Friday, December 29, 2006

Pieces of Downtown

Outside Easy Street Records, Queen Anne

The Space Needle and EMP

Pike Place in the rain

How To Travel Around France

I have a neurological condition, one of the symptoms of which is that I fall asleep almost immediately upon closing my eyes. Anywhere, any time. But for some odd reason, when I tried to go to sleep last night, my brain wasn’t ready to shut down. It insisted upon thinking about traveling around France this past summer, and I started formulating a list of lessons I learned during that frantic three weeks. Without further ado:

Lessons learned traveling around France:

  1. When in France, expect to speak French. When in Paris, expect to have everyone respond to your faltering French with smug English. Yes, they are trying to imply that they can’t stand the sound of you butchering their precious language.
  2. Everything, with the exception of train stations and restaurants, is closed on Sundays. Groceries stores, drugstores, everything. Plan ahead.
  3. If traveling to more than four cities in three weeks, RENT A CAR. If your traveling companion, who is a poor schoolteacher, insists that it’s too expensive, IGNORE HER. She does not know what’s best for you.
  4. While figuring out how much time you’ll have in each region and how long it might take to travel by train between regions, try to remember key traits about your travel partner. For example, if you’re going to be traveling with someone who takes 2 hours to get ready in the morning and doesn’t believe in “roughing it,” give yourself lots of extra travel time. Expect to miss at least two crucial trains.
  5. Traveling France by train is fairly cheap. There is a reason.
  6. If you are traveling by train, and you are planning to buy your ticket right before the train leaves, bear in mind: there is a three cashier rule at all train ticket windows. Even in the summer, at the height of the travel season, even at train stations with 15 ticket windows, even when the line to buy tickets winds back and forth like the line for Splash Mountain and moves slower than molasses, only three ticket windows can be open at any given time. If a fourth cashier comes on duty, DO NOT GET YOUR HOPES UP; IT IS A TRICK. It simply means that one of the other cashiers is due for their 45 minute cigarette break. Plan accordingly.
  7. Even if you have nowhere to leave your luggage, do not take suitcases with you to a medieval city. Tiny suitcase wheels and ancient cobblestones do not mix.
  8. Mosquitos in Provence are flesh-eaters. Wear heavy-duty bug spray at all times, on all parts of your body. They can bite you through clothing.
  9. By “heavy-duty bug spray,” I mean the stuff that the soldiers used in Vietnam. None of that weak stuff you buy at the drugstore. It will do you no good.
  10. The beach in Nice is not nice. It is not made of sand, but of cobblestones. Ouch. The beaches to the north and south of Nice, however, are sand.
  11. If you’re going to take an hour-long hike up a sheer mountainside, try not to do it during the hottest part of the day.
  12. If you’re going to take an hour-long hike up a sheer mountainside during the hottest part of the day, bring LOTS of water.
  13. Also, put deodorant on every inch of your body. You will sweat in places you didn’t know could sweat. I’m talking eyelids, here.
  14. If you tell a train ticket cashier that you would like to travel to a certain city and he responds, “Quelle idée!” (trans: What an idea!), this is a bad sign. You should probably skip that city.
  15. When choosing which cities in France to visit, do not include Limoges. Trust me. It has a really cool-looking train station, but that’s it.
  16. If you insist on seeing Limoges, and you are traveling there from Nice (not advisable), try to make it to the train station in time to catch the train to Toulouse. Nice to Limoges via Paris is just a wee bit out of the way. I have generously drawn a lovely, very high-tech map as a visual aide:

  1. The other thing Limoges has going for it, other than the pretty train station, is an amazingly good tarte shop. I have no idea where it is or how to get back there, but Man, was it good! Some of the best food I’ve ever consumed in my life.
  2. “Going on strike” is the national sport of France. It is an especially beloved pastime of train employees. Don’t be surprised if you show up at the train station and there is only a fraction of the normal amount of trains in service. Whining will get you NOWHERE, so take what you can get.
  3. For the most part, strikes are planned and last only one day. For the most part.
  4. Do not be afraid to rearrange your travel schedule. Even if you end up “wasting time” sitting in parks or wandering around cities you didn’t plan to see, just relax and have a good time. You’re in France, for crying out loud!
  5. If you’re hitting up the Loire Valley, don’t overlook Amboise. The castle is alright, but seek out the little wine shop in a cave, buy a 5 euro bottle of wine (about $7), head over to Leonardo da Vinci’s mansion, and consume said bottle of wine in his huge backyard. It’s totally fun. There’s even a playground to drunkenly play on.
  6. If you go to Tours, and you feel like doing something that no one has ever done before, don’t get in a huge, cataclysmic argument with your sister on the streets of Tours, because that’s already been done.
  7. Don’t miss Dinan or le Mont St-Michel (they’re way cool).
  8. The Louvre is boring. The Musée d’Orsay is better (in my humble opin).
  9. The Eiffel Tower is awesome. Don’t be afraid of the insanely long line. This one’s worth it. It’s especially enjoyable if your travel companion is afraid of heights or big things.
  10. While waiting in line for the Eiffel Tower, keep a close eye on who’s in front of you. One minute you’re right behind a guy with a black backpack, the next minute there is an elderly Asian couple between you and Black Backpack, the next minute a large group of Asian Americans greets the elderly Asian couple and thanks them for saving them a spot in line. Your spot in line.
  11. If you’re in Paris and it’s nearly midnight, and you’re catching the very last commuter train into the suburbs, and all the ticket cashiers have gone home, and you can only buy tickets from machines that take only coins, don’t spend your last coins in a photo booth. It’s not worth the two minutes you’ll feel like Amélie.
  12. If you spend your last coins in a photo booth and can only buy one ticket for two people, DON’T PANIC. Simply cheat and squish two people through the turnstiles. It takes a bit of coordination, but it can be done.
  13. If you’re feeling overwhelmingly guilty for having cheated, and you’re worried you’ll get thrown off the last commuter train of the night, feel free to confess to the first train employee that you see. This is not necessary, however, as he or she will simply shrug and mumble something about being off the clock. They’re French; they couldn’t possibly care less.
  14. Do not, under any circumstances, insult a Frenchman’s mother. He will not hesitate to head butt you in the chest.
  15. He will not hesitate even if he is the MVP and he knows he will get thrown out of the game.
  16. Even if it costs his nation the World Cup.
  17. Even if he has already announced that this will be his last World Cup, and his last chance at being an immortalized national hero. (Besides, he knows the French people will respect him all the more for having head-butted you in the chest. For crying out loud, you insulted his mother!)
  18. Also, bear in mind that these people don’t bat an eyelash when their fellow countrymen go on rampages burning cars. Rioting and car-burning are viewed as no big deal. So, try really hard not to upset them.
And there you have it. My extremely useful tips for traveling in France. I should totally write guidebooks...

