27 juillet 2006

The wonders of balance

My going to my parents' place for a few days today has led to a strange experience of how good and bad can balance each other out quite unexpectedly.
I realized this morning with shock, horror, frustration that I was not, in fact, coming back on Monday, as I'd been telling everyone for a week, but on Tuesday. Evening. That may seem like a trifle to you, but you haven't lived with my parents (whom I love dearly, please discard that hate-mail draft now, thank you). To me who has, though, one more day means I am as yet uncertain to come back sane.
And I wondered for a few hours how I could have made such a rookie mistake. I have, after all, been going back to my folks' for a limited period for about 15 years now, I should be used to planning those breaks.
Well, it seems I'm not the creature of habit I feared I had become. Or else I slipped. Noooo, I didn't. The reason is this: train fare. It was apparently much cheaper to come back on Tuesday. And why was it that much cheaper? Because they had a promotion on first-class tickets. That's right, you plebeians. First-class tickets. And apparently I decided that dirt-cheap first-class tickets were
after all a good reason to sacrifice my sanity and that of my parents.
Boy was I right. I may be short but hey, more legroom is more legroom, right? Not to mention a chair that reclines at the lightest touch of a button, air-con, and no crying children (I suspect that children are altogether banned from first-class. If, after a lengthy investigation, it turns out that this is indeed the case, I'm never travelling anything else.), and a very small tiny wee lamp on the headrest - I wanted to dismantle the chair right there and take the lamp home. I might do that Tuesday. Especially if I need the stress relief.
To sum up, then, so far so good. I'm still as all there as I was yesterday - for now, and that's not setting the bar or the expectations too high, is it... - and I may have a new lamp.

26 juillet 2006

It's raining!

The wind, it very, very cool...! The thunder, it is scary...! The words, they are almost failing me...!
People are staring out their windows at this little miracle! Seriously, the way the tenants all around the yard have opened their windows to look out, you'd think a flying saucer was landing. I don't care, as long as the aliens are friendly and the flames from the engine thingies don't bring the temperature back up. I'm afraid to go to sleep, lest (lest... see what the cooling temperature is doing? I'm using "lest"!) I wake up, and the heat, it's back! (obviously, I'm not using "lest" properly, though. that's comforting.)
It was high time too, because you know how you've been complaining that the only thing I could talk about was the heat? Yeah you have, no use denying it. Well anyway. I was only talking about it. But some people, they were going mad from the heat. Mad, I say. Another couple of days like that, and Paris streets could have turned into something from Mad Max. In fact, some people sporting Tina Turner hair were already being spotted. Scary stuff.
I was at the supermarket yesterday, and Murphy's law being what it is, the queue I was in got held up because the till stopped working. It just stopped working. It was too hot, you see. Tills can get heatstrokes too, apparently. So we were waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and you know how tills are extremely rarely placed near the cool frozen food areas, but close to where the windows are, that let all the glaring sun in, and close to the exits, that let the four-letter word that starts with an h in every time somebody enters or leaves? Well, suffice to say, tempers were starting to flare. The cashier being an underage slave hired for the summer at a wage that would make Bangladesh jealous was evidently started to panick. I was tap-tapping on the conveyor belt with a close-to-hysterical grin plastered on my face. The man behind me was playing Joe Cool and cracking unfunny jokes every other second, and the older man behind him was being generally unpleasant while pretending to be joking. We were that close to tragedy. And then the till started up again.

All of which goes to show that sometimes,
in the nick of time, miracles do happen to good people.
So why haven't I heard from those two (or three companies) yet? Nah, don't answer that.
The rain, it has stopped...

