40 entries from srah blah blah tagged with 'the abbey':


I woke up this morning when my clock radio went off, as usual. Much to my dismay, however, I fell back asleep - or at least half asleep, to the point where the radio was integrated into my dream. For the next... half an hour or whatever it was that I overslept, I was in some kind of boarding school with people from my 2004 internship and from the Israel trip, all of whom kept nagging me about pledging money to my local NPR station....

srah - Wednesday, 5 April 2006 - 5:30 PM
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It's a good day

At 5, I have a class where I will have to spend two hours rehashing and reliving my internship, trying to pick out the good points so that I can make a freaking poster about them. At 7, I have a three-hour class with Business School-style mutants who like to talk for the sake of talking. But never mind - this is going to be a good day, because I have bubble tea and my bubble tea has a picture of a monkey on the top. Mmmmmmmmonnnnkeeeeeey shall be my mantra. If you are having a day that looks unpleasant,...

srah - Thursday, 16 September 2004 - 1:35 PM
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Just a wee bit bitter...

As you may know, the Ryder Cup is being held in Detroit this year. What you may not know is that one arm of the company I worked for this summer is doing a hospitality-fundraiser-thing for the Ryder Cup and that the first project I had this summer was to make a website featuring some of the ticket and hospitality packages they were shilling. A project which I did, handily, in under a week, asking my project-supervisor for feedback along the way and being summarily ignored. A project which, I assume, never had any point at all except to keep...

srah - Monday, 13 September 2004 - 8:22 AM

Adieu Little America

Ding dong, the internship's dead! Jez and I left P-------- this morning. The darling limey dragged my awful, bulging overpacked rolling suitcase all over Paris to my hotel, then we went for a lunchtime blogmeet with Stuart. Jezzles and I passed through the Cimitière de Montparnasse and passered le bonjour à Serge Gainsbourg then had to hurry back to the Métro so that Jez could get to the airport in time for his flight. I went and blubbered a little, then had to wipe up my sniffles and wander around Paris by myself for the afternoon. That's mostly all I...

srah - Tuesday, 24 August 2004 - 3:55 PM
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Ode to a smaller slug than the one I squashed

Dear Huge Slug On The Bathroom Floor, How did you get there? Are there more? Why aren't you moving? Are you dead? Or asleep or have been a-salt-ed? Dear Huge Slug On The Bathroom Floor, I'm glad it's not my bathroom; I'll just close the door....

srah - Thursday, 19 August 2004 - 10:28 AM
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'Wipe the slime from off your sleeve...'

When I walked over to the B&B last night (I've been staying on Caroline's couch for a while) it was 1am and pitch black out. In the dark, I stepped on a slug I hadn't seen, which promptly exploded, spraying slug juices all over me. I thought I would share with you so you could be as horrified as I was. And for your information, the slug was about this wide: |                             |* ––––– * Note: slug size may vary, depending on browser and screen resolution. But it was freaking huge....

srah - Thursday, 12 August 2004 - 3:39 PM

'Oh yeah? Well your BUTT IS BIG!'

Is it a full moon? Is that why everyone at this abbey is insane? I was eating dinner tonight around the corner from our kitchen when I heard someone walk into the kitchen and open the freezer door. I got up to see if it was Chris (who is now the only one who shares it with me - sniff sniff) and it wasn't. "Excuse me," I said to the man in our kitchen, "Um, this is the staff kitchen. It's for staff only." "I knowwwwwww," he replied petulantly, in the tone of voice used by sullen teenagers, although he...

srah - Wednesday, 4 August 2004 - 3:08 PM

Trading in a fiddle for a harp... for a bathroom

I will never again claim to have Internet access or a bathroom, because something fucking always goes wrong. The latest session of musicians to move in includes two harpists, and one of them is using the bedroom connected to my bathroom as a practice room. It was kind of nice, because I always ended up showering to harp music. It's certainly better than lunching to scratchy violins. Last night, I was in the bathroom when Caroline came to collect the last of her stuff and then I went upstairs, forgetting that she didn't have a key anymore to lock it...

srah - Wednesday, 4 August 2004 - 4:48 AM

The latest

Oh. Yeah. Internet's back, by the way....

srah - Monday, 2 August 2004 - 6:45 PM

Fermentation and Fumier*

It has been very hot here for the past few days. Very hot indeed. We are surrounded by farm country. Very surrounded indeed. Somehow the heat has mixed with the location in such a way that the smell of manure is constantly wafting around. It is on the breeze, but it is also in the air when the air is still. It is constantly with us, and there is no escape. It's not that bad. I mean, it smells like manure, but you kind of get used to it, much as I imagine farm folk do. However, on a trip...

srah - Monday, 2 August 2004 - 5:27 PM
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Just another maniacally boring Monday

Right. Monday morning. Um... I'm quickly running out of work to do, seeing as there's no Internet. I have my timesheet and action plan all ready to send to the Detroit office... but there's no Internet. And I can't fax it because I can't print it because my computer's still not on the abbey network, though Chris says he'll try to surf some support forums to try to figure it out. But he can't do that until there's Internet. Poor Isidore is quite isolated and all information in him has to remain in him until he can get online. Maybe...

srah - Monday, 2 August 2004 - 6:04 AM

Tuck me into bed or lose me forever?

