samedi 15 décembre 2007

you just lost a customer, buddy

So, the other day I went to the fruit and veggie vendors just outside my door because I was running late to class. I bought zucchini, carrots, and clementines. It ended up being something like 2.16. So I gave her 3 euros. Bitch was all, "Non, non, non." She wanted effing change when I didn't have any! I love giving exact change, seriously, but I didn't have any. She effing looked in my change purse to look at the coins I did have, then was all, "Vous avez raison" (You're right) I was appalled. I said "Sorry" very sarcastically, and she said I was nice. Bitch. Yeah, I'm never going there again no matter how convenient it is.

Today, I went to Les Halles Mouffetard up the street where I usually go, and the vendors are nice, old guys that look like they'd be farmers from CA's Central Valley. Tan, wrinkly old guys that look like the best of friends and go fishing together. I bought carrots, potatoes, and clementines. And I had exact change, which I gave. They're so NICE, and they call me Mademoiselle and all that nice stuff that makes me smile and want to be a vegetarian as long as I buy veggies from these guys.

Had a mini pizza with Susie, then, on the way home, felt like a chocolate macaroon. Bought two, one for Lucia when I see her later because she's letting me use her printer. Ate it at home, and man, it was so good. Dense as heck. Crispy on the outside, soft and dense in the inside. It's like a full meal. I kind of feel disgusting now though. I swear, my tummy has shrunk or something.

It's so cold outside, but the sun is shining. It's kind of nice, but it's weird to handle. It's like having that brain freeze when you eat ice cream, only it's all over your body, especially the facial area that's not covered. Went to Lucia's which is close to the outskirts of Paris. She printed some stuff for me. Then went to Susie's, who lives a couple streets down. We got something to eat and took it to the lake that's part of the Bois de Vincennes.

After, headed to Kathy's around 20H (I love how they use military time here), and we helped her bake cookies, which turned out to be horrible ordeal. Why does France have to make everything so complicated? We crushed chocolate bars with forks and had to ground brown sugar cubes since they didn't have the regular kind. We watched episodes of "Freaks and Geeks" during it. Such a good show.

Left pretty late, around midnight with Lucia. Before we crossed the street, we saw a man on a scooter, not even 100 feet in front of us, get hit by a car. He was thrown off his scooter and onto the ground. The second it happened, a crowd of guys (probably out to go clubbing) from all corners of the street rushed towards the scooter guy. Despite this being a pretty tense scene, just seeing all these young men running towards a fallen Parisien comrade was very touching. They crowded in front of the car that hit him--cuz the guy looked like he was going to drive away--and they yelled to their dates/girlfriends to call an ambulance. Scooter guy got up, probably still shocked, but I think he was okay.

vendredi 14 décembre 2007


By this time next week, I'll be free. God, I can't wait till next week is over. Until this whole month is over in fact. I just want to start over again. I really blew this semester, academically. And it's not all my fault, the strikes definitely played a part. With such a long summer vacation, who has the will to learn or try harder? I know that I don't really do well at the beginning of a school year, being back from summer and all, but I progressively get better during the winter and into the second semester. But after such a long vacation, I don't think I'll do better until spring. I don't especially do well when it's all shoved down your throat to make up for the lost time, that doesn't help at all.

Next year will be 2008. Hopefully it'll be better than the last half of this year. I love Paris and everything and being abroad, but things have been such a nightmare. I don't think I could have gone through with it if it weren't for my friends who are suffering with me.

Mom called to tell me about Auntie visiting. It sucks that I'll be busy the entire week. Dad bragged about Kuya's board certification. He's a certified nuclear pharmacist. He told me about his big bonus which I will not say how much it is because it'll make your head spin. The equivalent of Kuya's board certification would be like me getting into the Writers Guild or Directors Guild of America. Or any guild for that matter in the film industry. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so in love with something like cinema. If only I had the stomach to be a nurse or doctor, then at least my future would be secure.

jeudi 13 décembre 2007

indiependence, yeah! or: alone again, naturally

Went to the Mayflower last night and got compliments from friends about the new "hoodie". It's not even a hoodie, hence the quotes, because it doesn't have a hood, just this weird funnel neck that I love. And although it is H&M and mass produced, it is quite unique in that, as Nick said, it's not something that you'd find in the States. And I like that idea. Everyone was mentioning how annoying it is to see the same purse on everyone here and in the States. I know that when I first came here, I wanted to look the part because I didn't want to be labeled tourist or American, that I'd rather be mistaken as French. Now I don't want either. I just want to be me.

