I found a new channel to subscribe to on YouTube. Mark Montano has a slew of cute DIY videos, but my favorite by far is this one on upcycling a vintage chair with homemade galaxy fabric. I wish I had an apartment of my own to do this! (No room here at my parent’s house). The bit about making the fabric would have made a pretty good how-to video on its own!
Additionally he has videos on making safety-pin feather designs, an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque chair and dish set, and really cute mini-hat bobby pins. He has a series called “Guy DIY” too, for the fellas out there.
In December I visited Wroclaw for Christmas. I decided to pay a visit to the Jewish Cemetery, because it is old, grand, and in ruins. After the events of the Holocaust there was no-one to take care of the Cemetery, and it fell into ruin. Today it is a museum and you can pay a small fee to go in and walk around, take pictures, etc. It receives only minimum maintenance – as the derelict state of the cemetery is considered to be part of the memorial to the Jews of Wroclaw. I went two days after Christmas… it was cloudy, cold, and nearly empty – I only had to share the large cemetery with a British couple (they still managed to get in the way of some of my photos, however). Many of the fancy tombs are falling apart, and some areas are so overgrown that you can’t even see the stones, just lumps under the ivy.
Sooo… I’ve been back in the USA for one week now. Yeah, I decided not to stay on at my job in Poland. The situation wasn’t all that great (although it improved dramatically during Jan and the beginning of Feb), and I was homesick. Unfortunately that means I’ll miss out on WGT, but I had to be serious with myself and realize that just that festival couldn’t possibly be worth putting up with another 5 months of shit treatment, stress, and low, low pay. I barely broke even and have a grand total of about 600 dollars of savings to show for the last 6 months. Oh well. At least I managed to leave on a fairly good note, without losing my ability to use them as a reference (the same cannot be said for 3 of my cohorts – two who left in December on 2 weeks notice, and 1 who was fired 2 weeks away from the end of his contract).
Anyways… plans for the future:
– Get my bedroom at my parent’s house cleaned and organized. Its a horrendous disaster and safety hazard at the moment. No joke.
– Apply for my old computer job, and maybe a few new computer jobs, as well as some real teaching jobs if I can find any that are suitable.
– Pursue my artistic endeavors as usual. I’m adding writing to the list – fantasy / horror short stories. Writing is something that I keep thinking about and dabbling at – but I’ve decided that I need to give it some serious effort at least for a month or two and see what happens….
– Fun stuff for this blog! Its been neglected for a long time 😦 So sorry. I’ll start with a “Poland Haul” post with all the stuff I bought in Poland….coming soon!
I’ve seen them described as dwarves, and as gnomes…one thing is sure: Wrocław, Poland, has a lot of them! Oh, and the city’s name is pronounced “Rots-wahv”. Previous known as Breslau, when it was part of pre-ww2 Germany. I spent 5 days at Christmas there, and since most everything was closed for 3 of those days, I did a lot of Gnome hunting. These are a few of the pictures I took during my trip. (Wroclaw has at least 100 gnomes, some reports even say 250)
All Saints Day (Nov. 1) varies from country to country. Here businesses close and everyone goes to the cemetery and spends much of the day visiting graves, tidying the grave, and placing flowers and candles for the departed. All the Catholic cemeteries, which are much much bigger, are a bus ride away, so I found a smaller, “Evangelical” (historically Lutheran) one only a few walking minutes from our home, and made my flatmates take me there on their way to a bar that night. At first we couldn’t figure out where the entrance was, then we finally got inside and walked around a bit. All of the graves were lite, except the very old historical section. It was very lovely and of course a bit creepy. 🙂
On Sunday I went hiking with two of my co-teachers in the “mountains” at the edge of our city. Our discussion lilted from topic to topic, mostly bitching about certain other teachers. I’m not sure how the topic came up exactly, but I mentioned to my two friends that in one of my recent classes, a student had responded to the “Do you doubt that ghosts exist?” question with a firm “No, I don’t doubt that ghosts exist.” I was a bit surprised because every other time students have always said that they don’t believe in ghosts. So I asked why she didn’t doubt. Unfortunately due to level of English and time restrictions, the most I could get from her was the explanation that she had had some person experiences that made her not doubt.
Mentioning that event launched the three of us teachers into a conversation regarding the existence of ghosts and our reasons for our beliefs. And I got two ghost stories out of it to share with you. 🙂
I’ll start you out with the less creepy of the two. Basically my friend’s grandmother died, but continued to reside in her home. My friend said that she had always felt her grandmother’s presence, but the ghost’s existence became obvious to her after two particular events. My friend was living in her grandmother’s house alone, and invited some friends over. She went into the bathroom, and noticed a towel on the floor. She didn’t think too much of it and went back to her room to get a few things for the shower. A minute later, she returned to the bathroom to find the towel perfectly hung up. She was sure no one else had been in the bathroom and questioned her friends who had been on a different story of the house. None of them had gone into the bathroom.
Then, on a different occasion she was alone in the house. While her grandmother was alive, she had been very strict about making my friend make her bed every morning. One of those “If you don’t make your bed, the rest of your day will be sloppy!” sort of things. Well, since my friend was the only one living the house at the moment, she didn’t think that anyone would care if she didn’t make her bed one morning, and left her bed clothes in a mess on the bed and floor. She went down stairs to get some breakfast, and returned to her room about 20 minutes later, to discover a perfectly made bed.
The second story is a bit more creepy. I’ve been assured that the person who originally related the story was a no-nonsense sort of fellow, and shocked my two friends by telling them about his experiences in Asia. This fellow lived in a house in Thailand that was haunted by a very creepy poltergeist. While problems started small, they eventually escalated to the point that he had to move out. In the beginning, it was just strange sounds at night, like a person moving around down stairs. Gradually, the poltergeist started moving things around the kitchen, and even opening and closing the cabinets. The fellow who lived in the house is of the vaguely anal / OCD variety, so when a he discovered cupboards open in the morning, he was certain he had not left them that way. Things reached their peak, when one day he felt particularly uneasy, after finding things moved around during the day. That night, he went up into his room, and closed and locked the door. He slept uneasily during the night, and awoke in the morning to find that the chair from his desk (which was in a separate area of the room) had moved during the night. It was positioned next to and facing the bed. It was exactly as though someone had been watching him as he slept. Needless to say, that was the last night the he spent in that house.
These are large figures perched on the top of a door frame of a very unusual, but very cool building tucked away in Bielsko. I’m not sure whats in the building, other than the Chinese restaurant on the first floor (ground floor for all you Europeans).