Tuesday, February 28, 2006

HEC quote of the day

"We may not have internet, but at least the water is back on." Halfsies

prom with smoke and booze

So this is a wee late, but here is a quick description of the gala.

All day I was in class for this mandatory seminar that I am doing this weekend and next weekend. Which was a major bummer because it meant that I missed Kirsten’s wedding. More on that later. After being in class for six days straight, I was pretty jazzed about doing “something” during the evening- especially if that “something meant getting out of Jouy en Josas. There was a fundraising- gala put on by the school and it seemed like as good of a plan as any. The gala was really the prom with cigarettes and alcohol in a very beautiful location. There were six of us who went in one itsy-bitsy euro-car (driven by someone else). A very kind student drove us there- which totally rocked because it was quite chilly to be parading to the train station in dress and heels. Highlights: The Westin is beautiful, so beautiful that it has bodyguards at the door. Apparently I sound the same when I say champagne and alcool—(how is that for a bad accent?). The French can dance easily with a lit cigarette in their hand and I managed to not get burned once. There are NO cabs at 4:30 am in Paris. NO CABS. We got another ride home with another very kind student. Yay for the French people! It was quite a bit of fun however and I am growing increasingly concerned about the welfare of my liver- especially since the BIG Thursday party is this week- the one that goes to 5 am instead of 3 am. Can’t wait to see that madness. Gala pictures available here.

Side note- I called the Idzerdies on Sunday and caught them together at lunch the day after Kirsten’s wedding, a very typical Idzerdy happening. It was good to talk to them on so many levels but it really gave me a real dose of sadness. As much as I am thankful for being here, I also feel a deep regret for missing the life events of the people who mean so much. Love you all SOOO much!

Congratulations Kirsten and Reggie!

for my public

These are the crazy photo's requested by my friend anonymous!

I heart anonymous.
I heart comments.
i heart having a public! (albeit, self declared)

additional photos available flickr

we share a shower

Georges- Etienne
aka: George
aka: G-E

He is holding a baguette, the staple of the student diet at HEC.

Monday, February 27, 2006

the french education system

Couple points I would like to share:

The positive:
1. Each class has a packet- and those packets are FREE!!! That's right! F-R-E-E!
2. There is a really cheap coffee machine immediately inside the building.
3. The school has a subscription to many newspapers- all of which are free for students to pick up.

The negative:
1. There are not assigned classrooms for classes so each and ever day you have to stop by this television which has shows a list of the room assignments for each class that day. Not so convenient in the morning when you are almost surely running late from trying to push your way through the mobs of French students. Would it be sooooo hard to assign a classroom for an entire semester? I mean the game of musical classrooms is fun and all.. . .but, still.
2. The queue for the coffee machine is quite long and the menu is in french. but it is perfectly acceptable to be late to class as long as you walk in holding the sacred dixie cup of coffee.
3. Who the hell has time to read newspapers for pleasure? I am too busy trying to read my damn marketing case and keep up my social life. Geez.

new hobbies

I came all the way to France to find Grey's Anatomy. yay!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

fair and balanced

Just wanting to give another perspective on HEC.

From Halfsies.
(another exchange student at HEC. )

Friday, February 24, 2006

I wish you could have seen what I saw

So we exited my building to go to the "thursday night party" compliments of "pulp it up" I saw (through the window) that in all three lounges of the building next door groups of 20 or so students were huddled around a laptop doing dances in unison. The only way I can describe this is that it looked like some combination of jazzercise and the macarena. All three floors. . .

The 'thursday night party' went until 4 am, so I am a little bit tired. and hung over.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

50 ways to use the toillette:

You just pull on the chain, Duane
Try to avoid the men, Ken
Stay in the stall, Paul
Just let yourself pee
Turn on that crank, Hank
Go quick and avoid the stank
Just use your knee, Lee
And get yourself free

Does not translate:

The student organization here is called:

"Pulp it up"

Is there some english reference that I am just not getting?

email from netflix shipping

In my email today I got an update from the good folks at Netflix.

For Thu: Scrubs Season 1: Disc 1
For Thu: Wedding Crashers
For Thu: Scrubs Season 1: Disc 2

I think *someone* was tired of me controlling the queue. :)
Happy viewing, dear! Lovies.

nap cures all

My spirits are up today folks. Last night I got--count em-- 10 hours of sleep! I followed it up by a 2 hour nap after class! Mad props over here. The debt of sleep deprivation has been paid in full, with interest.

My classes in general are not very difficult- except for the occasional blindsiding by the teacher-- for example my marketing strategy class has all the cases in French with no translation. Well, that's a bummERR (french for bummer) if I ever saw one.

