Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Housing Hell

I am very ashamed of myself at the state of my blogging these days. First of all, it is boring as hell. Second of all, it is boring as hell.

My excuses, however, have been good.

First, I am currently living in South Bend, Indiana.

Second, I am currently living in South Bend, Indiana.

That should provide sufficient explanation.

Ironically however, in spite of the boring city, I have not stopped since I got here. Between seeing old friends and starting to prepare for the next big move (Yea Austin!), I am going nuts. Nance and I are making trips out to Michigan City on Mondays and Chicago on Tuesdays, so I don't really have a chance to stop and smell the ethanol until Wednesdays, and even then...

I have begun looking for an apartment in Austin, and doing this sight unseen is very very scary. Luckily I have managed to meet two people already living there, including my fellow assistante Superscarf and Clare, the daughter of a friend of mine here in the Bend. I also just found out I have two cousins that I've never met living in Austin as well, so I'm trying that angle too.

The big irony in all this is I was excited to get a list of potential places from a free headhunter service (these are all over) but then found a web site with ratings of all these joyous apartments and started to change my mind.

My personal favorite is The Hills at the Arboretum. While the pictures look quite charming, they apparently have an infestation of feral cats. Oh yes. Feral cats. Please, read the article. It'll give you that warm fuzzy feeling.

Apparently the head hunter forgot to mention "free pet" with apartment info.

I love it.

Oh, and apartments are expensive too. And you have to pay all the utilities. No breaks around here. (Maybe this is normal to you, but in the Bend usually the apt pays for at least water...and in my case, gas too.) Thank God for government loans.

So this weekend will be the grand budgeting event (you all know how much I love numbers) and I hope to make some sort of decision by next week. I did find a place in Round Rock (a little suburb north of Austin) that I like and it was reasonable compared to all the others. Most importantly, it got all positive reviews and there do not appear to be any cats.

But again, Indecisive Girl has trouble with these sorts of things. So the solution remains to be seen.

Send your positive thoughts my way.

Grrr...

So I really like listening to my newly discovered French radio station, Le Mouv, but every day around 3pm (Central time), the two most annoying women djs come on air. All they do is talk. And once in awhile play some music. And then talk some more in their annoying, nails scratching on a chalkboard voices.

I need to start bringing CDs to work...

Stupid Americans

Lighten up people! It's just a boob!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Let's throw this unpatriotic bastard in prison!

Thank God for the Patriot Act, that makes it all possible.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Haha

These made me laugh.

I love irony.

and

Careful guys...

BLECH.

So I might have found the miracle to cure me of my Starbucks addiction.

My espresso today tastes like old, bottom-of-the-coffee-pot, sitting-out-for-8-hours coffee.

And yet, I'm going to continue to choke it down anyway, because it cost me $2.50.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

O Happy Happy Day

Guess what friends?????????

I have a recipe for fromage blanc.

More importantly, I have found the key ingredient, rennet tablets, to make the fromage blanc.

Now I never have to go to France ever again.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

"Yaaaaaallaaaaaaaaaaaaa..."

I've had this song in my head all day. I really like Calogero.

Friday, June 25, 2004

It's hard to take something seriously...

...when it's called "El Pollo Loco."

Utensil Update

I found a spoon.

Knives, knives everywhere, but not a spoon for me...

So I am trying to find something to eat my yogurt with, and I go to the little basket in the break room. Full of knives.

So then I go to the other little utensil basket on the other side. Also full of knives.

In fact, I have counted three places in the break room where we have knives but nothing else.

I don't know if this mass quantity of knives and nothing else should have me worried or just annoyed...

It is wrong...

...to be this tired.

I need coffee. More specifically a grand cafe creme.

Gah! This has got to stop.

Kitty in ma lap

Happy Friday.

Since I arrived at Nanci and Pat's, I've been trying to make friends with their two cats, Java and Sprockets.

While they've met me before, I don't think they have quite yet understood why I never seem to leave the house, and thus tend to look at me funny. Beyond the occasional pat on the head, they don't come around me much.

Last night, however, I had a major breakthrough, when Sprockets climbed up on the sofa next to me...then a little closer...then a little closer...then curled up on my stomach and purred. She stayed there for awhile, then jumped off the couch, much to my dissappointment.

