Thursday, November 29, 2012

Losing Dedushka


My parents called me after dinner tonight
My head was quiet and my thoughts were light
As soon as my dad said my name
My heart sank, and sadness came

He said, "Grandpa. He died"
"Oh no. When?" I replied
"He died in his sleep"
and I heard my father weep

But all I could think at that moment
Was that he really liked Roquefort
Yes! The stinky cheese he desired
In USSR, it wasn't easily acquired

As a cried into my hands, cringing in pain
I thought, "Of all the memories stuck in my brain
Why cheese? Why not his work or his verbosity?
Or his urge to recite Russian poetry?"

He'd probably hate that I'm writing in English
But now as this horrible day comes to a finish
I remember, in my life, dedushka played a special part
His memories I will treasure, and keep close to my heart.

03.03.1938 - 11.29.2012
Goodbye, Dedushka.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Black & White

1: 7 for all mankind high shine jeans; 2: bagatelle blouse from anthro; 3: sam edelman ankle boots

Cyber monday came and went, and I'm still in a shopping mood. What gives? Been really feeling the black and white stuff recently. (Blame JZ.) 

I know what you're thinking. Could those jeans be any tighter? Also, aren't those leather and uncomfortable? Those are pretty tight, but leather they are NOT. These are high shine jeans ("oooh! ahhh!") and feel soft like jeans, but look like leather. How genius? This pair is all the rage right now, and they have it in all these delicious fall shades too. I'm not sure I can pull off leather-looking pants, but they certainly look badass on the model.

Boots and shirt are self explanatory, no?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Best T-Shirt You'll Ever Wear

Have you guys ever heard of Everlane? I've been hooked since Joanna first blogged about them. The t-shirts are incredibly soft. It feels like you're wearing a $50 designer shirt, but it's only $15! They have different styles, but my favorite, by far, is the box cut shirt. It's so flattering. (I'm actually wearing the navy box cut shirt right now. I tried to look for pictures of myself in it, and there are two. But neither is very good. Here and here. I'm not really sure what's going on with the camera angles there. I guess that's what happens when I ask my mom to take a photo.)

I've also tried the sweatshirt, scarf (not the one they have in stock right now), the ryan tank, and the belt. They're awesome. I actually bought my brother the shirts, the belt, and the sweatshirt. The belt was too complicated for him to figure out, and the sweatshirt wasn't up to his standards. But he liked the shirts. (The sweatshirt is totally amazing, by the way. I don't know what his problem is.)

What I've Been Hiding

email from Google, phone call the same day, 3.5 bullet points to interview success
mama's visit, procrastination
"I saved a spot for you!"
email from Apple
half-day off work, loud leaf blower, coffee, technical phone interview cancelled
7AM phone call with Google
is a number in a set of intervals?, easy recursion
call with Apple right after lunch, late, most fun phone interview ever
another call with Apple, outside, sunny, phone overheated
W-E-D-D-I-N-G   C-A-K-E
on-site interviews -- yay!
three attempts to book travel to Cupertino, google travel booking - a lot easier
panic about driving rental cars, left eyelid twitching
call from Vova, "you sound like you're under water", nervous-crying
nervous, drive to LAX - calmer, airport - calm
flight delayed, SJC at midnight, follow Vova in a rental car
french hen sweater, turquoise shirt, hotel with the softest pillows
rainy walk to Apple campus, 2 hours early
can't stop grinning, a lot of interviews, interview during lunch - WHY, APPLE?
nod from Kimber, nap at Box, sushi w. Forrest & Vova
flight back to LAX - peaceful,  3 hour drive back home makes me hate LA
thick socks, cleaning, Tess' chai warms my soul and cures my eye twitch
UCLA wins at football, I win at whiteboard coding
another drive to LAX, walk into the terminal, wallet left at home
rebooked flight to later that evening, drive back home and back to LAX
tiny plane to SJ, first solo rental car drive - easy!
woke up sick, not-thought-through shuttle to Google
small talk with driver, "don't leave me here!"
continuous stream of ints, get nth smallest
primes up to n, find bad programming practices in this code
yummy lunch, two unexpected friends!
tree of numbers to string, string to exactly the same tree
given a dictionary and a word, find the max number of words that make up the given word
"Facebook" = "face" + "book"
set of characters, get all combinations
another question I forgot
how do you test gmail?
not-thought-through shuttle left me stranded at Google
not dressed for 6 mile walk back to my rental car
windy, exhausted, lonely, but lovely surroundings
nap at Box, late to the airport, mad
paid $250 for flight home from SJ to LA
Vova also on the flight, airport sushi, hysterical laughter watching Henri the cat
fell asleep with kitties in my bed = best $250 ever spent
sick, really sick, thanksgiving with coworkers
private ballet class, two seasons of Better Off Ted, Bernie
rejected from Apple, rejected from Google
nasal congestion: from cold or crying?
at least it's cyber monday

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sick :(

Moos is keeping me company again.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Ballet Class

Did I tell you that I'm dancing again?


