Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy New Year!

To all my friends, near and far, real space or online, and to any accidental reader as well, have a very happy new year! By different measures, the upcoming 2010 will be the most boring and the most exciting year for us in a decade. I wish that your year leans more towards excitement. Let

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2009 movie round-up

With my very limited movie-watching programme of the second half of the year, I was surprised to learn that I managed to see more films for the first time this year than I did last year (50 vs 47). What follows is my by now traditional year-end round-up. First, a couple of words on the

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YouTube’d memories: Hafanana

Sometimes, the most insignificant of memories lodge themselves in one’s brain… I must have been four or five when I overheard my Mom and her girlfriends discussing comparative qualities of foreign singers who appeared on the Soviet state TV. I cannot recall anything from that conversation except the consensus that nobody moved onstage quite like

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Zero loss

A few days ago, Natasha found a couple of small items that we thought were lost during the relocation move, stuffed into a decorative box that we did not think had anything inside. A souvenir small Russian wooden bowl, one of the hedgehogs from Becky’s collection, that type of stuff. We sort of gave up

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Child of TV meme

With a tip of the hat to Jason and Konstantin, here is my own confession on having seen too much TV. I’m changing the rules slightly, thinking that my approach provides a better “classification”: Italics if I had enough interest in the show to see a few episodes. Bold if I watched the show for

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Movie review: Avatar

I freely admit that I’m not a cinema-going type. My misanthropic tendencies are acutely tested in the presence of inconsiderable louts with their cell phones, eating habits and inability to refrain from talking to one another during the showing. As a result, I rarely go to the movies, unless it is for some kid-oriented viewing

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Conditions did not permit

The speed limit signs on Garden State Parkway advise the drivers every half a mile or so that the limit is 55mph with a disclaimer of “conditions permitting”. The heavy Saturday snow did enough to reduce the number of cars on the road, but the Parkway was well cleared, and absent traffic, not one car

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Winter Wonderland

  How I hate snow! How I miss London weather! (Although they say that it’s been quite heavily snowing in London as well these past several days.) Above is the view from our porch this morning. Two feet of snow – admittedly, not as much as what people in Alaska or elsewhere have to deal

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Speed limits

How the perspective changes with just a bit of time… Precisely two years ago, while describing my preparations for the driving test for a UK license, I noted my annoyance with the speed limits treatment in England. The absence of clearly posted limits on any road where the “national speed limit” was in effect required

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B[b]otH interview: Kimmy finally got around to interviewing the youngest member of the family on her impressions and feelings regarding Europe and coming back to America. In the practically unedited words of a 9-year-old… Burlaki [back] on the Hudson: Are you happy to be back in America? Kimmy: Kind of… I miss London, but I’m also happy

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Twelve-sentence tradition

The third annual largely-meaningless exercise of combining the first sentences posted herein each month of the year. As on previous occasions, not much coherency achieved. A couple of usual traveling undertones, clear relocation markers, a couple of obvious holiday notes… Interestingly, most of these sentences clearly suggested the topic of the posts that they introduced.

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I’m walking towards my bus stop one morning, maybe four minutes into my fifteen-minute walk. It’s a crisp clear morning, so I don’t particularly mind the walk. A car pulls up next to me, the driver rolls down his window and asks: “Are you going to the bus stop? Can I give you a lift?”

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Unusual roads

A fascinating – if, as usual with these types of compilations, arguably incomplete – list of the world’s most unique roads. Sadly, I’ve only driven one of these myself. Which makes it several more destinations that I’ve never been to and need to eventually visit. Via Instapundit.

A bit of charity

Natasha realized the she forgot to mention one other thing she misses from England in her little essay. It is not an obvious point either: Charity shops. Where we lived in Southeast London, seemingly every other town had at least one of these, selling everything from second-hand clothes to souvenirs to books and CDs. What’s

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