‘Ello Frodon

French Word(s) of the Day: Frodon Sacquet (fro-do sack-ey)- Frodo Baggins

The Grand Rex in Paris decided to have a showing of all three Lord of the Rings.

When Sam told me about this event a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to attend.  After all, I’m an avid lover of LOTR.   I even have a Legolas and Gimli cardboard cutout:

(Us together in the park a few years ago.  You know it’s true love when you have a photo shoot together.)

Yesterday, Sam and I spent 11 hours in a theater.  I was worried that we weren’t going to be able to make it, but we stayed awake and alert for all three!  Of course, the half hour breaks in between each movie helped.

The French audience had what Sam and I agreed were the proper reactions to the film.  They clapped when they were supposed to clap.  They laughed when they were supposed to laugh.

…They have also decided as a general whole that Orlando Bloom as Legolas is ridiculous and that his lines add nothing to the dialogue.  He’s Captain Obvious.  It doesn’t help that he says them as though he’s announcing he’s just discovered the cure for cancer.

After actually paying attention to the words instead of his face (he’s so pretty) when he speaks, I agree with them.  It’s like the writers realized that Orlando should probably speak, but realized he didn’t have the acting chops to pull off plot-moving dialogue.

Towards the end of the film, Orlando says something so ridiculously obvious and unnecessary that the entire audience applauded his ridiculousness.  I’m not even kidding.  That one line got more applause than anything else in the entire film.

(For those of you who know the film well, it was Legolas’ “A diversion!” line after Aragorn spends several minutes explaining his cunning plan.)

Photo courtesy of Sam
Photo courtesy of Sam

(One of Orlando’s zingers…  The subtitles read “They are taking the hobbits to Isengard!”)

Even though his acting leaves much to be desired, I still like looking at him.

I enjoyed the French subtitles.  I learned several new war words and also learned about some dialogue that is either too slurred or too quiet in English to hear.  But really, the best part was seeing “Frodon” on the screen everytime Frodo’s name was mentioned.

Unfortunately, I have had a cold since yesterday.  It made sitting in a theater a bit more challenging.  Thankfully, LOTR has a ton of battle scenes to cover coughing fits.  (I sat in an aisle seat mostly for my lack of a bladder and partially not to hack up a lung on anyone.)  I timed my coughing accordingly.

I managed to have a successful conversation with the pharmacist today, and my coughing has been (mostly) taken care of.  Luckily, colds go away.  That’s the only good thing about them.

Interview update: The lady loved me and wants to hire me, but isn’t sure she has enough time in her schedule to train me.  She’s letting me know tomorrow (which probably means next week).

Pain au chocolat count: 47

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Toooooomorrow, Tomorrow, I’ll call you, Tomorrow. You’re only a day (or three) away!

French Word of the Day: demain (day-mawn)- tomorrow

To get off topic and be completely un-French…  I found a new Ken doll, and I’m sad that I’m only just now learning about him.

Sweet Talking Ken Doll

Based on the reviews alone, I want this doll.  “First of all Ken has these hard of rock pecs and when you press his hard rock pec and hold it down and say ‘YOU ARE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!’ – then let go, guess what Ken says in his own manly voice? – He repeats what you just said…it’s sure to be sold out everywhere, I had a blast playing with it in the store and all of the employees were coming over to join in on the fun!”

I know I’m almost 23, but I feel you’re never too old to have a doll that will say whatever you want it to while sporting this haircut:

Moving away from Ken…  You’re probably all wondering why I didn’t update my blog to write about how the call from the woman who interviewed me went.

That would be because she never called me.  I think we have different ideas of the concept of “tomorrow.”  For me, “tomorrow” is the day after today.  I think her “tomorrow” is sometime within the next year and a half.  I’m talking to my internship people tomorrow (my tomorrow) to get this straightened out.

Tonight we had a cooking class in French.  I can cook.  I know how to measure things.  It’s just the instructions that I have trouble following.  For example, I have no trouble in English when something says to put the ingredients in a tiny cup.  Put it in French, and I don’t even know what the word for “tiny cup” is.

Even though my partner, Emily- who came here a week ago speaking no French at all- and I had no idea what we were doing, our food came out okay.  It’s probably better that no one in the room was listening to us.  Our conversations usually followed in this vein:

Emily: What’s that?

Me: It’s an ingredient.  I think.  Maybe.

Emily: What does it say we have to do with it?

Me: Um, something in French.

Emily: Should we just cut up everything that’s in front of us?

Me: It all gets mixed together, anyway.

We got a lot of help.  No one collapsed on the spot after consuming what we made, so I think we did all right.

Jenna and I have been talking about opening a bakery that specializes in pain au chocolat and macaroons, but our instructions will be in English so I should be okay with those.

Pain au chocolat count: 47

Oui, mais ce serait illégal

French Word of the Day: illégale (ill-ee-gal)- illegal

Sorry I haven’t written.  I’ve been preparing for my interview for last week.

In future interviews, I will be able to say, “Well, I could freak out about this, but at least it’ll be in English.”

My interview today was not.

I expected the interview to be full of questions like this:

  1. What are your strengths?
  2. What are your weaknesses that you’re going to spin so they actually look like strengths?
  3. Why do you think you should be chosen?
  4. What to you have that others don’t?
  5. The exact same question as 3 and 4 reworded.
  6. If you were an animal, any animal, what would you be, and why?

The interview consisted of three questions:

  1. Have you ever worked before?
  2. Can you translate French and English?
  3. When can you come?

It was like preparing to play in the World Cup only to find that your competition has the skill level of a kindergartner.

