It's time for an update. I've stayed true to my predictions and have not in fact done anything more than sleep, read, and eat a lot of ramen noodles, however, who am I to fight the urge to blog (which as so often happens, struck in the middle of the night).

Today's big news (technically yesterday's) of course was the inauguration of Barack Obama. Most of you know that I am in no way politically inclined, and so you will appreciate the surge of patriotism that it took to get me to watch the proceedings on live tv this morning. Now, before you scoff, please do keep in mind my location (I have included a very handy series of clocks at the bottom of this page to ease this process, because even I can't keep track of all these time zones). If any of you did the math, this meant waking up at 4 am and stumbling down to the tv in time to watch a slew of unfortunate suit clad secret agents and a groggy soon-to-be first family motorcade over to church and tea. I'm not sure it was worth getting up so early for, and certainly not the $147 million I heard rumors of it costing, but it seemed rather nice as far as inaugurations go (I'm quite the connoisseur of inaugurations). Yes, I am making a point of using the word "inauguration" as many times as possible -- it's one of those words that's seldom used and tricky to spell, but your entire scholarly image could be blown apart should you misspell it. Kind of like "connoisseur". No one will ever take you seriously if you wrote something like "I am a conosewer of fine whines" unless you're from the 1200s. Anyway...basically what I was getting at was no matter your political views, it was a festive day all around, and I spent 8 months sleeping with someone who knew the president ( I will clarify, since I know my parents and any number of other relatives will read this -- by that I meant my roommate freshman year Sarah Walker. [note to Sarah: there was more I wanted to add to that sentence, but I couldn't think of any way to make it not sound unbearably scandalous. If you think about your picture with him maybe you can guess what it was]).

In other breaking news, I got my passport back today, which means I can now legally go to Russia. Of course it would be more of an adventure to sneak in, but I'm not that brave. Never come between a Russian and their dokumenti (this rule is right up there by "Never come between a mother bear and her cubs" and "Let sleeping Amandas lie").

Along with the passport came a much needed "hintbook" meant to give me a few survival tips specific to my location. Naturally I set about reading that as soon as I had opened the package and reassured myself that A) Middlebury finally returned my passport B) It was the correct passport, and C) The new visa was in my passport. On the first page they stressed that Russia is psychologically taxing, but can be very rewarding for those who "pay" with patience, understanding, and (my favorite) "bewildered acceptance on the countless occasions when understanding evades you". Having visited Russia once before, I can certainly attest to the truth in this. Even if I could speak Russian fluently, I'm certain that half of the time I'd have no idea what was going on. I'm not worried about this though, after 13 years of forced math classes, an endless assortment of general requirements, and more absurdest Russian literature than I care to remember, I am used to the feeling of "bewildered acceptance".

Last of all, I'd like to remind everyone of my upcoming 21st birthday. This momentous occasion will take place on the 29th of January, and will be my first birthday home since high school. Even more impressive though is that this will be my first birthday without homework in as long as I can remember. I don't really hav.....ok, I have to take this moment to rant. Like most laptops, mine has a touch pad for a mouse. At first I disabled the feature where you can tap it to click, but about a week ago I enabled it again since 3 years have been very hard on the buttons. Now whenever the cursor happens to be in the text box and I accidentally brush the touch pad while typing it clicks somewhere in the middle of a previous paragraph and keeps typing. So if you find any half-typed words in places where it doesn't seem like they should be, that's why. It makes me absolutely furious..or at least moderately disgruntled. What I was saying though, is I don't have any real plans yet, except for I want pie. Also, Kari -- you should remind Brionne that he promised to get me that $150 necklace we saw at the mall ;) I haven't forgotten.

Happy day after Inauguration Day,

Hopefully everyone reading this is aware that I'm going to Siberia for the spring semester of the 2009 school year. If not..I'm going to Siberia.

I've created this blog for the joint purpose of keeping everyone updated/reassured that I'm still alive and saving my e-mail from any undue strain. Unfortunately, I can't make any promises as to how often I'll update this since I'm both cheap (internet = rubles) and horrible at keeping anything even remotely close to a diary -- in my lifetime I have tried to keep a diary 3 times, and the only great thing to come out of that is a detailed tally mark of the amount of cows and moose we saw the first time we moved to Alaska.

I'm also going to take this opportunity to answer all those burning questions that you all have:

  • Why Siberia? -- Because I wanted to.

  • Why Russian? -- It's cool.

  • What will I do with a Russian degree? -- That's classified.

  • Where/What will I study? -- I'll be taking special classes at Irkutsk State University meant to improve my knowledge of Russian language and culture, including a delightful blend of grammar, film, and undoubtedly many other mind-blowing subjects having to do with Russia.

  • Where will I live? -- They tell me I'll be staying with a family. That's all I know at the moment

  • Am I excited? -- I'm terrified.
I am, however, looking forward to some decent weather for a change. tells me it's -6 F in Irkutsk right now, which sounds downright balmy compared to the -18 in Wasilla. I may have a use for my flip-flops after all.

I'm a little premature in setting up my blog since I don't leave until February 3rd, and I don't plan to do anything more exciting than finish the book that I'm reading and sleep a lot until then, but boredom here it is. Enjoy.

Here are some fun pictures to make my page more lively:

About this blog

Good news: no more required disclaimer!
Bad news: I'm really lazy about posting when I'm not in Russia