Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Disney post is coming soon guys, I promise!! I did a short video that is taking (literally) days to upload, so as soon as it's done, I'll put it up.

In the meantime, my grandma made it on Finnish TV!!! I think I've blogged about it before, but the Finnish community in the US is quite soudé, especially in the Midwest. They organize all kinds of events, from concerts to talks to dances. But the most famous is the annual FinnFest, held in a different city each summer. I was on the board and helped organize the one in Minneapolis back in 2002. Six years later, they are back to MN again, this time in Duluth. Most of my family attended last week and a great time was had by all. My mom even got to meet the Finnish President (who looks strangely like Conan O'Brien's long lost twin sister).

Here's the link to the report (in Finnish) about FinnFest - my grandma comes in at about 1:15. She'd just bought some kind of little cart thing for the farm and was pushing it around. It's so funny to hear her talk because after so many decades out of Finland, she speaks a mix of old Finnish plus English (I like to call it Finnglish). You can hear her use a few English words that have been Finnish-cized during the interview.

**Try this link if the above one doesn't work. It sometimes take a minute to load: http://areena.yle.fi/toista?id=1391244

Right afterwards, they do a short clip about Salolampi, the Finnish language camp I attended for several years. You can see my friend Susanna playing the guitar, as well as the camp Dean, Lauri (black t-shirt & beard). How cool is that? And I was suprised by how much I could understand though, I haven't heard Finnish in ages. Now I'm even more excited to start taking Finnish again in the fall.

PS. In case anyone's interested, next year's FinnFest will be held on a cruise ship in Alaska!!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Once again, there's been so much exciting stuff going on that I wouldn't even know where to start even if I had the time! Just a quick recap - Friday I went out with the Katia, Kathryn & Seb to Breakfast in America so that I could fulfill my two-month long cheeseburger craving. Saturday I headed off to see Doc, but I'm saving that post for later until I have photographic evidence (*hint hint*). And then yesterday, my friend Alisa arrived and we headed over to Erica's place for - and how cool is this - a fancy chocolate tasting with chocolates from Bruges! I swear, she's a woman after my own heart. Kyliemac was there too, as well as the lovely Kim from Francophoney.

It so much fun and with our Pizza Hut pizza and their Sky TV, I almost felt like I was back in US for a few hours. The only giveaway was that you could see the Eiffel Tower from their apartment. We tried all of these crazy chocolates, flavors like saffron-curry, wasabi, cola and black tea. My two favorites were raspberry and the one that combined tomato, basil and black olive. If you click on the pictures, you can zoom in to see all the other flavors.The other really cool thing was our personalized napkins rings - check this out:A k and an S - for my new alter-ego Ksam. I can't really go by Samdebretagne anymore (which bums me out because it has such a nice ring to it) and AFKASdB was getting a bit long. But I was feeling left out with all the K's - Katia, Kyliemac, Kathryn, Kendra, Kim, etc so I've decided I'm now either Ksam or Kamantha - take your pick. Or "Sam with a silent K" as Kyliemac likes to say.

The busy week continues - my friend Kate arrives tonight and a bunch of us are heading to Petite Anglaise's book signing tonight at Shakespeare & Co, and then tomorrow we're going to EuroDisney. So pictures to come Wednesday!

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

On Leyla's last day here, we went to one of the places I'd been meaning to go to for a while now - Père Lachaise cemetary. It was a lot different than what I expected - for one thing, it was HUGE. For another, the graves were really strange - a lot different than others I've been too in France:Many of these "boxes" (for lack of a better word - not sure what they are officially called) where slightly scary, with broken-down doors and lots of spiderwebs. The idea of the door also creeped me out - that's just a horror moving waiting to happen.
I was most surprised though to see how sad and derelict Jim Morrison's grave was. It was sort of hidden away and falling apart - you could barely even read his name on it anymore. There were a few cigarettes and a couple dead roses thrown on it, but if there hadn't been a guard keep watching, you could've easily just walked right on by it. I don't know why I was expecting something bigger, more grandiose. I guess I just thought that since it was one of the most visited graves, there would be a huge tomb or some kind of big memorial.

In other news, in just a few short hours I will be off on the train to visit Doc. I'm crossing my fingers for a fun (and champagne) filled weekend. There will be champagne, right Doc?

