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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

White Lines:

Ok you know what I thought that the Republican Convention could not get more out of control insane with its lack of reality. I mean it has such a lack of touch that well I call it the party of 4 senses. I was WRONG.

I made the very BAD decision to watch some of it (thank god only on French television) but Rudy Guiliani went so far beyond his boundaries. Now I have never really been fond of the man, but in his speech which left me speechless, he tried to compare Bush to WINSTON CHURCHILL. Seriously that sucked all the oxygen out of my body in one swoop.

Ok lets for fun dissect that comparison. On one hand we have a non-elected idiot who “started” the war with Iraq and pissed off about 80% of the US’ traditional allies, and cant utter two words in a string in his mother tongue. On the other hand there is a diplomatic statesman who had at least a modicum of respect from the rest of the world, and could by many means be eloquent beyond words.

Sorry Rudy. There is NO comparison. None whatsoever; but there is a comparative need for you to retake your world history course. You'd think that legal training would enable him to make an accurate comparison. You would be wrong. And sorry but if you think that comparison is adequate you too are playing follow the White Line along with George. (And just for Jeff since he didnt get my metaphor- that means you are snorting Cocaine)

I was thinking I would move back to my other flat that is empty now a night early, but after seeing that and knowing I would have CNN/BBC access and want to watch it like a train wreck working myself up into such a fury that I would make a tempest look lame. I decided I will stay at my kick ass artist atelier and read for the conference that I have on Thursday which holy hell how did that end up being the day after tomorrow- I am not done with reading those 60 papers.

That is to say nothing of my poor thesis is serious need of respiration. I have died in the process. That whole cyclical thing has caught up with me. I worked I created some quality, and now I am in the gutter. I have this thing about life, I REALLY want to be happy medium but I am a "balls to the walls" or "dead in water" kind of girl at my core right now. If anyone knows where the whole moderate pace can be found please let me know. Otherwise, I am hoping the regeneration phase of the cycle speeds it's derriere up too. Maybe the shift will shift me up, maybe I will get those good patterns going, maybe I wont throw myself in the Seine because of computer problems at the EXACT same time as a draft is due (THANK YOU Mark for pulling me out of complete terror induced panic into mild annoyance, more debt and fear).

MAYBE.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

So This Was A Big Surprise:

Ok so it is no big surprise that I am not a fan of the current administration. I have as much love for them as I did for Newtie and the Blowhards, actually to be honest I love Newtie and the Blowhards more. Yes, hat sentence scares, nay terrifies me, immensely.

So when Mac posted about this I thought, hmmm..... I know that besides when the convention is going to be there that not too many Republicans are living in NYC but......

So this is the thing that annoys me from abroad, Bush has framed the terms of this election in such a way that is favorable to him. And if its contrary to him well that is just waffling, bullshit or unpatriotic. I am so tired of the attacks on my character that man makes because I think contrary to him, I have read the constitution or that I understand simple concepts like seperation of church and state or even basic seperation of powers and the functions of the institutions. His brand of American is what embarasses me to have been born in that country.

It crushes me that anytime a Democrat stands up to Bush he throws up smokes and mirrors, makes heinous personal attacks, and emerges without the average American smelling the shitkickers he used to knock out their front teeth. A prime example when his administration went after the Georgian congressman, who is a Vietnam Veteran and voted against the Patriot Act. He gave three limbs up for this country to ensure the rights of its citizens and wasnt interested in voting for legislation that would nullify or restrict those rights. *GASP* He is against us, in his Freudian dreams he wants terrorists to attack the US. And out come the personal attacks, from the twat who didnt defend this country no less.

I really wish that spin doctors could get out there and say the real things. (I will cop here to the miniscule possibility that they could be doing so, but from what I have gathered that isnt reality) And after his latest fiasco with the Olympics I would pay to hear someone take him to task for it.

Not only for the ethical issues of using an international organization, or an Iraqi team for his campaign in such a blatant and appalling manner. The only people who have the right to use Iraqi Olympic team achievements in a commercial is the Iraqi government. And they are too busy trying to do things that the Americans didnt cover after the war- like provide water and electricity. Seriously, it's like Bush thinks he has a right to appropriate everything for himself. Next thing you know he'll say that the flag represents the freckles on his ass. Really though I want to see someone take him to task for loosing the Olympics for NYC. I want it to be in the news, and I want some fucking accountability. If you want to use that word to define yourself you have to apply it to yourself in the evaluations buddy!

NYC, which is a 9-11 devestated town that is still on shaky economic recovery foundations. So how much money is that which the NYC economy will never see? Athens is getting a serious inflow that will have post-Olympic spillovers that have given a significant boost to the local economy already. And while it is arguable if NYC would have won the bid anyways, I am talking about culpability for removing economic potential. Bush wants to talk about economic potential of his tax cuts and other bullshit policies- I want to talk about reduction of economic potential due to his actions.

All that for a cocky ad from Bush. That is patriotism for you, way to bring home the Gold George!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Flipping Around The Smackdown:

I am liberated (well Paris is and there are all sorts of events going on about it but I am so not wearing period clothes in the rain, and the weather fairy has gotten her calendar all screwed up lately) and so I am probably going to be sporadic here for a while.

I have been beeing a good worker bee lately and am currently working my way up the hierarchy to become the queen bee of Anti-Social Divas, but I have about one third of my work "done." That is of course until it gets hacked to bits by an advisor. But its something and I need to keep trying to ride the wave.

Which brings me to the title of today, or rather yesterday. Flipping around the smackdown. So it is well established that there is some push and pull going on between me and my quirky French advisor. In general I think he is a good guy and he is really smart too when I can corner him, but man he can crawl under my skin and pluck my nerves better than any harpist you can imagine. Also I think he doesnt know what to do with me as when he flips me shit I send it right back; sarcasm does not always translate either.

So I sent an email yesterday requesting a 24 hour delay on the non-existent deadline (please for all the Smurf-iness in the Smurfdom Gargamel give.me.one! I work way better with them- even if I dont always meet them) and again say "hi I'd like to plan my life and dont mind helping you so please let me know umm... well when."

I got a response email saying OK to the "extension" and some text in need of spell check about registering me for the conferences social events. I figured he meant to attend but I was in a pissy mood- researching female employment rates (when I am not included in them) seems to do that to me. So I get two other emails from him. One nice, one all about the smack down.

He was very nice and I got my first !ExclamationPoint! out of him. The registration was "So that you can attend!" Aww I guess drinking with him last time didnt scare him too bad. Well I wont know that for sure till the cocktail reception at Hôtel de Ville next Thursday, Or dinner Friday, or the closing party on Saturday. But I will have a social life next weekend that is for sure, and it will be free.

And then he had to go and ruin it all. I get an email saying hey you are from XYZ (insert reference to city of my university in the states) right? I know it means he is listing me somewhere, or something like that but I was pissy. Its not hard to remember as he knows my advisor and knows what university he is at. 1+1=...

So I sent my response: OK listen here bitch... if you can pay enough attention to my chest to know what bra size I wear then by the love of Smurfette... you CAN remember the university I attend. Ok so I didnt say that. What I said all smartsassy in a way that probably went over his head: "From is a big question. But if you want a simple university listing then you can say XYZ or ABC (french university) as you wish I am registered under both."

I guess I have to give him some credit as he is now spelling my name right and he tries? I mean I just fell off my chair at his latest "English" email. But still. So I got the oddest response from him. He sent an email saying OK. That was it, no name, no Yours, "Him Who Stares and Scares" typical sign off. Just OK. I couldnt help but laugh and then hope I hadnt stamped on his little fragile man ego too much or something stupid like that, cause I have to send him my fire tinder (the new loving name for my dissertation) today.

Oh and yes if you didnt guess it, the Smurfs were on TV this morning, only they were in French and called the Schtroumpfs, yeah I spelt it right, go ahead google it.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Les Jeux Olympiques- Une Expérience:
Ok the Olympics have done it, they have gone too far. It was frightening enough to "watch" the badminton gold medal match yesterday (it plays in the background for noise- I need the noise to stay focused, have I mentioned my irrational fear of silence?) between the Dutch and Chinese.

