mercredi, décembre 28, 2005

snow days

Ever since yesterday morning it has been snowing mostly non-stop! Big thick fluffy flakes coming down all over town, it got up to about 4 or 5 inches today! In the past few years that I've lived here I've never seen this much snow!

So of course I've been holed up at home drinking tea and hot chocolate and procrastinating my work because hey, I'm on vacation! But this afternoon the sun came out a bit and so I walked around town taking pictures of the town under a blanket of white.

Otherwise nothing exciting going on, with none of the roads salted there are very few cars and the public transport is barely running so its good to just hang out.

Hope you all are doing well. I leave you with 2 pictures from town, the chateau and the view from my window :) Enjoy!

lundi, décembre 26, 2005

christmas weekend

Well I know my faithful readers (all 2 or 3 of you....) are dying to hear about my Christmas weekend so here's my little recap for your reading pleasure ;)

On Saturday afternoon I took the bumpy little TER train out to La Manche where I spent Christmas Eve with a wonderfully welcoming French family.

After a champagne apero we started on dinner... let me tell you, what a dinner!

Started off with:
*Oysters on the halfshell (for those who liked them) or a little puffpastry filled with cheese and ham.
*Then another appetizer of fried fois gras with sauteed apples (yum yum!) served with Sauternes
*A trou normand
*Main dish: Ostrich, little bundles of green beans and sweet potatoes (besides the green beans not a typical french dish!)
*Dessert: cookies I had brought (thanks Gwenn for your amazing Chocolate-Chocolate-Craisin recipe!) and a homemade pear/chocolate Bûche de Noël

Then presents were opened around 11pm when a webcam/MSN conversation was set up with the oldest brother who is off in South America.

Christmas carols were sung at midnight and then too beat after that excellent dinner everyone was up in bed by 1am (not that late for a Christmas Eve).

I had to catch my train at noon on the 25th so I could be back in Caen to celebrate Christmas Day with Jen and her family who was visiting from the States. After some fantastic French toast, scrambled eggs (with lardons of course!) and lots of o.j. I rolled on home to open my loot!

I'm one spoiled kid! I got tons of fun stuff from home, I especially liked the 4 pounds of coffee and tons of skiens of yarn, great for cold winter days. While watching my new DVD (Phantom of the Opera) I got a chance to talk to almost everyone at home which was really nice. Then I rejoined (does that exist in English?) Jen, her family and Natalie for a yummy stir-fry dinner.

A big warm hug and thank you to everyone that I could share Christmas with, and to everyone at home who thought about me during the weekend. I couldn't have had a better time over here.

gros bisous a tous

samedi, décembre 24, 2005

seasons greetings

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays and Peace on Earth.


For the second time this week I've gone down to the public pool to swim laps with a friend.

I love it. It is so relaxing and unwinding to swim laps back and forth. I don't know why I'd never gone to check out the public pool before, it is right next to my house, only 1.55E for students and open even on Sundays!

But now I've been and it is fantastic. Both days we swam 1km of laps (each lap being 50m). It reminds me of summers playing in the pool, my sister and I racing, doing laps as fast as possible. It is the first time that I've used an outdoor pool in France and it is great, the pool is heated and each time I pop my head up to breathe I get the crisp refreshness of a December day.

The only trouble is I hate wearing a bathing cap, how annoying! I look like a Smurf with Dumbo ears!

Oh well, a small price to pay for an hour of clearheaded, weightless swimming.

I think I'll stop in tomorrow morning before Xmas Eve festivities (yes, now I do have plans).

mercredi, décembre 21, 2005

coupe de blues

Don't freak out, not manic depressive or anything but just got a bit homesick tonight. The longer I'm gone the easier it gets, and believe me after the last 3 years I've been doing pretty good. But the holidays are never an easy time. I'm very thankful to have a wonderful family to share Christmas Day with but when I realized tonight that I'd be alone Christmas Eve it hit me hard...


it just sounds so - alone.

