There will be running water, they said.

Oct 6th., evening.
I got home to a sign on the door saying, there will be some pipe changing going on in the building Oct. 7th, which may cause some fluctuations in the quality and quantity of my running water. The running water would be fine again at midnight on that day. Okay, not a big deal.

Oct 7th., morning.
My morning shower was terrific. And ice cold. Did someone say cold showers are healthy? Okay, fine. But maybe, just maybe, beautiful rust-color water is not particularly healthy. Things like rust and dirt might be useful elsewhere, but probably not in my skin care routine. And in my stomach, for that matter.
Putting a small portion of the orange running water through my filter, which is probably not intended for the use in a harsh environment like this one, and heating the water up and adding some coffee helped me forget what I was drinking.
Okay, now there is hope for a shower in the evening.

Oct 7th., evening
There was a little hot running water and a little cold running water coming from the pipes. I started a load of laundry. Then they shut off the cold water. The washer uses water from that pipe.
I decided I wanted to take a bath, but yeah, I can’t take a bath in scolding hot water. Yeah, I also cannot put it in my filter, because noone puts hot water in a water filtering pitcher.
By this time the washer drained and remained full of wet clothes with soap on them.
Now there was cold water coming out of hot water pipes, and not a huge amount of it, and I had nowhere to collect it. I am poor and all I have is a small pot and a plastic bucket.
And then they shut off all water, and there was just a water bottle to drink from.
Yeah, here’s to my plan to wash the kitchen floor.

Oct 8th., morning
5.40 am. No water. Wet clothes in the washer. Yesterday’s tea. I can’t trust them, they promised water at midnight. Yeah, no shower.

Oct 8th., morning for most people
I am at work telling my boss I need to work from home to watch the house, and to take care of my multiple unfortunate circumstances, including having to watch the taps so that I would not flood the neighbors if the taps are not turned the right way, and so that the neighbors would not flood me.

Oct 8th., afternoon
I get to work from home for the first time in my life. Also, SHOWER!! And they shut off the water right after I collected some water in the bucket to wash down the pee and the poop in the toilet.

Oct 8th., end of work day
My plan to do some exercise fails, as I would be stinky and sticky and there is this no shower thing, which normally increases the stinky and the sticky.
I move my wet laundry out of the washer into the bucket – one of the two containers I own that are able to collect water.

Oct 8th, evening, 8:40pm
I’m in the store buying water, and building plans on how I will use this water wisely – one bottle to clean myself tomorrow before work, probably using my tiny pot as a shower, and the other one to consume for my survival.
On my building’s door I see a note saying, there will be water at 22 pm.

Oct 8th, evening, 9pm
I come home, I put the water bottles down, I hear water exploding from the pipes in the toilet. Perfect timing.

Oct 8th, 9:22 pm
The water in the toilet tank proves to be an effective way to wash down poop and pee in the toilet. I still question the effectiveness of ice cold showers in achieving a healthy mind and body.

Oct 8th, 9:23
STILL. NO. HOT. WATER. They have exactly 37 minutes… 36…. And they’d better be truthful in their note this time.

Oct 8th, 9:42
The writer was seen disappearing behind the bathroom door. There were happy screams heard. And running water.

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Food rant: Vegetarian?

It has been a challenge for me to get used to nutrition in a different country – different prices (normally, higher), different food standards (normally, lower quality), and different food choices make eating confusing and force me to do a lot of experiments (that often turn out to be a failure) – so I’ve been considering to go vegetarian. Now, I would not do that to protect animals, or thinking that it’s healthier (I honestly believe that a varied diet is healthier than vegetarian) – but in my case it could be healthier, cheaper, and something fun to do.

Buying meat is really problematic – out of the few times that I could afford meat, there was no time that my meat smelled fresh (the meat had at least two more days before it expired). A couple times it was okay – and a couple of times it went to the trash. Out of the times, that I got good meat – I did not find it tasty whatsoever. It was kind of disgusting (Yay to being used to high life standards). There is a wide selection of things like somersausage – but those things are expensive and not healthy as they contain too much fat (even for me – I never care about fat contents), and sometimes they come smelling bad too.

