Monday, May 25, 2009

Seasonal maintenance

I gave Vincent a haircut yesterday. The battle was epic and the result-visually poor. Sure, he looks as if a sheep shearer apprentice had practiced on him with blunt scissors but at least the heat is not so ruthless to him now. I could’ve taken him to a professional, of course, but that would be too much stress for Vincent and with his grand age and two strokes stress must be preserved to a minimum at all costs. My vanity as his owner is definitely not worth it.

Boy, he looks funny now! With his body fur removed and his head intact he’s like a Looney Tune character :)



Note: that was my debut as a dog hairstylist ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, dad!

Just a couple of years ago I would’ve used the rather impersonal word “father”-the formal definition of a blood relation. Hey, a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have bothered to blog about his birthday. But he changed. Must be the realization of the old age that made him conscious that his actions have consequences. Before it was “If you’re not with me you’re against me”, “You’ll do as I say so because I say so”. Now he’s more willing to listen without interrupting me; as if he respects me now, sometimes as if he even loves me. This family is cursed with the disability of showing feelings and only I know what it costs me to prove that anamnesis wrong. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge success at it though. And I wouldn’t dare to go as far as to say that I love him already but I can’t say that I don’t either. Still I regret that the change for the both of us didn’t come sooner.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Now that is what I call “a catchy tune”

I feel weird today…as if something’s about to happen…and I know nothing will…might be the lack of sleep.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday, May 17th

Mighty exhausting the working week that passed was but today I am in a festive mood because two people, each of his own significance to me, have a reason to celebrate today and in a way and from a distance I will celebrate with/for them :)

Happy Birthday, TR! It’s really good to finally see you truly happy! I hope it all makes sense now :)

Честит Рожден Ден, Дани! Прегръдки и целувки (хм, нищо не пречи да ги получиш и наживо ;)) ) с благодарност за приятелството и най-искрени пожелания всеки ден да е празник за теб :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Plaid and FSOL in Sofia :))))))))

It's too good to be true but IT IS! Oh, my! Let's say I can't wait :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A silent entry

A few recent pictures I took in the neighbourhood:

Why is this flower called “forget-me-not”? Is it because it’s blue?


A few more words

I know why Alec Empire’s voice is distorted in almost every record! It hit me just today-distortion covers up his accent :)

Milla said “You have a crazy taste in music” and I replied “thank you” :)

Milla, those pictures are for you-that is how my camera caught the shoe-like bone and the commercial shooting:




Wednesday, May 06, 2009

“What’s the worst that can happen?” :)

London, April 30th-May 3rd 2009

I have a great business idea: a flying company for smokers. That’s right; passengers will be allowed to smoke on board. Even with a 2 hour flight you’re still stuck at the airport for hours before and after the flight and people dying for a cigarette (not because they really need to puff so badly but mostly because they know they can’t and that is what really makes the desire maddening) would appreciate if they are given the opportunity to release the pressure. “Bulgaria Air is proud to offer you a smoking-free environment.” Duh! As if it can be any other way! I even have the perfect slogan to advertise the new company: “We respect your choice!” After all freedom and comfort are among the highest priorities of today’s modern people. I’m not sure the planes will be allowed to land at airports which means the business will have to be expanded by building its own airports. And it could be expanded even further with the creation of an insurance company and selling life insurance policies before each flight :) The idea, I think, has very good chances for success.

And I came up with a wish much better than “Have a safe flight!” – “Have a boring flight!” That is the best kind of flight I can think of. Wouldn’t you prefer to be spared a dreadful experience ending OK? Both my flights were boring to death. Umm, maybe it is better not to use the “d” word in one sentence along with “flight” :)

A friend I talked to yesterday advised me to hurry up and write down my London adventure before memories fade away. Oh, not to worry about the latter, I still suffer from double vision-my body’s here but my mind is still over there.

Sofia seems grey now that the sights of London are still fresh on my eyes. London is brimming with life in all the colours, shapes and sounds imaginable. It’s a place where you can meet the whole world if you care to keep your eyes, ears and mind open. If I am to put the city in a word it would be “diversity”. And all that multinational, multilanguage mass of people coexists fully respecting each other’s differences. It can be no other way-tolerance here is a survival instrument, and I hope every tourist coming here learns a valuable lesson…if, of course, interacting with London doesn’t end with Oxford Street and the malls :)

Here’s a rather long example of what I mean:

