{27 Dresses} Dress 7: Checking Out Some Books

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I will be honest with you, library is one of my favorite places to go to! It’s relaxing and inspiring for me at the same time! So I don’t think I am going to surprise you if I tell you that I dress up to go to the library! Well I dress up to go almost anywhere, even work 😉 and that’s how this project started!

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All the books are safely tucked into the Zabar’s bag that I’ve had since my New York days. And if you are interested in what I am reading now, here is my list:

Paulo Coelho – Manuscript Found in Accra

Paulo Coelho – The Winner Stands Alone

Gary Shteyngart – Super Sad True Love Story

Victor Pelevin – T

I am also reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

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Have a great day everyone!

Xo,

Z

По-русски: Все уже, наверное, знают, что я обожаю библиотеку и хожу туда как на праздник! Ну и не удивительно, что я специально нарядилась для подобного случая. Я могу провести в библиотеке весь день, я так релаксирую и расслабляюсь, ну и нахожу своеобразный источник вдохновения. Если вам интересно, что я читаю, то вот список:

Пауло Коэльо – Манускрипт, найденный в Акко

Пауло Коэльо – Победитель остается один

Виктор Пелевин – Т

Гари Штейнгарт – Super Sad True Love Story

И на моем Nook я читаю “Игра Эндера”

Читали ли вы что-то из вышеперечисленного? Мне будет очень интересно ваше мнение!

Женя

 

2013 Resolutions / Новогодние Решения

Happy New Year!

Vintage-New-Years-Postcards
We survived 2012! Can you believe it? With all the crazy Mayan predictions, elections, wars, floods, The New iPad, iPad Mini…

Back when I was in 10th grade I made a list of resolutions that included something like “Getting no C’s on my report card”, “Reading more books”, “Going to the US”… I clearly new what I wanted even in my teens, and I was so compelled by the whole “Resolutions” concept, that I decided to sign it with blood! Thank God I didn’t get an infection, but I am sure the list itself is buried somewhere in the depths of my closet in Russia! And that small blood stain is probably still on it! Gross, I know!

Now with mushroom soup cooking on the stove, I thought it would be appropriate to share my resolutions with you! And even though those are blog related, they can always be translated into everyday life.

1. Stay Focused: It’s so easy to get distracted nowadays, and the biggest distractions on my list are my phone and social media. I am going to try and limit myself from using those. I even get distracted when I blog. I can be half-way through a post, then get side tracked by Twitter, then check my stats on my Facebook page, and well what do you know, it’s been an hour, and the original post isn’t finished yet!

2. Quality over quantity: Over the past couple of years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve been trying to be a part of “Post a Day” that WordPress challenges it’s writers to do. Well, I think I am done with that now! I’d rather give you one or two great posts a week, with good quality pictures and descriptions, than post 7 times a week about some nonsense that no one is interested in, including myself!

3. Give more: This year I want to share and give. Giving chances, giving gifts, giving a hand… I have been thinking about how blessed I am a lot lately. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, and I, by no means, want to jinx it, but I have a lot, and the more I have, the more I want to give. That will include more giveaways for you, more opportunities for you, just more for everyone else, who is not me!

4. Be Bilingual: I really want to work on making this blog a place where you can come and learn something new in Russian, or in English, or something new in general. I got to put all that Russian I know to good use! And maybe it won’t be a word for word translation, it will be something! Something bigger and better for the blog I hope!

And there you have it! Happy New Year! What resolutions are you making this year?

Cheers!

Z

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С Новым Годом! 

Мы выжили 2012 год! Даже не верится! Со всеми этими предсказаниями Майя, выборами, войнами, потопами, Новым iPad, iPad Mini…

Когда я училась в 10 классе, я составила список “Резолюций” в который входило следующее: Закончит 10 класс без Троек, Читать больше книг, Поехать в США… В общем даже в свои 15 лет я знала, чего хочу! И из-за такого большого ажиатажа и торжественности всех этих обещаний я решила, что подписать этот список нужно именно кровью! Слава Богу я не заработала себе никакого заражения! Ну и я уверенна, что этот список до сих пор валяется в глубинах моего шкафа, где-то в России! Ну и кровавое пятно скорее всего еще на нем! Фу! Гадость!

