Aug 12, 2011

Wear your Best.

If you had the sterotypical American mom, she told you to wear your best underwear in case you were in an accident.  Like it will really matter to the paramedic that you have the best undies.  Depending on the accident, they might have to cut them off of you and then where would you be.  Right one nice pair of skivvies short.
Well in France, you certainly need to wear your best.  Not because of the ever fear that disaster could strike at any moments, but it's the rule of the line.  The clothes drying line.  I am not sure about all French people, but my French relatives dry their clothes on a line (even in the winter) and only use the dry under emergency situations -- ie several days of rain.  Well if you live in Paris, this emergency situation could be more common.  So in order for your in-laws -- well mine anyway -- not to see your old cotton undies faded with time, I have to break out the nice pairs.  Last year I specifically went underwear shopping before my European departure, since I wasn't sure I wouldn't be laughed out of the country.  This year, so such luck, but that's ok.  I think I am doing ok.  There was that one close call though with my FIL insisting on helping me hang 'the kids' clothes.  While I am sure he was being nice, I had to quickly pick out anything that looked scandalous to hang myself.
Fashion standards are alive and well -- even for the unmentionables.

Aug 8, 2011

The Unsupportive Family

I am not sure when people lost all compassion, but I am finding family that are completely rude.  My Uncle H= recently passed away.  He was my dad's sister's husband, also the dad of my favorite cousin L.  L is 5 years older than me, but because our parents were close, we spent lots of our childhood together.  Lots of Xmases, Thanksgivings and  random sleep overs.  I used to think that her parents were really cool -- they had a pool table in their basement and she has a Garfield phone.  Well it was the 80s...  Anyway, Uncle H had cancer and had been battling it for almost 4 years -- the last few months had been really tough.  My sister, V, went to live with my cousin to help her to take care of her dad.  Because of this, there were some family strife, with my Uncle P, who is my dad's younger brother, who was letting my sister (19) live with him.  He needed his dog taken care of and my cousin needed someone to care for her dad.  When I asked Uncle P's wife, why couldn't they understand what L was going through, I was told flatly, well (a) he doesn't seem that sick to me and (b) he's not my dad anyway.  I guess a man who can't walk or feed himself is totally normal.  Wow, gotta love family.

About 3 weeks ago, Uncle H passed away and yesterday was the memorial service.  I had been pretty sad about the whole thing and somehow it came up with A's dad.  He said well was he your dad's brother, and I said that he was my dad's sister's husband.  His reaction -- why are you sad, he wasn't even your real Uncle.  A's mom asked me yesterday what Antoine was doing and I said going to my Uncle's funeral and she said, 'Oh, I didn't know that your Uncle died already'.  That was it.  Do people not get sad about death anymore.  I recently read a story about a little girl that died by suffocation because her family would put her in a "box" when she was bad, and I just was so sad about it.  I didn't even know the girl, but I had a tough time getting over it.  Maybe, I am just strange.  The first 10 times I saw the movie, 'Up', I cried each time the Ellie dies.  It's just too sad.

So maybe our society is just too bombarded by death, that there is no sense of sadness because of it.  That's a real shame. 

Aug 7, 2011

Winning the Propoganda War

Sometimes the message that is heard to loudest is the one that sticks.  Even if that message is (1) ridiculous and (2) wrong.  But it is the law of propaganda.  Without 50% of American might not support the war with Iraq or radical muslim would have have attacked the world trade center in the first place.  The problem with propaganda is that it is often exaggerated statements with 1% truth that are used to move the masses into a direction.  There has been an anti-me campaign going on the last week or so...  With my poor French, I am unable to fight the good fight and make my message stick.

