Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Here's to little bit of brilliance



These past few days have been slightly littered with brilliance, if not extreme beauty. Xmas brought castels, snow, frozen lakes to run and slide on and roasted chestnuts. This is all slightly comforting to me. However, the surprisingly best part of this trip has simply been the time away from that thing that I do that I never talk about on this blog.

I feel upon my return to the states it is my duty to start pursuing the dream of moving back to Europe. Being in Germany this whole time I have realized that this is most certainly not the country for me. Yes, the food is amazing and the villages and towns are gorgeous - but I will leave Germany for vacations - I still want Paris baby.

And I need to, must do so, absolutley have to make this happen for myself.
We will be travelling to Munich on Friday and that is very excititng because Munich is such a large and beautiful city. I am interested to know how I feel there.

As I am writitng this it is snowing buckets just outside the window. Real snowflakes thinkening the air with their mad rush to the ground. The snow - by the way - is like a million little slightly softened ice-cicyles. It doesn't so much clump as it layers itself upon the ground. It is beautiful and I am thankful to have that beauty in my life right now.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Weihnachtsmarkt



I have a new love in my love. I haven't felt this way since I discovered wasabi peas! The chirstmas market is reason enough to come to Germany during the most freezing cold time of the year! The mulled wine, in German glutwine, is my new best friend. So are all of the outdoors food stalls, the tons of people standing aorund the tables drinking with their families there. All of the present booths - just everything. The Christmas markets rock! I love them, walking through them, next to them, smelling them, remembering they exist! Hand's down - my new favorite thing. It's like when you are doing something and you say to yourself - this is so awesome right now - I just know my memeory will torture me with all of the wonderful glory of how special this moment is for the rest of life until I get back to a christmas market in Germany before I die - well that's how I feel about it.

Friday, December 07, 2007

It's where I'm at




Sometimes there are moments in a brilliant life that feel kind of…well, pathetic. This brilliant lifer is currently experiencing one of them. In fact, psychotically pathetic would be a more accurate description of how I have been feeling. I’ve come to horrible, confusing, desperate crossroads. I am hoping that leaving the country will help.
I started this blog to capture the brilliance of my life because at that time I was convinced that I actually had some more brilliance in store. I am trying to desperately to remember what that feels like. I feel put down, used up, shaken around and spit out. I am sure this is not the last crisis I will experience. My goal has become to sharpen my strengthening mechanisms and continue to grow. But really I just need to get a handle on my shit. BIG TIME. It’s like this: I thought that going to school and working really hard would land me an opportunity that would be beneficial to my ultimate goal of getting the hell out of dodge. Do I wish I did it differently now – 6 years later. 6 years older and more bitter than when I made the decision to leave my beloved Paris? Don’t think I don’t remember the day, the exact moment I made such a god-awful choice. Did it feel counter-intuitive…yes. Did it feel like I was taking the easier route – kind of. At that point I had already started buying into the lie that if you have an education and work really hard you can “get somewhere”. Apparently somewhere doesn’t mean Paris. The fuel that has kept my fires lit has been quite simply hushed out. Smothered, if you will. The effort it takes to get up and face another morning brightly (which I am pretty good at) and then go out into the world and get trampled on over and over again is swiftly drying up in my heart. It is too much of an effort. I am not happy, I am not hopeful. I have no refuge – no love of life – only bullshit that, obviously, doesn’t keep me going very well. I hate to make this sound like the pity party of 2007 – but I am certainly having one…wanna join?

IT’S WHERE I’M AT - And that’s all I have to say about it for now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In a Funk




The past few days, no, weeks, no, months have been quite blasé. I know I was excited and posting about how wonderful Germany is going to be and how my blog will be all dedicated to the excitement leading up to that, but the reality is that I am friggin miserable – day and night. I really grasping, trying to get myself out of this funk but it seems to have permeated pretty deep underneath my skin. The unfortunate thing about this is that this was supposed to be my fall, as in the season fall. The summer sucked big time, the spring was mildly and fleetingly exciting and fall was supposed to be the season. Hugo and I dusted our knees off and said, “okay – here it is – a new season” we were smiling and hopeful that this season would bring a nice gathering of friends and a healthy new outlook on life to go with it. But it hasn’t, this season has been more of the same bitching, moaning and wining on my part. I am miserable in my life. It definitely does not feel so very brilliant right now. This blog is dedicated to the brilliance, so I am trying really hard to capture some of that. I think my life has become so dull for me because I no longer have anything to look forward to. School was all about finishing and leaving Atlanta. Now I am staring at year one of after school. I do not miss being in a perpetual state of I hate my life and want to finish school and stop bar-tending. This, however, has not been too much better. I find myself freaked out by the amount of federal taxes being taken from my paychecks, the reality of working for vacation days and the complete and utter lack of having any kind of a savings. All of this has landed me in a deep state of depression and I can’t claw my way out. I am still hoping that Germany will do that for me, that being back in Europe will remind of what I love about life – but there are no guarantees there. I will keep you updated, hopefully with more frequent posting. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t’ post as much when I hate my life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Moody

I don't want to post this, I am only doing so because I also don't want to go too long in between my posts because I fear no one reads them anymore because I am an unreliable updater. There - I said it, and all in one sentence too. Overall I have been stressed out, frustrated and very unhappy. If i am really honest with myself I will tell you that I have been this way for almost an entire year. Life sucks and I'm depressed. The worst part of all this is that I have such typical and mundane complaints. I am trying to change that though I am currently reading a wonderful book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad and I am just convinced it is going to change my life. Really I probably need to be back in therapy, just so I can be miserable with a therapist and maybe have some relief in my daily life.
Anyways - I am planning on rereading some old posts to find trends in my thinking and blah blah blah. I will try to write again soon.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Life Update




This Saturday morning has started out tranquil. Hugo brought me breakfast and tea in bed while I watched a romantic comedy starring Vince Vaughn at his finest. I loungingly walked Shaka around my beautiful neighborhood and photographed the journey around the block, such a relaxing time to have to myself after such a crazy week of work.

The last week of my life has been consumed with a theme I seem to revisit at least 3 times a year. I have again become obsessed with moving away from Atlanta. This time it is a real possibility. Things were looking like it was going to happen quicker than I could actually digest the change. Now things have slowed down a bit and I am left contemplating what it is that my heart truly desires.

I believe I already know the answer to this question. I believe that the plan was never for me to return to Atlanta and live here forever. It turns out, I’ve been back in this town for 6 years now. That’s quite a while for someone who only came back to leave.

The decision to move is no longer up to me for the moment. I just have to wait. And as you all know, waiting for someone else to decide my life is not something I am very good at. I am trying to distract myself with projects around the home, cleaning, writing, walking the dog and taking pictures. I am sick of pining, talking, pleading, adrenaline induced highs from all of the possibilities that abound. I keep telling myself that it will be okay no matter what. That I will be happy either way, but I am actually terrified that the chance to move will disappear and I will stuck here in Atlanta another year, trying to get out. That is as honest as I can be.

My beautiful sister advised me to go, “just go” she said, “you will be happier”. I believe her because she is a good listener. If any of you are wondering, Hugo is on board as well. I hope – I mean, he wants to be. He will, he can’t stay, there would be no reason for that. I want him with me, we could really have a shot at happiness. I am certain of this. I wonder if it is me, if there is a problem with me. If I should just be happy where I am and stop trying to plan my escape. I have a creeping suspicion that it is me, but it’s not a lack of ability to be happy where I am, it’s quite simply – what I want.

It’s my brilliant life and I can’t escape it. Yes it’s brilliant to live around your family, love them, be close to them. But it’s also brilliant to move to the third largest city in the U.S. and walk around your neighborhood and share your life with the strangers that inhabit the same spaces as you. Chicago is a beautiful city and I’ve been obsessed with it for about 3 years now. It feels right - it feels doable. It feels like the next step for me.

~How I feel about Paris today~

Paris, oh Pairs. I truly, honestly, seriously believe that this move will only bringer me closer to my ultimate dream of leaving the U.S. forever. That’s how I feel about Paris today. The same.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mon Canard à l’Orange



Today’s plat du jour: duck. I found the recipe in my new most favorite book in the whole world: la Bonne Cuisine. Apparently this book in the bible for French home cooking often referred to as cuisine bourgeoisie. It is recently translated into English and available for your purchase at a very discounted price. I’ve only made a couple of dishes from it to so far. I made a queen of Sheba cake (godly in it’s texture), a quiche, a roasted chicken and that’s about it. I try to read it a little bit everyday. I study the techniques used in the books. They are classic and oh so complicated at times. The part I hate to admit is that I recognize a lot of what I read as being something I have already seen employed…from you know who…HUGO! I guess he’s the one in the relationship that received the traditional, in home, culinary education. Being of the competitive nature that I am, I am determined to catch up with him. As I am typing this, at my glass ‘love’ table, in the kitchen, he is fast away at making fresh bread for us. He will plop the gorgeous rolls with sunken circles into the oven any moment now and we will feast on freshly prepared and baked bread with our tea while we watch The Lives of Others. This is my Sunday and I love it. I will remove myself from the couch in a couple of hours to go leisurely to the store and start the preparation for mon canard.

