Archive for June, 2011

Work, work, work… with Rita Andreeva

June 17, 2011

How Does Anyone Get a Real Education Around Here?

“I was happy enough not to get that full time boring job I was interviewing for, after all. I registered for as many credits I could possibly register for for summer quarter. I went to see the college IT manager to get some paperwork signed. I turned it two long forms with a whole bunch of classes I somehow took in the last year, that probably would have filled in someone else’s few years of work. I asked her, “Say, if I wanted to get more… eh… in depth… more like academic, like, more advanced, what other major should I add to my two majors, because I feel like I’m not getting, you know, enough, like the stuff is very beginner, and what do I do to transfer to like UW and …..” 
She looked at me with forbearance. That word again? What’s up with that? I mean, how does anyone get real education around here?
“…. Do I apply to UW for like Computer Science or what? Oh… sorry about that hole in my registration form – my cat bit it. You see, my cat is really smart, she knows that this long form means me not being home much with her…. Sorry… She’s just really smart…”
“No problem,” Lisa quickly signed both forms and pushed them to me across her desk. There were oldies playing in the background. “You have a nice cat.” – Rita

Photo by Carl Nelson


Work, work, work… with Rita Andreeva

June 16, 2011

Rita in the Forest


“After work I used to drive to the mountains past North Bend. I had a favorite spot there. That was before they made a rule that you can’t go there.
There was a spot in the mountains that I went to every day it was clear. I sat there and looked at the sky. 
I made friends with a couple of cougars that lived there. After a while they let me know they were there and that they wouldn’t hurt me. So I would come there and say Hi to the cougars and look at the sky. The couple of cougars sat on a ledge about 10-20 feet up. The first time I saw them I got very scared, but then I kept coming back, I don’t know why, and we reached an understanding: the cougars were my friends, it was like back in time when I was a kid. I feel like I am still a kid.”


"Some time later I was resting in the woods. I looked up and saw a man, he was very pale with very dark hair, he just appeared among the trees."

“I would walk down a path. I’d come to a canyon and follow the side. Deep down there is a creek meandering. I am walking along a very narrow path. There are huge trees and my little path is so narrow. The path goes into the woods. I’m getting scared because it’s getting dark. Suddenly there is a horse riding down the path. The rider stops and says, “Get on.”
The rider reaches out to me, I grab his hand and he pulls me on the horse. 
It gets darker. I hold on. The horse gallops. We get to a cabin in the woods, we get off the horse. The rider tells me to go inside. 
The cabin is very cozy. I sit down and listen to the conversation.
I guess I am kind of shallow, because I can’t follow the conversation.
The man that brought me comes in.
I am trying to remember, trying to understand.
I am very sleepy, but I want to understand what happened.
I am sitting on a bear rug, I am trying to understand where I was.
This is so strange. I know exactly what happened, but anytime I’m trying to get any kind of a location, I lose my memory.”

Photo by Carl Nelson of Professional Model

Work, work, work… with Rita Andreeva

June 15, 2011

As a Child, Rita Loved to Wander Alone

The Woods of Russia

When I was a kid in Russia my mom believed I needed to spend time in the country. I did, I did. My mom rented a room for me and my grandma in Zelenogorsk, north of St. Petersburg, for the summer. She came down on weekends.

There were woods, mountains and swamps, and the best part – I was allowed to go alone in the woods! Now, that must seem unbelievable to people like us in the present. It even seemed unbelievable to me when I got back to the city in the fall. I would go in the woods in the morning and came back in the evening. It was like a full-time job. Of course, there were no cell phones then, no way of knowing if something happened.