Really since when is badminton an Olympic quality sport? I am sure the competitors think it is, along with the 10 people in the stands who paid to see it (WTF). They probably train hard too, but honestly to me it is hitting a piece of fluffy plastic around. And that well is not the Olympics that I know. Give me joint pounding gymnastics, even the "soft" rhythmic kind; show me a pool and I will want to jump in myself and speed my Papillion ass down the lane.

Show me a badminton game and I keep saying WTF?? I thought I had seen every random sport they had to televise here in France. I was just waiting to see if they had a speed knitting event or something (I think that will be in the winter Olympics). I was wrong, ever so WRONG. This morning took the cake! I saw the Men's 20km Race Walking final. Yes read that sentence again.

I saw the Men's 20km Race Walking final.

Ok you know the grannies that you see in the huge American malls getting their pump on... take that visual and imagine that going on at the Olympics, with anorexic looking men through the streets of Athens. That place has to seem like a freaking theme park right about now, the kayak/canoe course already reminds me of a Water Park. Even better imagine watching a PACK of them, and by pack I mean about 40, race walking in time together along the course.

Repeat after me: sashay, sashay, sashay- sashay- sashay.

That totally cracked my shit up. And after disaggregating and calculating riveting data on female atypical employment and knowing I have to go in search of more data to repeat that procedure with (seriously why can’t you make the simple statistics, simple to find- I don’t need to wade through all this complex shit. I like the word SIMPLE) I sooooo needed to crack my lower bowels out.

I know every country and athlete has to have their competition and medal but seriously- race walking? That is getting a bit out of control. I know I am potentially offending some race walking fans, but I will take the risk. And you know, the fact that the French televise it starting to scare me.

Seriously... no Frenchie was in the top 5 so it wasn’t one of those mandatory televising events. Please bring back the banshee shrieking fencing freaks or the kayak/canoe people- the doubles in that is interesting just to see them go backwards, or can we watch the funny French swimming commentator as he live translates the interviews with the Dutch hottie (Pieter van den Hoogenbrand) and other non frenchies (which I have to say Ian Thorpe freaked the hell out of him responding in some seriously hacked French- but it is all about the effort)?

No it seems we cannot. I will also take another risk as I just saw team ping-pong (China v. Korea) on the Olympics and say that there is no way mother-freaking PING-PONG belongs in the Olympics. And there is sooo not enough room around that tiny table (smaller than a dinner table) for two people. I mean it is entertaining, but in a sad way. I am also taking it as my cue to head into the lab cause this, this is too much.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Call Me Noah:

And send wood for the Arc, or as a friend said cement. I guess the new stuff MIT came up with is more air than rock and floats to make for some bendy lightweight boats. See what kind of new materials Noah gets?

Today makes two days in a row I have gotten trapped in the rain. I get all active and productive on my research and then when its time to go in to the lab for internet- the skies open up. And they dont just mist, they torrentially down pour. I havent been in anything like this since Monsoon season in Arizona.

Seriously, Paris is not designed for that much rain, let alone in a short period. There is not true drainage system, there are all sorts of concave portions of the roads and the splashing that the cars do, actually forget the cars- the Buses... WHOA NELLY. No need for Paris Plage with these kinds of pools.

Yesterday I sported the über sexy, complete drenched rat look for hours. I was the height of Parisian fashion I will have you know. I call it wet and ready; the new prêt à porter. I was trapped for 30 minutes under a brasserie's awning. One that thankfully was still on the conges annuels. After which it "lightened up" enough that me and my hooded sweatshirt ran the rest of the way (a good 10 minutes) darting in and out trying to dodge the droplets.

Lady with the umbrella get out of the running banshee's way or let her under the umbrella, I wanted to shout. Instead I splashed through the street and went around her. Once I got to St. Germain des Près it was pointles, I was soaked. Why fight it anymore? I took the flip flops off and I ran through the streets in the down pour, slpashing and kicking the watter around. I even giggled. Letting it loose and giving up the ghost has such a divine effect on giggling. I also made the reception guy laugh when I came into the building too.

And today was a bit of a repeat. I wasnt as stubborn as yesterday (I ended up in the rain because I thought I had enough time to walk it and miss the rain, I most obviously did NOT have enough time), I took the Metro. Didn't matter though as soon as I got out- it was dripping again. There were no gale winds and the drops were tinier so I braved the Parisian clouds and grey, and I ran from the Metro to the lab. This time not as drenched, but still making the receptionist guy and some cute guy on the street who was hiding in a small over hang laugh, and me too- what else am I going to do?

Paris, c'est très jolie en été- Non?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

500 Words:
(yesterdays post for today due to lack of intellect yesterday)
Little bit by little bit I will chip my way to the Davide. I can’t keep looking at the whole big picture of things. It is making me insane, it is exacerbating everything else in my life, and it is NOT helping me on any level. For right now I need to find something to focus myself on or I am going to drive myself past desperation.

Anyways it is the small battles that make the war so I am going to stop freaking my ass out with the enormity of life. I choose instead to pay attention to the details that are important. And for right now that is twofold. I am going to look up and apply away for internships etc and jobs (both in the States and Europe), I am going to get my grandfather’s birth certificate, and I am going to stay focused on my research. That is my primary concern right now, to tackle the easier parts, bit by bit, that are the foundation of my research anyways. Most importantly- not expect myself to do all of it in 5 minutes.

I will outline things for one chunk of this dissertation and then start to try and take what I have and know and put it together, concisely and being restrained about it. And by doing that, I realized today with my little calculator, that if I can manage to produce 500 quality words of writing per day by the next deadline I should have something that I can turn in and feel comfortable with. It is something that seems achievable and not overbearing. Actually it sounds like so little, I can write 500 words about picking up my dogs shit right? Well the key is quality not disjointed stream of consciousness babbling.

And you know what I managed to get the 500 together today, with two pretty charts and I am feeling happy with myself. I headed to the library and picked up all the books I might be interested in. I even got to stay late at the computer lab- woo hoo for wasting time on the internet. And best of all I met a great guy from Harvard who offered to read over my applications and give me tips on them. WOOT!

I will take everything I can get. It didn’t rain on me on the walk home, I made pasta with truffle sauce, my tummy looked flat, and I got to watch the J.O. Men's Gymnastics (team competition). The evening could have been worse :)

Watching the men’s competition though I must say was a bit on the odd side. Having been a competitive gymnast I grew up around it, and if I watched competitions I watched it in English. Two things came across immediately; first, it is much better having previous gymnasts commentate on the competition than the random French guys I had last night. I miss Bart and Nadia. Plus they aren’t nearly as excited about the commentating as the French commentators for Judo or Fencing. Not so many Oh-la-la-la’s either. Second was that like other sports they direct translate the names of apparatus, and it sounds funny.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Dizzy Galore:

So I forgot to save my delayed posts to enter so you get a meme instead. Nicked from Mac can be found here to do yourself. You are supposed to strike through the text, but I dont knoz how to do that on Blogger so I italicized the stuff that isnt me, not as much to knock out as I expected...

June:
Thinks far with vision (at least not right now- I can barely think past today).
Easily influenced by kindness (quite easily- its not so easily found, particularly not the sincere forms of it).
Polite (Id like to think so) and soft-spoken (ha haaa haaaaaaa).
Having lots of ideas (says nothing about quality- check).
Sensitive (well kind of- once you crack the crab shell).
Active mind (yup like an ADD terriers).
Hesitating, tends to delay (currently 2/3 of the way to an MA in procrastination).
Choosy and always wants the best (yeah I am picky- what of it?).
Temperamental (hmmm depends...).
Funny and humorous (I like to think so, I make myself and my 3 other personalities laugh on occassion).
Loves to joke (yeah I have one wicked sense of humor, demented is also another adjective used to describe it).
Good debating skills (have debate medals from Highschool).
Talkative (umm yeah that would be one of my top skills, once I start I dont stop).
Daydreamer (sure, who doesnt like to plan their live out in fantasy la-la Tinker-land?).
Friendly (yup that Spaniard smother everyone in me oozing out).
Knows how to make friends (yeah not feeling that sure about this one- but the friends I do make make up for it).
Abiding (I dont abide much).
Able to show character (well that is what someone once called it).
Easily hurt (if you are near the flesh).
Prone to getting colds (nope but when I get one its a ringer).
Loves to dress up (not that much).
Easily bored (see active mind and ADD from above).
Fussy (yeah I am honest and that is me).
Seldom shows emotions (or shows them all at once).
Takes time to recover when hurt (ummm three years later and I am only now starting really recover- is that long or time??).
Brand conscious (nope not stuck on brands though I have my ones I like).
Executive (and I want to keep it that way).
Stubborn (oh HELL yeah).