Ну а теперь, пока готовится на плите грибной суп, я подумала, почему бы не поделиться с вами моими резолюциями на этот год! И не смотря на то, что большинство из них касаются этого блога, мы всегда сможем перенести некотрые из них на нашу личную жизнь.

  1. Не отвлекайся: В сегодняшнем мире очень легко сбиться с курса, и больше всего меня сбивают мой телефон и социальные сети. Я постараюсь ограничить их использование. Я отвлекаюсь даже когда пишу в этот блог. Могу написать половину поста, вдруг отвлечься на Твиттер, потом решу проверить статус своей страницы на Фэйсбуке, и О,нет! прошел уже час, а пост так и не дописан!
  2. Качество, а  не количество: За последние пару лет, что я пишу блог на этой платформе, я старалась писать 1 пост в день! У WordPress есть такое понятие как “Один пост в день”, это что-то типа тэга и многие этим увлекаются. Я поняла, что пора с этим завязывать! Лучше я напишу 1-2 хороших поста в неделю, с отличными фотографиями и описанием, чем буду писать о всякой ерунде, о которой никто не захочет читать!
  3. Отдавать: В этом году я хочу делиться и отдавать. Давать шансы, дарить подарки, помогать. В последнее время я все чаще думаю о том, какая чудесная у меня жизнь. Не знаю чем я это заслужила, и не хочу ничего сглазить, но у меня есть очень многое, и чем больше я получаю, тем больше хочу отдавать! Это подразумевает больше конкурсов для вас, больше возможностей, просто больше для других, а не для себя!
  4. На двух языках: Я хочу, чтобы этот блог стал маленьким кусочком Интернета, куда вы можете обратиться, чтобы узнать/выучить что-то новое по-русски или по-английски.Не зря же я знаю русский язык! И скорее всего посты не будут слово в слово одинаковыми на двух языках, лучше так, чем никак вообще! Это будет что-то большее и лучшее для моего блога!

 

Ну вот и все! Поздравляю всех еще раз с 2013 годом! Какие резолюции сделали вы?

 

Ж

The Most Useless Russian Phrases

This is a tribute to all of you out there, learning Russian! Please don’t take it seriously!

The most useless Russian phrases:

1. “Да, есть у меня одежда. Yes, I have clothes.” As taught by a professor of Russian at UMD. Word order is also his, not mine. But seriously, who needs to know if you have clothes or not? As long as you are wearing something while talking to a Russian – you are in the clear.

2. “Пусть умрет. Let him/her die.” One of my friends said that last night. Let me assure you, the Russian Ambulance won’t let you die, even if you don’t have insurance, they will give you a shot. And I hope you won’t be using this phrase to leave someone dying in the street!

3. “Я люблю Россию. I love Russia.” Even Russians don’t say that, unless they are drunk! Hopefully you won’t be getting drunk in Russia, or anywhere for that matter. You should learn how to say “I love you” though, just in case you are dating a Russian-speaker. That phrase, said with an accent, will always melt the heart.

4. “Как пройти…? How do I get to…?” If you are just learning Russian, and memorize this question, and God forbid you have to use it, you will probably not understand the directions given to you. So leave this one out too.

5. “Сколько лет, сколько зим. It’s been ages since I saw you.” Just drop all these Russian sayings altogether. Russians don’t talk like that, unless they are linguists or Russian language teachers.

Now for laughs and giggles, I found this website, that has all these phrases that can be used when you are using an international online dating service. These are some damn good phrases that Russian men need to learn to keep their women in the country. But as you can see the only people learning them are foreigners, and well, hopefully they really mean it, when they use them.

http://www.dating-world.net/Russian%20phrases.htm

 

Top 5 Russian Cartoons with English Subtitles Worth Watching

Having Lived in NYC, I have often come across bilingual families. I have worked for two out of many, and came to a conclusion, that it is extremely hard for the Russian speaking parent or parents to teach their child to speak Russian (or any other language it may be). One of my friends who is in such a situation (she is Russian, her husband is American) has recently shared this story:

