9/11

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I often looked at the clock

And time was never at standstill

Sometimes it was there to mock

Sometimes it was there to kill

But the numbers 9 11

They always stood out to me

I caught myself looking

Unconscious….

Today they buried my grandpa

And I wondered if that’s why

If numbers were playing a trick on me

Or if it’s just life?

Today I want you to go and give your family a call, give them a hug, tell them you love them, tell them you miss them… Don’t fight, don’t argue, because at the end of the day it’s not worth it. You all have a purpose and a reason to be here, and it’s to create beauty and love and find that glow!

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I love you all, and I want to say a great big THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have been sending prayers and loving kind thoughts my way. You mean so much to me. I have been crying on and off again today, over 9/11, over my grandfather, and not being able to be in Russia. But I have also been crying happy tears, that I have a loving husband, and a family here, who take care of me. And I know that the Universe is watching over me. I have been seeing signs everywhere, from a hand wave of a small child, to watching a ladybug make it’s way around my chair while listening to the wind chimes at the Sculpture Garden.

Love,

Zhenya

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It Can Wait Pledge! Take It With Me!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Style Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

The subject of texting/calling/emailing when driving has been on my mind a lot lately. Rememeber the days when it was just texting? Now it’s emailing, facebooking, tweeting, instagramming… the list goes on and on! For people hooked on Social Networks like me, it’s a dangerous territory! And even though you might miss an important tweet, or text, nothing is as important as your life!

It all started with a book I read called Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. The first half of the book was a horror story to me, a horror story I couldn’t put down! I am not going to spoil it for anybody who hasn’t read it, but I think it should be on everyone’s Goodreads ASAP!

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My husband and I carpool to work, and neither one of us are on our phones. The time in the car is almost sacred, that’s when we talk, when we share our plans for the day in the morning, and discuss what happened in the evening! One thing we do before we get into the car though is check the traffic, and unfortunately we often end up seeing car accidents. And every time it breaks my heart.

It Can Wait Pledge Logo

Now I am not going to be the goody two shoes and tell you that I’ve never texted while driving, or talked on my phone. I am human and guilty of that too! But the older I get, the more responsible I become, and today I want to share a pledge I have recently taken, called It Can Wait!

But let me show you these facts first:

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So please take this pledge with me today. I would love to know if you did, so don’t forget to comment and remember that TOGETHER WE CAN DRIVE SAFE!!

Xo,

Z

 

Minnesota, Say Bye-Bye Bloomingdales…

Saddest news of the day, they are closing Bloomingdales at the Mall of America. I will admit, I have never bought anything at Bloomingdales, but I was going to start! Besides having high end stores means more high end clothes for thrift stores. On the other hand, I don’t think that a lot of women were shopping there anyways, since pajamas and sweat pants seem to be the number 1 apparel item here in Minneapolis.

What are they replacing Bloomies with? 4 new retailers, and an upscale restaurant! I am sure the new restaurant will look great across from the Nickelodeon world!

They are also putting in a new outlet store. Maybe we should just make the 3rd floor of the Mall of America Outlets of America! I hereby copyright this name!

Hope you all had a great day, I sure did!

xo,

Z

PS. Looking for a good Russian movie to watch? Try Night Watch and Day Watch, hubby and I will be enjoying the latter tonight!

Etsy: Yay or Nay?

A lot of time I’d be walking through a store and then spot something totally cool and handmade looking! I’d look at the price tag and think to myself – why are they charging so much for it? And then I have the second thought – I can totally make this myself! I know I am not the only genius out there who has had the same thought before, but I just don’t see why someone would charge almost $200 for this knit throw (which is only 15% wool and 85% acrylic)

So the question of the day is – should I open my own Etsy shop? Please vote and comment below!

xoxo,

Z

PS. On the other note – congratulations to Johnny Weir, he is proof that Americans don’t only marry Russian women, they also marry Russian men!

Oh, Russia!

I try to stay as far away from politics as I can. But the most recent parliament (duma) elections in Russia didn’t go by unnoticed. And if I wake up at 5 am to read twitter, and then spend a good hour watching different news videos on what has really happened, and browsing LiveJournal (the most popular blogging platform in my home country) for updates and pictures from the elections, it’s worth blogging about. I voted on Friday, we had an opportunity here in Minnesota, because Seattle consulate representatives were in town. I don’t think I would’ve been that interested in the results, if I haven’t voted myself. And mind it, I still write Russia, as my country of citizenship, and probably will for quiet a while.

