Friday, September 18, 2009

Photographic Evidence

Here is some proof that I'm actually in Paris: Ha! No, this is me in Finland. Of course. But, I did get the directions to Paris while I was there:

Here is my apartment:

This is the overall view of the place

This is the living room

And here are the essentials of Parisian life: wine, coffee, and bread! I just bought that silver espresso maker, and I love it. I have cheese and chocolate too, but I left them in the fridge. :D

Now, that I finally bought batteries for my camera, I hope to post more photos. Tomorrow, I am taking a brief tour of Paris. So, stay tuned...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I decided to watch a little French TV so that I could hear everyday French being spoken. Tonight I found "La Roue de la Fortune" guessed it, it's the French version of the Wheel of Fortune. The French Vanna (I will call her LaVanna) is a little slutty (as seen in the photo) with big boobs and lips. She bounced around the stage giggling and dancing. She had to lug some board out to the middle of the stage and set it up. It was weird. I was thinking "why don't they do that during a commercial and make a stage hand do it?" But no, they wanted this lady to do it. They had a dog come out on stage. He was cute (see photo), but it seemed kind of random. He didn't do anything but sit on the desk and look cute. Oh, except when LaVanna dropped some candy, they let the dog go and clean it up. The host was mild mannered and seemed really bored. He leaned on the desk looking like he couldn't give a crap about anything. It was his body language and tone of voice that seemed...soooooo bored. He raised his voice only slightly to say "push, push, push" because those contestants had the weakest spins I have ever seen. I think their arms are made out of jello. I'm pretty sure they would've been booed in the US. The contestants were okay, except for their puny spins, but they would groan and throw their hands in the air and say "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" when they got bankrupt. I think they discourage contestants from showing how pissed they are in the US version. It was fascinating to watch. Then during a break, I saw the cutest commercial ever!

who me? have baby fever? noooooooo.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grasping and clinging to the past

I had a strange and very vivid dream about my childhood home. In the dream, I was visiting it with Patrick. The people who owned it tilled the land and made it into farm land. The backyard had become knee deep in swampy water. They did this on purpose b/c the land sloped so that the water would drain into a large ditch at the back of the yard. I walked around with Patrick and reminisced. I told him how my big brother would come up with all sorts of fun games to entertain us. My brother has an amazing and creative mind. We would rake the leaves into a trail and play tag. I pointed out a tree to Patrick that we tied a rope to a low branch. I explained to him that there would be a gap in the trail so that you would use the rope to jump across. Patrick was very impressed. This dream was so vivid and full of sadness. I cried a lot. I walked around mourned the fact that I'm no longer a kid. We all have to grow up and move on. But in my dream I was desperately sad about losing all of this. In the dream, the house was for sale, and Patrick was willing to buy it for us. I immediately felt better. I began playing with the idea of draining the backyard and recreating the lawn of my childhood.

But, no matter how strongly we wish it, we can't recreate the past. Nor should we strive to do so. The memories I have of my childhood are both good and bad, as is anyone's. I just wonder why that house is weighing so heavily on my mind right now. Perhaps it is because I am currently moving through the city of my ancestor's. Just last night I passed by a church in which an ancestor was baptized. I have thought of these ancestors quite a bit and wonder if we are sharing any views of the city. Perhaps they too stood on a Quai and admired Notre Dame. Or maybe they were busy living life and making ends meet to notice the city around them. Maybe being on my own is bringing my family closer to my heart. I'm not sure. But, that was a really vivid dream.

Our Lady of Paris

Last night after dinner, I decided to go for a walk. My friend, Paola, suggested visiting the courtyard of the Louvre after hours, so that was my goal. I set out along the Seine and immediately paused to admire the beauty of Notre Dame at night. What a wonderful sight. I ended up inside Notre Dame, and they were playing a documentary about the building..inside the building. My favorite part was when they played the sounds of the ancient bell called Emmanuel, which rings in F-sharp. The sound recording reverberated throughout the building, and it was beautiful.

After the film, I walked to the Louvre and watched tourists take pictures in various poses and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle on the hour. Arriving at the Louvre, I passed a man playing a saxophone in a corridor. The sound was magnificent in the space. I found a spot to lie down, and I spent some time listening to the moving water of the fountains and staring at the pyramids projected onto the night sky. It was very relaxing.

After the Louvre, I walked along the Seine back to my apartment. At one point, I saw 5 or 6 people looking over the ledge to see the lower walkway by the Seine. As I approached, I could hear a band down there. I peeked over too. There were about 10 or 12 young adults playing various instruments in a circle: 4 trombones, a drummer, a tuba, a couple of french horn, a few of trumpets. They played fun, fast music and even sang a bit. They ignored us watching them from of above, but we couldn't resist clapping to show our appreciation.

I then walked along a pedestrian bridge that was packed with groups of young people drinking wine/beer, smoking cigarettes, laughing, and having a general good time. I crossed the Seine and continued back toward my apartment. I took a small detour down a narrow, very bright street which was packed with restaurants and tourists. It was fun to see the bright lights and the various foods being offered.

Finally, 2.5 hours after leaving my apartment, I made it back for a deep sleep.

Today, Paola and I have plans to go to the cinema or watch movies at home. Should be fun. Right now, I'm watching Melrose Place dubbed in French, which is something I think every American should experience.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Paris update

Two things:

1. I saw a lady today biking with a dog in her basket. I always thought that image was a stereotype, and not a true one. But there they were, both cute as can be. And the dog had a little visor on b/c it can get windy riding up front.

2. I have a new, very awesome apartment. There are so many wonderful things about where I am living. I am in the heart of Paris. I walk along the Seine and pass Notre Dame on my way to work.

...and there is a guy on the 2nd floor across the street playing the violin.


So far so relaxing.