I ran across THIS today and I wasn't sure who to share it with, so I'll put it here. If you don't understand it then that's probably a good thing.


A nice snowstorm

Early April -- gross

Late April

Bonus points if you've noticed that blue plastic bag that's been stuck in the tree for months.

One new lesson learned: don't pick up strange Russian bugs. They might sting you.

I know that sounds pretty obvious, and believe me I'm not usually in the habit of petting bugs, but last night there just so happened to be a rather large bug that had found its way into my apartment. After watching it hurl itself against the light in my hallway for a few minutes I took pity on it. It appeared to be a harmless mosquito hawk, and while I don't know if they really eat mosquitoes or not, I figured that it was worth saving it in the slim chance that it did (I happened to see my first mosquito yesterday). I was also in a pretty benevolent mood. Well, right as  was going in for the grab, I felt a burning sensation on the palm of my hand. That stopped that. See if I ever try to rescue a bug bare-handed again. Unfortunately for my uninvited guest that put a short stop to my feelings of good will and it was forthwith squished unceremoniously.

The string of strange phonecalls continues. Here is my latest (translated):

me: Hello?
- Hello.
me: Hello
...........awkward silence.......
me: Why did you call?
me: *hangs up*

Since a lady with a very similar voice then called my cell phone, I have a sneaky suspicion that the awkward call had been from a lady inquiring if I'd like to change my internet plan. Bad reception or bad receptionist? Hard to tell. Since I'm leaving in a month I didn't feel inclined to change my internet in any way though..even if it was free.

In other news my trusty bus #121, my favorite, no longer goes to the university. Hard times.

Today I had my last Chat Hour, which was actually pretty sad. It's a good group of people, and I'm going to miss them. I'll still be at the university for another 3 weeks (4 if you count the remaining days of this week), but I'll be working with children instead of university students. I'm not sure if it will be refreshing or exhausting. 3 weeks seems a bit extreme to me, but I'm not the one who arranged it. All I know is that I hope I know enough games to fill up 3 weeks.

I've been having a lot of what we'll call "flashback sensations" lately. Sometimes a certain smell or sound or temperature will make me think about events or places from my past. Maybe it's just a symptom of advanced homesickness, but whatever the cause I've enjoyed the memories. Here are a few of the things that I've been thinking about: rainstorms at the Cottonwood pool, the long (but now seems short) walk between Quintard and McClurg, sitting in bed and looking out the window in Alaska, walking through town in Middlebury, and Hope. Sometimes it's sad that there are days that you can't go back and enjoy again. For many days once just really wasn't enough. I suppose that's the beauty of the future though -- there are plenty of wonderful days left to be experienced. That's one reason (of many reasons) why I'm happy that the world didn't end on Saturday! I personally am interested in finding out where this story that is my life goes.

Right now though this life of mine is going to the store. I don't have any lessons to prepare for tomorrow, which almost certainly means that tonight I'll be up late doing a whole bunch of nothing. Unless I want to do this in the dark, I really need to buy a new lightbulb. Cheap Russian lightbulbs. At least I've gotten pretty handy at changing them.

These are all huge, I know, but otherwise blogger kept messing up the format. Oh the troubles I have.

Let's recap the last few days....weeks...sorry, I've been busy!

Here is the sped up version of May 4th-May 14th. Ok, actually, I take back my apology. It's only been 10 days. I find that totally respectable, and in fact, above average. Apology rescinded.