Felt sort of bad that we were kind of being loud at the bar. David, the awesome and lovely bartender, came by and told us to keep it down. Yikes. I'm naturally a quiet person, and I'm only loud in rare occasions, but I'm afraid that when I get back the States I'm going to feel like the volume's been turned up around me. David wasn't mad or anything, and when we left he blew us kisses from behind the bar.

Kuya asked me via Facebook why I changed my status from "Single" to "It's Complicated". Mainly because I like to mess with people. Naw, kidding. I just don't want to go out with anyone right now, and I know that guys (at least the wrong guys) won't bother when they see that. (Sidenote: One guy that I was interested in last year did ask me why this was my status and asked if I'd be single when I came back, but I found out he's got a girlfriend now. C'est la vie.) Anyway, It worked for me last year, and I'm sure it'll work again this year. So pretty much, "It's Complicated" means "Don't effing bug me, this is the most amazing time of my life, and I want to experience it by myself and/or with good friends" and the implied "Yes, I don't care if this increases my chance of being a cat lady or that fun, single aunt when I'm older".

Class did not happen today. Big surprise. Instead I got sucked into another French class since the secretary of the Foreign Language department suggested we just stay anyway for this other class which turned out to be really boring, yet informative, and this German Jim Halpert-ish kind of guy sat next to me and talked a lot, so that was cool.

Have been feeling really detached from the whole Christmas and holidays thing. And it's not because I don't have any decorations or anything. I have the one card from Edel up on my wall. I don't know..It's like I'm watching it all happen before me on the screen in a movie theatre, and I'm sitting in the audience. I'm on the metro every day, and I see these dads and moms, husbands and wives, young people carrying shopping bags of nice things to be wrapped. I see couples embracing and kissing on the quai while they wait for the next train or walking hand in hand down my street. And I'm happy that they're all enjoying this. The scary thing is that I'm not even sad about it, it just doesn't touch me anymore. I've learned to become really indifferent and detached to a lot of things since being here.

I once sent a message to my brother ending it with, "your assassin abroad, Elaine". And I did it as a joke, but I do feel like an assassin, being alone, trying to adapt, figuring out escape routes (I was doing that the whole time during today's class and then finally left partway through when the prof left to talk to someone). It's fun training, and I like playing the part and getting the experience. Also just watched Hitman, and Timothy Olyphant was pretty badass.

mercredi 12 décembre 2007

you could be a model

I saw the most beautiful plus sized girl on the metro today. I'm so sick of all these skinny girls everywhere I go all wearing the same boring thing. Over and over and over again. This lady had a bosom and she wore these amazing boots and a short skirt, and she ROCKED it she was so gorgeous. And then, and THEN! She pulled out a Harry Potter book out and started reading. Lovely lovely. I'm not into Harry Potter anymore, but the fact that she was reading it is just lovely to me.

Screw losing weight. I just want to be confident as heck with my body and stop thinking that I have to look like "everyone" else.

Had class and practiced for next week's skit. Prof came by and listened to our skit, giving us tips on pronunciation. It's probably one of my better classes, and I really wish that I learned more in it. Stupid strikes. In the skit, I play the mistress of this guy. It's supposed to be like a soap opera. The prof suggested that we "dress up and wear make-up". Made me laugh when she said this. I purposely look grungy and undone because I hate the attention of being made-up. It also deters strange guys from hitting on me. Seriously, I've heard some SCARY stories on girls getting hit on. Screw that. I'm comfortable looking grungy/tomboyish. Sidenote, and I don't mean to brag, but I look BOMB when I'm made-up. Everyone flipped out when they saw me on prom night. I haven't looked like that since. Standing in front of a mirror for long periods of time does not interest me.

