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So catching up on last week: July 31 to Aug 6.

Tanya and I have had nice time at the playground a few times. She is fun to be around when she's playing and not just not listening. Sometimes I would stay with Olivia in our courtyard, then come home, feed her and change her diaper, and we would head out again, this time to the big playground where my Mom and Tanya usually go. Then my Mom can sit with Olivia's stroller while I can play with Tanya. Other times we all head to the school playground where there is a nice shade around the stadium. I always let Tanya direct our play although I do try to make suggestions.

Last week, she went up to the fence and started to pretend it was a cage where Baba Yaga put us and then we were running around, hiding from Baba Yaga on the little jumping bridge and on the slide, etc, until finally we went home to hide there (which was great since it is always hard to get Tanya to leave the playground). This play was inspired by the story in the 5-minute Fairy Tale Disney collection my Dad got her for her birthday. It is basically classic stories retold with Disney characters in a very Disney way. It's pretty hilarious. I love the one with Little Red Riding Minnie, where Big Bad Pete wants her chocolate chip cookies that she is carrying to her sick grandmother, and puts on grandmother's clothing outside grandma's house to trick Minnie. He ends up grabbing the wrong tin and eat menthols and gets all red, which teaches him a lesson.

The one Tanya was inspired by was the take on Hansel and Gretel, called "Minnie and Mickey and the Gingerbread House." The witch puts Mickey in a cage and Minnie pushes the witch into an oven. A cold oven, since it is a Disney story, although she then barricades the oven and leaves so one can possibly ponder that witch dying from thirst or even suffocating there. So a witch from the story became Baba Yaga.

Olivia is sitting by herself longer. Smiles a lot. It took about two months last time too, but I'm finally into the rhythm of taking care of the baby and I'm able to enjoy having a baby more. It is not my favorite stage but it does have its moments. One thing Olivia does that Tanya never did is vocalize this early with cooing and saying a-ga. It's very cute.

Last week was not that eventful. On Monday, I wasn't feeling well in the afternoon - waking up all the time at night catching up with me a bit. I was able to grab a nap, but naps actually make me feel more groggy, so I'm resisting them. And then on Saturday, but really yesterday Tanya got sick. She doesn't have a temperature today but still doesn't want to eat much at all. She barely ate yesterday. My Mom came over today and made her chicken soup but she still didn't want to eat a lot of it. At least she is drinking her milk.

We did put on "Frozen" movie for her on the big TV yesterday to cheer her up. Bear got it for her for her birthday. She watched "Secret Life of Pets" a few times before but in installments on a tablet (Netflix has it). This was the first time we let her watch a whole movie on TV. She didn't finish all of it (I did, after she was done!), but she did like it. And when Elsa started singing "Let it Go", a song Tanya knows well from YouTube, she got off the couch and was dancing to it, with all the hand movements Elsa was doing. And told me to dance too with Olivia.

Another random thing last week - on Tuesday I learned the Russian word for celery.
сельдерей (sel'derey). I'm fluent in Russian but I left Belarus when I was 12, almost 13, so there is some vocabulary (like anything higher education) that I don't always have. My Mom, who left at 36, also didn't know how to say celery in Russian. We are on Skype with my Aunt and my Mom was trying to tell her a recipe for something. And neither of us knew how to say celery in Russian. I looked it up on my phone.

Geek Feminist Revolution )

Killjoys Season 1 )

Doctor Who )
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Last two days were rainy so we were pretty much stuck indoors. I only left for about 10 minutes today to go to the post office to drop off some letters (rent and next semester's contract). Good thing was that Bear had these two days off - yesterday was a holiday and he took today off because the floors were getting delivered to the new apartment and he was needed to carry them inside - he even got a hand cart at work. He, with some help from my Dad, ended up carrying most of the boxes anyway. Bear loves it - it was like a workout for him. Nice thing for me was that he was home in the early morning and in late afternoon. Tanya tends to play with him more when he is home, so I get free time to cook and just be a little. And it was just so nice being home all together, very low key.

