Month: January 2005

  • Today is the natal day of my own, very very unique, Jonathan Andrew, who is 28 years old. 

    Naturally this called for hauling out the photo albums:

    Here's Mama and Jonathan when he was Very Small Indeed, followed by him at 3 years old.  (No need to point him to my blog, okay?)

    On the left is Jonathan on his 6th birthday, and on the right he's 9 years old.  I adore that's just so darn Jonnyish!  

    On the left is him with his grandmother on his 14th birthday (which is just two days before hers, BTW), and in the picture to the right he's about 17.  Amazing the difference in enthusiasm regarding being photographed, huh?  You'll also notice the bunny-ear fixation so prevalent in my family. 

    This is him at 22 years old.

    And here he was a month ago, on Christmas day, opening a Chinese Christmas gift.

    Happy birthday, Jonathan Andrew! 

  • The Academy Awards nominations are out and in keeping with tradition, I haven't seen a single one of the films nominated for Best Movie.

    Skimming the list of nominations, the only dogs I've got in that fight are for Best Animated Film (Shrek 2, Shark Tale, and The Incredibles), Original Screenplay (The Incredibles), Visual Effects (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), and various Achievement Awards (Lemony Snicket).

    Most likely I'll find something else to do on Academy Award night.  As usual.

  • It's amazing, the trouble people think I'm going to take to make a
    soup.  I receive emails from, and here is the
    recipe Olga sent for borscht:

    Borscht from Kiev

    1 1/2 lb beef chuck
    roast boneless
    1 lb beef marrow bones
    1 lb ham bone meaty
    1 each onion
    large grated
    1 each carrot grated
    3 qt water
    1 each turnip peeled &
    1 each celery rib w/leaves sliced*
    3 each dill sprigs*
    3 each
    parsley sprigs*
    12 each black peppercorns whole*
    4 each bay

    [Anne's note: this is just for the stock, fercryinoutloud!]

    3 each beets large peeled grated
    4 each potatos peeled
    and cubed
    16 oz plum tomatoes skinned & coarsely chopped
    1 each
    onion large chopped
    1 each carrot sliced
    1 each bell pepper chopped
    cup sunflower oil
    1 tsp salt
    4 cup cabbage shredded
    3 tbsp tomato
    6 each prunes pitted & chopped
    1 tsp honey
    1 tsp black pepper
    fresh ground
    1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
    4 each garlic cloves
    2 each bacon strips fried & crumbled
    2 tbsp parlsey fresh
    3 tbsp dill fresh chopped


    All ingredients marked with the { * } are to be placed in a
    small cloth bag. Tie the bag shut and place into the stock pot. Place meat
    bones, meat, and water in alarge stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
    Skim the foam as needed. Add the remaining stock ingredients, cover, reduce heat
    to low and simmer for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Wash, dry, and
    peel the beets. Wrap them in aluminum foil and bake in oven for 1 hour 15
    minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and dice 1/4". Remove the ham bone,
    meat & marrow bones from the stock. Set the marrow bones aside. Strain the
    stock through a fine sieve into a clean pot. Discard the solids.
    Bring the
    stock to a boil add the tomatos, potatos and salt & pepper and cook for 10
    minutes on low heat covered. Cook the onions, carrot,& Bell pepper in a
    castiron skillet for approx. 5 minutes.. Stir in the cabbage and continue to
    cook the vegetables for 10 more minutes. Remove the vegetables from heat and add
    to the stock. Sprinkle the juice of a lemon over the beets and add them to the
    stock. Add the tomatos, tomato paste, and honey to the stock and continue to
    boil. Remove the meat from the bones, strip the marrow out of the marrow bones,
    and cube the beef 1/2" & add all of this to the stock and cook for 15
    minutes more. Remove from heat and serve after adding a generous dollop of sour
    cream to each bowl.

    She's got to be kidding. 

  • Where were her PARENTS? 

    There's an article at about a brouhaha over a love scene shot with a 14 year old girl for the upcoming flick, "The New World."

    Colin Farrell stars as American colonist John Smith in “The New World,” and
    14-year-old Q’Orianka Kilcher plays Pocahontas. The flick is said to be slavish
    to period detail and the love scene between the two was “in good taste,”
    according to a defender, but when studio lawyers for the film saw an early cut,
    according to a report, “they nearly had a heart attack.”

