this blog is six years and six months today and I arrived to the conclusion it is high time it turned into something new. better, I hope, of course, but that is not necessarily me to be the judge of.
therefore I am welcoming all of you, both old friends and new, to my webiste mister chocolate
Toți sîntem niște actori mizerabili. Dumneata joci rolul bărbierului în viață și ai să rămâi un figurant urît cît vei trăi. Mie mi-a fost împărțit rolul de viveur elegant, cu toate că îmi aduc foarte bine aminte, începusem să joc alt gen, și la douzăcei și patru de ani păream de treizeci și cinci. Da, da. Mi-am schimbat genul. Fie că de nebun, fie că de necaz, lăsasem să-mi crească barbă. Și aveam o barbă lungă, frumoasă, ca un popă îndrăgostit. Și lumea începuse să mă ia în serios. Oamenii vorbeau cu respect de mine. Colegii mei prinseră a mă ocoli, prea le păream serios. În schimb, bătrînii mă îmbrățișau cu căldură în mijlocul lor, iar eu, fără să-mi dau seama, mă simțeam bine printre dînșii. Eram student la medicină și toată lumea îmi prorocea o carieră strălucită. Pînă și chelnării, care în privința asta sunt specialiști, vorbeau cu mine ca cu un viitor profesor... Apoi deodată mi-a ieșit în cale o veveriță. O fetiță roșcovană, durdulie, pe care o întîlnii într-un local de petrecere, tocmai cînd o durea un dinte. Am dus-o acasă și i-am scos rădăcina cu pricina. Drept recunoștință mi-a spus următoarele: „Să-ți dau o povață. Rade-ți barba. Să știi de la mine că nici o fată n-are să te placă cu bărboiul ăsta de un cot. Parc-ai fi de-o sută de ani. Te-aș săruta, dar mi-e scîrbă de barbă!” A doua zi mi-am dat jos barba. Cariera de doctor s-a dus dracului. De-acum nu mai îndrăznii să mă duc printre domnii profesori. Mă întorsei iar la prietenii mei zburdalnici și începui să mă afund prin localurile de noapte. Adevărat că acuma nu mă mai stînjenea barba. Avui din ce în ce mai mari succese la femei. Încetul cu încetul ajunsei regele flirtului, regele patinajului, regele cravatelor, regele valsurilor, iar astăzi, la vîrsta de patruzeci și șapte de ani, sînt tot acolo unde eram cînd aveam douăzeci. Rolul de viveur trebuie însă să-l joc până la sfîrșit, trebuie să-l joc... Mă gîndesc de multe ori că, dacă nu mi-aș fi ras barba, astăzi poate aș fi fost profesor la Universitate, aș avea clinica mea, aș umbla în cupeu, aș purta ochelari de aur, aș avea mutră gravă și serioasă... Viața e o comedie, domnule săpunar! E îngrozitor să te gîndești că nimic nu atîrnă de noi, că totul se învîrtește în jurul bărbii sau în jurul mustăților... Apropo, vopsește-mi, te rog, mai bine sprîncenele !... 1913
Cristina is my friend. and Cristina has a dream. an amazing one, if you ask me, as only amazing people can have. she wants to go to the Philippines to volunteer for two months, or, as she very simply puts it: ”join Fund Life, a small but disruptive and bold not-for-profit organization whose mission is to end the opportunity apartheid. together with a team of other volunteers I'll participate actively to organise the Sama-Sama Cup, a football championship for the young people coming from the poor communities in the Philippines. you can find out more about Found Life here.” basically, as I see things, Cristina wants to change this world and make it a better place, and she is willing to go to the other side of the Earth to achieve that, all by herself, in a totally foreign land. she will not be paid for this by the above-mentioned organization, they will not provide her with any accommodation, food, nor will they pay for the visa or any of her travel expenses from London to Manila and return. what is even more extraordinary about Cristina is that she is willing to do this despite of being unemployed. so her action is not at all a form of spending the savings to travel and do some volunteering whilst in the Philippines. no. therefore, she needs help from us. and she is asking it in the kindest way possible: by putting in place this crowd-funding project. do click on the link, please have a read of her words and think for a while at the entire thing. for to dream is indeed for free, and, more often than we think, so is to help. and now we are offered an opportunity to also help change this world for the better.