Here is the story in brief.  A's dad hit our son (A's and mine) for touching his car with a toy.  A's dad knows that we don't do that, but I was annoyed that he didn't even tell the little boy (3 years old), what he had done wrong.  So when I asked him if he was going to explain to him what he did wrong, he went into a rage.  The boy had already been told before (doesn't matter that 3 year old don't retain information like adults) and anyway A and I were too soft on our kids and they have no discipline.  Then A's brother gets involved.  Well he already told my son about playing on the cars and didn't I know that scratches on car cost a lot of money to repair.  On a side note, I do in fact know.  My car was hit by another car in the parking lot of the store, and it had a huge dent, which cost about 1000 Euros to repair.  Surely the scratch would cost less...  However I didn't say that, they was no much yelling and I couldn't think.  The problem could have been quickly solved if A's dad would have just said -- 'No touching the car'  Takes one second.  Well I couldn't take it anymore, A's brother was bullying me and I called him a bad word -- not even a really bad one, well that was just too much for him.  He just explored.  I thought he was going to hit me, his eyes filled with rage.  It is like no one ever said a bad word in his presence.  I was really scared.  I am certainly not perfect, but not a Soprano either...

The worst was not the argument.  It is the propaganda that follows.  The He Said/She Said game to make everyone in the family take sides.  But actually (1) I am not really part of the family and (2) I can't speak French that well.  So I lose.  Now I am the wild crazy mother who went to a rage at my father-in-law and my brother-in-law, had to defend his father for fear that I might kill him or something -- because I am a crazy American.

So now I have 3 weeks in France where everyone thinks that I am a she-devil. Oh Joy.

Jul 30, 2011

My New Favorite Airplane...

I had the chance to take the new A380 from Washington to Paris.  I was really excited when I learned that DC would be on of the cities in the US, where AirFrance would first have 1 flight a day using the A380 and I made sure I booked that one flight.  Don't get me wrong.  I hate flying and I am not all that into airplanes -- but I have been in some old crappy planes before and something shiny and new was just what I wanted for 8 hours of crying and not sleeping.
This plane actually has USB charging station at your seat, the biggest seat TVs I have ever seen on an airplane and so on and so forth.  It is not like I thought I was in first-class while it coach or anything. But when you are in an airplane for 8 hours, I think that little things can make a big difference.  For example, I usually spend a fair bit of time waiting for an available restroom, well not this time.  Are there more towelettes on the A380?  I don't know.  Maybe.  I didn't take a tour of the "up-stairs", but I did hear that it was very nice.  Another "fun" feature was that we got to see ourselves taking off and landing.  There was plenty of room for my luggage and the kids could easily sleep with their seat belts fastened.

If you fly out or into IAD or San Francisco, while going to Paris, check out the A380.

My Month in France

Well readers, I have taken a hiatus from writing in my blog because I am so busy writing for work.  I have been writing manuscripts to be in scientific journals and all of that technical writing means that I had to put my creative juices on hold for a while.

I have taken my children to France again for the month of August.  In the hopes that last year was just a fluke and this year will be much much better, since the kids are older and we have done this before, I thought that I could do it right this time.  I could create the formula for a great summer...  So read on.
Adventures in Augusting in France.

Jun 15, 2011

Julia Child, my Hero

I recently bought Julia Child's book, 'My Life in France', which describes the nearly 4 years that she lived in Paris and Marseille and the nearly 30 or years that she spent a month or so in France at her French country house.  Julia had it right, I think.  Why spend your time traveling, staying in hotels, eating out when you can just go to Chez Vous, with your own stuff, where you know that the sheets will be clean, the food will be delicious and the expense is just for travel.  I often wonder if this is how I can reconcile my relationship with my lover, France.  Could I find a country house in France and spend the rest of my vacations, going there?  Being an expat for just a month a year?  Getting my fill of yummy food and culture on a part-time basis?  Are France and I meant to be "long-distance" lovers who simply see each other on vacation, b/c we have far too important "regular" lives to move to the other one's city?  Hmm, it is an interesting though.  Julia, who didn't move to France until after she was 35, did it.  She even became fluent in French.  I was thinking that I was too old and that my little brain would never get it.  But I guess if Julia can do it so can I, no?  And maybe in a few years (when I am over 35), I too could get a little country house, to fix up and just be for 1 month a year?  Not that I don't do that now, but it is my father-in-law house in my husband childhood room.  There is not even a place for me to hang my clothes -- the room is filled with old junk, I just feel like redecorating the whole time I am there.  It's will never be "mine" and certainly not the place where I can go to relax. hmm the possibilities....and if you get a chance, you should read Julia's book, it is brilliant.

