Friday, November 2, 2012


Don’t you just hate it when people ask you to pick your favorite thing-that-you-love-so much? It’s like when you were a little kid and some annoying middle-aged person would ask you who do you love more, your mom or your dad. Well wasn’t that like the big middle finger of existential dilemmas pointed at you, was it? And just when you thought you cleverly fixed it by saying “I love them both the same,” the bastards go about changing the rules! Oh, I can’t love them both the same? Well I’ll have a suitable answer for you after I learn how babies are made, just you wait!
Anyway, as you might have guessed from the title, this is about books. Not my favorite books, just books in general, because when asked the dreaded question, I just put in the fanciest title I can think of to impress people. Like my Dad, what’s your favorite band? Queen. What’s your favorite movie? Citizen Kane. What’s your favorite cartoon? Tom&Jerry. What’s your favorite comic book character? Rahan. Ok since the blond pre-historic Tarzan is not exactly The Dark Kinght, I guess you can have this one BUT back to the problem at hand. I’ve always loved fairy tales, and after the fateful “Red Riding Hood” event I thought I could never look at an edition of Immortal Tales ever again, but the truth is, after I’ve gone through the whole you-murdered-my-childhood drama, knowing the history and the full symbolic scope of them made me appreciate them even more. Bonus points for murder, rape, cannibalism and matricide - I mean Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and all the rest.
For a lover of the fantastic the shift to the science-fiction and fantasy genera was natural, and you can’t talk about that without the maker and shaker of the space-time continuum, Dune. Yeah, remember that one? Those two books in which everyone talks in inner monologues and that needlessly became more than I’d care to count? And I don’t care, Dune had already started circling the drain by the time Children of Dune came out.
I’m still reading The Lord of the Rings. I’ve gone as far as the first part of The Hobbit and I’ll probably finish the whole thing by the time the reboot hits theaters. I have no idea why it’s such a slow read. And you know what else was a slow read? The Name of the Rose. I’ve gone as far as page 6, and that was 8 years ago. Some might blame the stuffy writing style but I’ve not only read Cormac McCarthy, I actually like Cormac McCarthy and The Road, which is downright biblical in its writing style is one of my favorite books ever! I’m sorry, random literary critic, but Umberto Eco is NOT Agatha Christie.
There was a phase in my life when I only read classics. And believe me, they make an impact, especially when you read close to 1500 pages worth of them in less than three days. Yeah, these classics usually came with a deadline. It almost made me hate the entirety of Romanian literature and that’s something for someone who memorized a three-page poem just by reading the hell out of it. Yes, it’s Miorita. It was only after I finished high school that I started to really appreciate them for what they were, pieces of literary genius and not just exam subjects. I’m still amazed how our internationally revered education system can drag your love of writing and your creativity behind a wooden shed and beat it to death with a shovel. I only got it back when I did my diploma paper and realized that instead of slaving deep in the night and reading hundreds of books you can just make shit up and since  it’s literary shit no one can tell you you’re wrong.
But let’s be philosophical for a moment, and ask ourselves what is the purpose of books in general. Some people - I’m not pointing any fingers her but they generally have long beards and wear long black robes say that they are nothing but lies. Evil lies, too. I mean there was this whole mob protesting that Harry Potter promoted witchcraft and Satanism to kids (Satanism is not devil-worship, for God’s sake do your research!) but hey, if I’ve learned anything from the Politics Channel, it’s that people liked being lied to. We like to believe that somebody will just wave a magic wand and fix the economy. Maybe when our latest relationship crashed and burned we’d like to believe that love is forever and that there is a happily-ever-after. Or maybe you’re an asshole and you like to read about people’s lives being shittier than yours.
Because you see, as lately people keep pestering me with inspirational quotes (attached to pictures of overly-photoshopped women), I realized that I don’t have a favorite quote, I have a favorite made-up term. No, notwarp speed, but close enough – it’s reality dampeners. In the Discworld novel Small Gods, Terry Pratchett deems it people’s ability to not be awed by all the amazing things around us, like the sun rising, flowers blooming, etc. But I like to think of them as the ability to not be horrified by all the horrible things going around us. There are people dying of hunger in the 21st century. Just think about it for a second. Think of the enormity of it.
If we are to get political about it, you can find the funny version in the aforementioned Discworld novels. I’d like to live on a flat world sitting on the backs of for giant elephants sitting on the back of a giant turtle flying through space. I’d like to live in Ankh-Morpork where you pay thieves not to rob you and you can walk on water (but that’s because the only thing that qualifies the Ankh as a river is the fact that it moves slightly faster than the land around it.) I’d like to see a battle bread museum. Eat some cabbage sausages in Sto Lat, see the feminist Cinderella of Genua, have a staring contest with the sacred (or just certifiable) cats in Djelibeybi, maybe rob a temple in Klatch and have some of Nanny Ogg’s famous mostly-apple-brandy in Bad Ass. I’d even like to see one of the daily schisms of the Omnian Church and ride a kangaroo on the Last Continent. Theoretically you could ride a ‘roo in Australia too, but my mom won’t let me go there so I guess it’s Discworld or bust.    

