Weather permitting, I'm leaving tomorrow. I haven't been home for the holidays in way too long, and even though I'm sad to abandon the better half and the cats, I can hardly contain my excitement. I'm bearing gifts, I cannot wait to see my parents and sister, and to just sir in the kitchen and talk late into the night (once the jetlag subsides, that is.) There might be a small artificial tree involved. And cake -- oh, cake and chocolate... you have no idea how much I miss good chocolate.
I also want to see how much the city has changed in the past four years -- it's always a little sad to realize how quickly it moves on without me, and becomes a fractured mosaic of things familiar and new. I want to take pictures of snow and stray dogs, of street fashions and architecture; instead, I'm most likely to hang out with the family and work on my golden age of Hollywood novel (tentative title: The Story of Billy Wong, an Actor). I always feel more inclined to write about places that are far away -- it's the melancholy and the absence that drive me. Incidentally, both in Moscow and in NJ I live where I can hear the trains; they wake me up every night. I much prefer them to planes (stupid Atlantic).
I also want to get my hands on as many versions of various European Vogues as I can. Who knows? Maybe in their totality they will reveal something profound; barring that, expect cultural and fashion analysis. I expect to have email access and the regular social media channels. I will be back in NJ January 5th, as long as there are no sudden strikes, disasters, upheavals, and bureaucratic obstacles.