Jan 28, 2010

Taxes in America are a JOKE

Turns out Americans really don't pay enough taxes...  No wonder there is a large national debt.  I did my taxes last week.  When I did the calculation for how much I pay in taxes, health insurance and other benefits...  It was about 25%/30%, the same as what I paid in France.  But then I did my taxes and I am getting back almost all of the money I paid in Federal and State taxes (about 15%)....  I am certainly not working poor, so why no taxes?  How do we pay for government services?  Roads, schools, etc.  So really I am just paying %10 of my salary for social security, health insurance, etc.  Insane!  I would rather have good schools, free university, better unemployment benefits and health insurance for poor people. Am I insane?

Americans don't even know what paying taxes means! 

Well anyway, I will get getting a new kitchen with my taxes.  Next year, I'll put the money in the kid's college fund.

Jan 26, 2010

Postcards from the US Capital

My in-laws recently visited DC, they didn't buy enough post-card for all of their friends.  So I made a couple from the pictures that they had taken....

Jan 19, 2010


Some ideas on the kitchen, brought to you by Home Depot and Ikea

Jan 18, 2010

SCNF is in Trouble??

SCNF, the French rail system, is in trouble.  Quel Damage.  I wonder if there are still proposed plans to create TGV line from Paris to Nice? I know some crazy expats in the Var who will be happy to know that crazy Parisian outsiders won't be flooding their town with tourist.  I love to hear with foreigners become protectionist, what an irony.  Aren't they invaders too?  At least the Parisian are French and have the same right as anyone else to be there....

Apparently the rail system in France is losing money and will get rid of it's least popular routes. Strasbourg to Bordeaux -- CANCELED.  Calling MP in Strasbourg, get to Bordeaux before it's too late. 
 There is a rather nice wine festival in July, but anytime of the year, Bordeaux can be lovely.  I particularly like the "new port"  or the fancy Harbor area, as I like to call it.  In addition to great wine, the Bordelaise are know for many speciality dishes, including many duck dishes and fruit de mer.  Please enjoy a bottle or 2 of wine for me. 

Julie and Julia

I finally saw the movie Julie and Julia.  All of the critics and my friends said that Meryl Streep is amazing and Amy Adams sucks.  Well maybe not Amy personally, but her character.

In this modern day it is nice to see someone making things from scratch.  My hubby went to culinary school in France and is very hesitant to make anything with a mixer or food processor.  He cuts with knives, sharpens them if necessary and for whipped cream... well only a whisk will do.  I guess you can say I am a little spoiled.  In our house, the only French cookbooks are in French.  Now I am a little inspired.  I am going to get Julia Child's cookbook and maybe I might even bone a duck.  Although I have 2 small kids, so it might take me my whole life to make all of the recipes. ;-)

Jan 6, 2010

Boxers, Briefs, OR Bikinis

In American, it's always boxers or briefs...  Where briefs are the young hit choice and any guy over 50 is sporting boxers.  Well some hipsters might still be sporting briefs.  Ask anyone's dad and they'll tell you that boxers are just "more comfortable", ie less supportive and more like not wearing anything....

But in Europe, briefs are the old man underwear and boxers, well I haven't seen much of that.  I don't often think about what men's underwear, but recently I was looking in my sons dresser for his underwear and every morning I have a choice Briefs or Bikinis.  The briefs were , of course, purchased in America and are the standard for little boys.  I suppose little boys haven't figured out about comfort.  In France, most men wear bikini's, well at least I think that they do based on the underwear choices in stores.  When I was buying my son some underwear at the H & M, a Swedish store, I just picked up a pack of underwear.  In typical European style, they are bikinis.  I think the bikinis are just cuter. 

So what does your men sport?  Boxers, briefs or bikinis?

Jan 1, 2010

Happy New Year -- 2010

Happy New Year!
Last night was pretty good.  It has been quite a while that I have made New Year Plans and nothing bad happened.  Last year I fell asleep in front of the tv at 10pm.  Two years ago I wrecked my car in Le Beausset, as the streets are very narrow and there were cars parked everywhere.  I couldn't clear a turn and ended up stuck against a wall, crying.....

Anyway this year, we went over some friends house and had dinner, followed my the Mexican Train game, which is a Dominoes game.  A made a Bûche de Noël and my friend made a Rum cake, light on the cake, heavy on the Rum.  It was quite fun.  I was winning all night until the last round.  Then I lost horribly.  At mid-night we had sparkling rose.  At 1pm I was hope and sleeping probably by 1:30am.  L, my 2 year old, stayed up until mid-night too.  He is such a party animal.  He played with his buddy Nate (who is 3 1/2) and watched some movies.  Z, the 9-month old, didn't make it to mid-night, but did wake up at around 11:30pm because he hates sleep and missing out on the action.

So even if you feel like New Year's celebrations are pointless...  Happy Reason to Get Out of the Usual Night Routine.  And for everyone else, Happy 2010.