July 4, 2009

Im drunk

Smooth Criminal is on tv right now. The super pop, super cheesy version of MTV in france is called NRJ. promounced "energyyyyyyyyyy."
Its nice to have friends over and be completely entranced by the TV. Its also funny as hell to see my french friends try to sing the words to MJ songs. Last week at a party "Man in the Mirror" was playing and my friend was singing, " Man in the middle...." And I was like, " Dude, you just gave the song a totally diffeent meaning. But i think my boys in the Castro would appreciate your version..."
I imagine that this experience for me is quite similar to when I sing french songs... "je suis ah blah blah(insert made up french words here) lalala."

Im leaving France in 3-4 weeks to move to London. Dont remember if i mentioned that. But yah, im goin. Im audi 5000. Bon voyage. I will miss France. I will Paris. I will miss my friends. My apartment. and thats about it. But I guess when you leave somewhere that really all youll miss.
My family still isnt here so im left with friends, cafes and architecture.

I like my life here. Its chill. the lifestyle agrees with me. But somehow its different for me than when i first moved here. I had a sense of entitlement at first. I was pretty sure I was better than everyone else. Now Ive grown to appreciate their way. their manners. their fashion. and you know what? americans have a lot to learn. We are so in-n-out. Dinner in under an hour. I mean, who goes out to just eat? here, dinner is an all night festivity. 3 hours minimum. Apero, Entree, plat, dessert, cafe, digestif and then shots if you know the staff... its so nice to just be left alone with your friends. these cafes and restaurants quickly become your home. why? because youre there more then in your own house. and they leave you alone! in America, you think the waiter is rude for ignoring. here, its custom. you stay as long as you like. its yours. everything here. its slow. its appreciated.
i took a cruise on the seine yesterday with Michaela and her sister who was in town from Germany.it was really cool. the buildings, the achitecture, the fucking apartments with floor to ceiling window views of the seine.. oh la la. c'est magnifique! if i had an extra 20 million lying around- mark my words- id buy it up. of course this comes with a trade off. yesterday it was 90 and humid. humid like the tropical jungle. it was awful. and the sun beats down with no wind. the concrete breathes up at you. you get sticky and tired. i curse this weather. but how can you complain? its summer in Paris and i dont work! i can do whatever the fuck i want! this is the point that i think for the rest of my life i will be making--a summer in paris to do nothing. im a 20 year old with longer hangovers and a language barrier. cest la vie.

Im pretty drunk at the moment as im waiting for my friend on the scooter to pick me up. this was the orginal thought for this blog but i expired. blah blah blah. i do love the scooter in Paris. its so fun! its so French. and also, yes so dangerous. but oh so fun. for better or worse, it equates to everything else in my life thats dangerous.

Alors this entry did give me the idea that I need to write a recap of my american vs french differences. bring it back to basics.go back to day 1. ill go back to year 1 in france. to the entries when i had to sign language the doorman and couldnt get a decent drink.

i think ill go back. and i think ill smile.

more to come...

June 23, 2009

Be Another Me


The drums, the violin, the strumming guitar are beating in my ears. I took you for a walk today. The song is "Be Another Me" by Curtis Newton. The song that carries me through this beautiful sunny afternoon in Paris. Life is not so bad.

Ive been cruising around my neighborhood all afternoon and have decided to stop at a cafe in the sun for lunch. Salad, Rose, ciggys, pen and paper.

My perfect combination for happiness.Enjoying my last few days of "french-icity" before I move to London in 3 weeks. Ive taken a job at a design agency as a Producer. This should hold me over and pay my bills until I can retire and just take on the greatest job in the world. Oh. Publishing my book and having it become the next BestSeller and go on Oprah etc. then Ill just travel the world and sign copies of my book. Ill bring along my assistant and my air-kisses. It'll be fantastic. Its amazing how much time a day i can spend thinking about this scenario. In my head, its quite real. Its what its like to " be another me."

One of the best things about not working at the moment is that I have plenty of time to daydream. Hours upon hours to think about me. What I want. What I want to do, to be. This is time well spent. It keeps me off the bottle during the day (sometimes) and fills me with inspiration that I can be and do anything I want. And why not? I have so far.Ive never been one to sit back and rest on my laurels so I use my time wisely. I try not to get bored but its hard. I keep writing. My book is half finished now and im getting pretty excited.

Ive decided that the first half of the book will be my time from SF to Paris. And the second half will be from Paris to London. Unless of course my publisher wants to keep it in two separate novels. What would Oprah do? Oh well ill cross that bridge when I get to it.

Now back to being another me.

April 21, 2009

In N Out

Its been a while. I needed to get out of the house. Here's the problem. Its safe in there. Im not agoraphobic or anything, but when I leave the house, I tend to drink more. Et voila, here I am at The Ren...drinking. Standard. Cote du Rhone. Waiting for a friend to come over for a dinner and dish sesh.
In the meantime, heres the latest. The man, the "Marseilles move-in" has now moved out. Er rather, has been asked to leave. Shocked? Probably not. Did anyone make wagers on my fast and furious attempt at domesticating? You should have. It was a long shot, but I thought I had good odds. Anyway, basically it just wasnt working. Between his ocd jealousy and my crazi, I mean me-ness, it just didnt work out.
Still friends I think. I hope. But not sure. I mean you never want to have to say, lets still be friends, but I think really we will. That said, I offered him the casual romp and dinner tryst, so we'll see what happens. However, I dont know how one will take the offer of sex as you are being urged out the door with duffel bags and toiletries hanging off your limbs. But Im still attracted to him, and I meant it, so I said it.

I know I know, "Oh Diane" is actually what I thought too. Its nice to know at least some things never change. So its back to me. Square one and loving it.

Invincible

Lets go back to early February 2009 when I orginally wrote this post.

Im trying to drink less. Its better for me I know, but why does everything good have to be so bad? Ive noticed a trend in my writing here as Im sure you guys have too, that drinking seems to be this American's favorite pastime. True nuf. But when in Paris, do as the Parisians do. They love their cafe, but really how many cups can one have? Newly unemployed and on the market, isnt wine simply a wiser option? I mean lets face it. When you dont have to set an alarm, because your only task for the day is to eventually wake up and check facebook... Im all in. Lets go drink!
But alas, this is not so good for me.
And really more than anything else, I believe that alcohol is the gateway drug we should all be so wary of. What to do when drinking a nice wine, or a spritzy cocktail or ice cold beer? Smoke a ciggy of course. And its all downhill form there. Once youre drinking and smoking, whats to stop you? Youre invincible. But lets be clear. Im not talking standing on the ledge of a 40 story building on PCP invincible, but rather you just generally feel happier than everyone else. And your question here, inevitably, "Are you masking unhappiness in your life with a bottle and a box?" Perhaps. But at least, Im aware of it. And I can still read my writing on the page so thats good. And No, Im not staggering down the street like a hobo in heat. I look pretty and im dressed well. I just happen to be inebriated, so what? Defensive? No no. Just explaining. Thats what us writers do, explain. Tell stories. Enlighten even.

March 20, 2009

Marco Polo

Marco Polo and the search for a new world and love. And yes, sometimes a fish out of water. Thats me more often than not. So heres what Ive gotten myself into recently...

We met. We saw. We met again. Et voila. That was it.

Yes him. The Marseille guy. He is not only now my wonderfully sweet and sexy boyfriend, but he is also now living with me. Chez Diane has very quickly become chez nous. What can I say? Thats how I roll.

There are a million reasons why this is a very bad idea, but there is also a strong handful as to why this can be good. Im not going to pro and con list here so lets just review some things that we know to be true on both sides, 1 thru 10 in no particular order.

1. Regular sex is good. A live-in boyfriend provides frequent, uninhibited sex.
2. I can be psycho and crazy. Its possible I lose my shit, and he and the relationship are out the door next week.

3.You always have someone to eat dinner with, have impromptu dance party with, and wake up next to.
4. He speaks French and English, hence he can read my mail for me and help me with those a**holes that work in French administration.
5. He goes to school all day so I still have my afternoons of Leisure all to myself.

6.My Mom called me a "cougar" and although offended, everytime I think about it, I laugh. (btw-hes 26 people. get your heads out of the gutter. im not Mary Kay Laterneau or anything)

7. Im generous to a fault, but I also hate to share. I usually prefer to buy you your own so I can keep mine to myself. Spoiled much? maybe. But lets look at this as a win-win, not me being a brat.
8. The only other time I lived with a man, was when my ex moved in with me after 4 days. I think this is the only way I know how to do it. (or not do it, but lets think positive;)

9. Im staying in Paris a bit longer than expected, so this is happily substituting as the next adventure until the rest of the plan unfolds.

10. I think we're in Love.
aaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwww

March 3, 2009

Debauchery, Pornography etc etc

Lets talk weekend shall we? This is where I would ideally let someone who could accurately recount the events of the past few days step in, but im the writer. So here goes...

It started out as an innocent Karaoke experience with some French, german,a couple polish and an american to boot. soon to follow was what turned into a weekend of debauchery, pornography and photography.

Lets go back. a few weeks ago, my friend michaela suggested i come with her to Karaoke at someIrish pub in Republique. she says,"its really fun, you'll love it!"


So of course most of you know my response."Have we met?"


But my new years resolutuon was to try new things, so after a year and a half in Paris, i guess my number was up, so to speak.


So head held low, i accompany my friend to Corcorans for Karaoke. Ok- straight to the bar. I start with a large beer, but quickly realize that the alocohol percent there is just not gonna cut it. i quickly switch to a vodka redbull. afterall, you need to be quick on your game to read all those colored letters flashing by with unknown lyrics, but a chorus you could sing deaf and blind.