Looking at vegetarian products – there is always lots of produce and it’s easy to tell if it’s fresh or not, and it does not have too many pesticides on it (from what I heard). There is also a big selection of grains that could be fun to cook and that are really cheap. Produce is fairly expensive – but I don’t mind that if I can eat a quality product. Also, there is a high selection of dairy products and cheeses – and you can find high quality items for a good price. Eating quality non-meat things makes me feel better and healthier than bad meat (yeah, I just sad that, lol).

Lastly, I have always thought that cooking vegetarian dishes is more fun, because a limited amount of ingredients makes you think of cooking differently, and forces you to be more creative.

One thing, I do like seafood and fish, and it can be found here in fair quality. Maybe I could just exclude meat out of my diet. I’m tired of wasting money on bad or low quality meat that could have been spent on something that I can actually eat.

To the tagged people or anyone else vegetarian/vegan: any advice?

a mother, a birthday, and abuse

Yesterday my mother had a birthday. I wanted to say happy birthday to her, but was not sure it I wanted to talk to her. Today I woke up and thought that I might as well tell her happy belated birthday. When I turned on my other phone to text her, I got like three texts looking like “What happened to you, you are not talking and not texting and not replying to me, that’s not right” etc etc etc. Funny how she sent all those on the day of (or right after) her birthday, just because she did not get my attention. Funny how the only thing she ever tells me is, why don’t you tell me this or that. Funny how, before leaving home, I told her, that I want space and will not be talking to them because I feel hurt every time I talk to them – because I did not want to just leave, because that would scare the hell out of them. Funny how in response to that they told me they love me and it’s me who does not have the ability to feel their love.

So here it is. I did not say happy birthday (Which is, to some extent, her controlling me into hating her – yeah, messed up, I know). I shut off the phone and took out the sim card. I am going to try to not stay in touch with them at all. I have already logged myself out of the email account that they email me to – because all they do is threaten me, and make me feel guilty. I do want to talk to them, I want them to be in my world, but every time I talk to them, I feel like I don’t want to live – or like I don’t want them to live, and neither of those feelings are healthy. There is nothing I can do to change them. So I’m gonna try to stay away. Like, really stay away. And that’s gonna be hard because their nasty words were all I ever heard – so it’s all the love from them I ever got, and it feels comfortable.

So here it is, mom, I am sorry I did not get to say happy birthday to you. I would want to take a trip home and bring you flowers. But I can’t do that. I can’t even talk to you. You have always been causing me a lot of pain, and you are still hurting me now, by every one of your words. I understand it’s not your fault that you are like that, but I have to protect myself. I am sorry. I deserve more than letting you hurt me.

Water (and a random guy) made my day

My family orders drinking water in 5 gallon bottles because drinking tap water here is really not a good idea if anyone wants to stay healthy. So this morning, a water delivery guy brought two bottles up to the apartment, and while my grandmother was paying for the water, I picked up the bottles and carried them down the hall to put them where they need to be. Seeing that, the delivery guy told me something like: “Oh wow, you have a good technique picking up those bottles. You should come work with us.” It was funny as hell, and it was one of the few non-sexist comments I’ve heard from a guy since I got back. Hearing that just made me feel good and kinda made my day. And the guy was cute, too. Thank you, random guy, for making me smile. 🙂

My first good day

Today I had a good day. It was the first time since I got back to Russia that I had a good day. Last night was horrible until I got to talk to a friend of mine from the United States, which made me way happier. And today I started my day with waking up early, and having some coffee, and then I got to hang out with an old friend. We talked, and played ping pong, and had coffee, and talked some more before he dropped me off. It was nice to realize that I have friends both in the United States and in Russia.

Then I got to hang out at the house, and set up Pandora the way that it works (normally, it does not work in Russia).  And then I picked up my guitar, which I haven’t done in a while. I played a few chords and a few songs and realized that I got much better at it in the time I did not play – or maybe I just underestimated myself before. I played the Wagon Wheel song, which made me think of Chadron, and all its concerts and celebrations where this song gets played. While practicing chords, I did good playing the G chord, but I have yet to learn how to play the F chord. I suppose I need to start my tomorrow with it.

Later in the evening I decided I wanted to make pea soup, which is a somewhat traditional Russian recipe, and I never had real pea soup because what my mother normally makes tastes really boring. So I looked it up on the internet and found a recipe. I was also happy to find that my mother left me some money like I asked her to instead of buying lots of food and cooking it for me in a totally disgusting way, which she normally does. So I went to the store and got some smoked pork ribs for the broth, and a few other things. The house had most of the things I needed for the recipe.