I am! I wrote about missing dance back at the beginning of last summer. I looked around the area, read reviews, called studios, and my heart was definitely set on Lisa Cuzion ballet studio. She was having her summer intensive at the time, so I couldn't join unless I quit work to dance (le sigh), but as soon as fall classes started again, I started going to class twice a week.


Picking that studio was an excellent decision. Most classes start with some loose stretching and then move into barre. Not with Lisa. Everyone gets out a pilates mat and does about a 15 min workout. Let me tell you, I considered myself to be in pretty good shape: I have no problem going for an 8 mile run, push-ups are ain't no thang, I can even squeeze 2-3 pull-ups out of my arms. (Speaking on pull-ups, this is an interesting article.) But my first class at Lisa's studio, I was completely exhausted and drenched in sweat before we even got to barre.

I feel so much stronger now. I'm in class with girls who are poised to become professional ballerinas. A lot of them are homeschooled so they can dedicate themselves to ballet. A lot of them aren't applying to college, they're applying to ballet schools and ballet summer intensives. They are incredible examples of hard work and determination. Ballet is all about making ourselves look like we're weightless, like standing in arabesque, or leaping in grand jeté is completely effortless. So, if we look like we're not struggling to have control over our bodies, we've done our job. But it's far from easy. Just like acquiring any skill or achieving success in life, it's less about talent and more about how much of yourself you put into it.


When I first arrived at the studio to meet Lisa, the first thing that jumped out at me was this quote on her door by Michelangelo,
"If you knew how much work went into it, you would not call it genius."
I feel like a lot of people gloss over the fact that, in any field, be it dance, or computer science, or entrepreneurship, successful people work really hard. It's incredibly inspiring to see a girl execute a damn-near perfect adagio, or somebody succeed at making a profit from something that didn't previously exist, because I know that it's a product of years of work, not a product of blind luck. I can't help but take a moment to be totally excited for them, say "Bravo!" and then get right back to work.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kindred Spirit


I love this girl. When I first heard of the term "kindred spirit", I was so sad that I couldn't think of anyone I could call my kindred spirit. I've known Tess for a while, and I've enjoyed her company plenty in the past, and we've never really kept in touch since she lives in St. Louis, MO. Well, no longer. We got to have a week-long sleepover at my apartment when she came for the wedding that I was making the wedding cake for, and it completely renewed our friendship.

In addition to being an incredibly cool chick that likes dresses, Arrested Development, makeup, cats, jewelry, shopping, food, and wearing 5-toed shoes, she also majored in Computer Science and loves programming. We have our differences (like whether paper should be recycled, stance on GMOs), but the most awesome part is that we can talk about concealer preference (bareMinerals all the way), Ruby, and how to use git to keep commit history clean in the same sitting.

How adorable is the neckline of her dress?!

I also owe the success of the wedding cake to Tessy. She distracted me with conversation when I was freaking out over the giant batch of buttercream frosting not coming together into a frosting-like mass. (It did when we finally came up for air!) She stayed up with me until 5 AM to finish frosting and decorating the cake. She sawed through the cake dowels, turned on faucets when my hands were covered with buttery frosting, opened refrigerator doors for bringing cakes in and out.

But most of all, she assured me, somehow in a non-cheesy way, that the cake was going to turn out alright. Even though everyone was saying the same thing, the only one I believed was Tess. (Probably because nobody else saw how horrific the first coating of frosting looked, and how wrong my original estimate on the amount of frosting needed was.)

tessy and I 
Do you have a kindred spirit?

Monday, November 19, 2012

An Anniversary of Sorts

photo by JT

“Only time can heal your broken heart. Just as only time can heal his broken arms and legs.” 
 ― Jim Henson

I've never broken a bone, but it certainly seems like broken hearts are far slower to mend. Wouldn't you say?

