Saturday, April 30, 2005


Sretan Prvi Maj

For those who mark this day as the Worker's Holiday, and Sretan Vaskrs to any of my readers who are Orthodox believers!

Friday, April 29, 2005


just because it's a bit unusual,

I have included 'Eslavos del sur' because it's a very unusual blog, being in Spanish but concerned with Balkans matters. The first two blogs were people who early recognized this space.
Anyway from here out everyone else is going to be in alphabetic order. I am really haveing a bad headache from woriking with that. I should have been doing other things but I wanted to get the links in there. It was sad to have to get rid of the parchement appearance of the old pages. I'm too tired to try to get that back. I probably could but it can wait. Code is hard for me because I never actually messed with it before.


OK Professor Teeny Tiny! I got you you SOB!

I kept a promise to Gordy and to Scissors, they are the first of my linx now that I figured it out. It made me mad, because it's needlessly hard, the letters are so small. I know who is to blame, it's Proffesor Teeny Tiny. Some of you will know who I'm talking about.


I went out with the scythe for the first time this year.

My hands are just short of blistered from the first time in the yard with the scythe. I prefer to go out very early 1. the grass is damp still from the dew which makes it easier to cut. 2. fewer people to bother me. I got just a small section of the front lawn. It was all I was up for. If I'm up for more later, fin, otherwise I'll do a bit tomorrow and a bit Sunday. I do want to knck down some of that grass, and the weeds but I don't want to break myself inthe process. I got very out of shape during the winter, because I was sick a lot with the flu. A particularly vicious and virulent variety was visited on the Gulag. So I'm actually still pretty wealk. So I will need to build up to my former routine. that's ok, I'll knock the grass down and since my son will probably be working, I may be able to hire soemone. I will hire the guy accross the street, as he will charge less than the guy I had before, and I know the guy accorss the street isn't a criminal of some sort. I've had some fairly dodgy characters want to do the lawn. I frankly trust some of the illegals over the people who were born here. Some of our born citizens are far more dangerous than the illegals, either way though, I don't feel safe permitting just anyone on my turf, and if that means the grass grows a little so sbe it. Last night I rested and listened to some Makedonian music on streaming. That was nice. I like Makedonian music a lot.
This morning my daughter e-mailed to let me know she's on Vicodan, Demerol and Darvon for pain relief. She was feeling a little disoriented and woke up early. I guess she's about what would be expected for someone burned that bad. My little gradn daughter said her mom looked like a mummy.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


My daughter burned her arm very badly

My daughter works as a baker, she's very good at it, and yes sometimes there are accidents in her job. She spilled hot dipping chocolate all over her forearm sustaining 2nd degree burns and possibley some areas of 3rd degree burns.
She had to go to the hospital. Her co:workers are fantastic people, they finished makeing the donuts that she was supposed to glaze. She had to have a lot of debridement, I'm worried she'll have a big scar, she scars very easily. Sometimes I look at the scars on her and just want to cry. She has lots of little scars from getting burned at work. She's very proud of her work and very very good at it.
She called me last night to tell me, and we talked a little. She had to go in to the hospital again today. I didn't hear anything from her today. Of course I let her know we'll help if she needs us all she has to do is let us know. Of course she does have her husband, and he's really good, adn the other grandparents live closer by and can drive.
I hoep she'll be ok. I pray she doesn't get too bad a scar. I reminded her to ask her doctor about zinc oxide powder. I've prevented nasty scars from burns by useing just zink oxide like you use for diaper rash, it's very useful stuff, but for this type of injury the powder is probably better.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


more of that boogie down Balkans beat

I went back onto SHOUTCAST and found some Bulgarian pop music, I rather like it. It's got some stuff that is very sad, some stuff that sounds older, and some stuff that is more modern, like singer songwriter stuff here, but more bounce, more of a beat.

Oh the School Spirit Week is such a bust, one girl dressed up, as Sr. Chama, one of our two Spanish instructors, he's Argentinian and has distinctive curly hair and a moustache, also his old school preferences in blazers and the fact he often wears a tie, make him easy to characture. So this girl dressed as him and it was really cute.
I didn't bother, I AM in fact a celebrity on campus, not entirely due to this blog, or the fact I nearly set the Hopeless Union Building on fire due to a microwave accident, or that I made the best yak noises once.
Anyway being a low rent celebrity means I don't need to dress as a different celebrity.
I am takeing tonight a little easy, just doing Spanish and math.
OOOH I wish I knew how to link this Bulgarian thing just go to SHOUTCAST and then to BG radio, it's so good. A lot like Bosnian music. More girl singers though. I suspect this might be 'chalga' now this girl is singing about her sexy boyfriend. it's one of those songs I'd like better if I didn't understand half the words. Definately danceable though.

