avrelia: Tuutikki rules (Tuutikki)
Our garden is pretty, our shovels are tired...

Read more... )
avrelia: (Moomin mama)
It's not that I don't have time to write anymore, but the time is so fractured and I run around like a headless hen, trying to figure out what to do first.

Strangely enough, the best time now is when I breastfeed my baby (he is five months now! That's how often I post!) because I have a guilt-free time to read that I didn't have for a while.

Of course, my to-read pile still just keeps growing, anyway. There are more and more books I'd love to read, and I still love to re-read old ones.

Last book read – Seanan McGuire “Half-Off Ragnarok”, the last in InCryptid series. I couldn't bring myself to read her acclaimed Mira Grant books – just can't read serious fiction about zombies, so I picked up something else, and loved it. High entertaining value, fun people and monsters. So I went to buy something else – her new novel Indexing is $2.00 on Kindle. Yay!

Now, back to my life. It's fun and busy and interesting with occasional bouts of despair.

For the first time ever I am a homeowner. And I know next to nothing about owning a house here. So I am learning – about painting, plumbing, gardening, masonry, pest control and such. And trying to do all this in between playing with one kid and the other.

There is always something to be done, and never quite enough time to do it. I gave up on the lawn – we mow it, and that's about it. I look how it gets taken over by weeds I didn't even know existed, and smile sadly. Whatever. On the other hand, I bought a blueberry bush and hope beyond hope that it survives my agricultural skills.

Daniel finished 1st grade, did some gymnastics, karate, and chess, not to mention soccer in the fall. He is ok, but not brilliant with any of it – but he reads a lot (English and Russian) and has decent math skills.

George, the baby does what babies do: growing fast and being adorable. Laughs, chews on blankets and tries to crawl.

And the political situation left me in a state of an eternal freak-out.


Mar. 7th, 2013 09:50 am
avrelia: Tuutikki rules (Tuutikki)
1) people are doing reading Wednesday posts. I - not only don't read enough to justify posting about it every week, I again started to question the purpose of reading. No, not in general, but any particular book, in any particular time. I do read a lot of books - five a day or so. But they are children's books, and while I enjoy reading them, it is a vicarious joy - seeing my son loving the books I used to love as a little girl.

2) I do read a book for my own fun right now. It is "The Natural history of Dragons" by Marie Brennan. First thing that caught my attention after the dragons - Tam River Valley. Still giggling.

3) Found this promotional portraits http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/03/catching-fire-capitol-portraits-roundup, and suddenly I am very excited about watching Catching Fire. And it is only out in November...

4) OUaT continues fascinate me without being too emotionally engaging, and I am grateful for it. I am looking forward to whatever comes next. Cora does need some killing. I do enjoy her being some evil and manipulative, but what kind of a future does she have in the narrative?

5) I need to do something important, but for some reason I am terrified of it. Please kick me friendly...
avrelia: (a girl)
Well, January is almost at the end, and things have been happening.

- I've been on a knitting kick lately, and even created an account on Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/people/Meliflora). It's more to search for patterns than to show my work, since I am a pretty dismal knitter.


- I've been writing short stories these past two months, and I am having the same problems all over again: I have know idea how invent adventures and complications for my characters. ::headdesk::

- We've spent a lot of money NOT to buy a house. ::sigh:: kind of relieved, actually. But we still want a house.

- haven't read much, but I did buy and read the latest Sarah Tolerance Mystery - The Sleeping partner by Madeleine E. Robins. As good and noir-ish as the previous ones. Bonus: (not really) unexpected cameo by historical persons.

- I am still yet to watch Fringe finale.
avrelia: (Autumn in my heart)
We are still not celebrating, but D., now at school is getting indoctrinated and asking why exactly we are not cooking turkey (answer: we don't want to). He also sings about turkeys all the time. Oh, school...

But I am thankful for many things. health of my family, first of all. I've been plagued with several health issues in the last months, and well, I am thankful that they are, while annoying, not really dangerous. I am thankful for my family - the part that's with me, and the part that is on the other side of the world. I am thankful for my friends. I am so bad at creating new ones, that I just have to keep the old. ;)

And a public service announcement: Night Shade Books is having a nice Thanksgiving giveaway!

