what to call my challenge. The challenged challenge.

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2 April: My windows are so filthy that the cat has difficulty looking out through them. That’s the only thing that may coerce me to clean the windows. Maybe. 
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3 April: Feel free to appreciate my cute yoga pants and fancy yoga mat. I also recommend to your attention the commendable fact that I painted my toe nails and shaved my big toes. 
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4 April: This is just to deliver a bullet-proof proof that I also painted my finger nails. And that on this day, as on any day, I had coffee. 
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5 April: There were blue holes in the late evening sky. Ozone holes visible? The photo turned out more like darkness visible. 
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6 April: I have tiles. They are ugly. There are shadows on them. That’s about it.
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7 April: I put my as lovely as beloved winter coat (rightmost) to sleep for the upcoming summer. I was surprised to discover I have multiple options of spring coats: blue and yellow (middle and left). How did that happen? What on earth possessed me to buy two versions of one thing and so expose myself to decision paralysis? 
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8 April: I read. That’s apparently what people do. Hence, I’m people. Though I have my doubts.

 

My Week in Instagram Pictures

My Week in Instagram Pictures

Last week has been uneventful, much as my entire life. Thanks the universe for that. I hate everything but eventfulness especially. I have captured each non-event of each uneventful day in one non-picture.

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5 Feb: My cactus colony is dying on me. It’s a minor miracle that I’m managing to keep the cat, a life form superior to plants, alive. 
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6 Feb: I went out. To get smokes. It was very exciting because there are new pictures on cigarette packets! This ad for clogged arteries is particularly attractive. The imagery is supposed to discourage me from smoking, but sadly, I enjoy the art, so not happening.
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7 Feb: When you think the bloody winter is about to be over and the snow thinks otherwise. 
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8 Feb: That’s my balcony chair. Clearly, I never clean it. I converted it into an art installation.
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9 Feb: The day when a radiator burst and flooded the building. This was taken when I was pressurising the boiler, unaware that it’s sending all the water down into the cellar, creating an impromptu swimming opportunity.
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10 Feb: Freezing as per usual. No amount of thermal wear helps. Please notice, however, that my fleece shirt is colour-coordinated with my knitted socks. And my nails are colour-coordinated with my outdoor thermal pants. Which I wear indoors. 
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11 Feb: I did my nails! What an event! And I did them wonderfully. I love the jaundiced yellow, the bloody red and the deathly black. 
More Instagram Crap

More Instagram Crap

I do crap. Because I can. I mean, because I can’t. Can’t do better, that is. Since you appear not to hate my Instagram-to-WordPress reposts enough, you have condemned yourselves to another week’s worth of instant snaps. One day, one snap. Each snap is crap with an even crappier story to go with it. Here’s proof.

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29 Jan: I went on an adventure. To Tesco. I met this lost and lonely hairpin, symbolical of my dead and discarded dreams and hopes, and it was so moving. So moving that I snapped this and moved on. 
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30 Jan: There was an actual sunset, which means that there was an actual sun out during the day. Whew. It gave me a fright. I already forgot what sun was and mistook it for fire.
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31 Jan: You wouldn’t fucking believe it. I know I didn’t. A month later, I actually unpacked my new yoga mat and started using it. Once I hopped on it, I started to hate myself for having waited so long to break it in. It’s all kinds of awesome. 
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1 Feb: Today, nothing happened. Except I ventured in front of the building to take the dust bin out for the dustmen. Dustpeople. Let’s be gender correct. Or dustentities. In case the council employs not-people too. 
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Feb 2: I painted my nails. I thought the colours would stand out best in monochrome. Duh. They’re black anyway, with one nail tentatively yellow. I’m a wasp. 
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3 Feb: The cat is shedding like her survival depended on it. I can’t even drink coffee these days without swallowing and then coughing up a furball. Cat hair everyfuckingwhere.
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4 Feb: I got up. Got dressed. Painted my face. Did my hair. It was so awesome. I mean, it was a bloody bother, but I was surprised to find myself comparatively pretty after like a two-hour prettifying procedure. And I didn’t even go on a date.

 

My Perfectly Average Silhouette

My Perfectly Average Silhouette

WordPress’s Daily Post is being clairvoyant today. The prompt of the day is silhouette, which I noticed just after posting a snap of my own meagre silhouette on Instagram.

Relating to this photo and at other occasions, I’ve had curious discussions with people about my height. It’s no huge surprise that different parts of the world are populated with people of different heights, but I was a bit surprised that North Americans tend to regard me as tall. What the heck? It must be my slight built that’s misleading.

