Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm So Tired, I Can't Even Come Up With a Funny Title for This Blog Entry

Oy, such a day I've had of it.

Yeah, I'm going to complain a little. But man, oh, man, it was TOUGH out there today.

Oh, it was deceptively pretty outside because the temperatures were, once again, rather mild. Only -7C, which, in the sun (of which there was plenty), was right nice. As long as the wind wasn't blowing. Which, unfortunately, it was.

This, combined with the Zamboni-ed quality of our city sidewalks . . . well, to quote a favorite blogger of mine, JESUS FISHSTICK CHRIST! Somewhere, and I swear it was this week, I read that Russia or maybe just Moscow is having the worst winder since, oh, say the Siege of  Leningrad, but now, try as I might, I cannot find it. (I did stumble on this, however: "The big freeze of ’63: People fell ‘like skittles’" is a little too close for comfort.)

Long story short I had to TAKE CHILDREN TO SCHOOL this morning, which wasn't too horribly awful,except for the first part of the walk, right outside our building, which is also slightly downhill.

Then I had to GO TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY (long, boring story involving FS-240 forms, the elusive DS-1350, and one notarized copy for $30; yes, thank you, my tax dollars hard at work), but my appointment was for 9:00 (earliest available) and, as we learned when we went on Monday, one will inevitably arrive at 8:30 and there's precious little to do in the neighborhood except to stroll around, and this is what I attempted to do (I did identify and then stand in front of the Chekhov House which I knew was nearby because Blogging Friend Dina mentioned it this week), but the wind was so strong and the sidewalks so slippery (and I had, foolishly, not worn my Yak Trax), that I was white-knuckled and drenched in sweat by the time 9:00 rolled around.

After I WENT HOME, but stopped to buy The Spouse nuts at the perehod between Mayakovskaya and our place. It was on THE WALK HOME FROM NUT SHOPPING, that I noticed, with a certain irony, that the parking lot/sidewalk in front of the GAI/Traffic Police Building was not only CLEAN and DRY, but had been SALTED.

Ah hem.

Not even the sidewalk in front of the US Embassy is SALTED! What is up with that anyhow? I have it on good authority that every stick of furniture in the embassy comes directly from the US of A and that the ambassador himself eats his breakfast off of a FIESTAWARE plate, for God's sake, that rests on a COLONIAL STYLE table. Well, the American ambassador in Bratislava did anyhow. As do I. The Fiestaware, I mean. Not the Colonial style furniture. But the point is: wasn't there any room for a little Morton's in the old diplomatic pouch? Can't anyone help a fellow American who is down on her luck?


But I digress.

I went home and barely sat down when The Spouse called and asked would I please GO BACK TO THE SCHOOL TO COLLECT SOME DOCUMENTS. Which I did.

Interesting thing happened here: I had exited the Metro and paused to put on my Yak Trax (I am a slow-learner, but I do eventually catch on), when a woman came up to me and begged me (in Russian) to PLEASE, PLEASE TELL HER WHERE I GOT THESE THINGS BECAUSE, HAVE YOU NOTICED? IT'S LIKE DEATH OUT HERE! When I told her I bought them v Amerike, she wept.

Then, before she even turned away, ANOTHER woman came up to me and started telling me that I needed a massage and that she was a professional and a doctor and her name is Galina and here is her number and lots of other details that I did not get because she was speaking in Russian. The funny thing here, other than the fact that I am almost completely sure that I fell asleep on the Metro twice today, was that seconds before I was accosted by the weeping woman, I was on the Metro escalator reminding myself to BREATHE and draw ENERGY from the Universe and all that other good granola stuff they tell you in yoga class. And I was even thinking, "I could use a spa when this move is over. Or at least a yoga class." And I tried not to fall asleep again on the escalator, but to BREATHE or at least remember to KEGEL and BAM! Whaddya know: the Universe does, indeed, provide. In the form of Dr. Galina, Massage Therapist. Who, other than the fact she was offering massages to total strangers on the street, seemed normal and even comforting, sort of like Sada Thompson in Family or Dianne Wiest in Law & Order.

I did escape and completed my errand at the school and then CONTINUED ON TO THE SPOUSE'S OFFICE where I delivered the documents I had collected that morning from both the embassy and the French school and even stayed to have a little lunch with him in one of the restaurants in the basement of his building.

[Note: We ran into The Spouse's Tall, Handsome, and Humorless German Former Big Boss today, and while the three of us were discussing what it is like to suddenly work for a company that isn't American and doesn't provide life insurance as a benefit and how you have to buy your own but you can keep the existing policy for a little while after leaving the American employer but only with coverage up to $125,000 which is better than a sharp stick in the eye but won't keep me and the girls forever without me heading back to the workplace after 11+ years away, I decided to blurt out that, "No, but it will keep me going long enough to find another husband  . . . maybe get a little work done first," and Tall, Handsome, Humorless German Former Big Boss just looked appalled. I blame the icy sidewalks for my inability to self-censor.]


Ah, sweet liquor eases the pain.

In other, totally unrelated news: There is a kid at the girls' school, let's call her "Heather," who has the dubious reputation for being the school's Self-Appointed Fashion Police. Famous in song and legend, I finally caught a glimpse of her as I walked the girls to school this morning. "Heather's" signature line this year is "You have to take action!" She also likes to make click-y noises while pointing with a finger-gun.

