the basic idea:

a transcontinental weblog between two friends

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May 27, 2002

"i am difficulty maintaining grace and composure"

mark my words: one day soon i will be standing on a crowded street corner, shouting that at the top of my lungs if one more wacky assed piece of shit hits my fan before i get a freakin' week off. what's worse - I haven't emailed my best friend in what, like, a month and a half? something like that?

so why blog instead of emailing? or even writing? simple. it's 1:15 in the goddamned morning here, i've been working for ten hours straigh on a sunday on a goddamned extra freakin' curricular activity, and frankly blog is about all i can do. tomorrow i'll actually write a bona fide letter, but right now, damnit, i'm gonna blog.

the past few weeks have included (and go with me on the order here, because that's half the fun ...)

  • april 22: former friend and houseguest l* decides to yell at me at 2 am because i don't want to sleep with him
  • april 22: leave my own apt at 4:00 am after said incident. sleep 2 hrs at neighbor's apt then go to study group
  • april 22: begin with the difficulty maintaining grace and composure
  • april 23: b-day passes with minimal hooplah, reinforcing prev. assessment that birthdays are just disappointing
  • april 24: finish with all my god forsaken classes
  • april 25: evil fancy dinner with long speeches and mediocre food
  • april 27-28: take home exam in (i shit you not) canon law of the roman catholic church
  • may 1: trademark paper (25 pages) due at 5:30 pm. started this paper during the day on april 30th
  • may 2: corporate finance (closed book) exam. note to self: do not practice corporate finance
  • may 3: dad decides to drop the bombshell and informs me he and his wife of 19 years are getting divorced
  • may 3: odds of shouting "i am having difficulty maintaining my grace and composure" on street corner increase
  • may 4-5: teach self estate law and pretend my model of a happy marriage didn't just dissolve
  • may 6: estate law (closed book) exam. note to self: get someone intelligent to draft my will
  • may 8: meeting at 8:30 in the goddamed morning, followed by a 24 hr exam in copyright litigation. 20 pages
  • may 9: turn in 18 poorly written pages on copyright litigation (although i did make several jokes...points for humor?)
  • may 9: interview first of five candidates for future dean of my school because i'm (dig it) a"student leader"
  • may 10: continue my reign of terror as student leader with next dean candidate
  • may 10: my friend pete's birthday. oddly, no drama .. until (see next)
  • may 10: my friend c* decides to tell me he wants to be more than friends. the feeling is the opposite of mutual
  • may 10: (ok, really may 11 at 4 am) sleep at friend d*'s apartment because i am having a meltdown
  • may 11: continued and increased difficulty maintaining grace and composure
  • may 11: scramble (literally) for a rental car because c* was supposed to accompany me on my adventure
  • may 11: drive like a madwoman on no sleep to delaware to see my friend from high school get married
  • may 12: drive back to ny and pass out (no, not while driving)
  • may 13: c* sends a string of self-indulgent, self-loathing, pathetic emails stating we can no longer be friends.
  • may 13: emotionally blackmailed into meeting with c* for what he calls "closure" and what i call self-flagelation
  • may 13: inform c* that since he has been (at best) less than honest with me, i can no longer trust him
  • may 13: close friendship with c* officially over
  • may 14-17: finish job of 4 and a half years and continue meetings with potential deans #3-5.
  • may 17: low key exit from job. notably given wonder bunny tshirt by beloved coworkers.
  • may 18: spend $150 getting a real haircut. time to look like an adult.
  • may 18: see new star wars flick. funny. very, very funny.
  • may 19: shop like a person who has no idea just what "office casual" means
  • may 20: start at new job. orientation is disorienting.
  • may 20: get assigned to arbitration hearing. will be missing the rest of orientation with the other campers.
  • may 21-24: arbitration hearings. this really is my dream job. now if only i could get oriented.
  • may 24: campers go to martini bar after welcome dinner. i stay for one drink, then go out by myself for a beer.
  • may 25: my first real day in my office. i spill coffee and am told i am doing (shockingly) well so far
  • may 26: refuse to get out of bed all day. grace and composure be damned.
  • may 27: today (ok, yesterday). spend day of extra curricular bullshit. power sucks. i'd prefer a good burrito.

    wow. doing that really made me feel better. (got all that, heid?) no seriously - i feel purged. the past six weeks have been a bitch, and i'm annoyed by it. not annoyed by the actual crap that's gone down, but annoyed that it's getting in my way of enjoying a really beautiful life. kinda like a big ole pile of locusts raining down on your parade.

    oh well, i should go home. goodnight, moon.

