Sunday, January 31, 2010


Nicholas and I have a date every Sunday. Usually it is something low key since it is his only day "off." Although, each Sunday he seems to spend at IMD in group work or, some lucky days, at home studying. I never looked forward to Sundays as much as I do now. It is the one time of the week where we give each other undivided attention and enjoy a meal together unrushed, or a drink, or go for a walk and just catch up on life.  I love Sundates and the man I share them with :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dinner Date

So when our partners are busy, we eat alone, a lot. I am quite used to it and have enjoyed the company of the French programs on the radio that one day I hope to understand. The other night, Yann suggested we eat together instead of alone since it was going to be another long night for our partners.

So I packed up some ingredients and headed over to cook in his enormous kitchen where I discovered he got way better loot than I did in our "fully furnished" kitchen. He generously let me take his muffin pan and mixer! Finally! Won't have to do everything by hand! Anyways, we cooked a delicious mushroom risotto, one of my favorite new recipes, and opened one of the bottles of wine he brought back from France.

After dinner, we had homemade cupcakes and watched Tatie Danielle, a classic French comedy.

Scene from film: "This is my daugher, she is nice." "Yes, but she is ugly!"

Hilarious! :) I found this movie poster in English that sums it up:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Arm Workout

This is what happens when it is too cold to leave the house for the gym or a run, the planned activity gets canceled and Nicholas is away studying. I decided to do this: 

shake it, shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture = sore arms ;)

cream in background that became my butter
Halfway there


But of course, what goes with this but this: 
from scratch

Warm and yummy!

dinner roll recipe can be found here.  

Bon Appétit!

Swiss Film Festival

Film Guide
Wednesday, I was MIA on The Daily Run but I was ITMA* to write. I left the apartment early with Yann and headed to the train station to meet the other partners to head to Soluthurn for the film festival and arrived home much too late to get it typed out.

 Chocolate Oscar
I still have not decided what part of the day was best. Could it have been the train ride with the Brazilian, the Chilean, the Israeli, the Parisian, and the Japanese on the way to Solothurn when we discussed politics, philosophy, business, sports, and celebrities? Was it realizing that we were no longer in our beloved French speaking part of Switzerland but had crossed into the German side as we attempted to read the coffee menu in German, trying to decipher if we were ordering hot schokolade with cream or rum? (Turns out it was cream ;)

Theater 1
Was it when we got to the first theater and realized our gym cards got us the student discount?! Or maybe it was actually watching the first short (so serious and relevant) and movie (a dark psychological film)? Perhaps it was these French films that were subtitled in German when we found out who really spoke French who then in turn had to explain the complicated plot to the lesser franco-phones? ;) Merci beaucoup, mon amies.

American, Israeli, Chilean, Parisian, Brazilian, Japanese
No, it might have been the long lunch where we continued laughing and chatting about everything. It could have been when our 7th partner showed up and shared how she had just missed the train that morning due to a mishap with her feet and the ground :) I know it was definitely NOT when we had to walk across town and over the bridge in -5C to the next theater. Another close one would be the second short we saw entitled Las Pelotas, a film that takes place in Argentina about two men overly obsessed with the game of soccer and what they would do to have a son who could play on Manchester. Or maybe the final movie, Pizza Bethlehem, a heart-warming documentary about a girls soccer team that was made of girls from 30 different nationalities. We chose this film since our group has over 40 nationalities in total and thought we could relate well.
"Las Pelotas"
Still, I hate to be so indecisive, but the drink at the train cafe while we waited for the train was rather hilarious. I received quite an extensive German lesson from the bartender that the entire cafe seemed to enjoy. The train ride home was jolly as well. We each shared the stories of how we met our partners and when the last one finished, we were standing in Lausanne. But, maybe, just maybe it was being able to have a day like this. Maybe it was the sum of the parts that made it quite possibly my best day in Switzerland, so far.

*(In Too Much Action)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma Leah!!

* Photo of Grandma Leah *
I think about you often  and think, oh to be young again.
Love, Gram.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Grandma Leah, the picture of youth!

by Samuel Ullman

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.
   Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease.  This often exists in a man of sixty more than a body of twenty.  Nobody grows old merely by a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.

   Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.  Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

   Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what's next, and the joy of the game of living.  In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young.

   When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at ninety-five.
(last word changed)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Welcome Home Uncle George!!

Glad you made it back safely- we love you!

