Sunday, April 22, 2012

The story of “The Static Tones” in interview with the guitarist Chris Dehlbom

Chris Dehlbom: “A lot of times what makes up the band is the guys, not necessarily the music. And it takes a community to make a band big.”

Left to right: Ian Nelson, Chris Dehlbom, Josh Nelson, Ronnie Ross. Photo by Steven Sturges/Courtesy

I met with the guitarist of a Coeur d’Alene indie/alternative rock band The Static Tones Chris Dehlbom, 22, Coeur d’Alene on March, 15 in the Kroc center lobby.
Our conversation dwelt on the forming of the band and their ambitions.
Chris appeared to be a fun company and the interview took shape of an entertaining and at the same time meaningful  chat full of jokes and laughter.

Q: “What is your music about in general? Is there any specific message you are trying to bring to the public?”
Dehlbom looks aside thoughtfully and proceeds framing his answer with care: “Every song is different. But usually we don’t promote ignorance of any sort. We don’t like people judging people for no reason. We like people to be open when they judge. Just things that we think that need to be changed. We have songs about moral decay. We have songs about people being fake for profit. We have songs about break-ups, what I would call just regular songs. It is whatever Josh [the singer who writes the lyrics for the band] is feeling….”
Q: “So far one of you most memorable, I would say, songs is ‘Death on High Heels’. Did you have a specific person or a situation in mind writing the song?”
Dehlbom bursts into laughter: “Oh, yes! It’s about Josh’s girlfriend, and how he feels about her. I don’t really know a lot. I think it’s a Josh question. All I know is that it is about his girlfriend. And obviously he likes her a lot. But still it is really interesting imagery of blood and death, I know.”
Q:  “So how long the band has existed? “
Dehlbom: “The other guys started in January of last year and I joined in March. So about a year, not too long.”
Q: “Before you joined in the band did they have another guitarist playing with them?”
Dehlbom: “No, that was just Josh before me and then I joined.”
Q:  “How do the guys feel about the change in your music after your coming in?”
Dehlbom: “They really like it as far as I know. They keep telling me they like it. I believe them.”
Q: “Can you tell me more, how did the idea of starting the band come to your mind? And who was actually the person to come up with the idea?”
Dehlbom: “Well, that is actually a long story. When I was in high school the singer and I had the band called ‘Borderline’. We didn’t do too many big shows, only like 2 or 3 and we played at school lunges a lot. But…” Chris pauses and keeps on with a laugh, “We weren’t that good.  He was the bassist back in instead of the guitarist.”
Q: “And you?”
Dehlbom: “And I was the guitarist and the singer. And then we had a drummer and a keyboardist. And…” he lingers on the words. “It was a good learning experience. It takes a long time to figure out how to play an instrument with other people. That was the first band for us. It took us a while to figure out. And then we got it! The music was very simple, very pop rock… Not that good. And then in summer our drummer eventually quit. Actually no, we fired him.” He laughs sprightly.
Q: “Fired?”
Dehlbom: “He was considered one of the 3 top drummers in the state of Idaho. He was an amazing drummer. But it got to his head, and he became really mean about it,” his voice losses lightheartedness and face takes serious expression. “He would never want to practice. Or when we had a show he would never want to move his drum set, so we had to find a drum set for him somewhere and then bring it back. And we just got to the point where he wasn’t worth that any more. So we fired him. Our current bassist became our drummer for a while and we changed our name to ‘Black Friday’. It was the time when the road towards The Static Tones began, because then we started paying more attention to style,” he emphasizes the last word.”Both Josh and I went to singing. We changed it more to…” he pauses pensively, “almost alternative acid rock.”
Q: “How did it happen that they actually started The Static Tones without you? I mean, you were heading in that direction and…”
Dehlbom: “Right!” he nodes.
Q: “There is a sort of a gap. What happened?”
Dehlbom: “After the Black Friday the bassist quit to pursue more of the metal background, he joined the biggest metal band in the area. And Josh and I tried to start another band called ‘Wicked Monday’. But we couldn’t get people to play with us. It was a really weird, though good time for The Static Tones, because that was when I started playing more lead guitar and Josh had switched from the bass to guitar. He was more into the singing. And I…” Chris gives a dramatic pause and proceeds after a laugh, “…quit. In October of 2010 I quit because it wasn’t going anywhere. I tried to start another band with the girl I grew up with.  And that wasn’t going anywhere, because those guys didn’t do anything at all. And then at the end of the year Josh asked the other two guys to be in the band with him. So they started what would become The Static Tones. Though at that time it was called 1880s which is a nearly ‘Star Wars’ reference. At that time I eventually quit the band I tried to start and joined back with them.”
Q: “That is a lot of quitting from your side.”
