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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
I'm an HTML rookie
I spent the day playing with HTML. I use the word playing because it sounds a lot better than learning – more fun in it I guess. It is actually easier than I thought. Then again, I’m just getting started! Yet I haven’t spent more than four hours trying to learn something without complaining about it in a very long time. The fact that it’s my choice, not something I have to do, plays an important part in this.

Now that I have a new brain activity stimulating toy, let’s talk about fun stuff. Yesterday I forgot to mention one of my weekend’s highlights. So here’s the story:

There’s a new TV channel broadcasting in Romania called Senso. What I have heard about is isn’t quite good, but anyway, it seems this channel loves me! Exactly when my boredom reached sky-high limits and I was trying to keep myself entertained by changing channels every thirty seconds (normally, I hate zapping) I ended up watching Senso.

It wouldn’t have lasted for more then 30 seconds if my very well trained eyes wouldn’t have spotted someone dancing around on an unfamiliar stage. Yes, it was Ovidiu Matei Iancu, shining ballet star of the Bucharest National Opera! But this time he was performing in a contemporary ballet at the Odeon Theatre in Bucharest. The choreography had him showing off his full talent, unlike Swan Lake which focused on the prima ballerina mainly. And he even did a salsa dance for a couple of minutes! Yes, he is also a pretty good Latino dancer, or lover, have your pick!

I still regret not calling Mishu (I thought she was taking a nap) to tell her to watch the ballet. If my regrets weren’t enough, she made sure I’d feel bad about it anyway!

Going back to things I do at the moment, I’ve started reading a book written by one of my teachers (If this year I only saw him at the exam, at least I started reading his book). It’s called “Partially colored” and it’s a lot better than I expected. I’ll give you all the details when I finish reading it, promise!
posted by Alina @ 3:47 PM   5 comments
Monday, May 30, 2005
Another driver on the streets of Bucharest
As I am convinced you all missed me, I’ll take tons of your spare time to tell you all about my adventures in Ploiesti! First of all, I passed the exam! Yes, I HAVE A DRIVING LICENSE, but I’ll have to say no to the 50 points Owzy offered me per pedestrian…Sorry, Owz, but I’m pretty sure your points won’t help too much if I go to jail!

But the fantastic story of how I passed is yet to come! I went to sleep Thursday night with a minor head-ache, being pretty sure I’ll be fine in the morning. Oh, well, it didn’t happen. I actually felt so bad that for a second I wanted to just stay in bed and not go anywhere! My mom was out of town, she was in Preadal (mountain resort) to this legal advisors’ big time meeting. So I thought I should call my father, to ask him to come with me. Surprise, surprise! My father was in Iasi (I had completely forgotten about that!), celebrating the 30 years that passed since he graduated, becoming a proud engineer. I felt so lonely and so abandoned I could cry! Of course all my friends were still in Bucharest so there was no one I could call…

I went to the exam, thinking there was no chance in hell I could concentrate to pass the written test. So why worry about the actual driving with the policeman next to me (I am terrified by policemen since I was about 7 or 8. My dad had an accident in town called Buzau and I was pretty sure they will arrest him and I would be left there, all by myself, although no one had a single scratch). When I found out I passed, my only thought was to manage to get to the practical exam. I went out, called my driving teacher, he said he’ll meet me there, so I called a cab. Another girl asked if we could share the cab, so I got there paying 50% less then I usually did.

After the policemen decided to finally show up, it all went pretty fast. It was so easy I couldn’t believe it. And the policeman…Oh, we had a nice chat about my future degree in journalism and how that had nothing to do with where I worked.

I then called my parents and my friends. As I was getting worse and my head-ache became unbearable, my voice didn’t sound very happy…I managed to get home, after what seemed to be a century, and got to bed. I felt sick the whole day and in the evening, if I hadn’t enough problems, a neighbor knocked at my door, saying there’s a leakage that could be fixed only from my apartment and that the plumber would be there in an hour. Oh, joy, I could barely stand for three minutes…

Luckily, Misses Anca (her son and I practically grew up running from our apartment to theirs all day long) came to check up on me and she promised she’s come to take care of things with the plumber and all. The plumber eventually came, at about 9 pm, he looked and he left without saying much. After another half an hour, a neighbor thought he should tell me the problem wasn’t really in my apartment. Really? He came with his cat and he kinda wanted to chat, but I felt too bad so I just said good-night and shut the door. I don’t remember how polite I was though…

Saturday I was glowing. I felt so good only because my head didn’t hurt any more! And it was such a beautiful day! Very hot, a bit windy, somewhat like the beach breeze. There were moments when I actually felt like I was going to end up on the beach after the next corner.

Later that evening, about 8 pm, I went to Mishu’s house. We were supposed to go to the Star Wars Episode 3 premiere with her brother. We went back to her house at about 1 am and fell asleep almost instantly. The next day we had a little kitchen chat, a little chocolate butter (the first time I tried it, was great actually) and then we went for a walk on the famous Chestnut Boulevard. We got there in the middle of a party organized for June 1st (Children Day).

I also got to see my dad and his wife Sunday afternoon, when they came back from Iasi. Highlight of that meeting: us in the car, Morandi – Biejo(extremely loud) and me dancing. People in other cars were staring at me, but I couldn’t care less! As I couldn’t be really happy about the driving license
posted by Alina @ 1:20 PM   4 comments
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Going away, again...
Last week I “met” an interesting character on George’s blog, Mr. Gelu. He’s the smart, know it all type that I always start arguments with, especially online. Curious as I am, I’m looking forward to seeing what will come of this.

