Sunday, December 31, 2006

oh and one more thing..

Before the 6 is over, I'd like to share this song with everyone..
It happens to be one of my favorite songs of the past year!

Credits to the artist, Mr. Phaze, who, as I've recently discovered, happens to be Greek..


Gone Festive part .. whatever

I haven't written, I know!
Not that I didn't have thousands of issues to talk about, but the truth is.. :


Why, oh why did I have to get it during the holidays??!! I was jinxed!!
How unfair!!!

And while the above speech could probably win me the golden palm or even an academy award for my dramatic performance, I am here today to state that further to extended cocooning and tea & honey remedies these last couple of days, I am finally doing much much better!!

I may have a Rudolf-like peeling nose as we speak, but hey, it's part of the holidays isn't it?

So here I am, ready for the big 7 in only a few hours time!

Have a good one everyone!
All the best!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Gone Festive! part 2

The spirit’s definitely here..
Only 2 days before Christmas and everything’s right on track in a city dressed with its festive garments* to welcome the most awaited time of the year.
And while the happiness is drawn on almost everyone’s face, there’s still an inexplicable trace of melancholy that wonders around..
Could it be some subconscious loneliness or longing for warmth or is it related with the ending of the year thus the ending of another period in our lives where insecurities prevail before a new year/beginning? Come to think of it, would an answer to this really matter? I guess not..

After all, the way I see it, there’s always a – to every + in life and perhaps that’s the way things should be in order to balance things out.

*: mobile pictures of Festive Athens@night

On another note, a different example of + and – would be last night where I was invited to yet another holiday gathering with some friends. In what seemed to be a flawless evening, a good friend of ours, who couldn’t attend because he wasn’t feeling very well, called us to let us know he would go to the hospital to see a doctor because he was getting worse by the hour. We obviously volunteered and took him immediately to the emergencies where he had to unfortunately spend the night. :-( Fortunately he is doing much better now although he’s still in the hospital as we speak.
Don’t get me wrong, in no way would I see the change of plans of the evening as a “-” but it is instead the health issue of my friend that I’m referring to. And although one “+” would be that he’s recuperating and out of immediate danger, there’s still another important “+” that lies in last night’s events. The fact that we were there for him in a time of need.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Le Bistro

Ok ok I may have exaggerated a little so I’m not going to constantly whine about not having time for anything, because the truth is, that no matter how charged and hectic one’s schedule is, there’s always a small window where we can breathe and dedicate a little time for ourselves and this post is all about that.
One of those special moments was last week’s get-together amongst close friends and our “French Dinner” night.
The idea was initially proposed by the French member of the clan who wanted to dedicate a whole evening to French cuisine so the dinner was to be exclusively garnished with French specialties and delicatessen. And so it was. Hors d’oeuvres, main dishes and even the finest French wine assured our delicious journey to the flavors of France which included among others, a wide variety of French cheeses such as Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, Fourme, Compté, Chevre d’Argental.., Duck Foie gras, “mousse de canard”, French Baguettes, a variety of “Saucissons”, French Salad with Vinaigrette, Quiche Lorraine and a scrumptious Fondue Savoyard!
I should mention of course, that the evening would not be as successful had it not been for everyone’s devoted contribution in one way or another. I for example, prepared the Quiche Lorraine (according to the original French recipe). Someone else had far more difficult tasks though, such as being responsible for igniting the fondue’s fire (and keeping it lit) as well as being the first to taste and approve the eclectic cheeses before some other individual (no names mentioned) who was too afraid to try them first! Being fair and comprehensive we showed our gratitude by leaving the “easy” dish washing task to our much loved host whom without this evening wouldn’t be possible.
With the sounds of the accordion, the candles, the essences and some short story telling of our past adventures in France, the evening became a mirage of a French Bistro in Mediterranean Athens!
Whether Italian, Moroccan, Greek, Caribbean or Mexican, unsure of the origin or destination of our next stop, we are eagerly waiting for our next voyage!
I would have posted earlier should I have been able to transfer my images to my pc, but due to technical problems (and lack of time for trying to solve them) I had to delay my post for a few days. And although the pictures may not do justice to the whole event, I couldn’t help but try to give a little glimpse of what went on. I’ll leave Yves Montand to do the rest with the following song:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A charged period

Talk about a crazy schedule.. so many things I have to do, so many I want to do yet so little time but as they say.. save the best for last.. in this case blogging ;)
Will be back with more about my recent journeys and a few more movie reviews.
Tis' the season to be jolly la la la la laaaa la la lala

