23 November 2014

Leaving Moscow


This is sort of a strange entry to write. I feel like for so long, I have been digging my feet further and further into the ground, growing out roots, feeling secure in where I was.
Not liking it, but feeling at least secure about it. Everything is about to change and it is going to change fast.

I have not liked Moscow for a long time. I felt bad about sharing that here because I know what people come to my blog because they're interested in Moscow or Russia or expat life and I feel like by admitting I don't see very much good in here anymore, I've left something or someone down.

But I do not belong in Moscow any longer. I feel angry and resentful towards this city... towards it's people. It's a lot to explain, and I really want to move on from it, but I can't help the way I feel. I want out.

Ben and I were planning on leaving around the springtime. As we stood in immigration line coming back from Moscow, he leaned onto me hard and whispered, "I hope our visas get rejected."
I pushed him off of me and stared at him.
"Don't say that! Why would you say that?"
He sighed and looked up at the ceiling.
"I just fucking can't go back."
Though I heard myself giving words of encouragement, I knew exactly how he felt. By the time we got home, we both confessed to the other how wrong Moscow was and how desperately we wanted to go home.

But we need to make money. The money to move back to Boston and start the next chapter of our lives.

We sat with our schedules, our calculators and our calendars and mapped out precisely how long it would take to make the proper amount of money we would need to start our new lives. It was a lot of money, but it wasn't impossible. We made great money! Four or five months tops.

And then the ruble crashed.

That great money we were making? Practically cut in half. Our landlords called and said they wanted to increase our rent. Our students started canceling lessons. We were hardly saving anything.

I called my mother in a total panic.

What. The. Fuck. Are. We. Going. To. Do.

She comforted me and told me she'd help me if she could. I went home and ran more numbers, sent out more requests for students and stressed.

And then she wrote me an email with a new idea: just come back home. You already have tickets for Christmas time, we have your grandmother's apartment for another few months, and you could find jobs here easily.

I felt a little skeptical. I didn't want to leave, not really. I wasn't ready. We'd worked so hard to get these visas to make this money. We already had jobs and a place to stay. I didn't want to jump.

But Ben came home and he jumped for me.

"Yes. Yes. Yes, we need to do that. Oh my god, yes that is the answer to everything."

And slowly, it all began to sink in. And then all at once I was completely excited.

We are leaving Moscow in 29 days.
I cannot even wait. 

12 November 2014

Listen: Serial

Have you been listening to the podcast 'Serial'?
It's a sister show of This American Life and it is absolutely riveting.

I discovered it on Sunday morning after glancing at an article on facebook and immediately downloaded and listened to the seven episodes (available on iTunes or on the website) that are available so far.

The concept: to tell one nonfiction story week-by-week. Kind of an experiment in the endangered art of oral storytelling.

The premise: A 1999 Baltimore teen murder case.

Who killed Hae Min Lee? 

Hae is the girl in the middle and Adnan is below her.

So, the storyteller of this podcast is the fabulous Sarah Koenig and she gets a call one day from a woman who wants her to look into this murder of a teenage girl from the nineties. The woman is a friend of the alleged killer--the ex-boyfriend of the victim, Adnan Syed. She says that he didn't do it and that there are a lot of discrepancies is the case. 

Intrigued, Sarah starts to follow up on the murder and quickly realizes that yes, there are quite a few details that don't add up. So she begins to fully investigate bringing the listener along with her. 

Here's what I like about the show:

It's a great mystery. Is this a teenage romance gone terribly wrong? Is it a poor kid being framed because of a grudge? Is it just a journalist grasping at straws and being taken by a charming sociopath? Who killed this girl and why?

Adnan Syed

Considering this whole concept is to revive oral storytelling, I'd say that Sarah absolutely nails it. I mean, you feel like you are right there with her, checking on old court documents, making phone calls to Adnan in prison, knocking on people's doors to ask them where they were one snowy afternoon fifteen years ago. There are phone calls, playbacks from interrogations, court room audios. 

