samedi 23 février 2008


Went to my French cinema class on Friday. It's part 2 of the class I took last semester. So nothing really new, the prof is just pretty good. Went down to the Cinema board after class to check if there are any classes that I can maybe take just in case the grammar class doesn't work out. Found a class on Wednesday afternoons that sounds interesting: The Devil in Theater and Cinema. Sounds pretty cool. If the grammar class does work out then maybe I'll drop the French cinema class on Fridays (which I'm taking for a Cinema credit, not French) and replace it with the Devil class which means...4 day weekend.

Lovely. But we'll see. I still have to crash the Cinema Devil class.

Went to Ikea for 1 euro breakfast by myself and also got a cheap frame for my Van Gogh print "Skull smoking a cigarette". It's funny to tell someone this, and what you get back is, "By yourself?" Got an idea for a short movie that'll take place in Paris. Started the script halfway during breakfast. It was actually an idea I had for my production class, but after consulting my TA he advised I shoot another story because he didn't want to read subtitles. Had 2 cups of coffee, and I was on a roll. A man tried to go outside on Ikea's terrace to smoke, and he opened an emergency door, and the Ikea lady berated him. Will start shooting in April after my friends leave.

Went to Pigalle to meet up with Susie. Walked to Parc Monceau, it was my first time there. Did one lap, and then met up with Sarah and we did another lap. Walked towards L'Arc de Triomphe then down the Champs. Got tickets for the film Paris at Odeon and then food, and then sat by the Seine since our film didn't start for another hour. 2 boats passed by with their lights on, blinding us, and we waved to tourists. Then a couple, most likely tourists, took photos of us sitting on the side of the Seine, us facing Pont Neuf all lit-up, our backs to them. I hope the photo came out just like they wanted. Met up with Melissa, waited in a horrible line for a while, and we watched the film.

It just seems perfect that a film titled Paris is out now, right in the middle of our study abroad. It just seems so right. The film was decent. The coolest things were seeing the monuments, recognizing places where they filmed. Because it was ours, you know? We've been there, we saw it, we took the mental picture. From now on, whenever I see Paris on film, it's going to mean something really special because I lived here.

They showed 5 seconds of a metro line, and I knew just from those 5 seconds that it was line 6. I was so sure, because it was above ground, you could see the Tour Eiffel from that line, and I knew, I knew because I've seen it just like that. I am content. And then it's all downhill from there because they're speaking so fast, I can't get it all, and the audience is laughing at a joke that I missed. But it doesn't really matter. Not to me. That was line 6.

vendredi 22 février 2008

aw memories.

I was invited to join my high school class's Facebook group the other day. Looking through pics of people who I graduated high school with on Facebook, all I could think was, "Am I the only person who didn't get hotter as time passed?" Everyone looks effing amazing. I was hoping that at least one person who was popular or really pretty in high school gain at least enough pounds to be noticeable. I mean Freshman 15, right? Did everyone join a gym after graduation?

Favorite high school moments:
1. Someone threw a sandwich at me during lunch: I was not cool in high school. I was never cool in high school. I remember senior year someone calling me "the quiet girl". She was in my grade. I was in a class of 120 students. After 4 years, you'd think some people would know my name. I knew everyone else's.
2. Getting in trouble for photocopying and distributing excerpts from Jon Stewart's book Naked Pictures of Famous People for the Book Club, which I was vice president of: It only had some cussing in it.
3. Library time: Hung out at the library after school and my friends and I were good friends with the librarians. They'd save us Lord of The Rings bookmarks so that we had one for each character. My favorite was Legolas for obvious reasons.
4. Flying kites or playing catch on the lawn before class started.
5. English class
6. Any moment spent with my awesome friends who liked me for who I am, who didn't care about being popular, who shared my sense of humor and self-deprecation, and who followed their dreams and didn't sell out.

Almost everyone I went to high school with has either already graduated and working, will graduate in June, or applying to grad school. Weird.

jeudi 21 février 2008

first day of school

Back to school at St. Denis again. I have back to back classes totaling 6 hours from 9am to 3pm. Went to my first which is a grammar with the prof who taught the cinema class last semester. She told us that it was an advanced class (I had no idea), and then passed out a test. She's trying to weed out who belongs and who doesn't.