Dehlbom: “Yeah, and usually I’m not a quitter at all. When I quit playing music with Josh I got to the point ‘Screw music! It’s never going to work out.’  And I wasn’t really serious about the [new] band I started. I just wanted to play music. Then I went back to school for a while. But when The Static Tones started getting well, obviously I changed my mind about it. A lot of times what makes up the band is the guys, not necessarily the music.  All of us have grown up together. We are extremely close. We are brothers pretty much.”
Q: “So it sounds like right now music takes the central place in your life?”
Dehlbom: “Definitely!” he replies thoughtfully.
Q: “How did the idea for the name ‘The Static Tones’ appear?”
Dehlbom beams with a cunning smile: “It was a joke. When we were getting ready to record our three songs demo in May, 2011, we had had the name 1880s for like 2 months. And 2 or 3 weeks before the record Ronnie eventually told them that he thought it was a stupid name. And I was like ‘Yes! Yes, it is!’” he laughs cheerfully. “ So the other two guys, they are brothers, said ‘Ok, whatever. Let’s come up with something’.
 And we had to make a little recording for the recording artist just to know what our sound was like so he would know what to do with us. I had an iPad and I just recorded on my iPad. It sounded terrible. And I said ‘It sounds like a bunch of static with some tones in it.’ We all looked at each other and started laughing. We just named our band The Static Tones.” Chris gives a laugh, looking pleased and amused.  
Q: “Do you know anything about the band of the same name ‘The Static Tones’ based in Ontario, CA?”
Dehlbom: Oh, yes!” his voice sounds ironical at mentioning of this other band. “I mean, we didn’t know about that until August. They suck! Did you listen to their music?”
Q: “I heard one song on YouTube. If to trust the Internet they existed around 2009 and are not playing anymore.”
Dehlbom: I saw them after the album came out, the first week of July. One person took it and put on YouTube. When I searched for The Static Tones I got one of our songs and all the rest were from the other band called just Static Tones. They didn’t have ‘the’ in their name. They had a girl singer, and she wasn’t very good, and the music wasn’t really good. At that point I was kind of annoyed because I thought we came out with the name that nobody else has thought of.”
Q: “Was it frustrating?”
Dehlbom: Yeah. It was… it wasn’t that of a big deal since they sucked. If they were good, we probably would have changed our name.” Chris laughs lightheartedly.
Q:  “Could you please describe the music making process in the band?”
Dehlbom turns to seriousness: “Well, the singer usually writes his own lyrics and usually has basic guitar parts. I think it is very important that he writes what he sings. It is usually not a finished product at all. At practice we jam with it and usually have a finished product within half an hour. We each put own individual income in it. I learned how to play the guitar with the classic rock’n’roll/blues background. So I usually do with my classic rock background. And the bassist brings very metal/scream background. Our base lines are very technical like in scream bands which I think makes it very interesting. And we usually say that Ronny, the drummer, is the one who takes all that crap and makes it work.” His eyes sparkle as he utters a giggle.
Q: “So from the origin of the idea how much time does it take to get a song ready for a show?”
Dehlbom: “It really depends on the song. There is a couple of songs which would be difficult to learn… We have a song called ‘Firecrackers’, one of our newer ones. It took us about a month or two to make it show ready, because it was really outside of our comfort zone. The bassist wrote every single part, even most of my parts. So it was really weird for us to learn something that was already predestined… Usually we come up with all our own parts which is a lot easier to play. Most songs we can get show ready in a week.  We have a new song for the show tomorrow. And we just learned that last Tuesday.”
Q: “Interesting! What kind of song is that?”
Dehlbom: “It’s actually the continuing of our newest song which is called ‘Dr. Green’s monster machine’. Part I. This is Part II. It is all instrumental. It is only music,” he looks directly into my eyes with seriousness narrating about green monsters.
Q: “What emotions did you put into ‘Dr. Green’s monster machine?” I am intrigued.
Dehlbom: “The song is basically about people being fake in order to get rich, specifically talking about the pop-singer, Lady Gaga.”
Q: “As far as I know The Static Tones have entered this year’s Ernei Ball Battle of the Bands to struggle for the chance to play at 2012 Warped Tour. What would getting to play in Seattle at the Warped Tour mean for you?”
Dehlbom laughs: “It would be really helpful. We’re planning on going to Seattle a few times this year. We don’t have any dates set. That is going to be when we are done recording our album actually.”
Q: “Do you have places in mind where you are going to play in Seattle?”
Dehlbom: “No. It is too early for that. All we know that we want to make it in Seattle and we are hoping to do it in a nine-day long tour through the North-West and maybe upper CA.”
Q: “Could you tell me a little bit more about the plans for recording the album since we touched the topic?”
