Monthly Archives: March 2010

Style your garage

This German firm sells photo-tarpaulins that are meant to turn your grey and ugly garage doors into something fun and exciting, causing “neighbours, friends and passers-by to stop and stare”. They have dozens of designs. I am torn between these:         Tip of the hat to Anya S.

Chicken with shrimp

It’s been a long time since our resident chef made a guest appearance on the blog. It was not that we did not have culinary experiments during that time, it is simply that we did not bother to take pictures and write up recipes. Correcting that oversight, here is rather modestly named chicken with shrimp

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Skaters’ autographs

It occurred to me that my girls now possess skates signed not only by the Olympic silver medalists, but an Olympic champion as well. Becky participated in a 2004 edition of Stars Stripes and Skates gala with Nancy Kerrigan. Next year, she attended a skating clinic in NYC’s Central Park hosted by Sasha Cohen. Now,

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Remember the pond in our backyard and the story associated with it? The funny thing is, we were assured repeatedly by the previous owners and their landscaper that there was fish in that pond. But we did not see a single fish after we had moved in. Until now. Here are the residents of the

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Skating with an Olympic champion

Today’s Russian word is захолустье. Most closely translated as “a God-forsaken place”, it means a backwater, marginal, more likely than not unattractive, sparsely-populated periphery town or village with rudimentary, if any, modern infrastructure and nothing to be proud about. (To pronounce it, start with “z” as in “zoo”, followed by “ah”, followed by “ho” as

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In favor of travel agents

It turns out that even in this age of DIY web-enabled travel planning, a good old travel agent has its uses. Case in point. Natasha is planning a half-week getaway for the two of us and, as always, she has spent considerable time online figuring out the most enticing place for us to stay at

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I love stepping out into the bright sunlight at the end of a long workday. I love even more getting off the bus at the end of my lengthy trip home and still having daylight to enjoy. I am a big fan of Daylight Savings for that, if nothing else.


Russian language has a vast trove of colorful gems that remain on the fringes of literary norms. On different levels of obscurity even in the street vernacular, these nouns and adjectives often sound out-of-place in a refined discourse among educated adults. Yet, they often provide the most eloquent and brilliant descriptions for some commonplace phenomena.

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Rainstorm aftermath

All houses but three on our street lost power on Saturday, and it is yet to be restored. Ours is one of the three lucky ones. Becky says more than half of her friends said today that they had flooded basements. We found one single glass doorway that had water seeping through when the wind

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Behind on a major project

Don’t tell my younger daughter, but I am awfully late with what she surely expects will be my gift to her on her next birthday. Given that the similar enterprise for the benefit of her older sister six years ago took me roughly nine months to finish, I shouldn’t have waited until March to start

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Movie [drive-by] review: Alice in Wonderland

The children and I went to see Alice in Wonderland on Sunday. We are all big aficionados of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, and anything coming out in 3D these days has a strong attraction for us anyway. We weren’t disappointed. The 3D experience is quite rewarding, special effects and amalgamation of live action and CGI continues

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NBC pissed me off with their atrocious Olympics coverage. ABC then decided to get on my bad side by making me miss Oscars. Almost. I was almost expecting the looping “important message from Cablevision” that blamed all ills on ABC throughout the day on Sunday to be replaced by live Oscar feed just in time

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Business and pleasure

Spent a few days in Chicago on business. The schedule was fairly packed, but I managed to squeeze in an evening with the little brother and his family. Did not manage to find much time for idle city-seeing, although I did try to take different routes between the hotel and the office, as I aways

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Being cool

I am getting into a car to go pick up my teenage daughter and a couple of her friends from a trip to the mall. Because I’ve been volunteered to deliver those kids to their homes, and because one of them lives as far as is geographically possible from us while still technically residing in

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