Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Once you're born, you're screwed

"Abortion is murder and Roe v. Wade is an abominable decision. I support the right to life of every unborn child." ''Bill Pryor, Attorney General of Alabama - currently one of President George W. Bush's federal appellate court nominees, in response to NARAL's 2002 Pro-Choice America Survey.''

"It matters not to me whether the actions would leave children unprotected. My job is to make sure that the state of Aabama isn't run by federal courts. My job isn't to come here and help children." ''Bill Pryor when questioned after a hearing in 2002 why he undermined a consent decree in Alabama that was improving the state's child welfare system.''

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Might be as good as Strong Bad


Granted, this one doesn't have nifty little movies. But, if you have a slow-ass connection, that actually might be better.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Learn how to love...and forget how to hate.

Well, I'm back. And real damn depressed about it.

I've returned in the midst of season premieres on T.V., and the extent to which I do not care has brought home to me just how out-of-touch with pop culture I am. For example, it took a trans-Atlantic voyage for me to discover the Osbournes.

Every once in a while we'd be too tired to think and want to watch some T.V. There were (of course) almost no English language programs. Euro Sport was pretty much all in English, so [The Boyfriend] and I ending up watching more ladies' cross-country mountain biking and championship horse-jumping than we ever have in our lives.

I also happened upon the Osbournes one night. It was not dubbed over (although it did have German subtitles; don't ask me why) so I started watching it. You know what? That show is frickin' hilarious!

I'm afraid I might have missed out on the phenomenon completely. Is the show still on anymore? Who was that blonde lady who was always in the house? Do they have some other kid named Aimee? Where the hell is she? Am I the only one of us who thinks this show is funny?

Friday, September 19, 2003

Creepiest Tourist Attraction Ever!!!

Today we went to see the catacombs where there are tons and tons of people buried. According to one tour guide, three times the number of people currently living in Paris are buried there.

So, we're walking, and walking, and walking through these underground tunnels, and I'm thinking this is the biggest waste of time so far. Then we came to a doorway above which was written in French: Stop, you are entering the empire of the dead! When we walked through the door I was horrified. Stacks and stacks of bones lined all the walls. There were layers of skulls among the bones looking at us. Some of the skulls were arranged in crosses or arches. We probably walked for about half an hour past millions and millions of bones. Here are a few pictures, but they hardly do it justice:




I wondered if they ever have someone just lose it down there. Also, there are people whose job it is to sit down there in the dark all day and supervise the bones. I bet those people have weird dreams at night.

This is not, however, the only underground activity in Paris. You can go on an underground boat ride (previously mentioned).

You can go in the sewers and learn about waste water management in Paris, which we did. Big shocker - it stank.

Also, you can go in the crypts under the Pantheon and see the tombs of all sorts of famous people. Particularly of note was the tomb of Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, and Alexander Dumas. They had really creeped up this room with very atmospheric eerie purple lighting. Other famous dead folks under the Pantheon: Marie Curie, Voltaire, and the guy who invented Braille (Mr. Braille).

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

More stuff we looked at

This is a very interesting landmark because it does not seem to serve any actual purpose as far as [The Boyfriend] and I can tell:

La Grande Arche de la Defense


It is just an enormous, empty, white, square building. Notre Dame could fit inside of it, but it doesn't seem to commemorate anyone or anything. No events or business seem to take place inside of it. If anyone else knows, tell me what the deal is.

Speaking of Notre Dame... One of the coolest things so far was going up inside the tower at Notre Dame. We got to see the huge bell that they ring and close-ups of cool gargoyles like this:

Although to be completely accurate they're called chimeras if they are solely decorative.

Another exciting event; [The Boyfriend] and I found a Tex-Mex restaurant to eat at. It had killer Margaritas - very strong and all fresh ingredients. Their nachos were great, too. It was called Indiana Cafe. I don't know how they got the idea that Indiana has anything to do with Tex-Mex. Here's their website if you're curious about French Tex-Mex:


Fashion Update

Considering that all Parisian fashions eventually seem to make their way to the U.S. here are my fashion predictions for the not to distant future:

Very pointy toed shoes are in. I mean border-line Santa's elves type shoes.

