mardi, octobre 31, 2006


I've been really busy recently, the day after my birthday extravaganza a Japanese friend of mine who I met in the States came to visit!

I havn't seen her since 2001 when she was studying in the States so it was so natsukashii to see her again!

I had Sunday free so we went to the local market, picked up lots of fresh fruits and veggies as well as some local oysters! Then we did a walking tour of Caen, luckily the weather was ok and not too cold! That evening we had Japanese food (miso soup and rice) for dinner and Emi had her fresh oysters. She shucked them like a pro!

Otherwise I've had to work so I sent her off on trips around the region, Honfleur and Mont Saint Michel. She is staying to celebrate Halloween and then of to Paris and more adventures!

I'm so glad she came to visit, its been fun to see someone who I havn't seen in so long! But at the same time I'm exhausted from playing host :-) I need a guest room!

dimanche, octobre 29, 2006

time to fall!

Don't forget to change your clocks folks! Its the end of daylight savings, so at least in Europe and America its time to fall back one hour...

Yeah baby last night we got an extra hour of sleep, I love it!

samedi, octobre 28, 2006

birthday celebration part 2

To continue my birthday celebration we all went out to dinner and had a fabulous time and excellent food. The restaurant is really small and cozy with bright colors painted all around and even the silverware has little pictures fruits and veggies inside the handle.

We really chowed down on that soup and other goodies as you can see ;-)

Then Oscar came out with a birthday surprise, chocolate soup with a floating candle! (Glad there weren't 25 of them...!)

Then we moved along to the tropical paradise that is the Che, a Cuban bar that from the outside looks like a hole but inside is full of palm trees, tropical sunshine, mojitos and musica!

So there's the recap of last night with a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. I had one of the best birthdays yet, good thing since I'm officially now old... anti-wrinkle cream anyone??

vendredi, octobre 27, 2006

birthday celebration part 1

Yes folks in just a few minutes (according to my mom at 19h00 on the dot) I will be 25 and to help me ring in my quarter of a century Mystery Guest took me on a lovely drive.

The weather was perfect this afternoon as we headed down to the Suisse Normande, a beautiful region of Normandy just south of Caen. We had a fantastic drive as we watched golden leaves float across little country roads and admire the rivers that cut through forested valleys.

It was the perfect way to spend my birthday afternoon, out in the sunshine enjoying a stunning fall day with excellent company. I'm home for an hour to primp before going out for dinner with friends at Mange ta Soupe and to get some drinks.

jeudi, octobre 26, 2006

an inconvenient truth

Just got back from the movies tonight with Mystery Guest. We went to go see AnInconvenientTruth which is only playing for a few nights at the cinema. After seeing Al Gore in Deauville, we couldn't pass up an opportunity to see the film that he was promoting.

He is such a well-spoken, intelligent politian, someone who you feel is actually doing the right thing and is not a sleezeball with skeletons in his closet, nor a war-hungry mongrel. I would love it if he ran for President again (and won fair and square again) but somehow I feel that no matter how much Bush destroys America the people still will not vote in someone liberal enough to make a positive difference... I would love to be proven wrong however!

I highly recommend this film on many levels, the situation is neither dumbed down nor made into a cheezy political drama. It is straight forward, to the point with clear articulate thought and years and years of research. It actually makes you feel that as a single human being on this planet there is something you can do to help preserve life as we know it.

Bravo Mr. Gore for saying what needed to be said and for trying to make a difference.

mercredi, octobre 25, 2006

dirty laundry...

No, I'm not talking in symbolic terms but rather about the huge pile of laundry sitting in the corner of my appartment! Isn't it a sad day when you realize that you don't have the time to do your laundry? Mine has been sitting there since Sunday, a quiet reminder that I'm slowly running low on the "essentials"...

I hope I can get it done soon otherwise there might be a Bridget Jones moment coming up soon!

mardi, octobre 24, 2006


After a long day of work, grocery shopping, struggling to get said groceries home on the tram, tram driver slamming on the brakes and me falling into the pole I went off to a movie with Mystery Guest. Ahhhh a bit of fresh air in a busy day :-) Hat's off to Mystery Guest!

We finally got a chance to see Indigenes, a fantastic French film about the soldiers recruted from Northern Africa to fight for France in World War II. The movie is very well done with a great cast and a touching true story. It is always interesting to see a movie on a part of history that is often left untouched in the textbooks.

