Errata 2: Erratica

See what I did there?

Our Caribbean excursion wraps up today.  Not sure if I’ll write about it, but in brief: I saw a sea turtle while snorkling today, spent the better part of yesterday hanging out with a Russian sugar-daddy from Miami and his nymphette, and stood by my dad’s side as he got married by the poolside.  Overall, it’s been an excellent trip!  But now, back to the slog of the blog.  And what a good place to pick up, as the decade rolls over, to the second part of my retrospective/retrocorrective look at my own writings!  Let the self-deprecating narcissism resume!

Clowns vs. Burglars

First thing I’ll go ahead and do is provide you lazy asses who didn’t want to click the relevant video link with the video itself in all its glory!

Overall, the music video lessons have been a raging success, with a wide variety of videos–always classroom-appropriate.  I wrote an email to OK Go telling them about the impact they didn’t know they were having on kids halfway around the world and their publicist wrote back, with mild enthusiasm, expressing excitement at the use of their videos in the classroom.  The search is on for new videos for the new year!

The English Gentleman

I really wish I had an update on this story as even in retelling it just now to my sister I got worked up over it.  It’s that epic and touching.  Marissa’s mother, Lynn Needles (Hi!), specifically requested an update on this fellow, but sadly I have none.  Any fourth groupers out there want to put me in touch with him?  Or at least send me his name?  I don’t want to post it, but I’ll just censor your comment if you leave one with his name!  I would hate for an internet-savvy Sudanese Miltia Soldier to find him because of me.

Chores and Cheeseburgers

So, Tata still makes fun of me, but my chore-doing ability has regressed a bit.  I’m not allowed to do much anymore, but since my moms are such workaholics sometimes me and my brothers have to cook for ourselves.  By cook, I mean reheat the soup or noodles on the stove, of course!

It Smells Like Autumn

It’s been an unseasonably warm winter in Tbilisi.  Just this morning, 1/3/11 (or 3/1/11 for the Europeans in the audience), my family skype-chatted me to tell me that they miss me and that it’s been freakishly warm in Tbilisi.  The upshot of this is that Even at the end of November I could take pictures like this:

The benefits of a warm winter.

Raughley Nuzzi, International TV Star

Sadly, I still cannot find any copy of my TV commercial anywhere on the entire internet!!  What’s worse, my commercial is off the air now, in favor of a new commercial starring Rhonda Gibson, another Group 2 member.  While I’m happy for her, I’m a bit upset that she booted me from my regular timeslot.  Damn you, Rhonda!

Also, some additional information on the school in the post courtesy of Terri Spath, who commented:

The fantastic new school you visited is called Digomi Sagaro Skola (Digomi Public School) located in Sopeli Digomi (Digomi Village, on the border of Tbilisi) and home to TV ads, billboard shoots, a recent Niaz Diaz Samidze music video about Georgia as well as a great group of kids and teachers!
Thanks for highlighting it! -Terri

Thanks Terri!

Raughley Goes to Parliament

As promised, here’s the link to Marissa’s adventure going to and being in Mtskheta that Thursday.  It sounds quite chaotic!  And it was!

By the way, Cristen totally lost her umbrella in Parliament.  She literally entered with an umbrella, walked halfway through, set it down somewhere, and walked out again.  Good thing we’re upstanding citizens!  If all goes well, we’re gonna tour the President’s Palace next semester!  Woot!

‘Now You Must Do a Triple Kiss!’

The flared crosses prominent in Georgia are called St. Nino’s Cross and refer to the legend in which St. Nino levitated some logs together through the power of Christ.  Or so I seem to recall, I might have the details wrong.

Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
The Boy with deep, sad eyes.
I’ve got like a million photos from this particular weekend, so expect a few more!
There’re like two dozen photos of our failed attempts to triple-horn drink. They make a hilarious progression. Alas, I don’t want to post all of them.
I’m not even going to comment on this one. Let your imaginations run wild!
Crazy skills at dancing. Boogie Time!

I just got an urge to do a Triple Dragon.  You can’t see it, but tears of nostalgia are streaming down my face.

Two Sides of Tbilisi

In all fairness, in the third photo, we’re probably not singing “Ra Ra, Rasputin!”, but “One Way Ticket”!

Watch out! Dragon on the Dancefloor!
Shota told us that Cristen would not think the painting looked like her, but that to his mind it is her.

A Man Must Do Two Things In His Life

A couple of notes on this one, first, an error on my understanding of the proverb.  Maybe Manana did indeed forget one part, but it’s entirely likely that I just didn’t pay close enough attention.  As it kind of invalidates the entire title of my post, I feel like I should make some amends for it:

Manana omitted the third duty which is to build a house.

But hey, good start.

Thank you, anonymous Georgian!

