P.S. to the R.E.M. post:
I know that this line from Man On the Moon is about something completely different (and for me, somehow, it's always had a very special meaning, very different from the one intended, I'm sure) - but right now it looks like a total prophesy:
Here's a truck stop instead of Saint Peter's.
(I have to say it again: I'm so so so upset... It was supposed to be this once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing... Fucking Soviet bureaucracy...)