Jan 04 2019

Is there a country where the health system is not a mess?

Category: English posts,Miscellaneous,PersonalIuliana @ 1:37

…because if there is, and you know which it is, just share the secret with me, because I want to move there. Anyway, this blog entry is a rant against the UK health system, so at this point you might be interested in reading something else while having your coffee.

I mentioned a few entries ago that I have sprained my knee while playing football. Because I was still able to drive and walk I postponed going to a doctor, especially since I just moved to a new country and I did not have a family doctor yet. The knee was swollen for a bit, but then the swelling started going down and I could put my weight on my knee, it did not feel unstable or anything really worrisome, so I just paused all challenging physical activities to give it time to fix itself.

Continue reading “Is there a country where the health system is not a mess?”

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Dec 12 2018

Of living in fear

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:22

When I was a child I was afraid of God. Seriously, I was afraid of God. My mother was very religious and made sure I was raised in the arms of the loving Catholic Church. Don’t get me wrong, all the church people were great and fortunately, I did not get molested. The good-natured person I am today and my integrity I owe them both to them. But while learning the ways of the church, at some point I reached the conclusion that you could not avoid being a sinner no matter what. I mean there are three ways to sin: with your acts, with your words, and with your mind. And well, we all know kids are so great at self-control, right?

Anyway, back to the topic, for a while I was afraid of burning in hell and I was afraid of all the bad things that could happen to me or the ones I love because I was a sinner. Because we all know, God punishes sinners sometimes by hurting their loved ones.

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Nov 20 2018

What I’ve left Romania with

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:59

There is trend going around on Romanian blogs of writing an entry to tell people what you took with you when you left the country for good. I know it is silly, but I need to post my list because it is quite peculiar.

When I left Romania I knew I did not want to ever go back, except for seeing friends and loved ones. So I sold and donated all I could. I left Romania with two big bags, a small one, my laptop knapsack and a big purse.

These bags contained the following:

  • a few days clothes, some sports equipment and shoes, including running sneakers – because I knew I would get stressed and anxious and running will help me control my emotions
  • a complete set of cosmetics a woman needs
  • my laptop, tablet, phone, adapters, one of my backup external HDD and power outlet adaptors
  • all my small electronics and repair tools for them such as my memory sticks, my soldering gun, insulating tape, all types of wires, including UTP and a hammer(yes, a hammer!) and a bunch of nails – because you never know  what you might need
  • my 24 inch monitor – because I had a book to write and needed an external monitor to speed up productivity
  • an ergonomic pillow and one set of bed linens  – to make sure the monitor will be perfectly covered and will get to UK in one piece
  • a bottle of 15 year old whiskey and 2 glasses – for nights when the running won’t get me tired enough to fall asleep and for celebrating my courage to leave the country, anytime I felt like it
  • all the important documents I might ever need to prove my identity, my studies or work experience
  • 5000£ in cash, for emergencies and rent for a few months (this added to the stress and anxiety)
  • a travel size flatiron
  • a hair drier and my hair starightener – my hair is getting longer now, so I needed these tools

All the rest of my things that I was not willing to part with, such as the piano, have been delivered about a month and a half later.


Nov 08 2018

Daniel Sloss’s Jigsaw and its impact

Category: English posts,FunnyIuliana @ 21:23

I discovered Daniel Sloss about a month ago, shortly after I got a smart meter. I kid you not, I installed a smart meter, Google somehow found out about it and it recommended me a youtube video of Daniel Sloss being all Scotishly-sarcastic in an ad for smart meters. And I was hooked. This guy’s comedy is like a drug to me. And I’m not even joking, after seeing all his videos on youtube I needed more. So I followed him on twitter and on facebook.(Stoker much!?) And then I found out he had two shows on Netflix and boy I got my fix that night! I’ve seen both of them one after the other.

I loved Jigsaw, not because it was funny, but because it was so damn … raw. And because it hit close to home, even if I am not currently in a relationship. That show broke a lot of relationships and as a single person always being pitied for being single, being pushed to find someone and having my character and good nature doubted just because I don’t have a partner, I view it as a revenge of the universe on people that are in comfort relationships and lecture single people.