Bear put away the tree and holiday lights yesterday and packed a whole box full of our games. I packed a box of books today. We are not moving until the end of February but we are starting to pack because there is just so much. I'm going to have many many boxes just of books. And once my semester starts in two weeks I will not have much time. We just need to get more boxes.

I did a lot of cooking even with the leftover holiday food. Yesterday, I made kotlety (fried meatball type) from beef and baked yams yesterday. And today I'm making baked ziti and split pea soup with beef. The apartment smells wonderful right now.

Over the last two days I also backed up 2016 blog to a Word document (I crosspost to Dreamwidth and LJ, but I want a copy that is not on the internet). And I watched 2 TV shows and read a book. So fairly good two days.

For a long time I wanted to read Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man . I loved the movie, although the movie mislead me a little bit on the intent of the main character, which colored this read a bit. And I had the book on Amazon Wish List for a while. Finally, I actually ordered it. But for a year Amazon couldn't find a copy for me. I cancelled that order. Last year I discovered that the Brooklyn Public Library now had it as a ebook. I put it on my library wish list. And last week I put the book on hold, thinking it might take a while. But on January 1st I got a notice that I can now borrow it. I did and read it in less than 48 hours. It was not a long book but it was also compelling. I didn't want to put it down. I forgot how beautifully Isherwood writes. His prose is just delicious. And, of course, since I teach in a college, I found the whole section of George teaching his English class just perfection. Isherwood really captures perfectly the class dynamics and student mentality. That section was sublime - really funny and just right. I really want to have a copy of this book because, while I rarely reread, I already want to reread this one. I loved this book so much.

I also watched two TV shows: Sherlock S4E1 and the latest Doctor Who Christmas special, which my Dad got for me.

Sherlock S4E1: The Six Thatchers )

Doctor Who 2016 Christmas Special )
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Almost the whole season was in two parters, with one standalone episode and one three parter. The titles were very clever. And almost the whole season is about Clara' dying or threat of her death and the Doctor willing to bend time and mess everything to prevent it. And it is about Clara pretty much becoming the Doctor. I saw Episode 1 when it aired but wasn't able to watch the rest. It was much better to watch the whole season all at once.

Doctor Who Season 9 brief thoughts on episodes )

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday, May 28th, 2016 11:40 pm
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Two weeks to catch up on.

From Tuesday, May 17th to Sunday, May 22nd we were in Long Island, visiting Bear's parents. Bear was at work for most of it - we really only saw him in the mornings - but it was still nice to actually see him and it was good to spend time with his family. Tanya loved it. Bear transferred the car seat to his Mom's car, so we could drive around. We also turned the car seat forward - it was time, she is getting tall.

It was still cool, spring weather - some jackets once in a while (compared to the heat wave this week). And we went to a lot of playgrounds. The regular playground, beach playground, local town playground by the bay. One afternoon we went to this local farm where kids can feed the animals through the fence. The animals were only allowed to eat celery or dark greens, which one could conveniently buy at the farm. Tanya loved feeding the cow and the sheep, was not afraid at all. She also loved spending time with her Aunt Carrie, Bear's sister. Bear doesn't have the best relationship with her, mostly because she keeps causing trouble and worries their parents greatly, but she is very good with Tanya and Tanya enjoyed the attention. At one point she wanted me "away" and she was busy playing with Carrie's spices and her food cabinet, so I used the time to go upstairs to use the bathroom in peace and quiet - a rarity. But, of course, "away" means "go sit over there but not out of eyesight" in toddler so Tanya, after five minutes, realized I wasn't there, went to climb the stairs and then cried at the bathroom door when I couldn't let her in.

