Book Writing

I finally stopped procrastinating and started to work on the second edition of our optimization book. Before today, I struggled to update two paragraphs from the intro (and I am still unhappy with how they look, but I pushed myself to move forward with the promise to return to the intro later.

Only after I started I realized how much it bothered me that I was not moving! In my defense, all of mom’s immigration stuff which we dealt with this week, was more than enough to completely abandoned other activities. Hopefully, everything will be over tomorrow, and then I will write a complete report.

Another good thing about today was that I finally went to the beach in the evening and dipped myself into the lake, officially opening the swimming season. The water is cold! The way spring was this year, I think it will take a while for a lake to warm up. It’s still such a joy to be by the body of water, that I can’t complain!

More Family Stuff

Back to last week. Mom’s citizenship test was on Tuesday. I worked in the office for the remaining half-day and then took a train to meet Boris at ORD. On Wednesday, I worked from home, took mom to her physical therapy, taught a class online, and tried to cook as much as possible for the upcoming weekend.

I worked in the office on Thursday and then went with Boris and my neighbor to the CSO concert and to the Classic Encounter with Terri Hemmert before that. The program was amazing, although, to be 100% honest, I almost felt that it was too much with everything else I was doing. I planned this outing at least three months ago, and I thought that on Thursday, there would be no wedding-related activities. But then it turned out that Vlad planned something for close friends, and Anna wanted to go. I was trying to figure out how this could work, then Anna said that John would come and stay with the girls, and then at the end, it was that both John and Anna had work crises, and they decided to drive Friday morning (which was not a good idea having that it was a Memorial Day weekend).

Finally, they arrived, and John took me to the nursery to get the remaining plants for my balcony, and then Nadia, Anna, and I went to do nails, and in the evening, I babysat the girls.

Then, there was a family lunch at Acanto on Saturday, and then Boris and I took Nadia to the Field Museum and then brought her to the “Meet the Grooms,” where Vlad asked me why I do not socialize and do not mingle 🤷🏻‍♀️

On Sunday, we went for a long bike ride, and then I planted everything I had to plant, so the morning was rather quiet. And then there was a wedding which was very loud :). I think, however, that the major reason for me being so tired after these days is not that the music was loud or that I had a full house, but rather the fact that I had to meet a lot of Dylon’s relatives and they are very different family than us.

Oh, and also, somewhere in the middle of that, we completed a couple of house projects!

Two of Vlad’s High School friends spoke at the wedding, and I was happy that at least this speech was not glossy:)
And I found this picture from fifteen years ago!


I will post more pictures from the wedding. I am very-very-very tired, both emotionally and physically. And I am very happy for Vlad and Dylon.

The wedding was all about them, which is how it should be, but I was standing there in the crowd and recalling many past moments, starting from the image of this tiny thin baby body with match-like limbs. I with two five-year-olds, exiting the Immigration Office at ORD on October 23, 1996. Our endless conversations, and our conversation “about that.” And Vlad crying on my shoulder on the corner of State and Washington in broad daylight.

And when we returned home, I asked Boris (rhetorically, of course): how could it happen that we did everything wrong, and it turned out so perfect?! It’s scary even to think about how horrible things could turn if I won’t go to the US, fearless out of shire ignorance, having no idea what I am doing. All my decisions I was most criticized for, but especially these two: that I decided to have babies in the most inconvenient moment of my life, the life of my country and history in general, and that I decided to go to America and take my kids with me.

Not calculated, not thought-through, and completely irresponsible…

Citus Con 2023

Fun gifts from Citus

The World of Data

I barely mentioned my participation in that event, partially because it was virtual and partially because it was too close to PG Day Chicago, but I want to say it again – I am glad I participated! Also, I am glad I recorded the video early, and I am very thankful to the organizers because it was the least stressful recording of all I ever had!

And it was such a delight to receive the speaker’s gifts today!

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Mom Passed The Citizenship Test!

Today was the day! I took my mom to 101 W Ida Wells Drive, ad we passed through security which is more strict than in the airports. And I forgot about that and had to throw my scissors into the garbage (same as when I came for my citizenship test fifteen years ago!)

The security guard on the second floor was so helpful and reassuring – I can’t even describe it! Still, we waited for about twenty minutes past my mom’s interview time until we were finally called in.

Mom was very nervous and could not understand many of the questions when they were spoken (even though I was allowed to repeat them to her), but the officer was exceptionally patient and waited. At some point, when my mom said she would better understand it in writing, she printed the questions, and my mom could read them and reply.

It looks like most senior people apply for a medical exemption. I thought my mom would be upset if I asked her doctor for a note that she was unfit to take the test, but apparently, it’s not a big deal for most people.

Mom had to take a real test with randomly selected questions, and she had to answer correctly six questions out of ten, and she did nine, so I am very proud of her! It turned out she studied all the questions, not only the ones I’ve circled. I didn’t know the questions would be selected by a computer, not by a human!

Then she did reading and writing tests, which was easy for her, and then the officer asked her whether she was willing to take an oath of allegiance, and she forgot what the word oath meant. So the officer showed her a tablet with the oath, and she started to read it very slowly, and then for the second time. I was freaking out because that’s what I was freaking out about even earlier – it’s a pretty strong language, but she nodded approvingly to each of the statements since they all would end with “if required by the law.”

So, after all, she passed the test and signed everything, but the story is not over yet! Even though we tried twice, her fingerprints didn’t turn out legible, so now we need to obtain police clearance from all the places she lived (fortunately, only two!) But it looks like it has to be a real paper, and we need to go in person to get it, so I do not expect her to take the oath before August.

Still- it’s amazing!