Was this intended?

Today, I read the Daily Post post on blog names and decided that it was about time to explain why this thing is called No Blog Intended. Why would you say it’s not intended when actually it is? I have been worrying a little that people might think I’m not a ‘real’ blogger with regular updates since it was ‘not intended’. But when you start reading other blogs, they start reading you, and well, the problem solves itself. In fact I’m glad that I don’t have all too many readers. It makes it easier for me to know who’s reading. Though this is the Internet, I don’t want to be exposed to the whole world just like that.

But I’m going off topic.

So, why is this called No Blog Intended? Let me tell you a story.

I started blogging together with a friend a few years ago (two? three?). It started out as a joke, then became real and suddenly we were blogging. But after a while I felt like I wanted recognition for what I wrote. We shared one account, so no one could know which one of us wrote something or said something. And since I became addicted to blogging and spent quite some time on it, I just wanted people to know it was me saying certain things, writing things. Also, when having two different people, we could show two different views and yet no one would know it as written by two different people.
So I slowly started feeling limited.

And then I decided to move out, leaving our original blog to my friend and starting all over again, from the beginning, with everything I wrote. When you take such a decision, you just want to get it over and done with. In a few days I needed to fix the posts transport and come up with a new name. That was really hard. Since I don’t like to blog about one subject only, I needed something that didn’t limit the content. It couldn’t be ‘balletgirl’ or ‘shortstorygirl’ or ‘musiclover15′. It had to be something that wouldn’t make all of you think it was only about one subject. It had to be something that was easy to remember, that had nothing to do with my real name, that was just a general sign of me and my blog.

It was obviously too hard to come up with something good that wasn’t already taken. And then, my brother came with the idea of No Blog Intended, as a variation on no pun intended. I was getting really impatient and decided upon that name, adding ‘but the pun is’ as a subhead. That was that. I moved out, took all my posts with me and started from scratch again. From that moment on, things really changed. It seemed like I had more freedom to write, because I think no one I know in real life still reads this and that makes me more open in some way. I would never have the guts to share short stories with people I have to face everyday. NBI became more successful than the former blog (when I was still there) after a while. I never regretted going away. It gave me the right and possibility to say everything because it was only my opinion. That’s good.

Most of you know me now as NBI. I kind of think it doesn’t matter anymore what this blog’s name is. It’s only a little part of the entire thing it is: the posts, the video’s I share, the music and so on. And if certain people think it’s not a real blog, well, than that’s a pity, but it doesn’t matter that hard. I like it the way it is now, and I’m planning on keeping it exactly like like that.

How did you come up with your blog name?

What To Read

I’m not much of a reblogger, but since I’m working my ass of and that gives no inspiration, and since other people have written some great stuff, I would like to share these posts either way.

The first one is the very touching Spam. A Love Story by our dear El Guapo. He’s a genious and every blogger will relate to this!

The second one is the very touching (and this time I mean it to the fullest) poem Ignite Hell by Twindaddy. It’s the kind of poem I could have written if only I was such a good writer. It just sticks with you. So good.

So, what are you still doing here?

This is not what I signed up for

There are people who would say I’m lazy. There are people who would say I don’t want to learn. There are some who say ‘just do it’. They could be right. They could be wrong. But who are they to judge? I judge as well and I judge that a lot of what I do is not what I want to do. ‘That’s life’, you’ll say. ‘Deal with it.’ ‘Just do it.’

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m not a big fan of ‘just do it’. I’m never ‘just doing’ something. I think about everything. Unfortunately, I wish I wouldn’t do it, but it seems that I can’t change myself so hard that suddenly, I’m ‘just doing it’. The point is, things should have a reason for me. I should either like it or understand what I’m doing it for. And even then it’s sometimes hard to get it done. I’ve just given up on an assignment that bloody hard and now I feel so stupid. Tomorrow I will try again, but it won’t help all that much and I will feel even worse about it. You see, I understand why I should be doing this, but I’m clearly not smart enough yet to do it and now I feel like I’m wasting time. There is so much to do, and there is so little time. I’ve got such a shitload of work and it feels like I’ll never be able to finish it. Let’s hope I will.

