Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Party Around The World

NB! I've been writing this post for about half a year. But it has survived through all my laziness and low tides of inspiration and creativity. I hope y'all will find it witty and entertaining. Don't treat it too serious, I'm only about to get more professional about the drinks from this point xoxo

In this post, I wanna discuss one of my favorite things - PARTIES! You know, I'm a party pro and I wonder how I haven't come up with this genius idea yet.
But it's not gonna be just how I like to party, but about my party experience around the world (thanks to the US trips, I can call it 'around'). Of course, I can tell you only how native Russians party, and that's gonna be the fullest part. What about other countries that I'll touch (the USA, of course, Japan, China, and just some sentences about what else I know), so I'll tell you my personal experience only as a tourist/traveller and, what is also important, an underage tourist/traveller (sound illigal).

So let's start with my Motherland Russia. What I'll write is a pretty common thing, so you can believe me. Russians are good at partying at home. The most problematic thing is neighbors, and you may understand, neighbors are the problem everywhere. Adults like to gather if there's a serious celebration such as a birthday party, a wedding or an anniversary and so on. Teenagers put up a home party if parents go out somewhere for a weekend. Until you're in mid-twenties you drink just to get drunk, you see. Russians don't usually organize any themed parties. We like to dress nicely, but we don't put on anything funny as long as it's not Halloween and you're not going to the bar. Bars are a different story.

Almost all the bars and nightclubs are guided by the Western culture, so themed parties there are the thing. Halloween, New Year, International Women's Day, the Day of Russia - venues organize various events and promotions to get attention and attract folks. Once I went to a bar on the International Women's Day and received a free cocktail - it was plain champagne with grenadine, but man, it was free of charge! Plus, one of the positive things about the bars in Russia is that many of them are open till 4 am or so (at the weekend - for sure); moreover, there are bars that work 24/7. Isn't it a partying heaven?
Usually, you can't get into a bar if you're underage, but one always knows some places. Of course, if you're unlucky to look like 14 when you're 22, you might be asked your passport. But if you're a 17 years old guy who's taller than the President and has some awesome facial hair, you'll be welcomed. By the way, the Russian full age is 18. But as I said, the Western culture has influenced, and some venues, especially high-class ones, don't allow people under 21. It works with buying alcohol as well: you may buy beer and wine legally when you're 18, but spirits like rum, whiskey and tequila are forbidden unless you're 21 and over. Well, technically. Because I easily buy them in the shops and order in the bars. Usually, I'm not asked for my passport, but only the cashier told me to show my document when I was buying vodka. So I showed him, and everything was alright though vodka is like 40%, ok? Yeah yeah, make those Russia-vodka-bears jokes.

Also, Russians like to hang out in the country. You form a gang with a poor driver who can't drink while others party hard. Then you go to a lake, or a river, or a beach. The picnic can last for one day only or for the whole weekend or even longer.

So, Russia. Favorite party beverage: vodka, obvi. I mean, there are people who don't drink vodka, so they may drink wine, cognac, whiskey - everything the world can offer, even non-alcoholic stuff. Can you believe it? There are Russian people who don't drink alcohol! But it ain't no proper Russian party if there ain't no vodka.

You see, putting up a house party, young people don't usually
care about the fancy of the glasses and other dishes
The United States of America. As you know, I've been in the States twice, so I have something to tell you though I'm not 21 yet. And that's pretty strict in the USA. If you're not 21, you can't go to the clubs or bars, can't buy alco-beverage legally. But still, I gained some experience.

In 2013, my friends and I faced such a thing as a hotel party. Every weekend a very lively party was put up near the swimming pool in the hotel where we lived after Las Vegas trip. Parties started pretty early, at like 4 pm or something, because I remember we wanted to shoot some videos near the swimming pool for our task but couldn't get there because we were underage. Like they would've let us in only if we were adults! Probably, the parties were organized by the hotel. Once we returned from an excursion and on entering the hotel we couldn't breathe properly, our eyes got irritated, so we quickly went up to our rooms. As far as I understood, someone had pulverized some pepper spray - for fun?? Not sure, because another day my friend Christina and I went down to the vending machines for some snacks, and some partying men tried to pick us up inviting us to join them at the party. So maybe it was a woman defending herself who had dispersed the spray that day?
Still, we had a chance to have a pool party at the end of our American vacation. It was our last full day before the departure day, and it was Christina's birthday as well. All guys wanted to swim a bit after lunch, but we saw another party was being prepared, and we thought we wouldn't be allowed to the swimming pool. But just the reverse they let us swim and, moreover, the DJ had been already there, so he turned on some cool music shouting "RUSSIANS IN DA HOUSE!!", and the organizers threw us some huge air toys (I don't know their proper names). We had our best time indeed!

Try to spot me
But in 2015 I experienced American party in another way though it had one thing in common - the place. I lived in the hostel, so my parties were of a hotel kind, too. But this time, I was one of the participants although I was underage still. It seems like I'm never gonna be old enough for America. So, parties! Ho(s)tel parties are aimed to meet new people and have fun. If you aren't excited to talk to people, you'll be bored af. And if you make friends with the hostel workers, you'll find out they probably have their own mini-bars, so there's even BOOZE!

American favorite party beverage: beer. Of course, there are wine and whiskey, and vodka, too, but the beer is the thing. I tasted some Mexican beer, but it was total crap for me. Also, I drank some (read: a lot of) wine, both red and white, and it worked well. Very well.

