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Thursday, April 28, 2005
Going on a nice little Easter Break
This is my last day at work before the Easter break. And that is only because we have this wonderful boss who grated as two extra free days, this Friday and the next Tuesday. Legally speaking, the only free day is Monday, the Second Day of Easter. I also found this funny: Orthodox Easter has three days, just like the weddings in fairytales!

Yesterday I went to buy some books after work. I finally bought the Spanish books I wanted so much and today I actually started learning it. So, Hola, amigos! I’m really enjoying it because it is easier than I thought. I already kinda knew how to speak, mostly from all those soapy Latin series I had seen (All my girlfriends think telenovellas are crap, but if there is a cute leading man, shirtless as often as possible or better yet in a swimming suit, we have our eyes stuck on the TV!!!). So, I knew to speak, but not exactly how to write and I had absolutely no idea of the Spanish grammar. Now I now a little bit about nouns!

If I have any problems, Owzy offered to help, so I hope that in three months’ time I’ll be able to actually write a coherent paragraph in Spanish. If not, that means I’ve been lazy and have given my new books to the Mighty Dust as an Easter present!

I’m going to see Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” ballet (you can find all about it here) after work - with Ovidiu Matei Iancu in the leading male part, of course! I’ve seen excerpts of this ballet on TV and a movie about a ballerina who was actually made famous by her part in the “Swan Lake”. So I hope I won’t be disappointed by the performance of the Bucharest National Opera Ballet.

My plans for this Easter are quite simple, inexistent actually. My cousin and my aunt will come visit, I’ll see my father only on Saturday because he’s going at my grandma’s and I’ll probably see some of my friends. That’s about it. Other bold plans of mine include finishing Mircea Eliade’s “History of Religious Ideas”, book that has been translated in far more languages than those I can say “My name is Kayla” in. Some info about the author and his works can be found here.

As my computer will remain in Bucharest, unless I get to an Internet Café or some “connected” computer, I will see you all on Wednesday. So, Happy Easter to those who actually celebrate it and great weekend to the rest of the world!

P.S. I was thinking about a Robin Williams show on Broadway that I saw some time ago (thank you DC++). He so funnily noticed how odd linking Easter Bunnies to Easter Eggs was. Here’s a little quote: “Even the kids go: ‘Mooom! Bunnies don’t even lay eggs!!!’”
P.P.S. You can all admire the changes I made to my blog: the nice doggie clock, the new spot for the site meter and the nice blogroll I created directly in the HTML code with my very own two hands and lots of help from several sources. It’s a tiny step for me and a completely inexistent one for the human species, but I decided to learn everything there is to know about HTML.
posted by Alina @ 1:34 PM   3 comments
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
You think you're smart? You're not!!!
It amazes me how incredibly stupid people can be at times…I mean, acting smart and saying everyone around you is stupid suddenly turns you into a genuinely wise person. NOT! If you’re dead ugly and you keep saying you’re actually Miss World, you might convince some. But you won’t win any cute tiaras.

I got into this horrible fight with a coworker. I understand it’s hard to get fired, I understand it can really mess with your head. But that will never justify calling all the other employees stupid or picking random targets for you to scream at!

Never mind that! I went to the doctor, finally! It seems things are not as bad as I thought but I will have a complete picture of the situation a month from now. And there actually wasn’t any exam today. People in my group just got it all wrong!

I had a long conversation with Oana on the “Templar Revelation” subject. Maybe she is right: not everybody can remember all that data and “revisions” might be useful at some point. It annoyed me but others might like it. Anyway I absolutely enjoyed their theories and I admire the courage they have to say: “You know all those things Christian priests blab about in Church, books and even all the stories in the Bible they preach about? Oh, well, forget it, most of it is not true!”

I finished Paulo Coelho’s “Maktub” today. A good book to give you some faith in the ways of the world!
posted by Alina @ 3:08 PM   3 comments
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Paulo Coelho - Maktub
"My dear fellow, I have to tell you something that you perhaps don't know. I have been thinking about how to make this news less difficult to hear - how to paint it in brighter colors, add to it promises of Paradise, visions of the Absolute, provide esoteric explanations - but they do not apply. Take a deep breath, and prepare yourself. I have to be blunt, and I assure you, I am absolutely certain of what I'm telling you. It is an infallible prediction, without any doubt whatsoever. It's the following: you are going to die. It may be tomorrow or fifty years from now, but - sooner or later - you are going to die. Even if you would rather not. Even if you have other plans. Think carefully about what you are going to do today. And tomorrow. And with the rest of your life."
posted by Alina @ 3:15 PM   0 comments
Thank you, Medsana!
FJSC professors and their assistants are pretty tolerant when it comes to shameless students in the fourth year whose faces they’ve never seen in class. They actually let us take the exams if we bring some papers at the last minute (just before the exam). Lucky us, lucky me!

But, and there’s a huge but, it seems this is not enough for me to actually get to the exam and take it. Why, you might ask. Because the almighty Medsana medical center exists! Yeah! So, one lousy appointment costs me two exams. They said it’s on the 26th at 8.30 AM so I kissed good-bye the exam I was supposed to take today…I got there at 8.25, waited for centuries to get my file and when I got to Reception, guess what, they told me my doctor wasn’t even there today. She is never there on Tuesdays! I know that, that’s why the date sounded so wired to me in the first place, but I thought I was the crazy one. What is even funnier is the fact that I actually have an appointment, on the 27! So, she said the wrong date, but made the appointment on the right one! Happy, happy, joy, joy! NOT! Never mind the fact that I wasted just enough time to have no chance of getting to the 9.00 AM exam today, I also have another exam tomorrow at 8.00 AM!!! So I’ll also kiss that one good-bye!