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Yet another masterpiece has surfaced on the silver screen adding itself to my list of favorite movies for 2006.
In what would seem like a save-the-best-movies-for-last move, Actor, director, producer and writer, Mel Gibson, premiers his latest motion picture “Apocalypto” only a few days before the year’s end. Written and directed by Gibson himself, Apocalypto is in my opinion an excellent cinematographic follow up to the “Passion of the Christ” (2004) which had concretely demonstrated Gibson’s abilities as an accomplished director. Being his fourth directorial picture since “A man without a face” (1993) followed by the critically acclaimed “Braveheart” (1995), Apocalypto, although a completely different topic and absent of major religious references, follows closely the steps of “Passion” as it is based on one of the most important ancient ethnicities of the American continent, the Mayan civilization.
Following his innovative and successful formula of reviving ancient languages, the film is entirely spoken in the ancient Mayan dialect which adds its own realistic touch to the whole picture.
I have not yet determined the genre of this movie and which category I would place it in as it contains several elements, but what I can say is that it is as if it is divided in two parts.
The first half of the movie being somewhat documentary-like, about the way of life of the Maya, their life in the community, their customs and so on whereas the second part of the movie, right after the significant eclipse of the sun that occurs at some point, the movie changes it’s slow pace and becomes an adrenaline flooded adventure movie where action, fear and chase are the dominating elements.
Having read the critics prior to viewing it, I expected to see a gory type of movie with excessive violence and disturbing scenes similar to the tortures in “Passion”. After seeing it, I will have to disagree with most of them and say that they over exaggerated. I mean ok, there is some blood shed in some scenes of battle and in the sacrifices but in no way would I go to the extent and call them disturbing. You want gore? Go see “Saw” ;-)
Favourite scene in the movie? hm let's see.. where do I start.. I think I will go with a breathtaking jump in the waterfalls (always wanted to do that) and another which includes a fight with a jaguar and another with some underwater birth..
I will not give out more details about the movie as I will inevitably be spoiling it for most of you but I have to give credit to Mr. Gibson for his breathtaking visuals and incredible angles which at some points, make you feel like you’re actually living the scenes. The cast was also carefully selected and not for their butt bearing or their physique; Native Americans to the most part, whose facial expressions alone are worth awarding, not to mention the difficult task of performing in a dead language.
As far as the story, plot and message of the movie are concerned, I wouldn’t exactly call it complicated as I initially expected it to be, but its strength lies in the way of actually telling it or better said, displaying it, which Gibson achieved spectacularly.
The soundtrack of Apocalypto is composed by none other than James Horner, also known for the music behind Braveheart, Titanic, Alien, Mask of Zorro, Gorky Park, Cocoon, Legends of the fall and many more.
All that and still, provocative Mr. Gibson received some rather mixed reviews about his latest accomplishment. Given his recent history with the media and his alleged anti-Semite statements while drunk, I can’t help but suspect that some of the negative reviews were biased and erroneously influenced. Too bad considering art shouldn’t be criticized by judging its creator but by the result itself.

here's the trailer:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Have you ever seen the rain?

Well it was about time. Today, (last night actually), was our first glimpse of winter or better said, Fall. I think that the weather has finally started to follow the right track considering we’re in practically in mid December. It’s been too long since it last rained which is rather unusual for this time of year, but things are starting to look up now. Many people are annoyed by the rain but I assure you I am not one of them. On the contrary, I love everything about it. The smell of the ground, the moist, the hazy shaded lighting, the sound of raindrops especially when they’re dancing with the wind, the humidity in every breath, the feeling of the liquid element throughout. And as I’m writing this I’m looking out the window while trying to choose a song that would best represent this moment but too many come to mind…
Guns n’ Roses, the Ramones, Gotan Project, Everly Brothers, Garbage, Terence Trent D’Arby, Phil Collins, Moby, Prince.. the list is endless.. but wait.. what better sound then the rain itself?
So for all of you, who aren’t around here, speaker’s volume up and enjoy:

Gone Festive! part 1

It is here! Yes it is! The holiday season has arrived, my favorite season of the year. Clichéd perhaps and I’m sure frequently repeated by almost everyone these days, so why would I be the exception of the rule? But do we all comprehend Christmas alike or does it have a different meaning for each one of us? Is it all about festivities, decorating Christmas trees, twinkling lights, snow-covered landscapes (where available), presents under the trees, the jingles, carols and other modern customs? Or is it more than that?
I will not neglect the above as I happen to follow it all, but I will put religion and tradition aside and say that it is far beyond that.
Christmas is to me, about giving, receiving and appreciating the warmth, the love and the rejoicing feeling altogether. It is also about expressing the child that’s well hidden within us, an innocent side we tend to forget and ignore the rest of the year mainly because of its vulnerability to coexist in our hardened, at times superficially, “protected” lives. A period in which we let out, we give in and we live in.
And if Christmas is believed to be associated with nativity then I will strongly support this conception and even reinforce it because I feel it is all about birth after all. Our birth, or better said, rebirth, as we all emancipate into jovial and hearty individuals during a period where hatred and sorrow are forgotten. If only this would apply for the rest of the year..
but enough with utopia, allow me to quantum leap back to a more tangible dimension..

Living up to the hype of the season, I have accordingly decorated both inside and outside the house, filled my iPod with my best Christmas tunes and am now ready to take off and enjoy the rest of the festivities to follow.
Have a merry one, everyone!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Am I beta now or worse?

I just found out I upgraded to the blogger beta and I'm testing my new template..
in case you don't read me anymore, let me know :)
in case you don't want to read me anymore, don't say a word :)
will be back

Friday, December 08, 2006

A fearless candle in the wind

Ever since I can remember myself, I was always fond of candles, their light, texture, warmth and scent. No, I am neither a pyromaniac nor some helplessly romantic individual; I simply admire their presence and luminescence around me anytime, anyplace.
For more than 5000 years, their unyielding radiance has shed its light to the human paths of ancient civilizations such as the Chinese, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, transcending all the way to the modern era.
But I’ll leave historical facts behind and focus on the energy and influence a candle provides in our lives today.
Why is it some of us are so passionate about candles?

