Archive for March, 2013

Hello Paris

March 31, 2013

Nice to see you again.

I have some plans for you.

I don’t know how much time we have left, probably just this next month, so I have begun hatching some ideas.  Museums are top on the list.  We have a date this Wednesday to go to the Orangerie.

I have not been there since my last time in Paris, which I am coming up on my four-year anniversary, my last visit.

I had gotten the Museum Pass and I recommend it to anyone visiting Paris.  You won’t really save money, but you will save time–no waiting in lines, it is a huge deal to not have to wait in lines to get in.

Just got off of a Skype call with a certain someone, god damn it.

Too much goodness, not enough of it here.

Oh well.

You never know what is going to happen, I tell myself, or who you are going to meet or where you are going to go.

Certainly that much is true for me right now.

We were discussing my options, of which I feel like there are none.

And I remind myself, here, now, continuously, that feelings are not facts.

I have options.

I do.

They are just not the ones I want.

See, I would like it like this, sexy man from New York comes here end of summer, I am here, have job, apartment, sassy French wardrobe and a book deal, we go on date.

Note to sexy man, please not the Eiffel Tower.

Just a walk would be nice, along the Seine or through the Marais, then a cafe and a canoodle.


That could be fun.

Ah, fantasy.

The reality is that there is nothing going on except this, the writing, and the living in the moment where there is nothing wrong and there is no man holding my hand, yet.  Just the keyboard and a smile across miles to keep me company while I write and put some cheerful thoughts in my head while I do the daily work of doing the daily grind.

Not that my blog is a grind.

I love writing it.

It feels good.

It is a practice that sometimes feels rough going, but often times, especially of late, it feels like it flies out of my fingers.  I know that my typing has gotten a lot faster too, my thoughts seem to land on the screen almost as I have them.

Thinking about what happens next.

The room-mate has come home and there will now be an interruption to the writing.

Followed thereafter by a discussion about what happens next.

Big deep breath.

And here we go.



I am leaving.

Bye bye Paris, baby, bye-bye.

That was actually not quite as bad as I thought it would be, the sting was not there at all.

As Corinne told me when she first broached the subject with me, “Paris isn’t going anywhere.”

No, Paris is not, but I am.

The discussion went something like this, we’re going to sit down and look at the sites and find the best price.  I will get a round trip ticket for one year out.  Insert smile here.

I will most likely leave Paris on May 1st and book a return ticket for May 1st of 2014.

This will give me a year to pay back my room-mate the ticket cost, save money, get a student Visa, and try again.

We also discussed me taking a road trip with him to New York–I would keep him company on the road, he’s going to be going to a tattoo convention in May–the 17-20th–and I have friends in New York.

I might even say hello to a certain sexy Irish man in Brooklyn.

Then back to San Francisco either by a one way ticket or Amtrak.

So, I would land in San Francisco, be there approximately one week, say hello to friends, put out some feelers for work and a place to live, then hop in a PT Cruiser the 8th or 9th of May and head to New York.

This is sounding more and more fun as I type.

I have never done a road trip across the entire United States, I have done from Wisconsin to California and California to Wisconsin, as well as Wisconsin to Florida and back, but never straight across.

I have never been to New York.

I could see the Brooklyn Bridge.

I could go to the Guggenheim!

I could go the MOCA.

I could go to the holy of holies, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

My panties are wet thinking about it!

It would be a blast to see and it would be great to do an early summer road trip before it gets hot and sweltering.  Then a return to San Francisco, or Oakland, or where ever the hell I am supposed to be next.

Just say yes to the Universe Carmen, it wants you to have fun.

I am saying yes.

I am relieved to have accepted my room-mates help and to know that I will get to play this forward some day too.  I will get to have fun things to write about and strange experiences.

Maybe I will see Babe the Blue Ox.

I will definitely be taking a swing through Akron, Ohio, there’s a doctor there I would like to pay homage to.

I will take my laptop and my camera and my spirit of adventure and I will go.

I will come back to Paris in a year, one year wiser, stronger, and yes, with papers.  Whether work papers or a student Visa.  I can also look at applying for graduate school through the American University of Paris, go see Jeffrey Greene in the writing department there and NYU has a Creative Writing Masters exchange program in Paris I could also apply to–fuck me, I could actually go to the NYU offices and meet with the creative writing director there when I am in New York.

The possibilities are endless.

I have to say, this feels crazy.

I actually feel relief that I gave up the ghost and the plan, not my plan, that was just laid out before me is so much better than what I could have come up with on my own.

Of course, it all my change tomorrow, but for the moment, it looks like May 1st or there about I will be flying back to San Francisco.

And the moment, when I let myself be in it, is good.

It always is.

In Today’s Top Stories

March 30, 2013

The going vegan debate has raised its head again.

I wrote five more pages in my new work, Mother.

I took the dog for a long walk.

I took a bath.

I read the first 100 pages of my manuscript The Iowa Waltz.

The last makes me the happiest.

It is good.

Not great, but much better than I had hoped for.  Much, much, much better.

I had not voiced the fear, but it was there, lurking around in the brain, sliding around the corners, obsequious and sneaky, “you don’t really want to read that do you?”

It’s going to suck and then where will you be?

Thanks, brain.

Thanks for sharing.

Fact is, it is good stuff.

I wrote the book on a white-hot streak after finishing the first draft to Baby Girl on Alan Kauffman’s recommendation that I continue moving forward with fresh work.  “Your pen is hot, just keep producing.”  He told me.  I did.  I wrote another entire manuscript in about a month.  Then another.  In 90 days I wrote three books into first draft.

Now that I have had some time and distance from the project I can see another thing that may change how I proceed with the works.  They are all of a piece.  Meaning that though they stand completely on their own, Baby Girl is 76,000 words, they could be all brought together into one piece.

JRR Tolkien originally wrote the Trilogy of the Rings as one work, his editors made him break it up because they did not believe that the reading public would be interested in reading so much at one time.

I am not Tolkien, nor will I ever strive to be.  I am just me and my words are just my words.  However, the works might stand together as one cohesive piece.  As I was reading through the first 100 I thought this could be a nice middle piece if I collated them all together. It’s just a thought for the moment.

As it stands, I still need to read the rest of the work, then take it into second draft.  What I am also ecstatic about is that it will not take nearly as much work to pull into second draft as Baby Girl did.

