Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Bliss

For me winter holidays start with snowy-themed coffee cups :)

They are also watching a snowstorm outside...

....with a bowl of cranberry-walnut-brown sugar oatmeal in front of me.

It is in decorating our place early this year by Belorussian standards

Getting a real tree, because the smell of pine is a part of the holidays

Our balcony table and chairs are attributes of summer, and it is very unusual to see them covered with snow
The holidays are filled with cozy evenings by Christmas-New Year tree.
All all this glitter, lights, cups of warm tee the longest night of winter become the coziest.

What are winter holidays for you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Halloween Career Lesson

I have been told I look like Paris Hilton on multiple occasions. I never took that as a compliment - Paris's list of accomplishments isn't to be proud of. However, I got a free dinner from a fancy restaurant in Jacksonville, FL, and a sight of a cashier at Lowe's and in Panera Bread losing their composure, as they thought Paris or her sister Nicky visited them.

When it was time to come up with a costume for a Halloween party this year, my resemblance with Paris history came to mind. I decided - yes, I am not fond of that comparison, but how can I not use it for my Halloween transformation?

I went to the mall and picked up a luminescent pink fishnets, a pair of shorty shorts, a pink shirt, a small purse with a Playboy logo, huge hoop earrings, plenty of bracelets for extra Bling, and finally and most importantly - a blond wig!!!

I thought this was the most creative costume of the party - Sarah Palin

Here I was working my "Paris Look"

I also met some pirates

Well, let me tell you - it was a very ordinary night for Paris - she enjoyed total and complete attention!!! :) For me - the Halloween outing was a lot of fun. This whole experience got me thinking ....

... Career lesson: sometimes people around us recognize our talents we might not find important. If you know about any, take a closer look at them - perhaps you are missing out on an easy opportunity?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wedding: Choosing a Location

Actually, choosing a wedding location isn't that difficult.
The whole process took Andrey and I 1.5 weeks and only 2 interviews!

At a very special wedding we attended on August 30, it became clear to us that location is extremely important to set the atmosphere of your most magical day right.
The wedding was set in a castle in the middle of Canadian metropolis Toronto - Casa Loma.

The reception banquet took place in the castle's library, so the walls of the room were not wallpaper, but bookshelves with old fashioned lights. I felt I was a part of a historical movie, not just a beautiful wedding.
Bottom line: there should be more to enjoy at the wedding than the food, you want your guests not to just travel to your wedding, you want them to transcend into a special atmosphere they will remember. And this can be done on any budget!

Understanding the level of importance of this decision, we began our selection.

Phase 1, imaginative: In the beginning we kept grinning at each other because the same thought came to us undiscussed: to wed somewhere in South Carolina, Georgia or, Alabama! Did you know that Alabama has a great ocean coast and plenty of new resorts? Just imagine: a classic southern home with wrapped around porch, set back at the end of an oak alley at some plantation in the South .... like the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana:
Photograph from Oak Alley Plantation web-site

But than we got thinking..... :)

Phase 2, analytical:
As much as the event is about us, it is also about who we want to see at our wedding. We didn't want to make traveling plans more complicated for any of our excitedly anticipated guests, taking in consideration that a whole bunch of them will need to get 2 international visas to begin with. So, a decision was made to have the wedding here, in Western New York. Yes, in Western New York, in Buffalo-Niagara area!! Did you know that summers, and winters, even falls and especially springs are very beautiful here? We will prove that to you!

Phase 3, rational: Next we stumbled upon a necessity to know the size of our wedding - what if any particular place isn't big enough? So we've counted. .... 2, 4, 16, ....88 ....100!

Phase 4, methodical: To target our search we sat down and thought of what is important to us in a wedding location. Our list of requirements for the reception place came down to:
1) windows with a nice view;
2) a nice outside area;
3) beautifully decorated inside;
4) lots of light inside;
5) the easiest travel for our guests.
With these requirements our choices narrowed to a very few options.