Is it because of the subtle light and delicate warmth they perpetrate or is it more profound then that such as the contrast of their vulnerability and strength combined? A simple blow and they’re out, a simple touch and they ablaze. They may disintegrate by burning yet they remain a serene existence. Peculiar and distinct interactions in my opinion.
Often associated with romanticism and mysticism, candles have consequently been related to inner concentration, meditation and even self-absorption. Pragmatists may radically disagree with this but can we really deny the emittance of even the slightest amount of spirituality involved?
Furthermore, candles are also associated with commemorative ceremonies. People light candles “in memory of”.. Perhaps the dawdling burning of the flame is reminiscent of someone’s life which is an additional spiritual reference.
Although harmful to the eyes, I have often found myself gazing at burning candles for hours.
Whether it is for their shimmering flame or their flamboyant flair, consciously or not, I have repeatedly indulged myself to their frivolous dalliance!
Another thing I find fascinating with candles is their texture when melted. And no, this is not fetish related. Melted wax has a somewhat silky surface which is easily comparable to smooth skin not to mention it’s incredibly moldable.
Speaking of fetishes, candles are also known for their use in some “gratifying” physical practices. Perhaps the quick burn on the skin provides some kind of instant pleasure that instantly goes away. I wouldn’t want to get into too many details about this though as I am sure I will be misinterpreted. :-)
Last but not least, candles are also my preferred type of lighting. Nothing can compare to a candlelit room with soothing light and playful shadows which, when carefully observed, add a variety of colors and dancing silhouettes on the walls.
Regardless of their shape or color and whether they’re used for ceremonies, commemorations, romance, religious rituals, simple décor or any other possible use, candles have been, are and will indisputably be a great part of our lives. They certainly are a great part of mine.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Fountain

I’ve watched a few good movies lately that are truly worth mentioning so I thought I would do what every major movie fan would. Post my own personal reviews about them. It is something I’ve always wanted to do and since blogging came in handy, here’s my first review of a motion picture called The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky.

Mostly known for “Π” (Pi) and “Requiem for a dream”, Darren Aronofsky is back with yet another masterpiece. The Fountain.

Written and directed by Aronofsky himself, The Fountain is a tale of eternal love, life, death, salvation and rebirth. Starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz in the lead roles, the plot is set in three different time periods, past, present and future; three parallel stories which are written by Izzi (Rachel Weisz) in a 12 chapter novel about the biblical Tree of Life and a man’s desperate quest to save his loved one from dying. Tom (Hugh Jackman), as a Spanish conquistador in the 1500’s serving his Queen and loved one, as a doctor/scientist in the present day trying to find the cure for his wife’s cancerous tumor and as an explorer on a nebula planet in the year 2500 struggling to save the tree of life representing his wife. “Death is a disease therefore there must be a cure” he says while trying to find a solution to save Izzi. While love and hope prevail, the story is mainly concentrated on Tom’s grief and denial of losing someone he loves. Not specifically clarifying whether the chapters are simply fragments of Izzi’s story telling or Tom’s actual quest to achieve immortality, Aronofsky leaves it all to the viewer’s imagination which in my opinion is the strongest point of this film. “Death is the road to awe” is another significant line in the film which is once again trying to establish that through death, eternal life is achieved. “Together, we will live forever” she says promising a love that will transcend both space and time. The images of this motion picture are spectacular to say the least and the same applies for its music, composed by Clint Mansell who also contributed in Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream. Although hesitant at first, as with any major release, I ended up appreciating this movie more than I expected. It is what I would call a cinematic poetry displayed in ingenious images and music. I’m not sure what the masses expect these days, when they go see a movie but should they chose to see a motion picture for its witty and innovative idealism, I am almost certain of their fulfillment.

Here's the trailer:


Sometimes I feel like I'm ... walking on

Sometimes I feel like I'm ... floating on

Sometimes I feel like I'm ... dreaming of

Sometimes I feel like I'm ... diving in

Sometimes I feel like I'm ... falling from

Sometimes I feel like I'm ... lost in

Sometimes I feel like I'm ... reaching for

Monday, November 27, 2006

Season's change

Will someone please remind me of the date today? Or let me rephrase my question. What’s wrong with this image? :

I am having my morning coffee outside on my balcony, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, where the sun is shining, the birds are singing and a fly is constantly bothering me. And the date is? I mean don’t get me wrong, I am a natural born summer person, and I do enjoy the sun like a lizard but is this normal only a few days before December?
I may appear a little obsessed with the weather as I have published similar posts in the past, however allow me to remind you that I am located at 38°00′N 23°43′E and not 13°10′N 59°32′W although on a day like this it’s hard to take that in consideration.

