Friday, December 30, 2005

Paging Martha Stewart...


So, The Man and I had the big sit-down conversation today. He is changing jobs- possibly. Going from something that is salaried to something that is all about commission is giving me the heebie jeebies, but I have faith in him.

However, I am activating the JUST IN CASE scenario. So as of right now, I am looking for another job, preferably full-time....because you know, the mortgage has to be paid.

In the meantime, we are battening down the hatches, just in case things get hairy for a little while. I am scaling back on grocery shopping, which means that the dogs are getting the Costco-brand chow instead of the Iams, and The Man's Tillamook cheese is in dire jepoardy.

Also, instead of redoing stuff in the house completely, I am re-vamping instead, and completing projects that have been overdue for quite some time. Hence, the new curtain that is now hanging in the front window- I made it myself!

My charming Neighbor assures me that he can no longer glimpse me running to and fro, which means it will be much easier to avoid those pesky door-to-door vacuum salespeople. (Tip- Cut them off, tell them you have a Dyson. They'll literally throw up their hands and walk away.)

But, yes. More curtains are in the works for in the den, kitchen, living room, and our bedroom and then tomorrow heralds a new era- the living room will be primed (over the re-texturing I ended up doing myself). We've had the paint, unopened, for almost two years, people. I have been waiting for The Man to do it, all this time. Craaaaazy!

And the picture frames I have been collecting? Will be filled with pictures of actual friends and family members, instead of the generic couple that we don't know. And they will be HUNG ON THE WALL in our living room in an artful grouping for all to see.

Also on the agenda- instead of re-facing the kitchen cabinets, I am going to try a whitewash technique and switch out the hardware. We have the materials for every single one of these projects, and dammit, I am getting it DONE!
I found hardware on Ebay that I really like, and I decided to bypass the original stuff that I loved.

When all was said and done, the total for everything we needed to change out from our current hardware to the opulent Moroccan glass was about $250, and I couldn't rationalize it...and I felt that they might not be easy to clean, or stand up well to the wear and tear in my kitchen. So I went for the $40 eBay solution. I will probably break down and order the fancy stuff later for our hall and master baths- hey, 6 knobs are a lot more reasonable than the 23 knobs and 7 pulls I had to order for the kitchen!

The Man has been informed that there will be crown moldings going up eventually, and also that their are wooden boxed pelmets in the works for our window treatments. Yes, he is afraid. But he is also afraid of the idea of me using power tools unsupervised. I think it's crossed his mind that I may decide to make my own skylight or something at this point.

Can you guys tell I spent the day watching HGTV?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

What the hell?

If you go into Cost Plus and get the checker who bears a striking resemblance to Pat...Seriously, RUN THE OTHER WAY.

Me: Hello!

Pat: *dour expression, wordlessly starts running my stuff through the register.*

Me: Ooooooooookay.

Pat:*holds up bracelet and sighs audibly* I need you to get me another one of these, this one has no price on it.

Me: Uh.....sure.

I come back with the bracelet. She's staring at the rest of my bagged purchases. She takes the bracelet from me and scans it, puts it into the bag.

Pat: Thirty three oh four.

I give her the money. She gives me a receipt.

Me: Thanks.

NO RESPONSE. She doesn't look at me or even hand me my bags.

Me: (again)Thanks. *pause* YOU'RE WELCOME, Goodbye!

I finally grabbed my bags off the counter and left. What the hell? She didn't even ask for my zip code, and you know, the peeps at Cost Plus live for that.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


OK. So, maybe uploading some chicken soup into my iPod wasn't a realistic solution.

However, I found the next best thing if you ever happen to acquire a sick iPod.

I tried it, and my little iPod is up and running once more! Woooohooooo!


My iPod is sick.

It turns on, and I can scroll and select, but nothing will play on it.

It is on the older side- a third generation. I love it to pieces, and it is killing me to think I may have to send it to the glue factory (not to mention I priced the new ones, and it's 400 bucks for a stinkin' replacement.)

What does one do with a sick iPod? Are they fixable? Do I just upload some chicken soup and hope for the best?

What the hell?!!!

