dimanche, décembre 31

Ready to return

Today was quite the French filled journey. I hung out with Will, it was a dreary rainy day so we drew at his apartment. Actually, he worked on watercolors at his easel and I sketched out some random images in charcoal. I hadn't drawn since Paris where I took a 3 hour painting atelier course twice a week...I forgot how much I like sketching & how relaxing it is. I got a bit antsy and wanted to find a book about bike maintenance, or at least something to read on my backpacking trip, so we went to a used book store by Will's. I didn't have any luck with books on bikes so I checked out the French section....and met a Frenchman. It was almost too convenient. I wish things like that happened more often, 'I decided to look for a pair of shoes to wear to work and Marc Jacobs was in my closet and handed me a pair'. If only. Anyways he recommended a few books I might like and was beginning to get a bit personal, luckily Will came through and saved me by having a complete lack of tact and manners and letting out the loudest yawn ever. Good friends are few and far between. I went home to take a nap because the rain was making me sleepy but ended up speaking with my beloved French theatre friend today via MSN. It was so fun to practice my French and hear how she's doing. Later on one of my friends who I studied abroad with in Paris (& who also studied at the same atelier I did) was in town came over for a Proper French Dinner chez moi: red wine, baguette, salad, pasta, espresso, & dessert. It was bittersweet to reminisce about our time abroad in Paris...then she gave me the Christmas present ever, her journal from Paris! She kept a regular journal while in Paris and then published several copies when she returned home...I cannot wait to begin reading. Certainly a French filled day; I couldn't avoid it. I've been missing France so much it feels like I'm being practically hit over the head with signs, reminders, memories, & people from abroad everyday. I can't wait to return to France again soon....I feel like I'm crawling out of my skin. Next semester (LAST SEMESTER) is going to be nice & enjoyable for once, but I still can't wait to leave. I know I know. I need to cherish this time, but I can't help it. I'm going crazy inside. I need to move around, geographically speaking. And, the icing on the cake, this new years eve will be the first time in 2 years in which I am in America. The last 2 new years I was in Paris. Parfait.

jeudi, décembre 28


I've always bragged about being a 'hardcore' biker. I bike all year long in Minnesota, the coldest & burliest fucking state ever. Danger be damned, I will bike in all weather. There's a total sense of satisfaction I get from being self-sufficient. If I need to be somewhere then I bike my ass there. But I don't feel a complete sense of belonging to such an elite group of kick-ass people because, well, I don't have to bike very far or on very busy streets as compared to most 'extreme' bikers I know who bike up to a half an hour to get from where the live to where they work. Nevertheless, I'm a biker and you bet your ass I brag about it. But I haven't had all the bragging rights associated with my comrades. For instance I've never gotten in a bike accident, luckily. And yet. I haven't gotten in a bike accident. The bonding of any biker is always 'that one time'....the type of biking accident that is so unbelievable and so horrific that you never want to mount any form of a wheeled anything ever again...but you totally envy how tough and extreme these people are. Yeah they almost died, but instead of complaining they got back on that bike while the wound was still fresh. Yes, these are my people. So I feel as if I'm finally 'growing up' or have reached a sort of 'rite of passage' tonight as I got in my first accident. It wasn't really an accident in the sense that I got hit or was in a crash, but I do have a totally gnarly scar on my knee. It happened as I was biking home from work & was turning a corner...my bike skidded out from under me. My front bike tire was flat so I couldn't bike home and had to call my lady savior of the evening, my roommate who DOES NOT drive cars, to come pick me up. And tonight, one night only, she drove. This woman drove on the wings of angels to pick up me. Fear & blood clearly bring out her best qualities. Anyways I feel closer than ever to becoming an official member of this secret society of awesomeness. And now I've got a story to tell about that one time I was trying to beat out a car and then the car swerved and tried to kill me, I swear the driver wanted me dead, and I flew over my handle bars and almost died, but I didn't, I got back on my bike and biked home leaving a trail of blood behind from my awful wounds....or maybe I just had a flat tire and skidded across the road. Details schmetails.

mercredi, décembre 27

Have we met before?

