Trzcina, The Wordsmith

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12/6/2012 2:41 PM

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I am a Michigander. I am a (rather crazy) Detroit Red Wings fan, though I'm pretty keen on hockey in any form even if I'm not good at it myself (I can manage as a decent floor hockey goalie, though). I'm a Slavic Studies aficianado, I suppose. I like sci fi and fantasy, if it's done well. I find history fascinating. I will argue a point I don't agree with just to prove I can, but don't do that as much as I used to. I'm still a college student. I'd like to travel the world, but I'm a Michigander--will I ever really have the money? If I do it right, I suppose I probably will. I don't actually speak Polish, but that is the language my username is in. I have a fascination with linguistics and trying to learn languages. I think archaeology is pretty cool stuff. So is geology. Astronomy, too, but I'm no good at that. I like to travel, but I think I already mentioned that. I'm a Russian Studies major, if I haven't mentioned that already. I'm on a rifle team (three position indoor smallbore). Hell of a lot of fun, but won't claim to be good at it.


I doubt anyone cares, but a bit more about my likes and dislikes. In no particular order.



The Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov)

The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky), and most of Dostoevsky's other works.

A Song of Ice and Fire (George R.R. Martin)

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn). Cancer  Ward is good, too.

The Silmarillion (JRR Tolkien)

The Kalevala

The Lay of Igor's Host (and most other Russian legend that's not just stories of Christian saints)

1984 (George Orwell)

The Road (Cormac McCarthy)

Black Snow, The Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov), and most of Bulgakov's other writing, too.

The Book of the New Sun (Gene Wolfe). Or at least the first few books of it.

The Widow Killer (Pavel Kohout). Also Hangwoman.

The First Law (Joe Abercrombie)

Macbeth (Shakespeare). I'm not generally a big fan of Shakespeare, though.

The Farseer/Liveship Traders/Tawny Man trilogies (Robin Hobb)

Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)

Chronicles of the Black Company (Glen Cook)

Foundation (Isaac Asimov). Also what I've read of the robot novels and so on.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

Dune (Frank Herbert)

...And probably an awful lot more.



Good Bye Lenin!

The Lives of Others

The Counterfeiters

Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace

Gods and Generals

Batman Begins and The Dark Knight

Alexander Nevsky

The Battleship Potemkin

Come and See


Stara Basn (The Ancient Tale)

Flame and Citron


...And again, I'm sure there are many others.


TV Shows:

In honesty, I don't spend much time watching TV. Older shows on the internet or DVDs from the public library are more my cup of tea. At the moment, it's mostly TOS Star Trek, Firefly, the BBC Robin Hood, Doctor Who, the '90s X-Men the Animated Series cartoons.


...And I'll add more to all of this later, I'm sure.

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Recent Posts

Petition to End Women's Suffrage on 12/6/2012 1:30:47 PM

I wonder how many walked away and realized later what they'd actually signed, haha.

Hipsters on 9/25/2012 1:29:29 AM

It was especially odd, though, because I swear at least 1/2 of the sneakers I see here (at my university) are either Converse or similar type (canvas with a rubber toe). But apparently where she's from nobody wears them unless they're definitively hipsters.

Doctor Who I think has taken on popularity in a few different spheres. As I've always heard it associated more with nerdiness (albeit not in quite the same way that Star Trek was until the reboot...), though the fashion of it might be a bit hipstery. Though in some regards the two phenomena are probably connected... as certain categories of nerds -love- to tell you about how they were aware of some pop culture thing before you.

I probably look like a hipster now though, with my purchased-from-a-street-vendor-in-Ukraine backpack. But I like it and it serves its purpose.

Keep the skinny jeans and fashion glasses away though. If you actually need glasses, wear them. Otherwise... why pretend you can't see? And skinny jeans... I just don't understand.

Hipsters on 9/25/2012 1:23:41 AM

What sucks is when you get handed a left-handed shooting jacket, and you're right-handed. Happened to me twice because people kept taking the one in -my- locker (that I shared with another person). 

That, and gloves that are many sizes too large.

