Step by step instructions on how to eat yogurt in the office:
(This is why I can’t get anything done)
1. Go to little office fridge, and select a single serving yogurt container.
2. Bring the container to your desk.
3. Open drawer, find box of plastic spoons, and select one.
4. Peel off foil lid from yogurt container.
5. It will not come off in one piece like it does in advertisements; it never does.
6. Pick off remaining pieces of the lid.
7. Fruit flavors are layered at the bottom of the yogurt container. Use the spoon to stir and mix the contents.
8. As you stir, realize that this liquid is splashing out of the container onto your plastic desk blotter.
9. Calmly, place the container on the desk, and retrieve paper towels.
10. Wipe the surface of the ink blotter with the paper towels, and notice that the fluid is not immediately absorbed by the towels. Rather it just gets smeared around.
11. Get more towels, and repeat this process until the fluid appears to dissipate.
12. Throw the used and now messy paper towels in the trash. (If you are repeating steps 10, 11, & 12 by following instructions from step 24, you may now proceed to step 25.)
13. As you turn back towards your desk, notice the eerie gray film that is still left behind, which will surely get sticky and smelly later on in the day.
14. Grab the canister of wet naps.
15. Open the flip lid of the wet naps and notice that you’re the first person to use this canister.
16. You will have to open the main lid of the canister.
a. Find the roll of wet naps inside
b. Take the leading edge of the wet naps and feed it through the slot of the main lid of the canister.
17. At this point, if someone enters the office and asks you, “Hi, what are you up to?” Reply to them, “I’m just eating some yogurt. Isn’t it obvious?”
18. Re-assemble the canister of wet naps.
19. Pull the first wet nap out of the canister.
20. Close the flip lid and return it to shelf.
21. Wipe the eerie gray film, leaving a dewy mix of ammonia, water, alcohol, and lemon fresh scent behind.
22. Throw the wet nap away.
23. Return to paper towels.
24. Pick a paper towel, and repeat steps 10, 11, & 12.
25. Sit back down in office chair, and retrieve your yogurt cup.
26. Holding the yogurt cup in your left hand over a trash container, take the spoon , and finish stirring the contents of your yogurt.
27. Your yogurt is now ready to be consumed. Enjoy!!
Again, I was lucky enough to go to a Game 1 at Fenway.
Let me make something perfectly clear. France is fantastic, but I can’t stand Paris.
I first visited Paris as a high school freshman, and I was 14-years old. It was a high school trip, my first trip abroad without my parents. Actually, that trip went fine. I liked it so much, I returned on a high school trip for my sophomore year. That’s where the animosities with Paris begin.
Nothing bad happened to me personally, but the trip was full of negative events. My chaperone (and good family friend) had his pocket picked on the metro. A trip friend had his pocket picked at Le Place de la Concorde. He actually ran down the culprit and got his stuff back. There was another student, who was swindled out of $500, while waiting in line to exchange money at a train station.
We saw two traffic accidents. One happened right in front my chaperone. A car ran a red light, and hit a taxi. I heard my friend as he rushed to help, “Ça va? Ça va? ” The drivers leg was bleeding a bit. A horn from one of the wrecked cars blared on and on. Soon enough, firemen arrived, and they did everything they could to get the horn turned off.
Back to more current time, my family and I made a 2-night side trip to Paris. I was reluctant to go, but it was the kids’ first chance to see it. We drove to Marseille and took a fast train to Paris. One of my current travel mates thought we were crazy to go, and I agreed with him actually. He warned me of the “Romanians.” I don’t think he really meant Romanians. Perhaps he was making a derogatory reference about Gypsies. In any case, he was referring to hooligans, French or non-French, in general who move to Paris to take advantage of full-pocketed tourists.
Our hotel was on Rue St. Germaine, only a few blocks from Notre Dame. It was August, so there were very few French people in Paris. I kept saying, “All the pretty French girls are American!” The city was full of Americans, Brits, Italians, and Asians. The only people that spoke French were the frustrated waiters. In La Louvre, the Mona Lisa was mobbed by Americans, and the statue of Cupid and Psyche was swooned over by Italian girls.