Sometimes I'm shocked by my ignorance. Allow me to explain. Tonight I went and met a friend of mine from high school at a seedy little bar I'd driven by countless times during my youth and never looked at twice. It was one of those places that you never give a second glance and never believe that anyone actually goes to. Well, apparently people do. Not only do people go to this bar, people I know and am friends with meet up at this bar. Interesting. Anyways it's close to my house and I hadn't seen this friend in a while so when she called me to tell me where to meet her the conversation happened something like this:

High school friend: Hey meet me at blah blah blah bar.
Me: What? Isn't that the name of a gas station?
HSF: Haha, I know! That's what I thought too. No it's right on the corner intersection
Me: Oh yeah that place. So you guys are really there, I mean you're going now? I'm not going to be the only one there?

Heaven forbid I go to this bar and show up alone & have an awkward moment with the bartender...no no, I couldn't allow that to happen. So I go and am surprised to find the parking lot is almost completely full. Interesting, very interesting. Anyways this story is really going nowhere and is nothing exciting. I saw my friend, she's still the same which is awesome, we talked and caught up, and then I smelled like smoke when I left which is the general protocol for meeting old friends from high school at bars in Milwaukee. Moral of the story: there are places out there that look like places no one goes to and you'd probably never want to but you'll meet high school friends for a drink at the holidays, you'll probably leave smelling like smoke, & wonder how often your friends go to these bars.


News from abroad! On Christmas day I was surprised by an email I got from one of my most lovely friends in Paris. She was the assistant teacher for the theatre class I took when I had studied abroad & we got along great. She's my age and is a student living in Paris, bien sûr she's French. I always regretted not maintaining contact with her because she was awesome, totally the type of person you can joke around & have fun doing anything. The type of person everyone wants to be friends with because she's so cool but like most things French, it's hush hush and understated. I don't think she or anyone else realizes just how awesome she is. Anyways I'm glad to have her as a friend and happy that we've reconnected. Hopefully when I return to France we'll be able to hang out and catch up. And that is that. A bientôt!

lundi, décembre 25


These past few days at home have been the best. The absolute best. Staying up until 2 am looking at photos with my dad and listening to him talk about everything from his pocket watch collection to the plum blazer he bought for my mom or wrapping Christmas presents with my mom and helping her arrange dessert platters for our holiday party has been incredible. I feel so blessed and happy and loved & every other candy-coated feeling imaginable. How did I get so lucky? Sorry for the cheesy blog, as I am normally quite cynical & opinionated (not to mention how much I despise Christmas and the fact that I'm a raging atheist), but I feel a renewed sense of appreciation & love for everyone in my family. It's like I'm a born-again, but for my family. (Does that even make sense?) So I guess, joy to the world? That's the only holiday greeting that I feel appropriate saying. Christmas to me is an overcommercialized gluttonous holiday that feels more like the day of Satan worship than the birth of Jesus. Every year people freak out about finding/receiving the perfect gift...what's the point? Yes my mom gave me the world’s ugliest bathrobe (nothing short of a 60's go-go dancer's dream) but goddamn it I had the best time ever opening presents with my family and enjoying each other's company & sitting by the fire. It felt like a celebration of family and of each other. It's been a tough year for everyone in my family, tonight we celebrated each other. And that to me is what this godawful holiday should be all about.

jeudi, décembre 21


all my troubles seemed so far away oh I believed in yesterday...suddenly....great great beatles song & it feels completely pertinent to my life right now. You never realize how good you have it, even in those moments of wonderous nowness that we completely neglect & wish things could be different or that you could change, and then you look back and realize how good you really had it...how awesome things really were. I am at home, home home in Milwaukee, for winter break. It's always the weirdest thing ever, coming back home. Everything is different, or seems to have eerily remained the same (I can't decide which is stranger) and I feel so out of place. Coming home to realize my parents have aged and are getting older is hard, uncanny even. It means I have to come to terms with making adult decisions and realizing the cold harsh truths of life, ideas that were only a dark seed of a thought fairly making any appearances in my immature and ignorant consciousness. I come home and it makes me sad. To see that there are more strip malls, more highways, more SUVs, that there is less fresh produce in my parents house, there are less trees and meadows, there are more useless things lying around the house, that my room now houses boxes filled with useless items and receipts and who knows what else. And yet. I come home and it makes me nostalgic. There are still a few posters hanging on my walls, I try on old prom dresses, I see old & wonderful friends made new and different but still great & fun, I get spoiled by my parents, I joyously do my laundry for free (!), and complain as I may it's still home, even if it feels uncanny. Things have been strange lately, like I said I still can't put my finger on it but it feels like I've got 'one foot off the merry-go-round' so to speak. (whatever that even means.) Coming home definetly makes me aware of this even more. I feel even more out of place here, a place that I couldn't wait to return to and that should feel the most comforting and familiar feels...well, unfamiliar. I guess I should just be thankful that the semester is over and I can begin to relax a bit. The beginning of the holiday parties and cheer has certainly begun, last night I went to a fabulous Fabulous holiday party and saw lots of great friends dressed to the nines! Everyone was in good cheer and happy to be done with finals and be dressed up and that my friends, is really a joy. When you can come out of your cave after a rough semester and rediscover the joys of showering and putting on your best dress with your hottest shoes and just looking fabulous & feeling great. So hurrah for that much needed and appreciated splendor. And now I must rest because tomorrow I am having my wisdom teeth removed and I prefer to be well rested so that I can enjoy the experience to the fullest....more to come more to come dear readers & friends...

