“Babushka, why don’t you have photos from when you were young?” I asked her when I was a teenager. “Not even a wedding picture.”
“It was during war,” she said, referring to World War II. “Besides, your dedushka and I never had a wedding.”
“Not even a little ceremony with your family?”
“What family? When I ran away with him…”
“Wait! You did what?”
To understand what she has accomplished, you have to understand where my grandma was coming from. In 1940-50s the indigenous people were extremely discriminated in Mexico. People would call them by a derogatory name “Indians”. Children of lighter skin were not allowed to play with indigenous people, because they were thought to be lower class. The indigenous women were considered uglier because they were darker.
“You see, the cool thing about grandma was, that she was two ages. She was born in earlier 1900s. At that time, my great-grandparents lived on a remote farm in Ontario, Canada. They would have to make a special trip on horse and carriage to register her, so they waited until the next child was born and got both birth certificates at the same time. Therefore, her birth date is one year off. “
My Published Work
Adrian Bejan is a Romanian-American professor who has made contributions to modern thermodynamics and developed the physics of evolution. In Wikipedia, he is presented as a Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University and author of the 2016 book “The Physics of Life: The Evolution of Everything”. Last year in Berlin, the Humboldt Foundation awarded Prof. Bejan the Humboldt Research Award for lifetime achievement. He was cited “for his pioneering contributions to modern thermodynamics and “Constructal Law” – a law of physics that predicts natural design and its evolution in biology, geophysics, climate change, technology.
His American life started with 10 years of work in cruise ships as a dancer and instructor and later as background actor in HBO films. It is not a surprise that Cristian Popa used all his language, fun attitude and sales skills into real estate industry that helped him realize that he was born for this business. He doesn’t only sell homes in Colorado, but entertains his audience about attractive places for foreigners, reports HORA in America Magazine.
An exceptional attorney living in Washington state, with Moldovan origins, is well known not only because she takes great care of her clients, but because she is running for Snohomish County Superior Court Judge elections this November, HORA in America reports, in an exclusive interview with Anna Alexander by Irina VanPatten in Seattle, WA.
Saviana Stănescu is a poet, playwright and Romanian-American journalist. In the US, she is known for incredible plays about immigrants, that are performed in American theaters. Her plays are emotional and full of charm, because they reflect the challenges that Saviana herself had to go through to reach her American dream.
“Was it I love you, love you or just good bye?” I asked John while setting the table with plates and silverware. “I can’t ever tell with you all.”
“What do you mean?” John asked, stopping halfway to the table with the napkins in his hands.
“You see, back in the USSR, when somebody said “I love you”, that was a life-changing event. You, on the other hand, said I love you three times today but in three different ways.”
“After a few months in the flower business, we realized we had competition from Wal-Mart, Costco, Safeway. “People seating in the first row leaned back in their chairs, holding their bellies, stomping their feet almost simultaneously. “Then we tried something different. Let’s make flower arrangements, we said. So we did! But a few months later, we realized we have competition from Wal-Mart, Costco, Safeway.”
I introduce you Elena Beuca-Rogers: a Romanian actress and director, who made her own way through the dense Hollywood forest. A graduate of the Law School in Bucharest and a real estate agent, one day, decided to take her fate by the horns, as a true matador, and change her life trajectory to something artistic. Why not? When you don’t know what to be afraid of, you’re so brave!
Irina put the blue bib around my neck, and got her tools ready, when a hygienist assistant, called Vanessa, walked into the room to ask her something. “I put on tray.” She answered. “I put it on the tray”. I corrected her in my head. Like a true Russian, my hygienist cavalierly omitted the article “the”.
Yuliya Wold– a mathematician from Odessa, Ukraine, an American Crime Prevention Officer and a hostage negotiator, a mother of two teenagers, and a very social-butterfly-e person. How do all of these fit in one woman? Only Lord knows. Nothing in her previous life could predict that Kickass will become her middle name.
