The pretty sunrise this morning, outside our window.
I woke up to see this outside the windows in our dining area.
(Taken with the dusk/dawn settings on my Nikon Coolpix.)
What great colors to wake up to!
And waking up is what I am trying to do today.
As a part of my wake-up process, I have had a couple of Italian espresso stove top pots of decaf (apparently there is *just enough* caff in decaf and the rich delicious flavor of coffee still present to fake my body out and think it is getting the goods), read through emails, and caught up on a couple of friend’s blogs.
One friend, The Mamerific One, linked me into this post here: Jennsylvania – New New Moon. Go read it. Really. Now. It won’t take long. If you have seen Twilight 2: New Moon, it should make you laugh hard and long, and even if you haven’t, you will still laugh.
That was the movie, right there in the post. It took you, what? Five minutes, max, to read? The screenwriter and director took 130 min to do the same thing — GAH! Jennsylvania’s version is WAY better, too, IMHO. Her action figures did a better job of acting in her version. Hee! No, seriously. Her photos of the action figures and their expressions were *exactly* like the ones the actors were making in the movie.
Oh I feel bad, kinda, that I love to hate that movie so much. I think it is that I want to get back at the moviemakers for not only wasting 130 minutes of my time, but also for making me not like a story I really was kind of getting into. *sigh*
I still want to read the books, though.
I spent a little time reading up on Jennsylvania: About Jen Lancaster, and was surprised/intrigued/envious to learn that yet another blogger becomes a writer. Her website/blog became popular back in the early 2000s when she wrote about being unemployed, but it was not until she stopped working to pursue writing full-time that she got an agent and then her first book written and published. It was not quite the Julie Powell nor petite anglaise blogger-to-writer fairytale kind of discovery. But close.
I still think about this — doing what I am doing here, and wondering if trying to write 50,000 words in the month of November will really amount to anything.
By the way. Somewhere up there in that section, I did it. I hit 50k.
Another France Blogger
I ran into this blog kind of by accident on babycenter.com.
This morning I was looking through email, and happened to click on one from BabyCenter. I have subscribed to emails from them since about February 2005 when I got pregnant with my youngest child. I still get their updates, which speak to parenting issues starting with pregnancy to middle childhood and are geared towards the specific age of one’s child(ren) based on data that one inputs on his or her profile. I never unsubscribed. Sometimes I read the emails, sometimes I don’t as stuff like that is a painful reminder I am not with my kids full-time right now. Today I happened to open the email, though, and saw something at the bottom of the page (where the yellow star is. I am very taken with the Windows 7 version of Paint right now!).
It says down there (and you can see the larger version on Flickr, if you like), “Bring on the Blogs” and the first one listed is “Babes’ Blog” with the link “Falsely accused in French.” Taken by the words “Blog” and “French” I popped on over and discovered Betsy Shaw’s blog on mothering two daughters while living in central France through this post here: Babes’ Blog, Week 116: Mean people make me tired. Poor Betsy! Oh if that story does not take the cake on crazy asshole neighbors, I don’t know what does.
I back-blog lurked a little bit before deciding I really needed to work on my own blog, but discovered that Betsy, who has lived in (is from?) Vermont, has a husband named Ian, two daughters named Isla and Esther who are preschool and young elementary school-aged, and previously lived in the UK. That’s all I know so far. I kind of choked up and got teary at her descriptions in many a blog I read today about how she does not understand the language, and what a difficulty this is.
But there was more to it than that. It was cultural. It was being afraid, feeling vulnerable, out of my element. All this was underlined by the fact that we don’t speak the same language. Theo, and his mom and dad, will soon be our neighbors–in a village of just 30 inhabitants– and I can’t communicate with them. This is awkward enough on its own, without my having to always be worried he’s going to push Isla down the well, teach her to spit on people, or poke her eye out with a sharp stick.
This was not the only post where Betsy so aptly describes what it is to be dependent on Ian, who speaks French, and what it is to not understand, and to feel anxious and helpless in cross-cultural and multi-lingual situations. I was relieved reading her words, thinking, “It’s not just me who feels this way!” I have her linked saved, and will be checking back in.
While I have been composing this blog, Betsy already hopped over to my previous post and left a lovely comment!! I have since discovered she has a Blogspot blog here: NumbMum dot blogspot dot com. YAY!! Something that will show up in Google Reader! I am so excited! Thank you, Betsy! I also read a couple of previous posts, and it seems our youngest children may have been born the same week in 2005. Maybe more on that later, but I am loving reading Betsy’s stories so far!
(This is one of those “blogging is so cool!!” days and I am glad I have been doing this — albeit in scattered places — for as long as I have been.)
