30 December 2009

once in a blue moon

It is believed that making a wish under a blue moon has a higher chance of coming true. However, I am a bit surprised by the ritual you are expected to perform. Do you think it will count if I only make a wish, repeat it three times and spare the naked part?

26 December 2009

my lessons learned in 2009

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

George Bernard Shaw

2009 was one of those difficult years that made me think a lot about where my life was heading. And it brought changes that were not planned. Tough decisions were needed... And now, at the end of the year, all I feel and want to say is, "Thank you, Lord! It had to be exactly this way."
So, facts are not that important, but lessons learned are. Some came as a result of painful experiences, and some were fun to learn.

I learned...
...that I could have a much greater control over my life than I was ready to accept before.
...to be grateful for all the blessings I have (as banal as it may seem, I really am!)
...to wear high heels. Well, it was about time...
...to pay attention to my own needs. Being egoistic at times turned out to be not so bad after all. Did I really learn how to do it?
...to devote more time to the things I love to do after work, and sometimes during work.
...to swallow whole vitamin pills without having to cut them in two (This one was a big progress. It was my childhood habit to cut big pills in two and until now I never made an attempt to change it.)
...well, not that I did not know this before, but now I firmly believe it: the world needs people that love what they do. They make the difference!
...that the Law of attraction really works. Now I have big plans of using it :)
How long could this list be? Much longer, for sure. I have read other people's lists of the decade. Now, if I have to make a list of the decade, it will be a long and boring one, so I don't even think of giving it a try. However, what really matters to me is that even if it is a one-point list, it IS already a huge part of my responsibility for my future.

23 December 2009

what christmas (decoration) means to me

I really love my Christmas decoration this year. I started timidly with decorating my home quite early. But then the weather was so untypically warm in November that I thought all the stars and little angels, and candles look somewhat ridiculous. It didn't stop me from putting more and more of them on the windows and walls though. I don't know what has changed in me - I learned to really appreciate abundance :)
The last Christmas stuff I got from the Christkind markets in Vienna.

And this magic angel made of wool is my favourite. I got it from my sister, in return for the sheep flying on clouds she got from me.

Merry Christmas, my dearest readers! May you all get the presents you are longing for!

26 November 2009

what people say

Thanks to gapingvoid. This guy is always such an inspiration...

18 November 2009

Sweet Relief

Am being very grateful to the Astro twins writing the horoscope column for elle. It is so relieving to know that it was only Saturn that was making my life so difficult for the last years. (OK, I am not complaining. It was not so bad after all. Just want to say that I have experienced other times that were much more easy-going.) And what is even more wonderful is that Saturn has just left my ambition sector in Virgo, and this should obviously promise some more relaxing times. Hallelujah!

16 October 2009

the opposite of snob is your mother

A funny and enlightening talk about career crisis, about winners and losers, about how snobbery makes our lives much harder... Not the first speaker I hear say we, people should worship something else than ourselves. So true, at least for me. I am now discovering for myself what my Grandmother took for granted. The truths that were unquestionable to her are a real revelation now to me.

dancing on the ceiling

Can you imagine sleeping in front of the TV while VH1 play their top 50 party hits?

I was so very tired and scared of everything happening this week. Last night I needed to do something for relaxation after the long hours spent in hospital. So, I somehow discovered that the choice of TV shows is enormous. No wonder people spend so much time watching television. I found my perfect cure for the evening - VH1's countdown of top 50 party hits ever. This good old Lionel Richie song made me dance and jump in front of the TV. And then I said, "OK, and now let's take a breath." And the cat was obviously waiting for me to calm down and as long as I found myself on the sofa, he came rushing to me with his purring in my ear. The greatest nap I've recently had! I only woke up to find out that Billy Jean was No 2, and not No 1 as I was expecting.

23 September 2009

post-holidays season

Four days off in a row, and three of them I spent in town. It could have been nice to travel somewhere but this time I was a bit lazy and preferred to spend the time at home.
OK, I had this short one-day trip to St Kirik's monastery that I really enjoyed. And for a change we did not travel by car but had to change a train and a bus to reach there. I felt as if I was in another country because I almost never take the public transport at home.
Apart from the monastery I was obviously impressed by the thick shadow of a walnut tree, which gave shelter to the long girls' talk...

