Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Shoo fly...don't bother me...

Problem:

It was pretty warm and toasty yesterday.

Solution:

I opened the windows

New Problem:

There are now a swarm of friggin' flies in the apt that WON'T LEAVE!!!

"Not every woman in the world is a Yenta....Right? Of course right."

So feeling the need to get in touch with my ancestry, I watched "Fiddler on the Roof" last night. But only the first half. The second half is too deppressing. I've watched the first half so many times I've memorized it. I can't even really tell you what happens at the end because I've only looked at it like twice.

It was also a beautiful day in Strasbourg, so the windows were open, the speakers were on, and I was rockin' out to "Tradition."

Go me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Ewww

Ok, I know it's a delicacy here, but I really don't want to watch a news program on the cultivating of escargots while I'm eating lunch.

I've got a SECRET...I'm SURE I'm SOFT&DRY...

Drevs' presence here last week was wonderful for many reasons, but perhaps none so important as the fact that she brought me TWO, yes, TWO sticks of deodorant!

Before you get all worried about me being smelly, let me assure that I wasn't. But I was getting close. Because deordorant is friggin' EXPENSIVE here, and I refused to pay 5 euro for a teeny tiny bottle.

But never fear, because Drevs was kind enough to bring me more, and NOW I can finally quit scraping the sides and bottom of my old bottle.

Just in time.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

She's leavin', on a jet plane...

So Drevs took off today...sniff sniff...she is now dazzling around Londres with Oz and Mary.

Sorry for not having blogged recently, but we've been too busy having fun. So, by popular request, here is the list of highlights...

Wednesday

Court heads to Baggersee to pick up Drevs from the airport shuttle. Court goes to the wrong stop. Court then sees the correct stop on the other side of the road. Court sees Drevs getting out of bus. Court begins to run. Court and Drevs embrace. Court then realizes she twisted her ankle. Court remembers why she doesn't run.

Court and Drevs get to apartment, chit chat, head for dinner at Crepe Mili. Introduce Drevs to the exciting world of gallettes and crepes. MMmmm...

Thursday

Court wakes up at 6 am to educate French children. Lucky Drevs gets to sleep.

Drevs goes with Court to her afternoon classes and gets a taste of the French education system.

Court introduces yet another friend to Le Petit Ours, the best restaurant in the world.

Court comes back from dinner to discover wonderful news--she was accepted to Monterey!

Court and Drevs scream and celebrate. Meg comes home with her mother (also visiting) and they join in.

Friday

Sleep in. Walk around town a bit. Introduce Drevs to the Galleries Lafayette alimentation centre. Drevs buys her first "real" french sandwich...ham, cheese and butter on a baguette.

Court decides she is going to try her hand at raclette and buys the fixins.

Come home and eat lunch.

Head back out to town for sightseeing.

Go back to the Galleries to buy raclette oven.

Get coffee.

Head back to apartment.

Court makes raclette and it is gooooooood.

Court and Drevs have movie marathon.

Saturday

Sleep in.

Head back to town for more sightseeing.

Eat lunch (tapas) at El Machete, Court's favorite bar in Strasbourg.

Drevs buys an Easter chapeau at chi chi French store.

Take a boat ride so Drevs can see and learn about all of Strasbourg.

Get coffee.

Go to dinner for Alsatian fare.

Come back and watch "Office Space" (Because we all have the dream of doing nothing...)

Sunday

Sleep way in.

Have lunch.

Go to get coffee.

Watch xylophone (sp) players by the cathedral.

Sit outside and bask in the sun while we sip on our cappucino.

Head back to get Drevs' stuff.

Bring Drevs to Baggersee to catch airport shuttle.

************************************************

So as you can see, we had quite a successful visit. Not only is Drevs the best sugar daddy I could ever have, it did a world of good for my homesickness to see her.

Back to work tomorrow, but I get to see Marilyn (my mum) this week! She is taking her students on a journey through France and they'll be heading down to Strasbourg later on. I wish I could call in "sick" tomorrow so I could join them in Paris (cough cough) but alas I am too honest.

Ah well. We can't have everything in life, can we?

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Monterey?

Great news my peoples. I just found out I was accepted to Monterey Institute.

I am shocked. And really friggin' excited. And confused.

I can't really make my decisions till I find out the financial aid situation at all of these places I applied to, but it's so nice to feel wanted....sigh....

So send your postive thoughts my way!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Dreveth, she cometh

Drevs arrives today! Hooray!

Sh*t Happens

I was just walking back to my apartment and a bird dropped a lovely gigantic surprise on my shoulder.

