Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Moodlifters 4th edition

Another Monday... another reason to read JNSQ.
I've caught my first shitty cold of the year. It's crap out. Winter isn't looming, but rather banging on our doors saying "Let me in you assholes, I'm here to make sure your nuts get goosebumps!" (watch out fellas.) And worst of all... my job is still... STILL... going to last another month and a half before I can declare freedom from that torturous chamber of daily despair.

Let's have a laugh. Enjoy some of my favorite links, just a few but you'll take it & like it.
Happy Monday
xx S





Nick Holmes - Mustache

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paris Proust Files: Give-away Winners!!


Nearly a hundred of you participated in the give-away via e-mail, twitter, blog comments and DM -- Thanks to everyone who shared their traits, impressions and comments!

And now, the moment of truth!!

The Winners are...

Paris Karen and Christine (@camorose)!

Congrats ladies! Please send me via e-mail your addresses so I can send you the books! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
As for the other participants, this won't be your last chance to win something fab! Next giveaway is coming up after my interview with Forest from 52 Martinis, so stay tuned!!

xx S

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Feature - Reforms, Rants and Rationalizations, OH MY!! (Bonjour Paris Guestage)

Crossposting here, read it on Bonjour Paris!

Here it comes. Day one of the latest bout of major national strikes against the retirement reform. I feel like the French have become a lot of fisherman, frantically reeling in seaweed strands from an empty lake, and then getting so upset they tip their boat over.

I know you're mad. I know it's unfair. But, just because some bully came & stole your lunch money, doesn't mean you have to dump my hamburger into my lap. What? That's what it feels like to me. They crap on you, so you crap on the nation. So there. Take that, nation! ... oh wait.. you... didn't...do anything.

If I were the government I'd be laughing at us. We're face-punching ourselves, our limbs have gone rogue. I get why the strike is happening, and I get that people are trying to provoke a reaction, but how many politicians do you know who take the metro?

This strike literally has no end in sight. The great pout could go on for weeks, nay, MONTHS, and there's absolutely nothing the rest of us can do about it but get smooshed in the trains. Harrumph.

This is not the first, and probably not the last time I'll blog about this. Paris + reform = strike. That's the long & short of it.

The expat community in Paris is pretty magical, so I asked them to share their two cents. I asked them:

Why is it that transportation industry strikes more than anything else? Do we rely on them to do our striking for us or do they just hate their jobs more than the average Jean? What's your take on the strike? Do you think it's helpful? Do you think it will get something accomplished? Yay or Nay?

Lay it on me.

And here's what they said! Thanks to everyone who chimed in, looking forward to what our readers have to say as well!


Thus said the tweeps & bleeps:

THE SKY IS FALLING! Oh no, that's just snow...and strikes. Both disasters - whether induced by Mother Nature or Mother F--kers - turn Paris (and all hope of a normal schedule) upside down. Case in point: today, I've already had a press conference, a lunch meeting and an afternoon rendez-vous cancelled, all due to "la grève." (Or perhaps I smell?) ENOUGH ALREADY! Want to get the French government's attention? Note: THEY DON'T TAKE THE METRO. Or the bus. Or the RER. Find a French politician's chauffeur and kidnap him - that would be more effective. Steal his cigarettes. Cancel his lunch reservation at l'Arpège. Or tell his wife about his mistress (oh, she already knows - nice try). THAT would be a more effective strategy. But causing daily pain to us plebians just trying to get through the many arrondissements that is the escargot of Paris? Not fair. The strikes are part of what makes France, France. A 60 year-old French guy actually wanting to rush off to work (after a trip to the gym for 40-minutes on the ellyptical followed by a Lipitor-filled smoothie then a doctor's check-up- oh wait, sorry I'm confusing him with an AMERICAN 60ish year-old, the French guy actually listened to the radio for 40 minutes, smoked a cigarette and ate a slice of baguette with butter then left for his 2.5-hour lunch break) is not a French man at all. But I feel for you, Monsieur De la Lazy, you've worked hard* (*by French standards) your whole life and you want a break. OK, great. Protest. Yell. Scream. March in the streets (well not mine, but you get the idea). But don't mess with my metro.



Rebecca's response cracked me up. :) True, all that.