You might wonder why I don’t just reschedule… Well, first of all, I have to take some tests at a certain time. Not a tragedy, it won’t matter if I’m a few days late. BUT, rescheduling it would actually mean waiting for at least one week! Yeah, I have a busy doctor…

So, I am happy to announce that because of my own laziness, stupidity and job in the first place, and Medsana in the second place, I missed about 11 exams. Exams that I will have to take in a two weeks period. I have the needed time, but I’ve also become the laziest person ever and I am justifying it all by saying “Hey, I have a fulltime job!” Yet it seems I always find the time to read books as long as the lecture is not school related!

I do wonder, what happened to me after high-school? What strange event turned me from the best in my class to the lazy student I am today? I know it had something to do with me not wanting to be a journalist anymore, but I did decide to finish what I started and this started way before my “re-orientation”…What puzzles me even more is that I saw it happen to a lot of people. And the one person that bugged me the most was my friend Oana. She wasn’t only the best in her class, she was the best in the whole school! She started to faculties at the same time, Physics being one of them. At Physics she never had less then 9 or 10 out of 10 points, no matter the subject. She missed some exams at the other faculty (Computer Science, Statistics and Economic IT), but only because she had Physics exams at the same time. After that year everything changed and she became just like I did…

I guess we’re just not focusing on the important stuff!

Speaking of books to read, I just finished Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince’s Templar Revelation. What they did was to gather a lot of information regarding secret organizations, Bible research and a whole bunch of other issues and put them together to support their theory regarding Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene and John the Baptist. The information they provide is quite interesting, but I’m not a big fan of their “Review everything we’ve said before as often as possible” writing technique. Repeating the data over and over again makes the book a bit boring and actually reminds me of the way too often Revision Time lessons in all the English books we used in secondary school and high-school.
posted by Alina @ 1:48 PM   6 comments
Monday, April 25, 2005
Pleasant surprise delivered by Romanian series producers
There’s a new Romanian series broadcasted by a certain TV channel called “Good guys”. It’s about the adventures of two policemen in the ever-flourishing world of the Romanian outlaws. It has everything, drugs, prostitution, kinky sex scenes and a huge quantity of Romanian humor. I actually thought it would suck but it’s great!

There’s of course a black policeman, called Edi Balan (Balan is something like White, so…), played by Cabral, local TV star, and his partner whom he of course arrests while working undercover. And the English of one of the bad guys (played by a great actor and singer) is actually delicious! Very bad accent, English words mixed with Romanian – mostly cursing and swearing – and the Romanian street-wise attitude! Delicious!!!

Obviously, it is copied – mostly influenced by the American series – but it has something very genuinely local that makes it so good!
posted by Alina @ 12:06 PM   4 comments
Friday, April 22, 2005
Floods' week
Floods have been the highlight of the week in Romania. Dozens of villages in the West side of the country have been flooded because of the heavy rains. So everyday stories sound like this: “Last night, on the news, I saw this old couple. The woman was sick, sitting on the bed and crying, while the water level kept rising in the room. Her husband couldn’t leave her there but couldn’t help her either. ‘I don’t have any strength left to fight the waters’, he said. This happened to them every year, at least once, if not twice”.

Yes, every year Romanian authorities have to deal with the same issue: floods! And how? Oh, simple! The weather experts announce the floods, of course, at least a week before, but the authorities simply cannot do anything about it. They just wait, the floods have their way, and then the state spends enormous amounts of money to take care of people whose houses have been destroyed…

Stupid, isn’t it? Why don’t they just spend that money trying to prevent the floods? Noooo! It’s easier to just save people when they’re in danger of being killed by the waters than trying to stop the damned rivers from flooding everything when it rains…You know, us Romanians, are very proud of how smart we are! IT experts, engineers, brilliant students shaming the other countries…Yet at times we are so stupid. Or at least our leaders are! But, if we chose them in the first place…In the end it’s still our fault!

Everyday we complain we cannot elect someone better because they are simply alike. Politicians, very greedy politicians, regardless of the party they’re in! Why don’t we get involved? Why isn’t every young man talking about politics every time he has the chance? Why aren’t there any petitions? I can admit that I don’t even know the names of the Ministers…I only know the names of the President and of the Prime Minister! I don’t really give a damn about politics anyway. And I am a journalism student…If we don’t stay in touch with the major events, who will?

I remember I was pretty angry a few days ago because they didn’t let me go in a McDonald’s fast-food wearing rollerblades. There was no sign saying “no rollerbladers allowed” and they use the image of skateboarders and other sporty young people for their advertisements anyway! So that does ruin their image! The reason I wasn’t allowed to get in? I don’t really know, they didn’t bother to give me one! Probably washing the floor issues – rollerblades do leave traces that are quite easy to erase with a mop! I wonder, does anyone get in when it rains so they’d have to wash the floor every five minutes?

