Sunday, August 31, 2003

August 2003

Friday August 29, 2003

Yawn. Well, due to some unexpected events, that e-mail was sent late last night/early this morning. We'll see what kind of reaction I get. I plan to get plastered tonight. It probably won't happen, but that's still my plan. If not tonight, then Sunday night. Maybe both. Maybe I'll be an alcoholic again. Could be fun. I'm just tired. In many ways. I really just want to have a normal relationship. Really, I do. I just don't have the greatest luck in finding guys. I mean, I don't even know what I've been doing for the past year or so. I've been ignoring other guys and avoiding them. And why? Because of some guy who doesn't give a shit about me. Just doesn't make sense. Sigh. I'm hoping my spewing my guts to him will be some kind of resolution. I'm tired of feeling like crap all the time.
Moving on.
There's nothing else really going on in my life at this point. Other than the fact that I have NO MONEY and tuition is due and I need to buy my books. Dammit I hate money. Especially since I never have any. I also plan to be freakin' crabby for quite awhile so just deal with it. Don't say you're sorry. Don't try and cheer me up. Don't do those annoying "well, I care, screw him" things. I don't want to hear it. I just want to wallow in my self-pity for awhile. And eat lots of chocolate. And vodka. Lots of vodka. Funny story - the last night in France this one guy brought out his camcorder to get everyone on tape. He turns to me and says, "So, what do you have to say about this trip?" I think my reply was something like, "(Martha holding up bottle) Vodka. Couldn't have stood all you people and this place without vodka." Aaahh. Spoken like the true alcoholic I am. Sigh. I think I'm gonna have to start drinking beer though because vodka is too expensive. Or maybe not. I don't need to eat. I'll spend food money on liquor. There we go. Good plan.
Here's another warning. We're entering the time of year where I always seem to get all down in the dumps for some reason. Haven't figured it out yet. So, yes, I'm going to be crabby and bitchy and depressed for awhile. Granted, it doesn't help that there's shit going down right now. I could really do without that. But don't expect me to be cheerful and optimistic. Not that I ever am...I'll just be even less that then normal. I've had to learn to deal with my irrational mood swings and manic-depressive tendencies. You will too.

Thursday August 28, 2003

Well, less than a week until classes start. I must say I'm kind of relieved to hear that. This summer has been outrageously weird and busy. I'm looking forward to returning to semi-normalcy. I've been doing some clean-up work the last few days since I've had the evenings off. Not clean-up as in washing things and sweeping. More like "emotional" clean-up. I think it's time to do another "stress causes removal." I did a similar thing about 2 years ago. Determined to get rid of things in my life that were causing me too much stress. Most of those things turned out to be people. I think this is the case once again. I don't purposely choose to surround myself with people who are bad for me. It just kind of ends up that way. I've already started to compose a letter to the main person this concerns. I intended it to be an e-mail that would inform him of what I'm going through. As it stands now, it has turned into a 3 page letter. And I'm not done yet. Ironically enough, I'm pretty sure he won't even take the time to read it. So I don't know why I'm bothering to write it since it's just getting me all worked up. I think it's healthier then suffering through it though. At least this way he won't have an excuse for being ignorant about some things.
I plan to send him my thoughts on Saturday. We'll have to see what kind of response I'll get (if any.) For the past few days I've just sat here at work for 8 hours, gone home and sat in from of my computer there for a while and then gone to sleep. Fascinating life. Oh wait. I lied. On Tuesday, Bill came over. That was fun. He's got that computer nerd side to him, which I dig. And he introduced me to a completely awesome website - funny. Plus, lots of his friends work at the porn kind of people. :-)
Plans for the rest of the week are almost as exciting as my week has been so far. Tonight, I'm going to do nothing. Tomorrow, more nothing. Saturday and Sunday, working and then nothing. Oops. I mean Sunday night David is supposed to come up to visit me. He'll stay (on the floor in the living at the apartment and then party with me on Labor Day, which, surprisingly I got off. I think K-Mart just doesn't want to pay me the holiday rate. Cheapos. Then Tuesday is my last day of insane hours - my insanest yet actually - 14. Then I go to classes bright and early on Wednesday morning - at the crack of 8 AM. Fun...
Well, I suppose I should be working. I just have no motivation. I went to bed at like 6 yesterday. Got up at 8 and again (sick to my stomach) around 11 and finally about 5:30. Still, that's a lot more sleep than I've been getting lately. Why am I still tired? And hungry. Dying of hunger. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