25 juillet 2006

This summer just isn't pleasant

And no, I'm not just talking about the heat. Although I could. But I'll spare you: my fan is working! How to confuse an already confused left-hander? Invert the screwing directions. That's really all it takes. But I made it! Granted, the fan makes slightly worrying sounds every now and then, but I'm hoping that if it falls apart while in operation, the blades will lose velocity before they attack my neck in a Piranha II - The spawning fashion. Although, as freak accidents happening to single gals go, that probably is way cooler than being eaten by your own cat because it's unexpectedly turned feral.
Tell me one thing, am I missing something here, is it the new "in" thing to do to start a recruitment process and drop off the face of the earth once you got the unsuspecting applicant's hopes up? How can a hiring company that made you take a test and an interview (or several) not even answer an email? How can a hiring company not answer two emails, for that matter? Is there some sort of etiquette that I'm royally screwing with when I send said emails?
I don't mind them telling me I'm not good enough (obviously that's a lie, I'd mind that very much. very much indeed.) (plus it'd be blatantly untrue. I am good enough. I say so.), but I certainly do mind them not having the courtesy to answer.
So that's two companies so far - in two different (albeit neighbouring) countries. Maybe I should take the hint, stop looking and resign myself to a life of misery here, but that is, in fact, not an option.
Oh I so want to be a drama queen right now, and start wailing that life is hard, unfair, and generally just very very unpleasant, but truth be told, it's much more rewarding to do that out loud. I can screw up my face, start sobbing, make loud blubbering noises and complain that nobody understands just how hard I have it. Also I seem to prefer doing this in French. Man, you are one lucky, lucky bunch of people, aren't you.
Oh yes. That big huge company that I was talking about the other day - tough luck if you don't remember - aw, all right, let me refresh your memory: they're big and huge and they're looking for my type of person - well, they're still looking. Except now their system won't even take my umpteenth application, because I've already applied.
Honestly. How do you type out the sound of an ear-splitting sob and accompanying blubbering noises again?

22 juillet 2006

It's the weekend and I've homework

Fence, bless her cheeky yet oblivious little soul, has tagged me.
Let's get straight to it.

I am thinking about
the heat. It's pervasive.

I said
"bloody children" when they woke me up at way too early *cough nine cough* this morning.

I want to
live in my fridge (the heat, it's pervasive - have I said that already?)

I wish
I could unscrew the blade cap on my newly bought fan. Because until I do, I can't use my newly bought fan. And if I can't use my newly bought fan, then I will keep thinking about the heat.

I hear
hammering. Several people have chosen the height of summer to redo their flats. It's fun.

I regret
not telling some people that they (had) mattered.

I am
what I am.

I dance
like there's no tomorrow. You know, depending on the shoes, the music, the atmosphere, the weather, and all...

I sing
on the PlayStation karaoke thingy. Once. I was a Young Talent. Yes I was.

I cry
like there's no tomorrow. You know, depending on... not much, really.

I am not always
that boring. Or maybe I am. I'll blame the heat anyway.

I make with my hands
not a lot. DIY is not my forte. Cooking? Does that count?

I write
hardly anymore. But I type a lot.

I confuse
"we'll be in touch with you next week" with an actual commitment to mail me next week, hence...

I need
someone who will really be in touch with me next week, preferably with a job offer.

And finally
I don't know. It's still as hot as it was fifteen minutes ago?

You know I don't tag, but I trust you'll let us know in the comments if you decide to play, yes?

18 juillet 2006


Don't get me started on the mosquitoes. For some reason, those little suckers seem to think that the fact that I'm leaving my windows open come evening - because, again, it's hot! - even though I know better than to switch my lamps on, is their cue to come in and perch on the ceiling, way out of my reach, threatening my sleep with their buzzing sound and their sucking little mouths, and no, none of this is a good sign.
And don't get me started on my neighbours either, who think that because it's hot, they're allowed to run around their homes buck-naked with their windows open and their own lights on.
And now that you have got me started on both, explain this to me. Why do the mosquitoes choose me over said neighbours?

Oh, yeah - and they want us to jump today. Aye right. Fat chance of that happening, I'm telling you.

OK. This is going too far.