Monday, December 11, 2006

More Nerd Humor

The Mathematics of Love (or at least dating):

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Many People

I totally forgot to talk about fortune cookies yesterday! Ian’s said something boring along the lines of “be frugal,” which is lame until you add “in bed” to the end. “So I should only hire cheap hookers,” Ian explained.

My says, “Your nurturing instincts will expand to include many people,” which is kind of a nice thought, until you add “in bed,” and then it gets really nice! I am now taking applications for recipients of my bedly nurturing instincts. I'm looking for many people, so don't be shy!

Ian decided we should set up a dirty website that advertises “nurturing instincts in bed, including many people.” It’ll be a con, where you have to pay to access the website, and then all you’ll get are pictures of people hugging each other in a bed with big dopey grins on their faces. That’ll teach you to get your mind out of the gutter! Mwahahahaha!

Ah, the joy of fortune cookies. God bless the Chinese!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

No More Walking

My step-mom once bought a(n?) hideous, old, purple dresser with black drawers at a garage sale. In one spot, she sanded it down to see what color the wood was underneath. She had to go through four layers of paint before she got to the wood, and now the dresser reminds me of an Everlasting Gobstopper.

Well, it snowed and rained on Sunday and Monday, and then the temperature dropped well below freezing, so now the world is a giant ice cube. Work was closed and I got to stay home, but I got lonely, so I decided to hang out with my friend Ian who lives close to here. Or at least, I thought he lived close to here. The roads are icy and we didn't want to drive, so we walked, meeting each other halfway. Then we walked to find food. At this point, I was feeling pretty good, happy about walking and happy about food, so when Ian mentioned he needed to go to the bank downtown, I offered to go with him. It turns out, things are a lot farther away when you're walking to them, as opposed to driving. They're even farther when you're walking over uneven ice, as opposed to flat sidewalk. You have to be really careful where and how you put your foot down, and over time, this works muscles in your upper thigh that haven't been worked in, well...ever. When I got home, I felt like a popsicle; my limbs were so stiff, they wouldn't bend. I wore my rain boots, the sixty dollar ones that leak, and now I have bruises halfway up either calf where the top of the boots rubbed against my jeans. My thighs looked sunburned when I got home, which was fine until they started to feel sunburned, too.

On the bright side, my lovely $240 coat kept me warm. Well, I guess it could have been the fact that I was wearing a tank top, a t-shirt, a button-down Oxford, and my thickest sweatshirt underneath the $240 coat.

I can't walk except with baby steps, and even that's a struggle. The stairs are my nemesis. Where's my burly man-servant when I need him? "Charles, carry me upstairs to dinner!"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sucking the Marrow Out of Life

I've been totally uninspired to blog lately. Which isn't to say I haven't been busy. In fact, my busy-ness is probably the problem: when my life is interesting, I have no need to blog in order to convince myself that it's interesting.

There has been lots of shopping lately and hanging out with friends (mostly Jacque). I've seen two movies: Marie Antoinette and the new Bond. I liked them both, though Marie Antoinette didn't have any point. I guess I'm alright with a movie having no point, as long as it's a pretty movie. I like the new Bond, he's hotter than Pierce Brosnan, but I didn't like that it was more gratuitously violent (or was I just imagining that?) Basically, the highlight of the last month was last Monday, when I spilled a dangerous chemical on my week-old jeans and they had to be disposed of as hazardous material. Man, I love being a scientist! Everyone keeps asking me if I was wearing a lab coat. First of all, a lab coat would not have protected my jeans, and second of all, scientists don't actually wear lab coats. I guess if you're a klutzy scientist like me, it's not a bad idea. Alas, the jeans have been replaced, and all is right with the world again.

I'm happy to announce that my orphan-shoe adoption program is doing well, and I recently welcomed these darlings into my home:

I've wanted those Adidas sneakers since I was in high school. I realize they might make me look like a child, or a pre-teen at least, but I don't care. They're pink!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Green Guts, I Tell You!

Me pops just got himself a new power drill and he started using it immediately. He's so proud of it; he had me hold it, and it's, like, 20 pounds. You can almost smell the testosterone.

I apologize. This is an extremely boring post with extremely boring photos, with the exception of the bright green pumpkin innards.

October 29 carvings:

It's like snow, and oh, how I do love snow!

Sharpen your knives, folks. The white one is mine. Cool, huh? I've never carved a white pumpkin before.

It's innards were bright green! Coolest thing ever! I'm totally carving white pumpkins every year.

The whole ghoulish gang: (mine's a vampire!)

Lights out:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Daylight Savings Rocks My World

This one’s gonna be a doozy, ‘cuz I have lots of photos to post.

This morning on my way to work, I saw a Budweiser truck that said “Responsibility Matters.” What kind of lame motto is that? Does that even mean anything? Responsibility matters? They direct you to a website if you want more information (like, perhaps an explanation for their useless motto): Haha! Get it? Beer responsible! Hahaha!

Sunday was daylight savings, which I totally profited from, like, three times over! I so rock! Either that or I’m really dumb. I took advantage of the extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning, and then some, because I skipped church. Then on Sunday night, I went to bed at 9:30, and woke up when my alarm clock went off at 6:30 the next morning. I got out of bed really quickly, within five minutes of my alarm going off. It usually takes 10-20 minutes for me to drag myself out of bed and turn my alarm off. I put my contacts in, brushed my teeth, and wandered upstairs. My step-mom was brushing her teeth, which struck me as odd because she and my dad always leave the house before I wake up. She looked at me with concern and asked, “Did we wake you up?” “No,” I replied. “This is when I normally wake up.” It was in the middle of that sentence that I realized I had never set my clocks back. It was really only 5:30, and I had another hour before I had to wake up. Then I realized that I hadn’t really gone to bed at 9:30 the night before; I had gone to bed at 8:30. The great thing about idiopathic hypersomnia is that I had no problem falling asleep again, despite the fact that I had already slept for 9 hours.

Okay, to start off, photos of loved ones doing odd things:

John showing off his awesome chest hair


Shopping for a Halloween costume,
Emily discovers the most
awesome pants ever created

I could be a Who for Halloween

I carved pumpkins up the yin yang this past week, with squashy slaughterings on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday. It sucked my creativity dry! (I don't have much to begin with.)

Okay, photo loading is taking far too long, and I am a lazy little thing, so pumpkin murders will be posted tomorrow. I wish I could say it'll be worth the wait, but even I'm not convinced. We'll see.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Driving to Work on 405 North

The Batesville Casket Supply truck pleads "Please drive safely!" Call me cynical, but wouldn't that mean less business for the nice folks over in Batesville?

I got my Macy's credit card today: $240.45 for my beautiful, adorable, wonderful wool coat. *Sigh* Life is good. Now I just have to pay it off right away so I don't end up paying finance charges and interest that drive the cost right back up to the original price.

(I'm so excited to type this!) Jacque and I might be moving in together one of these days! Yippee! We already spend every waking minute together (and many of the minutes when I should be sleeping), so that should make it even easier to do so. It won't be until December at the earliest, and January at the likeliest, but I'm super excited.

