Monday, July 29, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

If you haven't noticed, the white people are melting over here

It was cold until July.
And when I say cold, I mean people actually turned their heaters back on.   

And then suddenly, 3 weeks ago, it was summer. InstaSummer.
Jumping 35 degrees Farenheit with 90% humidity   
Now it is so stiflingly, humidly hot that it is hard to do move.

Air conditioning, you say?  No.  Weather like this happens every 10 years, so no there no AC.

Last night at midnight we came home on the metro.
I could feel sweat dripping down my back.  at midnight.  in the underground. 

Friday, July 26, 2013


My hands are starting to look a like my mom's.
I loved my mom's hands and feet when I was young.  They were soft and a little veiny, graceful and long.
I suppose its something chemical that causes that love.  You know - the hands that feed and hug and take care of you. Somehow that feeling remained undisturbed into adulthood.
And now I quite like that my hands look a little bit like hers. 

In other, less cheesy, getting older news....

I smacked my hand on the desk yesterday.  It wasn't even a smash-between something.  Just walking into the bedroom. It is awesome that I can hurt myself doing such a coordinated task.
It was all red and puffy. I started telling people that I punched someone in the metro who wouldn't give up their seat for an old lady.
But I keep knocking into things.  And it hurts. The only conclusion I could come too is that kids don't hurts as much because they have extra fat to cushion themselves.  And they do it all the time: they fall onto table corners, scrape themselves on the sidewalk, get hit by a sibling, or (gasp!) get spanked. (Parents: there is no natural fat cushion for quiet time. Just remember that.)
So you would think as you get older, you would do that less (lesson learned?) and if you don't, it's just natural selection. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I see a lot of churches here
Every city we go to, it's: river/canal, church, chateau
Every village we go to is: church, market, fields
Every chateau we go to has its own chapel

When you drive through the countryside, you can see on the green horizon the familiar site of a small cluster of homes surrounding a spire.
It was the center of community life.  As is/was the case in every country I have visited in the world. 

They are BIG and tiny.
This weekend it was the enormous St Etienne Cathedral of Bourges (at night).  Literally so large that I couldn't back up enough to get the whole thing in a single picture frame.

And the smaller Our Lady of Sancerre (Notre Dame de Sancerre)

I have a soft spot for the smaller ones.
Maybe it is the lack of the borage of complexity in architecteral structure and decor.
Or the fact they tend to be very still and quiet.
Or that you generally have more access.  We went to Flavigny-sur-Ozerain and walked through the small church, up the stone steps and down, through the choir section and in touching distance of the old statues. An experience you won't have in the larger cathedrals.

See 16 year old Jeanne (Joan of Arc) on the left? 

And I'm not religious anymore but there are occasional messages that touch my heart.

Tourists, Friends, 
     The church is the house of God
          in the middle of his people
     Every man, believing or non believing
          needs, in his life,
             moments of silence.
     When you come in here, commune with yourself
          and let the best of you
      invade your heart.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Success in a name

So the French have a very important test at the end of their high school years called the BAC.  This determines if they get their diploma.  It is also specific to an area of study that they "chose" (with the help of their parents, teachers and most successful test scores) when they were 15.

And what's in a name?
There is a sociologist who publishes results based on success/failure rates of kids by name.

Diane, Adéle, Quitterie and Guillaumette  were in the highest marks for the ladies.
Ulysse and Octave for the boys

However if your name is Kimberly, Cynthia or Brenda, Brian or Christian.  You didn't do so well.  

Any guesses where Brenda came from?

Which also explains why the French know where New York, California, Florida and .....MINNESOTA are on a US map.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


The village of Sancerre atop a hill, surrounded by miles and miles of white grape vines.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The importance of separating laundry

"Colors don't leak"  he tells me. 

Please teach your children to separate laundry and sew a button. 

Cleavage from behind

Every year on my birthday I buy underwear.  Ever since my 21st birthday when everyone canceled on my birthday dinner (I know, boo hoo), I have gone out shopping for several hours to buy whatever green and black zebra striped, ruffles on the butt, or boy cut with glitter-flames AND pockets underwear that trips my trigger that day.  But the last couple of years I seem to hit this one store - Princess Tam Tam.  It is on the nicer more modern-retro side despite its ridiculous name.  But for some reason I missed one funny detail until I was running around the apartment half-dressed and packing for a weekend away, my underwear have a cleavage line.

Is that for potential mono-bum?

Really I only made this post because I needed an excuse to show you my underwear. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Language Tutorial

If you are having trouble getting your message across while in France, let me offer you a guide to some of the words you might be pronouncing wrong...


At your local Café, style (steeele) Starbucks.
Or better yet, New Yorkaise, since we are too hip for Starbucks(Where are my thick rimmed glasses?!)


Bay - ghelle



And if you thought you thought you could at least have the rights to Disney. You would be wrong



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Table Tennis

Did I tell you about the most unexpected outing of the year? Us going to the world table tennis championship semi-finals?

I am not sure I could think of a city less likely to "fan" this sport.  I have a hard time thinking of a sport that looks less cool than Table Tennis.
But it was actually cool.  Nerdily super cool
AND it is much more complicated to not slam a ping pong paddle and launch that tiny plastic ball far far away than to slam it across a tennis court. 
AND apparently the spin on the serve is so important that those players get really close to the table and then hide their spin with the other hand. 

They start small and then just keep getting further and further from the table...

Cool, I tell you!

And apparently you can be for Team Asia...

...which pretty much means you always win.