samedi 26 novembre 2011

An American Cabaret in France?

A few weeks ago (I really have no sense of time anymore so this is just an approximate guess), the other assistants and myself were invited to go to the cabaret. Since I had never been previously, I figured why not. Turns out the entire thing was in English and the performers were actually American. Apparently, they were trying to promote a more... voluptuous female body image, which don't get me wrong I am all for. I am so so tired of the being told that the ideal modern woman has the body of a 12 year old boy. Women are curvy end of story. In my opinion health is the greatest beauty of all-neither too fat nor too thin. But I digress. So this was an American cabaret and some of the performers were rather overweight, that combined with an act centered around KFC was not exactly what I had been hoping for as probably the only American in the crowd. The thing about living abroad is that you want to present the good parts of your culture to the world and the thing about being American is that, unfortunately, the most widely circulated cultural tender is printed on bills a bit unflattering. This being pretty much the only view that the French (and probably most of the world) see of us, I have to be a bit critical and wish that Americans show a different view of our culture to the rest of the world. Sure American pop culture is horrible and this country has done some dispicable things, none of that should be excused, but those should not be the ONLY things exported. The US has a lot of great things about it and I think a more balanced view should be presented to the world. That's all.

mardi 8 novembre 2011


I have run into a long string of events that have served to convince me that I have run out of luck. Suffice it to say that for the moment my computer is completely dead and since I had to buy new glasses it will be a while until I can buy a new one. I will hopefully one day be able to catch up with this blog since so many lovely things have happened, but it might not be for a while. Who knows, perhaps sooner than later.

lundi 17 octobre 2011

The Weirder Side of Adventuring

In some ways I still have the immortality complex that kept me company the greater part of my teenage years. Fortunately, I also generally have incredibly good luck, which makes for some pretty fantastic adventures that you should not try at home and from which I will probably eventually die.

Being the bibliophile that I am, one of the first things I did when getting to know this town was check out the bookstores. Now things here close pretty balls ass early, which you'd think I'd be used to given my previous habitat, but alas in some ways I am not. So I was doing my usual wandering looking for all that is awesome when I saw a bookstore that was still open or so I thought. Inside a couple people were drinking wine together and since I am still not quite used to only speaking French, I tried to avoid having too much conversation with them. That doesn't fly so high in this country since apparently I am a fabulously interesting and exotic person. So we all got to talking and drinking wine and trying to choose which books to buy and in the end they offered to drive me home, so I figured fuck it why not. Well, the drive home turned into dinner. I loooove French dinners; it's not just the food either but the conversation tends toward a more intellectual bent that suits my fancy perfectly and this one was no exception given that 3 of the 5 people there had their doctorate in some interesting field. Although they did tend to have some preconceptions about Americans, I think I proved to them at least in some small way that we don't all fit the stereotypes. I am glad to be here to share the good parts of my culture with these folks. Unfortunately, the wine kept flowing and I was soo drunk by the end that I was speaking some gibberish language neither French nor English and am really surprised that anyone understood me at all, I pretty much had to be supported to get down the stairs, and with the tortuous roads, my not all that sober driver, and the speed at which he was driving I had to do my best not to be sick in the car. When we finally got back to my place  after dropping off the others, I think the poor bastard thought I had lost my wits completely and would take him to bed for the night since he kept trying to kiss me in a very un-bise-like way. Fortunately, I am an expert at man-repelling and managed to squeeze inside alone, puke a whole lot and pass out.

The next day I met the other assistants who work here-great people! I really do adore them. Then I had dinner with some assistants who also live in Besançon but don't teach here at my lycée. Apart from a terrible time trying to figure out how we should split our bill and the realization that math is one of the things quickly forgotten after finishing school, the dinner was not all that eventful though it was nice to meet other assistants here and share those awkward expat moments. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am  profoundly directionally challenged and could get lost in my own backyard, so what did I do coming back from dinner but get terribly terribly turned around. As I was wandering the streets near the witching hour, I found a really amazing graveyard whose creaky gate just happened to be unlocked. It was just much too tempting to avoid so I wandered around the mausoleums and monuments to the departed. I wish it hadn't been so dark so that I could read the gravestones but beggars can't be choosers and graveyards during the day and when you actually know where you are situated on this earth just don't have the same mystical aura to them at all. One of the most unpleasant things about being lost is that you lose many of the creature comforts  to which you are used and have, for example, to piss in some random woods that may or may not be someone's yard (not that I am speaking from example or anything...;)  ). Eventually, I did get home and realize that traipsing around for miles and miles in the middle of the night is a great cure for jet lag.

