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

 

Vintage Jewelry

As I was organizing my jewelry box today, I found some pieces I wanted to share with you. All of them are vintage, some I got from my grandma, some I thrifted back when I lived on the UWS. Enjoy!

I wore this with my DIY Gap shirt, you can check out a post from March, 8,2011, to see how this looks on a person!

These are the pins I added to my collection.

These are from a thrift store on 83rd and Columbus!

My Top 5 Favorite Songs from the Broadway Musicals

If you love the musicals, or just getting introduced to them, these are the best songs from some of the best Broadway Musicals that are out there. Note: In my opinion!

1. America, from West Side Story.

2. Defying Gravity, from Wicked. It has my favorite Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel who were on Glee, and Kristin Chenoweth was also on Pushing Daisies! Fab women!!! (For some reason the video won’t attach to the post like the other ones, so here is the link!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g4ekwTd6Ig

3. Don’t Stop Believing, from Rock of Ages. MICHIGAN!

4. Everybody’s a Little Racist, from Avenue Q. You know it’s true!

5. Who Loves You, from Jersey Boys. Because just like that pink bunny from TV we gotta keep going!

My Gap/DIY Shirt Part 2

I just wanted to post a picture of this shirt in an outfit! The necklace is vintage, belonged to my grandmother. The before of the white shirt can be found here

http://beingzhenya.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/diy-white-gap-t-shirt-makeover/

Gap shirt, and the grey cardi were both freecycled. The jeans (Armani Exchange)  I am wearing underneath cost me $1 at a garage sale in Murray Hill, NYC!

Mom’s Crafty Side

My mom is a civil engineer, turned kindergarden teacher, after the birth of twins (my half brothers). Long story short, she went to work there, in order to get a discount for the boys, and to actually get them into a kindergarden! (You have to be wait listed in Russia while you are still pregnant).

And since International Women’s Day have always associated with Mother’s Day for me, this post is a tribute to my mom.

Her lates hobby is quilling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilling. And these are her latest works!

This is how the pansies were made:

And this is a vase that she made recently, she keeps saying it’s a little uneven, but looks good to me!

If you want to see more of mom’s works, here is a link to her profile on one of the Russian web sites http://stranamasterov.ru/blog/35499/teaser. Enjoy!

 

Old-school International Women’s Day Cards

As I was browsing on the web, I found these old cards from back in the day. I think if I look around my grandparents house, I will be able to find some real ones. But I felt like sharing these with you today!

HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY TO ALL WONDERFUL LADIES ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!!

Mimosas for International Women’s Day

Tomorrow is another day off in Russia. International Women’s Day, the history of which goes back to early 1900.

Back in USSR the traditional gift for women was an acacia flower, also known as a mimosa.

It’s also mentioned in Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita. When Master first meets Margarita she is holding mimosas, an ugly, disturbing flower, as they were described by the main character.

But I want to talk about a different kind of mimosas – the ones you can drink! It’s a holiday after all!

3/4 cup champagne and 1/4 cup your favorite OJ and viola! Don’t forget to decorate! I am having these at my house tomorrow night!

Strangers No More

Out of all Oscar nominated movies, one stood out to me the most. One about Strangers, that were no more. In Israel, there is a school, called Bialik-Rogozin, where students come from no more, nor less, but 48 different countries. It’s a place that welcomes the oppressed, the poor, victims of genocide and political persecution. The only requirement – you need to come with an OPEN HEART! This is the school where “No child left behind” comes to life, because “No child is a stranger”! This school is for Jews, Christians, Muslims, it’s for everyone, as long as you are willing, as long as you are ready, and as long as you want to learn and make an effort.

During my years as a nanny in NYC, I have once put a child on the wrong school bus. Nothing happened, the kid is still alive and kicking, and driving some other nanny insane. And think of it “For most children getting to school is as simple as going around the block” or getting on a school bus, or in a car, and being driven there. “But for others it’s a dangerous journey across hostile borders”.

The documentary “Strangers No More” produced and directed by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon tells a story of the only school in Israel that opens its’ doors to students like that, but more than that, it tells the stories of 3 students, form different places, who wanted to learn in spite of the fact that they had no prior education. As we watch them speak we notice colorful handprints in the background. Those colorful hands are going to create their lives from now on, and when they grow up and look back at what they had to go through, those hands and the people they belonged to is what they will remember.

The three students that opened up their hearts, allowed to share the story, made actual friends with the producers are Mohammed, a teenager from Darfur. This young man never went to school, but here in Bialik-Rogozin School, he was able to finish 4 years of school in just 1! Of course he had difficulties with homework and self-discipline at first, but look at him now! He has a great future ahead of him!

Then there is Johannes from Eritrea. Turned out Johannes was practically blind on one eye, but with the new glasses his teachers got him, he is now able to actively participate in the school process.

The saddest story is the story of Esther, a 9 year old, whose mother was murdered. “Your mom is like your best friend” imagine what happens when she is taken away from you. My relationship with my mom has never been a walk in the park, but as we all know difficulties bring people closer together, so we’ve been working on our relationship over the past couple of weeks. So what do you do when you see your mom killed in front of your eyes and it’s no movie? I have no answer to that. But Esther’s teachers do. They got her to open up, and she is able to receive help now. I always thought South Africa was more peaceful than that.

The beginning of the journey is different for everyone (shyness, being lost, feeling different), but the outcome is somewhat similar – it’s education, it’s acceptance, it’s the realization that there should be no boundaries, no stereotypes, no violence.

Watch the 87 minutes of this documentary, hear the children speak in their native language and in English, meet the teachers! It’s worth it.

PS. My personal interest in this film is the following – I lived with a Jewish family for a year, celebrated Shabbat, Sukkoth, Rosh Hashanah, Pesach, cooked meals the kosher way, ate the kosher way, went to a Brisk! And I am proud of it, I am thankful for the experience I was able to have, to feel included into the culture, into the tradition. Not everyone gets this opportunity! And not everyone understands the importance of it. I hope you will after watching the documentary!

What to Do When You are Having a Shitty Day?

1. Yell at someone or something (preferably something)!

2. Put on some make-up and nice clothes, go out, look like a million bucks – In Your Face, suckers!

3. Listen to some music, preferably on loud, now the neighbors won’t turn on their TV at 7 am!

4. Throw something away! Always works for me! Especially when that something belonged to my grandfather (He is the reason why I am having a shitty day! He can go stick his KGB past way up his ass!)

5. Watch Season 5 of Sex and the City, the least heartbreaking and emotional of all!

6. Eat some chocolate! Chocolate is a good mood enhancer. Maybe it will even make you hyper enough to do #4!

7. Know your worth! If you are having a shitty day because you screwed up yourself, sorry, no can do, can’t help you. But if you are blameless, and it’s not your fault, remember, that what you did is for the good of humanity, or your personal good (you are a human too!). Always stand up for yourself! And act classy! Remember there is always Cyanide! Cyanide and Happiness, I mean : )

http://explosm.net/comics/2345/

DIY White Gap T-shirt Makeover

You know what is the best thing to do when you are bored? Nothing! But I felt like being more productive. So I gave my white Gap T a makeover!

The before

The materials/tools

The after

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