They are sweaty... but I also find it such a weird feeling that you essentially want to strap yourself into your equipment so much that you can't actually move effectively.

And then we find pictures of my grandfather shooting an M1 shirtless.

Hipsters on 9/24/2012 9:24:05 PM

Ammo's expensive. Guns can be, but I guess it depends on where you are and what you want.

I shot a fancy .22 target rifle for a year... beautiful gun. It's an Anschutz from the '80s, a model they don't make anymore supposedly. But damn, I hate shooting kneeling. It gets old -fast-. Standing's hard to learn for target shooting, but prone... Ah, prone. I love prone. I'm actually good at it. I'd send a picture of one of my targets but I'm lazy.

I like shooting, but I didn't like the people on the team I shot with so much. Weird bunch of guys in this particular case.

Hipsters on 9/24/2012 11:27:15 AM

I got called a hipster by a Texan once because I had a pair of Converse sneakers.

Fact is that about 2/3 of the reason I bought them is  Doctor Who (well, the Tenth Doctor).

I think that just makes me a nerd.

I ran over a cat :( on 9/7/2012 10:24:39 PM

The only dog breeder I ever knew the prices from bred a breed that at the time only had 250 dogs in the country. So that's probably part of it, haha. $1000 is the highest I've heard from good breeders, I guess I should say. Unless they're skinning you for a dog that already has championship titles.

I ran over a cat :( on 9/6/2012 9:32:21 PM

Some of the ones from good breeders, the breeder might actually replace the dog, depending on the contract signed. And the majority of "pet quality" puppies from good breeders are about $1000 (at least they were last time I looked into it), so even though it's an expensive dog... it's not as much as a lot of people think.

Anyway, I do feel bad for the cat, but it's true that there's not that much you can do if the cat is definitely already dead. It's not true that no cat has a tag/collar--my family's cat does--but it is true that most people don't put them on their cats. The only other thing would be if it were microchipped, and that's less common for cats than for dogs and would have required taking a cat corpse to a vet or humane society to check... and I don't feel like I'd do that either.

Definitely would suck worse to hit a kid's dog in front of the kid, though.

A Very Muched Winged Discussion About Politics on 9/1/2012 11:24:18 PM

Stalinist monarchy! 

Yeah definitely not. Somehow it just sounded like the most amusing thing to argue for as long as no one is actually going to be subjected to the living hell that would be.

Stalinism would presumably include but not be limited to intense propaganda campaigns, fast industrialization with a focus on heavy industry and munitions, large-scale population transfers based often on ethnic paranoia, an elaborate system of prison camps and political terror, strict censorship, and a well-developed official patriotism pervasive in art and culture. And periodic political purges based around show trials and fabricated crimes. Oh, and manmade famines, concealed mass executions, etc.

The options on the poll don't seem very... balanced. What about other possibilities? What about the shades within them (i.e. a constitutional monarchy vs. an absolute monarchy)? And how many people are going to honestly vote for a Stalinist system knowing what we know now about what he did?

Also, poor Prokofiev. His funeral was hardly noticed because he was unlucky enough to die the same day as Stalin.

favorite show and episode on 8/14/2012 3:52:18 PM

Doctor Who. I'd really have to think about it to pick a favorite episode, and I don't feel like thinking that much right now.

Game of Thrones is pretty good, but (at the risk of sounding like a hipster), I prefer the books mostly because I read them years before the show came along. It confuses me when characters look nothing like what I imagined.

Why are we here? on 8/14/2012 3:49:46 PM

I think we're on Earth because that's where we evolved.

I do more or less believe in God, yeah, but I tend to take a fairly secular view on such things as science. I guess I figure perhaps a deity set the thing in motion or set up the conditions for the Big Bang or what-have-you, but I have no really strong belief or opinion on the matter. I'm never sure what I can say I "believe" as far as that goes, and what I simply consider a hypothetical possibility.

The value of human life is mostly in its potential, and in the emotional and psychological ties between different humans, as well as the amazing feats of the human intellect and such things as language and complex culture.

I think it's likely there is life on other planets somewhere, but it doesn't seem like that important of a consideration for the average human. For most people it's just something interesting to think about, nothing more.