Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!

It's been an amazing year. I've done so many things that I've never done before, learned a lot about myself, and in general kind of grew up a bit.

Um… what else did I do?

I did a lot of things this year. In fact, if anyone wants to find out what I did, I invite you to look around the rest of the website. No more than 5 days can possibly have been skipped. So… I believe I've fulfilled the conditions of this blog— and this challenge— properly.

It was a big thing. It was… really painful at times. In a way, it's been a journal online. Which meant that sometimes I skipped over important things (like getting invited out to drinks by a Polish guy in Cambodia— I gave him a preeeettty firm 'NO' and ignored him hence after), made too big a deal about less important things (sometimes I wonder who cares about this writing stuff/what I ate for breakfast type-things).

I have hated this thing at times, and yet, I don't particularly want to let it go. I like this habit.

So what's the deal for 2013?

Drawing. I'm not sure what the point of this challenge was, but the point for drawing every day in 2013 is to improve my drawing skills. Humans, possibly, or perhaps I'll be drawing entire scenes. We'll see… I have a few hours to figure it out— rules and all— before I have to start drawing.

So I'll be drawing every day, putting it up online (on Wordpress this time, ), writing a bit about it…

(Oh, also, in interesting/important news:)

- I finished MilWordy
- The correspondance between Bouchra and me is 53,099 words from January 1 2012 to October 10 2012— just my half. Bouchra has written more.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


We're in Cluj-Napoca, after starting out quite early this morning and driving out all the way here… it took us about nine hours. Very interesting, in the end. I liked it.

After reaching Țuțu's house (Though her real name is Carmen, we call her Tsu-tsu), we ate lasagna, talked a bit, and then we kids (she has a daughter named Teodora) went upstairs to talk and play Monopoly.

Though Ioan was beating us apart, we girls got together in one team— pooling our resources, and beat him soundly in the end. After all, Ioan was getting to be a bit too rich for our taste. :)

I wrote a bit more today, but mostly copied down Facebook messages.

This could honestly some day amount to the length of a novel, which is a bit frightening.

I also managed to find out something very interesting: Lou Bega, who sang Mambo No. 5, is not only not from the 1920s or something, he's in his late 30s, he was born in GERMANY, and he brought out an album in 2010.

When everything you know is wrong…

Saturday, December 29, 2012


We are in Craiova! After starting out early in the car, we ended up here about noon— earlier than we'd expected.

We visited with most of Mom's family— her cousin and her daughter and their families, then to Dad's father's cousin, and met their two children (who are also in their thirties)…

It's weird how 'the children' of a family grow up and all of sudden they're not children any more and you're still saying 'the children' because… that's what they are. To you.

That's actually kind of from the point of view of my grandparents and all the older set, as that's what they call us and all those who now have kids of their own— the children.

I slept in the car— I tried to write but couldn't, since I was falling asleep every few moments and starting back awake. Right now I'm not very tired at all, but tomorrow we head out early and we'll have to stay in the car for seven hours, during which time I absolutely need to write at least 10,000 words.

I foresee no sleep for a while, in a way.

Which doesn't sound nice.

Friday, December 28, 2012


A veeery lazy day today; I woke up late, wrote nothing, watched a Korean movie (pretty interesting, except now I have the accent stuck in my head.)

At about three, we headed to my cousin Ioana's house (which we've never seen before), for the blessing of the house. That was pretty interesting— it's a beautiful house, with white walls and pretty furniture and things like that. We stayed for the blessing of the house and the eating and things like that, but then had to leave early because we had to pick up my glasses.

That was pretty interesting, I guess— yesterday Dad and I stopped at the office of one of Dad's old college friends, who effectively put an end to any dreams I ever had of not wearing glasses without an eye operation.

It's a bit sad to realize that I'll now have compression spots on my nose, but… I'm just being whiny about things now.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Eye Doctor

Went to the eye doctor today— one of Dad's old college mates.

I'm not writing lately, which is very annoying, as MilWordy will soon be finishing.

I wrote a bit, actually… but then I watched three movies, including ONE FOR THE MONEY (a movie version of Janet Evanovitch's book of the same title), THE UGLY TRUTH (a Katherine Heigl movie also, which was okay), and then, finally, PRETTY WOMAN (which was lovely and I liked very much.

Tomorrow I will probably regret the fact that I didn't write much today, but honestly, I don't think I have the energy to do things like this right now.

