Mar 26, 2009

What defines me

Just found this entry on Schott's Vocab blog and couldn't resist sharing:


A state of hopeful agelessness wherein one acts the same from adolescence to the grave.
Catherine Mayer related her theory of amortality in
Time magazine:

It’s about more than just the ripple effect of baby boomers’ resisting the onset of age. Amortality is a stranger, stronger alchemy, created by the intersection of that trend with a massive increase in life expectancy and a deep decline in the influence of organized religion – all viewed through the blue haze of Viagra. …

Amortals live among us. In their teens and 20s, they may seem preternaturally experienced. In later life, they often look young and dress younger. They have kids early or late – sometimes very late – or not at all. Their emotional lives are as chaotic as their financial planning. The defining characteristic of amortality is to live in the same way, at the same pitch, doing and consuming much the same things, from late teens right up until death.

According to Mayer, Simon Cowell, Madonna, Nicolas Sarkozy and Mark Zuckerberg are just some of those who inhabit the amortal realm."

Wow, I'm part of a realm?! (not sure I'm totally happy about the company...)

Mar 22, 2009

Le temps des bonnes résolutions

Most people make resolutions at new year's. I never do. I mean really, what's so special about new year's? The only thing that actually happens at new year's is you drag yourself to an inevitably disappointing party, you drink too much in the vain hope that this way you'll actually have a good time, and you wake up the next morning with nothing to show for it other than a massive hangover and a faint recollection that you may have mistakenly kissed the wrong person at midnight. (no mom, dad, none of that actually ever happens to me, only to other people, promise)

But I have decided now is the perfect time to make resolutions. To be honest, 2009 so far has been a bit of a disaster, and I just came out of a rather scary hospital stint, so this is it. Spring resolution time.

1. I will quit smoking: Two weeks without a cigarette so far. Well, almost. I sort of dipped a toe out of the wagon last night and smoked two itty bitty ciggies over cocktails, but otherwise I'm doing well. My favourite thing about not smoking so far: I smell lovely!

2. I will go to the gym: Besides being good for my health, this is also a necessary corollary to resolution no. 1, unless I want to gain 20 kilos and look like a dumpy potato. So today was my first gym excursion. As I'm still recovering and a bit on the weak side, all I managed was 30 minutes at a slow pace on the bike, but still, it felt good.

Small aside: Over the past years more and more "women only" gyms have been cropping up, including in Paris. Lucky for me, going to a gym in the Marais means getting equivalent treatment at half the price! I had trouble suppressing a smile when I realized that my tiny pocket-sized gym has not one but two men's locker rooms (in fact I walked into one of them by mistake when I couldn't find the hidden girls' lockers... oops)

3. I will blog more: Because it's fun. Even if no one reads it.

4. I will find a new job: If you know which company I work for, or if you actually work there yourself, please don't tell anyone. It's not that BM isn't a nice place (in fact I have to say they went above and beyond when I was sick; one of the senior partners even sent macarons to my house) or that consulting isn't a good career option, it just isn't for me. For two main reasons: first, I like being a lawyer, and I miss it; and second, the older I get the more I re-prioritize things, and it turns out I would happily trade in some of the prestige (and cash) for a nice, quiet job where I can go home at 7 or 8pm every day. So that's what I'm going hunting for now (I sure know how to pick my timing, don't I?!) In fact, I have a lunch coming up that could have serious potential. More on that later.

5. I will plan lots of fun weekends and holidays: First up in April, a weekend in London complete with a close friend's wedding, followed by five days in New York, my home away from home. I can't wait! I've also started mulling over various plans for the summer, but I don't want to book anything until I have a better idea of what might happen job-wise...

6. I will be absolutely fabulous and some amazing guy will fall in love with me and whisk me away on his white horse to his incredible mansion filled with designer clothes and Manolos: What?! No one ever said resolutions had to be realistic...

So these are my resolutions. Yes, they all have to do with me, and that might make me highly ego-maniacal, but hey: it's my life. Besides, if I get a little happier I'll probably be loads more fun to hang out with, so that's good for my friends and family too. (Am I reaching?!)

Mar 16, 2009

A day of silly

One of the things I love about not being at work (besides getting my gluttonous fill of Elle, Cosmo, Gala, etc...) is skimming through the "silly news", those stories that, while not quite news, still somehow manage to make it to the top of the BBC News website. OK, I have to be honest, I do that when I'm at work too.

In any event, two titillating snippets caught my eye yesterday as I lay browsing. First, North Korea has apparently opened its first pizzeria. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, those lucky subjects of Kim Jong-il will no longer be deprived of mozzarella toppings and cheesy crust; all is right again in the world. According to the article, the driver behind the restaurant's opening (for which North Korean chefs were sent to Italy to be specially trained) is to allow North Koreans "access to the world's famous dishes." Seriously? Pizza? Now I'm the biggest Italian-restaurant junkie there is, but again I ask: seriously? Pizza?