Go do it yourself

Sunday, August 15, 2004

J.O.:
Les Jeux Olympiques! I am recovering from Funky town, or at least trying to fool myself that I am. In honesty probably not doing too well at it but something has to count for something I would hope.

I am taking a break today from the research. I figure I need it to keep myself from getting burnt out. I will hit it hard tomorrow, and hopefully keep the pressure on myself for the whole week. Trying to do the slow and steady thing and the little bits way rather than trying to deal with the whole of it.

But taking the break makes me feel shitty. Yup I guess that is confirmation that I am still in Funk-y town. But it makes me wonder what do normal people do, in normal life when they aren’t working etc. When life isn’t framed for you by external constraints? This is one of the hardest things for me in life I think, making life there when life doesn’t make itself there. I feel incompetent and lame, sitting here wondering what to do, and not wanting to do things on my own. And I am hating on the fact that I am so whiny and needy. So what does my lame ass figure to do, well after typing some blog entries... I start knitting a sock (hey it’s been cold here today), and I watch the Olympics.

Now the Olympics are the same everywhere, I often have dreams of hopping on a plane and going to them. They are close, I have a place to stay there, but I just don’t want to spend the money and even if I did I don’t have the time as I need to focus on the thesis which is scouring my cranial cavity of what little gray matter I ever had with brillo pads.

But I can follow the Olympics even if my brain doesn’t want to function in French. And since it is functioning in French it is kind of fun. Well if nothing else I can delude myself that being lazy sitting on my ass and having a pity party for myself in Funk-y Town population-1, that place where time drags- that party I shouldn’t attend and hate going to; that it is at least a language drill.

Now when you watch French footage on the J.O. as it is called here (which by the way is continuous just like in the states) they like to show only the things in which the French are competing or are what to me are random sports (with lots of publicités about Paris being a candidate city for 2012).

I watched the 10m Air Rifle competition, I watched a lot of Judo and Fencing. And let me tell you the French women who fence can look DAMN crazy when they scream pumping their fists after making a touch. It was kinda scary to be honest, like watching a banshee or something. That was serious wild in the eyes and screeching in the screams. I saw some handball, the top hat equestrian men and then caught some riveting bicycle racing.

They occasionally sprinted in with the things I was interested in, swimming and even got to see a bit of the men's gymnastics- pommel horse (which is le cheval something or other in French- funny how it sounds translated or in another language, kind of the same hearing them talk about Papillion, and wanting to look in the air for the butterfly not in the pool). I hope that I don’t miss the really cool shit in swimming or women's gymnastics cause the French aren’t competing when they come up though.

But at the end of the day, it wasn’t helping me from my lame feelings. Nor was the irritation that if I jump my ass too hard for being lame and not doing anything about it I just jump on myself harder- which doesn’t get me doing anything. Neither is not doing anything. But I don’t feel like I can do anything or that I just don’t know where to start.

And then I got some superficial "feel better" pills (like those jelly beans you buy that make everything go up or away :) I know this is REALLY superficial but you have to take what you can get. After having gained the weight, not being allowed to work out etc, finally losing the weight but still having lost my bounce a quarter stomach (well its not completely lost but neither is all the weight that is covering what I might have) I watched beach volleyball – notorious for ripped women –Brasil v. Norway.

And you know what I felt better about my stomach. They had muscles no doubt but you couldn’t see all the lines or anything. What you could see was that they were wearing bottoms that might as well have been thongs. I haven’t EVER seen a Speedo run that high on an ass unless it was on Baywatch. And AMAZINGLY the mostly stayed there... I want me one of those!

Look today is still that shitty from yesterday’s funk-o-rama, so I’ll take whatever I can get :)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Rollercoaster Ride to Funk-y Town:
All it takes is one great night to make you wake up... no not with a hangover but damn Newton and the damn theory of gravity- cause what goes up must come down. And this is the dangerous bit for me- should the highs and lows get to extreme I want to shut down and I have done that once before- NOT a good idea at all.

I got an email from Lauren yesterday asking if I wanted to meet for coffee and catch up. I was like sure. Lauren may be high maintenance but she isn’t all bad and well like I said yesterday I do anything with anyone right now. Plus if she is in a good mood she can be funny as all hell. So I go to meet her at her Mecca- Starbucks. Lauren in the past three days has been to all three of them, so you get the picture.

And why was that a ride into funk-y town? Well she wasn’t really interested in catching up. She was still acting all odd to me. I figured whatever; I spent all sorts of time asking her what was going on with her. Talking about all the things that are going on with her. Trying to pry things out of her, wondering why are we meeting if this is how she wants to be. She never once asked about me. And anything I said about myself was quite clearly received without interest or care. And honestly that didn’t bother me at all, at least not until I realized why she asked me out for coffee.

She wanted to use me so that all the things in her life would be going well for her, with the pretense that it would be better for me (i.e. read her). I don’t mind if things fell into place such that we could help each other out. And though I don’t need it as much, as I have other plans for that time should anything happen like that, I like helping people I know and it would help Julia too. But the fact is if I was trying to make that happen I sure as hell would try to put up some kind of cover up. Maybe pretend that I actually gave a damn about the other person before I hit them up to cover my ass. I would have acted like I wasn’t just there to use them.

Lauren didn’t. It was clear as the sun is a bright yellow orb. I had told Julia (her roommate) that if Lauren moved out and I was going back to the states, that I would be willing to help out and cover her last month of their contract. I like Julia, Lauren is ok in her own way and if I can help either of them I would, it comes back sooner or later so why not?

The irony to me is that for someone who has her tits tied in a knot ready to be grated about all sorts of "manners" and rules of "politeness" that others violate; Lauren has got a lot left to learn about manners and being polite herself. And this is coming from someone who still feels on more often occasion than she would like that she is still in pre-school stage. I haven’t felt that shitty after talking with someone in a LONG time.

I still haven’t decided where I am going to be living, and that doesn’t help anything. I need to soon so that I can renew my lease or move AGAIN. Though I am probably resigned to going back to the states- which really tears into me and ties me in knots like I haven’t felt since I went through the nasty break up with Nasty ex, but I don’t really want to admit it or even talk about it yet.

The only reason she came to see me (and dragged Julia with her) was that she wanted to meet with me to see if I could cover the last month of her lease. She didn’t want to get a coffee, she made me feel uncomfortable the whole time and the only one of us that got anything was Julia. Lauren wasn’t interested in me; she didn’t want to be around me, she just wanted me to make life easy for her and of course to do so on her terms and her timeframe.

She doesn’t even know yet whether her landlord would have an issue with someone else being there for the last month (and she wants to ask him, she doesn’t however want to keep her bank account open for one extra month thus getting the CAF, which means I have to pay more for her rent than she does) and the fact that I wasn’t ready to commit to her terms and her timeframe "was NOT GOOD enough." Well sorry MISS that I haven’t set everything in my life up to make yours better while you treat me like shit.

I know that there have been a lot of miscommunications between us. Including Lauren trying to tell me this morning how I feel about things. Like that I hate the East Coast- ummm no I don’t think I have ever said that, you are reading things in some other languages sweetheart. I am sorry maybe it could be interpreted (by only you) that way but that is not how I intended it to be translated. Did something get blown out of proportion in Lauren-land that little high maintenance world around you?? Actually it’s that I don’t like the South in the states. Which I am sure riles the southern debutante belle in Lauren, but that is the only thing.

I like DC, I could live there. I can do NYC or Boston too, I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of nowhere, but it is on my list to live in that part of the world at some point in my life. Its just I don’t know if I WANT to in that way, and if I WANT to right now. But seriously this morning was horrible. By the time I left it was so clear and so beyond RUDE that I just wanted to machete her head from her torso. But I for some odd reason continued to make an effort to be friendly and also to not call her out on her shit (that wouldn’t make any of this stuff any better- and there is no reason to make it worse either).

