jeudi, mars 29, 2007

07.03.29: Age rules!

Merci à tous for the highly appreciated birthday wishes.

I greatly enjoyed all of them, even the one that had the audacity to remind me of a partial educational failure of mine from nearly 20 years ago. Yes, I am getting old(er).

So, what does a birthday look like from here?

Well, Thursday AM is my french class session. I have been accusing my french teacher of changing the grammar rules every week for about the last three weeks. Of course, in true french-y fashion, she completely denies it. It actually reached a peak last week, when, in a fit of passion for learning (er, perhaps just frustration), I actually vigorously, forcibly, enthusiastically, demonstratively scratched out an entire rule on pronoun usage in my text book, looked at her and screamed: "Vous n'êtes pas d'accord? moi, non plus!" (you don't agree? I don't either!).

It made me feel better.

Future french students ... you have me to thank if them frenchies can decide amongst themsleves the propoer usage of the pronoun 'en' in regards to referencing non-human, yet sentient beings.

At any rate, she didn't quit; she came back for another laugh at my expense this week. Must need the job, or more likely, just the entertainment. Well, I know she changes the rules just to force me to conjugate into a hypothèse, but there is no way a french person will ever admit to making an error.

Today, she bought the coffee during our coffe break. Bon anniversaire (un).

This afternoon ... meetings, phone calls, e-mails, blah, blah, blah, saved humanity from itself. Listened to a guy say that 50 years of data is not sufficient to claim that global warning is happening. Kept my mouth shut .. I work for that guy. BUT, it is performance appraisal season in the big factory, so I had the pleasure of giving an appraisal to one of my employees. Talk about changing the rules. Either EVERYTHING I was told in cultural awareness training was completely incorrect (strong possibility) or la employée du jour is an exceptionally unique française (just as likely, a very strong possibility). Well, as usual, I know I am right.

I am the boss. See rule #1. If you don't like that one, see rule #2. Bon anniversaire (deux).

Ahh ... this evening ... I had une petite experience at the local cycle club meeting. OK, so I was out on my bike a few weeks ago, ran across a group that had the name of my ville on their jerseys, so I rode with them for about 50 miles. Very pleasant experience. They invited me to their monthly meeting, which I attended this evening. Meeting scheduled to start at 8:15. I arrived at 8:10 (Only had to ask for directions once to find the address). Noone. 8:25 ... a few people arrive. 9:00 ... meeting actually starts. So, we start the meeting about 45 mintues late, which bothers noone. Although, it can be noted that I noted the time. Perhaps I should say: noone was concerned about the time, except for l'américain. Meeting begins with an acknowledgement of the new person in the room (Yes that would be me ... please introduce yourself in french please ... don't forget to say thank you). About 25 people, almost all of them older than me, and all of them in better shape than me. A few people who run in the New York City, Chicago, and Rome marathons every year. . Discuss who will participate in which upcoming rides, the usual request for volunteers to help with coordination (I acted like I completely did not understand). After the regular business, the club president has a welcoming one-to-one chat with me so that I understand what they do, chastises me for using 'vous' instead of 'tu' ... afterall we are kindred sportive kind of guys; several people introduce themselves to me to make it very clear that I am very welcome to join their club, but only if I want, and then, in true french-y fashion, we popped the corks on several bottles of cidre - a kind of fermented apple based cider - and had a few rounds.

No rules. Bon anniversaire (trois).

Here's to no rules (except mine) for the rest of the year...Merci à tous,