July 23, 2008

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I live in NY and riding on a rush-hour commuter train when I'm trying to finish an amazing novel, everyone is extremely loud and incredibly close. September 11 touched everyone that lives in NY (and beyond), similarly to WWII touching every Jew (and other). Jonathan Safran
Foer's second novel encompasses both. More importantly, it touches a human heart. It asks (and sometimes answers) questions of love, of life, of beauty, of loneliness, of darkness, of death, of loss, of family.

Having read two novels by Mr. Foer and one by his wife, Nicole Krauss, I must admit that there's a similarity in their writing - using different voices to project events from different angles, at different times, with different backgrounds, ages, sexes, etc. What touched me the most, however is the dedications of the two novels, which I read were written at the same time:

"To Jonathan, my life"
"For Nicole, my idea of beautiful"

That's love. Or maybe that's life. Or maybe I'm still too idealistic as much as I hate to admit it. Or maybe I just love a good book.

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July 20, 2008

Everything is Illuminated

...well, maybe not everything, but the memories remain.

Jews Have Six Senses

Touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing … memory. While Gentiles experience and process the world through the traditional senses, and use memory only as a second-order means of interpreting events, for Jews memory is no less primary that the prick of a pin, or its silver glimmer, or the taste of the blood it pulls from the finger. The Jew is pricked by a pin and remembers other pins. It is only by tracing the pinprick back to other pinpricks – when his mother tried to fix his sleeve while his arm was still in it, when his grandfather’s fingers fell asleep from stroking his great-grandfather’s damp forehead, when Abraham tested the knife point to be sure Isaac would feel no pain – that the Jew is able to know why it hurts. When a Jew encounters a pin, he asks: What does it remember like? -Johnathan Safran Foer

July 16, 2008

C'est La Vie

Life's full of ups and downs and it's during the downs that you really see people for who or in some cases what they are. You may not know me well enough to know that I've had plenty of downs in my life, but I learned a long time ago that there are people that will be there and those that won't. You may often be disappointed and more often than not, surprised, but c'est la vie.

July 15, 2008

Summer Reading

I picked up a few books from my cousin over the weekend and left Miss Carrie that I was reading on the side as after many chapters and many quotes that I want to share, I still cannot get into it. I started reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, a novel that made it to the NY Times Bestseller List and the following just really moved me:

"Then she kissed him. Her kiss was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering."

and remembering a childhood dialogue:

"'If I had a camera,' [he] said, 'I'd take a picture of you every day. That way I'd remember how you looked every single day of your life.'" it goes on, but for that I advise reading the book.

Next on my list, incidentally by Nicole Krauss's husband, Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated and then, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Today's Times

July 11, 2008


I've lost many things in my life - my keys, my phone, my boyfriends and even my mind. But, nothing is comprable to the loss of a loved one. I lost my grandfather two weeks before I turned three, so I can't really recall what it felt like then. When my sister left to the States, I was seven, and although I knew our separation wasn't permanent, I didn't know when I would see her again. I cried uncontrollably. My mom, grandmother and aunt couldn't calm me down for hours after the train had left.

At 18, I lost my grandmother. Being her only grandchild (and my mom the only child), I had no one to share my grief with - I had to be strong for my mom. My grandmother's funeral was the first that I attended - and I gave the eulogy, because my mom couldn't speak.

On Monday I lost my other grandmother very quickly and unexpectedly. I was not alone - my grandmother left behind two sons, five granddaughters and 4 great-grandkids, but it doesn't dull the pain. It doesn't leave an explanation and it doesn't make you not wish that you had at least an extra minute to say goodbye.

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July 8, 2008

We love you Grandma!

You were the glue that held us together. You loved all of us more than life itself. Pust' zemlya budet tebe puhom. You will forever be in all of our hearts. Babushka, you taught me that zhizn' prekrasna and I promise to remember that every day!
7.8.8. 12:15 am

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July 1, 2008

Happy 30th!!!!

Some memorable and not so memorable birthdays through the years! (29, [28 was a BBQ, but there was no pix, not sure what happened to 27] 26, 25, [not a pleasant one], 23)

Где взять одних благополучии?
Так не бывает - это факт.
Но пусть побольше будет "лучше"
И меньше будет "кое-как".
Тебе желаю в день рожденья
Улыбок, радостных хлопот,
Здоровья, счастья и веселья
Сегодня, завтра, круглый год!