None of this relevant however, because frankly,i dont sing. This was quickly discovered and fairly acknlowged by all those in the now growing group of regiular karaoke-ers in my presence. BUT what i CAN do my friends, is motivate a fucking crowd. I just sort of smile and dance along the perimeter with my hands in the air. this is better for me. so its like im participating without actually comitting. (note: see Love life)


Anyway, karaoke was actually very cool. a thursday must do. cool people, good friends, a highly energetic drink mix and a mirophone. nuff said. Thursdays are Karaoke night. its 2009, people.

Ok so shoot to 3 weeks later. My friend Olga has her boyfriend in town from Marseille with a few of his buddies. "The Marseille Crew." This is important to note because this group single handedly changed my perception of french men.They were funny, nice, handome,charming, open...etc.Bravo moms of Marseilles-you did good ladies!

Lets get to the debauchery shall we? The boys arrived just in time for karaoke on Thursday and fun times had by all. Saturday turned into what i could best describe as "my time as a Polish Vodka souvenir. " Never in my life have I continued with shots of vodka one after another and another. People I love vodka. Im a believer. dont underestimate the Poles. They will bring it. Hard. Needless to say my saturday ended with about 10 people leaving the apartment around 6am, and about 2 people staying. She got some. oh yes she did.


She got some again sunday.

And Monday.


But lets go back to sunday. I offered a small apero to the crew at my house in the next afternoon just to laugh and recap and think about all the other things we have going for us in our lives aside from alocoholism. (ive found this a great retreat and zen- some would compare it to Yoga or Pilates, but i prefer the "drink through it method")

So the nice glass of white wine eventually turned into yes you guessed it, vodka shots. Clothes are coming off, dancing on the couch, on the ceiling, pirate swords, headbands, blindfolds and "the lift" all come into play. Its pure filth. And as i looked around to this group from atop my wicker bench, I felt so proud. here they are. The smiling, the shining, the true, and well yes, the drunk.
Sunday turned into monday and there I was, just a (un)mindful lady of leisure, hungover with breakky in bed from marseille guy, and a (big)handful of cryptonite.












February 5, 2009

February 2, 2009

Feeling Rogue-ish




Im going rogue. This is me going rogue. Not sure if i can make this decision myself or if my team of republican monkeys needs to make it for me, but yes, Ive decided, Im going rogue.
With cigarette in hand and glass of red by my side, ABBA on the itouch and James Bond photos posted all about my house in lieu of the weekend party, i feel rogue-ish.

I was recently laid off my job at cbs. People, it was like winning the lottery. If you had any idea how much money the French government is willing to pay you to remain jobless youd move here tomorrow. So i can basically stay without a job for about the next 2 years and live quite comfortably. Once i understand what the French mean when they tell me that even for french people its extremely difficult to go through the "administrative" bit of collecting unemployment Ill feel better. Once thats done, the only problem is that ive been jobless with savings before and it wasnt pretty. Out every night, friends over all the time, the best clothes due to daily shopping expeditions... wait what was i saying...?

So now the question- what do I want to do when i grow up? OK, so ideally Id open a taqueria in Paris, then London. We'd serve tacos and burritos by day then a dope bar at night. Sort of like Nicks Crispy tacos in SF, but without that lame ass club cluttering it up. I just dont know if the french would like mexican food? Maybe theres a reason there are no taquerias here. I mean the french Love to cut their food up into small bites and a taco just doesnt fit that mold. Also theres no cream or butter involved with burritos. I cant imagine a burrito with steak tartare inside with a lovely cream sauce on top. Its gonna be my way. Fresh. In all senses of the word, like with a PH. PHRESH.
ok ok so if i dont do that heres the plan. I just spent a week in London interviewing and checking out neighborhoods that would potentially suit me. London. wow. I was like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to talk to everyone! Hi Hi how are you, whats new, just being charming and witty and letting everyone talk to me. I feel like Ive been dead the last year. Its sad to say, but the french just dont get Americans. And lets be real. Im cool. I can blend in and I can take the back seat, but Im OVER it! Why should I? This last London trip held good talks with friends, a great vibe, a positive outlook on the job search and sex. So what the F am i still doing here? OK I need a visa. thats the next step but then im golden. Im actually looking forward to writing the French with English Subtitles recap probably as much as you are, but for now I think I may foray into British with American Subtitles.
Until then, Ill be here. If not, leave a message after the beep and Ill call you when im back from shopping. xx

November 27, 2008

Cold Hard Facts

People should read more. Get out more. Learn how to conversate. How to tell a story. Its come to my attention recently that people dont know how to tell a good story.

Is the art of conversation gone? What ever happened to witty anecdotes and tales of interest?

Does the art of conversation exist only with alcohol and a possible side of drug use? Are good stories only told at night when the bottle is open and the cards are on the table? I know sometimes I tell too much and for those of you out there who may find this in reference to them, well Im sorry. Oops. But at least you made a good story.

But not all stories at have to come at the price of another. Ive embellished and re-hashed many a tale of myself just for the amusement of others. And the point here? Well I think you know... Its that yes, Im interesting. I try to serve my stories Up with a twist. I dont waste time on non sense and unimportant details that really no one cares about. I mean have you ever listened to yourself tell a story? If you did would your mind wander halfway through and would you want to walk out of the room? Now imagine you hear yourself umming and awwing and desperately trying to make a stupid story interesting by adding immense details and the all-too-obvious fiction thrown in just for the sake of making yourself sound fascinating. Just stop. Because guess what? People like you better when you're quiet. Just sit there and look pretty and laugh at everyone else's stories. There's a time and place for everyone to shine. And yours my friend, just isnt in the spotlight. mmmk?

So next time you find yourself wanting to contribute, make a brief outline in your head and think of what the possible outcome you desire will be. A laugh? A cry? A phone number from the hottie across from you? I mean what is it exactly you are trying to achieve?

And lastly, Say it, dont spray it. Nobody likes to be covered in spit-- especially during Cold season.

November 21, 2008

G'Day Mate


So I just got back from a week in Australia. Spent one week in the land down under, first in the Gold Coast and then down to Sydney for a few days. Let me start here--28 hours of travel time, 24 hours of flight time. yeah...

I started with the first leg of 14 hours from Paris to Singapore. After landing at Changi Intl, I desperately needed a massage. My ankles were huge and my shoulders tense. More so than anything else, was the pure stress of knowing that I had 4 hours to kill and another 10 hour flight to take from Singapore to Brisbane.

As soon as I stepped into the airport, I thought it was a mirage. voila. SPA.

"Hello, pretty lady. You want massage package? I give you good price on complete package."

Yes I wanted it all. Pile it on. I killed 2 hours on a table and in a jelly foot bath in Singa. Lovely.

Then to board the next plane which had me locked in for 10 hours. All said and done, I left on a Thursday, arrived on a Saturday, and can safely say I look forward to never having to make that trip again.

Turns out, that although its summer season down under, it also happened to be an unlikely storm season. I went from a brisk 12 degrees in Paris to a humid 30 degrees in oz. Although hot, my hopes of returning to Paris tanner than the whole of the city, were quickly dashed with my first lightning sighting straight off the runway. That said...

By the time we arrived to Sydney, it was clear blue skies and Bondi beach had my name on it!
Sun, sand, clear water, and yummy food! hurray! All of a sudden, I was immersed! It was "g'day mate, g'day mate" all over the place! Especially when it was totally inappropriate for me to say it, I felt obliged. At night, in the morning, in the store, to the toll collectors on the road etc etc, Gday Mate!
All in all, I had a fab time in OZ and returned back to my beautiful Paris tan and happy.

October 12, 2008

The 4 Point Plan

The colors are changing. The trees, the clothes, and even the mood. Its autumn that has me feeling this growing need for
change and that has me missing home more than I ever have. Its also that Ive been here for just over a year and im really starting to feel it. Let me count the ways in my new 4 point plan for missing America...
1. Politics and the presidential race. Let me be clear my friends, I love this time of every 4 or 8 years. I cant get enough of it. I race home from work so I can get to CNN and watch the latest on gaffes and poll results. The poor state of America and its finances and the ugly war for the Chief, while highly amusing, also really tears at my heart strings. I cant explain it. I didnt used to be like this, but now for the love of God, I miss my people and find nothing funnier than watching John McCain discuss Jello and Joe the Plumber. There is nothing sexier than Barack Obama in a shiny suit staring back at me while Im curled up on my couch watching the race from afar. I guess my point is that i that I feel so far from my country's history in the making. On the bright side, Ive always got sexy Sarcozy to keep me grounded.
2. Frenglish. The biggest adjustment for me by far has been accepting the fact that in France, um really they dont speak English. Now Ive been trying to keep an open mind, and up to now I have been owning to the hope that one day France will turn to me and say "haha just kidding! we speak english, we just wanted to see what you would do!!" Sadly, I dont think this is going to happen. My french is minimum. Hear me out. I will not make excuses because I should be farther along than I am. The thing is, I tend to work on a compromise scale. I learn a word you learn a word.Ca va? Non. I have to do everything in this relationship and I feel like im being taken advantage of.

Between moving here and not knowing one single person, not speaking one word and not knowing one place of local interest (not tourist attraction), Id say learning french should have been at the top of my list.
For me though, it was broken down to finding friends, learning the wines and the art of chain smoking, and lastly, finding an apartment. In the first 3 months I lived here, I moved 4 times! Yes friends, 4. These are things that weigh on your mind that tend to put learning a new language on top of everything else in your life, well kinda at the back. And like I said, wheres the compromise? English can be nice. Yes its an ugly horrible language, but its not my fault its universal. Its universal. Love it or leave it alone. Its bad enough when I speak English here now I only speak in present tense. My french friends have minimal English that matches my French, so we speak in simplicity. For example, "Yesterday, I buy this sweater." Entre nous, c'est tres tres facil!

