Adventures in Yonderland

A log of my adventures, both real and imagined.

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Just so’s ya know

I am back in the U.S. for a while, spending my time between family and friends. And being ever thankful that I have these wonderful people in my life. Coming soon are posts about the surprisingly small amount of strange things I’ve found here in the land of the free, the Lyon trip post I’ve promised for about a month now, and maybe an excerpt from the Diary of C.M. Pine. That is, if I can find that thing…

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and to those of you who don’t celebrate either of those things, peace and love be with you.

Home

I’m there. 🙂

I’ll have a post on Lyon, finals and all the small little strange quirks I’ve been slowly digging up in the USA soon.

But right now it’s time for family.

Also. There is snow. BEST DAY EVER!

On my Way Home

Well almost. Leaving Aix for the good ol’ United States on Friday. I’m excited, I’m exhausted and I have no idea how I’m getting all the stuff I want to bring home in my suitcase! Still, I am definitely going to miss my soup-in-a-box, cheap local wine and this for two weeks.

IMG_5561

 

The Christmas Post

This little bit of ADD is all about deep stuff. Just so’s you know.

We see a lot every year about how Christmas is so commercialized and how it brings out the worst in people. Every year some intellectual high school students, college kids and cynical adults,* all post on blogs, facebook, twitter and God knows what else, about this “new” fact. But guys. It’s freaking Christmas. No matter what people decide to do with it, I think it’s one of the most beautiful holidays we have. I get to sit down every year and see EVERYONE in my family. All. At. Once-ish. I get to say “I love you,” tell stories about how I’ve grown and hear stories about others. I get to give not just presents, but silent “I love you’s” to my family. I try to put myself into the gifts I give.

In fact, I’ve given poems or stories to more than one relative. And I think instead of critiquing these crazy super-shoppers, we should take a minute and feel something for them. Because what in God’s name is so important that you really have to tussle for it? Shouldn’t we take a minute and feel sorry for these people who don’t realize that what’s really important is thought and time? Not money or stuff. Thought and time. Somehow they’ve confused the too. They maybe think that this high-tech, high-demand video game is what their children need to be happy. But you know. I don’t think that’s it. Christmas morning, I’ll admit, I always hope for lots of presents. But. BUT. It’s not because I really, really want the stuff. It’s because I know that for each additional present under that tree, there’s five more minutes my family and I can be together and say nothing but “I love you.”

And you know. I don’t think anyone should ever be jealous. And I’ll be honest and say I can be a very jealous person. But think about it. A) the things that make other people happy are GOOD. Think about all those sources of love and security around you. What would you do without them? Why covet if that means taking that happiness from someone else? B) Why not start counting your blessings instead? I mean. Today, for instance, the sun rose. And as a consequence we had a sunrise, a sunset, wind, rain, that breath of warmth you get on your skin in spring, and life. Every day. I mean. Obviously, someone loves you. And isn’t that worth more than anything you could possibly be jealous of? Who else is going to get the sun to rise for the whole world everyday?

*obviously I’m overgeneralizing. LET THE ENGLISH MAJOR STYLE GUYS.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas!!

santa

Stop

I want everyone to take a moment and stop what they are doing right now.

And I want them to pray. Or if they aren’t religious, to think or meditate. Not on or about the children killed in Connecticut. Not about humanity. About this one simple thing.

I want everyone to stop and think about one beautiful thing they saw this year. Just one. And I want everyone to pray that something just as beautiful happens every moment of every day.

Because, while I don’t think we’ll ever get to that level of perfection. It’s a hell of a lot better than where we are. And people, no matter how much crap they decide to do, are some of the most beautiful things about this world. And they deserve to have a good sunrise and a comforting sunset. Whether that come from the sun, or from us other, more momentarily able people.

Five Lessons

So I’ve only been in France four months. These are five things I’ve learned:

1) Just because I live on a mountain doesn’t mean your beach isn’t awesome. Meaning that just because I’ve taken the “high ground” (let’s just say that according to Wikipedia, “Due to a law dating from 1872, the French Republic prohibits performing census by making distinction between its citizens regarding their race or their beliefs.” Which sounds great, but kind of, you know, hides any possible racism you could cite with statistics) doesn’t make me necessarily better than you. We’re just different. That said, New Orleans floods.

2) Whatever intelligence is, I guarentee you can’t define it. In Cognitive psych we talked about how memory is exponentially cumulative (thank you schemas), so me and my intelligent self won’t get as much as someone who’s studied the subject more for no other reason than they have more experience in the area. Plus, take a test in a different language and you tell me about intelligence.

3) Food is magic. I can’t express to you the power of daily, fresh baguettes and soup. If God gave man soul Nyquil, food would be it. And the best part is, everyone has their own. And we all get to share it.

4) Music is magic. I would go crazy without music here. It’s a home. Like books, but even those are like a cramped little hut when you have to read them in French.

5) If you’re constipated you either: have not consumed enough water, have not been eating enough fruit/vegetables/whole grains, are stressed out and need to chill, or some combination of the three.

So basically, sit back and relax. Accept difference and embrace both it and your own quirks without considering one better than another. Eat good, whole food. And take time to listen, hydrate, eat and relax. ‘Cause too many people die on the toilet.

Alright

So Imma be honest and say, I’m really tired and have zero motivation to do a post today recapping my Lyon adventures. I’m going to reluctantly promise one for tomorrow haha. To be fair, I have two papers to write and all the research to do for them by next week in addition to class and all the other wonderful opportunities I have here in France.

I will however say, if you have the opportunity to go to the Festival of Lights in Lyon. Go.

Quick Note on Friendship

You know, just the other night I was with a group of French when I saw another American studying in Aix that I know passing by, and we waved and said “hi” and she continued on her way. Very normal for us Americans, that’s just how it goes. But the French people were all confused. They were like, “Americans are so distant. It’s weird.” Because they stop, “bisent” (cheek kisses) and chat for a bit. And it made me think for a minute.

Because, in a sense they have a point. I mean, I find the French colder than Americans, but they do have a good point in that we engage in that very superficial kind of greeting very often.

But here’s a secret about me: Even if I just wave and say hello to my friends. I would hardly hesitate to do anything for them. It doesn’t matter what they need, what they have done, or even how they have treated me. I might be individual in that. But I actually do believe in love. In honesty. In helping other people. In forgiveness. And maybe that causes me pain sometimes, but that is when I turn to friends who will do the same for me. For those I count my friends, and they are many, I will say that I will always love them and listen to them.

But distant. No. Perhaps in the sense that we are far, that we don’t just engage in familiar conversation. But when I say “hello, how are you?” It’s an invitation. And that’s where us Americans get the completely opposite stereotype of being welcoming as well. Because, well. We are.

Post Navigation