Heehee. "Super excited" reminds me of when my sisters and I were kids and we would say "Super Excitement Finger Twinkle!" in Eek the Cat's voice. (Was that an Eek saying, or did we make that up?) Oh man, we were easily entertained. Still are!

I made Jacque throw a housewarming party for herself on Monday, and it was a huge success. I bought frozen appetizers, but we didn't have enough oven space for them (Jacque only has one oven, poor thing), so we had Goldfish crackers as appetizer instead. Note to self: Grape flavored Smirnoff tastes like cough medicine. At any rate, I think our one guest enjoyed himself very much. Yes, we are in high demand. I can't wait until we move in together. Then we can have house parties with one guest all the time! Heck, we might even be able to entice two people to come over! I don't know, maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself with that one.

Okay, it's definately my bedtime, and my overactive guilt complex is starting to kick in. Goodnight, luvs!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nerd Humor

Where did these people go to school? Or perhaps they didn't...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Don't I Deserve to See a Bloody Nose?

This weekend was fun-filled and tiring. I went to a hockey game with my mom and Jody on Friday night. There were roughly 300 spectators. You can tell we love our hockey here in Seattle. I’ve never been to a hockey game before, and probably will never go to another one! There was only one fight, and I swear it was staged. I’m willing to bet the coach was like, “The fans are getting antsy. Make sure you pick a fight with someone before the period’s over.” And speaking of periods, did you know there are only three periods in a hockey game? What’s up with that? What an odd number. Two or four, people. Two or four. Or nine works, too. Anyway, the fight was seriously lame, and they were just kind of hugging each other and swatting the air around each other’s heads.


I went bowling on Friday and Saturday night, and was very pleased with myself. After a month or so of bowling at least once a week, I’m finally improving! On Friday, I bowled four games in a row with a score above 100! Weak, I know, but way better than my prior average of 70. Saturday wasn’t as good ‘cuz I was really tired after all that traveling. I didn’t realize it took two and a half hours to get to Leavenworth. Maybe it just felt like a long ride because I was one of three people crammed in the back of a two-door coup. At least I wasn’t driving! I didn’t drink any beer at Oktoberfest, except for a couple sips of Becky’s and John’s. It turns out I was right all along: beer really is disgusting. I wasn’t imagining it. In addition to not drinking, I also didn’t dance. Well, ok, I danced once. They forced me to do the chicken dance, which I was seriously unhappy about. But I did eat two (count them: two!) bratwurst, so I feel I still got the Oktoberfestive experience. Photos: my msn space (not all of them are mine).

On Sunday, I met Jacque in Issaquah for the Salmon Days festival. Man, those salmon get big! There's a salmon ladder with windows on the side so you can watch these suckers jumping upstream. Those fish are hardcore! As Jacque said, if you're ever feeling discouraged about your life, go watch a bunch of salmon jump repeatedly against a wall. I don't know if it'll make you feel better or feel worse, but it'll make you feel something, that's for sure.


Wouldn’t mind Zach Braff in my tub.

Le sigh. John has informed me that NBC hasn’t yet announced when Scrubs will premier. Apparently, those two episodes I saw a month ago were...something else. I don’t know what season those came from. Now I’m sad…I’ll have to watch my DVDs of seasons 1 and 2 to get my fix.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fall Has Fallen

With Seattle’s mild, wet, and inconsistent weather patterns, autumn sometimes creeps in so slowly, you don’t even really get to see the leaves change and fall. Well, that hasn’t happened this year. Despite sunshine and temperatures in the high 70’s, fall has most definitely arrived, and for once, I’m kind of enjoying it. On Saturday, I’ll be heading to Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, a little Bavarian village up in the mountains where the leafy color change is always particularly breathtaking. Also, there will be German sausage. I can’t wait!


My step-mom turns on the TV as background noise when she gets home from work. The news is on for a couple hours, which is kinda nice because I never take the initiative to either watch or read the news, so I’m generally clueless about what’s going on in our world. It’s usually boring, useless information anyway, or melodramatic retellings of stories we heard yesterday, but this isn’t a discussion about the relevance of the evening news. It’s a discussion about the relevance of “Inside Edition.” (Hint: there isn’t any.) “Inside Edition” comes on after the news, and after “Evening Magazine” (gag me with a spork), and has to be the worst show on television, with the possible exception of “Access Hollywood,” which in my understanding, is basically the same show. These people are leaches. The thing is, I love gossip, even some celebrity gossip. I mean, I’m as keen as anyone to see Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton sock someone in the nose, or to know who Mischa Barton is BFF with this week. But “Inside Edition” doesn’t cover interesting celebrities. They specialize in pseudo-celebrity gossip, Anna Nicole Smith and David Hasselhoff. I mean, seriously, David Hasselhoff? Are you kidding me? If I had David Hasselhoff’s career, I’d probably show up to a premier drunk, too, and expect absolutely no one to be surprised!

Okay, sorry. I just really hate that show. I have never before enjoyed watching “Jeopardy,” but when “Inside Edition” comes on and my dad smiles conspiratorially, asking “Jeopardy?” it might as well be the greatest show on earth. I’ve always found Alex Trebek’s voice kind of self-righteous and snobby, but now I find it downright soothing.

I watched the new show “Ugly Betty” again. I watched the first episode and hated it, so I wasn’t really planning on watching it again, but my dad didn’t want to watch “My Name Is Earl” (if there's one thing I didn't inherit from my father, it's my sense of humor). I had every intention of switching over to “The Office” at the half-hour mark, but I completely forgot and now I’m kicking myself! Argh! That makes two weeks in a row! And I haven’t seen “Scrubs” in weeks. I don’t even know if it’s still on, and if not, why on earth not? I’m clearly having issues with television lately. I might as well have stayed in France! At least there I saw an occasional episode of “Scrubs.” Luckily, I have “Arrested Development” on DVD to sustain me. Thanks Sara! I’ll be done with them…eventually. I’m nearing the end of season two, so anytime now.

Le sigh. Since TV has let me down, I will now turn to the internet to fill the emptiness in my life. Which reminds me of a poem:

"Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair...covered the emptiness of my hand." Ah, classic stuff, that. Poetry doesn't get much better.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I Think You Mean "Footloose and Fancy-Free"

This weekend, I hung out with my friend, Emilie, and her friend. Emilie has Asperger's syndrome, which is a disorder on the autistic spectrum (it's basically high-functioning autism). We got on the subject of crushes and boyfriends, and Emilie was chastising her friend and me for not having boyfriends. We, of course, defended ourselves (and womankind) by pointing out that a woman doesn't need to have a man in order to live a happy and fulfilling life, and in fact, life can be much easier when you don't have a boyfriend to stress about. You have more freedom, at least in your schedule. She thought about it, then replied, "Well, yeah, I guess you can be fruitless and happy-free."