Yesterday, I went down to Jouy en Josas to catch the train to Paris. (which deserves an explanation point) Paris! I heart Paris! There were three of us and we walked around the streets a bit- got cell phones switched over and exchanged money. I also got a new pair of jeans with glitter! Apparently my 20 year old friends think that I need to dress less matronly. . . . hence the glitter. Very chouette. I am getting a better feel for the weather and the clothing now and have started to supplement my wardrobe with more practical things that work well in mud.

One of the girls is from the OC which I found to be pretty funny after yesterday's conversation. She told us at dinner about the process for rushing a sorority-- let's just say that I had NO idea that the tv show the OC was based on truth. I heart Minnesota. (but no explanation point. . .)

Getting back to the quaint setting of Jouy en Josas proved to be somewhat challenging late in the evening. Many of the trains were no longer running at that time, so it took well over 2 hours to make the trip. When we got back to Jouy en Josas (J+J for the csom folks) the bus to campus wasn't running. It is quite easy to walk to J+J but very hard to walk from J+J. Regardless of what path you take, the campus is on a GI-normous hill. Due to my impromptu training session last night, I felt pretty ok about skipping my workout this morning in favor of my marathon sleeping session.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Okay, not to complain, but last night my friend across the hall-- the one who attacks aliens-- changed to trance music about midnight last night, which sounds a lot like moving furniture. . . to a beat. After about 15 minutes of trying to sleep, I decided to put on my earphones and listen to my ipod in bed- which was a good option for a while. Ultimately about an hour later I took off my earphones to hear every bit of 'dialogue' to a VERY QUESTIONABLE MOVIE. grr.

Sir, I can hear you, and I am totally judging you. turn down your speakers, si'l vous plait!

So in a daze I walked to class today amongst the gaggle of French students, who sound like they are all laughing and bantering on in some sort of whooshing whisper. I was just opening the door to the school building when I heard the group in front of me break the french shushing and one say to the other: "do you have last season of the OC?, oui?'

viva la france.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Life's lessons not yet learned

When Pip is tired and her feet are cold, it is better to get out of bed and put on socks than to silently complain about aforementioned cold feet all night. Cold feet induced insomnia does not make sense when socks are three feet away. Condition often leads to over-reliance on coke light.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I kid you not

pour les enfants?

wine juice boxes?

+2 points for the pun.

not too shabby

Highlights from my trip to Paris:

1. My French is improving by leaps and bounds. I have met some nice Canadians who make me speak in French all the time! It is great! I was also able to easily have all my conversations with waiters/ store clerks etc. en francais.(which was a struggle 3 days ago)

2. Pip: "Hmm. That building looks big. (pause) Wait. That looks like Notre Dame!" Yep. *(Quasi comes home. . . ;)
*For Barrister and Kate.

3. I got a wee bit motion sick on the bus and train--- I didn't "get" sick-- but it was a pretty uncomfortable trip home. Could have been because I didn't get much sleep the night before. Coke light has much more caffeine that diet coke. I am going to stick to bowl coffee from now on.

4. A french student asked me if I was from the US OR Brittain! This means I am making progress in my French right?

5. I have another neighbor-- he likes a lot of bass when he plays video games. Based on my wall shaking, I think he is invading. . .

6. The other students who are studying abroad are fantastic. I am really excited about this experience!

summary: Sunday was a much better day all together and I am not feeling nearly as homesick as I was on Saturday. Thank you all for the kind messages!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Pip: SHAWN (insert whining) I don't speak French well. . .
Pip: And it (reprise) SUCKS.
Shawn: At least you speak english well...you didn't say "i don't speak french good"

Right. It could be worse.

**A note on the french-thing. I was doing better with the French when I was watching tv in Paris and getting around town. I still struggled to speak- but I could understand almost everything around me. Needless to say it is much harder at the school to understand average conversation.

2 points of clarification

Since I have already had several questions:

1. The bathroom is really co-ed. Really. 2 stalls. 2 urinals. And yes, you have to walk by the urinals to get to the stalls. The floor is co-ed and there are 12 single rooms.

2. The curtains are really green. As in neon, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air green. Ok- the curtains aren't that bad. . . but they cover an entire wall during the night and I feel like I am living inside a lime.

gray skies are gonna clear up

1. Took the shower-- it wasn't freezing cold-- just lukewarm/kinda cold-- okay by me!

2. Got this email:

i don't know who you are, where you come from or if you speak french but
i'll be happy to help you....

just contact me at any time by mail or by phone

anne, your buudy

I get a buudy?!?! Yay!

coffee in bowls

So let's get back to this Maslow thing. . . remember food and shelter being important? Okay- so my biggest dilemma at this point-- and I am sad to admit it-- is the fact that I still can't figure out the food situation. I am on my third day of 1 meal a day and I can't say I am super pleased about it.

