lundi 1 février 2016

Just Some Words on a Page

I know I kind of let this blog die, and for some strange reason that makes me feel like I almost don't have the right to write anything new on these cadaverous pages. I've been realizing though that I've been holding in so many thoughts that are yearning to get out and stretch their legs a bit. The internet, I suppose, will be their sidewalk. So hello, internet! How's it hangin'? It's kind of a shame that I did so much and have very little documentation of it. There are pictures encased in USB keys and external hard drives, but all they do is sit and whisper secrets of adventures that no one else will ever know. This deep apathy just took over so much of my being that my old love of writing dissipated  a bit just as the confidence I used to have in my ability had done a few years previous. Plus having to write my master's thesis in French (and on Semiotics nevertheless) also put a damper on good joojoo. So here I am and instead of telling myself that my writing style is too old fashioned (damn all you 19th century novels that I've read!), or that my sentence structure and vocabulary are shit, I'm just sitting here and letting whatever wants to be freed free. Simple as that. It actually feels great too!

Being back home after two years in France has brought up a lot of emotions, but more than anything I feel like I am where I need to be. The professional side of that is still in the works, but there is some kind of wantedness and welcomeness here that I felt were missing from my life while I was away. The feelings of the neglected traveler on homecoming. I've felt a bit world weary for quite some time now. I have an inkling though that 2016 will be the year of fixing things I've fucked up, forgiveness, freshness and other alliterating words. I've decided to really work on forgiving people who have hurt me and letting go of grudges (I do have such a penchant for holding grudges...). One never knows how long she'll have to tread this planet, so the sooner she can live the life she really wants and get rid of all the negative things that clutter that existence, the better. Here's to all of that and to more writing--- letting go all these little pent up word creatures. (Even if it's complete horse shit).

vendredi 1 août 2014

Being Broke in France

This summer has, despite the constant inundation, been lovely and I'll have to post separate articles about the things I've been up to, for this one has a much less noble cause and sometimes we must start from the bottom and work our way up. I've had trouble finding work this summer since my main draw (preying on unsuspecting children needing to learn English), has proved a bit dry. I have yet to figure out exactly what French children do during the summer, but I am forced to believe that, like everyone here, they take their vacationing very seriously (really it's like work!), which means no prepping for the school year. There might be kids somewhere here wanting to avoid the beach and  improve their linguistic prowesse, but I have yet to find the cranny in which they hide. Anyway, there are summer camps (like some that shall remain nameless in case I decide to work there one day ;)  which purport to be  like taking a trip the US without leaving France, but after perusual of their website appear to be places where a bunch of kids shack up together in an old French estate and play on the computer. As an addendum: I actually have no idea what kids do at these places, but I am still going to judge them harshly for what appears to be their false advertising and crappy internet pictures), to which I probably should have applied had I  been more on the ball and less lazy. I just thought that living on pasta and an ever growing list of ccrushed dreams would be a more pleasant experience. I've cleaned up my act a bit recently though and have been applying like mad to anything that crosses my path; it would be nice to go home for Christmas and avoid all the "so I bet this meal is better than all that Mcdonald's that you eat at home" ignorant discussions that spending any significant amount of time with French people tend to bring about. The problem with this is that I am still slightly terrified of speaking on the phone with professionals- seriously I can't stand these conversations even in English, but their being in French just brings out an entirely different éventail of insecurities. Despite all that, theys have gone pretty dang well and while I still don't have an actual job for the month of August, hopefully I'm getting over this fear a little bit. There's probably a silver lining hiding around one of the corners of this bastard.