you may have watched this documentary. then again, you may have not. either way, rest assured about the fact that I am not going to reveal much about it. I found out from my flatmates about Searching for Sugar Man around one and a half years ago, when they told me: 'you definitely have to watch this one'. I did, I am very happy I listened to them and I pass this piece of advice on to you now, really hoping that you will as well. and I do this not only because it won the Oscar prize for the best documentary in 2012, but most importantly because Rodriguez is the hero of an unbelievable story. unbelievable, but nevertheless so very true, as it is the story of his lifetime. Sixto Diaz Rodriguez is an american folk singer, song writer and, if I may, poet. born in Detroit in 1942, he managed, after numerous nights spent performing in obscure bars in front of really small audiences, to get a deal, being signed by a record label that would go on and produce two of his albums in 1970 and 1971.
the albums selling extremely bad around the United States, he was dropped by the record label, and he discontinued his musical career, working as a builder, and leading a really simple life in Detroit. but somehow, in some incomprehensible magical twist of destiny, Sixto became famous somewhere else in the world. a copy of one of his albums was taken to South Africa, and by word of mouth he turned into one of the biggest stars in the country. and so much more than that, his songs became anthems of the anti-apartheid movement, having a huge influence on several generations of people and making a significant difference in the drive to change that part of the world into a better place. Rodriguez's music makes the world sound much better and his lyrics unveil a poetry of sheer beauty and a mind that undoubtedly transcends its time.
as days went by in my life in a small and cosy flat on a quiet street somewhere close to Cișmigiu, one of my dearest places in Bucharest, I had absolutely no idea how Alexandra Palace looked like on a sunny Saturday morning. I did not even know precisely where it was on the map. I was completely unaware of how the smell of food from around the globe lured tens of thousands of people to the Camden stables market every end of the week to try its surprising tastes. I had no clue about how long a trip by boat from Westminster Pier to Greenwich would normally take, or how that journey to the very top of Primrose Hill, splendidly placed in one of Regent Park's corners, would offer such a breathtaking reward to a pair of extraordinarily patient eyes. I never imagined the existence of a ride on the Emirates air line, with its storm of emotions and unparalleled sights, nor the overwhelming sound of music from a concert at Sommerset House in the middle of July, piercing your soul like a pin that goes through a thin piece of paper and caressing your ears in the same way the evening summer breeze would touch your face. I was a complete stranger to how meeting someone in Tate Modern could undeniably change your life, just as I was to the flavour of a cappuccino in a small café in Wanstead, or to the sight of people queueing in a very orderly fashion whilst waiting for a bus in Finsbury Park. I had no knowledge whatsoever of the way Wembley sounded like the moment 90 000 spectators would stand up to sing God Save the Queen or how Covent Garden looked like full of people celebrating a royal wedding. call me an ignorant, but I did not know that, by entering Spaniards Inn, you step into another age, or what treasures you can end up finding in a tiny charity in Crouch End. believe it or not, I did not know cool Old Street, posh Hampstead or green High Barnet, just as I did not know busy Clapham Junction, touristic Westminster Bridge or elegant St. Katharine docks. but, somehow, all this has now changed. all of these and so very many others more have been and are still part of my everyday life and I honestly could not conceive my life without them. thank you London. it's been 4 magical years so far!
și au intrat apoi în sala pardosită numai cu aur, acoperită numai cu profiră și bătută numai cu mărgăritare. toate frumusețile de pe pământ se aflau strânse acolo, încât a rămas orbit de strălucire. au străbătut sala; au intrat într-o încăpere în patru unghiuri; în unghiul cel dintâi se afla o movilă de aur; în al doilea, o movilă din cele mai frumoase rubinuri; în al treilea, strălucea un vas de argint; iar în cel de-al patrulea unghi era o movilă de pământ negru... în mijlocul încăperii se afla un tron împărătesc, cu un sicriu de argint, în care dormea un vechi somn un sultan cu coroană de aur. la picioarele sicriului era o tablă de aur, pe care se aflau scrise în hieroglif cuvintele ce urmează: „o, muritorilor! cîtă vreme trăiesc, oamenii dorm; și încep a trăi abia când îi cuprinde pacea eternităților! ce mi-au fost folositoare mie, visurile și stăpânirea împărăției? nimic nu durează mai puțin ca fericirea! muritorule, nebunule! adu-ți aminte de fala faraonilor! ce a rămas din fala și mândria lor? ei dorm și toată fala pulbere s-a făcut! adu-ți aminte, omule! curând nici tu nu vei mai fi! cui îi pasă îde scânteia ta în eternități? curând tu vei fi pace și pulbere”...
