August 2005


Things you should know about the south of France should you ever wish to go there:

  1. Speedos:  All men in France think it’s stylish to wear speedos.  ALL of them, even the fat old hairy ones.  Make that especially the fat old ugly ones.   I think this really bites because the women here walk around topless, which is fab for foreign men, but us women are stuck with speedo-clad men. But it does make it easy for single women because you know if you see a man in swim trunks they’re either Australian or American and either way you can be happy to go talk to them…mmmmm…Australians.
  1. Shower Curtains: There are none, so you must try desperately not to get everything in the bathroom soaking wet.  But this really is a plus compared to Italy where they have no toilet seats.
  1. Regional Dishes: Fish soup and Salade Nicoise.  Enough said.  Well, for those of you who don’t know what salade nicoise is it’s salad made with lettuce, tomatoes, boiled eggs and tuna.  I think it’s gross, but it’s famous in the south of France.  And I just can’t say enough about how much I dislike fish soup, which is made at the end of every summer.  All of the fish caught during summer are frozen until the last day.  On the last day you spend nearly the entire day preparing this disgusting soup and then you have a huge party (this part I like) and you eat it.  Yuck!
  1. Spear Fishing:  Spear fishing is a lot of fun, but practice your snorkeling techniques in the pool before you leave home.  I’m really terrible at going below water with mine because you have to remember to blow the water out of the snorkel once you come back up.  Instead, each time I resurface I get a mouth full of salt water and I have to take my snorkel out and empty it.  It’s quite a chore really.
  1. Water Shoes:  A very unstylish, yet necessary, accessory in the south of France.  The beaches here are not all completely formed yet and you will have to walk on lots of rocks both in the water and on the beaches.  Without water shoes you won’t get very far at all, but don’t be scared to wear them because everyone else is wearing them too.
  1. Dieting: Don’t visit the South of France if you are on a diet because you will want to eat all of the delicious food and then sit on the beach all day instead of getting any form of exercise.  As a side note, all of the food in France is delicious mostly because it is all fried and then covered with salt and oil and followed by wine.  Definitely not the place for an American on a diet to go for vacation.
  1. Speaking French:  Just learn a little bit of French because the French who speak English love to show off their English.  That or they think you suck at speaking their language so even if you speak to them in French they respond to you in English as though you weren’t just speaking their language and you won’t understand them if they speak anything other than English.

I’ll be home tomorrow!

I just got an email from my first choice apartment and I can’t even begin to describe the weight that has been lifted from my shoulders just by knowing I won’t have those cats around.  Now I can’t wait for everyone to see my new place because it’s fab and clean AND cat-free!

PS When I get back I promise these won’t all be personal blogs.  What else do you expect me to write about from France, especially from the middle of nowhere in France?

It’s 3 a.m. and I can’t sleep.  I just checked my email and still haven’t heard back from the guy who I really was hoping to live with so now I’ve agreed to live at my second choice.  Now I’m having nightmares about it and I haven’t even moved in there yet.  Most of my angst is focused around this guy’s two cats.  I hate the dander that cats leave everywhere.  Cat fur looks fab on a cat, but not on my work clothes and I really don’t relish the thought of having to lint brush myself every time I walk out the door.  Not only that but I will probably begin cleaning incessantly because with pet dander everywhere I always imagine that EVERYTHING is dirty.  I’m going to have to invest in a good vacuum cleaner and a cat brush.  Oh how I hate pets!  At least it’s not a dog.

 

No matter how filthy I find animals to be I do think it will be nice to have two kitties to snuggle with and keep me company.  But with this anxiety I’m having about living there I can already see that I won’t be spending much time at home.  I probably really will become good friends with the other guy who brushed me off as a roommate.  I’ll make him go out with me because he said he really needs people to hang out with; and in a town like Woodland who doesn’t.  Who knows, maybe this will finally get me into running daily.  I’ve already been daydreaming about running after work.  It will keep me busy and allow my mind to process the day – and it will keep me out of the house.

 

How sad is it that I don’t want to live there and I haven’t even signed the lease yet?  Oh, and they only have dial up internet!  Who are these people?  Why did I have to come to France when I should have been looking for an apartment?  Maybe I can just think of it as a temporary living arrangement until I find something better.

