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Saturday, March 31, 2007
Weekend Thoughts
They said it would be sunny this weekend. So I could hardly wait to run out of the house and wander and get lost on the streets of Bucharest. Well, no sun here! But we are still getting out of the house, going to search for new streets and new photos to take. And Cherry Mocha, and some work, and we are taking our books with us, maybe we also do some reading.

It seems I seriously need these long walks during the weekend. I can't stand just sitting around the house. Like me brain needed some venting.

Cismigiu Park, last Saturday

This is my third day with an extremely good mood. You know, sun is shining, birds are singing, doors and windows open and never close in your face (actually they do, but you don't see it), and everything, everything is going to be just fine! I wish the same state of mind to all of you this weekend.
posted by Alina @ 11:04 AM   8 comments
Friday, March 30, 2007
Waiting and waiting...
...for a phone call...
posted by Alina @ 4:06 PM   10 comments
School Days Meme
Tag kindly passed on to me by Om Luji.

1. Did you use to be a good student at school?

Yes, I did. I was always among the best in my class, or the best during the years when I needed to prove something. For example, in high-school, I was the first in my class, as I felt that needed proving. I had been taken from a mostly-boys class to an all-girls class and that was a big shock for me. I did not care about outfits or gossip or boys that much! I was mostly reading, taking Karate lessons and stuff like that. The next two years, I kept a low profile (second in my class) and in the last year I was first again just to prove I still could. Olga, the girl I allowed to be first, well, she was getting to comfy and to proud and acted like she was better than me. Yes, I am extremely competitive and challenges do motivate me.

2. What were your most loved and most hated subjects?

I loved them all, but when faced with a teacher I hated, it all changed. Let’s take Latin for example. In the 8th grade I was an average student, just because I stopped trying. My teacher favored boys. Being a boy granted you higher grades. In the first year of high-school however (that is 9th grade), I fell in love with my Latin teacher. She was simply great and amazing. That led to a lot of Latin contests, national and international.

3. When young, what did you want to become?

A writer. Write novels and be famous. My colleagues were all reading my “works”. I used to write them on paper, you know, with a pen and all, so the pages were randomly spread around our classroom. I also managed to finish one of my novels, the rest were abandoned. My Romanian Literature teacher reviewed it. She thought it was good and I should try to get it published. I…I thought differently. I did not seem good enough anymore. I still have not given up this dream.

As usual, I tag anyone inspired by this meme.

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posted by Alina @ 10:37 AM   6 comments
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Sending Emails in a Cool Way
Have you heard of Big String? It is web-based email account provider. What makes it so special? Well it offers 1 GB of storage, that is not a first. It allows you to send/receive emails, it's not like they've invented the wheel!

But! Yes, there is a but here. You can take your emails back whenever you want to! Yes, people, just like small children who pick up their toys and leave when their upset. You can track your emails and know how many times they've been opened. You can create emails that will self destruct in 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes :D

Using this service to play with emails can actually be quite fun. Silviana told me about it and I got an account instantly. Oh, and since it is a pretty new service on the market, I could select That is a first, I must say!

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posted by Alina @ 10:18 AM   11 comments
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
News Worthiness
Does anyone still remember this old concept? Why do I care that Prince William has been touching girls' breasts in some club? Especially if I am reading a Romanian paper. And why is this a home page news? Not even in a less important section.

Ok, so he got lucky, the girl's family is happy. Do I have to read in a paper that having your breasts touched by a semi-drunk royalty has become a reason for family pride? Well, if I knew that, I wouldn't have bothered to study, work etc. I would have just chased some crowned-head-to-be.

Yes, he already has a girlfriend. And besides the fact her boyfriend has been naughty, she has to deal with the fact that the photo has been printed all around the world. I do wonder, has everyone left the "almost cheating" part to the end of the article, as some more spice to add, or do only Romanian papers leave the moral aspects to the end of the article, the part most likely to be skipped?

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posted by Alina @ 2:30 PM   9 comments
A Big Thank You
Seems today is a thank you day. First, Beatrice who got her boyfriend to translate a song for me. Second, Ryan! I owe him such a big thank you for all the nagging he's been forced to put up with.

Everyday or every other day if he's lucky he gets a list of songs on YIM from me. He's supposed to look for them and then download them. Oh, and send them to me, of course. Reason: he's got a better connection.

Now, Ryan, patient as he is, never says no. He just gets me the songs I want. If you are interested in todays list, read below:

Mustafa Sandal - Moonlight (I had no idea it was his song, although I have loved it all my life)
Mustafa Sandal - Kop (remix)
Tarkan - Hup
Tarkan - Gulumse Kaderine (this one he has already given to me)
Tarkan - Verme

A list of Turkish songs indeed. You know, Bart once asked me if there is a reason while Romanians (he knows of girls) love all things Turkish so much. I thought there was no connection, just coincidences. Then I thought about it and realized one thing: we have been under Turkish ruling for ages. I am sure all things Turkish are by now deeply embedded in our gene pool. Along with all our ancestors and all those thinking Romania is so beautiful and worthwhile they should stick for some time.

In some of us, parts of this weird gene mix are stronger. Such is my case. My favorite two cities in the world are Rome and Istanbul :)
posted by Alina @ 12:59 PM   6 comments
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Song of the Day
If anyone has a translation for this, I will really appreciate it!

tek bi sözle tarif edersem
yikiliyorsun yine bu aksam

tam da keyfim kacti diyorken
havami buldum yine bu aksam

eglen canim seni kimse tutamaz
bu taraftayim
alin yazim esirin olamaz

bu gece kopmam lazim
hedefi bulmam lazim
seni gördü gözlerim
birakir mi hic?
ki degil tarzim

bu gece kopmam lazim
hedefe vurmam lazim
seni gördü gözlerim
birakir mi hic?
ki degil tarzim

Mustafa Sandal Kopmam Lazim

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posted by Alina @ 8:15 PM   3 comments
Gotta' Get Goals
I found this meme on Liz Strauss' blog. It got me inspired, so here goes my list of goals:
  1. Read a lot more
  2. Taking my license exam sometime this century
  3. Making my trip around Europe (well, part of Europe anyway) happen
  4. Visiting every little country in the world
  5. Go dancing more often and taking some dancing classes (I would kill for Argentinian Tango!)
  6. Learn something new everyday
  7. (One day) Being able to speak the following foreign languages: English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic and Italian and...dunno, open list here
  8. Writing the vampire story that haunts my mind (I don't care if some of you may find the topic lame or something like that, this is a story I have to write as I'm tired of it haunting me)
  9. More adventurous happenings
  10. Improve my photography skills
  11. Being able to help those close to me every time they need help
  12. Keeping my mom proud and happy
  13. Getting on that nice balloon next time I'm in Istanbul
  14. When traveling, I want to meet bloggers I know in the area I happen to be in
  15. Keeping my lists shorter :D
I tag...well, whoever feels inspired!

