Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Horror of Bows

I know I just posted, like, 2 seconds ago, but then I came across this very old picture, and I just had to post again.

The second one from the left is my sister. That is a bow on her head (there is also one on Lizzie's head - Lizzie was one of her best friends at the time). Most likely, our mother MADE her wear that bow. You see, she for some reason LOVED these hideous bows. If I'm not mistaken, I HAD to wear them up until 6th or 7th grade. I assume that it was the same for Kristen.

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade (it may have been earlier, but I kind of don't think so), my mother made a deal with me. She said that she would allow me to dress myself IF AND ONLY IF (IFF for the mathematiciens out there) I would wear a bow. It is the biggest shame of my youth that I had to wear one of those hideous things basically every day.

It's not just me, is it? They really are horrible, right? I am SO glad that they are out of style, and I do hope that they NEVER come back into style!

Last Classes and Missing Baseball

Today was my last day of work in France (if you don't count the private lessons that I am going to continue giving). To celebrate the end of a good school year, I decided that the kids and I would play BASEBALL, as it's an american pasttime. That doesn't exist AT ALL in France.

We had a great time, and I discovered 2 things.

1)Baseball is complicated!

There are a ton of rules, which I unfortunately didn't realize until I was trying to explain the rules to French students, most of whom had never before even seen a bat, ball, or glove. No matter how many times I explained it, they for all some reason wanted everyone who was not on a base to be immediately out when the pitcher got the ball. And they had trouble understanding the concept of "out." They also didn't understand why there needed to be a pitcher and a batter. They thought that the "batter" should just throw the ball into the field. Suffice it to say, when we played, we didn't exactly follow ALL of the rules - they just couldn't understand them. Even their regular teachers had trouble. Oh, and we also played with a raquet, because the bat was just an impossibility for them. And I certainly didn't go into anything like stealing bases or being out by touching a runner with the ball.

2)I miss playing baseball!
Okay, so I never really played baseball. When I was little, I played on a softball team for a few years, and, despite the fact that I remember loving it, I was horrible at it. Then I didn't play again for a while until the softball games at Universite Ste-Anne, where I learned French. Again, I loved it, but I was afraid to get too into it because of how much I remember sucking before. At NYU I participated occasionally in the monthly "Punk Rock Baseball" games held in central park. So the last time I played was in 2004, which was a very long time ago.
Today, showing them how to bat and run the bases, I realized that I desparately want to play again. I played soccer practically MY ENTIRE LIFE (with 1 year of pause my second year of high school and then 4 years of pause at NYU. And then I haven't played since moving to France. But I played between NYU and France while I was at McGill), but oddly enough, I think that I always PREFERRED baseball (or softball - whatever), which I very rarely played. Hmmmm. . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

Maniacal Laughter

The words Cellar Door, together, are supposed to be "intrinsically beautiful," according to J.R.R. Tolkein. These words together are widely believed to make one of the most beautiful sounds in the English language. Anyone who has seen Donnie Darko knows about this.

Personally, I just don't get it. I actually don't really even like how it sounds. Cellar door. I guess it's not that I don't like how it sounds - it's just that, it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for me.

Maniacal Laughter, on the other hand. Now,. . . that does something for me. If I had to pick the most beautiful word combination in the English language, it would definitely be "maniacal laughter." It sends shivers up my spine every time.

Am I the only one who hears it's awesomeness?

MANIACAL LAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe the Bouncing Souls get how I feel. Man, they picked a great name for their album!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Could also be known as FINALLY a short post (hopefully)!

Because I just realized that I totally forgot to write about our kitchen fire, and I thought it deserved a few lines.

Guillaume and I were having some friends over for dinner the other night:

Olivier and Audrey


Ben and Yann

(Sorry about the blurry crappiness of these pictures - they're just the ones that were taken that night that seem to be the only ones I can find of them)

I was making a vegetable lasagne and had pretty much everything ready and laid out over the counter, waiting to be assembled. I just had some last eggplant to heat up in the oven. I don't know what happen, but the silicon pan it was in caught on fire. I opened the oven, and there were ENORMOUS flames shooting out. I was all "Um, Guillaume, . . feu." I just kinda sat there shocked, doing nothing, thinking "Is our oven a gas oven? Does that even exist? I shouldn't put water on gas fires."

Luckily, Guillaume was a bit more on top of things than I was, and he ran over and immediately threw water on it. The fire went out, but our apartment was FULL of smoke and snowing ashes. ALL of the food got covered and was thus ruined. We cleaned for over an our trying to get the ash off of everything. This was over two weeks ago, and I am STILL finding ash. Ridiculousness!

