I’ve decided to move this blog to a public host so that I can post and upload pictures more easily. Set your pointers to:
May 11th, 2009 · No Comments
May 8th, 2009 · No Comments
This one is for you, Alejna. Don’t knock me off your list!
So much has happened in the last 10 months. Where to begin. Let’s go with the LIFO method of accounting, shall we?
Three weeks ago, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. In doing research online, I have really been enjoying the wealth of information provided by the celiac blogging community, and feel like I should also share my celiac experience as it happens. So I have started a new blog that will be dedicated to all things gluten free:
Hopefully I can keep this one going a little bit better than the one I’m posting on now.
I’m also trying to make this one a little more anonymous in the hopes that I’ll feel freer to post that way. We’ll see how it goes.
Thanks for reading!
July 10th, 2008 · 22 Comments
For those who may not know, I am in Paris for the month of July. It is a working vacation–Jay has math workshops, I have a linguistics conference, and we have about two weeks inbetween these things. We are hooked up in a nice apartment in the 2nd, after a pretty harrowing experience of being scammed. That story to come. Being back in France allows me to reflect on the 3 months Jay and I spent here in the summer of 2006, and in fact, all the times I’ve come to Paris since the first time in 1990. Man, I’ve been coming to France on and off for 18 years. Crazy.
France and I have a history. So perhaps it’s not surprising that I have a love-hate relationship with the French. Many people feel this way about the French. Rather than listing the things that both irk and endear me to these wonderful people, I’ve decided that the aspects of my love-hate relationship should get a series. In the first of the LHRF series, I will discuss my love-hate relationship with French Humor.
The French have an unusually wry sense of humor. I am a fan of wry humor. Except when it gets used on me. And the French like to do this. One instance that I was subjected to more than a few times last time I was here was something like the following, usually at a restaurant:
Me: Do you have a toilet?/Are there toilets?
Waiter: No, I’m sorry.
Waiter: No, I’m just joking. They’re over on the left.
So yesterday we walk by a fromagerie, and in the display case on the street are plates of cheese; The plates are advertised for 6 euros each, and there are about 4 different cheeses on each plate. They were brie-looking cheeses, but I couldn’t tell what kinds they were. 6 euros seemed like a decent price to pay for 4 different kinds of cheeses, so I thought I’d ask what they were. And I get this:
Me to the cheesemonger: What is on the plates?
Is this really necessary? To a stranger no less? Do they get their kicks out of the person’s reaction? Yes, catching someone off their guard is funny, I’ll admit. But in everyday transactions like finding the bathroom? Are French just unmercifully cruel on people who can’t identify cheese by sight or don’t make the assumption that a restaurant has a public toilet?
You know what happens when you make a supposition. You make a supp out of os and ition. Like myself, perhaps the French need a snark stripper.
But as I am also a linguist, I have to wonder: is this interaction only a result of humor at play, or is there something subtly linguistic I’m missing here. Is there something about the questions est-ce qu’il y a des toilettes or qu’est-ce qu’il y a sur le plateau that warrants that kind of response?
Comments, especially from native speakers, will be carefully considered, and earn you a coupon good for “one less frog joke” redeemable when I have been hitting the Bordeaux a little hard.
July 7th, 2008 · No Comments
July 3rd, 2008 · 1 Comment
In April, I posted about Delta’s under the radar change of their baggage policy where they decided not only to charge $25 for a second checked bag, but also decided not to tell so many people about it. At that time, I questioned our friendship, said we’d get along much better if they just tried to contact me every once in awhile, and threatened to break up with them.
I have been trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, though. Hey, they got me to South Africa for $124.00 and some frequent flyer miles. I’m willing to give them a second chance for that. And to wit, I (and my one free bag) have flown with Delta 3 times since their policy came into effect in May. In fact, 2 of those flights were yesterday. Things are looking up. I’d say we’re back on good terms.
But then, my good friends at Travelocity sent me this the other day:
Delta has recently announced they are offering a rebate to customers who were charged the $25 second baggage fee if the tickets were purchased before April 9th 2008. We want to ensure that you have been notified of this information and are aware of the rebate being provided by Delta Airlines…
In response to customer feedback and as a matter of goodwill, Delta has decided to make a one-time exception to the rules established in its contract of carriage by offering rebates of the second checked bag fee to those passengers who purchased tickets before this new fee was announced on delta.com.