 When I was a senior in college, everyone I knew, esp. people who worked for the government or different social institutions, were forced to vote for Putin and United Russia (Edinaya Rossiya), we were also told to bring “I voted” stickers to our dean, and those who didn’t got in trouble. Another urban legend from those elections has something to do with factory workers in Moscow (as prosaic as this sounds) – those “lucky” members of the society were forced to take pictures of their ballots and passports, before those went into the urn. Talk about freedom of vote here.

Now, I’ve never been a fan of Putin, Medvedev, or United Russia all together. When I was about 7 I saw Zhirinovsky on TV, and his charisma worked. I even convinced mom to vote for his party in the early 90’s. Then he kind of started to spiral down, there were incidents when he spilled OJ on other members of the Parliament. And that’s when I realized, I will not vote for an attention whore, even though that attention whore is a guy.

When these elections came around I wanted to vote more for the experience of it. It’s always cool to do something for the first time, and be able to use my Russian passport in the US.

And then the hell broke lose. It all started with one of my Facebook friends posting this:

A photo by Dmitri Surnin, who volunteered as an independent observer at one of the voting sights. The results that you see here are drastically different from the results he saw on the website of the Election Committee. The word spread around, social networks are a great thing after all. The bloggers joined in. And eventually protests started happening. Arrests followed. Here are some videos that believe me have me glued to the screen, wide eyed.

And while a lot of people are hoping for the best, some are foreseeing Lybia’s fate for Russia. I am just hoping that some day when I want to go visit  Russia, there will be something better to come back to!

xoxo,

ZhenyAH!

 

Anna! Now spell it backwards!

Anna Kurnikova, a pro tennis player, gone the Biggest Loser trainer, now gone. In spite of all the negative opinions about her in the media, there was a very good article in the Women’s Health magazine, which also placed Kurnikova on it’s cover.

Flat abs or no flat abs, I will always like her. Is it the fact that she is Russian? Maybe. Or is it because of all her charity work, or tennis achievements, or great looks?

See my thought here is – you get a beautiful Russian tennis player on the BL, who also has a hot accent (we all know how everyone in the US falls for accents! Don’t even argue me on this one), is pulling the same numbers as Jillian, never had a weight problem, actually achieved something in life, went through a ton of difficulties, including injuries, and people get jealous. A lot of people are saying she was harsh. Well how else do you expect her to act around 300lb people? And weight loss is tough, even motivation to work out isn’t always there. I am under 120 lb, and I have to kick myself every week, to go run a few miles!

So to all of you haters out there calling Anna “nightmare” and “brash”, stick it up you know where, and go work out – it increases endorphins, that make you happy, you know!

And Anna will always be gorgeous, and one of my favorites! I mean who doesn’t want a hot Russian role model?

XO,

ZhenyAH!

 

The dress, Amy Winehouse and 24 oz of Parmesan

I have finally gotten around to checking out my dress. I was kind of concerned whether it would fit, or look exactly like on the website. But White House Black Market has exceeded all of my expectations! I am so so grateful! I would’ve posted pictures, but I don’t want Sam to see it! And he doesn’t want to see it until the wedding day either. So now it’s hanging at his parent’s house, in what used to be Sam’s old room, ironic isn’t it?

This morning I also heard the news about Amy Winehouse, I blogged about her a couple months ago in my post about “Good role model, bad role model…” You can re-read it here, if you’d like

http://beingzhenya.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/good-role-model-bad-role-model-please-dont-show-this-to-your-children/

I didn’t want to believe it at first, thought that maybe the newspapers website was hacked, just like last week. But no, and I heard DJs talking about how she died at 27 along with Kurt Cobain and someone else, I can’t remember who. So what’s up with that age? Is there anything special about number 27? Here is what I found on-line posted by Chris More (http://27.chrismore.com/)

