ennui |änˈwē|
a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.

ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: French, from Latin mihi in odio est ‘it is hateful to me.’

(an ennui bred of long familiarity boredom, tedium, listlessness, lethargy, lassitude, languor, weariness, enervation; malaise, dissatisfaction, melancholy, depression, world-weariness.)

I hate it here.


Last week, my computer broke, Emmanuel finally took his TV back, I had a series of awful finals (literature, history, art history, grammar, written comprehension, oral comprehension and finally yesterday, speaking). But now it's all over, I'm celebrating Thanksgiving tonight, seeing my dad Friday, going to London in a week, Oslo four days after that and then going back to Madison, via Chicago, via Paris. I can't complain too much.

Time to go search this whole city for some cranberries! How is it December already, by the way?



one month from now does not exist

Of course, the lesson is that it is better to try to not be annoyed with your friends, despite their faults and your faults and your combined faults as friends, because life is short and so is the rest of your time in France. Blah blah blah.

Helpful Hint: If depressed, reading the Matthew Shephard Wikipedia won't help. Who would have guessed?


Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

j'en ai marre de mon boulot! de mon boulot, des parisiens cruels, de tout! et en plus, emmanuel est fils de pute qui me fait chier. non, en fait c pas de tout vrai- je suis amoureuse de lui completement mais il m'a dit aujourdhui qu'il va bientot demenager a la suisse. QUOI? t'as dit QUOI? je lui ai dit, vas te faire foutre, et puis, reviens-moi, ne me quitte pas. c nulle parce que je sais bien, moi aussi, je partirai en decembre...mais quand-meme..y los colombianos son fuerte! son siembre amable conmigo pero...pero no se decir lo que yo quiero...mais c juste, avec moi, c toujours la joie ou la tristesse mais je prefererai les deux.

so stupid and crappy and I have cramps and I want chocolate and cigarettes and drugs argh!


goddammit, sweetheart

"and if you love somebody, you show it
you learn to open up your arms and let go of it
you don't stay up all night drinking cheap bear
and act like we oughta know it"

This weekend, Jessi forced me into studying for at least eight hours. It was horrible. Let me give you an image of Jessi and me studying. Jessi is sitting on a chair in my room, surrounded by stuff, reading diligently, asking intelligent questions. Taking notes of notes she's already taken. Highlighting. Speaking about Balzac and Baudelaire under her breath.

Then there's me. I'm usually rolling around my bed in a pile of papers which all have doodles covering them from when I was bored in lecture. Or notes to Jessi from when I was bored in lecture. (Examples: "JE SUIS SOO FATIGUEE!" "True/false: I speak better than french people?[false] how do they not get this? Where are we eating? FRENCH = STUPID." "I am going to kill that swedish bitch") One pages features a list of all 50 states which I made when my apartment flooded and I didn't know what else to do other than sit on my bed and try to list all of them...anyway. So I'm laying on my bed, whining to Jessi, pretending to look up useful information, and eating sour patch kids. Every few minutes when she turns away I try to sneak on facebook for a few precious seconds, always keeping a tab with something about Romanticism or whatever open for going back quickly when she looks. You might think I am a horrible student. And I am. But the lame truth about this is that I don't really have to study for my lit final and I know I'm going to do well because I've already done extensive reading on all of the topics we've covered on Wikipedia, in my own time. Or made Emmanuel teach me. Because I'm a loser. Still, I'm really grateful I have her to try and make me work.

The real highlights of the weekend (not studying, actually) were the Sigur Ros concert, to which Ida and I arrived an hour late, the Des Ark concert, to which we arrived two hours early, and all of the beer and Mexican food surrounding both. Des Ark felt like Madison- a shitty warehouse with random pieces of artwork and old furniture sitting around, people smoking pot, the guys at the "bar" selling cans of beer for 1 euro each...everything. It was kind of amazing, actually. And Ida was the perfect companion for both.
I think though, that the best moment of the weekend, musical orgasms aside, was tonight at dinner. Jessi, Siril (who lives above the arctic circle in Norway, just for reference) and I are eating burritos which we miraculously found in Saint-Michel. Siril takes one bite into hers-which has beef in it- makes a disgusted face and goes "But it tastes like reindeer!" I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard. Ok, maybe you had to be there.

ps- in what entry was one of my labels 'rabies?'


toby is the devil

I am trying to milk the whole Nablopomohohofroyo thing for all it's worth. As in, not doing it because I'm way too goddamned lazy, but when I feel like I'm starting to write in here a little too often I just pretend like I am doing it and it's an accomplishment. Yeah. I know. Ever been inside my head before? It's a weird place.

I read some quote on my iGoogle home page the other day by Rilke about people who think their lives are boring: If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty. Ok so he maybe didn't mean boring per se, he meant people who think their lives suck. I am going to interpret this as boredom.

