Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not so sexy...

This morning I was thinking about all those kind of things that I’d never reveal about myself in the early stage of a relationship…

1) I have a leg which is longer than the other. It’s less than one centimetre, and it’s due to an accident I had (I broke a tibia in a few points when I was 6, and spent 100 days with a plaster..). You cannot really see it unless you pay a great attention to my knees when I walk (one bends slightly more than the other.
2) I seem to have permanent backache (at least when I work, which means always). This is mainly a consequence of point 1.
3) The reason I love to wear trendy, high heeled boots in winter is that I wear wool ski-socks to warm my permanently cold feet, and boots are the only way to hide them. Of course, when I’m wearing a nice skirt and, as soon as I get home I kick off my boots and reveal knee-high wool socks, it’s a bit unsexy.
4) Since I run a lot, ski 6 months a year (and used to climb a lot also), my feet always have some blisters or a black toenail.
5) When I’m sleepy and tired, I feel like scratching my head. Of course I try to avoid doing it in public, but if I’m working late at night and you see me passing a hand through my hair, it means I need some sleep. Badly.

Those are pics I took on the first day of my mountaineering ski tour, three weeks ago…

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Who is the most recurring character of this blog?
Who is the dreaded ex that keeps popping out in my life? The one that, at least once a year, I have to deal with, to talk to, and, in some ways, to satisfy?

Who else but The Little Prince?
Because yes, The Little Prince is back to persecute me. Oh yes, you bet he is, even though he still doesn’t know about it (because yes, The Little Prince can persecute me even without knowing it, the smartass).

Anyway, let’s step back.
I first met The Little Prince almost three years ago, because he was and still is the Chief Legal Officer in a company who happened to be a client of mine when I was still at my old job. This is probably the main reason why he kept coming back: we would cross our ways because of work, or he would talk to my colleagues, or whatever.
Then again, one year ago, right before I changed company, I met his for the last time and told him to leave me alone (see Haunting you).

Today it seems that his company has dumped my old office and has chosen my new one as advisors for their acquisitions. With my usual luck, I have been designed as the person to take care of this job. This means, we might have to travel to Sweden together for a few days.

And seriously, it might be fun. Because I’m sooooo over him, that I might really have some fun showing him all my hottiness that he cannot have!!!

Oh, and yes, in case you didn’t already know, I’m a real bitch.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Election day (and related rant)

As you probably don’t know (unless for Italian readers), elections for parliament and government are going on today in Italy, my birth-country.
Those who are not Italian may find it a little weird, since last time we voted for parliament and government, it was spring 2006, but that’s the way things are: the government lost the support of the parliament, so we’re back to voting, once more.

In Italy no reliable exit polls are held: back in 2006, exit polls said until the very last minute that the Republicans (more or less, down here in southern Europe we would say “the right” as opposite to “the left”) were winning, and in the end it turned out exit polls were completely wrong and the Labor party (once again, I’d rather say “the left”) went to the government.

Today I believe that the average Italian citizen does not believe in anyone of the two possible next political leaders, namely Berlusconi and Veltroni.
We all know that our politicians are not worth a single cent. We have already seen them, they did not solve the problems of our country, and during this campaign, they did not propose concrete solutions.
Furthermore, exit polls show, until now, very little difference: 41% against 39.5% (some say 40%). Which means, whoever will win, won’t have a strong, reliable majority that would help in actually concretizing SOMETHING.

What we really need, what I envy so much to the USA, is someone NEW. Someone who is not yet corrupted, not involved with the mafia, someone who BELIEVES in changing things.

As for me, I could not vote, because in Italy you have to go back to your hometown to vote, and the river here (the Rhône) last Friday has flood the railway. So I spent 4 hours in the middle of nowhere under the rain (they had us leave the train and stand next to the railway, yes), and in the end I had to go back to France, so I couldn’t vote. And I also caught a cold.
(Not to mention I felt as I lived in India, when the monsoon arrives, only it was way colder)

(Therefore, I couldn’t even get the pictures of my mountaineering ski, sigh…)

Now people, I work in the finance business, and I have one sure advice if you want to invest: buy some land, or pour some earth on your balcony, and sow some cereals in it.
Step number two, if you don’t know how to cook, learn to cook.
Next year you won’t be hungry, and you’ll be saving tons of bucks.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Back from the Haute Route

I believed in it, I believed in myself, and in the end, I gave it all. And that’s why I proved to be strong, I proved to be more than able, without hesitating a single second.

Here’s how it went.

