Category Archives: Diary (Personal)

Trying to Come Back from a Hiatus

I will have to think what to do with this blog/website. I mean, I am on a hiatus, I suppose, though none of it was planned. I am just spending too much time on Tumblr (you can find me on Jefflion.tumblr.com) and I didn’t really have time to dedicate to this blog much.

Also, this website is 7 years old, and as such, certain things are very outdated here. As fun as looking back may seem, in many ways, I want different things from a personal website than I did back in 2007. I keep wanting to make Jefflion into a writing/review blog or the like. I want to start writing interesting blog posts and the like, as often as I find the time.

I admire certain people’s ability to blog on a regular basis. I always feel bad for neglecting my website. It’s not because I don’t care, it’s – paradoxically – because I care too much and I don’t want just “anything” posted here. Which usually means I won’t post anything.

Anyway, I will probably try to change a few things here, add/delete certain pages, etc. Make a different organization, perhaps. I will also try to blog more about stuff such as writing or other things I’m interested in – you know, stuff I usually do on Tumblr. I guess I will try to connect Tumblr and this blog as much as I can because I feel pretty relaxed on Tumblr and I like it there, but it’s not my personal website and I love jefflion.net dearly, even thought I don’t always show it.

In other news, I am doing my PhD in Canada, so that’s something to talk about (I suppose). I arrived about a month ago (only a month ago? I can’t believe it) and so far, it just seems… familiar. Everything is so familiar, in a good way I mean. I am waiting for a culture shock but it’s not coming. None of it is a bad thing but I didn’t expect it.

My Spring Allergy (and Dust Mite Shit)

Spring FlowersThis is a post in which I whine. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

So, it’s spring time! It was May Day yesterday (which is still considered a major holiday here, barbeques, people outdoors, day off work, etc.) and the weather is nice. But, ugh. The spring also means my spring allergy, and let me tell you, it’s not fun at all.

It first appeared sometimes in 2005. I have no idea why. Ok, I have two ideas: 1) this is when I moved to this apartment (the building is old and my grandma, bless her, was never big on cleaning) and 2) I was 24 at the time, and they say some allergies start after puberty.

In any case, every spring since then has been, well, not horrible, but difficult for me. It’s not just that I get rashes and my face is full of pink spots – I wouldn’t mind that as much. The main problem are headaches – I get pretty mean migraines. I’m susceptible to migraines so this makes them even worse. And these migraines are weird. They hurt and my ear gets cold and my throat itches.

I’m also sleepy all the fucking time. Like, I can sleep for 15 hours straight, wake up only to be sleepy in an hour.

The worst thing is that I can’t find a proper medicine. They either don’t work, or they work by making me even more sleepy. So I’m really unproductive. Which sucks.

They say I’m allergic to dust. Which actually means I’m allergic to dust mites. Which actually means I’m allergic to dust mites’ shit – because this is what people allergic to dust mites are actually allergic to.

But there has to be something else (and not just dust mites’ shit) I’m allergic to, because it starts in spring – some kind of a plant, no doubt. But they can’t discover what it is.

So… Yeah.

Photo credit: micmol ? via photopin cc

Sexism Annoys Me – The New Way

They say people change and evolve, which is probably true. However, sometimes is difficult to understand the change. For example, look at me. I consider myself a feminist (honestly, I don’t understand people who are proud not to be one), but I never defined myself a a feminist in a political sense of the word.

In short, I agree with the battle and I fight for equality, but the whole feminist movement seems to be so fucked up in certain things, and I don’t want to associate myself with it.

But lately… I see that everything around me reeks of sexism, and I’m slowly becoming that one person I never wanted to be who finds everything offensive.

Now, don’t get me wrong: everything IS offensive, one way or the other. The way our world is set, almost everything IS sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc. It’s not an exaggeration; it’s a fact. The sooner people realize these things are not some rare abominations but the everyday stuff that make our world, the better.

However, I was able to control my disgust and not to take it emotionally. I laughed at stupidity. Women’s faces never shown in commercials, just their breasts and butts? Now how stupid is this shit? Media telling me I should be thin in order to deserve respect as a human being? Ask me if I give a fuck.

Part of this reaction, obviously, comes from the way I was raised. I’m the only child, and I never felt like my parents wanted to have a boy. (In fact, my mother was always clear on the fact she strongly preferred a girl). I was never told I can’t do something because I’m not a boy. It went without saying I’d graduate from an University and I was encouraged to have career ambitions.

It also has a lot to do with my country. Yugoslavia was a socialist country (though we had our own, non-Soviet dictated version of socialism), and socialism values a worker regardless of gender. It meant that there were many female workers in traditionally male occupations. Female doctors, engineers, scientists, professors – none of this was seen as strange. Hard science and medical science universities always had about the same male to female ratio (but not the “traditionally female” schools, such as nursing or kindergarten teachers – not many guys went to these schools).

In any case, the economic situation wasn’t bright enough so both parents had to work. Which resulted into working moms. All mothers worked, and the pay was equal to the one men received (the whole ex-Yugoslavia region still has a very little difference in salaries between men and women; it’s less than in Western countries, especially US).

