vendredi 30 novembre 2007

worst afternoon ever.

Went to class, which actually happened, big surprise. But I sort of wished I didn't because it was an effing waste of my time. Even Sally, who agreed to go to class together said to me, "I'm so sorry I made you come all the way out here."

We got there, and it started out fine, great. We got some papers back and went over grammar, then some chick starts asking questions about the strike. Pretty normal, of course we're all pretty confused and want to know what's going on. This then turned into a debate that lasted 2/3 of the class! It went on for like an hour and a half!

I sat there thinking, "Is this really happening?" We wasted so much time, and we finally have class, a real class, and we're arguing and debating over the strikes? It's just so flipping counter-productive to be having this argument about how it sucks that we can't have class during actual class. What the hell. I want to learn. I'm here to learn. You can debate outside of class.

This girl would not shut up. And she had this whiny voice that hits that high C and could probably make your ears bleed if listened to at lengthy intervals. And I hated her with such passion for starting this downhill slide, for taking away my class time, for keeping me from learning. After hating her voice, I just started to hate her face and her stupid haircut, and her clothes. And I thought about what would happen if I had to fight her and what her weakness would be. I was bigger than her, definitely. So I had that advantage. She looked like she'd be quick, maybe she'd run before I did any real damage.

This guy had the right idea in our class. He just picked up his stuff during one of her rants and left. I should've done that. That guy had courage. Of course, I had to sit in the middle and in the front where the prof could see me, and it would be too noticeable. I should have just picked up my stuff and left and made a scene.

What an effing waste of my time. If I wanted to listen to a bunch of kids arguing and resolving nothing, I could have gone to the general assembly. At least they're French would be better.

Walked home and passed by Notre Dame, and it was lit up, and there was this Christmas tree there all lit up, but it didn't make me happy or anything. And then this French guy tried to hit on me in front of his friends, but I said nothing and shot him this stare like I was ready to put a shiv in him if he tried anything more, and he backed off, and all his friends watching laughed at him.

I passed this mirror walking, and I saw myself, but didn't recognize myself. I just saw this coldhearted bitch who's ready to beat someone, something to a pulp if anything more ticks her off. What a wasted day.

I'm sorry I'm so pissed but..No wait, I take that back. I'm not sorry for being angry. For once, I'm going to stop being sorry for things that I shouldn't be sorry for.

jeudi 29 novembre 2007

second chances

Watched Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation today for the second time in a long time. When I first watched it, I didn't think it was that great. I thought everyone just hyped it up too much. But being in a sort of parallel situation as Scarlett Johansson--kind of lost in a foreign country--it seemed fitting to watch it, to give it another chance. And I liked it. I really did. Well done, Miss Coppola.

And it's funny, because I haven't thought about it in a long time, but I have had something similar happen to me before. Meeting some stranger that had an effect on me. I was on a plane going home for Thanksgiving, and the most amazing man sat in my row, and we talked the whole flight. It's a long story, which I will recount
(NOTE: This is the original journal entry from that night I met him). If you don't care to read it, just continue reading here.

He was 31, and I was 19. He was funny, passionate about his work, and handsome. Just a whole lot of qualities I look for. But he had a fiancée and was getting married that week. And this guy...he was just so bright eyed and so in love, it was beautiful. Anyway, we bid goodbye at baggage claim, and we sort of hugged. I actually held my hand out to shake his, but he ignored it and half-hugged me since he was carrying a lot of baggage. It was so nice, it could make you cry. I think I did cry a little bit when I left him. Anyway, Lost In Translation made me think about that plane ride.

Went to the Montparnasse cemetery today since class was cancelled. I just have this thing for cemeteries. I was sitting down on a bench in the cemetery looking at the map of the cemetery when this lovely old French lady asked me, in French, where we were. I helped her out with her map, and then we ended up talking for 45 minutes! It was amazing. It seems that the only French friends and acquaintances I might be making are senior citizens. At least they're more forgiving of my French. She knew some English. We talked about school, Paris, French grammar rules, French verb constructions, and French to English translations of common phrases. She was actually visiting Paris, she lives outside of Paris. She was really sweet. We walked around the cemetery together, and then we both decided to leave once it started to rain and get really cold. She bisoued me and said, "Bon courage!" (Good luck)

mercredi 28 novembre 2007

grilled cheese party and not going to class for my own safety

I could have tried to go to class today, but I was just too chicken. Plus, woke up and didn't feel so good. A cold, maybe. Got an email from the prof telling us of an elaborate way to get into the building. She told us that we should be discrete and blah, blah, blah. Just go in through the gate entrance when a car pulls up and follow the car. She didn't say what we should do if the grevistes (or strikers) saw or approached us. Um, explain that you're a foreign exchange student? Say that you're there to help build more barricades and towers of chairs?That's just way too sketchy for my tastes, sneaking in with a car. I didn't want to get cornered and beat up by some French kids, or better yet, I didn't want to kick the asses of some scrawny, scarfed French boys and girls. I could get deported, and I didn't want that. But nah, don't think it'd come to that. They'd probably just talk my ear off until I turned around and left.