I am AWAKE. I have been awake since 3AM. Crap. I am guessing that this is The Universe's way of telling me to clean the kitchen.

To which I say, "Screw you, Universe! I am watching some seriously BAD TV instead."

Monday, December 26, 2005

Slightly more uplifting!

Sorry, I know that last one was a downer. But it did help me to write about it.

In the spirit of the season, I'd like to return to my usual topics- the unbridled joy of aquisition, and my bizarre family dynamics.

I have (for now, at least- ask me again next week) mended the fences with my Mother-In-Law. On the condition that I am hosting a Christmas Eve get-together next year at our house, just for their family. It's official, I have sold out and am becoming a grown-up. She loved the scarf I had made for her, as well as the blown-glass angel ornaments I brought her back from France. It's a Festivus miracle!!!!!

Christmas Eve meant a nice dinner out with my family (as detailed earlier) and then The Man's brother and his wife showed up to hang out. The four of us exchanged presents, and I was thrilled to see my long-awaited CrockPot!

I also distributed gifts from France- Angora hats and matching pashmina shawls for my sister-in-laws, and a coffee mug with the Paris Metro map on it and a big Chocolate Euro for my brother-in-law. We guzzled champagne and took the opportunity to RELAX, which was much needed. The Man and I didn't get to bed until after one AM. Christmas morning was there before I knew it.

This was the first year my entire immediate family wasn't together for the holiday. My little brother (the one who is getting married) celebrated with his fiancee's family this year. I got a forlorn message from him half-way through the afternoon, which read: "&*^%!, I miss you guys! Hope you're having fun...without ME."

My extended family is also fragmenting- aunts and uncles were off with their married children and their grandchildren, so a gathering of around 25 was whittled down to...5 people.

Then at the last minute, my parents friends and their kids were deprived of their Christmas destination when Grandma caught the flu- and then the same thing happened to my aunt and uncle when my cousin succumbed as well. Poor Mom- 5 people turned into 11 overnight, and all the stores were closed! However, she'd done cooking on the Armenian scale, so we were all stuffed anyway.

The Man had to work. Everyone was saying how awful it was, and I just headed them off by saying, "I'm just thankful that he's on U.S. soil this year." I took our stockings over to Mom and Dad's, so I wouldn't have to open things all by myself Christmas morning.

We opened family presents- I had knit my mother a scarf per her request, and I had used recycled silk- she loved it, which was a relief. She also got an address book. Dad got three sets of John Wayne DVD's from me, and my sister got a silver bracelet with multicolored stones (brought back from Paris) and the new Madonna CD.

I got a RoadTrip for my iPod, another CrockPot (so I have to wend my way back to Macy's), white Bath Sheets, Vanilla Sugar lotion, sparkle, and shower gel, and some gorgeous "old world" glass ornaments, which I collect- among my favorites were a leopard (of course), a puffin, and a pickle. I don't care if it's a real tradition or not, i like the idea!

The stockings were stuffed to the gills too- I got a ton of double pointed knitting needles, some 80's CD's (including The Best of Dramarama), and some very large sunglasses.

Then I got to go home to clean up and change, and I couldn't resist getting into the stockings for the pets. Bear and Bosco rec'd a squeaking squirrel, a football on a rope, and a squeaky rubber high heel and a similar wingtip shoe. Bear managed to get both the football and the squirrel into his mouth simultaneously. The cat got treats and catnip mice and kitty toys, and the bird got treats and a crazy Lucite toy.

When The Man got home (exhausted- our Christmas Eve get together had gone really late!) we opened our gifts together. I got him four dress shirts and matching ties, which he'd really wanted. Then I opened my big box, and found a teeny box inside-

I am so excited! I love it. I wanted something simple that I could wear every day, and this totally fits the bill.

Then The Man put on a festive new red shirt, and I threw on some glitz and headed over to my parents place for dinner. We could both barely keep our eyes open.

Then this morning I was rudely awakened with the demand that I needed to WAKE up so we could visit his parents. MORE gifts...MORE food. Oh God!

