My Amelie-like Experience With Toy Cars in This ‘Hood

I mustered up some enthusiasm and set out to walk to my most fruit and flower stand (in my hood). Actually, it’s been disappointing me lately but I only wanted to buy asparagus, tomatoes and cucumbers. That I could find there!

I walked up my usual street, and then noticed approximately a 15-cm long toy car. And what car! Teal color, 70’s feel, and unsupervised! Whose car was it?! Who left it right on the street, and without any child in sight? I took a dreamy photo:

I continued my walk to the fruit stand, spent 10-15 minutes shopping, and started walking back. Being naturally very observant I kept looking around until my gaze fell on the bush by pavement. AND WHAT DO I SEE? Another elegant car. It was burgundy red, sleek and delicately “hidden” just enough to fall into observant person’s line of vision. Or a short child’s.

I dropped my bags and took another photo. I was on a quest. This couldn’t be a coincidence, especially considering that the two cars were a block apart! I kept walking. I saw the first car on the pathwalk to someone’s house: did a kid move it?! Where is everybody?

Walking by the children’s playground near my house I stretched my neck in hopes of catching  a sight of more cars or any indication of who this Amelie-like gamester was. No idea.

As I was getting close to my house, I squeaked when I saw a third car! What! I took a photo.

I should’ve gone out to hunt more cars in our neighborhood, because there must have been more. Cars like these probably don’t come in sets of only three, and if someone planted them around the hood, that someone must have had more than three. Yesterday my roommate saw a carcass of a similar yellow car. The children got to them and already destroyed these beauties that shoulda been on someone’s toy mantelpiece instead.


Longing for Weekend Visits

Last weekend my roommate went to Oakville to stay with her parents. She visits them every almost every weekend, and I admit I am wee bit jealous, because I wish I had the opportunity to see my family as frequently. Of course, if we all lived in the same city, I probably wouldn’t be able to see them absolutely every weekend. But I would appreciate the opportunity itself.

I imagine heading their way straight from work, and making it in time for dinner. Upon seeing me, the ever excited Bugs Tomato would leap to me, and then actively jump trying to lick my face once I kneel down. Seconds later, this affectionate little animal would experience problems breathing – chihuahuas are known to have respiratory problemsб – because he gets so excited. After I massage his throat for a bit and wonder how he can be so ecstatically excited to see me, he’s back to normal. I wish I could tell him to take it easy at times.

I would go on dropping my bags and situating myself in the kitchen, either helping mom to prepare dinner (something Russian that I asked for), or more likely, making the whole dinner myself. I love cooking for the family.

In the sunlit dining room (or the balcony, rain permitting) we’d share the food, laughter and recent news. Later we would most likely watch old Soviet movies, or 90’s Russian films. Sometimes mom and I itch for animated shorts of the olden days. Whatever we watch, we enjoy the time spent together.

For the rest of the weekend I would most likely preoccupy myself with either making food for the family, walking on the Promenade along the shore, or gearing up to take my mountain bike for a ride. Last time, instead of biking, I opted out for a hike in the neighboring forest. I definitely appreciate the West coast flora, especially the trees.

Really, I wouldn’t do much while visiting the parents. I always try to be in the present moment, to be calm (doesn’t work, I’m too excitable!), and patient. After the first few days I start to experience a sharp sense of melancholy, because these beautiful days will have to come to an end. I play with Bugs Tomato – he’s oblivious to my upcoming expiry – and I randomly hug either mom or dad. I desperately want the clock to slow down, but it is ruthless.

On the day of my scheduled flight to my other home, I mean it when I say “I don’t want to go”, and already foresee the blue week ahead. Upon the arrival, en route to my bed, I already long for my warm family home, laughing together and the ever ebullient Bugs Tomato.

Frank O’Hara & A Photograph

Yes, Frank O’Hara was featured in the last episode of Mad Men, season 2, and that’s how I first heard about him. Recently I acquired “Meditations in an Emergency” collection of poems, and to my delight, found that he’s an exceptionally talented poet. He mixes nuggets of pop culture with vivid images and aptly coiling phrases that project sly, sticky pictures in your head. If you follow the link at the beginning of the post, you will learn a lot more about him, and perhaps, be surprised. Frank O’Hara is not an obscure name in American literature, it is I who’s been an obscure mind in the dark about him! Bonus: he also loved Mayakovsky, and even wrote a poem to him.