An example of the room in the hostel where we could chill out
when the official party stopped
A disadvantage for people partying in the USA is that all night clubs and bars are open till 2 am only. I remember a Brazilian guy who wanted to go out somewhere, but it was already 1:30 am, and my friend said, "Sorry, mate, but I'm afraid everything will be closed soon". And the Brazilian burst out complaining like "WHAT?? In Brazil, all bars work until 5 am! At 2 am everybody's partying hard and no one wants to stop!" I agreed with him.
Also, we had to stop loud hostel parties by the midnight, because the neighbors could complain and call the police; so we hid in the rooms with low music and slowed down activity.

Once I chanced to get into a bar near my hostel. Guys took me there to dance though we all wondered if I'd be asked for my ID. Fortunately, we walked in freely and danced till guys decided to change the place. The bar was really tiny; I didn't notice much difference from the Russian bars I'd been to.

The United States of AMURICA!! Fav beverage: I'd say beer but anything you can afford will do. But can you imagine a proper American party without a beer pong?

The main people partying in Japan are men. It may sound anti-feministic but that's how it is as far as I know. I'm sure, young people party at the same level, both guys and girls. But talking about older ones, I know that men are most likely to hang out in big companies without their women in the evening. Even when I went to Japan in 2013 to work, firstly, we didn't have any woman in our Japanese crew, and when we had something like farewell parties, there were no women either. But I think, it's not a question about partying habits, is it? But I'm not about to make monsters out of the Japanese; they are such a nice polite nation!

The Japanese are no strangers to family parties. They like to go out with the whole family, have outside activities together and eat out somewhere. They don't need special occasions for that , and I think it's nice and cute.

What about me, so there was no problem for me (16 then) and my mate to buy some alcoholic bevarage in Japan as I wasn't asked my age 'cause I was a Westener, I guess. So, if you go to Wakkanai one day, I know where to buy a very decent mojito.

Let's sum up what I have for Japan. I'd say that the Japanese stick to their traditional sake, but I must admit their love their local beer as well.

When I think of China and alcohol, my first thought is Chinese beer!! Back in 2012 when my choir and I went to this country, the first bevarage we were served for dinner was beer. Only after some of us would ask for water or juice. And - oh man! - we drank so much Chinese beer! It even led me to a heavily sore throat and my first boyfriend; none of those was a good experience. So my experience of Chinese parties are all from that trip. Firstly, we experienced the Chinese hospitality during dinners with limitless beer (we even stole some bottles to our hotel). Then we put up kinda 'house parties' in our rooms in the hotel with that beer and anything we could buy at the hotel from the pineapple beer to already mixed whiskey and cola. Moreover, some of the choir participants including me, of course, once went to a local night club catering for the Russians. It was much fun, very drunk though. Sometimes I recollect some fragments from that night and am like "Why the hell did I do that?" - I mean, danced to the very odd tunes. Once again, there wasn't any troubles buying alcohol in China, and it was great.

I don't think I can be any positive about what people of China prefer, so let's stop at beer as their favorite drink. It seems like beer rule the world!

So guys, that's what I have in my mind for one of my favorite subject - PARTIES! Maybe I could have written even more if the information weren't drunk away.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


This is for them 20-somethings
Time really moves fast, you were just sixteen
"Schoolin' Life", Beyoncé

As soon as I've just turned 20 (TWENTY! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?), I'm ready to publish some lists I've been making for some time. I must admit it hasn't been easy to recollect 20 mistakes I've made or 20 books that have impressed me enough so I would recommend them. Of course, these lists can easily be edited, but that's what I've got by the age of 20 so far. Hope you'll have fun reading them!

20 mistakes I've made:
1. Didn't go out with that one boy at school
2. Had too many expectations for my graduating party
3. Didn't book a hostel in Tokyo beforehand
4. Didn't read enough this summer
5. Wasted a day in LA on walking with the most boring guy in 2015
6. Scored 83 points for the Russian final test at school
7. My first boyfriend
8. Half of my would-be boyfriends
9. Ate that cheesecake in Khabarovsk in 2014
10. Do everything in the last minute
11. Didn't talk enough with all the kinds from my teams in the camp
12. Didn't put on my sunscreen on the Tobizina cape
13. Didn't put on my sunscreen in Santa Monica in 2013
14. Didn't take any photos with the people I hung out with in LA in 2015
15. Ruined my biological clock
16. Didn't ask about the 3OH!3 album Omens in Amoeba
17. Don't say right answers louder during the classes when needed
18. Drank too much at my unofficial matriculation at university
19. Wasted some money a couple of times when I could've saved them, ok
20. Didn't get along with my elder sister during our childhood

20 lessons I've learned:
1. Always think about where to stay during not only trips themselves but also stepovers in advance
2. Let things go
3. Take your time, don't forget to relax, always arrange some me-time
4. You aren't to like all the people around. It's ok to have someone you don't approve
5. Have some money in the bank as some kind of a back-up
6. Upload the photos you take to Google Photo or iCloud or anything like that. You never know when your device can get broken or lost
7. Being nice is a rule, but being petty and bitchy isn't always a bad idea
8. "If you can't love yourself, how the hell you're gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen here?" RuPaul
9. Love your parents and make sure you call them often enough. They deserve it, they love you
10. Trust your friends but rely on yourself first
11. Lovers come and go, friends stay. Cherish them
12. Better be alone with someone you don't care of
13. Don't care what they think. Put on as much make-up as you want while you're young and beautiful
14. Don't care what they think. You can be young and beautiful till the end of time
15. Don't know what color you should choose? Choose black
16. Be helpful - and for yourself first
17. Take risks - they tend to pay off!
18. Take in some vitamins, take care of your health
19. Read more
20. Enjoy the moment, don't miss living