So it was bound to happen

Today I felt a little nostalgic. This morning I went to gym class with a bunch of the partners and during the class, I looked around at everyone and realized that no matter how wonderful each of them are, they are not yet my friends. Which made me think of all my friends, wherever they may be, and how lucky I am to have each of you in my life. Although I am sure I am going to make an incredible group of friends this year, I haven't yet.

not my actual gym class ;) from nytimes
Cecilia came home for a break from class and we chatted over a cup of tea. She reminded me that this morning I received the photographer's photos from my wedding and that looking at those pictures probably set the nostalgic tone of the day. Not to mention it is cold and overcast. She of course is right. Then she mentioned something that I hadn't thought of right away.

YANN. He has been in Paris for the past 5 days and without him here, it just doesn't feel like wonderful Lausanne. So... friends and family, I do miss you all. But I think I miss my friend Yann the most ;) Hurry home from Paris!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

All-American Meal

If I were to make an all-American meal for some new friends, what do you suggest I make? The obvious things that come to mind include: meatloaf, chicken pot pie, mac and cheese... after that, I get stuck. In fact, I have never made any of those things before, besides the kraft version of m&c. Honestly, I would not say I know how to cook American.

nothing that has to be grilled pls :)
Looking for some good suggestions or even recipes of any of the above to create for our dinner party. Guidelines, it is not easy to find ground meat here. Chicken and Pork seem to be more popular. Nothing with cheddar, they do not have it here. That basically eliminates everything that seems American to me :) Thanks, friends!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Punk Bar and Royalties

Last night a some of us went to dinner and then out to the bar for a drink. Punk Bar is a misnomer as the inside has pink chandeliers and renaissance style art.

We noticed that the music was mostly from the 70's, 80's and early 90's. A couple from Germany told us they thought it was because in Germany, and perhaps here, clubs are charged royalties for the music they play and older music costs less than the popular music of the day. Who knows if that is the case, but if it is, isn't that nuts?! My guess is it was flashback night and we just didn't know :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Looky what I got yesterday!!

Thank you Mom and Dad! Now I can jam out... with my headphones on. It is Switzerland after all :)

Friday, January 22, 2010


I know it is probably not fair to say, but I am tired. My husband is slaving away for full days at IMD and I have no real obligations. But it is true, I am exhausted.

With languages classes 6 days a week, events set up by the program, social events we set up, ski trips, trips to other cities, films, blogging,  interviews, cooking, cleaning, laundry... I am really tired.

I know I recently worked a full-time job which required me on an almost weekly basis to travel between at least two cities, on top of everything else I did, including many of the things I mention now. I thought with this year, I would be rested up, leisurely going through my day.

Instead, I find myself running from commitment to commitment. Yes, I do bring this upon myself and yes, I would probably find it difficult to do this any other way. But I am exhausted and need a bit of a rest. Although, first, I have to head to the yoga class I just set up. And then dinner. Then finish the work for my dad and my mother-in-law. Then I have to get around to that 2nd interview we finished, and the Swiss film festival next Wednesday and the big Balloon festival on Friday.

Geesh, I only have one year to do all this, guess I'll sleep when I have a real job again ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The New Blog

You can see what I am keeping up with on my tab bar... 
I am keeping another blog for the IMD Partners. Yann is working with me and so far we have gotten great reviews! I am really enjoying blogging and am so happy I have this year to catch up on some things I have put off for too long.

One of them being languages. Yesterday I had a French class, today I had a Spanish class, tomorrow I teach English. We have "classes" 6 days a week, just like our partners. Many of us are hoping to improve our language abilities this year and since most of us are more available than ever, it makes sense to trade skills!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Skiing in the Swiss Alps with St Cecilia

A bit overcast, but still amazing
Words cannot begin to describe how incredible Sunday turned out. Our neighbors Maxime and Yann generously offered to drive us to the mountains with them. Of course Nicholas, Cecilia and I took them up on a ski day!
Maxime, myself and Nicholas                         
Ahh!!! Ahh-mazing! I have not skiied for over 6 years and have to say that getting back on skis was a little strange. Cecilia and I had the most mileage, so we left the boys with the car and headed up the mountain.

