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Journal :: May 2005
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01.05.2005 (sun)
Family day.
We went to lunch with hubby's family but it sort of back-fired because all the restaurants were full and we ended up having to wait till 3 PM. Still, the food was good and the waitress was particularly quirky, calling everyone 'darling' and the like, as if we were all old friends or her children or something. It was kinda funny in a way :)

After lunch we came home. Hubby went to bed since he had been up until 5 AM the night before and was a bit groggy from that coupled with the glasses of wine he had at lunch and my mother and grandmother came over to see the baby room (or what exists of it at this point).

We've settled on a name for the baby, more or less. We may always change our minds but for now the long discussion has led us to chose 'Alex'. I wanted a name that was fairly international, not too strange so that the kid doesn't get beat up at school (something a lot of parents don't take into consideration apparently) and I feel this is it.
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02.05.2005 (mon) - 21 weeks
I had very strange dreams once more and got up really late. For some reason I'm feeling really tired since yesterday. So I kept waking up and falling asleep again until I finally gathered the courage to get out of bed.

I checked my mail and the did the things that had to be done, had breakfast at lunchtime and spend a great part of the afternoon organising papers and all the things that I didn't feel like dealing with last week on account of being on vacation.

I also had a weird call from my dad. I have a feeling he's depressed and doesn't know exactly how to deal with it. He doesn't really have anyone to talk to and my mother seems to be ignoring it completely and giving him hell as always.

At night I noticed that, for the second day in a row, my ankles are swelling up like mad. It's not funny and I have to find if there's anything I can do about it. I certainly didn't expect something like this so early in the pregnancy.
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03.05.2005 (tue)
I have to find a hobby. Work is slow, I'm not looking for any more at the moment because I don't want to be stuck in the middle of something when the baby comes, but I need something to keep me busy in the meantime.

I also need to readjust my meal schedule. I'm sitting at the computer doing things before I have breakfast and it throws the whole day off. I end up having lunch at 5 PM and stuff like that. Must get organised.

I read up on some stuff about swollen ankles and other joys of pregnancy and it seems that it's happening a month or two before it's common. Lucky me...
My blood pressure seems to be normal, though, even if it is a bit higher than usual. That's the thing I have to keep in check.

I still haven't been able to call the baby by his name. I think it's because I have to look at him and make sure it fits. Cause he might look like something else entirely :)
Hubby says it's also because we're talking about a person we haven't met yet and that makes it weird. But I have to start doing it to get used to it.

I've been watching Firefly again, I guess because I recently saw the trailer for Serenity.
All I can say is that the movie coming out in September is really bad timing for me - if it's after Alex is born then I don't think I'll be able to go see it while it's still in theatres, and I'm really looking forward to it!

I just watched one of the last episodes - 'Message'. It always reminds me of a Prince song from the album 'Parade' called 'Sometimes it snows in April'. It's not difficult to understand why - it starts with the line ' Tracy died soon after a long fought civil war ' so it really couldn't be more appropriate. Plus, the episode ends with snow, so there really are a lot of elements to bond the two together in my head.
It's one of the few songs that always manages to make me cry. And apart from when I'm PMSing or something of the sort, there aren't many songs that can do that.

Neil Gaiman's new book is also supposed to be out in September but that will actually be welcome. Something to do on the long sleepless nights, I guess. I wonder if it's possible to read while breastfeeding. I guess not because you need to hold the baby with both hands. Damn. There's half an hour of quiet time wasted.
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05.05.2005 (thu)
Early in the morning hubby dropped me off at the clinic for the second trimester blood tests. Because it was so early there was hardly anyone there so I was done by 9.15 AM.

In the afternoon I went over to Pedro's grandparents' flat to pickup some documents. I always end up staying for a chat whenever I go there, so I only got back at around 4 PM. By then I was a bit hungry so I had lunch and then did a bit of cross stitch.
I'm really enjoying not having any work to do. Maybe I'm enjoying it a little too much :)

The down side is that my stomach doesn't give me any rest. I don't want to keep taking medication for it so I always keep a glass of milk by my side and it helps a bit, but once in a while there's still such acute pain that I just don't know what else to do. Damn kid - he hasn't even been born yet and is already causing trouble :P
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06.05.2005 (fri)
I woke up really tired today. The strange dreams are becoming more intense again and I wake up feeling like I didn't get any rest.
Tonight I had the bloodiest dream I'd ever had where I was being chased (as usual), got caught by a woman who pulled a knife and started cutting my arm so I turned, grabbed the knife and started slicing the woman instead. It was self defence and very unpleasant.
My whole problem wasn't how difficult it would be to get the knife but whether or not I could attack or if it wasn't just easier to let it happen.
Why does my brain keep playing possible attack scenarios? It's not like I think about it at all during the day or that I feel unsafe in any way.

