rubah: (Default)
I got stu to call my house/dad's phone. no answer. He went to mow and I went to be a neurotic wreck, and when he came back a few hours later, i asked him to try again except try my grandma's house also this time. he went silent for several minutes. I guessed correctly this meant that he'd gotten through to someone. He said they were going to be busy tonight with a dinner and that if my flight changed any i should call.

so i never got to talk to my parents, but I do have an idea what they're doing so maybe that'll tide me over ;o

I also talked to my host mom and she said she would drive me to our meeting place to take the coach[bus] to paris. that was such a relief.

"talked" to stu a little and now I'm sitting with half an hour to kill while he's getting dinner. i've got my hair in chopsticks and a cute and hopefully comfortble outfit to wear.

Twenty hours from now, I'll be home, I think.

I don't feel like my french is any better. i learned a few rules, but didn't talk nearly enough to improve in usage. I always got scared saying anything. I really don't know how my studies of the language will go from here. the last few days i've had spanish on the brain, but there's really not much room for a foreign language in my further college career( except on summers)

and hey, my shoulder's finally peeling from paris! took long enough! *scratches skin*

so uh

Jun. 27th, 2008 01:01 am
rubah: (Default)
I really don't know how on earth I'm going to get to the school where the bus to Paris will leave from saturday morning at 3 am. Or maybe 2am or 4am. I'm not sure.

I asked my host dad if they'd gotten an e-mail from the professor from the uofa that is kinda the sponsor, and at first he said no, then he remembered they had. but he didn't say anything about transporting me and my suitcase at that time.

I guess I could call a taxi, except I don't have a phone. I could also take the last bus at midnight or whatever and just sit there for a few hours, but uh, that'd get kinda old fast.

Oh yeah, and

Billy Warren Jones, 84, of Pottsville entered the eternal embrace of our Lord on Wednesday, June 25, 2008, at his home.
He is now reunited with his mother, Avice Kendrick Jones; his father, Alexander Marshal Jones; his brothers, Harold, Benton and Quentin Jones; his sisters, Ena Thompson, Hazel Maxwell and Jane Keenan; his great-grandson, Mason Lee Cowan.
A resident of Crow Mountain, Mr. Jones was a life-long member of the Mars Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church where he had served as a superintendent and elder. Billy was a veteran of World War II, a member of the American Legion, a 60-year member of the Pottsville Lodge 333, a 32nd degree Mason, and a 50-year member of the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He loved to read, travel and spend time with his family.
He leaves behind his wife, Mary Alice Peters Jones of Pottsville; three sons, Robert Jones and wife, Nina, daughter-in-law, Doris Jones, William Jones and wife, Martha, and George Jones and wife, Kathrine; his daughter, Kathryn Byrum and husband, Jimmy; a sister, Nell Norris; 12 grandchildren; and 13 great grandchildren;
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday June 28, at Bowden Cemetery on Crow Mountain. Arrangements are under the direction of Humphrey Funeral Service..

I guess I can't go.
rubah: (Default)
Who comments the most on this journal? )
At least I know that if stu ever comes down with some strange finger infection keeping him from being able to type ever again, Denffe will be able to keep me infused with lj comments.

Anyways, day 2 of paris typed up:
Woke up at 9:15 to a phone call-- Cherise coming for her batteries. Groggy, dressed, slept unsoundly. Got a monoprix breakfast (sugar wafers). Took metro to Notre Dame- couldn't remember which was the important stained glass, so I took pictures of all of them. I found a very cute friendly sunny circle on the floor and took a picture of my shadow in it. They were actually having a ceremony in there at the time. I dunno what kind. There was a band playing outside when I emerged. I took a picture of the marimba there and wished I was playing. There was a mom that just picked her little girl up at the crotch to put her legs around the posts of this fence so she could sit on it xD it was so weird

Finally got new batteries and got temporarily "lost" while a little chinese man told a couple about not being able to restore pictures deleted from a digicam. Apparently no one had heard me when I said I was going across the street while they purchased street paintings. Got found again and we headed for some shopping after failing at deciding to visit Saint Chapelle (or something like that).

