ok, books:

decembrie 31, 2010

this is the last post this year. verrry rushed. just because i used to do it, and i don`t want to really stop. books i read this year, which meant something to me. huh there aren`t many, so i should be done in time to not be late for work (also: i have a cake in the oven. literally, alright)

– linda svendsen, `marine life`.

– agota kristof, `le grand cahier` (i read this in french. it`s an awesome book to get started into french with.)

– sherman alexie: i`m on a roll of reading everything i can find by him, with highs and lows.

– joyce maynard – `at home in the world`- talking about non-fiction. i don`t even know whether liking the book means i`m taking her side. it`s just one of those things that get to me, and make me think of more stuff.

– lorrie moore – `a gate at the stairs` – i was taken by this book in a totally inexplicable way. i realize i should probably have hated it all: the vagueness, the pretension, the persistence of things-that-have-nothing-to-do with me as topics (see what a sophisticated reader i am or have become), but no: i loved it. it pushed a button, it touched something in me, and i`m a bit pissed i haven`t yet figured out how that works.

– gary shteyngart – `absurdistan` – so annoying at times, so funny and etc, laughing-crying – relating at others.

– aleksandar hemon – `love and obstacles`. i`ve kind of decided now that i want to be a. hemon when i grow up. yes it has to do with the eastern european perspective, why do you ask?

and then, there are some blogs i loved. two of my favourites of this autumn/winter:


i.e. sady doyle, to whose level of feminism i aspire.


i.e. tavi gevinson, who writes about fashion-from-salvation-army, with pictures – and is 14. she would hate that her age is once again mentioned as focus, but okay. i`m in a hurry.

my cake is done. it`s too sweet, and i still burned the bottom a bit.

christmas things

decembrie 30, 2010

there are the enormous spheres at place des arts. with music around them, no joke. my own photos are a bit better than this one, but far from conveying the joy of it.

there are the lights at berri-uqam, placed in sort-of-buckets in the snow, in rows. you can light them by walking between the buckets, you can light them by pedalling on one of the bixi bikes there. this is the surest funnest way of getting feeling back into your feet after a 15′ walk downtown.

uh, there were the fireworks in the vieux port, which we missed, but i’m going to try to pass by on new year’s, depending on whatever else happens.

and christmas in the park! a small park by st-joseph/st laurent, by the church. there was a fire, mulled wine in a kiosk, a big swing, and there were sheep in a …sheep shelter thing. and hip-hop quebecois. it felt a bit weird, but yes warm and strangely touching. but that’s me: the balance of loneliness and togetherness is totally out of whack for me these days.

non-russian-orthodox christmas week music

decembrie 30, 2010

din preaplinul inimii mele 🙂

nautilus pompilius (‘breath’):

I wake in cold sweat/I wake in a nightmarish haze/As if our house has been flooded by water/And we’re the only ones left alive/And that above us lie kilometres of water/And that above us whales beat their tails/And there’s not enough oxygen for both of us/I lie in the darkness

Listening to our breathing/I listen to our breathing/I had never thought before/That you and I share/The same breath/Breath

I try to forget to breathe/To give you even a minute/Of that gas, that we took for granted/But you’re sleeping and don’t know/That above us lie kilometres of water/And that above us whales beat their tails/And there’s not enough oxygen for both of us/I lie in the darkness

Listening to our breathing/I listen to our breathing/I had never thought before/That you and I share/The same breath



DDT (‘rain’):

akvarium (!!! ‘can’t take my eyes off you’)

kino (‘night’)

my music 2010 (3): love alone is not enough

decembrie 15, 2010

27. karine polwart – i`m gonna do it all

28. i love monsters – spine

29. beach house – zebra

30. the moondoggies – changing

31. arcade fire – we used to wait

32. neko case – this tornado loves you

33. neko case – people got a lotta nerve

34. radio radio – jacuzzi

35. wilco – you and i

36. yeasayer – 2080

37. moist – silver

38. arcade fire – ready to start

39. alfa rococo – plus rien a faire

40. the scarlet ending – exactly what you want

41. tired pony – dead american writers

my music 2010 (2): when everything was new again

decembrie 14, 2010

oh, montréal. first of all there was bleak and very narrow day-to-day, with a bit of zero at the bone. i remember i was trying to blog, when my basic instincts said shut up. it`s always a struggle.

