Posts Tagged ‘Sacre Couer’

Sunshine & Rain

May 17, 2017

I got both today.

Loads of sun this morning and early afternoon.

Perfect for sitting on the deck of the houseboat and writing and drinking cafe au lait, watching the boats go by, flirting with the boat cats–there are three brown tabbies that nestle on the houseboat that is docked next to this one, soaking up the sun.

The rain was forecasted for tonight and the rain will last, according to the weather, but I am hoping there will be small reprieves when the sun comes out again, until I leave on Sunday morning.  There is a chance for sun again on Saturday and I do hope that happens as a friend and I are going to go hit the Clingancourt brocante and vintage market.

I expect that the rain will push me into the Louvre tomorrow to see the Vermeer show and drift about.

I don’t ever have a plan when I go to the Louvre, go in, get out, drop some postcards at La Bureau de Posts–nothing quite like getting the Louvre postal stamp on your postcard.

Slight aside.

I got an amazing congratulations baby card today in my travels about, one that says congrats on twins in French!  Super happy I found it, I will be dropping that off for sure from the Louvre.

Today I did the Pompidou as my museum.

And there was no need to do another.

It filled me up with art.

I saw a Vassily Kandinsky I had never seen before that I quite liked, I love his early works quite a bit, and this fell into that category.

I also saw some beautiful photographs and I took loads of photographs from the top deck of the Pompidou.

I got some great shots of Sacre Couer and also of the Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower ones I am quite enamored with as the storm clouds were coming in dark and fierce.

The down pour that followed was insane.

I had met a friend at the museum and we ran through the streets, well, ok, I didn’t run, not so much, the ankle is getting better, but it is not racing through the wet streets of Paris better, between awnings and eventually we ducked into a Japanese restaurant.

Some hot tea and a little sushi later, semi-dry, and walking back to the houseboat on the Seine in the rain.

Sometimes when it rains in Paris it is fucking desperate and awful.

I remember when I moved to Paris in the winter of 2012 how bad it was, so cold, so dreary, but tonight it was neither, after the deluge, the rains were misty and softer and the streets got that glow from slick water on pavement and the streetlights, green, gold, crimson reflected on the pavement.

So gorgeous.

I got back wet and I had to take a lot of pains to get on the house boat without breaking my ankle, but I did, and I’m dry now and all sorted out.

I took some time to go through my photographs and post those up to my social media and I also took the things I bought today out of their packaging so that I would have more room to smash them all in my carry on.

I am about shopped out.

I spent just about all the money on shopping that I have earmarked for myself.

Um.

Because.

Heh.

I finally let myself buy some French lingerie.

I had to.

I have always wanted to and so.

Well.

I did.

I got two of the prettiest bra and panty sets ever and a body suit.

I couldn’t help myself.

It was trop cher, ma cherie, but I had it in my budget and so I let myself do it.

It felt pretty glorious and truth be told it was really letting myself have a treat.

A treat that I continued to let myself have by also getting a few more Claire Fontaine notebooks and some makeup from Sephora.

Yes.

There is Sephora in San Francisco, but I wanted to buy some here, I try to get a thing or two from the Paris Sephora since it was in Paris in 2002 that I first discovered the makeup store.

I bought a lipstick and some Urban Decay eye shadows.

Sure.

I paid a few Euro more than what I might have at home, but every time I use it, I will think of Paris and that is well worth the cost.

And.

Yes.

I got my tattoo!

C’est très superb!

I got the French word for non-conformist on my left forearm.

“Anticonformiste.”

In script.

It is super pretty and fits well with my other tattoos.

I had fun talking to the artist, Manish, who is visiting from Nepal.

I also got to have some cute conversations with a few gentlemen who walked into the store to get tattoos, one older man who was quite excited by my dragons and then proceeded to show me the one on his arm, beautiful work, and we chit chatted in French about tattoos for a while and where I got mine and how much fun they are.

All the fun stuff.

I have had such a lovely time.

And I still have a few days left for some more.

The rain speaks to me of sleeping in and a slow serene day at the Louvre tomorrow.

A demain, mes amies.

Et.

A bientot!

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Museums A GoGo

May 16, 2017

Today I hit the Jeu de Paume and the Musee D’Orsay.

