Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nights in White Satin

I love the movie Elf.  I think it's really funny and cute and of course wouldn't be complete without the "holiday cheer" theme at the end that just makes everyone all warm inside.  Or maybe that's just the hot chocolate in the winter.  Regardless, there are a lot of inaccuracies about the film.

I mean an elf traveling to New York City mainly via iceberg helped along the way by talking animals: there's definitely some issues.  Everyone knows that all the polar bears would already be using the icebergs.  Duh.  I think the most egregious error of the film are the inaccuracies of traveling from the North Pole to NYC.  It's like whoever has been to the film has never commuted from the North Pole before.  Gosh, at least send the coffee intern for some R and D.

First off, there has got to be some iceberg-lag (it's a thing, I asked Santa) involved in this journey.   Since, the North Pole is on the Alaska Time Zone, that's a four hour difference between the two.  (I didn't ask Santa for that one, I just googled it.)  Elves have to sleep too.  Heck, even the aurora borealis has a bedtime.

The only difference between that journey and my Russia expedition is that I didn't take an iceberg: Bloomberg, our sponsor, paid for individual dolphins to carry us across the Atlantic.  Oh wait, nope.  That was a Sea World advertisement.  But seriously, it's not that easy changing your internal clock by eight hours.  I'm not totally on Russian time yet, even after three days.  It took less time than that to ruin Paula Deen's career--I think I should have been adjusted.  I know what the keys are to overcoming the sleep deprivation, that's not the problem.  It's more like the problems I have at home.  To watch another cat video on YouTube or to not watch another cat video on YouTube?  #thestruggleisreal.

Compounding on top of the serious sleep deprivation that should be covered in this movie is the constant sunlight in the North Pole.  Especially in the summer (AKA the time of the year where the elves take off one of their six pairs of long underwear).   When it's in the summer months, it's light all year round at the North Pole.

And it's not that much different in Russia.  They call it the White Nights of Summer.  (Mom, Dad: This is not the same thing as Night in White Satin by the Moody Blues so please stop singing it out loud.  I can hear the pitch problems from here.)  Honestly though, there's a reason humans aren't nocturnal.  It's hard to make yourself go to sleep when you could be getting a tan at midnight.  In reality, all of this compounds to me writing this blog at 2:33am.  Not the best life choices but I consider this a YOLO situation.

Even within Russia, somethings are as different as night and day (or just day and a slightly overcast day-like environment).  Traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg via train, we got to see some of the differences between the two places.  From the city hastily built around the opulent, glistening palace of the Kremlin filled with precious gems and history, to the well structured and cohesive "Venice of the North" there is quite a difference.  Let me explain a bit more.  Moscow is built surrounding the Kremlin but it's not exactly the most easy to understand city design.  St. Petersburg has been beautifully laid out to the T with a lot of regulations on building height and color.  If they were paintings, St. Petersburg would be a Van Gogh and Moscow would be a child's spin art.  Both are absolutely stunning and gorgeous in their own right.   Just one is structured, well put together and all the strokes work together to communicate an idea, while the other may have had a city planner who still described her age as "this many".  I hope it's not too clear which one is my favorite.

As we approach 3am and the sun is beginning to rise (I'm not kidding), I think it's time I get some shut eye.  We have a concert tomorrow at the Mariinsky II and I've got to get up for breakfast tomorrow.  Hopefully, the hotel will have all of the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup.


  1. I guess everything is going great because I haven't heard "another note"! Better to be a tourist now!
    Hope St. Pete concert goes well and then I guess another trip to England. Can't wait for the blog!

  2. Well you pegged us....we burst into song all right! But dad was way more "pitchy" than me! Now, get some sleep silly girl! You have a concert I! GET SOME SLEEP!

  3. Saw your Mom on our walk and on her way to work. She told us about the White Nights and I thought of the song too. I have totally enjoyed each and every blog you have written.