N.B. I am still trying to get caught up with this blog so these events are bit old in the telling, but nothing I can do about that.

jeudi 13 octobre 2011

Recap of first few days in Besançon

Hello lovely lovely people! I finally have a somewhat reliable internet connection in my room thanks to the best neighbor I have ever had who is sharing his with me. I feel like so much has happened since I last wrote that I don't know how I shall I record it all and I may have to chop this into several separate blogs so as not to be too overwhelming.

The journey here was absolutely exhausting and involved almost every mode of human transportation possible. I ended up having to leave CA at about 3am to drive 3 hrs to Sacramento to catch my flight, then it was on to Seattle, then Iceland, then Paris, which I didn't get to see at all, and then a harrowing and incredibly exhausting train ride to Besançon where one of the teachers picked me up and took me to his house for a quick late night omelette. Needless to say I was closer to the dead than the living the first few days here. At this particular lycée, they've decided for some ungodly reason to teach subjects other than language in languages other than the students' mother tongue, which given the level of English I have seen these students speaking, seems like a really awful idea, but whatevs. The next day was spent with one of these teachers. She is a math teachers who teaches in English and she is absolutely gorgeous in that French-I-don't-need-to-own-a-hairbrush-to-be-stunning kind of way. Well she took me around for my first view of Besançon and many of its sites. Absolutely charming town! Afterwards we had lunch chez elle surrounded by her 4 small children (I have rather a penchant for French children) and her equally handsome "compagnon" (which translated to super-sexy-guy-I-live-and-make-tons-of-babies-with. Yes, it does don't argue with me) She let me use her computer so that I could contact my family for the first time since I've been here and then, since the rules of her house are to relax completely Sunday afternoons, I took a nice long rest in her hammock as the sun shone down on my through all kinds of verdant goodness. Lovely! Afterwards, we headed to her mom's house for one of the best inventions on the face of the planet CRÊPESSSSS. Her mom apparently is a playwrite or some shit like that and is a very charismatic personality whose company I very much enjoyed AND her grandmother is the cutest little old lady I think I have ever seen. Bless her heart she thought I was French.

So, in a very quick nutshell those were my first few days here.

vendredi 30 septembre 2011

Made It!

Well I made it to France safe and sound and once I get internet of my own and don't have to use that in the teachers' lounge I will update on everything that has happened. Until then, France is amazing and I am trying to get all this paperwork sorted out.

jeudi 22 septembre 2011

Here We Go!

In just a few hours I will be on a plane to France. It's really hard to believe. Since J is going out of state the same day I leave, we are driving down to Sacramento together and then just flying out of there. We just got back from dropping the dog off at the kennel; call me a sap but it was really sad to say goodbye to that little thing. She has just had so many owners that I always feel bad putting her in a situation where she may feel abandoned again. All in all though everything is going well. I just found out that the room at my school has both a kitchen and bathroom in it (and is free) so you can all feel free to be jealous. I am sure it's super tiny, but hey I am happy as a clam and don't need much to survive. My plans on arrival are to buy my 12-25 card (justttt made the cut off for that one, Whew), exchange my dollars for euros, and things like that. Then I am going to call my contact at the school and he is going to come and pick me up. Thus far, he seems like a really cool person and I feel lucky to have such a friendly and thoughtful person in France to get me. He invited me over to have dinner with his wife and kids that night to stave off the loneliness. I am excited and worried and freaked out and plagued by all kinds of emotions, but over all this just feels right and though endings are always a bit sad, beginnings are amazing. This will be a great beginning .