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

End of summer

Today was officially the first day of fall - cold, misty and melancholy. So here are some bits and pieces of summer, now rightfully "last"...

... and Johanna!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wolf stories

Awoooooo! Hmm. Yes. Moving on.

At the very edge of the pastures and forests belonging to our village there is an old hill, once a mountain, called Preluca. Even today, if one has hay there, they must remain there until the hay-making is done. A family went on such a task, taking their two cows with them; they were done on the third day before noon, so the youngest, a lad of fifteen, decided to stay with animals until sundown.
Midday came with unbearable heat, such as he had never felt, so he took shelter in the woods. He sat next to the oldest cow and fell asleep. He awoke some time later to gentle sounds of maiden’s laughter and singing. The woods were deadly still – no birds chirping, to flies buzzing, no wind rustling; so he himself sat very still and awaited for the fayes, for that is what the maidens were, to take their dancing elsewhere. He dared not even open his eyes, for he knew that such devilish creatures will steal the sight of any man who dares look upon them as they dance. Later, much later, when the sun was nearing the horizon and faint roosters’ calls could be heard, did life return to the forest; he took to his home and lay bedridden for six weeks.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Midsummer favorites

Do you know that feeling, when you've been bumbling around with someting that you don't necesarily like, but a better option just doesn't occur to you? How about that awesome feeling when you find the thing that's right for you? Well, I just got that feeling two days ago. Now I've never worn a maxi skirt before because everybody was like, they're not for short girls. But while I was in Timisoara dealing with some academic stuff, I had some time to kill and entered a store called Terranova (they have great-fitting simple tees that seem to always be on sale). And while I cringed at the neon-ness of it all, I did get two tees (one gray, one black) and decided to try on this navy and purple kind-of-paisly (that how you spell it?) maxi skirt and I decided not to get it the first time. But after a debate, I went back for it. And when I was walking down the street in it, I felt like a goddamn Princess taking my unicorn for a walk. Seriously. 
I've always been kind of contrary in my make-up choices. Usually the norm is dark lips in the cold seasons and tinted lip balm in the summer; natural make-up for autumn-winter and bold, colorful looks for spring and summer. I think that's stupid. Why bother with elaborate eye-makeup when you'll be wearing sunglasses anyway? Isn't it more logical to wear bringht lips in the summer than in winter when IT'S SO FRIGGIN' COLD that you go through a chapstick a day? I think so, anyway. So I recently discovered a really great lipstick - the NYX Round Lipstick in Hero.
I was really surprised by the quality of this lipstick. It's smooth and has quite the staying power - I tried it on just before bed and just pressed my lips against a tissue twice. Then I slept for 8 hours and when I woke up I was surprised to see the color still on my lips. What kind of person doesn't move in their sleep? The only thing is, although it looks burgundy, it has quite a strong blue base and in a thin layer looks more of a pinkish dark red. We call it rotten sour cherry in the village.
I've been really into mundane turn-of-the-century novels lately. I've read The Devourers by Annie Vivanti Chartres, which takes a look at the lives and times of the "doves of prey", the wonderchildren that devour their parents - the brilliant poetess Nancy and her musical prodigy daughter and all the people they have crushed to be themselves crushed. Right now I'm finishing The Vanity Girl by Compton MacKenzie, about the life of a self-centered Vanity actress and starting Waterfoot - The Dream Ship by Cynthia Stockley. 
Also, if you feel the need for a really light chindren's novel read, try the Madge Sterling Series - The Missing Formula, The Deserted Yacht and The Secret of the Sundial. You can find all of the above in e-book format on
Another thing are re-imagined 80's cartoons that feature strange hi-tech medieval worlds - Thundercats and He-Man. 
The Cruxshadows galore!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The awkward chubby one and the Internet