There was a sentence by a writer at BonjourParis.com in this article on the strikes: "The government is the one side that has showed flexibility and a willingness to negotiate, whereas unions are indoctrinated and being quite stubborn in the face of economic realities. "

I agree with what is written there. I was talking to my American friend who lives in the south of France about the strikes and she said what we have right now is what happens when people "cry wolf" too often, which is what happens every time there is a strike (and she has lived in France for 14 years, too, and seen this over and over): every time a new contested issue comes up, the ante is raised, and the game of bluff ensues, and the stubborn unions come off as being so because they have to keep up the appearance of not being pansies when it comes to concessions. I think the unions are doing just this right now - but they are playing a game at which they can't win. If the age of retirement is not raised, pretty soon the entire social system is at risk, and the French of the future will find that they are not retiring until they are 99 to be able to keep the current system going. Okay, so 99 is a bit of an exaggeration. But with the age of mortality creeping higher and higher, people at 60 often still have a good 5-10 years of work in them! I can understand wanting to retire, I really can. And retirement at 60 would be great. But when every person in other developed nations is working until the age of 65 before being able to cash in on benefits, 62 still sounds pretty peachy!

Anyway, something has got to give. If unions do not agree to the age of retirement at 62 and if a cohort of people are not willing to be the first to do it, something else will eventually have to be sacrificed. And when it comes to that, I guess then the whole process will ensue again in the endless cycle of how these things get worked out in France.

In the meantime, as a foreign expat, I kind of like to just sit back and play sideline analyst. :) Backseat driver. That kind of thing. Kind of like this. :)



Marina  (s: I should tell you all, Marina is a Frenchie! Yes, they answer too!!)
You probably guessed that I support the strike. As always with this government, the decision has been taken without consulting unions.

For me the argument: "in Europe and in the rest of the world they did the same" is not valid. First, they did the same but not as brutal as it is in France (they took more time).And, in France, we have a special way of life and we want and need to keep it.
The argument: "we don't have the money" doesn't seem really solid when you consider the "bouclier fiscal" and the money they found to save the banks last year.
Finally, as a woman, I'm outraged that we need to work during the same time as men. We are payed less than them, need to stop working to raise the kids...

I don't know if it will change something but it's always good to show that French people are pissed off with the government and his unfair decisions. Just to let them know that at the next election they will be in danger.


Having lived in France for the past 22 years, I've learned unions (declining in membership) strike first and then negotiate. How much inconvenience they cause is another story. I have attended so many strikes that feel more like a 4th of July parade -- where people sing, chant, and NATURALLY eat. There's are always food trucks.

If you're not trying to get from here to there (the hell with the office), people form a type of solidarity. I've hitchhiked, ridden on the back of motor-scooters, biked and confined my projects to places I can walk. BUT = I cyber commute no matter where I am so I have a definite advantage.

The key point is the government is not going to cave over the pension reform. As an American, the idea of retiring at 62 sounds pretty good to me. France has the lowest retirement age in the EU. Germany's retirement age is 65 and it's being upped to 67.

Yes, the trains are a mess, canceled flights (although not long haul ones) cause havoc. The Eiffel Tower is closed today. If I had one day in Paris, I could be upset.

One thing I do want to weigh in over is the fact that CNN, France 24 and other media outlets can cause things to look worse than the reality.

As for the students weighing in - some are smart enough to have voiced they know life expectancy is much longer than it was when the pension system was established.

Strikes to worry about - dock strikes, truckers because of the movement of goods (e.g. food). Would my bet be this will be the last strike = no. Do I think there will be more days of disruption - yes!

My worries are more centered on France's economy, the Euro zone and the fact that too much bread is being pre-made. BUT, I would NOT live anyplace but Paris.

Please forgive me if I am sounding ditsier than usual. I am having some eye problems and if there aren't a zillion typos here, I would be shocked.



Honestly, while the strikes are a giant inconvenience if you're entering or leaving France, it is the media that dramatizes the situation subsequently wasting everyone's time. The metros run almost normally as do the buses, and the strikes simply attests to the fact that the French are still gung-ho about fighting for what they believe in. Of course, what these protesters want is unrealistic - unless you've been working since age 15, like my neighborhood baker, you've got 42 years of work ahead of you. The fact is, the French retire earlier than other EU countries and even those with late retirement are in the process of pension reform (like Germany and even the United States). Yes, it invariably garners an eye roll when one speaks of the proverbial strike but it's emblematic of their undying sense of solidarity and freedom of expression. I can only imagine what kind of disaster America would turn into if something like this were to take place - but life goes on and regardless of whether or not their demands are met or ignored, their energy will be redirected to another folly of society. It's just a question of when. So either we laugh and think to ourselves, well it could be a lot worse, or we ruin our own days by buying into the drama perpetuated by the media from all corners of the world. I choose the former!



