Friday, February 02, 2007

Winding down…

Victoria Makhota, the hottest model in Belarus
It's a clear day today. A lot of snow still on the ground. I wouldn't say that we had a blizzard over the last week or so, but it was a lot of snow. When the plows came through they piled it up in banks along the side of the road, and then the next morning the city guys and grandmothers and drunks came out and shoveled it away from driveways and walkways. Where people decided to make their own roads there were choppy footpaths with watery bottoms. I saved two people from falling through those.

It has not been freezing constantly, but rather has been going over and under so the water turns to ice at the bottom, and hard and crusty where cars have driven through. Absolutely terrible biking weather. I have been relegated to the indoors all this week.

While inside I have been staring down the site. It is pretty much presentable, at least for a start. There is a lot of empty space in there that I hope gets filled up by folks who want to sell things or wish to draw some attention to themselves or their cause. I am thinking at least moderately commercial. There are some services in there, the sorts of things I have been doing for people since I have been here, and some stuff about Bikes and folks who are in the business, but other than that it is about Belarus and Poland. The first as a positive thing: an interesting location and a legitimate culture worthy of being explored and appreciated for what it is. The latter, well, just the bad stuff of course. I want my satisfaction and I haven’t forgotten anything yet. This May 15th will be the fifth anniversary. Should there be a party? Is it a happy occasion?

While going through the site I had a chance to do some reading from the book "Being Had". I still think it is a good read. That first chapter is pretty interesting actually; There is a place in there where I sort of took a left turn, or maybe a step back and tried to explain some things about mny motivations and thinking and where it all came from. At first the move struck me as harsh, but then when I got to the end of it, I felt that the point was a bit firmer, the motivation a little clearer. It felt good to me at least. One doesn't have to agree with my sentiments, or even my reasoning really, but I think that the point gets made.

The court case is set up pretty well too. It is long winded though and I still need to get a lot of the notes straightened out. There is a lot of information. A lot of that material from the case, and I am not speaking of the essays I wrote here but rather Zaremba and his testimonies, that they were specifically made long so that people would not be interested I reading the whole thing. But then again, we are speaking of court documents and so of course there would be a lot of words to sift through. In other words, I don't think I am being gratuitously boring by including such things; I am just making a point.

But the most fun I had was hunting down pictures of Viktoria Makhota, the girl from Minsk who came in second place in the Ford Modeling Agency's Supermodel of the Year competition. Belarus came in first last year and it has been nothing but a source of great national pride to have been in the running two years in a row. And what a beauty she is too! The point of the search was that I made a page devoted to Belarusian beauty. Not only girls per se, also art, architecture, landscape, athletics- basically all kinds of photography devoted to things both beautiful and Belarusian. Couldn't possibly have thought of a better first subject than Miss Makhota. I also found some other models who hail from Belarus as well. I guess they make them like this here. I am calling the section "Page Three". Sorry, no gratuitous nudity, just some nice color and form for the eyes.

But like I said it is all not really completely complete. There is still a lot of gray space left. But then again, I am not opening a TGI Friday's here. I am not pretending to be an old familiar place which has already been built up and decorated by friends. But I think it looks ok. Not really flashy; kind of Belarusian if you ask me. My friend Sasha had a look and told me it looks cozy. I like that. And I hope it is going to be a place that people ill like to come and stay for a while- and more importantly, would like to help build up. This includes the advocacy page. That's aimed at doing something about Polish corruption which, if you have been following the news, hasn't slowed down all that much since they have bought the right to be called Europe. Nor has that title kept anyone from running away.

And speaking of Europe, I am doing
a survey asking whether or not Europe really is necessary for Belarus. I mean, I can see where the sharks are circling, but from the inside perspective, is it really needed to have them come in after all Belarus has been through trying to keep them out? Is it really impossible to do it from the inside?

So this is what is going on. I have spent many hours in the chair this week and not enough time in the saddle or on the lake or even just walking around town. I will be happy when the doors are open and I can stop thinking about building and start thinking about managing, which to me is a lot more fun. Not so solitary anyway.

Look for all of this in the beginning of next week.

Have a good weekend.

More soon…