lundi, janvier 30, 2006


I just finished a private tutoring and while talking to her I remembered a funny story from yesterday...

Well funny for those of you who speak French (just to be warned)

My car vocab in English and esp in French is very weak... So while driving home last night I was asked how to say "high beams" in English, got me to thinking about the word for "headlights" in French.

I realized that I learned the word for headlights in French (les phares) not that long ago and that when I learned it I had a mental picture of a car with two big lighthouses on the front (its the same word in French, lighthouse and headlights)... Isn't that mental picture funny? Or is it just me? Anyway I got the giggles yesterday thinking about that and then again today while telling the story. Need to photoshop that, a car with 2 lighthouses on the front tee hee

'Course as it was pointed out to me, lighthouses on the front of your car wouldn't be all that practical as the lights spin so would make driving a little disco-y... hehehe I'm still giggling all alone! :)


When I was young I remember the big difference between mom's house and dad's. At mom's, you'd take the remote, press on and bingo!

At dad's you practically needed a manual in order to turn on the tv, something else for the cable, and if you wanted to watch a movie - brain surgery!

I'm sad to say that it seems as though my tv unit now is moving in the direction of dad's. When I was in college I had a TV/VCR combo, DVDs were just starting and there were no wires to connect, just a pair of bunny ears atop the tv that needed adjusting every once in a while. And if something didn't work, there was the traditional means of fixing it, just hit it and it will start working again.

But now, this has to be on in order for that to work. This other thingy has to be unplugged for that other thingy to work and so on... I've got it mostly figured out.... ;)

but it frightens me - what am I turning into??? In the words of Richard Simmons: Stop the madness!

vendredi, janvier 27, 2006

too close for comfort....

There is one English prof I'm always avoiding in the staff room at the high school. She's nice enough but there are a few things that I can't stand -

1. She's a close-talker!

I swear today we literally crossed the entire room! She kept coming closer and I kept backing up. Must have looked hilarious! (remember that Seinfeld episode?? hehe)

2. I swear she dosn't listen to what I have to say! She assumes she understands and then makes up her mind about whatever I'm talking about without actually listening to what I'm saying! Today she was convienced that I'm doing a Masters in French when I told her its English Lit about 10 times... Drives me nuts, if it had been my first year here I would have thought it was me but no she's just a bit looney!

I'm taking tonight off. I need a break, been too busy the last few days and am very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend! :)

mercredi, janvier 25, 2006

how do i take it?

So I just got out of my translation class. The one where the prof scares the beejeezers out of me... its English to French. Not my forte.

Yes, I've lived here for 3 years now but I havn't written in French since I got my B.A. in 2003 so I have a lot of relearning as far as grammar and stuff goes. Plus all those words I've learned in the last 3 years? Yeah, NO idea how to spell them!

So today she calls on me. First time I've offered my translation. Did 3 sentences (which is a lot!) then she says:
"What is your mother tongue?"
- "English"
"Oh really? Thats suprising"

Uh... surprising how? Surprising good? Surprising bad?

This lady has no facial expressions, she's one tough cookie so to speak. Not that I'm caught up in what she thinks of me or my work but still it was so neutral... could have gone either way.

mardi, janvier 24, 2006

brokeback mountain

Brokeback Mountain. Wow.

Well it has absolutly met my expectations! When I had heard there was a new movie with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal that was enough to catch my eye - er, attention. But after I heard about all the awards it was winning (and that its playing in English at Cafe des Images) I decided it was a must-see.

I was right. Amazing! Beautiful cinematography, a fantastic love story and unbelieveable actors. Although at times I was amazed that this was released and well received stateside with some of the scenes. Never phased the French audience though.

I feel like I should start a movie review blog... hardy har har

Nothing much going on otherwise, very happy that my classes tomorrow are canceled so I can have a grasse matinee and perhaps hit the swimming pool before work at 2:30.

Oh and a congrats out to Benette who got her internship for the spring semester! Cheers! :)

Edit : this article's funny :)

dimanche, janvier 22, 2006

road trippin'

After a very stressfull and busy week the weekend finally came and I was invited by mystery guest to take a day trip to la Manche.

