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Maria Korchagin
25 March 2008 @ 07:26 pm
Cleaning up my harddrive, I found this poem that I wrote 4 days short of a year ago... I don't think I ever posted it here. To those who do not know, Zaya is my old laptop. :)

~~~

2:15 am

How many times, although half-blind,
I get up, wander out to sit,
With nothing really on my mind,
In front of Zaya for a bit.

I watch the pages scrolling by,
In stupor I no longer care,
That minutes, hours pass and fly,
I wait for something, wait and stare.

My eyes they look, but do not see,
Now 2 am, now 3, now 4.
I lose myself, I am not free,
I am a slave to web once more.

The quiet night -- it's dark and still.
The cat -- she snores in tiny wheezes.
I'm not awake, I have no will,
I waste my time. The net -- it teases.

It teases me to check again,
These sites I know by heart already,
Where nothing changes. No one, then,
Has paid a visit to this lady.

Statistics freeze; time does not move;
The bars don't change, nor do the pies.
I fall into a silent groove;
Mouse clicks sing aimless lullabies.

I cycle through them once, ten times,
The pages sleep, just as before.
And I type out all these lines,
In hopes to pass the time some more.

~~~

YLLA.ORG :: My DevArt Gallery
 
 
Maria Korchagin
20 February 2008 @ 12:37 am
open my fridge
and you will see nothing
look at my recipes
see they're not long
look in my eyes
and you'll see them laughing
here you will hear simplicity's song

simple will never mean barren
remember
elegance
you shall forever be queen
i burn with a fire that once was an ember
radiant
certain
elated
serene



YLLA.ORG :: My DevArt Gallery
 
 
Maria Korchagin
02 March 2006 @ 11:33 am
My boyfriend is a relativist. No, not a moral one like Jack Bauer :) He studies relativity. And so I made him a scarf that fit his vocation.

To those that understand relativity: it's a Penrose diagram of a spinning black hole in empty space. The colors are picked as if it's a blackboard - dark green background, "white", "pink" and "orange" chalk. The white is r=infinity, and the two colors are the two horizons.

To those that don't understand relativity: it's nerdy. It's a nerdy diagram of a black hole, done as a scarf.

To those that understand knitting: It was painfully obvious to me that I would not be able to find a pattern for this. So I made it myself. It's actually just a 1k1p ribbing all the way through. 27 stitches across, the inside of the diamonds gets up to 7 stitches across, with the stripes 3 stitches wide. The most difficult part was finding so many thread ends. There are some rows where there need to be 9 separate pieces of yarn in the same row. What I wound up doing is cutting lots of pieces of yarn. So each one of the diamonds and each one of the colored stripes is a separate little piece of yarn (the x's are two). The only parts that are continuous are the green on the edge.



I had lots of left-over yarn. Almost a skein of each color (I'd gotten an extra skein of each color in case I ran out. Wound up being a good idea). So I thought I'd crochet a blankie... at 4 feet wide, I'm about 3 feet into it. I'll post it when I finish. For now, it's keeping my legs warm and my hands occupied... in class. ;)

YLLA'S ART GALLERY
 
 
Maria Korchagin
04 July 2004 @ 11:18 pm
There's this really cute story that some of my friends know about how I never got to make carpets. I was in boarding school in 6th grade, and all the other girls in my dorm were older, so they got bigger allowances than me, so one day they could all go out and get themselves little latch hook carpet making kits. They looked so happy and friendly, sitting there in the dorm livingroom, on the floor, making them. I couldn't get one because my allowance was only $3 a week, and I couldn't afford it. I was sad.

But I got over it, tranfered schools, lived my life happily. It was my then-8-year-old brother who suggested a latchhook carpet kit as a present for me for Christmas one year. I was just extatic when I opened it! I remembered all about how I couldn't have one in 6th grade.

This is it. I'd made it in the following year. My mom had finished it by sewing canvas on the back. It lies in my room now, in front of my bed, and it's very soft. My feet like it very much.