When I did have my own time, during naptime (except one day where she skipped a nap) and bedtime, I borrowed Bear's Kindle Fire where I uploaded Season 9 of "Doctor Who" that my Dad got for me. And, I watched the whole season. The season was mostly two parters, so it worked out well with about two episodes per day. I'm going to do a separate reaction post, but overall I enjoyed the season for the most part, except for the stupid 'documentary' sleep episode , which I found terrible. Loved the Christmas special to pieces. And Episode 11 was pretty amazing - just the Doctor, no other actors, sustaining my interest really well.

I didn't really have a lot of time to read though. It's strange. I like "Jonathan Strange" when I read it, a lot, but when I'm not reading it my fingers are not itching for it. It's not the book I don't want to put down. At least not yet.

The book I don't want to put down is the book I got as a present last week. On Saturday, May 21st, for our last dinner in Long Island, with Bear home too, his parents had a sort of early birthday celebration for Bear and I. They usually celebrate both our birthdays on Father's Day (mine is June 2 and Bear's is June 15. He was born on Father's Day) but this year they are going away and since we are going on vacation too, it would be a month before we would see them. So early birthday celebration. Mostly, Bear's Mom just wanted to give me my present early. She got me "Hamilton The Revolution" book - the libretto to Hamilton the Musical. This book was on my wish list but she didn't even see that. She read a review of it in a newspaper and got it for me. The book is really amazing. It focuses on the development of the show, the songs, the actors and all kinds of background insights both into Hamilton and into the theater world. I was amused in the beginning by all the Harry Potter references as well. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a fan, apparently. He is exactly my age, so there are a lot of references I get. I'm in awe of this book. And savoring it.

This week Tanya and I were home by ourselves, just the two of us. Bear had an extra long work week. He left on Monday afternoon and just got back this evening. My parents came to visit Monday and yesterday, and my Mom by herself on Wednesday, so I did get some company. And we hang out at the playground a lot, so I do get to have some adult conversations.

This week is a hot week. As usual, the weather went from cold spring to hot summer in a day. It was up to 87F today - 75F in the morning. I got my summer shirts out and my shorts. I do love my summer shirts. And since it is finally really warm, my Mom insisted on the next stop in Tanya's potty training. At home, she's been wearing panties, since she asks to go, only wearing diapers to nap and sleep. But we used to put a diaper to go outside. Well, we are now carrying a small potty to the playground, so Tanya got to run around in panties outside (there is a bathroom there, but it is a little gross and not that comfortable for a toddler to use). I time an hour and a half, and make her use it. She did ask today, so progress. And since it's summer, we just bring a change of clothes in case of accidents. It is a lot more hassle, but my Mom is right, it is time.

The other day, I picked Tanya up from her chair after dinner to carry her into the bedroom and she hugged me and then said "Tanya lyubit Mamu" or (Tanya loves Mama). Aw.

Next week will be baking week. I want to make a blueberry pie on Monday when Marianna and her family, and Yeva are coming over. And I decided on Boston Creme Cheesecake for my birthday. So lots of sweets.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday, May 16th, 2016 10:30 pm
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So apparently I'm reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell now. It was a little unplanned. I finished Sacks and was going to start Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children . But that book was in hard copy and on Friday morning Tanya woke me up early by moving around but then she went back to sleep for another hour. Since I couldn't sleep and only had my Kindle with a flashlight nearby, I figured I would read something. Jonathan Strange is on my "to read" list this year but at 900 something pages it is a little intimidating. Just the time commitment; it's going to take me a while, especially with no commute to read on. But I started it. I had absolutely no idea what this book was about - I vaguely knew it was set in the 19th century. And for some reason my brain associates the title with "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide." I never even read the cover page for the book description. I know there was a TV miniseries, which I want to eventually see. I avoided pretty much all spoilers. I also know many people really love this book.

I'm on Chapter 5 right now. I like the writing style and the story so far but it is still a little early to get a handle on the characters or the plot. My favorite part so far was the description of what a society party was like - hot and super crowded and superficial in a lot of ways. And Mr. Norell just wants to read his book in the corner. I can relate to that. The book is certainly amusing me right now. I guess this would be my world for at least a month. Maybe longer.

