Song Of The Week (May 11th, 2014)

This week’s Song of the Week comes from another Swedish artist, Karin Dreijer Andresson, also known as Fever Ray. She is also known for her collaboration with her brother Olof with whom she had formed “The Knife”. The single “If I Had A Heart” from Fever Ray’s debut album was used as a soundtrack for the opening credits of the television series “Vikings”.

Fever Ray – If I Had A Heart

 

Lyrics:

This will never end

‘Cause I want more
More, give me more
Give me more

This will never end
‘Cause I want more
More, give me more
Give me more

If I had a heart I could love you
If I had a voice I would sing
After the night when I wake up
I’ll see what tomorrow brings

If I had a voice, I would sing

Dangling feet from window frame
Will I ever ever reach the floor?
More, give me more, give me more

Crushed and filled with all I found
Underneath and inside
Just to come around
More, give me more, give me more

If I had a voice, I would sing

Advertisements

Song Of The Week (May 4th, 2014)

This week’s Song of the Week comes from iamamiwhoami, an electronic music project project from Sweden. The single “Fountain” is one of the songs that will be included in their 3rd album “Blue” which will be released in November this year.

iamamiwhoami – Fountain

 

Lyrics

What lies beyond the fringe of the woods?
Dust to dust, so we leave for good
When all has gone to blazes I start to run
Until I find places where nobody’s gone

No more weight on your conscience
With ease, I go back to the start

Surge like a fountain
Riptide
And swallow me
Flourish like a fountain
Inside
Gather force from the sea
Now you’re new and shiney
Hold tight
Let it wash me clean

Crawling through deafening cold
Turning head, there’s no sight of home
Though my body’s aching, we have to push on
For every start, no line is drawn

Surge like a fountain
Riptide
And swallow me
Flourish like a fountain
Inside
Gather force from the sea
Now you’re new and shiney
Hold tight
Let it wash me clean

From watching eyes I blindly rove
To guard my stories and find my god

What lies beyond the fringe of the woods?
Dust to dust, so we leave for good”

Song Of The Week (March 2nd, 2014)

The song selected for last week is “Big Jet Plane” by Angus and Julia Stone. The Australian brother and sister duo had released two studio albums so far, one of them wining multiple awards at the  2010 Australian Music Awards (ARIA). In the same year “Big Jet Plane” had won the award for “Single  of the Year”.

Angus & Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane

Lyrics:

“She said, “Hello, Mister, please to meet you”
I wanna hold her, I wanna kiss her
She smelled of daisies, she’s smelled of daisies
She drive me crazy, she drive me crazy

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Hey hey, hey hey

Be my lover, my lady river
But can I take you, take you higher?

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane

Hey hey, hey hey
Hey hey, hey hey

Gonna hold you, gonna kiss you in my arms
Gonna take you away from harm
Gonna hold you, gonna kiss you in my arms
Gonna take you away from harm

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane

Hey hey, hey hey
Hey hey, hey hey
Hey hey”

Song Of The Week (February 23th, 2014)

This song is about the war journalists Gerda Taro and the dead of her parter Robert Capa. Taro is regarded as the first female photojournalist to have died while covering the front lines of a war.

Alt-J is an English band formed in 2007. Their debut abum “An Awesome Wave” had won the Mercury Prize in 2012. The Mercury Prize is an award that is annually to the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Alt-J – Taro

Lyrics:

“Indochina, Capa jumps Jeep, two feet creep up the road
To photo, to record meat lumps and war,
They advance as does his chance – very yellow white flash.
A violent wrench grips mass, rips light, tears limbs like rags,
Burst so high finally Capa lands,
Mine is a watery pit. Painless with immense distance
From medic from colleague, friend, enemy, foe, him five yards from his leg,
From you Taro.

Do not spray into eyes – I have sprayed you into my eyes.
3:10 pm, Capa pends death, quivers, last rattles, last chokes
All colours and cares glaze to grey, shrivelled and stricken to dots,
Left hand grasps what the body grasps not – le photographe est mort.
3.1415, alive no longer my amour, faded for home May of ‘54
Doors open like arms my love, Painless with a great closeness
To Capa, to Capa Capa dark after nothing, re-united with his leg and with you, Taro.
Do not spray into eyes – I have sprayed you into my eyes.
Hey Taro!”

You can listen the entire album here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COH5vS0XxVc

Romanian Snooker

I dedicate this post to all involved in this wonderful game (players, referees, organizers and all the other people that made this possible).

I have been involved in the game of snooker for nearly 5 years and have seen the evolution of it. When I joined the picture there were only a few clubs around the country and I believe you could have counted them using the fingers of one of your hands. In my hometown there were no clubs at that moment but several months later one was founded and what was then a 10 players snooker club with one table became to be today a 50+ players club with 4 tables. The similar thing happened in other main cities and now, with more and more clubs setting up and with the national championship getting bigger, players are coming to play from all over the country. It is good to see that there are many that start playing from a young age because they are representing the future of this sport  – keep in mind that last year’s winner of the National League is only 18 years old.