Maybe I'll just spend the day pampering myself, hot cocoa, movies and knitting. Buy some yummy pastery and try not to think about it being Christmas Eve, afterall it would technically only be the 23rd in the States! Or maybe I'll brighten up the day but opening my presents early, afterall I'm not going to lug them over to our xmas brunch just to open them in front of people that didn't give them to me, that way I can get those stateside to call me while I open them and pretend I'm home.

**update: the box I sent home THREE weeks ago finally arrived today! Mom just called and she got it at the post office and was pulling out the goodies as we were speaking. I was going to go down to the post office and ring someone's neck but it came in the nick of time. (My sister is leaving tomorrow so its good she gets her presents before leaving!)

That put a smile on my face.

lundi, décembre 19, 2005

city of lights

I havn't been writing much (as Benette pointed out) as there hasn't been that many exciting things going on. My free time, and thoughts, have been occupied by the Boy but I don't feel comfortable putting that online. Lets just say things are going well.

Back to other things, on Saturday I made a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants decision to go to Paris for the day on Sunday. Some friends of mine had been planning on going to spend a couple days in the capital but I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend that much money.

So Saturday afternoon I decided to go just for the day, we left early in the morning and had a wonderful time. It had been since August that I was in Paris and it was great to be back, especially with a fantastic Christmas atmosphere!

We arrived at 10am and I meet up with Virginie at her place for a coffee and chat. Then hooked up with the Caen girls and had a lovely lunch in a funky cafe in Montmartre. We made our way down to the Marais to check out all the great boutiques they have there, then walked down to Bastille for a coffee. I had picked up the FUSAC and found out about an American church putting on Christmas Carols. Was going to go but I was way too tired after the long day so I decided to head back to Caen.

Side note: A friend of mine and her fiancee went to Germany for break so I've been cat-sitting. I have to remind myself to stop by everyday to feed them, so what do I do last night? I get all the way back home and realized that I forgot the kitties! So I had to go back outside and feed the little fuzz-balls. But they are oh so cute! Its nice to have a warm welcome when you walk in the door, coming up and purring around your legs. Course they know that I bring the chow but hey, still love it!

Things are quiet around here but I like it. Its nice to take a break, be on vacation and veg in front of the tv. So if there aren't many posts thats cause I'm too lazy to post... but I'm around! I promise I'm alive over here, drooling over the lovely presents that arrived in the mail today. But no touchie until the 25th! :)

lundi, décembre 12, 2005

cast your votes!

A few years back people told me I looked like Kate Winslet. But more recently I've gotten Cameron Diaz...

Don't get me wrong, they are both very nice compliments! Both very beautiful women, but honestly I don't see either at all when I look in the mirror.

So cast your votes, don't be shy!

Let me know, I'm really curious!

jeudi, décembre 08, 2005


I've had a great day so far, even if it entailed waking up at the buttcrack of dawn to haul out to my 2nd school where I teach. But the kids were great, I had a group of 6 girls that were actually interested in trying to communicate and made me feel worthwhile. Then the best news came, I didn't have to stay until 5:30 as my last class was canceled, that means I was on the bus home at 3:00! Yipppee!

So what did I do when I came home? I baked of course!

I was invited by a girl in my Masters program to a housewarming/christmas party! First time I'm going to ever see my classmates outside of class! This girl is very nice, in fact when she said she was going to Dublin 2 weeks ago and I said that I missed Philadelphia Cream Cheese she brought back two ginormous tubs! So when she asked me to bring something to the party - Cheesecake!

I finally could make a normal cheesecake! Its too hard finding good substitutes in France... So I found a yummy sounding recipe on the internet - Sinful White Chocolate Cheesecake! It is sitting in the oven resting so in the meantime I made a quick cranberry sauce to put on top. How good does that sound? Yum Yum.

So I'm hoping that the other conversions worked out ok. Thats the problem with cakes and such, you can't try it before serving it... just a wee bit too obvious if there is a slice missing... but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it turned out normal.

