Happy Something To Me


The view of the leaves outside of our window – May 5, 2010

Greetings, dear readers of An Alien Parisienne! Sorry it has been a couple of weeks. The good news is I have been out, living life, and as you know my motto is, “Life first, blog later.” I’ve stolen that motto from a long time online friend, Bonii Jo, to give credit where it is due. It’s true, though, that if I am not writing here, it is often because I am “out there,” doing things.

Or, perhaps more truthfully, I am on the internet superhighway reading as if I am in a 1994 Dauer 962 LeMans (allegedly the fastest car in the world).  The sheer number of open tabs on Google Chrome turns into a solid bar of color where I cannot even see the icons of what is on each tab anymore. Hunting down a web page becomes a game of guess and click, or maybe hit and run, to keep with my superhighway metaphor. I try to use things like Read It Later to little avail. I like to read anything and everything I can get my eager little fingers and eyes on, and inevitably my brain gets clogged up with all of the mental commentary about said readings and all they inspire, and before you know it, I am blogging here. It’s like a brain detritus bomb most times. A blowout on that superhighway when I actually stop to contemplate in writing what I have in mind.

I was the kid who always had something to read in front of her. I read the cereal boxes at breakfast. I read the billboards on the way to school on the schoolbus. I read everything set before me — I even passed that stupid little “pop quiz” that teachers used to give where it says at the top of the test in the instructions, “Before you do anything on this quiz, read ALL of the questions FIRST, then begin to work.” Then the last question says something like, “Only perform the task in item number one, and ignore the rest of the questions and/or tasks on this quiz.” The task in number one is to write your first and last name at the top of the paper, and that’s it: end of quiz. It was the kind of quiz designed to make most kids feel like idiots, laboring over the questions they didn’t even have to do, if they had read the directions. But of course a good percentage had not followed the directions (kind of the whole point of the quiz — to hit kids over the head with the idea that it is always good to read the directions first) and it quickly became obvious who had and who had not done what they were supposed to. I remember teachers sitting, smugly, at their desks, chuckling silently to themselves over the fact that they duped kids into needless work.  I remember the audible groans from the children who realized the error of their ways in not taking care to read the directions first. The whole thing boiled down to rewarding readers and rule-followers such as myself, and shaming the ones who were more renegade in their approach. Still, I am the one who can actually set the timer on the DVD (used to be “the VCR” and I almost typed that — god I am getting old. More on that in a mo’) because I READ THE FREAKIN’ INSTRUCTIONS and therefore know what to do and how to do it.

What I am getting at is that I love to READ and with the interwebz at my disposal, it is like quick and easy crack almost all day long at the crack whore house of endless crack. Until the man of the house gets home and wants his due time on the ‘net, too. He is more of the writer, though. And the organizer of media for his writing. I, on the other hand, cannot seem to stop reading long enough to write, and then when I do: KABOOM.

Here we are for another explosive installment of the life and times of Paris Karin, the Alien Parisienne.

The Past Couple of Weeks

My weeks are pretty typically organized around laundry, washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, reading people’s blog posts, cooking, shopping, cleaning other parts of the apartment, and then writing about my “life” in Paris (*snicker* I write that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, you know).

Mondays, after Paul’s two teen kids have been with us over the weekend, I start the loads of laundry that have accumulated over the past week. There are usually five small loads and then sheets and towels every other week, or as soon as they are too gross to postpone washing (especially the towels in our too-humid bathroom. Not so much the sheets. It’s not like we’re having orgies in our apartment or anything. Sheesh! Who do you think we are? *tee hee*). Three loads fit on the laundry lines and then there are two loads left for Tuesday, plus the sheets and towels, when it’s necessary.

Ghetto Laundry

The above is what the whole set-up looks like in the Girl Child’s bedroom. I also have a drying rack that fits over the top edge of a door, but if there are a lot of socks to be dried — too many to fit on just the door rack — I made up this contraption, which is the Girl Child’s old chalkboard/easel and some scrap wood from some home bricolage (DIY) project:

Ghetto Laundry

Groovy, huh. I McGyver like a pro. The ends of the wood scraps extend over the edge of the half-bunk bed I have written about in a blog around here somewhere before (I think it was this one) and then balance on the top of the easel, which is almost exactly the same height as the edge of the bed. I’m pretty ingenious, huh (whoops! Almost chose “ingenuous” there in spellcheck. Well, yeah, maybe some of that, too, sometimes).