Nice gesture, Delta, I appreciate this. But again, and I’m sorry to have to say this, your coquetry is wearing thin. Travelocity is sending me this information? What, are you too ashamed to tell me personally? You have my email address. You have my frequent flyer number. You have my phone # for text messages. You have a freakin’ database with all flights taken during this time.
I know you’ve been going through a hard time and all, what with rising gas prices and the Northwest merger. You’re stressed out and you’ve got a lot on your plate. But I do think it’s time that you and I sat down and had a chat about your communication skills.
How about Sunday, after I get to Paris on yet another Delta ticket, discounted by frequent flyer miles? Oh, and if you have a little extra time, let’s chat about your SkyTeam partner Air France and their uncanny ability to lose every piece of luggage that goes through CDG.
See you in Paris, cheri, hopefully with my free, checked and less than 50 lbs bag in hand.
June 11th, 2008 · 5 Comments
A friend of mine found this after it smacked against his patio door last night. Can you name this bug?
May 25th, 2008 · 2 Comments
The streets of Boston are a veritable obstacle course these days. Not only is it time of year for home improvements, it’s also the time of year for road construction.
- Green St. is a mess from NSTARs efforts to put in a new gas main. Jackhammers tearing up asphalt at 7:30am outside my window is not my cup of tea, either.
- The National Grid has been stopping traffic at the trivium of Storrow Drive, Cambridge St., and Exit 18 of the Mass Pike. I would use the term intersection to define this area, but as there about 5 streets and 12 sets of lights, it doesn’t quite seem appropriate.
- Parts of the Mass Pike near 495 are tore up, so that you get the pleasant hum of your tires on the uneven pavement.
- On Broadway, there is more street work, and cones were strategically placed to you can zigzag around workers with jackhammers. It was not unlike taking a Driver’s Ed exam.
- Washington St. near Union Square in Somerville is also under construction.
- Let’s not forget the new park they’re building at the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Main St. That has effectively shut off all driving towards Tosci’s, Cuchi Cuchi, or The Miracle. From what I can tell, it looks as if the right hand turn from Main on to Mass. Ave is permanently covered over by the new park and some park benches.
- The nerd crossing at 77 Mass. Ave. has been paved over, so there is no longer the guidance of a crosswalk. Now MIT students have the choice of waiting for the walking man sign or just making a run for it.
- Mass. Ave. in Harvard Square is torn up, you can’t drive through there at the moment.
- The BU Bridge is torn up–they’re finally fixing the sidewalks. This really needs to happen because those rusty metal things poking out of the curb are dangerous. I have visions of shredding a biker or shredding my tires every time I drive over that bridge. And, according to my friend Kristina, the BU Bridge is the portal to the universe. The portal to the universe should look nice.
- St. Paul Street in Brookline is detouring people
Feel free to add to the list. Along with the gas prices, this might be my impetus to give up the car altogether and start walking.
May 22nd, 2008 · No Comments
Being married to a mathematician exposes me to a lot of field-specific humor that I don’t always understand. A lot of the times, I just have to nod and smile. But this is a math joke that I actually get, and though I had to dig deep into the recesses of my math knowledge to laugh at it, I think it’s very cute:
May 20th, 2008 · No Comments
The semester is over. Though I have an incomplete and hence one more paper to write, it is now the time of the year for home improvements.
We are going to get a new desk set sometime in the near future (hopefully this week). The papers on the floor are no longer in piles that I can call organized. It’s a wonder I finished my generals paper amidst the chaos.
- The dishwasher is clogged and/or not draining properly. Jay may have fixed it, using suggestions from this blog and this website.
- The bathtub has little scratches and it looks like rust is coming through. I want a new bathtub. One that holds more than 6 inches of water so I can take a proper bath.
- Our kitchen sink is also full of scratches, and we did a crappy caulking job.
- I want a new refrigerator. The Energy Saving kind with French doors and a bottom freezer.
- I’m considering pocket doors.
I doubt our budget will allow for most of these improvements, but I will keep dreaming. The desk set is on the list. If you have any suggestions for the bathtub, please let me know.
May 16th, 2008 · 15 Comments
Hello my 4 faithful readers.
Just got back from a hectic week in Atlanta, and I have lots to write about that trip. The last 2 weeks have required me to use multiple alarm clocks to get me up in the morning. I am a chronic snoozer. And I’ve just noticed that each alarm I have does a snooze for 9 minutes. Not 8, not 10. Does anyone know why snoozes are for 9 minutes?