Then I dreamt I jumped off a tall building - and was actually going to die, it wasn't a flying dream.
Then there was another one about the baby being switched at birth or something. Well, he wasn't exactly switched, it was more like an alien abduction/losing time thing - I didn't remember giving birth and suddenly had a much older baby than I was expecting. Unconscious fears about how your baby's going to turn out are normal enough, I'm sure, but the whole sci-fi twist (along with the stuff that followed when I decide to find out what happened) is just too weird.
And normally when I wake up the dreams go away, but these seem to go on, somehow.

So now I'm going to breakfast and try to think of something else.

I'm not happy with how the baby room looks. It's too bland and I want it colourful. So I think I'm going to work up the courage to paint again. I was thinking of stripes - large vertical stripes in two shades of blue on at least one of the walls. I just need to decide if they go all the way up or if they stop at eye level, capped off by a slightly darker horizontal stripe. Must do some sketches and see how it looks.

By 4.30 PM I had all the stripes masked and ready to paint. Now I have to mix the paint until I come up with the right shade and decide if I'm going to paint solid, with a dry brush, cloth or sponge. Decisions, decisions.

I finished painting at 7 PM. It looks pretty cool, actually. Now I start to feel that the other walls should have something as well. But I was thinking about stencil instead of block colour because I don't want the room to become too dark.

At night we went shopping and got the new album by NIN, 'With Teeth'. It's so rare to have a band or musician who continues to live up to your expectations when a new album comes out, so I was really glad to find out that NIN is still as great as ever. The single is a bit more pop than anticipated but I think I'm going to end up liking it simply because it sticks in your head so easily, with its simple melody. I guess that's why it's the single.
I particularly like the use of piano in the slower parts and the contrast it makes to the fast-paced guitar and drums bits that are so typical. I guess a great part of why I like NIN music so much is because of its use of delicate soft melodies in the middle of all the controlled chaos. It just makes it a lot more interesting and fun than just going full steam ahead the whole time.
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07.05.2005 (sat)
I've been dying to get out for a while, so at lunchtime we went for a walk in the park. We took the camera and did a few B/W portraits since we don't have any recent decent shots of ourselves. Just as I like to read old journal entries to remember what I was feeling a few years ago, I also like to look at old pictures even if it's just to realise that I'm getting older :)

We're going to have to take a few more pictures when I look seriously pregnant (which I don't yet) just because I don't plan on doing this again and therefore I should keep a record.
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08.05.2005 (sun)
I woke up feeling like working on the songs. There's this song that never quite worked and I had written some alternate lyrics that helped change the vocal melody and rhythm of it, but then I completely forgot about it again. And last night, while I was brushing my teeth, it just popped into my head again.

So this afternoon we recorded the vocals for 'Thrill'. Pedro still has to mix it and update a couple of tracks but it's mostly done. It's a bit on the lines of 'Lust' but with a bit of Portishead thrown in.
I actually missed doing this sort of thing but till now I've been so tired on the weekend I don't feel like doing anything.

It's funny what a difference it makes to not be constantly worried about something. I've been feeling like myself a lot more and once in a while I have these thoughts that I completely forgot I could have. It's amazing how much of my personality gets buried under the rubble of work-related stress.
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09.05.2005 (mon) - 22 weeks
I'm afraid I may be becoming senile...
I was getting ready to go out so I did all the normal stuff - put on a cardigan, pick up my purse and sunglasses, I got out of the flat, closed the door, called the elevator and only then did I notice I was still wearing my fuzzy pink slippers. What's wrong with me?
It was funny, though :)

I had some work later on so I sat at the computer for most of the afternoon, trying to ignore my stomach ache.

