Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Julie & Julia & My New Goal

Has anyone seen this film yet? Julie & Julia? I saw it on Sunday with my Mom and I loved it. The movie was 2 hours and 3 minutes and I could have sat there for another 30 minutes without having to take a potty break. I really wanted to know more about what happened in Julia Child's life actually. The movie ends prior to (not a spoiler) letting us know about the televised cooking show. So yes, I recommend it. I also thought Meryl Streep was amazing...really...I know everyone talks about how she is one of the best actresses of all time...I have to agree. Love her.

Another thing it did, as you can guess, is make me think about my blog. When I started it I had a reason, I had things to share. Now it's just Susan in Houston. Living her life where she speaks the language, has no kids to make things interesting, has tons of friends she already knows, her family lives here and works at a job she has done before. Granted, the job is sales, so it changes all the time. But I'm selling the same thing I have sold before. Incentive Compensation Consulting anyone? Anyone?!

So now I sit here reflecting, as most ex-expat ex-bloggers do I think, and I wonder; "what now?" I like to have goals. Typically I have something going on in my life be it preparing for an MS150 bike ride, some kind of run, or as it was in Lille; learning to speak the language and survive in a new culture. Now my goals are things I don't really want to share with everyone I guess. Like trying to pay off my car. Is it interesting to post that I have three - count them THREE - more payments to go on my 4Runner? To me it is, but generally it's not that exciting.

I think I know what I want to do though. I want to keep on with part of what I was trying to do in France. I want to be fluent in French. I don't want to speak like an 18 month old child for the rest of my life. Or keep telling people how I love their horses when I am trying to say "hair". I also need to learn how to read and write the stupid phonetically challenging language. Therefore it has been decided. I have not even told my husband about this...but I have formed a plan and am putting my proverbial foot down!

GOAL: We are going to speak only French Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday until December 31, 2009.

Exceptions: 1- Emergencies, 2 - when we are around my family and 3- if we are with friends that don't speak French.

I am also going to make myself do at least 2 exercised in my French Workbooks every week. Yes...I know...I should do one a day right? But I don't think I would learn it. I would get through the exercise correctly and then move to the next. Like High School. I passed all my history classes with good grades but couldn't remember when the US was founded (yes - I know July 4th, but didn't remember 1776) until I started reading the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. (side note - I have the new one, An Echo in the Bone, and I love it...mmmm).

This isn't even that long of a time period. I figure I will do this until Dec. 31st then take a language check. See where I'm at and determine what to do next.

So there you have it. Rather; there I have it! A goal. This need for something to shoot for must come from my over involvement with sports as a child...anyone else like this?

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Move

Not an actual move, but a laptop move. I think this can be as time consuming as a real move sometimes!

I have an old laptop, but it's been acting a bit suspicious lately so I thought I better take the plunge and actually start using the work laptop I was sent 3 months ago. The thing is I have everything already installed on my personal laptop. Outlook, all my bookmarks, ACT (our horrible contact manager database) and other things. Not to mention all the passwords to silly sites like Kodac.com that I have no clue what my password is but my laptop has it memorized. Those things are going to take forever to clean up!

Right now I am on my new computer but need a break. I realized I have not posted in a while so I thought I would knock out a quick one. So...here is a question for the 5 people that read this post...can a person function with two computers or does one really just need to use one? I can't decide if I should move most of what I do to my work laptop or try to use two. I like the idea of keeping it separate, but I think I might get tired of working off two laptops. Do most people work from two? Please post your thoughts in the comments section.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting Outdoors

I did a little traveling last week with work and slacked off the blogging...but I was thinking about it!!

Cyr and I have been trying to get outside and do stuff, although in the 98% humidity and 97 degree heat it's been hard. We did, however, make it out to Brazos Bend State Park a few weeks ago. For those of you who have not had the chance, or really the desire, to make the trip; it's worth it!

I have lived here most of my life and had never been to the park. It's less than an hour from Houston and there are not only all kinds of birds to check out, but the main attraction...alligators! Here is a little beauty we saw on the trail almost blocking the bridge to cross a little river. You can't tell, but this guy is about 6 foot long. I'm not exaggerating either. If I was I would say he was 9 foot long.

No, there are not fences. Yes, there are signs everywhere saying "don't feed the aligators" and "don't poke the aligators!". I'm telling you these things were everywhere!

Cyr, the French guy, was telling me all about the gators and how you see them. I thought "Sure, so all the little children can run up and pet them...right...America is a safer place than that."


I for one will not ever be bringing a kid to that park under the age of 5. The child I do take there will have to be tied to me in case I need to jerk him/her back away from any reptiles. Here is one of the fellas swimming along in the bog.

Can you see him (or her)? He's in the back of the photo with his tail streaming out and his eyes just above the surface. No swimming for me thank you.

We did see some friendlier animals. Here's a bird.

And another bird.

And a cute French guy by a tree.

So there you go, a weekend in Texas! Now you know what to do when you come to Houston! Just make sure to bring the bug spray if you come in June or July. They actually were not that bad, but we also might have poisoned ourselves with the amount of Deepwoods Off we used....