01 December 2008

On break

I've decided to take a break due to demands from my job.

I hope I don't lose all my Russian language knowledge because I intend to keep learning when my job settles down!

28 November 2008

Robin Williams Russian improv

I saw Robin Williams on The Graham Norton Show this weekend. I was surprised that he actually knows a few words of Russian and a few words of French well enough to use them during his improv. I can't imagine speaking Russian well enough to make jokes on TV!

19 November 2008

New word, but no new flashcard

I learned a new word today, пиндосы (pindosy), but I've made the executive decision to not make flashcards for naughty words.

12 November 2008

old school flashcards

I know, I know, flashcards are so old school.
I decided my lack of vocabulary progression requires drastic measures, so flashcards it is.
These two cards are
муха 'fly'
внезапно 'suddenly'
which are words I recently read on languagehat.
These flashcards are both printed and scripted in Russian so that I can become more familiar with script. I don't yet know all the rules of writing script, so I am just doing my best.


11 November 2008

Why do you learn another language?

Last night an acquaintance asked me why I learn lots of languages. Is it for work or for fun? Then I wondered, do people think that language learning is a drudgery?

Why does anyone strive to be multi-lingual? Are there many jobs which require multi-lingualism from people who don't want to learn more languages? Internet, please enlighten me!

10 October 2008

изак, кошка

We had a sad summer when one of our cats, Simon, died unexpectedly. He was a very playful, affectionate, gentle cat and his absence is acutely felt. Even today it is hard to believe that he is gone.

Last week we adopted a kitten. He's Korat and we named him изак. We adopted him from the pound, where he had been bitten by a mean, adult cat. His health has been making great progress since we brought him home and he loves his new home where he gets lots of attention.

28 May 2008

Asian Grocery

I popped into the local Asian grocery shop this afternoon to get a break from the office and to get out of the never-ending rain. I was hoping to find some Russian items- perhaps caviar, chocolates, or tea. Instead the aisles were filled with east Asian delights such as preserved duck eggs,
preserved duck eggs

fish snack,
fish snack

Snake Brand prickly heat powder,
Snake Brand prickly heat powder

and a little bit of jasmine rice.
jasmine rice

27 May 2008

The Neighbor

OK, so I still can't get the neighbor to talk to me. However, I've almost decided that she's not speaking Russian. The problem is that I can't get close enough to really hear what she's saying. She goes silent when I get close enough to potentially make out clear syllables.

In the meantime, I decided to distract myself with some Portuguese lessons. I feel so dorky when speaking Brazilian Portuguese! Why? The only reason I can conjure up is that I have never heard Brazilian Portuguese spoken in real life, so it sounds really artificial when I fumble a few words out. Beside Portuguese, the only other language that I've studied, but never heard in real life, is Esperanto. I felt pretty dorky with Esperanto, too, but that might be for a different reason.

01 May 2008

stalking neighbors

We have new neighbors down the way. It is a blond woman, a plump man, a little blond girl, and a big dog. I think I heard the woman speaking Russian. When I smile and say hello, she turns her head away and acts like she doesn't hear me. Her little girl is cute and friendly, but each time that the little girl makes neighborly eye contact with me, the woman yells at her.

I haven't heard the woman speaking in her native language long enough to make out if it is truly Russian or another slavic sounding language. I think this means that I need to do some more neighborly spying chatting.

09 March 2008


This evening I was treated to a very fancy and fun supper at The Russia House in Herndon, VA. Two great friends chose this restaurant since they know I'm studying Russian. Not only did they chose a great restaurant, but they chauffeured me to and from my hotel and paid for the whole supper. I didn't realize that I was being treated to a birthday meal, so I ordered up lots of stuff from the menu and really ran up the tab! What great friends!

The restaurant itself was warm and friendly. I liked the heavy, red draperies and interesting art. Overall the restaurant owners impressed me because they were very attentive to my vegan nutritional constraints.

I loved The Russia House's borscht. I can't believe I waited so long to try this popular Russian dish. I have had some bad experiences with beets in the past, so I was never terribly keen on trying borscht. However, I had a fantastic beet dish while in Geneva recently, so I decided to give beets a second chance and I am glad I did. For me the borscht was served without sour cream and I loved the flavor of the fresh beets and vegetables. I will definitely chose to order борщ again at my future Russian meals.

Sorry, I should have taken some photos for you, but I forgot.