samedi, septembre 30, 2006


I couldn't resist stealing this picture from another blogger because it is just too funny!

I've gotten a giggle out of the other Eurostar ads but I think this one takes the cake!

*London for lovebirds - 100€ round trip for two

vendredi, septembre 29, 2006


Well after an exhausting week getting prepared for classes this week I'm vegging out by the sea for the weekend! Hey I deserve a little sleep once in a while! :-)

I found out Monday that instead of starting the majority of my classes the 9th, which is what I had understood, I start the 2nd! That changes everything! First of all in order to get the photocopies I need to give the originals to the secretary at least 1 week in advance! So that means I need to have my lesson totally planned so that I know what I'll be needing to use as photocopies!

And since I knew I had been invited out to the Mystery Guest ranch from Thursday afternoon til Sunday I needed to squeeze everything into 3 days. I did manage to get everything (mostly) done so now I'm catching up on my sleep!

I'm really nervous about starting work, it's so hard to go into a classroom for the first time, you don't know exactly what's going on... the student's English level, the group dynamics etc. I'm sure everything will go back to normal after a few weeks but in the meantime its all I can think about!

So in order not to stress too much there is a bike ride planned (if the weather holds) and a Lord of The Rings session to be held in front of the tv.

All I need is some popcorn!

mercredi, septembre 27, 2006

la science des reves

On Monday I went to the cinema to catch the last showing of the Science of Sleep, it was weird but good :-) It is a French movie but has a lot of English dialogue.

If you liked Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or even thought it was slightly interesting you'd like this movie. Its not nearly as hard to follow but has all the wonderful dreamlike sequences and cinematography. (Plus there is has the wonderfully dreamy Mexican actor for all you ladies out there!)

Two big thumbs (hands???) up from me! Because I'm such a world-renouned movie critic and all...

lundi, septembre 25, 2006

secret project!

I made these adorable baby booties for a friend of mine who gave birth to a little boy the end of August.

It was my first real project that involved counting stitches, and I would never have made it through without the help of knitting champion, Benedicte!

I wanted to tell you all about this project but as my friend sometimes read the blog I couldn't spoil the surprise! But now that she received them I can brag alllll I want! :-)

samedi, septembre 23, 2006


Today a friend of mine invited me and the 2 new lecteurs (Mr. Irish Peter and Mr. Scottish Lawrence) on a road trip to Etretat. We were so lucky with our Indian Summer weather! Without a doubt it was the most beautiful day to be up there, for a change there was no wind, it was about 24 or 25C and full sun all day!

On our way out of town we bought the fixins for a picnic including some smells like feet camembert and a tasty baguette.

After the beach and a walk up to the top of the cliffs we wandered into the little town where Lawrence found a piece of home!

We finally made it back home safe & sound after getting a bit lost in Le Havre and getting some ice cream in Honfleur :-)

vendredi, septembre 22, 2006


After another unsucessful trip out to get my new paperwork in order (the woman was out of the office today... again!) I came home to veg. I was sleepy and it was rainy out so I decided today is a perfect day to stay home and take advantage of my wonderful home entertainment unit :-)

I havn't been writing much as there hasn't been anything too exciting going on. I've been having a lot of meetings for my new job. I'm really excited about the whole year, especially now that I have my entire schedule! Here it is:

3 hours (two 1 1/2 hour groups) of 3rd year Medical students
5 hours (five 1 hour groups) of 1st year Economy students
2 hours (two 1 hour groups) of 1st year English students

There are some other things that could pop up here and there but otherwise that is basically it for the next 9 months. I'm nervous and excited about starting. I really really appreciate the last 3 years of teaching experience that I've had, that gives me the courage to stand up in front of a classroom and try not to sound like an idiot. But at the same time this will be an entirely new experience as I've never had as much responsability, and I feel that pressure. It is both a good and scary pressure. I have a feeling that the responsability will motivate me and help me look forward to work every day with the same curiousity and buzz that I have right now.

If anyone has any lesson plan suggestions I'm open to it! Never having studied econ or medicine myself I'll need to do a bit of work to learn the vocab! When I opened the English textbook for the medicine students I learned a whole bunch of new vocab, both in English and in French (yes, I do feel smarter now that I know how to stay "stool sample" in French...!)

mercredi, septembre 20, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

On Monday night Allociné and I convinced Mystery Guest that Little Miss Sunshine (winner of the American Film Festival in Deauville) was a must see.

I'm so glad I got a chance to see it! It was a wonderful movie, funny, uplifting and touching the way that independant movies can be.

When I went to write this post I did an image search for the movie poster and this came up instead! Remember these books? I used to love them as a kid! :-)

dimanche, septembre 17, 2006


So I went pee... as people tend to do.

Now, for those readers who havn't lived in France toilets here are different. Some of them have a button on the top that you push (well 2 buttons actually, one for a normal flush and one for ... well... a power flush) or some are like the photo with a knob that you pull.

My toilet happens to be of the knob catagory.

So when I flushed this evening maybe I was in a hurry, or overly excited about my dinner cooking on the stove, or simply had butterfingers.

The knob came off in my hands and bounced around on the top of the toilet.

Then it popped over and bounced across my toilet paper holder.

Up and over the toilet to a suicidal dive into the toilet bowl!

Unable to stop the flushing process I prayed over the bowl that my little knob would bob up to the surface and I would be able to rescue it...

Sadly the toilet gods had other plans and my knob has been lost at sea...

samedi, septembre 16, 2006

feelin' groovy

This morning I woke up at 8 by someone's car alarm or something going off... I pulled the covers over my head tried desperately to go back to sleep but ended up just lying in bed for a few hours. Relaxing half asleep before i pulled down my computer and checked my email.

Eventually I bumbled my way over to the couch with a hot coffee and vegged in front of an episode of Dawson's Creek (yes, I feel like I'm back in high school...).

And thinking about it, thats just the thing. I don't think I've fully taken advantage of a lazy morning for years. Even when I have the chance I've always felt that I needed to leap out of bed and shower before doing anything. But I've learned that patience, vegging and not leaping about can feel great. :-)

But now its 11:30am, a few hours later, and I do need to get my butt in gear and get off the couch!

jeudi, septembre 14, 2006

no soup for you!

An American friend of mine just opened up a soup bar here in town with his family. It is a great idea, and something new that I think will be very popular during the winter! It is a tiny little shop but in a good location with 5 different soups changing weekly, as well as savory and sweet crumbles and other side dishes. Plus the name is great:

*Mange ta soupe! :-)

I was out walking in town yesterday when we got hit with a thunderstorm, as I was on my way home I decided that a little soup with dinner would be yummy. So I ducked into the shop and got some soupe au camembert to go. Yum! Yum! Yum! Decided to make it last and have some for lunch today just incase Oscar turns into the Soup Nazi :-) hehe (does anyone know where to buy a t-shirt with that on it? would be hilarious!)

There you go, a little free publicity! Mange ta soupe!

*Eat your soup

mardi, septembre 12, 2006


I went to my first day of work at the Fac* today! I don't start teaching for another few weeks, the beginning of October, but things are starting to get underway.

In France if you fail your exams in June you have a chance to take them again in September. I'll be working 5 hours a week in the economy department and so today I gave oral exams all morning and then was correcting the written exams in the afternoon.

I was at work all day, from 9-4 and despite the fact that I couldn't sleep last night it was a good day. It is weird to go back to having a full day of work after having the whole summer off, but a good thing too. I thought it would be weird for me to give exams to students I don't know and in a subject that I'm not familiar with but as the teacher I work with had said it did help me to get an idea of their level. I'm glad to be working with her, she's a real chatterbox but full of energy and its nice to work with someone not so jaded by their profession.

Its going to be a challenge this year, something I've never done before and I feel like a lot more is expected of me and I'm up for it and would like to do a good job. :-)

So until Monday when I go back to meet my prof I have a stack of exams to correct! Hello the life of a teacher is upon me!

*Fac - University

samedi, septembre 09, 2006

deauville - episode 2

On Friday Mystery Guest and I went back to Deauville with 2 friends to see one of his favorite movie stars, Christian Slater.

We got there early to get a good spot but the main good spots were already taken so we stood on the side barrier. Just when the stars (Christian Slater and Emilio Estevez) came out all the photographers that were doing the photocall in a different room marched over and stood right in front of us! Grrr!! We couldn't see anything! The shot I have here of Emilio Estevez was taken by holding the camera over my head and guessing!

As you can imagine we were royally pissed so during the press conference we went around the back to where the cars would pull up in one last effort to actually see them and maybe get an autograph. As luck would have it they were very much in the signing mood and not just blowing off their fans :-)

So as you can see we got a great shot of Christian Slater (and Mystery Guest's ear!) and you should have seen the look of joy on his face when he signed his dvd and shook his hand saying "cheers mate" :-)

"I shook his hand! I'm never washing it again!" :-)


I made another attempt at making a dessert for Mystery Guest's fam. Other things (chocolate-chocolate-craisin cookies or NY cheesecake) I had tried semi passed but were labeled as too sweet or too rich. In my book that's the whole point of dessert but hey who am I to judge :-)

So I thought I'd try to make something much more French, a crumble. Or as we grew up calling it Apple Crisp. Super easy and it was more or less devoured at lunch today.

If you want the receipe here it is:

about 6 or 7 tart cooking apples peeled and sliced
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
about 50 grams of butter diced

Layer the apples in the bottom of a baking dish. In a separate bowl combine the oats, brown sugar and butter and use your hands to make sure it is evenly mixed. Basically it should ressemble in texture wet sand. Sprinkle over the apples and bake at 350F or about 170C until the apples are cooked and bubbly and the crisp is, well, crisp :-)

Serve warm and à la mode ;-) hehe Yum!

jeudi, septembre 07, 2006



Folks I have an announcement to make! A big one! HUGE news!

I'm baaaaaack!

I'm connected!!! I received my beautiful *new* freebox today in the mail! Yipppeee!!!

Mystery Guest and I have been playing with all the fabulous functions, including the new hard drive that comes with and all the extra tv channels.

The only thing left is my phone which will take a few days to get connected but otherwise I'm back and ready to go! :-)

mardi, septembre 05, 2006

new phone!

I broke down and got a new phone to replace the one I bought upon arrival 3 years ago…

Now I’m part of the cooool crowd – a slide color phone! How cute is it?? I think I’m in love… :-)


It has been a busy few days! Last Friday under grey skies and a nasty Novemberish wind the American Film Festival in Deauville opened and so on Saturday Mystery Guest and I braved the weather and went to scope out the starts J I have never seen a movie star up close (or far away for that matter!) so it was really exciting for me! The festival itself was interesting, but not the atmosphere I had imagined, it was only a really small part of the ritzy beach town that was devoted to the festival and unless you wanted to pay an arm and a leg to see the films there wasn’t that much to do.

We did, however, have the schedule for all the photo calls and press conferences so that’s how we got to see Edward Norton on Saturday, Josh Hartnett and Al Gore on Sunday! The photo calls are crazy, especially for big stars like Josh Hartnett, to see all these girls throwing themselves against the barrier screaming Josh! Josh! Pluhhleeezehhh! Was just a little beyond insane. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to be a meter away from these big movie stars but at the same time I don’t think I could get that into someone I didn’t know, I wasn’t the pre-teen with the New Kids Block posters on her walls or the teenager who devoted her time to writing fan mail. Hello, just not my style. So I can safely say I wasn’t one of the screamers.

After Josh Hartnett we had a few hours to kill before Al Gore made his appearance for his documentary so we went into nearby Honfleur for a yummy crepe lunch. When we got back there was a 1/100th of the earlier crowd so we sat down to wait a bit. When Gore finally did make his appearance, we waited hoping he would come out into the open section to maybe take a picture or get an autograph. After a few minutes the security dude walked over to us and asked if we wouldn’t like to sit in on the press conference! There were so few people compared to the big stars that they let the general public in on the conference! It was so cool to be sitting there a few meters away from the rightfully elected President of America and listen to the Q&A from European and American reporters.

It was so interesting to hear about his environmental concerns and let me tell you, if a press conference is meant to advertise the film it worked for me! I just have to say that Gore is so intelligent and a great speaker. I just kept pinching myself thinking how lucky I was to be there listening to these ideas and I will for sure go see the film if it comes here! At the end as they security guys were leading him to the back room we went up for a few pictures and a French reporter was trying really hard to ask him one last question but as she asked in French he didn’t get it, so what did Mystery Guest do? Well just jumped right in there and translated for Gore! How cool is that?

The festival goes on for a few more days, and we plan on going back Friday for Emilio Estevez (you guys remember the Mighty Ducks??? haha) and Christian Slater. Then we might go back Saturday for Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. How funny is it to think that I’m seeing all these American stars for the first time in France?