samedi 6 octobre 2007

another freaking beautiful day in PARadISe

Yup, yup. The beauty never stops. It'll be freaking pouring out, and it's still be beautiful to me. The sun is shining, the air is crisp, and autumn has never looked so amazing. I spent the morning sitting at my windowsill, window open of course, writing postcards for friends. It was wonderful. I had a cup of Earl Grey perched on the ledge. I watered the plants that I promised to care for for Monsieur Bassoul.

I'm going out to lunch with Keisha. It's a Saturday. I've been inside eating pasta, cereal, and yogurt. Salad and hummus on crackers. Bananas and apples. Afternoon tea and cookies. For the past couple of weeks. I deserve it. We deserve it. My jeans are baggier than ever, and I don't care, I really don't. I'll buy an amazing pair of jeans once I reach the size I want to be for my brother's wedding 'cuz I really want to look awesome for that. I've never been a bridesmaid, and those wedding photos are going to be around forever. I want to look amazing. I was changing and in the mirror I noticed that I HAVE A WAIST!!! It was a lovely surprise to see a hourglass forming. I used to be just a blob. But wow, it's all happening! I want people to be surprised when I come back. I want a Sabrina-esque change. I want to be healthy and fit. I want this so badly more than ever.

I know now that I've never felt more alive, more happier thousands of miles away from home, from family, from friends--the people who I love, who've taken care of me, who are now missing. A telephone call, an email, a Facebook message: they're all horrible substitutes to their real, physical and emotional presence in my life. But this had to happen. Would these changes have happened, these goals, if the people I loved were around? If I was still back in SF or LA? I don't think they would have. This had to happen. Here, in Paris, here, by myself.

vendredi 5 octobre 2007


Another beautiful autumn day in Paris, and yet my afternoon has been ruined by my stupid body. However, I am still well enough to blog. Yes, I am that dedicated. I was on the Metro, going to meet Keisha and Katia to talk about how to handle French interviews, when my body turned against me. I started feeling superbly dizzy. I got of the Metro at Pont Marie, and I felt so crazily dizzy I'm just so glad I didn't fall over. I was sweating like mad as well, and my hair was up too. I texted Keisha that I couldn't make it. Sucks. And on the way, Romina had called me while on the Metro to see if I wanted to hang out, but I had to turn her down. Gosh this really sucks. The heart and the mind want to go out and see friends, but the body says no, be a hermit, it's good for your art, you need another film under your belt. Ugh. Why does my body even care? I felt better once I got home and had some water. Maybe I'm dehydrated.

Anyway, I did have a wonderful morning. I walked to Jardin du Luxembourg from my place, and it only took half an hour. I walked up my ancient street, and I passed the Mayflower, which to my surprise, is painted purple. I couldn't tell at night when I was last there.

I had my ipod on, like I sometimes do, and I was listening to Mates of State's cover of "California"--you know the theme song for "The O.C.". I swear, I've never seen that show in my life! But I love the Phantom Planet song, and naturally, I love the cover. It's more acoustic and simple.

I go down rue Soufflot with the Pantheon to my back, and I was crossing the street to walk into the gardens, and it just hit me how beautiful this song was to this walk. And it's so ironic to be walking the streets of Paris and to listen to a song about California, but it fit really well. My life is very ironic sometimes. You know with this song and my body wanting to go home and my head wanting to be outside and see friends.

Also, I just had to blog about this, and it's a little bit about Paris, but it's just so symbolic and so important that I had to write about this. I had a dream last night. Not just ANY dream, this one was scary real.

Backstory: My brother's fiancee sent me the link to the videographer who's going to film their wedding. Being the film major that I am, I go on this guy's blog to watch the past weddings that he did. I don't want some cheeseball to make some cheesy film out of what will be the most beautiful day of my brother's life. Anyway, he was pretty good, and I'm glad they chose him.

So last night, I dream that I'm getting married! And you don't need to know any specifics other than it's a gorgeous affair, and I look freaking amazing. I'm at the end of the aisle, and everyone is looking at me: the groom, my family, the whole crowd. And I'm standing there in my white dress holding a lovely bouquet of flowers, and I don't move. I don't budge. And in my head I'm thinking, "I didn't even get to travel." That's what I'm thinking about, traveling! And I look at the groom, and he is crushed, he could just read it in my face that I'm not going down that aisle. And everyone else finally sees it too. And I just walk away. In my dress and all.

That's where it ended cuz immediately after that I had another dream, or nightmare rather, in which my former French prof Katia said to me, in absolute perfect English: "STUDY". Then I woke up.

But that first one was weird, huh? Just goes to show how much traveling means to me. I mean, to call off a wedding just because I didn't get to travel enough. Traveling's just such a huge priority to me. I really think, in real life, I would put it before settling down.

