22 January 2010


My life has spun slightly out of control lately. Nothing bad, just crazy. Much as the past year seems to have done. So my apologies for not being around too often. I have seriously got to get my shit together in 2010 far better than I did in 2009, or for the past few weeks.

So I'll hopefully be getting to my blogroll soon, among other things, so expect some comments once I do get it all together!

For now, I leave you with the first of my Christmas FO's, my brother's Country Hill Hat in Noro Kureyon, modeled by James the Bear (I named him after the red engine on Thomas the Tank engine when I was like, three. I seem to have had a thing for red as a child... my first crush was the original red power ranger!). He really liked it, and wore it all Christmas break, which to me is the greatest compliment I could get for an FO. He brought it back to school with him, so I assume it's being worn in the big city as well, since he's not one to wear something just to humor someone. Ever.

And here's a shot without a stuffed animal in it, which hopefully shows the shape a little better.

In other news, the holiday decorations have all come down, and the house is back to normal. Well, almost. Genghis is still acting pissy because he lost his little lounge area when the tree came down.

Cats. Can't live with them, can't live without them.


14 January 2010

Putting it in perspective...

It's so easy to get bogged down in the little things. To let the minutia of every day life hijack your attention and force the bigger picture out of sight and out of mind.

So easy to focus on the stressful, and take the good for granted.

Sometimes I just need to stop and remind myself how lucky I really am to be able to rejoice in something as simple as a winter day's walk.

A snow covered puppy snout.

Or snow against an electric blue sky.

Sometimes I just need to remember that if my biggest problems in this world are academic stress and poor body image, then I really should count myself as one of the luckiest around.


05 January 2010

Musical Monday on a Tuesday

As far as I'm concerned, there are two things that the Russian Orthodox Church does really well. The first, is beautiful churches. And when I say beautiful, I mean beautiful. Stunning. Breathtaking, even. Even the teenie tiny parishes are gilded with gold and masterful icons. Walking into a Russian Orthodox Church is really an exercise in sensory overload... the colors, the smells, the sounds...

Oh, the sounds. That's thing number two. Our music is AWESOME. Our canon is filled with things like Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, all in eight part a capella. No instruments allowed. Just voices. The only down side is that, much like my main quibble with organized religion in general, there is basically no grey area. Because it's eight part, with no pitch center that's guaranteed (like a piano or an organ), when it goes bad, it goes REALLY BAD.

On the other hand, when it's good, it's STUNNING. And there's simply no in between.

However, it's the stunning part that I aim to share with you today, what with Russian Christmas coming up tomorrow and Thursday. So for our (day late) Musical Monday, I share with you, Russian Orthodox Christmas Carols (they're in Russian, and certainly not what we're used to hearing on the radio, so even if you're not a Christmas carol kind of person, it's just simply beautiful music if you close your eyes and forget about the holiday affiliation)! This particular one is one of my favorites, but if you click over through this video to Youtube, it is part of a whole playlist full of this kind of music. Also, sorry about the barrage of icons. I tried to find some with less religiously charged imagery (ideally video of the actual choir singing) but I could not find a recording that I liked as much musically.

I hope you enjoy!