So, what did I do? Did I call the manager and ask for an explanation? Did I write a complaint letter to McDonalds Romania or to the USA headquarters saying I would choose KFC if they’re attitude did not change? No, I just left. This is so typical for Romanians! We pay extremely large amounts for services, although our living standard is quite low but we don’t really complain when we don't get what we paid for. And if we do complain, we are labeled as crazy or worse.
posted by Alina @ 1:09 PM   6 comments
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Another face of my past
Today I saw Jacques, I think. And wasn’t in person, it was through a cold medium…Seems he’s in a band right now, hip hop of course! I’m happy he finally fulfilled this dream of his. He was already writing songs in high-school and, well, he was what you could call an artist. He studied at the Art High-school, in the Sculpture class, and he then continued studying Architecture. He always liked drawing, painting, sculpting, singing and dancing and, oh, yeah, basketball!!!

I remember the first time I saw him, in the secondary school. His mother was Romanian and his father was from Congo (country that was still called Zaire at the time). He had studied there since second grade I think, but his father thought the Romanian system would offer him a better education. So here he was, in the intensive-French class. I remember us, the stubborn intensive-English students, always calling him Jack during his first year there! We so hated French and always pronounced the words with a kind of English accent, not because we couldn’t do otherwise, but because we were so proud of our English knowledge! We were just some stupid kids that didn’t really know how good knowing another foreign language actually was.

We were never very close before high-school, but in the second year, when we already studied in different high-schools, we became very good friends. We played basketball together ( I was very funny doing that because I’m only 1,58 meters tall, that making me practically the shortest kid on the field - yeah, I stopped growing back in high-school), we jogged together and I started reading books on Hinduism and Buddhism after certain talks with him. I also started going to a Sanskrit course held every Saturday in my school, but that didn’t last very long – too little interest shown by students!

It was quite entertaining to hang out with him. We used to take this extremely long walks together and sometimes Mihaela would come along. I was very annoyed by people’s reactions to him because he was black. But Romanians are not really racist when in comes to black people – if you are wondering why I don’t use something resembling to African American, it’s just because there is no such thing as African Romanian. They are just always kinda stunned, as if they were standing in front of something very exotic because, at least in Ploiesti and most parts of the country – except Bucharest of course – there really aren’t many black people. We save all our racism for gypsies!

Later, during my third year of high-school, I developed this crush on him. He always looked great, he was smart and funny, so it wasn’t hard to have a thing for him. I guess the right time for us was my 18th birthday party – a huge one, as it’s accustomed to have one when you become legally “of age” – but I don’t know why, I let the moment pass. We never had the chance again and he was right to tell me I did not love him one night when I had this huge teenager breakdown because he didn’t want me. I remember asking him what would he have said if I had behaved different soon after that party. He said that probably something would have happened.

It’s true, I did not love him at the time, although I said it so easily, but I could have gotten to love him…I wonder how my life would have turned with a big Jacques love and not with a big Razvan love…Who knows, who cares, too late for regrets anyway!

I still have a bunch of great memories with him, including a nice night on the seaside, in a disco, where my friend and I accidentally met his group of friends. I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but this African blood going through their veins makes them feel the rhythm so much better that the half-stiff ordinary Romanian young boys! So I had a great time dancing with them…

The only thing I regret about my relationship with Jacques is that we aren’t friends anymore! Maybe we both should have tried harder, I don’t know, but a certain point he was the closest person to my soul and I feel I was the same for him. Bonds like that should never be broken!
posted by Alina @ 2:04 PM   1 comments
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Do you like the new Pope???
So, Catholics have a new Pope! Not the open-minded one, but the German representative of the Conservative side of the Catholic Church! That’s just great…They deal with the everyday changing world by choosing to go back to the Old School. Brilliant indeed…

Last night I saw a comment of his brother, saying he could never be as popular and attract people as John Paul II did! Really? So, after a Pope that visited so many countries and even had a speech in Romanian when he visited Bucharest and who was worshiped just for who he was and how he acted when surrounded by people, they think the flag should be carried on by someone who is the exact opposite…I’m sure they don’t expect a popularity decrease of the Catholicism! Cause I do.

I always admired Catholic priests for being more open-minded than the Orthodox priests. But I guess that will soon be over! Personally, I think the Italian preferito was a better choice just because he seemed so much warmer and more of a camera-material than the new Pope. But I cannot vote! And maybe the Catholics need a strong hand to publicly fight “heresies” like “The Da Vinci Code”! I’m sure sails for such books will increase.
posted by Alina @ 2:44 PM   1 comments
When the boss is abroad, the employees start partying – this would be the work-related interpretation of a Romanian saying. Today’s highlight was a new karaoke software containing about 900 songs that my colleague Radu brought to work. So we all rushed into his office to so completely off-key sing everything we could keep up with in English, Spanish and even Italian versions of Romanian band Ozon’s hits. So, I will survive, Hit the road, Jack, Sweet home Alabama, You can leave your hat on, Billie Jean, Feelings, Strangers in the Night and a lot of other songs were practically screamed in that office. At a certain point the boss called and my friend Cristina told him we were all there working! Yeah, right! “I would lie for you” – to quote Brian Adams…

I haven’t had so much fun in ages (at work I mean). My personal highlight was finding Andrew Lloyd Webber’s old versions of the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack that I sang alone in Radu’s office. This was actually very good for the sanity of all ears belonging to the company employees.