mercredi 21 septembre 2011

The People of Weed

Weed California is a small place near the Oregon border, a small place that pretty much no one has ever heard of and that sells all kinds of sundries that the pun-loving will adore. It's a beautiful beautiful place. Mt. Shasta shimmers above, the birds sing, the trees glow, and there are so many little secret creeks in which to dip bare feet. That side of this place is glorious. However, and this is a pretty big however, the 'natives' are a very different story. Maybe it's because of my background. I can't help that my parents were well educated and though we never had much money they always appreciated the finer things in life. Once you go through the process of getting your first college degree and meeting people brimming with novel ideas and labyrinthine minds just waiting to be explored,  it comes as a bit of shock to plop yourself down in the middle of Podunk USA. This post is probably going to make me sound like a stuck-up bitch and maybe in some ways I am (I'm a bit too biased to tell), but I can't apologize for thinking that we have enough resources to better ourselves- if not financially than at least intellectually- and I have very little patience for those who are willing steep themselves in ignorance.  I could seriously write a pretty hilarious novel about the people who live here. Apparently, serenity attracts a lot of meth-heads. Who knew! We have quite a few running jokes about the collective number of teeth here as well as the number of fathers for all of these teen moms all over the place. I guess there isn't much to do but breed and get high. Not even Hollywood could dream of some of these things. Some of the more colorful local characters are as follows: We have the 'Soda Lady'- this woman is either elderly or has done wayy too many drugs (probably the latter). She stands outside on Main St. asking for money for a soda. Now normally I would pity her, but what she does with the money is buy loads and loads of sugar. I'll let your little imaginations run wild with that one. Next we have the 'Boa Constrictor Guy'-This guys is actually totally badass and one of the few people who doesn't make you want move away from here as quickly as possible. This guy walks around with a giant white Boa constrictor wrapped all around his torso. That is just awesome, I don't care who you are. Then there is the 'Tooth-spitter'- this guys it perpetually drunk. All day, every day. When a friend of ours was talking to him at the bar, one of his teeth actually flew out and hit him in the face. I think that if I were in similar straits, I would probably have to burn that side of my face totally off and invest in a Phantom of the Opera type mask. It is that gross. I've decided that the main problem is that these people have so few opportunities to succeed that they are preyed upon by an ingrained sense of inferiority, which causes them to feel the need to constantly prove their worth. I have given up even telling people that I have a college degree (like that is even a big accomplishment these days...) because it just seems to make them list the tiniest achievements in their lives and expect me to be impressed. The men frequently try to start testostererone fueled battles to show of their manliness,  the women are hopelessly insecure, and the kids think they are gangsters and that they grew up in the 'hood'. If you are from Weed or the surrounding areas and are reading this and are not an asshole, I apologize. I know that some of you are totally normal and fine people (there are quite a few artists and hippie types who are awesome, but most of them live in Mt. Shasta and not in Weed proper). Hopefully you see the truth in this post and are not offended. Hopefully, you realize that I am just longing for some intelligent company and need to rant. This is a rather personal post I suppose and I will get back on track with French stuff very soon!

Now generally I love meeting 'weird' people and seeing a different view of the world, but these people are not interesting weird. They are completely empty. Nothing going on in their lives, no interesting stories. Hell, most haven't even gotten the chance to get out of this town. It just makes me sad because there is so much wasted potential, so much stupidity, and just so much that is completely blank. So there it is in a nut shell my thoughts, before leaving, on the social side of things. I do have to make a concession that the majority of people here are very very friendly and since it is such a small town you do end up talking to the same people frequently and kind of getting to know them. It's just that knowing people who don't interest me, well, doesn't interest me. Kind of glad to be leaving :). Sometimes we just end up in places where we we don't belong for a bit, but I suppose there is a reason.

mardi 13 septembre 2011

Mossbrae Falls and the Dunsmuir Brewery

This past Christmas some friends of ours gave us a gift certificate to go to the Dunsmuir Brewery for dinner. Since Mossbrae Falls is on the way, we decided to go for a double whammy of awesome. The food at the brewery was actually pretty good and 'gourmet' for out here. Given the normally poor alimentary selection 'round about these parts, I was quite pleased. The falls were gorgeous as usual; though, when we tried to swim the water was absolutely frigid. Needless to say we only went in to about calf height.

 All in all it was a great day and as we walked the train tracks back ( it's a bit treacherous to get to this particular waterfall since there is no other path but walking the rocky train tracks while reactivating all of your dormant ninja-Matrix skillz to avoid any oncoming trains) snacking on wild blackberries all the way, it really hit me that I am going to all these places to say goodbye. It's funny how attached you can get to places and yet what a triumphant feeling it is to know that there is so much earth to tread and so many adventures to be had. My feet are hungry to hit that open road once more and with just about a week until my departure, I am bouncing with happiness.

