Thursday, September 30, 2010

To My Annoyance...

The screaming lady from the commercial still keeps coming up on tv every 5 seconds.

My supposed "best" guy friend keeps being hot and cold with me.

My ex-boyfriend appears every now and then making it nearly impossible to forget his betrayal.

Lovebugs seem to enjoy having sex on my head.

I want to go to an event, but I hate that I always go alone.

I feel like crying over the stupid men in my life (and I'm single).

One of my roommates criticizes my cooking and I want to bitch slap her sometimes.

Someone once said that they liked me and there is no effort on their part to show that.

Someone said they missed me, but STILL does not make an effort to see me.

I'm getting worked up over trash. Lo que no sirve se bota (Translation: what is not of use, you throw it away).

I look pretty for nothing.

I miss French Bean, but she will not get Internet until she is fully settled in.

I get hit on by desperate fools.

I feel like killing every lovebug and if not torturing works. It's always fun to see them clinging unto my car for dear life.

I keep counting calories and working out and I STILL do not see any results.

I want to be famous, but my writing is still amateur.

I had a guy feed me a fake story of his break-up with his girlfriend, all so he can get into my pants.

I woke up at 7:30am and I had nothing to do.

People still make signs with misspellings.

My lady best friends make better "boyfriends" than all the real boyfriends I've ever had.

I do not want to be friends with benefits, but I am an addict to it.

I end up getting hurt in friends with benefits.

There is a thread coming out of my top and I have no scissors to cut it off.

This post has no drawn pictures by me.

This post contains a video of the very thing that annoys the hell out of me. fml.

Hanny the coffee bean

(note: the video of the crazy lady is not mine)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Bientôt!

Well, this is it!
I've spent this whole Monday running around doing some last-minute shopping and trying to see what items will *officially* make the journey with me to Croissant-and-Baguette Land! I've had to nix the strawberry Nesquick, but a bottle of French's American Mustard will accompany me.

In a few hours, I will head over to Miami International Airport with my 70-pound suitcase, replete carry-on baggage and humongous purse and board an airplane that will make a lengthy nine-hour beeline for Paris!

I still cannot believe this day has finally just all seems so surreal at this point. I will be leaving one life that I have in one city and soon trade it for the other I have established in a different place.

I will miss my American friends and my family the most (and possibly Cuban cuisine). Last year, I was homesick for the entire month of October. I particularly felt the significant lack of family around Thanksgiving Day and, oddly enough, New Year's Day; Christmas wasn't too bad for me, really.

Yet now, in my 4-month absence from Dijon, I have experienced a different type of homesickness. I can't quite put my finger on it, either. I'm just happy to be returning to a place where I felt so at peace.
I just hope that I manage to get some proper shut eye (it's just a little past midnight for me) because I KNOW that I will not sleep on that plane. I never have been able to.

A très bientôt,

Barb the French Bean

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shallow Hal: My Thoughts


Recently, I re-watched the movie Shallow Hal , which is about a guy who would only go after very pretty girls until he was hypnotized into believing that the "ugly girls" were amazingly hot. Well if you have ever seen Shallow Hal it ends on a good note, where he realizes that the person he thought was hot and thin is actually beautiful and fat.

Though I love the moral of the movie, it also shows the reality that we live in. I am referring to the millions of commercials, billboards, and advertisements showing really thin women with big boobs and big butts or really buffed men with a very sexy six pack. Of course there is nothing wrong with looking and thinking that someone is handsome or beautiful, but there is something wrong when we judge a person by their appearance.

(of course we do not want to end up with someone with bad hygiene)

But even though that certain person may be clean, we never end up noticing how much of a wonderful person they are inside and thus we pass up an opportunity that may have been worth it. It is true that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", but lately it feels like many people expect for their girlfriends/boyfriends to look like the models in the magazines.

Naturally we want what we cannot have and we always end up thinking that if we had it, we would want nothing else, but that is FAR from the truth. We merely pay attention as to how ungrateful some of us can be.

Like Hal, I am as well a bit shallow, but looking back at everyone I have ever dated, it makes me think that maybe I am not at all shallow. I will admit I am guilty of wanting someone that was on a billboard even though I did not know him, but in the end it is personality that wins me over. Again, if you take a look at my ex's you will see that I've dated a bunch of clowns, literally. One had puffy red hair, another had crazy teeth, and the other one had big feet for his really thin figure and even with those flaws I still went out with them.