Thursday August 21, 2003

Why do I bother? Sometimes I just get extremely frustrated with people. Especially those who are of the male gender. I won't even go into what happened this time. It's the same old thing. I let it keep happening. It is my fault that they piss me off. So, no more. I saw someone's Yahoo! profile the other day and their quote was really good. Can't remember it exactly, but it was something along the lines of "Don't make someone your priority if you're just their convenience." Fits my situation perfectly, don't you think. So that's what I'm going to do. No more of this calling him all the time, e-mailing him, practically offering up a sacrifice to his gods in order to get him to hang out with me. If he really wanted to be around me, it wouldn't take so much convincing. Also, if he wanted to be with me, he has a phone and a computer and is perfectly capable of using them. So, until he gets off his ass and decides I'm worth the teensiest effort, I won't see or hear from him. I expect to not see him for quite a while. He has no problem not seeing me. He has a talent. Which is another major problem. He goes out of his way to NOT see me, yet continuously tells me he likes being with me, would like to be with me more.
You don't think I can't see through that one by now? I'm tired of working my ass off to make you like me. I deserve something more than that. It's a good thing he's not a boyfriend because if he ever was, he would no longer be that. He's also not a "friend with benefits" or a "fuck buddy" because if he had that distinction, he'd be a very bad one. He's not around enough to be that for me. Instead he's just floating around in the limbo of relationships. Sometimes I'm not even sure if he's a friend at all. Sometimes I think I'm feeling something a lot more. Then I come to my senses when he blows me off because his elbow hurts. (Yup, that was the latest excuse. He's not even trying to make them plausible anymore.)
But anyway. Classes start in about 2 weeks. Fun, fun. Work is just as it was when I left. Keeping me busy and all. The new apartment is pretty nice. Pain in the ass to move and get settled, but now that that's done and over with, I'm pretty happy with my life right now. Exception: men suck still, although at this point, I'm doing just fine without them. I plan to continue in this fashion for awhile, contrary to what I may say in chatrooms :-)
That is all.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

France Trip 2003

What's Going On? France 2003 Events

Tuesday August 5th, 2003

Every day just seems to get longer. I think everyone is ready to go back home. So many people have been getting sick and going to the doctor lately. The whole not sleeping, eating shitty food thing has caught up with them I guess. I, on the other hand, feel just fine except for that hole in my elbow...don't ask...long story. Funnily enough, not involving a bit of alcohol. Sigh. So goes my life.
I have, admittedly, spent way too much time in the computer lab lately. I've been hanging out in the chat rooms. It amuses me. Plus, the labs are air-conditioned. LoL. I'd really rather hang with people online then the people who are here in front of me. Actually I think I've created some kind of perverted game. I see how long it takes for me to completely annoy the person who IMs me. Lots of times, it doesn't take long. I'm just my normal, ray-of-sunshine self and that seems to bug everyone. Oh well. I have an abrasive personality :-) tee hee. It's just wrong that I get so much pleasure out of making people hate me. Even if they're people I don't know and will never meet. Such power I wield. Muahahahahahahahaha.
Ugh. I still believe that somewhere on this planet lurk the people who are "My People." I know they're not in the mid-west where I live and now I know they're also not in California or Louisiana. Where to try next? Maybe Shara's right and I should just go find a different planet to live on.