Alas, Paris is still the Paris I recall from my highschool sophomore year. Our first morning there, we were crossing a bridge to Notre Dame where 2 “Romanians” apparently cased me for a mugging or more likely a pocket picking. I was out in front of my family, and these 2 guys approached from the other way. One specifically, stared me in the eyes as he walked at me. If I altered my step to the side, he matched me, and I knew he had a buddy. I knew he wanted bodily contact to rough me up while his buddy fished in my pockets. When we were almost nose-to-nose, I pulled a good ol’ fashioned spin move, which would make Bill Belichick proud. Looked over my shoulder, and the “Romanians” went on their way.
Of course Paris is not all bad. It is one of the loveliest cities in Europe. Cities in Europe ooze with art and sculpture out on the streets in a way that’s practically impossible in the States. We walked from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower (and back). The blend of Gothic, neo-Classical, and Art Nouveau laid before us was literally 850 years in the making.
I will say that my meager French served me well. I made honest attempts to speak French at every encounter, yes with varied success. But on every encounter, the person I spoke to appreciated the attempt. Often broken French was answered with broken English as we strived to get our concepts across.
Paris in August is like Disney World. No, no, no, it’s not like Disney World; it’s turned into Disney World. Yes, places like Paris are fill with the “Real Thing,” while Disney World is just a facade. The tourists turn the Paris into Disney World. The gift shop at Sainte Chappelle actually sells figurines of Disney characters, mostly from the Hunchback movie. But it’s the lines, the ques. People are willing to spend a morning or an afternoon to stand in a line. The line for the towers of Notre Dame stretched the length of the whole church. It was relatively short, but it was the slowest. Max and I wanted to go up, but we only had the one day in Paris.
We walked from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower (and back). The lines of people wanting to go up the Eiffel Tower swirled and spiraled their way from as far away as Portugal (I swear!). Those not waiting in line reclined on the grass mall along with the litter of paper, plastic bags and bottle caps.
Okay, let’s start with Bouillabasisse. You can get bouillabaisse in most restaurants in Southern France. It’s a lovely mix of sautéed vegetables then simmered in a tomato, brothy sauce. It’s often served as a side dish, yet not in a crepe or noodle.
But, I’m not really talking about Bouillabasisse the food. I’m talking about a place. First you have to get off the main coastal road, and go down a side road called, “Allee de la Bouillabasse.” That’s French for “Bouillabasses Lane.” That illustrates a key difference between French and English. French, by default, almost always uses more words to mention the same thing than in English.
The other thing you have to remember when you translate from English to French or back again, is that English is a rough language. Always speak English with a rough grumbly tone, especially American English. When you speak French, be light and airy. Envision yourself as Audrey Hepburn when speaking French. In fact, I downloaded a French vocabulary app. I plugged it into my car sound system. The English word would be given in a very masculine tone “FISH,” while the speakers voice involuntarily turned feminine when giving the French translation, “Le Poisson.” Also, note that it takes one word to say “fish” in English, but two in French.” It’s just the way French is.
Sadly, you don’t go down Allee des Mimosas (3 words), which means Mimosas Lane (2 words). I was just very recently asked if they serve mimosas there at the Allee des Mimosas, and the answer is most likely not. A mimosa is, of course, orange juice with a champagne floater. When you see the sign, avoid the temptation, and look for a little dirt path on the left. That will bring you to Bouillabaisse Cove.
The cove is small. There may be beach goers there seeking and intimate, less crowded setting. I’m told there’s good snorkeling and plenty of fish.
There’s also a path that leads back to the big beach at the Baie de Cavalaire. Well, it’s not a complete path. You see that photo with the stairs way in the background? Well, somewhere from the vantage point of the photograph and those stairs, the path ends. You have to crawl over rocks and through some mild surf to get to those stairs where the trail resumes.
Many of the following photo may remind you of the Caribbean. It’s not. It’s the Mediterranean, which is also difficult to spell. The water of both seas are not merely blue. Rather they are aqua marine, yet either tone of aqua marine is different.
I took my wife and younger son to the Misselwood Concours d’Elegance. It’s an antique car show, held as a fund raiser for Endicott College. The show is held on the grounds of the college, which rests along the craggy coastline of Beverly, Massachusetts.
I was on sight for only a few hours, if even that. I took 199 pictures: quarter views, interior shots, rear views, engine shots. It’s too overwhelming to do a complete overview in an afternoon. Here is a sampling of some examples that were presented.[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="Chrysler Town & Country with wood trim."][/caption]
Took a little trip to Newburyport, Mass with family and friends. There I tripped over this exquisite Bel Air (1959-1960).