Even so, there are a few who are not appealing to us who lack personality, but then there are those who are not appealing with a very charming personality. All I am saying is that we should truly see the beauty that lies beneath the appearance because eventually that person is going to grow old and saggy (I'm sorry, I'm such a bratty youngin'), and they will not have the same six pack or the firm, barbie-like body (Fuck Barbie dolls), but they will most likely have the charm that drew you to them in the beginning (unless they somehow got possessed).

So remember "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and hopefully that beauty will be a bitch and bite you right in the ass...

because true beauty is not in the appearance, but on the inside.

(I know difficult, especially since I love a good pair of eyes! but I'll easily get repelled if he is an asshole).

Hanny the Coffee Bean

(note: the Shallow Hal video is not mine)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Feel Pretty. Oh, So Pretty!

This is gonna be a short post.

One thing I like to avoid getting are pedicures.

I have a reason for it: I'm extremely ticklish. Therefore, I have a strong aversion towards anything (or anyone) who threatens to render me into a fit of uncontrollable giggles by deliberately poking the key spots on my body. I also worry about the tickler in question because my limbs flail legs and feet become a threat to humankind.

Yet today, I went to the beauty parlor and bore it. I had to resist clenching my fists and making my knuckles white because I also had a manicure.

I totally rock whore-red nail polish.

And to finish the make-over, I got a haircut. With highlights. And I love it.

In fact, had I not been gladly surprised by the outcome, I would have titled this post as "I Am Totally F*cked,"which evokes the scene from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason when the hairstylist made the protagonist look like a teen pop princess with pink and purple tufts.

For the first time in many weeks, I have felt so happy. The ladies at the beauty parlor (who I have known for years) noticed how much I have physically changed from the weight loss and asked me how I accomplished it. It is truly incredible how much of a positive boost your self-esteem obtains from minor personal alterations. I can't wait to show off the new me to my Dijonnais friends!

Barb the (totally made-over) French Bean

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Against the Committee

Everyone runs into some sort of trouble in their life time, mine just happened when I did not expect it.

If you have been reading my past posts then you should know what the ordeal is all about, and if you have not then let me just say it has to do with my future. Nothing more.
(And for those who are still clueless lets just say it has to do with my university. I will not go much into detail as it is too embarrassing).

I was surrounded by about 20 people in a room, they all sat in a circle while I had to sit towards the middle.


It was happening again, my nerves were getting the best of me, I could not stop shaking. It was as if I was in court, except it was a bit more informal. As I was quietly sitting in my seat, I saw the committee looking at me and I felt like an insignificant ant. A tiny little ant that was trembling in her seat waiting for the big anteaters to devour her whole.

What was a girl to do in such a situation?

I did what I had to do and answered all of their questions, but was this really going to end the horrible situation I was in?

No. It was not, but it was worth a try. At least I was proving that I do not give up easily, and that I would fight 'til the end to get my life back.

I wanted it to be over, I did not want to be there anymore amongst people that were constantly judging me on what I was to say. I tried to cheer myself up, and in order to not make myself feel anymore nervous, I decided to imagine everyone in their underwear.

Bad mistake. Not only was the committee old, they were also out of shape.

"Ms. Insignificant Ant (lets make that my last name), knowing clearly that you would still be in the same situation even if you had the approved withdrawals, why would you do such a thing?"

I cleared my throat as I thought of a response.

"I thought of that, but at least I would get my notes up a bit" I said nervously.

wrong answer, at least I thought it was.

The committee did not give me a response, but I will be getting one soon.

If there is one thing I have learned from all of this is that no matter what, things happen for a reason and to always hold your head up through the bad times because eventually they will end soon.

Eventually, but for now I just have to keep fighting for my life back.

Hanny the Coffee Bean

Monday, September 20, 2010

Maleta Madness!

(Note: "maleta" is Spanish for luggage, suitcase, baggage.)

This is Me.

This is France.

In nine days, France and I will be together again.

But before that fateful day comes, I need to prepare for a departure of several months.

This is all my junk.

I only have one suitcase.

This is Me in my actual state of current presentness:

My suitcase already weighs 67 pounds.

I still haven't finished packing.


Barb the French Bean

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Help Me Make Over My Room

As of now my room has nothing on the walls, the bedsheets and curtains are blue, and it feels like I'm in a dungeon. I have been cleaning my room trying to make it look somewhat nice, but to my disappointment it has been quite useless. So I came to the conclusion that my room needs a makeover, but seeing as I am still very unemployed, I cannot spend much on decorations, and to my misfortune my brain is in dire need of creative ideas. Now I know I want to put multiple photos up on the wall (I love photography), but I am not quite sure what would be a unique way of putting them up without spending too much money.

