Monthly Archives: June 2009


Late June movie round-up

In less than three weeks since my last movie-watching summary I managed to see 11 movies, some of them fairly recent releases. Half of them were watched on transatlantic flights, plus I worked through the DVR queue a bit, in anticipation of fast-approaching cancellation of my satellite TV service. Here is the lineup, with drive-by

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Back to London, for the time being

As I mentioned in passing at least once, I can’t sleep on planes. Sleep, to me, is an exercise in tranquility, with no ambient light, no nearby movement and definitely no unaccustomed-to sound allowed. Ability to adopt the most favorite pose for falling asleep is a key component of the process. None of these requirements

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New York City

… has not changed much in the time that I’ve been away. The same perpetual Midtown crush of the bodies throughout the day. The same yellow cabs hassling for position and driving with abandon (although the logo they now sport on the side seems to be something that only came into effect recently). The same

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Where in the world is Ilya?

In America, would you believe it!? My first impression after having been away for almost two years: How wide the roads are! How deep from the roads the houses sit! How much space there is between them! How much space there is, period! I know it is not a straight comparison. We’ve lived for these

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Days of lasts

Just as in the early days of our London living there were various first-time experiences (as seen in this post, for instance), we are now going through experiences that are likely to be our “lasts”. Our last trip on the Eurotunnel train occurred back in May, on our getaway to Brussels. What I suspect was

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Timeshare fail

So I had 11 direct inquiries about our timeshare week that we put up for donation a while ago. I turned everybody away and, lately, directed them to contact the sales department of the closing company dealing with my donation. The closing company did not make any contacts with me during roughly six months since

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YouTube’d memories: Caribbean Blue

Half a year or so into my American immigrant life, I earned enough money through a couple of small jobs to splurge on my very own CD-playing boombox. Lured in by the infamous “12 CDs for the price of 1” offer, I then joined BMG Music Service (which I accidentally learned is ceasing operation this

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Kimmy and Sudoku

Kimmy had an advance birthday party last Saturday (we had a bit of a scheduling problem with our customary approach of celebrating after the date, not ahead of it). She and a dozen of friends – including Big Sis and one of her friends – enjoyed an hour of fun in a swimming pool. Kimmy

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The last little day trip

In a tellingly sad testament to the fact that we, as a family, long stopped spending weekends on day-tripping in and around London, we had a hard time today recalling our last such outing. Turns out it was the trip to Chislehurst caves, in early February, although relative proximity of the place to where we

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Natasha on UK Food channel

A few weeks ago Natasha scored free tickets to participate in a taping of a UK food channel show “Market Kitchen”. She invited a couple of girlfriends and spent half a day in a studio listening to chef’s presentations and tasting their creations. She says it was a lot of fun. Her TV appearance consisted

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Absolutely amazing sand art

You don’t have to understand Russian to be fascinated with the skill of this performer. A poignant sand art essay that commemorates what we know as the Great Patriotic War.     Tip of the hat to Natasha K.

The fodder

My culinary talents – and inclinations, to be honest, – are very limited: I can boil eggs or pasta, or grill pre-marinated meats. How in the world am I supposed to feed a hungry teenager and a picky little munchkin for a whole week, while their mother is away?! Three words: cereals, takeouts, dining out.

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Romeo and Juliet

In lieu of any other content that I can provide at the moment, here is a recent masterpiece from my budding artist offspring, a music-video-ish interpretation of the immortal Shakespeare’s play by Becky and her friends. As with her poem, Becky decided that my vast audience offers a chance for better publicity than her own

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I hate crossing UK borders

America nowadays is likely the country with the world’s most stringent border checks for foreigners. But I’ve been a US citizen since mid-90’s, so I never had to experience the long queues and the indignity of fingerprinting and all. You occasionally end up in a fairly long queue for US citizens as well, but they

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Lists and spreadsheets

My late grandfather used to say, quite seriously, that the best way to remind yourself to do something important during the day is to write down what you need to do, then thoroughly crumble the piece of paper on which you wrote and put it into the front pocket of your trousers; having that ball

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Early June movie round-up

This is a bit of an inertia post. I do not feel ready to completely abandon my drive-by movie reviews, but none of the movies I caught in the last month or so were truly on my to-watch list (not even Star Trek, an impulse decision, or Coraline, watched at the behest of the kids,

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Coraline in 3D

The girls and I went to see Coraline today, which was my first experience with “real 3D” movies. Not the old spectrum-shift type that looked very confusing when not seen through special glasses; and the glasses themselves were not of the flimsy cardboard variety with one red eye and one blue eye. Instead, we were

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Relocation update, 06/04/09

Natasha is off to Joysie to look at houses. We perused roughly 50 properties online and identified about a dozen as satisfying our primary parameters. She will see those, plus whatever else may come up in the next few days. In the ideal scenario, one of those properties will exhibit no shortcomings, and we’ll be

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