My code is handing me a lot of lemons today. In the form of error messages and ridiculously unreasonable results. I debug and solve some problems, just to have new ones crop up. This was supposed to be a very simple piece of programming. My supervisors are disappointed, and I feel so stupid. I'm useless at programming. Even in Python, the simplest programming language on the planet, I manage to fuck everything up. And I suck at maths. What am I doing with my life? I'm not worthy to study astronomy. I'm about as much of an astronomer as Rincewind is a wizard. The only reason I haven't been kicked out from the university is because they need someone to keep around to blame for all the things that go wrong, and to make everyone else look like a genius in comparison.
... yeah. Self-esteem level hardly detectable today. Fuck this shit, for now. I'm gonna spend the rest of this evening writing, and pretend that it doesn't matter how useless I am at it. *puts on hat saying WRITTER*
Having an office on the 8th floor has its upsides. Autumn Christchurch is pretty.
En solig höstdag med långa promenader och inspirerande insikter. Jag har fått klarhet i min politiska ståndpunkt och brevröstat till EU-parlamentsvalet. Är du svensk medborgare så gör detsamma. Om du inte bryr dig eller har gett upp hoppet så till den grad att allt verkar kört ändå: tänk om. Hitta någonting du bryr dig om, läs på, och om utsikterna verkar dystra så rösta på det parti du tycker verkar minst ondskefullt. Politik påverkar dig, vare sig du vill det eller inte. Demokrati är din möjlighet att påverka den tillbaka, och det är sjukt jäkla viktigt att du ser den möjligheten som ett ansvar. Därför att om någon makt skall finnas kvar hos folket så måste den utnyttjas.
Om du inte använder din röst så kommer andra att använda din tystnad!
It's everywhere. It's bloody everywhere. At bus stops, train stations, bridges. On buses, street-light poles, even on trees. In dark alleys, on brightly-lit streets, all over windows. On cars and bikes. On the outsides of trains, and on the insides too. On the walls of crumbling houses, and even fancy new or beautiful old buildings. Sometimes on the very street itself. Offensive messages, words and images meant to be inspiring or funny, but for the most part just names scribbled all over the place. As if these signatures being seen by people at every street-corner would inspire respect and be a ticket to immortality. I hear there is a whole business for it nowadays. Children are growing up thinking that it is a perfectly respectable way of making a living. That it is not vandalism, morally despicable, or defacing our beautiful surroundings. Some even go as far as calling it art. The general population seems to have accepted it as a part of our culture, and there are even spaces specifically dedicated to it. There is just no respect for public places these days!
It's time to free our cities from this vandalism. Let us ban and eradicate advertisements once and for all!
So I had an easter break. Best easter break ever. I had so many adventures and so much fun that it apparently resulted in a total writer's block. When it comes to blogging, at least. One of the many awesome things I did during these past three weeks was to finally get started with the second draft of my poor novel. It feels so damn good to be writing again. Inspiration is flowing, and I've even gotten some ideas for how to fill in some major plotholes and how this world I've created actually works. Yay!
But adventures! Were they ever had. I always consider a vacation well spent if you return from it more tired than when you set out, and this was certainly the case. I spent two weeks in Auckland hanging out with lovely people and then a week largely on my own in Queenstown.
Volcanoes were scaled and explored. Here are Mount Eden and the island Rangitoto. The latter one is just 600 years old, so very young for a volcano. There are around 40 volcanoes in Auckland, and apparently the volcanic field the city sits upon is not dead yet. Just resting. A new volcano could erupt next week or in 5000 years, no way of telling really. Still the city's inhabitants are going about their lives as if they weren't living on the brink of destruction. Humans are fascinating.
A trip was made to the Northlands, more specifically Bay of Islands with the towns of Paihia and Russel. Got the opportunity to learn a lot about the time of early European settlement by visiting museums and historic sites, made all the more fun and interesting by having a historian by my side telling awesome stories. Visited Waitangi, the place where the treaty between the British crown and Maori people regarding land ownership and legal rights and obligations was signed in 1840. Essentially the founding document of New Zealand, it is to this day relevant and problematically ambiguous. Oh, and apart from all the interesting things to learn about human history the nature of the place was really gorgeous as well. Woods to walk in with magical light and fascinating trees, a sea with such pretty islands, and a dark and splendid night sky. Yet another place to fall in love with.
I had such a great time in Auckland as well. Got to hang out with awesome people who dragged me around (quite willingly) to playing board games, roleplaying, urban explorations, acrobatics, swordfighting, movie-watching, museums, storytelling, partying... I even got invited to a wedding. All of which was so much fun and made me feel more at home than at the place where I actually live. Whee, so much happiness.
Then I moved on to Queenstown, which was a dramatic change in many respects. From late-summer weather (from my Nordic point of view) to frosty cold. From hills and seaside to snowy mountains and fiordy lakes. From very intense socialising to quiet loneliness (or at least loneliness-in-a-crowd). Queenstown is a stunningly beautiful and remote place, full of adventures. And tourists. Like that gorgeously handsome person you cannot help falling head over heels in love with, even though you know that you could never live together in the long run.
I enjoyed myself immensely. I visited the glow-worm caves in Te Anau. Underground waterfalls and little larvae glowing like so many stars! I went bungy jumping. It involved some mind-boggling terror, a lot of screaming and then hysterical laughter. I'd totally do it again! Then skydiving. Not half as scary as I had imagined, just absolutely delightful. I'd love to skydive every single day! I visited a conservation park for kiwis and other birds. They're rather cute and lay absurdly large eggs, those nocturnal, flightless little weirdos. I explored Milford Sound. Turns out that it is actually a fiord, not a sound, being carved out by a glacier some thousands of years ago. Huge waterfalls, vertical forests and seals. Very spectacular! Lastly I also went hiking up to the top of Ben Lomond at 1743 metres. Views of snow-covered mountains stretching far into the distance, a silence so profound I could hear my own heartbeats, and a perfectly dark night sky where I got to see a couple of fireball meteors and learned some new constellations. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful, it filled me with tons of joy and inspiration!
And then I took the bus home to Christchurch. Stopped for a break at Tekapo, and I got to see Mount John again. Autumn has changed the place. Yellowing leaves, snow on the mountains, and an even more icy-cold lake. Still as beautiful, still the feeling of 'this is where I want to be' that keeps following me around this country.