Doc?

Dooocccc??

*tap tap*

Is this thing on?

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Is it beer o'clock yet?

Hmm. Where to start? I had a fabulous time with my English guests, and have to say they are welcome back anytime. We hit up most of the major tourist sites in Paris, helping me slowly get my bearings in this city. I felt a bit bad though since I don't know anything about anything. When was that building built? What was it built for? What's that over there ''m sorry, I absolutely no idea'' - said with a Gallic shrug. I should really buy a book and read up on the history of Paris one of these days....The trip was not without its mishaps though - there were incidents involving chocolate-covered gypsy children and one lovely dress, getting into an argument with a guard at at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, us doing a runner at a snooty Louvre café and me finding a hair in my pasta, only to have the waiter insist that it was mine. How very dare he. I also burnt my tongue so bad on the pasta sauce that it still hurts three days later. Which is why I'm advising you all to avoid the restaurant "La Solita Taverna Italiana" at 10, rue du Fouarré like the black plague. DO NOT GO THERE. But feel free to shake your fist in their general direction as you walk by.

On a positive note, they did get to experience the glory (or the pain, take your pick) that is the rhum-rhum:And I discovered the 25th hour of the day, also known as "Beer o'clock". The wonderful thing about beer o'clock is that it has no fixed time - it can be as early or as late as you want. Though be warned, indulging in beer o'clock before noon may have dire (and un-ladylike) consequences:All in all, it was a fantastic trip. I'm so happy to have met the lovely Miss Leyla all those years ago in Helsinki. Who'd have thought we'd still be in touch today?? Lucky for me though - they're the closest thing to family I've got on this side of the ocean. Leyla was there for me when my dad died (and really, we were just babies back then and barely knew each other) and she was there for me when the whole Fab fiasco happened. Now that's a true friend - here's to many more years to come (and many more fabulous trips to Paris) mon amie !

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Having tons of fun. Blogging will resume shortly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One of the things I've been pondering today is when a relationship breaks up because of cheating, what happens in the mind of the cheater? I mean, here you have all of these rituals and habitudes built up with one person - how do you just immediately move on to someone else? I've never been in that situation, so I'm curious as to what happens.

Before anyone gets on my case and tells me (yet again) to "move on", I'd like to say this is not something I'm dwelling on - it's something that crossed my mind as Kendra and I were in McDonald's earlier. As a side note, I'd just like to say that I'm really anti-McDonald's, but my throat was hurting and their 95 centime strawberry milkshake (and free toilet) was just too much for me to resist.

Anyways. Back to Macdo. Fab loves to eat at McDonalds, but knowing I'm against it, the only way he knew he could eat there was by offering to buy me a McFlurry, ie. the closest thing to a Blizzard a girl can find in France. It became our Sunday ritual - he would go buy a McFlurry and we would eat them on the couch while watching American TV. Of course, he always secretly got himself a Big Mac and ate in the car on the way home...but it was never really that secret because he always forgot to throw away the wrapper and I'm the one who always cleaned the car. Incidentally, it's also part of the reason I thought he'd never cheat on me - his attention to detail is just not the best, lol.

But back to me and Kendra. As we were waiting in line, the person in front of us ordered a McFlurry and it got me wondering if Fab had continued the Sunday McFlurry trend with Cattle. I can't imagine doing that, I haven't even thought about ordering one since - it was always our thing. But maybe it's different if you're the cheater? Which started me thinking about our other things - our Saturday nights watching "Lost" in the summer and then laughing about the creepy little "Bad Robot" at the end. Sunday nights with "Capital". And on and on. I mean, seven years is a long time to build up rituals. So I'm curious - what happens when you suddenly find yourself in a relationship with a new person, when you're fresh out of an old one? Is it weird? Do you form new rituals? Do you try to go on with the old ones? I guess these are all rhetorical questions - though I'm sure if I asked Fab the next time he called, he'd answer them for me. I do hope that I'm never in the place to answer this question personally, I'd like to think I have higher standards than that, but I guess you just never know.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Enough of my whinging about being sick. Instead I'll write about something that I've been thinking about since the last time I landed at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, but have been having trouble putting down on paper.