Frick n frack bird.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

"Wanna getta nother coffee?"

Question:

What happens when you get two seasoned Parisian tourists afraid of metro terrorism together in
the city of lights?

Answer:

A couple of caffeine addicts with really sore feet.

So, here's what happened: Meg bought tix for a Parisian weekend excursion awhile ago, thinking that her mom was coming in town last weekend. As it turned out, she bought for the wrong weekend and thus had a trip to Paris to burn. So me being the sympathetic roomate I am, I decided to come with.

Of course, neither of us thought about the fact that this past weekend was the anniversary of the war, or the fact that France has recently been hit with terrorist threats due to the new veil laws.

We figured that out after we saw that all the garbage cans had been replaced with tiny cardboard boxes. Also out in abundance were the military, walking around with machine guns. My French friend who used to be in the military told me that only one of the guns in each group of soldiers is actually loaded, however. It's more for the intimidation factor.

It worked.

So we did our best to stay out of the metro and heavily tourist infested areas, which in turn enabled
us to enjoy more of Paris by foot.

What was nice also is that we were able to split up and do our own thing from time to time. I had the chance to meet up with several old friends while I was there, getting a nice dose of America. I'm homesick my friends.

So here are some of the other highlights of our weekend:

Court getting to ride on the new TEOZ train to Paris.
Shopping.
Eating cheap delicious greek food in the Latin Quarter.
Having the best coffee in the world at the Greek restaurant.
Walking.
Stopping for coffee.
Walking some more.
Having crepes.
Walking.
Getting coffee.
Resting at the Louvre fountain and watching group of Spanish girls sing and act silly.
Walking.
Watching the kiddies play with bateaux (boats) and batons (sticks) in the Tuileries foutain.
Making fun of super intense boat/stick boy ("PAPA!!!!!! MON BATEAU EST TOMBE!!!!!!!!").
Walking some more.
Eating Tex Mex at Indiana
Going to the new STARBUCKS!!!!!! (mmmmm....american capitalism has never tasted so goooood)
Walking through Pere Lachaise Cemetary (located right next to our flat) and checking out all the famous people's graves.
Court getting to ride on the new TEOZ train back to Strasbourg.

So I'm proud to report that no disasters occured while we were there. And we even managed to stay away from the big anti-war manisfestation.

The more I'm in Paris, the more I feel at home. I've decided it's because my internship there in 2000 was like my "coming of age." I just love everything about that city. Well almost everything.

But now I'm getting into a long philosophical rant and I think I just need to go to bed...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Are we on the air?

Well today was interesting.

I, along with several other assistants, was summoned by the Academie of Strasbourg to record some texts for the BTS exam in Hotel/Catering service.

I was actually supposed to go on Monday as well but unfortunately didn't get the note in my box until yesterday.

Nonetheless it was something different to do instead of teaching and was actually kind of fun. I learned all kinds of random useless facts about food and wine and hotels.

We had to sit in this nifty little recording studio with a funny mirror/window and then read in our best, clear, American accented voice.

All I could really think about, however, was how I used to giggle over all the silly little oral cassettes I used to have to listen to back in the day. And I'm sure the Frenchies will soon be returning the favor.

Dear mean lady with the whip (uhhhh...leash)

Quit hitting your dog. Maybe he wouldn't run away from you if you would PUT THE LEASH ON HIM instead of hitting him with it.

Although I can't really blame him for running away.

Note to self...

Don't bang cheap gigantic sword on the table...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Laughable

So the debate between the truth and the lies continues. I got a real kick out of this..

I would be interested to see the rest of what he had to say...Was he able to defend himself or no?

In the meantime, there are a million signs in the tramways here that have just been put up, warning people to watch out for unattended baggage. And my school had 5 minutes of silence for the people of Madrid on Monday.

Enough to make you wanna stay in bed all day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The Red Shoes

Do any of you remember this Grimm fairy tale? I read it when I was a kid and it scared the sh*t out of me. It was about some spoiled vain little girl and then she got a pair of red shoes that were enchanted and she started to dance in them and couldn't take them off. So she was condemned to spend the rest of her life dancing in the red shoes. The line I remember most was some creepy guy saying, "Dance till your body becomes a skeleton and you exist no more" or something like that.

Grimm is one f-ed up guy.

Anyway, I really don't know what happens at the end. They had to cut off her legs or something?

You may be wondering where I'm going with this.

WELL--I bought a pair of red shoes today! I have finally crossed that French fashion threshold and there's no turning back my friends!

I haven't started the dancing yet...but haven't really broken them in yet either, so we'll see what happens.