May 4th-May 7th: I don't really remember these days. There was a random holiday somewhere around this time.
May 7th: KENDRA COMES. Cue late night drive to the Samara airport with my worried tutor, getting pulled over by Russian cops, watching them (almost certainly) ask for bribes, wait for a while in a very sketchy airport, FIND KENDRA, drive home.
May 8th: get woken up by Kendra shouting "WHOA" in response to being woken up by some very bright rays of sun, assume it's a drunk in the hallway, go back to sleep for a few hours, procrastinate, go to Park House (the mall) for a tasty lunch, speed shop, hastily make salsa and a Mexican dessert whose name I forgot, go to a Mexican dinner with 3 other Americans (2 were visiting) and some Russians, make at least 1 Russian addicted to chips and salsa, go home, stay up outrageously late.
May 9th: VICTORY DAY. Grudgingly crawl out of bed at 9 am, shower, eat, speed walk to the victory day parade. Look everywhere for a ribbon for Kendra (everyone, including myself, had one, but no one knew where they came from), get stuck in a crowd, weasel into the middle of the crowd, watch the parade while peering through tall people and balloons, feel bad for Kendra and her shortness, feel some Russian patriotism, wish there were tanks (no tanks this year, they're bad for the asphalt). Walk around, look at movies for an hour, get sore feet, take pictures, make PIZZA, go to the central square, play Uno for an hour while waiting for the fireworks, watch the same man throw up twice in the span of an hour, get disgusted and move to a different place, SEE FIREWORKS, be mildly impressed (but more amused by some of the people's reactions), go home, MAKE COBBLER, consume cobbler, go to sleep late.
May 10th: grudgingly crawl out of bed at 10:30, shower, eat breakfast, rush to the university. Teach 1 class, introduce Kendra, walk home, buy pins from the Olympics at a museum, eat lunch, go to the train station. Kendra leaves :(
May 11th-12th: Nothing interesting.
May 13th:  Skip work (with permission), go to Samara. Tour television station, see monuments, see churches, finally figure out how to fashionably wear a scarf, be cold, see old buildings, eat pelmini, walk around a bunch, go home, get invited to go to someone's dacha, eat dinner, go to bed.
May 14th: feel like it's Sunday all day, go to Russian lessons from 2-4:30, go to store, buy dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, come home, do nothing productive, cook dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, be surprised that they aren't disgusting, write blog.

You know one reason why I hate tea? Because it's hot. Out of politeness I drank a cup of tea at the tv station yesterday, and my tongue is still burned from it. As far as taste goes it's bearable as long as you add enough sugar, but I really can't handle the temperature that Russian's prefer to drink their tea at. Ow.

I suppose other than this I really don't have anything to say. I've done a lot of fun things lately, but I took pictures of most of them, so you can just mosey over to facebook and have a look if you're curious (and haven't done so already). It will save me a lot of writing.

To make up for my momentary verbal ineptitude, here are some interesting things that I've run across in the last few days:

1). Interesting article about a literal eye for an eye punishment in Iran

2) Seen it before but still funny

3) Cute

Look! The leaves are coming out!
Off to have a picnic by the Volga

The end of a successful Saturday

Signs of spring:
Heat turned off
Kvass tankers on the street
Picnics on the Volga
The return of sunglasses
Going outside without a jacket

The ugly stage of spring is over, and now we can all just sit back and enjoy it. I know that there will be at least one more surprise snow shower left, but I think it's safe to say that the worst is behind us. I do have to wonder though how I'll survive Arizona in the summer. Yesterday it hit 70 and I was dying from the heat...I don't know if I can handle 100.

As far as future plans go, I haven't made many since my last post. Instead of deciding what I want to do, I've mostly been deciding what I don't  want to do. Time, as I'm sure that we've all noticed, is always changing... life certainly does require more planning when it's not static. Luckily planning is one of the things that I'm best at!

Here's a basic checklist of what needs to get done in the next 2-3 months: research as many graduate programs as possible, compile a list of my top choices, retake the GRE (laame. My results were ok, but I could do better, and unfortunately many schools actually think that they're important), assemble and mail applications like crazy, and wait. Depending on my choices, I'll then have to figure out what to do for either a semester or a year. More likely a semester..I'm not too keen on "wasting" a year. One thing that I'd like to do sometime is explore Eastern Europe. For some reason I've also wanted to start studying Czech. Or Finnish. Or anything!

On a final note, no matter what happens, you can all be happy that you're not a male anglerfish. Look it up if you're curious.

About this blog

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