So, I read at my spot, the Jardin du Luxem, in front of the Senate and facing the fountain. It was freezing. Thought the sun would keep me pretty warm since it wasn't cloudy, but I was wrong. After a couple chapters, I left.

Thought about more organizing ideas to keep my photos and blog in order. It's really creepy, almost borderline Martha Stewart what I've done/plan to do. Keeping receipts and grocery lists, posting daily, putting dates on photos in my Photobucket. Even putting descriptions, showing the context of each photo taken. Is that too much? It's incredible how much this year means to me, how much I want to document it. And it's not like anything extraordinary is really happening. I just want to remember it all. Is that so bad? I mean, I'm never going to have something like this ever again. After this year, it's back to SF, to film school, and everything's going to be pretty much back to normal. I'll graduate, move back to LA, get a job, and start dating some guy I met on a film shoot. God, when I see it all written there, my future, it just looks so horribly boring. Is this what's going to happen? I'll just be so bored with the present in the future, that I'll keep looking back at my past--all these posts and photos and postcards...I don't know. I hope to God not, 'cuz that's depressing.

At least I'm doing this modern scrapbooking on my own time and not substituting it for going out.

Kristin, Nayo, Susie, and Morgan came over, and we had a grilled cheese party. We went to Franprix together and bought things to chip in: sliced bread, emmenthal cheese (me), camembert, goat cheese (Kristin), pickles and ketchup (Susie), pita and hummous and cider (Morgan), chocolate (Nayo), and Vienneta.

The grilled cheese was tasty, and we watched episodes of "Ready Or Not" on YouTube. Pretty, laidback night. Talked to my landlord when my friends left. Don't know why, but felt a steaming wrath underneath my landlord's calm face when I corrected him saying I had cider and not wine with my cheese tonight. Good thing I didn't say we ate grilled cheese. I just said "cheese" foreseeing myself staying 30 seconds longer than needed in the cold stairwell explaining what grilled cheese was. He might have evicted me then and there.

a letter to friends visiting me

A letter to those visiting me. I apologize for my frankness (maybe living in Paris has made me this way), but this needs to be said. This is me at my meanest.

I am in Paris. You, you are on the other side of the world. I am not your travel agent, and I really don't know the best possible place to get your ticket. I did my own research, and you should too, buddy. You should too.

This is your chance to be as autonomous as possible. I'm here to be your guide in Paris. IN PARIS. I can't council you in airplane tickets and all that needs to be done at your end. Please, please, please, be responsible and plan ahead.

If you never plan on studying abroad, I want you to heed my advice. By not asking me for advice. At least don't ask me advice while you're still at your end and while you can find the answers yourself. Be in control. Get answers through your own research, don't just come to me all the time. The research, especially the traveling kind, is fun! I want to help you, I really do, but am I really helping when I am both your tour guide and the FAQ of traveling? You can do this. I have faith in you. Have faith in yourself that everything is going to be okay.

I am your friend. I love you. And you will thank me for this. Maybe not immediately, maybe not at all. But I will take your sullenness, your pouting, your slight rudeness to me through the interwebs as thanks. Why? Because you are learning, and you're good people, at least the right kind and I know you are the right kind since you're my friend. And good people are always thankful. Especially for learning...Be independent. It's a great journey. Get lost and find yourself. I will be with you for part of the way. And when we see each other at the airport for the first time in a long time, we will hug and you will forget, hopefully, that I was being terribly honest by making you grow.

With love, patience, and terrifying truthfulness,

Here's what I will answer:
1. Yes, it's cold during winter. It's nothing you so cal people have experienced before.
2. Yes, bring money. Lots of it.

mardi 27 novembre 2007


In a way it makes sense, it makes absolutely effing sense that the semester I lose interest in learning French is the semester that my uni goes on strike.

