Day 37. Guest Post by Cyntha H.

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This is Moon. Also known as Noon-nooon, noon-nooooon-noooon. Or Moon the dog, as I like to call him. And below is a guest post from Cynthia H.

Its a doggy world.
I remember when i met my family, it was only two years ago, i was only two. I was living in a nice big house before, with a lot of people. different people took care of me, some left, some joined. The people who always stayed at that big house were a man, a woman (who did not like me at all) and a little child who thought i was one of her stuffed toys. One day the man took me out. we didn’t walk. We just stood there. I found it strange, i told him wait, you don’t usually walk me, what are we doing there? then i saw her. she walked towards us, she seemed excited to meet me. WHO ARE YOU?? i asked, i jumped on her to try and sniff her. nop, definitely never met before. Next thing i know i was in a car going far far away, i could not smell the man, my caretakers, the girl or the woman who hated me. I found it strange but i thought maybe they are taking me to that awful place again with the strange man in the white coat sticking strange tools in me and expecting me not to cry! AND why am i not allowed to pee there? everyone else does! i can smell it. its clear!
we reached, it was a small house filled with people i’ve never smelt before. they were all talking at the same time and i couldn’t focus on what they were saying. the woman who seemed like the pack leader clearly was shocked (not in a good way) to see me, and the other two girls looked confused and didn’t come near me. was i going to live here? who are those people and what do they want from me exactly?!
As the days passed, i realized i am getting more attention than ever. they even washed and brushed my hair. i don’t remember doing that since i was 1. they fed me food that wasn’t familiar but tasted good, and they gave me toys that i didn’t know how to play with, i sat and watched them, they seemed like they cared even though they did not understand me. They wanted me to sit when they asked me to sit, and shake hands, Hi 5, roll over, stay, and stand up! why would any dog do that? my new food made me run faster and my new short hair made me feel more fresh. the same people took care of me. everyday was familiar and nice. i was finally with a family that cared. even the pack leader warmed up to me, she now feeds me whatever she is eating, takes me on walks and when people ask she says proudly, this is our dog and no we will not give him to you!
I finally became a member of a family as opposed to a creature that everyone dreaded to take care of in a corner of a big house . And do i miss my old family? I don’t miss everyone there, i was scared of them and they hurt me sometimes….I do miss the little girl though…I will never forget her, she gave me my name and she will always be in my mind, and when i see her next i will thank her for making me meet and join my new family.

Day 36. I love my genes…

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ProCook books. Who needs them when you have genes like mine? The women in my family are astonishing cooks, everyone who has ever tasted anything my mom or grandma has cooked- positively agree that the dishes are incomparable and the flavors are indescribable. It just feels great to whip up a fresh, homemade meal regardless of whether it takes 15 minutes or 1 hour and 15 minutes. I overcame my “kitchen phobia” when I was about 17. Cynthia and I were roommates then, we lived alone and frankly one of us had to cook to survive. Cynthia decided to be on the receiving end of this deal, I experimented with my grilling/frying/sautéing skills- and she was brave enough to try whatever I had to offer. On it went from traditional Russian borsh to good old pizzas, Christmas Turkeys and every appetizer that a university student could afford. I frequently hosted house parties, Christmases and birthdays. I loved being in the kitchen. I loved the stress, the time constrains and the experiments. It was exciting. And oh boy, it was so useful when I got married. To this day, we hardly eat out. Our breakfasts consist of pastries, cornflakes and coffee. Lunch is prepared the day before, everything from Spaghetti Bolognaise to Chinese Chicken Corn Soup.

Dinner is where I get to experiment, so what if I just got out of a 9 hour work shift- all the tension and the problems of the day melt away on the stove…

I never try the food while I am cooking, literally I never taste for salt, pepper or other spices. I just drop whatever I instinctively feel like, and my intuition has not failed me once.