17 September 2009

questions, questions

I read recently a post in a blog, which posed the question, "Do you need to stay updated all the time? Do you need to get the latest news, follow tweeter, etc.?" Well, after reading those first lines I decided to leave it because I am not really one of those information junkies. Yes, I need to know what is going on, and I have a few favourite info sites and blogs I check almost daily. But that's it. So, I said, nothing for me.
And then my eyes stopped on the next question, "How does this make you happy?"
Huh, OK. I stayed like that for a moment and thought over it. A good question to apply to anything I do during the day, isn't it?
How does this make me happy?
In what way does it help me to create?
Does it make me a better person?

I believe I should be looking for the right answers more often...

16 September 2009

Illustrators, don't miss this!

The TED talk I am currently translating.
I did not know Maira Kalman before but felt intrigued by her crazy style - the way she talks, no beginning, no end... somewhat difficult to follow, and yet interesting.

23 August 2009

escape from a hot day in the city

We were invited to spend a day in a house high in the Rhodopi mountain. The name of the village is Manastir - allegedly the highest village on the Balkans. It is situated around 1500m above sea level, and is really really very beautiful. This was my second visit there. The first one was long ago - we were searching for a place to picnic with friends and finally ended up there.

Of course, we did not spend the day in the house. After collecting some herbs we decided to climb up the nearest hill to a very controversial Muslim monument - Enihan baba teke. They say Muslims respect Enihan baba as a preacher and healer, while most Bulgarians believe he brought Islam to Bulgaria.

Vihar - waiting for us to drive further.

Climbing up more than 600 stairs was worth it...

...to enjoy this magnificent view - a 360 degree panorama view of the Rhodopi mountains.
Incredible scenery indeed, more impressive than any monument to me.

18 August 2009

early sun and sea

Back from a short vacation at the coast. Not very typical for me, this time I was early in the morning at the beach, missed my breakfast to be there as early as possible.
Could see the white-grayish colour of the sea changing to green-blue later in the afternoon.
Enjoyed the warm water with no people around, and the presence of the local dog - my only companion at the beach.

14 July 2009

on a creative journey

In the middle of the preparation for our first Creativity training.

It takes a lot of drawing...

...and a lot of surprises...

...and the camels are my favourite part.
I am so eager to see it all working...

29 June 2009

extraverted young man

I actually loved the photo, and this time was not so interested in the text in this post.
about media html microformat

But the photo, the photo brought the shiny day in my office, and made me smile a little...

25 June 2009

Words and the City

Spent a long weekend at the sea, which I really enjoyed. Have been reading on Eat Pray Love there (I am a slow reader indeed), and came to a point that made me think. The book said each city had its own word. Like Rome's word was SEX. Then I asked myself which was the word of Plovdiv. AYLAK? The word aylak is of Turkish origin and means lazy (that's how a Turkish girl once explained it to me). We use it to define a state of idleness when you really enjoy doing nothing. To me it sounds pretty close to what the Italians call dolce far niente. Or that's what I imagine it is... Yes, I believe that's the word that describes Plovdiv. It is not so popular in the rest of the country. People here very often build a sentence with it in reply to the usual "How are you doing?" Hah, not very encouraging for someone eager to achieve...
Then I thought about the cities I'd lived in before. Which are their words? What should be the word of Sofia? For me Sofia was a lot about COMPETE. Is there someone else thinking the same or was it only my Sofia competing?
And which is the word of Leipzig? Ist schon lange her... It's been really a long time since I lived there, and I can't say now which word matched Leipzig then. But I am sure there is one.
And what are your words for your cities?

17 June 2009


Here is the talk by Yann Arthus-Bertrand I wrote about previously. The guy that reviewed the translation for me made some changes that I believe made it sound even better in Bulgarian.
Obviously the film "Home" is already quite popular. I constantly see people sharing it on Facebook.

16 June 2009

Eat? Pray? Love?

