Saturday, December 5, 2009

The 9th floor, Oasis, cooking, Sweden and Sinterklaas

Hmmm, D. H. Lawrence was right about the marmalade and shredding oranges part ("I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor"). After I vacuumed the hall-way and I cleaned the kitchen and I made myself some poached eggs with tuna, rice and tomatoes, I felt better.

Why did I want to feel better?

Well, because I got a bit of "the blues" myself. A lot has happened these past few months (I meat a lot of musicians, I went to Denmark and Sweden and Germany in a flash trip, I acquainted myself to Sinterklaas - the Dutch version of the Romanian Sf. Nicolae - at his huge parade, I finally figured out what I want to research this year, I've been through a week of hell (class-wise), and I started getting used to the constant rain here...I repeat I started, I'm not fully used to it yet).

Although Malmo in Sweden really relaxed me, although the concerts at Prins Claus Conservatorium were a delight, although the Sinterklaas parade was awesome, although I'm very excited about what I want to research, although I made a looooot of friends here, although I am not that home sick, because Groningen is "crawling" with Romanian students :)) and I see Jeremiah on Skype all the time, although I have an amazing housemate from Romania who takes care of me from time to time :), although I have the distinct feeling that time actually past slower since I came to the Netherlands, well, I still "got the blues thinking about the future".

I think it all started when I my advisor asked me if I wanted to apply for a PhD program and after I spent a whole afternoon on the peaceful 9th floor of my university building. The windows there are round, like a submarine's windows, if a the submarine were at the Nemo ride in Disneyland, CA. Although there were 8 floors beneath my feet and the scenery from above had a certain charm to it, the distinct feeling of sinking surrounded me, and that's when "the blues" started and it's been lingering since.

I hope Oasis will get me into a state of "the blues" that will shock me out of "the blues", an over-dosage of "the blues" so to speak :) (like Seinfeld said talking about cough medicine: Figure out what will kill me, and then back it up a bit.)

For all of us I hope the winter cheer will be near this year :).

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In the south of the Netherlands

After traveling through the whole country - in about 4 hours - we managed to reach Maastricht. Maastricht is in a battle with Nijmegen for the title of the oldest city in the Netherlands. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Maastricht :).

Its cathedrals, tall buildings and clean, narrow streets, it's wall drawings, huge groups of tourists and small water streams under trees and streetlamps are just lovely.

The cities in the Netherlands are very well organized and even an easily-get-lost person like myself can get around. Plus they have delicious food and crunchy ice cream which help with the whole orientation process.

Here's a few pics from Maastricht, the city devided in two by the river Maas:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Between the rain and the plain

Groningen is just lovely, but, you have to allow it its few eccentricities in order to really enjoy all the culture, clean air and welcoming people it has to offer.
One of its main "I do what I want" features is of course, the weather. It rains for three minutes, then it stops.A hopeful creature like myself, was very excited about the sun the first few times the rain stopped, but after ten minutes or so, it starts again and again and again. Still I was able to get a few snap shops of the beautiful architectural mixture that Groningen has to offer. I know it sounds like I'm advertising for tourist vacations, but I actually like the city a lot. All the green and friendly faces do
help fight the moody weather stigma.

Its second "I do what I want" feature has to be the abundance of bikes. They come from everywhere and everybody rides them, from children to old but athletic people. Accidents do happen of course. I have never seen so many people with crutches in just one day, but clearly a price has to be paid for all he clean air :).

A third "I do what I want" feature includes the eclectic nature of everything, from faces you see on the bus, to the food you find, streets you step on and the discussions you have in a pub, with a bunch of eager students from around the globe (from Nicaragua to Italy to Ethiopia and China).

Diana and I wanted a view of the city yesterday so we went to the 90 m tall Martinitoren.
Where the importance of time is clearly stated, where the wind blew in our hair and Diana had a little Marilyn Monroe moment.

So far it's been all visiting and coping with the rain and the bikes, which are of course the very enjoyable parts of my stay here. The academic year has begun and survival is my main goal :).

Enjoy mainly predictable weather and mostly accident free streets, while I'll enjoy everything else that HERE has to offer and anywhere else has LESS of :)!

Tot ziens,

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I fell into the allure of the unexplainable a lot of times in my life, but, then again, that tickles my curiosity filling my body with dopamine, so you can't really blame me for seeking the stuff. Still, we can all benefit from the positive part of being skeptical.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Clean drinking water for EVERYBODY!

Look at what a chap from Englad has developed:

Q: "So, what's new on TED?" A: "Something you should ponder for sure."

If you're not familiar with TED, you should know they have ideas worth spreading. Therefore don't limit yourselves to the talk I posted and dig deeper into TED Talk history and other parts of the site:

Meanwhile, here's an almost 90 year old lady, very coherently telling us something about ourselves that we probably rarely hear:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Laugh and the world may laugh with you, weep of laughter and they may laugh harder :)

I've reached the 6th season of the wonderful sitcom Frasier and I thought I should share a bit of Frasier humor with all of you. Watch until the end, it's only a tad under 7 minutes.