I also worked on some of the songs, mostly adjusting the length of a couple that felt too compact and needed a bit more room to breathe.
Now that we've seen what we can achieve on a sunday afternoon, maybe things will go a bit faster.
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10.05.2005 (tue)
I felt a bit teary today and ended up not getting much done.

The only thing I actually did was move stuff around in the bedroom so that hubby can have the left side of the bed, where the AC hits because he's starting to get overheated during the night.

At night, when he finally arrived from work, we went shopping and decided to try out the supermarket's delivery service. They should deliver tomorrow morning.
It's a useful thing to start using because it's going to get increasingly difficult for me to carry shopping bags home and even if Pedro has to go by himself he can still buy heavy stuff and not have to worry about carrying everything himself. That's why we joined the service anyway and in two years we never used it.
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11.05.2005 (wed)
I got up early and waited all morning but nobody came to deliver the groceries. They only came in the afternoon, so I spent most of the morning reading the rest of my Miss Marple book with Michelle on my lap.

At noon I did some work, had lunch and went back to work.

I've been wanting to get a new washing machine for ages but the old one refuses to break down. But now we seem to have found someone who can actually use it, so we're planning on getting a new one plus a drier. I don't like driers because they use up too much power but in winter they can be quite handy, so I've given in.
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12.05.2005 (thu)
Hubby stayed home today to go with me to the ultrasound. It was longer than last time and not so easy to see exactly what was going on because the baby is much larger and you have to know which part you're looking at. But all seems well, all the organs are there, everything seems the right size and there's no doubt whatsoever about it being a boy :)

I also picked up my test results, which were also fairly normal apart from the anaemia being a little more obvious. But since I feel OK and still manage to walk for 2 hours with no problems, I'm not too concerned. The iron count is normal so hopefully it won't be a problem.

After the ultrasound we decided to go buy the baby bed, at last. It will be delivered next week and then the baby room will be complete.

I also found the DVD for a BBC show I love called Mrs Bradley's Mysteries, with Diana Rigg.
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14.05.2005 (sat)
We went out to lunch at 1, as an official 'bon voyage' to my inlaws who are leaving for China today. I hope they have a nice trip.
Then I came home with Pedro's grandparents so they could watch the ultrasound tape.

Pedro spent most of the afternoon at his sister's flat, fixing her computer, so I was alone for most of the day.
When he finally came home we went out for a quick stroll at the park and then he left again to go watch a football game.

I watched a movie called 'The Statement' and thought it was pretty good. It's a chase movie with very good acting, especially on the part of Michael Caine who does a very interesting villain - human and full of contradictory feelings - which makes it harder for the viewer to be sure exactly who he's rooting for.
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15.05.2005 (sun)
I woke up at 5 AM feeling really cold and my throat was hurting. So when it was time to try and record some more vocals, I couldn't do it. No matter how much voice preparation I did, my nose was blocked and I couldn't clear my throat enough so I had to give up eventually.
Since I was already feeling pretty low that was sort of the last straw.
We ended up sitting in bed, in the dark, talking for a couple of hours, trying to make me feel better, I guess.

I just don't have the personality for depression. I get to angry with myself for feeling like this. I just think it's stupid but don't really know how to stop it. But this attitude ends up being the thing that helps me to snap out of it and react, which, I guess, is a good thing. And the fact that I can talk about it probably helps as well, although I can't say why exactly.

We eventually tried recording again at 5 PM, and this time things went a little better. I'm still not sure about the vocals - it never sounds perfect enough and I know it's because I'm really not that good - but Pedro's happy enough with it for the moment so it should allows him to do a complete demo of the song.

I feel like making new songs but I've been actually trying not to because I hate it when they stay in this unfinished state for so long. It's probably very stupid of me, though, so I'll try to stop doing that and work on new material.

At night we watched the movie 13 ghosts. Although the look of the ghosts was interesting the movie itself failed to interest me.
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16.05.2005 (mon) - 23 weeks
There was work to finish today so I woke up nervous, as usual on a monday.
There were a few hiccups but the most important things were solved (or so I hope).
Tomorrow I'll try and tackle the rest.

And although I had a really late lunch, at 3 PM, in the afternoon I still had time to watch a movie (despite several interruptions) and fold clothes, so it wasn't all work. The advantage is that I'm right here so I can stop any time and get back to work and then take a break while I'm waiting for a reply.