I think she realized she hurt my feelings, however, because a little while later, when I was on the computer, she put her paws on my leg and butted my hand for a pat.

I'm in.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Well at least I know I'm on the right track...

Courtesy of Tickle

Courtenay, you are an Insightful Linguist.

This means you have the natural fluency of a writer and the visual talents of an artist. You also have a creative and expressive mind.

Copy machine...you're goin' DOWN.

Grrrr....

Stupid copy machine that collates things I don't want it to and then gets jammed and then gives me bad diagrams and makes me dig in every nook and cranny for the stuck papers and then tells me the "outbox bin" is broken right before I have to go to a meeting.

I'm gonna kick your a$$.

It is evil and it must be destroyed

So I've decided that my espresso addiction is either going to put me in the poorhouse or the caffeine addiction recovery center. The poorhouse is the option I fear the most.

I think I need to fire up the ol' espresso machine and start making my own. And buy a bean grinder. Mmmmm...my dad would be so proud.

I miss Strasbourg

Ok, so it's starting to hit now.

This morning I was looking some stuff up on Strasbourg for someone else and now I'm just sad. They are building a new tram line that I'm gonna miss! Look how pretty it is! Dammitt!

So this, combined with the fact that yesterday I realized how boring my blog has become since I've gotten back (seriously), I realize I miss Strasbourg. I miss 12 place St. Etienne. I miss Rue des Freres and Les Freres Bons Bons with the picture of the happy monk eating a sucker...I miss the tram music ("Lalalalalalala...Lycee Kleber...)...I miss the cathedral and the accordians and the other musicians...I miss grand cafe cremes...I miss tartines at Secrets de Table...I miss Crepe Mili...I miss alimentation shopping at Galeries Lafayette...I miss the gare and the lady saying "Strasbourg...ici, Strasbourg...merci de surveiller que vous n'avez rien oublie dans le train" in three different languages...I miss sitting in cafes...I miss teaching...I miss my students...I miss the teachers at my school...I miss my other assistant friends...I miss traveling...I miss (dare I say it) F*ckhead and his crew...And I miss speaking French.

How funny the way things turn around so quickly. But that's just the way it is.

So excuse me now while I turn on Le Mouv and cry quietly in my cubicle.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, June 21, 2004

Stupid Microsoft Word!

Why are you conspiring to annoy me?!

...but still addicted to coffee...

Mmmm...just got a Starbucks. I like their lattes, but they're no French grand cafe creme...

God bless the 35 cent Diet Coke/Pepsi/Dr. Pepper

The best thing about being back at work is the company subsidized beverages...ahhhh...how I've missed my cold caffeine in the morning...so cheap...so good...

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Lifetime...television about Jacko

One of the things I missed the most while I was in France was Lifetime t.v. Mainly because the Golden Girls is my favorite show ever, but I also got a kick out of making fun of their "made for tv movies."

Anyway, I was looking at it today, and apparently their show Strong Medicine (which I have never seen) is having a "ripped from the headlines" show, a la Law and Order. And guess what the story is? A female pop star comes to stay at the hospital, the doctors introduce her to a little girl who is a huge fan, and then the star invites the girl to stay over at her own personal "Neverland." Then, of course, when something inappropriate happens, the nurses get blamed for introducing them. And they spend the rest of the show talking about it.

Or at least that's what the previews say.

(Brief pause while Court steps up on her soapbox)

Ok, so if you're going to do a whole "ripped-from-the-headlines" thing, fine. But you should know, people are tired of that. Because Law and Order did it way too much and it just got annoying.

AND, if you're going to do a whole "ripped-from-the-headlines" thing, at least pick something that's not so recent and already over media frenzied, like Michael Jackson.

What does a girl have to do for a little originality these days?

Back in da Bend

Happy Sunday morning everyone. For some reason since I've been back, I've been unable to do my whole 'sleep till noon' thing. Maybe it's because I'm no longer in France...or maybe because I am no longer being woken up every hour by screaming/laughing/drunken singing/twirling/fighting/bleeding, so I don't know. But in any case, 8am has become "sleeping in" for me.

Anyway, yesterday started my first full weekend in the Bend, and was oh so pleasant. First, because it was a bee-you-ti-ful day. No clouds in the sky, and it was nice and cool.

But it was good mostly because I got to see all my peeps yesterday morning. It has been so (too) long. And then, of course, we made our regular excursion to Martins afterwards. Just like old times.

