Oberon in Burgas

42°30’59" N 27°28’06" E

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Max is here!!!

Posted by oberonbg on January 4, 2010

I haven’t updated my blog very much, because I’ve been happily busy with Max. He flew into Istanbul on the 27th and we stayed there until the 30th; then we took the bus to Burgas and celebrated the New Year here; since then, we have visited both Nesebar and Sozopol on two different days and met some of my friends; today we walked through the seaside park here, along the beach. Right now Max and I are sitting in the winter garden of hotel Bulgaria. He’s enjoying a scrumptuous crepe, and I am taking a few minutes to update my blog. More updates will follow soon, with pictures and impressions from Istanbul.


Posted in holidays | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Merry Christmas

Posted by oberonbg on December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope all your wishes come true.

And to the Pastafarians, happy pasta day. I hope you never run out of basil for your tomato sauce.

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Burgas: First snow

Posted by oberonbg on December 12, 2009

After a very mild fall, with temperatures in November staying  near 20C (68F) for many days, we have had our first snow today. It’s really wet snow and it’s sticking to the ground. It’s still too warm, and I expect the snow will be gone by tomorrow morning. Isn’t it funny how one can describe temperatures near freezing as “too warm?”

Next Saturday the temperatures are expected to reach a high of -7C (20F) and a low of -15C (5F).

Here’s a picture:

Snow in the Maritime Garden

Posted in Burgas, winter | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

St. Nicholas’ Day (Никулден)

Posted by oberonbg on December 6, 2009

Today we celebrate Никулден (St. Nicholas’ Day) in Bulgaria. He is the patron saint of fishermen/fisherwomen; he’s also the patron saint of Burgas, my hometown. So we’ve had several days of celebration culminating in a ceremony of fishing out a cross out of the sea. One of the priests tosses a silver cross from the pier into the sea. People then dive and the first person to gets good luck for the year (and a possibly a cold).

the pier in Burgas

Those silly rituals led by men in musty dresses don’t appeal to me. This day is also a day when fish is the traditional meal, especially carp. That’s what I care about. I have always fondly remembered the only time before today when I had it, stuffed with walnuts, onions, and tomatoes, so long have I wanted to replicate the recipe. I tried doing it in Madison, but finding carp was next to impossible. Eventually I found out that Asian Midway had fresh carp on Fridays. So I went there only to find that the carp they had was bigger than my oven! So I tried the recipe with black sea bass and it was scrumptious. Finally today I made the original recipe with carp and it turned out delicious. I’ve included it after the fold.

St. Nicholas Carp -- final result

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Posted in Burgas, cooking, holidays | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Cool math problems

Posted by oberonbg on December 3, 2009

It’s been forever since I’ve done a math post. Here are two problems which I find very cool. In both of them one has to use the fact that someone can or cannot solve a problem at a given time as the extra piece of information needed to arrive at the solution. I don’t know any other similar problems.

In order to spare the delicate sensibilities of some of the readers, the problems are below the fold. Feel free to share ideas/solutions in the comments. In a few days I’ll post solutions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in math | 5 Comments »

World AIDS Day

Posted by oberonbg on December 2, 2009

I missed blogging about the World AIDS Day yesterday. To my shame, I had forgotten about it and was only reminded late in the evening, at a concert by the local music high school. Their last piece was a re-orchestration of the music from Requiem for a Dream and they dedicated it to fighting the AIDS epidemic and drug abuse.

The concert gave me an idea to post my only published poem. I wrote it during a poetry workshop in 1996. I was 18, attending the Armand Hammer United World College. Sometime during the school year (perhaps even around World AIDS day) two poets, Joan Logghe and Judyth Hill came to the college to present some work of the group Write Action. This was a group comprising people with HIV and AIDS, caregivers, family, friends, and allies and giving these people a creative outlet. At the end of the workshop/poetry reading, details of which are hazy, Joan and Judyth asked us, the students, to write things in response. I think we all wrote poems. Did some of us submit them, did they collect all of them, and then selected some to be published? I don’t remember, but the end result is that my poem, “Quantum Theory of Love” got published in a small anthology called Catch Our Breath: Writing from the heart of AIDS.

I think it’s a fitting occasion to share it with others once again. Here it is below the fold.

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Posted in AIDS, LGBT, literature, poetry | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The true face of American fundamentalism

Posted by oberonbg on November 30, 2009

A new law is being discussed in Uganda. It doesn’t just criminalize homosexuality.

The bill proposes that anyone who advocates on behalf of queer people serve 7 years of prison; if you are convicted of gay sex, you can be incarcerated for life; if you know about an instance of homosexuality but don’t report it, you too can go to prison for three years.Finally if you are also HIV positive, you can be convicted of “aggravated homosexulity,” and executed.

This is beyond horrifying.

What’s even more terrifying and the reason for the title of the post is that this law didn’t spawn out of nowhere.

Sharlet also revealed that the sponsor of the notorious proposed, Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act, David Bahati’s is a member of The Family, as are other leading advocates, as well as President Museveni.  There is a growing international effort to stop the bill.

Read this post for some more information on the connection.

Words fail me. This is the true and loathsome face of the American “Family” organization, which is the Family referenced in the quote above.

Posted in asshats, civil rights, homophobia, LGBT | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by oberonbg on November 28, 2009

So, you are hungry and want some rice. Have you thought of making a risotto?

This what I did tonight. I was about to make the traditional Rice and Tomatoes dish here. On a whim I decided to make a risotto. Even though I didn’t have the recommended type of rice, nor white wine, I was still able to make an acceptable dish. So how does one make it? Read below the fold.

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Posted in cooking | 2 Comments »

Happy T-day

Posted by oberonbg on November 26, 2009

To all my American readers and all my other readers who celebrate tomorrow’s holiday, Happy T-day, where T stands for Turkey, Tofurkey,Thanksgiving, or a number of things of your choice.

I’m thankful that, despite the vast distance between us, Max and I are still together.


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Fucked up…

Posted by oberonbg on November 25, 2009

…in a good way.

I discovered this group featured on a friend of mine’s blog(some NSFW stuff on the blog). The group’s called Fucked Up (this is their blog), and they are a punk band. Apparently the lead singer is a shirtless bear who sometimes sings in his underwear and puts suction cups on his belly. Now that’s a concert I’d like to go to. I didn’t hear much music in the clip, but neither did I at a Sleater Kinney concert I once went to. Here’s the youtube clip.

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