Wednesday, April 26, 2006

oh to be loved- it's nice and warm here.

Today I got mail! love mail. love Emily. love the little prince. love charades, love facials and love cookies. She'll know and that is all that matters.

"She had not yet decided to use her powers for good. . . or evil" love that too.

how I spend my days

Okay, so I bit the bullet and joined the health club. Working out in a foreign language has brought a whole new host of challenges. Let me tell you . . . . wait for it. wait for it. I will!

Okay, so I started with a class called cardio pump- which is an aerobics class with weight lifting. My friend, Miller, introduced me to this class a couple of years ago and I thought this would be a pretty easy, no sweat right? * Let's just start by saying that I am wrong on almost every account. I waited outside for the class to start and then when the doors open there was a MAD RUSH into the class. Of course, I wanted to be in the back where there felt like there was less risk. I then followed the crowd over to the weights section and was immediately struck by the fact that all the weights were in the metric system. damn. I searched around- spotted someone and asked if he could help me. To which he responded: "Yes. American?" uh. oui?

He set me up with the weights but as it turned out that my new pal doesn't really speak English. And I don't really speak French. And words in Exerciseland are very different than words in Whereisthecafe?land. Miming does wonders. As does the phrases: I don't understand, please repeat, I don't speak French well, and speak more slowly. All these lines are in the key phrases book for both Exerciseland and Whereisthecafe?land.

The class went ok. So ok that I haven't been able to walk for two days.

Today I went to hip hop. Another adventure. It turns out that there is a new choreographed piece every 4 weeks, and this was week 4. So all the other people had been in there for 3 weeks in a row and were just breezing through it. I would not say that this class was easy. At the point where the 1 handed push ups came in I started laughing. Tomorrow is going to hurt.


*Two points for the pun. I am raking in the points peeps.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Italy: summary of highlights, lowlights and other happenings that I found noteworthy.



Italy

Okay- so no kidding. 4 cities in a week. yeah, I am tired.

We left Paris on Tuesday and took a bus. Bus. BUS. Bright idea right? No, but it was cheap. Actually it wasn’t too bad- and proved to be a very relaxing way to travel. The tour company took care of all accommodations and travel between the cities so there was very little to worry about.
I almost died laughing though when we first got to Italy. We pulled into a gas station around 4 am and the reason I knew we were in Italy was because the pump was labeled “Servito.” A good friend of ours, Roxanne, believes that the Italian language is just an English word with “O” tacked on. Even at my groggy state that early in the morning, I could clearly tell that we weren’t in Kansas- err- France anymore. Not that the French don’t have their own issues with ending -or not ending- words in a funny way. Rox- I would have taken a picture but I wasn't thinking with a clear head!


Florence- Our first stop was a day in this quaint town. We had a some good recommendations on what to see in Florence so that helped a lot since we only had the one day to fit it all in. The most amazing thing about Florence is the history of the city itself. I particularly enjoyed the importance of art in this city and the amazing detail of all the structures. We asked a local for a dinner recommendation and it took us forever to find this place—it was one of those alleys, then another alley- but not THAT alley, then another alley etc. . . The restaurant was called 4 lions (in Italian) but it was tremendous. Excellent. Too much wine. I also had the best ice cream/ gelato of my life. KOOKIES. It’s a recommend. Almost worth flying to Florence just for the ice cream to end all ice creams. I spent the rest of the trip trying to find the same flavor. Florence photos: click here!