The movie really moved me during many scenes and but oddly left me feeling a bit homesick, not sure why, but I really connected with these characters. Its funny, homesickness, its not something that hits me often, I could count on one hand how many times I've really felt homesick. But when it does hit you know it! I love living here, don't get me wrong, but I think it's been too long since my last visit home. My next New Year's Resolution, go home at least once every 12 months :-)

dimanche, octobre 22, 2006

d-day beaches

On Saturday I went on another road trip adventure with Aurore, Peter, CJ and Larissa. This time we went west to check out the D-Day beaches. I've visited the sights before but they are no less impressive a second, third or fourth time.

We started our trip at the American Cemetery because it was the only sight closing at a certain time. For about an hour I was back on American territory which was strange to think about. It blows your mind to see row after row after row of solitary white crosses, the number of lives lost. After a few minutes you get used to seeing them there and then you start to look again, this time at the names written and all of a sudden it becomes real again. It is beyond powerful.

Then we continued along the road to la Pointe du Hoc where the Rangers scaled cliffs to attack the German bunkers. They have left the site completely preserved and the bomb craters are still there along with the ruins of German bunkers.

Afterwards we drove along the coast to Arromanches where the artifical port was created so the Allied forces would have a landing point for the troops and supplies. As you can see we were very lucky with the weather, leaving Caen we were hit with showers but it all cleared and we had blue skies for the rest of the day :-)

Here's a little shot of Aurore and Peter looking very pensive... :-)

vendredi, octobre 20, 2006

quick trip

Well as my karma caught up with me I went off in the traina to Paris for a quick trip to get my medical exam done. I swear it is such a joke to make us go all the way to Paris for it!

Here's what happened.

I trek out to the suburbs of Paris to arrive at 10am (yes, that means I was up at 5:30am to catch my 7am train) and was told to sit and wait.

Then my name was called to go sit and wait somewhere else.

Then my height and weight was taken and my eyesight was tested.

I was told to wait.

Then my chest was x-rayed.

Then I was told to wait.

Then wait some more. (see a pattern here??)

Then the doctor saw me in the office.

"Your vaccinations are up to date?"


"Ok, go and have a seat over there."

So I wait.

Then I get my paper saying I'm healthy go give the the prefecture and I walk out.

Yes, of course, that medical exam must be done in la capitale, country folk out here wouldn't be able to handle it all... :-) But hey I'll be legal soon! And as a souvenir I got to keep my x-ray!!! Yippeee!!! :-)

jeudi, octobre 19, 2006

to open or not to open?

Buzz!! As I was enjoying my morning coffee the postlady buzzed at my front door... never a disturbing moment however when the postlady comes to deliver a package!

Yesterday I got a package from my sister in my mailbox and today it was a big box from my mom. Yes folks, this girl's birthday's coming up soon! If you really want to know, its next Friday...

So yup, you've figured it out, I have 8 days until my birthday. So now the really important question comes into play, to open them early or to wait?? I'm always telling myself to wait so that that way I'll have something to open the day of and not regret opening them early... but at the same time the surprise is a little spoiled as my sister and mom had to write the contents of the packages on the customs form... now I know sometime they, um, stretch the truth on whats inside but still... humm... a real dilemma!

happy little trees...

During a random conversation on Monday the subject of PBS and Bob Ross came up and his happy little trees and rocks :-) Difficult to really describe all that encompasses Bob Ross...

So in order to share this childhood memory with everyone - especially the frenchies, here is a little video! Enjoy!

mercredi, octobre 18, 2006


I went to a friend's house for a visit and her kitty came up and gave my foot a good cuddle.

I miss having pets... having beautiful new housewarming plants on my windowsill is nice but not the same as having something cuddly around :-)

She had actually offered me a kitty at Christmas but my place is just too small, plus I'm more of a dog-person. One day I'll have a big yard, until then I've got some nice plants that don't ever get mad at you or pee in your shoes!

mardi, octobre 17, 2006


It is too soon to be Christmas!!! Its not Thanksgiving yet, nor Halloween, nor my birthday and that people means no Christmas decorations yet!

But yet as I walk down my street earlier today I see that it is the first in the downtown to be decked out with Christmas lights... Puhhleez people! Its even earlier than last year!

*But there are new lights on my street this year and I do have to admit they are prettier than last years :-) And I do live on the first street to put them up... that makes it special right?

lundi, octobre 16, 2006


Thats it, it officially sucks getting up for work in the morning, it is still dark out!!! I thought I'd have a bit longer before I woke up to dark skies but alas :-(

We havn't even fallen back yet! I hate to imagine that its only going to get worse... and worse... Oh well, paying summer dues I guess! :-)

Happy Monday to everyone going to work today!

vendredi, octobre 13, 2006


I got a translation job this week, a four-page text to have done for Sunday! Needless to say it is not a lot of time to do a translation! I'm half-way done and staying home this evening (as a busy weekend is ahead!) to get some work done on it.

