Aug 18 2019

Happy birthday to me

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 10:15

This is it, the big 36, I’m now officially on my way to the 40s and I can’t wait for that to happen. Apparently, when you are 40 you are really out of fucks to give. Because lately, I have discovered I have a few left and I’m very good at making my life complicated because of them.

This is the second birthday after the John Mayer birthday. Yup that birthday is still number one. It’s not even that hard to win the competition honestly. Before that birthday I can’t remember one when I was even remotely happy. And after it, well… last year I spent it with my childhood friend and it was nice. You know what wasn’t so nice? Getting a fine because I overstayed my parking, and that happened because I did not read the instructions on the parking machine right. So yeah,  being 30 GBP poorer on my birthday, that doesn’t make it a good birthday in my book.

This year, well… I am here, in my favourite bakery, having a coffee with scrambled eggs on bacon and toast, while gazing over the Forth Bridge. It is not a sunny day, it is one of those typical Scottish days that cannot seem to be able to make up its mind and decide if it will be sunny or rainy, so it is a combination of both. I just got myself a ticket to a cruise to an island I’ve only seen from afar until now and I am waiting for the boat to come.

I tried last night to explain to somebody why I am so fascinated by this bridge. The oversimplification of the whole discussion is that this bridge seems like it has been over-designed and overthought. Its design is more complex than it should be for its purpose but sure as hell looks majestic.

One of my biggest character drawbacks is that I cannot stop overthinking stuff that happens in my life. I go over them over and over and based on multiple points of view I try to anticipate future events. Most times I am spot on(no, I cannot guess you the lottery numbers yet) which makes me a pain in the ass for people. I am also a pain in the ass for me because it is annoying to know the outcome of something I am involved in because it just … takes out the excitement and the surprise out of it. And when the outcome is painful, is even worse, because most times, the events are already set and no matter what I do I cannot stop it. But sometimes there are aberrations and when that happens I need some time to adjust.

That is why I like that bridge – because it’s like a metaphor for … well, me. All in all it was a good day with a very nice surprise at the end.

And since I’ve mentioned the beautiful island I spent my birthday exploring, here’s some pictures. Enjoy!

Stay safe, stay happy!


Aug 05 2019

With Psihoza on vacation

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:12

This weekend I was away from home in a quick short trip to some Scotland lochs: Loch Tay and Loch Long. I basically did a circle drive with the following itinerary: Edinburgh -> Kenmore -> Arrochar -> Glasgow -> Edinburgh. Why this itinerary? I had a dear friend visiting and I really wanted to get her out of Edinburgh, because right now it is festival time si the city is swamped with people. I just chose the two locations: Kenmore and Arrochar because they were in the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, they were close enough to drive, leaving us some time to just hike or walk around. And they were near lakes which helped with the view.

When booking the hotels my friend noticed the hotels were pet-friendly and she suggested we should get the cat too and that’s exactly what we did.

Continue reading “With Psihoza on vacation”


Aug 02 2019

Are you where you wanted to be?

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 12:01

This question is a refrain that from time to time I sing to myself in my head using Darren Hayes’ voice. Because this is a Darren Hayes song. I heard it first in 2001 when starting university. I found it on a shady Mule server and recognized his voice and could not understand at the time how this song was never famous. But if you listen to it, you’ll understand. Nowadays nobody wants to listen to songs that make them think, that make them reflect.

So, here I am in 2019, closer to my thirty-six birthday and I am asking myself yet again the same question. What prompted this? Recently I’ve been around somebody who seems enchanted by the glamorous life as a developer at titan companies as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and others. Although I’ve had many chances of entering a recruitment process with any of them I’ve always changed my mind in favor of smaller companies, where there is more technical freedom and it is easier to shine. Maybe it’s my low confidence in my abilities, maybe it is just my necessity to be important and I won’t be important as a cog in the big machine that is one of those companies. Plus, with the current evolution of these companies and the data gathering and manipulation they are doing for increasing their profits, for me, it’s already a question of ethics. Because I cannot be a part of this with a clean conscience.

And then there is a question of validation. What will validate me in my own eyes? Will it be enough if I work at one of these companies? Will I finally be proud of myself and my achievements? And what will that do to me as a person? Because the driving force behind all my achievements so far has been this feeling of inadequacy; of never being enough. This has been the fuel that has kept me running so long.  Once this is gone, what will happen to me, who will I be then? Will I be a better person than I am now?

No, I know for sure that I won’t. Because my validation was never external. The feeling of satisfaction about myself is not fuelled by the money that I make, or the fancy company names on my CV. My validation comes from the number of lives that I’ve touched and changed in a good way. It’s not about the things, it’s all about the people.

And it is all about the freedom to spend my time as I see fit, with who I see fit.