I checked some rough stats and confirmed that my height is perfectly average for my part of the world. And by perfectly, I mean perfectly, I’m right at the average (okay, so almost right there, I’m 0.78 mm/0.03 in off). You can check out the stats on Wikipedia, if you’re interested, but what I’m trying to point out is that an average US woman is 161.8 cm (5 ft 3 1⁄2 in), while an average Czech female, me, is 167.22 cm (5 ft 6 in).

I’m right where I’m supposed to be, height-wise, and I’m not only not tall, but even sufficiently short to be perceived by the average Czech male (180.31 cm / 5 ft 11 in) as tiny.  That much to statistics.

7 More Days, 7 More Instagram Snaps

7 More Days, 7 More Instagram Snaps

I’m continuing in my non-challenge of taking and posting a non-photo on Instagram every day. I still haven’t figured out what I’m trying to achieve, but I have patience enough, so I’ll just wait and see what becomes. While we’re all waiting for me to figure out what I’m up to, here are seven more photos covering seven more days.

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8 Jan: I’ve been fascinated with balls recently. Especially fluffy balls. And colourful balls. Bonus for soft balls. I must ask the ghost of Freud what that means.
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9 Jan: Balls!! The cat got a new toy ball. She’s nonplussed. Never mind, I like to play with balls. And step on them in the dark because there are 10+ cat toys strategically placed around the flat. Ostensibly for the cat to play with, but, see above, she doesn’t care. So home decoration it is.
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10 Jan: In case there was any doubt, I have a crotch. It’s hard to take a selfie when you don’t want to capture your face. So I figure the crotch is a pretty neutral subject. 
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11 Jan: I made myself tea with slivovitz and, much to my alarm, discovered Apple product placement in the tea. They’re everywhere, trying to get me. But they won’t because I’m paranoid. Which doesn’t negate the fact that they’re after me.
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12 Jan: This cute piece of graffiti says motherfuckers in the local language. I think it’s very cheerful and uplifting, though I didn’t confirm with the owner of this wall. 
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13 Jan: I was playing around with JavaScript. I didn’t achieve anything, but it’s kind of nice to know that you can write a JS object, should your life depend on it one day. You know, like the day when the computers take over the world.
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14 Jan: The cat is either incredibly stupid or incredibly bold because she attempted to join me in the shower.  Don’t even ask what I was doing with my phone in the shower. (I take it everywhere, so.)

 

I’m Hot: Here’s Proof

I’m Hot: Here’s Proof

Today, I woke up hot. Not sexy hot (because I’m always that — wishful positive thinking), but hot hot. If you’ve been so unfortunate and bored as to follow my complaints about malfunctioning radiators, you’ll be surprised to hear this. I was surprised to feel this. At first, I thought I’ve grown tough and got used to being constantly at the brink of dying of exposure.

So I hopped off to take my morning shower, positively beaming with hotness, and as I reached for my towel, I burnt my hand on the radiator. This made me and the cat jump. What’s just happened? How has the radiator that was ice-cold like my heart yesterday become as boiling as my brain today? Have I taken one pill too many? Have I slept through winter and is it summer again?

It remains a mystery. The most logical explanation is that the radiator man who failed to come yesterday because he was playing Godot fixed my radiator remotely. I know it doesn’t make sense. If you have a more reasonable explanation, go ahead and tell me. Also, if you’ve sent me blankets, I’m good now. Instead, you can send thongs. If thongs are flip-flops for you, please send me European size 38, smart look. If thongs are panties for you, please give me size XS, cute look. Thank you.

Here’s the ultimate proof that I’m hot. I was practising my morning yoga barefoot. I am aware that yoga shall always be practised barefoot, but that doesn’t bar me from wearing toeless socks when it’s cold.

Developing Your Eye I: I’m Blessed (Snort)

Developing Your Eye I: I’m Blessed (Snort)

Part of WordPress’s photography course Developing Your Eye I.

When someone declares they’re blessed, it triggers the worst in me. I can’t make myself believe the authenticity of such a bold statement and I can’t help doubting the claimant’s sound sense.

Unfortunately, this photo challenge goes with the mainstream flow and asks to deliver a photo of bliss. Let’s not reiterate that the experience of enjoyment is alien to me, and as to bliss, I know nothing.

I therefore documented what I hated the least recently, which was when I finally did my nails. I hate the activity of doing my nails, what a bloody bother, but I like the result of having my nails done.