3.Ringleader. In San Francisco, my home, where my friends whom I call my family live, I was a ringleader. I made a plan, I set it into action and more often than not, people followed. I have that way that makes people like to do what I do. Its not egotistical. I just have good taste, so jump aboard the D train, Its fun here! Alors, a Paris, I cant take this role. I am perfectly happy following. I trust my friends judgment, and after one year, yes I have some reallly great friends. But the thing is, I really dont get to have a say. Why? Because I dont know what to say about it. Theres never anything I know I want to do. Expos and day stuff, yes thats fine. But at night, I cant recommend the new restaurant that my friend just opened or drag a crew to the club where my fave DJ is playing. Yes these are all things I guess I should have realized before (see part 3 re: not knowing anyone or speaking french when moving to France) but for gods sake, I want to contribute!

4. Le Mec. (the French man) Leaves a lot to be desired. They are generally all players. Or at least in my experience, I think le mec feels like he can woo me, and tell me tales of romance and love that will ultimately end me up in his bed at the end of the night. (Maybe because Im American and they think I dont know any better?) What I want to say is shut the F up. Youre full of it and I dont need to hear it. Look, if i find you charming and handsome, chances are youve got good chances. But I dont like to listen to the neverending (and trust me it can go on and on and on) saga of how and why I am the most beautiful woman in the world and we belong together. Cant we just talk casually, you buy me drinks and maybe we have a fling after? I prefer the direct approach and the large amount of bullshit that gets put it in my face is actually a turn off. But how do you say this nicely and in French?

Oh and I also dont like men who wear tapered jeans. its a thing I have.

September 10, 2008

I speak English like a Bitch

The past couple months the girls and I have been dining out weekly with our good friend Jean Marie. Jean Marie is a very dear friend of Eva, with a wallet of green and a heart of gold. He loves to dine out with 5 or 6 girls at a time and let us entertain him with our stories of non-sense and our funny and romantic flirtations. Most recently we joined JM with 2 of his friends Ludovig and Christophe at one of my new favorite restaurants, Orient Extreme. This restaurant is my favorite for 3 reasons. The food, the drink and the staff. The first time I dined at Orient Extreme the high pitched waiter was trying to speak English to me and I didnt really understand him over over his French, Korean accent.I was smiling at him and looking a bit puzzled, when finally he stops and says, "I speak English like a bitch, I know." And it was there and then that I fell in love with the wait staff.
Orient Extreme also happens to have fantastic sushi and a black cod that I loooove, but more importantly they have a beautiful Rose that is to die for. Obviously I love it so much, I can never remember the name. Normally on these dining adventures we end up getting pretty drunk by the end of the night, but on this particular night I was going to remain sober. Well fairly sober anyway. The next day I had a high profile video interview with one of the biggest Rock stars in Europe right now, Keziah Jones. I needed to look my best the next day and be in top form. Eva was going to sleep at my house so we could do hair and make up for me in the morning and choose outfits accordingly. I needed to play it safe. Calm, cool and collected.
Sadly, these deams of sobriety were quickly smashed when I got seated next to Ludovig at dinner. Easily one of the most charismatic men I have ever met, he could make you do just about anything even before you realize your pants are down and youve got a clown hat taped to your ass. He's just like that.
So you take a cross of Ludo and 7 bottles of Rose for 4 people and voila. We all leave the restaurant and decide its a very good idea to go to another bar for cocktails. Im pretty sure I was leading this charge but cant be sure. Mojitos, margaritas, and a few glasses of champagne several hours later, Eva and I end up back at my house completely smashed and decide its best to just pass out. Actually I dont know if it was a conscious decision as much as it just organically happened.
Fast forward to my alarm beep beep beeping at 7am. I force my eyes open only to see my half dressed, make up on from the night before, disheveled self. I sadly moan "No No No!!!!"
What had I done? How could I do that? I hadnt been drinking like that in months and why on the night I decide not to drink do I go out and get completely blotto?
My head was pounding beyond belief and awake for only a mere matter of minutes I was already fighting the urge to vomit. Saliva building up, head in my chest and really really hurting, I just needed more sleep. I beg Eva to make the coffee so I could rest my eyes for a few more necessary minutes. What else can you do?
Finally I drag myself up, shower, sit in a coma like state while Eva tirelessly straightens my hair. I chain-smoke and drink my coffee while my faithful friend helps to beautify me. We make it out the door a couple short hours later and off to work I go. Well dressed, looking pretty (I think) and yes, of course sweating. It was coming out my pores and I was sure I wasnt going to make it all the way to Levallois on the Metro without dry heaving a couple times. Just as Im about to resign to my ailment, a beggar man gets on my metty car and begins to play his accordion. Normally this everyday occurrence of beggars on the metty bugs the shit out of me, but today was different. I was so in the zone, so focused, that my only thought for this man was, "wow, synthesizers are totally underused."
So I make it to Levallois and to my interview. I had a crazy long day of running around being a famous press journalist- very circa Bridget Jones. Ill post my interview with Keziah Jones tomorrow for your viewing pleasure. The bright side of this day though was that I think the interview went really well. I was so focused on appearing professional and beautiful, that it didnt even occur to me to hit on Keziah Jones or mess up questions. I just went with it and kept reminding myself not to speak English like a bitch.

August 26, 2008

Playing the V card

I had just turned 17. He was 19. The best of friends with the biggest curiosity between us. Would we, should we, could we, lose our V card to each other?

I was recently approached to submit a story for a book anthology titled "Deflowered." The book will tell the tales of 5 or 6 modern women and their parlay into womanhood. Its to be funny, tongue in cheek, capturing and true. Not a "Dear God, Its Me Margaret" type of thing. Well maybe sorta. But I believe in this version of Vcards lost, its more along the lines of squeaky back seats, morning breath, popping condoms and afterthoughts.

My version will contain smiles and laughter, a broken car, a small scar on my forehead that I will live with forever, and an ensuing 1 year friendship that results in monogamous sexual trysts around the neighborhood. Can you imagine now? Having sex with just one person and you are both virgins?
The trouble. The discovery. The happiness. The secrets. Well, they were secrets anyway. Until now.

Sound interesting? You'll have to buy the book, people. Deeahhne is going to be published.

August 13, 2008

Hugs

Hugs
One small outreach for Americans, one giant stretch for the French.

Ive made it mandatory that all my French friends greet me with not only the customary kiss kiss, but also with a hug. Seeing as how the French are not very tactile as a people in general, this rule doesnt necessarily sit with a great deal of joy in my compadres. But they manage. "I make eggs. You give hugs." Its a trade off. But I dont care its gotta happen. Hug then kiss. Kiss then hug. Whatever. Lets go freestyle. But lets just do it. Hug it out.

Many people have said to me since moving to Paris, "Diane dont change. Dont lose yourself over there. The French can be really cold."

So Ive decided to be an asshole that likes to give hugs.

Everybody has to compromise.

August 4, 2008

Kiwi

In less than 2 weeks, I have a man arriving from half way around the world to see me. To spend time with me. To be mine. For 2 weeks. Im scared out of my mind, but Im not.Im panicking, Im freaking, but Im not. Here's the story of Blair.

Nighttime. Weekday. Im researching alone and having dinner in Saint Germain. I overhear English with an accent. Something like Australian. I look over to discover a stunning man fumbling with his order to the French server. I smile. The winning one, as the best chick lit would describe. The smile that could make even Hitler blush. We lock eyes for just a moment but then I quickly look away still smiling of course. Its then that I think he says something to me, but I am so lost in that moment I literally just see his mouth move, but I dont hear a sound. Everything is quiet. He moves closer for a reply and all I can beautifully conjure up is, "huh?"

"Do you neeed a light?" he repeats. He is keen to the ever-infamous purse dig. Im gonna have to be careful with this one.

"Oh. Yes please... would you like one?" offering him a Parly in my nonchalant, but clearly intrigued way.

"No thank you, I dont smoke."

The man with the lighter who doesnt smoke. A gentleman across generations. This says to me he doesnt judge. He is open. He wants to make my life easier and please me. What a catch!
Have I been single for too long? Perhaps. Is this man charming with an accent? Yes, perhaps. Am I reaching here? Yes perhaps.

On we go..

We sit. We talk. Turns out he is a kiwi from NZ, but he lives down under in Australia. Fascinating.He is a hotel architect. Fascinating. He is in town for business. Fasc... ok you get the point. He is a sagitairre, like yours truly. Born same year and 12 days before me. Its fate. Its the bottle of wine, its the exchange of email addresses. Its the fact that we spend hours talking and drinking and then what feels close to reminiscing... Its refreshing.

Its here that our story ends without even a kiss. Without sex. With though, an undeniable chemistry and attraction that 3 months later still has me completely focused and well, smitten. Its weird. I cant really explain what happened.
Since this June, every day, without fail, we "sext", we chat, have phone calls, facebook, emails etc...sometimes we are doing 2 or 3 of these at the same time. Everytime my fone 'beep beeps,' the girls all exclaim, "kiwi!" highlighted with their outstanding french accents. We're already one big happy family.

So he arrives August 14 to Paris. My sister's Birthday, so a dual celebration of sorts. But I've got this feeling that when I go to meet him at the airport, on this day, within the first minute I will know. I will know if Ive been in my head or if this person really is the person I most adore at the moment.
"You'll just know," say my Mom and Dad the eternal lovebirds. And I admire them for always believing in reality. But what I really admire here is me going 3 months without sex.
The girls will be coming over the night before his arrival to sufficiently booze up with me, plan outfits and help clean the apartment. This should help calm the nerves and ease the excitement that yes, continues to grow.