Dehlbom: “We are planning on doing a full-length album, I think with 11 songs in April. The guy by the name of Dawson Scholzis is going to be recording it. We are still working on finishing two songs for it.”
Q: “And when do you expect to release it?”
Dehlbom: “I have no idea about that. It’s just going to be whenever it’s done. Since he is not charging us hourly, we can work on the song as long as we want. We want it to be a really, really good sounding album,” his eyes shine. “So it could be two months, it could be two days, I don’t know.”
Q: “So, till the moment you are satisfied with the sounding?”
Dehlbom: “Yes!”
Q: “OK, thank you. When you record the album, how will it be distributed?”
Dehlbom: “We will just do it ourselves. Probably on iTunes. We will try to sell discs at shows. And also send them to record companies. Try to get noticed from that.” His face is full of determination when he talks about the album.
Q: “Can you tell me more about other aims the band currently sets?”
Dehlbom takes a long pause and continues looking thoughtfully into my eyes: “Well, 2012 is a big year for us, because our drummer graduates college in early 1213, and so he will have to move to go to school in Moscow. And we are hoping to get at least enough recognition so it is worthy for him to stick around and maybe do his schooling some other time. I don’t want to pressure him… I want him to do whatever he wants to do.” Chris is very serious now. “I feel he wants to do music… This year we need to make something like careerwise. So he has the chance to pursue it.”
Q: “Something worthy?”
Dehlbom: “Yeah. So we are going to be doing a lot of work this year, trying to keep him in the band.” He smiles.
Q: “I know that you also were a student in NIC. For how long did it last?”
Dehlbom: “I did it on and off. For like a year I think. I think I only have two and a half semesters completed.”
Q: “And when do you plan on coming back to school?”
Dehlbom: “That is to be determined,” the answers is accompanied by a cunning smile. “I plan on it, but I want to see how the music will be going right now while I’m young enough to do that. I can always go back to school. But I can’t always pursue music.”
Q: “Why is that?”
Dehlbom: “Because it’s kind of a young thing,” he explains earnestly. “It’s kind one of those things, when you look at musicians these days and they are always young. And usually they are about the same age as me. So I hope to make it by the time I am about 25. Anyway at that point, I will have to really think about life and what I need to do.”
Q: “Is it your current goal?”
Dehlbom: “It is my current goal.”
Q: “How do you feel about The Static Tones among other local bands?”
Dehlbom: “There are a lot of really good musicians around here. I’ve never noticed them until The Static Tones started playing with them.  There are many, many musicians who are very, very talented. I would just say we are in the sea of musicians.” He pronounces the last words with a big deal of respect. “I would say we are more popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are better.”
Q: “What do you think is the main cause of your popularity?”
Dehlbom: I would say that is because we are different. We are not metal, and we are not soft rock. We are somewhere in between. We have a different style than a lot of bands. And we appeal to more collage age people.”
Q: “What keeps the band going on? What is your biggest motivational factor?”
Dehlbom gives his answer easily and naturally: We just really love what we are doing. We love our style and we love the lyrics and the writing. As for me, I like both of the things a lot. I think a lot of the music, as far as Josh does with it, is genius. I think it is very beautiful. And I have a lot of fun with it. And I am very passionate about what we are doing. I am sure it is the same with all the other members.” Chris’s lips curve into a smile as his eyes burn with passion and confidence.
Q: “So passion is the main factor?”
Dehlbom: “Passion! Definitely. We all really like it.”
Q: “Could you recall the funniest moment related to the band?”
Dehlbom takes a pause and then laughs: Several things have happened… Josh, the singer, is an extremely funny guy. You would never know it on stage, because he is shy on stage. But during practice he does things freaking hilarious. He would change words in the middle of songs and make you laugh.”
Q: “Any recent examples?”
Dehlbom: Yeah, on Monday we played a song called ‘Firecracker’ written by the bassist’s. It is about his girlfriend. The lyrics say something like ‘if I wasn't chivalrous and well- mannered in the matter I would expand upon what goes on in the bed’ and he changed it during the practice ‘ if I wasn't chivalrous and well- mannered in the matter I would expand my recipe for bread’ The practice stopped, because we were laughing so much.”
Q: “Is there anything you would like to add or tell your fans?”
Dehlbom: Keep supporting us. Support is just by coming to the shows, or by tips. It doesn’t matter. Every little bit of support helps. It takes a community to make a band big. And thank you for all the support you had given.” There is gratitude in his eyes and voice as he says these words.  
Q: “Ok, thank you! It was a great interview!”
Dehlbom laughs in return.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” 
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Children of all ages partake in free Easter activities

