So we see that when Fortuna spins us downward, the wheel sometimes halts for a moment and we find ourselves in a good, small cycle within the larger bad cycle. The universe, of course, is based on the principle of the circle within the circle. At the moment, I am in an inner circle. Of course, smaller circles within this circle are also possible.

- Ignatius J Reilly
And alas, I have procured a lodging, that is to say, i am comfortably quartered, in an ikea catalog. i am sharing an apartment with lucia a spanish teacher and her boyfriend, a german teacher. cosmopolitan? international? and how! Today is Saturday, and upon realizing that I have spent almost an entire month squatting at the Daban's, I knew that I couldn't stop until the need was filled.

I would, at this point, like to thank Jean-Jacques and Catherine Daban for their more than open arms, their impromptu language and culture lessons, the many meals, the many cheeses, the porto, the vino, the arte programs that we love to hate, the favors, the phone calls. the tolerance.

I think the saying goes that 'house guests and fish are good and well, but they both start to stink after three days.' Without getting into the figures, it's safe to say that I've been there longer than three days.

To diddy, jana, and the family, I introduced the Daban's to the asian salad, and dumplings, and i think that it was a success.

The rail workers union and other unions went on full or part strike on thursday the 18th, so there were no trains and barely any metros, friday it was coming back, and today is better but who knows if or when they will go on a hard-line full strike again. The government wants to reform the pension plan for rail workers, notably that they retire and get benefits several (3 to 5...maybe more) years before others in the public and private sector, the government wants to fix this inequality, and, who among us likes our privileges taken away? needless to say, the issue is very much unresolved.

Returning to the apartment the news du jour, its pretty small, my room is REAL small, but we have a kitchen, with stove (huge), washer and dryer (huge) and the place is brand new on the inside. I guess my landlord and her husband flip apartments, you'll see when i get some pictures up.

-your working boy