But meanwhile, all of our teachers just keep on giving assignments, stupid little meaningless assignments that you have to do. They take time. They take time I could be using for the preparation of my exams, which will be very hard. But I’m unable to get that done because there’s always this list of things I still have to do. And with every new assignment given, it’s like the teacher goes ‘I know you guys have so much to do, but here’s another thing, make it happen, just don’t sleep or something’. I kinda like my sleep though.

This is not what I signed up for. Of course I would want to party every day and stuff, which of course will not happen, but this is worse than what I expected. Give us a break, really. You expect us to be nice human beings with friends and hobbies, then why are you making us drowning in homework? And ‘just do it’ doesn’t count. I seriously hate it when people say that. It would be like saying ‘just do a triple summersault’. I want to see you do that and then we’ll talk again…

I’m not a fan of being  told what to do, so maybe that’s the problem. I know they want us to learn new things, but I also want to go out and have fun and feel young. Now I just feel very stressed. Like, VERY. I have no idea how I will be able to get everything over and done with, in time, without completely breaking down. It’s not just me, you know. I have to use sites which won’t work well. Hooray. When technology turns against you, you can forget it. Oh the joy.

Why do they want us to do nothing but working? Will they ever understand that I want more out of life than just making my assignments? How on earth am I ever going to be happy if I can’t do anything but working?

(And should this have a whining alert at the beginning?)

We will not die on our knees

Said by an inhabitant of the Warsaw ghetto, as recorded by Marek Edelman, who was there and one of those who lead the uprising.

The jews in the ghetto of Warsaw knew that they would die soon. They knew that resistance would not help. They had few weapons, some of them self-made, some of them smuggled inside. It would never be enough to save them, to change the situation, to actually help. But though they were the weaker party, they did do harm to the Germans. They were not as weak as the German believed and killed quite a few. In the end many died there during the rising, others were deported. The ghetto vanished. But like Anna Heilman said: ” I don’t think it was a question at that point of Jews fighting Germans. It was us not going without resistance.”

I find that so touching. Can you imagine being strong enough to do this? Would you still fight if you knew you would die anyway? Maybe that’s even the best trigger to actually fight. Still my admiration for these people is immense. Dignity is the last thing they can take from you. Whatever happens, if you are strong enough you can still maintain your dignity and decide that you will not let yourself be killed without fighting. Never just give in.

I’m currently writing a paper on the Polish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto, which is incredibly interesting and inspiring as well. But while reading about this, I also realized that we’re always close to doing this again. I don’t know if you heard about the Wilders thing in the Netherlands? He’s the radical kind of politicians and he actually screamed in front of many people: “Do we want more or less Moroccans?” To which the people screamed back: “Less! Less!” This is so dangerous. It’s easy to say one group of people is bad, but this is pure racism. Even if there are many Moroccans in the Netherlands who end up in prison, or should belong there – I don’t know if this is the case! – then it is still racism. You cannot state that they are all bad. Generalizing is the worst thing you can do. People will end up not giving any Moroccan a chance because ‘they’re all bad’. When not given a chance, what should these people do? Eventually they will have no more choice to prove that they are okay people. And surely there will be bad people amongst them, just like there are bad people amongst the Dutch people.

We should be all aware of the danger of this kind of things. We should never let something like World War 2 happen again. There will only be things to regret afterwards. So hopefully all these people who screamed ‘Less! Less!’ will realize that they are ignoring an important part of the Moroccans living there who are actually good, hard-working people. Hopefully we will not end up generalizing and blaming one scapegoat for all the problems. If there are problems, do something about it in a constructive way instead of blaming and screaming.

And hopefully we will all find the courage to stand up when it’s needed, even when it’s a minor thing happening. We should all have more courage to do the right thing sometimes. And remember: we should not die on our knees!

 

More Polish history here.

