30 juillet, 2007


I just added a bajillion blogs for all you blog lurkers out there like me to check out. There are some really funny and interesting bloggers out there and I thought you should all give them a looky.

PS-If you happen to be one of those bloggers and I have yet to make a comment, it's because I just recently got into your blog and/or I'm a little starstruck :-D

Super U!

So, my local supermarket here in Bretagne is Super U. I don't know if they have chains elsewhere in France or not, but it seems to be a fairly common one here. It's about a five minute walk from my appart, so it's super convenient...it's also cheaper than Champion which is a teense further away anyways.(Sidenote: since when did grocery stores become super heroes? Doo doo doo, doooo doo dooooo...SUPER UUUUUU!...that is btw said to the tune of doo doo doo, doooo doo dooooo...CHARGE for some odd reason.) Anyhoo, I am a freak and I kinda like going to the grocery store as long as I can take my time. I like perusing the aisles, checking out deals and new products I haven't tried before. Well, as of last weekish, they're changing around the entiiiiiire store! Like, not just moving stuff, literally moving the AISLES. They used to be soley vertical with the exception of the fruits and veg, and now a majority of them are horizontal and the produce is vertical. What exactly is Super U trying to do to an organized(anal) person like yours truly?

Ah, I remember the days when I used to go to Super U knowing where everything was and carrying out my own little Shop til you Drop-type grocery buying(anyone watch that show ever?...Bueller?) Well, those days are gone. I no longer have a designated path, I couldn't find several things I was looking for because they aren't even back out on the shelves yet! Ok, I was semi-kidding before, but this is actually for serious. Today, about 1/5 of the products aren't even back on the shelves, yet they seem to have people constantly there putting things back up whilst cleaning the shelves simultaneously. How much would this never happen in the states? If there was a major changing around of the set-up of a store, they would have people come in after hours to work on it. I would bet lots of money that when Super U is closed, those people hit the road. What's more, there was a dude smoothing over cement in the middle of the store. Was it covered? No. At this point, I am not surprised in the least, but more so amused. I mean, come on, just picture some snooty lady with her caniche in tow that accidentally steps in concrete and the face that she would make? That's just priceless.

Rien a voir, but behold two interesting "conversations" that took place in Super U today:
Mec#1: Salut Mademoiselle
Leah: (Pretends not to hear)
M1: Ca va?
Leah: (Looks vaguely in his direction, nods and turns back around)
Mec#2: Elle est timide, la fille.
Leah: (Without turning head, nods very slightly)
M1&2: Seeing that I am oh-so-interested in this conversation, they begin to holler things at me as I walk very quickly away.

Being rung up by the cashier...
Caissiere: Soup, hmm, that's interesting.
Leah: (Semi smiles praying this will be the sole comment made)
C: You know, you don't see people buying soup in the summer.
L: True, but it doesn't really bother me to eat it.
C: But still, in summer that's pretty rare. I mean, it IS July afterall.
L: (Accepts fate that she is clearly wrong buying soup in summer and that it makes perfect sense that a loyal employee of the store should judge her decision while ringing her up.)
In other news, I now have almost 1500 points at Super U. What should I get a bon d'achat for 20 euro or save up for a raclette/pierrade machine?