Current outside temperature:

Temperature: 24.5 °C / 76.1 °F
Dew Point: 7 °C / 45 °F
Humidity: 43%
Wind: NW at 6.4 km/h / 4.0 mph
Pressure: 30.20 in / 1022.6 hPa
Hourly Precipitation: 0.00 in / 0 mm
Updated: 37 sec ago

Should the weather carry out like this, I’m guessing we’ll be singing Christmas carols in bathing suits.
If this phenomenon isn’t a warning of global warming then I don’t know what is. What concerns me most is that a lot of people don’t realize that things are far more serious than they can imagine. We don’t really need activists or documentaries to see what’s going on as the signs are right here, in front of us, on a daily basis.
And as scientists worry with their recent studies which have concluded that we are far behind in correcting the severe environmental damage that has been caused over the years and that catching up will be an extremely difficult task, governments sit and watch carelessly focusing only on local and global economy.
Should we destroy the planet; will there be any reasonable ground for economy at all? Was the Kyoto protocol a superficial treaty after all? Will it take more than Katrina or the South East Asia Tsunami to realize that humans will become an endangered species on a deteriorating planet?
And although I am conveniently taking advantage of this beautiful spring déjà vu on my balcony, there’s nothing I would enjoy better than enjoying my coffee relaxed, without any disturbing thoughts whatsoever.
Ps: above pictures have been taken on the spot while listening to the following song on my ipod.

simply a test

this is not exactly a post but I'm actually testing something for the blog.
Hope it works like they say it does.
Here it goes!

edit : it worked just fine!

will be back with more

Friday, November 24, 2006


The man is back and (2) twice as strong. After a significant 2 years of absence in the field, Dimitris Papaioannou, avant-guarde artist, choreographer, dancer and creator of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, is back with his latest creation “2”.
This past Monday, I had the opportunity to attend to the avant-premiere of “2” and get an exclusive first look at the much awaited show which took place in the recently renovated Palace Theatre “Παλλάς” in the center of Athens.
The venue was flooded by an eager audience which included a good amount of the “who is who” from the Greek showbiz. A total of 20 dancers, among which a good friend of mine, where still warming up on stage as we entered the theatre. A brief introduction followed, by the perfectionist creator himself who also asked us to disregard any flaws that may occur during the show as this was the preliminary presentation to the official opening night.
Lights dim and the show finally begins.
An impressive opening I must admit, in what was just the prelude of what lied ahead. 2 dancers on the palely lit blue stage, a minimal yet abstract set which was vigorously intensified by the dreamy sounds of Konstantinos Vita (master artist in electronic music, who has composed exclusively the original soundtrack of “2”).
A suitcase appears on stage on one of the 2, incorporated (and well hidden) luggage belts of the floor, followed by a series of events that remind us of an arrival terminal in some futuristic utopist airport.
Passengers come and go, all with carefully synchronized movements and some well choreographed stunts such as slow motion running on air as if watching a repeat of a winning athlete’s run in track and field. Stage themes change randomly and so does the music in a story without story, a plot without plot as the journey continues with more and more dancers, mostly in couples, appearing on stage.
Abstract situations such as a men’s bathroom, an executive office workplace, a hammam, a virtual army, a football TV night among guys, boy games, a satiric night at the Greek “bouzoukia” live shows, toy gun fights all of them reflecting several aspects of human life and the male element. There was love, anger, confusion, frustration, hope, sadness, passion, fear, happiness but above all unity.
2” is a symbolic number of many interpretations. It may very well be the number that represents duality as it may just as well be the number that represents the “divided terrestrial being” as described by Pythagorean philosophy. Opposites yet united. 2 also symbolizes the “pair” in everything in nature, life and even our own existence. And while the male element imposed everywhere, this dance theatre managed to evoke a feminine side in almost everything. In Chinese philosophy however “2” is Yin, which represents the female element or entity. Nevertheless the only female presence throughout the show was the appearance of a gigantic Barbie-like doll and one dancer tap dancing in complete shadow while one foot was dressed in pantyhose and high heeled stilleto. A wise and well adapted concept which in my opinion was harmoniously portrayed on stage.
Inevitably, the sexual element prevailed in almost every single theme which was at times sensual, satiric, lustful and erotic. A few nude appearances may have contributed in some way but it was mostly the dancing and the motion that predominated this feeling.
Other highlights of the show included the elevation of the stage from the backside thus creating a huge slide where most of the dancers performed vertically their unique routine and some beautiful and serene video-projected displays of the sky in the background.
Having reached its zenith and most culminating climax, the show ended after a no less than “2” hour run. A rather long period of time considering that the 20 dancers were literally involved in restless performances throughout the act.
Having experienced some of Dimitri’s earlier works which I personally found astonishing, it would be unfair to start comparing with this latest. I did however acquire a blend of feelings strong enough to make me appreciate him even more as a diverse and innovative artist. A man depicting his inspiration by the means of his own creativeness.
Unaware of how the critics will embrace this, given the fact that he has to also carry the weight of delivering an unforgettable Olympic ceremony, I am certain that “2” will not pass unnoticeable!
Dimitris delivered once again.

