Category Archives: #Dailies / Ежедневни/ци

Гневни, злобни, злободневни, общественозначими от лична гледна точка мнения

Drama Queen, Letters to My Younger Self

Last November, I wrote all November Poem-A-Day prompts against a specific topic – Letters to My Younger Self. It is a chapbook, because that’s the original aim of that month-long challenge – to produce a chapbook for publication.

Obviously, I’m so wasted by work, that come New Year, I’ve forgotten all about it. Of course, I mentioned it in my New-Year-resolutions” post where I bragged about it being nearly ready. Recently, I’ve found the chapbook’s first draft and I think it’s as good a time to post some of the poems here as any. This one was written for day 7 prompt – occupation/profession. In it, I tell my younger self that in spite of all her heroic aspirations, she would be a drama queen.

Image by annca from Pixabay

DRAMA QUEEN
My favourite occupation,
And your dream – to climb the fandom ladder
Playing what befits you most.

My lovely queen,
Your regular amaze fits, and your frequent
Pas-de-deux in the variety show
Of randomly selected dramatic media,
Goth black, feathers, glee and dreamy eyes,
Still warm my heart with bitterness
Instead of the fans’ loving glitter kisses
On your diary.

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Exercise in Poetry Thoughts

Inspired by my friends, Marie Elena and Walt, on their blog, Poetic Bloomings. This is a list of words: walk, Autumn, carrot, lake, race, embrace, song, throw, annual, ego – and as the first step of the exercise, we need to write a sentence using each. Sentences are not connected, however, they need to have some poetic potential.

1. I walk alone in the garden of Eden where flowers bloom in fairy tale haze.
2. Autumn follows summer playing with it, not chasing, just singing in a duet of increasingly ragged tunes.
3. The best sun screens for children contain carrots thus making a jolly triangle of orange childhood.
4. Mirroring the snow-white peak is the lake, quietly caressing me.
5. You can’t win at a rat race unless you’re a rat.
6. Yoga teachers always say, “Embrace yourself”. Are we allowed to pray?
7. Who can hear the song of the cricket?
8. Throw a ball of snow.
9. I used to take part in annual competitions, I used to be thrilled and wanted to win.
10. One’s greatest struggle is the one for subduing one’s ego.

To see other poets’ worthy lines, Poetic Blooming website is at a click distance.
I can’t wait to see what the next step will be.

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My Latest Favourite – Eggs

#FridayFitness

I’ve been struggling with my weight for the past two and a half years since I entered menopause. Once slim and carefree about my dieting habits, I am a totally different person now. To leave life’s normal worries aside, let me tell you about my latest favourite food – eggs.

Maybe eggs are the second most controversial food item next to coffee. All our lives we seem to be listening to ardent defenders and bullying denouncers of both. It seems the two items come and go out of fashion nearly at the same time.

When I was younger, eggs were considered a food that you couldn’t eat over 1-2 times per week. Otherwise, you ran the risk of damaging your kidneys. And the cholesterol levels were considered very high, so eggs were forbidden on any diet. Coffee would damage your heart, for that manner.
Then, voices were heard, articles oozed in behind the veto, and they told us that eggs are actually miraculous food, so we should eat as many of them as we like. Some voices would even say we should eat more than we felt like.
I love eggs, and this is not a new thing. Every Easter I would eat my full of them, not minding the caution tags by experts. During my first massive weight gain, I even contemplated an egg-only 3-day diet, but I didn’t do it. I went for cottage cheese, instead. That didn’t help. I doubt any diet could if you don’t stick to it with all your will. I don’t, that’s why they don’t work for me.

However, the good news about eggs brightened my mood. I don’t see any further chance for putting eggs back on the blacklist. Now, with the Internet and all the information being within easy reach – both for reading and creation, there will always be groups that will support one opinion or another. Hm, that brings me to think about vaccines. Still, that is another topic.
Cook yourself an egg or two, mix it with green salad and enjoy. As for your weight… everyone should find their own way of fighting it.

