Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4, 2010

Sorry about my slightly incoherent update last time! I was trying to get ready for Loire valley and then I was really tired as well. On Monday, our guest lecturer who was a composer was Leilei Tianm and you should look up her music. It is interesting. I imagine most of you won't really like it all that well. This is also a link to a review on the ballet I just went to: . It helped me understand the ballet a little better, and maybe you'll understand why I was a little weirded out by it.

Ok, on Tuesday, we had Religion, and the religion final. Studying for it was ok, but everyone was really uptight for some reason. It's ok, we all made it through. On our midterm, Brother Euvard gave us all As so we weren't too worried about this final! I knew my stuff pretty well, anyways. That night, we had dinner. I really don't remember anything from it. I don't think the food was that odd, either. Or maybe it was... let me think on that.

Wednesday was just class, as usual. For art history, we went to Musee D'Orsey! It was really neat. I actually really enjoyed it! The only sucky dumb thing was we couldn't take pictures inside! How silly is that! They had just made that change like a few months ago, too. :( It's ok, I prob don't need MORE pictures of art... Especially since i'm busy uploading tons of boring pictures of Castles. Sorry for the boringness... It's ok. The trip is almost over, then you won't have to look at boring pictures anymore for me. Wow, I got a little off track. I was talking about Musee D'orsey. We mostly focused on Courbet who's paintings showed the transition from romantic to impressionism. I liked his paintings all right. There was one painting of his that everyone found really awkward, though. That painting is called “the origin of the world” if you DARE look it up. Basically it is just a painting of a view right between the legs of a woman. I wasn't too embarrassed by it, and I had been bombarded by plenty of male genitalia in art class, so it was just payback for the men to see female. Valerie mentioned that it isn't very erotic because it isn't implying anything. It's just an image without a subject. She explained a painting of two clothed women embarrassing and a broken necklace in the foreground and more erotic because it suggests more. I suppose it makes sense. She also said that only men wrote theses about the painting, so she decided to dd her female voice to the mix, and I really appreciate that she did. She was very lively when talking about it, which was neat. She also showed us x-rays of Courbet's paintings which were REALLY interesting because it showed paintings he painted over and changes he made. It was cool.

Early thursday morning, our whole group headed out by bus to Loire valley! I was very excited but I didn't get any work done the whole trip. The first day, our very first castle was Chateau de Langeais which was my favorite castle the whole trip. It seemed the oldest and it had some amazing old objects in it. I liked the way it was guided too. In each room there was a laminated paper with information on it. ...UGH I just took forever doing pictures and now i'm sooo tired. I'll finish this tomorrow. :) NIGHT!

Morning everyone! And happy easter! I just had a big breakfast that included a bowl of cereal, jus d'orange, and toast. I'm all alone and wishing I could be at katie's house eating her delicious brown sugar bacon and sleeping on her nice furniture. I also wish I could do an egg hunt with everyone! Easter is my favorite holiday mainly for the egg hunt and coloring. :( oh well... be maybe next year? Maybe a late on at the cabin like we've done in years past? Ok, good. I'm currently trying to figure out how to watch conference from my computer. We'll see how it goes. What a sad and lonely Easter... It's also my day to catch up on homework. Joy. Mr. Julienne did come down to get some wine but I wasn't quite awake yet (don't worry, mom, it was like 8:30) so he went back upstairs and told me to go get him. I went up there when I was decent (threw on a pair of pants and a sweater) I went up to get him while he was playing guitar. He couldn't hear me, but Mme. Julienne came down and was all surprised to see me. I tried to explain the situation to her... and I think the point got across. It was slightly awkward. Well, he eventually came down and grabbed the biggest honking bottle of wine. “a grand celebration for the resurrection of Christ, no?” and I was just like “yeah, big big celebration..”

Anyways, back to Chateau de Langeais... It was my favorite castle the whole trip. I was saying each room had a laminated piece of paper on it with information that you could read as carefully as you wanted. I learned a lot about the pieces of furniture and it was just really cool. It felt like it was the oldest because it was all rickety and cool. It was in this awesome mideaval town, too. Chelsea and I stuck together because we were the only two taking our time in the castle and reading about everything. It was nice to have someone there who was going my same pace. We did that throughout most of the castles, meaning that I didn't actually spend much time with Ariel and Shaina this trip. The back of the castle was really neat. It had some of the old keep still up, and you could climb these wooden ramparts up to it. Even farther back, there's this awesome playground with old-school teeter-totters, little ride-a-horsies and a balance beam. There was also an amazing tree house, like the most legit tree house i've ever been up. Even further back, there was a more modern playground. I was just so happy. I felt totally revived. I was skipping and running and having a grand old time. Ricks wanted to leave early which still bums me out a little.

The next castle we were able to go to that day was … oh crap. General conference has frozen my net. It's not even working. Stupid. Anyhow, the next castle was Azay-le-Rideau Chateau. I raced the boys the whole way up to the castle and I came back to get them and jack made me run with him again. It actually felt really good to be active again. Jack and I were the winners. We got audio guides for that castle, but they were absolutely useless. We had to try to figure out what audio guide number to use by using this crappy little map. I never figured it out, I basically had to ask everyone around me. When I got it right, it was pretty useless. “notice the fireplace. See the salamander? Now look at the pool table, see how ornate it is?” etc. Not informative at all... I really don't remember anything about the history of that castle... the interior was ok... I guess. It just wasn't my favorite castle. Outside of it was really cool, though! Not as cool as the last castle, but there were gardens and lots of grass to play around in. I was showing the kids some break dance moves that I know. The boys weren't strong enough to do my pull-myself-up-by-my-collar move. I was pretty proud of that. We also had some of those put-you-head-in-circle picture and we were all just having a grand old time. A french group asked me to take their picture infront of the castle and I was able to help them out in french! --lunch bell just rung. I half hope they invite me but half don't because i'm still in my sweater and thrown on pants and i'm not wearing makeup...-- It was nice to be outside all that time

After that, we headed out to (gosh dang it, I guess i'm not watching conference this time :( computer crash) Tours to spend the night. People were heading out for dinner but I already had a sandwich so I stayed in to do homework. I ended up sleeping instead. Ariel and Courtney were in my room. Ariel and I were laughing and having fun pretty much the whole night.

The next day, we headed to Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau which was a pretty neat castle. The pamphlet for this castle was a tour basically, with all the information written in it for each room. This castle was cool because it was built over the river like a bridge. This castle was cool because it belonged to a bunch of women. At first, it was Diane de Poitiers, Henry II's mistress. After his death, she traded it with Catherine de medici's, his wife, castle. Catherine was regent over the country for her young son and ruled the country from this castle. This castle was also used by the resistance to get people from the occupied part of France to the unoccupied because it was a bridge over the boundary. The kitchen was huge, too, and one of the coolest kitchens we saw the whole trip. I found that there were way too many rooms for me to look at and I lost interest towards the end. I would have liked to play around outside more, but it was raining and it was about time to go back to the buss anyways. We went through the maze, but it was pretty dang easy. Oh! And Mary queen of Scots had stayed in that castle for a bit, too.

Amboise was next. That castle used to cover a huge amount of land, but unfortunately, most of it was taken down to sell the rocks. We had a tour guide here. She had the funniest speaking pattern. She always went “eh?” and was just really entertaining. I would have loved to hear her speak all day. From her, I learned about the salamander that I had been seeing the whole trip. It was Francois little symbol because it was believed that they could walk through fire without getting burned. I also learned about Anne of Brittany again, and her marriage to Charles VIII (the guy who whacked his head and died in this very castle) and later his cousin, Louis XIII. We learned a little more about Louis-Philippe, the last king of france. Apparently he spent a lot of time in the states. I suppose he also lived in this castle, as did his descendants until the 70s. For some reason, I was kind of a loner in that garden. It was ok, I just sort of wondered around and had a pretty good time.