On every single blog I read there was at least one post about self-confidence. I'm not saying I don't enjoy reading them, or they don't help me at all, but let's be honest - there is only so much words can do. There will always something to bother you and potentially ruin your day - like I was obsessed and depressed about my thick arms today. 
From a fashion perspective, I've always stood in-between mainstream and alternative. My decision to incorporate a lot more goth into my wardrobe is fairly recent, and I think my Chictopia account - my bastion in the world of ardent fashionistas is something I will keep.
Now most of you may have noticed the Nu-Goth (or pastel Goth or hipster Goth, as it is sometimes called). Some cringe at it, some accept it; but looking at it from an overall fashion perspective, it actually represents the unprecedented liberalization and personalization of fashion. The editor-in-chief of Elle Romania said about a year ago that people need to be more involved in fashion, and not just follow trends; in short, they need to "get power" - get the confidence to rock whatever they like. And yet...
Staying at my aunt's house overnight, I've taken a look at my teenage cousin's favorite website, weheartit. Ignoring the abundance of Justin Bieber, some group of teenage boys I don't recognize and brunette Hannah Montana pictures and all the hipster and pseudo-inspirational pictures, the fashion section revolves around denim cut-offs, impossible shoes and pastel dip-dyed hair. However, model-wise sultrily helpless waifs prevail. Who needs power when you've got swag?
Chictopia is overrun with them as well. The occasional glamorous diva like Diya ( aside, everyone seems to be going for the melacholic pose/ poetic title combo. Do you have to name your post featuring a picture of your outfit and a link to your blog "I'll cry when the movie's over"? Maybe I don't want to read your blog to find out exactly why you'll cry when the movie's over. I just like your jacket. 
So. Are people getting power? I'd say no - just more trends - the vintage trend, the Nu-Goth trend, the hipster trend, the you-name-it-trend. I'm not saying, they are all very stylish people and I'm just like one of those cartoon characters that find themselves in the middle of the highway (to fashion hell! had to be said) - trends and ideas whizz past and just make me dizzy.
I'm not going to lie; I looked at the aforementioned pics wishing I was thin like that. Because I'm human. But I've got my Death Glare of Intellectual Superiority and a good friend to smooth down the ruffled feathers of my ego. Stupid chubby arms.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Monthly Homework Assignment - Love Love


What can I say? I love painting stuff on mah face.
Starting from the very basics with which I can achieve a look, we have:
 - Mascara. My favorite is Yves Rocher's Lumielle. While I admit that it doesn't elongate your lashes till they touch your forhead, it's very gentle with your lashes and easy to remove.
 - Brow gel.
 - Red lip pencil and lipstick. I love the Alverde ones, beautiful and inexpensive.
 - Cream liner. I recently discovered this type of liner from Elf, and I'm in love. Gives a softer finish then liquid liner.
 - Liquid liner. Kittylicious!
 - Primer. My favorite so far is Urban Decay Primer Potion, but the Elf Essential Primer is very good too, and you can't argue with that price.
 - Brushes. I love Elf brushes, especially the Mineral Blending Brush - it's soft, blends flawlessly and it's about half the size of a normal brush, so it fits in any purse or make-up bag.