I can’t stand this crap. If that is what you want just say it up front, don’t do this bullshit "manners" crap pretending like you want to meet with me to see catch up. That is what I don’t like, that is why I can’t handle the South! This is exactly what makes me loose respect and distrust anything coming out your mouth. This crap you are pulling it is what crawls up in my ass and gives me a case of well I don’t need to be that visual.

I wish I could commit, I wish Lauren could learn how to deal with people honestly or at least take an acting class. More or less I want my life to feel like it is moving forward or that something was firmly on its track. But beyond those desires I am not near as sure about where I want to be or anything like that. And really when you keep learning that your friends are leaving, you have more questions than answers, etc; to have someone come and dump on you, intentionally using you and making you feel like utter shit in the process; well it moved me straight out of Happy-ville and into Funk-y town.

Thank god Julia was there as she was the only reason really we were talking after I realized what Lauren was up to. It completely funked me today though. It made me want to cry as I walked along the streets in Paris. And I SOOOOOO did NOT need to be in a funk again, I can’t afford to be in a funk like this right now.

This kind of funk is really making me feel like shit. It is making me want to cry over my life. It is making me question things. It makes life feel so big and out of control that I don’t want to face it. It is making me want to be an ostrich, and I so do not have the fucking time to do that. I don’t have time to wade through that shit, try to finish this bitch of a thesis, and figure out nuclear fission. I don’t have the mental capacities to do all that either. It is hard enough to get a boot up my ass for the day to day shit; I sure as hell don’t in my disconnected, disjointed state need you pulling this shit while I am tottering on the cliff.

And poor Cecily, I finally went to pick up my things and then cornered her to be the Freud on the couch about things. I talked with her for about an hour and a half. I can’t believe she is leaving in 2 weeks. I move back to the flat and I have to decide some things about my life. I wish the decisions would all be made for me and I could then just start to plan, but I think this time around I am going to have to make that decision first. And I am completely lost for what to do.

And I am pissed at Lauren for throwing me into this funk-y chicken dance. GRRRRRR.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Delicious:
So I had my meeting with "Him Who Stares and Scares." I went in fluttering. Hardly breathing and definitely unable to respond with my normal quick smart ass wit. It’s always great to have a person you work with drive you to bipolar extremes (hopeful to homicidal is an often used phrase in my flat). That is always a bad sign of something, maybe the apocalypse is coming? What the hell is it that intimidates me so much about dealing with this man? GAH!!

Anyways he wasn’t near as harsh as I expected. He was a bit harsh, but he said and I agree, I would rather have him be hard on my work now than right before it is due. I want this to turn out good, and if it does a decent chunk of the reason is going to be him and his commentaries. In that sense he really is a great advisor, he is brilliant and occasionally nice.

The work I sent was not only all over the place (yes that is proof I do have ADD) but it wasn’t connected and honestly in some ways pointless. I am still flapping in the water over here. I have about an inch of it so I can breathe but I am still splashing alot. I wasn’t comfortable sending it, but writing it and sending it meant that I had something that he could then help me to flip around and try to get on track.

So we talked for a while. He turned the fistful of pinecones up my ass with some comments related to language. Of course why wouldn’t he? Just when you let your guard down... I swear I am seriously tempted if I could find those balls of Jupiter I usually wear around my neck to start correcting his English (its not that bad but I could correct it if I wanted to) for that.

But at the end of the meeting we talked for a few minutes, he seemed to act like he was human. One of the nice kinds too. The "Scares" part wasn’t there. He said some nice things; he "Stared" at me in the eyes. And then came the ringer-dinger. I asked when he would be back in town (cause oh yeah more vacation for the Frenchman) and he said the 24th. And then reminded me why I LOVE the French language, especially when he speaks it. No it’s not the way he speaks it with that hard to decipher lisp. No its not that love sonnets are being spoken. It’s that he uses direct translations and it makes me giggle.

He says to me "Bon Courage- I look forward to having another delicious discussion with you when I return." This is the man of "galloping interest rates" infamy and now "delicious discussion" and a few other funnies in there added to his misunderstanding of differences in use between this and next. I don’t know if that meant talking with me about this pile of merde I sent him was delicious (if so I haven’t a clue how or why. I did offer to share my divinely delicious macaroons- not the Jewish kind but the real French kind from the best place in town- but he didn’t take one) or if he was being ironic/sarcastic in that French way that flies over my head.

Maybe there is hope... But at least this time when I left his office I could balance the fistful of pinecones up my ass with a delicious discussion.

It’s Wonderful, It’s Wonderful:
So I got the movie French Kiss from a friend before I left for France. I love Kevin Kline so it’s great and usually makes me laugh. Not nearly as dangerous to watch as Bridget Jones either. So there is this scene where Kevin Kline steals a motorcycle to go find Meg Ryan and they play the "It’s Wonderful" song. And that is what I had running through my head last night. Cause I rode a motorcycle in Paris.

That is right, I broke all my rules. I am feeling so disconnected and disjointed and frustrated and many other adjectives that any offer of any thing that connects me to anyone else I pretty much do without question. You invite me to a coffee, unless I have a plan with another person (i.e. "Him Who Stares and Scares"), I am there. Anyone asks anything my answer is yes. You could probably ask me to go pick up dog shit with you and I would say yes with a smile.

So yesterday the friend of a friend that got me my kick ass artist flat for the month stopped by to pick up his mail. I thought my mailing address was complex, nothing compared to Sebastien. But he stopped in and then asked me if I wanted to go get a drink. Do something?? Yes sure I say, looking I am sure like some bouncing Jack Russell Terrier or worshipful following Golden Retriever.

First we went out in the neighborhood, he showed me a cool place or two- including the 1.50 euro Kir Happy Hour, and it was really nice. I used a bit of my French as Sebastien speaks English but not the real English. During our "happy hour" drink he got a call from a friend in town and decided to meet up with said friend (named Gary). Nice guy he is he asked me if I wanted to go. Hey it’s not picking up dog shit; sure I am up for it.

And this is where the motorcycle comes in. Once we find me a helmet I am on the thing. I am not clinging for dear life I am riding. Now I normally have a freak out relationship with motorcycles. Usually I am in a car-they swerve, slide and do all sorts of outrageous and crazy things that are often completely unpredictable. Sometimes known to give me heart attacks when driving here in Europe. Also if you are on one in the states Dog help you if an accident happens because you are TOAST. So my normal deal is to just say no. Nasty Ex wanted one and I did everything in my power to convince him otherwise. I wouldn’t even get on one to go around the corner.

And what do I do tonight? I get on a motorcycle with out a second thought and whiz through the winding streets and sidewalks of Paris with a crazy Parisian motorcycle driver. Swerving, not looking at the road, and without knowing it I looked in that side view mirror and saw myself in the reflection. I was smiling. That ear to ear smile that hasn’t made near as often an appearance in my life lately as it should. There are some times in life that I enjoy myself so thoroughly that I don’t even notice that I am radiating microwave beams out my orifices. I am alive and living in that exact second that I am really in love with.

We went over and through the 18th which I don’t know that well so it was great. I saw another interesting and cool part of Paris, there will always be something new to see or find in this place. We met Gary at an Irish pub that is run by a Swede. It was fun. Gary knows EVERYONE. He doesn’t live here anymore but he is one of those kinds of guys who is just sweet as can be to EVERYONE. He is the life of the party, but the kind that wants to bring EVERYONE else with him to his party.

So I partied with him. I drank a pint with him, his girlfriend who is AWESOME. She is one of those Aussies that has been everywhere, done everything. She bartends in Japan to make money (and by the sounds of it makes SERIOUS money doing it). You know the just got off the Trans-Mongolian train type. And then we went out for dinner. I rode on the back of the motorcycle in the cold air, smiling the whole way to the restaurant.

Gary knows all the kick ass places to eat it seems and he found me a new favorite- Chez Omar. The most DIVINE couscous place that had a Steak with a Poivre sauce that is enough to make you beg. I had the fluffiest, separated and light couscous with a perfect lamb kebab for my dinner and Gary kept offering to share his sauce and I got a hunk of steak on my plate too. I tried to pay for dinner but he was having none of it.