I am not museum’ed out.

Yet.

But I will be pacing myself.

The crowds were pretty thick at the Musee D’Orsay, and thank God for the Paris Museum Pass, so nice to just pop to the front of the line and not have to be herded through the main gate.

They had a beautiful exhibition with “Etoiles” as the thematic, “stars” lots of Van Gough, Monet, even Georgia O’Keefe, there were artists I had never seen and pieces that resonated so deeply with me, my breath caught in my throat and tears welled in my eyes.

Or every hair stood on end.

One of the Van Gough’s so blew me away, deep and visceral in my body, I caught my breath.

It was deeply surrounded by viewers and I got as close as I could withstand the crowds and breathed in the beauty of it.

I tried to look for postcards later in the museum shops that were of the same piece and I was disappointed, the flatness of the card did the painting no justice and I could not bring myself to buy one.

I did, however, get my museum shop on.

I do love a good museum shop.

I bought a book for one of my charges and postcards and a cloth sack for myself and a magnet of a Klimt piece that I saw in the Etoile ensemble that did translate from the painting to the magnet.

I took lots of photographs and I stopped and sat and periodically rested.

I went all the way to the top of the museum and caught the perspective from the interior, and from the exterior.

I got some pretty pictures.

I am quite happy.

I am a bit of a shutterbug.

I am not sure if I am going to post them up to my other blog or not, I’m thinking, as I continue further with my schooling and career goals that I do have to change-up some things with my blog.

I still haven’t quite figured it out and while I’m in Paris I’m not going to worry about it.

I really just want to enjoy my leisure time here, I am slowed down quite a bit, even with my ankle feeling better.

Tomorrow I will return to the Marais, I have a tattoo appointment at 3:30 p.m. and I will hit the Pompidou either before or after the tattoo.

I also may pop around the shops and do a little more window shopping.

It’s awful fun to do.

I am doing well with my finances and there’s a few things I still haven’t gotten to get, but then again, I have really done so well with what I wanted to get that I am alright if I don’t score a bunch of souvenirs.

I have to be careful, I only have so much room in my luggage.

I bought a poster today that I’m not real sure how the hell I’m going to get back.

But.

I had to get it.

When I was at the Jeu de Paume they were having a sale in the library and one of the prints that was on sale was from the Marilyn Monroe, Phillip Hausmann exhibition that I went to Christmas of 2015.

I had to buy it.

When I had seen the original print it was 25 Euro.

Today it was 2 Euro.

Um.

Yeah.

I’ll risk transporting that.

Especially since the bag that I had gotten with the same image was destroyed soon after I got back from the trip with pink hair dye.

Oops.

I have a magnet of the same image, Monroe barefoot in a black cocktail dress leaping up in front of a cerulean blue backdrop.

Her face and the bare feet really got me.

The blue background is brilliantly done as well too, it highlights the blonde blond of her hair and the cream of her skin and the bare feet, something so tender and vulnerable and real.

I love the photograph.

I’ll see if I can scare up a cardboard poster shipping container.

I’m sure I can pick one up at the post office.

But what with the numerous notebooks, the gifts for the children I work for and the new dress I don’t have much space left for stuff in my carry on.

I put back a Diane Arbus book that I was sorely tempted to get and resolved that I would get something else.

I have always loved getting earrings, so I’ll grab a pair and I do want to get a hat.

Hats from Paris are the bees knees.

Just saying.

I also will be bringing home a tan.

I have been out in the sunshine all day and it was glorious.

A bit hot, but so good.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be 83 degrees, today was the same.

Then rain is forecast for the rest of the time that I am here and the temperature is going to drastically drop.

So.

Tomorrow.

Sundress time.

Lots of pictures while the light is good and a new tattoo, a visit to one of my favorite museums and of course.

Cafe creme.

I mean.

When in Paris.

Do what the Parisians do.

Right?

I Don’t Know

June 9, 2016

And I mean that with every ounce of my being.

I don’t know shit.

But.

I’m showing the fuck up anyway.

Doing the deal.

“What are you going to do?” She asked me two years ago this July, we were just pulling into the Caribou Coffee shack on my way to the airport in Minneapolis.

