Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

March 15, 2012

The enemy

Junk-food needs not be bought at McDonalds. It needn’t be food at all,  the motions are the same whether it’s internet or TV or sugar or whatever: anything that we have an urge to consume, knowing full-well before and during and after we’ve consumed it that not only it doesn’t have true value, but is also destructive in the long run, and yet we still do it because it satiates some sort of need… that is the enemy.

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March 11, 2012

From mud

There is rarely, if ever, a need to finish this sentence.

If that sounded like gibberish, it’s because it is, but it needed to be written.

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February 20, 2012

Gone before you got around to missing it

After postponing  it for probably half a decade, I finally decided to go through our old CD collection with my dad. We were supposed to sort through all of it and see what’s for keeping.

I haven’t touched those CDs in years, so when we finally started going through all of them, all the cover art started giving me a veritable flood of nostalgia – games, movies and music from quite literally the previous millennium, from various phases of my life, each title releasing a small cloud of memories. There were a lot of unmarked CDs too, so I knew that there were many, many hours ahead of sorting through them and finding even more god knows what sort of old stuff I used to consume, or never got around to; and I was more and more looking forward to it.

We put probably a hundred CDs in the designated garbage bag, and almost twice as many discs in another, identical bag, for later sorting through. You can see where this is going.

When I realized I threw out the wrong bag, the feeling was so unusual that I went pretty much straight through the 5 stages of grief and into acceptance.

It’s like I’ve been given a typical script from everyday life, but with some of the bits tumbled around so that everything is a bit off and you get a twist ending. There was this whole new parallel universe, so to speak, a world of potentiality in which I was to indulge, coming into being. And, just as quickly as it came, it was gone.

What I’m sort of trying to preserve now is the memory of that range of feelings, the sudden rush of happiness coupled with the abrupt disappearance of that world of possibilities. It’s like winning a small lottery (which you in fact had all the time) and then loosing it all over again. Apart from that big lesson of sudden gain and loss, every time I think about the experience, I feel like I can learn something new.

Here’s one of the lessons I don’t want to end up in the garbage bag. Lately I’ve been trying to define some approach to keeping my Japanese alive, maybe even gain some ground with the kanji.  Among those now-gone CDs were also a few anime compilations, which inspired a new rush of motivation for studying the language when I found them. Now they’re gone and the motivation went pretty much with them.

If I know that an adequate environment is one of the important things for learning and motivation, should I really wait for blind chance to offer me with one? Isn’t there this thing called the internet where you can get pretty much anything you need? Why didn’t I do that earlier: download all the shows and  then get around to deciding what I would like to do with my Japanese?

 

February 17, 2012

You could be dead next Friday

All you have to do is take away one quite important minute out of each day.

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July 31, 2010

Lessons from tango – how to do things well

During a very turbulent time for me when student protests, moving and other things came my way, I slowly became aware that tango has not only been having a more and more profound impact on my life in many ways, but it had become the one good constant; an example and comparison, in fact, of how I could do everything else. This awareness grew to the point of happy bemusement (sometimes bordering on irritability): while all my conscious attempts to improve various aspects of myself and my life have been processes with their highs and (oh so many) lows, tango started great and, without any seeming intervention on my part, only became better. I thought about why this was so, and one of the things I came up with is a concrete list of the circumstances that I had in tango which made it all possible:

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February 28, 2010

Tango

In the meantime, tango happened.

Other things too – new protests, new friendships, a new organization – but this is the most important one; because tango, like a lot of things, but more than most, is a paradigm of life.

Before the eye rolling begins, here’s why:

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October 26, 2009

My choices and circumstances, part 1 – London bridge is falling down

When they asked me in kindergarten what my favorite smell at home was, I dreamily replied: “The fresh, electronic smell of my computer!’’

This response raised a lot of eyebrows, and the context is important to realize why: It was the beginning of the 90s, when Yugoslavia, and with her the last remnants of a normal life, were falling apart. For a lot of families, buying food and other basic necessities was becoming an everyday struggle, so owning this strange new machine was almost unheard of. As my parents were very forward looking and realized they’ll need one for their work, I was fortunate enough not only to have a computer in my home, but to also be allowed to spend hours in front of it, so I, well.. spent hours upon hours in front of it. Video games were the staple food of my computer diet, of course, but I did also spend a large amount of time learning DOS, Windows and other programs, which at age 6 made me quite possibly one of the youngest computer geeks in Serbia – a distinction I’m more confused than embarrassed about, because of the following reason:

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August 30, 2009

Spotting my internet hypocrisy

How often I would complain to myself that so many companies and organizations don’t know how to present themselves online – that their sites lack creativity and personality.

Then I noticed that I’m using a template for my blog.

At times I would think that I should change it, but I never seem to get around to doing it. Well, my excuses aren’t any better than whatever it is those companies and organizations thought when they were putting up their websites.

Of course I seem to rarely have time for the small changes – there was a great quote that things that are easy to do are also easy not to do – but I should. My excuses are beyond stupid – they are nonexistant.

So…

August 17, 2009

The value of idleness

A bad thing about idleness is that it can bring out the worst in you.

A good thing about idleness is that it can bring out the worst in you.

It’s true that when things are hectic you can see what you’re really made of, where you’re strong and where you’re weak. You can see what’s really important to you and what isn’t.

But if you listen carefully enough, it’s the same with idleness too.

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August 11, 2009

Wrestling with intents – Why you want to check your email right now

I was tying my shoelaces, getting ready to go out and buy some food, when I realized I haven’t charged my mp3 player in a while. I looked up, and on the table was my laptop and, sticking out at places beneath the papers, my headphones’ cable, to which my player is attached.

“I’ll plug it in when I get back”, I first thought.

“But wait, why don’t I plug it in now?”

“Nah, I’ll do it later. Besides, I need to find the cable for charging it.”

“Wait, it’s in the bag behind me. If I could just turn around…”

“No, no, don’t turn around. Look, you said you were going shopping right now, so why don’t you just charge it when you get back?”

And that’s when it hit me. There really was no reason not to plug in my mp3 player right now – in fact, plugging it in right now would mean it would charge faster. But the strength of the simple intent of “you said you were going shopping right now” was strong enough to demand that I leave right now.

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