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posted by Alina @ 1:57 PM   4 comments
Monday, March 26, 2007
Two New Sins
The following beverages can easily be described as sinful pleasures. At least from my point of view. They were both discovered during the last two weeks and I simply cannot get enough of any.

The first on the list is a certain type of tea made by Twinings, as part of the Voyage product range. Called African Tunda, the tea is a combination of Rooibos, black tea, pineapple flavoring, Hibiscus and pineapple pieces.
The second treat I am currently addicted to is the Cherry Mocha coffee. When Gregory's launched Coffee Right, I was a bit reluctant. Then started to love their coffee. About a week ago, wanted to try somthing new, and I chose Cherry Mocha (espresso, chocolate, cherry syrup and sauce, cream and caramel). I will never want a different type of coffee!
P.S. I would hereby like to thank the new guy at Gregory's Unirea for giving me a huge Cherry Mocha on Saturday. His bad, my joy.
P.P.S. Gregory's should really consider to sell this coffee in their largest recipient. I would actually pay for that.

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posted by Alina @ 11:25 AM   8 comments
Lesson on how to set prices
Foreigners or Romanians living abroad always say Romanian hotels belonging to international chains have high prices. Higher than in other capitals around Europe. I always wondered why this policy was accepted. Wouldn't foreigners be reluctant to pay more for the same services? Well, first I thought most customers of 4-5 stars hotels are business tourists. So they couldn't care less about prices. Another fact just caught my attention today. This pricing policy is really working:

Out of the 32 hotels operated by the Marriott group within continental Europe, the JW Marriott hotel in Bucharest is among the top five contributors to the group's turnover, says Kurt Strohmayer, general manager of the hotel.

"Contrary to the general opinion, the most profitable hotels are not those in Western Europe. The hotels that contribute the most to the group's business, with the exception of the American market, are those in Russia, followed by those in Eastern Europe", Strohmayer says.

Last year, the five-star hotel posted 38.5 million-euro turnover and 16-million euro profit. On the local market, JW Marriott leads the ranking of most profitable hotels, according to financial information provided by Societatea Companiilor Hoteliere Grand, the company managing the hotel.
More in ZF.

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posted by Alina @ 8:05 AM   2 comments
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Soul Wide Open
I have walked blindly through many springs. As I worshiped summer, nothing else mattered. Spring was just a passage to summer, a messenger saying it will soon be warm and brightly sunny again.
This year something happen. Like all my senses were suddenly back to life. Pink and white flowers, fresh scents, everything seemed to surround me and elevate my soul. Open it to beauty, to touching perfection, to healing.
Small incidents really do not matter. We should never allow ourselves to be caught up in them. Always pay attention to the bigger picture, take a few steps and gain perspective. Easier said than done. But time does take care of everything. And one day you wake up with your soul and mind of peace. Ready to move on, to experience again.
Weirdly enough, this is the second time in my life when just when I thought nothing will feel right again, it all came back to me. Myself, my thoughts, my heart. And I always achieve this on my own, a few days before my birthday. And then...every piece than was shredded takes its rightful place. And I am whole again, with my soul wide open.

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posted by Alina @ 1:21 PM   2 comments
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Perfect Saturday
My Saturday did not start all that well. Actually, it started at around 10 with one neighbor doing some repairing involving a hammer and lots of noise. Did I mention I had fallen asleep at 4 am? Anyway, while I was trying to pretend I could still sleep if I tried hard enough, my phone rang. Vibrated actually, cause I keep forgetting it on silent mode this days. It was Cris Z, asking what plans Silviana and I had made. We had none, so we decided to meet at Unirea and decide on the spot.

We were late, so changed the meeting point from the overrated "in front of Mc" to "in front of Gregory's" where we then helped ourselves to huge recipients of coffee. I had Cherry Mocha again, of course. Then we started walking. The first stop was in the park just in front of the National Theater.
We then started wandering on random streets. I was the party leader, that meant I chose one street and they followed because they could not be bothered to choose on their own. More important talking to do, relax and everything. And my decisions, well, they were based on a "uuuu, shinny" feeling :P Actually it was more like where can I get a nice photo? This house in ruins was a good example.
Although I pretty much knew where we were, we were soon walking on narrow streets we had never been on. It was an interesting feeling actually, have not experienced it in a while.
We then felt like sitting down and resting for a few minutes. So we entered the Cismigiu Park. My favorite one in Bucharest, for some reason. More photos, more walking, fresh air, flowers and trees. The great outdoor. Or a little peace of outdoor in the middle of Bucharest.
After lots of food (I had a huge pizza) and some lemonade, we decided to walk home (it takes an hour and some change). And so we did, but during our trip back to the apartment we made one last stop in another park, Tineretului. This is an extremely large park with a beautiful lake in the middle. I could only take a couple of photos, as my camera needed its rest, so its battery died.
It was a perfect day after all, filled with everything I needed: fresh air, relaxation, my friends to share the experience with me. And my camera as well. As I lost most of my photos, I really have to fill my hard drive with new ones. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend as much as I am.

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posted by Alina @ 11:04 PM   4 comments
Friday, March 23, 2007
A Bunch of Jokes (on marriage mostly)
You have two choices in life:
You can stay single and be miserable or get married and wish you were dead.

At a cocktail party, one woman said to another,
"Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?"
"Yes, I am. I married the wrong man."

A lady inserted an ad in the classifieds:
"Husband Wanted".
Next day she received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing:
"You can have mine."

When a woman steals your husband, there is no better revenge than to let her keep him.

A little boy asked his father,
"Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?"
Father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."

A young son asked,
"Is it true dad, that in some parts of Africa a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her?"
Dad replied,
"That happens in every country, son."

Then there was a woman who said,
"I never knew what real happiness was until I got married, and by then, it was too late."

Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep.

Just think if it weren't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.

First guy says, "My wife's an angel!"
Second guy remarks, "You're lucky, mine's still alive."

"A Woman's Prayer:
Dear Lord, I pray for: Wisdom, to understand a man, to Love and to forgive him, and for patience, for his moods. Because Lord, if I pray for Strength I'll just beat him to death "

Husband and wife are waiting at the bus stop with their nine children. A Blind man joins them after a few minutes. When the bus arrives, they find it overloaded and only the wife and the nine kids are able to fit onto the bus. So the husband and the blind man decide to walk. After a while, the husband gets irritated by the ticking of the stick of the blind man as he taps it on the sidewalk, and says to him, "Why don't you put a piece of rubber at the end of your stick? That ticking sound is driving me crazy." The blind man replies, "If you would've put a rubber at the end of YOUR stick, we'd be riding the bus, so shut the hell up."

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posted by Alina @ 6:51 PM   7 comments
Third day of rain. I am not a big fan of so much rain, usually. After a few hours or a whole day, it gets pretty boring. I miss the sun, the light, the brightness. But somehow, this time I don't dare say I wish it would stop raining. Simply because drought is expected this summer. And when I think of rationalized water, I just can't stop praying for more rain.

