Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

We interrupt this hiatus

to let you know that the video of Jack eating squash is something of a hit on

11,600+ viewings and 23 comments.

Pretty funny.

So a look back at Jack 'lo those many months ago. The thing is, he now loves squash.

Katherine and Jack are busy sunning themselves in Florida, and I'm busy preparing for a visitor on Monday/Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Katherine and Jack are in the US, and I'm home without a computer.

Why am I home without a computer? Because our power cord started smoking about four days ago, somehow having burned through to the plastic/rubber surrounding it.

So we've got a replacement in the mail.

Until that arrives, I guess the blog, like Katherine and Jack, is on vacation.


Sunday, March 16, 2008


Astri also took some other shots. She was messing around with a lens that diffuses from a specific point that you can change by turning old-timey screws in the lens. Very strange, but cool.

This is St. Sofia's Cathedral, taken with a regular lens.

The golden domes of St. Michael's Monastery.

A random building.

The Dnieper River with a walking bridge in the distance.

Our Street.

A real photographer

Our friend Astri was here for a quick 4 day visit.
She learnin' to take pichers.
So she used Jack as a subject.

Don't know why this is underlined

Friday, March 14, 2008

Events and Visitors Upcoming

When talking about upcoming visits and travel plans, I forgot to add this visitor, or maybe it just wasn't public yet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adm. Fallon Resigns

Admiral William Fallon resigned today as Centcom commander.

Too bad, if his time in Vientiane was any indication. He was a smart, dedicated, and could Lamvong with the best of them.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


And yesterday was Int'l Women's Day, so happy day Women! And that means also that tomorrow is a day off.

It's cold and rainy today, and Katherine and Jack continue to suffer from cabin fever.

Earlier in the week the weather was a bit better, so much merrymaking was done at Shevchenko Park, just up the street from our apartment.

A holdover from communist times? Jack shares space on a communal swing. Individual swings, perhaps, still a bit too bourgeoisie...or maybe just on the other side of the park.

And like the good little Oligarch-in-training that he is, Jack is learning to drive a big SUV on the sidewalks. The better to avoid the traffic...

His friend Coby seems to have a bit more of a moral dilemma with the sidewalk driving. More thoughtful and ethical, perhaps, he seems to want to leave the domain of the sidewalks to the pedestrians.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Celebrating Phil's birthday

Jack helped his Dad blow out the birthday candles and then enjoyed a yummy cupcake!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Birthday fun

We ate cake...We danced...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kyiv Weather

Cabin fever strikes, even in a ridiculously large and airy duplex apartment in one of the most happenin' neighborhoods in Kyiv.

We made the decision to get out and go for a walk today just as the skies opened up with some rain. We could see blue sky in the distance, though, and waited it out.

20 minutes later, blue sky. So we got our winter gear on and headed out into the now sunny day. 15 minutes from our apartment, the clouds gathered again and a mixture of rain, ice and snow beat down on us, helped by a strong wind that came out of nowhere. We hustled to Budmo, one of our favorite restaurants, and ordered french fries and beer and settled down to wait it out. Another 20 minutes and the snow stopped.

We headed out again, and with the sun at our backs, we walked by St. Michael's Monastery, which was still backed by dark, gray clouds.

Which promptly disappeared 10 minutes later.

Heading home, the sun dipped into the horizon and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees. Luckily, we were well bundled against the cold.

But still, it's hard to plan for a day out like that.

Eating in Style

Thanks to Grammy and Boppa, Jack has a shiny new high chair. And buying a high chair in Kyiv is an adventure* in and of itself.

Katherine had her eye on a specific one. The fancy pants Scandinavian brand Stokke. Problem is, it's only sold at a few places. So I got on the phone and tracked one down and we were off. Metro to Petrivka and a kids store at a mall. We got there in no time and thought we'd just stroll in, grab the chair and be on our way. Turns out, things are not that easy. We were to get the floor model. It needed to be taken apart.

30 minutes later and the guy had it ready for us, all wrapped up and in a...large plastic bag. No box. Could we get a box? No.

Did you include the instructions in our, um, bag? No, there are no instructions.

So we went back to look at another floor model so I could get an idea of what went where.

Then we went to pay. 20 minutes later, we received our receipt.

That done, we headed home and went to work putting it together.

Jack was a good assistant.

The finished product...not bad.

*Yes, my idea of what constitutes an actual adventure has been somewhat tempered. However, we will have a different type of adventure in late April/early May when we head to Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro. We'll visit friends in Ljubljana and Zagreb, then meet up with Kim and Matt (last seen here on the blog dancing on tables and settling disputes with Rock-Paper-Scissors New Years Eve 2005 in Koh Chang) in Dubrovnik and into Montenegro. Very fun.


The updates on this here blog of our lives in Kyiv have been few and far between of late.

Sorry about that.

I guess we've just kind of settled into a staid, wintertime life in Ukraine. Not alot to report.

Jack is still cute, though, so I guess we'll put some pictures up of him at some point.