Oh well?

We'll see how things work out with MilWordy. Best of luck to me in actually finishing it!

(For the last twenty five words I need to write… lately I've been feeling quite ridiculously unhappy about various things. I think I'm becoming sliiightly depressed. The only cure would seem to be completing this goal I set last December…)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Life of Pi

(I'll get to that in a second.)

For the moment, in a bout of desperation because I need words for MilWordy and don't have the time to write many words, I'm going through Bouchra and I's Facebook messages and copying and pasting that from Jan 1st, 2012, to the present day.

It's 13,000+ words and I haven't even finished June.


We went to see The Life of Pi with my cousins and their significant others, in 3D. 

And let me just say that all the water animation is amazing. I was watching spell-bound, which I don't think I've done in a while, and I was looking at it with so much awe because there were clouds, and phosphorence, and so many things in 3D are so mathematical and then people can bring out beauty like this.

I kind of wish it was a true story. I want to see all these places.

Afterwards, Vlad and Tamara and we headed to Tamara's house to play board games, which were actually pretty cool.

We finally reached home at about 9pm. And had a lovely time wirting and such.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Today was a beautiful day. We woke up early, went to church, watching people go in and out and in and out. I think, in a way, it was good that no one stayed, because the church was full to bursting with the people who did stay, and the people who didn't basically tripled that number.

I apologize if I'm not making sense.

We came home, opened our presents (a fountain pen, replacement ink cartridges [100!], cuticle oil, a book, and marzipan!), seriously some of the coolest presents ever.

Lunch was delicious— the usual Christmas feast, which I would describe, but I want to say that I'm really happy, despite the fact that there's a metaphorical hourglass in front of me and the pulverized egg shells are draining out of the top half into the bottom half, and I'm not sure if all the things I have to do will be done by the time that hour glass is empty.

But I have faith that I can do it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve!

Ileana, Ioan, and I headed off to Bunica Ioana's on our own through the metro stations— considering we've never walked home or to the metro stations by ourselves, this was something of an accomplishment.

We took one phone with us, a map in our heads, and arrived exactly one hour and something later, then headed out to ice skate (the entire reason only the three of us had shown up.)

Ileana, however, decided to stay behind and prettify the cake, so Ioan, Cristina, Tic, and I headed out.

However, the ice-skating rink was closed.

So we came back, talked a bit, fixed the cake up properly, and then ate literally, a feast. It was truly lovely. After the appetizer and first course, we opened the presents (pajamas and a jewelry box for me! I foresee many uses for the latter over the years), had the second course (goose), realized we were too full to eat the cake at that point, and went to dance to all sorts of awesome songs, then ate the cake. All in all, a lovely, lovely day.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Random Tripe

Nearly 6000 words written on the novel alone— feeling very proud of myself.

Now all I have to do is write more of that tomorrow and the day after and the day after.

77,000 words to go… I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.

In more important notes, we went to Bunica Ioana's today to talk and make up the Christmas tree and things like that, and we also watched Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.

Which was, interesting, to say the least. I like this movie. I really do. (Maybe, actually, I just like Robert Downey Jr. A lot.)

Apple pie is, to say the least, one of the best desserts ever. (I've grown out of loving it, but I still do like it.)

Other things to say… tomorrow is a Monday. Also Christmas Eve. Also a lot of things. I'm going to start figuring things out for next year and putting my brain together in the way it used to be (but with a smarter processing chip and better booting up speeds, so it doesn't take me till 10am to get writing).

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I woke up early this morning and no one was awake…

Well, that was interesting. I headed back into the room. I cannot believe that instead of writing, I wasted time on the internet. Oh well. I'm slowly moving back into my old pace of working hard. Slowly, but surely, I'm getting to where I need to be to finish MilWordy. Only 83,000 words left! I can do that in 9 days, surely.

To move on. I went Christmas shopping with my grandfather today, and we bought lots of very lovely things, including a book for myself, in Romanian.

I need to start getting to work on that, by the way. Best of luck to me. Reading in Romanian, studying…

I think I'm becoming a slightly crazy person. I've got ideas, ideas which I'm not sure if I'll implement or not.

I like, in the end, this idea with the writing down my day every day. But next year, that will change. I will be drawing my feelings.