So heres the tale of Blair, and of what could be my essential forbidden fruit, Le Kiwi.

July 30, 2008

The Metro Whisperer

This particular day last week I was sitting in the 4 box, as I call it. Not next to the window, but on the aisle. This is my least favorite seat on the metro because this is where you are most open to people having to touch you. Its really a double whammy of people on the aisle waiting to scrounge your seat and its also the outlet to the people on your inside needing to get out. Being that I have a 36inch inseam, my legs are usually in the way, and almost always over what would be the half way mark for me and my opposite companion. It's not knocking boots. Its more like knockin knees and its not cool.

So there I am, staring blankly as one does when on the metty, listening to itunes on Bond, and then I see her. She comes and sits right in front of me. My direct opposite.
Ok how do I explain this lady? Have you ever just seen someone walking down the street or something and you can tell they're pissed? Like their face is all red or flushed and they're just super mad about something? Their gait is a little faster, a little more determined? Because maybe they are going to cap someone? So OK. This is her. Sitting right across from me. Seething and enraged, face scrunched up and twitching and now looking right at me. She moves her glance from me to the outside window, and then back at me. Its almost as though shes thinking of tossing me over. I can feel it. But what did I do? Ive been here minding my own business for at least 4 stops before she even got on. Ive been having phone text sex with the kiwi, so actually, if anything, Ive been sitting here with perma-grin, and maybe even a little squirmish in my seat. (note to readers: yes this is what people are doing when they are smiling and texting on public transportation) Im happy. Im fine. Whats the deal with this bird??

So she is looking at me. I look back. She is now muttering and mumbling and lost in the glare from her reflection in the window. I then decide to lean forward a touch to see if I can smell any booze or other contaminants on her. She seems to be scent-free. So I continue looking, ok fine, Im staring, but not directly. Im staring just past her, but really Im looking right into her. Im filled with nice and calm thoughts for her. Her distress is making me so uneasy I decide to invoke" the secret." I am going to mentally talk this woman down from the ledge. Just thinking to her "Ok ok ok its gonna be OK. Everything will be fine. Deep breaths..." Then I look away to give her a few minutes to absorb. When I looked back she wasnt shaking anymore and her face had relaxed a bit.

Back to me. Phone text sex, phone text sex... la la la la la..giggle giggle

Back to the lady. She is still on edge so I try it again. "Its ok. Its all gonna be OK. What could be so bad? Look how calm and happy I am? Just relax. Everything is going to be fine..." All this with my distant stare into her. Then- with God as my witness, the woman relaxed her face, she just completely changed gears, and even broke a faint smile. She got up and exited the train a stop later.

It was then that I realized my true calling. I am the Metro Whisperer.

July 10, 2008

Made in America

When my friend Anthony came over for a visit from New York a few months ago, I asked him to bring me some very important necessities from state-side:
1. A carton of Parliament Lights from Duty Free
2. Airborne Vitamin Tablets
3. Peanut Butter

Did you know that they don't have peanut butter in France? I mean, it's out there. Dont get me wrong. The one time I did see it, it was nestled deep in the Mexican Food section next to the tortillas and fajitas kits. And Im sure this was no accident. The French are expert merchandisers so I could only assume they had no idea what to do with the product when the distributeur accidentally sent them a case of the stuff. They had the Nutella next to the jams and honey and chestnut spread. Right where the PB should have gone, but no. Lonely, in Mexico, by seasonings and other misc items.

So... when I went to breakfast last weekend with Eva and the girls to "Breakfast in America" (not my idea but proved to be fantastic) I was not the least bit surprised to learn that Eva had never tasted Peanut Butter. So we ordered a side. There we are, 4 girls at brunch digging into a cup of peanut butter like christmas day! All the girls adored the peanut butter and I adored the fact that I for once got to translate the menu to them!

It was fantastic! A joyous day pour moi. "She'll have the eggs and she'll have the pancakes..." Which by the way, Eva and Gaelle had never had pancakes before either! The feeling on pancakes was that they were "special."
Let me explain. This is not a good thing. We generally save the word "special" for guys we date that dont have their shit together.
"So do you like him?"
"Eh. , he is special." And thats that. No more will be spoken of him.

So Heres the thing about Breakfast in America. Well actually there are several things. The place is like no other place I have ever seen or been inParis. I mean it really is the epitome of us loud, big mug coffee drinking, poorly decorated, over-ambitious eating Americans. Its just too much food. Plain and simple. Not to mention it took me about 10 minutes to explain what bottomless mug of coffee was and after that I had to explain what a bagel is. Which actually got funny because I ended up using a rather funny hand gesture to demostrate the hole in the middle, nevermind. You get the point. But for me, this was non-stop french/american laughs.

And Even before we had the Breakfast in America experience, I was granted my own coin by a rowdy group following a long night of binge drinking. Back to chez moi we headed for breakfast.
I whipped up a simple egg scramble with mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and cheese. The Frenchies I was serving had never seen a scramble like this.
"Deeahhne, this is delicious your eggs! This is Made in America!" So now I am often at request for "Made In America Eggs."

Much like a short order cook at a 5 Star day camp, I will continue to tread my way through the plethora of French intricacies. One condiment at a time...

June 25, 2008

2 Drink Minimum

At the hospital-- again. I feel like Im here all the time. Maybe I should take up residence? Its close to my office in Levallois, the café here is great, and most everyone speaks English--fluently.

During my last visit, I accidentaly called my Doctor "dude." So I guess you could say we've grown quite close as I usually save that term of endearment for my brothers, my sister, close friends, my parents and business associates.

The Doc asks, " Are you still smoking?" And I reply to her like I would my own Mother. With a looong drawn-in breath followed by an even deeper, and overly-exaggerated exhale, "duuuuuuuuuude." And then we share a laugh and that's that.

Maybe its these nice moments that keep bringing me back or maybe its the fact that Ive been urged to come in to make a mammogram apearance. But as long as Im here I thought Id pick up a prescription for an upper of some sort and am also thinking of going back on the pill. And statistically speaking through my thorough calculations and research, it appears as though I was having a lot more sex when I was on the pill before. I stopped taking it when I got to France, so actually, now that I think about it, what brought the slow spell on? The pill or the France?

My original theory to go back was out of sheer optimism but now that Im having second thoughts maybe its better I go off the French? Maybe Ill look into some import/export action? I have had my eye on this kiwi for a while now. Maybe its time to flirt with that disaster for a while? And by disaster I do mean me. This man has me shaking with excitement lately and I dont really know what to do about it for once. All I know for certain is that Id much rather be in Australia with him than sitting in the waiting room of this fucking hospital. Oh God I hope I dont have to do any needle blood stuff today. bah. See its happening. The longer I sit here, the faster and further my mind wanders. Needles, plastic thingys, charts, graphs, and swabs- I hate it.

More than this though, I hate waiting! Why havent they called me yet? Im so tired.I could just take a little napper snapper while Im sitting here bored. The AC does feel nice and my legs are already partially numbed from the increasingly uncomfortable chair im sitting on. A little doze might be fine, then again, I snooze, I lose and I might miss my turn. Ok new plan.
(clear throat, sit up straight) Look alive!
Too bad my Doc is a woman. If she were a man I could just flash some cleav-o and be on my way. Not to mention I am the only "un-prego" bird in this place. At least I think! Fingers crossed and add that to the list of things to sort with her today.

Lets see what else do I need? what? I mean as long as Im here and all... Its like stopping at a 7-11 on a road trip. You may not have to go pee now, but you certainly will as soon as you pull out of the lot. Guaranteed. Same goes for canned coffees and sour patch kids. Yes you just had breakfast but inevitably it'll be time for a snack. So get 'em while the gettins good! Thats what I always say. (Actually Ive never said that before, but it did seem to work nice in the context). Lets see what else have I never said? "If you cant beat em, join em!" "Take time to smell the roses!" OK Im sufficiently bored now and in desperate need of a nap. If anyone is still reading, please accept the following: "On behalf of Diane and I, we'd really like to offer you our sincerest apologies for boring you while we wait for the dude." Which by the way, Where is she? Does she have other patients or something? Im clearly irate now.

[30 minutes and one successful disco nap later!]

"Deeaahhne Meeshelle? ... Deeaahhne Meeshelle?"

Oui Oui! salut!

In I go.

We ca va and how are you for a few minutes before we get down to business. (At the AHP, American Hospital of Paris, its not enough to just " its good" in French. you must also "its good" in English. Its a bi-lingual comfortable thing I think) Anyway, Ill tell her Im here for the 6h30 Mammo (yes I call it that) and she shakes her head No and then asks me what Im doing here? She says, " oh well honey, you need to be over in radiation for that. We dont do that here."
I look at her with complete disbelief and fascination.

"Well how was I supposed to know that? I told your lady friend out there in the front office with the phones and files that I was here for my mammo appt and she didnt say a word! Did she not think that supplying me with that bit of valuable information would be important for me today, or...?"

"Oh," she says, "I dont know. You know how it is."

Actually I didnt. But whats done is done.
"Ok, well lets come back to that. Ive got a lot of other ground to cover with you today. First off, I never received that upper prescription you were supposed to send me in the mail a few weeks ago? Also, I think I need to go back on the pill. For regulation and optimism purposes only. And actually while we are on the subject of babies, you think you have time to check on that last bit? Ive actually missed a couple months..."

"Sure! she says. "Go take your pants off and put your feet up!" This is also what I imagine the dialogue to be at both the Playboy mansion and the seedier parts of Bangkok. Both comfortable and awkward at the same time...

Ok so up-up-up(this is my newest and latest french-ism. its sort of like tac-tac-tac). Anyway, she works her magic and does some investigatory research, and suddenly says,

" Well, you're pregnant."