Yes, I have tried Google, but it seems to not like me at all. So my dear fellow readers, do any of you have any cheap ideas you could share with me?

Thank you in advance,

Hanny the coffee bean

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why I Hate George Clooney

[Before any George Clooney fans approach this post readily wielding pitchforks and lighted torches, I do have a plausible reason for hating him. Well, perhaps "hate" is too strong of a word. I think he did an excellent job in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou and he certainly still shows that he has some acting stamina left to do more action films (more recently, The American).

But Georgie-Porgie and I have a score to settle... ]

Back when I started teaching in Dijon, I learned a little too late that the French have had their vocabulary supplemented with the phrase "What Else?" This is thanks to the Nescafé/Nespresso commercials that Clooney endorses in rather amusing clips and posters at bus stops showing what looks like his passport with the catchphrase "What Else?"

Here was the commercial I repeatedly saw for the Nespresso Espresso Maker:

[EDIT: The video for the commercial was, for some reason, messed up. It featured Clooney appearing to escape from dying after he exchanged his Nespresso Maker to a John Malkovich "God." At the end, Clooney asks the question "What Else?"]

It's kinda funny, right? You'd think that I would be charmed by such a cleverly-done advertisement, particularly because it involves coffee and suggests that you could potentially have a "Get Out of Dying" card should you be able to trade something material after you get crushed by a piano and face the pearly gates.


Thanks to this campaign, the question of "What Else?" has created an impediment with my job of properly teaching English. I found that in the middle of my lessons, I would pose the question a few times and it would always result with my students chirping back an answer of "Nespresso."

In short, the French mind intercepts the phrase as follows:

Native English Speaker Unwittingly Asks "What Else?" = Opportunity for Us to Mock Native English Speaker

Got it?

You never know how many times you end up blurting those two words until French students start giggling and respond "Nescafé!" or "Nespresso!" in your face. For a teacher, not being able to ask this question is like having a kidney removed; it has really put a hitch in doing my job.

You would think that avoiding this combination of words would be simple enough, but it is not as easy as I would like to believe. The two monosyllabic words escape from my lips at crucial moments when I interrogate a student.

Ha, ha, ha. That joke gets old real fast.

Also: That'll be the day when French high schoolers do end up drinking Nescafé at a party instead of vins et bières.

After being stung by these predictable quips a good 5 or 6 times, I began to make conscious efforts to prevent myself from uttering "What Else?" in the middle of class. I thought that this phrase could easily be avoided if I kept repeating the mantra "I will not ask 'What Else?'" and concentrated my mental energy to purge this from my vocabulary.

I just hope that during my 4-month absence, the French have completely forgotten all about this advertising campaign and within two weeks I can go back to asking "What Else?" without any repercussions and qualms of embarrassment in front of my students. But I doubt that will be the case. A friend even offered a solution that I start asking "anything else" instead.

But the fact remains that I WANT TO KEEP MY "WHAT ELSE?"

Barb the French Bean

Disclaimer: I obviously do not own anything belonging to Nestlé, not the company name, not the commercial, not the question (which I want back). I honestly don't wish to beat George Clooney to a pulp.

Really. I don't.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ok Cupid, Leave Me Alone!

If you have ever read my post, Date Me, Please then you are aware that I have never been on a dating site or so I thought...

As you may all be quite aware, I am single. I have no problem with being single, but I do like the idea of having someone to care for. I really have not considered dating anyone since my ex-boyfriend, and I still seem to be having a little bit of difficulty adjusting to the fact that he is not in my life anymore.
Anyways a while back before my ex-boyfriend, I had enrolled myself into a dating site called 'OkCupid' (before it became popular) and though I did it for fun, I could not help to wonder if maybe I would find someone. It never happened...

Fast forward to 5 years later (Where I also ended up with some fake amnesia and completely forgot that I had a dating online profile!)...

I'm sitting at my desk checking my 7 email accounts (yes, I have 7 or well had), and since I tend to read everything quickly, I had never noticed the massive amount of OkCupid emails until now. Ever since I got a new phone, I have been on top of all my emails (especially with the massive notifications I get) and I have noticed that most of my emails come from OkCupid.

Trust me there is plenty more in my inbox, and some are rather interesting. Take the bottom picture for example. I thought it was interesting to get a message from Ok Cupid telling me how 'good looking' I am.