fragment din 1001 de nopți povestite de Eusebiu Camilar
Mr. Mujica is a 78-year-old Uruguayan man, living on a small farm in the outskirts of Montevideo, the capital of the South American country. he drives his 1987 VW Beetle, even if that only happens during the weekends, enjoys drinking mata, a traditional tea in his state, drives a tractor to find relaxation, takes care of his three-legged dog, Manuela, and sells beautiful chrysantemums for a living, alongside Lucia, his wife and owner of the house they live in. nothing extremely peculiar so far, one would say, and I would undeniably agree. that is if Jose Mujica were not the president of Uruguay, having been in service since 2010. because he considers that his wife, a senator of the same country, makes enough for them both to have the life they want to and even a little something to put in the bank for the future, he gives 90 percent of his salary to charity, "like a housing project for unmarried mothers". he does not call this a sacrifice, a means to gain trust or a way to be put in a good light in front of his fellow people, but his outmost duty. Mr. Mujica, as if the above mentioned were not enough to catch the international attention, caused a stir at the last UN general assembly denouncing excess and frivolity in today's 'modern' world and went on to have everyone's eyes and ears widely open when he decided to make Uruguay the first state in the world with a regulated consumption of marijuana, legalising the purchase of the famously banned narcotic in the rest of the world in his small Latin American state in an attempt to combat drug trafficking and addiction. because, as we find out from his own words, every addiction in the world is bad, including here drugs, marijuana, cigarettes or alcohol. "The only good addiction that is good is love. Forget anything else." even if he now describes himself as a man of the land and a true pacifist, there is no secret in the fact that he acted in the 70s as an urban guerrilla fighter against the then-in-place government, ending up shot many a time by the military forces he was protesting against, and being imprisoned, spending 11 years in solitary confinement. since he became president, he has already legalised abortion and gay marriage and with a somehow shocking honesty, given the deeply religious country he governs, declares himself to be an atheist, yet stating that he has a great deal of respect for the new Pope, calling him to be "quite a character". he also calls for an immediate stop to the waste of resources and urges rich communities around the globe to start feeding the hungry and building houses, schools and hospitals for the ones in need, instead of yet another madly expensive sports car, but keeps in touch with the reality mentioning that people would most-certainly kill him if he made them live the way he decided to do. they called him the world's poorest president. I think he is amongst the richest ones. because humanity, humbleness and love for people, freedom and truth are treasures no one could ever possibly take away from Mr. Mujica.
Florența îi vorbea. Pietrele îi vorbeau. Simțea însușirile lor, felul divers al alcătuirilor lor, forța straturilor lor îndesate. Ce minunat era să te afli din nou acolo unde pietra serena era considerată material de arhitectură. Pentru unii oameni, piatra era moartă; „tare ca piatra”, „rece ca piatra”, ziceau ei. Pentru el, în timp ce-și plimba din nou degetele de-a lungul contururilor ei, piatra era cea mai vie substanță de pe lume, plină de ritm; sensibilă, supusă, caldă, mlădioasă, plină de colorit și de freamăt. Era îndrăgostit de piatră.
fragment din romanul agonie și extaz de Irving Stone
his name is Jon Gnarr and he is the Mayor of Reykjavik. and I can only smile thinking how completely ORÐLAUS the rest of his opponents were when it was made official that he had won the election. why, you say? let me try and show you why.
well, maybe the loudly coloured suit alone would not stand as a sufficient reason. thus, allow me introduce mr. Gnarr, or Jón Gunnar Kristinsson as his passport used to say until 2005 when he officially changed his family name, to you a little bit better. before running for Mayor in 2010, he used to be a rather well-known actor and stand up comedian in Iceland. that after having worked as a taxi driver and having been part of a punk band entitled Runny Nose. and now one may come forward and ask: why would a person like that go for such a position? apparently he was approached by other parties which wanted him as a member, but he refused and decided to start his own one, as a joke, and may I say a very vey good one, and entitle it Besti Flokkurin - The Best Party. that after having ditched The Cool Party name. members? a group of artists, comedians and punk rockers, none of whom have had any prior experience in city-planning or politics, but who helped him record the party's campaign song, an Icelandic version of Tina Turner's famous hit simply the best. simple, yet brilliant and very catchy. therefore effective.
