Friday, February 29, 2008

Je suis un homme

I like this song, for the music (okay, it's a bit on the poppy side) and also for the lyrics.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Qui suis-je?

Je suis l'homme et je suis la femme
Je ne suis ni l'homme ni la femme
Je suis l'un et ju suis l'autre
Je ne suis ni l'un ni l'autre

Qui suis-je?

Chocolat & Fromage

I was in the supermarket today, en faisant des courses, when I came across the tea/coffee/chocolate section. I saw two products that I hadn't really noticed before. One of them called "Nestlé Chocolat" and the other called "Nestlé Intense au Chocolat".

I don't think I need to tell you which one I decided to buy. The first cup of Nestlé Intense au Chocolat is sitting, half drunk, between me and the keyboard. Delicious. Plaisir & Dégustation is correct. My only criticism is that initially it wasn't sweet enough, so I had to add a few cuillères of sucre.

I also bought a small block of Tomme de Savoie, as I liked it when I was in Grenoble.

These two purchases happened because I went to a different supermarché today, after teaching in Montparnasse, over in the 14th.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cats and César

There are cats in my building. I've been living here since the fifteenth of September and I've only just seen them for the first time. I think they belong to the people who own or run one of the restaurants at the bottom of the building. I haven't worked out which one they run yet, because I haven't bothered trying. I hope they run "Le Chat Noir" because both cats are black. I saw them because I heard a noise coming from the small light well that my kitchen window opens into, and when I leant over and looked down, there were two cats and three trays of fruit and vegies on the window sill of the 1st floor apartment.

Last night was the 33rd César Awards Cérémonie. The Césars are the awards for French film and television (télévision, in French). Some people won some prizes and others didn't. I didn't pay enough attention so I can't tell you what the outcome was, even if you were interested. The reasons I mention this event is because the ceremony is held in Theatre du Chatelet, which is next door to the group of buildings that I live in, so I went out to see if anything interesting was happening. I missed the arrivals of all the stars because I was eating and finished dinner before I went down, so I only saw a few spectators, some organisers, press, and truckloads of police. A homeless man (well, he didn't look clean, smelt a bit and had bad teeth) told me that he thought the ceremony was ridiculous and that people shouldn't pay attention to it. He said a lot of other things too, but he mumbled and I haven't learnt the art of understanding French mumble yet. I didn't ask him why he was there, obviously paying attention to it.
I took some photos of the outside, and they can be found here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Well, don't you look tasty today!


I'm going to be rich!

I received a letter in the mail today telling me that I'm going to be rich!

A man called Gasper Gaston, who says he's a solicitor and public notary, has written to me requesting my help. Until recently, he was the solicitor for a very wealthy man called Mr. Dunant Drake. This very wealthy man died recently and left a alrge sum of money in a Spanish bank account, just waiting for someone to collect it (9.5m euros). The problem is that Mr Gaston can't collect it himself because his name is different, but I can help him because I share a surname with the deceased man.

All I have to do is give him my bank account details so that the Spanish bank can transfer the money into my account.

At the start of the letter, he assures me that he is honest and it is legitimate.


Cool and Geeky

This is incredibly cool and geeky. So much so, that if I thought I could be bothered setting it up, I'd buy a Wiimote. The one I like best is the headtracking one. For me, there aren't really any practical uses, but I'm very impressed.

Je suis allé à Grenoble.

Yes, as the title subtley suggests, I spent the weekend in Grenoble. I arrived late Friday night (at about 11:45pm) and went straight to Thomas' apartment.
On Saturday we went hiking up a nearby mountain (that really doesn't narrow it down - Grenoble is surrounded by mountains, but I can't remember which one). We were lazy in the morning and didn't leave his apartment until midday, so it was just an afternoon of hiking, after which I was tired anyway. Because we hiked through a lot of snow we needed to use snowshoes, which was cool because it was the first time I'd ever used them and they definitely made walking through the snow much easier, especially on the steep bits of the slope. The view from the top of the mountain was beautiful (see photos on the left). On the way down we decided, after walking a little, that it was more fun (not to mention quicker) to slide rather than walk down the mountain. I'd been sitting on the snow for a while so my bum was sufficiently numb that I didn't notice where the snow was bumpy (well, mostly).
On Saturday evening, Thomas, Lise, a friend of theirs, and I went to an Italian restaurant for dinner. The food was amazingly delicious, though a bit on the expensive side. We shared two antipasto platters between the four of us for entree, and we all had a piece of dead cow for main (though cooked differently, with different sauce and sides etc..). My dessert was an ile flottante (floating island: a meringue floating in a bowl of custard). The others had chocolate cake or tiramisu.
We were up early on Sunday morning in order to get as much skiing in as possible. We went to a place near Sept Laux. I can't remember the name of the station we actually went to, but I'll try to find out. I love skiing. My arms and legs are sore now from the exercise but it was worth it. I need to go more often. I started out skiing on green and blue runs to warm up remember how to do it, but by the end of the day I was on red runs (though not difficult reds) and even one black* one!
I only had one spectacular fall, where I tumbled a bit and had to retrieve equipment that hadn't fallen as far as I had. Unfortunately it was witnessed (by Thomas) so I can't pretend it didn't happen.
We left the ski field at about 5pm and got back to Grenoble just after 6pm. I had a couple of hours to rest and repack my clothes that had created a large messy pile of themselves next to my bed (of their own accord, of course), before going to the train station and returning to Paris.
A cheese called 'Tomme de Savoie' is all the rage in Grenoble at the moment (and probably has been for many many years). I saw several people buying it in the Monoprix near Thomas' place. Thomas also had some in his fridge and I tried it. It's delicious, and much better than anything advertised as "tasty".

