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.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Day After

Turkey day was good, real good. I decided to go ahead and eat whatever the hell I wanted and just get back on the pony today. I am happy with that decision cuz there was some good eats at my family's. We are about 40-50 deep at our Thanksgiving dinners. It is always fun and there is never enough space for everyone to sit. Last night was the worst I've seen it yet, I mean people were standing eating there Thanksgiving dinner. that is such a faux pas! So I took it into my own hands to uproot those that had already finished there first plate. Thanksgiving at my family is like a contest to see who can eat the most. We call it running with the big dogs. In recent years they have actually introduced a large sized plate for those who need it. i think this is a gross catering to an obesity problem that starts with absolute disregard for health, happiness or well-being, but try to say that to a 300lb cousin who is about to stuff there face with 5lbs of Thanksgiving fare. Not to disrespect anyone, the skinny ones join in the contest by trying to consume there own weight in green bean casserole and stuffing. I took the somewhat moral highroad and only went in for one round. True I didn't move more than three feet from our buffet table the rest of the night and "just picked" myself stuffed silly, but at least I didn't go back for a second round!

So Hugo, told my Jehovah's witness auntie that he was an Afghan refugee and that were not boyfriend and girlfriend but just have sex every once in a while! Yeah, I know, pretty rude. He was insulted, but for the love Christ ya don't have to say that! I kneed him in the back and yelped "that's my aunt" and left the room. That wasn't the only room bolting I did either. Let's see, there was the part of the evening that I tripped over an ice cooler and went flying across the kitchen mid bite of honey baked ham that I had swiped from the food table. This in and of itself is not so embarrassing except for the 40 screaming family members, none of which were actually trying to break my fall but instead watching in half amusement and half horror as I am wiggling through the air and they are all screaming "WHOA" Like that's gonna fuckin' help! Instead I totally did a cat-like land on hands and back paws and jumped up as quickly as possible to bolt into the room and take refuge in my aunt who sells wigs for a living. She just said I would probably bruise. When i recovered from that I switched rooms to go and find Hugo and recount my embarrassment, and then my cousin walked in who JUST GAVE BIRTH YESTERDAY! with the new baby and awesome husband who delivered the baby himself in tow! There was a stampede to get to the new baby in which my 11 year old little sister was literally crushed! But I must beautiful. Happy Holidays people, it's 80 degrees in Atlanta but I don't care, I already put up my Xmas tree today! Here's a pic.

How I Feel About Paris Today

I've heard French turkey is kinda better, not so packed with hormones and therefore juicier than a lot of American turkeys, so If and When I move back to Paris, I will have one of those really sophisticated Thanksgiving dinners for other expat friends and we will eat Turkey and drink really good wine and I am sure that I will be desperately missing my family, but ultimately will be much happier with myself for living the life I want.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey Day

So, I had to go to a work party for my second job and somewhere in the midst of the party someone asked me what Thanksgiving is really about...yeah, you can imagine my response...I will say this, it involved the trail of tears and an awkward, "oh, I see, alright then, thank you" form the questioner. My boss walked by and looked as though she wasn't sure whether or not she should laugh or be horrified by this explanation I was bestowing upon one of our more impressionable clients not from America. I got a good laugh out of it later, but it was more of the "DOH...why couldn't I just say turkey and football" nervous laugh to myself before I went to sleep that night.

I am graduating and over cocktails last night with a friend who is super processing her own graduation journey (she's earned her Mistress of Linguistics), I had an epiphany that it doesn't really mean anything, this graduating thing...or does it? I don't know, I'm confused! I know that when I woke up this morning I just wanted my life back. I wanted to be bale to edit this blog and write the story of my life and not have to worry about the million friggin' papers I have due before I can graduate in 3 WEEKS!!!! flare down baby ulcer, it's okay

So yeah, she's right it means a lot, really, it is all about identity shifting and incorporating this new part of myself into whatever new life is going to follow me out the do' of that college I have begrudgingly but self inflictingly (can I do that?) been attending. My biggest fear, is that if I let it mean too much to me and it really doesn't mean that much in reality...

Pregnant Pause 1...2...3 full seconds...

yeah, I don't know how to finish that sentence, THEREFORE, who gives a shit if it means to much or not enough, whatevah, I'm gradiatin' with a degree in Linguistics, and that means...I can diagram word and sentence trees...wohoo!!

So I have also decided to shake things up a bit on the blog. I am adding a new section, inspired by Someday Syndrome's Daily Someday Lessons and Lunch.
My new thing is this...

How I Feel About Paris Today

(I'll work on making that title bigger)

So today I want to live in Paris so that I can blog about living in Paris.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Très calme

Hello, it’s Sunday and très calme chez moi. I was very very stressed out the past few days and things were starting to get unbearable. I have taken to grunting loudly when I am alone to get the stress out of my body so that I can prevent an impending ulcer. I kinda sound like that really ugly guy from the goonies, or at least the sound I make actually sounds the way that he looks. I got out of my shift at work yesterday and had the whole weekend to recover myself and do homework. Actually I should be studying for an exam right now. It is at exactly 9:00am tomorrow morning. I have barely studied all day even though it is the only thing I have had to do today! But I don’t want to think about that!