I was blown away. My In-law's gift to me was a generous contribution to my Spinning Wheel Fund. So I went on eBay tonight and found:

I also got something that I have been asking for te last couple of years- a massaging foot soak tub. Hooray!

I feel so blessed and lucky- this has been a fantastic year, and I am sorry to see it ending. I love the fact that my family is doing well, that The Man's latest business ventures are starting to take root, that I am a sane person again without a soul-sucking job to make me crazy. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Did I mention this Christmas is still not over? We're supposed to travel to Sacramento to see my brother sometime this week. Oy!

I remember...

One the first day of kindergarten, they took roll call. I felt heartened- the guy on the list before me had an even harder-to-pronounce last name than I did. I found out later that it was a Basque name (same as mine) and those Basques seem to delight in putting together some bizarre letter combinations.

Anyway. I was 4 years old, the youngest kid in the class. Somehow, realizing that the teacher couldn't pronounce his name either made him feel like an ally. Most of my friends on the block were boys, but they were fair and freckled and seemed like a completely different species.

This kid was dark- black hair and eyes, with beautiful olive skin and rosy cheeks and a slightly crooked smile that lit up the room- when he smiled, which was a lot. I remember admiring his outfit- he had on corduroys and a red and blue plaid shirt.

Needless to say, this is the first time I can remember ever having a crush on someone. But I was a shy little girl- I just remember sort of watching him from afar as he roughhoused with the other little boys. But Mike was always different somehow.
I just remember his smile, his friendliness- there was a certain sweetness that just seemed to exude from him.

I changed schools after the third grade, and lost track of him- but somehow, in high school, I ran into him again- he was in my art class.

Aside from the obvious changes, Mike was into music like Guns and Roses, and I was in Academic Decathlon. Completely opposite ends of the spectrum. And yet, he was still adorable, and I still had a crush on him, to the point where it was almost crippling, which he was cheerfully oblivious to.

I think Art was his favorite subject, and he spent most of the time immersed in whatever project he was working on. He was really talented, and I specifically remember envying the realism of his drawings.

The last time I saw Mike, I was in college- probably a sophomore at Davis, and I was at a party with my friends in Fresno. I didn't know anyone else there. But my friends still lived in Fresno, and they were circulating and having a great time, and they'd just sort of forgotten about me.

Then this guy comes up to me- long dark wavy hair, which sort of threw me, but then there was that same smile. He greeted me, gave me a huge hug, and we caught up with what was going on in our lives- how he was going to City College, and really getting into his music. He introduced me around and made sure I was comfortable. At a college party where everyone's wasted, this isn't the norm. But that's just how Mike was.

Three days before I left for Paris, my mom called me to say that Mike was dead. She said there'd been some kind of accident in Tahoe.

To say that I was upset would be an understatement. To make matters worse, I would miss the memorial service. I looked at his obituary online, and saw posts from several of my former classmates- they all remembered Mike the same way that I did. They talked about his talents as a musician and as an artist.

Then last night, I asked my father about the details of the accident. Dad looked at me and said, "Mike committed suicide. He threw himself in front of an oncoming car.
There were four witnesses."

I held it together until The Man and I got in the car, and then I just....dissolved.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Ho ho ho!

So....Santa visited me last night, and I am willing to bet that you were all good little boys and girls this year, so I hope he was good to you too.

Here's some Christmas entertainment for you guys- feel the love!

I went out to dinner with The Man, my sister, and parents last night.

Scene: At an Italian Restaurant. "Feliz Navidad" comes on.

Me: *does the Cabbage Patch*

Sis: *holds up an imaginary lighter*

Dad: (to me) Now I know what you remind me of! I stayed at a hotel last week, and they have these incredibly elaborate Christmas decorations, and there was an animatronic Christmas figure out on my balcony.

Sis: I thought you said it was a Druid?!!!!!

*Hysterical laughter*

Me: A Druid who does the Cabbage Patch? Oh yeah, baby, that's me.

Dad: That's not what I meant!

Me: OK, Dad. I'll remember you later when I'm sacrificing the goat in my stone circle.

Dad:*mutters something about the claws coming out*

Mom:(out of nowhere) Jenna, what did you make for the get together tonight?

