Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A video of my 2013...posted in late March. AHEM.


SO. Here's our 2013 at a glance, in total chronological order. Photos set to pretty music and all that jazz.

A bit rich posting so late (um, NO KIDDIN'!), and I'm waaaaay past the point of using the Chinese New Year excuse so, really, it's the fact I pretty much don't post here anymore, and, while I posted this on Facebook (on 4th February, mind you, so back then I could use the Chinese New Year excuse, and did), I just didn't think to replicate the post here.

So, here we are, on 26th of March, and you can see what our 2013 looked like.

Or not, whatever. Bwahahah!


2013 - a chronology from Igor on Vimeo.


Hope you like it! (As usual, let most of the video load up before you hit good ol' play.)

Oh, and hey! Here's last year's blog post showing our 2012 which: OMG!EUROPE!OMG! Evidently I was also very punctual last year. ::eyeroll:: Tee hee!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Is it just me or...


...is everyone else over their blogs, too?

Nope?  Just me?

Ha!

Eh, I'm just not feeling it anymore, you know?  Or maybe it's because I've been preoccupied with other non-bloggy things and the blog has taken a back seat as a result.  Could be, could be.  I have been doing a lot of writing on the side for a secret project (oh, the intrigue!) and who knows what will come of said project, if anything, but, you know...it's been good working on it all the same.  And painful.  But mostly good, hahah.  I think, for me, what's worse than not updating this blog is the fact I haven't read my bloggy pals' blogs in months and months.  Yes, your great blogs, pals.  Again: preoccupied, no time, yada yada.

On a totally unrelated note, I've been listening to Simon & Garfunkel's "The Essential" CD for the past couple of work hours and, well, soothing much?  Those incomparable harmonies of theirs are just a soul balm, amirite?

Finally: RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.  So, SO sad.  A brilliant and gifted actor, and by all accounts a humble, kind and down-to-earth man.  Dammit, universe.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What else is there to say but...


...the obvious: Happy New Year, everyone!

Wishing you all a health- and love-filled prosperous 2014. May it kick 2013's ass in the awesomeness stakes because DUH.  Hugs!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'...


...that this raging sore throat takes a damn hike OMG GO AWAAAAY YOU GERMY GNARLY JACKASS!

Ahem.

Y'all, imma keep this short and sweet (unlike the post preceding this one which, hey, if you have a moment, I'd love for you to read it) (although, come to think of it, that post about my dad really isn't long at all).

Behold:

I have a cold and a sore throat.
I have a big-deal of an annual chorale concert at a fancy conservatorium hall on Saturday night.
I have a solo at the concert, too.
I have a fear that the cold won't go away enough to let me sing like a champ.
I have a middle finger for this damn cold.
I have expletive-laden thoughts for it.

You get the picture.

I had Tuesday and yesterday off work, thinking rest and medication would go a long way and: yeah, not so much. It helped a little bit but not as much as one would hope. Speaking of hope, I'm hopeful that the cold will go away (like, A WHOLE LOT) over the next two days.  IT HAS TO, AMIRITE?!

Sorry for the yelling, ACK!

Back in May I had bronchitis and I still sang (well) at a concert.  Don't ask me how, I've blocked it from memory.  (Although I did have a shot of grappa/"rakija" before the concert so: maybe that temporarily kicked the bacteria's ass?)

I've just bought some new cough-specific cold/flu tablets, Manuka honey, and I'm gargling with Betadine Sore Throat Gargle.  Eating lots of vegies too, drinking fluids, the whole nine yards. I've read about people slicing an onion and leaving it by the bed, apparently it sucks out the bacteria or something...?

If you have a speedy sore throat remedy, hit me up in the comments!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

To my beautiful daddy, now and forever, on his 20-year anniversary

[ The below was written on 1st November. Apologies that I'm posting it almost two weeks later! ]


I have this recurring dream, and it's a sepia-tinted, rose-coloured-glasses kinda dream wherein I'm walking barefoot through fields of wheat and barley, through a meadow of long strands of swaying grass that tickle my bare legs, and it's just nice, you know?  Life-affirming stuff, even.  Eva Cassidy's "Fields of Gold" plays like some mellifluous musical narration.  ("You'll remember me when the west wind moves among the fields of barley.")