 

Let’s look at the positive aspects of living there instead.  Maybe that will help me to sleep better.

 

  1. It’s only three blocks from work and I can walk every day (not that I’ll want to in heels, but that’s beside the point).
  2. It has a huge kitchen, a washer and dryer (that I don’t have to pay for) and a hot tub.
  3. It has a porch and trees in the front yard.
  4. I won’t need any of my own furniture, which is nice because all I really have is a bed.

 

Please tell me there aren’t only four good things about living here! Man, this super sucks for sure!  I was so hoping that my hatred for my job wouldn’t turn into a hatred for my living conditions, but it looks as though that will be the case.  I guess you can’t expect much for only $400 a month.

 

Regardless of the conditions I have to move because I absolutely cannot afford to pay rent AND drive to Woodland every day, especially not after losing three-fourths my yearly income.  It sucks to be living like a student again, but I’ll manage.  I know I’m strong enough and one day I’ll be making more than enough money all on my own.  I’m sure of it.

Today was my best day here so far.  Michele had to take Bob to his doctor’s appointment this morning so me and the other boys were free to do what we wanted without feeling guilty.  I read while the boys did their math homework – the French are way more dedicated to schoolwork than Americans – and then we headed for the beach.  I managed to get plenty of sun and only a slight sunburn on my face while reading nearly half of my book.

 

The greatness of the day faded for a short time when Bill was attacked by jellyfish.  He had been stung on both his arm and his leg and it looked pretty bad.  He called his mom to find out what we should do, and unfortunately that meant she would be rushing to get home because she always frets way too much over the boys.  I cleaned his wounds and put ointment on them.  Luckily by the time Michele got home they didn’t look bad at all and she didn’t believe me when I told her they had been much worse.  There had been two welts on his arm that were at least two inches in length and the one on his leg went all the way around his ankle.  Of course, being a boy, he was back out in the water as soon as we were finished with lunch.

 

Michele had a conference call at 5:30 so she said for me to go rest until then.  I just sat in my room and read instead.  Then at 5:30 I took Bob for a very long walk so his mom wouldn’t be disturbed while she was working.

 

Our walk was actually really nice.  Bob showed me this great rock where you can sit and watch the sea for hours.  I fell in love with that spot and hope to go back tomorrow to take pictures.  I think the best thing about it is that no one else is out there.  We sat for a long time next to a little tide pool that and watched the tiny fish and shrimp swimming around in it.  It’s always fun to watch the fascination on a child’s face when they see things like that, even a child who sees it all the time.

 

Then we discovered a little “cave,” which was actually a tunneled walkway leading under the highway and out the other side.  We pretended we were explorers – Bob had a magnifying glass with him – and we pretended this magnificent cave was filled with all sorts of treasures.  Bob would examine different rocks and plants and proclaim them to be diamonds, gold, dinosaur bones or some other item he deemed precious.  Then when we were walking out of the cave I announced that it looked like there was water outside and perhaps we had discovered a lake or an ocean of some sort.  Bob brought out his invisible map and proclaimed that it wasn’t possible because it wasn’t on the map.  Then I said that we must be the ones who have discovered it and that meant we got to name it.  So I pretended to the lay the map out and draw the sea where it should be and I named it La Mer Bob (Bob’s Sea).  He wasn’t satisfied and declared it the Atlantic Ocean.  I still don’t know why.  Usually hanging out with Bob is such a chore, but today it was loads of fun.

 

Then we ate dinner and everyone else went to bed.  I’ve been up reading my book, which is a John Grisham and I can never put them down until the end.  I’m reluctant to finish it though because then I will only have half a book left to read on the plane, but then maybe I can sleep on the plane instead.  I’ll probably finish it by tomorrow night in any event.

 

Also, I snuck out to check my email and I still haven’t heard from that guy about the apartment so I took the apartment that I found to be far less attractive, but I have to have a place to stay because there is no way I can afford to commute – neither in time nor in gas – all the way from Sacramento to Woodland every day.  I would be absolutely exhausted.