I gasp in horror, voice raised well over louder than appropriate, "What? What!!!!!!!!!!"

I mean I wanted the test, but truly didnt think that a positive result would even be an option. I just like to be sure and cover my bases and well Ive only had one close call in the past couple months so... I mean Ive never in a million years thought this would be possible. Not now! I mean, this kind of stuff doesnt happen to me. It just doesnt! The panic set in, Im closing in on tears, and then the vomit started to crawl up into my throat... and finally

"Just kidding," she says.


And at this I am completely dumbstruck.My mouth hanging open. I look at her. I look down. I look left. I look right. Back and forth trying to find the words. I couldnt speak.

"Oh," I say slowly. "Well... if its a reaction you were looking for I guess we got one didn't we?"

"yeah, really!" she says.

And then in the next breath, I kid you not, she says, "So...are you stressed?"

"um yeah. Remember me? Im deeahhne? We spoke about 5 minutes ago about you giving me an anti anxiety prescription? I said I wanted to be medicated and thought coping through drugs (read: and alcohol) would be a great idea for me and you said fine... Any of this ringing a bell or were you too busy plotting out your next one-liner?"

So the rest is downhill, all went fine, but still no mammo, so I have to go back yet again in the next couple weeks. Obviously I'm really looking forward to it.

Who knows though, maybe the technician peeps in radiation have a stage and lights for their comedy routine... 2 drink minimum please.

June 16, 2008

Cocktail Napkin Fiction


I brought in some old writing to the office today. The half filled notebook my friend Sean gave me before I left SF, the random paper menus and napkins Ive scrawled on across various cafes and bars through all of Paris, the scratch paper, the ancient notebooks...the gum wrapper. Yes the gum wrapper. At one point, apparently my thoughts were so important and in need of etch, I scribbled on the back a of a Hollywood gum wrapper.This is just one of the reasons I can continue to call myself a writer and believe it. A true scribe. Maybe a gum scribe, but one nonetheless.
So here I am. Faced with hundreds of thousands of words needing online translation. And here I am again, tirelessly faced with the fact that I need an assistant. Ill get to it. But heres the thing...

I recently finished the new David Sedaris book, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" and I cant help but think...I love this gay man.
Seriously though, his writing is truly inspiring to me. I have read every single one of his books at least twice, some of them 3 times. I read his articles in New Yorker and Esquire. If he is published, I have read it. He is the only writer, present day, that truly keeps me motivated to continue writing. To finish my work, to find a publisher, to be able to quit my job and to become famous.

Alors, I have begun to compile my short stories, my long stories, my nonsense and my gum wrapper thoughts. Its here that I think I found my niche. Who else is looking to publish "cocktail napkin fiction"(ps. thats a working title for the book. you like?)

In Cocktail Napkin Fiction we discover a beautiful and charming girl's journey into what its like to grow through SF to Paris in a matter of months. This compilation of short stories aims to be funny, hopeful, fashionable, and very real. I want to capture the essence of what its like to not only be me (bc I know a lot of you have been wondering) but to be me, here. Here by myself. Here alone.Its amazing what solitude and an abundance of french wine can do to a person's psyche in just 10 months, truly. And its confusing. And its real. Its very, very frighteningly real.

But funny too.

The other part of this motivation to publish the book is due to the fact that my beloved French Toast got burned. Thats right folks. Its still in the pipeline somewhere, but between the CBS merger and the Americans, French Toast has been shelved. The France office wanted to incorporate the show on chow.com in the US. They said if Chow is in, we're in. Sure enough, Chow has its own niche that doesnt include me (go figure) so I remain bummed and furious with America. What? I can do that now. Im French!










June 9, 2008

Shhhhh!

Occasionally I am called upon by my fellow French co-workers to translate copy in English. Today one turned to me and asked,
"Deeahhne, what is gooks and nips?"

"Eh hem? Excuse me? What do you want to know?"

He says "gooks and nips." Totally straightfaced.
So I ask him to send me a link as these requests usually accompany an online article from the US or UK. I must not be hearing him properly. I couldnt possibly be...

So he looks at me, deadpan, and says again pretty loudly, "pakis, blacks, gooks and nips..."

"ok okok ok stop!"

Im sure I turned bright red and I looked around to see if anyone else was noticing this rather profane language spouting from my general direction. And of course, no one. Not one person even turned a shoulder or batted an eyelash. it was amazing and eye opening. I mean I could literally say anything I wanted to and no one would be any wiser. (Not a good point for me to be aware of, truly.)

So I ssshh'd my co worker and had him send me the link. Sure enough, he wanted me to translate for our music site what was the latest news on pop sensation Amy Winehouse. Wow. And there it was. In song none the less. Only in France. Well and in UK too I guess.

Heres the article:
http://news.aol.com/entertainment/music/music-news-story/ar/_a/winehouse-apologizes-for-racist-video/20080608170309990001

Stroking the Butterfly

For those with the faint of heart, please take caution when reading.

My recent depression has taken me pretty far off the chain. Its truly poetic. Everyday I wake up and my heart is broken a little more. I cant sleep. I cant stay awake. Im lost in a cloud that tends to haunt me wherever I go. Im tormented by my inner dialogue. I dont even know how to answer anymore. I cry. I yell. I get pissed. I watch too much Sex in the City and read too much chick lit. Its depressing.

My Mom says I need to be medicated.

I cant find anyone to blame and I cant find my dream. Where did it go? And to make matters worse, on top of this, I havent been able to write for shit lately. Weefee is one thing, but I think Ive been avoiding a connection at home, because well, I havent wanted to be connected.
I know. This is weird for me too. Its so not me and I cant imagine what you all must be thinking right now. How can she not be making it work? Designers, I'm just not. My thoughts are so lucid and fucking depressing Ive been avoiding pen to paper. Well with the exception of actually admitting how I feel and shaking down some thoughts on tear stained sheets of scratch paper once my bottle of wine has dwindled. Im like a paper-sacked hobo with better shoes and a nice apartment.

I succumb to a glass of dry, white cry. Again.

So what now? At the suggestion of a friend, I looked online to try to find a group of like-minded expats like myself. Theres got to be some people in Paris that are looking for some English American companionship right? Let me go back.

I have friends here. I have many French friends. They are great. They take me out to fun parties and dinners, and if ever there is someone in the group who is an English speaker, they are instantly at my hip. Most of the French love to practice their English. Its a sign of intelligence here, I think.
Anyway, they are all great, but its so much effort. Sometimes I just want to speak without having to think about it. Off the cuff, honest and probably a little sarcastic. My best self.

So I go to craigslist.org. to see whats out there. If anything Im sure I can find someone to amuse me with their own patheticness. Heres what I found. Actually Ill let the links below speak for themselves and you tell me...

Tea for Two
http://paris.en.craigslist.org/grp/700704086.html
Womyn???
http://paris.en.craigslist.org/grp/690962870.html

I know! What am I supposed to do with that? I dont care for tea and I cant be friends with a person who spells woman with a Y and demands sisterhood of me without even a thumbnail photo. Sorry its just not gonna happen. And theres others!Like wear a crazy Tshirt and meet at an Irish pub in Paris, treasure hunts and comedy shops... No thanks. Doesnt anyone just meet for a drink anymore? Arent there people out there who just like to meet after work for a cocktail?


If I wasnt so high up on my self pity high horse, I may consider posting an ad myself asking for just that. An American in Paris who likes to drink and sit on la terrace and chain smoke. Its the perfect ad really and had I not written it, (in theory of course) Id answer it in a heartbeat.


There was a recent bright side of the coin that came from an art showcase I attended with my friend Eva on Friday night. (Eva is a wonderful friend to me, who also happens to be my ex-boyfriend Nico's sister) So we are at the carousel at the Louvre for this Artist showcase. The show wasnt so great, but its a great opportunity for new and upcoming artists to show their work. Anyhoo, we are walking the show, champagne in hand, when I hear "Deaahnne! hey!" I look over and see this woman Natalie, whom Id met at another art party a few weeks back. Talented, charming and English speaking. She gave me a hug and we "ca va'd" and caught up for a few minutes. I introduced her to my friends and finally felt like I had contributed.

This my friends is what I live for. I miss being "the seen" on the "be seen scene." The one to know. The one to meet. I strive for recognition wherever I go, and obviously its difficult for me to have this here already. I can walk down rue de la roquette and get shout outs from every other shop keeper along the way, and thats nice, but this is social. This is my inner ego. I need my social butterfly stroked once in a while and I finally got it. It felt fantastic. This my friends, is how low I have gone. Thats all it takes these days-- Shout my name across a party and you've literally made my month.

April 29, 2008

Over the "Wee Fee" Wire

Nation,
There is an issue that needs to be addressed, familiar introductory words by Stephen Colbert, but the meaning behind them enforced by moi.
Here's the deal. I have a whole lot of stories that are dying to be published, but I have yet to, well this is going to sound so catastrophe, I have yet to set up wi-fi (pron. "weefee") in my apartment.

I slink down in terror of what everyone must be thinking... how is it possible? She seems like such a bright girl, a modern one at that, and how does she exist on this planet without weefee? Doesn't she work in the internet industry or whatever they're calling it these days?

Here's the deal...

In order to set up wireless cable at one's home in France, one must have the telephone number of the previous tenant who resided at your exact address. Given that I live in an apartment building that was rented to me through an agency, where previous tenant vacated months before I arrived, how the hell am I to obtain this information? I asked my building guardien where I could obtain this much needed data. Without haste she runs inside her apartment and hands me a slip of paper with a mans name on it and my address. What am I supposed to do with that? Who the heck is Pierre? Am I supposed to hire the FBI to seek and destroy this man?
*Useless. (*not sure if im referring to her, me or pierre there)

Anyway, Thats point one. Need Pierre's digits.