YLLA'S ART GALLERY! :: SKETCHBOOK
 
 
Current Music: Pink - "Just Like a Pill"
 
 
Maria Korchagin
23 June 2004 @ 01:36 pm
NYC  
I forgot to post this when it actually happened like 2 days ago. Oh well. Here's the story :)

My brother is an actor. He has been in about 10-15 episodes of one tv-series in Russia, and appeared as one of those "main character for an episode" type characters in another. Also, when he's here, he sometimes gets calls for auditions for commercials and such.

So my mother gets this call in the morning, from a local casting agency. We have a part in a something-something ad, your son would be perfect, he should audition. My mother didn't understand what the something-something was, but they did explain to her that they were looking for a casual Russian boy.

So we piled into the Ford... Taurus? A long, silver loan car we got because our X5 was in the shop. I volunteered to drive. I'm the only one who doesn't get horribly frustrated the moment I make a wrong turn, and the only one still capable of driving to an unknown place without the car navigation system telling me every step of the way. The Ford was neat. It was really long, it had the gear changer thing on its wheel and no power seats. And we set off to New York City, to Broadway, between 20th and 21st streets.

Getting there (or back for that matter) wasn't complicated or long. It was fairly straightforward and there was almost no traffic. We got there a little early, so we walked around a bit, got some free Snapple that they were handing out on the street.

We walk into this dingy icky building where the casting agency is. 3rd floor. The elevator takes forever, and I suggest a couple times that we take the stairs, but it comes eventually. I lead the way towards the right room.

As we walk in, the first thing I notice is the sign on the wall that tells us where each of the four auditions are happening. The guy asks us what we want, and when we say that we don't know which audition we came for, he smiles, suggests that perhaps it's the "Russian one", takes a polaroid of my brother and sends us to the 4th floor.

But then, he points out that the ad needs a whole family, so my mother should try out as well. She was a little hesitant at first, but eventually agrees. He says that he needs her to look "Siberian" and so she takes off her jewelry and ties her hair with my hair thing. She also gets a polaroid and sent to the 4th floor.

On the 4th floor, there is a small room, the size of a medium closet, with a door leading to a bigger, studio room. We sit in the first room, fill out some applications, along with a Hungarian woman, a really really fat German dude, a really old woman, and a brunette with two daughters.

Here's the script. I'll explain later.

It's St Petersburg. This is a dingy family composed of mom, dad, kid, girl and granma. They're sitting around the table, sipping soup. They're depressed because of their monotonous lives. Suddenly, the Pillsbury Doughboy appears on the table with chocolate chip cookies. Dad is the first to announce his name, in an incredulous tone of voice. The children pick up the "Pillsbury Doughboy!" chant happily, and soon everybody is eating cookies, dancing around the table. Then the mother goes for the carton of milk... tries it... and, realizing that there isn't any left, screams "MOLOKO!". Everybody looks at her, sighs, and soon they're back at the table, blandly eating their bland soup. It's a "Got Milk" commercial.

Ok, I don't know how many of you out there know anything about Russian culture... but this could have been set in Japan or Somalia with just as little attention paid to the local culture and just as much of the culture would be butchered.

Firstly, St Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities on the face of the planet. It's like a really really big Versailles. True, not everybody there is rich, since there are poor people everywhere, but still. They presented this to us as "you need to look poor and siberian". Um, there are asian-race people in Siberia, white ones in St Petersburg. So they deface our beautiful city with their ignorance.

Secondly, and this may come as a shock, but RUSSIANS DON'T EAT COOKIES WITH MILK. They eat cookies with TEA. And any Russian who'd see that commercial would laugh at them, again, for their ignorance and complete lack of research.

Thirdly, Russians don't eat soup. By that I mean that soup is never the only course. At least, if you go by traditional, commie-time standards. Soup is eaten only for lunch, and only followed by a second course.

These were the three things that really bothered me. My brother was annoyed that this was a Pillsbury ad as well as a Got Milk one.

In the audition session I sat, my mom played the mother, my brother played the son, some dude played the father, the old woman played the granma and one of the two little girls played the sister.