For the more casual shoe wearer we have the super-duper high top. Basically, an Adidas tennis shoe that goes half way up your leg. Tres chic!

My next prediction is that having a scarf elaborately looped around your neck at times will become essential to haute couture. I do mean at all times. Even if it is bright and sunny and 89 degrees and your face is turning red. You should not be caught dead without your elaborately looped scarf.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see if I'm right...

Monday, September 15, 2003

How time flies

I can't believe I only have 5 days left! That last one doesn't even count because we're just going to the airport.

Let's see...[The Boyfriend] and I have been running around all over the greatest Paris area looking at some incredible stuff. For example, we went to the Centre George Pompidou. Here it is:


It's all inside-out with the airducts and pipes and everything on the outside of the building. The escalators and elevators are also on the outside which makes for a pretty good view on the way up. Inside is a modern art museum where I think I may have seen my favorite piece of art ever. It's an installation piece that looks like a tiny, crappy artist's studio, except there's this catapult contraption in the middle of it and a huge hole in the ceiling. If you peer into the studio, you can see a tiny diorama of the city with a thin silver wire showing a trajectory through the roof of one of the buildings arking into the clouds. All I could do as I looked at the work was grin and think, "He made it; the crazy bastard made it!" So much modern art is just grim. This piece seemed to celebrate the culmination of a grand plan, and it gave me alot of joy. However, like a dumbass, I can't remember the artist or the title. If anyone has any idea what the piece is that I'm talking about, please tell me!

Also, here is a little bit of advice: don't do any of that touristy group tour shit. No matter how cool it sounds, it will suck. The tour bus was crap, but that should have been evident to me up front. I don't know what I was thinking. (Yes I do. I was thinking that I was fucking tired of walking. It still wasn't worth it.) But, there was this boat tour that sounded so cool. It would take you through these underground canals that go under what used to be the Bastille. I couldn't resist. Let me tell you, there isn't much that is eerie or mysterious about chugging through a concrete tunnel with the headlights on while choking on diesel fumes. [The Boyfriend] and I decided that we don't like most people nearly enough to spend three hours stuck on a boat or a bus or whatever with any of them.

OK, I think I'm done spouting. Here are some pretty pictures:

The Jardin du Luxembourg: Definitely my favorite park so far; maybe my favorite thing on the whole trip:


Hall of Mirrors at Versailles:


The Eiffel Tower:


Thursday, September 11, 2003

I'm still here

These last two days have been exhausting, so I'm too tired to write much. More than anything, I miss coffee-to-go. You know, where they put it in a little styrofoam cup for you and you take it with you anywhere you want - back to bed, down the street, anywhere. That may be the one thing that could increase my enjoyment of this vacation. You can probably tell how tired I am by the fact that I'm spending two weeks toodling around Paris and all I can think about is coffee.

Once again, I'm running out of time on the computer. Having the "a", "w", ",", ".", and the "m" (among other keys) in the wrong places is not helping my typing efficiency.

Have fun at the Bavarian!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

We made it!

Ze ,qde it1

If you touch type "We made it!" on a French keyboard you get the line above. Why do they have to make everything so hard? I guess I really shouldn't say that considering almost everyone we've met speaks English while I only know about 10 words of French. That is enough, however, to form approximately 3 complete sentences. Each of which I have used with some success.

So far we've seen Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Musee d'Orsay, and the Jardin des Tuileries.

Here's Sacre Coeur:

Here is the Jardin des Tuileries:

We even walked up to Sacre Coeur and climbed up all the stairs to the top of the dome. I can hardly describe how many stairs that is without using scientific notation.

My time's almost up on the computer, so ...

Au revoir!

Friday, September 05, 2003

Au Revoir

Tomorrow I'm off to the City of Lights. Ah, Gay Paris, land of cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

After two weeks of strolling around Paris, I may be too cultured to hang out with you guys. Of course, a trip to McDonald's pretty much qualifies me as too cultured to hang out with you guys, so I guess it won't make alot of difference.

Here's to hoping that no one spits on me for being a war-mongering American...