Me: Uuuuh- mint brownies, holly wreath cookies, spiced cider....

Sis: That must have taken forever!

Me: No, not too long. Now wait, I lied- I slaved all day over my DRUID FIRE!

*More hysterical laughter*

Dad: Yeah, HA HA, Merry ungrateful little cretins!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Fa lalalalalalalalalalallalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

It's Christmas Eve, people!

I am actually not out thwere shopping like a madwoman (I am inside, cleaning like a madwoman- although I may be forced to venture out to pick up some bird food and a few token desserts)

Anyway. Guys, Happy shopping (cause I know you're all out there today panicking.)

Here's to a super duper Merry Christmas!

My gift to you- 'cause a good giggle is almost as good as some heavily spiked eggnog:

The Bunnies present- A Christmas Story.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Woof woof woof, peep peep peep, meow meow meow meow meeeeooooowww.....

That's "Jingle Bells", kids. Well, at least at my house, it's Jingle Bells.

So- I went to Sephora today with my sister-in-law.

For me, Sephora is like The Promised Land. Wall to wall cosmetics, perfume, hair products.....*drool*

For her, it's like having bamboo shoots shoved under her fingernails. So she asked me to please, please be her spiritual guide and go with her.

Holy crap. Fashion Fair was freaking insane, yo.

AND Sephora? Out of everything on my Mother In Law's list. Bastards. Although there was an adorable little salesclerk who asked me where I got my necklace and who was wearing about the same amount of eyeliner as I was. He (not a typo) was hilarious, and a master of the eye-rolling to boot.

Still- I looked at all the SUV's and demon strollers, and congratulated myself on pretty much ordering all my Christmas presents online this year. I'm much too happy to have to deal with the crazy ghetto people who inhabit Fashion Fair mall. Especially at holiday time, when all their yuppie relatives come to visit.

Also, *insert evil laugh here* Alan's dad? For Christmas? Asked for ammunition. I swear.

I was aghast, but The Man said, "Oh, I'll just go to WalMart and pick that up on the way home from work tomorrow."

I didn't say, "You're going to WalMart? The day before Christmas Eve? You must be insaaaaaaane." I just gave him a pretty little smile and kept my trap shut. Hahahahahahahaaaaaa....I can't wait 'til he gets home to hear how that went. Although, I'm thinkin', big huge tall guy buying ammo at the Wal-Mart while wearing military uniform...people will probably just get out of his way.

Meanwhile, there's nobody I am mad enough at this year to use my "DIY escargot kit" idea on. But if there's anyone you know who deserves a box of live snails this holiday season, please feel free to use the idea yourself.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Baby pictures!

THIS reminds me.

I just got a picture of my brother's new puppy (actually, the new pup he got for his fiance) in my email yesterday.

Are you ready for this?

I defy you not to say "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" when you see this picture.

How to tell when you're in a really, really, really good mood.


"Maniac" came on the radio, and I just did the little dance.

That's right, THE little dance.

No, not the one with the shower. (thank God, 'cause it would have really messed up the carpet)

The other one. The off-the-shoulder-ripped-sweatshirt and leg-warmers one. (Jennifer Beals was wearing these, not me!)

What the hell?

Have aliens taken over my body!!!??

Actually, as a footnote, I think Jack 105.9 is channeling its inner stripper. After Maniac, they played Magic Man by Heart.

No, I didn't dance to it. Mainly because there is no stripper pole in my living room.

Hello, My Name is Secret Squirrel

Otherwise known as the individual formerly known as "my buddy". I'll let y'all know what Secret Squirrel thinks of her new name.

I know I have been quiet. I have been baking cookies and cleaning the house. And I am definitely going to knitting tonight.

Stop laughing!


I actually cleaned out my makeup archives today. I filled an entire freaking grocery bag, people. The big paper kind. I actually unearthed product which dates back into the mid-nineties, including all that horrible Dermablend "bridal spackle" I wore for the big day (seriously, I felt like I had to apply it with a caulking gun)- all pitched!

So Neighbor, if you see any drag queens dumpster diving over here, you'll know why.