I feel that, with drawing, that's closer to how I feel. I think I'll need to invest in colors, or figure out how to put emotion into gray lines. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of the World

Today I realized a very important thing: that necklace with three shiny balls of bluish sparkles on them… it's actually one necklace and two earrings.

Cue extreme happiness.

I was ridiculously lazy today— figuring that the world would probably end at any moment almost made me want to 'go out with a bang,' but… also, I figured, "Well, I might as well not force myself to do anything… after all… the world isn't really going to end."

So, yes. Today: not very productive. I watched an older UK series called The World's Strictest Parents…

Was extraordinarily lazy, really.

At dinner, eating alone because everyone else had finished, I looked at the pepper slice— the last pepper slice in the bag— and toyed with the idea of eating it.

On the one hand, I hate peppers.

On the other hand, I am eighteen now and need to eat my vegetables. And I need to make myself eat my vegetables.

I ate the pepper.

Hopefully that will actually lead to me growing up a bit.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Making Cookies

… I woke up late today. Actually, Ioan woke us up. It was 11:30.

Grandma and I made most of the Christmas cookies today. First Ioan and I filled cookies with jam. Then we started making the other cookies. 

The mixer's plug (the part you stick into the wall) broke, so Grandma cut the wire off, stuck the plug of an old toaster onto it (that wire was also cut), and duct taped them together.

It didn't work, so I said, "Why not mix the eggs by hand?" (which is, by the way, very painful work after a while). 

And we did end up beating the eggs by hand— my right arm hurts a lot right now, and it probably will be sore tomorrow, but it was great.

After dinner, MASH, which I mostly skipped over.

I've decided that everyone will have titles from now on:

Grandma: the Cook
Maria: the Washerwoman
Mom: the Patient
Dad: the Messenger
Grandpa: the Worker
Ileana/Ioan: Um…

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Turning 18

The day started busily. It ended… well, it hasn't ended.

We were expecting 25 people: (I will list presents there as well. :) 
5 Dascalu Jr. -> A card, Learning on Steroids membership, and two comics, flowers.
3 Dascalu Sr. (Grandma, Grandpa, Buni [great-grandmother]) -> flowers, necklace, earrings, a BEAUTIFUL PARTY, a hat, and a scarf.
1 Popescu (Grandma) -> money (I asked for it specifically)
4 Tiu (Cousins, aunt and uncle) -> flowers and a card (also the money from the Popescu family)
3 Greblea (my god family) -> a Pandora bracelet (like a charm bracelet)
5 Ghenea (Ileana's god family) -> a book, chocolates, and kaleidocycles.
Aunt and Uncle (paternal ones) -> a beautiful sweater
Dad's cousin and her boyfriend -> A stunning necklace.

Yes, sorry for the terrible bullet list. But I am SO TIRED that giving a full account of everything and how beautiful it was and how amazing everyone was (my great-grandmother who is 98 years old walked from her apartment next door into our apartment and sat for the singing of Happy Birthday (the Romanian equivalent), and my grandmother made AAALLLL the food with the exception of one or two things).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gangnam Style

Soo…. I wrote 1500 words before leaving my room this morning at 10am.

Listening to the Gangnam Style video, which is fascinating and oddly catchy. I like the sound of Korean. It's hilarious because I watched the making-of video— all in Korean with Chinese subtitles, and Psy ('sigh') says, "See juk." Which means 'begin,' and is what WE say at Tae Kwon Do right before forms.

So I felt… quite smart, honestly. And like I have this awesome affinity with everything.

Monica, my aunt, came over and we all said hello and talked a bit, but she was hurrying home, so right before THAT we had (THAT being her leaving), my grandparents gave me my birthday present, so that they'd be first and because I usually wake up late in Romania, and so they wanted to wish me a happy birthday before everyone else, I guess.

The cameras weren't working properly, so we had an entire farce made up— with each box I opened… everyone ooohed and aaahed.

(By the way, there were lots of boxes. Most of them had more boxes.)

You will find out the present… tomorrow!

Monday, December 17, 2012


My birthday is on Wednesday, which means that today Grandma and I prepared all the apples and put them onto the cake. We talked about family history as we did that, then Ileana went off to buy herself some clothes, and came back with two sweaters, a pair of jeans, and a pair of boots.

(It's my turn tomorrow, apparently.) I wrote a bit— only 2k— but at least I wrote, which I'll capitalize on tomorrow. I don't have much interest in writing right now, though, which is quite annoying. What I need is a lot of words a day, which I don't really have the interest to be doing right now.