20 songs I adore:
1. Jason Mraz "I'm Yours"
2. The Neighbourhood "Ferrari"
3. Beyoncé "Diva"
4. Marina And The Diamonds "How To Be A Heartbreaker"
5. Beyoncé "Partition"
6. Ariana Grande "One Last Time"
7. Lana Del Rey "Backfire"
8. 3OH!3 "Love 2012"
9. Halsey "Colors"
10. The Common Linnets "Calm After The Storm"
11. Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé "Telephone"
12. Gem Club "Twins"
13. The Beetles "Strawberry Fields Forever"
14. Anna Margaret "Something About Sunshine"
15. Lady Gaga "Born This Way"
16. Postdata "Tobias Grey"
17. Joss Stone "L.O.V.E."
18. Arctic Monkeys "505"
19. Ryan Adams "Firecracker"
20. Natalia Kills "Problem"

20 books I recommend:
1. George Orwell "1984"
2. Leo Tolstoy "Anna Karenina"
3. Yevgeny Zamyatin "We"
4. Jane Austin "Pride and Prejudice"
5. Dante Alighieri "Divine Comedy"
6. David Nicholls "One Day"
7. Joanne Harris "Chocolat"
8. Joanne Harris "The Lollipop Shoes"
9. Dan Brown "Angels and Demons"
10. Goethe "Faust"
11. Francesco Petrarca's sonnets
12. Alexander Blok's poems
13. Daniel Keyes "Flowers for Algernon"
14. J. K. Rowling "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"
15. Mikhail Lermontov's poems
16. Ivan Bunin's short novels
17. Robert Rozhdestvensky's poems
18. Joseph Brodsky's poems
19. Charlotte Brontë "Jane Eyre"
20. Patrick Süskind "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer"

And I certainly couldn't leave you withough the Queen B in my B'Day! Here's something relating to the title and all the jazz ♥

Be brave as usual! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I Got You Covered

I'm back to school life, to campus life. I'm back to writing, and it feels so right. I've told my Vocabulary & Speaking teacher that maintaining a blog is one of my main hobbies and it made me feel like returning to my old schedule when I wrote several times a week and it was satisfying af.
Today I've visited the first organizing meeting at the driving school. I'M GONNA LEARN HOW TO DRIVE A CAR!! Can you believe that?! The funniest thing for me was that I came in all pink, I had a pink pen and a pink notebook with my image on its cover. DUH. I felt so Legally Blonde. I never did that on purpose. But if you remember Mean Girls well enough, you may notice that "on Wednesdays, we wear pink".

I looked pretty glamorous, right?
Last Sunday my student organization and I went to the cape of Tobizin just to spend some nice time together. We were lucky to have very sunny weather that day, so now I sorta suffer from my skin peeling off of my face. But I really enjoyed our little trip. We should take advantage of the last warm days as long as we can.

My co-teacher Thomas and I took the most hipster Polaroid photo at the cape
Talking about my student organization, so I keep on being the money-keeper of our gang but some exciting news has come just an hour ago. Our commander Tea has suggested Thomas and my person going to the All-Russian Student Organizations' Meeting in November. Wow. It's an important event, and if I happen to go there, it will be such an experience! There'll be around 2000 people gathered together by one idea, one spirit to share experience, new projects, ideas, material. Awesome, isn't it? 
I like this semester more than the last, spring one. Though we still have some troubles with the schedule, I'm pretty satisfied with the classes. Good for me, then! Moreover, I've chosen Brave New World by Aldous Huxley as my individual reading. Finally I, a dystopian stories lover, will read the classics!
The song of the day is gonna be the latest hit from Mac Miller feat. Ariana Grande called "My Favorite Part" (though I've been listening to The Neighbourhood for the whole evening). I like the track because it's so easy-listening, laid-back and relaxing. It just calms you down and says that everything's ok.

Be brave, 'cause that's my favorite part

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hold Up

"... they don't love you like I love you"
Beyoncé, "Hold Up"

When was the last time I poured all my shit on you here? Much water has flowed under the bridge.
I worked for two terms in "English Camp" in summer and somehow stayed alive after that (though I thought I'd die). During the first term, sports one, I worked with the kids of around 12 yo. It was the same age as I had worked the year before, I even had a boy from that previous summer. I was shocked in the beginning but then calmed myself down thinking "Stability is a sign of mastery". Plus, my co-worker Eva, I was her instructor during the teachers' training. And the term was great! One of our guys was the President of English Camp that term, and generally our kids were awesome. Though I got my new speaker stolen at the end of the term, so I was frustrated. Still, I consider that term as one of the best.