We then headed to Leonardo Da Vinci's house, Chateau du Clos Luce. We couldn't take pictures in there, sadly, but I spent a lot of time reading the little pamphlet that had information in it. Da Vinci was a pretty amazing guy. He designed the first gun-looking things and was obviously way ahead of his times. One wonders what would have changed in this world had people actually built the things he designed. It was also interesting to learn of his close relationship with Francois I. A bunch of his inventions were recreated in the yard and Chelsea and I were the only ones who braved the pouring rain to play around with them. It's too bad the weather was so bad because I would have loved to spend more time in the gardens with all that stuff. There was also a little museum in his back yard full of copies of work... so not super cool. I realize how creepy the background of the Mona Lisa is, and how cool it is. I need to have a better look in the Louvre sometime.

We then headed to Blois to stay for the second night. I headed out by myself to get a sandwich in the town. I was actually a little unnerved to be wandering around. That was interesting because if I was in the same situation in Paris, I would have felt comfortable, and Paris is obviously much more dangerous. I guess it was just because that place was unfamiliar and I didn't want to get lost. I came back and hung out with Richard and Garret who were using the free internet in the breakfast room. That was fun. After that, Chelsea, Ariel, Courtney, shaina and I hung out in our room and watched “how to look good naked” which is this show hosted by one of the guys from “queer eye for the straight guy” and he basically just tries to make women love their bodies. It was funny, and I laughed a bunch. A note came in from under our door and it said in three different languages “hi, we're the boys in 210. we have a guitar and we think you should come make noise with us.” The languages were English, French, and Portuguese. Mike speaks Portuguese and plays guitar so we figured it was Mike and Richard. We decided to write a note back, just for fun, saying “who are you? Give us five good reasons why we should go over.” We really thought it was Mike and richard, and I was up for a little more fun that night. We then got paranoid that they had played a little april fools joke and that 210 was actually Rick's room. We eventually got a note back saying “En: we are Gio, Greg and Vinny! We come from Brazil, ok, we think that there are 3 goods reasons already!! (plus the guitar) We and you need to know each others!! (maybe) this is the last and only opportunity!!! And we must enjoy the life bcz it is short!!! AND... WHO ARE YOU???” We had a good laugh. Don't worry, we didn't write back or go over or anything. We still wondered if it was a joke from mike and Richard but on the back of the paper was the printed reservation for the hotel for that day made by Gregorio. The next morning, though, there was another note saying that we needed to keep in touch and it had his email on it. Good times.

We went to Blois castle. It was kind of neat. It was interesting how each side of the castle was made in a different style. There was Gothic, flamboyant, Renaissance, and neoclassical. While we were taking pictures of one of the stair cases, the Welsh Rugby team started posing for us. It was really funny. Welsh, and rugby players... MMM. Ariel got pictures, so i'll have to get them from her somehow. It was pretty grand. Our tour guide there was American, but had lived in France since he was 21 or so. He had such funny body language. I wish I could explain it. His legs were straight together with his toes pointing out. Every once and a while he would click his heels together. His head always seemed to be pulled in like a turtle, especially when he asked us questions. His arms were always straight at his sides and in fists. It was pretty entertaining. We only toured the Renaissance part and the old gothic hall, which was the coolest part. The neat thing about his castle was that it was redone as close to what it would have looked like back in the day as they could, using illuminated manuscripts. It all very colorful. Our guide said that everything was colorful and painted, including the wooden furniture. It was neat to see a castle as it would have looked like back in the day.

Next was Chambord, this huge hunting lodge. It looked incredible. It had a stair case in the middle that was a double helix stair case. That was interesting. I wonder what the point was, but I guess it was just for looks. It was pretty inhabitable because it was so huge and impossible to heat. While there, I learned a lot about the duc de bordeaux, omte de chambord, who was charles X's grandson. He could have been a king in a third monarchy but he didn't because he was unwilling to change flags. It is interesting to think of how different france must have been if there was yet another king. Parliament was all for it, and this was directly after the second empire. I had no idea. It's def interesting to think about. It was led by audio guides that were informative but also pretty exhaustive. Each one lasted like 4 min and there were about two for every room. Sheesh. The top of the castle was pretty amazing. It reminded chelsea and me of the climax in Beauty and the Beast where the Beast fights Gaston. It looked like its own little city up there. I showed Ariel and Chelsea how soft the stones were that it was made from and we were just rubbing it when a security guard came and took us to our professor. He was about to kick us out, but decided not to because he realized that we weren't actually marking the wall. It was about time to leave anyways. It was kind of funny. I've got to be kicked out of SOMETHING while i'm here, right? It's tradition.

After that, we headed home and I slept the whole way. Yesterday, I uploaded pics, which took forever. Now it's easter. It's more like noon, now. I have dinner at the Ricks' place at 5. that's about it! What a sad little easter/conference day. I gotta figure out how to watch conference somehow... :(

March 31, 2010

England... it was fun! the night we arrived, we all went to the grocery store. It was huge and the isles were actually big enough to walk through! It was magical. The first day, Courtney and I went on the tour to Leeds, Dover, and Canterbury. It was interesting. We both wanted to sit by a window and she sat in the back while I was in the middle so we didn't really talk to each other the whole time which was a tad interesting. Our tour buss was more like a tour van. It was really small. Leeds was really cool. I enjoyed looking around. I also really liked their dog collar museum. I don't know why, but I found it pretty fascinating. The aviary was cool, too. Courtney said one of the birds actually said hello to her. Courtney and I split up but I didn't have the time so I was a little stressed out on my own. We only stopped by the beach in Dover because it was raining pretty hard core. We were there just long enough to collect some rocks and take pictures. Canterbury was fun. It was still raining a ton. We had a lot of time there, too so we had time to wonder around. I was super hungry and I didn't take out any cash so I had to eat at a place I knew would take credit card. That place happened to be Subway. :) I've missed subway. It was in a super old building which was fun. The workers there were Italian. When I asked if I could use credit card, they asked to see it, so I had to reach through my money pouch in my pants in front of them. They all ogled of course. Later, one asked me “so, you have a boyfriend in America?” and I just laughed. It was pretty funny and also a little embarrassing. The Cathedral itself was really cool. I was trying really hard to find structural differences between that cathedral and French ones that i've seen. I couldn't really think of any which was disappointing. I tried asking one of the old workers there but all he said was that it was for a different religion and that it was much more used and better kept up. There was no arguing with him there, but that wasn't the answer I was hoping for. Oh well. That's just me trying to apply my new knowledge. I couldn't really find the exact place where Thomas Becket got the ax... but I am pretty sure that I walked right over it. I've always been on Henry II's side anyways. Henry II was pretty fascinating.

Courtney and I got home really early. I just wanted to study so bad- actually I take that back. I just knew I needed to. Kirsten told me I needed to put in a little more effort into studying so I thought i'd give it a try. 2 ½ hours and a soar tongue later, I had like 300 flash cards with all my vocab. I felt really ridiculous because I didn't think it would possibly actually help me. Well it helped a lot, actually. I'm working on it for my next test, now. oy. Too much vocab!! Well, that's all I did that night. Courtney and I also stayed up being goofy. We were both too tired to get ready for bed so we were just staying up and laughing for a long time.

Well, next day, Ariel, Courtney, and I headed out for yet another tour. Shaina opted out on coming with us so I practically didn't see her the whole trip. First we headed out to Windsor castle! It was so cool! I saw so many original paintings there hat I have seen in books. I was ecstatic. I was moving really slowly just ogling all the pieces of art and Ariel and Courtney were impatient and left me in the dust. I really wanted to practice my knowledge of art that I had learned while there and try to name all the monarchs I could. My art major friend, aka ariel, was not there to help me, though. I was also left watchless.. I ended up going to the buss 30 min early. The buss driver was all “you're kidding me, right? You have tirdy more minutes left!” I couldn't understand “tirty” until I realized that he was Irish. Well I could have had a little more time at the castle :( oh well. At least I didn't get left behind like some other unfortunate couple did.

