On family history, parenting, education, social issues and more
Author: Hettie D.
My name is Henrietta (Hettie) Dombrovskaya. I was born in Saint-Petersburg, Russian (actually, back then – Leningrad, USSR) in 1963, and immigrated to the United States in 1996.
I love Saint Petersburg, the city I was born and raised in, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. Similarly (but differently) I love Chicago, and can’t imagine myself moving somewhere else in the observable future.
I have three children, Igor, Vlad and Anna, all adults living on their own, and one (so far) granddaughter Nadia. I also believe that my children are the best thing that happened in my life.
As for my professional life, I am working in the field of Information Technologies. When I was twenty, I’ve declared that the databases are the coolest thing invented and that I want to do them for the rest of my life. Thirty plus years later, I still believe it’s true, and still, believe that the databases are the best. These two statements together imply that I think a person can have it all, and indeed, I think so! Keep reading my journals to find out how I did it.
I had a really exciting day on Saturday, I took tons of pictures, and I wanted to share all about it. But after the shooting, I can’t make myself write.
On Sunday, I made a huge effort to deliver the first segments of my educational video. I successfully submitted them, but now I am waiting for feedback, and I do not want to proceed with more segments until I receive it.
Today was way more productive. Not only a very good day at work, but I finally submitted one of the four talk proposals which I promised to submit. Also, I released some new code to NORM_GEN. Although I have an accepted talk for Swiss PG Day, I need to make sure I have enough of this new material to present.
And the weather was outstanding – just another gift from Nature.
I was in the Loop on Saturday. I was in the Millennium Park. I passed the Bean at about 3-30 PM.
I am reading more and more details, and the more I read, the less I can take it in. Out of all places, Millenium Park seemed to be the safest place in Chicago indeed, with constant presence of security. It felt exactly as this article says – the safe place in the city, open for those who can’t find a safe place in their communities.
This article from Sun-Times is heartbreaking. I am copying it here because, after a while, it will disappear from the online version of the newspaper. Here is it.
While in Europe, I almost entirely missed the new development with the Roe/Wade overturn. Then, I felt guilty that I didn’t pay enough attention and didn’t participate in the protests. I was flying in on May 1, so I missed all May Day things. I got a little bit of the protest last Saturday after I took mom to the Joffrey Appreciation Day, but they were almost done with the rally by then and were preparing to march.
Today, I went escorting and thereby was unable to attend the event in Union Park. Escorting was definitely more important because antis went wild. What surprises me is that antis are always using the same old tune. They didn’t come up with anything except for the same old “you are murdering the human beings.”Today, I was busy the whole shift, walking the patients to and from their cars, making the human corridors, and making noises so that antis could not be heard.
At some point, a clinic security guard came to stand with us and helped to hold the tarp to cover the anis posters. And he actually yelled at antis because he is not an escort :).
Then, I could not do the later protest today because of the bad planning (I had three other events, and I lined them up in a suboptimal way). I saw a lot of social media posts, and I caught a little bit of the Millennium park event at the very end of it.
The number of antis who appear at the pro-abortion rallies still bothers me. That’s Illinois, that’s Chicago, and I can’t believe it when I see huge groups of antis, so loud and talking the same nonsense. I am so allergic to propaganda after I had it all in the Soviet Union!
And one more thought, When I am asked what the abortion situation in the Soviet Union was, I usually reply that abortion was legal, it was just a very humiliating process, and no anesthetics were allowed unless you illegally paid for them. It was not until recently that I realized that the fact that you could not get an abortion after 12 weeks was an abortion limitation! It just never occurred to me that it could be different!
Yesterday was a perfect day. A perfect first-summer-day, a day when I know why I moved to Rogers Park and what I love here.
It started from the long bike ride, and the sun is now up early enough for me to start biking at 5-15. I entered the Lake Front Trail at 5-35, and it already looked busy with people walking their dogs and talking to each other, joggers, and biking groups.
I had breakfast on my balcony, and then I had a very productive workday. During my lunch break, I went to the beach, lay on the sand, listened to the waves, and walked in the crystal clear water.
And then, my neighbors messaged me that they could help me to pick up the plants, and I got on Uber and went to the nursery and picked the plants.
The evening was balm, and I worked until 9 PM and could plant everything and clean up almost everything. So now my summer life is going to be perfect.
It would be a perfect day, if not for one thing.
In the morning, when I stopped to wait for a green light at the corner of Broadway and Granville, I saw a neatly dressed older man picking in the garbage. When I started crossing, I saw that he had a bun in his hand, and he was hurriedly eating it while crossing.
Last week was also ballet week. On Thursday, I went to see two short ballets: Balanchine’s “Serenade” and a modern ballet “Of Mice and Men” based on Steinbeck’s book. I was cautious and skeptical about the latter; I could not imagine this book converted into a ballet, but it was fantastic!!!Below is a long segment about this performance here, which tells it all – I agree with every word of it!
On Saturday, there was a subscriber appreciation day. Subscribers were invited to have a late breakfast at the foyer, and then everybody was invited into the auditorium to see a rehearsal. It lasted an hour and a half, but it didn’t feel boring at all!
I renewed my subscription for the next season, but I decided to get only one ticket. If I have a company for some of the performances, I can always get an extra one. And this season, I had trouble finding anybody who would go with me!
I moved to my new home a year ago. On the one hand, I am still telling people that I “recently moved.” On the other hand, it feels like O already lived here for half of my life.
This week, the weather finally became warmer, and I biked a lot. The sun rises early enough for me to go for long bike rides in the morning.
Today, the temperature suddenly rose up to 89F, and I rushed to the beach as soon as I could get off work. It was way colder by the water, but still, I could lay down on my tarp, not moving, not reading, not thinking, just feeling the lake nearby.
Last Wednesday, I went to see the “Seagull” in the Steppenwolf theater. I had four tickets left on my Black card, and I decided to use them all for this show. I figured that Igor and mom would go, and I will figure out whom else to invite. My neighbor was interested (she even thought about getting tickets herself), and I gladly invited her.
It was not only an all-new “Seagull” but also the first show on the Steppenwolf’s New Stage, and the new stage was fantastic! And actually, everything about this show was great: the translation was nearly perfect, nothing was cut from the play, and the actors seemed to be born to play these roles!
I was also glad that mom liked it. She could not remember the play itself (although it’s a Russian classic taught at school), and she could not understand what was going on on stage, but still, she was captivated by the action.
Although due to the current situation, the whole world knows what May 9 means to Russians in most countries the calendar is marked with another holiday – Europe Day.
Europe Day held on 9 May every year celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic Schuman Declaration that set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.
The Schuman Declaration or Schuman Plan was a proposal by the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, made on 9 May 1950. It proposed placing French and West German production of coal and steel under a single authority that would later be opened to other European countries. The ultimate goal was to pacify relations, between France and West Germany in particular, through gradual political integration, which would be achieved by creating common interests. Schuman said that “the coming together of the countries of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany…the solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible.”
It is so sad to see today, that his hopes didn’t materialize and that the opposite happen, in the most unthinkable way! I hold a strong hope, however, that this time, the European countries won’t stop in the middle of the way and will make sure that nothing like this will ever happen again.