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March 23, 1994

Well here I am sitting in the lobby of the Hôtel Baltimore, 88 bis ave. Kleber, waiting for my room to be freed up. . . . I just arrived in Paris two hours ago at Orly, accompanying three people from [. . .] as their interpreter for a week of meetings and training sessions for their French distributors and service/repair facility: the medical device is a perineal biofeedback stimulator to help people regain urinary continence (il n'y a pas de sot métier! and of course this is useful, but it is a little odd).

Anyway, [. . .], [. . .] and [. . .] and I will be here for a week; it's the first time I have been flown outside the U. S. as an independent interpreter. Flattering, but I did try to dissuade them a bit (knowing how I dislike being away from home etc.)

On the other hand, home right now is an uproar, physically: some $45,000 of work on the house started a week and a half ago, and only one bathroom — the door now kept continually closed — is safe, with all its walls and no dust. The rest of the house is full of plaster dust from ripped-out walls, with unpredictable circuits so that I never know what lamps can be used; the upstairs bathroom, such as it was, disappeared yesterday: just the capped pipes sticking out of the floor; and my office is squeezed into a corner of the living room: ceiling gone, insulation from the '40s drifting down from it, temporary circuit cut thru the floor into the basement, the rest of the room crowded with furniture under a large canvas dropcloth, etc.

Boo is not very happy about all this, spends all her time hiding under a chair; well, yesterday anyway; before that she'd been sleeping curled up on what's left of the bed (box springs could not be got up the stairs, mattress on a plastic sheet on the floor): but then yesterday the contractor, Eric, was upstairs drilling and pounding on things, and downstairs Vince was sanding doors, and the noise was pretty bad.

James seems oddly unaffected, although running a kitchen in all this is tough, and he hasn't been pleased with not being able to cook careful little meals with roasts and sauces and nice vegetables (kitchen demolished and full of dust, pantry gone, almost everything in cartons in the basement).

So here I am at age nearly 45, finally 'getting set up' as I so quaintly say — and James so q. makes fun of. I have a family, after my fashion, and a mortgage, and some indifferent stocks, and I'm respected in a profession — and I even just got a hotel room, the bellboy moved me upstairs — so I'm hitting the sack to be woken up at 1330h and go out to a preliminary meetings with [. . .]; where I go from here is another matter.

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