the Life and Times of Warrior Woman

blonde recluse. nihilarian pronk.

summer house, pt. 2, mostly clouds.

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This is my grandfather’s friends’ kitten.

(This post originally appeared on my old blog on 13 October 2011.)

Written by Alexandra

9 January 2013 at 3:00 am

bells, cats, blogs.

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I’ve been up since 03:30, to both watch the American football match (rather, to keep him company as he watches) and to fix my sleeping schedule.  If I wake up after 11:00, I’m not productive at all, and this is what I’ve been doing for the past few months – waking up after 11.  Today I hope to go to bed by 20, and be up by 6.  I usually need much less sleep, but right now I’m giving allowances for the perpetually cold flat and my very, very thin blanket.

My cats have been unhappy with me lately.  I can see it in their demeanour, which is a very posh way of saying that they shit & piss on the floors liberally these days & drop stuff from shelves and tables to the ground too many times to mention.  Even though I am mostly at home, I don’t spend enough time just sitting with them.  They miss human interaction, I guess.  Back when there were three of us cat ladies, they could choose a human and go sit in their lap for a bit.  Now there’s only one of me, and while I try to pay attention to them all, yesterday I’ve realised that I haven’t as much as picked Musya off the ground for about a week.

6th was mum’s 40 day memorial service.  7th, yesterday, was a very unfestive and unproductive Christmas.

It’s the day after Christmas today (also my father’s birthday), and the city is still empty. Yesterday was glorious, but I didn’t go out. Today there are more cars and more people, but not much more. I’m going to go out in a few hours to church and take a walk around the park afterwards. The bells have already called for service, but I’m going to come in afterwards.

I’m doing a bit of background works on ye olden blogs. Nothing major, just things that will, with hope, help me keep things more organised and, as a result, post more frequently. Right now I’m ~90% sure that I will move this log to my underused main domain & 30% sure that I’ll merge it with my financial & household drivel blog.

Blogs blogs blogs.

Either that, or I’ll start a fifth one, because I don’t really like 4 as a number.

Written by Alexandra

8 January 2013 at 7:18 am

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merry christmas!

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new year & christmas tree, winter 2012-13

pink sequined bauble on golden tinsel

pink sequined bauble

blue tinsel

merry christmas!

Written by Alexandra

7 January 2013 at 5:26 pm

end year survey.

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I hesitated posting this one even more so than I hesitated posting general month-to-month year review.  But I’ve done this for a couple of years now, writing this little survey.  So I went with it.  It’s not very exciting, so it’s behind the cut.

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Written by Alexandra

5 January 2013 at 1:40 am

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read recently (2012).

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(Though tagged ‘book reviews’, this is more of ‘book notes’.  I am not eloquent or educated enough to write reviews.)

I’ve read so little books in 2012, and mentioned only one or two here, I thought I’d aggregate the rest in one post.

Harry Potter: the Prequel, by J.K. Rowling;

OK, this isn’t really a book, but it’s listed as such on goodreads.  There isn’t much to say, except that I expected better from Rowling.

First steps in the Temple, published by Sretensky monastery;

A primer on what to do at Orthodox Church.  Easily written, is short, gives all the basic information a neophyte might require.

Christian regard towards parents, by A.I. Pliusnin;

Similar to the one above, a primer with reference to the Holy Texts.  Touches briefly on complicated and painful relationships.  What I liked is that it emphasises mutual respect.

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen;

A little bit harder to get through than Emma or Pride and Prejudice (the other two novels by Austen that I’ve read), but enjoyable nonetheless.  Available online.

the Moon and Sixpence, by Somerset W. Maugham;

I don’t know what I expected this book to be about, but for some reason I conceived different images.  the Moon and Sixpence is allegedly based on the life of Paul Gauguin.  If that is so, then let me tell you, Paul Gauguin, may he rest in peace, was a dick.  Anyway, the book is very good, read it if you have the chance.  It’s free of copyright and can be downloaded at Project Gutenberg.

Oligarch’s Tender Spouse, by Daria Dontsova;

Cosy mystery type thing.  Neither here, nor there.  I’m not a huge fan of Dontsova’s work, but she has her moments, so I will probably read more.  Grandmother’s collecting of her books makes it painfully easy.

Big Guns Out of Uniform, by Sherrilyn Kenyon & others;

I actually didn’t finish this.  It wasn’t bad, honestly.  I just didn’t like it.

Frugillionaire, by Francine Jay;

This book is basically an expanded list of tips on how to save money in different areas.  I didn’t find it very useful, but for the beginner frugal it might hold some sound advice.

