Saturday, May 30, 2009

When I came home

after today's class, Tom had a surprise for me - tickets to La Traviata at LA Opera. I know it sounds cheesy and lame - but now I can't help but wonder whether I would be able to give up the love of my life for whatever reason... This thought scares me. Oh how far I am from being a Buddhist...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Maybe it's me being Russian

or whatever else went wrong with me at some point in my life, but I can never say "my mom". It is always "our mom". In my head, she is not just a mom to me, she is also a mom to my sister, so she is OUR mom, right?

Same thing with the wedding - it is OUR wedding, not just mine or his. For this reason, it almost physically hurts me to read "my wedding", "my venue", "my invitations."

Am I super opinionated and insensitive?

I am trying

to figure myself out - either I am not really in any planning mode and I don't give a crap yet or I am a freak and will never give enough crap to lose sleep over invitations...

I love paper goods. My all time favorite store is PULP/ILLITERATURE on La Brea, and every card I buy is usually handmade and cool like hell. However, I do not give a crap about our future wedding invitations. Seriously. I read somewhere about using city view postcards as invites, and I really liked the idea. For some weird un-womanly and un-weddingly reason I can not start worrying about what image will adorn some cards that are purely utilitarian - telling people when and where we will wed.

I will go now and think about what is wrong with me.

Is it me

being drawn to a certain type of wedding bloggers or is every bride out there wearing a flower and/or feather and/or birdcage at her wedding?!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Despite loving New York and Moscow,

I feel small and lonely when I am there. When I landed in LA for the first time almost 10 years ago, I thought it was one of the ugliest, disjointed cities I had ever visited. Now I think that LA in fact has a unified theme - coexistence of beautiful and ugly. I never felt like LA was a CITY. More like an amalgamation of parts and pieces. LA waited for 10 years for it's revenge. Today, it made me feel small and lonely. It happened when I was driving out from the Disney Concert Hall and didn't take my usual route but stayed straight to turn left on 4th. The underpass, the underbelly, the womb of Downtown were towering above me, crowding me from the sides, and pushing me from behind. They were distant and close at the same time. As I sat at the light, the moment felt like birth, with me going through passages to greet the light. Strange...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tom asked me

a couple of months ago whether I would like to get a nice purse for my birthday, and I said I would rather have a digital SLR camera.  Then he asked whether I would take a lavish birthday party with a modest gift over a camera and I said I did not need a party to remain close to my friends but I wanted a camera to stay in touch. 

Yesterday, while at Hatfield's on Beverly, he gave me a Canon DSLR XSi kit with an extra lens (55-250 mm), and I was ready to go to bed with the baby in the sling pack that he got me to shelter it.  

Today, I took it with me to the park on my daily bully walk and then to a party that a friend of mine threw for my birthday (I still got a party!).


Baby Bulka:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two years ago

I looked like this:

I was 31 then and it was my first real birthday with Tom :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I have a problem

with the wedding party.  Tom wants his brother and his three true friends to be his groomsmen.  And this is where I stumble.  In regular life, I have more friends, acquaintances and pals than he does.  I am naturally more social and outgoing but I still struggle with the concept of bridesmaids.  Having said that, I do not want our parties to be symmetrical and I could go with only a maid of honor.  And, frankly, I am not fully understanding the entire idea behind having bridesmaids.  Maybe I need more education on this point?  But the matter is - between my move to the U.S. and my divorce, in the last 10 years my circle of friends has changed at least three times, and I don't know who I would ask to be my bridesmaids.  My sister will be my maid of honor.  And then I have a couple of friends who will probably feel hurt if I don't ask them.  Maybe my standards are too stringent?  Maybe it is not such a big deal?  I have had at least 3 very close friends fade away after the divorce - for one or another reason.  I still have very close friends in Russia who I would love to see in my bridal party, but they will never make it out here (I know their circumstances and I will not insist).  And then I have friends that I made around 3 years ago when I started my new job, and with whom I have gone through some lows and highs but I don't see them to be as close to me as they think.  At this point, unfortunately, I don't think I have a single friend who is my true friend (I don't count Tom, my sister and a few friends in Russia).  So, what do I do?  Is there any required protocol that needs to be followed?  I need to research this more.

Update to the previous post -

Literally, minutes after I posted, my phone signaled to me that a new e-mail was received.  It was an invitation to my next interview - this time with the department representative!  Next Tuesday!  Yay!!!