So, instead of writing more, I watched Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden), and now I'm watching The Witches, the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's book, from what I can tell. (Actually, the name of the book could be completely different— I'm translating directly from the Romanian title.)

Sunday, December 16, 2012


We've reached Bucharest! There is now a new kitchen cupboard set, and two new rugs, but otherwise the entire house is exactly the same as it was last time. 

There is good food, and quiet, and no parents telling us what time to go to bed. (They're four floors up, in another apartment, with Ioan). Instead, Grandma asks us what time we're planning on going to bed, and comments on how late that time is, depending.

Also, most important part of today— I went clothes shopping. With Cristina, my aunt, in principality, to find skirts and dress shirts and things like that. 

The realization that I 'must' now learn to act 'like a girl' (hair care products beyond the basic shampoo, conditioner, and brush; tens of dresses and skirts and special shirts and shoes and jewelry and what-have-you)… it is not nice. Honestly, the best part about this year has been that I don't have to have clothes. No fancy dresses, worry about make-up (MAKE-UP! I have to learn about that too!), etc…

And now all of a sudden I have the reputation of a family to uphold and I have to look at least like a semblance of a person who cares about the beauty/fashion industry.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

More Games

Vlad, our cousin, and his girlfriend, Tamara, came to Câmpina today, and we basically played all day: Tales of the Arabian Nights, a prett complicated board game that, actually, was longer than the 120 minutes the game was advertised as taking. It took us four hours and a half to set up the game, explain it to each other, figure out how 'encounters' work, and actually play. Interesting, to say the least.

Afterwards, we basically had free time. They watched Alexander the Great— Ioan, Tamara, Vlad, and I played a circus board game called Drum Roll— the object is to have the most prestige in your circus after three shows.

Late bedtimes seem to be normal here— today we got to bed at about 1am… and most people seem to sleep only about 5-10 hours, depending on when they come downstairs. It presents a problem for writing because Ileana and Ioan have recently decided that the sound of my laptop is deadly— hence I'm not allowed in the room to write. So I get to sit outside our door, writing my world and other things.

Friday, December 14, 2012


We're in Câmpina, where the order of the day is: relaxation and discussion.

Discussion about everything. College, medicine, family stories, so on and so forth. We left Sinaia at about 3pm, which was interesting, as we were in a maxitaxi/microbus for forty minutes… we took everything with us except the bright pink umbrella somoene donated to us, and the horn was honking and people were handing it out like it was something out of a movie.

Finally reached the house, with frozen toes, and enjoyed ourselves with my uncle, Tic, before heading off to have a haircut at 6. Ileana's hair looks fantastic— it's shorter now and much curlier, mine is… very interesting (at the moment I'm too tired to care about hair), and Mom's looks exactly the same, except shorter.

I think, tomorrow, despite the fact that it's 1am as I'm writing this, I'm going to force myself to get up at 8 and write something. After all, I can't fall too far behind with all this MilWordy stuff. And I haven't done anything today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Right about this time last year I was making all these plans for 2012. And there were a lot of them. Writing this blog, for instance, and writing a million words (that… is an interesting goal. You'll probably hear more about it later this month). I was freaking out about this December, too— "what am I going to do with my life?"

I'm still not quite sure. But the path seems to have been set for me already— at some point going to medical school in Romania stopped being this 'maybe' and became 'of course.' Of course I'm going. Of course I'm going to read Romanian literature and try to figure out what these people and their essays mean by convoluted sentence structures. Of course I'm going to spend three months living and breathing biology and physics (or chemistry). Of course I'm going to be a doctor.

And it's actually pretty cool. Strangely, I think reading all these essays, trying to figure out what, sadly enough, is a second language for me, studying like I've never studied before… is easier than what I'd be doing in America. At any rate, it's simpler. 

Hmm. I started off with something about goals for this year and ended up here. I do have goals for next year, but they're really, really simple. Study for the admissions and bacalaureat. Make a movie. Edit my novel. Learn to be an adult in modern society (budget-making, cooking, laundry, sticking to a cleaning schedule… etc).

Gah. I turn 18 in six days. 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th. It seems so far away and way too close.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Birthday to the Worlds

Frankly, I completely forgot about this until about thirty seconds ago.