I'm also finally watching Season 9 of "Doctor Who." I saw the first episode the week it aired (and rewatched it today) but wasn't able to see the rest. My Dad just got it for me this week from this Russian website and I can switch the language back into English. So I'm looking forward to that. Maybe to the Christmas Special since I love River.

Yesterday, we all went to visit my grandparents and while we were there my uncle (my Dad's younger brother) came over as well with my aunt and cousin Anna. I saw my uncle and Anna maybe a little over a year ago but my aunt never met Tanya. (They live in New Jersey, more than an hour away and we are not super close). So it was fun to hang out, once Tanya got over the shyness of meeting so many new people all at once.

Today I actually picked up my phone and called people to ask for things. It's not always easy for me to do that. But I really had to call the apartment management person. They sent our our lease renewal last week and effectively raised our rent 5.4%. New York City actually passed a rent freeze - 0% this year but there is a loophole that if the tenant was paying a "preferred rent" and not "legal rent," the landlord could raise it to "legal rent". So it's legal but such a dick move. $80 more a month is not a small sum. And we've been in this place since 2012, paid our rent on time, etc. So I called today to see if there was anything they could do. The manager was actually pretty nice and easy about it. Said she would talk to the owner and call me back in the afternoon. And she did. Our rent would now only go up $30. Still annoying of them to get around the intent of the law but better than before. So yay. And I made sure to reinforce in my mind that it is good to call and ask for things (when I went to therapy one summer when I started to develop travel anxiety, one of the things that stuck with me is the need to reinforce the positives and not just focus on the negatives). I also called a different real estate guy that one of the Moms at the playground recommended, now that we want to start searching for an apartment to buy again.

And tomorrow, Tanya and I are heading with Bear to his parents's house for the week. Bear will be working, fairly late at night too, but at least we would see him in the morning. And Tanya and I will get to hang out with his parents and Tanya will get a chance to practice English more. She speaks more in Russian since she's around me all the time, but when Bear is home she is picking up more English phrases for sure. She was eating something, either strawberry or banana and she told me in Russian "Tanya kushaet bananu" then turned right to Bear and said "Tanya eats banana", translating for him (although he can understand basic Russian and she knows it). She also loves to comment on what she is doing. As she was drinking milk, she said "Tanya pyet moloko" or "Tanya is drinking milk", then when she was done, she said "Tanya popila moloko" or "Tanya drank/finished drinking milk." She also mastered her shape sorter a week ago, a new skill we will show off to grandparents.
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30 Days of Me Meme
Day 12: Describe a typical day in your life

Depends if it is a work day or home day. And also if it is a weekend and Bear is home or if I'm at my parents' house for a few days. For simplicity's sake, I'll just briefly describe a work day and basic home day.

Not very exciting read, just a warning. )

30 Days of Fanfic Meme
12 – Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?

No. I don't think I would want too. I liked the universes I write it; there are only a few crossovers I that I liked reading.

TV

So last night after my trying day I watched the premiere of The Muppets . That was pretty fun. AA joke slayed me. Then I saw that Netflix finally added the last Doctor Who Christmas special, yay, so I watched half of it before my laptop batteries gave out. I finished it this afternoon. And just now I checked BBC America website, and sure enough I watched the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who.

Doctor Who: Last Christmas and S9E1 )
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Happy New Year!

I don't really do New Year resolutions. It is impossible to keep it up. But I think if I do small resolutions, something each month it might work better. So or January, especially for the next three weeks before a new semester starts and I go back to work, I'm going to try to update my blog much more often, be more productive with my break (i.e. not just be passive with Internet or TV) and write more in general.

