I'm back. Did you miss me? What am I saying? Of course you missed me. Well, I'm sorry , but it couldn't be helped. Since I was last here, I have been to Paris and back and also turned in my accursed Dante research paper. Is it a good paper? No. Not particularly, but it is a done paper. A nothing-I-can-do-about-it-now paper. And second only to a work of complete genius, that's my favorite kind of paper. All this to say, I've been busy.

No doubt there will be forthcoming Paris stories, but for now let's just say that due to a lapse in packing attention, Marja somehow managed to come to France with neither her pants, nor her socks. This meant that she spent our four days in the dress and tights she'd worn on the plane and...looked fabulous ALL THE TIME. It was really a remarkable thing to witness.

In more current news, last night while I was in the living room contentedly decorating my wee, yet costly, impulse-buy Christmas tree, my kitchen sink was ever-so-quietly filling with foul water that had been mysteriously regurgitated through my disposal. When I went in to make dinner, it was a nasty shock. Turning on the disposal made the water level rise alarmingly rather than lower. A plunger, even when wielded by a strong neighbor, did nothing. At an inch and a half from overflow level, I called the landlord who came and bailed the water into a bucket with the intention of doing further repairs today. All was well until the upstairs neighbor took a shower and the water crept back up the drain into my sink, filled with a revolting sort of silt that I can only hope the neighbor had not just washed from his body. The good news is that now I know how to fill my apartment with the delightful aroma of vomit without having to go through the exhausting process of actually vomiting. Woo hoo.

Speaking of the aroma of vomit, apparently an ice show is coming to town: Brian Boitano skating his heart out to '70s hits by Barry Manilow. Which, incidentally, Barry will be on hand to perform live. How is that a real show?