It struck me because once in awhile, despite the fact that I am very happy here, I find myself a bit bored and disappointed with my life. I guess we all do sometimes
, right? Here I am in Paris. I should at LEAST be in love with a French man. I should at least be going to crazy parties until the early morning in tiny apartments with attractive people...actually when I picture PARIS how I should be living it, it's something like this: In a Haussmannian apartment, much like my own, in a room with a fireplace and a chandelier. There is a red light in the room. Some sort of sexy music is going on. Ridiculously cool and beautiful people are huddled around doing coke and drinking absinthe and smoking cigarettes. Where on earth did I come up with this image and decided that is how I should be leading my life here? I. have. no. idea. What is my life ACTUALLY like here? I wake up and drink tea. I go to class. I come home and do my homework. Mostly I sit on my bed with Siril and Ida watching The Office, some movie, or weird Norwegian children's shows they have rediscovered on youtube. Am I bored? Sometimes, in the big picture. But what does that even mean? How can you change the big picture? Especially when you live in Paris? I mean really, what else CAN you do?

And the truth of the matter is, that in the little day-to-day moments, I love it. I love that when I am waking up and drinking tea I'm opening up my window and lo
oking out on the best city. I love that when I go to school I have to walk through the winding avenues of the Latin Quarter and among some of the oldest educational institutes, ever. When I come home it's to MY Haussmannian building with a fireplace (no chandelier...yet), and my friends who I love, even though they aren't attractive Frenchmen. Maybe if I weren't so worried with other people's perception of my experience in Paris, I wouldn't think my life were boring. And maybe maybe maybe, there is something to be said for a rather mundane life in Paris. You know? Because it means it's a life, and not a vacation. I like to think my experience here has been somewhat atypical compared to the average study abroad experience (in good and bad ways). I don't go out and drink every night with my crazy international friends, but I do actually feel like I live here and this has become my home. I've had to overcome a lot of obstacles-in the ER within the first week and I've moved 5 times, for example- in order to finally get to this calmer, albeit bored life. Christ, I don't know. I told you my brain was a weird place.

I guess maybe the reason I'm afraid of going back to Madison is because I'm afraid that, like the Rilke quote would suggest, I am the boring one. And when you have a pretty background like Paris, you can at least try to distract yourself with it. What happens when I get back to little city with one main street where I know everybody? If I can't have the crazy Parisien life of my fantasies in Paris, I'm obviously not going to find it in Wisconsin. Maybe that's not my life for a reason, though. If that is the case though, why do I always find myself waiting for something better? Do I learn to be happy with what I have or learn how to make a change? Do I stop writing in my blog at 4 am when I should have been asleep for hours? Hmph.

1. I totally don't condone the use of cocaine.

2. I talk a lot about Haussmannian architecture, because it is probably my favorite (visual) aspect of Paris. This is what I mean by that:

Yeah, my apartment is in a building like that. Yeah, you should be jealous of me. If you want to see more pictures of it (I'm very proud!) you can see them at my flickr, to which I've linked on here.

3. When I mentioned I'd been in the ER within the first week, you maybe thought that that was a lame thing to mention and that you didn't feel bad for me. Well, guess what? It sucked. And the sickness I had is the reason that I am lactose intolerant now. Which MORE than sucks. So you should feel bad for me.

4. The subject line of this blog is completely unrelated to the rest of it, but is an important reference to a deleted scene of the episode "Sexual Harassment" from the Office season 2. Watch it immediately, it will change your life.


jeg vil elske deg til evig tid

Despite the serious fucking pandemonium and confusion that is my brain/inner thoughts, life has been pretty sunshine-y as of late. Tuesday and the following few days were pretty incredible, of course. The feelings of awe towards us Americans at the bar as we watched the results were completely new for me, but it was nice. Friday night was happy hour at my new favorite place, Cafe des 2 Moulins (yes, coincidentally where much of Amelie was filmed.) By "happy hour," I mean us running in seven minutes before 22h and ordering eight beers and two glasses of wine for the three of us there. We drank, ate popcorn, talked about flag-burning and vagina dentata.
Yesterday was sleeping until 2, reading all day, a Norwegian feast, Fargo, beer, the Office. It was the second Saturday in a row we've "accidentally" watched so many episodes that everybody misses the metro and we all fall asleep in a pile on my bed. Not exactly the kind of sleepover I want to be having (Emmanuel, reviens de la Suisse, déja!) but this might be better. Who am I kidding? Not at all but better than sleeping alone and listen to the colombianos do it.

Tomorrow is my petit voyage to Strasbourg (!). I already know I am going to fall in love with that city and be more confused about life. Thanks, Europe. Tuesday is who knows, next weekend is Sigur Ros, November is going too fast and soon I'll be in America. My feelings about that have been mostly of panic and depression. Not for being in Wisconsin, and home exactly...just not being in Europe. Didn't I just get here? I did. What about all of the things I was going to do...sometime? When will I do them? When is the next time I'll come back? I'm worried about how quickly French will slide out of my brain. I'm worried about not being surrounded by people at all time, not being in a city where things happen. Not riding the métro, not pushing through crowds, not seeing the Sacré Coeur when I step out my apartment to go to the boulangerie. Yeah, original I know.
Obama and Fargo are helping me to accept all of this though, I'm pleased to say. Give me some cheddar cheese and I might actually start to get excited. Maybe. not.


i won't ever forget

five in the morning, on the streets of paris, everybody drunk and crying and hugging and running around in the rain, screaming obama obama obama.


i heard your song before my heart had time to hush it

I don't understand how people know what they want or know how to get it.