I swear it pushes my poor brain as far as it can go! I get about a paragraph done in an hour or so and I just feel like I can't think anymore.... I've got noodles for brains!

So this is my little mini-break :) reading up on blogs and letting the noodles rest for a bit :) Then it is back to the grindstone... wish me luck!

Update: I have found through a scientific study that chouquettes are the best way of fixing said noodle brain :) hehe

mercredi, octobre 11, 2006


It is officially fall and you can really tell by the crispness in the air, especially at night when I freeze my little tooties off!

I decided to give in to the change of weather and break out my trusty bouillotte*, it was a bit of a mission finding the lid that went with... But when I did I crawled into bed and hugged my long-lost friend.

My tooties appreciated having her back too :-)

*hot water bottle, seems really old fashioned but fairly common here and I love love love them!

samedi, octobre 07, 2006

wedding bells!

Today I attended the civil service of Janine and Cedric's wedding! (In France you have to have a civil service before the church service - theirs will be held next August) It was the first time that I attended a wedding in Caen, in our beautiful hotel de ville.

So here are the bride and groom waiting for the mayor to come.

Here are all the brothers and their wives/girlfriends.

The toast chez Janine & Cedric - Congrats!

And a little picture of Janine & me.

We were so lucky that the weather cleared today and we had a beautiful sunny day to enjoy the celebration! Congrats you two!

vendredi, octobre 06, 2006

food blog!

Maybe it is the change of weather, the golden leaves that fall onto wet pavement, the early sunsets and the crisp fall weather... Maybe it is because I'm procrastinating... :-) But in anycase like some other bloggers I decided to organize all my recipes into a new food blog... I am by no means a professional chef, but I love to cook!

Check out my new link, Milk Jam in the Kitchen, on the right-hand side of this blog!

I'm starting to put in tried and true recipes and then will move on to new ideas and fun stuff that I pull from my American roots and my French surroundings.

I'm copying in my old recipies in as they are... in French, in English, converted measurements or not... If there are any questions please feel free to leave a comment and I'll give you the translation or the conversions.

jeudi, octobre 05, 2006


Its been a busy week but things have been going well. After my not-too-hot class on Monday afternoon I had 3 hours with medicine students on Tuesday morning.

It went really well, the students were in smaller groups (15 students) and although they aren't very good in English they are nice and fairly motivated. I think those groups are going to be my favorites.

I had my economy students yesterday and things went better than Monday. Its still hard because the groups are huge and the students are young (18 years old) and don't really like English.... I got a lot of "He have 18 years" when asking to present eachother... that needs to be fixed, it just plain hurts to hear!!

I don't work Thursdays which is wonderful! I got to sleep in and then I have some errands and classes to prepare before finishing up my work week with 2 hours of Econ tomorrow morning. So for all of you curious to hear how my classes are going they seem to be going pretty well :) I'm really tired all the time but I think its because its stressful to start of the year, I don't know the students or their level very well and have to put in a lot of time into the prep work. I think (based on past years) that after 2 or 3 weeks I'll get into the swing of things and it will be easier.

On a side note, I couldn't help using this picture for my blog... I did a google image search for "professor" and this came up! Brought back memories of those commercials! Remember??


Oh how I crack myself up... :)

lundi, octobre 02, 2006

long day

Whew its been a long day! I started off this morning waiting with the other immigrants in front of the prefecture at 8am (it doesn't open until 8:45 but if you don' t get there early and line up then all the tickets get taken and you have to come back another day!) only to be told that I will in fact have to go to Paris for my medical exam... shucks, I thought I could have gotten out of it for the third time but I guess my karma caught up with me... poo.

Afterwards I trucked up to Uni and finished my photocopies and lesson plans before meeting up with Benedicte for a chat. Then I had the lovely job of recording two articles for the English students to use in class... isn't it annoying listening to your voice on playback?? And how difficult it actually is to read articles, I kept stumbling over words and getting tongue-tied! But hopefully it will work out all right, they now have my beautiful accent digitalized!

From 4-5 I had my first class, it went alright, I guess as well as a 1st class can go... I ended up doing what I feared, running of out things to do and loosing steam but I just figured hey its college folks! Kids you can go 10 min early - enjoy! haha No, it wasn't horrible, in anycase I can see myself picking up steam and feeling more and more comfortable as time goes on. I feel bad for the Monday kids though! They will end up being my guinea pigs each week :-)

I'm off to get some chow and veg as all my classes are prepared for tomorrow and I'm beat!

This has been the recent addition to Milk Jam, signing off :-)