Friday, December 21, 2007
Here is our New Year tree! Actually, only Yeva and I call it that. Marisol, Jess, and Iris think it's a Christmas tree. Hah! What do trees have to do with Santa?
Jess and I made tons of paper cranes to decorate the branches. I usually like to make paper snowflakes too, but the tree already looks really crowded. We also have little metal snowflakes and round, shiny balls.
Look at all the presents under there already! The blue and green one right in the front is for me, from Colette! Some of them are from Ded Moroz (for Yeva) and some are from Santa (for Marisol, Jess, and Iris). There's one mysterious one...
This present with cookie paper is hiding way in the back, behind all the other presents. It says "To: Marina. From: Yura." What do you think it is? Who do you think it's from? I'm going to have to wait *ages* to find out.
I have a question. I'm going to Wisconsin on Monday, so I have to leave the New Year Tree and the presents behind! We won't be back until a few days after New Year. Mama says I have three choices:
a) All of us dolls open our presents early, before we go to Wisconsin.
b) I bring my presents to Wisconsin with me and open them on New Year. The other dolls can open theirs some other day.
c) I wait until we come home and all of us dolls open our presents then.
Which do you think is the best choice? And why?
I also sent presents out to some of my friends. Of course, someone, whose name rhymes with "wren," sent them by parcel post- on Saturday! I think my friends will have no choice but to celebrate New Year like me, and not Christmas! Violence sent me a package too. It's not here yet, but Mama says that even if it comes before we leave I have to wait until New Year to open it, unless Tyotya Jess and Violence say it's okay.
Here are my toys from my chocolate eggs. Most mornings, I've found one in my stocking. They're all characters from the Three Bogatyrs trilogy! The guy in the armor with the spear on the left is Dobrina Nikitich. The one in the white with the sword is Alosha Popovitch. The last bogatyr is Ilya Muromets; he's the one with the big belt standing next to the princess.
That's Baba Yaga with the green dress and brown apron. Doesn't she have a big nose? She lives in the forest in a hut that walks on chicken legs! Baba Yaga freaks me out.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The other thing I'm hoping for, even though I didn't ask Ded Moroz, is a Ломо camera. They're special cameras from Leningrad that take really saturated and colorful photos. Mama got one from her old nanny, Olga Vassilievna, but she gave it to Sara! I really want one in my size, but I guess they don't make them that little. Don't tell Ded Moroz, but I am totally going to ask Tyotya Jess for one the next time I turn eleven. She found me an iPod that is just my size, so I know she can get anything. I told my Cheburashka to write a letter to Violence's Cheburashka telling him to write secret notes to leave all around Tyotya Jess and DyaDya Ethan's house so they don't know I am so greedy!
I really love taking pictures. I'm going to try to take some really good ones this year. Right now, I am going through some of the photos I took this year and using Photoshop to give them a fake Ломо effect. Doesn't Violence look so, so pretty in this one? It's when we rode the funicular in Kharkov this summer.
That was such a wonderful, wonderful day. We rode on tons of rides and then relaxed on the funicular- all the way to Alexeevka and back! Someday, I'm going to make Tyotya Jess and Mama take me and Violence all the way from Moscow to Khabarovsk on the Trans-Siberian railway so I can show Violence my hometown.
If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tonight, Jess and I trimmed the tree!
Jess is Japanese and she taught me how to make different kinds of origami a few years ago, so we decided to decorate the ёлка with paper cranes! Luckily, we have lots and lots of origami paper.
Jess made this really pretty golden crane. She's like a paper crane factory! We had a contest to see who could make 10 cranes first. The winner got the gold paper. Guess who won?
I only made 3 cranes TOTAL! Jess made about 20. She was really sweet and gave me a piece of her special washi paper since I didn't win the gold paper.