Other than that, I take driving tests that I of course pass. Hope it will be the same at the actual exam, but my past flunking experiences are pretty scary! Because of this exam I will run to Ploiesti for two days (Thursday and Friday). I haven’t decided what to do this weekend though. I’ll probably spend it in Ploiesti. Most of my student friends from my hometown are going there for the weekend, so I’ll just join the pack!
posted by Alina @ 3:40 PM   6 comments
I actually did it!
I’m proud to announce I passed all the exams I took! I’m one of the lucky people, as they were students who flunked, although they had less exams then Cris and I. Cris also passed all her exams, she’s a smart one, I tell you! So, we’ll celebrate at a certain moment, probably sometime next week…
posted by Alina @ 11:32 AM   3 comments
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
The "home" feeling
Depeche Mode - Home Lyrics
“It is a song from the wrong side of town
Where I'm bound to the ground by the loneliest sound
And it pounds from within and is pinning me down

It is a page from the emptiest stage
A cage of the heaviest cross ever made
A cage of the deadliest trap ever laid

And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears
Finally I've found that I belong here

The heat and the sickliest sweet smelling sheets
That cling to the backs of my knees and my feet
Well I'm drowning in time to a desperate beat

And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears
Finally I've found that I belong

Feels like homeI
should have known
From my first breath

It's the only true friend I call mine
And pretends that I'll make amends the next time
The friend of the glorious sin of the light

And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears
Finally I've found that I belong here”

Most of the times, we take the “home” feeling for granted. Yet is hard to find that very special place where you feel safe, happy, yourself, at ease, or in a word “home”. I changed places to stay in for a dozen times since I came to Bucharest and the only constant place to go to was ET’s…So my only refuge was my mom’s house, the place I lived in since I was three.

One weekend I got home, pretty upset to be honest. I went into my room and found myself facing an empty wall – the wall that was filled with Certamen Ciceronianum Arpinas posters from my trip to Italy with Romania’s greatest Latin students. I turned to my room’s door and saw it as naked as the wall. No more Equinox Theater poster with Mishu’s name on it! The other posters of irrelevant musicians had also been taken away. And I started crying and kept crying for so long that my mom actually had to hold me in her arms to make me stop. “If I knew it would upset you that much I would have never taken the posters from your room, no matter their state” she said.

To be honest, the posters were pretty torn apart – they’d been on the walls of my room for more than four years. But I suddenly found myself in a pretty unfamiliar room and I felt so displaced. Or misplaced, I don’t know. I just felt the room and the apartment were being redesigned to adapt to my not being part of that “home” anymore.

The truth is I had a strange state of mind for about two months, sometime this winter – I didn’t feel at home anywhere. I didn’t feel at home in my body and in my mind, so I guess this was the real problem. Right now I feel at home everywhere – my mom’s, my place in Bucharest, my dad’s, Oana’s…Getting better, right?
posted by Alina @ 4:04 PM   3 comments
It’s raining outside...It’s been raining almost all of the time these last few weeks. At least it’s pretty warm, but it still makes you want to sleep. Everybody in the office has a pretty sleepy look. Nobody feels like doing anything, they’d all love a day in bed, being a dizzy couch potato. We’re dragging ourselves around the building, trying to find something to do, entertaining enough not to fall asleep.

Mishu came by last night. She’s going to spend a year as an intern in a US company, if everything goes as planned. She’s a bit worried about how she’ll manage there. I know she’ll have no problem adapting to practically anything. I wonder if she’s going to come back. Not a chance, if she can stay. She thinks she’ll get back as soon as the internship is over, but I know that if she has the opportunity to stay, she’ll come visit her parents after a few years.

Almost everyone I know would do the same. Come back to what? The cool stuff about my country? Yeah, you can’t find its features anywhere…But is that really important enough to come back to? Family, maybe. But they can get used to the thought you’re better off there…In a few years, with enough money to actually do something, well, that’s probably the best option.

The English teacher we had this year lived in Canada for a while. She says a lot of Romanians don’t come back because they have debts. But that they would come back in an instant. I don’t know…Maybe she’s just trying to find reasons for her coming back after all those years.

Well, thank God for the Internet! At least we can keep track of each other, no matter where we head to…
posted by Alina @ 1:53 PM   3 comments
Monday, May 23, 2005
Therion, Vovin
About a week ago I saw this poster announcing a Therion concert in Bucharest. The first thing I did was to call my friend Oana, but she was unreachable, so I told her a few days later. I really don’t know much about the band or their music, all I know is I love Vovin…

VOVIN has its own little history in our long lost group. It started at the end of the 11th grade, the summer before our last year of high-school. Oana got the tape from a guy and loved it. She then passed it on to me and I loved it. It then reached ET who actually converted it into an MP3 format, so we took it to Bucharest with us…

But whenever I hear Vovin, I remember that summer, that period, my talks with Oana, my books (those that I read and those that I wrote), my music, my friends…

Everything I have left from that period is my friendship with Oana, some rare talks with her and some books I still read. I would love to go to this concert and re-live everything. I don’t care if there will be any Vovin song played, I don’t care if it won’t bring it all back! I just want to remember who I was and how good I was at certain things and maybe, just maybe, regain half of the power of my dreams, half of my own strength and faith in myself…

