Weird day

I’m in Paris.  I have plans for Christmas Dinner.  I have plans for NYE.  I chatted with friends today, both in the US and in France.  I blogged – which is a happy experience.  I walked about in fairly nice weather.  I have consulting work I am going back for.

I should be happy.

Yet.  I’m in a weird, bothered, uneasy, hard to distinguish between slightly pissy or slightly grumpy state of being.

It happens.

I’ve just taken two Advil PM and drunk my Sleepy Time Trader Joe’s tea.  And I am yawning.  So I hope to have a good sleep and start tomorrow off on a better foot.

But it bothers me not to know why.  It could be that I am just tired.  I walked another 7 miles today.  And I haven’t had that day to just stay in bed and lollygag (like the pigeons).

Superficial things like the crummy transportation issues (sorry about the untitled blog – did that on the Metro… was irritated I hit publish before realizing the title was missing…) didn’t help.  But I think maybe the unease is because this year is the year of … unsettledness, moving, disruption?  One of those maybe.

I always knew I was going to have to move from this apartment to the other at the end of January.  And maybe that’s part of it: this apartment.  It’s nice enough.  Has a dishwasher and oven.  But it doesn’t have the storage my other place had.  So it’s messy most of the time.  Ever visited my home in Sacramento?  Messiness is not a stranger to me.  But I have places for things.  Here, the futon is covered with stuff that has no where else to go… maybe that’s part of this too?

So anyway, back to discombobulation.    So I knew I would have to pack everything up and somehow get it to the new place.  I came with four bags–  checked a 25 in roller, a duffel that balances on the roller, and carried-on the 22 inch and my backpack.

Now I have to get that all put together to travel 2 miles across Paris.

That was bad enough.  Now with the job in the States, I will be leaving on the 17 of January and back on the 2nd of February.   So I have to have things sort of packed before I go to the states – and I have to pack for that trip!  Fortunately, a friend is visiting from the Netherlands the weekend before.  With her car.  To stock up on Costco items.  I know, sounds weird.  But she lived in Roseville for 4 years and loves many Costco products.  This will be heaven for her.  The fortunate part is that she can help me transport several things cross town.  That just means I will be living out of a suitcase here before going to the states and coming back for the last few things in early February and moving to the new apartment.

Oh, it’s all doable.  I know that.  It just wears me down a bit to think about it.  And it is not half as bad as putting in new carpeting and I have survived that three times in my life.  (Shudder)

But then, somewhat the same thing in May.  I will be leaving for Norway on April 28 and returning on May 12 to Paris for a few days, then coming back to California around May 15.  Whew.  Pack everything on April 27 except my bag for Norway.  Come back to my friend’s apartment and move directly to a nearby hotel, moving all the stored bags from his place to the hotel for a few days and then getting a cab to the airport.

Again.  All doable.  However, if I knew all that before coming over, I might have brought less.  Still, this trip back is a chance to return somethings to the states… but what?  I will still need my cold weather clothes.

Shrug.  It has been cathartic to write all this.  Journaling is useful that way.  Hope it didn’t bore you too much.

And besides, in the future, all these problems have been solved.

I’m in Paris.  And I have a tango lesson Monday.  The smile is returning.  As I slowly fall aslee…..   zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


I told you about bus 47 yesterday. Today it’s 27. And yeah 47 again. Got my route all mapped out. Going to take 27. Bad timing. The buses that had been 6 minutes apart are now 20 mins. Ok change plans to bus 47. One minute. I make it.

Two stops later it terminates. Next bus. 50 mins. So I rethink bus 27.

And my handy RATP app tells me the next two buses aren’t going the whole way. At least it’s nice to know that ahead.

So next option metro. Grab a train. Get off to transfer. Go the wrong direction. Get off. Now waiting for the train in the right direction and of course I just missed one.


When I saw the pigeons sticks* on all the sills of all the windows looking down on the courtyard of these buildings, I was happy.  No pigeon problem here!  I was sure.  And I’ve been here now just over 4 weeks.  Not a pigeon in site.

*I’m sure that’s not the right word.  The vertical pointy sticks one affixes to a window sill or railing to make it impossible for a bird to land.

Pigeon sticks on Amazon

Are you a new reader?  You will have missed the pigeon wars described in earlier blogs.  Go to my blog page itself.  Search for pigeon.  You’ll find 8 posts detailing my war on pigeons.

So here I am in the new place.  No worries about pigeons.


I come home after my busy morning.  Time to open the roll up blinds.  It was too dark before to bother.  And what do I see sitting in the flower box that hangs on my balcony?


I pounded on the window and they flew off, probably scared to death.  Good.  Except then I saw them sitting in the flower box of another apartment across from me.   Were you here, you would have seen my eyes narrow in anger and disgust.