I like putting these two photos together. Me in a white hoodie in the center,
and my beautiful co-worker Eva next to me in the leather jacket
My second term was as amazing as the first one but it was more difficult in the beginning. I completely lost my voice at the end of Sports term and that second term was a music one. I entered Music Term with no voice!! But my co-worker that time was brilliant Thomas, whose instructor I was as well. If there was an award for the best teamwork, we would have definitely won it. We were given the 1st team, which means we had the oldest kids. Half of the kids had visited English Camp for many times, and for some of them this summer would be the last, so our top brass put us under big pressure that we should make this summer the most unbelievable and unforgettable for them. I felt so under this pressure first days. I even cried after daily briefings. But then the things were fine. Our coordinator and chief teacher reassured me that it wasn't even about all Thomas' and my work, our kids weren't that up-and-doing. That music term with the oldest guys showed me that I really improved my skills as a teacher, and sometimes I should just let things go and rest my head a bit. Btw, do you know how our team was called that music term? "Formation"! YAS I named our team after Beyoncé's song and my co-worker agreed on that. 'Cause yeah we got our kids in formation, okay?!

Unfortunately, Thomas didn't make it into this cool photo
(you can spot his arm on the left)
But here we go :3

I met a guy in the end of spring, we got through the summer (we both worked in different summer camps separately) and we almost made it come together again but he literally stood me up. We had arranged it that he meet me at the airport of Vladivostok but when I arrived there was no one to help me physically or morally. And that nasty bastard didn't pick up his phone once during that day! And in the evening he texted me something like "Hi, how did you arrive?" I mean what?? That person frankly told me he liked me, everything was nice in spring, he promised to meet me at the fucking airport and then never showed up?! Guys, don't be like that. Please.
Well, I finished my second year at university in an excellent way as I can. During the French exam, our French teacher was Kanye and I was Tay Swift, 'cause she didn't let me finish any of my tasks. Not that it was bad, she was like "I know that you know, so go" but girl, I prepared my shit, you'd better listen. But I quickly swallowed my pride not to run into some mistakes. My final course paper turned out to be pretty good. This year I'll continue working with my favorite professor, so I'll keep on writing about the nature pictured in the books by Ann Radcliffe. Honestly, that lady wrote some boring mess but the landscapes are described so gracefully, I can't even. But all the storylines are junk. But the landscapes are great. Period. Yeah, I know Ann R. is one of the pioneers of gothic novels, she's its 'queen' as they call her but nowadays it's not that interesting for me. But I'll work with that and won't give up. I'm a freaking philologist, I should know how to work with various stuff.
Also, last year my dear roommate Cherry Lady and I fell for RuPaul's Drag Race. We've watched seasons 4 and 6 and now watching season 7 by far. Probably, you've noticed its influence in my writing style. Imagine if you heard my speech! My friend and I adore (Delano) this show! So iconic. We definitely observe their vibes, some style hacks, face expressions and figures of speech.
I spent whole August and the very beginning of September in my hometown. I was glad to see my parents and Sakhalin friends again but due to them being always at work, my being on Sakhalin wasn't that rad. I decided that I wouldn't stay in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk for longer than 2-3 weeks anymore. But all the time spent with my family and friends was precious. I even made some new friends (one new friend, actually). And Dasha said she'd come to me to Vladivostok in some weeks for a couple of days. What can be more exciting? I'll finally show her my favorite party places! Moreover, my parents will come in the beginning of October to celebrate my 20 yo jubilee. To be honest, Dasha's trip and my parents' arrival will superimpose on one another, so it confuses me a bit. But we shall make it, shan't we? So my autumn seems to be all about fun and fuss. (Yes, I seem to prefer AmE, but I still refuse to use 'fall' meaning 'autumn')
Talking about music, so I'm really into Beyoncé's Lemonade (except for "Daddy Lessons", can't feel it out). I've probably taken my love to Beyoncé to the maximum this summer. The next step is to visit her concert, obvi. Or just buy some merch. But her concert is def better. So if you want to please me, put a Beyoncé song on. Or show me a cat. Or give me some chocolate. Or all together and garnish it with some chamomile tea.
So turn on something that makes you feel comfortable and self-confident and as usual...

Be brave ♥

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Things I Believe In

...at the age of 19.
Hello, tout le monde! I know I've been absent for more than 2 months and the only thing I told you about was a crazy wedding I was this close to absolutely slay but flopped in the end.
Nevertheless, thoughts in my mind keep on flowing and I can't keep them bottled in. I still experience with the format of my blog and I liked the post I did about Q&A where the information was given in little items. I like this form myself, so give me a try this time too. I had some draughts and I made up my mind to unite them all under the theme I have stated in the title. (Oh my, I'm writing this like it's an official report. What an atta-girl)
So, commençons! Here are some things I believe in.

I believe in the chance.
Many things happened to me were incidents. They happened by chance or Fortuna helped, I don't know. On the other hand, I'm also aware of the fact that there are no accidents, all the incidents aren't incidental. But all these things are so mixed! I like the word 'fate'. Because in some cases I can see the system, the line, the process how I came from one situation to another. In other cases, something just happens and *boom!* I'm da boss.
For example, my second American trip (yes, I know, you're all fed up with it). It's clear how I got there - I still had a visa from my first American travel. But how did my parents agree to send me to the USA in 2013? Mystery. Luck. Fate. And in this 2015 adventure, how did I meet particular people? You see, I could communicate to them during my 9 Californian days, then say goodbye, shed a tear and that's all. But no! It's been about half a year since then and I still keep in touch (more or less) with some people I met there. How did I run exactly into those people? How on earth did one man decide to offer me a drink, and now he suggests me the greatest films and tunes? How? Mystery. Luck. Fate.
And only by this holy chance my bestie Cherry Lady and I sent our docs to the same university. We'd never talked about entering the same university, and one day we discussed our higher education's plans and went, "I'm sending my docs to FEFU" - "Hey, me too!" And here we are sharing one room and one specialisation!
Even back in the 5th grade of school, when my that time best friend kinda betrayed me and ditched me. I was walking to my music school all depressed when I accidently ran into Dasha who comforted me and said she was still my friend, and so we grew into best friends.
These are just a few stories from my life but I must convince you that accident things happen to me on a daily basis. Sometimes I feel like I live in the ancient Greek roman where a chance was da boss.