Am I where I wanted to be? Not sure, but I’m on my way there for sure.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Jul 16 2019

Some people are an acquired taste

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 17:49

For a long time people in my life have told me that I’m inadequate or unsuitable for certain things. When I was a child I was too extreme, I was rebellious and fearless and although this made my childhood amazing, it also made it dangerous. I was challenging myself and others around me, sometimes with tragic results. I insisted to go to school when I had the mumps to present an important paper and managed to give it to my desk-mate. I was venturing outside the neighborhood to unknown areas, sometimes taking the group with me and returning late at home, when all the parents would be already crazy with worry. No wonder my parents used to beat the shit out of me and threatened me with grounding me for weeks inside my room. Nothing worked though and in retrospect it was a little bit their fault.

Every summer, they used to ship me and my sister to the country side to my grandma. She used to ask us to help her work the garden sometimes, but otherwise she would chase us away from home so we won’t annoy her. So I’ve had a wild childhood. I used to wonder on those hills next to her house, the forests after them and every neighbour garden that used to have one or more trees that produced some kind of fruit that was edible. We would build castles out of mud and play in the near-by river which became dangerous after a heavy rain.

And when I hit 14, all of a sudden I was asked to behave like a well educated girl. Which meant not talking without being asked, not to laugh to loudly, not to do anything that might endanger my face, or leave scars and above all be gentle. Not to spill stuff on my clothes, etc … whatever passes as girlish and delicate. Kinda late to ask somebody to behave this way after you’ve allowed them to be wild for a long while.

So there I was, puberty hit and I had no idea how to behave. Well, as an adolescent you don’t know much of everything really, and all the pressure on how I should be and I wasn’t was getting me depressed. Anyway, puberty has long passed and gone, but I’ve found myself as an adult … unfit again. I was a girl in a faculty for boys. Then I was a woman working in a male dominated field. Still misfit, still wrong somehow.

Maybe it’s not the domain, maybe I just don’t fit well with other people. I try, but then I miserably fail and retreat and become a recluse. The reason I say I am an introvert is because I have so many thoughts in my head that never get to leave it and I fight to keep them in because if I let them out they will be misinterpreted and people would get hurt. And we live in a very sensitive brave new world where people get offended easily. So yeah, I’m an introvert by choice and my extrovert bursts caused by having a good day here and there, or just getting passionate with a cause or a person, are just that. Short bursts of joy and of friendliness, that I pay for with feeling tired and inadequate for days, because my interactions, ultimately feel awkward and unwelcome. And that is because obviously, practice makes perfect and I am always out of practice.

Nothing I ever do is ever good enough for some people, and the way I am seems to make people uncomfortable most times. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I should change. But then again, I had suicidal thoughts most of my life because I tried to fit labels other people put on me. I tried to meet somebody else’s expectations for so long and nearly drove me to mess up my life.

I’m not perfect and I’m not anybody’s dream girl. I’m an acquired taste, I am liquorice. There are not many people that like liquorice and that is ok.

Stay safe, stay happy!


May 20 2019

And now they are five

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 20:32

Every year, on this date I post some cheesy entry about lost love and unfairness of the whole process or some empowering post about life after love. This year, I won’t. Because this year I’m watching the last episode of Game of Thrones. :D

Stay safe, stay happy and if you are unhappy how Game of Thrones ended, you are a superficial person that hasn’t watched the series properly and probably you haven’t read the books either, you ignorant cunt!


Apr 13 2019

My first crush

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 8:14

I’m not sure when I first saw “The never ending story“, but I loved the idea behind it. I cried when Artax, Atreyu’s horse, drowned in Swamp of Sadness, and at the time the analogy for the mental illness of depression was not lost on me. Even if it was not as loved as the first one, I loved “The Neverending Story II” as well. Probably because I had the appropriate age. Bastian was growing up, making mistakes and atoning for them. Bastian was becoming an adult, but learning not to lose his imagination either.

And Bastian was played by Jonathan Brandis that probably was my first crush. I liked his blue eyes, his dimple chin and the way he smiled, by pulling the corner of his left cheek a little harder than the right.

I remember having posters with him on the walls in my room. I definitely had this one.

And then Seaquest happened. I loved that series and I used to wake up at night to watch re-runs. I loved seeing him grow up from a kid into a beautiful young man. The fact that in the series they paired  him at some point with a hacker named Julianna might have been the moment when I decided that maybe being a software engineer is possible for a girl. I was so fascinated with him that I remembered writing letters to some papers asking them to write articles about him and print pictures with him. And they delivered.

I re-watched Seaquest during my faculty years, because I just could not accept that he was dead. He killed himself in 2003. I had access to internet by then and I Googled him from time to time. The news broke my heart, and it was very difficult to explain to my boyfriend at the time why. For him, he was just an actor, one of many. For me, it felt like we grew up together. There are a lot of assumptions about the reasons behind his suicide, and it is so sad to read about it. He was a single child of good decent, hard-working people and I am so sad for his parents, because they must be inconsolable.

