Archive for March, 2009

Today is the very first day…

March 29, 2009

…of my favorite six months of the year. Happy Daylight Saving Time, everyone!

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Sign of the Second Coming?

March 26, 2009

This week I read about tests on seamless and welded pipes… apparently there are a lot of raptured pipes out there, y’all. Better watch out.

Charge it to the dust and let the rain settle it

March 22, 2009

That’s the advice my calendar gave me this week. And I’m following it. Sort of. Except when I’m not.

Basically I’m willing to let whatever happens to me happen to me, as long as I stay here in Geneva…

I am sick and tired

March 18, 2009

of people using the word “autistic” as an insult.

Latest occurrence: tonight on the evening news in France. Various French politicians were denouncing the Pope’s statement refusing to recognize condom use as a valid method of HIV/AIDS prevention. And in criticizing this stance, Alain Juppé (the former Prime Minister) said that the Pope “vit dans une situation d’autisme total” (“is living a completely autistic life”).

And it’s not just French politicians using autism as an insult… I’ve seen the same sort of thing printed and spoken in the American media, too.

Life with autism is hard. It means having to fight much harder for acceptance than the average person, and getting rejected much more often. It means not being able to partake of many of the joys in life that others take for granted. For many people, it means not ever being able to function independently. But it doesn’t mean that a person has diminished worth.

Why is that so hard for people to understand?

What is it with me and metal boxes?

March 17, 2009

Apparently it’s not just condom machines that are out to get me — all the metal boxes in the world are looking to pick a fight. You’d think I’d be smart enough to walk away, but no… Yesterday I had another altercation with a metal box and lost (again). This one was, for some reason, screwed underneath my seat in the bus, and it had very sharp corners. So I was not very happy when my foot smacked into it…

Now it looks like my ankle crashed into a rainbow at ninety miles an hour. Y’all be careful — those darn rainbows hurt more than you think.

This is a lung?

March 16, 2009

Back in autumn when all the trees lost their leaves, two of the trees in Place Neuve had some seriously ugly white netting wrapped around them. A few weeks later, a banner reading “Ceci est un poumon” was put up on the netting around one of the trees.

Now, let’s think about this logically. First of all, a tree is not a lung. It is a tree. Furthermore, a lung and a tree do not perform the same function. A lung takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. A tree takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. So they cancel each other out.

I ought to cover up the “This is a lung” banner with one of my own… “Ceci est l’anti-poumon”.

Uglytown

March 15, 2009

I felt sluggish all morning, so I decided to try taking a walk to see if that would help me feel better. And since the weather is so nice, I decided to take my camera with me in the hopes of finding something interesting to photograph.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. There are parts of Geneva that are pretty, but I don’t live in any of them. There are a few quirky things on my side of town, but I’ve already taken plenty of pictures of them over the past 2 1/2 years.

I came home from my 45-minute walk with a sore knee and a grumpy spirit… and went straight to bed.

I love my bed. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Community

March 14, 2009

Have I mentioned yet on here that I cry at the drop of a hat? Well, I do. I manage not to do it in public, but in private…

This made me cry every time it came on TV during the year before I left the States to come to Switzerland. Yes, I know it is just a commercial. But try to forget about that for awhile.

Then, last Friday, Les Enfoirés did their annual charity concert on TF1. I only got to see the first song before the university firewall cut my access (darn firewall!), but it, too, made me cry. (The people in this video are not Les Enfoirés… couldn’t find a video of their version with decent sound.)

I moved around a lot as a kid. I went to 8 different schools from kindergarten to 12th grade (and I skipped 7th grade, too!) I’ve been to three different universities in three different countries. I’ve only lived in 9 different cities (again, spread across three countries, plus two states), but I moved 15 times (give or take a few — it’s hard to keep count once you’ve run out of fingers) between the ages of 9 and 22. You do the math.

In some of these places I managed to fit in; in most I didn’t. I am not in touch with anyone I went to elementary, middle or high school with. I am not in touch with anyone I worked with during my year off in Texas (and trust me, I have absolutely no desire to be!)

It wasn’t until almost a year after I moved here that I realized I wanted to stay. It came to me one spring night as I walked out of the train station and into town after returning from a trip to Italy. All of a sudden, it felt like I was home. And the feeling hasn’t faded since then… if anything, I grow even more convinced with each passing day that this is where I’m meant to stay.

Building a life here isn’t exactly simple, though — even if you ignore the fact that the Swiss government and the average Swiss citizen don’t want me to be able to stay here. (It’s especially amusing to hear half-Swiss people complain about foreigners being allowed to immigrate here — after all, they wouldn’t exist if their foreign-born parent hadn’t been allowed to stay in the country! And it’s even more amusing when said half-Swiss people have foreign-born spouses hoping to apply for citizenship someday… oh, the irony.) The 2 1/2 years I’ve spent here count for nothing when it comes to the 10-plus year process of gaining citizenship. They don’t even count towards a permanent residence permit…

That’s frustrating, but that’s not what really gets to me. What really gets to me is flying in at the airport and not having anyone happily waiting to greet me. Being alone on my birthday because everyone is always out of town over the Christmas holidays… and because I’m just not important enough to anyone here yet to be worth staying in town for. Not having a place of my own yet, and therefore not being able to easily invite the people I care about to come over and spend time with me.

It takes a long time become a member of a community. I’m not a patient person at all. But I’m incredibly determined, and I’ve waited 25 years to get this far, so what’s a few years more?

That’s what I’m trying to tell myself, at least.

Happy Pisces, Easter and Salon de l’auto

March 13, 2009

Yes, I realize that it’s a bit odd to jumble those three together, but that’s what the chocolate shops in town have done…

Pisces:

And Easter/Salon de l’auto as a two-for-one:

(Please don’t let your pets try this at home.)

My two roommates have been working at the Salon de l’auto since it opened last week, and they’re learning to hate customer service jobs every bit as much as I do. (I worked for two department stores back when I lived in the States — one was tolerable, the other was a nightmare. I’ll have to remember to tell y’all some of the more memorable stories… if you can handle it!)

It is so nice to be able to go on photo-hunt walks around town without freezing!

I am loving Katy Perry

March 12, 2009

If you’re particularly conservative, you won’t, but I think she’s brilliant…