Monthly Archives: February 2011


7:55 pm the night before

4:33 pm

I am sick of writing.  Literally.  Since doing this, I have gotten sick three times.  This time I had a 103 fever.  I have been in bed for two days now, my body aching.  I have been writing too much.  It has been taking all my energy and leaving me sick.  My nights after Isaiah goes to sleep is my only free time.   Which means all my free time, every night is gone.   My mind is out of balance with the body.  I usually go the other  way.  I am physical, I am into food.  Over the last 80+ days, I learned what it is like to walk in the other shoes.  To lose sleep over writing.  To eat little because I forgot.  I used to never forget.

It was exciting but I need to get my body back to health.   I need to balance.   I want to stimulate the mind and the body.  I am typing but I have hardly strength in my fingers.  When I am sick, I always think of those more sick than me.  I think of those who spend their lives in bed, just laying there.  I have been in bed two days and already experienced several bouts of sadness.  Those poor souls.  I think about the bed ridden children at the hospitals.  Some of them have never walked.  In the two days, my body started to slightly atrophy.  Of course, laying in bed all day does that to you.  My husband tells me to get up, but I do not want to.  It hurts.

So I write this post to say good-bye to writing everyday.  I will write when I can, I will do my Olia College.  Even in bed, I am homeschooling myself.  I wrote a post about authority for Blue’s blog and did not even realize that I gave authority to my readers in this project.    I felt that they will disapprove if I tell them that I will stop doing it everyday.  What?  Yes, the silly mind, does it ever stop its shenanigans.  I hope there are blogs you missed and you can go back and catch up 🙂

Thank you readers for reading and commenting.  I love the comments!  Please sign up so that you can see, new, more inspired posts.  I am excited to communicate with my friends again, to exercise, to do yoga and to just hang out with my husband.

7:21 pm


Schooled Again

2:05 pm

Today I am in my own College.  Being schooled by myself.  In my mind’s eye, I saw myself skipping happily to my books and writing.  To do it, dammit.  I was an hour late for school today.  I was organizing my house.  I can call it a lot of things but I am going to call it doing my Feng Shui class.

I started thinking about my life in USSR today.  One story from first grade comes to mind.  I had a teacher who was stern, Antonina Pavlovna.  On teacher’s day the students were supposed to bring in flowers for the teacher.  I did not know about it, no one advertised it.  It was supposed to be “known”.  My mom remembered last-minute.  She ran over and got some flowers for me to take.  When I got to school all the children were lined up with beautiful flowers.  The line went through the whole class.  I was so nervous to give her flowers, to stand so close to the big scary monster.  She was usually far, at her desk, in the front of the room.  She did not leave the desk to mingle with the masses unless there was punishment involved.  I  did not get punished, I obeyed quietly out of fear of this woman.  Except for that day.  I was seven, I might have been missing few teeth at the time and I had straight hair cut in a bowl shape.  On big days, my mom made two pony tails on top of my head and attached big bows.

I came up to the desk and handed her the flowers.  She looked at them for a moment and gave them back to me.  She said, you can keep your flowers.

This was unexpected and it burned in my stomach until silent tears started to appear in my eyes.  I did not look at anyone, shamed.  My flowers were not nice enough for her.

I learned some things in school that day.

I learned that some gifts are not good enough.  A lesson that I have tried to unlearn.

I learned that my first grade teacher was a mean bitch.

I also learned that the judgement of older people is not always right.

I will not say Communism or Socialism, to say that is to label a common enemy, which I do not believe exists.  Having an enemy is a fallacy.  I will just say that due to the variable factors, that was the environment created in Soviet Union.  Bribery was a way of life.  Bribing the teacher with nice flowers and later the doctor to give you any attention.

For some reason it reminded me of Obama.  Yes the beloved.

USSR used nice words.  Slogans.  Equality.  No one will be hungry.  All good messages but it brought out the worst qualities.  The system made everyone a crook.  You could not choose to be righteous in that system.  If I was not a small child I would have to learn to bribe everyone to get anything done.  In my current life, I do not have to bribe the phone company to come put in my phone.  After bribery, came theft.  People stealing stuff from companies where they worked, anything they could steal from the government.  They felt entitled because the government was stealing from them.  Is our government doing it to us?  I am not going to say Republican or Democrat, two sides of the same coin.  Bush 350 billion bailout to Wall Street, Obama 350 billion bailout.

Wall Street?  If USSR made their people crooks, it is happening here.  It is different every time, history is only known in retrospect.  When it is happening, it is so confusing.  You cannot hand money to crooks without people getting a message that the crook wins.  And not just money, 700 billion dollars.  That is a giant empire.  That is a whole country.  It is more than most countries.  If a magician wants to do a trick, they create a diversion.  We have a crisis, depression, here take the money.  But why Obama with all those pretty words?

I am seeing this in him today because I see it in myself.  All pretty words and slogans but inside I am confused, angry, annoyed and uninspired.  Sometimes I sit down and wrap up this blog with a good lesson for YOU, but I have not learned a thing.  I go back out to the world making that same mistake that I sloganize.  If I were honest I would not end on a nice note most days.  I am just afraid to get phone calls from caring family and friend readers to see if I am ok.  Yes, I am ok.

