Monthly Archives: February 2009

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YouTube’d memories: Champs-Elysées

All pretense of being seasoned travelers aside, Natasha and I only started to make regular trips abroad in 20021. Our first voyage was to France, with almost a week in Paris followed by a jaunt around Loire Valley castles and French Riviera destinations. We fell in love with Paris on that first trip. Large part

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Coming to a store near you

A really cool meme has been going around in my absence. I saw it on a number of blogs of friends, so I am going to tip the hat to the originator, Buzzfeed. New meme: here’s a totally random way to make your new random band’s new random album cover. Post one! Go to “Wikipedia.”

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Everything’s amazing…

I saw this the other day on Speculist and could not resist re-posting it here. It does occur to me all too often that as recently as 20 years ago, a number of things that we now consider “bare essentials” did not yet exist. Mind you, I still reserve the right to complain about air

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Model houses

I mentioned in my Valentine Day’s post my collection of model houses and then promised in comments there to illustrate. Here is a slideshow of about half of my collection (I’m currently moderating its growth on account of not having space for display), with brief notes on where the houses were acquired. As with most

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Going to markets

Kimmy was participating in a grand show with her dance school, which shaped up as a day-long exercise, with two final rehearsals and then two performances crammed into a single Sunday. After dropping her off at the venue in the morning (we later went to the evening show – it was really nice), Natasha and

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I don’t care much about Valentine’s Day. A commercially-driven imperative to inflate your expression of love for your significant other on a specific day of the year sounds like a wrong concept to me. I am not counting, but I am pretty sure that I tell Natasha that I love her every day of the

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YouTube’d memories: Tum-Balalaika

In the last couple of years before my emigration from the USSR, I used to frequent the sole Rostov synagogue. Not out of any sort of religious interest, mind you, but purely for social reasons. Perestroika brought some measure of respite to formerly suppressed ethnic identities within the empire, and seemingly every Jew in the

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GCSE choices

If we were to stay in England for another year or two, Becky would have to start studying for GCSE’s next year. Year 9, which she is in now, is when the students choose their optional subjects. First of all, there are 6 compulsory subjects: English, English Literature, Information & Communication Technology, Mathematics, Science (which

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Jumping off a boat

Even a person who never seeks thrills, always drives under the speed limit and avoids the smallest possibility of appearing adventurous can probably name a few “close calls”, situations that had the potential of ending up with unpleasant consequences where it concerned his life and limb. Off the top of my head, I can think

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Il y a Ilya

Becky and I were engaged in our regular competition of making silly jokes out of what the other person says (Her: “Hey, I know how to copy a URL – I got good grades in ICT”. Me: “Fine, but what about your grades in I see Fanta?” … Get it?), when she put me down

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Brief weekend recap

Our desire to move house has been quickly replaced by the pragmatic contentment with staying put. A sizable reduction in the rent amount has that type of effect on us. At the same time as we started to look for different accommodations, we suggested to our current landlord that in this deteriorating market we should

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London Imagery: Mottingham

Remember the picture of the empty snowy street that we live on (at the bottom of this post)? Here is what it looks like on a regular day. Much less enchanting.     Our house sits exactly in the middle of a long block. There is as much distance to the intersection behind me as

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Listen to this

I’m sure a lot of people would love it just for the Star Wars music. I’m mostly impressed with the guy’s singing abilities. Via The Speculist. [Ed. Upd.: Speculist since posted that Corey Vidal is a talented lip-syncher, rather than singer. The real singers are found here – Matt was correct in identifying them.)

This could be useful

So, Natasha often enters various contests and promotions. She reasons that it does not cost her anything and you can’t win unless you enter. Over the years, she won an occasional freebie, as last evidenced here. The local magazine that we receive is always full of various promotions: Free dinner, tickets to some show, a

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