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October 31, 2002

Joyeux Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Maybe I’ll get some photos from tonight’s party up on the web - if they’re not too scary!!! I bought one Euro’s worth of a costume at an American bookstore. You can probably bet I’ll get what I paid for.

In other news, I’m migrating this site to another server. I’ll explain more later, but I do apologize in advance for any/all of the strange things you might (not) see here the next week or so.

October 30, 2002

La bonne santé

Yesterday I had my required physical exam at the Office des Migrations Internationales for my French temporary residency permit. The whole time I kept wondering how different things must have been for all those folk entering the U.S. via Ellis Island. They didn’t get x-rays and probably had a little less privacy in general than we did. I must admit I had difficulty reading the top line of the eye chart, but then again the French eyechart had the big “E” on the bottom and the smallest print at the top.

We’re having a Halloween costume party here at the apartment this Thursday. (If you’re reading this in Paris and haven’t gotten an official invitation yet, consider yourself invited now.) We’ve invited the non-American students from our studio class to come so it’ll be interesting to see what sorts of costumes (or “fancy dress” as the British would say) they wear.

October 26, 2002

La télévision européenne

Spending these past couple years here in Europe, I’ve been fascinated with what American media makes its way eastward across the Atlantic. For instance, most films shown in Parisian movie theaters are made in Hollywood. Only about 40% of songs on French radio are in French; and, no, the majority of the other 60% aren’t in Swahili; they’re in English, American-English that is.

However, during lunch today with my architecture studio team, I was a little surprised and very amused to hear our Dutch colleague refer to the show Perfect Strangers!!! I can’t even remember how long it’s been since I’ve seen an episode, but to hear someone from Holland talk about Balki Bartokomous just brings it all back!

And just when I didn’t think any deeper cultural understanding could be reached, he goes on to allude to Bob Ross and his happy little trees! Apparently, they show “The Joy of Painting” in the wee hours of the morning. They’ve even memorialized him with his own flower.

October 22, 2002

Je deviens sec.

I’m still drying out from our rainy 2.5 hour walk through the 20th arrondissement - the site for our next architecture project. It appears that the name Atelier Franco-Americaine given to our studio here in Paris will be somewhat of a misnomer. A lot of students in the Erasmus program, the EU’s international exchange program, have signed up for the class. So we’ve got Belgian, Dutch, German, Irish, Israeli, Italian, Norwegian students (maybe I left a nationality or two out) joining us American and French students. Honestly, I’m not complaining one bit! Sure, I’d love to have more contact with French students, but it’s not your typical college class that has such an international conglomeration!

La rentrée à l'école

Good morning - even though y’all on the eastern coast of the U.S. have probably just headed to bed! Starting today French students are joining our classes. Yes, even though we Americans have been at it for six or seven weeks now, today’s the first day of school for students at the Ecole d’Architecture de Paris - La Villette. Working on a studio design with someone in a foreign language will definitely start to make things… interesting! I’m also hoping to sign-up for one of the university’s regular classes - i.e. one not taught by Georgia Tech faculty. I’ll just have to see how my schedule works out and what’s on offer.

October 18, 2002

Le tonnerre, la foudre, le verglas...

I’ve never heard thunder, seen lightning, or seen sleet in Paris before… until now! I think it might be nice to stay inside and read for the rest of the day.

FYI, this is post #100 on this weblog. Now you don’t have to waste your time counting.


This morning we had a visit from a chimney sweep. According to French national law, everyone’s required to have their chimneys (heater flues, etc.) cleaned once a year. He didn’t speak any English and, since we were just waking up after having celebrated Todd’s birthday with a few rounds Camera Roulette, we had a little difficulty figuring out why some seemingly random guy was at our knocking on our door early on a Friday morning.

He ended up bringing in a colleague to actually do the cleaning so I carried on a little conversation with him. His extent of English knowledge is confined to “Do you speak English?” “girls” “boy” and “table” - which we taught him after he asked for one to set the cleaning equipment upon. We were all a little worried about getting scammed or charged too much, but apparently these guys were legit, and we’d be breaking the law if we didn’t get our flue cleaned. So let it be known, we’ve got a clean chimney!

October 17, 2002

Joyeux anniversaire !

