2010 in Blog Posts

I just looked through my archives and realized I wrote some pretty great stuff in 2010. I even did the Photoshops!  But then it all somehow went wrong and by the end of the year I was an emo mess posting pictures of the full moon and Skype chats with Mr. B.  Here’s hoping 2011 finds us together again and that Mr. B brings the mojo I accidentally left behind in D.C. with him.

2011 is the year of the rabbit, which means it’s supposed to be much more relaxing than this year, which was the tiger.  I wish all of my (three?) blog readers health, love, and relaxation for next year.  We all need it before the apocalypse comes in 2012.

Here’s my year in blogging:

January
We attend a baby naming ceremony and are kind of called Nazis.
I talk about a teacher who inspired me.
We go horseback riding and I’m afraid I’m going to become a parapalegic.
This month’s feminist controversy!

February

I am still working on my novel. (And still am!)
You people take pity on me and shower me with advice.
I explain how cheap we are in infographics.
The Snowpocalypse causes the Soviet Union in DC.
March

This month’s feminist controversy!
Also, we face a really hard choice, the repercussions of which we are now experiencing.
I put a bunch of people on notice.
Also we almost go to India but not really.

April

We move, for the first but not last time in 2010.
My beloved cherry blossoms are blooming!
This month’s feminist controversy!

May

We go to California, for, like, 5 posts.
My aunt comes from Russia.
All the embassies in DC are open.

June

My favorite night of the summer happened.
I run my first 5k!
Hello, summer!

July

I almost die (not for the first time this year.)
I stop eating and this is news.
We went to New York on the hottest weekend of the year. Whoops.

August

We go bike riding with our parents: A world of pain.
This month’s controversy!
I turn 24 and receive birthday advice from a special guest.

September:

Mr. B and I celebrate completing year 2 of our life sentence.
Y’all bail me out again with awesome advice.
And we are moving for the second time this year.

October, November, and December fell off a cliff. Here’s the summary: Whine, whine, Philadelphia, whine whine whine.

Whining about how Philly has no culture.
Whining about how Philly has no Russian culture.
Whining about how I can’t sleep.
Even more reasons I can’t sleep!
Whining about Philly traffic.
Whining about my gym.
oh, and a gift list.

The Winter Solstice is Over

As I was reminded, last week was the winter solstice. Not to get all Susan Miller on you, but this is important.

Oooooo.

The ancient Slavs believed that this day contained the most heady darkness and that during this time evil spirits could easily cross over into our world.

I can believe it, because that day I had extreme trouble falling asleep. I was thinking about my 11-year-old car, Erica, and the fact that she is failing on me and that I will need to get a new one soon. I started feeling extremely sad and sentimental because this car has survived the entirety of college, trips back and forth from DC, and now loyally  takes me to work every day. I pictured Erica standing there in the lot, cold, alone, when I would trade her in for a new car, and I teared up. Then I started panicking because I didn’t have many pictures of her to remember her by . I tried to  remind myself to take some pictures when I got up because what if she just broke down in the middle of the road and I had to give her away without any visual memories?

Then, I thought back to all the cars my family had and how they symbolized a different stages in our lives.  Then, I thought back to the car accident Mr. B and I had been in in college and how the police officer said that if the point of impact between us and the tow truck was a couple inches to the right, I would probably have been dead.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I fell asleep. And had a nightmare about being in a slasher flick that I couldn’t get out of. So, those ancient Slavs. The bastards were onto something.

However, the passing of the solstice means that there is more sunlight ahead for the New Year, in many, many ways.

When the days are small and miserable and cold and the nights are nothing but an exercise in mental aerobics, I think back to all the things we did during the long, warm days of the year, and I am posting these pictures  in hopes that the long days come again soon.

And, who knows. Winter may have something for us yet. Winter’s not all bad. For example, this one, I took just last week:

Vicki’s End-of-Year Nondenominational Gift List

Do you like to engage in mindless consumerism like me? Are you also weird and international-y? Perhaps you might be interested in some of these offerings for your New Year celebration.  I know I would. Even more than I am interested in this gift list.

*nudge nudge wink wink elbow elbow*

P.S. I don’t actually need any of this stuff. Just peace on Earth and a permanent address.

1.  Apples are From Kazkahstan: More than a travelogue, it is a wonderful book exploring a country that few know about except for when it comes up in Borat. I finished this in a couple weeks.  It is charming, like having tea with your favorite British professor that also happened to have traveled the world about 10 years ago and peels back its layers for you as you eat tea cakes.

2.  Kiva-One of the ways I give to charity is through Kiva. Not only is it an anagram of my name in Russian, it’s also a good way to not just mindlessly pour money into donations you’ll never see again.  The concept is that of microfinance, and you get all the money you lend back so that you can re-give it to someone else.  I currently have loans out in Mongolia, Armenia, and Lebanon, and I try to give to women entrepreneurs as much as possible.  Can I guarantee with certainty that the money is being used and distributed efficiently?  No.  Can I feel smug about giving to charity AND practicing microeconomics? Yes.