Even if I don’t go, I’ll just try to find Vovin – I wonder if I still have it in my computer??? – and relive those thoughts and feelings to nourish my brain with parts of a me that I connect too harder and harder these days…
posted by Alina @ 5:35 PM   5 comments
Romanian reporters, freed from Iraqi terrorists
After 55 days of being prisoners in Iraq, the three Romanian reporters and their American-Iraqi guide were freed. The guide is still in Iraq, while our reporters arrived in Bucharest 15 minutes ago. In order to be sure the rescue action was Romanian-designed, one of the plane wheels got torn apart, making the landing a bit difficult. It seems they didn’t double-check their gear. Why doesn’t that surprise me, using a not that good plane when all the TV stations are getting it on tape?

This event is quite important and we are all glad to see them home, but we really cannot help it making stupid comments: the TV cameras zoomed on the broken wheel for several minutes. The best part was hearing all my colleagues’ comments. Pretty hilarious. For example, someone noticed they weren’t too skinny, considering…Radu replied that they ate there just as we used to when our boss was in the country. True, our boss spoiled us, and all the Sahara Restaurant Muslim specials are delicious…What can I say, we tend to exaggerate!

To me, they looked like people who were really happy to have gotten out of a terrible situation. And all the fuss about who organized the kidnapping – if they were real terrorists or something else – wouldn’t change their experience with the real terrorists that took over. I remember the images of them crying with guns aiming at their heads…So what if they aren’t skinny? They deserved at least good food for putting up with the silent threat of the guns…
posted by Alina @ 2:03 PM   0 comments
Another party at the office

I was going to write this elaborate post about how people use the word "friend" so easily. I was going to ask these questions like "Where were you, friend, when my world was destroyed and I couldn't put it together?" or "What did you do when people lied about me?" But I realized there was no point in it... I'll just say that overusing the tag "friend" and adding it to practically everyone you know gives me a taste of made up stories, of pure redundancy and lack of meaning...

Romanians like to celebrate practically everything, that's why we even celebrate our names! There is a so called "Name's Day". Everyone who has a saint's name gets to celebrate it on the day dedicated by the Orthodoxy to that saint. As I have a second saint's name, I celebrated it on Saturday with my family and today with my colleagues. So, here are some more pictures of me! My friend Radu tried to take professional pictures of me and this is what he got:

Chapter 1: details

My beautiful necklace - I got it since I was 10. My mom gave it to me and it is my favorite jewel.

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My left eye...

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My right eye...

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My belly button ring. The new one, its first official picture!

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I guess you can all figure what part of my body this picture focused on! :))

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Chapter 2 Pretty little me!!!

Don't mess with me!

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Oh, pretty smile...

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This was supposed to be pretty artistic

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posted by Alina @ 1:56 PM   3 comments
Friday, May 20, 2005
Now I'm back, back again...
Exams are finally over. I don’t have all the results, but that doesn’t matter anymore. It’s over and I’m still very much alive. Tired, a cold that I managed to catch, but alive! The partial results are something like this – I only took 9 of the 10 exams (ran out of time for a project, Dreamweaver actually) and I have the results for 6 of them which I passed. I am about 90% sure I also passed the other 3, so up to now, it looks pretty good!

Yesterday and the day before I stopped by Oana’s, and as she saw me tired and all, she once fixed me a very nice fruit salad and the next day a frappe with chocolate cookies! I’m pretty spoiled when I have a lot of exams! Should do that more often…

I got a piece of advice from George: not to publish my posts when I’m angry. I’ll keep that in mind but still am not sorry for my previous blog…My focusing on the next exams was more important at the time.

I started reading Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” last night. I can’t tell how great reading something that wasn’t school related felt! I missed it so during these two weeks and a half…I really didn’t appreciate the pleasure of reading a book I liked until I didn’t have time for it.

I also saw “The Jacket” last night. Very interesting movie, quite optimistic at the end, quite shocking at times – as part of a treatment, patients were immobilized in a special jacket and locked in a drawer resembling to those they use at the morgue – and with a very well chosen question at the end: “How long do we have?”
Books, movies – the bare necessities of life! Now I just have to find time for a club…
posted by Alina @ 11:35 AM   4 comments
Monday, May 16, 2005
Really bad day...
I just got out of my four exams…I actually took three of them and for the last one I’ll get away with the minimum grade if I finish a project by tomorrow. If you’re now wondering why I am blogging when I have three more exams tomorrow and not getting some work done, well my answer is quite simple: I have some poison to get out of my system!

Why do people thing that students that work choose to have a job as a hobby? Why do they think you can just leave your job whenever you like? Hell, for as long as I worked as a secretary I had problems even for going to buy food! But now, it is unpardonable that didn’t come at school at least once! Yeah, of course, I chose not to depend on my parents for money because I wanted to look cool in my friends’ eyes…No shit??? I think I would have looked cooler if I just had these enormous grades, trust me on that would you?