Mihaela and Andreea, the girls I went to the Tchaikovsky ballet night with, were first introduced to my blog yesterday and they loved it, or at least that’s what they told me to make me feel better about myself. I saw Mihaela after work when we were supposed to go help her boyfriend pick some clothes. Polo came along and I introduced him to the wonders of IMDB. The boyfriend didn’t find anything to buy, but we (the girls) had a great time checking out guys and making fun at people.

So, as I am quite tired after singing and dancing for about two hours with my colleagues, I will take a prolonged lunch break to re-vitalize myself with some yogurt and some kiwi! Diet or die! Just kidding, but I really am dieting! I guess seeing those perfect ballerinas didn’t help improve the image I have of myself. That is the downside of seeing so many perfect bodies I guess!

Answering to complaints: Mihaela complained I said nothing about the other leading male dancer that accompanied Ovidiu Matei Iancu and the first ballerina in the second ballet. So, I am mentioning at least now that he was no match for our beloved! Andreea even said that she would have never had the guts of dancing along with such a perfect competitor. It is true the other one should have felt ashamed.

More information regarding the ballet dancer: it turned out he was only 21, thus younger than us. But, as a colleague of mine, Gabi, pointed out, if he was younger, I could shape him to please me! Other infos: two years ago he was pretty skinny – thank God for bodybuilding!!!
posted by Alina @ 1:51 PM   2 comments
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
100 going on 1,000
My blog has been visited by over a hundred people. And when I think I believed (prior to having the sitemeter) that I was practically alone! Interesting, though, to know other really read what you write, it’s not only your imagination…This makes you want to, I donno, improve what you write, keep it relevant so people could keep reading it… Well, I’ll have another post on my visitors when the site reaches a thousand, sometime around…next year!
posted by Alina @ 2:33 PM   0 comments
Return to myself
My birthday was only about three weeks ago, but since then my life started to get on the right track. I did not change radically: I did not stop talking that much, I did not become someone else, I did not take up a new hobby. I just re-became myself…I had forgotten how it felt to never be upset or angry or lonely or depressed for 30 minutes tops. How it felt to begin each day with a smile on my face or to enjoy the things I love most: reading a book, rollerblading, seeing movies, going to see a performance, spending time with good friends, walking and smiling while others were just walking…

I rediscovered myself and the simple pleasures of being a totally optimistic person and a hopeless romantic…I don’t really know how I could get so far from my true self in the past few years or how I could survive it for so long. But I know red still feels better than any other color, laughing at everything beats always complaining about how unhappy and lonely I feel and having just a few good friends is way better than investing a lot in people that are just using me.

Indeed, it is very hard to admit to yourself that people that you loved were just using you. But I was being just a huge coward by not facing it. Now I realize I actually have more friends than I thought and making new ones is not that horrifying, judging by the Andreea experience from the last ballet I’ve seen.

This weekend I saw a friend of mine from primary school. She moved to Bucharest some time ago and she gave me her phone number. She is quite busy too, but I have high hopes we will get together soon. We used to be pretty close when we were kids and I remember she spent the whole day crying when Michael came for his first concert in Romania. I wonder how she feels about that day now, given what‘s been going on with the world famous trial…

Strange Romanian Facts: Some teenagers, a 12-year-old girl and to 15-year-old boys filmed themselves while having normal, anal and oral sex. Lots of CDs containing what they did were then distributed throughout their home town. How do the authorities plan to handle this? The girl may be permanently expelled from the educational system. So, they see she’s on a very wrong track and they plan to prevent her from getting some sort of education to punish her. I wonder if she’ll continue to go on the wrong track or if she’ll just turn her life around without the proper education. Gee, tough question!

So, instead of trying to make them see they were wrong and help them do something about all this, let’s just punish them as hard as we can! Never mind the killers, rapers, drug dealers and pornography promoters that we could do something about. Now, these kids are the ultimate criminals and they should pay for their crimes!

The school headmaster was very angry the girl brought shame on their school. Yet he never stopped to wonder why does a 12-year-old do that? Why does she agree to a threesome and to all kinds of sex at that age? The teachers, who are supposed to somehow guide their students in life, the parents, who are supposed to supervise them, aren’t they to blame? No, let’s not ask questions, let’s expel the girl and let’s charge the boys (minors themselves) for having sex with a minor…That’s a lot better!
posted by Alina @ 12:06 PM   0 comments
Monday, April 18, 2005
New obsession
I’m sure you all have this idea about how guys act when talking about girls or other boys they’re interested in: lots of obscene words and lots of drooling, silly looking smiles and other things like that. But if you ever watched “Ally McBeal”, I know you have some idea about how girls behave in the above mentioned situation: just the same, no difference! Actually, sometimes we are more inventive (and more obscene :))…It actually is an amazing view and I’m sure a large percentage of men would be completely shocked if they heard us. We can be quite bad and quite accurate in expressing our fantasies. And, yeah, we’ve never completely given up the “hit him hard and drag him in the cave” strategy!

Sunday night I was at a Tchaikovsky ballet night with some friends, Mihaela, Andrea, Oana and Gabi. As Oana and Gabi behaved like the couple they were (kissing and not giving too much attention to the others less fortunate around them), we had our own private party! We practically spent the entire time drooling. The cause? My new addiction, of course, Ovidiu Matei Iancu. Yeah, that’s his name!

