Just A Normal, Everyday ER Visit

French Word of the Day: Urgences (er-jaunce)- the ER

This is a bit long, so I littered it with pictures to entice everyone.

I am myself, so it was only a matter of time before I ended up in the ER.  Quite frankly, I’m surprised it hadn’t happened sooner.  I’m not exactly good at performing tasks like walking in straight lines.

The day before my visit, Sunday, was actually fairly normal.  I did yoga and then Arnaud and I wandered around Monmartre.  Here’s a bit of Sacre Coeur:

My picture focuses on the Merry-Go-Round.  Clearly the more important of the two visual objects.

We went behind the basilica and I found this building:

I assume it’s the Rectory… but you know what they say about people who assume: they’re always right.

We walked just a few blocks away and found a street littered with sex shops.  I thought its positioning was completely appropriate to one of the most well-known religious sites in the world.

This was on the street, but has nothing to do with either sex or religion:

For those who can’t read it, it says: “Bakery, Patisserie…  GREEK SANDWICHES!”

Only three things I’ve been trying to find in the same place for my entire existence.  I absolutely had to see the inside after such a sign.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this:

You see that and you think to yourself, “Okay, I’ll let you offer me Greek sandwiches too.”  I didn’t actually buy anything, but now that I know where I can find pastries and Greek sandwiches in one building… I probably still won’t go there.

So Arnaud and I parted ways and I reposed a bit before attempting to go to sleep.  I decided to be really good about it and go to sleep at 11pm.  My internship was the next morning at 11am.  I was fully prepared to get a proper amount of sleep.

When I lied (lied, not laid… hens lay, people lie… must remind self every time I write this) down, my neck began to hurt.  I couldn’t move it.  It felt like someone had taken a bat and struck it repeatedly.

I’m a bit forgetful sometimes, but I think I would remember someone hitting me with a bat.

To make matters worse, my neighbor decided this was the night she wanted to watch her television.  It wasn’t too loud, but I have supersonic hearing that magnifies when I attempt to sleep.  I can hear a pin drop in the next house over.  I let her watch for an hour, but then decided I’d had enough and banged on her door.

She didn’t respond.  I got tired of knocking and attempted to lie down with a sweater over my ears.  When that didn’t work, I banged on the wall.  And then again.

I went back out and banged on her door again.  At 3:30 am when I was starting to worry she had been murdered, she woke up and was all “Oh, do you want me to turn down the tv?”

No.  I’m just knocking on the door to ask for a cup of sugar.

My shoulder didn’t want me to sleep… even though I had complete silence.  The next morning I trekked to Shelley’s office and collapsed in it and said something along the lines of “No sleep.  Need sleep.  Pain.  Hurt.”  She called my lupus doctor, but he decided to go out of town this week.  I’m sure he and my lupus planned this together.

We went to the ER where they gave me pain meds and a really hot doctor asked me questions about my shoulder.  He’s convinced I pulled it doing yoga.  I’m not sure I agree that something I’ve done 4 times a week for a year without any neck problems just decided to hurt me, but then again, I don’t have a medical license.  The lupus doctor we saw today didn’t think it was lupus either, but he’s contacting my real doctor and letting him know.

The ER visit only lasted an hour.  I was impressed.  I don’t think I’ve ever had one under 5 in the US.

They gave me more pain medication and I was able to move my left arm properly.  Always a joy.  I then went home and took a much-needed nap.

I told Théo why I hadn’t been able to go to my internship, and he brought me these:

(Yes, that is a Sox cup for a vase.  Vases weren’t my main packing priority.)  This makes the 3rd bouquet of flowers I’ve ever received from a guy, so I was most pleased.

He also brought and made me dinner, which was nice to not have to worry about.

Now I’m just chillin’ and restin’.  Shelley has ordered me to take it easy for the next few days.  I feel much better already, but she doesn’t want me to overdo it by starting my internship tomorrow, so I’ll wait until next week.  This means it’ll extend into my Spring Break, but as I haven’t booked anything yet, I’m not worried.

In my boredom, I have made a twitter account.  This is mainly because I’m utterly convinced that everyone in the entire world needs to hear every thought that crosses my mind and because I want to feel like Taylor Swift and I are friends in real life: http://twitter.com/#!/megselise I’m willing to follow people to make it look like I have real friends.

Not sure I’ll have much to say in the next few days, as I plan on being boring.  I am feeling better though, so no need to worry!

Pain au chocolat count: 56



French Word of the Day: pourquoi (pour- kwa)- why

I think everyone should know that “sparkly hearts” and “sparkly hearts pretty” are the top searches for my blog in the past few days.  Ça me plaît beaucoup.