I was looking out the window at the fields and thinking about how they were such a good metaphor for life in France. All topsy-turvy with no rhyme or rhythm:Everything about it goes against where I grew up with in Minnesota - straight lines, tidy parcels, order, reason. It's funny how something as simple as the layout of the land can represent so much about a country.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

So I'm still alive, but also still sick. I finally went to the doctor today though, only to find out that I have une angine. Which is just a fancy word for a throat infection. I guess that explains the fever, extreme fatigue and sore throat.

Since my medecin traitant is in Bretagne and I didn't feel like calling around forever to find a new one, I just went to a centre médical down the street (very similar to the one Alice referred to in her comment yesterday). They take walk-ins in the afternoon, and I only had to wait about 45 minutes to be seen. They refused to take my mutuelle (top-up insurance) because I'm still on Fab's with Groupama Bretagne, but it still only cost me 6.80€ to be seen.

At the pharmacy though, it was a different matter. I went to the one just down the street - they didn't want to help me because of my mutuelle (and I didn't want to pay the difference since it amounted to quite a bit). Okay, fine, on to the second pharmacy down the road - they were willing to take my mutuelle but couldn't because their fax was down. Third time's a charm, right? Well, not in this case - the third pharmacy had a working fax but the pharmacist was alone so she "couldn't" take the time to call Groupama. I looked around the pharmacy and said "But there's not another soul in here - no one's even waiting!" She just shook her head and said "Sorry, some one may come in while I'm helping you, and then what would I do?" It shouldn't surprise me anymore, but honestly - what is with these people who'd rather refuse business than do a bit of paperwork? Do they not care about their bottom line?

By that point, I was ready to cry. I'd been trekking around the neighborhood from pharmacy to pharmacy and I just wanted to get my frickin' medicine and go back to bed! I decided to give it one last-ditch effort and try the one right down the street from my house. Luckily someone else chez Groupama Bretagne had already been there, so they'd already been cleared and I was good to go. My prescription was filled in two minutes and now I'm finally at home again, with an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory pill to take three times a day. I'm kind of suspicious about the antibiotic - I know the French over-prescribe them and I'm not sure if it's really necessary....but I think I'll probably take it anyways since I've got visitors coming Sunday and I absolutely need to be better by then!

Alright, I'm off to take another nap to rest up - gotta watch the kiddies tonight (only three days left and then I'm free for the summer!).

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Crap. I think I may be getting sick. I woke up this morning with a fever and a sore throat. Maybe that's why I was so exhausted all day yesterday. I don't have a doctor here yet, so I suppose I'll just pop down to the pharmacy and fork the money over for some meds.

How much do you want to bet that they offer me suppositories for my cough?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

La belle bleue

Man, every time I thought about blogging today, I just felt overwhelmed - there's just too much to share! I had an absolutely fabulous weekend. Lots of touristy stuff, lots of friends, lots of fun. And probably a bit too much wine. Okay, definitely a bit too much wine.

The only bummer was missing gay karaoke Saturday night because *someone* said they were only saying for an hour, LOL. Note to self: "An hour" is never just an hour. We also missed out on the Firemens' Ball Saturday night. We waited in line for what felt like forever, the whole time behind a group of four Frenchmen - one of whom was a MAJOR jerk. He was so frickin' rude to us the whole time we were there - I was really glad my cousins couldn't understand what he was saying. I mean, it was already bad enough that he was pretty much living up the stereotype of your typical rude Frenchman. We ended up having to leave the line to walk my cousins back to get the last metro - and the jerk actually clapped when we left. I couldn't not believe it. I may not have helped things along though when I mentioned that his big mouth was just compensating for his small size, and that I could see why the girlfriend he was supposedly waiting for never showed up. Yeah.

We tried to go to back later on in the night, but they'd closed the doors early. Apparently that particular firehouse holds one of the most popular balls because they always get the best Parisians DJs to come play there. Maybe we should've gone for the one with the firemen striptease instead! Anyway, we started talking to some other people who were also refused entry, and we ended up sharing a taxi to the tiniest ''night club'' on the face of the Earth. Thank God Yuri was there to help me fight off the slimey men there. We finished the night in style by singing along to crappy American music and dancing on the bar. Très classy, comme d'hab. When the bar closed, I was quite surprised to discover it was light outside. For whatever reason, I thought it was like 2:30, but it was really 5:30am. So much for our plans to get up early and do more touristy stuff Monday.

