Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When the news of the world gets you down, come talk about dinosaurs. Rawr!

This is no way to have a summer, Paris.  I wore a sweater with pants under a dress to drop Lucien at the centre de loisirs this morning.  Not only did I look ridiculous, I was still cold.  As I write this, it's raining and I'm wearing a scarf indoors, though that has more to do with being fashionable.

My solo weekend with the kids was part disaster and part success.  I woke up sick Saturday morning so was comatose on the couch all day.  Lucien took advantage of the situation to eat many "cereal sandwiches" and crackers with four inches of Nutella spread on top. 

He also left the faucet running in the bathroom.  Our sink has a semi-clogged drain so the sink eventually filled and flooded the room.  I awoke on the couch to the sounds of a beautiful waterfall, stumbled towards the sound in confusion, then bellowed like an injured Beluga whale (do those things bellow?) when I saw what the little punk had done.

I was still not my best Sunday morning but we had to get out of the apartment before someone (Lucien) was posted in the "free stuff" section on Craigslist.  Lucien has recently decided he's going to be a paleontologist so I thought I'd be a good mom and take him to see the animal skeletons at the Natural History Museum at the Jardin des Plantes.  He got a lot more out of this visit than last time we went.  This time he studied every cat/mouse/rabbit skeleton carefully and pronounced them "very small dinosaurs."  

I bought him an excavation kit in the gift shop, one of those things with the plastic mallet and the chunk of clay you have to chip away to get the bones and assemble the dinosaur.  What a delightful pre-dinner activity for mother and son, thought me.

This is after half an hour of work.  Are you f*cking kidding me?

The problem is I am not a patient person (understatement) and these excavation kits are made for people with patience.  After an hour of dainty "chip chip chip" with the plastic mallet and no bones, I pulled out a hammer and screwdriver and told Lucien to stand back.  Then there was some furious excavating activity. 

Good thing I didn't become a real paleontologist.  I'd be the paleontologist with the jackhammer going full throttle, screaming, "WHERE ARE THE GODDAMN BONES?"

I saw a movie being filmed in front of the Palais de Justice a couple weeks ago --

It's a normal occurrence around here, but this one I watched for awhile. All the actors were French and I didn't recognize anyone, but apparently someone was famous because the French tourists were talking very excitedly amongst themselves and taking pictures like crazy.  My celebrity sightings are so lame I'm now including suspected celebrities I don't even remotely recognize on the list.

They were filming in a car (half a car, really) and the actors were covered in blood.  Between each take, the actors would climb out of the car and have more blood dripped on their faces.  That's what this actor guy on the left is doing --

Then they would climb back into the fake half-car for another twenty minutes while everyone else stood around.  This went on and on and on.  From what I can tell, making a movie is boring and involves a lot of standing and doing nothing.  Thank God I'm a stay-at-home mom and blogger because this shit is exciting.

Speaking of movies, here's a picture of me and a few of The Ladies on the steps where Owen Wilson waits for the magic car in Midnight in Paris.  Our favorite English pub is directly across the street from these steps; we've gathered there many times to have a beer and a laugh.

 Me, L.A. Mom, Virginia Mom, Vancouver Mom

Since this picture was taken, L.A. Mom has returned to the States.  Vancouver Mom is due to leave next month.  I leave in December.  Virginia Mom is most likely outta here next summer.  So at this time next year, a whole new crop of ex-pat butts will be parked on these steps, a whole different group of lady friends formed thanks to landing in Paris at the same time, and we will be nothing but a vague, distant memory in this city that's seen so many of us.

That's some depressing shit right there. 

Alex is enjoying seeing our friends back in Seattle because they are awesome, but says the city makes him feel disoriented and strange.  Things have changed; home is home but not quite home.  I have four-and-a-half months to prepare myself for this reality.  In other words, if I start another dinosaur excavation kit right now and do it properly, I should be throwing it in frustration at the Space Needle just in time to kick off the new year.

Have a dino-riffic day,

P.S.  This blog is going to remain a news-of-the-world-free zone.  In fact, if I ever read the news again, somebody punch me in the face.  If you need a break from the whole goddamn world falling apart, come see me.  I will be talking about inconsequential things.

 Rawr!  Stegosaurus!


Marie said...

Use a metal butter knife on that kit. My kids had one and the metal tools are much better.

Marie said...

PS: I leave Thursday for Paris and it better be warm and sunny. See what you can do.

debbie in toronto said...

MJ...sorry you were sick for your weekend ...that sucks....big time

and your celebrity sighting are lame as per..

but love the pic of the girls on the steps..you guys are a lucky bunch of dames

the craiglist comment made me do a spit take...we've all been there

and yes...the world has gone crazy...told you London was like NY on crack....c'est vrai.

MJ said...

Marie! Nice tip. A little too late, but nice tip for next time. I don't know how to tell you this about the weather but... yikes. Thursday may be OK, but my sources say the weekend is CRAP. How long you here? I'll try to talk to some people and see what I can do.

MJ said...

Debbie, what do you mean, that unknown French celebrity sighting was lame? Dang, it was my best one...

