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#all about eve

When you reorganize your bookshelf and find a notebook that’s full of obnoxious journal entries you wrote when you were hellishly depressed, fragments of an Inception fic that was so complicated that you needed to draw diagrams, lesson planning notes, and a bit of a poem that might not be terrible if you tore it apart and started over.

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I get a lot of Margo Channing vibes with Mycroft Holmes. 

For those who don’t know Margo Channing is a character from the movie ‘All About Eve’ played by Bette Davis. Really great movie.

 Anyway they give me the same spoiled brat kind of vibe but also share other character traits including being very insecure, intelligent, stubborn and very strong willed people/characters. They’re both influential figures (though Margo is an actress and Mycoft is the Government). They’re both good at brooding and being depressed. They both have snarky and sarcastic humour. 

All I’m saying is they are very similar and all I want is a crossover fic to see whether they would get along or not. Her tantrums might remind Myc of his brother a little bit. Seeing those characters interact could be fun.

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It’s summer again, and I have a moment to breathe, so: hi.

I’m at my local coffee shop, trying to figure out my way into another story, which– ugh, I know my themes and focus and bits of the dialogue and who talks to whom, and who pines for whom, and I know the parts that need description, and the parts for action, I just need to find my way in, you know?  I need that clear opening shot, and it is not coming, and I suspect it’s because my sleep schedule is fucked all to hell right now, which is what happens when I’m not teaching and don’t have rigid plans every day.

I was doin’ pretty well on the sleep thing for the first part of the summer, although that was really beyond my control; I was traveling in eastern and central Europe with 64 students for two weeks, There Was Definitely A Schedule.

Travel was lovely– I got to add seven more countries to my travel total, and while these sorts of student tours don’t really allow for much in the way of the solo sorts of rambles that I really love to do while traveling, they do give me an idea of what places I would like to return to sometime in the future.  So this summer included: Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna and Salzburg, Austria; Prague and Cemsky Kumlov and Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic; Lichtenstein (for, like, a hot minute); Lindau, Germany; and Lucerne, Switzerland. 

And I do not know any German, so it was a trip wherein I got to be delightfully illiterate, which is always good for the ego.  

Places I would go back to in a heartbeat: Prague (deeply cool vibe that I loved), Budapest (I was so jetlagged I’m not sure I really remember it properly?), and the Alps.  Jesus god, the light in the Alps was something else.  I just wanted to sit at the peak and be quiet for days.

I usually try to blog when I travel (not here; I have a proper real life blog with my name attached, and so I will not link it, sorry), but I wasn’t feeling inspired to write this time.  Instead, I decided I would sketch whenever I could– looking out the window of the bus, finding ten minutes on a park bench while waiting for students, sitting at a sidewalk cafe– whatever time I had, I drew.  Some of them are terrible, and some are a bit better.  Anyway, here’s what my travels looked like:

So!  That’s what I’m up to: sleeping badly, getting over travel, and trying to write.

What about y’all?

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“As Lary May points out, what is so appealing about the movie star is how close they are to you and me — ordinary people who somehow “made it”. Yet at the same time, they show us how to transcend ordinariness — how to elevate the body into the image. The theater critic Addison DeWitt in All about Eve explains the implicit contradiction in star culture: “Every now and then some elder statesman of the theater or cinema assures the public that actors and actresses are just plain folks, ignoring the fact that their greatest attraction for the public is their complete lack of resemblance to normal human beings.”
   There is an ongoing representational distinction in star culture between stars as exotic beings who inhabit worlds of privilege and glamour, dwelling in homes the size of Disneyland while they have access to geographic and psychical regions the rest of us can only dream about, and the I’m-just-a-regular-person mode of stardom, where we see stars preoccupied with everyday concerns like carpooling the kids and trying to find quality time with their spouses. “A new fiction of ordinariness” writes Richard Schickel, “prevailed from the early thirties to the midfifties. It was a fiction in which extraordinary people — if not always in talent, then assuredly in looks and income level — were supposed to be seen as entirely like their audience in basic values and desires”. They were shown in suburban-ish looking circumstances and came off as tamely middle-class. Uncannily, Schickel points out, it began to seem as though “the conventional relationship between media figures and their auditors was here reversed, that the movie stars were imitating us”. But all along, as others have documented, the notion of the ordinariness of the star has been central to their reception — especially in a democratic culture that disdains the cavortings of the hereditarily elite. Ordinariness, which is really no more than the remnant of flesh-and-bloodness of the image, is the bridge concept for our identification with the star’s image.

Virginia L Blum, Flesh Wounds: The Culture of Cosmetic Surgery; 2003

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