A traveler, alone.

To venture in the Fair Unknown,
I must enter as I leave:
A traveler, alone.

I rarely ever watched Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, but every now and then I saw some scenes (mostly the ends of episodes when I was already sitting in front of my parents’ TV set, eagerly waiting for a new episode of Stargate: SG1 or something similar to start playing); and on one occasion there was this one quote on screen. (Not the orignal one but a translated version; a very well translated one though.) Somehow it struck a cord. I copied it to a piece of paper, taped it to the wardrobe door with another small collection of important stuff. Even now, about a decade (or maybe even more years?) later, every now and then the words come back to me. My subconsciousness must have attached it to several strings of associations. Stargate, Lord of the Rings, my personal fictive world (cf. the preceding post),  and moments of wonder.

To me, it is one of THE quotes about the enigmatic concept sense of wonder. Something so wondrous, amazing, beautiful, you want to share it but you can’t. It’s impossible to convey the impression afterwards, and some moments lose their wonder if another person is present.

Goodbye, 2014

I raise my glass and I drink to days long gone
to times that were and never have been
I’ll drink to tomorrow and the days to come


Something that appeared in my mind today when walking home from grocery shopping (we’ll be hosting a tiny new year’s eve “party” tomorrow night, watching LOTR with a few friends), inspired by a my private fictional universe and most likely by the song “Toast To Tomorrow” by Blackmore’s Night as well. Then I decided it would be a nice way of saying goodbye to the year 2013; so here we go with a poem, a toast, and a song.

Three cool things I experienced this Christmas so far

  • Darling gave me tickets for the dance show “Riverdance” for Christmas; we’ll go watch it the weekend after my thesis will be due. (When I was younger I had watched a recorded performance from video tape many times.)
  • Last night I went outside at about 1:30 pm with one of my brothers (who normally isn’t into photography) and my camera to take pictures of Orion. Tonight Darling drove me to a hill outside town to take more pictures at midnight (click here).
  • This morning I saw a raccoon sitting on the road. Despite having lived in the area for about sixteen years and returning there for the holidays in the years after that I never had seen a live one before. They aren’t native here but had escaped from a pelt farm years and years ago and have populated the state since then, severely annoying garden owners and campers while looking cute.

LEGO Friends Comic Goes Viral: An Interview with Illustrator Maritsa Patrinos

LEGO Friends Comic Goes Viral: An Interview with Illustrator Maritsa Patrinos

That comic hits the nail on the head.

Dr. Rebecca Hains

A comic titled “LEGO Friends” recently went viral, striking a chord with people by humorously pointing out that girls don’t need a separate line of LEGO toys. No, no—girls just need better female representation within existing LEGO sets:

"LEGO Friends" by Maritsa Patrinos of Seasonal Depression. Used with permission. “LEGO Friends” by Maritsa Patrinos of Seasonal Depression. Used with permission.

I was so taken by how well this cartoon encapsulates so many parents’ and advocates’ position on the unnecessary gendering of children’s toys that I reached out to the cartoon’s creator, Maritsa Patrinos, to learn more about her work.

Maritsa is illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY who grew up just outside of Washington, DC and went to Pratt Institute to study illustration. Since graduating in 2010, she’s worked on staff at Marvel Comics, made backgrounds for a Cartoon Network show called MAD, and has worked in different editorial jobs, including a couple New Yorker comics. For the past three years, she’s also  done the cartooning and animation for the shows “16 &…

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Last Roda of the Year

After on Friday we had had the last capoeira class of 2014 I went to a roda held by another capoeira association on Saturday evening (of course not alone, two people I know where there as well, I wouldn’t have had the guts to go all on my own to a group which plays a completely different style, because of social rules and stuff). So my last roda of the year was my very first Angola roda. It was fun, though my legs hurt from doing much more low movements than I’m used to; and half of the time I felt like I was just rolling around on the floor while trying to figure out what on earth was going on. The second time I played I found myself in chamadas two times or so, but somehow I survived that part as well. Most of the songs we had to sing along to where more or less familiar; and I liked that we were sitting instead of standing while not playing.

Bottom line: playing Angola is fun as well despite being a little confusing at first; and I might go to their roda again when it’s open for people from outside their group; still, when it comes to classes I’ll stick with Regional for the time being (but throw in some extra body weight exercises to get more strength for low movements – my legs and my back are killing me right now).

Sadly Friday had ended with bad news – not only one but two of the gym halls we used until now will be demolished next year, oops. So playing today provided a much nicer end of the capoeira season before the holidays. See you next year, meus camaradas :)


Murphy’s law applied to today.

They will shut down the school building where we practise capoeira on Mondays for good after the holidays and demolish it in January or so; this was the first piece of bad news I read today. Yeah, and there is no replacement in sight, so no more class for us on Mondays. We’re not amused.

A guy from choir died rather unexpectedly this week; I got this message this morning as well. The funeral will be on the day of the little Christmas celebration my boss wants to hold at her house and I have no clue if I’ll be able to cope emotionally with singing at a funeral in the afternoon and heading to a friendly, joyful gathering in the evening. I guess I will, but the idea of it still feels weird. (Oh, and last capoeira class for this year would also be that night, including heading out for drinks afterwards, but I can’t go to two events at the same time; why does everything have to fall on the same day?)

And now I have the evil cramps.

On the plus side, I managed to do a few handstands against the wall at capoeira class tonight, got a high-five for it, and started working on arm presses from the handstand position.

Still I’m glad this day will be over soon, I’m sort of feeling like a wreck right now due to the aforementioned crap piled on my already annoying cold. Good night.

Does this ginger know how to ginga?

Scene in the grocery store, last Saturday when doing the weekly shopping with Darling: Me holding up a piece of ginger root, “Does this ginger know how to ginga?”

So yes, we had a capoeira workshop on Sunday. About half of the time we practised throwing each other to the ground in various ways (not all of these are true capoeira moves, but the mestre said we have to be prepared to encounter people who use these). And we practised kicking like a mule, literally. I can’t do a proper handstand, but somehow I’m able to kick someone in the stomach with both feet at the same time (and with a decent amount of precision) from standing on all fours. That part was fun!

Now I’m feeling ill (I did hang out with too many people having nasty colds over the last two weeks) and know I should get up from bed to check if the non-ginga-capable ginger would like to become a hot drink.

[insert leap in time of about 30 minutes]

… and yes, I really made myself some ginger tea. And ate a whole clove of raw garlic. Some smart person recently said that to get rid of a cold one should consume plenty of ginger, garlic, onion, and lemon. I don’t have any lemons at home right now, and I hate chopping onions, so the first two remedies and vitamin C powder will have to suffice for the moment.

you taught me well

You have taught me well, my friend,

less by words and more by demonstration.

Yesterday I came home and felt proud,

because what I had learned from you was seen and appreciated.

You weren’t there, but your efforts were.

We’ll play again.

Yesterday I came home and felt twofold proud.

At university someone had asked me for academic advise and an open ear, someone more advanced than me.

At capoeira class I was introduced to someone as an advanced student, and for one exercise the others were told to follow my rhythm, as my timing was found to be good.