Never mind what I could already guess about his body in the previous two ballets! This time he was wearing this…kind of boxers I think, well, something quite small, the size of a swimming suit perhaps, small enough to show off his perfect body! We were totally mesmerized! The ballet was indeed the best I had seen at the Bucharest National Opera, but, oh, hell, he was better than any man I have ever had the chance of drooling over!

I could always find flaws in people’s looks. But he is perfect, no doubt about that. A completely harmonized body! And I could never imagine someone so graceful could spread so much testosterone! He practically replaced Vin Diesel in my heart, something that I considered practically impossible.

So, my friends were really supportive in what this new obsession of mine is concerned. They recommended jumping on the stage and chasing him around the Opera at his next performance. Funny, none of them actually suggested how to jump over this huge void hosting the orchestra…I guess I should figure that on my own! Another suggestion was to go and tell him our company is interested to sponsor a ballet tour in Malaysia. Again, not explaining why I would choose to propose this tour to a simple ballet dancer and not to the ballet manager…

I just hope to somehow meet him, God knows exactly how! I think that meeting him would actually be one of the few moments in my life when I just don't know what to say. And if you think those who know me accuse me of always talking too much, you can reach the conclusion that few actually means very few/practically inexistent.
posted by Alina @ 11:38 AM   0 comments
Friday, April 15, 2005
Set goals that you can accomplish!
I just spent the last 20 minutes queuing to get ballet tickets for this Sunday. Although such an activity would seem and actually be quite boring, I was quite entertained! Just in front of me there were an American guy of about forty and his younger twenty-ish Romanian friend. The older one was waiting to buy tickets for the Troubadour and was very frightened he wouldn’t get the seats he wanted. What he didn’t now was that this was practically impossible in Romania, especially on the first day the tickets were sold, this being weeks before the actual show.

Suddenly, both of them get distracted by a very nice looking girl that had just come in. As the older guy had no interest in hitting on her, he subtly recommended it to his younger friend (while winking his eye, of course). He advised him to go check out the seats in the hall that were displayed close to where she was standing in line. The advice was of course given in English (probably using the “Show off your foreign friends/connections” principle without knowing that wasn’t highly uncommon, especially in Bucharest and especially with young people; but I guess he forgot to consider exchange students and foreign teachers, although, as I found out later, he actually was a foreign teacher at the Law School which is by the way the next building after the Bucharest Opera).

I couldn’t help laughing while hearing the things the young one said to the girl and seeing the happy hopeful face of the teacher. What I do regret is the fact that I didn’t tell the teacher “I’ll bet you 10 of your all-American dollars (no offense to Americans, but I was kind of annoyed by his attitude – we all, including the girl, heard him talking in Romnian and we were all quite able to figure our he was a foreigner and probably 90% of us would have placed him somewhere in the US) she will say no”! Which she actually did, explaining that she was way to busy. That must have hurt! “I’m not currently seeing anyone, but I’m so not into you that I will use the workaholic way out and also be quite nice to you!”

So, after being so mean for previous three paragraphs, I’ll just continue by saying that yesterday I finished Paulo Coelho’s Manual of the Warrior of Light. It was a very good book to read because it reminded me by some very simple, common and yet so important aspects of everyday life. It’s a great choice if you just want to relax and to start trusting people and yourself more!
posted by Alina @ 3:03 PM   0 comments
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Night unflurs its splendor...
Last night I went to see Giselle with my friend Mihaela. We did what all smart students in Bucharest do – buy the cheapest tickets and move after the first act on the expensive empty seats! It seems I was the only idiot who did not know that was the procedure. Duh! That happens when you waste three years as a student and don’t go to the opera!!! Of course, we could have changed seats before the ballet began, but we wasted the time talking and it had already started when we realized we had no more time to move…

The first act seemed pretty stupid at time, probably because of a severe lack of imagination of the choreographer. But the second act….Oh, my God! As everything was happening at night, in a cemetery, with wild creatures of the forest – the Willis – they managed to mix and create this white-blue-glitterish-gray amazing light. And my boyfriend, a k a the leading man that I fell fore at the other ballet, had this black costume that made you think of a black panther sneaking in the dark.

After the show I went home on foot. The lights were great, the weather, perfect and I had this extremely good mood…I had this huge smile on my face (I’m sure it looked goofy to others or, worse, crazy) and I felt like it was the first time in a very long while that I properly enjoyed a walk in Bucharest by night. Suddenly I saw these huge advertisements presenting the new DVD version of Riddick, now available on the market. So the night ended with a Vin Diesel photo looking down at me in his Riddick costume…

I remember thinking that in that precise moment I could understand these lyrics better than ever:
Night time sharpens
Heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs
And wakes imagination
Suddenly the senses
Abandon their defenses

Slowly, gently
Night unflurs its splendor
Grasp it, sense it
Tremulous and tender
Turn your face away
From the garish light of day
Turn your thoughts away from cold unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night…

The Phantom of the Opera
posted by Alina @ 10:56 AM   1 comments
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Still haunted..
“This lonesome gargoyle that burns in hell
But secretly yearns for heaven…
This monster that secretly dreams of beauty”

The Phantom of the Opera

Just finished “Angels and Demons”. The ending was a bit too long, but the book is very good. I still save the “great” qualification for “The Da Vinci Code”
posted by Alina @ 11:22 AM   2 comments
New ballet to see
I’m going to see “Giselle” this evening. Another ballet night, it seems…I’m really curious how many ballerinas will fall today. I’m malicious right now, but I do hope they do better this time. At least I will see that beautiful ballet dancer that I saw last time. I must admit he really is one of the biggest attractions!