It's funny, I thought briefly about consecrating this article to tips on how to survive here on a low income and I imagined all the happy people who would come and read it and go away with bright smiles and hope, but yeah who are we kidding? I don't want to brag or anything, but I am just really fucking good at being poor. It's become a facet of my being and trying to enumerate the steps to  pull it off is like trying to explain how to be born a brunette. That said, maybe I will post some advice on here someday and help out a bunch of poor saps who think that moving to France is a splendid idea (which it totally is!!). Just don't keep your hopes up.

jeudi 1 mai 2014

Watching Paint Dry

Sometimes I start a thousand things passionately all at once and then never finish any of them. It's a glorious  symphony missing it's finale, a bright storm without a rainbow Lately, that's been my state of mind- like I seriously have a whole bunch of blog drafts saved on here that are half shadows of interesting things, and you know I would be surprised if this one survives its journey to the web. This is why I can speak particles of numerous languages, but have only implanted an entire grammar of two into my brain. There are just far too many things in this world that fascinate me and so very little time; well, that's often the reason for projects begun and left as drafts, but recently there is some kind of sinister disinterest blazing it's way into me, a slow devouring thing that leads me to seek but never find. Sometimes I wonder if I've just diverged too far off the intended trajectory of my life (does that even exist??? or are we all just wandering eyeless and confused grasping at whatever we bump into) and that every step I take leads even farther off that path. The journey is more important than the destination, but what do we do when the journey is just kind of beige and uninteresting? Perhaps while I'm in France living the starving part, I will add in artist to make life survivable. If I can find a way out of this blandness, that is. Well, that was a lot of rambling for May evening, but well these things must find their way out from time to time.

dimanche 26 janvier 2014

This past year briefly

To summarize events since my last visit here: I spent a year scraping by in the US trying to save up enough money to go to grad school here in France. I worked for Greenpeace (lovely people and a good way to come out of one's shell, but I honestly don't have enough of a "salesman" personality to make that sort of thing a viable option), though I am keeping the non-profit door open for the future. Then I got a job taking care of an invalid woman's dogs. To be completely frank, this lady was batshit crazy; I will remark though that she presents a good lesson in the need for mental activity. It was clear to me that she was very intelligent, but being bedridden, she felt the need to create drama where there was none. Anyway, to make a long story short, I am glad that's over! I then worked for a childcare company, which was actually not all that bad- mainly because I was with some great people and not left alone with the barbarian horde.  I taught French to young American children, and finally found employment at a doggy darcare surrounded by a group of some of the coolest hounds I've known. Despite the times that I found myself a bit bored, I really enjoyed working with these animals. Their joie de vivre really puts the kibosh on all our human cynicism and being surrounded by 50 dogs is definitely a unique experience.

After all that, I had to take a horribly stressful trip to LA to get my French visa. Before leaving, I had this sens of dread and foreboding, which turned out to be well-founded. I left Denver, taking the bus to the airport (since I had no car) and arrived in LA safe and sound. I went to the rental car place, stood in line forfriggin (hail to the infix)  ever and then went to check into the hotel. Realizing that all that had taken much longer than planned and wanting to take advantage of the two short days I would spend in this city, I found the closest beach- a beach I shall call The Beach of Disappointment and watched the trash wash up along the shore. Trying to ignore how awful and destructive humanity is, I watched the sunset and then headed off to pick up a friend from the airport since he too had to make the self-same visa trek and we decided to split the costs.

The next day, we got up early to head to the French consulate. My friend had just about as much bad luck as I did and didn't get his documents in the mail in time, so decided, plane tickets being expensive to change, to head out to Cali and enjoy the sun anyway. My visa appointment was a total disaster! My visa  was refused because they would neither accept my letter of acceptance from the school nor the fact that I would be working to support myself in France during my stay. I was, needless to stay, devestated after all the hard work and sacrifice I had made to finally further my education. But life goes on and so must we, so my friend and I headed out to Santa Monica to have lunch with a friend I hadn't seen since my days palling around with musical folk at the recording studio in Weed. Though slightly awkward, it was quite nice to see her again and talk to some positive people after my recent disappointment. We then parted ways and my friend and I went of to the beach for a short swim before going back to the airport. The sea is a great place to drown your sorrows and I tried to let the waves sweep them away. I so love the sea and there is something so cleansing about swimming in that salty water. Unfortunately, since we had already checked out of the hotel, I had no way to wash so I just hopped on the plane salt-clad (which honestly wasn't that bad) and homeward bound.

