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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Graffiti Time:

Taking cue from the French who have recently put up empty spaces for people to graffiti on instead on "les pubs," and Adelle via Big Pink Cookie It is international blog comment week.

Since all the cool kids are doing it. And I am knee deep in translation (now that my paper has been confirmed as somewhat comprehensible) so I cant really comment on much myself I open my comments up to you.

So if you have stopped in and seen this message go ahead try it. Sign in to the comment box and say hello. mark the corner with you were here or what ever your fancy is, just be nice :)
HAHA:
I am translating and working on refining my paper in french so I am sitting here with my dictionary in my lap. So what do I do, I opened my dictionary and saw an entry for G-String. NO I am not joking.

So next time you want to saddle up and talk sexy dont forget to talk about cache-sex (and for those of you who care it is a masculine word) that or you can be trop touriste and say Le String :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

WHOOOPIE:
I am ready to do a Hee Haw dance! Scary I know :) But when I get exicted I do not half ass it.

ONE PAPER. DONE!

That's right people locking your self up in a library, even when its sunny and not connecting to the internet does pay! I have managed to write a decent argument randomly supported, on a topic that does interest me, for which I hopefully will not be failed. Its not everything I hoped it could be and I am not sure it is up to my normal "feel proud of" snuff, but right now what is most important to me is that I am done! All that is left is some basic translation and I am thinking that by this time tomorrow I can stamp it completely out of the factory!

Add that to the fact that Cecily is in town and we are having a grand time, not to mention all I have left on my tank top is to weave in a few ends and sew up the sides and tank straps and you have one happy Tink. I might just survive this whole ordeal afterall. One down one to go! Onwards and upwards. Tally HO

That is all *beams with a pride/satisfaction of sorts* Back to your previously programmed entertainment.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Statistics and Politicians LIE:
I just read out of morbid curiosity an article by Bob Dole. Yup I read some bullshit Mr. Pepsi Viagra wrote. You know that is a sign of how hard I am working at avoiding those last 450 words of my paper for this week. And sorry, no I am not going to link to it, it is BOB DOLE. That would be too embarassing, as if reading it wasnt bad enough. Its in the NYT Op-Ed, go find it on your own.

But he went on to detail the upcoming election. He wasnt as nasty partisan as I expected but he sure did lie. He told the truth when he said Nixon's advice to him. Most sitting presidents should the economic situation be relatively decent will win the election. Yup boys and girls, Billy-boy said it right, "Its the economy stupid!" Trying to cite statistics to make it all better for this president well its just ridiculous.

I know the Republicans want to take the wind out from under the Democrats. You know that whole sound like a democrat but trash the system "compassionate conservative" bullshit. And to be honest they have sold more than one gullible American that swampland. But Dole aint been popping just one blue pill lately if you catch my drift.

He went on to list a bunch of indicators without any comparative info, or what they were based on. Fallacies and unfounded numbers to convince the simple people.

Sure we have low unemployment. Two reasons: the government cut unemployment benefits and a lot of peoples benefits ran out. They still dont have a job but Bob's statistic doesnt want you to call them unemployed anymore. And two cause lots of people have taken lower paying jobs (like 3 different ones flipping burgers) to meet the bills, sure they are employed but I am not sure they are thanking George just yet.

Even better he tries to argue that George is creating jobs, 364,000 since last August. Well that sounds all great and dandy till you realize since coming into office he's lost over 3 million jobs. 10% replacement rate is pretty shoddy if you ask me. Not to mention that 300 people are all going for that one job. Sure way to make a college grad 50K in debt smile.

Well inflation is down and people are buying more houses and debt. Sure artificially. And that has tanked our currency screwing over other economies in the short term and ours in the long term. But domestically for people when Alan Greenspan pulls the cord on those interest rates and money he's been giving away for free to try and keep things floating, there is going to be one hell of a crash for a lot of Americans. Most people I know in Europe are amazed by some of the numbers I cite; actually they usually think I am lying. Unfortunately I am not. The costs of education, the amount of average credit card debt, all those good things that "keep the market economy" ticking are going to crash the economy too.

He goes on to compare the two candidates militarily. You, know a veteran to a proven war president. Well sure he's been a war president. You'd think from the way he deals with foreign policy and diplomacy that he was playing Risk! I dont think he ever won that game as a kid. But does that really make his record better? I mean the man is scrambling playing that disdained game of "Washington Partisan Politics" with the best of them, slinging mud like he was digging for Iraqi oil. But does that make him an effective war president? Well with Al Qaeda being mostly ignored, and taking root in Indonesia and Afghanistan again and Iraqis bombing shit left and right, not to mention the continued uprising between the Israeli kill a fly with a sledge hammer method and Palestinian throw anything you got- yeah the ice cream tank and that 12 year old by it too method, to say nothing of his ignorance to the fact that genocide, yes GENOCIDE is happening in Dafur, Sudan. Well I sure wouldnt want that kind of record by my name as reflecting my foreign policy.

Next thing you know Bob will be saying that the market is doing Medicare better than the government ever could. I mean George has given them a prescription drug plan, and well Bob is covered for life by his status from past Senate coverage so what does he care? Well he'd be wrong there too cause facts stand when you let the market stabilize a price it is in the markets interest to get the best price, and that aint the lowest one people. The government is better because it has a better handle on overhead costs too. Simple biddness shit George hasnt ever gotten. I mean how could he he's tanked two Oil companies for more than some obscene number I want to forget but think is oh.... 8 million each. Isnt oil supposed to be a guaranteed industry?? Not to mention that his nice presecription plan is cositng an extra couple billion. I mean if we have to live on a budget you have to give good numbers so we can budget. Oops I think George needs a dictionary to look up budget for his birthday.

Which leads me to what I find so annoying about this all: people think numbers are absolute. That if it says so in a number it has to be true. Yes mathematics is absolute; 1+1 does = 2. However a statistic is a mathematical function plus! Numbers in terms of statistics are nothing more than a reflection of the data collected, and how it was collected. There are all sorts of studies showing how you construct a simple question same intent different phrasing can give you completely different answers. Crazy isnt it that isnt it crazy would get two different responses. Therefore its the data that is important not the number. And you can take the same number in any context and make it say the same thing for two completely contrary arguments.

Aggrivating isnt it. But really it is simple, look around if you have more debt, less income, and see more people like that then the contrary- the economy... sorry Bob- it aint doing so well. Go pop another pill and tell mee what other delusions you come up with ok ??

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Aging SUCKS!!!:
I have been researching up a bit this afternoon. Unfortunately not on my paper- need to get my act together today on that; but that is entirely another issue. I have been looking at travelling. I want to travel. And some of it I will have to do- like visits back to Paris for advising during my Thesis Module. So I am trying to figure out what would be a cheap way to go about this...

So I look at all the cheapies on the No-Frills Airlines. Great, lots of lines going lots of places that is nice with all sorts of them being around, deals abound. All flights to varying locations are running about 125 euros round trip. Not a lot but if I have to go twice a month with a variable exchange rate... that adds up. 16 hour bus rides- out of the question, so I think what about the trains. I love European trains!!

Well I go look at Eurail passes, cause I can cheat and have it sent to someone at home to send to me. Getting one of those flex ones is perfect 10 days in two months, works like a charm. The Select option is even better select adjoing countries- France, Spain and Portugal here I come! Oh wait hold on...

It is official: I hate being "old(er)," especially as I am not THAT old. Unfortunately the ageist SOB's who sell things like Eurail Passes and train tickets want to charge me more though all for a stupid number. Christ on a bike, I am still a student I am only 26 (27 in June and when I would use the tickets) and cause I am not under 26 on the first day of validity I will have to pay an extra $163 if I am honest and get a rail pass. I mean for almost the same price as my 10 days if I was younger I could have 5 countries and 15 days. This make Tink *furrowing eyebrows into the scrunchie face* GRUMPY!