Hope you're having a cheerful summer :),

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fun and Laughter...

...yes, these are the two ingredients for a sane life :). Here's a bit of the two:

Some of the comments on this one (on youtube of course) say it's not that funny, but I certainly laughed my pants off. Ironically, I too had a bit of trouble with my luggage at the airport a couple of times :) and I still laughed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vacation time :)

Well,well, if it isn't the eager summer knocking on our perspiration glands, making us slippery and hot, turning busses into Hellmobiles and leaving love marks in the shape of sunburns all over our unprotected skin. Indeed summer has taken over. But with this reign of sizzle and sweat also comes a time for fun in the sun, leisure and relaxation, parading our skin all over town and maybe, just maybe, forgetting we ever had any money or future-money bringing activities...oh yes, it's vacation time.

I for one have already started a two month long shade loving, water splashing, movie devouring, sleep indulging period and I feel like being in secondary school all over again. I'm gonna visit my grandma' and take a dip in a nearby river, I'm gonna stop re-watching House M.D., five seasons in two weeks is a bit isolating from the real world, but the show has a certain je ne sais quoi, or maybe Jesse Spencer and Hugh Laurie have it :), the girls know what I'm talking about...I told you I felt like I was in secondary school :).

Everybody has a secret plan for this summer. The advice I'm going to give and you're not going to take is: INDULGE YOURSELVES!

This is a leisure post, so, I'm done here. I'm just going to leave you a little sketch and a secret:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Less, Lesser and...oh...even Less

I woke up with my heart beating like a lab mouse's before a live autopsy. My head was throbbing and my skin felt on fire. While my stomach was singing its Hunger Symphony, I got out of bed and looked out the window. The images came right back into my vivid and so disturbing. I had done terrible things and I only realized I was dreaming when I had done the ultimate terrible thing.

How sick or morbid or just plane gruesome can our imagination possibly get? Sometimes I think we're split between the nice, socially acceptable people we try to be and the really disturbed creatures we really are. Or is it just me?

Decision time does that to me, whenever it shows it's eager little face. Torn between two continents, two possible outcomes, two possible lives...Am I too small for big decisions? Or I am just as undecided as ever because both the outcomes are not what I had in mind for this time in my life. Or am I afraid I have less time?

I was joking with my best friend these days, when we had no money for food because we spent it all on stupid things like more food :), that it's both so weird and so funny still being a poor student after four years of college. A lot of my friends have to worry about pay cuts and getting fired, while I still worry about when my mom can put some money in my account, so I can eat at the student cafeteria.
Am I that attached to this student life - a life I wasn't so much looking forward to about four years ago? I had so many other thoughts about how my student life should be or should have been like and instead I am constantly surprised. I guess this is the beauty of not having things come out exactly as you picture them to be. Would predictability enhance anything except safety?
Do I want a safe snuggled life or do I want excitement? :)) I wonder if there will be a time in my life when I would pass up an exciting thing for the safe, predictable easy to deal with move.

Again I am tormented. I guess you can tell by the length of this post. I don't know what to wish for anymore. I feel as if as my wishes and desires constantly change, my focus becomes blurrier and blurrier until...No, I don't become totally unfocused, but I do tend to treat the things I experience as things experienced by someone else than myself.

I feel I'm not living in this reality anymore, except maybe when I go out. And even then I escape to my solitude and my detachment. Don't worry, I'm not going crazy, I’m just contemplating myself and what's around me more that usual. I feel as if I'm taking a leave of absence from this existence. I'm not saying I'm having a parallel one, I'm just looking for something. When I'll find that something, I'll probably write more on my blog and you'll have the privilege of being annoyed more often by my posts.

Hypocrisy. Our whole society is based on it. I would just like it if for a while, all the people on this planet would say exactly what they were thinking of, when they were thinking it. What would become then of our puny society? Such a fragile artificial organism, isn't it?
I always seem to stumble on the paradox of choice. The amount of time it takes us to just select our daily clothing items or our food or our deodorant in a supermarket. By parallel, how long should it take us to make a far more complicated decision, let's say which career to choose or which job to take or which person to marry or, ultimately, who we want to choose to be? How long does it take us before we stick to an idea of who we want to be in our minds, in front the mirror, in bed, in the eyes of perfect strangers?

