Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Holy hell I am feeling nostalgic! Joel just found his blog from when we were in Peru (I was so behind the times and didn't have one). I had forgotten so much stuff. Zancudos = mosquitos. Palta = avocado.
The pictures of our house on the beach. Sigh....
Well, not time for much else, I have to finish printing my business plan.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


okay so this is actually a good one. this dude invented...well okay we're not sure if it was cyrillic or just cyrillic type. I think it was just the movable type. But anyway this dude and his brother were very important in making Russian readable and deeply involved in printmaking. And guess what his name was? Kirill, which is the male version of my name. Cool eh? Also, he has a killer beard. Also, we think cyrillic is a derivation of his name. I'm not putting this in certain terms because it is first of all hearsay and second of all filtered through a slight language barrier. This is жена, I think was his name. Not sure on the spelling. But I just really liked the foto. He was a funny guy, he had a very soft voice and really animated manner, but all pent up. So he would speak very quietly and tenderly but with lots of enthusiasm. And he would lean close to you and whatever you said he'd be like "клас, это клас, очен класная" "Cool, that's cool, really cool" about whatever. We all also watched the new version of Hairspray and it was pretty good.
This below is Daksh dancing. He is a great dancer. He also is a model, self proclaimed. And a great cook. He comes into Anya's room all the time to use the mirror. Like every 5 minutes. And to ask how she would rate him on a scale of one to ten. Twelve, right? And he has a fiance in Canada and he can lay on his back on the floor and jump to his feet. All the indians are also very talented at wearing shiny great looking shirts and studying to be doctors.
This, my friends is the улица of киiв and very beautiful artwork. Well, pretty okay anyway. And then the very beautiful church complex that now houses things like a monk cafeteria, the museum of soviet miniatures and the silver and gold museum.
P.S. did you know that here they have holidays like Women's Day, The Parade of Humor and Health and Fitness day? I like this soviet remnants, which is what I'm assuming they are.

Fur Coats

Started reading The Master and Margarita ---->Tables, chairs and oaken chests would have suited Jesus best.
1. insouciant - carefree
2. polyglot - one who speaks many languages
Today walking down street:
a. Police convention/picnic/training of how to elicit bribes? The police cars were lined up for like a block and there was a huge crowd of them in blue and reflective yellow or orange in front of yevshenko's statue.
b. a black cat and a white cat yowling at each other in a tree and a man throwing rocks at them BUT _______ on the other side of the spectrum a woman with a big old sausage cutting pieces off and distributing them among the street dogs.

I went to Kiev recently. Saw the miniature museum and sweet couple and ate way too much sweet and danced a lot AND AND AND learned how to pour sambuca. You know, you light it on fire and twist it aroundandpouralongstreamoffireintotheotherglass and it's super fancy looking.
We kicked things off with a suprise birthday party in the planetarium, with a trumpet player accompaniment. And then a trumpet was given as a gift and was accompaniment to the activities of the rest of the weekend. Elevator rides, bus rides, walking down the street, laying in bed.

things continued with a party at Andre's house that he and his brother are building. Three stories! Huge. There was no proper bathroom and no heating but tons of good food and dancing. Fur coat salad, I forget how to say it in russian it's called that because of the plethora of grated roots that are smothered in mayonnaise in it. That was kind of gross. I ended up just eating a lot of cheese and chocolate but, really, that's nothing to complain about. Not that I am.
Okay, let me describe these pictures, although they are worth thousands of words already.
1. Old babushka with street dogs: this is very common. These dogs are everywhere, and adorable. There is one that lays outside our door and it is dusty and black and very cute. I gave him cereal one day but he ignored it.
2. Someone's window
3. The sign that I made for Shekhar and Sandeep's birthday. It was beautiful and so so are they. Wait, here I will add more fotos from that party. No, I take it back. I'll make a new post for that.
4. Anya in the snow on our way to выход, or exit, a club that played amazing music. People here are really fond of that, what's it called? Spanish Flea or something? I wanted every song they played. Speaking of which, I just have to mention this youtube video because I love it and the singer kind of reminds me of Beck. Anyway this was awhile ago because now it is more sunny and there hasn't been snow for at least a week. Except in Kiev, which was covered with snow.
5. These last four are not really in order but go like this, the first one was the after dinner walk at Andre's second birthday party, the one at his house
6. These are my feet and an old man on the train. Sleeping on the train was great! I have never done that before and I liked it. I found the motion very relaxing. Anya talked my ear off on the way back which was not as relaxing, but then we read Agatha Cristie out loud which was good. A Poirot one that takes place in a hostel, fitting.
7. Birthday breakfast of champagne and cherry log cake. Andre is on phone, Nika is the other one.
8. Model at the planetarium
9. Climbing the stairs to the party at the party house. The girl in magenta is Maya, who does graphic design and is in love with Ollie from England. She is cool and we are hoping to make some t-shirts this summer

Monday, February 15, 2010

Com pasejar pel carrer a Ukraina.

