April

Things are going well. After the onslaught of deadlines and presentations in February and March, I’ve been able to get back into a more regular schedule of work.   I also have more free time now, so I’m trying to do more things in Denver, like see comedy shows and take classes. It’s been nice getting out more.

Vive le France!

Yep, I made it back. This time I’m in Lyon and then Paris to do work and write proposals. Things are already going well, and I feel like the proposed research has a good chance of being funded. We certainly have a lot to work on, and it’s easy to see how much progress we can make quickly.

I’m really enjoying Lyon. Last time I was here it was winter, so this time it’s great to see a sunny and colorful city so full of life. The parks are adored by the locals, and the late sunsets wash the architecture with an orange glow.

Even though I’ve only been here once, it feels very familiar, natural even. I think a big part of that comes from experience in France and also speaking the language. My French is coming back very quickly, and not once yet has anyone asked me (or offered) to switch to English. This is a big success!  And it gets better every day.

I promise to post pictures, but I have to get some Israel pictures up first. This is a travel blog, so what use is it if trips are overlooked???

50,001 Photos

Earlier yesterday I checked and found that I was fast approaching 50,000 photos.  The weather was especially nice, and the leaves are changing colors, so it seemed like a good idea to snap some pictures.

I liked this one a lot.  The kissing couple really sets up the scene.  So, let’s celebrate 50,000 !!!

Sunny Days in Paris

Paris! I do love sunny days here. To my great surprise, we’ve had a number of sunny days. The weather has been very cooperative, so I’ve got a lot of photos for you. 🙂

It’s been a nice two weeks. I arrived on a Saturday. There was some waiting to meet my landlord, but after that I walked around the neighborhood. I have a really nice neighborhood. Immediately across from my building is a Japanese restaurant, and there are another 30 or so within 3 blocks. This district is known for Asian, especially Japanese, food. I’ve already eaten at 5 restaurants. Ramen (the French say lamen) and sushi are awesome here.

I live about 10 minutes walk from the Louvre towards the river and the Opera House towards the north.

The Louvre is famous for art, but it also has a very huge park next to it. This is where I begin my runs, but it is often too crowded on the weekends.


You can’t be afraid of seeing statues of naked men in this city.

One of my favorite things to do in Paris is walk along the river. From here you can see so many things: the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, awesome bridges, and many other fascinating things. Besides looking at Notre Dame, I love to watch the water flow by. Sunny days make things so much better. I’m not the only one. Many people love to sit on the right bank and let the sun warm them. Parisian lizards?

And speaking of our lady, she sure is lovely. I don’t even enjoy churches that much, but this one is special to me. I guess she was basically my neighbor for two months last year, when I knew few people and didn’t leave the river banks. That was when I had a lot of great opportunities to photograph her at night, which can be very stunning.


Mentioning parks, there are a lot of good ones in town. Flowers are still out, and the leaves haven’t fallen yet, so it is a nice time. Pretty soon everything will be gray or brown. Not yet!

The first one is right by my apartment. I run through it on my way to the river. It is very well hidden, and few people take advantage of it. The last one there is Jardin du Luxembourg, a famous one. You can see the castle there. I’m pretty sure most Parisians would go insane without the parks. Apartments are small, the streets are crowded, and it is difficult to find any place to stretch out. Running in the parks is often a game of frogger, where I’m the frog.

While walking around, there are many great things to see.

and of course this pops up everywhere. You can’t miss it!

I’m glad I’m not a paranoid person. Did you see those black helicopters?

I had to get a closer look.

I’ve only been here two weeks, but already a visitor has graced me. Also, my friends are always welcome to hang out. I make a pretty good tour guide, especially if you want to visit one of the many sex shops next to Moulin Rouge.

I’ve been eating well, too well maybe (especially with cheese… OMG!!!). Mostly I cook. I’m definitely trying to use more butter and sauces in my cooking – out of respect for where I am living. Thank goodness I walk a lot more than in the US!!!

I said I don’t care for churches much, so this has to fill in that part of me.

My apartment isn’t really worth showing, but here it is. It’s tiny and messy. At least I have a washing machine. I hang up clothes on a rack that takes up most of the floor space. At least clothes only take ~2 days to dry. I put a fan on them to speed things up. You can’t see the bed (thank goodness this isn’t a studio – although you’ll be sleeping on the couch if you visit). You have to go up the ladder to see the “bedroom”. It technically doesn’t count as living space because you can’t stand up. So it’s perfect for sleeping.

I’m subletting, so all of the landlord’s stuff is here. At least he is a cook, so I have plenty to work with. My office (temporarily with graduate students until someone leaves later in October) is alright.

Oh, and pictures of food 🙂

That’s about it so far. I’m pretty much settled in with a good schedule. I take a French class, have already read 3 children’s books (reading Peter Pan now), and use Rosetta Stone when there is time. Cooking takes up a lot of my time, and walking of course. Without walking, I would be pretty unhappy here. But thankfully, there has been a lot of sunny days so far, and I get out to stretch my lets. 🙂 Cheers.

Signatures!

I got the last signature required for my PhD.  You can call me doctor now.  Not that you should.  It is a good feeling after 5 years of hard work – if you can call looking at pictures of Mars hard work.

 

Here is what my thesis looks like.  It’s not the final draft, but we’re damn close.  I’ll submit the final early next week.