January 14, 2010

My Reflection

When I was assigned writing this blog I was skeptical at first. I didn’t know if I would feel comfortable sharing my interests and writing with other, probably unfamiliar people. Being a follower of various blogs for a long time my assumption was that it acquired a high level of informatics education and probably many other difficult skills. However, as my work on the assignment began my perception was totally changed. I began to be eager to post my newest work on the blog. I started searching for inspiration in different places: movies, music, books, and the internet. Even links of my blog were given to few of my friends outside the classroom. This was a stimulus for me to try to do the pieces in a more interesting manner, to improve the blog’s layout and features, and to include various links or videos in the posts.
My belief is that this blog represents me in the best way possible for the small amount of works. The posts in it are reflection of my interests and state of mind. What I took for this experience, though, was not the sole ability to express myself a little more freely, but also to observe how others manage to do it. Reading my classmates and also Kentucky students blogs inspired me sometimes, or just made me think in a different way: it broadened my horizons.
Last but not least, I would remember my two partners from Kentucky. Sadly, the first one dropped out of the program, but the work of my second partner, Amy, is amazing. Reading and not always understanding her precise style and wonderful peaces made me improve mines, at least a little bit. As a conclusion, I believe that during those months of writing in the blog many things have changed, including me, and my belief is that this can be seen through my work.

A Poisonous Seed



Be not acknown on ’t,

I have use for it. Go, leave me.



I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin

And let him find it. Trifles light as air

Are to the jealous confirmations strong

As proofs of holy writ. This may do something.

The Moor already changes with my poison.

Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons

Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,

But with a little act upon the blood

Burn like the mines of sulfur.



I did say so.    

Look, where he comes. Not poppy nor mandragora

Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,

Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep

Which thou owedst yesterday.

A great man is recognized by his virtues. On the other hand, a tragic great villain is recognized by the power to destroy those virtues, to poison others’ minds, and to demolish people’s social status. This infamous, ironic model has conquered our subconscious through movies, books and TV shows. The Shakespearean play Othello presents one of the archetypes of notorious villains. It presents a person, known by his cruelty, recognized by his cunning ability to destroy people’s lives. All those characteristics shown in Scene 3 of Act III define Iago as the perfect villain, because he is also intelligent, influential, and able to preserve his valuable reputation until the end of the play.

As it is true that history repeats itself, it is also true that themes and motifs, which are present in Shakespearean plays, are also present nowadays. For example, it is still correct that the people, who a person opens his heart for, are the one’s who are capable of hurting him the most. Throughout the play, Othello, the protagonist, shows his respect for Iago, the antagonist. The Moor believes in the villain’s honesty and nobility. Iago’s monologue from Scene 3 of Act III, on the other hand, proves how deceptive appearance can be. It demonstrates that Iago’s reputation is based on trickery. The antagonist takes the symbol of love and purity: Desdemona’s handkerchief, and turns it into a symbol of destruction and hatred. “Be not acknown on ’t”, says Iago to his wife, when she gives him the handkerchief, hoping to please the villain, which makes her a compliant, deceived associate, who as many others helps Iago in his quest for revenge. However, can Desdemona be claimed as completely innocent, as absolutely unaware of the fact that her husband is up to something not entirely decent? Probably not. A woman who is not loved, who is not desired by her husband, who is used only as a tool for accomplishing Iago’s goals, Desdemona is not above suspicion. In her desire to be loved, to be acknowledged, to be valued, she is ready to fulfill every yearning of the cold husband. This readiness prevents her from thinking clearly, of evaluating the situation and seeing the fraud which her husband is pulling on. Furthermore, Iago is not only cold, but also he is ungrateful to her:” Go, leave me.”, he would say to his wife after she gives him the handkerchief.