Primer Haurás de fer pases petites, molt petites. Si, et vas a sentir idiota. Et fará vergonya, peró en el moment k descuidis de vigilar et cauràs, I l’estat de atenció medical a aquest pais fa riure, I por. Jo fa unes dies vaig tenir un malson on vaig trencar una cama I vaig tenir k suicidar-me en comptes de anar-me a l’hospital.

El cas és k si no et caus si k et vas a mullar. Els carrers són plens de llacs I rius, I si no en tens un ull acustombrat (com em manca jo) és molt dificil distinguir entre terra, neu, gel I aigua. Jo sempre acabo escollint un tros k em sembla terra ferma, i sempre acaba sent l’aigua més profunda.

Per aixó, quan pensis anar a un lloc I estas calculant l´hora de trobada, multiplica´l per dues.

Altre cosa. Potser k ets d’un pais, com jo, on no ens toquem al carrer. De fet fem esforços per NO tocar-nos. En canvi, a Ukraina, et dones el sentit de k ets l’unica k esta fent l’esforç. Comences a pensar, ¨I qué? Si no em moc van a deixar les altres k ens xoquem?

Si ets com jo, d´una societat molt quieta I ben educada, sentirás vergonya I por al intentar l’experiment de deixar-ho anar. Un consell. No has de seguir caminant en el moment d’impacte. Poc a poc, homme. Fes com jo. Quan es pot preveure l’accident imminent i realment has cansat de cedir sempre el pas, peró no trobas els pebrots necessaris per a xocar-te directament amb el teu company de carrer, a l’ultim moment ajuda si et paris. És molt senzill, I no fa tanta por. Simplement et pares en mig del carrer I deixes k l’altre et xoqui. Com el mar contra les roques. La mietat ho farán, l’altre mietat, miraclement, te esquivaran. Després d’algunes dies tindrás el coratge per a seguir caminant normalment I donar un bon cop als senyors que es creuen els amos de l’espai públic.

hi ha una jerarqui del carrer. Per ho que he vist. Una persona de la meva edat, més o menys, no et donará problemes. Tampóc els hommes, normalment. Peró les dones d’una certa edat no volen canviar-se de sentit, res, mai. Tenen els seus destincions pensats I res va a fer-les pausar.

Com tenir electricitat (електричества) a Ukraina

No intentar-ho en temps d’elecions.


Valentine's Day Special.

So there is this great market by my house. Everybody calls it the new market and it has a creepily ornate entrance on one side. The words “decadence” and, well “creepy” are brought to mind.

Also, I haven’t gone to bed yet, since 24 hrs ago so don’t mind me if this is a little disjointed.

Anyway this market is great. It’s a lot like the ones in south and north America except that everyone wears lots more clothes and gloves. I feel really guilty that I don’t go there more often, actually, but it just doesn’t seem economical when I have no idea of Russian. Ex: I can ask how much something costs but I cannot understand any of the answers. Even the numbers I “know” I don’t understand when they say them.

I like buying best from the asian ladies, because, hey, they’re foreign too. This morning I went, which felt nice. I haven’t been really awake and doing something at 7 or 8 in the morning in a long time. And the fact that I haven’t bee

n to bed yet means I just get to keep tallying my points on my points chart for today. I’m going to get a great score.

Okay, let me start again. So while I was typing this morning from about five thirty am to eight I saw it get light and was filled with happiness. Today is a beautiful day. I decided to go the market because yesterday I spent too long talking w/ the librarian and the two sashas (one male one female) at the lit. club so I didn’t have a chance to go to the market to look for project supplies. I resisted the call of bed and went out, and now feel refreshed from the cold air and ready to stay awake longer. So what did I do at this new market? I bought great yarn and some sequins and some needles (all words I had looked up and drew vocab for but didn’t end up using the words at all). Then I tried to buy a placemat, a gold placemat, but they wouldn’t break my fifty. So I walked the long way around the block (brain melting) and bought some cheese at the big grocery, обоже…something and they gave me change and I saw all the valentine’s day balloons and was reminded once again of the ridiculous use of plastic bags in this country.

