Dec 31, 2010

What were you thinking this time last year?

IdidnotknewthatIwouldhave7holidayswithmywifealonethatIwillchangemyjobagainforanewadventurethatCamiwillbehiredagainthatourfamilywillbeshakenthatbotheofuswillstartbloggingandathtwewilllovethatIwillgotomybeloveddessertagainthatIwillchangemycaragainthatIwillstartgoingtomytherappysessionsagainthatIwillstarthavingyogalessonsthatIwillreadEckhartTolleandbeenlightedbyhimthatIwilltradeSofiatripswithVienatripsthatIwillgainandloseandwinagainsomemanyfriendsandcolleagues. And you?

Space will win over form (2011 resolution)

Mestecanisul de la Reci, Covasna, 2010

Dec 28, 2010

Satori. Day 29

Florence, 2003
This is a homage to Eckhart Tolle. He says in his book " A New Earth"

The inability or rather unwillingness of the human mind to let go of the past is beautifully illustrated in the story of two Zen monks, Tanzan and
Ekido, who were walking along a country road that had become extremely muddy after heavy rains. Near a village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep it would have ruined the silk kimono she was wearing. Tanzan at once picked her up and carried her to the other side.
The monks walked on in silence. Five hours later, as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido couldn't restrain himself any longer. “Why did you carry that girl across the road?” he asked. “We monks are not supposed to do things like that.”
“I put the girl down hours ago,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying
Now imagine what life would be like for someone who lived like Ekido all the time, unable or unwilling to let go internally of situations, accumulating more and more “stuff' inside, and you get a sense of what life is like for the majority of people on our planet. What a heavy burden of past they carry around with them in their minds.
The past lives in you as memories, but memories in themselves are not a problem. in fact, it is through memory that we learn from the past and from past mistakes. It is only when memories, that is to say, thoughts about the past, take you over completely that they turn into a burden, turn problematic, and become part of your sense of self. Your personality, which is conditioned by the past, then becomes your prison. Your memories are invested with a sense of self, and your story becomes who you perceive yourself to be. This “little me” is an illusion that obscures your true identity as timeless and formless Presence.
Your story, however, consists not only of mental but also of emotional memory – old emotion that is being revived continuously. As in the case of the monk who carried the burden of his resentment for five hours by feeding it with his thoughts, most people carry a large amount of unnecessary baggage, both mental and emotional, throughout their lives. They limit themselves through grievances, regret, hostility, guilt. Their emotional thinking has become their self, and so they hang on to the old emotion because it strengthens their identity.
Because of the human tendency to perpetuate old emotion, almost everyone carries in his or her energy filed an accumulation of old emotional pain, which I call “the pain­body.”
We can, however, stop adding to the pain­body that we already have. We can learn to break the habit of accumulating and perpetuating old emotion by flapping our wings, metaphorically speaking, and refrain from mentally dwelling on the past, regardless of whether something happened yesterday or thirty years ago. We can learn not to keep situations or events alive in our minds, but to return our attention continuously to the pristine, timeless present moment rather than be caught up in mental movie­making. Our very Presence then becomes our identity, rather than our thoughts and emotions.
Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?

In psychotherapy, when the end of it approaches the subject is asked to do a form of integration of the experience. Usually is a practical thing.  Some guys chose to draw something, others to make a collage or a model. I guess I have chosen to blog about it for one month. 

I now realize that every post I wrote here is a form in which I have integrated one of the aspects of my past and moved on. With every thought here I have built a prison bar for my past and now it can safely be left there. So, I will move on and I will bring my subjects from my past and from my inside reactions based of my past to present tense and present feelings. Satori

Dec 27, 2010

Der kleine und das biest

Back in October this year, Runa, my 9 y.o daughter was selected to be a part of the jury to Minimest, the kid section of Animest short film festival.

I sat for 6 hours in 3 days and watched with Runa and her cousin, Andrei, a ton of short animation films, all genres.

Eventually, the 3 little girls in the jury had to select one winner. I can't lie that I did not lobbied (among the other parents) for my favorite film but everyone agreed the the winner should be "Der kleine und das biest" (The little boy and the beast) Directors: Uwe Heldschotter, Johannes Weiland from Germany.

