soundandvision
14 November 2010 @ 03:52 pm
 
  • Last night I had a really eccentric dream about a baseball amusement park where you could meet the Giants when you got off the ride and everything was in French. And hockey players were involved because of course they were. 
  • I am at the part of the semester where I simultaneously have nothing and everything under control because of the amount of papers and books I am trying to finish for many different projects. So I am constantly waffling through moments of strutting "we bad" moments and moments of pure abject terror. 
  • I got a new flickr account (Here!) and have been slowly uploading my pictures onto it. There are pictures of various sporting events, but right now there are mainly pictures of Russia, as well as various other vacations I have gone on, and random other stuff I found on my external hard drive. 
  • Starting winter break I need to: 1. start looking/sign up for French language programs, 2.find a job where I can work while I write my thesis, 3. start my PhD planning. 
  • My SF Giants world series gear is a city away from me (I have been tracking my order since it shipped) and it's Sunday so I have to wait until tomorrow or Tuesday for it >:| Bitches. 
  • I need to work on an exact plan for my vacation and get a bus ticket from DC to NYC for this winter and I need to start exercising again.
FML I am so busy
 
 
Current Music: Hockey: Capitals vs Thrashers. Go Caps!
 
 
soundandvision
26 August 2010 @ 10:02 pm
I have over 600 pictures to edit because Russia was so easy to capture on film. This may take a while (especially since I am sick and about to start school), but here is one picture from my trip.

 
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soundandvision
 My trip to Russia is officially over. After finally landing in Philly and then heading to [livejournal.com profile] marienne_made 's house, we FINALLY passed out after being awake for more than a full day (discounting random short naps taken in a plane to philly and in a car). The next day we were both feeling better than we expected so we took the metro to the Mall and headed to the Air and Space and Natural History Museums. After the glory that was the Moscow metro we were both unimpressed by this metro ride. 

Air and Space was better on the space end of things than the air end of things, but I HAVE to go back to the Natural History Museum and explore the gemstone and mineral collection. UNF. After that we headed home, ate nachos, and watched men with brooms but by far the best thing about the evening was when it hit about 9 and I could take nyquil and pass out (I had taken other cold meds earlier and had to wait. It was tragic). 

Then yesterday we ate lunch at the Eastern European restaurant "Cafe Assorti" in Arlington, since obviously we didn't get enough in Russia. Obviously. It was fantastic and I'll be bossing her back there when I return in December for hockey shenans. After I ate I had to go to the airport and rearrange my suitcase contents in front of the airplane, switch airplanes and then finally got home. Where there was nothing to eat other than a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich. FML. 

Now it's soccer times!
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Current Music: UEFA Champions League
 
 
soundandvision
23 August 2010 @ 05:45 pm
 
 Back in the USSR. Sleep times are too far away. Non mi piace. >:|

Fucking Philly. Killing me, then the Giants, then me again. FUCK YOU IN THE MOUTH. 
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Current Location: NYC, NY.
Current Music: Jay-Z "Empire State of Mind)
 
 
soundandvision
23 August 2010 @ 12:29 am
  Today we woke up at ass o'clock (noticing a pattern? Tomorrow we have to wake up at ass o'clock as well) to do a tour of the Kremlin (MOAR CHURCHES). The Kremlin was nice (the guards entertain me to no end. Failure, Danielle) and I took pictures of trees and skylines instead of magnificent giant useless bells and canons. Let me sum up most of the history of Moscow that we have heard about the city so far "well it was like this, but then Napoleon burned it down so now it's like this." Napoleon was so pimp: Go to Moscow, burn it down, leave.

After that we roamed a bit around red square before grabbing a pepsi (it's like crack. I love it so much) and taking the metro back to the boat for lunch. When we got off the metro, it was pouring ass rain then the boat was re-docking so we huddled under and arch until the boat stopped and then went in and had lunch. Well. Attempted to have lunch. I was vaguely incoherent so I was flailing all over the place and mispronouncing everything so that was awesome.  

When we finished with dinner we headed out on a night tour of Moscow. It had rained earlier so the entire city was even more beautiful than it would have been normally. We headed to Red Square and other spots we had previously seen as well as a giant boat statue (dedicated to Peter the Great) that I had been infatuated with since we got to Moscow. There was random groups of bikers at a certain spot, which the tour guide was trying to avoid stopping at but people on the bus nagged her into ("They are going to kill me for this!"). The tour guide also went on a spiel about the local sports teams and arenas at one point too (probably because we rambled for two weeks about different sports depending on where we were). 