PS: I am unable to publish any of my mobile photos as we were instructed that pictures were strictly forbidden.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Much going on these days (as always) but not too much time to sit and post (I'm running out of excuses) so here's a brief.
Friday night was French Crepes night.
Our dedicated Chef worked wonders! Salty, sweet, the whole deal, I coincidently lost count of how many crepes I've had that night (and to think that I'm actually trying to stay fit). Fortunately she's on a short vacation right now therefore I must take advantage of her absence and start some starving diet before she gets back.
Saturday was a somewhat easy day or at least that's how I had planned for it to be.
But as they say, never predict nor avoid the inevitable.
Further to a conspiracy which rose by the collaboration of my masterminded friend "I" and my seductive friend "P" who joined forces in trying to get me out of my "coccooning night" and into the Saturday night frenzy, I've ended up having an "all-nighter" instead. No complaints whatsoever as we had a wonderful time and an even more wonderful, or shall I say, adventurous, return as we performed a 3-way stunt ride that I dare not describe. And although I captured the moment with a few pics from my mobile, I'd rather not post them here at this time ;-)
A few hours of sleep and then off to a dvd-night gathering at my place, accompanied by the finest red wine possible and some mind breaking conversations for some couch crashing.
End of weekend.
More to come as a charged and crazy week lies ahead

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Alexander the Great was indeed delicious

While I haven't been in an Indian restaurant for ages, thanks to my best friend and fellow blogger, I had the opportunity to do so last Wednesday night at Iskander restaurant in the southern suburbs.

"Iskander" Hindu for our great Greek ancestor, Alexander the Great, was a reminder of how much I love Indian cuisine, the spices, the taste the ambiance.
The whole space was completely decorated with Indian artifacts, from carved wooden statues to the bronze Buddha who welcomed us by the entrance (not to mention the music).
A party of no less than 12 attending, occupied one of the longest tables available in the room. All Aude Sapere members present (of course), we stuck together on one end and mingled mostly with each other as the rainfall of Indian delights kept coming like a rainfall thus preventing us from further talking with the other end.
Not having the slightest idea of what we were eating the guessing game begun.
"this must be chicken" "this must be lamb" and so on, but one thing was certain. We tried everything and it was delicious. Curry being present in almost every single dish, from the entrees to the salads and even the main course, we couldn't help but appreciate and acknowledge the importance of spices in meals, or as others would say, in our very life.
It seems that Alexander the Great had left some significant heritage beyond civilization, the heritage of the excellent mixture of tastes.
The only thing that wasn't Indian must have been our red wine, which was from Chile, but no point of mentioning it as it was fine and obviously well consumed.
A great thanks to Rahid, our dedicated waiter with his humble smile who ensured we had everything to our satisfaction.
Next stop : the French home made Crepes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

(Note: this is to be read while listening to the accompanying track below)

With a little delay in posting, this past Sunday, after an impomptu Saturday night, I've decided to go for a coffee by the beach and meet with some dear friends of mine.
With a hang over reminding me of the night before along with a few hours of sleep, I headed to our meeting point. Influenced by the National Weather forecast which had predicted extremely low temperatures for this day, I covered up with multilayers of clothing, jackets, scarfs and what not. To my surprise, we ended up having our coffee (freshly squeezed fruit juice in my case, in a desperate effort to get some vital vitamins) on the outdoor section of the cafe, right by the water. The temperature must have been above 24 degrees, which under the sun, a scarf and a jacket become unbearable! Undressing quickly begins while I notice that there are also people who are actually swimming. No, I'm not talking about the regular winter swimmers, as these people were also sun bathing on their beach towels. Momentarily I thought I had some season identity crisis. Was this summer or late fall? Could it be that on the 12th of November, summer had forgotten to leave us? Am I to worry about Global Warming or was this simply a much needed oasis? I may never get an answer but there's one thing I know for sure. It was a "bright, bright sunshiny day"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Remember remember the 8th of November

They thought
They called
They wrote
They sent
They wished
They remembered...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Zwei gläser von wein bitte!! (Of Mice and Men)

Excuse my German but I'm sure you'll find this way more fascinating than the language barrier!
A recent study from Harvard University has shown that red wine has expanded the life span of laboratory mice. A substance called Resveratrol (an extract of red wine) was responsible for this groundbreaking discovery that increased the mammals life span by 10-20 human years.
Initially the tests were performed on obese mice in order to examine the effects of Resveratrol on their body compared to normal diet/thin mice who weren't given this specific substance.
Moreover, the hearts and livers of the mice getting resveratrol looked healthier and also appeared to have a better quality of life, retaining their activity levels and agility.
Further testing has already begun to see its effects on humans.
Are we that close to the fountain of youth?
The dosage used on mice was equivalent to 100 bottles of red wine per day so I wouldn't start drinking just yet.
Here's the best song to celebrate!

Friday, November 03, 2006

TGIF or not?

Strange day today, a lot going on, a lot on my mind but hey, it's only a day right?
The weather isn't helping much either, as we went from a lovely 26C down to 11C in only a couple of days.. Luckily, the sun is still out there.
At least it's comforting when I think of all the good things that are coming up in the next months..
Not being disenchanted in any way, until then, here's one song that has been on my ipod repeat list these last few days.
It's from one of my favourite artists, Damien R, who happens to be a master of his kind. Here's : "9 crimes"

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

oh and one more thing

Strawberry Fields Forever!!

This entire post is exclusively dedicated to my favourite Strawberry who's celebrating her birthday today!

An extrordinary & unique strawberry who managed to reverse the aging process and keeps getting younger and younger while maintaining ripe and delicious every single year!

Happy Birthday and all the best for this year and years to come Φραουλίτα μου!

Αντε και του χρόνου στις Μαλδίβες (με καραβίδες) οπως είπαμε!!!!