10:25 pm

I cannot help it.  On the bright side, here is Isaiah as a baby.

Curriculum Revised

Spring Semester Curriculum 1/24/11 – 5/13/11

Sunday-Friday 30 minutes writing, 30 minutes dance is required.  On the 7th day, I rest.


9-10 am Morning Pages.  3 pages of free form writing, can include my dreams to practice lucidity, fears to clear cobwebs

10:15-11:15 Drawing. Reading Material Drawing with the Right side of the brain change to Feng Shui book Feng Shui A Practical Guide for Architects and Designers and why I am changing classes.

Drawing uploads are due February 18th, March 18th and the final project is Due May 8th.  Final project to be determined.  Read exercise for 30 minutes, draw for 30 minutes each class.

change  projects to Feng Shui our current house

Take 5 pictures of any way that I used Feng Shui and write about how it helped me grow.  February 18th, March 18th and May 8th.

Final project is final plans to be submitted.  This is a two semester project.  Feng Shui photographs will be due at the end of construction and along the way.

11:15 – 12:15 Creative writing. Write the first draft of my piece for that day.  Reading is the little book on writing, which name escapes me at that moment.  Shula’s Brother gave it to me.  I just googled it and found something else also helpful How to Write With Style.

I got my next clue for next semester I will read The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White. E.B. White recommended by Kurt Vonnegut, thanks!

12:15-2 pm Break and Recess (all emailing or facebooking is to be done at this time or prior to class.  Never during class hours)

2-3pm Finance and Math.  Required reading for this class is Money Maturity.  This hour will be spent doing the exercises in the book.  Its due at 3 pm.  I will post few exercises to my blog.

3:15-4:15 Fix the writing draft and upload it by 4:15 pm.  The writing has 4 hours a week, plus the required 30 minutes a day.  During the 4 hours of class time, I will be working on my script.  This time will also be used for the production of the script.  The final project is Due May 3rd.  It will be a 13 minute Pilot of the show. (Ohh scary commitment, I know nothing about pilots).

4-5 pm Time to work on any unfinished creative projects of the day and answering Olia College related emails.

Yura has Class Monday nights this semester so after I put Isaiah to sleep at 7:30 I have from 8-10 pm to do any homework left over from class.


9-10 am Morning Pages

10:15-11:15 Dance Class Zumba

Other days Dance is open.  Make sure to prepare your iPod selections.  Dance can be Solo or an actual class in the neighborhood.  I will have a performance piece and upload the video to the blog.  Dance pieces are due March 30th and May 1st is the final.  The final project is to write about that experience.   Final video will be submitted with my final writing.


School meets work. Today I start my morning going to GAS half day of school, half day of work.  It turns out it’s the only way I can do two full days of class.

9-10 am Morning pages

10:15-11:15 am Finance and Math, Money Maturity

11:15-12:15 First Draft Creative Writing

12:30-4:15 work on Olia Designs.  Looks like it’s a 4 hour week.  I need to read that book, I think it can help me now.  I literally will have a 4  hour week.

Tuesdays and Fridays during Isaiah’s nap I will work on Olia Designs as well.  Tuesday and Friday 1:30-2:30 pm, Olia Designs.

Thursday nights, Yura has school so I will work on Olia College homework  8 pm – 9 pm.

Otherwise Tuesday and Friday, I am all Isaiah’s!  Mama Time!

Tuesday and Friday Nap time do first draft of writing and house chores.

Weekends are leisure time.  Saturday no writing.  Sunday writing.  If I did not do Friday writing, I do it on Saturday.


4:04 pm

Isaiah is still sleeping, giving me precious time.  Yesterday we went to Zumba with my sister, my mom and my niece.  My sister, my mom and I were very excited.  The class started at 3:15 pm.  My niece Beata was not excited.  She wanted to stay home and read.  We wanted her to come with us and experience the joy of dancing together.  A time that is a break from talking.  She dragged her feet and agreed to come.  I am guilty of begging her and putting what I thought was cute guilt trip on her.  Please for Auntie, I have been wanting to do Zumba with you, Beata.  It was true, when I pictured this weekend, I pictured all the stress melting into Zumba with the ladies of my family.  The reality was not so.  Beata did not want to go.  We pushed her.  At least on the way over and back, Beata and I had a lovely conversation.

She told me that Zak was going to Birthday party of his friend David, so he stayed home.  It is very important.  I asked her if she wanted to go and she said, NOOOO.  Zak gets carried away and does not pay any attention to me.  She said it with no hurt feeling, just the understanding that this is how things are.  I want to learn that way of being.

This knowing child who just wanted to read was dragged to a Zumba class. We thought that once there, she would get into it.  She did not.  She danced few songs with a frown.  Even when she enjoyed some moves, she did not let on.  Then, she went outside to read her book in the hall way.