23 juillet, 2007

Week-end away

Le Mont-St-Michel seen from Cancale beach
Oh my, it was SO GOOD to get away this weekend for a bit. I along with 5 other friends went to Dinard, Saint Malo and Cancale just to switch things up. My roomate's rents live in Cancale and are away on vaca, so she thought it would be fun to host whoever of our friends was available and interested. We left Sat morning around 11 and headed to the market in Dinard. It's a decent-sized market that has everything from produce to tacky jewelry. After strolling around there and picking up some fresh fruit to make a yummy fruit salad, we went to a nearby grocery store to get what we needed for a BBQ. We then headed back to my roomie's house so we could start to make lunch because we all had tres faim. My friend's boyf was in charge of the BBQ(thank goodness) and got the kebabs, chicken and sausage going(whilst wearing an apron...how cute.) The rest of us put together a salad, melon, sliced fresh bread, potatoes and a fruit salad for the rest of the meal. I was in charge of the melon and when I started to slice it up, I quickly was reminded of how the frenchies cut it just in half and then eat it with a spoon which I had totally forgotten about. Less work for me, but more for the eaters(is that a word?) Everything was finally ready at about 3:30...yeah, we were a bit decale-d! It was all delish...especially the melon(as if I had control over the taste, but a girl can pretend!)
BBQ at the roomie's house
Apero Margaritas...ay, ay!
After we finished eating around 4:30 or so, we decided we would head to Saint Malo and pray that the on-and-off rainy weather that had been lingering all day would magically stop. Well, it didn't, but we did still manage to have a fun time just strolling around town, watching the portrait artists, looking in shops, prend-ing some hot chocolate and gout-ing the beignets(my first french beignet...yumm-0!) At around 8, we headed back to Cancale to have an apero of nibbles and Margaritas. We then bid adieu to those of our friends heading back to Rennes and the 3 of us remaining got ready for the night ahead. We went back to St. Malo again to mange and sortir, but we didn't get there til about 11:30 and so we ended up eating sandwiches and kebabs as no other places were open. All in all, it was a fun night filled with really wasted Brits, a massacre of snails along the road(eww) and a bar de nuit that was approximately 5,000 degrees. Sunday, we didn't get up until late and after having our breakfast/more like lunch of croissants, pains aux chocolat and OJ, we headed right for the beach. We did manage to get a tiny bit of sun in, but I did still hang out under the parasol to protect my Casper-like skin. Hehe. Fun times had this weekend and now I'm back to the attente!
Roomie wrapped up car il faisait trop...chaud?
Tiny chapel literally across from roomie's house

16 juillet, 2007


Ok, so I got a job, but not really.
Flashback to 1 month or so ago: Desperate to find something for the fall, I sent out a bunch of CVs to private primary schools just in case they needed someone to teach their kiddies English. I got a few replies back that were negative and saying either that a)they hired their peepz through the DDEC(Direction Departamentale de l'enseignement catholique, basically the people in charge of all the Catholic schools in my area) **OR** b)all their postes were already filled. This is totally what I expected to hear if I even did hear anything at all. So, you can imagine my surprise when I got an appel last Thursday from the directeur of a private primary school in Rennes asking if I was available and interested to teach little 5 and 6 year olds English 12 hours a week! Umm, are you kidding me, of course I am interested!!!...ahem, I mean, sure I would love to come and meet you, oh wise directeur. I did think, "hmm, that's kinda weird that it would be 12 hours a week. There must be a lot of 5 and 6 year olds-8 classes to be exact. Wow, but nevermind that Leah, you might get yourself a job!"
Flash forward to today: I got all ready for the interview, feeling very hot from the dang humidity, but confident as I had put together some materials last night and even wrote up and printed out a proposed cursus for the little kiddies. Basically, I modified and simplified what I taught the little CE2s(8 yr olds). I even brought my flashcards and a couple books in to show him what I proposed I could teach the little ones for their initiation into the English language. So, I met up with the directeur who asked about my experience and explained what he had in mind for teaching the kids English. I showed him my cursus, flashcards, password flashcards and the books I brought. He made the remark that it was really great I had already reflechir-ed about how to go about teaching the young'uns. I was brimming with pride, a huge smile planted on my idiotic face.
I then came to understand the poste was mine if I wanted it, he wasn't interviewing other people as my CV was the only one that had interested him(or rather quite possibly the only one he got too!)...this was grrrrrrreat! So, we got into the scheduling and I wanted to confirm it was two times a week. Non, it wouldn't be two times a week...they don't have the budget for that...only once a week, 30 minutes. Wait, if it's only once a week...how is that 12 hours, I thought. He then continued on about the number of kids in each class. Let's see, there are 24 in each class, so that will make four groups of 12. HOLD THE PHONE! 4 groups of 12 for 30 minutes once a week....do you mean TWO HOURS TOTAL??? Yes, that's right folks. It seems there was a huuuuuuge misunderstanding between us. I either misunderstood or he misspoke because what I thought was douze heures is apparently deux heures. TWO hours instead of TWELVE. Even if I didn't know for sure if they would hire me and then if they would still hire me once they found out I needed the right to work, that was my major worry, not the number of hours! So, I am back to square one, still waiting to hear about my teeny, tiny, miniscule possibility of something I might have for this fall. Back to the wait...oh, the joy! I guess at least I have a side job lined up if I do get the other thing, but still. Ay, de veces, soy una verdadera idiota!!!
PS-The image is from a t-shirt you can buy. Hehe.