Side story, necessary:
My college summer job was waitressing in a club restaurant, one of the most beautiful in the area - Niagara Falls Country Club. It sits on the escarpment - that very edge where long-long time ago Lake Erie spilled into the lower laying lake Ontario and created Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls moved in about 10 miles creating a deep gorge, but the crease with a beautiful view remained. 100 years ago one of the spots on the crease got occupied by a golf club house. The clubhouse dining rooms overlook Niagara River that falls into Lake Ontario. On a clear day Toronto's CN Tower shines across the lake. So, to begin with, I had my expectations set really high and I was strongly biased in my preferences. Honestly, in all these years I have not seen a more beautifully located and better maintained club restaurant in Buffalo-Niagara region. Since my non-objectiveness was obvious, I left the final decision to Andrey.

Phase 5, executive: Our runner-ups were:
a) Queenston Heights Restaurant - smaller, cozy restaurant overlooking Niagara River, but from a different angle than the country club. We spoke with the manager, toured the restaurant and left delighted - cozy, neat, has a porch for dancing and cocktails, located in a well-groomed park.
b) several wineries at Niagara On the Lake - a beautiful town on a turn of Niagara River surrounded by wineries. The wineries were too small to hold our wedding.

The last stop of our reception places quest was Niagara Falls Country Club. After a tour and a chat with the manager that I known for years - Mr. Alan Cohen, Andrey thought our choice was clear. I didn't object. ... :)

The club met all of our requirements. It also came with bonuses:
1) there is a magnificent back terrace and garden for the ceremony;
2) if the weather isn't sunshiny, the ceremony can be brought inside - to the living room;
3) ladies locker room is perfect for bridal party getting ready;
4) a two room girls bathroom will give ladies plenty of space to pretty up;
5) there is a grand piano in the living room that can be used for live music during a cocktail hour;
6) I know the place inside and out, and, will use all of its advantages for the celebration.

Since my "choosing a wedding location" story turned out rather narrative, I also found a couple of articles that are more methodical advise in choosing wedding location and will be helpful if you don't know where to begin with:
1) eHow article
2) The Knot article

Oh, and ... since the place we set our eyes on for the wedding is quite popular, it "picked" the wedding date for us - September 6, 2009. !!! :) A fall wedding.

Let me know if you think there is something we didn't consider while choosing our wedding location. I'd love to have this information covered, and so, I am sure, anybody who is reading this post.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hush City

Monday morning my work email spam filter caught a message from my very talented friend Yulia. She granted me with a link and a note: “Look!!!!” – this always means I would definitely enjoy it.

I do not want to give away my impressions before you watch this, so lock your palms around a mug of your favorite tea or coffee – you are for a 20 minutes of a special treat.

One of the main characters of the movie is my dear native city of Minsk. I must warn that the loading is a little slow, so be patient – it’s worth it. After you are through with this special show, you can read my impressions in the comments to this post. And, I’d delighted to learn what you think as well, so leave a comment!

Hush City

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I like Thanksgiving better than Christmas.

  • It kicks the holidays off rather than ends it.
  • It is a distinctly American holiday, and it comes from an old Indian tradition passed on to the new settlers.
  • It is even more symbolic for our family as we celebrate it together with our American host family: we are the new settlers, and they are the "Indians" that taught us to cook turkey.
  • Main colors of Thanksgiving are fall harvest colors - yellow, orange, red. Orange is one of my favorite colors. (Guess what I am considering to be one of the wedding colors?)
A note for my Belorussian and Russian readers

I bet you already knew everything I mentioned about Thanksgiving. But, I am pretty sure you didn't know one more American tradition of modern days. It comes the Friday after Thanksgiving, called Black Friday.

On Black Friday many consumer products stores open really early - 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning, and determined shoppers pour into the stores in hopes to catch that plasma TV set for 80% off. The line to enter the store forms the night before, I guess the first people in line eat their turkey dinner and leave to get in front.
The catch is - there are only 10 or 20 TVs available for that whole crowd. If you are lucky enough to grab one of those you'd need to rush back immediately to the check out line, or you can be stuck there forever. Elbows and bodyweight are used widely during the store maneuvering, and the politeness is not present during Black Friday.

