What is the way out? How do you start along this way if you don’t have motivation to start with? I’ve found that the best way out of a rut is with the smallest step possible.
I always seem to have a laundry list of self-fixes, only rivaled in length by my dependably neglected to do list. But wallowing in self-criticism is about as fun as it is effective (read: not).
On that note, belated November resolutions:
What about just turning around and taking a different route?
Been back in the States for almost a month. Only thing that’s held over from my time in Europe is the cold I picked up in Geneva. Chronic cough is here to stay.
Sometime when I wasn’t really paying attention, school and activities and real life have picked up. September’s already half-over. Sneaky bastard.
Back on campus, classes start tomorrow. I guess this is the last post in the Summer ’11 category.
Ten page paper. Check. Summer course. Check. Five weeks in Paris. Check.
Sadly, today was my last full day in Paris. Almost went to Versailles again, but since I’ve already seen the gardens and since the weather today was equally bad, I decided to stay in Paris and check as many remaining things off my list as possible:
Pretty successful solo day, if I say so myself. Now, doing a few last loads of laundry, cooking as much of my food as possible for dinner, and going out with my class one last time.
Tomorrow, I might try to get to the Centre Pompidou and Luxembourg Gardens if I have time. Packing in the morning, hopefully getting my key deposit back, then catching a 5 PM train to Saarbrücken. Spending the evening there, heading to Luxembourg on Saturday, and then Munich on Sunday, where I’ll spend the rest of the week. Tentatively arriving in Geneva on Friday night, in time for Geneva day on the 13th. Then chilling there until the 18th, when I finally fly back to the US! Spending a day or two in the city, and then heading back to campus (?!?!?!?!).
Together, these observations/random thoughts prompted even more contemplation than usual about productivity, potential and achievement, constraints.
How to get things done? Simply create a situation in which the task is the most compelling alternative. Preferably not by relying on urgency.
I actually took a bunch of pictures of almost all of these things, but the sheer volume is just too overwhelming to sort through immediately.
On the calendar for tomorrow: “waking up early” (the chronic lie I tell myself…) to work on my paper, then heading to our last real class. There are two Starbucks right outside our transfer station — as much as I hate the idea of buying Starbucks here (although since I’m not drinking coffee anymore, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on some great Parisian cafe as badly), maybe the guarantee of a chai latte will tempt me out of bed and into a productive state…
The most exercise I’ve gotten lately: running across several intersections from Quick Burger to catch the last metro, clutching my burger and soft serve for dear life. Caramel praline softy — I think I’m in love.
Finally, finally made it to the Eiffel Tower tonight — and didn’t even get that close. Just sat on the grass in the Parc du Champs Mars with some friends and wine. The tower is beautifully illuminated, and sparkles on the hour. There was a surprisingly large crowd there, just sitting in circles and drinking and hanging out.
Also attempted to go to Notre Dame today, although my schedule got constantly revised. While I did make it there, I didn’t get to do the things I planned. Initially, I was going to go to the Sunday mass, but I got caught up working on my paper. I then decided that I would try to climb the tower for sunset (which isn’t until 9:30 PM) and catch the Night Show that they screen inside the building. But after getting delayed for almost half an hour by a metro that didn’t come, I made it to Notre Dame around 9 — enough time to catch the sunset from the plaza in front of Notre Dame, but not enough to wait in line and climb up to the top. And then the Night Show wasn’t even happening due to technical difficulties. Despite all the unrealized plans, though, did enjoy a nice dinner of bread and cheese just observing the facade and the crowd. Hopefully I can make a Sunday mass (or at least the Vespers) and climb the tower for sunset tomorrow night — the tower is only open late enough for sunset on the weekends, so tomorrow is my last chance.
Earlier in the day, I ended up at the Bibliotheque du Centre Pompidou, where I worked on my paper for a few hours. We first tried to go to the Truffault library, which is in the crazy mall (?), except it wasn’t open (?), although the front desk was staffed by two guys (?) (I don’t understand France). We didn’t go into the museum or to the restaurant at the top at the Centre Pompidou, but even walking to the library gave a good feel for the space. The building is kind of crazy — at first glance, it looks like it’s under construction, with exposed pipes and scaffolding-esque structures completely covering the facade. The library was super productive — nice desk, high ceilings, big windows, outlets, and most importantly, no wifi access on our floor. I feel like I finally solidified my premise, and took some notes for close analysis for some scenes. Still have yet to really start writing, though.
To start my day off back at Cite U, I decided that I wanted to do some cooking. I pan fried two large chicken breasts, which is really equivalent to portions for six meals or snacks. Rubbed with salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme — last time, had paprika, which seems to be key. I also was craving eggplant and fried food, so I decided to fry some eggplant slices. No breadcrumbs, so ended up with chicken-fried eggplant — coated with egg and dredged in flour, then fried in a pan with a good amount of oil. Both were yum, and now I have lots of ready-to-eat leftovers in the fridge. Beats eating eggs for every meal.
Also, not sure if it’s now just open to everyone and I hadn’t tried to get an invite directly from Spotify yet, or what, but I finally got a Spotify account. Seems cool so far, but I wish they had more lists or discovery options (and no, I don’t really want to connect to Facebook. I’m very skeptical of the power or value of social recommendations, at least the Facebook version). Also, most of the music I’ve been listening to is (re)mixes, which don’t seem to be consistently available. I’ve only spent about five minutes using it so far, but advanced search control would be nice (although simplicity is also cool, too, as long as it works).
Tomorrow, planning to go to Giverny, then make it back for a mass or at least a tower climb, and feasibly even the night show or Eyes Wide Shut at the Kubrick retrospective screenings. And somehow learn enough media theory to write ten pages about reality, simulation, hyperreality, etc. by Wednesday (preferably much sooner).