Our next stop was stone henge. It's always really fun to go there. At first I didn't take a ton of pictures because I felt like we already had a ton of pictures of that place. I just decided to take some silly ones for the fun of it, so I initiated it. I've realized that I don't really like looking at my pictures of just buildings and such so I just wanted some fun ones of Stone henge. The sky was gorgeous so I ended up taking some pictures anyways. We all bought really cute matching rings while there. They were in the shape of stone henge :)

Next stop was bath. I got a little snap happy there and took tons of pictures. I was overly paranoid that they were going to leave me again so I kept being all “guys! Don't leave me!” and they were a little annoyed cause I was moving slowly again. I just don't see the point of going places if you aren't going to learn anything about them! I didn't want to just hurry through and see everything, I wanted to take it in. it's taken me all this time to finally realize that. Oh well. I also insisted that we go take the waters in the restaurant. It didn't taste as strong as I had thought it would! I basically chugged it while the other girls had little sips.

I took a nap on the bus ride home. I woke up what felt like two hours later, but we were in the middle of england, and unable to get into London because of traffic. I was a bit confused for a bit. We finally made it in like 2 hours late. After, we went to some cheap place for fish and chips. They were nasty. The skin was still on the fish. I also did this thing where I was going to try not to take out any money the entire weekend. It worked! :) it was nice too. I don't need extra pounds laying around.

The next day, Ariel and I went off to Hyde park and to see buckinghamm palace. At hyde, we just sat there and dog watched. We miss dogs.. After that, we went to England's big museum. It was really cool. I really wanted to see the bog man. I forgot that the really cool bog people were actually in Dublin so I was a little dissapointed in the one there. It was still pretty neat.

I then wandered off to the victoria and albert museum all by myself. I didn't have a lot of time before meeting back at our hotel to get to the train station so all I really got to see were the bronze sculptures and the fashion section. It was pretty neat. :) ariel went off to the museum of london and said that “it was not that great” which shocked me and I tried not to be mad about it, cause I loved that place. I guess artifacts from every-day life isn't really her thing... i'm still trying not to be mad about it, haha. Well i'm glad I did two tours. I ran out of things to do in London just in the one day! I figured out why London is so ugly. It just doesn't have the same strict building codes as Paris has. After all the damage from WWII, ugly soviet era buildings went up like daises. Gross. It's a really gray City. I much prefer the countryside of England.

Monday was looong. The only thing worth reporting, really, is the YSA FHE. The ricks canceled their FHE again. Ariel and I just stayed a super long time talking to everyone. I didn't mean to stay so long and I always feel bad doing that. We just spoke to Todd, Miro (who stole my new ring...), and Edward. It was fun. We talked about all sorts of random stuff. Todd brought up the whole evolution thing again. I said I wasn't even freaked out about having a common ancestor as apes, he freaked out a bit. I said I wasn't going to argue it cause I wasn't entirely sure, but I wasn't going to say it's absolutely wrong either. He was shocked. Miro said he liked the way I thought, though. What a silly kid.

That night i spoke with mom. for some reason i was just feeling super down and out. She helped me realize that i've been focusing on negatives rather than positives. it's always nice to get a reminder that you need to be positive. I've been making a conscious effort to change and the last few days have been GREAT! happiness is a choice, and i'm working on choosing that :) now to get others to do the same... but yes, life is good right now :)

I guess also, that a guest speaker came and spoke to us about her music. She's composer of modern music. I totally forgot her name. Someone will have to remind me to find that out, later. I guess I don't understand music like I thought I did, because I always thought there was a beat and a melody but hers didn't have either. It was very modern. Very interesting. She also told us her conversion story. It was interesting as well. Very different. Basically she just had a ton of visions I guess. .

Religion was the next day.... and basically I'm going to have to finish this update after Loire Valley. I'm too tired to do it now. Someone remind me to actually do that! Ugh. There's so much to do :S Love and miss you all!

March 23, 2010

Update time! It's super late so I don't think this is going to make any sense... and I may just give up and try again after my London trip... but here we go.

Yesterday I had class. I had french class, nothing to report, there. I had religion class as well. It is the second to last one and I'm actually kind of sad. Our teacher in that class is really awesome. He's french, and just about the nicest french person I know. It'll be nice to get that class out of the way, though.

Near the institute, we witnessed all the missionaries dressed up in African suits. It was fairly odd. they are learning the Hacka (sp?) in african suits. not making much sense. oh well.

FHE with the Ricks was canceled yesterday, but Ariel and I still wanted to go to the singles FHE to get a good break from the usual break. We had a good few hours to hang out, though. We went to the Apple store in the Louvre where they have free WiFi so she could update her blog. I was just reading my French 362 book the hole time. The security guard who was prob in his mid thirties and not super attractive came up to speak with us. He brought a buddy to help translate. He said he recognized us from an earlier trip because of our hair and said that we were very beautiful. He asked if he would see us again, and I said he could when we came back. I was fine with it all but there were a lot of Americans sitting by us witnessing the whole thing which I found amusing for some reason. Whenever I hear an American I just want to speak to them so bad! I always refrain. I just miss Americans, I suppose. One sitting next to me commented to his buddy that a guy with the most awesome hair ever just walked by and I looked at where he was talking about and he looked at me and I got all bashful and started reading my book again. Ariel and I were talking about it, though. We seriously just want to talk to every American there is. One time I did but they were from Canada and I ended up having to go a different way and it was just a tad awkward. I've learned my lesson. I saw one American family arguing on the metro about which way they should go and I almost went up to help them but I was on thee way to class so I didn't. They were having issues, though.

Anyhow, after that, we were wandering around near hotel de ville (the only place we know we can for sure find good cheap food) and I was really tired for some reason. I was down right delirious. I was kind of stumbling and just super out of it. We got some food in me, though (in the form of a banana nutella crepe) and headed to FHE.

FHE was fine. Landon gave the lesson, which I understood most of until I tuned everything out because of my tiredness. After the lesson I just sort of sat there and spoke with Chelsea, Angela, and Ariel Miro came over and he and Ariel were flirting a bunch so I let them do their thing. I actually spent almost all my time talking to Carter. He's an American BYU alum who's just working in pairs. Everyone has decided to dub him a creeper, but he's not really. He's actually quite funny. I'm not even sure what we talked about, though. It was all kind of a blur. He said he wants to interview me on film about love, though, so I'll prob end up doing that some time. He was a film major, BTW. No flirting or anything during this FHE. I wasn't really in the mood. I just wanted to go to bed. In fact, we all kind of ended up closing up the party. I didn't mean to but I was waiting for Ariel to stop talking to Miro. I finally just got up and was about to leave on my own cause I felt so bad for staying late. Everyone ended up following me anyways. At the RER station, an American girl (forgot her name), Miro, and Carter all gave me nice big hugs and I realized how much I miss hugs! The kissy kissy thing is all fine and dandy, but there's nothing like a good squeeze. I never used to be a huge hug person but after this, I think I'll be converted.

Today, I just had french class and a French oral test. The oral test was OK, but I think I spoke too much about beaches. I also messed up on a lot of the pronunciation. After I was done telling my little story, Garret asked me how to say certain words and I actually said them right that time. We talked about how it's hard when you're talking in paragraphs to try to also keep pronunciation right, too. Hopefully he took that into account.. we'll see. He's kind of a tough grader. I was going to go when my text book disappeared out of thin air! I left it on the floor and then I couldn't find it anymore. I looked everywhere. I didn't freak out cause I knew it still had to be in the institute somewhere. I waited for music class to get out but none of them had it, of course. Finally I went and asked Richard if he happened to have two books. He was all “let me check... whoa, I do!” and he felt kind of bad that I was waiting around for my book and he had it the whole time. It wasn't a big deal, though. It was just really baffling.

I had dinner with my family tonight. It wasn't bad, but a little heavy on the potatoes. There was a potato carrot salad and then mashed potatoes with fish in it. It was actually funny, Fmom pointed at the mashed potatoes and was going to scoop me up some and she asked if I liked poisson. I was really confused and Lorene translated for me that that meant fish (which I already knew). I said sure and she scooped me up some and I was just kind of grossed out by the fish slop. I asked what kind of fish it was and they answered cod or something like that. I could taste the potatoes but I thought surely they wouldn't have TWO potato dishes in one meal... especially since they only usually have only one or two dishes and cheese. I told them that we don't have dishes like that in the states and Fmom was all “no no, it's very french.” after dinner, and after eating it all I said “I'm really confused by this dish. Is it pureed fish?” and then they explained it was just potatoes with fish bits in it. It was all very fishy tasting. I'm a tad slow, I suppose.

