Saturday, June 20, 2009


i saw the greatest thing today...

i was off going to get some stuff to make cheesecake... i walk along a busy road/bridge thing to get there. as i'm going along, it's normal for all sorts of scooters and bikes to go past on the road...

well, there was an ambulance coming... and everyone was getting over to the side, except this one scooter. i'm all like, "silly scooter... no doubt some hot-shot 18-27 year old guy who's too cool to pull over for an ambulance."

then i saw the driver -- a little old lady (i mean, she was well into her 60s, maybe her 70s...), with a big old helmet on her head... and all gussied up in a business suit.

wow... that made my day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

easter fun, part II

saturday, evening. we’re out walking around... for the life of me i can’t remember why. i don’t think we were at the university on the internet... but it’s always a possibility. something in the back of my head is telling me that we were out to a restaurant and on the way home.

at any rate... we’re rounding the corner to the round that comes up to the apartment, just right next to the church across from where we live.

we know there’s something going on, because there is a big crowd of people gathered around the main entrance, that of the newer part of the church.

there’s a fire going... and the priest is saying some stuff. we’re just watching, trying to figure out what’s going on.

suddenly (lol...), a lady with a bunch of candles come over and hands us one. we’re trapped... and now we’ve gotta play with them. it’s about 9 pm.

there’s a candle lit from the fire... a bit one... like 2 or 3 three tall. from it, a smaller one -- perhaps several -- gets lit. the priest starts lighting other candles of those around, and as you go in, someone passes the flame on to your candle... and people spread it around to everyone present.

we go in, and there’s a nice little easter mass.

we were drug into a “veillée pascale,” or easter vigil. it was nice.

i think it was the first mass that i’ve actually made it all the way through... with perhaps the exception of the midnight mass that we went to the year before in provo.

now... i’m not sure if this is only an easter thing (i’m not near as up to snuff on my religions as i ought to be...) or what, but it was the first of the like i’ve been witness to. they did an adult baptism. i don’t know if it was a convert baptism, or just someone that was from an inactive family and later in life decided that they wanted to be in on it all... not sure. but... it was cool. the priest said that there were some 3000 adult baptisms taking place that evening in all of france... and i thought it was a pretty unique experience, being from the heart of mormondom and all.

i like going to the services of other religions... it makes me feel happy. i’ve never really liked how we expect people to listen to our missionaries and accept them and their message, or to come and be curious about us... and yet i would dare say most members of the LDS church never go and experience anything other than their own theologies.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

easter fun

we’re sitting in our apartment on good friday. i hear this strange sound floating up from the streets below: a sort of chanting.

sure enough, as i open the window and listen more closely... there is chanting. about a hundred people were walking up and down the streets chanting and there as someone with a microphone talking.

it took me a second to figure out what was going on... but then it hit me. it was an easter processional. i followed one of these on my mission, that was a bit more elaborate, and done by the kids of the parish... some of them the kids of an inactive member that we’d been working with.

i took whitney down to see it. we followed for a bit, and i managed to sneak a few pictures.

for those who are unfamiliar with this sort of thing, it’s a processional that tells the story of the last bit of christ’s life. hence the cross and the pascal timeframe.

if you’ve ever been to a cathedral (well... all the churches i’ve been to here in france... not only the cathedrals -- which is a church that has a bishop... kinda the catholic equivalent of a stake center), around the walls they have the same events in picture format. i think there’s twelve of them... i don’t remember.

the processional follows the same story line, and they stop every now and again, and the priest tells the story a bit, and they sing something and chant a bit... and then walk to the next station.

it’s pretty cool, really.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

follow down?

right... so the fruit loop trees? (or is it froot-loop?)

remember how MASSIVE those flowers where? the next day, i collected some specimens.

behold the results:

the petals of the flower were, some of them, 5 and 6 inches long!

the petals were not only long... but thick! at the base, this one was over a quarter of an inch thick... and spongy too.

crazy trees...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

follow up

so... as promised: the follow up to the naked man story.

as whitney recounted, one evening as we were leaving out apartment, the downstairs neighbor came out to yell at us for the insupportable amounts of noise we made on an ever constant basis. (i still think his hearing is above and beyond that of any canine to have ever lived... but that's me.)

since we've already covered that part in whitney's post, i will spare you to gory details.

the next evening, as i'm cooking dinner, i can hear him -- as usual -- making little grunts and noises with every other step i take. i'm doing the best i can to not make noise... but when you live in a building constructed in the 1800's, there's really only so much that can be reasonable expected. the floor is wood planks... i mean, you look at the poor, warped thing at it creaks in protest!