When I first learned about this tradition, I tried to participate: studied the promotions printed in the local newspaper the night before, planned out my stores visits, and headed out as early as I could - 7 am!!! :) ... It was already too late, the only sign of the great deals was the tail of the check out line. :( ...:) Never again!

When I saw Black Friday in action, one thing came to mind: if our older Russian speaking population here is nostalgic about Soviet times, I'd encourage them to participate in Black Friday - never ending lines are completely real, and it should bring back the memories. Besides, there are years of line standing experience they could've put to use - a clear advantage increasing the chances to actually be the lucky owner of that 80% off TV set.
This Thanksgiving my fiance, my family, my host family, my friends (near and far) made me feel whole. Thank you so much for being ingredients of my happiness. I've recharged. I am now again ready to create, share, inspire, get inspired, learn and teach, care and be cared for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our Miami Trip (+ some tips for first time Miami visit)

That Thursday was a very rainy, gray and wet. Any visitors to my work desk, however, were startled to see me grinning from one ear to another ear. :) <-- Just like that. My coworkers, though, understood: they knew I was flying to sunny and summery Orlando that evening. And, what was even better - driving to Miami the next day. I really could not keep the grin off my face any time I turned around to look out the window. I saw drizzle, but I was seeing palm trees.
From Miami, Florida - November 2008

And turquoise water....

From Miami, Florida - November 2008

This was our first time in Miami, and frankly, I didn't expect Miami to be a city. Like New York City, but on the ocean. Miami is a mix of city - clubs, restaurants, well dressed people, shopping and the sun bleached beach. The combination I never saw before, and it kept confusing me.

So, for those traveling to Miami for the first time, here are 4 tips for your trip planning:
1) Bring dressy clothes. Dressy, but beachy. Girls - stilettos will find their occasion easily.
2) To be in the center of action, stay at one of the boutique hotels in South Beach. (See the map below - we noted a few). If you want a quieter atmosphere, North Miami Beach will be your fit.
3) Staying north or south - make a trip to the Ocean Drive at night and enjoy the never ending party.
4) Go to Miami in a company of friends, as mentioned above - it is a party kind of place.

Below are some mapped tips

View Larger Map

I arrived to Orlando to meet my fiance that spent the whole week at a conference there. After a brief tour of a small part of the place (Rosen Shingle Creek) I mentally marked my calendar for next year - it was decided I will travel to this conference as well. 5 pools! Sunshine, palm trees! :)
From Miami, Florida - November 2008

When we drove closer to our hotel in North Miami Beach, condos rose on each side of the road and along the coast.
From Miami, Florida - November 2008

From Miami, Florida - November 2008

This is my favorite:
From Miami, Florida - November 2008
I was armed with an almost professional camera, so Andrey had no choice, but to become my model for this trip.
From Miami, Florida - November 2008

From Miami, Florida - November 2008

See a complete slide show of our trip with comments to the photos here:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Good Morning Thought

While I am preparing a complete report on our fabulous Miami trip, I wanted to share a beautiful new thought I discovered reading "Atlas Shrugged" , an Ayn Rand novel:

"No matter what night preceded it, she had never known a morning when she did not feel the rise of a quiet excitement that became a tightening energy in her body and a hunger for action in her mind - because this was the beginning of the day and it was the day of her life."

I actually feel like that every morning too! Every once in a while my reasons are a bit shallower then simple gratitude for living my own life, though. :) Sometimes I am in a good mood because of a yummy breakfast ahead, sometimes because of the rays of sunshine, or, perhaps cozy rain outside, and sometimes, because it is Friday - the end of the week (tomorrow!!). But the fact is - I never wake up in a bad mood. ... There is one exception, now that I declared that: I used to get very much upset when my parents woke me up against my intention to sleep in on Saturdays. We used to live in a 1 bedroom apartment in Minsk and they intentionally made too much noise in the kitchen. Luckily my fiance knows I should not be disturbed in the morning against my will. :)

Happy coming Friday!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Miami!!! Florida!!! Summer is back!