You feel like you are right there. It didn't even occur to me before writing this entry to even look up what the people in the story looked like. The storytelling was enough for me.
And she is t-h-o-r-o-u-g-h. I mean, Sarah needs to know who killed Hae Min Lee. Each episode looks at a specific part of the case, every element you can imagine: cell phone records, alibis, people who knew the alibis, maps, letters, car routes, testimonies, letters. Everything.

It's fascinating. I always like to pretend I'm a detective and I have been known to follow real-life crime investigations from my laptop, creating my own theories along the way. If you are anything like that, you need to listen to Serial right now.

I have a couple ideas about what I think happened, so if any of you are listening, tell me below and we can exchange notes. The next episode comes out Thursday and it's about (in my opinion) the most interesting part of the case: Jay, the one and only aspect of the investigation that led to the arrest and imprisonment of Adnan Syed.

Check it out. Seriously. You will be hooked. Once again, you can find listen to it on their website or download it from iTunes and listen on your phone.

Then come back here and tell me what you think.

05 November 2014

Crepe au Fondue de Volaille

Fancy shmancy food bein' made over here. 

Ben has (delightfully) become obsessed with completing Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and I have been happily reaping the benefits. 

Well, maybe not totally happily (he absolutely over-killed it on my favorite breakfast dish-- eggs benedict. Don't get me wrong, I love them and he has now discovered the most killer hollandaise sauce, but jesus, we've had it like 6 times in the past two weeks!).

But really, I love it when Ben gets into cooking sprees. He's so much more daring and creative with food than me (I found a recipe for a cream cheese, parm and pesto sandwich spread and am just going to be doing that until he makes lunch again).

Here's the recipe he used if you're interested:

ever tried your hand at french cooking?
any particular kinds of cooking you particularly enjoy?
let me know, i'm dying of boredom from food.


04 November 2014


Hello everyone, 

Today we have a guest post from the beautiful and delicious, Savannah from Growing from Roots. Savannah's blog is filled with simple tips on minimalism, snippets from her life at college in the beautiful Ithaca, New York, advice, and thoughts about her relationship with her high school sweetheart. 

Here's here what's in my bag post and be sure to check out her blog when you're done (links below!).

hello all! so I’ve never done a guest post before and I wasn’t exactly sure what to talk about, so I decided letting you all peek in my bag would be as good a place to start as any. I’m a big believer in the idea that you can tell a decent amount about a person based on their stuff - so here’s a bit of mine.

the bag - my madewell transport tote. I worship this thing. (also how awful is it that they released a bagillion more colors right after I bought this one? I would have bought the black. but oh well, I still love it and it’s serving me well so far).

nook hd+ - currently reading “unhooked generation” by jillian straus. wanting to read “not that kind of girl” by lena dunham, and many other things.

zumbo kiss peppermint lip balm - I switch back and forth between this and burt’s bees. this one is a bit glossier, which is sometimes nice.

clary sage essential oil - for anxiety and emotional imbalance

glasses, case & lens cloth

leather coin purse - my mom has had this thing for probably as long as I’ve been alive. I’ve inherited it and it now holds extra ponytail holders. and it perfectly matches my bag, so that was a pleasant surprise.

the wallet - black leather by calvin klein. its menswear because for some reason they tend to have more card slots. also, how obnoxious is it that we gender wallets?

keys - two for getting into my parents house, two for getting into our apartment, one for our mailbox, and my tag for the gym in our building

iphone charging cord

portable usb charger - the brand is snow lizard. this thing is a lifesaver on roadtrips and long hikes.

iphone 5 - in the ever glamorous otter box because Im a serial phone-dropper

deodorant spray - the brand is eo organic and the scent is lavender. they carry it at whole foods & similar stores. I recommend it!

tattoo sunscreen - by kiss my face. which also happens to be excellent on the face/other sensitive areas.


ticket stub - from Cams show last night, intimate apparel

mini bag - I found this at forever 21 during my weekend in the city (blog post here). I just loved the print. it now holds tampons and the like.

scarf - from world market

mini tissues

Savannah's blog is amazing and she is a wonderful soul. Check her out and show her some love!
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