Now I am going to have Cecily buy me my ticket to Siena cause she is 25 and can get the student discount. I dont think anyone will look twice at me cause unless I seriously tart myself up most people say I look like I am twelve. But I am not always going to have a handy 25 year old around. And I dont know if I could get away with pulling of the youth pass if anyone checked things like dates and a passport. Anyone know what they would do to me if I tried??

Yes I know I shouldnt be trying to skirt edges like this. Bad Tink, bad Tink. But I am skint, a student and well I dont want to miss out on the potential experiences either! And well I probably could get away with it, I know how to sweeten my way through with train conductors *does dumb bambi american look* I am going to see about a job somewhere but I am trying mostly to line up internships and I still have to get some other things together like my citizenship papers/residency!

So this is what I say to you all right now. Being skint is a pain in my ass, being decent is a hindrance, and being "old(er)" is a Bitch!

Friday, March 26, 2004

OH MI GAWD:
Can I tell you people how much it makes me smile to see that I am linked to on another blog. I know it sounds well kind of lonely, and really I am not that lonely in life. However, I often work off the premise that most people dont read this crap I am writing. I barely get any comments- to the point that I have considered removing them, cause I hate feeling not loved :) Yeah people you need to start speaking up!

In honesty I really havent quite gotten to grips as to what this blog is about anyways- it will get tehre at some point. And I admit I am often grumpy and venting a bit out on you guys (sorry). But it lights up my day to come home after some time at the library and see that on a blog that makes me giggle I am listed.

I am the proud playdate at The Mommy Blog!!! And yes I do play nice with the little munchkins- that is of course after I shove them into a hampster wheel to run down the energy :)



Question Of The Day:
Why is that everytime I run into someone on a moped I want to respond in Italian to them? I am in France, I speak French all day, and I havent used my Italian since last fall really (which is scary see below). But it never fails. A mopeder stops for me while waiting to cross the street and me I say thank you in Italian.

That whole below part.... I just realized in 25 days I will be starting classes in Italy. Taking the next step, going through the adjustment all over again, and well having to finish out this experience. I am torn over this as to cross the finish line I have to finish out 1.5 papers and pack up and move my shit all over again.

I cant tell you how much I am not suited to a nomad's life. Moving every three months has been pretty hard on me to be honest. I also dont know what I was thinking of switching languages 4 times in one year, actually I do know I wasnt thinking I was dreaming of "vacations." But this aint no fecking vacation, graduate studies and this program is not for sissies or people who just want to go somewhere, do something.

The other part of me is starting to get excited with spring weather, my tank top almost done (even if I did run out of yarn for finishing it today), italian again, GELATO!! What is there not to love. Train tickets are dirt cheap, living costs will be cheaper, and I will get to visit my friends there. If I get my act together I will also travel some, classes will be easier on me... It is a win situation right?

Right, Ill let you know when I get there. For now I will focus on turning some gobbledy-gook into something that is recognizable, sending out three email interviews, and getting some applications together. Anyone got a magic wand out there?

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Woots!
Zeno gots it right I am feisty, I am jittery and all over the board people. You didn’t think I chose to name my blog like I did for nothing did you :) And for now I am in a much better mood; though I don’t guarantee how long that will last- this is paper season people.

Woot:
I saw Maryam today by complete accident. We ran into each other on the street. This was great as I wanted to make sure I saw her before she goes home in a few days. I adore this woman. Doesn’t matter what happens with each other, we just get each other. There is no need to adjust or change who you are to accommodate. We both have a way of being able to resolve what ever is between us, and an innate ability realize what is important. It is really nice to have one of those friendships that you know no matter what happens in between or how long is in between; you pick up right where you left off, like it was only 2 minutes ago. I really do wish we had spent more time together. I really should have gotten us an apartment to share!

We caught up, which was so much fun. I talked with her about my agitation with Lauren, as it seems Lauren will take a petty issue and bitch about her annoyance to everyone; every one that is but me. It is a southern thing. The whole idea that manners is what a rational person would think is rude. It is immature and really I have no tolerance for it, it reinforces why I don’t like southerners (no offense intended) and is why I have dropped the whole thing. But it was nice to get it out and hear her perspective on it too; especially cause Maryam has had the same issues with Lauren. I am going to miss her; luckily we have made plans to visit each other.

Woot Woot:
Stupid paper #1 is a bunch of gobbledy-gook right now in need of a good polish but I am over 70% of the way to my word count. I managed to find a question and I have synthesized the hell out of 4 complimentary positions in the literature to create what I think is a somewhat decent piece of bullshit supporting something I do believe in with a fair amount of structure. And since it is french I have a feeling the Prof will give me some leeway. And I managed to do that all and give me a break to come home earlier than my normal close down the building policy.

Woot Woot Woot:
I am at the 90% mark with my tank top. I am still not converted to knitting with cotton, it requires smaller needles and makes my fingers hurt. But I am in one seriously happy mood with my tank. I think it is going to look really nice once all done. I have finished the front and the back pieces as of tonight. So all I have to do is block the item, sew it together and do the finishing edges! There is a serious chance it will be done by the weekend. That is right a tank top done with spring knocking on the door. It also means I get to treat myself to a new project. I am really going crazy over choosing it though. Indecision, indecision! Oh well whatever it is it will be fun. Maybe another tank top, maybe a lacy style shawl, maybe the tie cardigan; I don’t know yet, so much I want to make, and so much the yarn costs. Feel free to give an opinion if you feel like it :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I Can’t Hold It In Any More:
I hate French libraries. I preface this entry with the fact that when I am annoyed or tired I refer to everything as stupid. Example: I stop running at the stupid tree :)

To explain the non-existent logic of the French system here is what you do: First you go research the database and find a source that interests you. Now you might think the next step would be to go to the book shelves. You would be wrong.

This is where it gets better: there are limits on what you can check out (that are WAY too low). That sounds reasonable in theory, in practice not so much. In practice to get a source you fill out these little cards, with the info in their Dewey Decimal on French Crack system, and then get the card stamped (again with the fucking stamps!), then pray they have your source here not out in the banlieu (which takes an extra two days), and lastly you wait an hour to actually get the source.

You might think at this point you would be able to look at that book. Nah not until you check the book out. But you might not need the book. You might just want to go and make a copy. Nope you have to check it out first. I am not talking leaving the building, just looking. So you do this whole dance repeatedly.

So you spend more time running around in front of the stupid copiers. Why do I bring this all up... Watch out beloooooooow! Cause the US academic and library system is soooooo fucking superior to this shit here. I know it wasn’t nice. I have heard the "it is part of the experience" argument too. However when the experience has you bent over a barrel, I for one am not so tolerant or fond of the stupid experience. I am stuck. I pray I can take what I have and piece most of the stupid argument together in the next 3 days.

In general I must sound really pissy but I am not that miserable to be around in person honest, just really sweet and caustically sarcastic. But I have FINALLY gotten my stupid act together and am actually working on two stupid papers. I have taken a cop out but I should finish here and finish with some semblance of sanity (or whatever it is that I have) and at least one stupid but decent grade I am guessing.

Part of how I have done this is that every day I get my stupid ass up out of bed and I leave the apartment. I walk to the library and me and my laptops sit there. I don’t take an Ethernet cord- no internet hooky. Sounds simple, but without pressure I am LAZY. I sit doing nothing, watching TV, knitting, running- you get the idea. I do this to the point that nothing is done, time is gone, and I am panicking with no idea where to start.