Now it is time to go to bed and tomorrow we have to say goodbye to Moscow and Russia. It will be very sad, but then we will be in DC and then I will be home. Maybe I'll be able to actually relax for the week before school starts. *fingers crossed*

до свидания, Россия
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Current Location: Moscow
Current Music: Saws
 
 
soundandvision
21 August 2010 @ 05:45 pm
 My knitwear obsession has gone batshit in Russia. No joke. When I get to scandanavia it's going to be even MORE BANANAS. WHAT IS MY LIFE EVEN?

We found out we were true facts sick so I slept in because I was not having it. Later in the day we landed in Moscow and then took a bus tour around the city (stopping at the highest spot in Moscow near the Olympics Sports complex, and Eastern Style toilets, to scar people for life) and eventually ended up in Red Square. Our tour guide eventually leaned over to us and was like "you guys can head off whenever you want." I think it's a mix of her knowing we are competent enough to get to the bus on time and that we are pretty set in regards to the general history of Russia. It was kind of bad ass. 

So we went to GUM, which is basically this mall in Red Square that doesn't make sense to me on a rational level but Em needed an ATM machine and we both needed the WC so we hit that up before wandering around Red Square and taking pictures. Then I found a building off in the distance that I HAD to take a picture of so we wandered to that before going and checking out some of the vendors and then Red Square again before heading back to the bus. 

We eventually made it to the Hall of Scientists (I think this was the name. IDK I'll check it later) to check out Russian Folkloric music. It was really really good. I was all around impressed with the cultural and musical presentations the cruise itinerary had set up for us. This was all around amazing to get to experience.   

Today we went off on our own in Moscow which included taking the metro to Red Square at ass o'clock in order to get to Lenin's tomb early enough to beat most of the lines. I almost totally peed my pants (I am not even kidding) but it was completely worth it to go see his mummified remains. They have it set up really nice as well with a line of graves for other well known Russians (Stalin, Brezhnev) and have it well monitored and policed, which isn't surprising given the previous vandalization attempts etc. 

After we hit the WC post-lenin's tomb we stopped at some street vendors so I could get my grandmother a Matryoshka doll. I had been looking for one for her but could not find one that really suited her, but today I found a pretty white one with blue flowers that will look really beautiful displayed with her blue glass collection so I bought it on the cheap. A++ Red Square. 

Next we headed out to North Eastern Moscow to hit up Cosmonaut Alley, the Monument to the Conquerers of Space and the newly renovated Cosmonautics museum. The majority of the placards/information cards were in Cyrillic/Russian but we can pretty much read it at this point and we have a good knowledge base of the Soviet Space program to be able to figure mostly everything out. It was well worth seeing if you are at all interested in the history of space or the space race or Soviet science or even shiny things. It was really well organized too, which is sadly high up on my list of "things I will like about a place." What even. 

After we got our fill of that museum we took the metro to the Dynamo stop in order to see the Dynamo soccer stadium and take pictures of the metro stop. MY LIFE IS SO AWESOME. Don't even front. 

We headed back to the ship after this to partake in some tea and moan the fact that dinner isn't until 7:30. FOL!! I like how my ipod fucks with me by doing things like going from a calm Radiohead-esque Swedish band to Missy Elliot to Everybody Have Fun Tonight to Swan Lake. Keep it classy, Pooky. 

Tomorrow we have a proper tour of the Kremlin in the afternoon and then a Moscow by night tour (boner city, population: me) and then the next day we leave Russia. It's going to be sad. I really really have loved it here. It's such an amazing place. 
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Current Music: Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake
 
 
soundandvision
19 August 2010 @ 11:34 pm
I was not feeling day seven of our trip. I woke up, rushed to breakfast, half fell asleep during a lecture and then went and took a nap before we headed out to Yaroslavl to wander around the city. 

After our bus tour dropped us off in the middle of the city we went to another church (of the Profit Elijah) and heard some beautiful singing before we were able to get away from the group and do our own thing around the city (which included finding a random world war two memorial statue in random park. Then we went to an art museum that had spectacular work by a local artist (Goryachev), before we headed to an embankment where there were a lot of rollerblading shenans not involving us. Just a man in short shorts skating like he would on ice. A++ on the shorts. 

