My camera was left at home, so we practiced with Dan’s camera and had super results!

We ate Chinese food until we burst and then Dan ordered a mountain of  fried Carmel Bananas.  There was much “Waddling” happening.

Then the Extreme Lunging started….

Even the American’s got involved!

Kill Fish Bar to start…

Metro Acrobatics by a talented small person…

..and her slightly taller companion.

Found Dan’s Dodgy Facial Hair Brother on the cover of a Russian book.

First ancient depiction of a bad breast job. Also found at Russian Metro Book Store.

The Men give some posing sass.

Souvenir shopping on Nevesky Prospect… Eж hats are so FRESH this season!


Pretty christmas lights!

Holiday in Georgia

June 14, 2010

(From scribbled notes)
Crossed the border in a knock off Mercedes, saw 2 GA men who carried nothing but two 3ltr bottles of GA brew, noted that AZ border guards didn’t seem to care about the booze, but were unnaturally preoccupied with my hair color/passport; breathed sigh of relief on the other side and flashed a smile to the GA guard who was convinced I was Georgian before I spoke. Proceeded into Tbilisi, with a pit stop to buy the mysterious unnamed hanging treats, tried treat and collectively decided they would be called ‘Penis Candies’ due to inside jokes that have nothing to do with the actual male member, and everything to do with awkward pronunciation. Found hotel with little problem, sun broke through clouds, there may have been angels singing too, we didn’t notice, but preformed slow motion hugs. Wasted no time in finding eating establishment and spent the next hour engaged in inhaling eggplant with walnuts, local brew and pickles. Total bill for 4 people came to less than that of what one pays for a Friday night undercooked burger, soggy fries, one Xerdilan and hooker counting at Finnegan’s. Made haste to Vinotheca, took advantage of wine tasting and asked handsome guy all manner of questions about wine, observed said handsome guy was wearing boxers with white hearts on red background, spent next 10 min staring at boxers and cursing the plight of living in AZ. Promised to return for more wine soon. Armed with wine, we moseyed down Rustiveli, making commentary about the passing humanity, fashion and lack of open mouth stares; apparently PC style does little to impress the Georgians. Collectively concluded this revelation was grad. Demonstrating genius, I found ‘Kinkali House’ in under 10 min. (the last visit had been 2 years previous and slightly tipsy) bypassing the underground abandoned metro stop, we descended into the cavernous brothel-turned restaurant to sample GA’s best and cheapest food. Several hours later, we emerged in wine/food induced comas that would become a regular and unfortunate part of each day. Discovered wine bar and partook. Found ourselves at overpriced pool hall and proceeded to make total idiots of ourselves trying to shoot pool. Met Georgian female wrestling champion and her Marine (?) husband with entourage of exceedingly large and mostly battered giants, was scared of getting squished and momentarily felt we were experiencing a collective bad acid trip. Walked home, was challenged by A to pull Boxer Boy, drank more, subsequently had awkward bonding conversations with A/C and finally fell asleep.

Woke up dehydrated, met fellow traveler at breakfast, in the middle of shower realized may have said embarrassing things, resolved to not care and imbibe more water. Walked through more of Tbilisi, had fascinating conversation with B, decided she is hard core, and contemplated the advantages of marrying a woman in GA. Saw good stencil art, couldn’t find tag; to the unknown artist: I give you props, your art is fresh, the scope is grand, carry on! Surprised to find GA has a sense of humor, since the KGB pub is still thumping with life, waiter recognized A, didn’t hover and never bemoan us carrying in bottles. For the record, waiter did wave hello at me! B found travel group for wine tasting/history, and signed up to leave on Thurs. B and I talked about how this will leave me alone to rock the 3rd wheel; think I can rock 3rd wheel style, since there is wine at my fingertips. Returned to basement restaurant of yesterday, consumed more khacapuri, met footballer R, tossed back a few; B and R hit it off, festive group photos were taken, think this group is rather fortunate in the looks department. With assistance of R found Nika Hotel and settled in for a midafternoon nap. Who ever invented such a lovely thing is a deity for sure. A and I decided that while wine and chocolate will continue to be consumed, kachpuri’s 15 minutes of fame was over. We spent the rest of the evening wandering the neighborhood, stumbled upon rugby match hidden in a field overlooked by a crumbling stadium; in the far side of the field, ladies were doing calisthenics; a most scandalous activity, since AZ rumor has it such exertion renders one un-virginal. (Virgin Suicides?) We closed the night by stopping at various pubs, the first one disappointing in the wine department (the first and last time such a thing happened) but the following two establishments were quite nice; In one, a table of 3 older Georgian men, hours into a supera (feast) serenaded us with chanting and melodies and the staff actually…smiled. We marveled on the smiles for a while, while remarking that smiling in general is a rare bird in the AZ.

Had cheese, bread and a banana for breakfast, have decided it’s the best breakfast second only to cereal. The cereal aisle at the market near Nika is quite good but beyond my price; makes me long for the day of paychecks, real jobs and food co-ops. On a quest for gifts of the unusual kind, we stumbled by fortune upon the Dry Bridge-a spread of merchants peddling to those obsessed with soviet junk. Finding a little piece of heaven, we each scattered to pursue the different wares: gas masks, pins, posters, ancient photos, bullets, flags, jewelry. A and I brought rings of the same style, but the win of the day went to B, who, heavily under my influence brought a officers’ gas mask with carrying pouch as a gift for her sister. (Ironically observed that the same gasmask/bag I picked up from the factory in Kiev is hawked for 15 USD.) B also picked up a bomber hat. Have decided she is my style inspiration. In pursuit of interwebs we found ourselves back at KGB later that day, but not before making a stop at our favorite wine shop to purchase more of the delicious liquid, assess the boxer situation of handsome guy (passable) and spend a leisurely few hours in a near by park sipping and talking. Miss parks and not getting harassed. Love people watching. Remembered clumsy pool from Monday and had a good laugh, debated weather or not said wrestling champion was really a female, revisited fear of being squished by giants. Realized that A forgot about visiting the wine bar. Marveled again at how relaxed Tbilisi is. Met up with B and R and M to find more food, invaded restaurant via Hayder Aliyev Park, paused, found we lacked desire to read Azeri inscription, carried on. Odd assortment of foreigners gathered around the table, various topics under discussion, most noteworthy was hearing of M’s round the world tour and time spent in Russia. Made mental note to ask more questions about his adventures, since freedom/salvation/independence is 5 months away and I have yet to solidify plans. 4 bottles of wine in and we passed the gas mask around, with me hoping I’d get at least a few shots to help with the next art project. (I didn’t, the curse of small, easily portable cameras with piss focus) Carried on our separate ways with many a cheer. Festive mood was damped a tad when taxi man dropped us off somewhere not near our metro stop, not to worry, we wandered a bit, fell back on asking the trusty firemen, eventually found Nika, marveled at how much one can say with gestures, fell asleep wishing much kachapuri in the firemen’s future and having a slight understanding why American women over 30 seem to swoon over men in uniform. Though to be fair, this still puzzles me greatly.

…I’m made of plastic…

December 7, 2009

…isnt it fantastic?!

It has been noted various times over the past few years that the general population is fascinated by the industrial piercing in my ear.  Not only do most think I’m deaf in that ear, they also think that I must be in near constant excruciating pain. 

Apparently, it is the one defining point in my appearance, as so wonderfully captured in this doll. Given to me by a student from Qabala, the girl knitted the dress and explained to me that she had searched for over a week for the perfect needle/pointed object to push through the ear.

Must say that the plastic version of me isnt so bad, I have blue eyes and pouty lips afterall!

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