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