Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mais si, je parle Anglais!

Every Wednesday for the last 2 years I have spent the evening with this delightful group of ladies. For an hour and 30 minutes each week they tried their hardest to learn English and I tried my hardest to teach it.

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After two years I am proud to say that Evelyne, Ndege, and Martine can speak English. They're a bit timid about speaking, but they can say what needs to be said, express their opinions, and they understand most of my goofy jokes....or at least they pretend to.

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Since I'm moving to a new city in a few weeks, last night was our last class together. Evelyne was kind enough to prepare this amazing and yummy spread of snacks for us, complete with champagne ...of course! These ladies really know how to have fun. I can't wait to invite them over to my new place for rooftop cocktail parties!

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Honestly, I probably learned just as much about French language and culture from them as they learned English and American culture from me. It was truly a learning experience for us all...and man did we have fun!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

French Baby Blogging #3- Don't drink the water.

This past weekend we spent more than a fair amount of time with babies and mommies. I tell ya, this is the year of the baby. Lately it seems like everyone I know is knocked up or in the process of cooking one up. Seriously people, the babies are taking over.

Friday night we had cocktails until the wee hours chez Bruno and Annick. We adore their daughter Zoe who plays shy, but it a real crack up.

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Saturday we stoppped by Seb and Sandrine's to meet their new baby Thomas, who was fast asleep in the most beautiful bassinette I have ever seen. I didn't take any photos of Thomas while he was napping, but I did take a few pics earlier in the week when French-Mother-in law and I went shopping for his baby gift.

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Baby stores are like planets of their own. I try not to touch anything or read the instructions on the back of the boxes for fear that my ovaries may tie themselves in a knot.

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What is all this stuff? What the hell do you use that for?

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It was all so disorienting. I mean, they even have their own SUVs. Why? Do babies really need Hummers? This thing looks like freakin' H2 and has a pricetag to match.

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I did however find this last item interesting. Apparently this company has taken a hint about who buys their products and has introduced the 'dark mommy with light baby' ad compaign. Me likey! I mean, duh already.

Anyway. Babies. Whatever.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Time Out For My New French Hair!

I was all alone yesterday when I realized -- I was having a kick-ass hair day, so I ran into the bathroom and took some photos.

Yes folks, my groovy afro-puff is growing and it looks awesome! Check it:

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This is the best my hair has looked since.......ever! I understand that you cannot really see the whole super curly-anti-gravity effect in this photo, but trust me it is cool. I can even do a ponytail now!
I think I will give myself a trim and hilight this weekend. These are my two favorite haircolor fantasies of the moment:

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The one on the left is really pretty, but definitely too red for me. And with my round little face I doubt I could pull off that middle part. ( But I can still dream right?) The photo on the right is more my style anyway. Also I like the Ash Brown color better. If my hair looks like either of these by this time next year I'll be thrilled!

The best part of having my afro-puff of course is that all those glorious curls come with relatively no maintenance. I don't even use conditioner anymore. In fact I only "comb" my hair once a week. I wash my hair, towel dry it, then finger comb it with Aloe gel, and voila!

It's like hair magic!

p.s. So....if at anytime while reading this post you were wondering what this has to do with living in France I will tell you. It was all the totally gorgeous Black girls that I would spot while on various weekend trips to Paris that inspired me to finally let my hair go natural in the first place. If I could send "Thank You" cards I would!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Barbie Dream House Update #10-ish.


So last weekend we finally went to see the Barbie Dream House again. The ceiling plaster was finished, the electrical wiring is finished, and the rooms had door frames, but besides that, not much had changed. Maybe more stuff would be done if the painters spent more time painting and less time trying to get it on with French Mother-in-law. Papa says this guy kissed her like 5 times.


Oh wait---the helicopter landing pad is officially done. Now all we need is flying lessons...and a helicopter. We're accepting donations.

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I mean it's almost done...except for this chipped tile which I am making them replace because, well, I'm just that uptight.