After dinner all 6 of us headed back to the 18th to hang out at another bar where he knows EVERYONE. I talked with his work friend who joined us for dinner and continued on to drinks- Mathieu. Mathieu seemed pretty interesting and I was enjoying flirting with someone again. I had no interest but I was feeling alive and we talked for awhile. Sebastien wasn’t exactly thrilled about it, but I figure that as nice as Sebastien is he has a girlfriend and it’s not me. So he will have to get over it.

Next thing I know Gary is ordering me another drink and after that he introduces me to his friend Sam. Sam is really cool. If you can’t tell Gary has ALL the cool people in his Blackberry. Sam is a dance captain at the Moulin Rouge! Sam and I talked about dance and she and I are going to go to a dance class here soon. Cause she knows the real places to find a decent dance class. She also has got some free and half price tickets. So it looks like I might be going to see her perform at the Moulin Rouge for dirt cheap (normal tickets are usually 90 euros and up I think we will get them for 30 if we have to pay at all).

At about 2 am I sent Sebastien home saying I could get myself back to the flat. Mattieu promptly offered to drive me, I think more because Sebastien made him uncomfortable. Actually he offered to "guard" me, which is another one of those entertaining uses of language in French. And at about 3 am Mattieu wanted to head out. So I bid my adieus to the troupe and Gary, he asked me to put my information into the Blackberry. I feel so special :) And hopefully I will see him when he comes back from Amsterdam for the weekend before he heads back to NYC on Wednesday.

By this point the liquor is getting to me. I am tipsy and the French is flowing much easier out the mouth but not always as easy in and through the ears. But really I think it was more getting hit with a tired wave as it was 3 am and when I went out at 6:45pm with Sebastien for a beer I sure as hell didn’t know what was going to come my way.

So I am glad I said yes; I am glad I went out; and I am glad I made it to my bed.

Tenterhooks:

Ok so I am a hermit, I am all up in my shell daily. I ignore people, my computer is my bestfriend and boyfriend, I am working constantly on this draft of mush with have demons running around my cranial cavity scouring my greymatter with brillo pads. Oh and did I mention I am tired. I

am also working my little derrière off to create a pile of mishmash that is a bunch of merde to then have to hit send to Monsieur Frenchie. Today.

And I just hit send. I swear I have to work up my bravery to do that. And my stubbornness as I sent the email text in french. But honestly hitting send makes my whole insides quiver like green jello. Seriously the whole world population of Papillons are fluttering and well not in that "ooooh goodie" way. I am always my harshest critic and I am sure I am not a complete ass in front of him, but for some reason I want to imperss (probably for reasons of ego and strategy- I need a letter of rec from this one) and I will probably be meeting with him this afternoon.

Guess its a good thing I wore a top with cleavage shot- maybe that will get me some comments and courtesy?? I have relinquished my feminist screams for dealing with "Him Who Stares and Scares" as I dont have the energy or sanity to do so anymore, plus I Have a feeling that a sense of humor will get me much further.

UGH three-four hours of flutterty torture and counting....

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

BUGGER BUGGER BUGGER:

BUGGER BUGGER BUGGER, I spent all this time going and carefully composing this great underhanded email, hoping to still get my puny ass considered for "Him Who Stares and Scares" assistantship, and what does fucking hotmail go and do- it doesnt attach my CV.

Scream Loud and Proud with me:
FUCK!!!!!!!

Cherry on Top: After I produced my French masterpiece, he responded to it in English. WHY?? He responded to my last French emain in French. I should be stubborn and continue to respond in French but I am deflated.

Why do I even fucking care if he knows I speak French?? Why do I care what he thinks?? I cant even begin to explain why this has commenced the climbing all up in my ass but DOG has it!
Why cant I just satisfy myself laughing at the prat because he cant type in English and obviously doesnt use spell check? Why cant I content myself with the fact that for two emails in a row he has at least spelt my name correctly?? None of this consoles me. Shut up I can be a drama queen if damn well want to!

And tehn he drops more new news- he will be gone next week again. WTF?? I begrudge no french person their vacation but what kind of freak takes 3 weeks then a week of work, a week of vacation a week of work and a week of vacation?? Not to mention doing so before a conference he is coordinating on the 2-4th of Sept, and starting an exchange program with a US university for next semester??

Oh well I am going to go down a bottle of vodka chanting for the rest of teh evening:
FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

Je Suis Imbécile:

You know I have completely lost it. Not that I have ever thought I had IT to be honest. This is what happens when I am up until 2 in the morning disaggregating, calculating, comilping statistics and trying to create any kind of analysis related to female employment rates. I should not be allowed near statistics, MS Excel or a freaking calculator. I want more politics, less science! Really people this is the très jolie vie Parisien right now.

Anyways on to stupidity of the day. So I wake up early- must get to internet and send applications, dig for more numbers, email "Him Who Stares and Scares," oh yeah and I am supposed to have something to send him draftwise so I should get on that too! So I wake up early I stumble along and I attempt to dress myself.

To say I am fashion inept sometimes is polite. Today it is completely accurate. I usually manage (thanks to an immense amount of black) to get something on that well doesnt look too hiedous. But this time there was a small issue. See I havent gone to pick up my pack from Cecily yet- BAD me. And that pack has all my clothes. So the clothes I have I have been wearing repeately since I left Italy for the Parisian hit and run on the way to the UK (washing in between of course). So as you might guess, I have run out of differnt coordinations and am sick of them. So I chose one outfit, then thought it looks like it might be too cold for that (yes it is raining here and chilly too) and I decided to change.

I changed into what I thought at the time was a quite smart outfit. Nice pair of pale blue Capris a shortsleeve white button up shirt and a lightweight black sweater, using a scarf of mine that is navy, royal blue and pale blue as a belt and accessory (a fashion category of which I am sincerely inept at coordinating). I figured I had managed to put on something that didnt make me look like a vagabond so on my oblivious way I went. I saw myself in the reflection of windows and was content.

Then about 25 minutes into the 35 minute walk to university I decided I was a bit hot, so I was going to take off the sweater. I did and then realized I committed one of my own despised fashion faux pas. My previous outfit had been a black tank with a skirt. So I had been wearing a black bra. I went to try on the next outfit thinking I might not wear this so not changing my bra- I am now wearing a white shirt with a very black bra.

GAH!!!!!!!

Pray for me to not be too idiotic, I must now go write a "kiss ass- S'il Vous Plait avec une cerise consider me" email in French to "Him Who Stares and Scares" hopefully without to many gaffes.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Change You Are Not My Friend:
As if changing cultures wasn’t bad enough I have to change bloody keyboards too. Normally change does not bother m, I actually like teh culture here- a lot. But when you start messing with my typing it is gloves off.

I don’t have internet access at home and there is only one university related location I can go to kick up and get my research and work done without paying through the nose. And I am always on the look out for ways to do things with out paying. Yes siree I cut corners where ever I can! Plus for some reason even if I wanted to cart my laptop around it won’t let me access the network here. And since I did it before and cant now I bet it is something those Italians did to my computer!

So I go to the lab daily- it is open 6 hours daily and I get there for about 5 of them. I know that sounds like a lot but when you combine email catch up, reading the news, searching and then applying for a job or internship, pulling some research data, looking at your favorite blogs... well its not nearly enough time. I try to go in there with a "To Do" list to make sure I get something done as I can waster time on the internet like no other, and pray I can get half of it done.

The real issue you see is that I have a Yankee puter and Sciences-Po has a Frenchy puter. And while I can make the two talk to each other and I can read all the notes and pop ups in French now, I can’t change the keyboards. They run an old version of windows at this Salle d'Informatique (I also cannot change my home page from being some Russian porn site either) and I am stuck. So I manage to get into the kick of things whilst emailing etc at campus and then when I get home I fuck up all my writing with the stupid AZERTY crap. A's and W's are my demons.

I am a pretty fast typist, in general I can type just as fast as I talk and that is pretty darn fast. And after 5 hours of working on their Frenchy puter, I come home to do some thesis draft writing and well I am knocked around for about 30 minutes minimum before my fingers remember that we don’t like that AZERTY bullshit! That I don’t have to press shift to get the damn period or any of the bloody numbers.

This is annoying as all hell when your mind moves at the speed of light, only remembers 10% of what is created at the speed of light and your fingers will not cooperate as you try to get it all out and do so in a way that resembles some language that can be spoken and understood.

