ellestra: (tiger)
For some reason this time zone switch really messed up my sleeping. Maybe because my final flight was so late. Maybe it's because of the weather heat makes me extra tired and before storms I get extra sleepy. Anyway, I'm unable to stay awake. I sleep for 10 hours. I spend 8-9 in work and travelling to and from it. I have no time to left to live.

I come back to work after 6 pm and after an hour I just lie down for a little while (or so I tell myself) and then wake up sometime between 2 and 4 am. Pee and go back to sleep because what else you can do when it'd all dark outside (back in Poland 4 am is already light so I would have issues falling asleep again but I can do it in the dark). And I sleep till 6 or 7.

I was planning to wait it over yesterday but there was a big storm and the power went down so I went down too (but laptop make a nice lamp when you need to find stuff around bathroom). Today I finally made it. Watching Syfy was a nice motivation. They new Friday line up is pretty good motivation. Finally some sci-fi to watch. And I'm actually one of the very few people who watches The Messengers. Even though I know it's doomed.
ellestra: (sunrise)
I've just spent two days in San Francisco. Actually I spent there a little over 24 hours and the rest was flying there in back. Not fun. Especially since we flew in early in the morning and then had to spent the whole day in training trying to pretend we are thinking. But at least I got this:
ellestra: (tiger)
I recently saw another discussion about the Fahrenheit vs. Celsius. It was of course on American site (since no one else even thinks about Fahrenheit) and was all about the superiority of Fahrenheit over Celsius. The whole discussion was as always inane and went back to the only argument that really matters - I grew up with it so it's more intuitive to use. It's the only one that can reasonably let us "determine comfort when we go outside", you know. It however helped me understand a fundamental difference in thinking that eluded me so far (it's been 5 years already - don't even know how that happened).

Look at pictures below. First is used by people defending Fahrenheit as superior. The hundred degree scale contains the temperatures that most people would encounter in their daily life with very cold and very hot outside of it so you'll know you are in special circumstance level. The liveable temperatures are inside it. Celsius - uselessly goes between mildly cold to dead (not really weather on Earth type of temperature). Logical, isn't it?

The thing is - no one thinks of weather or any everyday temperatures this way in Celsius. This closed between 0-100 system doesn't make any sense to anyone raised in Celsius. Sure we care about boiling water but not in weather sense. Instead Celsius is centred around 0oC - the temperature of freezing water. This has a lot of everyday repercussions as that is a difference between rain and snow and between ice and clear roads (but of course humidity, wind and air vs. ground temperature also plays a role) so you want to know if the temperatures will be in the plus or minus.

This is why most of us think of thermometers like this. I picked the one perfectly symmetrical and ending at 50oC but it can be -40 - +40 or -30 - +60 or -100 - +30 depending where you live on Earth. The point is the 0 is our switch point and then the scale is opened on both plus and minus side to go as far as you need in your corner of the world (despite humans having bias towards plus temp the record low is -94 and record high only 56). It is in a way symmetrical which is why I, raised in it, like to say to people that when I was living Poland to come to US it was -18C and when I arrived it was +18. Big temperature shock! Or that near Chicago you can have both -40 and +40 temperatures in one year because continental climate (cold winters, hot summers) while Europe has milder ones because ocean (warmer winter and colder summers).

Fahrenheit is closed of by 0oF and 100oF so, as I mentioned, it relates to unusual by going outside it's borders (or even how close to them you are). I went from 0oF to upper 60s - that's over half the scale. It was way below 0oF - that's how horribly cold it was! And then we went into triple digits and were dying from heatwave!

It's a completely different way of thinking that's not easily translatable no matter how well you learn the corresponding temperatures.

And, of course, very cold and very hot is often a personal thing. I know people who think +30oC is when it starts being nice while I find it very hot. And +20oC is nice but in Hong Kong that's cold weather while people in Siberia treat -20oC as a nice warm winter day.