Today, she approached Baboo in the lunchline and said, in French of course, "Psst. C'mere." When Baboo responded, Heather pointed at Baboo's shirt and said, "Stripes are SO last year." Pointing then to another kid (who Baboo reports had "pants on the ground") she told Baboo, "Ça, c'est bien!" 

Baboo responded by raising an eyebrow.

The playground, or in this case the lunch room . . .  it is a cruel place.


Dina said...

Why didn't you tell me you were here? I was having a good hair day and everything!

The Expatresse said...

Damn, you are FAST. I just added a whole paragraph even.

I did think about calling you except I realized after the Ghastly United Flight to DC Which Wasn't that the number I have in my phone with your name attached to it is not YOURS and I don't know who that other woman with your name is.

I also want you all to note that this manic, run-on-sentence mode is being brought to you ALCOHOL-FREE, so don't be blaming the grape, or the potato, here.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Just reading about your day exhausted me. I think I'll go lie down! Seriously, I hope all is going as well as can be with the moving prep. Good luck with it all! I'm going to live vicariously through you until I get the chance to do some int'l travel.

Andrea said...

I did go out eventually, after getting out of my pjs at 11. I thought I could've done with iceskates on the sidewalks today. It was awful.

valentina said...

Oh sweet friend, My heart goes out to you, especially in the cold as if abiding that were not excruciating enough... I am home with a cold and a slight fever, non stop parades of sneezes, a box of rapidly diminishing Puffs with lotion to my left and the wastebasket to my right...(But I am safe and warm!) I thought this Niagara Falls was from allergies as it has been continuing since last week but the doc added a nasal spray to my already Singulair and Clarinex regimine and it hasn't helped... I just hope I have not developed an allergy to my kitty cats! Quelle horreur...

But I am wondering if that 3 oz vintage Lalique crystal bottle of Bellodgia perfume, Perfume mind you, not toilet water or cologne but perfume, which I had bought for a song on Ebay and then didn't wear because it was too strong, that I sent crashing to smithereens on the tile floor of my small ensuite bath is a contributing factor! I did sweep up the glass and wipe the floor TWICE with Organic vinegar glass, surface cleaner... you know the PC one that we are all switching to but I think it was for nought... Plus the pots of hyacinths in the kitchen I had to remove, alas...

Anyhow the good news is that as I sit here typing this my wonderful every other week housekeeper is changing my germy bed and will hand wipe the bath floor twice with one of those evil oldfashioned surface cleaners which is bound to lick any remaining esters, or at least I hope so.

My nose has been red for so long it is way past the concealer/powder stage... My students are now accustomed to me having Puffs stuffed in my sleeves and bosom and on Tues while giving their midterm so many of them were sniffling I passed out Puffs and putting a wad of coffee edged ones on my desk said "If you need these help your self... They are a bit coffee stained but perfectly clean and usable..." Surprisingly no one did, they all prefered to snort and slurp which is a most annoying sound...

So I am glad that you got so much accomplished on this day from hell... The sheer cold being enough to make me leave my husband... I laughed out loud about your remark of looking for a new one and getting some work done! I'm sure Da thought it was funny!

And now that I have learned more about Kegels than I ever really needed to know... I mean good for sex, what more did I need to know? Past childbirth and having skipped it anyway the former was always reason enough... I think you're supposed to form a Pavlovian reaction to something like the phone ringing which launches you into immediate exercise while chatting while I could never concentrate on both simultaneously... I do find that at the gym that the machine where you sit and lean forward on the padded bar under your breasts, incessantly, I do 100 reps, (sorry I don't know the name of it),is the perfect opportunity to Kegel... You have to suck in your abs anyhow or diaphragm or whatever, (I know so little anatomy, it is shameful) so why not do them together?... Just my suggestion for your multitudinous female readers.

Heh speaking of, Isn't the contest doing well? You are positively soaring!! And today's entry attests to your well deserving it... Somehow whenever you are miserable it leads to some of your best writing! So while I am loathe to not sympathize this was dreadfully amusing... (with the emphasis on dreadful!)

Good luck tomorrow BG... Baboo definitely has the right attitude... She was born to be her own woman!

And the Skittles reference was a bit scary wasn't it?

Hope all is well and that you are all settled in for a long winter's nap...xov

valentina said...

Oh and BTW, tell Baboo to tell her "little friend" that the "finger gun" gesture is totally passe and that no one in the US would be caught dead doing such a stupid thing! xov aka AV

Tina in CT said...

What a day! I bet you won't miss those Zamboniesque sidewalks after the 15th! I remarked to my daughter that they don't seem to salt anything in Moscow when I was there for Xmas.

I hope you got to take a nice soothing shower, got in my jammies and unwound before bed.

As for the girl at school, I think her twin was at my daughter's school back in CT in the 80's. She was so cruel and the apple didn't fall far from the tree as her mother's nose was so up in the air that it's a wonder she didn't get a nosebleed. Great reaction your daughter gave her.

Just think how much warmer it'll be in Luxembourg!

Julie said...

Just passing through here to wish you positive moving vibes. Good luck!