Bear and I had a good New Year celebration. We, as usual, went to my parents' house where my Mom makes a big holiday table. We all dress up and take holiday pictures. She made duck this year and lots of delicious holiday food. I had to pace myself so I wouldn't eat too much. We also chatted with my Aunt and Uncle in Minsk over Skype when they had their New Year. My Dad got a new Kindle Fire for his birthday a month ago, so we used that. (I generally been playing with it when I'm over there - yesterday I watched the "Doctor Who" Christmas episode on it). My Dad downloaded a Russian New Year concert that just aired in Moscow eight hours earlier and we watched that on their big TV. It was pretty fun, actually. And at midnight we watched the ball drop. It is always weird to me that on regular days when I usually go to sleep at midnight, I have no problem getting to midnight but when you are waiting for it, it seems to take a long time.

In the morning, Bear and I opened presents (only the youngest get presents - I didn't have to get anything for my parents). I got a lot of nice things; my parents are really great.

List of New Year Loot )

So it was a nice low-key celebration, just the way I like it. I have a lot of hopes for 2014 so I wish that it will be a good year. I need to make a new Book List for this year - that will be one of my projects for tomorrow since I will be stuck at home due to the coming snow storm. Reading more is always a goal!

I hope everyone has a good, healthy and prosperous New Year!
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We got so many things done today – I feel very productive today.

In the working I used the new exercise bike while Bear worked out with the weights. I like it. Being on a bike doesn’t feel like I have to force myself so definitely a good purchase.

And with late breakfast, I watched the latest “Doctor Who” on YouTube.
Doctor Who S7E1 )

So today, Bear and I had a long list of thing to do: we went to Ikea to return the wrong stools, and the shelves I decided not to use (we waited for about 50 minutes for a 2 minute job) and to get the proper stools; then after lunch we went to visit my grandparents and pick up a few things they stored for me for the last five years; we stopped by Home Depot to get one larger set of blinds and Bear picked up an aloe plant (I kill all plants, that is not for me); and finally we went food shopping since we had pretty much nothing in the fridge.

We cooked dinner of pasta and fried eggplant in breadcrumbs and then conquered to task of Thank You cards. The only thing left to do, though, is to go look for a sofa, which will be the task for next week.

When I first got to college, many, many years ago, there was a book fair and I picked up two large boxes of Penguin classics (their covers were a little cut off so people wouldn’t sell them). I loved that book collection – so many books and authors. When I moved back to my parents’ house five years ago, I boxed all them up and stored them in my grandparents’ closet. But now, so many years later, Kindle happened. And so many of those books are available for free. So it makes no sense to keep them – since they would take a lot of space. And as much as I would love to have a whole room just for books – I dream of having a library at home – I can’t afford too. So I was culling all the books today to see what I should keep. I don’t know what do to with the books I put back in the box. A book lover in me rebels at the idea of throwing out books and I can’t donate them to the library since the covers are partly cut off. I’m just really not sure.
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One of my favorite part of a Montauk trip is going to the dinner for brunch. I packed while Bear worked out in the morning and then after we checked out we went to the diner. I got a spinach and feta omelet with home fries and toast. It was so good. I couldn’t even finish it and Bear couldn’t finish his pancakes so we wrapped that to go. Huge portions of deliciousness.

We spent the day driving a lot – first to Bear’s house for a small lunch and showing the ring to Bear’s parents and sister and then to my grandparents and then, finally, home. I gave my grandma her present although I’m not sure if she liked it. Still, I’m glad I got to stop by.

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2011 )
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I graded the remainder of Final Paper 3 this morning. Paper four will be for next week. Since the class did Peer Review I did not have much to do in class. I talked to some about their papers but mostly I just read my own stuff. This is rare for me, usually I do actual work, but it was their last day before Thanksgiving break (due to weird schedule next week) so they were fine with it.

I got home earlier since my parents had a concert to go to.