Why do I dislike pigeons so much?   Birds are dirty.  And pigeons are noisy.  Coo-coo-ing all the time.  Argh.

As I survey the buildings overlooking this courtyard, I count only two window boxes.  That one and mine.  Now I understand why.

I’ll be out of this place by early February.  No weather for open windows.  I don’t think I need find another squirt gun.

d’Orsay, Marches, Marching

You know someone is a good friend when you suspect they have read the daily blog and they STILL ask you what you did that day.    Makes me feel good.  I smile.

Yesterday I rolled over and shined on the Orsay museum.  Today I woke in enough time to make it there before 9.  I am sure I’ve explained how a member of the d’Orsay (carte blanche) get several perks, the best in the world being allowed in at 9 when the museum itself is not open until 9:30.  It’s a magic time.  Today I used it to my advantage to see the Picasso Bleu et Rose exhibit.    I am always fascinated by the special exhibits.  How did they come up with a theme?  Then how did they decide what to include? And while it’s fairly easy for the d’Orsay – let’s just walk through our attic and pick some paintings to include… or call our cousins at the Louvre or the Picasso museum in town – there are always many paintings from museums around the world and those private collections.  The private collections intrigue me.  The Orsay rarely says whose private collection.  But I will always stand in front of those paintings and imagine them in a hallway, or dining room, or bedroom…   Well?  Where do you hang your Picasso?  Or Monet?

Actually, I don’t like Picasso very much.  I like his early work.  Gosh, he was a great draftsman.  Or as the English say, draughtsman.  Then over the years he morphed.  Into what I would call a hack.  Slap some paint on a canvas or a ceramic plate, sign his name, sell for millions.   And before that, the cubist period?  I don’t get cubist at all.

These paintings showed him transitioning from the blue period into his red period.  Nice to wander through without a crowd.  My habit is to enjoy an exposition and then walk back quickly to the beginning and go through a second time, more quickly.  Looking for… I don’t know.  A theme?  What painting calls me more than any other?

A niece has a game she plays.  It works for many things, including jewelry store windows.  Essentially, in a window, in a room, in an exhibit, you get to choose one thing you get to take home.  But it you are playing with someone else, then any piece can only go to one person.  That means sometimes your choices depend on your speed to make a decision.  For example, the haystack painting of the two peasants taking a break in the sun – by Van Gogh –   You know it?  It’s mine.  The niece tried to break her own rules after I called it.  Too bad.  It forever remains mine.  I saw it today.  Nice of me to lend it to the Musee d’Orsay.  Funny though, they didn’t give me credit for the loan.  I’ll be gracious and overlook that omission.

Today when I went back to the start of the Picasso, I was reminded how valuable my carte blanche is.  The exhibit was by then open to the public.  And the public had arrived!

While at the d’Orsay, I also viewed the Pere et Fils expo on Pierre-Auguste Renoir, painter, and Jean Renoir, movie director.  Got some movies to find on Netflix or Amazon.

Then I decided to do some walking.  Crowds annoy me.  Well, specifically people who take up the full sidewalk to walk 4 to 6 astride.  Or someone just stopping to check the map with no regard for people coming behind them.  People. People. People.  I mutter.   It was supposedly Act V for the gilet jaune today.  But I didn’t see any gilets, jaune or otherwise (vest, yellow or otherwise).  Museums were open.  Most transport was running.  Macron has given in to many of the demands.  Perhaps they are losing steam.  It’s a strange movement – no real leadership.  Shrug.

From the d’Orsay to Hotel de Ville for a tiny Christmas market, everything made in France.  I bought some honey made by bees on the rooftops of Paris and on the rooftops of France.  I’m not a big honey fan, but this was good.  The guy threw in one of those fancy wooden sticks for serving the honey – but he made sure I understood that it was simply decoration!  Not to use!

Then across to the other Marche de Noel on the Rive Gauche.  Yup.  Been there, done that.  I think I might be done with Marches de Noel.  All the same vendors as the past two years.  And the Pere Noel (Santa) walked off to have a break in the bistro before I could get a selfie with him.  I’ll have to go back before tomorrow at 8 if I want one.  That’s when they close.

Home now.  Just had my lunch and planning for a nap – falling asleep either to a book or to an episode of Breaking Bad.  (I’m saving the new Amazon Vanity Fair for new year’s week).  And this afternoon I have hopes for the Full Moon Picnic.  This is a standing meetup on the pont des arts to celebrate the Full Moon.  Shouldn’t be too cloudy nor too cold.  And it starts to gather at 4:30 because of the early sunset.  Much easier to attend than in the summer when you must wait until after 10pm.

Happy Solstice yesterday.  Happy Full Moon tonight.