Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Small Victories

I am sitting, over stuffed (for the third day straight), and near about exhausted from all of the x-masing I’ve been doing. The family time has been pleasant and this post finds me in a peaceful place. Last night I took on the job of putting the baby back to sleep when she woke up squalling. I decided to approach the task with song. “Hush little baby don’t say a word mamma's gonna buy you a rockin’ bird, and if that rockin’ bird don’t sing…???...!!!...???” I don’t know the f’in words to that song, or any other lullaby for that matter. I know the words to ‘I’m a little tea pot’ and ‘Under the Bridge’ by the red-hot chili peppers. So I decided to just hum to her. I squeezed her little wiggling body up to my chest and felt her soft puffy cheeks on my face and hummed just enough for her to feel my vocal chords vibrating, The next morning (yesterday) started off more special than I ever could have imagined. I was bestowed with the ultimate x-mas gift of receiving a wet baby from my sister’s hands in the shower. I had a clean towel stretched out and perfectly positioned for her incoming. I enveloped her preciousness in the smell of downy and proceeded to the bed where I put lotion on her and kissed her head a million times. I then…had to dress her. Turns out, dressing babies is a lot harder than you’d think. I was scared out of my mind to break her wobbly little neck while trying to get her arms to straighten out through the shirtsleeves. This morning's departure of the little one (ones, little sis included also) left me feeling pretty darn confident in my ability to rearrange couch cushions, clean dishes, play cards and move crap around, with a baby in a sling around my upper body. I must admit I loved every second of it. I think when (if) I do have children, I will be the totally empowered type of mother, you know, yogalates practicing, dressed to the nines, open air market shopping, totally glamorous yet earthy all at the same time mother. I am laughing at this imagery. How easy it is for me to imaginable all of this brilliant motherhood when it is my little sister’s baby doing the inspiring.

How I Feel About Paris Today

I would love to spend the holidays in Paris.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Life after College

I showed up a little early to order a drink and take in the ambiance. The 5-block walk there reinforced my belief that Atlanta is slowly becoming a real city. The big building lights and glass of Midtown make my heart fuzzy. I imagined the city filled with people who work in little shops and bakeries and remember my face because I buy food and goods from them everyday. Instead I have a new Publix that is walking distance to be excited about. I imagine Atlanta filled with a million other walkers and that I had to weave through people on the sidewalk to get to where I was going. As it is now, if I see another walker in Midtown I am grateful for their existence and probably way too friendly. I spotted another new stylish restaurant on 8th that has cropped up and in desperate need of my patronage. A few blocks down at my destination I, of course, was the first one in my party to arrive. I headed for the bar and tried to brave the wine list. The multitude of choices was quite boring for its sheer magnitude. I spotted an unmarked bottle, round on the bottom with a long skinny spout, and jumped to all kinds of conclusion that it might possibly be the one and only French liquor Parfait d'Amour. It wasn’t…it was grappa, but the bartender suggested a drink named Lemonade Provencal. It was awesome, not only did it have my favorite vodka in it; it had a lavender syrup infused with lemons. It was delicious. The rest of my party arrived and we were a little tense at first, as usual. We politely settled in to our evening as the hours ticked on and by the time we parted ways I was left feeling regretful, as usual. “Did I order one too many drinks” “Did I talk about myself too much” Did I talk about other people too much”? Feelings of inadequacy are a life long thing for me, probably brought on by my crazy family and all of there, you know, life lessons and shit they ingrained in my head about respect and stuff like that. The annual managers meeting went well and I am again left grateful for having a very nice boss.

In short, Life after college has been brilliant! No guilt about all of the homework that I should be doing instead of ‘insert any activity that makes me happy here’. I feel as though I have been in a really bad, stagnate, unhealthy, and let’s face it, abusive relationship for the past four years. I feel like I just dumped an asshole boyfriend and I’m rediscovering myself all over again. There is something better about this than getting out of an unhealthy relationship. I finished this. It is done because I completed the task. It is a head-trip to think of it. I dropped out of high school when I was 15. I was so intimidated by my peers that had stayed on to get their diplomas that I thought I was superior to them. That was a high school degree. I was the one who said things like, “it’s just not me” and “I would go to college if I could ever figure out a good enough reason to”. And then one day, I decided to go to college. I wanted to be a translator. I had found my reason. I wanted to go back to Paris. So I enrolled, attended classes, fretted over grades, turned in papers and assignments, forged relationships with classmates and professors and then, just now, I have graduated. Who knew it would have gone like that. I am always amazed at the things I have decided to do, planned them, executed the plan and come out of still breathing. This is another one of those things, not unlike plotting my escape from America as a 21-year-old high school drop-out.