  • May 22, 2002

    Slow Going

    It's been a while since I last updated and it's been even longer since my fellow blogger updated. This is what happens when you're lazy/busy.


    Let's recap the last month and a half, shall we?


    Two weeks of vacation. One week was spent in Paris, one in Sains du Nord.


    The elections

    I'm sure you've all read about this and if you haven't, shame on you. The scary fascist guy, Le Pen, who looks remarkably like my old boss, made it into the second round of the presidential elections. Everyone was certain he wasn't going to become president. But, I don't care. The fact that so many people voted for the far right means that something is very, very wrong in this country.


    Between the 1st round and the 2nd round, there were oodles of demonstrations, most of which passed by where I live. It was nice to see that so many people felt strongly about politics, but it kind of felt like too little, too late. That people only made a big to-do about things when they got scared is a problem.


    Despite my mixed feelings about the situation, I (and 499,999 others) attended the big demonstration that took place on May 1st. It was very impressive to see so many people marching. It was also pretty nifty to be able to walk around the normally traffic clogged place de la bastille.



    Contracts

    Let's just leave this at, yes, I got my contract renewed. And, no, not everyone did.



    I think that about wraps it up for eventful moments in the last month and a half. I finish teaching on May 27th and will then begin my apartment hunt. Ugh. I'm already losing sleep over this, which is absurd. But, if you had moved 20 times you too would probably dread the prospect of moving yet again.






    April 04, 2002

    Llamas

    I want a llama, or two. I'd also like a seal, a giraffe, a rooster and a cow. I'd keep the llama(s) and giraffe together. I think they'd make good companions. The cow and rooster would have more or less free range and the seal would live in the bathroom. Now, most people think this is a joke, but some people realize that I'm actually quite serious, about the llama at least.


    This morning, I went to the post office to pick up what I thought was a letter from my mother. Ah, but no, it was a big box that was quite light. The green customs sticker on the front said 'stuffed animal.' Hmmm. Back home, I opened up the package and behold a LLAMA. Yes, indeedy, Ms. Deborah had mailed me my very own llama. Isn't she swell?


    April 03, 2002

    Gare du Nord, Episode 1

    I get off the metro and am heading up towards the 'grande lignes' tracks when I hear a rucus by the metro ticket booth. A tall, black man is asking for information and getting no answer. He's getting mildly upset and people are staring, as people will. 3 CRS (cops) grab the man and pull him away from the ticket booth. The man begins to explain that all he wanted was information. The CRS begin pushing him around, he gets more upset. One cop tells him not to take 'that tone' with him. Another cop pushes the man in the chest. I have my camera in my bag and think, should I take a photo? Should I say something? As I'm trying to decide, the CRS have somehow managed to slam the guy up against a metal door and his bag falls to the floor. He begins repeating, almost hysterically, 'I need to get to work, I need to get to work.' Like a wimp, I head up the stairs away from the confrontation. A few minutes later I head back to the ticket booth to see what has happened. To my surprise and great pleasure, a middle aged woman with shopping bags is bitching out the CRS. Good.



    While waiting for the track to pop up on the board, 3 CRS (they travel in 3s) confront a man of arab descent, ask for his ID and ask him to follow them.





    Metro 1, Episode 1

    I'm heading out to La Defense on the metro. It's the tail end of rush hour and the metro is crowded with business folk. All of a sudden I hear two men shouting threats at each other. A man in a suit and 2 women accompanying him are arguing with a middle aged man. The three are from the south of france. Swears are bandied about on both sides. One of the women attempts to seperate the men and gets called all sorts of charming names for her trouble. All the while, arms are flailing about, but no punches connect. It's a lame ass fight between overgrown schoolboys. Pathetic, but pretty hilarious first thing in the morning.





    Gare du Nord, Episode 2

    Once again, I'm hanging out in the train station waiting for the track to be posted. A lumberjack looking man, obviously drunk, holding a tallboy, begins swerving towards a train engine. He opens one of the doors, climbs in, does something and leaves, swerving and shouting drunkenly. Sparks shoot out of the antennae things on the top of the engine and the motor starts turning. Intriguing. A second man carrying a backpack enters the engine, deposits his bag and leaves carrying a leather satchel. Okee dokee, I'm beginning to get a little freaked. About 20 minutes later a whole squadron of security agents show up and scurry about. Finally, 2 enter the engine, billyclubs drawn. More scurrying and one agent exits with a metal box that looks rather like a a car battery. The motor stops and more agents show up. They remind me of the keystone cops, lots of them, not much gets done. After another look inside, they leave.