I'll post a picture tomorrow of the Sinful White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake in all its glory!

samedi, décembre 03, 2005


When I lived in America I was never one for fashion statements. I just wore jeans and semi-nice tops, nothing to write home about (so to speak hehe).

I came to France to study abroad in the fall of 2001 and my concept of fashion was given a jump start (grâce à Air France) when my luggage didn't turn up and I had to buy all new clothes.

I even dared to buy things I never would have worn before: tight-ass-french-pants! scarves!

My world did indeed change, but I still never thought of myself as having amazing fashion sense.

This changed this week. This week I was complimented on my clothes three times! Yes, count them 3 times! All by frenchies!! Those pigs have flown!

Granted like all stereotypes the French are not all pefectly in tune with fashion, there are some horrible trends out there, but the 3 people that complimented me are all people that I look at as having really nice clothes and unique styles.


mercredi, novembre 30, 2005


On Monday night I went out with a few friends to the English Table at the local Irish pub set up for university students to have casual English conversation.

I left with butterflies in my stomach and a phone number in my cell.

Its a good feeling to have the butterflies back.

Even if I jump everytime a text comes through...

samedi, novembre 26, 2005


Now that Thanksgiving is officially over Christmas is in the air. My day started when the mailman buzzed chez moi to deliver a surprise package from my mom with Advent Day presents!

I did a bit of shopping myself this afternoon as I need to send home Christmas presents fairly soon so they arrive in time. I even managed to get a few things in between hail storms. (Shhh, not tell you what they are!)

It had been a busy week, with two Thanksgivings, work and school so I took the evening off. I stayed home, curled up on the sofa, drank spiced cider and decorated my little Christmas tree.

All that was missing was the eggnog and family fun, but don't worry, I still put on some Christmas carols!

2nd celebration

Happy 2nd Thanksgiving! We had our "real" Thanksgiving dinner last night at some friend's house. It was excellent! Along with other yummies (cranberry sauce, stuffing and sweet potatoes)...

we had turkey.

homemade biscuits

and of course pumpkin pie!

There was the regular crowd (the boots & skirts girls!), plus some other good friends who are living in and around the area.

Even an out-of-towner! My friend Claire came in from Tours for the festivities, armed with craisins and wine :)

All in all we had a wonderful dinner, full of fantastic traditional food, great company and lively conversation. After dinner we went out for a drink at the local Irish pub were we ran into other friends while listening to an excellent live concert. But after all that turkey got sleep pretty fast so we headed home around 1:30ish.

Today its time to put up the Christmas decorations and do a bit of shopping as I got paid yesterday! Yipppee!

vendredi, novembre 25, 2005

gobble gobble!

I stepped outside of my house to go to our Thanksgiving dinner (put on by the Franco-American Society of Caen) and noticed that they finally turned on the Christmas lights! It is so beautiful looking around town and down everystreet are bright white lights, magical.
On the left is the view if you look up from my doorstep and then here is the photo looking down the street.

Beautiful eh?

We arrived at the dinner to find a French Gospel choir singing, it was nice and very appriciated (I know I wouldn't have gotten up and sung in French!) but I had spent the whole day telling French kids how Thanksgiving is not Christmas and is not a traditionally religious holiday, but more of a historical one. That was all blown out of the water when I saw the table setting - complete with ...

Christmas napkins!!!!

For those of you who can't read the French, here is Natalie presenting the appetizer:
a flan of livarot (a local camembert-type cheese), cured ham and a apple-liquor sauce. Yum.

I forgot to take a picture of the main dish, a huge hunk of turkey with a "cranberryish" sauce, tatertots and overcooked veggies. It was very good, especially the turkey. Here is Kristin showing off the cheese dish, a Basque cheese and a black cherry jam. Yum yum!

We forgot to take pictures of the dessert, but it was very good, a French toast made with gingerbread and apricots and ice cream. Big YUM. Polish it all off with a little cafe and we were stuffed! It is so nice of these French people to put this dinner on for us. You can't expect real Thanksgiving food, but as long as you know that it is a wonderful way to spend the Thursday night of Thanksgiving (as we don't get any days off over here and don't have lots of time to cook!)