I love fall, I love Sunday and I love the peace of mind that sometimes arrives at my doorstep, rings the doorbell and jumps in my pocket when I go to answer. It often will walk around with me for a couple of days reminded me periodically that everything is fine, my life is fine, I am doing the right things and living the right way. Then it will invariably jump out of my pocket and run off to inhabit someone else’s Sunday morning bathrobe.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ready To Be Brilliant Again


And why oh why does being brilliant equate to getting the hell out of the country? Not sure, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be exploring that concept in the months to come. Finally, the lady returns to Europe. I've always been much more of the jet setting type than the pick-up driving home bound type of girl. These last few years have brought way too little refuge from the inner workings of the residue of my somewhat traumatic, albeit brilliant childhood. In other words...I AM GETTING THE HELL OUT OF ATLANTA!!!!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

okay, I think I'm finished yelling...WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Now I'm finished. The tickets are purchased, the count down begins. The boy is going as well - so that should be interesting, Hugo and I...drunk, in love, in fights, in peace, in...GERMANY!!!!!!!!!! (I can't promise the caps are actually going to stop anytime soon)

We've been kicking this idea around for quite some time and thanks to an amazing friend it is finally a reality. Now, onto the burning question, the elephant in the room, the shabang-shabang why the duck isn't she talking about Paris part of this post...

~How I Feel About Paris Today~
Well, that's a simple and really complicated situation. Hugo has proclaimed that there will be no Paris to be had while we are in Europe. I think he's boring and dumb, of course - but what are ya gonna do??? So yes, of course, Paris is on my mind. Paris is all I have a mind for! I have, however, always maintained that in order for my destiny to become my destiny, I will have to keep an open mind. Of course it will kill me to be that close to Paris and not run there screaming and proclaiming my undying love for the city of lights, but really folks - that's not what this trip is about. And we're kind of too broke for Paris. So there you go, Germany it is. We will be staying with Hugo's sister and the kids. I am really excited and will go into further detail about the Christmas markets and the Swartzvald and the castles later. For now, just know, I'm still obsessed with Paris (as always) - but concentrating on the fact that my life is going to be very different, very disconnected from America for over two weeks, very soon! And that makes me a happy girl, brilliantly happy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Favorite Mistake




Shaka, and I had to think for a moment about this one. Shaka, my dog, is my favorite mistake. It melts the little butter pat of my heart to admit this. I didn’t want a dog, I was 19, lonely, married and depressed. I had come back to Atlanta to “start my life” after having a nervous breakdown in the big apple and roaming across the country putting the pieces back together. I decided Atlanta would be the city for me to start over in, although I was calling it “getting started” back then. Within 9 months I found myself way over my head in a relationship with a boy I loved. He loved me too, the only problem is that he hated himself at that time – and hey guess what, he took it out on me. He was no mistake though, and if he was – he wouldn’t be my favorite one. He gave me Shaka, more like told me that we were getting a dog. I knew I was too young, “just starting out”, and ambitious as a motha’ fuker. He insisted, I agreed to go and see the baby mixed pit bull pups and there she was. My Shaka, the one with the little white patch of hair on her back left leg. That’s how I remembered which one she was when I went back to collect her. On that first fall night I devised a plan for puppy picking. I pulled all of the baby puppies, one by one, away from the pack to watch what they would do. She was the only one that didn’t go running back. She walked forward. She was my dog, my soul, possibly my savior.

I went to pick her up a couple of weeks later when sufficient time had passed for her to nurse from her mother. She ran and hid and squealed and we had to lift the dog house in the back yard so that we could pull her out from underneath it. Her mother, a golden full-blooded, pitt – took a glaring stance at me as I scooped up her squealing baby pup. I simply explained to the mother that I would take very good care of her daughter. I kept eye contact with her as I backed slowly out of the yard. She almost had a look of relief, definitely an air of compliance.

About 4 weeks later that same mamma pup accidentally hung herself on her own leash while trying to jump over the back yard fence. She was hanging there in front of the puppies until the owner came home to find her like that, dogs squealing, tears falling.

My Shaka never had to see such a thing – in stead she set out on the journey of being raised by two extremely immature, people. We doted and loved, she was our everything. It would be unfair to say that she's now the only thing left– we have our memories as well.

She has lived with me alone for all of her precious puppy dog life, 9 years, save one year I spent abroad. She has been my best friend and companion for most of those years. I am sure I fucked her up good. This is the part when I say “at least it wasn’t a child I did that to”. I could have a nine year old – that hates me because I was really self-absorbed and screwed up for most of these last 9 years. Instead I have her, my Shaka, who still wags her tail and greets me at the door when I come home. She jogs with me. She comes over and lays her head on my lap if I come back after going away for a couple days. She gets in the bath when I tell her to. She eats her food on command and even learned how to “sit pretty”. I need and adore her and the harrowing thoughts of her demise are more than I can deal with most days. I don’t ever want to carry her lifeless body from the living room floor. I don’t want to burry her in the back yard with blinding tears blazing heated trails down my cheeks. I am not ready for that. I am not made of the stuff that can do that.

~How I Feel About Paris Today~


I think Shaka would fit in just fine in Paris. Except now she’s got arthritis and if we lived up a flight of stairs that would be difficult for her.

Monday, September 24, 2007

New York vs. Paris Part II - Shelter Island Sunday


At a certain moment in my life, one particularly wrought with angst and trauma, I did my first escape job. I was only 9 years old, so the escape was, of course, facilitated by adults, namely my mother, doing the same kind of thing - escaping from Atlanta. Yesterday I had the opportunity to revisit my strawberry fields for the first time in 20 years. Shelter Island, New York - at the very tip of long island, a ferry ride across from Greenport, in the middle of Long Island wine country. We took the Long Island Express way up until it ended into 25 East. The road was interspersed with vineyards and open air markets. Antique shops and little cafes dotted the spaces in between. At some points the trees arched out over the road and you could almost just imagine you were on that one road in the south of France that has all of the branchy trees lining both sides of the street.

Then you reach the beautiful Greenport, this was the town my younger sister and I would save up our money and ride the ferry over to watch a movie and browse the bookstore. The ferry ride to Shelter Island is no more than 5 minutes and it was filled with the same excitement, wonder, caution and smells that permeted my experience of rididng the ferry 20 years ago.

Upon exiting the ferry, I was able to steer us immediately to the place. The Chequit Inn, the shelter Island drug store we used to live above, the bar in the bottom of the Chequit where Tara and I used to insert quarters painted red and perform our dance routine to Brass Monkey for the afternoon bar patrons. The quarters were painted red so they could be retrieved later for reuse when when the jukebox was emptied.

I ran into my cousin in the gas station. It was a strange occurrence and just reinforces what a small island it is. He was pumping gas there and Em went inside to pee. I knew it was him from the second I walked through the door and so after freaking him out by randomly questioning him, I revealed who I am. It was funny and he was sweet. He said he definitely remembers me, even though, I haven't seen him since he was 4 years old. He looked the same.

My field, the one across from the Chequit was still there and still picturesque with the sail dotted bay peaking through behind the gorgeous trees at the bottom of the hill. I used to lay in that field and miss my father. I was into the Beatles's then and Strawberry fields was my favorite song to listen to in my field. I made a promise to myself that I have never forgotten. I promised myself that I would always go back to my field when things got to be too much for me. When I needed the rest, reflection and solitude. So I did, I went. And it was everything I remember it to be, more.

I thought alot about my mother. How exciting and fun that time must have been for her. How seductive and beautiful the scenery. Maybe Shelter Island was in tall order for what she needed then. A woman leaving a 16 year marriage. What better of a place to feel that exhilaration of reentering your life, just being you. I can imagine what that feels like. I kind of did the same thing years later. I have often wondered and scant known how I found the strength to walk out on my situation the way I did. Yesterday, I understood that. The difference between she and I? She had three children that she took with her and I went a little bit further than she did. She crossed a bay, I crossed an ocean. She remarried, I went to college. We're both still in the same place we started - but I'm still searching for another way out.


~How I Feel About Paris Today~

New Yorkers have a taste for the finer things in life, things that are not really on any one's radar in the south. The nice Champagne and the smelly cheese and the fru fru coffee everywhere. These things have trickled into Atlanta, mostly due to an influx of New Yorkers in our Southern cities. Paris has a penchant for such things and after visiting shelter Island, I am able to see the roots of these tastes in my preferences.