Emilia gives Iago the most powerful weapon, an object that symbolizes not only Desdemona and Othello’s love, but also their commitment, and Desdemona’s faithfulness. All of these could be destroyed easily with the power of Iago’s words. “Not poppy nor mandragora/ …/Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep/ Which thou owedst yesterday”, would say he while waiting for Othello, knowing already how he would deceive deliberately the noble Moor. He knows that the handkerchief is Othello’s first gift to Desdemona, and that she keeps it with her at all times. Thus, the possession of it is the strongest evidence of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness in Iago’s hands. Then he would tell Othello that he had seen Cassio using it “I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin/ And let him find it”; thus causing the rational Othello to truly start questioning his wife, to become jealous, to lose his temper and his “sleep”; which eventually speeds up the tragic events that follow and leads to the relevant success of the villain’s evil plan. The metaphor “trifles light as air” , shows how fragile Iago’s plan is, how its is based on non existing proofs, on meaningless little things. However, when they are combined together with Othello’s newly acquired jealousy and existing trust for Iago, the evidence becomes a “holy writ”, an absolute proof, which dooms the two lovers to a tragic death.

Words have had a demiurgic function, from the ancient times. God creates the world with his words, as Iago creates a devious reality, with his well aimed expression.

The Moor already changes with my poison.

Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons,

Many of Iago’s associations and references include poison. He cultivates it, and then carefully plants the seeds into others minds. The deadly, poisonous seeds would then grow even stronger, and they would cause the tragic death of Othello. Also, the organic way in which Iago plants his “gardens” of deceit, the ease with which he determines others behavior creates the illusion that his manipulative, human evil is a force of nature. Furthermore, the fact that the people in the play are easily poisoned, effortlessly deceived, by Iago proves that they have fertile minds, a perfect ground for pulling off a great, dreadful scenario. In Othello illusions created with words seem to be a brilliant way to ruin a reputation and a life. Furthermore, life and reputation were probably synonyms at the time; and the one who uses their interconnection is Iago. He is attacking Othello’s dignity, and Desdemona’s honesty, which proves how important those two virtues were to the people in the past. A man as haughty as Othello isn’t able to bear the mere thought that he is fooled by a woman. There would be no “sweet sleep” for him, which is a metaphor for a happy and peaceful existence.

Iago’s ability to sense once weaknesses is one’s more depicted; in the monologue the reader is able to see his true face: the face of a cold, cunning villian. Of a person who in his quest of destroying the others, would destroy also himself. There is no crime without a punishment, whether it would be by the state, as in Iago’s case or by one’s conscience, as in Othello’s, later in the play. In Scene 3 of Act III all of the antagonist’s characteristics are vividly depicted. Iago proves to be a creature with dual capacity: he is noble on the exterior and harmful, when one looks closely. In the same manner, he is good until one stands in his way; helping, until it is no longer in his interest; supporting, unless he finds the person not useful any more; and a good friend, unless he feels unappreciated. In other words, he is the perfect villain.

January 12, 2010

Why people are attracted to dangerois sports or other dangerous activities?

Bungee jumping, parachute jumping,rafting- a variety of dangerous sports exists. However, not everyone wants to try them or supports their practice. My opinion is that sports involving risk are fascinating because they really take your breath away, they relieve your stress.
To begin with, the dangerous sports provide the perfect break from the monotonous everyday life. If your work is stressful, or you have become too anxious lately the extreme activities are the solution. When you jump off a bridge every thought connected to your work or office disappears. Even for a very short time, the problems diminish. However, there is no guarantee that one bunji jump will put all your life in order-nevertheless, it is worth trying.
Furthermore, the adrenaline, which enters your blood while you are doing a parachute jump, for example, provides you with energy and enthusiasm. Maybe during those precious seconds while the parachute is still not open your life-perspective may be altered. Maybe you will find the answers to all questions. However, those are just possibilities, the only certain factor is that you will become more experienced and hopefully happier person. At least while the adrenalin is still in your blood. Thus, your state of mind sill be changed.
Moreover, a famous quote says" Life does not count by the minutes you've lived, but by the moments that have taken your breath away." A bunji jump would surely take your breath away and provide you with memorable and unforgettable experience for the rest of your life.
There exist different reasons why people are attracted to dangerous activities. However, probably the most important of them lies in our hearts. The desire to take risks in order to test our limits and thus, find who we are. The desire yo try everything, so we would have what to tell when we get old. Last but not least, to find an escape from the everyday life.