I had already been doing the practice of writing and I had the additional criticism from Alan and the rest of the writing group that I was meeting with on Thursday evenings after I got done with work at the veterinary hospital.  The second piece is cleaner, stronger, has a more coherent voice and a good synopsis.  In fact, when I read the synopsis today I just about fell out of the chair.  I had forgotten a good amount of the action.

I was also startled by how much I remembered when reading it.

I managed to capture the essence of the story, the environment, and the voices of myself and my sister, who is a major character in the work, are bright, strong, coherent.

I was thrilled.

I was also again transported.

This time to Iowa, where the majority of the work takes place.  I actually found myself emotionally responding to the characters.  Yes, the characters are real people, but to me, they feel like characters, two lost teenage girls doing the best they knew how with the extraordinary circumstances of living that they found themselves in.  A few times I teared up in wonderment that I ever got out of there alive.  I also laughed out loud more than once, I was a brassy girl, with a lot of opinions.

I still am.

This time here, out of the city, has been good for me.

Really good.

I wrote this morning that I am going back.  I gave up, gave in, and said, ok, I quit.  I knew this was going to come down to this and I need to start making plans to take action to move back.  There is no staying here that I can figure out.  Despite wanting to, despite beating myself up for not having figured it out, there is no getting around the situation.

I don’t regret it though, not a moment, not a minute, not every time I cried and wondered what the fuck I was doing.

I was discovering that I really am a writer and that I do have words, words that just seem to sweep out of my hands, as long as I sit down to let them spill forth.

It really is the sitting to the task that takes the most out of me, but once I am there, the words, they come, torrents of words.

I opened the four notebooks that I have been working through and laid them out on the table and took a photograph with my phone.

Look at all those words.

They buoy me up, the carry me along, through the days and nights of anxiety, through the wilderness of not knowing, my lifeboat.

I would like to make it as a writer. I would like to be fully self-supporting with the things that I write.  I don’t know if I will or not, and the fact is, as I have written time and again, I would write regardless.  The practice feels so good.  I love sitting here at the keyboard tapping away, watching the words pop onto the screen, reminding me of where I am in what point where in my life.

These books, journals, blogs, a history of myself and my life.

I have a great memory, and I tap into it when I write, never knowing what I will remember–just that the picture will be there for me to describe, sound of the people talking, the time of day, the clothes they are wearing; it is so much like watching a movie and just writing down what I see.

Or what experience will work its way in where.  I do know it is important for me to continue filling the image well.

I use this today to get out and take a longer walk with the dog on a different route, down a road I had not seen before, or say yes to experiences that many may not even think about doing.  I am saying yes right now.  I am saying yes to what is next.  No questions asked.

I was made an offer and as I walked along through the woods today, I thought, this person is crazy pants, what do they know about me, how could they offer that to me?  Then I thought, so what if it doesn’t work out, or the person should change their mind, how about I say yes the next time it is brought up and see what happens.

I have not been dropped on my ass and it would be another experience to write about, to spin a tale about, to look back on ten or twenty years down the road and say to myself, “remember when you moved from Paris to….”

As I read through the manuscript reliving the incidents from twenty years ago I marveled that I was here in France.

I had no clue when I got onto that Grey Hound bus in Madison, Wisconsin headed to Newton, Iowa where I was going to live or what job I was going to have, let alone imagine that I would ever actually live in France.  Or that I would write a book about a that year I lived in Iowa.

I feel finally at peace with letting go of Paris.

I am just off to another adventure.

Who the hell knows where I will land.

I don’t.

And for once, I don’t care.

Where Ever I Go

March 29, 2013

There I am.

I was sitting in a pool of light during the golden hour as the sun set through the trees along the edge of the orchard, the rays caught up in the balls of mistletoe winding its way through the branches.

I looked at the spread in front of me, my most important things.

My laptop, my camera, the iPhone, my regular burner phone, notebooks, a book I just finished reading, the rough draft manuscript of The Iowa Waltz, and the new manuscript I started earlier this week, as well as a bag of pens, and a large pottery mug with a blue striated glaze, full of black tea.  I was at the large dining room table seated in a tufted caramel leather chair, the dog, Rusty, bumping my hand occasionally for extra pets.

I looked out over the hills, the trees, the vineyards, and the sky.

I could be anywhere.

I could be in San Francisco.

I could be in Wisconsin.

I could be in France.

I was alone in the world, yet I did not feel lonely.

I had decided today to give up the last of my ghosts.

I am done struggling for France.  Paris, you are a dream, France, I could get used to you, but I am done trying so damn hard.  Or thinking that I am not trying hard enough.  I have done as well as I could with what I have.  I have come here, nearly five months now, seeing as much as I could, crying a lot, going to museums, taking walks, doing work, helping others, getting humble.  I can go anywhere and have this experience, it does not have to be Paris.  It does not have to be France.

As long as I am alive and I am able to say yes to the Universe, I can go anywhere.

The question will be where.

I wrote this morning that I would let go and be in the moment today as much as possible.  I would accept myself and my situation for exactly what they are.

What they are is simply quite lovely.

A slumber party with me, myself, and I.

I woke early to feed the dog and let him outside, but I went right back to bed thereafter.  I did not sleep in much past what is normal for me, but my sleep was so satisfying I did not have to sleep longer than normal to feel rested.  The bed was a dream.  The sun coming in through the windows let me know what time it was.  Time to get up, make the bed, kneel, ask for directions and listen.

I made a nice breakfast–oatmeal with banana and golden raisins, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg.  I had two lattes.  I wrote four pages long hand in my morning journal.  I sat and meditated.  I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and skipped the makeup.  The dog did not care that I did not have mascara on.  I gathered up a bag with my camera, a bottle of water, and the leash and headed out the door.

We walked the path winding through the back yards of properties near the house.  On one side modern interpretations of older homes on the other, pear orchards, bee hives, a horse paddock, a golf course, swimming pools, tennis courts.  The path is accompanied by a brook and the chatter of the stream slipping over the rocks with the occasional splash of Rusty jumping in and out was one of the few sounds I heard.

The rustle of leaves.

The scatter of doves flying up from a copse of trees.

The call of rooks in the turned over field by the stone wall.

A dog barking.

Geese in the field and a number of birds who I could not identify, grouse I believe and some sort of wood-pigeon, and a kind of jay or mocking-bird that is big and brassy and I have seen chase off crows with impunity.

