Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Friday, November 18, 2005

NEW ATLANTA SONG

If you wanna vote you gotta be quick because they will announce the winner this morning. But if you get the chance check out these new Atlanta songs brought to you by the morning show at 99x. Personally, I dug the Li'l John because it sounded like a real rap song. However, I voted for the "Chanel Change just because its high level of creative and production qualities.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

KATHERINE WATCH

To keep you warm in this cold spell here is another toasty update from Miss Katherine dated November 1st...

"Hello everyone!

I hope this email finds you all well. Happy Halloween! I hope you are having a great holiday scaring others and eating loads of sweets!

Well, it has been quite a week! I saw a Russian war movie (in Russian of course!) about the war in Afghanistan (sp?) that Russia lost. WOW. I never realized how it was for them, and all I ever remember was what was on the news. Even then, it was back in the 80's and I don't remember much since I was a kid then. It was so sad, but so real. We are so lucky we didn't have to go to war with them.

OK on a brighter note, I got to travel this week! IT was so great! I went to Kazan and met with 2 other American volunteers, and a Russian friend of Tamara's. We took a 12 hour train there, and got there on Saturday morning. Kazan celebrated its 1,000th birthday this year! Now that is old! I felt like I was in Disney world seeing the Kremlin and the mosques. They were so beautiful and breathtaking. I will try and send a picture of it soon. There was also a tower that is leaning there, but the history of it is so cool! It was from 500 years ago when a Tsar wanted to marry this princess, but she didn't like him. She told him he had to build this tall tower in a week, and then she would marry him. Since she thought that was impossible, she thought she was safe from this horrible man who was a tsar. But, unfortunately he did it in a week and she married him.... but a week later jumped to her death from the top of the tower!

So now I am interested in history.... especially Russian since it is so crazy! I will tell more stories later! Thank goodness Tamara's friend is from Kazan and took us around to all of the sites. He didn't speak a word of English, but surprisingly enough my Russian has become good enough to understand most conversations! We also went and saw the university where Lenin attended, and there were statues and things in his memory. We even went to this beautiful church of all religions. Each religion in the world (so many!) has its own tower and decorations to represent its belifefs. It was probably the most beautiful church in the world for me because it represents that no matter what you believe, we can all come together and have peace in the world! There is a man who built this who is a natural healer and is still working on finishing the church. It is only 2 years old and is on the outskirts of town..... wow! Now that is amazing! He is building it alone!

We stayed at a hotel and it was great! EXCEPT.... people still have rules like they did in the soviet days. At the hotels here, there is a lady who lives on every floor who keeps your key to the room. When you leave, she takes it and when you return she gives it back. This is horrible! We came home late one night and couldn't find her..... grrr! This is just an example of how things haven't changed a whole lot since soviet times!

Our American friends were Peace Corps volunteers before they came to Russia, so we went to a cafe with Uzbek food (Uzbekistan) since they had done their Peace Corps work there. It was actually really tasty food! I figure, I probably can't get this food in Michigan... why not try it?! It was a bowl of noodles with veggies and great spices topped with beef. MMMM IF you get a chance, try Uzbek food! The second day we went to a Georgian resturaunt (food from the country of Georgia). WOW.... now that is some good stuff! I love international dishes!

Well, other than that, things are going well. I can't even believe that it is November! I come home in a few weeks! Hooray! I miss you all so much! Thanks for the emails! I will see you all soon!

Lots of love!

Kat
A BIT OF TRIVIA

From Seth...

This weekend, MSU will decide whether the Ohio State/Michigan game was for the conference title, but that's as close to winning it as they've come since the '80s. In fact, nine teams have won more Big Ten Championships in football than Michigan State. Can you guess who they are?


Oh, if that wasn't enough, try to guess the six teams that have won more Big Ten basketball championships than State.
CULT OF PERSONALITY

For those of you that can't wait for the next piece of Tres Crow propaganda, be sure to check out the website of Mao Posters. That Mao! Now there's a man that knew propaganda!
LARRY BROWN AND THE KNICKS

I have to admit that I'm going to be happy to see Larry Brown fail in New York. In fact, even the Sports Guy is ready for the wheels to come flying off this one. I wanted to write about the Knicks. Instead I will simply link away.

Money Quote...

If anything, it's a Bizarro Larry Brown Roster. Consider the following elements...

• He has three shoot-first point guards: Stephon Marbury (who legitimately doesn't enjoy making his teammates better); Jamal Crawford (an absolute gunner in every respect); and Nate Robinson (a 5-foot-7 ball hog). You can't play any of these guys together. Well, you could. You're just going to lose more than you win.

• He has two overpaid and undersized power forwards who can't rebound: Malik Rose and Maurice Taylor. In fact, there isn't a single guy on the team who can grab a big rebound in traffic other than rookie David Lee, whom Brown refuses to play because, well, he's a rookie, and Larry Brown doesn't play rookies. By the way, this team has three of them.