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Potential Workaholic

At five o'clock today, after I'd been at work for over 8 hours, I was thinking about what I would do at work tomorrow. Then I realized today was Friday, and I was sad. Sad that I wouldn't be coming to work tomorrow. Should I be worried about my mental health?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hello, Again

My new job is AWESOME!! (and I’m not just saying that because I know my boss has my url; it really is awesome). I’m having so much fun. I can’t tell you any details of what I actually do, because it’s hush hush, top secret, and I’d have to kill you if I did, but suffice it to say that I’m saving the world and you all owe me a huge debt of gratitude (monetary thanks are not required, but always appreciated).


To celebrate my first day, I went over to Jacque’s apartment Monday night and partook of my most favoritest activity in the whole entire world: exercise! Yippee. I don’t know why I’m still friends with that girl…Oh, yeah, it’s because she fed me pizza and goldfish crackers.


Amy: I went to the doctor today, and it turns out I don’t have strep throat.

Pops: They already got the lab tests back?

Jody: They can’t rule out strep that quickly.

Becky: Maybe they can. Maybe they have new techniques.

The entire family (yes, including me) then spends fifteen minutes debating (shouting over each other) whether or not strep throat can be diagnosed in less than 24 hours, whether or not Amy needs to find a new doctor, whether or not Kaiser doctors are as useless as Group Health doctors, whether or not Amy’s doctor is hot, thus causing Amy to overlook his inadequacies at diagnosing strep throat, and whether or not Amy will ever succeed to find and marry a hot doctor, like we’re all expecting her to do. I mean, who goes to USC to major in environmental studies? We all know her real motive…


The dog got a bath in the downstairs bathroom, and now the walls are dusted with a layer or long, golden fur. It makes them look soft, like someone used carpet as wallpaper. It’s interesting to live with this dog; she sheds like a maniac and drools all over the kitchen floor, so you’re socks get wet from walking around and you have to watch out for fur in your food. Fun times!

Izzi, where is that letter you promised me? It had better be in the mail already, or else I’ll come hunt you down in London, and I so don’t want to have to do that.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Feel Brand New!

Alright, Izzi, I'll spare you the pain. I caved in and bought it. Now I can take pictures of it with the flash. Jacque, you're probably right about the tax; I wasn't thinking it through clearly. That's why I keep you around.

I love this coat so much. This is the first time I have ever looked forward to winter! It's also the first time I've ever owned a designer label (DKNY). I feel so sophisticated.

I also got my hair "done." Basically my whole life, all I've ever done with my hair is get it trimmed or cut shoulder length, straight across. A couple years ago, I started getting it very lightly layered (very lightly). I've been pretty bored with it lately, though, so I got it more drastically layered this time. It still looks long (actually, it looks longer than it did before), but it frames my face much better. Plus, it makes me look older! Hooray for not looking 14 years old! Photos of coat and haircut, or perhaps coat with haircut, will be forthcoming.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Hate Making Decisions!

I had lunch with my new boss today. I’m getting really excited to start working, but I don’t start for another week. Can’t wait any longer!!

I went to go look at “my” coat again, just to make sure I wasn’t inflating its wonderfulness. I wasn’t. It’s wonderful. I love it all the more confidently having seen it a second time. And the general assembly (minus Becky) thinks I should go for it. I was talking about it with my dad last night, and I decided I should wait until I receive my first paycheck, and then if the coat is still there, I’ll buy it. If it’s gone, I’ll take it as a sign from God that it wasn’t meant to be mine. I was happy with this plan, willing to take the chance. But no, fate, or perhaps God himself, decided to rush things along a bit. When I went in to see it again today, I asked a sales-woman if it would be going on sale any time soon. She told me two sad things: 1.) It’s new, so it’s not going on sale any time soon, and 2.) They won’t be getting any more in; it’s a one-time thing. If my size sells out (and there are only two to begin with), that’s it.

Seeing that my heart was breaking, she offered me this salve: if I open a store credit card, I get 15% off. Furthermore, tomorrow is a special “Shop for a Cause” promotion where you donate $5 to some charity and you receive 20% off anything you buy. So 15% plus 20% off. But only tomorrow. So I have to decide RIGHT AWAY if I should go ahead and charge it (having not yet received any paycheck and having no idea when I can expect to receive the first one) or if I should wait and pay full price when I get the paycheck, and risk it being gone already. I hate being a grown-up. I can't make decisions! I mean, do I take this offer as a sign from God that I should buy it, or what?

I took pictures of it, but I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to take pictures, and I was too chicken to ask, so I didn’t use the flash (I didn’t want to attract attention). In other words, the pictures are fuzzy, so I artificially sharpened them. They look pretty pixelated, but you get a better idea for the color/texture of the coat.

I’ll let all y’all know what I decide about it. In other news, I’m getting a haircut tomorrow, and I’m trying to figure out if I would look cute or absolutely disgusting with bangs (that’s “fringe,” Izzi). I’ll probably chicken out and end up with just a trim. Again, the goal here is to look more my age, and less like a 14-year-old.

Two hundred and forty-one dollars. That's what I figured out, and that is certainly manageable, I believe. Here, I'll show my work:

Start with $325. Subtract 20% (the 15% will apparently show up on the credit card statement).



Our sales tax is (I think) 8.9%, so add that.



Then take 15% off (I'm assuming this is how they'll do it).


283.14-42.471=240.669, or roughly $241.

Friday, September 15, 2006

How Much Is Too Much to Spend?

I have fallen into a forbidden love. I’ve been looking for a winter/fall coat lately, one that is stylish and doesn’t make me look like a preteen. All the coats I’ve owned lately make me look 14 years old, which is funny, because when I was 14, I wore coats that made me look like a 40-year-old housewife. Anyhoo, I know coats are pricey, so I expected to pay anywhere up to $250 (which is the absolute upper limit, right?) I was at the mall, casually browsing, when I stumbled upon, basically, the perfect coat. I mean, my ideal coat. I don’t know any fashion lingo, so I don’t know how to describe it. I think it was…wool? It has a hood, which is rare in that type of coat, but which is something I always look for in a coat. I mean, for goodness sake, I live in Seattle. I hate umbrellas, so I pretty much have to have a hood to keep from getting my hair soaked. In deciding to get a new, stylish jacket, I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be able to have a hood and that I would have to carry an umbrella from now on. And then I find my dream coat, and guess what? It has a hood. The coat is pinkish, brownish, tannish (I think?). I tried to find a picture online, but neither the store nor the brand has it listed on their website.