I wrapped up the day at a graduation party held for my friend Kathi's son. I like the whole graduation party thing. We didn't do that when I graduated high school. In fact, I don't really think it's as popular in the South as the Midwest...maybe I'm wrong...but from my experience, if we had a party, it was usually just right after the ceremony. In fact I think I had a group graduation party with some of my friends right after which only lasted a couple hours. Then we all went out. No big hoopla.

But in any case, I got to meet Kathi's entire family and hang out with them all day. So it was tres tres nice.

Today I'm off to the cinema with Drevs and Mary, and seeing more of my peeps tonight.

Oooo. Rah.

Friday, June 18, 2004

What's my deal?

So I was feeling in the mood for some francais today at work and found an online French radio station. Hooray for Le Mouv!

I like how when I was actually IN France, and listening to French radio was fairly simple, I never did. In fact, I went out of my way not to.

And now I've got it cranked up so I can hear the announcer talk.

Oy.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Fun Fact of the Day

Up to 11th Century
Diabetes was commonly diagnosed by 'water tasters,' who drank the urine of those suspected of having diabetes; the urine of people with diabetes was thought to be sweet-tasting. The Latin word for honey (referring to its sweetness), 'mellitus', was added to the term diabetes as a result.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

This is cheerful.

I had no idea you could find this kind of stuff online.

And I owe it all to my job!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

You are now entering...the Twilight Zone. (dodododododododo)

Today was my first day back at PG.

Strange. Because everything is the same and everything has changed.

Ironically, I am right back in my old cubicle. The only difference is I no longer have my nice blue chair. I was starting to bitch about it and then Jackie reminded me I had given it to her. So then I shut up. And then I found another chair that isn't as good as the blue one, but is not that bad. At least I know my old blue friend is in good hands.

My job is also quite different than before. Where once I was a writer, I am now doing market research. Which will be nice to get experience in. And different.

There are also quite a few different people. And quite a few of the same people. So I've been introducing and reintroducing myself to them all day.

There were a few points today when I got a bit freaked out. A funny powerful thing that time is.

Tomorrow the Emile and me are going to Martins.

Now that is back to normal. =)

Monday, June 14, 2004

But on a positive note...

I got to see Marky mark for a second time this evening. For the ** show. And it was awesome. Laughing is good.

La Prefecture, American Style

Well my little lemon has finally been registered, so my fears of being pulled over and ticketed for not having a license plate are gone. And I guess that means the car is officially mine. Whohoo.

Drevs and I went to the DMV (I refuse to call it BMV, it's a DEPARTMENT, not a BUREAU!)to register our cars together. The only difference was Drevs has had her car for, oh, almost a year now. She's my kind of procrastinator.

But unfortunately Drevs got turned away because she was missing something. Poor Drevs. So I stayed and waited the two hours toute seule.

When you're sitting doing nothing you have a lot of time to think. And this is when I decided how much like the French we Americans are. We like to have stupid bureacratic rules ourselves.

When I finally got called up, the lady tells me I have to pay a $20 late fee because it's been over 30 days since I bought the car. Yes, well, it was really nice of them to remind of that fact, especially when I emailed and called them a gazillion times while in France to take care of this little problem and received no reply. EVER.

Anyway, so in response, I snapped my fingers Zorro style and said "No you DIT-ENT beeyatch".

Just kidding. I actually pulled out my passport and titre de sejour, along with my work papers and a bank statement showing that my address was no longer in Indiana for THE PAST NINE MONTHS. Cause dammitt, I can argue just fine in English, and I'm not afraid of you mean DMV lady!

So while I was protesting the late fee, Ms. Patriotic DMV lady sitting next to my "helper" was tutting about some man who mentioned what a backwards state Indiana was. Then she said to everyone around her, while shaking her Proud to Be an American bottlecap necklace, "If you don't like Indiana, then you should leave."

Yes, good plan.

Anyway, as if the whole patriotic spirit had caught on to the workers, the Patty/Selma-esque woman taking care of me said they would only make that sort of out of country exception for the military.

I'm convinced she was going to let me slide until she saw I was living in France.

But we'll never know.

