vendredi 11 avril 2008

I can't wait until you're replaced by robots

Man, French people can be mean. It's been a while since I've had a mean French person encounter, so I figure I was due.

After class yesterday, I went to the supermarket, but not my usual one. I rarely shop during busy hours (around 7 pm), but I had to get some stuff for today. I'm going to the Loire Valley to visit the castles of Villandry and Chenonceau. In between the visits, we're going to have a nice picnic, and I didn't want to buy expensive foods on the way when I can make my own.

The lady working at the cashier register was tired and complaining about her stomach and her belt to her friend who was behind me in line buying groceries as well. When it came time to pay, I was getting coins out so that I can give her exact change. She then blurts out to her friend, "Why do people always give me exact change? It's such a bother!" She let out a huge sigh, and I looked at her and then her friend who threw me a sympathetic look that seemed to say, "Please excuse her, she's tired."

Whatever, cashier lady. I apologize for ruining your already monotonous job. Is it so bad that I had to make you put coins away? That I had to make you do math? Well, the machine does that math for you anyway. You scan, take money, and give money over and over again. It's robot work. You're going to be replaced by robots someday. I will cherish that day. In fact, the rise of the machines has already dawned. I've been to Monoprix where you can do your own scanning and just pay the machine. Target has it back home too. It was lovely. The interaction between me and this robot cashier. No human contact. No French snottiness.

Robot cashier even wished me a nice day.

In other news, I'm sitting in the most comfortable chair in my studio: the director's chair. How appropriate. I have two director style chairs that I usually break out when guests are around, but now I'm using one as my usual chair. Why didn't I use one before? Because I'm an idiot. They're great to sit in while writing and blogging and organizing film schedules for the summer. If anyone's down to work with me on July and August weekends, I need a camera person. We'll be filming in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, the LA and OC area, and San Diego. (Lombard, I'm talking to you!) This is that mock-doc that I'm doing for my brother's wedding in the style of "The Office" and Christopher Guest films.

"Good morning Mr. Breakfast!" -- Pee Wee Herman, Pee Wee's Big Adventure

This is my morning set-up. Laptoppy by the window, English breakfast tea at my right, and some sort of breakfast food at my left. Today it was whole wheat crisps topped with the prune jam my landlord gave me. Yummy. Today the window is closed because it's cold out. I can't wait for summer.

Today marks a milestone. I am finished with another book. Yes, I write in another separate journal apart from this blog. This one dates from 13 August of last year to today. I bought this one at Borders. It's black, unlined. Cheap. My next one, that I already bought, is a Moleskine volant. Also unlined. I like it 'cuz it was pretty cheap and it's light so it'll be good for my trip to Italy.

You should try writing sometime. Not blogging, but writing. Just 10 minutes a day right before bed. It helps me re-organize my thoughts, gets me calm before I go to sleep, and I swear, it's stress relieving. I'm slowly trying to bring back the old ways.

I've been looking up stuff to do in Sicily, and I'm very excited. There's archaeological sites like The Valley of the Temples, the volcano Mount Etna (the locals refer to it as "Him"), the Aeolian islands, and the FOOD, my God, the food. Gelato up the kazoo. Cannolis, caponata, arancini...Wiki this stuff. Can you see why I'm excited?! And in a WEEK, I'll be there! AAHH!!

Movies I'll be watching to get ready for Italy:
--Roman Holiday
--The Godfather
--Only You: Does this even take place in Italy?

jeudi 10 avril 2008

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." -- Abraham Lincoln

I really am a fool.

I am not afraid to admit that I'm an idiot sometimes. I'm not very good at history. I can't really retain a lot of things. I'll learn stuff and then *poof* out it goes with the trash. Dates, events, important happenings in history--it doesn't come easy to me. I envy people who have this gift, namely Kathy and Kristin who rule in our French History class.

Here's what I can remember and some of my strengths that I hope make up for my lack of book smarts: I can remember something funny that someone said; the locations of places and how to get there. I have a good sense of direction and pretty good with a map. I have great ninja skills (my ex-roommate always hated my stealth mode). I'm pretty observant and MacGyver-ish. When Stacy was here, I fixed her broken zipper with stuff I had around the studio. My Dad once said I'd make a great assassin.