When we finally rolled out of bed, we made our way out to Les Invalides for the K&K Bastille Day Picnic. Invalides had free entry for the holiday, so we popped over there quick to take a look at the museum and the Napoleon tombs - very cool. And then we went back to the picnic and settled in for the afternoon. I had a ton of fun - most of my fav bloggers were there, and I finally got to meet the elusive Rhino75. Even my friend Charlie from V-town stopped by. Our view for the fireworks wasn't the best because of the trees, but it was still pas mal:
video

My cousins headed are off to Normandy for two days and Yuri is currently on her way back to the US, so I've got plenty of time to rest up before the English invasion next weekend!!

I'm telling ya, July is turning out to be one fabulous month.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

My cousin and her husband arrived safe and sound yesterday. I know this has been blogged about a million times before, but it really is strange to be seeing things from an outsiders point of view again, things that have just become so normal to me. Ie. washing machines being in the kitchen (and being tiny), not having a dryer, apartments being small - all these things that I don't even notice any more, it's just how it is. And while I know that they don't mean any harm by it, there are these brief moments when their comments give me the same feeling that I got when I was with the ladies of leisure. Like "Where on Earth did my life go wrong? Here's my cousin, 4 years younger than me, with a good husband, a great job and a huge house with a master bathroom that's bigger than my current living quarters. How did I end up alone, living in a tiny chambre de bonne, after all this time, after all my hard work?"

On the other hand, they're family, and it's really nice to have family members on my turf. It's also given me pretty much my first chance to do touristy things in Paris. It's awful, but in the six weeks I've been here, I've done barely any exploring. I haven't been to the Eiffel Tower, Bastille, Sacré Coeur, etc - I guess I've just been doing the things you when you actually live here, and aren't a tourist. I visit friends, get my groceries, go about my life. So it's good that they're here, and that they're giving me a good excuse to rediscover Paris.

They're off to Versailles today - and if anyone has guests coming, I totally recommend the special Forfait Loisirs Château de Versailles. It gives you a round-trip ticket from Paris to Versailles, the right to enter through a special door & pass by the normal line you're supposed to wait in, access to most of the rooms in the château, a free audio-guide and access to the gardens. It's 21.65€ during the week and 25.95€ on the weekends - not a bad deal. The same sort of special pass also exists for the Château de Fontainebleau, the Château d'Auvers and the France Miniature park.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

*ring ring*
Me: Hello?
Phone dude: Est-ce que je peux parler à Patricia ? (Can I speak to Patricia?)
Me: Huh?
Pd: Patricia. Est-ce que je peux parler à Patricia ?
Me: Désolée, vous vous êtes trompé de numéro (Sorry, you've got the wrong number)
*I get ready to hang up*
Pd: Uh, est-ce que je peux te poster une question ? (Um, can I ask you a question?)
*As a side note, if there's one thing that riles me up, it's strangers tu-ing me*
Me: Sigh. Fine.
Pd: Comment tu t'appelles ? (What's your name?)
Me: Il est quelle heure là ? (What time is it?)
Pd: Hein ?
Me: Il est quelle heure ?
Pd: Pourquoi ? (Why?)
Me: Parce que vous m'avez réveillée. (Because you woke me up).
Pd: Non, mais c'est quoi ton prénom ? (No, but what's your name?)
Me: Non, mais franchement, draguer une fille à 7h du mat ?? (Seriously, you're trying to pick up a chick at 7am??)
Pd: Dis-moi juste ton prénom !! (Just tell me your name)
Me: Désolée mais là je vais me recoucher. (Sorry dude, but I'm going back to bed)


I put the phone down and go back to bed. The damn thing rings again. I ignore it. But decide I can't turn it off since my cousin's plane is supposed to be landing in two hours and she may need help. Which is why I frickin' find myself up WAY too early on a Saturday morning, cursing the first-born child of the Phone Dude.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

It's really strange - I'm having more and more of a hard time blogging lately. I guess it's because I started my blog as an outlet, as a way to let things out since I essentially had no friends nearby and spent my days alone. (Yes, I realize how sad that is). But now that I'm surrounded by people, I no longer need my blog to fill that purpose. Instead, I just feel like I'm repeating myself, since most of what I write has already been told to at least one of my readers.