...and my second publication! 
Children of all ages partake in free Easter activities

Student Event organizes egg hunt, treats, crafts, photos with Easter Bunny throughout the SUB

by Anastasia Gal
edited by Noura A.A.
The Sentinel. The official student newspaper of North Idaho College
Monday\April 9, 2012

Colorful Easter eggs, sparkles, Easter baskets, bunnies, cookies, organizers dressed in bunny ears and, above all, excited kids flooded the hall of NIC’s Edminster Student Union Building in NIC Wednesday 4.

ASNIC Student Event Board held the Easter Egg Hunt, an annual but unusual event for the committee.
Student Events member Hailey McDaniel, 20, environmental science, Wallou, Idaho, said the Easter Egg Hunt aims at creating an atmosphere where children can participate. The Easter Egg Hunt fosters social development for the kids.

“The little ones get introduced to other kids” said former NIC student Jonathan Shirts, 31, who brought his three-year-old, Mackenzie, to the festivities.

Though the snowy weather conditions forced the Student Event Board to hold the event inside, the Easter Egg Hunt still managed to gather about 120 visitors.  McDaniel said the attendance grew by 30 to 40 people comparing to the previous year.

It was a smashing success.,” said  Student Events member Andrew Charles, 20, public relations, Moscow.

Student Event provided the kids with gift bags, sweet snacks, photos with the Easter Bunny and the excitement of actual hunting for eggs. Kids were divided into three age groups: 0-3, 4-7 and 8-13.

McDaniel said the biggest challenge was scheduling the event the week after spring break because it made it difficult to market.  Social media, word of mouth, fliers around campus and day cares helped reach the target audience.

“My friend, who goes to NIC told me about it,” said Meriah Lavigne, mother of three-year-old egg-hunter Sophie. “And I also saw a post on Facebook.”

The fun started in the Drifted Bay. A sign reading “Caution! Some candies contain peanuts” marked the entrance into the room. Almost no vacant place could be found at the numerous tables in the room, as kids and their parents helped themselves to Easter treats or worked on Easter coloring pages.