The air was full of smudged wood smoke from the apiary and the sun was bright.  Despite the temperature not being as warm as I would have liked, once I had my walking pace established I warmed right up.  The path wended along the golf course, then up and into the woods.  I walked until my legs hummed and my head was clear and there was nothing to be or do except eventually turn back towards the house for a late lunch with a cup of tea.

I knew what I had to do.

I had to read.

I had to write.

I had to say it does not matter what happens next week or next month.

It does matter what happens in the next hour.  I have been given exactly what I wanted, time and space to read and to write.  Would I use it?  Would I actually sit down and pick up the pen and the new work and write, or would I pester my heart with worry?  It felt like a kind of test, if given exactly what I have asked for would I actually step up and do it?  The hardest thing to do, I find, is to actually sit down and give myself the time.

I am much better at thinking about it or worrying about it or wondering when the next time will come to me and then I will be happy.

And then it will be alright.

It is alright right now.

The sunshine flooded over my head as I bent to the page and the pen flowed and I was suddenly gone, transported, I was in the bathroom on the second floor of the apartment on Madison’s North East side–Packer Townhouses–low-income apartments that still exist.  I was describing a scene between myself as a ten-year old girl and my mother.  It was powerful to be so transported.  I could feel the cold under my feet.  I could smell the cigarettes on my mom’s breath–Merit Menthol Light 100s–I could see the color of her eyes and feel her holding my arm.

I could hear, oh almost too clearly, the words she was saying.

And I could hear the fear inside them channelling themselves out to me.

Fear that scared me, scarred me, and changed me.

I continue to change and I feel that acceptance come to me as I wrote and wrote and wrote, nine pages long hand, over an hour, and then I looked up.

The sun behind the trees, the grass sloping down the hill, the bark of a dog off in the distance.

Where was I?


I am always here.

And no matter where I go, I go with me.

No matter how it happens, I am alright.

I may not succeed at writing the way that others do.

I may not write the way that I think I should.

But I write.

That is good.

That is me.

I am a writer.

I do not need a book deal, an agent, or to be published and promoted in the New York Times.  You cannot take my words from me, they fall like spattered drops of sunshine upon this bowed head and I am successful.

I wanted God to tell me what to do today.

I wanted to know exactly where I should go and how I should be.

It wasn’t where I thought.

I was taken to a place thirty years ago, walked through the doors of a little girls heart and eyes and to see with much compassion the woman holding her arm and the woman who I would become under the influence of those experiences.

“I cannot tell you how lucky you are,” he said, his dark eyes a smolder of directness and intent, as he leaned over his knee to look me directly in the eye, “most writers would kill to have the experiences you have had.”  He paused, “you really are blessed.”

Yes I am.

So where ever I end up next, I will not worry, I have a place to be.

A table to sit at.

A pen to hold.

A notebook to write in.

A story to tell.



March 28, 2013

Is a small town outside of Saint Germain-en-Laye, half hour train ride from Paris.

I am house sitting this weekend.

The babysitting is done.

I made it.

The parents were thrilled.

I was equally thrilled.

Not only was I of service, and I know I was, I made rent for April.  I paid the room-mate off as soon as I walked in the door of the apartment.  Granted, he was happily snoring away in his room and no doubt had not a clue that the pile of Euros on the table were for him, but I knew, and that felt immensely satisfying. It was also fulfilling to know that I was able to help the family have a really nice time.  I got hugs from mom, dad, and both the kids.

It was sweet.

The gig basically paid my rent for April.  The two other gigs I did, one in Courbevoie and the one in Invalides helped, but it was really working with the visiting family that fulfilled the rent.

I don’t know how to continue forward.

I just got off a Skype call.

I laughed  a lot, I flirted a lot, and yes, I cried.

I may start-up right now.

Ah, there you are my friends, tears of surrender.

I just don’t know how to move forward.

“I don’t want you to go, you know,” she said to me over the phone earlier this evening as I was walking back to the house, Rusty trotting ahead of me, sniffing every patch of grass and leaving behind his mark on every fence post.

I looked into the sky and felt my chest tightening, the tears threatening, the emotion just there, tasting it on my tongue, feeling it course through my body.

“I want you to stay too, I just don’t want to see you struggle so hard, it’s not been easy and,” she paused and I looked up into the softening sun hazed behind the clouds low on the sky as she searched for words.  “You can try again, you can go back, make money, find work, and try again.  I don’t want you to think that I want you to leave, I don’t.”

That was good to hear, actually, I needed to hear that and I had not even realized it until she had said it.  That the suggestion was not done because she wanted to get rid of me, not one person has said to me, “you suck, go away.”

It has not been easy, just that refrain pounding in my head, in the pulse of my blood, in the hot tears on my face.

Let me not fool anybody.

My photographs say one thing, and it looks mighty pretty, but the leveling of all things pride has been on a level I have not had experience with before.

I got a surprise 50 Euro in my Paypal account today and I did cry.

Thanks, bunny, you have helped out more than you know.

This whole thing, confusing, challenging, my head a mess of thoughts and with those thoughts, distraction from what is in front of me.

This house sitting situation is going to bear fruit aside from nice soaks in the big tub, quiet times with just the sound of the dog yawning from the next room.

It is also a chance for me to sit quietly and really listen to what is in my heart and to listen for the response from the Universe.  To put out there, to keep putting it out there that I really do want to stay and how it happens is not my plan and well, let it go and listen.  How do I take care of myself?  How do I find my way forward?  I don’t know how to plan and I don’t know how to do things differently than I am already doing.  I try tweaking here, adjusting there, I feel sheepish and exhausted, elated and overwhelmed.

I have the experience of a life time just having gotten here.

My best friend from Wisconsin pointed out to me that she has never been to Europe.

I am coming up on five months of living in Paris.

No matter what, I have this experience.

I want to throw my hands up and I keep sticking my fingers back in the pie.

“You’re not going are you?” Another friend asked this afternoon.

“What’s your status?” My friend Ray asked in line at Bert’s to get coffee.

“How’s it coming?” Still another person.

“Don’t go.” She said to me.

Well, damn it, I don’t want to.

I want to be here when he gets here and show him Paris and walk with some one hand in hand and I don’t want to be alone trying to do this thing anymore.

God, that’s a big part of it.

I am really tired of doing it on my own.

It’s not the asking for help bit, that’s awkward, I will admit it.

It’s the being alone, I mean in the romantic sense of the word.  I am damn good company and I do a lot for myself and I get out a lot, but at the end of the day I want to share my experiences with someone and laugh and be silly or sad by turns.  I want another hand in mine.

Ah, self-pity.

