28 mai, 2008

Bye-Bye, Serge

I am both sad and happy to announce that Serge, my loving pc for the past 4 years will soon be replaced by this lovely lady pictured above. Serge and I have been through a lot together-we've done countless plane/train/bus/car trips together and we've lived in 3 entirely different countries. However, Serge has been ageing not-so gracefully in the last while-he's slowed down a lot and gets annoyed with me when I ask him to do more than one thing at a time. He especially does not like it when I wish to watch something other than his beautiful face. Unfortunately, Serge has had it a bit rough over the years and has come down with several viruses that have made him go a little loco. I can only hope Solange's(yes, I have prenamed her and, yes, it's a she, have you noticed the pink and the flowers?) life will not be so hard. Though I am opting to welcome Solange into my life, that does not mean that Serge won't be a perfectly good compagnon to someone else. I have about 6 weeks left with my cheri and I plan to make the most of it. Here's to you, Serge!

26 mai, 2008

Como se dice quoi?

Introduction: At Roomie#1's(the girl) new apartment for an apero with Roomie#2(the boy.) The vin is a-flowin', the snacks are being manged and the conversation non-stop.

What: We get into a conversation about my job situmacation(ie that there is very sadly nothing at all new to report) and I explain a bit about a job I really wanted that someone else ended up getting who happened to already have a job lined up plus the right to work in France in a few months and could only do the job for one year's time. It's not at all this person's fault I missed out by 1 place, but the situation totally sucks for me as I'm totally left in the merde. After giving the run down of the D's, I sigh and the next thing that comes out of Roomie#2's mouth is...


Conclusion: Oh, France, I love ya, but your choice of the anglais coming into your country baffles me sometimes!

21 mai, 2008

Birthday Blabberings

Ok, so it was my birthday at the end of April(almost 4 weeks ago at this point), so I thought it was high time I shared with you all the wonderful and iiiiiinteresting presents I got from my wonderful friends.
This vase was from my Friday night apero dinatoire and sorting celebration with the francaises, they know how I love the Maisons du Monde store and got me this funky vase. It's not exactly my style, but it's grown on me. One friend brought me muguet for the 1st of May. It was very sweet.
This is also from the French girls. It's purple so deja they couldn't get it too wrong, plus with the swirls and beads, I really like it! Though, as my sis pointed out, it does appear to be missing a dangly bead string from the lower swirl. Oh well.
These beautiful, purple wine glasses are from my American friends plus French guy friends from my Saturday apero, resto&sortie celebration that I shared with a friend who has the same birthday. I saw these when I was travelling in Rouen at the Habitat there and fell in love. A few weeks later, I was shopping with my English friend, J, and pointed them out to her saying that to treat myself, I would maybe buy like 2 of them since they were pretty cher. She took note of this and had the wonderful idea to buy them for me for my birthday with my other friends!
This pile o' presents is from my rents and sis (although my sis had already technically given me my present that I discovered by accident at Christmas, so I think it was more my rents.) Anyhoo, I got a cute magnet for the fridge, mac&cheese(!!!), my hair stuff that doesn't exist here, funny Shrek figurines(I think this one was a joke), Reese's PB cups, something else I can't remember and a season of Will&Grace. I was very happy and it was exciting to have all those things to unwrap on my actual birthday(Sunday) when I didn't have anything planned.
And, last but certainly not least, is the present I received from Roomie#2 who picked this out all by himself and clearly did not follow the advice of Roomie#1 when she told him to get me something deco like candles, a plant or perhaps something to hang on the wall.
Wait for it....
Oh, it's worth it...
A little bit longer...
And, voila...
My cher coloc got me a handheld Electric Mixer. Do I make soups? Umm, not really. Purees? Not so much. Did he pull this gift out of his a$$? Me thinks yes. But, if I do end up staying(have you noticed how so many of these gifts assume that?), I'm sure it will come in handy one day. I could use it to make mashed potatoes, smoothies and other stuff(??) To add to the randomness of this gift, the thing is not in fact white, but a very 70s looking orange and yellow. Gotta love it. At least I opened this on my bday morning before he was awake so he didn't get to see my reaction face!