Things I Always Have With Me

Or at least, almost always. These things are in general somewhere around if I’m there, and not having them often makes me nervous. Of course I’m not including the logic stuff such as an ID and money.

1. My Rings

I have three rings I wear daily. As soon as I put them on, I know I’m supposed to be awake. How could I possibly start my day without them? That’s near to imossible. One of them I’ve been wearing for about 5 years now – which for a young person as me is really much.

2. Earrings

I so love earrings. They’re the easiest way to change an outfit. If you know where to look they’re not even expensive. I feel like they are like a framework for my face, and I like the way they feel. When I’m in public and not wearing earrings, either I really really forgot, or I feel very bad. There is no other option. I’ve got a nice little collection by now, so I can always vary. That’s so nice.

3. Water

Preferably 1,5 l. I always carry water around, unless I go out (then I assume we’ll go somewhere you can buy drinks). Water is my thing. While other people in my class keep bying coke or that kind of thing, I’m drinking my water. It just feels a lot safer. What if you get thirsty? Imagine! It’s such a horrific idea that I always need my bottle. Give me my bottle and I feel safe.

4. Chewing gum

Imagine having bad breath – ew. I don’t want to be one of the people about whom the others say her breath smells, but she doesn’t realize. And I like mint. It helps to get the taste of food get away. Sometimes it’s really annoying to keep on ‘tasting’ the food you’ve had. I’m kind of an addict by now, but hey, I could be addicted to drugs as well, so I don’t think this is too bad.

5. Tissues

You never know when you catch a cold or spill something or whatever. These little packs of tissues are everywhere in my bags. Just in case.

 

What are you always carrying around and for what reason?

I need your help – a memory thing

Guys, I need your help. Recently a childhood memory came back to my mind and since that moment I have been wondering, wondering, but I cannot find the roots. The memory I’m talking of is a scene from a movie. I don’t know why I remember that particular part, but apparently it had an impact on me, since I only remember that. I must have been seven at the time or something…

So, I think the scene is from a Cleopatra movie – though I am not sure why I even think that. In this scene, the woman sits there among her servants. She wants to drink, so one of the servants takes the chalice (it was more of a chalice than anything else) and takes a sip – she’s the kind of servant who has to ‘test’ the food to see if it’s been poisoned. She then takes a cloth and cleans the edge of the cup. Then the woman who I believe was Cleopatra asks her why she did that. When the servant doesn’t answer, she commands her to drink again. The servant doesn’t want to at first but then drinks and dies – she tried to poison Cleopatra. Then the scene changes and there are white curtains blown by the wind.

This is what I remember from the movie, but so far I haven’t found this scene yet. I would love to see it again though, to see how much of my memory is true and why it had such an impact on me that about 12 years later on I still remember this. Can you please help me out?

Whether it's from this movie ornot, it's still an impressive dress she's wearing. Source.

Whether it’s from this movie ornot, it’s still an impressive dress she’s wearing.
Source.

Edit: it was in fact the movie of the picture – Cleopatra from 1963! And my memory turned out to be quite wrong. I remembered it really differently. The basics are the same, but the clothes, the setting, the angle were all different. It’s nice to see it again though, and it seems to be a good movie as well. Thanks to everyone helping me out on this one! You rock!

To soothe a conscience

I know you’ve come to soothe your conscience. Just don’t blame me for making it itch. I only did what you did to me – and now you realize that I might be mad. Frustrated. Pissed of. Isn’t that late? You could have guessed before, that I wouldn’t swallow and nod. You said I was sweet. Maybe you didn’t see that sweetness has limits and ends – where you are now. Suddenly you seem to realize that. All of sudden it becomes clear… And only now.

I know you’ve come to soothe your conscience. In fact I didn’t even want to get along with this polite game we’re playing. I just wanted to ask where that came from now. After two months. Don’t even try to make me believe you still care about me that much. You just want to know whether I’m angry or not.