I did not realized fully at the time why it made such a strong impression on me. It's true that I have always been impressed about how broken parent relationships impact on kids. I have lived that unfortunately. I wished I had seen this movie when I was in need for it. Or, better, my parents.

I tried to find the video. There is only one on rutube, in Russian :( Below is a link in original German. No English translation but extremely easy to grasp.

Dec 25, 2010

The 12 miles church

Observation Point, Zion, Utah, 2010
Some 6 months ago we had a very difficult moment with our 4 y.o. niece. She lost her ability to move her feet within a couple of hours. She had to urgently go to the hospital and been found with a rare and difficult form of myelitis.  We were desperate. I made some phone calls, reached her doctors. News were not good. Not at all. I was terrified to tell anyone around about it.

I remember it was a Friday afternoon. I had no idea what to do. I just got out of the office and not taking the way to the parking underground but exit to the street. 5 minutes later I realized I was inside the church in front of the office. I sat there for 10 minutes crying. Someone gave me a napkin. I finished crying, got out, took the car and went home. 2 days later the crisis was already over, 1 week later she was out of the hospital. One month later she was running with her cousins, my kids.
I have never been religious. I am rather an agnostic person. I never go to church unless I visit them as a traveler or being a godfather (and have been quite often). I have no idea why I went to the church that day. But I felt good and eased. I felt close to Heaven.

After 4 months and 10,000 km away I felt again close to it. Not only because I have climbed up to 2,000 m height on a mountain, not only that I had the opportunity to make heavenly photos in an outstanding landscape but mostly that I was able to force myself to walk and climb for 12 miles pushing my very not trained body and spirit to the limit but being extremely happy that I overcame such a physical and mental effort. Felt like I scored some points for my place in heaven again.

Love doesn't live here anymore

Rome, 2006
To all people around seeking for the new truth in their life. 
Friends, I hope you will find it but, mostly, I hope you will really find yourselves.

Love and hate

Walter Maracineanu, 2010
I have (and always had) a very close relationship to my mother.  It was as close as it was distant the one with my father. I don't know if this was the reason or it happened in compensation but the sure thing is that I am close with my mother. She has always been around and always been there for me and my family for good and for bad.
I will be 40 next year and she's still around, living practically in our house, helping us raising my 3 kids. She's one of the reasons I have achieved so much in my life. Not only because of the education given by her (under very difficult family environment) but also for the great help and support offered in last years when I had to do a lot of work. And if you wondered how I can afford the time to travel alone or with Cami, now you know the reason.

I love her. And I owe her greatly. I am extremely fortunate to have this kind of mother. But sometimes it's overwhelming. The exacerbated feeling of duty, the continuous worry for all the things in the world she constantly transmits makes her proximity difficult. Especially when it comes in opposition with my desperate attempt to reduce the stress and rhythm of my life.

But 9 out of 10 times when I feel this is too overwhelming I remember that is not about her. Its about what life left from her, my father and their relationship in my soul and personality and how do I perceive everybody's behavior (including her) related my own psychologic features. I have worked very much and hard to understand how and why this happened but is still very difficult to remember and adapt. And every time I fail, I regret it very much.  

Dec 21, 2010


Delicate Arch, Utah, 2008

Tomorrow will be the 23rd day since I started this blog. Enough to ask myself a couple of times why I am doing this? I have started this out of a sudden impulse. I had the idea while brushing my teeth in the morning and, by 10 AM, I had already the blog design and the first post up. It just popped out of me. An then just kept going with 2-3 posts / day. Not bad for one of the most busy persons I know :) So, why the doubt?

Maybe is because of the year end tired feeling in my whole body, maybe because I had to face some criticism about my posts. Maybe is just human nature to question, doubt and be insecure sometimes about decisions. We are fragile. The great gift of thinking made us one of the most fragile beings on the planet.

The one thing I am sure about this blog is that I am his first reader. And as fragile as I might look to others I will continue this until I will be sure I have reached my purpose. (Has somebody counted the "I"s?)

