Saturday, October 28, 2006


I've been far too lazy this weekend, but I did get one thing done - I uploaded new pictures!
There are two new sets:
The trip to Listvyanka and
The birthday party and snow day

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Free at last...

I was kind of upset with everybody yesterday (as is evidenced by the last blog entry). But that all went away real quick. Yesterday turned out to be a pretty fantastic day.
First of all, I had a ticket to see The Sound of Music at the musical theatre - IN RUSSIAN! It was at the same time both the worst production I've ever seen (of anything) and one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen. Especially the children. Oh man. Liesl was quit the little whore and Freidrich kept on making moves on Maria. Let's just say it was VERY Russian. It was only about $8 - a price I was willing to pay for a good laugh.
(I still want to go back there to see the Harlem Gospel Choir when they come next month - I think it could be equally entertaining).
The other great thing happened to me when I got back to the dorm from the theatre. The babushka at the door handed me a note - from my roommate, Lies.
"I know this is kind of sudden, but I'm leaving you today..."
I didn't know the words "I'm leaving you" could be happy words! Apparently she found a way to get into the other building, so she decided to move. I am now roommate-less! It's wonderful. I don't know how long it will last, but at least I don't have to room with her anymore. She said I can move too if I want. While I'd like to be in that building, if it means being her roommate again, forget it.
Plus, I've gotten to be friends with all my Chinese neighbors. So for now at least, I am free. Free at last.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oh great...

I need to stop shooting myself in the foot. I just agreed to have "Crime and Punishment" read by next Thursday. What the hell was I thinking?! Granted, I'm allowed to read it in English (just this once), but that means I have to find it in English. Looks like I'm going book shopping...
Also, I completely screwed myself over on the visa thing once again. Apparently, they have to re-do all my paperwork for visa renewal since I dropped that stupid regional studies class. Great. At the rate I'm going, I might not ever get out of this country.
But the trip to Ulan Ude (on the other side of the late) is going as scheduled. It'll be next weekend. This weekend, I have lots of reading to do...

Monday, October 23, 2006

I very nearly killed myself this morning while walking to the bus stop. Some nice comrade shovelled all the sidewalks earlier in the morning, leaving lots of nice icy concrete to walk on instead of snow. I'd rather walk through knee-deep powder than down an icy path, but I guess it's the thought that counts.
It's still really pretty outside - a big fluffy blanket covering just about everything in sight. Of course, I think most of the snow will be gone by this evening. Considering it snowed for about 6 hours straight yesterday, I find it amazing that there is not a cloud in the sky today - the sun is shining bright. It's still kind of cold, but the sun can work miracles.
The best part about today is that I have absolutely nothing to do. The university is hosting some conference, so they cancelled classes for the day. Woohoo! I think I'm going to try a new trick - refried beans from scratch. Should be ... interesting.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The "Blizzard"

"...truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast." -Herman Melville, Moby Dick
I couldn't help but relate to this quote this morning. When I left for class, I figured I'd be alright in just jeans and a t-shirt underneath my coat. I didn't count on such a drastic change in the weather in just an hour. As I walked from the trolley stop to the university, the wind suddenly began to gust. I thought, "Here we go again - another wind storm." What I didn't expect was a SNOW storm. It's been far too warm for October these last two weeks - meaning that the temperature has been hovering somewhere around 5-10 degrees (centigrade). Everyone was saying that October is the worst month here - all cold and rainy; once it starts to REALLY snow it's beautiful.
As I sat in my early morning Morphology class, I kept noticing how hard the wind was blowing outside. And how hazy it looked. "Wait a tick - that's not haze! That's snow blowin' around!" Yes, indeed, the heaviest snowfall I've ever seen in my life had begun. Now some of you more accustomed to life north of the great state of Texas may be laughing at me right now. Of course there will be more - it's SIBERIA! But after two months in Irkutsk, I still find snow particularly fascinating, and find myself grinning every time I see a fresh patch of powder to go traipsing about in.
I think it's about time I head home. I need to but on some warmer clothes - and drink some of the yummy hot chocolate my granny sent me :-D. (USPS stinks by the way - but more on that latter).