Since I’m on a movie bend this week (and generally, too), I’m sharing his “To the Film Industry in Crisis”, below:

Not you, lean quarterlies and swarthy periodicals
with your studious incursions toward the pomposity of ants,
nor you, experimental theatre in which Emotive Fruition
is wedding Poetic Insight perpetually, nor you,
promenading Grand Opera, obvious as an ear (though you
are close to my heart), but you, Motion Picture Industry,
it’s you I love!

In times of crisis, we must all decide again and again whom we love.
And give credit where it’s due: not to my starched nurse, who taught me
how to be bad and not bad rather than good (and has lately availed
herself of this information), not to the Catholic Church
which is at best an oversolemn introduction to cosmic entertainment,
not to the American Legion, which hates everybody, but to you,
glorious Silver Screen, tragic Technicolor, amorous Cinemascope,
stretching Vistavision and startling Stereophonic Sound, with all
your heavenly dimensions and reverberations and iconoclasms! To
Richard Barthelmess as the “tol’able” boy barefoot and in pants,
Jeanette MacDonald of the flaming hair and lips and long, long neck,
Sue Carroll as she sits for eternity on the damaged fender of a car
and smiles, Ginger Rogers with her pageboy bob like a sausage
on her shuffling shoulders, peach-melba-voiced Fred Astaire of the feet,
Eric von Stroheim, the seducer of mountain-climbers’ gasping spouses,
the Tarzans, each and every one of you (I cannot bring myself to prefer
Johnny Weissmuller to Lex Barker, I cannot!), Mae West in a furry sled,
her bordello radiance and bland remarks, Rudolph Valentino of the moon,
its crushing passions, and moonlike, too, the gentle Norma Shearer,
Miriam Hopkins dropping her champagne glass off Joel McCrea’s yacht,
and crying into the dappled sea, Clark Gable rescuing Gene Tierney
from Russia and Allan Jones rescuing Kitty Carlisle from Harpo Marx,
Cornel Wilde coughing blood on the piano keys while Merle Oberon berates,
Marilyn Monroe in her little spike heels reeling through Niagara Falls,
Joseph Cotten puzzling and Orson Welles puzzled and Dolores del Rio
eating orchids for lunch and breaking mirrors, Gloria Swanson reclining,
and Jean Harlow reclining and wiggling, and Alice Faye reclining
and wiggling and singing, Myrna Loy being calm and wise, William Powell
in his stunning urbanity, Elizabeth Taylor blossoming, yes, to you
and to all you others, the great, the near-great, the featured, the extras
who pass quickly and return in dreams saying your one or two lines,
my love!
Long may you illumine space with your marvellous appearances, delays
and enunciations, and may the money of the world glitteringly cover you
as you rest after a long day under the kleig lights with your faces
in packs for our edification, the way the clouds come often at night
but the heavens operate on the star system. It is a divine precedent
you perpetuate! Roll on, reels of celluloid, as the great earth rolls on!



And to start the week on a friendly foot, here is a September picture of me, taken by Slava:

All That Jelly

Took these shots in Boston at the New England Aquarium. The place was a lot of fun! After conquering the long line to get in, we delighted in the micro-processing, never hurrying jellyfishes, counted as many weed sea dragons as we could, and learned that the giant tank in the middle of the Aquarium is actually tuna can-shaped as opposed to the “apparent” soup can-shaped. 40 feet wide vs. 20 feet tall, ha!

Besides enjoying and photographing unique creatures (and reading their “facial” expressions), I also made a friend with a penguin whom I named Bob. Bob was swimming in the pool as I watched him from above (the pool extended beneath the area where humans walked) and I started waving and calling him to get closer. He looked up and seemed to have gotten mesmerized for a minute there (yay red hair)! Then we continued the wave – swim underneath – swim out – watch for the Karin – swim to where she’s walking – swim out – hear her call – look again… It went on for several feet until he got an ADD attack and quickly swam away with his buddy. I’m telling you, I am princess Mononoke.

The rest of the photos are here

Post title inspired by the homie Egyptrixx.