Rome- So overwhelming. So. Over. Whelm. Ing. We did a bunch of touristy things the first day we were there, Colloseum, Forum, Pantheon, the ancient Roman ruins, Trevvi fountain, Spanish steps. The second day we were advised by our trusty guide to get to Vatican City early- so we left our hotel at 6 am and made it to the Vatican by 7 am-not bad considering that included coffee. We started with St. Peter’s which is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We then went to the top of the dome, which was a real test for those afraid of heights, and I bought some souvenirs for family on the roof of St. Peter—just because I could! Really- how cool is it that t came from the roof of St. Peters?! After we returned to the courtyard we saw why exactly you should get to Vatican City early. There was a GIANT line to get into St. Peter’s. Yay for Rick Steve’s. This picture is of me chilling with Rick. After lunch we headed over the Vatican Museum. Okay- here is my major rant about the lack of crowd control in this museum. There is only one path. . . and at the every room there is a sign that reads: “Sistine Chapel, this way!” Yay, I thought! We are almost there! 67 hours later *exaggeration* we were shoulder to shoulder with other tourists and still seeing signs that read: “Sistine Chapel, this way!” All I could think was—lies! lies! lies! And in the city of God. . . . shameful. Finally when we get to the famous ceiling I have to say—don’t shoot me here people- but I kind of thought it looked like every other ceiling in the Vatican Museum. I took an illegal photo of the Sistine Chapel just to help relieve my crowd frustration. Some Germans were doing it too . . . Hee hee. Rebel. We then stopped to eat- see the trend with the food- and took a pretty walk. After getting to an internet café, we caught up briefly with the outside world and looked for the restaurants that the beau-parents recommended. Sorry gang, I hate to say that we were unsuccessful. A very nice 15 year old helped us look up the addresses on the Rome yellow pages but we couldn’t find the addresses! Another big bummer for the beau-parents, but I looked in every shop available for green sambuca! I couldn’t find it! I was crushed. Sorry! If it helps, I have converted my friend Diana to looking for it as well! Rome photos: click here!

Padua- It was pretty cool to see the shrine of St. Anthony of Padua given my affiliation with the St. Anthony, Minnesota connection. (Not sure if St. Anthony is named after THIS St. Anthony.) Actually, I saw a lot of Tony—I saw his teeth, his vocal cords and his garments. Which made me wonder what Tony is wearing now. . . Not very modest. . . (blushing) We were only in Padua for a few hours, just enough to see the church, the relics and a bit of the town. During the course of that short visit, I did manage to lose my sunglasses. “Tony, Tony turnaround. Something’s lost and must be found. I went back to the restaurant where we had lunch and walked in the door and the cashier, who didn’t speak French or English, handed me back my sunglasses before I said anything! Pretty cool. If only I were that lucky every time I lost something. Maybe, I could just work on not losing my crap all the time. . . . Who is the patron saint of absent minds?
Padua photos: click here!

Venice- I heart Venice. HEART. Despite how touristy it is, I found Venice quite charming and relaxed. Venice is filled with street after street of mask shops, glass shops, lace shops and great food galore! After Rome, I was feeling a bit monumented-out, so Venice was a welcome break. Venice is just plain cute. I loved being around so much water and seeing the sites. I also had a good time watching the kids feed the pigeons. A big language breakthrough came while visiting Venice. Diana and I stopped at a café for dinner right before leaving. The menu had pages for Italian, French, German and Spanish. Casually, I flipped through the menu and started reading. I had been perusing for 5 minutes before I realized that I was in the French section. Winner! YES! (Fist pump.) In all reality, I kept wishing that the Barrister would have been there with me, he would have loved it and it didn't seem right to be there without him. Venice photos: Click here!


On the return trip to Paris, there was a woman, who reminded me a lot of a drunk Julia Child. This woman kept yelling to everyone who would listen and our tour guide just kept looking at the rest of the bus with his hands up in the air and making apologetic faces. At one point, I did assert myself and say in the nicest way (and probably with broken French.)

"Madame, those girls are sleeping, those girls are reading, please be quiet. Please. You are talking quite loudly." I nodded my head in the- you’re a wee drunk but I am trying to be nice in the middle of the night kind of way. - At which point she imitated my slow speaking speed and said: "I UNDERSTAND. I UNDERSTAND!" ok. At least I tried. I bet I get brownie points for the effort.


I am now back in Paris for a couple of days and I am heading to Munich tomorrow. While there we are going to drive through the Black Forest a bit and make a stop in Salzburg for a night. We are also going to visit the Dachau, the concentration camp, on the 61st anniversary of the liberation. I am really looking forward to this next trip and would appreciate any comments about people's favorite places in those cities.

I will post as I am able. lovies until then!

monday morning quiz- how american am I?

Turns out . . . not that much. Try this one out and let me know how you rank!

You Are 27% American

America: You don't love it or want to leave it.
But you wouldn't mind giving it an extreme make over.
On the 4th of July, you'll fly a freak flag instead...
And give Uncle Sam a sucker punch!

Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm back

Okay- back from my 7 day trip to Italy-- went to 4 cities, Florence, Rome, Padua, and Venice. Super cool people. I will post links to the pictures as soon as I finish my homework for tomorrow. Duty calls . . .