This is just a quick note to say that we (the bride and the groom to be) have eloped to summer for a couple of days. Yes, the USA is THAT wonderful of a country where at one end of it we have winter and on the other - summer. And summer is in Miami!! Today is November 14 and the weather here is in the 90s! (= = 25-30 c). It was hard for me to believe that the weather that is measured in 90 degrees exists now, in November, when I was packing, so along with two bathing suites I decided to include a jacket. Silly me - it is summer here, real NY or Belarussian summer weather!

I didn't study Miami over the internet and came here with only pictures of palm trees, topless girls on the beach (apparently it is the only place it is allowed in the USA, but this is not a confirmed fact) and salsa dancing in my mind - this is how I though Miami should be.

Well, what I found caught me totally off guard - skyscaping condos, not so neat and clean sidewalks and girls in pencil black skirts and stilettos or whimsical cocktail dresses walking the streets! My knee long jeans and a fancier than usual top with city style sandals are not enough for Miami! I will now know, and will be prepared for tomorrow. :)
Tomorrow we will also see what is the proper beach attire in this fashion demanding city.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Talents of California

I do not need any more proof that the land in California must be magical, as it grows talents left and right.

Every time this commercial is on TV you'd find me glued to the screen with a grim on my face nodding to the "governator" when he warns I will be back to California. I will be! (As soon as I return from my first visit :)). On a serious note, as a marketer I am always jumping up and down when I see my fellow marketers to just nail it!

And my answer to the following one is - "Tomorrow!" The play on words in this commercial I put right next on the shelf with Carrie Bradshaw's famous masterpieces.

If this weren't enough, how about Jasmine Star? I still can't decide what does she do better - writes or photographs? The way she writes makes me "watch" her posts, not read them. Jasmine, you are my inspiration in becoming a better writer! Here is my new favorite of her recent posts.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Orange Season

While my fiance sees his second dream, fighting the cold he brought from his trip to Belarus, I decided to vier off to the blog word.

This whole week I wanted to share my feelings towards the "orange season", as I call it, that happens right now in America. I guess this whole week will be devoted to my American life, rather than the progress on our wedding planing. But that topic is coming up and will be on the agenda again and again very shortly - promise!

I call it the "orange season", as this is the color dominating decorations in people homes and stores all over. It starts in the beginning of October, peaks on Halloween and stays through November up to Thanksgiving. Orange is one of my favorite colors to decorate and wear in the fall and winter, as it reminds me of sun and energy and compensates for the grayness and darkness of winter. It is sort of a "sun concentrate".

When I first came to the USA, it was right at Halloween time, and I could not believe how orange are the pumpkins here - we never ever had them so orange in Belarus!

This is why it was so much fun to take my grandmas to a pumpkin patch couple of weeks ago. One of my grandmas is an experienced gardener, and she was very impressed. Here is a small slide show from that sunny, orangy day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today I voted for the president of the USA!

Just seating on the couch, watching CNN, tears in my eyes every three seconds - people who are speaking and being interviewed are just so emotional tonight! (Disclaimer: I am tearful even just listening to the radio driving to work in the morning, if I happen to catch especially touching story on NPR). I have never participated in an election of an American president before, so this feels a little like my evening too.

We have elected Barack Obama!

.... Several tears again - John McCain spoke to congratulate the future president. Very good speech. He had the harder one of the speeches tonight and did it with so much respect and dignity!

Back in the voting booth I fought myself not to take a picture of the poling machine, with all its cute little handles and red arrows. You'd think that with everything computerized in this country the machines will look a bit more sophisticated - but no, they could belong to 1962, just as fine, yet are still used - must be very good ones! While I was absorbed by the process of turning handles, a line formed outside the booth waiting for their turn to turn - apparently I was taking too much time!

