Monday, December 28, 2009

Will you drive me.. to the dealership?

Yesterday two friends and I drove past a dealership which was promoting new cars starting at $9,998.

*twiddles thumbs*

Remember that time I had a car? That was convenient.

Scraping ice and snow off poor car with holes in the floor that I was driving illegally? Not convenient.

Walking to work/somewhere with toes so cold you wonder if they are still attached to your foot? Crappy.

Insurance? Gas? Pollution? Crappy.

Being able to go somewhere 25 km away without resorting to a bicycle? Nice.

So it's a dilemma. The convenience of a car is a pricey one to have. I spend on transportation, being a walker and biker, perhaps $25/month. Few cab rides, and perhaps having the occasional pizza delivered. That being said, Friends? I owe you gas money.

I don't miss having a car for the local things. I generally walked for groceries when I owned a car. I biked to work except during rainy weather or when it got colder. I've basically been carless since mid March.

Walking to work in the winter probably takes only a couple of more minutes than driving, depending on how clear the sidewalks are. By the time I de-iced Wee Red (RIP), drove 8 minutes to work, and walked from the parking lot to my office, it was comparable. The difference is having to lug around clothes. Jen awakes in the morning. She throws on clothes to eat brekkie (if no shower has taken place), then packs clothes for work. She may have to try them on first, if she is trying to match a new combination. Then she starts layering her walking clothes. She eventually gets to work (late obviously, because that's how this girl rolls,) where she will change into work clothes. Then, at the end of the day, she will perhaps go to the gym and change into her gym clothes. Then, from gym clothes back to walking clothes.

She will get home with back sweat (backpacks cause that sort of thing, don't judge my effective pores), and then change... again.

This pretty much outlines why, by the time I go to bed, I'm too disgusted with changing clothes to bother putting on pajamas.

CONCLUSION: I want a car so I can randomly go to the zoo in Moncton whenever I please (and TreeGo, play, randomly drive to QC, whatever) and to avoid changing clothes. Apparently I hate changing my clothes so much that I'm willing to drop $10K on a car, plus a kazillion dollars in insurance.

Maybe I'll just buy studded tyres for Bicyclette. And some sort of bubble dome to cover myself with when the windchill drops to -463C.

I bought a gym membership last week. So far I used it once because the weather has been curiously nice so I've been out biking. Brother and I went for a bike ride today. I was in the lead 98% of the time. But then, as these things often happen among siblings, a race broke out as Brother suddenly sailed past me beating 200lbs down onto the pedals. I decided to take a different route, hoping I would beat him. I still lost, but came close. (Hills = Jen Mac's weakness)

But at least I didn't fall off my bike.

Brother tried to pop a wheelie over a side walk to cut a corner to save time. On my wee red road bike.


Luckily both Brother and Red Bike survived the crash.

Moral of the story: Boys crash.

Monday, December 21, 2009

She's back! A Jennifer Story

Inspired by "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story", which I never had the "pleasure" of viewing.

Completely related, speaking English is SO EASY. Ordering food in English? SO EASY. Talking to store employees in English? SO EASY. I mean, I found French much easier by the end than when I arrived, but still.

My arrogant pat-myself-on-the-back moment came on my flight from Ottawa to Halifax. I decided to watch Post Grad (I'm so brave to even admit that) in FRENCH. And I understood! I can tell you EXACTLY what happened up until the point the pilot decided to land the plane. Leading to... if anyone has this movie I, umm, kind of want to see the rest of it and would appreciate a loan, provided it has been released to dvd yet. I also spoke French to people on the plane, understood all, and dropped my jaw in shock over the complete ease of understanding the Canadian French accent versus the France French accent. Contrast this with my flight to France, where I muttered a few words in French ("Vin rouge, SVP. Boeuf, SVP.") and wanted to download my French-English dictionnaire into my brain. (This is surely difficult with a printed, non-electronic dictionnaire. The closest one could do would be rip the sheets out and shove them in the ear. I suspect doctors would discourage this.)