dimanche 11 septembre 2011

Pure Joy

With less than 2 weeks left in the States, joy is washing over me. I can't contain it anymore. Yay!!!  I spilled tea on my computer and the right hand shift key is now broken... :( I am currently trying to learn to type using only the left hand key. Pain! This post is totally pointless, but I am so happy tonight as the rain pours down outside and the Harvest Moon shines that I have to give it an outlet. Maybe my next post will have a purpose (other than random outpourings of emotion) but who can say. Time to start anew and be happy!

jeudi 8 septembre 2011

Kayaking Lake Siskiyou

A couple weeks ago I finally got a nice weekend to just enjoy summer's twilight days, so I headed to the lake. This has been such a late summer that I really haven't had the chance to go nearly as often as I should like, but what can you do. First, J and I decided to go to the North Shore, which is where all the locals usually go. It has a decent beach and the water is lovely. Unfortunately, it's also where all the locals usually go... So while J took the kayak for a spin (he ended up going around the entire lake!), I got to sit and listen to a bunch of fat rednecks (yes, it's rude, but it's also very very true) talk about whose truck is bigger and scream at there children while their dogs ran and pissed all over and they sat smoking their cigarettes and not swimming. Now a lot of the time there are people over there who are perfectly polite and kind and you really don't even notice that they are there (one time this guy even gave us a glass of the champagne that he had brought for his anniversary); today, however, there just happened to be a huge group of the ones who give Americans a bad name the world over.

(That little speck is J)

When J got back, I told him that I was feeling particularly misanthropic and that it would probably be best if we took a quick drive to the other side of the lake. This turned out to be an excellent idea as the only people on that side were two women having *gasp* a conversation that had some semblance of intelligence beneath it. At this point, I finally got to enjoy the lake. The water was clear, cool, and so very refreshing. I paddled over to where all these reeds were growing through the water and just watched the little fishes swimming beneath. Peace! I also got a great shoulder workout out of it and since I have been very lazy the past few weeks about exercising it was a godsend. 

(That little speck is me)

dimanche 4 septembre 2011

Everyone's moving these days

Finally back from a couple days helping a friend of mine move. It was some work, but at least I got a free workout out of it. Her new place is gorgeous out amongst the hills surrounded by peace and quite. And the stars, oh the stars! The Milky Way stretches from horizon to horizon there and standing beneath you feel the awe that our ancestors knew each night. The free range llamas come and hang out under the porch and roll in the sand of the driveway. I have to say that it was good to get out and have some company; lack of human contact out here starts to get to you after a while and I definitely needed a good chat over a cup of coffee. Plus I got some good hints of places and things to do in Germany since she was stationed over there in her military days. Now back to the stress of getting everything ready to go, helping my mom get her life in order (that's a good long ordeal in itself), and trying to enjoy, at least a little, the things that I still want to do while I'm here.

mardi 23 août 2011

lundi 22 août 2011


As I box up an entire lifetime for the millionth time, I must sort. Not just through these things but through these thoughts, memories, emotions that they call for forth, and it isn't always easy. The upheaval of the house matches that in my heart right now as I relive the past and try to let go by remembering the growth through the pain and locking up the good parts to called upon when a golden moment is needed. Sometimes, I find it necessary to escape onto the porch and watch the clouds or let my mind wander into some book and forget the current intensity of that breath before the plunge. These moments are both stagnant and pregnant with possibilities and energies. I wait and I live, I live and I wait. Soon the moment will come when I will say goodbye to this place that was never really my home, for I was always cognizant of its impermanence. This is the journey of a lifetime and I know it is blessed, but the past always speaks to me in whispers lingering in dark corners bidding me not forget not move on too fully. This is a moment of rebirth and I put these things away to be seen again, though I know not when, and to which to add new memories. After all the only constant is change and as much as I love the past the future must be embraced.

mardi 16 août 2011

French Films I've been Watching part 1

One of the first question I am generally asked when people find out that I speak French is "How did you learn it?" I usually reply with "At school," but being aware of the deplorable state in which this nation's second language education exists I generally feel compelled to add, "and through books, movies and music." That way I figure my interlocutor will realize that while my French is not totally perfect, I do have some semblance of fluency. When I was first learning the language, I would check out whatever French movies I could find from our local library, which means that I have seen some very bizarre and some very good films. I must recommend to any language learner to immerse yourself as much as possible and films are a great way to do that since you also get some culture mixed in :). Anyway, I figured I would update you all on what I have been watching as I desperately try to regain all the French I have lost over the years before I head out to France.

