Even the Bears Are at It

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Here they are, the striking bears. I don’t know how they feel about their pensions and retirement at 62, but they certainly are worried about real estate speculation of their caves!

I found this cute set up in a window of a local business/community outreach/neighborhood association called Microlithe in the 20th arrondissement of Paris.

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According to news reports, lots is happening in France because of the grèves et manifestations, or strikes and protests, over the proposed increase of the retirement age. How have I been affected? Well, so far, the only real effect I have felt was a super-crowded bus last week, when riders were being refused entry because it was just too full (they were running fewer buses less frequently that day), and people seem tense because of transportation inconveniences and uncertainty of schedules and over what was open and what was not in the public sector. In the earlier strikes, some schools in and around my neighborhood were closed, or some teachers within the schools were striking while others were present. There was some uncertainty with the family I have been helping out as to my own schedule with them because of these things.

Last week, I heard local high schoolers gathering in the streets and protesting. Mostly what I heard them hollering was the name of their high school.

Other than that, the strikes have not affected me very much to my knowledge. I’ve wondered if perhaps the slim pickings in my local Leader Price the past couple of weekends has been because of striking transportation workers and closed refineries leading to gas station runs and closures. Paris-based celeb food blogger David Lebovitz was lamenting the fact that his local Franprix was totally out of butter a couple of days ago on his Twitter page. I queried back whether it could be the strikes affecting food supply as Leader Price was the same, and guess what? I got a reply from him!

The Tweetback

I know. I feel a little hypocritical putting this here. Especially after being Ms Ranty Pants about Paris Popular Blogs and how they get sometimes up my nose.  He is Paris Blog High School‘s Prom King, after all.

You know how when you are just one of the fairly normal kids in high school, and hanging out with your fairly geeky group, mostly minding your own business, hoping to pass your French test and get a good grade in the class, wondering sometimes what you are going to be when you grow up, trying to fit in, but not too hard because that seems desperate and dumb, and in and through this feel very conflicted about the “popular crowd,” simultaneously making fun of them/resenting them and yet wanting to be one of them, all at the same time? Remember how all that felt? And then, one day, the cutest, most popular guy in the school pays attention to you, responds to something you said to him as you passed in the hallway. You feel a little embarrassed around your geeky friends to whom you have just been bitching about that same popular crowd he hangs out with, but you are also thrilled. Your heart starts fluttering, and you start furiously blushing because OH MY GAWD, HE SPOKE TO ME.

Yeah, that was me. First thing I did was go get the screen capture of the Tweet as proof, lol.

I’m 42. Can anyone tell me when life finally stops feeling like high school? The older I get, the more I see that those same dynamics are still in play, just like a never-ending John Hughes film.

(And just in case he is lurking, every comment I have ever made praising your writing, dear David, has been 100% sincere and genuine. I have a feeling you may not have been the most popular guy in high school, and know just how it is to be one of the lowly folk, and know what I am writing about here. It’s easy to pick on successful people, simultaneously admiring them while resenting them, isn’t it. I really do try to have grace and generosity of spirit towards all people. Sometimes it is easier than others, though…)

Back to the strikes.

I suspect that the state of my local Leader Price is as David says — a bit of bad management. But I also have a feeling that the transportation issues in France because of the strikes may be contributing some to the situation. Also, I remember at this time last year the shelves were more naked in what seemed to be a pre-holiday clean out of shelves and store inventory before the giant influx of food and goods for the Christmas holiday, which is a mere eight weeks away at this point. I think mostly they are making room on the shelves for all that stuff that will be coming in. I’m going to try to stop by mid-week to see what the state of the store is like. I’ll let you know.

I’ve been keeping up with what’s going on on France 24 in English, and reading up on my usual blogs. My fellow blogger Shannon of Je Ne Sais Quoi posted some bloggers’ opinions on her blog as well as on Bonjour Paris. Also on Bonjour Paris, I’ve been keeping up with and appreciating posts by Michael Barrett. So if you live outside of Paris or France, and want to know more about what is going on that is not from CNN (which always seems to blow things entirely out of proportion) but from local folks, those are some good sources from you.