right... cooking dinner... and i get in to the freezer to pull out a couple of chicken thighs -- i'm making BBQ chicken for dinner, with mashed potatoes and corn. we've got a half dozen or more legs jammed into our freezer that's the size of a large shoebox. seeing as they're all stuffed in there, as i pulled to two nearest the front out, the others decide they'd shift to make more room. this ends in one jumping out, in addition to the two i'm already holding. i do my best -- my leg clamp together like bear trap, my hands go in for the save... but despite my efforts, the third chunk o' chicken escapes to the ground. this has the effect of dropping a large rock.

from below: “MERDE!”

it took a great amount of effort on my part to not start yelling down through to floor to the guy that i just dropped a chicken, and there's no need to go off having an aneurism. i manage to refrain.

i must remind the public at this time that we'd been living in the place for five months. during the first month, we didn't realize to what extent the walls and floors of the place are like rice paper. at the time, the concierge came up and said that there were some complaints (i suspect they all came from the same guy...) about the level of noise that we were making. (this level of noise was normal conversation, mingled with the occasional fit of laughter... we didn't have a TV or anything, so it was just our normal decibel output.) we toned it down... and a few weeks later, the same comment, but with a side note from the concierge that the guy that was complaining was an old, ornery fella who complained about everything, and that we didn't have to go out of our way to be overly quiet... we were well within our rights as far as any disturbance of the peace laws are concerned. we still made extreme efforts, but despite these, almost every day we'd hear cries of muffled outrage rise up through the ceiling... sometimes every 5 minutes for an hour... despite the fact that we were almost not moving, and doing what little movement we needed to in the quietest manner possible.

needless to say, i was fed up with this guy, and quite ready to go down and give him several very large pieces of my mind. for those who know me well... i don't do stuff like that.

where was i? ah, yes... “MERDE!”

he then yells a sting of muffled french, and think he went downstairs, slamming his door on the way, to see the concierge. he might have just called him on the phone. i don't know... this was months ago (sorry).

a bit later, i hear the concierge talking to him, as he's yelling things about how we're making all this noise on purpose just to vex him. (this i hear as i had my ear pressed to the floor to see what all the ruckus was about. i'd actually been tempted to do that. the evening before, when he came out to yell at me in the hallway, and accused of stomping our feet about everywhere we walked... i was on the point of telling him that if that's what he thought we were doing... i'd show him what that was like... give him a week of it, and see how much better he liked the way we actually we comporting ourselves. again... i decided against this. sometimes christian acts are so frustrating...) a few minutes later the concierge came up to our place, and asked if i could come down with him to talk to the guy.

so down we go.

we get to the apartment, and he the first thing he (pierre... the neighbor) says is, “i don't want to have a yelling match, i want to talk like civilized people.” this became a theme for the conversation over the next 20 minutes, as mostly he and the concierge would get over excited and start raising their voices. i did once or twice... but only because he refused to let me speak. i hate that. more than almost anything i HATE it when someone wants to talk and discuss... and doesn't let the other party have two words, but talks and talks, and interrupts... and gets mad at the OTHER person for interrupted when they try to say more than two words. oh that boils my blood...

so, we talked. the concierge left, because he was missing his soccer match, and pierre and i talked for the next hour or so. he smoked... i sat... we talked. i told him we were doing everything we possibly could, but that i weight 210 lbs, and the floors aren't exactly the image of solidity. i can make them squeak even without moving... just a slight shift in my weight. once he found out i'm as big as i am, he calmed down a bit.

so we talked, and just... yeah... talked. i sat on the chair, and he sat on the bed in his navy blue speedo and white t-shirt.

he was much better after that.

now every time we see him, we joke around. we took him some cheesecake, and he
brought us some croissants and strawberries. once we saw him at a café in the next
town over, and he invited us to sit, and bought us some drinks.

we still get a “merde” now and then when we drop something... but things are much
better. he's a nice guy... just an ornery retired man who wants to live the rest of his days in quiet, sleeping until noon and going to bed at 9.

i think he needs to move to a retirement home if that's what he wants... but what do i know?

Thursday, April 9, 2009


so today...

mark and i were walking to the university to do some stuff on the internet and saw this awesome tree...well 3 of them actually... but that's not the point...

lookie this!


nice big gorgeous purpley-pinkish flowers on a tiny little tree....

it doesn't look like the tree is big enough to have flowers that big...but look! they are HUGE!

told ya! :]

and those are just the buds....which strangely enough...smelled EXACTLY like fruitloops... :]
cool huh?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

tsk tsk

i am a bad, bad person.

i haven't posted anything here for ages.

i hope you'll forgive me... and chastise me... then forgive me again.

i really need to get some posts up.