My makeup case is the only place where makeup is now stored. Granted, the makeup case is one of those "train case" deals, and it's roughly the size of a Buick. (Only half full, I swear!) But it still counts as cleaning. Dammit.

And I am going somewhere instead of watching the new Project Runway. I shall have The Man record it, since we still live in the Dark Ages and don't have a TiVo.

Random advice: When you order Sesame Chicken from the Chinese take-out place, eat it all then. Leftovers are not adviseable. Bleah!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Making Cookies

That's right, beeeeeyotches. I'm making cookies.

Although in my head, it sounds like an SNL sketch- "Maaaking Coooookies...the Cookiemeister." Aren't you glad I shared that with you? Try to get it out of your head now. HA!

We'll see how many of the little suckers survive to see Christmas Eve......

In other news, I have been selected to help Santa fill stockings this year. My brother is spending the holiday with the family of his fiancee, and she just realized that that means- ONE stocking left.

So in the interest of making Santa's life easier, my stocking (yes, and The Man's, as well) are travelling over to Mom and Dad's house.

Forget the medal- give me a halo!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Overheard at Mom & Dad's

Yes, I was a good little girl today, and helped my parents to take the gi-normous fake Christmas tree out of the attic- and helped decorate it. I so deserve a medal. (OK, they took The Man and I to a movie- and bought us dinner. Medal not necessary.)

Mom: Did you get my Christmas list yet?

Me: Um- No.

Mom: Well, Dad said he would send it. He put it into his blueberry.

Me: What?!

Mom: Wait, that's the wrong color....

Me: His Blackberry?!

Mom: Yeah, that's it.

Dad: Um, actually, it's a Treo.

Later on....

Dad: Well, I want to see King Kong.

Mom: *makes face* What about Walk The Line?

Dad: What about you Jen?

Me: Um- I could go either way. I 'm the swing vote, so I'm holding out for a bribe.

Dad: Such as...?

Me: A pony and some real estate.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Conversations with my TV

Victoria's Secret Commercial: "Give me everything I want...and nothing I need..."

Me: Because we all know that underwear is optional....but being a stupid whore is forever.

The Man: Bhahaha! You better blog that.

Coincidentally, this is post #100! (And I still haven't blogged Paris- Day 3- I know, I am sitting around, slacking and mocking underwear commercials. Muuahahahaaaa!)

Kill Santino. (And Adam Corrolla, while you're at it.)

So, I get all freakin' domesticated yesterday. And then The Man happened to mention that what his mom wants for X-mas is a...handknitted scarf. So I started on that- and then....Project Runway came on.

Ooooooh, how I loves me some Project Runway! The inflated egos. The backstabbing. The designs that are great when they're good, but are somehow even better when they're hideous. And...the hissyfits. Hearing a grown man scream "Where the hell is my CHIFFON????!!!!!" in falsetto agony is...well, hilarious.

Time stops when Project Runway is on- ask The Man. I gave him The Hand and shushed him, just for trying to talk to me. Yeah, I know I need to chill.

Um- Paris, Day Three will be posted later today. I swear!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Paris: Day Two

Originally uploaded by jenna_sais_quoi.
Crazy busy day. It was a Sunday, so admission was free to the Louvre. We woke up early and headed first over to Notre Dame, where we were excited to see the Christmas decor and hear part of mass.

Of course, it was early and still dark, so many of my pics are dark and I couldn't use a flash. The staned glass wasn't lit, so it was hard to see, but for that, the pictures of St. Chapelle later on will more than make up for it.

On the way to Notre Dame, we passed this bizarre courtyard Christmas display featuring some igloos (if you're looking at the pics and wondering what the heck was going on.)

Notre Dame was beautiful. We had a mamorable exchange outside with a guy who only spoke French, and when he asked us if we were Catholic, I said, (unthinkingly)"No, we're Americans." This cracked us all up.

There's a gorgeous Nativity scene within Notre Dame that I got a picture of- there were already parishoners there, so I couldn't take flash pictures, so there are very few pics of this place.

We were disappointed to see that the baby Jesus had been removed from the manger, and outside, people had stripped the ornaments from the Christmas tree as high as they could reach, despite barricades placed around it.