Friday, September 21, 2007

New York vs. Paris Part I



New York: Big, lots of people, stuff to do and things to see every second. Convenient for this.

Paris: Charming, quaint, none of the huge skyscrapers blocking your view

New York: Nice, friendly (a little bit funny sounding) people populating the city.

Paris: Snobby, chic, better dressed, less friendly (and funny sounding) people populating the city

New York: Sell your organs for cash so you can hit your favorite restaurant on a Friday night.

Paris: No organ selling, mere prostitution will get you the cash you need for the same

New York: Stinky but efficient, albeit somewhat confusing subway.

Paris: Stinky but efficient, charming and way better organised metro system

New York: Must live in Queens or Brooklyn because you are not richer than god.

Paris: Must live in the 18th-20th arrondissements because you want to be able to stand erect in the only god-awful small apartment you can afford to rent

And the winner is...

~How I Feel About Paris today~
I feel kind of like I'm cheating on Paris today. I'm open minded though. New York is charming, I'll give it that - but it's no Paris. It feels like having an affair with a dude that is not only uglier than your husband but not as good in bed and just happens to be there and that's why you're with him in the first place. WOW, not that I've ever done that - but I guess Paris still has my heart. Paris is my estranged bitch. Forever calling and haunting and stealing my ability to just move on with my life. All that being said, This is only the morning of day 2 for me here and day one was spectacular. So maybe New York will seep in and seduce me before I go. I'll keep you "posted".

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Freshly ground coffee




I read somewhere that if you buy quality beans and grind them yourself immediately before brewing, the taste of the coffee is sweet enough to stand on it’s own without sugar. I, dear readers, will be (re)testing that hypothesis (as I do every morning), right now...........sugar would be a travesty. That’s all for today, I just wanted to sip my first swallow of freshly ground and pressed coffee with you. Have a great day.

~How I Feel About Paris Today~

I watched Le Divorce (again) last night. I adore that movie. I adore Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson. I adore Paris and I love the feel good, American gone French ending of it all. If you for some god-awful reason still haven’t seen that movie…watch it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

And now I'm back...




from outer space, you just clicked in and found me posted here with that old look upon my face.


Hello - I apologize for the absence, my wireless internet was down baby down for at least a week. A new post will follow shortly. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a great weekend. In the spirit of being brilliant, Hugo and I are heading towards the last days of the Anne Leibovitz exhibition at the high. We'll stop in the market and get some coffee and continue our trek onto the museum. The sun is shining in Piedmont Park, the streets are abuzz with pre-Dave Matthews concert excitement. Know what I'm going to do? Get the hell out of town. These massive concerts int he park are all fine and good except for the fact that the streets around the park, turn into a madhouse of Atlantan cars vying for a space. No thank you, I've got better things to do than deal with that crap, in the order of going to see my lovely, kissable, huggable, niece in town only for one weekend. Brilliant.

How I Feel About Paris Today


I brought this section back today because I actually dreamed about Paris last night. I dreamed that Hugo and I were in a rented apartment with a huge window that overlooked the street. I think we were in the 8th. We were trying to make ourselves ready to go the store and buy some essentials so that we could cook food instead of having every meal out. Then the conversation switched and I wasn't sure that I was in Paris anymore, I thought "oh, I'm in Boston - this is Boston" then Chicago, then New York and then I started crying because I really wanted to be in Paris. At that point I looked up and realized i was, in fact, in Paris. I was happy again.

Monday, August 27, 2007

New York, New York



Finally – I’m going back…plane ticket in hand, it’s official. It’s been precisely 12 years since I last stepped 16-year-old, shaved head, foot in the big apple. That was such a dramatic time in my life I can barely bring myself to share it. Let’s say this, I had scabies, no money, way too much heart, and I didn’t fit in anywhere in the whole wide world. I thought I’d give New York a try, why not. 6 months later it was sensory-overload, nervous-breakdown city for me. I got bussed out by nearby family members and transported across the country though a network of an extremely concerned uncle, sister, grandmother and mother. Four months after my breakdown I landed right back in Jacksonville Florida (where I had left from) and decided not to ever go back until I was good and ready to face it like an adult.

That time has come – all of a sudden, with an invitation and the comfort of a childhood, turned adult-life friend.

I suspect I will love the city, try to drink it and meld right into it’s overwhelming, enormous, everything-all-at-once-and-everywhere pace. I look forward to riding the subway again and visiting the places I used to live and work at that fragile age of 16 years old.

At the time I landed an under the table job in a fast food chicken joint. The owner constantly hit on me and my co-workers once taped a sign to my back that read “I am stupid”. I found the sign on the back of my tee-shirt as I was changing in the bathroom after a shift. Enraged, I exploded from the bathroom, shirt half on, shaking and wagging the sign in their surprised faces. My wrinkle free eyes were streaming hot tears of indignation and my whole world was echoing with the sounds of my betrayed and embarrassed heart bursting into a million pieces.

They, of course, denied that they had posted the sign on me and I think felt somewhat bad about the whole situation. I threatened them all, defended myself and reminded them that I worked there because I was 16, had a southern accent, no work experience and still had my whole life ahead of me to actually fulfill my dreams. They stared in stunned silence through late 20, early 30 year old, immigrant eyes. Eyes that relied on my innocent and naïve disposition to see their own world as better than someone else’s, anyone else’s life.

I walked out of that chicken joint that evening making the first of many promises I have made to myself since; a promise to succeed, to prove them wrong. I cried and cried, running down the street in a blind fury. My young soul taking in my first lesson on how cruel people can be.

Years later in my first graduate level sociolinguistics class, I revisited that episode while internally contemplating the effect a southern accent can have on one’s reception outside of the southern united states. It turns out that moment was a defining lesson in my life that I would never trade in or change into something that didn’t happen.

I have often revisited it, as my “well, at least it wasn’t that bad" example or my “this is what it would feel like to work without papers in this country” example. Anyway I slice it that Belizean woman, Panamanian sidekick and Egyptian owner’s son taught me so much about myself, I really owe them a thank you for it. Despicable as they may be for participating in such a thing, they helped me along the way. yes, their way similar to the "kick in the head" way of teaching someone a lesson, but never the less, I grew from it. And have never wanted to be them, anything like them, or anyone but myself since then.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Electric Burner



Sometimes I think I could have stayed – if it were only for an electric burner. For around 45 U.S. dollars, 35 Euros or 227 French francs– I could have made it through the first year of my contract. I could have brought my produce back to my ‘petite chambre’ in my market bag. I would have stored it on the windowsill in lieu of an icebox in the winter, spring and fall.

I have always known this about the situation. Oh pity be to the languid afternoons and late night sessions over coffee on the electric burner at her place. Oh how I longed for the mini-fridge and food preparation space. Those extra few inches; the difference between here now and there now. My difference, my grave mistake, “Ce n’est pas grave” or as it would come out – “c’est pas grave” it’s not grave – oh yes it was.
The lack of ability to prepare my own meals was the sentence to damnation for my pretty little room in the 16th. I had to leave the family – I had to branch out on my own.

When she went to Tahiti, leaving me the keys to her French business major boyfriend’s home, the first thing I did was buy a whole chicken, with the skin still on, and baste it in a honey-dijon concoction. I roasted that chicken in the precious and practical counter top toaster oven at his place. It was superb.
That meal currently marks, for me, the pinnacle of my self created Parisian homey nights.

I have always been that kind of girl. Without the ability to live in it, cook in it, make coffee and do jumping jacks in it – I can’t be in it – I can’t thrive in it.

Even later, when he put me up in his friend’s place, the studio with the cold-water bath basin in the kitchen, the dishes were too tucked away for me to actually cook on them; I ate left over-take out from the Ethiopian restaurant he worked in.

She came over once. We photographed ourselves, wide eyed, posing with a baseball bat we found in the closet. I know that I will never forget what it felt like to be in my life that afternoon.

It is true that it is useless now to do the what-ifs, when-ifs of the electric burner. Obviously I didn’t try hard enough or it wasn’t meant to be…no, I didn’t try hard enough.

I knew it then – that is the part I never say out loud.

I went after my Parisian life by leaving Paris, so I could do it better. Foolish foolish girl I was at 22. With my clearly distorted notions of what I could actually accomplish, my compulsive belief that I would find my way back. No matter what.

That stupid, ill-planned plane ride home landed me here – smack dab in the middle of my life. My college degree, my ulcer, my chub, my family, my dog, my lover, my neighborhood’s sorry excuse for an open-air market.

My my my – this tirade begs the question, “would I trade it all?” Do I wish stayed? Should I have seen it out, waited it out, worked on my French, met the boy there, gotten a new dog, forged new bonds with strangers that I would now refer to as my family?

