jeudi 11 décembre 2008

French vanilla almond granola

I had to move my car by 10:00 for fear that the Philadelphia Parking Authority would catch me. They would attempt to slap me with a fine, but at the wrong hour of the morning, and then I would be the one to make them pay. For the puddle of rain water on the driver’s side, for stupid stupid television, for all the noise in my pocket, for the dirty apple sauce that caused my nose to run. Again. I can't keep fleeing like this! Perry slumbered like a baby and his hair was long.

I forgot the granola, but Perry remembered the pizza. It tasted like 0% food because the previous night had also already been forgotten, save for the over-extension of my arms and beer like a nightcap.

The umbrella was broken and borrowed with mangled prickly pieces of metal that I could have used to poke tiny holes through my eyes so that my brain could finally see through. And then maybe in turn, my eyes could rest and they wouldn't be so weary and angry all the time. I scurried like a squirrel and did a K-turn in the middle of the 4700 block. Perry's house emerged as my tree, my hole in a tree where I could disappear until the rain subsided or the tree just collapsed. Forcing me back to a place where people run over me with cars. Fuck fuck fuck.

I was awake at 4am and I couldn't stop breathing. A lot. There were so many breaths and I hated them. One for my workday, another for the flea market, another for my "nez qui coole," one for the future, one for Perry because my arms are too long and he looked like he was laying in a thin and crunchy pile of dead grass, the view from my hole in the tree.

And I was bleeding and I can't tell if that's why. In any case, I forgot the granola. That could have changed the course of the day, of Dec 11th 2008 where I scowled 200 times and awoke with no direction. Maybe I could've seen with my brain today.

I showed Perry about BFF and fidgeted on the kitchen floor. He told me to see a career counselor about all my complaining.

Ginnie gobbled down her cat food as if it were French vanilla almond granola. I could hear her little teeth chomping like my fish used to do. Her head is so small. Cats are not complicated; their lives are marked by catnip and no response to catnip. She doesn't respond to catnip, only bags, balls, and string and not really the mouse that I crocheted for her. I have to craft mice forever if I'm going to make it in this world, through such heavy breaths and no light switch except for those flicky portable ones hiding on shelves in the living room. I'm going to hand deliver the mice to people or cats, HAND DELIVER. Because what if they got lost in so much disorder?

I sulked and pouted and I don't know what Perry did. I need to know because I miss him. He told me to give myself something to look forward to.

I left kind of late, but wasn't late to work. There was way too much to do. Someone came in to talk to the kids about culture and islands.

lundi 17 novembre 2008


Perry loomed over me as though he'd never left. After an hour and a half of sleep revisited, I awoke just before 10:00 to find that my body and the blankets had become weightlessly one and Perry loomed over as though he'd never left the room.

In sleepy dreamland, I had inquired to my mom whether or not Perry's friend should come over to assist him in his studies. Only in my dreams could I pose such a pointless question. In reality, Perry was pulling a shirt over his head while I clung to fresh denial of a new day and morning.

It was sweet creamy coffee time, an hour that only exists on mornings at Perry's house. I'm fond of this time and I look forward to it. Well, once denial has dwindled down to acceptance levels. Perry lovingly prepared onion bagels with lots of hard cream cheese that I scraped off onto the plate.

Mariah Carey was singing about her baby at Christmas time when I dropped him off at school. Next was the Carpenters and then the Eagles and Elvis and then likely the Carpenters again all singing the same song about Christmas. We want it white, there's no place like home, Santa is to Jesus as bagels are to hummus... It really doesn't matter. I've overdosed on cheer and it's only mid-November. I frowned the whole way to work and it felt like cinema.

There was a fun friendy dinner planned at the Castle for that night. All of the Hermit Thrushes were back from tour and so it was time to eat. Chicken I guess. Because I didn't have much besides sesame crackers and ricey stuff that Jessi made. The distraction was priceless, but then it was cold and I had to go home.

dimanche 3 août 2008

Neighborly love

Jessi lives in Philly now.  Yesterday we wrote lyrics for a song called "Neighborly Love."  An excerpt:

You could be good
at looking after my home
Feed my dogs
and I'll throw you a bone

jeudi 24 juillet 2008

Like a Thursday

Today= 4 consecutive episodes of French Internet series (Decide-toi, Clement!)
      crappy interview at my local library
      searching for employment AGAIN
      drinking old(not aged, just old) wine at Rittenhouse Square

But I ate real food (my mom's ziti that she gave my brother to give to me)!

dimanche 20 juillet 2008

It's blueberry time!

Hej girl hej.

So post France means that I gotta get a job.  I've been toiling ever so hard on this, cruising Craigslist like it alone is my job, calling around, creeping around, you name it...  And alas, months passed, and my savings dwindled and are dwindling as we speak.  My first big break was an interview for a customer service position with airline giant US Airways.  This means TRAVEL BENEFITS like whoa.  Words can't describe.  Free travel and a world of both happiness and decided misery from the crappy early morning/late night sort of schedule that this job entails for new hires.  
My neck is sweating.
The information sesh/interview was held on a Tuesday afternoon in Lester Poopy Pants Mapquest Lies, Pennsylvania.  Area code 19blahblahboo.  They gave us hopefuls the low-down/frown on working for US Airways.  The undesirable and fluctuating schedule, the full-time training, the expectations, the seriousness/officialness, etc.  Then there were individual interviews.  I scored major points with the francophile card, which has actually operated surprisingly well as a selling point lately.  The interviewer was herself a fan of Europe who spent some time residing in Strasbourg(French/German border), France.  My 10 months of customer service experience magically and exceptionally amounted to the minimum requirement of 2 years, and suddenly, I was in business.  

