samedi 27 octobre 2007

the first travelogue: Mont. St. Michel

Here's the first travelogue I made. I apologize for the crappy camera movements and such. I'm really no good at filming, when all I really want to do is look at things with my own eyes. The quality isn't that great, but that's because I had to compress (is that the right word?) it to upload it to youtube. And the ending got messed up. Boo. Anyway, I'm no good at the technical stuff, I'm much better at writing and putting things together. The song is Sufjan Stevens's "Concerning the UFO sighting near Highland, Illinois."

Don't know if I'll be working on another film since I'm losing space on my hard drive. I should have brought my external one. Dang. Oh well.

Also, it's getting cold and no news on the package my parents sent me that is filled with my winter clothes, and especially my favorite winter coat in the world that's black with a sweet orange lining and the North Face down jacket that I got for a steal. Crap. Losing packages sucks.

vendredi 26 octobre 2007

i'm attracted douchebags?

This is a scary month indeed. Came home last night from another Mayflower outing that was truly...frightening.

Not in a bad sense, but in a sense that...I'll explain later. Anyway, went to the Mayflower with Kathy and Morgan and met up with Kristin's Epitech class. Epitech is a enginneering school, sort of like DeVry back home. She teaches an English conversation class for 20somethings who are working with computers. Anyway, she brought some of them along.

Kathy and I were sitting across from two students, Nicolas and I forgot the other one. We tried talking to them, but they were very quiet and just drank their beers, and they just seemed like they were hating being there. Kathy then turns to me and says that Nicolas looks like a French version of Jim Halpert from "The Office". And she was totally right. Both of us thought he was super cute albeit rude, brooding and having a mean/angry face. He was tall, messy hair like Jim Halpert, dressed kind of slobbily. When we did get some talking out of him, we learned that he doesn't like America, doesn't want to visit there, doesn't want to learn English. After some more beers, he and his friend are finally laughing about something we were all discussing, and then they get up to leave! Things were just getting good!

It was just scary to know that I could be attracted to such a douchebag. Now that I know that it's possible, it freaks me the hell out! I don't want to date a douchebag. I don't want to ever believe that I can date a douchebag and somehow change him into a better person, because that rarely ever happens. Some douchebags just stay douchebags.

mercredi 24 octobre 2007


Got my student metro card that'll be good for the whole time that I'm here. Yay! I feel like a real student now, which is actually contrary to what I've really been feeling lately...senioritis.

I'm so ready to graduate right now. It's my fourth year. If I was normal, I'd be done with school in June, never would have studied abroad or taking up a foreign language, and would probably do something that would earn me money but make me unhappy. But I'm not normal, and I'm nowhere near graduating (just a little over halfway done with degree). But during class I just felt so done with the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, I love my Wednesday class, but I just felt done being a student. For the freaking first time in my life, I'd like to be working in my field and just doing that. No more finals, no more grades. In class I imagined starting out in some casting office, looking over resumes and headshots, handling auditions for the minor parts in some film starring Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Superbad) and whoever's my age and pretty big, and then having lunch with Michael Cera, and there's the writing on the side, getting a producer for my short film that wins at all the small festivals, then I go on to direct a music video for Thrice, which leads to my first directorial debut for an indie film that wins at Cannes...It was just weird how strongly I wanted that. Instead of 45 minute metro rides and holding in my pee for long periods of time. I mean, being a student is the life, huh? (complete sarcasm was just transmitted through the interwebs)

For years I've loved being a student and the college life and my summers and vacations, and now that it's almost over, I'm kind of glad. What is happening to me?

It must be the whole living alone thing and sort of taking care of myself and being a loner...Also, I've been watching 30 Rock, and I feel like I could turn into Liz Lemon or something like her, which I kind of don't mind. In fact, Liz Lemon is sort of my role model at this period in my life.

Things I saw today that made me laugh and/or smile:
1. A cute, small dog lead its owner and actually stopped in front of a handbag store and looked at the handbags.
2. I walk by this Starbucks all the time, and I saw an add for THIS!:Is that INSANITY or what?! It looks like solid chocolate in a mug.

mardi 23 octobre 2007

group projects! weight gain!

What do those two things have in common? They both scare me. Like the mall on Christmas eve. Or cookies without milk. Or OC girls leaving tanning salons in velour sweats. Velour sweats, in general.(insert shudder here...)

Met with group project people which include 2 other America girls, an Italian girl, and a Peruvian boy. All are very nice and sweet. Met at a cafe then went to Italian girl's (Maria) place. It was interesting all talking in French. Then her roommate (also Italian) would come in, and they'd start talking Italian, and I'd get so confused, but it was still cool. Just to be in such a confused state. It was scary, but not in a threatening way, just a "oh my gosh, what's happening, are they talking about me" kind of way. The Peruvian guy, Alonso, is also pretty cool, very cheery and always smiling. He called me and was waiting at the metro, and I tried to give him directions on where to find us (in French, mais oui), and he didn't understand. So I was all, "Je vais te chercher!" (I'm going to look for you!). And he was all, "Tu vais me chercher? Awwww!!!" (You're going to look for me? Awww!!!). It was funny. The American girls, Jamie and Angela, are cool too, but I think they're worried that our project has no real structure.