We finished up after hearing the introductory Mass and the beautiful, ethereal organ music. Then we headed to a cafe for breakfast.

French breakfast (petit dejuner) is basically the same every day. The meal consists of- croissant, tartine (a slim baguette) served with cream cheese or butter with jam, cafe au lait or hot chocolate, and orange juice. Needless to say, it's Dr. Atkins' worst nightmare. I loved it.

Off to the Louvre!

The pictures don't do the place justice. I should say (in my defense) that the rooms were HUGE, it was still dark out, and a lot of my pictures are incredibly dark. We were also prohibited from using flash or even taking photographs in a lot of areas- including those with the Mona Lisa.

So my photographic documentation of the Louvre is a lot of the outer areas, the Egyptian exhibits and the sculpture. But like I said, it's dark.

We had a truly vile concoction in the Louvre, known as a Croque Monsieur, which would probably have been decent if it hadn't been previously frozen and then partially reheated. This was during our break halfway through- the Louvre took most of the day to see everything.

We nibbled at our nasty sandwiches and I filled out postcards to send to the addresses that I could remember off the top of my head. Thus fortified, we went off to see the rest.

Around four, we ended up back at the hotel with our feet killing us, and we actually took a nap. Reviving around 8PM for dinner, we headed out to the Eiffel Tower at night to take the elevator to the top.

I should say (for those of you who don't understand the blurry photos) that I am an amateur photog, at best. And surrounding all the Parisian attractions there are- well, people. Tourists, regular Parisians, and-

Well, I am guessing the people who were rioting a few weeks back. While I was trying to snap the nighttime shots of the Eiffel Tower, there was literally a guy behind me in the bushes, who was (from the sound of things)peeing.

The rest of these random people were pretty agressive, trying to sell souvenirs to the obvious tourists among us (of which, I was one).

If you stopped for a minute, there would be a guy accosting you and trying to sell you a light-up eiffel tower or keychains, saying things like "Lady, Lady! Wait- You are American yes? Look- Il s'illume! ("It lights up!")Look- Bling bling!"

Yes, I swear to god, they said bling-bling. I got a lot of mileage out of pretending to be blind and deaf and saying, "Non, merci, je ne comprend pas", which neans no, thanks, I don't understand.

I have to admit, I was definitely underwhelmed by the journey to the top of the Eiffel tower. It probably would have been better during the day, although seeing the lights of the city at night were impressive- but at night, it was freezing cold and windy, and full of incredibly rude tourists.

Would you believe me if I said that someone literally used her four-year-old child as a battering ram to clock my Buddy upside the head and take her spot? Because that actually happened!

We were exhasted at the end of the night. Pictures to document the day's adventures are here.

What a long day.....but we had to build up our strength, because the Next Day- DISNEYLAND. Paris style!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Paris- Day One

Originally uploaded by jenna_sais_quoi.

We got off the plane at 8 AM, exhausted and generally suffering from big-time culture shock.

Once we stashed the bags at our hotel, we were told that we couldn't get into our room until after noon- so we grabbed the camera and did some sight-seeing, and had brunch at a nearby brasserie- a cheese omelette. It was seriously one of the best things I have ever tasted!

That's one thing I should definitely mention- we had only one bad food experience, and we ate in a different place every single meal of every single day. In Paris, the restaurants are everywhere, and they cannot survive unless the food is sublime, or if they'll cater to the tastes of tourists.

We learned (after the one bad experience) that if there were hot dogs or hamburgers prominently displayed (in English) on the menu, we probably shouldn't even go in.

The first place that we went to explore was Cimetière du Père Lachaise, which is evidently the most fashionable final resting place in all of France.

Many major French artists are there, as well as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. We couldn't locate the Lizard King's grave- however, judging by the graffiti on the monuments nearby, we came pretty close.

I had a hard time shaking the insane feeling that we were in some kind of a macabre Disneyland. Everything in Paris is beautiful, with a stunning attention to detail, and an awe-inspiring patina of age.

Here in the U.S., it's a big deal if real estate is 100 years old. There- well, everything is at least that old, or significantly older.