The truth is…I would…I would have, if I could have – but I couldn’t. I guess a part of me still can’t…thus is my disorder. Thus is my confliction, confusion and dissatisfaction. Thus I teeter between the now and then, letting whichever mood I’m in dictate my self esteem and personal summary of the events in my life. So YES – tonight YES – I would trade every second of this, for a little electric burner.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Paris - today - at 28

This is what happens when your partner knows exactly how you feel (and happens to posses the soul of a true artist).

~How I Feel About Paris Today~

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Most Free



I always go back to one particular moment, for good reason I think. It has everything to do with abandon and freedom. At this particular point in the history of the world, the word freedom, in English, is way too stigmatized. So I’m going with “la Liberté”. This post is about my first and since only, taste of la Liberté.

Setting: l'Afrique, northwest coast, Essaouria, small ancient Portuguese port town outside of Marrakech, Morocco.
Time: May of 2004
Situation: complete and total abandonment of inhibitions, very far away from home, sand dune jumping
Costume: powder blue djellba, freshly bargained for deep in the bowels of the Marrakech medina.
The story: We (an old friend, turned traveling companion and guide and I) decided to take a walk away from civilization. Essouria is a sandy beach town where the desert meets the sea. We explored the expanse of the bay’s coastal line. The sand dunes were looming, intimidating, harshly expelling sand so violently that there was but no other option than to climb to the top of them to escape the suffocating, sand-filled air.

At the top we passed the time silent, separately contemplating the sea, with little laughter. Consumed and fulfilled with the view, my mind's eye was busy memorizing the setting, for forever. Before too long, enough time had passed and the thirst, inspired by the desert heat, set in. We decided to brave the trail back.

Upon reaching the very tip of the massive dune, we realized we had proverbially bitten off more than we could chew, in this case - climbed higher than we could dismount easily. My friend braved the downward plunge first with me to shortly follow. I never did. Not like that anyways.

It was in that moment, those seconds of decision making that I looked up and outward instead of down and forward. The beautiful and raging Atlantic coastline in front of me, my mind wandered to the many moments spent on the other side, wishing for here.

I knew that if I didn’t back up and take a running leap as fast and as powerful as I could off the steep downward drop of the sandy slope, that I would never be the woman I fancy myself, not really. I would never be free if I conservatively climbed down.

I yelled to my friend, now at the bottom, looking up. I motioned for him to catch my shoes. He couldn’t hear my voice, it wouldn’t travel with the wind – but he understood that I was going to jump it. He started waving his arms wildly, trying to persuade me not to jump it, just to climb down.

I counted on my fingers all of the moments in my life that I had known I was alive. I quickly added this one, backed up and took a running jump off the side of the dune. I was free. It was freedom, la Liberté, to be suspended in mid-air rushing towards a sandy earthen pillow. My eyes were set on the horizon, my fingers reaching in hopes of touching the water – some 50 yards away. My mind envisioning my body landing in the icy cold, under currented water not fit for swimming. My morbid obsession with the ocean allowing the images of my body floating out forever to a watery and FREE death to haunt me.
Yes, this was one of the top five, definitely. This moment, this space, this Africa.


~How I Feel About Paris Today~


The above described trip to Morocco took place on my last trip to Paris, the trip during which I promised myself never to wait three years again to return to that magical city that feels like the only home I’ve ever known. Please reference the date at the top of the post. This is why everyday is becoming so hard for me here. Over 3 years and starting to wonder (again) if any of it really happened.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 2007





July is my month. The month of my birth, fire filled, suffocating heat in the dead of night, red wine drunk, favorite month of the year. I love July…and it’s already mid-month. I find myself in a reflective mood about last July, where I was and what I was doing at that point. Am I happier now? Am I any closer to meeting my goals? Have I made progress?
Yes, yes and yes. Last July…was hell- scooter crash and all. Crazy obsessive what I am doing next hell. This July, I feel a little bored, way more relaxed and a shit of a lot more confidant! That is a victory. College was…no fun for me. I enjoyed the pursuit of knowledge and I grew tons emotionally and intellectually. However, I didn’t enjoy the lifestyle. I was too stressed – there was always something hanging over my head to be done, I put off all of the important stuff and took no real responsibility for my life. I essentially put everything on hold for 4 full years. Now, don’t get me wrong – at the end of those 4 years I have a degree and a job that I am downright passionate about. And that’s exactly it! I hated my job(s) all through college! I hated working as a waitress and a bartender. It was not good for me and I was miserable. I made money sure, I made friends and went out and blah blah blahed my way through 4 years of hell, but looking back on it I know that I am the type that would’ve been much happier if I had just taken a fulltime job and got the hell out of the business – or better yet never got in it! But I did – I did get in it. So now I tip really well when I go out and I always feel really guilty about any special requests to my drinks or food and I love that one song on the radio about the bartender. DO you know the one? It goes something like “I’ll be with the baaartender, the baaartender. I’ll be at the bar with her” or something like that.

So at least I can relate to that huh?
Anyways – my point to all of this "I hated working in the service industry" deluge is: I am happier now, I have made progress and I’ve got a lot to celebrate for this year’s birthday. I’ll just try to avoid scooter crashes!

~How I feel about Paris Today~
I have kind of been half-assing this section for quite a few months now. Let’s face it I have been half-assing this entire blog for quite a few months now. The reason…laziness and fear. I am afraid that no one wants to read about how much I want to be in Paris but cannot manage to get myself there everyday! So there it is, still the same thing. I still love Paris I still want to be there. In fact, I met a person that could be directly responsible for getting me there ( I have to be vague here) and that person basically said no chance of that. I felt devastated and excited all at the same time. Devastated for the obvious reasons but excited because this soon into shit I met someone that could get me to Paris!!!!!!! YEAH, WOHOO, GO ME –workin’ on those dreams!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Does anyone even read this anymore?

Hello - to those of you faithful readers - I am deeply ashamed at my complete negligence of this blog. I started this blog to keep me involved in my own writing. I started this blog to be a public proclamation of of my sincerity in pursuing my dreams. Somewhere along the way, the pursuit of my dreams has turned into long and draining work weeks followed by hedonistic weekends.

This past week however, I was good. I did yoga in the morning, ate healthy food and drank no alcohol (except one cosmo on Wednesday). And where does all that get me...happier! Inspired and expanded in my capabilities to function in my life.

The week coming Hugo and I are vacationing. We will go the beach and sleep in late and generally forget about our lives here in Atlanta for five full days. I will hug and squeeze my sweet little niece whom I haven't seen in what feels like a million years.

The brilliance? A decision to get away, an understanding that sometimes vacation really is the most important thing.

~How I Feel About Paris Today~


Dreams of September in Paris are quickly evaporating from the daily repertoire of my daydreams. Hell, what can I say... we don't have the money to go to Paris this year, at least not now. I still want it, I still need it, I still want to move to Paris and raise a family there too. None of that has changed. My stressful days are filled with petite hunches that I might just be on the right track to getting myself exactly where I want to be...Europe again. Paris, specifically.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fatigue, Mediocrity and Depression

These are the moods I alternate between. Hence the no-writing. My life as late has been littered with all of the above three words. But who wants to hear about that? This is supposed to be about brilliant right? So I’ll just tell you about the bestest most brilliantest moments I can think of. Maybe it will convince you (me) that I am not really as miserable as I think I am. Here goes:

Weekend long out of town party that involved riveting conversation, lots of swimming and culminated in a magical tour of Savannah. The tour was characterized by the rambunctious and infectious laughter of the tour guide, who also happened to be the woman who opened her home and her life to me the entire two days before the tour. She was the German translator / teacher / mother of a good friend. The entire stay was wonderful and relaxing and I didn’t wake up in the middle of a stress dream about my job, in the middle of the night, on Sunday, for the first time in a very long time.

Before that I did another sort of out-of-towner, I spent Memorial day weekend visiting my kinfolk, immediate family and ancestors. I rode around in 4WD off-roading vehicles. I drank beer out of cans and blared my favorite songs from my pick-up truck pulled up to the 6 foot long B-B-Q pit. I sat on porches, took pictures and visited a graveyard that will be the eventual solace of my precious father. I learned of 600 unused acres sitting near-deserted in a dusty little town about 100 miles south of Atlanta. I learned that I might have more than just a pot to piss in. I learned that it’s okay even if I don’t and sometimes disputed land means broken hearts and it’s not my battle to fight. Not for him, not for me.

I have a plane ticket in my hand for this coming week, it’s business – but it’s far from here and that’s nice. I will keep you updated.