I had been having a rough couple of months.

I had a severe, like ridiculously severe, in an air cast, out of work, in bed, crying like a baby, unable to do anything for myself, except put on funny stripe socks to bolster my mood, ankle injury and I was heading back to precarious work and the not knowing.

The constant not knowing.

It could have killed me.

Or not.

In the end, it didn’t.

I do remember telling her, my friend who doesn’t have my disease but has some sense of it, she’s a smart cookie, that it ultimately doesn’t matter.

I have a purpose.

I have one primary purpose.

And as long as I take care of that I will be alright.

“I just really want to use heroin,” she wept into the phone.

Well fuck that.

We got together.

We sat over tea.

We did the deal.

We hugged it the fuck out.

And I feel like stellar motel in the sky with lucy and diamonds on the soles of my shoes.

I could dance party until dawn and work a full shift with my boys and be absolutely spot on.

It does not matter what I do.

Well.

Ok.

There are some things I need to do, help others, be a good friend, show up, share my experience, strength, hope, the good stuff, the what works for me stuff.

I don’t advise.

I just give some suggestions and let it go.

Sometimes it is heady and intellectual, but tonight, for me, it was all heart and love, unconditional love for a woman who’s name, ha, I just realized, I don’t know her last name.

If this was a lover.

I might, um, a, be you know.

I tiny bit ashamed of myself for not having his last name on the tip of my tongue.

But this?

Fuck no.

It’s not important.

What is important is that I made myself available and I mainly just listened.

I’m not a doctor.

I’m not a therapist.

Yet.

But.

I have a special set of skills and with those and some experiences to share, some working knowledge of a basic text, I have a purpose.

I have a point.

I was just reflecting on this as I was looking over air fare to Wisconsin for July 4th weekend.

Yeah.

I know.

Am I fucking nuts?

The Midwest in July.

Do I want to die?

The mosquitos will be big as rescue helicopters.

The humidity will make my curly hair a wild mess.

I will get some stares.

I have a few tattoos.

And though they are more prolific in the Midwest than they used to be, I guess folks be watching LA Ink or something, there are still few women who have neck tattoos or chest tattoos or partial sleeves, let alone all three.

Plus.

Heh.

My hair will be pink.

Which.

Whatever.

The last time I was there it was half purple and blue.

I got a few looks.

I got proselytized to as well outside of the ice cream store in downtown scenic Hudson on the river.

Nothing like a young girl, a teenager, somewhere between sixteen and eighteen I would guess, talking to me about God.

Oh doll.

I know God.

And I know God well.

Do I understand God?

Fuck no.

Does God understand me?

Yup.

Do I need to know what God is or does or how God works or doesn’t work?

Nope.

I just have this deep, unshakeable belief in this entity that absolutely and completely loves the fuck out of me.

Who also has a wicked sense of humor.

And.

Never, ever, ever.

Ever, ever?

Never.

Has failed to take care of me.

Ever.

I don’t always get what I want.

But I have never not gotten what I needed.

And so often.

All the time really.

I am surprised, blown away, beleaguered by the love I am given.

All I have to do is turn and shine that love on someone else.

And I am taken care of.

Taken care of in the best sense of the world.

Sometimes I imagine, my small, petty, limited mind.

That my God is a gigantic sunken living room with white fur carpet everywhere.

Hella plush.

Big old pillows everywhere.

Warm soft fuzzy

There is a fire pit.

There are big, huge, gigantic floor to ceiling windows with let in oodles of warm gold light.

I am held in this luxurious love.

Sometimes God is a memory.

A sense of flying.

A swimming through the aqua blues and greens of the pool at the high school in DeForest, swimming laps back and forth in the last lane, the one by the windows, when on a quiet Sunday the pool was empty, the parking lot empty, and no one in the pool be me swimming in and out of patches of aquamarine love.

Held.

Perfect.

Serene.

A float.

Sometimes it is the emotional, melodic beat of drums.

The pounding in my heart that echoes a song.

A rhythm.

My body moves without thought and dance.

Dance is God.

Music is God.

Love is God.

All of it.

I am all of it.

Subsumed.

Taken.

Ravished.

Overtaken.

God is art.