Monday August 4th, 2003

I think at this point, my mind and spirit are back in Oshkosh and my body is just here in Montpellier, going through the motions of life. My heart isn't in it. Not that I was ever totally "gung-ho" about this whole thing. With the beginning of the new month, my brain just automatically goes to closing processes and then I just start thinking about work and how I should be there. I've also been obsessing nonstop about moving and my furniture situation. At first, I tried to enjoy being here and not think about all the crap that awaits me back at home. But, having failed miserably at that, I resort to living physically in one place while really being somewhere else. Not that anyone has taken any notice. I've contentedly taken my place once again as the outcast loner. I started the trip as such and have sucessfully done the whole 360 to end up as such. Aaah, life is so predictable.
Being here with very little to accomplish has give me WAY too much time to think. Not about anything in particular, although a few subjects did have a way of reappearing quite regularly. This is why I try to keep myself (insanely) busy. I don't like having the time to ponder things. It's just destructive. But, having this time, it seems like it's unavoidable that I'll go back to Oshkosh a slightly different person. It is not France that changed me. Don't be tricked into thinking that. It was my overzealous thought process that brought some things to my attention. Not to mention that I'm going back to a completely different life. A new house, a new roommate, a different look on my personal/romantic (if you want to call it that) life. I'm not really sure what to make of it all. In some ways these 5 weeks away were probably a good thing. Then again, I'm not sure my life was too bad in the first place. Oh well. Too late now.
I'm just looking forward to getting on that airplane on Friday afternoon, flying across the ocean, bumming around Atlanta for the night and then flying back to Milwaukee Saturday morning where I'll be met by David, who will drive me back to Oshkosh and in a way, back where and with whom I belong for the time being. There is no way I will ever go on any kind of "organized" - and I use that word lightly - trip or study thing such as this. Next time I travel, it will be me and perhaps one person who I can stand to be around for extended periods of time. This whole idea of being around strangers ALL THE TIME for FIVE WEEKS and just having to deal with them is not cool. Traveling alone seems like a much better option for me. I'm still just really pissed off that I spent over $6,000 to come here and be bored and annoyed by people in a crappy dorm with no laundry facilities in a horrible location and above all, not learn one thing of any use. Terribly disappointing. Tant pis. I've learned my lesson I guess. Now I can look forward to going home and paying for this "fun" for the next few months.

Wednesday July 30th, 2003

Who knew doing absolutely nothing could be so fulfilling. For the last few days now, I've gone to class, ate lunch, hung out here at the lab for a while and then gone back to the dorm and sat in my room reading or sleeping. And it's been good. Screw socializing. People suck. For the last few days people have been partying and staying up late drinking and such. Blargh. No thanks.
Other than the fact that I'm always tired, nothing much has been going on. Although I could be wrong. I'm sure lots of wonderful events have taken place, but since I wasn't out and about to see them, there's no way that I could recount them to you. Tee hee.
We're at the home stretch now and supposedly I'm now going to realize that there's only a week or so left until we leave and suddenly be racked with panic that I haven't experience all I needed to. Yeah, right. I don't think I'll need to experience any more Turkish toilets or scary food with its eyes still on it. I also don't think I'll miss doing my laundry in the sink that doesn't plug closed. I won't miss the incredibly hot nights with no fan. I won't miss the loud, obnoxious people, I won't miss the rude French people.
Goodness, you'd think there'd be maybe one thing I'd miss, huh? I think I will, in fact, miss the pain au chocolat in the morning as well as the fact that I can lay around here doing nothing, whereas when I return home, I'll be running around like a chicken with its head chopped off for a week. My life sucks.

Monday July 28nd, 2003

This is directed to certain people who had the (mis)fortune to view this site and seemed to not like it too much:
Apparently France is not a free country. Or apparently people are not allowed to express themselves freely here. Or maybe it's just a New Orleans thing. Not being from UNO, I guess that excludes me from that, eh? The internet is a huge, vast area in which ideas and views are shared and communicated. If people can post pictures of midgets screwing horses, I sure as hell can post my thoughts on this program. But to make it seem like I care what the directors of the program think, you'll notice that I added that nice little disclaimer to the front page.
Applause, applause.
With that bull out of the way, let's get back to trashing the program. LoL. In all honesty, that's not at all what I had intented to do. I created this site in order to keep in touch with people back home. This quasi-journal would allow them to, in some way, experience this with me. I also didn't expect this whole experience to be what it has turned out to be. But let's not linger over that issue. This site is not meant to be some great academic project. Nor is it meant to promote UNO's "Glories of France" program (good thing, huh...) It is meant for friends and family back in WI and throughout the US. As the program winds down, it will also be a place where other participants can give their reaction to things and where people can find pictures of this place.
This trip has not been all fun and games. There would be no reason to give everyone the impression that it has been. Why lie? This particular section of this site is my own personal journal. It expresses my opinions and there's nothing anyone can do to change those opinions. If there are people I don't like who are on this trip and I feel like bitching about them, I will. I think it is much healthier to have some kind of outlet for these kind of feelings. I know for a fact that there are many others who feel the way I do about some things. The fact that I have somewhere PUBLIC in which to rant shouldn't be an issue. If you didn't want me saying this, you should have not created situations about which I would bitch.
Ok enough of that. I don't need to justify myself to those kind of people. In 2 weeks we'll be gone and I won't see y'all again. I won't miss you...
Now back to the real world...
Catherine visited this weekend and I think the less said about that, the better. Not that it was bad...We did get out to Collioure though, so I'm happy about that. Unfortunately it rained most of the day. Tant pis. We also saw a movie and I showed her the sights here in Montpellier. That's about it. Other than that we just hunted for food and sat around. Typical. The end is in sight. Only a couple weeks and it'll be back to normal. Looking forward to moving and shopping for furniture. Ugh.