Getting out of London on Sunday was a heart-attacking experience. I learned the previous day that on Sundays the tube starts to operate at 6,50 am. The Piccadilly line goes straight from King’s Cross (where my hotel was) to Heathrow but the journey takes at least 45 min and since my flight was at 8,40 am I had to come up with an alternative route: take a bus (# 10,30,205 or 390) from King’s Cross to Euston, then transfer to bus # 18 to Paddington station and take from there the Heathrow Express which leaves every 15 min from Paddington and the journey to the airport is only 15 min long. Great plan! But it went not as smooth as I hoped. The troubles began at the first bus stop where the ticketing machine (apparently broken) swallowed 4 pounds without producing a ticket back and that left me with only 4 pounds in coins for the two single bus journeys I still had to make. A bus came and I bought a ticket from the driver-alright, only 2 pounds in coins left; the exact amount for the second bus ride. I didn’t want to take any chances with the ticketing machine at Euston and I decided to buy that last ticket needed from the driver again. When bus # 18 came it was already passing 6 am and I was still a long way from Heathrow. I asked the driver for a ticket handling to him those last precious 2 pounds…and he yelled at me why I didn’t buy it in advance! I explained what happened earlier at King’s Cross but he just kept on yelling “Which machine isn’t working!? Did you try this one?” “Umm, no, I didn’t. I just told you why. Will you, please, wait for me? I can’t afford to miss the bus.” But that only added fuel to his fire “YOU ARE WASTING MY TIME!” I jumped from the bus back on the sidewalk, rushed to the ticketing machine (with the heavy bags on my shoulders, heart pounding and body shivering in cold sweat), put the coins in, pushed the button and oh, mercy me, a ticket came out. The bus was still waiting and I jumped back on it, said “thank you” about a dozen of times and crawled to a window seat from where I could see the names of the stops. At Bishop’s Bridge Road stop, just before getting off, I asked the driver “Could you tell me which way to go to Paddington station?” and he just muttered “Down on the corner” and drove off. OK, but is it to the left or to the right?! And I headed in the wrong direction. I walked and walked and couldn’t see no sign to give me a lead. The streets were deserted-no one to ask either. I seriously started to panic. And then I saw a bust stop and a bus just standing there. I approached nearer-the bus wasn’t moving. I quickened my pace and saw the bus driver getting on it. “Oh, dear, I have no other choice but to push my luck and ask him!” And so I did. “Please, could you help me? Which way I must to go to Paddington?” He looked at me-I must have looked pretty desperate (at least I felt so) and said: “Hop in! I’ll take you there.” “But I have no coins left anymore!” “That’s OK; don’t worry!” And, indeed, miracle of all miracles, the guy did drive me to Paddington station and showed me which way to go. “I don’t have enough words to thank you! You saved me!” He just smiled and wished me good luck. From there everything went like clockwork and I boarded my plane with no further problems. A good was done to correct the wrong and set the balance right. Of the wrong I will keep no memory; the good I will never forget.

As I was washing my hands in the hotel’s bathroom something was bugging me and I suddenly figured out what: the sink was “made in Bulgaria”-there was a sign on it “Vidima Ideal” :)) No, I didn’t take a picture of the sink so you’ll have to take my word on it but I did take a picture of my hotel’s entrance-it looked nice, see?

The room was quite satisfactory as well-small and cozy, provided with everything needed except for a hairdryer so I had to buy one. I should’ve probably left it there for the next guest to use it but I took it back with me-after all I do expect to go to London again.

So many warning signs! Don’t do this and this or else! What confuses me about them is not the prohibition itself-regulations are vital for keeping such a monstrous city running efficiently and in order, but the fact that people are actually encouraged at every step to report violation if they witness one. “Clean up after your dog or risk 80 p penalty.” We could use that in Sofia-apart from me I know of only one other person doing that-cleaning up after her dog, I mean, not reporting :) By all means, disregarding regulations is wrong but spying on your fellow-citizens is nothing but nasty and takes preservation of the peace in the city on a completely different level. The first relates to the single individual’s moral while the second speaks for the moral of the whole society and the direction it is heading to. “If you see someone smoking on the tube station, please dial # xxxxxxxx” Oh, come on, I can already see new signs put all over the city: “If you see someone sneeze, please cal # xxxxxxxxx” Is this the right way to build a people-friendly society? Clean and in fear or messy and free-that is the question and I’m afraid I don’t have the answer. Everything has a price and freedom surely is costly. You can’t gain something without giving something else away. It is always a matter of compromise and how much you are willing to trade. As much as I hate to say it I have to agree that people as a whole are not ready yet to bear the consequences of total freedom and until their conscious evolves they will have to put up with restrictions. Makes me feel relieved I am just an ordinary person who can only have an opinion on decisions made by someone else. And I can only hope that people making those decisions are aware of the responsibility the have which is not less than the power on their hands. “With great power comes great responsibility” Hopefully people in high places know that too.