Also, I went back to my tree to visit it and check on its health recently.  I’m proud to report that it’s doing very well!

I believe the most appropriate name ever suggested for my tree was “The Raughlifier,” after the delicious confection I created at Fraiche: Regular Soy Yogurt with a half topping of mochi, under a half topping of kiwi, with a healthy topping of apricot puree. So effing delicious. It never did make it on to the menu….
And yes, Angela, the runty tree is doing fine as well!

Mosquitoes, Questions, and Answers

Any consolation in knowing that the Caribbean has got a lot of December Mosquitoes, Marissa?

This One’s Gonna Get Messy

This post is nigh perfect as is.

Halloween: The Most American of Holidays

In case you couldn’t tell, the Zamboni in the photo is sporting the CKA logo.  CKA (pronounced “Ska”) is the St. Petersburg ice hockey team and their logo consists of a red star with a hammer and sickle in the center, in true Red Army fashion!  I have a scarf to that effect.

Babyworld

Babyworld got sick again, more recently.  Niccolo had pneumonia and was hospitalized for two days.  He made a full recovery and can probably even walk now!  Maybe talk!  Who knows?  I haven’t been in Georgia for a solid two weeks now, alas!

Incidentally, I also spent some time in Babyland over New Year’s.  Some of the people we were visiting with in the Caribbean had an adorable baby who had the most mischievous smile!  Every time someone made a face or noise at her, she would grin manically and scrunch her face.  She can’t walk unaided, either, but maybe someday she and Niccolo will get married!  Why not?

The Scariest Bridge in the World

Two comments that this post got are worth reprinting here:

“Rali. You might want to censor this one. But your next mission is: It’s time to pee from it. And get somebody to take a photo. Bonus points for making Carla take the photo.
I might feel sorry for this comment by tomorrow. Just had a supra.” -Pauli

Sorry Pauli, I’ve failed you.

“Rali, 19-17 year ago I was crossing that bridge daily, or better day – nightly: I was coming home around 1-2am. It is necessary to say that that time there was almost no street lights on either side. Obviously there was no light on the bridge itself too and I had to carry flashlight. Oh yaah – and from time to time there was machine gun shooting going on streets.

So… if you think that NOW it was scary…” – Irakli

It’s not nearly that scary when that’s considered.  I spent a solid two weeks crossing that bridge multiple times a week as it’s the way to the camera repair shop.  I’m quite familiar with it now.  Also, during those two weeks, I managed to get a few more excellent ElectroDepo photos!

So apparently some the abandoned trains are used as storage facilities for…upstanding gentlemen, to be sure (Read: Gangsters?). Bonus! That truck has the TransAm building stenciled on it. Yeah, San Francisco!
Here’s the reason this place is called “ElectroDepo,” or so I imagine. It looks like these are circuit breakers for the subway–maybe even for the whole network! Who knows!?

A Priest, A Diplomat, and Two Slovenly Foreigners Walk into a Concert…

“Haute couture” is, in fact, feminine!

The Two Sides of Tbilisi, Part II

Possibly the single most important thing you will watch, maybe ever.

Champions of Holding It

One major factor I failed to mention, many toilets in Georgia are not paper-friendly.  For example, the toilets in Kutaisi at our training center could not have paper flushed down them or they’d clog.  This leads to the (new to me) phenomenon of a small wastebasket in each stall in which you can dispose of your used paper (yuck!).  Lest you think that Georgia alone suffers from such problems, I’ll have you know that the house we stayed at in the US Virgin Islands (Part of the United States, just so you know) had a water system that operated thanks to a cistern on the roof.  This meant that we had to be conscious of our water usage while there as it was only replenished by the rain.  Furthermore, the sewage system drained into the ocean in such a way that you couldn’t put paper down the toilets.  Eight time zones and ten thousand miles from Georgia I found myself taking out trashbags full of used toilet paper.  It’s not as gross as it sounds, I promise!

Pictured here, a “Waste Paper Basket” in a Georgian public restroom.

Also, two comments that merit republishing for the world to see, A Woman’s Perspective on Squatty Potties:

“You asked, I reply: Before going overseas, I read a short travel essay on best techniques for women for using a turkish style toilet. Yes, you can read up on just about anything at your local library or on the internet, and the info actually was quite useful.
Best advice:
*Roll up your pant legs to about knee high or tuck your long skirt ends up into your waistband. Do this first.
*Balance your weight slightly forward towards the balls of your feel to counter balance your bum.
->Since I go to the gym fairly regularily and do squats with weights, it’s not too difficult for me to use one of these commodes. But the less agile, or less fit, or simply elderly might have a tougher time.