Monday, April 25, 2005


muzika muzika muzika

Don't you sometimes have a need for some good ol' Balkans boogie down muzika? I know I do, since I got back five years ago the damn coffee has been too thin and the music has not been music I care for unless I put on NPR and they get not too spacy not too jazzy not too classical. They NEVER play stuff like this cuz well the people just don't understand...sometimes that mood called sevdah.


Kids these days!

It is School Spirit Week at the Yakima Gulag People's Institution of Higher Re: Education. Guess how many people actually dressed up as aliens from other planets or zombies? 2 space aliens, (your friendly editor dressed as Princess Amidala from Star Wars, and a former Galaxy staffer Rachel Moffit dressed as an alien frome another planet.) One guy did get T.P. to look like a mummy in front of everyone, there was a cooler of sodas and a box of bags of crisps, so I got some of that. This was not well organized, and it was sad to see a WHOLE SHCOOL full of people being normal. Of course, it's possible they decided NOT to reveal that in fact they were from other planets. Rachel and I sat in the Hopeless Union Building awhile between classes, and people were pretending they didn't see us. I wanted to neuralize them!, I mean REALLY!
I could understand if everyone had a job, and had to look proffessional or something, but that is not the case, very few have even part time jobs.
No the problem is no one is paying attention, and no one has a sense of fun, even the Student Council people who thought this up didn't dress up. That is so sad.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


My father needs a bit of prayer.

My father had a serious operation recently, he seems to be doing well, but it can't heard him to pray for him a bit.
As well a school mate of mine is faceing surgery for something serious. It's often pretty nice people who most need prayer.
I liked what mhy school mate said. Sometimes it's funny where spiritual sustanance comes from, as a child she used to watch Vegitales, a program I never got my kids, but they did have a song in it called 'God is Bigger than the Boogie Man' and this girl sometimes sings it when she's scared. She is a very good young lady, and she is very scared. We all sat in the Hopeless Union Building one morning and prayed for her.
When she told me that this song comforts her, I told her, not only is God bigger than the Boogie man, he CAN and WILL kick his butt!' She brightened up and smiled, and said 'well even if I do die, I get to meet my Savior face to face' 'Yes that is true, and people who are scared like you are right now, usually forget that, but it's true. you will because you haven't done any bad stuff.' 'Well I have!' I said 'I doubt it's any big bad stuff, examine your conscience a bit, you ethnically cleansed any villages lately? worshiped idols? committed adultery? been mean to someone?' no 'Well then I guess you will met your Savior if your time has come.'
People are so scared of this passage. In a way I can understand it, it used to scare me. I was present when my mom died, my sister was too. Probably at the moment of her death was the happiest look we'd ever seen on her face. like the best high ever, like the best orgasm ever, anyway she didn't go in fear.


finally got hold of my fiance...

I'm beginning to think this blog is magical or soemthing. Personal problems I remark on here tend to get resolved. I have been praying intensly for my fiance and I to be reunited properly. This game of 'your country or mine' got old ages ago and all that I've done to resolve the situation has failed. If it hasn't been one thing it's been another. We aren't either of us getting any younger. I am pretty much stuck here until 2006. It's been very seriously frustrating for me and really not exactly been a picnic for him either. That's all I can say about it without saying too much.


Baby Tigers breast fed by woman.

This has nothing to do with the Yakima Gulag, or the Balkans, it has to do with interspecies adoption. This woman in Burma is breastfeeding baby tigers. I am fond of cats large and small. Incidentally a long time ago it was believed any animal breast fed by a woman would make a good familiar for her if she was a witch. So if this woman wants she's got three familiars I wouldn't mess with!

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Snakeweed ????

Snakeweed ????
Originally uploaded by To The DEVA -- " Death Valley National Park".

These are the best of the Death Valley flower pix! :)


tuin vijver 1

tuin vijver 1
Originally uploaded by Alena.

This same person took wonderful Death Valley pix last year.



Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Cardinal Retzinger Elected to serve as Pope,