Tuesday July 22nd, 2003

I found a computer in the school's lab that has Yahoo! Messenger on it. Now I'll just have to remember which one it is and always sit there. Tee hee. Now I can save my money and chat all night long too! LoL. Just kidding. I have better things to do with my time. Like sleep. I swear I got about 3 hours of sleep last night - at the most. It was sooooo hot. It's really hard to fall asleep with cicadas chirping and the sweat pouring down your body. I'd sleep naked and all, but who knows what kind of creatures would create some kind of residence in certain areas of my body if they're weren't closely guarded. Ewwwww. In any case, I'm going to be getting some food this afternoon and hopefully catching a bit of a nap also.
Midterms were today. They weren't too bad. Pretty simple actually. But that's definately a good thing. I wouldn't want to ruin my 4.0 French GPA because I went to France...that would be ironic...funny, but slightly annoying.
So, nothing else really earthshaking to report. Just basically hanging out at this point. No travel plans to worry about and nothing I really have to get done. Finding food and eating is incidential. Classes are no problem. My vacation has begun.

Monday July 21st, 2003

Insanity. Udder insanity. It seems to follow me around like a little lost puppy.
We went to Paris again this past weekend. We were just so thrilled to have a room with air conditioning that we spent the majority of the weekend sleeping in the hotel. Yeah, yeah, I know. What about all the great cultural experiences we missed...whatever. I'd already been there and gone to all the tourist traps. The Eiffel Tower is not suddenly going to get twice as big and be more interesting. Although we did get stuck in a rut. 2 nights in a row we just bought beer and ice cream and sat on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower and watched it sparkle on the hour. That was thrilling.
We also went up in this huge hot air ballon and got the bird's eye view of Paris. That was pretty cool. Other than that, we were content to do the French thing of sitting at a café watching people walk by. And sleep. Lots of sleep. And shopping. I bought nothing, being the poor college student that I am. I was just Shara's companion while we were appalled by what the French call "fashion." Seriously, how can people wear those kinds of things and still take themselves so seriously? Everywhere you look is a severe fashion faux pas and the French seem to pride themselves on it.
Of course, I, being the fashion expert that I am, have the authority to pass this kind of judgement.
Bien sur...
This week should be all fun and games again. Tonight we have some kind of guest reader followed by a wine and cheese reception. Hé, ça c'est très français, n'est-ce pas? Tuesday is the beach bus (on which I will not be) and then some big red beans and rice dinner thingy. That's a New Orleans thing I guess...bof. Wednesday is a field trip to Avignon. That papal city where the bridge stops in the middle of the river. Makes perfect sense to me. The religious leaders would get drunk on the sacremental wine and then wander off the end of the bridge into the river and drown. Seems appropriate... Aaaahhhh!!! The blasphemy!!!
Tee hee hee.
Catherine should be arriving here some time on Thursday, although I have not yet heard from her. I suppose I'll call them again this evening. Most everyone else is going on the optional weekend excursion, so I expect this weekend with her to be relatively uneventful. I'm hoping to maybe hop a train to Collioure so I can show her the wonders of the most beautiful city on the planet. Only 10€80 one way. That's très bon marché. Much better than the 83€-something for Paris. Spent too much poor...
And now, some more riveting social commentary from Martha:Ok, it's not like I intentionally go into new things to see how long it will take before pretty much everyone hates me and I'm ostrasized from the group. This kind of thing really happens naturally. I have that kind of personality. This past weekend added to the list of people who don't talk to me, and more importantly (or not) talk about me behind my back. I truly feel sorry for them. Not because they no longer want to be in my presence (and that's a shame), but because they have nothing better to do than talk crap about me. Get a life. Grow up. I don't waste my time trashing people or worrying about what they think about me. If they don't like me, fine. That's really not my problem.
But this is not my point. I seem to be surrounded by petty people who find a creepy kind of pleasure in talking crap on a regular basis. I, for one, want no part in this. I don't want to hear it and I don't want to be asked about it later by someone else, possibly the person who was being trashed. So I've flat out told everyone that I will have no part in this continous battle of "He said, she said." We are not in France to have stupid arguments and try to one-up each other in a battle of wits. Trust me, if we were, I'd win anyways ;-)
This ends the social commentary. Thank you for your attention.