I had made some delicious strawberry shortcakes for dinner as well, which luckily were covered and thus ended up being the only thing saved. Needless to say, we ended up at the Ethiopian restaurant and then came back chez us for dessert.

I guess we're just lucky it wasn't worse. If Guillaume hadn't been there, I'm sure I would have ended up burning down the house.

Does this count as a short post?

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's FRIDAY!!!! Yay! I don't know why, but I have been exceptionally tired this week, so I am looking forward to getting to sleep in tomorrow morning.

Thanks to those of you who wished me Bonne Fete! Guillaume offered me for my fete a beautiful orchid.

Isn't it beautiful? I've never had an orchid before, but I just LOVE it! Unfortunately, I don't really know how to take care of an orchid. Tips, anyone?
And while I'm posting pictures of plants, I've started an herb garden!!!!, which I am super psyched about.

As you can see, all but one of them have started to grow!!!! I keep telling myself it's not growing yet because it has a longer germination period, but unfortunately, I can't remember which herb it is in order to look it up. Smart of me to not put labels, right? Yay for herbs!

Anyhow, I am sad. Watashi wa kanashi desu.
First of all, Michael Jackson died yesterday. As everyone already knows. At 50 years old. So young! It really has me shaken up. Despite his ridiculousness as of late, he has always somehow seemed like an immortal kind of figure to me. He was so ultra mega archi cool back in the day. If I'm not mistaken, he was the first concert my sister ever saw. And my friend Ariane's favorite singer. And now it's just like, it's over. And it's sad and shocking, and I need to stop thinking about it now.

Secondly, today was my last day at Lucien Dauzie, the school that I work at in Noisiel. And I am going to miss the little kiddos. And they're so sweet, too. Normally, when I walk into the class, I say good morning, and then I ask "How are you?" They all respond together, "I'm good." Well, this morning, most of them responded "I am sad." Because they said they were going to miss me. And as much as I've been looking forward to no longer having to wake up ridiculously early and then spend my day disciplining, I'm going to miss working with kids. Now, I've got two days left at Le Segrais (my school in Lognes) and one day left at Henri Wallon (my school in Champs-Sur-Marne). Kinda sad.

I am also sad for another reason. The thing is, I have always gone to see all of the Harry Potter movies on opening day, because, like most people in the world, I loved the books, and I think the movies are awesome. Well, this year, it comes out in the United States on July 8th. I will be in France. It comes out in France on July 15th. I will be on an airplane on my way back to the United States. So there really is no way that I can see it on opening day. Not only that, but it looks like I am going to have to wait until a whole WEEK after the opening. :-( ::sadness::

Now, while I'm on the subject of Harry Potter, I've decided to watch the first five movies in the next couple weeks before going to see the 6th. So I watched the first one the other day, and I was SHOCKED by how ridiculously extraordinarly YOUNG Daniel Radcliffe looks in it. I mean, just look at his little baby face in the picture. He's totally grown up right in front of us as Harry Potter on the screen. And because of that, I didn't even notice. He really was just a baby when he started (okay, not in the Mary-Kate and Ashley starting as babies sense, but ya'll know what I mean). Now he's all a stud. Although apparently nowhere near as studly as on Mister Ronald Weasley.

I'm with Meg Cabot - what's up with Ron's broom? And Harry's wand? And are they TRYING to make Harry look all dumpy and ron look all studmuffinly? Apparantly the film is now being advertised as a romance. It all just seems very odd to me. I'm still mega psyched to see the movie. And mega sad that there will be no opening day seeage for Audrey.

Oh, and even though this is getting long, while I'm still on the subject of Harry Potter, I have recently discovered the most AWESOME genre of music. It's called Wizard Rock, and it's basically nerdy awesome pop punk about wizardly things with mega focus on Harry Potter. There are great bands with names like Gred and Forge (who are from Asheville, NC, with my bro Russell!), the Mudbloods, the Nifflers, Justin Finch Fletchley and the Sugar Quills, Gryffindor Common Room Rejects, the Hermione Crookshanks Experience, Harry and the Potters, etc. . . I have to say - I LOVE! Defo something worth checking out.

Now moving away from Harry Potter - Margaret came over for dinner last night.