Some of them they are dyign to get rid of. I bought cheese and it’s already wrapped in plastic, right? Then they put it in a small plastic bag. Then they ask you if you want a big plastic bag. They do this, normally, by saying “ пакет?” which is easy to remember. Sometimes they use different words so the first thing the cashier at a store asks you just know it will always be this question and say da or nyet depending on whether you desire a packet or not. If you say no they will still put whatever you are buying into a smaller, thinner plastic bag. If you say yes they will take out a big old bag to put over the small, thin plastic bag. Now, but the catch is if you buy a lot of groceries, for example 2 liters of juice, a jar of tomato sauce, two liters of milk, cereal, oats, a bread cake (that was bad by the way) and a big box of baking soda, oh and some onions and bananas and they are like, “пакет?” or more realistically they are like “афрщш ауршщзер фщывтащфзеруцзкцщш фыщшреыпа?” and you are like, ha, I know what you are aksing anyway and then you think, “This would be the time, right? cuase how will I carry all this such and not without some bags?” AH HA. But what she pulls out is ONE GIANT BAG. I think this must happen NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU BUY. So she proceeds to put the milk, juice, baking soda, tomato sauce, onions, bread cake etc etc and everything else into this giant bag and you like, “And what? I’m just going to sling this over my shoulder?” keeping your center of gravity while carrying this somewhere on the iciest streets ever invented- well. I guess that’s enough.

So anyway I was feeling guilty for never buying food at the new market as I wnet about buying these sequins (бёл…. I don’t remember) etc especially because I really do love pickled thigns and we don’t eat them that much at home. So I stopped to buy something but I played it safe by going to one of the asian ladies. I feel more comfortable buying from them because they use the more familiar social custom of looking at you and asking what your are going to buy (I love the security of someone assuming that you are buying something from the get-go) instead of ignoring you completely. So buy some pickled beet, which she even lets me try and it’s great, of course, but sketchier than a class of university artists but whatever. We’ll deal with that later. But as she’s telling me something else I notice that she has electric blue eyelashes! How impressive! I tell her they are kraseevaya and she’s totally unphased. Like yeah yeah. And I add that I will take some of the beets and she warms up a bit. She even shows me with her fingers the number of grivnas she si asking me for which makes me fall in love with her a little bit because suddenly her пять actually sounds like пять in my head. Anyway. So it was great.

Then walking back to my apartment I realized htat I had never walked down that street before noon before, nor in the sun. everything was so beautiful that I wanted to walk around more, but also wanted to get back here and unload my booty. Y’all ought to see the watercolor and acrylic painting I’m working on. They are not beautiful but they are exciting, I’m using some things I never have before, and they are going fast which is always pleasing. But I need a bigger watercolor brush.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

OMG all the snow is melting off the balcony. Today is 36 degrees!

Someone told me a story someone else told them recently. He was asking a guy in a bar about the upcoming elections and what he thought about the candidates. This guy looks around for a way to explain, and pulls out two cigarettes. "These are the candidates," he says. "They are two different cigarettes but they both give you cancer."
We went to the beach recently and it was the best beach I have ever seen. Ever. It was beautiful. As you can see pictures all around.
Georgian Restaurant Menu Delicacies:
1. A red string bean, a nut, greens, the Georgian Seasonings, an onions, garlic
2. Female Quail of Tobacco
3. Language under Mayonnaise
4. An eggplant, a walnut, the Georgian Seasonings
5. Bread the Basket!!!!!!!! (exclamation points not mine)

On another separate note a guy I met told us this story. Imagine it in a scottish accent. "So I went out the other night and ate dinner and then asked where the bathroom was. This guy takes me back through the kitchen into a back room the staff use. It's all piled high with potatoes and onions and is where they store all the food. And there's a hole in the middle of the floor. I'm like, oh god, don't show me that. I just ate here!"
In the photo below maybe you're looking at it wondering if those people out on the pier are going to jump in. They are. Two of them already did. Three of them further down the beach are just walking around with no shirt or pants on.