It's a late summer afternoon, it's warm and balmy.  It's pretty damn near perfect, is what it is.  I'm being pulled in a direction that's all too familiar to me, but I've no map.  Completely and utterly mapless.  (But not hapless!  Har-dee har-har.)  It's weird but I know exactly where I'm going mostly because I'm being led there.  I've been there so many times in dreams.  ("In dreams I walk with you, in dreams I talk to you.")  There's a breeze and I feel it on the nape of my neck as it lifts my hair, and OOF - it feels so good.  And you know how, when you wake up and it's sunny out, you get butterflies fluttering madly in your stomach? (Or maybe that's just me.)  In my dream, the butterflies are out in full force, in my stomach and all around; anticipation coiling in the pit of my belly.  I know something is coming yet I can't pinpoint it.

And then, lo and behold, there he is.  My father.  MY father.  We reunite and I crumble into a hysterical heap in his arms, I'm grown but I'm a child, and I weep in his embrace for what feels like hours as he holds me, makes comforting sounds, and strokes my hair like he used to do when we lived in Karlovac.  And then he slings his shoulder around me and we stroll about, and take a drive down the coast.  He asks me about my life and what I've been doing, he wants to hear everything even though he knows, and I regale him with tales as he listens intently and laughs at my sardonic humour, and after hours of togetherness it's time for him to leave. I give him a panicked look with tears pooled in my eyes and spilling over, cling to him desperately, and tell him how I don't want him to leave, it's not enough, can't he stay just a little while longer, pretty-please, PRETTY-PLEASE DADDY?

*  *  *

When I was a little girl, from "0" to almost 9 years old, he was my true north, the truest of true norths, and the needle on my inner compass always moved erratically, seeking him out, and pointing towards him, my everlasting north.  Being near him made everything right, made everything light- and love-filled, along with my mama and brother.  We were an awesome foursome, a true team, and we kicked ass.

*  *  *

1st November 1993 - 1st November 2013

I think of my father every day, and have thought of him every day since he passed away twenty years ago.
I think of him in the morning when I wash my face and splash cold water into my eyes to reluctantly shock myself into wakefulness, remembering him telling me that one should always wash one's face with cold water for many reasons.
I think of him when I dive into the sea or the pool, remembering our last family summer holiday in Crikvenica (Aug 1993) when he painstakingly taught me to dive for about an hour, showing me how to curve my body, how to hit the water, and laughing good-naturedly every time I'd stuff up because of course I stuffed up repeatedly, DUH.
I think of him when I listen to songs we used to sing together with great enthusiasm - songs that became "our" songs.

I think of him whenever I hear a particularly beautiful song that was released after 1st November 1993 and I wonder how many good songs he's missed out on and hasn't heard, or maybe it's all relative and he heard the best ones in his time, you know?  I mean, HELLO: the golden age of the 60s and 70s!
I think of him whenever I see or travel on trains given his railway job and how often the perks of free train travel punctuated our lives.  Because of dad, I love trains; their look, the overwhelming din as they clomp along the railway tracks.
I've always associated trains with my father - what a beautiful association, I think.
I think of him when I towel-dry my hair or pull my hair up into a ponytail, remembering our holiday on the island of Mali Losinj in 1989 when he'd wash my hair, laboriously dry it, then try to do a side ponytail like mama did it, asking if it was good enough.

*  *  *


Why, yes, that IS me on the couch next to dad.
1988, three years old. Brother and dad's cousin next to us.
Big pic: dad circa 1977, 20 years old.
Dad hugging brother: late 1980 / early 1981.


It's an unnerving sucker-punch feeling being bereft of a father for two decades - unnerving, a little frightening and, yeah, there are still the "It's so unfair" moments...like today.  And, damn it, it's not fair.  I'm so envious of people who have fathers in their adulthood.  98% happy for them, 2% envious.  (Ha!) Especially, I guess, because I know how wonderful a relationship we would have continued to have, based on how we were from 1985 to late 1993 and how close mama and I are. So, yeah, sometimes I'm still a little pissed off at "the universe" for shortchanging me and my brother the experience of a father throughout the decades of adulthood. I think of my mother being shortchanged on growing old with her soulmate, of continuing to enjoy the wonderful marriage they had created and honed through the years.  (What a nigh-on-perfect blueprint for marriage they left me with - what a legacy!)

