23 December, 2006

Last Post from Grenoble!

How can you tell it's me? Because I'm running late and have WAY too much stuff.

Good-bye, Grenoble!

19 December, 2006

Random thought of the day

I think that hot chocolate with cinnamon in it smells like dogs and I have no idea why.

14 December, 2006


I just filed and painted my nails. When I was in Paris a few weeks ago with Sam and Claire I bought a thing of almost-clear pink nail polish on a whim, and it's been a great investment. I feel so much better when my nails are all long and neat and painted. I paint them because they break way less if I do, so it's nice that the nail polish is almost clear.

One of my clearest memories of my Grandma (Dad's mom) is of the way she used to tap her fingernails on the table. She had lovely long fingernails, and she would tap them starting from the pinky, tap-ta-ta-tap. I loved her hands, the way they were all soft and gentle and wrinkly, and I loved the sound her fingernails made. I'd try to copy her, but I could never make the same noise.

I always thought it was just because it took some special trick, and that I would maybe learn how to do it when I was older, but I never could. Eventually, my first year in college, I stopped biting my fingernails. They grew long enough that all four of them grew past my fingertips, and one day I was sitting at my desk when I discovered that I could finally tap my fingers the way Grandma used to. Ever since then I've kept them as long as I can.

It drives my friends nuts, the way I'm always tapping my fingernails on something.


12 December, 2006

It lingers for weeks, they said

Elsa had some friends over tonight, and we ate raclette, one of the many wonderful dishes involving potatoes and dairy products indigenous to this region. I don't remember how it came up, but a while ago Jay told me a story about raclette and how it stinks and how one of his friends had been banned from having it in the house because of how horrible it smells. I can't really say I believed him. Sure, perhaps it did smell, but real raclette can't smell that bad, 'cause why would people eat it if it did? Besides which, I'd never heard anything from the people here about how it smells.

So they all came over, bearing fixings for raclette. And then they started talking about how bad it smelled. Better close your door, they said, or the smell will get in. I didn't clean before the dinner, Elsa said, because it'll stink so bad afterwards there's no point. We don't eat it at my house, Alexia said, because my father cannot take the smell.

I couldn't really smell anything. Don't worry, they said, you can't smell it now, because you got used to it as the smell built up. But later. You'll see. The smell lingers for weeks.

It was really good, and when we were all done and all the dishes were washed and I retreated into my room I still didn't really smell anything. Elsa said she was starting to, though, so I chalked it up to the fact that I have a bit of a cold and that maybe I just liked the smell.

I just left my room to go to the bathroom. God, it reeks.

09 December, 2006

Let's just pretend I didn't disappear for a week, kay?

I'm writing this on Sam's computer in her dorm room in Nottingham. England is, if you'll excuse my saying so, So. Cute.

I really liked Geneva, too. I spent a couple hours wandering around looking at things and just grinning the whole time. And Swiss chocolate is better than French chocolate. Oh my goodness.

The people smile at you in Switzerland. I ate lunch in a tavern (a non-alcoholic tavern- there was a sign on the wall talking about how So-and-so had labored here for the alcohol-free cause from 1915-1970), and the woman about my mother's age sitting next to me looked over and smiled at me. I was like, What? Excuse me? Is there something I'm missing here? and then realized that yes, actually, there was something I was missing, I wasn't in France anymore. So I smiled back, and boy did it feel nice. That restaurant was also the first time since I've been in Europe that other people left the restaurant before me. The Swiss eat much more like the Americans and are fatter than the French, and I find it very relaxing.