Natalie and I went out with some French students who had come. They were a crack up but I didn't stay out till 5 as I had woken up at 6:30 to go work Thursday morning and was pretty exhausted by the time dinner finished at 12:00!

So in order to keep American traditions (and food!) alive, we had planned a dinner Friday (tonight). I got up early this morning to go to the market to get the goods for stuffing. (Making Mom's Apple-Celery-Raisin stuffing yum yum.) Made that and passed it on to the person who's cooking the turkey. Going to make some biscuits this afternoon. I've got to go to work soon so I can't write much more except to say this is what I saw when I woke up this morning!


This is the view out my windown onto the courtyard and it was dusted with a light layer of snow! Since 8ish its been snowing on again off again for the last few hours. I've never had snow for Thanksgiving but it is a special surprise. Coming down in big fat flakes now! Yipppeeeee!!!!

I'll try to put up some pictures from our dinner tonight sometime this weekend (after I catch up on my sleep!).

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is def a year to be thankful for.

lundi, novembre 21, 2005

record breaker

For you folks wanting Caen gossip here's some: I have some of the coolest friends ever!!!

My friend Emma just broke the record for pancake eating. You must see the video, it is worth watching, she is soooo cool.

Emma - you rock girl.

Otherwise there isn't much news. I've been so busy with schoolwork lately. After hearing this news I'm making some pancakes then hitting the library.

Em, the bacon's for you. :)

vendredi, novembre 18, 2005

me myself and i

For those of you living in France have you ever noticed how the French talk to themselves?


I noticed that a few years back when I was on an exchange program and thought people were talking to me. Then I either got used to it or forgot. When I came back and was working with teachers I kept thinking they were asking me where they left their worksheets etc.

Today I was in the staff room at high school waiting for class to start. All of a sudden I noticed all the chatter around me were individual conversations with themselves!!!! Some people were getting mad at someone (who knows who, friend, student other teacher etc...) and really blowing off steam out loud!

I felt like I was in the looney bin. Couldn't wait for class to start.

mardi, novembre 15, 2005

duodi Brumaire 15

So I was doing some research for a text I need to translate from French to English (written in 1844) and I found myself getting lost in the net that is Wikipedia. Some of the words in the text are archaic (like "leagues" instead of the modern metric system).

I stumbled upon a page describing the new calander made during the French Revolution. Like the metric system they tried to make everything simple, so instead of 7 days a week there were 10 and this theory even extended into time. Each day was divided into 10 hours, each hour was 100 minutes they even showed a picture of this funny clock... Crazy French.

They named the months after the seasons for example:

Vendémiaire (from Latin vindemia, "vintage") Starting Sept 22, 23 or 24
Brumaire (from French brume, "mist") Starting Oct 22, 23 or 24
Frimaire (From French frimas, "frost") Starting Nov 21, 22 or 23

and I liked what someone added to the page:

"In England, people against the Revolution mocked the calendar by calling the months: Wheezy, Sneezy and Freezy; Slippy, Drippy and Nippy; Showery, Flowery and Bowery; Wheaty, Heaty and Sweety."

If you're interested in reading further here is the site:

lundi, novembre 14, 2005

made for walkin'!

Yeah baby.

I have boots!

So excited! I just got them this afternoon after volleyball. I've been wanting boots for ages but, well frankly, my calves are too mighty... But these boots are juuuust right. Chocolate brown, suede, slouchy and super comfy. Not too too expensive either (as boots go). And now I have lovely brown shoes to wear with my new brown skirt! Whooo!

Ok, its getting a bit rediculous though, need to stop with the shopping. But its so nice this season, for once boots that aren't made for chicken legs are in style! I had to take advantage of it!

I had to share this kodak moment with you all.

