37. Underestimation.

i'd like to announce today that after blogging for a over two months, i'm very surprised; cyberspace is not what i had expected...

today, i discovered that a fellow blogger named lucie (my first follower) has written a post about...MY [bt]log. mine. & entire post. can i say holy cow?

in all honesty, i would've NEVER thought that the english language (i give it my best effort but it's never been a forte) could take me this far but apparently it has. i'm so pleased, grateful & pleasantly shocked. it's a nice feeling to know that others give any attention at all to what i have to say & even nicer when they can relate. :) it's crazy cause to me, it's just me. i'm just me & i just write but apparently, i pose some kind of significance...

originally, i foresaw a blog that kept track of my AFS adventure w/ my friends & family as occasional readers. now, (i'm not saying i'm some big shot or anything) i've got readers (woot!), followers (woot! woot!)v AND a post about my blog (wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot!).

now THAT'S cool. :P




36. A Week Left

1) emotions & relationships w/ certain very important people are as unstable as ever (a.k.a. loud voices), which is rather unfortunate seeing as i'd like to leave dear home on a good note. it's really upsetting to me & i feel terribly responsible for a lot of it. no details...

2) i've been keeping rather busy lately (work, 500 days of summer, doctor's appointment) & tomorrow i'm going on a picnic w/ my sister then we're going to pick up her new schedule! woot! oh yeah, at night, she's got an art exhibition! it's her very first sale & i'm so proud! visit her website! (Little Ting's: see "cliquez" list at right)

3) yesterday, i got my plane ticket!!! finally! except that it's not a plane ticket. :( it's one of those modern internet printout proofs that i trade in at the airport for a plane ticket. not quite as cool as the real thing...but i'll deal.




35. Without Warning

i don't know if it's just me but my emotions are already up & down & i haven't left yet. it's all harder than i thought it was going to be. nobody warned about PRE-departure difficulties. what does this mean about when i'm in france? :S it turns out that i'm not as tough as i thought...

usually, i like roller coasters but i guess with the ones you ride you can at least gauge when the ride will end. this one seems a little more overwhelming...thank goodness for Adam. <3

it's really horrible but i'm so conscious of EVERYTHING & i tend to take mental pictures of the "last time" of everything i do. & it's oddly lonely, but that's not really the correct term. but it's still undeniable that i'm the one taking a completely different path. & it's hard cause i'm nearly in denial, which can also be understood as "it STILL hasn't hit me yet". & i'm what? 12 days away...:S

gosh, i'm so terrible at expression...

everyone here is starting school in 2 days & i'm not. so there's that. & it's really weird cause i actually haven't shed a single tear because i'm leaving...yet. it's very like me to do this. it all wells up inside & very soon, one of these days, i'm going to explode. i'm going to need an entire box of tissues & a garbage can next to me. my family likes to laugh at me but i swear i can' control it. i'll let you know when i let it all go... it's coming, i know for sure because that's just how i am. i'm one of the greatest tear-shedders i know but for some reason, i just can't in front of friends but when my heart feels heavy like it does now...well, that's just the build-up. (like on roller coasters when they click before they drop)

sry i'm such an emotional maniac today. but i'm just being completely honest.

i had lunch w/ "the guys" yesterday & today i went to the beach w/ a bunch a friends. it was "fun". my best friend was w/ me for both & i actually saw her 3 times in the past 4 days. now THAT is a true record. & they're times i won't forget. it's getting harder & harder to leave her, & it's especially hard to see her sad because i'm leaving. plus she needs me right now so how can i leave her?

imagine if i were leaving tomorrow? i'd be sorrowful but at least my emotions would calm down a bit...& trust me, it's not PMS.

feeling a little better cause my best friend just talked to me,



34. Hey! Guess What?

i got a visa!

no, silly, not a visa!...a VISA!

as in credit card.

pour la France...cha-ching!



33. Rainbow French Bedroom Preview :)

& ALL my fund-raising is in as of today!!! Yips!



32. I Want My Money Back! (She Wants Her Money Back)

3 mornings ago, a lady showed up at our door w/ a popcorn machine.

she wanted her money back.

W. T. **.

we sold it to her CHEAP ($10 package deal w/ books & shenanigans) at our garage sale & she drove ALL the way back (she said she lived far away & it was her THIRD time ringing our bell) expecting to be refunded for a non-functional apparatus & refused to leave until we gave her $8. um..no. just NO.

i felt bad that the thing didn't work, but isn't that part of the gamble of buying something at a garage sale? it was given to us as a present & we sold it to her in the box, never opened. like really, is it normal to bother people at their home at 9 in the morning demanding a refund???

here's what she said to my mom:

"Aye cannot belief you won't-e gif me my monet back-e. Oh my...oh...my... *big gasp* You...you should be ashamed of yourself! I can't belief it. You are a bad lady-e. A bad, bad lady-e. I hope you haf very bad luck-e."