I can't express myself in any language.


this is all i ever wanted

“It's so curious: one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses.”



de bon coeur

“People in Paris...they’re just mean,” says Jesse between bites of panini. We’re sitting against a bank of the Seine near Ile Saint-Louis. The sun is slowly sliding down behind the wall of Haussmanian apartments in the background, and it’s getting a bit colder out. “I mean, what did I ever do to them?” A month into her stay here, she is already defeated. I know how she feels. Being a veteran of this city for nine months (yeah I know, big whoop), it can be hard for me to not interject “I know how you feel but....” or “When I first got here....” into every conversation. So I just nod and bite into my own delicious food. Then I realize that maybe the reason I’m staying silent is because I can’t give her much encouragement.

French people-no, I don’t have the authority to make such a generalization-Parisian people have this way about them that can make a person feel, well, stupid. It can be exhausting, treading carefully when ordering food, when asking for help, when doing anything, trying to remember what you’ve done wrong this time, what terrible faux pas you’ve commited in their presence, and howdareyou? Yes, we will speak English for you stupid tourist but you will regret ever stepping foot into this business! I have to say, I miss always being right as a consumer in America. It’s been a long time since anybody has responded to me in English, and that makes me so proud. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still battles. Tonight’s discussion with my boss, for instance. Picture me, timid, all of 63 inches asking my amazonian-former-Chanel-supermodel-owns-an-original-Picasso-drawing boss for this coming weekend off. Not pretty. After a b-a-d fucking weekend, my poor wimpy little self just couldn’t handle her backlash tonight. Everything she said pushed me further and further into a corner of submission, Yes, ok, no, it’s fine, yeah, of course, I understand, yep, sure. And when I stepped into the elevator outside of my apartment, a giant lump in my throat and my eyes watering, I felt like a big, fucking idiot. Why can’t I get what I want? Why can’t I stand up for myself? Mom, why did you not give me that gene? Can I have it now, please?

When I got out into the street, I decided I needed two things to calm down: a cigarette and a phone call to my mother. I had no way of getting either of these things (out of smokes, out of phone minutes) as it was 9:40 p.m. In France. I thought it was worth a shot to go to the tabac anyway, despite the fact it closes at 9 and I know that, but either way, I needed the walk. I got there, and the lights were still on, the owners were standing inside counting money and enjoying a beer after work. I pulled on the door and gave a sad look to the man inside. He came to open the door and I crossed my arms, bracing myself for his inevitable lecture on closing time, rude glare, muttering, etc. He knows who I am and he knows I am American because of the way I refuse to put a French accent on the word “camel” every single time I buy a pack.
The man smiled warmly.
“Vous êtes...fermé?” Half a question, half a resignation.
He opened the door and gestured for me to enter.
“Allez-y, Mademoiselle! Pour vous, on est toujours ouvert.”

When I turned to leave, the tears I’d been trying to hold back still flowed down my face, but I was smiling, too.

note: in case a family member or person who likes to lecture me about smoking is reading this, i don't REALLY smoke, i just like to add little touches about cigarettes because it makes me sound cooler. really!

also, it means: come in miss. for you, we are always open.


“I have no idea how people function without near-constant internal chaos. I’d lose my mind.”

A perfect day today. A perfect train ride through the perfectly beautiful French countryside with my perfect friends to the beautiful Chartres where we spend a perfect Sunday. Walking idly through the empty town, stopping to peer into quaint store windows. Sandwiches and beers and cigarettes on the grass behind the magnificent, astounding cathedral, laying under the sun, laughing, talking, nothing. Ida and I want to stay out sleeping under the perfect sky, Steve and the rest want to go look in the church. “This is what Sundays are for,” I say, my eyes still shut, my face warm. “Yes,” says Steve. “Sundays are for going to church, right, so let’s go?” I pause, consider, turn, lift my sunglasses. “Nature is my church,” and Ida laughs and I laugh and we say “it’s true” and don’t move. Somebody has released thousands and thousands of tiny strips of perfect white paper over the wall and onto the grass where we lay and the float over us, the wind carrying them perfectly. Finally we get up and walk into the building itself. I’m speechless. It doesn’t almost make me want to be religious but it maybe almost makes me want to be something.
And afterwards, somebody suggests drinks, and we find the most perfect cozy café and sit in a corner and sing along to A-ha and drink our perfectly cheap, delicious French beer. Finally it’s getting late, we want cigarettes and a train, so we find both, and we are back zooming through the fields and the most perfect sunset, all of us half-asleep on each other’s shoulders. Occasionally remarking on nothing or something, to nobody or to somebody, it doesn’t matter, every word hangs perfectly in the air in our little compartment, taking us back to the most perfect city in the world.