As you can see, I am pretty mad. I admit I didn’t study as much as I should out of pure laziness, I admit I could have got to the Augmenting Techniques class if I really wanted to, but now, I really couldn’t make it to your class! So if you want, just f***ing flunk me, stop judging me if you really don’t know that much about me anyway. And especially if in the previous years I had the habit of always coming to your class and doing these great presentations that you really liked!!! So, don’t worry, I will study for your exam, I would never ask you to just let me pass. It’s not in my character! I just do the best I can and if I deserve to pass, I pass…

What I liked best about this whole point of view is that I was actually considered annoyingly privileged (you little prick, you don’t deserve this!) for having to take four exams in the same day. Yeah, of course, I have to finish a two hours’ exam in just one to get to the next! I wonder why I don’t feel that privileged.

I didn’t come to school, now I pay by having this busy schedule…Don’t you think it’s quite enough? Can you imagine the stress in only thinking how to get through four exams? Do you know it’s not even legal, according to the Faculty rules, to make me take that many in a day? I wonder why it is forbidden…Of course, because it is a favor they’re doing to me!

And finally, you know what? At the end of the day my parents and I are the only ones who really deserve an explaining for this whole situation. And we know it was the best choice I had! Speaking of which, my mom actually said that if there is no need to pass all the exams now, I shouldn’t bother! I never thought my grade obsessed parents would ever come to that conclusion!

But, oh, well, the teachers that I really like do behave different…And when I see them I do feel ashamed. I mean today, at the AT exam (look up), one of the papers I brought was a not what it should have been at all…And that wasn’t the only time I did that! I should somehow apologize for these things, here would be the best place – sorry, George and Bradut, I really didn’t read much for the exam today. Pretty stupid site analysis too :))

So now I’m gonna publish my blog, feel better and very proud of my deed and hope I can do everything I want to do for tomorrow…

A comment from ET. Sorry, but I just can’t stop wondering if there is no hidden meaning in that…Any problems lately??? I am very mean today, sorry about that!
posted by Alina @ 3:29 PM   4 comments
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Remember me...
Well, people, I don't really know if tomorrow I'll be alive, so I'm posting now. The fine FJSC staff thought they should plan four exams in a row for tomorrow, so it's like this: first exam, 9AM, second, 12AM, third, 1Pm, fourth, 2PM. GEE, do you think I'll get to all of them???If I'm still alive and I don't go crazy in the mean time, I'll be around soon...If not, please bring some flowers to my grave or come visit me to the Mental Illness Hospital....
posted by Alina @ 4:16 PM   0 comments
Friday, May 13, 2005
That's where you'll find me
I guess this song would best describe my mood:

"Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?"
Well, I won’t be around for a while…I’ll take a week’s leave to focus on my beautiful exams. But if you miss me you can drop me a line, here or on my email. I’m sure I’ll have lots to tell you all about when I get back!
posted by Alina @ 5:19 PM   1 comments
Thursday, May 12, 2005
No more quizzes
Ok, I’m done with quizzes! I really don’t like the results…

If you are wondering why all this stuff has appeared on my blog, the answer is quite simple: it’s raining outside, so I am quite sleepy. And would basically do anything but studying.

I’ll just quote Owzy right now: Get your ass to it! (By “it” I mean studying of course)
posted by Alina @ 3:25 PM   3 comments
I really cannot understand how it got to this!



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with

If this is not weird, than nothing is! Oh, and I am pretty tired of signs! Cris, any comments???

I think I am just a bit eclectic and the best religion of all for me would be a little bit of each mixed and served on a large plate! :)
posted by Alina @ 3:15 PM   7 comments
Brain division

Your Brain is 60.00% Female, 40.00% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

I really have no idea if this is a good or bad thing, but I'm pretty sure it is because I spent a lot of time playing football and getting into fights with boys as a child!:))
posted by Alina @ 2:44 PM   0 comments
A woman's revenge, always delicious...
And speaking of revenge, last night I saw “Being Julia”. It was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. And if any of you out there is still wondering how come there’s always an even more powerful woman behind any powerful man or why “Cherchez la femme” is such a famous phrase, I’m sure this movie would let you have a glance to the answer. And this little post of mine taken to the depths of forever and multiplied by infinity will still not be enough to explain how great Annette Bening is at being Julia. (Yeah, I really liked this line from “Meet Joe Black”! Just me and my little obsessions)
posted by Alina @ 12:57 PM   4 comments
Don’t you just love that black cars with their blue lights and their sirens that always accompany the certain people we all appreciate and love? I personally am so fond of them – the traffic policemen can be seen in every crossroad, making everybody’s life miserable, and when they do get close everybody has to drive slowly and carefully and make a lot of room for them…

Two days ago, at about 7 PM – a very crazy hour for the traffic in Bucharest by definition – some of these cute cars, also accompanied by the cool police cars and the cool police motorcycles the Romanians have, kept mocking all the people that were at the time on one of the largest boulevards of Bucharest for more than 30 minutes. They were coming, then going, then coming again, no, no, going this time…Useless to say traffic was at its worst, even for pedestrians…

But today I got my revenge! Yes, people, my heart almost exploded with sadistic pleasure! Imagine this – about three of these nice black cars with their blue lights on stopping at a traffic light and waiting just as the rest of the mortals!!!
posted by Alina @ 12:44 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Looking at the camera

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I thought I should finally post some pictures with me looking in the camera, so I found some pretty pictures on my home computer. Enjoy!

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This was taken in Sinaia, a very popular mountain resort. Please notice my huge winter jacket: I really cannot take the cold weather!

