samedi 22 mars 2008

Wes Anderson

NOTE: Below in the last paragraph I wrote "her friend Emily". Emily turned out to be my classmate from high school! And not Jean's friend who I have never met before. Just wanted that to be known.

Amazing, amazing. Saw Wes Anderson, my hero, the reason for my future struggles and rare if any small successes in the future, at Fnac today. And it was everything I hoped and imagined it to be. He was hilarious and humble, soft-spoken and articulate. I heart this man. Roman Coppola was there too--also cool. Anyway, won't write much about it, I just want to keep this experience in my heart forever. Afterwards, he was pretty much mobbed by adoring fans, and I didn't want to be a part of it. I saw him speak, I got some good photos, he actually freaking looked at me in the EYE at one point while he was looking around the room, and I was a couple rows behind his translator and sitting in a way so I could see the whole group speak, so that was MAGIC. And I didn't feel the need to go over there and be a part of that. Everything else was sufficient. If I wanted to meet him, as Stacy had said, she would want it to be in a way so that he knew me. So I gots to get my work out there and get all acclaimed writer/director and crap before he meets me, haha. Preferably at Cannes at some party we'll get introduced to each other, and then he'll ask me to join him and Jason Schwartzman for dinner or drinks, and then Jason Schwartzman will fall in love with me, and we'll be a famous film team. Elaine Schwartzman. And Sofia Coppola will be a bridesmaid. Yeah!

Also, sidenote: Stacy's here. Asleep right now, but here in one piece. Going to get fondue with Jean and her friend Emily tonight. Good times.

vendredi 21 mars 2008

same deal

Stacy from SF is arriving tomorrow and will be here until Thursday. Then my best friend from grade school, Cher, and her little sis Char are coming the day after Stacy leaves and will be staying until the following Wednesday.

I'm going to be very busy for the next two weeks.

So blog posts will be sporadic at best. There's going to be a lot to see and do with my friends. All three have never left the states before. Stacy is really into going to the Cinematheque--I haven't even been yet which is ludicrous.

Just got back from the ballet with Barbara B. and Teresa. We saw "Caligula". My first ballet, pretty awesome. Seats were high up, but not bad for 18 euros. There was a part where this guy got killed, and he was just lying on the stage for a good 20 minutes while his friends danced all around him and played with his body for a bit to see if he was dead and danced around in the foreground again. I was thinking about how much it would suck to be that guy and not get enough dancing time.

Afterwards, we had coffee, and Barbara B. talked about her life--very interesting. I learned that she used to study method acting, knew two ballet dancer brothers that broke each other's feet so that they can dance better, and...other amazing stuff. Then we all split our ways. Teresa and I were going home while Barbara was going to some goth club.

I'm excited for tomorrow: Stacy's arriving, and my friend from high school, Jean, is also in town, and they wanted to get fondue tomorrow night. Will probably do that with Stacy. Lily invited people over for some authentic Mexican food, but since my high school friend who I haven't seen in at least 2 years is here for the weekend...that's more important. Sorry Lily! Thanks anyway. Plus, I had some kick ass Mexican food that Lucia made some weeks back when Catherine was here, and I never wrote about it. Keisha's mom came and brought all these ingredients: tortillas, beans, all this amazing stuff, and Lucia cooked. That was amazing. I don't really miss food that much except for how cheap it is.

Things to come!:
1. trip to Giverny
2. trip to Loire Valley
3. Wes Anderson tomorrow at FNAC!!!

jeudi 20 mars 2008

my backpack has been to Greece

Went to see Darjeeling yesterday. Awesome. Loved it. More than The Life Aquatic even.

Has something ever come into your life and it just fits, it makes sense with everything that's happening in your life at that moment? That was Darjeeling for me. It was about travel and finding yourself and the journeys we take with the people we love. I don't think I'll ever forget sitting in that darkness between Lily and Susie and just laughing at some dialogue or something that looked especially hilarious and just being totally and utterly happy. And it's just so effing simple what it takes for me to be happy, being with friends at my favorite Parisian cinema watching a good film.

