"Far East style"


This is a symbol that is much more common in the Steel City...
(A piece to be attached to a big costume.)


Mardi Gras in... August! :O

Once a year the Steel City is not ashamed of showing the bodies as they are. We had a Carribean carnival that was seriously called Mardi Gras.


swimming lessons

I teach Aque to swim. She is reluctant to put her face on the water and breath out, but she is quite good in copying the movements, the main obstacle for moving better, I think, is mostly the lack of physical strength, not the coordination.


We are hurrying, trying to use the summer. The lack of work helps, although I'm getting almost sick of mental lazines, of the magazines I read on the benches while Aque runs through the play fountains. Have you ever seen this book The Pleasure of Your Company. Entertaining in Hight Style by Kimberly Schlegel (ISBN 1-58685-314-7)? It starts with a plan of the party for dogs, to thank these nice creatures for everything they give their human friends - "arrange dog foot painting and serve treats for humans and dogs separately".


tips for a nature-lover

"During 16 years we had only to accidents with animals: one with a squirrel and one with a seagull.
"If you kill a squirrel, everybody's happy: you didn't have an accident, the people behind you didn't have an accident, the squirrel goes to heaven and doesn't need to look for food any more.
"Have you ever tried to catch a bird? I did. I put some rice, made a loop and wait. I never could catch one. The birds were smart, they even didn't want my rice. Only once I cought a very big bird, I even didn't know what kind it was.
"My friend went to a charity casino* and won $ 3 000 in one evening. On the way back home he didn't want to drive over a dead racoon, but lost control, so his car somersault sidelong, landed on wheels safely. It cost him $ 7 000 to fix all damages to the car.
"If you kill a skunk, you won't only suffocate, you'll narrow your eyes!
"If you see a sign for deers, you'd better watch out. Those animals are so strong! Have you seen that picture in a newspaper: a moose went completely into the car, only its hind legs and tail are outside.
"If you see a guy before you, standing on the line right before you, you'd better kill him, because you may avoid a collision, but the next car after you will kill him.

The quotes are from my driving school teacher, so called Dave, from Taiwan. He's about 50.
* How strange, - Baobeir said - that there aren't charity brothels yet.




Second Fitness Evaluation

I had my fitness evaluation today. It seems I've lost almost 1 % of my body fat, so now losing fat is not a big issue. I'm gaining lean tissue, but still have to work harder because the muscles grow even slower than the fat burns. I am well-hydrated, but the cardio and stretching are still my weak points.


Scientific Summer in the Steel City

Yesterday at a drop-in group we were told that instead of an ordinary snack we will make our own ice cream. \"Like in the days passed, when there were no fridges\" and \"the Science is going to help us\". Some milk was poured into zip-lock bags, 8 teaspoonfuls of sugar/bag, the bags with milk were put into big bags with ice, and some salt was abundantly thrown on the ice. Mothers and kids had to shake it for 15 minutes to make some ice cream. The ice melt and our hands were irritated with salt.
Today I had the second fitness evaluation, and I must say that it was not fair to say I hadn\'t exercise 24 hours before the evaluation. I still have a sour muscles in my right arm and even felt that in the night. I told Baobeir and he suggested me to stop fitness and start making ice cream at home.
Unfortunately, his dream of saving on fitness and ice cream is not realistic, because we succeeded only with one bag, but even there the ice cream was not edible just because the salt from outside got into milk. However the teachers didn\'t reveal that to kids and served them plain ice cream from a supermarket.


60 Hz bugs, or Summer in the Steel City

Cicadas chirr-rrrr. Wires buzz - the sound resembling a very fast drill or even of a welding is quite annoying. Sometimes one can\'t make out whether it is a cicada or a wire.
It appears that Ontario has its own berries. ;) Claudiuccia often refused to eat real strawberries - they were \"too acrid\", she said. :wow2:


Boozhoo, boozhoo, aanish naa?

Once more Aque astonishes me with her interest in words completely useless in a daily life. She has already forgot "sa kabukiran", but now she occassionally sings "Hello, hello, how are you?" in... Ojibway. There is a "Native Family Gathering" every month at the club for parents and kids, when the girls from a centre for aboriginal families sing songs with children and propose them to make a pair of mocassins or a totem pole of construction paper, yarn and toilet paper rolls.



I must, must take a camera next time I go to the Ukrainian school. The bell-tower*, chimney-stalks and posters with hamburgers will be enough, so when I show these pictures here, inhabit them with insane girls under something stronger than the ordinary weed hopping down the road, slow walking machos over 50 and very old ladies sitting quietly at bus-stops.
Once upon a time we went to Cuvet and were complaining that there is nothing in the motherland of absinthe, that's why they'd invented it.
* The school is next to the church.

