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Monday, November 15, 2004

weekend, rodent acrobats, internship

so there are these crazy marmot looking creatures that live in the trees in yaroslavl. i've spotted two of them already, one near the Volga and one in my would-be backyard. The one on the Volga leapt from one tree, fell about a story down, and just barely caught the last tiny branch on the adjacent tree, and then promptly ran back up and did it again. it was also running around from balcony to balcony and nearly falling to its death at every turn. what a champ. i'm not sure exactly what it was - it was running around like a squirrel, but it was more like a really long cat. maybe we have some zoologists out there? some animal-scientists?

what else. saturday evening we ran into friends at makmaster and ended up meeting some theatre students. if they were at all representative of russian theatre students in general, then they're of an almost identical mold as their american counterparts. i guess i might have expected it, had someone asked me to imagine a russian theatre student beforehand. but there you have it. anyway they had just moved into a new apartment, and the only furniture in the room was a table in the corner and two theatre chairs that had been pilfered at some point in their careers. i should add that their having just moved in probably doesn't have much to do with the furnishings. we showed up with friends of theirs at about 11 pm unexpected, and they were pretty much ready to go when we got there.

vodka, juice and bread all standing on the floor. glasses. everyone sitting around talking and laughing. cigarettes. guitar. singing. sasha frying bread in the kitchen. that's a sight in itself, by the way. a frying pan, oil, and bread. you flip the bread over with the biggest knife in the kitchen, for effect. i'm going to try it tonight at home for dinner. oleg invited us to paint with him on the kitchen wall, which is to say - decoratively. back in the other room - waxing profound on increasingly less serious topics. it was all picturesque, somehow. so hats off to oleg, marina and skhusha for the enjoyable evening.

anyway, if i weren't living at the moment in spitting distance of the north pole, it would have been getting light on the walk back home. larisa anatolievna made me drink a glass of wine when i woke up (at dinner), even though i insisted that i wasn't hung over and even though i wouldn't have wanted more alcohol had i been hung over. she was convinced i just didn't understand, and well, maybe i don't.

and what else. i finally sent off all my paperwork to apply for an internship in the spring. ideally i'll be working with a local political organization that supports yabloko and the union of right forces, but i have no idea whether that is going to pan out. the options weren't quite as exciting as the ones for students in moscow, but a few of the internships in yaroslavl sounded pretty interesting. getting involved with opposition parties in russia has been, at least historically, a good way to keep life interesting. so more on that later. i'm just glad to finally have the paperwork off my desk.

and now, off on errands.