I love heat, warm weather and I generally take hot days a lot better than others. But only when there is running water at any time. Faced with the alternatives, you just have to love rain and hope it sticks around some more.
posted by Alina @ 9:54 AM   6 comments
Morning Fun
I first saw this years ago as a poster in my Oana's house. On her door to be more precise. She was very good in Physics. National contests, awards, she even went to the Physics University (at the same time with ASE). I found it funny then and I still find it funny now.


posted by Alina @ 8:48 AM   8 comments
Thursday, March 22, 2007
English a la EVZ
Seriously, what's wrong with EVZ's English section these days? They seem to just fill it up with translations that make me seriously think about how to react. To quote Cris Z, if it weren't sad, this would actually be quite funny. So, laugh or cry, I cannot decide.

First, let's analyze this story.

Romania is ranked 21 in Europe as regards water sources as the most affected parts of the country affected by draught are the South and the East, where water quantities have been much less than when the climatology norm stipulated, in the last five months.
What is that? I cannot tell. It sounds so bad I don't know where to start complaining. Moving on, what do they mean by "grave" here:
The Voiculescu anti-presidential Committee presented its report of the President’s “grave wrongdoings” in which Traian Basescu is guilty of breaching the Constitution exactly the same day that the Constitution Court decided the Committee is legal.
If you check the options listed here, you'd see their choice was not that good. Serious would have worked better. Simple, not a great match here, especially when placed anywhere near wrongdoings, but way better than grave.

Now, I've never dared to think my English is perfect. Then again, I'm one blogger, writing in my spare time and during the little breaks I'd rather spend on the blog and not having coffee breaks. I am not paid to translate news. I'd do a better job. In fact I did it in the past.

I can understand lack of time, the fact that the English page is not that important. But if all that work and lack of time for more tasks is overwhelming, just don't translate anything. It harms the newspaper's image a lot less.

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posted by Alina @ 4:37 PM   6 comments
Song of the Day
Today has been a Depeche Mode day mostly. I've been listening to their songs for about 3 hours. And by that you can tell I am a huge fan. So here is the song whose lyrics best suit me right now:

The cleanest I've been
An end to the tears
And the in-between years
And the troubles I've seen

Now that I'm clean
You know what I mean
I've broken my fall
Put an end to it all
I've changed my routine
Now I'm clean

I don't understand
What destiny's planned
I'm starting to grasp
What is in my own hands
I don't claim to know
Where my holiness goes
I just know that I like
What is starting to show


The cleanest I've been
An end to the tears
And the in-between years
And the troubles I've seen

Now that I'm clean
You know what I mean
I've broken my fall
Put an end to it all
I've changed my routine
Now I'm clean

As years go by
All the feelings inside
Twist and they turn
As they ride with the tide
I don't advise
And I don't criticise
I just know what I like
With my own eyes


The cleanest I've been
An end to the tears
And the in-between years
And the troubles I've seen
Now that I'm clean


You know what I mean
I've broken my fall
Put an end to it all
I've changed my routine
Now I'm clean


Now I'm clean
The cleanest I've been

Depeche Mode - Clean

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posted by Alina @ 4:03 PM   0 comments
Trees of Breathtaking Beauty
A top of the 10 most magnificent trees in the world. Not one of my usual interests, but the photos are simply beautiful. And all the information accompanying the photos can be seen as the cherry on top.

(Image credit: mikemac29 [flickr])
As it is the case of many interesting articles, I received the link to this top via instant messenger. And I thought of sharing it with you.

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posted by Alina @ 10:54 AM   5 comments
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Song of the Day
A song, todays obsession in a way. I have no idea where exactly I got it from. Ryan or Silviana most surely. It does not matter that much, it is simply a great song.

I can see how you are beautiful, can you feel my eyes on you,
I'm shy and turn my head away
Working late in diner Citylight, I see that you get home alright
Make sure that you can't see me, hoping you will see me

Sometimes I'm wondering why you look me and you blink your eye
You can't be acting like my Dana (can you)
I see you in Citylight diner serving all those meals and then
I see reflections of me in your eye, oh please

Talk to me, show some pity
You touch me in many, many ways
But I'm shy can't you see

Obsessed by you, your looks, well, anyway "I would any day die for you",
I write on paper erased away
Still I sit in diner Citylight, drinking coffee or reading lies
Turn my head and I can see you, could that really be you

Sometimes I'm wondering why you look me and you blink your eye
You can't be acting like my Dana?
I see your beautiful smile and I would like to run away from
Reflections of me in your eyes, oh please

Talk to me, show some pity
You touch me in many, many ways
But I'm shy can't you see

I see, can't have you, can't leave you, there 'cause I must sometimes see you
And I don't understand how you can keep me in chains
And every waking hour, I feel you taking power
From me and I can't leave
Repeating the scenery over again I can see how you are beautiful, can you feel my eyes on you,
I'm shy and turn my head away
Working late in diner Citylight, I see that you get home alright
Make sure that you can't see me, hoping you will see me

Sometimes I'm wondering why you look me and you blink your eye
You can't be acting like my Dana (can you)
I see you in Citylight diner serving all those meals and then
I see reflections of me in your eye, oh please

Talk to me, show some pity
You touch me in many, many ways
But I'm shy can't you see

Obsessed by you, your looks, well, anyway "I would any day die for you",
I write on paper erased away
Still I sit in diner Citylight, drinking coffee or reading lies
Turn my head and I can see you, could that really be you

Sometimes I'm wondering why you look me and you blink your eye
You can't be acting like my Dana?
I see your beautiful smile and I would like to run away from
Reflections of me in your eyes, oh please

Talk to me, show some pity
You touch me in many, many ways
But I'm shy can't you see

I see, can't have you, can't leave you, there 'cause I must sometimes see you
And I don't understand how you can keep me in chains
And every waking hour, I feel you taking power From me and I can't leave
Repeating the scenery over again

Sometimes I'm wondering why you look me and you blink your eye
You can't be acting like my Dana?
I see your beautiful smile and I would like to run away from
Reflections of me in your eyes, oh please

Talk to me, show some pity
You touch me in many, many ways
But I'm shy can't you see,

Oh baby, Talk to me, show some pity
You touch me in many, many ways
But I'm shy can't you, I'm shy can't you, I'm shy can't you see

Sometimes I'm wondering why you look me and you blink your eye
You can't be acting like my Dana?
I see your beautiful smile and I would like to run away from
Reflections of me in your eyes, oh please

Talk to me, show some pity
You touch me in many, many ways
But I'm shy can't you see,

Oh baby, Talk to me, show some pity
You touch me in many, many ways
But I'm shy can't you, I'm shy can't you, I'm shy can't you see

Sonata Arctica - Shy

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posted by Alina @ 6:48 PM   3 comments
Walking in the Rain
It's been raining all day today. And it's been a long while since I've enjoyed rain so much. So I still linger in this morning's memories of warm drops on my face, the wind messing with my hair and my hopeless attempts to stop it. What I love most about spring rain is the flower petals that get mixed between the rain drops. They usually turn my surroundings into this dreamy, fairytale scenery. And everything suddenly becomes possible...

