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TURN AND FACE THE STRANGER
Penelope is very kindly handing out weekend passes to those of us who just have too damn much to do. I will, however, have to take a rain check on it until after Christmas, I suspect, as this weekend is the first of several weekends with absolutely NO FREE TIME.

Today, I'm going to have fika with a woman I've never met. She's been a member of the AWC for 4 years and is nearing 80 and has never been to a single event. I talk to her several times a year, but despite the fact that I live only about 10 minutes away from her, we've never managed to get together or to get her to an activity. She's an artist, a fiend for billiards and a jet setter. I can't wait to meet her.

Finally caught up with the rest of the internet and found Mimi Smartypants, one of those Chicago bloggers I'm envious of, who writes up a storm, and makes me have to close the office door so my boss won't come in and ask me why I'm laughing so hard. She's got a book coming out, too (squee!), like
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Penelope is very kindly handing out <a href="http://www.penelopeillustration.com/journal.html#" target="_blank">weekend passes</a> to those of us who just have too damn much to do. I will, however, have to take a rain check on it until after Christmas, I suspect, as this weekend is the first of several weekends with absolutely NO FREE TIME.

Today, I'm going to have fika with a woman I've never met. She's been a member of the AWC for 4 years and is nearing 80 and has never been to a single event. I talk to her several times a year, but despite the fact that I live only about 10 minutes away from her, we've never managed to get together or to get her to an activity. She's an artist, a fiend for billiards and a jet setter. I can't wait to meet her.

Finally caught up with the rest of the internet and found <a href="http://smartypants.diaryland.com/index.html" target="_blank">Mimi Smartypants</a>, one of those Chicago bloggers I'm envious of, who writes up a storm, and makes me have to close the office door so my boss won't come in and ask me why I'm laughing so hard. She's got a book coming out, too (squee!), like <a href="http://www.reallivepreacher.com" target"=_blank">Real Live Preacher</a>, both of which I hope are better than the lameness that the website-to-book, <a href="http://www.mil-millington.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/things.html" target="_blank">Things My Girlfriend & I Have Argued About</a> was.

I was lamenting the fact yesterday that during the inevitable aging process, added to the fact that I've now been away from the States for 7 years, I've now lost all touch with American cultural references. It doesn't help that I lived as a teenager in Europe for 6 years with no TV, and that I don't watch TV hardly at all ANYWAY and that I don't have the time or the budget to see all the movies I'd like to. It's the recipe for a bitter former Trivial Pursuit champion that no longer knows what the hell kids are talking about these days. Pop culture is history. For me, anyway. I'm still stuck with the slang of the 70s and 80s. Bitchin'.

The standard rule of thumb for expatriates is that 5 years is the limit for moving back home within the margin of comfortable repatriation. After that, so many things will have ch-ch-changed that it is like moving to a NEW country, instead of back to the old. I've now been outside of the U.S. for nearly 13 years. That's more than a fourth of my life. The thing is, I don't know how much of my feelings of being adrift in a sea of unfamiliar references have to do with the fact that I'm an expat...or that I'm nearing 40. Time may change me, but I can't trace time, it seems.

<b>Edited to add</b> There's a patch of blue sky among the grayness outside my windows...!! C'mon, SUN!
 working
mood: working
music: Grace Pool—Radio Religion


Comments

i *heart* chicago...but i can't believe i've already been here a year.

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