Gratitude

I already made reference to my last post. I was clearly having a “Fed Up With Paris” moment or five, and your empathy and suggestions really helped me out! Almost immediately, I started to feel free of the toxic buildup that had been accumulating, and I started to look around me with greater appreciation and gratitude.

I was rewarded last week for keeping my eyes of gratitude open, and putting on some grateful glasses.

This is the view from the balcony of the family I am “helping out.” It was sunset. Just like the Grinch, with this view in sight, my heart grew three sizes too big, and melted my heart of stone.

I mean, how could anyone see this sunset over Paris and NOT get a little verklempt, eh? You’d have to be a total heartless, robotic Borg-creature to not be choked up by this.

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And then it got even better.

I caught a glimpse of this around the corner of that rooftop.

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🙂

I think the photo says it all.

I’m hoping to focus some more on some “gratitude posts.” I have a list of at least 10 things I am grateful for here in Paris. I’m not sure if I am going to create a “blog schedule” for writing about it, or anything like that. But my mindset has shifted with getting the rant off my chest and with being open to appreciating Paris a little more than I had been able to recently. I’m focusing more on MY view of Paris and what it means to me, not just about what the popular kids are saying at school. We’ll see what comes of it.

What about you? What have you been grateful for this past week? What has touched you, and made you feel more warm towards life? Has anything made your heart of stone grow three sizes too big?

Comment below, or write your own post and link it in here.

Y’all take care. See you in the bloghood again real soon.

Over and out.

Karin

(an alien parisienne)

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49 thoughts on “Even the Bears Are at It

  1. The RER is getting unwieldy with all the strikes lately! Glad the bears feel the same way…

    • Cooooollllll!! A true renegade spirit amongst us! Hi Artemis (Fowl? 😉 ) of Vagabond Paris. Hey kids — anyone reading this. Check out this article here.

      Thanks for joining in the conversation, and I’m glad you are chiming in. You have become one of my heroes for alternative choices in life, and I am rooting for you. I hope that my pocketbook can back some of that up soon, too, but Paris Paul and I are having to really mind our centimes at the mo’, or we are going to be soon huddling next to you, but probably without the iPads, heh. Anyway, I have heard some folks complaining in blogs and in person about the increasingly bad state of the RER system. Like on this post here: France Goes Off the Rails by Sab.

      Funny about those bears, though. I have not seen what appear to be any casseurs in that set up. Maybe to have it be a little more realistic, we should add in a couple of burning Hot Wheels, hmmm?

      Take care. Stay warm. Stay fed. I’m rooting for you and your project!

  2. I hear that eventually the high school moments stop … one just doesn’t care any more. 😉 Not quite there yet though. I was at BlogHer Food recently and one could see some of that same stuff going on. I’ll be interested to see if David Lebovitz replies. I met him briefly at last year’s BlogHer Food conference. He’s a good guy by all accounts I think, and I’d be surprised if he hadn’t had his high school moments, too, though.

    Love the last two “gratitude” photos! Those scenes can take ones breath away and offer reassurance, can’t they?

    Shirley

    • Hey Shirley! So good to see you here. I just saw the best comment posted by you at this article here: Micheal Ruhlman’s What I Did Not Know About Celiac. I really liked that post so very much. A friend of mine sent me the link, and I have been reading and re-reading it. It was very validating to read the post and subsequent positive comments, although I am now kind of hoping that Dr. Doug gets diagnosed with Celiac and experiences cross-contamination.

      I’m going to hell for writing that, huh. Heh! The horrible thing about both Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance is that you truly would not wish it on your worst enemy. It’s that bad. But sometimes I wish the people who think gluten intolerance/sensitivity/Celiac Disease is all in people’s heads would have a good dose of some kind of karmic justice. Now I am trying to think back on my own previous notions about food “issues.” Eeeek.