Photos of my weekend are on Picasa** and there's a link to the album on the left of this blog.

* Okay, not really. It was signed as a black run, but I suspect it was an "ego-black" - it was easier than some of the red ones. Some resorts have taken to being a little bit generous in their classification of the difficulty of some runs, so that the people who ski there feel like they're better.
** I had problems with Flickr, so I'm trying Picasa for a while to see which I prefer.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I went to the cienma last night. I saw Juno. It's hilarious. I'm not going to tell you that you should see it, instead I'm going to just say: SEE IT!

I saw it at the cinema complex in the dome in La Defense. French cinemas (well, Francilien ones anyway) are strange; they herd you out a different door when you exit, possibly to stop you wandering into another cinema instead of leaving. The exits they send you through feel like fire exits, and small dingy alleys. It feels like the cinema staff regard you as dirty filth now that your movie has finished.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Phlegm News!

If you happen to do a Google Blog Search for 'Phlegm' you'll be pleased to discover that my blog is the fourth listing! Cool!
How did I discover this, you may well ask? Well, I didn't actually do the abovementioned search just for the hell of it, but my sitemeter told me that it was how someone from India found their way to my blog. Of course, I then did the search to verify it.

In case you're interested, the search term "naked arse man" seems to bring a lot of random people to my blog, and it's the main cause of non-regular readers stumbling their way here.


Dlaczego piszę po polsku? Nie wiem. Może tylko bo mogę. Nie wiem co chciałbym mówić dzisiaj, ale chcę mówić że jestem bardzo szczęśliwy. Nie chcę pisać tutaj dlaczego jestem tak szczęśliwy, ale wiem że wiesz dlaczego. Drugi pytania - dlaczego piszałem "wiesz"? Bo myślę że tylko jeden/jedna polak/polka czyte mój blog! Cześć Agatka :-)

Jeszcze jest dwadzieścia pięć dni przed....

Mówisz po polsku? Lub to rozumiesz? Mów mi. Chciałbym wiedzić ile osób rozumią po polsku kto czytą mój blog. Dzięki!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Not my favourite ISP

I'm just after checking my hits on my blog stalking program (sitemeter, check the bottom left-hand corner of my blog) and discovered something worrying. Someone (a random, not someone I know) has recently viewed my page using the ghastly ISP AOL. My blog feels so dirty now.

Sunday Breakfast

I'm just after* eating breakfast this morning. I had four pieces of toast; two with plum jam and two with condensed milk. Delicious. It wasn't an unhealthy breakfast because I had a glass of pulp-free orange juice.
Ok, so it wasn't a spectacular breakfast like some others I've recently read about, but it was more than my usual glass of Milo.

* I can use this structure because I'm Irish.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ma mélange de café et Docteur Karl etc

Comme j'ai déjà écrit, j'ai acheté deux types de café. Une type pour les matins et une pour les soirs/après-midis. Parce que je fais trois tasses de café chaque fois que je le fais, et je n'ai pas envie de boire trois doses de caffeine chaque fois, j'ai décidé de faire une mélange, même pour les matins. Dans les soirs, je n'ai rien changé.
Maitenant je bois un café; 50% de Segafredo (le café du matin) et 50% de Lavazza (le café du soir). Je l'aime bien. Et j'en bois avec quelques TimTams (double coat). Très bien.

Aussi, j'ecoute la plus recente emission de Dr. Karl, de jjj. Il y a beaucoup de problèmes avec cette emission. Est-ce que c'est un problème avec mon ordinateur, ou un problème de jjj? Ils parlent de merde maitenant, mais c'est pas le problème.