11. el perro del mar -i can`t talk about it

12. florence and the machine – swimming

and after this, i went back to some old songs for a while.

13. the rolling stones – paint it black

(interestingly: (or not) – my worst nightmare ever involves a red door. so i guess a black door would be safer for me.)

14. leonard cohen – first we take manhattan

this was right after i moved in the new place. and i kept passing by the corner of where he used to live. parc du portugal.

15. ten years after – i`d love to change the world

16. the rolling stones – you can`t always get what you want

already at work, during night shifts, on the rock radio station.

and then, walking in the plateau:

17. reigning sound – funny thing

18. lhasa – rising

and then: all of a sudden: because it was spring, and all, rap and hockey seemed a good idea – so seemed french.

19. loco locass – le but 🙂

and then a bit of restlessness, but not really the bad kind:

20.mark ronson+ ghostface killah – lose it in the end.

21. bloc party – little thoughts

22. black keys – too afraid to love you

this was on loop for almost 3 months. after that i apparently…forgot to be afraid in the same way.

23. bernard adamus -rue ontario

(pentru clujeni: rue ontario e un fel de calea turzii.) and this song somehow turned into a constant reference. even if i understand pretty little of the words – no need to, really.

24. les colocs – tassez-vous de d’là

this is the immediate consequence of going out with a québecophile. (they`re worse than québecers proper, who speak good english and listen to anglo music) 🙂

but it was really easy to convert me to stuff like les colocs. this is the saddest happy song ever, or happiest sad song.

25. the organ – love love love

26. florence and the machine – are you hurting the one you love



my music 2010 (1)

decembrie 14, 2010

yes, so it`s that happy time of the year when i can`t sleep at night…and i brace up for completing what i`ve come to see as `my duty`= re-enlightening you on the topic of my absolutely mainstream, (or) revolting musical tastes.let us  bravely proceed:

no, wait! you should also be warned that traditionally the music recap posts are occasions for me to retell about my year, i.e. what amazing epiphanic things happened to me while i was listening to the songs below. which i therefore, by intense annoying playing on the loop, came to associate said songs with. (hint: this year it`s all about: 1)MONTRÉAL! AND!!! 2)…i-am-in-a relationship…or smth. anyway:

1. jeff buckley – forget her

cheesy and all, but it`s very jeff buckley. weird choice for a january song, but i was probably just melancholy and bored.

2. muse – uprising

retrospectively, this is another proof of boredom. i like the idea of grand vague paranoiac reaction, i like the obsessive riffs. i imagine it was good to walk to, but i simply don`t remember.

3. tegan and sara – are you 10 years ago

this i remember! (the lyrics are included in the poster`s `1st comment`, and are important.) i was awake for whole nights talking to ovidiu, and sleepwalking the days, everything was grey and confused but so hopeful, an ending and beginning all at once.

4. miike snow – a horse is not a home

and a sort of zen-like clarity, very sudden. flickery.

5. elle king – no one can save you

and the bitter/hipster side. and this girl`s very distinct voice.

6. corinne bailey rae – i`d do it all again

words again. people who`ve known me for a while: does this sound like a story you`ve already heard? oh that`s because it totally is.

7. kevin renick – up in the air

this is the remarkable conjunction of me „dating casually” (i know!) and me literally packing my bags to move.

8. wilco – sky blue sky

no comment. i almost saw wilco when they were in van for the olympics (ok i didn`t „almost”, there was a 3 mile line between me and the concert site) – anyway. i was a bit obsessed with them those days.

9. colin farrell and jeff bridges – fallin and flyin

10. el perro del mar – god knows

this is, once again, to thank all the great people i met in vancouver, who became my friends and took me in and threw surprise parties for me and shared coffee, books, drinks and scoldings, and baked scones with me and bought soup with me and workshopped my stories. that`s it, and then i left.

icitte au quebec y fait pas froid, y fait frette

decembrie 11, 2010

…not really. i mean it was cold, it was – 16 at one point, but i couldn’t really feel it. all this week i was experimenting with the following important aspects:

– leather coat vs. winter coat. ok, so i switched to the winter coat. advantage, i can wear just one normal sweater under it, instead of having to put on 3 layers. while outside, i walk like a penguin, but who cares.