That is her trying on the mask made by Tihomir Marincovik. We had delicious crepes with vegetables and a sort of split pea porridge. With an apple banana crumble for dessert. YUMMYNESS!!!! I am so sad that when I get back in August, she will be gone, and there will no longer be anyone with whom to have delicious votlucks.

And that's all, folks!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bonne Fete Ste-Audrey!!!!

I am annoyed.
I have been sick for over a week now. And it's not like I feel bad. I don't have a headache or a stomachache or even a sore throat. But I have been using at least 2 12 kleenex packs a day. Normally when I am sick like this, I use about one kleenex a day. This means that I have been using about 23 more than average. It's ridiculous, and I am SO over it.
But really, that's not the real reason I am annoyed.

LM.C (aka Lovely Moco Chang), these boys right here, are the real reason that I am annoyed. Now, most of you know about my love of Japanese music, with emphasis on Visual and Oshare Kei. These would be one of those groups. And while they are no An Cafe, I do love love L<3VE them! And what I especially love is the new single that they have just recently put out: Punky Heart. I mean, how me does that sound? Punky Heart!
So anyway, when I say that Punky Heart came out recently, I mean that the CD version was released a good month ago - sometime a little bit before May 20. And I have been waiting and waiting and WAITING oh so very patiently for Konci to get a copy. Konci is the store right across the street from where I live that sells all sorts of Japanese things. But they STILL don't have a copy. I've even made my way over to all of the Japanese stores on Rue Keller. But no, NONE of them, not a single one, has received a copy of this coveted single. I don't know what to do. I am becoming impatient.

I mean, just look at these dudes - they practically scream AUDREY! I'm ready to be the owner of this CD. I guess I'm just going to have to order it soon.

In other news, today is la fete de Ste-Audrey. Basically, every day of the calendar year is the day of a specific Saint. And June 23 is Ste-Audrey's day. In France, they celebrate these things. The day of the Saint that has your name (if you are so lucky as to have the name of a saint - apparently, I am!) is considered your fete. So anyway, today is my fete. Wish me BONNE FETE! I was so happy that all of my students wished me Bonne Fete this morning. Before that, I thought it was just the older generation that thought about this kind of thing.

I guess this is supposed to be her.

Unfortunately, I have no idea whom Ste-Audrey actually is. I just looked it up, and this is really the only thing I can find about her: that she was an English princess whose real name was Etheldreda (or Aethelthryth - I prefer Audrey, although Etheldreda is pretty cool) and that she took a perpetual vow of virginity and thus had two unconsummated marriages. Oh, and also that she died of an ugly tumor on her neck (I hope that this is no indication of my future) and that the word "tawdry" came from Ste-Audrey and originated from the types of goods they would sell on her feast day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


"It's the final countdown." Great, now I have this Europe song stuck in my head. Um, seriously, what kind of name is Europe for a band, anyway?

Ohhhh, why can't awesome 80's hair and awesome 80's hair bands still exist? ::sigh::

Right, so I think that it's time to start the countdown. To lots of fun and exciting things!

Countdown #1:
*10* Days Until My Last Day of Work
That's right. There are only 10 days left. And 2 of those 10 days are weekend days during which I won't be working. I'm pretty psyched about this, but mostly because it means that I will no longer have to set my alarm for 6:48 AM, which is FAR too early for anyone to have to wake up. I think that if I could set my alarm for 7:48 or even 8:28 every day, I really wouldn't mind having to get up in the morning. So yes, I am excited that, 10 days from now, I will start being able to wake up whenever I want every single day (with the miniscule exception of Wednesdays, the day on which I still will have a job). But I'm also sort of sad - I'm going to miss my wrestling loving kiddos. I'm going to miss how excited Sebastian always is to see me. And Steven's adorable evil guilty smile every time he does something wrong. And how Nihel always has something to say about everything. And the ridiculous things that Theo does to get attention. And the way that Sofiane reminds me of Guillaume. And how Florian and Romain think that they can get away with anything because they know I like them (sadly, it's true). Anyhow, you guys don't know any of these kiddos, so I guess I'll stop here before I have something to say about every single one of them. Yeah, so I'm excited and sad about this coming end.

This is Mike Dirnt, the bassist of Green Day. He has nothing to do with anything I am writing, but he was the first love of my life, so I thought a picture was needed.

