Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And Everything After...

Hello blog.
I am finally back in Chicago. I am living in the Urkainian Village in an apartment with Sean, ever my house-mate-soul-mate of extreme hyphenation. Its good. Its a great place, a great neighborhood. It's kind of nice to be back.

But more about the now, later.

I spent the last month in Belarus, as the previous post implies, as well as road-tripping through the West Balkans, from the northern part of Croatia, down into Montenegro, and through Bosnia and Hercegovina. There are almost too many stories to tell, but many of them are being put together in film, so I will be posting those bit by bit. For the mean time, you can look at some photosets that highlight Belarus here:

and from the West Balkans trip here:

Just click on the photos and it will take you to the flickr pages for them.

More coming on grand adventures later...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, June 22, 2007


So, we've made it to Belarus. We saw mummified saints in Kiev, and ate borshch made by Sasha's babushka, and have nearly been arrested like 5 times for taking pictures of Lenin. I dont even know.

But its been a good, weird adventure, full of the unexpected.

part of the unexpected is the internet here. Allow me to explain:

How to control information 101:
--deny home internet access to average citizens who can not justify the expense as related to non-state-threatening business.
--avoid scandal by providing high-speed internet access in local communities at state-run internet barns, where citizens can pay a pitance for hours of online time.
--Provide no more than 6 computers for every 10,000 citizens, so that people have to wait in line for hours to check e mail.

and the rest is cake.

So, anyway, we are taking lots of pictures, and lots more video. We've had (deliberate) photo opportunities with the local police cadets, seen Lee Harvey Oswald's old house in Minsk, and are gettign ready to go out to the country for a solstice celebration that apparently involves getting naked, jumping through hoops of fire, and searching for a secret, magic flower in the woods that binds you in a marriage pact with....someone. I'm not sure who, but it's all magical and stuff.

I get back to Budapest in about a week. I'll be able to post more when I get back to good old dysfyunctional attempts at democracy. So, till then. Па-па!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Graduation Photos

Im too tired and lazy to be blogging for real these days, so this is what you get.

Robing up in the monument building. Stephen says our department's hoods made us look like nuns.

Ola (poland) and Florin (romania), sociology&anthropology.

Marko (croatia, political science). poli sci got cool blue hoods. I might be jealous.

Judit (hungary) and her daughter Sonja. Judit didnt come to the graduation with us, but i did learn that her daughter recently named her doll "Jennifer". Which is way awesome.

Stefan (bulgaria). Sociology&Anthropology. This guy definitely has the best laugh of the whole department.

Brigette (Texas) and Luci (Romania). Sociology&Anthropology

Drago (Croatia) does his best imitation of the Ghost of George Soros

Drago. Sociology&Anthropology

Stephen (Ohio, Political Science) looks way too sharp. I can't handle it.

Man. Those shades were awesome. And I still had the laurels.

Aungo (Kenya. Sociology&Anthropology). He hates these pictures that I take of him, but I love them.

Agi (hungary), Brigette, and Ola. And Artyom (Russia) off in the background.

Aungo, Colin (who is NOT british) and Brigette.

Cera (Romania), Ola, and Brigette. Sociology and anthropology.

Ballav (Pakistan) and Aungo. Sociology and anthropology.

Aungo and me.

Ola and Asa (Israel). Sociology and anthropology.

This is ALMOST all of us. We were missing Gergő and Judit (hungary), Mariya (Bulgaria), Damir (Croatia), Austin (Nigeria), and a handful of professors. Everyone had a rough morning because defenses ended just the day before. I had never seen some of us so hung over. goodness.

And so we stagger into the future!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, June 08, 2007

Group Pics from Rackeve

These are some of the shots that colin took on the dock, mere moments before that storm swirling behind us sent us sprinting for cover and took out a few nearby trees!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Rackeve=A Day in the Sociological Life

oh man, half of the department went to rackeve today, a village on the south island and hour outside of budapest, and swam in the danube, diving off of docks in the water, in between cat tails, then saw a thunderstorm start on the other side of the river, and watched lightning from the grass, then took a bunch of group pictures in front of the crazy sky, then ran for it as the temperature dropped like 5 deg celcius in an instant and the rain and wind started, and as we were dashing out of the way, the wind blew down one of the 30' tall trees that we had just been sitting under! and we hauled ass through the rain and took cover in the hotel that was immediately across the street that used to be a castle! and we had beer and hot chocolate in the cellar of the giant castle and had free coffee from a physics conference that was 5n the castle, and the walked all around this city and saw a serbian orthodox church compound that was breathtaking with golden steeples and wells and dogs and tombstones, and we ate cherries off of the trees in the street and then bought bags of them off of two kids who were picking them out of their yard who had this hilarious dog named cameron. thats not even the half if it, and it was awesome and we slept the whole way home. oh man. today was good.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, June 03, 2007

well, friday was yesterday....

or given that its now 3am, maybe friday was 2 days ago.
i have just had the most hellish 36 hours with my lit review. I had to add no less than 5 (5!) new major theoretical threads to it. apparently i was spending no where near enough time problematizing human agency nor situating the subject within the post-socialist historicity of individualized risk.

and all this time, i thought i was writing a paper on junkies.

the deadline is, now, in 34 hours. Tomorrow will suck, but on monday, i get to hand that shit in, go eat cake with brigette, and spend the evening dancing underground to gypsy punk with my whole department to celebrate brigettes birthday. whoo. i am looking forward to that more than i am finishing this thesis, and i think thats a good sign.

oh, and here's a good illustration of how things are run at my school: during the 3 days in which the sociology students are defending, the building that houses my department is going to have the electricity shut off. we are going to have our orals in the dark. wtf?
and there it is...

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Goings On

So, I have not been blogging because I have been, instead of living life and seeing the sun, writing my thesis and developing the most incredible ass-groove in a chair at Siraly, where Brigette, Stephen, Luc and I have permanently set up residence to kick this pig.

But here are a few small points of note to tide you over until I get my wee little life back

*Artyom used the word "harlot" in his thesis. There is no end to the hilarity that I find in this
*We bought our visas for Belarus. $125. wtf? We should be able to pick them up from the embassy tomorrow. Lord. I'm excited, but I plan on coming back friggin fluent. I won't have just gone to Belarus, I will have DONE Belarus.
*My camera got jacked by some sketchy Hungarian-Transylvanian dude who ended up at my house and made out with some chick on my couch after smoking in Monica's bedroom. Screw that guy. Screw that guy right in the ear. But, this means that I am on the market for a new one. I think I'm going to go for digital video
*Barring any impediments to the previous goal, Stephen, Brigette, Sasha, Marko and I are going to collaborate on "Belarus: The Movie"
*After Belarus, we are going to Croatia to mooch off of Marko's family and sleep in forests. While we are there, it will be Croatian Independance Day (Hooray! We're all still catholic! woo!). On independence day, it is meet for one to eat bear. With berries. Berry bear. Again, wtf?
*My thesis deadline is Monday, but I'm hoping to have it in by Friday. We'll see how it goes.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,