Agatha H and the Airship City by Phil and Kaja Foglio
Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht
The Emperors Knife By Mazarkis Williams

Here is how it works:

Email happythanksgiving@nightshadebooks.com and you'll receive an auto response with a username, password and link to our download site where you'll be able to download the .epub or .mobi files.
avrelia: (a girl)
The forecast and the emergency measures managed to scare us quite a bit. We are at home, waiting for the trees to start flying around...

Good thing we have a pile of Halloween candies and several cans of peas.

Best thing that it's happening now, and not a week after.
avrelia: (Default)
I can't properly manage everything I ever had accounts for, and yet I keep getting into the new stuff.

On one hand, I started using my Facebook account more, because a lot of my friends are there regularly, and I love keeping in touch with them if only through liking pictures of their kids. How come so many of my friends are so far away? And I am so painfully bad at making new ones...

On the other hand, I was pressured into joining Google+, so if you want to bear my company there (or anywhere else), tell me!

Got myself Tumblr and Pinterest, (am avrelia there, too), and I even had an idea why I wanted to have them, but now I feel lost and unsure what to do with them and when.

I love Goodreads, but rarely go there.

Twitter gets mostly my gardening updates. They are very exciting. (My cherry tomatoes are awesome! My beefsteak tomatoes are not.)

and we are not yet counting all the Russian stuff...

in other news, I am now taking Fantasy and Science Fiction course at coursera.org, even though I have too many books to read RIGHT NOW as it is. but I want to have to write essays about fun stuff... next up: dismemberment in Grimms' fairytales and its educational value.
avrelia: (Carmenta)
1) Reading The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff I love how she always leaves me longing for her Canada - Way before I even thought about Canada (or knew about it more that "that large country north of USA where they like to drink hockey, play maple syrup, and make cool TV series Degrassi and such"), when I lived in Canada and looked for things and places she describes, now and ever... A very happy reading, indeed. Gale women are brilliant.

2) Studying Human Computer Interaction at www.coursera.org. I loved Model Thinking more, but that one is fun, too.

3) Making a website for P.'s project.

4) Growing tomatoes in the backyard.

Six months

Sep. 19th, 2010 04:33 pm
avrelia: (bridge into autumn)
What was I planning to write about? Do you know? I don't.

It's been six months since we moved out of Canada and into New York, and only six months left to explore Manhattan, since we will be looking for a cheaper place that still makes Manhattan accessible. But I also know we won't be walking to the Metropolitan Museum that much.
Canada seems further and further away with every day. Even though it stays and we are not moving. I miss it, but I hardly ever make an effort to look up the Canadian news. There might be elections there, and I wouldn't know. Well, I checked just now, in case you are wondering.
Weirdly enough, I miss shopping there. I know, it's wrong: living on Manhattan and dreaming about Loblaws, when there are so many cool shiny things there, that are not available in Canada. But I miss things that are familiar and loved, you know? For D's birthday I ran around looking for a cake. One might think it shouldn't be a problem when there is a bakery on every second corner, right? Wrong. Most of the cakes are cupcakes, or covered in thick frosting (it is supposed to be tasty, I know, but it looks like sugar with chemicals – yack) or chocolate... I found more or less what I was looking for, but I knew that Loblaws has exactly the cakes we like. And then there is the Future Bakery...
and I miss Joe's Fresh Style for kids' clothes, La Vie en Rose as my underpants' source, Winners, Dollarama, BMV, HMV stores and others that I haven't yet figured out as Canadian. We are so used for the having mostly the same stuff across the border (shopping wise) that we are lost when bumped into the difference. There are a lot of Canadian-only stores and brands! And they are awesome!
Funnily, I can easily find Russian stores in New york, but the stores that sell all things Canadian? Hardly. Maybe I should look for them, of course. :)
I miss the healthcare, especially when I hear a horror story from USA or (different type of horror) from Russia. I mean, we all know it is not perfect, but it is safe. You won't be left without help, not after you lived in Canada for three months, anyway.
I miss small things. Things I was used to, or things I did there. These days I keep replaying in my head our walks in the park, and travels to the various D's activities. The travels very mostly bothersome (two buses and long walks), but now I remember the pretty autumn, the light, the air, the leaves, the fox crossing Dundas Street. I don't remember the boredom, but I remember picking up raspberries in the park five minutes from home, duck watching, our friends that we won't see much now. I don't know what I want. It was hard in Mississauga, socially, but over the time the connections started to grow. And now,anyway, I have to do all that work again, and it is just as hard in Manhattan as in Mississauga. Besides, knowing that we will move again soon isn't helping. Everything feels so transient...
Now, to the good things. Maybe I don't connect to people that much or that fast, and maybe it is all my own fault, but I am trying to get as much of Manhattan as I can. It doesn't necessarily involve visiting all the museums (though I should go more often, but I have to consider how D will behave there), but lots of walking in different parts and neighborhoods, lots of people watching, and general staring around.
One of the best experiences was to stand on our patio deck in the dark, after the gym, and watch the sky above New York (blurry, full of planes with hardly a dozen of starts visible) and the city beneath me (it's on the 33rd floor).
I traverse Central Park every week. I don't get lost in the subway anymore. I've been to many places. I now recognize places in the movies – though it doesn't add to a movie one way or another.
There are also too many places I haven't been to yet – and I have six months to see them all. Wish me luck. :)
avrelia: (Cabaret)
Abroad means here.

