I seem to have established a sort of routine, which explains the dearth of fascinating and insightful posts on this blog. (But check out the fun new blog features, like the GuestMap and the Weather Pixie!)

I’ve been getting up each day a little before 7 to work out, which I do until 7:30 or so, a little longer on days when I’m teaching and don’t have to leave the house til 10. On days when I’m not teaching, I go to Russian lessons at the university. This may change as I take on more teaching gigs and have less time for my own studies. I’m thinking about switching to individual Russian lessons, which would only be a few hours a week. Also, since all the other students in my group are Chinese, I was outvoted as to when to have winter break. They studied through Christmas and New Year’s, but will have two weeks off for Chinese New Year. So this may be a good time to leave the group and get a private teacher.

Anyway, after teaching or learning, I run errands, make lesson plans, study Russian (less and less) and work on editing a 200-page paper for my friend Klaas on EU-Latin American relations. I also try to make sure I do some meditation or yoga and some reading (in English) for pleasure. I brought about 20 books with me to Russia that I want to read by the end of the year, mostly nonfiction that I’ve been meaning to read forever, western philosophy and social theory and crap. I’m trying to intersperse these with Russian literature. Russian literature in translation, that is; I’m just not ready for “War and Peace” in the original yet. Hell, I’m not ready for it in English. I was looking at it today, in fact — Dom Knigi (House of Books) has a decent selection of books in English — but given the historical setting, the length of the book, and my abysmally short attention span, I knew reading it was going to be more work than fun. I bought Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” instead.

But I digress. So my life has finally fallen into somewhat of a routine, though it will undoubtedly be a constantly changing routine. Nevertheless, I’ll try to have enough adventures to keep this blog full of amusing anecdotes. My students will certainly say amusing things, but I don’t think I should make fun of them too much on the blog, even anonymously. They are more than capable of using the internets and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings!

Aunt Kelly and I are planning to go to Helsinki this weekend, though Finland is a Normal Country and therefore there won’t be too much to poke fun at. But I’m sure something interesting will happen at the border; it always does.