Then she proceeded to have a "problem" with the title, apparently it had not been signed properly, so in her bitchy tone she says, "Well, I might have to void this out. And your total is ten million dollars, but I might just have to void this all out until you get the title fixed, and then your price will still be ten million dollars. Oh, and did I mention I might have to void this out? Things can get hairy like this when you buy cars on eBay. And, yeah, I might have to void this out."

Yeah B*tch. Let me show you just how hairy things can get...

In any case, another Patty/Selma esque woman took my title, was gone for 15 minutes, then told me everything was fine.

Whatever. Just give me my plate, DMV whore.

We have no room to say anything about the French bureaucracy.

And btw, I'm contesting my late fee. It's the principle. Not to mention $20 is a lot when you're poor.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Hot Court

Hee hee...

So one of the guests at the cookout last night was the 12 year old nephew of Nanci's friend. Apparently after leaving the party he told his aunt he thought I was "really hot." He then went on to say that he didn't understand why people over 18 couldn't date people under 18.

I had kinda wondered why he shook my hand upon leaving, and then came back to give me a hug.

I would say that I'm flattered, but I'm more concerned about the reasons why I'm attracting 12 year old boys and not guys my own age.

Gah!

There's this song I keep hearing on the radio that I love and always turn it up when I hear it and I just found out Britney sings it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Augh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I listened to Britney!!!!!!!!!! I've got Britney germs!!!!!!!!!!!Get hot water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get the iodine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God Bless America

Hello from the Heartland of America (or whatever they call it) everyone.

I am proud to report that I, along with my lemon of a car, made it safe and sound to South Bend. After bringing it back to the mechanics (they have a dartboard with our picture on it now) they proclaimed they heard no noise and there was nothing wrong with it.

And after driving it 1,000 miles, I heard no noise either.

So whatever.

I am now getting settled in at Nanci and Pat's house, and they welcomed me back with a big cookout yesterday. Major excitement first because I haven't been to a cookout in a year, but secondly because they invited a bunch of friends in our giant clique and it was awesome to see everyone again.

Today I made it out to Martins, but only for coffee (I will hit the salad bar tomorrow), and even went to a movie. Thank you lord for huge screens and stadium seating, and no French subtitles on the bottom. Ahhhh...

Tonight Master Sean scored us free tix for Mark Lundholm. If you've never seen one of his shows, I highly recommend it. HIL.AR.I.OUS. Even if you're not friends with Bill.

It feels good to be in the USA. Not overly weird. Perhaps I wasn't in France long enough for it to be weird. I don't know. But in keeping with this spirit:

Here is a list of things I will not miss about France
Coca Light
Expensive Coca Light
Jour feries (bank holidays)
Everything closing at 7 p.m. and Sundays
French "Fashion" (this one made both of my lists...)
F*ckhead, drumming, noise, murders, domestic violence
Pants tucked into the socks
Fanny Packs
Greves
Quality French television, such as "Sept a la maison" and the Mario Lopez bike patrol show...
Bureaucracy/Le Systeme D
Cutting in lines
Being asked about GWB 24/7
Lack of ice in glasses

Ummmm...

I had a whole list written out but it's upstairs in my bag somewhere and I'm too lazy to look for it. So next time I come down to blog I'll try to remember and bring it. But suffice to say, la Court is la contente, for now.

She does start work on Tuesday...

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Enough Atkins Low Carb Crap!!!

Yeah, one thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post...

I've been home for like 5 days now and every single place I've been is on this crazy a$$ Atkins low carb b.s. What the hell happened?? I leave for 9 months and everyone starts living on protein?? It didn't bother me that much until I had lunch at McAllister's today and saw bright signs everywhere advertising that iced tea only has "1 carb." Now come on. Really. It's iced friggin' tea people.

I have rolled my eyes so many times I think they're about to get stuck in the back of my head.

And yes, I know people who have done Atkins and I'm sure it works and that's fine for you but I just can't justify eating nothing but bacon, eggs and ground meat at every meal.

Well vive la capitalism and all that for the restaurants and grocery stores with new low carb menus cause I'm sure they're cashing in big time.

And may God have mercy on all of our poor poor souls...

On my way to Indiana (no just kidding)

Sorry I have not been blogging more regularly but life has been considerably more interesting since my return to les Etats Unis.