I spent the evening listening to some oldies on my “60’s, 70’s, and 80’s” Pandora station, and making my soup. And then in some couple hours I got to eat my soup, and have some Jameson on the rocks to go with it. It was amazing. Realizing that I can make my own soup makes me feel like I am a grown up – well, and being old enough to drink whiskey does that too. My mother liked my soup too, since she decided to have some. And now, they are all gone to sleep, and I get to sit in the kitchen with my whiskey, and my retro music, and my insanely fast wifi that I got installed yesterday, while contemplating to read some of the Storm Front by Jim Butcher before the night ends, and I started thinking that today has been truly the first good day in the last two weeks and a half.

My days were so dark I never expected I’d have a good one – but it’s nice to see that it’s possible after all.

Phone and shoes

Looks like it’s my post #100 and I’m writing it from my new phone that I just got today. My life feels surreal these days, so finally getting a phone is nice – I can maintain at least one of my old habits of browsing the internet from my phone, which makes me feel more comfortable.
* For those who don’t know for whichever reason, I just got from the United States, where I went to school for a few years, to Russia, which is my home country. *
As of now, I am stuck without my laptop due to the absence of a plug converter, so the only other technology to access internet was my parents computer, that works slower than the phone. So having a phone is nice in every way. It’s just sad my phone does not play Skyrim.
I also got new shoes today – because I needed some – and let me tell you guys, it’s really nice to have dry feet and not have to worry about slipping on ice. * happy dance *

Last year’s resolutions

Here’s my last year’s ideas/resolutions and where they got me in 2013. Wrote that a while ago and should have posted it earlier, but since I did not, I’m posting it now.

1. I have always wanted to get a guitar and learn how to play – so I want to do it this year.
Well, I got a guitar and learned a few songs. It was fun and will be even more fun.
2. I need to start working out more – both for the good mood and for the body endurance and strength, and maybe lift some weights.
Emm.. that did not go that well… But I worked out for about four months, and have a better idea of how to work out.
3. Eating. Cooking and eating. At least two times a day. I tend to skip meals, which should happen less often
I tried. I think I failed to get good, but I got a bit better at making sure I am fed than I used to.
4. Do some more experiments with my hair – mostly colors, maybe styles.
I’ve done red/brown, I’ve done dark red/brown, I’ve done purple and black and red/purple highlights, and at the end of the year I had had dark purple, black, and gray/brown. I think I did good on this one – at least with colors! I did not play with styles as much.
5. Write at least once a week in my journal.
Once a week did not happen, but I started writing more regularly than I used to. At least when I remember.
6. Doing more crocheting – and more complicated crocheting projects, and maybe learn knitting.
Yeah, there were some attempts – an unfinished doily, and I just started a granny square blanket – not sure if I’ll finish it, but I know how to make granny squares now.
7. Clean my house – and keep it clean.
Emmm… I say, my house got cleaner than it used to be. Anyone seeing it would still say it’s a mess.
8. Draw something every once in a while.
Fail. I think I drew something just once or twice this year.
9. Learn how to manage my time better.
I got better than I was, I had times where I would totally suck at managing time, and I had times when I was great. My summer was the highlight of efficient time management, and so was the end of the semester.

Time is everything

Time is everything – this is what I learned in the small time that I’ve been a college graduate. It’s been a little over a week since I walked on the stage in a funny black gown and a square hat with a tassel that got in my eyes and ears and mouth and then attempted to get my lipstick all over my face. Yes, people, I wear lipstick. Not as often as I would like. And I need to stop getting distracted.
So I graduated – but what came after that was not at all what I expected. I expected I would feel free and excited. Instead, I was feeling miserable, tired, and empty. It took me a week of sleeping every day for 12 hours, and then laying in bed and watching TV shows for another 12 to start feeling at least somewhat well-rested.
And finally today I am feeling like I came back to life. I woke up, I cleaned my house, I went to the store and got food, I made dinner and cake, had some eggnog, and started to thaw my turkey in a bathtub full of cold water, after which I went on a walk around town to see Christmas lights, and got to say hi to some friends. Now I am back at my warm house, snacking on strawberries and excited about tomorrow and my life in general. Today has been jolly and very much productive – exactly what I wanted my days after graduation to be.
I am happy that my down time is over – because during that time, I was depressed and angry and tired all the time, feeling like punching things  and people, and being unable to go do my favorite fun things like walking or playing guitar or taking pictures or even playing videogames. However, I am glad I gave myself time and did not push myself to have fun productive days when I did not feel like it. I needed that down time, I needed to just sit at my house 24/7 without any aim and meaning – I needed all that to start feeling better. Time is everything, and I understand it now better than ever.