*Bring your own TP but do not put it into the commode, put it into the trash can which is usually available.
*Bring your own soap. I find these wonderful little soap ‘leaves’ for travelers. They come in small packets, small enough to fit into my purse and each one is like a small transparent slice of soap. I carry these everywhere and they have come in handy many times.
–>Best advice: Be prepared and not squeamish. Remember sh*t washes off with a little soap and water. Since I have your own soap, and I usually carry some sort of drinking water, I can go any time, any where….even in the woods!
Call me Master of Not Holding It.” -Connie

Connie’s got it right! I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one who rolls her pant legs up to her knees every time she needs to go. I’ve always wondered if there was a less silly way to do it but apparently there isn’t. Everything about those toilets is silly, I guess. But man, once the skill is mastered(/your hamstrings get used to it), you feel SO accomplished… or at least I do. I mean, it’s all about the little victories when you’re living in a foreign country, am I right? …Umm. Well, in any case it sure makes life easier to know I don’t *need* a Western-style toilet when I’m out in the city.

How elderly or less fit women do it is beyond me. I wonder about this relatively often, generally when I happen to be using a turkish-style toilet.

Also, I approve of this post. My only suggestion would be to maybe spice things up a bit. You know, to like, sprinkle in some offensive comments about large groups of people who are hosting you, or something. Your traffic/comment count might get a little boost. Just a thought.” -Angela

Thank you, ladies, for your lesson on how to use a Turkish Toilet!

And on the second half of the post, I just wanted to say that being home has really made me appreciate my life in Georgia, odd as that may be.  Having all the luxuries of one of the most developed countries in the world (Let’s start a fight debating that fact!!) has made me appreciate the adventure that is Georgia.  It’s also made me a little more resentful of the people who complain so strongly about everything.  I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the people who devote a good portion of their time and energy to complaining about the inconveniences in their lives are incredibly selfish and lack empathy for the plights of others.  There’s no need to get pissed off at the world about every little thing.  People just need to calm down and use a little perspective.  Always.

Surprise!

I don’t know if anyone noticed it, but I was pleased at my random recall of Star Wars quotes to fit the photos n the slideshow at the end of this post.  Go back and read it, Star Wars fans, you’ll see what I mean!

All Quiet on the Western Front

Still quiet.

This Is Your Pilot Speaking….

The M&Ms I had bought were the “Crispy” variety.  You know, the ones with the blue packages.  Luka had never seen such M&Ms before!  They don’t sell in Georgia.  He liked them!

An American Werewolf in Martvili

Wow.  Neglected to include the vaunted team-photo.  Thanks for pointing that out, guys!

The two teams set aside their differences to pose in this display of camaraderie. Did I mention team Mostly Grays lost?

Now that you’ve all seen the Roli-Poli: Daddy Cool video, I can tell you that we were premiering the preview of our music video.  We got treated like rockstars the rest of the night and those of you who are facebook friends with me can see a few dozen photos of me and Pauli with our adoring fans.  Awesome!

R.I.P. Leslie Nielson

“Both men were from Georgia, but neither was Georgian.  Lakoba was an Abkhaz from outside Sukhumi and Beria was a Mingrelian from Samegrelo.”

Lado correctly pointed out the error in my statement above.  Mingrelians are Georgians.  The jury’s still out on the Abkhaz though.

My research efforts have doubled (tripled! [quadrupled!]) since I had a long chat with Dr. Rondeli about potential projects.  I’m gonna do some sort of comparative study on…wait, I don’t want anyone to steal my idea!  I think it’s quite good, so the rest of you can all just back off!

Also, Daddy Cool himself died recently, ruining Christmas for me with the tragedy of it all.  Thank you, Daddy Cool, for brightening my life.

The Day of the Dragon

Adam, it takes more volts than a taser and a Jurassic Park fence combined to contain a dragon.  Also, Dragons can fly.

Familt, Meet My Family

Daehan lives in Moscow now and can walk all by himself!  I see photos of him posted on facebook every so often and he is freaking adorable!  Also, Tata’s birthday was the 2nd of January (I believe) and I was told by Koba that Ilia, in his role as tamada, offered several toasts to me, as the whole family misses me.  I’m truly touched!  (Also, I improperly pluralized “moms” at one point in that entry.  Please don’t fault me too much!)

Raughley Va en France

The Tbilisi airport has free WiFi!  Hardly any US airports have that and Amsterdam gave me free WiFi for one hour before demanding my money.  WTF, Developed World??

How odd, the links to Diderot and Franklin that I put in the caption of one of my photos didn’t work.  Oh well.  Google them if you need to!  Aww, Hell.  That’s not very much in the spirit of helpfulness and correction that this post is about!  Here you go! Denis Diderot Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin’s Clone

Une Desastre a Versailles

I can’t be bothered to put the accents on it properly this time.  That means it’s spelled wrong.  Sorry France.

Myles isn’t smiling in a single photo I took of him.  That’s because he only got his braces off Yesterday!  He’s thrilled!  But he was a little camera shy with his metal-ensconced teeth.

