Monday, March 29, 2010

weekend in review

Well this weekend was all ups and downs. It was nice to have so many plans, but it is really exhausting! And if I had known about the time change, I think I would have been dreading this weekend. But finally, that was a breeze and the real problems were all the blame on the French.

I'll do the bad stuff first. I don't want be spreadin' B's bidness all around, but he has had a rough couple of days, poor guy. For the last few months, his business has been audited and they got the results on Friday. Now, it seems to me like this was pretty much the result that he had predicted but apparently he had harbored secret hopes that it would go differently. The auditor made some pretty far-fetched assumptions to come up with his valuations which means that the 'bill' to be paid is astronomical. So now, they need to hire a lawyer to appeal the 'bill' and all this will probably take a year or two. And since B is a pathological worrier, that means a year or two of worrying constantly about the result. Sigh.

The second problem that he had this weekend was a lot more exciting (really? you say. More exciting than discussing accounting errors? Oh Internets, I know it is hard to keep up with my thrilling life over here. But seriously, wait for it...) - his bank was robbed! Personally, the last word that I would use to describe the situation is 'shocking' but I'll let you judge. The bank office where we had our checking accounts and safe deposit box has been closed for renovations for the last few months. This branch is near B's office so I hadn't seen it until a few weeks ago when we drove by in the car. B pointed out the window and said 'Look at how safe they keep our money...' The front wall of the bank had been removed and was replaced by... plywood. You know, thin flimsy pressboard. Can be snapped in half by a hefty toddler jumping on it in the middle. Well, apparently, they had moved the front desk part to another location down the street and just weren't terribly worried about the safe deposit boxes so plywood was considered sufficient protection from the bad guys. Geez- I don't even think that plywood is sufficient protection from strong wind, but you know, thats just me. I asked him if had left anything in the safe and he said yes. I said that I hoped it wasn't anything important because personally, that wall of plywood didn't reassure me much. And I guess I was right because Sunday morning, B stopped by his office to pick up something and he saw firemen and police all over the bank- or I should say, former bank. There had been a fire. Set by the bank robbers, who broke into the safe. B called me right away and he was practically in hysterics because the police wouldn't tell him anything. Again, I can't say that I was at all shocked and I pointed out that if the fire was only caught at 8 or 9 on Sunday morning, it was probably only set a bit before (its right on avenue de l'opera and there are lots of people around even early on Sunday morning so it couldn't have burned for very long). That would mean that the robbers had probably been in the bank all night and had had plenty of time to get in all the safe deposit boxes. It was probably a safe bet that whatever he had in there was gone. Well, we spend the rest of the day, on practically on hourly basis, having this same discussion over and over and OVER again. He tried phoning up this morning and the staff at the replacement office didn't even know that there had been a break-in. Oh, French people and their great attitude of 'Whatever. Not my problem.'

At least I can't complain about not getting enough sleep this weekend. I'm not saying that I couldn't have slept for hours more each morning but atleast there were no noisy neighbors to wake me and the time change totally worked in our favor. Tonight will be the real test, but last night Georgia was in bed at 8:30 (a bit later than usual due to the time change and a late nap) and didn't wake until 6:45. I managed to settle her back to sleep til 7:15, when I gave her a bottle and when she was done and had woken us up by banging her bottle against the bars on her crib (honestly, she finally wakes up happy one day and do we get to hear her cooing in bed? No. Its like waking up to an episode of Prison Break.) Despite the noise, this is magical. People, seriously, a Full Nights Sleep. Even if she did wake me up at a very critical point in my dream about hanging out with Brad Pitt and our kids in the park ( we were exchanging very longing looks but I refused to kiss him because Angie would shoot daggers at me each morning before she left for the movie set and I was afraid of the paparazzi taking a photo of it. Don't know where B was during all this. Perhaps at the bank, sifting through safe deposit ashes? Anyways, best dream I've had in AGES. But also kind of random since the scraggy goatee Brad's rocking right now is actually pretty gross. )