As usual, they didn't really speak to us much. Courtney was trying to explain that we got free tickets to go back to England but was having issues so I had to interject a lot. That was about the only time we spoke to them, though. They asked what we were doing there and where we were staying and for how long. That was about it. The kids were joking around with each other a lot. Tristan really likes to do impressions of random people when his sisters are telling stories. I also heard Tiphine talk about American accents and said “je parle francais” in a perfect American accent and I chuckled a little... it was just a little awkward though.

Fdad didn't come to dinner, tonight. He was practicing his guitar. I always thought it was Tristan learning guitar, but I suppose it's Fdad. He's very beginner level and everyone at dinner was making fun of him. And they shut the doors so they couldn't hear them but the simple tune he was playing was stuck in all our heads by that time. It was kind of amusing. I give him props for learning the guitar. If he wants to play, then it's good that he's going for it. It was kind of funny, though. Fdad is pretty cute. And Lidwin complemented my dress. Before Tristan went upstairs, he stuck his cheek right in front of his mom's face and wouldn't move until she kissed it. That was funny and very french seeming. That isn't something you see in the states. Tristan doesn't act like American boys at all, but he's not femmy... just different. Lauren once asked if I preferred french or American boys and I said American without hesitation... but then I added that I didn't really know any french boys. That's about all there is to report about dinner.

Well, I'm off to the shower. I am really very tired and I have a trip to London after class, tomorrow! I can't wait to post pictures and let you all know how it goes. I miss and love you.

ps. I got to talk to Mom on skype and Granny and Papa were there. I was cracking up the whole time. I understand myself a bit better now. It was grand :)

oh, and no pics for this update. sorry!

March 21, 2010

on tuesday, i just had my french class. I took my computer to the institute to write the last update. I basically chilled for three hours waiting for Ariel so we could do a walk. We ended up going with Haley and Bart thrift store shopping instead. We were in the Marais. it was pretty chill. The marais is actually really cool because all the buildings are so old and crooked. There were a couple times where i thought i was in toon town. it's pretty neat.

Thrift store shopping, as cool as it's supposed to be, is hard for me. it's super crowded and i hate having to shift through a ton of crap to get to the good stuff. In department stores, it's easy to see something you like and you know it will be in your size. When you have something in mind that you know will be in the store, though, then it's pretty nice to find it.

I went home to have dinner with the family, I honestly don't remember much of it, though. Nothing really interesting happened, i think. Mostly the Julienne's just talk to their children rapidly about stuff and over each other so it's hard for me to interrupt or anything. it's kind of a shame. I did let them know that the internet was still not working but they were useless about it. they really had no idea. they did allow me to use theirs in the basement.

After dinner, i was just really angry that i could not get the up and running. i fiddled around on my computer a ton. basically we were on the network, but it wasn't connecting us for some reason. I couldn't figure it out. I caught Jason on facebook and was asking him for help. his first suggestion was to unplug the router and let it reboot. we tried a bunch of other stuff first. computers are kind of wild. Well, at the end of the night before going to bed, i rebooted the router and voila! the internet was up and running on my computer. idk why i didn't just try that in the first place like jason said. oh well. Jason is at it again, fixing computers from across the globe.

Wednesday, i just had classes and i read as much as i could before my french 362 quiz. i did pretty well on that, actually. I did bomb my french 201 quiz, though. it was just on articles but for some reason i just did awful on it. i felt pretty down and out over that. i keep thinking i have concepts down and then he quizzes us on them. it's really ridiculous that i can't get any of this down. I'm just super frustrated because learning another language has been my one goal since forever and i'm not going to succeed. I think i'm going to take a few french classes, but i'm not going to minor in it. the rest of the minor is all this lit crap. if i wanted a minor in lit, i would have done it in English. I was talking to mom about how i hate school and i figured out why. it makes me feel like a failure and that i'm dumb. i know i'm not either of those, but that's what school has done to me. I love to learn... i hate school. Mom said that that's basically how the rest of the family feels and that i just need to push through and get a major and then enjoy learning on my own. I also think that if i don't do a minor, i can focus more on political science than just history and i can take any other classes i may be interested in. plus i'll be done with school a lot quicker that way.

ok, so not to be all woe is me in this update, but i also realized that i'm not really made to succeed in this world. I'm a night owl which is bad for obvious reasons. I'm suuuper unorganized, i am the queen of procrastinating, useful things don't stick in my brain, and i suck at school. this is kind of funny, but i realize that things i do pick up are the useless information. for example, Ariel and i were at a museum that had audio guides. we listened to the same thing about this painting. what i got from it was the odd details like how the painter converted to Catholicism and moved to spain, but spain kicked him out so he lived the rest of his days in Israel as a hermit. Ariel got the painter's name, the date it was painted, and the name of the painting. She didn't catch any of the details and i sure as heck still can't tell you who the painter is or any of that stuff. It's same with this week's french 362 reading. What i got from it was that during the second empire, there was a huge double standard concerning sex in society. what everyone else got was the work baron houssmann did on paris. Having a different perspective isn't a bad thing, and can actually be really good sometimes, but it is completely useless when it comes to school. I'll just have to find a way to put it to good use someday.

I gave my art presentation in art history, today. It was about the Apotheosis of Homer by Ingres, as i mentioned. Valerie said it was the most difficult of all the paintings done today. She didn't criticize anything that i said. she added on stuff later, that i had missed but it wasn't so bad. of course i was kind of unorganized and rambled on a bit, but like i said, she didn't criticize which is a pretty big deal. I'm also glad that i got an extra week to prepare on it, so i was actually able to find more important information on it. I honestly BSed it. I can't decide if i'm understanding the concepts she's teaching us or if it's just too easy and i must be missing something. It's usually the latter in most of my classes judging by some of the grades i get.

anyhow, enough of THAT Now to Thursday...This weekend i kept waking up at nine thirty all by myself which NEVER happens. so that was cool. i figured i needed my sleep so i would go back to bed anyways... On thursday, i caught up wtih Ariel and we did a couple of walks. we did Place de la Concorde walk and A walk in the park: montparnasse and the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Place de la concorde walk was cool becausewe got to see all the government buildings. i was a little nervous to take pictures because there were so many guards around. I also know that you aren't allowed to photograph the American embassy. It was interesting how there were all these super high end shops on the other side of the street like Prada and so forth. I was mostly just nervous seeing all the police and guard people around. I don't know why they always make me so nervous. The actual Place de la Concord was cool with the obelisk and fountains. the fountains were on so i knew it was spring time! that was happy. We then sauntered through Tuileries and basically just took it easy. It was cool to see how the pyramid, arc de triumphe du carrouselm the obelisk, arc du triomph, and the grand arc are in one line. why couldn't the streets be planned more like that? it was one of the first days where i could walk around without my coat and be perfectly fine. I've also noticed that the French are big on spring time romances. I have no idea where all these lovers came from but now they are on every bench busily participating in PDA. That would normally bug me at BYU, but for some reason here, i kind of like it in an odd way. Maybe it's just nice for me to see the French not being so cold. Whatever it is, PDA will never bother me much again.

A walk in the park: Montparnass and the Jardin du Luxembourg was a really nice and relaxing walk. I'm glad Ariel and I decided to do it when the weather was so nice. The beginning was a little confusing. It was really cool to see Drayfus's statue. i had been wondering where it was. It really is tucked away from where the normal tourist would go and i did notice that the locals were watching us as we took pictures of him.
Ariel and i were tempted by the Amorino so we enjoyed a good little bit of that in the parc. we just sat there and watched people going about their normal business. Olivier gave us a check list so we had fun trying to find all the things on it. we found the Beehives, the mini statue of Liberty, children riding donkeys, park security men, quite a few couples kissing on benches, people jogging, chess players and then the old men playing Petanque. Ariel and i went over to watch them playing but one of the old men kept looking at us and we both were thinking we weren't supposed to be there or take pictures. I finally heard one of them men saying something along the lines of how we are really pretty to another old man and then one who was playing the game told us to take a picture of him dancing. All the old men were staring so we felt a little uncomfortable and went ahead and left.
Ariel and I had a brain fart moment. we walked past what we thought was the Orangerie and saw a ton of trees in it and figured it was closed to the public and so we skipped it. We'll have to make a visit some later time.