Ashleigh
I've experienced many strikes over my years in France. I can definitely say that I have never agreed with the reasons for any of the strikes. I am also pretty sure that by inconveniencing me and the rest of the general public, you're not accomplishing much besides annoying people to the point where they no longer support your cause (if they did to begin with). That said, my reaction to strikes has been very different depending on who was striking. For example:

High school teacher strikes in 1998-99 => "Hell yeah, class is canceled!"

High school student strikes in 1998-99 => "Wow this protesting thing is pretty fun! Lycéens en colère, y'en a marre de cet'...What? my backpack is open? My wallet was stolen during this great moment of high school solidarity? F***ing, stupid, French students and their worthless strike! This would never have happened in Wisconsin!"

Garbage strike in Gare d'Austerlitz circa 2001 => "OMG the stench! This is unbearable, please give them whatever they want so they come back to work and pick up all this garbage! OMG...RAT!"

General strikes, RATP included, 2004 => "Man, I'm exhausted after walking for 1 1/2 hours to get to this final exam, I hope I can stay awake long enough to finish the test and walk all the way home! What? The final is postponed because no one showed up due to the strikes and I'm the only idiot who walked all the way to school?! F***ing fonctionnaires! You should all be fired, you lazy jerks! I would have aced that final,too!"



Margo
Indeed! it's like les grevistes are pissing off the wrong group: commuters, you know the people going to work... and paying taxes which fund retirement. Merci et vive la solidarité! Signing off, to start walking to work tomorrow morning.



Do I agree with the current strikes in France against pension reforms? No I don’t! Why? Well, I’m not a expert on French politics but my reasons are pretty basic. It’s because it’s the same old, same old, isn’t it? I mean, it’s the same people that are striking as for every other strike, whenever they want to moan about something all the rail workers go on strike bringing the country to a standstill don’t they? Not so long ago the same people were on strike because they were having their Charcoal Bonus taken away from them – how long has it been since any of the French trains ran on charcoal? Needless to say their strikes ended in a positive result so the precedent has been set and anyone in France that’s unhappy now just has to throw their toys out of the pram like an angry child.

Of course this isn’t the soul reason of my anti-pension-reform-strike sentiments. I believe that it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee in France. Retirement age here is one of the youngest in Europe and many other countries are also having to review pensionable age so it’s not as if France is alone. It’s time to face facts: with the extended life expectancy in France it’s just not realistic to expect to retire at 60 not to mention the fact that France is already crippled by debt and with all the baby boomers retiring now serious measures have to be taken to ensure that everyone will be able to retire.

Not to mention students! How many people do I know that are still students in France aged 28, 29 or even 30? I’m not talking about foreign students either or mature students, I’m talking about people who have never worked (it’s not that normal to get a student job here), never contributed to the system and are now demonstrating in the streets so that they get their pension? In my view if you have the luxury of a long further education which will generally enable you to make loads more dosh than someone with a “standard” education then isn’t it fair that you should work the appropriate number of years and not just expect to retire early?

Then you get the mugs like me who started work at 18, did a business degree whilst working, contribute heavily and for ages into the system with little benefits because of self employment status and who probably won’t get a pension anyway.

Whilst all of this is going on, other changes are being made to the French tax system and many people are completely ignorant to these changes. Middle class families are likely to be faced with higher tax bills due to the probable changes in the fiscal reductions for people that employ help at home such as a Nanny, cleaner or even after school tutoring. Many families take advantage of these fiscal advantages to employ someone thus creating legal jobs for those needing the cash and allowing them to contribute to the system all whilst saving on their tax bill. If this goes through it could cost the average family with children hundreds, if not thousands of Euros each year. Now, who’s in the streets demonstrating about that?


Sarkozy is correct in this case, the retirement age must be raised so that France can compete on the European and global playing field and in order to avoid bankruptcy and a ballooning deficit. Let's hope the government does not cave. Speaking personally - I need to board a flight from Paris to London tomorrow so that I can catch a flight back to NY. Fingers crossed that I will be able to get out. Tourism is huge business in France and constant interruptions of basic services also hurts this sector. Doni



Forest - @52martinis - http://52martinis.blogspot.com
I must live in my own little world, because I took the metro this morning and didn't even notice there was a strike so I might not be the best person to ask about this week's Feature Friday question.  I should probably be embarrassed about that!