I have similar thought about other measurements but maybe some other time - it's getting late.
ellestra: (cosima)
The forecast yesterday promised snow or freezing rain and as expected we got the worse option. This morning all cars were encased in ice and it also covered all the over the air walkways. It's hilly here so they often connect the buildings to streets. I was sliding on mine to the pavement and then pulled myself by the railing to the building I work in. Later they put a cone with a note - very slippery on it. Good thing it melted by noon because there'd be a full blown disaster here. Although it is supposed to drop below zero again tonight so we can repeat all this tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile I replaced one of the hard drives on my laptop - the non SSD one - as the old one fell victim to my Christmas clumsiness. The new one is bigger so I did what I always promised myself to do and installed Linux on part of it. I also finally got a printer and installed it. I don't need it much so it's a cheap, monochrome one but it has NFC so I can print directly from my phone. I realised I need it because I had a lot of documents to process in a past month and sometimes wished I didn't have to go to work to get something reprinted. It's all done now - I have new visa and I'm staying for a while longer (no thanks to the incredibly slow HR department - the process started almost a year ago and it ended up being last minute due to their mistakes and incredible slowness) but there will be other things I'd like to be able to print instantly.
ellestra: (sunrise)
The big weather front that caused a lot of storms all over the place arrived here on Friday afternoon. At least they forecasted storms but all really happened was a little bit of rain but the temperature went down pretty rapidly. It's been only 7 oC at night (and below 20 during the day) and it's even got my apartment cool enough today I don't need AC to sleep anymore. It's been pretty nice actually - sunny and nice - great weather for walking and biking. After all it's already October and even here it's starts to feel like autumn at times.

Back home it's already been below 0 at night already so the trees are rapidly changing colours. Here it's just slowly starting. One of our Brazilian students is going home this week and she so excited by even this slight change. She never saw it before and she thinks it's awesome even though they barely have any colour yet. Everything is exotic to someone and North American autumn is especially beautiful. She said she loves it also because the temperatures are just like in her winter which is her favourite season. Unfortunately she's going back to the 3rd summer in row.

To me for now it mostly smells like autumn. Especially now that it's cooler. And I got a giant spiderweb on my balcony. It's at least a metre tall. Very autumny.

Next week we are back to mid twenties so the summer is not ready to give up on us yet. After cool summer this is mostly a pretty warm and autumn so far.
ellestra: (lightning)
The week started very hot (it was 37 on Tuesday) and humid (no more cool breezes in the morning and evening). This is the ugly face of the summer here - that time when it's just unpleasant to be outside. Then they started to scare us with oncoming hurricane Arthur. Forecast predicted storms for two days. But this far inland nothing really happened (and even in the coast it wasn't as bad as it could've been).

There was one very short rain (I missed it completely just going for a 20 min lunch) that just made the air even more humid (it was almost too hot evaporating from asphalt). That was the whole hurricane moment until 4th of July started with sunshine and cooler, less humid air. And this made it really pleasant to sit outside and eat grilled sausages (holiday grill the Polish way - only with less alcohol because of small children and everyone driving). The only think Arthur did spoil was the local Fireworks. They got cancelled because it was too dry (true - it never really rained) and strong wind (false - the wind never materialised either). So we ended up going to the highest hill and watching far away explosions.

In the end the most exciting thing that shown up today was new Doctor Who teaser trailer (now with more Dalek)
ellestra: (sunrise)
When I was going home I was watching Americans wrapped in national colours going to watch their match with Belgium. The streets were mostly empty and the only places where you could see people were bars and restaurants with TV screens. And all those screens were showing the match. The whole main street looked like a dead town with almost noone around except for places showing the World Cup. It was funny how you could tell which places were showing it just by the fact that there were people there. Even on my bus I could here people listening to the match on their phones.

And I know that many people already left for the long weekend and the students are no longer here but still it was eerie. And kind of familiar - because that's how it should be when your country is playing. Even when you know they are going to loose. (With all the group winners advancing now I kind of want the Colombia, Costa Rica, France and Belgium semifinals. Yes I am fickle and contrary.) You just hope to lose well and be proud of the team and thanks to US goalkeeper Americans suddenly gained some cred (according to my male football obsessed friends it helps finding friends to drink with in foreign countries). Because in the end 31 teams loose and this was never going to be US year. And it hurts but if it hurts it shows you really care and this is as big part of World Cup as the game itself.