Today I got up early, 5 am France time, went for a run and then tried to make my way back to the cafeteria for some food. Of course, because I am clueless, I decided to follow the French girl that looked like she knew what was up with the food situation. I followed her-- got some bread- which as it turns out IS breakfast here. Then I sat down and ate my bread-- realized that other people have coffee. . . but I don't know where it is.. . and all I see is bowls. I later find out that the bowls and the coffee are related. So after my bread, I return to the dorm to find the power has gone out-- as has the internet. SAD PANTS!!! NO worries, I think to myself- I will take a shower- but turns out that shower is freezing cold. Son of a. . . . So I accidentally took a nap, which means I skipped the 30 minute window they call lunch.

Dinner is in an hour -- which means FOOD and a single sex bathroom.

Goals for tonight:
Send out contact information
have some coffee or coke light.

Friday, February 17, 2006

all is well and my curtains are green

Not just any green-- BRIGHT GREEN!

Okay- seriously- I will not bore you with the finer details of dorm life. The university is good-- but my taxi driver got lost twice finding it. To say that the university is out a ways from Paris would be a giant understatement-- you have to take a train transfer twice then take a bus to get to campus-- yeah for the Taxi! Too bad that I can't take a taxi everytime I go to Paris. The taxi ride alone is 70 euro. Dang.

The campus looks a lot like SJU in parts-- lots of concrete and 60's era decor- which leads me back to the GREEN Curtains!!!

Other key highlights from the trip so far:

First songs heard in the taxi on the way to the hotel:

Celine Dion in French
Sexbomb- Not in French
Mambo # 5- Not in French
Roxanne- Not in French
Celine again. . . in French

After an exciting taxi ride and a more exciting hotel check in-- I made my way to a French convenience store to make my first purchase: A pocket sized English/ French dictionary. hmm.

I successfully ordered a cappuccino in a cafe as well as an omelette and salad. I may have been willing to be more adventurous but every other menu item contained an ingredient that I simply wasn't sure about. . . . but the cappuccino was great- as was the omelette. I ordered completely in French and almost survived all parts of the meal without needing a translater until she offered dessert and I thought she said cheque. Damn. I did accomplish one of my life goals-- I ate alone and didn't read anything. I just sat and watched people, which was great because if fulfilled one of my life goals and I was SUPER tired and I don't speak french well . ..

Got to campus with more luggage than any human needs and had to wind around to various buildings until I found the bureau de residence. They were at lunch. So. . . I waited for a while then found out that I needed 400 euro in cash in order to get my room. . . which no problem b/c there is a ATM on the other side of campus. Me and my luggage made the journey again.

Found out that the bathroom is communal-- and co-ed. zut! I thought it was a mens bathroom because of the urinals. . . but no. So I waited all day until George-- see below-- filled me on the rest of the story.

I met George from Quebec who is my next door neighbor and shares my shower. He is great- he is an undergrad student who is studying abroad here.

Excerpt from my conversation with Jenny from Sweden:

Jenny: Where are you from.
Pip: US
Jenny: Right. But WHERE in the US.
Pip: Right. Minnesota.

The campus is mostly closed today because the French students are on break-- so there wasn't any food places open all day-- so I just got back from dinner hour. No worries. . . they have diet coke. It is in a smaller bottle- so I will have to get two. Food at the cafeteria isn't great- but it is super cheap and breakfasts are free for all students. Can't complain about that!

Needless to say- things are looking up since I found the bathroom and ate. Maslow really was right. . . some needs simply must be met before self-actualization :)

We will see how tomorrow goes. . .. I am seriously considering taking extra french classes. . . there is a huge difference between asking where things are etc. and actually communicating. . . those boogers talk very fast! ;)

Pictures available flickr include: 2 shots of my dorm. . . Paris via my hotel room and an artistic shot I will call. . . "paris when you are supEEERRR tired and hungry and you leave the camera on landscape"

bon soir

Thursday, February 16, 2006

i am here but the keyboard is weird

or as the french would say:

i q,here but the keyboqrd is zeird

I will write more when i can get my laptop to work!

Miss u all

ps: barrister; can i call u barry?= pillow was a bonne idee

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Medical Updates from Sophers

I am submitting Sophie for this training program.
Week one: Learn to sit. Yes, I mean on command.
Week two: Defeat cancer

hook, line and . ..

Thank you to all that attended last night. It is now 5:30 in the morning and I am still up thinking about the generosity of each of you and the gratitude I feel for having a life so full of joy and love.