The center of attention and excitement was the Easter Bunny. The Bunny, waved his paws, waggled his long ears and smiled for the camera placing a kid after a kid onto his lap. The line started from the entrance to the opposite door to take a picture with the Ester Bunny.

The youngest age group retreated for the Windy Bay which glistened with Easter eggs scattered amid comfy chairs and sofas.  Shortly after the age group 4-7 set off for the Half Round Bay and the 8-13 age group for the lounge area upstairs filled up with the same treats.

Representatives of the Student Event removed the red strips barring the Easter egg hunting area. Anticipation and excitement reached its climax. Kids accompanied by the parents burst in to storm the eggs.

“It was as hectic as the last year,” McDaniel said. “Everything went very quick.”

The kids swiped the eggs up in a couple of minutes.

Gradually the crowd thinned as the visitors left the building. Student Event members gathered in the Drifted Bay where it all started. The organizers still wearing bunny ears shared smiles.

“[It is] one of my favorite events,” McDaniel said “because it includes children”

She said the Easter Egg Hunt went beyond expectations.

I feel so blessed” said Student Events member Megan Larson, 19, business, Metaline Falls, Wash. “It is so much fun working with kids.”


The Static Tones compete for popularity

My first publication in printed press!!!!!! This is a truely exciting moment for me, my heart skips :)
A big thank you to the Sentinel and Chris for making it possible.

The Static Tones compete for popularity

Coeur d’Alene indie-rock band needs votes to join Warped Tour, Seattle venue

by Anastasia Gal
edited by Geoff Carr

The Sentinel. The official student newspaper of North Idaho College
Monday\April 9, 2012

Left to right: Ian Nelson, Chris Delbom, Josh Nelson, Ronnie Ross
Photo by Steven Sturges/Courtesy

The Static Tones entered a ‘Global Battle of the Bands’ contest to compete for a chance to perform at the 2012 Warped Tour, a music festival that brings together extreme sports and music of different genres from hip-hop to hardcore.

The Static Tones are struggling to win a chance to perform on one of the Warped Tour stops at their home venue in Seattle. Fans can vote online for each venue. Four bands out of 100 will be selected to perform for each date of the tour.

The Static Tones official Facebook page calls for the fans and friends to support the band in the voting process.  The voting started on March 5 and it will last until the middle of July when the panel of industry professionals review and select bands, according to the official site of the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands.

At the present moment the band finds its place in the top 50 for the Seattle venue among all genres.  Guitarist Chris Dehlbom said he was surprised his band has been doing so well. He confessed that he registered the band just to put the name in and get a wider-than-local recognition.

“I’m really curious to see what’s going to come out of that,” Dehlbom said.

It looks like the band is destined to move further than gathering people at CDA local shows, which it has done successfully for about a year. Dehlbom said the band is “somewhere in between metal and soft rock.” Vocalist Josh Nelson uses his lyrics to propose needed changes in the society, often using vivid phrases and grotesque metaphors.

“Usually we don’t promote ignorance of any sort,” Dehlbom said. “We don’t like people judging people for no reason. We like people to be open when they judge. We have songs about moral decay. We have songs about people being fake for profit.”

 Four young men in their 20s form the Static Tones: Josh Nelson (vocals/guitar), Ian Nelson (bass), Chris Dehlbom (guitar) and Ronnie Ross (drums). Nelson and Ross are current NIC students, while Dehlbom used to attend. Dehlbom said the band works hard combining music, study and jobs, but the result is worth it.

Having played together for only about a year the bands is already planning on releasing their first full-length album, which will include 11 songs. The musicians will start working on it this April and promise a quality result, though no release date has been announced.

“It’s just going to be whenever it’s done,” Dehlbom said. “We want it to be a really, really good sounding album.  So it could be two months, it could be two days. I don’t know.”

Right now they are working on the last two songs for their album and gaining more popularity in their native area. They played at The Grail in Post Falls on March 31, and they are planning a short tour through the Northwest and California this summer.