Well curiosity took its course and I ended up signing on to my profile only to find that my inbox was full of messages. Of course I had opened most of them before I decided to take a screen shot of them, and trust me the screen shot cannot show all the funny comments I had gotten. "Hey gurl, I thinx u hawt, cum chatz with a me or callzzz ###-###-####"

I find it amusing that most of them either have a butt face (A.K.A surprised face) or a very interesting name (Yeah I'm talking about you Lemur Guy), but either way no one can compare to my egg man. El Hombre Huevo! (Egg Man).

-Hanny the coffee bean

Side Note: Yes I did think about unsubcribing and deleting the account, but I seem to be having fun with it. So even though the messages still bother me, it is always fun to see the various ways people try to hit on you with one of the many cheesy lines many tend to use.

Random side note: Everytime I say Hombre Huevo, I end up singing the batman theme song at the end of it. Just take out the word Batman and replace it with Hombre Huevo.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Letters to Things That Don't Need Letters (#6)

(Okay, I've gotten lazy in providing direct links to the previous letters. If you want, just click on the label for "letters" at the bottom of this post. :-P)

Dear Public Restroom Stall:

Why is it that when I have to use you, you lack the necessary metal hook that I use to hang my purse and shopping acquisitions? When faced with this humiliating situation, I'm often stuck trying to strap my shopping bags at your door's top corner and lacing my hefty purse around my neck like an overworked donkey just so I can liberate my hands for a few seconds. Fat chance if you expect me to place my items on the floor because I dread to think of what that invisible puddle lurking near the toilet consists of...

On another note: if I so have the even more fortunate chance of discovering (a little too late) that you are also missing a lock, I suddenly have to do a rather bizarre yoga asana that includes having one arm lifted while suspending my upper body in a squat-like position. The outstretched limb is to, of course, impede a potential stranger from walking in on me. How stressful is it when I worry about having someone catch me preforming this embarrassing balancing act?

Dear Stomach:

I'm still debating what I shall put in you today and it is nearly lunchtime. How does some crackers and yogurt sound to you? Mmmm.

Dear Weather Report That Predicted a 20% Chance of Rain:

I think your figure was actually off by 80%.

Dear Suitcase :

I still have yet to pack you. Just please don't scream for mercy when you see all the stuff I have in store for you.

Dear Highly-Neglected Bedroom:

I'm sorry for leaving you to get into your current disheveled state. I promise that I will tidy you up soon enough. Besides, it's for my own good as well. I now find that I can barely walk while trying to guide my feet on the available floor spaces that still have not been conquered by the strewn piles consisting of items intended for your friend, the Suitcase.

Dear 30-Pound Weight Loss:

I'm so close to you that it is not even comical! When I stood on my scale and saw that the number revealed that I had shed 26.16 pounds/11,8 kilos, I could have run around doing a celebratory lap (which I eventually did)! You have no idea how much this minor physical change has affected my mental well-being and I can't wait to see you!

But now that I face trading one country for another in two weeks, I have at least FOUR going away restaurant meals to attend...and I still have not factored in the invitations my French friends probably will suggest upon my arrival. I can never quite turn down spending time with my friends while eating something. As I've learned, life is to be enjoyed, provided that careful moderation is applied.

No matter what, I will persevere in my quest to become hotter than Shakira. I can only grant myself the benefits of giving myself a healthier lifestyle.

Dear Scratchy Sharp Corner on My Computer Desk Which Is Conveniently Located at Thigh Level:


Barb the French Bean

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How Ninja Squirrel Forages for the Winter

Don't mess with Ninja Squirrel when he's hungry.

Barb the French Bean

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Flaw Free

Looking at the mirror, I realize there are plenty of things I do not like about myself. Though I tend to attract much attention from the opposite sex, I am far from being perfect. In my realization of imperfections, I started to notice that I was not the only one with a much hated flaw. Not only was I hearing it from people, but I was also seeing it on commercials (you know the acne creams, the wrinkle creams, the cream for people balding etc...). Inspired by the many commercials, I came up with yet another commercial video...

Good thing I don't sell products, no one would be able to afford it.

-Hanny the coffee bean

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jobs I Wish I Could Do

I have spent the past four months achieving nothing of great importance. The idle hiatus of not having a proper job has caused me to seriously re-evaluate what I want to do with my life and has confronted me with the reality of my situation.

As it is, I am a college graduate who possesses a B.A. in Literature with a minor in French; this makes me twice as likely to remain unemployed. Should I go back to college to take out a Masters, I would need to aim for a career that will at least provide me with a stable source of sufficient income.

