Lessons learned in 36 years of life

1. (Courtesy of fellow scoliosis patients) Don’t like having your behind hanging out of a hospital gown? Ask for two. Put one on forward and one backward. You could probably ask for twenty and the nurse will say yes. They’ve always got lots of hospital gowns.

2. (Courtesy of the beach ladies of Nice) Turn your flipflops over, and they won’t be so hot when you put them back on.

3. (Courtesy of a fonctionnaire who helped me with visa paperwork when I first moved here) Bring a book.

4. (Courtesy of my stubbornness) Using an American keyboard because getting used to a French keyboard would just be too hard is pretty dumb. Oh, the things I could have accomplished with the amount of time it used to take me to type ça, on l’a déjà fait cette année.

5. (Courtesy of my terrible life decisions) Get it in writing.

Links to things I’ve read or listened to recently

A lot of these are already getting bounced around in reblogs, but if you’re not working or have a job that lets you read at work, do check out:

Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic

Jelani Cobb updates in The New Yorker

You’ve already read Wesley Morris' Let's Be Cops review in Grantland. Here's a a great interview with him from earlier this summer on Longform.

Sarah Stillman wrote this about police militarization one year ago this month, as well as this about civil forfeiture, one way by which police departments get the money to buy all those tanks. From The New Yorker again. (The New Yorker archives are free at the moment, so you don’t need to use your dad’s password to read anything. Also, as part of the site redesign, they have eliminated comments, and this is really a good thing.)

I love raw potato. When I was little, and my mom would make mashed potatoes, I’d eat the peelings, even trying to sneak them out of the trash. She always told me it would make me sick but HA who’s right now, MOM? (Unless raw potato caused gall stones or scoliosis, in which case oops. But my gall bladder is out and my spine is straightened, so might as well have more raw potato.)
ps Thanks jennywilbury for identifying my hair dryer thingy! The ways of the curly-haired are now slightly less mysterious.

I love raw potato. When I was little, and my mom would make mashed potatoes, I’d eat the peelings, even trying to sneak them out of the trash. She always told me it would make me sick but HA who’s right now, MOM? (Unless raw potato caused gall stones or scoliosis, in which case oops. But my gall bladder is out and my spine is straightened, so might as well have more raw potato.)

ps Thanks jennywilbury for identifying my hair dryer thingy! The ways of the curly-haired are now slightly less mysterious.

About a month ago, I dropped my eight-year old hair dryer and it broke. I kept using it even when I could hear some bit of plastic or metal jangling loose inside, but I did give it up when smoke started coming out. So I bought a new one, and then last week oh you can probably finish this sentence. Dropped. Broke.
So this is my new new dryer and it came with three !!! attachments, including this one and I have no clue what it’s supposed to do.

About a month ago, I dropped my eight-year old hair dryer and it broke. I kept using it even when I could hear some bit of plastic or metal jangling loose inside, but I did give it up when smoke started coming out. So I bought a new one, and then last week oh you can probably finish this sentence. Dropped. Broke.

So this is my new new dryer and it came with three !!! attachments, including this one and I have no clue what it’s supposed to do.

The Happy Homemaker

Before English mother-in-law came, I procrastinated on cleaning by going through all my clothes and pulling things I hadn’t worn in forever to donate. Paul found a few things of his too (oh hmm neither of us wants to mop) and we had a little pile which we stuffed into his old hiking backpack. We eventually did get to mopping and cleaning the toilet and the sink, and only yesterday went to take the clothes to the donation bin.

As we were taking all the clothes out of the backpack we realized that, wait, there were more clothes already on the bottom in there? How? Maybe from the last time we sorted through our clothes, a year ago? We started pulling them out to see if they were dirty or torn, and eewww what is this stuff all over that shirt, mold?

Nope!

Moth larvae.

Found at least one live one crawling around, shook out quite a few dead moths, holes in the one jacket meant they’d maybe died from overeating, carried the gross clothes to the dumpster, all the while going YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK they’d been in there for a year YUCK YUCK GROSS.

natashavc:

I like Texas because they have nice strip malls and cheap food and bulbous white women and skanky teenagers. I like that it’s convenient and big. There’s crime here and God. 

This is where I come from. (Maybe not this particular strip mall, but who’s to say?) I almost never feel nostalgic for Houston. There are particular things I miss sometimes, like donuts or mild winters, but the place itself holds no pull for me.
The God thing is pretty recent, by the way.

natashavc:

I like Texas because they have nice strip malls and cheap food and bulbous white women and skanky teenagers. I like that it’s convenient and big. There’s crime here and God. 