What I would actually love to do on such a day, instead of going to work, is to go for a walk. I'd take my transparent umbrella, but I forgot it in Ploiesti a while ago. I'd walk the streets of Bucharest, contrasting with the rest of the people, who are generally in a hurry. Funny thing, the first drops of rain make everyone speed up, like they're about to run.

When I'd tire of so much wandering, I'd enter a coffee shop. I'd ask for a huge coffee, with cream and everything. Cherry Mocha, maybe? Yes, I am truly obsessed with that! I'd pull out my book and start reading for a few hours. Then, when I'm all warmed up and my clothes are dry, I'd get back to my walk.

As I am sure I'd eventually grow tired again, I'd take myself to a movie, all by myself. I guess I'd select the movie during my walk, as I would pass by several cinemas. I don't think I've ever been to a movie by myself. I have no idea how that feels.

I'd then love to meet a friend, or more of my friends, for an evening drink and maybe dinner. Then I'd go home and back to my book after an extremely long shower.

Reading back, I can say this is a great plan to spend a day. I cannot make sure it's a rainy one, but I have a good idea of when to schedule the rest. If you decide to spend a day all alone, which would be the perfect plan for it?

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posted by Alina @ 6:07 PM   6 comments
Romanians go skiing abroad
Travel spending increased by 46% against January 2006, when Romanian tourists spent 50 million euros on trips abroad. The increase witnessed in the first month of 2007 was double the level posted in January 2005, when Romanian tourists had spent more than 37 million euros. Romanians spent 73 million euros in January 2007 on holidays abroad, according to data provided by the NBR (National Bank of Romania).

According to travel agencies and tour operators, most Romanians traveling abroad in January choose winter sports, with the most sought after destinations being Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, and, lately, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

Second in preference were chartered flights to destinations such as the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, Greece, Tunisia, and Morocco, while exotic holidays to the Seychelles, the Maldives and to Thailand were less popular, but much more profitable.

"For ski trips, 90% of tourists chose Austria. Trips to exotic locations were fewer in number, with just 3,000 tourists going for these destinations. However, the gains they bring are much bigger than, for example, trips to European cities," says Traian Badulescu, the spokesperson for the National Association of Travel Agencies (ANAT).
Whole story here.

I guess Romanian sky resorts can finally realize that they have a strong competition to face. If we keep going abroad and foreigners keep choosing other destinations, will there be anyone left? Will there be any real demand? I surely hope not! Not until some things finally change.

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posted by Alina @ 11:58 AM   2 comments
Simply Successful Secrets
Tagged by Mihaela and then by Dio. The meme created and described here.

So, these are the rules: "Compose a new blog post listing the top 5 to 10 things that you do almost every day that help you to be successful. They can be anything at all, but they have to be things that you do at least 4 or 5 times every week. Anything less than that may be a hobby that helps you out, but we are after the real day in and day out habits that help you to be successful."

I wouldn't call myself successful, not just yet, but oh well, here goes nothing:

1. First and foremost, I should mention the little things behind my doing everything that I do every day (work, school sometimes, blogging and other projects): coffee, tea of many different flavors and countries of origin, 20-25 minute walks before and after work, email/YIM jokes.

2. Communication: with everyone in the office (development, testing, tech support, sales, they all have some useful piece of information to share), with people I know working in the same field or in different areas of expertise.

3. Reading a lot: books, articles, news (online mostly), blog posts and forums. The sites focusing on Linux or Linux software, IT&C news etc are a must for me.

4. I am my harshest critic. I am hard to please and impress when I am the one who's trying to please and impress. I set demanding standards for myself and try my best not to disappoint myself. It sometimes turns into hard core perfectionism, but I can keep it in normal limits most of the times.

5. I always enjoy the company of those that I work with. As we spend so much time together, we become quite close, so the actual working process becomes extremely pleasant. It makes little mishaps easier to handle. If I am not really compatible with those I work with, I doubt I could do my best. It has not been the case up to know. All the companies I worked for were a perfect fit at the time. And I am still friends with most of my ex-colleagues.

6. I am quite competitive. Which works in my advantage most of the times. For example, if someone uses a condescending tone when speaking of my needing to learn a bit more about Linux, that will make me try hard enough to learn all I can in the shortest possible period.

7. I've never been afraid of new and blurry things. That's how I managed to get into IT, technical support even. And then moved on to be a technical writer for a Linux/Unix/BSD- based software. It also has something to do with my seeing these two jobs as challenges (see above).

That's all for now. I tag Ryan, Silviana, Ali, Brandly Yours, Naomi and anyone else interested in this meme. Have fun!

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posted by Alina @ 10:54 AM   7 comments
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
There will always be people who disappoint you. They just go ahead and say (write) or do stuff in the spirit of the "Look back in anger attitude". It is something we all have to learn to live with. It is something we cannot change or control. Yes, what they say might end up hurting. But it passes. Quickly in most cases.

Funny enough, things, bad or just disappointing, that happened lately just made me realize I was left with a stronger belief in what I had previously believed in. "What is for you will never go by you" & "Things happen for a reason", to sum up. Yes, there is always a reason. And yes, people being so kind as to give advice should make sure they follow it first.

At my worst, I can still find myself, be myself, be honest to myself and to others. Yes, I am truly privileged...

The world and this blog revolve around me. No one else. To have a post entirely dedicated to a person, that person needs to be really important. Up to know it's been my family, K and that's about it these days. Oh, D/A is on his way to getting there (because he is such a nag; ok, cute too :P Better now? :D). Most of the posts are the result of several things that do have the habit of happening at the same time.
posted by Alina @ 6:42 PM   6 comments
Nimblex - Romanian Linux
NimbleX is a Linux distribution developed by a Romanian student, Bogdan Radulescu. Based on a better known distribution, namely Slackware, NimbleX requires no prior Linux knowledge and can be used for text processing, to listen to your favorite music or to say hi to your friends on IM and brag about having a Linux distro installed on your PC. Moreover, NimbleX comes with an interface in Romanian, and I have to wonder how many people would actually want to use that. Q: how did they translate "pipe"?
The NimbleX package takes very little space: 200 MB and its first version has been launched in 2005. The current version was launched on December 25th, 2006. "A gift for the users' community," as Radulescu has stated. I bet they had quite a Christmas.

A few thoughts about Bogdan Radulescu, open mindedness when it comes to open source and writing the EVZ article here (RO only).

Whole story and screenshot from here.

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posted by Alina @ 2:25 PM   7 comments
On the Beauty of Spring
First and foremost, today is my dad birthday. So Happy Birthday Dad!!! :)

This is seriously the warmest month of March I have ever experienced in Romania. I know it is not good, I know it is a sign of global warming, greenhouse effect and all the damaged we have caused our planet. But I can't help loving it and enjoying every day.

The trees have blossomed. You can see white or pink little flowers everywhere. There petals falling and being taken far, far away by the wind. Different perfumes surrounding you from everywhere. And the feeling it will all turn green in a few more days. That vivid, fresh, spring green that I absolutely love!

