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660479 Posts in 26463 Topics by 3767 Members - Latest Member: Lake Erie Surfer August 06, 2020, 03:04:18 PM
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1  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: December 16, 2018, 11:56:36 AM
Actually, the rules of Standard English clearly require that mother be written in the lower case unless it is being used as a proper noun. (For example,  some offspring, rather formally, might directly address their mother as Mother and spell it accordingly. On the other hand, I call/write my mother Mom, which is not capitalized when referring to your mom or my mom.) Of course, actual usage varies according ethnicity and regional patois. Please note, y'all or you'ens that I am not jumping in here to be one of those annoying social media types who find it necessary to correct everyone, but RR deserves to have a straight answer!
2  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: November 23, 2018, 04:04:29 PM
I'd love a cup with you (and Kitty)!
I did miss the pic you posted of Romanabba. Hilarious!
Agree about the probable Romanov sense of humor. OTMA needed one to have their pic snapped while they had their heads shaved!
3  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: November 20, 2018, 05:15:58 PM
Thanks for the info about the spelling of Romanov and czar. I think that I once read that the use of czar in English-speaking countries might have something to do with spelling in other Slavic dialects.  As the theory goes, many more Poles, Czechs, etc. came to said areas., so non-Russian spellings predominated.

I shall have to check out the cats and photoshop fun on the AP website, perhaps this long Thanksgiving weekend. Honestly, unless the latter involves porn or spoofing on the massacre, I can't see how what you describe could be disrespectful. The ABBA thing sounds hilarious! I'd like to think that the Romanoff/vs  had a sense of humor. I get the impression that, while they took their roles seriously, they didn't take themselves so seriously.

By the way, I was telling my principal today about  my SS friend who sets me straight about all things Russian. She was dubious that such conversations would occur on a BB board. Not intellectual enough?  Anyway, thank you for you being you!
4  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: What are you watching now?/Favourite Movie of the Moment on: November 19, 2018, 04:19:23 PM
RRA1 - I never knew that the Redgrave sisters did a remake of Baby Jane. Loved the original so much that I'll have to pass.  But I LOVED Lynn
in Georgy Girl.. And the song by the Seekers always gives a me rush!
5  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: November 17, 2018, 06:41:16 PM
Yikes. I meant to write "SELF-serving!" (So sorry. )  As for the spelling of Romanov or Romanoff, czar or tsar, I leave the debate to greater minds than my own.  I always use Romanov, as I have rarely seen the alternative.  As for Tsar/czar -  meh. What do you think? You're the real Russian among us! I do think that the Alexander Palace participants can be quite entertaining, perhaps taking themselves a bit too seriously. Still, the site has been an invaluable resource for me, and for that I am grateful. BTW, my students just watched the Coronation Scene from the  opera
Boris Gudenov. I was amazed at how engaged they were. Some wanted to watch the whole opera! 
6  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: November 12, 2018, 05:02:49 PM
RRA! - Interesting about the girls -  shall have to look further through AP website. Agree about the books. I enjoyed  "Sandro" Mikhailovich's  tome.
Even though it was written from his probably somewhat serve-serving perspective, it gives an interesting glimpse into the Romanov world.
One tidbit that I recall was when he met not-too-distant cousin Wilhelm of Prussia (can't recall if he was yet Kaiser W.), whose brother married S's sister. The two compared notes, commiserated, really, about the  harsh upbringing and expectations of males in their stations. S. also told a story of attending a dinner with many in the extended Romanov fam. An older teenage brother or cousin was asked what he planned  to do upon attaining adulthood. When he responded that he would like to be a writer or naturalist or something, there was some tension in the air. Then a decadent dessert was served, and  the young man was pointedly passed over. The message: Young Romanov males should know better than to express interest  in any career other than the military or navy. 
7  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: November 11, 2018, 04:16:12 PM
RRA! - Sorry! I haven't been able to hop on SS lately. Agree that the vid is really fast, grainy, and I'd rather not have fake sounds inserted. I've not seen the girls training with their regiments, although somewhere are photographs of the older ones in uniform, IIRC. (I somehow doubt that they trained with them, probably just "reviewing" the regiments.)

NBBF - Agree about "The Lottery." The stark juxtaposition of the wholesomeness and normalcy to the final scene is like a kick in the gut. I think I was in 6th grade or so when I read it. There was a short movie based on the story. Oh! Here it is:

Ed Begely, Jr. plays one of the little tow-headed boys (Harry? Henry?).
8  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: October 18, 2018, 05:30:47 PM
NBBF - Wow. I've never seen a film that old. Kind of neat to know that OTMA watched this same one we see!

