avrelia: (Pirate with a music box)
Well, I've finally watched all three Toy Stories. Not at once, over the last month. Then I had nightmares.

Is it normal?

I liked them well enough, I see that they are good kids' stories, and D loves them, too. I think I liked the second one most of all, and it seems that D liked it the best, too. We got them from the library, so right now only the third is at home, and this is the one he carries around the house.

But the nightmare was real, too. I dreamed about a mother whose kids left for college, and she is home absolutely alone with nothing but alive toys.

Strangely, there was a female military toy unit, built out of random small dolls. It was kind of cool.

Then the mother turned into Alice (Carroll's one) and got lost in Buckingham Palace. It was no less terrifying.


And now I am sitting there and wondering whether it is totally crazy to be freaked out by Toy Story... I mean nothing makes the characters happier than to be owned and played with, and the perfect life is a short period of bliss followed by eternity of despair, and the daycare is hell. And their friends and loved ones are being sold on yard sales or thrown in the garbage... And I am the one who gets annoyed when fairy tales are judged by adult standards and the one who happily reads stories where characters are eaten or meet some other kind of gruesome death – or escape it. Why Toy Story made me sad?
avrelia: (Default)
Most little (and not so little) girls come up with the same ideas all by themselves, but it is still a pleasure to read them in Mark Twain succinct style and with Vladimir Radunsky's illustrations.






Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravated circumstances.

the rest is here: http://flavorwire.com/194963/mark-twains-illustrated-advice-to-little-girls
avrelia: (Default)
I try to call a friend. I look at my cell phone, I open it, I go through my contacts' list and find the name I need, and then I stop. It's kind of awkward, to call a person. What if they don't want to talk to me? What if they are busy? What if they don't remember who am I?
It is a new thing, btw. Well, not exactly new, as I always had troubles to talk to random people, but it has become easy and normal to call and talk on any business topic – whether I am looking for work, working, or just solving some problems at home. I need to call – I call. Don't allow myself any nervousness any more. If I don't reach a person I need, I leave a voice message.
But the normal conversations has become increasingly awkward. I don't remember it being any problem to call a friend. Or a acquaintance. Someone I knew and wanted to chat. It hasn't been a problem up until very recent time. And I wonder, is it me? Or is it the time? I can always blame myself for pretty much anything, but there are a number of opinions I read in the past months that suggest that using telephone as, well, telephone has become something not quite appropriate -http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/fashion/20Cultural.html
the funny thing – people who cheerfully announce that they don't call any more, they text instead. And I hate texting. I mean, I am not so far behind the civilisation, as to prefer “snail mail”, previously known as “mail”. (Though I love getting the enveloped addressed me in cursive, and keep all your holiday cards and letters.) But I happily email, or pretend to be connected through several social networks and blogging communities. And, of course, I call my family whenever I feel like. There is a great value in communicating this way – one has time to think over and answer at one's convenience. But it also feels very one-sided – who knows when the convenience strikes and whether it will ever strike. It lacks the immediacy of an actual conversation.
I did call my friend. She couldn't talk at the moment, and she called an hour later, and we spent a nice half an hour chatting all kinds of nonsense that one would never bother to write down in a letter...

But really - are conversations outdated?
avrelia: (Default)
I made these pictures in our park:

Photobucket


Photobucket

One cannot help but wonder
avrelia: (Azure and Gold)
Today's reading of io9 brought several awesome artwork links that I have to share:





Guess your pop culture heroes by their paper cut silhouettes here: Paper cuts by Olly Moss

Fantastic landscapes by Inga Nielsen

And finally, Firefly crew as Muppets and as Rescue Rangers.
avrelia: (Default)
We started watching Fringe after we moved to New Jersey, during our Internet-less week and after. We are pretty slow: we have just now watched The Ability (1 - 14).

The thing is, as we watched it, we realised that we saw the actor who played the book store guy there almost ever day while we lived on Manhattan. Yep, he was our neighbour, our doors a meter apart. Heh.

Could've asked for an autograph, or, you know, just gazed adoringly. ;)

Instead of saying hello at the elevator every other day.
avrelia: (Berty)
Real in the sense I actually recognized him when I saw him on the street. We were walking to the library with D, and I saw a paper stuck to the wall, that a 30 Rock episode is filming right over there right this moment so please don't park your cars. Naturally, we went there to pass through - it wasn't really out of the way, and saw Alec Baldwin on his lunch break. Such excitement! such a profound Manhattan experience! ;)

Funnily enough, I probably passed by many celebrities in my life before - in Moscow, Vancouver, Toronto, New York. I just rarely recognize anyone. I rarely recognize my own husband on the street when I don't expect to see him. I am more likely to pay attention to a piece of paper on the wall...


that reminds me. Once I was walking with D in the Central Park, and saw a man with a certain interesting flair about him. I stared, and he stared back with the expression of someone being used to being stared at, you know? maybe I should have recognized him as well? Who knows now?
avrelia: (Azure and Gold)
Real in the sense I actually recognized him when I saw him on the street. We were walking to the library with D, and I saw a paper stuck to the wall, that a 30 Rock episode is filming right over there right this moment so please don't park your cars. Naturally, we went there to pass through - it wasn't really out of the way, and saw Alec Baldwin on his lunch break. Such excitement! such a profound Manhattan experience! ;)