I had learned long ago that returning home too quickly after fun is a bad idea. It applies not only to travelling adventures, but even a mere night out. Like the nights when everyone else decides to head home at 00h30, so you leave too. Then you get home and spend the next two hours pacing, flipping through the telie with an ADD intensity, and exploring your creative side by drawing all over the white walls of your rented bedroom. Being, overall, a disorganised mess when it comes to containing my belongs in neat corridors, it is always wise for me to take the "long" way home. So, post school, I mostly stayed in Aix. Then, I went to Northern Ireland to visit Kat (allo!!!) for a few days. Prior to that I had to pack up alllll of my belongings in anticipation of not having a bedroom upon my return. Then I went to Scotland to visit another friend. Puis, a Aix, encore. It turned out my bedroom was still available, so I stayed there for a few more nights. More packing. Then, to Paris, for my last French weekend (excuse me, mon derniere week-end francais) to prance about the ville with my lovely roommate from my Florida days. It was soooo great to see ma francaise after more than three years. She is one of those amazing people that you meet in life that have a spirit of gold, a constant smile, and an amazing aura. (Oooh, aura. So freaky, Jen Mac.) Post week in Paris (pack up again, mate!), I flew to Ottawa for a wee 3/4 'ohana fun. I house hopped there, lugging my luggage, again, to where ever free accommodation took me.

And finally... here. I am so giddy not to have to pack anything other than a bag to bring to work each day. And by each day, I mean "today", as today was my first full day back. I survived. And spoke English. I was rambling in a meeting (rambling = talking professionally) and almost stopped to mentally congratulate myself on my English skills. That being said, must use French skills so will not have to return to foreign land again in a decade to ameliorer, encore.

Other strategic planning about coming home: always come home when things are HAPPENING. Coming home right before Xmas? = smart.

Coming home mid January?


Never return in mid January! Unless you are one of those "Gentle Island" folk, who enjoy doing nothing, but watching the snow fall.

I am also pleased not to be on a plane again soon. I have been on eight flights in the past month, and through seven metal detectors. I've pulled my laptop out of my bag seven times. I pulled out my non-explosive liquids in tiny containers seven times. I took my belt and boots off seven times. Watch off... coat off... Bleh. I took the train from Aix to Paris. It was so pleasant compared to the plane. More space, much prettier scenery (crayola colours of south France!), and no one assumed I was a criminal intent on destroying the world. Instead, I napped, and my ears didn't feel like they were going to explode.

Exploding ears = bad

Today I re-invested in a gym membership. Also realised that I am MP3 playerless after it was destroyed in the spring. Kind of forgot. Thank goodness good TV was on. I also attempted to work my "core", aka "abdominal muscles" (part of the core), aka, "beer belly".

Actually, "pastry belly".

I will not compare my abdominal muscles to fresh jello, as there is some muscle there... It's more like putting a tiny rock at the bottom of a bowl of pudding. The rock is down there somewhere.

Mmm, pudding!

Also, there was new equipment at the gym. Delightful! Did I use it? No. I will save it, trying only one new machine per week. Kind of like when I was young, and my mum said Brother and I could each eat only one granola bar per day. And, in my junior high years, fruit snack things for my lunch. Only one per day. I would eat, like, three or four per day. I got good at hiding wrappers around my room. I blame puberty... and never my sweet tooth which is more powerful than a Magical-Cape-Wearing Jesus.

I was supposed to go to bed an hour ago. Trop mignon. This blog was a procrastination tool to hanging up my wet laundry. I will regret this when I have no dry clothes to wear to work tomorrow.

Thus, if this scenario occurs, I will officially declare it BIRTHDAY SUIT AT WORK DAY! Could be nipply, given we no longer have heaters in our offices. Wankers. They blasted the AC all summer, to the point of wearing LONG SLEEVES and PANTS and other such repulsive winter attire.

I used to wear bare legs outside, only mere days ago. Now I wear long johns, pants, and wool socks. My legs are sad.

And I am tired.

A plus tard.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hier soir... in my last moments of Two-six wisdom


Je suis dans le homestretch (toucher au but, according to mon dictionnaire)… le homestretch de 26 ! Mais l’âge de 27 n’est pas un but… c’est juste un numéro. Je me sens comme une fille de 22 ans, sauf qu’il y a les petites rides à mon visage. Pas parce que je suis vielle, parce que je sourire beaucoup.

