Monday, August 28, 2006

I love Paris...

So, on to more about Paris. First I'd like to talk a little bit about where K and I stayed, because we really got lucky in that regard I think. You see, K and I did not make any plans about where we were going to stay, so we were kind of flying by the seat of our pants you might say. But K got there a few days ahead of me along with a few other friends who had been in Ethiopia with her, and one of them knew of a cheap hotel called L'hôtel de l'Espérance. So that's where they stayed, and also where we stayed for the first couple of days. And I think it is in a really good place. It's just off Rue Daguerre, which is a small street off of Avenue Du Général Leclerc in the south part of the city. Avenue Du Général Leclerc is a fairly busy street with lots of shops, including an Internet café and a French-language movie theatre. Rue Daguerre is a little side street with lots of small shops and cafés, including a laundromat. And it also has a market every day with tons of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, bread and cheese. Plus, it is super close to a major metro stop: Denfert-Rochereau. In short, it is a fabulous location to explore the city from. We later moved to another hotel which was a few blocks further down Rue Daguerre. This was Hotel Télémaque, and it was pretty nice. It was only few more Euros than Hôtel de L'Espérance (about 54 Euros a night for a double bed and en suite shower and toilet), but it was cleaner and nicer, it was never full (probably because it was a bit more off the beaten path). Plus breakfast was included (nothing fancy, just a baguette with some butter and jam and your choice of hot chocolate or coffee, but still!). So, moral of the story, if you ever go to Paris, and you are looking for a cheap but decent place to stay, I highly recommend that hotel and that location.

Okay, on to our Paris trip. One of the first places we went to was Jardin du Luxembourg. It used to be some royal residence, but now the Palais du Luxembourg is the seat of the French senate, and the gardens are open to the public as a park. This beautiful and large public park was just north not too far from where we stayed. K and I walked there and had lunch a few times. It's got some beautiful fountains, and rows and rows of trees clipped into squares. It's tricky though, because some of the grass you can sit on, and some of the grass is forbidden as K found out (she was kicked off several lawns).

Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg
Fountaine de l'Observatoire in Jardin du Luxembourg
K liked these turtle fountains

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Today we're taking a break from France to answer a meme posted by Ash.

1. FIRST NAME? Violette

2. ARE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Actually, my real name is after someone, a character in a book, but if I told you which book, it would give away my real name. And then I'd have to kill you.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I honestly don't remember. Not to give you the impression that I never cry. I do, and I'm sure I have sometime in the past month, but I don't remember when or why.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, it's very loopy and neat and I get compliments on it all the time. But I worked hard to get it like that. When I was in elementary school, all the other girls had neat handwriting, and I was all jealous because mine was only marginally more legible than some of the boys.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Pastrami, black forest ham... lunch meat is good in general if it's on a sandwich with mayo, lettuce, tomatoe and cheese.

6. KIDS? Two cats.

7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I totally would. Then I'd have someone to play supernintendo with.

8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Off and on since I was a kid. Right now my journal is my blog.

9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Yes, I sometimes have quite the caustic wit.


11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I don't know. Maybe, if I had someone with me who tried really hard to convince me. I'd probably like it once I did it.

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Right now it's Oatmeal Crisp the three berry flavour.


14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically not so much, mentally I like to think so.

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? I love ice cream in general. I don't know if I have a favourite, though I tend to gravitate towards caramel and butterscoth flavours.

16. SHOE SIZE? 9

17. RED OR PINK? Red.

18. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I have an annoying habit of not finishing what I start.

19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Friends who don't live near me anymore.


21. WHAT COLOR OF PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW? Jean shorts, no shoes, just very dirty feet (from jumping on the trampoline).

22. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE WRITER/BOOK/MOVIE (at the moment, anyway)? Okay, I definitely stress AT THE MOMENT: Writer: Libba Bray; Book: Rebel Angels; Movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (I too like Holly Black, and Valiant is on my list of books to read, so maybe fav writer/book will change again soon. I loved Tithe. Such a gritty, urban faerie tale.)

23, WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The sound of the wind sighing through the trees outside my window.


25. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SMELLS? Books, baking, rain


27. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? I'm not sure. Some combination of looks and personality. I don't think it's any one thing.

28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes, Ash is a lovely person.