mercredi, décembre 20


I am at the end of my rope. The semester is over (!) classes tests & papers are done (!) and it's the beginning of winter break (!) ... And yet. And yet I feel all out of sorts and confused. Everything's over and now I'm supposed to relax and be happy, right? Something just isn't right and I can't quite figure out what or why. I literally want to rip out my hair, or buy a one-way ticket and run away, or change my name & hide out somewhere... Who am I? Times like these call for rash decisions. Which is why I want to do this...

Breathless (A Bout de Souffle) is one of my all time favorite favorite favorite films. Jean Seberg is gorgeous. Her hair & style in this film are so stunning, so effortless, so cool. (It's 1960 in paris; here's where that rewind/fastforward button idea I had comes into play...) I feel like I need to make a change...something big bold reckless hasty over zealous etc etc ... it's time to do something severe, n'est pas? Am I expecting too much from just a haircut? Probably. But, it's Jean Seberg in Breathless for christ's sake.

Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez? ...... ((what do you think?))

lundi, décembre 18


...has been on my mind.
A Bientôt chers amis.

dimanche, décembre 17

Somewhere in the middle

The days are so short I feel like I'm constantly running in place and never getting anywhere. Today was a strange day, mostly because I stayed up until 3:30 in the morning the night before (working on my thesis and a Camus paper for another lit class) and I woke up to sound of my neighbors fighting. I was supposed to work today, which is good because I am so terribly poor, & since I woke up at noon I decided to take the remaining time before work to look for hiking boots for my trip. The first spot was savers, where I buy almost everything I own, no luck with the boots but I did get an adorable black lace dress (!) and green scarf. I'm always looking for black dresses because we have to wear black to work, and as was aforementioned dresses are among the few things in this world that I worship. I came home & got ready and then received a phone call that I was no longer needed because they had over staffed the party. fuck. Well, I guess the good new is that I did eventually get hiking boots and finished my Camus paper. Thesis, on the other hand, owns me. There are bunches of fun parties and holiday-esque festivities going on around the city...I'm here in my sweat pants feeling every inch a winner. I can't even put my feelings into words anymore, I just make a lot of sounds and noises. (See roommates for explanation) I feel like a caged animal, not so much enraged but dismayed & forlorn...like the way I felt as a teenager, like the one kid in high school who didn't connect with anyone else. I was totally that girl with the attitude problem who skipped lunch because I didn't have any friends I liked and read books in the library. Oh the angsty years of my young pubescent life. Lately I feel like I'm walking through fog, I can't grab onto anything or make out the shapes of what's around me. And I certainly can't concentrate either. Last night I popped in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind so I could watch my favorite scene of the movie, at the end... this beautiful montage of music & images and then everything in my life seemed so trivial and pointless. And, well. I suppose it probably is. Besides, who knows anything anymore.

vendredi, décembre 15

Usually people think I’m either crazy or androgynous

There are a lot of reasons why I want to move to nyc. Add this to the list. I think I just found my new personal hero. Who wants to go do yoga in the park after being photographed for New York Magazine?