Once, my friend Ricky and I spent an hour paused while we watched The Illusionist to look up the Habsburg Royal Family Tree and identify all of the characters in the film.  The movie’s researchers did a damn good job identifying Habsburg royalty.  Just look at the attention to detail by the costume department!:

This is a portrait of Rudolf von Habsburg, Crown Prince of Austria.
(Also, discovered that on the coolest blog ever! Royal Portraits.  Such a nerd.)

Look at the pants. Look at the shirt. Look at everything. Leopold von Habsburg IS Rudolf von Habsburg. They even both wound up killing themselves! Spoiler Alert!

There’s also a scene involving a sword trick (Pictured above, I believe) in which Leopold’s Cousin tries to remove the sword from the stage.  Leopold jokes, “Not so fast, cousin!”  This prompted Ricky and I to pause again and research Rudolf von Habsburg’s counsin.  We found him.  I can’t remember which he was.  But I’m thinking maybe it was Archduke Otto of Austria.

Oops, Lady France is bringing down her almighty wrath on a quartet of defeated Muslims.  My bad, red-turbaned man on the left.

Le Jour des Dragons

C’est parfait!

Climbing Things

‘Twasn’t the first Raughley Goes to Georgia smiley.  Sorry for lying.

The stalwart group trying to disprove Foucault’s Pendulum is The Flat Earth Society.

Some caption is missing, tragically.  All that remains is “].  It was probably good.  Instead of trying to recall it (or to educate you about the Eiffel Tower) I will post a new photo.

There is a series of photos like this that are a present for Poli. Tragically he wasn’t with me.

Reading further in my old post makes me feel like an idiot for reposting this photo.  Oh well!

Au Revoir, Paris!

Oh boy, when I do things like leave “[LINK]” in my posts you get a back-stage look at how I write.  I meant to include links to this website showcasing my favorite painter’s works and this website showing photographs.

So good!

Also, this time I’m distracting myself with the delightful, informative, and hilarious podcast Stuff You Should Know.  It is so awesome.

Joanne and I created this advertisement celebrating my Jewishness. It’s awesome.

Concertina: A Concert for Tina

Still rocking and rolling!

Topaz’s System

I just want to brag that I ordered a large French Fry and a spoon to go entirely in Georgian, except for the word “Spoon” for which I reverted to Russian.

The scary song:

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight!

As promised, here is the story of Marissa’s farewell!
Marissa flew out of Tbilisi on December 15th and, as such, spent a few days hanging out in Tbilisi before her flight.  She arrived on a night train with me and other Zugdidi folk that Sunday morning.  Most of them were going to Istanbul for a week, leaving their bags with me before heading home.  Marissa had planned on going to Istanbul as well, but TLG informed her that she would be flying out earlier than most and had to postpone her trip to Turkey (Woot!).
In addition to finding Miles Davis and shooting a photo with him,

Proud Parents!

We pulled off some spectacular TRIPLE DRAGONS before everyone else left for Turkey.

We have to pump ourselves up or Triple Dragons.
You feel that heartburn? That’s the fire brewing in our bellies!
It was snowing when this Quadruple Dragon was pulled off.
Shout-Out to Stephanie Bradley for making this photo possible.
We had an excellent dinner out with friends and then headed back to crash before school the next morning.
Marissa stayed in bed the next morning, watching the Office, while I went to school at 9 am.  Damn her!  We met up and spent the afternoon shopping in the super cool market!  We bought souvenirs for her family and ourselves and had a blast eating khatchapuri and enjoying our afternoon!  The next day was even better, as I had less school to teach and we wound up visiting the TV tower at night, as per Joanne’s advice!  Super cool!

Awesome.
Our cab driver accompanied us to the sights and acted as our photographer. Not bad, eh?
This photo is for Simone who, upon returning from Yerevan, insisted that Armenia was way better than Georgia. I have three words for her.
I thought it was awesome getting up close and personal with the TV Tower!
Marissa left that night, sadly, and headed home early, missing the festivities described in the original post.  We all missed her dearly that night, a week later.  Good news, though?  She’s coming back!!
Somehow I fucked up my font a while back.  Don’t know how to fix it.  Don’t care to.  (Though it is a tad frustrating!)
Oh yeah!  They totally handed us flowers as the concert began!  They had cards that I cannot remember.  Alas!  I came home with three roses that day!
At ket’s request I have uploaded the preview video to myvideo.ge for those outside the United States!  Damn you, Sony Music!
Damnit!  I messed that one up.  The video has no sound.  Working on fixing that now. FIXED!
Alfred Crosby.  Alfred.
Also, these two posts should’ve been one, though that would have resulted in something like a 6000 word post.  I’ll spare you all that indignity for the time being.
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