as it happens I had intended over this summer to write about my wild and crazy experience being back in my home state. Seeing all the neurosies I USED to have. And pointing and laughing at all the others with their rabbit-sized families, jello desserts and "we are the center of the universe and isn't it dramatic" attitudes.
But as it turns out I actually prefer the wily children, special holidays with special foods (every single month) and the Fremont mentality. So here we are.
Bring on the Black Cherry jello and fruit with cream cheese and nuts!
So this post isn't about PTSD. Well it is, kind of.
Here is the yoga wisdom of the day
We do yoga poses that put us in strain or imbalance specifically to train the mind to be able to calm itself when we arrive at a real life situation that causes the same physical response.
i.e. next time you panic, remember how when you had your feet over your head and somehow your breathing and heartbeat came back down to normal.
Why does Listerine feel like it is giving my mouth a chemical peel?
My method for doing things is diving in to see if my whole self likes it (really what can you tell from a tiny toe in the pool?). I also like to stick to my commitments which means sometimes I stay in long past raisin-skin stage.
I hate returning things.
I really hate patchouli.
I should probably stop drinking whole milk every day since it is actually designed to fatten up baby cows.
I have always dreamed of being one of those girls with a flat stomach. When bare midriff's came around, I tried to stand up straight and suck in. Luckily I didn't delve head first into belly button baring blouses because I am not one of those girls. My belly is not flat.
My dad used to call me Beluga Belly when I was wee tyke. I had great belly-pushing-out abilities and I was an adorable super white color.
As I got older, I got into sports and exercising. And being super short, I naturally tried to stand up straighter, and it might have stretched my round little belly a little bit. But not enough for flat stomach status. So a good long 20-something years of loathing the soft middle.
So then a week ago I went to a yoga retreat. (I am a middle class white girl - I like yoga, photography, traveling and cooking, ethnic food and organic farmer's markets. I'm WHITE). So the teacher was telling us to inhale into our bellys. And I thought, why don't I. Not just a little bit, but all of it. And I did.
And I kicked everyone's big breathing asses. And it didn't feel like this section of my body that I like to reprimand and occasionally give stern advice to. It became part of my ability. I can super deep breathe.
And that is cool.
I have been sending resumes to work while I am on my extended trip home. And I just yesterday had someone print it out for me. The formatting is screwed. One column on 2 pages. "I have great Microsoft Office skills" doesn't count anymore.
Who was the jerk that decided one of these countries would have a slightly different size of standard paper? I am giving that person the doigt d'honneur. Thank you for making me look like an ass. Was it not enough that I changed my eating, my speaking, my sleeping habits?! You must also screw with my professional abilities?
I am starting to hate the nice man that comes to my house to teach me French every week.
I actually started tearing up during our lesson today.
Let me say that again: I cried in front of my French teacher today.
30 seconds in, he starts explaining how "lui" could not be referring to a woman because it is the compliment of the direct object.
That's why he couldn't respond. Because it didn't make any sense. Even though, when used in a different context, it can refer to both a man or a woman (or apparently any other object: plants, dogs, couches, etc.)
I wish that my first reaction had been strong like a boxer and that I wanted to punch him.
And then he tried to be nice and tell me that I speak very well. Except clearly that isn't the case because he just got finished telling me that people should have been correcting me.
I do speak well. I speak better than all of the foreigners I know here.
but I am giving the French language the big "doigt d'honneur" today.
Did your mother ever correct you? Mine did. I hated her when I was 8, but then I was 14 and really great at English I liked her more.
Do you know what it is like to feel 8 again? I do.
But I still hate you today Phillipe.
On a positive note, it smelled like summer yesterday. It was really warm and someone must have cut some grass in the neighborhood.
I got sick again. AGAIN!!!
I feel like a sickly child.
but Sunday I broke out and took a Velib. And I felt like this
because, you know, no one in Paris leaves the house before 10 a.m. on Sunday morning. (Even if there was a bomb, they stay stubbornly at the table drinking their bowl of coffee.)