A Midnight Dance

A wild woman. And a wild man. They don’t need each other. They are both free. If they meet each other, they will be friends. If they decide they want each other, they will dance a wild dance, full of freedom and happiness – true happiness, because they will know that each of them is dancing because they want to, not because they need to and can’t escape. They can, and they’ll let each other go if they decide to, but they don’t – that’s because they want to keep dancing, because it’s fun. Each of them is free, powerful, and beautiful. They don’t force each other, they don’t hurt each other – they can’t and they don’t dare to try – because they don’t belong to each other. They are next to each other, dancing their wild dance together.

Crazy thoughts of a mad(wo)man

Okay, in the last 24 hours I studied about 11 hours. It is the last day of classes. The last official day of classes. I am feeling happy and evil. (Yes, mine is an evil laugh). I am graduating in exactly a week. In four days is my last day at work. I have to take pictures of my stuff in the house and put it on facebook and chadrad so that I could sell it. It’s been -20F last night. It’s pretty cold. It is a pretty morning and I would like to go take pictures. But it’s TOO COLD for that. I have my last class in my bachelor’s degree in two hours. And then I need sleep. But I don’t want sleep. I feel jittery and excited and I want to get all my homework done. I have only four assignments left, and a couple small things here and there that don’t count. At least not for that purpose. Walking into a bar and drinking a Bailey’s coffee while it’s a freezing night outside – is the most amazing thing ever. I still have to buy a hat and a tassel for my graduation. I am excited for graduation and for Christmas. I am sad that I will have to say most goodbyes at the end of the finals week. I am less worried about airplanes because I have my friends who are there for me. I am really tired. Next week is the finals week. But the finals will be easy. I am wondering if Burkhiser will have snacks during the finals week like they always do. There is just too much stuff, too much of everything. And most of it is exciting. After being done with two main papers that I needed to get done, I am not feeling as stressed out anymore. It’s just too much stuff at once. Most of it is fun. Some of it is not. I want orange juice. Maybe I should go eat at the cafeteria. Food is healthy.

Sentence challenge: 5

I used to think that my happiness needs to depend on finding a guy, and that without a guy I am nothing – just an empty and useless half that will never be full. I used to be upset about not being able to find a guy who would be the reason of my existence an who would provide this reason for my happiness. Now I am just sitting and remembering this and feeling bitterly amused at the thought that my parents are the ones who are empty and useless, because no parent should ever teach their girl child this way of a miserable existence and require her to follow it. I am happy now to know that I am only as full and as happy as I decide to be – and the feelings of happiness and content have nothing to do with having or not having a guy in my life. Happiness is something that needs to be found and drawn from within while being alone – and then it can be applied to living in a peaceful and majestic solitude, or brought into a relationship with a partner, who – if he is shining from the inside as much as you are – will contribute to a happy and enjoyable travel called life.

Sentence challenge: 4

A few days ago – after a substantial break – I picked up my guitar again. As I was trying to remember things I practiced last time I played, I found myself being able to switch between chords fairly easily – and I even managed to play a song, which surprised me. I am happy that my brain can remember things well, but I’m definitely annoyed that my fingers are hurting – so I need to practice more in order to not be bothered by them. I also found my capo and made a song notebook (stole my friend Stu’s idea), which will hopefully make my practice more fun.

Sentence challenge:3

As I am living my life and getting further away from my unfortunate past, I am realizing how many great people are surrounding me. Yesterday I got to be around and talk to a number of different people, and I gotta say, I am incredibly happy for knowing each and every one of them. Today my day started like complete crap, but again, all day I was surrounded by some amazing people that all made me smile – and reminded me that however crappy life gets, it is nevertheless amazing.