Pencil brush, tapered blending brushes - stiff (Sigma E35) and
soft (Elf Mineral) and flat, large blending brush (UD Good Karma)
 - Foundation. I use a full coverege one in the cold months because the cold can easily irritate my skin and make them even more red. I love the Dermablend by Vichy, which I blend with either a Sigma flat top Kabuki or an Elf flat powder brush. And check out the commercial :)

 - Finally, sunglasses ALL THE TIME. Because after I spent 30 minutes carefully choosing colors, blending them into seamless perfection and lining my eyes with surgical precision, the most logical thing to do is cover everything up with colored plastic.
I also want to add three fashion items that are must haves: a white shirt, preferably cotton or linen, preferably  something casual; a blue kimono-jacket my mother made for me and a wooden fan.

And that's about it... Does anyone else have problems with redness?
And a song I love.

Spealking of songs, I absolutely did not name this post after the Take That song on the X-Men: First Class soundtrack. No. I am not a comic book nerd and definately NOT a total Guy Gardner fangirl. No sir, not me.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Space Romance

I've been listening to a lot of Delerium lately. And decided to celebrate that fact with a nail tutorial. So let's just pretend we see the connection between trance music and nebulas, shall we?

So, first you need to paint your nails black. Don't waste time to make it perfect; the different densities will actually help the overall look. Also, I recommend applying only one coat and giving it ample time to dry and settle.
From this point on, we will be using a make-up spunge to layer colors. First, take the matte white and gently map out the contours of the gas clouds:

Next, grab a matte yellow and very gently dab it randomly on the edges of the white. This color needs to be very subtle, more of a suggestion; you could skip this step altoghether.
Grab a matte red or hot pink and likewise, dab it gently in random places.

We'll be using shimmery colors next, starting with an aqua green (Miss Sporty Clubbing in 246 is my choice).   I really love this color, so I use quite a lot :) Next, an electric blue.

Finally, ad a color to break it up. I chose a dark purple, but you can use pink, red, even orange. Just make sure it breaks up the blue and green and stands out. Finally, ad a gold reflex polish and if desired, glitter. Unfortunately, it's the middle of the night and my final look is too glittery for the flash. I'll probably post a picture later. Good night and good luck.

Edit: I've come up with half-decent shots of the final look:

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shuffle and Music

I thought I'd put in a Shuffle Challenge now (Windows Media Player Shuffle. I don't even own an Ipod - I listen to music on my phone. It's not a smartphone, so it's ok, I don't need to charge it every two hours.) and one later one, to see how my playlists darken. Enjoy making fun of my music tastes, but read the explanations please.