One of my friends once said that only people who don't have a clear and focused agenda ask themselves who they are. That people who know exactly what to do and are constantly active don't ever wonder silly stuff like: Why are we here? and What is our purpose in life? Maybe I'm just not that busy or focused or full of plans and that's why I wonder about my place and purpose on this small planet, in this small solar system around this medium-sized star on the brink of this most probable universe out of all the possible ones. Or maybe the busy people want to be busy so they don't feel lost. Maybe they're afraid of being lost. Or maybe I'm just a bit hallucinating at this very moment. In any case, thanks for coming this far with me! And here's a Teardrop on the fire of your trouble:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fallen Angels

Young, lost, trapped, poor, sad, needy...we all felt at least one of them at one time or another in our youth. But when somebody artistically portrays them all in 90 minute and exemplifies being like you are part of this world yet not quite, something begins to turn inside did in me.

My eyes are darkened by the circles of puzzlement. Puzzlement you ask (maybe)? Yes, you read correctly. I am traced into pieces, some are there on the board, some are missing. I am beginning to look like a puzzle, I have been metamorphosised into a puzzle, therefore I have been puzzled and surely enough I remain puzzled.

I don't know if I'll recover all my pieces. It's a process. But I do know that I am at place being out of place, more accurately, I am in place without a few places, pieces to be more exact, at least this is what I got from Wong Kar Wai's Fallen Angels:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The First: When is it too late to...?

Dear Witty Sloth,

When is it too late to start over? Or to fall in love? Or to be good? Or to find your purpose? Or to write poetry? Or to learn how to fly a plane? Or to make friends? Or to make sense?

I was skimming through a book about writing scripts today and while I was reading what I should be writing about I realized another thing. I realized that in order to have some writing done, I should do some living and in order to do some living I have to be willing to get out of my safe, do-absolutely-nothing-except-eat-and-sleep zone. But I am buried so deep in this zone, the trap zone of nothing and nothingness and nobody meaningful and nothing significant that it's becoming a way of life. I've lived all my life fearing routine and not doing anything ordinary and I ended up doing nothing and making a routine out of that. Therefore truly anything can be made a routine. Even doing different things all the time in a chaotic manner can become the routine of doing different things all the time in a chaotic manner.

Some people like routine, they like feeling safe while expecting something expected, others state they hate routine and anything that has to do with it, but the truth is, we all like some things being done routinely, some exceptions to those routines, some things done differently every time and the same things being done the same sometimes. What I'm probably trying to say is that there is never a recipe and if there is, it works only if you want it to work.

It's funny when people come on TV or to your face, either strangers or acquaintances and they say that they used this and that and they solved a problem or several, more than that, this or that worked perfectly for them. And then, maybe, with some skepticism you try it and this or that doesn’t do anything for you. Do you blame the method? Do you blame the people who recommended this or that or do you blame the fact that randomness is not random and that skepticism is sheer predictability of failure? Do you blame the fact that you were born when Venus was aligned with Jupiter or do you blame your choosing to be skeptical despite the success of others? Whatever you blame, be sure not to make a routine out of it. Because once you make a routine out of failure it becomes a way of life...

Concerned Routine

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Salsa, Books, Sitcoms, life

Well, this is a post to let you know that I am alive and well and I wish you all to be alive and well :).

These days I'm taking Salsa lessons, reading loads of books, watching a few sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, Heroes and Battlestar Galactica - I assure you the SciFis are treated with the utmost respect in my dorm room :) - and going out with friends that seem to be glad for my accomplishments and also seem to enjoy a good debate once in a while. About my accomplishments, well, that's reserved for another post :).

Two more things: 1) I have 24 small ZUZU containers full of delicious milk on my window sill and 2) tonight I'm going to a smashing Salsa party.

Stay positive and enjoy life!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


The big 23 knocked on my door 12 days ago and I feel as if I were 6 or something. Maybe because, no matter how much I grow, I still let my imagination go wild, live of my parents' money and ask for weird gifts, that my nice friends actually buy for me :).

When I was 17 I wanted a chocolate cake in the shape of dog shit and I actually got one that fairly looked disgusting, but was in fact delicious. For many years I've been bugging my friends about frogs and turtles and the fact that I love them, so for my 21st birthday they gave me a turtle (you all know my sweet Jeremiah, who has a last name starting this week: Baldabacescu).

Since high school I have been craving for a nice red pair of boxing gloves, and this year I actually got them too. They're wonderful and they're exactly like I always wanted. And last night I was lucky enough to get an autograph from Ioan Gyuri Pascu on my right boxing glove. He happened to be at the club where we celebrated my big 23 BD - The Peasant's Club (Clubul Taranului) right inside the Museum of the Romanian Peasant (Muzeul Taranului Roman).

After this row of wishes and presents to match, I figured out the way you have to do things in order to get what you want. The solution is to nag just the right people (your friends for presents, your parents for abroad trips, you boss for more money, your teachers for bigger grades, yourself for less pounds of fat etc.) and, eventually, you will get what you want. It all depends on the time you invest in the nagging process and your dedication to that.