Started Jennifer's quest for l'argent while everyone else shoe shopped. We had just got to a La Poste when the woman inside locked the doors for the week-end. were unsuccessful in finding a place for her to change her bills.

we all went into H&M then, and I totally did not enjoy it because I was hardcore bleeding at the moment. I thought about getting stu a €5 polo shirt but I did not grab the chance. I sat on the fence outside H&M for a while until I just decided that no one would come out soon and went into McDonald's to wait in line for the bathroom. Luckily I had brought my napkins from starbucks with me; the stall didn't have any TP.

Returned to the fence, found people and we decided to manger à McDo's It was pretty expensive, but the mcnuggets I got were the best mcnuggets ever and I don't even like them at home. The fries were horrible though. They had these little balloons on sticks and I took one and then left it on the metro in front of these two twin asian girls. I hope they took it.

After that, we walked towards the river to ride the batteau mouche and we went past the bridge Lady Di died in. It was kinda sobering. The boat ride completed erased somberness from memory though, except a niggling regret at the huge sunburn I was getting (the boat ride sunburn was actually the least of my worries. I put my sleeves down for that and the tanline there is almost imperceptible compared to the overall day's)

We went to the Musée D'Orsay and it was closed! I was really looking forward to it after learning it had the 19th century stuff. I kinda dig Impressionism and the beginning of modern art like that. On the way back to the subway I got another pistachio ice cream cone (which wasn't very good. I think I'll give up on french pistachio for the time being), and successfully navigated the RER C line. I was pretty proud of that inspite of being doubted so hard. I wish people would have more confidence in my navigational skills.

Planned to go to D'Orsay the next day, got back to hotel, accompanied Jennier on pt 2 of money quest, still failure. Walked almost all the way back to Notre Dame in the pursuit, however. Passed a little menagerie with ostriches 8) No money changers though, so I made a silly off-color joke about it being saturday and all the french who weren't catholic were jewish and at synagogue. I felt kinda uncomfortable on the walk because I had shucked the pajama bottoms I had worn under my blue dress all day. It's not an immodest dress by any standards, but it still felt weird xD

Got back, had a short bathe, dressed, and withdrew some €€€. Left on a super crowded metro. My companions were pushing me onto the train and the french were pushing me off of it (rather angrily). walked to the George Pompidou building, thought "holy crap you can see every important thing in the city at once from here nearly". We ended up getting a table inside where you couldn't see, but I sat on the corner that could just catch a glimpse of the eiffel tower.

I definitely had a freak out here. "I'm not dressed good enough," "I don't have enough money to justify this". etc I also wasn't sitting next to anyone I knew very well, and that didn't help. The menu was impossible to understand with their fancy names that don't describe the food at all (the tiger who cries for example). also they gave us no water. I ended up ordering a bottle of vittel inadvertantly because I was dying for something to drink. I hate how stingy expensive places like that are. They wouldn't even let me take the rose place setting home :( they were getting wilted anyways so I don't know why they cared >:{

But it ended up that my place setting mates were more genial than I had hoped; johnathan complimented me on my pictures and Melissa told a lot of funny stories, and the three of them (the ones who didn't generally hang out with the other ten of us) were wide eyed when I responsed to their question that I was 19.

There was a movie of appalachia playing on two lcd tvs above our heads that featured long winding paths, a fish on the chopping block, and a naked man wearing a pig's head and brandishing a gun. I snapped a picture to remember pigman forever. I should reread the book The Pigman, at that.

I ended up paying for Jennifer's dinner since she had not found money, otherwise I would've gotten off light with only spending €38 out of €892 total for all thirteen of us. I felt physically ill when I thought about how much money that was, or maybe that was my conscience berating me for supporting the death of cute little crispy ducks.

On the metro home, I got into a car with a bunch of drunk people who were smoking and doing shots of something whiskeylike in a dark brown bottle. Their friends were singing a drinking song and the mood was so infectious that I had to join in a little bit. Not too much incase they were like 'wtf you're not french' and decided to rape me or something. It was exhilarating, making the second time I was scared and excited at the same time.