I saw the Phantom of the Opera again…Really, I must get a life! I don’t know what draws me so mach, maybe it’s the music, which is quite addictive, or maybe the lyrics, which are “in a word, ideal”…Still, I promised myself it was the last time for a while.

Last week I was wondering what kind of relationship I’d want. And I got to the conclusion that I want something very casual. I mean something that starts as shallow as any new relationship, on I like you-you like me basis. So I would like someone with resembling interests, I mean someone who likes dancing and partying, someone who likes rollerblading or bike riding or something to allow him to come along on my rollerblading hours, someone who occasionally reads a book and likes more than one or two types of movies, someone open-minded enough to let me drag him to a play or to the Opera once in a while. I do ask a lot, don’t I? But it would be nice to find him…

“Angels and Demons” is a lot better towards the ending. Yet the clues in “The Da Vinci Code” are far more subtle. The style is quite similar, the same framework, but you can sense the missing piece of the puzzle on the first novel. “The Da Vinci Code” has that je ne sais quoi that makes it a record selling novel.
posted by Alina @ 11:20 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Simply alike
My friend Cristina and I are so much like each other at times! Take school work for example! We both have plenty of books we have to read for school at the office. Yet the amount of dust stored on them is amazing. It’s only in moments of pure despair, when there’s nothing interesting to read on the net and when there’s really nothing else to do (you simply cannot imagine how many activities this simple “else” contains – “take it to the depth of eternity, multiply it by infinity and you will still have no idea of what I’m talking about – yeah, it’s Meet Joe Black), that we tremblingly touch the cover of the book and after minutes and minutes of reading unimportant detail, like printing house and the public library code of the book, we actually start reading. Once we get started, we can read for quite a while, unless something really fun suddenly comes our way! Yeah, we’re kind of lazy lately, but, hey, we can only hide behind the “I have a fulltime job” line!

Another funny thing I recently noticed: rollerbladers have this thing around here. They discretely check each other out, giving each other a look saying “I don’t care who you are and I definitely don’t give a f*** about your interests, but I still respect you and you’re my man because of those rollerblades you’re wearing”. This ritual is always abandoned if rollerbladers are out with their BF/GF. You cannot look at a girl or boy when you’re on a rollerblading date!
posted by Alina @ 3:47 PM   0 comments
Gliding through...
Yesterday I took my first rollerblade ride in Bucharest Awesome!!! It was great, I felt so free while gliding away singing songs form the Phantom of the Opera with this huge smile on my face. About the above mentioned songs, I actually found the lyrics on the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, in the “Kids” section. How weird is that?

Now, to create a “Kids, don’t do that at home” series:
1. Never use rollerblades at night if you’re not sure the sidewalk is in perfect shape. I barely made it without leaving my teeth spread around the sidewalk.
2. Never try to go uphill with the wind wildly blowing in your face when you’re tired.

3. When in Bucharest, don’t expect people to understand what a rollerblades and bikes runaway is. Don’t expect them to get off it when you come closer and closer, because they don’t give a damn about your stupid rollerblading rights! You might get to think that if they see it is marked different and has a bike drawn on it they would stay the hell off it! NOOOO! They will use it to walk their dog, themselves or their significant other.

4. Never use the runaway if you cannot help making nasty, evil-minded remarks when you see such people on it. Or make sure you’re very, very fast!

I finally got home after this complete workout with all my muscles hurting. As I couldn’t really stand, I traded the shower for a hot bath. I even massaged my legs although I hardly managed to stay awake just to make sure I could move in the morning.

Today I am somehow able to move and it does not hurt that bad – only my knees, ankles and every muscle on my legs! But I still went rollerblading to work (they said today was the last day without rain so, although it is windy and not that warm, I could not waste the chance…) and I’m really proud of what I accomplished!
posted by Alina @ 10:34 AM   3 comments
Monday, April 11, 2005
I guess it would be nice to hear something like this from the one you love..
You alone can make my song take flight…

No more talk of darkness;
Forget these wide-eyed fears.
I'm here, nothing can harm you --
my words will warm and calm you.
Let me be your freedom,
let daylight dry your tears.
I'm here,
with you, beside you,
to guard you and to guide you...
Say you love me
every waking moment,
turn my head
with talk of summertime...
Say you need me with you,
now and always... promise me
that all you say is true -
- that's all I ask of you...
Let me be your shelter,
let me be your light.
You're safe: No-one will find you -
- your fears are far behind you...
All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night...
and you, always beside me,
to hold me and to hide me...
Then say you'll share with
me one love, one lifetime...
let me lead you from your solitude...
Say you need me
with you here, beside you...
anywhere you go, let me go too -
- Christine, that's all I ask of you...
Say you'll share with me
one love, one lifetime...
say the word and I will follow you....
Share each day with me,
each night, each morning...
Say you love me...
You know I do...
Love me --
that's all I ask of you...
Anywhere you go let me go too...
Love me --
that's all I ask of you....

