The first week of Lent we were good Orthodox and went to church three times. Here I’m smiling in the car – stuck in traffic on the Bay Bridge – on our way to an evening service on Thursday.
On Thursday we visited the Russian Cathedral in San Francisco for the first time in several months. It was a beautiful service – who knew two hours could pass that fast!
After the morning service in the Serbian church in San Francisco on Saturday the boyfriend and I took our Brother in Christ for a true feast of a vegan brunch at Herbivore.
On Sunday – once again after the liturgy in San Francisco – the boyfriend and I joined Dining with Dostoevsky, her Balkan man and their lovely dog for oysters by the sea.
It was my first time ever eating oysters and even though I’m not too impressed with their taste I was, however, very impressed by the delicious accompanying dishes prepared by Dining with Dostoevsky.
After having our oysters with plenty of red wine we decided to hit the beach.
Even though the sun was shining it was rather cold in the wind. At least for me!
The upcoming week is Spring Break here at Berkeley and I’m very much looking forward to an entire week of not having to teach every day. Teaching does take a lot of time and energy and especially since I decided during last week to experiment a bit and find out if my students know how to decline their nouns and conjugate their verbs – the results are rather devastating: I think more than half of them exposed their ignorance despite all the resources I’ve been trying to provide them with. Oh well. You live and you learn, I guess. So after spring break is over I think it is time to make this experiment a mandatory assignment for my students every second day – maybe during the last month of the semester they will master some of the basic skills they should have been on top of during the first month… The boyfriend and I don’t really have any spectacular plans for the upcoming break because the week after we’re flying to Toronto to do a conference together. So working on our respective papers is our only grandiose plan for the next week. I was so ready for a break to come at this point – the last week was especially rough as I finished a version of my paper on Shalamov and theater and sent it to be read by other people. I also decided to write an abstract of the paper for a conference here in Berkeley in the middle of April – if I’m unlucky I will have to present it also there. If I get lucky there’s a chance they’ll let me off the hook, which would be nice considering that I’m already scheduled to present this paper at two different conferences, first in Toronto in April and then in Prague in September. Right now I cannot wait to enjoy a whole week of sleeping in and doing work in my own pace and hopefully also getting some things at home in order. Yesterday I cleaned out my closet – I am strongly in favor of cleaning out one’s closet at least once a year – so a trip to Goodwill is also in the cards for me. The first week of Lent as for food restrictions – we’re basically going vegan for seven weeks – was difficult for my stomach which doesn’t take an absence of cheese easily. But I am sticking with it and already yesterday I started to feel like it was no big deal at all. Especially not after picking up so much delicious vegan food from Trader Joe’s and trying to cook some of it. There’s a good chance that I’ll become healthier after Lent is over – and perhaps even healthier already after a few weeks. As long as I don’t start craving a chai latte from Starbucks badly… But at the end of Lent Mrs S is coming back to California and she’ll be here both for Orthodox Easter and my first post-Lent chai latte. So things are bound to become brighter and brighter, comrades.