I started reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. No wonder I got inspired to read the book after listening to a TED talk by the author of the book about her relationship to creativity. It sounded very personal, honest and intelligent. This happened some time ago and that's how the book ended in my to-read list but I somehow never felt it was the right moment to start reading it.
Until yesterday - I had a few minutes before my appointment in the bank and instead of waiting in the bank I decided to check what's new in the nearby book store. And then while going through the new books I heard myself saying, "Do you have the book by Elizabeth Gilbert..." "Eat Pray Love, you mean? Yes, we have it."
I spent the evening reading and now I know why the book landed in my hands right in this moment :)
And I will be also translating Nurturing Creativity...

09 June 2009

Built To Last

I came upon this video through presentationzen. I found the book by Garr Reynolds very inspiring and since I've read it I follow also his blog. Always fresh ideas on how to use visuals to make your point.
If you want to know more about the video, read this.

08 June 2009

My TED Updates

I managed to finish the Ben Zander translation within the recommended period of one month, and I was also assigned a reviewer of another translation - one of Al Gore's talks on climate change. So, they are now both available with Bulgarian subtitles. Meanwhile there are already ten talks translated into Bulgarian!
I found a new inspiring video to translate - Yann Arthus-Bertrand's talk accompanied by fascinating pictures of the Earth. It is quite new however and still not ready for translation. Maybe I should go for another one while waiting...

05 June 2009

Customer 729

I was Customer Number 729 yesterday at the Tax Administration Office. A surreal experience, as usual when you have to deal with state officials here.
They are obviously trying to look more European and already have one of those machines that give you a ticket with your number and let you wait under a board with flashing red numbers. So, it is best when you take a seat that would allow you to stare directly at the board and jump immediately after seeing your number... you know, before the person behind the desk has changed their mind. (OK, I am exaggerating, of course).
The funny thing was that the flashing numbers were accompanied by a very beautiful tempting female voice saying, "Customer number 701 please come to desk number 46". I heard it many times until it was my turn (even though the text in the ticket said there were 0 people waiting in line before me). Only the numbers were changing. Customer number 736 going to desk number 28, 726 going to desk 40, 716 to 30...
Strange, I felt as if I was in Gattaka or Brazil. This female voice trying to make you a part of some perfect bureaucratic world. And make you feel grateful for that. And I could here the song in my head. Braaziiiiil...
Luckily everything changed when she called me to desk number 24. I expected that the lady would receive me with a beautiful steely smile, "Welcome on board of the National Revenue Agency. Have a nice stay!" (in fact meaning, "You will die trying to escape but there is no escape, you will spend all your life here trying to get that bloody tax declaration").
No, everything was quick and painful, and then they let you go. It was a guy - one of those you wish you never meet, wearing a fat golden necklace. Instead of saying, "Hello" he thoroughly explained to the other woman in the room how impossibly rude people like me were - people that didn't close the door when they entered a room, they (we) obviously lived like that in their flats, and didn't care that the people in the room were catching a cold because of the draught.
The only thing he said to me, full of suspicion, was, "Are you the manager of that company?" (using of course the informal 'you' in Bulgarian), and then, after studying my ID card, "Sign here".
Quick and painful, I told you. As it is supposed to be. How nice we are still not in "Brazil"...

09 May 2009

my next choice

Spent some time today watching TED talks trying to choose a new one to translate. I wanted it to be really inspiring. Otherwise, the way I know myself, I believe I would quickly get bored.

And I made my choice - this talk from Benjamin Zander. I find Ben Zander a very interesting person. He is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and is often cited in business readings as a role model for leader and teacher.

Well, I have to find a proper translation for "one-buttock" and "two-buttock playing" when it comes to that... And if you are willing to help with suggestions, please do :)

08 May 2009

a long post about anything

Wow, one post in April! Have been really lazy with writing lately. I believe it is the good weather. I just prefer to spend more time outside...
We've had six days of holidays recently. I didn't go anywhere special or do anything extraordinary, but I really enjoyed them.

