Thursday, April 3, 2008

Girl Scouts

My sister Z and I were pretty little -- I was no more than 5 or maybe 6 years old, which would have made her 3 or 4 -- when we first saw a troop of Jeannettes.

Jeannettes are the French equivalent of Girl Scouts. There they were, crossing the street, all older than us, all wearing smart uniforms decorated with arcane symbols and patches and pins, with matching little hats, and Z and I were exceedingly impressed. They looked like they had a purpose, a group of friends with a common thread... We went to a rather typical French private school, which meant no extra-currics until you were much older, and even then only academic ones, really.

We turned instantly to our mother and both loudly asked to join the Jeannettes. Mom said, "how about Girl Scouts? They speak English." Upon ascertaining that they also would have snazzy uniforms and patches to earn, we agreed that that would also be acceptable.

There were, in fact, no Brownie troops anywhere around us (we lived in the 16th arrondissement in Paris at the time). Z joined a Daisy troop that was available, and my mother... my sweet, darling, sainted mother, actually *started* a Brownie troop just so that I could be in one. 'Cause she's awesome like that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I have subscribed to a newsletter called This Is True, by Randy Cassingham, since the early heady days of the Internet (or at least the early days when *I* got on it, which is the only thing that's important to me. Meaning around the mid-90s).

He culls (with sources cited) weird-but-true news articles from papers all over the world and sends 'em out. There's a free version and a Premium version with more stuff in it, and it's one of the very few things I'm willing to subscribe to.