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In the next 2 weeks the really important stuff should start happening, like painting and tiling and...other running water. Oddly enough, some people have already moved in. The little retired couple below us has already set up their terrace!


Whatever. I'll just be happy when its done and I don't have to climb up that ladder to get to my bedroom!

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When we were about to leave the building we met a very young couple who were moving some items into their apartment. They weren't thrilled with the speed with which their apartment was being completed. I can only guess that they are first time buyers and nobody warned them about the 3 month standard French delivery delay. Poor kids! I have no idea how they are surviving. Uhm, our apartment delivery date was supposed to be July 31st. It's almost the end of August and this is what my kitchen looks like:

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Riiiiight. Definitely not ready for cupcake baking. But last week we did get a call to let us know that the Star Trek kitchen is ready to be delivered, and tonight we go to verify the floor tile color for the kitchen...again. So I can't complain. It is happening.

So I'm anxious, but not that anxious. Hell, I'm not moving untill the internet & satellite connections are complete!

I mean, let's not get crazy up in here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not Quite Turkish Delight.

Frenchboy has finally realised that the key to keeping me happy isn't wild monkey sex, shopping in Paris, or exotic travels. It's food. So yesterday when I woke up in a totally rancid mood and hadn't shaken it by lunchtime, he suggested we go out to dinner at Le Concorde. I have gained 10 lbs for each year I have lived in France. Food makes me happy. It only took Frenchboy 4 years to figure this out.

It's a good thing he's pretty.


This is Frenchboy doing his best Reservoir Dog's impression.


Le Concorde doesn't look like much from outside, but the recently renovated decor is quite lovely. But of course it's famous for it's panoramic terrace. Most folks come for the affordable drinks and the view.




The entire time I was there I was taking notes on decorating ideas to use for the Barbie Dream House. I will not however be buying the Pat Benatar Black leather studded sofa cushions.





So, sometime between my Modonna and my Liquid Cocaine (both pictured above), we decided that we weren't actually in the mood for a 30 euro carpaccio entree. We wanted Kebab!

Yes folks, after spending 40 euros on drinks we opted for a 10 euro dinner.



The Bosphore came highly recommended from Frenchboy's golf buddy Lotfi. Also, it's the only Kebab place in Thionville that literally has a line out the door all day long.

I'm no food expert, but just to quickly clarify--Kebab in France is not what Americans call "Shish kebab". A Kebab is closer to, if not identical to, what Yanks call a "Gyro" which is derived from the Turkish Doner Kebab. But all you really need to know is---It's Turkish and it's freakin' delicious!


So that's a Monday night in my neck of the woods.
Tune in tomorrow for updates on the barbie dreamhouse!

Monday, August 13, 2007

More French Weekend Photo Blogging.

Every Saturday we eat yummy French food at "Chez Evelyne". That's what we call my French Mother-in-law's restaurant.


Seating is usually very exclusive, but this weekend Cousins Sara & Michel and their offspring were able to get reservations because they loaned me their big car to go haul my paintings home from the Museum. (Please note the 2 distinct seating areas. Lounge on the left. Formal dining on the right.)


Merci Sarah & Michel pour votre voiture le semaine derniere. Bientot je vous envoyerai enverrai les photos de ce weekend!

I know Sarah reads my blog, but since she doesn't speak English I had to do a quick change over. Also, I'm sure that sentence is filled with grammer mistakes, also my American keyboard doesn't do accents so...whatever. I tried. But I digress.


The food was delicious as usual.


Please note that little Florian is only 3 years old and he handles his cutlery better than I do.

Anyway, everything was going great until this conversation happened:

I am currently at the level of French language comprehension that I can understand almost anything. But after a few glasses of red wine, if I'm not paying attention---I get lost. On the occasions that I get confused I get this look on my face that is not unlike when a toddler has constipation. This look is FrenchBoy's clue to translate the conversation for me.
Actually I kind of enjoy not understanding every random conversation I hear since most of the time the conversation is about something totally assinine anyway. Plus, I'm starting to have a pretty nice video collection of these "WTF conversations".