Everyone trusted me more with being in the woods alone than with someone. Once my grandma’s friend invited us to go hiking with her, then she got us lost in the swamp. We ended up in the middle of a huge swamp, we had to cross this creek about 6′ wide, that looked very shallow with a nice sandy bottom, and my grandma’s friend said, “We can walk right across.” But I shook my head and stuck my walking stick into the creek, and the stick was sucked out of my hand like by a powerful vacuum cleaner. I said, “If we have to get across, that would be the way,” and I pointed to a skinny tree crossing the creek, which was obviously a quicksand. My grandma and her friend felt real stupid. We crossed the creek on the tree I suggested, and from then on no one ever doubted my abilities to walk in the woods alone.

One weekend when my mom came over we went hiking. It was hot, so after a while we stopped to rest, I wanted to go explore while my grandma rested. My mom came with. We walked just a little bit into the woods and stopped at this huge funnel. There was a lake at the bottom and moss and young fir trees (christmas trees) surrounding the funnel. We were standing at the top looking down. My mom suddenly felt very scared and said, “Let’s get out of here.”
I said, “Why? It is so pretty.”
My mom said, “Don’t move. Turn around.”
I looked at her incredulously, but did as she asked.

Mom left back to the city the next day and I went back to that place in the woods. I knew exactly where it was, I walked up, down, sideways, but the lake didn’t exist. Not even a dent in the ground.

Next weekend when my mom came over I told her, “That lake, it disappeared.”
I could hardly believe what my mom said, she said, “Good.”

I thought about it later, and I saw many strange things in those woods. I walked for 20 miles through the woods and came out at another train station, and I haven’t found that lake again. I figured it out – it was a doorway to a parallel dimension. My mom didn’t want me to go there because she knew what it was. If I went there, I couldn’t come back. But something lingered, something wanted me there.

Some time later I was resting in the woods. I looked up and saw a man, he was very pale with very dark hair, he just appeared among the trees. I knew that humans were dangerous, so I jumped up and ran. I ran very fast, I didn’t stop until I was among houses and civilization.

I would run away from a person, because a guy in the woods means trouble, just like anywhere. So I couldn’t talk to a humanoid in the woods. The contact I made was not human. I was picking berries around a large stump and suddenly I heard something. I stood up and stared into the face of the biggest viper. (Viper is like a rattle snake, but doesn’t rattle, and it’s black with light diamonds on the back, but bigger and more poisonous). I stood up and was only about 6 inches away from viper’s face. First I was enthralled by the beauty of the snake. Now, this is the weirdest thing ever: I see this big fat snake curled up on a stump, I know it is stupid to move, so I just stand there. This is where it gets really weird: the snake starts talking to me. Telepathically. Somehow I understand, so I talk to it. Snake asks me, “Who are you?”
I reply, “I am a child. I go to school.”
Snake says, “I know what child is. What is School?”
I try to explain, “We have 40 kids in a class. We do math and spelling and…”
The snake is asking lots of questions, and I keep babbling on, explaining.
Then the snake says, “Make one step to the left, I don’t want to hurt you.”
I make a step to the left.
The huge snake unravels itself, jumps and plops on the ground where I was standing. It is truly huge, at least 6 feet long.
I run back to my mom and tell her what happened. Mom and the grandma both seem weird for a minute, like they don’t understand anything. I shake my head and keep walking.

It was understood that I must go in the woods and everyone must leave me alone. I loved that freedom. No one bothered me ever again.” – Rita

Photo by Carl Nelson

Work, work, work… with Rita Andreeva

June 3, 2011

Rita Develops the Power to Predict Earthquakes

Okay, this is a flood, not an earthquake. But it's the best I can do.

“They started about 2-3 months ago: I’d get a headache in the same spot in the right temple any time there is an earthquake a certain magnitude or a certain distance away. I didn’t connect them at first. Then I realized I had that weird headache for a couple of days before the big Japan earthquake and then during CA earthquake. 
Today I woke up with such a headache, but it wasn’t real bad. So my first thought was it wouldn’t be big or too close. Well, when I got home I looked up earthquakes today and there were 3: a 6.3 in Japan and a small one in CA. Then it said there were 2 more in CA an hour ago. Now, both me and my cat were feeling weird and nervous: she wouldn’t eat and sits in the hallway by the door – the safest place to be. I looked up online again: a small earthquake an hour ago NE of Enumclaw. My cat refuses to leave the hallway. I am charging my camera, just in case.”  – Rita

Photo by Carl Nelson

Work, work, work… with Rita Andreeva

June 1, 2011

Rita Needs a Job!

