the Life and Times of Warrior Woman

blonde recluse. nihilarian pronk.

Posts Tagged ‘from the archives

i love you, nature.

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(This post has originally appeared on my olden personal blog, on 02 January 2012.)

I’ve written the perfect to-do list for today — adequate, prioritised, and short enough to complete in 24 hours (sleep included).  Sometimes, though, my time is not fully mine, and what was supposed to be a 3-hour trip ended up being a 10-hour one.

I was going to skip posting today altogether, but then this happened.

 
Pictures SOOC.

Written by Alexandra

21 December 2012 at 12:53 am

summer house.

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(Mich, the last picture features a horse.)

Three years ago on this date I lost my maternal grandfather.  We were estranged (he divorced my gran to start another family), and he didn’t recognise me on the street when I passed him by.  It was actually one of the very few times I’ve seen him after their divorce.

The thing is, most of my grandfather memories are connected to this summer house.  Back when grandparents were still together we’d go there every weekend.  It had lots of trees and a vegetable garden, and although we almost never stayed the night (it was half an hour drive from home anyway) it still felt pretty lived in and cosy.

So these are the memories I’d like to keep most.  The house was sold in 2009, unfortunately.  There was a lot of drama and baggage attached to it, but I still say ‘unfortunately’, because I was happy there as a kid.  It was fun.

Back in May 2009 I went there two times to finalise the sale.  I didn’t cry (I generally don’t), but I still get this little ~feeling~ whenever I look at these photos.

I think it’s called ‘regret’.

The snail agrees.  Yes, my adventure began with a close encounter with this creature.  There have always been lots and lots of snails there, and not the puny little ones we get at villa either.

My grandfather changed some things, but it’s actually quite like I remember it.  The gas pipe wasn’t there before.

Overgrown and abandoned, with some signs of barbecue activity.

First time I looked at this flower closely, I thought it was a caterpillar.  Nope.  All part of original design.

As grandfather got older and stopped working on the house, it became quite unkempt.  (By law, it belonged to my family, but it was de facto occupied by grandfather’s new wife’s son, so I couldn’t go there.  ooh, drama~)

Take a guess which flowers I was originally trying to photograph.  If you guessed ‘these two big ones in the middle, the most blurry ones’, congratulations, we have a winner.

And it’s not me.

I like how the ‘HARDENED’ is all covered in rust.

I helped paint that door when I was, what, 10?  Looks like it was the last time anyone’s ever painted it.

And we end this post with a sad equine that’s not ours.

(This post was originally published on my old blog on 12 October 2011.)

Written by Alexandra

6 December 2012 at 5:43 pm

lubitel roll.

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I’ve taken these photos about five years ago, and I’ve posted them to my old flickr account before, but then deleted.  I’ve rescanned them a couple of times because I’m never happy with how they come out in scanned form — but yeah, it’s not like this is one big roll of masterpieces or something.  It’s the first ever medium format one that I shot, and also the first ever black and white one.  How sentimental.

 

This is probably my favourite from the list.

 
 

This one, and the one before that, were taken in the States.

I’m still trying to figure out what this is.  I’m beginning to see the outlines of a person, but other than that… Hm.

First shot.  Say hello to my nostrils.

Where I used to work.

 
 
 
 

Starting and ending on a lamp, these photographs were all taken in the States.  I’m so attached to the lamp, because it would keep me company at night.  My insomnia spells skyrocketed in 2007.

Fixing Lubitel has been on my task list for a while now.  Perhaps I’ll get to it this year.  It’s actually still working, just not… very smoothly, I guess.  And it won’t focus properly.  Not that that‘s much of a problem in my case, since all of my shots have odd focus anyway.

(This was originally posted on my old blog on 9 January 2012.)

Written by Alexandra

6 December 2012 at 5:12 pm

"i need somebody to go to villa with me."

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Whenever I hear my mum say this, I know that in most cases my day has pretty much been decided for me.  Of course, it only happens when I’ve got a day off and no specific plans in mind, so usually the statement comes as a welcome relief.

"A two-hour trip, there to (drop, pick) (stuff, people) (off, up) [underline as needed] and immediately back again" usually means you won’t be back until the sun sets (varying sunset times notwithstanding), and when you’re back, it’s highly unlikely you’d be able to muster enough strength to do anything else, because there’s always work to be done at Villa.  Always.  Cleaning the rooms/ pool, cooking dinner, helping with whatever, hauling stuff to and fro, babysitting children and animals, feeding people and animals, calculating profit or lack of it, planning work schedule or next purchase list, conflict managing, washing dishes/ windows/ floors/ roofs, doing laundry, ironing, fixing major and minor software and hardware glitches, harvesting produce, sawing seeds, or chopping wood — name it, any of it, a single task or any combination of tasks or all of the above, it doesn’t matter, there’s always something to be done.  And if by a miraculous chance there’s nothing to be done, then the sun is blistering, the heat is relentless, and the light is unforgiving.  An hour of such weather is enough to render me useless for ten days.