3. Baba Yagada’s Prints of Tel Aviv Series-Her whole shop is pretty great, but her Tel Aviv pictures so perfectly capture the essence of the city that I want four of them in a room so the room can start smelling like sand and cool tile.

4. Washington DC Metro Canvas-Self-explanatory.  I miss my boo. The DC Metro system. (I also miss Yuppie Food Riots)

5.  Gift Certificate to Zahav, Continental, and Max Brenner-If I’m going to live here, I’m going to eat here.  And I want to eat some good things. Especially chocolate by the bald man!

6. Henri Bendel bling-I’ve opened and closed the tab on this one at least 100 times since November because I want to buy myself some big girl jewelry, but I just can’t bring myself to pull the trigger. It’s probably better that way, because now it’s sold out and can’t tempt me. Love is not fair.

7. Maya Zankoul‘s Amalgam (and Amalgam 2)-I don’t agree with some of her more political cartoons but her doodles about life in Lebanon are so fantastic and so cute and so colorful and it gives me insight to a culture I would otherwise never have access to.

8. The Instructions-Is the book bigger than a rabbit?  If yes, then I want it.

9. Silver Duck Mirror-Makes the perfect addition to my fantasy Alice in Wonderland room that I have all planned out in my mind.

10. New Year’s Card from Russia from the 1980s-WHOANOSTALGIAWAVE.

“Happy New Year Children-Happy New Year 1989. I wish you health and health again and a cheerful holiday mood.  Thank you for your congratulations….somethingsomethingsomething that my horrible Russian cursive reading skills fail me at deciphering.” They even have the zip code dots connected and everything *sniff* I remember those suckers. They were tricky.  Addressed to Riga, Latvia, from Leningrad in December 1988.  Here’s one more from my parents’ youth.  Ok. I have to stop before I break out in tears for my childhood.  But the dots.  The dots.

11. Veuve Clicquot Travel Case-Since we travel so much, it’s only appropriate.  I am actually planning on buying this and, when we buy a house and close on it, we will sit in the empty house with our travel case, two glasses, and the champagne, and drink it, glass by glass, until it’s gone and we can’t feel feelings anymore.  Then we’ll fall asleep on the floor of our house and not do another thing or go anywhere because we won’t have to.

Save Me, I’ve become One of the Bluetooth People

I have become one of Those People.  The Bluetooth people.

Pennsylvania’s driving laws have become so Draconian that they now require you to have a headset while you’re driving and using the cell phone.  Although this rule has been in enforcement in the free world (aka Israel) since the beginning of time or approximately 2000, whichever happened first, it was only a couple years ago that New York became the first state to start this insanity here.

If I want to kill myself driving my car and texting three people at the same time while trying to change the music on my iPod, that’s between me and Father Death, not the Nanny State.  But I finally succumbed to reason (only one letter away from treason according to Stephen Colbert) and got a Bluetooth headset.

And, wouldn’t you know it?  It’s really, really convenient AND surprisingly safe (except for the radiation that is destroying my brain as we speak, of course).  Since I call my mom every day on my drive back from work, followed by a quick call to Mr. B, I am on the phone pretty much my whole drive home.  Now, I don’t have to practice contortions of physics to make sure they hear me on speakerphone AND I feel like an asshole businessperson.

Sometimes when I’m done with one conversation but haven’t called anyone else yet, I’ll be like, “Margaret, cancel my 10:00, damnit! The stock value is plummeting and I need to pull the board together right away!” Or, “What the hell, Howard.  I told you to have those spreadsheets to me this morning, stat. How am I supposed to do valuations- with my bare hands?  The company’s at stake!”

Since I’ve been wearing the headset so much, I don’t even notice it anymore, and I accidentally left it in when I was going to the gym yesterday (after 25 minutes of phone calls with my dad about my latest car issue), resulting in this syndrome (warning: extremely NSFW language. But nothing you wouldn’t have heard at SKRUG.)

I’m pretty sure everyone in the gym looked at me and that’s when I realized it. I’ve finally become a bigger jerk than 90% of the people in SKRUG.

Russian New Year Crib Notes

I’ve been at quite a few holiday parties over the past couple weeks (ok, two. I just wanted to sound socialetist) and every single time (since the majority of the people at the parties have been American) have had to explain how I’m Jewish and celebrate Haunkkah but at the same time, New Year’s is the really big holiday for me.  I wish I could just show them this blog post from last year explaining the whole Russian New Year situation.  Maybe I can make business cards about it?

Although my tree is somewhere deep in Mr. B’s mom’s basement and my New Year plans are uncertain as we speak, I’m still indulging in the New Year spirit through Youtube and through this picture, which I can’t take credit for at all. .