31 October 2008
Top 10 Pro-Obama Countries
1. Kenya (+86)
2. Uganda (+77)
3. Ethiopia (+70)
4. Tanzania (+67)
5. Mauritania (+65)
6. Netherlands (+64)
7. Denmark (+61)
8. France (+60)
9. Norway (+58)
10. Belgium (+58)
Top 10 Pro-McCain Countries
1. Georgia (+8)
2. Philippines (+8)
3. Cambodia (+5)
4. Laos (+1)
5. Lithuania (0)
6. Pakistan (0)
7. India (-5)
8. Estonia (-5)
9. China (-7)
10. Latvia (-8)
US Elections Do Make a Difference for Your Country (top 5)
1. South Korea (+67)
2. U.K. (+63)
3. France (+56)
4. Ireland (+56)
5. Australia (+55)
US Elections Don't Make a Difference for Your Country (top 5)
1. Palestine (+56)
2. Estonia (+34)
3. Kuwait (+21)
4. Burundi (+18)
5. Saudi Arabia (+13)
Did you notice that only 4 countries in the world prefer McCain to Obama? I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in my family who is at all interested in this, so I'll stop now.
30 October 2008
Kerri and Henry joined me at 9:15. Luckily, Kerri's brother is here and Patrick and Julia stayed with them all day.
At least we have a Carte de Séjour for another year.
It's worth a watch (and look for cameo's from other celebs -- both in and out of the music industry). I'm curious what you think.
27 October 2008
A colleague of mine suggested the idea a couple weeks ago (she has 3 kids as well) and we thought it would be fun. Kerri and Henry didn't come -- partly because her brother and his family are visiting and they weren't too excited about seeing any movie in French, let alone High School Musical 3.
The movie was lots of fun; Troy and Gabriella were as cute as ever; Sharpay was her evil-little self; the music was catchy; the choreography was energizing; and the plot was exactly like High School Musical 1 and 2. The last point is critical because it meant that I understood the entire movie even though it was completely in French.
But the most important part is that Patrick and Julia loved it (Patrick still won't admit it yet, but he loved it).
23 October 2008
I won't tell you we voted for for. (OK, I'll give you a little hint: it rhymes with Osama!)
The second stage (July 5) will go from Monaco to Brignoles and will travel along the main road through our town -- the Rue de Nice. The stage will pass along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and continue on the coast until heading toward the hills just after Cagnes-sur-Mer. The stage will also pass through Grasse, the perfume capital of France.
Other things to notice about the '09 Tour:
- Two days in Spain -- including Gerona and Barcelona. Perhaps this is a tribute to the Spanish cyclists who have been dominating the sport in recent years
- A couple of days in Switzerland too
- Even a day or two in Andorra
- And the opening time trial (contre la montre) and stage 1 start in Monoca and that makes 5 'countries' in this year's Tour.
- A second-to-last day stop on the famed Mont Ventoux. That should be amazing.
We'll have a hard time beating the experience we had watching the Tour this year but it will be fun to have the event in this part of the country.CJS
21 October 2008
Did you see that coming? (We still want photos!)
Yesterday was my birthday and I didn't feel very well waking up on that morning. I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my wife would be pleasant and say, 'Happy Birthday!' and possibly have a small present for me. As it turned out, she barely said good morning let alone' Happy Birthday.' I thought...well, that's marriage for you, but the kids -- they will remember. My kids came bounding down stairs to breakfast and didn't say a word. So when I left for the office I felt pretty low and somewhat despondent.
As I walked into my office my secretary Jane said, 'Good Morning Boss ,and by the way, Happy Birthday ! It felt a little better that at least someone had remembered.
I worked until one o'clock when Jane knocked on my door and said, 'You know, it's such a beautiful day outside and it is your birthday, what do you say we go out to lunch, just you and me.'
I said, 'Thanks, Jane. That's the greatest thing I've heard all day. Let's go !'
We went to lunch but we didn't go where we normally would go. Instead, she suggested at a quiet bistro with a private table. We had two martinis each and I enjoyed the meal tremendously. On the way back to the office Jane said, 'You know,It's such a beautiful day....We don't need to go straight back to the office do We ?'
'I guess not,' I responded. 'What do you have in mind ?'
'Let's drop by my apartment,it's just around the corner,' was her reply.
After arriving at her apartment,Jane turned to me and said, 'Boss, if you don't mind I'm going to step into the bedroom for just a moment. I'll be right back.''
'Ok.' I nervously replied.
She went into the bedroom and after a couple of minutes she came out carrying a huge birthday cake ... followed by my wife, my kids, and dozens of my friends and co-workers, all singing 'Happy Birthday'.
And I just sat there...
On the couch...
19 October 2008
As for us last night? We went out for Chinese.
Last night, we went to a wine tasting in a local « cave »…wine cellar. There was a small, but very good jazz band playing background music and tempting snacks (cheese, bread, paté, sausage, olives, chips, etc…) to nibble while tasting the “vin primeur”…I think that translates by first wine, the first taste of this year’s wine after fall harvest.The first wine is not famous for being great, nor can it be saved and aged. It’s more meant to be tasted as a way of celebrating the fall harvest.
We took the girls with us and they ran and played hide and seek behind the big “cuves”…the storage units with the other kids present, while we tasted and talked with neighbors and friends.You know what? It’s cold in a wine cellar. I knew that, but I got surprised by the cold anyway, and have come down with a case of what seems to be laryngitis. My voice is gone. I can’t talk. Looks like I’ll be sipping hot tea with honey and lemon all weekend. I should have worn a scarf in that fashionable way so many French women do. Too late now, but it looks like I need to get out my cold weather clothes, the season is definitely changing.
