Dec 15 2020

The end of an era

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:01

A long time ago I bought my first cellphone app. It was called Runtastic PRO and I used it to time my runs and check on my progress. I don’t even remember when I decided to buy it or why, but I opted for the PRO version to get rid of ads and get some detailed statistics about my runs. I really do not remember when I bought it, but I got it right around the time I got my first smart-phone between 2010 and 2014.  It was about that time  that I decided Runtastic PRO was an app that was worth the money.

A few months ago, I noticed my Runtastic PRO glitching. Then it started recommending me to install the Adidas running app. Which I was not interested in. So, I postponed the moment, knowing what will come next.

If you’ve read Jeffrey Paul’s article Your Computer Isn’t Yours, well as turns out, your phone isn’t yours either. Compared to Apple, where you are left with some choice of upgrading your software, on my Android phone, the app got deactivated in secret and my credentials were invalidated. I tried my credentials, but they do not work. The forgot password option doesn’t work either and their recommendation is to contact their support team. Which I do not intend to do, because I know what the recommendation is: to install the new Adidas running app.

I like Runtastic PRO. It has been my running pal for a long time. I paid for that app and it was doing the job it was supposed to do, perfectly. That is the app I paid for, that is the app I want to use. If I can’t have that I will run just listening to my music. I was never interested in how fast I was anyway. It was just a nice feature Runtastic PRO provided, but I won’t die without it.
Continue reading “The end of an era”


Dec 13 2020

How to make a majestic Victoria Sponge Cake

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:53

I love to cook, and my friends say I do it quite well. I owe it all to my mom. She wasn’t perfect, but she knew how to motivate me to learn. Her main goal has been to turn me and my sister into perfect wives and because of her simple life, she thought that meant keeping an exemplary house. An important part of keeping a house is cooking and what can I say, I excel at it.

A month or so ago, I have found myself in a small coffee shop for the first time since March. Although I wasn’t hungry and I definitely had tea at home, I ordered myself a tea and a piece of Victoria Sponge Cake, just to celebrate the occasion. And I really, really liked the cake and decided to make it myself soon.

It is now the 3rd time I made this cake, I have ordered myself special cake tins for it and I still love the cake, so much I have to stop myself from eating more than a portion a day. So, here I am, giving you the recipe and instructions for the most epic Victoria Sponge Cake. You know… just so we can get fat together. :D

Continue reading “How to make a majestic Victoria Sponge Cake”


Nov 30 2020

Quick thoughts about humans

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 3:38

I have a lot of work to do for the following days, but I need to write a bunch of things, a bunch of thoughts that I will probably expand in future blog entries.

I was watching an episode of a random series about a bunch of people grieving after somebody that died. Some of them loved that person and were hoping they are happy in the afterlife. And they were also trying to contact them using a medium. And I realized it must be comforting to be this hopeful and naïve. Accepting that the end of somebody you love is an actual end is a tough thing. Whatever that person was is gone forever, and whatever unfinished business you had with them, it will stay unfinished. A few pieces of your life are left hanging and you must accept that and move on. And it is hard, it is brutal, and it hurts.

The person I loved most in this world, he died never knowing how much he meant to me. Him knowing wouldn’t have probably made a difference to him, because he most probably did not reciprocate my feelings. But it would have meant the world to me. Because loving somebody in secret is like walking daily with heavy weights around your ankles not knowing when you are allowed to take them off.

A person that I knew, turned out he secretly was a monster that hurt somebody very dear to me; he is dead now. There is not closure for the person he hurt, and I cannot have my revenge on him. He is just gone, puff, out of existence without paying for what he did. I wish I would believe in hell and in justice in the afterlife, it would be easier on my soul than this dread I fell about the whole ordeal.

A dear friend died a while ago, and a short while before that we had some very awkward conversations on Whats’App and he felt off and I wanted to ask his if everything is ok and if he wanted to talk, but I did not want to intrude and be considered creepy. And now I am so sorry. I am sorry I did not insist on offering him a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, whatever he needed really. Because maybe if I would have, he would have postponed the decision to take his own life.

A friend of mine had his heart broken by a person that suffers from some health issues that reduced their lifespan to about two years. This person lives their life in the moment, taking everything life has to offer them. It’s justified, it is understandable. But, from the point of view of the owner of the heart being broken their behaviour is just … cruel. Now my friend is trying to put his broken heart back together, without the privilege of hating the person that broke his heart. Because how can you hate somebody that is destined to die? But then again, having a death sentence and knowing exactly when you will die, does this excuse you for being an asshole? It’s so unfair to think this person will not live long enough to be sorry.

Being sorry is a far worse punishment than being dead. Everybody dies; very few people ever feel truly sorry for the bad things they’ve done. And that is because they will never realize the impact of the things they’ve done, either because they are too narrow minded, or they die before getting to have the wisdom necessary to condemn the deeds of their past.