And before I forget, here's one of my favourite recipes :


- 2 tb Strawberry Syrop

- 1 glass of cold water

- 1 cup of red & ripe strawberries

Use your imagination for the preparation process

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The formula

There are times that words can’t be adequate enough to describe our thoughts and feelings exactly like we would like them to.
For this reason, I’ll try to be as quick as possible and all I’ll say is:

K + I + N + P + N + H + ((X) + Y*)

X = present in spirit (and over the phone)
Y* = All those who couldn’t make it in time

No this isn’t some complicated quantum physics formula but the initials of all those responsible for giving me one of the best birthdays of my life.
As I previously said, “thank you” is unfortunately a small word compared to the gratitude and joy that I feel.
I will however, tell you, that although you may have achieved your little surprise with perfect coordination, beware of the consequences and accept the inevitable in the months to come!!!
Once again, thanks to all!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Goodbye Sunday, bloody Sunday

What’s the best way to ruin your Sunday?
What’s an ever better way to ruin your next Sunday?
Elections 2nd round..
While trying to maintain my political point of view as well as expressing my constitutional rights, I did exactly what every legal and conscious citizen would do, voting for the mayoral and prefectural elections. Despite the fact that I was misplaced in another voting station than my regular one, I was dispatched to yet another location where I finally casted my votes. It turns out, my vote, as well as all the others, weren’t sufficient in order to provide a secure and final winning result for our candidate mayor, so they’ve decided to go for yet another round of battling with the ballots.
It goes without saying that until today, there hasn’t been “one” candidate mayor that has convinced me (or even attempt) of being capable of actually investing his time and dedication in my town. So whether my political word will be heard or forever be silenced in these elections, I am certain of only one thing. Much ado about nothing, except for one more Sunday gone in vein.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"The" Cruise

Back to reality after my 4 day adventurous cruise!
Everyday a new adventure, so much to say so little space.. although in Quantum-Space all is possible so here it goes..

Day 1 : Originally set as a party of 3+1 friends (the latter joining us later on in the evening as she couldn’t make it in the morning due to work related issues) plus a couple of independent acquaintances that wanted to join us (gladly they were on their own as throughout the whole trip as we didn’t have anything in common). An infernal traffic situation on our way to the port made the beginning of this journey no less than dramatic as we arrived only a few minutes before departure. Nevertheless we made it through customs and also had a quick (yet thorough) look at the duty free shop before boarding the ship. And so we did, we boarded, settled in, and started exploring the Queen as she smoothly sailed away. A mandatory emergency evacuation exercise followed immediately and had us all wear our beautiful yellow lifejackets reminding us of how it’d feel if we actually experienced a “Titanic” or even a “Poseidon” but no glaciers or tsunamis were to be found in the Aegean. For the record, we were assigned to raft #9.
Coffee and lunch followed (with a bit of sunbathing on the upper deck) right before hitting our first stop. Mykonos.

Mykonos: We disembarked by tender boats and reached the beautiful harbor within a few minutes. An impeccable view of the town right before sunset was surely a feast to the eyes. Being in Mykonos after so many years reminded me how much I actually missed that place. And so our tour begun, exploring the town with its steep allies, white and blue houses with their colorful bougainvillea everywhere, beautiful (and tempting) boutiques, deliciously attractive restaurants and cafes, Pierro’s square with the pelicans, the windmills, Little Venice for the sunset and so on. Mykonos, an island perhaps misunderstood by some, but never underestimated. A natural gem of the Cyclades. I know this might sound a bit like a GNTO (Greek National Tourism Organization) commercial but it’s the best way I can describe it.
Our promenade ended in a nice Ouzo spot on the pier where we were scheduled to meet our other friend who caught a flight from Athens to Mykonos joining us on our journey. And so she arrived, we had ouzo along with several seafood appetizers but as time passed faster than we thought we were obliged to run back to the tender boat for our transfer to our ship.
The last ones to board (mark my words, you’ll see this repeated throughout the rest of the trip) and only a few minutes time to get ready for dinner as the restaurant had a very tight timetable. We sailed off on a full moon lighting a path on the dark blue sea and enjoyed our dinner by the pool. A coffee at the aquarium lounge followed by a few drinks on the ship’s 2 decked disco with the beats of DJ Sasha and Vladimir’s “skilled” cocktail serving (can’t say the same as to the content of the drinks), called the first day a night. Before hitting the beds, a short gathering in our cabin for some after hour party with a few real drinks and music. I forgot to mention that our multitalented cabin hostess, Madalena had done a remarkable job arranging our cabin in the state that we found it once we entered the ship. Clothes folded, sheets and towels changed and even an impressive work of art on some of our beds. Statues made of towels, a different shape every day. A true Artist!! Next stop, Rhodes.