But why has Daniel Sloss’s Jigsaw made such an impact? Why was it so successful in making people doubt thier feelings and made them put an end to thier relationships? People are stumped when they see him bragging about the number of relationships his show put an end to.

People have stayed in bad relationships since monogamy started being a thing. And they have taught thier children that this is the way things work when in comes to relationships. I know for sure my mother tried to program that into my rebel mind. And it almost worked. Thankfully, love and relationships have been such an ordeal for me that I decided 4 years ago that my happiness and my sanity are worth more than love. Don’t get me wrong, I will always give a chance to a person to make an honest woman out of me, but hoping, yearning for love is no longer the primary focus of my existence.

And back to the question now: why has Daniel Sloss’s Jigsaw made such an impact? I think I have an answer for you: it had the impact it did because you would not expect a comedy show to provide you that kind of epiphany. You go to comedy shows to laugh and forget about your problems, you don’t go there to find out you have problems you did not know about and you definetly are not going to comedy shows for counseling. Somethimes I think Jigsaw is a psychology session undercover. Also Daniel’s age might be a factor for this. If George Carlin would have made Jigsaw, people would have laughed and said “That’s old age right there, these are the kind of epiphanies you have when you are close enough to death!” And humanity has this stupid habit of respecting old people for thier age, but rarely learning from thier experiencr and dismissing them as old-age ramblings. But when some merely 26 year old guy comes to you with this kind of wisdom, you are just … shocked. And a shock is what really changes a person and makes he or she dare to ask the right questions.

Also, there is human nature. Once Daniel’s show has started taking off as a bad relationship panaccea, people either recommended it to friends in bad relationships hoping it would work its “magic” or people in relationships watched it as a dare. This is why if there ever was a video like the one in “The ring”, humanity will most probably go extinct.

So Daniel, since you’ve been so great at destroying relationships, I suggest your next show to be about climate change. Because if you made so many people actually think about their relationships, instead of just being in them, maybe you can do the same for climate change.

And I’m writing this from my phone, because I’m in Stirling to see his last comedy show: “X”. I really hope is as good as the others two, because I did not make any research about it to keep the element of surprise. And I will tell you all about it tomorrow.

Or maybe not. :D

Stay safe , stay happy!

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Oct 28 2018

Edinburgh in autumn

Category: English postsIuliana @ 1:00

The title says it all. There is nothing that I can say to describe how beautiful this city is, especially dressed in the colors of autumn. So I will let the following pictures do the talking.

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Oct 18 2018

Tinder HowTo

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 22:24

After moving to this country and waiting for a little time to get used to it (lies, I actually just needed to finish the book, get some sleep and make sure this company still wants me after three months) somehow I found again the bravery to install Tinder. This is the fourth time I install this damn application and if my past is any sign of my future, it will not be the last time I do this. Sure, there are other ways, there are quite a few dating sites in the UK, but most of them require a subscription to allow exchanges of messages between parties. And I’m not that desperate to pay to meet someone. At least not yet, who knows what the future holds?

In Romania I did not have much luck with Tinder, because Romanian men are either traditionalists or dickheads, or both. Ok, ok… not all of them. But the good ones are all taken or they have moved out of the country. Or they might be gay. (sic!) In the spirit of political correctness, I will be waiting a few more years until I will write a post about those experiences. Because it is better to look at them more maturely, and those guys probably will be mature enough to have a laugh about it as well. Hopefully.

I decided to install Tinder and try to meet some people here, because … mostly because I don’t know anyone here and just having a beer alone in a bar does not do the trick, because British people are very polite and respectful. So much that if they see you drinking alone, they assume you want it that way. After scanning a lot of men pictures over the years, I think I should give a few tips to men trying to … whatever on Tinder.
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Jan 04 2018

10 Commandments Of A Career

Category: English posts,TechnicalIuliana @ 23:18

I don’t know if 11 years of experience in programming and three published books can be considered a career, but in this 11 years I got promotions I did not chase or even wanted so this must count for something. I do not know if I did anything different than others that try to succeed, but my attitude and hard work got me from a low place to a place higher than I even dared to dream so I thought it might be useful for others.