Oh. Gawd.

Fortunately, it covered everything I've been taught. Unfortunately, I have forgotten most of it. Merde. I knew some of it, but at times I was unsure. I did my best. If I get in, great. If not, I have to find another class! After class, Morgan, Susie, and I got lunch outside. I had this tuna baguette which was so tasty. I can't believe 2 cans of tuna at Franprix cost 1.70 euros here. Unbelievable.

The second class was AMAZING. It's a French literature class. Morgan already took it, and is taking it again. The theme this semester is "Les Rencontres Amoureuses" which is like the meeting of lovers or like two people who meet and fall in love kind of thing. Some things just don't translate well. The prof is great. She explains things well, she gives us work to do--she's basically doing her job. She read out loud an excerpt from Marguerite Duras's L'Amant de la Chine du Nord, and it freaking brought tears to my eyes. This has only happened once before when my English teacher Mr. Powers read "A Love Song for J. Alfred Prufrock" out loud. She just read it so well.

This story is just so funny to me, I have to write about it. On the metro back home with Morgan, this guy gets on in our car wearing a velvet blue blazer and white pants. He's carrying a dish like it's freaking on fire or something. He asks (in French) if he can place the dish under my seat, and I say okay. The seat is the kind that folds down. Then Morgan I continue talking our conversation.

Sometimes I forget that, you know, some French people speak English. Or at least understand it. So with my stupid mouth, I go off saying, "Man, do you smell that? It smells so good. Like really good. It's like...potatoes." Morgan says she can't smell anything. Morgan gets off at a station, and there's an old lady coming in so I offer her my seat so that the dish is still protected and the seat part doesn't come up and people trample on this guy's dish. The lady says thanks, and then the guy says thanks again to me. Then he says, in English, "You are student?"

All I could think was, "Oh God, he heard me talking about his dish." I say yes, and then he continues in French and says that I speak good French (because I spoke to the old lady in French--woot), and I said not really. I never believe people when they say I speak good French, it's just like when you tell a child that his drawing is good when in fact it is crap.

We talk for a bit in French, a really nice guy. I later found out that he baked a tart and not some potato dish like I believed. We bid goodbye a couple stops later. I love weird chance meetings like this. He grabbed his tart, like it was still hot, and exited the train saying, "C'est chaud! C'est chaud!" (It's hot!) An old lady asked him what it was while he was leaving, and he shouted back, "C'est une tarte!" (It's a tart!)

mercredi 20 février 2008


Class canceled today. The prof was sick. Lucia, Melissa, and I had errands to run, so we went to the St. Michel area. Lucia needed some books at GJ, Melissa was looking to get rugby tickets Fnac, and I wanted to look around. Got a small pouch for my pens so I won't keep losing them or just rifling through my book bag looking for pens. Started using my Lamy fountain pen to take notes for classes. It was a birthday gift from Mom and Dad. Also got some ink cartridges. I had to throw away my cheapo fountain pen that I bought here because it never writes true. Even after I took it apart and cleaned it twice. 3 euro fountain pens are not worth it.

Bought tickets for the opera next month. I sent a group email to all my friends asking them what they wanted to do while in Paris. Catherine, the first friend to visit, is really into the opera. So I got tickets for us (and she'll pay me back) to "The Rake's Progress" at L'Opera Garnier. I'm really excited because I've never been to the opera before, and this is my favorite opera house so far. Haven't been to the Bastille though. Went on Wiki to see what the story is about, and it sounds interesting. A night at the!

I'm excited for visitors now, just showing them around, taking care of them. I think I get this from my parents. Living in so cal, we sometimes let family stay over since our house is pretty big, and we're close to a lot of things like Disneyland and Hollywood. I remember right before someone comes over, we clean, we buy loads of groceries at Costco, we put towels on the beds for our's awesome! It's like running a bed and breakfast. In the morning, Dad and Mom cook AMAZING breakfast. When it's just us, it's cereal, but when there are people over, there's eggs, bacon, toast, juice, coffee...the works. I kind of want to do the same thing when my friends are over, just really take care of them with what I can on a student budget. If that means a bit of sacrifice here and there before they arrive, I think it's worth it.

mardi 19 février 2008

2001: A Space Odyssey

Could not concentrate at all in class today. I took notes and everything, but I just couldn't concentrate on any of the French revolution. Blurg.