A year ago I though we would be marking 10 years in Canada. I still feel very disconnected and discomfited by the fact that we are not.
10 years ago we flew out of Moscow, made a stop in Frankfurt, and landed in Vancouver. with two pieces of checked-in luggage and a carry-on bag each, and a major jet lag. We were mot immigrants - P has got a job, and it was kind of stupid to refuse a three year long contract in Canada, so here were we. With our books, CDs, tapes, and clothes.
We had a place to drop - P’s employer rented an apartment for us, and even though we hated it, we stayed there for the first six months.
The first week I spent mostly asleep - my inner clock refused to change and accept 11-hour difference. We did have short excursions here and there, to look around, to buy household stuff - we needed everything, and we had no money- almost. Our English, of course, was beyond pathetic - but we got by, and thankfully, there was a lot of Russian colleagues who were in the same situation and soon became our friends. the story gets long-winded )
avrelia: (Tea)
Spending an evening on the balcony, blowing soapy bubbles in the air and watching Husband and Toddler jumping around trying to catch them... ;)
avrelia: (got it)
I wrote here before that we got a fishtank with fishies in it. I gave them fancy names, P. was feeding them, D. was pointing at them and saying "mama", fishes lived and prospered. Guppies made many tiny guppies, mollies made many tiny mollies, and there our problems started.

We were faced with an ecological catastrophe in one fishtank - it couldn't create livable conditions for indefinitely increasing numbers of mollies and guppies. At first we had hopes for natural selection, but it didn't work - there was a lot of food and no predators, so nothing happened. Some fishies did die - but certainly not enough. So we got another fishtank with two pirahnas in it. They were tiny and kind of cute when P. brought them from a fish store. it was hard to believe that those really were the terrifying creatures, the choice evil pets of Evil Overlords. We let them swim with some guppies we didn't need, and for several months they coexisted more or less peacefully. And then, eventually the piranhas grew up bigger ate everybody they could. The problem with overpopulation was solved.

And then, one day, one piranha ate the other one. It is quite disturbing, really. Look at your own risk! )

Now I half-expect it will eat itself one day. Like that Uroboros snake.

Older female guppies and mollies died, in my opinion, tired from all the non-stop procreation. We have now teenage fishes and two new silver mollies, and several betas. I don't name them.

D. now calls all fish "M".
avrelia: (Лошадка)
I go with Daniel to a swimming pool where he is taught to swim. Well, they don't actually teach babies to swim, but to get used to water, blow bubbles, kick and splash and jump in the water. D. loves it, and I love that he loves it. The interesting moment in the whole swimming is that all classes in community swimming pools are thought by teenagers. Or early-early twenties who look like teenagers. It didn't feel strange when our class was taught by a girl, but now it is a boy, extremely young looking boy, and I suddenly look so old by comparison... Weird feeling.

Also: my mom is here, and I enjoy a vacation from 24/7 child care. Yay!
avrelia: (Default)
Daniel decided not to fall asleep yesterday until 9.50 pm and I didn't get a chance actually to have a look at Dollhouse. Here's hoping I can do it later.

