Friday, June 15, 2018

Air Who?

I like the image of flying on Air France.  Its classy, at least in my mind. What ISN'T is the fascination that AF staff has with going on strike, every summer.  We're going to France this summer, and yes, the tickets over and back are on AF.  But this will be the last time, I think.  Enough is enough.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Today's the day that our French exchange student goes home.  We're sad.  Not devastated, but - sad.  Wishing that things were different.

Friday, June 08, 2018

The Return

This week, my American daughter returns to her new home in Virginia, and my French daughter returns to her home in France.

Meanwhile, my wife will be on a trip with her mother and sister, leaving me and the cat.

Going to be lonely around here.

Monday, June 04, 2018


This is the last week of the French exchange student as a resident in our home.  This coming Sunday, she gets on a plane for Paris.  We are sad, because we really bonded with her. 

I am sure that as things happen, we will become just a memory to her, but still: when her mother thanks us energetically for always being there for her daughter, and for being very supportive - in fact, she referred to us as famille et amis - family and friends -- well, its hard not to have warm feelings about their whole family.  That's a little ironic, because our contact with her parents has been minimal -- something to do with both of them working, and a six-hour time differencee between here and Paris.  But still:  we feel warmly toward the girl, and by transference, toward the family, too.

Even if they're curiously reluctant to let us adopt her.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Move Along, Move Along

Every available sitting surface in the Empire State Building observation areas has one of these spiky edges to make sure you don't rest there a bit. Except the toilets, and where they sell you stuff.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018


Just finished reading Friday Night Lights, about high school football, most notably in Odessa, Texas

After hearing about the TV series, I was expecting something uplifting -- tales of  occasional despair, yes, but ultimately acheivement, success, bonding, resulting in those guys who put up signs commemorating their high school football team of fifty years ago, and its winning season. Happy Days, but with footballs.

Not what I got.  FNL is, ultimately, a story of exploitation and misery. And being dumped for the newer, younger, faster model.

Nicely written, though.

Thursday, May 17, 2018


The feeling keeps coming back to me that our resident French exchange student is pulling the wool over  my eyes about something to do with  her relationship with a local guy.  I have nothing concrete to base that on -- just a feeling, based on something she said awhile ago about a situation where I thought he was lying, and she said No, I told him to say that.  And there is awareness that she is not above gaming the system - for example, getting to arrive in first class of the day a few minutes late (normally a reprimand or detention offence) by stopping at the nurse's office, showing the nurse a recent bruise from sports, talking briefly about it, and then getting a pass from the nurse to show up late without penalty.  Or the time that she did something in her sport which should have gotten her tossed from the game for a while, but she said Sorry in this meek voice with this cute French accent, and the referee just said Don't do it again, and let her continue. So it's just a hunch, that she's getting away with stuff, but it bugs me. I don't know if that's happening with this guy - or if I should care.  After all, she's leaving in about two weeks, and then she isn't my problem any more.

Not that she IS a problem - we all like her.  But when you start wondering about whether she's gaming the system in one sector, you begin to wonder about others.

Maybe what's really bugging me is that she's coasting through this year.  Of course, thats somewhat expected - as an exchange student, her grades don't count for anything so long as she keeps them above failing, and she does know that when she returns home, she'll have to take the year 'for real'. So she's putting in some effort, but its somewhat play acting, too..  Not taking it seriously. And that bothers me.  But if its true, as before, I don't know if I should really care. The year doesn't count, after all.

Or is it something else?