At any rate, I celebrated by completing eight of the eleven things I had planned (editing, rewriting the Italy and Switzerland blog posts, organizing, book reviews, and reading one essay), working on two more things (reading half of another essay and writing Spice), and completely ignoring the eleventh (selecting pictures).

I also exhausted another method of procrastination (playing Kingdom Rush), which is good, wrote a blog post for my personal blog, watched Love and Basketball (it makes me want to learn more about basketball), learned some geography (found countries on the map in the kitchen), and learned more-than-some Romanian vocabulary.

My tongue hurts and my brain hurts, and I really wish I'd been able to write a bit more (352 words for Spice… I guess I know what I'm doing tomorrow!)

Also, tomorrow is Thursday. This week has gone by way too quickly.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What I Did Today


It's getting a pain to write this world on the days when I do nothing but play Kingdom Rush (fantastic game), read through Perfume (I got through Chapter 5— I've been finding big plot holes that need to be plugged, and character problems that also need to be figured out), watched movies (The Three Musketeers, with Orlando Bloom and all the others— we had fun bashing the stupidity of most of the plot/action), and listened to music (Romanian music from our childhood).

Otherwise… not much (thankfully I changed from 500 words to 150-200, or you'd all be getting one of the worst-written pieces ever).

As it is, I wrote a bit for Spice, which makes me happy, and we'll see if I can't actually write a bit more tomorrow, as it is December, and I'd like to write a million words this year if I can.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sleep Schedule

An extraordinarily lazy day.

Outisde it's freezing— there's snow and wind (I know this from hearsay— I didn't actually go outside).

We children slept about 12 hours, which is amazing in itself, and thus woke up at 11am, which meant that instead of living for… 16 hours, we're going to bed less than 12 hours after we woke up.

… It is not a nice feeling. In fact, it's downright annoying, and so I'm probably going to (hopefully) wake up earlier.

After waking up at 6am so many days, suddenly waking up at 11 and realizing that 6 hours after you're up there's no more light outside…


I'll stop with the rant for now… the basic thing is that on the 12th this blog will be one year old, and that's about all I'm really interested in saying right now.


I'm going off to sleep and hopefully I will wake up earlier tomorrow.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


We've finally arrived! It took us 10 hours from leaving the hotel in Istanbul to reach the apartment in Sinaia.

(We took a taxi, bus, airplane, and car, then walked a great deal to remember if it was Block 6 Apartment 5 or Block 5 Apartment 6.)

Also, there is snow. SNOW SNOW SNOW!

… I'm really quite happy and can't find words to express that.

We met most of the family at the airport, before taking the car to Sinaia, where we'll stay until late Friday to recharge our batteries, write blog posts, and in general be realxed, productive people who catch up on the things they meant to do before (like blog posts and editing and reading).

Then, we'll go to Campina, where we'll enjoy ourselves for the weekend, and then to Bucuresti, where we'll stay until at least after Christmas.

And there's snow and there's snow and there's snow! 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Seeing Istanbul

Another long day today, and it was freezing cold. After waking up semi-late, we headed out to see all the sights we hadn't seen on the 6th, including the Sultan's Palace, the Archeological Museum, and the Cisterns.

The Cistern is actually quite creepy, if you think about it. It's gloomy, wet, and there's fish in the water (the water is lit with red light, making the fish look quite icky).

The Archeological Museum was interesting— we went through it quickly whenever there was pottery, as we've seen enough pottery in Greece and Italy to last us a lifetime.

And, the Palace was amazing. I love the tiles on the roofs and inside and all over the place.

When we reached the hotel again, Ileana and Ioan watched Charade (Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn), while I sat in the background and laughed whenever I heard the beginnings of the jokes.

Friday, December 7, 2012

No More Self-Discipline

Well… I've reached the conclusion that apparently, I have no self-discipline any more.

It is a sad conclusion to reach.

I'm kind of waiting for Monday to see what that's like, and crossing my fingers that by the end of THAT week I'll have come to my senses and actually done at least one thing of the few things I had to do.

On the bright side, I finished my Egypt post (writing it, selecting pictures is for next week), and I started a great deal of tasks, which is saying something.

Tomorrow we head out to see the rest of Istanbul, and the day after, off to Romania!

I cannot wait.

(By the way, we all stayed home today, with the exception of Mom and Dad, who went out to see Istanbul. They enjoyed themselves. So did we.)