St. Cecilia  et moi
Once we finally got to the top, WOW, I looked around, could not believe that I was so high, looking at the tops of so many mountains, saw the steepness of the slope and promptly panicked! After a brief pep-talk from Cecilia that I would never, ever, ever fall off the edge of the mountain, I got myself moving. Eventually, I remembered the way to brake without throwing my body to the ground and things started to get even better :)

Yann, looking like a pro!
I just have to say, I never really thought I would ski the Alps, and in all honesty, we skied a very beginner part of the mountains. Now, I cannot imagine not having this experience and hopefully more. They say that going to the mountains change you and I believe it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mexican in French Switzerland

Scene of Crime: Poco Loco
Time: 12:00AM
Witnesses: 2 Chileans, 3 Americans, 3 Spaniards, 1 Romanian, 1 German, 1 Australian, and 1 Indian

After several hours of cervezas and mojitos and plenty of decent Mexican food at Poco Loco our group of 12 got up to head our separate ways. Most going out for more drinks, the more responsible ones heading home to get up early to play soccer in the morning. Everyone headed to the coat check to grab their coats and umbrellas to head into the stormy night. Only a few lonely coats were left hanging at this hour. Nicholas went to grab the last long black overcoat and put it on, but for some reason--perhaps too many tortilla chips? suggested the waiters ;)--it no longer fit. Upon further inspection, it became clear that this was not his hand-tailored coat from our trip to China but a mere imposter... Since there were no other coats left and the night was cold, he decided to wear it home, but not before leaving his contact info in the hopes that the recipient of his coat would make the same realization and bring it back. It is Switzerland and from the stories I have heard, we are hoping for a returned coat.

To be continued...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

French FAIL

In our flat, we have a dishwasher, which I think is quite a luxury here***Correction*** I have been informed this is a false stereotype, this is not a luxury here, thanks Gregory.*** We recently ran out of dishwasher detergent. I saw a box of it on sale when Nicholas and I were running errands, but it was before we needed it. So when Nicholas asked if he could pick anything up for me last week, I told him, Yes, the detergent, thanks! He went with Cecilia to run some errands and they came back with the box of detergent. Perfect! Still on sale for 19.90 CHF, what a deal! (insert sarcasm)

So, this past week, we ran the dishwasher about 3 times. Yesterday, Gregory-Cecilia's boyfriend-arrived from Paris. I wanted to run the dishwasher last night, but we decided to wait until after lunch today. I noticed one of the small packs of the detergent open under the sink and wondered why it had not been put in the dishwasher... After lunch, I went to run the dishwasher when Gregory asked me if I knew we were using the wrong detergent... Hmmm, what?

He grabbed the box and showed me the picture of the washer on it. The one for LAUNDRY... :) No wonder our dishes have smelled so fresh and clean!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

RSR Clarika Show and Snowball

Tonight was amazing! Yann and 3 other partners and myself went to the Clarika concert at Radio Suisse Romande. It was a fantastic show! Check her out. She played for an hour and they had the lights going and a fog machine and really put on quite a show. She is going to play in Geneva at the end of the month and I would love to see her again!

When we left the venue to head back to the metro to our homes, a goofy looking college-aged guy dressed in a bright yellow coat and knitted ski hat said something to me and another girl I was with (Camila). I didn't even realize he was talking to me, but Camila turned around and smiled and said something back to him about how the concert was indeed good. He then started to walk ahead of us and we continued our conversation. Before I realized it, he had gathered a snowball and thrown it at my head!!  My entire group burst into laughter. I just stood there shocked. All I wanted to do was start a war and grab more snow and aim, but I realized it was best if I just let it go.

When Camila told the rest of the group that he was trying to start a conversation with us and we did not oblige him he walked ahead and threw the snow. I was consoled by a guy in the group that told me when boys are young, this is definitely the way they think is best to show how much they like someone :) Lucky me. Worst case, I was a victim of a snowball-hit-and-run. Best case scenario, I was the recipient of Cupid's arrow in the form of a snowball in the face. Why does this stuff always happen to me?

Half Marathon and Triathlon may be in my future

Just got back from a run along the lake and there is simply nothing like it. Even with the snow and slush on the ground, something I normally hate running through, for some reason, here it is different. Every time I have gone for a run, I have seen a half dozen or more other runners. It doesnt matter if it is 7am, 1pm or 7pm, this town is full of outdoorsy and athletic people.

It should come as no surprise then that Lausanne is known as a sports capital. You can pretty much find a group that does every sport imaginable here. They also host a half marathon, full marathon and triathlon in the city. I am planning on running the half and I think Cecilia and I will each do a sprint triathlon this summer- 500 m swim, 20km bike, and 10km run. Why not?

Oh! And finally! After 10+ years of thinking about this race, I can finally make it to the Medoc Marathon! This is the marathon in France that runs through the vineyards and they serve wine at the water stops and everyone dresses in costumes and it is less about time but finishing while having fun! Sept 11, 2010. I think my neighbor in Zurich may want to join me in this one... :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today I am grateful that I am with my loving husband in our beautiful home in Switzerland and that he is realizing one of his dreams. 

Today I am grateful that I am surrounded by so many interesting people and that I have an opportunity to take time out from the fast lane.

