Friday, February 25, 2005


are in yaroslavl. i've been asked twice in the past week whether i'm a mormon. no, i'm not. nor am i here, courting a russian mail order bride, thank you.

you might wonder why americans have a bad reputation in the world, if you didn't have to meet all the americans abroad. i don't think i've written yet about my acquaintance from nevada, who is over here living with this girl he met through an online porn-chat. who constantly talks about how much he loves her, but how he's worried she's going to get fat on him. he's actually looking for a gym with treadmills so he can "work her out." he said that. and how he hates her language and family and culture and country and friends and religion and cooking. there were other things he hates. and how he got all ripped on steroids and spent a week in tanning booths before he came over. meh. i don't really have the energy to describe him in full today. maureen dowd would have laid an egg. these people really stick out because they don't speak the language and they're not even making an effort, and so russians in provincial yaroslavl, not having met many americans, assume that people from vegas are typical americans.

and then there's the head boob, our dear commander in chief. let me put this whole glove story in context, as i'm guessing the slovakian tradition doesn't fall too far from the russian one.

russian men shake hands all the time, and a lot of times they'll shake hands in passing without a verbal greeting. and regardless of how cold it is outside, they always take a glove off before shaking hands. the embarrassing thing about this bush story is that they were probably all wearing gloves, and probably all took their gloves off in front of bush, just before shaking his hand. and he just didn't notice. you'd think that bush would have realized there's something a little improper about shaking women's bare hands wearing a glove?

i don't really know if it just seems obvious to me because i've been living here for a while, or if it really is just common sense. i can't help thinking it's the latter.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

st. valentines @ the hole

День Всех Влюбленных/Святого Валентина.

Monday evening we celebrated valentines day at the hole. interestingly enough, russians were all really discouraged to hear that americans celebrate it with their lovers/spouses/lovers' spouses and not with friends. in any event, the russian version is better than ours for singles. the guys decorated a box and collected valentines and people seemed to be leaving in pairs, so i guess it all worked out well enough.

as usual, a few of the better pictures.

Monday, February 07, 2005

miscellaneous good things

first and foremost, zhenya zhdan has earned this week's high five for saying "Я ужас, летящий на крылях ночи!" which apparently is how russians traslated darkwing duck's immortal cry, "I am the terror that flaps in the night. I am the winged scourge that pecks at your nightmares. I am... Darkwing Duck!"

and then there is the song he just copied for me - a couple drunk russians with an accordion bawling the titanic theme song (mostly in key). if i find somewhere to post it, i'll put a link up. or i can just email it, if anyone can see how that would be funny.

and so it's about time for kick off. i'm rooting for the patriots and refreshing yahoo sports at fifteen second intervals. also i'm supposed to go and look for classes tomorrow, but i've this sneaking suspicion that after the all nighter in net zone i'm going to have other priorities. and apparently the new americans have landed in one from middlebury, so i'm kind of interested to see what they're like. also, danny if you're still reading, everyone has been asking for you and wondering when you're coming back. katya was really decked out at the hole last to hell with your asia plans, you've got unfinished business in yaroslavl.