I think I'm gaining weight. OR! OR the remaining fat that I have in my body is somehow re-positioning itself. I know that sounds sick. It's only going to get sicker, so you can skip this paragraph if you want. Okay, so I know I've lost some weight since pants are baggier, but, BUT my face is kind of big! It's kind of freaking me out! Like the total freak that I am, I am comparing to pics taking recently of me and pics taken in the past, and crap, I have a lot of work to do. I have a wedding to go to in less than a year! Patisserie visits only once a week! Water all the time! More visits to my super nice farmer's market guys! They like me by the way. They're always smiling when I buy stuff from them. Hee! Never:
1. Eat out alone. Unless I absolutely have to, and then it has to be healthy. Eating out is fine as long as it's with friends, which'll help me be more social. Just came back actually from dinner with friends at an Indian restaurant by Gare du Nord. Very tasty, and they gave us naan and a bottle of coke on the house! Nice people too.
2. Buy more than 1 baguette a week: Actually haven't bought any for the past 2 weeks.
1. Keep tabs with what I'm eating. I'm using a food journal!
2. Cook healthy: I bought some frozen fish that was on sale and broiled it with some soy sauce and lemon, and it was tasty!! Had some steamed vegetables on the side too.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go all "Christian Bale preparing for the Machinist" on you. I'm just going to be more careful about food and move more. I want to look amazing for this wedding, and, in general, when I come back home.

dimanche 21 octobre 2007

the girl next door

So, I met my voisine, or neighbor, today, who just happens to be a total hottie. She's a girl, by the by, and I feel very comfortable calling girls "hot" or beautiful now since I see a lot of them in Paris. I'm not a lesbian or anything, and I have nothing against homosexuality at all. My favorite guy here is gay. Anyway, she's hot. And I think I appreciate, more than ever, the female form and female beauty. Must be all the hotties and the art museums.

Anyway, she got locked out of her apartment, and she knocked on my door absolutely frantic to use my computer to find a serrurier to pry open her door. Her sister, who was with her, called the locksmith for her. Being the nice person I am, I offered to let her wait in my apartment--it would be rude not to! Besides, she was barefoot. I was studying on my bed when she knocked, so she just sat on my bed, and I studied at my table. We talked a little bit. She's a law student living alone. She's really nice, probably because I was doing her a favor, but still. When the guy came, she said thanks and said I was very nice. Don't think I'll see her again as we've never even crossed paths before.

Was a total idiot at my friend's birthday dinner. Spilled wine all over myself. Then I almost stabbed her German voisine with a fondue fork, but the German didn't see, I hope, thank God. She offered me gum after dinner. We talked in French and sometimes I just had to speak in English. I have this weird thing that I can only really understand French when the French speak it. But when my friends speak it, I have to have them repeat it. I'm so weird and slow. And, for the life of me, I couldn't speak any French during dinner today. I was completely horrible. Bah. I ate snails too. They were chewy like calamari. Okay. Mont St. Michel. Can I just say, amazing? I wrote this a couple hours ago about the experience: I don't care how much I love film—it's a poor subsitute for real life. It's like that glass in interrogation rooms. You can see the subject, but it can't see you or know you're there.

I brought my video camera to Mont St. Michel to document the trip. The thing is, I found myself not being able to fully enjoy myself because I was looking through the lens, scanning and zooming, seeing this beautiful, amazing place through this camera. I fully knew then that there was no way I could ever be a documentary filmmaker. There's just so much footage to capture, to sift through.

But I did enjoy myself, nonetheless. Climbing endless stairs only to reach the most breathtaking view you could ever ask for: fields of wheat and grass, a river flowing to the sea, the flat landscape of sand, and then, finally, the calm ocean. We walked through the abbey. Stood where the monks prayed and ate.

What a wonder. What a world. The whole experience, like most, made me feel small, insignificant. I thought about the monks if they ever felt what I felt. I am nothing in comparison to God, to time, to space, to history. Recurring questions that still haunt me: What do I have to give? What can I give that has meaning? What's my purpose?

One of my answers came. I was editing the video, and two hours passed in an instant. I was that into it. How I love to edit, put images together, set them to music. That's the answer, at least one of many. I hope that the video will be up in a week or so. I hope to make more. The goal of it is to make you want to travel. To make you see how cinematic mundane things can be, like sitting in a bus for four hours.I hope you like it.