jeudi, décembre 14

Alice in Wonderland

I'm a total fashion magazine junkie, I look up all of the seasonal collections online, I cover my room in fashion ads, I get giddy about fashion tv, the list goes on. I suppose you could say I'm a bit of a closeted fashion whore. I usually buy all/most of my clothes at second-hand or thrift stores because I like vintage clothing. It's different than what most stores make in addition to being cheap and significantly more original & interesting to look at. Lately I'm all about dresses, especially with boots. Since I'm just about the laziest person on the planet anything that reduces my hectic schedule of doing absolutely nothing at all is greatly appreciated. I mean come on, it's a dress. One could think of it as sort of 'onesie' for the adult career minded women, if you will. You put it on & you're set for the day. Sign me up. Lately, however, I've been in a minimalist mindset. Don't get me wrong, I have totally embraced the gender roles that society has delt me; skirts, petticoats, garder belts, corsets, tiaras, you name it. But suddenly, I really like dressing in plain & simple clothes, nothing too girly or frilly. I liken it to something similiar to Diane Keaton in Annie Hall where she wears overtly masculine outfits (like vests and ties) but also very simple things like t-shirts with trousers. This whole unisex clothing look has really got me hot and bothered. Jeans, chucks/flats, and a plain t-shirt, it's totally hot people. Albeit not everyone can pull off this look, but I find those who can extremely alluring because they are literally NOT TRYING AT ALL! Ohhh the clever ability to be lazy and yet ever so stylish.

Ok so where is all this ranting and raving headed? Are we on a lost train of a blog headed straight for nowhere with no end in sight? O ye of little faith. Would I ever post a blog with no point or message? (umm...) People, my point is this: today I got a significant amount of work done so I spent the following 3 hours looking at the new spring collections online and discovered that I absolutely ADORE the new Chloé Spring 2007 collection. I know I know, I just got done saying that I'm big into androgynous clothing right now, but come on. There's just no avoiding how adorable this collection is; so adorable you'll want to pinch it's little cheeks. (Seriously. It's just that cute.) It's that 60's/70's inspired on the cusp of lady-like but also girlish with those great colors like mustard yellow, coral, & muted browns that flatter almost any skin tone. It's vintage but also modern and minimalist too with the elements of interest being mostly the color of the garments and the cut, what's not to love?

Chloé Spring 2007 Ready-to-wear Collections (Large #008)

This look reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. The classic white shirt with rounded edge collar, bow around the neck, and black patent leather mary janes. The high-waisted and cuffed grandpa-esque trousers give the outfit a bit of an uniquely masculine twist.

Chloé Spring 2007 Ready-to-wear Collections (Large #010)

These colors are simply smashing together & make me think of London during the 'swinging 60s'. I like the high-waisted skirt, but it's just a smidgen too high for me here, nevertheless it's an enviable outfit. Such a great decade for fashion with the long simple hair, head bands, peter pan collars, mary janes, knee socks, etc etc.

Chloé Spring 2007 Ready-to-wear Collections (Large #033)

This dress is a teetering on the edge of a saucy little nightie, especially with the collar & ruffles. But goddamn I can't get over how much I love the shoes. It works together because it's effortless & oh so sexy. Once again, I cannot stress how much I love wearing dresses. It's as easy as 1. (2 & 3 need not apply)

So there you have it, chers amis, j'adore la mode.

mercredi, décembre 13

Fast forward to a week from now

Don't you wish that life had a fast forward and rewind button? So that you could fast forward the boring parts or the parts you hate/don't want to remember/be a part of and then get to the good/exciting parts that you hate waiting for? You could also fast forward to see what is going to happen so you'd in a sense, know what the future holds, then rewind back to the present and be all wise and smart alecky and say to people, 'I wouldn't do that if I were you' and everyone would be all 'what do you know' and you could just slyly shrug your shoulders and say 'don't say I didn't warn you.' Or with the rewind button you could go back in time to relive all the good memories whenever you were sad and lonely or missed the way things used to be. Don't you wish that we all had buttons to control what moments in life we want to be a part of? I do. I wish life had buttons.

mardi, décembre 12

Miso leek potato bean soup, take one

Insomnia is a part of my life whenever I am extremely stressed or my mind is preoccupied. Since both are true right now I can't seem to get myself to bed at a normal hour. As a result I’ve been having c.r.a.z.y dreams every night. Today, however, I was actually quite productive and did get work done on my thesis. Yay self. Pat on the back. But (drat! not the inevitable but!) then I came home and didn't get anything done. In fact, I'm baking blueberry muffins and some bizarre form of a bean soup that I just decided to whip up. It's incredible how successfully I can avoid doing my homework. Although this bean soup conundrum is certainly more than I bargained for (The phenomenon that food increases in size as it is cooked is something I will never comprehend.) and now I'm scrambling to find a cauldron sized cooking pot large enough to contain the world's largest vat of soup. This small snafu could've turned into a good, even charitable action; I imagine myself ladling out warm soup to the homeless or even filling jam jars with soup for sick friends. (Because my soup would have magical shamanistic healing powers.) Unfortunately I don't foresee any of this happening because I don't have nearly enough spices and seasonings to add to this drab pot of soup, a portion of soup this large requires fists of sea salt & acres of fresh herbs to garnish it. And guess who doesn't have either. So what does that mean? Don’t mix multiple packages of soup together and try to be Nigella Lawson at 1:00am in the morning or bake blueberry muffins and force feed them to your roommate when you should be working on your thesis or studying for an exam. Lesson learned.

