Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lesson in politeness

People in general don't like waiting.
However, it is an all-Serbian custom to be casual to the extreme with the issue of being on time. This custom, sadly, is not exclusively Serbian, the fact that is used as justification of it. "We are not the worst ones", is often heard followed by examples of how people from some other countries are even worse than people here. Is this the best we can, to be satisfied (and proud!) of not being the worst? Should not this strike us as pathetic? I don't think it will, not ever, not here. Mostly because the masses are not accustomed to stop and think, not about issues like this, not about anything. They will be ferocious when having to wait for someone, even if being liberally late themselves. They will feel self-righteous and victimised, deprived of their precious time that could have been spent on something else - most likely something totally irrelevant, but who dares to deprive us from our right to waste our own time?
So, the general consent is that it is not all right to wait but it is to be late, especially to be the most late of all. That is our philosophy and got forbid that someone does not behave accordingly. These unfortunate souls are, apart from being condemned to eternally wait for others, also marked as fools, naives and are bestowed with no mercy nor compassion. Other nations famous for their punctuality are considered demented and twisted (there must be something seriously wrong with people that get to places on time, start events as scheduled, whose trains are never late). Masses would never think that those nations are simply being polite and considerate. Masses don't ask themselves why such nations are more prosperous. So what if they are prosperous when they are cold, inhospitable and heartless. Lucky us, when we have heart in abundance and instead of canceling a meeting at least half an hour in advance, we cancel it an hour and a half later.
Shamefully small number of people here think about others. Shamefully few has realised that I need to respect and value someone else's time if I want them to respect and value mine. That this problem has to be fixed on individual level and in our individual consciousnesses, so that it can stop to be a global one.
(photo by Tod,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Varna, here we come!

Tomorrow we are travelling to the choir festival Prof. Georgi Dimitrov in Varna, Bulgaria. I am very excited and can't wait to start the journey. Hope that everything will go well, that we will sing to the best of our abilities, meet new people, see new sites, have warm weather and bathe in the Black sea. With the song in our hearts, off we go to discover new horizons.

Monday, May 14, 2007


How long does it take to be separated from the one you love to start missing them?
Sometimes minutes are enough. Sometimes mere seconds.
It creeps up on you slowly. You almost not notice until the fever is already beyond control.
Butterflies whooshing around you in crazy whirls. Nausea. Hypertension. Altered states of consciousness.
It is not a mere passion, rapture, longing. Not a psychosomatic incident. It is a pure physical addiction. The one that has no cure. The one that needs no cure. The one that makes it all worthwhile.

(photo by Kevin Lamb,

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lavender tea

I am laying awake in my bed. I didn't drink my lavender tea you gave me to help me sleep.
I cannot sleep for thinking of you. I close my eyes and fell your lips on mine. I need your kisses so much that I ache without them. With each heartbeat I feel the pulse in my lips. How badly I need them! I need them no matter the season, the heat, the cold. I need them no matter where, a soothing beach, a windy street, a secluded corner of our universe. I long to feel their warmth and gentle touch. To be sheltered in your arms. To kiss you and keep you near, for eternity.
I didn't drink my lavender tea. Even if I did, I know I wouldn't find my sleep.

PHiZZ 270-units buckyball

I am very proud to present the latest model I folded: 270-unit buckyball made of Thomas Hull's PHiZZ units. This is the biggest model I have ever done (not counting 1000 cranes). The story of its creation is actually quite long. I first folded the ball some two years ago. 270 is not a small number and it took me fair amount of time to cut squares of paper, fold them and assemble. I was very optimistic and a bit overconfident. This is THE recipe for disaster, if I may call it so. I made three mistakes:
1. the paper from which the modules were folded was too soft,
2. I wasn't patient enough, so I started to assemble the model before all units were folded,
3. I thought, being a semi-mathematician and relying on my good logical skills, that it will be easy to figure out the proper three-colouring of the ball (the proper colouring means that no two units of the same colours are next to each other).
So I was in the middle of assembling when I realised that I have made a mistake with colouring and that I cannot figure it out as easily as I anticipated. To solve this problem, I sent a question to ever-reliable O-list and after some time got several replies. I even received an email from Mr. Hull himself, which was WOW! He sent me a paper with explanations on how to construct buckyballs and how to three-colour them.

Unfortunately, by the time I received these emails and found time to made missing modules and to continue with assembling the ball irreparably lost its shape because the soft paper was not able to support the weight. I cannot describe how frustrating this was! I was disappointed, dispirited and in the end very angry so that the poor ball ended up in the trash can instead of being proudly presented to a friend of mine as a gift for receiving his master's diploma.
After I had cooled down, not being a quitter, I decided to learn from my mistakes and to start over. This time I used copy/printing paper which is much more rigid. It took me ages to make the ball because I was not in the mood to cut 270 squares. This year I decided to finally finish the project, done what was left of the cutting, folded all modules and the assembled them. this time I was better prepared, ready to be infinitely patient and my effort was rewarded. It took some musing and brain stretching until three-colouring algorithm was clear to me, but then everything went smoothly.
I think that the final result is more than rewarding. The ball looks fantastic and I am so proud to have finished it after all.