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Ostara, the Spring Equinox Full Moon

#wiccawednesday
Let’s talk about tomorrow’s full moon, the one nearest to the spring equinox, the Ostara. Undoubtedly, you can recognise the common root of this word and the Christian Easter. The coming spring and the raised spirits with returning nature’s lush are a common part of all festivities. We cannot find any biblical grounds for the eggs, for example. The widely-proclaimed story of Mary Magdalene bringing an egg to Tiberius Caesar to announce the raising of Jesus from the dead is of unsure origin. There is no word in the Bible itself regarding this event. In Wiccan tradition, however, eggs and greenleaf spring vegetables play an important role. They remind us of the renewal forces of nature. The egg will develop into a living creature, and the newly sprouted leaves will vary our table with their freshness and put an end to our winter-time diet of preserved and canned food.
This year’s full moon is just around the corner – it’s tomorrow and the hour depends on where in the world you are. Astronomical spring comes right with it, the season changes, a new stage of the year begins.

Image by armennano on Pixabay

It’s a good time for cleaning your house and your soul. Open the windows wide and throw out all you have been keeping but not using for the last couple of months. After the fresh air has penetrated every nook in your house and your soul, don’t sit down to rest. Go out for a walk and feast your eyes and spirit in the renewing nature. Late in the evening come back and rest in your new sheets.
For better cleansing of your body, you can also restrain from too much food for the day of the full moon and the following 2 days. Eat light, abstain from alcohol and revel in the light of the magical moon.
If you like yoga, the full moon is a great time to practice the less known Chandra Namascar – the Moon Salutation complex.

Jasmine and rose are the scents you can add to your everyday lives along with anything else you love, of course. Flow naturally!

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Throwback Thursday – 14 March

On this day in 44 BC, the eve of Julius Caesar’s assassination, Casca and Cassius decided that Mark Antony should live. Led by the sour feeling of fairness, by humility or by the sheer fear of the impact of their deed, we can’t be sure. Centuries later, we may jokingly say that Antony was spared so that he could make his grand dramatic appearance at Caesar’s funeral and giving his famous speech which we know from Shakespeare’s play:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

at which point Antony makes a well-paced pause to further build up the crowd’s discontent at the assassins. After which he finishes with:

But yesterday the word of Caesar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters, if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men.
But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
I found it in his closet, ’tis his will:
Let but the commons hear this testament–
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–
And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.

###
Did you notice the use of the “honourable man/men” phrase? I laugh every time I hear that phrase. Popular culture contributed to my own unholy feelings when I come across it. There is nothing to be added to that brilliant speech.

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Can Introverts Work in HR?

Because of my occupation, I often read about the “perfect” applicant, the “matching” qualities, the “relevant set” of characteristics in a person who will make her fit in a team or a job. Recently, I was outraged by an article about the qualities you need to look out for when you search for your HR Manager. The article was loosely written and had little focus. For instance, I didn’t understand why it was entitled “How to Choose a Quality HR Director”, but it spoke freely about the entire range of HR professionals. I mention such weaknesses because the article appeared in a reputable online HR resource that purports to carry the torchlight of professionalism to the plebeians and newbies in the field. Were it part of a personal blog, I wouldn’t be so upset.

In addition to repeating many well-known truths and rules as if they were ground-breaking revelations, the article reached the conclusion that “There is no place for introverted people in HR”. An explanation of why followed. Needless to say, it only demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge and understanding in the field of personality traits and peculiarities.

Are you curious to read about some of the Myths of Introversion? Here is my blog post #1 encompassing the most popular ones.

Sorry to see that the author is part of a large company recruiting management staff and she has the authority to dictate the tone and beliefs of many professionals in the sphere.

That said, let me explain why I disagree. First of all, introverted people are not ones who don’t like to communicate. Some of them are asocial or socially anxious, but that is not a feature all introverts share. Introverts actually love communication, but they prefer it to be meaningful. Then they need rest.

Second of all, introverts are not people who don’t know how to socialise. Many introverts are keen public speakers and love going to parties and having fun, including meeting strangers. Then they need rest.

When we speak of the need to rest, it might be helpful if you check my post about the “introvert hangover”.