Jun 12, 2011

SOLD for $4000 -- 4 weeks in France

So I had been monitoring ticket prices to France for about 2 months now.   For the last month I was checking every day or so.  For a long while, I thought it would cost me $5000 for me and the 2 boys to fly to France to see Bonne Maman and Grandpere.  $723 each way plus tax times 3 people.  No discount for kids.  Zut.  I was about the cave in and buy the ticket, but then a friend told me that actually ticket prices would be dropping in a couple of days.  "Wait until Wednesday morning", she said.  So I waited.  Wednesday came and the prices were the same.  Thursday morning though, magic.  Now it was only $562 each way.  How did that happen?  It was still pretty expensive considering with taxes that was still $1300 per person -- but was much cheaper than $1620 per person.  It's seems to be all about perspective.  Sort of like gas prices -- paying $3.80 at the gas station seems cheap, compared to the $4.10 I was paying a few months ago...  So we are going for most of August, 4 weeks total leaving the last week of July.  Our new au pair arrives from Grenoble arrives the day after we return.  Kids start school the following week....  However the belle familie isn't exactly content....  Pourquoi?  Well turns out the kids and I are missing the baptism of the boy's little cousin.  Well we can't do everything.  We didn't know the au pair could only arrive the last week of Aug or 2 weeks later, we didn't know that it would cost $500 more for the 3 of us to leave 4 days later, we didn't know that school would start that early...  We just didn't know.  Besides, 1 hour in a church and 3 hours of eating, what little 2 and 4 year old boys would be happy with that? Zut again.
I guess it doesn't matter, can't make everyone happy... 

May 19, 2011

Hotel Scandals

This past week, the head of the IMF, who is French, got involved in a sex scandal with a maid from the hotel he was staying at.  In fact, he is actually being charged for forcing "sexual acts" on the maid.  The American media has already, tried, found guilty and sentenced him.  The French media however, is predicting a set-up, a conspiracy, it is almost like 2 completely different new stories.

So A, is in the hotel business, so I asked how often does a guest think that the housekeeping staff is for their personal pleasure.  According to him, he has only hear such a story one time, in over 10 years.  There has been a few radio shows that have taken calls from housekeepers and it made it sound like this sort of thing happens every day.

I am not sure what to think, but if this were to happen to a politician in the US, he would be dead.  That American politician could have done that with a consenting adult and still would have been dead.  I wonder how the French will think about this guy at the next presidential election.  Will he be the lead of the socialist party, like was expected a week ago?  Or forgotten. 

May 8, 2011

Rejected Again

Just a little update on my attempts to work and live in France.  I sent in all of the paper work for French citizenship about 2 months ago. It must have been the finally the right paperwork, but I haven't heard anything.
I applied again for a permanent job in France through the CNRS.  What's my problem??  I am too young.  For scientist, accomplishments are measured in papers and the person that got the position have 50% more papers than me, but also 10 years of experience.  So perhaps next year, I will still be too young but just as accomplished ;) 

In the meantime, I continue to speak French to the children, which is a great way to practice.  However, I am worried, that the things we say to kids -- you need a nap, let's go potty, your being a bad little boy, where are my kisses, are not the same things that you would say to an adult....  Although, my stay-at-home mom friends complain about the same thing, ie having no adult conversation.