The weather was absolutly stunning, it was one of those crystal-clear winter days that you don't get very often in Normandy. On the road we could see dark clouds in the distance but by the time we arrived, there was not a cloud to be seen.

First stop was a cute little town, St Vaast La Hougue where we headed straight to a shop that apparently has the best confiture de lait. Sadly the shop was closed for part of January so we continued on our merry way.

Then we stopped at a beautiful viewpoint, la Pernelle, were you can see all of the northeast penninsula of La Manche.

Driving along the coast we took a little walk along the seaside where I happily offered to put my feet in the water. (Yes, it's January but I can't help it! Everytime I go to the beach it's just something I gotta do!)

After driving through Cherbourg we went out to the western coast (click on Galerie Photos)where I swear we stepped back in time. There were no people about, hardly a car on the road, felt lost in time. Plus we arrived on the beach just in time for the sunset, stunning!

We drove back to Cherbourg to do what we had come to do: eat sushi! And boy did we scarf that down, sooooo yummy! I haven't had sushi that good since Ichikawa! Yum Yum! Then we caught a movie at the cinaplex across the street, Lord of War. I was surprised at how much I liked it, not at all what I expected, if you have a chance I'd highly recommend it.

In fact, if you have a chance to repeat my Saturday I'd highly recommend it! :)

mardi, janvier 17, 2006

xmas photo

My broken camera has been on the back burner for a while now, I havn't traveled or had really important occations to use it. Or the time to fill in all the international warrenty claims forms... Plus everyone else has digital cameras so its easy to get copies.

But it can take a while... ;)

So thanks to the mystery guest for giving me this picture (and others) taken on Christmas day in La Manche. I told you I'd post it ;)

dimanche, janvier 15, 2006

change of pace

This morning is for sure a change of routine. I woke up early (9am on a Sunday!) to get some work done before going swimming with a friend.
My usual morning routine (pretty much every day of the week) is:

-wake up (hit snooze once or twice)

-turn on the TV or radio

-pop in the shower

-check email while drinking my moka coffee and eating my yogurt & honey

However this morning as I'm going swimming I decided to nix the shower and it has thrown me all off! The tv is not on, nor is the radio and I can hear the pigeons cooing outside my window. But what surprised me is that it is not only the pigeons that I hear but some other random songbird as well. I don't know what it is, all I know is that it sounds exactly the same as those summer mornings I used to spend at my grandparent's house in Southern California.

It is amazing how a little thing as a bird's song can transport you back to your childhood, to a specific time, place and even feeling. The feeling of lying in bed with the covers thrown off as its already gotten too warm at 8am. Hearing people downstairs starting to mill about, the oranges from the backyard being freshly squeezed and the smell of bacon wafting all the way upstairs.

Maybe I should change my routine more often.

jeudi, janvier 12, 2006


I'm writing this post from my school. Ended up getting stuck here allllll day. Came for my 8am class (as this school is 45 minutes out of town I was no the bus at 6:45am!) then found out that all the other teachers I usually work with are home sick.

Except of course, for the one teacher I work with from 4:30 to 5:30. So I'm stuck here all day. Won't get home until 6:30 or 7 tonight. Well I've got homework (and internet thats finally working!!!) to keep me occupied.

But I had so much fun at lunch, ate with other profs and they are so funny. They get along really well with eachother, there is a nice atmosphere and they actually aknowledge my presence!

At one point someone said that one of the profs will be leaving next year as she is moving to Washington with her husband.

The P.E. teacher replies: "Washington, in America?"

I couldn't help it, I had to chirp in, "No, Washington in France".

Ok, very lame joke, not that exciting but everyone was cracking up. I think mainly the fact that the foreigner made a joke ;-) He was cassé (literally broken... shot down if you will)

So maybe its not such a bad day afterall, although a few more than 5 hours of sleep would have been nice...

mercredi, janvier 11, 2006

left rabbit

I recently got a new job teaching English. To make a long story short I was supposed to meet up with my new boss tonight to plan out lessons for a seminar I'll be teaching next week and to sign my contract.

He said he'd call between 6 and 6:30.

It is now 19:27.

Thats just annoying. I hate it when people stand me up. You plan your day, evening, weekend around something specific and then to get stood up is obnoxious and frusterating.