Of course it's just a game. The endless discussions about whether this is the moment when scoccer makes it in US doesn't really mean anything. Whether it is or isn't popular here doesn't really matter. Because here it's just another sport and even if it becomes more popular it won't really impact much.

But I do feel angry when those right wing pundits dismiss it because it's cheap (no, in rich countries it isn't - kits and boots can be a small fortune as my boss complains) and therefore can be played by poor people (true - because you can play it even without all this expensive stuff but how is that a bad thing?). I get angry because they act like the fact that anyone can be good at something, without putting insane amounts of money into it, makes that thing less valuable. Like the effort to be good doesn't matter - only how much you paid to get there. But the value of sports is measured in passion not by the cost of becoming a player (or the price of the minute of advertisement). It's measured in the power to change lives. And this is the only reason why football really matters. Because sometimes it can make all the difference in the world.

I'm pretty sure that for those girls that win mattered more than World Cup ever could to whoever wins it this year. And I say it knowing that winning the World Cup means everything to millions of people.
ellestra: (sunrise)
I'm on a trip through Southwest with some friends and these are the things we are planning to see: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Sequoia, Yosemite, Mono Lake and, of course, Las Vegas which is where we are flying to and from.

This post will be locked while I'm gone. Mostly because you shouldn't tell the whole internets you are leaving but also because some of my last posts where written in advance and I don't have time to finish this one (there were some explosions that turned out to be too mush gas pressure in a factory but caused a police lockdown as they sounded like gun shots on the night before we are leaving). This will also let me update this with the places we actually did see so I can compare with the plan (and also that noone would read this weeks old post).

So this is were we actually went:

In Utah - Zion which was very warm and green; Bryce Canyon (favourite of all of us I think) which was much colder and felt almost like going back months to previous season; Arches; Canyonlands which I, to my surprise, liked more than Arches; Monument Valley - we just drove the road and took a lot of pictures on it (and stayed in Gouldings) and saw Valley of the Gods pass by.

In Arizona - Horseshoe Bend and met some other Poles there; Antelope Canyon - Lower was much more fun than the Upper as they don't rush you through so fast you only know what you saw after you watch the photos and Grand Canyon which is even bigger than you think and has a deeper, smaller Canyon on the bottom of the very wide one. I also saw a sunset and a sunrise over the Grand Canyon and a lot of stars (and tripped pretty badly as there is very little light pollution there). There is also 800 years old ruin in the park and it was nice to see some actually old building along the way - it doesn't really feel like sightseeing trip without it.

In California - this is were the weather started to fall apart so Death Valley was gorgeous (all the colours of the rocks are amazing - especially Zabriskie Point and Artist's Palette) but extremely windy (samums and a wind that was pushing the car in a scary way). Then by the mountains it started raining and got cold so we never got to Sequoia (14 cm of snow and -4oC during the day) but Yosemite was open and so pretty with snow on the peaks in the Valley and than we got to walk around the sequoias in snow in the Yosemite's Mariposa Grove. Since we couldn't cross the mountains because the snow closed all the roads we didn't see Mono Lake but we drove back south the same way (and retrieved my Muppet pyjamas I left in one of the hotels) and saw Joshua Trees on Mojave Desert. Even on the deserts California was cold - my friend was disappointed but I was happy - it's much better to go sightseeing on a desert with during little below 20 oC weather than over 30. Also we both agreed that rural parts of Northern California look a lot like rural Poland (landscape wise). Very pretty that is.

Las Vegas was exactly as tacky and sad as I expected. My friend called it amusement park for adults but I rather have rollercoasters than fliers for sex shows littering all the streets and overperfumed insides of the hotels (trying to mask the cigarette smoke smell) that didn't agree with my asthma. But we saw the Hoover Dam sow that was nice.