      Anyway, I think blog conferences have to be one of the worst places to see the high school crap in action. Any professional conference, actually. And yes: I have heard the not caring happens eventually to many, too. 🙂 I guess what shocks and disappoints me the most is how much people really *do* care, even myself! No one likes to be caught up in ego drama, even if conscious that’s what it is, huh.

      I have a deep feeling that Mr. Lebovitz is also “okay.” I mean, he’s human. C’mon. I know that he probably has his own hangups and ego issues, etc. We ALL do. But I think one reason for his popularity is that he is a pretty real guy, down-to-earth, without too much of the ego crap going on. I think you are right: “He’s a good guy by all accounts I think.”

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. 🙂 I was just looking again at them and felt the joy I did when seeing the sunset and how the ball of a sun perched just atop the tower like that. It really was one of those moments that makes you feel like there is something bigger “out there” and waiting to be tapped into and appreciated.

      Be well, Shirley, and thank you for reading.

      • 🙂 on all you said, but you’ll notice that most folks (including myself) didn’t even respond to Dr. Doug’s comment. As someone said his link didn’t work, so who knew his authenticity? And, there are plenty of idiots gastroenterologists, even ones who treat celiac/gluten intolerance. Yep, walk a mile in my shoes, buddy, and then let me know how that works for you! We know what that outcome would be …

        Hugs,
        Shirley

  3. Well can be grateful at that my sons father in law came through his operation ok , but still need to get the results. Also that my son finally got a diagnosis for this problems.. lets hope he gets some help when he asks for it too. Still have a few proplems to sort out, like his ex stopping him see his children .. my husbands stress, and me well I am up and down Karin .. never mind, I am sure I will come through it. take care , hugs Anne.. Could do with one of your lovely cups of tea ♥

    • Well, Anne, come on over and I will get you set up with the tea, okay? I hope that in spite of the ups and downs you are hanging in there (and lord knows I even had MORE downs after posting this! I really do suspect this has a lot to do with the menopause looming, hahaha. I get it. It’s a rollercoaster ride sometimes).

      I guess just look at those photos up there and realize there is a moment just lurking around the corner, waiting for you to see it in order to help you through, hm?

      Hang tight!

  4. I’m grateful that I live in a free country , have a great job that supports my family with some style..can travel mostly at will…that I love my husband more today than 30 years ago when we first fell in love and that I’ve seen a sunset in Paris like that with my own eyes…

    hey Karin…glad you are feeling better about things…

  5. Hi Karin! What a lovely positive post to read on a bright sunny day! And what great photos, I am once again impressed by your photography skills and eye for a good piccie!

    I completely agree with your “high school” comments, my life story!!

    As for the strikes, I have been affected nearly everyday since they started: huge queues for petrol, travel plans disrupted, house visits cancelled, no progress at work and to top it off they city centre of Lyon has been ruined by yobs and we’ll have to pay for its repair with our taxes! Lyon is like some type of civil war (or at least what I would imagine the start of a civil war to be like). So, I’m really well and truly over the strikes, I wish they would end but I fear that they will only get worse! Lets hope I’m wrong…

    I like the idea of positive posts too and have told myself in the past that I should try and do some more positive things about living in France. If you do one then I’ll do one! I don’t know if you have read Charley’s blog, she’s a fellow Lyonnaise and writes about things she loves in France – I find it a breath of fresh air from my rants although I don’t get to visit as much as I would like to these days: http://365thingsthatiloveaboutfrance.blogspot.com/
    Okay, so her last post was not so positive but then some pretty darn awful things have happened in Lyon over the last few days 😦

    • Yay! I’m glad that you liked the post. You know, I am not trying to blow sunshine up anyone’s arse, but I guess the whole point is that sometimes you have to prime the pump and take that first shift of perspective to heart to be able to see the good things around.

      High School. *le sigh* I just want to freakin’ graduate already!

      You bring up a really good point: things in Lyon seem to be HORRIBLE. I have seen reports on the news, and so now you are corroborating these things in person. Not good, not good at all. I hope things will settle down before something truly awful happens. You hang in there, Mama Piglet!