I hardly ate anything that day, so we found some food for dinner before heading off to the world premier of the Ballet, Siddharta. Here's the link: . It was a very modern and very bizarre ballet. there was no traditional ballet dancing which i was sad about because i think that type of dance is beautiful. it was just modern odd dancing. I forgot the name of the ballet we were watching, and therefore forgot that it was about buddha. the whole time i was completely lost trying to figure out what was going on. At first, i thought they were like star wars men in space battling and carrying dead bodies around, then i thought they were fish creatures, then i thought they were in space again, and then a suburban house appeared on stage and i had no idea what the heck was going on. it's ok, though, even the people that remembered that it was about Buddha had no idea what was going on. there were some kind of sexually charged scenes that were odd. Every time buddha came out, electric guitar music would come on and he would dance and it looked and sounded really gay and was uncomfortable. I fell asleep towards the end thinking there was going to be an intermission, but i ended up just missing the whole ending. It was a good nap... well, it was quite the interesting experience! i would say it was mostly a good one. mostly.

Ariel has to go to 12 concerts this semester for the music 101 class (suddenly i'm pretty glad i'm not in that class) and so she invited me to go to this free piano concert on friday morning. i went with her and of course i was fairly bored. I fell asleep on a rail but i had a massive twitch and made a ton of noise as i was trying not to fall off my chair. i spent the next five min trying not to giggle. Chelsea showed up too, and the three of us were the only people there under 60. well it was just another good snooz for me.

We've noticed that french people are kind of odd with curtain calls. they don't seem super efficient. i always thought our curtain calls in high school took way too long but the french are waaay worse. they come out in groups bowing (like we did in high school) but they they would leave and do it again, then they would bow seventy more times and then come out individually and bow, etc. we would end up clapping for a really ridiculously long time. sheesh. It was even odder in the symphony when all the people started clapping in unison.

After the concert, chelsea, Ariel and i went to get lunch at some crappy zupas type place and ate in a park in front of some random cathedral that we happened to run across. it was fun hanging out with chelsea for a bit because we don't really hang out with her that much. Ariel didn't like her dinner so she gave it to a homeless guy. what a gal.

We all stayed a bit too long and Ariel and i headed off to do another walk. we did Eighteenth-Century Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Musee Jacquemart-Andre, Musee Nissim de Camondo Museums, Parc Monceau by Corry Cropper. We first stopped by Musee Jaquemart-Andre which was really interesting. It was cool to hear about the relationship between the couple who lived there and how good and equal it seemed to be. The audio guides were hilarious because they were just over the top flowery and English. "now imagine that you are at the beautifully illustrious ball.." etc. i was cracking up a couple times. The really cool part was that they had a temporary art exhibit of Spanish painters, which of course meant that there were some original paintings by Dali! that was really neat.
Parc Monceau is the most beautiful park in Paris that i have seen yet, i think. I think i like the English style gardens much better than the ridged symmetrical french gardens. There were fake ruins everywhere and just a lot of locals enjoying a bit of sun and some making out. I just liked it a lot there. it was almost a bit of wilderness brought into paris... even if it was fake. It was much prettier than Tuileries or Luxembourg in my opinion. Ariel and I spent far too long enjoying ourselves in Musee Jacquemart-Andre and Parc Monceau, so by the time we got to Musee Nissim de Comondo, it was closed. It is another museum on my list that i need to go back to.

Yesterday, I met up with Rebbeca, Shaina, and Ariel at Saint-Ouen's flee market and did the Saint-Ouen's Labyrinth: Navigating the World's Largest Flee Market by Marc Olivier. I enjoyed this walk a ton, actually. I was expecting it to be crowded and full of creepy men trying to sell me crap. It was a pleasant surprise for that to not be the case. It was full of cranky store owners who didn't want to be bothered with our presence... which i will never understand. what a bunch of cranks. But they were selling beautiful antiques everywhere. I wanted to buy myself a really nice antique ring but they were all so expensive. Us girls also had a fun time looking at all the vintage dresses. The whole time i was there, i just knew that mom would love all the china and furniture that was there. It's really too bad that Saint-Ouen is so far away from town. It was also too bad that we couldn't really take pictures. It was just beyond neat. I also love how we can kind of get to know the authors through these walks. Sometimes Olivier comes off as a tad pretentious, Erickson doesn't like fancy titles, and Cropper is kind of a goof. I'm almost sad that i'm done with all the guided walks, but also really relieved to get those out of the way so i can work on the harder assignments i have in my other classes.

Church was nothing too special today. In relief society, we had a lesson on Adam and eve that was actually really good. As far as i could understand, i agreed with just about everything they said. I know this is silly of me, but for some reason, i always kind of figured that they didn't go too in depth on certain subjects because most of them are pretty new converts or something. it was nice to hear them go into depth on a subject like that. No weird ideas really came up either. I wanted to participate but for some reason, i couldn't really understand the questions she was asking. By the time i figured it out and formulated a good answer in french, they had already moved on. it was still a really good lesson and i was glad to understand it. i didn't understand sunday school or sacrament meeting, though. I saw todd there but didn't recognize him because he didn't gel his hair. it actually looked much better that way, though.

After that, i came home and took a little nap. I was in a not super comfy position because i didn't want to have another coma nap. I also cleaned my sheets cause this morning i spilled makeup on them... they are the type of sheets that go around the blanket which are kind of nice, i guess, but it sucks trying to put the blanket in them. I also always wait for sunday nights to do laundry, but i actually think that that's their laundry night as well so i have to wait until they are in bed before i can put my cloths in. that sucks. and i should prob take them out of the dryer at night rather than waiting till the morning and feeling like a jerk because they saw that i took their cloths out of the machines. Now i'm just waiting for Mme Julienne to correct my French composition and then for dinner.

Just got back from dinner. Their oldest daughter and her fiance, Remi, were there. They pretty much ignored us the whole time. oh well. I think they were talking about... now i forget, but i understood a little of what they were talking about. Mme. Julienne asked Lorene something about me and Courtney and she looked all disgusted and said "no no" and i think it was about facebook. I guess i don't blame her now that she thinks i'm a puritan. Tristan burped and Fmom gave him the most awesome glare. reminded me of home.

After dinner, FMom helped Courtney and me with our papers. It took forever, and it was really hard trying to let her know what we meant with the language barrier. the whole modesty thing threw her way off. I realize now that i wrote about a topic a little awkward to have her read. oh well. c'est la vie. she read one line and was all "oh la la.." haha. my paper is much more french like now. At one point, Lidwin came downstairs crying and Fmom had to go help her out. poor Lidwin. It's hard being the youngest. She was heading to bed and she came and did the kissy cheek thing but she actually kissed my cheeks. she's a sweetheart. i think i like her the best.

I sometimes hate sundays because i dress all nice but no one ever takes pictures on sundays! silly reason... i know. And Todd thinks i have green eyes. now he's going with gray which i guess is ok. what other randomness can i throw in here before rapping this up... ok, well i'm getting a lot more on edge still. i think i'm just having a little bit of a hard time always being with the same 16 people and always feeling awkward when i'm home and getting stressed with school. I'm going to miss Paris so much when i leave but i am getting more and more excited to get home!

well, now all i have to do for the night is finish my homework than i'm off to bed. it has been a long yet uneventful day. I still have so much to do and i'm insanely tired. ugh. :( I miss and love you all!

Ps. will this link work for you, Katie?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 16, 2010

The internet at home stopped working Sunday. It works for the family but it doesn't work for either of my computers or Courtney's. Thankfully there is now internet connection in the institute. it's being really slow right now, though. I decided to just work on an update! I hope the internet at home starts working, though. I need the internet most at night when more people are online so I can chat. Well. We'll see how it goes. :S

On Saturday, I went to the Catacombs with Todd, Miro, Ariel, and two guys in the BYU group, Dan and Bart. It was fun heading down there. Seeing a ton of bones doesn't freak me out at all. In fact, I touched one of the skulls. I got in trouble... but I touched a human skull. I'm pretty proud of myself. I was good and refrained for the rest of the trip down there. Holy cow, so many people were put down there, it's crazy.