I’ve written about laundry before. I think the reason that it is such a compelling blog topic for me is that it is so much a part of my life from Monday to Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the amount to be washed. It’s not as speedy as in the States where huge washing machines and dryers seem to make it something that you can  practically wiggle your nose at and it is done. There are a couple of more steps here which make it something that dominates more of my time.

Okay, so you get the idea that I do a lot of laundry and cleaning.

When I have other things to do, it is therefore quite exciting.

On Thursday, May 6th, for example, my blog buddy Karen and I met up outside of yoga class (which, by the way, we go to at Ashtanga Yoga Paris on Tuesday evenings, Beginners 2 Class. Check out the site, which I linked. You can watch a video of my yoga instructor, Gerald, here. He is very bendy. And strong). We hung out around the Place d’Italie and the Rue de la Butte aux Cailles, Street of the Hill of Quails. Or Hill Street Quails (lol). Or something like that.

We found a café/restaurant and sat and talked over drinks. I had a white wine with chestnut liqueur in it. It was interesting – not bad, not the best I’ve had, either. It had a strange name I wish I had written down. We had taken a walk around the Butte aux Cailles neighborhood before sitting down for a drink. I took these photos as we walked around the neighborhood:


The plazas in and around the Place d’Italie were adorned with the most beautiful, fairy-land-looking flowering trees in full bloom. There is a better view of the above photo here: View On Black. You can get an even better idea of how pretty the trees were in the photo below. I wish I had a wide-angle lens to capture just how far the trees went — how many of them there really were. But for these photos, you’ll have to take my word on how expansive and how lovely it was. It was magical.

View On Black

This next photo was Karen’s idea! Isn’t that so clever? I wanted to take a photo of the wall art, and of her, and then she got down on the ground and did this. I like Karen. 🙂 She thinks in wonderful ways.


The Buttes aux Cailles neighborhood was full of street art. Not graffiti-style like I have written about before on the Rue Dénoyez but real paintings on neighborhood walls like this one:

View On Black

There are more in my Flickr Set “May 2010.”

We saw a lot of interesting things besides art on the sides of buildings. One of the prettiest scenes was this peek into the yard of a home (yes, there are houses in this Parisian neighborhood, not just apartments) with a beautiful flowering tree (Karen told me which kind as her parents have one in their yard, but I have forgotten what it was) and a kitty cat who was sitting in the doorway.


If you are looking for an off-the-beaten path place to visit, check out the Butte aux Cailles neighborhood. I had been there one other time as well, which I wrote about in an early blog post. It is a very lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon or warm evening.

The day before, Wednesday, May 5, I had a meeting with a young woman named Amber. She has started a blog of her own here at Amber’s European Adventure. Rather than repeat the entire story here, you should head over to her post entitled, “Friends Old and New” to get the skinny on how I met Amber and what we did together.

I will post this photo of some flowers in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont through which we walked to get to her place near the Buttes Chaumont Métro. If you visit Amber’s blog, you can see a photo of me taking this photo! How’s that for meta-blogging? (Aside: oh myyyy gaaawwwwd. Do I do THIS or what? Yikes. I also note that post is from 2003. So, maybe introverted metablogging in this day and age is actually kind of retro-chic. I’m thinking that’s probably just wishful thinking, isn’t it…)


Then, this past Friday the 14th, I had a chance to re-visit the Bois de Boulogne.

It was the day after the holiday of Ascension (which one of my favorite bloggers, MJ, says is “another holiday here [in France], something about Jesus going up to heaven” in her hilarious blog post here). It was therefore a day when a lot of schools and businesses were closed to “faire le pont,”or turn the Thursday holiday into a four-day weekend by “making the bridge.” Amber’s language school, l’Atelier9, was closed as well, so I met up with Amber and some of her classmates from the school for a walk and a picnic in the B de B, as I like to call it. Or the “Bwah duh Baloney,” using an extra-strong Amuuurican accent.


