Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The French Connection

There is a delightful young man visiting us this week. His name is Mathias and he is from France. He and about a dozen other students are staying with area families for ten days, as part of an educational experience.

This is not our first time as hosts for this type of thing. We have enjoyed two previous French students over the past few years. In fact, we still have contact with one and hope to visit him and his family some day.

On a visit to the grocery store, Mathias wondered if he could purchase a particular type of cookie that is very popular in France. He wondered if I had ever heard of "Chocolate Chunk" cookies. I assured him there were many types of cookies that he could choose from.

When we got to the cookie aisle, his eyes grew wide with the selection. He told me he would like to come back, before he heads for home, to load up his suitcase with packages of Pepperridge Farm Chocolate Chunk cookies. He went on to explain how he and his sister love to put them into the microwave for 20 seconds, and then eat them warm with a glass of milk.

I was stunned. Aren't French pastries famous? You'd think a kid who grew up in Paris would turn his nose up at a pre-packaged cookie? Guess not. As it turns out, Mathias told me that French cookies are hard and crisp. Not gooey, soft and melty.

What's next? Maybe he'll tell me he's heard that California wines are better too.............. oh wait, that's a already been established.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Remember Roseann Roseanna Dana?

Gilda Radner created an unforgettable character in the early days of SNL: Roseann Roseanna Dana. This middle-aged single woman, with out-of-control hair, would rant on and on about anything.

Roseann would begin her diatribe with a particular subject in mind, but then as she delivered her very unique perspective, her mind would wander and somehow the audience would hear about a little drop of sweat precariously dangling from someone's nose as they prepared her pizza!

No matter how ridiculous her story was, she always ended it with the following words:

"It just goes to's always something."

That sentiment is simple and very true.

If it's not GPAC, it's planning commission. If it's not Walgreen's, it's Wal-Mart. If it's not the State budget, it's the State drought. There's plenty to keep a body spinning.

The trick is to find humor in the little annoyances. Realize that what may seem HUGE today, will morph into routine tomorrow. And when it seems like there's just one challenge after another to rely on the words of wisdom from an unlikely hero:

"It just goes to's always something."

RIP - Gilda