I went to a Russian grocery store in Soap Lake today (That’s in Washington by the way). When we came out of the store Annika (her 5 year old) sighed with relief and said, “Now that we are outta here I can speak English again?” And when someone asked: “Doesn’t she like speaking Russian?” My friend replied: “Unfortunately, she speaks it less and less. I continue speaking in Russian and they (she has another child – a younger boy, probably around 3) understand everything, but they choose to answer in English. Now I am not saying that these cartoons will help your child speak fluent Russian, and make him/her WANT to speak it. But they are a fun pass time (even though there are a lot of parents out there who don’t let their children watch TV, I grew up watching Spokoinyi Nochi, Malyshi/Good Night, Kids every night, and a cartoon in the AM before I left for pre-school and grew up normal! Also get your husband or wife involved too, especially if they aren’t native Russian-speakers. It will definitely help the child see that both parents are into spending time with him/her, even if one of them doesn’t fully understand what exactly is going on.

I also think that this Top 5 will be helpful for Russian Language Learners, because cartoon language is simpler, the characters often speak slower. There was a blog post that I have recently come across that explains one of the cartoons I have chosen to be in my Top 5, which explains Rusism (Russian language peculiarities) that you can check out, the post is called “I Want to Live in Prostokvashino”

http://www.transparent.com/russian/i-want-to-live-in-prostokvashino/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=languageblog&utm_content=russian

Top 5 Russian Cartoons to Watch (on YouTube with English Subtitles)

1. Three from Prostokvashino (Troe is Prostokvashino).

A funny cartoon about a boy named Dyadya Fyodor, who meets a talking cat Matroskin, with a very philosophical view on life, and later moves to a village house where they also meet a talking dog Sharik. The population of the village moved into a new apartment building across the lake, so there were a lot of empty houses. The boy and his new friends have quickly chosen one to occupy, and so the adventures begin. There is a sequel to this cartoon, called Zima v Prostokvashino/Winter in Prostokvashino (unfortunately this one doesn’t have the subtitles, or maybe I didn’t look hard enough! And the third part of the “Saga” is called Vacation in Prostokvashino/Kanikyly v Prostokvashino (I will be posting a link to that! These cartoons are based on a book by Eduard Uspenskii, called “Uncle Fyodor, the Dog, and the Cat”

2. Vinny Puh/Winnie-the-Pooh. Now to all of you used to a yellow Winnie-the-Pooh, please! Bears are brown! Take your child to the Zoo, show them the bear, and then the cartoon. Then show them the American cartoon. Your child will tell you that Bears can’t be yellow! The Russian Winnie-the-Pooh has 3 episodes, and he speaks with a voice of a famous Soviet actor – Evgenii Leonov

Now when you watch this video, make sure you open the description, because there are no subtitles on the screen, which got me a little confused at first. But as the narrator and characters speak, the phrases are automatically shown in bold! Pretty neat, don’t you think?

This next video is called Winnie-the-Pooh goes visiting, I personally would’ve called it something like “Winnie-the-Pooh Pigs Out” taking into consideration that his best friend is a Pig, that’s a fun wordplay right there!

The last cartoon about Winnie (that’s what he goes by here in Russia) is called “Winnie-the-Pooh’s Busy Day”

3. My next pick is a cartoon about Karlson. It’s based on the book by Astrid Lindgren (a Swedish author, whose books are extremely popular in Russia). Karlson is a funny looking little man, who has a propeller attached to his back, with a button to turn it on in the front. He must have been a victim of some evil experiment, and got combined with a fan, but we’ll never know for sure. He has a little house on the roof, and has an EXTREMELY sweet tooth! This is where his resemblance with Winnie-the-Pooh comes in! The first cartoon is called Junior and Karlson (again the translation I wouldn’t go with, why not call it Karlson and Kid, then you can have the K&K going on, but oh well) and here is the video

There is another episode called “Karlson Returns” (Just like the Terminator said – I will be back, so will Karlson!) But unfortunately the video with the english subtitles is up no more, sorry my dear readers 🙁

4. The Bremen Musicians/Bremenskie Mysikanty. My personal childhood favorite. I used to have a record with the story (we call it Audio-Books now and they come on CDs) and loved listening to it. I think if I hear it again once, I will be able to tell it to you by heart! Oh the wonders of the human memory. This story is based on a fairy tale by Brothers Grimm. The video again doesn’t have subtitles, so you will have to click on the transcript underneath!