& that was the end of it. she left w/ $2 cause my mom wanted to be nice & give her gas money...

i've got second thoughts about garage sales now.




31. I Think I'm Taoist. Surprise!

(this post was written in 40 degrees weather, under a scorching sun, on an Amusement Park bench because i don't have a ticket in...)

about 30sec. ago, i finished reading the Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. it's a philosophy book, which is very unlike what i usually read. anyway, i've concluded that i'm taoist.

see, in my opinion, i've got a very "me" way of living/viewing life & the guy, Hoff just summed up my entire philosophy in 158 easy-to-read pages. communication has never been my forte but i promise that if i were to explain my "way of living", it'd be that book.

in my words, my philosophy is the following (except i didn't know it was called taoism 'til now): go w/ the flow, take what comes my way & find enjoyment/goodness in pretty much anything, which is probably why i'm never bored. but then i start worrying about my lack of opinion & blah blah...i'll go on about that another time.

ANYWAY, so w/ this mindset comes one of the greatest gifts i've EVER received: a SURPRISE going-away party... for ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! (i still can't believe it was all pour moi!)

(3min. pause while i search for the words to describe how INCREDIBLE (& all like synonyms) it was...)

the party was perfect.

ever since the idea for the event came up, i've always had a tiny inkling of hope that it would go perfectly & trust me, i meant down to the specifics. what i wanted more than anything was to see people i really admire & to just hang out & do nothing with them. a.k.a. to chill. allow me to quote Christopher Robinson here, since he defines "nothing" better than i:

"It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear & not bothering."

another thing i wanted: no excessive attention. i wanted to be acknowledged, yes, but mostly i wanted my guests to be comfortable & exactly THAT happened!

here's the top 10 list of things i loved about my Bon Voyage party, in the order that it comes to mind:

1. i got a SURPRISE party! a REAL one, where people have to cramp, hide & then jump out & yell Surprise! it's just classic & i appreciate the fact that people have to crouch down & be patient...also, i just LOVE surprises!! they're sweetly spontaneous. <3
2. the weather was gorgeous! a tad warm for my personal liking but just right for a pool par-tay!
3. it was a POOL party! i'm not a swimmer at all as i hadn't floated in water for over a year, but we played water polo, which is actually the only thing i enjoy doing in a pool. :) woot!
4. we went to the nearby park, which was a BEAUTIFUL place because it was completely enclosed by trees & other foliage. it was quaint :P & one had to cross a bridge, due to a stream, to get to it. lots of grass & a cute little hill i got to lie on. ahhh, so happy. :D
5. i played football (my favourite sport to play) w/ my best friend & a bunch of guys & I SCORED MY VERY FIRST TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (you can bet i rammed that football into the ground like you're supposed to when you score! woot!) i'm proud. :)
6. i swung. <3
7. i'm usually not materialistic but HOLY COW, I GOT AN IPOD CLASSIC. it. is. a. beauty. & it was a gift from everyone who attended my party. i am so so so so sooo happy & so so so so sooo excited! it's my very first "listening device" (as my sis would call it, lol) so we could say that it's normal for me to be paranoid about fingerprints on the metal? the plastic wrap is staying on until i get a case. but *gasp* is it beautiful! thank you! thank you! thank you!!!
8. the people. i appreciated everyone who was there. truly. they were all so laidback & really enjoyable to be around. 3 people crashed (MY party got crashed! how cool is that? :P), one surprise person who wasn't supposed to make it :(...made it! :D (Goldie) & some people didn't/couldn't make it, but no sweat. (however, i could NOT be sweating more right now. i apologize if that's too much info but really? i'm BAKING. i even displaced myself onto a public floor, next to a trash can just for the luxury of shade. & i inch closer to it as the sun moves. the disgusted glances from strangers are occasional but most look understanding, lol) plus, i'm such a sucker for hugs & i gave many. :D
9. we played an great game of...sandman!!!! i admit, i only learned the rules that day but it was sooo much fun! firstly, the way people decide to hide/avoid sandman are just hilarious. AND, it's always a pleasure to pay a visit to childhood. :)
10. my bestest friend organised it for me, w/ Goldie's help. i have a pretty good idea of how much effort she put into planning it all for me. i just KNEW i could trust her to throw me one HELL of a party. i admire her SO much, it's impossible to measure. <3

now, 2h later, it's time to meet the Sibs,

<3 <3 <3


p.s. sry if the majuscules, smiley faces & hearts seemed excessive...it's for emphasis & it's supposed to demonstrate enthusiasm & how much of it i've got. :P


30. Paul: What is it you really like to do? Julia: EAT.

(i think this may be my most significant post to date...)