Third, and I don’t want to be rude here, just because someone wants to speak to others and is able to do it incessantly, doesn’t mean this person has anything meaningful to say. The only sure thing about such people is that they love listening to their own voices. How is that helpful when you are an HR?
In order to align your work and mentality with the colleagues from the company, you need to get to know them. That takes time. It also needs a lot of patience. Not many extroverts have the time to wait until they get really close to someone else. Have you seen what happens when an extroverted manager accosts an introverted or asocial employee? The employee withdraws in her shell and you’ll never see her or hear her voice again. This might bring the manager to the easy conclusion that the employee is impolite. Why not see what I’ve written about the myth that introverted people are rude? It will definitely have a familiar ring.

The direct approach combined with a broad smile so characteristic for seasoned managers with experience in big companies is one of the most detested tools of power. Any quiet and focused team member will tell you that.

This goes under my #SavageSaturday hashtag because it discusses my beloved introversion topic.

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Psychologist or Psychiatrist?

#SavageSaturday

That is a question often asked when one suffers some mental issue or another. Films and magazines sway the public opinion towards a psychologist. They often depict the treatment, called therapy, as relaxing on a couch or in an armchair, outside of hospital environment and talking to a professional. Usually, we see a doctor-patient relationship and both parties call each other these names. Yet, we don’t see white medical robes or any sign of a medical office.

I had always thought the professional is a psychotherapist by practice and a psychologist by education. It turns out to be a mistake. Even though they don’t prescribe medicine or hospital stay, these therapists we see in films are psychiatrists. They study at a medical university along with all the rest on the craft – paediatricians, obstetricians, cardiovascular and internal disease doctors. They know about anatomy, biology and chemistry just as all the doctors we meet in more typical environments. After medical school, they go on to specialise, again like any other doctor does, in the so-called residence. That means they work full-time at a hospital or institution where they get familiar with lots of different real cases and get trained to treat patients independently.

So, when we’re mildly affected by a mental issue, who should we turn to? I used to see psychiatrists as doctors who would simply prescribe some drug to you which is sure to meddle with your sense and stability. It turns out, they actually undergo courses in psychotherapy, if they like, and then continue helping patients with sessions only or combining pills and talking sessions.
Then, when do we visit a psychologist and what can we expect her to treat? I would say, we do that when our marriage or parenting or relations in the office don’t work efficiently. We go to see a psychologist when we need a new perspective in some area in our everyday lives where we are stuck for one reason or another. We don’t do it when we are depressed or suicidal, just as we don’t go to the pub owner for a cure when we have the flu or a toothache. In those latter cases, we visit medical doctors, of the speciality we need.

We must face it, though – a lot of people do exactly that. When they are sick, they seek advice and help at various places, but at the doctor’s. It’s hard to imagine they would do differently when it concerns their mental health.
I am a psychologist and am deeply interested in therapy and ways to help people. At the same time, I know doctors have a great advantage compared to me because they know of hormones, enzymes, physiology and nerves, among other things. I, on the other hand, can simply improvise and imagine things. Things which can do more harm than good. That is why I know I’m helpless in a lot of situations. Like all psychologists in the world.

I hope more people will realise that.

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Myths about Introversion, Part 3: Rudeness

Here we go with another blog post in my #SavageSaturdays sub-series concerning Introversion. To check the previous posts in the series, you can see here and here.
This post is going to be on one of the most popular myths about introverted people – Introverts are rude, impolite, selfish or arrogant, depending on the situation.

Do you remember the last party you went to? Was there at least one person, a man or a woman who didn’t mingle with the group? She seemed aloof, kept at a distance, didn’t laugh at your jokes and, generally, didn’t make nice talk to anyone. Oh, except for that very weird neighbour of your friend, the party host. Or, the pet. Or, did you see her reading a book in the hallway? Playing or chatting on her phone all the time? But mainly what set her apart was the fact that she never laughed. Not even at the host’s jokes. She wasn’t a teenager, she wasn’t dressed as a Goth, so the only thing you thought was: rude.

In fact, introverted people don’t like small talk, they are never prepared to chat about shoes, cooking, the town gossip or the weather. Neither would they try to solve the problem of poor education or healthcare in the country at a party. They don’t see a reason why they should be prepared for such topics, actually. Small talk seems a waste of time to them. When it comes to jokes, you need to be really funny to make them laugh. That doesn’t include the “banana-skin” sort of funny.