Eastenders singing Queen for Children in Need was a lot of fun. YouTube rocks sometimes. And now I got "Radio Ga Ga" stuck in my head and want to get a Queen album.
And I liked the Doctor Who Christmas trailer which premiered today too. They are doing “Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe” this year. Should be fun. Just the Doctor, no companions suits me just fine.

Grimm S1E4 )
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I do love having the house to myself on a Saturday where I feel I can slow down. I read some fiction and Brundage for my law class (how I love him) and I went to the library to return a book for a 40 minute walk while listening to “Cabaret.” And I cleaned the bathroom and watched two “Battlestar Galactica” episodes to be read for next week’s Mark Watches recaps. All before 2pm. I like a quiet house.

Yesterday in my writing class I was preparing my students for their midterm reading and we had some interesting questions for pre-reading in the textbook. One of the questions was about if any of them have an online identity that is different from their real one and if they feel like different people. None of them thought they had a different online identity – they all use their real names. After some prodding a few did remember using a pseudonym for online gaming. Also, while most found the idea of texting a roommate in the next room to inform them of a visitor (as happened in an example in a story) over the top, a few actually found it perfectly normal. I do like seeing the difference in the current young generation.

Doctor Who S6E13 )
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I went to sleep a little after midnight planning to get up at 6 and grade some more. And, of course, I couldn’t just fall asleep. I resigned myself to a sleepy day. I never look at the clock when I can’t sleep so that I won’t grow frustrated but still. And once I did fall asleep I woke up twice with nightmares. Not a fun night. At least the day wasn’t too bad even with the lack of sleep.

I did grade in the morning. Paper 1 is done and I get Paper 2 for one section today. Grading is never ending. I did have two students actually come to my office hours so that’s good. Next two weeks is midterm time which means all I have to do is write the midterm (and well, grade their paper 2) and I don’t have to prepare much for class itself.

After my afternoon office hours, I got a new ID card, went to the library to get a book for my history students. I knew that work wise my brain was done for the day.

I did get to read a National Geographic article on Amundsen today. This year is 100 years since the South Pole expeditions and it was a lot of fun to see old pictures and read about it. When I was a kid I used to love reading about explorers. Amundsen was very meticulous and a good planner, which is why he won that race but he also shot some of those dogs that traveled with him for food. A practical guy, there. Scott wasn’t really ready for the conditions. All the horses he took with him died

Last night I read the article on Brazilian women and the big drop in fertility in Brazil over the last 40 years based not on government initiative but on women themselves. Partly, this demographic changed was inspired by novellas (soap operas) which showed small families. I find that kind of demographic studies fascinating.

Doctor Who S6E9 )
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I spent the morning reading, which is something I haven’t done for a while. I like Cunningham and I actually liked that I saw the movie before so I’m not exactly reading for plot.

In mid-morning I went to the library to pick a book on hold. It is a really nice walk and it has been a while. I picked up a collection of stories that includes the latest Jim Butcher’s story, “Curses.” (The book is called “Naked City” and its focus is urban fantasy.) So really I walked for 40 minutes to an hour for a 31 page story. But totally worth it. It was a very lighthearted story. Harry had to be polite for a change which I’m sure was hard for him. I know this universe so well that I figured out a clue half a page before Harry did. And it was amusing. Cute story. And nice to see Harry before everyone went to hell.

Today’s weather was making me very sleepy or maybe it was just my week catching up with me but I napped for hour and a half. And then I spent the rest of the day feeling groggy.

I did work on my Germanic law lecture for Monday and made my list of things to do for the next week. I like having this list, it is very useful to make sure I don’t forget anything for all my classes.

Now that the RS Games story is all done and betaed and submitted (whole 23 hours before deadline) I started thinking about the History Big Bang I signed up for. I’m going to do a Highlander story with Methos and I think I will base it around one of my law cases – just going through the property law case process in the 14th century England. Hopefully, that will make me care about my dissertation more.