From Where She Is, Rita Can See Bottom

but Finds the Interview Tough Sledding.

 “Finally, my first IT interview with a big company. The recruiter assured me that it’s a very good entry level job. So I go to the interview. The address was 605 5th Ave. I find a building with 500-something address, the next one is 625. Where the hell is 605? I walked back and forth between the 2 buildings, the situation hasn’t changed. I noticed the 500-something building had Specialty Bakery in it, so I went in and got a latte and a pastry. Then I walked outside and noticed that there was a building hiding behind the 625 building. Then I saw a delivery guy rolling a cart toward me. So I asked him if he knew where 605 building was. He said he didn’t know. “What company are you looking for?” he asked. “Cobalt Group,” I said. “I think it’s in there,” he pointed to the nameless numberless building hiding behind the 625 one. So I went in looking lost, dazed and confused. The guy at the information desk asked me what I was looking for. “Cobalt Group,” I replied. “Well, you’re in the right place then. Go up to the top floor.”
At the top floor the receptionist had me sign in, I couldn’t help noticing that there were people signing in every 10 minutes all day to see that Mary person I was to see. I barely signed in as someone behind me said, “Rita?” I turned around. “Hi, I am Mary, follow me.” I followed her to a tiny room no bigger than a broom closet, even though the floor plan was very spacious. Another woman manager in a gray business suite joined us at the door of this closet. There was a little cheap table and three chairs inside. “Did you have any trouble finding us?” the non-Mary woman asked. “As a matter fact I did,” I provided happily, “There was a 500-something building, and then a 625 building, but no 605 building…” The women glanced at me with what would be best described as forbearance and motioned to one of the chairs. I sat. The non-Mary woman asked me, “So what have you done as far as web design?” I waved at my resume and said, “What it says, and I’d love to show you… Oops, there is no computer here, so, I guess, I can’t show you… How come you don’t have a computer here?”
The non-Mary woman shook her head, kind of like my cat does when I give her nutritious food without carbs to try, and shot a series of questions at me:
“Do you know html?”
” Do you know css?”
” Do you know Flash?”
“Do I know Flash! I make cartoons all the time! Did you see those I….” I realized they didn’t see anything. “Yes.”
Then Mary took over and asked me what I thought the job would entail. I was very happy to answer that question: “You have to build many websites quick, and to put in content and images provided to me in all those websites.”
“Would you mind if the job might be a bit boring and repetitive?” Mary asked.
“Why, not at all. I mean, you pay. If it were a real interesting job it would have probably been advertised as an internship with no pay.”
“Do you have any questions for us?”
I didn’t really have any. A boring job is a boring job. But I had to ask something. So I asked, “Is this building earthquake proof?”
They both hurried to assure me that it was.
My recruiter sent me a very angry email later: “You made me look real bad! They said you went on forever about how hard it was to find the building, how small the room was and without a computer, and you kept fidgeting, and then, when you were supposed to ask something about the job, you asked if the building was earthquake proof!”
Surprisingly, I didn’t get the job. I sent an email back to the recruiter: “Sorry, I don’t think they had any reason to complain, for you sent them qualified people. They didn’t even care what I could do, they didn’t even look at my websites. Obviously it’s one of those situations where there is a basic personality incompatability, and probably a discrimination as well, because, what if I had a fear of heights… Because all the reasons they bitched about didn’t have anything to do with my ability to do the job, they were all very superficial…” She didn’t reply. Guess she is still mad at me. I hope she didn’t get in trouble for sending me over.”  – Rita

Photo by Carl Nelson

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