Danny learned to say "Die!" Of course he is saying "give me" in Russian, but it sounds exactly like "die". I hope he won't shock any polite society with this


Feb. 4th, 2009 01:50 pm
avrelia: (Figment)
I love winter. I truly do - I love it when starts and there is fresh snow all around (and I don't have to climb with a stroller through it), I love it when it ends, and the spring is so much prettier after a long cold winter. But I hate when it goes on and on, and generally in February I am all ready for it to be over. Except it is not.

I cannot write here much, since Daniel learned how to climb onto our bed, and I don't have a safe space anymore. And I have too much stuff to write before LJ. ::sigh::

Life is generally okay. Except that I am sick, and D., too. and other stuff. I still think of myself as living in Toronto, then remember that I am not and a trip to TO is a whole day trip with D. And I don't want to go anywhere, anyway...

I wish a happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] onetwomany, wherever she is now. But I dearly wish to know where she is and how she is doing.

in the happier news, the last [livejournal.com profile] the_royal_anna post about Buffy and Spike made me happy as only her posts can. I am glad that people still talk about my favourite shows.

Especially since I just cannot get attached to any other show. Both time-wise and desire-wise.
avrelia: (Rowan)
When did it happen that half of December has gone away? In my mind it is still the very beginning, but then I look at the calendar, and see that it is well past its middle, and the next week it's Christmas holidays already. We spent most November taking turns in having a cold, and now we seem to be in the clear. As most people in our part of the world we are covered in snow, which means I can hardly get anywhere with Son, but without a car. No stroller can get through these mountains, and no 15-months toddler, either. Right now, Son is jumping and playing in his crib, and I am hoping he'll fall asleep any minute now, so I could go about my business. He just learned to walk on his toes and I am falling in the floor from laughter looking at him.

I look in the window, and I see vast expanses of Mississauga covered in snow. It's nice there. We have a park nearby, and a creek with ducks on it (guess who is a great fan of ducks?), and a community centre with a library, a gym and a swimming pool. Today we bought a baby sled and went for a walk - all three of us; the day was a perfect winter day, and we've had a jolly good time in the snow. Except for Son - he didn't appreciate being in the snow yet. He liked the sled though. Besides humans one can see lots of animals around - we see squrrels, baby raccoons, cardinals, rabbits, and - attention - a snake. In a meter distance from me with a stroller. I froze and waited till it went away, then ran to the Internet to find out that it was a harmless garter snake, and this area doesn't have venomous snakes anyway...

All these nice things nonwithstanding, I miss Toronto. I miss the city-ness, the crowd, the subway, everything I got used to in five years. The differences isn't huge, but it is there, and it feels so strange... Trips to Toronto are now a bug adventure, and it's hard to make myself to go - but if I go, I spend teh whole day there, enjoying the crowds. ;)

ok, Daniel is asleep, gotta run!
avrelia: (treasure Island -  music)
I would tell you about my TV schedule except is nonexistent. I would watch some and other TV shows, but I only ever have time for some news, Jon Stuart and SNL, everything else has fallen into categories "some time later" or "never", mostly in the latter. I miss watching Bones, Ugly Betty, even Pushing Daisies. I was never too attached to them, so I don't see myself buying DVDs, but I loved catching random episodes. Other shows, too, but I haven't even got that far with them to miss them. yes, I noticed that PD is cancelled which means I won't even have a chance to watch it some time later. We got rid of our VCR (lack of space issues), and we don't have any modern equivalents, so, I can't record stuff and watch it later, but the main reason is still lack of time - I have a huge backlog of stuff I wanted to watch... And I actually hoped to use my maternity leave to take care of that backlog! dreams... Imagine, if I had to go to work every day, it would have been even worse...

I did manage to watch some movies. Some I liked, some I didn't, but none has made an impression strong enough to write anything about them at length at the moment.

I've been reading some old entries - mine and my friends - wow, talk about time travel! so weird ;)

by the way, I am here for five years already. ::scratches head::
avrelia: (Figment)
Thank you for all the birthday wishes - One of the best things about LJ is having friends who make my days brighter, and it's never as apparent as on a birthday and after. ;) and yes, I know that the month has passed since, but I started to write this post the next day after birthday.