Stupid Greve

Went to manger at my new favorite resto scolaire today, only to find out that the workers are all on strike and there is no food for the etudiants.

Stupid workers. Stupid strike. Stupid france.

Monday, March 15, 2004

O Happy Day II

This is what I'm grateful for today:

When I woke up this morning at 7am it was light outside!
It was a sunny day!
The cafes are beginning to put their tables outside!
My friend Drevs is coming next week! And then Marilyn is coming the week after!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

...and then I exhaled...

I never actually saw that movie and don't really have the desire to but I am excited (RELIEVED) cause I just submitted my applications to Monterey and Brussels. Texas was done last week.

So now it's just a matter of getting the transcripts out...

and waiting.

Say your prayers for the Courtenay.

O Happy Day

It was sunny and warm today!

Today has been full of nice lil' things. First, Meg and I woke up and made French toast ensemble. Mmmmm...

Then I began playing with iTunes on my computer and discovered the ability to connect to all these different radio stations already programmed in, including Louisiana Tech's student-run station (which I didn't know existed but am excited about) and--are you ready--NPR!!!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!!!

So after this lil' bit of excitement I went to meet Shuey for lunch at the principal's secretary's house (follow that??). She greatly helped me and Meg during the great puce incident (see my blog from October) and has always been si gentille to me. And Shuey. So now she invited us over to lunch.

It was a typical French style meal, beginning with aperitif and lasting about 4 or 5 hours. After giving a hearty toast to spring, we eventually sat down to eat...RACLETTE!!!!!!!! Let's hear it for cheese, people!

For those of you who do not know about raclette, I feel sorry for you. But will still explain.

You take some cheese and you have, in this instance, a little machine that's hot. You put some cheese in this cute little pot and put it under the machine, wait for it to melt, then pour it over boiled potatoes. Then you eat it with ham and little sweet pickles. She also made this greek yogurt sauce with cucumbers and mint and garlic that was unfriggin believable.

After we bouffed for a couple hours we had salad (I love the French) then cafe, then dessert. And plenty o' nice conversation. Si francais.

So now, with a distended belly, I am sitting down to get serious and do some of my work that I have been putting off and just can't do any longer. Boo.

(But overall yea.)

Saturday, March 13, 2004

People are Freaks

Sometimes when I reflect on my life, I start to get a bit worried. I have some strange habits, or what I affectionately like to call my "OCD tendencies..."

Just when I start to think I'm a weirdo, however, I learn about people like this, and feel a whole lot better about myself.

Be sure to check out the fashion pages as well.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Go take this quiz




Stop the Madness!!

So because I like to keep up with the trends and was the first to report the latest scary French man fashion (that being the headband, or, in the spirit of Seinfeld, the MAN band), I am now afraid to report the latest runway garb for les mecs...

Italian Charm Bracelets. God help us all.

My fellow americans may know what I'm referring to...these silly little things were all the rage before I left for la France, and I will admit that I, kind of liking them, bought one myself.

A few weeks ago I noticed one of my MALE students wearing one...which disturbed me...but I ignored it.

Well today I was approached by another garcon who asked me about mine...apparently he noticed it awhile ago. I didn't happen to be wearing it today, so he asked if I could bring it for him to look at "next time." Because he wants one.

Oh la la people. This must end.

Court says "ENOUGH" of the headband wearing, cell phone hanging, fanny pack toting, pants tucked into the socks "fashion"!!

I just can't take it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Night Swimming...

I love this song...it deserves a quiet night...but not sure these people understand...

Shuey in da' house (encore une fois)

So Shuey was once again sans abri last night and came back to stay with the girls of 12 place St. Etienne.

After eating some sort of mixture with meat and mashed potatoes that he brought, we spent the rest of the time online entertaining ourselves with the interesting links that Donna puts up on her blog. Hysterical.

Our favorite sites included:

An animated song all about poop. I thought it was in Japanese, but Shuey (the quadrilingual who is in the process of learning Japanese) said no. He is, however, going to send it to his friend to find out what language it is and what they are singing about. Because it's very important.

The photos (including erotica!) and "Family Proposal" of some freako with a cleft in his upper lip that wants to have like 10 mistresses who get along well and will bear him 17 children. Worth a look-see if for nothing else but the giggle factor. And who knows? You may find true love....

And finally, a meaty commercial with supermodels.

Ah, good times.

But unfortunately all good things must come to an end, for Shuey's key finally arrived in the mail this afternoon.

Although we are quite happy for him, 12 place St. Etienne won't be the same.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Inspiration...calling inspiration...

