Monday, July 31, 2006

back in nyc

i have to admit it is good to be home.

the no smoking signs spattered across the whole of the city brings a swell of emotion and national pride something akin to old glory swaying in the wind.

france was good. the field season was relatively successful. we found a heap of large mammal bones. no primates, but we did unearth an entire horse. well...when i say entire, i mean all except the head. it appears this site has a growing number of headless mammal species. the horse was a very cool find but we had to exhume most of it in one big plastery block on the last day of work which was kind of a pain in the ass. the horse weighed about as much in this state as it did in real life if not slightly more. a creative system of logs strung together and the brute strength of 10 people carried our little marie antoinette over a substantial distance with only a few stops. i think the horse still split down the middle though. i don't think it felt anything.

i was utterly shocked and admitedly dissapointed by the drinking ethic of my fellow diggers at our site. they had none. it has been beaten into my brain that nothing is more satisfying after a long day of excavation than a beer-even a warm miller lite- if not several. this opinion was not shared by the college aged french students (and one american student). at dinner there was wine that none of my contemporaries consumed. i finally broke down out of contempt for this blasphemy and was the only student to consume the mediocre table wine with our older company. take that o youth of the clean living.

my french was not quite as acceptable as i had hoped it would be, and therefore felt embarrassed when i tried to speak it and guilty when i didn't. so i kept relatively quiet and read a lot over the month. it was fabulous. aside from the two dan brown novels (yeah yeah they were poorly written but they kept my mind occupied with decent stories) i read 'me talk pretty one day' by dave sedaris, 'everything is illuminated' by jonathon safran foher, 'american gods' by neil gaiman, and i have gotten half way through 'skinny legs and all' by tom robbins.

i am already missing and not missing french cuisine. while i enjoyed the food immensely i began to worry that i would become immense from enjoying too much food. luckily our bathroom scale is of the notion that i haven't gained any weight since i left. this is shocking as i ate far more food than i expended energy. i did bring back some coffee which makes me happy. and jittery. i do love the french notion that coffee should be consumed at all times.

the minute i was in germany was also good. i was in bonn for about 3 days (only one of which wasn't spent traveling) for a conference. the conference was alright and the beer was spectacular. unfortunately i didn't have enough time for pictures in germany. someday....

i'm happy to be back to some state of clean normalcy though. it is great to be able to wear a different pair of clothes aside from two dirty pairs of pants and five dirty t-shirts. i am also ecstatic to be reunited with my cat again. and internet. and air conditioner.

but alas. thursday will bring more travel. i will be returning to texass for a few weeks to visit family, friends, and participate in my first wedding. not my first wedding but the first wedding of a friend in which not only am i invited but have to be a bride's maid. oh the fun begins. aside from my weariness of traveling i'm looking forward to seeing people i care about in that silly state.

anyway. back to unpacking, packing, and attempting to finally clean my room. i look forward to catching up on everyone's blogs!

Monday, July 10, 2006

last paris blog

or at least it is probably my last paris blog. i have no idea how i am spending my time between the end of the field season and my flight from paris to new york.

so last night after zoo-i-ness i went with the american baseball player roommate to watch the world cup. can i say absolute insanity? i've never seen anything like it, and i went to a big 12 university.

when we got off the subway stop at bastille we immediately saw people in 20 person deep groups outside of all the bars/eating establishments with televisions. most people were either painted with italy or france's colors on their person or draped in their respective flags. oh and they were shnockered. and carrying air horns. by a stroke of luck we found a restaurant with a television and decent prices to sit in while the game was going on. i was far more interested in my wine and the kid at the next table with a huge rat tail than the match, but it was fun. i was extremely happy that france didn't win because that meant i got sleep. the italians were going nuts though. we ended up walkign over to hotel de ville just to take pictures and a group of 7 enthusiastic italians were there with their hooting and hollering and flag waving. in about 20 or 30 minutes the group grew to about...i don't know...200. it was quite the party though.

today i basically did nothing but walk which was painful because i felt like wearing cute shoes. bad idea. once i found a nice lush garden in the evening i plopped like a ton of bricks and stayed until i got kicked out.

tomorrow i meet the advisor at the train station for to start the field season. fun and exciting. i doubt i will have as much internet access if any until the end of july...maybe in germany? until then i hope everyone can beat the heat and have a great few weeks!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

sunday zoo blog


i went to the zoo today and it was fabulous. why fabulous? because there were baby animals EVERYWHERE! including a baby orang.

i am enthralled with capybaras (think massive guinea pigs) so when i saw two i had to stop for a while. the capybaras were hoovering around the little pond where two swans were swimming around and everytime the caps tried to take a drink of water, the swans attacked. it was sadly hilarious.

more pictures

i feel like posting more pictures before heading out to the museum of natural history. cause i don't see enough of that you know?

fuzzy notre dame at night

the seine

eiffel tower at night from the jardin de tuilieries


jardin de luxembourg

Saturday, July 08, 2006

paris- jour six

i got stood up AGAIN! ARG!

i was supposed to meet the other student from new york who is going to the feild site with me this morning and he dind't show. hurumph! seriously i hate it hate it hate it when this happens. especially when it happens multiple times. we were supposed to meet at 10:30 and i actually waited until almost noon. but it was ok. i hopped on the metro to visit....

the museum of wine was AWESOME. plus i got a free sample at the end. although i was sad to learn that they stopped serving lunch at 2 instead of 3 (of course i ask at 2:15). i had been hoping for three cheeses and three wines.

i thought it was ironic that when i was waiting in the metro station some dude on a sax was playing "all by myself". yeah go eat your heart out.

today i have basically been walking around invalides and st. germaine taking lots of pictures. last night i went to the louvre (for free!) for a few hours which was super cool.

so for your enjoyment a few pictures!

the pyramid outside the louvre

bh are these in america yet?

merde. my time is almost up. stupid pay up front place! oh well. till later.