Il y avait plusieurs jours que j’ai parlé français beaucoup. Nope, j’ai pas parlé français à l’Ecosse ou Irlande. Quel choque ! Et ici, à la France, mes amis sont partis, et retourner chez lui. Les exemples de mes conversations pendant ces quelques jours :

« Bonjour », m’a dit le travailleur de Monoprix
« Bonjour ! » - Je lui dirais
« Avez-vous une carte de fidélité ? »
« Non. »
« C’est (prix). »
« Voila. » (Jen donnais sa carte bancaire au travailleur)
« Huh ? » (Il regard la carte.)
« Il n’y a pas de chip. C’est une carte vielle. »
*Il fait un swipe*
« Merci, au revoir. » - le travailleur
« Merci ! Bonne journée ! » - la Jen

Mon niveau du français est presque ca d’un professionnel.

Et, aujourd’hui, à ma colocataire, « Le four ne marche pas ! Il n’y a pas de chaleur et les petits lumières rouge ne s’allument pas. »

Hier, quand Internet arrêtait de fonctionner pour la dizaine fois, « Je déteste cette boite ! » (The wireless thing). Mon Internet est comme un adolescent. Il est très fâché. Il marche parfois, mais pas après l’heure de diner. Peut-être après minuit, comme moi quand j’avais 18 ans. Ou comme moi, maintenant. Hier soir j’ai travaille au 3h15. Il sera bizarre quand je retournerai à PEI et j’irai au travaille pour 9h30. Et ne travaille pas pendant le soir. C’est plus facile de travailler quand le soleil dorme.

Aujourd’hui j’ai fait une grande décision : une déclaration que mon route préféré du vélo est sur la Rue de Sisteron. C’est une colline, mais pas une colline aussi grande que laquelle d’Eugilles, ou Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Il y a les voitures, mais la limitation de vitesse n’est pas très haute. Puis on prend une gauche, et faire du vélo a la campagne. Apres quelques kilomètres, on se pense, « Wow, je suis au milieu de la France, à mon velo rouge. Les signes des rues sont différents, les rues sont petites, le ciel est d’un bleu vide, et la vie est belle. La vie est jolie ! »

J’ai fait quelque chose tellement stupide à samedi. Mon valise se pesait trop quand je suis partie Glasgow. La fille de RyanAir m’a dit que je devrais payer 35GBP. Merde. Je l’ai payé, et puis une autre fille m’a hurlé que l’avion va partir sans moi. Alors, j’ai couru vers l’avion. A Paris, je n’avais pas l’intention de payer 35EUR encore, alors je jetais plusieurs choses à la poubelle, manger presque tout les produits que j’achetais a la Royaume-Uni, et je portais presque tous mes vêtements qui étaient dans ma valise. Les pantalons, les capris, deux chaussettes par pied, un caraco, un t-shirt, et DEUX pulls. Il faut croire que je n’étais pas froide. En tout cas, j’ai jeté mon transpirant a la poubelle, et mon conditionneur. Stupide. Le transpirant est cher ici (à peu prés 4EUR), et c’est difficile de trouver les boites petit des choses comme le shampooing. Ici, j’ai assez du shampooing et conditionneur pour laver mes cheveux UNE fois. Je vais à l’PEI en dix jours. On a un problème ;)

Solution : j’ai besoin d’une coupe de cheveux. Ca c’est un shampooing.
Paris : rester a un hôtel ce week-end.

Les buts pour cette semaine : acheter les choses. Stresser quand je n’ai pas assez d’espace pour faire les bagages. Manger vos cadeaux ;)

Je dois aller au cinéma aussi, une filme en français. Quelque chose simple, pour les enfants. Peut-être « Les Drôles de Scrooge » ?

Les choses que je dois manger/gouter/boire cette semaine : le vin chaud, les marrons grillée, brioche glace, le fromage.

Oh, et important. Au commencement de 2009, j’ai fait une décision de ne pas manger les frites pendant l’année 2009. L’Irlande et l’Ecosse étaient un test pour moi. Mais, j’ai réussi – pas des frites pour moi :( Si j’avais su, au début de 2009, que j’aurais voyage a la Royaume-Uni.. Oh, triste. Je vais manger les frites l’année prochaine. Avec le ketchup. Trop du ketchup. Mes frites prendront un bain dans le ketchup. Et je ne mangerai pas du chocolat, ou peut-être seulement pas les tablettes du chocolat, je n’ai pas encore décidé. Mais je mangeais assez du chocolat ici pour le reste de ma vie. Et des bonbons de Haribo. Bleh. Mon estomac est en grève maintenant. Seulement les légumes, les fruites, l’agneau (yum !), le fromage… okay, beaucoup des choses, mais pas du chocolat ou des bonbons. Vomit.

