29 September 2011

Bon appétit!

Bonjour mes amis!

Just a quickie post for now; I seem to be short on time and energy of late. French numbers are my latest challenge. I'll wait until Saturday after class to get into more detail. I fear I shall have to limit my use of numbers while in Paris. I can however get my phone number out of my mouth semi smoothly. This is of utterly no use here.

Restaurant week in underway in Austin - yummm. Thank goodness there is a part II beginning on the 2nd when funding is more readily available. And get this, last Sunday was the final day of Tous Au Restaurant in Paris! Is that cool or what?

I am back home to stay for two weeks. September has been one busy month; only 7 days at home. However, I was in very good company.

the girls



18 September 2011

I'm a pumpkin head!

Avoir la tete comme une citrouille! As in "a head that feels swollen from information overload" (see previous post).

I'm not sure what possessed me to get myself into such a learning frenzy with dance lessons, les cours de français, new computer skills, all at the same time - what is this the 18th century? I do, however, draw the line at embroidery. It is no longer necessary to be "accomplished" these days in order to attract some upstart from a snooty family. Not that I care about attracting upstarts. Isn't it a shame this thirst for knowledge didn't hit me twenty years ago? I more than likely would have been living in Paris for years by now. 

The funny thing is, and not in a ha ha way, this quest  I've embarked upon has somehow exacerbated my self-consciousness issue. I am terrified when I have to speak in my french class, and I am so tense during dance lessons, muscle relaxers are needed for my back the following day. I must find a cure for this affliction, my progress is being impeded.

While I'm at it, can I lose this Texas accent in a week or two? Wonder if the Eliza Doolittle method would work. .http://bit.ly/piSLPi 

There is a bit of encouraging news this week: I am able to pronounce l'alphabet français assez bien. I found several french alphabet songs for children on YouTube, but this is my favorite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?

I learned some quite useful tips in class on Saturday. I shall share a few of them with you. Ever wonder what that little squiggle is under the letter C, that looks like 2/3 of a 5? This is une cedilla. It changes the pronunciation of the letter C from a hard sound to a soft sound, as in garçon and française. In addition, the soft C always comes before e and i. The hard C always comes before a, o, u. I found this to be a delightful bit of information.

We conjugated our first verbs, and oh mon Dieu, is that going to take a lot of practice. Let's look at how to conjugate the verb parler (speak). There are six words, five spellings, four of which sound exactly the same, the last letters of the other two are not pronounced. Seriously? I just realized that I'm going to have to recite these and others next week. A wave of nausea just came over me. Oh self-confidence, why hath thou forsaken me?

Here is what's happening in Austin and Paris this weekend.

The third day of ACL (Austin City Limits) music festival is still going strong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er4vugx4n4o&feature=fvst

Que faire à Paris ce week-end? Heritage Days: discover Paris from a different angle - Pari... 

Consider yourself caught up. I shall leave you today with des phrases amusantes en français - bonne semaine!

Prendre son pied. =
Take his foot. (It was swell.)

Les carottes sont cuites. =
The carrots are cooked. (I've had it!)

C'est la finition des haricots. =
It's the finish of the green beans. (It's hopeless.)

09 September 2011

Neighborhoods - Part II

I should have included these comparisons on the previous post. Maybe I just like looking at pictures. While on my photo walk; I realized, that I was making a scrapbook of places and memories in which I could look back upon when having a nostalgic episode (while living in Paris). Hopefully these episodes will be rare. I mustn't allow homesickness to interfere with my new life in Paris. There will be so many new memories to be made in Paris, the mere thought thrills me to no end.

You know the practice of adding "in bed" to the end of fortune cookie messages? I feel like I'm doing the same thing with "in Paris". Je ne peux pas l'aider.

Thank goodness for my new friends in Paris supplying me with fab photos. I say friends, even though I have never laid eyes on them. I met them electronically, and they are ever so friendly and most helpful. It will be so exciting to meet and get to know them. Won't it be fun the other way around when I'm living in Paris relying on my Austin peeps for photos?

Here we have a most significant comparison - the weather. What I wouldn't give to be in Paris NOW.

As much as I love Torchy's and Izzoz, imagining myself sitting at a typical Paris café makes me smile.

Torchy's Taco

Izzoz Tacos

parisdailyphoto.com - Eric Tenin

This church is right up the street from me, and man, can they belt out a tune! Their joyous voices can be heard two houses down.

Goodwill Baptist Church
Goodwill Baptist Church

And then there is cette belle église, Sainte Clotilde. Now that's what I call a comparison!

parisdailyphoto.com - Eric Tenin

                  Here we have different styles of graffiti. Quite different.

great photo op for tourists

Austin graffiti

parisdailyphoto.com - Eric Tenin

parisdailyphoto - Eric Tenin

I leave you with this little ditty 

Fun with French
Avoir la tete comme une citrouille = to have a pumpkin head, to have a migraine (or a head that feels swollen from information overload)  If you want to call someone a pumpkin head - tete de citrouille = head of pumpkin.

Remember en francais, the adjectives come after the noun (most of the time).

04 September 2011


Walked outside to a cool and breezy morning and dashed back in to throw some clothes on, grab my camera and go for a walk. Had the best time taking pictures of my neighborhood. A bum offered to let me take his picture in a bathtub. What bathtub? I wasn't quite sure how to respond to that one. I was a bit hesitant to decline his offer since he was already drunk at 7:30 a.m.  I smiled, gave a cheerful "no thanks" and kept walking. I must say he could have greatly benefited from some soap and water.

"bathtub" man is seated

I hope both Austinites and Parisians will enjoy this short post. Yes, I have two Parisians following me and it thrills me to no end! Let me clarify that they are following my blog, but the other interpretation would be a bit thrilling as well. :-)

I have a few photographer friends and am trying to apply the tips they give me. I definitely need more practice, and a new camera would be a plus. I find that if I manage to get the entire subject in the frame, you can't make out what the sign says. In most cases, the signage is the best part!

how soon before they go broke?

great happy hour hang out

original location - my neighborhood

While giving Facebook a quick look, Soup Peddler's post caught my eye: "This is one of my favorite soups. Next to impossible to cook in the U.S. without access to the little "soupe de poisson" fish that make it to market in France. They were irresistible. Apart from anything else, you do not see them very often in this country. In the markets of France or Spain, though, a soup mix – lots of tiny fish, most of which, it has to be said, are good for little else – is commonplace."

Let's conclude with a comparison of sidewalk art in Austin and in Paris:

photo by me
paris daily photo - Eric Tenin