I Did It (Like I Knew I Would)

I call myself the “5 Second Psychic” for a reason. Almost every day for no particular reason, I will think something in my head, or say something, and then five seconds later, somebody will say what I had thought or say something that I had said. It is always amusing, but rather worthless. I mean, what’s the point of having the foresight of five seconds? You can’t save anybody’s life or do a full out prediction, you just fall into predicting the future. I hope that someday I can exercise my psychic muscle so that maybe by the time I die, I can proudly call myself the “5 Minute Psychic” but, that’s probably too much of a stretch. Anyway, last night I was watching 30 Rock, and said, “Why don’t they follow up on the adoption plot for Liz Lemon’s character?” Five seconds later, one of the character’s asked Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, “How is the adoption process going?” I smiled, unsurprised and finished the episode. It wasn’t as funny as normal, which was sad, but the episode of Kath & Kim that followed was painful in the extreme. I had thought that the first episode was bad, but this was just tasteless and an assault on humor, by lacking it. Just as the show was improving and making me laugh out loud, they pull this crap. DAMN YOU, NBC!

At 9am this morning, my rude and thoughtless neighbors above decided to continue their remodeling…on a Saturday morning. I have never been witness to such rudeness — well not until later that evening. Anyway, I wasn’t able to sleep in as I had previously wanted to because their hammers, saws, blowtorches, and what sounded like prancing horses, wouldn’t let me.

For breakfast this morning (much too early into my morning), I had a tasty bowl of Cheerios in my fancy new Japanese bowl, which I dearly love. Nothing tastes better than a whole grain cereal in an artfully hand-painted bowl.

After my breakfast, I decided that it was time to take myself out on the walk I had told you about yesterday: from my apartment all the way across the city to the Eiffel Tower. I google mapped it, and it was going to be a longer walk than I had anticipated. I thought it was probably 3 miles, but it was 7.4 kilometers, which is about 4.6 miles. Oh well, I thought, grabbed my coat, skipped down the stairs, crossed the street, looked at the sky, recrossed the street, pranced back up the stairs, and jumped into my closet for my umbrella. The sky was an angry black color, and it was surely preparing to drop buckets of water on France. Oh, here’s a map of exactly where I walked today:

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Instead, it refused to rain whatsoever, just get a lighter color, even though the sun never shone, so, I couldn’t put my hands in my pocket for the entire walk — I had to carry that stupid umbrella.

I was soon on the first island, and very turned around. “I must be an idiot,” I thought to myself, “getting lost on an island…” Before long, I found the river again, I mean, it is an island, there aren’t too many places a river could be. I passed by the ice cream store, but was really in no mood for ice cream, it was too chilly and I had just brushed my teeth.

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Soon, I was on the next island, the bigger one, where Notre Dame is. I sat in the little park for a while, after glaring at the free wireless Internet sign, and checked my email and used the GPS feature on my iPod. It was pretty cool. I found a piece of of dried bread on a bench, so, I broke it into manageable pieces and tossed it to the birds, they loved me. Then, a retarded kid had to run by, stamp her feet at the birds, and they all flew away. I glared at the brat and she ran away. My birds were back soon enough, but I was out of bread, so, they lost interest.

As I walked by the church, there was an old man who was holding his hand up in the air with a piece of bread in it. Realizing what was about to happen, I whipped out my camera as finches swarmed to the bread and hovered around it. It was rather magical looking. If it had been four hundred years earlier, I would have screamed, “WITCH! He enchants the birds and defies our Lord!” then watched him burn like Joan of Arc, but we’re all much wiser now. As soon as I took a picture, the other amateurs hauled out their monster cameras and ruined the moment with their irritating shutter clicks. Annoyed I walked away thinking that it was exactly like the time I had found Donald Trump in New York City.

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I continued to walk along the island where there was a hobo with a whole baguette he had sat down and petted the birds as they happily munched on the day old bread. He really liked his birds, petting them made him smile, and me smile, it made him look less dirty and homeless.

Once off the island, I continued along the road near the river and came across a long line of street vendors. They each had their own green metal box, attached to the railing, selling books, postcards, trinkets, anything you could want. It reminded me of the vendors that sell used books in Central Park along 5th Avenue. I also felt like I was in Bedknobs & Broomsticks searching through history’s treasures, but nobody was singing, dancing, or playing kettle drums, so I abstained from any of those activities.

I loved the old postcards, some were from the 1800s, but they were all written on, none of them were blank, so, I passed them up. I loved the way their cursive looked, nobody has handwriting that looks like that anymore. It is beautifully loopy and thin, maybe it is the pen, but nowadays, nobody puts too much work into their penmanship, and that saddens me, because my handwriting is so ugly in comparison.

There was a book about Edith Piaf that I already regret not buying, but they only accepted cash, and, again, I had no cash! I need to remember to go to the ATM more often, but, it is so far away!

