31 janvier, 2008

Ca donne envie...

video

I'm on a video kick, what can I say? Now, I'm no cinematographer so please don't judge my (lack of) filming skillz. I wanted to share with you the lovely afternoon spent on a tour of Chenonceau castle in the Loire Valley. A beautiful spring day, just sunny enough without being too hot-me strolling down the tree-lined path of the castle eating a delicious glace a la menthe. Ahh, heavenly! I wrote about my tour last year a bit...I first went to Lille, made my way up to Bruges in Belgium, then the Loire Valley for Chenonceau, Le Clos Luce(Da Vinci's house) and Amboise. It ended up being a pretty awesome and cheap vacation and I'm hoping to achieve the same thing this year for my mini-vacances to Paris&Rouen in February and my one-weeker in April in either the Alps or the south(still haven't decided yet!) Vacances can't come soon enough, people, my feet are getting hotter by the minute. Ok, I'm off for now to get ready for one of my 5,000 jobs and then it's Soiree Karaoke tomorrow!!! A+, mes amis!

video

28 janvier, 2008

The cat's meow

video

I've been wanting to post a video to my blog for a while now (umm, just to prove I'm not a complete blogging dummy) and I realized that I had the purrfect candidate(please excuse the dad joke.) I now present to you my cherie d'amour des iles, Sienna. I took an awesome video of her where she was going hog wild and doing sumersaults and flips and all these crazy gymnastic moves. But, yeah, that's not this video because I'm an idiot and forgot to actually press the start/stop button so it didn't record. Duh! Anyways, instead, I've managed to catch her viciously attacking Kitty Jr. She's so lazy, though, and at the end of the video, she just gives up since KJ fell on the floor. So, sit back and enjoy the entertaining(maybe only for me?) one-woman show....MEET SIENNA!

23 janvier, 2008

On the road again...


It's frustrating to be living with minimum sous in a beautiful country in Europe at a stone's throw away from not only other countries, but also cities within that same country that are worth a visit. I gots me a case of hot feet...the itch to travel. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and work out a way to travel...go somewhere, anywhere! I have a bit of vaca in Feb and April and I can't do anything major, but I've decided I will be travelling somewhere in France. In late Feb, I'll be heading to Paris and Rouen(never been to Rouen before) to visit with my French roomie from Montreal who lives in Paris, but whose fam lives in Rouen. I'm excited to go somewhere new and to get to see her-it's been about 2.5 years since I last saw her!

In late April, one of my nearest and dearests is coming over to France to visit me and do a little travelling as well. She was abroad for the past two years, so I haven't seen her since she left for her trip! We are planning to travel around France for a week and were thinking about either Lyon-Grenoble-Annecy-maybe Switzerland or some of the following cities Toulouse-Montpellier-Nimes-Avignon-Marseille-Nice&Monaco. So, what I'm wondering cher reader, is if you have advice/recommendations/etc. I'd love to hear your input about these places or even if you have any other suggestions. The idea is to go to 3 (max 4) cities in France during a week's time and possibly dip into another country if time allows. So, what do you think? Inquiring minds want to know!

20 janvier, 2008

Lose weight in 2-0-0-8!


All the whispering behind the back, the comments about the round tummy, the name-calling, the asking about possible pregnancy. People are cruel, it's true. Well, it's enough to push someone over the edge and get them motivated to do something about it. Yep, you guessed it. My cat is going on a diet. Oh, you thought I was talking about myself? Nope. My cherie d'amour des iles has had enough. I don't know why, but so many of the Frenchies that come chez-moi take enormous pleasure out of saying things like "oh, what a gros chat!", "elle est enceinte?" and when a friend of Roomie#2 recently called her Garfield, that was it!

She's not even that freaking enorme. She's 10 lbs, very fluffy and happens to have a bit of a belly on her which seems even larger than it is because of all the fluff and the fact that she doesn't have a ton of fur on her hind legs which gives the illusion of her bidon protruding out her sides. When I first adopted her, she was about 6 pounds because she had been abandoned by someone's neighbor and was living outside without food. She was teeny tiny, but that was not normal. She has since become an indoor cat which is much safer, but she obviously doesn't get as much exercise. She's been eating 1/4 cup of food twice a day for a few years now and will occasionally be treated to a little tuna.
The only thing that could change is WHAT she's eating. Just like for us humans, cats eating croquettes is just a lot of empty carbohydrates without the proper protein and other essentials for a healthy diet. So, I will be feeding her the same amount, but switching over to wet food and see what happens. My sister did this with her cat and her cat lost 1 or 2 pounds. I think it is worth a try and since she won't be eating any less, and this was recommended by her vet, I feel confident in getting the ball rolling on this one.

2008 is going to bring new and different things. A slim, trim Sienna that everyone will refer to as the artist formerly known as Garfield. Yes, 2008 is a brand new year, bring on the change!

17 janvier, 2008

Quoiiiiii?!?!? moment of the week


Yesterday, upon getting on the bus to go meet up with friends, I say my normal bonjour to the bus driver expecting anything from a lack of response to an obligatory return-the-favor-kind-of bonjour while the driver looks straight ahead into nothing. Instead, I get a huge grin ear-to-ear and an enthusiastic and happy bonjour directed right at me. I nearly turn right around and sprint off that bus, I mean, people going out of their way to be friendly and actually smiling? Something must be wrong with this person! Either that or he's half-anglo!!!
Quoiiiiii?!?!?