      I am going to check out Charley’s blog, for sure (I have to run in about 10 minutes, so putting it off to tomorrow). And I really am planning on posting something positive about Paris/France. Many things, I hope. Again, not to fart rainbows, but just to try to keep myself from going to the Bad Place in my head and here on the blog, lol.

      Be well, chica.

      • LOL! loving “farting rainbows”, I personally am a shit miracles type of person (sorry for bad language!).

        Hope you’re well!!!

        I would say come down and see us in Lyon at some point but I can imagine it isn’t the most attractive place to visit right now!!

      • “Shit miracles” Hee hee hee hee hee! 😀

        I am doing well — about to go get ready for a busy-ish day.

        I would love to come down to Lyon, crazy shit going on or not. I’d love to see where the Piglet hangs out! One of these days. Seriously. I will even come down and help change baby diapers and clean your house for you. I am really good at both. 😉

        You take care & see you ’round the bloghood later today, I hope.

  6. I’m grateful for this lovely post and the awesome photographs!

    • Well, my dear. Thank you. If it was not for you, I would not be writing it. I mean that deeply and sincerely. 🙂

  7. ” Also, I remember at this time last year the shelves were more naked in what seemed to be a pre-holiday clean out of shelves and store inventory before the giant influx of food and goods for the Christmas holiday”

    You can imagine the risk involved here and the disaster if 1) there was no influx because of shortages due to the inability to gather all the the ingreadients needed for any one product because of the transportation issues (couldn’t get the salt needed to make butter to the dairy which in turn made less butter available for the making of pasteries and so pastery prices go up as the availability of pasteries go down forcing the closure of some smaller coffee shops, putting a higher pressure on traditional college jobs because the increace of college un-employed….

    “I’ve been keeping up with what’s going on on France 24 in English,”

    cool. you can now hold conversations with anyone you meet and you will not be blindsided by issues that will efect you. This is great. Are you feeling French yet?

    I am envious that you are able to illustrate your blogwith those wonderful pictures that demonstrate exactly what you are blogging. I try and compensate until I can afford a camera again with discriptiveness. So, while I’ve just posted what is frustrating me right now, the thing I am most greatful right now for is the feed-back that has created that frustration. While I am frustrated in myself, I am greatful that others do see positive things in me and because of that, put me into positions of trust (not because I see responcibility, just the opposite, but I do like the freedoms that trust brings.

    • Hi Ken! Hope you saw my other comment down there about how it was going to take me a bit to reply to you.

      It’s true that there is always a ripple effect to things. I’m sure that there is a ripple effect going on in this situation, and yes, the connection to the basic supply and demand will be impacted, I’m sure.

      It’s interesting — blogs and Twitter actually have kept me more up-to-date than even France 24 in English! The internet really is way ahead of traditional news in terms of speed. As far as accuracy goes, I do take what I see online with a grain of sel de mer because it’s not always true stuff that’s posted. Together, though, the TV and interwebz make a great team!

      I will never feel French, and honestly? Don’t really want to, either, lol.

      Hey, descriptive writing is always a good exercise. I hope that you can get a new camera soon, Ken! I like what you have to say about how trust brings freedom. What a great thought, and what a good thing to feel some gratitude over.

      Hang in there!

  8. Good lord that second sunset shot is outstanding! You’re right, you have to look at these strikes in a positive way or else you’ll feel just as miserable as the French 🙂 This too will be pass and something else to get huffy about will come along faster than you can say baguette!

    • Why thank you, Ms. Cheeseland, and I was thrilled to serendipitously be there and see what was going on with the sun, hovering like that. It was one of those one-in-a-million moments.

      “Baguette!”

      That was pretty fast, lol! 😉

      I am beginning to think that the French not only came up with the story “The Princess and the Pea” but also the expression, “To get one’s panties in a twist.” Hee hee!

      But you know what? At the bottom of it, I am glad there is a process for speaking out, and voicing concerns here in France. It really is a democratic nation here, one with a process for dissent. I’m grateful for that, too — that I am living in a country where this is possible.

      Take care, Lindsey.

