Sunday, February 8, 2015


Just like writing and drawing, music has become a huge part of my life to help me get through certain times and events. Last winter, when I was going through a very difficult time of my life, I came across a song posted on Facebook by a friend of mine. Out of curiosity I clicked on the link and listen to it. The song was by a metal band I had never heard before and was heavier than anything I had listened to. Prior to that, I only listened to pop and dance music; no rock, no metal, as the Russian in me thought that those genres were only for ‘crazy, weird Americans’. In my mind, metal and rock music was all about abuse, cruelty, drugs, screaming and yelling out lyrics that no one could understand. And there I was, listening to a metal song filled with beautiful, meaningful lyrics and a full range of instrumental, symphonic tunes (I later learned that the band was indeed a ‘symphonic metal’ band). Looking back at that accidental occurrence, I can say that it was a true life changer. All the worries, pain and sadness of the last winter were accompanied by the songs of the same and other similar bands. All of a sudden, I could relate to the lyrics and feel that someone, somewhere is or was going through something similar.

Since the last winter, the range of my favorite bands has definitely grown; however, the direction of my music preferences remained the same. What surprised me the most in the beginning stages of my new musical preferences, was that I started meeting more and more interesting people with the same taste in music. Coming from my home country, where a little deviation from social standards (in this case, the standard being pop music) pretty much makes you a freak, this was a huge revelation. I am happy I entered this world of incredible musical talent, as it is mostly the rock/metal bands that try to keep their creations as close to live performances as possible (meaning, the majority of them are opposed to using the so-called ‘Pro Tools’ focusing on playing the real instruments).

This year I decided to focus on attending live concerts at every opportunity I get. To date, I already saw two great performances (one of which was dubbed an ‘unusual choice’ by my cousin in Russia), and I am definitely planning on seeing more. If going to the concerts makes me incredibly happy and inspired, why not try to continue the trend?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Philadelphia Auto Show

Auto show 2015 – a huge hall filled with the newest (and oldest, and everything in between) cars, showcased by numerous car brands. This was the second auto show I have seen since our move to the U.S. What a difference! The first time we went, I believe was our first year here. It was interesting, but after a couple of hours, when my stepdad, a notorious car lover, was only beginning to enjoy the show, my mom and I got tired and quite honestly a bit bored from looking at loads and loads of heavy machinery. Fast forward 7 years into 2015 and there we were, all equally engaged and curious to see who put out the best car models. It's interesting how our interests have changed in the course of our living in this new home country. I couldn't be more grateful for all the opportunities and the variety of events and activities we have access to now. Whether it's auto shows, flower shows, rock converts or the opera, art galleries and museums – all of these different engagements present something new and help us grow and aspire to learn and see more.