Click here for the Paris journal from 2016.
Click here for the week of 11/15/15.
Sun, 11/8/15. Yasamin.
Today we went to Jar Luxe to meet Yasamin and her Mom, Nazanin, for some playtime, and English speaking, in the playground. They are from Palos Verdes and Yasamin has a 7 year old brother, Abdullah, who wasn't feeling well so he didn't come, unfortunately, but Gemma and Yasamin are the same age and hit it off beautifully. We found out today Nazanin is pregnant with another girl and due in March. After the park we had lunch at Cosi and then delicious gelati at Amorino. It was beautiful weather today and it had been a while since we had ice cream. Max's favorite flavor today was strawberry, mine was mango, Jean's was hazelnut, and Gems couldn't decide between mango and chocolate. Jean's eye is much better today and I think will be all gone by Tue.

Sat, 11/7/15. Plantes.

The antibiotics sadly do not seem to be helping Jean's eye noticeably yet, so we are wondering how long it will take to get better. My idea I had for estimating triggering functions of Hawkes models does not seem to be working either. Hmm. Today I took M and G to the Jardin des Plantes. It was really great, with a tiny zoo with kangaroos and deer and not much else, and a labyrnth out of hedge, and nice areas to walk around all over. A sign outside posted about a million outlawed things though. Max thought the one with the big hand and a line through it meant "No gloves". In fact he thought they meant, in order, no bikes, no dogs, no feeding birds, no stepping on fires, no music, no rollerskating, no balls, no picking flowers, no cameras, no smokers, no gloves, no trotinnettes, no hamburgers and no drinks with straws. Gems is getting into the Rubik's cube . I'm becoming a little mixed on how all the playgrounds in Paris seem to be jungle rules, and the parents just sit back idly while the kids duke it out over who gets to go on what, with no orderliness at all. At first I thought it had some merits since it kind of lets kids realize how life really is and how to cope with it, but on the other hand I now think it also teaches kids when they grow up and become receptionists in a doctor's office or store clerks or whatever, they shouldn't care about orderliness or fairness or lines. There are pros and cons I guess.

Fri, 11/6/15. Conjunctivitis.

Marlena posted the photo above on facebook. In the middle is me when I was a baby, with her and Randy. Compare with Max age 1. Today Jean and I went to the doctor, and it's a good thing I came along because the doctor spoke no English at all, not a word. She didn't even know how to ask Jean if her eye hurt, and didn't understand when we didn't know the word for swollen. But she seemed good and it was no problem communicating with me in French, and we got antibiotics which hopefully will cure Jean's eye. After school I took the kids to Cluny park and we threw the soccerball around and over the big apparatus they call the "lifeguard". We've created a phrase "Timeo style" which means eating cheese straight up with no bread or crackers, as Max's friend Timeo does.

Thu, 11/5/15. Eye infection.
Jean's period of being healthy for a few days is over. She has an eye infection or some kind of redness, severe swollenness, and wateriness in her left eye. We made an appointment with a doctor for tomorrow morning. Yesterday someone asked me where I was from in my basketball league, and for the first time I found myself saying the answer with a French accent in order to be understood. It sounds like "Lo Zongelez." If I say it normally they rarely understand it. It seems weird to say something in English incorrectly on purpose, but I guess everyone else does it too, like French people who come to the U.S. and say they're from "Pariss." Today after school I took the kids to the park and there were a bunch of other kids playing on the jungle gym and just kind of standing around. I started playing "Quelle heure est il, Monsieur Renard?" with Max and Gems, and after just a few min there were like 8 kids playing as all these French kids jumped in, from ages 4 to 10.

Wed, 11/4/15. Cluny.

Today our renter paid. This is huge news for us and a big relief. She had signed a contract with us already, but until you get actual money, it doesn't seem official really. After the short day of school we took the kids to the Cluny museum of the Middle Ages, which is very near our apartment. It was very cool, with lots of tapestries and statues of unicorns and biblical stories, especially about Jesus but also some others like Samson and various Saints. The museum itself is in a little castle too so it all feels very authentic and old. The caption to the first photo above should be "Tell me more about Jesus" because Max and Gems were asking stuff like that the whole time.

Tue, 11/3/15. Irrational Dance.
While the kids were in school, Jean and I saw the new Woody Allen movie, L'homme Irrationel, and loved it. It was in English with French subtitles. After school we took the kids to dance class, and to our delight Gemma's friend Clara decided to join the class, so it was Gemma's two best friends here, Clara and Auri, plus Max and Gems, and Auri's little sister, Iris. We trottinetted to class and back while the others took the bus both ways, so Max and Gems were really tired afterwards. Auri and Iris are Finnish and going back to Finland in July, after 2 years here in Paris. Iris is 3 years old and teaching me several words in Finnish, including the word "Norso" which means elephant, "Hai" which means shark, and my favorite, "Kala" which means fish. We got to class early and hung out in the library, and the mean librarian kept scolding Ewelina and Eva about their kids and Ewelina argued back. They almost got in a fight. Eva and her family went to Switzerland over the break, and they celebrated Halloween there. She said in Switzerland, kids knock on the doors and say "sweet or sour?" Also Eva said that they don't celebrate Halloween in Finland, but they have the "witch and ghosts for Easter." She said around Easter that kids go door to door and give adults branches decorated with feathers in exchange for candy. These "whips" are supposed to be used to swat at the evil spirits in the barns. Speaking of feathers, Jean got bio eggs the other day and opened the carton and a feather came out. Pretty authentic huh? Tonight I played my best basketball ever in my league here. It was a tough game with good players, and I missed my first two shots but then made something like my next 12. Several guys complimented me on my playing, and one said "Tu etais l'homme du soir". Jonathan, who suggested taking me on his team, said "C'est mon mofo" and gave me the nickname "In yo face, mother f**ker". Everyone down there seems to know that kind of English and it's so funny to hear them say it.

Mon, 11/2/15. First day of French school, for Jean.
Today Max and Gems went back to school, and then Jean had her first day of French classes. It was just her and one other woman taking the class, so virtually private lessons. After school today, we went with Marie and Timeo and their parents to the park for some soccer. They were all great at soccer of course. On the way, with my French I accidentally told them that because ordinary balls aren't allowed in the park, we got a sweet ball. Samir corrected me, noting I had used the word "doux", for "sweet", instead of "moux" which means "soft". Meanwhile Max invented the word "yestermorning". At night I got a horrible cramp in my knee. I've never had anything like it and it scared me to death. I thought I'd dislocated my knee or something. But, it was gone 5 min later.

Click here for the week of 11/01/15.