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  10. Aaack!! Ken and Lindsey! You have caught me in “Reply Mode” but I have to leave in 10 mn and need to go eat some lunch before I leave! 🙂

    I will return soon (midday tomorrow, probably — I’ll be out the rest of the day today) and leave you guys some responses, too.

    *waves good bye*

  11. Hi Karin, your sunset on top of the Eiffel Tower shot is one of the most annoying pictures I’ve seen in about a month. It’s too good. Darn it. Some of us spend hours waiting for shots like that, only for it to start raining at just that crucial moment. I can see why you feel good about that one!

    • Hey Sab!

      I know what you mean about that kind of annoying! Honestly, that shot I saw so serendipitously makes up for a lot of situations where my little three-year-old Nikon Coolpix S200 just *cannot* get the shot like I know a DSLR would. It’s especially bad in low light and I could do with a lot more wide-angle lens. And a better zoom. But that’s all bitching and moaning, and I am supposed to be focusing on gratitude. I am grateful I have a camera, and I am glad that I was not only present for that sunset, but happened to catch it happening just around the corner of the building. (And you should have seen me hanging out of the window just to get the shot, lol! I’m grateful I did not fall out and down five storeys!).

  12. I think a rant/gratitude/rant/gratitude posting schedule would be pretty cool 🙂 (Just kidding – sort of). I’m really glad you’re feeling better about things! And oh yeah, everyone’s said it, but that photo *is* amazing. Bon weekend!

    • Hey busy writer! Thank you for stopping by and reading. You know, my blog seems to be on that cycle as it is, without my even trying, lol. I am doing better, and it is, honestly, due to my reading a couple of blogs that helped shift my perspective, as well as comments and so on with the previous post. I can only hang on to poison so long, and once it is released, it makes it easier to open up to good things. Like a detox or something. 🙂 Bon week-end to you, too, and glad you enjoyed the photo.

  13. Andi

    Love the bears! Was lucky to be a few days ahead of all the trouble during the two weeks we were in France. Was interesting to talk to real people on the street as the media certainly only portrays only one side of the story.

    I was a total geek in high school, never in the in-crowd and still feel that way often in many settings. I feel the same…at 40 when I am going to stop feeling this way, but think the answer is we don’t that it is there as a reminder to not get to comfortable with ourselves that we need to constantly grow and challenge ourselves. If we felt content and confident 100% of the time we might stagnate!

    But back to your question, although not quite this week but the end of last, the warmth and welcoming at the blogger meet-up was amazing, I felt so blessed to have met everyone and so sad that I could not spend more time. I left the cafe my heart swollen with pure awe.

    I can’t stand Paris after more than 5 days, I love the city, but by day 5 I am done. That is why keeping Paris as my lover as opposed to my steady keeps it exciting. I still think it would be an interesting experiment to live there 6 months straight, but it would not all be roses and sunshine. I think your thoughts and angst on Paris make your blog very real.

    • Hi Andi! Thank you for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed the bears. I saw them again and again as I passed that place, and finally said to myself, “I have to get a photo of that…” And then the stuff with the strikes all picked up, and it just fit. I like happening on those kinds of things.

      This is very true:

      If we felt content and confident 100% of the time we might stagnate!

      I remember learning about Vygotsky’s theories of learning in grad school. He had this concept called the “Zone of Proximal Development” that described the perfect zone for learning, which comes down to content/input that is not too easy and not too hard. It’s the circumstances where the greatest input can “stick” and true learning is possible. I think that a little frustration leads to change, just like you write. Too much, and it is too hard. But if things are too easy, then there is no point in continuing on — life becomes stagnant and boring with circumstances that are too easy. So yeah. I hear you. Anyway. I just thought of all that while I read what you wrote (blogging in my comments again, lol).

      I am glad that you have had some wonderful things about which to be grateful, too. The meetup you arranged was such a good evening (and Amy75 of C’est La Mie and I continued to have a good time afterwards, too! A little too good, in fact, lol. The Calvados digestif kinda did me in, lol). It was great to connect with everyone there. Thank you for hosting it!

