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LJ Idol X - 0: Introduction

My name is Elena. I am 35.

*sneezes loudly, blows nose*

This year has been a year of change for me. In March, I moved out from under my parents' overbearing wings and started living on my own. This transition was terrifying and still sudden despite the half a decade of mental work making it had required. Luck also helped it to happen when it did: I was not yet ready room with complete strangers, but was unexpectedly offered a place by friend of friends with whom I was already acquainted.

I dislike colds, head colds in particular, because they make my ears ring and interfere with my thought processes. The thinking slows down, the brain feels wrapped in cotton and filled with treacle. This is especially inconvenient during the the time when I have the most work to do, not counting the beginning of the new Idol season.

The most urgent projects I face right now are formatting abstracts submitted for the yearly Zvenigorod conference on plasma phycics, and preparing for the experimental session at work set to start within next 10 days.

Of course, not everything has changed. I still live in Moscow, capital of Russia, work as a junior researcher in a science institution, continue preparing my PhD thesis (I am now a 2d-year "aspirant"), and translate an article here and there into English.

I still walk and feed my dog most work nights, and spend a disproportionate amount of time online.

*changes socks to keep feet dry and warm*

The need to have two pairs of socks on hand is yet another unfortunate side-effect of the cold and the increased perspiration it causes, as is warming my hands every once in while.

I am also as much a fan of my favourite artists as I ever was. Joe Dassin, Johnny Cash, the late wonderful Alan Rickman and a new interest of mine, Philip Quast, whose talk I like more than most of his work, and whom I am hoping to see on stage in West End's Follies next autumn.

*snorts into the hankie, clasps her freezing hands on her neck for warmth, goes to wrap the entry*

Good day to you, fellow contestants. Let us do this Idol thing together.


( 60 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 6th, 2016 08:47 pm (UTC)
ConCrit is welcome.

I interrupted the flow of the entry on purpose, and the interruptions were meant to be humorous. I wonder if I succeeded, because the head cold really does not help concentration.
Nov. 9th, 2016 12:28 pm (UTC)
I think the dual format worked really well and was just coming here to complement you on it.
Re: i - kehlen_crow - Nov. 9th, 2016 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2016 08:49 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of Quast. I looked him up and guess he's a Les Miserables actor. He's pretty talented. I really wanna see a theatrical production of that some day. I don't even know what it's about other than it's famous. Something about poor people in 19th century Paris.
Nov. 6th, 2016 09:04 pm (UTC)
Fame is a funny thing. Quast is a 3-time winner of the Olivier award (I think it is the most anyone has won one), but yes, I have never heard of him either before Les Mis because he mostly does theatre and teaches, I think.

You may listen to a live album of his recorded at the Donmar in 2002: I posted a link to it a while ago.

As for the musical, its Broadway production was nuked this very year :[ so only West End remains. I saw that one and it is good. I am also a fan of the book, and the movies, and everything about it. It is not just Paris, but all of France and it is epic, and not the modern kind of epic that sticks in your throat, but the kind of epic where the author really knows a lot about a lot of things. So Victor Hugo's voice is a separate character, lol.

Edited at 2016-11-06 09:06 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - wolfden - Nov. 6th, 2016 10:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kehlen_crow - Nov. 6th, 2016 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2016 09:57 pm (UTC)
Feel better! AW
Nov. 6th, 2016 10:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I am already on the mend after sleeping all of Saturday away (16 hours, it seldom happens just because I have a lot to do during the week).
Nov. 6th, 2016 10:02 pm (UTC)
Nice to see you back. I hope I have the time to get to know you better this season :)
Nov. 6th, 2016 10:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you. The feeling is mutual. I love hearing about theatre in all of its forms.
(no subject) - banana_galaxy - Nov. 6th, 2016 10:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2016 10:09 pm (UTC)
You introduced me to two things I was unfamiliar with. The conferences and Quast. I quickly realized why I was unfamilar with either though.

Quast has not become internationally known despite the Olivier awards. Those awards are very localized and not internationally recognized like the American Tony's... simply because they don't get international airplay. He's mostly made his mark in Australia in terms of higher notoriety, but on shows even an Aussiephile like myself would avoid no matter what country they were in (soap operas).

and well... I don't know anything about physics and find it awesome it's something you can concentrate and have a passion for while still even finding time to explore anything else.
Nov. 6th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)
After I discovered him, I tried to find some movies to watch, and discovered he only did episodes here and there. Live theatre is all well and good if you have time, inclination and money to see it, or is simply born at the right time.

To be honest, neither award means a great deal for me yet, likely because the recurring topic with my favourite artists is them not being given such or such award year after year. :)

As for physics... part of the reason I have many other interests is because I grow more and more disappointed with the modern approach to sciences.
Nov. 6th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)
I cried when Alan Rickman passed away!

