Sunday, September 17, 2006
Russian in Robbinsdale
What did I do this weekend? Glad you asked. You know, housework, a trip to the Japanese Garden (crooked lines and coy, yes!) and, oh yeah, a foray to a Russian dinner club. We even managed to catch a live performance of Russian pop from two sequined ladies on a stage framed by what appeared to be a blue shiny lame (as in la-may) curtain. Needless to say it was an excellent way to pass an evening, especially as it was in the company of someone equally (if not more appreciative) of the distinctly Russian atsmophere.
This close encounter of the Russian kind caused me to reflect on my own likely Russian roots. Or is it Ukrainian. See, I'm not sure. And after my gaffe in college comparing Turkish and Greek culture, I know better than to take such distinctions lightly.
My grandfather most often fell into the category of "strong, silent type" (except late at night after his whiskey, beer and evening's intake of western or war film). If you happened upon him at such a moment, he might launch unprompted into an emotionally riveting but rather difficult-to-follow lecture about the injustice visited on the kulaks by the bolsheviks. While he was born here, he seemed to feel deeply the suffering of his ancestors even though he had no real connection to the motherland. Of course, anti "Ruskie" sentiment was always high. Ancestry aside, they were, after all, commies ...
I used to assume that this meant our heritage was Russian (along with the fact that he made faux Faberge eggs in his spare time ... a whole other story). But then again, I always assumed my father's side of the family was Irish. Not so much! (Again, a whole other story.) So Russian or Ukrainian, hard to say. But either way, the vodka and pelmeni brought me home.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
For the Love of Butter
I’m not sure much context is needed for this photo of one of a dozen or so dairy princesses to receive the "royal treatment" at the Minnesota State Fair. Outside of Tibet, you’ll probably never see butter put to more creative uses. I wonder how much it would cost to commission a butter sculpture … "Princesses" come from across the land (of Minnesota) to have their faces rendered from a huge block of high-grade butter. Awesome.
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