I have a screensaver of my dog and myself on my computer. We look really close in the photo and when I look at it, it reminds me of how much I love her. But lately it is reminding me of what a horrible mother I am. I mean she is relegated to sleeping on a dirty (I wash it every once in a while) disc of a doggie bed. I don’t wake up and think of her first and immediately take her out for a walk or even the opportunity to pee. Instead I make her wait for hours, the whole time feeling guilty and ashamed of myself for wanting to just be left the hell alone and do my morning thing without having to walk her first thing in the morning. Every guest is better at this than myself. Every time one of my family members or friends comes to stay they are singing and chirping and off handedly mention that they walked Shaka already. I am always overwhelmed with joy, guilt and relief at not having to do it myself. I profusely thank them which is usually met with “I did it for her, not for you” kind of comment. “Right, yeah, of course, this is about her” – and that is why I suck as a mom! And she knows it! She hates me to, I am sure of it. And the times when I actually try to make up for it, she just manipulates me into feeling worse about all of the times that I don’t walk her enough and I end up making promises to her that she 1.) can’t understand 2.) would immediately forget because of her doggy memory even if she did understand 3.) has no reason to believe at all even if she could understand and remember, because I have only ever done the contrary! Instead she sighs heavily, tucks her foot under her chest, and looks away to the side, leaving me feeling like the ass of a doggy mom that I truly am. Oh well, I just hope she doesn’t die before I can make it up to her by being a really good mom all the time. Maybe I’ll start now, maybe I’ll get dressed, not study for my test in the morning and just go ahead and walk the brat around the block…nahhh, it’s too cold out there!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How I feel about Paris today

I miss Paris so bad it HURTS!!!! Reading posts like this one KILL me. I want to live in Paris, I want to smugly describe my ridiculously typical Parisian Sunday afternoons spent in some of the most famous streets in the world. When my sister came to see me in Paris and we had made all of our bar rounds and were stumbling over to the Seine by Notre Dame to get a good look at the pretty water, in the middle of the night, when she exclaimed, “I understand why you like it so much here, this is kinda nice”. That moment sent me into hysterics and the mere memory of it still makes my heart skip a beat, my breath quicken, and tears well up at my eyelids threatening to spill out. I want Paris, I miss Paris! This is worse than a crush on a boy that I can’t quite shake. This is worse than a full blown affair with a guy that I can’t stop thinking about and wondering if I disrespected myself the night before by offering up my body on a platter to yet another man that will probably never call again, but that I don’t want to have to deal with anyways. This feeling, this particular longing, is worse than that. My shoulders tense and my stomach starts to do little flips in place and I become saturated with a look of quite desperation, feeling as though I am drowning in my overwhelming desire to walk down a street, enter a café (yes, I am being that cliché), spend money I shouldn’t be spending in a boutique, sit by the river and write sad poetry about missing America, my life and family here. I want all of that, everyday. I would rather be there missing here than here missing there! It hurts more to be here missing there. There missing here entails a certain knowledge and nostalgia that is safe in it’s familiarity and my overall understanding that I will always be from here, I will come back here and have family here for as long as I am alive. That makes it okay, but this…this missing, longing, slow disintegration of friendships and feelings is dreadful. I hate this missing. I have often compared Paris to a lover, a lover that I never get sick of for a very long time, a lover that I have fled only to return uselessly begging of forgiveness for my rashness of decision to ‘quit’ them. Paris is a woman, I am sure of that, and I love Paris so much that I am just fine with the concept of falling in love with someone because of who they are regardless of their gender. My enslavement to the emotional desires of Paris has effectually turned me into a lesbian vying for her attention. I love you Paris, you know this, it is not the first time I have exclaimed such folly, announced such obsession and desire to be with you, or to be me in you, for you to live, breath and perpetuate yourself in me forever. I love you and I am trying…so hard…to get back to you.

‘A husband said to his wife, “if one of us dies, I’m going to Paris”’ - Sigmund Froid

Dear November

I am cold and I want carbs…damn it! There, I’ve admitted it to myself, I feel much better now. The tip of my nose feels like ice, my hands and feet are freezing and I have to keep rubbing them together to warm them up a little. I am determined not to turn my heat on for a while longer. We’ll see how long that can last. This feels similar to refusing to get student loans for my first year of college. Once I started getting them I was all like, “what the hell was I thinking! I don’t care if I go into debt when all of this is over, I can go shopping”. Turning on the heat this winter, when I finally do, will be just like that but it will be “I can dance around the house naked” instead.

I am now going to compose a letter to the month of November, enjoy:

Dear November (06),

Interesting month you’re turning out to be. I am seeing that you are kind of teetering between bearable and unbearable cold. Just so you know, I’m fine with you going cold all the way cuz it really is inevitable and I am ready to deal with it. The back and forth stuff just leaves me feeling confused about how to dress for a super cold morning that turns into an afternoon with a high in the 60s. But, this is not really why I wanted to write you, I wanted to say…thank you…November. You are just zipping by and the quicker you finish up the quicker I can get on with my life. I am also excited about the earliness of Thanksgiving because that means I can drag the fake Christmas tree out of my closet and decorate it, that is exciting. I am little worried about the last week of, only because that is when everything in school will be due and since you are moving along so quickly, I haven’t really gotten a lot of (read nothing) work done. So If ya could, please just stretch your last week out as long as you can so I can finish everything up. Thanks.

Oh yeah and one more thing, you are the month that Riley is going to be born, so…congratulations!

Double Luv,

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh yeah and it's red

I feel like getting drunk. I feel like feeling something intense. The momentary absence of need, stress, desperation and anguish has left me in quite a tailspin. I can’t feel bad for myself anymore when I drive to work because most of my students drive nicer cars than me. Instead I feel guilty about the ones that take the bus. Hell, I always felt that way, but tonight it was exaggerated, slightly. I wore a white tee shirt and blue jeans to school. I had on black boots and a black sweater with my little fake-pearl earrings I bought at the market. To some this sounds like a reasonable enough outfit, to me it signified the ability to affect minimalist style, possibly complete lack of. I mean what the hell kind of space was I in to choose such an understated anything. I guess I was dressing my part. I have always silently and sometimes, unconsciously, judged people who wear tee shirts. Especially jeans and tee shirts. I don’t mean that offensively, I mean judge in the way that means I would just never make that fashion choice for myself and I am conscious of that. I have also always judged people who drive SUVs and big ole’ trucks in the city. They waste gas and take up too much room on the streets and in parking spaces. So today, I wore a white tee shirt with jeans and got in my big ole’ truck and drove to school. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my truck, I also love the white tee shirt I was wearing (I bought it the same day I got the truck). I am just going through an identity crisis that is commonly referred to as last semester in college. It is good and I will grow I am sure. But I cannot help but to fear that I will sell-out (whatever that means) and never fulfill my dreams and end up working forever in the job that I am “aggressively searching” for. So, enough wining, enough of the angst. I am happy also, today it rained and it was so cold and I had a brand new dodge Dakota to drive to school and work. The heater works and the headlights are bright enough and I cannot feel the elements while I am inside of it. That might be my issue; I am just not used to be okay, certainly not used to looking forward to my drive home or anywhere for that matter. Yes I miss the weaving in and out of traffic and zipping in and out of way too small parking spaces…but not that much, not enough to not be happy about this truck. Life is truly like box of chocolates.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A little venting never hurt anyone