    Addendum to the list

    The jogging pants look is equivalent to the homeboy look.

    March 01, 2002

    The French

    I've been living in France for the past 6 months and have noticed a few peculiarities about the country and its inhabitants.

    1. A love affair with the accordion. Yes indeedy. The accordion is the instrument of choice for street and metro musicians. For some reason, accordion players also have a very limited repertoire.
    2. The jogging pants look. I see this as the equivalent of wearing a basketball/football jersey. The pants must be made out of that plasticky material and the bottoms must be tucked into the socks. There has to be a good 2 to 3 inches between the pantleg and the shoe.
    3. The sports bag as suitcase of choice. When travelling, an inordinate number of french folk pack their belongings in those bags you see hockey players lug around.
    4. Lingerie shops are EVERYWHERE. There is a reason english speakers use the same word.
    5. Glasses. A huge segment of the population wears glasses and there are glasses for every type of personality.
    6. Any meal is better if creme fraiche and lardons are added to it. Yuck.
    7. The french have a love/hate relationship with america. They aren't shy about telling you why america sucks. However, they want to be just like the media contrived stereotypical american. They love pumas, chucks, levis, carhart, nike, addidas, quicksilver, mcdonalds, mccain frozen food. If something is american they will buy it. But, they hate america. Yeah, and just in case you were wondering, french rap is frequently scary. Oh, and they file the Beastie Boys under heavy metal. Yup.












    February 27, 2002

    Emotions

    Where do emotions live?

    Recently, a few very tragic events have occured on the periphery of my little world. My immediate and intense reaction to these events took me by surprise. I know that I have the capacity to feel strong emotion, it's just not an everyday occurence. When not in use, where do these emotions hang out? My guess is somewhere dark and cool, the body's equivalent to a medicine cabinet. Because, I've decided that emotions are humans' natural medicine. We have to be able to call upon emotion to soothe the mind.










    February 26, 2002

    so last night i was writing in my oh-so-stylin' journal (a habit which ms. h. got me hooked on) and i ended up with more or less the following musing:
    friends try to sooth each other's troubled hearts. because they truly care about you, they do everything in their power to help, to mend. friends are, after all, what's important. friends matter, so friends try. they sit beside you, hold your hand, say they love you, and look into your eyes to search for anything they can do to make you hurt less. that's what friends do. your hurt is their hurt. that's what friends do. your triumphs, you joys, your failures, your fears. you share 'em all. and you share it all - the stupid shit along with the important. that's the whole freakin' point. success at the endeavour doesn't come with the result. it comes with the process.
    in other words, friendship is an ongoing process, not a card in a roledex. it's being there through the ups & downs, the moves to france, the moves nowhere, the growing up and growing down, the times when you agree and especially the times when you don't, the wins and the losses. its not perfect. no process is. but you try. and that's the point. and it seems like not everyone gets that. in fact, few do.

    so as i'm writing all this (in the context of figuring out that someone was not my friend) i asked myself, "self, how do you know this?" i answered "duh. that's what heidi would do." and so i find myself quite the lucky little bunny.

    February 13, 2002

    hi, my name is deborah, and i'm a freak.

    i just sent heidi, my bestest of friends, the willow to my buffy, the sally to my gilly, the diana to my anne, and, come to think of it, the anne to my diana ... i just sent her sixteen emails. yes, sixteen.

    to be fair, they were not all emails. some were "exhibts," and there was both a prelude and a conclusion. nevertheless, when young heidi next check her email, she will officially be brough up to speed on all the drama this side of the atlantic. at least all the relevant stuff. they included chapters on the changing landscape, modern warfare, contemporary education, and even the general social order. it was all quite profound.

    one issue of particular note is the quandry over a random email i got from another website i have. because of a movie i'd forgotten existed up till the email. peculiar. just from the email, i believe we all would say - sounds spiffy. who could be better for deborah?

    i mean, he's the right sign, the right kiersey temperment, he's just far enough away to be interesting and he's fearless enough to email me, freakish enough to tell me things like his sign and temperment, while still savvy enough to not sound psychotic. i find the whole thing quite amusing, and while normally i never reply to these things, i wonder ...

    why the hell not?

    and yes, heidi dear - i changed the layout of the weblog. i like the changing colors. i find them necessary. plus it made you type the word "idiosyncratic" which i find oddly amusing for no real reason ... and i'll bet the yf just thought you were "sweat." i guess he found out that your really a cold, heartless ... nevermind.