I will pay the price for all of this perfection though, another week of métro/boulot/dodo repeat repeat repeat repeat. Mornings have become my only time, a few small minutes to sip Earl Grey and perhaps even read before I’m out the door, on the train, at school, between classes, classes, classes, train, at work, and finally stumble home into my bed. Constanty turned on at full speed, my brain is working, working, working. Planning, planning planning. Calling, texting about these tickets to London, or those tickets to Belgium, or Blonde Redhead, or the bar tonight or the café tomorrow or whatever it is I’m trying to squeeze in to my airtight schedule. Constantly shuffling through my agenda, hastily flipping through the pages, momentarily heartbroken when it lands on a date after December, because in December it will be over and everything will be different and Paris won’t be mine anymore.


a pain au chocolat a day keeps the boyfriends away

Just kidding. I don't eat a pain au chocolat a day. But I think I should start. Life's too short not too, right? As it happens, this morning I was reading an article* which listed and described the "10 best pains au chocolat in Paris." In all honesty, there was a brief moment where I thought to myself, "Well, I've got nothing to do today..." but I forced myself** to stay home and do my work instead. Ah well. Maybe the tour du chocolat is best carried out over a long stretch of time rather than an afternoon.

For those of you who, upon reading my last entry, thought maybe I had actually fallen in love with somebody who loved me back and was in a healthy relationship or something, I'm sorry to say that is not the case. Every few weeks or so I will have an encounter with a very attractive man (this time it was a student who was in charge of helping us foreigners figure our school business out) and then convince myself that I am destined to be with this person forever. Besides this, I picked up a habit from Clara and Lucas of declaring I'm "in love with" anybody I might have the smallest crush on***. I think it is a result of trying to translate the word "amoureux" into english. Or maybe it is a result of me being silly and dramatic. And Parisien men being too goddamned attractive. Who will ever know?

Finally, I just want to give a small word of advice- never, ever try to purchase (transatlantic) plane tickets while intoxicated. I realize that for most people this is probably a given, but if you ever find yourself on the verge of doing it, know that you WILL drop your computer (although in my defense that less to do with my being inebriated and more to do with my having to sit on the microwave for internet), and you WILL make stupid decisions ("maybe being home for thanksgiving would be more important than finishing out the semester" ), but luckily you WILL get tired while expedia is loading and eventually give up.

*I can't pretend I innocently stumbled upon this article. google search: best patisseries in paris, et voila.
**sloth 1, gluttony 0
***I cringe when I end sentences with prepositions. Just in case anybody noticed that.



That I would like to visit by the end of the semester:

Barcelona, London, Luxembourg, Brussels, Strasbourg, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Rome, Reykajyi..ok the place in Iceland, Stockholm, Algiers.

Those are just "major" cities of countries, and I didn't count places I've already been, and I didn't count places I'd be happy to visit. I hate this feeling of "oh this is the only time I'll get the chance to wander around Europe blah blah blah." I refuse to believe that's true.

I have four months left. I feel like the adventure is already almost over. And, at the same time, that it's really just begun.

I have a sore bun from sitting on my microwave and have to be at the Sorbonne early tomorrow for a fucking test so I will leave it at that. bonne soiree.


Forget everything you've ever learned about ab workouts


(Yeah I wasn't serious when I said I was done writing in here)

So, in my most recent "I have no idea what I'm doing with my computer" move, I deleted a bunch of music from my iTunes library. I keep finding that more and more is gone. The worst? All-yes, ALL- of my Wilco music is GONE. ALL OF IT. I was ok with the rest but this? It can't be! In my head I was seriously pleading with my PowerBook- "No, wait you don't understand! You can't have the Wilco! It's ME, it's WILCO we're talking about! You must be mistaken." I'm not kidding. It just seems unfair. It feels very similarly unfair to my unfortunate situation regarding my post-secondary education at the moment. So unfortunate that it has forced me to seriously re-evaluate what I'll be doing with my life, post-Paris. Or, maybe life post-Paris won't happen for awhile longer. Fuck. Serves me right for being such a snot in high school about everything. Long story short, screw Hampshire College. Is there some TripAdvisor type page for colleges where I can go and post about the many ways in which going to this school will fuck your life? Hopefully.

I wanted to post a little excerpt from my real journal about this because that would be more truthful (speaking of which, my journal is the MOST beautiful book in the world-I love living in a city where a fucking Swedish paper shop can stay in business, you know?) but then it fell open to a different page- "I'm in the waiting area for my flight to Chicago! But wait- I think I accidentally showed up to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting?" I'm one to talk. But come on, America, we can do better. Can't we?

Anyway, I need my life to pick up- and it will, I just want it now. I want classes and school and new friends and work and running around. I can see in my face how bored and lazy I've been these past few weeks. It doesn't look good. I can feel the French melting away from my brain slowly but surely. It's funny how much living alone changes that. Going from hearing French around me all the time to waking up in my English-speaking head and listening to music in English and reading books in English. And then when I go out and try to interact, the French words feel awkward in my mouth. I bumped into some guy the other day while listening to some song on my iPod and nearly let "excuse me" come out of my mouth- what? I ordered "un baguette" the other day at the boulangerie. Yeah, it sounds stupid but it's bothering me. Paris, Paris, please be done with your vacation soon. I need people to talk to again. My brain feels dull when it's only working in one language.

song you should listen to- "sea of love," -cat power. better before it was in that juno movie. hey girls! get preggers and it'll all be ok and you'll get to date michael cera. psych.