• He has two overpaid centers who can't rebound or block shots: Eddy Curry and Jerome James. Amazingly, the James Era is already over -- Brown is routinely DNP-ing him. There wasn't even a honeymoon period with this one, just straight to the divorce. Unprecedented. Meanwhile, Curry has a mysterious heart problem that scared the Bulls enough that they practically gave him away. Good times all around.

• He has two overpaid swingmen with back/knee problems who stink defensively and can't do anything other than shoot: Quentin Richardson and Penny Hardaway. In fact, other than Trevor Ariza, he doesn't have a single player on his roster at the one, two and three positions who can guard anyone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY


That's right Frank, I went there! Take that Old Hickory! Posted by Picasa
GOING KOSHER

Sorry Frank, but it looks like your bridge to nowhere has finally been shelved.

The Senate Appropriations Committee removed earmarks for two controversial "bridges to nowhere" in Alaska: the Gravina bridge, which would connect Ketchikan to an island of 50 people, and the Knik Arm bridge, which would link Anchorage to a sparsely populated area. The projects have been the subject of strong criticism because of the general backlog of existing roads and bridges in desperate need of repair, especially those affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


At least you and Andrew Sullivan can still play torture paddy-cake with Lindy. Is it pledge week already my friend?

Monday, November 14, 2005

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE REPUBLICANS

Bob Novak, on how moderates are ruining the GOP...

"Earlier, the moderates had threatened to vote against the budget unless President Bush restored Davis-Bacon prevailing union wage rates for Gulf reconstruction. But Bush's retreat on this issue and the removal of ANWR did not satisfy the moderates. They opposed the budget bill's $50 billion in cuts out of $2.5 trillion in annual spending."


With the Republicans supporting big government and spending like Democrats, we are only left with Seth's definition of the Republican party. Or as Novak puts it...

"The Grand Old Party's mission, apart from a vigorous foreign policy, then would be legislation fitting the special needs of its top business contributors -- a role the moderates could accept."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

KATHERINE WATCH

Not sure how far I'm behind in the Katherine watch, but this is from 10/24. Sorry if this is a re-run...

"Priviet everyone!

I hope this email finds you all well! I hope you are doing great things and enjoying life! I miss you all so very much.

Well, it was another busy, busy week! We had our first round of snow, so it is really winter here! I am not sure what I was thinking when I was packing my bags because I didn't bring very warm clothes! Thank goodness they have the old soviet heaters in the buildings.... but it is so hot we have to have the windows open!

I traveled to the capital of our republic this week called Izhevsk. It was a few hours away, and we went by bus on these horrible back roads because there is a lack of "nice roads" as they call them. We spent the night at a camp in the middle of a birch tree forest, and it was gorgeous! Russia is known for birch trees, so we were sleeping in them! While in the city, we got a tour and went to the Kalashnikov museum- the creator the the AK47 weapon (gun). The museum was actually closed, but they let us in for our own private tour! It was crazy! So many guns! We also went to the AIDS Center where I met some important officials in the work of HIV/AIDS here, so that was really fascinating for me!

This week was our translator, Olga's birthday! We got her a huge boquet of flowers, and she loved them! It is very popular to give flowers as gifts in Russia. They are everywhere! So she invited us to her house for her birthday party, and there we met her friends and took part in the usual Russian birthday traditions. We had a Russian cooking class in the kitchen we learned to make pizza and appetizers. They were delicious.... but much different from American pizza! Just imagiine mayonaise, pickles, cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and cheese.... that is what it is like! Oh and they love raw fish and sardines here, so that was on top too! mmmmmm good! (or not!) But it was a great cultural experience for me. We also got to drink loads of vodka and wine and eat torte.... it is kinda like cake but not really. It was a great birthday!

Later that night we went to the movies and saw "Brothers Grimm." I didn't really understand much since it was in Russian, but I enjoyed watching it on the couches they have as seats in the movies! It was comfy! Then we went upstairs to the disco and danced all night long. We shared many stories over vodka and piva (Russian beer) and really had a great night. We made our way home in the middle of the night and had pillmini- a Russian traditional dish for a snack. It looks like brains, but it tastes pretty good!

Sunday we decided to have everyone over to our place for a little celebration. We had a cultural exchange of American and Russian traditions, and we showed them mamosa (sp?) the drink with orange juice and champagne, and they made us Russian pancakes! This was day two of our Russain cooking class! They are like crepes, but you eat them with sour cream and jam! THey are fabulous! So we had a great day of bonding and drinking while eating pancakes for hours!

Well, besides all of the fun, we are doing a lot of work. I am losing momentum in my presentations because I had a bad one today with some students who didn't think HIV is a real problem, but I think I eventually got through to them.... thank goodness! We have many more schools to go to, and I hope that they will go well! This weekend we will be traveling to a new city, Kazan. I am very excited! This city is celebrating its 1000th birthday! That is OLD!

Thanks again to all of you who sent emails! Sorry if I dont respond right away, I don't have very good access here. But please know that I love reading mail from you! Thank you so much! I am very happy and excited to look at my calendar and see that I will be home in a month! I can't wait!

Until next time, take care and best of luck in whatever you are doing! I miss you and love you all!

Baka!

Kat"