Countdown #2:
*4* Days Until the Lesson Plan (that is hopefully the last part of my Westgate application) Is Due
This is really the never ending application. It just keeps going on and on and on. Every time I think that I have FINALLY finished and there is no way that they could possibly send me anything else, they find something else for me to do. This time, I have to make a lesson plan so they can get an idea of my teaching style. I already answered about a bagazillion questions to give them an idea of this. But still. . .at least this time I REALLY don't know how they could possibly ask more of me. After this it must be the interview. It's due in 4 days, and I haven't even looked at it yet. Go me.

More Mike Dirnt Gorgeousness

Countdown #3:
*3* Days Until My Last Japanese Class
This would be ridiculously sad, but apparently there are going to be summer classes the first two weeks of July. And assuming that I am able to find my checkbook before Tuesday, I am going to be taking them. So it's all good.

That's how you write my name in Japanese!!!!

Countdown #4:
*2* Days Until I am Supposed to Have Finished the Book I am Reading
I'm reading "Millenium 2: La fille qui revait d'un bidon d'essence et d'une allumette" by Stieg Larsson. I think in English they called it "The Girl Who Played with Fire." It is SO good! Shockingly even better than "Millenium 1: Les hommes qui n'aimaient pas les femmes," which I think was called "the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" when it was translated into English. They're in Swedish originally. Anyhow, Sebastian (a student) saw me reading it Monday, and it's long, so he was wondering how much I would have read by the next Monday. I told him I will have finished. He laughed. So now I have to have finished. Luckily, I almost have.

YUCKY! There's a cigarette on the cover!

Countdown #5:
*5* Days Until My Summer Reading List 2009 Is Finished
Yeah, like I said last time, I've been working on compiling a list of books that I would like to read this summer. I've decided that I want to have it vaguely finished by Friday so that I can have looked it over long enough to decide which one to read first. Last time, I asked for RECOMMENDATIONS!!!!, and only *ONE* person gave me one (merci bien, Amanda!)! Last time I asked for recommendations, I read and loved pretty much everything everyone recommended (special thanks to Kristen S. - you recommended some awesome books back then!). So PLEASE, recommend please. Perhaps no one reads my blog anymore? Oh, how sad this would make me.

It's really not possible to get enough of Mike.

Countdown #6:
*25* Days Until I Go Home For Summer Fun
Yep, that's right. In exactly 25 days, I will be heading to Louisiana. As of right now, I've got no plans. Hopefully go visit Spiggalicious, and trying to plan a week long trip with the fan, but nothing is yet set in stone. So if you'll be around, let me know!!!! :-)

That's chez me right there in the middle by Alexandria!

Okay, I am sure that I could think of about a bagazillion more countdowns that I should be having if I wanted to, but this is already getting kind of long. Every time I write, I tell myself that the next time I write I will write less. So that people will look and be more likely to read. But I start writing and then just keeps going and it never ends up being less. Hopefully people read, anyway.
Right, that's it. Please don't forget - BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS! I'm begging, here! :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer is coming!!!! and BOOK SUGGESTIONS, anyone? aka the boring post with the long title

I haven't updated in a whole 10 days because I feel like I have had very little today. I've been starting to wrap things up in my classes, as I only have 2 1/2 weeks of teaching left. I am kind of super mega psyched about this, despite the fact that it being all over means that I WILL NO LONGER HAVE A JOB! Which on one hand means I will have TONS of free time and will no longer have to set my alarm for 6:48 in the AM every morning. But on the other hand means that I will no longer have any money.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the no money sitch, but in the meantime, I'm ignoring that fact and starting to make my summer plans as if the money will just keep coming. In the beginning of July, I'm planning on just chillaxing (yes, I did indeed just use that word) and maybe doing some editing of the book that I wrote back in November. Yes, I know, 7 months later and I am FINALLY thinking of getting around to doing some editing. Then on July 11, Celine and Guilhem are getting married somewhere in France that is not Paris. So I will be going there. And Bastien will be in town for the wedding, which I am super pscyhed about. He's living in Shanghai now, for those interested.

Then I will be hopping on an airplane and heading home (soooo scary) on July 15th. So, if anyone in Louisiana is reading, I'll be around from JULY 15 to AUGUST 9 minus a few days to be elsewhere. My dad has suggested that I take some FLYING LESSONS to help get over my fear of flying, so I am thinking about doing that.

After that, Guillaume has three weeks off at the end of August, so I'm starting to plan a vacation for us. We were thinking of maybing getting a Eurail pass through Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Has anyone every been to these places? Any recommendations to make? I'm especially interested in Slovakia.

