vendredi 11 juillet 2008

settling in

I am finally getting back into that groove. That So Cal groove that I usually adopt whenever I'm back at home during summers or breaks. Reading the LA Times before my parents can get to it (if I'm lucky and wake early). Making tea in my skivvies. Eating my Mom's multivitamins...I am back...for the most part.

Hung out with my cousin Ellen who is here from nor cal. I've got a lot of family in nor cal. Dorked out on the laptoppies all morning with my brother watching You Tube videos and when he left for work, Ellen and I got some sushi for lunch.

Ellen's staying at my Grandma's while she's here. Grandma interesting character. Definitely this matriarch figure that has played an important role in all her grandchildren's lives. She's sharp, derisive, and hilarious. Always at our house parties, she'll be sitting in a really comfortable chair while my Mom or someone goes to fix her plate of food and everyone who enters the party goes to greet her first before doing anything else. And, according to Kuya, she shit-talks when she plays mah-jong.

Ellen and I hung out at G-ma's and rented some movies our theme being "school" since Ellen's a grade-school teacher and so was G-ma. Got Charlie Bartlett and Rocket Science. Around 1 am, Kuya arriving from his shift came by and we all went to Norm's for late-night grub. That just feels so So Cal to me. I remember going to Denny's or some other late night diner after prom and going to shows.

I'm starting to feel normal again, and maybe less special and unique. When in Paris, I labeled myself as "American in Paris" or maybe "study abroad student". And that was cool, you know, people found that interesting, especially when meeting American tourists. There's always this sense of superiority when walking amongst American tourists or any tourists in Paris. I've never been one to feel superior to anyone until Paris. I especially felt super cool and snob when I'd walk past them with great purpose while they stare at their maps trying to figure out the metro system. Ordering food at St. Michel and asking for sauce samurai while they just pointed at the white stuff. That felt good, I must confess. Being an American, and yet having that "in" in a crazy, sometimes harsh city. But maybe any local gets that feeling when surrounded with tourists.

I'm really going to miss that.

And now I'm just a regular student, a 5th year senior at SFSU. That window in which I can say "I just got back from Paris for a year" is shrinking. At least some people here in so cal find me being a student up north a little exotic, case in point the boys at Apple. But I need to start feeling good about myself again, without that superiority of living abroad.

mercredi 9 juillet 2008


Finally! I've decided to write a post on each major city visited on the Franco-Spanish road trip my parents and I embarked on.

Packed my backpack and met the parentals at their hotel where we caught a cab to Charles de Gaulle airport. We picked up a Citroen Picasso C4 at Avis. Dad was mad since they had specified for a Mercedes since he's not familiar with French cars, but they were all out. I asked Dad to stick it out--that it would be cool to learn something "new". He got familiar with the controls, then we got out of there.

Dad set up his GPS Garmin thingy, and we were soon on our way to Bordeaux. I got to drive, which was nice. Arrived at Holiday Inn Express only to find out that Mom made a reservation for the next night. The sweet girl working found us a suite at a Mercure down the road since they were fully booked. That was when I realized that I forgot my passport.

Ate a delicious, expensive dinner at Mercure. Looked like hell in my jeans and hoodie while surrounded by suits finishing up deals. Service was great though. I love how I can look like crap at a fancy place and still get treated nicely. It's a rare occasion though. Server was funny to Dad, "Can I suggest a wine?...A Bordeaux perhaps?" We all laughed, and Dad got a glass of wine.

Found same day round trip tix to Paris the next day. While I get my ass back to Paris, Mom and Dad would enjoy Bordeaux. When I got back we went back to the Holiday Inn that we were originally going to stay at.

mardi 8 juillet 2008

land of the free rebate, home of the 2 for 1

Went to my first One to One training session at Apple. Lanky Eric said hi while he was with a customer and was extremely nice and apologetic about yesterday's mix-up. My session was with Jay Jay, a cool, laidback guy. Funny, he went to SFSU too! I think he saw the folder on my desktop titled "SFSU cinema" and decided to ask. He's a BECA (Broadcasting Communications) major. He was really cool and patient, especially when trying to transfer files from my PC to the new laptoppy. Ended up not finishing though. He was super happy to have someone "young" to teach. I saw him minutes before our session and he was with an old lady.

Went shopping with my parents today, and it is so weird seeing people trying to rope you into buying stuff. Even Jay Jay was trying to get me to get a new ipod when I recycle my dead one. Today, in front of Costco this guy was trying to get my parents to get a new credit card. Buy, buy, buy. Why can't we just buy to replace? Not buy to fill our homes with more and more stuff.