Well, might as well tell you what I did with my weekend. It's the first time in at least a month that I've spent the weekend in P-------- and it was actually a nice change. None of the stress of making trains and all, and a few nice mornings to sleep through. On Friday Becky, Melissa, Johan and I went to Blois. Becky got her hair colored and spent the rest of the day looking down at her hair and freaking out because she was a brunette for the first time in something like 8 years. The rest of us...

srah - Sunday, 1 August 2004 - 7:15 PM

'Have you gotten everything you wanted out of this internship?' 'Well, not herpes...'

Soon I will be all alone. My roommate Caroline has moved into the B&B in the place of our supervisor, who's moved back to the States. Becky leaves Tuesday for a trip to Italy before flying back home. Soon I shall be all alone in the museum, far away from the other interns. 'Sokay. I see enough of them anyway. Not sure who I'm going to socialize/grocery shop with now, though! Who shall I gossip and bitch about work with?...

srah - Sunday, 1 August 2004 - 3:03 PM

Shower, yes. Internet, no.

There's something gone wrong with the Internet infrastructure (the guy on the phone used the phrase "le backbone") of the Région Centre so that our ISDN (or whatever it is) connection doesn't work, but the ASDL at our B&B does. This has conveniently managed to happen right in the middle of prime summer vacation time, when everyone in France abandons their jobs to go to Normandy or Nice or wherever the hell they are instead of fixing my Internet!!!!!!1 So I've got a few precious moments of Internet to say that I miss you, and by "you" I mean my...

srah - Friday, 30 July 2004 - 5:15 AM

Signs will be made! And posted! Stern ones!

Bitches! Someone has stolen the golden pie! And by "golden pie" I mean my freaking ice cream from my freaking staff-only freezer! The latest group at the abbey are a bunch of prepubescent rugrats who think that refrigerators are magical devices that create food just for them to trip along and snag. BOOOOOOOOO! At least it wasn't the Cookies & Cream... In other abbey news, we never got our shower back after all, so I smell. And I have no ice cream! I am going to kick some tiny musical arse!...

srah - Monday, 26 July 2004 - 7:15 AM

How to handle a srah

It doesn't solve anything, but my supervisor invited me and Becky to spend tonight in our B&B. I hate that she probably did this because I cried. I cry when I get frustrated or angry. I cry when I don't get my way or when I want people to listen to me and they're not. While I always like getting my way, on another level, it really bothers me when people give in to my crying and let me have my way or give me what I want. I wish that once in a while, someone would just have a...

srah - Wednesday, 21 July 2004 - 7:30 AM

You can't handle the truth! Or the tears that come with it!

Nearing the end of my status interview with my supervisor: Supervisor: Are you happy? Me: (shrugs) Yeah, it's not bad, now that I have a bathroom again.* Supervisor: Is this internship everything you'd hoped it would be? (I think hard about how to respond diplomatically) Supervisor: Truthfully. Me: Truthfully... it's everything I expected it to be. Supervisor: How's that? Me: Well, I knew coming in that I probably wasn't going to get credit for it and that I wasn't going to be doing exactly what I wanted, but it was something to keep me busy over the summer, so... I'm...

srah - Wednesday, 21 July 2004 - 5:31 AM

Workin' for the Man

I was so exhausted from the weekend that I let myself sleep in an hour. When you work where you live and can determine your own schedule, you can do that. So as a result, I was in the shower when Kathy called and asked me to pick Becky up at the train station. When I finally got the message, I had to hurry there and all of the usual cars were gone, so I had to take The Silver Bullet. All of our cars have cute little names - the Red Rocket is a 1987 Opel Corsa, the Green...

srah - Monday, 12 July 2004 - 4:58 AM

iTunes? Check. Headphones? Check.

When I was eight, I began taking piano lessons. Other kids in my class could play songs I knew on the piano and I wanted to do so too. What frustrated me most about playing the piano, however, was the long, painful period between Beginning and Playing Real Songs That People Have Heard Of. Piano lesson books are full of made-up songs that help you work on some certain aspect of piano-playing, while at the same time saving money for the publishers because there's no need to pay royalties. When I was ten, everyone in our class had the opportunity...

srah - Tuesday, 6 July 2004 - 5:07 AM

Out, cursèd musicians!

