As I posted elsewhere today:

Bah. And bleargh. And other annoying sounds.

Just totally out of sorts. Worried about money (things are eye-crossingly tight until either the first payday of May or until I get the estate settlement — the latter should come first but I hesitate to believe it). I’m tired of ramen, and I think my poor diet of late — heavy on things like ramen and low on fruits and veggies — is contributing to my general malaise.

Also, things hurt. I need to get into better shape and I need to stop eating from the pile of junk food my work neighbor leaves on her credenza for everyone, but a) it’s free! I’m temporarily poor! and b) I have almost no willpower. Oh, and c) it helps when I’m having an I Wanna Go Home Day. They won’t let me break out a book or my knitting, but I can snack! Yet, this has gotten to the point where my hips, knees, and feet actively hurt all the time, so…

Also, I should walk from BART to work instead of taking the Muni metro, but I work in a depressing neighborhood and have to run the panhandler gauntlet to get there, so I am disinclined. But: body is falling apart.

Simone keeps throwing up. Can’t do vet stuff til next month. Thankfully she is a Cat of Size so she won’t be wasting away in that span of time.

My computer is elderly and had better not decide to die in the next couple of weeks.

I have a strange charge, labeled “recurring” from Experian on my bank account. I have disputed it with Wells Fargo and emailed Experian. WTH? I have not ordered credit monitoring or anything from them.

I am also having something of a spiritual crisis and I’m not sure there’s a way out of that one, so that’s depressing.

I had today off and it was a lovely day weatherwise, and I’m mad at myself for wasting it being depressed.


Apropros of My Love Affair with the Paris Metro

I love this picture:

Sharpest turn on the metro

(This appears to be in the public domain, at least in Europe/Aus, but if it isn’t in the US, someone holler.)

I was looking at the entry for Ligne 1 on Wikipedia before I went and I thought, “I really want to go through this sharp turn!”  I’d been to Bastille before, but on Ligne 5 and years ago. Turned out (as I may have said in one of my Paris entries) that I ended up going through Bastille on the 1 several times, just to get where I was going.

Man, I miss the métro! It’s hard to explain what my fascination is with it, but I love the style of the older stations (which is most of them on the lines I’ve been on, and probably most of them overall), whether they were CMP or Nord-Sud stations; I love the decorations; I love the huge slightly curved ads on the walls; I love the names of the stations and the history behind them. Then there’s stuff like: my favorite station to say, Barbès-Rochechouart, was the place where Colonel Fabien shot a Nazi during the war…and now four stations away, he has his own station. (And then there was the 1903 fire on that line, which I did write about when I was there.)

It also doesn’t hurt that it’s inexpensive, goes everywhere, and has so many trains you never have to wait long. And that you can buy food and drink on the quais, which comes in great handy when you’re a hungry and thirsty tourist!

See, I”m not cranky about everything! (OK, I have been known to gripe over stairs in the métro. But you can often find escalators and if not, the stairs can be managed slowly and in stages.)

Can’t wait to go back.

Crappy Stupid Day

It was one, for no reason.

I was simply vibrating with irritation all day. People just existing pissed me off. I hated my hair, my clothes, everyone else’s hair and clothes, every noise that someone made, people sneezing (there was a lot of that today), things people wrote online, things people said to me in the office … just everything. There’s one task I do for someone all the time and I wish she’d just pop the paperwork on my desk and go, but she always has to talk to me about it. It’s nothing new; she does not need to give me any instructions or information whatsoever, but she always does. Today I could barely keep a civil tongue in my head.

Finally I got out of there, and managed not to kill anyone on the train home. There are days I like public transportation (I can read or doze!) and days when I don’t (I could be in my own car with my own space and no stupidity within arm’s reach!). Guess which kind of day today was?

Good heavens, Commuter Guy, cover your mouth when you have your hacking pleghmy cough! Ew.


A friend lent me his vacuum since I can’t get mine fixed for awhile (twenty-two days til the estate court date!). So at least sitting here right now I don’t have that gross feeling of an unvacuumed carpet. I had long hair til recently; it’s medium-length now, and I have two indoor cats with a litterbox. There is hair and the odd piece of litter and fur and whatnot everywhere. I was going through a lot of lint rollers using them as carpet sweepers! So that is a lovely feeling, to look round at a nice smooth carpet. Whew. Something good today. I will give it another go-over tomorrow before I return the machine, because this is probably its last vacuum til next month!