How I Feel About Paris Today

I wish that I could be okay without this here. I wish that my walk through midtown, the neighborhood I live in, were enough for me. It would make everything so much easier. I wouldn’t have to struggle with money and papers and I wouldn’t have to break my father’s heart all over again. But it is not enough. Atlanta is not Paris. Paris is Paris and Paris owns my heart. Nothing short of it will do

Monday, December 18, 2006

G day

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted and I apologize for that. I have been trying to think of a focus to grab onto for this post. So many brilliant, heartbreaking, physically painful and life altering events have been enveloping my entire existence. Graduation has truly been a whirlwind of emotion. At it’s worst, the kind of emotion that sends your intestines into spasms and has you bedridden for days. At it’s best; graduation has been a liberating, fulfilling, odyssey that has brought me a little closer on my quest to understand myself.

I’ll start with last night, because it’s the freshest thing in my mind. As I sit at the counter in this pancake house waiting for my beautiful uncle and his lovely family to arrive, I am rummaging through images of my father and stepmother laughing and joking with Hugo’s parents. It was truly a breaking of bread that went on last night. Let me back up,
I was really struggling with the most bestest awesomest celebratory way to spend my graduation evening (even though I didn’t walk). I finally decided that a simple (yeah right) dinner would suffice. At first I was thinking the whole shebang, friends and all of my 100 family members. The more I thought about that the more stressed out I was becoming about pulling it all together. Then it hit me, what I really wanted to do was take this opportunity to introduce Hugo’s and my parents. When will I ever have another occasion to introduce these people each other at my request, in a restaurant of my picking on an occasion that celebrates me. Hence, graduation-day-plan-A-and-only-plan-I-was-gonna-settle-for was kicked into motion, not without it’s bumps along the way (read: hours of me sobbing, yelling fits, arguments and compromises), naturally. Hugo and I were both worried –‘ would they talk politics and get into brawl’, ‘would our fathers come to blows about whose tomatoes were better from last summer’s garden?’ ‘Would my father cause a scene and cuz out the waiter’, ‘would they all hate everything on the menu and think the food was completely beneath them’. ‘Would they not speak?’ ‘Would it be awkward, painful, and a big ole’ mistake’? ‘Would he and I decide to break up three days later and really regret doing this?’ Oh wait… This was about the parents meeting.

G day arrives and finds us in a dimly lit, 30 year old, Cheshire Bridge Italian haunt named Alfredo’s. The waiters all acted Italian but I know for a fact that our waiter was Mexican! The rents are one end of the table, Ervin and the sisters at the other end. And SURPRISE… We were barely able to get any elbowroom in with the old folks. They were talking and laughing and my dad was drinking Valpolicella!!!! He was dressed in a corduroy blue blazer and white slacks. On a side note - The ridiculously embarrassed 13-year-old girl who once thought her father couldn’t understand, compromise or fit in anywhere got the best graduation gift ever last night, He was perfect, perfectly, presentable and genuinely there for me. They were there for me. It was the way I’ve always thought it should be with family. That was beautiful.

As far as someone cussing out the waiter, turns out I didn’t factor Hugo’s mom into the equation! It’s funny I’ve spent so many years of my adult life schlepping in restaurants to earn a living, and that generally speaking, when I go out to dinner with my family the waiter probably ends up spitting in one of our plates…I really do feel bad about this for the waiter even and totally understand if they spit in our food, were obnoxious! But we are good tippers and that’s the most important anyways.

SO everything is gliding along beautifully except and all of a sudden a fight starts to develop between Hugo’s dad and my dad, he and I start picking sides and…JUST KIDDING, it was nice, really, no-one fought! But there was a surprise, so we were all getting along fabulously and ruining our vision when all of a sudden…my mother…(outward smiling sigh with my head turned down and my eyes looking up) appeared…via a message from the waiter. One bottle of fancy French champagne, compliments of the-classiest-mother-in-the-world-who-really-wanted-to-be-there-but-couldn’t, later and I was as happy as a bug in a rug. I was probably much happier than the bugs that were most likely in the rug in that dimly lit 30 year old Italian haunt on Cheshire Bridge where the waiters tell you they’re Italian but really are Mexican and I had my graduation dinner and my whole heart felt happy standing in the parking lot with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a hundred dollars in my pocket and a bottle of vodka. The End.

How I feel about Paris Today

Upon true completion of my bachelor’s I must say…I’m thinking a lot more about Paris than Chicago. I’m thinking things like, what’s holding me back, why not, you should go for it, and Paris would be Brilliant.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Watch this Video!