Um, what else. There's something wrong with my left arm and it refuses to be comfortable in any of the positions my right are is extraordinarily comortable in— like 'typing position' or 'straight' or 'raised.'

There's something wrong with some muscles. I feel like Dad. >_<

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Blue Mosque

We went to the Blue Mosque and the Hagya Sofya today, which was lovely (though cold. It's cold in Turkey. Apparently it's even colder in Romania.)

We're in walking distance of both, so after breakfast, (LOVELY), and after another short break, we went off to find the Blue Mosque, passing by some lovely houses and ruins on the other side of the street.

While waiting in line for the Blue Mosque, we met with an Ethiopian woman now living in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, we forgot to exchange names before we entered the mosque, and afterwards we couldn't find her any longer. She's spending two weeks in Istanbul.

After the Blue Mosque (which was interesting— I liked the stained glass windows), we went to the Hagya Sofya, which I liked a bit more. Originally a church built by the Emperor Justinian, it was converted to a mosque. Now there's mosaics of Jesus and the Virgin Mary and other saints, flanked by placards bearing the name of Allah or Mohammed.

It's a museum now, which is the only reason both can exist 'in harmony,' but I like it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


We. Are. In. Turkey!

And it's cold, which is weird and awesome at the same time, and I think, honestly, that I'm going to have to start doing some work around here. I haven't read or anything in… three days, and it's getting on my nerves. 4-day weekends are great, but only when you're actually supposed to have them.

So. Ze plan for tomorrow is to get something off of Monday's to-do list. We'll see how that works.

… All in all, lovely day today. I had about 2 naps (lovely thing, these naps), and then food on the plane (I'm a bit saddened by how much of a novelty it is to receive free food on a plane), and then we had a bit of a charade finding a taxi (and then finding the hotel), all of which culminated in us arriving at a lovely hotel with internet that works best on the couch, but with a charger near my bed. (There is, after all, no such thing as perfect.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Dream

Another lazy day… (we went to the Copt Museum and saw relics of about 12 Copt saints (some of which we know, like St. George)).

Last night, as I was falling asleep, I had this half-dream— it's basically RIGHT after I fall asleep and I'm usually doing something banal in this dream, like lying on the edge of my bed or… walking on the sidewalk.

Well, in this half-dream, I'm walking on the sidewalk, and I'm thinking, "Wow, this is a really wet sidewalk."

And so I slip on this sidewalk, and I wake up in bed with a gasp and I'm like, "What time is it? How much time has passed?"

Ioan grumbles from his bed that not even ten minutes have passed, and I kind of gasp out the entire story. You see, slipping on a sidewalk and falling backwards is NOT the nicest way to wake up in the middle of the night.

It did, however, make for a most hilarious and entertaining story.

(Speaking of stories, I have another idea. I should really write these down.)

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Egyptian Museum

We went to the Egyptian museum today in Cairo, which was lovely.

Like, really lovely. But I have the blog post for that all planned out, so I'm not going to say much more about it.

Hmm… what else?

Today I was GOING to start editing, but I didn't. Instead, I finished Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? This morning, and thus kind of… fell by the wayside with the entire editing thing.

But! There is always tomorrow, which is lovely, and I'm looking forward to that, as the novel is quite interesting, despite the fact that I don't think I like editing.

… I'm going to ramble on a bit, because I'm tired and because I'm not quite sure what else to say…

I don't like editing, which is ridiculous, because I like listening to songs over and over and over again, and I can eat the same thing for breakfast for YEARS without getting annoyed.

Yet, I don't like rereading my own novels twice! Which is silly.

So, now it's rationalized to be stupid, I'm looking forward to editing.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day Off

Today was my work day off, Sunday, so instead of editing or deleting computer files and emails, I woke up today and watched movies and planned out the rest of the year and week).

Indiscreet, with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, was lovely, and now I'm in the middle of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, which is lovely but loading quite slowly.

(So many people watch Doctor Who. I watch old movies).

Anyway, so after a great deal of lovely 'free' time, we headed off to the Pyramids of Giza, wherein we ignored camel drivers and carriage drivers and walked in sand around the pyramids, taking pictures.

You can only see all three of them from certain angles, but it's awesome. We went all the way around the back, saw a half-eaten dead horse (not sure how it died, looks like it was running, but it could also have been death throes or something), walked past a pack of dogs, and kissed the sphinx…

To finish off at Pizza Hut, wherein we bought Cinnaparts for 5 EP, which are delicious.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


We're in Cairo.