    Idiosyncratic bunny changed the layout of this here weblog. Have you noticed how the colors change? Very freaky.

    Hi, my name is Heidi and I'm addicted to books. I've been in Paris for 5 months and finally broke down and went to an english language bookstore yesterday. I have been reading for the past 5 months, mind you. I brought along a stock of books and I've had friends and family who visit carry a few tomes in their suitcases. Hey, books aren't a security hazard, at least not in the traditional sense.

    Anyway, back to the point of the bookstore foray. I'm reading the back of a book when this young fellow (yf) sidles up next to me. Here follows an excerpt of our scintillating conversation:

    yf: What are you doing?
    me: Looking at a book. (duh, it's a bookstore)
    yf, pulling a book off the shelf and looking at it: This book is in English. Are all the books in English?
    me: Yes. (it's a fucking english bookstore, ya dope.)
    yf: Do you read english?
    me: yes. (no, like you I'm hanging out here trying to make an ass of myself.)
    ...
    yf: Want to come to the park with me?
    me: Sorry I have to meet someone (this was actually true)
    yf: Ah, well, how about you give me your number.
    me: I don't have a phone. (okay, so this is a lie)
    yf: I'll give you mine then.
    me: Yeah, no, my boyfriend would be probably be jealous (also a lie, but sounds convincing don't it?)
    yf: Okay, bye.

    Right-e-o. Here's my question, did yf think this was actually going to work? And, what would have happened in the park?


    February 12, 2002

    Ahem. according to the people at emode have just enlightened me with the following inisght into my [lack of a] love life:
    Loving Too Much is your primary love story! The Loving Too Much story stems from your overflowing love and hope. Sometimes, however, it can be muddied by misguided feelings, expectations and sometimes, an unrequited desire.

    The people you're most attracted to are usually just out of reach and all the more alluring for it — like those early crushes on teen idols. The less available your partner is, emotionally and physically, the more desirable he becomes.

    You daydream, and your imagination fills in the details that reality hasn't provided. Do you ever seek out indirect contact with this person, visiting his workplace or getting to know his friends? Do you find yourself dreaming about marriage after a second date, or perhaps after a quick affair? The hit film "Fatal Attraction" illustrates an extreme version of the Loving Too Much story — taking it to abnormal levels. What it doesn't fully explore is the capacity for love that you probably possess.
    for the love of god, people, this is not helpful. i already knew most of this, and had worked up a healthy wall of denial. and now i'm supposed to pay the bargian price of $14.95 to find out just what i'm supposed to do about this.

    yeah, because the first time around was so freakin' helpful. damnit. in fact, just on principle: damn all personality tests.

    February 11, 2002

    I spilled wine on my laptop. Either he (yes, my laptop is a boy) is a wine snob, or being american would have prefered coke, or bud. In any case, the keyboard went on strike (obviously, the french influence.) So, I went to darty, a french appliance store, and purchased an external keyboard. Problem solved. Oh, mais non. I left all my computer stuff at my parents' house, so my american laptop does not recognize the french keyboard layout, which makes typing a real challenge. I've spent the last half hour cutting out little bits of paper and taping them onto the keys. Not a big deal, except that I'm not chock full 'o dexterity. In any case, I'm tres happy to be able to use monsieur laptop. Just wish I could use that nifty euro symbol on my 'e' key.

    As an aside, have you ever seen tipsy french people play twister? It's fun-ee.

    February 07, 2002

    and the transcontinental posting begins. so last night, being the slacker that i am, i skipped my trademark class and instead went home, at a tv dinner (oh yeah) and tuned into some syndicated buffy. buffy, of course, being oddly relevant to my life on a daily basis. anyway, it reminded me that however much new york may suck on a regular basis, my surrogate willow is only a phone call, email, or (ok, yet to actually be written) letter away.

    and while france may not technically be "where they make gileses" i do recall some really good sandwiches there. hmpfh. "look! i've got bread!" (sorry heid, too much eddie of late...)

    ok, so this could very well be a bi-continental disaster, but we are (eek) attempting a transcontinental weblog. you know, because we never made enough of a mess when we were in the same country, now with one little ftp maneuver ("helga, helga, wake up! i want to show you my maneuver") we can simulateneously sully not one but two entirely separate timezones. yes, ladies and gentlemen: we have arrived.