Point 2, is that telephone conversations are still quite difficult for me. Without the hand and face gestures, really all french sounds the same over the wire. Most likely this person will sound pissed at you, and will display characteristics of being loud, interruptive and will spout never-ending dialogue. I sit silently at the end of the line waiting for my turn to speak, but really not knowing what Im going to say when it is finally my turn. So I resort to the usual, "d'accord. d'accord." (OK) And we'll hang up amicably. Yes friends, its like this all the time.

So where has this gotten me? Day in and day out, I live tormented by my peers that even though I was the first in my office to have the coveted Apple itouch, I still have not been able to sort a connection to it. My laptop sits in sad little dust bunnies at chez moi waiting for me to embrace it, but alas, I just cant bring myself to tease little "delly."She is frought with dispair over my absence, I just know it.

And remember that beautiful flat screen I purchased way back when? Well she sits almost untouched with the exception of rampant dvd play because I can only tune her to 3 or 4 staticky channels. (Sidenote: I've now seen every single episode of sex and the city minimum 3 times. Treated myself to the box set for Valentines day and have regretted it ever since. Its addiciting and I cant stop and they should have put a label on the box indicating such behavior would occur. Not might ladies and gents. Will! Beware!)

So Im living in a material world with technical depression.

And so the reason I havent been writing as frequently as I should is because I have sad tech. I have to resort to publishing from work now, and I always feel a little guilty when I do that. Not because Im at work, but because my heart cant really spill under halogen lighting. I cant focus on my prose in office conditions.Im at my best when safely nestled in my "home office." Bureau de moi consists of a nice glass (bottle) of red, a cigarette (pack) idling nearby, itouche playing lightly in the background, and yours truly stretched out on my chaise with laptop where it belongs-- on my lap.

So until I can take command over this ever-elusive wireless scenario, I guess I'll just have to oui, wee, wi all the way home.

April 15, 2008

Fashion Victim

Faded blue jeans tucked into grey knee-high boots, a purple fitted tshirt with cursive, arabic gold writing across the front, a few bracelets of various metals and stones on the right arm, across from a ring and watch on the left, red and gold belt, along with a western/cowboy motif head scarf tied neatly around my head topped off with a navy pinstripe jacket. So cute, right?
A thrown together "look" as I woke up at 9:20am this morning as I was severely late for work. I find that when im hungover in the morning, I take out my frustrations on cultivating my fashion sense. Those of you that know me well, will think nothing of the outfit description above and will proudly say Bravo Deeahhne! Look at you! But here in Paris, where the beauty in fashion during winter and fall seasons is bestowed solely on varying shsdes of grey and black, may have a different take.
Needless to say, I feel best when Im thrown together and feeling perfectly non-matched and accessorized. Its where I thrive. Its the best place for me to have breathing room. Look good, feel good, its true.

So lets skip ahead to me in the ladies room at my office that same day. I just finished washing my hands and was tidying up my head scarf when one of my co-workers comes in and says with a huge smile on her face, "Oh Deeahhne, you are such a fashion victim!"

I smiled nervously like I had just been punched in the ass.

"Um...Victim? Fashion Victim?"

"Yes! You are always so... so, um how to say? you know!" and motions with her hands at me from head to toe. I think she could sense the blood draining from my face as she quickly added, "Its a compliment!"

"oh, thanks . yeah I um, yeah, cool. merci. ok avoir!"

I quickly exited the restroom and didnt know what to say or think. Was I being insulted or complimented? Did she mean to say "plate" or "slave" or did she really mean victim? And its here that I have yet again found myself in the middle of language turmoil.

"Oh you must mean fashion plate!" I could hear the unbearable conversation in my head.
"No you see I am not a victim to fashion, but rather a slave or a plate. But certainly not a victim. tsk tsk, dear No!"

So I think about these references all the time now. Not because its still bothering me, but because I get easily fascinated. I know what she meant to say because this particular girl is actually one of the nicest people Ive ever met, so I doubt she'd ever insult me, at least directly to my face anyway. (and lets face it, how could she? Im me!)
But more than that, it really got me thinking about one of the english laguage annoyances.
How come I can be a slave to, but not a victim of, fashion? And why are they sooo different in meaning? How in the world can you explain that? And what the hell does Plate mean anyway? Where did that come from? Fashion Plate???

Anyway, linguistics in general has really gotten a hold of me. Not only do I now bask in my petit amounts of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but I can (and will) literally think about why we use what words when, and how and where they should be pronounced differently. And finally, Does that make me a slave to linguistics or a victim?

March 31, 2008

Power's Out

I thought I enjoyed domesticating, but the truth of the matter is, I despise it. Hanging stuff, measuring, getting on a ladder, drilling, screwing (or nailing?) I just don’t have the patience. I like when things are done. I like even more when things get done for me.

Mr.Power came to Paris this week. Hadnt seen him for a while and we had a nice visit, and of course some much needed and routine Mexican food.
I managed somehow to persuade him into helping me hang up the curtains in my living room. Well it turned out to be curtains for me, as he drilled right through the wall and into the electrical wiring. POP goes the weasel! And out go the lights!

This time it goes something like this…

“Uh, D?”

“Yes Mr.Power?”

“Youre gonna have to call the electrician.”
[Apartment is now completely pitch black]

“Wha? Why? (mild panic setting in) Can we just flip some switches or something? I mean come ooooooonnnnnn! I don’t know HOW to call the electrician. I don’t know enough French to talk on the phone yet!”

“Well you don’t HAVE to, but its possible this little bit of area over here is electric so I guess just be careful? No No. Youre gonna have to call at some point.”

We laugh.

I cry.

He buys dinner.

March 26, 2008

French Nazi Fraud

French Nazi Fraud!

Enter Celine, who you may remember from past posts, who was once lovingly referred to as my French Nazi, has been outed as an Fraud! You heard it here first ladies and gents. Heres how it went down.

About 3 weeks ago I was asked by my HR department how my French lessons were going. I replied honestly and candidly as I always do, that, well, my teacher isnt teaching me right.
"She wont let me write, and she tried to teach me 2 verb tenses, past and future in just one day! Who does that? Can she do that? I have rights don't I?"

I mean nevermind that every word in French has to be masculine or feminine and addressed as such. 'La Lait.'The Milk. If you say 'Le Lait' the French, the kind people that they are, will simply act as though they have no idea what youre talking about.
And not to mention that 'you' is upheld in both proper and familiar versions religiously,so dont think a Vous wont correct you if by mistake you call them a Tu. You'd think world war 3 or battle of the Bitches would break out!
And dont even get me started on the words that I can only pronounce when holding my nose tight with my head tilted upward!

Anyway, I expressed concern that I just simply wasnt learning at the rate I felt I should be. Maybe her teaching methods and my learning mechanisms just weren't aligned properly. Fine right?

Ok so heres what happens. Today I get a call from Celine's Boss. A lovely british woman, Sue, whom Id met before. Anyway, she calls and asks for a few minutes of my time.

"Of course Sue, Hi! Receiving English speaking phone calls these days is like receiving an unexpected gift in the Post! What can I do for you?"

"Well Deaahne, I wanted to talk to you about the Nazi (Ha!no she didnt really say that but how cool would it have been of she did?!) about Celine.Its come to my attention that you'd like to switch teachers? May I ask why?"

I explained the whole deal to her as I did to my HR Rep, but I was much more constructive with my criticism. Truth be told, I did kind of like Celine in a pitiful sort of way. When she wasnt telling (and laughing at) her own jokes that only she could laugh at, because well yes they were in French and beyond my understanding, I kinda liked the old bird and didnt necessarily want to bust her on my account.

"Well Im so sorry. And Deeahhne I must tell you, you arent the only one of her students to request a new teacher."

GASP! I know!

"Several of her students actually have made change requests as well. We feel that she may be better suited to class room teaching."

Huh? So she can confuse the masses instead of one at a time? This perplexed me, but hey Im not her Boss. I'd can her, but its hardly my place to make suggestions...

"So anyway, we are so sorry and hope these past few months with her weren't too trying on you and hope you dont let this sour your perspective for one on one teaching and learning French."
I hung up on Sue without another word and paraded through the office rejoicing... "The Nazi's a Fraud, the Nazi's a Fraud! WooHoo The Nazi's a Fraud!!"

Do you know what the odds are of having a French person apologize to you? Apologize to an American? People, today is a landmark day. Maybe March really is Diane Micheil Heritage Month?

March 19, 2008

Shooter on the Grassy Knoll

The smell of freshly cut grass. Again in Levallois, the only place in Paris so far that I have been able to conjure up the same memories twice from the exact same spot. It reminds me of my childhood. My brother's little league baseball games, and betting horses with my Grandpa at Santa Anita Race track. My soccer games on Sundays and running in the sprinklers naked at my neighbors house in Arcadia. All very young and very vivid memories. Innocent memories too, sans the Race Track, but hey, horce racing is legal and I always looked a bit older even at the age of 10.
Its nice though. Freshly cut grass. So I started thinking...

What is it about certains smells at any age that can bring us back to such finite moments in our lives? And why is it that the memories we make now seem so few and far between as opposed to the many we made when we were younger? Is it because we made more memories then or just that we are adults now and dont have the time to make and remember new ones?

Obviously living abroad has sparked my memory fuse way more than it had to when I was living in SF. Here in Paris all I have is memories. My life is so hush here even though I feel like im constantly talking. I feel like I go through a day having so many conversations even though I maybe just have a handful. I talk to myself constantly(yes in my head, not in a turrets turrets turrets sort of way) and needlesstosay, yes we are smarter and better looking than you.

