Monthly Archives: September 2010

как я встретил вашу маму

…or How I Met Your Mother.  The Russian version starts next week! I’m really excited, it looks really similar to the American version.  As in, they found a redhead who looks like Alyson Hannigan to play that character, they showed one of the women doing news reporting… we’ll see but it could be really entertaining!



So, dear friends, I have some exciting news.  I have settled into a wonderful flat near the city center.  I feel so happy to be closer to the university and to everything.  My new place is a ten minute walk to the university, a fifteen or twenty minute walk to where I have my Russian classes, and about a 30 or 40 minute ride to the International Relations Department where I teach only two days a week.  My landlady is really cute and nice, and she thinks it’s funny that I’ve never rented an apartment ever in my life and I’m doing it for the first time in Russia.  She brought me at least 3 dozen apples as a housewarming gift, so I’ve been making applesauce and apple butter, which is DELICIOUS.  And time consuming.  But once I decide to do something then I have to do it, so. There you go.

The other things that are good about the flat is that it’s right by the main market in the city – think big indoor farmer’s market with all sorts of meat and fruit and spices, and stands outside where you can buy anything from slippers to shoes – and a really big renovated supermarket is opening across the street in a week.  Not to mention the lack of bugs here.  Although I did enjoy that both my dad and my brother referred to the buggies as my “new friends” it was put into perspective by my good friend who is currently living in the Dominican Republic: he said he woke up a few nights ago with a cockroach (not the baby Russian kind, the big kind) on his face. So none of that. I’m free!

I also gave my presentation today about American values, and it went really well!  I think all of us were happy with how it went and with the turnout.  We didn’t expect very many people to come because we only had a week to advertise it, but the room which serves as our American Center was full!  Around 50 people showed up, mostly students but some adults too.  I’m really looking forward to the next meeting, and talking to more students.  People came up to talk to me afterwards, too, which is always fun.  One guy told me, “That was legit!” which obviously made me happy.  And as always I am happy to answer the random grammar questions that people have.  All in all, a good Monday!  I feel like I’m really starting to settle in and have a real little life.  Speaking of which I have to prepare for my classes tomorrow, but let me leave you with some photos.  I just figured out how to take panoramic pictures so let me have my fun.

Also: for all you creative chefs out there, please give me some recipe ideas!  I need things that are not too difficult and do not have too many ingredients but are delicious and hopefully healthy.  Soups, pasta, chicken recipes, anything.  Please let me know.

can you see how delicious this is? I know the toast is a tiny bit burned but I am getting used to making it on the stove.  Look at the little flecks of cinnamon and how delicious this looks! I am very proud of myself.

yummm. and I still have half the apples left.. I think for them it will just be apple sauce.

sorry I can’t add more photos now, my computer is being slow.

american cultural values…

what does that mean to you? I’m curious because I’m giving a presentation at the American Center in the university on Monday, and the title has to be “American Values from an American Perspective.” I don’t know how many people will show up, but I feel like I have to make it really good so that everyone will like me.

So I am trying to brainstorm today and get things really locked in tomorrow. Usually when I think of American values, I think: individual freedoms and rights, education, privacy, community…are there any other big ones I’m missing?

Please any help or suggestions are more than welcome!

oh hey there cold weather

I’m really cold right now. again, food and weather, sorry for the monotony, but it’s really cold. my feet and hands are cold. also, to make it worse, apparently I’m an old person and my joints hurt because it’s cold. My knees are killing me. This is not ok!

On the other hand, I had a delicious dinner. I made a really Russian salad of tomatoes and cucumbers and olive oil, and I had an egg, and also some buckwheat. I didn’t really feel like I was in Russia until I had the buckwheat, now all is right with the world.

Except I need more tea.

the last of the protein bars

today, friends, was a sad day for me.  I finished the last of the protein bars that I brought with me from trader joe’s.  I realized this summer that I feel terrible if I don’t get enough protein, which is why I brought a stash with me.  I figured, since I tried almost all of the protein/energy bars tj’s has to offer, I might as well share with you my findings.

I tried balance bars, clif bars, clif mojo bars, a tiger’s milk bar, and some think thin bars.

My favorites:

best for people concerned about calories- this one definitely has to be the “think thin” bar.  I tried both the white chocolate chip one and the creamy peanut butter one. 230 calories and 20 GRAMS OF PROTEIN (at least for the white chocolate one).  so that’s a really good ratio. the taste was pretty good, only a tiny bit of that protein flavor (you know what I’m talking about.) oh and they’re all natural and gluten free, if that’s important to you.

good protein bar that doesn’t taste like a protein bar: clif’s, definitely.  I kind of prefer the bar-ness of other bars, but clif bars are definitely yummy.

for the most part the other ones just tasted like chalky protein stuff.

except my VERY FAVORITE:

Clif Mojo Bar, the trail mix bar, in the peanut butter and pretzel flavor. the thing about the mojo bars is that they’re not really in bar form either, and can get sticky if they melt, but this was so delicious. peanut butter and pretzels and little peanut butter chips, so so so yummy. for christmas I want a big box of them. I want all of you who live by a tj’s to go buy one and eat it on my behalf. so delicious.

yum yum yum. I don’t know why almost all of my posts are about food, or weather, but maybe that will change soon. Or maybe not, we’ll see.  TGIF!


I was walking to my dorm today when some girl who was a promoter handed me a very small bag of chips. ok, I thought, fine. imagine my delight, friends and family especially, when they were BACON flavored chips.

and they were delicious. like bacon-bbq flavored chips. yum yum yum. in case I didn’t already have enough food to eat here that is bad for me.

by the way, bacon is a popular flavor here. one of the first instant-dinner things I got here was bacon-flavored mashed potatoes. instant ramen and mashed potatoes are what’s hot. I guess the student’s life is the same everywhere, yeah?

rain again

it rained on and off all day today.  I was sad at the rain.  I spent most of the day thinking about how I already need new shoes (my old glee club shoes aren’t cutting it) and that I need shoes that will be worn exclusively in the rain.  my feet are still cold and I’ve been home for two hours.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about how I prefer snow to rain, almost every time.  Seattle, it’s not looking good for us.