Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Update from Moscow

Hi folks, this is Camille again. I received an email from Stacia this morning. She is okay but seems a bit stressed. She was worried about her Russian language skills prior to this trip and it seems that since they are umm.... rather rudimentary, she has to take several classes... ALONE. Sounds like not so much fun. She has enjoyed seeing Elena and her boyfriend but hasn't been able to have any one on one time with Elena yet. She is looking forward to some excursions this weekend, sounds like she needs a little fun.

She did happen to see Pres. Putin's motorcade but did NOT happen to have her camera with her. I suggested she just keep it on her. Well, that was all from the Russian front today.

On the home front there was good news as it seems that her brother will not be contested by his ex for primary custody of little Phoenix. They are just trying to iron out some details.

Well, reporting for Stacia, Camille is over and out...

Friday, June 10, 2005

The package arrived safely...

This is Camille, posting for Stacia. I received an email from her today saying she is safely in Moscow. She is exhausted and starving to death and said she still feels like she is moving (don't you hate that?). Stacia said 11 other people are in the group that she will be with in Moscow and that she is ancient, oops, I mean, she is the oldest there. They all seemed like nice people and it looks like she has a fun summer ahead! I'll update here as often as she emails me. Or maybe we can just whisper about her until she comes back - she loves that.

That's all for today.

Monday, June 06, 2005

This is it.

Well, I leave tomorrow. All the bills are paid, everyone has been e-mailed, keys have been distributed, the suitcase is packed. So I guess I am technically ready to leave. But I am a bundle of nerves. Tomorrow I leave for Washington DC for two days of orientation. Then on Thursday we leave for Russia and arrive there Friday. I'll see my friend Elena on Sunday. I don't perceive any huge problems, but you never know.

In October 1999 I boarded a plane to Moscow Russia. I was 25 and had never left the USA. I didn't know anyone in Russia. A friend of a friend of a friend knew someone in Russia who took in American boarders. I got off the plane not knowing if that person was actually going to be there to get me and if we would get along for the whole month I was there. She was, and we did and we're still friends (I'm staying with her again). But after my disastrous marriage, I needed the confidence that traveling to Russia, alone, as a woman, gave me. If I could do that, I could do anything. So I know that no matter what happens on this trip, I will be able to handle it. I am scared that I will be the worse Russian speaker in the group, that I will be the oldest. But you know what, it doesn't really matter. I'm going there to learn Russian, something I've wanted to do since I was 15 years old. I have a good foundation, and I want to learn. Even if I'm the oldest one there, I guess that means I'll probably be the one who is most sure of myself (not the most confident, just the one who knows myself the best), and I'll have wisdom to dispense (ha!). It's just one more thing to learn from. And I know I can do it.

I will miss everyone so much, especially since I wish I could take everyone with me. Wes is sorta freaking out. He's just going to miss me a lot. But I know we'll be able to do this. Camille is going to periodically update my blog, because I don't know how much internet access I'll have. On an unhappy note, Corinne (my brother's ex-fiance, the baby's mama), is pregnant. Now we definitely think she got pregnant on purpose with Phoenix (my brother was about to leave her) and we wonder if she got pregnant on purpose this time too. It looks like she was pregnant less than 4 months after her and my brother broke up. We hope this won't affect the custody thing.

Other than that, all I have left is to clean out the fridge, because I really don't want to come home to 2 month old pork and beans.

have a great summer,

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Brick Lane

I just finished Brick Lane by Monica Ali. It is brilliant. It is about an immigrant, Muslim woman's life in England, before and after 9/11. I have read other Muslim literature before, especially Salman Rushdie, but this book took a very different perspective of culture clash and difficulty of not exactly fitting into your "new" society while not being able to go back to you old one. The book was beautifully written, and I couldn't put it down. It also ended on a sad but hopeful note. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

I told Wes I want to make us work. I do care about him very much, maybe a bit afraid to admit I love him. But it does feel right. I don't know what that means, but it feels natural, and safe and like it's meant to be. So, we'll see what the future holds. Just telling him that, most of the fear went away. I feel good.

I need to pack. I think half my suitcase is going to be filled with stuff for Elena and her family. I don't know what I'm going to fill it with on the way back. I've been there twice and don't really need anymore souvenirs. And I'm not buying that many gifts. Oh well. I think it's starting to hit home that I'm leaving for Russia for the whole summer. This will be the longest I will have ever been there. I hope I still like it when I get home.

My life is filled with hope and excitement!