December 16, 2009

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an old time classic. However, it does not only relate to your children, or grand children. It is not only a bedtime story. The magic in that book lies in its simplicity. It touches, without saying too much, or doing it in a complicated language. Reading the book provides the reader with the perfect escape from the reality. In times where everybody is serious, where people are bound to enter the “grown up’s” world, pretty early, Alice helps them escape. The book was written by Lewis Carroll, for entertainment of a favorite friend. Well, it sure entertains. As well as it conveys some very important messages, which only children truly know, and adults have already forgotten. “Everything is possible”, is the most important of them. The book truly proves that point. When leaving it the reader expects to see a talking rabbit or an evil queen, just around the corner. And he may as well, notice them this time. The magic adventure of Alice is much more interesting, given the fact that there would be a movie based on it staring Johnny Depp, pretty soon. Well, it would certainly be better to refresh your memory of Alice as a child, reading the lovely book, and then watch her as a grown up in the movie. .
Many people seem to believe that Alice has been created for entertaining purposes only. And so what? Even accepting that hypothesis, there is nothing bad of taking some time off our busy schedule, and entering a place where time does not exist. I believe that Alice can be read hundred times, and it would still have a different meaning. It depends what is your physical and mental condition, are you happy or dissatisfied, but no matter what it is certain that in the end you would be content and a little more cheerful.
The question which Alice raises “Who am I? “and is she the same person as this morning is also something to which people can relate to. I believe that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland teaches people individuality, a quality that is not very common nowadays. Alice cannot be commercialized, or copied. She is unique. As I believe everybody should be, and this does not depend on age or skin color. That makes the massage of the book universal.
The only thing left for you is to buy and read the book during the holidays. Or maybe give it as a present to a special friend? What better way to say :“I love you for who you are”, to your beloved people 

November 29, 2009

I <3 Berlin

It all started when she handed me the ticket: “Happy Birthday, dear!” said my best friend. Then I looked closer to see that it was not a real ticket, it was a birthday card. “We are going to Berlin”, said she, and I started wondering. Why Berlin? Why now? I didn’t know what to expect, I was rather skeptic even. “There is nothing much interesting to see there”, my father replied. Nobody prepared me that it would be one of my best trips. Maybe that is what made everything even more exiting.
Once we started the trip it was clear what our aim was: to see it all. To feel Berlin, while walking on the streets, to meet Germans, to eat their typical food, to explore the museums, and most importantly: to go to the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Well, we did all of the above, however, we were not prepared for an event that broadened our horizon, and made us a part of Berlin’s underground life. What happened there, in the strange building, in the non prestigious neighborhood, was probably the most defining experience in my trip. It was the culmination.
Everything began as a joke. I and my friend printed those visas___ from the internet. I found about the event by a chance while I was researching the various attractions in Berlin.
After looking for the address for half an hour, we found the strangely decorated building. It looked ordinary on the outside, but it was certainly different on the inside. The interior was filled with strangely dressed people. They were all waiting in a line, filling in their “visas”, just waiting to be granted a permission to enter. After giving 4 Euros each, an “officer”, dressed in a pink pajama escorted us to the next room.
It was a small rectangular room, with plain white walls, and white doors. The only colorful objects were on the people, who were standing with their backs to the wall. And all those people were so diverse, so interesting, so intriguing. I met a Hawaiian girl, a Canadian boy, a famous New York singer, and few French people. This did not happen in the white room though, nor in the next, or the next. I found myself waiting in different lines, in different rooms, for about two hours.
I was in an empty pool, in a changing room; I found a roller coaster, and boats, in this strange place.
I entered a party, a “Dream Land Party”. And I even received a passport, “Welcome to the “Land of Dreams” “, it was written. However, it also stated, “you may have entered your Dream Land a long time ago”, and this was probably very correct for me.
I may have been in Dream Land in Berlin, but I believe that I haven’t left it, and that I never will. I have been to a place where people had no restrictions. They did not have to comply with the society expectations. They were free to choose who they want to be. They were free to live up their dream, to dress differently, to act differently, and to feel differently. This event gave everybody a chance to escape from the reality, and to enter a place where everything was possible. A place so individual, and personal, and still shared with the others. A Dream Land, I entered Bibi Land, and nobody would take that away from me. Even though, the only thing left from that night is a vivid memory, I believe that it is one that won’t be forgotten.