This is the only brilliance I have for now.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Straight Chillin'

Here's the scene:

Extremely attractive 20 something in a pencil skirt and french scarf, driving from Buckhead to Midtown in a bright red Dakota. She pulls into her local Trader Joe's to pick up some organic produce, frozen quesadillas, rice cakes, peanut butter, sea-salt, etc..She bags'up and heads on out the door. Said heroine pulls into her coveted parking spot and decides to go ahead and back the truck in just to make her morning venture into work a little snappier. She unloads her groceries, let's the dog out, heats up the quesadilla, cracks-open a bottle of really big, oaky California chard. She pours a little on the ground for her dead homies (in this case her sick and incapacitated boyfriend who is suffering from a high fever and holed up in his parents house). She changes into her paper, denim, clothe - dark blues and heads to the porch, the porch of her dream. She lightly fondles the rosemary, lavender and chocolate mint in her budding herb garden and realizes that life is getting back to the way it was supposed to feel.

She then promptly opens-up her lap top and stamps out this post. Half to rub it in to everyone, but more importantly to share it with those who love her. Because they are the ones that will be happy for her. Not jealous or weird or talking behind her back, but truly happy for her. They (you) will understand how opposite the whole wide rest of my life has been.

Exhibit A:

Friday, May 18, 2007

Still not unpacked

If you've been wondering where the hell I've been...well, so have I. Not blogging turns into "one of those things" in my head. Just like not following my food plan and not taking care of myself and not exercising. There is a snowball effect for me when I am not blogging. The linger I wait, the more embarrassed I get about not doing it and simply prolong my self inflicted torture!

I haven't been blogging or doing any of the above mentioned self loving things listed above. for me, not writing means that I am neglecting a very important part of personal life. Ultimately leaving me completely unsatisfied with any pursuit. In the emaciated, intoxicated, destitute days of my Paris life I wrote. It was the only thing I had, the only thing I actually did. When you have this kind of relationship with art you can't wait to let it happen to you - you must do. Everything in my life latley has simply been - and I haven;t been doing. On a very surface level you could say I haev been doing my job - but I haven't been doing the important stuff and that ultimately will hold me back from being as close to serenity as I can get. Me being the difficult one, according to some. Apparently.

So here, here is my effort to pull myself up from the boot straps and by writitng these two little paragraphs, I hoping that it will somehow push and expand my appetite to write more often, to give more to this instead of things which are not of my nature. I am hoping that this petite entry will push at my resolve as I sometimes over gorge my stomach with food and my parameters stretch.

~How I feel about Paris Today~

Desperate.

Natalia, J'ai reçu ton email et je suis écriture toi de retour, je promets. Tu me manque aussi.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A walk in the park

Today is the first day of the seasonal weekend market in the park. I was there with my market bag, jean jacket and $20. Apparently no-one is able to say organic anymore unless they are certified organic. All of the vegetable venders now say "naturally grown". With the threat of rain looming and Shaka constantly threatening the other market shopping dogs, I was quite pressed and did not take as much time as I would have liked. Every first of the season I forget how bad Shaka is and I take her along. I do this because under all other circumstances I feel guilty about walking in the park without her. Marketing, however, is not to be done with dogs, not unless you have one of those sweet and extremely relaxed dogs. That is not my reality, therefore, I will not ever take her again! The market was lovely, despite my raving mad dog. Atlantans were out in mass purchasing fresh produce and drinking illy coffee and munching on freshly baked pastries. That market alone helps me to be okay in this Atlanta, this landlocked southern city.

The move is over. The un-packing has barely begun, but the move is over! YEAH!
We love the new place. Everyday consists of long evenings on the deck shared with good friends and plenty of cocktails. Last night was the first night that we actually hung out alone at home. We cooked boiled cabbage and zucchini, watched "the good shepherd" and went to sleep relatively early. I feel amazing today and I am prepping for the big kitsch wedding extravaganza. I will certainly keep you "posted"!

Enjoy the weekend, budding summer is my favorite season.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I’ve got hives

And they suck…big time. Hey anon who left the ultra supportive, “I’m gonna kick some ass” post in response to the BBs – could you kick my hives asses! THEY HURT!!!! My sister says that I don’t deal with change very well, you think??? I might would (yes, I know, double modal) believe her if I could verify that the hives are, in fact, here because of my inability to deal with change. However, I think they’re here because of the self tanner I’ve been using. The same thing happened when I tried to use Neutrogena cellulite firming cream two years ago. Not that I have any cellulite of course, I was just trying it for kicks. ANYWAYS…do you wonder what all of the change, possible hives are about?????? Well it rhymes with groove, it’s kind of the same concept and I’ve only got ONE WEEK TO DO IT!!!!!!!! Do you give up?????? I’m moving!!!!!!!!!!! Think I’m happy about it??? UH HUH, I AM !!!!!! That’s what all of the screaming and the punctuation is about!!!!!!!!! SEE!!!!!!! IT’S HARD FOR ME TO STOP!!!!!!

Okay, I’ll try. Here are the specs:

Across the park
Literally
Two bed / two bath
Two outside areas – one patio, one deck
A big green wall in the living room
Dishwasher…I’m sorry, I said DISHWASHER!!!!!!!!!!
Washer and Dryer…you know the drill…WASHER AND DRYER!!!!!!!!!!
Perfect, perfect, perfect…

Me and Hugo’s first place together, really together, brilliantly together. Besides all of the other hootin' and hollerin' about the dishwasher and the washer and dryer, I’m really excited about the fact that we are finally moving in together.

I’m also trying to listen to the good fairy and accept that we love each other I am truly wild at heart and I won't turn away form true love and the commitment therein.

I’ll post more pictures soon.



How I Feel About Paris Today

No less, enthused about Paris today. I am eagerly planning our late summer/ fall trip there. I have not forgotten Paris nor put it in on the back burner of my plans. The new place is just a natural step in me upgrading the quality of my life while I am here.
I love you Paris, miss you Paris, you are forever in my heart and I will one day find my way back to you. I Promise.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spring Wedding

I am going to a May wedding. Not just any wedding, the type of wedding where I have to look like a goddess. So what better to wear than a goddess dress:



I am thinking of gold shoes, a long dangley necklace and bright red lipstick.

This will not just be any wedding, this will be a wedding full of what I call the BBs. That would stand for Bosnian Buttheads (except the word I would really call them is more feminine and canine in nature).

Now I am no random Bosnian hater, obviously not, because the general trend in my life has been to worship everything foreign. Fall for it, be consumed with the culture, tradition and interaction and make really good life long friends along the way. My exposure to Bosnian culture through Hugo, is no different than this except for my interaction with the female faction of a particular group of friends that Hugo has taken me to party with. I have had cigarette smoked blown directly into my face followed by intense eye contact and a flick of the stubbed cigarette butt onto the sidewalk as the person(BB) I sweet and innocently introduced myself to got up and walked away with not even a hello being considered.I don't want to go on about this and as Hugo well knows, I can...for days...months...literally years!

So one of the BBs is getting married and we're invited and I've got to look cute. They always out dress me but there are certain standards I adhere to, such as refusal to look like a hoochie no matter how much everyone else does. So, I'm taking the highroad and buying a Banana Republic dress. I'll keep you posted on the outcome of the situation. Feel free to comment on the dress.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Bosnian Berry

I had this whole post prepared. poorly written, rushed, winy, hungover poetry about how much I miss Paris in the cold gray nostalgia of Atlanta. Instead of all that...I am taking this moment to pay tribute to my brilliant boyfriend. Thank You HUGO - for making me smile and keeping me real...
double luv
me

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Road

As in, the one I’ve been traveling on has been: good hearted, naïve, scary, needy, all consuming, stressful, unique, powerful, bumpy, lonely, beautiful, barren, intoxicating, infuriating, brilliant and breathtaking. I am not at the end of this road, not even half way through it…however, tonight I am celebrating the particular destination I have decided to take a rest in, no, landed in. It reminds me of my trip to Morocco. Mother Africa through a glorious port in the north. I irrationally, inexplicably burst out in tears and dropped to my knees on the deck of the “fast ferry” boat I was on. I remember the feeling of raindrops on my face and my overwhelming reaction to the fact that I was about to be in Africa. I believe I was also in the middle of healing a bruised heart. Bruised from the blast back of having to break someone else’s (albeit totally unrealistic) dreams of a life with me. I also had unrealistic, unrequited feelings for another. I cried that day on the helm of that fast ferry for all of us, including mother Africa. Then I asked the customs agent not to stamp my passport (he did anyways – which is fine because I didn’t really have a good reason for asking in the first place, just wanted to feel mysterious I think). So yes, the road to Africa, for me, consisted of a walk (I was running), a wait (I was talking), a bus ride (I was sleeping) and a boat ride (I was crying). When I actually arrived in Africa I was CALM. I was HOME. I haven’t ever really questioned why I felt so at home, so in love, so alive. All I know is that once in Africa, on the bus ride to the big white city, we made a stop at a rest area. This rest stop was different than any I had ever been in. There were beautiful old trees that canopied the entire area. There was a light music playing on speakers and special washbasins to rinse off your face. There was an old man and a shared sandwich and an apple to keep me company and satiated. There was an emphasis on my personal comfort like none other I have felt before that moment or since then. It was just a roadside rest stop – but it reminds me of where my life is right now, minus Africa, the old man and the neat washbasins.

