Saturday, March 31, 2012

Things I Miss About America RIGHT NOW

1. take away coffee
2. Panera
3. my dogs
4. having an iPhone
5. fountain sodas
6. Easter candy
7. extra sharp cheddar
8. cheap nail polish
9. drugstores
10. drop off laundry service
11. bacon
12. driving aimlessly
13. being able to call someone just for a chat while wandering around
14. yards
15. storage space

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Parisian Problems

My number one reason why Paris sucks:

It's 12:30am, I just started my period, and I'm out of tampons. Oh, and there is NO WHERE I CAN GO BUY THEM UNTIL 8AM.

Yeah, I'm putting this on the internet.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Best of Times

It was a less-than-perfect weekend. Nothing inherently terrible. It started with reminders of home. I received a package on Friday evening filled with summery clothes, necessities, and Easter treats from my mother. Then, I decided to stay up very late to watch the Ohio/UNC. Ohio, as you know, lost, and I ended up hanging out at my favorite bar, pretty much alone, until the metro re-opened Saturday morning at 5:30. That part wasn't so bad, but this resulted in severe sleep-deprivation and a fairly bad hangover, despite a ham & cheese toastie around 4am and less than 1 drink per hour. Saturday was spent in bed, shutters drawn, ignoring the sunshine outside. Around 7pm, I gathered my wits, threw on sundress, and headed out to find wonton soup (the only thing to appease my stomach) and friends. After burning my tongue on hot broth and sucking down a liter of orange juice, I felt almost normal, but headed to bed at 10pm. This morning I woke up early, though the time change made it pretty normal (9:30). I headed out to meet friends for a bike ride shortly after lunch, and conquered Parisian traffic on my bike with a broken seat. We indulged in falafel, ice cream, and a lot of sunshine. While out and about I learned that the poor kid I care for hit his head yesterday hard enough to be taken to the hospital, and so I'll be working all day tomorrow and Tuesday. I walked all the way home from Hotel de Ville, after nearly being deafened by thousands (seriously) of motorcycles revving and beeping past the government building to raise awareness of road safety. After some disappointing spaghetti at home, I'm watching the end of season 4 of Mad Men.


Nothing too crazy. Nothing too terrible.

But as I sit here, Sunday night, relaxed and maybe a little bit tan, I feel as though I have had a pretty stellar weekend. I lived. I tried some new stuff. I was enough of an adult to watch a sports game all alone in a bar and not die. I rode a bike in crazy traffic, and none of us got hit by a bus! (Just close calls.) I took care of myself when I felt bad. Not a big deal.

Today, when I left to go biking, I walked through the Champ du Mars. They have turned the fountains on again, and there was this hound who was leaping through the spray. He would dive into the fountain after a ball, splash around, and then climb out and race away. Eventually he'd trot back to his lady, and she'd toss the ball back in. He was absolutely the happiest dog possible at that moment. And I got weirdly choked up with something like gratitude, or peace, or jealousy, or something. And I just thought to myself, "I am overwhelming lucky." Or the equivalent to that.

Anyway. Nothing was special about this weekend. Or really, everything was.

 falafel from L'As du Fallafel (obvs the best one in the Marais)

 right on, graffiti, right on


 band and dancers on the quay

crazy motorcycles

 planning to spend next weekend here, on the tip of Île de la Cité

what's up, baby

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15

I've started about 4 new posts this week, but I can't seem to finish them. And I can't figure out why. Am I bored talking about myself? (Not likely.) Am I too busy? (Not too busy to read blogs all evening.) Am I out? (Yeah, because the 2 euros I have can buy me...oh wait, nothing.)

That sounds kind of bitter. Hmmm.

My only real hypothesis is that my life here has become fairly mundane and when I think of something I'm actually interested to write about, I realize, oh hang on, that has literally nothing to do with my life in Paris. What I'm saying is, in my head, this is just a BLOG and not a blog about my life here in Paris anymore. I have blogging ADD, or whatever.

Also, I talk to so many people about what I'm doing online, or facebook, or through Skype, etc., that it gets uninteresting to type things up again, you know? If you want to know about my Rome trip, you should look at the 300+ photos I posted on facebook. Or ask me! I can't be bothered typing up a blow-by-blow, because, honestly, I'm not that interesting in recapping what happened. Rome was a gorgeous, dreamy 48 hours of history and culture, and I loved every second. The photos I took tell the story for me.