Oh- did I mention I'm working for Chanel's HR director? I'm working for Chanel's HR director.


i can't take it no more baby i'm comin for you

This is going to be one of my less focused blogs.

It’s really hard for me to concentrate on writing when I can’t stop to check Facebook/whatever every five minutes. Is that right? Shouldn’t my lack of connectivity help me focus on writing? Probably. Let me back up for a moment and explain that I’m in my apartment in Paris, sitting on my bed, not connected to the internet. To be so, I must literally sit on top of my refrigerator and hold my computer halfway out the window. Thank you, dear THOMSON, you naive soul who doesn’t know how to password protect his shit.

So yes. Since we last spoke, I have been to Berlin, to Liege, to Amsterdam, back to Paris, to Chicago/Madison/Chicago, to Cannes, to Saint-Raphael, to San Remo, and finally back to Paris. I don’t really want to say a whole lot about any of it because that would ruin it. Being home was so freakishly normal. It disturbs me that I can spend seven months in a foreign country and then come back to the exact same scene I left. I feel like January-July was like that piece of string in A Wrinkle in Time..well, I mean, I feel like January-July was a wrinkle in time. Profound, I know.

My apartment is really great. IS really great. WAS not really great this morning when I got here after bringing my mom to the airport. It’s 2:15 a.m. right now and since about 10 a.m. I have been cleaning and re-decorating. I could totally be an interior designer for young women living in tiny, shitty apartments who think they have really quirky taste in stupid shit. Really though, it’s nice. Cozy. Tiny.

I think the reason I’m so good at doing things like cleaning out my apartment and making it look completely different in a day is because when I’m cleaning I don’t have to think about stuff. I seriously won’t stop cleaning until everything looks perfect, and then I have to be alone with my thoughts. Like: I have a really nice little apartment in Paris and a ton of free time until school starts again but I miss my friends who have left and Luis and the entire city is on vacation this month so that's a little strange...

I think some rabid creature may have bit my hand during the night.
For some reason, once in awhile my mom thinks it’s appropriate for her to shop at Anthropologie. The best thing about it is that after she buys whatever it is, she realizes it’s not that appropriate and gives all the shit to me.
The song “Make Love In This Club” by Usher featuring Yung Jeezy- so, SO good and I'm only kind of embarrassed to say it.


23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 day 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days 23 days to freedom.


Oh yeah...I drank absinthe this weekend. Like, absinthe these people make at their countryside mansion. Wow. Do not ever turn this down if offered to you.



I haven't written the blog yet but I can feel it will be monster-like, probably do to the monster-like pile of things I should be doing, but don't want to: exercise, shower, email back potential employers, homework, seeing a travel agent (why am I still scared of speaking French after five months? ugh), buying sandals (I'm in pursuit of the PERFECT pair of sandals because I'm going to be doing some traveling and want to bring only one pair of shoes but I don't know if it's possible), hanging up laundry, plucking my eyebrows...ok...I will stop now. I think sometimes I use writing in my blog to procrastinate but I start to procrastinate at even writing anything. So here I go.

Time goes by too fast. Too fast, and MUCH too slow. I was going to write that I am coming off a really nice weekend, but then I realized it's Thursday which means it's practically already the NEXT weekend! Yet I feel like the moment I pick up my little brother at the Amsterdam airport on July 16th, 9:15 A.M. is a lifetime away. And it's always going to fast or too slow in the wrong direction. Wow. Profound, Casey. Putting into words thoughts which have never ever been thought by anybody in the history of mankind. Well anyway. I think I already wrote that I spent my Saturday shopping and feeling miserable. However, Sunday was June 1st. Meaning not only is it June now...yes!...but also that all of the museums in Paris were free (as they are the first Sunday of every month). So I went with Luis to the Picasso museum, and then we enjoyed lunch down the street from la Place de la Bastille. It costs 4€ for a non-refillable coca light probably amounting to 12 ounces. $6. Just so everybody knows. I wish I had known before I ordered it.
After eating, we went over to the Museum of Eroticism, in Pigalle. Oddly enough, there was no free entry, despite it being the first Sunday of the month. So after forking over 5€ apiece, we were in. Naturally I made a "that's what she said" joke in the first 30 seconds of our being there (it was raining! I had an umbrella and Luis said 'c'est mouillé.' (it's wet). You know you would have too). Something I had to wonder about as we looked at all the pervy (I mean, beautiful) paintings, was the music choice. U2, probably greatest hits because I definitely heard "With or Without You" and a new one (not sure of the title) right after one another. Or maybe a U2 mix. I wondered because to me U2 is not a very erotic music choice, but maybe the sad looking man working at the counter thought it was. Or maybe they intentionally play non-sexy music because they don't want anybody to get too turned on in a museum. I wonder if I were to go back today, would U2 be playing again? Or maybe this time it would be REM? Is there something wrong with me because I was looking at erotic paintings and thinking about Bono instead of boners? Probably. But I don't care. After the museum we found an irish pub and I drank a pint of guinness and thought about how I didn't want to go home(to my fake home here that is), and an old man drew us (without permission) and then kept ripping up his drawings.
And now it's Thursday. I've spent a good chunk of the morning reading Mindy Kaling's shopping blog, which has now inspired me to become a semi-famous female writer-performer on a successful network television series, and then do a lot of shopping and then blog about it. Kudos, Mindy! Oddly enough that supports my dream to date/marry John Krasinski! How convenient. Where was I..oh yes. Today is Thursday, tomorrow is Friday which means I am meeting up with a childhood friend who lives in Paris now, and on Saturday I am going to meet another woman for whom I will likely work in the fall. I am praying to god I get this job. Pleeeeeeease woman. It sucks trying to pick out an outfit for these types of meetings. I want to look pretty and fashionable, because Paris mothers ALWAYS look pretty and fashionable, but I can't look too dressed up because I want to have the appearance of being good with children. It also sucks picking out outfits in general because I hate all of the my clothes. (I can hear Jonah asking me in my head: do you want some cheese with that whine? Why yes, Jonah, thank you. I love cheese.)