The real point of this rant: I got screwed. Some stupid idiot told me I had a month. I was about to return them and exchange them. Turns out in French library reality-land I only had two weeks and I was late. However the French system doesn’t make you pay late-fees. Which would be nice, if they didn’t fuck you over in a MUCH more penetrating way. I can’t look at any stupid thing till Monday- that is right mother freaking stupid Monday. You might say its only 5 days away- it’s not too long. Well it is 3 days before paper #1 is due and 8 days before paper #2. It is also when my old roommate is visiting for 3 days.

All this from the library that lets people write in the books, I know! I will never cease to be astounded by this. I admit in research books to being highlight happy, and to writing little notes but those are MY books. The concept of underlining or marking in a library book appalls my delicate sensibilities. Mostly because your shit distracts me. The guy sitting right next to me just did it 5 seconds ago.

The best part of the "cultural exchange:" At the end the guy looks at me and in only the way the French language can express says the equivalent of- it is my pleasure to inform you that you are not permitted to check out books until the 27th and we are closed that day. Thank you.

Fuck you and your buddy the twat who made me run up and down 6 floors of the library yesterday 4 times because he couldn’t tell time. My calves are so tight today I think they might snap like a rubber band and send me flying about 20 yards, hopefully taking them and their stupid antiquated system out.

I am sure I will laugh about this one day. I have been that way with many other annoyances, and previous field research and living abroad experiences. Some of them I even look back on fondly, however not today.

In spite of all that life has made me laugh, it does that for that elusive thing called balance. What happens as soon as I am done writing this entry? A girl sits in front of me with a shirt on for a sorority rush event. Even better some Abercrummy and Bitch boy comes up in his frat gear and does the French bises. I can’t possibly begin to explain why that helped an insty-wensty bit, but it did. For now I am next in line for the Metro back to hell- Satan is calling my name

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

RIP:
I have come to my senses and I admit my passport will not magically return to me. I know I have this delusional ostrich tendancy- it is well established. Call it one of my lovable quirks (no actually lets not, cause while it is getting a bit better; right now it is making me CRAZY)

So today I up and forced myself to go. And at the consulate I wasted an hour and half plus $90. I nailed the last nail on the coffin on my poor passport. I went and ordered me a new one. Made it through the interview and everything. Even played with one of the cutest little girls, with one of those unfortunate names like Petula. I think I convinced the authorities I was an American citizen. And since they didnt ask me anything about the administration, I should have a new holographic all biometric and whatever other fancy things they are trying to do to them now kind of passport.

I will miss my passport, it has stamps in it from exotic places and visas. It has memories good and bad. Places and thing that are a part of me. I hope that somewhere I will come upon it and at least have those blessed stamps. I know that I will always have the memories but that passport was kind of a reminder of my passing in times and well I can be sentimental like that sometimes. Shut up!

Also managed to get in some good researching time today. Isolating yourself at a library with out internet does wonders! So I am feeling a wee bit better about one of my paper options; I also have a cop out I can take if needed to get myself through this. Everything was approved through for my thesis supervisor and I am pretty well set. I even got more knitting done on my tank top. It is about 70% done and I am guessing by the end of the week I will have to make a decision on the next project. So you all need to go and COMMENT! down below. Come on I know some of you have to have opinions, and well I am nothing if not indecisive, so speak up!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Linky Love:
Cause I am trying to actually do things today I am only going to do three things on the blog today. Success is a whole other story, but got to sit my ass down and start somewhere- come on give me a cookie for effort!

1. Put up linky love- to articles I read today that really made me go hmmmmmm.
2. Ask for your opinion.
3. Update my blogroll cause it really really needs it.

Linky Love to the NYT- cause I didnt have time for BBC this morning too:
I love Paul Krugman
However Maureen Dowd is funnier
Adam Cohen reminds me in Law School I kept thinking Rehnquist was hopped up on something, he might be also though.
The great black abyss of Republican fiscal management- it hurts to think about it.
Hurts even more to have a presidential race start 7 months in advance. Way to keep it positive George; way to snort the line of coke again.
And something that makes me feel sad about the state of racial relations.

Now for your opinon:
Cause I like you and want you all to speak up .... er hmmm! I am going to let you help me choose. I dont talk lots abbout my knitting, but I am starting to. Even if you dont knit, you can obviously look at something and give an opinion...

I am about 60% done with my tank top, cotton doesnt knit quick but when avoiding work I do. I cant get myself past the sale on Rowan yarns at Up Country. Sure wish I was working and paid in Pounds, wouldnt flinch so much then. And I want to start the next project, something for this spring, so I need to hop to it. I am screaming at the fact that four of the colors I LOVE are on sale (bc they are discontinued: salad, morning glory, nectar and lilac).

Now I have gone through all the Rowan patterns and I have about 10 projects I want to do. And while I want to buy it all, but my better judgement is keeping me from it. It's barely 100 pounds but the exchange rate with that will KILL me. Hopfeully I wont regret not stocking up!

To help inform your decision: I am limiting myself to patterns that have yarn on sale in colors I like. And also I am limiting it to Spring-y things for Siena. I want to use this and use it lots this spring/summer. I want this sweater to be one of those Italian spring time wear with a tank top and my black cotton skirt all the time types of sweaters.

So on to the project picking:
This sweater was first in line. But I am starting to think twice... I have the pattern for and I would make it in the same color and everything. But is it a wear all the time sweater?? I dont know, but I really do like it. And I love that pink color!
The first pangs started when I saw this pattern/tie cardigan and thought wow same yarn and I really like it...
It got worse when I saw this tie cardigan (second one down- enchant). The yarn is cheaper and since the line is discontinued larger color selection, thinking watermelon or splash??

I dont know you tell me in the comments- anyone and everyone can speak up in there too!

And as for the blog roll well go look to the right people, all sorts of new linkies.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

I Was Wrong:
I am one of those freaks that really honest never has tried any drugs, no contact high, no cigarette and I dont count alcohol- but I am pretty moderate about that too. MY rebellious teenage years well they werent that rebellious. All of my drugs have been attached to a prescription. So the closest I had ever been to any acid/LSD trip was watching Mary Poppins in Spanish. And since Spaniards speak faster than the TGV, it was one hell of a spin (and I speak Spanish), that and my migrane probably helped it along. I didnt think it could be topped.

But sacrilidge be damned, not sure today tops it but it sure is up there on that level. I watched Scooby Doo in French. They have translated the whole theme song too, which normally isnt done. It was more than my poor mind knew what to do with. Scooby doubie dooo ou est tu? what What WHAT!!??!! The voices are all off and Shaggy is called Sammy- WTF? And if I wasnt smoking crack I think they called ScoobySnacks a "petit gateau" which really is only a little cake/cookie? I dont even want to know about jinkies and zoink translations.

Even worse was switching the channel and finding out Robbie Williams had remade George Michael's Freedom. I think I need a nightmare to get away from this.....

Friday, March 19, 2004

Self Flagellation Is Over:
I like anyone else when down do a damn good job of beating the shit out of myself. All by my lonesome, and I have the lashings to prove it. Wasnt a fun two days at all. I am having issues focusing myself to the tasks at hand and that always makes me bonkers. Homesickness, emotions what ever it was didnt help either. However I did make it to the other side. I managed through my meeting with my professor with out drooling, only minorly stuttering and well I got an invitation thanks to what I proposed to write for a conference he is organizing in June on Gender and Public Policy.