 

On another note, I had nightmares last night about my first day back.  I dreamed that I couldn’t find anything to wear to work and I was late and on and on and on.  I’m sure everything will be fine, but I guess it goes to show that that is what is bothering me most at the moment.  I received and email from my new boss today though confirming that I had passed both my drug test and my background check, both of which I wasn’t worried too much about considering I’ve never been arrested and I don’t do drugs.  But you never know with the amount of identity theft in the US today.  Anyway, I can’t wait to get back and get started.  I hope tomorrow is as relaxed as today was.

Alright guys, I leave for France at 8 a.m.  When I get back everything in my life is going to be different.  It’s still strange to think that everything will be starting fresh when I get back.  I guess it was meant to be that I go to France this week.  It’s like the separator for my old life and my new life.

Today is the last day here at my job and I’ll be starting at the newspaper the Monday I get back.  I’m also going to look at two apartments in Woodland today and hopefully one of them will work out, so I’ll have a new place in a new city when I get back.  And this morning I got served with my divorce papers (really it was about 12:30 last night) so as soon as I sign them and file them at the courthouse I’ll be starting a whole new era of my life.

I’ll be gone for ten days enjoying the beaches of the Cote D’Azur in France.  It will be great to finally get enough sleep and read up on all of the news I’ve been missing due to all of the stress in my own life.  Hopefully when I get back this blog will get back to it’s weekly news updates and have more important things to ponder than my own life.  I can’t wait to get back and get started!

Although I am one of the biggest Dave Matthews fans, I must say that 3 Doors Down definitely rocked it better than Dave did the night before.  Last night was No Address, Breaking Benjamin, Staind and 3 Doors Down.  The show was incredible and all of the bands sounded awesome.  There was a lot more energy from the crowd than at the Dave concert (maybe I just thought so because I had WAY better seats).  The show also had great lighting affects with fire, sparks, and fireworks along with cool videos to go along with their songs.  Plus the lead singer is DEF hot.

I thought Staind was really good too.  I didn’t realize how many great songs they had.  I like their sound because it reminds me of one of my old favorites, Pearl Jam.

I slept in between bands and after my little cat naps I was ready to rock and also ready to argue.  I only had to regulate on one guy after he was about the third person to tell us to sit down.  We sat down of our own free will but when we did he screamed “Thanks for sitting the F*ck down!” so I turned around and used several expletives to tell him that he should be standing instead of yelling at us because he was at a f-ing concert not watching on his TV at home.

What a bunch of lazy jerks!  Who goes to a concert to sit down the whole time?  Only if you’re going to see Barry Manilow or someone like that.  I mean, honestly!  Who does that?  Anyway, after I regulated on him the next time we stood up everyone behind us stood up to instead of complaining.  Yeah, that’s right, I know how to regulate for sure.

PS If you’re old and you go to concerts don’t be a jerk and tell people to sit down.  Watch it at home or watch the video on MTV if that’s all you want to do.  Old people really suck sometimes.  And why are old people not at a Jimmy Buffet concert instead?

I just got the call! I escaped the paradox!  I’m finally going to be a reporter, and on a daily even!  This makes up for the fact that my rental car broke down this morning and I have to have someone drive me out to BFE to pick it up later on today.  How does a rental car break down anyway?

I just thought you’d all want to know.  Well, that and I’m so excited I can’t even keep it in.  Me, a real reporter even!  I can’t wait to get started.  This means that I’m going to be way busier though and probably won’t be able to go out as often.  Plus I’ll be moving to Davis, but at least that’s closer than Delaware.

I went out on assignment Saturday and wrote my first story.  I thought maybe they didn’t like it because it didn’t get printed, but it turns out that it wasn’t printed yet because they had to wait for today’s stock numbers to enter into the story.  It turns out it was exactly what they were hoping for!  Yay me!  So my first story will appear in tomorrow’s edition of The Daily Democrat if any of you want to see it and I’ll be starting there full time the day after I get back from France (29th August).

Now the only thing is that I have to tell my boss! Telling my boss is what is stressing me out more than anything.  I hate having to do things like this…

Yikes!

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