July 31, 2008
A special thanks to Ruth for giving me the heads up on this event – Moscow’s High Heel Race. Yep, that’s right. I swear people, I don’t make this stuff up. Stilettos are EVERYWHERE in the Soviet Union and post soviet states. I cannot believe they even have a race dedicated to the them, but apparently this in an annual event with around 100 participants this year and last.
Participants must have heels that are at least 9 centimeters high (3.5 inches). OUCH! The winner of the race wins a voucher worth 100,000 rubles which is approximately $4000! This is double last years prize money. I don’t think $4000 would even cover the xray, cast and crutches not to mention the rehab and therapy I would need if I even thought about participating in an event like this.
Now from what I saw there was no rule regulating clothing, but apparently the line of thinking for some participants was ‘if you are going to wear heals to a race you might as well wear your littlest black dress or perhaps a nightgown’.
I do have to hand it to this participant, at least she put some thought in to this and taped her shoes to her feet.
And just in case you are just begging to see more here is the video. GOOD GRIEF!
*editted to add* – The race is 80 meters long (about 262 feet or 80 yards), and although there were some falls, there were no injuries other than pride. Oh, and no broken heels! – end of edit*
By the way, our STUFF is here! I’m almost finished with the unpacking and oohing and ahhing and then I’ll be back online.
July 28, 2008
Scott and I were invited to a Welcome dinner tonight at the Ambassador’s residence. These things usually aren’t our cup of tea, but we decided to make the most of it and go. I’m glad we did. When we arrived we were greeted with a jeweled filled treasure chest and instructed to pick one gem (anything but a diamond). I initially chose an emerald and then this beautiful metallic blue gem caught my eye and I changed my gem.
We had cocktails and conversation and then the Ambassador arrived and made her opening remarks…we were told that when we arrived we all picked a gem and that the seating arrangements were based on those gems…we were to find a seat at any table with a gem on the place card that corresponded with the gem that we had chosen. FUN. Scott had a ruby red stone and off he went. The seat with a blue metallic stone that I first saw was taken so I was now searching for another seat. Funny, the seat I saw next was right next to Scott. I was making my way there when that seat was taken. Ok, now to find another seat……hmmm, 3 chairs left. Nope, Nope, hmmm….right next to the Ambassador. Yep, that was my seat. If you are going to attend these things you might as well sit right next to the host!
There was actually some really interesting conversation at our table. We talked about all sorts of things from history of Azerbaijan to military aircraft to geocaching! Yes, I mentioned geocaching and the Ambassador thought it was a great idea and suggested that I make an article about if for the Baku Beat newsletter. She agreed that it would be a great way to get people out and about to explore the city/country.
Anyway, dinner was fabulous. There was the usual dinner table confusion of “is that my bread plate or your bread plate”. But rather than cause embarrassment I usually just wait until everyone is eating and then ask someone to pass me the bread plate on their left. The shuffle ensues and the meal continues.
The first course was a beet dish. Warm sliced beets on a bed of carmelized onions, topped with grated fresh parmesean cheese. YUM!
The second course was just as good. It was baked and consisted of 50 cent piece sized pieces of eggplant topped with cheese, then tomato then eggplant then cheese then tomato then cheese. Drizzled with olive oil and dabs of pesto to garish the plate. YUMMO!
Next was the main course. FISH! Served with a white rice/pea mixture. Ok, I hadn’t had fish since that one time in Belarus when we went to Serge’s house and his wife made fish in foil for us. I have been craving fish. I’ve been leary to buy it because I just am not sure where to buy fish or what kind to buy. This fish was baked and drizzled with some sort of creamy citrus sauce. That with the rice/pea mixture was perfect. Double YUMMO! I commented to the Ambassador that this was the first time in months that I had fish and how outstanding it was. She said that I would have to speak with Yura to find out where he bought the fish. I agreed.
Next came dessert and just when I thought I couldn’t get any happier. There it was. Grapefruit sorbet. Yep. Homemade grapefuit sorbet. Palette cleansing, if I would have been home I would have licked the plate kind of GOOD! Amazing. There was a scoop of sorbet in the middle of grapefruit wedges and crushed pecans. Simple, freshing, FREAKING FANTASTIC.
So needless to say, I was thrilled with the dinner and before we left I went in to the kitchen to thank the chef and find out where he purchased the fish. Funny, it came from New World which is a store that I go to all the time, look at the fish and pass it buy. I guess next time I’ll be picking up a package of sole and seeing if I can do it up half as well as Yura.
July 27, 2008
The weekend has come and gone and boy has it been a hot one. We’ve spent a majority of the weekend inside because, well because it’s just too damn hot to go outside.