How I Feel About Paris Today

I feel closer than ever to Paris. One of my dear friends will be in Paris in two weeks time and I am so excited for him. I have helped and planned and been way too involved in someone else’s trip to Paris than what is normal, but I feel good about it. I am back to my old ways of apartment surfing Paris apartments – but this time with a vacation in mind. A vacation during which I will be able to evaluate what my dreams are – and how much I am willing to sacrifice for that city. It is good and natural and exactly what I should be doing. I miss Paris today, but Atlanta’s not feeling so bad either. There are big sweeping pink, white and purple trees adorning the green hue of the lake that reflects the city’s beautiful skyscrapers. Yea, I feel good about everywhere today.


May 25th 2004


Now on the bus on my way to casa I know for sure that I wasn’t ready before. Now I am ready, readier than ever. The bus just stopped at an “aire de repos” – rest stop. I ate a great sandwich and split an apple with this older man who has been guiding me since the bus stop in Fuengirola. We were the first ones waiting for the bus. We walked and he showed me the medina in Tangier and we had mint tea at a café where the bathroom was obviously never meant for a woman to use, but I did. It was utterly disgusting, but I guess I am a stronger person for doing it. He is an angel, this man. I feel that his presence was sent to me to help me along my way. I am happy and relaxed here. I am exactly where I need to be in this moment. Africa- Morocco, wide one spaces, fields of sunflowers and wild yellow, red and purple flowers growing on the side of the road. Vast expanses of blue Atlantic Ocean. Finally I am ready for you Morocco. I know I wasn’t before; it would have been too much. I had to have that Moroccan woman in Lille call me the devil first and I had to be prodded at by those women in the Paris suburbs. I had to make peace with my relationship with B, Youssef had to break my heart. Haq had to be deported and Natalia had to be considering marrying her Moroccan boyfriend and moving here – just like I was so many years ago. All of this had to happen first. And now I am ready for the intrusive stares from the older women and the men hissing. Every conversation I hear in Arabic sounds like it’s about to break into a fight and then I realize they are not on the verge of violence but laughter – maybe violence too – who knows – maybe it’s the same kind of emotion that drives it all. I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve felt more where I’m supposed to be is where I’m at. My precious words have returned to me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oh my, I’ve forgotten to blog

for like over a week now! Horrible huh? Sorry about that. I’ve been tired, tired as hell actually. The 9-5 work week is kicking my butt. I like to say I’m still adjusting, but I wonder if I ever will fully adjust. I’ve also got other stuff going on – for instance- I am hosting the best baby shower ever! I am so excited about it. I know, I know that may seem weird – but sometimes a girl’s got to plan a big ole party and get way too excited about. For my sister’s baby shower I showed up with games and plastic cups. That was me insisting on helping plan the thing. For this one I am going all out – I’ve read up on my baby shower etiquette, I’ve got my menu planned, my games ordered (I know…fancy☺) and my co-host coming up over for pre-party day prep the day before. I am making the cake (shaped like a onesie) and a few extra frills. The thing I think is weird about babies and baby showers – I never really feel connected to the baby until after the baby is born. So you’re supposed to care and be excited and be all connected to the little baby while it is still inside the mom. I just don’t feel that way. Of course I’m excited – I can’t wait to meet him (it’s a boy) and I’m already stressing out for and simultaneously planning the little guy’s future – but it all feels devoid of genuine emotion somehow. I felt the same way with my sister’s baby. If anything – the presence of the baby in the mom’s stomach makes me love the mom more and feel bad and excited for the mother – not the baby so much. I think as far as this one is concerned (Atlas – don’t you love that name?) I will fall for him once I meet him. That was certainly and shockingly true for miss Riley.



~How I Feel About Paris Today~

Now – I don’t mean to bite off more than I can chew or count my ducks before there in a row but…WE’RE GOING TO PARIS IN SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
‘nuff said…

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Acapulco


There is a poncho in my closet. Actually I have three in there but this entry is about one of them in particular. It is light brown and loosely sewn, so you have to wear a shirt under it. It has two flowers (red) in the middle of the part that hangs over the chest. I saw this poncho recently in a photo and I remembered how much it meant to me. When I was 23 I went to Mexico for the first time. The man I was in love with one had a death in his family and overnight I lost my lover to Mexico. It was devastating. So I booked a plane ticket to Acapulco. I went over Christmas time because I had just gotten back into school and I had almost a month off to be down there. I did an early Christmas with my family and my stepmother had bought me this beautiful poncho. It was perfect for the trip and I was stunned at how perfectly it suited me. The picture that I have of myself wearing the poncho is at a place in Acapulco called la Quebrada. It is a famous part of the city where skilled divers go to jump off the tall cliffs into a narrow abyss that fluctuates with the tide of the ocean. The atmosphere at the place is full of excitement and nervous energy. One wrong step, one second too late and the famous cliff diver will have a broken neck or cracked skull. There is an alter at the top of la Quebrada with the Virgin Mary there. Each diver will jump into the water from a shallow spot, swim across the abyss and then climb up the side of the cliffs. Once they get to the top they will take turns praying in their Speedos to the virgin to keep them safe through the dive. They will then jump and twist and flip and leap on blind faith and practice into the dark and rocky waters below them. It is amazing and stressful, like most things in Mexico.

This is from a journal entry from that trip, brace yourself – it’s almost too much brilliance:

12/18/02 Acapulco - Mexico

This morning started at 7:00am – no wonder though, we were knocked out by 9:30pm last night. Yesterday on the way to the beach, in the pick-up truck with the old man driving, I got my first taste of the smothering Acapulco sun. Paco blew on my head to cool me.

He cools me with his breath, gives me his own air. Sleeping tangled up in one another, he kisses me in front of his mother and she smiles warmly. Luise is silent only staring into the expanse. I made tortillas this morning, with my hands.

Barefooted, outdoor plumbing, dumping buckets of water onto my hot skin, loving the way he loves me, passionate afternoon loving gives way to sun stroked siesta with feverish dreams of the morning’s ventures down from this mountain. Relax, slow down, talking fats, moving slow. At every turn children singing, grown ups praying, teenagers fighting, lovers embracing – he takes my hand everywhere we go and I know – all he’s got is his pride.

12/23/2002

So everyday I find myself giving me the same little support talk about not getting trapped into a life I do not want. I guess when it’s all said and done I won’t. I will live the life I am able to create to the fullest.

12/24/2002

Every fucking day, every fucking minute, I have doubts. I want a magnificent life and I guess I just imagined doing that alone and I feel so damn guilty about pulling someone else into my web. I guess the thing is, I never wanted this to begin with and now I am completely involved and continuously scrambling to re-arrange and re-adjust all of those dreams. I keep praying to the universe to guide me and give me what I want and need and deserve. To give me what is aligned for me.


How I feel About Paris Today


When I wrote the previous journal entries, my life in Paris was not such a distant memory, as it is becoming these days. I was still freshly back in the states from Paris. Today, I am missing it all the same. It seems that at the time, Paco was the largest possible obstruction between me and Paris, today it appears that my own fears and needs are the largest obstructions to a life in Paris. This is an important piece for me. When I did eventually leave Paco I vowed to always stay true to what I want in life. Hugo is not an obstruction; I can no longer blame it on a relationship. It seems that leading a brilliant life is sometimes about putting yourself out on a limb and taking a jump into the unknown – not unlike the cliff diver’s at La Quebrada. It takes skill and practice to land correctly, but it takes blind faith and a prayer to the virgin to get your feet off the cliff.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dear Hugo,