De cealalta parte a zidului ...

Dec 18, 2010

Beethoven Choral Fantasy

The dream country

 Sagres, 2010

We love Portugal. Went there many times and enjoyed every time. People, places, weather, landscape, prices :) Cami is dreaming to live in Portugal. I actually started to think how we would do this. Money, job, house, kids. As you can imagine, a hard to solve equation.

Which reminds me that I had similar equations to solve many times in my life so far and, for different reasons, I always solved them by abandoning the thought. I could have stayed in France in 1995 pulling out a new scholarship after finishing the one in Grenoble. But I had to come back to my ex-girlfriend. I could have stayed in Germany in 1998 when my aunt insisted that I should stay there. But I could not stand her more than 3 days ... I could have tried Canada as many of my friends and colleagues around but my parents would have been destroyed. 

My former high school colleagues have very interesting debates about why and why not someone should leave Romania. I always was ambiguous about it. Not too clear about why I should leave, not too determined to find a way. I stayed and I don't regret it as my great family and professional world are here.

What is clear for me is that I have (so far) 2 most preferred places on this planet. One is  SouthWest in USA and I will visit it until exhaustion and second is Portugal. And we will live there sometimes.

Too many lost chances

Viena, 2010

Dec 17, 2010

Your place on the map

Bucharest, 2009 @ Mihai Dumbravescu, Marius Hanganut

In the summer of 2009 I had to spend one week in the hospital making some investigations because some recent heart condition suspicions. It turn to be an isolated event due to extreme fatigue and accumulated stress. But it has raised a BIG question mark on how I (but I guess this is valid for most of us striving through this very difficult and hectic times) live my life.

My case was typical. Nearly 40, busy manager, stressful life, high profile job, 3 kids, a house recently build, many private businesses. Zero care for personal health, food selection, sport activity or relaxation. Even holidays were furtive, busy and usually in rush.

As easy as it had been, the event was like a cold shower. I had one week then and many months after to think and reconsider my life. And I did. I did not stopped the rhythm (it would have been difficult), I did not left home and live the kids alone (God forbidden). I did the only thing which was actually missing. I put myself on the map.

Found time for personal care and interests. Mentally and physically. Started going to the gym regularly, taking some yoga lessons, allocated time for my hobbies, traveled more alone or with my wife. And, most of all, limited the amount of stress I allowed myself to accumulate. How? Just by not taking personally. 

So, here I am, 18 months later, taking a much busy, higher responsibility & stressful job and being cool about it. Being involved 500% but without stress. And smiling. Because I know where I have put myself on the map. Do you?

Forgive all of our sins

Viena, 2010

Dec 14, 2010

Feminine Nature

Sarata Monteoru, 2004

I never had a boyfriend when I was a kid. A real one, in the very straightforward meaning of the word. Never experienced friendship between boys. Only later, when I was a teenager I started to discover affinities in books, music with some of my colleagues (Liviu, are you around?).

Maybe because I was a good child. Like very conventional, always listening to my mother (have you notice I never mention my father in this kind of memories?), never doing crazy, foolish, childish, stupid things kind of child. In the primary school, when my colleagues were playing football with empty cans during breaks, I was staying with the girls. I never did sports, went to a single camp in 15 years.

On the other hand, I have always been good with girls. Not in the Casanova way, not even close, but in the I-know-what-you-are-feeling kind of way. I am very well organized, very sharp in observing details, careful with personal  appearance. I am empathic, intuitive and having a caring approach to people. 

Some of my advisers opinionated that I have a feminine nature. I am very sure of that too. I don't really know why.  Just know I am like that. Sometimes it helps me. Sometimes it doesn't. But I deal with that easily especially after I realized and accepted it.

But now I have a 2 y.o. son, a blond angel, living in a house full of women (2 sisters, one mother, one grandmother and the nanny). I am buying him tons of cars (which he likes) and balls. I can't stop him of being interested in what her sisters are doing with the lipsticks and makeups. I am often coming home after he goes to bed and have very few moments with him during a working week.

