Click here for the Paris journal from 2016.
Click here for the week of 10/18/15.
Sun, 10/11/15. Neige and rugby.

Today we went to a kids movie called something like "Snow for Christmas" at this alternative moviehouse near our apartment, and Zadig and his mom Aurelie met us there. It was all in French and, for an animated movie for kids, had a lot more dialogue than we were expecting, but it kept Max and Gems's interest well enough and afterwards we discussed the plot, which involved a town where it always snows but one year there's no snow and the greedy head of the newspaper steals a snowmaker and tries to blanket the city in snow, so much that all the houses and everything are covered so that he will be internationally famous. He programs a robot journalist to protect his snowmaker, while it asks routine and nonsensical journalist questions like "How does it feel to have won the tournament?" The maker of the snowmaker, along with his pet duck and mole, end up coming to the rescue just in time to save Christmas. At night we went to Timeo and Marie's house to watch the rugby game where France lost to Ireland. Axel and his parents, Brice and Nathalie, were there too. Everyone was rooting for France except Timeo, who for some reason is an Ireland fan. Rugby is a very weird game. Sometimes they are in a "melee", sometimes they are running around and passing the ball, and other times they are lifting each other up in the air. Every time I tried to ask "Why are they doing this now?" the answer seemed to be "Because there was a penalty". Max and Gems love their scooters and want to ride them constantly. Tomorrow is exciting as Doug and John arrive tomorrow night for the week and also we have a field trip to the fire station with Max and his class.

Sat, 10/10/15. Commentary on gravity.

Today we had a workshop at the Picasso museum where they toured us around and then gave us some materials and had us make a kind of circus involving our sketches of acrobats based on a Picasso artwork. Gems and Jean made a quite professional one with a window and door, and acrobats hanging from a trapeze. The other two families also made very professional ones, with the parents probably doing 99 percent of the labor. Max and I had a ridiculous one with the acrobats sort of half standing up, nothing resembling a circus really, cut outs of hearts and stuff, and drawings of lava. They asked us to do an explanation and Max didn't want to speak, so I talked in my broken French about how it was a commentary on gravity, and how you never knew if the acrobats would fall or not, and the rest might fall also. Afterwards we went to a great sports store called Decathlon and bought little scooters for Max and Gems, which they loved and rode all the way home for 3 miles, falling multiple times but just getting right back up. There's a lot of advertising for Moses und Aron which starts with an open rehearsal on Oct 17. We tried to get tickets for the rehearsal but they said it's sold out. It might be for the best because I doubt Max and Gems would sit through it or get much out of it.

Fri, 10/9/15. Lutece.
Today after school we went with the kids and some of their friends, Auri, Clara, Axel, and Saona, to l'Arena de Lutece, which is this really cool place that kinda looks like a Roman forum, and I guess dates back to ancient times when gladiators fought lions there. Now kids play soccer there and run around laughing in this maze they have there. My check finally cleared in Banque Paribas, after just 23 days, 4 followup visits by me, and no real explanation. Tonight in basketball, someone got called for traveling, and a couple guys asked me if I thought it was traveling. I said I didn't see it, and one of the guys said "That's because it didn't exist. It was a phantom."

Thu, 10/8/15. Relax about that.
At basketball, I was talking to one of the guys about how the kids are learning French so well and how when they pronounce words, it's so much better than me, and the guy, Yuval, said "You can relax about that. No matter what you do, you will never learn to speak French as well as they do." Our realtor told us he heat in our place in LA is on and he couldn't turn it off. I called Mom and Dad who will take care of it, and in the process found out Mom's eye operation and Dad's prostate surgery both went very well, and Mom is already fully functioning and Dad is recovering really well. We get to see Mima in just a week and a half in London, which we're all really looking forward to especially the kids who are a little homesick. Max asked if Umpa is coming too, and I told him no, and said "Do you miss him too?" and he said "Yeah. He makes great chocolate pudding."

Wed, 10/7/15. Rowdy day at the Picasso.

After school we took Max and Gems to the Picasso museum for their first time, and they liked it but were feisty today for some reason, especially Max. Their favorite rooms seemed to be the Olga room, where one sees how he portrays his wife Olga uglier and uglier from the time of their marriage til their divorce, and the surrealist room. Both had very interesting and thoughtful guesses when asked what they imagined some of the art works were depicting. For the painting above, Max guessed it was a bird eating a hot dog, for instance.

Tue, 10/6/15. Minions on the wall.
Today I met with my student Linda Zanontian who is using my being here as an excuse to come to Paris with her husband and parents. We ate at Cosi and then had an ice cream at Amorino, and she brought great presents for Max and Gemma, including a cool Lego set from her and an awesome Minions game and Minions sippy cups from Glenda, our student affairs officer at UCLA. It was so nice of them both and Max and Gemma immediately took to the Minions which are these sticky things you're supposed to throw against the wall. Max and Gemma are really enjoying dance class and seem to be getting good at it, and Gemma today announced that she is starting to understand everything they are saying in French in school and is speaking French in school too. It's pretty amazing that in 6 weeks of school Gemma has not missed a day and Max has only missed one with a cough. It is also amazing how nice the other kids and their parents are. We really lucked out with this school.

Mon, 10/5/15. "I would not like the problems."
I got in a little spat with the Chinese guy at the restaurant next to our apartment when I was throwing out our trash this morning into our trashbin which they share with our apt building. Between him and me it was probably the worst French ever spoken. He said "No. The trashcan is me." I responded, "I would not like the problems." Tonight for dinner Jean made a cheese souffle and it turned out delicious! Photos are above. Gemma is starting to bring home French phrases too. Today she said "Mets ton manteau" which means "Put on your jacket".

Click here for the week of 10/04/15.