Friday, June 03, 2005

Not stating the obvious. . . for obvious reasons

Last night I checked out Camille's blog and she had a link to another blog, which I also checked out. Since I have no idea how computer's work (there's a hamster on a wheel in there, right?), I don't know how to add the link, but you can click on her link on my page and go about it the long way (yes, I know several of my links don't work and I don't know why). Anyway, this page is about secrets. It made me cry and it made me want to hug every single person I meet from here on out and tell them that someone loves them. Only, I don't have enough energy to love everyone. Sometimes, I don't have enough energy to love myself. But it made me think about my secrets. Only I don't really have any. Everyone knows that during the last months of my marriage I prayed my (ex)husband would die. But, sometimes we keep secrets from ourselves too. So, I guess this is my secret. I'm afraid to be loved by a man. I'm afraid I'm not worth it and that any man who thinks he loves me will someday realize the truth about who I am and leave me. And I know this is a large part of my problem with Wes. Because if I let him love me, and then he leaves, not only would I lose a great man, I would lose a really good long-term friend. And if I do let him love me, I would cry and cry and cry and cry. Probably for hours. Snotty nose crying. Hyperventilating crying. Just letting out all the pain, shame, and fear until all I felt was hope. I think I'll wait until I get back from Russia, because I really don't have time before then.

I'm a dirty, rotten whore. And you're just jealous because either, a) I won't sleep with you, or b) you don't have men lining up to do you. I went out to dinner with two guy friends last night. One of them, I really, really like. Which is weird because he is not physically attractive in any way, shape or form. Just something about his personality. And I could never picture anything with him long term. So, this is the issue: he has a long-distance girlfriend. And there's Wes. And this other guy is moving out of the state while I'm in Russia. And we both really want each other bad. He's never stated it, but last night his words and actions were so obvious, that even my poor, totally out of it friend, Sean, was rolling his eyes. This other guy offered to help watch over my place while I'm in Russia. I told him I could bring him my key and e-mail him information. But he thought it would make more sense if he came over, ON A SATURDAY NIGHT, so I could show him around. I live in a one-bedroom apartment. What the hell am I supposed to show him? I don't know yet. I guess I'll just figure that out later. Like when I get back from Russia, because I really don't have time before then.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

August vacation

I had a pretty good day yesterday. Went swimming again, and that felt good. I'm excited that I'll be able to swim in Russia. That sounds like such a minor thing, but I find that these are the places where you get to know "real" Russians. Besides, I want to see the condition of their pools. Besides the flowers, I also got the books I ordered for my Russian trip. A smaller, not falling apart, dictionary, a phrase book, a grammar book and a tourist guide. I've never bought one of those before (the tourist guide) and I've been to Russia twice, Germany once and Mexico once. So, that's kind of a new experience, to read about everything I've missed by only going to places suggested by my Russian friends. It's a nice one too. Cover price was $25 but I got it for $16 on (gotta love it). I've been getting almost daily e-mails from the program ( about itinerary, directions, stuff to bring, ect. I'm starting to get really, really excited. I can't wait. I still have more gifts to buy, but other than that, I feel pretty prepared (ok, I still have to pay all the bills before I leave, but other than that).

Talked to Wes last night. He said everyone knew how well the vacation went without asking. He said he can't stop smiling. He also told me he's not going to date anyone, mostly because he has no desire to. I told him I appreciated that, and while I haven't dated in almost 4 years, I just didn't feel like I could make that promise yet. He was cool with that. He also wants to take me on a cruise at the end of August. It sounds nice, but sounds too much like a honeymoon. He's moving to the East coast and I've never really spent any time there, so I'm going to suggest I just come for a visit instead. I do want to spend time with him, I just think a cruise would put too much pressure on me. Besides, I want to get married on a cruise.

Anyway, I have to run around today with a few more errands (picking up enough birth control for 2 months: I plan on skipping my period while I'm there, because who really wants to use Russian tampons? Did you know that tampons is not part of the blog spellcheck?), buy more gifts and I think I'm having dinner tonight with a couple of my friends. I also want to finish the new book I started, but I don't think I'll be able to.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Bluest Eye

This is one of the most depressing books I have ever read. This poor little black girl wants blue eyes because she thinks she's ugly and that blue eyes would make her beautiful to herself and society. I just want to hug her and tell her she is beautiful just the way she is. From this point forward, I promise that no matter what, I will always find at least one physical attribute to compliment on every little girl I ever meet. I hope Toni Morrison realizes what a great job she did of writing this girl's story. I would recommend it to everyone. This book will also make you look around to all the fashion magazines to see how mainstream beauty is portrayed. Not just the skinny girls, but the lack of color. Beauty still isn't colorblind and it should be.

ok, I'm going to read another book, and hopefully not one as depressing,

ps. brownine and PJ party this weekend at my place.


This morning, at a quarter to 9, I hadn't showered, or brushed my teeth, or hair, hadn't washed my face, wearing nasty clothes, and the doorbell rings. It's fed-ex with a package. I open it and it's a dozen pink tulips (my favorite) with this note. "I know you won't have long to enjoy these but I wanted to say what a wonderful time I had being with you last week. I would wait a lifetime to be with you forever. With love, Wes." What can one say to that? I mean, really?