Yesterday it was the sum of tasks + heat.  Not many tasks fell on my lot, however, and the sun and light were grueling but it was windy, so after hijacking mother’s comp for a bit, chatting with aunt and V., and eating a salad, I went to take pictures.

As one does.

This year we didn’t fight most of the weeds showing up on the parking zone in front of the terrace.  Perhaps it offends somebody’s bourgeoisie aesthetic, but I think I like it more.  Villa is located in a small village in a country that’s always been largely rural and agricultural.  There’s no point in having prim and proper lawns and perfectly tiled/ pebbled yards.  I’ve seen it done.  There’s a certain dissonance to that.

The side yard, too, wasn’t dug up and left plain this year.  Mum planted stuff (maize, beans, carrots, courgette…) under the trees instead.  Looks lovely.  There’s plenty of weeds there as well; wasn’t mum’s intention, she just doesn’t have any willing helpers at hand (I’m a willing helper, I’m not at hand — I’m a rare guest at Villa).  It does make a dent in the size of the harvest, but for a first year experiment, I think we’re doing OK.

Snails!  Mother tells me that a few weeks ago they were everywhere, on every surface, at every corner.  I only spotted three yesterday, all of them on the gates, oddly.

Next up:  ducks.

(This post was originally published in August 2011 in my old and obscure blog.)

Written by Alexandra

16 September 2012 at 4:11 pm

tucked.

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Whenever you look and wherever you look, there’d be a cat tucked in here somewhere.  I suppose to appreciate this you have to be a real cat person, especially when you come into the kitchen and realise that desk, counters, windowsill and all three chairs are occupied by these fiends, so the only place for you to sit is either on top of the fridge or on the floor.

Nevertheless, whenever I’m feeling stressed, all I have to do is wander out of my room to a more densely populated area, find a place to sit down, and watch them.

Lus was sitting in my lap as I was taking these photographs.

(This post was originally published on my old and obscure blog on 14 Jan 2012.)

Written by Alexandra

18 August 2012 at 4:57 pm

a walk in february.

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In the last days of February mum & I went for a small walk around the old part of Kish.  It was beastly cold, and I took only a few photos.  There’s a bunch more taken by mum.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where she put the camera, so this is going to be a two-part post.  This one is the short first part.

This particular building, my mum tells me, used to house the theatre costume shops.  When mum was a kid, she and her friends used to stand around looking into those windows (the ones behind the bars, below).  Sometimes the seamstresses would give them scraps of material for doll costumes and such.

It was a dreary day.

Twenty years ago, my late grandfather used to read lectures in this building.  Now it’s just a skeleton.

Insert some ‘two sides of one coin’ cheesy title here.  But it’s amazing, isn’t it?  How one side is well kept, and another one looks like it’s about to collapse?  Save for that shiny white balcony in there.  That one looks monumentally odd.

Such buildings is one of the main reasons I have so much trouble writing up regular posts for innermoldova.  It’s not for the lack of material or inspiration.  It’s because I seem to be incapable of writing something cheerful about the historical centre of Kishinev that isn’t entirely based on architecture and history books.  Reality, sadly, either looks like the photos above — or is mutilated into some odd semblance of modern buildings.  It seems that the birth of independence brought in death or total migration of the local school of conservation-restoration.

At the very least, most churches seem to be doing OK.

This is Saint Panteleimon’s Church.

It’s a comparatively old building, dating back to … 1891, I think.  Too lazy to go check my books.

I swear to God, when I first saw that sticker on the left, I thought it was one of those “we accept Visa &c” things.  SACRILEGE.  My mind is a blasphemous heathenish monster.

The picture quality is low, but I think the actual sticker informs us that the building is guarded by this or that security company.

When I was a teenager, I used to take violin lessons.  Very often before class and nearly always after I’d walk past this church to get home.  My class usually started way late in the afternoon, and since sometimes solfeggio, vocal, and even piano (I say ‘even piano’ because my prof was an early bird and preferred to have her classes in the morning hours.  Which is why as a teen I only had one day off during my week, if that.) classes were all aggregated in one day, I’d be heading home after dark during winter months.  And all these years ago ‘after dark’ sometimes meant ‘pitch dark’, because even central streets weren’t properly lighted.  And this church is eerie.  It really is!  So eerie in fact that it inspired me to write my old vampire epic.  Let me tell you, Twilight‘s got nothing on that masterpiece.  Too bad I never complete anything, so the story is forever stuck in its…  I think it’s a fourth revision/ draft.