I am not sure what to write here, so I guess I will start with thank you. Thank you for cooking dinner for me tonight and bringing my friend to have lunch with me today so I could see her one last time. Thank you for never accepting less from me than who I want to be. Thank you for being so easy to hang around and thank you for ignoring my harsh mumblings directed at you in the mornings.
I miss you desperately when you’re not here. I think you have good things in store for yourself. I love you profoundly. I believe that we are experiencing growing pains in our relationship. I believe that is normal and we will only learn to love and understand each other better from that. Look how far we’ve already come.
What makes me laugh about you and me is that we have never, not even once, just had a fight. From our very first fight we thought we were breaking up. Every fight we have ever had has had those terms. I think I understand why now and I’m going to tell you. I’m not sure about you but I’ve got a hunch it’s the same way for you too. For me – it’s not that I think it’s the end, it’s that I’m terrified it’s end. Those are the terms because it works so well and I’m so happy and amazed to have found you, that a fight means that we might loose one another. So that turns into the irrational parameter we bang our issues up against. Maybe one day, we won’t indulge this fear of loosing one another and just have an argument during which we know we will still be together.
I wish you were here with me tonight. I love the way you look and I love the way your body feels. I love how round your head is and how well I understand even you most bitter parts. I am still crazy about you, still obsessed with you. I will never forget what it felt like to run down the street after you that rainy day when you had to go home for the evening. We weren’t arguing or in a bad place at all – quite the contraire- we hugged and pressed ourselves against each other and the car. And after your car pulled out of my narrow driveway I ran down the street barefoot in the rain after your car. You drove the mustang then and I started out too late so you did not see me. You called as soon as you got home, as you often do, and I told you that I had become overwhelmed with the love and need I felt for you and that I ran after your car when you left. You nervously laughed in disbelief. I suspected you loved it.
I am just rambling on here because love letters are important and I haven’t written you enough of them lately. I am so excited about our summer. I love you so much in the summer! Our initial courtship took place in the fall and winter and I used to promise you that I was a much happier person in the summer. At almost three years together, I feel that I have had ample time to prove that to you. I love it that we play games like badminton and cards and read books and cook out and spend all of our time in the park and by the pool in the summer. This is going to be the best summer ever. I am planning on hanging out by your pool a lot so you need to go ahead and make sure that you have the key to the pool this year.
I love your house in the summer. I love the cool feel of the hardwood floors and the coffee in the morning in the sun after long impromptu dinner with your parents where we drink too much red wine and I usually end up crying, laughing inappropriately or going on a rant about a certain type of cheese or nail polish or vegetable I am obsessed with at the moment. I love it that you let me rant and show my ass and don’t really do anything but stick your tongue out at me when no one is looking. You are also very kind when you have to be the ear that receives my verbal assertion. You generally just nod and agree with me until I pass out in the yard or go face down into the couch.
So, thank you for pushing yourself in my life and letting me love you. Thank you for saying to me that time that you felt as though you were the luckiest man in the whole world because out of everyone in the world you got to pick exactly who to fall in love with. That is my favorite thing that anyone has ever said about me and I feel the exact same way about you – still and always.

Love,
me

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Good Times

Dear self in any number of days, months or years from now. The date is February 21, 2007 and you, my dear child, are happy. That’s right, happy. You just quit a job that you hated and a business that you have felt trapped in for the past 5 years of your life. You’ve managed to secure a job in a field that is totally in line with your heart and soul and you are, generally, optimistic about the future. You EVEN feel okay about your weight, your apartment, your dog and your boyfriend. You feel that you are old enough to know better but young enough to use that as an excuse.

Things are not perfect, there are still a lot of things that you want and can’t afford, but I am pretty sure that will always be the case. You have recently started baking and you’re actually quite good at it (I imagine you are better by now). This year alone you have already pulled off three culinary treats and not gained a pound from any one of them! You like baking, if you are reading this because you are sad…GO BAKE SOMETHING and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

You also like flower arrangements and are getting better at them every week. Keep doing that, or start again - I don’t know which.

Your writing is becoming more and more of a focus and less of a “thing I used to do when I was younger but stopped because I got into college”. You’re in the middle of the second installment of your life memoirs (thus far, of course).

At this point you are being really good about not biting your nails and making your bed every morning. You and your boyfriend have taken to having long dinners with friends, which end in way too much drunkenness but a whole lot of fun. He is a great cook and you usually make him cook the whole mess of it except for the dessert.

Overall, you are in a very good place and you feel that you have worked very hard to get here. You feel peaceful, lucky and pensive.

The last few years of your life were a living hell. They were full of financial, emotional and psychological stress. But you kept on – forging relationships with your family again and struggling through the issues of your romantic relationship. All the while you worked two fucking jobs and went to school full time. Congratulations – breath – relax – get back into yoga and watch some movies you love.

You worked so hard to get where you are now, so if you’re reading this because you’re bored, depressed or somehow unhappy, just remember this evening in February where all of these things to feel grateful for were very clear to you.


How I feel about Paris today


Again, optimistic here! What can I say; I really believe that Paris is for me. I never want to be broke and struggling as much as I was last time I was in Paris, but I am starting to feel secure in my ability to get myself where I want to be. I have gotten myself here – this was always part of the plan, this time in between college and Paris. It feels right, Paris feels as though it is happily looming, waiting still being Paris. It’s not going anywhere. Okay yes, I won’t be 21 and anorexic anymore when I go back, but that will be okay because I will be comfortably living in my own skin. I will be better at Paris. (and I was pretty damn good at it before)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Paloma Negra

Scene: My 20 square foot kitchen tile space.
Me: swaying back and forth with a bottle of wine as my impromptu microphone,

Paloma negra paloma negra dónde, dónde andarás?”

slightly buzzed, very happy, recently sexed (precisely 40 mintues earlier), intoxicated by the smell of roasted veal in white wine and my first foray into cooking with coriander.

Hugo- standing across from me (precisely 15 feet away) holding intense eye contact as I lip sink to the blaring Mexican folk music.

Me:
Quiero ser libre vivir mi vida con quien yo quiera

Yelling this and shaking my hair and face at him, trying to seduce him with my accented Spanish and off key singing voice.

Dios dame fuerza que me estoy muriendo por irla a buscar

Him:

“I paid 40 fucking pesos for this song in Oaxaca”

Me: (flying off into Mexican vacation dream land)

“well we certainly did, didn’t we!”

Remembering the Mexican family of four sitting beside us when we paid the mariachi to sing me Paloma Negra tableside. The father not so discreetly abhorred the quality with which the mariachi sang the song. He then described the importance and beauty of this song to his family and proceeded to re-sing the song in a manner that he deemed appropriate.

Me: drunk and nibbling on queso fundido, totally agreed with him and swayed my head to his poignant rendition.

Y agarraste por tu cuenta las parrandas



We all have our moments, as I am writing this Hugo is doing pirouettes across my living room, much to Shaka’s barking chagrin.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Obvious Child

I love Paul Simon. These lyrics touch my heart in that familiar entrancing way that I have always been obsessed with words and phrases. Tonight finds me powerless, literally, and contemplative by candlelight. I would be angry at the gas company or feel bad for myself if I had a good reason for that. I find myself remembering not only Paul Simon, but Jimmy Buffet crooning, “It’s my own damn fault” in the last verse of Margaritaville. I have always been inspired by the progressive dawning and acceptance of guilt that song expresses. With that sentiment, I am going to take a leap into my uncertainty and say - The happiness and ease with which I am able to accept my guilt in the current situation of simply not paying my electricity bill, makes me feel like the obvious child. The fact that I have worked really hard to get through school studying something that I love with all of my heart and lexicon and then easily (yeah right) graduated and gracefully (uh-huh, banana) transitioned into the next phase of my life, makes me the obvious child. The fact that this evening finds me in the second to final week of obligation at a job that I have been dreaming of leaving for a couple years now makes me the obvious child. Maybe when sunny contemplates that fact that some rooms feel like cages, having had everything always, Sunny born with a happy disposition finally meets his own disillusionment with just being okay, this means that there is room for me to move away from my wounds. They are not my cages; I am therefore, the obvious child. It’s oh so very obvious to me just now.

~How I feel About Paris Today~
As much as I feel the need to throw down roots here and maybe do something stupid like settle for less than Paris – I still long for this city called Paris. I still remember the way it feels intoxicating, charming, quaint, huge, untamable and insatiably alive all at the same time. I miss Paris. I am happy here for the moment, only because I know I am working towards getting there. As far as living the life I want to live – I am happy with the life I live right now and looking forward to what lies ahead. The cycle of anguish to okay that I have been on for the past five years has instilled a little faith in me that sometimes the suffering does end and there might just be a sunny day waiting. I know, I know, I am being really friggin’ optimistic. Maybe I should have named this post “what goes up…”

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Drive to Work

Once upon a time (three weeks ago) I had an interview with some corporation. I didn’t really tell too many people and I wasn’t very excited about it. It was actually a ‘mock interview’. It was set up through my school and meant to give me interview practice. The thing is, they really do hire from these interviews. So I showed up at the correct time with my updated resume. I get ushered into a tiny room with two people. I have come to refer to these two people as ‘the sharks’, ‘the corporate sharks’. The woman was named Buffy, that’s right, no shit, Buffy. The guy was named…umm…I never did get his name, however, the sight of his receding hairline flanked by stiffly gelled spikes of mousey brown hair will forever be singed into the dark crevices of my forever developing self respect. The interview went horrible, needless to say. I couldn’t force myself to do the (what I have come to refer to as) ‘corporate whore dance’. I stuttered, sighed, yawned and basically picked my nose. They tried to convince me to beg them for a job and instead I got up, thanked them for their time and asked them if they would be needing that copy of my resume. That was (basically) that.