You’re a tasty bitch.

There’s nothing wrong here.

Fact is it’s just not turning out the way I want.


There, that’s out of my system.

I know, I am well taken care of, well-loved, and I love hard right the fuck back and I don’t have a regret and I don’t need to know what is going to happen.  I don’t.  What is happening is that for the next few days I have a quiet oasis for meditation, long walks, inflection, reflection, reading, and writing.  Throw in a hot bath or five, a fully stocked kitchen, and a dream of an espresso machine and there is absolutely nothing wrong.

Not one thing at all.

I am loved.

I am.

I love myself.

And as for the rest of it, it will all suss its way out, it always does, despite getting in the way of myself, it always works out.

It will just be a delirious surprise.

It will be wonder.




It will be good.

Because it already is.

You Are NOT My Mother!

March 27, 2013

She yelled at me in French and ran out of the room.

“No, I am not,” I replied, calm and still, not about to be perturbed by the disruption to lunch, I only have to get through this next hour then I am done.

I could hear crying from the bedroom.

I sighed and walked back to the room and cajoled her out.  We had a chat.  She told me repeatedly in French that she could not understand what I was saying.  I told her right back, mostly in English, then slowly in French, picking and choosing the simplest words.

“You do understand what I am saying and I understand what you are saying, but we cannot have any more chocolate until after lunch, one bunny is enough.”  I finished, tucking up the package that had “accidentally” fallen on the floor.

She had discovered the Easter candy stash.

“Il est tombe,” she said to me, holding out the opened gold foil wrapped chocolate bunny.

Not only had it “fallen” it had magically lost the plastic wrapper keeping the package of five chocolate Easter bunnies in their cardboard box, and some how in the “fall” the first bunny had “accidentally” gotten half way unwrapped.

I put the package on the top of the refridgerator and carried her lunch plate out to the dining room table.  In the few seconds it had taken to carry dish to table, the monkey had pulled a stool out from the corner, clambered up, opened the top of the freezer door and was climbing toward the bunnies.

“Nenna!” I said coming in and pulling her down.  “Arrete!”

She burst into tears, struggled out of my arms, yelled at me and flew away back to the bedroom.


I am not really sure how I got through the shift with her.

Three and a half hours of sleep.

I got home last night at 2:30 a.m.

Another long night, a little closer to rent, and an alarm set for 7 a.m.

I went to bed a touch after three a.m. and it took a moment to settle down.

When the alarm went off, I did not groan, I did not complain, I did not even sigh, I just rolled over, got up, and started my day.  Wash face, brush teeth, make bed, get on knees, talk to God, yeah shut it that’s a part of my routine, read some daily readers, while this was happening the espresso maker on the stove was percolating and the kettle was starting to sing.

I made a bowl of oatmeal and looked at my watch.

I have a little dash of extra time.

I got an incoming message off the FaceCrack.

A chat back and forth, and the sexiest words ever, ever…

“I’m reading your book, it’s good…”

Followed soon thereafter by more sexy words, “this is going to sound funny, but I am actually going to get off chat and go catch up on your blog and keep reading your book.”

Go Mister Go!

Thanks man.

That put a bright spot right into my day.

I also realized as I traipsed down the hill to catch Line 7 at Metro Cadet, that I had negotiated the sleep thing really well, and rather serendipitously.  I had woken up in between my sleep cycles.  If I had gotten five to six hours in, I would have been ruined, awakening in the deep part of my sleep would have made it a monster of a morning, I got lucky.

I also was not planning on working tonight, but here I am, baby sound asleep on the breast, tucked into the brown carrier with the orange and yellow owl on it, once again.

The parents had told me that they were going to go to Euro Disney today for the baby’s one year birthday.  They did not make it out of the city.  They were exhausted and the mom sent me a text at three p.m. right as I had finished doing some writing and was about to do a meditation before, yes, that’s right, more writing.

I sent her a text back, put the kettle on the stove, brewed up some black tea, go team caffeine, and did a quick meditation to get myself centered.  The tea cooled to just the perfect temperature as I finished my sitting and I drank down the cup, packed up the bag and headed up and over the hill.

Double duty to end my six days in a row of babysitting.

I picked the kids up to let the parents get some rest in and we went out to the carousel at Metro Abbess.



Eight rides later.

She had a lot of tickets.

One trip to the Boulangerie, two Reine de baguettes, un demi-baguette, and a long, slow walk back up the hill later, I was ready to unwrap her brother from my body and take a brief sit down.

This did not happen.

The timing in its own way was impeccable, however, as just when I got him out of the carrier, explosive poop.

Out of the diaper, saturating the onesie, on through to his little outfit, narrowly avoiding the carrier.

Thank God, as it’s the only way he will sleep.

I got him striped down and into the bath. Washed, dried, lotioned, pajamma’ed, made dinner for the sister, cleaned the kitchen, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, aided by a four and a half-year old assistant, got her into pjs, charged up the Ipad for a movie, ate my own dinner, and sighed with relief as he fell asleep and she is now nestled in for quiet time.

Quiet time.

What is that?

Six days in a row of babysitting, I have lost all concept of quiet time.  I have pink and blue paint in my hair, my back hurts from hauling the baby around, my feet hurt from all the walking up and down the hill.


Rent is almost paid.

And my legs look awesome, if I do say so myself, the additional stair climbing is really showing, I have lost weight, not much, but a few pounds, which is nice, and I have managed to blog every night and cover my commitments.

One more to show up for tomorrow and then off to Saint Germain en Laye.

I meet my friend at the train station at three p.m.

Once she leaves I believe the first order of action will be to fill up the gigantic bath tub in the master bath and pile on the bubbles.  I will put some jazz on the stereo, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, and sink into a hot tub of no children, no worries, no room-mate, no distractions.

And then I will write.

Oh, how I will write.

I will work on my manuscript for The Iowa Waltz and alternate between that and the new piece I started yesterday.  I am going to finish another book in first draft before I go, if I go, which unless something wild and miraculous happens over Easter weekend, I will be at my deadline and be taking the steps to go back to the states.

Where or how I have not a clue.

But I will have this last weekend to relax, unwind, shake the baby sitting off my body and get the writing going.  With April rent squared away I only have to think about food.  That and some cafe cash to rent a table at while I write.

Whatever happens, I feel that there will be another work produced the month of April.

They say April in Paris is lovely.

All signs do seem to point that way.

Almost There!

March 26, 2013

Yes, blog post number three in a row with small child swaddled to my chest.

