mercredi, janvier 30

Grin and wear it

I am extremely hot and bothered by this whole navy blue nail polish trend I've been seeing crop up on runways and in magazines for the last few weeks...all aboard! Today I splurged and bought myself the most expensive bottle of nail polish I'll probably ever own: Blue Poison. This is also the first and only designer anything I've ever owned, and, well, it seems so sad and lonely amongst all of my lowly other no name products and thrift store finds. Oh Blue Poison #900, you make me feel shiny and new. I swear, I swear it to you now, I only have eyes for you.

mardi, janvier 29

Don't even get me started...

In a horrible mood today and not feeling very good. I've had the feeling of encroaching sickness lingering for about a week and it came to a head today when I almost fainted/threw up in the shower. Also, my loan deferment paperwork was rejected because apparently making just enough money to survive is equal in my creditors eye's as me pulling a Scrooge McDuck and swan diving into a huge pool of euros that I'm stockpiling.

lundi, janvier 28

Stepping out

Just bought my ticket for Paris this weekend... ouiiiiii. Barbs and I have decided to treat ourselves to a weekend of luxury and excess and, well, it's about damn time. I have every intention of bringing only my nice and fancy clothes and planning myself a full and cultured itinerary. There's plenty of room on my agenda for museums, shopping, and of course, dancing. Who wants to dance?

(I need this, leaving that is. But, I know you know.)

vendredi, janvier 25

I didn't vote for him

I read an interesting blog from a fellow American abroad and I have to say that there feels like a lot of truth to it. I don't agree with everything that was said, but I must admit, I often feel like I need to defend myself (here, in France and in Europe) and put on my armor before I allow myself to be wounded. I, like most expats, am "...buying into a stereotype so that we wont be stereotyped by a person that may or may not stereotype Americans." We're falling victim to a really nasty stereotype which has caused many Americans to turn against one another, to point fingers, and to try and dissociate from the group. I'm not one for patriotism and I certainly don't support our current government in office, but I do know that I love my country. If I've learned anything while being abroad it's that there's a lot to love at home, even if there's a lot that needs to change.

mercredi, janvier 23

Let's call it love

Check out one of my new favorite websites...Sex Drugs and Intellectual Freedom. Just when you thought someone couldn't get more accomplished or be cooler (see: grad student with a double major, roller derby ref, art museum field work, supportive friend, & all around kick ass human being, etc etc amen.) he comes out with another reason for me to adore him. Keep on rockin my friend, you continue to amaze and inspire me.

In other news Barbs and I held a candle light vigil for our generation's first fallen heart throb, dear Mr. Ledger. We celebrated the life of our former high school crush with chocolate and a showing of 10 Things I Hate About You. We have since decided to, like the main character Kat in the film, start a chick band. I'm going to learn guitar and Barbs is all over the Tambourine. Suggestions for band names are welcome.

dimanche, janvier 20

Show and tell

Since my last great fall I've done a lot of thinking and sitting and regrouping...and I've decided to stay. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel and having your support has given me a second wind. I.Will.Survive. [Cue the music.] So rather then write another self-pitying blog I thought I might let you in on a few things that I seemed to have skimmed over and show you a lovely little image of some new things in my life. First things first, I've been getting a lot of questions about this mysterious man who visited. First, he is a lovely Swede I met in Stockholm at an art gallery. We kept in touch and then decided we wanted to see each other gain so he came to visit me in Paris after Christmas. There were a few low points (none of which were our fault...rather they were the actions of supposed friends) but overall we had a fantastic time together and I was thrilled that he came. Hopefully I'll be able to visit him in Stockholm (my new favorite city) again one day.

My next vacation is in exactly 25 days. This is going to be tricky because it doesn't seem so far away but I can guarantee that I'll need to leave good ol' St. Bri at least once before vacation time actually begins. I plan on visiting Holland with C-town and then taking the train to Poland to visit a friend who is teaching English there. Aside from leaving this town I am most looking forward to taking the train. I adore train travel, it feels so nice to have the time to sit and read or observe the change in scenery from the window as your surroundings slowly begin to change and become more foreign.

Let me fill you in on how I spend most of my days as of late. Today, for example, I did some reading (Alice in Wonderland & Dance Dance Dance) and some baking (see Everyday) as well as some drawing, napping, and Dawson's Creek watching (A new obsession...something about reliving my television habits of 7th grade takes me to a happy place. Don't judge me.) Tomorrow I plan to walk to the pool and perhaps begin going as regularly as possible. Also I've begun to do some serious research into graduate school in hopes of figuring out just where and what I would like to go and study. If this program has taught me anything it's that I long for and miss the atmosphere and passion for learning of high education. I need it back in my life. Now, please.

In other news, as was mentioned briefly, I did quite a bit of shopping and am living a rather meager existence for the moment. I suppose this is a good lesson for me to learn as I generally spend every cent I own and have a hard time budgeting. In my own defense it was Christmas and New Years and I went to Spain and my cell phone company charged me too much. Honest. Anyways, get a load of the pretty dress I got in Spain, my new Victorian broach, the coin purse that Kiwi made me, my simple pearl on a chain necklace, and the awesome yellow cardigan with rhinestone buttons my mom sent me for Christmas. Score. Looks like I'm lucky in life and in fashion. Once again, thanks for all of your support. You rule.

vendredi, janvier 18

Hold on hold on hold on

I can't see five feet in front of me, I have no idea where I'm going, I throw in the towel anytime something gets too difficult, I'm a demanding person (demanding of those I know, my surroundings, my life), I don't give as much as I short, I have many faults. Yet, this out pouring of support and love from friends, family, and complete strangers has been overwhelming. It appears as if you're behind me in no matter what I do and you believe in me and my choices even when I don't believe or it seems like I've gotten off course or made the wrong decision. I can't even begin to express how amazing that feels to know; it gives me the strength and morale I thought I'd lost. So how do I begin to thank you? What do I have to offer in return? Perhaps I'll take a page from your book and start believing in me. Start with realizing that I can transcend this temporary situation, or better yet, I can embrace what I have created for myself here. Thank you, yes really, thank you. Sometimes I'm a bundle of nerves and I lose my way or feel like I'm alone. I know that I'm not. I know that it's temporary. I know that you're here.