From left to right we have Anita, Amber, Erica, and Allison.  Anita is Colombian, via Australia. Amber is from California, but with Colorado connections, Erica is from Finland, and Allison from Seattle and more recently Portland. We were a diverse bunch of women with varied ages and situations in life, but have one thing in common: we are all foreigners staying in Paris for the reason that Paris called us to her. We followed that call, and are all working at getting along with her. The other thing that we had in common (besides very good English — I have to say to the credit of Anita and Erica both, whose native languages are [respectively] Spanish and Finnish/Swedish) was that we are all clearly women of adventure. All of us gave up the security of the known for the unknown. It was wonderful to gather together with women such as these to walk and talk about our experiences thus far in the City of Love and Light.

I only wish the weather had cooperated as much as we did with the good conversation and delicious pot-luck picnic which we shared. It was a cool, cloudy and drizzly day. The forecast had called for partly-cloudy skies and temps in the high 50s-low 60s (Fahrenheit) but it felt really chilly. I was glad I wore my winter coat and brought gloves. Brrrr. Things are supposed to warm up even more in coming days and I cannot wait.

If you would like to see more of the photos I took of our walk, you can see the set here at Flickr.

It ain’t over until the fat lady sings and we’re about halfway in. Take your pee break or fill up your glass with beverage of your choice, but I am just getting going, so hang on. Or, come back tomorrow. This post will still be here! 🙂

Another informational aside for those of you who take issue with the size of my posts, which, granted, are about twice the size of some of the longer posts by, say, expert bloggers like my beloved David Lebowitz, Prom King at Paris Blog High School. According to a Google Search with the key search string “word count of an average chapter in a novel,” I discovered information here, and here, and here which shows that the average chapter of a book is about 14 pages long, and an average page word count is about 250-300 words. That’s 3500-4500 words for one measly chapter of a book. Most of my posts hover at the 3000 word mark, which is less than an average book chapter.

C’mon blog readers: you read BOOKS, right? This is just one chapter in my silly little life. I think you can hack it, you reader people you. I have a feeling that those of you who visit my blog and actually read without freaking out at the length probably had the backs of cereal boxes facing you while you ate your breakfast, too, eh? Yeah, I know you. 😉

So, to continue the story of my life in the past couple of weeks, last Saturday, May 15, was the Night at the Museum. Noooo, this is not a cute and silly movie starring Ben Stiller where the museum displays come to life (although I have totally imagined that happening in the Louvre with the hall of Greek and Roman statues, haven’t you?). This is the night where museums open their doors during the nighttime and allow visitors in the doors for FREE. You read it: free. As in, gratis. Gratuit, in French.

This is PJ and me on our way to the Musée de l’Orangerie where the famous wall panels by Monet called Les Nymphéas are housed. We left the house at about 10 pm. The museum was going to be open until 1 am.


Photo taken by Paul’s eldest son.

The museum, which was closed from 1999 to 2006 for extensive renovations, has re-opened with a very-well conceived design in displaying the Monet wall panels. You can take a virtual visit here at the museum website.

Here’s a little of what it was like that night, though:


A little crazy…

… a little crowded…


But everyone seemed to really enjoy seeing the art late at night like this. It had the air of being at a special party, like we were exclusive, invited guests. Okay, until the staff working that night kept hollering (oh the irony) for people to be quiet in these gallery rooms. It was because there was special music to go with the paintings, and loud-talking people really did ruin the effect. Once the staff spoke up, though, people listened like good little schoolchildren, and quieted down.


Doesn’t the boy in the above photo look as if he belongs in a painting by Renoir? I like how his face is the only one looking at the camera, too.