Doctor Who S6E12 )
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Doctor Who S6E11 )
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We were leaving at 10:10 this morning to go to the city to see “War Horse” and I pretty much had 40 minutes to shower and dress and get ready. That is not a lot of time but I managed to wash my hair and dry it and shave my legs and put on my dress, a bit of make-up and pack my handbag. I was pretty impressed with myself.

It was interesting to see all the heightened security today. The police was everywhere and they were checking things. On the ferry, the dogs sniffed every suitcase and all backpacks had to be inspected – it isn’t usually that vigorous. One of the most interesting security measures was watching the little coast guard boat speed its way in the bay and stop by every sailboat. And in the front of the coast guard boat stood a person with either a machine gun or some kind of automatic weapon, looking all impressive.

I did stand at the front of the ferry to look at the new Manhattan skyline with the new Freedom tower that is partially completed. I haven’t seen it before since it has been a while since I stood at the front. It is nice to see a new building rise.

pictures of the new Manhattan skyline )

We went to the Whole Food at the Columbus Circle to get some lunch – I got Indian salad bar which was really Thai since I mostly got Thai red curry (it was delicious) and an éclair (finally) that I split with Papa. Then Papa and I went to the Borders that is going out of business in five days while Mama waited for us downstairs. The books were 70% to 90% off but there weren’t many good books left so we didn’t actually buy anything. I wonder what new store would open in that location.

“War Horse” very much deserved its Tony award for Best Play. (This year I actually saw both Best Musical and Best Play, which never happens). The sets and the puppets (oh, the puppets) and the music and the projected screen visuals worked very well together. I think I liked the second act more. It is a story about a boy and his horse. I really liked that the story set in WWI wasn’t just about the British but we had sympathetic German characters too. And since it was a story set in WWI the death count was fairly high. The ending was a bit emotionally manipulative but it worked. Highly recommend it. Now I’m curious about the Spielberg movie that is coming out in December, although the best part of the play was the horse puppets. That was just amazing.

War Horse poster )

On the subway on the way home, there was a little girl who had a doll dressed in the identical outfit to her – down to a little knitted purple beret. It was very adorable.

Doctor Who S6E10 )
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I got to Local College early to meet with student and read more for the lecture. Going to school early is more productive as I can do work in the office there. My house is not very conducive for work. It is my first time teaching the law class and I’m shaky on the Roman law section – I need to get better at it. The class is not in the groove yet. I’ll keep trying. My Global lecture is much better since I taught it before and I’m fairly comfortable. Still don’t have a lectern. It is annoying to put notes on the table.

Next time we will read Cicero and I want to show his death scene from “Rome” As I was watching it to remind myself about that scene, I want to rewatch this whole awesome show. I have both seasons.

Poor hockey team that crashed today in Russia.

“Sexism in Moffat’s Doctor Who” blog entry .

The thing with “Doctor Who” for me since Moffat took over – it bugs me. I don’t really look forward to it anymore. I still haven’t watched the last episode. There is no urgency. I love Moffat episodes when they were stand alones during RTD era. But I just don’t click with the fairy tale aspects of the last few seasons and I’m not really interested in Amy – in the last season it was all about getting married and in this one it is about a child. And that is all she does. And gets kidnapped. My favorite companion was Donna and even though she wanted to get married too, we meet her as a bride and we last see her as one, she was so clearly her own character who was a match for the Doctor and wouldn’t take anything lying down. And she did a lot of rescuing herself. I do love River (I sense a trend of liking older, more mature companions) but her life is all about the Doctor. So she only went to study archeology to see the Doctor again? That is sad.

I watched the “2Fast 2 Furious” movie today. Why didn’t I watch these movies before – such silly fun.
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We spent the morning at Yeva’s place and then my parents decided that it was safe to go back home around noon. They called some friends here who reported that most of the streets near our house were not flooded and the route we could take home. So we packed up and went. We did pass some flooded streets and a lots of tree branches on the ground but for the most part everything was not as bad as it could have been. The house smelled a little musty but it was dry. It took a bit of time to put all the books back on the shelf and take the tape off the windows. I’m just glad everything worked out well.

