dimanche, avril 30, 2006


So what could be worse than locking yourself in your tiny studio to work on a stupid dissertation??

Having allergies and not sleeping well.

On top of that, running low on allergy meds and an empty box of kleenex.

On top of that it's Sunday and all pharmacies are closed

and as tomorrow is a holiday all pharmacies will remain closed.

Will resort to toilet paper.

Ouch. I hope I don't turn up to work Tuesday looking like Ruldoph.



Check out that video, I had a great much needed laugh when I saw it this morning! I tried to figure out how to put the video directly into my post but it wasn't working, maybe next time when I have more patience...

Have a good weekend!

vendredi, avril 28, 2006


Well after a long week of 14 year olds I'm taking the evening off! I'm relaxing in front of the tv watching lots of movies and working on a secret knitting project!!! (Would love to tell you more but the person getting this present reads my blog... its really really cute and I'll be sure to tell you after I give it to them!)

So what is everyone up to for this 3-day weekend? Tell me your exciting plans please 'cause I'm gonna to delve into the world that is a French dissertation... and I see no escape in sight :( Any suggestions for keeping my sanity??

mardi, avril 25, 2006


Haven't been posting much as even though I'm on my vacation I'm busy working all day. I'm teaching English classes for an English workshop here at the university for 14/15 year olds. Its really fun actually, the kids are fairly nice and well behaved. We each choose a workshop and then plan 3 lessons based on the chosen topic. The kids then rotate through the workshops. Its supposed to be something fun but English based.

This year I chose to work on "Friends" which has been funny. Yesterday and today was hard because I had them do really challenging things, such as listen to the beginning of the show with no subtitles and then try to fill in the blank on the scripts I passed out. Its not an easy task as they talk really really fast. Today with my last class I was able to move on to Lesson #2 and they had to imagine what could happen in the rest of the show (I had picked an old episode so they wouldn't have already seen it from Season 1 - 1994 eeek doesn't seem that long ago!) and write out a new dialogue in groups.

They had a great time doing that, they got really creative and adding in other Friends characters (Richard, the duck and the chick etc...) and came up with some pretty good lines. Then each group preformed in front of the class. They were cracking me up! The only thing that lacked was any acting, they basically read the text but they were so funny anyway it was cool. The last class I'll show them the real episode and see what they think about it ;) Maybe I'll be nice and put the French subtitles on hehe... maybe....

samedi, avril 22, 2006


It has been a busy last couple days at work. I worked all day Thursday only to come home and whip out 74 silver dollar pancakes for Friday afternoon. I work Tuesday and Friday afternoons in a local private school giving English lessons to little kids (K-2) . As yesterday was the Friday before a 2-week vacation I decided that there was no point doing a big lesson cause the kids are bouncing off the walls anyway!

So as we had been studying food (with the help of the Very Hungry Caterpillar) I decided to have a little American goûter. I told the kids to bring in pancake toppings and drinks and I brought the pancakes. They were a big hit! The kids loved them (of course when anything is topped with nutella French kids love it but I'd like to think it was mostly the pancakes!)

I'll leave you with some pictures of the kiddies. The 1st one is a picture of my 2 older classes, 1st and 2nd graders, we did a combined class snack which is why the some of the kids are sitting on the floor. The 2nd and 3rd pictures are my littl'uns, they are 4 and 5 years old. Those are some happy kids!

mercredi, avril 19, 2006

inside man

Two big thumbs up from Karina & Mystery Guest!

Went and saw Inside Man last night. I hadn't heard much about it before, except that it was directed by Spike Lee with an amazing cast but since the reviews were good we went off to see it. (Plus you have to support the arts, especially when the arts cost 2.90e per entry to see a great movie in v.o.!!!!)

It was refreashing to have an original story with the superb direction of Spike Lee. But I think my favorite part of the film was the writing! There wasn't that much dialogue but when the characters did speak it was witty, direct and funny.

I've always said that I enjoy movies the best when the end surprises me, even if I don't like the middle or the main storyline, but this movie had it all - captured my attention from the beginning and then surprised me at the end!