My back is in monstrous sympathy with all pregnant mothers.

Although, God forbid any of them have to carry to term with the weight of a full one year old.

Yup, the monkey turns one tomorrow.

Happy Birthday from Paris!

Some years from now you will resent the hell out of your parents when they bring it up, “oh, you’ve been to Paris, you turned one there!”

Yeah, like I’ve been to Hawaii, mom was pregnant with me there.

Does not count.

If I cannot remember it, the situation did not happen.

Yes, that means I am self-centered.

What is your blog about?

I get asked this question all the time when it comes out that I write a daily blog.  Myself, I answer, me, myself, and I.  All about the Carmen, all about my experiences, my hopes, dreams, schemes and little plans.

I was joking with Maggie on the phone tonight that my two-week figure it out time is almost up–Easter Sunday will mark the end of the time of what is going to keep my butt in Paris.  I have not had any success figuring it out.


She laughed, “the Resurrection!”

Yes, indeed, resurrect my ass in France.

I do not know.

The only thing that is clear so far is that my room-mate suggested I not sell my bike.  I have been doing the do I?  Do I not? Sell my bike.

She loves me.

She loves me not.

God damn I love my bike.  I am attached to her, how could I not be, inspired by Van Gough’s Starry Night, which only one person has ever sussed out, a midnight blue (RAL 5011) with Rock Star Glitter top coat, one silver rim in the front, one deep V classic purple in the rear, black spokes, saddle, cogs, black Sugino messenger crank, flip-flop hub, set currently in fixed gear, Japanese drop grips, Deda Pista handle bars, she is a gorgeous beast.

I don’t want to sell her, but sell her I will if that is what is called for.

Granted, I may not get a response for her.

She gets a lot of attention, but I designed her, I designed her with no one else in mind but me.

If you want to buy a custom-built bike, you probably want to go through the process of designing it to your specifications. It is not a Trek off the store floor.  My bicycle screams custom, and screams Carmen.

I scream.

You scream.

We all scream for Carmen.


I am full of myself today, but that just means I am full of caffeine.

“We can have a tea party?”  She asked as I rifled through the tea tin in the cupboard.

“Absolutely,” I responded, settling on some Black Currant tea.  I drank all the Earl Grey up yesterday.

“I want that one,” she said as I dropped my tea bag into my cup.

“No, sugar, that one has caffeine in it,” I replied.

“I like caffeine,” she said, stomping her small foot on the kitchen tiles, “I want caffeine.”

“I don’t think you do,” I replied.  “I certainly don’t think your parents want you to have caffeine, and I do not want you going near the stuff.”

Or the sugar, or the chocolate, or the honey/caramel frosted cereal bombs in the kitchen.

You, missy, were up until midnight last night.

Not going to play that song and dance again tonight.

“I need to pee.” She said.

“I need to eat,” she said the next time.

“I need my mom and dad,” she said the third time up.

“I need another story,” she told me the fourth time.

“I need water,” she said, “Carmen, Carmen, Carmen!”

“Shh, hush honey, your brother is sleeping,” I said as I walked into the bedroom.  “You have water right here on the bedside table.”  I pointed out the sippy cup next to her.

“Is it fresh?”  She demanded.

Oh my god.

I almost got fresh with her.  Then I stopped and I admit it, I lied. “Yes it is, now drink up, and go back under the covers, it is super late.”

It was after midnight by now.

I had been with the kids for nearly twelve hours, that had not been the plan.  I wonder, if I should have asked for overtime pay.  I was certainly starting to be resentful about the hours and I just wanted some quiet time to rest.

She was up when the parents came home.

“I get my special melty purple pill tonight!” She told me when I came in early this evening.

“Give her a Benadryl when she’s getting ready for bed,” mom said tonight as they left the house.  “I hope you had a really wonderful afternoon off,” mom added, “thank you again for you help.”

You betcha.

I had the afternoon off.

I needed the afternoon off to recuperate.

I did not sleep in, as I was not sure when the family was going to need me, and as the adage goes, “make hay while the sun shines,” I was clear they could use me this afternoon if so needed.

I finally got a call from the mom around three pm asking me to come up to the apartment by 4:30pm.


Wrote, meditated, went grocery shopping, check in with my room-mate about room-mate stuff, did a load of laundry, read a book, Joyce Maynard’s memoir, made a tidy hot lunch, and started writing a new piece, which I am scared to write and was completely compelled to literally drop my fork from my lunch, pick up a notebook I had started using as a short story manuscript and begin writing.

The opening line to the work came to me as I was eating and I could not get it out of my head and it was so sharp, compelling, and starkly mad, I had to write it down.  I will admit the source material scares me, it is an intimate story, shocking, it’s mine, and it is about an intimate relationship–the longest one I have ever had–with my mother.

“You should write a book,” John Ater said to me, “this could be your opening piece, you could call it MOTHER.”

“Fuck you,” I said, dashing the tears off my face, and signalling the waitress at the Lucky Penny, that yes, I would like another refill on the coffee, just leave the damn pot on the table, I have a lot of reading yet to do here.

That conversation and the subsequent events in my life, a history that I never thought I would ever write about, it all just boiled up off the back burner in my writing repertoire and spilled all over onto the stove.  Whoa, that is hot, and ready to be dealt with.

The paradox is that I recently, Sunday, had access to a land line that I can call the States from and I called my mom.  We have been in communication again, for the last few years after a very long hiatus, and I had seen her right before moving to Paris.  We have had an honest dialogue and a kind of open communication with each other on a level I have never before known.  It has been a lot of work, but worth it, amending my relationships is what makes me able to have new ones.

“Any romance?”  She asked, “it’s just, well, you’re in Paris, you should have a love in your life.”

Maybe, mom.

Maybe there is, but it is too early to tell, and as of yet, it has not been a romantic experience here in Paris, with the exception of the love affair I have with the city.

“I like listening to how you describe Paris,” he said to me via Skype, his blue eyes, blue, searching, wry.  He licked his mouth, full bottom lip, damn it, knock it off, I thought to myself.  I should never have agreed to Skype, I want to crawl through the screen and bite that lip right back.

Not hard.

But hard enough to get noticed.

Distracted then.

Distracted now, by blue eyes, and a tousled blonde head on my breast, his breath, warm, soft, slow, heavy.

Go to sleep little baby, go to sleep you little baby, you’re a sweet little baby.

We are almost there.

Where ever there is.