Happy Monday!

samedi, novembre 12, 2005

cheese please

After going to a matinee showing* of The Corpse Bride I stopped by the big shopping center to pick up some groceries. Let me mention:

I love cheddar cheese.

This store (Carrefour) is one of the few places that sells cheddar so I always make a point to buy a big chunk. But as its an imported cheese its not in the prepackaged section... you have to ask the lady behind the counter to cut you a piece. After I ordered my 300g I waited for the lady to pack it up. A woman next to me turns to me and says "Oh, I've never tried that kind of cheese, how can you eat it? Is it possible to eat it just as is?"

Surprised I answered "Yes, you can eat it just like that, or melted..." She said that she was curious but has never dared to try it because "its orange and just looks unnatural."

That totally cracked me up. But I was really impressed that she wanted to talk to me. Its not really a french thing to do, to start up a conversation with a stranger. It made me happy that this random woman had taken an interest in "me" or my culture if you will.

*I love how at home we call it a matinee showing while in French that would mean a morning showing but we show it in the afternoon... humm... wires were crossed a bit on that one.

vendredi, novembre 11, 2005


so after my long day yesterday all I wanted to do was go to bed and get a wonderfuly long night's sleep.

My attempt was foiled by 2 things:

1) Are you ever so tired that you can't get warm? I can't sleep unless I'm warm. I wasn't cold but I couldn't get warm. Ended jumping in the shower to get warm at 1am because I can't find the little bouchon to my hot water bottle.

2) Once back in bed and nice and comfy I noticed a strange noise... Yup, my upstairs neighbors were getting busy. Not only that but they got busy to very loud (with lots of base) music. So even the earplugs didn't help.

I'm really tired.

jeudi, novembre 10, 2005

long day

It has been a long day. All started at 6:55am when I caught the bus (it was pitch black out mind you!) out to the town where I'll be teaching in a high school. It takes about 45 minutes to get out there and as I saw the sunrise I went into the staff room to meet the other English teachers.

My contact person for the school is a very nice lady who lived in Australia for 12 years. She's very helpful and nice but a major chatterbox, telling me all about her life, her divorce, her depression etc... Yup, nice to meet you too.

But she is very nice and invited me home for lunch after work and said that I should come out for dinner sometime and could stay at her place anytime I like. I think she's really excited to have someone to speak English with again.

The kids that I met were really nice. They aren't that strong in English but were much more polite and well behaved than the 1st school I observed, at least they weren't playing with their MP3 players/cell phones during class!

So I caught the bus back to Caen and then had to run all over town getting stuff done. I had to go to my other high school to give them my bank details so I can get paid at the end of the month! V. important!

Then I had a gyno appointment, my first in France and my first with a male doctor. Lets just say it was an interesting experience. I don't consider myself very prude or shy but when he said strip down and hop up on the table I felt a bit akward. No flimsy little gown to hide behind. But all went well, good to have a check up every so often.

I'm going to crash tonight and good thing its a holiday tomorrow! No work for me!

mardi, novembre 08, 2005


Well since everyone has been sending me emails wondering if I'm still alive I'd post this.

I'm fine!

The Norman cows are protecting me... haha. No, but yes the riots have spread from the Paris suburbs. They are saying in the papers that Caen has been touched, 15 cars burned in the suburbs. But they are in the suburbs. Its not as though I go wandering around at night through sketchy neighborhoods. I think that the people that are causing damage in towns like Caen are not people that are organized, but rather influenced by the media and looking to cause trouble.

Its a complicated issue but obviously those who are rioting to not feel a sense of pride in their lives. They are poor, unemployed and feel as they have no future. Otherwise why would they destroy their own property and not the property of others? They are destroying stores and schools in their neighborhoods and its so sad to see on tv.

I don't want to get too much into the politics of it all but don't worry I'm fine!

lundi, novembre 07, 2005

knitting fever

While France is rioting (yes, apparently it hit Caen as well but not in centre ville where I live) I decided to knit.