Hmm, can I include another random quote? "People in this country have no fucking concept of what a sandwhich is."
So I am this close [fingers slightly apart] from getting an apartment. Unfortunately not in the center. We looked at one really close to my friend's house but the guy answered the door in his bathrobe, and was also middle aged, which is widely considered the sketchiest age. So I could see a lot of awkwardness there. My friend was like, "Living there would be a very Russian experience, but I would be more comfortable if
you lived with a girl." I agreed, although it turns out I will probably be living with two brothers who are medical students. I didn't meet them but was assured they are stellar people.
I also looked at a really cute place that I could have to myself for not much more, but I feel it will be better if I don't live alone or I will never associate with anyone. This may force me to meet people. Or I may just hate it. It shouldn't be too bad though because I am taking a pretty huge room. So I look forward to getting that sorted out.
I went to a play with my friend Masha last night, and then went back to their house again and we watched Dazed and Confused and An Education. It's really probably better I'll be moving far away because otherwise I would spend my life at their house and they would get very very sick of me. Oh! Also did I mention John runs a literature club for people learning English and I went to the last meeting and got to meet a LIBRARIAN? It was at a small library that is run by the US consulate or something. I think once I get myself together today and can face a world outside of bed and writing on this blog I will go see her and ask what she does etc. Maybe I should go do that now. Okay I also went out a few days ago and our party went back to another friend's house were the cops came and had to be heavily bribed because we were making too much noise and I didn't have my passport on me. Until later.

I am obsessed with the song Made in the Dark by Hot Chip and Lost Someone sung by Cat Power.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Odesa again

Well here we are. I arrived and am now looking for an apartment. It was great flying in, I have never seen a landscape like this before. It was all white. Not mountains that have white on top and then valleys, all white and then squares of brown. I couldn't figure out for the longest time what the squares of brown were because it was all flat. Why were these areas warmer than other areas? And it wasn't where the houses were either, those were white squares on white. So no warming due to people's bodies/cars/houses. Why would they heat these random pieces of land? Finally I realized they were trees sticking up out of the snow. Which then makes you think about the way we leave forests, just lines, connecting up irregular polygons. But makes you a little afraid, seeing so much white.
Odesa is, besides being the place where all your biggest baby dreams come true, a sea port and flying in we passed what I think was the Dniester river which was all frozen over too, except right before emptying into the sea. Anyway to cut to the chase last night it was about -20 degrees fahrenheit. Today it was also cold but bundled up and walking in the sun it was not bad at all.
Anyway hopefully the housing issue will be taken care of soon and in the meantime I will try to keep busy writing, drawing, taking pictures etc. Tomorrow I will get to see a library, a secret I could not unlock last time because I was yelled out.
Updates as events occur,
signing out,

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This is probably the best picture I ever took.

At least of me and Jade in her apartment in New York. I just rediscovered it and felt compelled to share it with the world.

No me di cuenta de que habia pasado tanto tiempo sin escribir. Tal vez ahora no sea el mejor momento, como no estoy haciendo nada en especial y ademas tengo que levantarme manana para hacer caminata, sobre lo cual tengo muchas dudas porque no estoy nada en forma, pero aún así siento que debo escribir algo.
Ara en català. El meu tiet em va visitar amb el seu novio i ho vam pasar realment bé. Vam caminar per tot Barcelona, la primera vegada aquest viatje que vaig daixar-me pasejar sense destinació ni horari. A més a més vam descobrir un pastelería més bé. És tot pastes i dolços de l'India. El més bo és un cuadre fet de pastanaga i, es clar, la baklava. M'encanta aquest color verd clar dels pistachos. També van pasar amb mi i la meva famella el nou any. "Bon any! Bon any!" vam cridar tots i vam menjar el raïm i portar bigotis falsos i tocar trompetes petites i jugar i cantar. Ho vam pasar molt molt bé.
Sabeu un cosa que no entenc? Això de deixar bolsos de plàstic a la pica de la cuina. Per a mi no té sentit. En primer lloc no pertany, en segon has de saber que quedará asquerós. Però bé, seguïm.
En aquest moment em trobo en un lloc dificil. No sé que fer. Serà millor tornar als estats units, o a Ucraïna? Em semblen bé tots dues.
Ahora me estoy liando pensando en registrarme con delicious o otro servicio así. Como por fin uso el internet, y estoy intentando aprender idiomas tengo un montón de links para diccionarios, sericios de traducción, cosas así. Por find entiendo para que sirve un servicio así.
Bé, a dormir. Aquesta setmana prometo pujar unes fotos de les vacances. Fins després!

I just thought I would add this picture to make things a little more interesting. This was from the Best Buffet Ever that I went to with Jade and her friend Patrick (pictured above) in...what was that place called? In Pennsylvania. A trip which allowed me to check both that state and New Jersey off my list of visited places. And eat tons and tons of crepes from the surliest crepe chef ever, who probably stayed out way too late the night before, drunk, and was hung over and couldn't think of anything he would less like to do than make crepes for us. But he did it anyway. And the potatoes were good, there was even ravioli and cheese cake and bacon and...oh gosh, I don't even remember. It was the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of breakfast\brunch buffets. And our hotel room had a lovely view of the river. And the terrorist's bike, which is now Jade's bike, continued to be unstolen from the back of her truck.