RRA1 - Yes, the cartoon you describe sounds just like the one we watched in class. Some kids whined that they were not babies, what the h____am I doing, etc., then after a couple of minutes they were silent, mesmerized. We did a lesson Russian naming customs and some students remembered the that the girl was addressed differently by others (Marushka, Marishenka, etc. We have nicknames, but not so many ways of addressing someone based on relationship.)

Love your gems about the girls. They sound so normal!

Re: AA - I believe that Olga did mention that the face was dissimilar to that of her niece, even making allowances for such a difficult life.

Thanks for the correction about French. Forget where I read it, but my impression was gotten from a memoir written by, I believe, an NII cousin who, along with his brother, delighted in pissing of older ladies by using Russian. Of course, they were teens at the time; things might well have been changing quickly.
9  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: October 16, 2018, 07:39:34 PM
Thank you for the correction.

Yes, the girls spoke English and Russian (and French, probably, as it was the language  in which the upper crust communicated with each other.) That was a big reason why Grand Duchess Olga (NII's sister)  did not believe that Anna Anderson was Anastasia - the woman spoke only German.
Russians who resented  Alexandra's "Germaness" were not well informed.

Rasputin died around age 40. While it is probably true that much of what we hear/read about him is the stuff of folklore at this point, he must have had enough people in Romanov circles concerned about how the general populace perceived him, and at a time when the Romanov's position was already shaky, that they took the risk of killing him. And there are  charismatic  people who do have gifts of manipulation with vulnerable people. Are you familiar with cult leaders such as Jim Jones? Sometimes I try to put myself in A's shoes. She had a hemo brother die  as a toddler from a fall, then watches her own child almost die in agony. People experiencing great blood loss exhibit a great deal of anxiety, which, I suppose, doesn't help the situation in a physiological sense. So R comes and perhaps has a quasi-hypnotic effect that calms the boy and he improves? Perhaps. Better, anyway, than the reported treatment of ASPIRIN, of all things, that the doctors gave him. Guess we'll never really know.

Regarding your question: I've been giving that a a lot of thought. I'll get back to you on that. My initial thought is that I don't perceive the Romanovs  as all bad. Some seem to have been pretty sympathetic figures. What do you think? What is the general perception in modern Russia on this topic?
10  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: October 15, 2018, 07:02:28 PM
Isn't it great, RRA!?! It's as much fun as, even better arguments!

Regarding the issue of sewing jewels into the garments, I believe the purpose was to take something of value with them if/when they were to escape or be exiled from Russia. Those who did get out typically could take relatively little with them, and all funds in foreign accounts, as well as land holdings and homes in Europe had to be "repatriated" during WWI, so nothing to rely on on the outside. Felix Yussapov (family even richer than Romanovs) and Princess Irina struggled, as they had never had to economize and blew through their funds. NII's sister Olga ended up dying in a small apartment above a beauty shop in Canada. Eyewitness accounts do indicate that bullets bounced off of the girls and they had to be bayoneted to death.

Agree that Maria looks like father's side. Actually, like Alexander III - in a much prettier way, but similar "substantial" build. If you are into Olga, there is an adorable pic of her as an infant with mom and dad visiting great-grandma Queen Victoria. Alexandra was quite close to her, as her own mother, Alice, died when A. was just a young girl. She was nursing her children through diptheria and contracted it. QV became a mother figure, despite the fact that she and Alice were often at odds regarding mothering. There is a memoir on the site written by a close friend of A. who mentions that her pictures did not do her justice because an essential aspect of her beauty was her coloring. Something like glowing light golden skin and auburn hair. I personally think that rich and important people tend to be viewed through rose-colored lenses, that many would not be seen as anything special were it not for that. Example: Princess Diana. Great clothes, make-up, hair done by pros at all times, but in context of real life? Nah.   

Rasputin was an interesting man. Adhered to philosophy that one must sin a lot and seriously to experience the transformative power of absolution. Many women accused him of sexual assault, others, especial high society ladies, seemed to have animalistic physical attraction to him. Yusspov and many Romanovs were seriously disturbed by the man's well-known and seemingly hypnotic influence on Alexandra, especially after NII took over command of the army, saw him as one more reason the country was about to erupt.  Yus and NII's nephew were part of the planning and implementation of the murder, and NII was pissed off to no end when relatives pressured him to go easy on them. 
11  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: October 07, 2018, 04:46:40 PM
There was a friendly, sympathetic hedgehog in the Baba Yaga cartoon about the evil swan geese (kind of like the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys). He was very sweet and helpful, kind of whistled as he spoke.