A Flashback

So sure are you of the endless drumming rhythm of your isolation
That you are painfully slow to adjust
If only because
Yours is not that genre of story
Still and again, life cannot muster the stuff of movies
No bullets shattering glass
Instead fear sits patiently
Fear almost smiles when you finally see him
Though you have kept him waiting for thirty-three years

Ani Difranco - Parameters

Thirty three years ago, Cinderella died. Was it right? No, she was not supposed to. Was she sick? No, she was killed.
Thirty three years go by and not once do you sense remorse. Not once do you regret it. Not once do you think of your poor sister. Of your “step” sister, who happened to have the needed shoe size.
Thirty three years go by, and you are still living in the castle. He is still right next to you, no longer desperate. The memory of Cinderella fades. Every year, a little by little, you wipe her out of his conscious. You support him; support him in his quest of forgetness.
You are a cold case lover, in a relationship based on nothing. In a fake, illusional relationship; while you are disillusioned. You no longer dream to be the princess. Not once do you regret the action; you are just not content with the result.
Thirty three years go by and he still does not love you, he even does not love her any more. Thirty three years, you killer. All this time, there was no punishment. The crime was secret, it was perfect. Every villain would use you as a teacher. And you? You became a lonely creature of the night. You thought there would be no consequences. You weren’t right, though, were you? What was the prize? The prize of a life lived in vain, of a life lived in darkness. So afraid of the suspicious eyes, you hid yourself in the castle.
What castle? It is no longer appealing. It is no longer welcoming, even though it is fabulous. A fabulous jail; a wonderful place to hide, to hide from the world. And still, you don’t regret it. Your hatred won over, but your heart was lost. Building carefully your dungeon, it is now your home. You welcome the night, and despise the sunlight. The sunlight is where you see her; her lightened face, her cheerful smile, her loving husband.
Thirty three years go by, and your mother is dead. Your father is away, and there is no one left. No one left to support you, to hug you.
Thirty three years of loneliness.
What now? You will switch on the light, and put your dress. You will put your shoe, yes the same one, which he put on your foot thirty three years ago. Because, you were there, in all the happy endings. While she, the real Cinderella, his true love, well she never existed, or at least not in any numbered list, or city counting. She was your sister, you sister of the night. Because she was you, before you entered the castle, and began indulging yourself in the fake parade of appearances, where you lost your sense.
Thirty three years go by, and she will never come back, she would never return. And you would never escape. You won’t, until you kill your two identities. For real, you and her, her and you, the powerful tandem, made up of ghost and a shadow. A shadow of a person, with the ghost of the past.

October 29, 2009

How could all good things come to an end ?