It was the Fête de la Musique that night so I went to bed to the heavy bass beats from down the road, but I snapped a picture of the solstice moon (didn't even realize it was the solstice!) and slept unsoundly again (because of sunburn but also because I was lying on my wallet xD)

the weather was so gorgeous that day though.
rubah: (Default)
June 20:
Got up at 6:00-- initially thought it was 6:30, calmed down, talked to stu, read an e-mail from my dad basically saying my grandpa is about to die. Cried for a while, talked to stu, calmed down again. Took a new bus and it turned out fine. Got to the gare and the train was an hour late. Stood around for an hour, trying to figure out if the train we were standing next to was ours, decided it was, walked through, realized it wasn't, then figured out another train was coming to couple on. Train arrived, we settled in and were off. Started bleeding (predictably!)

Got to Paris and it was pretty stinky around the gare Lyon. Alternates between urine river and $500/oz perfume. Hawkers everywhere.

Went to hotel room, got tamped up, set off walking to metro, went to Sacre Coeur, intense déjà-vu of big restaurant building (george pompidou) on a cloudy day with mostly strangers. Beautiful ceiling in Sacre Coeur. God dude looking up from the edge. Bought a toothpick holder and lighter. Dunno who to give them to (well, lighter is for cory, and the toothpick thing was supposed to be for megan, but I might get her a t-shirt on OMGSALE day wednesday). Walked past the Amélie café and the Moulin Rouge. Went into l'Opéra which was closed for rehearsal.

Gallery Lafayette--reminds me of the place I hated in London. Too expensive, too shopping, etc etc etc etc I just don't dig them. Bought hp and the half blood prince and a cute black shirt I'm pretty eager to wear (when it's not hot). This also had a nice ceiling. Saw some €350 shirts, shirts that had cables on them to prevent shoplifting.

Took metro to Champs-Élysées. L'Arc de Triomphe was pretty dang inspiring. It was incredible to think of all the men who died for France for whatever reason to have their names inscribed on this huge arch in the middle of a gigantic roundabout. The first thing we saw was a tow truck pulling a car away. Got my first glimpse of the tour eiffel at this point. Walked down the entire length of the CE to the Louvre. Holy crap that was excruciating. (two miles).

Saw amazing paintings (i took pictures of my favorites except for a couple (the coronation of napoleon, and this red dress duchess looking lady). Took a gratuitous shot of the wreck of the medusa and the mona lisa to satisfy Mrs. Jones, and took a special walk to find Venus de Milo for mom but actually enjoyed seeing it. Mona lisa has her own special room now with a long line to see her, and frankly I didn't think it was worth waiting for. Got a nice green tea for relatively cheap (€2.80 compared to uh, €5 for a coke; make sure you take a water bottle or your own drinks to the Louvre, not to mention every other single place in Paris)

Metroid (haha pun?) to uh, Trocadéro where I finally took proper pictures of the eiffel tower (it was a pretty sunset atm too!), then we ate at the café trocadéro which wasn't too bad. I had thought previously that the sparkling of the tower was a long term and gaudy thing, but I found out it is neither and was glad.

Oh yeah, at the little terrace that looks out on the tower, there was this dude that like ran up to this girl and like grabbed something from her, then all these other people started trying to fight him, but he had a chain in his hands, and the gendarmes just were kinda standing there talking on their talkies (hopefully calling for backup), but it was so crazy that this guy was just like doing that in the middle of a hundred people easily. There was a black guy that started to brawl with him, but he couldn't do much because of the chain. I didn't see the end of it, but I hope that guy got his ass whipped. It made me mad and I almost wanted to go over and do it myself.

Anyways, after dinner, we wanted to try and take a batteau mouche that night so we walked down the pont and of course it was too late, so we just went and stood under the middle of the eiffel tower for a while. It was so romantic walking up there. I wished so bad that stu was there. it is just simply gorgeous.

Past the tower is the champs de mars, and that night they were having what was easily the biggest lawn party I'd ever seen going on. There were hundreds of teens and young people out drinking, smoking, smoking joints I'm sure, and it was the first time I felt really scared and really excited in Paris. I wanted to go and join them, but I was afraid also.