18 mai, 2008

It's about time part 3 (Bordeaux)

Ok so, Monday afternoon, I got into Bordeaux safe and sound after a long train ride during which I slept...a lot. After a quick panic attack that my friend had missed her train, we met up with each other again in the slightly confusing gare. Our CouchSurfing host, Manue, wasn't going to be done with work until 18h30, so we met up with a friend of my friend's that showed us around the city a bit and we eventually mosied on down to a cafe to prendre a verre in the warm sun. Not too long after, it started raining (again!), so we huddled up under a table with an umbrella. Despite the weather, we had a mission-find me some shoes. I had tried all the usual chain stores I knew in Avignon, but we tried them again here and eventually found me some ones for a decent price that I liked at some place I had never heard of. It was no easy feat(hehe) as many stores had gotten rid of shoes and put sandals in their place, so I was lucky to finally find myself a pair.
It got to be time to meet with our host, so we headed up the same street of the shoe store(she lived right downtown on the main road of the city which was super convenient) and found her place. She didn't see us and keep walking like we joked before we met her, but instead showed up directly from work a bit late and welcomed us in. We got settled and soon after went with her and one of her roomies to the grocery store to get stuff for a typical Bordelais meal. She had invited her other roomie and a few friends and we chowed down on potatoes and some sort of canard and finished up with a light fruit salad and yummy pastries. The canard didn't make me gerbe, so I guess it was alright. That night, we went to a fun Karaoke-except-with-good-singers-kinda-bar called the The Frog&Le Rosbif(I think) that apparently exists in Paris and Toulouse as well. They brew their own beer which was tasty and the people sang in English(score!), so it was a nice thing to do for a change.
The next day, we toured the city as much as we could since I was leaving Wednesday morning and wouldn't have time nor desire to really see much more. We saw the church above that had it's Bell Tower separate from the church because they were afraid it would tip over, the Monument aux Girondins with a really cool fountain, the Gros Horloge, Place de la Bourse and
other things whose names I don't know(at least I'm honest, right?) On our way, we grabbed some bread, cheese, strawberries and a cake canele(Bordeaux specialty) because we had a date at the Tourist Office for a late afternoon wine tour, baby! We made it to the T.O, shoved our faces and then we were off on the tour bus to Chateau Reignac and Chateau de la Fitte. The wine tour was a tad more cher than I would have liked to pay, but I think with tasting 5 wines, seeing two vineyards plus a mini tour of Bordeaux on the bus, it was worth it. It was a cool experience that I wouldn't mind doing again...maybe a day tour? Although I was a bit pompette by the end, so maybe not, then again we did fill up our verres when the tour guide wasn't looking...hmm. There was a girl who ended up bright red and on the floor who they were calling "sick", but my friend and I decided the girl probably was not a big drinker and promptly got wasted. We felt bad for her being on the floor in front of the whole group and having to go in the ambulance. That sucks.
The bus dropped us off around 18h and we waited for Manue to meet up with us at the Grand Theatre because we were getting cheap last minute tickets to see Gisele. Manue had been before and gotten these cheap tickets and ended up in the first few rows. Well, that was definitely not the case this time. We ended up literally in the very last row and couldn't see anything because the very beautiful and intricate theater was in some sort of enclave that made it impossible to see down to the stage 5,000 feet below. Being tricky as we are, we found a little light room that had no one in it and we parked ourselves there for the rest of the show and watched the lovely, ant-sized figures flitter and leap around the stage. I'm definitely glad I had seen that ballet before or else I could have been a bit disappointed. I think everybody liked it though, in the end. We parted ways from the others and headed back soon after because I had to be up early to make it back to Rennes. But before I went to bed, we had been crafty and gone to the grocery store before the ballet in order to get supplies to make our host(s) a "typical" American meal. So, we took the congealed cheese(not really) and pasta out of our bags and made them some baked Mac&Cheese. Good stuff. I think(hope) they liked it anyways. And, that was that and now here I am, so voila my April vacances in the sud!