14 janvier, 2008

From the horse's mouth


So, a whole lot of nothing has been going over here in my neck of the woods. I somehow managed to get a case of reverse jet lag(ie going to bed early and waking up early like you normally do in the states coming from France) for the entirety of last week which of course is something only I could manage to do. Other than that, I've just been contemplating what I want out of 2008, I won't use that darn "R" word, but I really can't help but compare what 2007 brought into my life vs. what I want out of 2008. To be honest, 2007 was kind of a ginormous piece of merde. What with me being sick and ending up in the hospital's ER, my aunt unexpectedly dying, my childhood pet being put to sleep, my great uncle dying, I think it's safe to say I've seen much better years. Plus, last year I turned 25 which seemed like any other birthday in the beginning until slowly over time, I started to realize all of the things I didn't have going on in my life...no defined career path, no money, no family close by, no sense of being settled in a certain place and no one to share all this with. Genial. I also decided at the end of 2007 to quit the IUFM which was surprisingly a very easy decision, but also very disappointing and depressing.

I don't know how, but I somehow manage to remain optimistic despite myself, but I'm starting to feel like something's gotta give one of these days. I also have a ticket home for mid-July, but if I had my way, I would stay another 2-5 years. I know I can always go back to school just to be able to stay and work here, but that bugs me so much to not be progressing. I miss my family, I do, but I feel like I'm enjoying my time here, I'm getting experience teaching, I love Rennes and I love speaking French. The thought of going home and not speaking French every day just kills me. I've worked for so long and though I've done well, I still feel like there's always so much more to learn. Blah. Plus, if I go home now, my hometown will have none of my friends living there, ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH, NADA, PERSONNE. How sucky will my social life be? Very, very, VERY sucky. How am I ever going to meet someone there? It's a great place to grow up, great for families and older folk but it just is this blackhole of suckiness for people aged 18-30ish. Which leads me to what I wanted to share with you, dear reader.
So, I haven't completely been up to nothing at all. I actually hosted an American party this weekend(thanks for the pic, Sam!) for some fellow anglos and way too many French people. All in all, it was fun times with card games, Beer Pong and way too many cigarette breaks. Anyways, late in the night, I ended up having a chat with a platonic friend about past relationships, what we look for in another person and where we're at now. I miss hanging out with boys on a friend level and it was such a sincere conversation with no hidden agenda behind it, it really was great. At one point, I was telling him how it's been a while since I've been in a long-term relationship and I really have a lot of marre. He said, "mais, t'es marrante, jolie et intelligente. Tu vas surement trouver qqn qui te correspond." Later on in the night, when having a heart to heart with Roomie#1, I shared the sweet thing the Frenchie had said to me. Her response and I quote:
"C'est vrai. T'es ni thon, ni conne, ni pauvre fille."

Umm, gee, thanks. She really has a way with words, huh!?!

11 janvier, 2008

Je serai là

I like Teri Moise a lot and, despite one of the least manly voices ever, Christophe Willem is actually a good singer.

10 janvier, 2008

Geno y Danni Úbeda: Se me olvidó otra vez

An old Spanish song that I find catchy, I really need to stop with all this video posting!

Beth - Dime

This is the girl that one Operacion Triunfo in 2003 and the song that you couldn't get out of your head if you watched the show.

Anais - Mon coeur, mon amour

Hehe, I can totally see where she's coming from!

Paolo Nutini

His voice makes me melt...ahhh

Mika

Lurve Mika. Who knew he could speak French? Well, I did, but anyone else? He did a fairly good job with the francais, actually.

Kaolin - Partons vite

Ok, so I know none of these are new songs, but they are goodies. A few comments on this one:
Man, is that guy a good whistler! Haha.

I kind of find the guy playing the red guitar attractive, but I fear he is wearing eyeliner in this. Yikes.

I think it's super cool with performers do a prerecording(no, I don't know the technical term, but feel free to enlighten me) of all the instrumental parts and use it during the performance. KT Tunstall and Camille are both fans of this, I know, but I didn't know Kaolin did this.

Shakira - Moscas en la casa

It just occurred to me that I should be translating the titles, but then maybe you're the kind of people that can appreciate a song even if you don't speak the language? Yeah, I'm just gonna bank on that.

Shakira - Ciega Sordomuda

I really prefer Shakira singing in spanish and I heart this album.

Ricky Martin y Mari - Tu Recuerdo

Me encanta esta cancion!

Ricky Martin- Perdido sin ti

I really have tons of thoughts swimming through my head at the moment, so before I even attempt to write any of them down, I need to sort things out for myself in my own cabeza.

So, in the meantime, I will let you listen to the smooth sounds of one of my faves...Ricky Martin! No, I am not kidding and yes, I may be a cheeseball, but the dude's actually got talent despite the fact that he used to roll with Menudo back in the day. I love his songs in Spanish and this is one off an album from a good bit ago, but it's him performing it live in more recent times. I love his voz and this cancion is so soothing.

Didn't know I spoke Spanish, eh? Yep, I studied Spanish for 8 years and I've been studying French for 14 now! I actually studied abroad for a semester in Valencia, Spain after I studied in Rennes for the first time in Fall 2002. Ok, enough of the mini bio, back to the song...enjoy!!

PS-Now that I think about it, I might leave you with a few other goodies in espanol since I'm in a songs in Spanish kind of mood.