Most people would be surprised that Russian is actually a very pretty language. We Americans have a particularly harsh idea of what Russian sounds like: angry, grating, scary. THIS clip exemplifies how most Americans would feel if confronted by a Russian (or multiple Russians). While it's true that markets and talking to strangers can be intimidating, the language is not to blame! To prove this theory I'm going to compile a list of particularly catchy songs (mostly because Kim wouldn't humor me and stay up late listening to Russian music). I'm not going to bother trying to translate them..I'm probably not even going to screen them well enough to tell if they're offensive. The meaning isn't the point though..if you can understand it you already know that the stereotypes about Russian are false.

Russian is particularly well-suited to music because it's lyrical and rhythmic. Personally I like rap (I don't know if this is surprising to anyone...but yes, I am a big fan of rap music. When I drive I really like to listen to trashy rap because it's super catchy, but I'm too busy driving to listen to the lyrics). I'll save this category for a little bit later though, since not everyone might share this opinion.

[One thing about Russian music almost always includes either techno dance beats or an accordion...if you're lucky you get both in the same song!! ]

Let's start with one of my favorites -- the sultry, mulleted, and oh-so-debonair Dima Bilan. He started off as a sort of joke to me, but he grows on you over time.

This song is just kinda sweet. Plus it reminds me of Captain Planet.

***poetry break***

Another favorite

This is what Braveheart would look like if it were set to Russian folk music. Although, this is closer to what most Russian folk music sounds like.

Rap Time

I've already shared my favorite rap song (Еще Один День -- Ю.Г. ), so I'll try to add in some new ones.

This one's pretty's about hunting a Yetti!

Faktor 2 has some really fun music too. This one is making fun of American music (including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Usher). The title is "I want to be on tv"

The background music for this one intrigued me. The singing is a little forced, but the rap is ok.

Now, for my final point let's hold a little competition:


The German reminds me of skipping for some reason.

Alright then, I'm satisfied. I can go to bed now.

Well, Christmas has come and gone once again. If I were 5 this would be the worst day of the year (Christmas countdown: 364 days), but at 21 I find that Christmas itself isn't so exciting. The gifts are nice but fewer in between than in the old days...I suspect that's mostly due to the fact that I have more expensive taste and don't make Christmas lists. Now I mostly look forward to Christmas break as a whole: 1 month with no classes, no homework, no dorms, time with family, good food, and lots and lots of sleep. I could think up some moral to go along with this, but now is not the time for essays.

Actually, I don't really feel like writing this at all (I almost deleted everything, but I already had a paragraph..). I thought that perhaps a good ol' blog post would be a good way to get rid of my boredom, but that is apparently not the case. Yes, I know that I just talked about how great Christmas break is in my first paragraph and now I'm complaining about how bored I am....but boredom isn't such a bad thing. Not this type of boredom at least (where if I really really felt like it I could find something to do, but there's absolutely no obligation to be useful).

I really haven't done anything at all this break. I've probably been outside less than 5 times (so much for that tan)..and generally it's just to go to Wal-Mart for supplies. I read a book (The Kite Runner -- pretty good). Watched some movies. Eventually I'll make a pilgrimage up to Cottonwood to see the old town and hang out with friends...but I don't know when. It's 4 hours away which means it needs to be a multiple day affair, but it also means I'll need to apprehend one of my parents' cars for that time...leaving them carless (which doesn't really work so well). I really hate traveling right now. Let's the last year I've traveled:

Wasilla to Seattle to London to Moscow to Irkutsk: 10, 414.4 miles (by plane)
Irkutsk to Ulan Bator (Mongolia): 324.4 miles (by train)

then back again....another 10,738.8 miles

Wasilla to Sahuarita (AZ): 2669.3 miles (by car)
Sahuarita to Wasilla: 2669.3 miles (by plane)

Wasilla to Houston: 3267.9 miles (by plane)
Houston to Sewanee: 666.3 miles (by car)

Sewanee to Sahuarita x3: 4372.2 miles (by plane)

total mileage: 35,122.6 a few hundred miles here and there

For perspective, the circumference of the earth is approximately 24,900 miles.

That was also probably more math than I've done in the last 3 years combined. That is not a bad thing. Just don't judge me too harshly if for some reason you are nerdy enough to check my math and find I missed a number somewhere.

Luckily New Years is right around the corner. I have high expectations for 2010. 2009 has been alright, but I'll be glad to see it go.

My birthday is also soon...the big 22. January 29th if anyone is curious. Mail all presents and/or checks to my school address, please. I might settle for just a card...but bonus points to all who buy me something. My favor can be bought.

Also, thanks to all who stopped by after my last post. I doubt you'll ever come back, but the popularity was nice while it lasted. Here's a secret: I like to stalk everyone who visits just like they stalk me. It's called "statcounter". It's not nearly as interesting as reading my blog, but it does say how many people read it and gives me a nifty map.

In general I spit upon Twitter and curse its name, but luckily one of my suitemates doesn't share my opinion and noticed that a fellow Twitterite had stumbled upon my latest entry and spread the news (with rapid speed, might I add: kudos to you mystery tweeter). So...about 100 people stopped by over the next 2 days, as compared to about 3 the week before. I'm still not going to get a Twitter account though. Ever. I struggle enough with thinking up worthy facebook fact, 90% of the time I just don't have one because I decide whatever I thought about saying would be boring to the rest of my 200 some friends on there.

