Twitter Wars

This shit is hilarious, folks. I wish I’d gone on Twitter sooner:

twitter wars

Don’t Discount Us Just Yet


At the salon today, I started bashing the new governor of Illinois and noticed that the stylist fell very serious and quiet. Just as I was beginning to wonder whether I was being too subversive for this very conservative region, the stylist erupted in such a passionate radical rant that everything I’d said began to sound very centrist in comparison.

So Southern Illinois shouldn’t be discounted just yet.

P.S. This is  a hugely prestigious stylist who has people queuing up to be styled by her for years, so don’t assume she was trying to please me. She owns this salon and has a huge 7-acre ranch of her own.

P.P.S. I thought it was time to put up a more recent picture of me for a comparison with the old photos. My hair is being colored in this photo, so don’t get too scared by the weird gunk in it. I don’t normally walk around with the gunk.

1997, At the Forest Retreat

Here I’m standing in front of my husband’s car back in Ukraine:


I swear, the car used to look very chic to me. This is all taking place in a forest where our parents’ Research Institute had built (back in USSR) really comfortable and pretty little houses for people to stay in during the summer. There was a river with a very good beach, and one could pick tons of mushrooms in the forest. This is where we came for our honeymoon back in 1995 but this photo is from a little later.

Please observe the summer dress I’m wearing. My sister loved that dress and always tried to sneak it away from me. One day, I was coming home when I saw her running around in it, like it were hers, or something! I was mortally offended.

Since then, I developed a habit of stealing her things and then asking her, in all innocence, “Oh, so you didn’t mean to give it to me as a gift? I could have sworn you did.”

This year she gave me a BEAUTIFUL Michael Kors dress for New Year’s and I’m thinking it’s time to let go of the old grudge I’ve been holding over this sundress from the 1990s.

P.S. And if you think I hold grudges for too long, just ask her about half a pickled apple from back in the frikking eighties that I ate and that was supposed to be hers.

Forswearing Research

And here is another ridiculous debate where academics contort themselves into weird poses to prove how little research means to them:

“We” got into academe not because we wanted to be lauded by a few intellectual

snobs with obscure tastes. . . but because we loved our undergraduate professors and wanted to be just like them.

I actually did get into academe to be lauded by the few snobs. So what? I’m still a phenomenal teacher and my students still worship me. It’s nobody’s damn business what motivates me to stay in the profession.

A couple of brain-dead Scott Walkers and Rick Perrys squeaked something to the effect that research steals time professors could dedicate to teaching. And instead of either ridiculing these pieces of inanimate matter or explaining why they are making asses of themselves, academics have started servicing this idiotic assertion with extreme eagerness.

Let’s now prepare to see one screed after another telling the world how academics are so busy with WHAT REALLY MATTERS to spend even a second of their time on snobby, privileged research.

The goal of the screeds is to convince the critics of academia that the state of perfection has already been achieved: academics already spend 80 hours a week teaching and don’t have as much as a minute for that evil, nasty research that oppresses the underprivileged and robs students.

The very point of view that research is incompatible with teaching and overall an evil thing to be destroyed, in the meantime, remains not only uncontested but confirmed.

1998, On the Eve of Emigration

What’s really freaky is that in this photo from 1998, there is a purse that looks exactly like one of the purses I use now and that I bought in Florida. And I don’t even remember that purse or what happened to it:


This was taken in my apartment in Kharkiv. I’d spend many hours in this arm-chair, surrounded with dictionaries and working on my many languages.

When I look at this photo, I find it curious how little I changed. I still sit in a huge arm-chair surrounded with dictionaries. It’s a different arm-chair, a different continent, and a different husband these days. It’s also different dictionaries because in those days I worked with German and French and I don’t do that any longer. But still, I love being surrounded by books and papers that stick out of every crevice.

I very rarely smile in any photos because smiling makes me look half-witted. See the previous photo before you argue.