I’ve accomplished a lot of work for my business this weekend. I’ve created forms and documents and things that I will need to actually see patients. I still have a few things to order and it seems like the thing I’m having the toughest time decided about is which plastic food models to order….who would have thought this would be my most difficult business decision. Nasco is the company that makes these things and they have such a great selection, but I am overwhelmed by the choices. I don’t want to order something this expensive that isn’t going to give me a great selection of appropriate foods and I don’t want to go overboard and look like a rubber food model collector. I’M SO CONFUSED! LOL. I do need to make a decision by the end of the day on Monday so that the models will be here by the time I start seeing clients. My goal is the middle of August.
I have a friend back home in Maryland who is an attorney and he is helping me with the business registration. The name I chose is Smart Nutrition and hopefully that is available. If not, I’m sure that I can come up with something else, but Smart Nutrition just seems so perfect. Once I get the Ok from him I’ll order business cards and maybe some letterhead and envelopes. Other than basic office supplies and placing an advertisement in the Embassy newsletter I’m ready to go…
In knitting news, I am about a third of the way finished with the Clapotis (I really dislike that name). My mom sent me the yarn for my birthday. I think it is a fun/easy knit. I’m getting ready to start Section 3, the straight rows so I’ll be using some new techniques which should be fun.
I also signed up for the Ravelympics on Ravelry. I signed up for the Baby Dressage event (don’t get too excited – I’m not pregnant). I have been wanting to make a Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) for a while now, I ordered the yarn, it’s here so I think this will be the perfect time to take the plunge. This first jacket will be for Ella Grace. The yarn I ordered was intended for Lawrence but, well Larry probably wouldn’t be happy if his son was running around in this color so looks like Ella gets the first BSJ.
In Life – Our household items should be here sometime this week. They are supposed to be arriving in Baku today and we are estimating a few days to go through whatever Customs process and then transporting the boxes to us! Yeah! It’s going to be like Christmas, unpacking all that stuff and getting our house set up AT LAST!
I compiled the results of the Asparagus survey and the results were surprising…..pop on over to the original post and take a look at today’s comment for the results.
Lastly, my Old Navy order arrived and surprisingly the pants/jeans fit, but many of the tops do not. I continue to be baffled by the size of my boobs! Where did these things come from. I’m off to work on my return/reorder now.
July 25, 2008
Today the man who inspired millions with his “Last Lecture”at Carnegie Mellon University passed away. I saw Randy Pausch on a talk show several months ago and was immediately moved to tears by his story.
If you haven’t already seen it, take an hour and sixteen minutes out of your day and watch his “Last Lecture” video on Youtube (follow the link above).
July 23, 2008
Today Scott and I met with the DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission) at the Embassy regarding my home business and the frustrations that I am having related to trying to get this thing off the ground. Basically his response was…’get the plan and paperwork to us, set a goal for when you want to start seeing patients, advertise and see what happens!’
Finally, a voice of reason. So I am putting the finishing touches on a few things, my plan and paperwork should be ready to submit by Monday at the latest, and hopefully I can start seeing patients in August.
Now if any of you reading this are in to graphic design I’d love some help with my logo….
July 22, 2008
If I could pick something to describe my mood today it would be this~
I am trying my hardest to get answers to my questions about starting a nutrition consulting business here in Baku. It’s been a month now and I’ve finally found someone who is willing to help me get the answers and she is willing to go with me to the Ministry of Health. Wonderful!
They tell her I will need:
My diploma – um, that is in a box somewhere in a storage facility in North Carolina (I think).
My transcripts – ok. I requested those from the University of Maryland and they should be coming in 3 WEEKS! Not that it makes a difference because the Ministry of Education isn’t doing any verifying until SEPTEMBER!
My license – Why don’t we get an actual license like a doctor or nurse gets? I have this cheap thing that’s thinner than plastic but thicker than paper. It isn’t my license it’s my Registration. Oh, and my Registration card is in my Rolodex because we are told not to carry that with us. Where is my Rolodex? Good question and I think the answer to that is Belgium…I just paid another $50 to keep my RD status so I’ll be getting another great card to replace that Rolodex one in the mail probably sometime in August.
My license is plastic, credit card size. I have that with me because I just recently paid to renew my NC license so I got a new card. I also have my ADA membership card which I usually don’t remove from the paper it comes on for fear of ripping it. Yeah, I’m going to look like a real doosie walking in there with all of these documents!
I mean really, all I want to do is help people plan meals, modify recipes, lose weight and eat better. Is all this really necessary?
Being an out of work RD sure is expensive. I’m going to knit now.