Ok I'm just going to cut myself off here because I don't know how to write a blog and I actually really do need to go do some of those other things. Bon weekend everybody! bisouuuuuuuux

Oh, and I should add one thing. I am not scared of speaking French. Going to a travel agent is something I would feel awkward about in America too. Why? Don't ask me. I'm a big weirdo. And Parisiens are mean so whatever.


you can find me in the fourth

First of all, I think I have bipolar disorder.
Second of all, I think I saw 50 Cent in a wheelchair in Le Marais today. That would be the gay/jewish/"poor"/trendy area of Paris. I am so serious about this.
Third of all, Friday nights rule. I don't work, but lately I've been staying at home instead of going out because they're really quite nice. Everybody is in a good mood, we usually either go out to dinner (the two preceding Fridays: Italian, Sushi) or order in (last night: INDIAN!!!!!!!!!). There is a table in the backyard and we sat and pigged out and Jacques asked me if there was an Indian restaurant in my "village." I guess he was pretty impressed that I knew I wanted tikka masala without looking at a menu. Also, regular nan is better than cheesy nan. Sorry, it's true. So yeah we sat around and ate and ate and then drank wine and it was soo nice out. Sometimes French suburbia is okay.
Today I remembered why I hate shopping in Paris. I have been eyeing this thrift/vintage store called Free-P-Star for awhile, and recently I read something about how it is THEEE BEST VINTAGE STORE IN PARIS, which I would imagine is saying something, right? Anyway so I get there (this store, along with 50, is in Le Marais). It sucked. It's tiny, about 15000 degrees, and filled with a. shitty clothes and b. ridiculously tiny/beautiful/immaculately dressed French girls. Yuck. Anyway I bought a dress and then left. It's not like department stores are even better. Actually I think they are worse. Seriously, don't go into nice store in Paris if you don't want to come out feeling obese, ugly, poor, awkward, out of place, basically a lot of things...well, maybe if you aren't actually obese ugly and poor you won't feel like that but...well, suffice it to say my self-esteem is somewhat fragile lately. Sometimes I just want to be in Wisconsin where I see people fatter than me on a daily basis.
Do you know what I hate about macs? There is ONE THING I hate about macs and it is: the absence of a key which can delete forward/to the right. I really miss that. And think about it way more than any person should ever think about a key on a keyboard.


I have an awkward problem

I guess some people have this thing where they sometimes go into uncontrollable fits of laughter. And they laugh and laugh and can't stop. I kind of have that, but it's not cute or quirky. It's really awkward. Usually it's when I am alone, in a very public place such as on the metro, in a quiet, serious, museum, or likewise. I start to think of something funny- usually having to do with my family or Michael Scott (that is another problem I need to address)- and then I start having weird spasms in my face, sometimes resulting in full-out laughter. It's so embarrassing. Most recently it was today in Monoprix. I remembered this game that my brother Michael and I used to play when we would sleep in the attic during the summer, called PACINO. As in Al. It's an Olson original by the way, in case you ever want to play it at a party and are looking for somebody to whom you can give credit. It's pretty simple: one person whispers a word that is either the word Pacino, or another word. The other person/people then try to guess whether the word was Pacino or not. WTFFFFFFFFF???? wtf wtf wtf. I was reminded of this game a few weeks ago when Michael sent me a postcard from Costa Rica that had "Pacino" written all over the front of it. Goddamn I miss my weirdo family. If you need further proof of their...eccentricity...look no further:

And just in case you haven't seen the original (where have you been?):

Yeah, they were driving to Florida and my brother Grady asked my dad if they could make a three-hour detour to Montgomery to stop at a flea market. Naturally my dad said yes (????!?!?!?!) and so they drove there, waited for the guy to show up to work, and then I guess bombarded him.