France is calling my name.

BUT, before I begin typing ferociously about my most recent thoughts, I'd like to welcome any new readers, as there just might be a few. :P (if you could hear me, i'd be singing that welcome song from "She's The Man")

So what happened last night? A GREAT thing happened last night: I went to see Julie&Julia all on my own with my favourite sweater, these incredible "dream sole" socks & an entire snuck-into-the-theatre bakery bag of scones. shhhhhhhhhhhhhh...And I don't even like scones. In fact, I could almost say that I dislike scones (saying that i hate scones is a no-no, out of respect for food) but I just couldn't fathom having no food in my possession, as is usually the case with me.

Food gets me into a lot of trouble.

If I'm tardy, you can bet I was grabbing a bite to eat. If the kitchen's a mess, you can bet I was making a bite to eat. And then there's the The House Rule...

The house rule I've the most frequently broken (i'd say an average of 8 times a day, if my mom's not home...sry mom, if you're reading this...ugh...i'm in trouble now, aren't i?) is called "Eating Outside of the Kitchen". It's one of the biggest faults one can make in our household. I confess that I don't exactly put my best effort into breaking the "bad" habit but everything about the Rule disappears the second my mom walks out the door, even though I acknowledge the $5 penalty, which is assigned for every time I'm caught. My mom is kind so a lot of the times, I don't have to pay but technically, I owe her about $200, & that's not counting all the times I'm not caught. (i break the rule so frequently that the fine was raised from $2 to $5 last year. but i don't care. food is worth the fine.)

Here's my weird association: if I'm doing something that involves thinking, I need food. Homework? I need food. Computer? Let's bring some food! Reading? Where's the food? Cooking? Yum. (an empty plate sits in front of me right now with the crumbs of what used to be whole wheat toast w/ butter. & after watching Julia, you can imagine just how much butter i slathered on there)

Call it a big appetite, call it an obsession or call it a passion. Call it what you like. The point is that I know what I really like to do.


So this morning I woke up because the very loud AFS in my head woke me up. I couldn't get France out of my head nor could I stop thinking about Julie&Julia. In all honesty, it's not a film I recommend to anyone unless they have the interest. The movie's exactly what they say it is. I swear, you could watch the trailer & you'd have watched the movie. It's basically two stories: how Julia Child became what she became & how Julia Powell turned her life around by blogging about cooking all of Julia's 524 recipes in 365 days. Some of my favourite actors too but that's besides the point.

Remember a few posts back I complained about how I needed time to think & be alone? Haaaaaaaallelujah! That happened last night. I was alone (all the ppl that filled up my entire aisle & the rest of the theatre don't count cause I don't know them :P) & I got to watch 100min. of film that very likely encompassed the year I'm heading into in...22 days!

Obviously, I'm not going to the Cordon Bleu but, believe it or not, there WILL be ACTUAL French food waiting for me! OMG isn't that exciting?! (i stayed up 'til 4:30 last night packing after getting back from the movie at midnight, if that says anything...) I want to sit in a French restaurant, order off a French menu, be served by a French waiter & eat French food. Now that would be my ultimate French experience. & I expect there to be lots of butter. Oh la la...

Other elements I took from the movie: Julia's true passion for food. Julia in France. Julia eating & eating & eating. (i've never seen so much food in one movie!) Julia's personality. Julia's incredible attitude. Julie's drive. Julie's obstacles. Julie's goal. Julie's one year. Julie's blog.

Similarities, non?

THAT'S why I watched the movie.

& I'm not kidding. Opening scene, when they're presenting the setting of France w/ all the old buildings, I cried. I sat there like a dufus (with my hood on) & shed tears at the BEGINNING of a movie. Before the dialogue even started. Yeesh. But it's cause I couldn't believe I'm actually going. Physically. I'm going to be physically there. In France. I couldn't believe it.

& I still can't.

time to take pics of furniture for sale on the net,



p.s. Disappointment: Julie Powell's one-year blog has been removed from the public...copyright issues?

p.p.s. Here's a shout out to Hotel Combined, a price comparison system for travel accommodation. Check them out if you're looking to travel! Don't laugh. This is not random. Hotel Combined is helping me out in my fund raising!!! Go Hotel Combined!!! www.hotelscombined.com

p.p.p.s. by now, i'm eating prunes. :)


29. Vente de Garage: Day 2

ok, so we raked in a whopping $357.35 after the two days. woot... & $200 of it shouldn't even count because i got it from selling a set of winter tires. if it hadn't been for that, i'd be nowhere...