On Saturday morning, we started the Haute Route from Chamonix, on a perfect day: the sun was shining, there was very little wind, the weather was warm and the snow perfect. We hiked up the first length, and then we had to go down a vertical ditch: the first half we ensured us with a rope, while the second half was free climbing, with crampons and an ice axe, our skis attached to the backpack. I was leading, and it was so exciting, not to mention the incredible panorama!
We proceeded by climbing up another passage which was way more difficult than the first one, but then again I’m better when it’s a matter of skills than of strength.
When we finally got to the hut where we were spending the night, the weather had already started turning bad, a cold wind was blowing, and we were glad to go inside and give ourselves a rest. There were people from everywhere: USA, Canada, Spain, Switzerland (of course!), France, Sweden and the three of us. Although everyone was older than I, I still had a laugh with a lot of people, everyone was there for the same reason after all!

On the next morning, the wind was blowing up to 160kmh (almost 100 miles per hour), there was less than 5 metres of visibility, and lots of snow falling.
We started our trek, we had to ski down 1600 mt of altitude down the glacier, and it was tough, since the wind kept making us fall and so on, but we managed everything pretty well.
We continued the day by climbing up to the next refuge, and it was a mess because, although the wind had lessened, the visibility had gotten even worse, so we had a hard time in actually FINDING the hut.
On the next morning, snow was still falling, but we were way too motivated to surrender! So we climbed up to the next peak, but once up there we realized that we could not cross and go down on the other side without provoking an avalanche.
So we made our way back in order to find another passage, but we called the keeper of the hut were we were going to, to let him know we were going to be late. Only, he told us that due to the newly fallen snow, the way up to the refuge was way too risky, and that avalanches were sure fall during the afternoon.
So we had no choice but to renounce, since I didn’t have the whole week of vacation we could not afford to stop for a whole day (and the weather forecast were bad for the rest of the week either.

As I said, I am however proud of myself. Next year we’re giving it another chance, it’s sad we had to give up, but those who know the mountains know that this is part of the game, so even if we did not reach Zermatt, I’m glad of what we did, together dad and I.
At the same time, the emotions of the climbing, of the panorama, of the storms, were so great and deep, it was definitely worth it. And next week I’ll have some pics to post!!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Believe in yourself

I’m so tense I almost ache.
Yesterday night, while KS, Maria and I were hanging out at our place, the Sponsor called me to inform me that our Haute Route has been anticipated. I am leaving tonight for Switzerland, and I’ll catch up with the others tomorrow morning at the first hour.
The reason of all this mess is that weather forecasts announce a great day for tomorrow, while snow and rain are expected for the rest of the week, so we decided to take advantage of sunny tomorrow and progress as much as possible (the goal is to make day 1 and day 2 path all in one day).

I know I have trained constantly; I have been running a good deal and everything. But I am stressed out, I’m afraid I may fail, I’m afraid I might be too weak. ARGH!!!!!
This is worst then when I used to do running competitions as a teenager.

Furthermore, I had not prepared my things, so I had to do a washing machine in a rush yesterday night, find a place to sleep in Switzerland for tonight, and I still have to manage to leave work unnoticed around 4PM tonight to go rescue my backpack and hop on the train.

Okay I can do it. I’ll put on some relaxing-self confident booster music like Enya, plan out the slightest detail and deal with the whole thing.

I’ll be back posting next Thursday, unless I miserably fail, iun this case I might post sooner.
But I won’t fail.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

That time of the year is coming...

I got an evaluation from the worst asshole of the Paris office managers.
This is the kind of guy who, while I’m working for him, spends half of his time telling me how I’m way better than all the other colleagues of my same seniority and other BS like that (which is honestly frustrating, since I’m one of the worst paid, thanx to the combination of being a foreigner (not American) and a woman. The other half of his time, he messes up my analyses, so that once they are presented to the senior manager, I have to redo half of the job.

Anyway, today I got the evaluation, and, although it says plenty of things about me, in the end I’m rated as “up to standards”. This would be good, if it wasn’t for:
- you need an excellent level to have a decent bonus, and the year-end meeting which will allocate bonuses is next month;
- he has been blathering about how excellent I am throughout the whole job.

Truth is, I’ll never become anything more than a manager (in the best case scenario) in this job, so one day I’ll have to take my chances in some other business.
I keep dreaming about, one day, starting my own business (probably a restaurant), but in reality the simple idea of the responsibility freaks me out.

If this was a Kinsella book, I’d find the perfect job (in television), the perfect, rich man, and I’ll be okay for the rest of my life.
A long time ago, however, I realized that Kinsella’s pattern does not apply to my life. And therefore, I’ll have to learn to stand up against managers.