How to feed a family of 4 or more for less than $200 a month, by Melissa “Liss” Burnell;

Some of the recipes for quick coffee mixes I found interesting, but I believe they’re all available freely on the author’s site.  Aside from those few recipes, and the fact that I enjoy reading people’s stories of frugality, I didn’t find this book useful at all.  If you’re short on money, don’t spend it on this book.

the Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, by Annie Jean Brewer;

Now this book I found interesting and helpful.  It’s also very decently priced, so even if you’re on a very tight budget, I recommend you spend the money on it.  I can’t vouch for all advice in this book, but most of it is very practical, and I bookmarked quite a few tips for future reference.

Underground Guide to Living Frugal, by Bjorn Karger;

The author of the Shoestring Girl recommends this book in her references.  I bought it before I read the references, but read it after I read the Shoestring Girl.  From what I understood, the Underground Guide is one of the original works on frugality.  It’s quite useful and full of sound advice, but I found the advice in this book less applicable to my life than the one in the Shoestring Girl.  Perhaps it’s incorrect to compare the two, but there you go, I did.  If you have a few bucks to spare, however, this book is a good read.

31 Days to Clean- Having a Martha House the Mary Way, Sarah Mae;

I’m on the fence about this one.  It’s a book on cleaning and acceptance of self.  I see how many people might find it helpful.  I, however, didn’t.

Christmas Gifts They’ll Actually Like! 25 Easy, Homemade Gift Ideas – Plus Instructions, by Casey Tucker and Lynn Rogers;

Well, I’m not sure about the 25, but I did find some of the ideas enjoyable.  God willing, I will implement them next Christmas.

How to manage your money when you don’t have any, by Erik Wecks;

This is one of the most honest books on personal finance I’ve read in a while.  I’m currently implementing a couple of ideas from it.

21 days to a more disciplined life, by Crystal Paine;

I’ve read this, and later on I’ll work on implementing ideas suggested.  It’s a good book, although sometimes I found the MegaProject section… incomplete, somehow.

And that’s it.  17 books overall, only three fiction books, two of them serious.  I hope 2013 will be more prolific.

Written by Alexandra

2 January 2013 at 1:05 pm

watched recently (november & december 2012).

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(I tag this post ‘movie reviews’, but this is more of ‘movie notes’.  I don’t write reviews.)

War Horse (2011);

I watched this movie with my cousin back in Turkey.  I actually bought it on DVD.  I have to admit, I watched it mostly because Benedict Cumberbatch is part of the cast.  I think cousin watched for Hiddleston.  No, please don’t get me wrong, it proved to be a wonderful movie, full of hope and beauty in the middle of the disaster that is war.  I really did sympathise with the horse and its people.

the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011);

This was refreshing.  Probably my favourite movie of the year.  A bunch of senior citizens move to India in search of themselves.  If you want a serious, yet light-hearted watch, get this one.  I have it on DVD as well.

Batman Begins (2005);

I have a difficult relationship with comic-based films.  Where I’m from, comics don’t play such a role in pop culture as they do in the US, so I always take the entire super-hero shabang with a huge grain of salt.  But it was entertaining, and I liked it.

Friends with Benefits (2011);

This was fun.

the Dark Knight (2008);

Same as Batman Begins, see above.  I have to add, though, Heath Ledger’s Joker is really something to behold.  After reading and hearing so much about it, my expectations were high, so I was sure I’ll end up being disappointed.  Not at all.  RIP Heath Ledger.

the Queen (2006);

I’ve wanted to watch this movie for ages, and I finally did, and I’m glad I did.  I wasn’t aware that it dealt with the Royal Family’s (especially the Queen’s) reaction to Lady Diana’s death.  Helen Mirren is great as Queen.

Mirror Mirror (2012);

I don’t really know why I watched the movie, aside from the fact that I enjoy fairytale retellings.  Snow’s step-mother is obviously psychopathic, but not in an entertaining way.  The CGI was enjoyable, I liked the action and the costume design, and the Bollywood-ish scene at the very end was a touch uncalled for, but quite entertaining nonetheless.  Sang that song for three days straight.

Just Go With It (2011);

I usually enjoy Adam Sandler movies, but this one I found rather obnoxious.  Also, I found it racist on quite a few occasions.  I’d like to blame it on the dub.  I watched dubbed to Russian, and sometimes translation inadvertently changes the dialogue from something that’s innocent to something that’s, well, racist.  It’s not to say that Russian, or any other translators, are racist, it’s just that sometimes dialogue changes are made which make it unintentional – though still inexcusable.  Anyway, I’ll leave translation woes for some other time.  Like I said, I’d like to blame it on the dub, but I can’t.  I found the movie racist.

Brave (2012);

I wanted to love this movie more than I did.  I couldn’t, and I can’t quite explain why.  Nevertheless it’s enjoyable, and I don’t regret watching it.