I’m skipping school today…again! Man, I haven’t been this bad since the 9th grade when I would show up at the waffle house in the morning to meet friends, conspire, bum change and take off before anyone would detect us. College has been different, I have reveled in my education. Some classes I couldn’t wait to show up to in order to discuss the reading or go over homework or have intense discussions about things I really do care about. Yeah, this semester…um, not like that. It’s been more littered with the oh my god WHY am I enrolled in this waste of time, piece of crap class when all I want to do is lay in my bed, surf the net and get busy on evolving into the next stage of my life.

Which leads me to the question…what do I want to be when I grow up? Right now, anything that pays 40k a year is sounding pretty nice. I still want to live in Paris so that hasn’t changed…but that’s all this other thing, what I really want to write about is how I want to feel when I grow up…Respected. Thus my struggle has begun…a long time ago in fact! What’s changed is the role I am willing to play for other people…. I’m not willing to be categorized as the pushy one, the confrontational one, the Carrie one. You know, the one that’s too much, too feeling, too sensitive, too honest. Fuck that, everyone has a process and just as much as it could be said that I infringe on other’s peoples methods of not wanting to deal with emotions in an honest way, it could also be said that other people infringe on MY PROCESS of choosing to deal with my stuff in an honest way. And for the record, yes I argued with my sister at my mother’s birthday dinner, but NO I did not ultra confront nor did I yell or push too hard or do anything to warrant the fall out. In fact, I’ve been thinking about the conversation that we did have, the one that everyone now thinks consisted of me confronting and yelling and being really horrible…it went something like this…

Her: “don’t you respect my decision? Can’t you respect my decision?”
Me: “of course I respect your decision, I have no choice but to respect your decisions you are going to be the mother and your decisions rule”
Her: “then you just don’t understand? Well I’m sorry if you don’t know what it’s like to have such good friends that have been there for you more than anyone else in your life”
Me: “Oh I know what that’s like, I have a friend that I feel way more entitled to have a say in her decision making process than I ever even felt in YOURS. It doesn’t mean I love her more it just means that she and I are there with each other everyday…but I wouldn’t give her my baby…not over my family…”
Her: “Well I want my baby to have a religious upbringing and you don’t understand that”
Me; “You really don’t think that your wishes would be respected and catered to exactly as you express them?”
Her: No
Me: (and, of course, this is the only part of the conversation that anyone actually knows enough about to site to me as proof that I am inappropriate) Well F…YOU!

I existed stage left and she sat stunned…
I cried in the parking lot and realized that that might be the baby’s first memory of me and that I am already the worst aunt in the world!
I waited for her to come out of the restaurant and apologized profusely and told her over and over again how much I love her and didn’t mean to tell her to F off…
So that’s how that went…
However, according to others I was ultra-confrontational, drunk, inappropriate, pushing too hard, making other people deal with what only I wanted to…read the above transcription…we were having a conversation.

So, yes I am skipping school today because I hate it and because I am still depressed from last night’s conversation with the other sister. Although we left it nice and she went out on a limb to call me back and make sure I understood that she loves me, and I do understand that…I just disagree with her that my process is fucked…I like my process. Just like, I like my answering machine messages to be a little different. I am sick and tired of people calling my phone and telling me that I need to change my message or they are glad that I did…PAY MY FUCKING PHONE BILL AND I MIGHT FEEL COMPELLED TO GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU THINK OF MY MESSAGE!

Sorry…is this me being inappropriate again?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mom's 50th

I’m trying to write it down pretty but it just wasn’t.
This weekend has left me feeling such a mixture of shame, glory, indulgence, thankfulness and embarrassment. I know one thing…this one goes out to my Hugo for holding my hand through all of it, even if he did participate in the Carrie roast a little. If you’re going to be roasted by a room full of people it might as well be drunken family members who you know live you anyways, or maybe for it although they’ll never admit it! I wore my dark sunglasses and it was night. Of course three hours later found me jerking upwards from sleep in a cold sweat in the full throngs of a full on panic attack. I think it was my first real one. I had to talk to myself and rationalize the voices down. I had to say over and over again that I can do it, I can get through this week, I can get through this panel and this semester and be in a better place if I just hang on and focus a little more. Last night felt like an eventuality that I already knew I was heading towards. It was like all of a sudden I was in the middle of it and I was shocked and scared and didn’t think it was possible to be that scarred and overwhelmed. It was horrible, I won’t lie, it was bad. But the point is, I was up this morning and it was a distant memory hidden under my night’s black veil. And so I go on…

My mother is…

a traveler
in a relationship with a woman
still trying to heal
lucky to have me as a daughter
kind of dramatic
a diva
younger than ever
so young

Monday, October 23, 2006

Letter to self

Dear Girl Leading a Brilliant Life,

I know things have been a little hard for you this year. Your 27th year seems to have started with a scooter crash that left you bruised and bloody and you haven’t really recovered since. I also know that in spite of the scooter crash you had such high hopes for this year of your life. You don’t usually allow omens to affect your overall thinking when they are negative signs. I am writing to say that maybe you should pay attention. Maybe the scooter crash was the big omen and it’s just not going to get better for you. Maybe you’ll die, maybe someone you love will instead. Maybe it will just keep getting worse until you do actually develop an ulcer and flip your lid. Maybe that will happen to you in a moment that was supposed to be serene and under control, like, I don’t know practicing hot yoga or something like that. You should probably be fearful and skeptical of all things. Set yourself up so that you are no longer surprised by the pain and agony of misfortune knocking at your door. Maybe this year is all about that, maybe you have to learn to be more careful and wearier and you should probably consider just stopping your pursuit of any pleasure in life because it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. Is this what you wanted me to say?