Hot damn, between that and my retail therapy (yes I bought the domain name people I DID IT, one step closer) and knit-chiatry at the Bon Marche I think things around here have taken a turn. So you can come out from behind the sofa- I wont bite unless you ask :) Now if only I had 36 pounds (well x2 cause I want colors 501 and 503) I sooooo want to make this sweater right now and the yarn is on sale. I was such a good girl last night only buying yarn (color 811 if you were wondering) that was on sale for one project and a book of patterns... that might be coming to an end.

The real sign was today when the hottest professor on the face of the planet told me I have "courage" for trying to do this paper and forcing the limits of my language skills. My response: No I am just crazy. He laughed, I was serious- what the fuck was I ever thinking??? If I wasnt schitzophrenic before switching languages every 3 months sure as hell is going to do it to me now. The self-deprecation is back, it must mean I am back to "normal."

Doesnt mean I wont be crabby- I am in paper writing season where just about everything is a moving target for me to take aim at. However I am no longer emotional- I was always a bitch :) Thank you for being so nice about it all!
Do Not Heckle Me:
I repeat do not heckle me while I am running. Do not do it in a language I understand. Do not make fun of the Camelback either. It is not a good idea.

This is my meditation time. My time to try and heal my emotional divide. This is my space to try and get away from it all, and I am a bitch about it. I feel like shit and I am running. So do NOT fuck with me. If you do, I will snap your little head off with my two tiny delicate fingers.

Yes people I am moody today. Doesnt happen often but when it does it isnt pretty. Don't think I wont turn around and heckle your lame little ass right back. I soooo will do it, cutting your ass down to size with a bitch slap from Shiva. I will do it while running, with my finger swinging in the air, and in French and Spanish. I am talented like that.

I will make your ass blush in front of all your middle school and middle age friends. I will make your eyes pop out of their sockets. And I will make you sputter. I will do it with pride and with the afterglow of my glory and workout.

Spitfire and Hell on wheels that is me. Crack that whip. That and Tarzan from the Jungle the way I swing from emotion to emotion. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAA. Thump, thump on my diminutive chest.

Thursday, March 18, 2004



Some Days I Really Do Question Myself
I wonder why everyone else doesnt too. I wonder if I have gotten carried away by an imaginary idea. Or worse I have fooled everyone into thinking I have a clue or a brain cell; when really it is just a farce. I even think being a kept woman wouldnt be so bad (that is when I know I am in real trouble, way before the unexpected wave of tears).

Everyone I know in real life has always told me that I am finally on the right path after faltering a bit. Teaching at university is the probably one of those jobs not only suited for me, but that I am suited for also. Working 9-5 was nice for a while but I missed having to stretch my brain. Business to me was always simple to understand- tedious to do, but just about any twat could. Now I am tired of the fact that I have more stretch marks on my brain than the lady who had octuplets has around her middle. Sometimes I think they just might know better than me, but not today.

May not seem from this blog like I could teach anything as I can often get so flustered I cant string words together, but put me on the spot and it is another issue. Ask me questions on the riveting topics of decision making processes in the EU, Gender Policy, Trans-Atlantic Trade Disputes or Comparative Social Welfare Structures to name a few and I can walk you through it backwards and forwards at any level. I just wish I had some kind of mentor to walk me through the rocky transition back to academia, cause this accelerated program is seriously knocking my ass around the playground. I didnt expect it would be this much of a pain to get back on the saddle.

It is days like today though where even under pressure I cant get my research together, cant define what I need to write, despise the idea of having to write (in desperate moments want to copy whatever anyone else who seems smart has written that I agree with), and cant seem to do what is really needed when I wonder if I am on the wrong path. I question what I have chosen in my life. From all I can tell that which I need/want in life (ie structure) and would like to have externally imposed (I really am lazy) ideally by a job of sorts, aint going to happen on this road. I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew and well, quite honestly if I am out of my league.

I love being in classes, but I am also tired of some parts too. Most of all it would be really nice to leave it all at work. It would probably be easier to get things done if I had an office to go too. I am guessing being in a "foreign" culture with only a small local network and moving every three months doesnt help either. That might be a bit of what is hitting me like a serious whomp today.

As much as I love and fit in here in Paris, to a certain degree I am still on the outside of the window looking in. Its hard to figure out which priorities go where with it all swaping places around me. But in general, I am sooooo not an army brat, dont think I could survive like this for much longer than the planned next year and a half or so. I love to travel, but I am desperately missing having an actual HOME, with roots, a garden, my group of friends, family and my monster.

Today if you couldnt tell I am feeling a bit intellectually inferior (actually flaming failure has come to mind to describe my current mood), challenged to the point of overwhelm by this whole deal, and a bit broken down. I just cant seem to get the bits to come together. I have all these scattered ideas and they are not gelling to formulate an argument of my own that hasnt been beaten to death in the literature on the topic already. Any creative muse I ever had that might have helped me to figure out a new take on it has abandoned me on top of it all. Even better, tomorrow I have to go and meet with quite possibly the worlds hottest professor. The one who makes me stare at his lips and stutter in French, and try to get my shit together, did I already say in French.

Dear Buddha do I need a run, vodka in my Camelback wouldnt be a bad idea either. Cause WOW when this whole twinges of homesickness with a sign of a pity party and emotions hits, it comes atcha out of nowhere like a wall. Thumps you a good one and then takes a kick at you while you are on the floor. Emotions nothing to mess with I tell you. If my body ever did this on a regular basis I would be demanding the drugs.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Bad, Bad, Bad Girl:
I knew I shouldnt and yet I did. It was all safe in my fridge, sealed and pretty. That is until I opened it.

That is right people I opened the prosciutto/jambon cru. Bad news never tasted so yummy. Its worse than Pringles. There is no pop and I still cant stop.

There went losing those last 5 lbs- 80 grams of Prosciutto has just hit my ass in record speed. God help me once I get to Italy: Prosciutto and Gelato. I hope there is a gym.



I Sound Insane:
I know, I know, I know. Many would say I am insane. I have very litte ground to stand on and argue to the contrary. And here I am ready to jump off into the deep end again. Not just once but twice. I just hand it out people, for free!

There is no other way though, this has got to stop. It is 70 degrees out and sunny. I know I was regaling the joys of spring yesterday, and I will want them tomorrow probably when I am supposed to go running. I still love every spring bit from the crocuses, to the sun, to the sax player down the street, to the people everywhere and even to me wanting to wear pink; but damn if it has to happen when I am supposed to be trying to get things done. I need it to be grey and rainy so that I will stay in and focus- you know getting things like... DONE.

I am so beyond brilliant and talented at wasting time. And then like a deer in headlights looking around as if I could find the time I had "misplaced." I have serious research working to get done on two papers and I cant bring myself to get my arse in gear. And while there are many factors and worries in there affecting my productivity on actual things, that well are priorities- the sun it is not helping either.

And to make that second Shamu style wave in the pool of insanity that surrounds me... I really am getting closer and closer to getting the nerve to put the blog on its own site (server and domain), with a redesign (ie not a blogger template). About a year ago I started playing around with learning HTML, then I started my nomadic life and put up this blog, and now that I have my camera I want to play with it and photoshop (what little I remember of how to make it work) and want to learn how to make Flash do crazy shit too...

Well why is that all so insane you ask? Ill tell you. Note this is beyond the costs of doing it, which well are a whole other topic; and the time of learning how to, which should be spent on the first nose-plunge- my research. I am living the life of a random nomad and really the end is not in sight. I move to Italy in a month, and there is a 95% chance I will not have the internet where I am living. Running a website from the internet cafe... ack. And after three months there I have no clue where I will be moving to- could be to Spain, could be to Brussels, could be back to Paris, could be in Italy. Hell if I know, and yes the control freak in me hates that part of my life right now.