But, hey, it’s not like I’m looking for a new motherland-I already have one, thank you :) My point is that no place is perfect and instead of searching for something that doesn’t exist you better try to work with what you have and make it perfect for you. NB, whining doesn’t help at all :)

Oh, Kensington gardens! I specifically took a note to see them this time and I did it on Saturday. The gardens cover a huge space and they were pretty as I hoped. Trees and green lawns everywhere, as far as eyes can see!

I enjoyed the walk very much at first but after being trapped for nearly 2 hours inside the garden I only wanted out…but how?! I got lost because I couldn’t find a single map with a mark pointing “You are here!” Finally there was one at the Serpentine Bridge and I headed straight to the exit-a city addict like me had enough of nature for that day. Back to paved roads and trash pins! Ah, there’s nothing like a cigarette after being exposed to too much fresh air :)

And I felt quite comfortable using the tube this time-it is very well organized indeed and it is easy to find your way if you simply read the signs. Of course, first you have to learn how to read them :) But, really, it is easy.

I took a glimpse (because, to my opinion, it is rude to stare) of people’s faces on the tube and buses and I did it for the sake of research because one in five (if not even less) foreigners, while visiting Bulgaria, wonders: Why are you, Bulgarians, so stern-faced? Well, Londoners are not that jolly either but (and I may have said that before) while Bulgarians are dying to capture your attention and make themselves noticed, Londoners act indifferent and mind your private space. For the latter I could be wrong-impressions gathered in such a short period of time might be incorrect. I might have been just lucky to collect good impressions and leave before getting disappointed. That is the charm of a short trip - sensations are compressed and fresh because there isn’t enough time to get used to the new surroundings.

Yeap, the concert was quite worth the trip but what really made it worth 100 % was the quality, although not enough (it is never enough), time I spent with Kris and Milla. And I finally introduced them to one another! Now two of my dearest friends know each other in person-I couldn’t have wished for more :)

On my first visit to London last year there where many unknowns-written communication is one thing and live contact could turn to be something completely different. This year I knew exactly whom I was going to meet and yet I found out there was room for surprises because I don’t (and I hope I never will) take kindness and friendship for granted. Kris and Milla made me feel special and so grateful to have them as friends! The treatment they gave me just made me want to go to London over and over again. Love you both and miss you immensely!

I’m not sorry to see a good experience end because it fills my glass up to the brim and fuels my hope and faith in people. One can not live without faith and I’d rather put it in something that can give me a hug :)

My father came to meet me at the airport and on the way home he said: “This is the first warm day in Sofia since you left. You brought back the sun.” Umm, it felt good to hear that :)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Alec Empire, May 1st 2009, The Underworld, London


Not really, he actually started with “The Ride” :)

Oh, come on, it wasn’t NiN! I’m not even close to devastation, I’m fine ;)

But it was really good and I had far more fun than I expected-I thought I wouldn’t like it at all because when I went to the club I wasn’t in a party mood. Or so I thought…

What a crowd! So colourful, wild and excited! There was a mosh pit, pogo dancing, stage diving-the works ;) Alec Empire didn’t seem to mind at all the public’s activity. I mean, quite a lot of people jumped on stage, pushed him into the crowd, hugged him from behind, yelled in the mike and he didn’t even look irritated, aggravated or intimidated or anything. It felt good not only to listen to him but to look at him as well. Now that is a man with an enormous self-confidence and an unmissable stage presence. The confidence he oozed was so solid you could cut it into bricks and build a wall; so solid that it looked as a part of the production. Something like “To do before getting on stage: fix my hair, check if my zipper’s up, switch on my confidence” :) But at one point his mask of coolness went down. There was a special guest appearance-a kinky-, fetish-looking blond giant, apparently well known ‘cause the crowd warmly welcomed him and AE introduced him with pride but apart from his impressive (not necessarily in a good way) look and wacky behaviour I don’t really see why I should know more about him (Edit: for the record-name's Patrick Wolf). Anyway, his addition to the show was so out of this world that it made Alec smile like a grown-up child talking to Santa Claus-even if he know it’s all fake what happens amuses him nonetheless :)

There was a political speech…of course ;) Good luck to him with his plan to take over the world.

The encore was “Revolution action” and it created a real mayhem! Alec let the crowd carry him around while he was lying on their hands in a Jesus Christ pose :) (Is that why he later on twittered about listening to that very same Soundgarden song on the tour bus?!)

All in all it was a killer show!

Look right/left

A few days in London seem like a month-so extraordinary is the feeling, so surreal-as looking through the other side of the mirror. Once again I return home a better person than I was when I left. Maybe I should never stop traveling :)) Some questions answered, some new raised. It’s recharging to surprise yourself once in a while; and it feels so rewarding to receive and give in return. Above all it is priceless to know your friends really care for you.