We made it back to the metro for an unbelievably long ride back to the hotel, and when we got back there, they were counting as we came in and shortly after, we got a call asking us how many people were in our room. Of course they weren't going to let us get away with cheating them, so the three who were going to be bunk buddies between teh rest of us had to get their own room. shamefully, I stayed in my room and had nothing to do with it because I was tired and didn't want to have to deal with difficult problems. Understandable perhaps, but entirely selfish.

I took a nice hot bath and scraped the blisters off my feet then settled in for bed.
rubah: (Default)
Foods I miss:
Dr. Pepper
My dad's goulash
cheap generic brands
rubah: (Default)
If you were a frenchy, would you have a scale?
If yes, where would you keep it? (your choices are: kitchen, closet, hallway, living room, music room, bathtub room, toilet room, bedroom, bedroom, stair landing, bedroom, master bedroom, bedroom, bedroom.)
If you had a girl that was probably anorexic in your house (very skinny, never eats, always being told to eat and ignoring it, red scars on her arms, black emo clothes), would you still have the scale?
Where could you hide it that the girl couldn't find it but the american host student who wants to know how this french food has been acting on her weight could?
rubah: (Default)
I don't know, but I get so excited every time I post a comment on slashdot and it gets modded up. So when I posted a comment today and it got up to 5 (the highest), I was pretty just tickled.

I lurked at slashdot for so long before I finally decided to join (like uh, five years?), and it's probably for the better, because before, I didn't really have any unique experience to add, and I don't have very much now, but I do have some. It just makes me happy.

My host family served me french fries at lunch today. I was stoked. I also got plenty of laundry back today, so I'm also stoked about that. Now I just need to take a shower and my day will have been made complete.

And maybe if I could get a crack kind soul to pay $10 for coolbook so I can fiddle with blowing up my $1600 laptop that would be swell! ^_^
rubah: (Default)
there is such an awesome seeming fête going on so close, and I feel I can't go to it because there is no one I know who would go with me, or that I feel I can ask to accompany me.
rubah: (Default)
Mexican food. My gosh, the french may have been working in food refinement for hundreds of years, but you have to have the french nose and taste buds to appreciate it (or have drunk enough aperitif). Mexican food is very easily appreciated and my GOSH, I'm almost desperate enough to go to the Taco-Tak place off the quai tomorrow for lunch. I can only imagine what shredded chicken in a baguette will be like.

Maybe if I'm lucky, it'll be a crepe with shredded chicken, oh man, that sounds wonderful.

the weekend in strasbourg was pretty good. I added another country (Germany) to my world tour list. My passport is rapidly becoming useless because no one STAMPS IT, my gosh, what's the point if there's no stamp? Dumb EU.

anyways, I bought an umbrella, so I have a receipt (and a picture) to prove it!

I guess since the power flickered and took the router out, I might as well download the pix from my camera now!

k now it's up *posts*
rubah: (Default)

  1. Get your toothbrush and toothpaste.

  2. Apply toothpaste to toothbrush.

  3. Begin vigorously applying toothbrush to teeth

  4. Go to the bathroom with your water bottle, walking quietly so as to not hit the most noisy floorboards

  5. Urinate if necessary

  6. Do not flush the toilet, but instead, spit the toothpaste out, and rinse your mouth with water from the bottle. Do not put your mouth near the sink.

  7. Rinse the spittle and paste down the drain (with faucet)

  8. Drink the last of the water

  9. Push the toilet button(the US has levers, the UK and stu's house has chains, France has buttons. I hate to see what the japanese use.)

  10. Exit the bathroom, avoiding the loud floorboards

  11. Listen to the toilet flush from your room and try not to imagine the water from the bowl travelling up to the sink and possibly gurgling out.

what else can I teach you. Hmm. Oh I know!

How to eat dinner (in France)

  1. "On mange!"

  2. Seat yourself awkwardly at the dinner table because no one else is there yet

  3. After everyone else is there, allow Manon to fill your glass of water, or if you can do it yourself, fill it yourself and maybe someone else's

  4. Take some of the cantaloup, boiled eggs, corn, cucumbers, cranberry sauce, cheese things, tomatoes, and yellow mustard stuff.