At noon on the dot, we headed back to the hotel and crashed with a resounding thud. We were dead to the world until about 5PM, when we awoke and decided to check out the Eiffel Tower (our hotel was very nearby) and walk around and search out the place for dinner.

You've already heard a little about out dinner the first night. In any case, a French restaurant that can mess up both steak & frites and a creme brulee is seriously in over its head.

We were too late to take the elevator up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but we got some fantastic photographs from the ground. The little white lights are actually twinkle lights- they sparkle for ten minutes at the hour, and it's absolutely breathtaking to watch.

You know all those things that you hear about the snotty French people?

I admit, in some cases, they are right on the money. Here though, is an example of something that would never happen here in the U.S.- at least not in a city the size of Paris.

My buddy and I got out a map as we were walking through a park on the way back to the hotel. Some guy in his 30's was walking by with his wife, and he asked if we were lost.

We said no, but he came over and checked the map, made sure we were going in the right direction, and even said that we could follow he and his wife to their car, which was near the hotel, and they'd point us from there. Then he mentioned that it was so near- they'd be happy to give us a ride. (!)

We didn't accept, but thanked them for their help. I was completely blown away. I will say, the younger people were generally much more friendly than the older ones- and were so openly shocked and pleased when I would attempt to communicate with the high school French.

Most of the French I encountered could speak English quite well- we had no trouble making ourselves understood pretty much everywhere we went. So we ended our first day feeling pretty confident!

If you'd like to sight-see along with us in Paris, the pictures I took on our first day are here. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I'm baaaaaaaack!


I got back late last night. In a bizarre twist, the odd hours that I keep while syncing with The Man's schedule worked perfectly with the time difference from France. NO jet lag! Which is a good thing, since I am one of the unlucky few who cannot sleep on airplanes.

France is beautiful. The people are, for the most part, great, although I would like to round up about 10% of the Parisians, bind them up in their fur coats, gag them with their berets, and throw them in the Seine. But I digress.

I had a wonderful time, which I will go into detail about later. I am downloading photos as I type. But it's so good to be back in the good old USA. I had to override a strong urge to kiss the tarmac after we disembarked in Washington DC. (This may have had something to do with the French family who sat behind us- the shrieking one-year-old and the seat-kicking three-year old were uh, an experience.)

Coming home was wonderful. There are no words for it. I missed my husband, my home and the animal crew, my friends and family, more than I could ever have believed possible.

I got to the Fresno airport at about 9:30 after 14 hours in airplanes (not to mention layover time!), and the sight of The Man in white pickup truck was one of the most fantastic things I have ever seen.

Then I came home, and realized that he had actually not trashed the house- but he had CLEANED the garage and office, thrown away any and all incriminating pizza boxes (although, I noticed some Weinerschnitzel napkins lurking about) and put up my pointsettia wreath on the door.

Then I got into the kitchen, and realized that my NEW STOVE has arrived and been installed. My cup runneth over!

I am currently baking banana bread in said stove, listeing to Brian Setzer sing Christmas carols, and unpacking Christmas paraphanalia in preparation for decorating the house interior and trimming the tree.

I had lots of fun. But it's SO good to be back!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hello, My name is ______________


My Buddy (the one I am going to France with) wants a new name on the 'ol blog. "Buddy" is evidently not doing it for her.

I suggested "Fedora Puffypants", but we agreed that's actually what we call her ex-husband, and is therefore inappropriate. Or, at least, inaccurate.

Perhaps something will reveal itelf when we are both in la belle France?

Of course, you guys are also welcome to make suggestions.

Chick, Interrupted

How the hell do we have so much laundry?

I seriously don't understand it.

The Man: What did you do all day?

Me: I did laundry.

TM: Oh good, I am almost out of uniforms.

Me: What uniforms?! I washed everything in the hamper and the sorter!

TM: I don't think they're in the hamper or the sorter.

Me: Well, where the hell are they? Maybe up your ass?!

Ok, this didn't happen word-for-word. (The Man is reading this over my shoulder- just play along, OK?)

Anyway. Yes. I definitely need a vacation.