Jul 26, 2010

No Miracle Please.

Now that we have satisfied one sector of the male population by eliminating all non-miracle bras, I am wondering how we can satisfy the rest that are into legs, butts and everything else?  I am not sure I like this brave new world where everything has to be enhanced.  I think it gives men a false sense of what "normal" really is.  Is there disappointment when the truth is found?

What  if I want to save my miracles for something serious?  And leave my bras miracle free? This is nearly impossible.  I am not saying that we should all burn our bras in protest, I am just a little disappointed that I can't find the ol' faithful cotton no thrills bra anymore;(

I wonder if now that I am in my 30s, does that make me more conservative?  This is not just an American problem, I have seen this in France too.  Be careful Men, you are next.  Soon you won't be able to buy pants without butt enhancers or t-shirts without miracle biceps....

Jul 21, 2010

Bostonian Woman don't get fat?

In Cambridge, MA this week, I begin to see how the inhabitants of Cambridge might be more like Parisians that I thought before.  Sure, they aren't fashionable but the walking and portion sizes might be the same.  Most of the people I have met here, don't use their cars.  They seem to take public transportation everywhere.  I am attending a meeting, and at the end of the meal, I have noticed that all of the food is gone and no one is full at all.  The amount of food allotted for each person, seems pretty small.  Some of my male colleagues from Texas, where everything is big, aren't very satisfied with this arrangement.  The jokes about 'Where's the Beef?' have been many.  I don't have any data to corroborate that, but maybe French woman and Bostonian woman are more alike than one would think...

Jul 17, 2010

Prefecture in Toulon, Nicer?

Today S and I went to the MD Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA, DMV in other states) so that S could get her driver's license.  She is staying another year and won't be able to use her French license in September.  This is the 3rd time that S has gone and it is very frustrating that they are unable to provide her with the right information.  We called our Au Pair coordinator the last time and they send her a totally useless letter.  The MVA only accepts from a list of documents that are totally unobtainable if you don't have any bills.  There are lots of other useless documents on their list that seem impossible for any normal person to have. So third time's a charm -- NO.  So I asked the woman what else Stephanie can do.  And she gives me the list of totally useless documents again!  Zut Alors.  Why not just have robots run the place.  So I ask her as nicely as possible what can S possibly do to get the right document -- you want to know the secret to establishing MD residency -- buying stamps online.  That's right.  If you buy stamps from the USPS, a government agency, when they send you said stamps in 1st class mail, you are now able to establish MD residency.  What a crock.  Buying something online from Amazon, totally useless, but buying stamps online keep to Driver's License euphoria.

The stupid cop protecting the MVA worker from me, pulled me aside as I was leaving and said that I would have to go through the same thing in France and I just don't know what it is....  I told him actually I did go through the same thing in France and it was easier, since I only had to go once. 

In my French experience, I didn't have the right paperwork the first time either.  But the woman kindly took all of the paperwork that I had and I left.  Then some weeks later I got a letter asking for more paperwork, which I mailed back to the office and then viola, I got my French DL.  I only had to wait one time in the obnoxiously long government agency line of annoyance. Today was the 3rd  time that S has had to go to the MVA and waste another 1 hour in line, just to be told that she doesn't have the right paperwork. 

So if you are foreign living in America and are having trouble establishing residency -- Just buy some stamps.

Jul 10, 2010

The Return to Pessac

In 3 weeks, I will be returning to Pessac.  Pessac is like a home away from home for me.  There I not only have my own bedroom, but I have a history of 11 years of visiting my 'Belle Familie" and the region. Here are some things not to be missed:

1) Chateau Pape Clement
In the 14th Century the Papacy moved from Rome to Avignon, the Archbishop of Bordeaux, became the new pope in 1305.  This pope, "Pape Clement" was one of the vineyards most famous owners and the vineyard still holds his name.  The wine is pretty good too.  I love Chateau Pape Clement because it looks like a renaissance castle, complete with tower. 