Funnily enough, I probably passed by many celebrities in my life before - in Moscow, Vancouver, Toronto, New York. I just rarely recognize anyone. I rarely recognize my own husband on the street when I don't expect to see him. I am more likely to pay attention to a piece of paper on the wall...


that reminds me. Once I was walking with D in the Central Park, and saw a man with a certain interesting flair about him. I stared, and he stared back with the expression of someone being used to being stared at, you know? maybe I should have recognized him as well? Who knows now?
avrelia: (Berty)
out of nowhere we hear the sound of fireworks. Looking out of the window confirms the majestic fireworks somewhere in the Central park. Raking my head for the possible reasons for the show the very first thing that comes to mind - of course, tomorrow is November 7, the October revolution anniversary... yeah...

then the brain turns on, and I remember (1) we are in New York, NY, USA; (2) even in Moscow they don't have the fireworks on this day; (3) it would have be tomorrow anyway.

it was, by the way a part of Marathon Eve Experience. D. was mightily impressed and called for more stars long after it was over.

random morning view from our window )
avrelia: (Pensive Queen)
Happy (belated) birthday to [profile] superplin!

I remember writing here back in July that D and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and that D behaved reasonably well, and what he remembered long after the visit were knights on horses and giant Greek pots. So the next weekend P went to the Met, saw the knights and brought one home. Well, not that one. Just a tiny knight on a horse. And here is the story of many pictures )
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: (wonder)
D insists on wiping my nose himself. (for his own nose, however, he refutes the tissues: only sleeves will do. Or kitchen towels. Or water.)
avrelia: (Cabaret)
first of all I wanted to wish wonderful [livejournal.com profile] musing_mia a very happy birthday!

Second I feel like writing about scary. I don't particularly love horror movies, and I can't say I have seen a lot of them. I did like to be scared at some point - as a child or teenager, so we were telling each other scary stories. The stories at first were kids' folk legends of utmost ridiculousness. Just imagine: "In the black, black forest, there was a black, black house. In the black, black house there was a black, black table. On the black, black table there was a black, black casket..." at the age of eight it did seem scary.

Then there were genuinely scary urban legends and not so urban. Then there were vampires, Edgar Po, and retellings of horror movies that someone somewhere saw and then told about to friends. It probably eventually went in a different direction than the original movie, but that didn't matter.

I have never seen "The Omen" - neither original one, nor remake. But it was one of the scariest stories I have heard then, and I am afraid that no movie can live up to it, especially now, in my adult state. I cherish my memory of the story of a creepy devil-child.

The scariest movie I have ever seen was the Russian one, however. it was called "the fairytale of travels", and my parents took me to see it, thinking it was an actual fairytale. (Oh, those wild, Internet-less times!) I was seven, and I didn't sleep for several nights or saw nightmares. It was medieval-set story of a brother and sister; the brother could feel gold, and so he was abducted by villains, and sister went to seek him. The movie had creepy sets, mean lords who were trying oppress everyone and bricked up the sister and a guy who was helping alive, lots of skeletons, evil knights who lived on a dragons, and many more creepyness beside. The worst of all, was The Plague. An actual epidemic that killed the population, here was also a woman. And she was the scariest ever. So in the age when many people were mostly afraid of nuclear war, I was afraid of the medieval plague. Though of nuclear war I was afraid, too. But way less: I haven't seen it as a woman.

Here is the piece of it I found on YOuTube:


It is too long, but will give you an impression. The Plague Woman is on minute 4. She doesn't look that creepy now, but the city and processions still freak me out.
avrelia: (evil laugh)
I keep thinking from time to time that I am far from being a responsible grown-up that I am supposed to be according to calendar year. Some people at 33 were.. you know... and what do I do?

More often than not I feel that I stayed fifteen. Or eight. Or five. Depending on the mood.

What could be the reason for this? I asked myself in the moments of retrospection. And sure enough, I have a suitably weird answer for this.

You see, when I was fourteen, we traveled in Carpathian mountains - a group from my school, twenty kids and teachers. There were a lot of springs there. And a lot of local legends. Most legends told that the springs would bring eternal youth to anyone who drinks from them.

Needless to say we all drank A LOT.

Who knew the legends might actually be true?
avrelia: (Pirate stuff)
is an image brought to me by a CNN headline "Obama confronts pirates". I know what reality is, of course, but in my mind it is all swords and muskets and long curly wigs and velvet clothes and cocked hats... mmm.. nice..


I even have an appropriate icon.
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: (Wes - People are strange)
I've just watched some episodes of AtS - season 5. First time after spring 2004. Took me back in time - almost literally, so weird. I need to watch the rest. You know, I watched Buffy so many times since, and yet I still have unwatched episodes of Angel (from season 3), and I haven't seen seasons 4 and 5 since they aired. I almost afraid to watch them
avrelia: (Look)
Happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] jonesiexxx! I tried to send greetings on Sunday via thoughts, but not sure whether they reached you - mostly all my thoughts eventually turn to the baby...

Now, my Top Fives - I am posting what I have now, soon (hopefully) to be completed.

For [livejournal.com profile] swsa: Top 5 Buffy quotes )
For [livejournal.com profile] swsa: Top 5 AtS episodes )

If you feel like suggesting more Top Fives - go ahead. Give me something to post about. ;)
avrelia: (As if! (Clueless))
I'll never get into my posting groove unless you help me. Ask me Top Five anything, and I tell you anything you are dying to know about me. ;)

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