Isaiah wants to sleep with a book.  He wants two or three books with him along with his blanket.  Yura and I thought it was cute.  Few days ago, my nanny told me that he should not sleep with books.  She said he can’t fall asleep and she knows for sure.  From my experience he usually falls right asleep when I give him his blanket and his book.  He is like Ganesh holding his sacred object in his hands.  Few days later, Isaiah could not fall asleep and I blamed the book.  I took it away, he cried.  I brought it back.  I did not know if I was doing him harm by taking the book or harm by leaving the book.  If it is distracting him from sleep — harm by leaving.  If it is his sacred object of peace — harm by taking.

I still do not know but I know this is a small preview of decisions that I will have to make as a parent.  I want him to grow up his own person.  I want his light to shine onto the world.  I want him to feel confident.  I want his individual traits, his special interests and talents to be supported.  At the same time, I want him to have discipline.  All of life requires discipline and there are no short cuts in getting discipline.  It is a life long quest.  I need to know when to be quiet and when to talk.  I need to learn when to eat and when to fast.

It starts with, when to play and when to sleep.  When to make a mess and when to clean up.  It is those little things that make a person great.  I took a leap.  I had a baby.

On our honeymoon in Hawaii, I met Phil sitting under a rainbow umbrella on the Red Beach in Maui.  If you are in Maui, make sure you find the Red Beach, it will not be easy but it is worth it.  He was selling jewelry and “reading people”, he told me I can do it to if I try.  He told me a lot of things I wanted to remember but I did not.  One thing I remembered.  I thought of it my whole pregnancy, I think of it now.  I told him that I feared having children because I have things in myself that I am working on.  Why would I want to bring another person into it?  He said, it is simple.  Your intention of having children should be that you become mutual mentors for each other.

There are no answers.  There are only questions that I have to try to consciously consider.  The student who does not ask questions, does not learn.  I am in this to learn.

10:29 pm

Raise Your Hands

7:54 pm

The only thing that is good about religion is God.  This came to me in the Zumba class, of course.  In the book, Eat Pray Love, there is a moment when the main character turns to God to pray.  This is unfamiliar to her and she does not know what to say.

I went through a somewhat religious phase when I studied Judaism after college, and even tried to practice it.  It is funny but even then, I did not pray to God very often.  I studied God.

Today in Zumba class, one dance had a move where we stretched our hands to the sky.  All choreography is a narrative.  When I was learning African dance, I learned the basics.  Hands to the sky is talking to God.  Shaking hips and butt is mating or seducing.  Bowing down to the earth is thanking the Earth Mother.

I try to think of this narrative and relate to it when I am in Zumba.   Whenever we raise our hands to the sky, I think of God.  When I think of God, I am reminded of how little I think of God.

I have a vivid memory of an event that happened when I was around five years old.  This was in the Ukraine, during Communism where God was outlawed.  My parents never spoke of religion.  Jewish was our nationality.  I was crying helplessly, one of those child deep cries of life’s unfairness.  I was wailing and sobbing, my face was bright red, I was suffocating from my own panting.  After I could cry no more, there was a quiet moment.  A moment of peace that comes only after a great cry.  In that moment, I started praying to God.  I was asking him to help me.  I was asking him to calm me.  I was asking him for fairness.  This seemed natural to me for some reason.

When my family moved to United States, I got the privilege of a full scholarship to a Jewish private day school because we were poor immigrants.  The Jewish Federation is a nice organization.  I started in fifth grade.  I had one American looking outfit that I thought was cute.  I wore it on my first day.  It was turquoise pants that had a Velcro belt closure.  A turquoise fleece vest to match with a stripped shirt with repeating turquoise lines.  On the plane from Italy to NYC, I got a the pin the they used to give out in airplanes.  I did not realize that I looked nerdy or immigrantie and the pin did not help.  I guess those pins were not as cool as I thought they were.  Thank God, there were only nine kids in my class who were warned about Russian immigrants.  But the story of immigration for a ten-year old, I will save for another time.  This is a story about God.

For the first time, in this school I heard people talk about God.  They were studying Jewish texts, the Torah, the Talmud, the Mishnah.  We had prayer service in the morning.  The last thing my ten-year old mind was thinking through all this, was God.  God came to me only in those dark moments.  He came to me when I felt there was no way out.  He came to me all those nights in college when I cried because I did not understand what I was doing with my life.

During my Zumba dancing, I am reminded of the people of the tribes.  I picture the African Tribes raising their hands with song and dance to God.  That is what I am talking about.  That is when I feel grateful.  I feel it when I raise my hands.  When I say God, I do not imagine a guy with a beard by the way.  I picture the silent divinity all around me.  I know he is not in the sky but the symbolism of the movement is powerful.

Isaiah loves birds and planes now.  When he sees a plane, he says “Ptiza” (bird in Russian).  I say, it’s a plane.  He says, “up up” and then cries.  He wants me to pick him up so that he can touch the plane.  Unfortunately, I cannot reach the sky, but I can try if I raise my hands.

11:25 pm