So it's safe to Velib like I do - smiling like an idiot (because "only idiots smile" in France*), looking for my destination, ringing my bell at the one man, not yet awake, but standing on the only section of bike path in the whole dang city (WAKE UP!)
And then we have a lunch with B's parents - which lasts 4 hours. And even though I am hacking up a lung his dad insists with the Champagne ("Just a little, to cheers with!").
And then it is time to go home and try to detox** the cream, butter and sugar. (All things I would generally enjoy by the spoonful.) and all I can think is
* Apparently things are so serious here that smiling is only done by people who have nothing going on in their head
**Sick diet: green leafy vegetables, clear liquids and a lot of raw garlic. Super fun.
I have 2 people very close to me that want to be called something other than their given name. What a weird thing. I knew a girl in middle school that did that for a year or so, but suddenly she was her old name again.
These 2 wanted to have a break and start something new. Be something different than they had been.
But here's the thing, I have years of memories with them. Years of laughing and eating (because most of my life revolves around food), and fun with that name. I don't want them to be something new. I want the person they are. I want to keep saying that name and having all those good memories come back every time I say it.
So for the moment I am holding my own personal French strike and not actually calling them anything.
It is strangely warm here. And we're getting a weird amount of clear sky days. I am sure it has to do with climate change but I'm inclined to like it. I have not been wearing an extra layer under my down coat. I have been going commando.
But the other day I heard a crow and I automatically zipped up my coat. Even though it was almost 60°. (Like a sweltering summer for my nephew.)
See the crows are the mascots of winter. The black, menacing, overlords of the neverending gray of winter. (permagray soup anyone?). Everyone is rushing around trying to get in and out of the metro or in a building or somewhere NOT outside. The only distinguishable noise is the sound of the crows. They are like Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven.
Quoth the Crows of Paris: The sun? "Nevermore"
This is our alarm clock.
I got a whole load of business from B for buying this expensive little spotlight.
It starts a "sunrise" a half an hour before our oh-so-early wake-up time of 8:00.
But now instead of tearing ourselves out of our warm cocoon after 5 snoozes, it's just light. No noise, I just open my eyes to the light of day.
This is my my new perfume and the LOVELY little package they wrapped for me. How can you not love them for putting in the pretty corresponding paper and spraying it with perfume, then closing it all up and wrapping it in a perfect bow. You can't, I tell you.
And then the tulips were just, well it was gray outside and I was feeling particularly puffed with my new perfume.
Anyway, I really needed a new perfume for my stinky neck. And tulips, because everyone needs tulips.
And in Frantasyland we have super clean clothes because our "normal" wash cycle takes 83 minutes.
And our apartments always smell fresh because we clothesline dry in our magical Room of Requirement(the 2 1/2 square ft of undedicated space in between the dresser and our bed).
I put on my scarf yesterday, and I noticed it smelled.
I tried airing it out, and then washing it, but low and behold the source of the smell is me.
Better make use of this French perfume...
It smells like old people.
Well, apparently I smell like old people. My neck smells like old people.
The rest of me smells like roses (not a joke, I use a rose perfumed soap)
but I am at a loss for my neck.
All hail the Polar Vortex...and the news reporters creating dramatic names for weather
It was really fun in the beginning - the novelty of ridiculously cold weather while we staying inside and making Swedish Pancakes and playing board games.
But then came the moment when I had no option, I had to go outside.
I was officially in the cold for 3 minutes - the time to get out of the car, put money in a meter and cross the street. I didn't make it across the street.
I stepped out of the car, with coins from the car, but they were so cold the metal was "burning" my fingers. I desperately looked around for the building on my note but couldn't see it. The the wind kicked up, blowing through my hat (I clearly forgot to SEAL it directly to my head). And then my face and fingers started hurting so bad I thought I might cry. CRY, I said. It was so cold I was ready to bawl.
So I ran in the closest door.
Not funny anymore.
AND the trick of exploding boiling water by throwing it out into the Polar Vortex on the porch didn't work. Thumbs down Polar Vortex. Thumbs down to you.