I believe in my country.
I'm a cosmopolitan, but it doesn't disclaim my warm attitude to my country. The more I travel, the more advantages I see in Russia, the better I understand my Motherland.
I'm not the person to talk about politics or economics but I can't deny the controversial situation in our world these days. But it's all about history. History always repeats. Russia has always had breakdowns but don't you know yourself it's always risen like a phoenix? I'm not a Slavophil but I totally agree that Russia has its own way of progressing.
After my long winter vacation on Sakhalin when I arrived back in Vladivostok, I took a train from the airport downtown. I was watching the outskirts and was thinking about how amazing my country is. Russia is different. Of course, the most picturesque views are in summer, but there is some special charm in winter. There's always something to see every season. One British friend of mine says that if he ever visits Russia, he'll come in summer. But seeing those little cottages covered with snow, I catch myself thinking I'd like him to see it, I want him to experience Russia in winter. Even though we both hate cold.
I admire other countries; you know I left my heart in LA, can't but dream about visiting France and Italy and etc. But when I'm abroad I feel Russian more than I do while practically in Russia. I don't think I'll live in Russia forever. I can see myself with a foreign husband and bilingual children (I've always seen). My idee fixe is to spend my old age somewhere near Marseille in the Côte d'Azur.
But deep down I've always felt proud of myself (and my fellow-countrymen) for one thing - people of other nations may only guess how it is to be Russian, how it's to live in Russia, and I know how it is.

I believe in love.
Not so long ago I showed one man my poetry and he asked if I had something, not about love. I wanted to protest in the beginning but then decided to keep silence wisely especially since I had a couple of poems not about love.
I don't remember at what age I realized that everything in this world was about love (earlier than I decided that I was a cosmopolitan). You love your parents, you love your sweetheart, you love your pet, you love your food... I'm not talking about the extremes when people are willing to marry a chair or something.
One song says, "What is this thing called love that you speak?" It's a good question indeed. Love is a feeling, that's for sure. Love is affection, love is an attachment. Love is trust.
My kids in the summer camp always giggled when I started talking about love and warm feelings we should have shown to each other. Then I explained to them that love was not only between lovers or spouses but between friends, and parents and their children, between me as their teacher and them as my wards. They understood.
For example, I'm bad at talking to people to whom I don't feel anything, in whom I'm not interested. But when I think the person I'm with is right, I can speak for hours, though the words may be nonsense. Because for my mind, talking, chatting is a way to show my feelings, to show that I'm comfortable with someone. Not all the information we share is important. It shouldn't be always important. If I tell you some silly things that have no value but I really want you to know, it means I value you and you're important to me and I trust you. I don't always pour out all the thoughts which are on my mind. But when I do, it means I think you're someone I can trust. And I already love you as a good human being.
So, I can discourse on the issue of love for hours, but one thing is clear:
Love can save this world, that's for sure.

I believe in art.
Because life imitates art, and art imitates life. You may suppose that I have such an opinion only because I study the humanities but it's kinda vice versa. I study the humanities because I know and appreciate the power of art.
The concept, the meaning of art is so fragile nowadays. I can pour the paint on my (or someone's) naked body, tie up some sentimental 'message' and easily call it 'The Art'. I can repeat "I love you" 83 times to a silly tune and call it "The Art". I can take a picture of a mug, add a couple of filters, again say that it carries a huge 'message' and call it "The Art". At the same time, a person may work for months on a painting and no one could appreciate it. Someone can have an amazing voice but cannot use it right because of lack of money, connections and etc. I don't mean that everything must be bought nowadays. I mean that the most of the things they sell or show are of low quality, that stuff is nonsense. Of course, there's is the true art nowadays as well. The world isn't totally doomed. That's why I believe in art and that it will arise and inspire.
My literature professor has told us that our days are like the Middle Ages. Those times, the most people didn't read (because they couldn't) so they listened to the ones who owned the knowledge. The knowledge was elitist. Nowadays people don't read too. Well, we do but not the same amount as people did a century or two ago. Many things have influenced why people gave up reading and self-teaching and enlarging their knowledge. And it's strange because today we have so many sources to educate ourselves: the same old books, e-books, the holy Internet, TV, masterclasses and video-lessons. I'm not talking about particular fields of knowledge like languages or science. I'm talking about general erudition! The art, the science, the phycology, the philosophy... There are so many things to discover day by day but not every person does it. And so the world is ruled by those who do discover the depth of human knowledge. The knowledge is elitist again.
Nowadays art isn't much about educating its observers. But it should be, it might have been. They always try to entertain us but they'd rather educate us. The world is overwhelmed with entertainment but it lacks art.