Just like the beginning the end has it problems - like constant fire alarm on the Las Vegas airport terminal that everyone in our security check ignored but it caused all the plane crews from other checkpoints to push in front of us (Korean Air stewardesses are very tall and thin and all look like models and make you feel inadequate in their perfectly fitting uniforms). Than they changed our gate. Than we took forever to taxi on Logan and had only 15 minutes to switch planes on Logan so we made it but the luggage didn't. I still don't have any of my dirty clothes because we had one for the two of us and they delivered it to my friend.

Besides the flying, I loved the whole trip - it was completely awesome and we saw so much (and drove 5000 km - 3000 mile) it seems like I was there longer then 2 weeks. My favourite parts were Bryce, Lower Antelope, Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Yosemite. Bryce and Yosemite are among the most beautiful places I ever saw.
ellestra: (muppets)
Today is the All Saints Day and my family spent it (and the rest of the weekend) visiting graves. But I'm here far away from all of them so I went to see Halloween instead. I haven't done it since my first time here because it was either cold or rainy but this time after a very cold last week (it was even below freezing at night) yesterday was very warm (20oC even at midnight) and dry and this time all the skimpy costumes were total justified.

There was a lot of people there:

Doctors, Captain Planet and Chell - everyone:

And just like in Cinderella story the party ended at midnight. First policemen on bikes drove through the whole width of the street slowly. Behind them there were ones on foot and behind them street cleaning trucks:

ellestra: (once upon a time)
We all got sent home early today. Hospital clinics got closed. Extra buses were running. And streets were getting closed. All because there was an American football match, sorry, game this evening. I thought they only happened on weekends but this is something special for some reason (don't care enough to search) and even though the game was to start at 7:30 everyone was evacuating before 3 pm. When I was leaving with tons of other people the music was alrady blasting from stages before frat houses. Apparently the game is still going on. I have no idea what is taking so long but I wonder how that works for the people who have to go to work tomorrow morning.

But the fact that the campus was basically dead already today meant I didn't have to feel guilty about my birthday lunch with a friend. I just had a birthday, she just had a birthday and we exchanged gifts and had fun. My niece also just had a birthday and I paid for her Furbie and my mum just said it's a hit - she takes him everywhere and every other kid wants their own - including her brother. Frankly, I'm jealous - I always wanted an interactive pet toy. I read way too much sf as a kid and though they were real. I can't feel bad about getting it for her even though it's horribly overpriced.

I also just came back from a birthday trip with my friends - we left on birthday of one of them and came back on mine. That was fun few days. The post you all saw were written before I left and showed up on schedule and I'm happy to know it worked. We went to the Smoky Mountains. I haven't been there yet because I didn't have anyone to go with until now. It was fun and beautiful but mostly cloudy so the colours never looked as bright as we hoped. Still, it was very pretty and we saw waterfalls and autumn colours and some awesome dawns (it's easy when sunrise is after 7:30):

Now, I only have to write my brother a birthday card - he's from October, too and then have last one birthday lunch with some other friends and I'm done celebrating for this month.

Rainy days

Oct. 11th, 2013 12:55 pm
ellestra: (lightning)
Last weekend was the hight of the summer resurgence. It was getting warmer all week and the weekend was hot and Sunday even hot and humid. I was walking around taking pictures in tank top and shorts and I was overheating and the sky looked like this:

Then on Monday I woke up to rain. It was still warm but it was dark and the rain was falling in steady downpour. And it was bringing down leaves with it. It has been getting colder and colder every day and today it was barely 12oC with a steady drizzle so fine it was little more then a mist but still getting everywhere. The autumn has come.

It's been like this for days and, as I was sitting in the bus trying to look outside through steamed-up windows it felt both weird and familiar. Days and days of such weather are normal in Poland but not here so it felt out of place. It's hard to explain to someone who never change continents. You don't really realise how much sunnier US is then Europe North of Alps. Even I didn't fully realise this until I saw a map showing the relative direct solar-energy availability in the United States, Spain, and Germany (red = highest, purple = lowest). Poland is a lot like Germany.

So here, normally, even where it rains, it rains at night. Days, even when cold, are mostly sunny. And even if they are not it doesn't last. Dark, cloudy, rainy weather for more then even one day is rare and for more then two weird. Except this year it happened over and over again and so did colder days in summer and sudden weather changes. Somehow, every time it happens I'm struck with a bout of homesickness. Especially, when looking through steamed-up bus windows, when it almost looks like home.


