Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snapshots of American Life 2

It's almost time for my birthday, which means this was an entire year ago. Wow. Just wow.

Speaking of which, saw these on the streets of Portland the other day-

And one more interesting thing from the streets- the fallout shelter on 6th Avenue. I'd love to hear the story behind this.

Website: Nuclear Survival in Oregon

Spring is here. How this is possible in February, I have no idea... but know better than to look a gift horse in the mouth ; )

We finally tracked down some gretchka! It's milder than the Ukrainian version, but still really nice to have around for a quick meal.

Also, doesn't "gretchka" sound much nicer than the hideous "buckwheat groats"?

Кит has been found several times lurking in both the washer and drier (bad cat! or maybe bad human for leaving the lid open) and has developed an obsession with clam chowder. He actually goes crazy for anything in a can- peaches, chickpeas, black beans- since he associates that sound with the canned cat food he ate in Ukraine. Clam chowder is his absolute favorite though.

We also upgraded his royal highness' living quarters with a nap pillow and health food.

The season isn't the only thing that's changing. I'll be leaving my current job at the end of March and it sounds like D's company is in the process of getting a new owner, so who knows what that will bring.

The holiday week of Maslenitsa has ended. I tried to see what Kharkiv did with the holiday this year, but didn't have much luck. The city's website mentioned a celebration in Gorky Park on Feb 21-22. A few days later, a different website said that the festivities of Feb 21st would be cancelled in remembrance of "the tragic events of [last year's] Revolution of Dignity".

Too lazy to make the traditional Maslenitsa blini this year, I looked around town to see what others would be doing. It's Portland so I didn't expect much; there would be none of Kharkiv's bear-on-a-leash business and nothing like what those kids get up to in Russia's snowy forests... Holy blinchik, looks like fun!

But Portland has something like roughly a bajillion Russian and Ukrainian speakers (the community even has this, uh, very trustworthy-looking website), so there was bound to be something. And there was: a Maslenitsa extravaganza of singing, dancing, and fooding, hosted by Portland State University's Russian Language Flagship Program, accompanied by an accordion. Ура!

The matryoshka collection grows : )

My brother came to town a few weeks ago and treated D & I to dinner at the tastiest restaurant we've ever been to. I can tell you of the habanero pepper vodka + pureed passionfruit + cane sugar in the unpronounceable cocktails we started off (the Sacsayhuamán??) and then... the rest is a little fuzzy. Deliciously, colorfully fuzzy. And dessert-y.

In closing, this quote popped up in recent internet browsing and I love it. Do you?

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
- Theodore Roosevelt

Until next time!

Ready for more? Try Snapshots of American Life 1 or browse through the original series: Snapshots of Ukrainian Life.

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