I was in the Hopeless Union Building today, and a student passed by and said he'd heard that Ratzinger got elected Pope. He has chosen the name Benict XVI, welll I am takeing comfort in a few things. Yes, he's a LOT more conservative than I'd like, but he's basically consistant, there's a chance he'll spare us all the cognitive dissonance. Remember a Catholic conservative isn't the same thing as an American who thinks he or she is conservative. The other thing to say for him is he might be less conservative than some one from Africa or Latin America or Asia might have been. Some of the cardinals in Latin America have been powerful advocates for the poor,but many of them have not been anything like advocates for the poor.
One in particular, the Bishop of San Salvador kind of is an example, putting 'personal salvatiion' ahead of doing something about social conditions. I think it is necessary to do BOTH. If that is bad of me, well too bad, but people who are starved, impovereshed and ruled by tyrants have a very hard time doing the right thing. They can, but it's harder. I do believe one person can make a difference even in terrible places, but I also believe one elevates the condition of the entire society as a means of furthering Salvation, of makeing it more likely.
It's kind of like yes, I believe when you are ill you should pray, but you should as well take appropriate medical actions, God gave us our rational minds for a reason, so we could use them to help ourselves. Both prayer and rationality I view as gifts from the Almighty, that asprin you took to cure a headache, or even just after you think you felt symptoms of heart attack or stroke is as much a Divine intervention as anything else.
I think this may be a really interesting Pope, no one expected him, and umm so much for the Prophesies of St. Malachi! Those predicted an Italian pope.
Anyway there's good reason to think the predictions are a forgery...
Actually I'm glad the process wasn't too drawn out, that's kind of bad. The bad news is that a lot of liberal Catholics are not thrilled, the good news is it could have been way worse. I wish him well, I hope he's able to do a good job. That's up to him and of course the REAL BOSS.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Mostar Live Cam

I like going here and looking at the pictures of the re:built bridge. Right now it's cloudy in Mostar, and people are crossing the bridge. I think most people are glad this lovely bridge was rebuilt, it probably doesn't feel quite the same, even though the same stones mostly were used, but it's bettetr than not to have the bridge at all.
I watched the entire dedication ceremony online, and really it was something to see!
It's also something to see how many people cross that bridge daily. Just click on the little thumbnails, there is a way to save pictures, and there is a gallery where if you speak only English I think the process is easier.
I never got to see either the old bridge or the new one. I first went to BiH in late 1998, and all I saw was the place it used to be each time I passed through Mostar.


Well this IS the Yakima Gulag Literary Gazett so I'll get to some lit here...

I'm exhausted, been running around all day but, I did go to the Poetry reading thing at the Yakima Gulag People's Institute of Higher Re:Education. This series is part of a class on poetry, a couple of my friends are takeing the class. I noted a girl in so much orange I wanted to ask her if she were keeping up with my Orange Revolution Updates and the usual students, One friend Mike and Kim R. formerly of the Galaxy are in the class. I find myself amazed there are good writers here but I should not be amazed, there's good stuff to write about and that will cause people to write good stuff.
The writer tonight was Barry Grimes, he is a poet in his spare time. He probably hasn't got a lot of spare time since he's as well a teacher.
In fact I'm fairly sure my kids had classes with him. He read some work I liked. His work that relates to his personal life is quite good, I like his style, it is spare, but not needlessly spare.
I could live without the references to Japanese poets and Lao Tze, I find that off putting. (It's a quirk, work with me!) but I do like his work in general.

I leaf through this book and find out this guy likes fishing and baseball, and has been to a few places I have lived in the past. Like a lot of Yakima writers he's affected by Raymond Carver. Not influenced, Grimes is his own man, but he knows Carver's work and you have to like a book with poems that mention cash machines and cats. I like the one called Politics, short, almost but not quite a one liner, and I liked One Morning for One Night, probably because I actually met Eli Wiesel, and the thing about teaching about the Holocaust is something I've thought about. Mr. Grimes gives a very good feel for his work, the good and the difficult aspects of it. That's cool, because no one thinks of writeing about being a teacher.

I had him sign a book, He has big handwriteing, the sign of an exuberant person. He deserves to be better known. It's very hard for writers in places like the Gulag, the atmosphere is one of relentless practicality combined with the magical thinking that is so fashionable in business life and that is very hard for writers.

I liked Mike's spy hat.

Speaking of the atmosphere, SOMETHING is real wrong with the radio on the AM, It's really been bad for about a week. The AM reception all across the dial is bad but it is ESPECIALLY govni locally. I can't pull in the local station that I say bad things about so often. I only say bad things about them because they are so persistantly complicit in brainwashing the politically naive, I still want to be able to hear them, like in case the volcano blew up or something. I mean local stations matter, because of stuff like that. Here there is a horrid ringing at all ends of the AM dial. I'd call them up, but they have my number blocked from the time I told them that it was getting old hearing ALL four Clear Channel Stations at the same point on the dial. That happens a LOT on weekends, instead of fixing it, well they put me on their list of people they won't talk to. You cannot call from any phone which is blocked. That is ok with me, but blocking me is NOT o.k. with me. I don't call them to be a pain, I'm actually trying to be helpful. They need to fix this.
Stuff like haveing an obnoxious noise non-stop is something a regular listener could TELL them. Nothing comes in clearly on AM. I have moderate problems on FM too. I happen to own a very good radio which has been treated nicely, not beaten up or dropped or spilled on or anything. So the wierd noise should NOT be comeing from my radio reciever. If it were the radio FM reception would suck too. The sound reminds me of the old days when there used to be radio jamming, it is a sound I associate with shortwave. Incidentally the fundamentalist stations come in FINE, and they are not that far off from the comercial stations. The Mexican station comes in fine, but I don't care for modern Mexican music. Bad music is disruptive for me, not annoying, disruptive. This wacky jamming like noise gives me a horrible paranoid 1950s kind of feeling, what is it when it's nostalgija but it's BAD nostalgija?


