Saturday, June 24, 2006

I hate having a weak constitution.

On the plus side, I don't have pneumonia, and the fact that the doctor from SOS Médecins wrote "bronchitis" (or rather, "bronchite") on my housecall receipt should with any luck secure a 66-euro reimbursement from my university's health services. On the minus side, from my room's open window I can hear the cheering and thumping bass and intermittent airhorn blast waft in from Parisian gay pride while I'm stuck here with my fatigue and wheezing and trash bag full of used tea sachets and phlegm (tasty!). Also on the minus side: the housekeeper that my renters employ seems today to be taking great pleasure in rattling around and being as thorough as fucking possible in his weekly visit, thereby disallowing me the opportunity to slink unnoticed into the kitchen to microwave myself some more water. Scrub the goddamn bathroom tile a little more meticulously, why don't you buddy? I have to pee, and I wants my hot water.

As far as the tea goes, at least having to decide between vanilla, caramel and peach-blackcurrant makes my life a little more interesting. Until I can get back in there I suppose I'll have another dose of Advil. Mmm, coating.

...Ooo, they're playing a dance remix of What a Feeling! Irene Cara always cheers me up...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The "Recover Username" feature is a beautiful thing.

First comment: my new year's resolution was a spectacular failure, but given that I'd forgotten about it probably somewhere around mid-January and haven't thought about it for more than 2 minutes cumulative since then, there hasn't been much emotional fallout.

Greetings from Paris, which I haven't taken much advantage of since I got here on May 28th. I think it's because I spent 5 weeks here last summer and the ennui has set in. That, and I lost my monthlong metro card on a trip to Amsterdam/Brussels a few weeks ago, but since I live in the 6th arrondissement and it's easy to walk to the pretty, stereotypically "Paris" things, it's mostly the ennui. Also, the fact that I'm doing actual work for my fellowship! 8 senators and 3 National Assembly deputies have agreed to speak with me about their experience of gender in campaigning and in the French government. Those poor, poor fools. I've been trying to get my French up to snuff by taking the following measures:

- setting the default language to French on my webmail, Mozilla, and Windows (as much as it allows me without buying new language packs, at any rate)
- changing my home page from to
- listening to Radio France, when I remember to
- when I'm walking around town, making a concerted effort to listen to the French mélodies and Jacques Brel songs on my iPod, rather than the American Idol mp3s that I spent an entire day downloading
- considering a subscription to Glowria, the French equivalent of Netflix (the first month only costs 1 euro!)

Additional suggestions are welcome. Back to reading some Kundera in the original...

PS, if any of you (the legions that read this) want postcards from sundry European places, drop me a line with a summer address.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

A Modest Resolution.

In 2006, I will actually read my page-a-day desktop calendar, every day.

Last year both origami and Edward Gorey failed to hold my attention, the Gorey moreso because the pages of the various books were all out of order, but this year I hope that Forgotten English will be enough to do the trick.

By the way, words for the first three days of the New Year:

January 1st:
scurryfunge - A hasty tidying of the house between the time you see a neighbor and the time she knocks on the door.

January 2nd:
pulpatoon - A dish made of rabbits, fowl, etc., in a crust of forced [stuffed] meat.
From Latin pulpamentum, tidbits.
To make a pulpatoon of pigeons . . . half roast six or eight pigeons, and lay them in a crust of forc'd-meat. . . . Scrape a pound of veal, and two pounds of marrow, and beat it together in a stone mortar.

January 3rd:
in Queen Street - "The joskin lives in Queen Street," the fool is governed by his wife.

And no, I didn't read those all at once just now. We're off to a good start.

But I'm probably still setting myself up for failure, seeing as how I never use my desk...
Reductionism who in the what now?