Well, I am. I am fiercely mad. It’s not just you, you know. It’s not just you and the fact that you ignored me. It’s all of you. All of you who ignored me after you made me believe I was different. I cannot stand that anymore. I cannot keep on taking it. I’m no longer swallowing and nodding. You know very well what you did, your actions are only for you to blame. Why would I accept that? You are terrible, all of you, for treating me like that. So yes, I’m angry. I have the right to be.

I know you’ve come to soothe your conscience. I hope it itches like crazy. You’re trying to make it calm down. But don’t expect me to help. Don’t expect anything from me anymore.

You’re the one to blame. Go whining somewhere else.

Getting things straigth: Ukraine and Crimea

Unless you live under a rock, you must have heard about what has been going on in Ukraine. Tension has been rising a whole lot, revolutions, referendum and so on. It’s headlining in the news for quite a while, but still it seems like a lot of people have no idea what this is all about. What’s the fuss about and why is Crimea suddenly a problem? Someone even recently posted on Facebook that ‘poor Ukraine was now ruled by nazis and an outdated boxer’. Of course that’s the shortest way to get a Slavic studies student mad. I feel like many people don’t really know what’s going and why, so maybe it’s useful to give a quick but hopefully clear insight in the current situation.

So, here we go. First things first: it’s best to start with the protests in Kyiv. The first big protest after the Orange Revolution in 2005 started when Yanukovich decided to not accept the Association Agreement and Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. People started to protest because they wanted a closer European integration. They were being repressed really hard. Then a whole lot more people started protesting against this violent repression and against the corruption, abuse of power and violation of human rights (1). The protest weren’t only and above all pro-Europe. Though this belief seems to be well spread, it’s not the entire truth. As far as I know, these people above all wanted the country to change for the better. This doesn’t necessarily means there had to be a big bond with the EU. I also read that most people in Ukraine, or amongst the protesters were disappointed with Europe because they didn’t help when things got worse and worse.

Because that’s what happened. But the protesters didn’t give in, kept going and then, in late February, the president’s party lost its majority and Yanukovich had to flee. Elections were planned for May 25th. I don’t know if you have seen the pictures of Yanukovich’s house, but that’s insanity. The man apparently felt like a modern emperor or something, having golden toilets and everything. That’s what power seems to do to people. It’s only a short way to abuse.

So, Yanukovich fled, a temporary parliament is now working. Elections will be held. And then Crimea becomes a problem. This is also a big one. First, you have to know something more about its background, which is now very important.

Crimea is a peninsula. It’s officially Ukrainian for as long as that will last now. It was annexed by Russia in 1783. At that moment, the people living there were the Crimean Tatars. Then it became Russian. Under Stalin’s regime, these Tatars have been deported, all of them, because they would have collaborated with the nazi’s. Of course, a lot of them died. Ukrainian and Russian people took over their villages and went living there. Only in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, they started to return in big numbers, claiming back their ground. In 1954 Khrushchev have it to Ukraine. At that moment of course it didn’t matter that hard, because everything was Soviet Union still. Many Russians though see it as a historical mistake.
Right now, the majority of people living there is Russian, followed by Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars.

Knowing all this, I believe it’s easy to understand why everyone is seeing Crimea as ‘theirs’. Everyone sort of has a point there. But now, because of the new parliament in Ukraine, the Russians at Crimea started feeling it as a threat. From what I’ve heard that is because of what the news tells them. Apparently they really believe their lives are in danger. Their reaction is protesting. They are even putting black crosses on the doors of Crimean Tatars, like back when they were being deported. Last Sunday there was a referendum on what should happen to Crimea, and apparently the majority voted for a ‘reunion’ with Russia.

Are these numbers real? Maybe not entirely. But seeing that the majority there is Russian, and the people not in favour tried to boycott it, it’s very likely that a majority voted for that. Maybe not 93%, but still. Of course it has to be known that at the moment, all they get it Russian news and Russian channels. This has undoubtedly a big influence on what they are doing.

