Category Archives: Uncategorized

Another reason to love Quebec

By   August 25, 2007

Why I love Quebec: Têtes à Claques TV is a collection of videos that I don’t even know how to describe. Some Québécois guys put their eyes and mouths into weird cartoonish bodies and wrote funny scripts, in Québécois French of course. Just go watch. This is one of the many ways I waste time online.

Today I noticed an ad for SFR on a completely unrelated site called ça va ouatcher with suspiciously similar looking characters. Turns out Têtes à Claques offers mobile videos exclusively for SFR customers. You can watch a few videos on their website. They even have a québécois-français lexique so you can figure out what they’re saying.

“Hé mon ami!!! t’aimes ça manger les patates ? des patates pilées, des patates frites, des patates au Cheez-whiz… Ben Uncle Tom a un super patente pour toi qui aime beaucoup les patates: le Willi Waller 2006 !”

Now I want to éplucher des patates. No sceptisisme here.


By   August 24, 2007

David left yesterday to go to Ireland on a week-long hiking trip with his best friends. It’s not the longest we’ve been apart (I’ve traveled 3 times this year without him), but it’s the first time I’m home alone in France. Well, I’m not all alone, but Cosette likes to spend most of the day sleeping in the dresser drawer so it sure feels like it.

I saw an ostéopathe Wednesday for my back pain and he told me that I was basically a boule de nerfs. I know I’ve always been a stressed out person, but I didn’t think it was causing so much pain in random parts of my body. I get headaches almost everyday now, and my lower back is constantly tense. Though I’m sure part of that is caused by sitting at my desk and working (ahem, playing) on the computer all day.

It’s not so much living in France, but rather living in an apartment in a city that stresses me though. I will never get used to having neighbors so close or the sound of traffic (I want to hurt kids who ride scooters at night) right outside the window. The stores are always so crowded, regardless of when I go, and I have no desire to fight through mobs of people all the time. I can’t even go grocery shopping without feeling rushed and nervous.

Everyone knows, or should know, that I’m slightly anti-social and I prefer animals to people. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to fully relax here. The ostéopathe recommended exercising, running, biking, swimming, just moving in general to loosen up my muscles. But the thought of trying to ride a bike on French roads with French drivers… or swimming in a pool packed with random people that I don’t know… um, no thanks. Just going outside doesn’t appeal to me half the time when the weather is rainy (15 degrees C is not summer, stupid Alps!)

Speaking French still makes me nervous sometimes, especially on the phone. I haven’t seriously studied French in a long time. Maybe it’s due to not being in an actual class, but I have so many books and websites that I could be using and that I should be using, but I’m just not. And considering that I should be able to work legally in 6 months, I need to improve my speaking and interviewing skills so I can find a job and have a real income.

I know I need to stop being so lazy (I will miss you, my beloved streaming downloads of How I Met Your Mother) so I’m going to create a schedule for exercising and studying everyday. I need to be disciplined about this. I really do want to feel better.

Meet Cosette.

By   August 21, 2007

I finally have a pet in France! Her name is Cosette and she’s all white except for one tiny gray spot on her head. She’s so cute and kinda fat. But she came from a farm where the stereotypically old country French lady fed her soup and cheese, so that’s understandable. She’s getting real cat food from me though.

She’s definitely afraid of Bandit, so hopefully she’ll get used to dogs since he won’t be leaving until September 8.

Yay for cute furry animals! Now I won’t be so alone when Carole & Bandit move out and David is at work all day while I’m at home playing on the internet.


By   June 21, 2007

David received an attestation from Alliance Française today. He passed the tests to do the formation to become certified to teach French as a Foreign Language. He should receive the first of six modules next month, which I will also be reading through and studying because I’m a nerd:

1. Linguistique appliquée à l’enseignement du français langue étrangère
2. Didactique générale du français langue étrangère
3. Phonétique et pédagogie de la prononciation
4. Méthodologie de l’enseignement de la grammaire
5. Méthodologie de l’enseignement de la civilisation et de la littérature
6. Observation et guidage de classe


By   June 16, 2007

Our internet/telephone/TV finally works! We have so many channels in so many languages. I should never be bored again.

Je suis toujours là !

By   June 13, 2007

The new apartment is perfect for David and me. We still have to attach the douchette to the wall and hang some curtains, but we’re all moved in. Except the electric oven doesn’t work yet, the dishwasher is too far from the kitchen to be plugged in, we have yet to buy a microwave, and we still don’t have internet.

However, David’s parents live about two blocks away, so that is how I can get online to tell you that I haven’t disappeared.


By   June 8, 2007

I just visited the last remaining Wonder of the World (pyramids at Giza) and came upon this site yesterday: New Seven Wonders of the World

You can vote for new Wonders out of 20 candidates, such as Taj Mahal, Chichen Itza, Great Wall of China, Acropolis, Stonehenge, Easter Island Statues, etc.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I kind of like the pyramids being the only Wonder left… Or maybe it’s because I will feel an overwhelming urge to visit all of the new seven Wonders when I know I don’t have the money to do so.


By   May 30, 2007

David went to Lyon today to take an Alliance Française test. He’s hoping to get the DIPLOME D’APTITUDE A L’ENSEIGNEMENT DU FRANÇAIS LANGUE ETRANGERE (DAEFLE) so he can teach French in Canada. First, the candidate must pass a written exam to determine their command of French. We were thinking it would be a grammar test, but actually it’s just two essays that seem to have nothing to do with teaching French as a Foreign Language. (sample test) Then, there are 6 modules that you are supposed to do over the course of 2-3 years. However, David is doing the accelerated course so he can finish within one year. Lucky for him, they’re mostly linguistics modules, so I will be studying them as well so that I can learn the French vocabulary for all of the English linguistics terms still stored in my head.

We are moving out of our apartment tomorrow night, and then I go to Cairo on Friday to visit a friend. We move into our new apartment on June 10, but I don’t think our internet will be set up by then. We still don’t even know for sure if we are in a zone dégroupée, so there’s a possibility that we won’t have the “cable” TV channels.

I hope to completely finish my thesis by the middle of June. Then one of these days I’ll get back to working on my website…

In happier news…

By   May 28, 2007

Vancouver is the world’s best place to live, a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has found. The EIU ranked 127 cities in terms of personal risk, infrastructure and the availability of goods and services. All the cities that fell into the top “liveability” bracket were based in Canada, Australia and Western Europe.

Top Ten Cities
1. Vancouver (Canada)
2. Melbourne (Australia)
3. Vienna (Austria)
4. Geneva (Switzerland)
5. Perth (Australia)
6. Adelaide (Australia)
7. Sydney (Australia)
8. Zurich (Switzerland)
9. Toronto (Canada)
10. Calgary (Canada)

I’ve only been to 3, 4, and 9 so far. I was supposed to move to 5 this year. If David and I don’t end up in Montreal, we might end up in 1. I will definitely go to all of the Australian ones someday…

Do you agree with 2, Rochelle? :)