So I will have to work hard and be there for him as a masculine presence and model. But is not easy. I started by fighting the women around still dressing him with purple "bodies" because he still can use some of the sisters casual clothes. Will be a long distance run. Am I too paranoid about it?

The Silent Scream. Great lyrics, no music. Every Tuesday.

I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like a fire
This burning desire

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
But yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Oh my shame
You know I believe it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for


Dec 11, 2010

Too old to learn

Cheia, 2004
In 2004, when my former boss asked me to start a new division in the agency, in a direction I knew (excuse my french) shit about it, I went back to school. It was a distance school program from UK. Because of the urgent business need for skills I entered a 12 month program (instead of 24). It was very difficult. I was working anyway 1 out of 2 weekends because of huge workload and, at the time, I was having only Runa as a kid.

Obviously I was late. So, when I had no real space left, no more than 7 days before submitting an assignment, I took my folders, my laptop and went for 5 days alone in the mountains to study and write. It was one of a kind experience. I went to Cheia, it was February, heavy snow and cold. I was the only guest in the main hotel for 4 days, they could not run the central heating only for a customer so they brought me an electric heater in the room. I was going 3 times a day to eat, the cook was coming only for me, I was eating alone, winter dressed while looking at movies on my laptop. All alone.

For 4 days I read tons of files, books and notes. I was writing like a lunatic, going out only to eat. It was blizzard outside, extremely cold and nobody in the whole resort. After that period I decided that I am much too old to learn. At least not this type of learning. Recently I played with the idea of doing of MBA but I have decided against, mainly because, with my big family and busy professional schedule, it would have meant to do this, again, on my family and personal time.

Coming back to Cheia, after the 5 days I crossed the mountains and joined my colleagues team-building in Fundatica, the highest village in Romania. There I found out that I will be never too old to learn about myself and other people and, mostly about the huge power of personal belief.

When you see those women striving to the church at -20C degrees through the blizzard, staying in the stone cold church for hearing the priest just to give each other some of the things they cooked, it is impressive. I am proud I faced the cold to take this images. I am not proud that during the same day I broke the clutch of my new 4x4 car. But that's a shameful story for some other time.

Lost Memories

Bucuresti, 2007
I have no memories below age of 12, meaning 6th grade. Nothing.  Just some flashes of a bulky Volga taxi's backseat they put me into rushing to the emergency room when I fell with my butt in a piece of glass. Not the pain, not what happened to the hospital, just the taxi.

I know many things about the period from what my mother and relatives are telling me, from the old family pictures, but I don't remember a single thing.

I don't know if this is normal or not. Cami is remembering from the age of 3. Over the years I have developed an obsession about it. I have tried many things, made a lot of efforts and unfortunately a lot of suppositions.

Like any other activity when you dig for something, some other things will pop up. I had good surprises, bad surprises and discovered  some things I am not very proud of and will take me a lot of time to integrate.

However, the discovering journey it is a destination in itself. But, thank you U2, I still haven't found what I am looking for. Have you?

Dec 9, 2010

Snow is coming ...

Simon, 2006

Rule of thirds

Feeling like an actor on a giant scene. 
The walls seems so colorful that audience loose sense of the performance.

Photographic Modjo (My empty photo website)

I love photography. For those of you  knowing me or patient enough to click around this blog, this might be obvious already. I have started seriously taking pictures 9-10 years ago. 

I do not have enough time to dedicate to it, therefore my subjects were always my 3 kids and my holidays. In late years I started doing photo dedicated holidays like my last tours in American Southwest. 

I have invested a fortune in photo gear including my own photo studio in my basement. Probably to compensate the lack of time. I am quite knowledgeable about technical side of photography and I have a full library of photo books of famous photographers.

People and friends looking at my pictures says I am quite good at it. Photos posted on my Facebook account usually gets visited, commented and liked. My wife started her blog mainly on the pictures I am taking.

But I never had the courage to do a personal exhibition or to build my own photo website. Actually my wife built it but I am still resistant to populate it with images. I like most of the pictures I take, I put my heart into them when pressing the shutter or post process them. I have tons of them (see picture). But I am still considering myself conventional, obvious and too direct in what I transmit through them. 