On my quest to educate my husband, I discovered the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), which became the saving grace for my agenda. This year’s festival begins May 18 and runs through June 11. As part of the festival in 2014, my husband and I went to see Jeffrey D. Brown’s independent movie called Sold.”
Other Stories & Interviews
What about that snow, that starts at the perfect time in the movie? Also, the clean streets, with well-powdered sides, with piles of snow in the right place, where the characters are destined to throw some snowballs. And you, guessed it, slip and fall, but this time on top of each other. Shakespeare is taking a break!
Thank You for Being Civil
Two weeks ago, I lunched a social experiment. I posted an opinion called Socialism: Don’t Compare God’s Gift with Fried Eggs. I know, I know, you’ll wondering, what the hell does it mean: “God’s Gift and Fried Eggs” in one sentence? The origin of this expression is coming from a very old Russian proverb that resembles the English expression that compares apples to oranges. Basically, it means these two are not the same. My post was asking the readers not to compare Soviet Union’s failed experiment to socialism, because Soviet Union was a dictatorship, not a socialist country.
But here comes the surprise. My post generated a lot of responses. The first came in the haters. One person posted on my page Coffee and Sangria Talks with Irina VanPatten: “Not all disabled look like this (a sign of a person in a wheelchair), some look like this (a sign of a Soviet flag with a sickle and hummer).” Then somebody called me an “useful idiot”. Jokes on you, dude. Because that’s an expression straight from the KGB operational manual. Who’s a commie now?
There is a very clever Russian saying that is as funny, as it is ingenious: “Don’t compare the God’s gift with fried eggs!” What it basically means is: “Don’t compare the incomparable” or, as we often say in America: “Don’t compare apples to oranges”.
When you’re pushing the narrative that socialism equals USSR, and try to scare us off that we all will end up in GULAGs, because that’s what Stalin did, this is not socialism you are referring to. So, stop it!
SIFF is coming to Seattle again this year! From May 16th to June 9th 2019 it will be my favorite time of year, again! I say “again” because that will be my seventh year going to the festival, as a spectator and a fan. I watched this festival grow and mature during all these years. It became more sophisticated, bolder, more provocative, and I’m not afraid to call it “revolutionary”. In front of my eyes, SIFF transformed into a leading trail blazer of the independent international movies in America. And I love being a part of it!
Growing up, I don’t remember a holiday, when mom would not decorate the table, even during the toughest times. Maybe that’s why I remember them with a sense of nostalgia, because she managed to make them fun, when the limited variety on the table was supposed to look sad. She used to make roses out of “available in the household material” as she used to call them, like beets and tomatoes. She would make piglets out of boiled eggs, and used the simple boiled carrots to make their ears and noses.
“This is not a job for nice, quiet, polite girls, and to be perfectly honest, your mama’s ears will melt like wax candles, if they’d hear you on the phone. We are dealing with truck drivers here, who, for the lack of a better word, are assholes most of the time.”
My husband “never touched me with a finger”, as my mom would say. He was an amazing father, when he was sober. He played hide and seek with our daughter and son. He would buy them candy on money left from vodka. But only one shot of the “fire water” and he was lost to demons. It seemed a simple choice to walk away, but it wasn’t.
When you are young, you’re like a lioness. Jump into the deep waters, walk into the darkness, move across the world and start over? Anything is possible! She set her bar high. Though, she never thought, she’d end up here, in America. Why would she? It was too far, too unreachable, too big to dream of.
Nana’s never ending missing phone saga regularly sends my husband and I into some search expeditions around the house, worthy of Sherlock Holmes stories. Deductive methods, creative thinking, intuition, and sometimes dumb luck are coming in handy while looking for her missing phone.
These young kids know the definitions of words that no kid at their age should know: ICE, Asylum petition, Deportation proceedings, Court hearing, Detention. Their birthdays and quinceañeras are postponed, most likely, indefinitely.