Aside from these movies, I’ve also caught up on The Mentalist and finished watching fourth season of CastleCastle is good formulaic entertainment; and The Mentalist is always great.  Usually a show starts to annoy me a bit somewhere around S3.  The Mentalist is the first series in a long, long time where it hasn’t happened.  I’m always waiting anxiously for next episode.

Written by Alexandra

1 January 2013 at 8:12 pm

2013, goals.

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I already wrote my reading & watching goals, my financial goals, and my style goals.  Now it’s high time I post more serious life goals, because I sure as hell don’t want to be sitting in a clean house with my nails done, reading glorified romance novels, thinking of all that could’ve been.

I tried separating this list into vague categories of me, home, career, peace/ contentment, and big fat loads of cash, but then I decided it’s easier to just write a list of them all, since they’re all connected to me anyway.

0.  Refer to past plans for 2012, complete things that are still relevant.

1.  Go back to uni to second year in English major, and to first and second in Psychology; successfully transfer to third year in both.  Get decent marks, pass all exams, don’t drop out.

While I’m at it, I might as well calculate all the money I’ve pathetically wasted since 2001, all for the sake of trying to get a formal education.  Pretty sure my nail polish addiction is child’s play in comparison.

2.  Start choir again.  Depending on money and university, start private vocal and piano lessons.

I really like choir.  I really like singing in general.  Too bad my voice isn’t strong enough to consider a career.

3.  Regardless of whether I’ll be getting private lessons, relearn piano to the level I’ve been at when I stopped.

Music calms me & lets me shut my mind off for a bit.  I’d really like to add violin to that, but I fear brother will hang me on a string and spear me with a bow if I try, so let’s leave this for now.

4.  Take long walks every day.  Length will be dependent on how busy I’ll be on a particular day, but at least 30 minutes daily is a must.

As this is early morning 1 January 2013 I’m posting this, without having slept yet, it’s going to be interesting keeping this resolution today, but I will do my best.

5.  Be able to do five pull-ups by the end of the year.  And not just puny half ones either.  Full, honest to God pull-ups.

The abs resolution remains, but it’s covered in past goals.

6.  Stop sharing a watered-down version of self online.  I should either stop sharing completely, or just share.

This is a general "umbrella" goal for all the things I want to do online, like, for example, a better representation of self on social networks.  Which sounds all majestic, but boils down to the simple question of, "Do I need a Google+ account if I never bleeding use it?", or, "How on God’s green earth do I get more than one follower on Youtube?"

I have also aggregated a decent number of domains, even though I’ve always feared of being one of those people, with eight hundred domain names.  I currently have four, and how many of them do I actually use?  Puny contents of smthntrl don’t count; so the answer is, nil.

For a goal to really be a goal, I need to speak in precise numbers.  I might induce some laughs, but here goes the "subscriber number wishlist"

  • pinterest — 150
  • twitter — 200
  • youtube — 30
  • flickr — 300 (this is higher than the rest, because apparently 80 people subscribe to my photo feed already)
  • smthntrl — 150 subscribers // 10000 monthly page views (apparently there’s a month when I’ve reached 1062, and I haven’t even posted once that month)
  • household experiment — 150 subscribers // 3000 monthly page views
  • inner moldova — 150
  • this place — 150

"This place" needs some thinking.  I might move the sucker back to my first domain.

I’m so fickle.  No wonder my stats are so damn low.

Anyway, further list:

  • zazzle — 150 sales
  • redbubble — 30 sales

150 on zazzle is pushing it greatly, as it’s a little over 2 sales a day, and I’ve only sold, how many, 7 things?  I opened that account in 2008, I think.  And there’s not a single sale on redbubble to date, so 30 sales is a great big scary goal.

7.  Pass IELTS. 

I talked to brother, and he says the most convenient time would be the one on 27 April 2013, with registration closing on 22 March 2013.  I’m a bit dependent on brother here, as I have to go to another country to pass the test, and it’s always more fun with someone else.  Though of course I can always go alone, by train.

Anyway, the thing with IELTS, I am yet unsure how much I have to study for this thing.  I mean, I speak English fluently, no problem, but these standard tests are always a bit of a bitch.

8.  Don’t stop writing.

This is yet another vague goal, but I’m keeping it this way on purpose.  For 2013 I’m not setting any numbers.  I really just don’t want to stop writing.  Writing is the second thing after music that helps me clear my mind.  If I lose it, then I’ll lose it.

9.  Draw 12 things; paint 6 things.

10.  Write in my handwritten journal daily.  No need to be eloquent, two short sentences about weather will do.

And this is all I’m comfortable sharing at the moment.

Written by Alexandra

1 January 2013 at 4:32 am

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