You know you live in a gulag when....

it is not possible to buy active brewers yeast anyplace. I have a friend who wants to learn the fine art of mead makeing, and we had to resort to BREAD YEAST! now bread yest is wonderful for btead, but it is not the best thing to use making mead. There are ways around the problem, I've had the situation arise ( no pun intended) of not haveing the right kind of yeast around, and not haveing transport to a store, but before, had I gone to one of the local stores, brewers yeast would have been available in all but the health food stores which heare are owned by people who do not approve of alchol, or it's cration. For the record this is a Christian sect. Just want that clear.
Anyway the whole thing turned into the 'Quest For Yeast' an EPIC, and very tiresome.
Honey also has gone up a lot in price.
That's understandaable, bees have been aflicted with bee mites, and the poor dears have been dying in great numbers. This is sad, as bees are lovely creatures.
I am not afraid of bees. When I had a large area of raspberries in one house, I used to go out and pick them to make melomel and wine from them, they were very abundant and had lots of flowers. Of course the bees loved those flowers and my yard was full of their humming. I would go out and pick but I'd kind of say 'OK girls I'm here, I just want to pick raspberries, not bother you' They'd actually go work elswhere in teh bushes, and I'd tell them, 'OK I'm done here for now, I'd like to go up that way please' and they'd scoot, it was amazeing to watch. Sometimes they landed on me and I never was stung. I never did anything to keep them off me, other than to be fully dressed while near their favorite work places, the blackberries, the raspberries and the cherry and apple tree.
Once while visiting in Croatia I killed a bee thinking the poor thing was a wasp. There'd been one in the kitchan and it had been driveing me nuts. Well anyway, I have poor eyesight, and hit her by mistake. She was dead and landed in the sink, and i realized sadly it was a bee. So i took the wather in that pan out where she'd landed and put that in the garden and loudly appologized to all the bees in hearing. My fiance didn't even think that was wierd. Some might have, but I think with bees you are dealing with something intelligent and must show a certain respect. I have only ever been stung once in my life, and never even come close since. That was an accident, a bee was in the car, and under a blanket, and I stepped on her. She really had no choice. She was only defending herself.
That was when my family were in Mexico. I forget just why my sister and I were alone in the car that time, probably my parents were buying something.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


I have been listening to the most beautiful story...

This program has perhaps been the most lovely and hopeful thing I have heard in a long time, the mood I've been in, I needed this sort of thing, it's a thing which should inspire all of us. The idea is one that must inspire those of us who want healing in this earth, who want peace, real peace, not the 'peace of the prison cell or the grave'as Padraig H. Pearse called the false peace we see so often. The story is called 'The Man Who Planted Trees.' It is the story of a man who took adversity and made something beautiful happen. I was very touched by this story.
Those who know me well know that I am not easily touched. I am not sentimental, or easily moved.
I am a hard person, and a bit detached from others, but I saw in this story a vision that should be useful to people who have had to live in places made harder than they must be by the folly of humankind.


Sorry this is just plain wrong....

OK I realize Britain isn't like the U.S., but I find it kind of sad that there is a show called 'Sex Traffic' about women from Eastern Europe sold into sexual slavery in London.
Of course I find the existance of the real thing even more awful and disgusting.


Best Places to Get Sick

Thanks MetaFilter! check this out, it should piss you off! I am learning how to push the paper in the medical industry, at least MY paper pushing will add efficiency! I can tell you from what I observed I'd rather be sick in Croatia or even Bosnia Hercegovina than in the gulag. The insurance here costs a bloody fortune, is not available through employment like it used to be and doesn't cover what it used to cover. Nobody wants to blame the real culprits, the insurance industry, the doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. Yes ordinary Americans are a bit too pill-happy BUT that isn't the only problem. The people in France are able to get their hands on a lot of pills, their system still costs way less than here in the States.
Doctors and Health Care workers in many countries are unionized and negotiate new contracts every few years. This is not a bad thing. It puts them in far closer touch with reality for their patients. I think it's a good thing.
I think nationalized health care would be good for the American economy.


I Wish Someone would go talk to my fiance ...