I found a new friend on Flickr, a professional photographer here in Paris, who just today “favorited” this photo of mine, which I took that night:

It’s very flattering when a pro-photographer favorites a photo. (That’s a Picasso painting pictured there, too, by the way.) Okay, so he also has 5,321 favorites marked in Flickr, haha. Eh, I am still glad to be one, though, and I am glad he chose this one. I was really happy to have gotten the shot, as I was of this one, too:

I like how I captured the woman at a nice angle compared to the tree in the Monet panel. Photographing people in museums is really fun — I like to observe people in museums and capture them in relation to the works of art to create a new work of art. Meta-art. I am in love with meta-ness in this post, haha!

The nighttime lights were really pretty at the Place de la Concorde, just next to the museum, which is inside the Jardin des Tuileries.

I am about to conclude. Just so you know. You’re almost done.

I would love to put several more things in this post in regards to things I have read and done in the past couple of weeks. But I am almost to that 3000 word mark, and I have a conscience. I don’t want to make your heads explode.

I wanted to finish this post with the information that today is my 42nd birthday. Yes, I am officially the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. I don’t feel like it, though. I kind of just feel old.

I am excited, though, because the aforementioned David Lebovitz is doing a reading and book signing at WH Smith in Paris tonight for his latest cookbook Ready for Dessert, a re-write and compilation of two earlier cookbooks which are now out-of-print. The new book is a collection of his dearest and best recipes. I don’t think I can afford to buy the new one right now. We’re a bit skint these days. But I am bringing my copy of The Sweet Life in Paris for him to sign. I am a little nervous. I have a pretty big crush on him (check out this post of his with a video for the new book where he makes chocolate chip cookies to see why I am so crushed out. He is adorable in it). I’m nervous about the evening, a little. You know how it is easy to put people we adore on a pedestal, and while I know he is just a guy, he really is a lot of what I aspire to be: a writer, a fun person, a good cook, an adept foreigner living in Paris. I just want him to be as cool in real life as he is in my head. If he is not, it’s okay. Maybe it will be like how Pretty in Pink would have gone if Andie had hooked up with Duckie instead — the real-life version where Blane disillusions her and dumps her in the end and she goes to prom with Duckie and stays with Duckie. As it is, though, I still kind of want there to be the pretty ending where David/Blane is nice to me, and maybe even says something, once I introduce myself, about how I recommended the Presto Salad Shooter to him in a comment on his post about celeriac rémoulade and then he listed it on his Amazon “Stuff I’m Liking” list.

The only thing I take issue with is his additional comment about “several” readers recommending this. It was not “several,” it was ME. *giggle*

I sound a little stalker-ish, don’t I. Ugh.

I actually have to go ahead and post this if I am going to make it down to the book store for the signing. Gotta get ready and get down there to meet my friend Karen, and hopefully connect with the bloggers from Paris (Im)perfect and Res I(p)sa.

Thank you all for reading. Hope you are having a good week so far, and until next time, it’s hasta la pasta, baby.

Over and Out.


(an alien parisienne)

Categories: Karin Brain Miscellany, Life in Paris, Paris Adventures, Paris Blogging, Paris Friends, Paris Museums, Personal Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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39 thoughts on “Happy Something To Me

  1. Golly girl..what a great post…and what a nice way to spend my lunch at my desk..reading your post

    hmmm that laundry set up would I think drive me mental..all those clothes dripping around the house…what do you put on the floor to catch the drips?…what’s the aversion to dryers? just no where to put them I guess or expensive hydro? what?

    I’m so jealous of the David Leibovitz reading…I wish I was there with you because I have a crush on him too…he’s so funny and frank and love the way he writes ….you’ll have to tell us all about it…how he was etc….if I was in paris today I would be right there with ya…..

    • Hey there Deb! So glad I could be a part of your lunchtime.

      Re: laundry. We have a super spin cycle in our front-loading washer. It goes 1000 revolutions per minute and it spins the bejeebus out of the laundry. So there is very, very little dripping from damp clothing. It is about as dry as wet laundry can get without *actually* being dry (lol).

      Part of the aversion to dryers is that there is no room for them in the average apartment. Most people don’t have room for a clothes washer and they go to laundromats. For around 1,000€ there is a kind of washer that also has a dry cycle in it. It stops washing and then starts drying all in one unit. I know some people who have one of those. They still do not get the clothing all the way dry, though. Finally, the French really are more energy-conscious and dryers take a huge amount of energy. They are not seen as practical when there is so little room for them anyways and when they are such energy consumers. Electricity is not cheap here…

      Re: DL. It was a lot of fun. He is as charming and nice in person as he seems on the page, so I still have a pretty big crush. I hope to write more about it later! Sooner than later, actually, but not this moment, lol.