      Paris as lover. I like that. 🙂 Yeah, I think I would rather Paris be a lover than my trying to have her as a girlfriend (uhhhh, I was just sticking with the metaphor I have gone with before, lol — then combining it with yours. Anyway — hopefully you get what I mean. It’s harder to be Paris’s *friend.* As a kind of cinq à sept lover, I think Paris would be brilliant).

      Thanks for seeing the whole reality in the situation. Yup. That’s what I am striving for.

      Be well, Andi!

  14. Susan

    Hi Karin! That bears picture is hilarious!! What I think is funny is that I’m considered a socialist by Faux News watchers here in America but I would be considered conservative in France because I agree that they should raise the retirement age to 62. I mean, all this action because of 2 measly years? They should be so lucky! Our generation in America probably won’t be able to retire until age 75 given the dismal state of the economy.

    And I’m glad you’re feeling better this week. It’s all about keeping it in perspective – no place is perfect (just don’t tell New Yorkers because they all think NY is the best – and I thought so too, for the first year anyway).

    • Hello Susan!

      I am glad you like the bears. They cracked me up, too. Only in France. 🙂 Isn’t it funny how these political lines seem to get arbitrarily drawn? So much depends upon perspective, huh. Paul’s son brought up something that I did not think of — he is going to be 16 and disagrees with the raising of the retirement age. What he is worried about is not being able to get a job because of the people that will stay in their jobs two to five years longer than they would have if the retirement age stays at 60. I had not thought of that. He says that kids are worried that there will be fewer job openings for them if the age is raised. I can see that side of things, too. Opportunities for young people are not as ample here as they are in the States. So I get his point…

      But yeah. Most of me is like “Get real, people. It’s going to have to go up to 62 or some other benefit you love will have to go!”

      No place is perfect, that much is true. And no, I won’t try to say that to any New Yorker, lol. Thanks for the tip!

      Thanks for your comments!

  15. Woah… the bears made me giggle but the sky made me gasp. Gorgeous, gorgeous! (In such a crazy, charged time…) Hope to see you soon! xo

    • Hullo there, Sweet Freak! Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

      Those bears… I personally love their little outfits! Someone took a lot of time to put it together! I’m so glad you enjoyed the photo of the ET. You know, it was kind of like a little friendly smack upside the head from the Lady of Paris there, and from the sun who lined himself up with her, kind of like they were trying to tell me, “Get a grip, chick. This is *beauty* and you better recognize and appreciate it!!!” The Eiffel Tower and Le Soleil, putting me in my place, lol.

      Hope to see you soon, too, Amy!

  16. Hi Karin,

    What I have been grateful for this week?

    Well, for a LOT of things… but the best was:

    Conversing with my Dad (as most days), even if he was not sure who he was talking to as he is winding down slowly but steadily with Alzheimer… (This is not a sad note, I am so happy he is still around…)

    Keep well

    • Hi DeeBee!

      Ahhhhh, what a beautiful thing about your father. Not that he is slowly winding down with such a disease, but that you had the joy of conversing with one another, even if he was not fully aware of who he was doing it with. I’m glad this was a moment of joy for you. 🙂

      Perspective. It’s important to keep, isn’t it.

  17. I’m sorry, but I keep coming back here, seeing that blog title and picturing a bunch of older hairy gay men getting frisky.

    • Ken — LOL. Oh dear friend, we need to wipe that image out of your brain!! 😀

      Funny. I re-read it and think about the Chicago Bears!

      Perspective. It’s important to keep, isn’t it (hahahahahahahahaha! I think I will tag this on to every comment I write! :D)

  18. Ah, aren’t those bears lovely? I think they are really not bearing the strike very well, as is most of Paris. Your pictures are so striking – reminds one of the nicer side of life in Paris;-)

    • Ohhhhhhh! Englishvers! You are so PUNTASTIC!! I love it! “Bearing… striking…” Cute. And appreciated!! 😀

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos!