Juicy tidbit #1: Not sure if I shared this before, can't find in on the board. Anyway, Felix Yusapov had a penchant for dressing up in his mother's clothes, jewelry, make-up, hair done up to excess. (This by his own admission.)  He tells of days as a student in England when he was crossed-dressed in an  unsavory part of town and King Edward, who was known to be a frequent visitor, attempted to pick him up. Felix and NII's niece only "kind of" stayed married after leaving Russia; I'm sure his "hobby" must have been off-putting for her.
Juicy tidbit 2: Ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya was NII's lover before he married, then was lover to Sergei Mikhailovich and his cousin, Andrei Vladimirovich. Had a child with one, paternity is unclear. She died in poverty in Paris.

Regarding Tatiana, some have suggested that she had "Slavic" features, which were especially prized in that time and place. Nastya always reminded me of numerous female gym teachers that I have had over the years (as a student).  I do think that NII was very handsome, took after his extremely cute mother.
12  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: October 07, 2018, 04:09:49 PM
Happy birthday in advance to your kitty!
13  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: October 06, 2018, 10:13:18 AM
Hello! Thanks for the info on the male version of Baba Yaga. I'll definitely check that out.  We were all awe of the visual beauty of the cartoon from the 1940s.  Funny how folk and fairy tales have similar themes and archetypes across cultures.

I can't get enough of the relationships between the Romanovs and other royals. A favorite book was based on the interactions and correspondence between  "Nicky, Georgie, and Willy" (everyone found Wilhelm totally annoying) right up through WWI.

Regarding Maria, I have always found her to be breathtakingly beautiful. Posters on the Alexander Palace  site regularly argue about these things. Apparently, Russians of the day typically fawned over Tatianna, but Maria, IMO., would have been a classic beauty in any age or place.

The readings on the website also affirm the degree to which the kids were sheltered. Also interesting there are the recollections of surviving Romanovs on what It was like growing up and living within the bubble, with such limited choices and pressures to conform. Sandro Michailovich has an  interesting recollection of a conversation with relative Wilhelm II about harsh upbringings  and cloying expectations.
14  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: October 04, 2018, 03:25:10 PM
Yes, the whole extended family is truly fascinating. Alexandra's mother was Alice, Victoria and Albert's third child. Her sister was Philip's grandmother. Alice married a somewhat minor German royal and raised her children emphasizing their British heritage, British nannies and all. When Alice died after contracting the diphtheria she was nursing her kids through, Victoria played a large role in raising the surviving children. Alexandra was duly influenced in this manner, I suppose. By the way, another of Alexandra's sisters married NII' s uncle. She was killed in the Revolution. Especially interesting is all of the Romanovs to be exiled for the crime of marrying the wrong person. For instance, two of Alice's children married two of her siblings' children. Alexandra's brother, Ernst married first cousin "Ducky," who then left Ernst and married her other first cousin, who was also NII's Russian first cousin (through her mother.) NII and Alexandra were livid and the new couple were banned from Russia. Like all of the others, they returned during WWI, forgiven. Regarding language, French was the patois of the Russian royals and nobles. I read of cousins of NII who, as teens, made it a mischievous point to converse with society ladies in Russian and were called to task for it!

No, I don't use textbooks unless forced. I think that many kids dislike history, in part, because textbooks tend to be rather dull. I like to use primary sources, create PowerPoints with visuals,  and write my own text targeting information I want to cover and the various reading levels of my kids (which can be quite low). Today we watched a Russian Baba Yaga cartoon from 1940s and discussed the centrality of the pech (multi-use wood stove) in Russian culture. Next week, we make porridge and explore the living conditions of serfs.  Some kids will just sleep, others will love it, the rest will complain loudly that "this ain't history" because they are so used to reading textbooks and answering questions before falling asleep to their i-pods. Gotta love 'em!     
15  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: October 03, 2018, 05:16:04 PM
Hello to RRA1 and NOLABBF! Just had to jump in here...I'm going crazy at my new teaching job and have almost no time to post here, although I visit to read on occasion. My students are loving our unit on Russian history and I can't wait until we get to NII, Alexandra, and the children. A really interesting website on this and other related topics is  I found much information on the girls there, their personalities, surviving relatives who became involved in the Anastasia question, how the extended Romanov family got along (and did not), etc. (Did we know that Prince Philip gave his DNA to verify the remains that were found? This was particularly valuable because as a great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, he was Alexandra's grand-nephew; he was also the great-grandson of Christian IX of Denmark, while NII' mother was the king's daughter. Finally, Philip is a direct descendant of Czar NI. It gets too weird to get into the ways that he is related to NII and Alicky and kids via their numerous German relatives!
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisís Women on: September 11, 2018, 05:57:59 PM

See Dennis and Karen all glammed up!