And then I go and have an ADD night, where I read and work on one thing, take a break, decide I want to read something else and 5 minutes later I decide I don’t want to continue reading that part and bounce again.

Dear Dog I think I am becoming Tigger. Bouncing is what I do Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo. But I am not so sure it is a wonderful thing about Tigger’s that bouncing! I am getting pretty tired of the bouncing to be honest, it wears you thin. I have been bouncing from house to house with no roots, from town to town traveling, and now from article to article as I desperately try to get some of my research together so I can hash 4-5K words together and send them to my favorite French misogynist on Monday, trying to make a decent impression and maybe if I am lucky...

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Things Are not The Same In Oz:
Miel Pops are not Corn Pops. I should have known better than to pay 4 euros hoping for similarity. Miel is NOT corn in French. I know this, it is honey. But judge the picture looked kinda like the Corn Pops from home.

It isn’t bad and I will stick it through but really I should have known better. I don’t know what it is with me and "foreign" grocery stores, even ones that really shouldn’t be foreign anymore. They prompt me to do stupid things and try more than I normally would. I guess that isn’t bad given my food issues but at the same time

Anyways I fought the inertia and headed downstairs to the garden. I sat outside in the shaded light area, shooed away the rats that fly (otherwise known as pigeons, I until the age of 7 however thought they were called rats that fly (only said in Spanish) cause that is what Abuela called them). I spent 5 hours reading 3.5 articles and sifted a bit of notes for tomorrow’s grand write-a-thon (better known as the cut-and-paste-a-thon), before "Him Who Stares and Scares" returns and I am supposed to send him something.

When it got too dark and I couldnt absorb another word I was reading; I headed upstairs andI dinner, I composed some emails to hit send on tomorrow (one for a job and one seeing if I can trick "Him who Stares and Scares" into giving me the assistantship- if he hasn’t already got someone else) and then tried to restart the engines- it is work and sequester time after all.

And then the time d-r-a-g-s, I can't concentrate- I am full, and that whole I do nothing with my life and have no connections to others set of feelings seeps back in. I am full from my research work but don’t have anything else to replace the time with, nor is there really any structure to my days/life right now. I would sacrifice my ego to get the assistantshipe with "Him Who Stares and Scares" just to have something to do and some organization. But I can’t focus- I get this way with out patterns; not even Beethoven’s Sonatas are helping. I mean what is normal, what does normal life look like? What does normal do, particularly whilst living in Paris? Am I normal? For that matter do I want to be normal?

Saturday, August 07, 2004

I Am Not A Loser!:
I managed to get myself out of my flat today. And for me 70 percent of the battle is getting out the door. I went to the post office and picked up shit I don’t need that I shipped to myself, cause I didn’t want to carry it. Then there was the library. I decided on a whim to see since they were open if they had free internet access. They do but on this very weird make an appointment, one hour limit system and you have to Inscrire. So Incrire I did and then was promptly shafted on my one hour limit geting 5 minutes of my first 30 minutes and tehn being tapped on teh shoulder to be booted off just when I was trying to access the numbers I needed. I managed to check my emails to keep the box from getting too cluttered, hit send a few times and realize I need to be back at university to get access to what I want from the OECD statistics.

Then I went to meet up with Margot, I am so glad I went out with her this afternoon. We get along great, she is awesome like that. More importantly though, I needed that kind of interaction. I needed to do something that proved I was not a hermit, that I was not ignoring the outside and staying only on the inside. I stayed outside chatting with her about any and everything for 4 hours. We had expensive but good ice-cream from an Italian place where I fucked with my brain and languages (you know the ones I make such an effort to keep separate) ordering in Italian. Then after we went our ways I walked along the Seine, past a Paris Plage Concert, some street performers, through the Notre Dame gardens (which are gorgeous in summer bloom) and then the rest of the way home.

But to be honest, as much as I enjoy being back in Paris, I have been feeling kind of lame and like a hermit crab lately. I am not really doing much with people- partially because a lot of them aren’t here (vacation or moved). I talk to those who are here occasionally, but we aren’t really interacting. I have my "pattern." I walk 35 minutes to school (one day if I get really bored I just might get a pedometer and count the steps it takes) I use the internet (check email, search and apply for a job or internship, read a blog or two, check the news and exchange rates, research a bit, print a few things, and then distract myself and then work like a dog- you get the point). And reverse the 35 minute walk here and walk back to the flat (sometimes making a random stop or two if I feel like I am too lame for getting back to the flat too "early," I read a bit- 99.9% of the time for my thesis- maybe in the garden maybe in the flat with the fan pointed at me, make some dinner or munch on random ingredients, and then I either read some more or I watch some French television.

That is pretty dull and not exactly what I would call social. I can take that hermit crab metaphor quite far in actuality as most of the time on weekends in particular I feel a fight to leave the flat (even just to go down to the garden or corner store) at all. First of all I am in my shell and staying in it. I occasionally have human contact, but I really haven’t been doing things. This means that I feel like I have no life, and when you add to that the no order or structure except for what I design myself (which it is well established I am NO good at that) I feel like a hermit.
And it is not exactly all fun. And while I don’t like it I often feel like I am inadequate in having the skills to go out and interact with others when I don’t have those structures setting it up for me. Yeah you heard it, I don’t like it and I don’t say it often- but I want life to do it all for me. I want it to be easy.

I am tired of the struggle, though arguably struggle is what I do best. I struggle on everything, struggle is what makes all the good things happen, it’s what gives you character, it’s what I want to quit with right NOW. I want to learn about ease, that thing really that does make me green with jealousy (and I am not a jealous person). I have no clue how to go about that or what to do. Often I hear people tell me to release things. I have never been good at releasing things though. We are not building off my skill set here people. Replacing yes, and once I replace I usually don’t look back or hold on. At least not consciously. They both may begin with "re" but neither is similar in re-ality.

I know things are put in front of me as challenges and on some days I am up to them on others I feel like I am beat down by everything else that if I have to face some kind of challenge I will wilt as I will most likely fail and if there is one thing I hate more than stepping on my ego with a fist full of pinecones to shove up my arse, it is failure.

And today I am tired but satisfied that I beat back a demon for today at least. Probably more fires to fight tomorrow, but quite simply I cant think about that right now.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Le Meteo:
Do the French go through some kind of meteorology course to understand their weather people? In general I don’t trust weather people. I grew up in Arizona where they were useless (yeah thanks for telling me it is hot enough to fry an egg on the asphalt- Mom thought I was REAL cute when I went and did that with a dozen eggs, calling it a science experiment didn’t get me out of that shit). Then I moved to Seattle where really it was a pot shot and no one listened to them anyways. If it’s not summer 98% chance you will get caught in the drizzle. As I had to trek all around campus (for work classes, work again) it was a given I would get drizzled on and splash immense amount of water on the back of my pants as I walked with a purpose (read faster than a 6ft 7in man). I lived there 7 years with out a rain coat and 6 with out an umbrella. I just made do- hats are my friend. Plus it never mattered- it was humid so my hair would do crazy stupid stuff so why bother trying to do anything to it. I never cried about getting wet it was just part of life.

But here in France, they are serious about the weather. I don’t often catch the meteo as it is not included in the national news but given its own space in the lineup. The weather woman (cause its usually women- some with the horrid taste to wear whit cat suits that look like there might be Camel Toe on the horizon) takes about 5 minutes or so explaining the next 2-3 days only.

She explains things on the borders, in the country and then on all sorts of levels that we in the states at least do not engage in. She gives serious explanations with shit like the barometric pressures that as they move change in pressures. Not only does this happen in colors but in numbers too. I don’t know what to do or make of those numbers. She talks about all sorts of fronts and things that really make about as much sense to me as calculus. She does all of this with ut telling me the simple and understandable temperatures in their funny numbers.

Yesterday I walked out the flat, blissfully ignorant that it would rain. It was grey, but that doesn’t predict anything at about 9:30 in the morning. I am in the computer lab all day and after that well… I walk out and look it has rained. So I walk home in my tank top (I thought for sure it would get warmer- I should have a job as the weather woman) and skirt. I live about 35 minute walk each way from university right now and I like that I am walking it. I feel stronger for it and it helps to keep me "healthy." It’s also easy as I am a straight shot down one street to my advisors office and only one block off that street for the library and computer lab.

