mardi, août 28

Ready set

Walking down the street today was a man shouting, "Happy Tuesday, Happy Tuesday!"...yes, it was indeed. Today I was a big city girl taking the train to downtown Chicago & getting my French visa. It's official now, all my papers are in order and I'll be on a jet plane in a mere 25 days. Soon, so very soon.

lundi, août 27

An appeal to stop the hands of time

Dear One Who Winds The Clocks,

Please feel no need to keep watch over time and its quick passing. These past few months have been grand, lovely in fact, and I’d be quite satisfied if I were to live in a time bubble of this summer indefinitely. You see I’m not quite ready to deal with my life after this summer because it’s going to get very complicated and involve a lot good-byeing and traumatic tearing away of an extensive root system which I’ve worked hard at cultivating. As evidence of my true feelings I’ve enclosed a photo taken at a party in which I and a friend of mine wore star sunglasses, which were given to us as a party favor. As you can see we’re voguing for the camera because we’re so totally amazing and if the hands of time are not stopped I fear I may never vogue for the camera again, indeed I may just break my star sunglasses because what’s the sense in even having them if I cannot smile and be happy with the ones that I love in the moments that make this summer timeless.


vendredi, août 24

Mmmm & ooooh

Well, now I just realized that my 100th post passed without any fanfare! In which case, this 101st post will be extra special...hurrah! 101st post! You're so special and loved!


Moving on to more important matters, I went out for dinner with pal to French Country Meadow where I can order my favorite salad (to exist ever!) and we decided to try pineapple wine since it seemed so interesting and refreshingly different and my god! My senses are still all aglow from it...just thinking about it! And speaking of aglow and happiness and excitement I saw Stardust the other day and I highly recommend that you all go see this film. I stared up at the screen in complete wonder and amazement with a huge smile on my face throughout the whole film. Do yourself a favor and see this movie...then go drink pineapple wine.

mercredi, août 22

We've made contact, or, you're invited

Through the beauty and grace that is the internet I have been fortunate to ‘meet’ several of my fellow assistants through email & facebook. In addition to meeting and greeting, however, a few of us have made the acquaintance of Guillaume, an actual inhabitant of St. Brieuc! 'Gui' has been very helpful and nice to sent me a most exciting and informative email in which he informed me, “to busy yourself, you have different clubs of sport from sea sport, until climbing or celtic dances... many!!” (Before I continue, a pertinent observation about the French. Why is it that most French people I know use an astounding number of exclamation points and smiley faces when they write an email? It's rather alarming, especially when one stops to remember that the French are well-known for being guarded in real-life…where is all this happiness and excitement coming from? Is the internet the only safe outlet for a French person to smile?)

What? Celtic dancing? Well why didn't you say so earlier? Celtic dancing it is! (You may think, dear reader, that I am joking. I assure you I am not.) What kind of attire would one need for Celtic dancing? From my experience it has been a curly wig and some form a strappy black shoe. However, aside from teaching young whippersnappers swear words in English and clog dancing with the best of them I fear I'll still have a lot of free time on my hands. Guillaume also warned, "places to have fun.. there're very few... unfortunatelly, it's a kind of "ghost" town! :-DD". To be honest, I wasn't as excited about the prospect of a 'ghost town' as Gui. So what is this fille to do in a small town with extra time...why start baking and plan a party of course!

Thanks to my insider knowledge I've decided that what this town really needs is someone (or something) to spice it up. I'm going to be St. Brieuc’s first party fact I've already extended an invitation to all of my fellow assistants, 'T'inquiet pas! La soirée va être chez moi!' (don't worry, the party's at my house). Since everything is closed on Sunday (EVERYTHING...yes even the hospital so pray to the baby jesus that you don't get fatally maimed on a Sunday.) I believe that it will be the perfect day to indulge ourselves in a long and delicious Sunday meal with all of trimmings... wine, champagne, fancy little cakey tart things with elaborate frosting, cheese, baguette, etc. We'll eat off of fancy dishes, wear our Sunday best, and bicker and gossip about all the silly people in our small'll be like we're already family.

mardi, août 21

At it again

Lately, unless I have something to do from dawn until dusk, I'm stir crazy. I think it's mostly because I've been feeling sad again about leaving and if I'm alone with my thoughts then I start to get all worked up & emotional...not that I'm trying to repress these emotions per se, rather I just don't want to deal with them right now. (...and that's not an oxymoron at all.) So the other night I called up Miss Emma to see if she’d like to bake a cake with me. (I’d been staring at pictures of Ladurée macaroons and dreaming about elaborate French pastries. 32 more days…almost there, almost!) I wanted to make something a bit involved so I looked for a complicated recipe and stumbled upon ‘Hazelnut crunch cake with Mascarpone cream frosting and chocolate', some sort of zillion step cake with lots of ingredients, success! I put on my June Cleaver house dress to get myself in the mood, swung by to pick up an extensive list of ingredients, and off I flew to Miss Emma’s where we began with the first, and most important, step in baking: opening a bottle of wine. The cake was a beautiful labor of love and we brought it over to little Nicky’s house where we all had drinks & were merry. Hurrah, another baking triumph!