Up the mercury thingamajig, that is.
It's so hot in Paris right now that even the inside of my flip-flops is hot.
Whoa. I was going to write "the inside of my thongs" and realized in the nick of time just how horribly wrong that whole thing could have gone.
I kid you not, though. My flip-flops are hot. And walking bare foot is not an option, even though part of the floor is tiles, because I'm slightly afraid I'll catch
bilharziasis. Yes, my floor is dirty as Harry before he told a punk to go ahead, make his day, and redeemed himself forever. (Or after he did? I don't know. It's too hot.) And let's be frank here, I'm not going to risk a heat stroke by those temperatures by cleaning and wasting precious energy. Even though a close encounter of the fireman kind might do wonders for my social life - which is not a given considering the hygienic standards I've set here - the rise in temperature that would ineluctably follow my meeting a fireman would probably kill me. Which would, in fact, ruin any wonders that my social life might have briefly enjoyed. I hope you understood that particular sentence, because I'm not seeing the end of my thought process, and I'm not sure I could explain.
All kidding aside, life is hard here, I hope you realize that. So hard in fact, that I'm thinking of switching my entire diet (understand that to mean my feeding habit, not my starving myself in order to become more presentable. I've entirely given up on that.) to diet soda (OK, not entirely), ice-cream (told you) and ice cold melons and cantaloupes (just because when they're really really ripe, they're like healthy candy).
I haven't got air-con, I haven't got a fan, I haven't got a muscular man to fan me non-stop with a freshly cut banana leaf, and my freezer cannot make enough ice cubes for me to wait for fall in my bathtub. I'm screwed.

14 juillet 2006

The weekend's here, and it shows

Hello, all of you people coming from your favorite search engine looking for "Zidane apology".
You're not going to find it here
, I'm afraid (although I can point you to a civilized debate there), but we do have a few songs that remain to be named, a couple of posts below. The two are completely unrelated, I'll grant you that. But the songs are there, and they're titleless, you can't deny that, can you, and no amount of video refereeing will ever change that, will it? Unless... you give me answers, that is.

Today's the 14th of July. Fireworks, firemen, drinks, etc. More importantly (more important than firemen? Who am I kidding...), it means that most shops will probably be closed, hence that I'm severely screwed: I said I would bring a homemade dessert to a friend's dinner tonight, but I don't even have eggs. Which means I'll probably be running around like a headless chicken trying to think of what to do, what to do, until I give up, buy a bakery cake (hopefully, bakeries will be open), and pretend I've made it myself.

There was something else, but I can't remember now. All I know is that some birds should be killed. The loud ones. In public, so they set an example for the rest of the avian population. Maybe with a couple of my neighbors, just to be on the safe side.

12 juillet 2006

One of these days these shoes are gonna walk all over me

I bought new shoes not long ago. I don't know, it was the sales, and I just splurged, shoes being only one of many items that I bought that day. And just to finish on this consumerist note, it felt good. Being self-employed is nice, but considering I'm not actively looking for gigs while I look for a job overseas (I blame a rare case of ADD), my finances aren't all that healthy. So going shopping felt extremely good.
Now to the real problem though... It is thus, people: I can't walk in these shoes. It's been a good few years since I last willingly wore heely shoes, and those, well... let's just say that I'm 5'3", and yet, with those on, I'm tall enough that I could apply to be an airline stewardess. Much like a straight drag-queen without the make-up, then.
I'm seeing things I never saw before, it's giving me a new perspective on life, trees, normal-height people... I'm dreading the moment when it gives me a new perspective on street surfaces. Although I guess I would then be that much closer to being a made-up wannabe drag-queen, and it would give me an excuse to go see my osteopath, so that would be nice. Oh wow, almost a win-win situation...
The way I look at it, though, is I'm giving many a girl a chance to get their own back on all those times when I laughed cruelly at their obvious lack of skills in the "walking in heels" department. And I guess that's just proof positive of my own total lack of self.

11 juillet 2006

Everybody else is doing it...

... and it's not like I'm bursting with things to say...

OK. Dennis!, Alan, Fence, and ForgottenMachine have done their version. Crushed by peer pressure, I am now doing mine. Needless to say, I sucked eggs at that game, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't play...