But either way, I'm not ready to give up on blogging yet, I imagine this is just a phase. And without my blog, I never would've met all of these great people, including most recently the fabulous JennC. We had lunch at L'Oisive Thé Wednesday (seriously people, check it out if you're ever in Paris, the salads are delish!), and I had an absolutely lovely time chatting to Jenn, Alice & Aimee...though I think I got my fill of pregnancy talk for the next ten years, lol.

I really am so lucky though to be able to live this kind of life, as temporary as it may be. My days are filled with lunches, meetings at cafés, trips to the cinema, museum visits. I've only got about ten days of kid-watching left, and then I'll be home-free for the rest of the summer. Between outings and friends visiting, my schedule is jam-packed for the rest of the month. Plans are slowly starting to form for August. Life is good.

If anyone is in Paris on Monday, you should make your way on over to the K&K Bastille Day picnic - it's bound to be a great time! Bastille Day is my favorite French holiday, so I can't wait to see what it's like here in la capitale !

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sometimes it's so beautiful it hurts

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So, here I am, back down south for one night only. It's been really strange to have to drive again, but I was lucky enough to have found an automatic car this late in the tourist season. Though technically, it's a "sensodrive" car, sort of like half-manual and half-automatic. I got the keys from the (cranky) rental agent and got in the car, and then realized I had no clue how to drive it! It looked like a manual, but there was no clutch. There was no way I was going back in to ask Miss Crabbypants how to use it, so I took out the owner's manual and saw that if I put it in E, it was in automatic and that if I put it in M, I could shift up and down as I wished (still minus the clutch). I kept it in automatic, and I have to say that I'm not really a fan. The whole car kind of lurches forward every time it changes gear. I also learned the hard way that even in E, I had to keep my foot on the break when stopped or it would start rolling backwards. Oops.

And good lord are gas prices high - diesel is at almost 1.60€/L down here - that's like a 30 cents/L rise in just the past three months!! Makes me really glad I no longer have a car and can use public transportation. Besides that, I'm feeling sort of like I have a split personality. Or maybe a double life. It's just so odd to go from playing Barbies and Battleship one minute to taking a flight to do an upgrade on a $150,000 machine the next.

What a strange life I lead.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

I've got an early flight down to Biarritz for work, and I never sleep well when I know I have to get up early, so here I am blogging at 4:30am on a Monday morning, waiting for my car to arrive to take me to the airport. It's just a short trip, I'll be back late Tuesday night - hopefully everything will go well, this is kind of my first big trip I'm doing on my own.

Anyways, I got tagged by Treefeathers, and even though I'm not really a meme person, I've been meaning to do a music post, so here goes - 7 songs that I've been into lately:

Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"


BB Brunes - "Dis-moi". It's just so full of high school angst, how can you not like it?


Mauss et Charlie - "Je recherche"


REM- "Supernatural Superserious"


And even though I'm fairly anti-Julien Doré, I do like this song:


Number six is by Thomas Dutronc - I really like its main tag line "Je me suis reveillé de bon humeur" (I woke up in a good mood):

While looking him up on YouTube, I discovered he also sang another song that I really like, entitled "J'aime plus Paris":


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Sunday, July 6, 2008

First of all, let me say - do not bring up the fact that the Tour de France is currently passing in front of the frickin' house I was supposed to be living in. Not that I'm a huge Tour de France fan or anything, but it's just that we all had had big plans to watch it go by today, and it kind of pisses me off that everyone else is watching it from what was supposed to be MY lawn.

Bitterness aside, I had a really good time this weekend - and, God forbid, I actually spoke French! It felt good - I worked so hard to learn French that it's a shame that I'm barely using it now that I'm in Paris. And I swear, more people told me I spoke French well in the past two days than total in the past five years. It's nice to have people actually recognize the effort I've made for once, instead of having them make fun of and/or stare at me because I'm a foreigner. So thank you to the Frenchies - ça m'a fait un bien fou. And it was definitely a good reminder that I need to make more of an effort to meet French people here.

