Today, we'll start with the pix because I know it's been a long time...
So, though I'm not much into floral prints or cut flower bouquets, I LOVe close-ups of flowers. I don't know why. Guess I'm a sucker for color and natural shapes. Here are a few from Sam's dad's house:
Mexican food night with the Frenchies, though delicious, didn't yield great photos. Sorry. Everything came out blurry. Must have been the Tequila lens. Still, we had yummy homemade tortillas and thus homemade fajitas, burritos and tacos. There was homemade salsa and guac, too. All as local and organic as possible:
Sylvain and burrito:
A few random pix:
What happens to someone who falls asleep on our couch:
Lily and Lolo's egg party? *shrug*:
Kids on couch:
Kids playing at the Parc near the deer (look at Ryan's gorgeous hair and soak it up):
Lolo on the playground:
Lily Bug (her daycare had a "Garden Party"):
Homemade organic cherry clafouti:
Local organic tomatoes:
Local organic cherries:
Local organic peppers and melon:
Homemade spring rolls (with homemade spicy Thai peanut sauce):
Bowl of herbs from the market (mint, cilantro and basil... PESTO!):
Pix of me losing my Pride cherry (see captions):
SuperHomo to the rescue!!!:
Let's get this party started:
I have no explanation for this:
Somewhere over the rainbow:
Bike Mobile that says "Families Like Any Other":
Amy Winehouse put in a slightly sober appearance:
No caption necessary!
I'm seeing angels:
Eat me, beat me:
Kids climbing up on a random van (you Americans frown, but the French just smile):
Sweet little old lady waving at us:
Here's a chick:
And here are her shoes. (There were a lot of these.):
Dude looks like a lady... no, for REAL:
This little girl was there with her mamas... PLURAL! \o/:
Flags flying down the rich and snooty street:
Passing in front of the snooty chocolate shop (flipping them off!):
Getting hosed down:
I'm obnoxious... and PROUD!
A bunch of flag hags:
What love looks like:
These "girls" held hands the whole way... teetering in their 16 inch heels!
Pay no attention to the Communist flags *whistling*:
Queens in front of Fourviere Basilica!
The Young and the Beautiful:
In the foam cannon's wake:
The street after the foam cannon:
And now, a little text before the unveiling of the Independence Day photos....
I had this CRAZY and very vivid dream that I was hanging out with Johnny Depp. We were lying on the floor, watching TV and he said, "Pssst, Joelie."
I turned to look at him and he waved me to him. I crawled across the living room. When I reached him, he sorta nodded at me and I knew what he wanted.
It was SO REAL. It wasn't sexual or really even romantic at all. It was friendly and snuggly and warm and... *sigh* And now, he's all over the TV with the previews of Public Enemies and I get a little zip of lightning in my belly every time I see him. Maybe the movie will wipe some of that away. I'm going on Wednesday. You know........... he lives over here....... NAH!
It has been AWESOME using the Velov. Only, I think I forgot to tell all you peeps last time that as I was waiting at a light on my way to get my French passport, when the light turned green, I went to pedal, my foot slipped off, then hit the ground, twisting my ankle and I fell over with that heavy ass bike on top of me, my face in the gutter (which smelled like rot and dog shit). I was SO embarrassed. A middle-aged and well-dressed woman came over and said, "Ca va?" I just blushed and dusted myself off. Someone lifted the elephantile bike off of me (which was like crawling out from under a horse). I looked up and saw a police officer. "Ca va?" again. "Yeah," I said. "I'm okay. Just a little embarrassed."
He furrowed his brow. "Absolutely no reason to be embarrassed. I fall from my bike all the time." The lady nodded. "It happens"
With shaking hands, I called Sam to tell him I'd be late. When I got to the mairie (city hall) he said, "I would have DIED of embarrassment!" Thanks Buttmunch!
Anyway, I'm okay, except I have a HUGE bruise on my right knee. And it wasn't from falling. It was from the bike falling on my knee. That's how heavy the damn things are. You don't feel it while you're moving (unless you're drunk, LOL) but you feel it if you fall.