Our stint in Baton Rouge chez Yves and Bridget ended with Marilyn getting in a fender bender (an expensive one) on I-10. So that extended our stay by a bit, but luckily we made it home in time to visit my dear old friend Domini, and her new husband. Domini and I have been friends since we were like 3 or something. Our parents knew each other, then we went to school together, then we went to different schools but wrote to each other and got together a few times a year, and we even met up in France a few years ago, and now she is married and we're all grown up. So it was good to see her.

So anyway, today I was supposed to start out for Indiana, but my certain lemon of a car has made that impossible. So here's the deal...I bought a car off of eBay. It was through a dealer not too far from my mum, who took a look at the car before I bought it. Since we have gotten it, we've had to have the transmission fixed (which thankfully the dealer helped with). Then after that it was making another noise so we brought it back and they tightened something up. Then I discovered the CD player didn't work so I had that fixed. Then today I am all set to leave and we hear another noise. We bring it quickly to the mechanic, only to find out it may need another timing belt (way before it's due).

So I am here in Monroe another night and praying they can fix it ASAP tomorrow morning so I can make it to the Bend. I'm already missing an evening at the Green Star with the PG gang. As the Brits would say, Bloody F-ing Hell. Or the French, "Putain!"

And I don't want any crap from any of you about getting a car off of eBay because we checked it out beforehand and everything seemed fine.

So making the best out of a bad situation, Marilyn and I rented a couple of films and had a nice evening in. She even managed to stay awake through one of them!

Cross your fingers that I can leave tomorrow!

Monday, June 07, 2004

Back with my own kind...

Hello friends, I am currently sitting in my brother and his wife's apartment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I'm happy to report I made it back safe and sound to the good ol' Etats Unis.

My last day in Strasbourg wrapped rather nicely, although it was busy. Meg and I spent the day taking pictures for our "ABCs of Strasbourg" project, then she and our friend Christelle took me out for a birthday dinner at Le Petit Ours. One last time. We decided in the end that even though we have crushes on all the waiters, they are all gay. We're not being mean--it really is a gay restaurant. Dommage.

Anyway, Megs and I camped out at Hotel Etap right across the street from the gare, which in addition to providing a nice view of the street, also had BUNK BEDS, and at 4:30 a.m. we woke up bright and early to get to the gare with all our crap.

Here are the highlights from the voyage home:

Court wakes up at 3:30, 3:45, 4, 4:15, and finally decides to just climb out of the bunk bed before the alarm goes off.

Court and Meg do final packing checks. Freak out about weight of bags. Court decides to try wearing her backpack on wheels and it doesn't rip this time.

Walk across street to gare. Pain. In. The. Ass.

Court hears her bag straps ripping.

Make it to the gare in tact. Get luggage trolley.

Two guys stop to ask if we speak German. We tell them we know our colors and some of the words to "Das ist Deutschland" but that's about it.

Court's backpack straps finally rip off completely.

Wait for train.

Giggle when we find out the name of the train is the "Orient Express."

Load all our bags on one at a time and get strange stares from the passengers.

Sleep.

Arrive Paris Est. Court cherches a trolley while Meg dumps the bags on the ground.

Court returns with trolley only to see Meg walking behind large man with all of our bags on a dolley.

Court suives.

Luggage guy goes to front of station, hails a cab, yells at French people who try to cut in line (haha!) and sends us on our way (after we paid him 12 euros of course...worth every centime).

Head out to Charles de Gaulle. Cab driver tells us "Your president will be here this weekend." Yes, we know. "Your president is interesting." Yes, we know. "I'm sure you are both tired of people asking about your president." Yes, we are.

Arrive Charles de Gaulle.

Bedlam.

Wait for check in. Hear Americans all over the place.

All Court can think about is David Sedaris, specifically his book Me Talk Pretty One Day and the chapter about the Metro in Paris.

Check in. Discover to our extreme delight that both of our bags are not only acceptable, they are actually UNDERWEIGHT!

Begin to get sad about leaving France. Then stand in typically French line (read MOB) for security and change our minds.

Grab lunch.

Board plane.

Bye bye Paris...sniffles...

Court and Meg celebrate departure by listening to Tom Petty's "American Girl," followed by "Das ist Deutschland."

Court and Meg get giddy about the first beverage service, as they are bound to serve DIET COKE!

Beverage service starts. Ask for Diet Coke. Flight attendant gives us each a can.