The guy who played the father would say "nummy warm goodness!" and some such crap in English, completely forgetting that he's supposed to be a Siberian dad, suddenly eating soup in St Petersburg, generally acting like an idiot, being a little too loud, a little too slow, now working with neither my mom nor the woman that ran the show. I wouldn't cast him if he were the last man on Earth.

The 80 year old woman kept thinking that she was gonna play the mother, not the granma. She kept trying to get my mother to teach her to say "moloko!", which, by the way, was misspelled in the script as "molko". She had this wierd book on how to do the Russian accent. I dunno why she did, since her character didn't actually say anything.

The little girl was amazingly bad at acting. She sat off the side of the table, put the spoon to her mouth too quickly, and didn't actually reach her mouth, much like little girls do at pretend tea parties. She's also never heard of the Pillbury Doughboy, and she was absolutely horrible at imitating the Russian accent.

My mother sat a little too straight. Her and I were the only people in the room who knew that Russian women are insanely proper and will sit up straight even if it kills them. Nobody else did. Nobody else sat up straight. She stood out. She was also better dressed than the rest of them put together, so she stood out even more. She was good at the depressy part, and good at the holy-crap-theres-no-milk-lets-all-cry part, but not very good at the yay-cookies-lets-dance part.

I didn't actually pay any attention to my brother except when he was "eating soup" in the begining. He was amazingly good at fake-eating-soup, especially considering the stark contrast with the little girl who sat next to him. I also know he was the only one in the room who pulled off a decent Russian accent when saying "Pillsbury Doughboy".

So the entire thing was an idea by people who thought it would be good to superimpose American culture onto pretend-Russian people, a misspelled script, a bunch of Americans who couldn't act their way out of a paper bag, one kid that could, and two people (me and mom) who knew that the whole thing was an insult to any Russian who watched the said commercial.

Ugh, why are Americans so stupid?
 
 
Current Music: Deep Blue Something - "Wouldn't Change A Thing"
 
 
 
Maria Korchagin
21 June 2004 @ 11:28 pm
So I have new art. This is just inks, but more art will follow in a few days.

Meanwhile, since you all are dying to know about my life, I'll share a few recent discoveries.

Discovery #1. Tofu diced and slightly fried in soy sauce and a bit of cooking spray tastes just awesome. I used to seriously dislike tofu. Now it's almost at the top of my current favorite foods list.

Discovery #2. All those immunization shots paid off. Digging through my boxes, trying to find my ink pens to ink this picture, I'd come face to face with some sort of flying stinging insect of the wasp variety. The impact of the insect with my hand shot pain through my palm and sent the insect flying towards the floor like a tiny brick. My mother was scared that I might have to go to the emergency room again, get an IV, that kinda thing. But my hand barely swelled where I was stung, and in half an hour it was all gone. All I have left is a little red dot where it happened.

Discovery #3. I still have a crush on my SOSC professor. Nuf said.

Recent good movie: Something's Gotta Give.
Recent bad movie: Mooseport.

Recent accomplishment: I finally finished Atlas Shrugged.
Recent almost-accomplishment: My webpage redesign is almost done. Yay.

And now for the picture. It's Sailor Mercury in the middle of her transformation. Enjoy :)

Tags: ,
 
 
Current Music: Bruce Springsteen - "Born To Run"
 
 
Maria Korchagin
15 June 2004 @ 08:15 pm
Me!  
So I'm home in New York. School is over. The grades aren't in yet. I'm slowly calming down.

I have all this free time now, so I was going to catch up on my commissions. Unfortunatelly, my main sketchbook is still in one of the boxes, and the boxes are still on a UPS truck somewhere. So I can only work on the Illustrator commission that I'd already started before leaving. It's getting its final checks now, and if nothing else needs changing, I'll pop it up here :)

In the meantime, I have this lovely drawing of... me. Done by... not me. This was done by my lovely wife Jano-chan, while we were at the Bijutsukan. While Jano-chan was drawing me, I was drawing that knight getting dead that I posted earlier.