So welcome to my deep, dark, diving tank of insanity- go ahead dogpaddle around. And while you are at it have a green beer from an Irish Leprechaun :)

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Ways To Make French Men STARE At You:
1. Be female
2. Go running
3. Run on the streets and sidewalks (on the way to the Jardin)
4. Run wearing a camelback and drink from it (which is WAY harder than it looks) while running
5. Run wearing a tank top. Cause its fucking hot out and the sun is out which = show some skin!
6. Smile unconsciously at people while running. Cause its fucking gorgeous, why wouldnt I?
and 7. Stop to take a picture on the grass in the corner of the crocus (where there is not pelouse interdit- but the nice Gendarme still comes up and points at you).

Not sure if this is good or not. I mean as one of only two women less competition, but I am looked at like I am a serioius oddity. Ok I am. SHUT IT. Most of the glaring men at least smiled. My ankle and knee arent too fond of me or cobblestone streets though. Oh well if its sunny tomorrow I will swim instead. E madre di tutti fa caldo oggi!

Other Random Notes:
I had the best dinner tonight, simple and cheap but OH SO YUMMY! I made pasta and used Creme de Camembert, a bit of butter, chicken boullion granules, and some italian herbs. DIVINE.

Also I have become obssesive again. I have this habit when I like a song of listening to it over, and Over and OVER again. Poor neighbors, I do feel for them. I cant bring myself to admit again the subject of my musical repitition.

Off to watch my weekly dose of Coupling. Ciao!
Boing Boing Boing!!
I survived the Ides of March and it is spring in Paris today. I am bouncing more than Tigger can you tell? Almost 60 degrees and sunny! I woke up relatively early this morning and am loving it. I am also having extreme urges to go shopping for spring-y, sherbet-y, pastel colored and bright candy colored clothes in frilly feminine and fun funky styles. Probably inspired in part by the spring and in part as I mostly have wintery clothes with me (spring/summer to be shipped to me in Italy).

Since I started my experimentation with color last year (away from my basics of black, white, red, khaki and grey) to include autumn colors, argyle socks it has gone crazy. Now its spring and I want to wear PINK, barbie pink at that. Or bubblegum pink as I call it cause I cant cop to wanting to wear a color barbie would and cerise sounds to frou-frou. I dont know what is coming over me. I hated pink as a child. Probably cause my mother forced it all over me- and by that I mean I went to summer camp with a white room and came back to pink paint, carpet, curtains, bedding and ceiling fan in mauve. YEAH.

I even want to go and start knitting a tank top or something, I feel a trip to the Bon Marche for pattern books coming on. I must go run to curb my edge I think, I am trying to keep to my idea of running on sunny days. Patterns are one of the hardest things for me to do with out serious external pressure so I am trying to make an effort. I wasnt TOO sore yesterday and it wasnt sunny so I walked around like normal. Today is sunny and le jardin is calling me, my legs and the camera.

This is totally out of control! I even did the unthinkable and downloaded the new Britney song and have been dancing around the apartment to it. What you say?? Well it's not as bad when you dont have to look at her. And I am a dancer and she does do music with a decent dance beat. Please dont hate me.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Voting Percentages:
Citizenship has responsibilites in my opinon. Most of the time I kind of think of voting as one of them. Yes it is voluntary and I am not sure I think it should be compulsory but still... I am always amazed at how low voter turn out is in the states.

Especially when you look at the differences in elections (I am a comparative political scientist what do you expect?). Factors in Europe such as free TV ads at parity for all parties, set campaign periods, and a fraction (about 0.04%) of what is spent in the US. You would think it would make a difference, but it doesnt. All that spending and less voting. Looking at the recent Spanish elections (not the best example but still) I have to wonder.

Now I am not denying that the Train Attacks played a factor in the election, but my political scientist brain wonders... Seems kind of simple to blame the change in government on the bombings alone. However I dont buy into the argument that the terrorists were the "winners" or controlled elections by their heinous attacks. I also dont believe the kill a fly with a sledge hammer rule, occupation or more weapons are going to make things safer either, to me you are as safe as you believe you are- cant really quantify safe can you?

But regarding election results, I wonder if the terrorist actions actually convinced people to change their votes- such that it changed the election. That is how it is portrayed in the media. Or maybe they actually provoked people who were agitated with the ruling party's policies- notably participation in Iraq (almost 90% of Spaniards SEETHE about involvement and have since over a year ago) but felt marginalized, to vote. Note that neither party was expected to win in a landslide like Putin in Russia or anything.

The voting was higher than expected at 9% over the last election, at 77% turn out in Spain on Sunday. Makes the US piddly 49 % in 1996 and 51% in 2000 hang it's nose in the corner of shame. To me it makes sense that marginalized people were brought to action by the terrorist actions (which does not imply that the terrorists controlled the elections nor does it remove their impact).

Regardless I stand by my claim, if everyone who felt disenfranchised would get up and vote, they could flip the whole system on its head. And me that is what I think happened in Spain- no matter what pissy PP people tell you.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Glorious Oh Glorious Day:
This morning was absolutely divine! I cant help but be overly excited and joyful. I was nicely woken up by a spring-y sunshine Sunday morning, warming me all over with the sunshining on me. This apartment is so perfect I cant even tell you. And though I didnt hear the birds chirping, I wanted to sing as I woke up.

After getting out of my cocoon, I started playing bouncy music and opened my windows wide. I realized I SOOO wanted to be outside. Forget working on my paper, its almost done anyways. I know the shit inside out, I can take the time to go outside. I debated between rollerblading and running. Since I am still a bit reticent to blade my way around I decided to go with the latter. After dancing around in my apartment and opening the box of spring clothes, I tossed on some running gear and found out I am only a 6 minute run from the Jardins du Luxembourg!

When travelling I am always amazed by maps. For most European cities they are helpful in figuring out where you are but useless for distances. What looks like it would be a 15 minute walk is literally 3 minutes away! So as you can guess, I had thought I was further away than I am. Hell I have walked past it on many occasions on the way to class. Silly me! Oh well the Jardin is much better when the weather is decent anyways. And I can tell you I will be running each and every sunny day, and trying to make myself wake up in time to get to La Piscine RIGHT behind my apartment building. No more excuses!

Before I left I put on my Camelback, so I could have some water and to carry my gigantor apartment key and digital camera (oh yeah I am going crazy on the photo taking with this sucker) I headed out and ran the whole way there and the whole way around the park. Ran past some attractive running male frenchies. Even had my picture taken by someone I didnt know, when I was stretching on the grass. I walked around some more taking pictures after having done my lap, and then ran home. All in my TANK TOP! I am so giggly happy about Spring's impending arrival. Not even the lack of mp3 player (stolen with the camera way back) and my missing music bugged me, neither has the slightly greyer afternoon. I also am ignoring the fact that Spring means moving time but I am getting a bit excited by everything.

I even treated my pudgying tummy/waist area to a bit of Ritter Sport. YUMMM. Dear Buddha life is good today :) I am sure I will be sore as all hell tomorrow since I am out of shape and pushed myself harder than I probably should have. But I am smiling even as I work on the bloody papers again.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Top Of The Pops
I leave you with these thoughts as I am going out tonight for Lauren's Birthday and I think for Greek food. I love flaming cheese... Say prayers for Saganaki!

However that said after cleaning, reading, and spending the day with the TV off- I turned it on while I was getting ready. There was Top of the Pops. It has just taken me back in time to when I was little riding in the truck up to the ranch and making my aunt and uncle listen to the Commodores and Lionel Richie (it was the 80's for crissake). I used to bounce around like crazy to the eightracks and cassettes in the cab of the truck for 3-4 hours. I feel sorry for them, and amazed at what they put up with from me. Then again I was the family darling. And in Lionel's favor he may be VERY 80's but he is fairly talented too, and hasnt aged hideously either.