Well, anyway. I miss my brothers. If I didn't already mention it.

Time to go lay outside and think about how great Paris is in the spring. CIAO!


Well. I am back in France. You know how towards the end of a long vacation you start getting really excited to be back home? That happened to me in Spain, except it was really confusing because I kept remembering I'm not sure where my home is or if I was actually going to it. But it is nice to be back. Every time I fly back into France from somewhere else I feel a less like a visitor and a little more like...an expatriate? Hmph. God, this blog is really turning into something of a chef d'oeuvre, isn't? Sometimes I really can't stand my own literary genius. Purely astounding.

While abroad (what does that technically mean? I realize I am an idiot), I had to do quite a bit of soul-searching, considering we were staying in a TINY town (the tiniest you have ever seen) and I really had nobody to talk to, other than a bunch of Spanish guys and oh...wait...I don't speak Spanish. Because I really have no interest in searching the depths of my soul at the moment (maybe that's why I escaped all my issues and moved to France), I instead chose to read every book in sight. Mostly I stole from Clara (12 year-old I babysit for) because I didn't bring enough. All in all, I read: Love In A Time Of Cholera, The Sound And The Fury, Pride & Prejudice, Bridget Jones' Diary, The Secret Life Of Bees, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The last three were all completed over the course of about two days. Not for the first time, I found myself rather infuriated by the overall content of Bridget Jones, especially how recently I'd also read its "inspiration." WTF, woman? Since when can you completely rip off the plot of another book without giving credit? Is naming the principle male character after the original supposed to excuse the blatant THEFT? Well, personally I think it's dumb. On the back there is some comment from some stupid critic (probably from USA Today if I had to guess) that says something like "Reads like Austen and fill-in-the-blank-idiot-author combined. A triumph!" WELL DUHHHHHH!!!! Why am I getting so worked up over this? Apparently I did not get the buena onda vibe the spaniards were going for. Anyway. P&P is obviously much better and I think Darcy is the only fictional character I've ever ACTUALLY fallen in love with. No, seriously.

I guess I have nothing much else to talk about, considering I'm back to the normal stuff. Definitely the most exciting moment at work lately was when Lucas (nine year-old) finally, casually, decided to reveal over breakfast that he goes to school with Johnny Depp's children. I swear to god that he and I have talked about Pirates of the Caribbean in some facon (? is this a word in english? not sure) every. single. day. for the past oh, two months? He has posters of that shit all over his effing wall, but no, I just find out now. Well, needless to say I am going to start actually getting dressed when I bring him to school in the morning. I also told him that if he doesn't get invited over soon, that I won't love him anymore. No, I didn't tell him that. Should I? I'm considering it

I really have nothing else to say at the moment. It's really nice out here. I want more clothes. I am uncharacteristically and alarmingly tan. I don't think I like it.


yo queiro (sp?) taco bell!

New Office episode: mind-blowing. I just want to be included in that relationship. Pam can stay, I don't care.

Time to go to Spain for two weeks. I speak about three words of Spanish. It is really quite incredible how few things I know. You would almost have to be trying to know so little of a language which is spoken by inhabitants of a bordering country. Congrats, me.


jE nE sAiS qUOi!!!!1

Things You Do When You Don't Leave Your (Attic)Bedroom For 30 Hours Straight:

-Read the Wikipedia on societal collapse (again). This time, taking notes. 
-Read all of the "suggested reading" Wikipedias under the societal collapse one.  Also taking notes.
-Watch Clifford. Why not? (Liz Kiefer if you are reading this sorry I stole your Clifford DVD)
-Make pictures like this, depicting an average day in the Bernard household.
-Finally figure out how to make real links on blogger
-Decide to go to Scotland next week. Why not?
-Book plane ticket for Scotland next week. 
-Contemplate eating the following: flower stems, leather boots, birth control pills, ibuprofen.  
-Find a bit of water at the bottom of a water bottle. Hey maybe I was just thirsty anyway!
-Post yet another obnoxious post in blog complaining about life in France


In America, idiots say "for all intensive purposes." In France, idiots say "comme-meme."

Kim says "comme-meme" constantly. The first week here I turned to host mother and said "Comme-meme? What does that mean?" She told me what it meant (even so, all the same, etc.) However, I was pretty sure the expression was "quand-meme" (it is). Yesterday I asked her, "Is it COMME-meme or QUAND-meme?"

She looked at me like I was an idiot.


WRONG! OMG! victory is mine you stupid lesbian asshole.