PS ~ bonne anniversaire a moi :) merci a ma famille et mes amis pour m’accompagner pour un autre an, pour partager les moments fantastiques, spécial, contents, tristes, incroyable, a l’I-P-E, le reste du Canada, les Etats-Unis, la France, l’Irlande du nord, l’Ecosse, et dans nos imaginations. I’d ride with y’all anyday ! Les biz.

***** English, a la bad translator


I am in the Homestretch ("toucher au but" reach the goal, according to my dictionary) Homestretch ... on the 26! But the age of 27 is not a goal ... it's just a number. I feel like a girl of 22 years but there are small wrinkles on my face. Not because I'm old, because I smile a lot.

There were many days since I spoke French a lot. Nope, I have not spoken French in Scotland or Ireland. What a shock! And here in France, my friends are gone, and go home. Examples of my conversations during these few days:

"Hello," said the worker Monoprix
"Hello! "- I would say
"Do you have a loyalty card? "
"Not. "
"It (price). "
"Voila. "(Jen gave his card to the worker)
"Huh? (He looks at the card.)
"There is no chip. It is an old card. "
* He made a swipe *
"Thank you, goodbye. - The worker
"Thank you! Good day! "- Jen the

(Google kept insisting "carte" was map. It lies.)

My level of French is almost a professional ca.

And today, my roommate, "The oven does not work! There is no heat and little red lights do not light. "

Yesterday, when the Internet stops working for ten times, "I hate this box! (The wireless thing). My Internet is like a teenager. He is very angry. It works sometimes, but not after the dinner hour. Maybe after midnight, as I did when I was 18. Or like me, now. Yesterday evening I worked at 3:15. It will be strange when I go back to PEI and go to work for 9:30. And do not work during the evening. It's easier to work when the sun sleeps.

Today I made a big decision: a statement that my favorite road bike is on the Rue de Sisteron. It is a hill, a hill but not as great as that of Eugilles or Montagne Sainte-Victoire. There are cars, but the speed limit is not very high. Then take a left, and cycling in the countryside. After few kilometers, we think, "Wow, I'm in the middle of France, in my red bike. The street signs are different, the streets are small, the sky is blue vacuum, and life is beautiful. Life is beautiful! "

I did something so stupid to Saturday. My suitcase weighed too when I left Glasgow. RyanAir's daughter told me that I should pay GBP35. Crap. I paid, and then another girl yelled at me that the plane will leave without me. So I ran to the aircraft. In Paris, I did not intend to pay 35EUR yet, so I threw a few things in the trash, eating almost all the products I bought was the UK, and I wore almost all my clothes were in my suitcase. The pants, Capri pants, two socks per foot, a jacket, t-shirts, sweaters and TWO. It seems that I was not cold. Anyway, I threw my sweating has the trash, and my conditioner. Stupid. The sweating is expensive here (about 4eur), and it's hard to find the little boxes of things like shampoo. Here, I have enough shampoo and conditioner to wash my hair once. I'm going to PEI in ten days. We have a problem;)

(*sweating = deodorant)

Solution: I need a haircut. It is a shampoo.
Paris: staying a hotel this weekend.

The goals for this week: buy things. Stress when I do not have enough space for luggage. Eat your gift;)

I must go to the cinema as a film in French. Something simple for children. Perhaps "The Strange Scrooge"?

The things I eat / taste / drink this week: mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, ice cream cake (this didn't translate at ALL), cheese.

Oh, and important. At the beginning of 2009, I made a decision not to eat the fries during 2009. Ireland and Scotland were a test for me. But I managed - no fries for me (If I had known in early 2009, that I would trip the United Kingdom .. Oh, sorry. I'll eat the fries next year . With ketchup. Too ketchup. My fries take a dip (bath) in ketchup. And I will not eat chocolate, or maybe just not the tablets of chocolate, I have not decided yet. But I ate enough of chocolate here for the rest of my life. And of Haribo sweets. Bleh. My stomach is on strike now. Only vegetables, fruits, lamb (yum!), cheese ... okay, many things, but not chocolate or candy. Vomit.

PS ~ Happy birthday to me:) thank you to my family and my friends to accompany me for another year to share the wonderful moments, special, happy, sad, amazing, al'IPE, the rest of Canada, the United U.S., France, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and in our imaginations. I'd ride with y'all anyday! Les biz.