May 5, 2011

Missing le beaux soliel

Well, I went to France and for the most part it was fabulous.  The first couple of days in Paris was colder than I was expecting, but not a cloud in the sky.  The city of love had better weather than back in the USA and I was loving the sun.  I took walks to the Luxembourg Gardens and sat in a reclining chair with my feet up, I had yummy dinners and kebab lunches.  Then like a woman on the lam, I left Paris to the south of France, my true love.  I went to little villages, hiking along the sea, to Monaco and Nice, to my favorite boardwalk and had some really good meals.  I even got a little tan and was feeling pretty good.  It was exhausting.  Trying to fit all of your favorite things into one little trip is really hard. 

Apr 13, 2011

Top Reasons Why you Won't Mistake me for Parisian

1)  Shoes
Yesterday I wore heels for 1/2 of the day and have 10 blisters on my feet.  Today, I have 10 band-aids on my feet and flip-flops
2) Walking
Parisians, seem to walk everywhere so gracefully, even with 20kg of luggage.  I never seen them in the metro with luggage, but I wonder, are they really walking 5km with their bags?  I might take a taxi to get to Gare de Lyon.  None of the Metro's have elevators and my bags are too heavy
3) Hair
My has to by tied down, it can't stay perfect down.  How do Parisians do it?  I think my hair would be flying everywhere, if it weren't for the clips that hold it in place
4) Food
I need food, I can't just eat a small snack after walking 5km with my luggage, I need food.  I probably eat a lot earlier than the average Parisian, but at 8pm, when I am at a cafe or restaurant, I order dinner, not just a drink and appetizers.
5) I like to get there fast. 
It look me 1 hour to get to the gare de Lyon yesterday by Metro.  It's 5km away, how is that possible, no wonder everyone walks everywhere, it's faster.

On a side note, I love taking a connection at London Heathrow Airport.  It was the best experience, no running, no lost luggage and there was a Starbucks next to my gate.  I highly recommend it.

Mar 28, 2011

Things I Should Miss

When I lived in France, there were many things that I didn't think that I could live without.  But many of those same things, I hardly use now that I am back in America.  It seems to silly to me now that I longed for:
1) peanut butter
2) maple syrup
3) fried chicken -- I do have this about once every 2 or 3 months
4) black beans, which I do like, but come on, they taste just like any other bean
5) macaroni and cheese
6) mint chocolate chip ice cream
7) anything Ben and Jerry's
8) lemon poppy seed muffins

Yet there are still some things that I was right to miss:
a) comfortable shoes -- I love you teva and clarks
b) crab chips, you have to be from MD to understand
c) ability to eat stuff and understand people.

Mar 20, 2011

Darkside of Vancouver

I have been totally uninteresting for the last month.  I feel like I am in the work, kids, clean, sleep, repeat mode.  I even went to Vancouver and spent the entire time in the hotel.  Well actually I do have one good story from Vancouver:
So on the first night in Vancouver my "conference roommate" and I  decide that it is time for a little Karoke.  I had a post-dinner meeting to attending until 9:30, so she did all of the 'fun night out' research.  She finds 2 Karoke bars, both with great reviews online and were within walking distance of the hotel.  So we have our map and our foolishness.  Get to bar 1.  Dive bar, no karoke and a few toothless 'regulars'.  Then we started off on the road to bar 2.  I began at some point that the neighborhood was getting shadier, but this was Vancouver, how dangerous could it be.  At some point though, there are about 100 or so people standing on the sidewalk in this one block.  That seemed odd, there were no businesses on that block, at least none that are open at night.  Hmm, it wasn't until we got too close that I noticed that half of the people were selling drugs and the other half are buying them.  Ooops.  Well the worst thing to do at that point would have been to turn around and run away.  So we charged on, walked through the 'drug' block to the other side towards this Karoke bar, which I didn't even want to go to any more since it obiviously was in a bad neighborhood.  It was closed.