I'm also in the process of building up my SUMMER READING LIST 2009!!!! Lots of free time means lots of reading time. :-) This is basically the list of books that I plan to read this summer. Usually, most of those books get read, more get added on, and some end up getting pushed back/thrown off the list. So anyhow, I've got some great books lined up, but the list is not quite yet done. So I would love suggestions from people. Are there any great books that you have read recently (or even not recently) that you think that I would like? PLEASE! Help me with my book list! :-)

On a completely different note, all (=most) of my students lately have been asking me what things like Edge, Undertaker, and Mysterio mean. They have also been spelling things for me like Kingston and McCool but then not knowing what they mean. I've been wondering WHY. Where could these words be coming from. I've asked some of them, but it's always when they're headed off to lunch, and as of yet, none of them have had the time or the attention span to tell me why they want to know.
Well, it was fire drill week at the schools last week, and I finally got my explanation when the kids all pull out their World Wrestling Federation (it's not called that anymore, is it? What's it called now?) cards. And I see THE UNDERTAKER. And EDGE. And KOFI KINGSTON. And REY MYSTERIO and MICHELLE McCOOL. Yes, this year, it would appear that my students are all obsessed with wrestling. And High School Musical and Camp Rock, of course, but mostly wrestling. What a weird thing to be obsessed with. I don't know why, but I just don't associate wrestling with France. Last year, all of my students were obsessed with TEKTONIC, which, y'know, is a trademark dance that is at least registered to a French man. And also, at least it was active, and kids should be active (as should everyone). They would spend their recess practicing their tectonik dance in front of the big library window in which they could see themselves. I must say, it made for some hilarious recess time watching for me, as I was often sitting inside the library, where they could not see me. But wrestling? C'mon, kids! I mean, they're not wrestling at recess time. They're looking at their wrestling cards and comparing them and talking about them. Seriously!
Anyway, click on the link and they watch the Yelle "A Cause de Garcon" video. Good watching. :-)

Well, that's all for today folks! A post with no pictures. Ohhhh yeah! And please, send me book suggestions!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Irrational Fear of Flying

I think that there should be a 50th post award that you get when you have posted in your blog for the 50th time. If there was one, I would be in the process of winning it RIGHT NOW!!!! Because this is my 50th post. How crazy is that? It feels like I just started yesterday. :-) It's nice how blogger keeps track of it for you.

I have decided to award myself this image as my 50th post award. YAY! I love unicorns!

Anyhow, so yesterday I finally bought my plane tickets to go home for a couple weeks this summer, and let me tell you, it was HARD to do! You see, over the past couple years, I have been harboring a fear of flying that with each day gets worse and worse and worse. It started off with a slight knot in stomach that would occur during take off. Then the knot started also existing during landing. And so on until now, when it exists every time I even think about flying. Last time I flew, the fear didn't start until I arrived at the airport.
This time, though, I was so overcome with terror that I actually had to open about 18 times, over a period of about a week, the page with the flight info. And then I had to BRIBE myself to push the button to purchase the flight. Seriously, if that delicious Pere Louis chocolate hadn't been sitting right in front of me, tempting me, telling me that it belonged to Guillaume if I didn't purchase the plane tickets - well, I don't think that the plane tickets would have gotten purchased.
I am guessing that the fact that THIS just happened didn't help. It's more than ever on my mind now just how life-threatening flying can be.
Really, for me, though, it's just the tip of a very large iceberg that has been growing for a very long time.
I hope I'm not going to have to medicate myself in order to force myself onto the airplane in July and then again in August.

It's funny, though, because yesterday I was doing some research on people that have a fear of flying, and most of them are seasoned travelers. Like myself. Seriously, I have been flying since I was in my mother's womb. I took my first commercial flight before I was even a year old. My father had his own private jet when I was growing up, and sometimes we would take it ridiculously short distances - like to go down to New Orleans (a 3 to 3 1/2 hour drive) for the weekend. Or to Lake Charles or Lafayette (both even closer than New Orleans) for a concert. I know airplanes. And while I have never particularly loved flying (I threw up EVERY SINGLE TIME without exception that I flew up until I was about 12 years old. Seriously. I am NOT exaggerating!), you would think it would be in my blood. A part of whom I am. But no. For me, it is one of the scariest and most stressful things that I can do.

I used to always look for babies every time I would get on to a commercial flight, thinking that if there were babies on the flight, there was NO WAY that it could crash. It doesn't really make sense, but somehow seeing babies on the flight would soothe me. The tip of my iceberg, this Rio -> Paris flight, has ruined even that for me. There was a baby on board. Now that baby is dead. That baby never had a life. I guess seeing babies will no longer soothe me. That sucks.