Aug. 19th, 2013 10:53 pm
ellestra: (telamon)
So I just came back from New York last night. I was there as a tour guide to my cousin but I managed to fit in few things I haven't seen before - like Enterprise and Greenpoint (they even have Biedronka there :P)

We also saw some movie or TV show being filmed in Grand Central Terminal. If you ever wonder why on movies is so empty and lacking crowds of tourists taking photos it's because they shoo them out of the shot and replace with extras. In this case extras dressed in business suits who looked out of place between all the t-shirt wearing people actually there. The only actor I recognised was Marc Blucas and all he did was running, looking around in panic and then getting to only, magically open and free ticket window. I couldn't figure out what it was for from his imdb page so take your guess.

Which reminded me that when I was in the Chicago I saw stunt guys preparing for some stairway jumping. There were no cameras because they were just trying to get the set-up right but the were plenty of people watching. In the morning they said it was for Avengers. In the afternoon they said random ridiculous things like episode of Friends or more plausible things like Fear Factor but the closes to the truth I heard them to be was when they said "nothing until it works". Pick your version.

ellestra: (aeryn)
I'm back from Chicago and I had great time both on the conference and sightseeing. I had perfect weather 25-28 oC, sunny with light, cool wind. Now I'm back in heat and humidity and the storms keep coming. There is a sign just around the corner saying "Anyone seen Noah?"

I started processing the photos and some day I will make a post about my travels. Maybe. Right now I just wanted to say that I really liked Chicago from the beaches of Lake Michigan to the Museum complex. I like the city itself except the transport system. At least the buses. The "L" was fine but buses were completely random. Hearing people complaining on the bus stops made me realise Chicago is Warsaw's sister city in more ways then one. Everything else was great. Even the Chicago skyline makes bigger impression then Manhattan. In New York the skyscrapers are so close together that you have to leave Manhattan to appreciate the look. In Chicago they're further apart so you can see the multiple skyscrapers in the distance. It feels very American city like. Especially, when you are driven around in a convertible.

I had great time but then I also had to catch up with work and laundry so this is it for today. I need to go to sleep to finally switch back to my one hour earlier time zone.
ellestra: (charlie jade)
I'm flying to Chicago for a conference today. I should be on the plane already but it's late. Still on its way here. And it's so full they made us put all the larger carry-on bags into baggage hold. I also already managed to leave my poster at baggage check (I got it back and TSA guy just laughed at me - it's just paper after all - but still). And then I got onto the wrong plane (they let me in!) and almost flew to Washington instead. Luckily, that plane was as overbooked as mine so the person who had my seat number clued me in and I managed to get out. And get my carry-on back (same procedure as my real plane).

This, clearly, is not a good day for me. I wonder what mishaps await me in Chicago. I bet something will go wrong with the taxi or the hotel. Right now, I just hope I'll just manage to get there eventually.
ellestra: (lightning)
When I leaving for Boston it was pretty cold for North Carolina (I was wearing jeans and long sleeves and I was cool) and the storm was coming. When I came back from Boston it was still pretty cool - just over 20C. Then it got hot for few day 27 - 30 which, from my experience so far, is normal for here. Of course this would sound more impressive if it wasn't just a tiny bit colder in Poland that week. And it pretty soon ended by becoming more humid then hot. It's still better then hot and humid but humidity itself was so bad that even with lower temperatures you could overheat just by breathing. Coming into our air conditioned buildings made you feel like you were steaming. It also made you sweat even more as your body suddenly was revelling in regaining the ability to cool you down.

This weather reminds me of Junes in Poland. The fact that the clovers are blooming on the sides of the roads and the grasses are flowering and, if you don't look close enough and ignore the poison ivy and run over turtles, it looks just like Poland in June too. But most of all it smells like it. That mix of grass and pine needles and humidity with the occasional cold draft coming from the shade is very typical for Polish June. Not here. Here's usually just hot and humidity smells like indoor swimming pool.