For those of you who don't know me I got addicted to knitting when I first came to France to study abroad. I had wayyyy too much time on my hands and a friend of mine taught me. I guess she taught me and I went home and continued, somewhere in that period of a few hours I re-taught myself in my own manner... ie I don't use either traditional method of knitting, I use the Karina Method. And I don't know how to read patterns or do anything fancy but I like to create my own but just fudging things a bit.

My new project is felting. When my mom sent me some lovely 100% wool I decided to give it a go and try and make a little handbag. Threw it in the wash today when doing my laundry (I forgot and now all my whites are actually a really nice silvery color... opps) but the bag turned out very cute! I'm happy with the results. The only additions needed are a button to close it and handles to find. I'd like to go with black ribbon handles but I'm not sure if they will be strong enough. I need to do a bit of shopping for that. But in the meantime I thought I'd share the before and after pictures with you.

I put my mesuring tape next to them so you could see how much its changed (and for me to remember for next time). I think it turned out really cute and I can't wait to finish it off!

Let me know what you think! I want your comments! :)

dimanche, novembre 06, 2005

english is hard

English is Write Difficult

The King's English Language
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough
and cough and dough?

Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, through,
slough and thorough.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead: It s said like bed, not bead -
For goodness sake don't call it deed!

Watch out for meat and great and threat...
They rhyme with suite
and straight and debt.

A moth is not the moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, nor broth in brother.

And there is not a match for there,
nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose,
Just look them up - and goose and choose.
And cork, and work and card and ward,
and font and front and word and sword,

And do and go, then thwart and cart
Come, come, I ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Why sakes alive!
I'd learned to talk it when I was five.
And yet to write it, the more I tried,
I hadn't learned it at fifty-five.

I had seen this poem before but when I was brainstorming with a friend for lesson plan ideas and came up with that and some great tongue twisters:

*A Tudor who tooted a flute
tried to tutor two tooters to toot.
Said the two to their tutor,
"Is it harder to toot
or to tutor two tooters to toot?"

*Rubber baby buggy bummers

*Betty Botter had some butter,
"But," she said, "this butter's bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
it would make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter--
that would make my batter better."

So she bought a bit of butter,
better than her bitter butter,
and she baked it in her batter,
and the batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter
bought a bit of better butter.

*The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.

Or in French (although its funny cause there isn't a word for "tongue twister" in French):

*Un chasseur sachant chasser chassait sans son chien de chasse.

Anyone laughing yet? Cause I am!

ball o cheese

A friend of mine who lives in Paris is in town for the weekend so of course we had to go shopping and out to eat... such a hard life! I got some good deals though, hit the American-style mall outside of town where I got new tennis shoes (my old ones are going to die anyday now!) that were originally 50E but on sale for 30E! Not bad! Then I've been wanting a microwave but in France they are all really expensive (70E is just a little too much for my budget) but one of the stores had a promotion, the basic model for only 30E! I spent way too much money but i think it was money well spent. (right Mom?)

I don't think my little apartment can take anymore! There just isn't anymore room!

Anyway, for dinner we all went out to the fondue restaurant and had cheese, cheese and more cheese! Practically rolled out the door and to my house... But oh was it delicious! We had the fondue "pays d'auge" which is basically just all the famous Norman cheeses (camembert, livarot, pont l'eveque) along with cider and apples. Of course some red wine to top it all off. Delish!!!

Of course we had to have the chocolate fondue for dessert, the chocolate even had little tiny pieces of almonds in it, gave it a very satisfying crunch. I forgot to bring my camera but the picture is what you would have seen if you would have been there!

A delightful evening.

jeudi, novembre 03, 2005

blue lightning

I've decided that all language teachers are just odd... This theory started when I was in high school and our French teacher was just the funniest lady I've ever met. She used to wear this blue knit dress that had a bright white lightning strike across the front. Us kids used to call it "blue lightning" and unfortunetly that became her nickname and even other graduating classes knew this was her.

Now I feel bad because I realize that kids are just not nice to their teachers, and thats hard to deal with when you're in front of 30 kids. Now that I've been in that position I have a lot more respect for teachers and the hard work they do.