1. Michita – Aurapporo
2. Pheonix – Vremuri (Times)
3. Adam Lambert – Fever
4. Enigma – Gravity of Love
5. Delerium – Silence
6. The Dresden Dolls – Backstabber
7. Mindy Gledhill – Hourglass
8. Deftones – Sextape
9. The Birthday Massacre – Kill the Lights
10. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Southern Cross
11. Emilie Simon – Dernier Lit
12. Grigore Lese – Miorita
13. Elend – Eclipse
14. Grigore Lese – Batranit-o Codru
15. Yasmin Levy – Por la Mia
16. The Woodlands – Can We Stay
17. Pink Martini – La Soledad
18. Enigma – Sadness
19. Adam Lambert – Sleepwalker
20. Richard and Linda Thompson – Walking on a Wire
21. The Dresden Dolls – Dirty Business
22. Deftones – Beauty School
23. Oliver Shanti and Friends – Sacral Nirvana
24. Grigore Lese – Miresuca cu Margele
25. The Dresden Dolls – Sex Changes
26. Emilie Simon – Blue Light
27. Damien Rice – Dogs
28. Damien Rice – Rootless Tree
29. Firma – Last Night in Bucharest
30. Yasmin Levy – Una Hora en la Ventana
31. Sistem, Gojira&Kosak, Grigore Lese – Lume
32. Regina Spektor – Your Honor
33. The Dresden Dolls – Missed Me
34. Sting – Desert Rose
35. Michita – After the Rain
36. Enigma – The Screen behind the Mirror
37. Enigma – Back to the Rivers of Belief
38. Damien Rice – Grey Room
39. Immediate Music – Serenata Immortale
40. Mindy Gledhill – Circus Girl
41. Adam Lambert – A Loaded Smile
42. Nomak – Moon Flow
43. Regina Spektor – Edit
44. Pink Martini – Dansez Vous
45. Pink Martini – Lullaby
46. Juno Reactor – Teahouse
47. Damien Rice – 9 Crimes
48. The Mars Volta – Inertiatic Esp
49. Deftones – You’ve Seen the Butcher
50. Pheonix – Ar Avea un Eschimos
51. Emilie Simon – Flowers
52. Tori Amos – Siren
53. Mindy Gledhill – Whole Wide World
54. Enigma – Age of Loneliness
55. Oliver Shanti and Friends – Mother Earth’s Tartaruga Song
56. Damien Rice – The Blower’s Daughter
57. Adam Lambert – If I Had You
58. Emilie Simon – Il Pleut
59. Gipsy Kings – Gitano Soy
60. Dishwalla – Counting Blue cars
61. Sopor Aeternus – Something Wicked this Way Comes
62. Pink Martini – Autrefois
63. Pink Martini – Clementine
64. The Birthday Massacre – In the Dark
65. Delerium – Temptation
66. Richard and Linda Thompson – Dimming of the Day
67. Sopor Aeternus – And Bringer of Sadness
68. Pink Martini – Hang on Little Tomato
69. Deftones – Diamond Eyes
70. Sopor Aeternus – Gebet
71. Damien Rice – Then Go
72. Sopor Aeternus – The Go
73. Pink Martini – Aspettami
74. Michita – Yukar
75. Adam Lambert – Whaddaya Want from Me
76. Pink Martini – Donde Estas, Yolanda
77. Yasmin Levy – Una Noche Mas
78. Enigma – Principles of Lust
79. Grigore Lese – Canta Cucu Bata-l Vina
80. Michita – Melodic
81. Sopor Aeternus – There Was a Country by the Sea
82. Regina Spektor – Apres Moi
83. The National – Bitters and Absolut
84. The BlackNote Project – Voces Lejanas
85. Michita – Amplitude
86. Yasmin Levy – El Amor Contigo
87. Grigore Lese – Doru si Jalea Ma Strica
88. Pheonix – Miezul Noptii
89. Emilie Simon – Secret
90. Sand System – Lover’s Nocturne
91. Juno Reactor – Acid Moon
92. Immediate Music – Electric Romeo
93. Kanon Wakeshima – Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango
94. Grigore Lese – Canta Cucu-n Lemn Uscat
95. Mindy Gledhill – Crazy Love
96. Sopor Aeternus – Les Fleurs du Mal
97. The Cure – Burn
98. Oliver Shanti and Friends – Rainbird
99. Pink Martini - Song of the Black Swan
100. Pheonix - Iovano
Alrighty then. Grigore Lese, on whom I will do a more encomapssing blog post later, is one of Romania's greatest folklorists and folklore musicians. Besides the fact that his voice and music are amazing, it's a patrotic thing.
Pheonix is a Romanian folk-rock band. I grew up with them and their lyrics are so good that one of the songs was featured in our 12th grade Literature textbook.
Mindy Gledhill speaks to my inner child. Don't you dare.
Yasmin Levy is a Israeli singer and she is just amazing. She sings mostly traditional iudeo-spanish music, somewhat like Gypsy Kings. I am in love with flamenco, my first celebrity crush was Juaquin Cortez. 
Kanon Wakeshima is my Emilie Autumn. 
I just love dancing - tango, flamenco, rumba, walz, oriental, stuff like that. That is one of the reasons I love Pink Martini, their songs are so easy to dance to. 
I love all kinds of folklore, tribal and tribal-electro fusion. 
You have to listen to Immediate Music while doing trivial things. I first listened to With Great Power while dusting. Most. Epic. Dusting. Ever.