I still haven't found my photographic modjo. I would appreciate your sincere critiques and advices on that matter.

Dec 8, 2010

Most inspired gift

Just received it tonight from Cami

 A cup featuring a Canon 24-105 IS L lens !!!

vs. original
I just love it !!!

Dec 7, 2010


Have you ever had the feeling that someone can really see inside yourself? 

Like taking a look at you, spending some time and then tell you the most intimate details of your soul and mind?

How would that affect you?

To me is scary. There will be no place to hide, no excuse to make after that.

The Silent Scream. Great lyrics, no music. Every Tuesday.

All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you
My bones ache, my skin feels cold
And I'm getting so tired and so old

The anger swells in my guts
And I won't feel these slices and cuts
I want so much to open your eyes
'Cause I need you to look into mine

Get up, get out, get away from these liars
'Cause they don't get your soul or your fire
Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
And we'll walk from this dark room for the last time

Every minute from this minute now
We can do what we like anywhere
I want so much to open your eyes
'Cause I need you to look into mine

Tell me that you'll open your eyes

Dec 6, 2010

St. Nicolas's Garage

Bucuresti, 2010

I got 18 cars in 11 years. Had my first one when I was 27 and I met my wife. It was her car, an old Oltcit. There is something with me and cars and would not say that is just a boy stuff. It couldn't be just that. As you can imagine I lost a small fortune only from just buying and reselling some many cars.

It was a madness. Every 6 months I was starting to scrutinize auto websites falling in love with some new model. I was reading all auto magazines, knowing everything about every new model, going to dealers, comparing prices, looking after them in the streets. My wife was exhausted, but still understanding. She was changing her car every time I was deciding to change it (imagine  her going from a Mini to a BMW 5 estate series). But why?

If you are interested in dreams, you might now that the cars means affect, feelings. Was I trying to fulfill a subconscious need of being loved? I am considering myself a lucky man as I am loved by (almost) everybody. Was I trying to impress? Probably, as I kept buying bigger, faster and fancier cars. But I am not really a show off person. Was I trying to adapt the car to my ever growing family :)? Probably, but not totally true as I bought a 2 doors sport car soon after I heard I will have my 3rd kid. 

I don't know the real answer. What I know is that there are 3 years since I last bought a car and 2 years since I last sold one. I consider myself wise and mature now and buying a car only when needed.

Hmm, then how do you explain my garage in the basement? Freshly bought from USA, just in time for St. Nicolas.

No arguing relationship

I am priding myself of being married for 11 years and not having a single argument (n.b. cearta) with my wife. OK, we had one but was with a good outcome (Mara, my second daughter) and I do not count it :).

My secret? It's simple: 

1. Unconditional love 
2. 100% respect 
3. Whenever you feel like arguing, shut your mouth and think again. It will never come out on the same tone and you will find smoother ways to make your point without arguing.

Sometimes, I fail. I let the stress, the outside factors interfere with our life and thoughts. And even if we don't end up arguing (she's very wise about it too) I regret it every time. But points #1 & #2 will always be true.

Dec 5, 2010

What prevents us from being fully ourselves?

A great interview with Lise Bourbeau. Check her book too. You may find it in Romanian also.

Father & Son

Balilesti, 2010, @ Marian Iorga
I had a very difficult relationship with my father.  For as long as I remember back in my childhood and until 2 years ago when I was emotionally mature enough to set a kind of relationship which allow us at least to stay in touch.

Reasons are multiple. Both sides. From him being away or absent for too long, from me taking a too decided side during my parents divorce 7 years ago, to him not knowing how to establish an emotional relationship and me being too proud to understand and accept him. Details are too personal and not really important. That's a very common story unfortunately these days.

There were and still are many marks left in my soul, mind and personality by this situation. It took me more than 3 years to analyze, understand and accept what happened and how was I affected since childhood by that. Now I am calm and cool about it. Not upset, nor mad. No regrets or desire to for any kind of revenge.

Just a wise understanding and acceptance. And a commitment in front of my own conscience that my son will not have any reason to write this kind of things 30 years from now.