Last Saturday,

I interviewed at MOCA for a volunteering position.  Frankly, I did not know what to expect and how to approach it going in - will they go over my resume that has nothing to do with the arts?  Should I be telling them that I at some point or another have broached the world of art either through college courses, self-education, or having a long history of falling for artists?  Should I wear something artsy and act bohemian?  Will they test my knowledge of the exhibitions they have held in the past 5 years?  And oh my god!  I am not even a member of the museum!!!

Oh, how silly of me was to worry about all this!  Valerie, who interviewed me, was warm, supportive and encouraging.  She referred to her own volunteering experience to make me more comfortable and didn't test any of my knowledge :)  She was curious why I wanted to volunteer and I was honest saying that the arts have always attracted me and I am dying to see the "behind the scenes" of a museum.  After about 5 minutes of chatting, she made an absolutely accurate assessment of my aspirations and suggested that I volunteer at their communications department.  

To say that I am excited is to say nothing - I am thrilled!  Oh, how I look forward for them to call me back for an interview with the department personnel!   And I can't wait to start!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Kind of strange -

despite the fact that I am Russian, I never cook Russian food and extremely rarely go to Russian restaurants (because in the States and in LA in particular they are lame).  But I do crave Russian food once in a while, it's my comfort food.  So, for some weird unexplainable reason, I made vegetarian borscht today.  A HUGE pot of it.  And what is even worse - I have already consumed almost a half of it.   Within a couple of hours.  I will go nap now because I can't breathe anymore...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I did it!!!

I reupholstered one of the 6 dining chairs that we bought over a year and a half ago!   The chairs are a part of a beautiful original Heywood-Wakefield dining room set, which also includes a dining table.  Originally, we were going to have the chairs reupholstered professionally for us.  I am not even sure why we never did - we are procrastinators!  So, when I quit, I decided to turn the chairs into a little project of mine.  And after weeks of looking for the right fabric and foam and a couple of visits to the scary and very manly Home Depot, I have beautified the first chair!


And this is the new and cute chair next to its old brother:

And even though the chair is not perfect, I am so proud of myself :-)  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Okay, now I am bummed out...

Spoke to my mom and sister - August is too little notice for them given that the plane tickets and visas alone for their party of 4 will be around $6K...  :(((  So, we are back to trying to figure out what to do now.  

I am thinking we still could have a ceremony at the house in the winter, the time when we planned to wed originally.  Tom is not against the idea but we haven't really talked much about it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Speaking about

job interviews...  I had one today... Apparently, it was a screening interview. And I was shocked: they were going to hold second interviews for at least 5 qualified applicants for a position that pays $10-12 per hour!!!  I was making more than twice as much as the higher number and was still complaining about being underpaid!  I mean, come on!!!  And the way the interviewer's eyes popped when I said what my last salary was - that was priceless, seriously.  Urghhh...  Somehow I feel they are trying to take advantage of the whole recession situation, and that in my view is just not good.  Should I say opportunistic? 


in the middle of a house-purchasing emergency Tom and I had lunch together.  (This is VERY rear, since he works and I don't and he never eats anyway until he comes home and then he consumes everything.)  So, during lunch we discussed, among other important things like my job interview, the idea of combining our wedding and a housewarming party.  In my view, the biggest challenge was the guest list, in Tom's - giving my family in Russia enough time to plan their trip to the States.  Eventually, he suggested having a small - family and close friends - ceremony earlier in the day and a cocktail reception / house warming party a bit later.  I thought it was brilliant!  At this point we decided to take a few days to think this over and confer again soon :)  And, frankly, I don't know what is there to discuss - I love the idea!  We are thinking of having the event some time in August - about a month and a half after we move and before my nephew's school starts in Russia.  I am excited and can't wait to start planning :)   

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It seems like we are going to have a housewarming/wedding party after all.  

I am not sure how I feel about it yet.

On one hand, I am thrilled to have a chance to plan either of those parties, although I am not a huge planner.

On another hand, I am not sure HOW to fit the wedding part into it.

We are in the process of buying a house on a hill with a lot of land which is unusable.  We can not have a backyard wedding. We can have a balcony wedding, sort of.  And, I don't know how to arrange the whole thing logistically - I mean, I would have invited a TON of people to our housewarming party BUT I don;t feel comfortable inviting some of them to our wedding.

So, I am confused, which will lead to more talks to Tom, although he has discussed it with his mom, and she supports the idea.  What do I do?!