The latest guests at the abbey are a group of musicians who will be playing concerts here for the next month or so. Being musicians, they seem to feel the need to practice. And feeling the need to practice, they seem to want a space to do it in. Our room is the only bedroom that is not on the second floor. As it is not on the second floor, it is easy to understand that it might not immediately be recognized as a bedroom. We have been annoyed, therefore, over the past two days, by musicians searching out practice...

srah - Monday, 5 July 2004 - 1:25 PM

Job description

My computer doesn't connect properly to the Internet and I go complaining to our IT intern to fix it. He tells me what's wrong and I stare blankly and ask him to fix it. My coworkers laugh because I have told them repeatedly that I am not IT but they never seem to believe it. I am not IT. I am not a web designer. I am not a web developer. I am not a lot of things. But what am I? Ah, woes of the information professional....

srah - Friday, 2 July 2004 - 8:19 AM


56. Not that I'm counting....

srah - Wednesday, 30 June 2004 - 4:29 PM

Four cups so far...

I discovered that if I work in the office rather than the computer lab or my room, I can trade solitude and the ability to concentrate therein for proximity to tea-making supplies, which I would normally have to assemble from two different locations and climb two flights of stairs for. Concentrate schmoncentrate. Lazy. Tea....

srah - Friday, 25 June 2004 - 9:03 AM

Dinner out

Haven't posted much lately because the Big Cheese is in town and we spend all of our time either preparing our presentations for him or avoiding him. Just ate an enormous 4-course dinner with Becky along with kir royales as apéritifs and a bottle of rosé split between the two of us. So much food. So much wine. So much limbo as I wonder if I'm going to be sick. That's the news from Lake Woebegon. Or Little America. People kept talking to me at dinner and I talked right back because I had champagne in me and I talk...

srah - Thursday, 24 June 2004 - 5:40 PM

The things I write are only light extemporania

I spent my day just frittering - yes that's right, I say frittering - frittering away my noontime, suppertime, choretime too. Never mind getting dandelions pulled or the screen door patched or the beef steak pounded... Oh dear, I think I'm going to be breaking out in musicals quite a few times in this post. Anyway, I wasted most of the day sitting around and playing The Sims (although I did get some laundry done too), so around 6:30pm I thought about having my first meal of the day. And of course, at 6:30, I was requested to be of...

srah - Sunday, 20 June 2004 - 7:58 AM


I have somehow managed to be left alone in the office, where I don't even usually work, with only one of the new part-time interns who doesn't speak French and who doesn't actually start work until next week. I thought the others were just stepping out, but it's been hours. I'm going to want to eat lunch at some point, but someone's going to need to answer the phone and have scintillating conversations like this: me: "Abbaye de P---------, bonjour." person on phone: "Bonjour, est-ce que je peux parler avec [Coworker X]?" me: ""En fait, elle est pas au bureau...

srah - Thursday, 17 June 2004 - 6:30 AM

Here's what I did today:

Work. Organize a meeting for pretty much no reason. Work. Drink apricot juice. W00t....

srah - Wednesday, 16 June 2004 - 6:47 PM

¡Maldita vampira!

In the end, it was not salmonella that killed me, but rather exposure to the sun. I stood outside the entrance to the Château de Chaumont, handing out 10% off coupons for the bed-and-breakfast that our company bought a few weeks ago, in a panicked last-ditch attempt to get people in the rooms before The Big Cheez (our president) arrives on Friday. I will be interested to see if this new marketing scheme is at all fruitful, since I was passed by a total of about 60 groups/couples, most of whom were either local, already had rooms for the night,...

srah - Tuesday, 15 June 2004 - 4:59 PM

Ordered chaos... in my hair

I went to bed early last night, in an effort to finally acclimate myself fully to the French time zone so that I could get up at a normal time in the morning and do something with my day. So you can imagine my surprise and disappointment when I woke up at 11:30 am instead. Becky was coming into the room and as I popped out of bed to start making myself tea, she asked if I'd like to come along with her to the nearby château of Chaumont-sur-Loire, which recently began its summer gardens exhibition. We went with Becky's...

srah - Sunday, 13 June 2004 - 5:59 PM

Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody

But that's my own damn fault. Caroline went to Paris and I probably could have tagged along. But I decided I wanted to hang around here my first weekend, in the name of getting settled in. Well, if being settled in consists of sleeping until noon, watching awful Jennifer Lopez movies dubbed into French (again) by myself and playing The Sims all day, then me voici settled in. Maybe I'll just go to bed early. Then tomorrow I think I'll force myself to get out of my room in the morning and go for a long walk, exploring the countryside....