Anyway, I'm going to recup and get some tea because I was hoping to go watch the rugby game tonight with some friends.

jeudi 4 octobre 2007

"cluck-uh cluck-uh, cluh"

That's right, I am a chicken. I'm super cool doing things alone, heck, I love living by myself, but I will most definitely not go on a tour by myself of Paris's catacombs where thousands of dead people call home. A lot of my friends can't make it due to the fact that they have more important things going on (TAing, school, blah blah), so I ended up not going anyway. I almost wish I started school this week just so that I can be busy. No. I take that back.

I'm having problems with my carte de sejour. My file got sent back because my landlord didn't give a recent copy of his gas bill. Argh! I swear, that copy he gave me was recent. Oh well. I'm going to get the bill next week and will have to send my carte de sejour stuffs when I get it. Blah.

I'm also having problems with my body...don't worry, it's not nasty! It's actually quite funny to me, and it's not really a problem anymore since I SOLVED it! So, each day, when I get home, I realize that I'm sweating profusely. And it's not the three flights of stairs I climb to my flat. I don't even bundle up that much since I get so sweaty. And at first, I'm really happy 'cuz that must mean I'm losing weight. Yay! Anyway...I figured out why I'm so sweaty...IT'S MY HAIR!

It's my ugly, gross, mullet-like hair. I keep it down, and it's on my neck, and it keeps me really warm. THAT'S what's keeping me so warm and thus making me sweat. I'm so not used to longish hair, and that's why I love having short hair. But now that I'm letting it grow, it's at this awkward mullet-stage. I vowed not to cut it since I want to have it long for my brother's wedding. Ahh! That's like in a year. Anyway, I'll keep it up when I go out to hide the mullet, and I'll put it down when I'm in the privacy of my own home. Problem solved!

Also, I hate to admit it, but I gotta tell you guys truth so...I got really homesick one night a couple of days ago while I was looking at some pictures I took of my fam and of my friends at the going away party I had in SF. And I made a countdown on a website until I go back to the US. Lame, lame, I know, but at least I'm admitting it, right? You can see it here. I chose July 11 just 'cuz I finish school at the end of June, and it'll still give me time to enjoy Paris. It's all hypothetical, of course. Maybe I'll love it here so much, I might even stay! No, just kidding. I gotta get back so I can make that mockumentary for my bro's wedding.

So yeah, two reasons I'm a chicken. I won't go into the catacombs, and I miss people! I'm going to go study now.

mercredi 3 octobre 2007

is nothing sacred?

I just went inside to Notre Dame. With a bunch of other photo-snapping tourists. While there was Mass going on.

Tell me, what is wrong with that last sentence? Why are they letting people--tourists!!!--into Notre Dame while Mass is happening?!?!? What is wrong with this world. I started taking photos while in the entrance off to the side, but then I heard a man's voice speaking. I headed towards the middle, and I saw a priest getting ready for communion. I swear, my mouth dropped. And I turned around and all these people are snapping photos, pointing at things. Why do they let tourists in during Mass? It's just wrong.

Argh. I got out of there. It was a nice day though, sun came out for a little bit. Took this inside Notre Dame (before I knew there was Mass going on!): Okay, I'm going to go see some millions upon millions of bones that are underneath Paris in the catacombs tomorrow, and I might even be doing this alone. Wish me luck!

mardi 2 octobre 2007

une demie framboise, s'il vous plait

I found my bar! Okay, okay, Mom, you told me not to drink, but I'm living in France. Land of wine and cheese. The children drink here. And I would never put myself in a situation that I knew was sketchy or hang out with people I don't trust. I'm not a huge drinker, but I knew, that sooner or later, I'd be in situations where alcohol is being consumed just 'cuz it's Europe. I won't go crazy and do what I did in Las Vegas. Trust me, I learned my lesson.

Kathy, Morgan, and Kristen called me up yesterday night saying they were in my neighborhood saying that they were going to get ice cream (so innocent!). All the ice cream places were closed (of course, it's Monday), so we ended up going to this quaint looking old English-looking bar called "The Mayflower". Ironic, isn't it? I come to Paris to drink in a bar called The Mayflower.

We walk in, and there's barely 10 people in here cuz it's a Monday night. The walls are adorned with American license plates and all that old kitschy stuff you would find in a bar like antique beer signs and clocks. The drinks are written on chalkboards showing the Belgian and French beer on tap and the cocktails including their ingredients.

