Click here for the week of 05/22/16.

Mon, 05/23/16. Rainout.
It was pouring rain all morning, and we had to get the kids from school at 430pm, so we decided not to go to Roland Garros even though we had tickets. I read online that you get refunded if there are less than 2 hours of play, but around 1 or 2pm it started clearing up and play resumed for a few hours. It was sort of amazing by American standards, but not all surprising by French standards, how little information there was about what would happen in case of rain. I looked for a long time online, and called in and just got a recording saying nothing. Instead we had a relaxing day and I got some work done on my book. After the fiasco getting into Roland Garros last week, I wasn't about to waste another day there. In general, I feel like now that we are leaving soon, I think I am allowing myself to feel more negatively about Paris. I'm pretty ready to go back to LA and have some semblance of customer service occasionally. Gemma's friend Auri has been crying and crying every morning at school when she gets dropped off by her parents, for the last month or two, and I suspect that it's because she knows she is going back to Finland soon, and like me, she's letting herself feel how frustrated she is with school here. I wonder if Max and Gemma will do the same. I feel like in general, people aren't really very good at realizing how happy they are, or at knowing whether or not they're happy, and we can really influence our outlook and steer it in different directions. There was a study many years ago showing that 1/3 of patients experiencing real postoperative pain said they experienced significant, prompt pain relief after being given a placebo pill with just sugar and water. Different people attribute that placebo effect to all kinds of things, but I think it's obviously just that we're not very good at telling how much pain we're in, and we can be steered easily to evaluate it differently. If we can't even tell whether or not we're in pain, it makes sense that we can't tell whether we are happy either, or whether we like a certain city or environment or whatever. We just choose to like it, or not to like it, or at least that's how I am, and I've been choosing to like Paris for the last 10 months but now I'm allowing myself to get tired of it. It can be a frustrating place sometimes, especially on days like today, when we were hoping and planning on a fun day and it all got rained on. At least we didn't go down there and wait out in the rain as I'm sure thousands of others did. Instead we saw a good documentary on sugar called "Sugar Coated", which really paints a close analogy between sugar and tobacco, and it really is crazy how out of control the food industry is when it comes to sugar. In that way France is about the same as LA I think, as sugar is everywhere here and really hard to avoid.

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Click here for the week of 05/15/16.

Click here for the Paris journal from 2015.