Pick Number one: La Veuve de Saint Pierre (The Widow of St. Pierre)

I have to admit that I have a bit of a girl crush on Juliette Binoche. Not only does she have inhumanly gorgeous skin, but she also seem to just be a pretty cool person in general.
But I digress. I actually really enjoyed this movie. At first it seems like a simple story of a man who kills someone while piss ass drunk and who is then taken under the wing of the wife of the head of the guard; it ends up having a lot more layers than that. The films deals with love on many levels from motherly to deeply physically passionate, human nature and whether we are bound to fate or free to make our own choices (the film does have a more fatalistic tone to it though). Though a period piece, it is shot with modern techniques and the cinematography is sumptuous. Great acting (Emir Kusturica who is Serbian film director and for whom this was the first acting role was perfectly cast), great costumes, great scenery, and a thought provoking story all make this movie quite enjoyable.

Pick Number 2: Les Amants (The Lovers)

This 1959 film caused a huge stir and even a supreme court case within the confines of prudish 1950's society. Viewed through today's lens, it's pretty tame but I could definitely imagine the shock of 1950's viewers. Les Amants is the story of a bored housewife who goes through two affairs. One with a polo player and one with an Archaeologist (high five, girlfriend!). When I saw that bit about the Archaeologist in the Netflix description, I had to watch this ;). The film builds until it reaches it's climax (pun intended) in which the main character (Jeanne Moreau) finds fulfillment through love and sexual liberation with the Archaeologist of course. The highlight of the film consists of a very dreamy and classically beautiful outdoor love scene filled with billowy white dresses, streams, fields, moonlight and all those things sentimental and beautiful. It's actually almost shockingly sentimental. This all leads into a very risqué (for the time) sex scene in which Moreau's orgasm leaves little to the imagination. I do love how she wears her pearls throughout the film whether in bed or out of it.


In the end, she decides to leave her husband and child for an uncertain but liberated life with her new lover. I guess some cinemas, Germany notably, edited out the child from the film for the sake of public decency and many American theatre owners were brought to trial for showing it. It made a lot of headway as far as censorship and what exactly is considered depraved behavior by the common public. It's funny because I know if I had watched this movie when I was younger and less cynical, I would have totally adored it. I still appreciate it's beauty but it's almost too sentimental for me now... That is kind of a sad thing to say, but hey life does that to you sometimes.

dimanche 14 août 2011

Perseids, Camping Castle Lake and a quick swim in Lake Siskiyou

Being in the middle of nowhere means that the skies are pretty dark around here, which in turn means that it is possible to do some great star gazing. Given that the Perseid Meteor Shower was this weekend, I decided to head up to Castle Lake for a little camping trip. Castle Lake is a very pristine small mountain lake surrounded by forest. The waters are generally (I've never seen them otherwise at least) crystal clear since they are made up of snow-melt from the surrounding hills and spend much of their lifetime frozen. The whole thing just feels clean. Here's the wiki link for the pathologically curious It is gorgeous up there and one of my favorite get aways.

The camping part of the trip was pretty much a Rorschach test to determine whether you are a pessimist or an optimist. My first mistake was trying to use J's ginormous tent and set it up by myself. I figured his tent would be much better than my puny little one-person deal since the entire upper portion consists of mosquito netting, so you can sit in there bug free and enjoy the views. That's all fine and dandy in theory, but when you combine a weakling like myself with two GIANT poles and enough fabric to clothe at least 3 Walmart shoppers (i.e., a lot), much slapstick ensues. I kid you not, it was all very Laurel and Hardy-esque. Then, ignoring all the laws of physics, I had the brilliant idea to take the bike out of the back of the truck and try to rig the tent in there by attaching the uppermost point to the roof of the truck. The rest was supposed to just fall into place. Magically. It didn't... at all. Soo, I set up my tiny tent, which takes about 5 minutes, and fits me and a few choice belongings perfectly, but alas has only one small mosquito net window in the top and another on the side.

As you can *maybe* see, I put a super tiny dog in there to trick you into thinking that I have a tent that humans can fit in. Clever, I know.

After giving said tiny dog her insulin, we both settled down to dinner and watched the sunset. Unfortunately, the meteor shower coincided with a full moon, so I figured I would read and listen to some music and such for a bit. Then I had the bright idea to take a nap until the moon set figuring that I would naturally wake up in a few hours as per the usual when camping. Well, I did wake up but the moon was now in the middle of the sky and I was still quite tired so back to sleep I went. Next time I opened my eyes it was to see a translucent yellow glow in the
sky and the sun just rising. Damn! I did catch one meteor through the top window of my tent, but that was all. I can attest from past experiences, however, that the meteor showers in this area are breathtaking.

