Protest Against Invasion Of Ukraine

Today’s rally attendance was great, but I am still resentful that 1) it was in the Ukrainian Village, which is not easy to reach, and 2) there were still way more Ukrainians than everybody else combined. I am still disappointed in Chicagoans remaining indifferent to what’s happening.
To be fair, I was very happy with all the officials being there. The crowd gasped when it was announced that Governor Pritzker was in attendance. Mayor Lory, our favorite Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Danny Davis, who represents the Ukrainian Village in the US Congress, all attended the rally.

Igor was able to stay for the whole duration of the event, and I hope he took better pictures than I did. I just saw that Tribune posted an article about the rally, so I will steal a couple of pictures from there.

And below are some of my pictures:

Continue reading “Protest Against Invasion Of Ukraine”

Renovated Palatine Public Library

On Thursday, I was in Palatine (one-before-last dental appointment; after some hesitations, I decides to make a crow on the implant at my old dentist, and to switch after that). I used this opportunity to meet with one of my Palatine friends before the appointment. We went for a walk around my old familiar places, and then, she showed me the renovated Palatine Public Library. The renovation was discussed while I still lived there, but I haven’t seen the final result.

What I saw, was impressive, and I am really happy for Palatine!

The Lake Last Monday

 Last Monday, it was suddenly so warm that I decided to go biking. The necessity to bike on the roads has one great advantage – the roads are the first to be cleared from the snow, and you do not need to wait an extra couple of weeks until the snow melts. 

It was warm and foggy, and everything around looked a little bit surreal in the mist.

But when I finally reached the starting point of the Lake Front Trail, I saw a picture which was not “a little bit” but very surreal!

If you stood here on a clear day, you would see Lake Michigan – up to the horizon. But on Monday, all you could see was a wall of fog and ice and snow along the shoreline. 


I made some progress with Mom’s medical appointments in the past two months. First, we met with the social worker, who talked with her about the Power of Attorney and Advanced Directives. She sent us a copy of the document to review with mom and sign it.

Since the doctor suggested it, mom could not object to discussing this uncomfortable topic. Previously she was always like, “I do not want to talk about it; I didn’t give it a thought.” Now, she had no choice but review :). Then, we met with a geriatric specialist. I wanted to arrange that for a long time because I am never sure whether I am too alarmed when mom forgets things or the opposite – I do not notice when it’s time to be alarmed.

We talked for a very long time. On the one hand, there was some reassurance that things were not that bad. On the other hand, they do not have a baseline. For them, the fact that mom does not forget to turn the gas off, can cook, and shop for her groceries is enough to conclude that she is in decent shape. I know, however, that these are very basic skills for her that will be there the longest. We will see how things will progress.

Another progress was with her hearing aid – she was seen by a high-skilled professional, ee=vverything free, everything without long waits. Now we are waiting for t=her new hearing devices to be ready. The place where they are made is Russian-speaking, but she still has so much trouble understanding what she is asked that I had to call them back afterward to clarify several things. (I could not go with herl Igor did, and he was sure she understood the questions, which was a wrong assumption).

I do not want to take her for a vision test until she has her new hearing aid, which will most likely happen later in spring.

This Long Day

Today, I tried not to be hysterical but to focus and do something. I only succeeded partially, but I at least crossed a couple of items off my list in the past two hours.

We had a Wellness Friday today, an extra day off, which we have once a month. I still had to do some work because I started to help on one project, and the customer wanted the case closed today. So I helped last night, even though I took a half-day off to go to Palatine, and also for several hours today.

Work needs to be done; both work as what I am paid for and all my professional work outside the place of employment. I am a leader, and people look out for me. Repeating to myself, “there is nothing I can help with” does not provide any extra opportunities for help and produces no positive outcome. I can be aware of the biggest injustice in today’s world, but keep doing things instead of sitting paralyzed.

Multiple commentators on the radio said that sanctions wouldn’t help. I am very well aware of that. In fact, I always explained to others why sanctions never work like planned, and never in history would sanctions make dictators, oppressors, and intruders change their ways. Never.
However, today I thought that although sanctions won’t help, we owe them to the people of Ukraine. That’s the way of showing our support.

If the reports are accurate, and the UK was indeed able to freeze Putin’s accounts specifically, that sounds great. Although again, it would be a red cape shown to the bull.
To recap this day, I will do my best to do work, be productive, help those whom I can help, and keep looking for ways to change the world.

I Hope Chicago Will Respond

I hope even though it hardly matters. And “so that I could feel better” is a lame excuse for wanting something. Total helplessness. Two comments I left on other social media.

I am contemplating renouncing my Russian citizenship (I am a dual citizen). The only thing which stops me is that the total cost of the formal process is about $1K, and I do not want to give it to the Russian government

In addition to $1K, there are several pieces of documentation that are close to impossible to obtain, so this cry is unfortunately only wishful thinking.

And another on the Instagram:

It was sad to observe yesterday that only the Ukrainian community rallied against the aggression, but I hope that it will change today, and a whole city will rise to condemn the invasion 

There were two horrible comments which I removed and blocked the author. I do not want to write anything on Russian social media.

This Morning

I woke up this morning, and the first thing I saw on my phone was a red dot from the BBC app. By the way, I do not know why it is considered so bad to have a phone by your bed and check it the first thing you wake up. I need to know what happened in the world while I was asleep and what happened with my loved ones. So I saw it right away and called Boris immediately. Regardless of what problems might happen to us (visa renewal, etc.) – these problems are minor and unimportant compared to the horrific situation in general. There are no words to describe it. Boris is saying it’s NATO’s fault – they should have let Ukraine in a week ago, but the process was not even initiated… Everybody’s fault… and mine as well.

Today’s Thoughts

I can’t write about anything, even though I have things to write about. The morning news paralyzed me; not like it was unexpected, not like it was sudden. 

It does not often happen that the international news is on the top of the daily news in this country (that’s why I alternate with BBC). But today was the day when all the news broadcasts started similarly. 

However, most people go on with their lives even when they are aware of the horrible things happening in other parts of the world. And that’s normal. One can be aware of the wolds injustices and still live their lives, and in most cases, I do the same. 

Still, being a dual citizen, I can’t not feel responsible for what is happening. I feel like I felt that morning many years ago, before cell phones and ebooks. The morning, when I stood at the platform in Palatine waiting for the train and had a Chicago Tribune in my hands. I felt that each person on the platform holding the newspaper was reading about the Kursk submarine, and I was ashamed of what they were reading about. 

Today I feel it even more than twenty-one years ago. I have too many emotions and not enough words—shame, anger, worries, helplessness – none of this is even close to what I felt for a long time. I know that sitting paralyzed won’t help anybody and anything, and I have to come up with more productive ways to support the right cause. So help me, God. 

Sunday Skating

Can you think of any better February Sunday morning than ice skating?! I left the house at 8-30 and was ready to step on the ice right after resurfacing. The best skating is at the end of the season when there is enough sun, and you can take your jacket off. And the morning ice is as smooth as glass, and you can dance on it.

Now that my left leg and hip do not hurt anymore no matter how long I skate, I have to force myself off the ice. I could skate until the next resurfacing, but I had lots of things waiting to be done, so I stopped after fifty minutes:)