But I can't NOT post, because I am inherently a people-pleaser. That's why I take care of children; that's why I am never the person who insists of going here or doing that; I'm a middle child and I want people to like me. And enough people have told me they read this, or they think it's funny, or whatever, that I can't stop! I'M DOING THIS FOR YOU!! You like me, you really, really like me!

Or, maybe I'm delusional.

Anyway, so I guess I will attempt to tell you what's up now. Hope it's not boring.

1. Something I've learned from living alone is that I am not an inherently clean person. No one ever admits that--you're either a self-proclaimed neat freak, or you just don't talk about it. Well, screw it: I'M MESSY. I don't like cleaning, I don't like dishes, I don't hang up my clothes at night. My floor is dirty (dirt, actually, from my running shoes), I wash dishes only to use them again straight away. I'm really good at cleaning up in 10 minutes when someone is coming over. SUCK IT.
2. I've decided I'm not taking French lessons in the spring trimester. I can't afford it, because my credit card bill is high enough. And also, I'd rather have my days free to do Paris stuff in the warm weather. I have to go to all the museums I can before I turn 26 and have to start paying the full fee, so that's my reasoning. Not sure how to tell my host family, because I'm pretty sure it's illegal for me to not take classes....however, basically every other person I know who is an au pair is also not taking classes, and hasn't since Christmas.
3. Oh, also, I finally got brave and looked at my bank account. Here, my account is a credit/debit, and I'm currently in the red zone. Not good. Goal is to be back in the positive by April. Paris is freaking expennnnnsive, and yes, I think it is pricier than New York, in terms of living costs.
4. I've been spending my evenings reading blogs instead of spending my evening spending money...and let me tell you, I have read some shocking things lately. I try to keep politics on here to a minimum, but I'm just going to take a minute to say WHAT THE WHAT is going on in the USA? So much legislation that seems so unnecessary! Can I just say that once in for all, you can believe whatever you want, but you are not allowed to tell other people what they must believe. And basically, what that means, is the rules need to accommodate ALL beliefs.
5. Also, I read a comment that blew my mind yesterday. Some guy said something, in the same sentence, about how our government is attacking the Catholic Church and that isn't right, so we should get "that Muslim" out of the presidency. My goodness, the irony is I laughed, and then I cried.
6. AWAY FROM POLITICS NATALIE. Hmm...well we rented The Little Mermaid from the library yesterday, and he was totally freaked out by the shark, but then when Ariel spies Eric for the first time, as she's sitting on the side of his boat and the sailors are partying, you know there's that close up? And he goes, "ooh, she likes him!" Kill me from cuteness.
7. Kid was refusing to eat yesterday too, so I broke out the old iPod and started playing Disney songs. His favorite? "I'll Make a Man out of You" from Mulan. Classic!
8. My host mom freaked out yesterday when I told her I let the kid run around without a jacket. For the record, it was 64 degrees yesterday. He was wearing an undershirt, turtleneck, and cotton/cashmere sweater. I made him remove his down jacket because his face was bright red and his hands were sweating. She said she would prefer next time if I brought him home, changed his clothes, and then took him back out with the coat. Are you kidding me??


Going to Reims, in Champagne, this weekend. I'll toast to you all.

P.S. FINE Rome details.
a. I ate gelato three times.
b. I kept thinking the Italian flag was the Irish flag, esp when it was faded.
c. All photos of the Colosseum look the same.
d. Italian men are no more forward than other men, in my opinion, although I hear it gets worse in the summer heat.
e. Rome has perfected the mid-price meal. In Paris, you spend 5 euros or 25 euros. In Rome you can spend 14-16 for a good meal.
f. Rome has two kinds of streets: main roads and narrow cobbled alleys.
g. I loved it!

 Michelangelo was inspired by these arches when building St. Peter's.

 I love coffee.

Saw George Clooney in Piazza Navano.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sweeping the Clouds Away

It's sunny here in Paris.
It is 56 degrees.
There is a trumpeter hanging out on my street right now.
I've spotted at least 5 flowering trees this week.
My shining moment of 70 degrees in Rome has made me even more excited for spring.
I've got cornichons and spreadable cheese in my fridge for the weekend.
My spellcheck wants me to change cornichons to unicorns.
I get to wear my Anthro flowered dress today and be seasonally appropriate, even if I still have to wear tights.
I'm so excited to pick up the kid from school that I am going to leave early!

Oh SPRING, how I have missed you!!