On the way home I look up at the grey skies pleading with them to not open up on me. I should have known better this atmosphere is French. You show any sign of anything other than bitchiness and it is relentless. Pour on me it did, drenched like a rat I dodged from awning to awning, attempting not to get caught by the drips from the awning. Ducking in when I could find a small café. I ducked into one for 15 minutes and the nice man took pity on me offering me a drink.

As it is summer it’s not cool, it is wet and sticky humid and still kind of muggy warm. So he offered me some juice. I declined as I am being stingy and didn’t carry cash on myself to (in an attempt to avoid the grocery stores again. Hunger Strike 2004 has made me want to buy every bit of food I can find) pay for it. He said it was on the house, I looked like I needed it. That says it all; Frenchmen pity me and my wet look. 5 minutes later it seemed to dry up and I tried to make a dramatic dash the rest of the way (I was only half way home) and five minutes later the gods opened up the clouds and emptied them out once more.

I gave up. Luckily my bag kept things dry and I walked splashing my flip flops through the puddles, skipping along a bit. What else was I going to do, cursing the clouds wasn’t going to get me anywhere at this point. I finally got back to the flat, sent the cat scurrying as I was WET. After another shower I curled up inside and did some reading with Tchaikovsky playing the background. Before I turned on the TV to see what was on the news (the

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Friends:
I am so lucky to have the friends that I do in my life. If I ever forget it, once the call is set out I am quickly reminded. Yesterday I put out the SOS call. I don’t do it too often as I dont like to think I ever need help- and certainly not to people I know and love, though I have one it once or twice more than I would have liked to this year. I was freaking out and I needed the centered people (you know the ones I envy). The thoughts of debt were making my chest crush, the idea of leaving Europe was making my eyes tear, and life in general was looking a bit overwhelming. I know there are people with worse quandries than I but since this is about me and my experiences it is big to me. Too much uncertainty makes me extremely uncomfortable, and I have had well more than my fair dose this year.

Life is always that way if you only look at the big picture and don’t cut it down into some of the smaller bits. It is not to say the view today is much better. I still feel quite like a piece of driftwood at sea and I have an undergut feeling that there is either a hurricane at bay or at the least I have some riptides I have to go through. But I do recognize that I am a lucky piece of driftwood. I have phenomenal friends who every time I climb up on the edge, shove on that heavy suit of armor and mail donning it with the grace and eloquence. They drag themselves to some poor horses that carry the burden and charge to the direction of my plaintive screams in the distance. They extend their hands to me and kindly and carefully talk me down to the hand and then help me hop down into a softer landing. They tell me the things I know are true and tell others but never see in myself. They confirm my strength to survive, they tell me I am “normal” (though I battle with that every time), that this process is normal and that I WILL graduate, I WILL end up in the right place for me, and not to let others get me down or flustered.

I am also lucky as certain parts of me are finally starting to spark, parts I had wondered if were lost in the Great Fall of the House of Cards 2001. When I was sent into spirals so deep that I didn’t know black of that shade existed, so deep that my internal compass sprung a leak, was ruptured and was irretrievably damaged (new one still under testing for construction faults). But some parts have finally come home to roost, the parts I have needed to get back for a while. I am still not complete, I am different, but I am getting some of my spunk back. They weren’t lost and they are a part of me, who ever me is, and for that I am grateful.

I had a wonderful evening last night sitting in the garden, talking with one of the wonderful ladies (yeah I use my French) in the complex and then reading and researching till it was dark out. I felt, as Helen calls it- my inner banshee, yelp a bit as I took pride in speaking the whole time with her in French.

Take that French Misogynistic Advisor! Ever since I was two years old I have taken a spiteful amount of pride in doing that which people have told me I cant. I can’t scale that mountain- bugger off and watch me. I can’t carry that pack look at me now Ma! I am a trooper and I am a blazingly defiant soul. I guess it is a power trip- I am saying no it is NOT you who gets to decide what does or doesn’t define me, what I can or cant do. As the song sings: I can do anything you can do better, I can do anything better than you. No you cant, yes I can, no you cant, yes I can, yes I can, YES I CAN. And for those who know me they sure as hell can see my feet stomping as I finish that verse with my wild changing color eyes.

I am an independent being and I am the one who decides. And yes I do like being able to rub his nose in it. It is now a game for me, making him feel a bit of kilter, out of his game, and uncomfortable as his assumptions turned out to be wrong. But even if said person is not there, I find when I take the moment to look at it, there is an immense amount of gratification independent of rubbing anyone else’s nose in it that I derive from proving other peoples conceptions about me wrong to the most important person I’ll ever need to prove them to- Me.

It is that gratification, and a sliver of hope that are fueling my fire along to become the split person (half focused on the thesis work I need to create and half focused on securing some kind of tie that feels justifiable). I am working as hard as I can to create some kind of map for myself. I know it is not something you can sit yourself down pen in hand and create all in one felt swoop. I know I will have to re cartograph the contours of things. I will probably have to reorientate the directions and my direction. But I like the thought of having a plan, even though I know that it will most likely need to be amended. At least then there is a direction- right or wrong, turn around or persevere. And I guess at the end of the day, direction is important to me now.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Singing The Blues:
So I am slightly depressed today. Who am I shitting? I am in the blues with Seal playing in the background. Turns out Cecily is moving at the end of the month to DC. Sure I get my flat back but my best girl pal who usually can make me laugh harder than anyone else here is leaving. Most of my Paris crew is moving on (minus three- four good friends which isn’t minor but still not the same as the "real heyday"). This could well mean there is a kernel of possibility that it is time for me to move on too. In addition to that my gut is saying that chances are more and more that I will have to move back to the states.

I am devastated by the thought of leaving Europe. I don’t want to go yet. During other periods of living abroad I wanted to come "home" for a variety of reasons, but I don’t feel like it is time. I want to stay here, and I want to in my heart and soul. It feels right to be on this continent. And I sure as hell don’t want to be stuck in the middle of the election year bullshit. (I vote but I don’t want to have to listen to the smear campaigns either).

More importantly I want to sit through a glorious Parisian Autumn changing of leaves, a Winter of grey and ski slopes, a spring full of glorious daffodils, gerberas everywhere and running through the parks, drinking my beloved Volvic Citron, enjoying the crazies (we all talk to ourselves on the street here), with a breeze on my hair that lifts me as I walk down the street in my skirt, boots or high heels or flip-flops for that matter. I want to continue becoming the person I feel I am only now starting to find and who is inherently here not back in the states.
Life is always topsy-turvy for me. I accept that, I have issues like anyone else and I am working through them one by one becoming more and more confident in the house of cards that I have worked my ass of to rebuild. And I have a different and "happier" sense of contentment here in Paris. I have a better approach to my life, one that finally feels organic and like ME, and it is one I am not sure would survive the onslaught and return to the US.

But more and more I am finding less reason to justify staying in Europe. Well reasons that aren’t seriously selfish and not really that purposeful. Granted the whole citizenship is still sitting there chapping my ass, and I am looking into that but on the other hand for right now the Spanish government is spinning me in bureaucratic circles and well that is getting to be a pain in the ass. But I can say if I do go I will go with that damn birth certificate! Even if I have to go to that 300 odd person town where my grandfather was born at the turn of the century and shake it out of the churches books myself (that is after I dig my grandfathers grave up and give his skull a good whack with a golf club for throwing his papers into the New Jersey Harbor after clearing through Ellis Island).

Mostly however the pain over the return is related to the fact that I am financially paranoid. I HATE having debts, let alone 33K of them. I know to some that is not a lot, but to me who has never had a cent of debt she couldnt clear at a given moment, who was raised to be terrified of debt, it gives me panic attacks. Before this whole adventure Id never had a single one that I couldn’t if I cleared all assets pay off immediately. I have no assets left and well I couldn’t pay anything off right now. And I want to clear as much of it as I can as soon as I can.

And if I cant manage to tie down some kind of internship or work here well staying in Europe isn’t really that smart of an option when I could be back in the states doing the same thing as here (getting my PhD things together) and working at the same time to corral some of the debts rather than letting them grow and get out of control, which though I know they are not- they sure as hell feel like it to me.