It's about time part 2 (Avignon&Nimes)

So, where were we? Just kidding, I got it, I got it! So, Friday late afternoon I got into Avignon gare where the lovely Nicole met up with me. She took me under her wing and got me maps of the city and already had ideas of where I should go. However, we didn't tour the city just yet since it was starting to rain and it looked like it would stay like that for a good bit. Instead, we invited a few of her friends over for quasi-galettes and crepes. Those crazy southeners tried to call them crepes salees which I had absolutely none of and bored them to tears explaining that it was because of the buckwheat flour and you must never call galettes as crepes salees to a breton, homie don't play that game. Anyway, I call them quasi-galettes because I made the mistake of buying a mix instead of the premade ones because I was worried they would be too old by the time I got them to Avignon and they stuck to the pan like nobody's business. With a bit of teamwork, however, we managed to eventually make a few of them...well, enough anyways to tide us over until the desserts of crepes and tiramisu. Later, we went out to a bar where I met even more of her friends(she's got a lot!) and we headed back at a reasonable hour and I hit the hay so I could be ready for my trip to Nimes the next day!
I took the train to Nimes around noon the next day and headed straight for the Arenes. I took a tour which included those headphones that you can listen to about all the history and the Zzzzz. Yeah, the segments were a bit loooooong, so needless to say, I cut some of them short and just checked out the views from the top and tried to imagine what it was like back in the day. After I finished that up, I just blindly walked around town stumbling upon things I remembered reading about in my Let's Go. I ended my tour in a lovely park which had a wedding precession which was nice and all, but homegirl needs a travelling partner or else she gets bored fast. So, I decided my original plan to say 6 hours needed to be cut almost in half and that I would rentre a bit early to do some fopping with an sh with Nicole and friends. I ended up (f)shopping by myself and not finding any shoes(the only thing I needed), but instead, some new shades and a cute tank. Fopping with an sh is dangerous. That night, it was one of Nicole's friend's b-day, so Nicole and I had a little quick din and wine and then met her and her friends at a creperie. We then went to a bar de nuit and I danced my face off until my face got way too hot. Fun times.
Sunday was spent touring Avignon with Nicole who had so generously decided to give me the official tour. We saw the pont d'avignon where I danced(of course), le palais des papes and a bunch of other stuff that I forget the name of. What, who me, spacey much? It started to rain (again, notice a theme here?), so we took a chocolat chaud and decided that we had had enough of walking around the city. We then went to her friends' place for a Mexican meal and some inappropriate(in a good way) conversation. All in all, good times. I headed to bed in my third bed of the three nights(long story and Nicole has a big apt) and dreamt of red wine because I was off tres early the next morning to Bordeaux...

It's about time part 1 (Marseille)

So, I got to Marseille on Wednesday afternoon after a last minute change of train tickets that originally had me getting in late, late Tuesday night. I met up with my CouchSurfing host, Aleksandra(Ola), who took me around a bit in the Quartier Belsunce area where she lived to check out the markets and the (hilly) streets. I was off on my own to explore for a few hours, so I headed down to the Old Port where tons of gross guys tried to drague me. I headed back up the main road(Canebiere) and picked up some wine and M&Ms at the smallest Super U known to man(I'm making that up) and went back to Ola's apt to help start din. We had some couscous with chicken and veg in a cream sauce that was quite good, but we had to shove it down our faces because we had an apero that had started, oh, about 2 years ago from the time we had started eating. Btw, Ola had two friends staying there who were also Polish(did I forget to mention she was Polish? Oops!), so I ended up speaking loads and loads of English and also impressing them by knowing only swear words in Polish and nothing else. I'm a classy gal. The Apero was at a Ukranian girl and a Algerian/Serbo Croatian girls' apt. It was a very international apero, in the end, with me and a bunch of people from Eastern Europe.

Moving along...my friend got in on Thurs aft and after her attacking her probs with SFR ending her phone contract too early plus waiting 5, 000 hrs for the eternally late Polish couple, we headed off to explore the Old Quartier of the city(Panier-the first pic is there) The couple took about a picture every minute, so we eventually said do widzenia(since I only knew swear words, I thought it would be a good idea if I learned how to say goodbye, so I could at least be polite after I cursed someone out) to them and went our own way. We did a ton of wandering around and had planned on taking the little tourist train because we are ever so cool, but it started raining. So, instead we took shelter in a cafe that gave us what were clearly leftover Easter eggs. But, hey, chocolate is chocolate afterall, you won't see me complaining! We had an apero dinatoire that night and then headed off to bed.

Friday was our last day and we didn't have to leave until later afternoon, so we finally managed to take that bebe train up to Notre Dame de la Garde which overlooks the city(you can see it in the 2nd pic and it's where I took those other pics from.) We also ran and caught the bus to the beach which was not all that impressive and included a randomly placed statue of some sort of David that stood in the middle of an intersection. Strange. We said adieu to Marseille after searching for some pastry that we saw advertised but only exists at Easter...oh, that and soupe au pistou which just doesn't exist at all apparently. Then, I made my way to Avignon...