17  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: September 02, 2018, 06:14:59 PM
NBBF-  My best to your mom. Mine is 87. She can hardly see, but is a lot more gracious about it that i would be!  Love Jason Galaxy and his guitar case that he carries around with kitty accouterments. I need him to come to my house! I've been working all weekend on lesson plans for  the first week of school. I'll begin with serfs, then work my way up to the Revolution by October.
18  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: What are you watching now?/Favourite Movie of the Moment on: August 31, 2018, 05:32:52 PM
Watched three Twilight movies today while supervising girls in cottages in residential treatment center where I teach. Meh. Can't understand how not one, or two, but three young men were so enamored of "Bella," with two willing to sacrifice their lives for her. Nothing particularly compelling about her, neither physically nor in terms of her personality.  But I recall seeing an interview with John Cowsill's brother, Paul, who said that he had the job of obtaining, moving, bracing, hiding evidence thereof of the trees in the outdoor forest scenes. It seems that it was too difficult to move filming equipment in and out, find clear areas to shoot scenes, etc., so this was what was done. Paul said that he helped the nervous not-yet-stars to learn their lines and that they had to stay out of the sun in order to look pale.
19  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 31, 2018, 05:22:27 PM
Oh my! Never heard about that one! I'll have to start using it - it's pretty cool.

I'm starting too teach a unit on the Russian Revolution - before, during, after. I'd like to help my lower level teens make some connections in their minds, as many probably know very little about your fair country (due to interrupted education caused by family chaos, trauma, treatment). I'm trying to think of ways in which Russia has influenced US and world culture. Any ideas? Sometimes we take for granted aspects of our own cultures that actually arrived from elsewhere.
20  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: August 31, 2018, 05:13:49 PM
NBBF - So sorry to hear of the passing of your kitties. It's always sad, and, I'm sure, made more stressful with the uncertainty about the cause.
21  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: What are you watching now?/Favourite Movie of the Moment on: August 29, 2018, 05:17:32 PM
Remember Diner? It was filed in Baltimore and featured very youthful Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern, and others who later made it big.
Balto was director Barry Levinson's hometown.
22  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 29, 2018, 05:11:02 PM
Looks like fun, RRA! Unfortunately, I can't find enough time right now for more than brief interaction on SmileySmile. LOVE  your answer to #22. And what is a lickspittle?
23  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: What are you watching now?/Favourite Movie of the Moment on: August 27, 2018, 06:44:39 PM
I loved drive-ins growing up. My parents would get us four kids bathed and in pajamas, then put the back seat down flat in the car. We'd pile in with blankets and go see a movie. Dad would bring us soda and popcorn, we'd usually end up fighting. We were then threatened that we'd have to go if it didn't stop. Some of us always fell asleep before we got home and had to be carried to bed (hence the pajamas).

I don't judge a movie by the trailer. Trailers have fooled me too many times! I do read reviews, though. even if a reviewer doesn't like a movie, I pay attention to why, and that might be a reason I might want to see it.   
24  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 27, 2018, 06:33:01 PM
I am not superstitious at all. As for the dolls, I don't share your perception of them. I do LOVE the Chuckie Doll movies. Come to think of it, the Leprechaun were great, too. 
25  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 27, 2018, 04:00:19 PM
We used to pick a daisy, then one by one take off each petal while saying, "He loves me, he loves me not." If the the last petal was an "He loves me," then the guy you have in mind loves you and visa versa. Some people say something they are hopeful about, then say "knock wood" or actually knock on a wooden table. (This is like your description.) Many here also say a black cat crossing one's path is bad luck. Others throw a pinch of salt over their shoulder for good luck. Some brides believe that if the groom sees them before their wedding it bodes poorly for the marriage. Break a mirror and have seven years of bad luck, having itchy palms indicated money is coming your way.  If people are conversing about someone who then walks into the room they might say, "Are your ears burning? We were just talking about you." Oh, and bad things always happen in threes!
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