It all makes you forget about the cars, the "fresh" air, the crowds everywhere, work, problems and everything else. All I really want to do is take a long walk, starting in the morning and finishing it at sunset. I almost did that on Saturday. I might do it again this weekend.

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posted by Alina @ 11:39 AM   4 comments
Monday, March 19, 2007
Song of the Day
Think of me
think of me fondly, when
we've said goodbye
remember me
once in a while, please
promise me you'll try

When you find,
that once again you long
to take your heart back,
and be free
if you ever find a moment,
spare a thought for me

We never said
our love was evergreen
or as unchanging as the sea...
but if you can still remember,
stop and think of me

Think of all the things
we've shared and seen,
don't think about the things
which might have been

Think of me
think of me waking, silent
and resigned...
imagine me, trying too hard to
put you from my mind...

Recall those days,
look back on all those times,
think of the things
we'll never do...
there will never be a day when
I won't think of you

We never said
our love was evergreen
or as unchanging as the sea...
but please promise me,
that sometimes
you will think of me

Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Phantom of the Opera

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posted by Alina @ 7:01 PM   2 comments
Reasons why I think God hates me
Some of you might argue I am really not that important. Who am I to deserve so much direct attention? Well, I prefer this vision right now and you cannot convince me of anything else. I will go back to better feelings on my own, in a few days. So the list of reasons:
  1. Everybody around me seems to be speaking Turkish. If not, every place selling food has to have something to do with Turkish cuisine.
  2. Everybody is a fan of Turkish music. When they are standing next to me, with the music turned loud enough for me to hear.
  3. Funny photos sent on company jokes lists have to come from Turkish websites.
  4. When I actually started feeling a lot better, my computer froze, crashed, and then never loaded Windows again. No safe mode, no Ubuntu live CD (which I just so happened to have in my bag), no nothing.
  5. There are two months left until the next license exam and I have no computer.
  6. All my data, files, photos, music is lost. I have some on CDs and DVDs but of course I can't find the right ones.
  7. One of my favorite necklaces from my mom got broken this morning. I did it actually.
  8. All the men I ever meet are seriously weird, troubled, crazy, heartless or all of these at the same time. Or he is D/A, who falls into an entirely different category in which he is quite alone, as he has gladly explained to me :))
  9. The exceptions to the above rule are men that are taken or not my type at all.
Reasons why I think God loves me, although He has a really weird way of showing it:
  1. My friends who either are great at putting up with me or are depressed at the same time, so we all concentrate on making the other one feel better
  2. My parents, especially my mom.
  3. Cherry Mocha from Gregory's.
  4. The beautiful weather outside that makes me smile no matter what.
  5. Silviana's computer that can save me when it comes to current school projects.
  6. The fact that I am chronically optimistic and I still think it's all gonna be just fine.
  7. Except for some issues that can be easily handled, I am quite healthy.
That's it, a list that had to be made.
posted by Alina @ 12:11 PM   12 comments
Saturday, March 17, 2007
A little test

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posted by Alina @ 8:55 PM   9 comments
Friday, March 16, 2007
Case Study: Choice in Men (I)
Let us start with stars. Praised men of the music and movie worlds. Here are some of my favorites.
Patrick Dempsey, the most recent one. Great surgeon of Grey's Anatomy.
Moving on to Tarkan...
I am not going to discuss nationality choice just now in this very case.
Gerard Butler. The oldest of my likes shown here.
Well, ever since Dracula 2000, although the movie is not that great...

Does it seem to you that I am following a pattern here? Not at all I would say! No, there is no type I fancy :P

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posted by Alina @ 6:53 PM   8 comments
Time? What is that?
Irene has published a very interesting post about simply ignoring time. About having that "I couldn't care less" attitude towards its passing. And I started to wonder about moments where I wasn't time-bound, checking it every 5 minutes and having everything planned out.

I discovered that does not happen that often. Maybe last night at the ballet, during the second act? Maybe sometimes when I'm really caught in something I love doing...But no, not really, I have not spent at least a few hours not caring about time in a long, long time.

Interestingly enough, Haal is also talking about stopping and not doing or feeling anything for a while.

Yes, I should just forget about time a lot more often. Do you just forget about it? What's the secret behind succeeding in it?

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posted by Alina @ 1:39 PM   4 comments
Ballet Night - Baiadera
Last night was another ballet night. This time, Baiadera, our first time seeing it. And it was simply beautiful. Great costumes, great settings and great dancing.
For me, it was a unique experience for different reasons. It is a story of love being destroyed by murderous simple-minded people who think love can actually be forced on. But all the pain caused is avenged by the gods in the end.
The same idea of love being possible after death, if the world could not be its setting. An idea of hope. Although hope is sometimes not one of the greatest ideas. It is hard to kill and sometimes opens the door to pain.
The photos in this post are a bit old (taken during the same ballet in 2005) and available here.
All in all, it was a great experience. When one first goes there, one is caught a bit in the lack of synchronization that sometimes occurs, in the little mistakes. But as long as it is not overwhelmingly bad (which was the case of a certain ballet of last year's performances) and as long as you come with an open heart, it is just a breath taking experience.

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posted by Alina @ 11:04 AM   5 comments
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Introducing Silviana
My room mate and work colleague Silviana has started her blog. Blogging is not new to her as she has had a blog when working abroad and you can see her views from afar here. Feel free to drop by, comment and then come back for new posts.

If you wonder if I've been nagging her about blogging again, well, yeah, I have, big time :D

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posted by Alina @ 1:03 PM   0 comments
Linux Again
OK, I promise to drop the subject soon enough. But the adventures from yesterday need to be remembered. By me at least.

So, after having read the installation instructions the night before, I started installing yesterday. Well of course the it all froze at a certain point. Why? It was related to some BIOS settings, Enhanced Mode/Compatible Mode something. Apparently SLES needed the Compatible Mode.

So, I got some help and I started installing Suse Linux Enterprise Server 9. Cool distro, old though. Really old for my hardware, no it did not work. But I managed to install it and see how cool it was (it practically did everything on its own, click-click, next-next, just like Windows).

The masters have then gathered and discussed what I should try next. A newer distro, first of all, friendly with the uninitiated. Yes, right now I am a typical user. I can't be bothered with commands and terminals. Basically because I don't know them yet. So we then got an Ubuntu CD.

This time, it all went great. The installation procedure of Ubuntu is a very smart one I think. Extremely easy, everyone can do it. It is also performed from a Live CD. So while you install the distro (as it can take a while), you can also experience it: surf the internet, play a game, whatever makes you happy.