I came along the Louvre as I walked along, who knew it was so close to the river? I didn’t, and I feel that I should, but, whatever. It is massive, outside and in.

Before long, I came across the bridge Pont Alexandre III, a bridge I have been meaning to find for ages now. A long time ago, I saw a picture of a statue on this bridge that truly inspired and impressed me. The picture was taken in such a way that the statue felt as if it were about to come to life at any moment and fly over Paris, taking you with it, à la Peter Pan. Ever since then, I’ve always liked to take pictures of statues in ways that make them seem alive, not just rock carvings. I was very excited to finally see the statue, it was much bigger than I had anticipated, which made it difficult to capture the image I wanted. I think I managed it, but it doesn’t compare to the original photo in my mind.

There was a couple on the bridge who wanted me to take their picture, and then they offered to take my picture. I thought that was very nice, for some reason, people are always asking me to take their picture, but they never volunteer to do the same for me, which I would usually appreciate. So, I was rather happy with their kindness.

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After that, it was just a little while until I finally came to the Eiffel Tower. I DID IT! I wasn’t even tired, which surprised me. In the past, a mild jaunt down the street would have wiped me out. I’m not fat, I’m just lazy, but maybe, somehow, all the walking I do in Paris has transformed me and I’m not as unhealthy as I think I am. After I stood, basking in my own glory, I took myself down to the Japanese store to buy myself a reward for my amazing show of health. Just because I’m healthy doesn’t me I’m not materialistic.

I had a really hard time picking the lucky cat to add to my collection…they were all so adorable! I finally decided on the calico one because it was just a tad cuter than the other one, but I have no doubt that I will be back for that one soon! There are eight figurines in total in this particular series, but the store only has two, so, I hope they have others very soon.

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As I made my way to the counter, I saw a bowl that I just had to have. It reminded me of an art project we had to do in elementary school. We took rulers and drew random lines over a piece of paper, then, in each shape we had made, we had to fill in with a different pattern. Then, we cut out the paper in the shape of an animal. I still have trouble understanding the point, but this bowl was awesome, so I grabbed it.

I experienced even more perfect Japanese customer service here. There are assistants who walk around the store observing what you pick up, then dashing into the backroom to grab the same thing in a box or wrap one for you, so that when you get to the counter, all of your purchases are ready and wrapped up for you. It’s super convenient, even if it is a bit stalkerish and creepy.

With my new bowl and cat safely in a bag, I delightedly hopped on the RER. I love that stupid train now. It was so hard to figure out, but now that I get it, I don’t know why I don’t use it more often, I mean, it’s more comfortable than the Metro, and faster. Sinking into my plush oversized chair, I opened the Kindle application on my iPod and continued reading my biography on Julia Child. I love this Kindle thing, it is the greatest innovation since sliced bread, even though I don’t like that processed precut bread at all, it has way too many preservatives.

Anyway, I read something Julia said about the test that she had taken at the Cordon Bleu (the same test that I had taken the day before) and was shocked to hear how similar our opinion of the thing had been. She said, “The exam itself sorely disappointed me, for it was superficial and made no reference to the complicated procedures and theories I had practiced with zeal.” I sat in reverent silence after reading this, and then smiled. We must be related.

When I got home, I had an email from mother filled with flight details. She had found a very affordable ticket to Nice, so next weekend, I’m going to go and burn out the stresses of my exams with the renowned sun of the South of France. I’m really very excited, and even if I prefer the culture in the North, I love the enormous and unbelievable beauty that abounds in the South.

My flight leaves from Paris around noon on Saturday, then I’ll be there until Monday evening. I hope to stay in Villefranche-sur-Mer, the prettiest village I’ve ever been to, and work on my tan. (Even if it will only be in the 60s!) I can’t wait to climb those horrid stairs to the spice market of Eze again to replenish my exhausted supply, see the lapis lazuli of the Mediterranean sea again, and just generally be lazy.

I will admit I’m leery of the transportation, though. The trains are very confusing, maybe they won’t be now, but I doubt it, and airports are all a demonic labyrinth waiting to ensnare you and make you miss your flight. So, once I get there, I’ll be much happier than getting there!

I tried to go to sleep, but those horrible neighbors I have upstairs have thrown themselves a party. They are banging and dancing and dropping boxes and chairs and turning the bass up louder and louder and louder. They had a decent taste in music and I knew all of the songs aside from maybe two, so that was fun, until it was three o’clock in the morning and they were still at it. I’m not one to complain about things such as this, but when my chandeliers are rocking and my bed is vibrating, I begin to get annoyed.

I threw the window open, looked up, and saw a bunch of people screaming into the night sky. When they saw me looking at them the jubilantly screamed at me. I gave them the universal “screw you” face and slammed the windows shut. Their screaming had roused the hobos who now decided it would be a good idea to scream back at them. It was just so loud.

I overdosed on Nyquil to put myself to sleep and threw myself into my rocking bed. Before I did fall asleep though, I watched this bird and giggled insanely:

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