Speaking of falling and bikes.... I was on my way to the cine the other night... riding my Velov and I saw a dude riding down the bus lane. Now, you should realize that the bus lane really is only wide enough for the busses to pass through. I SAW the guy heading that way and wondered if he knew what he was doing, but I figured I'd just trust him. I even considered following him so I'd be able to ride on asphalt instead of gravel, but figured it was too dangerous. Sure enough, along comes the #58 behind him. I'm watching, amazed as the guy goes fast in front of the bus. I hear the bus beep at him several times. I figured the bus would go on by since it wasn't an electric bus (attached to wires) and since the bus coming the other direction was far away, giving him enough time to pass. But no. That bus driver ran that cyclist into the bush. I saw it happen. The guy hit the bus, then hit the bushes and it was like a mouse who's been run over by a lawn mower. He even rolled several times (bike included) before stopping.
I screamed, "SHIT!" I couldn't help it. I was SHOCKED. Everyone walking on the path turned and looked at ME (not the fallen cyclist).
The guy got up, dusted off and headed out. I yelled, "Ca va?" He shot me a look and then a thumbs up. Then, he took off after the bus.
When the bus stopped at the next stop, the cyclist caught up and started arguing with the driver. I was late meeting Flavia and Gilles and my hands were already shaking from shock as it was (slowing me down), so I didn't get to hear how things ended, but I learned NEVER to take the bus lane.
I let Ryan's hair grow out. You noticed? For one, it looks AWESOME like that. For another, it's in style (ironically). There are young guys everywhere from Ryan's age all the way up through high school with crazy and wild long hair (not ponytail long... afro long... poofy and windswept... AWESOME). AND, Ryan kept saying he didn't want to get it cut. Sam said, "He's just afraid to go to the barber because he thinks it hurts. That's the only reason he doesn't want to get it cut." But every time I asked Ryan (and asked if that was the reason) he said no. So, I let it go. But then, it got HOT outside. I felt really bad for him because the hair was sticking to him and it made even me all itchy and uncomfy to look at it. I asked him, "Ryan, don't you think you should get a trim?"
"Noooooo. I don't want to cut it."
"But people will stop asking if you're a girl."
"I don't care. I like it like this."
"But Ryan it's HOT outside! What if we just get it trimmed down so that it's cooler?"
He shook his head no, but I had to make an executive decision. He just didn't look comfortable. So, Sam took him to the neighbor's salon and got his hair cut SHORT. Not buzzed, but short. *sigh* I have to admit that he looks a LOT more comfortable. And because he looks about three years younger, his antics are now CUTE instead of annoying. Isn't that weird? When he looked eight, his silliness seemed out of place. But now that he looks five again, it fits. Still, I hope he'll want to let it grow out. He was so freaking CUTE with it long.
I have been having a blast on Facebook! In the past couple of weeks, I have found so many long lost friends!!! Some from as far back as my first pregnancy. Some from childhood before that!!!! One even from when I was a nanny/housekeeper... I found one of "my" kids! And a childhood friend and I were chatting yesterday... She read me a letter I sent her when I was 15 and you wouldn't BELIEVE how little I remember from that time. How much I've repressed. I blushed for an entire hour as she quoted some of the letter. Ugh. I'm just going to repress it for a little while longer (she's going to send them to me). I'm REALLY grateful to her (even though I know it's going to be like chewing nails to read those letters) because they'll be AWESOME for my writing. Stuff like that always acts like a time machine, sending me back to the event, and letting me re-experience all the sensory details!
Okay... finally... Independence Day...
It's not my FAVORITE holiday, okay? I've always liked it, but I had some pretty shitty ones in my life, so those few occasions pretty much ruined it for me. That, and since the flag meant something entirely different for a few years there (something with which I didn't want to associate), I've usually just had a burger and moved on. But now that Obama has brought some pride back to the state of being an American, I figured it was time to fire up the grill.
