Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Life Without Me

That's kind of what it feels like this week. I'm going through the motions, but there's absolutely no Me Time. Before I jump back to last week's events, let me outline what THIS week is like for me:

M: work 9.30-6 p.m., operetta 7 p.m.-10ish, home by 10:45.

T: work 9.30-5 (although because of traffic I only got in at 10), English teaching 6-7.30, home by 8:30, bed by 10.

W: work 9.30-5.30 (but once again due to traffic only got in at 10), English teaching 6-7.30, babysitting (a.k.a. hanging out with some super cool kids and their rabbit) 7.35-?, home by ??.

Th: free day? if so, then family time with my cousin, but not before I sleep in until at least 9. Then English teaching sometime in the evening. Also at some point in the day I need to swing by the post office and pick up my book order.

F: work 9.30-5.30. If I don't pass out by the time I get home, I may do something that evening. But I also may not. Seriously, it's only Wednesday and I'm dragging.

Sa: maybe more family time with some extended cousins.

Su: if weather permits, beach ultimate frisbee!!! I really need to go out and use this pent-up energy. Monday we had to run to the trolley, and it was maybe the best 20 seconds of the day. So the obvious remedy to pent-up energy is to chase a plastic disc around the beach in 40-degree weather. Hah! Like there's a better option!

Last Week

Thursday: Last week was normal except for morning traffic (of which there was none due to the fact that it was fall break for grade schools), and the Thursday-to-Friday time span. Thursday after work I went with the other two women to the new language school facilities opening of a translation company. It was good to see where the building was, as I have an interview with them next Monday, and also good to spend some time "off duty" with the others. The only down side of the part was that there were two -count 'em, TWO - mimes roaming around the party. For me, mimes fall in the same category as clowns. They don't scare me, per se, but the make me extremely uncomfortable. Every time the mimes ended up in the same room as we were, I'd get really quiet and avoid looking up. Needless to say, my kind-of-boss and others we were talking to figured out what was up and tried helping by saying things like "Don't turn around any time soon." On the plus side, there was free wine. So you take the bad with the good, am I right?

After the opening, I headed back home, took a quick nap, got ready, took the wrong "mikrins" (=that mini-van/bus thing), got off the wrong mikrins, got on the right one, and met two friends in the center to go to a concert. The concert started at 12 a.m. and was, sadly, over in less than an hour and a half. The band playing was Astro'n'out -- they're good stuff, but it's a shame it was over so fast. Then we sat around the club until 4 a.m. to avoid wandering around in the cold, hit up a cafe at 5 and waited until the first public transport started rolling. So I made it home on Friday by 6:20 a.m., said good morning to my flatmate (who was getting ready for school), and crashed until about 2 p.m.

The Riga club experience wasn't what we had expected--the venue could be partly responsible for that. One of the friends was asked to dance 12 times (we finally decided that seating arrangement had nothing to do with it, and that one of the deciding factors could have been the eye-catching white and black pattern of her blouse. In truth, it might have been the most noticeable in the entire club :p ), the other was asked by a man who looked like a logger, and I was just quasi-moelsted by a creepy old drunk man asking for the time, and who without permission picked up my arm to look at my watch. I just kept telling him in English "WHAT? SORRY, I DON'T UNDERSTAND. WHAT?", while he slurred back and forth from Latvian to Russian.

Friday: I took the day off (durr) and did some laundry.

Saturday: Saturday morning I went to what was supposed to be a live graffiti art show down town, but turned out to be two hours of standing in the cold while one artist slowly set up his area and then started spraying. Four artists were supposed to "perform" - two from Riga and two from...another big city somewhere. One of them I kind of know by his work, as I've seen it around Riga many times and have come to like it very much. He, unfortunately, seemed to have hit up the exhibit area earlier in the day or maybe even over night (possibly to remain anonymous?), because his "piece" was already complete. I think the problem was that the guys had all the time in the world to work on what they were going to paint, and so they did take their time. I thought it would be done faster, as they might paint on the side of a bridge or a building. But no. I eventually left without seeing the second guy finish his picture, because I couldn't feel my toes anymore.

Later Saturday night I went with a new acquaintance (a now Latvian-American from Montana [she basically grew up in Germany but has been in the U.S. for 10 or so years]) to see "Good Luck, Chuck!" The movie wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be. It was run in English with Latvian and Russian subtitles. A very interesting experience.

Sunday: Ah, yes, the night of the George Armistead anniversary event. Since it was a Christian Businessman club organizing it, I had imagined a darker room with velour drapes and a huge fireplace, with a cigar in each person's hand - kind of a stereotypical "men's club." It turned out to be a well-lit sit-down buffet dinner while several businessmen explained why or how they had become Christian Businessmen. Very little was said about Armistead's accomplishments (just that he had many).

Monday: spent the day at work and then headed off to Riga's Musical Theater to see a performance of "Die Bajadere." It wasn't as glamorous or superb as I had expected it to be, but hey, the tickets were complimentary, and at least I got out and did something!

Tuesday: arrived at work 30 minutes late due to stupid traffic and with a fuzzy, heavy head. I think the cold weather and wind messed me up. Got home after 8, went to bed at 10.

Today (Wednesday): I'm once again alone in the office until the other two get back from a lecture-breakfast and short meeting. And I once again arrived 30 minutes late - I left the apartment at 8:15, which guarantees that within half an hour, at least one of the right buses will leave the depot (usually about 5 are supposed to go through the stop between 8:15 and 45). The bus came as it should, but then the traffic... Words cannot explain. If it was warmer I'd ask to use my flatmate's bike, because this is RIDICULOUS. If I take the train it's a 20+ minute walk to the office... I think I have to make a decision soon.

p.s. Happy Halloween. They don't really do that here. It's Kekatas, thankyouverymuch.

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