The Power of the Dark Side

I make mayonnaise from scratch, and I stash the leftover egg white into a ziploc bag, adding them in one by one over time, and updating the number with a Sharpie. Yesterday, I decided to organize both the box freezer and the small one above the refrigerator, and as a result, unearthed massive amounts of [...]

Oct 302010
Howard's End

When I arrived in the U.S. in the late eighties, the culture shock was much more intense than I had anticipated. I guess if it weren’t, they wouldn’t call it “culture shock.” The first movie my ex-husband took me to see was Howard the Duck. (A couple of months earlier I suggested Paris, Texas with [...]

You Can Go Home if You Have the Dough

Our family car was a bright orange Russian-made Lada which stood packed since the early hours of the morning with several suitcases holding the beginnings of my new life in the big city. Tucked neatly and methodically around them, using every inch of available space in the trunk with a Tetris-like precision were checkered linen [...]

Oct 222010
Finding Dorie

My sister Ljiljana (also known as Schwester Lily by her colleagues and patients of the Frankfurt (Germany) hospital where she works) and her husband Thomas are on a scuba-diving vacation in the Philippines. If I did not simply adore her, I would have been insanely jealous of her traipsing around the world. But this way, [...]

Oct 202010
Ain't No Sunshine

The last week of September, while the rest of the country was busy raking leaves, cleaning out chimneys, and taking out sweaters and boots preparing to welcome the imminent arrival of Autumn, the air in Southern California was set on fire. The AC units which were in hibernation throughout the summer came to life grunting [...]

Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair

In April of 2008, we decided to move to California. Losing our house to a foreclosure became a certainty after months of trying to make up for the lost income. Our Serbian friends Dragana and Milan moved to Orange County two years before us, and put a lot of effort into convincing us that relocating [...]

Oct 122010
Anya Saves the Day

Today was not a good day. I knew it when the phone rang the night before, right when we were finishing our dinner of grilled ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes, and mushroom and leek gravy. I knew it as I climbed into the car to go to work. I knew it when I met my manager’s [...]

Oct 122010
Getting the Boot

June 15th 1982, I was standing in line at the University of Belgrade School of Languages waiting to enroll in French as a double major (I had already been accepted in the English program). A curly-haired woman wearing really thick glasses looked at me and said, “Dear, everybody who has applied has had at least [...]

Where Have All the Flours Gone?

The calendar boldly states that Autumn is in full blast. The orange of  pumpkins is splashed all around me, at supermarkets, farmers markets, in front of the stores, on tresholds and in yards. But I live in Southern California and the summer does not seem willing to yield. I yearn for the steady patter of [...]

Angela vs. the Windmills

“Every night, just before you close your eyes and drift off to sleep, rewind your day and think about it. Ask yourself questions: What did I learn? Whom did I help? In which way did I make myself a better person? Will my day have an impact, no matter how minuscule, on the world?” I [...]

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