Oh yes, and it's important that I mention that for the duration of the interview, I had a pancake in my purse.  It's something like ass pennies, but less detestable, and certainly NOT deliberate.  But perhaps it eases tensions a bit. It's just that I didn't have time to eat that day so I found a 2 day old blueberry pancake that my mom had prematurely prepared at my aunt's urging, just chilling(pun, anyone?) in the refrigerator.  While I thought it best to instead conserve the batter to make semi-fresh blueberry pancakes in the future, my mama opted to prepare and save the pancake in it's whole and ready form.  And ya know, eating a cold pancake in your hot hot car while your one and only official business-casual interview dress is wrinkled and wet from a sweaty tummy, takes time that a US Airways hopeful just doesn't possess. So I brought it in the recruting center in my purse with me kind of like a good luck charm and a guard against excessive anxiety in the face of a super serious interview.  

And apparently it worked because one minute I was listening to funk music in the waiting/application room and the next I was being fingerprinted and welcomed to US Airways by a kindly man with an air of efficiency who I thought was the security guard.  "You must take a drug test at the designated location within 24 hours," he informed me.  Some apprehension ensued.  

Then I couldn't pee in the cup.  Well, I could pee in the cup, however, not enough to satisfy their formidable demands as made clear to me by a red line drawn across the cup.  So I had to wait it out, drink lots water, and then try again.  And I found out that they don't combine pee samples.  From Attempt #1 and Attempt #2.  This was my first drug testing experience.  

I was a champ because they called me a few days later.  After a standard avoidance period, I eventually amassed the courage to call them back long after the end of normal business hours to leave a recitative message to a nonjudgemental answering machine letting them down easy on account of the cost of travel and parking that often accompanies working at the airport, at least at first.  
Wow, I'm tired. 
So I might just try resting my eyes and maybe even my head and my limbs and stomach and heart for a little while, yea.

samedi 24 mai 2008

School's out forever.

It's really crappy that it has come to this. My computer crashed about 5 weeks before I parted ways with Paris, thus rendering my blog a hopeless and neglected mess-- a mere ghost of documentation, for archival purposes only. Which hurts because I really wanted this blog and for it to serve its purpose as a portal for my reflections, tales, and sentiments as they pertained to living in France. I recently left Paris behind, but the saga continues to unfold given that much of it remains untold while the rest is still happening even as I write in New Jersey and contemplate what exactly France and French have to do with my life, my life as it pertains to simply being.

Thursday, April 17 was my last day of school. I took almost the entirety of my first class and asked them to come up with worthwhile things I could see and do in order to savor these last 3 weeks in Paris. This I passed off as a lesson plan, a pretty damn good one at that thanks to Jessi. I thought it to be decent since the students could volunteer information on the places that they know and like. They can both teach me and challenge themselves by relating the information in English. The ideal was for the students to exercise some level of ingenuity with thoughtful and sincere suggestions that reflect their individual personalities and avoid the stereotypical tourist locales that I've already visited 100+ times. I wanted to know about parks and streets and lakes.

Perhaps the assignment was not adequately explained. Or maybe a lot of kids are just stuck inside of kistchy images of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. They're still young. I'm still young. Up to my ears in tourist information(the good and the bad), I still somehow managed to spend my last weeks drinking the same vodka tonics and beer at the same bars and lounging around some of the stunning parks that Paris has to offer. I'm a bum.

Jessi and I had lovingly prepared choco krispie treats for our classes the night before. The peanut butter batch was avoided like the plague by the first class. The French don't really do peanut butter. The second teacher that I work with is a total sweetheart. In addition to being super sweet and helpful, she wears dark pencil around her eyes, which is then further intesified by vibrant dyed red hair complete with a different-shade-of-red hairpiece extension that dangles down her back in ponytail formation. What a kind soul!

Well, the last class embraced the peanut butter with no reservations. Evidently a more daring and adventurous bunch, their suggestions weren't bad either. Sure, go ahead, throw a ball around the room, it's my last day! Everything's ok.

That was the last time I saw Mennecy.

Empty classroom after my last class.

Little street in Mennecy.

The local medieval church, every small town's gotta have one.

Old man carrying a basket, they do this in Mennecy. There are also walls everywhere, and here we see the point that used to mark the entrace to the town.

Just a house.

More lil' stuff.

On my route from the station to the school.

Another Mennecy house.

jeudi 10 avril 2008


Another day of strikes and of running to school only to find out that no one is there. When I arrived a few students were blocking the gate that leads into the school. The principle unsuccessfully tried to separate the wall of students. The cops came and broke the chain.

"The door remains open!" the principle shouted as he went back inside the building.