Things of more and less importance

My grandfather died last Saturday in the wee hours of the morning. Well, the wee hours of the morning in Michigan, just the normal hours of the morning here. It was a bit weird to not be able to go to the funeral, like all the remembering and memorializing that I missed doesn’t just provide closure but also makes it a little more real. He’d been wavering for a few weeks, and though we thought  he was doing better, it wasn’t a shock. I knew that moving to France as he approached 88, 89, 90 meant that I would probably not be around when he died, but I still wish I’d been there. I don’t think he ever managed to pick a stone for my grandmother’s grave in the six years since she died. I guess now it’s no longer his responsibility.

In less important and more obvious news, my blog has moved (duh). I got the renewal notice for the domain name and hosting service a few months ago and didn’t think much of it because usually I just let it renew automatically. But I was doing my budget for April and started to think how nice it would be to not pay that $70, which originally, back in 2005, was half me, half Laurel. So I ditched And I did it at the very last minute, so there was no time to put up a notification post and ferry people over here. The only disadvantage to using is that I can’t customize my template, so, that’s gone. At some point I may start paying $15 a year to edit my own CSS, which would let me randomize my landscapes again. For the moment though I’m not too bothered by the change of scenery. The header photo is from a lavender patch at the Kew Gardens in London. The biggest glitch so far in the transfer is that, while all of my images are stored at my new domain, they aren’t connected to their respective posts. I’ve re-inserted them for the last year and a half. Who knows when I’ll get around to the rest—the thought of all those travel pictures from my assistant year is a little intimidating….

An acquaintance of mine has been selected to take my job next year. I’m glad knowing that someone competent and caring will take over, and I’m not too sad about leaving, though it’s been a wonderful job. I really hope I’ll be able to keep teaching next year. The question of the stage en responsabilité is still completely up in the air, though I’ve at least contacted the school now.

I’ve finally been to see a French allergist, and I like her a lot. We’re doing testing this month and we’ll decide later if I start immunotherapy (“sensibilisations” not through shots but with drops under the tongue) for dust mites this summer and pollen next winter. I just went in for a blood test to do some of the tests that way and will do some more at her office in a couple weeks, which means I have to go off my meds. Eek! Spring, don’t come too fast!

Out of flonase.

Sent away for some.

I didn’t work this weekend and I had soooo much time. I got sooo much work done today that tomorrow I have time to take a real trip to the grocery store.

Think am going to review the DALF reading/writing section for my test evaluation class. Or maybe the DELF. Whichever is easier to get all the info on. I found a bunch and then my hard drive crashed while I was running a back-up so I lost it. Am having trouble nailing down the same information again.

We need rain. I can’t find anything in the news about allergies (WHEN WILL THEY END) but lots about the drought.

I can’t really say that if I’d made a really informed decision about what allergy season would be like here that I would have come here for grad school. (Was there a more convoluted way to say that?) But I am glad I didn’t know, because I like it here, and whenever this does finally end, I am looking forward to summer. It’s a weird thing to look forward to because I usually hate summer in Texas. But I want to do things like go to Schlitterbahn and Barton Creek (okay so I did buy a new swim suit recently). I’m looking forward to being able to walk outside again, even if it’s 95 degrees.

I’m going to Houston over spring break to have my feet looked at (hope to make surgery-related decisions soon after) and Anna said we could go to the Houston rodeo. I’m excited. Yes it will be my first rodeo.

I'm tired of a few things.

1. Allergies
2. Allergies
3. Allergies
4. Waiting to restore my files to my computer so that I can use Microsoft Word, Mail, read blogs again, do tabbed browsing in Safari…
5. Allergies
6. My canker sore
7. This little finger print crack on my thumb. I broke down and put a band-aid on it.
8. Allergies
9. Foot pain
10. Allergies

Yesterday I was okay when I was inside but as soon as I stepped outside I could feel it in my eyes. It’s just weird to be walking around with all these people who are (seem to be) operating normally and in a world where the outdoors doesn’t hurt. For one thing, they all walk really slow.