Go To Sleep Little Baby

March 25, 2013

I can hear the sound track to O Brother Where Art Thou in my head right now as I cradle a small 11 month old to my chest.

He has lovely blue eyes swathed with the longest lashes, his mouth is parted slightly, cupid bow pink, bottom just a little glisten of shine on it, breath slow, steady, in, out.  He is warm.

I am ready.

No, not to have one.

I am ready for a break.

It has been a long day.

I joined the family at 1 p.m. today to accompany the mom to the Luxembourg Gardens.

It is 11 p.m. right now and I am still with the kids.

I had thought I would have a little down time in the middle of the day to recuperate, relax, and let down the guard a little.

“Sugar, switch hands with me,” I said taking the little girls paw in mine as we transferred Metro stops and walked along the platform.

I am paid to be vigilant.

I am probably hyper vigilant.

Mom speaks no French and I have seen us get targeted a few times as possible pick pocket marks.

However, we have been fortunate to be left alone today.  Although when I went off to follow the little girl on the playground and the mom got up and left our bags on the bench I wanted to scream.

That is my life there, lady.

My Iphone, my wallet, my bank card, my id.

Not that there is much in the bank or that anyone is going to be able to do anything with my California Drivers licence, but my heart flew up into my mouth when I saw the bags on the bench.  I don’t care that it is an enclosed park, the fence is only three feet high.  Anyone could have reached over and snagged it all.

My worries for naught, I scooped up our things and packed everything into my messenger bag.

I have been carrying and toting all day today.

I have felt a little more like a pack mule today than a babysitter.

I have gotten one hell of a work out.

Chasing the little girl around the park, then carrying her up and down the stairs of the Metro, riding her on my shoulders as we navigated the sidewalks in Paris, holding her on my lap, and yes, carrying her through two Metro Line transfers and up countless stairs as she slept, completely knocked out, across me.

I locked her bum under my crossed arms, tucked her head into my neck, and just sucked it up and carried her.

Flash forward to getting all of us back to the house and mom and dad and friends have a private art gallery show to go to.  I am in for the evening and after bathing the little boy and making dinner for them, I strapped him into the carrier, where he seems most happy, cleaned up the house, and walked around pacing until he conked out.

The little girl got a video, “Horton Hears a Who” and is sleeping in mom and dad’s bed.

And here I am blogging.

After a late night last night, I had a “date” with a Skype friend, I crashed out hard.

I thought I may have a hard time dropping off as the flirtatiousness of the call had me wired, but I was out like a light, knelt down, said my thanks for the day, climbed into bed, started to go to that place in my head and the next thing you know the room-mate is up making coffee and breakfast.

I got up about fifteen minutes after he left, showered, breakfasted, wrote, and out the door.

And the rest of my day has been consumed by all things child.

Earlier, I had a thought, as I was navigating the best way for us to get to the park (mom has an app that suggested we transfer through Chatelet and take three trains).  No thank you.  I have the experience of having gotten lost enough and taken enough of the trains that I took us on a different route, which had us only taking two trains, avoiding Chatelet and Les Halles completely (huge underground labyrinths of confusion) and going in the “back door” of the park, thereby saving us easily an hour of travel time.

Which meant more time in the park.

I could start a business of being a “travel companion/nanny”.

Got plans to come to Paris?

Have kids?

Let me be your guide.

Of course, having done it now a few times for the family, I can say it is exhausting and I should be charging double what I asked.  Oh well, lesson learned.  And I have no complaints, they have tipped me every shift I have worked for them and are friends of friends, so I am not bitter.

Just exhausted.

That being said, I will make a tidy sum tonight and I will not be working a full day for them tomorrow.  Dad is done with work and declared it a family day.  I am thinking the family can do without me for the afternoon and then mom and dad can have their night out.

Which, fuck my mother, I just realized is going to make Wednesday a rough day.

I have my standing gig with the French miss in Courbevoie.

The gig I get up at 7 a.m. for.


Oh well, just keep repeating to self, restful weekend in the country.

I am going to really try to let it be a restful weekend in the country too.  I have been watching myself make plans to come into the city back and forth like a maniac and just thought to myself, is it worth it?  Maybe I can rearrange the meet ups I have made and actually take the weekend to myself.

I would like to go and sit and read the manuscripts my room-mate brought back from San Francisco.  Sit, with a legal pad and a pen or five, a hot cup of coffee, and a dog at my feet, at the kitchen table and really read them.  Make some notes, then take those bad boys into second draft territory.

I do not expect that I would be able to do the full work of the second draft in the weekend, however, I can read them and make notes and I can get a good jump on the work.

I believe this is the way I want to go.

And maybe a Skype date with a certain someone when my room-mate is not in the house to over hear the giggling coming from the kitchen.

Just a thought.


Tonight’s Blog is Brought to You By

March 24, 2013

The baby strapped to my chest.

The baby who will not sleep unless strapped to my chest.

I know that I exude some maternal, but I wouldn’t mind being able to put him down to sleep in his crib, but I have tried twice and he has gotten so upset I decided to spare his sister, four and a half and up way past her bedtime, the crying.

It is not the worst way to write.

He smells wonderful.

Baby boy smell is a kind of delicious you just cannot buy.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

He is also quite cozy and warm.

Spring, oh Paris, I hear such magical things about Spring, has not quite sprung yet, despite the date on the calendar, it was chilly today and may even snow tomorrow.

I usually bet on Spring making its real triumphant reveal after Easter.

Of course it may snow right around Easter, makes perfect sense.

Breathing in deeply and trying to type at the same time, this is a good practice I feel.

“Why do you want to stay in Paris,” she asked me as I struggled to stay focus and present minded, out of the worry and anxiety that does not serve.

“Ask yourself that,” she continued, “you can make a home where ever you are.  Why does it have to be Paris?”

Tears welled up in my eyes, “I thought, I know this sounds silly, I thought this would be where it happened.  Where my writing would take off, where I was supposed to be, where, I…”

I paused, let me let the not so secret secret out of the bag…

“where I would meet the person I was supposed to be with, where I would have a family, I really thought this.”  I ended with a few tears slipping down my face.

Maybe it is the tick tock of the biological clock.

Maybe it is all the babysitting I have done of late, the only house on the block, so to speak, money wise for me.  Tonight is actually double duty.  I was in the 7t earlier and hung out with my five-year old, who let me know she would be turning six very, very soon.

