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The Old Country: Between The Forceps and The Stone

  • September 3, 2019
The Old Country:  Between The Forceps and The Stone

Former Business Offices Of Prokop Babiy, Burkaniv.


INFINITE DREAMS (БЕЗКОШТОВНІ МРЕЖІ).

“How can you be in two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all”?

The Firesign Theatre..

Isn’t that what “Dreaming” is – being cognitively in separate spaces at the same Time – “Anywhere” and “Nowhere” at once? Life then, like the song lyric, may indeed be a Dream, infinitely intertwined along a continuum of separate realities. How many of us right now at this instant are alive on this planet; seven plus billions? Life then, might be a projection of seven billion multiple realties radiating from seven billion human bi-locating sources; finite creatures interlinked to a finite timespan, dreaming versions of what is ultimately a non-sequitur: Immortality.
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The Old Country: Salt Of The Earth

  • August 11, 2018
The Old Country:  Salt Of The Earth

A GRAIN OF SALT.

Here’s a word association experiment — or narrowing the scope a bit we might call it an Ukrainian Haiku since it encapsulates a few uniquely Ukrainian terms however decidedly non-traditional in structure:

Salt >> Chumak >> Galicia >> Ruthenian >> Ukrainian >> Salt of The Earth.

Now there is an expression that was once popular among the precariat in the Detroit area where I grew up: “back to the salt mines” which, since Detroit was built over a large glacial deposit of salt, was a local way of saying “time to get your ass back to work”, associating one’s job with the hard work of mining salt. Of course those salt mines are closed now and those job are gone, along with millions of others sacrificed on the altar of neoliberal capitalism.
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Tempus Fugit

  • September 29, 2015
Tempus Fugit

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The News.

Ever see the musical “Newsies”? It’s a Disney Theatrical Productions stage musical based on the 1992 musical film Newsies, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. Read more...

The Forever War

  • September 4, 2013

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Ruthenia, Galicia and the Babij Surname

  • July 31, 2019
Ruthenia, Galicia and the Babij Surname

 


 

Cousin Sue Roth sent me an email recently concering the origins of the famous Hollywood director Billy Wilder. It seems Mr. Wilder (nee Samuel) was originally born in the town of Sucha, Galicia then a province of Austria Hungary. So Mr. Wilder was a Ruthenian by birth. Sue termed the revelation “weird”. Read more...

DNA Test Results Redux

  • January 22, 2019
DNA Test Results Redux

The DNA results have been updated as of 5 January 2019 from 23andMe and they seem more in line with what has been published previously by relatives on the Blashill side and what we have been finding in the Ukrainian archives in Lviv/Ternopil Oblasts. This is not to say that the MyHeritage results were inaccurate (they did have a very cool map display), but the 23andMe analysis is much more detailed and scientifically oriented – if one needs to go there. There are maps, that we originally characterized as “graphically challenged” but since then they’ve been updated and improved. Read more...

Follow The Bouncing Ball

  • January 15, 2019
Follow The Bouncing Ball

Back when I was a youth (yes, it was before TV, Taco Bell, and Twitter) when milk was delivered to our house by an actual milkman, we used to get our entertainment (and get out of our parent’s hair) from the movie theatres. We’d walk over to the Ramona Theater on Gratiot and McNichols (6 Mile to natives of “The Strait”) and catch the Saturday matinee, usually featuring a western where the good guys wore white hats (and were white), a serial where Commander Cody saved the world from creepy denizens of another country, and in between a cartoon, usually starring some Warner Brothers character like Bugs Bunny or Yosemite Sam with the voice of Mel Blanc (“white” as well) who wisecracked through some slapstick routine extolling the merits of hoarding carrots or gold at the expense of swarthy varmints bent on world domination.
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Dark Places In Past Light

  • January 8, 2019
Dark Places In Past Light

FIN de SIECLE

Two Thousand Eighteen was a year filled with both joy and sorrow; buoyed by success yet scarred by tragedy; suffused with hope but plagued by pessimism; our Future obfuscated by humanity’s obsession with personal gain often at the potential risk of species Omnicide.  We have become the personification of an Ouroboros…obsessed with the Past, its lessons ignored, trapped by our own hubris in a repetitive cycle of self-annihilation. Read more...

The Old Country: In Nomine Patris

  • September 3, 2018
The Old Country:  In Nomine Patris

FICTION AND FAITH.

Upon reaching senescense, we tend to look back on our lives and begin to ask questions of ourselves. Questions that maybe we should have asked of our forebears when they were alive; like where did we come from, and who were we, and the ultimate; what have we become now [not that they would have come up with answers either]? Read more...

The Old Country: Lviv

  • October 1, 2017
The Old Country:  Lviv

Monument to Taras Shevchenko, Lviv.


DAYS THREE & FOUR

Having survived the first two days of my insane itinerary, my guide Diana Borysenko had scheduled us for two relatively relaxing days in Lviv consisting of various historical, museum and church tours, a vist to several unique cafes for coffee and confections, the sampling of local cuisine, and an evening at the Opera House to attend a “gala” presentation of the inaugural season of the LvivMozArt Festival.
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The Old Country: Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast

  • September 26, 2017
The Old Country:  Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast

Annunciation (The Savior) Church, a 15th Century Carpathian Wooden Church.


Dolyna [Долйна].

Well if the itinerary for Day One was ridiculous — four towns, 350 kilometers or more round trip, and roads that were in places more like obstacle courses — Day Two would prove to be insane. We’re talking about a tour of Sub-Carpathian Ukraine that involves at least 400 kilometers of driving in one day — a weekend day at that — smack in the middle of August which is high tourist season for this part of the world – not the smartest of plans. Read more...

The Old Country: Ternopil Oblast

  • September 23, 2017
The Old Country:  Ternopil Oblast

UKRAINIAN [Українська].

The earliest recollection I have of hearing the ethnic appellation Ukrainian applied to our family name Babij was in the Fall Quarter of my first year of college during the Kennedy Era when I received a telephone call from a woman (whose name unfortunately I do not recall) inviting me to a gathering of Ukrainian-descendant students to be held at an apartment in the campus married housing complex. The woman went on to describe what typically went on during such occasions: an exchange of tales relating to family lineage and history; performances of traditional folk songs and dance; picnics where participants cooked and ate traditional food like beet soup, pedaheh (varenyky) dumplings and stuffed cabbage called holubtsi or “pigs in a blanket”, similar to those I’d tasted before that had been made by Grandma Anna; and Sunday excursions to the local Orthodox church for Mass.
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