Tuesday July 15th, 2003

Hmmmm. Ever see those movies where they show the lovely brochure of some great vacation spot, and then when they get there, it's nothing like the brochure and it absolutely SUCKS? Not that I'm saying that I'm having that kind of experience...but...let's make a list of bad things that have happened so far:
Laundry: There are 3 washers and 1 dryer in the basement of the dorm. 2 of the washers don't work. Not that it would matter anyways, since you can fit about 2 shirts into the teeny tiny things. The dryer (the ONLY dryer), does not function at all. So, they suggest getting woolite type detergent and doing your wash by hand in the sink in you room. A few problems with that:1) My sink's drain does not go down to plug it. I tried it and it got stuck closed.2) I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to that laundry soap. I've been itching continously...3) The clothes don't dry overnight, no matter how dry they claim the climate is. It does NOT suck the water out of the clothes. Total bull. So you have clothes laying around the room all the time and by the time they're dry, you have ten million other things to wash and the cycle starts over again.So today we take a pilgrimage to the laudromat.
Food:There's a reason that people starting living in urban areas and hunting and gathering lifestyle kind of lost popularity. It's obnoxious spending every waking hour looking for food and always wondering where your next meal is going to come from. The dorm in which we live is in no way "centrally located." One must walk at least 5 blocks to get to any place with food, and that place is a tiny pizza joint. Centre Ville is more than a mile away and the closest supermarket is almost that far too. Buses run pretty consistently, but they stop at 8:30PM. This French idea of eating late and spending 4 hours on a meal doesn't work out too well when you have time restraints. It's not that we WANT to be rude Americans. We just don't want to have to walk a mile back to the dorm at 10PM.
And what is up with the rock hard bread and the creepy love of ham?
Bathrooms:Do French people collect toilet seats, because there never seem to be any on their toilets. That's just WEIRD.
OK, enough for now. I have better things to be doing than complaining. Like doing laundry or hunting for dinner...

Thursday July 10th, 2003

It's not that I'm being anti-social. Really, I'm trying very hard NOT to do that. I'd just rather hang out in the computer lab for 2 or 3 hours a day instead of being outside in the sun or in the (scary) dorm room where it's hot. It's a perfectly logical choice. Now if only everyone else would leave, I'd be happy. I don't want to mess with the computers and my camera when there are lots of other people here. Might look a little suspcious. I don't know what kind of security or freedom the students have with the computers here. They don't even have printers here, so probably not too much, eh?

Wednesday July 9th, 2003

Well the computer labs at the university are open, but they're not too great considering the password we were given didn't work so I just stole a computer that was already logged in. Heh, heh. It works, right? We've been given a lot of misinformation thus far. Sometimes it makes us wonder if these "guides" really have any idea what they're doing...
We went to the beach yesterday. It was ok, but nothing like Collioure. I'd like to possibly go there at some point. Maybe when Catherine comes. We're going to check out the train schedules and prices this afternoon and make some Italy plans. Sweet. In any case, things are still enjoyable despite the ignorance of the organizers. 5 weeks is really kind of a long time, but it seems to be going pretty slow, which is very cool. I have a lot more that I want to do before I have to leave. I'm getting pretty good at these keyboards too. Peut etre c'est plus facile d'écrire en francais quand on a une ordinateur francaise. Nope, guess not. LoL. I still plan to get to the café again to use chat access. And download/upload pictures. Look for me there around 2 or 3 PM sometime. Woo!

Monday July 7th, 2003

Well, I've found an internet cafe, so guess where I'll be spending a lot of nights (and euros.) LoL. These keyboards will take some getting used to, but it's been fun...I don't think the camera/photo album deal is going to work, but I'll still give it a shot next time I come in here. It's very reasonable - .90 euros/1/2 hr. So, this is limited, but check back...lots more to come. I'm having tons of fun so far. Woo! (It took me like a minute to find that exclamation point...) It's great!