After a 12.5 hour train ride in which we were treated to a buffet of cigarette smoke gently flowing through the corridor in amounts small enough to be breathable, but large enough to be annoying, we reached Cairo, where no one knew where our hotel was.

After being stopped by a group of girls who wanted to help, then pointed the way, we walked past a garbage dump full of garbage and… cats.

We walked, asked for directions again (the ratio of Arabic speakers-only to English-speakers-also is much larger than in Luxor), and finally found a hotel (it says 'hospital' in the front though) that had an English speaker who got us a taxi who took us to the hotel…

Where a woman came straight toward us (not including Dad who was checking us in) and asked where we were from. She'd been to Romania 6 years ago… and she's from Tokyo, Japan.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Any headway I made at all in simplifying and deleting files off my laptop… just went out the window. I discovered map-making, (again), and downloaded about 15 files on the subject.

Now, looking at my to-do list, I realized I forgot something very, very important— my one goal at the moment is preparation for college, which includes:
- Reading in Romanian
- Writing blog posts
- Simplifying files on laptop so I don't have to do it later.

That's it. It doesn't include map-making, it doesn't include editing (much as I would like it to), and it doesn't include writing.

Honestly, this looks bleak. But I'll shorten my working day and take the 'writing' and 'map-making' items off the to-do list. That way they're not a focus— more like a sideproject to stop myself from burning out on the main projects.

But we'll see how it goes. Tomorrow will mark the end of the first week of my Weekly-Daily Goal system, which means I have 11 weeks to go before it's completely optimized. So on Sunday, I'll figure out new ways to work with it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Valley of the Kings, Queens, and Nobles

We had a guide today as we went through the Valley of the Kings, The Valley of the Queens, and the Valley of Nobles. These are the coolest things we've seen so far, honestly. The Valley of the Kings is full of colors, and the Valely of Nobles is full of day-to-day life depictions, which means that unlike the Valley of the Kings, where most of it is gods and goddesses and hieroglyphs, you can kind of figure out what's going on in the nobles' temples— weeping women, duck-hunting, cooking… things like that.

On the list of cool things done from the to-do list today: uploaded more worlds, nearly finished reading Silent Spring (possibly one of the most depressing, angering books ever written).

And last, but certainly not least important, there's a club underneath us and to the left of us… with really good music choices. If we won't be able to sleep, at least we'll enjoy good music as we're tossing and turning.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


We are in Luxor, in a nice hotel room with six beds and two terrible mattresses. After three relaxing hours or so of working, Dad comes into the room and says, "We're leaving for the museum."

Alright. Apparently the museum closes at three and re-opens at five, so I am faced with having the last half of my to-do list set aside.

Not a nice feeling, since I really wanted to get those things done. 

It turns out, that after walking and seeing Luxor for 2.5 hours, that the museum is open from 9 to 5, which means that… well, the gist of it is, we get to come back!

Tomorrow we're off to the Valley of the Kings, another long excursion, and after that, probably something else— temples! And then, Saturday, we take the train to Cairo. 

I cannot wait for that train to Cairo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Gracious. Is it really so late in November?

We basically lounged on the cruise ship all day, except for seeing a temple, which was alright, but not something particularly fascinating, with the exception of the fact that apparently there are recipes for perfume on the walls…

Why didn't I make time to learn hieroglyphics?

At any rate, I did quite a lot today that I wasn't expecting to do, which was great, and afterward I started Spice, which is the third book in the series I started in June. The interesting thing is that I'm getting inklings for Smoke (the fourth book), despite the fact that I have no idea what's going on with that.

The method behind the naming of the titles is that they each have a distinctive smell. Who knows? The fifth book (if there is one), could be called Vinegar. Which is giving me all sorts of ideas right now, come to think of it.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Today feels like an extraordinarily productive day… probably because I finished everything on my very short to-do list…

I'm feeling inspired to write, which is great and at the same time a bit niggling… I have four days until the end of November, and I just decided I was going to 'grow up' and not 'waste time' on such pursuits any longer…

Though I suppose that reading the romance novels in the cruise ship library are worse than writing. At the same time… meh.

As to the cruise ship. It's apparently five stars, though the food, beyond the pitas and feta cheese, could definitely use some work. The pomegranates we had as dessert for lunch, though, were fantastic.