Personal likes:
- the Synaptic Package Manager! Imagine this, you update it to have all repositories up to date. Then you simply search through dozens of packages for any software you might like. Select, thrn install :)
- the great theme color: orange, a really nice orange. The theme color is also applied to other installed software: GAIM, Firefox and Thunderbird all have an orange bar.
- Thunderbird instead of Outlook (after all the issues I have encountered with Outlook on my Windows XP installation, this is a true blessing).
- A lot of pre-installed software which means less wasted time. Open Office is not my personal favorite, I have to give Microsoft what's Microsoft's: Word, Excell, PowerPoint still rock.
- more workspaces (i.e. desktops, more of them)
- the fact that it is all so new and challenging and because I feel this crave to learn more.

Personal dislikes (Disclaimer: I am a newbie, if some of these things exist or are fixable, I might change my mind later):
- what happened to Arial??? Where is it???I want it back!!!
- the fact that I know so little about it
- GAIM is pissing me off really bad at times. Until I figure out stuff, with help of others, of course :)

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posted by Alina @ 9:30 AM   7 comments
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Sleepless Nights
This is a pretty new experience for me. I've had to deal with quite a few during the past few months. The most recent one was last night. I could not sleep until 6.30 in the morning. I managed to then sleep for about two hours and then got up and left to get the Baiadera tickets. This particular day in the office will prove quite challenging.

What I most hate about insomnia kicking in is that you cannot do anything with some relevance attached to it. Just stay in bed and watch a movie or something. Luckily for me, I had Grey's Anatomy on DVDs to help me through the night.

Going back to more interesting aspects: I will get my very own Linux training with one of the very best (a colleague I appreciate a lot). And yes, today is the big day when SLES 9 will be installed on my computer. Wish me luck...And no kernel panics! I already know what that looks like...

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posted by Alina @ 12:04 PM   11 comments
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The Linux Adventure Begins
As part of my real attempt to getting to know a little about Linux and Linux distros, I have spent the last two hours reading installation and configuration instructions for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. It has been delightful...Yeah, I again feel like there is so much I need to know. To quote the status message of a friend quoting a forum post author, "I know shit, but some shit is still unclear". Well, the amount of unclear stuff seems to keep growing and growing.

Anyway, tomorrow I will gather all the bits and parts of courage hidden within me, and give a try to install the distro on the 6 CDs now staring back at me :) Will let you know how it goes. If I fall in love with Linux and decide to quit Windows, I'll again let you know.

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posted by Alina @ 8:07 PM   4 comments
Song of the Day
This is the current theme song for my new found inspiration. A little story coming to life with a little help (and nagging) from my friends.

If you take a life do you know what you'll give?
Odds are, you won't like what it is
When the storm arrives, would you be seen with me?
By the merciless eyes I've deceived

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights
But you yourself are nothing so divine
Just next in line

Arm yourself because no-one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can't deny the prize it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you willing to die?

The coldest blood runs through my veins
You know my name

If you come inside things will not be the same
When you return to the night
And if you think you've won
You never saw me change
The game that we all have been playing

I've seen this diamond cut through harder men
Than you yourself
But if you must pretend
You may meet your end

Arm yourself because no-one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can't deny the prize it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you ready to die?

The coldest blood runs through my veins

Try to hide your hand
Forget how to feel
Forget how to feel

Life is gone with just a spin of the wheel
Spin of the wheel

Arm yourself because no-one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can't deny the prize it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you willing to die?

The coldest blood runs through my veins
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name

Chris Cornell - You Know my Name

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posted by Alina @ 4:49 PM   6 comments
You know so little...
The books I read always leave me wanting more. More books to read. Of these, some let me know how much I should still read and learn. They have this power of emphasizing all the areas in which I lack basic knowledge. One of these books is the one I am currently reading: a collection of essays by Jorge Luis Borges. A lot of information and interesting ideas on literature, philosophy, religion, movies and much more.

The first thing I learned: what a gaucho is. Unlike other books that made me want to know more by simply mentioning a never-ending list of authors I should pay more attention to, Borges' essays follow different paths to this same idea. In discussing one work of art (be it movie or novel or poetry), not only do you make the acquaintance of the author and work itself, you are also brought into the world of similar works and their never-disappearing critics.

I will tell you more about this book when I finish it.

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posted by Alina @ 1:46 PM   2 comments
Monday, March 12, 2007
Currently Reading..
"The Moron's Guide to Kerberos, Version 2.0". Yes, this is what I am reading right now. It is short, concise, and aiming to make me understand Kerberos better. Do I feel like a moron? No, not really. But I have this feeling I will be reading many more manuals and documentations with this specific word in their title. I will be smarter when the process is completed though. Or at least I hope so :)

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posted by Alina @ 12:46 PM   2 comments
New Week
I have no idea why. Maybe because my trip home helped me refill my batteries. Maybe because it's like going to a sanctuary when I stay at my mom's - all the bad things are left out, forgotten and loose their powers by the time I exit. Maybe because I am completing some projects and I am more involved in the ongoing and new ones. Maybe because spring is here.

Well for one of these reasons or for all of them, my week has started perfectly! Although I woke up late and did not do everything I had planned. Anyway, I am full of hope and ready to deal with everything. There will also be a treat, ballet on Thursday.

I hope you all have a similarly fresh and shinny start :)

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posted by Alina @ 11:55 AM   5 comments
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Going Home
The moment I enter the apartment, I feel at peace. Ploiesti is indeed my home, my refuge, the place where I grow stronger, where my wings are healed and I receive the gift of flying high again, time after time.

My mom is the high priestess of this sanctuary: the guide, the oracle, the one showing me the light, the one loving me regardless of anything. And she's also packing the house with goodies if I'm here.
It's nice to feel you are getting away from the day-to-day world, with its issues, problems, routine, nags and every other burden it entails. It's like the time is half-stopped while you recharge your batteries, train and prepare yourself, then go back for another round.

I wish I had time to come here more often.

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posted by Alina @ 3:50 PM   7 comments
Friday, March 09, 2007
The Day of the 40 Holy Martyrs
"The Romanian popular tradition and the Orthodox religion are celebrating today The Day of the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebastia, one of the most beloved holidays nationwide. This holiday of a very old origin used to celebrate the beginning of the Agrarian Year, which marked the official conclusion of winter and the beginning of spring. As an agrarian holiday dedicated to earth, homemakers are preparing eight-shaped bagels symbolising the season cycles. These bagels known as “mucenici” are brought by women to Church in the morning to be hallowed by the priest.

The “mucenici” are then given to the faithful together with a candle lit for the souls of the deceased. There is the belief that on this day the souls of the dead are released on Earth to join their loved ones who are alive to enjoy this holiday together. This is also the day when, as tradition goes, people should drink 40 or 44 glasses of red wine, which will turn into blood during the year, making the drinker strong and healthy. Everybody is supposed to drink the wine, and those who don’t should at least have a taste of it or let themselves sprinkled with wine. Although the number of wineglasses that should be drunk corresponds to the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebasteia, the custom goes back to ancient Bachian holidays celebrated on the day of the spring equinox."

More details in Nine O'Clock.

I have to tell you that, besides the beagles, there is also some other flour backed little 8-shaped pasta that's boiled in water and server with cinnamon and nuts. It is delicious! Both types of "mucenici" are! As they are made only once a year, I've been quite anxious to get them starting February all my life. So I just can't wait to get at my mom's tomorrow and just enjoy!