Day 2 : Rhodes
Early wake up call as the ship docked at around 7:30 am. Breakfast on board and then off to the port to begin our day in the medieval city of Rhodes. What to say about Rhodes or where to begin when history unveils before your eyes at the very first glimpse. Also known as “The island of Knights”, Rhodes has a unique blender of history combining, ancient history, medieval history, and recent history all in one place. Off the port, we crossed the ancient harbor where once stood one of the Seven Wonders of the World, none other than The Colossus of Rhodes, now replaced by 2 dear statues on 2 poles at the exact spot where his feet where standing. A walk inside the walls of the medieval fortress makes you feel no less than a knight yourself. Castles, crypts, monuments, temples, museums all aligned. A short stop by the French consulate located inside the castle’s walls offered a very pleasant surprise as we discovered a local artist’s contemporary art exhibition. Original paintings, oil on canvas with the exception of one that combined oil and blood (couldn’t get the artist’s comment on that one), decorated the hall on the upper floor of the embassy. We then headed on the top spot of the fortress where the old town’s majestic ancient “clock tower” stood lavishly as an orientation axe. A coffee was proposed but a beer followed at a nearby bar in order to rest for a while before proceeding with our visit. While trying to arrange a meeting with some dear friends of mine that lived on the island, I also took the opportunity to get some guidance from them as to where to have lunch trying to avoid all the tourist restaurants in the area. My friends proposed a few local restaurants right outside the old city in what was supposed to be a 15 minute walk which ended up being more than an hour of walking under the sun (not to mention extreme heat) but the struggle proved to be more than worth it. And if that wasn’t enough, we also had to bare with one of our friend’s constant whining about how we should have taken our swimsuits with us, and murmured about how the beaches were beautiful and how everyone’s swimming except us and so on… Sweaty, tired and insolated we finally arrived at “metaksi mas” tavern, translation of “between us” where we had an unforgettable time and lots of laughter. Forget the sunstroke as it was once again Ouzo’s turn to take over while the local specialties aroused our taste buds. Mesmerized by the whole moment, landscape, the company of friends being together and the great ambiance, we suddenly were reminded by an intriguing phone call from my local friends asking me where we are. A glimpse at our watch granted us moments of great terror and stress as we only had a very short time to get back to the port and catch our ship. Saved by the bell (or the phone in this case) as my friends came to pick us up therefore avoiding the return by foot, gave us a few more minutes of freedom on the island which were “wisely” spent in the duty free shop. Comments from people attending this specific moment in the shop will not be allowed. All done in split seconds and only 2 minutes before embarkation we then run off to the ship only to notice from the distance that the bridge ladder was being retrieved from the dock. A few horror screams and some Olympic running prevented us from spending the night in Rhodes. “Strangely”, the same officers that embarked us in Mykonos didn’t seem too surprised seeing us once again being the last ones to board.
After dinner, we had the occasion to get a taste of some “Greek” themed evening constituted by a Cypriot singer and a Bulgarian live orchestra at the Stars Lounge. And as the lack of excitement in the hall was more than evident we did what we do best. We decided to cheer things up by getting up and dancing all alone on the dance floor while literally dragging people with us, strangers half asleep by the numb act which at first played difficult but finally indulged into some fun moments on stage. I seriously think that we should have been rewarded for our generous contribution although we did get to meet two wonderful girls who from that moment and on, have joined our company and spend the rest of our holidays together. After turning a morgue into a fiesta we then took off to our regular DJ Sasha meeting point for some calorie burning dancing. Vladi’s bottle joggling was once again the highlight of the night as the “where’s-the-alcohol” margaritas tried desperately to quench our thirst.
As tradition had it, the night ended in our cabin, (tonight's work of art: The Flower by Madalena)all six of us for some real yellow tequila, music and some freshly brewed gossip from our new friends about some guy who tried to murder his wife with dinner knives as he was jealous she was flirting with an officer on board. Apparently the guy then tried to commit suicide by jumping off board but he was prevented by the officers in due time. Now that’s what I call some good storytelling. No time left to rest though as our next stop was only a few hours away. Next stop, Patmos.

Day three: Patmos & Kusadasi

Tough wake up call. Only 2 and a half hours of sleep, several headaches and two sites to visit in only 4 hours. 6:30 am and we’re being transferred to the pier by tender boats. A picturesque surrounding, one of the best I’ve seen so far, reflected in the calm waters of the bay as if looking at a canvas through a mirror. Patmos, another island of great history and mysticism. The island where the most intriguing chapter of the bible, the Apocalypse / end of days, was written by St-John the Divine.
With only a few hours available for sightseeing we immediately looked for the best possible way to get to the cave and the monastery of St-John. Without having too many options we chose the easiest and most practical one which was to hire a taxi for our transfer to the top hill of the town. A Schumacher-like young driver demonstrated his driving skills by surpassing the speed of light on the mountainous, curvy not to mention dangerous road to our first stop, the cave of the apocalypse, the actual place where St-John wrote the famous gospel.
The cave, now a church, was having their Sunday’s Mass when we got there but that didn’t stop us from visiting inside where we also found a copy of the Apocalypse protected by glass. For a few moments, we stood in awe to the mystic book but not much time to think or wonder as we had to rush back up to the entry of the site where we had to meet our personal Schumacher chauffer. Once again, another “fast and furious” ride to the top of the hill, were stood the famous monastery of St-John. Christian monks from various Christian Orders have inhabited this monastery for centuries. A great site with many smaller chapels inside its walls dating back to the beginning of the Christian Era. A lot of stairs, uphill roads and a lot of walking were the most challenging parts of our visit as the early morning factor was not being kind to us, at all. The quick visit ended in about 40 minutes time and once again, running back to the entrance for our speed of light ride back.
Back to port, a quick coffee break of fairly 5 minutes to get some caffeine in our blood (coincidently sitting right across the potential murderer of last night) and then back to the tender boats for our transfer back.
Now only a few hours left before our next stop and an attempt to catch some sleep before our next adventure. Next stop, Kusadasi, Turkey.