For those of you not familiar with British television. Top of the Pops it is a music show with live performances- think Casey Kasim's hits, Dick Clark or something like that. But it still runs great. They are playing the most memorable performances (including Dancingin on the Ceiling from 2001), Sail on (with some serious Geri-curl Afro doo's and too deep of V-neck jumpsuits), Easy, Three Times a Lady, All Night Long (a particular favorite of my childhood Calypso bootie) the We are the World video (it was good to see Huey Luey and crazy haired Cyndi) and all the other goodies from oh you know 1985.

Now what I thought of and dont get is two fold: First how Lionel got so rich that his kids are hobnobbing with the Hilton Kids. I know he made money but I never thought it was THAT much. What really amazes me though is that he seems so personable, normal and down to earth. So how the hell is he not embarassed beyond belief by his child?? How do you let your kids get that out of control. I didnt have major money, but I did do competitive athletics at a fairly high level, and everytime I thought I was the shit or stepped out of line, my mom put the smack down on me good and quick.

The best example of this was when I had just moved gyms and there is the "observation" room for the over involved moms. Which to be honest my mom wasnt. She was lazy not wanting to drive one hour to get there, one hour to get back and then turn around and drive an hour back to pick me up and take me home after a 4 hour work out.

So she was sitting there in open windowed observation room. And one of the other mothers trying to be "friendly." Read tell my mother that her daughter was XYZ and show her daughter was better than me. So she said "Courtney (isnt it great how they all had names like that) is my daughter" pointing out some girl bouncing her little ass along at a decent clip down the vault to launch herself spinning into the air. I was on the bars right next to the vault.

I was a bars and beem specialist, the coach had worked really hard to get me to change to their gym so I was feeling all special and hot shit. I was working on a new release move and at the exact moment my mother went to point out me I missed the bar. I hear my mom (who does NOT know how to talk quietly) say "Oh that is my daughter, the one who just splatted flat like a pancake on the bars."

Yeah that was the smack down and I dare say Nicole has needed more than one of those for a long time.
Lets Make The Children Dumber
Good on ya Dumbya, you wear hypocricy so damn well.

I am furying in my pants over here. I saw this article at NYT this morning and wanted to pop my gasket, if I had one. Partially because of the hypocricy, partially because of what it does to students, and partially cause I am a gradutate student.

So the deal with "Financial Aid"- wait let me interrupt myself. To me financial aid is a misnomer. Sure it is "aid," but to me when I "aid" someone I dont expect them to pay it back. Great when they do, but I work off the premise that someway the karma kitty will work its way back to me in its own way. For those outside the US system most financial aid is in the form of LOANS. The aid is that you paid taxes to have the interest rates kept slightly lower and 50% or less are interest free while you are in school. As for the amount of those loans it can be pretty piddly, especially given that you have to cover tuition and living expenses with it. But the fact is that everyone who has legally worked a day in their life has paid taxes for it in my opinion are entitled to it. It is not a privledge if you pay for it (at least not in my book and especially not the way this law reads).

NO NO says Shrubby the rich. Mr. "I Snorted So Much I Dont Remember How To Speak English", you could rape people, rob people, even kill them. But if you ever (and by that I mean minor infraction when you were 18 and you are now 28 tough titty for the kitty) smoked on little bit of weed (which I havent but I am not going to hold it against people) regardless of you cleaning yourself up trying to make yourself better or just want to get the tools to be a productive part of the economy George has fucked up- you are SOL. No "financial aid" for you. If only Alcohol was considered a drug your two kiddies wouldnt be eligible for their loans either George. Oh yeah thats right you have the money to pay for them, it is only "your" citizens you "represent" who should ever have to suffer.

Thats right George and the Blowhards- take it away. Not even if you found Jesus are you willing to redeem them; for shit most of you do in your own damn closet anyways. And you wonder why I am skeptical of religious people. Even better is to listen to Mr. Evangelical tell you how the law has been tipped topsy turvy. What do you expect a government to do with a law as stupid as this.

George, this is not about amending it to say more vague and sloppy crap- it is about tanking the effer. If a murder can get grants and I am stuck sucking up private loans thanks to the "financial aid" my government provides me- the kid who hit the weed should be able to get the same too. And dont go around threatening and trying to intimidate the kids- retribuition policies are NOT effective; college is about experiences not beating the youth into a pulpit.

All I can say is way to educate the masses. Way to effing leave no child behind.

ARGHHHHHHHHHH, I truly can no longer speak English only this time it's cause I am so mad I cant string more than 3 words together (with one or two being profane).... Be ashamed legislators, be ashamed. The rest of you: Please vote. And as Mac says get this clown's ass out of office.

Friday, March 12, 2004

BUGGER BUGGER BUGGER:
I am forgetting all sorts of thing, like what language I speak. I hate it when I cant think of the word in English. I am not talking about the "I dont know" "that disease whatever its called" or "tip of my tongue" forgetting. I am talking about the "I use another language enough that I cant remember English words" forgetting. Even worse I dont remember them in French, or for that matter even Italian, Spanish or Danish/Norwegian. To be fair I dont remember much in Danish/Norwegian though. But Spanish and Italian, now that is the sign of real trouble. For little loquatious miss me this is part of the hell of being abroad. (yes I do love living abroad before all you monkeys jump on my back). I go crazy each time this happens, usually because of timing. Ie it is a sign that I am internalizing, and just when I have to start getting ready to prep for the next move.... LIFE!

I also forgot what day it is, which was way worse than it sounds. Not the day actually but the date for the retentive. See the internship I am SERIOUSLY interested in with the European Foundation, oh yeah its deadline was today. So I have spent the past two hours (my fascinating friday evening entertainment) scrambling like all hell to get the application to download, update the CV and the Academic/Research Summary recreated, then produce a statement of interest. I am utter shite at those "I want this internship, job insert what ever you want because..." statements. I want it ok? What more do you need to know. Why would I fill in all your stupid boxes if I didnt want it? FEH!!!!! It was even proven in the process of filling in the blanks of the stupid application form that I dont speak English. Forename?? WTF- thank God for my dear friend Jeff who went to Oxford.

Could I cut it any closer? Well I sent it out (thanks to Hotmail making my life hell) at 11:58pm, though with a time difference if it time stamps at Ireland time it could be a whole hour and 2 minutes early. Oh well while I dont always work well under pressure, actually lets be honest I only work under pressure; anyways I managed to get the sucker out. Thank ye gods I did it, dont know what will happen (as I hate doing things half-assed and this feels a bit like that- lets hope they dont feel that) with everything else on this but I hope I get the internship. It might conflict with my citizenship efforts in Spain but I will figure that hurdle out when I get there.

One drink at a time that is how I get me through the days.



Parisian STYLE:
I often feel like the stumpy little fashion faux pas walking down the runways, er... I mean streets, of Paris. And while I sure as hell couldnt pull of most of this, them well they do with panache. Maybe it will osmosis to me one day? Paris obviously can not top Copenhagen (neon parachute pants with leather gone wrong was NEVER in style- it was blinding) as the Fashion Faux Pas Capital of Europe. However, I ran into two things today and I really want to know who let these people out looking like that. Cause they ought to be let loose in the Bois de Boulogne for hunting seasion. (I'd have taken pictures but it would have been rude)

First victime (cause they cant be anything but):
I was walking out of the Boulangerie today and two doors down is a hair salon. As I walked up the "hill" out she came at me. A 65+ year old lady (and I am being polite) with thinning white blonde hair walking out after getting her hair "done" like Pebbles. That meant she had a ponytail, dont know how many of you go to get your ponytail done for you but... Now I am not talking about some cheerleader ponytail with a nice Kentucky Blue bow here. I am talking about a ponytail pulled so tight that her eyes looked like those of a 25 year old chinese kid (no feat, and no slur intended). And it is on top of her head. And by top I mean so far forward that it is closer to her eyeballs than the sky. She even had the Ponytail wrapped. I swear all she was missing was a bone.