.... Tears again - Barack Obama is speaking. Barack Obama, caught my attention at first because he branded himself, created a slogan, and carried them both well through his campaign. This historic night shows - Marketing is important. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Ring (not the horror movie)

May be I am not like many brides, but I still can not get used to the fact that I am getting married - it is so new to me! So, the ring that appeared on my finger last Thursday, that was whimsically crafted by Northfield Designer Goldsmiths, helps! Now even the cashiers in the supermarket smile at me differently. :0)

### An official promise to give my ring a photo shoot as soon as I get my camera, and to insert a photo of it right in place of this little note###

There are a few choices we had to make while deciding on the ring. First of all, I just loved that my fiance opted to pick out the ring together, because it turned out our ideas of the rings were very different - I wanted white gold and he wanted yellow! By the way, I learned that yellow gold is classic, and white gold is just the fashion that comes and goes. Well, I am for fashion! While there was no hesitation on the color, I was torn between a classic "tiffany" style ring (which is a round bend with a 4 or 6-prong support of the stone) and something a little less classic. We went with a little less classic - the ring from a private jeweler, wonderful Gudmund Jos Olsson originally from Sweden. Not only I liked the way the ring looks, but, it also hugs the finger very comfortably.

So, when the rings are chosen, here are things to consider:
1) White or yellow gold? ... Or, platinum?
2) Classic style? You will need to know the terms like "solitaire" (which means just single standing stone), or may be you are for very traditional, royal high settings that have details on the sides as well as top?
3) There will be a wedding band going together with your ring when "I do"s are said, how will the whole piece look and feel on the finger together?
This part of wedding preparation can be gaily checked complete. It was very fun and romantic. :)
Now I need advice on how to keep the ring on my finger at all times and not leave it in some restaurant's or grocery store bathroom. (Which I've done). Any tips?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Coming back to life!

It turned out that my first day without my wisdom teeth was not the hardest one, the bad ones were still on the way - Saturday and Sunday - when painkillers became my best friends. Them and Dr. House. Although, he made me just worried about more things that I could even imagine to know.
Luckily on Monday my doctor thought I had enough of the torture and placed some medicated band aids in the wounds! Anytime I open my mouth, it smells like a pharmacy (tastes like it too), but I will take this any time over the pain.

This whole experience made me realize again that just the fact that I can see, walk, smell, hear, feel no pain is enough for me to be very happy. :)
Speaking of other little things that make me happy: recently I discovered Pandora. It is an internet radio place, where you can create channels yourself. Say, you like Fergie, so this is what you type into the search. And Pandora creates a station that will play Fergie's music and similar music of other artists. You can thumb up or thumb down the songs further personalizing your station. What can I say - I really love it! It makes you discover other artists and keeps the music fresh, new. Oh, and then - you can share your stations with your friends. I've put mine to my blog's right hand side. Enjoy!
A question - are there other internet radio communities that you'd like to lead me to? What's your favorite? I'd love to learn about them!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Wisdome is Gone!

My own happenings this Friday were not festive: I got 2 of my wisdom teeth pulled. You can already feel this post being sillier than others, right? :) As a person that survived through this terrifying procedure (I nearly fainted during my consultation when the doctor just spoke about it), my message to those who still have wisdom teeth removal in their future - not really all that bad! The key to the happiness is Valium, once it is added to your bloodstream, you just become drunk-like! Nothing is scary after that! Yet, you are not knocked out completely, you remember and understand everything vaguely, and the story of the day stays continuous, with no gaps. On the second day you become a chipmunk, but hey - it is all over, at least! So, Hi from the chipmunk!
By the way, chipmunk fiances actually have some very cute & tender perks to enjoy - hand made mashed potatoes for dinner, pancakes and scrambled eggs in the morning from their non-chipmunk fiances! :)

Two Happy Birthdays

My dearest and closest friend, Svetlana had her birthday on Friday. Happy Birthday, Svetochka! I will need to speak about this person separately a little later, as she is my friend, shrink, partner in crime and my pillar of support, so this post is only an introduction.