In the end, and considering how depressed I was feeling during the weekend, it wasn't too bad a day.

At night we went shopping and then watched another episode of Lost. They seem too short. Maybe I should tape 2 or 3 and then watch them all at once. Like this it gets frustrating because nothing really happens. In that respect it's the total opposite of 24.
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17.05.2005 (tue)
I was organising baby clothes this morning - throwing boxes away to make more room in the drawers, removing the tags and so on - and I realized I don't have as much stuff as I thought. As a whole it looks enough but I started separating it by months and most of it is for 3 months or older. I'm sure the stuff for 1 month will fit right away, even if it's a bit loose, but even that amounts to only two outfits, so I have to get a few more things.
I guess I'm just not used to having to buy clothes that won't fit for more than a month. Seems a bit of a waste.
On the other hand, I haven't bought a single item of baby clothes yet, so I should be able to pick a couple of things myself. But I haven't even thought of it so far because I really like the stuff other people have bought so I don't feel like it's too diferent from what I would choose.

I got a call around 3 PM to set up the delivery of the baby bed. They're coming a day early - it should be here by tomorrow at lunch time.

At night I was getting ready for bed but had to come back and write something.
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18.05.2005 (wed)
By now I'm pretty used to having weird dreams, but the dream I had this morning was so clear and to the point that it's scary.
I had to be up by 9 AM to wait for the delivery of the bed and guess what I dreamt: that then bed was being delivered! I mean, whatever happened to symbology and all that? Doesn't my brain even bother anymore?

Hubby had gone to work and the dog next door was barking like mad, as usual, so I put the earplugs on so I could rest a little longer. And then I had this dream and woke up suddenly, looked at the clock and it was a quarter past 9. I panicked for a bit, fearing that I had missed someone ringing the bell because of the earplugs, but then I checked both phones and there were no unanswered calls so I relaxed again. They did told me it wasn't likely the delivery would be made until later in the morning anyway and they were right - it was around noon.

I opened the boxes to make sure there were no mistakes, had lunch and then couldn't help myself: I was going to wait for Pedro to come home to help me assemble the bed but I couldn't wait, so I did it myself. It wasn't too difficult or particularly heavy, so I managed ok. And suddenly it looks like a bedroom (as before it didn't look like anything, really, despite a couple of really cool pieces of furniture).
I rearranged stuff once more, now that all the elements were there and only need to finish everything off with some curtains and a rug.

At night we went shopping. I've been feeling a bit hyperactive and being home all day doesn't help.
We bought some baby clothes (the first) and a curtain pole that we'll have to assemble on the weekend.
The problem with buying baby clothes in advance for a newborn is that the weather is all wrong and the stores don't have the right stuff for when the baby will be born. Now it's all summer stuff that I won't be able to use by October. So I'm just trying to get stuff for the first month and then I'll have to buy the rest after the birth went the winter collections come out.
Why can't stores figure this out? Stuff for newborns should be available in both summer and winter collections cause you can't wait for the birth to go shopping! It's quite silly, actually.
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19.05.2005 (thu)
I was trying to fight my compulsive nature to want to make the bed and assemble everything to see how the room will look all finished, but decided there was no point. So I went ahead and took pictures of the finished look and then put everything away again :)
I mean, there's no point in spending months just wondering what it will look like!
Especially because after the kid is born I probably won't care anymore. I'll be too concerned with trying to get enough sleep. So this is what Alex's future room will look like. I'm actually quite proud of the way it turned out :)

The one thing I found is that's it's not easy to make the bed because of the bars. Even though they descend on one side it's still difficult to tuck everything in properly because they don't go all the way down (which is according to the rules, obviously) and you're bending over for a long time.
It's just one more confirmation of how tired I'll be all the time :P

At 5 PM my mother picked me up and we went shopping. We took my grandmother along but she has a great difficulty walking so she just sat at a table while we were at the stores. I tried telling my mother that I didn't see much difference between sitting there by herself or being home but she doesn't seem to see my point of view.

I wanted to find birthday presents for my father and husband but no luck. It's getting harder each year to find anything that people don't have already. The options are either too expensive or just another variation of something you already have two and three of.