Second victim(s):
In addition to Creepy Prof I have run in to two men just today who exhibit this fashion faux pas. Now I preface this with the fact that none of them have a basketball growing under neath their belt. Who ever told them that wearing their pants waist line hiked up around the bottom of the ribcage was sexy.. step up and claim your bullet.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I AM BACK........
Do.do.do.do.do.doooooooo
Sorry to have been AWOL, I went to Belgium so I have been away from my computer for a while. But enough of that on to the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:
The best of today: If you scream enough and exhaust the credits on your cell phone, you too can get your boxes delivered. I am now digitally armed and re-entered the land of the gadgeted. I have a power adapter and a camera, and I am not afraid to use them. You can expect proliferation of Parisian images faster than Iraq's Nuclear weaponry or rabbits for that matter :) I also got 12 yes count them with the toes too (hey when Mom does something she goes way over the top), bags of Crasins. I LOVE Cranberries. I love my mother. I do wish to kill her on some days. Today is most certainly NOT one of them.

Also I got to go to Brussels. Honestly though this time I had a much better time than my last trip to Brussels hands down. I saw more of Brussels. Should my stagaire come through there is a decent possibility I could live comfortably in Belgium. Our presentations were not as bad as anticipated. Smugly however was. I finally listened to him and realised he uses an informal manner of speech that not only is inappropriate but rude. Go ahead call me a bitch but if you are stupid I believe you should have your lips stapled shut so as not to embarrass the rest of humanity. Also if you are going to fall asleep during a presentation dont sit next to the fecking presenter. TWAT!!

I was drained dead into tired, but even better I got to drink Belgian beers, which I didnt get to last time. I love Lindeman's lambics! I also got to see Len and Amber's lovely new house and munchkins. I spent all too short of a time with them but I completely understand why life is so busy for them. The house will be gorgeous, I promise. And one day Amber will get to have dinner with out it looking like there is blood all over her hands.

Trains are great for knitting. I have decided that I love knitting with Cashmerino Aran. I am still trying to find a hat pattern that wont show the lines of decreases darting up to the top of the hat. But once I do I will have a great black hat and a fun one in an Adrienne Vittadini yarn color rust (207) on the needles. Not a fun knitting yarn but feels great and looks better.

The Bad:
Having to deal with catching up on every thing. My time here in Paris is coming to a draw (5 more weeks) and I have papers, I have preparations and I have loose ends that I need to tie up. I have things I want to do and places I want to go. All of course with out enough time. I hate having to catch myself up. Pain in the ass, but at least I have my handy computer as a friend now*she says with hope*.

The Ugly:
That said I am also in tears. I have called family and fellow students to make sure they werent at a station, and all are safe. I have watched the death toll go from 3 to 190 dead. My heart is wrenched that there is a small 11 mo old baby and no one can find her family. It is so horrible that I have extreme difficulties in putting into words the appalling nature of this act whoever perpetrated it.

While I was raised in the states, my family is VERY Spanish. Most of the family is in Spain. I grew up with a great love of things Spanish with some of my best memories of summers in Spain. And if I feel at home anywhere it is in the south of Europe. Part of the reason why I study the "Club Med" countries.

So here is my defensive sore point: The first question is where is my family from? My grandparents came from the Basque region, but the family is now all over the country. And everyone's next comment is "oh they are members of ETA." NOT all people living in the Basque are supportive of ETA. As a matter of fact many Basques are not supportive of ETA. My grandparents left Spain after the Civil War but before ETA (it was formed primarily in response to the Franco Repression). Abuela always talked about being Spanish not Basque.

I am not going to speculate on who did it, my hunch is ETA but there are enough signs which could indicate someone else, these bombings do not meet the normal MO. It is a tragedy that so many lives have been lost today for a worthless movement (if it is ETA). I detest that it a minority terrorist organization can do so much damage to the moderates. Even more I mourn for the people who were the victims of todays bombings; those who died, those who are wounded and those who are left behind.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Hallmark sends its very best:
Shit on me for watching CNN. I was sitting there and folding laundry all innocent and hoping not to have to listen to any good ol Yankee crap. That what what I had hoped would be one of the benefits of living abroad. But I turned on a US channel and since it is Sunday morning time there I got hit with it all. So on comes my favorite dippy the shit stick of this administration (well they all kind of are but he was on the TV). Good ol Dick. He has said all sorts of crazy shit, back pedal here, cover ass there, pay me money here you get the idea. I can make and excuse or manufacture a story for anything song and dance. But he kept repeating that all the bombings have the "hallmarks" of Osama. One of the tag marks of this administration is to take a word and drive it into the ground. Repeating one word in a sentence 5 times is something George has a talent for, and Dickie is following suit.

Well damn didnt you know that Osama wanted to send all the good Iraqis a fecking hallmark card for their good deeds, like blowing shit up. I swear I havent been this agitated to listen to crap for a while. I dont think I could handle living in the states right now. I am a news junkie but watching the Monkey and his entourage makes me so mad I can barely string together a sentence with more than 3 words (quite often one of those being profane).

Well you have now been informed. I did my laundry and talked with a nice Frenchman- watching him take apart the washer since the owner of the Laundromat didnt show to help. And according to Delusional Dick, Iraq is a safer place and the Iraqis are happy we are there "protecting" them. Oh yeah and Osama is sending them a Happy Easter Hallmark card.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Release the Sphincter:
I spent most of the morning in sphincter arrest. But thank god, the bloody thing is over. I managed to breathe my way through the presentation. I can be damn smart when I want to (if I say so myself- I am not modest people remember that :) but in French I sometimes feel like the world's biggest idiot. I hate that I give the power to make me feel uncomfortable or conscious to stupid people like Smugly; but there it is the reality of my insecurities. Prolly has something to do with my gymnast mentality- if you cant do it right dont do it at all. Even though that doesnt/shouldn't apply to foreign languages, I still hate that I sound stalted or think I sound stalted in a different language.

After class I realized I would have done better had I brought in a water bottle full of vodka rather than Volvic Citron (quite possibly one of my favorite boissons, after Milk that is). Nevertheless even with the professor interrupting me to make me go over a topic we discussed last session which no one seemed to remember. FUCK, FUCK, FUCKITY, FUCK- I dont have the technical details of the SPS written down on my paper in French!!! So I manage to get out what it is, and then Mr. I like the sound of my own voice said the same thing again with more fancy french words.

Smugly then interrupts and asks what does Phyto of the SPS (Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary agreement if you want to know) mean? Well my dear friend who knows so much about romance (ie LATIN based languages) it means Plant! Oh he says, then he goes on to make a rhetorical question about all GMO's being sterile seeds, and he knows this cause his sister is a biologist. Ok twat you want to tell me plants cant cross-pollinate and contaminate (which is one of the big farming issues of having GMO's, ie saying you cant cross-polinate (ie plant sex that makes super weeds etc) with sterile plants) and then tell me you cant figure out what Phyto means. Fucksake go to a store and see the Phyto-Plage products.