Ok I'm done raving about this movie, if I had to say one thing that annoyed me was Clive Owen's American accent that faded in and out...

lundi, avril 17, 2006



My name is Karina.

This is my first step of this self-help program.

I can now admit I'm a 24 addict.

I have gotten my fix of the 1st season. Please help me rid myself of this dependancy by preventing me from continuing on to season 2... 3... 4 and god forbid, 5.

I appreciate your advice, help and personal stories of similar addictive tendances. Thank you.

samedi, avril 15, 2006

of bunnies and bells

Happy Chocolate-Egg Day!

I've decided that I love Catholic France with all of its days off in the Spring. We've got a long weekend with Easter Monday and then several more days off in May. Fabulous!

I remember the first Easter I was here wondering why there were so many chocolate bells in the stores. Then I was told that the bells are the ones bringing the Easter eggs! How funny! I guess its not any better than thinking that a bunny is bringing Easter eggs but it makes me giggle every year!

No major plans over here. A friend asked me what I would be doing for Easter and I was surprised to think that the last time I celebrated Easter was when I was still living at home in high school.

That isn't to say that I don't have fond memories of Easter Sunday. It would all start a few days before Easter. Mom would make a Costco run for a huge pack of big white eggs (none of the French brown ones... ) and we would spend an afternoon boiling dyeing some of them and the rest would be blown free of all the goop inside. That was always the most fun, knowing you were grown-up enough to try and blow the eggs yourself. Pricking little holes in both ends and then your eyes popping out of your head trying to blow out the white and yolk without breaking the shell. Then we would let them dry, draw a little bunny and a Happy Easter and fill it in with watercolors. The ones we deemed the best would then be shellaced and hung on the little tree. Year after year we would open up the box of eggs to see past years. Even after all these years I still find Mom's bunnies are always the best and wish she could come over here and draw one on my egg for me.

The morning of would be waiting in my pjs with my little sister at the top of the stairs. Waiting for Mom to check and see if the Easter Bunny had come to visit. The upon the word we bounded down the stairs to the kitchen table to feast our eyes on the 2 Easter baskets waiting for us. The basket was usually started for us, a big chocolate bunny or egg, one for each of us to be fair. Then the race would start! Running all around the house, knowing the traditional hiding places, finding new ones... always checking to see who had found more. Healthy competition right?

Easter never been a religious celebration for me, but a tradition that I am sure I will always preserve.

Happy Easter! Joyeuses Pâques!

mercredi, avril 12, 2006


Mystery Guest and I met up this morning to go to a General Assembly of the university to vote against the blocking of the buildings. Enough is enough! I'd like to go back to class!!!!

This picture is of the Phenix (which a sculpture on the main campus and kind of represents the university) with a pirate flag flying in the background.

There were HUGE crowds as you can see, the main auditorium was packed to the brim! I would say over 1,000 + students turned up.

There was a little debate going on before we could vote and it was interesting to hear all the different opinions not only for or against the blocking of the buildings but also for or against the remaining law. (The protests have only removed one clause - the CPE - not the entire law)

All in all it was interesting and I'm glad I went and since we won by a huge majority it looks as though things will start to open up fairly quickly and I should be back in my classes on Tuesday!

lundi, avril 10, 2006


What more is there to say???

I luuuurve peanut butter.



dimanche, avril 09, 2006

le memorial

Well after 3 years of living in Caen I decided to finally go and visit Le Mémorial. It is the most visited site in the city (located just outside of downtown, near one of my schools where I work) yet I had been lazy about going to see it.

All in all I'm really glad I went to go see it. What pushed me to go now is that they are having a temporary exhibition on Anne Frank for just a few more weeks and I wanted to catch that at the same time.

It was an great experience and a fabulous museum, not just about the war and the D-Day invasion (by the way the video on that is a must see! I almost left without seeing it and am glad I didn't!) but also a huge part on the Cold War. The museum is actually called the Museum of Peace and not a museum dedicated to WWII and that is clearly felt in the design and layout of the building.