This is great

What I've learned about Christmas Party Season

1.) IF you're going to have a x-mas party on any of the weekends in December for your friends, you need to have it later in the evening so that they can come to your party (where they really want to be) after finishing up their obligations at their (work, school, neighborhood association, book club, Narcotics Anonymous) other parties.

2.) IF you are actually one of the marathon 10 x-mas parties in one night attendees, try really hard not to get drunk at the first party (especially if it's work/school related).

3.) IF you happen to be a total lush and just can't avoid getting hammered at the first one (because it is so damn boring) don't switch from your five glasses of red wine at the first party to 3 full cosmos at the second party.

4.) IF that second party that you are attending is in your neighborhood and at the house of perfect strangers that you just met the night before, you should probably try to refrain yourself from getting too drunk to stand up when it is time to leave.

5.) IF you absolutely ignore that piece of advice and do, in fact, get too drunk to stand up before you leave, but manage to make it home anyways, aim for your bed, not your floor so as to avoid being dragged by your arms the length of your apartment and then stripped on a cold wooden floor before being put into bed by your holier than thou boyfriend who swears he wasn't as drunk as you.

6.) Lastly, boob cakes rule!

Want photos? Their kinda scary

How I Feel About Paris Today

I had to answer alot of "so what are ya doin' with the rest of your life now that you're graduating?" questions last night. And through my way too much info answers to everyone in the world I should not have been having those kinds of conversations with, I figured something about my current identity crisis out. I know what kind of life I want to live and what kind of person I want to be. I also know where I want to live and that is, in fact, Paris. OS that hasn't changed. I think i am just ready to get the hell out of Atlanta. So, how I feel about Paris today is the same. The same as everyday. I love Paris and want to live there. I want to buy an apartment there and have little French speaking babies there. I want to get way too drunk at Christmas parties there. I want to... there, In Paris, for sure. (I just might want to move to Chicago first)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Beginning

There was an apartment. Kind of small, it has been pointed out to me since, as proof of the people we all were then. The apartment was in Chamblee and all I really remember of it is the ice cream truck, neighborhood friends that I hated and once got me a spanking by lying to my mother about me saying curse words about one of their mothers. Stupid little bitches! I wish I really had cursed their mother. Instead, I was spanked by my young mother, not much older than I am right now and made to apologize through steaming hot tears of indignation.

I remember my sister used to stand on her head against the wall and I never could do that. I had a pair of superman pajamas and I absolutely needed the velcro-on cape before I could fall asleep at night. I still sucked my thumb then, and my mother used to make me peanut butter and honey sandwiches in the morning. Or maybe she just did once.

I don’t much remember my father, grandmother or uncles from those days although I am sure they were around all of the time. I do remember that my parents would go out on a date every once in a while to a restaurant called Baby Doe’s. I thought that place was the absolutely coolest place ever. I think I hated it that they would go out without me but someone must have explained to me that it was important because I remember knowing that too.

We moved from the small apartment to a house on Hoy Taylor drive in the suburbs. Some twenty odd years later I started to have childhood flash backs while jogging down the street with Hugo, when it was still new to spend the night over at his old apartment. They were intense visual memories and by the time we actually reached the street that said Hoy Taylor Drive, I was already in breathless tears having left him jogging behind me as I ran ahead full speed ahead, searching like a moth for my flame. There I stood in the drive way remembering the way I used to sit in my window and count all of the Trans Ams that would drive by. That was the house they brought my little sister home to. I remember not liking her at first because she was ugly and weirdly colored. Then I fell hopelessly in love and stayed that way until she got old enough to kick and bite me. I’ve never really stopped loving her with that same adoration I’ve just gotten better at keeping it to myself over the years so she won’t kick and bite. Although sometimes it still happens.

I remember that we had a milk man that actually delivered milk to our door in glass containers. When I was good for the week my mother would let me leave a note asking the milkman to please leave chocolate milk for me. It was on one of those mornings that I fell while skipping back inside with the milk and scrapped my knee. I was standing screaming crying on the patch of concrete in front of the door with a bloody knee and empty container of chocolate milk that had spilt all around me. I remember being afraid that my parents would be angry with me for being so clumsy but instead my mother looked horribly afraid of my pain and nursed me to health instead of reprimand me.

I remember that sometimes I would take naps with my father and because I have always been such a wiggle worm he would make us lay butt to butt until I fell asleep. HE was young then too and still drove big trucks that lit up my entire universe when he would pull them up in front of the house after being gone for some odd days. He was not a diabetic then and we didn’t know the little one was either. That all came later, at the second house…the further move into suburbia, the house where it all started to come undone.

Annnnnnnnnnnd (snap) New life now!