Only... I didn't have a grill.
So, I made some lists (you know how I am)... I sent Sam looking for flags and sparklers (not a BIG fan of small time fireworks, but I love sparklers). He went to a party store and got the sparklers and was like, "You wouldn't happen to have any American flags, would you?" The guy laughed. Sam laughed. Then the guy stopped laughing and said, "Wait.... Maybe I DO. Hang on." It was in a box of OLD stuff, covered in dust, sitting on the highest shelf in a back room, but there they were... Ten little plastic (hey, you work with what you got) American flags. I'm not nationalistic. I'm patriotic--my ancestors wrote the national anthem and signed the Declaration of Independence (no... for REAL, Francis Scott Key and John Hancock)--but like I said, I've given up flag-waving. But red-white-and-blue hasn't looked that good in a long time.
I went shopping. Bought a small, cheap (25 Euro) electric grill, beef patties, French and Moroccan sausages (the hot dogs they have here are Saucisses de Strasbourg and just don't taste like American hot dogs, so I decided not to go for it... if it's not gonna be American, it ought to at least be tasty), ingredients to make potato salad (cuz that ain't French), ingredients to make coleslaw (cuz that ain't French either), guacamole ingredients, tortilla chips, watermelon (you HAVE to have a freakin' watermelon, dude!!!) and sundries. I did get hamburger buns because they are already pretty popular over here. But there aren't any hot dog buns. Here's why... They eat their "hot dogs" (cuz again, it's NOT the same sausage as an American hot dog) in baguettes. They even have a "hot dog" machine that warms up your hot dog and has a little metal POKING thing so you can poke a HOLE in your baguette to slide your hot dog up into (sounds obscene, doesn't it? that's what I thought too). So, I figured, I'd have to make my own. And I did.
I got up early that morning, made the hot dog buns. Sent Sam out for stuff from the market. Made potato salad with taters, mayo, mustard, eggs, capers, parsley, celery (only a little cuz I hate it), vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and.....it was delicious!!!! Then, I chopped up some cabbage, shredded a coupla carrots, chopped an onion and made a mayo/yogurt/vinegar/sugar/salt and pepper dressing. Threw in the chopped up stuff and made... COLESLAW. It was my first time but it turned out REALLY good!!! I had some green beans that I REALLY needed to steam, so I did and once they cooled, I tossed them in a vinaigrette with a diced tomato. Yum! I threw together a guacamole. I made some chocolate chip cookies, some chocolate cupcakes (with a square of chocolate strategically placed in the middle, some yellow cupcakes (with a square of fresh apricot strategically placed in the middle and Cointreau in the batter). I decorated the cupcakes in the vague shape of an American flag.
We broke out the grill and got the sausages done. The grease dripped onto the electric element and nearly caught the kitchen on fire several times (and made all the neighbors close their windows). Sam got to cookin' the burgers. The entire building filled with smoke... Flavia arrived and told us that she could smell it downstairs.
Everything was done and on the table. The guests were all there, beers in hand. I put the flags in a bouquet in my curved green Coke glass and carried it to the table.
The neighbor, who had already been poking fun at me, says, "Now the only thing missing is a big photo of Mr. Obama." His voice dripped with sarcasm. I decided to shrug it off. That's how he is. He's a douchebag. It's his nature. It's his sense of humor. It's not mean... Right?
And then he says, "And his disgusting wife who couldn't go shopping with everyone else and had Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy (French first lady) open up the stores on Sunday so Ms. Obama could shop." And he rolled his eyes.
Don't take the bait, Joelie. Shrug it off.
Then he said, "French people working on Sunday so Ms. Obama could shop in peace. While people die of hunger."
I said, "Well, the people working that day didn't die of hunger because they got paid double. Shall we eat?"
"I'm against it. Working on Sunday."
"That shit comes from the capitalists. Taking away the one day that's sacred."