I won't sugarcoat it: I've felt completely useless at times. Despite having previous work experience, despite having an admirable level of intelligence, despite being fluent in three languages, I just fear that I will never find a job which will fully grant me a much needed financial peace.

Then again, I suspect that my failure is also tied to my unrealistic expectations of life. I've always considered myself to be a dreamer whose head spends far too much time cruising the vast skies and studying the composition of masses of fluffy suspended things. It's this imagination that will unfortunately create an impediment for me to secure a respectable career.

I'm at a crossroads in my life. I am young but I but I don't know what to do with my youth. I wander aimlessly. I occasionally stumble on a notion of what appears to be a brilliant idea only to divert once again. I linger at the threshold of adulthood while still clinging to my past puerile expectations of following my heart. Perhaps in a few years, I will find some balance to this. This might include finding a husband who, with my help, will have enough money to support the French brats we might hypothetically spawn.

Still, a girl can dream about what she would like to do...

1. Singer

Why not? I had a pleasant melodious voice when I was a kid.

Oh. There is a reason why I use the past tense. The melodious quality is gone. I now sound like a creature of what would result from a frog if it mated with a cat, and that creature possesses a relentless sore throat. Yet somehow the manner in which my voice resonates as I sing in the shower makes me believe that I could still do this job.

(You have my permission to mock my cartoon's lack of boobs.)

I picture myself of being a mixture of Shakira, Lady Gaga and Carly Simon. I've even thought of my stage name: BAB$! The Dollar sign and the exclamation mark will be necessary when magazine journalists clamour for the interviews they want to publish. I would have tons of adoring fans who fund my hot-ticket sold-out shows. My face and name would be glued on every printable surface available.

And I mean every surface...

Yet in these days, a mega-star singer has to be a multi-faceted entrepreneur. A singer has to not only belt out songs on command but also design and sell their own clothing line, make guest appearances on T.V. shows, endorse soft drinks, sign their hair to a contract, write autobiographical books, start a perfume line and sell their own brand of computers.

I just want to be a singer, not remove the jobs that other people could do more efficiently. Besides, I'm far too lazy to do all of that.

2. Paleontologist

When I was young, I dreamed of going out in the desert and digging up dinosaur bones. Perhaps I would even find a new species and name it after myself!

Except, growing up, I hit a couple of hitches that stopped my paleontologist goal in its tracks: I hate the heat, and I tan easily.

3. Reality T.V. Show Host

Screw being a contestant who willing humiliates himself in front of millions of captive viewers. I'll be the host so I can at least give the impression that I am the sane one among the crowd of 20-something contestants who are fighting to not be kicked off the show.

4. Astronomer

Not to be confused with astrologer (Aries: You will find the true love of your life, and he will be too stupid to keep you. You'll marry someone else).

If it weren't for all the math involved, I would happily sit behind a telescope at NASA and gaze up at the sea of stars dotting across the celestial universe.

5. Politician

Ha, ha. Yeah, right.

6. Ice Cream Taster

Sure, I'd gain 2,500 pounds a couple of pounds but, COME ON. The job title is self-explanatory!

7. Novelist

Hey, if Stephanie Meyers can achieve fame buy milking people's hard-earned money with her human/vampire/werewolf love triangle, how hard could it be?

Lately, however, I've noticed that my English skillz (yes, with a Z) have diminished under my eyes. I look at the old essays I crafted during my high school years and I'm thoroughly shocked that I was even capable of composing something of that verbose caliber. I admit it: ever since I crossed my high school doors for the last time, the once-avid reader has disintegrated into an uncultured being I hardly recognize.

With much alarm, I've noticed that my level of vocabulary has lowered as I constantly reach the dictionary to verify the definition of a word I used to know only a few years ago. Hours of mindless gazing at the flickering T.V. screen have undeniably proven to be detrimental to my educational well-being. I'm afraid that one morning I shall awake to discover that I no longer possess mastery of my native tongue and can no longer effectively communicate to convey messages to other native speakers.

What the hell happened? Am I dumbing down? Or has my poetic ability merely hidden itself in the cavernous areas of my mind? Is it just lurking, waiting for a moment where it will pounce upon its next hapless victim?

Meh. Who knows? Rather than sulking, I'll spend the next few days engulfing myself in the world of Jane Eyre. At least that will be more productive to my I.Q. points than worrying about a job.

Barb the French Bean