Dehlbom claimed 2012 is a big year for the band, during which they are going “to make something career wise.”

To support the band in their quest to play at the Warped Tour visit:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Украинская К-Счастью-Не-Джульета и американская мечта

Украинская К-Счастью-Не-Джульета и американская мечта
Подробный и откровенный отчет о моем опыте участия в программе AuPair (для тех  кому интересна программа или моя судьба)

Программа культурного обмена AuPair носит два лика. Первый – самая лучшая в мире работа в теплом семейном кругу, второй –  жизнь «в чужих ботинках» (от англ. “in someones shoes”,  что означает “на чьем-то месте»)

Как все выглядит со стороны. В свои 24 года я могу похвастаться степенью специалиста по психологии, фотомодельной внешностью и жизнью в самом красивом, но отдаленном уголке планеты. Моим домом стал трех-этажный особняк, почти на вершине горы на севере штата Айдахо, США. Из моего окна открывается захватывающий вид на отбрасывающее солнечные блики озеро окруженное горами, спрятанными под хвойным лесом. Я живу с кардиологом и его двумя замечательными дочками, 7 и 5 лет. Утро для меня начинается с чашки кофе, потом два часа в спортзале, после учеба, по большей мере самообразовательного характера. Выходные пролетают иногда в горах с моей новой страстью - сноубордом, иногда на танцполе, а иногда на свиданиях с бойфрендами. Жизнь полна привилегий характерных американскому экономически обеспеченному обществу.

Что происходить на самом деле. Я  уехала в США как участник культурно-обменной программы AuPair, которая подразумевает, что я живу в американской семье, ухаживая за их детьми, а взамен получаю символическую заработную плату, обеспеченное проживание и естественно полное погружение в американскую культуру. С самого начала моя ситуация оказалась довольно необычной, так как мой выбор пал на неполную семью в затерявшемся в горах небольшом городке. Каждый выбор имеет преимущества и недостатки. Я получила свободу действий и  принятия решений, безусловное внимание и любовь детей, но также и большую ответственность. Строчка контракта «присматривать за детьми» превратилась в «воспитывать и растить детей».

Как все началось. Мои американские приключения начались с почти 42-часового путешествия из Киева в Портленд. При всей моей любви и страсти к приключениям, этот перелет стал пыткой. И не потому что растянулся почти на двое суток, а потому что по пути из Франкфурта в Лас-Вегас у меня подскочило давление, так что воздуха катастрофически не хватало. Помню, как лежала на полу в хвосте самолета, надо мной склонилась стюардесса в попытке вернуть меня к жизни, а я повторяла про себя одну фразу «Я переживу этот перелет».  Так прошли 3 самых мучительных часа. Еще через 4 часа я все же сошла на землю обетованную моей американской мечты.

В омут с головой. Самый странный и, наверное, сложный момент, который переживают все участники этой программы – встреча с семьей и первые шаги в новой жизни.  Покинув зону комфорта, где есть семья, замечательные друзья, отличная работа, я оказалась с совершенно незнакомыми людьми, в чужом доме, в чужой жизни. Вопрос, который постоянно приходил в голову «Ну и что я здесь делаю?».  Две замечательные белокурые девочки стали единственным звеном, которые связывали меня с пониманием происходящего. Отчетливо помню одну из первых фраз, которую  сказала младшая: «Ты очень красивая. У тебя имя как у принцессы, и приехала ты из той страны, где жила принцесса Анастасия».
 Это была любовь с первого взгляда. Они очень легко приняли меня в семью. Сейчас я очень часто слышу от них фразы «Я тебя люблю» или «Ты часть нашей семьи», «Ты красивей, чем принцесса». Незабываем тот момент, когда старшая как-то обронила «Ты теперь нам почти как мама».