Anyhow, happier things. One of the things that both Guillaume and I miss the most about Montreal is brunch at Aux Vivres. Seriously, it was DELICIOUS with home fries and scrumptious tofu scramble and tempeh fakon. And then there were these chocolate coconut flax smoothies that were just to die for (I've really got to stop using that phrase - I've got an unhealthy obsession with and fear of death, and I don't think my choice of expression helps). So, Guillaume and I tried to recreate it the other day. Talk about heavenly!!!!

Not the best picture of Guillaume, to be sure, but doesn't that brunch look yummo!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Biking at Bois de Vincennes

So, it's Wednesday, and today is my second day of work this week because, once again, WE HAD A THREE DAY WEEKEND!!!! Seriously, that's the best thing about working in France - the fact that they love taking time off. It's just holiday after holiday after holiday. I have been back at work for four weeks now (I think that's right) since the last two week break, and this was my third three day weekend. Yes. :-) That's right, folks, the French love their vacation time. This Monday was lundi de Pentecote.

Anyhow, since we had Monday off, Margaret and I decided to spend the day biking. We rented bikes from this place by Metro Oberkampf that Margaret found (Paris Bike Tour - the guy was totally flirting with Margaret :-P), and from there we rode straight over to Bois de Vincennes, on the way realizing that Paris is actually quite a bit smaller than the metro system (which I am SO over) makes it seem. Luckily for us, it was a GORGEOUS day with the sun shining and everything just being beautiful and perfect.

We rode around a bit and did a loop around a very gorgeous lake that seemed to have a grotto right in the middle of it - we unfortunately never actually managed to get to said grotto - before picking a beautiful place in the sun close to the shade right next to the lake to sit down for a picnic lunch. We had hummus and guacamole and chips and bread and salad and strawberries and nuts. Yummmmy!!!! It was hard to find a place, though, to lay out our blanket, because there was dog poop EVERYWHERE (how oh so very French, I know). So at one point Margaret was trying to kick a small piece of poo out of the way so that we could lay the blanket there, but instead of kicking the poo out of the way, she kicked her shoe off. And right into the lake. It was sooooo so so so soooooooooooo funny, and neither of us could stop laughing. We tried to get it, but our arms weren't long enough. Finally, some woman lent us her picnic mat (which was long and rolled into a cylinder), which enabled us to reach said shoe. Notice in the picture how much brighter it is - this is because it's soaking wet.

After our picnic, we spent a few hours just riding around. Now, I had been to Bois de Vincennes before, but I had apparently come NOWHERE NEAR seeing the whole park. Which is actually HUGE. there were times when we really felt like we were in the middle of the wilderness nowhere near a big city. At one point we came across some bars, and so I of course had to do twirls (I can never stop myself when I see twirlable bars) - now, of course, I have bruises on the back of my right leg. Margaret has those pictures. And then there was another time we were riding down a very small path through this incredibly HIGH grass - that just so happened to be filled with very muscular men all sunbathing in speedos. It was kind of hilarious, actually. We think we found the gay man haven of Paris.

Our very last stop on our ride was Le Chateau de Vincennes (that's the castle, for all you non French speakers). It's a lovely castle, and I am sad that we didn't go in. Someday I would like to. There is also a pseudo botanical garden in the bois that I would like to check out someday. So, it looks like I'm definitely going back.

After we returned the bikes, we headed back chez Margaret to make a scrumptious vegan feast of brown rice with curried chickpeas and tofu. It was soooo good. And then for dessert we had strawberries and kiwis with granola in a chocolate coconut pudding type thing. I wish I had more of that curry now, though. It really was DELISH, and, happily, Guillaume got to join us for food eating. :-) He had actually had to work because Argon (that's where he works) for some reason decided that for its workers, it wouldn't be a holiday. Boo on that!

Anyhow, so that was my day off. I had a great day, and I have been sore ever since. But in a good way. A good way that makes me feel like I need to go biking way more often. Since I can't really do that, though, I have decided to up my exercise time. Instead of 30 minutes 3 times a week, I am going to do 45 minutes three times a week. And 15 minutes twice a week. I'll take the weekend off and just make sure to take a nice walk at least. I started today, and the last 10 minutes almost felt impossible. I hope I wasn't overworking myself. I feel really good now, though, so I think good things and health will come. :-)

And that's all for now, folks!