Turkey (Kusadasi / Ephesus):

What I thought to be a problem with my mobile phone turned out to be just a mixture of local networks as we were approaching the borders of the Turkish mainland. Greek networks, Turkish networks, Greek again, Turkish again and so on until we finally reached the harbor where Avea/Aria Turkcell prevailed. Kusadasi, a town once belonging to Greece, like most of the western coastal area of Turkey, reminded us of an enormous flea market, which was a fair description considering what was to follow. Our main objective was to visit the Greek Archeological site of Ephesus and the temple of Artemis, yet another one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World.
And so the adventure begins. Having asked the exchange rate of the Euro to the Turkish Lira at a nearby Tourism Office and not having to look much further we were spotted by a group of taxi drivers who immediately started to propose excursions to Ephesus. An 18 kilometer drive was at first proposed by them at 60 euro per car round trip. Before even trying to bargain the rate, they immediately gathered around us, like vultures around the prey imposing strongly that we choose one of them. As all six of us tried to move further so we can discuss it in private, they abruptly followed not leaving us the list bit of space to breath. The show had begun. Calling us all possible Greek male and female names they can think of (with preference to George for the men), loud like any respectable merchant, these predators were out to hunt. As we found a potential driver with a 7 seat minivan and tried to discuss the rate, another couple of Greek travelers of the Queen approached us and kindly asked us if they can join us as they had no idea of how to get through this situation. A tough bargain between my friend and me, joined together against the taxi driver became the entertaining show of the moment. Reverse psychology, marketing techniques and delicate acting got us a 45 euro ride round trip for a total of 8 passengers in a 7 seat minivan. A good deal if you ask me, especially if compared to the 51 euro per person organized shore excursion of the Queen. Before heading to the van, a thoughtful act from my friend checking if the driver had at least a driver’s license made us feel secure to say the least. And so all 8 of us, fit perfectly (?) in the 7 seat van and the excursion begins. On the way, Rachid tells us about the nearby sites such as the house of Virgin Mary and some local bazaars for which he insisted on taking us implying that we can get better shopping deals, but none of the two were possible as time was very limited. And so we finally arrive at the southern gate of the site while informed by Rachid that he will wait for us on the northern side at the end of our visit.
Ephesus, an ancient Greek city which was once one of the wealthiest of the Mediterranean world. A breathtaking landscape with temples, ruins, houses, ancient markets, libraries, theatres and of course the place where once stood the famous temple of Artemis. The temple dedicated to the Goddess of Hunt, once measured 130 meters long, 68 meters wide and 18 meters high. Unfortunately only the foundation along with one column remains of this temple today. Further down the site, we come across the ancient amphitheatre which can accommodate up to 25000 spectators and where one of our friends takes the stage and pretends she stars in an ancient Greek Tragedy although if you ask me, it seemed more like a catwalk in Milan. Time’s once again our enemy so we proceed quickly to the rest of the site in order to finish our visit as quickly as possible. Dehydrated from the long walk under the partly cloudy sky, we once again had to bargain for a few bottles of water. A bargain which ended up being a feud as we miscalculated the amount of Lira given to the salesman and wrongly insisted we had given him more while he was insisting he was correct. Yelling and probably not calling us friendly names, had we understood what he was saying, he finally let us leave with an extra bottle of water that unfortunately gave him justice once we calculated again on our ride back. But it was too late to go back now, we had falsely accused the poor man, not to mention drive him crazy. If he ever reads this, on behalf of all of us, we are very sorry for this misunderstanding.
Rachid, being as punctual as any dedicated chauffer, takes us back to Kusadasi and drops us in the exact area where he picked us up. In need of a few souvenirs to remind us of Turkey we decide to spend a little time in the nearby market. As you might have guessed, the vultures reappeared from everywhere, not letting us walk through the allies of the town unattended. They were everywhere, in front of every single shop, calling us, struggling to get us inside their store, blocking our way as we walked, insisting, harassing. Only 5 minutes in the market and the first headaches appeared. It was impossible to carry on like this. Finally, we all bought a few sweets, Turkish delights among others, and while trying to keep the women from indulging in their compulsive shopping behavior, we had to rush back to the port to catch our ship.
A few last minute shopping from two of the girls delayed us even more only to be, once again, fashionably late for our embarkation on the Queen. Last ones on board, risky late-comers, as one of the officers called us but at least we prevented the overnight in Kusadasi, which I doubt any of us desired.
Our last night on board was spent traditionally with dinner, clubbing and of course our infamous late night cabin partying which had to be interrupted at early hours as most of us had yet to prepare our luggage. A difficult task considering we had to fit a few more duty free bags into the already stuffed suitcases. Mission accomplished although I do pity all the baggage porters that had to deal with them early in the morning. Piraeus, 6:30am and we all gather for a final nostalgic meeting in the aquarium lounge. Tired as ever, but still joyful, we promise to meet once again as in a pact, for yet another voyage. Thank your Majesty for a wonderful time, thank you to all those who shared the moments!
End of Journey.