Thank you so much for sharing in my journey and special thanks to Eric for making it such a wonderful evening. I was VERY surprised-- but in a VERY good way.

You are all making it very hard for me to leave!!

Pictures available here!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Send me on my way

Last night a bunch of my college girlfriends came over for dinner. It was a bitter sweet departure because it truly was a perfect evening. Scott, Eric and Matt made dinner for all of us and the food was INCREDIBLE. We ate and drank and laughed and it was just a perfect night all together. . .

These are just a few of my favorite photos-- Kirsten practicing her wedding crying with tissue roses, Sara(h) squared kissing and a group shot.

Often with this group of ladies- and those that couldn't be there-- but you know who you are-- I have thought to myself about how lucky my life has been. These friendships are often closer than any sisterhood I could imagine and are deeper than any love could be. I don't know how I became so blessed that the people I admire most in life have become such incredible friends.

Other highlights of the night:

Matt got Drunk Part Deux- The re-education of Matthew J. Kelly
Matt: "I feel warm."
Kate: "Me too."

On the Olympic Opening Ceremony. "The Canadians get cute hats because they have money to buy cute hats because they are not at war"

On the French Language. "Why do the French say WE WE when it is spelled OI. OI.?"
Hmm. good point. I will ask when I get there.

On Kirsten's Wedding.

Kate: "Are you going to sell raffle tickets for dances with your grandpa?"
Kirsten: "I don't want him to have a heart attack"
Kate: "I will resuscitate him"

**Editors note. Pip had to look up the spelling for the big nursing word said above.

Other photos are available here via flickr

Friday, February 10, 2006

And she makes a mighty fine lemon bar.

The other night, my dad took me out for dinner before I left. We always knew when my dad wanted to celebrate because he would insist on ordering a steak. Steak is the traditional meat of celebration in the Kelly world. So on our date to Outback- home of the Aussie Steak, My dad and his fiance, Marge, talked about different issues in each of our lives. I realized while my dad and Marge were talking about their first date how the table had turned. They talked about their upcoming, yet not planned, nuptuals and my father called her 'mother' when asking her what 'mother' wanted to order. ("Mother should order the steak")

I would have thought that my father replacing my mom with another woman would be hard for me to take. But I have to say that at some point despite myself I actually became an adult.

Marge is a great addition to our family, even though she is short. She makes my dad a happy man. And for that I am happy.

shout out to the CSOM IT department

I got my laptop fixed and it is:
and Shiny
and Perfect.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Who will scratch my back in France?

Shawn. . . .the corruptor

Pip: I need to work
Shawn: Play with myspace instead
Pip: that won't help me with my presentation on Thursday

So, as you can see on the next slide. . .
I am a virgo.
with 8 friends.

Can that be animated in ppt?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Porn Dog

A raw account of my everyday conversations.

Sophie: Rub my belly?

Pip: Princess, ladies don't show that much skin. Or lick themselves.

All that you can't leave behind

A quick snapshot from sledding. This was taken couple of weeks ago- but I thought you might appreciate the love. These nights make it hard for me to go. . . but I remind myself, it is 4 months. . . I am not dying. I can go sledding when I get back in June.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


All too accurate. . .

Many of you know about my recent health issues and I thought you might appreciate this commentary by dooce.

I have never heard my situation described in more clarity:

"Besides, I don’t feel hopeless right now, and for anyone who hasn’t ever felt that deep, lonely ache of complete hopelessness, not feeling it feels like a present of chocolate orgasms under the Christmas tree with your name on it. That good. "

You're fancy

JP: you have a domestic animal, a real job,....do you have magazine delivered to your home?

A note on time management

Barrister: How is your work going? (Dear)
Pip: I am accidentally im'ing CP

oops. i'm an im whore.


Although things are pretty busy until I leave-- it is all with UBERgreat things. As many of you know, I greatly prefer busyness to idleness. But I greatly prefer idleness that involves movies or theater or napping to busyness. So here are some recent UBERgreat activities from the last day or so:

1. Margaritas with Emily. Girl. you know me well. . . . nothing but love here. . . .
2. Getting the barrister to take a nap and watch the American President- yes, with Michael Douglas AND Annette Benning. . . . Barrister- you made me proud. I will make you lazy yet. . . .
3. Matty and Barrister are coming to visit me in France in a month!! Wahoozers.
4. SupEEERRRRR. Any english word can become a french word if you either explode the second half of the word or ommit the second half entirely ( ex. gourmet.)
5. Barbara's party. Good times.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Goodbye Cell Phone

I am cancelling my phone subscription when I leave. . .

Things seem a bit more real.

DEA tip

Aveda has trace amounts of cocaine in it's products.