Be brave

Monday, February 22, 2016

Not My Wedding


It was a lazy evening in January. I spent my time on vacation in my hometown. That evening I was doing nothing special when I received a tweet from Dasha saying that soon enough I'd have a great time working. I was confused, so I picked up my cellphone and saw a text from my former classmate asking for my help. He was about to get married in several days (my classmate!!) and he was desperately looking for a photographer. At first, I wanted to refuse. Me? A photographer? What? That classmate and I, we weren't even friends at that level for me to take photos of his wedding. But once Dasha tweeted something like "I wish I was able to go to his wedding!!" and I couldn't resist. (Dasha couldn't be present at our classmate's wedding because she had been sent to a business trip) That's why I agreed on being a freaking photographer for food and drinks though I noticed my classmate shouldn't wait for professional pictures. If I only knew how things would turn out...
Suddenly I feel the need to change real names. Let my classmate be Logan (though it's very unlikely to meet someone named Logan in Russia), his wife will be called Alicia, and all the other names won't be real ones too. Well, I've already mentioned Dasha, but you know her, don't you?
It's gonna be a story not fully about my photographing experience but rather about other things happened to me.

Part I. Roman Comedy

The last Saturday of January 2016. 6:20 am. I was up inspired to get dressed and filled with coffee asap to have enough time for making an excellent hairstyle. And so I did.
At 8 am, I was picked up by Logan and his grandpa and was taken to Logan's soon-to-be wife Alicia's place. Logan couldn't come to them and he only told me the apartment's number for the door phone. When I rang, I heard a female voice, "Yes?" - "It's your photographer," - "So what? Call where you need, you're mistaken". Then Logan came up to me and called the damn same number and the story repeated. Only then my classmate remembered the right number of Alicia's apartment and I was let in. I felt so sorry for the women we'd been calling by mistake! Being woken up at 8 am on Saturday isn't the best thing, is it? But when I finally got into the right apartment, I was welcomed with coffee and had all the freedom to take photos of everything. I'd never done anything like that before in my life. But the bride and her family were friendly with me; Alicia even made me a compliment about my hair.
By 10:30 am a motorcade of 4 cars had arrived, I was set with Logan's best man Serge and their another friend who was the driver of our car; after the ceremony Alicia's two friends joined us. Solemnizing nuptials was at 11 am. There were about 15 people at the ceremony. The room was neat as well as the lady who made Logan and Alicia a husband and a wife. I was the one to legitimately capture that moment. It didn't take a long time, so after taking photos outside the hotel where the ceremony took place, we went driving around the places where newlyweds usually take photos. Everything was fine if we forget about the fact that it was FROSTY AF! It was the reason my camera's battery got exhausted so fast. Of course, we got a bottle of champagne or two in our car, so everyone drank except the drivers for sure. We visited all the city's squares. We also drove to a statue of 2 deer which is located outside of our city. Usually, newlyweds put a ribbon on it and make a wish. But when we got there, the path to the deer was covered with the snow and it wasn't rational to reach them in all the fancy dresses. So the fresh husband decided to put a ribbon on a bottle of champagne and throw it in the statue. The first two times he flopped; his friend and our former classmate from a parallel class Xavier (lol don't even ask, I just like the name) went through that deep snow to get the bottle back. At the 3rd time, Logan came closer to the statue and I was an unbelievable god to capture the moment when the bottle was crashing in the statue. What a shot was it!! Everyone was impressed with the picture and Logan was like, "Ha, and you said I shouldn't wait for professional photos!" Also, we went to the park where Logan drove Alicia in her large white on a sleigh borrowed from a random park visitor. Btw, did I mention that Alicia was pregnant? 'Cause she was.
All the motorcade went to a neighboring town to take pictures there. But in fact, there weren't any fancy things to be photographed with and the newly-made wife was cold like everyone else. So the only thing we did in that town was visiting the restroom. We went to another town just to visit a freaking restroom!! Nevertheless, another reason to go around those places was to spend time before coming to the restaurant. All newlyweds in Russia do that.
The restaurant was average. Our party had a separate room. All in all, there was about 24 people including the relatives - a pretty little company for a wedding. Probably, due to my working for food, Logan's mother often came up to me repeating "Olga, eat! Eat, please". And hell yes I ate and drank a lot. I sat at the end of the table for friends; Xavier and Chloe (Dasha's co-worker and our former classmate Max's girlfriend) sat to my right and left. Other girls were at the other side of the table. Chloe and I drank red wine served by Xavier. The boys drank vodka, oh yeah. When the red wine was finished, we drank up white one from the other side of the table. Then we drank red again. Then the fate was for white wine. I still wonder how I didn't end up throwing up that night. During the party, Logan's mother organized some entertaining competitions. Of course, between gulping down another glass of wine and gobbling something delicious I didn't forget to do my job. But for one competition I handed my duty over to Chloe because she didn't want to participate anymore. I paired up with her boyfriend and my friend Max. My task was to dress him down in a particular way: Logan's mother would name a piece of clothing (a left sock, a belt, for example), I had to take that piece and put it into a mutual basin. After taking the things off, I needed to put everything on again. There were about 5 pairs in general. We were the 1st to finish the task though no one noticed that. I even tried to catch the bride's bouquet but I failed ("Of course", you would think, "You don't have a boyfriend even, why should you talk about a wedding?"). The bouquet was caught by Chloe, I was happy for her. Catching the bride's garter was way funnier. When Logan threw the garter for the first time, all the guys... moved aside from it. No one seemed to feel like getting that garter. But when Logan threw it another time, it was Max who caught it! Well, it was logical and romantic at the same time. I know Max and Chloe think about their potential wedding from time to time, so now they have stronger reasons for it. But it wasn't them who stole the show in the end...
At 8 pm live music started, and the singers performed the same old restaurant songs. I danced to fast ones, but when the slow music started I had no one to dance with and left the dance floor to have another drink. Once I was fed up with that, I straightly made Xavier aware, "The next time a slow tune is one, you'll dance with me, ok?" As a true gentleman, Xavier couldn't refuse. But when we got on the floor, we danced to the slow version of the song I hate the most. Then we and other guys ran dancing to almost all the songs. And during one track Xavier and I made the crowd jaw-drop when they saw us kissing! The thing is Xavier and I had never spoken to each other before. I mean, when we were at school, we knew about each other existence but we studied in different classes, so we weren't friends or something. We ran across at big parties but again we never talked. And now, that January night we were slow dancing to a lively song, lip-locking, making everyone stop. I felt that it was kinda awkward, so I suggested going out. It was certainly freezing outside, but man, we were so hot. I can say only one thing: I'd kissed only one man who did it better than Xavier. I sorta have a list in my mind and Xavier's placed second. Good for him, I guess? Around 1 am, one guy, Xavier and I decided to go home. When Max and Chloe told us good-bye, Max was like, "I'm so shocked with you, Olga! Don't do a mistake" and my answer was something like "Never mind, all the mistakes have been already done". Xavier and I got off the taxi near my house, and that other guy continued his way home. Xavier took me to the porch but we couldn't let each other go that night so we headed to his place. We went to the shop where we ran across... the husband and the wife! We didn't talk to them much. But when Xavier and I were walking to his home, I told him everything that came up to my mind. During the party, we learned that we were both Libras, and now we figured out that he was 8 days younger than me lol.
I came back home at 8 am, right in 24 hours after I had gone. How crazy was that! The last thing I said was "Has a girl ever left you at 7 am?" I caught Xavier thinking but I quickly made it easy for him continuing, "Now one has".