Of course, I still managed to mess up.  In my excitement, I said, “I’m available everyday after 11am!”  Not true.  I have to start on February 21st and end on April 15th.  The French government passed a law that unpaid internships can only last for 8 weeks (to combat the number of unpaid interns who had begun fulfilling full-time positions because of the recession).  I corrected myself by saying, “I could start tomorrow, but that would be illegal.”

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd confusion ensued.

She’s calling me tomorrow to let me know if I got it or not.  I’m just so glad I survived my first French interview that it doesn’t even matter.

Although I’d rather not have another one.

I’ll write more tomorrow and let you know how it went.

Pain au chocolat count: 45

Busy Parisian Life

French Word of the Day: occupé (ock-oo-pay)- busy

(That picture can be taken either as an expression of disbelief or as something I took because it reminded me of my mom.  Your choice.)

I forgot how busy Parisian life was until I got back.  For reference, Théo considers a Saturday night as only marginally busy if he has invitations to 4 different parties.  I consider having 2 or 3 parties extremely busy.  Of course, all 4 invitations must be accepted.  (Although I don’t think we’ve ever made it to 4 things in one night…  Usually the 4th party host gets an apology call.  I guess Parisian DO try to be overachievers in some areas.)

I made it through Thursday night dinner!  I’m at the point where I can understand parts of the conversation even if I’m not listening which was exciting for me.  I was convinced I was going to lose all my French over break and get placed in all beginner classes.  Thankfully no one asked me questions, so I didn’t have to be an active participant in the conversation.

A ton of people from the States were/are here, so by the end of Thursday, I had a full weekend schedule.

Friday, I met up with Emily, a friend from high school.  She’s here until she goes to study in Morocco, where she might possibly be sans toilet.  She also has to bring a wedding ring and picture of her husband or otherwise will risk the chance of everyone thinking she’s a prostitute.  Emily’s not married, so she had a contest on facebook amongst her male friends.

I think I much prefer Paris with its indoor plumbing and its not stoning unmarried females in the streets.

Emily probably could have waited for meeting some of Théo’s friends to get a (fake) marriage proposal.  They haven’t met her yet, but a few are very excited that I finally have a hot, single, American friend to introduce them to.

On Saturday, I met up with two of my professors from college.  They were here as part of the January term with several students from the college.  I was really excited to see them and talked their ears off until they had to leave.  One of them (my Literature advisor) informed me that she had started a pain au chocolat count during her time as well, but hers hadn’t quite reached my level yet.   Always a noble quest is pain au chocolat consumption.

Of course, for the second part of the night I was mostly silent.  We went to dinner with Théo’s cousins, and English was in short supply.  Dinner was awesome, but I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten that much in my life.  By the time the appetizers were done, I was thinking, “Alright, I’m full!  Now time to sleep.”  But I had 4 more courses to go through.  Luckily, the meal lasted until 12:30 am, so I had plenty of time to digest in between each course.  (Whoever tells you the French don’t eat that much is lying to you!)

Sunday, I saw Emily again, but this time added Sam, another friend from high school.  Sam’s teaching English here right now and informed me of a Lord of the Rings marathon at the end of January here in Paris.  Starts at 10 am and goes through all three movies, pausing for an hour between each one for food/ wine/ toilets/ cigarette breaks.

He’s already bought us the tickets.  Sadly, it’s in English with French subtitles so I won’t get to hear Gimli speak in French.  I assume I’ll appreciate this by the end of the 3rd movie.

Yesterday all the new people for the program came.  They’re still at the I’m-lost-and-confused point.  We got slammed with questions last night.  I had to bring something to the office today while they were all at orientation, and made the mistake of agreeing to stay for lunch.  I don’t believe I’ve ever been asked so many questions in one sitting.  When I got a chance, I took my sandwich and bolted.

I can sympathize with them as I remember that phase, but my brain can only answer so many questions at one time.  They all assume I have intimate knowledge of their foyers, and have been asking me about the rules and regulations.

No one lives in my current foyer, so I can’t really help them that much.

I also don’t know every bar and club in Paris.  I know this is going to shock people, but there are a significant number.

I don’t think I’m going to get as close with this group as I did with the fall people.  There are just too many of them.

Théo’s friends would probably like some of them.  Sorry, boys.  Maybe another time.

Pain au chocolat count: 43

And I’m back…

French Word(s) of the Day: J’ai revenu (zhay rev-eh-new)- I have returned.

I FINALLY HAVE A FLIGHT TO/ FROM PARIS THAT WASN’T CANCELLED!!!!!!  (If you’ll recall, both my flight here and flight home for the fall semester were.)  This time mother nature and American Airlines decided to work in peaceful harmony.

Wednesdays aren’t prime flying days, it turns out.  It was easily the least-full flight I’ve ever been on.  Several rows were empty.  I had all three seats in the middle to myself, and was able to lie down to sleep.

And yet somehow that’s the worst I’ve ever slept on a flight.  Normally when I’m on a plane and forced to stay sitting up, I sleep like a baby.   Put me in a comfortable position and I don’t sleep.

My body stopped making sense several years ago.

Théo took off the morning so he could meet me at the airport and help me take my bags back to my place.  He left me with the instructions not to sleep for very long…. which I ignored, sleeping for 3 hours.  (It was almost more, but I forced myself to wake up.)

And now I’m going to a dinner that I will probably sleep through.  I hope no one gets offended.

Pain au chocolat count: 40