Here I was also able to get a pepsi and I was very happy because for some reason pepsi is my cat nip in Russia. Good to know. 

Today we got up at ass o'clock, rushed through breakfast, before we ended up somewhere with more churches. Luckily it was about to rain so we could really enjoy the town while we were getting colds. A++ island. We basically waited, then rushed through a church, then waited, then rushed through a palace (COFFIN INCLUDED!), then waited and listened to some more gorgeous singing before rushing to the boat. Then on the boat I realized I wanted a scarf for my hair so I bounced off the boat, got one and some wool socks for my grandmother (they are no lacquer boxes but they are still pretty decent) before heading back to the ship to finish my book.

Then Em got roped in to some FOL "theater" shenans for the group talent show, but I was not having it if a camera was going to be involved. The camera man and I have been doing a dance around each other wherein I flail and run through a puddle to get away from him when I notice him and I think he's noticed. The talent show was awkward and mottsy as expected, but luckily Em's beautiful performance in the play (which was basically her fake weeping in a corner like Pete Wentz). 

Now it's time for bed so we can wake up at ass o'clock again. 
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soundandvision
18 August 2010 @ 09:31 am
 War and Peace the movie was not quite as long as reading the book but three hours in an uncomfortable chair was a bit much because the chair made my hips hurt. The movie was also very very lulzy for reasons relating to accents and the 1960s. However, I did love it so A++, Dragon.

Yesterday was a maaaajor relaxation day.  Slept through breakfast, ignored other planned activities until lunch and then our travel to Goritzy. I am kind of sick of religious imagery at this point in my life, but I understand the importance of it so it's this weird mix of "this is important but fuck it I want to look at trees." Also there were lakes etc. I keep ditching the group on the islands because I want to look at the exteriors of buildings and then flowers and bees. 

After  that there was more downtime including another fantastic dinner, scenic photography opportunities involving bridges and a sunset and then we went to the on board vodka tasting and I got pretty drunk. Not drunk enough to be obnoxious like some of the other boat patrons, but drunk enough that I had to monitor my body movements to make sure I didn't trip down the stairs. The restaurant manager, and a few other people, tried to boss me into group dancing but I was too drunk to feel comfortable dancing and I also don't like people telling me what to do so I just chugged more water before we bounced.

Then there was some major crashing out until we got woken up today by the ship announcements. The island we are visiting today has a modern art museum we are visiting so I am hoping for some art geekage opportunities (Kandinsky).
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soundandvision
16 August 2010 @ 10:58 am
 Today they made us wake up at ass o'clock in the morning to go offshore. I have reached my limit of people scheduling my life, particularly in regards to when meal times are, and of being around so many people so when we got off the boat on Kizhi island I tried to get away from the group as much as possible in order to zen out in nature. It's very very beautiful on this island and along the river. Lots of lush trees right now and since we are close to the arctic circle it was around 57* F today. Which was particularly refreshing after the 85*+ heat and humidity in St. P. I can deal with that weather but this makes my lungs feel much better.

We are supposed to have some sailing away party right now but I really don't want to deal with everyone on the boat right now. I am really zen and peaceful and I don't want that kind of stress. At 11:30 we are going to our first Russian lesson and I am expecting it to either go really smoothly because most people won't even bother showing up or it's going to be a clusterfuck.

Today we also have a wheelhouse tour and a lecture on the Romanovs, but sadly the highlight of my day is going to be the movie War and Peace (featuring Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda) and the Russian food that will be served for lunch and dinner. The food on the boat has actually been spectacular. Especially the soups. The vegetarian menu has been really really delicious and not severely onion flooded so I've been a very happy panda. I've been looking at the meat based menus and they do not look nearly as exciting or delicious as the food I've been getting so I am sure even if I ate meat I would be eating mostly vegetarian anyway.

I've gotten a few more souvenirs since I found my Russian Hockey NT Matryoshka dolls including a few matryoshka keychains and a KHL (the Russian Kontinental Hockey League sticker book/roster. I also found too awesome soviet style posters. One features Yuri Gagarian and the other features Magnitogorsk, which are both things that I am particularly interested in regarding the Soviet Union era history of Russia.