Part II. Greek Tragedy

When I returned home, I sharply retold my parents what had happened to me (except for the last part), had a life-giving shower and had a 3-hours nap because later I was expected at my music school to watch the musical instruments' contest. After the contest, Logan called me inviting to go on partying but I was definitely not up to it. Then he got interested in the photos and asked to send him the coolest ones. When I finally arrived home, I uploaded photos from the second microSD on my laptop (we had to use 2 microSD's 'cause we ran out of memory. We even used 2 cameras because we ran out of battery). But when I took the first microSD which had been used from the very morning of that day until the start of the wedding, I saw it was a little bent. I fitted the adapter but the laptop couldn't read it. I lightly pressed the memory card and it... literally broke in two halves. The world stopped that moment. The connections looked saved, so I tried to put that part into the adapter but it never worked anyway. I ran to Chloe's work thinking maybe she could help me. She also tried to use some adapters but all was in vain. A couple of guys told us that was it and no information would be saved. I was in panic. (And typing it in almost a month I still am when remembering about that) I called Logan to explain everything to him. He calmed me down a bit though I burst out crying speaking to him. The next day I went to some tech services and they only laughed at me. I was as full of grief as the newlyweds were because all the amazing photos I took including the ceremony, riding the sleight and crashing the bottle in the statue, everything was gone!.. GONE!!!
Logan asked me to give the microSD to him. He said they had found someone who was ready to look at that mess. I felt so awfully. As I hadn't given them any present, now I felt the fault and the need, so I gave them a money present. To tell the truth, I was afraid to face Alicia again because a) she could be furious because of the loss of the photos; b) she was pregnant so she could be twice as furious. But when we finally met, the both of the guys weren't that happy, of course, but they were fine. They were going to put some legends on their rings and they even asked me what they could write.
But it didn't go for good - that morning I woke up with a sore throat, it hurt so bad. Mom said it was because of that huge stress. For sure, it may have happened because I drank a lot and probably didn't zip up the coat when we went to Xavier but I don't remember that fact, tbh. I got over a sore throat only in a week when I was in Vladivostok already.


I don't know if the guys found a way to restore the photos. I should ask for the news. I still feel really bad about that situation, so I didn't publish any photos from the wedding party which were from another microSD (except for one picture I published on Facebook and that's gonna appear in the end of the post).
I never met Xavier after that night. We aren't even friends on any social network. And you know what? I feel extremely fine with that! It was like a true one-night stand. I'm known to easily get attached to people but I don't feel anything about the guy this time. You may think, "Of course, you don't feel anything, you spent only one night with him!" Oooh, you don't know me then! So I followed all the heartbreaker rules that time without breaking hearts, I hope. 
That's probably how karma works. Only I thought how great everything had been, then the shit happened.

I really like the photo perhaps because it's me and all the boys. Mom didn't recognize me here.
I'll leave it to you to guess who's who. So yup, write me your guesses about
who's Xavier, Max, Serge and the guy we went home with on this photo.

Be brave!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

30 Questions To Ask Yourself

The year of 2015 is coming to its end, and I'd like to sum it up a bit. I still have some plans I feel like I must execute, but they won't change the main, you know, volume of emotions. I had such an amazing year, didn't I? It changed me pretty much, helped me to understand what I want from life.
Not so long ago I found a post on our Russian version of Facebook that included some interesting questions people may ask themselves about their lives (originally the questions are from the book "My 5 years. 365 questions, 1825 answers. Diary"). They say to answer privately and show nobody, but I think it's a funny way to share my thoughts about the year with you. Maybe there're gonna be the questions I won't want to answer, so I'll politely skip them. Let's start!