There will always be people that will hurt you. Sometimes you will have questions you will not get an answer for. Sometimes you will not get to have revenge. Sometimes you will not find solace. Sometimes, things will just be left hanging. Life is unfair like that. But you have the right to live your life and try to be happy just like everybody else. So… learn to let go and move on. Do not let them make you bitter.

Stay safe, stay happy and stay sweet!


Nov 22 2020

Avoid COVID scams

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:44

The virus that is wreaking havoc in civilized societies has been here for a while. The measures taken by politicians to stop the spread did not really help much. If we are lucky, maybe we will document our failures well enough so that a future generation dealing with a pandemic would learn from them.

When we think of the near future after this terrible time, for most of us the thoughts are grim. Because the nature of our society, businesses are collapsing, which means there will be a lot of people looking for a job. Looking for a job is difficult in normal times, because of inept recruiters and AIs deciding if a CV matches a job description or not. But now, there will be people that will try to take advantage of those desperate to feed themselves and their families.

Because of the nature of this pandemic, people will try to retrain themselves for jobs that can be done from home. One of the well payed remote job is that of a software developer. And I’ve already noticed companies selling programs that will turn you into a software developer in three months. As somebody that has trained for this job between 1997 and 2007 (high school + university), I am telling you three months is not enough. And taking one of those classes will not guarantee you a job. You have as many chances of getting a job as a software developer after a three months class, as you have at winning the lottery. And the lottery ticket is definitely cheaper. There are no shortcuts to becoming a software developer and those selling you one, are conning you. I’ve had a few interviews with people “graduating” these courses and it broke my heart to tell them that they are not ready to handle the job of a junior software developer.

There are no shortcuts to being a good professional in most jobs. Just like there are no shortcuts to get in shape. Anything  truly valuable, requires hard work. If you want to become a software developer, there are so many free resources on the internet, that you probably could do it without one of those classes, you just need a roadmap. And guess what, you could find free roadmaps on the internet too.

The second thing I’ve noticed recently, and I think is a con is people trying to teach you how to present yourself at interviews, how to sell yourself better so you get a job. I’ve received a few emails from people trying to sell me this kind of “service” and I’ve become worried because there are people desperate enough to get a job that will pay charlatans like the guy in the following image.

Let’s discuss this snippet:

Therefore we are launching a coaching program to help international candidates to get their dream job, to provide tips&tricks to get hired by Western Europe corporates.

And he sells coaching, so he can provide them “tips&tricks” to get an interview invitation. Also, I’ve followed the links, there is no we. It is just one guy.

So… tips and trick to bypass those inept HRs and silly AIs? So, I have to pay because an HR is too lazy to do its job properly and because a company rely on an AI to evaluate the potential of a HUMAN candidate. All for the privilege to be invited to an interview. Which, I cannot believe I have to stress this again: will not guarantee you a job.

Think about it like this: If you have a burst pipe, do you start interviewing plumbers? Nope, you just get the first one in your area returned by a Google search.  If you would rely on an HR company with inept HRs and a stupid AI designed to make their job easier, your house would be destroyed. Also, the plumber would be starving too. Thus, two parties have been affected by the greed of one, that wanted to tax you both for putting you in touch with each other.

So yeah, if somebody sells you coaching and “tips and tricks” to get a job, make sure you are not being conned.

If you are aiming to get a job as a software developer, guess who makes the decision of hiring you? In 90% of cases this decision is made by a person who will work with you. And they will evaluate your technical and social skills, and make sure they will be able to work with you and trust you to do your job. And since we are in the middle of the pandemic, you have to be pretty autonomous too. So, unless you are sure you will pass the technical interview, investing in tips and tricks to get to the technical interview is yet again, a lottery.

The bitter part of the email of that guy is this one:

Every crisis is a chance – the Covid-Crisis especially for Tech-Professionals!

So, there’s a crisis prople and here I am to … help profit!!!

It is so obvious he is trying to con people, it makes my skin crawl with disgust. So, be careful out there! In times of crisis, not many people will sacrifice their time and other resources for the survival of a community. Most will try to take advantage of the desperate and the weak.

I’ve hidden this guy’s identity, because it is not that important. What he and others are trying to do is wrong on so many levels and quite unethical from my point of view. But I cannot blame somebody for trying to survive and feed his family.(Yeah… a few internet serches told me everything I needed to know about the guys, including how many kids he has, where he lives, etc.) The pandemic and the incoming crisis might make some people think like his: “In love and war everything is allowed“. I wrote this entry, because I just wanted to make sure some people will keep their eyes open to avoid becoming victims of those that are willing to put their morals, empathy and humanity aside to survive.

Stay safe, stay hopeful!


Nov 18 2020

I have a castle, what do you have?