Jesus fuck they are playing some weird ass fucking flute music boat wide. FUCK YOUR FLUTE MUSIC, BOAT. On one hand I am grateful not to have to get my own meals, to be able to see a long stretch of Russia that would be a pain in the ass to get to on my own, safety and lots of interesting tours, but on the other I am sick of the number of people, the random weird "Fun" interruptions and the motherfucking anal retentive scheduling. I get that they need to keep these motherfuckers in line but I want to eat when I am hungry and not two hours after I get hungry. Wah wah wah. La vie est si dure, n'est pas?

I am having a good time despite my rant. I am just cranky we had to wake up at 6am to eat before we left the ship. I actually smuggled some yogurt and apples so I could potentially ditch breakfast one morning to sleep in if we weren't doing activities.

Anyway I have to go read my book and watch nature go by again. And probably down a bunch of cappuccino and hot chocolate and water etc etc. before the language class/potential clusterfuck (I actually decided on a way to express clusterfuck with my hands so I can just say clusterfuck without actually saying it) and lunch.
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Current Location: I love Russia
 
 
soundandvision
Today was be on the boat all day day. Except for how we went to Russia Island Disneyland where there was a vodka museum (with 2804 types of vodka + a wee bottle we could take home with us. Given this boat I am going to need it.). There was also a futball pitch where the men from our ship kicked the crap out of the other ship's team (3-1. Go Pakhamov!!!).

Also we sat on deck and watched nature go by. It's very flat. And then there was a fucked up deep ass lock that was frightening.

And they boss our meals and I do not approve of this. I also do not approve of perfume.

Russia is still awesome and one of the waiters cut his hair. Tragedy.
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Current Mood: Go Away Maple Leafs
Current Location: On a boat near the arctic circle
Current Music: The vent
 
 
soundandvision
14 August 2010 @ 07:13 pm
 Today was our "off" day which meant we could get the fuck away from the group and go exhaust ourselves by walking 8 hours in the city.

First of all we had to get to the bus, on the right bus, to the metro (and down about 105 Meters (holy mother of God was I afraid of that escalator. I do not do heights well and I do not do underground well so this was a bit of a "wiiiide open spaces" moment") then to certain places around the city. Then we had to figure out what was real life and what was boat map failure. 

So we went to the Ethnography Museum and saw all the different outfits, houses, and other things from 19th century Russia, Scandinavia and Central Asia = total history boner. I was so excited by all the different outfits (even if they were generally labelled in Russian) mostly because they were from a previous exhibit and because most of the reason why I go to museums is 1. to see things that came from a certain time/area/population and 2. To see how the museum presents these people/the region/time. So the booklet pointed out what region each of the sets were from and I pulled the information about how these people actually were and how Russia developed their images post-annexation from my 499 Central Asian class. All around it was a good time 

Then we walked around the city hardcore and basically did a fucked up loop around downtown St. P. Also I got groped by a creepy drunk guy. Keep it classy St. P. Actually apart from that guy it was basically Russia and Russians being Russian and awesome. It was basically everything I figured would be here, but also wasn't. I have also noticed that basically people walk around dressed however they want doing whatever they want (generally speaking, of course) and just act like it's totally normal behavior so everyone else just doesn't blink. It's the best shit ever. So far so awesome, Russia. 

By the time we got back to the metro the hamstring on my left leg went haywire and made me have to basically limp around to the metro (where a lady was nice enough to let me take her seat) and then to the bus. Luckily we got back to the boat before it took off. Now it's time to go drink with the captain and crew and then eat dinner. Which is a terrible idea because we haven't eaten since breakfast so it's going to be me getting drunker than normal faster than normal (which is sad because I rarely drink so I get drunk off two drinks if they are pretty strong). Whatever. I am going to all this crap in my pajamas. 

It's basically us and mostly 50+ year olds  and crew I am never going to see again so fuck it. Pajama time. I am so fucking tired that I don't care and we are taking off and I am going to wander around like a man without a country. 

PS:  We are now sailing down to Moscow. I like it a lot here so far. Saint Petersburg was extremely nice and fairly mellow and we had a good time going on the tours and on our own.