That said language teachers are weird.

I went to the lycee where I'll be teaching to be introduced to all the teachers I'll be working with and try to figure out my schedule. (I start my 1st class tomorrow at 1pm! Wish me luck!) They are the kookiest lot I've ever met. Their personal bubble is just a wee bit smaller than mine so I kept backing up while they were talking to me and the things they wore! Yikes! It would do blue lightning proud!

This is why I've never wanted to go home and become a French teacher. I've always been afraid I'll turn into a kooky teacher.... I'm too good for that.

Aren't I?

lundi, octobre 31, 2005

happy halloween!

The French kids started trick-or-treating... on Saturday! The notion of having to wait until the night of the 31st dosn't really seem to take hold here but the kids are very cute all dolled up!

A friend of mine from high school came to visit during his trek around Europe. It was a fun but busy weekend showing him around and of course going out to see the town at night! I think he got a good impression of France, even said he'd like to start learning French now! Its fun to see where I live and the French culture through someone else's eyes. The little things that struck me as strange when I first arrived but now think nothing of. The bises instead of shaking hands, the dog crap all over the sidewalk, the shops closed on Sunday etc... All in all it was a very fun weekend.

The only problem is that having so much fun has left me with a lot of homework unfinished. Good thing tomorrow is a holiday (All Saints Day) so I'll have some time to catch up. But that will have to wait until tomorrow as it would be unforgivable not to celebrate Halloween!

Humm... what should I dress up as? An American? Baggy jeans and a baseball cap? A Frenchie? Stripy shirt and a baguette? Decisions, decisions!

Edit: Here is the look I went for, its funny because at home the more creative your costume is the better but here its very much traditional scary costumes so everyone got a big kick out of mine!

samedi, octobre 29, 2005

pumpkin carving

So while waiting for a friend from high school to arrive by ferry I met up with Benette and we carved pumpkins. Its always fun to introduce someone to the art of pumpkin carving, the difficulty of trying to carve a nice line combined with the elbow grease needed to do it.

The moment when you lift the top and see what the inside is all about, and then the instant when you reach inside and realize just how gooey and icky it is inside trying pull the seeds out.

Its great fun. And here is the result, my beautiful pumpkin in all its glory.

I named him Jack and Jack is currently garding my apartement door scaring away all the non-existant trick-or-treaters.

Welcome to France Jack.

vendredi, octobre 28, 2005

recap of last night's events...

Well lets just say I had a wonderful birthday! It started out very well, a bright sunny autumn day 24C (75F for you at home) which can always lift the spirits. I went out to the other high school where I'll be working to meet the priniciple. It is pretty far out of town so it was good to try out the bus system so that I know which stop to get off at etc.
I came back into town and there were wonderful birthday messages on my answering machine, cell phone and email! So nice to hear from people around the world who remembered my birthday! I said I would wait to open the presents from my mom that had arrived 6 days ago and wait I did! Opened up my goodies in the afternoon and can't wait to get started on some new knitting projects with the beautiful yarn I got :)
Then I basically passed the afternoon pampering myself, got my hair cut and spent several hours on the phone, it was fantastic!
In the evening a few friends stopped by for an apero at my house and we all trooped off to a very cute creperie for dinner. There were 10 of us in the upstairs of the restaurant surrounded by loony toons characters painted on the walls. I love that place.
After "blowing out" my birthday crepe filled with cinnamon apples and flambéed with calvados we went off in search of a good time :) haha. Ended up at one of my favorite bars, luckily enough just across from my apartement, and got the bartender to give me free drinks for my birthday. Always know how to work the cute foreigner charm!
So after a fun filled night it was time to head back. But I do have to say it was one of my best birthdays in the last few years, thanks to wonderful friends and family.

I'm off to carve some jack-o-lanterns, pictures to come!

lundi, octobre 24, 2005


Its hard to believe that Christmas is around the corner... well around the corner for the French. Its the next major holiday and the flood of Christmas decorations has arrived.