Power to the People!

Strikes are a historic and enduring part of the French vernacular: they are the means via which the public express their opinion in this country. But who decides on how to govern France, the people or the government? A democratically elected government should be the answer, but when the elected government go back on what they promised during their electoral campaign (no reforms to retirement, in this case), it makes sense that the people are up in arms. I for one am impressed when I see a whole nation of politically engaged people, who take an active interest in their future and who mobilize themselves to get their argument heard. The fact that the student unions are also involved I find particularly impressive - as they rightly argue, raising the age of retirement would be likely to have a dramatic impact on unemployment and thus would directly affect their work prospects.

This strike is one of the reasons I love this country and am proud to call it home. If I miss my flight tomorrow because of it however, I might become slightly less impressed. Champagne socialist, moi?


Paul - @parispaul - www.parisinspired.wordpress.com
Everybody in the world has an equal right to strike, the French are just more equal than most. A prime example was the winter I saw the jobless "strike" here because their unemployment benefits didn't include a large enough Christmas bonus. As shocking as that may be, what really gets up my nose is that, on strike days, the Metros run regularly all morning to take me to work so I can fill the corporate till, but are few and far between in the evening when the time comes for me to get home to my family. It seems to be a fair trade Union would be more concerned about the employees' shoes than the CEOs' pockets. That said, all this is rather moot for me as regards the issue at hand because the only retiring I'll be doing in my foreseeable future is for the evening.



Living in Paris for only one year, I'm still trying to understand and accept the many 'French ways', ie, the culture of striking. I appreciate that the French take a stand on what they believe in, but is there no other way than to protest endlessly? Often at the inconvenience of the entire nation (and the many 'innocent' expats who would be very happy with 62 as a retirement age). Certainly this action will lead to discussions and eventual negotiations? (Or so my American optimism chooses to believe.)

With all this continual commuting chaos, thank God (and Delanoë) for the Vélib!



Cailin - @cailinash - http://awhitepicketfence.com/
I should preface by saying I wholly support freedom of speech, the right to strike and civil rights.  However, being a Canadian I must say that we hardly strike about anything.  If we do, the government legislates us back to work within 3-5 days.  I understand fighting for what is right & just, but I just feel that far too many people maybe affected by the strike. Again, this is me being a Canadian but if I were a steel worker or even a student I would first think about how I would affect others around me and how they function in their everyday lives.  Like will the single mom be able to make it to work on time or the elderly person who needs to visit a loved one via the RER?  Again, just my two cents.  Although, if Canadians were to strike like the French I'm positive a lot more things would be done in this county for the greater good.

@JeremyRibando Pension reform is inevitable in most developed nations - including France.


@ParisCosy Yes, but in my office,too much work for me! I agree with the strike!!! you know it's important to make strike, in France!!^^


@petitfranceblog Yay. I think it's just what the French do, need to stand strong against the gov't & always on top of workers' rights. In their DNA :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Friday Feature Preview -- This Friday the Bloggers & Tweeps Chime in on the strike!

It'sssss baaaaaaack! The Friday Feature, too long absent from the ranks of my posts, has returned.... with a vengeance.

Don't miss this Friday's collaborative blog on what the expats, and if I'm lucky, some real Frenchies think about the strikes! Rants vs. Rationalization on this emotionally/psychologically/fiscally charged topic are sure to spark debate, and you can join in by commenting your own opinion.


Looking forward to seeing what they say, and reading your thoughts as well!
Later,

S

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Paris Proust Files: Caroline Rochet, Author, Pariesienne Extraordinaire + GIVE AWAY!

Photo credit -"Le Parisien" : ©Julien Bousquet
JNSQ is adding a new feature to its list of goodies: INTERVIEWS!

You've all heard of the Proust Questionnaire, right? No? Well, if you're American, I'm sure you've heard of Will Farrell's spoof on Jame's Lipton's Inside the Actor's Studio -- Scrumtrilescent ring any bells? At the end of the show Lipton asks a series of questions based on the Proust Questionnaire. You see where I'm going with this. We done did it -- JNSQ style!

So here's the first of many more bags of awesome lined up for a monthly treat, and I've got loads of surprises up my sleeve ;) Some of these will have special prizes to win, so stay tuned!