10 juillet, 2007

Highlight of the day

Watching an old couple in their 80s, holding hands swinging as they walked, laughing and joking together like a couple of teenagers, so in love. Quite honestly, it's the little things in life that can really make you smile.

Ah, l'amour...

08 juillet, 2007

Five weddings and a funeral AKA Pineapple chicken with a side of heartburn

For whatever reason, Blogger isn't letting me enter a title into the title spot, so this will just have to do. I liked both titles, btw, so I decided to leave them both and you can just consider this as two separate entries and pretend like I wrote in between July 4th and today.

Anyhoo, title #1 refers to the craziness that is ALLLLL my friends getting married/engaged this year. Let's just go through a little timeline, shall we?

**March 2007-J, a friend from High school, got engaged to her bf from college that she's been with a good bit now.
**April 2007-K, a fellow English assistant from the US, got engaged to her French bf who she had only been back together with for maybe a month(but they dated for about a year and a half when she met him as a study abroader in Grenoble.) Wedding date set for Aug 2008.
**May 2007-K, one of my roomates senior year of Uni, got married to her bf she met through work, I believe.
**June 2007-L, who studied abroad in Rennes with me in 2002, got engaged in March when she was visiting me and later met up with her bf who proposed to her underneath the Eiffel tower. She got married only a few weeks ago in June.
**September 2007-T, one of my best friends from Uni, is set to marry her British boy in early Sept. I've never had the chance to meet him ever since they got together in early 2005 and got engaged late 2006 and have been in either Edinburgh or London.

It really doesn't take much more than 5 engagements/marriages in ONE YEAR to make a girl feel very old and very, very single. C dingue, ca!

As for the second part of my title, I will explain. I invited my host fam that I lived with in '02 to come over with their three kids who are about 5, 7 and 9. Good thing the kids are absolutely lovely, otherwise there would have been a very stressed Leah to deal with. Anyway, I hadn't seen them since about December, so I called them up a bit ago and we set up a time to see each other and this time I invited them over to mine since they are always inviting me and they had never seen my apt. I was a little stressed in terms of what to make seeing as la presentation and bonne cuisine can be very important, but my lack of mulah ruled all and I prepared fairly simple(read:cheap) dishes.

~Apero-Kir for the big kids, pineapple juice for the little kids. Assorted nibbles not made by me.
~Entree-summer salad with tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, corn and mozzarella with homemade crutons and balsamic dressing.
~Repas-Marinated pineapple chicken with red peppers served over rice.
~Dessert-BROWNIES! miam, miam

All in all, it was a success. Everyone seemed to like the bouffe, we had a nice conversation and I got to experience again what awesome people they are(they brought me pretty pink flowers...so nice!) The kiddies had fun petting the kitty and then watching Narnia and everybody left around 23h30. The only bump in the road is when I woke up, I really had a bad case of heartburn and considering we all ate exactly the same thing, I'm really hoping that was just me and I didn't make everyone else sick. Sometimes things that are too olive oil-y hurt the old tum-tum, so I'm thinking/hoping that's what it was.
Besides that, I had an interesting weekend, on va dire. Friday night was spent with the roomate and Charlotte at a nice soiree pierrade chez-nous. I really can't get over the eating with the same fork you use to pierce the raw meat and put it on to cook. So, I snuck in a clean fork and used that to stab the viande and another to eat. Although I'm not quite positive I didn't maybe switch the forks on accident at least one time. There was, ahem, drinking involved afterall. After, we met up with Virginie and headed to a bar de nuit where I bumped into the twin of this guy I went out with a couple times. Leslie and Charlotte ended up leaving to go en boite and Virginie and I stayed behind to chat with the twin and his friends where Leah proceeded to make an a$$ of herself, I am sure. After they left, V and I went to a bar de nuit just nearby and I ended up chatting with some guys who happened to live literally across the street from me. Super weird...Rennes is the size of my foot. Needless to say, I ended up getting home around 8 AM. Oops. Good thing I recovered by the time my fam got there.

