Sunday, December 21, 2008


I have been a knitting fool lately. Finished the baby blanket for my sister - well, basically. Mom will have to sew in the ends... I worked until 3am on it the night before it had to be done, got up early, worked for another hour, went to work, worked for another hour and then had to leave it in a mailbox. At least it is adequate size though.

Now I am working on a scarf that artichoke's mom asked me to make 'before Christmas'... at least I am STARTING it before Christmas!

I also have my eye on this pattern. Perfect for Russia and only one step up from the easiest level, so maybe I can actually DO it. Finally, I am considering this scarf. Not very traditional, yet easy.

I have to do SOMETHING with my three week vacation, right?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Two very important things

1. Today I had a party with my Intermediate students and... they got me gifts! Chocolate and champagne and (this is the coolest part)a shirt. Not just any shirt though! Two of my male students are in the naval academy down the street from the school and... they got me the shirt that is part of the naval uniform! It's long sleeved and has dark (navy-ha!) blue and white stripes, a boat neck! It's completely authentic and they included the 'scarf' thing that goes around the neck! You might say I am pretty pumped about it.

2. My Big Sister is having her baby tomorrow!!!! I am so proud. This will be my EIGHTH time being an auntie. My siblings are so fertile. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008


I have crazy crazy dreams. I believe that everyone does, but somehow I remember them better or more often than most people. And, well, I like to share.

I dreampt last night that I was told that I had been adopted when I was little. Some random, 30 something lady with short, wavy dark brown hair was telling me that she was actually my mom. It's amazing how devistated I was. This meant that I wasn't actually related to my mom or sisters AT ALL. And who the hell was this lady? I told her she looked much too young to have had a child 24 years ago and her response was 'I am a woman'. Right, that makes a ton of sense. There was definately a baby in the dream as well, not sure whose it was, but it was really cute. Also... Something to do with some people in my family being in a really tall tree and not being able to get down.

Does anyone out there have the secret to having NORMAL dreams?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Whoa, Nellie.

So. Um. Without taking back what I said or denying how I felt, let's just say that I apologise for everyone having to read that last post. Never have I felt my emotions crest and fall so quickly than I have here. I'm ok. Things will be ok. It isn't that everyone hates me, they just have their own lives to worry about, everywhere. I KNOW that things are easier to do in your native country and in your native tongue, but everyone is busy, it's almost Christmas, and so on.

This is why I have two blogs. Now I remember.

Ok ok, I admit it

I am fucking desperate. I tried sending a plee to some people via email two days ago, and I got a response from one person. My aunt. Not even my best friend who would have to walk 2 blocks (for $10 profit) will help me. No one here will be bothered enough to help me either. I don't think people understand. If I can't find a way to send money home, I will have to COME HOME. It isn't like I haven't tried to find a way to get money home. I am working my ass off over here. Like, litterally. Why should ANYTHING take 4 full days to do? And then it still doesn't work? Bullshit.

I am throughly confused, frustrated and hurt by the whole situation. It isn't like I am stupid, I am just underequipped for this. As in, I don't speak the language, so, I need someone to go with me to the stupid Western Union office, one time. Just once, so that I can figure it out, and then it will work. Well, and I need someone in the states to pick up my money to put it in my bank account, but right now that is looking like it might not happen. Do you all want me back that badly? Or, do you really just not care if this works out for me or not? This is all I have been thinking about, money, for the past 2 weeks. It's just shit is what it is. Everyday I have tried, and have been brought to tears by the impossibility of me getting anything done here. I would say 'by myself', but its looking more and more like that's how I have to do everything here, so saying that would just be redundant.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

TWO blogs?

So, having two blogs is starting to be a little much. I think I can stick it out if you can. Are you with me?

Last night, I really wanted to post, and wouldn't you know it? The damn internet was out again. Sabotaged by the Russians again! (wait - again? when did they sabotage me last? eh, not important I guess.) The class that I was given was a one on one student and he came in and changed the duration to only 1 academic hour (45 minutes) instead of 2. Who am I to argue with that?

After a few missed attempts, my dad figured out how to call me here on a cell phone. He was quite happy to have found a way to call me, that's for sure. It was good to talk to him, even if I almost cried twice. Why is it that I cry so easily over financial matters?