More on Author Tatiana de Rosnay
I blogged yesterday about Tatiana de Rosnay’s book Sarah’s Key. I gave some background and a brief non-spoiling summary of the novel, as well as wrote about a French memorial in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont for Jewish children whose lives were lost in the Holocaust.
I found a couple of good reviews of her book, which I wanted to link here:
Jen’s Book Thoughts: Sarah’s Key – the author left a comment on this blog, thanking the blogger for her review! How cool is that?
Last but not least, there is a film being made of Sarah’s Key right now in Paris! You can read more about it on the author’s website here (www.tatianaderosnay.com), and on an older blog in regards to Sarah’s Key here. Kristin Scott Thomas is in the lead role of Julia, which is so perfect as the actress is fully bilingual (she has lived in France since she was 19 and become a French national, see Wikipedia here), has already starred in several French films, and carries with her the authenticity that will allow her to become Julia Jarmond. I hope that it will be a good film. It is being produced and directed in France, so I am not sure if it will make it to the States, but I hope it does.
If you are interested in Paris, in France, or in the history of World War II, or about the challenges of an expatriate woman facing midlife with a marriage on the rocks and a 10-year-old daughter, read this book. It is one that will stick with me for a long time. I also cannot look at Paris quite the same after reading it. Thank you, Mme. de Rosnay, for writing this book.
Did you hear that noise???
That was me, getting sucked into Flickr and fixing a bunch of stuff on the site for my profile. Turns out I had a bajillion nice comments from people, notably Ken, who reads and comments on this blog, and I was not getting alerts for them. All is fixed now. WHEW. In the meantime, as far as time suckage goes, Flickr is worse than Facebook for me! I think an hour just went by and I still have more to write for this blog, hang one load of laundry, wash another and then hang it, and try to get to Leader Price to get some groceries!! That, and I am realizing I need to do a LOT more to organize photos on Flickr. Oy.
And now what I really hoped to write about today…
I have been uploading photos of the film premiere of Jim Jarmusch’s latest flick, The Limits of Control (will blog about it later, I hope), but what I would like to write about today is the walk Karen and I continued to take from the Buttes Chaumont to the Parc de Belleville.
Here’s a map:
This one, from fr.mappy.com, shows how the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, the Parc de Belleville, and the Cimitière Père Lachaise are laid out in a row, moving from north to south.
Karen and I exited at that pointy bit of the southern end of the Buttes Chaumont and carried on south on Avénue Simon Bolivar (can’t find the accent for the “o” in “Simon” right now. Sorry, dude), until we got to M° Pyrénées. At the Métro stop, we turned west (or right) on the Rue de Belleville (the “B” in “Belleville” is cut off by the “M” for “Métro” up there) until we got to Rue Piat, where we turned left and walked until we came to this view:
And then, as we walked a little further, this one:
Yes! That is the Eiffel Tower on the right! Yes! That is the Tour Montparnasse on the left!
I think I exclaimed about a million times on coming up to the top of this park, “This is SO COOL!!”
And it is. Really, kids, if you want an expansive view of Paris, between the view of the Sacré Coeur from the Belvédère in the Buttes Chaumont, and this view from the Parc de Belleville, you cannot go wrong. Nooo, it may not be as cool as the view of classic central Paris from the Eiffel Tower or the l’Arc de Triomphe (although I would not know as I have not seen either view), I have to say for FREE you can get this kind of view just by going to the 19th and 20th arrondissements for an afternoon! And this neighborhood, my neighborhood, is so cute, too!
Check out this café:
The cake on the cherry! Is that adorable or what? They claimed to have bagel sandwiches, too, and if I were still eating them, I would go there to try one. They can be tough to find in Paris.
Check out this interesting apartment building. There was a fenced courtyard here. There was no “back” on that building. See the window? That was it. Where the yellow side of the building ends at that corner, that is it. It was like someone kept a dormer window and lopped off the rest of the building! I also cracked up at the little kid’s pants hanging in the tree. Why??? How/under what circumstances did they get there? Weird…
There are funkycool views like this one! There is the sign pointing to the park. The Maison de l’Air is a museum dedicated to air, and is at the top of the park, too:
This was a very pretty, very peaceful, very interesting park.
I think I am going to stop here for the day. I invite you to check out the photo set I have of this journey on Flickr here: 18 November 2009 – Parc de Belleville & Père Lachaise, where there are more photographs of our walk.
Up and coming: A little about Pére Lachaise Cemetery and how Karen and I walked there from the Parc de Belleville, what I did this past Saturday, and how the Jarmusch movie went.
Until then, over and out.