lundi, décembre 11


Je ne peux pas dormir. (I can't sleep) I've been obsessing over reading other people's blogs (who live in France) all day. I didn't get any work done on my thesis...to compensate I've stayed up all night thinking that at some point I will begin to work on it again. And that, dear friends, is most certainly not going to happen. I've changed the formatting on my blog several times and can't for the life of me figure out how to list a set of links to the things I like to read/watch on my blog. (help!) But mostly I'm just at a rough spot in my life. School is almost over, it's time for me to worry about getting a real job. Pay off my student loans. Find a 'stable' job. Worry about insurance-y type things. Boo to that. Reading these blogs all day has made me realize how much I miss France. It certainly doesn't make matters any easier that these bloggers whom I envy are all married to wonderful and beautiful French people and living in whimsical houses & apartments. Their lives are all so adorable; even moments of difficulty seem endearing with their little revelations of cultural misunderstandings or charming language miscommunications. Which is where I want to be right now, at least, I think? My very dear Friend (whom I simply call Friend because that is what we call each other) and I have moments of absolute dismay where we turn to each other and say, "Let's go." Let's go to Paris, let's go to Buenos Aires, let's drive to the airport and buy a one-way ticket to anywhere but here. I lust to leave. To just walk away and say, "no thank you". I suppose the fact that I've been in contact with a certain someone who was a very big part of my past plays into my whole disorientated state of being. This picture was from one of the last times I saw him, and actually, from the last time I was in France. It was taken from the top of a volcano in central France. At the definite end of our relationship, where all the words that had been said seemed to have just faded away...or maybe we just said them a little quieter each day until we didn't say them at all. But that's another long & complicated (tragic & lovely) story. And, well, what's the point of getting into a larger issue at this time of night? There is something to be said for blogging though, it feels almost therapeutic at times. So, yes. Life right now feels overwhelmingly ostentatious. It's whirling around at ever increasing speeds and I find myself turning away from everything and everyone. I just want to be still. I just want to lock my door and dream.

dimanche, décembre 10


I really need to be working on my thesis. (Topic: representations of the French revolution in contemporary theatre; en français bien sur!) But I can't seem to focus...I had quite a lazy and lovely weekend filled with red wine, old friends, Christmas cookies, & long naps. Which, in my opinion, is exactly what winter should be filled with. And I have a new and crazy obsession in my morning routine: I make myself espresso and eat an orange and a little bit of dark chocolate. SO GOOD. I just wish there was some way to combine all three, or make some little lunchables combo out of it. Maybe the smart people at Dairy Queen could make a new blizzard flavor...chocolate orange infused ice cream and you could pour coffee over it...like a root beer float, but with coffee. It's only a matter of time people. Unfortunately reality will not allow me to further my plans of world domination through chocolate orange coffee floats because my thesis is due....in a week. Zut! More about my new obsession later. Onto the revolution...A bientôt!

vendredi, décembre 8

I never owned a pair of rubber boots as a child

Most of the time I live a pretty frugal lifestyle, although sometimes I like to think of it as bohemian. (It sounds more romantic.) Yesterday, however, was not one of those days. I was on a mission to find a pair of hiking boots for a backpacking trip I'm going to be taking to California in January. Of course I didn't have much money or time to spend looking so I went to a thrift store and a discount store that were quite a drive away. I didn't find anything, but of course, continued to aimlessly wander the stores and look at things I couldn't afford let alone need. Then, I saw these...

Swoon. I absolutely had to buy them. Immediately I had visions of myself living in a small coastal town of Brittany (where I hope to teach English next year) walking along the beach exploring tide pools or jumping in puddles and skipping along the boardwalk. Of course, after imagining life with the boots, I couldn't imagine life without them. Thus I now own a pair of pink, maroon, & white plaid rubber boots. By far my most frivolous purchase ever. Sure hope I can make next month's rent...A bientôt!