Everything beyond the basic services costs money though— lots of it. But, the beds are clean, there is light, and I can go into the bathroom without getting my feet wet, which is lovely. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

More Temples

Wow. So… today was a hard day. It could be called a bad hair day, I suppose, except my hair was just fine.

In fact, it was probably one of the only things I was happy with.

Strangely, though, I think I'm over that by this point, so I'll just say that we went to see Philae, Haidam, and Kalabsha Temples.

The very sad/funny thing, though, is that… after Philae Temple, in the small boat we'd taken over to the island, I asked how far away the temple was.

Dad pointed out the dam in front of us.

"Yeah, but where's the third temple?" I asked.

They kind of looked at me and started patiently explaining something.

I rolled my eyes, "It started with an H." I said, and took a sip of water.

Cue bursting out into laughter, trying to swallow, and ending up spitting/choking the water and having a ticklish throat for the rest of the day.

… On the bright side, I think I could write a drowning character very well now!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Abu Simbel

Woke up at 3am, went down to the car at 3:30, and took off toward this monument that was basically moved  a few hundred meters to avoid the water that was rushing in after the building of a dam on the Nile River.

Well, actually, there are two temples. One is the big one, the other is slightly smaller. They probably have official names, but I think it's either all officially guided or self-guided, and we (read I) didn't look at the guidebook too much beyond figuring out what was on the temple walls.

The really interesting thing is that the inside of the temple gets more and more like an oven the deeper you get into it. In the entrance hall, it's pleasantly warm. But as you go deeper and into the smaller side chambers, you start getting uncomfortably hot— a bit like you're being baked. I wonder why.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Loss of Childhood

So I left a bit of my childhood behind today…

We have a break day today, so I woke up late (9am), then started labeling the files on my laptop according to what I'm going to do with them.

After breakfast, Ileana wanted the laptop, so I edited Dad's four blog posts and read O Scrisoare Pierdută (A Lost Letter) with Mom. We accidentally skipped 70% of Act I to read 3 scenes in Act II, so had to go back.

Because Ioan had just gotten the laptop, I took out my notebook and made a list of the projects I have going on right now.

There are eight, two of which are easy to do and could both be completed in the course of an evening, six which will take a long time (of varying duration… a week to months). Then I organized them by time needed, by short-term importance, and then by long-term importance.

Only three projects make the list: Reading Romanian books, updating RTW blog, and simplifying the laptop.

So, with a bit of a heavy heart, I outlined my Italy blog post, read a Romanian fairytale, and then got back to simplifying my laptop.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ileana's sick. Happy Thanksgiving!

We saw the Nubian Museum today— walked who knows how long early in the mornning (after a breakfast of bread, soft cheese, and falafel) all the way there, saw the exhibits… found out about the siqua, which is basically a watermill but with oxen or donkeys or what-have-you. Fascinating.

And some interesting jewelry, and an oil lamp shaped like a camel. Beyond that, I have no idea what I saw. I'd read the exhibits about kings and forts and it would all go in one ear and out the other, and I'd be left with a headache. So I looked around instead.

We took a taxi back (ending up somehow in the same taxi as the one last night), and then Ileana began exhibiting Ioan's sickness symptoms. Mom and Dad made her comfortable, then headed off for 3 hours to cruise down the Nile on a slow boat— Ileana slept, I watched The King's Speech, and Ioan played Civilization V.

Tomorrow we get to stay home, to make sure Ileana's fully well enough to tackle Abu Simbel on Saturday.

I'm just waiting to see whether or not a pattern asserts itself. Saturday is the 24th.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friendship Anniversary

It's my first friendship anniversary. Bouchra and I met exactly one year ago… and I can't believe it's been only a year. I feel like I can tell her absolutely anything.

So, last night, at 2am, we were talking, because I didn't know if I'd have internet today. It drove Ileana and Ioan crazy, but after all, one does not have one's first friendship anniversary every day.

So we talked until we couldn't keep our eyes open, and then today I woke up 10 minutes after the alarm, got my baghs together, and we started toward Aswan.

Two plane rides and an interesting taxi ride later, we ended up in a hotel… and we're not quite sure what to make of it. I'm sleeping on springs, not a mattress, and I believe that after four nights on this thing, I'll probably have tattoos impressed on my skin.

Mom and I started talking about Romania as well… apparently the five months I thought I had are… three.

I can't wait to get home and see how I deal with this…