Friday, April 27, 2007

End of the Semster... upon us. I wanted to post some pictures of me and my classes before heading for Ukraine for vacation, but we are losing Internet here shortly, so I guess it will have to wait until later. It might be a few days before I get a chance to get on and blog!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

R.I.P. Boris Nikolayevich

It will be interesting to see how the Russian government and people react to Yeltsin's death and how his funeral and things go. I think it will be interesting because it will bring memories of the rough years of the 90's back to the forefront. You have to give him some credit for helping to bring down a totalitarian state with a minium of violence and blodshed. (You can imagine the "Yugoslavia in 11 time-zones" nightmare."

NYT on Yeltsin's Death

Gates Showed Up in Moscow to talk to the Russians about missle defence.

Monday, April 23, 2007

We'll Always Have...Murom

This weekend Sara, Joanna, Eric, and I took a little trip to Murom at the invitation of the English teachers and students at the local college. We left Vladimir at what seemed like the crack of dawn on Saturday morning on the 2.5-3 hour bumpy bus ride. The afternoon we spent listening, and judging, presentations by some of the students followed by by some more presentations and so on. In the evening we went to stay with host-students and their families. Each of us had a different one. I spent the evening hanging out with my host and her friends at a cafe, talking about the kinds of things that we usually talk about when meeting Russians for the first time. Sunday morning we took a little walk around the city and such. It was pretty cold and rainy and by the end I was ready to hop back on the bus to Vladimir and get home to a hot meal, a shower, and a book. All in all, despite a few moments, it was nice to get out and do something and see a place we've never been.

As is my habit, here's some news:
More Fun With Media and NGO's

News Will Be Happy, Or Else!

Commentary on Russian-American Relations

Commentary from the NYT on Chukotka and Russia's Far Northern expanses.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Опять политика...

This article in The Moscow Times gives a pretty good impression of the situation here in the wake of the government's crackdown on last weekend's tiny protests. The powers that be seem nervous. It goes a long way to explaining the government's reaction to opposition and the reaction to events in Ukraine and other world events.

Also, here's an interesting article about Eastern Europe and it's growing position as an outsourcing area for Western Europe-based businesses.

Monday, April 16, 2007

...and Monday Morning

I've got a picture from last week's trip to Bogolyubovo. Picture credit to Molly.

Also, another picture from a while back when we were in Moscow, also one of Molly's.

Russian language news seems to play it as a few members of a "radical opposition," painting anyone who would oppose the current order as an extremist. For those who can read Russian there is which makes things sound orderly.
On the other hand, there is The Moscow Times on this weeekend's festivities, which seem chaotic. Also interesting is this story, by a photographer who was swept up by the police and then released. I wasn't there, so I'll leave it to you to decide.

P.S. The NYT

Also, let's save polar bears by killing them.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


...this week, I'm not working on Sunday, just killing some time on the Internet before heading of to spend some time relaxing and reading in our favorite cafe. It's sunny, but cold, so the thought of spending a lot of time outside is a non-starter.

Also, if you didn't catch this, you might want to read about Moscow events from yesterday in this story from the NYT

P.S. There's another related article that just appeared.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Today was Wednesday and we had a little bit of free time, so Nicole, Molly, and I headed for Bogolyobovo. It's a small village just to the east of Vladimir that was once the seat of the aptly named Andrei Bogolyobsky (the Pious). It's is most famous for the little white church in the picture. It is praised by many as the epitome of medieval architecture in this part of Russia. The location, at the confluence of two rivers, adds something to it too. It took is a long while of tromping around (part of the time on the wrong side of the river) to get on the right side and on the path to the church. When we headed back to the AH, we arrived just in time for Russian lunch, which was delicious. In addition to lunch, we were celebrating Molly's birthday, which is today. ;)

Also, Jessa, to answer your question: Yes, there is "Russian Dressing" on Russian salads. Russian salads rarely have any lettuce in them. The constant ingredient is the dressing. By dressing, I mean "mayonnaise." I'm not a big fan of mayonnaise anyway, so it's like a holiday when we find way to order vegetables in a restaurant that lack this all-important ingredient in every salad.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Where's My Hair?

So after having had one haircut since I got here in August (and that one months ago) I finally broke down and went and got a haircut. If you know me, you know that it's usually pretty short, but I had gotten used to looking like the fifth-Beatle or somthing like that. So, here are the before and after pics:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Politics Again

Yushchenko's Opinion Piece about why he chose to call for elections. There is also a piece in The Moscow Times about the Situation in Kiyv. As an American I am inclined to see it from the pro-Western Yushchenko's point of view, but clearly there are a lot of people in the country who support Yanukovich.

Here in Vladimir, winter has made an attempt to return as the temperature plunged yesterday and there were patches of snow here and there on the ground and on buildings this morning: another day in paradise.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More Ukraine

More Ukraine Fun Another article in The New York Times about what seems to be a developing Ukrainian political crisis.

Here'sWhat The Moscow Times has to say about it.

It's hard to tell right now, but it seems like the normal growing pains of a functioning, if tumultuous, democracy. This is of course in stark contrast the politics of many of the other post-Soviet countries.

Other than that, a warm, sunny day at work.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Molly, Nicole, and I were headed to the coffee shop Sunday afternoon for a cup of coffee and some relaxation when we came upon this guy:
I'm not sure how a bagpipe-playing guy showed up in Vladimir, but we put down a few rubles and listened for a few minutes.

Here's a picture of Nicole and Molly that I snapped at the same time. We're all sad because we are going to be losing our Nicole at the end of the month as she goes back to the States to claim her Master's and find what is known as a "real job!"

Also in the news today is more political turmoil in neighboring Ukraine. The pro-Western president, Yushchenko, is facing an over-assertive parliament and it's leader, the pro-Russian Yanukovich. (You might remember that Yanukovich is the guy who was Yushchenko's opponent in the presidential election back in 2004.) As a result of a further strengthening of the opposition majority, Yushchenko is calling for new parliamentary elections late next month. It may not be as scandalous as Italian politics, but it is very interesting because Ukraine is riding the balance between pro-Western, EU-facing influences and East-leaning, pro-Russian ones. Read All About It

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April Begins

It's hard to believe that March has come and gone and April is here. We've had some of the best weather I can imagine lately. It's been sunny and cool for two weeks straight now.

Yesterday I gave a presentation here at the American Home about College Sports, something near and dear to might heart that doesn't really exist here. We followed that up with Rudy and a game of whiffle ball in the back yard. All in all, a fun day. Other than that, we have several busy weeks to finish up this semester. We've got about two and a half weeks of class and then a week and a half of exams and other semester ending fun! The good part is ten or so days vacation at the end of April/beginning of May.

So in all, another Sunday afternoon to work a little, read a little, and hang out a little before diving back into another week of the madness that is the AH.