Рутинна. Развод родителей – испытание для детской психики. Это испытание проходят и те, кто находится рядом с такими детками. Какой-то период времени я проводила полчаса рядом с их кроватками, пока они уснут. Иногда среди ночи, меня будил плач в соседней комнате: старшей приснился кошмар, и она не могла уснуть. Тогда я шла к ней, и мы долго разговаривали о феях, Рождестве, школьных друзьях…
По прошествии 5 месяцев ситуация значительно улучшилась: больше нет плача по ночам, а засыпать они стали легче, структурировался их распорядок дня, а у меня появилось больше времени для себя.

Семья. Начиная новую жизнь, очень важно, какие люди оказываются в ближайшем окружении. Фортуна очень постаралась с подбором принимающей семьи для меня. Семья, в которую я попала, поддерживала и верила в меня, включая те моменты, когда я сама была не очень-то уж уверена в собственных силах.
Даже, когда я нарушила первую заповедь AuPair «берегите машину, которую вам доверили!», самообладанию владельца моей Субару Форестер можно было позавидовать. Однажды по пути из спортзала к дантисту я повернула ключ зажигания, и со слишком большой самоуверенностью начала выезд с парковки и… БУМ!, не рассчитала угол поворота. Марка пострадавшей машины в состоянии шока  не запомнилась. Помню, что это было что-то большое и белое.  Разумеется,  воображение тут же принялось рисовать билет домой.  Легкость, с которой было отвергнуто мое предложение возместить материальный ущерб достойна восхищения.

И все-таки, зачем аж на край света? Логичен вопрос, зачем бросать все, и ехать за три девять земель на встречу неизвестности. Разумеется, в погоне за приключениями. Неизвестность притягивает своей романтизированной очаровательностью, обещая личностный рост и перемены.
Там где есть погоня, обязательно есть и тот, кто убегает. Не берусь сказать точно, со сколькими альтер-эго мне приходится иметь дело ежедневно, в данном случае важны только два Я. Я: неисправимый романтик, гоняющийся за приключениями, и Я: испуганный зверек, который бежит, чтобы спасти свою шкурку. Так вот этот зверек со всех ног убегал из раздражающей экономической невыносимости существования. Еще быстрее зверек бежал от части своего сознания, ленивой и зацикленной части, которое вот уже несколько лет упрямо отказывалось  отпустить неудачную влюбленность. И повезло еще, что зверек – не Джульета, иначе ему пришлось бы отравиться.

Получила ли я то, что искала? Зверек восторжествовал! Сопоставление американской и украинской экономических реальностей вызывает улыбку. А вот, что касается попытки выбросить любовные страдания из головы, то здесь реализовала себя поговорка: «клин клином вышибают». Как-то случайно в американском караоке-баре в мою жизнь занесло высокого мускулистого блондина с голубыми глазами немецкого происхождения, работающего на милитари. Истинный Ариец! С его появлением все предыдущие травматические амурные переживания перестали иметь значения. После пылких посланий в формате «txt message» через месяц новый Ромео старательно разбил мое четырехкамерное сердце в дребезги. И долго пришлось бы К-Счастью-Не-Джульете  лить слезы, если бы на ее траектории за барной стойкой не оказался Майкл. С Майклом само собой тоже случился брейк-ап. Но этот разрывов был одним из тех конструктивных кризисов, когда заново переосмысливаешь взгляды на жизнь и следовательно ставишь новые цели.

Новые цели. «Сильнее, выше, быстрее». Из-за временной ограниченности программы целеполагание происходит довольно быстро.  Появляется необходимость срочно найти ответ на вопрос «а что же дальше?» Американская культура более ориентирована на карьеру и хобби, чем на отношения. Мое постепенно американизирующееся сознание тоже решило не терять времени зря и нашло себя в спорте и ответило на давно мучивший карьерный вопрос.
Спортзал стал жизненноважной составляющей моего расписания. А по мере овладения сноубордом я влюбилась в зиму. Теперь я знаю, что зимой не обязательно прятаться в кофейне или на кухне. Можно еще сесть в машину и через час-два оказаться на горно-лыжном курорте. Появилось новое непередаваемой ощущение владения собственным телом.  Летя по свежевыпавшему снегу вниз по склону,  когда над тобой небо, вокруг сосны и снежные холмы, кажется, что снег, доска и ты – одно целое. Когда едешь на борде, сознание проясняется и фиксируется на самом основном, мысли упорядочиваются, а ответы на вопросы становятся ясными и простыми.И ничего не хочется так сильно, как продолжать это движение навстречу стихии.
Более того, после долгих размышлений я теперь знаю, куда шагать за профессиональной самореализацией. Америка – страна больших возможностей. Не знаю, насколько она – страна больших возможностей лично для меня. Но просто осознание этого факта внушает уверенность в собственных силах, а это ключевой фактор движения вперед.

