Saturday, March 31, 2012

Birthday Cake Patience

My maternal grandmother, my only living grandparent, turned 81 years old yesterday. Mom and I placed one candle on the cake and began the traditional festivity of singing Happy Birthday.

This is how the event unfolded.

Perhaps if I were her age, I, too, would feel as hurried to make everyone shut up and eat my damn slice of cake.

Barb the French Bean

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We Got An Award, Yo.

We here at Two Beans Or Not Two Beans have recently been granted The Versatile Blogger Award!

*cheers, fanfare, confetti and ticker tape parade*

As with most blogger awards, its acceptance comes with having to earn it by following as set of rules. So, without further ado, the procedures are as follows:

Numéro Un.
Nominate 15 bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.

These lucky fellows are none other than:

1. Invader Stu from Invading Holland. One of my (Barb) favorite blogs of ALL TIME. A fair warning, though: you may bust a gut laughing when you read about his hilarious cultural shock life in the lowlands.

2. Emily from Emily in the Glass. Emily writes beautifully about France and wines and takes awesome photography.

3. Seilann from Sand from a Distant Shore. Her blog is quite underground, so be sure to channel your inner hipster when you read it.

4. Neenuh over at Francey Pants. Her talented Minnesotan humor needs more exposure, folks.

5. Tricia at Confessions of a Recovering Cynic. She's going to publish a book soon!

6. Crazy Cris at Here, There and Everywhere. Her hiking journeys across Spain are simply gorgeous!

7. Joanna at Dehydration and Procrastination. Whenever she posts new cartoons, it is magical.

8. Ash from Ash-Matic Does Things. This new-comer is indeed up and coming with a blogging punch! His imaginative take on activities are hilarious and featured with cartoons.

9. Brandon and Bryan from A Beer for the Shower. Start reading their blog posts and cartoons and you won't stop until you've reached the very beginning of it...or have died from laughter.

10. Harley from 1., b., Platypus....Her various topics will keep you reading. Some will make you think and others will make you laugh (One of coffee bean's favorite reads).

11. Doublexuan from Whiny Pencil. He is an illustrator with some AMAZING illustrations. Check it out and be amazed!

12. Dave from Blogography. His cartoons are just too cute and he always has a good story to tell. He also has some nice pictures on his posts.

13. The person from Arguing with a Doughnut. Has crazy cartoons :D You will love it!

14. Amy from Geek with Curves. If you like all geeky things, like me, then you will simply love this blog. (Coffee bean especially loves all the good youtube videos!!)

15. The person from Ikea Hackers. Coffee bean loves all things from Ikea!! So she just couldn't help herself...

(To the award's recipients: even if you don't participate in these sort of posts, or have won it previously, just know that we do genuinely love your blogs and wanted to show some recognition!)

Numéro Deux.
In the same post, add The Versatile Blogger Award.

(Please take a moment to "ooh" and "ahh" at its glorious green splendor.)

Numéro Trois.

In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.

That honor befalls upon none other than the lovely Anna Smith over at Universal Gibberish and Mik from Stylish Obsessions! Thank you so much!

Numéro Quatre.

In the same post, share seven completely random pieces of information about yourself.

Since there are two of us, we've decided to divide the Random Facts in half. Therefore, each fact will be evenly distributed by 3.5. You can read about these facts at the end of the rules list.

Numéro Cinq.
In the same post, include this set of rules.

Numéro Six.
Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Right. So, here are the Seven Random Facts about us, Coffee Bean and French Bean. We will also refer to ourselves in the third person because it will help distinguish who said what; please don't think we are pretentious like The Jerk Mido from Ocarina of Time.

Drumroll, please...

French Bean and Coffee Bean met at the same high school, but due to the difference in their graduating years, they only ever shared one class together: yearbook.

Coffee bean has a strange addiction to keys (i.e. key earrings, key necklaces, decorative keys etc...).

She has more key items somewhere. By the way, the earrings you see, she made them herself.

If it weren't so detrimental to her health, French Bean would happily subsist on nothing but ice cream, café cubano, medianoche sandwiches and Stacy's "Simply Naked" Pita Chips.

But mostly ice cream.

Hating the same routine and look, coffee bean changes her hair color/style every so often.

French Bean has a D.J. alter ego (who will be coming soon to a birthday blog post near you).

 Being a social drinker, coffee bean is proud to say that she can chug beer and other alcoholic drinks.

coffee bean does have a picture of her chugging down beer, but she rather not show it. Instead she will show you a picture of this fruity drink.

To prevent any psychological distress, French Bean's underwear somehow needs to (rather illogically) either complement or coordinate with her wardrobe.

Take, for instance, this photo of her wearing a frilly top with red flowers.

Even if you don't see it, chances are French Bean is sporting her red bra and panties to go with it.

We are so happy to have had such an award bestowed on our blog! Thanks once again from both of us!

