Friday, October 16, 2009


I could be blogging about lots of different things. About the sky in Petersburg, for example, how it's mostly gray, but today some sun seeped through and I ran outside in tears of joy. It's dark here, oh, so dark that at 8 am when I do my morning run, it's like I'm running at the bottom of a deep well. Not much breathable air in my neighborhood because of all the factories. Tomorrow, in honor of Saturday, I will go for a run at 10 am, and I'm already anticipating it like a holiday.

I could be also blogging about happy things, about two events I attended at the Akhmatova museum, two events in one night, two events about two things that if I were not writing fiction I would be writing about: one, a presentation of a book called "Gender Theory for Teapots" (Russian takeoff on "books for dummies"), and the other one, a film about Viktor Shklovksy and Roman Jakobson, two Russian formalists one of whom emigrated and the other one tried to but eventually returned to the USSR, it's a good story, the story of their friendship, with lots of dramatic twists and turns. I could write in lots of details about this.

Or I could be writing about meeting my classmates again. We try to do this every year, I went to two different schools, and both sets of classmates try to meet when I visit. This one tonight was my math school classmates, the ones who know me as a not-so-troubled teen (I was too fond of reading to get into any real trouble). Two girls are expecting their second daughters, two boys are now working together, designing computer games. I fought with one kid who insisted that all movies are by definition commercial projects. Later he told me that "it was nice to know that I was still easily tricked into an argument." As if we lived a Monty Python sketch! Another kid tore a 100 ruble bill ($3 approx) in two halves -- just because.

But I can't write about any of these things, not really, not in good style and with amusing details because one more thing broke in this house: my brother's DSL modem. He took it in to be fixed yesterday, and they said, "call us next week, and we'll let you know if we have mailed it to the central warehouse for repair yet." He called another company, the one that operates a LAN in our apartment building, and they will come tomorrow to hook him up, and if they manage to find a "technical hole" in his apartment, and if they manage to pull the cable in, tomorrow he will have Internet hookup in the hallway of his house. Until all of these details are worked out, I have to survive on the sparse diet of Internet cafes and my dad's SkyLink on his minature ASUS netbook. It's not so bad, I did a lot of good translating work today. Although maybe this was not so much due to my Internet situation but because the sun broke through the clouds in the afternoon.

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