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This is me at the office, when I was a secretary. Blondy hair at the time - the reason my hair actually looks ok: I went to the beauty salon a day before taking the picture.

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Christmas Party at McDonald's for about 45 orphan kids. They had a very good looking Santa, so my boss introduced him to me. I still can't forget how embarrassed we both were...

posted by Alina @ 12:56 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Shout, shout, let it all out!
OK, my previous rant was way too long and mostly about, well not so merry stuff! But I’m not depressed or sad or anything. It just felt really good letting all of that out. I’m seeing my friend Oana after work and we are going to have a cool long walk as we used to…

If anyone dares to not believe that I studied, I have these bunch of ink stains on my T-shirt to prove it!

“Running, running alone
Waiting for you to come home
Crying, smiling alone
Waiting for you to come home” – Morandi

I am waiting for someone to come home: it is not a person it is the idea of having someone to come home to. Speaking of which, what is going on people? Everybody around me is getting married! Are people my age too mature or am I too immature?

“I’m just a wandering soul
Waiting for someone to take hold
And I’d choose not to love you
I’ve been here too many times before”

This week’s favorite music: Depeche Mode, Morandi, Queen, Joe Dassin, Red Hot Chilly Peppers, Robbie Williams and Tchaikovsky.
posted by Alina @ 5:23 PM   3 comments
Brain dead...
As my brain is close to self-destruction, I will not be held responsible for the coherence of this post! 75% of my neurons seem to have been in some kind of coma for some time now. The remaining 25% are smashing their heads against the walls and desperate cries can be heard: “Why??? Why now? Why can’t you stay brain dead? What are you using us for? Studying, come on! You could live peacefully without this before…”

This is how it goes: after a day of some rollerblading, six hours of studying and dieting, I was so wasted that I slept for over 10 hours…Today I only had some 3.5 hours but….What can I say, I still have high hopes for the rest of the day! What is remarkable though is that there have been four days of studying in a row which hasn’t happened since…such a long time that I cannot remember!

The thing is my brain remembers being able to keep it up for about 8 hours without major problems, but the lack of exercise is simply too much. If I stop to think about it, constant studying ended soon after high-school. And even studying in itself became a very rarely performed activity in the past years. Right now I’m just paying the price I guess.

Well I’m going to change all that, not necessarily because I want to, but because I need to. First, to pass all the 10 exams I have to pass, second, because I need to learn Spanish in order to get a second job. I found this company that has a part time program for weekends only. But it seems English isn’t enough, and I’ll probably manage in Spanish faster than in French.

“Cultivate clerks and secretaries. They’re apt to be honest people, and they haven’t got as big a stake as their bosses in covering up what’s going on” – I found this while studying. I guess the author never met FJSC secretaries: in this case, it all depends on the phase of the moon, the day of the month, the position of certain stars and planets, but most of the times the attitude is pretty crappy! I had no problem with my year’s secretary lately. Maybe because I went there only twice since school started back in October. But there is no FJSC student that has never complained about their attitude, and teacher often back up the general opinion on the topic.

Edith Evans Asbury says journalism attracts “perpetual adolescents”, people with a sense of adventure. Another opinion on journalists – they can never be jaded, mostly because they care. “You can’t care and be jaded, or you kill yourself”.

“You leave marks on the sand that the sea of tomorrow erases”…

“Journalism places us in the unpredictable”…

All the stuff I read about my future exams has awakened something deep inside me: my “journalistic conscience”…I have pretty often moments when I think I should give it all up and go work for practically nothing within some newspaper’s staff. I want to be a staffer!

I so wanted to be a great journalist when I chose this faculty! I pictured myself writing these great articles for a great daily national newspaper, so I immediately started collaborating with a students’ newspaper. It didn’t satisfy me…Not enough journalistic work!

I was planning to join a more important newspaper and then move on to television. I imagined myself in conflict areas and I would have been the first to go to Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever! A few weeks ago, my workmates and I used to laugh about what would happen to me if I was caught by terrorists. Their conclusion was that if they didn’t kill me on my first day of captivity, they would release me after three days tops because they’d be tired of hearing me talking and talking and talking some more.

I remember my mom once fantasizing about me being an anchorwoman. And I said no way! I so wanted to be a field reporter…Then I had my one month internship with a major TV station straight after my first year. What I found out? Copying news from agencies was something so common! And the people I admired most either left, or moved to presenting the news. I’m not saying there are no good journalists working there at the moment, I am just saying some of them should never be there…

Then I became an editor at a press monitoring agency. I tried so hard to give it the best! I started with radio and TV monitoring and then I got my own field to cover: beverages! I covered all the print media in the country (although the local newspapers were always late) and supervise every material I got from the radio & TV monitoring department. I woke up at 3.50 AM and left my house at 4.10 AM. I was pretty fast then! I practically made that monitoring field grow – luckily for I already knew a lot of stuff about the wine industry after terrorizing my colleagues and most of my teachers with projects related to that field. When the summer break came, I started doing a double shift – my daily beverages report and the morning radio/TV shift.

Gradually, my assignments were so numerous that I started working on the night shift and I was still enjoying myself. At that time I was doing an English report on the beer market (I spent half of my time - 2 days - on the seaside reading press releases from major foreign beer producers to get acquainted to the subject). I also did some projects for a major IT company, handled the tobacco report for a while, to keep it short, I worked on every report ever made on that company…

The part I loved the most was being on “the other side” because the agency also organized press conferences for another IT company and, along with my room-mate, I was an active (minor)part of these conferences.