You know Prof's (or Smugly's) who only like the generalities of issues and never pay attention to the details drive me nuts. Can anyone guess what Mr. I like to hear the sound of my own voice prattleing about like a twat does? Or for that fact Smugly immitates adding the twist of being contrary only to be contrary and not fully grasping the contrary argument. Good smart people, I wont answer that one. Afterwords I go back and do the "where was I" dance and return to Anxietiesville ; I still have 2 more pages of reading and explaining to get through.

Paranoia, Paranoia (sing the song with me) he starts writing all sorts of things I am saying on the board in a list. Like he is going to attack me on each point. Shit, shit, shit- keep looking at the paper. Luckily cute French boy smiles at me everytime I look up. I love him! Voila! I make it to the end. I dont know how but I do. So after Creepy Prof goes on to talk for 30 minutes about nothing- taking what could be an interesting topic and shoving it into the depths of the sewer system.... but the real dig/topper of it all: He goes and makes the same argument I made 5+ years ago when I got my first thesis published and was a University liason/ambasador to the WTO ministerial. Dontcha love it.

Ha Ass-shat take that. I do know my shit and have been riding on the front of the wave since well before you figured the wave out. HA. That felt good. That and making Smugly look like an ass in front of the class. I took immense pleasure out of that, sick I know but that is me :)

I have lived to see another day and the other nice students all told me my french was fine that they could understand me and that I made the topic interesting. Which really was what made my teaching heart have a joyful rest of the day. I have the nagging feeling I could do better in demonstrating I knew my shit if it werent for that pesky French. But I have to say I walk with a bit of a swagger today knowing that I can and did do it means more!

Thursday, March 04, 2004

So Much For Life As All Shits And Giggles:
Well I am not crabby but I am not bouncy either. Paris has gotten grey, which while it doesnt bother me has not made me exuberant either. I received one box, and it had some very nice pressies in there for me but not THE one that I have been waiting desperately 2 and a half months for. Please let it get here ASAP, I have two packages (one with the special present the other with my bloody replacement) that need to make their way to me and tomorrow would be preferable, even though I will be at classes all day... Life it gets in the way you know!

To make things worse I didnt eat much today, actually make that at all, till ok 5pm. So I binged basically (with out the eating disorder bits) and had a whole Ritter Sport (normally I dont like dark chocolate, but put some marzipan in it and well I am all girl a-go-go) and 80 grams of prosciutto that just headed straight to my ass. Right when I was all happy about fitting into my skinny girl jeans, and being able to sit and breath at the same time. Well there goes that ever happening again...

Oh well I must get back to studing the intricacies of EU and French gender legislation, symbolic policies and their unintended consequences. Nah... going to go freak out cause I finally have to give that fecking presentation in French for creepy professor tomorrow. I can only look so far you know and the 3000 word papers well they dont have me freaked yet. Prolly cause their not due till the 22nd. The 9000 word one doesnt either, it is due April 8th. I know they should, but give me time I promise I wont let you down. I will freak my ass right out here for everyone to see.

I know I have the whole thing scripted out. I am just being paranoid, every one including the chair of the department whom I had to meet with yesterday, (and might just be hooking me up with one NICE supervisor for my thesis to ADD to my kick ass one.... woot) says I speak fine. I am just freaked I wont pronounce things right (which wont be helped by my discussion tonight in Spanish- why do I switch languages??) or swallow my words. Better yet I would actually prefer to have the ground swallow me, cause I know they are all going to be staring. I know I have given presentations to BIG WIGS, but it was never intentional and once in the fire I know how to dance. These people are exactly big wigs but I never take kindly to looking like an ass in front of anyone but my closest of friends. And this anticipation shit, well it sucks!

Oh well you can all think of Tink dancing all nice and spritely with an etheral frechiness to her tomorrow. That or me getting eaten by the ground (which for some reason makes me think of Little Shop of Horrors... what can I say I am a freak wearing the badge with pride and a flip of my skirt, were I wearing one that is :)

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I Love Paris In The Sunshine:
Today is awesome. No bitching at all, even about things which would normally make me crabby. The sun is out, it is crisp and clear, the birds are chirping and I am singing to the New Orleans band playing down the road's music that is wafting in my window.

Even better, my dearest mother is sending me my Dell part. *insert dancing* And the cherry- just to make my morning the whole fire department lined up on the engine and was flirting with me as I walked by. It was great. So lovely that I am even wearing a t-shirt. Turkey basters pointing north might have something to do with the station yelling out to me but Ill take what I can get :)

I get a package tomorrow. I am even finding it humorous the french delivery system. You thought Fed-Ex was bad with their time frames. I have to be here between 8 am and 6 pm. Oh well no classes and if it has my camera then it will be worth it. See not even that is bothering me!

Small note to self:
Obsessive compulsive, perfectionist, stubborn, neurotic people (ie ME) should not be allowed anywehre near nail clippers, tweazers, cuticle cutters etc. The amount of damage I can do to myself as a result of my pain threshold and persistence is astounding. It is just a bad news combination waiting to happen. Again.

And I am still smiling all giggly and well thrilled. Well see how long it lasts :)

Monday, March 01, 2004

There Are Bubbles In My Tummy:
I cant make them go away. I have enough air in me to make my whole body float like a balloon to Never-Neverland (NOT to ever be confused with Neverland). And the way that the prosciutto has bloated my ass that is not something to be taken lightly. I now feel like shit. I knew it was coming but schedule said it should happen in the middle of my "finals." Instead it is 3 weeks early. Dont know if I should be grateful or crabby.

On a positive note I had a really productive weekend. I went on one of my random cleaning binges. And when one of those starts you do NOT mess with it. You ride it for all it is worth cause you never know when the next one is going to come along. My flat is amazingly sparkling.

Remarkably I even managed to get some research work done. Thank the lord I had a fair amount of articles on one of the topics and a paper to edit and translate for one of the others. The third paper has me a bit in denial. I am trying not to trial the Ostrich method on it, it has never lived up to its selling points before. However 9000 words well they kind of freak even verbose little me.

Even better on my quest to fake my way to making a more positive me (god I sound like some demented self help book) there is a distinct possibility that I might receive a package tomorrow that has my digital camera. About time something related to gadgetry and technical shit went my way, even if it is just the delivery my shit. That and I happen to know a certain someone got me a nice Holiday present (can we say cashmere....) and it is that parcel too. I love the people in my life. You make me smile even when I feel like shit. You know who you are :)

I do apologize for not being up to my normal level of sub-par. Hopefully at some point something will speak to me and do more than annoy me. In honesty the last week has taken it out of me and that is on top of the past 2 months. Life, graduate school and getting older aint for sissies. Seems lame to say but it is the truth. The computer issues are not only mentally exhausting (I have to sit in the computer lab all day trying to get shit done. I do not work this way. It is killing my creative muse who did not ever exist), but it has also limited my work. Do you know how dull it is watching "B" movies, let alone in French. I feel like I have warped to the 80's again- VH1 was playing Wham for christssake.

I am used to using the computer for everything and it is the one tool that helps me get all my randomness down so that I can later organize it. My thoughts move faster than *ricochet*... You know that joke, how many ADHD kids does it take to screw in a light bulb? Wanna ride bikes? That was based on me. So to say the least I have lost some of my work and my direction. It is annoying, and to acknowledge that I have to funnel more money out of me and have one more week of this and then 3.5 weeks of writing hell... well I am going to go bury my head under the nice and warm fleece covers. Damn good thing that my lovely Parisian apartment doesnt have an oven, that and my Sylvia Plath poems are at home- this is not a time for inspiration.

UGH, at least the exchange rate is decent for today and tomorrow I hope.

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