And Johnny Cash rules!

Sorry about your cold. That is no fun.

Plasma physics? My head spins just hearing the words.

Feel better!
Nov. 7th, 2016 11:56 am (UTC)
Thank you, I am already feeling a bit better than yesterday!

I was so shocked by Alan Rickman's passing, I could not even cry. I still cannot.

Well, when all the oil is used up, it seems like plasma will supply energy next (through fusion). But I doubt it will be made operational until the power crisis is really already on hand, and not merely threatening like now :)
Nov. 7th, 2016 03:49 am (UTC)
How have I never heard of Philip Quast before? I listen to the Les Miserables soundtrack at least once a week. My own fault for only listening to the music and not paying attention to the singers' names.

My brother recently got his PhD in physics. He taught himself string theory a couple of summers ago. Now he's working with theoretical physics and...something. I'm not sure. Unfortunately science and I have never really been on good terms with each other.

Hope you feel better. Colds are the worst.
Nov. 7th, 2016 12:01 pm (UTC)
The musical has been around for 35 years, and there are A LOT of productions and recordings around. Which one of those do you listen to? :) Quast sings Javert in the 10 Year Anniversary Dream Cast concert, and in the Australian production before that (but I do not know if there is a recording of that one easily available).

Colds are unpleasant, yes. I am better already, thank you.
(no subject) - my_name_is_jenn - Nov. 7th, 2016 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 7th, 2016 05:57 pm (UTC)
Hello again! Glad to see you returning!
Nov. 7th, 2016 11:27 pm (UTC)

I am looking forward to getting to know you better this season, too :)
Nov. 8th, 2016 05:25 am (UTC)
You have a poetic voice, and very good taste ;) Looking forward to reading more from you!! :)
Nov. 8th, 2016 02:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the compliments.

I am glad reading this aloud helped make it more fluent. I kept deleting phrases that did not sound quite right, haha.
Nov. 8th, 2016 05:30 am (UTC)
*warm healing soup* Hope you feel better soon! I look forward to reading you... I dug the little breaks in your narrative there... :)
Nov. 8th, 2016 02:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I do feel better.

And I am glad the breaks worked for you. This style is generally not recommended because it does make the text more difficult to read, but I like it :)
Nov. 8th, 2016 01:23 pm (UTC)
Hope you are finding the independence liberating :) and you are feeling better already. Looking forward to your entries.
Nov. 8th, 2016 02:07 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, very :). And I was but then the weather went crazy: it snowed all weekend then rained, hard! last night. Cold icy sludge ankle deep in places, eek. But I hope it did not make the cold worse.

Thank you!
Nov. 8th, 2016 05:35 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you're back. I loved your entries last year. Good luck with the moving out. I know nothing about housing in Moscow.
Nov. 9th, 2016 03:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you :).

Well, I look at housing advertisments from time to time now, because my current situation is sort of permanent but could change. And there is a certain duality to the offers. I am broke, so I am looking at flat shares mostly, and on the one hand there are these horrible cramped offers where you have, like, two bunk beds stuffed into a not-very-large room, and then at the same time (and at almost the same expense) there are just normal-sized rooms offered to a single person. *shrug* go figure
Nov. 10th, 2016 05:03 pm (UTC)
Glad you're feeling better... fall is traditionally my time of sinus issued (not truly allergies/but not truly NOT allergies), so I can definitely identify with the head fog!

Wow, Moscow. Russia has always been such a mystery to me. Of course, being born in the last dregs of the Cold War, witnessing the collapse of both the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, and taught the "western" version of history, I'm sure what limited idea I have of it is totally off-base.

Good luck to you.
Nov. 13th, 2016 06:52 pm (UTC)
I am usually in more danger from the flu in the spring, but I have been having a flu shot done for 3 years in a row now, and I have not had it bad in this time.

I can tell you one thing: Russian movies have never demonized the U.S. to the extent some of yours have demonized Russia (Rambo immediately comes to mind). But have always been a lot of contradictory things said in the media.

Thank you, and the same to you!
Nov. 11th, 2016 12:29 am (UTC)
I hope you feel better!

What is your PhD thesis on?
Nov. 13th, 2016 06:22 pm (UTC)
I do, thank you!

Mostly data processing for physics research.
Nov. 12th, 2016 08:02 am (UTC)
I'm always impressed by your ability to write and write humorously in English... I think about the fact that I'm only semi proficient in any other language than my own, and I couldn't imagine doing anything clever in it!

Feel better, Elena!
Nov. 13th, 2016 06:26 pm (UTC)
I am glad the humour comes through, because when I talk in English, I always feel I lack the range of the emotions I can express in Russian, and my speech takes on this metallic and somewhat robotic intonation.

Thank you, Dean, I already do.
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