Hanny the Coffee Bean and Barb the French Bean

Blogger Likes to Unnecessarily Annoy Me

A few weeks ago, I discovered the very wonderful and hilarious blog called Clay Baboons. Its blogger, the lovely Stephanie (who is decidedly NOT a robot), has made it a mission to rid blogs of comment word verification.

Being a mindful blogger myself, I delved into ridding comment word verification once and for all in my corner of the internet. The removal process itself is simple enough.

I scroll down to the "Settings" menu and I read the question:

To which I say:

So I click "no"...

...and then confirm a change in settings on the top right-hand corner.

This inevitably leaves me feeling triumphant and certain that instant commentfication (I am so coining that) will soon be available for all!

I couldn't be more incorrect.

Being the paranoid person I am, I refresh the page to see if it worked. I scroll down the "Settings" menu and see this:

That's right. The word verification changes weren't made. It still says "yes" when I clearly asked it to say "no."

Undeterred, I repeat the whole process, hoping that once and for all, comment word verification will be eliminated and become a mere memory.

I then re-refresh the page.

And see this.

So the process is repeated.

And repeated.

And repeated, with some considerably angrier clicking.

After I have re-re-re-re-re-refreshed the page, the result is the same.

There you have it. A real behind-the-scenes look at the ordeal I have been dealing with for weeks.

Let me say, dear readers, that if Two Beans or Not Two Beans still has word verification, it isn't because I hate you and couldn't care less about rectifying the problem so you could all have instant commentfication. It is because Blogger likes to unnecessarily annoy me. 

I apologize in advance if our blog still has comment word verification. Please believe me when I say that I am as equally frustrated about this as you are, if not even more so.

Barb the (highly disgruntled) French Bean

Monday, March 26, 2012

Driving Makes Me Go Over to the Dark Side

I think I have figured out the exact reason as to why I hate city driving: it brings out the worst in me.

And the worst in me scares me to death.

Driving facilitates the animal side of my being, the one pushed by pumping adrenaline and profanity, to step forth. I devolve into a wretched, vile person who spouts wretched, vile language at complete strangers while wishing them the most venomous thoughts. My sentences are peppered liberally with a vulgar, four-lettered labio-dental fricative word that can be defined as the act of engaging in "bow-chicka-wowwow." I'm not saying that I am a complete goodie-two shoes; I am an adult and am therefore prone to using curse words. Yet when I utter this particular word, I become detached to respecting fellow members of human society and therefore lose any remorse that I would have felt. This profane person is someone who I don't recognize when I am a mere pedestrian.

The transition from pedestrian to driver is a harsh one for me because I am generally respectful of others. I will open the door for you. I will say "excuse me" if I accidentally bumped into you. I will even warn you if the bathroom stall ran out of toilet paper. Yet when I become the driver, I can no longer cling to the ideals of "please" and "thank you" because, apparently, no one else on the road does. No, the mere thought of being considerate to me is as foreign as knowing how to survive a four-way stop.

These inconsiderate drivers expect me to zoom at one hundred miles per hour when the signs clearly state that my car should not surpass forty. As a reward for me having the gall to respect the law, they honk at my vehicle like an enraged goose, cut me off and salute me with their middle fingers. The knowledge that I was not in the wrong when they were drives me insane.

However, nothing, NOTHING, will get me more riled up than seeing someone switch lanes without using the turn signal. I honestly don't know how I have avoided so many potential life-ending car crashes when some idiot zigzagged from one lane to the next without giving any forewarning. I know people say to live life dangerously, but they probably didn't mean it to be taken so literally!

I must also point out that some of the worst offenders of the lack of utilizing this vital device drive upscale cars. In the endless parade of BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, Audis and even Acuras, it seems none of the drivers know what the turn signal's purpose is, much less how it functions.

(Also: what is it with those new Mercedes Benz logos? I see them plastered onto the front of the vehicles like an unfortunate squirrel that became roadkill, and their sheer size is set to rival a rapping mogul's bling-bling pendant.)

Thanks to these drivers, I get in touch with my inner philosopher and ponder one of the greatest mysteries of the universe:

Seeing someone who drives an upscale car and not use the turn signal  is like seeing a woman carry a Coach or Louis Vuitton handbag and have the gall to commit a fashion faux pas by sporting cheesy flip-flops.

I must ask why this is such a big deal to me. Why must I become such a hateful person when my fellow drivers spite traffic laws?

Perhaps this hatred stems from the possibility of jealousy. Maybe I only wished that I were half as valiant as those who dared to break the speeding laws. Maybe what is wrong with me is that I desire to own a bling-bling Mercedes-Benz and can't because I live within my means.

Or, maybe, I just want you to use the damn turn signal and not kill me.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to take my Ford Focus to my bi-weekly meeting of Dark Siders Anonymous, driving. I would normally skip these meetings but it's karaoke night.