But seriously--- what the bloody hell were they talking about?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The French aren't racists, but their furniture might be.

This weekend has just begun so I don't have any pics yet, so you'll have to settle for some leftover photos from last weeks shopping excursion in Metz.

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As usual we were shopping for living room furniture. And since we've been doing alot of furniture shopping over the past 6 months I've started to notice a very strange phenomenon in the stores. No matter where we go we find little sculptures of African peoples. Apparently the French love to decorate their bookcases and entertainment centers with little wooden African people even though they aren't crazy about having the real live ones in their country.

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Now, I of course find this fascinating because never in my life have I ever seen a painting of a white lady carrying a basket on her head and wanted to take it home and hang it on my wall. Dude, I'm Black and I don't even have Black people on my walls. Also I am utterly opposed to the use of the word "ethnic" when used to describe furniture or interior design. It's slightly ridiculous. What the hell is that supposed to mean anyway? Does it mean "non- white"? Imagine this conversation:

Furniture Sales Person: Hello Madame. Can I help you find some over-priced
new furniture?

Me: Yes, I have money to burn. Show me what ya got!

Furniture Sales Person: Well, what style are you looking for

Me: Hmmm. I was thinking of something...slightly...Non-white.

Furniture Sales Person: I have just the thing. Right this way!

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Anyway, I was about to just let it go, but then I saw this lamp set in one of the "ethnic" rooms. I thought: "Great, little African butlers!"

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But upon closer inspection I realised that the little dudes were in fact monkeys.

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OK, folks. Somebody needs to hold a meeting and get this nonsense straightened out. And for the record if you invite me to your dinner party and you have "art" like this chillin' in your living room, just know that I will be taking that fancy bottle of champagne that I brought as a gift for you right back home with me.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Weekend Photo Blogging

Our weekends are basically always the same:

Friday is "Date Night" which includes cocktails, dinner, and a movie. Saturday is for errand running and shopping/research for the new apartment, followed by the weekly dinner party with the French in-laws until the wee hours. Sunday concludes the weekend with many cookies and espressos consumed while watching several hours low-quality TV programming while on the sofa in our pajamas.

That said, here are some random pics and video footage from this weekend:


The soon to be completed pedestrian shopping area in Metz.
"Look mom, No cars!"


Papa's wine cellar.


Smoking Kills.....birds?

A whole bunch of French weeeenies!


The Vespa that FrenchBoy is buying me for my birthday....he just doesn't know it yet.
Shhhh. Don't ruin the surprise.


Lunatic! I just found it lying on the ground on the walk back to the car.
I should have actually kept it. duh!

And last but not least, a random conversation in which I speak horrible French
and laugh like a hyena. 10 points if you can figure out what we're talking about.

Please tell me I don't really sound like this in real life.
No wonder Frenchboy walks around the house with his hands covering his ears.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Check out my balls!

So FrenchBoy has taken up golf...again.

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I have mixed feelings about golf because in my head it is intrinsically tied to yuppy-dom. But I guess it's only fair since I forbid him to ever go skiing again. ( I am genetically predisposed to snow hatred.) And since when do the French play golf anyway? I thought they all spent their Sunday's getting drunk on red wine and playing P├ętanque!

So now on Sundays he heads off with two of his work colleagues to the golf course in Metz near our new apartment. They've just started learning again so they aren't out on the green, but all three of them are so excited you'd think it was the week before Christmas! Soon FrenchBoy will be wearing Lacoste shirts and smoking Cubans. I of course will have to get a face lift and a matching pair of gi-normous Fendi sunglasses. This is going to get ugly.

Me, personally I couldn't care less about golf. All I wanted to know was, how much was the Green Fee and did they have a nice clubhouse with a swank bar.

Next stop....a Volvo. *rolling eyes* Or better yet a Mercedes B class.