I cannot actually state what made me change my mind completely and give up everything that had to do with journalism…My own experiences, my colleagues’ experiences…All I know is I finally quit my job when working 10-12 hours every night became to much, I took a short break and then got hired as a secretary at a foreign company, pretty small, that – at that time – had been on the market for a few months. I thought it was the coolest job ever as my bosses didn’t speak Romanian so we used English and all my work kind of involved the use of this language that I had studied and loved all my life. Then again there were a lot of foreign and “domestic” important people that had appointments with the owners, so I was completely mesmerized. After four months on the job I was promoted to marketing officer (this position does not exist in Romania, so my official position is “Chief of the Marketing Department” – I really have no idea which is the difference between this and a Marketing Manager) and got to do a lot of new things. Did I mention my salary here is way better than my top salary at the monitoring company?

I was lucky, I guess, because I love this new job as much as I loved everything connected to journalism…But still, whenever I study for an exam, or go to school, or talk to my colleagues, or read stuff on George’s site I do wonder if I made the right choice. And then I try to comfort myself: “THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON”. Really now, do they?
posted by Alina @ 5:06 PM   1 comments
Monday, May 09, 2005
Movies, again
The only two movies I’ve seen in the past few weeks were “Sin City” and “Sahara”. Although I kind of liked both of them, I wasn’t really impressed by any…The only thing that really freaked me out was a certain hit man with a short but significant part in the beginning and in the end of “Sin City”. Women were his specialty. As he knew they were running from something, he used this pretending to “mind-read” them. Then they’d kiss, he’d say “I love you”, then pull the trigger…She was dead and his line was, if I remember correctly, “I never even knew what she was running from…”

Other than that, what is interesting about Sin City is the way it is filmed. It looks exactly like a Batman magazine, it seems black and white, but it has some colors added and the blood has this strange yellow-greenish color. But it turns ruby red when it covers the perfect face of a deadly prostitute guardian of Old City – a land ruled by women who sell themselves, but following their own rules.

“Sin City” has too many psycho killers – a cannibal, a serial rapist with a taste for very small girls (“skinny little Nancy”), a policeman hooked on beating women – and they all pay for their deeds…A little bit too much altruism for that kind of town…But it would definitely be my first choice between the two!

Sahara is a nice and very predictable movie. Action, drama, a plague which turns out to be a mass poisoning, a WHO doctor, considered beautiful (I can’t say she is because I personally cannot stand Penelope Cruz), a very good-looking adventurer obsessed with a Civil War ship and a lot of armed men – good or bad! Yet the scenery of Mali and the Niger river, the golden dunes of the desert, the camels and all of that actually do the trick. And a very good use of Murphy’s laws…

Conclusion: both movies are very good time killers! Or wasters, as you prefer…
posted by Alina @ 5:38 PM   2 comments
Kayla at Work
Although it amazes me and feels highly unnatural, I keep studying…It is not because I’m very aware I have to in order to pass the ten exams I have…It is because other people do it and I feel quite ashamed if I don’t. Strange!

For example, Friday night I visited my uncle and aunt. My cousin had an exam the next day and he had been studying for it all week long. At home and at work I see my room-mate studying and writing her final paper (which by the way I postponed…somewhere next winter). So I concluded I am a threatened species, that of lazy students…And I changed sides and joined those who don’t waste all the spare time they have. The day is young and I already accounted 5 hours of studying. Wish me luck!!!
posted by Alina @ 4:00 PM   4 comments
I bet you didn’t think I had it in me!
I’m pretty sure everybody who knows me will be amazed by this: I actually studied this weekend!!! Like really studied, not just preparing the books and then quitting! I mean serious work – like 5 hours in a row yesterday! And today started pretty well: I studied for about two hours then went to work rollerblading. I am pretty convinced I’ll continue my studying spree throughout this week and the next weekend!

Other stuff I did this weekend: bought a new radio mouse that took me hours to install because I wasn’t careful when reading the instructions. Bought the coolest keyboard ever!!! Returned to Heroes IV campaigns. Spent Sunday afternoon rollerblading…

Now, I confess having some very dirty fantasies! No, it’s not about Vin Diesel! It’s something worse: I fantasize about going downhill on the only rollerblading track in Bucharest and bumping into anyone who happens to be on the track with no rollerblades on!!! My rollerblading experience yesterday was awful. Never mind the people filling the track – that is somewhat normal…The track was full of sand! I have no idea how the sand got there or why, it’s not like there’s an ocean just outside Bucharest, but it was nevertheless there. Oh, and the people…They see me coming their way on the stupid track and they give such an offended look as if they are doing me such a big favor by getting out of my way.

So, if one day you see a crazy Ninja on rollerblades with two swards aiming at you, there are two possibilities: it’s me after years of Shaolin Kung Fu training or some other Karate or Martial Arts training or it someone hired by me after becoming rich enough to afford to pay a crazy Ninja to do my dirty work. But if you see this Ninja and you are on the track I so much love, make sure you have rollerblades or some sort of wheels attached to your legs!