I have not been able to get hold of my fiance since Friday. OK fine I interupted his bath. Sometimes that stuff happens. I appologize, and he says 'call tomorrow' fine. Well I call Saturday. I don't get him despite numerous attempts. I try today. No luck, I am angry. It is one thing to need a raincheck on a phone call, it is another to not be around at all. He has the flu, it's a weekend, so where is he?
That is really not nice of him to do. He should be home when he says to call him. It's not like he has anything better to do....

Friday, April 15, 2005


Here is where I go for Balkans news...

It's strories like this that make it necessary to read Mario's Cyberspace Station regularly.Mario Profaca is a remarkable man and his website is as remarkable as he is. I'm sort of surprised other bloggers who discuss the Balkans don't mention him.
Just for the record, as soon as I figure out how to do a Blog-Roll, he's next after East Ethnia, SeeSaw is going to be next for having commented here early on.
To give an example of things made possible by this man's website, I watched the first three days of the bombing of Baghdad on his site, he had a link to a couple of live-cams in Baghdad, that is how it was possible to watch.
He covers things and just has a load of sources, without picking sides. He used to work at Slobodna Dalmacija, so I'm sure he has his leanings, but it doesn't stop him from putting EVERYONE in, regardless of his view of them. I guess he trusts people to make up their own damn minds, which is something I respect about Mario Profaca.That sort of approach is highly unusual and really very refreshing.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


The Unitarian Jihad Releases Manifesto!!!**

OK you have to read this because I'm torally rolling on the floor laughing my dupa off!


OK recipe time

Dandelion Salad

1 go get a bunch of fresh dandelion leaves out of the garden
2 clean them well, wash them and let them soak in clean ICE cold water.
3. get a clove or two of garlic and half an onion and some salt
4. get Italian seasoning a pinch of red chili flakes and a couple pinches of garam masala, and if you like a fresh plum tomato or a few dried tomatoes.
4. get some good olive oil and some balsemic vinegar
Cut the dandelion leaves with the garlic and onions, and the Italian seasoning.if the tomato you use is dried cut it up with that stuff too.
Once it's all cut up put that in a bowl and add the olive oil and balsemic vinegar.
Now here is where you can do things differently.
I like to put feta cheese in this, I think that is particularly good, another way to go is to fry up pieces of bacon, usually I get ends and pieces and take the fat part off, I fry that up first, then take them out and then put in the meaty pieces, and fry them nice, then put them HOT on top of the leaves.
I put in a chopped boiled egg if I have one.
Serve by itself or as a side dish, it's nice with roasted or grilled meats.

I like to have this with fried chicken liver, I'll tell you my chicken liver recipe some other time.


Look No Further For Ear Candy! !!

The Title will take you to a website where you can legally listen to, and if so inclined buy, CDs from Kitka, who are marvelous singers, of every sort of Balkans and other Slavic folk music.

I first heard them on NPR, and liked them. They have not been to the Gulag. Anyway the Ministry of Joy recommends you listen a bit. It will do you good.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


My Friends Always Ask Me, 'Why Did You Go THERE?!?

Well the question is answered quite simply, I met someone from Bosnia, actually I met him at church, he's an older guy, he probably doesn't want all his personal stuff on the Internet. I will therefore not name or describe him except to say that I am very fond of him, he's also an endless source of frustration, mostly because he's in his own country, and I am in mine, most people play 'your place or mine?' we play 'your country or mine?'
Anyway I went there at his invitation and found the experience of being in Bosnia itself life changeing. It was wierd to go to a country where despite the fact at the time I did not speak the language, I felt 'normal', I felt at home.
There is another wierd thing I should mention, from about age four, I had these dreams, I dreamed that I was flying, sometimes like a bird does, sometimes in an airplane, and I was in this country that I did not know, the houses were a lot different than San Francisco. I had these dreams at intervals in my life and sometimes I dreamed of a nightmare landscape, ruined houses, walking with large numbers of people and all of us haveing a big problem and a lot of fear. I personally had not had any real disasters in my life by that age. I was not sheltered as a kid, but I was not in harsh circumstances either. I could not say these dreams meant anything special, psychologically speaking.
I now think they were prescient dreams, or perhaps in some cases dreams from another life.
Anyway from the moment the plane was in Bosnian airspace, I began to feel like I'd gone home, and I looked out the window at a tiny town, through the clouds. It was not my first air trip, but it was my first trip overseas. I spent time in Mexico as a child, that is out of the country but it is NOT overseas, it's different, I did not cross an ocean, or leave a continent. There is a different thing to going that far, to the 'Old World'.
Because a substantial part of my heritage is Irish, and culturally I have a strong identification with Irish people, I didn't expect this shock of recognition to hit me in Bosnia!
The air felt right, then we went to my fiance's place, he went out and got some cevapcici, and some beer, and while he was out, I am not Muslim, I'm Catholic, but I heard the azan called, and somehow that felt right too.
I had some reaction to the altitude, but beyond that, I was healthy all that first visit, and I enjoyed going around and seeing things, picking up the language, and meeting my fiance's friends.
Later, I went home and I'm kind of the family's history buff. I got busy learning about the history. I wanted to remain as objective as possible. This is not easy, but I made the effort.
Anyway, I know other sorts of European history, I'm a pretty good amateur Medievalist, so it really wasn't too hard dopeing out that my family way back did have roots in Bosnia. OK that explained something.
Sometimes very subtle cultural things stay with a family a long time. Things about myself began to make sense.
I made two other trips over there, to see my fiance, who had assorted troubles with his visa situation.
He had problems as well with his health.
In fact just staying in touch has been very difficult. He doesn't like to write, telephoneing is expensive, I do most of the calling. Something vital in the dynamics of a normal relationship has been damaged by the distance and the fact that if it weren't for me there would not be contact.
I learned the language fairly quickly, I wanted to know it, I had questions to ask him, I wanted to understand his too rare letters, and to make myself clear to him. Besides, if you are going to be involved with someone from another country, you are smart to learn the language. That way it is so much harder to pull a fast one on you. A language is of itself a valuable skill anyway.
I have to be honest and admit that often I am frustrated about this situation. There isn't a lot I can do right now about just going there, even for a visit. I might not have another chance to fix the gaps in my education either.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Technically now this is a Balkans oriented blog...