My aunt (really Mom's close friend) and her daughter are coming to Paris for a couple of days next week. It sucks that it's during my last (and craziest) week of class, but I'll get to see them, definitely.

mardi 11 décembre 2007


This was inevitable.

In addition to the stress of school (craploads due before Christmas), there's just this overall stress of trying to make sense of this past semester here. We've come almost to the halfway point. What's different now? There's the expectation to come home a different person. And of course we'll come back a different person, but underlying this "different" is that we're supposed to come home a "better" person or finally resolved/found/accomplished something. What if that doesn't happen. What if we come back home a jerk? I don't think I'll come home a jerk, but I just have this feeling that when I get home there's going to be some disappointment.

I'm taking the advice of a friend that suggested ways to combat depression. Not that I'm depressed, at least I don't think I am, but I do engage in activities that those depressed would engage in. But I'm not depressed! Don't worry! So here's the plan:

1. Stop sleeping late: I'm going to sleep at least 8 hours a day.
2. Three meals a day: I've lost my appetite usually by the end of a crappy day or am too tired to eat something. Being with friends is good, because I like eating with people.
3. Stop watching movies online!: Totally against my principles, but I let it go this year since I'm poor and they don't have Netflix here. I'll limit to 2 films a week. This is valuable museum/learning time that I'm wasting when I'm waiting for a Nic Cage film to download. I admit I watched National Treasure here because I missed America.

As depressing as this post seems, it felt really good to write it. Now for some happy things...After class today, Suzie and I went to H&M on rue de Rivoli. I initially wanted to just look around and kind of wanted something to wear for Christmas. Bought a brown jersey dress that's in the same style as an olive one I have, a winter Radiohead-esque sweatshirt (it reminds me of Radiohead for some reason, and radiohead has been saving my life via my ipod shuffle), and a scarf. I'm really happy with the things I bought. They weren't really impulse purchases, I mean I had good reason to buy them. The dress to wear for Christmas, the sweatshirt because some of my hoodies are getting ratty, and the scarf for...well, it looked really cute! I guess I'm not so close to enlightened detachment from material things after all. Tried on several pairs of different sized pants to test out how much weight I've lost, and I'm now down two sizes. Yeah! Didn't buy them or anything, just wanted to see where I was at. Also bought boots online that are badass as heck, but won't be getting them for a while. They're definitely better than the boots here, and they're way more durable. More bang for your buck, as they say. They're Engineer boots made by Frye, the oldest shoe company in the US. Their boots were worn by both sides of the American Civil war. I love history like that. And I've always wanted a pair of boots like these. I figured they're more cost effective since tall boots are more of a winter thing, and I'm only spending one winter here, why not buy an amazing pair of boots I can wear all year and they get better with age? Anyway, Keira Knightley is wearing them here:Got a snack then went to Melissa's place in St. Michel. Hung out with Kristin, Nayo, Melissa, Sarah, and Kathy. Then we went to Gare du Nord area for Indian food. Met Sally there, and Susie's friend Jason came along. He's from New York and his year abroad is almost over. He's really nice and looks just like Jon Heder (the actor that plays Napoleon Dynamite). I'd say he looks likes Napoleon Dynamite just to make fun, but I didn't.

After, Suzie and I went to Shywawa to meet up with Taylor and his bf, Aaron. Didn't drink, but just hung out for a while, it was nice. I feel like I'm learning more and more now how to socialize better which'll be a good thing for me to have when I start working in film. I'm learning something! Yay!

lundi 10 décembre 2007

feels like failure

Got my test back from last week and got a 10/20. In the States that's an F. And it certainly felt like an F, but here it's a C. It's passable. God, I hate that class. Was sitting in class feeling absolutely miserable. I experience in each class here what I used to experience on my worst days in cinema classes, which are very rare. You know, just one of those days when there's something else plaguing my mind and I'd rather be doing something else than discussing the male gaze. I can't even imagine the euphoria I'm going to feel when I'm back in my cinema classes, whether they're production or screenwriting. It's hard work, but at least I love it.