      Be well, Deb and thanks for the b-day wishes here and on FB, too. They made my day. 🙂

  2. good grief…forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY…..ENJOY, I KNOW YOU WILL

  3. Happy Birthday dear Alien……Happy Birthday to yooouuuuu….
    What a great way to spend it! Enjoy the D.L reading. I hope he lives up to your expectations. He truly is Paris blog prom king.

    Thanks for the shoutout regarding my in-depth knowledge of religious holidays. Somethin’ here, somethin’ there honestly who can keep track?

    Have a great birthday!

    • Thannnkkkk youuuuu, dear MJ, thank you very much.

      Like I wrote to Deb up there, DL really is a cool person in person. I am so relieved. 🙂

      You are welcome, O Font of All Religious Holiday Knowledge. 😀 They don’t call May “the month of Swiss cheese” for nothing around these here parts. (I just recently read that expression somewhere, I think. I just spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find a reference somewhere to that expression and can’t. I even used “Mai est le mois des fromages suisses” but all I got back were lots of websites about Emmental, lol.)

      I had a marvelous birthday! Thank you for wishing me well.

      (Aside: I just found the funniest discussion in French online.

      It is on “Gruyere or Emmentaler?” and when I clicked on the Google Translate button to get a better idea of the question and answers, I saw this response: “I never use Emmental gruyere. Par cons but I rape at home, at least I’m sure it is fresh” *chortle* “Rapé” is “grate(d)” in French. It just cracked me up…)

  4. Carole

    Happy Birthday! Wishing you health, happiness, love and that Lebovitz’ is just as cool in person. I suspect the answer is yes.

    Again, so much to digest in this post. The first thing that comes to mind is: do you go to the laundry mat to wash the blankets? Thanks for elaborating, with photos, on the laundry routine. And a special thanks for the lovely shots around town. The tulips and Place de la Concorde are my favorite.

    • Thank you, Carole for the good wishes, and you are right: the answer is “yes.” DL is a very cool guy, indeed.

      You know, I actually don’t go to a laundry to wash blankets and sheets. I stuff them into the washer! We had an old comforter here that desperately needed washing. It was a double-to-queen-sized comforter that would NOT fit in the washing machine. Too cheap to take it to a dry cleaners and too inept at the Parisian laundromat scene (I am sure it is not that hard, but I have bad memories of waiting for laundry at laundromats in years past, too), I decided to turn it into a twin bed sized comforter by lopping off a strip about 1/3 meter wide (a little more than 12″) off one side. Each piece then fit into the washing machine, I got it all cleaned up, and I folded the strip up so it fits exactly in a rectangular pillow case and it works as an extra pillow on the sofa!

      Most Frenchies use duvet covers for comforters that can be taken off and washed with ease.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos, Carole.

  5. Oh my gosh, I wish I had known before meeting you this evening (which was so cool, by the way!): HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • It was *very* nice to meet you, too, and hear more about your personal story and writing endeavors! I hope we have a chance to connect again soon. Thanks for the well-wishes, Res!

  6. Okay, I’ve got to sit down now. I do a lot of my reading standing up, since I do so much writing sitting down. I’ve been meaning to tell you I am now addicted with a capital A, to roasted Endive. Who knew? Next thing I will be roasting heads of lettuce. Has anyone tried this?
    Happy something to you.

  7. Happy Birthday. I’m way past 42 but remember it dimly as a good age to be. Loved reading about your week and seeing the great photos.

    • Hello Linda! Good to see you here!

      Thank you for the birthday wishes! I’m glad the recollections of 42 are good ones. 🙂 So, dim memories are something to look forward to, eh? LOL. Honestly, I think it is one reason I am liking blogging so well. The capacity for retaining memory does seem to lag with age, and I like having this record of my doings to hopefully look back on — like you with your archives and posts from yore, too. C’MON, though, it cannot be THAT long since you were 42! You look wonderful in the photos I saw of you on your old site, and you appeared to be very young 10 years ago (the age of the photos there — I am such a lurky-lou, lol), so I cannot possibly think that 42 is that far past.