the recognition from East Ethnica makes it so, as does my long ago, descent from people of the Balkans as does my interest in the region as do several journeys....

I suppose I should tell about how I got involved.
I am a person of extremely mixed heritage. Most American people are... I am on my mother's side, Irish, Scots, French,Native American, Swedish, Polish, Hungarian, and due to some royal marriages, Bosnian.I am not kidding about the royal marriages. There are lots of actual House of Anjou people on my mom's side.
My father's side is Russian, German and part of my dad's family lived in Austria before comeing to the States.They cannot be traced with any sureness. I have asked one of my aunts if anyone were of Bijeli Hravat descent or from the Bergland area. She would not rule that out, because 'all the women in that end of the family have REALLY high cheekbones, they don't look German!' There is a lot that just can't be verified on that end. I find that frustrateing when I can trace people surely who lived in the 15 century and I have no clue about people in the 18th and 19th centuries!
The Russian end of my dad's family descend from the first rulers of Russia, the Rurikovich dynasty. I said before my family like most American families is very mixed, but beyond that, it was mixed before arrival in the United States.
The cultural emphisis of my up-bringing was very un-Balkans, very un-Slavic generally.
Mostly I think growing up in the U.S. in the '50s, it was not exactly great to have too much involvement or attachement to the Slavic culture.
No one really knew much about Slavic culture, and there were a lot of negative stereotypes about Slavic culture generally.
A lot of the negativity had to do with Communism. This was the eara of the Red Scare, and the McCarthy hearings.
I hung around Irish people and Mexicans, Black folk, and felt out of place among all of them for no reason I could understand.
Until college, my only teachers who were of Slavic ancestry were a wonder ful Social Studies teacher, Miss Kukovic, she was LOVELY not just physically but in terms of really knowing her subject and loveing to teach. With her name the kids from the ghetto called her 'Miss Kukubitch. She went to Europe dureing her vacations and took marvelous pictures of everywhere. I liked her because she was more open minded. She was for example the first teacher who, in discussing the Middle East did NOT display intolerance toward Muslims. She showed her slides at lunch time, and you could get extra credit by going to see these slides, and writeing a short essay about them. I didn't really NEED the extra credit in that class but I used to go anyway and do the essays. I learned about her trips back to her homeland along with her trips to Greece, Italy, France, etc. She didn't have all that Red Scare attitude either, that made her different. My other High School teacher who was from Slavic roots was less in touch, she was an art teacher later in High School.
A lot of Slavic people in America do lose their roots. Sometimes it is moveing in search of work, and sometimes it has to do with protecting themselves against predjudice.
I had a very strong reaction to the war in BiH, it bothered me a lot, and I avoided reading about it, or watching news coverage. The reason was simple, I was in a job in marketing. I had to ahve a 'positive attitude' a 'good attitude' in order to do keep my job. I was aware of the basics, actually it turns out I was better informed than the average American. I do read things like the New Yorker, and I do listen to NPR. Several people there had good information.
There were later events one could only describe as life changeing. I will talk about them later.


My Very Favorite Monty Python Skit

yes this is it, the anarcho syndacalist commune skit, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.....Thanks to 'This Blog Will be Deleted by Tomorrow'!