Now, as a comment from an anonymous reader really bugged me today, here are some simple rules about this blog:

1. Anyone can say anything

2. I really don’t give a damn if you metaphorically kill each other as long as you don’t make any statements concerning what should or shouldn’t be said on MY blog
3. As I have a hard time keeping this blog up to date and adding little things like clock (I’m really an HTML illiterate), I’m the only one who gets to make the rules.
4. My readers can have opinions or proposals regarding this rules and I can discuss them with them

P.S. If I consider someone is being rude to another reader or to me without a good reason, I will say it here on the blog, not in private…

Well, that’s it for now folks, enjoy!
posted by Alina @ 11:24 AM   2 comments
Friday, May 06, 2005
Morandi album
I finally listened to the entire Morandi album. "Reverse", as it's called, came to my hands directly in MP3 format, original CDs are so overrated! All the songs are great, especially the one in Portuguese – I think, Beijo. I think that for now I prefer it to “Love Me”, but there is still a connection between Morandi’s first song and certain happenings from my life that Beijo does not have.

I guess you cannot buy the CD anywhere abroad, but DC++ does wonders so here are a few of the songs: “Reverse”, “Sing”, “By your side”, “Can I touch”, “Running”, “Hot” and so on…
posted by Alina @ 4:30 PM   5 comments
Lucky winner
After playing a lot with picture posting today I feel quite tired…But I am proud of my self because I’ve learned something new. And actually I preferred this to my earlier scheduled Spanish lesson! God, I’m so lazy…

I finally decided who I want to get stuck in the bathroom with (the choices were – according to a previous comment Vin Diesel, the cute ballet dancer and Mr. Completely Wrong for Me): all my school books!!! Maybe in such an extreme situation I would actually study…

Well, I wish you all a great weekend and I’ll try to have a wonderful time myself!
posted by Alina @ 4:14 PM   2 comments
Pictures from my birthday

I finally got a Photobucket account, so now I can show some pictures from my birthday party at the office. The "Green Beauty" preaparing to blow that almost invisible candle away is of course me...

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Everybody liked the cake...Yet part of the cookies arrived the next day!:) So one day of celebration with friends and family, two days at the office - it took as long as fairytales weddings!

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I was dancing like a dervish with happiness (again, quoting from Meet Joe Black) when I got my presents!

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And in the little blue box...Lovely earrings!...

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I tried everything on! Couldn't help my self because everything was sooooo gorgeous!

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And of course, gossip, gossip, jokes, laughing...

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Well, I hope you like my pictures, my artificially darkened skin color and my afro-wannabe hairdo! Oh and of course my being a "Green Beauty"!:)

posted by Alina @ 3:18 PM   2 comments
Temporary Imprisoned
Finally, I know how many exams I missed: ten! That meaning, well, all of them. But I am pretty happy they’re not eleven…But I have this great job of mine that has meant not doing anything for the past few weeks since our two bosses started having meetings abroad. But when they’ll come back, in a week or two, we will have loads of stuff to do…And we will regret these days of wonder and constant time wasting!

Another highlight of the day: I got stuck in the bathroom. I simply went in, locked the door and when I tried to get out, the door wouldn’t unlock…I squeezed the key under the door and a colleague finally got me out. The good part is that if you remain locked there, you can actually spend the weekend without the security company’s team coming to get you because there are no movement sensors in the bathroom!

Other than that, I am just preparing for the weekend: planning to study a lot, to rollerblade a lot, to read a lot and in the meantime I admire my brand new bellybutton ring!
posted by Alina @ 11:58 AM   3 comments
No more passion...
Last night I went to bed quite late. Again…I went to Oana’s and we had a very long talk about what we did in high-school and what we were doing at the moment. She said she will never have the same passion she used to have for learning things, for knowing. And the passion of staying late reading Physics books, that’s all gone too…

I lost my passion for staying up late reading a book. I still do it, but not as often as I did and definitely not with the same pleasure. I also lost my passion for writing. I never finished my novels, except one, when I was in high-school, but at least I was happy doing it. And although I improved my writing skills a lot, although I have a lot better story ideas, I stopped “creating”. No more essays, no more short stories, no more novels, no more journalistic writing either! All gone down the drain.

But I do hope I won’t lose my passion for hotels! I always wanted to get to run one and I am starting to study it this autumn. Maybe this time I won’t lose my interest on the way! It was quite the same with journalism: very passionate at first, but then I ended working as a marketing officer…
posted by Alina @ 11:45 AM   2 comments
Thursday, May 05, 2005
I can dance but I definitely cannot drink beer…

Last night was a pretty wild night! Do not imagine that I drank, smoked and took some drugs all through the night to make it that wild! No, it only took a beer to get me completely wasted…

My room-mate and I were supposed to go out with a guy we didn’t know. We were doing this in order to keep the room clear for a friend of ours and her boyfriend to celebrate her birthday. Of course we made up an entire code: a question with two possible answers – we stay or we go! It didn’t turn out that bad. The guy was ok and he knows how to use Dreamweaver!!!

I have to admit, he suddenly became interesting the moment he said that after our going out he was going to a friend’s house. They had to do a site using the beautiful Dreamweaver. You probably wonder why Dreamweaver is so important. Simple: a school project consisting in creating a beautiful site using the beautiful Dreamweaver…

Of course he used what I told him against me! He started explaining how tough learning new things was and said something like “You saw for yourself when trying Dreamweaver. Too many buttons, right?” Yes, I was so offended I wanted to break his neck! But I simply said that the only reason I didn’t know how to use the damn program was the fact that I was too lazy to give it 2 hours of my life needed to go through the tutorial… Later on he said I’m a little genius and I should trade journalism for electronics – his faculty. Yeah, right! Do I look stupid??? To trade the really elitist journalism degree to be an engineer like thousands of other people? And my second degree will be in Internal and External Tourism Economics anyway! God, it really sounds flashy!