March 10, 2008

Wait for the Beep

At least I can laugh at myself. I think we've determined that much thus far right?

So yaaa know when you wake up in the morning, completely hungover and as you make your way for your morning pee, you are inclined to stop dead in your tracks and just start laughing? Maybe its when you notice all your clothes balled up on the floor just next to your bed, or scattered here and there throughout your entire apartment. Or that your jewelery and accesories from the night before are inside your sock next to your pillow? Or that your glass of water that you somehow managed to achieve ended up with a ring in it and not a sip had? And why is your lighter on the floor next to your gum and work badge, but your ciggarettes are in the washroom?All mysteries and things that have happened to me twice in the last week. When the laughter breaks its usually because I had to take more than 3 minutes to recover the lost trail of getting home.

Now, most of you know that I am not a drunk. Im a drinker. I tend to fall on the Im in control side of the Lush scale, but lately, Ive got to tell ya... Ive been drinking way too much Absynthe.

I dont know if its that Ive been writing a lot lately, or that Paris has captivated me so much that, combined with the sheer coincidence I live on Voltaire, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire
Im becoming world famous right before your very eyes? Is it possible?Im a little afraid to admit it, but I think Im slowly becoming an absynthe drinking, novel writing philanderer who just leers at people through faded eyes.Nightly. Is that possible?

It doesnt help that my new favorite absynthe bar is just downstairs from my apartment. Yes thats right, across the street from my Renaissance, and just 3 blocks up from the Panda's Headquarters, which I frequent sometimes as well. As a matter of fact, on my last night of absynthe drinking with Sonia,I was at Bistrot DuPintre when I met Gerard.

I dont know what it is with me and wait staff, but I love a blue collar man! I keep telling myself to "go white go white," but I always fall for the blue. Cant help it.Needless to say, I think blue collar make better lovers because they have to try harder. maybe... (thoughts?)
Anyway, apparently I gave Gerard my phone number and he left what I think was a very sweet message the next day.
*Note to self-- change outgoing VM message to include phrase "kindly leave your message in English, svp. "

I have to keep asking my friends to translate my voicemails because Im too stubborn to speak English on my frenchVM. I'm seriously delusional these days. Maybe its the absynthe. Maybe its the French getting on my nerves.

Wait for the Beep.

March 6, 2008

The B52 and The Sonias'

Another round of B52's over here s'il vous plait!
Needless to say, things got a bit out hand even before I started ordering Flaming shots.

Lets try and go back. On my way home from work on Monday I was pleasantly surprised to see that my favorite restaurant had finally opened its doors back up. Renaissance Cafe had been closed for full month to make some renovations. This establishment has been my headquarters since moving to Voltaire in November so I was quite forlorn when its doors were shut to me and my neighbors. The lights were finally on so I of course I had to pop right in and sit for a glass of wine. The place looked the exact same, but who am I to judge? Also who am I to not know how to ask this in French, so Im sorted.
Anyway, I sit down outside within the clear plastic confines and heat lamps overhead. I had a book in my bag and was ready to start the nights research. One glass of vin in and I am immediately consumed by the laughter going on at the table next to me. There are 3 girls having quite a laugh. Hilarity was ensuing if you will, and so I look up only to find one of the girls to "flash dance" turn around to me with these big white sunglasses, a huge scarf wrapped around her neck and blindly karaoking to a song that didnt exist. I busted out with a large woop for her and we all began laughing together. One of the girls spoke english quite well so we started gabbing. It turns out these girls are all my neighbors. Not in my building, but just right next door and one just across the way. They have been coming to Renaissance for years and judging by their interactions with all the staff it wasnt hard to see that they were all like family. I grew quite nostalgic for my places of yesteryear in SF when I was just like these girls. I immediately missed my family at the LeColonials and Rbars. I took a moment for myself and ordered another bottle of wine to share with my new companions.

Before I go on, its important to note what was running through my head this evening. Earlier that day at lunch, Benoit and Olivier had taught me some new words.

"Deeahnne, start a sentence with 'putain' and end a sentence with 'quoi.'"
For example:
putain! je besoin d'leau, quoi?
translating to:
Fuck! I want some water, what?

So all day most of us had been giggling about my new words. Because my accent is not tre magnifique (to say the least), its apparently quite funny to hear me uttering these phrases.To hear a foreigner cursing with a broken accent, especially one that doesnt cuss that much to begin with, I have to hand it to them, they broke me in. I caused a ruckus for most of the day.


Anyway, Im happy to oblige a few laughs on the occasion, and I was eager to start testing out my new vocabulary.
So back to Renaissance. I say to the girls, "Putain, quoi?"
And again, smiles and roaring laughter from everyone including the little old couple that was sitting just within earshot. "Desolee, madam, monsieur," I quickly add.

Then come the Flames. Apparently, the B52 is the house favorite. I had seen them serve these shots before, but as I am a respectable Drinker, yes with a capital D, I would never order this for myself. Much less be seen with anyone that would call this shot, to be perfectly honest.

So then out comes David our server, with a tray full of flames and then hands us straws. Now, Im not sure how I would expect to drink this shot since there is in fact Fire on top of it, but at the same time, putting plastic into a firey beverage doesnt seem like such a great idea either. Anyway, I went along with it, and it was, drumroll-- deeeelicious. Im sorry. I bow my head down in disgust at myself, but it was really good. Merde. I liked it. You know what this means...

Another round David!

Ladies and gentlemen, Id like to introduce The B52 and my new friends, Sonia and Sonia.

February 29, 2008

Funny Bullsheet

A witty dialogue between my friend George Michael (Gregoire) and I on the way to lunch today. Sometimes it goes like this:

"boool, booul, boooolsht, buuuuuuulsheet. " -GM

"Bullshit. Bullshit." -DM

"booolsheeeeeet. booolshheit. sheeeet" -GM

"almost..." -DM

"Its like when one person, he say to other person, 'what are you saying is wrong'." -GM

"Yes. exactement. this is bullshit." -DM

"Deeahhne, you are full of bullshheeeet." -GM

"Oui. I know. I never said I wasnt. Its one of the best things about me."-DM

"Ah Yes. Ok. I think I know this... I am so tie red today." -GM

"tie red?" (thinking thinking thinking....) "oh Tired!!! yes me too." -DM

"what do you say Teeered? Terrrrred?" -GM

"Tie urd. Tired." -DM

One of the most common language barriers I have found so far is the differentiation in sound of the I. Here, the I is always pronounced ee. Not sometimes this or that, like it is in the English language. For example, Chinese is pronouned Sheenwah and written chinoise or chinois.
So essentially now that I think about it, you could take this same rule and apply it the same way the chinoise mix the L and R sounds. Rike Lock and Loll for example. Anyway...

Our language barriers are so funny sometimes that, more often than not, it becomes the actual getting from point A to point B that is the interesting and fun part. Its actually getting to what the point may be. Its the journey, not the destination, if you will.

So I myself am a big fan of games; Board games, crosswords, word problems etc... so today was no different. It was just like playing a game. It took George Michael and I almost 20 minutes today to get to the point. Heres just a clip... Imagine (pron: Ee mah jee nay)

"Deeahhne, what is it when it rains, or like in the country and there's water? And maybe there is a mountain... when its wet?" -GM

Now mind you, I have NO idea what he is about to get at. We are just walking along, casual conversation. But with the French, you never know; Could be Sarkozy, could be the Next Big Thing in Tech, could be some Russian water polo player in the Olympics... I mean you just really never know what they're gonna want to talk about.

So we continue through the exercise...

"Dew? Mist? Is it a movie? Brokeback Mountain? Greggy, I have no idea..." -DM

"No its like it gets on your shoes. You know you have to wipe them after... and maybe you are walking on a hill or something." -GM

"You mean Sheeeet? Like a cow or something? You step in sheet? or Mud?" -DM

"Oui! Yes Mud! I like mud wrestling!" -GM

"Really? You just get the XXX channel at home or...?" -DM

"Oh I dont know. No. I have lots of DVDs! But I just want you to know that I like this." -GM

And thats that.

And because of this lunch today, with the Panda and Georgey, I remembered something very important. Its the little things in life that make me most happy. Today was absolutely hysterical the whole way through and I feel so good because of it.

Now to My point-if I were to be asked what the best moment of my life was, my answer would be simple. Maybe it would be in a haiku or in a long drawn out story about me and 2 frenchmen, or me and a nun walking into a bar, but still, Id get to the point and it would go something like this. It would be "any moment I was laughing."

February 27, 2008

Heritage Month

Ha! How great is that?

March is Diane Micheil Heritage Month!

I have to thank my friend Little Anthony for that one. I dont think he reads my blog so I can call him Little Anthony here. He knows thats what I call him, but generally prefers I dont do it in public. I think he likes to think of it as my pet name for him. Aaaaanyway, lil Ant is coming for a visit from New York in March and has declared that the whole month be dedicated to me. And I thought to myself, "self? what a great idea that is to have a whole month dedicated to you."

Talk about uplifting, right?

Short post for today but I want to encourage all of you to declare your own *personal heritage month. Or have someone declare one for you!!!

*March is taken

February 26, 2008

Lost in Translation

Sometimes I wonder how long this is going to last... How long can I go in this silence? How long can I survive in a culture that exists solely on its own language? I mean, sure, I could have learned French at some point in my life, but why would I? Im a Californian! The real need there is to learn Spanish--weekend trips to Mexico, communication with hired and un-hired help, Mexican restaurants, the flea market, the Car Wash... I mean come on!

Never would I have imagined myself moving to Paris. Never imagined at the very least going alone, not knowing a single person, not having a place to live, or a person to love...Am I crazy?