(merci, merci, merci)

jeudi, janvier 17

Black and white

So here it is, up front, cold, and ugly: I'm unhappy. Terribly miserably unhappy here. This town makes me crawl out of my skin and I feel so incredibly upset and confused that I don't know where to begin. I've phoned family and friends with the message I'm coming home. No definitive decision has been made yet, but for the moment I envision myself returning soon, as soon as possible even. I wish I could more clearly verbalize how I feel and what has made me arrive at this decision; I'm trying to see this situation in black and white but all I see is gray. I suppose I've tried to distract myself through various means of entertainment and small vacations in hopes of avoiding the unavoidable fact that this just isn't right for me and I can no longer go forward. Returning home, however, will not be a quick fix to this problem of unsatisfied unhappiness. I fear this problem goes much deeper. Returning home is perhaps only the first step in finding or hoping to recover what I seek.

mardi, janvier 15

What are you, a pair of queens?

I practically skipped my way into the classroom today I was so thrilled with the lesson I had planned: A Streetcar Named Desire! Oh yes I couldn't contain myself and told everyone right away, "It's your lucky day". I then asked for actors, historians, and sociologists...actors to play out 2 scenes I had selected, historians to read about and summarize Tennessee Williams' life, and sociologists to explain the history and context of the play. I'd be lying if I said it didn't go brilliantly. The actors were so excited about their scene and even used make shift props to help give the scene a bit of depth. Unfortunately we didn't have time to watch clips from the movie and the actors were only able to act out one of their scenes which means I've already got my lesson planned for next week. Jackpot. We're going to finish up the acting, watch the clips, and then do a modern day French version of Streetcar which the students will write and act out themselves. Goddamn it I love my job. And my kids are great, they're the best!

lundi, janvier 14

Young & restless

We've been without internet and phone for the past few that it has been restored to us I've been glued to my laptop for the past 3 hours. Yes, really. I am empty and soul-less without it. Oh internet, my connection to a world greater then what I live in now, you complete me. As is evidence of my boredom without said outlet I found myself reading, sleeping, eating, and watching tv a lot more. In short I was living much how I imagine people did in the dark ages, and dark times they were. Anyways it is quite late and I should put myself to bed as my eyes have become blood-shot and I have begun contemplating dying my hair neon pink or black just to spice things up a bit. (Life here really is dull.) Yes, really. I just need. I need something more. Do you know what I mean? (Good night)

mercredi, janvier 9

Everyone thought I was a very good girl

I'm sitting in my room trying not to fall asleep, it's 1:49 in the afternoon and I already feel as if I've been quite productive. I'm feeling a bit proud because I filled out some loan papers, mailed them off, went grocery shopping, and cleaned my room...all in one day. (Since living here and having so much time to do anything or nothing I find I've mostly been doing nothing so a day this productive is a rarity.) I may even write a few letters, go for a jog, finish up knitting a present and, gasp, still have time to do something else. After mailing my loan paperwork I went to the market to get a customary egg and cheese galette (like a thin pancake, the savory version of a crepe) and then browsed through a few shops. The sales have officially started today in France (they generally happen twice a year) and things are a bit more hectic then usual. There were a few stores I sought out to see what they were offering for the sales (notably Compotoir des Cottoniers) but found that I just couldn't get it up for the sales. I'm sick of shopping and buying and spending money. I feel like I've been constantly shopping since my winter vacation and, as much as it pains me to say this, cannot even be lured in by sale prices.

So instead I'm here in my room drinking apple cinnamon tea and glancing at my favorite Christmas gift, Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette: a Guide to Gracious Living, a silly and brilliant gift from my cousin. (Highlights of this little jem include: How to Serve a Sit-Down Dinner without a Maid, Business Calls on the President, General Procedure and Correct Dress for a Ship Launching, When a Woman May Remove her Hat, and Decorations for the Breakfast table and tray.) This wasn't the only gift a received, however, it appears that this year I was a very good girl and many people sent me presents...yay! Pal sent me a collection of crafty how-to books, my favorite being, How to Knit Woolly Jumpers, an Australian book with animal motif patterns. Abby-girl sent me some Beautiful hand-dyed yarn from Portland...yes Portland! Not to be topped by anyone my mother sent me the world's largest and heaviest Christmas package which was filled with presents, glorious presents! And, being a good daughter, I had also picked some good ones for them (the fam) too. It just so happens that I called them on Christmas day at the very moment that they were opening my package. The best way to describe not being at home during Christmas is for me to say that it felt foreign, which is a very inarticulate thing to say I suppose but it's the best I can do. Anyways that's about all I've got for today since this already feels like a long entry. Perhaps one day you can look forward to hearing more about my time in Normandie or when my Swede came to visit or my New Years Eve in Paris or my trip to Barcelona. All mostly good and some extraordinary things have occurred, but more about that later.

dimanche, janvier 6

Here I am

Back, and still breathing. Feels like I've been gone for many new adventures and experiences that I'm still trying to calm myself down and sit still. I've uploaded pictures from along the way and have finally updated Everyday for the first time in about a decade (I was having problems uploading pictures through blogger before), so enjoy! Hopefully tomorrow I'll muster up the courage to write a little summary of the highlights, would you like that? In the mean time I suppose I'll go try on my new dresses...all my love to you!