It’s a rainy afternoon in Paris so I’m going to take a nap. (Yes, this is a fairly pathetic posting, but it’s better than nothin’ ain’t it?) Everyone’s coming over tonight to celebrate Todd’s birthday. So it’s time for me to get my beauty sleep before welcoming everybody here at the apartment.

We got out of studio early this afternoon - a nice break from the quite prolonged classes we’ve experienced the past couple weeks. We were also informed of the site for our architecture project on which we’ll be working until sometime in the spring. The site’s not too far from our university along a heavily-trafficked, multi-cultural, commercial street. Our project will have a theme of travel, but that’s about all I know for now. Anyway, it’s time for me to take that nap already!

October 12, 2002

Bienvenue à Movable Type

I’ve just finished migrating this online journal from Blogger to Movable Type.

October 11, 2002


My box of winter clothes and architecture supplies from Scotland was finally delivered today! Yes, it took three weeks (two of which were somewhere here in France) to get here, but at least it’s finally here.

October 09, 2002

Je suis fatigué.

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep I’ve gotten the past couple nights, maybe it’s the continued pace of the architecture coursework regardless or in spite of being located in Paris, maybe it’s the waning hours of daylight - but I am exhausted. Maybe it’s one of those signs that I’m getting older and my perception’s changing, but a day doesn’t seem to hold as many hours and minutes as it used to. I’m hoping a little rest will help make things (at least feel) better. It’s too bad the final review for our first studio project is this Monday, otherwise I’d be heading out into the French countryside for a little “r & r.” I’m still enjoying every second here in Paris - no where else I’d rather be right now!

October 08, 2002

Carte de séjour

I’m free from deportation (at least for the next 12 months) after having obtained my temporary Carte de séjour this morning. The French really do love their paperwork, but overall the experience wasn’t too painful.

I woke up early this morning to finish an assigment that’s due this afternoon (which I’m still delaying by posting this) and happened to catch the ninth inning of the National League Division Series. Although I’m not exactly a Braves fanatic, it was a little saddening to watch them lose when they had two on with no outs in the last inning. I guess I won’t need to look for a sports bar showing the World Series now. So far I’ve seen very little coverage of American sports here. The Ryder & Davis Cups were in the news a couple weeks back because they involved Europeans but otherwise the French are too obsessed with football (soccer) and rugby to care too much about what goes on across the Atlantic.

October 06, 2002

Il pleut.

It’s raining here in Paris. I haven’t written anything here in the past couple days so I thought I’d at least include this little snippet of information.

A few of us went out last night as part of Paris’ first Nuit Blanche celebration. Different art exhibits and parties took place all over town all night long. We went to see one in particular at the Biblioth?que Nationale de France where a German group had set up one of the building’s four towers as a giant computer screen. The public was allowed to help program the screen by visiting the group’s website and designing images and animations. Unfortunately, we didn’t know about that until it was too late. Wouldn’t it have been neat for all of Paris to see an image you had created?!? Or to have played Tetris for everyone to see!?!

October 02, 2002

Le colis vient... j'espère !

Good news - my package from Scotland should be arriving this Friday! The people at Extand were able to track it down today after I called them yet again. As long as I don’t have to pay customs or a delivery fee I won’t be too upset that it’s arriving over a week late.

Today we began our visual arts class with Damien Valero at his studio. This term we’ll be making a newsletter to send back stateside to next year’s students and the Tech administration.

October 01, 2002

Vous avez le courrier !

Yesterday, I received two copies of the CD I designed for Poor Old Ben in the mail! I, along with the band, am glad they turned out so well. I guess you’d probably have to understand a little of the transatlantic ordeal we had getting the artwork ready to be printed to truly appreciate how excited and surprised we’ve been at the final results. Way to go guys, the music sounds great! (FYI, you can purchase your very own copy of the CD of the band’s website.)

But in other mail-related news, my box of sweaters and architecture supplies that was shipped from Scotland a couple weeks ago still hasn’t arrived. The parcel company attempted a delivery last Thursday when I wasn’t home. I called yesterday to arrange a new delivery time, but they are unable to track my package! It’s disappeared!!! I’m a little worried considering the company’s other delivery problems!