Susie went to Greece this past weekend. Every time I see a photo of Greece or see it in movies, I can never believe my eyes, it looks like some fantasy land where the gods party. What are those mortals doing there? Anyway, I let her use my backpack since she only had a school backpack but I thought that she might have an easier time trekking around with mine. So my backpack has been to Greece and I haven't which is hilarious to me.

Went to the Mayflower for the first time in a long time to meet up with Melissa, Susie, and Melissa's brother. Melissa and her brother were sightseeing in the area. David was working too, so it was nice seeing him again, and he asked how I was. Just little pleasantries. Got my framboise. Later he came by with some savory snacks, these Cheetos that tasted like pizza. So good! Then he gave me and Susie baseball caps with the Timmermans logo on it since we ordered framboises! Pretty sweet.

Before Darjeeling last night, I had some free time, so I decided to open up Paint and make a comparison between the balcony shots in Hotel Chevalier and the photo we took from our room next door to the room they shot in. Here's what I got:
Heck yes, isn't that freaking awesome?! You can see the brasserie and all that. Flipping sweet. I can't believe they filmed next door to our room. In the actual film, he says he's staying in room 403, but they really filmed in room 404. Our room was 403, and it wasn't like the room in the film, it was bigger. We looked at a floor plan of the 4th floor and found that the room they really filmed in was in 404, next door to ours.

There was a door in our room that led to the room that they filmed in, but of course it was locked. Catherine even said, "What if Wes Anderson stayed in this room. Wouldn't that make sense?!?! That he'd stay next door to the room that they'd film in?" We were probably drunk when we had this conversation.

mercredi 19 mars 2008

you look devastated

History of Paris teacher is amazing, knowledgeable and passionate. Got an A on my paper today. Woo-hoo! She also doesn't seem to mind that I daydream. Once, during one of our visits, she was talking about something, I don't remember I wasn't listening because I was looking at the stained glass windows in the church St. Etienne. She comes up behind me, startling me by putting her arm around my shoulders saying, "C'est belle, non? Regarde..." (Isn't it beautiful? Look...). Super sweet lady. She kind of reminds me of a mother hen. She's kind of...hen-shaped. And I mean this in the most endearing way.

After class, ate at BIA with Melissa, Kathy, and Lucia. Good times. The waiter was funny. It was his first day. We sat outside in the cold for a bit, then he let us go inside when a table opened up. When he came out with our food he set it down, and then he said to me, "Do you need something? You look devastated." I thought his choice of the word "devastated" was hilarious, but he was quite astute, I did need something: mayonnaise. I like mayo with my fries. You're probably puking your guts out right now, but I find it quite tasty like most French do. Anyway, he was nice.

Oh I miss London so much! I love watching films about cities I know. It's especially nice to be able to shout in your head, "I've been there! I know where that is!" This happened when watching Run Fatboy Run. It happens when watching SF, LA, and Paris films as well.

All my computer settings online were in French, but I've changed them to English. "English (UK)" to be exact: Also found this cute when I deleted some emails:
The bin, hee hee.

So as you can tell, I'm having this love hate relationship with the French language. I can't even put a number to the many times I'd like to give up, please God can I just give up this one little thing? I'll give this up, pay my parents back for my year here, and then we can move on and I won't give up ever again. This can be that one big thing that I gave up on or changed my mind on, you know, like those kids who take up medicine and then decide they want to be interior designers.

There are little, tiny moments that give me hope, that move me to continue. Like when I understand completely what is being said. When people ask me for a translation and I can give it to them. The latest was when, after confiding my doubts to Lucia she said that at least I try to sound French and that I don't have an American or anglophone accent. That was nice. Oh how blessed I am to be surrounded with the positivity of people. All these things add up, but they're anthills to this behemoth of a mountain I'm facing.

Tonight: Darjeeling Limited. Very excited.

mardi 18 mars 2008

manifest destiny and MERCI KRISTIN!

"It's sunny every day here. It's like Manifest Destiny. Don't tell me we didn't make it. We made it." -- Rob.

Probably one of my more favorite quotes from Swingers. It came to mind when I pulled open my window curtains and was blinded by the sun rising over the building across the way. It was gorgeous and warm, and I didn't even need to turn on my bathroom light when I was brushing my teeth, the sun lit the room and reached the bathroom, although it was a bit dark, but I didn't want to waste the electricity. Spring is almost here.