How to Take the Worst Photos Ever

How to Take the Worst Photos Ever

I specialise at taking bad photos. Scratch it. I specialise at taking the worst photos ever. Since the internet is full of how-to articles on taking better photos, I thought I’d contribute with my valuable experience of how to take worse photos. And since I recently blogged an anti-recipe, let’s continue with an anti-manual.

Taking photos that suck something fierce is an art, like everything else. You’ll need to practise it to perfect your skills—but remember that the practice for crappy photo skills consists in taking pictures as little and as far apart as possible. The next you’ll need is to equip yourself with the appropriate gear (the cheaper the better) and to follow a few principles, listed below.

Gear for the Worst Results

Use your phone camera. If you own an iPhone, give it away to that homeless guy at the corner. If you’re serious about worsening your photo skills, you can’t hope to achieve it with an Apple device. Get the cheapest generic brand phone that is available to you. Make sure to treat it poorly. An important warning: never clean the phone lens! When you get your lens soiled and keep it that way, you’ll be always taking dirty photos. Cool trick, right?

Suitable Subjects

Forget about sweeping panoramas and people portraits. These are unsuitable subjects for a photographer who seriously sucks. Pick as lowly subjects as possible: a manhole, a candy wrapper in the gutter, a supermarket floor. Advanced students of the art of shockingly bad photography may proceed to selfies. Be careful though, your selfie must never contain a face! Aim at your feet, hands or crotch. For illustrations of the appropriate method, see examples above.

Post-production

Cancel your subscription to Photoshop. Forget about Lightroom. Forget about any post-production at all. Your astonishingly bad photos must be presented as-is, #nofilter. Crooked horizons and tilted walls are highly desirable. Once you master the skill of snaps that suck, you’ll be able never to take a straight picture in your life again. If you publish your work on Instagram, don’t forget the elite tags: #random #whatever #icanteven. Happy shooting!

Shit I Carry in My Handbag

Shit I Carry in My Handbag

I used the word shit in the post title. I wonder if there will be repercussions. Will I get reported as a threat to society? I’m terrified so say anything these days because I never know what I’m allowed to say to keep it politically correct, gender neutral, family friendly and whatnot. But when thinking of pretty much anything in life, the only word that comes to mind is shit (also, crap, but that doesn’t solve the problem).

I’m currently prepping for a school reunion tomorrow, where I don’t want to go but socialising is good for my mental health (I don’t think so, but my psychiatrist does). It’s a one-day trip, I’ll be home for the night (unless I get mugged and murdered), so I’m putting just a few basic things in my handbag. When I contemplate my labour, I’m thinking, Shit, (here it goes again) I have some baggage (my psychiatrist agrees).

My trademark crotch selfie

Here’s the setup of my handbag, minimum requirements, but the handbag is still more of a hand-carried backpack than a ladies’ purse.

  • Several open tissue packs (sometimes I try to consolidate the packages into one, inevitably tear the wrapping and end up crying over it, ultimately using the tissues right away).
  • Lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm (I have a serious addiction to lip balm, jokes aside, I urgently need to reapply it at least once an hour. It’s probably a nervous tic.).
  • A cute white and red pocket mirror (let’s gloss over the fact that it was a freebie from my preferred tampon brand).
  • Phone, earbuds, wallet (the size of a handbag of its own), keys on a ring (some of the keys I carry around solely as talismans because I have no idea what they open).
  • A book to feel good about myself (which will never be open even on public transport because, duh, I have mobile data to keep me entertained).
  • A bottle of water, a flask of slivovitz in winter (drink or freeze, I’d rather be drunk than frozen, much more pleasant).
  • Cigarettes, lighter, a spare lighter (seriously; also, smoking kills—ultimately—which is a disadvantage it shares with life).
  • Cleaning cloth for my glasses, hand sanitiser, hand cream in winter (my hands are just as dry as my lips, and both are just as dry as my creative juices).
  • Lexaurin in case I get an anxiety attack and think I’m dying (which I,  in the last analysis, am since I’ve been born).
  • Umbrella (even in winter because I bloody hate the cold white shit of snow in my hair and a cap doesn’t come in question because I do my hair with care and won’t have it messed up).

I hope I have packed all I need. Now please excuse me, I need to reapply my lip balm, go paint my nails and otherwise make myself presentable so my schoolmates think I have my shit together (both I and my psychiatrist disagree).

Photo Gallery: Shelves and Stuff

Photo Gallery: Shelves and Stuff

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it.
—Walt Whitman