“Nooo, Nooo, get away from me. I don’t want to see your face no more. I don’t want to live like this anymore. I am sick of your family. I am sick of your mother who is just never minding her own business. I am sick of you coming late, and of hearing rumors about you and the local slut”, she screamed and closed the white, wooden door in front of his face.
“My life is such a mess”, though she and big, crocodile tears started dropping on her cheeks. In this moment of desperation she felt so stuck, stuck in the miserable reality. She lived in a house, which she hated; with a family, with whom she was unable to talk; with a husband, who cheated on her. As she sat on her enormous, empty bed, she looked around. She lived in this lifeless room with her husband, Stefan. However, the room looked empty, and this made her even more upset. Their only common property did not resemble them at all. Everything was so well hidden. All her dirty clothes were in a little beg, which was placed carefully in her part of the wardrobe; as all the dirty and unpleasant family secrets were hidden carefully from all of their friends. At that moment of complete desperation Nina thought of Eleanor, which caused a smile on her beautiful face. Yes, Eleanor, her lovely little daughter, who was only three years old. She was now downstairs with her grandmother, Ralitsa, and was probably still upset from the recent fight. “Our little daughter”, reminded herself Nina, and the tears started dropping again.
“She should not suffer of my stupidity, she should have more opportunities, a different life”, mumbled she in the dark room. Then she started recalling all those small details from the past, which shaped her future.
She thought that she was from the lucky ones as a child. She was from Kurdjali, a small, beautiful town in Southern Bulgaria. Her parents were divorced but she didn’t mind, she was never that close to them anyway. Nina lived with her grandparents, another bonus. They just adored her and gave her everything she wanted. She lived in their old but charming house. It was neither too big nor too small. There were enough rooms for all of them: her grandmother, her grandfather, and her. She had the liveliest room in the house. It was all decorated with little pink hearts and a lot of mirrors. Her grandparents were not rich, but they were able to sustain a living standard in the small town. They even bough her piano, one marvelous black, old music instrument. As her grandmother was teaching her how to play, Nina found her little escape from the everyday life in the Beethoven sonnets. She had a step sister, a step father, even a step grandmother. Again she didn’t mind, she even felt affection towards her step-sister, she thought that Ani was very cute. Ani was seven years younger than her and she was so different. She wanted to study, while Nina still believed in the fairytales. She just kept on waiting for her prince Charming to arrive. Sadly, she had to find out that he never will.
Nina was never able to finish anything in her life. She dropped out of college; she was continuously leaving her jobs, one after the other, because she felt unappreciated. She didn’t have any long lasting relationships.
Nevertheless, she was truly happy. She was beautiful, so she constantly had boyfriends. She did not study, so she had time to concentrate on herself. As for her grandparents, they loved her so sincerely, that they were unable to see how their little girl was slowly turning into an irresponsible grown- up.
One day Stefan came into her life, and changed it utterly. He was everything she ever dreamed of: young, beautiful, charming. He was about two meters tall, with blond hair and blue eyes. She met him at the most extraordinary place: in the bank. She hardly ever went there, and she found out later that this was also the case for him. Nina wanted to open a bank account, and Stefan wanted to close his. That was his last visit in that bank, but it shifted his well arranged life completely. He noticed Nina’s beauty, as he walked into the room. But it was not until later that night that he had the chance to talk with her. They did not exchange a single word in the bank, but both of them noticed each other. Stefan was visiting a friend, who lived in Kurdjali. That same night, Stefan’s friend told him that he would introduce him to his best friend in one of the local pubs. No, it was not Nina. However, she was meeting her girlfriends at the exact same time, in the exact same pub. The rest is history.
Stefan was twenty-four years old, and she was twenty- two. He had one sister at Nina’s age. He was also a basketball player, a promising one. He played for the National basketball team. He was devoted to his training but he was fascinated by her beauty and natural intelligence. Moreover, he lived in Sofia, in the capital. Nina figured out that this would be her golden ticket; her magic pass, which would help her escape the provincial town. She was dreaming of the life in the big city, so adventurous, so inspiring.
Stephan included her in his life and explained to her all the small, but important details of their future together. He did this on their third date, as if he was in a rush. Nevertheless, she loved that future. He was creating an imaginary reality for the two of them. He promised her that they would buy themselves a small, lovely house. Just like the one of her grandparents. Stefan pictured it with three bedrooms: one for them, one for their future child, and one for all the possible guests they would have. “Our bedroom will have red sheets, and a huge, heart-shaped bed. Our child’s bedroom, on the other hand, would be designed according to the gender of the child. He described her, their future cars. “I would drive a black Mercedes”, he used to say, “and you, my little princess, a red Ferrari”. And he was full with promises.
“All those promises are now into ashes”, sadly whispered Nina in the night. She swallowed her tears and corrected her make-up. “The hysteria won’t bring me anywhere”, was her last thought. That she put the knife away from her heart, and into the drawer, where all the secrets were hidden, right next to Eleanor’s pink dress.