Looked outside while drinking my tea, and people are still bundled up in coats and scarves. Maybe it isn't here just yet.

I just want to scream from the top of my lungs MERCI to Kristin who just informed me that, this Saturday, Wes Anderson will be at FNAC (music, dvds, electronics, and books store). I'M SO THERE! I can't believe that some days ago I mentioned how cool it would be to run into Wes Anderson in Paris, and now, I'm getting the chance to see him talk about his films. You have no idea what this all means to me. Like I mentioned before, he is the filmmaker that singlehandedly changed my life, steered me into the direction of a life in film. I wouldn't even be HERE if it wasn't for him. Yes, yes, it's all a huge chain reaction of events, but bottom line: No Wes Anderson, no interest in film; no interest in film, no interest in French; no interest in French, no me in Paris. It's that simple. Also, it's thanks to Kuya who got me into Wes Anderson. So no Kuya, no Wes Anderson and etc...
I just want to see him in person, if anything. I don't even have to talk to him. Just to see him speak in person is all I need. Maybe a little photo here and there, paparazzi style, maybe even Lloyd Dobler style. He's pointing at something and I'm in the background.I'm also picking up Stacy at the airport that morning, but we'll be back in time, and hopefully she'll be cool enough to understand (she is a film girl as well) why I need to be at this event.

I think I just pretty much failed my test today. After Kristin sent me the news about Wes Anderson, I could not focus. I swear, I have the mind of a child sometimes. I lose focus, I daydream A LOT. So in the middle of studying for today's test, I was staring out the window, wondering what to wear on Saturday. Hair up or hair down? Will do better on my next tests. She drops the worst grade anyway.

Got a call from the parentals the other morning. They had just got back from seeing the Gypsy Kings perform. That made me laugh in a way you wouldn't understand if you didn't know my parents. I could see my Dad all excited about it. When I was a kid, we went camping in our RV a lot. And he'd play whatever music he liked. Lots of Gypsy Kings and the Eagles, Louis Armstrong and Jim Croce. Very interesting taste, my Dad. All I wanted to hear was the soundtrack for Stand By Me. True story: they once played the whole soundtrack from LA to SF and back at my behest. Then the tape broke.

God, I LOVE camping. We had this green RV, a GMC. Looks like this:I LOVED this thing. My two uncles had one too for their families. Theirs was brown. We'd go camping together, and there'd just be this awesome caravan of green and brown GMCs rolling down the highway. Such a beautiful sight. Lots of memories. Our bikes tied up in the back. Blasting "Hotel California" on the 101. Love it. Barbeque all the time, campfires and s'mores at night. I learned how to ride a bike while camping in San Onofre. I miss it.

Barbara B. had an extra ticket to the ballet at Opera Garnier for 18 euros so I'm going to that on Friday after class. My first ballet!

lundi 17 mars 2008

coming to an end

Something like 15 weeks now until I go home. I have mixed feelings about it all. This all occurred to me when I realized that I was 3/4 done with my first Moleskine.

I've been a Moleskine fan since high school when I bought my first one on Irving at an adorable shop called Wishbone while staying with my brother in SF. There was something about its simplicity and history that attracted me. To write in the same kind of notebook that Hemingway and Picasso used...I wanted to be a part of that. I loved its simple design and features: the accordion pocket in the back, the bookmark, the band to keep it closed. The paper is acid free and thick enough for a fountain pen to write in without bleeding through. I swear I'm not getting paid to write this.

I only used it sparingly, for some reason I wouldn't leave the house with it for fear that I might lose it somewhere. It was my first Moleskine. A pocket one with graph paper instead of lined. I've always liked graph. I have 3 now: this one, a red limited edition weekly planner, and the Paris City Book. Had the first one for three years or so then started carrying it around when I started using a bag (I didn't use purses that much). Got the other two here because there's so much more selection of Moleskines here. It is European after all. But now, after three years with my first Moleskine, after months of toting it around Paris, London, and Amsterdam, it's almost full. I'm thinking I'll get through Italy with it and finish it there. But who knows I could finish it here if I get some good material (quotes! film ideas! other random things!).