While I was at Yeva’s, it was actually a bit easier to do work. So I started the Gilgamesh book for my Global history class. I’m just reading the intro right now. I never taught “Gilgamesh” before or really read all of it so I’m looking forward to it.

Doctor Who S6E8 )

True Blood S4E10 )
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I went to sleep late again, I can’t seem to want to go to sleep earlier than 1 or 2 lately which is not good. And today, since we are in Yeva’s place and my parents usually go to sleep at 10pm, that will be a problem. Maybe, I’ll read Kindle with my night light.

Yeva actually woke me up after 8am when she called to make sure we remember to bring pillows and other things since she moved most of her stuff to her boyfriend’s this summer. I finished packing, added a pillow, took a shower, ate breakfast and then helped Papa put garbage bags over books. He is not worried about TV or anything breaking or flooding – he is just really worried about his books. I also took my big cross stitch paintings off the walls and put them face down on the floor in case the windows blow in or something. Basically, many precautions that I hope won’t come to anything.

We left about 10am and the sky was already gray and it was raining a bit. Got the keys from Yeva and settled in to her place. She just has antenna TV so it was basically news about Irene on all the time. I can’t believe some people actually think the hurricane is great for surfing. I’m just glad we have power today so I can use my computer. There is internet and I can watch Netflix too.

I did work this afternoon and figured out my syllabus for the writing classes. (Which involved read many many articles from the new textbook.) I’m going to start with Kristof and WuDunn’s “The Girl Effect” (which is an intro to one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in the last few years), then go to Gladwell and his pretty erroneous thoughts on Twitter and revolution, then on the Sherry Turkle’a “Alone Together” and robots and sex and whether we lose authenticity is attaching ourselves to technology and forming connections with and through technology. (I have a feeling my students might like it.) The fourth reading will be Slater and the ethics of brain implants for physiological problems and the fifth reading will be the one I taught before: Lisa Belkin’s “Made to Order Savior” about the ethics of having a child to be a genetic match and donor for a sick older sibling. I will figure out the final exam reading at the end.

I also put together the first day writing sample, which is basically to see if the students can understand what they read. And the reading guide for the first reading. I’m set for next week.

In the evening I also caught up a bit on National Geographic and read the article on Cleopatra and the search for her tomb in the July issue.

One thing the hurricane Irene is preventing is me watching the new episode of Doctor Who. I did look at some spoilers, though. And I found that someone already made a hilarious YouTube video of Hitler rant about the latest Doctor Who episode “Let’s Kill Hitler.”

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday, June 4th, 2011 11:13 pm
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Today, at 1:40 in the morning, baby Galya came into the world! Marianna is doing well but is a little tired today so I’m going to visit her and her new daughter tomorrow. But I was very happy to wake up to such happy and joyous news.

My brain also seems a bit slow as I realized that instead of getting to a store to get fabric for the back of the baby blanket, I could just order it online. So I did. This way baby Galya will get her blanket in at most two weeks.

Avatar: TLA )

Doctor Who S6E7 )

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday, May 28th, 2011 10:47 pm
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Avatar: TLA S3E8-9 )

Doctor Who S6E6 )

My house smells of banana bread. I use Betty Crocker cookbook recipe and I love that it uses buttermilk. This recipe makes two loafs so I will probably give some to my neighbors since Laura drove me to the Russian store today to get some bread and to drop off Mama’s timesheet at her office nearby. (While I have a driver’s license, I have barely driven since then because driving in New York/New Jersey area freaks me out, so there was no way I was borrowing my parent’s car while they are away.) I also fried up some turkey and spinach sausages today and made potatoes.

I started “Catching Fire” today, second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I’m already 75 pages in or 23% as the Kindle tells me.
Initial thoughts )

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