In addition to the above, we must keep in mind that often introverted people are more scared to socialise than others are insulted by their lack of socialising. That lady kept to the side not only because your topics are boring. Even when they are interesting, she might keep away. She is too self-conscious. She imagines that stepping closer will move a spot of light onto her, all eyes will be on her, and in their lame attempts to make her feel ‘at home’ people will stare and start interrogating her. That is exactly what it feels like – interrogation. However, introverted people don’t have ready answers for even the simplest questions, apart from, perhaps, their name, age, family status and job. They need to think, then they need to phrase and re-phrase, and re-think and re-phrase again. In short, they suck at promptness. To avoid all this, which might not take place, at all, they choose not to risk getting into the spotlight of attention.

I hope, more of us would find the time to think about that when we see someone looking or walking away just to avoid us.

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Quotation Marks – Basic Punctuation and Peculiarities Rules

When writing I am most often puzzled by punctuation rules. That is why, whenever I think of this blogging topic, #WriterlyWednesday, I turn my view towards punctuation. Today’s matter of discussion is quotation marks, a.k.a. inverted commas. The use of quotation marks in English is a tough topic for me, not only because it’s different in my language, but also by the complexity and variety of cases that are present.

First of all, let me say how indignant I am at the fact that there are two types of quotation marks – single and double, and, of course, British and American English go completely opposite each other in the way these are used. There are also two names for the same thing, and namely, you can either call them “quotation marks” or “inverted commas”. Such diversity is unnecessary, IMHO. Let’s move on, though.

In British English, you would use the single quotation marks. They are very hard to see and distinguish, partly because they look like the apostrophe, and this is a good reason for me to give up using them after years of poor attempts. You see, I naturally go with the British English version of everything, but typing ‘said he’ quickly gave way to “said he”. Did you see that? Visibility and certainty that these commas are in fact marking a quotation.

The Americans use the double marks for the same cases. Why then the other marks exist? Very simply, they are used when you need to put some quotation inside the main quotation. This is also the reason why our language doesn’t need a second pair of quotation marks – we don’t put dialogue in inverted commas, so if we want to use them in dialogue, we simply use the normal ones.

One of the huge puzzles for me personally is where to put the full stop – inside or outside the quotation marks. No wonder, that also depends on whether it’s British or American English. In the latter, the full stop (which is called “period”) goes inside the marks. I prefer the logic of the British writing style, however, where it depends on whether the ending punctuation mark of a sentence is an integral part of the quote. Thus, if it isn’t, it will stay outside. Here is an example:

I wonder what would be an appropriate use of the phrase “point blank”.

Do you think he’ll say it’s “long overdue”?

See what I mean by logical? This is the way I use quotation marks. Where I step away from American style is the type of the marks – I tried to use single, but this simply doesn’t work with me, so I turned to double and plan to stick to them.
Do you follow the British or American style? Which one seems more intuitive for you?

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Throwback Thursday – You’re so Vain

For today’s #ThrowbackThursday I turned to music. Number 1 Hit in the US Billboard Chart on January 3, 1973, was Carly Simon’s song that afterwards had numerous covers and reprises – You’re So Vain.

I’ve always enjoyed this song even though I have no memory when was the first time I heard it. It is, at that, highly probable that I heard one of the more recent versions and not the 70s original.

It’s attractive because of its tease to the song’s subject. On many occasions, Carly had to answer questions about the specific man or men she aimed at with the lyrics. The fun part is that some men in her life definitely thought “this song was about them” which would both confirm their assurance and expose their vanity. Considering they were no shy guys, I don’t suppose any of those consequences would affect them as negative. There is no bad publicity, you know.

Less talk and more art! I say, let’s go to the video and the lyrics. Enjoy!

###
Son of a gun
You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner they’d be your partner and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain (you’re so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you don’t you?

You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair and that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee clouds in my coffee and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain (you’re so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you don’t you don’t you?

I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee clouds in my coffee and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain (you’re so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you don’t you?


Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won
Then you flew your lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not you’re with some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend wife of a close friend and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain (so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you don’t you don’t you?
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain
Probably think this song about you
You’re so vain
###

I hope you enjoyed the piece today as much as I do.

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