Although I have to say, the worst part of Vancouver at night seemed safer to me, than the worst part of Baltimore during the day...Needless to say, that when CR suggested Karoke the next night, I just had to say 'NO' ;)

Mar 2, 2011

TV Woes

Somehow my TV, that I got in France, was involved in a head on collision with a toy truck and she didn't make it.  So we decided maybe it was time to by a new TV.  The thing I like about my old TV was that it took 110-220 power and accepted NTSC, PAL and SECEM input.  So I thought, maybe I could find a replacement on the internet.  So I bought one on  And a few days later my TV arrived.  The TV had the extra-special bonus of having a region-free DVD player.  But my happiness was not to last forever, the DVD player didn't work -- on any DVD.  So I called and they asked me to send it back.  It has been several weeks later and they STILL haven't sent me a new TV and they WON'T refund my money.  They claim that the TV they sent me was fine and that I don't know how to work a DVD player.  I really hope my credit card company can help....

Feb 21, 2011

Cake Tasting

My work building on on the 800 West block of Baltimore Street in Baltimore MD.  On the 800 East block of Baltimore Street, there is Patisserie Poupon, a French Bakery.  Given our similar addresses (replacing of a W with an E) we could have been at the same location.  Last week for my favorite Frenchie's birthday, I went to Poupon for some yummy pastries.  I got Millefeuille, Cassis Royal, Sainte Honore, Frasier and Opera.  Instead of getting one big cake, those 5 little cakes, for a sort of cake tasting.  It was really good, however, it was about 2X the price as those same little cakes in France.  Why is that?  Quality or Quantity?  Is making cakes more expensive in the US?  No.  Are pastry chefs more expensive in the US?  Pastry Shop real estate more expensive in France than in Baltimore?  Does the French government subsidize pastries?  But this price increase doesn't just apply to pastries, it also applies to baguettes, pain au chocolate, or croissants.    Perhaps it is more expensive in the US, because of the lack of competition -- there is only one patisserie in Baltimore  -- in the 10,000 inhabitant village, I live in France there was 5 or 6 Patisseries.  Well I guess it is good they aren't cheaper b/c if it was, I would become obese. 

Feb 12, 2011

April in Paris

That could be a song title, but that will also describe my life, well atleast in 2011.  I will be in Paris for almost 2 weeks this April with no family and not many other obligations.  I will have to attend 2 concourses.

What is a concourse, you ask?  Well this is the "Audition" for the coveted CNRS positions, that I have applied to.  Everyone who is eligible gets an interview, no matter how lame their project is, so I am getting 2 auditions, which will probably be about a week apart.

How long is a concourse?  15 minutes.  That is 10 minutes to present my 5-year project and 5 minutes to get killed by the firing squad of ~ 20 researchers.  Bring it on.

So what am I going to do the rest of the time?  Stay in Paris? go to Marseille?  Explore another region of France?  Go to Venice?  I don't know, but I would love to hear your suggestions.  I'm on a budget.

Feb 10, 2011

Embarassing Nightmares

You know those dreams you have that turn our to be scary, but not really you might die scary, more like you might die from embarrassment.  In the movies, the character finds himself naked on a bus or something.  Here are some of my top nightmares:
1) Finding out that I am in a public place without shoes.  I really hate wearing shoe, so I'm not sure why this one is so scary.  But there I am at work or at the store and I look down and guess what no shoes.
2) Public restroom without walls.  Just a big room with 50 toilets. 
3) Losing a tooth.

And the weirdest and scariest ---

Not understanding when people talk to me because they are speaking French.  Not sure how my brain seems to know perfect French, but it doesn't seem to understand a word.  But there you have it.  I am at a dinner party or something and everyone is speaking French and looking at me like I am from Mars...

Feb 1, 2011

So it begins...

When every one decided to begin a paper trail with the French Government, there is always a back and forth.  You give them the papers that they ask for.  They ask you for papers that aren't on their official list.  You try to find these new papers and send them what they need, they decided that something was wrong with the first set of papers and need corrections.  You send them corrected paperwork.  Then there is a problem with the second set of papers...  And so on and so forth.