Also helping is the very, very strong drink I just finished.


Have not knitted since Saturday. I took my knitting bag to work today, but it didn’t seem like a good idea to knit irritation into a baby blanket, and also like I’d just be asking to screw it up! Back at it tomorrow.

Also have blown off News in Slow French for the past ten days or so. That’s fourteen bucks a month, which isn’t a lot but which is more than, say, Netflix, and I’m eating ramen for lunch every day, so in the short term anyway it’s money I ought not to waste. Also, just paying them the money isn’t helping my French proficiency! Have to go sync my iPod so tomorrow’s commute can be softened by Catherine et Rylan parlent des nouvelles en français.

Speaking of French, though, cute story: I bought this book at Carrefour in Lille, though in softcover. (And I love what I have made my way through so far.) I was sitting on the couch the other night reading it aloud, to practice speaking (I have no problem pronouncing a word or two in isolation, or a phrase I’ve said a lot, but an unfamiliar sentence may get my tongue tripped up). Both cats appeared from nowhere and curled up with me, as if I were reading them a story. Granted, they’re usually near me, but this was sitting right up close and not going to sleep. I do sometimes talk to them in French, but they pay about as much attention to that as when I do it in English.

Alexandre, tu est un chat très drôle , non? Qui est mon chat très drôle? Tu est!

Yeah, like that.

J’ai besoin de prendre une douche et puis aller dormir! Sleep seems like it would be a really good idea. It’s starting to rain, and a good night’s sleep might help with irritability mode.

Isolation and Cabin Fever

Thank God a friend just texted me to go for a hike in a bit. I so need to get out of the house.

I did go and have tea with someone yesterday, but today I’m feeling very down, very isolated, and like inertia is pushing me down. It’s probably good that I have to go to work in the morning, although at 6:30 AM I will be singing an entirely different tune.

Last week I had Monday off. I left the house exactly twice for those entire three days: Saturday I went to the post office across the street, and on Sunday I went and had coffee at a cafe about a three-minute walk away. Otherwise, I stayed in, I knit, and I read.

All this is good and… not so good. I do crave solitude, quiet, the opportunity to sit with books and yarn. But the tipping point into “I can’t move and I’m really depressed by that but because I can’t move I can’t do anything about that depression and the thought of putting on clothes and going out is way too overwhelming but I don’t even want to keep reading now oh Lord” is a precarious one.

I will say that right now I’m broker than broke — I have a huge lawyer bill this month for work related to my aunt’s estate and this means I will have about $100 left over from each paycheck this month for, say, food. I have a little less than half a tank of gas and I can’t really afford to put much into it. But if I did have money, I would have filled up the tank and gone for a long drive. That is always therapeutic. And yes, there is retail therapy to an extent, although I’m trying not to do that to an extreme. Still, if I could have jumped in the car, driven up north, had lunch and wandered around some antique shops in, say, Petaluma, it would have helped. Damn money. It’s always essential.

Yes, it’s Easter and no, I didn’t go to church. That’s a whole other entry in and of itself. And I”m not at the family gathering, because those are way over on the other end of overwhelming from the overwhelming of solitude. When I was a kid, I found them boring and would bring things to read; I’d go lie down on someone’s bed and read until we ate. When I was older I found them stressful, because I have always felt like the weirdo of the family, and then when I was older still they were annoying because of sociopolitical differences (chiefly with non-blood-related members of the family). Now I find them stressful again because we have too many people in too small a space and because of an influx of more new people… I can’t really explain that last part very well. The newbies are all fine, although I have essentially nothing in common with them. They’re all nice to me and I’m nice to them but my feeling of being the family weirdo is even more heightened. You’d think at my age I wouldn’t care, and in some ways I don’t, but it’s depressing to be with my family and feel as out of place as I think I would have had I gone into one of those cafés in Paris where I’d have been the only white person and the only woman. (The other people being Middle Eastern and East Asian men.)

So anyway.

I shall put on some makeup and get to drive my beloved new car somewhere and walk around in nature for awhile, and then I’m coming back and making bread. I simmered some lentils with a huge can of Italian tomatoes, some garlic, some shallots, and a bay leaf last night and it made dinner for last night, dinner for tonight, and three baggies of dinner to freeze. So I can have round two tonight with some fresh bread and a glass of wine. That will be my Easter dinner (even though it could easily have been a Lenten one!).