Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Home, Sweet Home
So lovely to be home! The flight was long, and late---only by an hour or so---but a movie I really wanted to see was showing: Queen with Helen Mirren. Great flick! Ms. Mirren did a marvelous portrayal of Queen Elizabeth---in my opinion, the Academy Award for best actress is going to be a horse race between her role in this film, and Meryl Streep for The Devil Wore Prada. By the way, the Paris scene in Devil was filmed one block from our apartment. If we'd been in residence, we probably could've leaned out the window to watch. The scene I'm referring to is, of course, the romantic evening walk with Notre Dame in the background. Devil was a great movie, too.
Luckily, for a long flight, I had one book to finish (Red Gold by Alan Furst) and a second book to start: The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Great books both of them. Of course, I'm supposed to be reading Plum Bun for the book club, and I just don't want to read it!! So there!
What are the great things about being home? Well, let's see: my own pillow, my own bed, my own chair (Do I sound like Goldilocks?) my own shower with abundant hot water, and the water itself. The Paris water is SO HARD! My hair doesn't react well at all. Pretty much, it is one bad hair day after another. Luckily, we came home before I decided the only possible solution was to shave my head. The American keyboard---standard QWERTY format---cheered me significantly. Except, guess what? Three weeks is just enough time to form new habits, or so they say. I can confirm this. I spent much of the day yesterday backspacing to change q's to a's. Sigh.
And of course, the best thing about coming home is America. Truly the most wonderful country in the world. The drive from Dulles Airport to Baltimore is so much lovelier than the drive from center city Paris to Charles DeGaulle airport. Our industrial areas are just easier on the eyes. Or is it just the greater Washington area?
Everything was fine at home. We stopped for a hamburger on the way from the airport, so we just walked in the house, began unpacking, called family to report safe arrival, took a shower as soon as the water was hot, checked out the web world and our directDesk world, and went sound asleep by 7:00 pm. Of course, my wake up in Paris was at 11:00 pm Baltimore time. So after 20 hours, sleep was critially important.
I was vaguely aware of the rain all night, and it was still raining at 5:00 in the morning. Starbucks in the coffee pot. Yippee! There are Starbucks in Paris now---and they are always busy---but I've never even had the urge. Ditto for McDonald's. I suppose if I were very homesick, I could eat at McDonalds or Subway, have coffee at Starbucks, and dessert at Ben and Jerry's! Wonder how that would feel?
And I did go to the gym on Monday morning! Keeping in mind my age and fatigue level, I only did 33 minutes on the treadmill. My currect fitness goal is to do my own half marathon (on the treadmill by myself) by the end of April. There are several "train for a half marathon" programs on the web. One of my favorite blog writers (www.theshrinkingknitter.blogspot.com) is actually doing a helf marathon. So I'm unoffically training along with her. This morning was even better: 45 minutes, with the "Hill" settings, and all of it at greater than 4.0 miles per hour.
Work is fine. We continue to grow slowly, and I'm settling back in the groove. Since we are out-of-town this weekend, I'm making the official start of the new year as Monday, January 15th.
Will I have the energy to play in The Threadmill tonight? I hope so----lots of ideas ready to try! The Quick Cam isn't working yet. I can connect standalone, but when I try to make or answer a call, I have no video or audio feed. And my father took his computer into for a checkup. Neither Doug nor I was able to find anything wrong---we both checked for Spyware and Adware and viruses---but the system just labors over every task. I'm anxious to hear what they find. And maybe Dad will get DSL before my next visit. Late February or early March? Let's see what the winter brings.
Today it is sunny but cooler....lovely for January. This post is too long. Life will, however, now go back to normal and interesting days will not be so common.