Despite the rain in the morning, Leesa had a fairly good turn-out for her picnic at the Parc de Sceaux, and she deserves a huge round of applause for all the work she put in to it. There were a lot of nice people there, including a really friendly French girl that I hope to see again soon. Of course, it'd be nice if I could say that I'd met a really friendly French boy that I hope to see again soon, but oh well. *S* It was also cool to meet up with Justin and Opal. I just missed Rochelle, but she was kind enough to leave me her spare copy of "Petite Anglaise" anyways - I own you one chica!

And now it's Sunday, and I'm trying to decide if I want to go to a museum (many are free the first Sunday of the month), or if I should go see a movie with the lovely Ms Kyliemac. Or maybe both.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

What an event-filled week it's been! On Tuesday, Barbara, Kyliemac and I joined Leesa at the Swan Bar in order to play the "audience" for an interview her friend was doing for a new channel called NRJ Paris. They are doing a series on Americans in Paris - I briefly tried to talk the production assistant into doing a spot on K&K, but I don't think she quite knew what a podcast was...

Anyways, it was really neat (though I don't know if I'm going to like seeing myself on camera considering how zoomed in the camera was on my face when they were getting the "reaction shots"). Plus, Manda has a beautiful voice and we essentially got treated to a mini-private concert.

Then, a friend from V-town arrived in Paris to help a friend of hers find an apartment. They called me from a payphone and said "This is really weird, we were supposed to go look at this place today, but the address doesn't even exist." They started mentioning more details and all of the sudden, it hit me - wait a minute, Craig's list, non-existant apartment, Western Union wire transfer, Nigeria.....they'd been scammed! It was pretty much word for word a post Leesa did a week or so back warning people about renting apartments through Craig's list. So we spent many an hour on the phone with Western Union, and luckily because we had called that very night, they were able to stop the transfer. If we had waited until the morning, it would've been too late and she would've lost 450€ ($700).

And then Wednesday night, I met up with the lovely Ali, from Alithinks, for dinner at a restaurant recommended by Kyliemac. I had fig ravioli, which was absolutely to die for. Yum yum yum. It was really great to meet Ali after all this time - she and Doc are two of my favorite bloggers because these ladies have been through some shit and they just keep on going even stronger. There were times when I though, man, if they can do it, I can too.

I spent the 4th watching the kiddies during the day, and then drinking wine on the Ile St Louis at a meet-up event. There were loads of people there - definitely at least 100, maybe 150. I probably should've mingled more, but I was having such a good time with my blogging buddies, and they helped me get out of the funk I was in yesterday.

The other major event of the week is Leesa's 4th of July picnic, which will be held today in the Parc de Sceaux (barring bad weather of course). There's going to be a ton of people there, including some bloggers I haven't met yet, so it should be fun!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ugh, I feel all jumbly. Fab just called me out of the blue and we talked for over half an hour (on his dime, which is a huge surprise). It's so strange to talk to him because every time I do, we just slip back into our old banter, and I have to fight myself not to do it, not to let him off the hook so easy. I guess that's maybe normal after you've spent so much time with someone? Or because things didn't end in a huge screaming match?

He was calling to make sure I'd gotten his text message re:my birthday, and to say that he was sorry he missed it and that he'd thought about it on the 25th but that it was the 27th before he realized it. He kept asking where I was, but I just didn't feel like telling him. I don't want him to know yet that things are going well for me, nor that I'm still in France.

He said that he still thinks about me a lot and that he feels really bad that things happened the way they did. And that I am still the best person he's ever met - to which I replied "I don't think Katell would be happy if she heard you say that". He said he's mostly happy with her though, but that they barely see each other because he's working so much. That things are really hectic at the farm and that he's getting really backed up on paperwork since I'm not there to remind him anymore to do it. That he's flat broke, but that I already knew. And that I'll see, one day I will look back on this and thank him because I deserve so much better than the life I had. And that he'll still be there on the farm, flat-broke, balding & fat. Good lord I hope so.

He said that his dad still asks about me, but that everyone else is just pretending like I never existed - no surprise there. The good news is that the MIL got over her little outburst really quickly, so that just confirmed to Fab & his dad that she was lying. Hopefully that bodes well for me too for this fall.