The Other Me: “No”

Well what the fuck do you want me to say about the pathetic mess of your life right now??!! Have you seen the balls of dog hair that circulate in your apartment and the piles of clothes and unopened mail? Do you realize you haven’t even gone to the mailbox in a week and you walk past it everyday? You drink too much, smoke too many cigarettes, don’t take your dog out enough, you’re mean to your mother, you procrastinate like a 12 year old who doesn’t want to clean her room or write her book reports (yes, I’m referring to you at 12 also!), and you don’t really seem to be affected by my utter disgust with your life!

The Other Me: “Well, I was doing okay, and then my therapist moved to Denver, my car broke down, My little sister got knocked up, I crashed a scooter, had to file for bankruptcy, stopped giving a shit about my wonderful new job and really just became incapable of taking care of myself in general.”

Good, we are becoming one…your voice is my voice…

The other me: “but…in spite of all of that, I have some really good friends that love me a lot”

You don’t see them enough because you’re too busy…

The Other Me: “I am going to apply for that job that I want really badly and I might get it…I could…I might could…and no I won’t use a double modal in the interview but I defend the semantic legitimacy of the use of double modals in general so go fuck yourself if you’ve got a problem with my using them!”


The Other Me: “Yeah so, I could get the job and I am graduating and I just have to live through one more month and a half of torturous hell and in the mean time I am writing again and taking pictures that I love and I had really good sex just yesterday!”

Okay, okay, I see how you could still be optimistic in the face of all of this torturous hell, but don’t you still doubt and possibly even hate yourself just a little bit still? Aren’t you scared that all of your optimism is a pathetic ploy to keep your washed up, destined for misery self from completely offing yourself thus ending your inadequate existence on this earth?

The Other Me: “maybe…maybe”

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Beautiful Morning

I guess it's a good thing when your life has been so filled with trauma and stress that you really start to appreciate the little things. My father always says, "It's the little things that'll get you". I believe him, it's also the little things that'll save you, rest you and aide you in making it through another day of all the shit your wading through. The little things that I'm thankful for this morning are this

A really good cup of fresh ground coffee, an extremely pulpy glass of orange juice and a free hour to write and take care of myself. Life isn't that bad this morning. I say that with a small measure of precaution only because every time I have said that over the past few months, it has been directly followed by something way bigger than I thought I could deal with! I'm sick of that feeling. I just want to be out of the woods.

I love my boyfriend. We aren’t in a perfect relationship, but we are in a good one. Sometimes we argue and get on each other’s nerves. Sometimes when he puts his hands too close to mine and I don't feel like having anyone in my personal space, I will push his hands away ever so slightly. It is the same thing I do to my sisters or mother if they are 'up in my face' (which isn't that uncommon). But I do it to him too, I think it's because I expect him to be around so long that pushing him out of my way a little is a sign of that comfort with his presence in my life. It's the first time it's ever matched up with anyone. We're equals. That means that a lot of compromising has to go on between us. The good thing about that is that we mostly like the same stuff so we don’t' have to argue about what to do or how to spend our time. Sometimes I get upset because we don't appear to be like other couples, like all gooey eyed and supportive and loving (unless were drunk). But about that, I am working on that being okay, it's okay that we are different than that. We 'act' like ourselves. And I guess I'm just the type of person that is much more likely to get pick a fight with you than to stop and supportively make eye contact in a crowd of people. That's just who I am. It's not my fault; I blame it on my family!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Site Maintenance

If there are any of you reading that would like to leave a comment without registering at eblogger, I have enabled you to do so! Hope I hear from more of you.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I feel somewhat uninspired for this one...Let's see what happens. It is Sunday and cold, Cold Sunday. I had frantic stress dreams last night about people telling me that they did not care about what I had to say. I freaked out and started to throw all of them out of a space that was not my own to do so. Then my boss showed up and tried to stop me. I told her she needed to back me up and she apologized and helped me throw the rest of the people out. Then I dreamed that I was bouncing on a pink balloon down a very long highway in the hot sun. I was trying to get to the nursing home where my great grandma is and my grandfather was bouncing on a pink balloon as well. He was behind me and we were arguing. Mainly I was angry at him, I felt that he put her there, but he felt it was my fault as well and nothing ever got resolved. We almost just scorched to death on the highway. Then I woke up this morning and my neck was even more sore than yesterday.

I think my family does not love me as much as I love them, at least certain factions of them. They probably don't realize it, but it's true. I believe that my stepmother thinks of me as very different from herself. Different in an inconvenient kind of way. I guess I am different in that way. She tells everyone this joke lately about how my father wanted to call my little sister and tell her that she does not have a birthday because she was a c-section. My step mom says that her response went something like, "I doubt Cayla would give a shit about that but if you called Carrie and told her that, she would be in therapy for years." At first I thought it to be a funny little anecdote / commentary on our personality differences. But yesterday I had a different thought about it. It went something like this...Fcuk You. You don't know me at all and you'd probably be shocked at the amount of adversity I have endured in my life. Fcuk you again for thinking that a dumb ass comment could actually affect my ability to function normally for a second. My normal is acknowledgement of my emotions and awareness of self. So to summarize, Fcuk you for not knowing how much strength that takes.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I've been places

I done been some places…that’s for sure. 3 continents to be exact…so far. I done drank tea out of little hot glasses with out handles on the side to grab them. I done stayed up all night with a mother of 6, lucky enough to be the only one in her attention. I done stayed up all night crying and telling her everything that every happened between me and her only son, telling her all about why I left him, why it was so hard, but why I had to do it. I done poured my heart to a woman in Africa whose son hadn’t been home in ten years, in another language. It would have been hard enough in English…but no, some conversations need more than your native tongue.