I guess I'll just keep working backwards. Saturday night got sort of screwed up since I was supposed to go out with an old uni friend in town for the weekend but we got our wires crossed and I ended up with a babysitter and no place to go. I told B that after my hellish afternoon of hangover + kids birthday party (boy, kids sure like popping balloons, don't they?), I was bound and determined to ditch the kids for a few hours of quiet adult company. He made reservations at the Thai place at the Village St Paul and we had a lovely dinner, discussing a dream vacation inspired by my brother and his sailing adventure. We are going to fly to Panama, get on a sailboat and sail to the Galapagos Islands, where we can spend a week diving and hiking and visiting stuff. Can't wait. The nice thing about B is that once he gets an idea in his head, he won't let it drop (OK, full disclosure; this is also the most irritating thing about him. Funny how that works, isn't it?). I was teasing him this morning when he asked me to cross my fingers and say a pray for him, since he was off to the bank to see about things. I told him that I would be praying hard because if everything turned out fine, he would be so excited that I would be able to book an awesome vacation for May; but if he got bad news, I didn't have a snowball chance in hell of going anywhere til the fall because he would nix all my ideas simply on principal (the principal being that people who are robbed don't have money for vacation. Never mind that the stuff in the safe has nothing to do with our finances...)

Friday night, I had my weekly girls night out which was fab. I am sad all over again about my friend who moved home to the Netherlands. She is so lovely and I realize more and more that she was sort of the corner stone of our group of friends. You know how there is often the person who is the connection between different groups? And without that person, no one is the catalyst to get different people together? Its funny how it works out; I talk to all these people when I bump into them on the street or in the shops or at the school gate, but the only time that we go out is when Hestor is around. Hmm. So dinner was fun although we went to Chez Janou to eat. I don't know. Lots of people love that place but I think it is a pain. First of all, the no seating til your whole group arrives is ridiculous because the bar area is like a cattle pen from 8 til 8:30. The guy that runs the place is obnoxious, even though he sort of acts like its just his schtick. Ugh. The Rude French Waiter act is maybe funny for tourists, but I'm so over it. Just whatever, ignore me or bring my dinner but don't harrass me, please. Thank goodness that I was too drunk at the end of the meal to care about the tip. I think I paid 7 euro too much and I hope that one of my girlfriends too the change. It would kill me to think that I left it as a tip for that meal. The food was fine, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't great. Anyways, I think i like that place better in the summer when you can sit outside on the terrasse.

That reminds me, while talking about restaurants. On Sunday afternoon, while strolling through the Marais with the girls, we decided to stop for a coffee. That whole area around rue Francs Bourgeois was just heaving, per the usual, so I decided that we should head up rue Turenne a bit to find somewhere less busy. We went into Le Cafe de Deux Musees and it was fantastic! I had been there ages ago and sort of forgot how nice it was. We ordered the apple tart (mainly because the waiter said that was all that they had left...) and it must have been just out of the oven as it was still warm. It was honestly just so gorgeous that it immediately went to the number one spot on my list of Best Tarts Ever. So yummy. The wait staff were all really nice and cheeky (take note, Chez Janou, there is a difference between cheeky and rude). The salle is nice and old-fashioned. And the regular menu looked nice and well-priced. We took the card and hopefully we'll remember to go there for one of our mid-week, low-key date nights. I am on a mission to find some new restos in our neighborhood because we have gotten into such a rut and then last week, it started raining as we wandered around looking for a place to eat and we ended up in a very sub-par place just off place St Catherine. Ok, it got is in and out of the rain which was our main goal at that point but the food was abysmal. Oh well. I guess that I've learned my lesson- never go out on a warm evening in March and expect to have all night to stroll around and find a nice place to eat. Unless you left the house with an umbrella.

I'm also going to try Au Petit Marche on rue Bearn. One of my girlfriends recommended it and its also close by so I'll post a review as soon as I get around to eating at all of these places. It shouldn't be too long. The warm weather, and Georgia's improved sleeping habits, have made me antsy to get out of the house more often. I think I might even need to go have a look through Craigslist to see if I can't find a nice American student looking to pick up a few hours of babysitting.

A have a few minutes before I need to go and get Georgia from garderie so I am going to make a real To Do list and try and be a bit productive this week. I am embarrassed at my lack of motivation lately. In fact, I am so embarrassed about it that I won't even go into the details. Lets just say that its amazing that I manage to leave the house fully dressed.

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