Granted I won’t actually have to leave for approximately 3 months, but I will have to decide here shortly. And that means I have to get my act together since the good fairy didn’t drop a job in my lap (working with my advisor- instead she whacked me on the head as I was skipping through the forest) little Tinker foo-foo needs to get her act together and start pimping out her resume. She also needs to decide where she is going to try and stay in Europe (Paris is lovely but might not work, Spain could come through but no one really knows… I don’t know if I could handle the Belgian trauma after yesterday but it is an option as is the UK I guess.) And the kicker to my day, the job that I thought hey that just might be my savior... here in Paris, decent paying etc... Well it’s not because though it is with an international organization whose home is in Paris, the job itself is based in DC. I will apply but I wanted to scream when I saw that.

I don’t want to go to DC. Don’t get me wrong I think it is a great place and I could live there. That tempo and vitality definitely makes my heart go and starts the engine. I always work better in places that are at balls to the wall speed, but my heart right now wants to stay in Europe. I have never wanted to stay in a place more than I think I do now. I loved Seattle and I know I want to go back there one day but leaving while it was hard was a move forward for me and I knew that so it was with a bit of hesitation but with a sense of adventure that I left, and I had a year or so to come to terms with the idea of leaving.

The thought of getting on a plane even if it is three months from now tears me to bits and makes me want to cry. Fuck I am welling up right now as I type this just thinking about it. I can feel the strings TEAR at me snapping chords that hurt to the very core of my soul. I haven’t cried about moving and leaving a place before. I have cried about leaving people, but not a place. And while I welled up leaving Seattle (my friend came home early to say bye to me and I didn’t expect that) I didn’t shed any tears when I left to "complete" the move. Maybe it is because I feel a door shutting in my life and I am not ready for it to shut. I am not ready to be done with this part of my life- it has gone too fast, and I don’t feel that sure about what happens when the door shuts.

In addition to that as of right now there isn’t an actual way forward in returning to the states. I haven’t really planned any of that out. And while my life has lacked a certain sense of organization for awhile and I haven’t enjoyed that at all- I don’t want to go backwards. To be fair there isn’t any proven or applied path forward here in Europe either. But while I love certain parts of my life in the states I am afraid of going backwards and what exactly is it that I am going back to anyways? And where would I go to? Do I go to Portland where the "famille" (yes the same one that makes me wear the pretty white coats that the nice men in the van brings) is and I can live rent free (with less professional opportunities)? I haven’t lived at "home" for over 11 years, I might just commit suicide or homicide (always said if anyone was going to kill my mother it would be me- good thing I look good in white) if I did that.

Do I go back to Seattle- if so then for all intensive purposes I have to settle myself to going back to working outside that which I am trying to reorient my life to. Sure I can find ways to make some bills meet and I could probably squat with a friend or two or something like that but still, should I take that option? DO I go to SF which I don’t know about working but I would be willing to try, to NYC where I have little to no connections or to DC which will have a few but... Neither location would have a job (as of now) waiting for me or anything, and none of
them are exactly known for being cheap. And most DC and NYC internships are unpaid. (which why am I doing an internship if I want to go back to graduate school? To keep all doors open, to have SOMETHING for the love of Buddha to do and frame my life with?? Yup that would sound like the right reasoning) If I am going to do an unpaid internship why not try to do one here in Europe, I have a friend at the WTC in Brussels who would give me one in a heartbeat. The ILO has offices in Paris and Madrid, not to mention there is the FAO in Rome (along with Enrico) and the WTO is in Geneva, along with random World Bank locations too.

But the big question for me is am I going backwards in my life if I return to the states. Really, what the hell is it exactly that I want in my life? I don’t know how to create it. Nothing is ever what it seems anyways. I just feel like hell today about this, I didn’t want to face this. I was supposed to have a period of joy over something. Things were supposed to fall into the places that I wanted them to (I guess they are falling into place but for what I don’t know).

There are too many options and questions right now and well it is too much. It overwhelms me, it makes me want to tackle it and at the same time hide under the covers hoping that it never comes to pass. We all know how great the ostrich method has served me. I will be sending out resumes, sending a few emails of hope to try and gather at the last bits of the threads that were once hope (before the "good" fairy WHACKED me).

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Where Oh WHERE Has My Spork Gone??:
The most horrid advertisement EVER.

I think gouging my eyes out with a spork will NEVER be enough to remove one of the more traumatizing moments in my life. But it sure as hell is a start I want to make. As I have well explained earlier French TV is erm… particular to say the least. Some are quirky, some are odd and some are down right disturbing. It is a pot shot as to what you will get to be honest. Well today took the cake, and there is little to no chance of anything else taking the crown.

DO NOT READ ON IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE OR PRUDISH

Ok with that warning out of the way here goes; cause if I have to be traumatized why shouldn’t everyone else? Now it started off kind of humorous in translation. See the name of this show was Sex Pub. Sounds all kinky already, it is short for publicité the French way to say ads but that is beyond the point. This is a show about how sex is used in advertisements. Yes we all know sex sells the French like to document it in the Franco-phone world. So we watched a few publicités, nothing too hot and heavy for France to be honest. And then the most awful thing ever conceived.

So it is a Belgian ad and it starts as follows: there is a milkman and he delivers milk to the first house, and the lady of the manor comes to the door waves, says thank you and smiles a toothy smile- showing her rotting teeth. Then the milkman goes to the second house, and at the second house we have a repeat event of the decaying tooth smile. At this point the relevance of the product is brought into the play as a comment for some reason is made about chocolate condoms. (Ok whatever) Then the milkman goes home says hello to his wife- who of course makes the *ding* smile with perfect pearly whites, and then comes the SICKO part. The milkman pats the LAMB that is there kind of like a dog and the lamb makes the most grotesque "smile" that shows his decaying teeth.

WHAT THE FUCK- who the hell puts bestiality into an ad for condoms?? Is that supposed to make me want to buy that brand? We all got the point that the milkman was getting his oral pleasures elsewhere than home. Well before then, promise Jim.

I want to have sat in on that conceptual meeting- the one where people sit around a table and say hmm I don’t think people will really get the point so let’s take it one step further and use an animal… I think a lamb would be the best symbolically. Sweet Jehosephat, WHAT THE FUCK was the purpose in inserting the lamb into the deal. I mean come on what did the lamb do to that advertising guru?

And the decaying teeth- I have a sweet tooth and while brushing the teeth may not keep the decay out does usually keep your teeth from looking like they are going to fall out.

There are not enough words for how appalling and traumatizing that ad/pub was.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Bienvenue A Gay Paree:
Damn I forgot how blatant Frenchmen are, they are worse than Italians. You’d think with all the freaking topless models covering the everyday magazines and les publicités that they would get over it and quit with the blatant lingering glance at my tube top clad chest.

It is hot damn it, bras be burned and while you are at it- Quit It! Then I went to the computer lab, the long anticipated/dreaded email arrived. My feedback from the draft proposal on the thesis from "Him the Non Communicative." Now the Meeting with "Him who Stares but Scares" went well (once it actually happened), and teh feedback from "Him the Non Communicative" was much better. But both of them commented on one thing that I have to take into consideration.

Ok that is fine but are they seeing something in my proposal that I am not cause I cant figure out exactly why I have to address that point. I study one kind of group of countries and they want me to address an issue in another (non similar) grouping of countries. HUH? I'll address it of course but I cant figure this out, it is confusing me.

I have those days in which I feel like everyone else around me can see my life but me I haven’t a clue where the trees are for the forest- its all just a big glob of green. Don’t get me wrong I like green, I wear it lots and am told it makes my eyes look an even prettier green- bringing it out more, but really I feel like I am oblivious to my own life. Not like I am disassociating and disconnecting from my life and watching it happen, just like I haven’t a clue and am going along through it bumbling my way through.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Indian-giver:
Maybe no Versailles today. I know I should go. I should get up off my expanding ass (I am no longer in the land of enforced diet- I mean come on what is up with the British and the love of Mayo?? Does it get worse than Egg and Mayo concoctions? Unfortunately yes but I still want to ask them: do you know that mayo is egg mixed with oil?? Serve me some more cholesterol on my plate please) and just GO.

But I am having a proclivity to working on the research and being that I have about 4000 words to write in about 10 days and I still have to get my shit together and figure out some data too... I figure I should ride that wave and not let it pass.

It is sad to say but it must be done and it must be said- There is always next month.

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