Wait what? It doesn’t work like that? That’s what I learned today. That’s it I did it. Well, not really yet but I’m damn close! Today I did complete all of my course work and then I… FREAKED OUT! I mean there was actually shoving of food into my mouth as fast as I could interspersed with rapid pacing all over my apartment that resulted in a compulsive to-do list of things to-do after college. This moment finds me burnt out on searching for apartments in Chicago as I have been doing non-stop for the last three hours. I am in the shit people, after-college-mental-detox has officially begun! I knew this would happen so it is not a big surprise that it has already started. Honestly, I am scared, shitless in fact. Everything in my life has been all about after I graduate from college for the past 5 years, now all of that wishing, hoping, dreaming, planning, plotting, lusting after different-ness has met it’s moment. And…nothing feels that different. I guess I should finish my exams first right? Then live out the month at least. I am going to give myself some time, some love, and some congratulations. This is a crazy time for me and as far as being brilliant is concerned…well I’ll work on that over drinks with Hugo tonight, I’ll keep you updated.

I also realize that I don’t write enough about my romance with him on here, so here’s a little throwback. He made me mad this morning, I mean fuming mad. We got in a dumb argument on the phone and I felt attacked and not supported when I needed it the most. (This is not the romantic part). So when I got home from school I saw his car parked across the street from my apartment and I knew that he was in there. I, of course, was hoping for an apology and flowers and “I love you so much I can’t believe I am such an immature idiot, you are totally right about everything and I am wrong about everything and you are way more evolved and cooler and capable in general and…” you get the point. Well, instead of all that, I was greeted with a shrug and then silence. I stood there, shocked, starring at him and waiting…for…something…anything really. He finally got up and asked me if I wanted to have coffee. That turned into a walk in the park and a totally light conversation about non-related to fight stuff. I know, I know, not so romantic just yet. So then he was leaving for work and I was standing there and I think I lightly elbowed him and tried to pass it of as an accident, which he totally called me on and poked me and that turned into him stopping in front of me, holding intense eye contact and reaching out his hand to run open-palmed across my neck bone. It was like a half-grab half-rub maneuver that resulted in a very warm embrace. That was it, no apology, no I’m right you’re wrong, just a neck bone rub. And, in retrospect, that was all that was needed. He kind of did say all of that in that one gesture. He said it with his eyes and his presence, his on-going commitment and sturdiness in the relationship and finally he said it in the way that he touched me. That is why I love him, and that is, in my opinion, what romance is all about.

How I Feel About Paris Today

I still love Paris. As much as I am plotting an escape to Chicago, Paris still owns my heart. I actually slightly miss my Paris daydreaming. I also feel like I am kind of cheating on Paris right now, however, this is obviously just where I’m at in my process right now. For the record, Paris is top. It has my heart. I love Paris and that won’t ever change. I want to live in Paris forever. For now, I’m going to have to settle for reading other people’s blogs about living in Paris

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December Blues

It's finals time and I'm a mess. What's new? It had gone from nice, pleasant, birds chirping, sunny, spring-like days to hellish, freezing, wind-chapped, miserably-darting-from-building-to-car-and-back in TWO DAYS! I hate this! I also have finals and papers looming over my head and instead of being able to do those I am planning out my entire life in other cities. W.T.F.? Why can't I ever get through finals without mentally moving somewhere else? On a more pleasant note I roasted rutabagas (that I grew (with dad's help)!) and sweet potatoes last night and boy did they turn out right. This took place at 11:00pm because I had just gotten off work and wanted to have food cooked for today's marathon run of school and work again! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (That was me screaming silently because I can't lock myself in my car to do so.
Anyways, I just remembered that instead of applying for jobs and obsessively checking my e-mail, I was supposed to be looking up a supplemental lesson plan for my students tonight! ARGH, bad me!
Okay, I'm outtie, have a good day.

How I Feel About Paris Today

Today's post finds me obsessed with Chicago. That doesn't mean I don't want to go to Paris still, it just means that I am open minded and Chicago could be a nice detour.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I'm in Love

Life Altering
All Consuming
I'll Never Be The Same Again

How I Feel About Paris Today

I certainly hope she'll come to visit me there. In fact, I've already got us sipping cafe cremes at an outdoor cafe, my favorite Haagen Dazs cafe in St. Michelle to be exact. She would probably order one of those really awesome yogurt desserts and I will eat my little sliver of chocolate that comes with my coffee and I'll tell her (again) all about how excited everyone was the day she was born and that I swear to Pluto, she opened her eyes when the nurse held her up and waved at us all standing behind the nursery glass screaming and frantically waving back at her.