    “Farrell was told to get romantic and sensual but knew
    there was a certain amount of kissing involved,” a source told the British mag
    The People. “He played the scene brilliantly and he really put Q’Orianka at her
    ease. But when the lawyers saw the finished product with Colin and Q’Orianka
    rolling around on the ground kissing they just flipped out.” The lawyers were
    concerned about child-pornography laws, and a tamer version of the scene was
    reportedly re-shot.

    This is one of those situations when I don't
    know who to kick first . . . the actor, a man old enough to know
    better; the director, also doubtless old enough to know better; or the
    girl's parents, who DEFINITELY should have known better.

    It is a constant source of dismayed
    astonishment to me, how frequently people presumably think all bets are
    off so long as cameras are clicking or rolling, based upon the
    frightful ads and films in which children will appear.  Every time
    I marvel, "Where are their parents?"  Did they read the script at all?  Didn't they make being on the set a condition of said child's participation?

    One of the most morally damaging points of
    view, for both individuals and society as a whole, is that so long as
    entertainment is the goal, the LORD's moral standards do not
    apply.   IOW, the mindset that insists "Ohforcryingoutloud,
    it's just a movie!"   Or a play.  Or a TV show.  Or a novel.  Or a song.

    Piffle.  They apply across the board, on a 24/7 basis.

  • Yesterday afternoon Dmitry was sitting here in the living room at the computer chair, contentedly eating red salad while preparing to search for game hints on the internet, when he sighed happily and observed, "I'm glad I'm alive."  After a pause he continued, "It's a good ting [that's his pronunciation...he hasn't gotten the hang of 'th' yet] I was born."

    I smothered a laugh while agreeing, "Yes, it's a very good thing you were born!"

    As often as he shows himself to be an ordinary 14 year old boy, alternately jubilant, sullen, happy, cranky, etc., it sometimes shows through that his childhood saw more unhappiness than most children's, so he occasionally takes time to appreciate what he now has, and savor the small pleasures.

    I pray he never loses this facility.

  • So where is everyone?

    Ho ho ho. 

    Wake up, try to go back to sleep, blearily look at the clock and see it's just 15 or 20 minutes earlier than I normally get up, so decide to go ahead and rise and well, rise...I don't shine early in the morning.

    Get the coffee going, then head for my morning constitutional.

    It's after that I notice it's then only 5:53.

    I'd misread the clock, and it was a bit after 5:40 a.m. when I woke up, not 6:40 as I thought. 


  • Dmitry can be an extraordinarily satisfying person for whom to cook.  Yesterday evening I handed him his plate, which led to him bouncing up and down where he sat, exclaiming, "Is this my yummy, delicious dinner?  What yummy, delicious food is it?"

    Then he went into ecstacies:  "Oh!  It's my SO DELICIOUS FOOD!  Come here, delicious food!"

    Which is always nice to hear, especially when you're handing over a turkey burger and what Dmitry calls 'red salad' ("My favorite Russian food!"), consisting of diced potatoes, beets, carrots, dill relish, and equal amounts of mayonnaise and Miracle Whip.   

  • One wonders who let what slip past 'em . . . the builder or the city planning office or who.

    Today's mail brought notice of a public hearing scheduled for early
    February, regarding the request for a variance of the set-back of a
    pair of townhomes being built on the intersection to our north (they
    want 'em to be 10' closer to the street than the rules allow).

    The townhomes are essentially finished, with the interiors being completed and the landscaping almost done.

    What would happen if the variance were denied?  

  • From the "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it" file:

    I've moaned and groaned and grumped and griped about Dmitry's incessant
    requests for me to find him cheats, hints, and walkthrus for his
    various video games. 

    "For pity's sake, Dmitry, do it yourself!"  I'd grouse, but he'd plead for me to do it.  I'm so much faster, y'know.

    He learned. 

    This is having a significant, and negative, impact upon my computer time. 

  • I don't care how much it cost, or that it contains 300 feet of pricey material, the wedding dress of Mrs-Trump-To-Be-#3 is just plug-ugly: