samedi, juin 28, 2008


Yuck yuck!!

I haven't seen pothead for a couple days now, I've been busy packing and going up to V-town to sign the lease among other things. I don't know if he's been around or not... I think he's been in and out.

Today I was packing more stuff up in the kitchen and the old banana smell was really starting to get to me. I opened up the cupboard and the bananas were unrecognizable!!! I kid you not!!! One big black mass of juice-leaking bananas... YUCK! I couldn't handle it anymore, I chucked 'em* and sopped up the rotten banana juice left on the shelf.

I never wanted to do his dishes or clean up after him so he wouldn't get the idea that cause he lives with girls he wouldn't do anything, but this was too much! Plus the beau-parents are coming over for lunch and to take a few boxes since they're in town today and it was just too icky and stinky to leave there. I would have been so embarrassed even if it isn't my mess...

*actually I really did, my gag reflex kicked in and I couldn't even handle it so I threw it out the window... honestly I can't believe I just did that but YUCK! double YUCK!

mardi, juin 24, 2008

packing things up!

Last Friday Mystery Guest and I went to the agency to start giving them the paperwork for our apartment. Agencies are crazy! They ask for all sorts of documentation that seems a bit above and beyond of what they would actually need to see that you can pay your rent...

Since Mystery Guest is starting his new job July 1st (the same day we officially rent the apartment) they need a letter from his boss saying that yes indeed he will be hired from July 1st. Apparently though, this letter was not enough because it didn't include his salary. It's just the little things like that, when they keep asking for different things all the time that tends to get you easily annoyed with them!

But anyway I'm here in my colocation trying to pack up my stuff before Thursday (we're actually moving me Sunday but between going to sign the lease and a birthday party I've got to get it all done by Thurs). I went through the kitchen yesterday and packed most of my stuff up. As I was going through the cupboards I realized that the guy (roomie #2 - or "pothead" as he will be referred to here on out) that roomie #1 picked last month doesn't really understand certain things... Dishes will sit in the sink for days upon days but that's not really the big thing... In the cupboard there was a certain oder wafting out... when I peeked in I saw rotting bananas and a jar of open jam with the spoon in it. The orange juice he buys also tends to be moved about the kitchen without ever making it to the fridge. EW!

Gross gross.

He is an odd guy but pretty nice, just a little slow. I think there's just a little something missing up there..

I'm missing some boxes so I'm going to ride my bike up to Picard today to see if I can't scavange a few. The ones I picked up a couple Wednesdays ago (when the shops get new shipments they leave all their boxes nicely folded up on the street for moving people like me to grab!) are really sturdy and HUGE, they work great but way too big to fill with heavy things like books/dishes etc.

vendredi, juin 20, 2008

movin' and shakin'!

There has been a lot going on around here but since I try not to post too much personal stuff on here I've been holding back.

But never fear dear readers things are happening around here! Mystery Guest and I went to the agence immobliere today to get the list of documents needed for our apartment rental. We'll be moving out of Caen to V-town at the end of June into a great duplex apartment! (hint, come visit! there's plenty of room!). If you take a look on the map V-town is on the Cotentin peninsula on the way to Cherbourg. Yes, it is tiny town but on the main train line and has everything you really need downtown. Plus Mystery Guest starts his full time job July 1st and can walk the 500m to work every day and I'll start my job probably in October. I found a job teaching English at a private school in Caen and am able to arrange my schedule to only work 4 days a week. I'll be taking the 45 minute train ride those days to go teach. The best thing is that my job will give me a CDD for the first year and then if all goes well I'll get my grubby little paws on a CDI! Yippee!

For you Caen peeps no worries, I'll be in town a lot, promise! This summer will consist of finishing my memoire, passing my drivers license and preparing lessons for next year, I won't be bored but I'm sure to get sick of sitting in front of a computer all day!

I am however preparing myself for the internet withdrawal I'm sure to have when we move until we can get a line set up. I said to a friend the other day that I think that blogs are the Soap Operas of our generation and I really feel it when I miss a post! But they are such a wonderful way of exchanging information - for example Mystery Guest might have an allergy to gluten and having already read GlutenFreeGirl I hopped over there to take a look at things to eat and different symptoms to understand more. He's giving a gluten-free diet a go this week to see if it helps. I made a yummy veggie dish last night, totally just my own creation but it wasn't half bad!

lundi, juin 16, 2008

Paris weekend!

Wow! What a great weekend! I wanted to post as soon as possible so as not to forget anything! I decided to go to Paris for the Blogger's picnic put on by the fabulous Katia & KylieMac on Saturday evening. Since I don't exactly make it to Paris all that often I decided to take full advantage of my time there. I arrived at 10am on Saturday and was met by a great friend of mine from my university who is now living in Tours working on her PhD, we had a coffee and then wandered over to a Thai restaurant near Republique where we met up with our old French TA from our university. We had a fantastic lunch there, I had requested some sort of ethnic food for lunch as I don't get it often here in Normandy and that Phad Thai lived up to my expectations!!

We had almost finished our meal and non-stop catching up on eachother's lives when we heard a loud and obnoxious "S'IL VOUS PLAIT" screamed across the restaurant to get the poor waitress' attention. When Miss V. turned around to shoot the uncooth man a dirty look he smiled at her and his pearly whites instantly reminded her of something - "whoa! that's the second time Jean Dujardin is in the same restaurant as me!" she whispered to us. I turned around (this was afterall my first star sighting!) and saw him sitting there talking to 2 other people. I decided to feed his already-too-big ego and go ask for a picture. The movie star stuck chopsticks up his mouth, walrus style for my picture - so classy! His friend said to him, oh that's going to be all over the internet, to which I replied, no no just the American websites, that doesn't bother you right?? haha!
Afterwards by the metro we came up with soooooo many other ways to have talked to him but alas its like a comeback, the good ones always come to you long after the moment has passed. We said goodbye and I ran off to Place d'Italie to check out Aimee's cafe and meet up with the artist formally known as Sam and Leah. It was so much fun to finally meet Aimee and to see her adorable cafe. It is so cool to see someone's dreams come true :-) As we sat there chatting Andie walked in the door with her kids. It was so funny because I've meet up with bloggers before, but always when we had planned on meeting up. When Andie came in my first reaction was to say hi as if it were a long lost friend instead of someone I had never met! But she was great and her kids were so much fun begging Aimee for her homemade chocolate chip cookies.

It was time to go so we went over to the shopping center to pick up the necessities - wine, pringles you know... as well as some maple syrup. The only place I can find big bottles (1 litre!) of maple syrup is in Paris and since I've gotten Mystery Guest and his family addicted to pancakes I decided it would be best to stock up ;-)

We made our way over to the picnic on ile de la cite and had an absolute blast catching up with old friends and meeting new people. We munched on all sorts of goodies including some cherry m&ms which were sent in from the States. (no offence but ick! they taste like chocolate cough syrup!)
After the wind turned a bit chilly we wandered into the Marais for a drink. I left with the lovely Katia and her Muffin Man to stay at their place in the burbs. We crashed and didn't wake up until 11am the next day. I got a text from Sam and met up with her and the others for some bagels but the place was closed so we opted for Starbucks... what a pity ;-) When she had to go to work I met Ambre in the Marais and we went to go hang out on the grass in Place des Voges while waiting for another university friend traveling around Europe to call.
We finally all met up and was joined by another friend, I think it had been about 6 or 7 years at least since we had all seen eachother. Our little catch up (at Starbucks of course!) was too short but great to hear everybody's crazy stories!
I zipped out of there at 7pm and made it on my train with 3 minutes to spare :-) I think I took advantage of my Paris weekend, what do you think??? :-)

Thanks to everyone, especially Katia and KylieMac for organizing such a wonderful picnic! I'll throw some pictures up on facebook soon!

jeudi, juin 12, 2008

cultural differences...

I thought of another cultural difference the other day... it has to do with thermometers and where/how you take your temperature in France (and I'm not talking about Fahrenheit/Celsius).

Let's just put it this way, in our home Mystery Guest and I will have two separate thermometers...

another shameless plug

for Lidl! This week they're having another week of American products including 3 bagels for 1.19e! I think I'm going to stock up, they're much cheaper than Picard ones :-)

dimanche, juin 08, 2008

Where were you on September 11?

On Friday (June 6th, also the Anniversary of D-Day) the Mémorial of Caen opened an exhibition on September 11. (also described here and here)

I haven't written much on my blog about my Master's work here but this year I have to write another thesis and I've chosen to write about poetry written in response to September 11: focusing on the ideas of memory, remembering and bearing witness.

This exhibition is perfect timing for me, I'm wrapping up my research and am going to be writing this summer so that I can turn it in this fall.