  19. Hello my friend good to hear from you.
    You seem a lot of what is going on here as well, the states & our Government spending them selfs in to a deep and dark hole as well and there answer to fix there all there problems looking hard at your wallet is tax’s take away your pension our raise the age rate witch you are suppose to get it so they can throw the check in coffin and if you can spend it its yours, as they usually give them selves a raise for being so smart there only from of making money is taxes and they don’t mind wasting it with there banker buddies and to ignoring the common man I think this is universal
    now days,
    What can I say watch and learn and hope people don’t suffer to bad when it hits the fan you know.
    I’m grateful to be alive God makes things good and man makes me mad at times we need a better balance thats when thing get tipsy turvy some day keep the faith
    I feel better now! LOL have a great week Karin peace to you and yous Eric

    • Hi Eric! I am glad you stopped by!

      What can I say watch and learn and hope people don’t suffer to bad when it hits the fan you know.

      That’s a good point. I hope that the ripple effect of all of these decisions will not be too harsh, too. And you have some great gratitude there! I’m with you in hoping that humanity can find some good balance. 🙂

      Peace out, Eric!

  20. “I’m 42. Can anyone tell me when life finally stops feeling like high school? The older I get, the more I see that those same dynamics are still in play, just like a never-ending John Hughes film.”

    I am grateful for questions like this, coming from other women, close, not quite, but close, to my age. Amen sister. Amen.

    • Hi Betsy! 🙂 As my contemporary in life and as one who probably, like me, saw all those movies as they were brand-new, out on the big screen, I am glad you can relate. 🙂

      But darnit. No answer from you, huh, lol. Apparently, it just keeps going. Although some of my older sisters seem to indicate some of it ends as we age, or as many of us just care less. Then again, I have heard about some of the goings on in assisted-living and nursing homes, and I dunno. I think high school dynamics still play out there, too, haha!

      *sigh*

      Anyway, I am glad you know what I mean, at least! 🙂

  21. Awesome photos and interesting posts.

    I admire the French for their penchant to strike, but this one over raising the pension age is quite funny to those of us who work really hard in other countries (like Australia) and have had a retirement age of 65 for years and now our government is trying to raise it to 67. Anyway, retirement is unhealthy if we have good health. Work hard, play hard but hopefully don’t die hard.

    I love France (esp. Paris) and visit whenever I can. I even have a blog devoted totally to Paris.

    Cheers!

    • Thanks, l’Aussie, for your feedback about the strikes. I can understand that it is all a part of the democratic process as the French see it. The need to make a strong point seems necessary for most French I have read who have commented about the strikes; it seems everyone *knows* the age of retirement will have to increase, but it is not going to go down without a lot of fuss. I guess I can get behind that kind of idea. But like I wrote: one way or another is is all going to come out of someone’s pocket at some point. Services do not come for free — someone has to pay for them! It sounds like things are going to settle down here very soon.

      I’ll be over to visit your blog soon. In the meantime, thanks for commenting on mine!

  22. Carole

    Love the striking bears! As for the photo of ET, what can I say? Stunning!

  23. Dianne

    Dear Karin Just spent 11 days in France..on a tour and then 3 days in Paris..not enough of course but sis had to go back to the
    American grind of 14 hour days, 2 jobs, commuting..glad to have employment in the US. She was amazed by 2 hour lunches, total toll freeways, 35 hour work weeks. Despite the greves reducing some of our tour features..can we have our prepaid $s back please?..she saw more than she may have wanted: absolutely filthy loos, bums sleeping on side walks, scary bus passengers..just like LA but I kept my comment to myself. Beautiful organ concert Sunday PM at Notre Dame, fabulous shop windows, kind pastry sellers, walk until dropping Louvre trip..love Paris and France..I will be back. Dianne

    • Hi Dianne! I am so glad that you had such a good visit overall! Wonderful! You bring up a lot of good points about some of the contrasts present in Paris and France: a lot of beauty but amongst the beauty is much reality, too, just like anyplace (like LA, as you pointed out). I hope that you are able to come back as soon as you like.

      Take care, and thanks for you input. 🙂

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