Went to Musée d'Orsay with Susie for a bit and saw the Art Nouveau section. Pretty sweet. Especially all the furniture they had on display.

Saw 2001: A Space Odyssey today at my cinema in 70mm, the film format it was filmed in. The films we see today are in 35mm. So just imagine, each frame is twice as big. Lots of detail. With the image so huge and the complete silence during the space scenes, you get this total feeling of space. It was incredible. It was creepy. I wish someone watched it with me, really. I was kind of freaked out. This is my first time seeing it. I actually wished that I had a date or someone, some boy to hold my hand as I watched this movie 'cuz every time someone went outside the space shuttle and the only thing you could hear was one of the guys's heavy breathing inside the helmet, I was gripping the armrests. My teeth were clenched, I was in such suspense.

It wasn't scary at all, it was just...disconcerting. Computers turning against people. Deep space. Space scares the crap out of me though. So does the deep sea. Any place that doesn't have breathable oxygen. Great film. Kubrick is amazing.

I love that Kubrick has a look. You can spot a Kubrick film. He has certain camera moves and stylistic techniques. He's a true auteur. Same can be said for Wes Anderson. He definitely has a look. They tell stories with their own style. I really wish I had that ability. But on the other hand, the Coen Brothers tell a great story. They have style, but not as much as Kubrick. They're great visual storytellers. I could be talking out of my butt, I'm no Ebert. And I only got a B in Critical Film Studies. But that's what I think.

What I'm torn about is that I don't know what's more important to me. I want to tell a good story (as a writer), but I want to have style (as a filmmaker). What's better, style or storytelling? Story is more important to me, but I want to stand out. I just see films sometimes that make me think of Wes Anderson or some other director, and that's cool to be influenced by those films, but then I don't even remember that director's name, only that his film looked like a Wes Anderson one. But like I should worry about this now, I haven't filmed anything other than travel vids since last year. I swear, these are the things I'm thinking about when I should be listening to my French professor talking about Montesquieu.

lundi 18 février 2008

Italy and London (take 2)!

Why is it that whenever Lucia and I get together, some scheme comes into fruition? Lucia came over, and we had Chinese food from up the street. Went back to my place and started to plan Italy. We planned Italy before we left for Amsterdam, but our plans changed since we couldn't get out of Micefa classes. Italy was re-scheduled until Easter break rather than winter break. After we got all that hashed out, our flights and the hotel in Rome, we stopped there. It was all tentative, and we didn't want to go too far into detail if something changed.

Then Lucia brought up London. My cousin and his wife mentioned that I could visit again with a friend before they leave at the end of March, and I only slightly mentioned this offer to friends. Lucia took me up on it. We planned a long weekend in London, and hopefully my cousin will be cool with it. And this time I won't be bothering them, and they won't have to drive us anywhere. We just need a place to stay for three nights, and we're grown-ups (as Amsterdam has proved) and won't need them to chaperone. Cool! Hope this all works out. London is a wonderful city, and I don't mind going back as long as lodging is free! Also to go through London with someone who has never been will be really cool. I'll get to re-visit places that I've been to years ago. It'll be nice.

(Half an hour later)....Just got an email notice on my Firefox--Firefox has this cool function for Gmail users and it updates me whenever I get an email--and Maek said YES! Thanks Maek! I can't believe how cool this is! The message simply said, "That's cool. Your bed is ready." AAHH!! I love it. I read this out loud to Lucia, and we both burst into excitement and laughter. And then we high-fived. Booked the tickets, which were pretty cheap. 47.50 euros for Paris to London and 30 euros for the Eurostar back. The first one is more expensive since it's on a Friday. Plus, we'll be saving money since we've gots a place to stay. Yeah! London in March. Italy in April. Whoo! Yay for family abroad!