I've always loved the work that the Memorial has done, people come here expecting to see a museum about World War II and the D-Day invasion, but it is not a museum about war but about peace. They do amazing presentations of events, people and places on a world wide scale and this one went above and beyond my expectations.

Instead of dwelling on the event itself, like the museum this exhibition is divided into three parts: before Sept 11, Sept 11 and afterwards. Politics aside it was extremely touching to see these people's experiences, especially the "remembrance fence" and all of the "missing people" posters. I felt myself moved to tears on more than one occasion.

I overheard a lady speaking about the day, with a strong Queens accent. As I moved closer to hear better she described her experiences during that long day, how she couldn't reach her husband because of the cell phones jamming, how she struggled to collect her kids from the neighborhood school etc. I decided to talk to her and I explained who I was and what I was working on. I asked her what she thinks the world should do to try and remember. She was very friendly and it was the first time I've talked to someone who was there, and her trauma is still very present.

She asked if I was there too. No, I was in France. I had just arrived a week earlier for my study abroad year and was coping with trying to understand what was going on on French TV. She asked how the French reacted and I assured her that it was an amazing thing; people came up to me on the street and on the tram telling me how sorry they were. It's always easy to remember the negative hard to forget Freedom Fries and the war which all happened later, and hard to remember the positive.

I like the quote from Le Monde the next day: Nous sommes tous américains.

The humanity I saw today was so moving and that is what should be remembered.

Here is a video by the Wall Street Journal, a bit too dramatic for my taste but it shows a good part of the exhibit.

vendredi, juin 06, 2008


*Now more updates below!! fun times to be had by all!!

Now I'm not one to talk about work much on a blog but this is too good... I'm doing oral exams for all of my students and it is exhausting but there are some real gems in there, especially concerning different mistakes in English.

I'm not trying to make fun of them, considering all the mistakes I've made in French (haha lets not go to specifics people!) but there are some really funny ones. Some are just using a French word in English which makes the sentence sound funny:

*Society (they mean company)
*Enterprise (again company but everytime I hear it I see a little Starship Enterprise zooming past.. yes Captain!)
*Chief (the boss, but I see the stereotypical Indian chief dancing around in my head)
*I'm cherching for a job (I'm looking for a job)

Then there are some pronunciation mistakes:
*"K"now (you'd think after all these years of English they'd learn that the K is silent...)
*July (they always pronounce it You-lee)
*Blackpeppers (instead of Backpackers - it was in a text we were looking at)
*A job is a party of life (instead of a part, but hey I'd love to have a job where it is a party everyday!)

and then my favorite... I have no idea where this came from but a male student told me:
*It's better to have children when I'm not a younger woman (I agree!)

Those are the top ones, I've still got all day today and tomorrow so if I come up with some more of these I'll be sure to throw them up! And maybe I'll put up my favorite mistakes that I've made in French... maybe...

** this just in, did you know that:
"A generation ago there was no fly machine or car"

*Her friends who made the choice to live regret it (I think, and hope, they meant leave...)

or the German sentence of:
*She can higher job in his career have (riiiiiight....)

jeudi, juin 05, 2008

welcome to the sticks

CNN is doing a week-long report called "Eye on France" and there is a funny interview with Danny Boon on his film Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis.

His English is quite good and he is really funny - I love the part where he jokes around about being a porn star because its the only thing that he hasn't done yet!

Anyway the clip is interesting because he sold the rights to the film to Will Smith who is going to make an American remake - Welcome to the Sticks.

I'm curious to see where that will go...

mardi, juin 03, 2008


I've been a bit out of the bloggosphere with all sorts of things happening, but all is looking good. The job hunt is going well, have an interview tomorrow and the appartment hunt is also looking good :-)

This week I'm stuck at work (my last week! yippee!) doing oral exams for 250 students. It's going ok so far but its tiring, I'm here from 9 to 5 at the earliest with only a half an hour lunch break. Its hard to keep your concentration and make sure with something as subjective as an oral exam you keep things fair and not let your fatigue get reflected in their grade.. Plus there has been a huge wind and rainstorm all week and since the heat is cut for the summer and there is no direct light it is frickin freezing in here! I even have an extra sweater! So I'm making tea all the time trying to stay warm.

So I've got a few more hours today and then the rest of the week but come Friday I'll be free!!! yeah... right, lets try I'll be busy moving, practicing the code so I can get a French license and of course my memoire... gahh!