  5. Eat these

  6. Listen closely for french conversation you can engage in, start, or need to reply to

  7. Watch the bowls those were in be replaced by the main dish, something like kebabs, pizza, lentil soup, egg rolls, salmon, chicken, or steaks

  8. Eat these

  9. Listen closely for french conversation you can engage in, start, or need to reply to

  10. Refill or have your water refilled.

  11. See these dishes disappear also to be replaced by cheese (three kinds) and some type of dessert to be chosen from fruit (strawberry and kiwi), yogurt (apricot, pineapple, pear), cakes and pies (rasperry, cherry, peach), delicious ice cream custard concoctions (delicious), and the like.

  12. Eat these

  13. When finished, take your plate to the dishwasher and listen closely for any instructions given in french as to the fullness of the dishwasher or anything else.

  14. Today the kids talked about self harm and cutting. I gathered this from the words 'blood' (sein), 'more' (plus), the gestures at arms (across the road), and the red faded scars on two siblings' arms.

    I got really uncomfortable. Like you must be right now.

    I keep wanting to ask Tristan (the brother) "pourquoi es tu triste?" because it's a pun, but also because he's so beautiful in a moody black haired (except I have a feeling he was born with his) emo kid kind of way. I don't know why, but I always want to make friends with that type.
    (stu is emoer than you'd think, really!)

    oh yeah, stu, manon's copain Nicolas has a complexion just like Ron's. kinda medium shaggy brown hair (well before ron dyed his blonde xD), pale skin and blue eyes. Kinda like my mom too! I didn't see any long scars across his arms, but there were a couple of round marks at the elbow I couldn't place but they made me very uncomfortable.

    I should ask jeff later if he was following that conversation. or was he there @_@ I don't remember!
    (jeff is the other hostee living here right now. We're in the same class and he and a bunch of others are from penn state)

    Oh yeah, I got the most useless coin in the world the other day: the €0,02 coin. Five of them. Everything in france is priced at multiples of fives, and I dont' even know why they bother. I guess maybe they have something in germany or somewhere that's €6,32 (does germany use euros?), but not in france. HOLY CRAP I HAVE FIVE OF THESE USELESS PIECES OF METAL.
    Good advice would be 'spend them!' but I want to do this pokemon style and catch them all, except I dont' need FIVE FREAKING COINS. And they're worthless unless in a set!

    if anyone would like a postcard from the US with a two centime coin in it, get back to me.

    I used my bus pass for the first time today. I was so happy. I was not quite so happy when I pushed the 'I want to get off button' and the 'stop requested' light did not blink on. Nor did it blink on when I pushed another 'I wanna get off button'. Luckily, someone *did* wish to get off at the stop after that, and that's how I started my trip to the Citadelle!
    this place took a freaking hard walk to get up to )

    I took a walk around the block yesterday and took some pictures maybe I'll post them tomorrow. I gotta get to bed for class in the morning!

    bonne nuit~

je m'amuse

May. 31st, 2008 01:45 pm
rubah: (Default)
First week done!

I'm glad some of you decided to read the stuff at WILT. I guess I could crosspost them, but then what's the point of having made the blog? anyways, at least that will make it easier to write my report when I get back (for having used my fellowship money on study abroad, they want a 2 page report. On what, I have no idea)

anyways, this is how my days have been going

Wake up about 8:20 or 9:20 depending on if it's MWF (LMV) or TTh (MJ).

Talk to stu before he goes to bed for a little while (this whole being in europe's time zone is just wow, frankly. All my emails come at the wrong times!)