It started on Saturday when I licked a few windows* downtown and saw that one of my favorite shops has already set up a huge Christmas display.

Then today I was walking to the University to play volleyball and the main road in town was blocked to traffic to set up the lights that are strung across the road. For those who were in town in the last 2 years they are different lights! I'll try go to take a picture of them to post so you can see what I'm talking about.

Its kind of exciting to think about possible Christmas plans but then at the same time its soooooo early!!! Its not even Thanksgiving, or even Halloween yet!!!! But at the same time it makes me appriciate the fact that we have those holidays to slow down the Christmas-ness drama to just a few weeks instead of the two months here!

But there is a wonderful, cozy, comfy feeling in the air.

(*literal translation of the French expression to window shop)

If you come up to my street and look left you see my street and if you look right you see the main street in town. I like my street lights better, with the little 1/2 snowflake-type design instead of random leafy thing...

dimanche, octobre 23, 2005


So I don't really feel like studying, so I'm watching spiderman instead.

Whats funny is that while I'm watching this (dubbed in french bien sur!) I noticed that when they are talking about Spiderman they keep referring to him as "she"... Got really confused then I realized that spider in french is feminine... but still thats just, well, odd.

(I came across this problem a few years ago when I studied in Paris and went to go see the Vagina Monologues and they kept referring to the vagina as "he"... now that is not just odd but simply wrong.)

dog waxing?

I was walking by a pet grooming store and there was a list of things possible to do to your pet: shampoo, hair cut, toenail clipping and waxing.

Wait, did I see that right?


Since when do you wax dogs?

Its funny I've been here so long now that some things don't shock me anymore but then I see signs for dog waxing and that def throws me for a loop!

Happy Sunday.

vendredi, octobre 21, 2005

star ac

Its offical, I'm a Star Academy addict.

Its like the French American Idol and they have their big show on Friday nights (where 1 person gets kicked off). We traditionally have a pizza-Star Ac night where we gripe and gossip about song choices, costumes and pronuciation of English lyrics. All in good fun, almost never serious.

Tonight it hit an all time low, my friend almost cried during one of the duets.

Thats low. Very low.

In other news I went to one of the high schools where I'll be working and met almost everyone. It was so strange... they were so... nice. They were smiling, wishing me welcome, making an effort to personally introduce me to all the staff, giving me a guided tour of the school.

Toto - I am in Kansas!

What is the world coming to? The French... nice?

mardi, octobre 18, 2005

quit your gripin'

Was just reading an article on the USAToday (yes, I know, not the most newsy of newspapers) and found this article:

Finally people are realizing that America pays soooo little for gas. Of course when I was home I was complaining. I mean a jump from $1.17 a gallon (when I got my licence 7 years ago) to topping $3! But can people at home imagine paying $6 a gallon?

I mean life might just come to a standstill!

Would people, the horror, carpool? public transport???

In other news, nothing too exciting (other than the fact I GOT A JOB! should I say it again? I GOT A JOB!) A friend of mine from last year is stopping by for a few days tomorrow so that will be fun to catch up.

lundi, octobre 17, 2005

jump for joy!

I went to volleyball today (which by the way was excellent! there were a ton of new people that showed up so we could actually play some real games! and... for the 1st time ever I got placed with the 'good' people!!!! yeah baby!)

When I got out there was a missed call on my cell, the dude from the Rectorat. I called him back and he said that there is a job avalible, split between 2 schools. One of the schools is a bit out of town but there is the regional bus system and a friend of mine did that commute last year and it was ok. He said that he will pass on my CV to his boss to get the green light but he says he dosn't see why his boss would say no. So basically as of today it sounds 95% sure and tomorrow he'll call and I'll hear the final verdict.

Can you hear me jumping up and down to Sir Mix-a-lot?

Happy. Happy. Happy.

EDIT: Just got the phone call!! Got the job!! Still jumping up and down!!!! WHOOOO