Next day, or rather later late day, I went for a brief dip in Lake Siskiyou (about 7 miles down the road from Castle Lake and on my way home). Apparently, the Buddhist nuns from the abbey were having a retreat there or something since they were all over the place and one of them had waded into the lake, habit and all, to help a slightly crippled dog swim. I think Buddhism is the shit, fyi. Unfortunately, I could only take a quick dip since it's impossible to do anything without the dog freaking out, but I shall return. It is only like 15 mins from my house after all.
In the end and despite everything that went wrong, I had a good time and it was nice to get out and enjoy what surrounds me for the time being. These are the things I will miss about this place.

mercredi 10 août 2011

Dear W. Somerset Maugham,

WTF! Seriously. Mildred? The first one Phillip falls in love with is her... Not cool dude. Although looking back at my own life...

jeudi 4 août 2011

Nananananananananana Visaaaa

I have in my hands a shiny, multi-colored, magical Visa full of awesome that I procured during my trip down to San Francisco (more on that when I quit being lazy and actually write on this blog of all the spectacular things I've been doing). Everything went perfectly; I didn't get stuck in traffic OR have trouble getting a parking spot even. Talk about amazing!

In other news. After a two year (or so) stint of not being sick AT ALL, I caught something... Given that the symptoms started soon after I mopped the floor, I am persuaded that something evil was living in the mop and/or floor and/or water that has now invaded my system. ORR it could be from Grandma Death (aka an older woman at the hotel where we stayed last week who was seen, usually with a blanket over her shoulders, at least one cup of tea, and multiple kleenexes *how the fuck is the plural of kleenex spelled?* in various near death poses throughout the PUBLIC parts of the hotel). Impossible to know, but anyway with a little echinacea tea and various other healthy goodies I will be back in form soon and maybe even writing this blog.

samedi 25 juin 2011

Hedgecreek falls, burritos, headwaters and Indicator Dogs.

Hello hello all!
While I've been spending much of my time mentally preparing to teach (a feat which I still find rather daunting) and listening to tons of French shows/movies (and dubbed American ones as well. Apparently all it takes for me to get hooked back into American culture is for it to be in French), I did have a nice few days break from my self-imposed solitude. Anyway, one of the few businesses in this small town that avoided the omnipotent flush down the crapper of the American economy is the recording studio where J works. Since we moved out here about 2 years ago, the only people whose company is all that bearable are those connected with said studio and the bands that come through/are imported from overseas. I have to admit that I have met some very badass dudes and dudettes and definitely have some stories to tell (let's just say that the phrase 'no one parties like a Norwegian' is incredibly apt and I don't think I will be drinking much Jager in the future). This week a couple folks from the New Zealand based group Indicator Dogs were here, and being the incredibly outgoing, hospitable, and just downright awesome, not to mention starved-for-decent-conversation/company, people that we are we decided to show them some of the sites. So our little quatrumvirate (is the 'vir' applicapable if two of said quatrumvirate are women???) lunched at my favorite burrito bar, Dos Geckos- seriously, if you are ever in Mt. Shasta Ca, eat there! It is amazing, healthy, and the couple who runs it are always very friendly. We then proceeded to tour a few of the shops and realize our true obsessions for books and tea since the shop, Serenitea has some most delicious concoctions and well any shop where you can spend as much time as you want smelling different samples of tea is automatically fantastic. We didn't spend all of our time in the 'city,' however, oh no we gave them the full round and headed out to the lovely headwaters of the Sacramento River to quench our thirst in the clear waters and visit the park. Later that night J and I headed to the Mt. Shasta Stargazers meeting to look up for a bit and realize how insignificant we are when compared to the vastness of the universe, but also just what an integral part we play in said vastness. More on that later though. Afterwards, bowling with the studio folk and some beers. Merriness abounded despite all the annoying weirdo local people.

Today, Indicator Dogs had to hit the road again, so we took them on a quick detour to Hedgecreek Falls since it was on their way. I must say that these guys are very cool laid back folks and you should all check them out. You can thank me later ;)

mercredi 8 juin 2011

Morel mayhem.

