Well, spring is....no, not here yet. Luckily Maslenitsa started this week, which is a Russian holiday that is meant to celebrate the end of winter and get in some last minute good food before Lent. The holiday, like most holidays, was originally pagan though, so that means that there are still lots of interesting customs that have remained over the years. Blini, for example. The rest of you know these tasty treats as crepes. I've been assured that they are very different from crepes...but...let me just tell you a secret. If you're not French or Russian, you would never know the difference. It does, however, irk me when it gets translated into English as "pancakes". They're not not the same at all. It'd be like mixing up toast and French toast...but without the bread...and....yeah

The direction that I was trying to go with this was that traditionally at the end of the week of Maslenitsa you burn a scarecrow lady, which symbolizes the burning of winter. Personally, I think that Russia should have burned winter months ago.

Alright, so I keep getting wrong numbers at my house, which is super obnoxious. Like this one guy who just called (and is calling me back right now). He clearly does not have the right number. I didn't quite catch who it was that was calling..but I can almost swear that it sounded like "военная служба"..which translates to armed service...so perhaps it was a recruiting officer? Maybe he was trying to catch a young man trying to avoid the army? I have no idea. I'm probably making this all up, but I like my version best. Sometimes when I don't understand something in a conversation, I make up my own version of what happened, and it usually works out pretty well. This kind of reminds me of when I got a new cell phone in college. Apparently I got someone's old number (Chris), and he neglected to tell anyone..including his parents and parole officer...that his number had changed. Fun times.

Lately life has been pretty anti-climatic. I go to work, I go to Russian lessons, I come home, I make food, and I do stuff on the internet. Then I repeat. Sometimes I do things though! Such as go to the movies, which is how I celebrated "The Defenders of the Fatherland" day. The Black Swan, as it turns out (and as I already suspected) is a very creepy movie. My coordinator wanted to see it, and so she invited me to come along and keep her company, since her husband and son were going to go watch a manly fighting movie. I think that she was expecting a bit more ballet than gore, but it was still an interesting movie. I doubt that I'll watch it again any time soon though. Probably the best part is just that the person that I was with jumped and squealed any time anything scary happened, which was greatly amusing to me.

The rest of the holiday I spent trying to fix my computer, which I had inadvertently killed earlier in the day. As it turns out, I probably shouldn't try exploring the inner recesses of my computer and deleting programs. I guess some of them are actually there for a reason..although it certainly doesn't always seem like it. Luckily after much frustration and eventually just resetting it to its factory settings (meaning I completely lost everything...but not really because it saved all of my files in a backup folder), it is back to normal. There's just one thing that really bothers me though: my computer WILL NOT go above 87% charged anymore. Or rather, it will, but it won't say anything above 87%. Now to freak me out I think that it will go up to 100% charged, and then stop charging because it's done...and then still show it at 87%. Then I'll come along and see that it's not charging and fret and chastise my computer and fiddle with the plug and get all-around irritated. Mind games.

It's kind of crazy that I've already been here for 6 months, and that there are only 4 more to go. Although right now I think I'm hitting that crash stage where you really just want something exciting to happen. The everyday flow of life has gotten a bit mundane, and you need a little something to energize you for the push to the end. I have some potential plans to liven things up, but it that doesn't work then I might just have to jet (or train, as it is) out to Moscow to see some people and cheer myself up a little. It's amazing how small a city of about 1,000,000 people can feel sometimes. Also, they still haven't gotten tortilla chips back in the store, so sometime I will have to go to Moscow and bring back like 50 bags with me. I'm not joking. I am exaggerating a little though..it'd probably only be 10.

Well, now I have to go off to work. Again. Didn't I just do this yesterday?

I'm really looking forward to some warm weather. It's not actually that cold, but I'm tired of wearing coats and hats and seeing dingy snow everywhere. I could really go for some green. And darkness..did you know that it's never actually completely dark in my apartment? I haven't seen the stars in months. That's city life for you though.

Ok, for real, I'm leaving now. If only I could remember if I've brushed my teeth yet or not....


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