How Dare They?!

From the darkness, I could faintly make out a ringing coming from my computer. Foggy with sleep, I realized that somebody was calling me. Too tired to really care, I went back to sleep. At ten o’clock, my alarm clock shrilly went off, causing me to jump up and propel myself into my day. Looking at the computer screen, I saw that it was Jessica who had called me at 3:00am her time. Fearing that Tiger was dead or worse, I called her phone. Tiger was not dead, it was indeed worse. (Oh, when I woke up, the song Love Is Alive, by the Judds was playing in my head, and it still is. I don’t know why. I haven’t heard that song in years, so it’s kind of weird.)

It seems that my entire family, and any of you who know my family, have completely betrayed me. Since November of last year, they have been planning on taking themselves on a nice vacation to Disney World…in Florida…where it’s nice…where the sun shines…where there is a beach. If you’ve been reading my blog, you may well have noticed that I want to go to Florida because I love it. I have even been contemplating getting a menial job at Disney World because I love it there so freaking much. But they didn’t even have the common decency to inform me of their trip to paradise until three days before their plane leaves, the cowards. I don’t blame father, I won’t burden him with tremendous guilt and my eventual vengeance because he had enough chivalry not to go. I applaud his pluck.

So, trying to get over this newly inflicted wound, I flopped on the couch, cried a little bit, and watched Kath & Kim (the Australian version) to try and forget about my suffering.

I hear you out there, “What’s he complaining about? He’s living in Paris. Get over yourself, boy.” To you, I respond. “It is cold in Paris. There isn’t too much to do in Paris. There is no sun in Paris, just rain clouds and drizzle.” So, I feel as if my despondency is well justified.

Watching three hours of Kath & Kim did nothing for my dampened spirits, so I made cookies, something I have both been dreading and looking forward to, and decided to go to Disneyland on Wednesday no matter what the weather is like even if the Phantom Manor is shut down.

You see, it isn’t easy to make chocolate chip cookies in Paris. Between America and France, our grocery stores are completely different places stocked with a wide variety of endlessly different takes on the same idea. For example, Parisians don’t have Mozzarella cheese, they have a different kind. Americans have popcorn, the French have hull-less puffs of popcorn that are coated in colored sugar. French have powdered vanilla, Americans have vanilla extract. Americans have packable brown sugar, French have refined brown sugar. It is all so similar but so very different, that the measly task of making a cookie is a painful exercise in translation and science.

To start off, the French don’t have baking soda, they only use baking powder. I had to do a lot of research on the Internet on how to manage this. In the end, you use twice the amount of baking powder as you would soda and take the salt out of your recipe. Next, I didn’t have any vanilla extract, nor did the grocery store have powdered vanilla, so I had to buy this thing that was vanilla flavoring, not exactly right, but it worked. There is no brown sugar that packs here, so I had to buy loose cane sugar which is basically the same thing. Now that I had my ingredients, it was time to make the cookies. I knew that I was going to have issues when I realized that I had no measuring spoons. I am fairly certain that I packed some, but there are none in my kitchen tools, so I had to use my best guess. I also didn’t have a mixer, so I had to make the whole thing by hand, which isn’t easy with a thick batter and a little whisk. It all gets trapped in the middle and refuses to come out.

It was very, very dry so I added another egg white in addition to the whole egg I had already mixed in, this brought it back to a workable consistency and I added the chocolate chips and popped them in the oven. They took a bit longer to cook, but in the end, they turned out very nicely. They taste a bit different from home, but I think it’s due to the bizarre vanilla and brown sugar.

After that, it was time for lunch, so I made myself a taco! I was so excited when I was at the grocery store a few days ago, because, I found ground beef! The hamburger that the French usually have is steak that has been roughly chopped with a knife and then called hamburger. It neither looks nor tastes like hamburger, so I was happy to find this meat. The taco was very good. I had it all done before I realized I had no cheese. The French don’t have cheddar cheese, it seems. On the Internet, one person said that you could buy it at the Shopi on rue Vaugirard, which is just by my school, so I’ll look there tomorrow. I hope I find it, because I had to shred string cheese to top my taco with, and it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.

Oh, I remember something I was going to write yesterday. In the windows of all of the chocolate shops, they have little chocolate kittens that are very lifelike. I don’t know why they make these, it must have something to do with St. Valentine’s Day. If you know why the French make adorable chocolate kittens, please let me know via the comment box at the bottom of the page.

After lunch, I sat at the computer, like the technology geek I am, watching the live blogging of the new Kindle. After seeing that it was exactly the same thing I put in my blog a few days ago, I’m sold. I’m totally getting one once I’m back home. I mean, it’s great. See for yourself:

I then read an article about why my computer is so slow! It turns out that MacBook Airs were made with fans that are too weak to extract the amount of heat that the computer creates, so, the systems overheat and slow down. This is especially bad when the computers are in warm environments. Now, I keep my apartment at rather warm temperatures because I am always freezing and like being warm. So, with great sacrifice to my comfort, I turned off the heat and let the apartment cool off. Much to my shock and pleasure, the computer sped up and cooled down. I, on the other hand, was shaking and cold. So, I turned the heat back on, but it’s nice to know how I can fix it. I remember now that it’s always cold at home, so that makes sense why I’ve only noticed the problem since I’ve arrived.

I made another gratin for dinner because I didn’t want to go to the grocery store in the rain, and it was just as tasty as the one I made yesterday. My thermometer showed me that the temperature was rising very quickly. Within one hour, it went from 39 to 54 degrees! It was amazing. I don’t really understand why it happened, but I’m not one to complain about pleasant weather.

Did you know that there is a British Price is Right? I didn’t.

I finished my book, and now I’m heading off for bed.

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