My attempts to resume regular posting has been many and unsuccessful, so I'll stop thinking about them and start just post whenever I manage. after all, it's not only mine problem nowadays - I see much less posts from some of my friends than I would love too, and some has disappeared completely... ::sniff::

so, here is my life right now: my last post was about me quitting my job. I did my best to leave nice, and it worked out, but then when my former boss found out that I am less belligerent than they want me to, the niceties were to end. and I don't care by now. I have some information about how the case is going, and it makes me wonder whether they intentionally plan to lose, or the lack of professional legal advice (even mine!) is so telling. They do have another Russian lawyer, but I guess what may work in Russian court, doesn't necessarily work in Canadian one. Anyway, I am really happy I am far away from this mess.

I was looking for a job for some time, but it has become clear soon that there is too little demand for my area of expertise in Canada, and though I could find a job as an entry level general office help or customer service, it would not be worth to pay a thousand for daycare and have nothing left beside that. So after some thinking with my husband, we decided I am to try writing full time (or as much time as our child allows). so I am all scared, but writing. I have no idea whether I manage to finish off something of publishable quality, let alone to publish it, but I have to try, and it is the best time to do it. Now I feel sorry I missed most of the last Writercon's publishing events. I am, of course, very excited about the new Writercon the next year, but the possibility of me going there is very remote right now. There is hope, still, but...

I actually am enjoying not working at my old work and not looking for a new job, but I miss my income, and I would wish I had these plans from the very beginning so I could manage my finances in different way and not stress over daycare that much.

My son is almost fourteen months now, and is as delightful as a young toddler can be. He runs around, he climbs everywhere, he speaks his own language with some words in Russian and English, and laughs,and some time he can play by himself for a long time, but another moment he needs only me or his father...

What else? I actually went and voted in Canadian election for the first time. it makes me feel slightly embarrassed that it's been years since I voted in Russian ones, but they feel like too much bother all for nothing. with Canadian ones- I wasn't sure whether to vote, and I wasn't registered, but when I went down in our building they were there. I came and asked what they needed - only driver's licence to prove I live there. I think they would have believe my word that I am a citizen, but I had a passport with me, anyway.

In bigger news we are just back from our road trip to New York. It was a well-awaited and well-planned trip that didn't go as planned - and not in a good way. Baby behaved very well, by the way - in the car and in the hotels, it was the adults who were problematic. in addition to human factor, Canadian dollar chose these very time to drop quite a bit, so paid for everything more that we would have two months before. Oh well. We have discovered something about ourselves, too - if the first time in New York (two years ago) we felt like tourists who love to do all touristy stuff. Now we felt that we didn't have to do it anymore. We haven't been to many places there, but we felt that everything we knew about New York from friends, and books, and media,etc and everything we saw for ourselves shifted into a focus and becoming multidimensional. of course, we don't know it too well - but well enough. My writing is getting confused here. It looks much better in my head.

I think I should post already, otherwise it will be another month...

Here are some penguins that we saw in Boston.
avrelia: (Flying Geese and Full Moon)
I am in Moscow now, for a week on a short vacation from my life. All by myself, having left baby and husband in each others' care. It is probably my las solitary travel in the foreseeable future and it felt nice and familiar way to travel, though I can't say I travelled a lot, unfortunately, in the last years. With the Witercon 2006 being the highest point. I do need to take that survey you've been linking to...

So far I am very well, enjoying being by myself with my parents and friends and missing my baby much less than I thought I would. Lots and lots of sleep - I never thought one could have such a good sleep on a plane, people! best sleep in months! on the minus side - lots and lots of milk expression...

and finally time and mood to write something here. Moscow is changing, and isn't at the same time. New houses, old prejudices, as always... I find myself getting into the Moscow life quite easily, though there are enough things I am not used to anymore.
avrelia: (The Rock)
Apparently there was a More Joy Day last week in LJ-landia, and I missed on the account of us all having a flu. That's some serious joy, man... Anyway, we are all better, and I am even 2 kilos lighter, which is good. Tired though, but, things are working out. I need to make that "state of me" post some day.

So, now for the joy.
the most joy, of course, is the baby: )

The other thing is the new YouTube series I watch. About a game I play - MMOrg World of Warcraft. It's not named there, but those who know, recognize it easily - as well as we recognize ourselves in the characters there. Fun in Dysfunctional. Where is the world collision? in the creator - I am sure you will recognize her - it's The Potential Slayer Vi, or, as she is better known, Felicia Day, who is a gamer herself. ;)

So, welcome to my other world:

The Guild - Episode 1: Wake-Up Call

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avrelia: (Default)

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