Being with all those dead people really inspired us to having religious debates for some reason. Todd was talking about how humans have already been on earth for 6000 years and I was a tad flabbergasted because I thought no one believed that anymore. There's pretty clear proof that Egyptians have been around for a lot longer, and there's even more ancient people than them. Todd suggested that maybe extra terrestrial peoples made the pyramids and stuff. It was really amusing because he actually believed it. He was quite shocked when he found out I believe in evolution and the big bang theory. When I was explaining that all the matter that has ever been was once in a single point. When I explained that a point is smaller than a period on the end of a sentence, he giggled all childishly and was like “naaaw, I don't believe that.” His ignorance towards science was actually kind of endearing. Not in an attractive way, but in a way like a child who just doesn't understand. At least we're all allowed to have our own opinions, I suppose. I don't really think any less of him. He does Economics which is hard core and I don't understand it at all.

Speaking of science, I was just thinking about how much science really amazes me and how interesting it is. I don't know why I chose my worst subject, French, to study. Oh man, I'll just stick with European Studies, though, because I'm lazy and just want to get school over with. Actually, European politics, as much as it ticks me off, really does make me feel passionate about something. I guess that's a good thing. As long as I'm interested. And I love knowing more about the world. Ok, I'm chill with my major again. I guess I just had to talk that one through. And speaking of education... I wonder if I should stick with a Scandinavian Studies minor.. two minors is a little ridiculous and a tad useless... I better decide before class registration... which is like now . ACK! Ok, I really hope my internet works at home so I can figure out my schedule. I guess i'll try to get this institute net working better so I can check what classes I need from here. Being in France is kind of complicating a lot of things. At least I have housing now! I think...

Anyhow, after the catacombs, we went up to look for food. I was starving. I hadn't really eaten anything and it was like 4 by that time. As we were walking around we came across a movie theater and decided that we all wanted to watch a movie. Basically the choices were Avatar, Shutter Island, or the Ghost Writer. Ariel didn't want to see Shutter Island cause it is rated R and I didn't want to see Avatar again so we went to Ghost Writer... which is apparently rated R as well. The only thing that made it R was all the swearing, so if they had left all that out it would have easily been pg-13. Oh well Basically what I got from the movie was that the USA is evil because we want tighter control on security in airports and are trying to fight terror. Also, apparently when other countries make bad decisions it's because the US is secretly controlling them in impossible ways. Oh well, it's Roman Polanski's last movie, hopefully, since he finally got caught for rape. What a creep. I also can't believe people say he shouldn't be punished because he is such a great artist. Seriously? So because he makes somewhat ok movies, he should be able to get away with rape? Ok, sorry... random soap box moment.

Before we all went to the movies, though, we ate at McDonalds because it was close and we didn't have much time until the film started. McDs here are crazy because the insides of them look all chic and odd. They also have really nasty sauces in their burgers. It's really interesting

Ok, I just checked out my classes. Basically, my choices are D&C, History about the European reformation and another about the Italian Renaissance, intro to international business, European Geography, society in Europe, French advanced grammar, advanced comp, lit analysis, world civ 2, Danish 101. I wanted to take Western European political science, but I had to have two prerequisite polysci classes. I could do that if I just don't minor in stuff. I was looking through it and both minors I was thinking of are actually a ton of work and minors are kind of useless anyways. Maybe I could just major in European studies and focus more on politics. Cause otherwise I'm taking a huge mash up of classes and end up with a really random education. Any thoughts? What classes should I take? They were all about 3 credits I think. Sept D&C, that was 2. Oh, I also just realized that the French major is only a few more credit hours than the french minor so I could easily get a major instead. Again... am I up for that much work? If I stick with the one major than I could be out of here a lot sooner. That would be awesome. I also have to do another English class. I may just do that during a spring or summer term. I can put that off :) wow, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

Well, after the movie, Courtney and I met up with Haley and Emily to eat dinner with their French host mom. It was really fun to hang out with those two. I think I've been too harsh on Emily. She's actually a nice and funny girl. She just gets annoying when she has a large audience. I'll try to be more patient with everyone here. I'm a little more irritable since being in France. I'll work on it. Anyhow, we had dinner and their host mom is an awful cook. I liked eating with them cause their host mom is a lot more chatty and friendly and less awkward and tense than our family can be. It was really fun.

Sunday, I was going to cut a few of the boy's hairs after church and Todd bought a ton of food to feed me with BUT I had dinner with the Ricks right after church so I ditched them. Maybe i'll do it next week. Dinner with the Ricks was fun. Courtney went off to chat with her family on their phone so I got to chat with the ricks the whole time. Laura's sister was there. It was just nice and relaxing. I had a lot of fun with them. We talked about dating, all my letters, where i'm from, etc. Laura was interested that i'm from such a small place and wondered what I liked about it. Cody never seems that small to me just cause we always make a point of leaving every once and a while. Then we can get our “culture.” I think culture just means shopping. I feel a little claustrophobic here in paris. I miss the big open sky and wilderness. It's ok, though. I only have a little more to go. I also played with the Ricks kids. I always manage to rile them up so much. I feel bad. I taught them the tripping game. You're welcome, Sister Ricks. :S by that I mean i'm sorry.

I went home and jut died on my bed. The internet wasn't working and I needed sleep anyways. It was one of those coma naps. I slept for hours but it wasn't really restful but I couldn't get myself to wake up for the life of me. It was awful. Also, even though Courtney and I told the mom that we weren't going to eat dinner with them, somehow the message didn't get across and they made us food and they had guests over. I would have gone if I wasn't in that dumb coma nap. Courtney was already in her Pjs, too. I felt pretty bad about that.

Yesterday was good. Mondays are always my longest days. I have class at 9:30 and then the singles FHE doesn't end until about 10:30 at night. I gave my religion presentation in class, today. It went well. The article I had to read for it was “the trial of the french mission” by Kahlile Mehr. You should look it up. It's WILD. I think it went ok. I'm not super good at public speeches but that's cause i'm really unorganized. That tends to be my problem with most things. My room and my brain work much the same way. No wonder I am so bad at school.

After class, Rosalie, Shaina, Chelsea and I went shopping to kill some time. I really liked all the cloths at Zahora but it was just a bit too much and although the cloths at H&M weren't so expensive, I didn't really like any of them so I was good and didn't buy anything.

FHE with the Ricks was fine. Nothing terribly interesting happened, there. We just had amazing brownies. It's nice to hang out with an american family, though. After that, Ariel and I headed over to the singles FHE. That was pretty fun. I understood only parts of the lesson. It was about friendship. It's so hard to pay attention when you have to focus so hard to get anything from the lesson. After, we all hung out and spoke. I talked to a new guy named Lehi. He's from southern France and going to a university in paris, trying to figure out life. He served his mission in Logan UT which apparently includes Star Valley WY. His mom is Arabic and his dad is German so he's not really French, either. He has some of the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen btw. Just saying...

The guy who's apartment we have FHE at served his mission in the Denver North mission so he was in WY for a bit, too. I know Cody had a French missionary a few years back, too. What's with all these French guys getting sent to WY?

I wore my “shut up and spoon me” shirt there. I wore layers over it so you couldn't see what it said but it was so hot in Ed's apartment that I had to take them off. I got a lot of teasing for that. One american boy, Carter, was asking us girls out and we all had to tell him that we couldn't and all the boys were arguing that that was a silly rule. They also talked about the art of French kissing. It was just over all an interesting night. We ended up staying there really late.

I keep having to wait for the family to go to bed before I put my laundry in the wash because they always leave loads in the washer and dryer and I have to take them out and set them aside. Usually I will put a load in the dryer and go to bed and hurry up and swap the cloths back before the family wakes up. It didn't work, this time. I got to the laundry room (which is right by my bedroom) and they had beat me there. I feel a little bad.

Well, nothing else new happened today. Garret was a jerk about our morning quiz today. We arrived a few min late but he only have us ten seconds to do the quiz for it and I only got one out of five. I was pretty mad because he's late all the time. Maybe I should insist that for every time he is late we get one extra point on our quizzes.