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posted by Alina @ 12:06 PM   7 comments
The World's Most Expensive Capitals
If you are planning to visit the Old Continent, you'd better start saving. According to an article published by, eight of the world's most expensive capitals are in Europe. The results of a study conducted by The Economist, quoted by, show Oslo to be the world's most expensive city.

The Norway capital is followed by Paris, Copenhagen and London, while Bucharest ranks only the 96th, on the same level with Manama, Bahrain.

The whole story here.

What can you do? Either take one capital at a time, or try the hostel workaround, it will save you a lot. Try flying low cost or taking your car, if it's not that fuel hungry. Oh, and try less fancy restaurants and save your money for all the important museums. Or, seek for large group tours, they are bound to get discounts.

Tags: Travel, Travel Destinations, Tourism, Tourist Attractions, Europe

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posted by Alina @ 8:02 AM   7 comments
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Another Questions Tag
Tagged by Om Luji.

SECTION 1 - Last 1s?
1. last beverage? Black Tea
2. last phone call? Mon
3. last instant message? D/A, which ever initial he prefers without feeling offended
4. last cd played? A CD containing part 2 of the Tango Lesson
5. last time you cried? Monday evening
6. last text message? Spam from Orange

SECTION 2 - 6 Have You Evers:
1. dated someone twice? Yeah, big mistake.
2. been cheated on? Yes
3. kissed someone & regretted it? Yes
4. lost someone special? Yes
5. been depressed? Yes
6. been drunk and threw up? Yes

SECTION 3 - List 3 Favourite Colors
1. RED

SECTION 4 - This month have you
1. Made a new friend? Yes
2. Fallen out of love? No
3. Laughed until you cried? Yes
4. Met someone who changed your life? No
5. Found out who your true friends were? I know that by now
6. Is there something you want to tell someone? Yes
7. Would you kiss anyone on your top friends? On the cheek, yes
8. How many people on your top friends do you know in real life? Most of them
9. How many kids do you want to have? 2, a boy and a girl, but I wouldn't mind more in special circumstances
10. Do you have any pets? No, unless my cactus Kimmy counts.
11. Do you wanna change your name? Nope, not really. Not even my surname
12. What did you do for your last birthday? I celebrated it on 3 different days :P
13. What time did you wake up today? 8 am
14.What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping.
15. Name something you CANNOT wait for? My Europe trip this summer
16. Last time you saw your father? begining of February
17. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life? Just one? Myself, to be less lazy.
18. What are you listening to right now? The sound of my programmer colleagues debating.
19. Have you ever talked to Tom? I will never admit to that :D He's just a cartoon character...
21. Have you ever talked about someone behind their back? Yes
22.What’s the last piece of clothing you borrowed from anyone? A jersey from Silviana
23. Who’s getting on your nerves right now? Right now, no one! I should really cherrish it.
24. Most visited webpage? AXIGEN (
25. Coke or Pepsi? Coke! Pepsi is poisonous!
26. Have you kissed or been kissed by anyone in the past week? Umm...Depends on how you define kissing
27. Mac or PC? PC for now

I tag Ryan who never has ideas for new posts on his blog. And anyone else who likes the meme.

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posted by Alina @ 3:23 PM   8 comments
International Women's Day
This day is celebrated on March 8. It was supposed to have a highly economical and political meaning, celebrating women's accomplishment in several fields.

According to Wikipedia, "it is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women. Started as a political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries (primarily Russia and the countries of former Soviet bloc). In some celebrations, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their sympathy and love to the women around them - somewhat similar to Western Mother's Day and St Valentine's Day mixed together. In others, however, the political and human rights theme as designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner". Read more here.

My memories of celebrating this day involve complicated school projects to make our own cards. I guess all Romanians can remember the child's photo in a circle with nice little poem and a childish signature pattern!

I remember my mom coming home with lots of flowers, and giving flowers to our teachers. I remember the smiles and the joy mostly.

I got flowers from some of my colleagues today. Spring flowers and yes, my favorite flowers, roses. I couldn't help smiling for about half an hour after getting to work. So here are my flowers for all my women friends and readers. Enjoy!

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posted by Alina @ 11:39 AM   4 comments
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
New Wardrobe
As spring is here, I felt the need of a new skin for Words of a Broken Mirror. So I took a template from here (free), and with a lot of help and patience from Ryan, I managed to also modify it to finally please me.

Hope all of you like the new look.

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posted by Alina @ 4:16 PM   10 comments
Feed me the News, Quickly!
I was reading a 9 AM article on major comebacks of reunited bands in 2007, when I realized that I am really way behind in this field. As in many others. So here is what I knew:

Take That without Robbie Williams (sounds about right, he has a pretty good career going on without them). Yup, short list. Now let me present the list of other bands who decided they can still promote a pretty good sound together:

Boyzone. Yes, Ronan Keating and his crew thought they might give it another try. They also have a strong reason: 1 million pounds each.

Spice Girls. They had tried something like this once, didn't they? Only four of them, then they disappeared again. Well, better luck this time!

Michael Jackson, as part of Jackson's Five. To quote a line from Not Another Teen Movie, damn! That's just wack!

The Police have already reunited. And they're going to be on tour soon (all tickets sold already).

Genesis: they'd started to think Phil Collins would do just fine among them.

Further rumors: Led Zepellin, The Who etc.

Mmkay...These two lists are even more unbalanced than Romania's competitive advantages and disadvantages!

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posted by Alina @ 11:11 AM   4 comments
Romanian Tourism needs a lot of work
The World Economic Forum has launched its first-ever Travel & Tourism report analysing the drivers of competitiveness in travel and tourism of 124 countries around the world. Switzerland’s safety record and high-quality industry staff contributed to its topping the index. Hong Kong was the highest-ranked Asian country and the United Arab Emirates was the most competitive Middle Eastern country with an impressive ranking of 18th place.

As explained by Wall Street, the index took into account 13 categories for each country. For a visual impression of the index, check this map. Place your mouse over the country you are interested in and see the results.

How did Romania do? Well, we are placed somewhere in the third quartile, getting the 76th place with a score of 3.91 out of 7. If you check the country profile, you will see the list of competitive disadvantages is three times longer than that of competitive advantages. What is interesting though, and also makes my day brighter, is the fact that most of these disadvantages can be worked on. Sure, it will take a lot of hard work, but at least we are not hopeless.

So, we should start by changing our rules and legislation, especially in what environmental laws are concerned, then continue by polluting less, changing our attitude towards tourists, then we could try to ensure a safer and healthier environment, to improve our air transport infrastructure, to have our government spend more on travel and tourism. Oh, yeah, and render marketing efficient for this industry.

Piece of cake, wouldn't you say?