Anyway, it was beautiful and cute and oh-so-me. And $325. Do I take it as a sign that it was not meant to be? Or do I suck it up and take it like a woman? Because, let’s face it, there are quite a few women out there who wouldn’t hesitate to drop that much money (and more!) for a pair of strappy heels they’ll wear maybe twice in their life. So, if I did buy this coat, I wouldn’t be the least-sensical woman in the world, right? I’d be in good company. Well, lots of company, at least. I mean, I am not the type of girl who spends money for a label. I’d rather shop at J.C. Penney than Abercrombie or Hollister. I avoid overspending whenever possible. I’d generally buy the cheaper version of a product, even if it’s uglier or more boring. So don’t I deserve a little indulgence, especially if it’s on something that I’ll wear for at least two seasons? And that’s another thing! I’m not one to change my wardrobe every season or every year or even every five years. So it’s not like I’m going to be buying a whole new coat next winter. I’ll likely continue wearing this one for a few years, whereas if I buy a cheaper one that I don’t adore as much, I may end up being tired of it in a year. I’ll have to buy another cheaper coat that I don’t love, and I’ll get tired of that quickly, and then I’ll have to buy another and another. In the end, I’ll spend more money overall and on coats that don’t suit me as well. It would be financially irresponsible not to buy this coat.

Furthermore, some of the coats I've seen, uglier, more boring coats, have been over five hundred dollars, so it could be worse, right? In comparison, $325 isn't so bad!

There. I feel I have justified myself in case I do cave in and buy it. And I probably will, just as soon as I get my first paycheck. I was planning on buying myself a first-paycheck gift, anyway (though I wasn’t planning on it being over three hundred dollars).

The weather turned completely sour yesterday, what with intermittent rain and temperatures dropping thirty degrees from Tuesday, and this provided me with ample opportunity to imagine myself wearing my dream coat. Someone mentioned that this was likely to be a big snow year, and my first thought wasn’t of Christmas or skiing or walks in the snow at night, but of me in that jacket, being warm and snuggly. It has invaded my psyche. I must go see it again and make sure I wasn’t just romanticizing it, that it really is perfect and wonderful.

Do stores still do layaway?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Surprise, Surprise, I'm Tired

I’m glad I don’t work (yet), because this was a long weekend and I think I need a couple days to recover. I'm so pathetic. I didn't even drink, I just didn't sleep. I went bowling with Jacque and we didn’t get back to Jacque’s apartment until 5:30am. Then she had to leave again at 6am for a church function. She didn’t get much sleep Friday night, either. I don’t know how she does it. I’d be completely useless after all that, but she got up bright and early this morning to go to work. Crazy girl. I myself slept for a solid two hours before heading to church, then slept for a couple hours after church, then headed back out on the town.

I rarely ever bowl, so it's no surprise I totally stink at it. I bowled as I always do: one game is bad, the next is decent, the next is embarrassing, the next is amazing (I got a turkey shoot!) and the final games are bad again. My high score was 168, but my average was in the 70s.

In other news, my room has been fumigated and two large wolf spiders lost their lives this weekend, so hopefully my monster problem has been solved, at least for the time being. I can rest easy again, except now I'm a little paranoid the bug spray will poison me. Ah, sweet sweet paranoia.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Finally, I Can Buy Drugs Again!

I posted three new photo albums on my msn site...and I just now realized that I should probably provide the link to that site, shouldn't I? Anyhoo, three new cities. So now there should be Carcassonne, Arles, Nice, Limoges, Tours/Chenonceau, Dinan, and St. Malo. Yes folks, all that for the low low price of $29.95! And if you buy now, you'll get three more cities in the next two days, FREE!

Okay, enough. Here's the link: Yay! And here's another teaser:

That there's Chenonceau castle. The back wing
of it is built over the river, so you can cross over to the
other side just by walking through the castle.

Also, um, I got a job! Yippee! After four hours of interviewing, they owe it to me, right? I haven't received the offer letter yet, so I don't know the details just yet, but I'm super excited. I can't wait to start (in two weeks)! Before long, I'll have an income again, and health insurance! I haven't had medical or dental (or vision) coverage in a year and a half. Now I can get all my meds again! Yay! Inhalers and prescription Speed, here I come!

Of course, I'm also interested in the job itself, not just the benefits. I'm so excited to get back into molecular biology; it's been too long. I can't wait to hold a pipettor again, and set up a PCR mix, and use beakers and flasks and graduated cylinders, oh my! Next stop, Nobel Prize.

Friday, September 08, 2006

You Go Ahead, Let Your Hair Down

Le sigh. "Scrubs" premiered last night, with two (TWO!) episodes! All is right with the world. I remember in the past I've had to wait until November for it to premier, so I totally wasn't expecting anything good to be on last night when I turned the TV on. But lo and behold, there was my precious Zach Braff doing the open narration. Swoon!

Alright, I've made a decision. I realize that I still haven't written about my three week trip around France (it's kind of daunting; I mean, THREE WEEKS??) and I haven't posted pictures. I was working on loading my pictures into Flickr, when it informed me I couldn't do something I wanted to do, so I've decided I officially hate Flickr (I didn't like it much before, so this was the proverbial final straw). I was thinking about how I could possibly just display all my pictures easily on the internet, and the only thing I came up with was to post them on my MSN space. It's odd, because I started my MSN space last October for the sole purpose of uploading my photos for all the world to see, and now I'm struggling to find a place to upload my photos for all the world to see.

So, as much as I hate to do this, I think I'm gonna post my photos on my MSN space, while continuing to blog here on Blogger. I know it's stupid, but whatever. I'm over it already. Here's a teaser, though:

Amy as Dumb Blonde

In other news, I spent all of yesterday being obsessed with a new favorite song, "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. The chorus to it was running through my head ALL DAY LONG. It's good. Y'all should check it out.

So, to recap, go to my MSN space to check out my photos of France and other stuff, and go out and listen to "Put Your Records On." I will try to write something about my trip...someday...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Monster Under My Bed

The last couple nights, I’ve been half-awoken by a scratching sound in my room. I worried that it might be mice in the walls or something, but assumed I was imagining it and didn’t worry too much about it.

Last night, I was sitting on my bed, reading, when something black, multi-legged, and HUGE dashed out from under my bed and across the floor. It stopped to rest in front of my bookcase, so when I overcame the shock, I approached it for a closer look. Now, I had already removed my contact lenses, and I’m very nearly blind without them, so I couldn’t get close enough to see the monster without actually touching it, and that just wasn’t gonna happen. But I leaned in as close as comfort would allow, and the horrible thing suddenly took off running TOWARDS me. I almost died of heart attack. It took me a long time to catch my breath after that, and then I had to work up the nerve to walk over near it again, and grab my most textbook-like book off my bookshelf (“America” by the Daily Show staff.) I then took a good five-minutes to work up the nerve to throw the book onto the rotten creature, but the thing scuttled out of the way just as the book landed. It went and hid in another bookcase, where I couldn’t reach it, so I had to go to bed knowing there was a disgusting beast lying in wait for me. Of course, I couldn’t fall asleep then, so I lay in bed praying it would stay put and not decide to crawl all over me in my sleep. As I’m trying to force myself to think of other things (raindrops on roses and all that), I hear the scratching sound of movement I’ve been hearing for the last few nights. GREAT! I don’t have mice, just the hugest spider I’ve ever seen in my life, not including tarantulas. Needless to say, my sleep was fitful at best.