What am I getting at? Oh yeah...I love it when people just already assume I'm an idiot, and then they're proved wrong, not by me, but by some outside force. Case in point: today's class. I had to work with a girl on a grammar exercise. This girl is already a know-it-all, I really don't know what she's doing in our class. She answers all the questions, almost with an air of resentment for everyone else who doesn't know the answer.

So, we're doing an exercise together, and she goes ahead and states out all the answers for me and then goes back to writing in her journal/doing other homework. Whatever. So I do the exercise myself, slowly, trying to figure out the answers on my own and ignoring what she told me. She leans over and asks, "Do you need help? It's blah blah blurg." I look at her and mutter, "Merci." And then when she wasn't looking I made this funny face that only God could see.

Minutes later, the prof's passing out homework. She gives Ms. Know All hers and talks out loud about the little mistakes she made. She sometimes does this for our papers. She hands me mine and says, "Very good" and that's it. Ms. KA looks at my paper and says, "You write well?" I shrugged and didn't say anything and just put the paper in my folder.


Lucia and I were recently talking about Italy, and I totally forgot that we'll be by the beach for our first stop. YAY! Sun, finally. I'm still using a scarf here. A scarf in April!

Luckily, Mom sent me my bathing suit and boardshorts with Cher and Char. I can't wait to get some sun. I also want to jump off a small cliff and into the ocean, if it's safe and possible. You always see that kind of stuff in movies.

mercredi 9 avril 2008

i love wednesdays.

Wednesday is the best day of my week. It's my favorite class, the week is almost over, and I can always look forward to lunch with the girls after our History of Paris on-site visit. Usually we pick something close to the site we visit or depending on what we're craving. Today, we visited Jardin du Luxembourg and ate at Crêpes à Go Go. Kathy's parents were with us, and they haven't had crêpes yet.

The visit was great. Luxembourg is my fave place to read and chill, so learning more about it just helps me appreciate it more. I love how sometimes we hang back to take photos, and our teacher keeps walking and talking and pointing--she just looks crazy. A crazy French lady talking to herself. But she's not that at all. She's lovely. I was looking at something far away and walking at the same time, and I totally crashed into her. Everyone laughed, including Kathy's parents who came along. She didn't mind it though.

I got the set menu for the crêpes (which includes a ham and cheese crêpe, a crêpe with sugar for dessert, and a choice of café or cider) along with an orange pressé which is pretty much pure squeezed orange juice with water on the side to add as much as you want. They have the same thing for lemons and grapefruits. We split up after lunch--Melissa went with Kathy and her parents to show them the Sorbonne, and I went with Lucia to the Phone House so that she can get a new telephone. Hers broke.

After, Lucia went to class, and I hung around looking into all the great stores on Rue Soufflot. La Sorbonne is nearby and some other schools, so there's a lot of papeteries (stationery and school supplies) as well as bookstores. Then I walked home. A great day.

I'm going through the advanced production class application process right now. It's a little tough since I'm abroad, but I'm in contact with the production coordinator who's an awesome guy, so he told me how to go about it. I really can't wait to get back into my film classes, especially my screenwriting II with Prof. McBride. I'm kind of scared that he's expecting a lot from me when I come back.

My best friend, Catherine, from SF has an Imdb page! Check it! It's for a short she was a grip on, but hey, that's something! I'm really excited for her. I'm so glad my film friends are doing so well. I have a lot of catching up to do.

mardi 8 avril 2008

a cute boy asked for my number!

Okay, okay, it's not what you think. And it's not that exciting. I was on my way to class, and in the doorway are these people who want you to vote for the school's blah blah or attend this manifestation or whatever. I usually take the fliers to appease these people then recycle them when they're not looking. Technically, I'm not a student at their University, I'm just taking classes there. And I'm not "supposed" to attend manifestations--I could get arrested and deported.

So, I got beamed into the Death Star that is this cute, bespectacled blond boy who was passing out fliers. I held out my hand to just grab one, but he kept talking on and on about a conference being held, so I systematically said I'd go, then he got his freaking pen out and asked my name.

Oh blurg.