Here is their response to my paperwork:

Dear French-WantToBe:
We have received your paperwork.  Unfortunately we can't process your paperwork without the birth certificates of both of your parents and their marriage certificate.  Also your husbands birth certificate was older than 3 months old, and even though we didn't say that we needed his new birth certificate in our paper work, you should have known that you needed like everyone needs to carry a new electric bill around to prove that they live in France.  Also we will need 2 copies of your passport, information about your previous marriages and whether you have children, because while your sons names are in the copy of the 'livre de famillie' that you provided, I will need a separate paper with all of their information and probably blood so I can confirm, that they are in fact sons of France.
Cordially yours,
M. French Functionaire.

Jan 23, 2011

Application In

I finally send in my French citizenship application.  After getting all of the right paperwork and writing my letter of motivation (See Dear France), we mailed it in.  I have to say that there should be some new proof ofs....

Are you a real couple? 
Not sure a bank statement, a cell phone bill is a big enough of a commitment as a child.  My 2 kids should be proof enough that my spouse and I are a real company and I just didn't marry him to get in the EU line at the airport.

Will you be a burden to France?
I am assuming the reason you have to send in your CV, it's because they want to make sure that you won't go there without some skill necessary to finding employment.  But really France, what about stay-at-home parents, are they not worthy of France?  Is there some other proof?  Not that I am stay-at-home mom, but I'm just saying

Are you divorced?
The application requires your Marriage Certificate that is dated less than 3 months ago.  But Maryland doesn't date their Marriage Certificates with any date but the issue date.  And if a couple get's divorced would the State know to stop issuing them a copy of their Marriage Certificate?

Anyway, I should hear soon whether or not the copy of my paperwork is acceptable.  If so I can send in the real thing, good grief.  Hmm, I am not sure this is worth using the EU line at the airport;)

Jan 19, 2011

Dear France

Dear France,
Please accept me into your ranks?  I will be a good citizen and vote and care about the general state of the country.  I am a nice person.  I love baguettes and sitting for hours drinking wine.  Why would you want me in your country?  Well I hope one day to be a productive citizen and am highly likely to cure a major disease, like cancer or something.  At least that is what I tell the grant agencies in the US.  I have been learning to make yummy French food, such as Galette des rois and roast duck.  Also I am committed to my children learning French.  I have tried to get my husband to sing the Marseillaise during dinner, but he doesn't know the words.  If you accept me, I will learn the words! 

Signed applying to be French.

Jan 13, 2011

Helping a Fellow Alum

Here is another letter that I got about 2 months ago:
I found your information when doing a search on the University of XYZ’s Alumni website.  I am a 2003 graduate with a BS in French Language and Literature.  While studying abroad in Paris during my third year, I decided that one day, France would be my home.  After many years in the corporate world, I decided it was time to chase my dream.  Earlier this year, I left my job and have been desperately searching for a way to make this dream a reality by early 2011.  
The reason that I’m contacting you is because you have successfully established yourself abroad.  As you probably know, it’s very difficult to navigate through the bureaucracy of the French government to get a job or a visa (after all, which comes first??), therefore I have hit many dead-ends.  As a fellow Wahoo and a resident of France, I am asking for your assistance and counsel in finding a job and moving to the Paris area.
My professional experience is in sales and operations, with over 10 years of service with XYC company; however, my interests and skill-set are vast.  I ask that you please consider your network of friends, neighbors and business colleagues and what jobs they may have available.  I am willing to start at the bottom, prove myself, and work my way up again.  Right now, it isn’t as much about the position, but about getting to a place I know I should be. 
My CV, which is attached, contains additional information on my experience and skills. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss possible options with you and to provide further information about myself. I can be reached anytime via email or on my mobile phone: 1-555-555-5555.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration,
I just have no idea what to say about letters like these.  I have a PhD in Biochemistry.  What do I know about business....I have no connections, etc.