Inspect cans. Meg proudly lifts her Diet Coke in sweet triumph. Court does the same. To her horror, Court realizes that she has been given COCA LIGHT!!!

Meg frantically turns and fraps the flight attendant furiously. See the below conversation:

"Excuse me, do you have another Diet Coke? This is Coca Light."

"(In smart ass joking tone) Oh, what Coca Light isn't good enough for you? You have to have the American Version?"

"(in unison)Yes."

"(Eye roll) Hey, so and so (other flight attendant) do you have any more AMERICAN Diet Coke? These girls don't like FRENCH Diet Coke."

Meg and Court bask not only in the glory of their beverages, but also in the fact that they had no hesitation in asking for what they wanted. A la american.

Open cans of Diet Coke at the same time.

Satisfying cracks in unison, which causes several passengers to turn around and stare.

To entertain themselves, Meg and Court play "Spot the Air Marshall" on the plane.

Find him. Or who we think is, anyway.

Spend the rest of the flight dozing, reading, watching tv.

Arrive in Dallas!

Share our first American meal at Chili's. Get WAY too excited about it.

Hostess tells us to "CALM DOWN."

Waiter on the other hand is much more understanding, since he lived in Germany for four years. He knew all about stuff closed on Sunday and jour feries, and kept refilling our glasses of both diet coke and water. And ICE. Lots of ICE.

The roomates of 12 place St. Etienne part ways. The end of an era. Sniffles.

Court arrives Shreveport. Sees Marilyn.

Court is thrilled to see all her bags made it to Shreveport.

Court and Marilyn drive back to Monroe.

Court is about to die from exhaustion until she sees her car in the driveway.

Takes drive around the block.

Yea car!

Driving is weird.

Bed. Time. In a big comfortable bed. Ahhhhh...

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

So what a good journey it was, and on Sunday, Marilyn and I headed to Baton Rouge to visit Yves and Bridget. Surprisingly I am not that jet lagged, and more surprisingly, I am not freaking out as much as I thought I would be, culture shock wise. In some ways it's like I never left, although I only come to Louisiana a few times a year anyway, so maybe that's why. South Bend will be the true test.

Last night we had dinner at Mike Anderson's (I got the Joliet Rouge, whitefish with crab meat and a stuffed potato) and I delighted in ordering a meal to my specifications. Dressing on the side, can you change the fish, can we have more wheat crackers, blah blah blah.

Yea America. It feels good to be back.




Friday, June 04, 2004

Goodbye La France

Well this is it folks, we're at the end of the line. We have officially returned the keys to 12 place St. Etienne and are now in the process of saying goodbye to dear Strasbourg.

Tonight we celebrate my birthday with Christelle at Le Petit Ours. Hooray!

It hasn't hit me that I am living. It's all very surreal. I think when I get on the plane I'll feel it then.

Wish us safe travels and that our bags aren't too heavy to get on the airplane. Because franchement, I'm concerned.

So I decided to leave France with yet another list. Enjoy.

Things I will miss about France (and just might take back to the USA)
Cafe, specifically Grande Cafe Creme. Also sitting at a cafe for hours and people watching.

Crepes and Gallettes

Toasting every time you share a drink

Eating/drinking outside

Aperatifs in the evening

Lingering over meals (i.e. not getting rushed out of a restaurant)

Love of dairy (although to be honest I had this in the States)

Envie to walk instead of drive

Putting relationships before profit

Free incoming cell phone calls and text messages

Cigones

Doner Kebab

Chocolat served with cafe

SCARVES

Saying Bonjour and Au Revoir when going into stores

Le Systeme D

Traveling by train

Street performers

Manifestations

Student Discounts

Tartines

Artful Patisserie

Cheap flights

Tax and gratuity included

Le Tram (public transportation)

Cheese

FRESH BREAD

Shoes

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

Well that's all for now folks. When I get back to the states I'll have a list of things I WON'T miss about France...

Stay tuned and see you on the other side of the Atlantic!

Happy Birthday Me!

I am 25 today!
J'ai 25 ans aujourd'hui!
Tengo 25 anos hoy!
Tenho 25 anos(sssshhh) hoy!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Down to the Wire

Ok, so I move out of my apartment tomorrow. On my birthday no less. No more 12 place St. Etienne! No more F*ckhead! No more twirling chains of fire! No more pink couch! No more attempted murders!

Waaaaah!