But Chow Hound really is fun to look at if you really, really like food -- or as the site say, if you 'live to eat.' Check it out.
Oh, and when you visit Bistro des Copains (in Northern California) make sure he gives you a free glass of wine because you read about the place here.
18 October 2008
If you're not familiar with the US electoral process, with it's complicated Electoral College system, then it won't make much sense. In a quick nutshell: it's all about how many States you win, not how many total votes you get.
Make your predictions.
Photos when we get some (hint!)
15 October 2008
We met their friend Tara (those of you who know CUC might recognize all these people in the photos) and the 8 of us spent a great day eating (socca, pizza, gelato), walking around vieux Nice, and hanging out at the beach (temps were about 80 degrees!). We even managed to sqeeze in a church service. You'll enjoy the photo of the avacado flavored gelato -- which is at the best little gelato shop in all of Nice; one that we didn't know about until Tara told us. It features over 93 flavors -- including tomato basil, black olive, and olive oil. I went with rhubarb and it might have been the best single scoop of ice cream I have ever had! The kids also ventured out with some new flavors (Patrick had almond and Julia had bubble gum). But let me once again plug the rhubarb -- incredible.
Socca! See, I'm not making it up.
Nice, October 2008
It's always fun to have friends visit.
13 October 2008
12 October 2008
We've been eating a lot of corn on the cob lately.
Indian Curry (isn't the fresh grape juice a nice touch?)
Rice with Tuna, Cilantro, and Lemon
Swedish Rice with berries (a family tradition)
Umm...I think this can best be described as a slice of pizza with salad on top -- not one of his better efforts.
10 October 2008
In my Premier class (think junior year) we are studying Marxism as we prepare for a few weeks on the early history of the Soviet Union (no jokes about how long the French make us study Marxism and Communism). Because so much of our curriculum focuses on preparing students for the huge baccalauréat exam at the end of their terminal year, we often use class debate as a strategy to help the students feel as confident as possible speaking in public in English (keep in mind, part of the bac is a 20 minute oral exam in English covering the entire program -- and most of my students speak English as their second or third language). So on this day the students had prepared for a two-hour debate in which they role-played historical characters from the turn of the 20th century. We imagined we were in a cafe in London in 1900 discussing the merits of Marxism.
We had some playing historical figures like Marx himself (yes, I know, he had died by 1900), Lenin, Dreyfus, Teddy Roosevelt, Clemenceau, J.P Morgan, Queen Victoria, Emeline Pankhurst, Engels, etc. Then we had some role playing 'generic' historical figures: a Russian laborer, a German land owner, a Dutch communist, a Spanish peasant, a French Catholic priest, etc. Each student was given a week to research their character and when the entered the class they had to speak from that character's perspective. Each student was given 4 minutes to speak about their views on Marxism and then they answered questions posed by the other characters -- forcing them to, at times, defend their positions.
But what made this lesson fun was that the students really took to their parts. I had Marx talking with a thick German-Jewish accent, Lenin banging his fists on the desk, a Catholic priest defending the importance of Faith, American millionaires promoting capitalism, and a London dock-worker describing the exploitation he (played by a she) experiences every day at work.
Not everything I try in the classroom works. This seemed to work. At the end of the class the students asked if we could continue next week. I promised we could.
08 October 2008
Just under four weeks to go. My absentee ballot is coming soon and I can't wait to tick the box for Obama -- for a lot of reasons which I won't go into now. But you can bet I will before Nov. 4.
06 October 2008
Here are a few more photos of Cardin's house. You can read even more about his bubble house here.
I'll take it. Actually, we have friends who live in a bubble house here in Le Rouret. It's quite a bit smaller than the one you see above, but it is the most unique house I've ever been in. The walls and ceiling are all round and there are no right-angles in the entire house. Quite a difference from the typical house in this part of the world.
01 October 2008
But that was then. Now, thanks to some creative techniques by Kerri, Henry goes into his class without (much) incident. And he is comforted by the knowledge that his mother will pick him up for lunch in a few hours.
But this week we had to change the plans a little bit. Because Kerri now has a weekly appointment on Tuesday mornings, I pick up the kids and take them home for lunch on that day. Henry was told about this, but I'm not sure he processed it properly. I say this because when I arrived to pick him up this past Tuesday he wasn't very happy. When he saw me at the door at 11:30 he did his best to hold his emotions together but I could tell as soon as he saw me that he was hoping for someone else. With a quivering lower lip he said au revoir to his teacher, put his things into his backpack, and we left the room. As soon as we were a few feet away he looked at me and said, 'I didn't want you to pick me up. I wan't mommy to pick me up.' By this time the tears were coming down his face (but he was still trying hard not to cry) and I was doing my best to reassure him that mommy would be home very soon to join us for lunch. He wasn't buying it for a minute. He just kept repeating that he didn't want me to pick him up.
That's when Patrick and Julia saved me. They know on Tuesdays and Thursday to come to Henry's classroom to meet Kerri (me, on this day) and when they saw us they ran up to see how Henry's day was. Like seasoned parents they went overboard about how exciting it was that Henry was in school and how excited they were to see the paintings he had made that day. And wouldn't you know it -- it worked. Henry quickly forgot about me and began talking to his big brother and big sister about...school.
I've already decided that next Tuesday I'm just going to wait in the car and have P & J pick up Henry from the classroom.