At a certain point of the evening some more friends of ours dropped by: Oana, Gabi and Baty. I tried to warn him about Oana! But he said I should relax, she’s just like us, very direct! Yeah, right! Ten minutes later he said she was a bit acid, unlike us!

When the funny trio arrived, I decided to drink one beer! Big mistake, because after it I was so drunk they had no hard time at all convincing me to drink another one. So we danced, mostly Baty and I, until 2 am…You can imagine that my plans of getting home by eleven and studying for exams for at least an hour or two were completely abandoned.

Although I felt great and danced until I could barely stand without my muscles hurting, it wasn’t all peachy! At 6 am today, after 3 hours of sleep, I realized I had lost my belly button pierce…I was so sad I couldn’t sleep during the two hours I had left until 8…I only slept for another half of hour…

I called my mom and asked her to buy me a new one from a shop in my home town, but I’m pretty worried. These belly button pierces have the bad habit of disappearing quite fast!

posted by Alina @ 11:41 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Beware of strangers!!!
In his nice little book, Maktub, Paulo Coelho says not talking to strangers prevents you from meeting interesting people. The piece of advice he forgot to give us was: kids, don’t try this at home, in the bus, on the street, wherever!!! You know why? Because people who are really interested in your rollerblading activity might ask you if you ever did “it” while rollerblading or with your rollerblades on! So, if strange people try to talk to you, just move on!

Of, course I was really mad after this bold question! And I started this entire conversation with the guys who were responsible! One of them tried to speak for the guy who had actually asked me and I was even angrier: what? He needed a lawyer? So the guilty asshole said: “I am a gipsy, you know, not enough education to face you”. And my reply made me very proud: “So now you’re gonna hide behind a stereotype to justify your behavior?” And then I left!

I don’t know why I got so mad…Maybe because no one that I didn’t know or who wasn’t introduced to me by someone who I already knew ever said anything interesting. Even pick up lines are so lame these days! My favorite is “Do you have a watch?” which is of course used when it’s pretty damn obvious that I don’t have one!
posted by Alina @ 5:36 PM   1 comments
So you want to know something about computers?
If you need information from any Romanian public institution, you’d better put on a lot of patience and have a lot of time to waste! Otherwise, you’d better kill yourself!

It does not really matter that they’re experts – that’s why you call them anyway -, it does not matter that you pay taxes to then pay their salaries, so you deserve some respect, it does not matter that you don’t have time to wait for centuries before they pick up the phone…These are just minor details that only concern you, not them!

Of course the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology doesn’t know anything about importing laptops!!! What else would you expect? Excise duties for computers? How the hell should their legal department have any idea about that??? It’s not like it’s their field!!! But they will be there for the press coverage if some new computer network is given to a school. They don’t really know how it works, but…oh, hell!

And then there’s the Customs Department! God forbid asking them something! Of course you should be some kind of wonder woman and guess that a laptop is actually called an “automatic numeric data processing (digital) machine, portable, not weighing more than 10 kilos that contains at least one central processing unit, a keyboard and a screen”! And of course you should guess you could find this machine in the “Nuclear reactors, boilers, mechanical machines and devices” category! What? Didn’t you know, you little bitch, that a nuclear reactor and a portable computer are practically the same thing? You ignorant little menace! And, not to forget, after showing their intellectual superiority, they’ll hang up on you without telling you the customs fee for the product. So you can search the entire customs taxes index to find the automatic numeric data processing (digital) machine, portable, not weighing more than 10 kilos that contains at least one central processing unit, a keyboard and a screen that is actually tax-free!!!

But that’s all gone! Speaking of a lot nicer things, Swan Lake was the best ballet I have ever seen. And the leading ballerina, Corina Dumitrescu, is really the best they have! And then there was the Easter!!! Lots of food, lots of fun, basically, lots of everything! The big surprise was seeing old friends again – ex-colleagues of high-school suffering – Corina and Alexandra. Alexandra was actually my desk-mate in high-school and I hadn’t seen her since we graduated!

Of course I didn’t do everything I wanted to do, like reading a lot and rollerblading everyday, but it was ok all the same! Yet going to church Saturday night to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection felt pretty strange after reading “The Templar Revelation”…

The hardest thing I had to do in this mini-vacation was – and it was by far – living for 5 days without an Internet connection! Internet cafes were on Easter break as well and my only choice could have been going to my father’s office. But there is this problem: access to, well, almost all the sites, is banned! You cannot even login to Yahoo Mail! So, I was deprived of the technological wonders….

Viorel is back from Malaysia. He’s making fun of me saying that I gained weight. Well, at least I didn’t gain as much as he did! And then he says he’s in love with me. Yeah, right, struck by lightening! I wish men wouldn’t say things like that to me so easily just because of the evergreen “I would say anything to sleep with you once” reason. And I wish I could say it to them so easily for the above mentioned reason! It would be quite fair, don’t you think?
posted by Alina @ 4:59 PM   2 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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