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, Linda. Thank you for reading. 🙂

  8. Amy B

    I was the kid that had to read every scrap of word around me as well. I still am to an extent, but the internet has made me a lazy, skimming reader everywhere except with actual novels. I have difficulty understanding when students say that they never read. I always ask, “but don’t you read on the internet?” Some do (and don’t count it as reading), but more and more, I’m finding that students to to the internet to watch rather than read everything. That’s so bizarre to me. Why watch an entire newscast when you can skim the homepage of a newspaper to find what interests you and then read only the articles you want … and faster than anyone can give news bites via video?

    I know I’ve commented on this before, but you’ve got such a European glow to you these days. I’m trying to figure out where that even comes from. Is it the food? The weather? The beauty products? Or is it a strange human chameleon quality? You look way younger than the meaning of life. Seriously.

    • Hey there Amy B! I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you and Baby B are doing well. 🙂

      I know what you mean about the whole student “I never read” thing… I think they probably read more than they realize, but it is true I think that they watch more than they read. I wonder how things like the iPad will change some of this. I know I have a hard time reading certain things on a computer monitor. I have never used anything like a Kindle reader or an iPad (just a laptop) but I know something about not being able to hold what I am reading in my hands affects how much I read online. So all in all, I am a skimmer, too. I think there may be a tie-in here with why most bloggers write shorter posts than I do (and I was talking with Sion — of paris (Im)perfect about this the other night as well). Longer reading is harder to do on a computer. Again, maybe things like the iPad will change this.

      As far as the Euro glow, I am so glad to know I have it! Maybe aging is treating me well, maybe it is that I am in a good relationship, maybe it is the water, lol. It could honestly be that I don’t eat gluten and dairy anymore. Hmmmm. I can tell you it is not beauty products as I don’t use them (really. I am a soap and water girl). This was cute to read:

      You look way younger than the meaning of life. Seriously.

      Thank you, m’dear. 🙂 If I knew what the secret was, I would share it.

      Say a warm hello for me to anyone still at the school there who may remember me, all right? Thanks. And you hang in there with all your tasks and being preggers and all that. I will be by your LJ again soon.

  9. Happy Day to you!! It’s now past your birthday, so happy dayyyy!! I just scrolled up and then back down to here and yep, quite possible the longest blog post EVAR! lol, i love it. Like you, I get lost on the net reading and absorbing, unlike you, I then get online and don’t-blog. I’m at a blogging stand-still. I’m stumped, shlumped, and all other umps.
    I’m really glad that I ‘met ya’ as I was blog hopping that day. I get to live vicariously through you! So when you are doubting your rockin life as you are hanging socks, remember that there’s a girl (girl, ha! I’m 42 yet still a girl because I said so!) in the Pacific Northwest of the US of A who is wishing she was in Paris taking some really great pics and visiting great museums at midnight….
    All kidding aside, I hope you had a blast on your special day, I hope you are feeling well too!

    • Hi Michelle!

      I remember your blog! It has been a while since I checked in with you, but it is so nice to see you here.

      I’m glad you had fun reading. And it’s nice to know I am not alone in the getting lost in the internet woods, lol.

      There are some days when we should definitely trade places — I love the NW US! It is so pretty up there, and I feel very at home when I am there. The grass really is greener on the other side, eh? Or maybe we should say “less brown,” haha.

      I am doing better health-wise than I think I was when I left that comment on your About page, lol. I re-read that just now and I can tell that was one of the “down days.” I’m still symptomatic, but so many months later have kind of just decided that feeling crappy is going to be a part of my existence and so I might as well begin to accept it all. I guess it is like the grief cycle, eh?

      I want to go read some of your posts now, too, so see you there. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! 🙂

  10. Loved this post — such fun to read the ‘epic adventures’ of Paris Karin! The photos are all brilliant – especially like the one with the kitty in the doorway – really gorgeous.