Get dressed, go potty, eat a small petit-déjeuner (chocolate spread has been discovered, I was kinda dismayed when I poured the 'demi crème' (half and half, I think x.x it's definitely not regular lait. they keep it in a cupboard) and it just dissolved. The other american staying with my family was eating some sort of cocoa puffs and it hought this was teh same thing, but nop.

then jeff (pennsylvanian) and I walk the three minutes or so to the bus stop and wait for the 5 bus in the direction of Planoise. (one hour on a bus here is €1,15)
There's another family with study abroad students staying pretty near as I discovered when I found one of them on the bus when we missed the one we usually took (and got us to school ten minutes early)

on mondays, we have two hours of learning with Chakri, and on wednesdays and fridays, with 'Freddy'. Tuesday and Thursday start with an hour of laboratory (computers), then two hours of class. we do things like worksheets and stuff in the classes. It's probably my favorite part.

MWF/LMV has a two hour lunch, TTh/MJ has a one hour lunch. We go back for three hours of laboratory on MWF and two hours of 'atelier' on TTh. The Ateliers are kinda workshops for specific things about learning french. The one I'm in is a writing one, and we've looked at business letters and article writing from notes taken.

On long-lunch days, I usually walk with some of the other arkansans down to the Grande Rue in the Centre-ville to try and find something to eat that doesn't cost $10 a meal. It's pretty hard. I'm getting tired of sandwiches and whatever, but no-one else seems to want to try anything else. I'd like to see what french chinese food is like, but 'that's not why we came to france'


I also didn't come to france to starve to death on bread! My host mom even agrees with that xD

on short lunch days, I think I'll tend to grab something from the school's cafe on the 5° étage (6th floor)

Then, after school, take the 5 Orchamps bus back to Les Oiseaux and spend a few hours before dinner. I need to start doing my homework before dinner because dinner typically ends after 9PM and by then I need to start considering getting into bedtime mode xD It's really a big change from 5PM dining. I'll think 'oh, I can do this after dinner' or 'Oh we'll be having dinner soon, I shouldn't eat anything' but it's WRONG. I think the earliest we ate was 7:30 when it was just the dad and the kids (last night actually), and he left again right afterwards.

My evenings are usually passed reading the internet and talking to stu <33333333333 that is, I read the internet until stu wakes up xD

I think I'll start with renewed vigor with Harry Potter now that I know the tense it's written in xD That can have a big affect on your comprehension!

This house has so many macs. It's amazing. I'm pretty sure I saw another MBP or maybe a power book when I walked past one of the daughter's rooms. Then there's the big 17in one the mom has, the iMac, the eldest (I think) daughter has an iPhone, the other exchange student has a powerbook. It's just all amazing. The girl I sat next to on the plane had a powerbook! It was the first time I'd seen one. It was so thick compared to the mbp xD

They also have a femme de menage come in on saturdays apparently. I wonder what her name is :o I wonder if she'll want to clean my room ;o it's such a mess. everything's sitting out because I don't really have any drawers xD well there are drawers, but I don't want to disturb the stuff that's inside them.

I also wondered if they'd invite me to lunch this morning. The family is only obligated to provide two meals a day (breakfast and dinner thus far), and I was so hungry this morning that I got really upset and was working hard to stiffle my crying when Manon knocked at the door and said they were about to eat.

Jeff (penn state) had been in his room just a few minutes earlier, and she asked me if I knew where he'd gone and I didn't, so maybe he had the same thoughts and decided to go get something for himself, or more likely he went to play soccer with some locals (he's done that a lot)

But yeah, I have no confidence about anything here. The stress of not being able to express myself and not knowing how to ask or what will happen is definitely taking a toll on me. At least I do know now that Freddy is all too happy to help me with anything french I want to know, and I do feel comfortable enough with the other arkansans and some of the penn state people (I only knew one girl when I came here) to go places with them and just hang out together. That stuff is the hardest really; much harder than missing stu (being able to talk to him online has been so wonderful. If I'm this much of a wreck now, I don't want to think about what it'd be like without having him handy at least part of the day).

I decided to go with people to Paris on the 20th for two nights. I'm sure it will end up being amazing, but I freaked out so much yesterday when i found out how much just the train tickets would cost. (€71) but I'm determined to not be a chickenwuss about this. I also determined I wouldnt be a chickenwuss last night, and I went out with a bunch of people. It ended up being a pretty good time, but I was so freaked out when I was waiting. I hate being in limbo about something.


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