Friday, July 13, 2007

8 Random Facts about Me

I was tagged by SF Money Musings and Millionaire Mommy Next Door for the latest meme!

Well, here are eight facts about me:

1. Extracurriculars
When I was in school, I took ballet. It was hard, but I really enjoyed dancing. I think I danced on my points rather well.:) However, it started to be very time-consuming, I realized I didn't want to become a ballet dancer and quit. I entertain my friends by performing ballet movements now and then. Oh, by the way, it seems to me that I earned my first money from dancing. There were some events, people bought tickets, we danced and got money. The amounts were ridiculously low, but still.

2. Foreign languages
At five I decided to start learning English on my own. I remember that my first words were "a cat", "a rat" and "a bat". I explained to my friend in kindergarten that the object from which she used to drink tea was actually "a cup" – I must admit, I was a bit of a show-off. Oh, I even learned the word "a dandelion"! When I came to the words "a tame quail" and the sentences like "The cock's beak is not so sharp as the eagle's" I felt a little overwhelmed and thought English language to be too difficult. So, I made a pause. In my school everyone was to learn French from the first grade. At 12 we started to take a second foreign language, and that's how I continued to learn English.

3. Personal transport
I have never driven a car. My family have never had one, even though I'm sure my parents could afford it. I've always lived in places with well-developed public transport networks, and I'm perfectly able to dispense with a car. However, sometimes I think that I should get a driving license just in case. Maybe I'll need it someday.

4. Cooking
I can cook a lot of meals in a microwave oven, not only thaw or heat up something. I can cook rice, pasta and chicken fillets in it. Once I even microwaved an egg. You shouldn't try boil an egg in shell (it will explode), so I cracked the egg into a glass full of water and microwaved it. The egg was cooked into a shapeless something, but it tasted OK and was fit for salads.

5. Food fastidiousness
My food preferences change with time. For example, I used to dislike eggplants and cauliflower, but when I started college I suddenly found out that eggplants and cauliflower are delicious. Maybe I have grown up? I am still wary of dates. I had to eat them in kindergarten, but I hated them. Now everyone I know adores this fruit and can't believe I don't. To be fair, I don't even remember the taste of dates, so I might give them another chance.

6. Writing by hand
I have bad handwriting. Other people are always being polite by saying it's OK, but sometimes even I can hardly decipher it. Fortunately, I live in the era of computers, so chances are I won't suffer from my bad handwriting in future very much. I really like typing more than writing by hand. The problem is, I still have to make notes in class and then use them to prepare for exams:)

7. Pets
My favorite pets are parakeets (budgies). I had a green one for nine long years, since I was 8. He used to wake me up in the mornings and entertain my family with cheerful songs. I was very attached to him.

8. Media addiction
I don't watch TV. When I started college, I didn't have a TV in my room. I soon figured out that I could live without watching TV programs. The Internet is another story. When it's down, I feel uncomfortable.

Well, I took part in this meme rather late, so the majority of those who I know have already been tagged. I intended to tag Millionaire Mommy Next Door, but while I was writing she was tagged by someone else, revealed 8 facts about herself and tagged me:)

I will tag 3 Things About Money.


GoldnSilver said...

I have bad hand writing, too. This is caused by computers. I type so much now, that I don't know how to use my hand to write anymore. I had good penmanship when I was in grades school and high school.

SavingDiva said...

I enjoyed your story about learning English. I have unforunately dropped any languge that I learned in school--Chinese and Spanish....

SF Money Musings said...

I was at an event about US- Russia trade relations and what it means for Russia's economy.

What do you think of the flat tax of 13%? I thought it was extremely high but the speaker had said it was lowered from like 20% or something similar.

Logan Flatt, CFA said...

Olga -

I very much enjoy your site. It is fascinating to get personal insights into Russia, especially for those of us who only read about it in the news.

I commend you on your financial prudence at your age. I look forward to reading more about your personal finance experiences in Russia as you continue to post to your site.

Meanwhile, I encourage you to visit my site at to see if I might be able to return the favor and share with you some expert insights into personal finance here in America.

Keep up the great work!


Olga said...

SF Money Musings, I'm extremely sorry for such a long delay. I hope you're still interested.

Actually, I've never thought that 13% tax on ordinary income is high. If a Russian individual gets a paycheck of, say, $1000, only $130 is deducted, and the rest is taken home. True, in the US there's a 10% tax bracket, which is lower than 13%. But beside the federal income tax one also has to pay payroll taxes and, depending on the state, state income tax. All in all, I think an American always pays in taxes more than 13% of ordinary income.

There was time when income tax was progressive. I understand that the rates ranged from 12% to 20%. I'm not sure, because I rely on my parents' information, and they don't remember the rates exactly.

Then, there is capital gains tax, which is also 13%. The dividends are taxed at 9% rate. I don't know if it is much or little. Of course, it is not Hong Kong where there's no capital gains tax at all. I personally, as a long-term investor, would like it to be lower. On the other hand, the idea of giving 13% of my future gains doesn't really distress me, because I think it rather reasonable.

All in all, I think 13% is not very much, because this is the only tax paid on income. Why do you think it's extremely high?