No Access Pass

Today I got another email from an American who thinks I can teach them the secret to getting a job in France.  Here is that letter
Hi! I'm one of the American members of the Live-In-France Group in Yahoo and I'm new to Facebook and interested in connecting with Americans who are associated with France and French people (for many years I've wished I could be one of them!). I'm especially fascinated with the very fortunate American women who have been blessed with the qualifications to marry into the French nationality, as I'm a would-be Revolutionary War historian who knows a thing or two about the great patriotic alliance during America's fight for independence. Most of all, I'm interested in networking to somehow obtain a career connected with France, preferably the type that would enable me to become eligible to live there. Maybe you and/or other friends can hook me up? From what I've learned in that Yahoo Group, merely being proficient in the language and openly appreciating the culture (and being an overall nice, gracious person) is not enough. I noticed you're from Maryland. I've been told by family that through my mom's side I'm descended from one of the Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence, however that's recently been disputed by someone in authority. In September I had a brief stop in Maryland to eat while on a bus trip to Washington D.C.

Dear Americans who want to live in France,
I have no secret.  The first time I moved to France I was not even a Francophile.  I didn't speak or read or write French.  I have no special skills when it comes to being French.  I happen to be nice to a French waiter 12 years ago, who eventually married me.  I wanted to move to Germany, I was studying German.  I have no advice.  Life is unexpected.

Jan 10, 2011

What Would Julia Do?

Lately, because of the Xmas holiday, I have been wondering 'What would Julia do?'  The Julia here is Julia Child.  How long should I cook this duck?  Julia, what do you think? How can I make a Frangipane for Epiphany?  Does Julie know that one too?
Finally, I have a French cookbook, that I can actually read and understand (because it's in English), unlike all of the ones that A has in French.  How long would Julia cook a duck, about an hour and a half.  Oh yeah and she thinks I should stab the skin and rub it in sage.  How original.  Frangipane, I ask?  Well no need to make "creme pâtissier', like A's textbook claims.  I can make the same tasting filling with just sugar, butter, eggs, almond paste, vanilla and rum.  Thanks goodness, because creme pâtissier requires lots of wisking.
I am not cooking everything in her excellent 2 volume book in a year or devoting my blog to cooking.  But it is my new goto for French cooking.  Thanks A and S for such a great B-day present.  I will try to post the picture soon;)

Jan 4, 2011

Didn't I just leave?

I applied for this year's CNRS competition.  I am not sure what the future hold, but if you don't buy a lotto ticket you will never win the lotto....  So I bought a ticket.  Much more like I spend a lot of time writing a proposal, had to find a bunch of files from the past, like my 5 year old thesis and fill in a bunch of boring paperwork, but I did it.

Now to apply for French citizenship.  I need to write the motivation letter.  Why do you think I should want to be French?

Jan 1, 2011

New Years Resolutions

In the spirit of a new year, I have decided to make a few New Year's Resolutions. 

1) I will potty train my youngest son and be totally free of diapers by 2012.  2012 the beginning of my diaper and diaper bag free life!
2) I will, of course, lose 10-20lbs.  I am technically ok in the weight department.  But I have had 2 kids and firming up would be nice.
3) I will learn to make a few signature dishes.  One day, I want my boys to say, 'My mom makes the best XYZ' whatever they will be.  But they will be better than anyone else's XYZ.
4) I will drink less beer and other loaded calories that I don't need.
5) I will complain less, I am starting to sound French.
6) I will get into shape.  I was in shape last summer, but the winter has been unkind;(
7) I will figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
8) I will stop worrying about the little things a dirty floor and food in the kid's hair.

Well I thought there were going to be 10, but that's already a lot for one year, no?

Happy New Year Everyone.  Bonne Année Tout Le Monde.