The One Lovely Blog Award

Hello, peRUS’ers! (Wow! Haven’t used that one in a while.)

It appears I am the recipient of the One Lovely Blog Award. No, I wasn’t called out directly, but one of my friends and fellow bloggers was, and I read the announcement on her site and it said if I was reading this and had a blog, I could consider myself nominated. Though this blog is definitely “one”, I’m not sure it could be called “lovely” (more like neutral with occasional leanings toward ranty). But since I’m such a greedy attention-seeker I’m going to accept the award anyway.


(I’d like to thank my family, my readers, the RAS faculty, my dog Byron, my FSB handlers…)

The first part of the award involves nominating other bloggers. I’m not aware of the formal rules to the One Lovely Blog Award, and whether you can nominate only one blogger or several, so I’d like to nominate three blogs: Katherine’s Street Russian, Natylie Baldwin’s Blog and Olga’s blogs have been helpful in many ways, be it with practicing my Russian, Russia-watching and analysis, or learning what’s going on in the wider Bookosphere. Keep up the great work ladies and I wish you many more years of happy blogging!

The next part involves sharing random facts about yourself. I don’t know if there’s a specific number, so I’ll do seven. Here are some random things you probably didn’t know about me:

  1. I can open doors with my feet. Don’t ask me how I do it, why I do it, or why I felt the need to learn it. Let’s just say I get bored sometimes.
  2. My favorite books are Sirius by Olaf Stapledon, The Great Frustration by Seth Fried, and 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke.
  3. As a kid, I used to breed insects as a hobby! Shield-backed katydids, to be exact. My favorite thing to do was to catch fiery red katydids and cross them with the mottled gray ones to get insects with a copper back and gray underside. I continue to hold a fascination with insects now and refuse to step on them or kill them if I can help it.
  4. I was voted “most likely to become president” and “most likely to take over the world” in the mock-superlative Students’ Choice Awards (2011? 2012?). Be afraid. Be very afraid. 🙂
  5. I love Border collies! I’ve lived and worked alongside these intelligent creatures for almost two decades.
  6. My end goal in Russian studies is to become an analyst. Seeing that those chances are slim, though, I’d happily settle for a translator position, translating much-needed Russian material into English for the academic community.
  7. Aside from studying Russia and critiquing books, I also do a lot of drawing, comics and concept art. Occasionally, I write. I’ve created approx. thirty distinct characters and one incredibly fleshed out universe, but haven’t had the time or opportunity to build a story around my ideas yet.


  1. Ah, shucks. It’s so sweet of you to nominate me. Thanks! And congratulations on your own cool blog. I will try to write a blog post nominating some other blogs and exposing some embarrassing secrets about myself in the next couple of days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • About being an analyst- why do you think your chances are slim? Is there a lot of competition for such work? Seems like a lot of government organizations would be eager to have someone with your knowledge on their team.


      • Behold! The wall of text!
        For several reasons, the first being that jobs at think tanks specifically geared toward Russia are few and far between, and when you do find one, getting the job will require that you bring along some assets: internships, Russian proficiency, a Master’s degree, field experience from living in Russia for a couple years, connections, etc. That’s a lot of stuff! And yes, the market (for analysts/poli scientists) can be very competitive.
        Second, I think the fall of the USSR and the emergence of the US as the only superpower have led to a new attitude of…well, arrogance in Washington DC. The conventional wisdom says that now Russia is a declining power that “doesn’t make anything”, “acts out of weakness” and “where no one wants to live”, while the US is “indispensable”, “exceptional” and standing “taller than other nations.” Based on those statements above, I’m not sure I could find work with the government. It seems as though people think such Russia expertise is not even necessary for a successful American policy. I want to work towards more cooperation between the US and Russia, but how can I do that if I’m not wanted?
        Third, the resources and positions once available to scholars/students of Russia are now being moved to other areas of perceived US interests (ex. Terrorism/Middle Eastern Studies, human rights promotion, combating China.)
        And fourth, I don’t think policymakers would want to hire a person like me. They’d likely want to hire an analyst who’ll tell them what they want to hear – that Russia is declining and that we needn’t worry about it or, conversely, that Putin is a monster and Russia is a threat to world peace, so we should increase military spending and NATO presence to contain Russia. I know I sound super cynical here…but my research indicates neither of those things are completely true.
        However, translation is interesting, fun, and is projected to have a 26% increase in job opportunities by 2024! (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m glad you accepted my award! 😉 And I agree with everything you said in your comment to Katherine about getting an analyst position. I had to be negative, but it’s nearly impossible to get such a position, unfortunately. 😦 I speak from personal experience here. I fled to the business world and that’s where I am now…

    Liked by 2 people

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