After my fam left, since everybody was at a soiree outside of Rennes, I met up with a friend who lives across town to just hang out and watch a movie with him and his brothers. Yeah, so, I didn't end up getting a lot of sleep last night either, but that's a story for another time. Maybe this year won't be my funeral afterall? I will say no more!!! I have to be up early tomorrow for a babysitting gig ALL DAY LONG. Good thing I already have dinner prepared...oh wait, maybe that's not the best idea as you all know how that goes!

PS-My host fam's kitty is having kittens scheduled for next weekend and I get to see them. So excited!!!
PPS-I saw a woman on the bus ride home with a cat on a leash in the bus with her. Poor little thing!
PPPS-Pic is of Rennes, Place Sainte Anne.

04 juillet, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Just a quick note(for once, right?) to wish all you Americans on all sides of all oceans a happy, happy independence day! I hope those of you stateside are having fun BBQs-eat a turkey burger, some pasta salad and a slice of apple pie for me!! Miam, miam :)

03 juillet, 2007

You know it's bad when...

...you vacuum the vacuum cleaner and de-soap the soap dispenser. Yeah, dire situation here folks. When I get stir-crazy, stressed, jobless or any combination of the three, I clean. If you don't already know, I'm pretty OCD and like things to have their place and stay there and for things to basically always be rangé-d. However, my OCD does not usually encompass all things involving dust and other dirtiness you can find, just that things be in order. But, today just proves my OCD rules all when I get stressed out. France, please save yourself from Captain Anal and find me a job right away!

PS-Maybe I should rethink my super hero name as it might sound a little gross?;)
PPS-As for the Bob Saget reference. If you ever watched Full House, you will remember what a clean freak Danny Tanner was. I specifically remember an episode where he was vacuuming his vacuum cleaner. Eek! I have become a dad from an iconic 90s tv show! Or maybe not...

01 juillet, 2007

Aunt Sue

Remember when I mentioned how a bunch of awful things had happened to me in the past few months? Well I won’t go into all of them because then instead of writing a novel like I usually do, I would write about 50. I will definitely spare you the wordiness. Instead, I choose to talk about one of those many unfortunate incidents because as bad as all the things were that happened to me, this one really was the one that affected me most. In May 2007, I can never and will never forget what happened. This thing, this horrible thing…it made me book a flight back to the states, call off classes for a week and leave behind everything else that I was responsible for in France and go home for a week to be with my family. It was heart-breaking, life-changing, gut-wrenching AWFUL. My loving Aunt Sue who had just turned 55 two weeks earlier, a loving, caring and extremely generous person was taken from us due to a long battle with a difficult disease. She was a mother, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a niece and a friend. She was a delight, she never stopped laughing and smiling and her joy was contagious. So, on this day, marking two months without my wonderful Aunt Sue, I write this poem to her:

What I know
I’m missing your laugh because it stretched over thousands of miles and
I’m missing your hugs because they made us all feel so loved and safe and
I’m missing your smile because it could brighten any dull moment.

I’m sorry you lost an almost lifelong battle with a cruel disease and
I’m sorry you couldn’t reach out for help when you needed it and
I’m sorry you didn’t take better care of yourself when you should have.

I’m sad for your children because they still have so much life to live without you in it and it’s not fair or right and
I’m sad for my parents and aunt because now so many future memories with them will be left unfulfilled and
I’m sad for my sister and I because without you here, the laughter in our hearts is now quieter.

I’m mad because I hadn’t seen you in over 2 months when I learned you were gone and
I’m mad because there’s nothing I can ever do to change that and
I’m mad because you left us too soon.

I know everything happens for a reason and this time I can’t figure out why, but
I know I never will and must learn to accept that anyways, but
I know I love and miss you and I will always.