God is standing love struck like a bulldozed girl on Valentines day who finally gets the red carnations call over the loud speakers in school from the principal’s office, come get your flowers at lunch break, to find out that it was her secret crush who had a secret crush on her too, in front of Kandinsky’s “Accent en Rose” at the Pompidou when I moved to Paris in my 40th year of life.

Cold.

Wet.

Miserable with the rain and the getting lost and the hungry but not sure for what.

The aching legs from walking lost in the Marais, the wet socks, the squish, so un melodious, of my Converse as I stepped onto the escalator up to the fifth floor.

Sacre Couer in the distance.

The towers of Notre Dame.

Montparnasse.

The sky mottled with grey, purpled, black, silver lined rain clouds, the bent heads scurrying through the courtyard underneath the flimsy arms of tourist stall umbrellas.

Wondering down the hall.

Wonder (ing) in wander.

Wander (ing) in wonder.

Awed and overcome.

Constricted with the pleasure of art unfolding around me.

Then I turn and see the Kandinsky and I am rose flushed.

Flashed out in love.

High on art.

Stranded in the wilderness of my romantic heart.

Bereft and beguiled.

Beatitudes battering my breath.

Caught.

There.

High in my throat.

Tears welling up and sweltering onto my fevered face.

God.

Is in the details.

In the ellipses between the frames.

In the pause before the eruption of fireworks after the rocket has launched into the sky.

God is.

Or God.

Is not.

What is your choice to be?

I already made mine.

Love.

Always there.

Always holding me.

Always this.

Always this.

Always this.

Love.

My love.

Just.

Love.

 

God Damn

November 12, 2015

You are sexy.

Thanks.

I needed to hear that.

And now it is time to listen to some French music.

Frenchies are sexy.

I like being sexy.

I remember when I was in a little bistro up in Potrero Hill, I think it might have been Chez Papa, but I am not 100% sure and I had just had my hair done, colored so that it was as close to my natural color as possible.

No more hot pink.

No purples or magentas.

No blues.

Just a rich, lustrous, dark brown.

And it was blown out.

I remember having the hamburger with an egg on it and Gruyère cheese.

To die for.

No bun, thank you.

Just a little green salad.

And after my friends and I were paying the check and leaving out the front door, saying good night to the owner, he waved, got up and came to see us out.

I let my friends go ahead of me and as I was walking out.

The owner leaned in, just a tiny bit into my personal space, but not too much into my space, just enough to know it was deliberate.

“Bye bye, sexy,” he said with a smile, his heavy Paris accent a lyrical whisper in my ear, and opened the door for me.

“Oh!” My friend said and giggled, “I heard that!  Do you want to go back and get his number, he’s single.”

I laughed, “um, DIane, the reason I was at the salon today was to get my hair ready for Paris, since I’m leaving in four days, probably no the best time to set up a date with a guy, but I think the hair is a hands down success.”

Heh.

It was a sexy hair do.

And I am feeling sexy tonight.

Just.

Well.

Because.

Suffice to say I know I am, but sometimes when someone you like says it to you, it makes all the difference.

Especially after a full day of being a nanny, running around, doing errands, going to the market, stripping beds and doing laundry, cleaning up little boy messes, filling the dog bowl with water, putting away groceries, wiping little runny noses and re-filling milk cups.

Of course.

There are moments too.

Oh, when the littlest guy, says, “pick me! pick me!”

He means, “pick me up.”

And I do.

And we dance around the kitchen and he throws back his head and smiles like a Cheshire cat and we sway to the music and I feel so much love and his little stuffed kitten is squashed between his arms and I have the best job in the world.

“Don’t tell anyone,” I told him as I snuggled him on my lap, “you’re my favorite three-year old in the world.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too,” he whispered, then said, “STAR WARS, Carmen, STAR WARS.”

So I put on the John Williams score and he does this crazy little interpretive dance and just melts my heart.

“He’s going to be a lady-killer,” a friend of mine said when I showed the video I took of him dancing.

It was just something else.

My job.

It is a good one.

I am grateful to have it.

Grateful to have not been priced out of the city and able to afford my rent.

Grateful for everything.

Hearing about a friend who is out there and can’t make it back really brought it home to me today and I was tender about it.

I remember the last time I saw him.