Our ёлка is going to look so beautiful when we're done! If you look up at the top picture, you can see that I put my toy Sputnik on the star. Marisol says her family *always* has an angel on their Christmas tree, but Iris and Jess's families put stars. We compromised on a star, which was great because my family always puts a red Soviet star on our ёлка!
What are your favorite decorations during the winter holidays?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Chag Sameach! Happy Holiday!
Do you like the big menorah? My moms got it from the Menorah Mobile!
I'm not Jewish, but I have lots of friends back in Khabarovsk who are. That's because the Jewish Autonomous Region is nearby. Stalin founded the region because all ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union were supposed to get their own territory. It's way, way out in Siberia because Stalin didn't like that Jews were not atheists. Also, the official language there was Yiddish, not Hebrew! It is even bigger than Israel.
It is still there now, but there are not very many Jewish people left there anymore.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Last night, I went to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center! It was so, so beautiful. I got to dress up in my prettiest outfit and my brand new coat and boots. I loved seeing the ballet! The Mouse King was awesome, with all of his creepy heads. Jen was scared of him, so I comforted her.
It was so much fun to watch The Nutcracker! It's called Щелкунчик in Russian, but it's not as popular there as it is here. In fact, Yeva had never even heard of it!
Before the ballet, I went to Bryant Park to watch the skaters. They were so beautiful! I wish that I could twirl and jump like that. I think I might save up for some ice skates. There was a Christmas market there; people had stalls selling fancy Christmas decorations. One lady was selling velour tracksuits in doll sizes! They did not look ladylike at all. I would certainly never wear Juicy Couture, ew!
I have to go to sleep now, but Iris says she thinks we should put up our stockings, just in case Sinterklaas comes for Mieke. He might not know she's out traveling. He usually comes on St. Niklaus Eve, but Iris says he's not allowed in the house unless there are grown-ups home, so maybe he'll come tonight.
Only 17 more days before our trip to Wisconsin!
Friday, November 30, 2007
After Iris and Yeva were asleep, I decided to sneak back out into the living room to play Wii. Marisol's beaten me at baseball for 2 weeks in a row, so I needed practice.
Jess was on the sofa! Dressed like... I don't even know what, but it wasn't good.
"Dude, Jess. Why are you dressed like a poofball?"
"Ugh. You don't want to know. Colette made me put this on so Fin could see how Myfanwy would look in this dress, because we look alike."
"I would never do that. You should have kicked her."
"I didn't, because Santa's watching me, duh. But anyway, you got a package!"
Holy hotdogs! It's a package- from Grandpa Bean!!
"Open it up!! Who's it from Inky?"
"She lives in the sky and drinks mint juleps all day, duh."
"Right, Inky. Open the box!"
"Oooh! Oooh! Jess, it's a doll! With a dog!"
"Inky! You're so lucky! That's a Cabbage Patch Kid!"
"Cool, she's wearing blue! Like Ded Moroz! Jess, if you give me 20 bucks, I'll let you hold her."
"Pass! I'll just sneak her out of your bed later. Ooh, ooh! Her name's Mallory Eva! Isn't Yeva's name Eva in American?"
"Yup. And yours is Poopface!"
Monday, November 26, 2007
This picture seems like such a long, long time ago. Winter is finally here. It's so cold outside! I have to pretend to be really tough and loving the cold, because I'm from Siberia. Yeva is from Kazakhstan, so she thinks I live with Дед Мороз!
Actually, Дед Мороз is pretty much the best part of winter. He's so much better than Santa. First off all, he comes right to your house, so you don't have to worry about someone sneaky coming down your chimney and getting your New Year Tree all dusty. Also, he has a sidekick. Снегурочка totally beats out those scary elves. Plus? He comes to everyone's house, not just people of a particular religion.
I hope I have an awesome New Year. Last year, I got a bunch of dishes (yawn), a sled (awesome), and a really cozy brown coat and hat. This year I'm really hoping for a computer, so I don't have to bug the big folks to use theirs.