Today I finished my class at L’Etoile (the star), the school I’ve been attending for the past four weeks.  My real classes start this next week, as does my internship.

I’m a bit worriedone of my classes because one of my grammar teachers- Madame DuBois- was my Business French teacher… the one who liked to assign entire workbooks for homework.  She’s also not so fond of Americans.  She corrected my grammar 8 times more than the other people in the class, and I’m pretty sure it’s not because I was 8 times worse than everyone else (maybe just 7 times worse).  It wasn’t even a grammar class!  I expect this time will be worse.  And there will be more accusations about how Americans have destroyed the Earth with their “McDonald’s”.

God, I hope there’s another American in the class to diffuse the anger.

My internship, however, should be lovely.  English is my favorite language, mostly because I can actually speak it without someone correcting my pronunciation.

To prepare for the craziness that will be next week, I’m doing my laundry now.  (On a Friday evening… I’m such a rock star.)  As you are all well aware of, French washing machines do not like me.  I somehow have managed to keep all my clothes their original color, but I highly suspect that I broke one of the machines.  And by highly suspect, I mean it keeps flashing “Stop!!!!” in French and won’t let me put any clothes in it.

How did it break?  I don’t know.  I followed the instructions!  I only filled it up halfway with clothes.  It was on the proper settings…  I think it knows I’m American.  Madame DuBois must have told it.  Or maybe I’ve been speaking to it in English and it only understands French?  The button says “Start” in English.  I assumed it was a bilingual machine.

I’m getting tired of needing perfect change to do laundry.  The next place I move is going to have a washing machine that doesn’t speak French or require special coins or turn my clothes blue.

*EDIT*: I just figured out that the machine is going on strike.  It’s the only explanation.  It really IS a French machine…

Pain au chocolat: 55 (I bought one today to make change for the laundry)

Bon Saint Valentine!

French Word of the Day: amour (ah more)- love- although I assume you all knew that

I’m a day late, but I hope that you all had better things to do on Valentine’s Day than check my blog and wonder why I hadn’t updated.

I couldn’t find glitter, otherwise I would have send you all sparkly postcards.  Apparently the French don’t do the Valentine’s Day card thing… just a ton of flowers.  There are always men walking around throughout the city trying to get you to buy flowers, but they triple their already impressive numbers for the day of amour.  Théo and I saw a vendor yesterday and automatically did our “AHHHHH NO FLOWERS!” duck away from him.  After we passed him, Théo said, “Oh right, I probably could have gotten you one today… I’m just so used to avoiding them that it’s a reflex.”

I told Théo not to get me anything for Valentine’s Day because I’m not that big a fan of Valentine’s Day gifts unless they contain glitter.  This could also be because I have a long and glorious tradition of being sick on Valentine’s Day and mentally associate it with viruses.

I didn’t have a horrible cold or the flu for this one!  Although I did have a doctor’s appointment for my lupus, so I don’t know if that c0unts.  Théo came with me and amused me with the Valentine’s Day messages section in the newspaper.  Thing I learned:  the average French person is just as bad at writing sappy love messages as the average American person.

This one is a sample, but also for Jean-Pierre… my own, my love, my car:

It says, “Jean-Pierre: My love, since we met you have been my daily sunshine/ ray of sunshine!”

Some people might suggest that this picture has been photo-shopped and that the original ad was from some woman named Christine who was talking to a real man and not a green, VW bug.  Those people would be wrong.

After the doctor’s appointment, I attempted to help Théo buy a gift for his sister for her birthday.  It should be noted that I suck at shopping.  We went to jewelry places and clothing stores and makeup places.  Normally our conversations consisted of this:

Théo: How’s this?

Meghan: No… not that.

Théo: How about this?

Meghan: Maybe?

Théo: Maybe?  Do you have any ideas?

Meghan: I don’t know… I’m not really good at being a girl.  Maybe you should ask Annuli to help; she’s a real girl.

Of course, as soon as he decided he was going to get her a television series instead, I was much more helpful.  I gave him 5 things to choose from and promised that she would like whichever one he chose.  He picked Arrested Development, which no one in France has heard of.  I was extremely saddened to find this out.  I’m glad Chloé will at least be able to see its brilliance.  (Here’s to hoping the jokes translate well into French!)

Does it say something that I’m better at DVD shopping than clothing/ jewelry/ makeup shopping?  Other than that I’d be an awful personal shopper.  Ooo!  I can also pick out chocolate!  Food and television…

This is why I don’t like people buying me things for Valentine’s Day.  I don’t even know what to get me for Valentine’s Day.  Besides pain au chocolat, which Théo DID buy for me.  He also got me a drink, so I think that counts.