I remember when the first century was realized, it was a huge news, even a 50 break was  considered to be a very good break. The good thing is that now, there are more and more players that are able to make those 50+ breaks and now and then you hear that other centuries had been made.

Even if snooker is a new game practiced in our country it surely evolved a lot in the last years and I really hope that some day we will have a player to represent us in the most prestigious international events. We already have referees representing us at the biggest competitions so why shouldn’t we have players too?

I will finish this post with a video that really impressed me this morning, a maximum break made in practice by two of our best players:

Congratulation guys!

Song Of The Week (February 9th, 2014)

This week’s song is from Gary Clark Jr. a Grammy-winning emerging artist from Texas. He was describes by many as the future of blue.

Gary Clark Jr.  – When My Train Pulls In

“Everyday nothing seems to change.
Everywhere I go I keep seeing the same old thing & I.
I can’t take it no more.
Oh, I would this town but I ain’t got no where else to go.
Wake up in the morning, oh, more bad news.
& I. Sometimes I feel like I was borne to lose & I.
It’s driving me out of my mind.
I’ll catch the next train & I. I’ll move on down the line.

Whoah I’ll be ready now. I’ll be ready when my train pulls in.
Whoah I’ll be ready now. I’ll be ready when my train pulls in.
I know my time ain’t long around here.
& I can’t live this life again.

Walking down the streets you might run across a smilng face.
But they’ll stab you in the back as soon as you turn & walk away
& I. Oh Lord it’s bringing me down.

If things don’t change around here, ain’t no use in me hanging ’round.

Whoah I’ll be ready now. I’ll be ready when my train pulls in.
Whoah I’ll be ready now. I’ll be ready when my train pulls in.
I know my time ain’t long around here.
& I can’t live this life again.”

Snooker: National Championship – 2nd Event

snookerbuc

Yesterday took place the second tournament of the National Snooker Championship which is held in Bucharest. This is a different event from the one that I have been writing before (the local league which is held in Brasov, my hometown). It is also not the first, but the second league in importance from which the first top 4 players qualify in the first league each year.

The hardest thing to do this time was deciding whether to go or not and  I already had a backup plan to go hiking again this week. Just the thought that I will have to get up at 5AM after getting to sleep 3-4 hours made me think “oh no you are not gonna do that again” but, of course it happened and so I gave a few phone calls and we managed to form a group of three. I got picked up at 5:30 and the three of up went on what I would call a very pleasant 2,5 hour ride in which we joked all the way and were very positive.

We arrive half an hour earlier but just in time to have breakfast and regain some strength after the journey.

My companions started playing  right ahead, from 9AM but I was supposed  to start only at 2:00PM. I was horrified with the thought that I will have to wait another 5 hour time to start playing but eventually all worked just fine. I picked up my suit and gloves and started to referee a game – I got to practice a lot at this too because I want to become an international referee. You know, when you get in touch with this game it’s like, you have to do it, you have to play or do anything else related to the game of snooker. Even if you play so bad some time you still want to play more. It’s like a disease but a good one:)

A few  minutes after I finished to referee my first game I was told that some players couldn’t come to the tournament and that I will be playing soon. I started practicing and was really pleased with the way I was played and so, after my 15 minutes of practice were over, I sat down comfortably waiting for my opponent. She was last year’s winner of the Ladies National Tournament and I was impressed right from the start with the way the was playing when I saw her in practice.

The first frame went quite fast and I was soon 1-0 down. The second didn’t start better either – half a frame over and I was already 30 points down. Just when all sort of  thoughts started roaming my mind she missed a shot and I managed to start concentrating again and somehow steal the frame. From then it went from good to better and I managed to win the game with a final score of 3-1. It wasn’t at all an easy game and if the score went 2-0 instead of 1-1 I don’t think that I could have made a comeback.

I didn’t have time to sit more then five minutes because I had to referee another game. It was a quite long game or it just seemed so because I was so tired but it was nice also and it had a bit of drama in the end. It is great to be involved in the game even as a referee because you get to see a lot of shots and especially learn new stuff from good players.

At 4PM, after about 7 hours of snooker, I finally had one free hour in which had to wait for my opponent. He is one of the two roumanian’s Eurosport snooker  commentators. Not only he is a good commentator but a good player too. He was part of the top 16 players for years and this year was his first season in the second league.

So here I was, after nearly eight full hours, playing the finalist of the first tournament in January. It was a close game and I think that the 3-0 score does not do justice for what happened. In the first two frames we had equal about of points when only 5 balls were left on the table but I lost them both at a very close margin. Only the 3rd frame was not that close but I had my chances too. I was pretty pleased with my performance even though I lost with this score.

