It's funny what you pick up about foreign languages as an opera-goer: from German operas I've learned to say, "Beware!" and "Stay back!" and "You are lost!" From Italian operas I've learned to say, "I can stand no more!" "Help me!" and "I am alone, lost, and abandoned!" All of these have plentiful uses in what we laughingly call "the real world." From Russian works I have so far learned one word: Slava! or Glory!, which was the general exclamation around here when my darling god-daughter Marin, who has been in Moscow for several years showing the natives that not all Americans are obese imperialists, finally started her blog about Russia. She's been added to the blogroll. I can claim credit for at least one entry title: I was the one who thoughtlessly assumed (years ago) that everyone knew (SPOILER ALERT!) that a certain Tolstoy heroine throws herself under a train. Apparently it did not help that I explained that said act was not the end of the book, since there remained fifty pages of Levin getting cranky, which is what everyone reads the novel for anyway.
Another Slava! occasion is that at long last I have a new computer at home, thanks to my godson who told me what to buy. As he was setting it up he reprimanded me for plugging everything into the wall rather than a surge protector. I pointed out that he was the one who had plugged everything in, long ago. Of course he was around 13 then. I bought that first computer about seven years ago, and computer years are like dog years, and mine had reached the "we love it but it's peeing all over the carpet and that tumor is going to cost a month's salary for removal" stage. So I have a new one, and soon I will put down this buggy whip long enough to switch to DSL rather than dial-up. I'm also told I'm not supposed to turn this computer off, so it sits here poised for action, and when it's in sleep mode I see a Gatsbyesque green light blinking at me from across the room.