samedi 20 octobre 2007

close encounters of the OC kind

So, road trip to Mont St. Michel wasn't as relaxing as I'd liked, as this girl sitting in front of me from the OC talked up a storm to me. It's no exaggeration when I write that she just embodies everything OC: snob, closed-mindedness, materialistic, fake. I hate to write this, and not every girl from the OC is like this, just some and maybe not all these traits. I gave her chance, I seriously did, we talked (well, she mostly talked), and I just came to this conclusion.

Lucia, who was sitting next to me, wasn't feeling so well, so after OC girl told her that she would feel better at the front of the bus, I was left alone with OC girl who had probably been itching to talk to someone since her friend was asleep, or listening to his ipod very loudly (even the back of the bus could hear it, and we were in the middle!). She first stated, "I just can't stand the thought know [she was implying 'vomit']. Ugh, it's disgusting." I nodded and gave a fake smile. Clearly uncomfortable situation for me. That was her "in". She babbled on about going on a Contiki trip--one of those expensive tours that can go from days to weeks--and she was on a bus all the time. She talked about the places she visited, how I should go to the French Riviera, Italy's countryside, etc. I asked her if she spoke any languages, and she said, "No, it's totally fine, everyone speaks English in Europe." I added that I would feel better at least trying to speak the language of the country I was in. I was also confused. I then learned that she isn't even studying abroad, her friend is, and she was staying with him while she traveled Europe. She tagged along for the trip.

I asked her where she was from, and she proceeded to drop a lot of OC city names, mostly where the well to-do live. She dropped them knowing that I was from LA (and proud), but she said them in a manner as if I was from another state, like I didn't know where Newport Beach was. She wore a lot of make-up, and she smiled a lot as she talked, very loudly so that everyone within the projection of her voice can get the whole scoop, and it looked painful. To be smiling and talking like that all the time. Her laugh sounded like it was passed down from generation to generation, and that, after having fully matured in the eyes of her mother, it was finally hers.

She annoyed me. She talked to me for at least 45 minutes, with me not being able to get in 3 sentences edgewise (or maybe I didn't feel like talking). She went to Cal State Fullerton and still lives with her parents. She's never left home, I mean really left home, other than her expensive Contiki trips. She just graduated with a Communication degree and gave me advice about the film industry. She reminded me why I left So Cal. She made me sad.

At my absolute meanest and worst, I'm a Holden Caulfield from LA, whining about phonies and phony laughter. This is me at my worst. I don't think you can ever find me more meaner or more depressed when I encounter the OC stereotype.

I am not the only one who's encountered her. Others have had similar stories about her today. I want to tell people that she is not representative of the young women of southern California, please, believe me.

By the by, Mont St. Michel was amazing. Will post about it later. Just had to get this off my chest.

vendredi 19 octobre 2007


Check out my Halloween edition of "Paris for a Year"! I love the black and green.

I have class today from 3pm to 6pm, and I only have one little bit of homework left to do. Yay! Shouldn't take me more than half an hour, and I did half of the reading I needed to do for Monday. I am on my stuff. Tomorrow, I have to wake up early, 5:30 or so, because MICEFA scheduled a trip to Mont St. Michel, which is 4 hours north of here. There's an abbey there, and the place is sort of like a pseudo island. It just depends on the tide, and it's usually very hard to get there on your own, unless you have a car.

I'm really excited because I love road trips. Especially longs ones. I'm going to bring my video camera, I think. Just film a little. It'll be a travelogue of some sorts.I haven't done a lists thing for a while, so here's a list of random stuffs:

Music that embodies Paris to me:
1. Elliott Smith's album "XO": which seems to go with everything, I think.
2. Bloc Party's "So Here We Are": Lovely, romantic song. Plan to use this for my brother's wedding movie, also inspires me for my own films. Great for the Metro, especially line 6 which is above ground like the trains in Chicago.
3. The Dream Academy's "Please please please let me get what I want": Best heard in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the scene where they're looking at all the art in the museum. Actually listened to this in a museum too!
4. Modest Mouse's "She Ionizes and Atomizes": Reminds me of what the soundtrack would be like if someone woke up after a night of absinthe drinking. Actually inspired a film idea I got of a girl who wakes up along the Seine after some crazy night and she tries to re-trace her steps.
5. David Holmes's "Tess": From the Ocean's Eleven soundtrack, the first scene of Juliet Roberts walking down the staircase. A sexy dreamlike version of Clair de Lune.
6. Bloc Party's "The Prayer": My prayer for living here: "God give me grace and dancing feet and the power to impress...Let me outshine them all". Nothing could be more hopeful or motivating.
7. Fountains of Wayne's "Stacy's Mom": I know, what's this doing here? It's just a fun song and reminds me of so cal and so cal kids for some reason. Also, there are a lot of hot moms here, seriously. Freaking pushing strollers in high heels.

jeudi 18 octobre 2007

bless their hearts for trying to translate.