i'm desperately in need of $$ right now cause i want to have it all handed in by the end of this week. afs is starting to get on my bum about it & it's making me nervous. :S i got a BIG red stamp saying "LONG OVERDUE" or something like that. yikes! :S for now, i'm $550 away so i've been sending out sponsorship request letters all day. i shall carry an imaginary rabbit leg with me for luck. i really hope they want to help me! (cause apparently "fingers crossed" doesn't work in my favour)

on a different note: my host mother & i have been corresonding & it's fabulous! they're painting my room turquoise, framboise & bambou. w/ rideaux multicolors!!!!

aw, shucks.

i replied that i felt spoiled & she took it as a compliment. :S oh boy...i'd better not come back a brat. i give you all permission to slap me sane if that happens. no joke.

what else?...oh yeah! i found out they accept my bank card over there so my mom will be able to transfer money to me!! woot!

last thing: grocery bagging ain't gonna happen...:( although my sister is really on a roll for her fund-raising! woot!

oh so desperate,




28. if it kills me <3

so today's fund-raiser went fairly well. i mean, it could've turned out WAY more successful but then again, i can't complain. i'm $300 closer to my $5000!!! (see fund-raising-o-meter at right)

it's crazy how ppl just expect to haggle at a garage sale so, lesson of the day: set the price at 1.5 times what you actually want to sell it for. gosh, laugh if you want but i sold an 18-speed-almost-perfect-condition bike for $25 today! what can i say? i guess i'm just a really BIG pushover when it comes to asking ppl for money. even after all that fund-raising experience, i still can't do it properly! i have the tendency to feel bad about making ppl give me money. i do that a lot. i constantly put myself in other ppl's positions (in my mind) & end up not realizing how it may be detrimental to myself (for lack of a better word). in this case, that would be not raising nearly as much as could have.

but then i thought about it & i realized that it (empathy?) might be a quality & a fault in one. i think...

a friend came to help out today for the garage sale who actually went to peru for 3 weeks recently on an exchange trip, similar to the one that i'll be going on. he showed me 668 pictures that make me sooooooooo excited!!!! *breeeeeeeeath* he's sounding like an afser too! :P

if it kills me,



p.s. what's it called when your heart is going WAY past excitement??? (airport! paris tour! other afsers!!! family! house! own room! schoooooooooool!!! wooooooot!)

p.p.s. i'm so excited+++ to upload music onto my mp3!!!! (which i haven't received yet (it's supposed to be a gift) but i think it's coming :P)

p.p.p.s i asked for a $250 donation from a local Grocery Store...fingers crossed! fingers crossed! fingers crossed!!!


27. Famous

you know how ALL new-on-the-scene celebrities ALWAYS talk about how they still can't wrap their head around their "new reality"?

well, now i know what the heck they're talking about.

it's time to pose,




26. Ah Well...

so after much attempt at convincing my mom, it looks like that trip just ain't gonna happen. but since i always look at the good side of things, call it optimism if you will, i guess the appropriate reaction would be, "Ah well..." i guess i can always escape & reflect at home...

oddly relieved,



p.s. i'm sry if some of you have trouble following what i say. sometimes, i get vague cause i, myself, know what i'm saying. :S

25. Composure

now that i've gotten ahold of myself (somewhat), i'll update on the preparations we've been doing for the garage sale this weekend...
for one, the wanted posters worked! so far, we've got quite a few "sellable items" from our neighbours & it's so kind of them. thank you! i'm incredibly grateful. :) however, what we underestimated was how many houses there are in our area. we printed 50 posters on the first round, then an extra 50 on the second. now we realize we need 75 more! yeesh. personally, i can't even believe i prepped & delivered that many posters! running to houses isn't that easy!

(in case i never explained, which i may not have, i just realized: the wanted posters are flyers i designed asking for donations in the form of "sellable items". i put them in my neighbours' mailboxes...)

excited to deliver 75 more tonight,



p.s. Goldie has recently informed me that "its"(sans apostrophe) is the possessive homonym. darn, i'm mad. i was falsely corrected a few years back & ever since, i've been making that mistake?! grammar is my thing. :( i'll be editing that mistake out of my entire blog now...


24. August Sorrows

ugh. sorry, this has to be quick...(my eyes are a little teary & we're going to a friend's house)

just went through an afs-related argument with my mom. i woke up fine this morning (after yesterday) & now it's all coming back. my heart is once again, heavy. i need to go somewhere. reflect, be by myself. think. pause...

afs is making my emotions go wild. it's interesting but really tough...i think i need to start yoga. ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

it's making me sad that i'll have to miss my bro's b-day. it's making me sad that ppl are already making plans that exclude me. but then i remember: i'm making a beep-load of plans that exclude them. perhaps that's why my mom feels like she should be so included now. while she still can...

ah, revelation after some quiet & some thought. good stuff.