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posted by Alina @ 7:34 AM   6 comments
Happy Birthday, Cristina
Today is Cris V's birthday. So I wanted to wish her happy birthday. May all your dreams come true Cris! And don't worry about anything, it will all be just great!
posted by Alina @ 7:27 AM   2 comments
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Tango: The Second Lesson
Last night I felt like watching "Tango Lesson" again. Masochistic of me, some would argue. But such a great movie has to come first, before any pain inflaming memories. I had my first lesson more than a year and a half ago. I was just starting to fall in love. And then I had my second lesson after my heart had been broken. And the time in between, well a fair trade.

"Ok, ok! I could be jealous. But I choose not to be. See...I don't want the violence...I don't want broken hearts...I don't want...the drama!" This line of Pablo Veron really struck me last night. It somehow reminded me of what someone else once said: "Ah, I used to be very good at all these romantic things...Very good!...But then I changed...It was all very stupid" (I took out the memory driven smiles, the "lan"s and a "what is this, ya?").

I feel both men are dead wrong. The alternative is I am. But that is yet to be proven.

Conclusion of the night: great music, amazing dancing, beautiful movie. I could see it over and over again. And Sally Potter is my new model for freedom: do you have anywhere you could go for a couple of weeks? Well, yes, i could always go to Buenos Aires and learn the tango!

Tags: Movies, Tango, Pablo Veron, Sally Potter.

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posted by Alina @ 11:44 AM   0 comments
Monday, March 05, 2007
Making Fun of Lawyers
We all know jokes about lawyers and we all make fun of people suing everyone for everything. Actually, I have personally heard a lot of people I was acquainted to saying "If this had happened in America, I would so sue their ass!". Well, apparently Coca-Cola knows everything about using the sue-driven ones of us and their lawyers.

Their new campaign aimed at promoting Coke Zero is designed around their target: young people, slightly more men. The New York Times article I linked to above was where I found out the term "diet" as in "diet drink" makes the product more appealing to older women, whose figure is of great concern.

To be honest, I thought it would make the drink appealing to teenage and very young girls focusing on their figure only. I imagine they are the only ones not yet focused on living a healthier life and still thinking getting stuffed with chemicals can actually help you stay in shape. Apparently I was wrong. Good to know.

Beverages, Advertising, Promotion, Marketing

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posted by Alina @ 2:44 PM   0 comments
Ancient Records
Two Swedish archaeologists, Allan and Cecilia Klynne, have wrote a book on ancient records. The book focuses on interesting and sometimes weird records of the Greek and Roman ancient cultures, established in a world of great acceptance for what we would call immoral today.

The book presents the record of Roman empress Messalina who won a sexual competition after challenging the best prostitute of the time. Another strange record is that of a shepherd, known as the cleanest zoophile. The most expensive building was the castle of Nero, a Roman Emperor. The man who drank the most was a soldier of Alexander who drank 13.5 liters of wine. Unfortunately, the record also killed him.

Story in Romanian here.

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posted by Alina @ 8:44 AM   6 comments
Cartarescu, Most Translated Romanian Writer
According to the online edition of Evenimentul Zilei, Mircea Cartarescu is the contemporary writer with the largest number of translated books. 30 of his works have been translated in 12 different languages.

After being translated into Spanish, "De ce iubim femeile" (Why do we love women") became one of last year's best sold books in Spain. The Romanian author is going to have his entire work translated into German in the near future.

Cartarescu is my absolute favorite contemporary writer. The first book I read was "Nostalgia", borrowed from my good friend Oana. Then I read most of what he had published, including two diaries.

As of 2006, the Romanian Cultural Institute is helping Romanian writers getting their works translated, as stated in the same article. The Institute's projects might bring several Romanian authors into the spotlight of the international scene.

Authors, Books, Mircea Cartarescu, Romanian Writers

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posted by Alina @ 8:33 AM   0 comments
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Evening Read
The New York Times published an interesting article on coffee shop and fast food chains offering wireless internet access to their customers. As the author emphasizes, wi-fi connections are to coffee shops what air conditioning has been to movie theaters a few decades ago.

The article describes the services offered by different companies to their customers, referring to their pricing policies, the support they offer and the imminent lack of security all wireless connections entail.

From what I know about Bucharest, Pizza Hut offers such free services to its customers in most of its restaurants. And I read an article a while ago about a huge redesign plan for all McDonalds restaurants, who would, upon completion, also provide internet services to customers. I am pretty sure the internet is supposed to be free. Which would be a smart choice for Romania, as few of us would pay to get online at McDonalds.

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posted by Alina @ 8:27 PM   3 comments
A me post
As I said before, I changed my hair color over a week ago. From reddish to dark brown. So, here are the first photos with my new color.
The photos were taken by Cris V in a little coffee shop near the University of Bucharest.

We were having fruit tea and admiring the paintings exhibition. These works are displayed in all three sections of the coffee shop and they also have some reproductions of famous paintings on their ceiling.
It is a quiet place that always has empty tables when I go there. So enough photos of me to last for about a year :P

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posted by Alina @ 7:33 PM   9 comments
Saturday, March 03, 2007
The last round of packing...The house seems so empty without my things. And almost no traces of my passage trough here can be seen. But I remember. As every beautiful memory I've ever had here is back to haunt me one last time before my going.

I wanted different reactions. They did not come. A door being closed forever. This is how I see it. The end of all remaining possibilities. A change of path that alters some of the possible futures. But I chose. The time, the place, the words not to leave behind.

Moving to another sky...

Stelele care cad
Nu pier
Stelele care cad
Se duc pe alt cer

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posted by Alina @ 10:36 AM   4 comments
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Celebrate Spring with Martzishoare!
Mărţişor is the traditional celebration of the beginning of the spring in Romania and Moldova, on 1 March. The day's name is the diminutive of March (in Romanian Martie), and thus means something like "little" or "dear March". Nowadays, men offer women a talisman object also called Mărţişor, consisting of a jewel or a small decoration like a flower, an animal, etc., tied to a red and white string.

Mărţişor is the symbol of spring and also a celebration on the first of March. Its beginnings are still a mystery, but it is usually said that it originated in Rome, because New Year's Eve was celebrated on the 1st of March, the month of the god Mars. He was the god of agriculture and signified the rebirth of nature. For the Thracians, Marsyas-Silen, whose cult was related to the vegetation and the land, had the same attributes. The flower and nature celebrations were consecrated to him.

It is said that the Mărţişor originated from the Ancient Roman culture, where March (Martius) was the month of the war god Mars with a double role: both protector of agriculture and of war. This duality of symbols is kept in the colours of the Mărţişor: white and red, meaning peace and war (it might also symbolize winter and spring). This custom can be found in all areas where Romanians live. Bulgarians also have an almost identical tradition on the 1 March, called "Martenitsa".

Infos from and more details on Wikipedia.

I received quite a few Mărţişoare today. From my colleagues. I can't stop smiling, as the sun is trying hard to defeat the clouds. Spring is finally here! Time to celebrate it!

Virtual Martisoare received today from Ryan and Bart.
Update 2
This one is from Sim.

Thank you!

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posted by Alina @ 10:59 AM   5 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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