Once upon another time (this morning) I was driving to work. Happy, late, excited about getting to Starbucks and generally looking forward to my day. I came upon a stoplight and realized that there was a car waiting to pull out of a dry cleaning parking lot and into the flow of traffic. I was feeling generally jovial so I didn’t inch up the extra feet and sincerely smiled at my fellow motorist, giving them the okay to pull out. EEERRRRRKKKKK- Stop the flipping press- it was him, Mr. spiked, receding hairline. He looked at me and I looked at him. He had a slightly confused look of recognition on his face and I looked like I just swallowed a guinea pig – a dead guinea pig. Thus began my ultimate race to the grand finale of who will have a better life. This instruments of this race were cars, Peachtree Street, morning rush hour and of course, my imagination! We even did a pit stop in the same strip mall, him to withdrawal money from the ATM and me to get my coffee. We were back in our cars and racing each other again within five minutes. I pulled back into the flow of traffic from the southerly end of the strip mall parking lot and he chose the middle exit that actually has a stoplight. Much to my beguilement, I was stuck waiting at the light on the main street while he was pulling out of the parking lot under the protection of the stoplight. Nonetheless, I caught up and it was on again. Eventually I realized that I was grossly exaggerating the situation of sharing a morning commute with this individual. I had turned the whole thing into this sick contest (at times reaffirming) of who would have the better life. While I was inside Starbucks I was imaging him walking in and apologizing for his (and Buffy’s) foolishness. I imagined myself saying to him, “oh that’s fine really, for the best in fact. I have found meaningful employment with something I actually GIVE A FLYING SHIT ABOUT”! AT this point I realized that I might be taking things a bit far. In the end, who won the race you ask? Well, Peachtree Street veers off to the right at the intersection of Roswell road and Roswell veers to the left. We were headed in different directions. I was fine with that, it was the only way it could have been.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Love and Paris and this old red journal I used to write in

I had a really mean post about me-and-Hugo-drama fired up earlier this week but I held off on it. I’m glad I did because last night I nearly fell in love with him all over again. Just, you know, over dinner and drinks at home. We let our conversation roll and jut out into a million different directions. We laughed and made lofty wishes about who we’d most like to have dinner with. We basically just talked, as simple as that. I realized half way through the magic hours that we were doing what we do best right then and that we really needed it. We were intellectually and emotionally inspiring each other.

When we fell in love it was all about art and passion and perspective. Besides being totally seduced by his gorgeous body I was seduced by his mind and ability to understand and amaze me. It is truly a case of loving the way he thinks.


~How I Feel About Paris Today~


Taken from my journal:

Written in a very cold chateau somewhere in northern France:
12/28/00

So this will be my first full day at this castle. I do not like it very much, mainly because it is boring. I was in paris for only one day after I arrived in France. After being gone for only a few hours I already missed it. Now I will go and write my sister.

Six months later – same red journal:

06/12/01

Sitting alone in this room in Paris, France – I reflect on my past and those events that have passed. Was it all a dream? Was I ever anywhere but here? Did I never leave at all – will I open my eyes tomorrow morning and still have a dog, a husband, a job and a car? Please someone reaffirm for me exactly where we are!

06/14/01

So maybe it was all just a moment in time that has already passed. I am not too bitter as I at least half-way understand. This Paris has worn me down- must find a way to make money so I will be okay. The universe seems to have taken from me mostly everything that I've held sacred. Yet I am thankful for the sun today and for the health I have to carry on. I don’t know why it is mapped out for me to be solitaire in this time – yet I do nothing but try to be thankful for this. Bob Marley runs trails through my head, “I know a place – where we can carry on”. Pulsating memories of endearment… We have truly fallen from grace in the eyes of one another. I have no normalcy here, only the knowledge that I am alone. So maybe it was all just a moment in time that has already passed. Maybe I can’t complain about this and should just be thankful again for what I have learned from it. Yes – “I know a place – where we can carry on”. I find solace in companionship – but none can truly hear me. My problems are met by the sighs and rolling eyes of those who are meant to be comfort in my darkest hour. This journal is a recollection of a journey in the making – one not yet finished- yet already over forever. I just must know - one day I will be okay again.


For song lyrics to I know a Place click here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Catching Up

Hi there, so glad you have joined me! Isn't this wonderful?!!! I miss you, I swear, I'm talking to you. Yes, YOU. Before we start can I get you something to drink? No, alright later. This post finds me…exhausted, enthused, beguiled, adjusting, content and happy. I found a job, no…correction: the job! I will not go into any detail here just so I can never get dooced for blogging about my job. SO, what I can say are the following vague but (slightly) intriguing (I hope) thing-a-ma-jiggers about my new JOB.

1.) It is better than I expected to find.
2.) I feel that I will be starting my career in a field that I
1a.) studied
1b) really care about
1c.) will thrive in.
3.) As 1a. alludes to above, this job is totally slap dab, right in the middle of, up my alley.
4.) Statement 1. is not referring to the financial side of the situation – so don’t get to jealous just yet- I know I was doing a lot of big talking about selling my soul to the devil to bring in 40K starting out. I probably had everyone convinced that I was about to become a mega-millionaire just by the sheer force of my insistence…and that would be great, but not very likely. (as I am sure some of you had already predicted).
5.) Really this is 4., continued. It is enough to live on comfortably. It is enough to save money and buy myself nice things and travel. It is about a million times more than I making now, not because I am making small beans now, but because this will be stable quantifiable income.
6.) It will be challenging on a daily basis.
7.) There is definite, for sure, room for growth.
8.) International opportunity.
9.) Did I mention I love it?

I hereby solemnly swear to only post really vague (worse than the above) things about anything slightly related to my JOB! I am happy to have one and I am going to try really hard to be great at it.

On other fronts, my life is still a mess of disorganization. I still haven’t cleaned and organized all of the papers, mangled and forgotten, living in a light blue laundry basket, in my hall closet. I cleaned the hell out of my apartment and Hugo cleaned the hell out of my kitchen. I have rediscovered the arranging of flowers. Shaka is getting older and older! It is horrible and sad, but I have her on a senior dog action plan for 2007. Upon other things, the plan includes keeping her and her doggy bed really clean. This is only a struggle because one of her favorite things to do in the whole world is roll in SHIT.
For 2006’s photo highlights go here: My Flickr account.

Don't forget to visit the archives.



~How I Feel About Paris Today~


Today’s Paris mood is quite hopeful. I feel that this new Ah HEM…thing I have going on in my life is a step towards Paris, not a step away from it. I knew I needed stability, I knew I needed to save money and figure out, actually put the pieces together for Paris. If this new Ah HEM…thing in my life is any indication of the path of brilliance and non-resistance from the world on matter concerning what I want with all of my heart, then Paris…will…be (for me, when it is time).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Direction

Desperately seeking, direction. My thinking is, if I say it enough I will be hit over the head with clarity and…direction.

I saw a concert Saturday night. Bebel Gilberto played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. It was a part of a concert series they feature called “pops” because the singers they bring in are more…poppy than the usual ASO style. I really enjoyed it. The show was, of course, flanked by alcohol on both sides, before and after. The after party portion of the evening found me shuttled across the park to Noche for tapas and…more alcohol. This all wrapped up with Hugo and I being ushered into a cab that safely delivered us right back at my doorstep where the whole evening began. This was all fine and enjoyable but I find myself struggling with a way to brilliantly describe the evening. I don’t feel like myself lately, therefore, my evenings don’t feel so brilliant. I am half too okay to be okay with. The other half of me is anxious, worried and apprehensive about everything. I am doing my thing that I always do and obsessing over the next move, the next job, all of the stuff I want to buy and all of the places I want to go “as soon as I get back on my feet”. For now, I’ll have to settle for chilly but oh so sunny Monday afternoon trips to the farmer’s market with Hugo where we eat lamb samosas and walk arm in arm around the huge building of worldly vegetables and fruit. I sometimes wonder if Hugo knows how often he saves me. Even when I fight and resist it and silently wish he wasn’t there bothering me so I could be surfing the Internet for jobs and supposedly writing. He silently insists that I stop my obsessing and join him for a few lucid hours of rambling conversations and agitated togetherness.

And then…opportunity called, but more on that later!

How I Feel About Paris Today

I am still working harder than ever to get there. The current (on-going) identity crisis I am experiencing has everything to do with the fact that I know what I want so acutely.