If you come to Caen don't wait 3 years like I did! Go see the Mémorial! ;-)

*For those of you who are assistants with a carte professionale you can get reduced entry if you convince them that you are working on a lesson plan for your students. You can also get reduced entry if you say (and prove) you live in Caen. Student prices are not all that reduced but still helpful.

samedi, avril 08, 2006


Ok calling all you anglophones out there, I need help!

I'm watching a little kids video to learn English and at one point there is a wizard who has Magic Stick.

Umm... is that weird to everyone else? Is it an American thing? I mean I really would never say magic stick... I'm thinking more magic wand!!!!

Sounds almost dirty, magic stick... :S


To make sure that we took advantage of some spring sunshine Jen and I went on a nice stroll around the hippodrome and canal yesterday evening. There was almost no wind and it was the perfect temperature, a hint of summer to come...

The thing that cracked me up was walking under a bridge and seeing this graffiti:

It is just so deep and profound... I mean lets all write philosphy on underpasses! ;) I just had to capture this Kodak moment...

"At night all cats are grey"

Thought I'd leave you with that, have a good weekend!

jeudi, avril 06, 2006

not goodbye but see you soon

As a friend stopped by for a quick goodbye before she leaves to go back to New Orleans Saturday morning I realized something.

I had been thinking that it would be a sad goodbye because since I met Shannan 6 months ago I've always thought of her as a big sister, giving me advice and a listening ear.

When she left she said that she would cry and that she was sorry. And she said somethings that really touched me. That she really appriciated everything that I did for her, being there for her this year.

I think for the first time I realized that I am not only touched by people, friends but that I can touch those friends. To realize that I looked up to someone and was touched by their presence someone who in return looked up to and was touched by me.

mercredi, avril 05, 2006


Someone up there must love me. The day that I was seriously temped to call in sick to my far-away school the teacher called me.

"Don't bother coming in tomorrow, the students are having a general assembly to vote on if they want to keep striking."


Do a little happy dance!

My conscience is cleared! I can officially stay home tomorrow and not feel guilty! I swear someone up there is smiling down on me!

mardi, avril 04, 2006


Ah ha! Yes! I had a painless préfecture experience for a change! I had to stop by to pick up my temporary work permit and since I was there I decided to ask about how I need to go about renewing my current carte de séjour (which expires in June).

Luckly I got the nice guy who sits in the middle (ya'll know who I'm talking about, when there's 1 nice person you of course never are lucky enough to have your number land on him!) and he was really nice and gave me a rdv for June with a nice list of all the beautiful documents I'll need...

I was in and out in 20 minutes with my work permit and without feeling like crying afterwards. I'd say thats a positive préfecture experience!!!

lundi, avril 03, 2006

spring spring

Well spring is in full bloom so to speak. There are daffodils, cherry trees and crocuses all showing splashes of color around town.

Fantastic. I love it.

Sun, flowers, I feel like skipping down the street!

Oh, for those of you who want to listen to my radio broadcast tomorrow there is an easier way to listen over the internet. Some friends from uni set up a blog and made a direct link to Radio Phenix. Just go alllll the way down to the blog and click on the play button :)

I'm off to dance naked around my appartment playing the little spring fairy... lol. (No worries Mom, just kidding!)

dimanche, avril 02, 2006

ants on a log

I'm not sure what took a hold of me while preparing my pasta for lunch today... was it the celery that I found in the veggie drawer? was it the little bit of America missing in my life? was it an urge to eat peanut butter?

In anycase anyone remember this little snack? Yum yum.

French ants on a log ... tee hee.

keep on walkin'

After a wonderful weekend of sushi, leaving footprints on deserted beaches and munching on mystery ice cream on the lawn overlooking the English Channel with Mystery Guest it was time to go back to reality.

Luckly reality was postponed by catching the last showing of Walk the Line. I'm really glad that I made a point of going to see it. The acting was fantastic and although I'm not a country music fan the music is classic.

For a movie that's over 2 hours long I never felt like there was a lull, nor was it too fast-paced. This Goldilocks found a movie that was juuuuust right ;-)