  • Amy Winehouse, died on July 23rd, 2011 at age 27.
  • J.D. Salinger died on January 27, 2010. He wrote The Catcher in the Rye, which has 26 chapters and it is believed this missing chapter was number 27.
  • Joseph Merrick aka “The Elephant Man”. He died strangely of suffocation at the age of 27. born: august 5, 1862 died: April 11, 1890
  • The First Blood Shed for the Revolution – The first casualty associated with the start of the American Revolutionary War was a man named Crispus Attucks, who died alongside several associates during the infamous “Boston Massacre.” Attucks was 27 years old and a natural born leader, according to his friends. He was also an escaped slave.
  • Kurt Cobain – April 5, 1994 – 27 – heroin OD/shotgun to the head
  • Masaccio – June, 1428 – 27 – poisoned?
  • Jimi Hendrix – September 18, 1970 – 27 – vomit inhalation from drugs
  • Janice Joplin – October of 1970 – 27 – drug overdose
  • Jim Morrison – July 3, 1971 – 27 – heart failure
  • Brian Jones – 3rd of July, 1969 – 27 – drowning
  • Thuy Trang – September 3rd 2001 – 27 – car crash
  • Jeremy Ward – May 25, 2003 – 27 – Drug Overdose
  • Keiko – December 12, 2003 – 27 – pneumonia
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat – 08/12/1988 – 27 – drug overdose
  • Ron “Pigpen” McKernan – 03/08/1973 – 27 – liver failure
  • Kristen Pfaff – 06/16/1994 – 27 – drug overdose
  • Freaky Tah/Raymon Rogers – 03/28/1999 – 27 – murder
  • Robert Johnson – August 16, 1938 – 27 – poisoned
  • Highest Death Toll From An Airplane Disaster – The worst ever air disaster took place on March 27, 1977, when two Boeing 747s, operated by Pan-Am and KLM, collided on the runway at Tenerife, Canary Islands, killing 583 people
  • 11/20/2003 – Istanbul explosions kill 27 and target British Consulate and HSBC Bank – These are the worst two attacks of their kind in the history of Turkey.
  • Teen idol Jonathan Brandis dies at 27 from an attempted suicide the day before.
  • Bob Hope died on July 27th at the age of 100
  • Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace, known as the world’s first computer programmer lived from December 10, 1815 – November 27, 1852.
  • Al Wilson of Canned Heat died at 27 from Suicide
  • Wallace Yohn from Chase died in an Airplane Crash at the age of 27
There is more about the mystery behind number 27 here http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message554535/pg1 
And last, but not least, we got to go to Costco, thanks to my future mother in law who agreed to take us! They have a pretty sweet deal on flowers, so that’s where my wedding flowers will be coming from (rather inexpensive, so if you are trying to save money, that’s one of the great ways to do so, I found it in one of my books!). Needless to say, we also got a whole bunch of food, which will last us a while, so I am all excited about that! I feel like it’s been an extremely productive day, and I am even more excited for tomorrow.

 

Winning

Have you ever won? A lottery? Won in a game? Won anything? I have recently won a YouTube giveaway, and this was the most perfect giveaway for me, which included both purses and jewelry! The package came today, and since I am not there, Sam opened everything and showed me on Skype! He is the best fiance, really! I am not going to post pictures of what I won, well except for one thing, this Ted Baker purse in purple!

You can see the rest of my goodies here

http://www.youtube.com/user/thefashioncitizen#p/u/15/ys_fanzBIQM

Also please support the girls if you are into DIY and fashion! Subscribe to their channel! Thank you Stephanie and Melissa!

It’s the Most Unluckiest Day of the Year

And sometimes, there are more than one Friday the 13th in a year, but we are going to put all superstitions aside, especially me, because there are 3 black cats living in the basement of our apartment building, and can be usually seen laying in the sun right outside it. But today is an unlucky day even for them! Because it’s raining on and off, and no cat is going to want to lay on some wet grass!

I am not superstitious, and the only thing that scares me on Friday the 13th, is the movie, which I have never seen! Thus, today is just a regular Friday, and quiet a relaxing one, because I am only teaching one ESL lesson (vs. the 5 I had yesterday, that’s a real treat!)

Though being the teacher that I am (I really don’t know if you can call me that, but I try my best, with an occasional tweet on how annoying some of the students are), I looked into some interesting facts about Friday 13th.

But History first:

Some people (I can’t really call them scientists, because studying Friday 13th is NOT a science) believe that you can track the origins of this holiday as far back as 1700 BC!!!! But wait, it’s not just the number, it’s also the FRIDAY! Remember Chaucer, the one who wrote Canterbury Tales? I can proudly say that I do, because I studied this particular work of his in High School! Anyways, Friday has been believed to be an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects since 1400! Then there is Black Friday, which has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. Now Black Friday is actually one lucky Friday for all crazy shoppers out there, like me!

I also cam across this interesting Norse legend, which explains the origins of Friday 13th.

“Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil — a gathering of thirteen — and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches’ Sabbath.”

Some people even mention Jesus’ death, since he died on Friday, and there were 13 people at the Last Supper. As if there is a connection here, but I am just saying!