as you can see in their promotional video, the party was making promises like free entrance (and towels) for everyone into the capital's swimming-pools, sustainable transparency, a Disneyworld outside Reykjavik, a polar bear in the city's zoo or a drug-free Parliament by 2020. and, of course, breaking all those promises. nonetheless, with 37,4% of the votes, Jon Gnarr became Mayor and has been in place for the last 4 years. he is an avid supporter of equality for all and of all kinds, famously dressing up in drag and taking part in Gay Pride parades, although he is happily married to a woman and has a daughter. he is also being called a ‘hands-on’ politician while making changes to the city. 'I have become this weird guy picking up rubbish on daily walks,' as he writes in one of his statuses on Facebook. and in another quite recent one (4th february this year) he says:' Today we talked about peace in city council. I want to make Reykjavik a military free zone. Some say it is irresponsible talk. I don't agree. And I'm also childish and naive. Some are afraid this might offend some bigger nations. I don't want military or military related aircrafts in the Reykjavik airport. I don't want military ships in the harbour. Why can't we try and make one city in the world a military free zone? What harm could it possible do? Would some NATO general break down crying because of it? Just imagine the symbolic meaning of it? What would be the social and economical effects? Imagine! Studies. Research. Conferences. Would other cities follow? I think it is a great idea, not naive but brave because we all know peace can be a risky business and not stupid but creative and clever. We have beautiful songs about peace and love but love is not a feeling. It is action. It's worth the try. I think. What do you think?' I do not know what others may think, but my thoughts are that you, mr. Gnarr, are one very cool man and I wish there were a lot of places in this world that had more leaders like you in decision-making and taking positions. my country to start off with.
caut echilibrul într-un picior, pe marginea prăpastiei dintre două secunde, trag de mine, încerc să cobor de pe piscuri înmugurite din ideea de munte. sunt pregătit zi de zi să urc trepte care duc abrupt spre speranțe de adulți; mă împiedic des și le încurc cu ulițe neasfaltate pe care mă jucam desculț.
providence knows no boundaries. those were the words of Gianni Agnelli, former owner and President of FIAT, Juventus Football Club, Ferrari, and one of the Italian all-in-all icons of the 20th century. a man that showed that boundaries are out there just to be surpassed and reset closer and closer to the edge of impossible, only to be yet once more outrun. and not only in what regards providence, but also in matters like sport, communication, business, art, forward thinking and, well, fashion. Considered one of the best dressed men in the world in the 20th century, l'avvocato, as Esquire magazine says: 'is the originator whose style has been imitated more times than Redford, Newman and McQueen combined.' he was (and continues to be, long after having passed away) a fashion icon in a country where it is by now, I gather, pointless to mention how important the ideas of design and style are. although his suits and shirts were of top quality, tailored especially so as to meet each and every one of his demands, he stood out mainly by how he made use of the small details. the accessories. considered by many quite an eccentric character for wearing his wristwatch over the sleeve of his shirts, he answered back that he was far too busy to lose any precious moment by having to check the time unrolling his cuff every now and then. he appeared at highly important meetings wearing his tie completely askew, having its thinner back side (at that time in the 70s and 80s, at least) way longer than the front one. he used to match his bespoke suits with rugged hiking boots, even if that could have been but a solution to a leg injury he had suffered in a driving accident earlier in life. he would also unbutton the cuffs of his suit jackets in a successful attempt to catch the eyes. altogether, simply a delightful array of displays of what Italians have made an art of in the field of fashion: sprezzatura - making the very difficult look extremely easy. exactly how Gianni Agnelli's entire life was.
no man ever steps in the same river twice; for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man.(Heraclitus)
learning from lifetime studies does not stop until the lives have been fully lived - and not even then, because archives of prospective data are an invitation and an opportunity to go back and ask new questions time and time again, even after the people who so generously provided the answers are gone. the Grant Study (originally called the Harvard Longitudinal Study, and then the Harvard Grant Study of Social Adjustments) received its now-official name in 1947 - the Harvard Study of Adult Development - and is a longitudinal prospective study. it began in 1938 as an attempt to transcend medicine's usual preoccupation with pathology and learn something instead about optimum health and potential and the conditions that promote them. the first subjects were carefully chosen sophomores from the all-male Harvard classes of 1939, 1940, and 1941, who took part in an intensive battery of tests and interviews. that first group was joined by sophomores from the next the Harvard classes, resulting in a final cohort of 268 men. the original intention was to follow these healthy and priviledged men for fifteen or twenty years, supplementing the intake data from time to time with updates. the plan was realized, and more. almost seventy-five years later, the Grant Study still, remarkably goes on. we're asking different questions now that the founders asked when the Study began. of course the participants are no longer the college sophomores they once were; those who are still with us are very old men indeed. time has called many of the beliefs of those days into question, and some much more recent ones, too. how long our current conclusions will hold up we cannot know. but the Study's greatest contributions give meaning to the extraordinary generosity, patience and candor of the men who exposed their entire lives in the interests of science. the absoluteness of the Study's demonstration that adult development continues long after the adolescence, that character is not set in plaster, and that people do change. even a hopeless midlife can blossom into a joyous old age. the Study's identification and charting of involuntary coping mechanisms has given us at once a useful clinical tool, a route to empathy for initially unlikable people, and a powerful predictor of the future.
excerpts from the bookTriumphps of Experienceby George E. Vaillant
the most important contributor to joy and success in adult life is love