I feel like when I'm waiting for a phone call or to meet someone then I can't start something new (like cook dinner - I'm hungry!) until I know whats going on.

Granted I wouldn't be doing much tonight (can we say veggin in front of the TV?) but still it is frusterating...

Plus now if he calls its going to be late, and I don't want to be up late. I've got my ultra-long day tomorrow where I leave my house at 6:15am to catch the bus out to my school and won't get home until 6:30 or 7pm. Grrr...

lundi, janvier 09, 2006

back in the real world

Yup after a brief hiatus I'm back in the swing of things! Get your groove thaaang on baby cause we are alive and kickin'! We gots me some super-duper fast internet, xtra-fabulous tv channels and - drumroll please - FREE international calls!

Can life get any better?

Can it? huh? I doubt it!

Yeah baby, we're a dancin' and a groovin' over here in Caen and luuuuvin' every minute of it ;)

So brief little funny (well I think funny) story from today...

Went to work at the lycee today and met a new group of kids (they were on a stage - work experience, training thingy in December) and the teacher wanted me to take 3 of them and practice conversation. I recognized some faces in the class, I thought probably from seeing them around the school, but I didn't know any names.

These 3 students had been in England for 6 weeks in the spring doing a stage and living with host families. They are by no means fluent, but very nice and not afraid (anymore) to talk. We had a good time chatting about their time in England, movies, music etc... At the end of the hour one of the girls asked me if I remember her. I said, no but you look familiar.

Turns out when I was having all my trouble mailing presents home in December she was doing her stage at the post office and had been the one helping me!

It is a small world.

samedi, janvier 07, 2006


ummm I decided to switch internet companies because I found out that with the Freebox international calls are free!!! so my line has been cut for the time being and I'm waiting for it to get reconnected...
its really hard going cold turkey!!! no internet! no phone! eegad!!!
so no, I have not been eaten by wolves, I'm alive and well and be back soon :)

mercredi, janvier 04, 2006


I love how in France you can predict everything; not only the weather but traffic jams and the flu.

Yes, the flu. Tonight on the news they showed a map (Normandy not included if you were curious) of how this gastro is swiftly attacking France and when it is expected to hit full force.

Uh oh people, watch out! The flu is coming!

cracks me up...

mardi, janvier 03, 2006

back to the grind

It was ridiculously hard to go back to the real world today. Not only does the sun come up really late but it was so grey outside that it felt like it never came up at all.

I made it up to uni today for my theater class and we couldn't believe how long it draaaaaaged on, not only that but I swear it was colder inside than outside! Someone needs to turn the heat on people! Popsicles do not study well! (although they fall asleep less...)

Good news is that we figured out that as we don't have exams in the Masters level we don't have class when the rest of the students have revision week, and we don't have class during the exams! So basically I think I'm free from the 16th of January to the 5th of February, then class until the 25th then another week of vacation with everyone else! Too good! But that does mean I'll have to crank on my currently-non-existant-thesis... ick.

After theater class we made it downstairs for the next class and waited, waited, waited. Finally after 20 minutes decided that the prof was a no show so we all left. It was so nice to have the time to come home, do some email, relax and eat a normally paced lunch before it was off to work.

Work went really well, the kids are just so cute and they remembered things from before break so that was fun. The thing I'm realizing though is that kindergarteners are just too little to learn a language, especially when I'm trying to run a class with 20 kids who just sit still. I wish I could break it up and take half the kids, then the other half. The other kids (1st and 2nd graders) are fun and a lot easier to manage. I walked in the door and they all shouted "HELLLLO!" and "Bonne Annee!" Very cute.

Now if only my high schools would do that... hummm...

ps. I did a search for an image for this blog, typed in "back to work" and this came up! Was too funny not to use it ;) Hiho, hiho, its off to work we go...

dimanche, janvier 01, 2006

bonne annee!

Happy New Years 2006!

My best wishes to everyone out there.

We rang in the New Year in class, style and lots of Dirty Dancing music :)

Hopefully some pictures to come, but as my camera's flash is on the blink (yes, I know, horrible pun hehe) it might be a while.