    Cheers and enjoy that Parisian sunshine 🙂

    • Hi Carolyn! I hope all is going well with you and your transitions. Thanks for taking the time to read. 🙂 I’m cracking up at “epic adventures” — they kind of work out that way, huh, lol. Maybe all the reading I had to do as a young person of the Iliad and Odyssey impacted me more than I would have thought, haha. I took another one of the kitty, too. Here it is, just for you:
      View On Black

      Thank you for the birthday wishes, too. So far, this “new year” is off to a wonderful start!

  11. and belated but heartfelt wishes for a very happy birthday and happy and healthy year(s) ahead!

  12. Happy Belated Birthday Karin! I hope you had a great day and that you enjoyed the book reading!

    Your laundry set up looks rather spectacular! Well done on creating your airer, maybe there’s a market for those? So many people live in apartments but yet all the airers are always the same shape! I am currently trying to work my way through about 5 loads of washing and am currently drying a load in the garden – thank god for the good weather!

    Me too! I used to (and still do) read everything! Back of cereal packet, loo cleaner in the loo – I even counted the characters on the back of a train ticket once when I ran out of reading material LOL 🙂

    I hope you’re enjoying your weekend and finding lots more interesting subjects to write about!

    • Hi Piglet! Thank you for the birthday wishes! 🙂 I hope to eventually blog about the reading… With Monday a holiday and some plans this coming week, we’ll see what happens. Eventually.

      I know — those airers are pretty much the same size and shape, and I know they are a pain to set up and take down. My version is a lot cheaper, too, lol. Ghetto! 😉 Ohhhh, a yard for drying laundry would be so wonderful! I love the smell of sheets that have been hanging out of doors. That is one nice thing about not living in the city. Good luck on getting those five loads done!

      I LOLed at “loo cleaner in the loo.” Me, too, haha! That’s too funny about counting the characters on a train ticket. It is so good to know I am in good company. 🙂

      I do have some more subjects to write about already even with the DL signing!! Keep in touch. I hope to write about it all soon.

      Take care. 🙂

  13. I did have to read this in two parts…lol. And the cereal box comment cracked me the hell up–so true.

    Anyway, I’ve probably never said this, but I LOVE when you blog. You’ve become my little vacation from the real. I mean come on, you know I live in the SOUTH in Podunkvilletonford.


    So in a lot of ways, reading your posts and seeing all the photographs has become like an extended stay for me, too. Like I’ve been able to shake hands with Paris.

    I dig it, and you, cupcake. Happy Birthday again and again.

    • Two parts, three parts, five parts… LOL. It’s all good. Thank you for coming back. 🙂

      Anyway, I’ve probably never said this, but I LOVE when you blog. You’ve become my little vacation from the real. I mean come on, you know I live in the SOUTH in Podunkvilletonford.

      That is really cool to read, Aimee. And you know, you had a lot to do with the creation of this blog, from giving me the edict to get my ass out there and enjoy Paris to helping me think of the name. It is really true how much of an influence you have had on what I do here, by supporting and reading earlier incarnations and then continuing here on AAP. So I have probably never said this, but thank YOU for encouraging me so very much and inspiring me to get out there so that we both benefit from my writing.

      I am glad that I have been able to make Paris real for you.

      Thanks again for the b-day wishes, too, Mamers (okay, habits are hard to break. Maybe I should call you “Mizz Aimee” or something like that. It feels weird to just write “Aimee,” lol). I dig you!

  14. Bonjour,

    Its my first time here. That was a beautifully written post. Pardon my English, my first language is French. LOL I want to wish you a Happy Birthday. I too have lived all over the place and have struggled with laundry. Dryers do not exist in many countries. I laughed when I saw the wooden dryer. I did not laugh at you but at the memory of having these contraptions in my apartments. I had 2 little girls then (I still have them but they are now 20 and 22) and had daily super huge loads of laundry. OK enough about laundry. I teach French in Montreal but would change places with you in a heartbeat. You have a beautiful life. Enjoy!