Thursday, April 20, 2006

when in Rome

I'm in Rome!! Sorry I have been out of communication for a couple of days. I got a part-part time job running around France taking pictures of horse feed. Very interesting.

To visit Mr. Ed , I needed to rent a car- which was hilarious. A car full of nuns honked at me and I had to stop at a gas station outside of Paris to figure out how to put the car in reverse-Which is a word I don't know in French.

All in all, it was an exciting couple of days.

I spent yesterday in Florence and am in Rome for the next two days! I will write as I have the opportunity.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

guest blog part deux

I decided to steal pip's thunder a bit and pre-empt her on today's blog while she scans the countryside for horses. Not that we can complain here in the Cin Twitties, as it is again 75 degrees out with no clouds in the sky. Life is pretty rough...

For those that missed it, we had a Bored Board games party here at the residence last evening to relieve mine and pip's brother's boredom of life while pip is au francais. It was a good time-- good enough that we're going to need to do it again. But I thought that I should share the lessons at least I learned last night, as they are blog-worthy:

1.) Miller and I are a formidable Trivial Pursuit team. Really, we can be downright scary.
2.) The push for mafia was lacking a bit without Pip. Hmmmm...
3.) Apples to Apples truly requires a subconscious connection that Rads and Snyder seemed to enjoy. I have half a mind to think they were cheating. But my other half-mind wonders why I picked "handcuffs" for the green card "desperate" and somehow also picked "whips" and "chains".
4.) More apples to apples pondering: I fear there may be some correlation between the green cards you "win" and your personality. Whereas Pip's bro ended up with ones such as "intelligent" and "wise", at the end of the night I had the following in my hand: Corrupt, Soft, Fresh, Nasty, Rough, Delicious, Sensual, and Luscious. Should I be worried about this? Should Pip be worried about this?
5.) Far more seriously, I learned the extreme need for such random fun connection evenings in life. It's far too easy to get stuck in the virtual world of blogs and IM and in the robotic nature of a career. I have spent the past month or so since I visited Pip stuck in techno-world attempting to compensate for my own feelings of missing her. While it is the best option we have, IM is a poor substitute for real personal presence, and the ability to smile and laugh with someone in person is something intangible that cannot be recreated.

But aside from being with who we love, it is our friends who give us the ability to continue moving on, for they allow us to appreciate our own opportunities and successes. From last night I recognized it was the ability to do something as simple as a walk around the lake with great conversation (thanks, Snyder), notwithstanding the rambunctious dog, that allows us to feel reinvigorated and refreshed.

With our world spreading out it is my great fear that we will lose that personal connection-- wherein great adventures were a dorm room and a N64 away, it now can take an intra-suburb trip, hours in a car, or even a long plane ride to reconnect. While new friends and faces are inevitable, there is something comforting about being with those that know us well. That feeling is instant yet irreplaceable, but very much necessary.

Ok, I have rambled enough for today, taking up already too much of pip-vision. Now back to your regularly scheduled dose of pip.

why I married him

Her.

Pip sometimes questions why I love her. The more I think about it, the more I understand it's a good thing to reevaluate from time to time why you do what you do.

By way of background, I have always seen beauty as far more than skin deep. Beauty is a state of being-- a mindset of appreciation combined with a physical sense of motivation with a generous and true heart.

Truth be told, Pip is the most beautiful woman in the world. Not only is she the most physically attractive woman I know, but she possesses the state of mind of motivation and desire in that, she not only wants to make a difference in the world, that she can and will make that difference in the world. Such goes beyond hope and dreams, as she makes hers reality. She sees potential in this world-- a potential to grow, to succeed, to be vibrant-- that goes well beyond my comprehension and understanding. At once she is physical and metaphysical, present and future. Her mind is ablaze- too quick sometimes to even retrace the logical paths we must go through-- a blessing when the whole world is capable of being conquered.

I see in her eyes a warm woman who knows no true stopping. Sappy, yes; but caringly so-- I'll never forget her eyes when picking up a puppy for the first time-- so loving and protectionate, but full of hopes and dreams for this tiny ball of fur that would be reality for sure. These same eyes seek to ensure her loved ones are treated like she wants to be-- omnipresent and self-sacrificing.

I love her for the fact that the hardest thing for herself is sleep. It is a struggle with the amount, the time, the dreams that will one day become reality. For myself, who struggles to dream, she does enough for both of us.

