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01 December 2010 @ 10:39 pm
So today Kraków once again reached the state of almost complete standstill after 3 hours of snowfall. One would think that the road maintenance crews have learned their lesson on Monday morning but apparently not.

It started to snow around 3 p.m., when I was leaving work around 6 p.m., there was at least 5 cm of fresh snow and the roads were completely white. And of course packed full of cars, buses etc. that were almost not moving. All around the city it was the same.

On a day like this, one really does appreciate that one's office is 10 minutes walking distance away from one's flat ;D
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Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Lech Poznań - Juventus FC football game
23 October 2010 @ 11:08 pm
All this listening to the competition and finally, after a good few years, I have actually sat at my piano and played some Bach today!

I am horribly out of practice (and my piano is even more horribly out of tune) but after something like a 15-year break from regular playing, I am quite amazed that it went that well. Some things you can never forget...

I admit, I had some preoblems with reading the bass clef, which resulted in counting lines to figure out the notes and of course I attempted only VERY easy pieces but still - I imagined it would be a lot worse.

If only I could figure out how to fit my piano into my apartment in Kraków, I could actually see myself playing again! Ah well, we'll see...
Current Mood: artisticartistic
Current Music: F.Chopin - Ballade in g minor op. 23 as played by Paweł Wakarecy at IFCPC
17 October 2010 @ 10:17 pm
So we have reached The Grande Finale - 10 lucky pianists will try their hand(s) at one of the piano concertos starting tomorrow and the verdict will be revealed late Wednesday night (or possibly it will be Thursday already).

I am mostly happy with who got to the final (mainly because Ingolf Wunder got there) but I do have one anti-candidate. Namely, Evgeni Bozhanov of Bulgaria. When I look at him while he plays, I always think he either smells something extremely foul or has a severe toothache. I don't agree with his interpretation either. I support the Austrian - though of course now that I've said it out loud, he will not win ;) These two (Wunder and Bozhanov) are the overall favourites, so we shall see...

If you want to see the videos from all stages, go here. To just listen to music, go here.

The Competition Newspaper Chopin Express is also interesting. It's bilingual, Polish and English. And if you want to see The Doctor take the stage and perform, see Issue 16. Enjoy!

And keep yours fingers crossed for Wunder... or else :P
Current Mood: artisticartistic
Current Music: Ilya Rashkovskiy's performance, 2nd stage
10 October 2010 @ 09:05 pm
Time to start the polonaise :)

In other words, I have spent the entire weekend watching (and listening to!) the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. It's the competition, after all. One you've been hearing stories about since your childhood. Like the one about Ivo Pogorelich, for example. So every 5 years when it happens, I try to catch as much of it as I can. I think maybe I'll go to the next one for a few days?

Anyway. I didn't see/hear much of the first stage but the 2nd one, which began yesterday, is the most interesting for me, because of the repertoire - mazurkas, waltzes and polonaises, which, apart from the concertos, I think I know best of all of Chopin's works. (Btw, they are all dances... ;D)

Out of 16 competitors so far I heard 14 or 13 perhaps and have a few I liked quite well. I am no "chopinologist" and I don't really know "the proper way" the pieces should be performed, I just judge the overall impression, like/not like and such. Mostly, the artists get judged for the polonaises, which I love :D Oh yes, very unbiased of me. Usually I don't agree with the critics/commentators in the studio. We'll see what the jury thinks on the 13th. I'll let you know if any of the people I liked got to the lucky 20 for the stage 3.
Current Mood: artisticartistic
Current Music: Rina Sudo's performance at IFCPC
27 September 2010 @ 08:38 pm
Postcrossing is a place where you can receive a variety of postcards:

- breathtaking natural beauty
- places you want to vist
- your dream vacations destinations
- events you want to witness
- cute animals
- fun cards
- places you have visited

But also the truly bizarre:

- o.O
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: Joseph Haydn - Cello Concerto No.1 in C major
20 September 2010 @ 08:21 pm
...have I seen too many movies already? Has anyone seen Salt? Was it really as predictable as I think it was?

In other news, the last of my Canadian postcards arrived today. Note please that I got back on August 15th and this card was posted before I left Canada.

I think I'm in a slightly sarcastic mood right now ;)
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Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Dmitri Shostakovich - The Gadfly (Romance)
08 September 2010 @ 12:20 am

I was, of course, supporting the Australians - our football team is hopelessly hopeless and the only solution I can see for them is hitting the rock bottom hard, and repeatedly, so somebody will finally make up and do something. Losing against Australians is hardly the rock bottom, though.

I actually had to check when was the last time we won something and if it was the 1:0 against Canada (which I didn't know even HAD a national football team - sorry about that, nscangal and tuklas!). Apparently not - we won against such powers as Thailand and Singapore in January and Bulgaria (wow!) in March...

Since we will not be the first host nation of a major tournament to not advance beyond the 1st stage, we might have the dubious honour of being the 1st not to score a single goal... After all, San Marino or Liechtenstein likely won't qualify. /end sarcasm

Supporting Netherlands is nicer.
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
04 September 2010 @ 07:01 pm
I got this at work a while ago and definitely meant to share but sort of... forgot, I guess. Was going through old e-mails on Friday and discovered it again so I bring to you a bit of fun on this cold&rainy September afternoon:

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.


Also, I think this icon has been made especially for this post :D

And here's some postcard fun for you :) Go Google!
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Burt Bacharach - Rain Drops Keep Fallin on My Head
26 August 2010 @ 10:17 pm
So tell me again, WHY can't I wear jeans&T-shirt to work every day? And please give a good reason this time :D

I spent 15 minutes in the morning today trying to come up with something that would:

a)be acceptable with regards to the dress code rules (which btw I notoriously break by wearing skirts and dresses that are too long, i.e. reach my ankles - sorry, the only short ones I own are for my Irish performances and these DEFINITELY don't agree with the dress code ;D)

b)fit together (colours, materials etc.)

c)be actually comfortable

Yes, at times like these I do not doubt that I am, in fact, a woman - a full closet and nothing to wear, of course! XD

But on a happier note, tomorrow is Friday, and I can wear jeans&T-shirt! The joy!
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Harold Arlen - Over the Rainbow
Oh boy. That was even funny, in the end. I guess.

But hello, where are you, favourites to the gold? Spain, Brazil, you weren't any better! I demand more - for your own good :P
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Last Sunday's performances