In french, we are down to the nitty gritty, too. We're covering articles, relative pronouns, the pronouns y and en, etc. those are all simple little things, but it's really hard because it is SO little and precise. I think if some of those were broken down in English, I would have problems. I still have issues with who and whom, for example. It's all really silly and i'll be kind of mad if I do bad on it, but because it is so silly I have a bad feeling that I may not do as well on it as I would like. Idk if that makes any sense at all.

Well that's all I can think of for now. I really hope my internet starts working again. I really need to update my blog. It's getting pretty pathetic. I also need to upload my pictures. I may go on a walk with Ariel after she gets out of class, too. That'll be fun. I'll talk to you ll soon! I miss and love you guys.

March 12, 2010

I just got home from Normandy! it was really fun. except i kept calling mnt st michel mnt snt michelle.

Ok, were to begin. we started off at an insanely early time of day to get together at Ricks' place to hot on a buss to head over. i was pretty out of it, honestly. i got to nap though. So buss drivers in france have to stop for 45 min like every two hours they drive so that is super annoying. they also have to stop their buses before 8. talk about ridic.

First off, we stopped at the Omaha beach and saw the grave yard and everything there. on the buss drive on the way there, we watched the longest day on the little tv screen and i was remembering when we watched Jurassic park 3 on my high school trip on those same types of buses. anyhow, the movie really got me thinking at how young these boys were and how scary the whole experience had to have been. it kind of set the mood. basically the whole time there i was trying not to cry. just thinking about these young guys who risked their lives for complete strangers was pretty hard and def made me wonder if i would be able to do the same thing.It really made me love america, too. the whole time here everyone on the trip have acted all embarrassed to be americans and we're often treated kind of poorly cause we are americans, but seeing what we did for france back in the day really made me put all that silliness aside and take pride in my country. some of the old french people say that they will never forget what we've done for them, and i hope that is the case.

While wondering around, i decided i really wanted to go touch the ocean. i wandered down to the beach by myself. i was a little worried cause i didn't have the time and we had to meet up by a certain time. thankfully, at the bottom of the hill, i ran into Rosalie and Emily. they were pretty nice about letting my tag along. we came across this long creek type thingy in front of the actual ocean and i was the only one brave enough to forge across it to get to the ocean. they took lots of pictures for me. it was fun, and it helped me feel a little less depressed.

After that, we headed the another Dday site but i totally forgot what it was called (pont hoc). it's the one that has all the german bunkers and creators. I think i remember going there when i was super little. it was one of the few trips where we brought our video camera with us and i remember playing like a lion in the creators. I had fun there. Mike called it a german playground and i think he is quite right about that. there was just a lot to see there. I was pretty goofy by that time. the seriousness of the whole experience wore off on me and i was just ready to have some fun.

We then went to the Bayeux tapestry. we had audio guides that told us what each scenes were depicting which was useful. the only issue was it went through it all really quickly. i wanted to go back and look at everything a little more close but everyone else was basically done by then. I didn't realize that Edward named William as heir, and that harold just had himself crowned. I need to catch up on my English History. Then we had a little video to watch about the tapestry. they had funny reenactments of the battles and they were so unrealistic that i laughed a little.

After that, we just kind of wondered the town and Ariel, Mike, Garret and i got a deal on pizza so that was our dinner. Like i said, the bus driver had to basically check in by 8 so we headed out to our hotel super early. I roomed with Ariel and courtney. Courtney went off to have dinner at the nearby buffalo grill for about three hours so ariel and i watched a french crime show on tv and seriously goofed off. we just shared secrets and talked about really random stuff. it was really fun. When courtney came back, i took a shower in the little shower room where there wasn't even room for my cloths. it had a little peep hole so i could look out and see them wandering around the room. it was really funny and totally random. i could shower but still watch tv and be a part of the rooms activities. i was laughing during the whole shower. Also, i haven't shaved since i got here, so i decided to take advantage of the hotel shower. Ariel and i decided it would be funny for me to shave stripes in my leg so i did. it's pretty gross and pretty funny. After that, we all rawled in bed. Ariel and i shared the double and courtney got the bunk. even after we turned out the lights, ariel and i stayed up a lot longer just giggling and being silly.

Today, we went to Mnt. St. Michel. i was asleep the whole way there and Ariel said that she tried for like 5 min to get me awake. i don't really remember. when i finally popped up i was all frumpled. Mnt. St. Michel is pretty breath taking. it's so beautiful. It's really too bad it's so crowded during summer and isn't really a town anymore. it was just perfectly cute and romantic. of course it is also pretty touristy but you can avoid that pretty easily. the old monastery is pretty amazing, too. it's interesting to get a closer look at the way they lived. it's pretty hard core. there's really not a lot i can say about it, for some reason. nothing incredibly fun happened there. it was just all really beautiful to look at. it actually reminded me a bit of Chefchaouen in the way it was all crowded together and built on an incline like that.

i was a tad socially awkward on this trip. i wasn't doing anything, really, but i was a little irritable, and some other girls were too. it's ok, though, cause i just brought my ipod so on the bus i could just listen to that and sleep so it wasn't a big deal. i had a ton of fun as it was anyways. I laughed a lot, too. I got some really silly pictures. and, of course seeing the Ocean is always a huge pick-me-up.

again, on the ride home, nothing incredibly to report on. i didn't wear mascara at all today. it was kind of an accident. i didn't wear any to breakfast to scare shaina with my lack of dark eyelashes, and i was going to put some on on the buss but i ended up sleeping really soundly on the way to mnt st michel. The guys were kind of funny about it. they said they knew i look different but they couldn't say how and that i'm one of those people that looks really different without makeup. it's true. going from having defined eyes to having little black dots is quite a difference. they also said they didn't really realize i wore makeup until they saw me without it, so i guess that's a good sign. actually, going makeupless was kind of nice and refreshing. when i got home, though, my host mom asked me if i was tired and motioned to her eyes. haha. oh well, it was still nice.

I just shaved and it was almost sad... but i figured it's time to let go. haha.

March 10, 2010

The family came home yesterday. Mr. Julienne came in to put their new wine in the cellar and he was just being cute and bubbly and seemed genuinely happy to see courtney and me. I saw a band-aid on his finger and commented that he had a wound and he was all "oh non, non. une petite booboo" and it was just so funny. I really like him. He's pretty silly.

Church was ok, today. i was really tired and i have no idea why because i didn't stay up that late. after church i was talking to Todd, another american named Carter and my sunday school teacher. it turns out they all needed hair cuts but they hate getting cuts here because they don't know how to ask for them they asked if any of us cut hair and i told them that i've cut guys hair before but with scissors. they decided that we were going to have a hair-cutting party and they would pay me with food. sounds game to me! i hope i don't mess up... haha. it'll be fun. i'm looking forward to it.

Last night, it was totally scared because i was up after everyone else had gone to bed. when i went to the bathroom i turned on the living room light so i could find my way to courtney's room ok and while i was on the pot (heh) i heard someone moving around in there so i kind of figured i woke someone up or something. i felt weird so i didn't come out for a couple min. when i did, there was a really cold breeze like a window was open, then i heard a door slam shut. I looked up at the little door to outside by the stairs and a figure ran past it. i was kind of freaked out and went to wash my hands in the bathroom in courtney's room. i stayed in there for a bit too. when i sneaked into my room i felt like everything was ok, but then i heard more shuffling around in the basement. it was prob just one of the family members, like Tristan sneaking out or something. it was just freaky. I'm glad everything is safe.

After church today, Ariel, Sheina and i went first to Sheina's house to get her computer, than to mine so we could all do homework together. it was really fun to just hang out with some girls while doing homework and goofing off. It's a bit of college life i feel like i'm missing out on right now. It was nice to just hang out and not worry about doing the walks or food or anything like that. we were also able to talk about boy deprivation, bodily functions, etc. it was nice to just laugh and talk about totally dumb things. good times.

we needed to grab sheina's computer because Ariel and i needed power point and Ariel's roommate and mine were being major brats about letting us borrow theirs. Ariel especially needed to borrow someone's and kept talking about it. at first sheina wouldn't be able to let her borrow hers because she was going for a walk, and i was just really annoyed that Courtney wouldn't offer to let ariel use hers. it was just stupid. Sheina ended up not doing the walk so Ariel was able to use hers at my place. Sheina lives in Vesinet, which is a town just past Croissy. it's super cute and really spread out. i was trying to not be jealous of her town. the house i live in is still the best, though.