Finally managed to complete my first TED translation - Sylvia Earle's TED Prize Wish to Protect Our Oceans. Now I will have a reviewer assigned. That's how it goes - it needs to be reviewed by someone else before it is launched. And I hope it will be soon available in Bulgarian at TED.com. It is worth watching it - amazing images from the deep sea, and it makes you think...
Now I wonder which other talk I should start translating - maybe some of the many talks on creativity or the human brain... Anyway, if someone wishes to volunteer and translate TED talks, please do. It takes time but I believe it is worth the effort to help spread great ideas. You just need to write to subtitles@ted.com

What else? Had a new interesting book to read - one that was waiting for its turn in the library in our office. Everyone Agrees With TOM - a book on life coaching - simple, amusing, not pretending to tell you big truths. Looks promising but I am not much ahead with it yet. So, I can't tell you if I agree with TOM yet...

And I also spent most of the time walking in the parks and hills in the town - alone, with friends or with the dog, or with friends and the dog... The phone pictures are here to prove it. Yesterday I struggled a lot to transfer them to my computer. I really love it when someone else does the technical stuff for me :)

My parents are away, so now I take care of the dog for a while. To compensate for my absence during the day I play football with him each morning. I truly believe this should be a happy start of the day for him, but he is soooo sleepy and doesn't seem as excited as I expect him to be. Maybe I should give him a break, at least during the weekend.

05 April 2009

Merry Christmas, Springtime!

I spent the last few days in Bansko for a training. As weird as it may seem the whole Christmas decoration was there in the hotel - in the lobby, in the restaurant, everywhere. I wanted to ask the receptionist if there was a special reason for that but then I somehow got embarrassed. In fact, I thought she might get embarrassed by this question...

OK, maybe the hotel people tried to disguise spring but you could feel it was there. It was sunny, and warm, and getting greener with every day...

On our way back to Plovdiv, as we approached the valley I asked the guy that was driving to stop somewhere close to a beautiful blossoming tree, so I could hang my martenitsas. We saw a swallow and two storks along the road, so I could finally do it. Great!
I don't know why from all the trees the driver chose the one that was right after a curve. I imagined the driver of the other car passing by saying to himself while watching me hang my martenitsas - each one on a separate twig, "Poor guy - risking his life because of this stupid cow."

On this picture I can clearly see the martenitsa I got from Aunt Paunka and the one from Michaela.

No matter what people in Bansko think, "Good bye, Christmas! Hello, Springtime!!!"

30 March 2009

my latest movie discoveries

Better late than never, they say. Well, I guess it is true, at least it applies to me finally getting acquainted with Jim Jarmusch. I don't know why I had never seen a film by this director before, not until recently. And now I am happy I finally did it. I managed to see Dead Man, Night On Earth, and Down by Law.
Dead Man ranked top in my personal ranking of movies with the most impressive and convincing atmosphere, including great music (sorry, Paris, Texas).
And I loved all the short stories in Night On Earth. I only felt it was a bit unfair to have a Scandinavian one at the end - somewhat depressing for a final (OK, I admit this is a prejudice but that's how I felt about the Finnish story).
Down by Law was definitely a good film, which I unfortunately saw in a time when I was feeling tired and sleepy and I did not really enjoy the slow pace of the film so much.

Friends recommended also Coffee and Cigarettes. Any other recommendations are more than welcome...

24 March 2009

Lost Generation? Is there still hope?

I believe there is...

13 March 2009

Der Himmel Über Berlin

Since I mentioned the film yesterday I decided to post this small fragment.
I often think if I have to rate my favourite books, films, songs... what would my ranking look like. And I never have an answer. A book has touched me or not. Maybe I loved it because I read it exactly in that moment, and I wouldn't remember it if I read it a month later or earlier.
It is different with this film however. I have seen it a few times, I have read the script a few times, I know some of the passages by heart, and it still says so much to me...

12 March 2009

swinging between past and future

"Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I’m hurtling across space in between trapeze bars.
Most of the time, I spend my life hanging on for dear life to my trapeze-bar-of-the-moment.
It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing, and I have the feeling that I’m in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I’m merrily (or not-so-merrily) swinging along, I look out ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swing towards me. It’s empty, and I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of-hearts, I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on this present, well-known bar to move to the new one.
Every time it happens to me, I hope that I won’t have to grab the new bar. But in my knowing place I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moment in time, I must hurdle across space before I can grab onto the new bar. Each time I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurdles across the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid that I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policies, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging on to that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of “the past is gone; the future is not yet here.” It’s called transition. I have come to believe that is the only place that real change occurs. I mean real change, not the pseudo change that only lasts until the next time my old buttons get punched."