Enjoy. :)



YLLA'S ART GALLERY! :: SKETCHBOOK
 
 
Current Music: Eminem - "Sing For The Moment"
 
 
Maria Korchagin
02 June 2004 @ 05:19 pm
So it's "review week". There's a review session or two or three tomorrow and Friday for various classes, but today was the last day of real classes. One Physics set left to hand in. One paper. Three exams.

Today's also the last day of Anime Club. We're watching the last episodes of Utena and the last eps of Haibane Renmei. I didn't realize we're close to the end of Haibane... cause nothing's really happened in the series. And the Pocky dance is happening again today. God help us all.

jenova_silver gave me a gift of one whole year of paid LJ time. I never had a paid LJ before. So my LJ layout looks different now. Not because I was planning to change it... I was just messing with the new functions available to me now and changed it by accident. At least I changed it to something decent ^_^;; But lots of thanks to jenova_silver! It was very sweet of him ^_^

I'm starting to feel anxious. Like there's something I should be doing, like what I'm doing isn't good or efficient or just plain fast enough. Even though I don't quite grok that the finals are less than a week away, I can tell from this anxiety that they're close and that my mind groks it all too well even if I don't.

Just 10 days left. June 11th, 8 pm is when my flight leaves for La Guardia. Ganbaranakucha.

The Utena opening song is what's been keeping me going these past few weeks. I happen to rather like "chick takes on the world by herself and wins!" kind of scenarios, whether in movies or songs or whatnot. I like Legally Blonde. Simone de Beauvoir writes in her book Second Sex (which we've been reading for Sosc these past few weeks) that emphasizing girl-power is a result of the women being "the other", the object, etc. She may be right. It could be that I like girl-power because I feel inferior as a girl, whether due to my physical strength or how much respect I get or how easy it is for me to wear dresses in Physics classes. Or it could be because I like person-power in general (ie girl-power and boy-power both, independent of actual gender) but there are more girl-power books and movies and songs out there than boy-power ones.

Tatoe futari hanarebanare ni natte mo watashi wa sekai wo kaeru.
たとえ二人離ればなれになっても私は世界を変える。
Isn't is just the loveliest of song lyric lines?
 
 
Current Music: Utena - "Rinbu Revolution"
 
 
Maria Korchagin
24 May 2004 @ 02:01 am
O.o  
So I get another mailing from KCJS, the Kyoto program I'm going on next year. Inside, there's a list of the students who will be going.

Guess whose name is at the top?

Bazes, Alexander. Brown University.

This will only make sense to the few of you who go/went to Hackley. Bazes was in my highschool, in my graduating class. We had AP Physics together with Mr. Litvinov. He was a fencer and good friends with my ex-boyfriend. He and Ben Miller went to Brown. I went to Chicago.

And now we are both going to Kyoto. How do I feel about it? Well, I had to read his name a few times before I was convinced that I wasn't on crack. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense. There were many a talk of taking Japanese in college when we were in that physics class. I bet Bazes is an Utena and Kenshin fan.

This isn't as strange as meeting a girl from Junior High on the ATA flight to Chicago a few trips back. Last time I saw her was in 8th grade. She was going to Colorado. It took me the entire flight to remember that her name was Jill.

Basically, I'm sick and I'm tired, and I saw Bazes' name and went "holy fuck." This is one of those few times when I miss Andrew. He would have understood just how holy-fuck-ie this kind of thing is. Nobody else would really understand completely, since noone else was there with me for all that time.
 
 
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
 
 
Maria Korchagin
17 May 2004 @ 04:16 pm
Today is May 17th, 2004.
Last time I posted a "Me and Livejournal" entry was September 14th 2003.
What has happened during that time:

First and foremost, Livejournal took my layout and made it no longer free. I had to make a new one. I based the color scheme on this image. In retrospect, I should have made something yellow too, not just purple.