Dinner with the family was ok. i walked in a bit late because i had walked ariel to the RER station. it was a little awkward and i didn't really understand anything they were saying tonight. they didn't even really talk to me either. the food was ok, though. we had pizza which i had been craving for forever. the dad made sure to set a piece aside so i could have seconds. they know me too well. i ate really fast, too, cause i always feel like they are waiting for me and it's awkward. Nothing too fun to report there. I guess i found it interesting that Lorene was drinking wine at dinner.

Now it's wednesday. Let's see... what happened on Monday... I just went to class, and the big project i had to present on was put off a week. it just kind of stunk because i was busy doing that instead of working as hard as i should on my French homework. After class, i was going to do my homework until FHE but a whole group of us minus a few of my least favorite people stuck around at the institute and spoke about death and what we want done to our bodies after we die. Bart got really into it. He came up with some good ideas. One of his best has to be putting your ashes in concrete to make a statue of yourself with. No one understood why i wanted to be put in a wooden coffin. I guess they just don't understand why i care about the circle of life type of thing but i want to be part of the earth when i die, not all creepy and mumified in a steal casket. It was really amusing, though, and I like that Bart has his morbid side. I'm not the only one.

FHE with the family was ok. i pretty much just dinked around on my computer with ariel and we ate chocolate tarts together, it was really nice and relaxing. even though i felt like i had so much to do, i really wanted to socialize, so Ariel and i headed out to the young single adults FHE. When we first got t here, it was a little awkward cause both of us felt a little awkward about using our french. The lesson was given by Miro on "la foi." I had no idea what la foi was so i was really confused for a bit, but when i got the whole seed and tree thing i got it. It was really interesting hearing the faith is like a little seed stuff from a convert. I suppose i never thought of it from a convert's view point. i'm sure it's scary for them to make the decision to be baptized when they don't know everything, but just hearing that you don't need to know everything has got to be pretty important for them. Ariel said that she didn't understand any of it but still felt the spirit. It was just really different than FHE with the BYU kids because these kids were all really into the lesson.

Rewind a tad... before FHE happened with the single adults, Ed, the guy who's house this is all at, was stuck in traffic, so we were all hanging out in his hall waiting for him. I was talking to one kid who's swiss. I told him that i've been to bern and that i have family there. he asked why they were there and was surprised to find out they were swiss. He asked why my family left and when i told him my ancestor didn't get the house, he immigrated to the states. he seemed really perplexed.

After the lesson, i spoke with Todd and Miro. both boys are really easy to talk to and Ariel and i like them better than any of the other guys in our BYU group. I also spoke to one French guy who asked me what i was planning on doing after school and he was really perplexed when i told him that i had no idea. i guess things are a little different in France on that regard. Miro went to spain for this birthday and was telling us how he was having family drama and it all sounded so familiar. family drama is the same around the world. At one point i looked over at him and who he was talking to and he was dancing sexy and lifting up his shirt, than he basically gave a lap dance on the couch. i did my best to act shocked but he said he was telling a story about someone else. it was pretty funny. Landon, my sunday school teacher, found me to remind me that i'm cutting his hair. I like talking to todd cause ariel and i are pretty honest about how we feel about the other kids in our group. he's fairly amused by it.

After FHE, Ariel and i decided that we are horribly boy deprived here. my boy standers have gone down a lot too, being that there are no good looking guys here. anyone remotely not ugly i'll drool after. haha. Ariel has also decided that she wants to NCMO a lot because she's just betting more and more guy crazy the more we are deprived. It'll be even worse for her because she's going on an all girls art history tour during spring term, so when she gets back to provo, she'll prob go nuts. what a fox. We talked in sighn language across the metro station. maybe i should do sign language, i'm remembering all of that pretty well.

here's a random story. One time i got off the RER at croissy. I was just walking home when i realized that NOTHING looked familiar. i knew i got off the right train station and i knew i was going home the right way but it was just really eery (i cannot figure out how to spell that so... sorry) to me that everything looked different. I really felt like i was in a dream state or in an alternate reality. it was very creepy.

I also had to buy mascara the other day cause i was running out. here, mascara costs 15 euros!!!!!!!!!!!!! 15!!!!!!!! what the heck??? i swear. If i had normal eyelashes i wouldn't even bother. Shaina (i just figured out that i had been spelling that wrong) told me that she's scared of Tilda Swinton (the witch from The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe) because she doesn't have eyelashes... aka they are blond. I guess it's ok that i bought mascara, then. I don't want to scare off shaina with my eyelashesness.

We had our french test after class and it wasn't so bad. i just suck at vocabulary which is stupid cause that's supposed to be the easiest part. i guess i'm just not good at memorization. i was also able to make up the listening comp test after that and chilled with garret and ariel for a bit.

Before the test, i had a little meeting with Ricks about my french 362 project ideas. I am either thinking something to do wtih Dali or with sexism in Paris. he gave me some good ideas for both. he said i could either do Dali and his views of women (which if you think about his relationship with his wife, gala, his views have got to be interesting) or i could go to the local modern art museum where they have featured women artists and he told me about gorilla girls who are i guess local feminists. any ideas?

I just went home after that and napped until dinner as usual. dinner was fine. the mom was nice and chill yesterday and it was just really relaxed. I made sure not to stuff myself cause i'm starting to notice a little weight gain. besides, we had to save some dinner for Lorene. we just had some really Delicious smelling veggies but they taste bland. they smell like spicey pizza. after we had a ciche. idk, it was just chill and nice. the dad is just so cute.

hmmm... today i just went to french class and then i hung out in the louvre trying to work on my painting presentation. Mine is the "apotheosis of Homer" by Ingres. i have to talk about the composition, colors, lighting, history, symbols, etc. hopefully i do ok. It got put off till next week, though, just like my religion project. wish me luck.

before class started, we all got there really early cause french 362 was canceled. we were just hanging out in one of the main galleries. i layed across shaina and ariel and they played with my hair. we found it funny that we were just dinking around in the Louvre. a lot of people walked past us and looked at us funny which was amusing. We then started to imitate paintings in the louvre which was really fun. ariel says that all masters start by copying other masters so we're just learning how to make great art with our bodies. one curator was laughing when ariel was making a beard out of her hair. i was afraid she was going to come tell us to stop being so roudy but i think she was actually pretty amused. I really like Shaina and Ariel because i feel pretty safe talking to them about just about anything. Ariel is so blunt to, which i love. she's so honest. we all make fun of everyone else, too. Ariel and i got really lost before getting to the main gallery. the louvre is so huge! you'd think we'd know our way around by now.

Ariel and i always get ignored.

Oh, kirsten wanted me to mention Franglish. Basically i have issues speaking english too for some reason now. sometimes i frenchify words. mostly i'll spell something french at times. I've also seemed to forget how to conjugate in english. it's interesting.

Yesterday at the RER a french women asked me if the next train was going to croissy. i was able to tell her in french that when the light next to croissy is lit up, then the train will be going there. i'm pretty pleased with myself for helping someone out in french.

It was the missionary zone conference today. I didn't really get to see a ton of missionaries, but i saw elder maxwell again. He was in paris earlier this semester and was companions with the engaged missionary i mentioned. Maxwell is actually the grandson of the big maxwell, so that's neat. i miss seeing elder maxwell around, though. he got transfered to northern france somewhere. he said that he's thinking about going to BYU after the mission so i told him that i would hopefully see him there. I may also see him at the next zone conference I guess he's been out for 16 months so the end isn't so far away for him. he's a pretty cute and nice kid.

wow, i think that's it for the random stories this go around.

Well tomorrow i have an early start. We're going to Normandy. we'll go to the beaches and Mt St Michelle and to see THE tapestry. i can't wait to tell you all about it. we should get back friday night. and saturday, Ariel and i (and maybe some of the others... hopefully not a ton) are going with todd to the catacombs. it should be fun! :)