If that does not make you laugh out loud, then you have a heart of lead which nothing can penetrate. Not even Will Ferrel can touch that heart of yours. After a lovely self-guided tour of Notre Dame's towers with Liz and Lily, we headed to Rue de Rivoli stopping by a group of garden shops near Cité that I discovered a while back. And that's where we saw this adorable sign, but no sign of "cat". Just look at that underlined "please". Whenever I'm sad, all I have to do is look at this picture, and I'll light up like a Christmas tree.

After our climbing the billions of stairs to the top, it was simply amazing. Check out this sweet gargoyle!:You can see most of Paris's great monuments, from Sacré Coeur to the Eiffel Tower.

We loaded up on a grec sandwich after cuz we were so hungry. Then we set out to find the perfect boots. For me. Because winter's coming, and Mom and Dad said it was okay for me to get boots. Incidentally, my package of winter clothes that the parentals sent me are somewhere in the region of Paris. I got a letter to go pick it up at the post office, but I got the letter late and now I've got to wait for another letter telling me where to get this package. Bah. It's really my fault for not checking my mail at MICEFA.

I've been lucky though since it's not that cold yet. I have my wool jacket, and that suffices well. Plus, I get so warm walking around and being in the Metro. Anyway, about the boots, I'm really shopping around, looking for the perfect pair. Something leather and weather-proof. Something that also looks a bit like the one this girl on the red is wearing, but with a buckle over the ankle:I know what you're thinking: “That's an ANIME character!” Haven't you heard of cos-play? I can find those boots. So, something a bit more masculine, something that says, “Yes, you are right to think that I might have a motorcycle” but can easily be softened with tights and a cute skirt. Look at me, trying so hard to be fashionable. Something with a bit of a heel, that comes to about mid-shin and that comes in either a black or a dark, muddy brown. I'll let you know next year when I find these boots. Funny thing about this search is that I found the perfect boot that fits this description, but it's in America. Figures.

It's funny how much I changed, in regards to clothes. I seek perfection, or near it. I have to be in love in order to have it. If I'm not in love , then what's the point. Why should I spend money on something adequate—unless it's like handsoap. This is a really good shopping mentality. It means, I won't go all out on a random shopping outing. Whenever I go shopping now, it's just going to be to look for what I need and in order to buy it, I have to be in love. And it has to look freaking amazing on me. Back in the states, I used to casually go shopping with friends and end up coming home with things I don't really need. I just wanted to fill my closet.

But now when it comes to clothes, it's all about quality. When you buy quality, it lasts longer. But I do contradict myself when I say that I do buy H&M and Forever 21, self-proclaimed “cheap, seasonal clothing”. Clothing you wear for a season and give away the next. But I take care of these clothes. Things of quality (or slightly lesser) demand care and attention. As such, I have a H&M skirt that's 4 years old and still in good condition. It also goes with everything in my wardrobe. And it'd go great with boots.

Ah! Didn't mean for this whole blog to be about clothes and shopping. Don't worry, I'm not going all Paris Hilton on you guys, I'm still the same girl with the same passions...I just added clothes to one of them.

Incidentally, I updated a crapload of photos. And I made my photos section much simpler and easier. For me. Took out the "old" albums from this page, but they're still in my photobucket account. Added a section for the musees, featuring pictures from the Musee D'Orsay. Check it!

mercredi 17 octobre 2007

okay, i'm better again

Written 16 Oct. 2007.

The thing with feeling crappy and angry and sad is that, much later, you're feeling better again. And you wonder why you felt that way and why you made such a big deal and why you thought that was going to last forever. Because sometimes it doesn't. But when it does--because sometimes it does--then that's real depression. And that demands serious help. But I'm not depressed. It's not depression when you're feeling good again.

It's almost midnight, and I just got home from the most wonderful French dinner with the MICEFA and IP crew. Sadly, didn't have my camera so I couldn't take pics of my mille feuilles au saumon fumee, puree de pommes de terre, tarte aux pommes. We talked about wine, food, boys, the French language. It was lovely. It was amazing. The cute waiter had the most adorable smile and said "bon appetit!" to me.