None of this means feminist utopia or gender equality, though. Women with careers and working moms were a norm, but women were still expected to do all the household work all by themselves. So, her husband would come back from work and he’s watch TV or read the newspaper, and she’d have to cook the lunch and clean the house. But I digress.

The point is that I grew up without messages telling me I can’t do something because I’m a girl and not a boy. I suppose it made me a bit unprepared for the real world, because I might not be able to recognize sexism or inequality. But that’s the thing: I was usually able to laugh it off, unless it was something extreme, such as violence towards women.

But lately, I’ve been noticing all those things, everywhere, all the things.  The way women are portrayed in media, still treated as sexualized dolls. The fact there is still not easy to find a movie with two female characters talking to each other about something other than a man. That media still treats a man as a “default human being”.

And it just makes me sick. It makes me sick like it never made me sick before, save for that one time when I was 14. I guess what I find strange is that I don’t understand why. Why now? Why do I care, now? Why can’t I laugh at it and think they’re stupid and noooo way I’d buy their sexist product – and then just go on with my life? Why do I invest any energy into this?

My birthday! I am 31 (but I totally don’t feel that way)

So, it was my 31st birthday yesterday. Nothing overly exciting, but sure better than the last year, when they cut off my electricity because of the unpaid bills. So… yeah.

It was a pretty uneven year, full of disappointments on the career/education front. But I don’t want to talk about this because it would make me so fucking depressed. The weather is horrible, BTW, not like late spring at all (rain and that shit), so I do need stuff to cheer me up.

I received some nice stuff for my birthday. A new bra (that was almost impossible to find, since my boobs are apparently “too big” for regular bras. WTF?) A history of science book from my husband.

The world also managed to cheer me up: the news were released about Benedict Cumberbatch being cast in 12 Years a Slave. Now, movies about slavery usually get a side-eye from me, but I am excited for this. Steve McQueen is an excellent director who’s not ready to compromise. Plus, Shadow and Act reviewed the script and it looks like it might be really good (no white savior shit!) Plus, Chiwetel Ejiofor rocks, so I really hope this can be a good film. And since Benedict Cumberbatch is the acting revelation of the year for me (I should blog about this one of these days), I am really excited about this.

So, that’s all, I guess. My birthday wasn’t exciting but it was relaxing enough. I am 31, but I don’t feel that way. On one hand, I am completely anxious and I feel like I’m too old and late for some things, such as the first decent job, PhD studies or, yes, children. My mom got me when she was 32, but I’ve always wanted to have at least 2-3 children. On the other hand, I can’t believe I’m 31 – I feel like I’m in my early 20s. Seriously. I had no idea you could feel like this, both younger and older than your age. But I guess it was like that with me from the start. I was always a bit older than my age in some things and completely immature and childish in others. It’s how it goes, I guess. Aren’t all people like this?

Updates on Me

Guilty as charged
For not updating
Again I am.

That being said, here are some news on my ever-exciting life (read: completely boring).

I participated in a conference (astronomy and culture), and now I have two academic papers to write. Those will be my first papers ever published, because the one I wrote for the last conference failed since my co-writer never bothered to write her part. Lesson learned: I am not a team worker. (Read: I don’t know how to make other team members to cooperate).

My dear hamster Polina died on April 26th. She was more than two years old, and that’s an old age for a hamster. I’ve written more about it in my Tumblr, so please read if you’re interested. I got pretty emotional even though the writing doesn’t really reflect that.

My hamster Polina died (Tumbrl post)

I suffer from insomnia. Well, it’s not really insomnia as much as it’s a weird sleeping pattern. I get really sleepy in the afternoon but when 2AM comes, I am wide awake and full of energy. I end up doing stuff till 7 AM without sleeping. Then I fall asleep and I sleep all day. Not healthy. For example, yesterday I went to bed at noon and I woke up at 1 AM. I also gained a lot of weight – I’ve never been heavier, and while I don’t give a fuck about my sexiness, it is a lot, people. And I don’t eat that much at all. It has to be connected to shitty sleeping pattern. I’m also anxious and depressed and it’s also spring, so I get my allergy from time to time, which means horrible migraines. My IQ also seems to drop by at least 20 percent. I couldn’t remember how to spell Ian McEwan the other day (and I’m not even sure I spelled it right now). All I can do is watch movies and theorize/analyze them. Which isn’t at all that bad if it’s productive (one of the conference papers was about the way astronomy is portrayed in disaster movies), but most of the time, it isn’t.

- I feel guilty for not updating my blog, or visiting other people’s blogs, or replying to emails. There’s so much I have to do, and I just… It doesn’t seem I have time. Well, if you sleep for whole day and walk around like a zombie you wouldn’t have time for anything either. I hate this, you know? I hate when I don’t have anything to do, because I’m a big procrastinator and I can’t function without a deadline over my head and the panic it creates. When they give me specific tasks to do, I do them, PLUS I find time for creative stuff and quality time with my husband. It seems like I manage to find time for everything, even if I have less free time. But if free time is mostly what I have… Forget it. I can’t manage to do anything. It sucks a big time.

So, what’s new with you guys? (Assuming there’s anyone left here because I don’t update often). As usual, I’d like to update more, and I actually have plenty of ideas for new posts. But, you see, time managing and all. Makes no sense, I know. But oh, it sucks.