Huge pluses about The Mayflower is that it's up my street, it's small, and the bartender is a nice, big-bellied French guy. They also have happy hour till 9, and they serve really great beer for pretty cheap (2,80 a demie and 3,50 a pint). Morgan said that was pretty good, price-wise. Kathy explained that all Belgian beers come in its own unique glass. She got a Hoeegarden (light), and I got a Framboise (rasberry and almost cider-ish), just cuz I'm a girl and I like sweeter tasting stuffs. Kathy's beer was in a tallish, hourglass shaped glass, while mine was in a glass that looked more like a goblet. Morgan got a gin and tonic. For our next round, Morgan got a "Long Island" (I guess the French version of a long island ice tea), Kathy a Kwak (Morgan described it as "leathery"), and I cowboyed up and got a Delirium (light and definitely more beery) just cuz it sounded more manly. Wish I brought my cam, but here's a pic of Kathy's Kwak that I found on the interwebs:This cool French guy talked to us when he saw that we spoke English. His name's Jean-Marc. His English is pretty good, and he even lived in Los Angeles for a year. Haha, can you imagine a blog titled "Los Angeles For a Year". He said that LA is like a "giant supermarket". I said that that was pretty much right. He was very nice and told us all about how the French are. I sort of felt bad because for some parts he didn't understand what we were talking about because we used slang and made references to things he didn't know (saying stuff like "nor cal"), and I could tell he was lost. And at that moment I knew that I'm going to go through a lot of that if I make French friends, just because they're going to be speaking way faster than me and make references. At one part, he honestly said to Morgan, "You speak very fast. I don't understand". I really felt for him. And it was really bold for him to come up and speak to 4 American girls. But I think after a couple of vodka shots (we watched him and his friends drink a bit, they were next to us), you can do some bold things. He said he's "training" because he's going to Ireland in a couple of months to study there.

Then his friend came over, and spoke to us in English too. He lived in England for a while. Then he switched to French and asked me what I was drinking, and I told him. Then he went away. Jean-Marc explained that he wasn't going to buy me a drink (I didn't even expect that to happen), but that sometimes in France, people just want to know what you're drinking. We left, and JM said for us to come back again, we were all, "Uh, okay!"

Anyway, I really enjoyed this, and this isn't the framboise or delerium talking. I'm really glad they called me up and asked me to go out, because I would never go out at night by myself, and I don't seek people to hang out with, really. It's part of the whole shyness thing I've got going on, and I'm trying to shake that but it's so hard when it's been part of you for so long. But it's really nice to have people who'll think of you, want to hang out with you, people you can trust to be with in this crazy city. Thanks guys!

lundi 1 octobre 2007

la defense & mo' money, mo' problems

Lucia and I helped Keisha move out of her place at La Defense yesterday, which is west of Paris. Her roommates's pretty cool. He works for Apple. It was weird though when we were leaving because Keisha was going to bisou him, but he didn't make a move until after Keisha had tried to make a move and then backed away when he didn't do anything. It was pretty awkward.

She moved into the Latin Quartier, and she is pres de moi! We hung out as she unpacked her clothes. Keisha is really one of my style icons. She knows how to put great clothes together, and she dresses like a real Parisienne. While she was putting clothes away, she came across these black gloves that she no longer wanted. They didn't fit Lucia, so she gave them to me. Yay! They'll be great for winter. And then she had this American Apparel black windbreaker that she didn't want, and guess who got it. Moi! It's an extra-small and kind of tight when zipped in the chest region, but it's still wearable. I planned on dropping a few pounds here anyway. We all talked about how our style of clothing has changed ever since we got here. Keisha's getting rid of certain things in her wardrobe while Lucia and I are dressing more mature and put together.

Malheureusement, Keisha's wallet was pickpocketed or fell somewhere during our transit to the 5eme (5th arrondissement). She was very cool though, didn't freak out too much, and we were there to help. Through Skype, she canceled her cards and called the Metro station to see if anyone had turned it in. No luck at the Metro. These things happen. It's just a reminder to all of us to be careful with our things and always prepare for the worst.

More than a month has past since I arrived. It went by so fast. There are times when it feels really slow, and when it's really fast and crazy. Right now, it's slow. I have a week before classes start, and I'm getting organized. I'm reviewing my expenses, and I spent 177E on food alone, 300E on school stuffs, toiletries, things I needed for the studio (I called that "Personal stuffs" in my excel spreadsheet). I expected to spend more the first few months (I just bought my yearly pass for the Metro and that was 284E. Yikes!), but I'm really going to try and save up. I'm going to try to cut that "personal" spending by at least half if I can. I find it really empowering to live simply and not be such a consumerist. Comparing the amount of clothes I brought to everyone else, I think I brought a quarter of what people brought. I had one suitcase and backpack and others had at least 2 suitcases to check in. I just didn't want to bring too much, you know?

Plans for the week:
1. crash cinema class at St. Denis
2. the Catacombs (?)