Saturday, November 13

Out of town

For two weeks, oh yeah! I will be here, hopefully having great weather and lots of fun. Nepal [and the dream of a lifetime], here we come!

will be back on the 3rd of december.

Tuesday, November 9

One picture Tuesday

Last Friday was really crappy and I was really tired and cranky. Pictured are the two items that made my day and prevented me from killing anybody:

Sunday, November 7

The ugly truth

For about two years I harbored the belief that I am truly a climbing elephant.

Clumsy, fat, willing to use absolutely everything i had (i.e. trunk) to help my poor fingers deal with my weight, lack of flexibility, and lack of balance. Most importantly, being an elephant was directly linked with my lack of flexibility.

And then came last thursday. Because of a horrible route on the flat wall on which I could not start for the life of me, I realized that not only I am not flexible, but my arm span is really reduced compared to my height. Basically, my arms are too small and I am too unflexible to climb some routes. Add to that my very strong quads and my apparently unbounded roaring capabilities, and this makes me, yes you got it, a T-REX!

Friday, November 5


ME (by chat): Whoa, have you seen 3 idiots? [sidenote- bollywood movie, 3 hours, very very nice)
VIC (writing from his work place): To be honest, I am looking at about 5 or 6 right now.

Thursday, November 4

The pile of shit metaphor

[Inspired to write this by the girl with the cherry earings]

This applies to a lot of situations, but I made this up when the relationship with my ex was like: I loved him, he sort of loved me but he didn't, and he was not determined enough to let me go and, more importantly, I was not able to let him go.

I saw myself in our relationship like a person (with unlimited forearm strength - haha), hanging from a steel bar, very very high above an bottomless pile of very smelly shit. Green-brown in color if you must know.

My problem was this:

  • The air around me was putrid because of the bottomless pile of shit I was hovering above.

  • The fall was scary because I was very high above the bottomless pile of shit.

  • The shiny and sturdy stainlessess steel bar was my only hope in life. I had limitless forearm strength! The bar defined who I was, what I liked, what i didn't like, our common friends, what I would do for dinner, my vacation plans, my traveling plans, our pile of memories, promises to other friends about traveling plans etc.

  • The prospect of drowning in that bottomless pile of shit was not at all exciting.

The thing is, the scariest part is actually letting go. And vowing not to re-grab that particular stainless steel bar ever again. The fall was quick and the bottomless pile of shit actually had a bottom. And when I did hit it, I used my legs to push me up. I floated on various debris until I reached land, and that was that.

Although I have to be honest now and say here that I did not let go of the bar by myself that particular time, I used this metaphor to guide me in letting go many many times and in various situations.

Morale of the story is this: swimming in shit for a limited amount of time is better than smelling shit forever.

Tuesday, November 2

One picture Tuesday

One of the things I love about NUS is that it is a cat-friendly place. Cats can roam free, are very well fed, and some are even very very friendly. This boy here hangs out between business canteen, I-cube, and the rest of computing. He is very very friendly and very talkative. Go say Hi!

Actually, being a cat in singapore is really not that bad. Sure, you get clubbered to death by the occasional psycho-maniac (may you get clubbered to death too!) once in a while, but other than that, you are socially tolerated because you hunt mice and rats, you get food and occasional petting, and the weather is always good so you don't freeze to death. Not bad at all! Cats here are gigantic, which has to do I guess with the fact that the rats here are gigantic too! Most have a short tail (this is how they are), which is a bit freakish at first, but after you get used to that they are actually quite pretty. I am sure they speak chinese. However, I have not found any social discrimination from their part. To them, I am not an ang moh, but either somebody to accept petting from or somebody to ignore, same as all the rest. Singaporean cats, I heart you!

Monday, November 1

Giving away my babies

The nice website with my babies can be found here. Click and then comment on this blog if you want the book. Some of them are in romanian. First come, first served. The list can be found below as well. I still have some books at school but most are romanian sci-fi.