Her brother had a play date and she was having a rough go of things, so we popped in a video I normally would not have deigned to watch, “Barbie Princess Charm School”.

It was not my cup of tea. but she was not feeling well, and wanted to snuggle and mom had said a video was ok, so after lunch, we put it in, curled up on the chaise and snuggled.

I pulled the cashmere brown throw blanket over us, stuffed a pillow into the back of the leather chaise, pulled her into my lap and watched the clouds while she watched the video.

The view was pretty spectacular, out the window to the right–Invalides; out the window to the left–the Eiffel Tower.  Just below my shoulder, one small princess with honey blonde hair and small paws holding mine.

“I am sleepy,” she said, drowsing in and out against me.

“Me too,” I replied, “you can sleep if you want.”

She never did, but we stayed put on the couch all afternoon.

First the video.

Then we played dress up dolls with French paper dolls and sticker activity books.

50 Euro later and off to the Metro to dash over to meet some folks at Rue Madame.

A quiet hour, a refreshed brain, and then back 36 Rue Bellefond to grab a quick cup of tea, eat a banana, send out a memoir query for agency, pack up the computer, grab an apple for the road, and haul ass up and over the hill to the next gig.

The house was way active, the floor strewn with books, papers, legos, barbies, colored pencils.  Mom, dad, friends, phone calls, plans being made and discussed.

I will help them again tomorrow.

Mom and I will go to the Luxembourg Gardens and let the kids play in the park.

I am also on deck to work the evening as dad picked up an extra client at the tattoo convention who is coming back from the North of France special to get a 3/4 sleeve completed.

Then Tuesday I will be here and Wednesday, 9a.m. to 1 p.m. in Courbevoie, then back here so that mom and dad may get out and go to an art opening with friends and have a date as he will finally be done with work.

Thursday I have the early afternoon booked with another kind of work, then I pack up the bags and head out to Saint Germaine en Laye to house sit/dog sit.


That’s a week.

Knock on wood, I may actually make all my rent for April in one fell swoop.

I will be tired as fuck, but I will have gotten it.

Why do I want to be here?

I have been asking myself that ever since I was asked earlier.

The language, the culture, the art, the architecture, and because I really, still do believe, that whomever I may be fated to, yes, I believe in Fate, magic, sex, love, God, is to be found here.   My prince, is here, I believe, or on his way, near, so close, I can almost touch.

Yes, I am a sap and that is ok, because fairy tales do happen.

I am living one right now–with my sleeping beauty breathing on my heart.

Strapped tight to my chest and warm as a lullaby on a mid summer night.

In Paris.

Sleepy Baby

Sleepy Baby

That Was Stressful

March 23, 2013


I lost the family.

Well, not exactly, the family got lost.

Mom let me go this afternoon saying, “we can get back from here.”

“Are you sure?”  I asked.

I was not certain and I did not like leaving them to get back up and over the hill.

“Oh, it’s fine, I know how, I’ll figure it out,” she said.

Mom is tiny, tres petite, an 11 month old strapped to her front and a four-year old who was having a temper tantrum regarding another ride on the carousel.

I was not comfortable leaving her there, especially when I had her take out her Iphone and put in the map navigator, the phone was almost out of juice and the thought of leaving her to the jackals left me quite uneasy.

We had been approached more than once by the hordes of illegals trying to press wrap bracelets on you, flowers, trinket, geegaws; they trap you with the bracelet, tying it rapidly on your wrist, they will grab your hand, and while you are busy trying to negotiate your way out of it, one of them picks your pocket.

“Let’s see, one pm, to now, um, that’s,” she calculated out loud pulling her wallet open in front of the baby while the little girl whirled in and out between us, “here,” she said handing me 100 Euros, two 50 Euro notes, “that’s for today, I want to tip you, and then we leave 30 Euro credit for tomorrow?”

“Ok,” I said, I quickly folded the notes over and jammed them in my wallet, relocating my bag to the front of my body and pushing my wallet into it as far as I could.  I held it in front of me until I was out of the melee of the park.

“Are you sure I can’t get you back up and over the hill?”  I asked one more time, I knew she was going to get lost.

“No, no, we are fine, I am just going to get us back and go buy lunch at the store and a bottle of wine and we’ll be fine.” She gave me a hug, “I will touch base later about dinner, maybe we will use you tonight, and definitely for tomorrow.”

“Alright,” I said.  I was not going to micro-manage her experience, despite wanting to tell her what to do, she had made the decision.

It is her experience.

If she wants to have the getting lost in Paris experience with two tired children, that is her prerogative.

She got it.

I did not realize that she had called me until I got home, unloading the groceries from my bag.


I did not even need to check the message to know what was going on.

Sure enough, they had gotten lost.

She was so close too.

I got her on the phone, but the call continuously dropped as her phone ran out of power.

I had a moment of panic.

Then I thought, she is really close to where she lives, she has a wallet jammed with money, I saw it when she paid me, almost made me want to snatch her hands and say, what are you doing carrying that much cash around?!

She can flag a cab.

She can walk into a cafe or a restaurant.

She is in the Montmartre and there are so many tourists spots there and so many people who speak English, all she has to do is ask.

It took her another hour to get back to me that she had made it home.

I had managed to get her two blocks away from her apartment.

Before her phone died and I was unable to contact her again.

An hour to go two blocks.

Oh, how I know that feeling.

I remembered quite distinctly how lost I had gotten trying to navigate my way from Abaraxas in the Marais to the Lizard Lounge, hours, I had spent hours trying to find one then the other, just blocks away from each other.

It can be extraordinarily challenging.

But, regardless it is an experience, we all get to get lost, and I realize as I sit here at the keyboard, I am just as lost.

I don’t know where I am going.

I don’t know how to get there either.

The best I can do is enjoy the scenery on the way.

I sat in the park, on a bench with his small baby body strapped to me sleeping, the sun brushing the back of my shoulders with warmth while his sister chased up and down the slide and made friends with the kids running around the park at Square D’Anvers.

Mom was off shopping.

She had expressed a desire to do some vintage shopping and I knew of a couple of awesome shops in my neighborhood.  She took my leave for two hours and shopped and I got to stay at the park with the shouts of children carooming off the buildings.  I gave her directions, pointing out the two streets from the park that she would need to navigate to get to the stores.

She came back laden with bags, a successful trip.

I had also a successful trip, just sitting down on the bench in a park, in Paris, for two hours with a baby snuggled to me was a trip.  She suggested we go to the cafe by the park.

We went to Les Oiseaux to grab some lunch.