I just realized I didn’t get him anything.  Who wants to send me glitter so that I can make an obnoxious, heart-shaped card for him with poorly written French poetry (that I may or may not be stealing word-for-word from the newspaper ads from yesterday)?  I know that’s what every guy wants to get for Valentine’s Day so he can show it to all his friends.

Just like that one.

This is probably why God makes sure I’m sick every Valentine’s Day… so that my boyfriends don’t die of embarrassment at their glitter cards.

Pain au chocolat count: 52

If you’re the person who stole the pains au chocolat from my bakery, read no further.

French Word of the Day: héros (air-oh)- hero, as in “did you ever know that you’re my…”

I have some bad news and some good news.

The bad news is that my bakery ran out of pain au chocolat, which means that it’s possible for that to happen, which means the world just got a little darker.

The good news is that Brittany, my college roommate, sent me a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which have chocolate AND peanut butter.  They’re already gone.  I was going to save them, but then I remembered that bakeries could run out of pain au chocolat, and the Reese’s were needed.  Sometimes I eat my feelings.

She also gave me a historical trashy romance novel… which is the best kind.  I give her a 20, which is the best French grade you can get.  And also this personalized gold star that I made with Paint:

(Coincidentally “gold star” is one of the most commonly searched terms for finding my blog.  True story.)

I also had a good interview today (you would think THAT would be my good news, but chocolate always comes before work).  I think the woman really liked me.  She’s British, so we both have our Anglophone-ness in common.  She was excited that I knew French, because apparently no one on her team has a strong French background (she speaks Italian).

It’s a good thing they’re working in Paris.

I don’t know if I got it, but she’s British, and will therefore probably let me know BEFORE I’m suppose to have completed my internship.

*EDIT*: The British are way faster.  I got the job!

Pain au chocolat count: 50…  sigh

Un Travail Finalement?

French Word of the Day: anglais (awn-gleh)- English

I didn’t get the internship.  When the person who finds us internships told me the news, she said, “She really, really liked you, but she just couldn’t find time in her schedule to train you.  I think you’re probably better off.  I get the feeling they weren’t very organized.”

Their “tomorrow” lasted two weeks.  I’m positive they weren’t organized.

But fear not!  I have an internship tomorrow with a major newspaper company IN ENGLISH!!!!!!!  As French has far too many grammar rules, I prefer writing in English.

I think it’s impossible to be completely perfect in French.  Why?  In past century, someone decided to make everyone start adding random “e”s and “s”s to the ends of some words even though they’re not pronounced just to complicate things… and to show plural and feminine words… but mostly just to complicate things.  For example?

  • Je l’ai envoyé. (I sent it)
  • Je l’ai envoyée. (I sent it with a feminine noun)
  • Je les ai envoyés.  (I sent it with a plural noun.)
  • Je les ai envoyées. (I sent it with a feminine, plural noun.)

Envoyé , envoyée, envoyés, envoyées are all pronounced the same way, but if you don’t have the proper ending, it’s wrong.  And someone decided to make this rule for fun.  Probably someone who was really bored and had the time a lot of time on his hands.  And no girlfriend.  Or boyfriend.

Of course, I’m not a fan of masculine and feminine nouns either.  I want all my words to be equal and not be judged by their gender.  This is generally the reason I give when my teachers tell me that I’m using the wrong gender.

It’s never worked as an excuse.

But anyway, the newspaper job will be in English!  If that doesn’t work out, I have another job opportunity also in English (that my internship person assured me was mine for the taking if I don’t like the newspaper one).  Regardless, I WILL HAVE AN INTERNSHIP IN A WEEK AND A HALF!!!!!  Deep sigh of relief.

Because I forced you all to take a French lesson, here’s something that’s not French and is called “La Joconde,” but you might know it by another name:

I was at the Louvre on a random Wednesday right before closing, so there weren’t many tourists.  (Note: This rarely occurs.  Normally this wall has a zoo in front of it.)  I like the bullet proof glass and the fact that she has her own wall.  She also has her own guard, precautions all courtesy of an Italian attempt to bring it back to their country (by stealing it… gotta love the Italians).

Little known fact: The painting was named for Lisa del Giocondo… this is a prominent theory. Through UV rays or x-rays or infrared rays or whatever types of rays they were doing on the painting (I would make an awesome scientist), they just found that she originally had a hat painted on her head.  This would have fit in with traditional maternity wear of that time period, solidifying this theory, as the painting was commissioned in honor of the birth of her second son.

I don’t know that they’ve let out the information about the hat yet, but you all now have insider Louvre info.  It definitely wasn’t on wikipedia.

Enjoy being smarter than everyone who only uses wikipedia as their source of information.