Oh, this city. One minute your day is cloudy, looking like rain, and the next the sunshine peaks through and a lovely French guy says "bon appetit" to you. It is that chaotic in this city. It's been almost two months since I've been here, and you can see how I've changed in my posts. I've changed more here in two months than in the 3 years I've spent in San Francisco, no joke. I can't even begin to comprehend this, I can't. I once asked Lucia if, when we return, if we're going to go back to our old ways, and she said that will definitely be changed but that we'll sort of go back a little.

Okay, well, will post this tomorrow and add more stuff...

Good day today. Went to the top of Notre Dame and took some amazing photos with Liz and Lily. It only cost 4.80 euros. That's the tarif reduit pour people under 26. Another great reason to travel while you're young--things are cheaper. Then got a sandwich--we actually saw a Subway from the top of Notre Dame, and it looked really shady. But no, if I want Subway, I'll get in the states. But dang, the grec pita sandwiches here are heaven. Then we got ice cream. Also heaven here. Yum. Sorry, forgot to take photos again of my tasty food.

No class tomorrow since there's a metro strike! Yay! Don't know what I'll do, probably study a bit.

lundi 15 octobre 2007

being a better student

There's got a be a better way to do this. I just crammed 2 hours of studying today before class. And it hurt, dear God, did it hurt. There's no way I can study like this. I have to be a better etudiante.

I'm thinking of 1 to 1.5 blocks of studying twice a day, with breaks in between. So, that would mean that I'd get at least 3 hours of studying done everyday. That's normal--getting 3 hours of studying total each day. That's what every student, at base, should accomplish. I read somewhere that for each hour of class, that's an hour of studying outside of class. Bah.

Reading texts, excerpts, advertisements, news, everything in French; being constantly surrounded by a foreign language, by the unknown, by the slightly understood...I appreciate more than ever, what is available to me in my own language. I would love, more than anything right now, to read one of my cinema textbooks that I left back home. To go to Borders and get something good. To read the LA Times. No joke! I miss English so badly.

I know, I know, that's something you don't want to hear, but this language, although beautiful, it's frustrating, headache inducing, and just...too much. I don't want to give up, I hate knowing I've given up, but I don't know. I really want to understand why I'm feeling this way. I told you I was going to be having good and bad days, up and downs. This is normal, I think. (Sigh...) I just want to go more than week without feeling like crap, feeling like this degree was a mistake, wanting to stick to my English.

dimanche 14 octobre 2007

another san francisco moment and feeling more adult

Yup, had another San Francisco moment apart from the m.c. Liz, Lucia, and Siobhan (also in IP, but this is my first time hanging out with her) found a Korean restaurant in 2eme. A little hole in the wall that serves amazing soup and potstickers (called "raviolis" here). And it was cheap too! Back in SF, it always felt good to find a really great restaurant and to frequent it. It made me feel like a real citizen, a true habitant. And there weren't any tourists eating there either.

Met with Katia at la brasserie Le Cardinal also in 2eme before dinner to get a cafe. I had their cafe viennois, which was excellent, but pricey. We talked (en francais!) about our classes, and we helped Keisha by staging a fake French interview with her. She has an interview tomorrow with Louis Vuitton, and we're all hoping she gets it. Katia interviewed her, while we played her "collegues" who are also interviewing her. It was very useful, even though I'm not going to get interviewed for a job here, just going through stuff like that that I know I'll do in the future. It felt really adult just to sit in a cafe and talk about important stuff like that.

What also made everything more "adult" was that I was dressed pretty nice today. Nicer than usual. I mean, I used to go to church in jeans and a hoodie, but today, I wore an olive dress over black tights and a black cardigan and red, pointy flats. I also had a red purse that goes with the flats. I looked damn good today, I think! It really boosts your confidence to dress nice, and I've never appreciated it until now. And it felt comfortable, you know? I wore this whole outfit the whole day! I mean, I still need to break in the flats, but I felt comfortable and at ease in what I was wearing. And I know that, when I get back to the states, I might be out of place a little bit or that everyone's going to see how different I've become, but I don't really care. I'm so happy with the way I've changed, I don't want to revert back to my old lifestyle. I want to keep this up.

And it wasn't just me. Lucia, Liz, Romina, Siobhan, Katia (but of course, she's French)--we all looked really great today. And I must mention that everyone except me dresses really well regularly. And we all looked great together, no joke. Like Parisiennes, like adults. Notice that I didn't name Keisha, because she always looks great. When we arrived at the cafe, even Keisha was surprised! I think more so at me because I never dress up.