Today I am grateful for a loving family who has showed me unconditional love and support, enthusiasm in my dreams, and constant companionship.

Today I am grateful for my friends, wherever they may be. Although distance may separate many of us, your friendship has never felt stronger or closer.

Because we all have a lot to be grateful for and because we do not know what tomorrow may bring.

AIWC Coffee

This morning I trudged through the heavy snow for a meet and greet coffee at the American International Women's Club and I am so glad that I did! The group offers lots of interesting activities including cooking classes, book clubs, ski clubs, hiking, etc. The list goes on and on.

More importantly, I met a wonderful group of women some who are new to Lausanne like myself and others who have been here for years and years and years. The group is interesting in the fact that you do not have to be American to belong. You just need to be able to converse in English. Talk about a small world, I met two women that live in the building directly behind ours! I exchanged info with several of them and look forward to expanding my network and friends here in my new home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Year of Blogs

I have been asked to start the blog for the 2010 IMD Partners! Honestly, I am not sure why, since I have not shared my blog with anyone here yet, but I am happy to do it and will post a link at some point to share. I think Marcella knows I have a lot of energy and am looking for things to stay busy.       

I asked Yann, my radio journalist neighbor from Paris, if he would work with me on it and he agreed. He came up with a brilliant idea for us to interview each of the partners. We are going to work together and come up with the questions and photograph and/or record each interview to post on our new blog! I am so excited :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Trip to Bern

Today I ventured to the US Embassy in Bern to have a visit with the Ambassador. I have to admit, it was quite fun to walk up to the guards and tell them I was there to see the Ambassador. They definitely thought I had went to the wrong door, but once they confirmed my name, I was led through all the security and up to the executive office- so cool :)

The Ambassador is a great guy and we sat and chatted about the political world for a bit, as we both were involved; he as a politician and candidate, me as a consultant. He offered to pass my name along to a few places, but nothing sounded terribly promising, maybe one. Oh well. He told me that Switzerland has an unemployment rate of 4.2 or 4.5% I figured that was meant to give me hope. Au contraire, he told me that this was extremely high and the country's unemployment rate normally was around 1.5% Oh great. He did mention he would give his wife my info to invite me to some events in my new country as I must be lonely with my husband off at school. I of course lit up and thanked him for the offer and promised I would certainly take them up on it!

So I continue my search for work. In the meantime, I am going to keep busy with what Lausanne has to offer. Wednesday, I am hoping to attend an American International Women's Club of Lausanne coffee to meet other women in the area. Thursday night, my neighbor has found another fun French event, a free public concert featuring Clarika!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Serge Gainsbourg (vie héroïque)

Tonight, my neighbor, Yann, and I went to see the French film premier Serge Gainsbourg, vie héroïque, about the life of famed French singer-songwriter, actor, and director Gainsbourg. He is known as one of France's, if not the world's, most influential pop musicians. Because it was the premier, the director was there to speak at the start of the film.

At the theater, I got slightly confused by the ticket collector on where to go and headed the wrong way. Once Yann caught up to me to let me know the theater we were supposed to go to was downstairs and not up, we had to maneuver our way back. Unfortunately, our only option seemed to be the exit or ducking under some red cords. We decided to duck and found ourselves in a small gathering for the premiere. He turned to me and said "Champagne?" I said, "Oui!" We each had a quick glass of champagne and made our way back to the correct theater for the show. After a quick intro by the director were I understand the following words "tete"- head, "Whitney Houston"- same, "popcorn"-same, the show began.

This guy was eccentric to say the least. Wild. Out of control. Not particularly attractive, but he had all the most beautiful women. "Ugliness is in a way superior to beauty because it lasts."-- Serge Gainsbourg. Well-said my friend. I won't give away the ending, but it was a fun night with a new friend and I definitely enjoyed being immersed in the French culture with that film. If you have some time, look him up. He is provocative.


Jane Birkin, who is Gainsbourg's main love interest throughout his life, is portrayed by Lucy Gordon. Gordon committed suicide in May, just before her 29th birthday and shortly after they finished filming. This film is dedicated to her.

Polar Bear Club

(nicholas is in the red "shorts" and blue cap, standing next to the snow)

Nicholas and several other students started the Polar Bear Club early this year. Instead of waiting until March or May, these guys jumped right into Lake Geneva yesterday! When I asked Nicholas how it was, I was quite surprised when he said "warm." Since the water temperature (7*C) was warmer than the air temperature (-3*C), it makes sense. He said the worst part was getting out. I am going to find some brave partners that want to start this tradition, as well. So far, there is ZERO interest. I will keep you updated if that changes ;)