I have admit that I have a bit of a weakness for old fashioned things and the 'days of yore.' I know I know, big surprise that the little Archeaologist (or almost) has a penchant for the past, but I digress. Now, I also tend to have a longstanding love affair with organic foods and living; really if I had the money I would absolutely love to invest more into such things, but on a poor man's budget we can't always live in an ideal world. "Where is this all going?" You might be asking yourself. Well, one of the benefits of living out on the edge of nowhere is that there tends to be a lot of nature around and where there is nature there are delicious little wild things to gather and devour. And apparently out here during the Spring people go mushroom hunting. At the risk of an unwanted psychotropic experience or ya know that whole sickness and death thing, I would never want to do this without a guide or lots of background information so when a friend of mine invited me to go pick morel mushrooms I figured why not. We ended up driving up into the mountains a bit onto the 'desert side' and traipsing through the woods for hours seeking out these tiny brain-like 'shrooms amongst the pine-cones and lava rocks. We ended up having a great time, filling our pores with peace and sunlight and our bags with food. And yes, they were quite delicious.

samedi 30 avril 2011

Biking the Siskiyous!

After a long hard winter bundled up with a good book and a cup of tea listening to the 7o mph winds plastering snow to the windows, Spring is a blessed season. Okay, so maybe the winter isn't like that every day and there is some of the most amazing ultimate sledding out here, but still the Spring is most appreciated. With that in mind, I've been out on the trails as often as possible biking and hiking this magnificent countryside. I must warn you that this post is very picture heavy :). Enjoy!
Mt. Shasta! About 10 miles away from my house and an active volcano. Beautiful when sleeping.
Pardon my ocherous hand (it was stilled stained from henna-ing my hair), but here is a piece of obsidian that was used to make Native American projectile points. You find worked obsidian allll over the place out here.

J workin' hard ;)

Now back to that cup of tea and book snuggle.

jeudi 28 avril 2011


Wow, what an incredibly emotional day. I woke up this morning a weee (yes with three "e's" because I am a badass like that) bit sleep deprived (forgetting to close the blinds, a malediction on you!) and then henna-ed my hair since it was raining to much too go outside and do any super cool sun-powered things. Besides the fact that I looked like some prehistoric swamp beast recently unleashed to terrorize mankind for a few hours and that the smell of henna is apparently something to be reckoned with, it all in all went well. That isn't really what this blog article is about though since this afternoon I got the good news that I was accepted (after having been waitlisted) to the Académie de Besançon France through the TAPIF program!!! I think the last time I was so happy that I cried was as a child when I found out my dog would be okay after being hit by a car. Well, needless to say I bawled my eyes out upon reading that email. After the long period of unemployment, rejection, just plain bad luck, something has finally happened and honestly it just feels right; it feels like this is the path I am supposed to take. I can't be totally surprised, however, since I've had certain intimations that my luck was changing the past couple of weeks. For example, when I went to take Anna Kerenina to the library to get it renewed and found a copy of it in a free book pile right by the door THEN the same day I saw this:

the best wanted poster of all time. In case you can't tell, this is a sketch of a guy in a ski mask. Enough said. I should have known at that point that good things were coming my way, and yes, in fact they are ;).

Much Love!

lundi 21 mars 2011

A slight introduction

I've decided to resurrect this blog with some minor aesthetic adjustments, which will hopefully encourage me to return here often with my adventurous tales ;). I have been feeling that horizon-call coming over me for quite some time and I think the moment spent in this place is reaching its end. Like all good finales, I am sure there will be tears but I can't help but realize that I've gotten a bit off track with my journey in life and I need to steer myself in a different direction.

I am holding France in my heart like a quiet seed waiting to sprout and in a few weeks now I will hopefully be able to watch the dream germinate. Yikes! Big steps are always strangely horrifying, but they really are *usually* the most valuable and I know a time of great growth is nearing, whatever path I take. I am trying to look at this time as the preface to a great story, trying to prepare myself mentally, physically, and emotionally for change... Unfortunately, the boredom still comes from time to time. I need to work on keeping myself busy... bleh!! Hopefully, I can use this blog as outlet for what I believe will be my last summer in Weed (yes, you heard me right and no it's not named after the uhhh "herb" though activities connected with said plant do seem to be quite popular in this crook of the great American elbow) California and wherever I head next. I will try my best not to bore those of you unlucky folk who stumble and perhaps face plant into this space, but I guarantee nothing. Enjoy these words and hopefully take something positive from them as well!
Peace, mes chers!