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I never thought I'd live to see the day UCLA beat USC in football. Good job, Jim Mora!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wedding Cake - Done!


Hi. I don't believe we've met. I'm Olga and I made a wedding cake. An honest to goodness four-tier-swiss-buttercream-clad-cake-dowel-and-cake-board-supported wedding cake. I found the hard limit of my stand-mixer by attempting to make 24 cups of chocolate cake batter in one batch. I squinted every time I added another glug of buttermilk. The project only took about 7 pounds of butter, 20 egg whites (just for frosting), 1 pound of the best cocoa powder money can buy, 18 bags of chai tea, and a lot, a lot of time.

IMG_4329 IMG_4330 IMG_4334 IMG_4335

It was such a success, I feel that a lot of thanks are in order. I'd like to thank:

  • Deb (of smitten kitchen) - for documenting her wedding cake making experience, which I studied for weeks before I set out on this endeavor.
  • An incredible cookbook (Sky High) where most of the recipes and lots of advice came from.
  • Elyse - for chiseling the cardboard cake boards so that I wouldn't have to touch them.
  • Tori - for entrusting her wedding cake to inexperienced-me!
  • The wedding DJ - for temporarily halting the rave music and playing Celebration and Single Ladies, providing me with a much needed dance release and making it all totally worth it.
  • JZ - for being an awesome friend (if only through email) and believing in me.
  • The Bees - for telling me that I could do it despite my recent cake set-back.
  • Dearest mama - for reminding me to start early and exceeding my quota of stand-mixer & spatula accidents while she was here.
  • Vova - for getting the rotating cake stand and saving me a lot of time.
  • Tessy - for general awesomeness and lots of help the night before.

I couldn't have done it without y'all!


Tessy and I cutting the cake. (I did not take this photo. I also don't know who did.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stop Complaining About MTV

“Oh, and to answer your question as to why we only air horrible reality shows about vapid people. Because you watch that shit to feel superior. Go ask the mirror why you watch it, I don’t give a shit.”

So true. (Proud to not have cable!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

White Cat Fur

photo via fasiongonerogue (via rubi's post)

I love this photo. Smoky eyes, wispy blonde hair, and a soft white cat looking into the distance planning an escape route out of this photo-shoot. YES, please! Is it weird that I miss my cats while I'm at work?

Put It Up (in a Bun)

you can see the spin-pin in my super-thin hair

I've always wanted hairstyles that I couldn't have because my hair wasn't thick enough. When I was little and had the luxury of somebody doing my hair every day (miss you, mama!), I'd request this girl's exceptionally sweet do, but sadly we pretty much could do none of the styles I'd see on other girls because my hair was too thin.

Well, little has changed - my hair is just as thin, I can't twist it into awesomely-effortlessly-chic-messy up-dos like other girls, and I can't even blame a bad hair day on my mom. What a crappy deal.

In an effort to combat my pathetically thin hair, I've been growing it out. I know growing longer hair unfortunately doesn't translate to more hair, but I am relentless.

Long hair would be more awesome if it wasn't so annoying. (Let me just take a few seconds while you absorb the vast depth of that statement.) I am pretty much incapable of eating with my hair down without it getting into my food. It's gets in the way when I'm trying to figure out why my code doesn't work. Split ends - ugh! It makes my neck sweat when I'm nervous.

SOLUTION: this DNA-strand-looking thing. It's awesome.
I always have it in my purse/pocket because 1) it's easy to put my hair up with it; 2) it stays there until I take it out* (unlike the free-form knot); 3) my stupidly-fragile hair doesn't get creased like it does with a ponytail. Case closed.

How do you keep your hair out of your face?

*Exception: this doesn't work for ballet. You need a hair net for the ballet class bun and this thing will rip it to shreds.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bye for Now, Scott!

Even if Forstall is controversial, he may just be what Apple needs now that Jobs is gone—a detail-oriented obsessive who gets things done, egos be damned. “I once referred to Scott as Apple’s chief a–hole,” says former Apple software engineer Mike Lee, who left the company in 2010. “And I didn’t mean it as a criticism. I meant it as a compliment. You could say the same thing about Steve Jobs.”
- from Scott Forstall, the Sorcerer's Apprentice at Apple (via businessweek)

Can't wait to see what he is going to create next!