So now I’m trying to get up and start my day, but I’m afraid to do anything! I certainly can’t spend any time in my bedroom, but every dark spot on the wall or carpet that I see in any room of the house, I mistake for a spider. And I’m paranoid I have spiders crawling all over me. Ick. I’m gonna go sit in my car with the doors locked and sob. See y’all later.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bit by the Fashion Bug

I’m kind of amateurishly obsessed with fashion, meaning that I’m obsessed with it, but have no sense of style. Furthermore, I’m too scared of violating fashion rules, or of attracting attention to myself, to actually do anything interesting with fashion or try any new looks. But still, I love to shop and I hatehatehate being too poor to do it.

I hate it so much that, whenever I’m too poor to buy new clothes, I dream about shopping. I dream about finding the most adorable clothes, and not being able to afford them. IT’S TORTURE! I dreamt about shopping the other night, and my mind conjured up an adorable, short-sleeved knit top with a low-cut, rounded neckline. It was so cute! I want it! The worse part is, not only do I not have the money to buy it, but it also doesn’t exist! It was just a dream! Oh, the injustice of it all!

Le sigh.

I currently covet these from Urban Outfitters, in ivory, magenta, or navy (or all of the above, of course), but especially navy:

Saturday, September 02, 2006


So, I had my big interview yesterday. The company has all of 16 people, and 10 of them interviewed me. Nice. I spent 30 minutes with each of them (don’t do that math; it won’t come out right). I feel pretty good about it, but I really have no idea how they felt about me. I won’t hear back for at least TWO WEEKS! Yikes!

Okay, that’s all that’s happened lately. Tonight, I help Jacque move into her very own apartment! So exciting! I’m hungry now, but what to eat? I’m craving something deep-fried…

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Would Somebody Please Hire Me?!?

Hello, everyone. Long time, no write. Or read, for that matter. I’ve been neglecting everyone, but at least I’m neglecting you all equally, right?

So we’re into week five since I applied for my two almost-ideal jobs, and I still haven’t heard from either of them. They have one more week before I write them off completely (ooh! A threat!) Meanwhile, I have an interview tomorrow (yay!) for a slightly-less-than-ideal job, which is certainly not too shabby. It’s the only interview I’ve had all summer, and beggars can’t be choosers, right?

I’ve been highly disturbed to notice lately that it only took one and a half months in Seattle for my tan to fade into oblivion. Toulouse starts to get hot and sunny in March, and by July, I had worked up the darkest tan of my life. Basically, I went from glaring, translucent white to a nice, human shade of peach. Traveling around France for three weeks (which I realize I still haven’t written about) especially helped my tan along, so that I thought I would nice and sort of golden until at least October. But no. Seattle is just so pathetically sunlit that less than two months here has erased all memory of a tan. And it’s not that it’s been cloudy here. There have been a fair number of sunny days, some of them as hot as 90 degrees F (32 C). I have got to get out of this town. I need more sun! Doesn’t make much sense, though, that my number one choice of city to go to is London. Whatevs!

I did what I could to remedy my tint condition by going to Wild Waves with Becky and John the other day. I think we were the only people over 20 years old without children. It’s good to be unique, though, right? It was sunny and pretty warm, and I managed to get only very slightly sunburned. Now I’m kinda tan again, so it’s all good.

Okay, enough inane babble for today. Wish me luck in the job search!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Rambling Gene

My grandmother gave me some interesting news while we were visiting on Sunday. We were on the topic of geneology, and apparently, I'm 1/8 Norwegian! Isn't that exciting? I had no idea I was that big a fraction anything. I could totally go to Norway and act like I own the place! And also, some of my ancestors somewhere on my dad's side were some of the first settlers of America back in the 1600's. I have at least three ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, so I'm a true-blue American after all! I thought I was just a western European mutt with no roots or heritage, but no! I have roots! Yay me!

I was also reminded of one of the traits I've inherited from my grandfather. My grandfather loves to hear himself talk, and he usually tells stories about his past (or rants about "society these days"). When he talks, he does a few characterisitic things:

1. He rambles on forever without prompting
2. He goes on tangents and completely forgets his original point
3. He gives WAY too much background information

For example, Grandma mentioned "The Phantom Tollbooth" and Gramps took off talking about some quote from the book. He started in on the background information to set up delivery of the quote, then went off on a tangent inspired by the background info, rambled on for a while about why corporal punishment should be allowed in schools and how society's current problems all stem from the point in history at which corporal punishment was abolished in America's public schools. He never got back to the quote from the book, but no one really noticed anyway.

Anyway, I realized that I totally inherited this from my grandpa. Rambling on forever? Check. Tangents? Check (this is more a problem when I speak, and I don't really do it too much in my weblogging.) WAY too much background information? Check. I'm particularly bad at that one. I had to give a ten-minute presentation for work once, and my practice run was 20 minutes long because I was trying to give too much background info.

I guess I've been kind of self-conscious about this trait, but now that I realize both my dad and grandfather have it, too, I feel less self-conscious about it. I can't help it! It's in my genes!

Wouldn't it be cool to be the one to isolate the gene(s) responsible for rambling?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What I Do When I Should Be Doing Something Else

Lazy, lazy, lazy. Yesterday, I slept until 1:30 in the afternoon. Eek! Today, I set my alarm for 8, hit snooze when it went off, slept until 9, then went back to sleep again until 10. I have issues.

I've been going through everything I own, trying to weed out the unnecessary, and I ended up with two and a half boxes of books I didn't want. I took them to Half Price Books to sell, and they gave me a measly 40 bucks! For two and a half boxes! Okay, okay, I know that's pretty reasonable. I don't know how much I was expecting to get; just, more, I guess. At any rate, I now have 40 dollars cash. Sweet! I've been walking around for the last three weeks with exactly one dollar, so that's definitely an improvement. One of these days, I'm gonna go through all my clothes and hawk them somewhere. My room here at my dad's is a total mess, almost the entire floor covered with my junk, and I'm sitting here doing what? Blogging. Like I said, lazy, lazy, lazy.

At least this weekend I'll be busy, busy, busy. Nickel Creek concert tonight, my dad's showing me around Renton tomorrow morning, a birthday party in the afternoon, something (can't remember what) in the evening, then we're driving down to Vancouver on Sunday to visit my grandparents (me gran's a wee bit ill). I haven't applied for any other laboratory jobs (I want to wait until I know that I definately did not get either of the two I really want), but I've been applying for waitressing jobs. Ick. What am I thinking? I hated waitressing! Oh, right, I'm thinking of the money. Money, money, money.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Le Sigh

Um, okay. So, I haven’t blogged in quite a while. Shall we recap?

The weekend of the 29th, my former step-dad (is a step-dad always a step-dad?) got married. To someone other than my mom. In order to ignore that fact and try to forget about it, my mom decided to go to an out-of-town resort for the weekend, and she took Jody and me with her (Becky and Amy went to the wedding, securing spots for themselves in my mother’s doghouse.) I had no desire to go to the wedding, but I was anxious about spending the whole weekend with my mom. Our lives have been rife with drama lately, and we haven’t been getting along well.