It reminds me of the village my grandma lived in and where I would spend summers and weekends. We would sit outside on the weekend eating and drinking and batting away mosquitoes. Or go on biking trips. It just smells like Polish countryside and it makes me feel homesick. But it also, somehow, helps me feeling less homesick. I've been little depressed ever since my grandma died and feeling alone and so far away from home. Now, I walk around and smell the rain and it just brings all the nice memories and I feel a little better.

It's pouring outside again right now but after that we are supposed to get few days of drier, cooler weather. Sunny, just above 20 with little wind is my perfect weather so I'm planning to spend this holiday weekend outside. Before this exceptionally cold May ends and the inevitable heat and humidity starts for good.
ellestra: (winged)
My grandmother just died - her funeral was today and I couldn't make it - there wasn't enough time for me to get there on time. Instead I was just walking all depressed for the past couple of days. She was very sick for a long time. She had stroke years ago. She got much better but she then she started believing she can do all she did before and got another stroke. Still she was still pretty good for few years after. We talked through Skype and she could see me. When she was a kid all there was was radio and they didn't even have it since they didn't have electricity till the 70s in her village (and phones till after communism fell - there where notorious problems with getting a phone line in communist Poland). She lived long enough to do videocalls with me over the ocean though the internet. She kept asking me about new technologies (especially genetics) and, even though she knew about them mostly from Radio Maryja (awful, awful garbage), she was closer to understanding them then a lot of younger people I know. Just thinking about how many changes she had to get used to in her life and how many of those came recently and she still was able to use them reminds me how great she was.

Main reason I went home for Christmas was knowledge that was my last chance to see her. She wasn't able to talk to me for months. It was harder and harder for her to concentrate and respond to what was happening around andd even to have a conversation. We were told she probably had series of microstrokes. She still had moments one could talk with her when I was in Poland but it got worse and worse and she could barely even eat at the end. It still hit me bad when my dad told me. She was my last grandparent.

I also need to go to Boston in May so I planning my trip when the whole thing happened. Now, my parents are nervous at the though of me going there even if logically a chance that anything like that will happen again so soon in the same is extremely low (I think it's even safer now). Also the flight home I was thinking about was through Boston - I would probably got stuck and never made it anyway. Still watching the footage on repeat on the news I couldn't help noticing Polish flag right in the middle of the screen and that made me even more sad and angry. Because I wish I could be with my family right now instead of all alone here with everyone to busy to talk to me. Because all those people who were just enjoying life and now won't ever again and their family who lost their loved ones in one moment for whatever stupid reason it was done for.

Then I went outside and badly twisted my ankle today. So fun week so far...
ellestra: (sunrise)
I've been very busy last week. It was because of the experiments I needed to do and because I had to plan for conference and training trips and because I also had to prepare my data for incoming lab meeting and data for people who we work with because they were just waiting for it to submit their paper. So I didn't watch any news except looking at BBC and some Polish news portals to check if the world still exists. I even forgot it was Women's Day until it was almost over. Then I just went to see a movie on Saturday to relax (I picked something that were supposed to be visually pretty and fluffy and I left only half satisfied and rather irritated but reminded me about the real meaning of Women's Day).

So when I overslept today I wasn't aware how much I overslept. It's spring and my asthma is acting up, especially after they changed my main medicine (it was supposed to be better but it's worse and I need to change it back tomorrow), so I usually can't sleep. I wake up because I can't breathe. So I was pretty surprised that when I finally decided to wake up it was already 10 on my watch. I was even more surprised when it turned out it was actually 11.

If not for all the OS devices automatically updating time I would be totally unaware it was time change time already. Somehow I remembered it as being two weeks before what we do in Europe (which always happens on the last weekend of March) so I expected this to happen next weekend. That's how it always been since I've been here. But it turns out it's actually changed in US on the second weekend of March. This is usually 2 weeks before Europe - except for a year like this one when March has 5 full weekends - and then there is 3 weeks difference. So I already am on Summertime and Poland changes to it, once again, on Easter (it always makes me pity those who feel the need to go for the 6 am mass).