Barb the French Bean

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Cloud Nine...Yeah Right...

I love Michael Buble and this love of mine requires me to stalk his every move. Recently, I discovered something I did not know about him, which of course took me by surprise. In his video I just haven't met you yet, He meets a woman who becomes his love interest, the funny thing about this is that I didn't know it was his wife in real life.

My first reaction was of course "AWWWWW HOW CUTE!!!" but the more I thought of it, the more I thought of what my encounter with my "special someone" would be.

*cue dramatic scene from my fantasy dream*

I'll be standing on a box and my love will say "Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby! How I want youuuuu" and then music in the background starts 'I-I love you like a love song baby' (Yes, the Selena Gomez song)

If only I could have something amazing like that happen to me or maybe if I could just be in a music video with my famous boyfriend (if I had one)...unfortunately I always end up going out to dinner.

Oh well, I'll eventually be on cloud 9 or on my box...


Has anyone experienced something romantic or just plain amazing?

Hanny the coffee bean

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Hunger Games: A Cinematic Literary Nerdgasm? (A.K.A. How I Never Saw the Last Harry Potter Film)

Don't worry. There are no spoilers here so feel free to browse this post at ease.

Chances are that if you are reading this post in the first place, then you are probably familiar with the novel's plot, but I'm not cruel enough to ruin a great reading experience for someone else.

If you haven't read Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, well, then, what are you waiting for???

After having consumed every word of this novel, I kid you not, my literature-major self wanted to sit down and write a 12-page historical-perspective essay on why this book rocks (that's a sure-fire indication that what I read had a positive effect on me)I'm very stoked about its movie premiere this week and plan to see it with some friends of mine.

I don't like going to the movies alone. Going to the movies with other people is the way nature intended things to be. How else will you relish discussing with others whether or not the film you saw was a cinematic masterpiece or a total way for conning you out of your cash unless they, too, were also a witness to the event?

(If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?)

I also like attending with others to movies that have been specifically based on books. You may not think it but such a determining event can be a fragile experience for a bibliophile. In the hours we spend reading about the wonderful descriptions, adventures and daring feats of our favorite characters, we develop an attachment to what they look like and, ultimately, who we believe they are. What if in the movie, the persona who we conjured as being strong, intelligent and independent is reduced to a silly, walking stereotype that is the complete opposite of who they are supposed to be? This is no longer about watching a movie. This is about having an image shatter and leave us with crushed spirits. It becomes personal.

In case I end up being devastated that yet another movie adaptation didn't do justice to a great book and its characters, I want to have someone be there to hold my hand, stroke my hair and assure me that everything is gonna be all right.

The fear of an awful letdown is probably why I haven't even considered seeing the latest movie version of Jane Eyre. It's my favorite novel of all time, and based on various movie reviews from friends, it is an instance in which ignorance is bliss.

In all reality, I shouldn't be too worried because The Hunger Games trailer looks promisingly spectacular in the sense of staying true to the book.

March 23rd, come faster!

That being said, not every movie outing has resulted in me watching a film. I never saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Not because I couldn't find a friend to go with. I went to the movies with a French friend, a guy who came to visit me from Lyon and who towers a foot above me (that's 30 cm for you metric-system users). We had a good three hours to kill in Dijon before his evening train departed and since neither of us had seen the last installment of the series, we decided to watch it at one of the cinemas.

The showing that we could feasibly make it to had already commenced by ten minutes, but we figured that the trailers would allow us to catch the beginning and therefore not let us miss any vital scenes . We paid our tickets and were let into the theater.

At this point, you may be wondering how, then, was I unable to see Harry Potter if my friend and I paid for tickets?

To our surprise, we were the only ones who had the intention of wanting to see the movie at that hour. Not that we were complaining. In that desolate sea of plush, burgundy armchairs, we had the finest pickings for optimal movie enjoyment.

What was curious to us was that nothing had been turned on, not even the trailers for upcoming movies.

A few minutes passed and the French-dubbed Harry Potter never flickered on the blank screen.

We inquired at the ticket booth what was going on.

Ticket Booth Lady: "Oh, since no one was in the theater when it began, we decided not to run the reel."

Me: "Huh? But...we paid to see Harry Potter..." *waves torn stub*

Ticket Booth Lady: "Here's a refund." *hands cash*

My Friend: "Wait, so, you can't find someone to turn on the reel for us to watch it?"

Ticket Booth Lady: "No."

Me: "Um...thanks."

And that's how I never saw the last Harry Potter film. My friend and I instead went to a café and chatted about life and I accompanied him to the train station when he needed to head back to Lyon to bid him good-bye.

I'm hoping that the local movie theaters will be a little more generous when I go see The Hunger Games.


Katniss makes archery look so cool.

Barb the French Bean