Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fat Cat

I wish this post was about swanky important people, but it is not. 

This was one of three hefty animals in the house that I was at down in the South.

It's like a spoiled only-child that parents can't refuse. 

While Parisiennes (Parisian women) are unnaturally skinny their animals are fat. Maybe they are slipping their pets everything on their plate during dinner. 

Maybe someone failed to tell Parisians that medium and large animals should not spend 23.5 hours per day in 500 square feet.   

Let me also add that in the middle of the night I went for a glass of water and this cat was crunching down on something small from the forest.  In the morning I found that he left the mini-intestines in a pile on the floor. I guess I am not the only one who doesn't care for Andouillette

One way ticket?

 aller to Mauritius but aller-retour to a wedding in Ireland in November. 

I love how the default for buying tickets is one-way. 
How B says "return tickets are 115"
As if the one-way was an option.
As if we might just buy the aller ticket (departing) and not the retour (return). 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Roller coaster crying machine

The past month has a been roller coaster.  We went to a wedding the high Alpes, we had our 4th of July barbecue, I had my 33rd birthday, B's cousin past away in a tragic accident, and my sister gave birth to her first baby - making me an Auntie for the 6th time. 

It has been laughter and a lot of tears - mostly because I am a sympathy crier.  It may be growing up in a family of 5 women.  Maybe someone is spiking my food with hormones.

My random comments/thoughts on the last couple of weeks? 

Everyone should have a hat-wedding.  And road-trip to the occasion.  But no one should be left without hot water. 

B should be glad we don't have a baseball bat in our mini apartment.  Or anything like a bat.  4th of July preparations can make people cranky.

Only France would have the theme of their National Day be "Disco", complete with an enormous mirrorball installed in the most recognizable symbol of the country and fireworks to match.  And only the delusional event planner really believed that the spectators would get up and dance.  If you are thinking - why wouldn't they get up and dance?  Please refer to this post or please feel free to go to any concert where you will find hundreds of French concert goers ecstatically dancing...on the inside.  In a deep, secret place no one can find while sitting poised and polite with an almost-smile on their Parisian faces. 

33 was officially the first birthday I was embarassed to see the numbers on my cake.

No one should ever have to bury a child under the age of 50.  And certainly not 26.

Children and Births renew.  They give us reason to laugh and smile and have tears of the other kind.   

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Through a window: Provence edition

Yes suckers, read it and weep.  
I am in Provence.
This is the view from my window. 
That is Mont Ventoux in the distance.
That is the swimming pool that I cool off in.  In between eating fresh peaches and apricots. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Living in contradiction

I met this girl in a fresh & healthy lunch place.  She saw me, or rather HEARD us, in the shop.  It's a funny thing about English speakers. We are LOUD.  In a restaurant full of people chatting away quietly with their dates where the tables are 2 inches apart, you will hear the entirety of the conversation of the English tourists sitting on the opposite side of the room.  The first time I noticed this was in a Belgian tram car.  My dad, stepmom and I entered at the back. I had a question so I walked up to the driver (through the two tram cars).  As I turned to walk back, I could hear my stepmom, as if she were sititng right next to me, talking to my dad about the Belgian frites.
In her defense she comes from a family of 9.

For my girlfriends though, we have no excuse.  We get together and it is the breath of fresh, loud, laughing air that echoes over whatever place we are in. We tend to visit the same places because they know us and keep accepting our money so our loudness doesn't seem to be that big of a problem. 
French is not a language to yell in
French is a language to whisper in the ear, or wax poetic in
French negotiation is a dance

English is a language to do business in,
to write clear and concise contracts in
to lay it all out on the table.  

Who doesn't want both?  Mondays for business and Wednesdays for 3 hour lunches on the patio with wine and dessert?

Just maybe less French on administration days. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Did you know? Hamburgers

Overheard during an apéro on Tuesday night:

          The wedding was lovely.  A good mix of people since the couple is mixed. The groom is American. 

          How was the reception?  What did they serve? 

          The wine was superb! And they served steak haché.  It was so good.  Melt in your mouth.  But, you know that every American took their hamburger back to the kitchen and had it cooked well done!  Shameful! And such a waste.  

What the Americans don't know:  French hamburger meat is literally made from a ground steak.  If you go to a butcher he will take out a beautifully cut steak and grind it in front of you.  It is also generally around 5% fat.

What the French don't know:   American hamburger is "made from the less tender and less popular cuts of beef." American hamburger contains up to 30% fat.   And apparently bacteria! (And possibly pink slime?...so maybe sanitized bacteria?)

But you know the French have no problem with bacteria

And seriously, Americans - you should really try some raw hamburger with raw egg yolk.  

Steak Tartare with egg yolk served in its shell, tarragon, capers, pickles, parsley, chives and shallots

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Have you ever: white girl verison

Have you ever been asked what you do and realized all your activities sound familiar. Like a list you once read?




Food: Eating and Cooking

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chips revisited

A new flavor of chips arrived at my BBQ doorstep on Saturday...

Anyone for Salted Caramel potato chips?


photo by: Guyatar (Flickr)

We have been sucked in by the television.  Or rather a television series.

We have been sitting on the couch since 12p.m. watching 24

for 7 hours.

You know what is nice about being overseas?  If you are patient enough to wait for the DVD's -

no commercials, no waiting for the next episode.

You know what is not nice about being overseas?

no commercials, no waiting for the next episode.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Common acceptable social behavior

Unsurprisingly from the country that gives you store workers and servers who can't be bothered to serve you, I bring you another awesome acceptable behavior: the non response

Picture this:

It's BBQ time and KB sends out a nice invitation for all her network in Frantasyland

response:   10 people respond immediately "on vacation"
                   5   people respond in the next 5 days
                   22 people do not respond at all

Have you been in a room with someone who isn't listening to you?  Have you perhaps done this to your parents when you were young or had your kids do this to you?
This is a behavior for underage people.  This should not be the behavior of adults or anyone over the age of 16.  Nor should it be acceptable behavior in offices, business meetings or between friends.

What will also happen:   
                        22 people will respond the NIGHT BEFORE or day of the event-
                                  -20 saying they are available and might bring a friend
                                   -2 asking what this BBQ is all about.
Yes, really.  Welcome to France kids!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wednesday Fun Day: Rouen

Because R has tooo many days of vacation (Who has the time to take 27 days?).  And she loves to take mini day-road trips with me.....


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Not your regular birthday cake

but it works because secretly I am a quite the tarte...

white chocolate, lemon, raspberry, strawberry
so I get 4.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Coffee & Me: Frenemies Forever

Coffee makes me  nervous, sweaty, shaky on the inside, loud, excited, slightly neurotic. And later slightly cranky.
Which is why I keep drinking it.

photo by: http://equivocality.com