I have a picture of him, sitting in the sun on my back porch in the little tiny in-law I lived in on 23rd and Folsom Street.

He was all smiles and handsome and lit up by the sun.

We’d gone on a date or two, but never had anything come of it.

Just that we were friends.

And yes, there was some attraction there, but hey I was going to be traveling, leaving on a jet plane, jumping out of the country, getting the heck out of Dodge, and I was telling him about my decision to get up and go.

He reminded me of the time we had spent together with other friends, almost two years!  Doing the Artist Way, all the adventures we had, the group waxing and waning, but he, and five or six of the others of us, met weekly on Wednesdays for an hour, then we would all go up the hill and hang out in a church basement and drink crappy coffee and hang out after and fellowship some more.

We were tight.

We all were tight together and it was every day it seemed that I called one of those friends or saw them around the Mission.

Until I didn’t.

Until time passed.

And people change.

And not always for the better.

Sometimes for the worse.

I remember my friend leaning over and saying, “and I’ll bet you’re going to do it, too, you always do, you do what you say you are going to do, look at that first time you went to Paris, you just up and went and look at how many people you inspired in that group, you inspired me.”

“You’re going to love it, and you’ll be ok, you know you will,” he ended, leaned back, rocked back in the chair, the high Juniper trees of the next door neighbor waving behind him, “send postcards.”

I did send a lot of postcards.

I send them to lots of friends.

But.

I am not certain I sent him one.

He asked after me though, today, sent a hello out into the Universe via a mutual friend, and my heart broke reading the message and seeing how hard a time he was having of it.

Sexy is sad too.

Sexy is of the world.

I have experienced love and loss and sorrow and pain.

And that is what makes the living, the life I lead, the love I give so much more valuable.

it is tempered by that pain and explodes with sexiness.

“What’s up sexy?”

My friend said to me tonight as I sat down on a wobbly folding chair next to him in a dimly lit room.

We hugged.

“Nice hair cut!” I said and ruffled his hair.

“My girlfriend did it on the front step of my house with a set of fabric shears,” he replied, turning his head and giving me profile.

“That is hella hot,” I said.

“I know,” he said and we laughed.

Life.

A simple.

Full.

Graced life.

Sweet and round.

Limned in music.

Bursting with light from a glowing globe lantern.

The soft plink of piano keys.

The mystery of being on the top of the steps in the Montmartre.

Not knowing where I was going, just walking down those cold steps.

The stars so low in the velvet sky.

The air so cold.

It would snow the next day.

The silence of the city a soothing balm on my soul.

My little morose soul as it wandered the streets around Sacre Coeur.

Allowing one more experience to be impressed upon my soul.

The drift of wind, the muffler pulled tighter around my face.

A tear slipped down my face.

Then I thought.

There is no one else in the world at this time in this place.

Not another soul on this cold mid-week late evening stroll in the heart of Paris.

I am special.

And.

Just a little sexy.

Although I did not realize it at the time.

I am reminded of it now and I look forward to only growing.

Sexier.

With time.

My life.

It just gets bigger and grander.

The best.

Truly.

Is still to come.

And.Snow on Sacre Couer

That.

Is.

Sexy.

Steps of Sacre Couer

Stair way in the Montmartre

I’ll Buy The Ticket

November 3, 2015

If you find us a place to stay.

Oh my fucking God.

I am now on a mission people.

I was chatting with a friend tonight who has not really been to Paris, except to fly through Charles De Gaulle on his way home to San Francisco, who has some vacation time he has to use before the end of the year.

Paris came up.

We looked at tickets.

I talked his ear off.

Art, art, art.

Museum, museum, museum.

I showed him photos of my bicycle in Paris, cafes I used to hang out at, places I walked around, the Rodin museum, the Louvre, the Palais de Tokyo, Musee D’Orsay.

Oh.

My.

God.

SERIOUSLY?

Seriously.

I could be leaving for Paris two days after my birthday and be there the week of Christmas.

My heart just is leaping about my chest.

The Eiffel Tower at night with glitter lights splashed all over it.

Sitting in Odette and Aime over a cafe creme.

Going to the market at Square D’Anvers.

Apples.

Rabbit sausages in a paper packet from the rotisserie.