Some blog news: Am having loads of fun making blog banners from the photos I've taken so will probably update the blog banner every week which'll be cool, I think. Also, am looking into changing up the colors for spring. Maybe a change around the equinox? Blogs are so much fun!! Here are two lists. Haven't done lists in a long time.

1. Reading: Anne Frank Diary of a Young Girl, various homework papers.
2. Studying: French revolution, negation expletif, sujonctif.
3. Writing: wedding film for Kuya.
4. Watching: Saw Run Fatboy Run. I LOVE Simon Pegg. Hilarious actor. He's not too shabby in the more dramatic scenes either (ie on the balcony with Thandie Newton). Also second season Psych because the writing is too much some times. I wish I could write that funny.

Never leave home without:
1. Moleskine!: either my city book or my regular book. When I travel, it's always my planner and the regular book that comes with me.
2. Wallet: Durh. Navigo in the pocket with my cards so I never lose it.
3. Lip balm: I'm a lip balm fiend.
4. Lamy fountain pen
5. Bottle of water: Lesson learned.
6. Kleenex
7. Camera: Depends on where I'm going.
8. Umbrella: If it looks like it's going to rain.
9. Hair ties
10. Cell phone

dimanche 16 mars 2008


So, been blogging about my journeys like I promised. Since being home, just trying to take it easy and get over this cold and catching up in my classes. Bought the plane tickets for Italy already and booked hostels in Florence and Venice--yay! I can't believe it's only in 5 weeks or so. Very excited. It just seems like a dream, don't think it'll hit me until we board that plane. Will also travel by train from Rome to Florence and Florence to Venice. That'll be cool.

I'm no doctor or anything, but I figured I got the sickness from all the running around tourist-style with Catherine which I'm not used to. And from being totally dehydrated all week. We'd get espressos at cafes or to go when we were out. I only had maybe 3 cups of tea that whole week when I usually have at least 4 cups of tea a day (2 in morning, 2 in afternoon). Coffee is dehydrating anyway. I had no idea that I was not drinking enough water so I think that's what helped get me sick. So drink water, kids!!! I think I'll bring loads of tea bags to Italy so I can have tea whenever.

Also, this is stupid, but my favorite pair of jeans that I've had for 4 years is getting a hole in the..erm...upper thigh section. NNNOOO!!! I knew this was going to happen, but didn't think it'd come so soon! I thought we'd at least reach the summer together, in one piece. They're a pair of Gap "pencil cut" jeans which Gap doesn't even do anymore. Le sigh. And all the jeans here are weird and are cut for tall, insect women, not stumpy Hobbit-like folk. Blurg.

Planning to see The Darjeeling Limited at my favorite cinema in Paris, you know the place. I can't believe they're playing it here! It's like the Grand Action people read my MySpace or Facebook and my blogs and know what I like. Wes Anderson is the reason I'm a film major. It's funny that this movie is coming into my life at a time where I'm really been into travel by train and the idea of spiritual journeys and so forth. Most of the movie takes place on a real train and is about three brothers on a journey in India. Also read an interview that Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman--co-writers of the film--we're writing it while in Paris! They'd sit in cafes at night and write together. Jason Schwartzman even said that Wes Anderson lives in Paris!! It's just so weird and cool, all these connections. How cool would it be if I was in some cafe, and Wes Anderson just sat down next to me. I'd be giddy as a schoolgirl. Also, am developing a bit of a crush on Jason Schwartzman after watching all the interviews. He seems like a normal, humble guy.

Dinner last night at Kathy's was amazing. She made this salad dressing that was to die for. She gave me and Lucia the recipe. I'm going to try it out tonight. Kathy's staying longer in Europe and plans to backpack after school. Lucky girl. It would be nice to come back here in 5 years or so and do the backpack thing. It feels like, as far as seeing the world goes, it feels like people do Europe in their teens and early twenties, South America in their late twenties, then after that Asia around 30s, 40s, and 50s. It's just a thought I had. All I know is that I want India to be the last new place I visit. Sounds weird, but it's this sort of spiritual journey thing I'd like to do someday.