I done been 21 and real skinny, thought I was on the top of the world pretty…I wish it for everyone though, to know for a time in their life that they are young and beautiful and nothing will ever be like that again. Regardless of the fact I was living out of a bag that I currently use to carry my teaching books in and out of the center that I work at. And that bag…I can’t hardly tell you about the bag, I’ll try:

She wanted to meet me somewhere because she had a present for me. An apartment warming gift, so we met, on a random bench in St. Germaine. We smoked LM cigarettes, the ones in the blue box. She gave me my bag then…it has a tribal motif on it, yellow and orange interspersed with black geometric patterns. The handles are padded, actually the whole bag is, kind of. It fits more than it looks like it can. It was meant to be a market bag…there’s an inside pocket where I can keep change and loose dollar bills. That bag broke my heart…I can’t get into all that now, just know this, it was meant to be a market bag for my new living arrangement in the Marais, but that fell through…so it never got used like that, not in Paris anyways. Instead I ended up carrying my daily necessities with me. All over the streets, I think it might have been on my shoulder when he grabbed me by the back of my head and slammed it into a brick wall, oh yeah, I told you I been places…gone through shit. So the bag did eventually get used as a market bag, in fact I have five years insisted on that. It just so happens that right now I don’t live in the Marais (although I’m trying to get back there!), but I can walk to a weekly outdoor market. I am thankful for that…it makes my heart happy every once in a while. I always take my market bag, Finally it’s purpose is fulfilled. Although the weight of my teaching books are gonna break the handles soon and I know it.

I been other places too. …I took a train to Prague once and had an affair with a man I didn’t know, he was very kind and I remember the experience as very pleasant. We laughed and spoke to each other in different languages because we barely had a common one. We sat separately on the way there but very much together on the way back to Berlin. We stared at each other’s reflection in the glass of the luggage rack above our head. I told him things on that train ride that I still to this day haven’t ever told anyone, like what I used to think about when I got myself off. I didn’t have anything to loose. He couldn’t help but become enamored with me and beg of my companionship. He had a good job and an apartment in Berlin, but it was never meant to be for more than a weekend. I was still married then and had a boyfriend waiting on me in Paris. Funny thing though, both of us ended up back over on this side of the pond for the next three years of our lives. I went back to Europe with a friend just to make sure that any bit of my life there had ever really happened. I went to a new city I had never been, Barcelona. I thought of him there, the Prague affair. I thought of him so much that I was compelled to tell my friend every detail of the days we spent together. We were standing on a street and I asked her to stop walking so that I could just tell her what had happened. I looked up and there was an internet café that I compulsively entered and wrote an e-mail to him. I composed it in Spanish because I had since learned it…these are the e-mails that followed that: (I had them translated online)

Pepe I am in Spain and it enchants much to me. It was thinking of you because this vacation is my first in three years since I was in Europe. As How is your life now? I do not want to return in the states. Still living in Brazil with your fiancèe? I quit my boyfriend from Mexico because we wanted different things. You know as I am, I want to live in Europe and want to always travel. I feel it is the case my Spanish is not very well, but way better than before. I am in Barcelona, was in valence, Madrid, Malaga, Meurrocos and I go today to Paris. Well, I hope that all this good with you. Write me if you want.
Ciao Bello

It is incredible! I went to east Barcelona weekend that your you were there and I thought that I had seen you in the street but later I reasoned and as knew that you were in the United States I really did not think that you were your, and now that you say to me that you were there that probably I saw you. That badly that I did not speak to you!!! but already no way! That’s good that you are doing what you like, and for your boyfriend I can say that at least you learned Spanish. Now I am in Amsterdam, I came to visit my sister who has been living for a year here, has a boyfriend and seems here that they live happy together. Sunday I go Berlin with my girlfriend so that it is of there, I took a rest from the work and am going to see if encounter there a work in Berlin or probably study something. If you go to Berlin you could see us, that would be pleasant to me. I believe that I am going to be until end of Julio probably until August end. A kiss! Pp

That’s life for you folks.

But I’ve been more places than that…I once had to run through the streets at midnight in Mexico, dodging bullets. It was New Year’s eve, exactly midnight…gunshots ringing out every where, I ran with my palms turned skyward and covering the crown of my head. That was scary too. I laid in a room for over a week. I called my daddy to say goodbye because I thought I was dying. He threatened me with coming to Mexico to beat up my illness. I got better, he stayed in Georgia. I went back, to Mexico, with a different boy, as a different girl. We rented a cabin on the beach and quarantined ourselves from the rest of the world. We spent long afternoons laying in the hammock, sometimes quite…sometimes letting the toxins out. We cooked and laughed and fought and swam and played cards and read books. I have a scar on my right breast from the first night we got there, neither one of us know from what?

We took busses all over the country. We liked Mexico City the best. The place everyone told us not to go was the only place we wanted to be. We held hands and chased each other through the metro stations. Mexico did that to us, the city where everyone is laughing or crying or kissing or listening to music or eating or begging. We both had our music contraptions and set out all over the city by train, face to face in crowded metro cars, arms wrapped around each other with our hands stuck in each others pockets.