I mean I realize the very harsh realities of my situation most often when Im at Lunch with my colleagues. Lunch is a VERY big deal here. You are almost required to go to a 1hour sit down at a restaurant. We usually travel in packs of 4pp to 10pp, (yes its more like an event than a meal really) and I usually end up going with a different mix of peeps every day. Its nice. Except... well, I want to fucking talk!!!!!!!!! I hate not talking. I don't want to be the center either, but I hate not being able to contribute my well thought out and witty 2 cents. I hate that by the time things are explained to me of what was just discussed that the conversation has moved on to something else. If I decide Id like to contribute then its way after the fact and I look like a total dumbass who cant keep up. And shit. Maybe I am?

And its a bit disheartening knowing that not one person, in all of France, even knows who I am.My character. My intricacies and quirks. My funniness and my meanness. My sarcasm. oh my sarcasm...I miss you sarcasm (kiss hug kiss hug, come back soon!). Most of me is silent and my humor tends to falls on deaf ears here. And Im so scared Im gonna turn into a boring french person. (No offense frenchies!!!) And granted, Im not the easiest person to get to know, but the very basis of my being, is Lost in translation. Let me highlight my point with an example; Someone in my office called me "shy." This didnt really seem fair to me since hey, what do you want me to do? What, literally can I say to you to change your mind? What kind of conversation are we supposed to have?

"-ca va?
-ca va. et toi?
-ca va."

et voila. merde.
(And ps. it wouldnt kill anyone to brush up on their English ya know!)

I dont want to be scared of the French anymore. Some of them, er rather,No wait, I take that back. The French language scares me. I live in constant fear of being misunderstood. And even when I speak French I am misunderstood. So I suppose on the bright side at least my expectations are being met.

This is why I think I decided to pitch An American in Paris, ie, French Toast, when I did. I needed to figure out a solution for myself that would enable me to find my voice way before it would appear on its own, in French.

And peeps, I cant wait to spill it! From the mounds of steak tartare, to cutting an entire pizza with a fork and knife, to horse meat, to sushi with a side of bread, to the lack of mexican food and the great wine debate! Im covering it all and my unbiased, tell-it-til-it-hurts truth is coming. Its French Toast.

That said, until the pilots are shot, I think I just found my remix...
The ReBirth of Cool.



phew. glad i got that out! liberating! i feel much better now. thanks Blog!

February 25, 2008

French Toast

"It's called an American in Paris. Its about a charming, intelligent girl who moves to Paris on her own. Her witty and insightful revelations regarding the stark and subtle contrasts between French culture and American culture are where we are going to find the crux of the stories. She takes us into her world of hilarious findings, no-nonsense rules and etiquette, and culinary pleasures and attrocities. She will need a co-host that speaks both French and English so we can broaden the audience and keep it relevant for both the US and all of greater Europe. So what do you think? "

"I love it!" he says. "But lets change the name, its a bit too broad and I think its been done. We'll start shooting pilot episodes in the next couple weeks. You will do all the writing. Lets start to run the show on cnetv.fr, Goosto.fr, onlylady.fr. Next week when I'm in SF we'll try to sell the US for chow.com, ok?"

And just like that "French Toast" was born.

So I had this idea for a TV show even before I left San Francisco. I actually had 2 things in mind when I set out for my new life in Paris. 1. Date the President. He is single and I had a shot. He's the bling bling president and short men love tall women. and 2. Become an International Star.
Simple.

Anyway, he's married to some over the hill model now and frankly, Im over it anyway. Hes kind of an ass and none of my friends approved of the courtship, so I decided to let it go.Back to my show.

It was probably one of the most exciting days in my life so far. I mean I have this great job as it is, and Im in paris and my life is really good. So yeah, I feel infinitely lucky day to day, but I have never actually taken my career aspirations by the balls and just gone for it. (ha sorry, that was a weird analogy.) So now yours truly is in development with cnet networks to produce her very own light hearted, intellingent and of course tongue-in-chic (see it altready started!) humorous online TV show. Just like that. et voila.

But theres a greater point that Id like to share with you all and excuse my soapy-boxness here, but I dont do it that often so sit tight... Never be afraid to ask. If you want it, ask for it. My parents can attest to this as I always seem to be asking them for things. The worst that can happen is that you are told No. (Fortunately for all of us, this doesnt happen too often, thanks Mom and Dad!) so Ive never really had any sort of aversion to asking for things. If I ask you, if I ask the universe, if I ask my God, or my Boss (which sometimes fill in for each other) you just have to ask. Can I move to Paris? Can we produce a show Ive written and feature it on a few of our websites? Can I borrow 20 Euros? See its easy!

And now lets raise our French Champagne filled glasses for a toast...

To French Toast!!!!!!!!

February 19, 2008

I Find the Holidays…

My TV arrived today. Its 32” of Flat Toshiba love and I swear you’ve never seen anyone more excited! At least that what Nick said. He is over from London for the weekend to celebrate Valentinos (I like that, don’t you?) Valentino’s Day. Its sort of like Valentine’s day for those who aren’t actually in a relationship, but like each other enough to have sex and go out dinner. It’s a great holiday, and next to his other favorite holiday, “Steak and Blowjob Day,” which happened to fall on this same weekend as well, (coincidence? maybe) Id say we had a really nice time. Not to worry ladies, Ive created one for us too… Potage and P---- Day. For your reference this Holiday falls on the 16th and 17th of every month so be sure to let your man (or woman) know! Oh and Potage is French for 'soup,' so have at it!

Um… oh the TV! I am so excited to set that up or at least have someone set it up for me. Its so purrrty. The rest of my furniture is to arrive today as well so let’s hope the delivery man finds me and I find my furniture in excellent working condition. Nick is here for one more day so Im hoping he’ll find time in his hectic Holiday schedule to help me hang some stuff and sort the tube out!
_____________________________________________________

Note to Readers!!!!!!!!!
While I wrote this blog entry, Nick was still in town and we were merrily playing house for the weekend. I get to work today only to find out that steak and blowjob day is an actual holiday and is one month after Valentines Day, on March 14th! I couldnt believe it either!
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Steak+and+Blowjob+Day

Id be upset, but seeing as how I nominated my new Holiday for a bimonthly celebration, I cant be too upset. As Nick would say, I’m not “gutted” about it.

Happy Holidays!!!

[Please consult your HR department or Manager for Paid Time Off/ Holiday Hours and scheduling for above mentioned Holidays]
Thank you

February 8, 2008

PCP and Merde

I'm in the merde, as Stephen Clarke so aptly put it. I know this feeling. And it's not one I'm proud to say I have. My house- both figuratively and literally- is out of order.

And I didnt quit smoking. Not only did I not quit, but my half-ass effort at quitting thrust me into a world of Marlboro lights. I thought to my self, "Self? If you dont buy your usual Dunhill Lights then you probably wont want to smoke as many right?" So wrong. No I smoke crap. Granted, I do not smoke quite as many, but I certainly didn't quit. And thanks to all of you supported this decision by the way...Ive noted some of your helpful sentiments below:

"Deahhne, you too much Party Girl to quit."

"No! You're quitting? Really? Why?"

"Well you wont mind if I smoke around you right?"

"That's fine, but it wont last."

"Well what are you gonna do then? You know Im coming to town next week right?"

Now Im not blaming anyone but myself, but I have to wonder how many of my friends are actually in the Smoking Al Queada and why they refuse to let me out?

Merde.
Plan B. Keep smoking until apartment or part of personal house is in order. Set new date.

Now to Voltaire where we find my wonderfully vacant apartment. Chez Moi is successfully stagnant in its progress to becoming my Home. I cringe to admit this, but...I went to IKEA again. (I had to, and trust me I wasnt sprinting through the doors with excitement this time.) Anyway, I had to make some big purchases so I researched before I went so by the time I arrived I would be all ready to go. Well wouldnt you know it, but luck be a lady that day! They had everything I wanted in stock and could express ship to me the very next day. I began planning my IKEA party.
Well as it turns out not only did I give IKEA the wrong address (I had to call Olivier the next morning to call them to try to straighten out for me) but on top of this I managed to pull almost every box incorrectly from their magical wonderland of warehouse shelves. 6 doors to an armoire instead of 2 doors and 4 walls.
My IKEA party was a disaster to say the least. Benoit and Olivier came to help, but their efforts were totally in vain.

-"uh Deahnne?Where are the rest of the boxes?"
-"what do you mean? geez you guys, just do the armoire first and then we'll move on to..."
-"uh no. Why so many doors(portes)?"

merde. merde. merde.

Later that night I got so drunk putting my bed together that its actually now a Rocking Bed. I know I know, dont-come-a-knockin. Save it.

I laugh at first. And actually we all kind of keep laughing about it all night. But later that night I laughed myself right into tears and into a fit of frustration.
Does this mean I have to go back to that God forsaken place? There's just no way. I'd rather scrap all of it and make my apartment a "Porte Concept Pad."

"Welcome to PCP! No you're not hallucinating- there really isn't any furniture in here! Oh those clothes? Its the latest. I read an article in Vogue that its best to keep your clothes in complete disarray strewn all over your bedroom floor. Feng shui something or other. Anyway... Pick a porte, any porte!"

I mean maybe if I had a refridgerator or a TV or a curtain around my shower. Maybe if I had a stove or an endless amount of money or even one ounce of what people call "domestic skills."
I mean I cant even call the cable guy. I need wee-fee for my computer. I need my QWERTY back and obviously I need to be medicated. Not in a Heath Ledger kind of way, but for God's sake can someone tell me when to use a screw and when to use a nail?

Then Benoit says something I will never forget:

"Deahnne... It's difficult to be French."

And I look at him and say, "No Benoit. It's Difficult Not to be French."

et voila.