Cuvet, April 2002


First Aid "with an accent"

The club for parents and kids has organized a lecture on the first aid. The first aid was a part of the course for future parents Baobeir and I took in Neuchatel, but I want to update my skills more often than Klavka and others test my knowledge on the subject.
A local girl from the Red Cross was accompanied by two girls in hijabs: "If somebody doesn't understand it in English, they will make translations". Well, the audience didn't need "translations", so one of the "hijabed" girls supervised a few parents doing CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) on "allien babies" - silvery dolls of a new-born size. She suggested to make two breaths (instead of one) for every 5 compressions. I don't think that was a cunning plot against the Christian (y compris Indian, Chinese etc.) babies - the girl was such an "easy learner", that's it.
After the heads of the "allien babies" were literally blown out because of our efforts to reanimate them, some of us asked the stuff for a more extended course on the first aid. "It costs $ 50... We'll think..."
In the same time the club hires taxis to bring us to picnics in parks inside the city. There is nothing interesting there, but Klavka enjoys shallow swiming pools with fountains - they are clean and supervised by lifeguards.


shu chunzi

Finally, the digging in books for the [Ukrainian] school library took place today. The work was extremely monotonous and people were silent almost all the time, so I was lucky knowing that Klavka and Baobeir were waiting for me and I left in an hour feeling not too much remorse. :)
Well, I've seen some funny titles (I was labeling the books in kids section) both among the books published by immigrants and in "Mainland" :D Ukraine, so I know what to borrow in a while. But the junk is dominating.
The old ladies can barely finish that pile in one evening, so I believe we are going to have another session. :hang:


Polite and patient ;p

That's how the social workers evaluate my service. (Was that me? ;) ) Every time I go for an assignment I have an evaluation form and envelope with The Agency's address (but stamps are on the "SP"'s expence), so the service provider (SP) can send my boss his opinion on my performance.


The End of a White Self-Segregation!

Klavka's caregiver A. can't make her living caring for her, so she resigns from the childcare agency, and we are returning to S. At least we already know a bit about the sceletons (and Books) in S's closet, and Klavka knows the person.
When starting this "busines" A. believed that in her district close to the school there would be lots of parents who want their children to be brought to and from the school, but it appears that mothers stay at home with their children and need baby-sitting only on week-ends and nights, and A. wants to keep this time for herself. Hearing this story Baobeir just suggested me to hold on to my job - I was complaining about the small amount of assignments.


Untranslatable from Klavka

- Мама, смотри, я - трусалка.

- Как это будет по-наглийски?

- Я - Нагорошиная Принцесса.



"Great news": my previous trainer Jada has resigned, I was given a new trainer, so for that change they've endowed me with one free workout with a trainer.
Other great news: today at noon I register at the reception, a small talk with one of the trainers.
- Fine, and you? :goodgirl:
- Not so bad...
- ? - Then I notice a policeman sitting in their office, and a young guy with a brand-new bruise under his right eye.
BTW, the gym in the downtown, I would not go to a gym that is too far to the East.


Halloween forever

Yesterday I went to the dollar store to look for some water toys for Claudiuccia. There are a few left, and the store is already full of Halloween costumes, toys and decorations.

@музыка: DDT, Monotonous life (World number zero)


St. Peter&Paul. Cultures and bodies

The day was perfect. Perfectly hot. I was lazy to iron some of my clothes, others were prepared for laundry, so I'd cosen a short, but, I think, not "mini" yet, jeans skirt and a tank to go with Klavka to the farmer's market and then to the club. The Italian lady at the cheese, olives and ham kiosk who interviewed me about my background as soon as I asked for some cheese in Italian about a month ago, took me for somebody else yesterday. A good sign. :) That's better than with my neighbours, who come to me asking: "Is this you who speaks Chinese?" Luckily, they are nice people, I hope, that even if they talk me far, the rumors will be mixed up so they'll hardly sound like an original information. The point is that those are not the rumors that could help me somehow.

At the club there were some ladies in hijabs. One of them was after 60. And on that shift among other teachers there was Farah from Pakistan, who speaks or at least understands a few other languages. Well, I'd noticed that the old lady was looking at me with the great interest, especially when I stood by a sink rinsing the watercolors for her grand-daughters, and she was sitting nearby at a low chair. Farah found a moment and a quiet place to address me: "Please don't take it personally, but we are a multicultural environment, and the stuff is asked to wear a certain kind of closes (yeap, I've seen a poster: even no sneakers and other "sport" shoes unless prescribed by a physician!), so we expect our clients to understand that too, that we have people from many cultures here, and there are grandmothers who... you see... when you bend the underwear could be seen... Yes, it suits you well, but, you see..." I respect Farah for her approach to children, she is a person who really works every minute when she is in her workplace. So I didn't talk back that "at least there are no grandfathers, so I don't add too much work to the Heart and Stroke Society - that's first, then, I respect those gays and lesbians who have courage to state their preferences, while others are just looking under the skirts and pretend to be shocked."

Franz Kafka Multicultural Tzirkus Ltd.