samedi, août 18

Toute Seule

My camera is broke so I can’t post you a photo of what my world looks like today, but if I could I’d take a picture of my dining room window…not focusing on the window, but rather the rain drops streaming down it. (Today is dreary and I’m leaving all of the lights off. Even though it’s rainy and gray there’s still enough light to live by without having to turn them on.) Sometimes I like days like today, wet concrete, a cold wind, small but determined raindrops that fall endlessly, & no clouds, just gray all over. (Firetrucks scream down my street in a blur of red anticipation, do you suppose the rain could ever put out a fire?) I believe there’s a sense of comfort in having to accept the fate of a rainy day…it means staying indoors and rethinking the day. There’s certainly a lot of thinking and rethinking going on in my head right now. I haven’t received the happiest of news lately; it appears I may not have a special someone picking me up at the airport in Paris when I arrive. Most devastating of all, my parents were serious when they said the neighbor would drop me at the bus stop so I could take the bus down to the Chicago airport & catch my plane to Paris. They’re going to be out of town with friends. Oh, oh.

jeudi, août 16

Variation on a theme

Once again, let me say, I love my job. Last Saturday, however, was the worst day at work ever, ever. I actually cried. (yeah…) I was so stressed out, and well, it’s a long story and not terribly interesting. The best part of it was that I am now getting the support and backup I need from everyone because I wasn’t in the wrong. I did the best I could given the circumstances. Anyways, after the quagmire of a shift Miss Emma and I went out for drinks and had a lovely time at our favorite spot. We started off the night with Champagne and moved into blueberry vodka tonics, lemon drops, and some kind of toxic mystery shot. There were friends from work who popped by and new acquaintances formed, in short, we all turned a sour evening sublime and I couldn’t have been more surprised at the turnaround. Tonight, similar as well. I went over to our spot with friends from work and we had a fun and silly night, and yes, I got a bit sauced on a Wednesday night. (Social conventions be damned…I will wine myself on Wednesday should I so please!) Which brings me back to the main point, the item on the agenda, the issue at hand: I love my job. Love it.

samedi, août 11

Some like it hot

Getting ready for:

Seeing Friend (!!)
Noah's Ark ('America's Largest Waterpark') with the crew
Packing boxes
Selling furniture (Poor pretty dresser, I never want to let you go...)
Getting my French visa
Going to Chicago (again)
Moving out
Couch surfing for at least 10 days after my lease is up
Planning/having a going away party
Moving home (weird, way weird.)

It's an intense line up that I believe will send the rest of August rocketing past so fast that I won't even realize what time it is: Franceland time! I think I'm ready for this--no I'm sure I'm ready. In other news, it's been way too hot around here lately. Hellishly hot. I'm ready for that to be done too.

lundi, août 6


Pretty soon these little beauties will be in my new backyard.

(I'm ready to go...are we there yet?)

dimanche, août 5

Scar tissue

Things are still quite a bit surreal for me. I used that bridge all the time. In fact, I was on the bridge the morning it collapsed (although not at the time of the collapse which was at night). It was a major artery for the city…and it’s gone. (So weird to be without it.) Not to mention the fact that many people died tragically and probably had no idea that day was to be their last. If anything good can be said about this tragedy it would have to be the fact that the number of victims seems to be quite low for what it could have been. I was proud of my city when I learned that many bystanders rushed to the scene right after the fall and helped in any way they could. This feels so Minnesotan to me. We’re always ready and willing to lend a hand. These people didn’t think twice about running over to help. That said, however, I still feel deeply saddened and affected by what has happened, we all have. Right now we’re in need of some form of comfort in the form of answers as to why it happened and assurance that it won't happen again. I want to say we're moving into a state of healing, but it feels too soon. Right now we're all still too shocked to even begin thinking about the world after the bridge fell.

jeudi, août 2

Searching for survivors

This is my city.
These are my people.
I'm speechless and horrified.
I biked to the scene 20 minutes after the bridge fell.
I haven't stopped watching the coverage in almost 24 hours.
I want to know more, I want the names and faces of those lost and missing.
I want to help, I feel anxious and lost. There is still a possibility someone I know is gone.
(Gone as in forever...something I've never dealt with before.)
I hope you're safe and so are those you care about.
I love this city.
Take care of yourselves, take care of each other.

(photo taken from NY Times)

mercredi, août 1

A dream finally realized

I was going to write about my wonderful experience with eggplant (my new found appreciation for this oft neglected friend of mine), the success of my orange yogurt bundt cake & the numerous fruit tarts I've been baking, and/or my new found appreciation for fresh basil and a type of pesto I like to call pesto rustique, however, all of these seem like petty matters in comparison with a larger more earth-shattering event which happened today. (Ps. that is the longest sentence I've ever written.) Today, someone put a post up about me on the 'Missed Connections' section of Craigslist. Words fail me. I suppose by saying this I have just outed myself about being shamelessly addicted to reading Missed Connections...the posts people leave are hilarious. ( & sometimes I wish someone would leave one for me.) It just seems so silly and romantic and hopeless all at once. You pity these people because it seems as if this is their last chance/only hope...but you also sympathize with them because sometimes you too feel a connection/affinity for someone you don't know and probably never will. Le sigh. Hope all is well at home with you dear readers and friends. I'm sure someone out there considers you to be a lost connection. The only difference between you and me is that someone cared enough to post about me on the internet. Ha.