Yesterday I got a note from Owen, who lives in Toulouse and has a cool website for wanna-be frenchies like me called France Tales. We met him last summer at a party at Jeff's boss's place, and we've kept in touch since.
Owen relayed a bit of bad news (he and his lovely boyfriend recently broke up), and shared some sage advice about working in France: "Do it yourself or don't do it at all." In other words, work isn't easy to come by--even if you've landed yourself a fancy-schmancy work visa--and it's best to have your own gig going if you want to avoid ending up in one of those red-and-black tents that social-justice organization Les Enfants de Don Quichotte provides for the homeless in Paris.
My employment plan is definitely DIY, but Jeff's, well, we're not sure what his is just yet, though part of the long-term plan includes leading bicycle tours throughout Europe. Jeff just brought home the newest edition of Lonely Planet's Cycling France, and my hope is he'll study it, get motivated, and start plotting a course of action.
In any case, the worst-case scenario isn't so bad. I can definitely think of worse things than camping in Paris.