“That’s why I don’t wear a chef’s coat. I don’t even wear an apron. At home, I wipe my hands on my coat, I burn my fingers, and it doesn’t look perfect. But it is my food. It’s the real deal….I’m happy that way.” Rachel Ray

Day 34. Dear Blackberry…

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I am technologically illiterate. I am also very unlucky with phones. I never bother getting the latest model because I am certain that it will end up drowned in juice or lost in a taxi. When my brother was a toddler he casually walked up to me, picked up my Nokia and dipped it into a glass of orange juice. And this is where the curse of THE DROWNED MOBILE PHONE has started. Since that moment no phone has lasted more than half a year with me. The same is true for my Nokia Xpress music, it was a birthday present from my husband last year, it was touchpad and sleek. Cynthia claims touchpad phones shouldn’t even be allowed in the same room as me. She’s got a point. But this one was so pretty!!! A few weeks back, I put a bottle of orange juice (!!!) into my bag, the cap came off and the sticky orange goo leaked all around and right into the screen of my touchpad phone. Needless to say that was the end of it. Since then I have received another birthday present (although belated- but still very appreciated). Blackberry Storm. I took me over a day to figure out how to unlock it, and then another two days to find out how to reset the ringing profile. It’s a nuisance really. It is a very useful tool for work, as a PR manager I need to constantly be in touch with editors and journalists, and other clients of the hotel. I find this device truly precious. But that doesn’t change the fact that I have so far only learnt to set the alarm and set the phone on silent. I am getting there…baby steps…

Project 365-Day 7-The Celebration

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Today we had a great unplanned event. We had invited Cynthia over for some Russian pie and beer, and with her a while later came one of my oldest friends- Nawaf, then my mom and brother joined in, and following them came Cynthia’s mom and sisters. It was fun, unexpected and a generally warm atmosphere throughout the house. The best parties are the ones that were not planned 🙂 So below is a celebration of me completing 1 WEEK of the project! (How many more to go?) Here is a glimpse into the celebration and picture # 7 all in 1.

Drinking beer doesnt make you fat…it makes you lean…against tables, chairs, bars……..

The longest 45 mins…

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My husband is not the most religious man in the word. He does not pray (at least to God), neither does he put the fear of God into himself or other people. He does however wear the cross, since the day we wed. He treasures it as he does his wedding ring, or his bikes. This is his choice. The church wedding was a necessity, the reasonable and the right thing to do. Having not stepped into church for over 10 years, he was right to be nerveous about it. All the wishfull people out there wailed about how long the ceremony is, how tired you get, how dizzy you get and how it never seems to end…. and they were so right.

I do not remember all the details, there was family, and wine, and candles, and icons and wedding bands and vows…doesn’t sound too bad does it? What has ruined the experience however is that another couple was getting blessed at the same time, sucking the uniqueness right out of the experience. Alex was a nerveous wreck, not knowing when to kiss the icon or when to say “I promise, I do, I will” and I was doing my best not to break out into giggles while hearing Cynthia fiddle around behind me. Cynthia and the best man had a very special task. They had to hold crowns ABOVE our heads. We are taller. And I am wearing heels. So the new measure of friendship is the amount of time you can hold a heavy crown on an outstreched arm, 50 cms above your head.

There is also a point in the ceremony, where the couple together with the crowns above their heads are supposed to follow the priest in circles around a basin. I didnt know that. Neither did Cynthia. But at least I speak Russian. She had to supress her exclamations of surprise, untangle my veil from under her shoes and try to keep the crown above my head as I walked ahead. She managed to contain herself througout the experience, but I heard plenty about it the momment we stepped out of the holy house of God…Casualties aside, the ceremony was breath taking, my then 5 year old brother, behaved unbelievebly well, aside from the casual tagging and nagging for me to talk to him. The icons were blessed and instructions were given to keep them nearby wherever we may go.

