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.