Recently my gal pal Lindsey from Lost in Cheeseland reviewed the book & had a giveaway (mosey on over there to read it!!!), & we coordinated our asses to bring you even MORE chances to win!

Tell us what makes you Parisian or not in the comments, and I'll draw two lucky bastages to win a copy of her hilariously true book!
(Note: the book is in French) Tweet this with mention to @JNSQBLOGPARIS to get an extra chance to win!

And now, on to our main event -- the first JNSQ PARIS PROUST FILES INTERVIEW WITH:

Caroline Rochet, author of Comment (ne pas) devenir Parisien!

Virtues:
What do you like most about yourself or your writing that you think you can say without sounding too conceited? What makes you so flippin' amazing? (You know this is what people mean when they ask 'what are your strengths', don't look so shocked.)

CR: Well, I guess as every parisian girl, I got a lot of virtues :-) Tough question. I'd say I'm organized, curious, positive (almost gung-ho), fascinated by human-being, and open-minded. Or ... maybe that's just the virtues I wish I had ! And about writing in particular, I hope I'm quite easy to read, informative and funny.


Faults: What do you like LEAST about yourself or your writing that you think you can say without sounding too pathetic?

CR: What I like least about myself is my weakness. People sometimes see me as a strong girl, but gosh, I'm chicken shit ! I swear. I'm too anxious, too (this is a nightmare). But maybe these two faults are good things for a writer. Oh, one last thing : my sense of humour is really gross and "manly" ... and I love it.



Chief characteristic: Define yourself or your writing in 1 word that I can repeat to other people when I talk about you behind your back, ie: He/She is so _______.

CR: She is so unexpected !

Men: Is there anything about Parisian men that doesn't make you roll your eyes? What do they do that makes you think, "Oh yah. That one's def from Paname!"?

CR: Oh god, real Parisian men ALWAYS make me roll my eyes ..! Maybe that's why my boyfriend is not from Paris (he's from Strasbourg but I sometimes think he must be from another planet).
Let's say Parisian guys are usually well-dressed, curious and quite open-minded, but they're so self-centered it's a pain in the ass. And I'm not sure they know how to behave with women, too. No offense, buddies !


Women: What about the Parisian women? Quite the bag of 'tude eh? Or are we the ones who require re-wiring?

CR: Parisian women are a really special race. They're queens of fashion, know everything about everything and really ambitious. Juste like parisian guys, they can be real kind of pain in the ass. But come on, they're also really fun, friendly and clever girls. You can't totally hate them !


Heroes: If you could be any Frenchie who would you be, and why? (Good luck choosing. Between the painters alone you're totally screwed trying to pick one...*evil laugh*)

CR: I definitely would be Serge Gainsbourg.


Emotions: What about Paris brings out the 16yr old drama-queen in you: happy, sad, mad, excited, love, hate; what brings out these emo-spaz-attacks? What do you love/hate most about Paris?

CR: A lot, lot of things brings out the 16yr old drama-queen in me (maybe because she's never that far ...) : the bridges of the Seine, a good coffee at a table outside a café, small streets in the Marais, grumpy Parisian people, boutiques (hell yeah !), museums, the smell of the air ... And the weird part is, sometimes the things I love the most are the ones getting the most on my nerves, and inversely. This city can totally drive you crazy. I love it.


Places: In what Parisian hood would you love to live? We all have our favorites! Why is it yours, what makes it all that?

CR: I've lived in different districts of Paris (15, 14, 18, 3, 4 ... from west south to north and east). This sounds cliché, but I'm definitely in love with the Marais. The oldest, cutest, and most compact area ever. The problem is it's really expensive, so my flat (a cute duplex) is small, but I really enjoy living here. Shops are opened on Sunday, streets are beautiful, Seine is just around the corner, and I can really feel the heartbeat of the city.


Wishes: What typical French characteristic do you wish you possessed? (If you say ability to to eat mounds of Camembert and stay thin, I may smack you.)

CR: Talent ! I wish I was this kind of amazing writer (or musician, or painter or whatever) France has produced. And yes, I wish I could eat hundreds of Camembert (or better : Comté and Reblochon) and still kill your eyes with my gorgeous shape, too.


Motto: "What's your motto when life in France is not what you expect?"