Both of us learned to read cyrillic prior to coming to Russia, but now that we have been here it's become a lot more solid so by the time we hit Moscow (where everything is ALWAYS just in cyrillic we will be able to safely get around the city and enjoy more than we would have previously.
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Current Location: St P, Russia
 
 
soundandvision
13 August 2010 @ 06:38 pm
 I basically woke up feeling hung over after 36+ hours of travel, 12 hours of time change and then 4 hours of sleep after a full day of shenans. So today was my wobbly day where my eyes felt like they were going to burn out of my skull. Which was perfect since today was basically a bus tour of the city so there was minimal effort required. Well. That came after Catherine the Great's palace at Pushkin, which was very very beautiful and had a room that was all green and classical style so I flipped my shit. Long story short: Lots of baroque design, lots of random furniture, a few rooms (including the amber room) that did not fit the design of the entire building, then some shopping then girl bonering in the gardens. 

The drive through the city was very amazing. There was a lot of bridges (another girl boner starter. Basically just add the proper version of girl boner to most of what I say and call it a day at this point) and a fuck ton of Palaces. At some point I just started assuming most buildings of a certain style were a palace and then I called it a day. This tour was also good because we had very short stops that enabled us to get pictures without it turning into a where the fuck are we/the group clusterfuck (as is what happened at Catherine's palace when someone wandered off for 20 mins). I also got my bearings in the city which is good because tomorrow we have free time to do what we want/go where we want to go in the city. Which is probably the ethnography museum.

Also we stopped at a store and bought Russian NT Hockey Matryoshkas which should not come as a surprise to anyone. The newsletter they put in our room after they clean also includes all the MLB baseball scores so I am keeping up with my boats and all the other boats in the MLB so I am a happy bunny. 

Now it's time for dinner and then more down time (ie reading up on deck and then attempting to sleep for eternity). Plans tomorrow also include stealth pictures of stealth mullets. Just for posterity. 

EDIT: There was also the expected baby bear that had captivated the interest (and in one case the fingers) of passersby. Trip to Russia is basically compete now. THE END. 
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Current Location: RUSSIA
 
 
soundandvision
13 August 2010 @ 12:33 am
Today we went to the Hermitage Museum. Well. Let me correct that. This morning we overslept the alarm, got ready in a hurry, found out we are amongst the few youngest on the boat (by about 40-50 years)[livejournal.com profile] marienne_made went to the safety meeting, while I got lost trying to find the restaurant and then found coffee. Then I tried not to die falling different sized stairs all over the place while we were over saturated with 15th to 18th century dark religious artwork and commentary on it before we were able to flee to the impressionist section. Then we came back, ate and then went to see a performance of Swan Lake in downtown St. P. 

Now we are going to pretend to sleep for a few hours. Wake up at ass o'clock and do more shenanigans. 

PS. I am starting to LIKE the stealth mullets. 
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Current Location: St. P. ON A BOAT
 
 
soundandvision
11 August 2010 @ 11:33 pm
Hey guys. After 36 hours of clusterfucked traveling (which I am just going to blame on Philly because they knew we rooted for the Blackhawks in the SC finals), an interlude in France (A++ France. You and your in flight meals and the free liquor we got on the way to you were magnifique. That and all the random French reading material I swiped along the way).

So far Russia is exactly what I expected it to be: vaguely befuddling, flat, and full of stealth-mullets and euro-dance music. Basically if you do not understand why the Russian NHL players do what they do, you should come here. It explains everything.

Now we have to sleep so I can get up and harass people about meat. You know. The usual.
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Current Location: St. P, Russia.
 
 
soundandvision
06 August 2010 @ 10:14 pm
 I'll be in DC and then Russia until the 25th. Peace out.
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Current Music: The Byrds - Pretty Boy Floyd | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
soundandvision
31 May 2010 @ 12:56 pm
Being the special person that I am I totally forgot to mention that I am going to Russia with [livejournal.com profile] marienne_made in August. So I am flipping out over that and trying to get everything set up for it before I start work next monday. 

This is ridiculously less important than Russia but it's still pretty exciting. Well exciting for me. ANYWAY. It's fruit season so we've been eating watermelon, strawberries and cherries and the raspberries in the backyard are ready to pick and peaches and blueberries are coming in soon and *flails*. I've been eating watermelon, strawberries and corn for lunch and snacks. It's amaaaaaazing. I love the summer. THE END

ALSO! Dear hockey god. Do not let the Philly Flyers win. please. Their dbag fans will be fucking ridiculously unbearable and I'll explode. Also Hossa needs to break his curse. Amen. 

And now I am off to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] mokuyoubinogaki and go to the strawberry festival. 
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Current Music: Compay Segundo - Eusebio Delfín - ¿Y Tú Qué Has Hecho? | Powered by Last.fm