Hiroshima Mon Amour and a cool surprise

Went to Centre Pompidou last night to see Alain Resnais's Hiroshima Mon Amour with friends. Only cost 4 euros. Cool film but kind of slow, story-wise, for me. I love the cinematography and editing though. Huge turnout. Then stayed after to watch a little doc on the film. Also had Quick Burger before hand, and I haven't had fast food in a long time, and it was tasty at the time, but soon regretted it afterward cuz I felt nasty and food coma coming on.

Got an awesome email this morning, two awesome emails. The first one was from Kuya, and I don't want to write what it's about, all I want to say is THANK YOU. You are the coolest, sweetest, most awesomest older brother a girl can ever ask for. I don't know what I've done to deserve you or Mom and Dad. Must be the karmic repercussions of a past life of good deeds. Love and bisous and hugs from abroad. Love love love you!

Second email was a cool surprise which will be unveiled when ready. All I have to say is, Wow. I'm so speechless. I'm a pretty speechless person anyway, but this...This makes me mute. Gah!

Today, some homework is on the agenda. Mailed more letters. One postcard, a bookmark from Amsterdam to my friends, and a letter to home containing Amsterdam stubs and a map. My flowers are blooming! Slowly, but surely. Will go for a walk since it's sunny and nice outside.

dimanche 17 février 2008

"Viande et Potatoes!": Keisha's Birthday

Great dinner last night! It was Keisha's birthday and her French-Italian boyfriend Adriano planned a huge dinner up the street from my place at La Brouette (the wheelbarrow). I met and bisoued 14 of Adriano's friends who were super nice and friendly. His guy friends were hilarious. They'd come up to me and Lucia and say, "Four bisous!" like it was a demand and we bisoused 4 times, twice on each cheek.

We started with an aperitif. I got a kir pèche (white wine and peach liquor, I think) and Lucia got the cocktail maison which was really good. I think it had Malibu rum in it.

Mostly everyone ordered 3 Viandes, which is the specialty there. Three different types of meat (chicken, rumsteak, and lamb) to cook for yourself on a hot stone. The meat came with fries, salad, and a baked potato. The meat and fries were all you can eat. I've never seen so much food in my entire time here! Not even two minutes had passed after Adriano's guys friends got their plates of food, and they were already asking for more fries. I looked to Greg at my right, and his fries were gone. He'd call out to Stef (who was the loudest, funniest guy there) down the table, "Stef, demandez potatoes!" (Ask for fries!) And Stef would call out, "Ho, Chef! Viande et Potatoes!" Hilarious. It reminded me of my brother and my guy friends whenever we're at a buffet place always pigging out.

Lucia and I got the fixed menu. She started with escargots and then had steak au poivre. I was feeling a bit daring and got a pâté with salmon. It's like a sliced loaf of pastry with salmon in the middle. That was alright. Then I got salmon that was baked in foil, rice, green beans, and a baked potato. SO GOOD!

During dinner, a guy playing guitar came in and serenaded us, but the guys were quietly making fun of him. He asked the birthday girl where she was from and Keisha said The United States, and the singer replied, "Personne n'est parfaite." (Nobody's perfect.) Then a magician came in and did some tricks.
Adriano and Stef kept ordering more wine and viande and potatoes, and everyone was content eating and laughing. Stef, all the way down at the other table, would ask if we were okay, and Adriano kept pushing me and Lucia to eat some meat. The guys would fight over whose piece of meat that was already cooked and then just split it in half. Someone would ask for salt and whoever had it would use it first before passing it down. When the waiter brought out more plates of meat and potatoes at the same time, all the guys would go, "WWWWHHHOOOAAAA!" There's something about French guys going "wwwhhoooaaa!" in unison that gets me every time. I love it. To the left are Stef (in pink shirt) and another guy fighting over a plate of raw meat.

Afterwards, when everyone was stuffed, Keisha opened her presents. Then they turned out the lights and brought out the cake. We sang in French and English, it was hilarious. The guys did "whoa" again.

A really great time. Stef, who spoke good English and had studied in Oakland, bought Lucia, Keisha, Laura (another Micefa girl) and I roses when this guy selling roses came into the restaurant. When he left early, he said, "C'est pas le dernier", meaning, "This isn't the last (time)" and he bisoued us. Outside, we all bisoued again and made a loud ruckus, and the guys started shouting that bass line to the White Stripes song, the anthem of the young French everywhere. A lovely night.