Aww i am so sad to be giving them away. But please please do not make me happy by not taking them!
-- Antologie SF Vol. 3
A.P. Cehov -- Logodnica si alte povestiri
Alan Weisman -- The World Without Us
Alex Garland -- The Beach
Alexander Solzhenitsyn -- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Alfred Lansing -- Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - Jensen
Arkadi, Boris Strugatki -- Picnic la marginea drumului
Arthur C. Clarke -- Ghost from the grand banks
Arthur Golden -- Memoirs of a Geisha - Nandini
Brandon Sanderson -- Elantris (ro)
Ben Okri -- Starbook
C.B.E., Sir Chris Bonington -- Annapurna South Face: The Classic Account of Survival
Chuck Palahniuk -- Lullaby
Clive Cussler -- Walhalla (ro)
Dan Simmons -- The Terror
E. M. Forster -- A Room with a View and Howards End - Nandini
Ed Viesturs, David Roberts -- No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks
Ernest Hemingway -- The First Forty Nine Stories - Seth
Garcia (Gabriel Garcia Marques) Marquez -- Un veac de singuratate
Gary Jennings -- Aztec
Geoff Ryman -- Air
George Orwell -- O mie noua sute optzeci si patru [MUST PROVE THAT YOU WANT IT] Bogdan
Hamish MacInnes -- The Mammoth Book of Mountain Disasters: True Stories of Rescue from the Brink of Death
Haruki Murakami -- What I talk about when i talk about running - Doris
Haruki Murakami -- Padurea Norvegiana (ro)
Heinrich Harrer -- The White Spider - Shu
Heinrich Harrer -- Seven Years in Tibet - Shu
Ian Mcewan -- Atonement
Ian Rankin -- Dead Souls
Ian Rankin -- Hide And Seek
Ian Rankin -- Tooth and Nail
Ian Rankin -- The Falls
Jeffrey Eugenides -- The Virgin Suicides
Joe Simpson -- Beckoning Silence
John Gribbin -- The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors - Jensen
John Keay -- The Mammoth Book of Explorers
Jon E. Lewis -- The Mammoth Book of Climbing Adventures - Jensen
Jon Krakauer -- Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster - Shu
Jonathan Kellerman -- A Cold Heart - Nandini
Jonathan Kellerman - The Murder Book
Jonathan Neale - Tigers of the Snow: Sherpa Climbers
Jostein Gaarder - Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy - Nandini
Kazuo Ishiguro - Remains of the Day - Jensen
Lily Prior - La CucinaSofia
M. Bulgakov - Diavoliada
Marin Preda - Marele Singuratic
Mario Vargas Llosa - Matusa Julia si condeierul
Marion Zimmer Bradley - Negurile
Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief - Sofia
Matei Calinescu - Portretul lui M
Michael Ende - The Neverending Story - Nandini
Michael Moore - Stupid White Men: .and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! - Bogdan
Mihail Bulgakov - Maestrul si margareta
Mike Horn - Luptand cu imposibilul
Mircea Cartarescu - Nostalgia
Mircea Cartarescu - Orbitor
N Steinhardt - Jurnalul fericirii
National Geographic - Fotografia - Ghid Practic
Nick Hornby - How to Be Good - Shu
Nigel Shepherd - Go Climb
P.D. James - P. D. James Omnibus: ""A Taste for Death"", ""Devices and Desires"", ""Original Sin"" - Nandini
P.D. James - The Black Tower - Nandini
Philip Pullman - The Amber Spyglass
Philip Pullman - The Subtle Knife
Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles - Nandini
Razvan Radulescu - Teodosie cel Mic
Shusaku Endo - Silence - Nandini
Sir Chris Bonington, Charles Clarke, Clint Willis - Everest: The Unclimbed Ridge
Stanislaw Lem - Solaris - Sofia
Stefan Agopian - Tache de catifea: Roman
Stephen King - The Eyes of the Dragon - Nandini
Umberto Eco - Baudolino - Bogdan
Virgil Ierunca - Fenomenul Pitesti
Vladimir Nabokov - Lolita - Andreea
Walter Bonatti - The Mountains of My Life
Yann Martel - Life of Pi - Doris
Bohumil Habral - L-am servit pe regele Angliei
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Cei frumosi si blestemati
Harper Lee - Sa ucizi o pasare cantatoare
H. Hesse - Cele mai frumoase povestiri
Agatha Christie --- Ucigasul ABC
P.G. Wodehouse --- Jeeves si spiritul feudal

The little engine that could

Sort of.

Two weeks until nepal and my training still focuses on rock climbing. My aim is to climb harder these days because I won't touch a handhold for three weeks. The problem with climbing just a wee bit harder is that my unaccustomed body rebels and gets injured. Sure, you would say (and so did I), injury is ok because anyway you are going to rest for three weeks, wether you want to or not (usually not). Sadly, this is not the case.

On Friday we climbed mostly on slopers and pinches. I set a route that Sandra said was shouldery, but I did not see it as such and I tried a few times. Lo and behold, by next morning I was experiencing the first signs ever of a shoulder injury. I am hypothesizing here that a shoulder injury is much freakish than your usual torn pulley tendon (been there, done that) or your golfer or tennis elbow (been there, done that), specifically because you experience a weird disconnection from your limb. Something like: before you and your limb were happily connected and doing all right, and then suddenly there's a painful something that seems to pull your arm (left, in my case), away from you. It has gotten better but I am not climbing today - responsible, I am! (yeah right)

Thank god for modern backpacks though, because I was still able to train on Saturday morning. This time it was MacRitchie (10+ 2km) with a pack that weighed around 12 kg. Managed to finish it without major events, but I don't think I could have had i not had most of its weight on my hips. I also noticed that my performance on Saturday morning trainings (12 hours after climbing) is worse than my performance on wednesday night trainings (24 hours after climbing). It could be that either I am accumulating fatigue or that I am getting older and as such need to rest more. I AM looking forward to sleeping on the plane to Kathmandu (7 hours mofo!). In view of this, tonight is light running rest night!