I finally ended the call because it was just getting a little bit too familiar, too many inside jokes. And then the "mon lapin" started coming out again - that's where I draw the line. I do appreciate that he called though, that he wants to make sure I'm doing okay - considering how much he hates confrontation and how guilty he feels about this whole thing, I know it couldn't have been easy for him to do. But hell, it wasn't easy for me either.

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I was going to post today about how my friends were *this close* to getting scammed by someone on Craig's list but didn't thanks to Leesa's post...but I'm going to save that for tomorrow now.

The big news today is that Ingrid Betancourt has finally been rescued after six years and four months of captivity (along with three American hostages). I'm not sure how much her ordeal has been talked about elsewhere in the world, but here in France, it's been a pretty big deal. Her family has long fought to keep her on the radar, to keep her name in the media, to continue pushing the government to do something.

Ingrid has dual French-Columbian citizenship, and she was campaigning for the Colombian presidency when she was abducted by the Farc. Her children and some of her family live in Paris though. I can't even imagine what a relief this must be for them - there hadn't been any communication from her for quite some time now. I'd been thinking that the probability of her still being alive after all this time was slim - I mean, what were they going to do, keep her forever?

Anyways, if you want, you can read more about it here (in French) or here (in English).

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

L'homme idéal

So, here I am, 3 months post break-up. I think I'm doing pretty damn good, all things considered. Course a lot of that is due to the wonderful friends I've made here, without whom I probably wouldn't be in such a good place.

One of the things I've been pondering though lately is what sort of man I would like to date. I've come up with a list of criteria, and I've gotten mixed feed-back on it. Some people have been critical, saying I shouldn't be so exclusive, while others have been encouraging, saying I deserve it. I sort of feel like at my age - yes, I do realize I'm not old, but still -after everything I put up with for Fab, I'm just not up for dealing with time-wasters or guys who don't know what they want. Nor am I desperate (yet anyways, lol), so future candidates are going to get passed through the following list:

1. Must have a stable job, and a good job at that. I did the whole "poor and struggling couple" for five years. Moving to France was a big step back for me financially and I have no desire to be in that situation again. This means you Mr. RATP bus driver who keeps hitting on me.
2. Education - minimum of a 4yr degree (or Bac+3 in France). I broke my education rule with Fab and all's that got me is a life surrounded by uneducated people who'd never left their village. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it made things a million times more difficult for me as a foreigner in France.
3. Height is often a deal-breaker for me, so preferably 5'10" (178cm) or taller. Yes, I realize that rules out 80% of the French male population.
4. Likes to travel and experience new things.
5. Good sense of humor - that's what attracted me to Fab in the first place. He always could make me laugh. Laughter is good.
6. Wants a fairly equal partnership, and not the typical French one where the woman does all the cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids, etc.

Bonus points for:
-not having a herd of cows that ties him to the farm
-not being from Bretagne (I'm so over Brittany)
-being a non-smoker (broke that rule for Fab too - yuck!)
-being French, if only so that I could finally have someone to speak French with!
-not being a nail-biter (what is it with the Frenchies and their oral fixations??)
-living in Paris
-being between age 28-33
-being at least moderately romantic (though after Fab, pretty much any guy would probably be an improvement, lol)

That's not too much to ask for, is it? Wait, don't answer, maybe I don't want to know. But I do know that I don't want to lower my standards this time around. Being single actually isn't that bad (minus the lack of sex of course *S*), so I'm willing to wait until I meet someone who fulfills a good chunk of that criteria. And I'm fairly confident that it will happen when it's meant to happen. Right, universe?

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Okay, first of all, I found out it was the mom who drew the picture. Apparently the little boy wanted to draw it for me, but since he can't draw very well, the mom did it for him (!!!). So that's one mystery solved (still not sure why it was an ambulance though....)

Now on to the next one - anyone know why the Eiffel Tower was blue last night? I got up to close my curtains last night and was like "oh!":And thirdly, yesterday Kyliemac and I took advantage of the last day of the free museum experiment to go visit the National Museum of Archeology. It was really interesting, and housed in a château to boot. And check out that beautiful blue sky!!