Now for the rules: I shuffle-played (making up words, me? Shut up, Sue Ellen, you're drunk.) my mp3 music and posted the first line of the first 25 songs that popped up (discarding any really obvious ones where the title is in the first line, and only using the first one by each different artist). You lucky lucky buggers get to guess what songs (and artists) they are.
Correct guesses will be credited as soon as... I want to credit them. Check the comments if they aren't yet, what can I say.
NO GOOGLING, NO PRIZES (except for my endless admiration).
Right. Without further ado...
Oh, and NO CRITICIZING my shitty/easy/oldies tastes, thank you.
OK, here we go.
Oh no, one last thing. Some of those I didn't look up, the lyrics might be slightly off. Tough.

1. When I was a little girl, I had a ragdoll, only doll I ever owned - Fence has the artist, Tina Turner, we still need the title Ady has the title River Deep, Mountain High
2. She packed my bag last night pre-flight - Rocket Man (Elton John), Ben O.
3. Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly - Come Together (The Beatles),
Ben O.
4. Oh let the sun beat down upon my face - Kashmir (Led Zeppelin), ForgottenMachine

5. Don't you know that I'll be around to guide you

6. Maybe you remember, maybe you're locked away

[Depuis tout' petite, t'es très sympathique]

7. I could be loud man, I could be silent - Zebra (The John Butler Trio)
, ForgottenMachine

8. For millions of years, in millions of homes

9. Ready for action, nip it in the bud

10. I was working part time in a five-and-dime - Raspberry Beret (Prince), Ady
11. With your feet in the air and your head on the ground - Where Is My Mind (The Pixies)
, ForgottenMachine

[Quand j'étais petit, j'étais un jedi]

12. Yo, I snuck a dollar out my momma purse, headed for that juice joint

13. I always thought that our relationship was cool

14. It's getting near dawn - Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
, ForgottenMachine
15. It was 100 degrees as we sat beneath a willow tree - Crooked Teeth (Death Cab for Cutie), ForgottenMachine

16. Pull me close look into my eyes

17. Well I'm saving some mystery for a gold-shackled bed

18. Don't ask me what you know is true - Never Tear Us Apart
(not the original, who then?), Ben O.

19. I feel a boom and a bang beating in my broken heart

20. Waiting for the last time for my friend to change my mind

21. Son, she said, have I got a little story for you - Alive (Pearl Jam)
, Ben O.

[D'quelle imagination ça sort, la chose qui balance ses trésors]

22. This is just the basic, this is not the best

23. Oh we're drinking and we're dancing and the band is really happening - Closing Time (Leonard Cohen), Jen
[enta alakE kinnerasaani maavanI cherE allarI maani]
24. Holding hands, skipping like a stone - Burn the Witch (Queens of the Stone Age)
, ForgottenMachine
[Sous mes doigts il y avait ta peau]
25. Ahhh see, right see the thing that's got it all fucked up now is camera-phones - When You Wasn't Famous (The Streets), Fence

And those of you who may know French (or otherwise foreign) songs get more chances to make fools or heroes of themselves (in the fancy brackets).

10 juillet 2006

The dreams, they keep crumbling

All right, so we're not world champions, let's deal with it.
Now to the interview. Well, it would be nothing short of a miracle if I got this job.
First of all, the test. All IT and then some. So when they said "we want to interview you", I thought, man, that's it, I'm that good that I passed that one even though clearly I knew nothing.
Well... no. The girl on the phone cleverly dropped DA bomb at some point in the conversation, going "I'm sorry, we haven't reviewed your tests yet, we've got a bit of a backlog", and that whole beautifully crafted card castle went fluttering gracefully but undeniably to the floor. And I refuse to pick up the ruins. I want to live in denial.
Because I really want to keep goiiiiiiing... Because. Get this. There are three phone interviews in total. And then. If you pass them of course, but let's pretend - for the sake of argument, also because if you wake up a sleepwalker, they headbutt you in the chest. Hmmm. I'm getting all of my experiences mixed up.
If you pass the various phone interviews... they fly you in for a face-to-face one!!! They fly you in!!! A translator!!! They fly a translator in!!! And if you pass that interview... there's a relocation package!!! And it would be on the beach!!! Who cares that it's IT when it's on the beach!!!
Yeah, let's stop with the exclamation marks. If it doesn't pan out, well, I don't know. I'll just join Zidane and we'll set up some sort of community of the disgruntled, I guess.