This is an excerpt from Warriors of the Heart by Danaan Parry I came across today. A vivid description of the change process, any change process, I believe. And it looks so beautiful, and makes life so much worth living, especially for those moments when you hurdle to the new trapeze...
And because I was really fascinated by the description I couldn't help attaching this image to it. Marion from Wings of desire, a movie I will always remember.

10 March 2009

Her Morning Elegance

I found this very beautiful and poetic...

09 March 2009

1 Corinthians 13


1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

...Am being grateful for the love I have. Inspired by recent events and this.

06 March 2009

Man on Wire

I found this film truly inspiring! Man on Wire tells the story of Philippe Petit - the wire walker whose dream was to cross the distance between the Twin Towers of the WTC, he worked hard for that and he did it! I do believe that everything is possible for the willing heart, and this was a beautiful story to confirm it. I admired the persistance with which he and his friends prepared for this adventure. And of course the whole Universe was there to help them overcome all the challenges they faced. Add to this the great music selection and you get a piece of art to enjoy!

23 February 2009

having wet feet was worth it

We missed the winter in Plovdiv until recently. Last weekend I spent with friends in Belgrade and although I initially imagined it would be a very urban trip, we had another idea when we were in the city and saw the amount of snow they had.

We spent a few hours out in the snow sliding. I really enjoyed it. I believe it was fun for many other people also. It was quite difficult to slide down the slope and not hit anybody. More funny pictures here.

These days the snow reached also Plovdiv. Up to now (say the last few years) I only found pleasure in walking the dog in the snow and could not think of any other reasons why I should spend time outside in the cold.
This weekend however I was more than happy to take part in a real snow fight and making of a snowman. It was great to be a kid again!

06 February 2009


We have had real spring weather lately. I got these snowdrops to remind me of that in the office.

29 January 2009

The Most Important Thing

Have been reading a lot about Zen lately. And felt the need to share what Shunryu Suzuki said, “The most important thing is to find out what is the most important thing.”
Sounds so true to me...

27 January 2009

Color Palette Generator

While I am not a designer, I need to sometimes make very basic design works for presentations, workbooks and other visual aids I use in training. I found this tool today, which I believe will save me time and help me be more consistent in choosing the right colours.
You need to just copy the URL of a picture and the "generator" generates ;) a matching colour palette.
The picture I used to test it is taken during our company team building at Thassos in September last year. Would love to visit the place again.

26 January 2009

About Worries

I have recently read somewhere that worries are linked to either the past or the future. They do not belong to the present moment. When you are fully into the moment, you don't worry. You are in the flow. Worries prevent you from being fully present. A good explanation of things, I liked it. And a good reason not to worry. Have been trying these days to practice it.

23 January 2009

Switch to English

I thought the time has come to start writing in English. The initial idea for writing this blog was for me to keep my friends - Bulgarians and non-Bulgarians living in other countries, updated about what was going on with me. It turned out that more Bulgarians in Bulgaria read it, and the non-Bulgarians were visiting now and then hoping to see some pictures.
And because I am getting worse with writing real letters to people in far-away countries (hate to admit that), I decided to switch to English.
Dear BG friends, hope you will forgive my laziness to write in both languages and will keep popping in. And in turn I promise I will do my best to make writing a routine.
Thanks for visiting!

05 January 2009

Писмо до Господ

Спомням си, че в края на 2007 публикувах снимки от годината, които свързвах с различни преживявания. Сега ми се искаше да публикувам части от хартиения си дневник. Бях си наумила да избера по един кратък откъс от всеки месец от 2008. Не намерих обаче време за това занимание - от срещи с приятели най-вече.
Но попаднах на нещо, което ме впечатли и ми се прииска да споделя - в това любовно писмо до Господ открих и някои от своите истини на 2008.

Честита Нова Година!