The Past Week

Well today is the last day of vacation and the last day of me and Littlest hanging out at home together, until next Wednesday that is, of course. J had half the week off so we did get to spend some time as a family and the first thing we did was drive 1 hour 15 minutes away to the Foire des Hérolles. It’s a market that takes place every 29th of the month (unless the 29th is a Sunday, in which case it’s the 30th) in a village on the edge of le Poitou and le Limousin.

There’s a significant livestock/poultry section.

We also bought Littlest a super cute little Peruvian sweater that he is wearing in that one photo and that has hand embroidered motifs on it.

We finally completely removed the wood stove from our living room and it already feels much more spacious. Next comes the redecorating part.

Since the tiling we installed all around the woodstove is no longer anywhere to be found, we’ve decided to make what’s called a “niche” in the wall and to retile with something very different underneath. So, a work in progress. Littlest loved playing with the woodstove but he seems completely unperturbed that it’s gone.

Also, the Astros won the World Series. I’ve honestly stopped following them for a few years because they had become such a terrible team, so when my colleague told me a few weeks ago that they were doing well, I had to suddenly get back into it. I wish I’d been in the States for this world series, able to watch at least one game in a bar with other fans. But I’m still excited about their win.

A couple of links for this week:

Women at the End of the Land: A forthcoming book about how indigenous Nenet women give birth

…which reminded me of this movie that I saw in theaters years ago: Le Premier Cri. I’d like to watch it again now.


Ramparts, ramparts, ramparts

It’s beautiful out today, so I tore myself away from the computer long enough to find my way up to the Haute Ville, the renaissance part of town, and the accompanying chateau and rampart promenade. I took some pictures. Here are a few of them.

This is actually the last picture I took, from the street below, but it has the most comprehensive view.

That tall, white, glassy building is where I live.

Lampost and prefecture


Proof of age

If it were possible to be too picturesque, that’s what this place would be.

On a technological note, I was woken at 1:30 this morning by an e-mail arriving from my dad (to my phone), telling me that the Tigers beat the Yankees, to go to the division series. I love both technology and baseball.

Ode to Livebox

Today I had several ideas I scrounged up for what to do with my time. Go to the mediateque and take out a movie. Wander up to the Haute Ville and take some pictures. Buy some groceries, including a smelly candle for my smelly room. Walk past the office for new arrivals to town and see if I could find out any information.

All of those hesitant plans when completely down the drain when R and I successfully set up the internet this morning. Now, I’m not completely sure it won’t go away when I turn off my computer, so I won’t be voluntarily turning off my computer anytime soon. This set-up took some brainpower, since not only were the instructions in French (which we could both handle), but also when we encountered errors on R’s computer, I was up against a PC in German. She ended up calling her dad.

Anyway, I bought and downloaded some tv shows today, talked to some people on IM, and called my parents, although that was on my spiffy new phone, not on my computer. I got the contract yesterday and the month restarts tomorrow so I had three hours to use up for today. I’ve used about an hour, so if anyone wants me to call them in the next four hours, well, they should let me know. Somehow. Anyway, if you need to call me, I know it’s expensive, but the number is in my facebook profile. Otherwise, you can e-mail me, and eventually that will be delivered to my phone. I am once again in the land of the living.

Writing down all those things I meant to maybe do today makes it sound pathetic that I spent the day in my room. On the contrary, when I did go out to get groceries, the buildings seemed prettier, the sun brighter, the people nicer, and I ran into R in the line at the supermarket. The internet makes everything better. It’s so much like drugs.

So, the Twins are out. I have to say that was a little bit pathetic, taking the central division away from the Tigers at the last minute, and then squandering it. But it’s okay, the Tigers have made a decent showing against the Yankees, and they’ll surely be back next year. And of course they aren’t out yet.

I’m a little hungry now so I should go conjure up some food.

Did you see what the Astros are doing? Am trying to not get my hopes up but they are very close… Also the Twins are tied with the Tigers which I’m not totally happy about but I’ll live.

Also, tomorrow I plan to actually buy a phone. That is, unless they require that I have checks, which I don’t yet, and then I won’t. Also hopefully I will manage to change rooms tonight. I won’t be on the internet again till Monday, so, tata.


For some reason I’m always lonely after I leave my aunt and uncle’s house, no matter where I go. It’s like homesickness except it’s never been my home. The roommate is not here which I was looking forward to–not because I dislike the roommate, but because it’s nice every once in a while to know you’re not bothering anyone when you watch endless TV or cook weird-smelling food. I had a flat tire this morning (see brief post below) and it was really nice to have someone take care of it for me in one last episode of non-adulthood. It was nerve-wracking to drive home with only three lugnuts on my rear tire and it’s nerve-wracking now to know I have to go get more things fixed tomorrow. Maybe the nerve-wracking-ness (quoi?) has something to do with the loneliness. But the feeling is so ritualistic–I can remember it on specific returns dating back to January 1998–that I think it doesn’t have to do with anything temporary. This confuses me.

My cousin kept listening to the Brewers on the car radio and watching them on TV. It takes so much energy to be a fan. I like how Dashboard gives me scores so I don’t have to put in so much effort. I just get to check quickly when my team is losing. And they are. Except today, when they beat the Cubs, which doesn’t say much for them.

Speaking of nerves, I’m way less nervous about France now that I know I have a place to stay. I was imagining an arrival involving jet lag, no food, nowhere to go, and no one to talk to. I was also imagining running out of money after paying a French security deposit. Now, thankfully, fewer of these worrisome imaginary things will become reality.

I watched Possession tonight. Should I read the book? I finaly finished Small Island which was excellent. Now I am way sleepy so I will do some crosswords I haven’t finished and go to bed.

Reality's not so bad when you look like Ethan Hawke.

I finally watched Reality Bites so that I can stop thinking people are conversing with me when they’re really just quoting things. One thing, really, or maybe four.

I think that ? is really my feeling of the moment, or the week. I usually try to make myself not think too much about my upcoming age before my birthday so that it’s really new the day of and feels special. This doesn’t have the right effect. Instead I just feel like nothing happened and it’s not till a few days later that I really get it that I’m older. Listening to the CD Laurel “gifted” me (are we really calling it that? isn’t that just silly?) over iTunes helps me remember that there was an event, even if it was just the receiving of a digital CD. (Are they all digital?) But let’s not underrate my fever breaking. That was totally rad and made me glad I was born.

Also talking to my brother was remarkable. We don’t do it much. His life always seems very distant from mine, what with the academic system (H-bomb, grad school) and material (theories about multiple dimesnsions, particles whose names I don’t remember) that I don’t really understand. Thankfully he mentioned watching a movie (Everything Is Illuminated) on Netflix which unexpectedly reknit the threads that the internet can so neatly tie over distances and that I’ve been letting break. Oh, I shouldn’t use metaphors. (Should I watch Everything Is Illuminated? He said he liked it. I said I didn’t completely like the book. We compared notes and he said what I didn’t like wasn’t in the movie.)

What is with the Astros letting the Twins beat them?! ?! ?! In a note about me being okay with Jonathan Safran Foer, I read a piece of his before EiI about punctuation that represents feelings (and possibly something else…) and I loved it.

It’s okay, anyway, the Tigers are still doing great.