– nice boots ( suede-y, okay?) that i was wearing every day and with everything, vs. chunky, pretty old boots that i’ve had ever since cluj. i’m still wearing the nice ones, hoping i can wash the salt lines out – and keeping the more serious ones for more serious times.

– leg warmers!!! now this is for real. (do you remember the poor blue things i bought one winter 5 ys ago? that was acknowledged pretence. fingerless gloves to mimic…cuteness, and a bright blue stocking layer to showcase my shins. they were also meant to make me into someone else. i’ve kept believing in magic for very long.) but my current leg warmers were with me in the storm, to help keep knee-high snow out of my jeans. what more could one wish for from a garment?

i’m giving you some music because this is boring:

what was i saying?:)

ah. woolly socks. double socks. everything in bright colours, because – true facts – this helps warm you up. it’s the same trick as nice-lingerie-makes-you-feel-sexy-even-if-no-one-sees-it.

yes, so i was talking about cold and i get to lingerie. c’est comme ca l’hiver dans la ville que j’aime.


filler: snow magic, or smth

decembrie 7, 2010

god am i bad at titles.

it’s december! and it’s snowing! and it’s been snowing for a long long (all day today) while. and while i’ve been a bit absent-minded/panicky/ hide-my-head-in-the-sand…mmm in the book or under the blanket…lately, a snowstorm is apparently what it takes to make me perk up. i put on my tights, new skirt (!!!), woolly red socks, extra-long fluffy scarf, weird hat…and went out into the night. yah it was almost 4 pm already. and i bought stuff to cook, then i came home and cooked it. radio ‘c’est quoi’ (which in my mind still spells ‘sequoia’) provided mainstream quebec tunes for the atmosphere (like, for example, ‘the only girl in the world’, and ‘raise your glass’, but who am i to complain?). so: my chicken did not end up burnt, my potatoes are edible! cynthia came home and ate. while i was trundling through the snow to school! and now the wind is making sinister noises at my window! i’m in bed – in a room, a laptop in my lap, chicken+etc in my belly, and an almost clear conscience. and i get to sleep in tomorrow, and pray that they’ll clean the roads.

but anyway, it’s a bit depressing, trying to make your end-of-year non-depressing. up until a few days ago i would’ve called this year a fluffy success. then, i don’t know: the time of reckoning came. and i’m kind of empty-handed.

so, carmen, what did you do this year?

mmm i moved from a serving job to a dishwashing one; i didn’t get to visit my family; what, i can’t do very many things at once. i can’t even maintain a blog properly. what do you mean „write?”,  since when am i supposed to be able to write? i’m just a teeny-weeny 30 year old…oh damn.

but i mean, okay. the initial idea was to attempt positivity. here are good things that i did this year – or that happened to me while i was sitting around doing nothing, as god preordained:

i moved to a city i love, and where i feel i can live for good. i was happy more than unhappy, and very very extra super happy at some points. i fell in love. i improved my french. (am i mentioning russian here? you betcha!) i started learning russian, and it’s fun. my room has A WINDOW FACING EAST. i started getting dressier, which, considering my former standards, is a low bar, but still: dresses! skirts! medium heels! i got a cellphone, and am overusing it!! i quit drinking coffee regularly. i started eating fresh veggies almost every day. also: i went through almost the entire year without formulating a dieting project. i can now cook a wholesome meal, though it would be mostly based on ideas stolen from other ppl anyway. i have a decent-sized collage on my wall, of postcards from friends (keep them coming!).

my view of the world shifted a bit again. i think this is good. but while montreal is my magic city, i think i’m still open to leaving. i got what i wanted, now i may not cling to it. i don’t know if this is good or not.

enfin, there are plans. there’d better be, as well, because as i was saying: nothing actually got done. but nothing got killed in the process either. (oh i miss vancouver. it’s hard to talk about it.)