Potato Salad Post

Because it’s got a whole variety of things going on in it! So last week I talked about angels instead of actually updating. But I’d already gone on about my braces and that was really the big thing last week. Because I’m apparently not even worth Wal Mart calling me back, I’ve been spending ten hours a day four days a week in Urbana — three hours with Dr. George working on a music and sound effects essay, three hours nursing a $1 ice coffee at Tim Hortons, and three hours at work. (The tenth hour is drivetime.) Maybe someday I will have a job that takes more than three hours of my time at a time. (Really wouldn’t mind a ten-hour day if it actually consisted of actual work.) Sorry, I’ve been really angry this week. I’ll try to be lighter. Umm . . . Work has actually been fairy busy. I’ve been sorting items and making list, mainly archival materials and Swedenborg rare books, to determine what is already in the collection, etc. Also sorting out the end-of-semester business with the LOCI patrons, ILL, etc. That chick finally brought the book back, ugh. Not many people come in–the busiest was 5 people over the three hours–but I get a lot done. Have to sit down one of these days and straighten out the statistics I forgot to keep.

The other big news is from last week and something I hadn’t actually covered, so I’ll catch up now. I have finally been confirmed for my rooms at the Folger. After a month of madness, it is finally, certainly in. This was some incredibly maddening stuff from the get-go; I was going to delete this post when I put it up, but now I don’t want to lost those emails because it’s the sort of thing I know I’ll want to go back to someday. Plus I went through all the trouble of formatting them. So I can read my entire correspondence with the registrar here; the password is “crazy.” That way you can tell if I’m exaggerating the trouble with this guy or not. Anyhow, I’m incredibly excited about my one-bedroom apartment come August. Only 75 days to go!

Actually that’s been it this week. Finally watched Taken 2 with my parents. Been watching stacks of Gordon Ramsay; there’s not a whole lot going on and it’s comfortable to watch him fix other people’s miserable and out of control lives. I want to make a supercut of all his inspiring speeches and listen to it nonstop. Other than that, other than my being angry half the time, it’s been a better week than most lately and May has been gentler than April. Sunday is Episode I and Episode III’s 14th and 8th birthdays, respectively. Now the rest of this post, abruptly, will be about Nicholas II. Thank you, Pinterest.

Nicholas II with Alexei, 1913

Nicholas II with Alexei, 1913

Tomorrow is Nicholas II’s birthday, and March 27 was the 400th anniversary of Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov being crowned tsar in 1613 (or 7121 by the ancient Russian calender; fun fact: the Russian calender, which Peter ‘the Great’ forced them to switch out for the Europeanized Julian calender in 1700, was supposed to have been calculated since the creation of the world, or anno mundi. This would suggest that the current year is 7521, but the Jewish calender suggests 5773).

Nicholas II in 1898

Nicholas II in 1898

Nicholas II would have been 145 years old this year, but the last birthday he observed was 50, in 1918 almost two months to the day before being shot with his family. He expressed surprise in his diary that he had reached that age; his father was 49 when he died. Here’s a picture of him at the age of thirty, in 1898. Of course, he wouldn’t have survived to 145 even if he hadn’t been shot by revolutionaries, but just to think . . . if he had matched the oldest documented woman, Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122 years old, he would’ve died in 1990! She was a little younger than he was, born in 1875 and dying in 1997. If  he’d lived to 1997, he would’ve been 129. Interestingly, he once described in his diary an encounter with a 130-year-old Russian peasant woman who talked about her memories of Napoleon’s march on Moscow in 1812. So if he’d lived as long as she had, he would’ve died when I was 14! Of course, I wouldn’t have cared who he was because if he’d lived that long, Russia would either be just another constitutional monarchy with a useless kingly figurehead, or he’d just be some Russian emigre living in Canada that I wouldn’t be interested in. I didn’t just pull Canada out at random; there’s evidence that the British government was trying to put together a safe place for the Romanovs to live in Canada — it was Nicholas’ wish to start farming — and his sister Olga died in that country in 1960.

You know my fascination with dates, though. But I’ll get off that topic and share with you something very special I found just in time for the occasion: voice recording of Nicholas II. That’s right! In the recording below, you can hear him saying, “Братцы! Спасибо вам за полный парад! Спасибо, братцы, вам за отличное ученье!”

The parade recorded here (the stills and video are to other occasions) was appropriately for the birthday of the Sovereign; it was of His Imperial Majesty’s separate Grenadier Corps commanded by Lieutenant-General Baron von Eck Eduard Vladimirovich.

0:01-0:04: Lt. Gen. E. V. Eck: “Listen to (inaudible)! Brothers! I drink to the health of our dear Sovereign Leader Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich! Hurrah!”

0:05-1:02: Orchestra plays the national anthem of the Russian Empire.

0:39-0:41: The child here must be Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich.

1:03-1:12: Lt. Gen. E. V. Eck: “To the ceremonial march – rifle on his shoulder! Quick march!”

1:13-1:48: Orchestra plays a Kroup military march, “Homesickness.”

1:49-1:53. Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich: “Brothers! Thank you for the full parade!”

2:08-2:13: Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich: “Thank you, brothers, for a excellent apprenticeship!”