Also, my future father-in-law had his special birthday - 55! It would be great to be a part of the family celebration on this special occasion, because my future part of the family knows how to celebrate! So, Happy Birthday, my future father-in-law! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One more reason to never cancel your after work Gym plans

So ... I have promised myself that THIS time I will go to the Gym without skipping. I decided not to give in to the little voices telling me that I can skip one day - nothing will happen.
My realization today was this: every time I don't go to the Gym, I am not making good on my own promise! This melts away my self respect! And then I let go of some other promises I made to myself - it is a domino effect.
I am glad to report that for the last two weeks I kept my promise to myself, and it feels great in so many ways!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Engaged (!!!) and sharing the happiness

It has been 21 days since I got THE question. And, girls (and guys) this is how it feels: you think you are ready to hear it, or you can even see it coming, but it will catch you by surprise!
So, of course - how did he do it? Right? Well, in an unusual way. And i love unusual. Very romantic, but predictable would it be to pop the question at the Central Park, or after seeing "Legally Blond", the musical, or in the morning at Waldorf=Astoria. Every one of these times during our surprise visit I saw him becoming nervous, that made me nervous too. But he chose not to do it there (this is the version for the press) ... :) ... so cute!
I got this wonderful question at 7:40 am on a Tuesday, after he brushed his teeth, put on his fluffy dark blue robe and woke me up. With my 1 sec preview of the future I thought he would now say: "Would you marry me?" The next second he said: "Would you marry me?". For several moments after I was left with a mental dilemma - did he really say that or did I just thought he said that? But the tender words he continued on mumbling matched with "Would you merry me?", so I knew this all was really happening! That very moment had become a part of our shared history and it was happening!
So I gave it 21 days to settle it in my mind. During this time I also realized, that you can spread happiness by creating happy moments in your own life. My family, HIS family, our friends, coworkers, all were so happy to hear our news - I really feel we started a whole new wave of good energy! Lesson: creating happiness in your own life makes it enough to go around.
So, I am engaged! I am a fiancé and I have a fiancé!
We have almost settled on the place and the date, so, - stay tuned!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Russian Rules of Courtship

Here is a lesson on how to get attention from a Russian girl. Not very logical, but this is how it works out in our culture... and, I actually like it this way. Poor guy! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It is definitelly fall!

Yesterday, stepping out of the car, I noticed it was very quiet around. We live by the forest edge, and all summer long, day and night, there was a never ending concerto of bugs and birds. Sometimes the "music" was louder than the hum coming from the highway during a rush hour.
And yesterday I realized that the concerto was over. No whistling, no squeaking, no movement - everything was at a stand still! Some trees lost all their leaves already, some are in the peak of their fall beauty, showing the variety of colors from green to red. It seemed somebody decided to stop life for a moment and study this little corner of the world thoroughly, with no rush. So he clicked his fingers and the life numbed.
If this seems to be a sad scene to observe, I haven't yet mentioned one really important detail: everything was lit by a mild, tender evening sunshine. Sunshine complemented the yellows and reds and made everything just very ripely beautiful.
I find it very interesting that both Asian culture and Jewish religion celebrate really big holidays at this time of the year - the Moon Festival, Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (The day of Atonement). I wish Christianity had a big holiday at this beautiful time as well. There is some culture and religion envy (the white one) I am experiencing! :)
BUT, Halloween with its overwhelming orangeness is just around the corner, as well as my most favorite American holiday - Thanksgiving! I like anticipation of a holiday as much as the holiday itself, so I am already enjoying them both.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My New Right

It was a very interesting experience to become an American. I almost separated into two people - one was sworn in to become a new American citizen and another one was a scientist studying the first person's reactions on how it feels to become a citizen of another country, while staying very devoted to people and culture of the home country, Belarus.
The scientist learnt: the subject simply remains a very responsible person. You see, the only difference between a permanent resident (also known as an alien or a green card holder) and a citizen of the USA is that a citizen has a right to vote. To the subject that means impacting the course of the country for at least the next 4 years. Therefore, she feels this is not a right, but a responsibility to participate and vote, especially in the country, where this right seems to be as powerful and as honest as it can get.
Thus I am picking up this really cool video from Jessica Clair's blog to pass along to all new and old citizens of the USA. The message there is: if you decided to vote, you have only a few days to register to vote. Proceed to this site, please.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I love New York!