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Have You Ever Wanted to Rewrite History? C'mon you know you wanna!

click on the title bar to be taken to a historical tale, and go rewrite history, I see wonderous possibilities for this concept! The Ministry of Joy highly recommends it!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Hey all. In light of the student government elections about to take place at my school I wrote a speech. Here it is. No IM not running for any office. I was just bored. lol

Fellow YVCC students, lend me your ears. Now is a time for change in our student government. If elected, I promise more porn movies for us to watch. I promise to talk to the Chartwells people about raising their prices and parking prices will go up as well. Instead of having to pay one dollar for three hours of parking, you will have to pay one thousand dollars for three hours of parking and there will be less parking space avalible so instead of having to be here at seven in the morning to get a good space, you will have to be here at four in the morning.

To bring school unity , I promise more fun activities like pin the tail on the fat kid. Those who do not wish to participate will be tasered as needed.

Those in academicprobation will no longer have to sit at a thirty minute session. They will have to sit as a two hour session to discuss their grades.

So remember when you log on to vote, don't ask what you can do for student governement. Ask what your student government can do for you.

from a former Galaxy Staffer. I tried to post it on samizdat, but one reason there is an alternate place is that samizdat has been known to get wacky!


Is this a real civil liberites threat ? I refuse to worry about it ..Yet..

The Croatian governement doesn't separate Religion and State on the American model, I expected in a 90% Catholic country where most of the leadership are Catholic to see official mourning and flags at half-staff. That is normal there. Here in the States it's odd. I am not necessarily against it, after all Catholics are the largest single religion in the States. there are members of other religions of course, Protestant denominations mostly and there is a siseable Muslim community in the States, in fact it's possible that Muslims out number Jews in the U.S. at this point. Anyway there were people who objected to President Bush ordering flags at half-staff here for the Pope. I guess he's just trying to keep the Catholics cool with him.
I am not cool with President Bush. I think that probably it was not appropriate from a separation of Church and State to lower the flags for Papa Ivo Pavo II, but from a feelings point of view it's understandable.
I find it kind of interesting anyway because Papa Ivo Pavo II was quite critical of the war in Iraq, this war is harmful to the Catholics of that region. The Pope was right to oppose that war, it's the Pope's job to oppose things that endanger Catholic people.
Difficulties between Muslims and Christians endanger ALL of Christendom. That brings us to the other part of the mission of the Pope, he not only is expected to defend the Catholic Church, but all of Christendom, includeing the Protestant and Orthodox branches of the Christian faith.
I think at heart most Americans got this, except for a few real tiresome extremists.
Anyway I have mixed feelings and thoughts about this flag lowering. Probably it's harmless and fighting about it or discussing it is actually more harmful than letting it go. There are bigger fish to fry out there civil liberties-wise.


Nice Balkans Music in the Gulag over NWPR today!

I don't know if we zeks are being treated to Greek popular music or something from further north, I just put on some eggs on, and I didn't hear, aaah language alert, it's Yiddish.

later... a bit later, this turns out to be Klezmer music. Rough around the edges bur great fun!


Nice big fat rain in the gulag Thursday!

We got a nice big rain in the gulag Thursday. I was very grateful for it, we face drought and every drop of rain helps.

Some suggestions on the water situation, start the irrigation later, encourage people to let their lawns grow above three inches, this will cut down on weeding, and save fuel in addition to water. People should be cutting their grass with scythes or with non gas push mowers. I prefer my Austrian scythe on the grounds that it is far easier to sharpen up than a push mower is
1. no disassembly involved
2. easy to lift
3. easy to store in the house away from bad weather and theives.
4. intimidation value, answer the door carrying your scythe, I guarentee you get respect
5. No further need to waste money on a gym membership! Scything builds muscles without being killing labour, unless you are already sick.

Some tips, do the work early in the day, the dew on the grass eases the work, with a lawn mower dry grass is easier to cut, with a scythe wet grass is easier to cut, so early morning, early evening are your best times to do this job.

A good Austrian scythe cost me $80, once you add in the taxes, and the cost of a couple stones to sharpen it with, you need a proper whet stone.

Compare that to the cost of a lawnmower new, $150+, and the need for fuel, maintenance of the engine, sharpening which really is a miserable job, the STUPID PULL STRING STARTER? Why do they not have like an ignition key for anything but a rideing mower?
Actually lawnmowers are up there on my list of shittily designed stuff that needs to go away.
Lawn mowers are not an efficient use of fuel and they are noisy as well. I HATE being wakened at some ungodly hour, (before 7 am) by the noise. Further the allergines in grass actually don't bother me as much when cut with a scythe as opposed to a lawnmower.
The right scythe will funcion as a weedwacker and a lawnmower.
Lawnmowers aren't necessarily faster than scythes either.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


ReEducation in the People's Gulag Institute of Higher ReEducation

Yes some zeks have trouble even being re:educated. The zeks who were in trouble with the process needed to attend a self criticism meeting and sign a paper promiseing better behavior. your editor especaily appreciated the story by our Comrade Katjusha B. The gist of it was a zek at a self criticism meeting said 'I guess I just can't smoke so much dope and also be a good student in re:education!' This in response to a zek who said he simply had to be less of a 'lazy slacker' (his words not mine!)
the process could have been a lot worse. Comrade Katjush B. gave the talk about how to improve oneself.