Her skills are those that are beyond my capability- a joy of performance and free-form, words and sounds, colors and motion. She drives herself to perfection in those fields and accepts nothing less than that. She seeks cohesiveness and community-- we are all one big family and we all share in that love. Her desire to enable opportunities for others yields recurring dividends without gain to herself-- it is love of others and true desire for helping others achieve their best as well.

I often believe I disappoint her-- she seeks perfection in me, and I feel most of the time I fall short of that goal. But I know where I fail she succeeds, and it is comforting to know that I can trust in her to gain where I would not.

In short, she complements me. She completes the circle- while we have different styles and manners, different laughs and smiles, together they create one big completeness. I could see that from the moment I first saw her at CSB-- she was in a play, I was in the audience, and the way she carried herself, even if on stage, I got this feeling. And when we first started dating, I looked in her eyes and could see it clearly then-- I just knew. And when we had our first dance, I looked at her eyes again, twinkling in the light, it was never more apparent. Time and time again I could barely muster the words because they are so powerful when I look into her eyes, I love you.

Lovies, dear. I miss you.


He's dreamy and he thinks I am special. Yep, lucky girl.

Friday, April 14, 2006

lucky girl- revisited


Lady Di and I were supposed to go out for this raging night out on the town in Paris. . . and we started talking about gratitude and life's lessons. Needless to say that the moonlight stroll along the Seine with a friend and good conversation got the best of us. Di spent time telling me about her love for her family, growing up in Bulgaria and what her culture meant to her. I found many of the customs to be inspiring and her telling these stories made me feel closer to her as a friend because I saw a glimpse of her humanity. In her I saw my own reflection.

The topic of gratitude has occupied my thoughts constantly over the last few days and is closely aligned to my feelings regarding mentorship. Like Diana, I was raised by a family. I was raised by the gifts of many.

The past few weeks have revealed something that I think I have known all along; I am the luckiest person alive. No kidding. I am convinced in every which way that my life is as sweet as any life could possibly be. I guess the more I think about it, the word luck isn't really enough for me, the word grace seems more fitting. As many of you know- early indications might have predicted a not- so -bright future for Ms. Pip; at best partly cloudy with a chance of rain.

Looking back, I realize that am fortunate in ways that can't be explained by luck alone, circumstance, or even hard work. I understand Grace in an intimate and powerful way and this understanding continues to grow with each day that passes here.

Not to say that I haven't seen dark times. Many of you can attest to those dark times and were there to hold my hand, hand me kleenex, or even help me get to a Target. Although the last few months prior to leaving were trying, it has led me to now, and the now is fantastic. It is through those times that I think I have such a tremendous appreciation for how rich my life has become. Indeed we are resilient creatures, capable of almost anything. Able to co-create our own reality.

Going at this experience on my own, making my first conscious step without the safety net of a mentor has been something I desired for myself. I knew that I would be alright, but it was important for me to apply what I have learned and step away from my incredibly full life. Already in this short time, this trip has given me perspective on the true role of generosity in my life and how it will pull me into the future. In my opinion, sharing your life with another is the greatest gift any human could give.

So an immense thank you to all of you who taught me how to cook, clean, learn, hug, play, dance, laugh, love, fight, be vulnerable and to play cards. I am one work-in-progress who is continually grateful.

Springtime has come to Paris. Forecast for tomorrow: sunny with blue skies all day long.

strasbourg-revisited

s
Okay kids, all pictures are posted here. *Em, I am posting extra photos for you!

Here are some of my favorites.
When I said that I ate meat and sauerkraut, I wasn't kidding. I wanted proof so I took a picture. It's on flickr- because the photo is a wee gross. It was also accomodanied by 'some' wine. Okay, who are we kidding here. . . .quite a bit of wine.

But notice. . the glass is half full! So full in fact- that I made friends with the ducks who crept up to our table. Look how popular I am with all my new friends.







Strasbourg is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.


Do check out all the pics if you have time.
I felt at peace in Strasbourg and I believe the photos represent that feeling.

listening

Natasha Bedingfield- Unwritten

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in, No one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten


If there were a Princess Diaries 3 , This would be on the soundtrack.
I love it even though I am not technically 13.

i-pod: filed under the playlists

  • Conquer the world.
  • Running

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

101

101. like a bunny.

100 posts, 100 pieces of useless FAQ.

