Days 11-15

This week has been quiet/boring/depressed, hence not getting your daily dose of Sophia’s overshare…until now!  Dun dun DUN!

(Also, I promise that someday soon you will get a scarf post.  I have been taking pictures.  I just need to upload them.)

Day 11

I don’t remember what I did on Tuesday–we were planning on going downtown, as there’s a neat weekly language café where you can meet people to practice languages with, but by the time 6:30 PM rolled around, and I needed to head out on the bus, I was curled up in bed, reading fanfiction. Which is probably why Tom and I ended up taking a three hour nap instead of doing anything either romantic or useful.
Day 12
Wednesday was an anxious day. About laundry. Involving not having clean laundry so I couldn’t go get laundry soap from the store to clean the laundry, and everything feeling dirty…so flash games all day, to self-soothe.Fortunately, Wednesday night, Tom threw all the dirty clothes into our reusable grocery bags and kept asking me what he could do to help and then getting aggravated (which is sometimes as much as you can ask for from a reasonable human being dealing with an anxious person on broken-record anxiety mode). He helped me find clean pants that were acceptable to anxious-brain (my riding breeches) and set out clothes for Thursday. And then quite firmly sent me to bed.

Day 13

Thursday I woke up feeling much better, as I tend to do, probably because sleep + anti-anxiety med dose kicking in overnight = much saner Sophia. I still didn’t feel like walking to the store to get laundry detergent, so I decided I would bike instead.

There was only one problem with this idea.

You see, on Sunday, when Catherine and Emilie and I were discussing Metz, Emilie had said, “You want rain? You want grey? Come to Metz. You want sun? You want snow? Go somewhere else.” And the weather gods had decided on an immediate sense of irony, as it snowed two inches that night. And then Monday was beautifully sunny, frigidly cold, and covered in snow. And then it proceeded to snow again every night for the next three nights. I started feeling like we must be in Camelot (except it is way too cloudy for Camelot).

Well, people in The North bike in snow all the time! So I looked up resources on how to bike safely in snow, how to deal with ice, what to wear when biking in extreme cold…I’m a Ravenclaw. I do my research. And I discovered that putting heavy things (like my computer) in the basket on the front of my bike makes me extra-wobbly, but it’s manageable. The toughest part is biking through packed snow on the bike paths/walking paths, which don’t get shoveled or plowed here. Compacted snow is rather like riding a bike through thick mud–slippery and dense to plow through at the same time.

Fortunately, at least one sidewalk on every major road is shoveled, and the streets are all clear. So I did a lot of looping around to find the side streets to get to GTL to deal with paperwork, and then, lesson learned, left my computer running a backup at GTL while I biked to the grocery store.*

I even managed to bike most of the way back just fine, in the dark, on sidewalks and roads. And then…a gear in my brain slipped, and I realized that I needed to get to the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road, since it was clear and my side was packed snow. So I bumped down the curb and over to the other side and…


Predictably, this did not go well. My rear tire slid in a snow drift, the bike came out from under me, and I landed hard on the curb with my bike on top of me. I wasn’t wearing boots with very good traction, either, and they had decorative straps on them, so one of the straps got tangled in the right handbrake, so it took me a couple of minutes before I could untangle myself enough to get out from under the bike and salvage the toilet paper and baguette that had flown out of my bike basket.  (And yes, some teenagers playing in the snow fifty meters away were staring at me the whole time.  Sigh.)

All the groceries were fine. I, on the other hand, have enormous bruises up and down my right leg and my butt, as well as a nice shiner on the back of my left thigh. Gorgeous.

Once I got home, we proceeded to make another bad decision–to go meet up with CouchSurfers in the city without looking up directions. (We wouldn’t have found them anyway–it turns out that I had remembered the directions correctly and we walked by the place three times, because it closes early, which the organizer hadn’t looked up beforehand…so everyone we wanted to meet had gone around the corner to a different bar :-/ ) In practice, this meant Tom, who as you may remember, is allergic to cold, and I wandered around the city for two hours. In sub-freezing temperatures. Tom, naturally, broke out in hives about half an hour in, and I, naturally, kept sliding on patches of ice and fucked up my knee worse. By the time we got home, Tom had hives over 80% of his body and I couldn’t walk up and down stairs.

On the bright side, we met some other GTL students on the night bus home! One was named Laura, and she was from Carnegie Mellon and was quite friendly, and the other was named Deeply Embarrassed, as he had hit his limit on drinking for the first time ever that evening and spent the first ten minutes of our acquaintance alternately being sick in the municipal trash bin and instructing Laura not to tell us his name. (He then literally introduced himself as Deeply Embarrassed, and asked for tips for dealing with the hangover, which we provided happily.**)

And on the other bright side, the fact that I couldn’t go up and down stairs very well meant that I stood in the laundry room for the whole time it took for our CLEAN CLOTHES to finish drying, so all of them were folded by the time I took them upstairs.

Day 15

I spent most of today alternately playing a tower defense game, moaning and clutching my knee and swallowing large amounts of ibuprofen, and working on grad school applications. This last is VERY ENCOURAGING, as I have had brainweasels telling me I will never get my applications done, and I will never get into grad school, and I will disappoint all my recommenders and my husband and my mother-in-law (yeah, I know, brainweasels are weird), and I will leech money from my partner like, well, a leech, until…something ominous happens. Brainweasels are good at the nonspecific dread of And Then The Worst Thing Will Happen, but not so good on specifying what that worst thing will be, because then Rational Brain or Helpful Meta-Cognition Strategies would dismantle The Worst Thing In The World and make it livable.

End result of today: Five SUPER-BADASS, LEVEL: MOTHERFUCKING AGENT PHIL COULSON spreadsheets of recommendation instructions, one for each of my recommenders. Tomorrow (well, today, now), when my brain is not mush, I will quick-edit my resume/CV to send to them along with their SUPER-BADASS, LEVEL: MOTHERFUCKING AGENT PHIL COULSON spreadsheets, and then I can start writing my applications!

Oh god, and then I might actually go to grad school. O.o

Other end result of today: I can tell I wrenched my neck and right hip pretty well, but my knee seems to think that if I don’t put a lot of weight on it going up and down stairs, it will cooperate and heal up nicely. So yay for that.

And I got some good wins on my Flash game, too.

Okay, now cider and bed.

*Someone remind me to pick up ziploc bags. I forgot to get those. We need them for leftovers–[school] kindly gave us three pots and pans, assorted dishes and silverware, one mug, one pint glass, and one sandwich-sized tupperware container. And a Brita pitcher, which is critical, because the water is so hard that it makes your hair sticky when you wash it–apple cider vinegar to the rescue! I refuse to touch T’s hair until he uses an apple cider vinegar rinse, because it feels like someone poured glue on his head.

**Drink lots and lots and lots of water.  Maybe try some “homemade Gatorade,” by mixing some salt and sugar in with your water so you don’t screw up your electrolyte balance.  Take a couple of Advil before bed.  Start the morning with more water, more Advil, and plain white bread.

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