Pour les fans des Annales du Disque-Monde, le nom de "Mr Teatime" (Hogfather) est "Leureduthé" (Le père porcher). Je le trouve amusant.

On m'a dit des nouvelles il y a trois jours. Je suis très content. Je ne dis rien en plus. C'est un peu cryptique, non? (Je sais qu'il y a des gens qui le savent)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Jozin z Bazin?

I'm not really sure how to introduce this video. It's in Czech, and so I have no idea what the lyrics are to the song, but I don't really think you need to understand what they're singing to get some entertainment value out of the vid. Also, it's worth watching to the end, just to see the random guy with the glass. I'm sure it all fits together and makes sense somehow. Really.

If anyone can make head or tail of it, please let me know what's going on.

Ma famille est nombreuse

It's common in Paris to see beggars; in the streets, metros, near touristy areas etc. Some of them ask you directly for money, others moan at you for money, and others just sit there with a cardboard sign asking for money.
Most of the signs say something like "I'm hungry, please give money or restaurant tickets" (but in French, of course, or badly translated English, near the tourist sites). To go one step further, many have signs that say "I'm hungry, and I have three children" (also in French, usually). If the sign mentions children, it's always 3 children; I'm yet to see a sign telling me that they have 1, 2, or 4 children. 3 is the number to which thou shalt count and the number of the counting shall be 3.

I have often wondered why 3 was the magic number, and I doubted that all these beggars were fans of Monty Python. A few days ago, I finally got around to asking one of my students, and he explained that in France, if you have 3 children, your family is classed as a "Famille Nombreuse" and you receive discounts on public transport, and many other places. This makes sense for the beggars: Have 3 kids, and get the discounts, but a 4th kid is too expensive to feed because the forth kid isn't considerate enough to bring further discounts, and therefore not economically viable.

I have two brothers, which means that my family is "big" my French standards.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Yes, this is a post about phlegm. But not mine this time! For those of you who like to keep track of my phlegm (and for those who I inform anyway), I haven't produced any interesting phlegm since around Christmas.

I can hear the unmistakable sounds of someone trying to expectorate coming from the corridor outside my apartment. It's quite loud, and sounds like it's happening in the corridor rather than inside someone's apartment, so I hope I don't have to step over large globs of phlegm while trying to enter the lift.

Just thought you'd all like to know.

Gdzie ja chcę mieszkać?

Ja też

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lecteur MP4

At the polyglot meeting I went to the other night, my mp4 player jumped out of my coat pocket and made its way, thanks mostly to gravity, to the floor. I didn't see it happen, as my coat was draped over the back of my chair, but another polyglot saw it on the ground and asked me if it was mine. I promptly put it in my backpack and thought nothing of the incident.
The next morning when I tried to use it on my journey to work, it displayed a bright white screen rather than the usual welcome message, and then went no further. It seems I have "white screen of death" with the mp4's software. I haven't had a chance to examine it internally, but I noticed that the play button doesn't seem to move adequately when pressed, so I've started to suspect that maybe it was found by someone after being in the middle of a "shoe-floor" sandwich.
I hope I can make it work again, as I've become accustomed to listening to music on my travels and I don't want to shell out the cash for another player. Also, I've only had this player for a couple of months due to France's irritating customs control - this player's too young to die!


Well, I signed in to blogger to write a boring, mundane post about how I've had a cold for the last couple of days, and noticed that I'd written 299 posts, so this is number 300! Yay! Happy 300th post to my blog!

Anyway, back to the cold. It hasn't been debilitating, and I've managed to go to work (partially because I don't get paid if I stay away), but it's been annoying. I also find that I'm not as patient when I'm a bit under the weather as I usually am, and this results in me getting annoyed quicker at stupid things that happen, like people who decide to stop walking for no apparent reason, right in front of me, or people standing on the left-hand side of the escalator (it says "Tenez votre droit!", come on people!). Unfortunately, as it's still illegal in this part of the world to kill people who displease you, simply because they displease you, I haven't done anything about it, and just seeth internally.

Another metro story: I was sitting on the metro the other day (line 14, or perhaps line 1) and the woman sitting diagonally across from me was reading. This isn't such a strange event in itself, as many women read in this country. The strange part was that she was reading aloud, and not quietly either. There weren't many other people on the train at that point, and it was clear that she wasn't reading for the benefit of a friend/child or of the general public. I can tell you that she gave different voices to different characters though.
Normally on the metro people like to pretend that no one else exists. No eye contact, no smiles, just stare off into the distance and imagine it's a private carriage.

The weather was cold, windy, grey, rainy and generally miserable today. It had quite a noticeable effect on some of my students who weren't as happy as they usually are, especially as it's a Friday. I was bored too, as a result of this, the weather, and my cold.
Today was bleurrgh.