Meg and I have now taken all our decorations down and the apartment is vide. I hate it. This is the main thing I can't stand about moving--when you have nothing left to make your place recognizable. Then you just need to get the hell outta there because it's too weird.

Yesterday was oh so good though in spite of apt clean up. First we saw Mr. Pfeiffer (P is not silent) and found out we can keep the bank accounts open as long as we want. So no problem getting our deposit back.

The big event though was seeing HP POA. Can I tell you how hyper we were? Made worse by the fact that we got a free espresso beforehand.

Here are my thoughts on the flick:

The kids have grown up. If it wasn't against the law, I would have a crush on Daniel and Rupert.

Neville Longbottom has beaucoup change!

Yes it's much darker, both in tone and lighting. Took awhile to get used to. But I liked it.

I felt like they rushed quite a bit of the story. But I guess you can't do everything.

Hippogriff=Tres cool.

I wish they had shown more of Remus Lupin's relationship with his students and what a good teacher he is...but then again I'm picky. He is my favorite character after all.

The Dementors didn't look like I thought they would.

The never tell you that Lupin, Sirius, Pettigrew and James are Mssrs Moony, Padfoot, Wormtail and Prongs. I think that's pretty important.

You got to see more of Hogwarts and what it's like to be a student and that was really cool.

They didn't show enough of Snape and the animosity between him and Lupin, Sirius, et al. Boo.

Double Boo on the Snape thing because I am in love with Alan Rickman (thankfully that's not against the law) and wanted to see (and hear) more.

The whole Time Turner sequence was tres cool.

I liked the few lines, etc they added that were not in the book.

It's a good movie so go see it dammitt! But you should really read the books cause they're better.
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Anyway, after HP we headed back chez nous and were treated with a thunderstorm. It's been ages. I loved it.

Finally we met my friend Christelle and her friend Arnaud for dinner. Arnaud has recently cut off his long dreadlocks and I had no clue it was him. Wow.

So I'm heading back now to 12 place St. Etienne to finish some choses, mail a box home, and perhaps grab a coffee.

Then it's time to mop our nasty nasty kitchen floor. This is going to be a hands and knees job and I am not looking forward to it.

Well folks, a demain, for my last blog in France!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Is my blog weird??

So today is the first time since I've changed the blog format that I've seen it on a PC; and it's all funky with links and everything at the bottom.

Am I just crazy? Tell me what you see.

A Texas-Sized Suitcase

Hello friends, I am blogging from Lycee Marc Bloch, which is free but a little annoying because:

1. I have to re-learn the French Keyboard.
2. I have to buy a tram pass. I have been getting away with riding for free, but I still get nervous so decided to get a ticket.

But nothing can dampen my spirits, because today is the release of Harry Potter POA!!! Haha stupid americans! I get to see it before you in France!

Anyway, yesterday was incredibly productive. I am proud to say that I am almost completely packed.

I went to TATI (le plus bas prix!) yesterday to cherche a big suitcase and found one capable of holding several small children or an adult such as Webster .

After putting everything in it, I realized what a gigantic bag this is. And then my roomate made a comment about it...and then we decided it would do Texas proud.

I also managed to scrub down my room, including all the windows, of which there are 24. Go me.

Then we settled in to watch 4 hours of Alias. Thank you Oz for loaning out the precious. And thank you Mickey as well for TiVoing it.

Bad news, I tried to be reimbursed for my lunch card and meals I haven't eaten at the school. Unfortunately they only do it by direct deposit in August. So I'm screwed. Or need to find a way to eat 4 meals by Friday. Curses.

I'd really just rather have the money.

Sunday is the Fete des Mamans in France. I don't understand why we can't all celebrate the same day, but whatever. I will say though, how disturbed I was to see the Sephora ad this morning at the tram stop: "Vive les mamans sexy," with a busty young woman. While I understand that sex sells, I don't particularly want to think of how sexy my mom is when I'm buying her a gift.

Maybe that's just me.

Anyway, I am off to meet with Mr. Pfeiffer (the "p" is not silent) to talk bank accounts, and then off to see Harry Potter 3!!!!!!!!!

Quotes of the Day:
"Ok, nothing can explode in here anymore."
--Meg, having cleaned the microwave.

"Nothing else can explode in here either."
--Court, having scrubbed the red toilet.