We went to Sun Mountain Resort, near Winthrop, WA, and it was really nice. Jody and I went horseback riding, and we all went for a chuck-wagon breakfast. It was beautiful, but I was on edge for much of the weekend.

The following Wednesday, Ross (my former step-dad), invited my sisters and me over for pizza. His new wife was there, and it was extremely awkward for me to be seeing Ross for the first time since November, and to have this strange new woman. It was odd seeing our old house and our old stuff being used by the two of them. It felt good to see Ross again, but I couldn’t really talk to him or catch up with him in that setting.

Anyway, he gave me some of my mom’s mail that had been sent to his house, and I waited until Saturday to give it to her. I was scared to tell her that I’d been to his house, because I knew she’d be upset (even though she told me she would be fine if I hung out with him). I’m not really going to get into the details, because it’s too hard to explain the nature of our relationship with our mom, but after a two-hour discussion, she asked me to move out. I’ve wanted to move out for a while, so I was mostly okay with this, but it probably could have come at a better time. Like, when I wasn’t broke as a joke and unemployed. It’s not that big a deal, though, because the rest of my family is being totally supportive and my dad and his wife welcomed me into their home with open arms.

It’s just hard to have my mom upset with me when I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. My heart, conscience, brain, whatever is telling me I didn’t do anything and that I’m a good person, but my mom is trying her darnedest to convince me otherwise.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. My laptop isn’t yet set up for internet here, so I’m not sure how often I’ll be blogging or reading blogs, but I hope everyone is doing okay out there in blogland. Bisous!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And so it begins...

Oh jeez. I’m a total klutz! I found this awesome job listing for a position that would be pretty doggone close to perfect for me, and I started getting together everything I would need to apply for it. I polished up my résumé and wrote a cover letter explaining why I’m well qualified for the job, then I filled out the company’s application. I even started to draft the email I was going to send them. The thing is, I wasn’t going to apply just yet because I was going to wait for my mom to proof-read my résumé and cover letter. So I got the email all ready to go, with everything attached, and I went to press “Save Now,” and accidentally pressed “Send.” OF COURSE. I almost started hyper-ventilating. I immediately pressed “Cancel” and “Discard” and everything I could think of, but it was already flying through the system of tubes that apparently make up the Internet.

There’s not really any reason to panic, yet. I think it should all be fine, but I wanted to make sure my résumé was perfect before sending it. Oh well. I need to chill and trust the Big Guy that they will love me and my résumé and beg me to come work for them.

*sigh* Now I just have to wait four to six weeks, which I find completely unnerving. Their website said that I would only hear from them if they were interested in interviewing me, and that would be between four and six weeks from now. If they don’t want to interview me, I won’t ever hear anything from them. So I’ll have to wait TWO MONTHS to know if I got through the first trial, or if my résumé was indeed less than perfect. ARGH. Furthermore, they don’t list a phone number on the website to call them and check on application status. Come on, people! Throw me a freakin’ bone, here!

Anyway, this makes my first job application this summer! Yippee! It is kind of a relief to have that behind me, despite the stress of not having meant to do it yet. Now I can say that I am actively searching for a job. I will celebrate this productive day by visiting blogs (I know it's been a while). Later!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Oh, hey, what's up?

I feel like I no longer have anything to blog about. I have nothing to say now that I’m home. Were I to blog of my daily goings-on, I’m not sure it would be all that interesting. My blog is no longer French-flavored. I don’t know if you all find it boring, now, but I certainly do. Haha!

Honestly, though, I have been busy lately. So busy that I haven’t even started looking for a job. Bad, Kusems, bad! There’s so much I need and want to do, but I’ve been spending every day with my sisters. Alright, I need to be more fair to myself. Let’s see, how did my week go?

Monday, I went to the mall with all my sisters and John, and I bought gifts for my French host family, so that’s good. Tuesday, I spent the day in the U-district. I stopped by my old lab and said “hi” to all my old coworkers (yay!), I ate lunch downtown with my Pops (yay!), and I did some library research for HIV research labs in Seattle. In the evening, I hung out with my sisters and John again, mostly just sitting and talking with Amy. Her young ‘un boyfriend (not yet 17!!) broke up with her on Monday night, and she was a teensy bit sad. Wednesday, I hung out again with Amy, Becky, and John, and their friend. We went walking in Discovery Park, through the woods. I don’t know why, but woods always make me think of fairy tales. Anyhoo, we had dinner at an Indian restaurant in Ballard (yum yum), then went to Marymoor Park to watch “Office Space” in the open air. I totally pigged out on kettle corn, which brings me to Thursday, when the apparently lethal combination of Indian food and way too much kettle corn gave me indigestion and, um, let's just say "discomfort" that lasted the whole day. I tried to look for jobs online, but was too sick to concentrate, so I watched TV instead. In the evening, I hung out with my wonderful, adorable, awesome friend, Jacque. We saw “The Devil Wears Prada” at the Lincoln Square cinemas in Bellevue. I found the movie a bit disappointing. I haven’t read the book, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but for some reason, I was expecting a kind of original story. It wasn’t original at all. That story has been done to death. Every pre-teen television show that has ever existed has used this plot line at least once. I mean, if you’re gonna use it, at least spice it up a bit, so as to make a distinction between your movie/show and every other movie/show that has already run this plot line into the ground. That said, I did mostly enjoy the movie. And I definitely enjoyed seeing Jacque again.

Friday, I hung out with another friend, then hung out with Becky. Today, I was supposed to go bike-riding with my mother, who has not touched a bike in…over 15 years, I think. It was her suggestion, and while I was shocked that she would voluntarily wear a bike helmet, I was excited to get a little “wheel time,” as my slightly nerdy dad calls it. Well, this morning I kind of rushed my mom and got all snotty when she wanted me to set all the bikes up for her, so she decided she didn’t want to do it after all. Personally, I suspect that the lack of sunshine had something to do with her giving up on the bike-riding plan. She said she wasn’t upset, but she must be at least slightly pissed at me because she took my car who knows where and didn’t invite me along, so I’m stuck at the house. Alone. With nothing to do, which explains why I’m finally blogging.

Tonight should be better, though. Becky and I and my friend, Sara, are going to go see Michael Showalter of “Stella” fame. Swoon! I’m really excited. He’s so adorable! I have a sort of crush on him, but I think he’s at least a decade older than me. Not that that’s a bad thing, Jacque!

I guess I should look for jobs. *whine*

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Les Animaux

I live in a small suburb on the eastside of Seattle named Redmond. Despite being a center of technology as home to Microsoft and Nintendo of America, Redmond is a small city and still has a small town feel to it. Our house is a couple miles out of town, out in farmland, so we sometimes see wildlife around us. This morning, as I was walking down our long driveway to the mailbox, I frightened two male deer that were hanging out on our lot. And that is why, despite the rain and the gray, this is such an awesome place to live. I love it and I hate it at the same time. Darn it, why can’t I make up my mind?!?