09 juillet 2006

Who's laughing now, huh?!

Bleuargh. There you go.
Not only did Italy... Not only did Italy...
nope, can't say it...
Zidane expelled...
And ending on a f%#@ing penalty shoot-out...
Oh fuck it. Fuck. FUCK. There. Slightly better. Slightly.

05 juillet 2006

Here we go here we go here we go

Hmmm. Not sure... This certainly wasn't the game I was expecting. Sure, we're through, so all's right with the world. But it is Italy we're talking about in the final, and unless we were trying to lure them into a false sense of security that we intend to shatter in spectacular fashion come the first minutes of the game Sunday evening, I shall be a bit worried. Have I mentioned that Italy cannot win the World Cup, especially not against France? Well, it cannot. I simply won't allow it.
Also, just so you know and/or acknowledge just how fair I am, I have officially withdrawn every horrible thing I may (or may not, but may is more likely) have said against Barthez as well.
Hoss - this was all about soccer, by the way.

It's fun watching football games in bars, it really is
(Hoss - football, soccer, I'm really just trying to confuse you now, I'm mean like that...). Of course, shouting yourself hoarse in a smoky environment (smoke to which you obviously contribute, being French and all) when you haven't got much of a voice left to begin with, what with still being ill and all, and when you have a job interview, over the phone, in English, the next day, may not be the cleverest of moves, but I never really pretended I was clever, did I?
So what should I really hope for, a job in the US or a French win on Sunday? Man, I am torn. Och, I'll just go for both and hope for the best, shall I? Yeah, think I'll do that...

All bets about Sunday (not about the interview, thankyouverymuch) in the comment box below. Knock yourselves out, but I reserve the right to laugh Monday if it turns out you were wrong. I'll start. 2-1. For France, naturellement. (I also refuse to think that this may go into a penalty shoot-out.)

04 juillet 2006

And you will know, my name is the Cold, when I lay my unpleasantness upon you...

Today is the fifth day - and a bit - that I've been ill now, with a mother of a cold. And a very insistent one, that - typically, that only happens with germs and general nuisances - grew quite fond of me over a very brief period, apparently. Sort of like the Alex Forrest of colds, really. Well there ain't no rabbit for you to boil here, missy, no use outstaying your welcome.
I'm not a very pleasant person to talk to when I'm ill. Especially not if you're an overly concerned neighbour - although I acknowledge that it's sweet of you to care, phoning me three times in two days when I'm already trying to get rid of a cold is not a good move: you will understand, I'm sure, that I can't really afford to waste my dwindling strength on two projects at once.
I'm also not very nice if you're the Post-Office, and I'm waiting for a parcel that was sent, and paid quite dearly for that matter, as express delivery, and that I still haven't received a full week after it's been sent. So I will pay a visit to you, germs, fever, sneezes and coughs in tow, and I will not be pleasant. And I will not be pleasant to you when I phone your customer service to give you a piece of my mind, and I will not be pleasant to you when you phone me back to keep me posted - pun not really intended. Especially since you're aware of my complaint, and you cannot possibly think it's unjustified, and still you try to out-unpleasant me. Just so you know: you can't - and I don't even have to be rude to be that unpleasant. And when you tell me that
I'm about to receive it and you wait because you expect me to thank you, I will out-wait you. And you will sound silly when you give in and wish me a pleasant day.
Man, I hate colds so much.

01 juillet 2006

So maybe I was wrong

France beat Brazil. And they played really well (I think, but, hey, clearly, what do I know...?!). I can't show it that much because I'm ill and sofaridden, but I'm really quite happy inside.
So I guess that means I've been owing Zidane an apology for a couple matches now. Here: sorry. There.
Still. I was right about Domenech.


Because I need one.