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December 2006 Archives

December 3, 2006

Kind of embarrassing

On Thursday night I got a call from some kid's mom asking me to tutor her kid. I hate the phone and think I have a fundamental handicap in being able to understand people on it. But this worsens when it's in another language. And by a fast-talking, accented mother. And I'm outside, with a truck driving by. I agreed to do some tutoring but didn't know when it was and eventually just told her I'd call her back in half an hour. I got Francisca to call her for me. She thought it was as awkward as I imagined it to be. I gave her the phone and a sheet of my availability and some details to get.

"Hello, I'm calling on behalf of Kevin. He doesn't understand French very well and he'd like me to set up times to tutor your son."

I'm not supposed to tutor for money at the high school, but the kid lives too far away for me to get to and from what I hear no one really cares. I tutor one son (last name is that of a famous French soccer player!) tomorrow at 5 (about the only thing I'll be doing tomorrow aside from finding lozenges or something) and his brother on Thursday. €ASH!

I was quite tired Friday morning and decided to take a short nap at the junior high during my 2-hour gap starting at 9. I sat in the teacher's library and heard teachers come in from time to time and one group giggling quietly. Later when I got up, one teacher asked me, "Have a nice sleep, kid?"

I bought my landlord Alain a few bottles of wine for hooking me up with cheap internet and to apologize for being an ungrateful phantom (fantôme ingrat). I put the wine with my rent check by his door and then slept for a dozen hours. (I'm always so tired on Fridays) He called me at noon on Saturday asking if I'd like to go to the Montauban v. Toulouse rugby match in Toulouse, he got free tickets from work. I joined him at 5 and we left with his friend Alain (in the French FBI, who commented on their friend Lazare driving 'like a Jew'). We parked on the grassy part of a roundabout and walked across the highway to the stadium (the parking there was taken). I sat between the Alain and Alain with them leaning forward to talk to each other and occasionally explaining something to me. Montauban lost, but as the team is a new addition to the upper tier of the league, Montauban fans are Toulouse fans anyway. And everyone was happy.

That's a giant banner resembling the Toulouse rugby jersey.

December 8, 2006

Anyone know a good French cobbler?

Upon further investigation (yes there was prior investigation), the hole in the bottom of my shoe is in fact really goddamned annoying. I imagined it was caused by all the little stones on the sidewalks. I also believe it could be the (retroactive) reason for my cold this week (that I'm nearly over).

The water's point of entry is the left lung, according to this diagram. And that fucks my shit up.

December 13, 2006

On Food

Not long after I came to Montauban my landlord invited me to eat with him. He revealed that he and his wife don't eat meat for dinner that often and I mentioned my vegetarianism. He seemed a little let down and rattled off all the different French foods I should try. I'd thought about it before I came here; how it's a cultural thing, the food is healthier, probably less cruel. I told him about this and how I'd at least like to go a solid 2 years vegetarian. So we agreed that after New Year's we'd have foie gras.
Back story

Now, I have a plan. Like I did 2 1/2 years ago. I was first going to give up all meat by January 1, 2006, but I ended up cramming it into 5 months. Just before the New Year I ended up cheating a little by getting pork ribs with Blake for his birthday and taking a bite of a Whopper that was in the fridge after Christmas. But since then I've not willingly/knowingly eaten any meat. I enjoyed the vegetarian egg rolls Romel's mom made for his wedding and soon found them to be full of beef.

After January 1, 2007 I will eat meat until July 1, 2007. Not regularly. Not at all. Just to try new foods in France and Ireland and to revisit my old friends (jerk chicken, chicken McNuggets, pork ribs, Ultradog, Whopper, crab rangoon, shrimp, fish and chips, etc.). On July 1, I'll be going vegan.

I've been thinking about vegetarianism as a copout for a few months now and the transition's only major hurdle will be cheese (sweet Isis do I love cheese!) but I need to face facts about where my cheese is coming from and what it's doing. Oh, and all the mystery foods at restaurants. But I saw Tom figure that out, I can deal with it too.

So, I'll use the next six months to figure this out while being even more lazy in my eating habits.


"Many people are eating too many animal products," Fontana said, as well as too many processed foods and sugars.

December 16, 2006


Either way, not a good idea. The rice I've been eating is so sweet and delicious. I thought, 'Hey, I bet I could mix it with some Nutella and make it like a dessert.' I used too much. It will be quite some time before I try to figure out the correct ratio.

December 19, 2006

Can you can a can as a canner can can a can?

To make me feel better about myself I've forced my students to say things like:

· The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.

They get so frustrated and I love it. I tell them about my problem with "th" in 3rd grade and how I had to watch my tongue in a mirror. (I actually don't remember much from speech class and it's weird.)

· Wunwun was a racehorse, Tutu was one too. Wunwun won one race, Tutu won one too.

· I saw a saw in Arkansas,
that would outsaw any saw I ever saw,
and if you got a saw that will outsaw the saw I saw in Arkansas,
let me see your saw.

· Nine new noisy, nosy, annoying neighbors.

· Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better.

· Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't very fuzzy,
was he?

After we do 'Fuzzy Wuzzy' I show them a list on the board:

bear bare
beer beard
burned bird
board bored
berry bury
bar borrow

They see "bear" and think of ear, dear, fear, gear, hear, near, tear, etc.

But I say, "A care bear wears a pear and tears into a stare." It makes no sense and I've given up explaining the care bears, but I hope it helps.

My favorite though is when I point to "beard" and I say, "What's this?" They say, "Oiseau" and make flapping motions.

(I've also done "i" "I" minimal pairs like
feet fit
beat bit
beach bitch
sheet shit
seek sick
peace piss

since I can never say, "Take out a sheet of paper," without them giggling.)

December 24, 2006

You get your presents a day early!

· Absolutely horrifying!

· When George Martin was knighted he made this his coat of arms.

(Notice the beetles and Latin motto "All You Need Is Love")

· Jet Man!

December 27, 2006

Roman Holiday

About December 2006

This page contains all entries posted to spacebase in December 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2006 is the previous archive.

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