I think of how much I want to talk to him, tell him things, joke with him and make him laugh.  I think of how much I want to share a meal like we used to every day.  I think of how much I miss his hearty breakfasts.  I think of how he was a one-of-a-kind man filled with love and respect for all people, and how he taught me, along with mama, to love all people, that we are all worthy; he led by example with the things he said and did, especially during the war when he never let circumstance dictate he turn into an abnormal version of himself like many people on all three sides did.  There was no way he could or would be poisoned by laughable inter-ethnic hatred.  He taught me to quietly and humbly love my own ethnicity but never at the expense of another, to never stoop so low as to denigrate or hate another, and to love PEOPLE (a no-brainer) - he was like that, my mother was and is, and my brother and I follow in their footsteps.

The older I get, the more I need him.

Isn't it funny how that works?

Throughout my life with my father, the first almost nine years of my life, I've been gifted with a tapestry of memories so achingly beautiful that I feel I can almost reach out and touch them they seem so tangible.  I wish I could have had more, I wish we were still extending the tapestry length right now, embroidering more pictures and designs onto it.  I'll hang onto the tapestry I have, keep it locked in a safe place.  Clutch it and hang onto it, kung fu grip and all.


"You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Among the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold
[...]
I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We will walk in fields of gold
We'll walk in fields of gold..."


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pondering...


The year is not at all slowly coming to a close and I, for one, am kind of glad. Far be it from me to want time to go faster because, well, time is a hyperactive beast mercilessly barreling through the masses (I...don't know where that analogy came from), but this year was just kind of...nondescript. Like, it wasn't baaaad, per se, not at all (thank God!), but it was also kind of...meh. I mulled over this to Yogi the other day: a just-okay year filled with periodic bursts of awesomeness. (And, well, every moment spent with Yogi is awesomeness personified BECAUSE DUH, so any meh-ness was always punctuated with his awesome self on a daily basis, and (oh I know) right now you're probably rolling your eyes and making retching noises, bahahah.)   (And, I mean, sure, it's not awesomeness when we have dumb fights now and again because arguments by definition suck, but thankfully the dumb fights, by virtue of being dumb, never last long which: SCORE!)

Until the year is over, though, there's kind of a schweeeet stream of activity, starting with a Beyonce concert in just over a week (can I get a SQUEEE!!), then a five-day Hamilton Island getaway with my two besties (BFFs!), a wedding, Yogi's and my three year marriage anniversary (um, say whaaaaa?!), then a big ass deal end-of-year choral concert our choir is doing at a cool music hall, and Yogi and I will most likely end the year with a roadtrip to Sydney, following the coastal route which: be still my beating heart! So, you know, a lot of kickass things to savour and relish and whatnot.
Thy will be done!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Life lately (in pictures)


So, you know, here's how I figure it: since I've been so bad at maintaining this blog (like, there are no words for how bad I am) (Colour Me Badd!), I might as well...er, post a bunch of pictures?  Yeah, that'll do it!  I mean, it's an update!  It's a blog post!  (...with minimal words, sure, but: blog post!)

It shouldn't be hard for a notoriously lazy lazinator (yup, just made that up) to upload a few photos, type up a few words and: voilĂ !

I mean, at least that's something, and after three weeks of nothing it's ... something!

Hahah.

Don't you just love how I'm patting myself on the back for minimal effort?  Lameness, thy name is Pretzel.

So: life lately!

Behold.

(You can click to enlarge any of the smaller looking ones!)








Why, yes, that IS Ryan Gosling behind me. Oh, Ryan and I go way back, you know.
(Read: one of the kajillion repeats of The Notebook on TV.)



My mummy moved back to the old country - waaaahhhhh!
(Thank you, mother, for your high cheekbones that I inherited.)






Hey, this was earlier tonight, i.e. just before we watched Gravity
which: ZOMG!






Hey, so you know what I discovered recently?

I "discovered" that I have clusters of green flecks under my pupil...I know, right?!  Not sure how I never noticed this before <shrug>, but there it is.  They're visible in two of these photos...riveting, to be sure.  Snerrrrrk.

I also totally need to do a post about our Queenstown, New Zealand trip.  Will do so - Scout's honour.

How've you all been, bloggy people?  Tell me stuff!  (And apologies that I haven't been reading your blogs, waaahhhh - all I've had energy for lately is Twitter, if that.)

Oh, and hey, I'm on Twitter so if you want we can follow each other.  I post deep, thoughtful stuff like the following.  (...muhahah!)