srah - Saturday, 12 June 2004 - 5:13 PM

A bit lonely

I'm all alone in the computer lab. Which is, I guess, better than being all alone in the dark in the common room, because I couldn't find the light switch. Where has everyone gone? And did they take our forks with them?...

srah - Friday, 11 June 2004 - 4:54 PM

The Real World: France

When Becky and I went for our walk the other day, she told us that the neighboring town of Bourré has a large Portuguese population, so the locals call it "Little Portugal". Our town*, on the other hand, is "Little America." I knew, even before I interviewed for this job, that this program was not something that I could completely agree with. The internships - that's fine. Whatever. But here at the abbey, one of our main focuses is on international education. So we have groups of undergraduate students coming over for semesters, for the summer or for chunks of...

srah - Friday, 11 June 2004 - 7:21 AM

Isidore makes the connection

Well, in case you can't tell, Isidore is online today. While sitting in the computer lab, I overheard the properties manager/IT guy on the phone, telling someone he was leaving town tonight. I'm sure I only whimpered in my mind, but he may have picked up on it because he came over and talked to me about my network connection. For some reason, he seems to have warmed to me, because he typed in all of the IP information that was missing and now I can connect from anywhere that's close enough to one of the wireless points around campus....

srah - Thursday, 10 June 2004 - 7:59 AM
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Morning #3

My calves have hurt every morning since I've been here - sort of like the muscles are tight from a lot of use. But I don't know what I've done that could have strained them. I've walked up and down a lot of stairs... they also sometimes tighten up when I'm sitting at the computer for a long time. Any suggestions, Dr Alfie? The flies here are driving me crazy, but I think they're mostly just lost. They'll buzz and buzz around the room, but if I go over and open the window, they'll usually fly right out. The problem...

srah - Thursday, 10 June 2004 - 4:47 AM

Veni, vidi, comedi tui pistachi

I got up earlier this morning, full of vim and vigour and ready to start the day... but I didn't have anything to do except nag the properties manager/IT guy about my internet connection. I suspect that with people pooping in the Abbey, he has more pressing and important things to worry about than me actually doing work. Becky just bought a new coffee pot so she's offered me her old one to heat up water for tea. It took a minute for me to figure out how it worked and I ended up spilling water all over myself, my...

srah - Wednesday, 9 June 2004 - 7:15 PM
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'I live like a monk in an abbey...'

My alarm went off at some point this morning, around 8 or 8:30. Whether it was because I've trained myself not to be woken by the alarm or whether it was because I was exhausted... for some reason, I didn't wake up for at least a half-hour after the alarm went, realized it had been going off for a while, felt guilty in regards to my roommates and turned it off. I went back to sleep and didn't wake up again until 11:45. So, having gone to bed at 10pm the night before, I managed to get myself fourteen hours...

srah - Tuesday, 8 June 2004 - 5:35 PM

Better as the evening goes on

My "roommate" (three of us have connected rooms) and I bonded over our lack of sheets or towels, then she found some for both of us and we went to dinner and had french fries*. Things are looking up. ––––– * ha!...

srah - Monday, 7 June 2004 - 3:56 PM

'Timid and shy and scared are you of things beyond your ken'

Well, I'm here. I sort of have a room to myself, it seems, although there are actually three rooms connected and everyone in the other two rooms has to walk through mine to get to theirs. My room is in the part of the abbey that was a museum at one time, and as a result there are three glass display cases within my view right now. I should get some shrunken heads to put in them. Another intern has shown me around a bit, so that I know the general area of where the shower is, but not which...

srah - Monday, 7 June 2004 - 11:20 AM

I'm a-ight

My job at my internship is remarkably ill-defined. I am a "web development intern," but the boundaries of that job are pretty much up to my own interpretation. Lately I've been trying to define my job and set limits as to what I can and can't do and what I can and can't learn over the course of the summer. It's hard for me when someone wants me to do something that I can't do, because one of my strongest drives is the need to please. I don't want to disappoint anyone by telling them that I can't do something....

srah - Tuesday, 18 May 2004 - 10:20 PM
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Hope is the thing with feathers. No wait, that's a duck.

"I don't see why that shouldn't count for credit," my professor said when I described my summer internship to him. Prior to that, I had given up hope of a for-credit internship and was mostly just happy to have something to occupy me over the summer. "They're pretty accomodating." He suggested that they had been known to bend the rules in order to get people credit. "We will get you credit for this," said the president of my organization. "Just let me know what I have to do." This gave me hope. So I set up an appointment for today...

srah - Friday, 30 April 2004 - 12:44 PM
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