Posts Tagged ‘books’


Humiliation is the sport of the petty

Helen Simonson, The Summer Before The War

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Saturday was rather annoying. I’ve procrastinated long enough, then was sick, then had to buy a rug (another, not less irritating, story – maybe later) – and suddenly, the February is almost over! So I had to man up, brace up and face the Taxes.

¡Mira, panowie! Turbotax  is beyond belief. Because of one measly 1099-MISC I was forced to file as “self-employed”, and in addition to normal income taxes pay another half-a-thou as “self-employment tax”! Is it something new IRS invented this year?  Since when supplemental freelance gigs, accompanying a solid W2 is considered full-blown “business”? And did you know that Medicare and SS “wages and tips”as basis for namesakes taxes are calculated before your voluntary deductions, unlike your Gross? And the not-insignificant Medicare/SS taxes are not counted into your Federal tax paid – so even though your every paycheck is diminished by 1/4 of it’s worth by taxes, your annual federal obligation demonstrates underpayment? That’s what I call Creative Accounting!

So, not surprisingly, I went to bed in a foul mood, had nightmares all night (sinuses being choked up is no help either) and woke up at 5am. What to do, what to do? Opened my Kindle with latest download of Murder: British Library Classic:  a story by Gerald Findler, titled House of Screams. And I read:


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a space of constant insecurity.

John Self wrote an insightful review to a new Pushkin Press book of essays (two of them) about L’vov.

Must be a good companion to Lem. Adding it to my “to buy” list.

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Simon Brett

Читаю уже третью книжку  – и нравится всё больше.


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внезапно (ага) оформилось – что мне смутно напоминали жж-юзерицы mbla и mrka? –  да сестричек же Эльзу и Лиличку. география с идеологией, ну и ещё множество более тонких сходств

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esl…and Brits, once again, showed themselves to be condescending xenophobic snobs.
I’ve encountered this imperial-patronizing-a-colonial attitude when came on a 1-week visit 8 years ago. And here they go again. Just listen to this:

“Based on participations [sic! Dude, how about your English grammar? -ETat]- so far, we’ve already got some decent statistics. Most native English adult speakers who have taken the test fall in the range 20,000–35,000 words. Click here for a full breakdown by age (opens in new tab/window).

And for foreign learners of English, we’ve found that the most common vocabulary size is from 2,500–9,000 words.”

Just look at the choices they offer to a question “Which option best describe your English learning?”

-I am taking an English class now

-I’ve taken English before but stopped

-All my school classes are/were in English

-I’ve learned without taking a course


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Rainy Sunday

Too lazy today to go through my weekend checklist; there are some days you just give in to sloth.
Сырники  and my plum jam for breakfast (and then again for brunch…), finishing the long-winded French novel, for once competently translated (y Hoyt Rogers)- all those strange turns of phrase and endless sentimental passages  reasonable enough for the premise and the story to be believable, to relay the fragrance and tone of time.


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