Принцесса. Есть еще одно бесценное приобретение со времени моего появления на американской земле. Я получила  ощущение целостности и гармонии, осознание своей женственности и красоты. Не знаю, что послужила этому причиной: близость потрясающей красоты природы, близкое общение с детьми, новый образ тела и контроля над ним, или же тот факт, что последний бой-френд шутя называл меня «принцессой»? Вероятно все вышеперечисленное.

Недостатки. Я бы покривила душой, если бы сказала, что в моей «американской мечте» все безоблачно. Угнетает чувство одиночества и оторванности от тех, кто обычно поддерживал. Я оказалась в чужой среде, чужой культуре. Обязательно слышу вопрос «А ты откуда?», стоит мне открыть рот и выдать свой акцент. Поначалу вопрос развлекал и давал дополнительную тему для разговора. Но сейчас, через 5 месяцев жизни здесь, он  скорее звучит, как «не своя», «иностранка», «не такая, как мы». Больше не помогают заверения, что мой акцент «очень милый», или что мой английский «слишком хорош».
Еще один большой недостаток – отсутствие женской компании моего возраста. Для молодой незамужней девушки важно иметь хотя бы одну-две таких же незамужних подруг. Мои многочисленные подруги остались за тысячи километров. Даже имея такое чудо как скайп, общение с ними крайне редко, из-за разницы в часовых поясах. Не с кем пойти на вечеринку, или обсудить последнего парня. В реальности настоящие друзья приобретаются долго, и  проверяются годами. Здесь же время ограничено. А гонятся за американцами, занятыми своими делами с просьбой «стань моим другом» желания не возникает. Но теперь у меня есть один друг, разумеется, мужского пола, и кажется, появился второй. Два новых друга за 5 месяцев – не так уж и мало по большому счету.
Но самым тяжелым оказывается ощущение проживания чужой жизни. Чужая семья, чужие дети, чужая жизнь. Как иногда хочется, чтоб это моя семья собралась за ужином, или мои родители посмотрели на меня с гордостью, когда я хвастаюсь университетским тестом написанным на 100%. А больше всего хочется прийти в свой дом, открыть свой холодильник и найти там замороженные вареники с творогом.

Эпилог. Пока я пишу эту статью в Washington DC цветут вишни. Но я очень далеко от города Вашингтона, совсем на другом конце огромного материка в горно-лыжном городке Швайцер, куда мы приехали на неделю весенних каникул. Я уютно умостила себя на ковре на третьем этаже маленького трехэтажного котеджика в комнате с двухъярусными кроватями стилизированными рубленым сосновым деревом. Чтобы добраться до этой комнаты, нужно подняться по винтовой лестнице. Вероятно, если Вы будете подниматься по ступенькам, я не услышу Ваше приближение, так как Ваши шаги заглушит мягкий ковер. Но вы обязательно увидите меня, погруженную в компьютер. А еще Вы увидите, как за окном падает снег, цепляясь на сосновые ветки и добавляя еще большей белизны рождественскому пейзажу. Внизу, в гостиной, Дэйв, отец девочек, перебирает струны гитары, девочку смотрят Диснеевский мультик. Из кухни доносится запах ужина, который готовит Нэнси, бабушка девочек. А я продолжаю писать эту статью, так как после занятий в колледже у меня появилась новая потребность, потребность быть услышанной.