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 2:54

Most people from my generation have met their spouses while in school, high-school or during university, when we all had quite a limited universe. Also, social media was not the phenomenon it is today. Those who haven’t, they’ve met their partners at their first job, sometimes within big companies, so there was a big… matching pool. Not all of them have stayed married, but that is none of my business.

Dating after 30 is difficult for various reasons. By that time society expects us to have all our ducks in a row: to have a stable job, to own a decent enough car and a roof over our heads. Whether we like it or not, dating in your 30’s is no longer about your heart beating faster, kisses in the moonlight or finding yourself in the other person. Dating in your 30s and beyond is about finding somebody you can grow old with and that you admire so much, the prospect of taking care of them in case their health takes a bad turn won’t terrify you. Or if it does, living without them would terrify you even more.

Unfortunately, by the time you are 30 you know how many facets a person can have and trust is not easy given and it is so hard to gain. So, we try to compute the possibility of a person being worthy of trust, mostly by those three factors.

If they have a stable job, it means they probably are not sociopaths, they can communicate with other people, are not bothered by routine and they can obviously take care of themselves, which is nice.

If they have a car, they are probably mentally pretty sane since they’ve passed the psychological test required to be allowed to drive. Also, they are responsible enough to keep the metal monster in good shape, so they are responsible. If you know what you are looking for, a car and their behavior while driving can tell you a lot about a person.

If they own an apartment or house, well… regardless if they have a mortgage or not, having a roof over your head is a pretty damn good proof you are a capable adult. I mean, you have shelter from the rain and from the cold, that’s pretty damn big.

So, when we date, we tend to analyze these factors and imagine how our life would look like in the future.

Continue reading “I have a castle, what do you have?”


Nov 13 2020

I did this thing…

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 2:48

I had blonde hair until I was six. When I was a child, to keep work easy for her, my mum cut my hair pretty short, but never as short as to confuse people about my gender. I had bangs until I finished high-school, and by that time my hair turned dark brown. I had long hair until 4th grade, when it got cut really short because of a misunderstanding with a hairdresser. When I realized what happened I cried not for the hair, but because I was scared of my mother’s reaction. You see, my mother always had long hair and so did I and my sister too. It was her obsession for us to look as feminine as possible. And I expected her to be very upset and honestly… I expected at least a light beating.

Since 4th  grade I always had long hair, and people were in awe of it. After my last break up I’ve dyed it flaming red for a while. There were two reasons for my choice: I wanted to be as different as possible from the person he dumped and also, a lot of white hairs started popping up and I was not ready to be considered old. I was not ready to consider myself old.

A year, or two after the break-up, I cut my hair really short, shaved half of my head and dyed it black. But when the white hairs started sprouting again, I gave up and made it flaming red again. Continue reading “I did this thing…”


Nov 08 2020

The Trump reign is over

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:46

Theoretically the whole world can sleep better because Trump lost the US elections. It’s nice not fearing being nuked because the president did not like your meme.
Americans are joyful on twitter and other social networks, but …
Trump does not know how to lose gracefully, and I expect the army will be needed to kick him out of the White House.
During his “reign” two very narrow-minded idiots have been invested to the Supreme Court: Brett Kavanaugh, a rapist and Amy Coney Barrett, an indoctrinated catholic. Both will probably affect negatively all the progress done on equality until now.

Also, he already screwed US in so many ways, that a 4-year term might not be enough to fix it. It might take two (or more) terms to undo all the Trump fuckups. And Biden might not even have 4 years, because even if he is sharp as a tack, he is very old, and his body might fail him.

And another thing that always bugged me about US: there were other candidates beside Trump and Biden. Pete Buttigieg a smart, young and reasonable veteran. There was Elizabeth Warren a smart woman, younger than Biden, that’s for sure, a damn law professor with a progressive thinking. And there was Kamala Harris, a smart woman too with a good knowledge of the law, considering her previous jobs were district attorney of San Francisco and general attorney of California. And given all these choices of smarter, younger people, US limited its choices to Trump and Biden. Don’t get me wrong, he is the lesser of two evils, but he is still an old man, maybe senile and the best US can hope for is that when dementia will affect him seriously he will have the decency to step down and allow Kamala Harris to take his place.
Considering the US population is so narrow minded and prejudiced, that the only choices for president ended up being two senile white men, avoiding any candidates that were gay, female or colored, it would be ironic to end up with a president that matches two of these prejudices. Also, the supreme irony would be for her to choose Pete Buttigieg as her vice-president. This scenario that I’ve imagined here is probably the only one in which US might actually have a chance at some kind of progress.

Anyway, Americans, rejoice, but keep your wits about you and don’t expect everything to start feeling normal again too soon. US is a huge country, and changing a big country is a very slow process. So, keep your expectations in check to avoid being disappointed.

Stay safe, stay happy!