5. My last choice goes to a cartoon based on the Ukrainian Folk Tale called “There Once was a Dog”/Jil-Byl Pyos.

Make sure to also check out Smeshariki, my new favorite. I used to watch episode after episode, and could never get enough! There is an English version of Smeshariki, called Gogoriki, but I believe the creators wanted to make a separate English version, which I think wasn’t that successful. There are no English subtitles, that’s why it didn’t make the cut!

And of course there are the Russian fairytales! This link is for Alenkyi Tsvetochek/Red Flower – the analog of Beauty and the Beast. Again no English subtitles, but the animation is so unique and painting like, it will capture your attention! I strongly believe that Disney has nothing as good as this! A great “picture book” of Russian Medieval Life!

Russian Movies Worth Watching

My dear friend Brianna has recently visited Russia. One of the destinations was St. Petersburg, the place she has never visited before. And of course I wanted to hear all about it. Russian museum was something she was fascinated by the most. We all know that The Hermitage, like Louvre, like The Met (It’s about time we Met – will always be one of my favorite advertising slogans of all times. And the classy Upper East Siders who give you their buttons upon exiting the museum, so that you can go in for free, even though it’s donations only) contain art collections from all over the world. But the Russian Museum is all about Russian art. So Bri had no idea what to expect. I went to the Russian Museum 6 years ago, and the painting that impressed me the most was “Sadko” by Repin.

The painting is based on the famous Russian epic folk tale, which you can read if you follow this link!

http://www.artrusse.ca/byliny/sadko.htm (all in English too, for those of you lovers of Russian art and culture!) Now imagine my surprise when Brianna said that this was her favorite painting too. I told her that there was also a movie made back in the day, and that it can be found on YouTube with English subtitles. So after this happened I decided to do some research on what movies are available for those of you interested in learning more about Russian culture (Russian and Soviet both) and the language as well.

Here is my top 5 Russian Movies Worth Watching (with links):

1. Sadko – gives a good idea about Ancient Russia – architecture, entertainment culture, clothing, music, singing, dancing! If you love fairytales this will also be a good alternative toThe Little Mermaid.

2. Mission “Y” and other adventures of Shurik/Operaciya “Y” ili drygie Priklucheniya Shurika – a great movie that includes 3 episodes from the life of a Student of a Polytechnical University and all the shenanigans he gets himself into. Needless to say it has some of the best Soviet actors and depicts USSR of the 60s!

3.  The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Bath (The translation on the original CD)/ Ironiya Syd’by ili s Legkim parom – This is not a movie anymore, it is a New Year’s tradition here in Russia. The story of one man’s New Year mishaps has made it into everyone’s home, and even a modern sequel, with both old and new actors. The movie makes fun of the ordinary (lifestyle, similarity, lack of options and choices in the 80’s, from wallpaper, to the apartment building design, and even names of the streets) , tells us a love story, and also warns the young ones that you will end up on the plane to a different city if you keep drinking vodka like the Russians.

4. Office Romance/Slyjebnyi Roman – a love story between a clerk and his man-like female boss, who undergoes a makeover at one point. The boss’s secretary is a die hard 70’s fashionista, who will do anything to get a rare pair of new suede boots! Made in the late 70’s this love comedy will definitely become one of your favorites!

5. Now last but not the least is The Master and Margarita – based on the famous novel by Bulgakov. Shows Russia and Russian life of the 1920’s, and tells the unbelievable, mystical, weird love story that has captured the hearts of many.

Now, I hope you all realize that these movies are broken down into several YouTube episodes, so make sure you click on the right ones after watching the first one! Good luck to you all in your journey to learning more about Russia!

PS. I will definitely write a post about cartoons, because this world is yet to come up with something as good as Russian Cartoons!