Monday, June 25, 2007

À Table!

More interesting gravesites at Cemetière Montparnasse: a pair of hands, the tombstone of Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (buried together because of their shared history), two lions, and a cool ivy-strewn grave which reads, "Marie Dorval: Morte de Chagrin" (transl: "Died of Sorrow"). Now that's a quality epitaph. After a few minutes of wikipedia'ing, I just found out that Marie Dorval was a 19th century French actress who at one time was rumored to have had a lesbian affair with famous French writer George Sand (the masculine pen-name for a female author). Ain't the Internet great?

Topic of the Day: Meal Times. The French tend to minimize the importance of breakfast (which is not cool in my book) but they they atone for this by their much later dinner hour: usually around 8 or 9pm, rather than the traditional 5-6pm dinner hour in the U.S. It's never made sense to me that we eat so early in the 'States: if I eat that early, I'm hungry before I go to bed and tempted to have a bedtime snack. I've now fully converted to French mealtimes and plan to continue my late dinnertimes even when I return to friendly U.S. soil. The score: a tie, 16-16.
French for the Day: the French word for "thesis defense" is "la soutenance de thèse". I went to one today for one of the graduate students in the lab. It's pretty similar to ones I've been to in the U.S.


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