This is what I don't understand:

In my short professional career before France, I had the job of a writer, cranking out more bullsh*t on short deadlines than I ever thought possible.

Yet it is now virtually impossible for me to write a simple personal statement for my grad school applications.

"Dear Sir: Just lemme into your friggin' school so I can get my a$$ out of debt!!"

Ugh.

"Tearin' me down like a jungle monkey, cuttin' me up like a jungle cat..."

Ho hey it's Monday. And that means back to school.

My re-entry wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be. Although I was quite tired today.

I have been wearing my pajamas since 6pm if that tells you anything.

But the fun part is Meg and I have a visitor this evening! Shuey is locked out of his room at the school and has nowhere to go until his key is mailed here from Lyon, so we took pity on him and are letting him stay chez nous.

Apparently when he came back to Strasbourg at 4 this morning he realized he had no key, and hung out at the gare until 7 when our school opened. Unfortunately, they don't have a spare key (which I just don't get) so he's been wandering around aimlessly at the school all day long. I just snuck in Meg's room to steal the cushions, only to return to my own and find him sprawled out, dead to the world on a blanket on our nice hard wooden floor. We woke him up to put down the cushions and he is once again knocked out.

Poor Shuey.

On the other hand, the cushions from our nice new IKEA chairs are being put to great use! Twice in 3 days!


Sunday, March 07, 2004

Whirlwind Weekend

Sunday and I am finally taking a breather.

Cristina (or Tia Teeny, known to her proches) took off at the azz crack of dawn to head back to Poiters. I think it was a nice visit. I hope it was a nice visit for her. She ate Kangeroo for God's sake! And we shared the Macintosh/iPod love which you just can't beat. You can now hire me to DJ all your soirees and various get-togethers.

Meg also came back last night to my pleasant surprise, having had a great time in Ireland and bringing back special gifts, including DIET COKE (Coca light sux), CHEDDAR CHEESE, a sponge with a handle you can put dishsoap in (impossible to find in France) and Louisiana seasoning. MMmmmmm...I am getting so homesick.

We went to El Machete last night for beverages and I was a bit dissappointed in my iced coffee. It was more than just coffee and vanilla. I don't know what was in it but I couldn't finish it. Fortunately Cristina was able to take it off my hands!

Today has also been quite an exciting day. Why, do you ask? Well, let me tell you:

First, now that Meghan's home, I can talk out loud in English to someone else. I have not shut up since this morning.

Second, she was able to explain how to work her screwdriver, and I put together our IKEA table.

Next, I swept all the dust out of my room.

Finally, I moved my bed, set up the desk, computer, speakers, phone, and now have some sort of an OFFICE SPACE. WOW!

I am hoping this newly acquired work space will perhaps motivate me to do some work but all I have really done this morning is play with iTunes and listen to music, including Cowboy Mouth, a band I have not heard recently but love.

Yea.

So now, in an effort to be productive, I must go and fill out applications. The future beckons.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

YIKES

So after all my child ranting the other day, last night I dreamed I was preganant and happy.

Scary scary scary.

Although I don't think this is an immediate worry unless immaculate conception is possible (or more like "Rosemary's Baby").

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Window Washing Part II

So I finally got my a$$ in gear and scrubbed the Xmas decorations (stop laughing!) off my other set of windows.

Give me a break, I have 24 windows in my room!!!!!

My motivation for this, and also for cleaning the toilet/sink/shower, is that tomorrow I am having a visitor! My fellow blogger Superscarf, known to the outside world as Cristina, is coming to visit from Poitiers!

Cristina is from San Antonio, is also an English assistant, AND is a graduate of UT/Austin! So she's good people already.

Should be quite a fun weekend.

Stupid credit card companies...

So today I finally received my new MasterCard, (so I am finally free to run up yet even more debt) and just tried to activate it.

I first spoke to "Mrs. Douglas" who was incredibly confused because my addresses have changed so much. Then she transferred me to "Mrs. Washington," who worked in fraud and security and was equally confused.

I guess in a way I'm glad they work hard to prevent fraud but I'm like, "I just wanna use my friggin' card."

All's well that ends well, however...

Bummer.

So my english student Franck called me this morning to tell me that he unfortunately did not pass the written part of exam that he took a few weeks ago.

This means he will now not have to pass the oral exam, which means he no longer needs english lessons from me.

BOO!

I am pretty bummed. Yet trying to remember that I'm sure Franck must feel worse. (Not all about Courtenay!!!!)

On the other hand, my friend Anatella and I were just discussing yesterday the possibility of giving English lessons, and she took me all around campus and pointed out where I should post signs.