Do any holiday folk show up at your house?
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Of course, my friends and I had a lovely time. Yeva brought some special Russian balloons. Isn't it cute? It's a little kitty head that says "I love you."
Jen gave me a bottle of Russian Fanta!! I was so excited, because it's really hard to find Russian Fanta. American Fanta is orange soda, like Sunkist (yuck!), but Russian Fanta is carbonated orange juice, like Pelligrino Aranciata or Orangina. I was so happy! I had a cherry pie and some wonderful spaghetti and meatballs. My guests received little Russian candy bars in their treat cups. The chocolates are from my favorite candy company, Red October.
My friend Violence sent me a package of wonderful, wonderful presents! Back in Khabarovsk, I never got birthday presents, but in America, it's their tradition. Violence gave me this wonderful book of Russian fairy tales. I was so, so happy because I love illustrations by Bilibin! How did Violence know he's my favorite?
She also sent me- an iPod!!! Isn't that fantastic? I was so happy that I jumped up and down on the bed. Violence even got her parents to put Cheburashka videos on it! It came in this cunning little case with my favorite characters going on a birthday visit- it has Krokodil Gena, Cheburashka, and Vinni Pukh! There was also a wonderful little birthday card and some new posters for my room. Plus? Violence said her mama and my DyaDya Ethan invited me to visit Utah! Thank you Violence!!
This was definitely my best birthday ever. I hope you all receive your party favors from me soon. When you do, please let me know!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Today I'm really missing my friend Maia. Did you know I am only a week older than her? We used to live on the shelves together at the Doll Mall in Chicago.
In this photo, we're celebrating a friend's birthday about 1.5 years ago. Maia lent me a very lovely shirt and skirt. She knows how to do little curlies on her hair, but I just have my same old bangs.
I miss you Maia!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
This is especially for Violence. I took a bunch of movies on the camera while we saw Swan Lake this summer in Ukraine, but I kept forgetting to upload them. There are four of Swan Lake; you can see the others by checking out Colette's youTube stuff.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Вот Я и Евка! Tonight I showed her some of the pictures from Violence's visit. I told Yeva how Violet learned tons of Russian in less than a month, because I wanted her to learn English. I'm not really sure how long it took me to speak English, but I hope for Yeva it will be fast.
I also hope it will be slow, because she started talking about Khruschev. What? Iris and I once say this really sad movie called Goodbye Lenin. It's about a mother who is in a coma when East Germany and West Germany got smooshed back together. Her son tries to keep her from finding out about capitalism.
I just don't want Yeva to be sad when she finds out that our country never did make it to communism.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Here's one thing I had to learn: when you want juice in America, you put money in a vending machine and it comes out in a can. Then, you can carry your can around with you! Back at home, if you want juice, you can go to a vending machine also. Only there is a glass there. The juice squirts into the glass and you drink it. Then, you wipe out the glass and put it back.
Iris says that the Soviet way is not very sanitary. I said that the American way is very wasteful. Jess says "just carry a water bottle."
What do you think?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Here I am last January, at the New York State Theater. That's where the New York City Ballet performs. Guess what? I'm going to go see Balanchine's Nutcracker in three weeks! I'm really excited. Back in Leningrad, they hardly ever perform it, so I've never actually seen it.
This will be my second time at this theater. I also saw Sleeping Beauty there. Have you ever been to the ballet? Which one is your favorite?
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The new girl, Yeva, is also Soviet! She's only nine and I'm almost 11, so I have to take care of her. She doesn't speak English yet, but she says she knows a way she can talk to everyone else.
Yeva brought a giant stuffed Krokodil Genadii with her! Now Cheburashka has his best friend, so they can play together.
See those giant bows on Yeva's head? Practically all Soviet girls wear them. My mama never put them on my head when I was little and I was so jealous of everyone else's beautiful bows. I told Yeva that- and she said she hates wearing them!