Unfortunately, Les Oiseaux was like my experience at Cafe Flore, slow, rude, awful service, by a condescending waiter who yelled at us, telling us we were taking up too much space at the tables, which were empty and there was no one waiting to sit down.

The mom looked shocked.

I explained to the waiter what we needed, he came back, after we had scooted down to a smaller table, gruffly handing me two menus, then he dismissed us and trotted off.

“Should we go?” The mom asked.

“I think so, I’m sorry, these cafes so close to the heavy tourist areas can have really awful service,” I said, gathering up her bags and pushing away from the table after another five minutes of being ignored.

I took her a couple blocks out-of-the-way to avoid the worst foot traffic at the base of Sacre Couer.  I had planned on getting her back to the apartment and was thinking that there may be a better way to do it then the way I was going, despite it being the most direct route. But my plans, well, they were ignored.

They often are, I think, I realize, I am beginning to understand, my best laid plans are often, very often, all the time, mis-laid.  I cannot manage another’s life, I cannot manage my own life.

Again, I think, lost, aren’t we all?

Just trying to do our best.

I should just speak for myself, always so busy getting lost, trying to navigate through the world, to be my best, to be kind, gentle, and caring, to be of service and help where I can.

I did not know what to do with myself when I got back, too late to make plans for the rest of the day, too early to do my normal just getting home for the night routine.

I decided to take advantage of the room-mate being at work.


I took a screamingly hot shower.

While showering I got a message from the mom, safe, sound, back to the apartment, a new book of maps bought, and her phone charging.

Safe and sound.

A good reminder to myself that I too am taken care of, despite not knowing what will happen next, I too am safe and sound.

Here, in Paris.





Man, That’s A lot of Stairs

March 22, 2013

A friend of mine said recently, “the reasons French women are so skinny–they are genetically small, they smoke a lot of cigarettes, ‘natural’ appetite suppressant, they drink loads of coffees, ‘natural appetitie suppressant, and the Metro.”

I would agree with all of the above, most especially the Metro.

The stations are accessed by stairs and if you are transferring lines, you are going to climb some stairs.

And some more stairs.

92 stairs in one station.

Just get up these next 92 stairs and you are almost done.

How do I know there were 92 stairs?

The sign which warned you of the impending doom.

I hoisted the four and a half-year old in my arms and started up.

She was exhausted.

Long day riding trains, riding carousels, eating sugar, chocolate crepes in the park, gummy candy at the tattoo convention, where there were more children than one would suspect.

Sort of like when you go to Burning Man, lots of those folks that are established artists have kids now a days.  I would not go so far as to say that it was totally kid friendly, but the buffets of candy, the bowls out on the booths, and the indoor candy self-serve pavilion, was a big neon sign of fun times for the sugar toothed fiend.

Plus, the piles of stickers and the markers everywhere.

A kind of kid heaven, no doubt.

Definitely an adult kind of heaven, and for once in Paris, I felt absolutely no compunctions about dropping my jacket, pulling off my scarf, and rolling up my sleeves so that you could see my sleeves.

I had my picture taken by a few photographers, which was funny, I was not there to be a part of the convention, but in a way, to help support an artist and his family so that they could do the convention.

I had a fun chat with a French photographer and journalist who asked me to smile for the camera and it was nice to be amongst some amazing art.

Phillip Leu was there, with the family, I saw Black Heart folks from San Francisco, and loads of folks I recognized from thumbing through tattoo magazines in the various shops I have been in, here and in San Francisco.

Could I tell you their names, nope, I was too busy keeping tabs on a very active four and a half-year old.

I actually had a lot of fun, but I am worn the fuck out, the mom had some ideas about where we should go and it was a lot of train riding.

A lot.

They wanted me to work through the night so they could go out to dinner, but I was not expecting to have spent the entire day with them and had already made plans to go get my mental health fix on.

After the convention, which I am sure I will probably get to drop in on again, we headed to La Villette.

Mom wanted to take the kids to the amusement park.

Unfortunately, the majority of the park was shut down for repairs and what have you.

However, the carousel was a go.

The little bunny girl rode multiple times in a row, smeared in chocolate from a warm crepe, the compromise at the concessions stand when she really wanted a cotton candy cone of pink air spun crazy.

First, it was the tiger,  then the air plane, the scooter, the airplane again, I rode backwards on a horse with her one go around, her mom rode with her in a rocket ship with her little brother crashed out asleep on mom’s chest, she tried to scale the giraffe, failing there, she happily ensconced her self in a teacup and whirled around in that for a while.

By the time she was done, the sugar had spun its way out of her system and she was conked out.  I carried her quite a bit, alternating between hoisting her onto my shoulders or onto my hip.

“You have hips that could birth a nation,” my sister once said smacking me on the ass.

“You should talk,” I shot back at her, she has two girls, my nieces, who are not little girls anymore, but I was reminded of them and wished for a moment to see them.

I also wished for a moment to spontaneously combust in conception.

The little boy, 11 months was so deliriously beautiful it was hard for me to keep my hands off him.  Mom is Brazilian and dad American, the kids are just disgustingly gorgeous beings.  When the boy batted his eyes at me, I almost swooned, I could have flirted with those baby blues all day.

I will get my chance to do more of said flirting tomorrow, they asked me to help out more.

I am down.

Despite having a much longer day than I was expecting, I was very happy to collect my pay and come back to the house and leave the rest of the rent money, finally I am paid up for March, on the table.

I am working tomorrow, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, dog sitting Thursday-Sunday.

I could possibly make the majority of my rent for April in one week.

If I work Tuesday too, I think it could happen.

Big deep breath.

My body does not really care for the idea, but my pocket-book does.

The family is staying in a really nice apartment, all the way up the hill and over behind Sacre Couer.  It is a hike and a half.  I will be getting a good work out this next week.  Between hauling up and over the hill and traversing numerous Metro lines, I will also be doing lots of walking out in the country side.

This is all good.

It is also good to get my mind of the what happens next thing in my life.

I really have no ideas.

My best idea right now is so silly I don’t even know that I can write it down yet.

I’ll just let it percolate on the back stove.

If you have any suggestions, be sure to pass them a long, ok, I am really fresh the fuck out of ideas.

I have crawled into my Hello Kitty pjs, I have a hot cup of tea, and the blog is just about done.  I posted photographs up as well, queried an agent to represent my memoir, and washed the dinner dishes.

Not a bad day, here in Paris.

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