There's another subject: facebook "friends". In reality it's more like facebook "people I met once and thought were cool enough that I wanted their names on my page.....and then I never talked to again". I've been thinking about doing some purges..but I would feel a little bad. Someday I may actually want to know what they're doing. Maybe I'll be looking for a job and they'll have some influence and I'll be like "HEY FRIEND! Look it up on facebook, we're like bffs!! Your statuses show up on my news feed ALL the TIME!" and they'd be like "OMG YEAH! I saw those photos you posted last week! You're hired! Here's $1,000,000,000!!!" And then we'd talk to each other in real life.

Friends are a status symbol too. If you have over 1,000 of them you must be amazing, and if you have less than 100 you should get out more. Maybe sometime I'll suck it up and either get rid of some or start talking to them again....or facebook will just get better settings. I care more about the photos that my best friend posted than who the person that I met once in highschool is now friends with. Or, maybe the unthinkable will happen and facebook will cease to be the most important thing in life. Maybe I'll just get a phone.....except that I hate phones. Maybe I'll just get something else that's equally as personal but not a phone. Smoke signals could be fun. While you were at it you could make s'mores.

I finally got with the times and watched the new Star Trek (my family generally just waits until things come out on DVD instead of going to theaters). Everyone was right: it is a really good movie, and the Russian guy was pretty cute. He really is Russian..I looked it up on Wikipedia.

Well, look at that. I went and wrote a blog after all.

Merry day after Christmas,
Happy Boxing Day,
С Новым Годом,
and Happy almost 2010!

Here's a nice little reminder of days bygone (even more bygone than 2009): an excellent day of iceblocking. This is how you sled in Arizona.

Signing out,
Amanda "Completely Uncalled For" Conrad

The title has very little to do with this entry, but I thought it was catchy.

I've been hungry for the last couple of days. I'm talking abnormally so. Generally I have a pretty high hunger tolerance, but this morning nearly began with me tumbling out of bed and promptly starving to death right there on the floor...the sole witnesses to my misfortune a pair of dirty socks, a package of stickers, and a pile of Russian notes. Luckily I keep a stash of emergency poptarts in my closet for just this sort of occasion, and I managed to scarf one down before I lost consciousness. Then I went back to reviewing for my 19th century Russian Lit. final.

I attribute my brush with death to the fact that McClurg's food has been steadily decreasing in quality since Thanksgiving, and I can only be sustained by old pizza for so long. To remedy this, I proposed that Kendra and I go out to eat for dinner. Unfortunately, the most classy restaurants in the area are Mexican (which Kendra doesn't really care for), and Subway. Considering the fact that we've eaten at Subway about 392574827542 times this semester, we decided to visit its neighbor: Waffle House. For those of you not from the east/south who have no idea what Waffle House is, here's a picture:

From its appearance (and all Waffle Houses look the same) Waffle House was built in the 50s...and then never altered again. They specialize in (what else?) waffles...they do offer other food choices, but I would not recommend you try them. People keep coming back because you get a lot of food for cheap, and they are ALWAYS open...even on Christmas day (they had a sign up advertising this and seemed very proud of this fact). Anyway, for once Waffle House was almost full, so Kendra and I got squashed back in the corner booth right next to the break room. This placement actually turned out to be quite strategic. It seems there's been some drama in Waffle House as of late -- SOMEONE has been leaving threatening letters! But wait, that's not all! At 9:00 on this very night (December 11, 2009) a showdown was scheduled to take place. All of the waitresses seemed one knew what this new development in "As The Waffle Turns" (as our waitress dubbed it) would bring! Angst lingered palpably in the air...mingling poetically with the stale smoke and rancid cooking grease. Would everything turn out to be just a gross misunderstanding? Would the Sewanee mafia show up and "settle" the problem once and for all? Would fisticuffs break out in the parking lot???

Unfortunately, we ate dinner at 7:30 and didn't get to find out. Our waitress said she was going to start charging a $5 cover fee at the door though..and we were welcome to come back (provided that we brought our own beverages and popcorn).

I have officially decided that I'm looking forward to graduation. 17 years is a long time to continuously be in school, I'm getting rather burnt out.

Of course, it doesn't help that I'm in the midst of finals right now (not that I have that many). It's so unfortunate that they always time finals for the times when you care the least about school. After the hustle and bustle and lack of sleep accumulated by the final days of class, I'm pretty sure that 99.9% of students would rather (insert drastic action here - it's too late to be creative) than read anything else about that subject for at very least a month. Sometimes they'd rather not talk about that subject ever again...I find that I fall into this group most often.

Luckily, break is just one week away. *Conveniently* my two finals were scheduled in the very first and very last time slots. Maybe I'll do something interesting during my week of repose like go on a hike. In reality though I'll probably complain about the essay I still have to write, sleep, and play bejeweled all day. I have never claimed to be the most active person in the world.

I can't wait to go home for multiple reasons. Here are a few:

1) It's Christmas
2) Walking from my room to the kitchen does not involve any of the following: a) cold, b) 1/2 a mile, c) motivation

Well...those are the main ones really. I guess family will be nice too =P (and yes dad, I do still want a ride from the airport)

Here's a fun link for all of you Tetris players (courtesy of Kim and

Oh, and P.S. Jared -- I'm still winning

About this blog

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