Friday, August 19, 2005

That Francey-pants mother-scratcher...

As mentioned in Wednesday's post, we are indeed leaving for a trip to the land of the gauls this weekend. For those new to the blog who think this may be a case of huppity-hup, keep in mind that we are the people who have cars kidnapped by the DMV, trip over junkies when we walk out the door, and drink two-buck-Chuck Shaw unless it's a special occasion. Like Friday. We may spend $5 on a bottle of wine on Friday, especially if it's my birthday. Like Today.

In order to understand our trips to France, a short biography of my mother-in-law is required. You know all those breakfast-related words people use to describe Californians? Fruit, Nut, Flake? Well, my MIL is big into reincarnation. I've never completely understood if she's a reincarnated Cathar or a reincarnation of Saint Sophia, but I think it may be both. Her father made a lot of shame-money in the defense industry in the 50s and 60s, setting her up for a life of ease. She just studies. The Cathars, Alchemy, Kabbalah, Irish mysticism. To love the History Channel is to love her. God willing she will never see this blog. If she does I am so dooced.

She has a house in southern France, cause that's where the Cathars were. And a lot of alchemists and Kabbalists. No, it's not a big house. To her credit, that's not her style. In the US she lives in a tiny cottage in Palo Alto and buys all her clothes at TJ Maxx. She's not a bad person at all, she's just never had to look reality or practicality in the face.

By the way, I was told, or more correctly my husband was told after she had her therapist do up my "chart," that I am a reincarnation of a Vienna pianist whose husband and two children were taken away by the Nazis in WWII. She uses this to explain my occasionally bitter and spiteful behavior.

It is my sincere hope that I'll be able to update the blog periodically over the next three weeks, but I can't make any promises. If the following means anything to you, we're going to be in the hamlet of Puilaurens-Lapradelle near Axat in the department of Aude. This is extremely far-flung as far as France goes. Suffice to say that it's the land that knows no DSL.

For the most part we're going to be doing a lot of hanging out at the French version of Home Depot and engaging in manual labor on the house. She's doing some research that will take us to Lourdes, Carcassonne and a few other tourist sites, so maybe I can manage a few blog entries that aren't all "We had lunch with X and he gave a three hour lecture on mushrooms" or "We watched the neighbors get a goose drunk." I'm hoping Michael and I can get away to Barcelona for at least one Cedra-free weekend where we'll probably stay in the kind of dump that won't mind if we stumble in drunk at 4 a.m. That will be our real vacation.

If I can't manage many posts, expect a series of retro-entries complete with photo essays when we get back. Take care.


At 11:49 AM, Anonymous dutch said...

Happy birthday and safe travels!

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Apartment Number One said...

Again, have a fabulous trip. I hope you get some time to hang out in Barcelona (I love that city!).

Also, happy birthday. I do hope you splurge and pick up a $5 bottle, or two, for tonight.

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