So many places…

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reflections on Academia and Class

Sorry this is so academic (kinda), this is actually a commentary I turned in. It isn't very well written. I wrote it in 30 mins for an assignment that I had to do, like quick! Feel free to leave comments on it. I just thought I would post it because I have been thinking about it a lot and I need more of an audience for this than just my extremely ethno-centric teacher who doesn't really seem to appreciate this. This is in Response to two essays I read on Class and Identity.

These two essays seemed to epitomize issues that I have been aware of for a very long time. I have written about such issues in the past in my responses. 'Invisible Identities' was an interesting commentary on being working class and white in America. This part of my own identity is something that I have always been aware of because of my particular life experience. There were many areas in the essay that I identified with and some that I did not. I will explain.
The description of Engen's father as a truck driver that dropped out in the 8th grade, hit very close to home for me. This is almost the exact same circumstance of my fatherÂ’s life. The only difference is that my father dropped out of school much earlier than the 8th grade. My mother is the one who made it to the 8th grade. This point in the essay was very striking for me, but quite obviously a typical circumstance for a white working class male in America.
When Engen describes his family's reaction to his education, I was flooded with recent memories of trying to navigate my way through family dinners since I have really started to internalize my education. I have been openly criticized and have been made aware of criticism of my 'mannerisms' that has taken place behind my back. I will expand on this.
I was recently on vacation with my family and was explaining to my 10 year old little sister why she should not disturb her mother for something that she wanted at that particular moment. I explained the dynamics of parents and children and that sometimes parents seem mean, but they are really just tired. I felt that my little sister is old enough and smart enough to understand this. She looked at me retorted, 'Why is everything you say like givin' a lecture?' There was not a doubt in my mind that this sentence was a direct quote from her mother, her aunts and whoever else was there when the original conversation about my communication habits was taking place. This was very painful and not something I will soon forget. I have many other examples of this kind of thing. I feel that I am forced to except the fact that I need to conform to the family dynamics in which I was raised, but more than that I feel like I want to, gladly. I do feel that small talk can be hard, but I guess that they feel that small talk with me is more trouble than itÂ’s worth.
In Wong's essay the major part that I identified with was her description of her father's once dreams and her reaction to finding them out way after the fact. I experienced a similar situation when I was told by my mother that my father's dream in life was to move to New York one day because he heard that the ground was very fertile in upper state New York. The fact that this was his motivation for wanting that, and that this was his dream and the he still has never been to New York, makes me cry every time I think of it.
It is a constant act of my own versatility to be able to 'appropriately' perform in the academic, career and family arenas of my life. Sometimes, I get it more right than other times. I do not agree that I will acculturate and adopt the mannerisms and/or out-look of the middle class due to my proximity to it. I believe that my working-class background mixed with my academic achievements is my 'habitus'or governing principles that will always have me very aware of the contradictions of understanding both.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I’ll be having tea today. You know like, not just a steaming cup o’ leaves, but an actual sit down tea with little sandwiches and china pots. At the Ritz no less..that’s right baby. I’m meeting a friend of mine that I do these things with. She is a 50 something Russian lady who lives here in the states alone. I met her 5 years ago. She was my first “student” of ESL when I started volunteering at the downtown library when I go back to the states from Paris, and was having a hard time transitioning. I have lost touch with her time and time again during these last five years, but never completely. She’s an inspiration to me, kind of. She is graceful and proud. She goes on and on about tales from her youth of her extreme popularity with the men everywhere she would travel and she recounts folk tales of Russian Royalty. She has a daughter around my age that lives in Israel and she is here alone. So everyone once in a while we will meet for tea or coffee or a drink. Lately we have been going to the Ritz for this. It’s so nice in there! Real piano lounge music. Exceptional service. If you go for happy hour they have assorted nuts and snacks on those little trays that have three different silver bowls connected to one handle. I am excited. I’ve never done a tea; I think this is a turning point for me…just kidding. So that’s what I’ll be doing today along with attending class and then going straight to work. I am taking the time out in my day to do something that I know will ultimately make me feel good. Hope you do the same.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Quickie

Yep, that's what it is ya'll, a quickie. I cannot pour all of my emotion, anecdotes and insight into this posting just yet. That is because I gots to go, NOW! I'm already late for work, then zipping off to Athens for the Linguistics conference. I am mostly looking forward to having the day off of school and staying at my uncle's place with him and his family. They always help me to feel right about what's good in the world. I will say this, remember the whole moving violation as a pedestrian, yeah, turns out, 'failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk' is a lot more expensive than 'failure to yield as a pedestrian in a cross walk'! I swear to god, if I were still doing the general English classes I would do an entire lesson on prepositions with this point as the warm-up conversation! I miss my lesson plans, TOEFL prep is more complicated and so theorhetically more challenging, but not really. I mean, I am sure that I will grow to love it. I'm not complaining. So that's all for now, just a quickie. I want you to be left with the image of me driving up 316 in my little hatch-back with sketches on the glass. I will have cleaned it out by that point so you can think of the inside as much cleaner than it actually is as of now! Next imagine me, Pulling on to the UGA campus and probably cussing a lot about not being able to find, but then eventually find, the building where I am supposed to be tonight.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I'll try not to ever go this long again!