Speaking of that - I have 10 Rubles to my name. That's like... a quarter. A QUARTER OF A DOLLAR. Luckily we get paid on Monday, and I can pay Denise back for the 1,000 Rubles she loaned me on Tuesday. I could have made it without her help, but it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun.

Thanksgiving taught me that I am somewhat of a snob. I already admitted to being a snob about bread and crab rangoon (so much so, I even named a BLOG about it!). Turns out I am a snob about even more random food. Like, cranberries. Some could probably say they understand, knowing where I come from. Home of CranFest, Cranberry Country Suites, and a water tower actually decorated with the giant fruit. Still, somehow this surprised me, this cranberry snobbery. As I sat sorting the tiny, soft cranberries into 'good' and 'bad' piles, I felt a little homesick. "Where I come from, we have BIG, FIRM cranberries. Cranberries that HURT when you throw them at people, and bounce when they hit the floor!" Somehow my 80 year old grandmother voice rolled through my head - as my thoughts are wont to really run wild and even develop their own personalities when I am engaged in such a mind numbing task. After throwing out the rotted or dried cranberries, along with the sticks and leaves and dirt that was included in the purchase, I had about half of what I paid for. The sauce turned out pretty good though - but, I still don't like the texture.

Oh - I did write a post last night, just not online. So without further ado, another delayed post!

Such a good day. I am exhausted, but that is to be expected at 1am. Today, I just felt good. I wasn’t too stressed out by the commute – I was confident about getting there today. And, I was totally prepared for class, so that was basically stress free. And, I love the people that I work with in Petergof, really. Like, they are just wonderful. I wish I could explain it better, but the two Oksanas – one of them is just my personal guardian angel, who makes fun of me now for wearing my thin coat and being forgetful and things, and the other is learning English and is just so cute. When I am there, she will pull up a chair and sit right in front of me to talk. She wants to learn so badly and is improving quite a lot. Then there is Marina – the Russian teacher there who stopped talking to the Blond Oksana (the one learning English) when I walked in because she said she wanted to make me feel as comfortable as possible, and that wouldn’t work while they were speaking in Russian. So sweet. And then there’s Mark – Regular Oksana’s son – he must be about 6. He can speak like 5 words in English, but today we totally bonded over a stuffed dragon, some tickling and a little teasing. Both of my classes learned something today, and were pretty excited about it too. Like I said. Today was a good day. (well, except that it snowed and I was wearing thin flats, but… that was my fault)

The End. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time delay

An excerpt from an email I sent yesterday during the 'no posting zone' time period.

Why on earth am I here? It isn't like this was a DREAM of mine. I made the decision to do this before I even started coming to Trinity, when my life seemed completely stalled and depressing and I was BORED. I just needed some excitement and something to work towards. I really tried to give myself a reason to be here - like, It's good for me to see how the other side of the world lives! or I'll find out so much about myself! Maybe other people told me those things to work towards. But right now I am learning about myself, and I don't like what I am seeing. I am a huge wuss. I really hate looking stupid and it happens every single day here. And the people think I am stupid too, or they are just mean and rude, one or the other. Also, I won't go anywhere alone if it's the first time I've been there. Like - the post office. Apparently there's one across the street from my school, but I haven't ever seen it and I am not one to walk into random buildings. This brings me to the second thing I have learned. I must be so dumb. Really. Things should be getting easier for me, but it doesn't feel like they are. I hate how much I have to use other people to do anything - I feel completely helpless and hopeless. Now I am stressed out because of my financial situation (I haven't made enough $ to send home, and those student loans keep automatically withdrawing - I am really in the hole with the bank now... ). That seems so superficial, to be worried about money while I am here, but...It seems like a big deal, especially when the only way I can figure to get money home involves venturing into a bank with Western Union... BY MYSELF.

Sigh. I am not one to give up on things, but is this all worthless? Are there things that haven't happened that I should stick around for?

Thanks for that. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. And, Thanksgiving was good. We had a good crowd of about 7 people, a turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, carrots, bread, champagne. Told stories and jokes. Tell me, why, then, do I feel so crappy the next day?

Somehow I don't feel that bad today. Maybe tomorrow will be even better. (I just got back from the post office with Denise. Things have been mailed, but not to any of you. Sorry, had to prioritize - the rents and the church are the only people getting things.)