So here there are, the 10 commandments of my career.

1. Do your best. Sounds easy, sounds simple, but it is difficult to do your best. Especially on your bad days. The truth is you will spend at least 8 hours at work, you might as well use it properly, to deliver quality products and acquire quality knowledge.

2. If you do not like it, change it. Nothing is perfect in this world, thus companies are not either. You will get defective management, defective products to work on, defective people to work with. But nothing changes its state without interference and stimuli. So do your part: speak up and act. You would be amazed how much much you can change. A strong warrior is forged in battle so be thankful for the battles you have to take part of.

3. Ask. Do not expect people to know or care, what you want or need. If you do not ask, people will rarely know what you need and give it to you. There are also people who are shy and can’t say no, even if they don’t really want to give you something. So ask and insist when necessary.

4. Read your contract, know your rights. This should be obvious, but many people skip this part. You have more rights than you think. There are rules put in place to protect you from bullies that are high up the corporate ladder, because with great power sometimes it’s not the great responsibility that comes, but great assholeness. So know them and invoke them when necessary.

5. Never stop improving. This should also be obvious, but some people get cozy at their jobs and get complacent. The only constant in this universe is change. So ride the change like a surfer rides the ocean. Keep your mind fresh and open and enjoy all the wonders of changing time. People who are reluctant to change fade into the background of the company, those who welcome it shine like the sun.

6. Speak up.Do not be afraid to voice your concerns and make proposals. Be open. Be creative. Even in companies that are known to have rigid hierarchy and fixed processes, exceptions can happen when good ideas are strongly voiced. Provide feedback whether is positive or negative. People like being complimented for their good work and even if uncomfortable, people accept that they have to improve. Those that do not want to improve, will most likely quit at some point anyway.

7. Establish boundaries. Be explicit about your do’s and dont’s. For example, it’s ok to state upfront that you do not like overtime, or working in shifts. Preferably do this at the interview, but if you were ok with this at first and then later some changes in your life  make you incompatible with this sort of activities, do not be afraid to communicate it. Contracts are not always explicit about your responsibilities and anything you are asked to do that is not in there, you can be negotiated upon.

8. Work with friends, not colleagues. We are humans, not robots. We make mistakes, we change, we have good days and we have bad days. Know your colleagues. The key to a productive team is to figure out when people are having a bad day and not pushing them and to figure out when they have good ones to challenge them. Also, building trust and friendship with your colleagues leads to a more comfortable working environment, that ultimately… does not feel like work. The truth is, for at least 8 hours a day we share the same space, breathe the same air with a select group of people. The key to a good collaboration is to know their strengths and weaknesses, and harness any of them to build a quality product.

9. Learn from the best. Learn from the worst. Learn from mistakes. And teach others. We are humans, we have genius epiphanies and brain farts. We have cheerful moments and we have low ones. Every experience is learning experience. From the best, copy behaviours that will make you the best. From the worst you can learn what not to do. From mistakes you can learn what was tried and failed, so you will know what not to try. And yeah, preferably learn form mistakes done by others. And teach others. We all die not knowing a lot of things. But be generous with your knowledge, share it so we all die knowing more things. ;)

10. Keep it simple. To make things complicated is easy. You don’t even have to try too much, just take something that you know and build it in your own personal way, thinking that you will never share it with anyone. To people that do not know what you tried to build and how, it will look complicated. The hard part in any domain is to build complex things in a simple way, so that others can understand it and contribute to it. So keep things simple. Implement complicated things in simple ways. Simple is the most practical way after all.

I know some ideas in the above paragraphs might related or even repeated. But, as Aristotle says: “We are what we repeatedly do; thus excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

Stay safe, stay happy!