We spent the week swimming, barbequing, diving off cliffs, drinking beer (well, not the kids), playing card games, water fights, and lying in the sun.
We keep saying we will do it again, now with spouses and kids in tow, but it isn't easy to find a time that everyone can get together.
More specifically, I was woken up at 9 am on Sunday morning because of our upstairs neighbor was vacuuming. Which he must do once a week on Sunday mornings.
He used to wait until 11 or so, but it's been getting earlier and earlier. 10:30, 10, now 9.
As I wake up at 5:41 Monday through Friday (I always do that, set my alarm for a minute later, it just feels so much later than getting up at 5:40) and Saturdays I am usually up by 8 to go do my errands, putain! on Sunday I would like to sleep a bit later.
I stormed up there, in my slippers, pj shorts and tank top with my hair a mess (the better to get the "I was sleeping idiot" message across.)
Knocked on his door, nothing.
Rang the bell, waited a bit, and then he opened the door.
I (rather politely) asked if it was them vacuuming (as by some aural trick it could be the people next to us) and he said yes.
I asked if he could please not vacuum at 9 am on Sunday mornings, as we live right below but please wait until 10:30 or 11.
He said "I will try."
I thanked him and left.
But then, thinking about it, what's up with this "I will try" stuff?
You don't have to "try" to not vacuum, you just have to "not".
It's not like "Can you cure cancer?"
response: "I will try."
What, does he have uncontrollable urges to vacuum? He's a man for godsake. They never get uncontrollable urges to clean. It's more like their wife says "Clean the floor now buster".
Anyway, apart from the early morning vacuuming, they are pretty good upstairs neighbors. Not like the ones below us, with whom we got in a screaming match a few weeks ago. (But that is a post for another day, as I am still trying to decrabbify.)
Poll: What time, in your opinion, is acceptable to start vacuuming on a Sunday morning when you live in an apartment building?
I fully credit military school for honing my ability to sleep anytime, anywhere.
Seriously, I firmly believe there is nothing quite as effective as the military for teaching you how to sleep in absolutely any conditions.
In a muddy pit with rifle rounds going off nearby and got 30 minutes until the next exercise? Might as well nap a little bit.
At VMI, we didn't have regular beds, but rather wooden "racks" or frames that we would fold up every morning and put against the wall, then put down again at night. Our mattress or "hays" we would roll up and secure with straps so that they stayed rolled, then folded up our blankets on top of the rolled up hays, and put the pillows on top. Otherwise, there was pretty much zero room to move around when all the racks were down.
The first year, or Rat Year, you couldn't have your rack down (i.e. couldn't sleep) between 7 am and 11 pm.
However, as necessity breeds invention, I quickly found that I could sleep quite effectively on the floor under my desk so as not to be seen through the window in our door if an upperclassman walked by, otherwise I would get in trouble.
Teachers had full right to make any cadet, even upperclassmen, caught sleeping in class do push-ups. Several times as I was nodding off in class I heard a "Smith! I don't want to have to make a girl do push-ups!" which brought me quickly into full-alert. We were told to go stand in the back of the classroom if we were tired.
As a third classman (sophomore) one of the best things was being able to put your rack down after noon. So you could sleep if you didn't have any classes.
There were all sorts of terms for napping- "The Rack Monster got me." "I'm going to go put in a little hay time." "My rack is calling me." "Formation in my rack in 5 minutes, uniform pjs." etc.
I could nap even with announcements booming through barracks every ten minutes, upperclassmen yelling at some poor rat in the stairwell, you name it, I could sleep.
This ability is quite useful now. I can sleep on just about any surface. Seriously.
Hard beds, soft beds, water beds, mattress with a big sag in the middle, couches, tile floor, grass, sand, rocks, car, plane, train, back of a motorcycle, curled up under my desk, in the closet, sitting, you name it.
The only thing I probably couldn't sleep on is a bed of nails, but I could give it a shot.
Whenever we go to San Remo, Italy, Alain always complains about the beds- really old mattresses that have huge sags in the middle. Not me. I sleep like a rock.
I have been sick with a cold lately, so took the opportunity yesterday to get some major sleeping in. Woke up about 8:30, went to buy the groceries, put them away, ate some breakfast, had my morning nap from 11 till about 1 when Alain woke me up to ask if I wanted some lunch. Mumble no!
Had my early afternoon nap from that moment until about 2:30 when I rolled out of bed, ate a little something, got bored of watching Alain's Jean Claude Van Damme movie, took my late afternoon nap from 4 to 6, then we had our pizza and a movie night, and went to bed about 9. Excellent!
I have a great idea and would patent it if I could.
A machine that you hook up to electrodes on your brain, then when you sleep you could store "sleep credits". For example, if you slept for 10 hours, you could say you wanted to use 8 of those hours as rest for that night, and then keep the extra 2 hours as sleep credits for another time. You could save these sleep credits, and then when you are tired from traveling or because your new baby kept waking you up, then you would hook yourself back up to the machine, choose how many of your sleep credits you wanted to use, and ZAP! instant feeling as if you just got 8 hours of sleep for example.
I think it is a great idea.
Too bad I have absolutely no idea of how to implement it.
And no, not just one per day. Two.
Not one in the morning and then changes into a second one when the first is sweaty.
No, no my friends.
I'm not feeling very French.
Perhaps after the ceremony I will, and voting in the next election (let's hope my papers are in order before that).
So maybe one day I will feel like a French citizen, but I doubt I will ever feel like a FRENCHWOMAN.
I can just imagine a separate certificate, administered by a bunch of snooty Parisiennes after an Inquisition-like trial.
1) Can you fold this 90 cm by 90 cm piece of silk in 36 different ways in 5 minutes?
2) Can you smoke a cigarette, hold on to your tiny dog's leash, give someone le bise, send text messages, and drink an espresso at the same time while looking chic?
3) When you throw a dinner party for eight people, do you care more about how the food and table look than how the food tastes?
4) Would you spend on lingerie more or less than half a month's rent?
5) French women don't get (pick one) a) fat b) emotional c) disheveled d) unaccessorized.
(For the Frenchman test, the guys will have to help me out, as I will never be a Frenchman, and can't deduce anything from observing Alain. I'm not really sure he is French, despite what his passport, birth certificate, ID card, and Justificatif de Nationalité Française say).
Did a little spring cleaning this morning, and I even got Alain to broom the floor. That's what he calls it. I can't break him of it.
He either says "I'm going to pass the broom" or "I'm brooming", obviously derivations from the french of "passer le balai' or the verb "balayer".
For awhile I tried to get him to use "sweep" but then he started calling it a sweeper, so faced with the choice between broom used as a verb and sweep used as a noun, I decided to go with brooming.
Let's conjugate, shall we?
I am brooming
I was brooming
I will broom
This is always quite a production in our household. I have to run around like crazy, getting everything off the floor before he gets to that room. Then he takes the vacuum, but has the tendency to vacuum up stuff I don't want vacuumed up. Like stuff on top of tables. If he ever vacuums up my jewelry, I will kill him.
(like the time he used our teak salad bowl wedding present as a cutting board for a watermelon.)
So this brooming operation took about an hour.
After which we had a salad lunch, then he left on his motorcycle to go to his parent's house in order to wash and grease his motorcycle, while I stayed home, watched my TV series, sewed, and ate chocolate.
Hey, to each their own.
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