What are “friends”?

I love the idea of “chosen” relationships. This is where friends belong. Unlike family…which are “given” relationships.

I have made some pretty good choices in my life. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some natural born friends. And, when it comes to these human miracles, I really wanna be a keeper. Who are my friends? Well, first of all… They are people who take me as I am. Because that’s the best thing about friends : you get the chance to be yourself around them & feel good about that. Friends are those who never forget your birthday. Those who call you when they go on holiday. Those who visit you in hospital or notice when you miss a day at school/work. Those who would lie for you but not to you…except for those cases when you desperately need a compliment…Friends will always dislike the people who don’t like you. They will never forgive those who have treated you badly. A friend is someone who wants you to be happy even when they are not.

I am so grateful I have friends.


Muscle or Exotic Cars?

Thank God for the Internet! Up until 5 minutes ago I had no idea that there are “muscle” cars on this planet and I only assumed you could use the adjective “exotic” in front of one…The bad news is I have been asked to write about two types of cars – muscle vs. exotic – but the good news is from now on our life will be so much easier as I will pick all my topics myself.

In order to understand how difficult it is for me to write about cars…let’s just say that… to my mind…a car is nothing more than a car…a vehicle…a means of transportation… something you use to move between two places A and B… What is more, colour is the only difference I truly get between cars…so, if you ask me…I would say I like the black ones better…

Now…if you give me two brands …such as Mustang Shelby GT 500 1969 and Lamborghini Gallardo and ask me to write about them…well…that’s it… I will put on the “you got me” face... But if you are my friend…I will also display a polite and curious smile…and proceed my researchpedia. According to this wise and generous resource…there are some differences between muscle and exotic cars.

Muscle cars are high performance automobiles usually of American origin and generally known as 2-door mid-size cars equipped with large, powerful engines and sold at an affordable price for street use. According to the June 1967 issue of Road Test magazine, a "muscle car" is "exactly what the name implies. It is a product of the American car industry adhering to the hot rodder's philosophy of taking a small car and putting a BIG engine in it”. Mustang Shelby GT 500 1969 was produced by Carroll Shelby, a former racing driver.

Exotic cars are ultra-high-end automobiles whose performance is superior to that of its contemporaries. It has been defined specifically as "a very expensive, fast or powerful car", "with sporting handling to match" also "it should be sleek and eye-catching" and its price should be "one in a rarefied atmosphere of its own"… The Gallardo is Lamborghini's most-produced model to date, with over 10000 built in its first seven years of production and each car costs about $180,000 to $210,000.

So, having read so many pages and understood only a little about these two car types, what answer should I give to the title-question? If an opinion is compulsory, I would say that muscle cars are for men who dreamed about becoming race drivers in their childhood and now want to exceed both strength & speed limits and express their masculinity while taking a ride whereas exotic cars are more about social and financial status on street display and speed potential which will make sure you break the traffic regulations…since their childhood heroes used to do that so often in SF movies…

Old Ways, New Ways...the Same People

Some say that young people do not read and write as much as they used to. I would say that they don’t read and write the same way any more…Young generations are actually very good at expressing themselves but, instead of communicating with people in their neighbourhood, they prefer to explore larger contexts with the help of modern technology…And since time is running so fast…more and more people avoid reading books and wait for the movies…

Some say that virtual communication is not real communication. I would say that there are different types of communication. That, regardless of “how” the message reaches its receiver, those “who” are involved in an on-line process of sharing information get the same results as in a face-to-face conversation. Even the non-verbal and body language can be replaced with emoticons each time you feel like using facial expressions and suggestive gestures…

Some say that the computer and the Internet have a devastating effect on social skills. I would say that, if they are not helpers, they are amazing alternatives or substitutes.They can provide advice when our parents are too busy or too tired, useful knowledge which our teachers don’t include in their lessons, entertainment when the real-life offers are not so appealing and/or affordable and a social life…because it’s only the “who” that matters not the “how”…


Lipton or Nestea?

This article is neither about promoting a certain cold tea preference nor about how healthy or unhealthy these two beverages are in reality…The truth is I needed a topic and an inspired friend suggested this title. Therefore, I am going to write an article about Lipton and Nestea.

The real challenge of this task is to manage to write about two subject matters I hardly know anything about without making you readers fall asleep. I never drink cold tea. I sometimes drink hot tea when I have a cold…that’s why…in the spirit of Pavlov’s dog…I think I will always associate tea with some sort of illnesses.

Of course, if I were a professional journalist I would have to do theoretical and practical research and by the end of this virtual page the readers of this post would have been provided with the most accurate information about its topic. Not to mention the fact that I would have probably given a personal opinion about the taste of these products. In this case, I would have to thank my friend for not having suggested “Scandic” or “Teacher’s” … otherwise my research would have affected not only my budget and physical balance…but also my reputation.

Some pseudo-conclusions at the end of the three paragraphs above would be that we can speak/write about anything even if we don’t have a clue…that the less informed we are about something…the more objective we can be about that subject…and also…there will also be enough stereotypes to help us out…such as the connection I make between tea and not feeling well…

However, while some people picture tea next to a handful of pills, a thermometer and a packet of paper napkins, other people will think about tea in terms of almost-natural refreshments and quenching your thirst at the end of an exhausting series of push-ups or abs…like my dear friend… Let’s not forget those who use these brands in social contexts which have much more to do with chatting with their friends than hydrating their bodies. Well, I guess I am among the most original ones…since I am just using both Lipton and Nestea to fill my (free) time instead of my (favourite) cup.

To cut short a long (tea)story, if Lipton can do that, so can Nestea and me. I don’t have to drink something in order to speak (about that)…and you don’t have to feel bad about reading an article whose title involved a possible marketing campaign of tea brand rivalry. We are living in a blood-thirsty society which encourages brand com-pe-tea-tea-on…;))

Virtual Identity

When we are born, we have no idea who we are or how to live our lives. We learn everything, sound by sound, step by step, role by role, mistake by mistake, tear by tear…and it takes years and years until we can cancel our identity search after suddenly looking into a mirror and finally recognizing ourselves: ”This is me.” …

Actually, we don’t see ourselves into ordinary mirrors or other people’s eyes: we can see ourselves only when we look into our own eyes. ’Cause those eyes have witnessed all the circumstances and they know all the facts. They have the whole picture, with every little detail that makes the difference between the real and the unreal.

Throughout our lives we are guided, inspired, motivated or discouraged by other people and/or other people’s lives. We make choices we are not always proud of and blame it on our lack of experience or the bad influence we get from our peers, the media, the stars etc. The truth is that, even if the process of becoming ourselves has both objective and subjective causes, the final decisions are ours, nobody “signs” the “contract” on our behalf so, the best we can do, in order to have a past without regrets and a future without hopelessness is to take responsibility for our own actions. As far as I am concerned, I can tell that many times failures can teach us much more than success. Even if you don’t get that prize, at the end of a race you can still be a winner…against your weaker self…because each day we compete against ourselves and this is one of the best opportunities of growth.

Also, when we are young (and stupid), we learn that there are no guarantees in life. No insurance policies against more or less natural disasters.We can play by the book and lose. Some people would say that being “fair play” is the cause of our failures…that sometimes it is better to cheat…in order to get what you deserve. But I believe that being honest to ourselves and others is a sign of maturity and responsibility. And a matter of personal choice.

These last words make me think about my presence here in this virtual reality. They make me acknowledge the fact that, even if I can use my mask when I get here, I am already protected against potential virtual dangers by the fact that there is no conflict between my real identity and the role I am playing on this virtual stage.