Now if you thought that was disturbing, check out this next item: "Brain decline begins at age 27". OMG. Whatever you do, don't tell BM. I think they thought they were actually getting a good deal, what with me being an MBA-toting lawyer and all, but apparently I am but an addled brain far past its prime and bordering on senility. Well, actually, that explains a few things.

Enough silly news for now. In actual res ipsa news, my health is coming back at a gallop, which is nice. Objectively speaking, I'm certainly not in top form, but the difference is so striking from a few days ago that I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life and could casually saunter out the door and run a marathon. An observation which has led me to discover the meaning of life (really).

Here it is.

You ready for it?


It has nothing to do with your actual state of being. It's all about the delta.

I'll let you think about that for a while...

Mar 15, 2009

Spring cleaning

As you can see, I've decided to give my blog a new look for 2009. I'm not totally happy about it (I blame Blogger's limitations, and my own html inadequacies) so if anyone has any suggestions (or a better picture to grace the sidebar) please feel free! I've also put in updated links to pages I think are worth checking out (not even INSEAD-related...) for you own personal enjoyment.


N has put me to shame. After a prolonged hiatus, I logged on to her blog last night only to find that she had written half of War & Peace since the date of my last post. Something had to be done, so here I am.

Posting, incidentally, is not really like riding a bike; you do tend to lose the hang of it when it's been a while. Structure, vocabulary, even inspiration goes out the window. So this will be a post "en vrac". Besides, I can blame my poorly oxygenated brain.

Speaking of which. My parents are convinced that I almost died a week ago. Personally, I think that's a bit of an over-dramatization but if it makes the blog more exciting, let's roll with it. In any event, I did end up having to be whisked off to the emergency room last Sunday, having all of a sudden decided to stop breathing. While rather unfortunate, I didn't really think it would be a big deal; one strong shot of super-toxic steroids, I figured, and I'd be back home getting into my powersuit in time for my morning meeting. But it was not to be.

Apparently, I have developed some sudden, evil allergy to my adorable cats that I love so much. Weeks of daily exposure to the furballs led to an insidious shredding of those all-important little lung-bits I use to breathe in and out about 20,000 times a day. This in turn led to the Asthma Attack That Wouldn't Go Away. To make a long story short, I spent 4 days in hospital hooked up to all sorts of oxygen tubes and IV drips and getting medicated to a semi-constant high. And now I am on another week of bed rest under my parent's unyielding surveillance, but fortunately tube-free (seriously, those oxygen tubes that look like no big deal in the movies get super annoying and itchy after a few days).

So that was my week, how have you guys been?!

Anyways, what happens when you're sick and haven't slept in weeks (not being able to breathe really gets in the way of catching some zzzs) is the whole world suddenly seems very bleak and anything and everything constitutes a perfectly legitimate reason to cry. I have to give up my cats. I'm single, childless, dissatisfied with my career and turning 32 this year. I can't manage to peel off the top of the yogurt pot. Waterworks every time. But honestly, can you blame me?

I've decided to be a bit more positive today, though. Mostly because I've started sleeping again - not really through any great exercise of positive willpower. But I did watch this Louis CK interview on Conan (sorry, can't embed Youtube link, you'll just have to go watch it yourself) posted under the title: Everything's Amazing, Nobody's Happy. Which is a shame really. Hence my new motto: Everything Pretty Much Sucks But Feeling Crappy About It's Not Going To Help.

So, taking my cue from one of N's posts, here's a list of 5 things I feel good about today:

1. This morning, for the first time in a really long time, I woke up not because I couldn't breathe but just because I woke up. Very cool feeling.

2. I had breakfast outside cause it's sunny and warm (finally!) and I was actually able to make it all the way out of bed and downstairs without asphyxiating myself.

3. I haven't had a cigarette in a week. Though the cravings are still pretty bad (yes, it is possible to crave cigarettes even when you can't breathe) I figure this is a golden opportunity to embark on major quitting attempt N°2 (I lasted a year last time, so I know it can be done!)

4. My good friend and neighbour N is coming over for a house-visit later, and I'll be able to chatter away to her without having to stop every 5 seconds to catch my breath. I'll even be able to laugh without risking major brain damage.

5. Unlike a friend of mine who has recently discovered his calling, joined the army, and is being shipped off in two weeks, I am not about to pack my bags to go to Afghanistan (but seriously, M, be careful, you're not all that tough, don't forget you're a lawyer after all...)

OK, so that last one was a bit of a stretch, and the first four are mostly about breathing, but hey, I'm working on it. And I'm posting again. So big ups for me.