Every year, around the time when his birthday would have been I remember him and watch an episode of Seaquest to remember his blue eyes and his voice. And I wonder how he was as a person. What kind of pancakes did he like most? Did he even like pancakes? What did he like to do on Sunday mornings? Which book was his favorite? I dreamed of meeting him one day and asking him all these questions while sharing my own preferred things about this world. I really, really wanted to get to know the man that brought my favorite character from Seaquest to life. But I guess every teenager with a crush of him at the time wanted the same thing.

Rest in Peace, dear Jonathan. I am glad you were part of my life through your work. I only wish you would have stuck around, because we might have ended up meeting one day.

[Later edit] And for all of you fighting suicidal thoughts, just you wait. Things are never as bad as you think, and reality beats movies when things start going right. I’ve had suicidal thoughts since I was about 10 years old. I made it to 32 and finally won the battle. You will too and there are people willing to help. And feel free to drop me an email if you feel the need to talk about it. Just hang on and stick around, don’t rob someone of the pleasure to meet you.

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Feb 20 2019

I met David Duchovny again

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:11

I haven’t been writing for a while, but the main reason for that is that I was on vacation this time. I was in Dublin for 4 days to a David Duchovny concert. I’ve done this before, in 2016, so why do it again, especially since he is not really a great singer?

Well, he is one of my favorite actors. I grew up with X-Files and I fell in love with the character of Fox Mulder because of his interpretation. When he started singing, I was a little bit puzzled. But then again, if Britney Spears can do it, anybody in this world can. Especially a guy that studied at Princeton and Yale, a guy that took a year from his career to learn guitar and a guy that has been in the business of show-biz long enough to know what to do to continue  having a career and being in the spotlight.

I’ve seen other blog articles writing about how going to his concerts left them disappointed and such, I won’t even bother search for the article and link it. But if you are going to a David Duchovny for his music, at least appreciate the effort involved, even if the end result is not pristine. David Duchovny is no John Mayer, don’t get me wrong, but he also just started singing at 55. So for somebody doing this only for three years, I think the result is quite good.

Here is what I’ve noticed after two of David Duchovny’s concerts. In Dublin he engaged his public more than he did three years ago, he was way more approachable during the Meet & Greet. If three years ago I was told not to speak to him, this year I got to hug him, and he was smiling and being charming. Three years ago in Amsterdam, I was afraid I get ushered out by security if I touched him.

The Meet & Greet was better organized then the last time, but the paraphernalia was non-existent. At the previous concert I got a CD and a signed picture of him. Then again, nobody really uses CDs these days, and because he is also an author now, most people prefer getting his signature on one if his books. But yeah, it would have been nice if the picture was the default for people that were flying economy to be there, as I did, and did not really have space for a book in the small bag Ryanair allows.

But never mind, let’s move on from this. Let’s talk about the music. David Duchovny’s voice has a specific inflection that is quite sexy, but he’s no super-duper-vocalist. And he’s not lying to himself or to his fans about this either.

“I’m not a real musician,” he says. “I mean, I can play guitar well enough to write some songs on it, but I’m not a player. I didn’t even play on my own album. I’m not good enough.”

So if you go to one of his concerts, don’t expect him to be. But he is singing live, and jumping around and is obviously enjoying being there, and singing for the people in the room. And is doing this at 58, and he started doing this at 55. So appreciate the work and the effort. And then there’s the band, 5 very talented youngsters, probably half his age which he adores. During his concerts he talks about them a lot, and makes sure the spotlight is on each of them. And they are amazingly talented. Considering the struggle to make it in the music business, I think having David as a front-man ensured these guys will have an audience. So, if you don’t go to his concerts for him, go for these guys, because they are amazing.

If you want to go to his concerts and do not know what to expect, here is a snippet about his latest album.

“Every Third Thought” is David Duchovny’s follow up to 2015’s “Hell or Highwater” that Rolling Stone called “a likable, lyrically tart, vaguely Wilco-ish debut album.” The album moves away from the folkier vibe of the debut set into more rock territory.

I like his music because the lyrics of his songs are stories of a man that lived his life well, that has made mistakes, acknowledged them and learned from them. I like his lyrics because they they bloody exist and make sense. You won’t hear many yeah, oh, ah from him, because he fills the pauses with real words. Call me old-school, but I like songs that tell a story.

As for my encounter with him, well, meeting him temporarily turned my brains into mush. I wanted to tell him that I’ve read his books, that “Bucky Fucking Dent” is my favorite because it depicts a non-shiny life, with nothing extraordinary in it, because it depicts how love can grow in the most deserted places and because that book is a raw depiction of human relationships. I love it because it depicts a non-romanticized idea of love, love just is, just happens and will change your life in ways you could have never imagined. But all I managed to do is jump up and down smiling while telling him how thrilled I am to see him again. Which probably meant nothing for him because he definitely does not remember me from three years ago.

But no matter, I got to hug him, so all is well with the world. And if he continues singing, and keeps the Meet & Greet tickets at acceptable prices, probably I’ll go hug him again next time. :)

Stay safe, stay happy!

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