June 29th, 2011

[stock] when in doubt wear red

now outside i see your eyes meet the sky

Inappropriately amusing discovery o'th'day: Google Maps will not take you to Russia. Not by land, not by sea, not from far and not from near. They just won't. I asked them to mark the distance a trip from London to Moscow would theoretically take: nope. Okay, I thought, maybe the Channel throws them off; how about Calais to Moscow? Nope. Berlin to—nope. Okay, dudes, Minsk, that is in Belarus, as in BYELORUSSIA, as in Soviet Socialist Republic given, will you tell me—NO NOT THAT EITHER. Jeez, I thought, fine, will you let me at least deal with Russia as an entity and take me from Moscow to St. Petersburg? WHAT ABOUT THIS DO YOU NOT GET, the directions said to me (the city names shifting petulantly into Cyrillic to boot), NYET. Google, are you conducting a Cold War of your own, or what?

This was for the next installment of athermal, continuing the openers; now Sveta gets storyspace, our first facetime with the KGB! Not to play favorites, but I have favorites and they are Russians. Anyway, it's up here:

november 14, pt. 2 (svetlana)

Go read, go review, go frolic in this 'verse and tell us things!

That bit was a delight to write, for reasons purely based on the fact that it's a travelogue through Central Europe, OF COURSE IT WAS. But I left off writing it last night midway through a paragraph revision to go see Midnight in Paris and actively had something close to a paroxysm of anxiety—physical sensation, stomach in knots—over the fact that I had left, that I was sitting in a movie theatre for half an hour before the movie started (we got there weirdly early, aha) with no way to get back to the story, even though I knew where I'd left off and where it was going and that the ideas weren't going to leave me—there was such momentum in my head that it was desolating not to use it. Which, oddly, felt good even as I felt sort of sick: it makes me feel real, it gives me faith that I'll get things done. Every now and again I worry that my ideas will get stuck locked up in my head, and well, writing becoming an act of physical desperation makes me less scared of that. So: mixed blessing? Or mixed curse, but mixed. I'm erring on the side of good.

Midnight in Paris, for the record, was underwhelming with a side of unbearable—and I'd really wanted to like it! I liked the actors they picked for the ~past figures~ (Hiddles! Juno Temple was faaab, ADRIEN BRODY, AT WHOM I DIED, and whoever the dude was who played Hemingway) based on how much they enjoyed their performances, because I like watching people enjoy their work and there was a lotta that going around here, and it was visually very nice, but omg can we put a moratorium on the Woody Allen mouthpiece now that Woody Allen is too old to play it? So embarrassing to watch. Basically, nice to look at, but pretty flat and hamhanded script-wise; all the good moments were good on basis of individual actors and not the movie as a thing in and of itself, so: eh. Also the opening montage of Paris got hard to deal with after a while, why was that like ten minutes?

I don't know why, but I have so much less patience for the Myth of Paris than I do for, say, the Myth of New York. Perhaps because I don't know the flipside of Mythic Paris, what's under the romantic packaging. I've always thought I could live there, but I would have to be at least sixty—a stylish old battle-axe with boxes of flowers on her windowsill, who could be as at ease in the city as its stones. I don't work there, in my head, as a young person; the image of me there becomes too self-conscious and sticks in a tourist place. That said, I do want to meet the city, to get to know it on my own, which is why I'm excited to go there now that I'm not, er, seven.

And on that note—I came home and made aparthotel reservations for six days in Paris at the end of July. So there's that.

(This is a post about wanderlust and I've been in the house all day. Christ, I think it shows.)