Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

04 Dec 2001, 13:06 p.m.

I recorded my rendition of Krasnaya Shapochka (Little Red Riding…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I recorded my rendition of Krasnaya Shapochka (Little Red Riding Hood) this morning. If you knew me, you'd predict that I would use silly voices. But I didn't, really. Jeff and Sean, on the other hand, are each a regular Robin Williams these days. Jeff and Sean, I think, aren't silly enough in their everyday lives, so they have very few outlets and therefore their silliness comes across potently in the silly voices and plots they use for Russian class exercises.

We've been reading and translating humorous Russian anecdotes for the past few days. The relevant story for today: our narrator comes across a woman who's almost drowned, and urges action, but for every action he suggests (e.g., artificial respiration, calling a doctor), the nearby fat man says that it would be useless. In bewilderment and anger, the narrator finally says to him that he would care more if he thought of this woman as, perhaps, someone's wife. "What do you mean?" he replies. "She is someone's wife -- mine!"

Our instructor set up the silliness by assigning to Jeff the role of the pessimist, and to Sean that of the optimist, in a conversation about a putative stain on Jeff's pants.

"Oh, what an awful stain. And there's nothing to be done about it. These pants are ruined."
"No, no! We can go to the laundromat. And, while the pants are washing, we can have a good conversation!"
"No, I don't want to go to the laundromat. It's too far and too expensive. And look, the stain will never come out."
"Well, what kind of stain is it?"
"It's ketchup. And look, it's the red ketchup and that new green ketchup, too. I look like Christmas. And I'm Jewish."
"That's okay. I love Christmas and I love the Jews. Hey, let's go to Israel!"
"No, I don't want to go to Israel."

Jeff later mentioned that he doesn't like Israel, but he was very quick to add, half-panicked, that he only dislikes the weather because it's too hot for his taste. Sure, Jeff. Sure.