Today's favorites: blondie, prince cookies (an everyday favorite), the tandoori sauce i finally decided to just steal from the house, knowing that in a short amount of time i'll no longer hit my head ever five minutes, knowing that in a short amount of time i'll have a bedroom door, knowing that in a short amount of time i get to see my brother (wtf! in the midst of everything i've barely thought about it!), flowers my mom sent me that Beatrice thought were hers for a second and I was like oh actually they're mine, thanks and snatched them from her real fast (actually that happened yesterday), "unforgiveable (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX8_M-KI7IQ)" (actually that happened like a year ago but i'm still lovin it), thinking about how tomorrow on the way to school i'm going to go to a boulangerie i've never been to before and buy who knows what!


themes/possible memoir titles

*French People Never Mess Up Except At Being Good Parents/People/Not Being Total Dillholes
*Chevre's Ok But Cheddar's Better: I Miss Orange Cheese
*French Women Don't Get Fat- But You Will, Stupid Asshole American
*Maybe I Should Just Date High Schoolers Because They Seem Nice And Not Terribly Unattractive When You Live In Paris
*Priorite A Droite Is The Only Thing Shittier Than Your Ugly Face
*I Should Probably Try To Hold Off the Tears Until I Get In the Shower: Life Without A Bedroom Door
*The Heat's Broken and You're Mad I Didn't Notice? Oops! Guess It Was Hard To Tell From the Attic!

I don't mean to whine (yes I do) but my host family is very difficult. Minus the cat. However, today I fell asleep outside in the sun- how many inches of snow has Wisconsin gotten so far? HA!


Things I am INTO: baguette (duh), chevre, chevre pizza, pommes chauffes, coca cola light, actimiel, prince cookies, nutella snack n go's (NOT to be confused with snack n drinks, which are creepy), my audi, violette (always), when kim is being cute and adorable as opposed to obnoxious and spoiled, sitting at school all day doing nothing, carrefour, this leather coat i am going to buy from promod, the weather here, common languages that are not native to either speaker.

Things I am not into: anne and beatrice both being out of the country thus leaving me alone with kim, the electricity not working in the morning, me having to puke for like a million years, kim throwing a tantrum when i try to wake him up in the morning, having to puke more, realizing kim wet the bed last night, having to explain to kim why the tv isn't working. None of those things are so shitty, but when they all happen within 15 minutes of one another, I want to shoot myself.


All of my brothers have the flu right now and I just want to be sitting around watching TV and vomiting with them or whatever.


i just straightened my hair and i look like shit

Probably because that dumb bitch at the aveda place (the one near hilldale; DON'T go there) gave me a shitty haircut and that shines through regardless of texture. Especially shiny thanks to John Frieda. I feel like her name was Violet but I think it's just because my bff is on my mind. She was 19. The hair stylist that is, not my feline friend.

"Chartreux tend to bond with one person in their household, preferring to be in their general vicinity (often following their person from room to room), though they are still loving and affectionate to the other members of the household."


wham city

-Again, Violette shows adoration beyond belief towards me and only me.
-Kim shows adequate adoration towards me, but always much moreso than he does Anne (the Man [creative, witty, inspired nickname came to be after I realized that Anne a) resembles a man, perhaps because she b) is a lesbian, and c) has a name which rhymes quite well with the word "man."]).
-Have begun to call Beatrice by "tu" but continue to vousvoyer ATM, and in doing so, display my respective comfort levels. Quite intentional, yet natural-feeling.
-Bought Most Amazing Shirt Ever (Shitney you'd seriously love this-it involves a cat) for 3 Euro
-Am now able to wake up at 7 a.m. and be somewhat coherent shortly thereafter
-Fooseball (sp? wtf? maybe better to just call it baby-foot?) skills improving immensely
-French skills improving somewhat.

-Anne is a bitch and I hate her
-Still not sure how to make the euro symbol while typing unless in microsoft word or unless I find a website with it and copy/paste
-Too many to document. Probably better to ignore.

I can't spell any of the words I learned today. Most of them are names of exotic animals Kim taught me while watching some French variety of Planet Earth.


toujours tout droit

Some things I've noticed in the past few days, and especially since the household dynamic has taken a nasty turn for the worse and I no longer feel welcome here:

1. The cat, Violette, likes me. A lot.
2. I also like her.
3. I not only like her, but at this point would say she is my best friend here.
4. When Violette is present, I feel protected.
5. I also feel significantly less lonely when she is on my lap letting me pet her.

Only 60% of those are pathetic.

On an unrelated note: I like to brush my teeth for an especially long time when Anne is in the TV room and can hear me. I like to think we're all going to learn something from this experience.

-poivrons: leeks (EDIT: as I previously thought, POIVRON means pepper. however, tonight we ate leeks and anne called them poivrons- and also used the word leek- so whatevs)
-riverains (sp?): river-dweller
-tricheur: cheater


at some point I should figure out how to put accents on words

A French-English dictionary sits at the dinner table with us every night, a silent fourth member of the family. We consult it constantly. Often the french word my host mothers look up does not exist in english. Perhaps worse is when they ask me how to say something in english and I have to spit out the same word with my ugly accent: fiance, ambulance, obligatory. BEING AMERICAN IS SO EMBARRASSING!

-piquer: to prick or sting
-la betterave: beet
-mouiller: to wet, dilute (as in Kim telling his mother that I got water all over the side of the bathtub and the floor. Thanks Kim. Nobody believes your stupid lies, so just keep telling them.)


*coincidentally (mostly) water-related*

1. eclabousser: to splash
2. flac: puddle
3. etang: pond
4. boule (?): bubble
5. pompiers: firetruck/firefighter