Friday, November 9, 2007
As I said yesterday, there weren't any gorillas or pandas for the October Revolution, but I did have a little party. Iris and I decorated with red tinsel and Marisol and Jess came over after my weekly Wii workout with Marisol.
"Союз! That's 20 more points for me! I'm killing you guys!"
"Inky, you're only winning because you're making us play Russian Scrabble AGAIN. I have to pass every turn, because I don't even know what the letters say!"
"Well, I don't mind really, as long as I get to hold Mulder. He's so cute! I wish I could have a little dog in a bag like Iris. I'd buy her little outfits and collars and stuff. Where is Iris anyway? "
"Marisol, that's almost as dumb as how Inky makes us wear slippers when we come over. Iris said she'd be here after she finished practicing her violin in the living room. "
"Move your giant head out of the way Jess! Iris is over there- and she's got someone with her!"
"Hey guys! Guess what! We've got a new roomie!"
"Hi! I'm Jess! I don't usually wear slippers to parties!"
"Jess, the new girl doesn't speak English. She's from the Soviet Union, like Inky."
"What!! Another Inky? This is going to be so fun. Only... not at all. Let's just hope she can play Russian Scrabble so that we don't have to."
"Privyet.' I'm Marinka, but they all call me Inky because it's more American, I think. I lived in Khabarovsk before I came here. What's your name?"
"It's Yeva. I'm from Tyuratam."
"That's so cool that you're from Tyuratam! Did you get to see it when Mir was launched?"
"They launched the whole world? Definitely not, but I got to meet Valentina Tereshkova right after Vostok 6 last summer! Oooh, are you a Pioneer? I'm still a Little Octobrist. You're so lucky!"
"Wait... Vostok 6, last year?? You're from 1964!! Holy hot dogs! You're lucky I'm a Pioneer, you're definitely going to need someone to teach you about the world. It's 2007!"
Yeah, so we've got a new girl. Seriously, can you believe she got to meet Valentina Tereshkova? I'm going to need to be really strong for her, poor Little Octobrist. She's lucky she has a Young Pioneer like me, to teach her all about life in the 21st Century.
Uh-oh. I bet she doesn't know what happened to the Soviet Union yet...
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
So, I was playing pirates tonight and I started thinking.
"Iris? Do you think Mieke's ever coming back?"
"Mieke? She told us she wasn't sure how long she was going to be gone. When was the last time she wrote? Didn't she say she was in Arizona?"
"Yeah, she did. But she hasn't written since. Plus, we've moved since she left. Do you think she remembers us?"
"Mieke's lived all over the place; she gets restless if she's home for too long. But of course she remembers us. She left after Violet did- and Violet writes to you all the time. She even sent you that map, remember? And you sent Uncle Ethan that crocodile thing?"
"Well, Violence has a laptop, duh. She can read my blog. And that was Krokodil Gena, not a 'crocodile thing.' I'm fine with Mieke traveling, but why is there another bed in here if it's not hers? All the other dolls chill up on the shelf thing."
"Right. Anyway! Did you forget what Wednesday is? I thought you'd be all excited and getting ready for it. Even *I* remembered."
"You mean the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution? I'm hoping we'll get fireworks, a giant bonfire, a gorilla, some pandas, a huge balloon shaped like Lenin, lots of ice cream bars, and a dragon that lets us fly on his back. The front hall closet has been locked for weeks, so I think Colette's keeping the surprises in there."
"Um. I hope you get your wish? I was thinking we'd just have some special treats and maybe watch one of your weird Russian movies. Plus, uh, I really don't think there's anything in that closet."
Okay, personally, Iris is nuts. Colette and Jen can get anything. That bed's probably for the gorilla and the pandas. Plus, the closet's probably locked so that they can't get out and scare Safran and MIlosz. Iris is so weird. I think she's just jealous that all she gets is that stupid 4th of July when I have The! Awesomest! October! Revolution!"