A bride at 6 a.m

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Although we moved in together a few weeks before the wedding, we tradionally spend the night before the wedding apart. He was in our new apartment (refer to “the stripper who slept over” post), and I was with my mom and my maid of honor who crashed with us,because she flew in from Oman for the wedding. There I was at 12 a.m franticly trying to organize last minute details, counting my pairs of shoes, checking that my nails didnt fall off, checking on my dress every 15 min. I was obsessive to say the least. Was I nerveous? Or scared?Not even a little bit. At least not about getting married. I was nerveous the photographer will forget additional batteries, that the cake will fall down,that the kids invited will be jumping in the pool…but I was not nerveous about spending the rest of my life with Alex. I didnt have a single doubt.
On the 19th of September, I woke up around 5:45 am, by 6:am my hairdresses was supposed to come over to do my hair an make up. Because we were on such a tight schedule it was impossible to go to a salon (which wouldn’t be open so early in the morning).

Albina, my hairdresses was late. She lived right next door, so actually coming over didnt take that long-waking her up did! But once she was over at our place, everything went smoothly. Myself, my mom and My Cynthia were up for hairstyles and make up. I went first, and after an hour later my hair was done. I considered extensions for my wedding day, but had to shake off the idea. I find brides with glued on nails, hair extensions and fake eyelashes too superficial. I can just see them taking it all off the next morning and giving their husbands the shock of his life, ya this is what I really look like. I hoped to be as natural as possible.

I wouldn’t tolerate any glued on hair, bright red lipstick or eyelashes that created wind currents when battered. I did opt for the glued on nails though, it was a nice change from my usual bit off/injured nails, so I had them painted light pink with white flowers the day before the wedding. My make up stayed neutral too, smokey eyes effect, good foundation, and some lipgloss. I never undrestood it when brides put 2 kilos of make up on their face making them literally unrecognisable to the public! Before I knew it, it was already 9:30 a.m. and it was time to rush off to my grandmothers house, where Alex would “buy me away” from…
P.S I didnt pay a cent for my hair and make up. It was a present from a hair dresser. I ve been a loyal customer for 5 years, and she was more than happy to help me out on my wedding day 🙂 I am surrounded by lovely people this way 🙂 Thank you honey!

The Bachelorette Party…

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Just a few days before the wedding, there was a sudden urge that something was missing! The Bachelorette Bash. The exhaustion from the praparation and the wedding gitters were creeping on us, so besides my deep need to keep on planning and stressing out, My Girls, took me out for drinks and some dancing. It all started out civilized and decent, we went to SMI bar, in the heart of Tashkent city, simply because it was “our place”. We spend countless evenings here, chatting, gossiping, pouring our hearts out and simply making memories. We celebrated birthdays,anniversaries, graduations and other endless occasions, like Fridays and Saturdays. SMI bar, is the “golden” bar of the city, filled with over-paid businessmen, and over-materialistic teenagers. And sometimes actors and singers. Apart from that, it was just a cozy bar with great service, bearable prices and suitable music.

SMI bar, RIP and we miss you loads

A few coctails later, SMI got to crammed for us and we moved the party to VM bar, anoter memorable location, which we have flocked to since the early days of the first semester of University. A 5 b 12 room, with wooden tables,benches, and skiiing and mountain climbing equipment hanging off the ceiling, VM bar quickly gained its popularty amongst the local “extreme” public. A place that My Foosa has introduced us too, it was also the place where I did not run into Alex for two years, although we both hanged out there a few nights a week. Yura, the director of the bar, was the Best Man at our wedding. VM was the place to go, if you wanted to listen to some live local rock music, enjoy bran new company and dance in 2 by 4 area of “floor” with 80 other people. It was our place. There was no other place to celebrate my girls giving me away, then VM Bar.

Just outside VM bar, while still looking decent and pretty. From left to right: My Jenya, My Foosa and My Cynthia.

We are goofy like that. Normal pictures are very rare!

My Jenya and Me. Dancing and enjoying the evening.

As much fun as my Bachelorette party was, it was no different that any other great evening spend out with my girls. And the Bachelor’s party was a whole different deal…. 🙂

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