11 mai, 2008

Lazin round

I wrote this yesterday, but my comp was being weird and I couldn't get the pics to upload until today...

Que dire, que dire? Well, I've been on vaca since Wed evening and won't reprendre until Tues evening. It's been really nice weather recently which has been perfection(omg, almost wrote the the p-word!...shudder, shudder...prefect...), thanks Bretagne! So, here's a little rundown of my weekend for my, I mean, your enjoyment!

Friday: Din at former Roomie#1's new appart. She reminded us all of how much nicer her apt is than the old one and proclaimed approximately 5,000 times how great everything from the balcon to the power outlet was. Ok, I might be exaggerating, but still. Then, sorting a bit en ville for a drink and a dance.
Saturday: Din at my apt with A and everyone's favorite artist-formerly-known-as-Sam de Bretagne. Apero bits (including Ritz Crackers!!!), Provencale Quiche, rose and quite a refreshing (if I do say so myself) fruit salad. I whined, I mean, explained to them how I'm still jobless and hopeless and they told me to shut it, I mean, wished me good luck. Had fun, girls!

Sunday: 5 hour picnic/eat your face off-athon at the park I just discovered right nearby my apt with J. Our cuisine included and was not limited to: cherry tomatoes, pineapple and cheese on toothpicks, tzatziki, crisps, bread, 2 cheeses, pesto pasta, quiche, pizza, fruit salad, chantilly. We luckily had not had b-fast before and took a few pauses and didn't finish everything...but it was all super bon.

Now, I'm off to finish listening to these guys and see if I can't convince them to hire me as an intern. Huh, what you think, ladies?

06 mai, 2008

Jobless and hopeless

So, I guess wanting something so bad enough to will it to happen isn't a reality. Does that mean that buying kitchen utensils won't automatically get you a job? Yep, guess not. I musta been confuzzled. I haven't posted much because a)I'm lazy b)I don't have too much to say 3)I've been trying to focus on my job search here in Rennes/France. Yes, I realize that I just wrote a, b and 3-that's how I roule. I do want to write about my vacances or at the very least upload some pics and write sarcastic comments-you guess which will most likely occur. But, for now, I'm a little held up on the fact that I had two entretiens for a poste of lectrice(how's that for franglais, Victoria?) in the past few weeks one of which I mentioned on here and said how I didn't get it. Well, the second one I had yesterday and I got an email this morning saying that they had the regret to informer me that I didn't get it and that I got the 3rd place, so if person#1 and person#2 decline, the poste is as good as mine. Skip-ih-dee-doo-dah! Who would eeeever decline that? A lecteur position is like crack for non-EU citizens. Crack, I tell you!

This means I have about a month to magically find a job in France. A job that will either sponsor my visa or a job that would fit the FACC requirements. Plus, I'm trying to stay in Rennes. Oh, I should find that job in about...a quarter to never. I am looking in other towns in Bretagne and I wouldn't rule out Paris. Anybody know of anything? I really don't want to become a student again just for the visa and then work 5 bajillion jobs like this year for a meager salary, it just isn't moving forward and that's what I need to do at this point. I have 26 ans...I'm no spring chicken of 20 like I was when I came to this country for the first time. I can't keep on doing this, my desire to stay and live here is not so overwhelming that I'd be willing to be completely stagnant. And that is what I would be if I were to be a student again...stagnant. So, for now I'm crossing my doigts so tightly that I will probably eventually form a misshapen claw. At least then I would have something different than other candidates if I go for more interviews...a misshapen claw. Yes, that must be the ticket to France. Well, I think me and my ten-fingered-for-now self shall goeth now...eth. But, I just wanted to spread the wealth...misery loves company, right? Don't forget, any job offers you hear about, I'll be there with bells on!

05 mai, 2008

Long time comin'

I know you must have been waiting with baited breath for an update on my vacances and to see me new room. Well, the vacances post is on its way one of these days (ahem), but today I offer you a vid showcasing my new chambre and the appart version rangee 2008. It's ridiculous amounts of long, so just sit back and enjoy the show. Quoi? Ok, I'm going to stop rambling on because I did enough of that in the video and I will just wish you happy viewing!

01 mai, 2008

Missing you

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 safe and loved 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.
Aunt Sue