    If you feel like answering, please leave a comment on my blog. Dont worry about the post du jour. My blog is really wacky anyway. LOL

    • Hello Anne-Marie! I am so glad you stopped by and left a comment. Your English is perfect, and I am an English teacher, so I should know. 😉 I am so glad I could give you a good laugh at the dryer. As it has been said, “Necessity is the mother of invention” (“La necessité est la source de l’invention” is what my fiancé just taught me to write, lol. It’s almost the same in French, isn’t it). I imagine with two little girls that you used to have a lot of laundry. And if I remember the days when I was 20-22 and in university, I used to bring loads of laundry home on weekends to wash at my mother’s, too. 😀

      I will definitely visit your blog. You have a lovely day and thank you for reading!

  15. Bonjour Karin,

    Thank you for your beautiful comment. How nice to invite me to meet you. I’m really flattered! At the moment something came up and my plans to go to France are all up in the air. My brother in law was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Sorry for the downer. My sister in law is inconsolable. She has only one brother (my husband). We dont know what to do. I have not posted anything about it on my blog yet. Poor man, he never smoked and was a fanatic about his health. We are all in shock! Il faut tout remettre en question… I do not think I have the heart to go to France anymore and leave them. If I left I would extremely worried and feeling just as guilty. I was counting the days till my departure. You know the old saying: while you make plans, life happens or something close to that. I cant feel sad for myself because then I feel guilty. If not this August maybe a little later. Now I have to renegotiate my teaching contract for next year….I was planning on taking “une sabbatique”.

    I will keep you posted. As they say in French: ce n’est qu’une partie remise meaning if not now, some time later…



    • Oh Anne-Marie — I am so sorry to read about your brother-in-law and his health. It is so sad to read when someone is having a crisis like this kind, and yet it is as you say about while we make plans, life happens. I can imagine you are all quite in a state of shock and in the stage of just trying to figure out “what’s next?” I am sorry you have to go through this. Best to you and your family as you go through this and everything related (figuring out your trip and your teaching and so on). Yes, please do keep us posted, and I will stay tuned into your blog for more information.

      Hugs back to you.

  16. Happy BDay! The laundry situation would make me NUTS!

    • Thank you, Beej!

      Oh you know. The laundry thing is one of those trade offs for living in Paree, lol. But yeah, one of the things that keeps life in balance here, eh? 😉

  17. Henry

    Karin–A very happy late-birthday to you! I am loving, absolutely LOVING the stream-of-consciousness writing you’ve got going on in this post. It’s got great pace and flow for a quick sit-down read.

    “Quick,” of course, being a relative term.

    Reading is amazing! There’s just so much information out there, free for the learning. You’ve just got to be willing to look… and click… and turn the page… and before you know it it’s two in the morning and you’ve donated 6310 grains of rice, memorized the Baltic states, and reminded yourself that English is a Germanic language. ^^’

    • Hey Henry!

      Good to see you here. 🙂 I’m so glad that you had a good time reading. And yeah, I guess “stream of consciousness” is the best adjective for the writing. You cracked me up with this: “Quick,” of course, being a relative term.

      And on this?

      before you know it it’s two in the morning and you’ve donated 6310 grains of rice, memorized the Baltic states, and reminded yourself that English is a Germanic language.

      NO KIDDING. Hahahaha! I do love it, though. 🙂

      Be well, and thank you again for coming by and reading. It means a lot to me that you did!

  18. Pingback: The End of May, Part One « An Alien Parisienne

  19. Oh dear me – sorry I am late – but happy birthday to you! Better late than never.

    That was one long post for sure. You are the Queen of Long Posts. There should be a blogger award for that. I should create it a badge for you to display in your sidebar, “Queen of Long Posts”. May you reign forever supreme!

    • Hi Cynthia! Thank you for the happy wishes. Sure, I will take them now! 🙂

      Yes, Queen of Long Posts, indeed. It’s just the way I roll. I would have sucked as a journalist, lol. I’m glad you have had a good time reading, though! Thank you.

  20. Pingback: The End of May, Part Two « An Alien Parisienne

  21. Pingback: Craziness in the ‘Hood « An Alien Parisienne

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