Not that I assume I have hoards of readers just dying to devour my next post...but for me, I don't want to let so much time lapse in between posts. So school started back! Woo f'kn woo! Hear my excitement, feel my pain? My first week of classes started off with a bang, well and almost faint actually. The almost faint was followed up by a doctor's visit and then a...oh yeah that's it, MOVING VIOLATION as A PEDESTRIAN! That was to be followed by an official police complaint that I was responded to with an incorrect spelling of my name! All of this was nice and rounded off with official news from my boss, that my gat-damned wages are up for garnishment for credit debt from my previous life, you know like 5 years ago before I got in college and though I was all legit...yea, that life. SO there you have it, that is what I have been doing instead of blogging. Where is the brilliance...I guess that would be in the moments in-between. Sunday's Italian night: dancing around in my living room, really good roasted tenderloin, downloading wedding/mob-hits music from the net. The brilliance also exists in the lessons learned from all of this crap...Let me itemize:
1.) Do not cross street in front of angry GSU police officer
2.) Take acid reflux pills, they might prevent an ulcer :(
3.) Don't ignore credit debt until you get your wages garnished
4.) I still want to move to Paris...It's much better there.
5.) I might possibly have a chance to start over and get legit with the bones in my closet.
6.) I will survive...heh heh.....du na, nu nu nu nu nu, he he!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nana's Basement

There was a parachute down there you know. I thought it was the real live remnants of a monster all throughout my childhood. Fast forward 20 years to my first glass (two plus a cosmo) of veuve cliquote (not that that’s a thing to be proud of) in a closed restaurant with wooden floors, metal hanging dividers and a light fixture shaped like a vagina with a water snake hanging out of it. Imagine me, bright red lipstick blaring, understated black heals that I teach in, just finishing up a day that started at 7:00 am and spanned through intercultural communication PhD freako teachers to myself being transformed and deciding to take on the identity of a freako teacher bluffing like I know a thing about conjunctions, brainstorming and cardiovascular disease. The culmination of this day was in said closed restaurant sipping champagne and asking to be shown the private wine cellar/ chef’s table room. As soon as the descent into the cellar began I recognized the wood paneling and that half moon turn to the right and could not help but to flash back to so many holi and random days spent around that pool table in the Chamblee basement of my nana and pa’s home. Pa that passed away not too long after letting me in on his watch-collecting secret that he kept in the nightstand by the bed that he died in. He let me pick which ever one I wanted except for a few that were going somewhere else. But that was not where I was tonight. Although I half expected to see his cluttered workroom, instead there was a delightful wine cellar filled with precious gems of bottles. I entertained ideas about bringing my love here and which friends could come with us, if any. I knew he would love it. The whole time though I was enveloped by the familiar dusky half-moldy smell of GA basement. I miss Pa. it sucks he had to go and I don’t think any $600 night in that wine cellar / imitation basement of my childhood will bring him back. However, it would be still be nice to taste some of that wine. I could dress up like I am actually a civilized person who knows how to swirl it around in the glass and stop before I am buzzed (yeah right). SO here’s to Pa (and nana) and here’s to my last semester before I become a real person that doesn’t feel guilty about every move I make that isn’t connected to study or work. And here’s to my mother and my sisters all of whom I love and adore with all of my heart. Thank goodness for no boys in the family, because saying the women of my family is so much easier than saying the men and women. Not to rule out my uncles who each own a little piece of my heart just for being them. Here’s to my grandma who would bask in the glory of a dusky wine cellar and portions that were overpriced and way undersized. Here’s to the wild sea bass, French champagne and two different desserts that I had for $7 at dinner tonight. I am emotionally raising that glass of champagne to the pretty boy bartender and his wide-eyed boyfriend who sweetly made it all possible and here’s to my friend who I have watched grow and change light years in the past two years. I know I may sound a little drunk and that I am virtually toasting all over the place. But tonight was one of those brilliant nights that everything just happened to work out and I just happened to be there.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Let's not burn her down again just yet

Cherries are ethereal. I am sure of this. If they don’t want to be cut into they have this way of jumping from your fingers, pit intact, spilling out their red cherry stain onto whatever they land on. I took it at a sign to never cut them again, never try to rip them open and tear them into a million little pieces. But it was worth it at the time, I made the most divine cherry, corn, mushroom, red onion and Italian parsley sauté last night. It was worth every bit of the near slicing of my finger tips.
The park that I live next to is beautiful. I took a stroll in the misty almost rain of dusk with a friend. We finished speaking of things that gave me goose bumps because of the affirmation of my own hunches. There will be more to come on this. The ability to go and walk in this park and come home and make dinner for my partner and stay up really late trying out new card games that neither one of us knew how to play and then surfing apartments in Paris even later into the night is so treasured by me. Even in my grim impatience and sometimes all encompassing bitter depression. Today…this morning I feel alive. It was either the inspiring evening or the fact that I just slept 11 HOURS!!!!!

Yesterday in class one of the students asked me if I like Atlanta. I had not been directly asked that in a while so I had to re-gather my position. I strangely felt like saying no. The suffocating heat of the summer was a major factor in my attitude. I saw flashes of the park, me riding my bike to school, some of the restaurants and bars we all frequent here. I thought about my family and friends that live five minutes away. I thought about my little car that is an absolute necessity because of the inadequate public transportation system here. I thought of all of the different neighborhoods I have lived in in the city, nearly about every part of the city there is to live in I have spent at least half a year in...I still feel like I liked it very much though. I ended up responding with my favorite way to answer that question, “I am glad I am from here, but that does not mean I want to live my life here”. The strange part is, I’m not even feeling that happiness to be from here lately. This all led me to believe that I need to get the hell out there, go out a little more, go to some art openings, mix mingle and celebrate this city while I am still it. Beautiful Atlanta, capital of the south. Big little city. Rent is still relatively cheap here, there are some really cool coffee and tea houses, there are parks galore , two major indoor farmer’s markets and various outdoor ones during the summer.
So, there those are a few things I love about Atlanta. This week I will be celebrating all of them…so I might be a little busy. I guess in the end, it’s not Atlanta, it’s me…

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Truth

Long flowing brown hair, big unsure, insecure eyes staring out at me, gently probing, she was somewhat begging for an explanation. How could I not say it is so, yes, it is I too? Yes you piss me off and this is why. It was quite the moral dilemma I was facing over lychee fruit and chilled water. How do you tell someone something like that? How do you just go ahead and say something so personal and critical of one’s personality to an individual who you only ever wanted to like and know better. I had a choice, tell her the truth, my part in the perceived hatred of her, or not…remain silent. I chose to speak, hey why not? Maybe we will both grow here, maybe not. I know after that talk I spent the better half of the evening crying, not necessarily connecting it to her. Now I do. Oh you, self proclaimed harmonious individual. I guess I am a little guilty in your guillotining as well, but this is why…you stepped the wrong glass slipper into the wrong pile of shit. Sorry.

