Is that too much to ask?

You know what I hate? You’re driving a carload of teenage girls to some get-together miles away from home, and you’re trying to drown out their giggles, shrieks, screeches and other annoying noises by turning up the volume in your iPod headphones. Then, one of the songs starts really feathery soft, and you have to[…]


Household items for sale

We identified the inventory of things that we want to get rid of before the move. Natasha is going to be putting advertisements online and in local newspapers, but one obvious place where I can advertize for free is this very blog, so here is the list. I am fully aware that most of my[…]


Science to prove it

I have never had a slightest of doubts in the veracity of the statement I made on many occasions: My children benefited greatly through their experiences of living in a foreign country, and definitely got a leg up on their American peers who did not have such experiences. Now, there is a scientific study that[…]


The same, on the Hudson, soon

I’ve been somewhat aloof and incoherent in my blog activity over the course of the last few weeks. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you did not notice anything different, I get it. Nonetheless, I was preoccupied with something of utmost importance, which I am now comfortable to announce to the whole world. Burlaki on the Thames are[…]


YouTube’d memories: Crazy For You

Continuing with musical genres other than pop or rock (the last installment was classical waltz, remember?), another frank admission: I am very partial to stage musical. In years living in or near the New York City, I’ve seen probably fewer musicals than my natural inclination suggests, but still a fair share. We went to a[…]


Movie review: Star Trek

If this blog is any kind of a guidance, yesterday was only the third time in a year that I actually went to a cinema to watch a movie. I might as well give my brief expressions of that here. Since most people who are interested in Star Trek undoubtedly have read – or written themselves – tons of illuminating analysis of the movie elsewhere, and those not interested should have a fair chance of ignoring it altogether, I’m hiding the body of the post below the fold. (There will be a few spoilers, too, in case you have not seen the movie.)


Greasing my way on Russian Airlines

That day which started with my infamous detention for video-taping local police headquarters, continued with various amusements on my subsequent trip home1.

I was already well-conditioned to the pervasive expectation of monetary “incentives” exhibited by everybody in the service sector. Truth be told, with the exchange rate of about 25 rubles to a dollar, I could safely dispense bribes left and right and pretend they were simple gratuities, so little it cost me in absolute terms. Plus, of course, I was more than willing to “smooth” my passage out of the country as much as I could.

I had a huge and heavy suitcase to check in, full of gifts and souvenirs. At the airport, the woman behind the check-in desk eyeballed it as I was approaching her and adopted a constipated facial impression of someone stoically prepared to fight against any blatant disregard for airline regulations.

And then she saw my American passport.

Blank note pinned to corkboard

Slow weekend

    This sign at a nearby supermarket parking lot kinda symbolizes the speed of my movements this weekend. Aside from seeing friends and watching football on the telly, I devoted the large part of the last two days to cleaning up some loose ends in the Travelog (the most recent articles on Kraków and[…]


YouTube’d memories: Strauss’ waltz

I like classical music. Johann Strauss is one of my favorite composers. This entry was meant to be filed under “Musical Tiramisu” series – my disposition always improves upon hearing a few notes of a Strauss’ waltz. But there is a clear mental picture that often pops into my head when I’m listening to a[…]


Can I sell myself a fake watch?

Of the various email addresses that I use for different purposes, only my gmail account both is used regularly and has a built-in spam folder. Which I review maybe once a month, out of curiosity. An idle check today yielded a surprising conclusion. Between your run-of-the-mill offers of fake watches and college degrees, invitations to[…]


A getaway to Brussels

Two and a half years of living in England, and we finally braved the concept of taking a day-trip to the continent. From a certain point of view, it was a last-ditch effort to save the short tradition of spending the Early Spring Bank Holiday weekend on the mainland (specifically, in Paris). This year, for[…]


April movie round-up

The three films that I watched for the first time during the month of April are all, to a degree, “acclaimed”, if not critically, then at least among some of my friends. That last consideration drove my selection a bit, on the few occasions where I did find time to watch a movie.

Fargo 1996
Juno 2007
The 13th Warrior 1999

As always, my thoughts on each movie are below the cut, proceed at your own risk.