I lost it. Whatever I said after that is a blur. I remember saying that having stores open on Sunday and all night actually gives oppoturnities to people who WANT to work on Sunday to earn money. He said something else that pissed me off and I said, "I have worked ALL day on this meal. We're not going to spend the whole evening arguing about politics like last time." I remember I couldn't control the screech in my voice.
"I have the right to express myself," he says. "I'm saying that working on Sunday is not something the French culture is going to allow."
I bit my lip until it bled and smiled. "Okay."
I then, went into my office before I said something I would regret. I went on Facebook (as some of you will remember) and went OFF. I could hear Flavia and Gilles trying to argue with him in the next room. Sam came to the door of my office.
"Joj, get out here."
"Get out here."
"Fuck. Off." I said through gritted teeth. "I haven't sat down all day. I skipped lunch. I just want to take a few minutes to calm down."
He rolled his eyes and left. Why is he never on my side?
Flavia came in and was like, "You can't argue with that guy. First of all, neither of us have the vocabulary. But even if we did--and I tried--he won't let you finish. He doesn't want to hear what you have to say. He believes the way he does and he doesn't want to change his mind. He doesn't even want to LISTEN."
I vented. I don't give a shit what he believes or feels or whatever. I don't care if France works on Sunday or not. I really couldn't give a fuck. And he's right... He has the right to express himself. My question is... why here? Why then? Why come over to a party where we're supposed to celebrate my country's independence from the British and get all critical of the U.S.? Couldn't he leave that shit at home? Why can't some French people just shut their fucking mouths? Isn't there a time and place for "expressing yourself?" Why does he have to do it on MY Independence Day in MY apartment? If he wants to express himself, couldn't he do it at home before or AFTER the party? Did he REALLY think he was going to come over to MY house and convince me, ON THE CELEBRATION OF MY COUNTRY'S BIRTHDAY, to criticize and bash the U.S? I mean, I am critical of the U.S. all the time. July 4th was the occasion to look at the GOOD things and to celebrate those things. I invited them over because I wanted to share that celebration with my friends. And that fuck had to come over into MY sanctuary and FUCK IT UP for me!!!!!! I was so tempted just to stay in the office. And actually, Flavia and I did until we heard the voices die down... Everyone had dug into their food. We walked out and pretended to have been talking about Johnny Depp. Actually, we really WERE talking about Johnny Depp. I didn't want that French bastard to think he had gotten to me as much as he had. I really shouldn't have let him affect me, but it was just the situation. Time and place. I'm hormonal, homesick and had spent the day cooking and cleaning and preparing for a party.
He even made fun when we broke out the sparklers. Whatever.
Things calmed down. I even got to show them how to do tequila shots, LOL! That was fun! And after they left, Flavia and Gilles hung out for a little while and gabbed (and watched Zumba DVDs cuz I'm trying to convince Avi to dance).
Yesterday, after all had blown over and whatnot, I called and asked the neighbors if they'd like to come over and help us eat the leftovers (because I hadn't grilled/barbecued the chicken on the 4th), but they didn't come.
More bbq chicken for ME! *grin* That's a great thing about American holidays, y'all. Leftovers.
I'm gonna be eating coleslaw and tater salad all week long. YAY!!!
Oh well, that's enough for today. I still have things to say, but I'd rather say them when my hormones don't have posession of my MOUTH (there are fewer F-bombs when I blog NOT on my . )...
So, enjoy some images...
Hand made, homemade hot dog buns:
Green bean salad:
Burgers (the sausages are underneath):
A (at least the kids loved the flags):
What Lily did while everyone else played with flags and sparklers (I'm not the only one obsessed with being a farmer... LOL!):
There you go.
My friend Ju is coming to Lyon this week (for a month?) to see her mom (remember? I met her here last year and her mom lives here and she took us to their castle?)... So I may not be on here as much. OR maybe I'll be on here more (if we do a bunch of cool stuff)!
Have a great week. And God bless the goddamn United States of America!!!