Marie said...

Our big trip on Sunday is to Versailles to see the fountains and then dinner in Ville Vouvray at someplace insanely expensive. But the weather seems like rain all weekend. I'm going have to get the kids their back to school fall clothes asap. We're going to see those damn fountains if it means umbrellas and winter coats.

Oh and my kids are dying to see the Natural Science museum. My father in law worked there in the 80s.

MJ said...

Yikes, Marie. Yep, umbrellas. This is the dumbest August ever.

So cool your FIL worked at the Museum of Natural History. It's a super cool, dusty, musty old place. Plus, apparently lots of tiny dinosaurs. Have fun on your trip -- err, stay dry?

StayingPositive said...

Sorry Marie...I've been praying to the "can you give me a halfway decent day" rain Gods and all they could give me was just ONE episode of soaking me on the way to the bus today. (Perhaps I should be directing my attention to the Sun Gods? That might be my problem...sorry MJ.) I will continue to ask them to improve on what is my first Paris summer, but I suggest your bring your umbrella...and a parka. Though Monday and Tuesday look great!

MJ...sorry for hijacking your comments with a weather report. You understand...I have small children...I need an outlet that doesn't involve drinking large amounts of awesome French wine and eating my weight in stinky cheese and what has to be God's gift upon entering heaven - butter with sel de mer. How are the French not HUGE? Bring that to the States and the 60% of us that aren't fat will join the 40% that are!

And yes, we would love to meet up ASAP. The boys can be boys, my girl can baby your girl and we can drink. You in? Maybe 8am tomorrow? Or is that too early for wine?

Take care,

Matt said...

Making a movie isn't all that boring. Wait, yes it is. I got to be an extra in Real Steel (think Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots) which opens October 7.

Truthfully the joy of being on set was all the extras. If only they didn't have a ban on video cameras...

Kiki said...

Do Lucien and Coco generally take shifts so that you only have one torturing you at a time when you're sick? :) There must be some kind of Geneva Convention on that. Hope you're feeling better!

You're not missing much in Seattle. I think summer might finally have hit, a whole month late. In two weeks it'll probably be winter, so the rain/fog-dwellers must enjoy it while we can. I feel disoriented every time I walk outside, and have taken to complaining about the heat until the rain comes back, and I can begin complaining about the lack of sun. Business as usual.


MJ said...

Staying Positive. It is my unofficial opinion 8am is too early for wine, but not too early for spiked coffee. It is also too early for me to get my kids out the door without losing my mind. Send me an email, we'll work it out.

And hang in there!

Matt! Movie Star! I'm going to add you to my list of celebrity sightings. Matt, my friend who was an extra in Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots, I think you just beat the suspected French celebrity I didn't recognize.

Kiki! True...I hear the summer is awful in Seattle, too. It's too bad this is another sign the world has gone to hell and will be ending soon. (Sorry, just woke up, haven't had a coffee yet...)

The two hot days we've had so far this summer, I complained about, too. Guess there's just no making us happy.

OK, getting a coffee. Thanks for saying hello, people.

donnakay said...

You really should write a book based on your experiences living in Paris.

Duchesse said...

You know, you always seem to get sick when Al goes away... Sylvain does that too!:) Marriage is weird that way!

I'm loving that pic of you ladies on Owen's steps! You're a sight for sore eyes:) (And I liked the movie even though it's far from one of Woody's best... but Paris is the star, what more could you ask for?:)

Don't think I'd have enough patience for paleontology either... plus bones in general gross me out (strike one).

Speaking of the weather, it's sunny today in The Hague (but for how long?!) and I'm wearing the same clothes I wore in Paris in January (I wish I were kidding)!

Mrs. Howard said...

I'll only listen to the morning news on tv while getting ready for work, and maybe once in the middle of the day. That way I can say that no, my head isn't always stuck in the sand, and yes, I do watch the news inbetween reruns of BBC!Sherlock and Cake Boss.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Your adventures are delightful although I imagine "not so much" while you are in the midst. The paleontology kit is a hoot and I would have gone for the hammer or axe too!

I love Jardin des Plantes for the museum and particularly for Dodo Manège, one of the most unusual carrousels in Paris.

Enjoy the remainder of summer and relish the cool temperatures as we are burning up in the Southern US.


Anonymous said...

Nobody has mentioned how beautiful the weather was in Paris during the first two weeks of July, it even got too warm on a couple of days. I guess that was the quota for this summer.

Thanks for the nice break from the news of the world, MJ. I think we need an even longer break.

Patricia H

Sue said...

Thankyou so much for refusing to dwell upon the world news.....it is all too much....
Also, thankyou so much for your blog....it is the best and always brightens my day....

April said...

Wow, home by Christmas. Exciting... sorry you were sick though. That blows. No need for you to rehash the horrible-ness in the world. We come here for giggles and good times.

Janey and Co. said...

Love your blog and look forward to it. You are a gifted writer! I am high in the Colorado mtns in a tiny town.. wishing I could be writing from Paris!


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