While I was in France, Jody decided she wanted a dog. We already have one dog, an old shih tzu named Charlie Brown with eye, ear, and skin problems. He’s getting really old these days. Apparently, the oven/stove frightens him. Anyway, Jody decided she wanted a new dog, so she and my mom adopted a Rhodesian Ridgeback (sounds like a dragon from Harry Potter). Since I got home, I’ve been trying to get used to this dog. It feels odd to me that the dog has been adopted into the home, and has routines and habits, and its stuff is all over the house, without me. I realize that sentence is really poorly worded, but can you understand what I’m trying to say? It would be like if you went off to college, and during the school year, your parents adopted an eleven-year-old girl from China, you know? And the girl’s stuff was in your bathroom, her shampoo where your shampoo used to be. It would be weird. Trust me.

We went to a dog park today, and this guy was asking about our dog’s breed, because she’s a ridgeback, but she’s actually a mix. And I guess he could tell. But anyway, Jody was all, “Yeah, she has Norwegian Ridgeback in her.” Hahaha! Norwegian Ridgeback! Haha! (I’m not the only one laughing, am I?)

So I know I should write about my trip, but I find the task daunting. I don’t really know what to say about it. I have about a million photos that I’m trying to sort through. The trip was really cool, but a bit of a whirlwind. The first week or so was fine because we stayed a few days in the same places, but the middle bit was insane because we were spending each night in a different town. Since we were traveling by train, this didn’t leave us much time for sightseeing. If you’re ever planning to travel around France, and you want to see smaller towns, don’t go by train! Rent a car!

Anyhoo, lessons learned and all that. We had fun. And it was nice to spend quality time with my sis, even though there were a couple times where I felt like strangling her. I hope this trip has taught me patience. At any rate, it’s really good to be home.

So, I’ll write more about the trip when it’s a little less daunting. I mean, how do you summarize three weeks of travel? It ain’t easy. I’ll work on it, though. Meanwhile, I also have tons of catching up to do on my favorite blogs. I think I’ll work on that now. Laters!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My First Ever Blog on American Soil

Yes, that's right, folks. I'm home. In America, in Seattle, in the rain (it really is raining!), in the gray and the green, in Redmond, in my cute little house, with my wonderful family (or at least within 15 miles of all of them), in my big, huge, giant room, on my bed with the pillow-top mattress that is, quite frankly, to die for. Not that I mind sleeping on flat-as-a-board Ikea mattresses, cuz I really don't. I could sleep on anything, at any time, under any conditions. But the pillow-top mattress is like icing on the cake that is sleep, wonderful, beautiful sleep.

Okay, I might be a little jet-lagged and tired. I might be really tired. I might have wanted to go to bed two hours ago, but forced myself to wait until at least 8 o'clock at night to give in to the waves of fatigue. Jody asked me if I wanted to watch a movie (Donnie Darko, in case you were wondering) and I really didn't think I could make it out awake. But the computer, that's another story. It doesn't matter how tired I am, the computer makes me forget all my fatigue. I could stay on for hours...but I shouldn't. I really do need sleep.

Anyway, um, I guess I'll write a bit about my travels later. If I feel like it. Eh. Can't be arsed to care at the moment. I'm sure good manners will kick in after a nice long slumber.

But before I go off to bed (still six minutes to go), I thought I'd talk a little bit about my future husband. His name is Sean Biggerstaff (heehee!) and he played Oliver Wood (heehee!) in the first two Harry Potter movies. Jody downloaded a short film that he did called "Cashback," and she showed it to me earlier, and now I am all the more in love with him. He's so adorable! The movie's good, too. The only thing I didn't like about it was the fact that he speaks with a British accent, and not his totally hot Scottish accent. Le sigh.

Okay, enough. I'm not the boy-crazy type, really, but I felt like gushing just a wee bit.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Last French Blog

Oi vay. So much to say. First off, this is (likely) the last blog you will be getting from me for three weeks. I’d better make it good…

Becky was supposed to be here already. She was supposed to arrive three hours ago, but one of her flights was delayed and she missed the connecting flight. Before I knew this, I was very nervous waiting for her at the airport, I don’t know why. Anyway, that nervousness quickly became worry and confusion when her flight arrived, and she wasn’t on it. Oh well. It’s all good. She managed to send me an email, though it wasn’t too helpful. She said, and I quote, “I’m flying in to Toulouse at 2:40pm,” from Amsterdam. Well. I asked Its Majesty the Almighty Internet (ain’t I savvy?) and it told me there was a flight from Amsterdam to Toulouse that leaves Amsterdam at 2:40pm. There is no flight from Ams to Tls at 2:40. Anyhoo, I’m not going to the airport again until 4:35. So there. It’s sad, because I was gonna show her Toulouse, and now we don’t have much time. Oh well, Toulouse isn’t much to see, anyway. If you’re ever planning a trip to France, don’t go out of your way to come here. Though they do have some nice gardens…le sigh. Hélas.

This last weekend was my very last weekend in Toulouse, but my host parents were out of town, so I had to babysit the kiddies. Meaning I couldn’t go out for a “last weekend” bash. Not that I would have, anyway, but I didn’t have a choice! So Jascha and I decided we would go out Monday night (last night) to make up for it. I had a really good time. We rode bikes (!) all the way into town. The street we took is almost completely flat and mostly straight. It was a really relaxing ride. In town, we met up with Jascha’s friend, Sarah (not to be confused with my British friend named Sarah), and we bought some beers and headed down to the river. I, of course, had to ask (just to be sure) if we could walk around the streets with beers, and Sarah (who is French, btw) laughed and said that was a typically American question. Chez nous, you can’t drink booze except in a private setting, or in an establishment that has a liquor license (I think). Pedestrian imbibing is strictly forbidden.

Anyway, we sat by the river and talked for a bit, all the while noticing occasional flashes of light in the distance. Then the flashes got closer and more frequent, and then it started raining. The rain started fairly light, but the raindrops were big and fat, so we headed to Sarah’s house. Before we got there, it started pouring. Bear in mind that Jascha and I were going to be riding home on bikes. Fun times! So we hung out at Sarah’s for an hour, waiting out the storm, which worked out, and it ended up staying dry for our whole ride home. Thank the Lord! Not that I mind a little rain. I mean, c’mon, I’m from Seattle.

Alright, so I’m gonna wrap this up. My sister and I leave Toulouse tomorrow morning, and embark on a whirlwind, 3-week tour of one quarter of France by train. Wish us luck! Provence, Côte d’Azur, Loire Valley, Brittany, Normandy, and Paris. And then we fly home to SEATTLE!! So, unless I manage to blog sometime during the trip, the next time you’ll hear from me, I’ll no longer be in France. Sad…But then the real adventure begins, because I get to start the job hunt! Yippee!! (That was a sarcastic “yippee,” by the way.)

À bientôt, mes chers amis! Prenez soin de vous.