Let your darkest side give in
To the power of the music of the night…

These are a few lyrics from the Phantom of the Opera. Thank God the lyrics and the costumes compensate other imperfections…

Funny thing: Christine sounds a lot better in the duets with the Phantom! When she sings with Raoul, his voice is practically inexistent, somehow diminishing her own qualities…

God, enough with this movie!!!!
posted by Alina @ 3:55 PM   1 comments
Of wine and men
Words of wisdom from a Pope: People are like wines. In time, they either become better and better or they turn into vinegar.

What he omitted to mention was the fact that, after a certain point, all wines actually turn into vinegar…
posted by Alina @ 12:05 PM   0 comments
Sailspersons - a mistery...
I’m sad to say that Romanian salespersons still have an attitude problem. But they don’t seem to care at all, although their attitude is important even when we make choices of little importance, such as where to buy bread from. Of course, in terms of turnover, small bread shops are practically inexistent. But if you think that us Romanians can really eat bread…

And then you chose to buy more expensive products just because the saleswoman always smiles and is interested in helping you or because at least she does not have a strange look when you dare to disturb her by asking for some details before buying a blouse. Take the “Dona” drugstores! They are the most expensive in the entire Bucharest, I think. They offer you a card-based 10% discount and with this fidelity discount they’re sometimes more expensive than other pharmacies. But there are always two or three smiling ladies trying to tell you EVERYTHING about the product you want, cheap or expensive, doesn’t matter!

Then take Tommy Hilfiger’s huge store near the University. So many sour faces you really cannot help thinking of punches in their face. Forget about the brand, the low sales due to the fact that Tommy Hilfiger, along with Nike, Puma and Lee Cooper’s are as expensive as an haute-couture collection, forget the basic respect you should show customers, that really does not matter. You are a salesperson! You’re supposed to annoy customer with your snobbish attitude, not to make them buy!

I saw the Phantom of the Opera again, hoping to understand more of Christine’s actions. But No! I mean, that girl changes her feelings every five minutes! Now she loves the Phantom, than it’s the Viconte de Chagny, than the Phantom again, then the Viconte, and the Phantom, no, the Viconte. Decide already!!!

Oh, and she died young! She was only 63! Definitely, she wasn’t happy! I'm sure she died of too much alcohol and too much wondering why she chose that pale-looking Raoul.

But enough of this movie, it’s already obsessing me! I also saw “Tais toi” again. One of the best comedies I saw in years. There is something about French comedies that always makes you laugh until you feel your belly will explode if you don’t take a break.
posted by Alina @ 11:41 AM   0 comments
Friday, April 08, 2005
Dreaming of a ballet dancer
So, I saw “Sleeping Beauty”. Again I have to say it was good, not great. I mean great solos, and very numerous as well (a lot of girls know the right people, it seems), but when it came to groups larger then one, synchronizing the moves was out of the question! One ballerina almost fell, there was never the same distance between them, but, oh, yeah, they’re great at solos!

The costumes on the other hand were amazing. Beautiful design, great colors and BEAUTIFUL LEAD MALE DANCER!!! Can you imagine an extremely handsome, bodybuilder-like and very graceful man? I think everybody there would have had sex with him. You could see every muscle on his legs as he moved! And although he had a Vin Diesel/Schwarzenegger body, every move he made was full of grace. Actually the perfect word for ballet is graceful…

I’ve just started to read “Angels and Demons”. The same Dan Brown style but it somehow does not seem as good as “The Da Vinci Code”. It is said that this last book of his started selling his older books. True, not as good, but I do think the book could sell itself up to a certain point.

I got an anonymous comment yesterday. And another one from Owzyo. It’s nice to know people actually read what my blabbing! To be honest, when I got the Sitemeter I thought it will stick to one or two visitors for weeks.
posted by Alina @ 12:30 PM   0 comments
Thursday, April 07, 2005
More movies, more books
I saw De-Lovely last night, a very strange love story. Suddenly, near the bitter-sweet ending, I felt terribly sad. I was crying for the love I lost. I remember asking my self what I want – do I want him back? And the answer was no. I stopped wanting him back a long time ago. But I so miss to closeness, the intimacy, the tenderness you feel when you’re around the person you love. It was never perfect, but at least it was at times!

I would do anything to have that feeling again. Maybe someday it will come my way! I pray for it, more than for anything else…Yes, love is the core of all things and without it you can never feel fully accomplished.

I next watched “Raise your voice”, a nice movie with teenager artist and with a very happy ending. It made me feel better, as I expected. I also finished Dune Messiah and Marguerite Yourcenar’s Oriental Tales. Dune Messiah just continued the overwhelming feeling brought by this possible future with all its details and all its worlds and ways. The Oriental Tales are well written, but it kind of stops there. It’s nice to remember the fallen Greek gods and the Indian goddess Kali and to be surrounded by the scent of Chinese tales that always seem simple but get deeper while you think about them. But I really didn’t consider it a great short story book. It’s just good!
posted by Alina @ 5:01 PM   3 comments
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
A few hours later, with a very full tummy
After two never-ending hours my spring rolls finally reached me! It was fantastic, just as I had hoped! But I still don’t understand why it has to be so complicated to get your order. I mean, Bucharest is a pretty large and crowded city, but still. My office is quite close to the so called “center”. I wonder how long it actually takes for people living close to the airport, for example, three days???