So I gave him my "French" sounding name: Hélène. He correctly guessed if I was from America, and I replied yes from California. From San Francisco? I said yes to that to. The dude's pretty good at pin pointing even though I'm really from LA, I go to school in SF. Then he freaking asked for my number, and like I was still in auto-pilot, I freaking gave it to him. Stupid, stupid. I should have given him the number for Pizza Hut, if I only knew it. He might have known it though. Can you imagine, some guy asking for your number and you gave him the Pizza Hut number? That's Pizza Hut, he'd say. What would you say? I'd say, "Oh, that's my work number, sorry. My cell is (insert other fake number)."

Anyway, he said he'll call me on Friday night to remind me of the manifestation on Saturday since that was the one I said I'd go to. But I'm not going. And I'm not answering any "inconnus" (unknown) numbers on Friday night.

I recycled the fliers, don't you worry.

lundi 7 avril 2008

Free Museum Sunday: Musée Rodin

It snowed last night, and I missed it. Actually, I caught the first bit of tiny flakes, but I didn't stay up because I didn't think it'd amount to anything, but I was wrong. Saw this when I looked outside my window. Dang.For free museum Sunday, I went to the Musée Rodin. Took the line 10 to the RER C--super easy. Met up with Lucia in the gardens. She was hungry, and I could always go for a cup of tea, so we ate in the gardens. It was most lovely since the sun was out for a bit. Lucia got a salad, and I got a strawberry pastry and Darjeeling tea (from the Mariage Frères (Mariage brothers)--famous French tea purveyors). Both were amazing.If I didn't mention it already, I'm a HUGE fan of tea. So I was really excited to have tea from this famous French tea company. The tea was really light and delicate, perfect for a springish day. I think I have to go to their tea shop before I leave Paris.

The museum was pretty cool. I really liked "The Kiss", which is the famous one. I think my favorite is "Death of Adonis" though. Lucia and I finished the museum in an hour or so--it's not that big. Then we wandered in the gardens and watched little kids run onto the grass when it's actually forbidden, but it was fun to see them break the rules. I took a pic of the museum, and on the main lawn, on the right, you can see a kid lying on the grass--his pose is hilarious.
Saw Lily, Sarah, and Romina there as well as Kathy and her parents who are visiting her. After, Lucia and I walked by Invalides, and we saw boys playing soccer on the grass. Lots of boys. Lots of cute, athletic boys. They wore bright jerseys and shorts that hit above the knee and showed off their calf muscles. It was nice a nice sight. I get the same fluttery feeling whenever I see guys in baseball uniforms. It's just a nice picture.

dimanche 6 avril 2008

the beauty in simplicity

Oh, how I love the interwebs...I just created a Muxtape account. It's pretty much an online mixtape. I used to make mix tapes all the time since my first car only had a tape player in it. My second car as well. I was also listening to a mixed tape in that first car (listening to Thursday's "This Side of Brightness") when I got in my car accident. Hit by an airport shuttle van on the way to school. I wasn't hurt; neither was the guy who ran the red light and hit me. Anyway, I made some playlists for my trip, most of them named after the cities I made them for (Paris, London, Amsterdam).

Check out my muxtape. This was my "leaving" playlist. This was what I listened to on the flight from LAX to Paris. Of course, there's more songs, but this is the gist of it. I'll put up my "paris", "london", and "amsterdam" mixes up later. I really love the simple design of this site. I also browse other people's muxtapes to check out their music. It's pretty sweet. My Muxtape will be posted in the "Mediatheque" section on the left with the current playlist.

There's another simple and cool site I've become a part of called "Dopplr". It's really for business travelers, but I thought it might be fun. I can also connect with my friends and see where they're going. I've posted my Dopplr badge in my "Mes Voyages" section.

You have no idea how much I want to make travel a part of my life. I just always want to have a trip in the horizon, no matter what size. Whether it's a drive from SF to Santa Rosa to see the Peanuts museum or two weeks in Peru. It's nice to have something exciting and unknown to look forward to. When I start working again, I'm going to make sure I put money away for my future travels. I already have a savings account that's building up interest just in case I'm in a jam (thanks Mom for setting that up), but I want to create something just for traveling.

I got a message from my friend Andy who is in Australia studying film production. His focus is on sound. He wants me to come over and visit him! Could that be the next big trip? Who's in?