Wednesday, January 30, 2008

As seen from the train....

So, this morning, I was in transport hell (as usual lately) and happened to be looking out the window more than usual....and I noticed something I've never seen before....

A Hotel named Mr. Bed City??

I don't know why but it cracks me up!

And why hadn't I noticed before?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Thank goodness for a good book and a fully charged Shuffle.... took me THREE hours to get to work this morning. THREE. When normally it should be 50-90 minutes.

There was a problem with the train lines ONLY going out of Paris and to the south....exactly where I needed to go. Perfect!

It made me crazy for a good hour or so until finally I had to give up on the stressing and just shrug...because, what can you do???

"Tant pis!" Maybe I'm becoming more of a Parisian than I thought????

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Podcast crazy!

So, I admit it...I think I'm addicted to podcasts. Literally. I am obsessed.

I go on iTunes daily to get my fix and am currently subscribed to TWELVE!

ABC News
Anderson Cooper's 360
Best of YouTube
Comedy Central Stand-Up
The Hollywood Podcast
Katia and KylieMac
MTV News Daily Podcasts
National Geographic Video Shorts
Meet the Press
This American Life
VH1 Best Week Ever
VH1 Celebreality

It's a little bit out of control but I love being able to stay connected to U.S. news and some of my favorite shows and issues.

My newest discovery is the katia and kyliemac podcast which is created by two women (an Australian and American) living in Paris. Their stories are hilarious and they offer tips of things to do and places to go in Paris. I love their perspective and their stories about an Anglo person's wild experiences in the City of Lights. While I only discovered this podcast last week, I've already downloaded all 110 episodes and have listened to 18 of the half-hour episodes. Lovin' it! For anyone who would like to hear of crazy Parisian adventures from a perspective similar to my own, I recommend you check it out!! I personally will be listening to several episodes today along with some other podcasts in an attempt to clear a bit off my hard drive. I'm a fiend! :)

A Day in the Life....

This will be the first in a series of views into my daily life in Paris. I've decided to take my camera with me to capture shots of the various things I see during my everyday errands, work, play, etc.

So, to kick it off - here's a few shots of what I saw while running errands (actually while coming back from getting my work visa) a few weeks ago.

I decided to walk from the visa office to the library instead of taking public transport. It was about a 40 minute walk but the weather was great for January and it was great to be back in the midst of Parisian architecture.

A free merry-go-round, courtesy of the City government.

An old, abandoned metro station. I wonder which station and line it was?

A glimpse at the Eiffel Tower...I still never get tired of seeing it.

A Paris velib' bike station - offers free bike rentals ALL over the city. I still have yet to try it but should check it out and let you know...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My book list

Maybe it's totally self-serving, but I am going to list the books I have read since August 25th as a way to keep myself on track and have a reference online as to what I have accomplished towards my goal so far. Here goes in format Title (Author):

1. In Cold Blood (Capote)
2. Trading Up (Bushnell)
3. 60 Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong (Nadeau)
4. I Know This Much Is True (Lamb) ** please note this one was nearly 1,000 pages! ;)
5. Ninteen Minutes (Picoult)
6. Catcher in the Rye (Salinger) ** YES, I've read it before but missed it and wanted to read it again....which is technically cheating I suppose. Now do I have to read 51??
7. American Short Stories 2007 (Patchett)
8. Shopaholic and Baby (Kinsella)
9. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (See)
10. Science of Shopping (Underhill)
11. Street Lawyer (Grisham)
12. Pardon My French (Hapka)
13. Diry Girl's Social Club (Rodriguez)
14. Straight Up and Dirty (Klein)
15. A Long Way Gone (Beah)

So, as you can see, a good mix but heavy on the girly fiction. Next is Kite Runner and then a big trip to the library for some more.

Please keep the suggestions coming - I am loving it. And, wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Another resolution...

Back in August (on my birthday), I also made a set of "New-Years-like" resolutions for my 28th year. Many of them are personal but the one that may take the most time was that I resolved to read 50 books before turning 29. These would be books of my choice, and ones that I had not read previously.

Now, maybe it was my birthday margaritas talking at the time, but when I got back from Spain and really sat down and thought about my resolution, I realized I was a bit crazy!

50 books in a year means one a week more or less, which is lofty, especially considering that one can't feasibly take the time to sit and read every week consistently. Or, at least, I can't.

Compound this with the fact that I made a good friend at work and she and I began to ride the train an hour (or more) each way, which meant that I was enjoying conversation two + hours a day and my reading time went out the window.

That said, I am now nearly done with my 15th book since August 25th. The book is amazing - "A Long Way Gone" by Ishmael Beah. It's a true story/memoire of a young boy growing up in Sierra Leone in the 1990's who is separated from his family and made to be a soldier. That's all I will say for now but I highly recommend the book.

So, this is where you come in - are there any "must read" books that you can suggest? Perhaps I should list what I have read so far this year in another entry. At this rate, I have to read 35 more books in the next 34 weeks to meet my goal. INSANITY!!!!!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008



As usual, I have been reflecting on the year past and the year ahead and have come up with a few resolutions for 2008. By writing them here, I am hoping to be more accountable and will be able to look back here during the year to check on my progress.

So, here goes!

* Travel more around France and outside of France (Normandie, Reims, Lyon, Dijon, Marseille, Rome, Berlin, Prague, are among those already on the list)
* Way more exercise - no excuses! I have no car and just my feet to get me around...
* Try the Paris velib bike rental service
* Learn a LOT at work (HTML, other web design, etc) Just wait until I know these things - kefinparis might look WAY different!
* Be better at communicating - no more leaving weeks between receiving an email and answering it!
* Take advantage of my new phone plan - more calls to the US!
* Make new friends in Paris
* Write on the blog more frequently!!
* Be more creative in the kitchen cooking-wise

That's quite a lot to think about but I've got a whole year to do it!

Check back for updates!

Back in Paris

Well, I'm back again after an amazing two + weeks in the U.S. For some reason I always have a hard few days of transition when I arrive in either one of my "homes."

My jet lag is worse than it's been in recent memory and I slept for FIFTEEN hours last night. Needless to say I am a bit out of it today and it's already afternoon!

I am starting my new job on Monday and actually succeeded in getting my work visa taken care of yesterday, albeit after two and a half hours of waiting outside in the rain and the typical French bureaucracy. When one of the people working behind the desk and a fellow immigrant got into a shouting match in front of the whole room, I knew for sure I was back in Paris. :)

Thank you to all who were a part of my wonderful time in California. I really had such a great time and it was harder than ever to come back, which I take as a good sign for the quality of my trip.

I will keep you better updated in 2008 and hope you will still check back here often.