Tomorrow I’m going to the Bucharest Opera to see the “Sleeping Beauty” ballet. I’m really looking forward to it. It will be the first “live” ballet I see, if I don’t consider the summer and winter shows put on each year by my old ballet school! I decided to go there with Polo, an acquaintance of mine that kept trying to get a date in weeks. What he doesn’t know is that I don’t consider this an actual date. I would like us to be friends, I really don’t have that many, but that’s how far it goes for me… I hope he can understand and that I can have a theatre and opera going friend!

No sign from Cristi after he refused to talk to me on my birthday. I hope he’ll live to repent with all my little black heart! No more second chances for him anyway, so he will repent, sooner or later. No more news from Radu either. I guess he found a way to cope with his problems without involving me. That’s actually not that bad! I was expecting it and the sooner, the better.

So, as I said, I’m working on changing my life. I took care of the going out issue, and I started to read more (I almost finished Dune Messiah). Oh, I never mentioned that I got some great gifts on my birthday. First, both of my parents “multiplied” their gifts, so I got clothes and an additional gold bracelet from my mom and two great books, some very sexy red bed sheets and some money to spend how ever I wanted from my dad. Then, the gifts from my friends and co-workers were also great and included books, clothes, jewelry, perfume and some exquisite red roses! I am indeed privileged…
posted by Alina @ 4:18 PM   0 comments
Spring rolls,spring rolls, spring rolls...
I just ordered spring rolls from a Chinese restaurant, Hua Long. Of course, I can’t wait to devour them! But still, this is Bucharest, so it will take almost 2 hours to get them…I just checked their site. The delivery should be made in an hour tops. I just pray that the lady on the phone was a bit distracted and she meant 45 minutes, not an hour and 45 minutes. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually took them that long!

Strange this whole spring rolls thing. I had some form this restaurant months ago and I’ve been obsessing about them ever since. But this week I actually felt I’d go crazy if I don’t eat them again! This sometimes happens to me: I feel the sudden urge of having a particular dish and I do anything for it! I remember I went out at 3 AM just to buy some Heidi chocolate and some Coca-Cola. Luckily the store was nearby, non-stop and had what I wanted. And of course the area was pretty safe!
posted by Alina @ 12:10 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Spring, finally!
Weather is finally getting better. And it seems I’m welcoming every day with a better attitude. I’m back to reading more, watching lots of movies and occasionally going out (more than once a month). I’m trying to see my friends as often as possible, I’m trying to make new friends, to act more friendly, to be more open-minded, basically to enjoy everything more. I want to make this a year of experimenting new things like taking a vacation on my own or a weekend at least.

Soon after the Easter, when my grandma will go back to her place, I intend to take my mom to the opera, to the theatre, to a ballet so that I can do all the things I wanted to do these years and didn’t. I wonder how I managed to waste so much time and give up on so many things I used to love…

So, new motto to follow: NEVER GIVE UP THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU SMILE! The first thing I’m going to do is buy flowers more often. I love them too much to wait for special occasions to receive them! I’m really tired of allowing myself to live so many bad days. I’m the only one who can always make my life brighter!
posted by Alina @ 3:23 PM   0 comments
Hotel Rwanda
Last night I saw “Hotel Rwanda” and I was deeply moved. It’s been a while since a movie managed to haunt me like that! People can be really cruel, we all know that, but the actual image of a road completely covered by dead bodies gives a whole new perspective on human cruelty and insanity. It is easier to imagine a single person committing brutal murders like the character of “Se7en” than picturing a hate driven mass killing 500,000 people. How many kilometers would 1 million victims cover?
posted by Alina @ 3:13 PM   0 comments
Monday, April 04, 2005
Back to blogging, one year older…
Despite what I imagined, last night I actually had a great time celebrating my birthday. I got a lot of great gifts, a lot of people called me to say “Happy Birthaday”, I danced, I drank three different types of non-alcoholic cocktails, I received some very beautiful roses, and the list could go on forever. Of course, not everything was peachy! Some people did not call, some actually managed to make me angry…But that doesn’t matter anymore!

Michael Schumacher didn’t win the race for me, Vin Diesel didn’t come for a private dance, but I really had one of the best birthdays ever!
posted by Alina @ 11:23 AM   3 comments
Friday, April 01, 2005
No more diet...
My bold diet plans were ruined by my undergoing treatment that I just started today. It seems I’m supposed to eat a lot more than I wanted so that my stomach can handle the drugs. But at least my trip to the drugstore that I took yesterday was fun. I walked there with my room-mate and we laughed all the way.

Oh, well, I hope the weather will be better next week, so that I can at least use my rollerblades to stay in shape. Or, better said, get in shape! Also, I am determined to restart my diet as soon as the treatment is over, that is 10 days from now.

My mom started working for my company (that is the company I work for, not my company). She will be here one day a week. But is fun though! I never thought we could work together like this!

Her coming here also made me realize that people wanting to become legal advisors or lawyers in Romania are completely nuts. The legal system changes so fast that it’s almost impossible to get anything right. I mean an article of a law is changed by an article of an ordinance which is then changed by the article of another law which is again changed and changed and changed…And this basically happens with ant stipulation in any kind of law, decision, ordinance or document ever issued. I got head-aches in 15 minutes and I wonder how this people eventually get to the end of the day without losing their minds. This is a great mystery to me!
posted by Alina @ 2:27 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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