One thing that I've noticed in Russia is how terrible most popular pop music is. I miss the days when lyrics involved  more than crude sexual references and partying. A few weeks ago I visited a school, and one girl eagerly asked me: "What kind of music do you like?? Britney Spears? Rhianna?? Lady Gaga???" She was completely shocked when I said that I couldn't stand any of them. I was surprised myself at how offended I was that she'd even suggest them. Then I had to think to myself "what DO I like?" Usually when I get asked about my favorite music, books, or movies, my mind instantly goes blank. I have favorites, but there are so many that I've liked that usually I just can't evaluate all of them instantly. Lately I've started writing a list just to make things easier on myself (since these are  questions that I get asked on a daily basis). I was going to write out my top 3 choices, but then I couldn't decide on just three...because they're all favorites, some are just a little more favorite. If you don't know what that's a reference to, go watch this now!! Then go and watch everything else that he's ever done.

So...after some agonizing decisions, here are my choices (in no particular order):
Вдох Выдох - T9
Летний Дождь - Бумбокс
Rise - Flobots
Dust in the Wind - Kansas
Remember the Name - Fort Minor
Make You Feel That Way - Blackalicious
Drive - Incubus
Paganini 5 - Edvin Marton
Hurt Feelings - Flight of the Conchords

As for books, well...that's a lot harder (and still a work in progress).

Do you know what are crazy? People. Yesterday was a rather underwhelming day as far as productivity went, so the majority of it was spent making/consuming muffins and watching BBC Human Planet episodes.

One episode really caught my attention. I remember reading about this in the news last year, so it's nothing new, but I still find it just as fascinating now as I did then. The idea that groups of people can still exist in the world who have never had any outside contact just blows my mind. I suppose as a sort of world traveler, the size of the world has seemed to shrink in my mind over the last few years; I've always found it comforting that home, if I need it, is only a flight away. However, there are still some places out there that remain unreachable. Maybe that's one reason that I like Siberia so much -- it's one of those places that you can still get lost in. I recommend this book if you'd like to read about one such example. I read it last year for a paper that I was writing, and while it didn't help me very much, I did really enjoy it.

Can you imagine what those poor people felt when the plane flew overhead? Sometimes when I'm having a hard day I like to imagine how much worse their day was. I think that it would be about the equivalent of seeing a 500ft dragon-shark-bear fly by. That would definitely make me unsettled. I hope that there's not a massive colony somewhere in the universe that we don't know about yet.

In other news, I bought my ticket home on Friday. I hadn't planned to, but during a random conversation with Kendra I decided to see what the prices were like right now. I stumbled upon a $1000 ticket to Tucson with all American companies (since I'm here on a government program, I'm required to use American companies), and pounced on it. It sounds like a lot of money, but for a 1-way ticket to a small airport on American companies it's about as good as it's going to get. It's still obnoxious that it costs about the same for a 1-way ticket as it does for round-trip (sometimes 1-way is even more expensive!). I fail to see the logic in that.

Having a ticket in hand (/inbox) really makes the end feel closer. Sometimes it just feels like I'll be here forever. Sometimes it feels like April will last forever (Seriously! I wish this month would end already. May has fun plans. I even changed my calendar to May because I couldn't look at the depressing foggy melty snow  picture anymore). I think that my wanderlust is definitely starting to kick in though. I haven't quite figured out what I'll do next, but I'm looking forward to it (ideally starting grad school sometime in the next year). I do know, however, that the summer is scheduled to be awesome.

Last night I had a really beautiful dream. I can't describe it very well (nor will I try), but it involved sitting outside in Alaska on a cold clear wintry night. In one direction I could look up past the trees and see the stars, and in the other I could faintly see the sun setting. It was incredibly peaceful. It seems like a lot of people either don't dream very much, or can't remember them, but I dream almost every night and usually remember. I like that about myself.

p.s. - I thought about it, and if I had to decide, even knowing all the details, I'd have gotten braces again.


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