Monday, May 28, 2007

Day Watch

"Day Watch" or "Dnevnoy dozor" in its original Russian title, it's a relatively good movie that comes close to its American brother (the Matrix) at least in darkness and plot, visual effects as well. However, the script is too shallow for its goals. Still...enjoyable.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Romanian Politics (in romanian)

A funny hip hop parody about the Romanian politics

Friday, May 18, 2007

A bit of a pause

The moving day episode is just a part of an extended weekend coming up...which will be finally a work-free one. I am done with re-shaping a paper which I am going to present at a conference in Budapest towards the end of June.
Started to work on a second one, but I had to put it away for this time (deh, priorities!) Hopefully within a year or so, I will be done with all the papers composing my thesis, which will be great leaving me some room for other possible topics or purely job market exploration.

Moving Day

Yesterday I gave Mikko a hand in moving his stuff to a new apartment in South Troy. A very nice one indeed which should please his future wife also. The whole thing reminded me of how many things I have...and what awaits me around the corner. Thus, some strategic planning is needed again. After all the heavy lifting and box moving, the dinner was set for the local Hooters in Crossgates Mall. Never been there; it's allright but not nearly as nice as it should be (and perhaps it is in other Southern States, I understood). The food was pretty good but not beyond a usual restaurant. Still, worthwhile trying..:)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My new wide angle lens

Just bought some new toys for my photographic mind. More specific, a wide angle lens kit Phoenix 0.6 X with macro, a 58mm thread. They look pretty good...still worried a bit about the vignetting since my FZ7 is 52mm. Well I guess that's all for now, least till the next time.:) Meanwhile, the pictures are still there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The NEW Cinematic Orchestra Album

The best TCO album so my humble opinion.
So melodic that the tracks are flowing one into the other like the water of a sluggish river. Yet, so jazzy and catchy. Great stuff that it's a must. just BEAUTIFUL. (10 of 10)

** For a taste check out the first track here and download it.**

Excerpts from the Press Release :
May 7th sees the release of the first full studio album by Jason Swinscoe's Cinematic Orchestra since 2002's "Everyday". Entitled "Ma Fleur," the record was written as the soundtrack to a specially commissioned screenplay for an imagined film (which may or may not yet be made).
Dealing with themes of loss and love - and in itself representing a kind of absence - "Ma Fleur" is fertile ground for Swinscoe's brand of music-making, for while people have talked about what he does in terms of jazz, the truth is that the basis of his music has always been in raw emotion. From the achingly beautiful opener "To Build A Home" to the finale, "Time And Space," this is an album which reaches for and finds a truth and honesty far beyond what we would normally expect from such a record, but without losing any of the accessibility which made TCO popular in the first place. If the mood is melancholy, Swinscoe and the musicians he works with manage to make it an ultimately uplifting experience, perhaps in the end more about the love you find than the love you lose…

Monday, May 14, 2007

40 Games in 40 Nights

NBA Playoffs. After the poor display of skills at the end of Nets-Cavs game, both LB and Vince Carter proving us wrong with regards to the All Star nominations the toughest series went on with a nice and deserved win of the Suns over the (too) physical Spurs

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day filled with Tulips

Beautiful weather, just right (about 65-70 degrees) not too hot or cold, the tulips festival in Albany was a great event with a lot of people enjoying the atmosphere and more of, the beers and food available.
This is one of Albany’s oldest and most highly anticipated events taken place in the beautiful historic Washington Park. Each year, this traditional Albany event greets spring with hundreds of tulips blooming in a myriad of colors and varieties.Thousands from across the Capital District Region and beyond come to Tulip Fest each May to celebrate Albany’s rich Dutch heritage. Tulip Fest features also entertainment on 3 stages and hand made crafts and the fine arts show showcases photography, paintings in various mediums and sculpture. One of the highlights of the festival is the crowning of the Albany Tulip Queen on Saturday at noon which I obviously missed:))
However, my main goal to get some wonderful tulip shots was achieved.
Check out my pictures here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cheering for the Underdogs

As I always do:))..and..Finally the Golden State Warriors came true. At their fisrt playoff appearance in the last 13 years (!!)and after beating the Dallas Mavericks (the big favorites for the NBA title with an impecable regular seaon and Dirk as the league's MVP)in the first round of the Western NBA playoffs I thought they are going to be more than OK with the Utah Jazz, a far inferior team than Dallas, but definitely more physical. Unfortunately, they have lost the first two games in Utah, mainly due to their own (unbelievable) mistakes and lack of self-confidence. But things turned 180 degrees around in game 3 and beat the Jazz by a margin of 20 points.

Working Hard...

These days I have been working a lot on perfecting my scholarly stuff (papers & thesis proposal). Funny how things cease to exist outside your computer and room, your eyes are just getting red (for nothing?) but not from the sunshine or the late night parties:)). But no complains however, I had my fare share of fun things this year; just the perspective of spending (most) of the summer here and not enchanting at all. Hopefully it will all be worth; I have ahead a pretty busy schedule and a complicated way through my graduate program. the beauty however, resides in the final results and hopefully they will come up, as i want them too, just ripe.:))Howgh!

