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Retirement Pillows with Funny Slogans

I have been working freelance for several years now on several projects, and while it has its downsides, the fact that I can organize my own time according to inspiration and different energy flows allows me to work daily without quite feeling it as a burden (well, a little bit; and then I’m not completely without a boss :D). A while ago I made a series of retirement pillows for people who have worked for … More

Enescu Festival Videos Available Live + 12 Hours

I was doing some graphic design work on Zazzle while listening to Enescu’s Piano Trio in G minor live from the Romanian Athenaeum, and I thought I should write this short post about the festival, letting all of you know that the videos go live on the festival’s website and remain available there for an extra 12 hours. After spending four wonderful evenings in the concert halls of the Athenaeum and the Palace Hall, I … More

People Inspo: Itzhak Perlman, Violinist, Two Documentaries

Itzhak Perlman has been an inspiration to me for his violin playing for about two and a half decades now. I’m not a violinist (even though I studied violin as a child), but I loved his recordings from the first moment I listened to them. Later on I learned that he was in a wheelchair, and it made those performances even more poignant in a way, because he was so free and tender and generous … More

EUROPAfest 2021 Jazz Gala: Pretty Amazing

This year the festival EUROPAfest hosted nine days of jazz culminating with a rather amazing gala by the winners of this year’s international jazz competition. The Best Band prize went to Vittorio Cuculo Group from Italy, with Vittorio Cuculo on sax, Enrico Mianulli on double bass, Massimo Di Cristofaro on drums, and Danilo Riccardo on piano. The Grand Prize went to Alessio Magliari Trio, a more recent band, also from Italy. The trio members are … More

People Inspo: Robert Marchand, Record-Setter Cyclist at 105

I was watching TV one evening and saw a documentary that included a short interview with Robert Marchand. The old man, only 5-feet tall (1.52 m), was thin but looked rather fit. He was also in good spirits, saying that he didn’t have a special menu but that he liked to exercise daily. He did say on one other occasion, after riding 22.547 km in one hour at age 105, setting a world record, that … More

Etnotique Photo Exhibit of Romanian Folk Costumes at University Square in Bucharest

A few days ago I was walking in downtown Bucharest, enjoying the honeyed scent of linden blossoms, along with various displays of flowers in parks, when I came across a photography exhibit mounted on the fence of the Museum of the Bucharest Municipality at Sutu (Șutu) Palace in University Square. Here are some of the photographs, showing Romanian folk costumes from different parts of Romania. The costumes in the next three photos are all from … More

Quick & Easy Recipe: Yummy Gluten-Free Breadsticks with Super Fluffy Texture

I was trying to make bagels, but the dough became too hydrated and sticky (gluten-free flour blends are tricky when it comes to following recipes), and I decided to do fluffy bread balls (and then breadsticks) instead (by skipping the boiling part, among other things). While I did change the process, I mostly followed the ingredients and quantities given in a recipe for Gluten-Free New York Bagels, so if you want to try making New … More

TT: Snack on cherry tomatoes instead of larger ones

If you don’t enjoy eating dishes with tomato sauce or paste because of acid reflux (which, I found in my case, seems to be caused, in fact, by certain preservatives rather than the citric and malic acid in tomatoes), and you don’t eat many raw tomatoes because of the taste, I suggest you try cherry tomatoes. They are sweeter (after all, tomatoes are fruit, not vegetables) and more flavorful. And you can easily enjoy them … More

OPG: Restaurant Providing Blankets for Its Customers

Today’s One Pleasant Gesture post is about a restaurant in Bucharest’s Old Town offering blankets to its guests. After the terrible pandemic year 2020 some businesses have come up with ingenious ways to go the extra mile for their customers. The one I visited yesterday had a nice heater outside and pink blankets everywhere: on the shoulders of a customers, the back of a chair, and the lap of a woman patron. I enjoyed my … More

Of Art: Claude Monet, Poppy Field near Argenteuil (1873)

I was browsing through a small album with paintings from the Musée D’Orsay and fell under the spell of this painting, a Monet showing a field of poppies near Argenteuil. It’s one of several such paintings of Coquelicots (poppies) he did when he lived in Argenteuil in the 1870s, and, from what I’ve seen online, my favorite. I love the way the reddish-orange poppies are suggested in different ways throughout the field, how sometimes they … More

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