It was a nice tournament and even if it was a full day of snooker, approximately eleven hours, it is always great to participate in this league in which players come from the entire country.

All the best!

Bucegi – Moara Dracului Waterfall

I was pretty active in this weekend having gone out both days. Saturday I went out with my fiancee on a walk to a ski resort which is 13km away from our city (I will detail this trip in a future post) and Sunday, I went out again, this time for a more difficult hike to a waterfall in the Bucegi Mountains. It was not that the hike was long or dangerous but the fact that it snowed a lot last week and the path was covered in 20-30cm of snow.

We went by car from Brasov to the Simon village where we left the it before a road barrier and took the rest of the dirt road by foot.

After about half an hour we arrived at a junction where the two hiking signs that we were following by then split in two. One was following the same dirt road, which we kept on following, and the other went straight into the forest.

moaradracului-1-2_blog

Not long after, we were enchanted with the first great views of the mountains.

The Bucegi Mountains – part of the Carpathian Mountains
Highest Peak – “Omu Peak” 2505m

We were getting closer and closed to the base of the mountain so I knew it wouldn’t take long until we will start climbing and so it was. After another 30-45 minutes we left the dirt road and went on a narrow and abrupt path which climbed the hill that laid before us. This was the hardest part of the trip but fortunately not a long one. From the top of the hill it took us about 10 minutes to arrive at our destination. I will let the photos say the rest:)

Panorama of the clearing

moaradracului-1-6_blog

moaradracului-1-7_blog

Although the snow does not look to be too big I assure you that one wrong step and you end up stuck in snow to your knees.

I don’t know what the speed of the wind was but what I am sure of is that when it was starting I needed to cover.

moaradracului-1-17_blog

A waterfall of snow.

moaradracului-1-18_blog

Moara Dracului Waterfall, frozen from top to bottom.

We returned on the same path we took on climbing to get here. It was a really nice trip and my only regret is that I can’t go out on such trips more often.

Snooker: Local League Review I

Last Saturday, as mentioned in an earlier post, it took place the first tournament of the local snooker league. For me it went quite good I would say, winning 2 of my 3 matches from the group stage and qualifying in the last 16 but none of my matches were easy.

After my fist 2-1 win I had to play with the local coach from which I couldn’t snatch a frame, loosing 3-0. It wasn’t that I had played badly but, the fact that the match was getting interrupted from two to two minutes, really made me lose my concentration. Perhaps I should have stayed calmer and just focused on the game but it is easier said than done when all sort of toughs start roaming your mind.

Right after this game I got to play my last group stage game against a new comer (hat off to this kid who will probably turn to be a good player in the near future). I made an impressive start winning the first frame which was probably my best single frame of this year. I don’t know what happened next, maybe I just relaxed more than I should have done it but, very quickly I found myself leveled at 1-1 and with the pressure on me because my opponent was coming from behind. The next frame was crucial in the way of qualifying to the last 16, but luckily I managed to calm myself and provide a decent last frame which help me pass through.

In the last 16 I have encountered one of my best friends so it was a very nice game in which we both played relaxed. Although I could have snatched at least one frame and probably made my best game of the tournament  he won 3-0. I gave my best not missing easy shots, but he was a class above me. No wonder he is in the top 16 players from our country.

In conclusion: It was a very nice event and I am happy with the way I have played so I am looking forward to a good snooker year.

Codfish With Vegetables And Vegetable Spring Rolls

I came home after the usual eight hours of work but happy because weekend is ahead.  It was 1:30 AM already but since tomorrow I will be busy most of the day with one of my favorite activities (the snooker tournament that I was talking in my first post) I decided to make a quick dish for tonight and to save some for tomorrow also.

I had some frozen codfish in the freezer and was just thinking what to make fast so I can could cook it and eat it in the next 30 minutes when I realized I have a variety of frozen vegetables and some spring rolls.

So here it is, my first dish shared with you:

Codfish With Vegetables And Vegetable Spring Rolls 

codfish1

codfish2

Ingredients for 2 portions:

  • 3 fillets of codfish
  • 6 Vegetable Spring Rolls
  • Frozen Vegetables: Green Beans, Carrots, Pea and Corn
  • Spices: Marjoram, Basil, Pepper, Chilli and a bit of Salt
  • Palm Oil
  • Flour

Directions:

  • Season the codfish fillets with salt, pepper,chilli and roll them in flour.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add oil then the codfish and season it on one side with basil. Cook them for about 3 minutes then turn the fillets on the other side and season with marjordam -usually I use only one of the 2 spices basil/marjordam but I just love them both:). When the fish is ready take it out and fry the spring rolls in the same pan for about 2 minutes on each side.
  • For the vegetables I have used my ‘Dry Cooker’ but you can use any pan. I added very little oil and let the vegetables to steam for about 7 minutes.