I've had this journal for one month less than three years now. During that time I have posted 360 posts and recieved 1046 comments. That's 2.906 comments per post. Big improvement over last data, which was 1.314 comments per post. I have 64 friends. I have posted 1110 comments. That's 17.34 comments per friend. Again improvement over the 5.895 comments per friend in September. This should be a gauge of just how much time I spend online now, instead of working. I have 115 people list me as a friend. That's 51 people more than I list as friends. Out of my 64, 46 consider me friends as well. Out of the remaining 69 I know less than half.

On that note. If you read this post and you list me as a friend and I do not list you back. Comment to this entry. Tell me who you are. Tell me how you know me. I want to know more of the people who list me as friends! :)

Since the last post, I have lived through break-up twice, I've redesigned my page, I've been accepted to the Kyoto program, I met lots of cool people, I made tons of rules for myself and stuck to them, I made more rules that I did not stick to, I went to my first anime convention, and for the first time in my life I've taken up more commissions than I should.

I draw a lot more now. One of my rules, made up during the fall, was that I will not post "crap" anymore. I will only draw, finish and post worthwhile pictures. Things that have a lot of detail, that are creative, that tell a story. I'm sick of filling my sketchbooks with doodle after doodle of a chick just standing there. So that's what I've been doing now. You see that lately, all the pictures I'm posting are either commissions like this or pictures of my own that are whole scenes like this. Improvement. I've done at least four full drawings since September that include more than one character. I'm sure that before September (and after June 1997 when I started drawing) I've done no more than 5 multiple character drawings altogether. Another improvement. I made a SKETCHBOOK for my sketches, for the good ones, so that they don't clutter up the art page either, even if they are worthwhile. It's updated whenever I do a new sketch. Another improvement.

I have taken to selling art. I used to not want to part with it, but I realized that if I hold on to it, all it does is sit in a box. If I give it to someone, the drawing can have a new purpose of making someone happy. If I sell it, I can also make money in the process. Thus, selling art is better than keeping it. I don't have a total on how much I've made since I started selling it, but I'm guessing it's on the order of $500. This is not very much compared to some of the other online artists who sell art, but it is a lot for me, a girl who has never sold art before. And considering the fact that everything I make from art goes directly into my Kyoto fund, that is a very very good thing.

I'm in the process of redesigning my page. I'm almost done with the Art part of it. I just need to figure out what else needs to be there, make it, and then put it up. When I redesign my page, this design will probably change as well. In the process of redoing my page, I also learned PHP. This will be the first time that I have my webpage do something cool and dynamic (and easy to update) and actually understand what it's doing and how it works. The current way I have on my page of displaying images and making popups with explanations and stuff was done in JavaScript, made to work off the URL line, and written by my ex-boyfriend. I have no idea how it works (though, actually, now that I know PHP, it makes more sense to me), and I can't change it if I want to. But I wrote the entirety of my new page, so I know how everything works, I can change anything I want, and that makes me happy. There's only one little place where I needed help because I did not have enough experience coding to come up with that particular piece of code on my own. Vygotsky all the way.

Overall, I think I'm happier than I was in September. I'm more confident of my artistic abilities (and I've sold more art and commissions, which means that more people agree with me). I've regained a steady group of friends after losing it last year. I have a better idea of what I'm doing in terms of my life and where I am going. I can tell you with confidence what I will be doing for the next year, whereas before I was only confident about the next month. And I don't mean this in the "I'll be going to school for the next month" kind of way, either. I've gotten to be more honest with myself. I've always known what I like and what I don't, but I am better at reacting to these feelings now.

My last small bit of sadness right now is the next month. I will be going home to New York on June 11th. That's Friday of exam week. That means lots of good things. I'll see my family. We'll go to Mohegan Sun. I can take bubble baths. I can walk around the house barefoot without the bottoms of my feet turning dark grey. I don't have to think about Physics for another year. I'll have lots of time for art. I can finish all my projects. But it also means bad things. I won't see my college friends anymore, since none of them will be in New York. I won't be in Chicago. I won't have the opportunity to randomly crash at my friends' houses. I love crashing at people's houses. Before college, I haven't done it since I left Russia in 1995. And of course, I won't be taking Physics. So the last bit of sadness is that the things I'm very much looking forward to also signal the end of some things that I really really like.