As today, in the last day of Middle Earth’s Old Year, we both celebrate our Birthday, we decided to celebrate it with a post that will reveal some hard truths and clear some popular misconceptions about the two individuals running Re-E since 2015, OlaG and piotrek!
OlaG’s name is Aleksandra (like the Cohen’s song), so she’s female and Polish, not a male Russian lumberjack named Oleg as I believe someone used to think 😉 Below – a proof 😉
Piotrek is a local version of Peter, he answers to both (and Pio, too) 😉 A very popular name, there were four of us in my high school class.
Piotrek: So, we were actually both born March 24, although not of the same year. I – some time in the early 80-ties, Ola – a bit (but not much) later. We met in the beginning of this century, while studying sociology at the oldest Polish University, where we both joined one club. A club dedicated to the study of power and politics, and the fact that the meetings took place in a pub should not make you doubt its seriousness. Believe it or not, I was a resident right-winger, as these days I fancied myself a liberal-conservative. Now my zeal is redirected, as is obvious to any reader of my posts 😉
Ola: Heh, I was always the resident liberal leftist and nothing has changed in this regard. 😉 Though to be fair, I find these political labels more and more constricting and inaccurate – becoming more like tribal totems than a precise reflection of reality.
Piotrek: Sure, but that’s a topic for another discussion.
Somewhere between sociolinguistics and history of social thought we also learned that we both read fantasy and SF, a bit more than most people, and often more obscure books. This was something we discussed more and more, especially after I finished the university – while Ola continued, to become a professional. And one day we decided that our discussions would get some structure and substance if they were recorded in the written form. We’d also give the world a chance to become acquainted with our great ideas. That’s how Re-Enchantment of the World was born.
Ola: Yup, hard to believe that this blog is already six years old and still alive and kicking!
Piotrek: So, we’ve been friends for years. We were, however, never a pair, and we’ve been both happily paired with other people. I, with a fiancée who even called out is unlikely to comment on my blog 😛
Ola: And I’ve been happily married for years, to my high-school sweetheart (whose name is, incidentally, Piotr ;))
Piotrek: And we no longer live close. I stayed in Krakow, and moved back into the flat I was born in (well, where I moved when they released me from the maternity ward, to be precise), and fortified it’s walls with huge bookshelves photos of which I add into half my posts 😉
Ola: Whereas I immigrated to New Zealand three years ago. My bookshelves are still in Poland, but I add plenty of photos of New Zealand to my posts, hopefully as equally enticing as Piotrek’s shelves – it’s such a beautiful country 😉
Piotrek: And now, a light-hearted tag I’ve seen at Bookstooge’s that reportedly originated from the Read-warbler blog 🙂 Stooge called it Navel Gazing in Books. The rule is to answer a series of personal questions with titles of books read in previous year – but I added some read in 2021, as its first quarter is already coming to an end.
Piotrek: The View from the Cheap Seats. Reviewing books and reality, happy about my own life, but increasingly uneasy about the state of our disunited world, enjoying my own sense of detachment and superiority…
Ola: The Seventh Perfection. Duh. I just passed the test for the full driving license for the left-hand traffic, and now I’ve got both right- and left-hand licenses – maybe it’s time for a motorcycle license? 😉
How Do You Feel?
Piotrek: Gridlinked. I’m constantly online, with not much difference between working hours in my home office and evening behind the same desk in this pandemic world…
Ola: The Forest God. New Zealand is a land of sub-tropical forests and lush gardens and green, green fields. That aspect was one of the key for us in deciding where to move.
Describe Where You Currently Live
Piotrek: Orwell / Lovecraft Country. Poland is a country of doublethink where animals currently on top are more equal than the others. There is still room for freedom on the personal level, but the state, including state media, is increasingly just a tool of the ruling party. And various ugly monsters use this situation to raise from the shadows, racism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, religious fundamentalism…
Ola: The Ocean at the End of the Lane. No horrifying monsters hiding in tiny wounds and wearing people like sleeves, thankfully, but there’s literally an ocean (well, a gulf) at the end of my lane 😉
If You Could Go Anywhere, Where Would It Be?
Piotrek: Ian Banks’ Culture. I’m cheating a bit, using series’ name and not a title of any specific book, but I did read two Culture books last year, and this universe is my Utopia, I’d move there any time.
Ola: Heh, what a wonderful coincidence that in 2020 I actually re-read for the eleventh (or more) time The Fellowship of the Ring!
Favorite Form of Transportation
Piotrek: Dealing with Dragons. Yep, this is the way to travel.
Ola: The Pale Horseman. I actually went for a horse-riding trip in November, that was an adventure! 😀 Plus, there’s a lot of sailing in Cornwell’s book, and I do love sailing. And have I mentioned that Team New Zealand just won the 36th America’s Cup?
Your Best Friend Is …
Piotrek: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Time of Your Life. She might not be a nerd, but she’s a feisty, no-bullshit feminist, at times rushing into action in an instant, even if a bit more planning could be advised…
You and Your Friends Are …
Piotrek: Saga: Book One. Ignore the boob and the baby, but our Saga is just beginning 🙂
Ola: The Paper Menagerie. All my friends are dispersed around the world, and the contact with them is mostly through the screens – especially now in the time of pandemic. There’s a bit of magic, and a bit of nostalgia, and a bit of optimism, too.
What’s the Weather Like?
Piotrek: The Shadow of the Gloomy East. Yep, Poland is sometimes pretty, but not now. It snows a bit, then it melts and we have even more mud.
You Fear …
Piotrek: Critical Failures. On all fronts, societal, personal, and while playing RPG… sometimes bad things happen and there’s nothing one can do. But not always 🙂
Ola: Ethnic Chauvinism and A Morbid Taste for Bones leading us all to Sea of Rust.
What Is the Best Advice You Have To Give?
Piotrek: A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism. It’s about the title, you don’t need to become a liberal like me 😉 Go for a lot of small, incremental improvements, in all areas, avoid grand schemes and big assumptions!
Ola: The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West. Military-minded, but quite illuminating in describing how the political power in the world is in a constantly state of flux.
Thought For the Day?
Piotrek: The Ministry for the Future. Humanity needs to get its shit together and save the world together. Unlikely, I know.
Ola: Aurora. We all live in a spaceship hurtling through the space and we all need to take care of it – or perish in the very empty, very cold abyss. Or something like that 😉
My Soul’s Present Condition?
Piotrek: Sweet Silver Blues. The title, not the book, I’m not a P.I. Garrett kind of guy. It’s a bit melancholic, but rather sweet, so blues it is.
Ola: Anathem. I feel I have a lot to be grateful for, even if some things are bitter-sweet. Plus, it’s always highly beneficial to know your philosophers and your scientists – the power of human mind is the true magic of our world.