Dec 4, 2010

Ode to imperfections

A very sad and touchy video but a reminder of how imperfections in our life are sometimes the ones which makes it great

My interior desert

Monument Valley, Utah 2008
Last 4 years were particularly difficult in our life with many, many events, both good or difficult. October 2008 was the moment when, within the same month Radu, our 3rd child was born, we finished building and moved into our new house and I have changed my job. It was a bit too much for me. I was exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. So I left.

Second day after we moved into the new house I left my wife (and my mother) with 100 huge boxes in the basement, 3 kids, last one being 1 month old. I left for my beloved desert in American Southwest. But actually I left to found myself my interior desert.

I was 5 times in USA, 4 of them on the axis Mohave Desert, Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Canyonlands. It is something with attracts me irresistibly there. Some might say I have lived there in my other life. I just think I like the freedom given to me by the wild, huge desert landscapes. It's dry, dusty, reddish but I feel like breathing there. Have you remarked my words? Freedom, Space, Breathe.

There is a well know difference between men and women but few of us and much few of the couples are able to remember and respect. Women need attachment, Men need space. Personal space. It can be a place, a hobby, going out with the boys, sport, any way in which he can be for some time alone. Men need to stay away and just be alone. It does not mean that commitment is dropping or any other type of misbehavior. It's just human nature.

To all my women readers today, married or not, but especially for the first ones, give your man some space. He will go away and come back 10 times more attached and loving.

I know, Cami is an angel. Not only for surviving my trips, but for understanding me in all my "madness". My trips, my outrageous expenditures on photo gear, my 20+ cars in 10 years and the list is much longer. Is she happy? Have a look

The book I would have written

Just bought it this evening. Will keep you posted !

Dec 3, 2010

Mss. Croatian Taxi Driver

Sirminone, 2008
Yesterday was a good day. A crazy, hectic, tiring but good day. I had my first company board meeting in my new professional role. Both planes to Vienna were delayed because of snow but I made it home one hour after midnight, enough to get 5 hours of sleep before this Friday. Meeting was good. I have prepared and delivered some presentations, discussed them for 3 hours. Relatively smooth and friendly.

In any case not according to the HUGE pressure, preparation and tension I had experienced in the weeks before. I spend nights, weekends trying to work out every detail, every PowerPoint line and table being afraid that I might not convince those guys or forget a detail or an answer. Even after the meeting was over I was scrutinizing for flaws in my presentation, still feeling tense.

And here we are, meeting finished, taking a taxi to the airport. An orange Prius, partially-electric car. Young women as a driver. Perfect English. Lovely smile, addictive laughing. Driving like a cowboy. Gas pedal to the floor, flashing everybody, horning. "Fuckers, oops sorry". Trying to overpass everybody everywhere. Can you imagine this, in the quiet, decent, respectful Vienna? I couldn't. Someone was driving reasonably fast in front. "Haideee..." WHAT? That's a Romanian word. "Oh, no I am a Croatian, and this is the way I like to drive, this is who I am". And the police? "Catch me if you can, I am an excellent driver, I have no fear".

Indeed she hadn't any. Living as she liked, laughing. Why shouldn't she? Why shouldn't I? Or you? She had no fear of failing. Why should you? I guess is a straight forward conclusion to this: "You are good, be confident, be yourself, don't be afraid of failure"

It's amazing how many life lessons one might get in a taxi, we should tell those stories more often.

Dec 1, 2010

Road to Perfection

Utah, 2010
Interesting talk on yesterday. How much in your life you seek for perfection? How much energy and commitment do you put on achieving it? And, more important, how much desperation and failure feelings do you experience when you think you haven't reach it?

Perfection is like the infinite line. It exists, it is there, but you can't reach it. So if you are a "perfectionist" like I am, allow yourself some space. You will never reach it and the real danger is to assume failure.

The real perfection would be a continuous improvement. And I salute all of you who did not stop to improve yourselves in whatever areas you think you have to.

To all my colleagues reading this: Don't be to relaxed because of it :)

Nov 30, 2010

The Silent Scream. Great lyrics, no music. Every Tuesday.