LAST NIGHT: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS HITS: We had a really good lecture on studies of people in what now is called 'The Sex Industry' More later, I promise. Everyone got politically corrected at least once. It was a good lecture by a lecturer from outside the gulag. Mostly we sat admireing her beautiful turquise and malachite jewelry. We appreciate when women do not let being large keep them from dressing nicely. (yes bourgeoise of us but..oh well! what do you expect of people of my class who have been sent places like this!)


Brief Technical Note on Linx

I just discovered if you put a link in an article on this blog, what you need to do to read the link is click on the title of the article, this I did not know, and it occured to me others might not know. So in the article below click on the link and you get the music. I liked it, a lot of the MeFi people seemed to dislike it, but it is so lively that I loved it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005



This is Belinda Bedelkovic, listen to the video, she is HOT !!!!!! The best Balkans Jazz I have heard in awhile. She's also cute! You can hear the Croatian folkloric influences in this music, it makes you want to get up and dance your ass off!!!

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Some comments on TV chat shows in the Balkans

During the day that preceded the passing of Pope John Paul II, I was listening pretty much nonstop to HRT, Hrvatski Radiotelevisija, and I noticed that the kind of comments people made were mostly, as I would expect in the States, sympathetic, expressive of their feelings of loss, same goes for 'man in the street' type interviews, and the interviewees whether in Croatia, or in Sarajevo BiH where they did some interviews, ran the gamut from two people who were Americans traveling in Croatia, young people out on the streets, and old people, some very old people. There were at least two tough looking guys who cried. I mean these guys looked so tough that I would have been scared to meet them in a dark alley, and you could see they were grief stricken.
The people who called in to the special broadcast were something you don't see much, or hear much anymore in the States, they were polite, and I noticed one caller commenting on the special tie between Croatia and the Pope, knew his history very well.

The caller spoke about the fact that the best loved Queen of Poland, was St. Queen Jadviga, a very great woman, responsible for fostering learning in Poland. It is nto generally understood by Americans that she was actually NOT Polish ethnicaly, she was actually half French, her father was Louis the Great, one of the Angevin kings of Hungary, and her mother was Elizebeth of Bosnia, daughter of King Stjepan Kotramanic. I am familiar with those facts as my family descends from the House of Anjou on my mother's side as well as the House of Kotramanic and the House of Kosaca. Most Americans don't know who these people are, but of course Polish people know, and Croats know, and Bosnians know.
Pope John Paul II had a very special love for the people of both Croatia and Bosnia Hercegovina. It's one reason he visited several times, even when it was a major risk to do so. My hope is that the sucessor of Pope John Paul II will be a good leader for the Church whoever is selected for this importatnt job.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Umro Papa Ivo Pavo II

Reged: 12/18/04
Posts: 10
Loc: Yakima Gulag American Siberia

Re: Pope has passed (Official)
#373111 - 04/02/05 01:27 PM
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Yes it was announced nearly immediately on HRT, Hrvatska Radio Televisija. What many don't realize is what a great friend Pope John Paul II was to Croatia, and to the Bosnian Croats. He spoke the Croatian language fluently and beautifully. I was watching documentaries about him all night on HRT, of his visits to Zagreb, Zadar,Split,Osijek, Dubrovnik, even his visits to Bosnia-Hercegovina.
His friendship was a true friendship, because when Croats did wrong in the wars, he did not hesitate to rebuke them for it, but that is in fact a mark of his true love, and his great respect. When a friend does wrong things one does what one can to change it, and one encourages to the right way, that is how he was with the Croatian people. For this all Croat Catholic people should have gratitude.
As well he was the force that did the most to bring down Communism. I know many Americans credit the late President Ronald Reagan for this, but the first strong impetus in that trend really was Papa Ivo Pavo II.
He set too an example of courage in the face of death, an example of faith, and of love for his fellow human beings.
may God bless Papa Ivo Pavo II!

It all ends in the graveyard...

I know, lazy of me, but I don't feel so much like writing because the whole night I was up watching HRT's coverage, on the grounds that since I speak and read Croatian, it would be more reliable than radio or television coverage, I was righ, if you listen to NPR, well HRT announced the news ahead of it, and ahead of the local radio station KIT.
Anyway he was a great man, I had my strong disagreements with him on certain issues, but I have to say I respected him, and I know that the world will feel his loss greatly.

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