2) The "Marche en Pessac" or the Local Market.  In Pessac, the local market is on Sunday and is very very big compared to the ones in the small provencial villages.  Pessac is much bigger than Le Beausset so I shouldn't be surprised that the market is.  Here you can find all of the fruits, vegetables and shellfish that your heart can desire.  At these markets, their are also cheap clothes, knock-off sunclasses and probably a table or two of wine vendors.  Please bring cash, credit cards not accepted;)
3) In Bordeaux, there is a restaurant that serves one dish.  No menu, if you end up at "Entre Cote" you will be getting a sort of flank steak cooked -- Well, medium or mooing, and french fries with a salad with vinegrette.   You can choose your drink, which I recommend the house wine, and of course any dessert that might tempt you palette.  For me it's profiteroles.  That's one perfect meal:)

4) Downtown Bordeaux has a large pedestrian only area for shopping, restaurants, theatre and more.  One can easily spend the day walking around going into the various shops, visiting the gardens at the mairie and my personal favorite the Monument aux Girondins, which is a beautiful fountain.  Downtown Bordeaux also a "Mirror Fountain" , which is flat and shoots water into a calm mist, creating a puddle and plenty of opportunity for cooling off.  Very fun for the kiddies.

5) Arcachon Bay and the Great Dune of Pyla.  Not far from Bordeaux is a small beach town with a beautiful bay, great for an after lunch stroll.  If you need more of a workout though, the nearby Dune de Pyla, the highest dune in Europe, is not too far and provides climbing enjoyment for all that visit.  If you are anything like my little L, you too will finding yourself climbing up and rolling down this sand dune right next to the Atlantic Ocean.

Jul 7, 2010

Ode to Nutella

Nutella is a truly amazing spread. In can replace jam, apple butter, peanut butter, maple syrup and many others for daily use. It is the French girl's Ben and Jerry's and for my sons the difference between between plain ol' bagel and amazing bagel, especially of it's on my plate;)
S loves nutella, let by herself she could eat a whole jar in less than one month... Here in the USA, small jars cost about $4, but I buy Nutella in big jars, 2 for $8 at Costco... I'm not sure if I know any equivalent in France, but this a place where you buy everything in large qualities. Some Americans do all of their shopping there, me only the essentials -- nutella, nestle powder, olive oil and diapers. S also loves chocolate milk. I buy 2 large jars of nutella and one gigantic canister of nestle every month or so and hardly get any of either. But the kids love her, so I guess we will continent woo her... Thank you Ferrero and Nestle you make a French girls morning every day;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Jul 5, 2010

Women hating women...

While the idea of an misogynist man is annoying, misogynist women are the worst.  These are the women that give the rest of us a bad name!  They are moody, arrogant and very very catty.  They hate any woman who is smart and successful.  For the ones with no children, they call you weak for wanting or having them. 

Yesterday I encountered such a woman.  Perfectly beautiful 4th of July day and we were invited by A's co-worker to her house for a BBQ.  She wanted us to meet her a the little beach near her house for swimming/jet skiing.  Great!  A got star service, 'here take the wave runner out by yourself and have fun'.

I have been jetskiing since I was 16, I practically grew up on the bay near DC.  Spent lots of summers, fishing, crabbing, boating, jet skiing...  I swim about a mile 2-3 times a week.  I have a boater's license and spent more time on jetskis than A.  But can I take one out alone.  No.  Too dangerous for me.  A woman with children is obviously too weak to be out on the water alone.  I have to go with a man.  So he can watch me and make sure that I don't hurt myself or get lost.  I was happy not going jetskiing anyway and the only reason I was going was because this woman was annoyed that I was fine not going and now that I go, I have to go with her or someone else 'qualified'.  I hate going with A since I usually end up feeling like barbing afterwards...
If you have never jetskiied with crazy people twice your size, it can be more dangerous.  They can easily have you flying off the back, and then if they go with you and land on you.   Well let's just say that it's not pleasant.  All of the "qualified" jetskiers were using the men's XXL vest.  Me -- I think the one I was using was small -- used for the older kids. 

In the end, I was happy to get out on the water, it has been a long time.  But I didn't need to be treated like a child...