Babel - the movie

Finally, I founded two hours and 16 minutes to watch this one.Worthwhile..and definitely Oscar material, this powerful drama has all the current basic emotions of our society included (terrorism, murder, sex and drugs) plus the classical fear of unknown clearly showed there through the biased views of a US citizen against the people from rural isolated Morocco or the Mexicans coming illegally in the US. (There is a funny episode in South Park with "They steal our jobs" all over it, and the funny twist is that they are using people from the future to round up the analogy)
Sure to watch it.
PS Brad Pitt has nothing to do with the quality of the movie (camera, music and scenario) but it sure fits in well:)

Friday, May 11, 2007

How I Celebrated the End of the World

How I Celebrated the End of the WorldThis movie reminded me a lot of my long lost childhood in a communist dictatorship Romania with rationalized food, electricity and water.
All the good and bad that were and still make a vivid memory.
Getting back to the movie here, impression is MEDIOCRE. Everything is kind of shabby: the plot, the acting and the scenary. I think, a usual Romanian-cinema style based too much on "shocking" stuff rather than making it "deeper". Surprisingly, they didn't employ gypsies in this one.:)
Overall, it's recommended for all Romanians!
Let us remember!
But if you want to see a far better communist nostalgia check out this one:
Good BYe Lenin!


Beauty is Everywhere

Took some lovely pictures in a very plain like place.
You just have to look...
(see the link above in the title;
or copy paste it from here)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

One of my Favorites Videos (UNKLE)

UNKLE - "Eye for an eye" is one of my favorite videos.
Abstract, dark and with a subtle parallel towards the gloom outlook for the human race.

See it! (if you haven't already)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Do you know about TOSCA?

Not the Italian Toscana or the opera but the downtempo project going now for some time. Tosca is an electronic music project of Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber. After the start of Kruder & Dorfmeister in 1994, Tosca became the second project in which Richard Dorfmeister took part where his first single publication, Opera, was published fairly briefly in 1997. Opera was the first album that Tosca released with G-Stone Recordings. Further publications followed up with the latest being Souvenirs. The chronological order: Opera (1997); F**k Dub Remixes (1997; Chocolate Elvis Dubs (1999); Suzuki (2000); Suzuki in Dub (2000); Different Tastes of Honey (2001); Dehli 9 (2003); J.A.C. (2005); Souvenirs (2006)
Just got my hands on this one which brings my Tosca collection to its fullest..interested to see how good it is. (JAC -2005- was pretty good!)

Less usual (African) cinema

In collaboration with The Sactuary for Independent Media, iEAR Presents is pleased to announce The African Film Festival, which started at Wednesday, May 2 -- and runs again on May 9, 16, and 23 at The Sanctuary.
This festival, which features work from South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, showcases a neglected part of international film culture and supports African films overlooked by distributors but which are deserving of larger audiences.
* May 2 -- "Don't F*** with Me, I have 51 Brothers and Sisters" w/ "Ousmane"
* May 9 -- "A Child's Love Story / Un Amour D'Enfant" w/Toi, Waguih"
* May 16 -- "The Night of Truth / La Nuit de La Vérité" w/ "My Lost Home" / "Ma Maison Perdue"
* May 23 -- "Daughter of Keltoum" w/"Whole: A Trinity of Being"

1 Day Getaway in Adirondacks and Vermont

Adirondacks National State Park occupiying most of the north-east of NY state and the border with vermont.Created in 1892 by the State of New York due to concerns for the water and timber resources of the region, today the Park is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States (!!), greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined

encompassing approximately 6 million acres, nearly half of which belongs to all the people of New York State and is constitutionally protected to remain “forever wild” forest preserve. The remaining half of the Park is private land which includes settlements, farms, timber lands, businesses, homes, and camps.

On this one day getaway, I had the chance to visit Saratoga Springs, Glen Falls, Lake George, see the home of 1980s Winter Olympics (lake Placid) and Lake Champlain before crossing into Vermont by ferry and being amazed by the overall dominance of green (and cows:)) in the neighboring state (VT).

For more pictorials check out my photoblog postings at:

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The melodic sounds of De-Phazz

Finally got my hands on this LP...pretty good in the same downtempo tradition but "Detunized garvity" seems even better..

No new territory for De Phazz, but proof that these guys are still one of the best at coming up with playfully poppy grooves! The record moves in the same space as their previous sets -- bits of jazz, bits of Latin, bits of soul -- all filtered together with a style that often moves at the speed of downtempo, but which is a lot more focused and song-based. Most numbers have some sort of vocals -- by frequent De Phazz vocalist Barbara Lahr, as well as Angel Jones, Karl Frierson, Billy Edgeware, and Pat Appleton -- and although the styles change as the tunes roll on, there's enough of a unified feel to most of the record -- thanks to a recurrent sense of guitar "twang", as referenced in the title. (DustyGroove)

Friday, May 04, 2007

I love this game!

The playoffs are the most exciting part of the whole NBA action thing and this year they were especially quite spectacular. After the champions en-titre (Miami Heat) got swept in a 0-4 series with the new Chicago Bulls team, yesterday the big favorites to get the title this year (Dallas Mavericks no.1 in the Western conference and the overall NBA rankings) led by Dirk Nowitzki were eliminated by the no.8 seat (Golden State Warriors) which is a big surprise. The Mavs have had a great season and they seemed to be on their way to an NBA title, having 25 more victories in the regular season than the Warriors. However, these guys played incredible and managed to provide such nice surprises that make the game more interesting. Hope they will get far enough...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A short Maryland getaway

I took a couple of days off and visited my girlfriend in Southern Maryland. Was a beautiful weather, good for visiting DC and contingent area. More details on another post