29. FAVORITE DRINK? Chocolate Milk or Iced Tea.

30. FAVORITE SPORT? I'm not really a sport person, but I'd have to pick the only sport that I have ever enjoyed playing and been good at: Inner Tube Water Polo.

31. HAIR COLOR? Brown.

32. EYE COLOR? Blue.

33. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes. But I'm annoyed with both my glasses and contact lenses right now and am saving up for eye surgery.

34. FAVORITE FOOD? Normally I would say pizza, but I'm kind of sick of it right now. I think maybe zucchini pie.

35. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? Happy endings. Scary movies always seem like a good idea at the time, but the aftermath (i.e. me not being able to sleep with the lights off for a week) is just too costly.

36. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. (I saw it twice: once in London and once back home in Saskatchewan. Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in the same movie? That never gets old.)

37. COLOR OF SHIRT YOU ARE WEARING? Blue and white stripes

38. WINTER OR SUMMER? They both have their merits. Over all though, I think I prefer Summer. I hate driving in the winter.

39. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs, but it does depend on who's giving them out.

40. FAVORITE DESSERT? Ooh. Sex in a pan is good. I also like cheesecake.

41. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Don't know, don't care.


43. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Rebel Angels, by Libba Bray. It's really good YA lit for girls, about magic and set in Victorian England. Rebel Angels is the sequel, the first is called A Great and Terrible Beauty. They're good, and I just found out that they're supposed to be made into a movie. Is it just me or is there a lot of teen/children's fiction being made into movies? How to Eat Fried Worms is coming out like, this week or something. Come on people, let them read the books! They're always so much better anyway.

44. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't have one.

45. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Wind in the trees, my cat talking to me.

46. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? I didn't watch TV last night.

47. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles. I have never gotten the big deal about the Stones.

48. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Ummmm. I think that would be New Zealand.

49. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I have many special talents.

50. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Swift Current, Saskatchewan, 1980.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Welcome to Paris

So Monday, June 5th, I arrived in France. I had told K that I would meet her at the hotel by 11 am that morning, but (as I have already said) my plane was late. Then it took forever (despite the extremely lax customs and immigration) to find my way out of the airport to the subway. Once there, I got on the wrong train, (not wrong exactly, went in the right direction, but did not go all the way to the stop I wanted) so I had to switch trains. Then I went one stop too far for the hotel and had to walk several extra blocks. With all my baggage. So needless to say, when I finally got to the hotel I just basically collapsed. The only significant thing that I got accomplished that day was a shower. Although K did manage to get me up to go for a little walk around that evening. Which actually turned into quite a big walk. We walked across the Seine to the Louvre and then back across again to the Eiffel Tower. My feet were complaining when we got back to the hotel around midnight (something which I was to get used to in the days ahead).

The Seine
The Seine River (I don't know the people in the photo, they were just some random people who happened to get in my shot)

Paris at Night
K on the Paris streets at night. We stopped for an ice cream sundae at a little café near here. You can see the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Where have you been?

Well, here is just a short post for those of you who have been waiting in agony for me to write something, anything, about my trip to Europe... I have once again been a bad little blogger. What can I say? I'm naturally lazy. I think I was a sloth in my previous life. And I'm afraid you will have to wait longer. Because I have NEWS.

I am now the new children's librarian at the library (the library that is in the place where I was working before, and therefore am still working). So. I just started the job this week. And I have discovered that children's librarians are very busy. It is difficult to find time to actually get any work done in between mopping up ferret feces, bandaging nasty skipping rope wounds, and rescuing endangered leopard frogs from deranged six year olds.

So, I think I will like the job (aside from the incidences mentioned above, but these things just come with the territory). I am not sure if this is what I want forever, but I think it is a very good thing for now. Just enough responsibility to make me feel terrified, but not enough to actually cause an anxiety attack.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. SH (who was temporarily filling in for the children's librarian) has informed me that the other women who work at the library can be very clannish and difficult, especially the ones who've been there for 15 years or more. That they'd rather see you fall on your face than help you out. She said that my predecessor, who was children's librarian for 4 years, said that she went home crying every night for the first month she worked here. So that is concerning, but I have to say I am not all that surprised. I noticed that sort of atmosphere in my practicum in Edmonton. And someone suggested to me that it is just what happens when you have a group of women working together (there is only one guy on the library staff). So what do you think? When women work together, do we naturally all become bitchy? Why? What does that say about women and/or society?

Anyway, just something to ponder. À la prochaine mes amis!