jeudi 31 mars 2011
Here they are folks, the Official Licensed "An American in Provence" postcards, hot off the presses. (Okay, I admit, I went a little crazy with VistaPrint). If you want one, send me your address via the contact link. Only stipulation is that you then have to give it to someone or else show someone my blog. (A little shameless self - promotion never hurt anyone, right?)
mardi 29 mars 2011

What is this? you may ask.
A modernist painting?
A new Chinese board game?
No my friends, it is the Nespresso capsule wall holder at my work.
We have a Nespresso coffee machine, and for Christmas one year I bought a stainless steel foamed milk maker (which I am pretty much the only one to use, but yay! I don't care).
For Christmas the year 2009 I bought this (all the way from Strasbourg no less, as they didn’t have it for internet order and the stores in Marseille didn’t carry it) to be mounted on the wall. (which only took 5 months to actually mount and the purchase of a drill).
It has 7x7 openings for the capsules. Nespresso has about 14 different strengths, and comes out with specialty flavors around Christmas and stuff.
For those of you not in the know (you poor things you) each color corresponds to a strength, from Ristretto 10 in Black to Decaffeinato 2 in Red.
At first, we all had our names on labels, one per column of spaces. Everyone had different preferences for colors, but I made sure that they were kept neat. That is to say, symmetrical about the horizontal axis.
3 blue and 4 brown? - from top to bottom of column - (brown blue brown blue brown blue brown)
5 blue and 2 brown? (blue brown blue blue blue brown blue)
6 blue and 1 brown? (blue blue blue brown blue blue blue)
4 blue, 2 brown, 1 red? (blue brown blue red blue brown blue)
Only 6 of one color? (capsule capsule capsule emptyspace capsule capsule capsule)
(I could go on for days, I experimented with all the different combinations. Get it?
Yeah, it kept me amused for a very long time. Hey, it made my mornings.
But then it was decided not to divide them up by name, but rather by strength (from strongest to weakest).
Rather less exciting for me, but hey, I'm adaptable.
Before I left for my studying/test/doing nothing in Colorado extravaganza, I had it very neatly arranged, each column corresponding to a color, from strongest 10 on the left to weakest 2 on the right.
When I came back, it was in total disarray. I suppose from randomly using different capsules, replacing them with others not according to my carefully-thought-out color scheme.
I patiently reordered the capsules, and make sure that the columns were kept filled up (in fact, could you please just take the capsules directly from the boxes they came in, which are on the side by the microwave, so as to not mess up my capsule tableau? thank you).


Can you say, pulling my chain?!
I must let it go. I must let it go.

I try not to look at it when I pass by.

Deep breaths.
I will get through this with a Zen attitude and some long meditations on how it is symbolic of the unpredictableness of life, and that not everything can be controlled.
And now? They'll just have to guess at what strength their Nespresso capsule is. Hah!
lundi 21 mars 2011
While up in Georgetown, we stopped in a store that makes homemade candy, fudge, etc. I bought these two pieces of fudge (Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Peanut Butter) with the intention of giving them to a certain group of people, but now am thinking that I deserve it more.

(Kinda like the first time we visited France and I bought a box of special French chocolatier chocolate to offer to a friend graduating from college. Yeah, she never got the chocolate.)

dimanche 20 mars 2011
You would have thought that a (human) dishwasher who was doing the dishes by hand for two + years would welcome the arrival of a (machine) dishwasher. But no.

I constantly have to tell my (human) dishwasher "Put the dishes in the (machine) dishwasher! That's what we bought it for, for goodness sake!'

(Human) dishwasher: Oh but it's (too time consuming, uses too much water, we don't have enough dishes...)


I have to literally force (human) dishwasher to use the (machine) dishwasher.
I just don't understand it.

Then there's the whole "You run it because I don't know how."
It's really quite easy Mr. PhD. You unwrap the little square of detergent, put it in the plastic holder, close the door of the holder, close the door of the machine dishwasher, push the on button, select the Eco option, then push the Go button.

It's like Magic!

Lately the (human) dishwasher has been putting dishes in the (machine) dishwasher, but somehow I am still the one that has to start it and unload it.

I came back from two weeks away, and found that the human dishwasher had not used the machine dishwasher in the two weeks I was away. Rather, the plates that were in the machine dishwasher since before my departure were still there, unwashed, with mold growing on the bits of food left on the plates. Fabulous.

The human dishwasher had used the same plate, knife, fork, spoon, and glass the whole two weeks, washing them after each use.

Le sigh. I'm back.
samedi 12 mars 2011

Population :1,088 (2000 Census)
Founded : 1859 during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush
ZIP Code : 80444
Elevation : 8530 feet (2600 m)

My post from last visit for Christmas 2008

A few years ago, my parents, aunt, and uncle went in on buying a second house in Georgetown, which they split between them. It is about an hour west of Denver, near the ski resorts.

I like going up there, it is always so peaceful and quiet.
It has a tiny downtown area, with several touristy-shops, a shop that makes candy, a shop that sells cowboy hats, etc.

When I go up there, I usually sleep about 80% of the time. Get up late, take an afternoon nap, go to bed early. We have spent one or two Christmases there, and Alain has been there twice.
This visit, we drove up there on Monday, and another aunt and uncle arrived, whom I hadn't seen in several years. My dad and uncle went skiing one day, while the ladies read/slept/watched girly movies/shopped. It was fun.

Now back down to the Front Range, for more reading/sleeping/watching girly movies/shopping.

It is a hard life.
jeudi 10 mars 2011
bagels & cream cheese
Grape soda
mac & cheese
chicken pot pie
french toast
caramel corn
dill pickles
Swiss Miss
cheddar cheese
guacamole & tortilla chips
grilled cheese sandwich
vendredi 4 mars 2011

J'ai le plaisir de vous faire savoir que vous êtes Française depuis le 16/02/2011.

En effet, votre nom est inscrit dans le décret n° 009 pourtant naturalisation et réintégration, signé à cette date et publié au Journal officiel du 18/02/2011 sous votre nom de naissance.
jeudi 3 mars 2011
From one of my favorite bands, Matthew Good

We will waste this whole town
Wipe the knives and go to ground
An equal ride for the sheep that reign
For all their lies and all their games
But I won't wait for you to be brave
More than one way to be okay

What are you thinking?
What are you thinking?
What are you thinking?
Oh, what are you thinking?

This is my head and yours
- just metaphors
I guess we'll always end up more
beat to life in restraint
Hit by mouths gone medicated

What are you thinking?

Go explode
What time is it that you're waiting for?

We could waste this whole town
Wipe the knives and go to ground
This musical ride, these sheets of rain
For all their lies and all their games
Just being alive don't get you saved
If there's more than one way to be okay

What are you thinking?
Go explode

What time is it that you're waiting for?
mercredi 2 mars 2011
(March Megan Music Month)
Introducing you to some of my favorite songs, from bands you probably haven't heard of.

Out on the front line, don't worry I'll be fine
The story is just beginning
I say goodbye to my weakness,
So long to the regrets
And now I know that I'm alive
mardi 1 mars 2011
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride of slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength. It is war-worn Hotspur, spent with hard fighting, he of the many errors and valiant end, over whose memory we love to linger, not over the memory of the young lord who "but for the vile guns would have been a valiant soldier."
- Theordore Roosevelt, speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

My VMI yearbook dedication: To all those who doubted me, you only made me stronger.

I survived VMI. I can survive the European Qualifying Examination goddamn it.

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