There's a kid who had a big hallucination 
Making love to girls in magazines. 
He wonders if you're sleeping with your new found faith. 
Could anybody love him 
Or is it just a crazy dream? 

And if I show you my dark side 
Will you still hold me tonight? 
And if I open my heart to you 
And show you my weak side 
What would you do? 
Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone? 
Would you take the children away 
And leave me alone? 
And smile in reassurance 
As you whisper down the phone? 
Would you send me packing? 
Or would you take me home?

Thought I oughta bare my naked feelings, 
Thought I oughta tear the curtain down.
I held the blade in trembling hands
Prepared to make it but just then the phone rang
I never had the nerve to make the final cut.


Cluj 2002
I had many nicknames during the years. From high-school, university, and almost every company I worked for. Not bad for the-not-so-popular-kid I use to be once. They sounds better in Romanian but a rough translation would be The Master (Jupanu'), The Godfather (Nasu' Mare) - thx Rucs - or The Colonel. But the one which I remember most and played a major role in my life was "Puparo".

It seems that Puparo was a character from the italian TV series about mafia "La Piovra". A very discrete, quite, calm killer. Which never stands out but very efficiently "resolve" his victims. Honestly, I never understood why they named me like that, did not associated me with this and never really liked that nickname. I finished the university and nobody was there anymore to remember it, so I forgot about it.

More than 10 years after, after a series of psychology books reading, it suddenly came to my lips when I decided to name my alter ego, my dark side, the interior force pushing me into directions I wouldn't want to go. It came naturally, just like that. Puparo. 

Puparo is everything I am not. He is twisted, dark, having its own agenda, constantly dripping in my life doubts, insecurity and fears. Recognize the feeling? The outcome of naming it Puparo was that suddenly I had a name for my enemy. It had a name, a shape, a behavior and I was ready and knowledgeable how to fight with him. 

Sometimes it helps. Look into you, try to isolate your inner sabotage agent and name it. We ALL have a Puparo inside of us. Just identify it, find a name for it and half of the battle is won. Of course, the schizophrenia awaits around the corner. But that's a story for some other time.

Les Egouts de Paris

Florence 2003
When I was 23 in my last year of University (btw, I am an engineer working in media, but that's common around here) I got a scholarship in Grenoble, France for 6 months to made my final diploma work there. From technical and content point of view was a disaster. Complete failure. Defaillance. But that's another story. Maybe some other time I'll tell you that story too.

This story is about Dixi's and mine attempt to save some lost souls around us. Dixi (Diana) was a Romanian student working there to pay for her studies, a nice, welcoming friend for many generations of students. (Dixi if you ever read this, it will be great to get back in touch). For reasons which proved later to be false (at least in my case) most of our18 colleagues contingent had chosen us to be their confident. The persons and the place they can talk, cry, spill all the frustrations, problems and sadness they gathered in the unusual situation of being far from home and loving ones for so long. Now is more common but then and there, some very young persons not use to travel living suddenly in a western country (compared to our18 years under communist regime), this generated LOTS of issues.

Love, affairs, romance, money, study, relationships everything was troubled. Somehow they considered me more emotionally stable and wiser so they started the pilgrimage at my student dorm room. For hours, days months. Up to the moment I was accumulating so much negative energy I started to have nightmares. Not mine but others. I was happy. Alone, but happy, writing long love letters to my girlfriend, listening music to my new stereo (btw, I completely trashed my debit card in 6 months up to the moment I had to bet my return train ticket on a bank check on  a completely void bank account; Bank sued me and my parents had to borrow money to pay my debit for 2 years) and trying to listen and comfort everybody. At some point it was too much.

Then I found Dixi and we realized we are having the same issues. We made it officially and organized and started this lost soul foundation we named it after the sours of Paris. So, for 3 to 4 months we were the psychologists of the group. Only many many years later I came to realized the effect left on me and that sometimes all of us, including myself, need someone's help.

I realized then that I am good at and love to understand and help people. I'll keep telling you my stories and maybe you will find some comfort and help in them.