In honor of my 100th post, I am going to address the couple of FAQ and the many not so FAQ that I thought my good friend, the internet, might want to know.

1. Mes Vies means My Lives
2. I am very tall and very afraid of heights.
3. Grilled cheese and tomato soup should be standard issue on bad days.
4. I make up nicknames for my loved ones.
5. Honest—I wake up with a smile on my face. (I disagreed. But the barrister says it is true. Yes, he did help me think of some of these. . . . 100 is a lot. And once I realized how many, it was too late to back out.)
6. Favorite songs- Jackson 5 ABC and Eye of the Tiger. No question.
7. My dog lifts her leg to reveal her ‘stomach’ if you make eye contact with her.
8. I have many mentors and am very blessed for their gifts.
9. My stomach talks....and sometimes, when I’m alone, I talk back..
10. I run, but I don’t really love it, it is just the easiest form of exercise.
11. I am very sad about missing Easter at CSB and playing cards with Srs. Janice, Merle and Lois. Easter is a very special holiday for me.
12. I know a lot of kid songs and I still think they are fun. It works well because I happen to know a lot of kids.
13. Pip is the main character in Great Expectations. Google it. . . interesting character stuff.
14. I have a sweet tooth. The phrase ‘This is too rich’ has never exited my lips.
15. I take lessons for the sake of learning new things.
16. I’ve always wanted to be invisible.
17. __________
18. I used to eat a lot of ice cream because I was told that it would make your chest grow. Lies!
19. I use the word community a lot.
20. I am allergic to most metals.
21. I started this blog because I hoped that it would be an easy way to keep in touch with my family and friends, and my friends who are family. Lovies!
22. I would naturally stop here due to laziness and lack of creativity. . . but I already numbered the page to 100.
23. I don’t sing or play the piano well, but always had a dream.
24. I don’t embarrass easily. Works out well because I don’t sing or play the piano well.
25. I have an obnoxiously loud laugh
26. I love Cate Blanchett.
27. I get excited by ideas.
28. I like daisies because they are purely happy.
29. Some of my greatest lessons to date I learned from my ladies in college.
30. I am an abstract thinker
31. I started dating the Barrister on instant messenger.
32. I asked him out first.
33. He asked me to marry him.
34. He is wonderful.
35. I have scoliosis, and I refer to myself as Quasi. Usually I am drunk when this happens.
36. I don’t watch a lot of tv on tv, but I do love tv on dvd. Preferably in marathon sessions. We once tried to do 24 in 24. No good.
37. I think meat on pizza stomps all over the more delicate flavors of vegetable goodness.
38. I am often told that I am perceived as very serious but am in reality quite goofy.
39. I don’t think in a linear pattern.
40. Pants can be an adjective, adverb and a noun
41. When I think about people I love, my heart hurts a bit from missing them so much.
42. I have a tendency to become a hermit when I am not feeling well. I am not good at reaching out to people during those times.
43. Bed is my favorite place in the world. When doing relaxation exercises and they tell you to go somewhere peaceful. . . like a beach or the mountains.. . I go to bed. Always have. Always will.
44. I like it when He calls me Dear.
45. I think showering is a waste of time and I try to strategically time it so that I don’t ever have to shower twice a day.
46. I didn’t see the ocean until I was 22.
47. When I was a kid I pictured myself in ET...when I was an adult, I pictured myself in Sex in the City. How times change.
48. I love dancing at gay bars.
49. I am reading a Jodi Picoult book currently. It was recommended. I'll let you know the results.
50. I put reading on my ‘to-do’ list. To-Do lists go on post-its.