I don't believe that's mere coincidence. So I shall merely post up some more signs and try again.

Don't you just love the American spirit**?????

(**At the wedding last weekend, I was talking to one of the other guests and told her that I had managed to find a bus from Lux into town, so I spent the day in the city. She replied, "I love you Americans. You are so resourceful. You always find a way to get what you need." Yes I suppose she's right...)

Manipulative lil' buggers...

Have you ever noticed that kids really know how to work it?

For real.

This fact has been brought to my attention more and more recently, and now I feel compelled to blog about it.

For example--last Sunday on my way home, I was waiting for the train to stop and this mom was trying to put her kid's coat on. He started whining and getting sobby, yet no tears were coming out of his little eyes...I then proceeded to make goofy faces at him** and he instantly forgot his act and became focused on me.

Today the same thing happened. Minus me making the goofy faces. Some little guy trying to cry about something but being distracted by people in the road. So his performance went a bit like, "Waaaa....waaa-.........waa--......"

What a bunch of workers. Even though I'm sure I did the same thing. I suppose I still do the same thing today, just in a more "mature" way of course...heh heh heh...

The big question is, I suppose, how fooled do the parents get?

(**Contrary to what some people think, I DO like children. A lot. I just prefer them if they do not belong to me. Not to say I wouldn't like some of my own one day, but right now a yellow lab just seems so much more fulfilling.)

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

"There were a lot of pompiers." "Would you say there was a plethora?" "Yes. Yes, there was a plethora of pompiers..."

Ah, a plethora of pompiers...what a lovely alliteration.

Tonight I went to my usual Wed evening rendez vous, this time being granted the key to open the room (ah the power...). I noticed there were a lot of security type people walking around but didn't think much about it.

Then, as I was making the coffee, I heard an "ahem" and an authoritative voice say "Bonsoir."

To my delight, before me stood a big buff pompier, decked out in his pompier uniform (not the rubber suit thing but just the SWAT team jumpsuit thing). He asked me if I knew there had been a fire alarm. Yeah, no, I didn't.

So I was like "I'll hurry and leave the building," and he said, "No no, don't worry about it."

Hmmmm....

So I am sitting, reading, and suddenly hear more voices, and turn around to see this time a large group of pompiers staring in at me. Finally I said "Bonsoir", and they responded in kind, and asked if I had smelled smoke.

By this time I'm getting concerned.

I told them I had only been there 15 minutes but didn't see or smell anything unusual...

Finally they took off again and I left shortly after, as no one else had shown up and I was afraid to be burned to a crisp.

Interesting evening.

Overall today was a good day. I met my Italian friend Anatella (from Milan!) for lunch at the university cantine, and to my delight discovered that they accept cash there, so I may have a new cheap place to nosh. Hooray! Cause sometimes you just don't feel like cooking. We spent most of the afternoon together which was a really nice way to pass the day.

I've spent most of the week getting a bunch of junk taken care of and getting my grad school applications together. The UT French dept contacted me today to see if I planned to attend this fall. Apparently I need to contact the admissions office to reinstate my application. I am only hoping the French dept is concerned about this because they want to give me an assistantship.

So please, folks, cross your fingers toes, and whatever else you can think of.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

FREA-KY

So in my trombone hoopla, I just now happened to stumble upon some reviews and website of Sarah Jane Nelson, who is now making it big in NYC and WENT TO MY HIGH SCHOOL.

In fact I was in drama with Sarah Jane, although she graduated a couple years before me. Wow.

I'm sure OCS is proud to have such a high achieving alum...they'll milk this one for all it's worth.

And one more for the road...

Just found this beautiful quote about our dancing trombonist (see my previous post) that I had to share:

"Hello everyone.

We trombonists have been waiting quite some time for our own messiah: Someone who can take the trombone and transport it to levels heretofore unknown; someone we can look up to an aspire to; someone who will break all the conventional rules of trombone playing in order to create a bold new world for us.

We have been duped by the false prophets too often. Alessi, Lindberg, Trudel, Taylor....

Step aside and behold the future of the trombone.

Our savior is just one click away, thanks to Steve Harvey's "Big Time" show."
***************************************************************************

Court Says: "May freedom and bonedancing reign forever."


(Credit: Roblog.)

My blog en Portugueshhhhhhhh

So in doing my routine spying, I saw that someone translated my entire blog into Portuguese so they could read an old post about MC Solaare.

I wish my Portuguese was better so I could read it myself. Quite cool nonetheless...

Yeah Trombones

I may still have a chance for a musical career after all!

(Special thanks to Donna for finding this one!)