Pain au chocolat count: 50… fail.

A Picture-Happy Post

French Word(s) of the Day: en panne (awn panne)- out of order, broken

My camera is en panne (technology doesn’t like me very much), so this post contains blackberry pictures.  Though blurry, they’re probably less blurry than any my camera could have produced.  I got into picture-taking mode this weekend.  This probably means that my blog entry will take 8 times longer to load than usual, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Versailles was lovely, as always.  We got a special tour of the king’s private rooms.  The king had a ceremony every morning when he woke up and when he went to sleep.  People would watch both occasions.  In between these two ceremonies, he would be woken up by his valet and moved to a completely different bed in a completely different room.  This means he fell asleep and woke up twice everyday.  As if being king wasn’t work enough.

Being woken up twice everyday would suck, but I can feel his pain.  My neighbor’s alarm clock rings everyday a half hour before mine does.

We got to go into the chapel at Versailles, which I’ve never been able to do before.  They don’t let you go in, normally.  You just stand outside the chapel entrance and try to take pictures over everyone’s heads.  Not this time!  I was a VIP; I got to cross the red gate.

You want to cross the red gate.  The non-gate-crossers were jealllllous.  They tried to get in with us, but Shelley weeded them out.

Can you hear the angels singing?Not too shabby, eh?

This is where the king sat for mass…  Higher than everyone else.  Nowadays, this is where the people with the loud babies go.  And choirs.

And this is the beautifully painted ceiling.  You can’t see that behind the red gate.

On Sunday, Théo and I finished off my cake.  This was, of course, a very trying task.  Who likes eating delicious, critically-acclaimed cake?

It really was well-received.  Everyone at the party raved about it, and even Arnaud asked me who made it.  Théo has informed me that its deliciousness came from intense amounts of butter, sugar, chocolate, and eggs.  I don’t expect it will appear in any health food cookbooks.  But it really was fabulous.

Théo posing with his masterpiece.  He doesn’t know I’m putting this on here… I might have to take it down if he finds it, so shhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Even the cat wanted some:


(He sat on that chair and stared at the cake of his own free will, btws.)

Ok, I leave you now with this photo I took while walking through the metro:

It reads “Vivez la magie de l’Egypte!” which means “Enjoy the magic of Egypt!”

Maybe not right now.

Pain au chocolat count: still 50, but I had CAKE!!!!!!

Une Grand Fête

French Word of the Dayanniversaire (anne-ih-verse-air)- birthday

My birthday was yesterday, so naturally a party was in order.  My friend, William, had his birthday last week, so we gathered forces and made a double party.  (I have a twin.  I don’t know how to have a party where it’s just me.  I need to share.)

We know how to throw a party.

Théo talked to the owner of this bar we go to all the time, and he set up the bar for us.  We took over the whole thing.

It was really nice to have a party where I actually knew everyone who was invited.  (With the exception of 4 of William’s friends, all of whom spent the night hitting on some of my American friends.)

Sam was also there.  He actually mentioned the blog.  He said, “So my mom tells me you have a blog.  She read the LOTR entry.  Could you give her a shout out and let her know that I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to take some of her calls?  I’m always busy when she calls.”

Shout out to Mrs. Kunkel!

I asked him if he wanted the address of the blog and he said, “It’s okay, I’ll just ask my mom.”  Sam, if you ever actually read this, I hope I gave an accurate presentation of your message.

Théo made me a cake (brownie cake) for my birthday because I love cake.  He even half-baked it so that the center would be gooey.  This is because “Meghan likes not-fully-cooked things” which is in reference to my consumption of raw cookie dough.  (Is it my fault it tastes better than the actual cookies?)  And also a reference to my getting a half baked chocolate cake (mi-cuit) whenever it’s available on the menu for dessert.

The Americans all left around midnight, missing by just moments the striptease one of my guy friends deemed it was absolutely necessary I have.  I thought he was kidding until he took off his shirt.  We made him keep his boxers on.  After all, it was a birthday party not a bachelorette party.

I took a picture of him taking his shirt off, but I don’t know that he would want me to put it on here.  I assume alcohol was present in his decision to disrobe.

The owner gave me free drinks all night, which was extremely generous of him.  I didn’t have that many, to the chagrin of several of my friends.  But our program is going to Versailles today.  I didn’t want to have to say, “Was this Marie Antoinette’s vase, or am I allowed to throw up in it?”

William and I both had so much fun that he insisted we do it again next year.  When I told him I wasn’t sure if I’d still be in France, he said, “No, you will.  You must.”

It was definitely a good birthday, so I’d do it again.

Pain au chocolat count: 50 (how appropriate to reach this number for my birthday.  I had two yesterday for breakfast)