Luckily, this story does not end here. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from CampusFrance inquiring how things were going and I recounting my tale of woes. There are some very dedicated people working there who contacted the French Embassy to very politely rip them a new one, which means that they accepted their error about my letter of acceptance. I still had to prove that I had enough income BEFORE leaving the US to pay for my stay in France. I got around this by withdrawing $2000 from my account and depositing it into my dad's and having him produce a letter saying that he would be sending my money each month (I come from a very poor family, so no one had enough money to do this in the first place). I had to spend a fortune to change my original plane ticket, but I eventually arrived in France- I got here rather broke, but it's all good since I have become quite good at living on nothing and a dash of dreams.

So there you have it. A brief summary of my year back in the US. Much time was spent with my wonderful family and it's been hard being separated from them, but I needed to give an eye for knowledge so here we are.

dimanche 7 juillet 2013

The Saga Continues

Hello dear neglected blog. Sometimes I get so behind in my writing that I feel as though I could never catch up, so let's begin with the present and see where that takes us, shall we? I've been in something of an incubatory phase this past year. There are times when I feel like I am drifting, in a constant state of becoming- becoming what? I haven't the slightest idea, but I suppose that's the essence of life. We are never stagnant. Always moving from one phase to the next with no actual goal at the end of it. Becoming is being. Never really waking as exactly the same person we were the day before. It reminds me of an IMAX science movie my Middle School class went to see; for some reason throughout all these years one piece of information from that film has stuck with me: each day the top layer of your eye (as do all the cells in your body over time really) renews itself and upon waking, you literally see the world with new eyes. This constant renewal of our physical being offers boundless hope if we realize that our more ethereal selves are just as ( if not more so) plastic.

Anyway, the reason I finally decided to sit down and write, besides the fact that writing is incredibly therapeutic to me, is that I've been accepted into graduate school in Lyon to study Linguistics. A new phase is on the horizon once more. I am sure this will be another emotional upheaval, but I crave growth and change and, of course, travel! So it is with joy that I open my new eyes to the future. Everything has finally lined up for this to work. I've got a job that will only last through the summer here in the US, two jobs and a place to live in Lyon, as well as of course a great guy waiting for and supporting me across the wide water. There is much to do and many goodbyes to be said, so I will leave this space for the present and hopefully be back here again soon.


lundi 12 mars 2012


Did I just drink some French wine and cut off the majority of my hair...? Mayyyybe ;) It grows back, right?

lundi 23 janvier 2012

Still alive and kickin'

The worst part about falling off the wagon with this blog is that it is so hard to get back into keeping it going... So many amazing and, let's face it, a few irritating things have happened since I last posted that I honestly don't even know where to start now. Grr. After so many technology problems, I finally borrowed a computer from the school which I will have to return very shortly. While I do have internet access, however, I would like to keep this blog going and hopefully I can motivate myself to make it a priority.

Teaching has actually been going better than I had expected; yes, of course I have had rough patches and a rather long learning curve since I came into this thing hoping that charisma and actual teaching experience are more or less synonymous and that I can get away with having one and not the other. Despite my natural discomfort and lack of in-born talent when it comes to public speaking, for some reason I have been more at ease with these kids than is generally the case and have been able to avoid my natural deer in the headlights reaction.I think that coming into this thing slightly terrified and expecting the worst actually saved me since it really hasn't been as horrible as I expected.Of course I am burdened with the typical stereotypical adolscent, who just sits there looking bored or pretends to be way too cool to broaden his horizons and learn about another culture, but I also have some great kids who are well behaved and actually interested. All in all this has been a really good experience and I have even sent in the paperwork to stay another year. We shall see how this goes.

I think that I will  post my other adventures separately so that I can get into at least a little detail. It's been so long now that that may not be the simplest thing to do, but it's all good in the end.