Bought a frozen yogurt. Thing was huge in comparison to the little gelatos I've been eating. It was maybe the size of an American small soda. I couldn't finish it though, so gave the rest to my parents. Portions are huger here than I realized.

lundi 7 juillet 2008


I am officially part of the Mac family.

Kuya, being the caring, rich older brother that he is, bought me a new laptoppy today, a Macbook Pro. He's really banking on this future of mine as a film writer/director. A lot of people are which puts a lot of pressure on me. He says this counts for the next Christmas and birthday. I say it counts for the next 20.

Dad was pushing me to get the laptop now before it's too late (ie Kuya removes the offer from the table) and I finally brought it up today. I got a laptop with the ipod touch which is part of the student rebate and a printer, also a part of the rebate. Kuya gets the ipod touch.

Can I just write about how absolutely adorable the boys at Apple are? I was first helped by Eric, a New Yorker who's moved to So Cal. Tall, lanky, glasses, mentioned he misses his family, plays guitar, has dogs, and majored in Radio/Film/Television. Oh my gawd, eHarmony could not have done a better job. He gave me his card. Then went home with the WRONG computer! I was too excited to check if it was glossy or matte and found out that the screen was matte.

Took it back, and was helped by another Eric. Short black hair, stubble (love it), also adorable in madras shorts and black Converse high tops. He reminded me of this camera operator I was working with and who trained me. Looked just like him so it brought back some fond memories. He was really nice even though my order was pain. Turns out they don't make the model I want in glossy. So I got the one right below it. He sort of talked me out of 2.6GHz, the original buy, saying he and his film major friend were having this discussion before how the upgrade from 2.4 to 2.6 didn't really matter. I got 2.5. I doubt the whole discussion really happened, but whatever. He was cute and helpful and getting to talk to two cute nerdy boys named Eric in one day is more than a shy girl like me can ask for. That's probably as close to a "date" as I'm going to get this summer. Although I do have a one-on-one session tomorrow with a Genius who is going to transfer my files for me. Let's cross our fingers, folks.

Have been getting used to driving which is nice because it has AC and the metro and bus AC has been nonexistest in Paris. But with gas prices being so high, I just feel so horrible driving. I might as well throw money out the window. Was flipping channels and Sabrina was on and I came in on the part where Linus asked Sabrina, "Do you miss Paris?" My response was, "Is this really happening?"

When it comes to the Spain posts...Honestly, I don't see it happening any time soon if at all. Maybe a few posts highlighting the few high points of the trip. I'll try my best.

Friends have been asking me if I'm going to end this blog. The answer is a loud and resounding yes. It's Paris for a Year, and I'm no longer in Paris. However I will continue blogging somewhere on the interwebs. I will continue to update in a sense like organize as I mean to have this blog helpful for others planning to study abroad in Paris or in general.

dimanche 6 juillet 2008

things to do

I have so much crap to do.

Came home to find my room a vrai bordel (literally a "real brothel" but it translates to mess or chaos) since Dad put hardwood in and then just set all my stuff on top of the furniture. I really need to get rid of a lot of stuff, because I keep everything. And if living in that Parisian studio the size of my now bedroom taught me anything, it's that my possessions should be kept to a minimal because it makes my life clutter-free. It's kind of weird adjusting to hardwood because everytime I get out of bed, I go "huh!" when my feet touch the cold, hard floor.

Met with Catherine, and she's going to find a place to live along with Morgan, my old roommate, somewhere in SF, probably the Sunset or in Daly City. I won't be too much help since I'll be down here. My only parameters are that it's biking distance to school. I'd prefer Daly City since the market's closer too, but it'd be nice to have a chance to live in the city. I don't know, I never got to really know SF, as well as I've known Paris. It'd be nice to be with unique people again though. Walked around the OC yesterday and every girl just looked like the other. Paris can be like that sometimes, but at least some people have their own individual style. Here every girl looks almost the same. I just want to go up to one of them and shake them and say, "Wake up! You can wear what you want!

Finally weighed myself for the first time, and holy crap I'm back to my senior high school weight which is the same weight I came to Paris with. CRAP. I definitely lost weight in Paris, even my parents noticed it when they visited. But I gained in Spain during our trip. I blame the late night paella eating and all the driving. I'm confident I'm going to lose it though--more confident than any of my past weight lost efforts--because even in this heat I have all this unexplainable ADD like energy. I've been cleaning my room non-stop because I just hate having disorder, and I've been working out. I just want to go to my Paris weight.