I guess it seems a bit selfish and indulgent to complain about having too much stuff and I'm starting to feel there should be an age limit on presents: if you can afford your own stuff you should stop getting presents after 25. It would make life easier for everyone: you didn't have to pretend to like another sweater and people didn't have to waste hours trying to come up with an original idea only to end up getting the same stuff again.
The other option is to make it compulsory to have a wishlist at all times :)

Then I sat with my grandmother for an hour while my mother went to the supermarket. The main problem with talking to my grandmother is that she can't hear very well anymore so you have to scream all the time. People around me kept looking at me with a fairly annoyed look but there was nothing much I could do. So I just sat and listened to the same old stories once more.

I didn't get home till 9 PM and was pretty fed up by then. I guess it'll be a long time before I agree to something like this again...
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20.05.2005 (fri)
I finally came up with an idea for my father's birthday so I called my brother to see what he thought of it and we're proceeding with it. Because of yesterday's outing I also have a thought for a birthday present for my mom but that one still requires a little sneakiness in order to find a few more details. Still, it's better than no ideas at all.
Next weekend my in laws come back from China so after checking they didn't bring anything similar to what I want to buy hubby for his birthday, that's my family birthday shopping done for the year.

Work today was mainly trying to explain things to clients - like why a certain email they got saying an email account was being closed was just spam and that certain difficulties accessing the backend are probably due to a slow internet connection and not the backend software - which to me is a lot more stressful than actual work because if people convince themselves there's an actual problem and decide it's up to you to fix it it's almost impossible to change their minds.
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21.05.2005 (sat)
Today was a really long day. We had decided to do a lot of different things and it really was non-stop the whole day. It started with watching the new SW movie at lunchtime, followed by buying an amp and some clothes and ending in getting a new washer and drier (that will be delivered on monday). Hubby ended up buying more clothes than me (mainly because clothes actually fit him while I have to go through an entire store before I find something I can manage to squeeze into).
When we returned home, at around 8PM, I was completely exhausted, my ankles were swollen and my feet really hurt.

When we got home hubby decided to try setting up the amp but it wasn't working. It would turn itself on, blink a couple of times and turn itself off again. He went back to exchange or return it and the people at the store assured him it wasn't broken, made him wait for an hour and still couldn't fix it. So it stays there till monday and then we'll see.
It seems we can't buy anything at that store that doesn't have a problem! I can't even tell how many things we've had to exchange by now.
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22.05.2005 (sun)
In the morning I watched another Miss Marple story and then we went to work on little things around the flat. We tried fixing the bathroom lamp but after taking it down and putting it back together it still wouldn't work properly - only one of the lamps lights up.

Then we assembled the curtain pole in the baby room and I spent the rest of the day doing the hems on the curtains.
We also had to move the washer out of the way to make room for the new one that's coming in tomorrow.

At night hubby went over to his parent's flat to watch a game and came back 4 hours later completely drunk, after what looked like a fairly lively party with his sister and some of her friends, and spent the next hour bending over the toilet feeling sick. And he used to be such a well behaved young man :)
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23.05.2005 (mon) - 24 weeks
At lunchtime hubby had to come home cause he was feeling ill. He spent most of the afternoon in bed feeling pretty awful and didn't manage to eat anything till night.

At 6 PM the washer and drier were finally delivered and seem to be working. The delivery men left the washer working (it had to wash itself before we can use it with clothes) but when I realised how long that was going to take and that they hadn't put in the detergent you're supposed to, I stopped it and decided to do it again myself, following the proper instructions.
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24.05.2005 (tue)
Hubby's still sick - fever, cough and generally feeling pretty low - so he had to stay home again today and limit his diet to toast and grilled steak. It's weird because he's home all day but since he had to be in bed resting I hardly see him anyway.

Later in the day, when he got fed up with doing nothing, we went to pickup up the amp (which was broken after all and had to be fixed) and do some food shopping. I was afraid it might be a bit much for him but you can't argue with some people and in the end setting up the amp gave him something to do that wasn't too tiring.

