Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday, May 16th, 2016 10:30 pm
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[personal profile] bearshorty
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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