Fate. Destiny. Vacation. So far, I've received emails on assignments to do at home, on my own time. That's fine with me. It's an absolute waste of my time to trek all the way out to the uni, find that the building is blocked off, class is canceled, and then go home. I could be sitting at a park, reading, writing, or visiting an art museum.

Met up with Susie after the trek to St. Denis. We went to Printemps, a department store much like Macy's at Union Square in San Francisco. We looked at all this ridiculous expensive brand clothing. Had lunch then hung out at Melissa's place who lives in the St. Michel area. Had a beer at Shywawa. Will post pics up later.

Had fast food today. Quick Burger. It's a fast food chain. Had the fish sandwich, fries, and a Coke. It was good at the time, but right after I felt sort of sick. Not like sick to the stomach, just like, "Man, no more fast food." I'm okay eating grec sandwiches and fries, but when two out of the three items in the meal (the fish and the fries) are deep more. I'm done. I just felt really gross afterwards. It's like when you eat fish and chips, and it's so good, but you feel just nasty right after. I guess it's because at home I've been eating more healthily, and my tummy's gotten used to it. But I still like grec sandwiches. That's the only time I eat meat.

To do:
1. Start studying for a my exam next week (boo)
2. Start assignments: presentation on the university strike. Look for a French song to present.
3. Organize photos.
4. Organize laptoppy.

lundi 26 novembre 2007

there's nothing like a care package.

I got the package Mom, thanks! Gosh, there's nothing like a care package. It's almost as good as getting letters. It's just so personal, and I love thinking about the route my package traveled and cheesy stuff like that. It's like when you're watching "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood", and they show a segment on peanut butter factories and you see it being made to it being packaged. Here's what was in it:

1. North face down jacket that I bought in Berkeley: Got this for a deal at the outlet store. 50 dollars. Yeah!
2. 6 pairs of tights: Thanks Mom! I only wanted two pairs at the most!
3. 3 pairs of socks.
4. 3 hats: When Derek saw my hats he said, "Your Mom sent you hats?" It's not just hats! He tried one on, it was hilarious. I have a warm beret (featured in the "about a girl" section of this blog), my Holden Caulfield hat, and grey newsboy cap.

Thanks again fam!

After class, went to Centre Pompidou to meet with Nayo and Melissa. We had coffee at the Café Beaubourg. Pretty swanky café. Loved it. I love cafés now. I just love the idea of sitting down somewhere for an hour or so to talk and drink coffee and people watch. Or just sitting at the bar by myself sipping coffee and writing in my Moleskine. I'm done with Starbucks and getting coffee to go. That's over with.

dimanche 25 novembre 2007


I don't really like pictures of myself--hence the love of filmmaking and being behind the camera, but, as Susie had put it when she saw this photo, I look "badass". And I can't agree more. I call it my "bourne identity" photo because it reminds me of that scene when Matt Damon's looking at all his passports, and they all have the same photo of him. He doesn't necessarily look badass in those photos, but his character totally is. Anyway, this is my photo for my Carte de Sejour. I think living in Paris has made me feel more badass just because when you walk down the street looking tough and serious and not smiling like a goof, people don't mess with you. As long as I'm in Paris, you have to earn a smile from me. It isn't that hard. When I go back to the States, I'll start smiling like a goof again.

Had a falafel in the park with Nayommee, and a freaking pigeon tried to snatch my fries and actually perched on my knee. MY KNEE! So sick. I was just stunned, didn't make a scene or anything, just kicked my leg up to get rid of him. Sick. We went to the cemetery at Montmartre and found Truffaut's grave. Then sat at a bench in the middle of the cemetery. Wish our cemeteries were so cool that we could walk around in them like parks and just sit on benches in front of graves. We sat for a while and thought of things to do in Paris before we leave. Nayommee has this list of stuff on a postcard. She crosses out things when she finishes them. She had an extra postcard with her, so I started writing down things I want to do.

We decided to cross out something on both our lists afterwards: Les Deux Magots. It's a famous and historical cafe in the Quartier Latin. Hemingway and Sartre were regulars. We sat outside under the heaters and both ordered hot chocolate. So good. Rich and creamy. Even though this place was a touristy place, I thought we were treated very well, almost like we were French in fact! Nayo ordered in French, of course. Just goes to show what good it does to speak the language of the country you're in. We got water with our drinks, and this couple next to us, who got coffee, didn't get any water. They were speaking English. And the girl who sat next to me kept complaining how she wanted water. Because the hot chocolate was so rich, I couldn't help but drink a sip of water after every sip of chocolate just to clear my throat of chocolatey-ness. She was probably annoyed.