Sunday, December 9, 2012

'Tis the Season

So...when did December happen?!? Someone told me the date yesterday and I was seriously shocked. Not just as in, "Wow, I knew it was the 7th, but I just can't believe how fast this week has gone by!" but rather, "Wow, I really have no concept of time and fully believed it was somewhere around the 3rd." It happens when you don't look at a calendar.

My main regret in being so acutely unaware? The neglect of my Christmas decor.
When I say decor, I'm using it in the singular sense of the word: this advent calendar is my one and only. Unless you want to count the mounds of snow outside my cabin.

This chocolate beauty was purchased in Germany in mid-October on my way back from San Francisco. We always had an advent calendar growing's was hand-sewn and crafty, and unfortunately neither of those descriptors are in my personal vocabulary. BUT chocolate is. So when I saw this (and was informed that it would be infinitely more expensive if available in Russia), I got a jump-start on the holiday season.

And then, forgot. About a ***calendar filled with chocolate***!!! Who is this person!?! I hardly know myself anymore! Answer: One who keeps way too much chocolate in the house. To the point that a chocolate calendar is left huddled in the corner, wanting for attention. NO LONGER! I successfully got up-to-date with little effort, and threw a Reese's shaped like a Christmas tree into the mix for good measure.

So, what's happened in the week that managed to escape my notice?

In order of random thought:

1. I have a roommate. He has yet to make himself visible, but I've heard him scurrying away overhead. My Russian neighbor/colleague refers to him as "Jerry." I. Hate. JERRY!
People, I've dealt with a mouse or two in my time...I'm OVER it. My neighbors on the other side can't understand my disdain. Today I was told how adorable, small, and cute little mice can be. If I was starving to the point that I needed to eat a rodent, I might find them somewhat attractive. Otherwise, get thee hence!

2. A holiday part to kick of the Christmas season!!! Two years ago, I was in Moscow for the first time. And attended a Christmas party at the home of Lyuba, the English teacher for some of our Bolshoi artists. It was one of the most magical evenings in my life, albeit that I understood approximately 25% of what was being said. The singers all broke out some American Christmas carols, and then followed them up with Russian, Ukrainian, and Armenian folk songs. Fabulous food, fascinating company, and an overall sense of awe at the foreign cultural experience that was that evening.

Fast forward two years. Same house. New and familiar faces. Understanding about 90% of conversation and actually engaging and playing a part in the evening that I had before only witnessed. Music, food, friends...and a reality check. Two years ago, I never would have envisioned that I'd be where I am today. And therein is the true beauty of life. The unexpected. Twists and turns that occasionally bring you around full circle.

For the others, this picture was a joke. But in my case, this was how I felt sooner than I should have. I'm a fading flower post-midnight it turns out. (Really, that should read post-10 pm, but that's slightly embarrassing).

3. I got fired by my Russian teacher. No joke. She had had enough of meeting with me at the early hour of 8:30 am and informed me that her complexion and health were suffering because of it. She tried to pass me off to three of the other teachers (these are individual courses) and I was flatly refused each time. Word has it there might be one who's willing...which would be convenient, given that I'd like to learn this language someday.

4. I started studying. For real. This was before getting fired. And after. It's exam month my friends. And while grades might be irrelevant in this stage of life, academic performance and the challenges therein will never lose their attractiveness. So it's back to the books. I have a serious amount of grammar to master.

5. Snow. It deserves its own number here.

And that's a December snapshot. What's your month looking like thus far? Hopefully it's chocolate-filled! 'Tis the season!


  1. How does one forget about a chocolate calendar!? That sounds like the best Advent calendar. Ever.

  2. December's moving really fast, it's crazy. Being a nomad at the moment, I'm completely dependent on other's Christmas decorations. Your post made me crave for chocolates all of a sudden.

  3. The advent calendar is our only decoration as well...and of course our Menorah is out too - because that's how I roll


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