1. The best moment of the year is...
My American trip, beyond doubt. I know, I worked in the children camp for the first time, I finished my 1st year at university this year and started the 2nd, but nevertheless my travel to LA was the most amazing and unforgettable for many reasons.

2. What inspired me the most this year?
Oh, difficulties have started. I can't help mentioning my mind-blowing travel again. People around me inspire me all the time. Participating in the contests with my student organization. Reading good literature, for sure; literature never lets me down.

3. The main news of the year.
I started working seriously. I became the English tutor in February and a teacher in the camp in June. Also now I can speak French!

4. The anthem of the year.
Man, you know, questions about music are HARD! Probably I could have pointed out one song the previous years, but not this one. I can't recall one song. Let it be Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood, the Eurovision 2015 winning song Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw, Style by Taylor Swift and Colors by Halsey.

5. The most important people in my life. (this year, apparently)
Well, I can't but mention my parents and best friends who are my most important people in my life forever. Also I'd like to point out the Australian man I met in LA. Nowadays, when several months have passed by, I understand that I won't exaggerate when saying that he kinda influenced my perception of the world and myself mainly. It's one in a million chance to get to know such a person, believe me.

6. What was the most difficult for me?
Umm, making up your mind is always difficult. Sometimes working with the children at camp was difficult; I even cried twice during the term. Urging myself to read all the necessary literature even if I totally don't feel like is always a challenge too.

7. What color was this year?
Oy, I could send you to Colors by Halsey here, too:) But having to choose the color of the year, I'd say red. Red is my second favorite color, and my 2015 has been so vibrant and energetic and full of unexpected things, so it was red. ("... but loving him was red")

8. What event of this year I'd like to remember forever?
Is it going to be another post about my LA trip or what?

9. What word I used most often?
Hmm, interesting. I'd probably be able to answer this question in Russian. In English I'd choose the word expression "on point", let it be so.

10. The most ridiculous purchase of the year.
I hope I learnt not to waste money this year as being a student. So I think I never bought anything ridiculous in 2015. Or I try not to remember.

11. I'd better experiment with...
Oh my, I think I've experimented enough this year. Perhaps, there's even nothing I'd regret. YOU GO, GIRL!

12. This year was great because...
I realized many plans and ideas, I tried and did what I hadn't done before. I met so many amazing people; many of them have become my good friends. I traveled all on my own abroad for the first time.

13. What intimate problem have I solved?
I don't know. Usually I try to avoid noticing problems including my owns. I still try to understand my nature, so I'll leave this question open.

14. Whom I hugged at night?
That's almost offensive. I hug my plush cat toy at night, you know. Well, I wasn't that hopeless this year, but they are more one night stand cases :c

15. At whose wedding I partied?
At no one's.

16. What average salary did I have this year?
*politely skipping*

17. Did I have a conversation that changed everything in my mind?
I don't think I'm capable of recalling one particular conversation. I try to extract something useful from every conversation I have. Talking to foreigners was remarkable; and conversations with my camp co-workers were always great.

18. What new business have I started this year?
Well, I've already written about my work. Though I don't earn much money, but I enjoy teaching my little students English, it's my own little serious business.

19. If I could become a super hero for one day, what would I do?
It might sound selfish, but if I were a super hero for a day, I'd fly to my guys in LA. Seriously.

20. What do I dream about?
Is it about 2015 or what? I have many dreams actually. Right now I dream to successfully pass my exams beforehand this semester and come to my hometown for a whole month.

21. What I consider to be my biggest achievement?
My successful American trip. Sorry.

22. Express this year (up to this day) in one phrase.
Off the hook.

23. The last message that I sent.
You won't be much excited about that: the last thing I sent was the translated sentences I sent to my group mates. Sorry.

24. A quotation that suits this year.
"I don't believe you. I believe in you" © the Canadian guy I met in LA

25. Have I realized everything I planned for this year?
Not yet. Only some chore stuff are left. But globally yes, I've done everything I planned. Well done.

26. How many new friends have I made this year?
I'm bad at counting. I guess there are about 4-5 new good friends I made this year.

27. Whom I helped this year?
Myself firstly. My Australian man. Cherry Lady. Tatyana. I like helping people if I'm sure I can.

28. What places have I visited?
OOOOHHH should I count my hometown? Besides, there are West Hollywood, Venice Beach, Downtown LA and all the other places I went to in LA. Most of them were new for me. Oh, and Tokyo! I've been to Tokyo for the first time!

29. What business have I put off till the next year?
Recording the songs that I wrote because I don't have any instruments here in Vladivostok (yet). So I wait for coming to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and creating some (I think) cool stuff there.

30. What do I want to achieve in the new year?
Discovering new aspects of my soul. I want to live happily in general. Earlier I'd absolutely send a wish upon a star for a boyfriend. Now I get it that I don't constantly need a boy to feel happy. Of course, I don't deny the need of somebody by my side. But unless I'm fully satisfied with myself, I won't be satisfied with anyone. Plus now I know I don't need a boy - I need a man ("who can do it like I can"). I guess I met someone who looked like my ideal this year, and now it's pretty tough to find somebody like him. But actually I don't look for anyone on purpose. I believe if I feel confident, my destiny will find me easily. So feeling constantly confident, being patient and attentive is what I want to achieve in the new year.

That's it! Maybe, my answers were pretty obvious and silly, but they are mine, don't you think? Try to answer yourself and see how amazing your 2015 was!

Be brave

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