The woman I rent my apartment from sent me an e-mail that was kind of touching. She said she came to Paris in her 20s and big cities were more important to her then than nature. Except that I miss the outdoors here as much, maybe more, than I would if I were in rainy northern France. We get all these beautiful, warm, sunny days, and it just makes me feel like crap. Going outside to “enjoy” it would be insane. What I really need is rain. It’s so dry out that I worry that the mountain cedar will never actually die but instead pollenate year-round. I can’t say it was a mistake to move here, since the program is right for me. But I do think it would be just stupid to put myself through another year of this. I’m running out of energy to even be angry about it. (And I am. Angry.)

Btw am v. happy Sean Penn won for Milk. That movie made me cry. Also, heart Kate Winslet very much. But I thought Mickey Rourke would probably win.

Yes it's another allergy post.

There are lots of reasons why being allergy-sick is different from being virus-sick.

1) There’s no chance of recuperation. Lying around all day is way easier than doing stuff but there’s no way it’ll get you any better. (Staying inside, on the other hand, can help a lot, but as soon as you go outside, that’s all down the drain)
2) Because of #1 you end up going places, like work, and class, where people have normal expectations of you that you just can’t live up to.
3) Which they don’t really understand. If you’re out, in normal logic, it must mean you’re feeling well enough to work and study, which isn’t necessarily true. I just don’t want to use up all my sick day capital on allergy season, which, as anyone who has read through all these boring allergy posts can tell by now, is several months here.
4) You sometimes still feel up to doing things where people don’t have expectations of you, like hanging out with friends, and yet you feel all guilty for not going to class but considering doing other things, even though there’s a real reason you can do one and not the other. (Again, #1, without a car, getting to class is a real bitch because it involves going outside for up to half an hour at a time. Having a car wouldn’t really help though, the parking lots are a ten-minute walk from class anyway. Getting to someone’s house when they pick me up in their car is a lot, a LOT easier.)
5) It’s also hard to tell how shitty you feel until you get someplace where people have their normal expectations of you. Because staying inside and doing things where you don’t have to perform physically (work) or intellectually (school) is way, way easier.

Basically, I came to campus to take a test, I’m waiting for my tutee to arrive, then I’m going home and thinking of not going to class tonight so I can avoid the half-hour outside/1-hour-long recovery twice over.


I just sent off an e-mail asking if it’s possible to have my old job back for another year and am surprisingly nervous about it. I tried to phrase the e-mail so that she can say no without it being awkward. At least it’s evening though so she probably won’t read the e-mail till tomorrow.

I have an allergist appointment Thursday morning! I’m hoping he will either give me some magic drug or a steroid shot to shut down my immune system. As it is I’m not leaving the house till this evening. I’d rather not leave at all but I have to buy more allergy pills. There should be some sort of delivery service for allergy recluses. The good news is I got a good night of sleep last night because I bought the 12-hour sudafed, found some fancy decongestant nose spray, and used one of those strips people put on their noses. It was incredible, I could breathe perfectly all night!

So yeah, I’m kind of sick of drugging myself so much. When I wake up in the morning my eyes are really red and the right one is swollen and doesn’t open as far as usual. It looks kind of demented, to me, anyway. Also when I sleep my eyes still run a little so the eyelids start sticking to my eyes. I’d like all of this to stop. I think it’s insane that it’s even possible for my immune system to do this to me. I’m not sure I’ll ever complain about gray rainy days again (since currently they are my best hope for outdoor activity–why do Texas winter days have to be so beautiful and sunny??).

Anyway, I need sugar and olive oil so I think I’m going to join the co-op down the street tonight.


I’ve been in Tucson for almost a week now, hanging out with Kris and Emily and Orlando and Angus and Charlie (Angus and Charlie being canine) and Zandra who is in from Avignon but going back to France today. This allergy experiment has half worked and half not. I’m not really sure what had me going but it rained Sunday and since then I’ve been great. I’ve taken lots of pictures on my new camera but I don’t think this connection is strong enough to upload them since I’m stealing it from the neighbors.

E and O have a very adult apartment with very adult furniture. It gives me high hopes for living in my new apartment. I might sign up for a membership at the co-op down the street. I’m trying to google it right now but the connection appears to be failing. I hope I can post this.