Thank you to all my friends for their wonderful wish-granting presents and for being my friends!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


A lot of free time on your hands means a lot of randomness in the head, at least for me it does. This randomness parleys into thoughts, which trigger emotions, which trigger more thoughts than actions than I would like to admit...but am admitting.

For those of you who were able to follow that, here's another: The carpets would be foot-worn with the treading of my thoughts, if I had such carpets, instead I choose to tread the 2.0 part of my life.

William Butler Yeats once wrote:

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Sometimes I think that the only things that are truly our own, are our thoughts. But then I become socially-labeled-sad, because our thoughts can be twisted and tweaked by circumstances and energies that we, many times, are so unaware of.

I might be so proud and so confident as to state that these are MY thoughts. But what is truly ours? Then again, what is "truly"?

It's raining outside. I'm actually looking outside as I’m writing this. There's a leaf hanging for dear life on a branch in the tree right next to my window...but the leaf is dead...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Children of Huang Shi

I don't know if you do this, but I sometimes think about what it would be like to mean something to a lot of people for generations to come. I think about influencing people to be good and do good, about helping people.
This is in fact a truly selfish desire of mine, wanting to remain in people's minds for a while, even, dare I say, put my print on history for something. But sometimes, I try to fool myself into thinking that I can actually do things for people out of pure altruism...maybe it's more of a desire than a true thing. I'll get back to you on this one when and if I figure it out.

Yesterday I saw a film about a person who saved a lot of people without an identifiable selfish interest. I confess I cried at the end of it, but not for the fact that he saved them during a very tumultuous period in China, not for the fact that everybody suffers a lot in this film and not because the people in the film remind me of somebody I lost...No...I cried because I thought about what I have accomplished so far and if I would ever be able to do something significant with my life. It's hard when these thoughts hit me, but it happens a lot when you're a leech on your parents' wallet.

Yet again, enough about me. I guess it's my 23rd year crisis kicking in :). Here's a peep at The Children of Huang Shi:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Romanian, a sweet language...if you use it correctly


I know a lot of us think that we know a lot or enough and we have been dragged through the grammar of our language once, we don’t need it again. I beg to disagree. While reading the information from the link above, I realized I still have a lot to learn about the Romanian language, it is a process that lasts a lifetime, like any learning process.

If we already use it, that does not mean we know its tips and tricks or that we master it at a truly academic level. Actually, I know professors that will make the link above shrivel with discontent and hide from the world.

So don't be so quick to judge and move on to another page!
Check it out, scroll down through the list and see what I'm talking about! It takes 3 minutes.

If you find absolutely nothing new, I tip my hat to you.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Charity Gift

Aida's good nature follows us around, even in the 2.0 world, so here are my picks from CharityGift, a site that sells really nice stuff and gives the money to noble causes:

1) The Fish Locket
because it reminds me of my favorite two fish A&A, they know who they are;
2) Nocturnal Floating
because it makes me feel weightless while looking at it;
3) The Pumpkin Broach
because I love Halloween;
4) The Idiot - F.M. Dostoievski
because I was so different when I first read it, than I am now and it makes me assess who and what I have become since then;
5) Musical Carrousel
because I used to have something like it when I was a baby and I think I was pretty happy back then.

Out of the five, here's my favorite:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Remember to laugh :)))

Paint by numbers toilet paper - courtesy of
Click on the picture to see it bigger and funnier.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friends, Torture and Weddings

To what extent would you go to help a friend?
What is your level of patience and the amount of attention you would give a person you would consider a friend?

I think if the degree of friendship had to be measured by some unit of measurement, patience and attention should definitely be basic measurement units.

The people I care about get most of my patience and attention. They are the people I actually feel I need to talk to from time to time and they are the ones I want to share my good and my bad moments with. I don't know if they care about me, but there has to be something reciprocal in the relationship, otherwise I would probably not benefit from their patience and attention.

Another issue that arises is the fact that we sometimes get patience and attention from total strangers (and I don't mean the kind that want to rob you blind).
This may happen because these people feel some kind of connection, attraction between them and you and they feel the need to approach you even more than just a verbal greeting or a smile.

The last time I said: "Do you need any help?" to a total stranger on the street, I ended up with a friend and a two day discussion about life and films and the world. I don't know exactly why I asked him if he needed help on the street, but he looked kind of lost...and cute :). The odd part of it was that, picking him up was not the reason I made contact, far from it.

But enough about this, well, not enough, but I wanted to tell you something else.
I saw: "Dupa-amiaza unui tortionar" today, a very interesting and well-made Romanian film, that made me think about human relationships a little bit.

I also saw "Nunta muta" a few days back, which is a stroke of great inspiration for Horatiu Malaele and a very insightful journey into the human collective conscience.

Here's a peek of the two films:

Dupa-amiaza unui tortionar

Nunta muta