At night I finally tried the washer. I still have a few doubts that will have to sort out in time. Now I need to try the drier but I don't think I'll be doing that any time soon: the weather is fine enough for clothes to dry by themselves, and besides most of the clothes we have are apparently not drier friendly, so I don't know what I can use it for, exactly, apart from sheets, towels and jeans. Especially since I normally cut the instruction tags out of clothes because they itch.
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25.05.2005 (wed)
I'm once again waiting for yesterday's shopping to be delivered. It's quite handy because we can buy lots of heavy things, like water bottles and cat litter, and not have to carry it ourselves (especially good considering I'm pregnant and shouldn't lift heavy weights and hubby's feeling poorly at the moment) but I also feel like I waste a lot of time waiting for deliveries. I can't leave the flat because they can be here at any time between 9 AM and 2 PM, and that's a bit inconvenient at times.
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28.05.2005 (sat)
It's my father's birthday so we drove down to their summer home for a late lunch. My brother and I got him a printer for use with the digital camera and I think he liked it.
All my uncles were also there, both my grandmothers and two of my aunts so we all chatted for most of the afternoon. My grandmother gave me a really cute cardigan and booties she made for Alex.

The cat my parents have been feeding for a year now had kittens and they were all hiding in the shed until the dog my uncle brought scared her away and she moved the kittens somewhere else. I was sorry I didn't get to see them but I'm glad they're smart enough to run and hide.

At 5.30 we drove back home and cleaned up the flat a bit.
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29.05.2005 (sun)
My inlaws came back from China today so we went over in the afternoon to hear some stories about the trip and see some of the photos.
They brought some cool stuff, including a red silk chinese outfit for Alex (that he'll only fit into when he's 2 years old).
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30.05.2005 (mon) - 25 weeks
I had to get some paperwork done today which took all morning and part of the afternoon so there's nothing much to talk about.

Later in the day I went downstairs to get a haircut. The hairdresser has changed hands since I was there last and although the new hairdressers were very nice they did something that thoroughly annoys me: they kept trying to make me buy more stuff: manicure, get my hair dyed and so on. I seriously hate that and it's probably reason enough for me not to go back.

Because the French voted against the European Constitution I decided to read up on that. I didn't have the time or attention span to read the whole document, but from what I saw, I don't see anything wrong with it and to me it feels that my country doesn't have much to lose by agreeing. Obviously I have no knowledge of politics and I'm sure a lot of subtleties will have slipped by me, but what I mean is that I didn't find anything in it that would make me thing 'oh, this is bad - if they go along with this it'll be trouble'.
I feel that the reason the French rejected it is probably more because they don't know what it is, rather than being against it. It makes some sense - if you want people to vote you need to explain exactly what they're voting for and making everyone in the country read the constitution, which is a big document, is not very realistic. It's difficult to know what the best option would be, but some campaigning beforehand would be helpful.
I'm not saying the French didn't make information campaigns - I have no idea if they did - all I know is that in my country, before the government changed, there was also supposed to be a referendum on the subject and I didn't see any information in advance about any of it, so I just assume that in some other countries the same could have happened as well.

There seem to be a few other reasons as well why people voted 'no' - the fact that they may be unhappy with current government and this is the only thing they were asked to vote on, so they decided to show they're not happy - it's not a very good reason but a possibility. And it ties in with another matter: people may fear that if their local government doesn't solve the problems that affect them directly, how is an European government, concerned with a generic and faraway Europe, going to solve anything that matters to them? I guess people don't know exactly how much would change so they're not jumping up and down with joy about it.
It's a tricky thing to do and especially to have everyone agree. I guess this is why in the past people have opted for invasion rather than peaceful agreements - less paperwork.
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31.05.2005 (tue)
I was feeling quite sluggish in the morning but soon found a way to fight it - I went to lunch with my friend Carla and her sister. It was fun and lively as usual. After lunch they went sightseeing and I decided to check out a department store I haven't been to before. It's pretty huge, as this sort of thing usually is, and after about 3 hours I still hadn't seen a lot of it but was too tired to go on. So I got on the subway and went over to where hubby works, sat down at a coffee shop with my book and some food, and waited for him to get off work.

We got home at around 8 PM and I was really tired but soon after we decided to go out again and buy some food (mostly candy and stuff I'm not actually supposed to eat but can't stay away from).

When we came home I decided to play a bit of Port Royale 2 and finished another scenario. I like this sort of game but this one has battles and stuff in which you have to guide the ship and shoot cannons and I hate those things. I'd rather stick to building and trading but I guess I'm not exactly the target audience.

When I finally got to bed i could barely keep my eyes open. At least I should sleep well tonight.
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