On my surprise visit to New York City this weekend organized by a very special magician, I made a list of the things I like about NYC:
1) Upper East and Upper West side Manhattan;
2) joggers;
3) Central Park's Alice in the Wonderland Statue;
4) The Waldorf=Astoria's perfectly shaped fresh flower bouquet that is probably 5 feet in diameter;
5) Seeing the "Sex and the City" style Saturday night party at WhisKey Blue;
6) Savouring a cup of cream of cauliflower and Italian Country sandwich in Hale and Hearty Soups and thinking that this food combination could by itself be the reason to come to NYC;
7) Russian pastries sold right by the entrance to the Brighton Beach subway station;
8) Seeing the statue of Liberty from the Q subway train window while it crosses Manhattan Bridge;
9) Soaking in the talents of "Legally Blond" musical creators and performers;
10) the fog of unbelivable thikness, hiding the tops of the skyscrapers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Last Weekend

Last Sunday my friends and I visited Letchworth Park, where I tried my beginner photography skills. I shoot everything in the manual setting (!!!) of Canon PowerShot S5IS, a "wannabe" professional camera. Here are several of the best photos from that day.
Here is a portrait of a very professional photographer, my friend Yulia (Yuka). She holds her old, but quite professional camera. One more photo of Yulia:

Monday, September 22, 2008

# 1

My favorite cartoon. A tribute to Gagarin.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I am not going to write a book, Penelope!

In a recent Penelope Trunk's post about a book deal she wrote how bad of an idea it is to write a book hoping that it will serve as a "law degree" to help further career developments. I realized that this was the trap I almost got myself into with my intention of pursuing an MBA degree. I knew I wanted an MBA really badly (I still do), I just had a vague idea what exactly will I do with it after I graduate. Ironically, Penelope in the first paragraph of her post mentioned how much better it is in the case of "vagueness" to start a blog! :) So I feel like I am on the right track here.

So, with the blog I am hoping to:
1) Literally put myself out there, to fight my habit of keeping a lot to myself;
2) Find my own writing voice and not be a сhamelion. In fact this post is written under the influence of Jasmine Star , after my morning dose of her juicily written posts. And as much as I admire Jasmine's both writing and photography talents, I'd like to sound like me.
3) and finally, I want to track my progress of making close to my idea of a perfect cocktail of delicious work and scrumptious life.

I stepped out of the office after the work day into the crispness of perfectly clear fall air and remembered my favorite music and a music video devoted to September by Igor Krutoi called "You are in my September". There is a hint of sadness in it, but it is a good kind of sadness.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Beginning

So, finally it happened. I now have my own blog! And this is my very first post!

Actually, I have been writing posts for quite a while now, it was just happening in my mind. I have been writing about my daily impressions of the morning air (lately is has been smelling like fall already), about my childhood memories of years of daydreaming and being not very sociable as the result, about why did I came to this point of finally starting a blog.... So, there are quite a lot of posts in this blog already. What? You don't see them??? Well, I guess I need to start transferring this wealth of information here.

Alright, lets start with childhood. If you met me as a 6-grader, you would probably think - what a snobbish little girl - she does not even try to act like she is interested in meeting me! The truth was - I was living such a vivid life on the inside (read too many books, watched too many movies), that I was barely noticing what did I act like on the outside.
I was thinking about all this just yesterday and searched the YouTube for my favorite middle school movie - La Boum, and as fabulous as YouTube is, it produces my precious memories right away:


Really, when your very acceptive vivid imagination is fed with these miracle moments, wouldn't you stay on the inside instead of meeting real people?? What for? :)
To be continued ...