This is where I come from. (Maybe not this particular strip mall, but who’s to say?) I almost never feel nostalgic for Houston. There are particular things I miss sometimes, like donuts or mild winters, but the place itself holds no pull for me.

The God thing is pretty recent, by the way.

Oh well

I found a flight for 700€ last night, and got really excited about the possibility of going to Chicago for the alumni party. I would spend more time travelling than actually there, but probably would have had a lock on the ‘who came farthest to come here’ award. ‘You’re so crazy you flew all the way here!’ everybody would say to me, high-fiving me and passing me more drinks. ‘What a wild, spontaneous thing to do!’

But for whatever reason I decided to wait until this morning to book, and I got our tax bill in the mail and that was the end of that.

It’s a short list, really

All I want right now is

  • peanut m&ms
  • gin and tonic
  • 1000€ for airfare and hotel so I can go to Chicago for an alumni party for my small liberal arts school in the middle of nowhere alma mater

Two of these things I already have. I’m starting to do some nutso future budget plans to make the third one happen.

English mother-in-law is here, but unlike in January, Paul actually took time off work so I don’t have to entertain her by myself. And now he’s even gone with her on a trip to Biarritz so I’ve had the apartment to myself since Wednesday.
Yesterday the weather was actually nice so I decided to take my book down to the river to read. I made it about a page before realizing that no, sitting alone with a book wasn’t going to happen. Because of course some guy was going to come up and start talking to me. “Hey what are you reading? Oh it’s in English, are you learning English? Oh, you’re American, can you help me translate some songs I’m writing?” He talked for a while. He said he wasn’t homeless, but he didn’t have a fridge, which wasn’t so great for the summer. The back half of one of his shoes was gone, so his heel was exposed. He said he played guitar, and asked me what kind of music I liked. I gave my standard answer of ‘I don’t know, all kinds’, and he said, ‘Do you like PJ Harvey?’ which wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. So I told that To Bring You My Love was the first CD I ever bought, and he agreed that was a good album. “So, how do you say foetus?” “Um, more or less the same: fetus.” “Good, and how do you say une plaie comme un foetus? It’s for this song I’m writing.” “Um, a wound like a fetus? I think I have to get going now.”
And then. Walking up the stairs from the riverbank up to the street. Two teenagers going up at the same time as me. One got in front of me, taking up the whole stairway, and slowed down, while the other got behind me and breathed into my ear (Charles Grodin in The Great Muppet Caper style) non mais je te trouve trop charmante. I am not, in fact charmante, but luckily I’m fairly small, so I slid past the first guy and didn’t look back until I was about halfway home. At which point I decided to buy a giant strawberry slushee.

English mother-in-law is here, but unlike in January, Paul actually took time off work so I don’t have to entertain her by myself. And now he’s even gone with her on a trip to Biarritz so I’ve had the apartment to myself since Wednesday.

Yesterday the weather was actually nice so I decided to take my book down to the river to read. I made it about a page before realizing that no, sitting alone with a book wasn’t going to happen. Because of course some guy was going to come up and start talking to me. “Hey what are you reading? Oh it’s in English, are you learning English? Oh, you’re American, can you help me translate some songs I’m writing?” He talked for a while. He said he wasn’t homeless, but he didn’t have a fridge, which wasn’t so great for the summer. The back half of one of his shoes was gone, so his heel was exposed. He said he played guitar, and asked me what kind of music I liked. I gave my standard answer of ‘I don’t know, all kinds’, and he said, ‘Do you like PJ Harvey?’ which wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. So I told that To Bring You My Love was the first CD I ever bought, and he agreed that was a good album. “So, how do you say foetus?” “Um, more or less the same: fetus.” “Good, and how do you say une plaie comme un foetus? It’s for this song I’m writing.” “Um, a wound like a fetus? I think I have to get going now.”

And then. Walking up the stairs from the riverbank up to the street. Two teenagers going up at the same time as me. One got in front of me, taking up the whole stairway, and slowed down, while the other got behind me and breathed into my ear (Charles Grodin in The Great Muppet Caper style) non mais je te trouve trop charmante. I am not, in fact charmante, but luckily I’m fairly small, so I slid past the first guy and didn’t look back until I was about halfway home. At which point I decided to buy a giant strawberry slushee.

Don’t tell me what to adopt, airport trash can.

Don’t tell me what to adopt, airport trash can.