Maybe when I’m 80, I’ll pick it up again and write Hindsight:  Vampires Ironically Reminisce Wild Nights of Eternal Yet Relative Youth.

Maybe not.

BIRDS.

Hitchcock would be envious.

And this is the last shot from that day.  Spot the odd sideways icicles!

(This post was originally posted 6 April 2011 on my old and obscure blog.  Published here with minor revisions.)

Written by Alexandra

13 August 2012 at 6:02 pm

recipe: le breakfast d’excellence.

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(tl;dr: scroll down to pictures for ingredients and ~method~)

I had thought that maybe the reason I didn’t feel hungry until late at night on both Monday and Tuesday was my being busy.  I rarely eat when I’m busy, quite often because I simply forget, and also because after eating I feel sluggish and want to lie down, which is not an option on busy days.  I’m more prone to consuming food when I’ve got nothing better to do, so even after a 15-hour day I wasn’t surprised to feel not even hungry, but peckish.  Today wasn’t the busiest day in the universe, but it wasn’t very laid-back either — yet there I was, ravenous and with a headache barely after noon.

I have an odd relationship with breakfasts.  I always try to eat one, and unless I have to be out the door at 5, I always succeed.  (Even when I have to be out the door at 5, I’ll probably eat something on the road.)  I could skip all other meals, but breakfast must always be present.  Yet I never really know what to have for breakfast.  I know I prefer savoury over sweet, but that’s about it.  Eggs are good, but not too good; porridge takes too much time to prepare and leaves an odd aftertaste; fruit feels more like a snack than a meal (though I’m getting over it); veggies I prefer for lunch…  My favourite is French toast, perhaps, but it slows me down considerably, so I try to only have that on weekends.

So on most mornings I end up with a sad commercial pseudo-yoghurt and a piece of buttered toast.  Which on a usual not-too-busy day means that I feel like hunting someone down to eat about three hours in.

Enter the Miracle Breakfast of Divine Pleasure and Wonder.

I had an avocado.  Avocados come at the price of kidneys here, so the paradox happens:  I rarely buy an avocado, and when I do, I take so long to decide what to do with it, I end up throwing half of it away, because it starts to rot.

This was how this breakfast came to be.  I remembered I had two avocados.  Both of them were quite ripe when I bought them, and instead of just making a guacamole the silly old me decided to look for something better.  As always, I never did, so when I fished them out of the bottomless pit of the fridge’s veggie compartment, I found out that they were quickly going past their prime.

Ingredients:

  • a sad overripe avocado (you need to be able to spread it easily)
  • a tomato
  • bread
  • goat cheese (here goat cheese is cheapest.  I know it’s not the case in many other places)
  • an egg (optional)
  • salt (optional)

Method:

0.  If you choose to have an egg, put it on the stove to boil the usual way.  (That’d be, place the egg in water, wait until it boils, and then cook to desired level, from 1 to 10 minutes.)

1.  As your optional egg cooks, slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and scrape out the flesh.  Discard pit and skin (and all the bad parts if you, like me, have waited too long to eat the avocado).

2.  Slice tomato in 4-6 parts.

3.  Slice bread.

4.  Slice goat cheese.

5.  Spread avocado on bread.  Optional: salt a bit.  I skipped salting.

6.  Put a slice of goat cheese on top of avocado.

7.  Put a tomato on top of cheese.

8.  Repeat steps 5-7 until desired quantity of sandwiches is achieved, or until you run out of avocado/ bread/ other ingredient.

9.  Remove the optional egg from the stove and place it under cool water for 1-2 mins.

10.  Optional: Fight off the looming family members eyeing your precious breakfast.  Very optional:  Share.

11.  Eat.

What do you think, will I win some kitschy kitchen competition?  I think I’d need to garnish it with parsley and possibly some flowers fashioned from cucumbers first.

The plate above holds two (maybe even 3, depends on who’s eating) portions.  I find that 1/3 avocado, 1/2 tomato & 2-3 slices of bread and cheese each plus an egg is way more than enough for me.  Epic enough.  Not eating till Saturday enough.

So there you go.  A winning combo of good fat, good protein, fibre, and carbs.

(This post was originally published on my old and obscure blog on 14 September 2011.)

Written by Alexandra

9 August 2012 at 4:03 pm