By the way, before that whole drama scene unfolded at my kitchen table I spent hours talking to a friend in a parking lot. Sitting on the concrete part that encloses the buggies (shopping carts) I poured out my heart and listened to a friend pour out hers. How wonderful it was. I was aware of the brilliance at the time but feel even better about it today. Then I had a 20-dollar budget for a week’s worth of groceries and I came in at $19.02 for everything I wanted. That was thrifty shopping and I even managed to get the organic milk and Greek feta cheese!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saturday Afternoon Musings

I pulled the kitchen table into the living room, I think I like it better. I had a dinner party type of thing the other night and boy did I ever end up screaming out Mexican folk songs at the top of my lungs and getting twirled around in the kitchen dancing to music turned up way to loud to be still be polite to my neighbors, but it was fun. I actually made my own pizza dough, can you imagine? And yesterday I paid the price for those seven bottles of champagne! I was toxic girl. Just sick…and had to go work and sell 2,500 dollars for the establishment in 4.5 hours…I am surprised I am still alive today! But I am and this Saturday afternoon finds me with a smile. Atlanta is rainy gray today, reminds me of Paris…for as much time as I spend surfing apartments for rent in Paris I must say that I really love my own apartment here. I just wish I had more money to enjoy the neighborhood! What I do have is a membership to the high, and I am going to troop on up there and see the current photography exhibit, right now…

I hope it rains and I get to use my umbrella! That would be so romantic.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Knoxville, Tennessee

No, that’s not where I’ve been. However, The Smokies have been on my horizon. I am still re-acclimating to my wonderful life here in the city that, by comparison, has all of the amenities and glam that a girl such as myself could ever need. That’s right folks I have been in Gatlinburg, TN. And oh what a place that is! We are talking blocks and blocks of trash filled, novelty tourist shops. The whole point of going to Gatlinburg seems to be to shop in those shops. But, I must admit I had fun anyways. I had my fun on the way there in all of the random small town stops we made at antique markets and roadside produce markets. If you could only see the bright yellow, green topped zucchini I bought. It is a real treat. I also had fun in the hotel room, at first thinking it to be the ultimate dread having to share a room with my father, his wife and my little sister. But it actually turned out to be…well, fun. Imagine that. I guess I really have grown up after all. And I believe I've grown outwards, I think I gained about five pounds, but whatayagonnado???
I feel the need to reiterate the southern cultural experience that I just went through. Let’s start with the dialects being spoken. It was so interesting and beautiful and boy was I glad that I knew how to do it too. I was in the in crowd cuz I knew how to speak that way too. But that was only through North Georgia. Next came Tennessee and that was a whole different shtick of an accent. I loved it though, it was kinda wide mouthed, scratchy voiced, a bit faster than Georgia talkin’. Think Dolly Pardon, and if you just can’t imagine that, then follow the link to listen to her voice.
So I assume you’re wondering about the title, Knoxville…well all I can say is that he finally did it, he finally admitted what I knew he knew all along and it sounded a little something like this…
“ life has been so limited…I’ve only ever been as far as Knoxville”. It was a shocking moment in the best kind of way. Of course I don’t think that about him…I know it’s not true, not equally true as the desperation with which he said it. But what was true is the essence. I wrote it down, in front of him. He let me, helped me actually. I forgot exactly how he said it and he helped me remember exactly what it was…with out asking a single question as to why I was doing that…I guess he knows, probably even wants me to write him down.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Saffron Quinoa

So this morning started off a little rocky for me. Hot streaming tears down my cheeks that felt as though they were the mere echoes of the last few days. Then I went to teach. I had one of those brilliant life moments this morning; such has always been my relationship with sadness…. Anyways as I was hysterically laughing and prompting and joking around with the students I had a realization…I am good at this. Not even because I want to be, but just because I am. It is natural for me. Teaching people, talking about language, and trying to show other adults how to learn my native language while drawing on my experience of trying to learn to forget to think in my language. I always go back to that, I want them to know that I am no sage; I can barely speak “standard English” whatever that is??!!! I definitely can’t write it! SO what the hell am I doing teaching English? I am relating and observing and adjusting my very flexible plans to suit their needs. Today’s class felt like a pinnacle of psychological and linguistic masturbation…meaning, I really enjoyed myself.
This was all followed by an afternoon ride to the DMV for a license renewal…hot hot hot!!!!! I need an air-conditioner to survive this Atlanta heat! That was, naturally, followed by a siesta, a bunch of note printing for my exam tomorrow, a wonderful French chard in a stem less wine glass ☺ and a steaming heap of saffron quinoa. Recipe upon request!

Monday, July 31, 2006

27 and one day

This is, obviously, my first post. It is difficult for me to type this because of the open wound along the lower side of my left arm. I am sure as the upcoming days heal me it will be much less painful to do this. So you want to know about the wound right? Well, I was having the most splendid (brilliant) of all nights. My self planned and slaved over (under the pretense of total spontaneity) 27th birthday party in the park that I love, under that beautiful big pavilion with all of my wonderful friends hanging out with me, was going off without a hitch...So I threw one in there! I mean, it's gotta be brilliant right? About three minutes into my first scooter drive ever and I find myself acting as the buffer between the scooter and the ground. I know, I know...It was dumb to get on there in the first place. But I did and today I am paying for it. Welcome to my blog...The brilliance is on the way...I swear!

p.s.: the scooter is fine too.