Are they in danger? I don’t really think so. Ukraine is a country with quite many Russians, personally I dont’ think they would throw them out just like that. Will there be war? Maybe between Ukraine and Russia, Europe helping Ukraine out is unlikely I think. Ukraine is probably to weak to have a war, so I don’t think it will get to that point. But who knows…

The most important things to remember are these:

  • The protests in Kyiv weren’t only about getting closer to the EU, they were against corruption and abuse of power in their own country.
  • Because of its history, it’s quite logic that everyone wants to claim Crimea. You can never say it only belongs to this or that country, because it’s too complicated.
  • Crimea is currently taken over by Russian channels and news. This triggers the behaviour of the Russians there.
  • This is a very difficult situation that is way too hard for us to judge all too easily.

Please be smart enough not to go running around saying that Kyiv is becoming all nazi-like, or that Crimea is Russian, or that they all want to get a member of the EU. Things are very complicated up there and we need to keep our judgements for ourselves now. We will just have to wait and see what happens, and we can only hope there will be a peaceful end… But I’m afraid we’re still far from there.

I’m not an expert at this, but I am aware of the history and current situation of Ukraine and Crimea. This post is above all to give a better background. If anything is wrong, don’t hesitate to let me know. I hope that this will clear out some things for you!

 

(1) http://www.rferl.org/content/protesters-police-tense-standoff-ukraine/25241945.html

Arrival of the Birds and Spring

Not to make you jealous or anything, but spring has arrived here, with his flowery hat and a big smile. Here ducklings, some sun for you. At first , it was just sunlight that woke you up. But then gradually it started becoming really warm. It started becoming spring. The world somehow seemed brighter at moments, and there is this sense of possibilities that spring carries with him. Though these possibilities never really turn out to be true, at least you get that feeling.
The biggest problem with spring is that I don’t want to be locked up inside. As soon as I see the sun from behind a window, something in me starts screaming GET OUT GET OUT THERE’S SUN. I haven’t had a productive week. I spent quite some time outside a cafe, embraced by sun beams, discovering a new beer to add to my list of Favourite Beers. Despite all the work I have to do, I have been just enjoying what we get. It could soon be over – last year it started snowing again at the end of March. While this year that seems unlikely, you just never know.
Next to that you should always try to enjoy what you get. A few days ago I heard the news that one of the people I went to high school with, who’s as old as me, has gotten cancer again, for the second time in about a year. It doesn’t look good. It looks really bad actually. I don’t know this guy all too well, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s really confronting to hear this kind of news. Therefore I completely forgive myself or not doing anything this week. It’s the worst thing to say these days, but you only live once is true after all.

So I’m just trying to take what I can get, try to have fun while it lasts, try to get more vitamin D and beer. Healthiest of healthy things. Next to that there’s other great news. This weekend I have a dance show – I like! As we always have dance shows when the weather’s nice, I associate sunlight and warmth with nights spent at the theatre. I’m really looking forward to being on stage again. And even better, we’ve got great music to dance to. I believe this is the closest to perfection one can get: spring, sitting outside a cafe with beer, having a dance show with very beautiful music.

Hell yeah.

After all this time

-After all this time, still…?
-Yes… Yes.
-But how?
-There are enough ways to keep it alive.
-When did you last see him then?
-You could say about a year and a half ago for the last time… Though I also saw him again in the summer. But that was too short…
-I didn’t know… I didn’t know that was even possible…
-Apparently, it is.
-So what are you going to do now?
-I don’t know. I don’t have the money to buy all the seasons…

Yes, my dears, I still like The Tudors a whole lot. So I’ve got two clips here for you, a video and a piece of music, to see or listen as you prefer. I just like them both a whole lot. For the video, skip to 4:33. This is the moment when Anne returns in Henry’s dream or illusion. It’s so heartbreaking to see her realize he thinks she’s guilty. And then she starts making him feel bad. Look at that little smile when she turns away again… She’s so good. It doesn’t take long, so go ahead and skip to 4:33.
The piece of music is called ‘Mary told of Chapuy’s death’. Very sad piece, but very, very beautiful. I can appreciate a good soundtrack for sure.

Enjoy!

 

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