Was waiting at Montparnasse in the rain for Nayo, Sarah and Steven when this guy in his late 30s walked pass me, and he smiled at me in a nice, non-confrontational way and walked on. I didn't smile back. I turned that switch off a long time ago. I could feel my head trying to make the choice: smile back or don't, and it chose the latter. I usually look badass/pissed off when I'm alone in public so no one messes with me, but getting that smile on a rainy day from a stranger made me miss America a little bit. I'm used to walking down some random street in SF like Irving or something and smiling and making eye contact with at least one person. I'm afraid that when I go back to the States that friendliness I used to have will be replaced by the defensive skills I've developed in France.

Went to a Starbucks to hang out. Didn't get anything to drink. There were two separate tables each with at least one American sitting at them, and I could tell because they were the loudest people there. And it annoyed me so much that I could hear everything they were saying. Not just because I could understand it all, but they were so loud. And I wondered just how much more I'll be annoyed when I get back to the States and then I can hear everyone speaking. It makes my head spin.

Went to Nick's place in the 16th. We played on his Wii. It was my first time. It was fun, but I was still pretty down about my F. He's such a great host, putting out bread and cheese, making us drinks, cooking the mini pizzas we bought beforehand, and so forth. It's nice feeling welcome in someone's home, especially when you feel crappy.

There's going to be another metro strike on Wednesday. Unbelievable.

Copied Nayo and taped the x-ray of my chest to the wall. It actually looks pretty cool.

dimanche 9 décembre 2007

rainy sunday

I just finished watching Home Alone 1 and 2. Hilarious movies. I love stories where kids are in danger and are forced to grow up/be brave/overcome a fear in order to save themselves in a world of incompetent, clueless adults (parents, authority figures). That seems to be a common underlying storyline for children's films. It must be difficult to write films that'll appeal to both adults and kids. I love the first two Home Alones when I was young, and I still love them. Some things never change.

After Ikea on Saturday, met peoples at the same bar where we celebrated Kathy's birthday. Met Kristin's Epitech (a technical computer science school in Paris) student, Tibault, who speaks very good English. His goal is to speak it so well that people will think he's an Anglophone. Good for him. Talked about Macs vs. PCs--he's a Mac guy. I love both equally, but I want my next laptop/computer to be an Apple just because Final Cut Pro is the industry standard. Kathy, Nayo, Sarah, Nick, Taylor, his bf Aaron, Melissa, her bf Cedric, and their two friends were there too, but not all at the same time.

Sunday, biked to the Crous (student cafeteria/restaurant) to get a crazy cheap meal: 2.80 euros. Met with Sarah, Susie, Nayo, and Steven. Had pizza and a tart. You will not believe how frugal I've been. Had to turn down the Salvadore Dali museum with Liz, which I felt really bad for. It cost 5 euro, and all I could think about was that I wanted to see the Buster Keaton showing down the street (with live music) next week, and that cost 8 euros. Oh well, the sacrifices we must make. Besides, that museum will still be there, but I can't miss my favorite silent film actor.

Biked around on the Velib with Nayo and Kristin. Started to rain, and we couldn't find any stations that had empty posts to leave our bikes. These bikes lock into the posts, and then you're free to leave. Biking in the rain reminds me of commuting in SF. Finally went back to where we originally took the bikes (in St. Michel), then went to Starbucks (not my favorite place anymore, but cheaper than a regular cafe), and warmed ourselves with hot chocolate. Got some Christmas postcards, headed to Nayo's place to hang (cute place!!!), then headed home because I felt ill.

When I was feeling better, went to Mass across the street. Mass at night is pretty cool at my church. I like the way they light the interiors. It feels like they got some DP to light it. Just so cinematic. Had lots and lots of tea when I got home, and then I did something that made me so proud of myself...I got to fit a crapload of things in my closet.

It sounds so stupid, but my closet is really small, maybe 1/3 of my closet at home or just as big as an airplane restroom. But I got to fit my huge suitcase and the awkwardly shaped vacuum cleaner in the closet and still manage to have all my clothes and shoes in there. Felt so proud of myself. I was just so sick of having my suitcase in plain view. Just reminds me that I'm only here temporarily and that there'll be a day when I have to go home.