--Intermission—



51. I once ate off my father-in-law's plate at a Christmas dinner. Before he was my father-in-law. He laughed. . . good sign for me.
52. I have a recent fascination with organizing the files on my computer.
53. I wear flip flops in the snow.
54. I am particular about my pillows.
55. My writing is getting worse as I get older.
56. I like good food.
57. I can no longer do the splits.
58. I have this thing about matching. . . I like red and green together only in the month of December, and I like pink and purple together only during Easter. It bugs people.
59. I am not a Bush supporter.
60. I state the obvious.
61. I really want to be pregnant some day. I think pregnancy is one of the most beautiful life stages possible. The idea of one life being able to give to another makes my heart beat faster.
62. I have a lame sense of humor.
63. I am afraid of ghosts and I sleep with the lights on if I am home alone.
64. I judge others based upon my own moral compass, but I am not proud of that trait, and it can sometimes leave me unsatisfied.
65. I love smart people who love to just talk about how the world is for them.
66. My grandparents and relatives have been instrumental in my upbringing.
67. It isn’t that I take on too much . . . it's that I get bored easily.
68. I am right handed.
69. I am an online shopper. I love free shipping. I avoid the malls if at all possible. I hate trying things on.
70. If someone gave me a brick . . . I would use it as a doorstop?! (Franky contributed that question.)
71. My most frequent complaint is that people don’t care about me the way I care about them. But being here is teaching me about how little that matters in regards to my love for them.
72. When I am nervous I can’t catch my breath.
73. I spend a lot of time thinking about poverty and its implications.
74. I love city living.
75. Painted toenails are fun.
76. The Barrister used to give me a pedicure every month. . just like Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. I like to tell the Barrister that he can be like Jesus whenever he wants. . . .
77. I love to have my back scratched.
78. I had planned on naming our dog ‘ASK’ER’ but the Barrister vetoed it when he saw her cuddle for the first time.
79. I like the word grace.
80. My first job was peddling pens. Not as sexy as it sounds. Exactly.
81. I have yet to cook salmon successfully.
82. There is a soundtrack to my life. Shawn is the DJ.
83. I hate having hair in my face.
84. Caffeine.
85. Target sushi is acceptable date food.
86. 500 holds many fond memories for me.
87. I prefer 8 hours of sleep each night.
88. I would consider myself very spiritual but not necessarily religious in a traditional sense.
89. I read spoilers of scary movies so that I don’t have to see them. I have learned that actually seeing scary movies does not help me at all.
90. Not a math fan.
92. I laugh at inappropriate times.
93. I learned to knit from a book called I Can’t Believe I am Knitting!, and I learned to crochet from a book called Crocheting! In Just One Day! And I paid for these books.
94. DDR is A-OK. Dance Dance Party Dance!
95. Am I wrong or is golfing like chasing a tiny little ball around a field until it happens to fall into a tiny little hole?
96. I want my table to always be a welcome place for all.
97. In the summer, I love air conditioning. In the winter, I love the furnace. Apparently, have no body temperature regulation.
98. I can’t find anything the minute I start looking for it.
99. I love countdowns. VH1, MTV, E!-- they all are great. Why is Thriller always the number 1 video of all time?! Give me a break people . .

100. I want a hug.



lucky girl

Okay, so I have had a reflective couple of days. Being here has really allowed me to be exposed to a variety of people and a variety of lessons. Already in this short time I have come to realize that I must be the luckiest person on the planet.
Must be.
Why do you ask?

Stay tuned. . . . I will write more after the much deserved nap. . . . .

My first blogging cliffhanger. . . nice.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

at what point do you just adapt?

Ok, so I admit I am changing. I no longer think it is completely ridiculous to do your grocery shopping every day and I have given up to the reality that 'errands' can easily consume an entire afternoon.

There are still things I find absolutely hilarious-- like the incredible paper trail of France-- receipts for everything; croissants, coca light, clothing. . . and today the bus driver got up out of his seat and followed me to my seat to make sure I got my receipt.

(In case I want to return my trip?)
(In case I need proof of being on the bus at 2:21 pm, eating a croissant, drinking coca light, fully clothed?)
(In case I need a souvinir of this great voyage from the HEC to the train station?)

I am now wondering about the balance between seeing the differences between your culture and the culture you are visiting and adapting your style to match their culture. Can you do both?

The reason I thinking about this is because I overheard a fellow exchanger rant about what a pain it is to travel from Paris to Jouy. Yes, HEC is a bit 'out there' but I don't think the French would consider it an inconvenience. I am using this as an example because we have been here for 2 months and it is just as inconvenient as it was the first day right? Where is the balance here? Open for discussion . . .

Monday, April 10, 2006

strasbourg

I spent the last 3 days visiting the beautiful city of Strasbourg. More than anything, I really wished that the barrister and his family could be there with me! I was feeling very German!!

I ordered and ate 'meat' and sauerkraut. Meat turned out to be various sausages and bacon type looking things- I ate most of it. Christina at the rest.

Strasbourg is a neat place because it has strong influences of both French and German culture and you can really see the contrasts in everything from the building styles to the language of the people. It's a 'recommend.'