But my favorite Friday 13th related story is this:

Thirteen is so unlucky, in fact, that in 1881 an organization called the Thirteen Club attempted to improve the number’s reputation. At the first meeting, the members (all 13 of them) walked under ladders to enter a room covered with spilled salt. The club lasted for many years and grew to more than 400 members, including five U.S. Presidents: Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

The most common Friday 13th superstitions are:

  • Don’t walk under a ladder
  • Don’t let a black cat cross your path
  • If you break a mirror, you’ll have seven years bad luck (in Russia you are also not supposed to sit at the corner of the dinner table, because if you do, you won’t get married for 7 years!)
  • Don’t open an umbrella indoors
  • Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back
  • It’s bad luck to sing or sleep at the table
  • A bird that comes in through a window is bad luck
  • Don’t refuse a kiss under mistletoe
  • Don’t chase someone with a broom (Use a frying pan instead!)
  • Don’t drop a dishcloth
  • Only get out of bed on the same side that you got in bed
  • Don’t rock an empty rocking chair
  • Don’t wear an opal unless it’s your birthstone
  • Don’t smell dandelions, otherwise you’ll wet the bed (FYI, dandelions don’t smell! Those weeds!)
  • Don’t give someone a wallet without money in it
Some less common superstitions, related with number 13:
  • Airports skip Gate 13
  • Hospitals and hotels skip room 13
  • Apartment buildings skip 13th floor
  • Some cities skip 13th street
  • There is no aisle 13 on the plane
  • In Italy 13 isn’t in the National lottery (You must take it really seriously there!)
Some more interesting facts:
  • Certain ocean liners will be held in dock until after midnight to appease passenger’s fears on Friday the 13th.
  • British study concluded that even though there were less cars on the road on Friday the 13th (as compared with other Fridays) more accidents were reported.
  • On the USA Dollar Bill, there are 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 bars on the shield, and 13 leaves on the olive branch.
  • Apollo 13, 1970, the 13th mission launched from pad #39 (13 x 3), mission was aborted, after an explosion occurred in the fuel cell of their service module. The rocket had left launcing pad at 13:13 CST and the date was April 13th.
  • On Friday the 13th, 1979, a black cat crossed the path of Houston football player Tony Frisch and was accidentally kicked 67 yards for a world record
  • On Friday the 13th in 1962 a Colorado couple, while watching Channel 13 in the honeymoon suite of a Las Vegas motel, were crushed to death by a falling mirror.
  • On Friday the 13th in 1957 a duck hunter, wearing a rabbit’s foot around his neck while hunting near 12-Gauge, Texas, was kicked to death by a giant 3-legged jack rabbit.
  • On Friday the 13th in 1966 a Detroit sociologist, who had just demonstrated his lack of fear by walking under 13 ladders and throwing a black cat through a mirror, was run over by a limousine driven by blind soul singer.

Please follow these important guidelines today!

  • Never trust a rabbit that tries to sell you his foot.
  • 4-leaf clovers are lucky today — but not if you smoke them.
  • Wearing garlic around your neck today will ward off evil spirits. It will also ward off good spirits, indifferent spirits, and any other spirits with noses.
  • A rabbit’s foot is not lucky. If you don’t believe me, ask the rabbit.
  • Wearing a lucky penny between your toes means good luck and blisters.
  • For good luck, hang a horseshoe over your front door. For really good luck, hang the entire horse over your front door.
by Joe Hickman
I respect the copyright, you know 🙂
Now urban legend or not, I just wanted to share these with you. So far, the worst thing that happened to me on Friday 13th was the fact that our hot water is off for 2 weeks, and I had to “shower” from a tub! So yeah!


Memories of September, 11

I really didn’t want to make any comments on the events that took place last night. But then I remembered that short story I’ve written, moved by the atmosphere in NYC on September, 11, 2009 and decided to share it with you. It was the last short story that I’ve written. Some of it is in Russian, but most of it is in English. Enjoy (if that word is appropriate here)

“Ветер завывает по улицам Upper West Side. Сегодня 11 сентября в Нью-Йорке…
On my way home from dropping Jacob off at the school bus on 86th street, it starts raining.
I come home, started doing the usual routine – picking up the books after the kids… etc…
Приходит Майкл и говорит, что сегодня 11 сентября…
Я думала об этом прошлой ночью…
Ветер завывает за окнами нашей квартиры на 82ой.
He went there with Renata 5 days before the attack. He said you could feel the building shaking when it was windy. He pulled out a visitor pass from 8 years ago… September 6 2001.
There are volunteers reading the list of names of all who died that day in NYC… The president is at Pentagon… The rain is falling hard on his custom made suit… God bless America… Мне хочется плакать…
It is almost like the souls of the dead are walking the streets today… Leave the streets to them… It is their city…
Люблю…”