CR: Yeah, indeed there is a sentence I say all the time when things go wrong, and the funny thing is I actually say it in english. It's "Life is a bitch, but still, it's life!" :)




Remember to post your Parisian or Unparisian-ness in comments and tweet it up with mention to @JNSQBLOGPARIS for 2 chances at the draw!
Will post winners on October 24th!

More information about Caroline & her book:
Review by Lindsey from Lost in Cheeseland
Her publishing company - http://blog.editionsleduc.com
Read part of the book here - http://lesparisiens.net/

Her blog on Say Who - http://blog.saywho.fr/caroline/ 
Amazon France link to the book

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bonjour Paris Guestage: Disney on Meth and the Bulge-Boob Parade: Sardaigne Club Vacation Part II




WHAT'S YOUR WORST VACATION STORY? I'm curious to read your experiences. Come on. Make me feel better?
Days two and three on the island felt like our vacation record had skipped. A cloudless sky was stretched out above us and I could feel my skin crisping on the way to breakfast.

I missed the real French croissants and walked past the rumpled excuse for pastries that lay on the table to get some cereal that looked like horse food.

French murmured around us in the bustling dining hall. Half the population of France joined us on our trip to Italy, and the only Italian to be heard was amongst the squabbling busboys. I never knew "That's YOUR section, a-hole" could sound so enchanting. Reminds me of when I discovered French swear words for the first time.

I'd never been to a "club" hotel before. The atmosphere was like Disney Paradise on meth. High-pitched voices squealed through the sound system at half-hour intervals to remind us not to miss Thai Chi, AquaGym, Darts, Water-Polo and countless other activities that I'd rather nap through.

The French didn't seem bothered by the constant stream of techno either. The music was like being transported back to the nineties: you can only listen to "Push It" so many times before you feel like your brain is going to push right out of your skull in tiny exploded bits.

I suppose that was better than what was playing at the bar. It's funny, I never thought I'd dislike anything more than French variety... until I heard Italian variety. Opera-pop much? There's a fine line between singing and howling like someone is cutting off your fingers to a circa-1980s beat.

The hotel nearby was a big fan of Italian variety, much to my dismay. I discovered their penchant for Italian variety-of-crap-music blasting in their open-air night club from midnight until around six a.m. Even ear plugs couldn't drown out the off-key wailing that was echoing through the island.

One of the strangest things thus far had to be our voyage into Speedoland. Why is it the people you don't want to see practically nako insist on prancing around in Banana Hammocks all day?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Different Nuit Blanche

Heyyyy ever-bod-eh.

When I say "Nuit Blanche" most of you are thinking "Party Time". You're imagining yourself out tonight, during Paris' city-wide open house that lasts all night long. You're thinking of the obscene amounts you spend on alcohol, that you'll probably vomit up a few hours later. But it was worth it. Euros + Alcohol + City-wide-party + Spew = memories. An infallible equation.

I'm missing this year's Nuit Blanche, but I'm getting a different kind of sleepless night, & I wouldn't trade it for the world.

My nephew, Sullivan (Sully), was born nearly a week ago, and I am very lucky to be back in the states to meet him!

Despite my brother's warning that he screams all night, the little tyke has been pretty dern good. In two days I still haven't heard the "real" crying which was responsible for their fatigue. Obvi, I bring out the best in him.

He took his time arriving, but when he decided to make an appearance he was outta there in less than half an hour! My brother and a nurse practically delivered him. (Love that bro says he tried to "stay away from the business end" lol.) My SIL Andrea was quite the trooper. I hear she didn't even cry... that seems inhuman. (Andrea, if you're reading this... know that I'm seriously considering the possibility that you are an alien who was sent here to quote Will Farrel with weirdo-little-sisters and populate the earth with incapacitatingly-cute offspring. I'm on to your master plan.) I'm very proud of them both for everything they're doing, and the strength of character it shows. You're both going to be rockin' rents, even if one of you is probably from Jupiter.

I am pretty attached already to that little bugger. I love the way his stretches look like interpretive dance. I love the way he sticks his tongue out of his mouth whenever he's pooping (a very handy indicator, I might add). I love the way he stares at me with his big blue eyes like I'm a total loser. You know the look I mean, the one where the one eyebrow is raised, and the mouth is kinda twisty?(He already has superiority complex, but with those caliber parents, who can blame him?)

He's quite the cutepants & I'm looking forward to being his aunt Shannon!!
Posting photos soon so you too may admire is adorabilitousitude.

xx S
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