Meteor Hits Russia

This has been a crazy week.  We woke up Thursday to the news that Olympian Oscar Pitorius was arrested for the murder of his model girlfriend.  In case you don’t remember, Pitorius, a South African, was the runner who had both legs removed below the knee in childhood.  He was called the Blade Runner because of special prosthetics that allowed him to compete in both the Olympics and Paralympics.  After his inspiring runs in the last Summer Olympics, he was treated like a hero, but then on Valentine’s Day, he shot his girlfriend dead, claiming she was an intruder. Before … Continue reading

What Problems Do Parents of Russian Adoptees Face?

Most of the world is justly horrified by the fact that Torry Hansen sent her adopted Russian son back to Russia. I admit I don’t know how I would respond if my child threatened to kill me. But as I said in my blog on Wrongful Adoption lawsuits, once an adoption is final, the parent-child relationship is final. If my biological child suffers brain trauma and becomes a danger to others, he may have to live in a residential treatment center, but I would still visit him, try to assist in his healing process, contribute financially to him as much … Continue reading

Adoptions: Non-Refundable?

I’ve always loved children. I’ve been babysitting my whole life, went to school to become an elementary grade school teacher, and taught preschool for two years after graduating. Since becoming a mother, I look at children in a totally different light. Before, kids were just kids. I liked them, and most of them were fun. However, some were cute, some weren’t as cute; some were brats, some were angels. Now, when I see a child, I think to myself, “Someone carried that child in her belly for 9 months. Someone gave birth to that baby. Someone probably loves that child … Continue reading

Real Stars Don’t Sign Wallpaper

Not that anyone should mistake Paris Hilton for a real movie star, but the truth is she did reportedly sign her name on expensive wallpaper (yes, folks apparently she does know how to spell her name)… and now she’s paying the price for it. Well, her daddy will likely pick up the tab—–details, details. According to news reports, the socialite has been permanently banned from an upscale Russian hotel after signing her name with a permanent marker on its very, very expensive wallpaper. You would think that being a hotel heiress (never mind that she is also 27 years old) … Continue reading

When Reality Gets Too Real

I will be the first to admit that I love reality television. I guess it stems from my love for documentaries. I mean after all, what is reality television if not just a glorified documentary? But what happens when reality television goes too far? We all know there have been several reality television couple break-ups – Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro, Travis Bakker and Shanna Moakler, Danny Bonaduce and his wife Gretchen, and most recently Hulk Hogan and his wife Linda. While divorced or divorcing, they are at least all still alive. News broke this … Continue reading

The Crimson Oak – E. M. Almedingen

This young adult novel was set in a time of Russia’s history where education was only allowed to the rich, and peasants were allowed very little at all. The author was born in Russia and the story is rich with culture and heritage. Our main character is Peter, a boy who dreams of more. One morning, he had the rare treat of a whole day off to do whatever he wanted. His mother asked him to go pick some berries, and he didn’t want to do it, but he sighed and headed off anyway. On his way back from the … Continue reading

Radioactivity Less Dangerous to Animals Then Man?

Okay, this is a spooky thought: what if there was a radioactive wasteland too toxic for humans to live in but that animals had adapted to? Not only were they able to live there, but some species were thriving because man was no longer interfering with their environment? Sound like the plot of a science fiction book? Might make a good one, but it’s actually based on fact. The place? Chernobyl. Chernobyl fascinates me. I think because it scares me so much. It was just an ordinary day that went horribly wrong and left that part of Russia uninhabitable for … Continue reading

Avalon (1990)

“Avalon” stars a nine-year-old Elijah Wood as Michael Kay, the grandson of Russian Jews who immigrated early in the 1900’s. The movie tells the story of the Krichinski family, how they all came to America one at a time, earned money to bring the next one over, and how much they relish and enjoy being Americans. As the recipient of this wonderful heritage, Michael hears them tell their stories time and time again, coming to appreciate the tales even though they are repetitive. This movie is set up differently than any I’ve seen. Told in snatches that ultimately tie together, … Continue reading

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

It just doesn’t get any better than this – sitting at my computer, sharing with you all the reasons I love certain movies, and getting to relive each magical moment in my mind. “Fiddler on the Roof” caught my heart from the opening credits and has held me tight ever since. A little background on me – I have always been fascinated with Russia and was able to go there as a teenager. “Fiddler” takes place in a pre-Revolutionary Russian Jewish village called Annatefka, a poor, isolated village where the people depend on each other for their welfare. One such … Continue reading

To Russia With Love

Have you ever seen versions of American sitcom classics aired in foreign countries? I once saw an episode of NBC’s hit, “Friends” dubbed in German. I practically split my spleen watching Ross yell at Rachel in baritone German (his lips kept flapping long after the German voice stopped). But now, Russia is taking American television sitcoms and doing more than just dubbing over their native tongue. According to news reports Russia is out to find its own Brooke Shields to star in a new, local-language version of the sitcom “Suddenly Susan.” Do you remember the show? It aired on NBC … Continue reading