Sunday, February 28, 2010

Awesome Russian Video

This video is beyond explanation. The title loosely translates as, "I'm very happy you see, finally I'm returning home."

I thought this was the title of the song. Perhaps it is. This gentleman was not informed though. Unless this is just some sort of interpretive piece. I have a theory that he is gesturing at an "Iron Curtain" with love. Also that he may be under the influence of some of that psychic science they were working on over there.

Why bother talking about this. Watch the video. Your life will instantly improve.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I live on a trafficked enough street. This morning I walked to the kitchen to indulge in a weakness and realized my purified water was in the car. Ask Alton Brown, if you love your coffee, you won't taint it with your tap water. I'm in my robe. But I figure, if the thing you are going for in your robe, is something necessary to start your morning, you shouldn't be required to get dressed. Maybe I worry too much. People in the 50's were always out in the lawn in their robe. But it seems now, or I just get the feeling, that someone would find it offensive. My drab, ill shaped, bleach-spotted robe. But like I said, I was going for something needed for my morning ritual.

When I stepped out on the stoop, I smelled, what was it, Life? I smelled life. Before I can see spring, I can smell it. And my friends, it is on the horizon, so close.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Water Pod

I would like to design a Snuggie that holds water.

Who can afford a jacuzzi or their own pool? Who doesn't want a personal hot tub? A bathtub loses its temperature so quickly. Right as you start to slip into a consciousness not experienced since you were in utero, the temperature starts to drop. The time spent on filling the bathtub with hot water is roughly twice the amount of time you get to enjoy it. A shower holds its temperature, but how relaxed can you be while standing? I've been tempted to sit in a shower, but I know what comes off my feet in the shower, and I don't feel like sharing that with my butt.

Sometimes on a hot day, I'll go to wash my hands and find myself closing my eyes and pretending I'm in a cool, placid lake...until my fingers start to wrinkle.

So let's make a personal water pod. It would probably resemble more of a sack than an actual snuggie. It would have a temperature control. Just imagine sitting down to watch Drag Race in your own personal hot tub. Or maybe its hot outside, and you'd like to cool down, but who wants to drag their whale carcass to the public pool to splash around in children's urine? Just jump in your water pod!

If you've got some connections to get this thing going, let me know. In the meantime, I'm gonna go have a shower.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A dive into a bus.

Someone asked me recently, why, if I was so depressed there, would I want to go back to Russia.

I think he was referring to my stating that I would have never made it through that time without my mp3 player. We had been watching Long Way Round, and I had commented that I don't know how they could have survived such an undertaking without music.

I explained to him, it wasn't a matter of depression. It was a matter of surviving in a new culture I was having difficulty coping with. A culture of seemingly complete disregard for your neighbor. (I say "seemingly", because I don't feel I spent enough time there to make a blanket statement.) By biggest tribulation, through my entire time in Russia, was transportation.

Transportation itself fascinates me. I love to take local transportation everywhere I go, every form of it. I like cars, buses, trains, boats...camels, get the idea. I like learning the proper etiquette for hailing a taxi or a bus. Or for haggling for a ride on a back of a moped or a hitch-hike in foreign SUV.

I detest transportation in Russia. First of all, in a new land, you rely on the kindness of strangers to get yourself on the right bus. Don't expect to find any of that in this land. I can remember every single incident of a transportation worker being nice to me in the six months I was there. Even if I forgot a few, I would still have about 5 experiences of niceness. I think I've mentioned that some of us joked about making awards to give out to people being nice. It wouldn't have cost much.

So you have the issue of zero information, and zero help finding this information. Let's say though, you know the bus you want to get on and where to find this bus. You know what, let me just describe my daily routine:

In the dark, inevitably in the wet, I trudged to the bus stop. There is a crowd of people, but not too overwhelming. Until the bus comes. And then it seems that people come out of nowhere, climbing out of the sewer, materializing out of some sort of Soviet portal whose technology died with Stalin. It's unbelievable. And you'd be surprised, how many little old ladies are desperate to get somewhere at 7am. I tried to be civilized. I tried to wait in line. Who wants to start the morning off punching an old lady? Let me tell you what being civilized got me - waiting and missing the next 3 buses. In the event that I got on one of the smaller buses, after pushing my way onto one, I then had to hunch over at the waist, as it was really just a mini-van, and stand like that for the next 40 minutes. Or perhaps punch someone else for a seat. From this hunched position, I now became part of the money passing. Bus fares are passed up from the back and tickets and change returned (unless you are in Ukraine, where you pay when you get off the bus, hey Russia, how bout that?). While unconcerned for the welfare of their neighbor, excuse me, seemingly unconcerned, they seem terribly concerned for people trying to cheat the system. No one doesn't pay. I watched. I got by with it on the big buses, but not on a mini-bus. In the midst of this crush of wet, irritable people, you have to yell up to the driver where you want to get off. I of course prayed someone else would need the same stop and do it first. Otherwise, I risk sounding like an idiot and yelling something like, "Fish Fry on a See-Saw Please!"

So I needed my mp3 player, and I dare say, don't forget yours if you choose to venture to the Great White Planet.