Friday, July 07, 2006

paris- day cinq

mood: pissed.

so i have a friend i used to go to camp with who is french and lives in paris. we were supposed to meet at least two other times already that he flaked out on. it was fair. we didn't have straightforward plans. toady we had an arrangement to meet by the nearest metro station to my hostel at 3pm. i stayed around this area all morning long because i figured it would be risky to sight see and then try to rush back here. so i wasted half a day in paris. then i waited an hour for this friend to meet me. nothing. and guess what? it rained. and me without an umberella.

i HATE depending on other people in these sorts of situations. i have no phone except pay
phones and i got no answer on what i think is my friend's cellphone.

on to better updates.

last night i decided to head down to the latin quarter/st. germaine to see what was going on there. and to look in english language book stores for more reading material.

the latin quarter is where the sorbonne is so it is very young and hip. i felt eerily like i was near nyu. i didn't find the shakespeare and company bookstore but i had fun wandering around the area. i happened upon an alley with a bunch of prix fix restaurants and got an entire meal (paté, lamb, and peaches) as well as a "half" bottle of wine for about 11 euro. the wine was in a nicely sized caraffe which is why i say "half". the meal was pretty good and i had some nice time to read. wine tends to make dan brown's work better.

after dinner i wandered around a bit more and enjoyed the atmosphere of a college-y area. i know how much i bitch about hipsters and all, but it was a nice change from middle aged tourists all over the place. before i descended into the metro station at st. michel i decided to take a picture of the fountain bearing the same name, so i whipped out my proffesional looking nikon d-70 and someone asked me in english to take their picture. so i say sure and the guy tells me that i speak very good english. awesome. i told him i better since i am from america, and we chatted for a while. he had just flown in from new york as well so we had a lot to talk about. nice chap.

i got another good night's sleep which makes me truly happy. the key really is the wine. j'aime le vin.

since my friend abandonned me i am going to the louvre this evening. apparently admission is free at 6pm. i might only have 3 or 4 hours to paruse the museum but i like the price.

also we got a new room mate yesterday. an american baseball player currently living in italy. he played for the red sox triple a or something? don't know what that means. but that is what he told me. he seems nice.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

paris- jour quatre

i would like to start by saying i FINALLY got a good night's rest. i will owe this to
a.) not getting much sleep the previous nights
b.) walking around all day yesterday in the sun
c.) drinking an entire bottle of wine before bed
....what it finally got me to sleep! and it was in the midst of world cup madness. now i don't follow sports whatsoever, but something tells me that france won last night. and that something that told me was the sheer madness of commotion going on until the wee hours.

i was supposed to meet up with a friend who didn't show today. so i went window shopping (and a little real shopping) in montmartre. i am currently wearing cute new shoes that i bought for 10 euro!

and as promised a few pics!

the arc de triumph

a sign that appears on the public phone . i like it because they all look cracked out.

if i lived in paris i would be fat fat fatty fat fat.
this is a picture from the maritime museum. it's a whale skeleton and a penguin that looks like it is saying "wtf mate?!"
an amazing fabric shop (les tissus)
one of my five million views of the eiffel tower. this happens to be the best.greek statues in le jardin de tuilleries

my lunch on the lawn near the eiffel tower
sacre cour
cool red themed luxury hotel
it's a candy pig! look at the detail!
that's it. i am spending too much money on internet. till next time!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

paris - day three

oh so very tired. i just spent all day wandering around the city. i made it from the louvre to the arc de triumph to the trocodero by foot. now what i really wanted to do was find the musee de vin...but to no avail. not as easy to find as my little guide book would imply. but it was a decent day anyway.
i decided that my museum for the day would be the musee de l'homme (i didn't actually go into the louvre), but what i didn't realize is that is shares the same building as the musee de maritime (sp? meh i don't care). so i groggily handed over 8 euros in hopes of seeing a museum with maybe some interesting natural history stuff, and as i walked into the exhibitions all i saw were boats. merde.

it wasn't the best museum ever but it was ok. i had to get my 8 euros out of the experience after all. there was a neat hallway with pictures from an exbitition to the arctic that included seals (les phoques) and penguins (les something i can't remember that starts with 'm').

i am learning that the french have no qualms about public displays of affection, as i have seen at least 4 couples today making out indecently. and i mean indecently. i was just happy clothes were still on. but who am i to judge right? still. gross.

the two boys in my room have moved out so i get to find the next installment of douchebag hostel roommates when i return to andre gill. hooray! have i mentioned the people in my hostel have been keeping me up for HOURS in the middle of the night? it's like, really annoying you know?

i am going to try to upload pictures on my next trip to the computer. so stay tuned!

a demain.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

en france

bonjour! i have an internet cafe near my hostel and it isn't too expensive! thus i may be able to update with adventures from paris after all.

but i am starting to run a large bill. so maybe not much today.

the point is i am in france, it is lovely (when i am not near people in my hostel), and i can indulge in another one of my addictions. aaah yes internet. i lof you.

thanks for the well wishes brazen hussy and publius!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

au revoir!

i'm a leavin' for france today. hopefully i can post some updates whilst overseas, but until then i hope everyone has a great month of july!