Christina and I had wonderful conversation, a great time seeing the sights and a relaxing break from midterms.

But, I am not going to lie--one of the best parts was the snap decision to take the first class train back to Paris. Fancy pants! Clearly I have never taken first class before but it was on my life to-do list. And I have to say first class is not too shabby people . . .

pictures coming soon!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

how I cast my vote for student elections

The decision was tough. . . here is what the candidates offered. . . .

Delivered to your dorm room.
1. massage by a male or female- you choose
2. food- crepes, pizza, candy, sandwiches, soda, anything you really wanted. . .
3. alcohol
4. dance party- complete with dry ice and a disco ball
5. poetry readings
6. jazz performance/ theater performances
7. pot- rumor has it. . .
8. getting tucked in/ followed by breakfast in bed at the times of your choosing
9. t-shirts
10. movies


If you care to venture out of your room.
1. more food
2. free haircuts
3. laser tag
4. carnival rides
5. dance parties in the school building, I heard Madonna's 'HungUp' four times during a 3 hour class once. These happened at lunch time every day and continued into the afternoon. Despite popular opinion, it would appear that crazy euro dancing is not entirely due to alcohol consumption
6. dance parties every night.
7. velcro wall
8. karaoke
9. parades
10. a boxing ring in the middle of the cafeteria where whipped cream wrestling takes place at meal times.

Earlier I spoke about the ridiculous budgets for these campaigns- and by the first day of election week, it was oh so clear. . .

I thought this was funny- I asked one of the students why all the teams changed names and colors between last week and this week--( for example, my old team Sin-O-Sens was pink and turqoise but was now referring to themselves as the guerill'eros and sporting blue and black. )

She said that it was the rules that between campaign and pre-campaign each team had to create a new name, a new logo, new color scheme, new dance and get new merchandise. I asked why- when it seemed like a marketing nightmare and a heck of a lot of work.

She said- I don't know- it is a lot of work, but it is just the way it is. Again, tradition trumps efficiency at HEC.

Proud day for me though-- my kids won! Clearly it was the superior dancing. . .

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Thursday, April 06, 2006

barcelona!

hey, I know I have been light on the posting lately- but there isn't much to say about anything going on here. However, I could probably tell you quite a bit about keynesian open economics models. But frankly neither you nor I want that.

I leave tomorrow for Barcelona. I will probably not have internet access there- so catch you all early next week! lovies.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm still, i'm still pippy from the block

a view from around the corner of my new abode. No, I did not take this picture- I have been squatting illegally at HEC-trying all day to play macro-economics. This is my one sneaky post that I shouldn't be doing. I have a lot to say and will be back soon. . . . maybe. . . tomorrow. . . . after my nap. . . . aah. nap. I wanted to show you what my neighborhood looks like- even though I am not there. Franky went back this evening and he said that the trains are still very difficult and that the neighborhood looks like, well, like there was a riot today.



I also liked this one:


both compliments of bbc

I just found out my grandparents sometimes read this blog-- HI! Miss you! I'M BEING SAFE! Promise. I heard the worst that can happen is having a car burned, and I don't be having no car! If worse comes to worse, and I can't leave my flat, I can, I don't know. . . study? Or go to Barcelona. . .

I vote Barcelona! Leaving in 2 days! The devil on the shoulder beats the angel! Again!


HEC again responded in their own way to the riots today . . . there was a velcro wall.

couldn't make it.

I am officially back on caffeine. Is there a 12 step program somewhere!?

Monday, April 03, 2006

french revolutions

The French eat croissants, drink and smoke excessively, insist on smothering all food in butter or cream, or if at all possible: butter and cream. Love all things caffeinated, love all things chocolate.

Love indulgence.

Why? Because they decided to say screw it all once they saw the price of the damn health clubs. Why even try?

"If the people have no bread, let them eat cake."
"And if those people have the cake, let them have a treadmill."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

"booger" 2

Players: you already know.

The scene:

Kay: How was your day?
Pip: Good, Can I just say that I have really bad cramps?
Kay: Sure you can say it. . . What are cramps?
Pip: (reflective, remembering an awkward nasal discharge conversation) umm. Nevermind.
Kay: Nevermind. I know now.

international education 101: car burning

So do you remember how I said that I lived far from the riots. . . well, I lied.

My new crib is one block away from the action.