And this way I have an extra week of only 5 hour difference between here and home this year. Maybe I'll even manage to skype with people during the weekdays.
ellestra: (tiger)
After all this time I decided to get my mattress off the floor and I got myself a bed. Mostly because going home (or even thinking about going home) made me realise how I missed my old bed. Despite it being much narrower then what I have now it was always so comfortable. Even when I just go there after months of not using it it is still so comfortable.

Of course it utilises two technologies that seem to be almost unknown here. My mattress is made from separately wrapped spring coils with 5 different hardness zones and the same is true about slatted base. This means the whole thing gets to be very good at moulding and supporting the body while not getting that clammy, overheating feel of foam. But as I mentioned both of those things seem to be really unpopular in US so it turned out that my only option to get something close to what I like is to buy Ikea.

Because, I had to pay for transport anyway I decided to also buy drawers. I'm conditioned to keep almost everything in drawers. I spent last week putting stuff together. It took so long mostly because I tried not to make noise too late (using hammer is unfortunately necessary). It's also a reason I wasn't posting. I was too busy putting stuff together. It was kind of fun as it appeals to that part of me that loves jigsaw puzzles and building blocks. Only this was easier (fewer elements) but more physically challenging (heavy!).

This is what how my new bed looks like and I like the simplicity and light colour. I've seen more solid bases then Sultan Laxeby but at least it has 5 comfort zones and doesn't make me need ladder to climb the bead like the spring boxes Americans use. And my mattress is made from wrapped coils and even without separate comfort zones it should do. So now it's time to try it out. Goodnight.
ellestra: (sunrise)
When I cam back from Poland it was just a few degrees more here and the air was chilly and felt colder then it was. I spent last weekend home to make sure my laryngitis goes away and when I emerged on Monday the weather started changing. It started getting warmer and warmer and it got to +18 and sunny. Then it rained on Friday. This weekend was hot and humid. Temperature was 23 in shade during the day and due to clouds and humidity didn't drop below 15 at night. Even now, at almost midnight, it is 19C outside.

If not for short days and bare trees you could almost think summer is starting. Certainly all the people in shorts and t-shirts and flip flops behaved like it is.

It is unusually warm even for here and with rain and warmth plants are starting the spring already. I;ve seen first daffodils, magnolia's flower buds are almost ready to open. I've been putting a lot of photos here lately but part of me still cannot believe I was among snow and cold and now I have this outside:

You can see even plants are confused. The pink flowers are normal this time of year - they always bloom very early but rhododendron shouldn't start for months. It may prove deadly for those flowers as it's supposed to get colder again with temperatures dropping below freezing at night at the end of the week. And a lot of rain this week.

Meanwhile back in Poland they are having a picture perfect winter with a lot of snow and temperatures just below 0 that keep it from melting but don't feel too cold. That was what I really wanted.

EDIT: It's still so warm in my apartment I had to open windows and the balcony door to cool it down and I will leave to open for the night.
ellestra: (muppets)
I flew back on Friday and spent a weekend trying to sleep off the jetlag while fighting the remains of the cold. My voice still breaks a little but it's almost gone. Of course the dry cough will stay for few more weeks. That's just how it works when I'm sick. No fever - excess of phlegm and coughing. So that's how my year started.

I had a pretty good flight this time. I almost slept. I met a friend I studied biology with on the plane. I walked around. I spent 4 hours on JFK. Next day I skyped with my mum and had the weirdest feeling when I saw her sitting in that room I was just in when I realised I'm now an ocean away. Plane travel boring and tedious, yet still amazing.

Meanwhile the first week of 2013 is behind us and everyone did their reviews of last year and lists of best. Locus posted the results of its polls for the best SSF in two centuries (full version here). io9 did a whole cycle of post reviewing 2012 and a post about genre shows coming in 2013.

Adam of the Wertzone and Patrick of the Pat's Fantasy Hotlist did their annual list of best. Larry on OF blog not only shared his best novels, collections and non-English language fiction of 2012 but also collected lists of other people.

I haven't really thought about mine. I was to busy enjoying having a cat and a family.

May 2016

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