The ferris wheel in Place de la Concorde.

The one I never got around to riding on, although I so wanted to on my 40th birthday, but I was taken out to a birthday dinner in the Belleville and wasn’t able to make it to the ferris wheel.

I would go this time.

Oh.

Walking through the Tuilleries at dusk.

Going to see old friends at the American Church and crossing over Point d’Alma to the American Cathedral and heading up Rue George V.

Sacre Couer, midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

The singing in Latin.

I would go to my favorite book store in the 20th, Le Merle Moqueur and buy a book or two and also lots of postcards and then promenade through Pere LaChaise cemetery.

I have posted on Facebook, texted a friend, and e-mailed another already before starting this post.

My friend was dead serious.

I find us a place to stay and he’ll buy the tickets.

Holy moly man.

Fuck.

I’m putting out the feelers.

Just to walk around again.

And play tour guide, since I know the city and my friend doesn’t.

It would be fun.

Also, since I was there last I was broke.

So broke and hungry and trying so, so, so hard to make it work and well, everyone here knows the story, it didn’t work, but damn I tried.

I’m grateful it didn’t work.

It wasn’t supposed to, but I leapt and I moved there and I tried it on for size and found it too tight, too constricting, too much effort to just get by, barely, scantily, scraping by.

“I was going to say it, I’m so glad you brought it up, I think it’s time you went home,” she said to me as we finished doing some reading in the book.

I had tears sliding down my face.

I knew she was right.

It was time to go home.

But.

Oh, the humble pie I had to eat.

When I thought I was going to be there so long.

Forever.

Years at least.

A decade probably.

Nope.

Six months.

But still.

How many people give themselves six months in Paris?

Even poor and scraping and just barely getting by, it was six months of walking the streets of one of the most beautiful cities int the world.

Just saying the museum names makes me giddy with delight and childish greed.

I want to eat it.

Let me lick the Kandinsky Accent En Rose in the Pompidou, let me saunter around the Warhol’s at the Musee Moderne.

Let me go to the Musee Marmottan Monet.

Or just let me walk the bridges.

Pont Neuf.

Pont D’Alma.

Walk over the Trocadero and up the stairs to the Passy Metro station.

Or down towards the Seine and out onto the island with the Statue Of Liberty on it.

The things that I would do that I didn’t do or allow myself to do because I was on such a tight budget.

The opera house.

I never did see the Chagall’s there.

Or the new LVMH Gehry museum.

Or eat oysters on the half shell at a cafe.

I could handle that on Christmas eve.

I would go to Cafe Rouge again in the Marais.

I would go to the little shop I found on a twisty, turning, winding bit of road and buy a hat from the millinery shop in the Marais, I believe it might have been on Rue de Victoire, and I felt like I fell down a little rabbit hole of hats and ostrich feathers and fedoras, felts and velvets, and ribbons, and I just touched with such reverence and looking with my eyes and heart.

I swoon thinking about it.

All the sweet treasured spots I have in my heart for the city.

The churches.

The smell of incense and the warmth.

I could always get warm in a church after much walking with cold toes through the streets.

I would go to Place Vosges and sit at the Victor Hugo cafe.

I would have many cafe cremes.

Many, many, many.

I would buy posters and postcards from the book stalls along the Seine.

I would walk through the Garden du Luxembourg at dusk just to hear the gendarmes walking through with their whistles clearing the park.

I would buy some the de Mariage Freres.

Tea.

That is.

I would eat some cheese.

Hello.

And tartar.

Oh.

I would have some tartar thank you very much.

Put it in my mouth.

Sushi face, try steak tartar face.

It’s fun just to sit here and think about the silliness I would get myself up to and sharing it with a friend who’s never been, tres cool.

Oh the delirious thoughts in my head.

The lights at night.

The Christmas lights too.

So beautiful, very different from the United States, but still so pretty.

It would be cold.

But I know what that’s like and I also know to dress warmer then I did when I was living there.

Mwahahahaha.

I just got pinged.

Message from a friend in Paris with a studio near the Eiffel Tower.

She’s looking for a rental, but I bet a good price could happen.

I don’t know that it’s a fit.

But, it’s a start.

And worth investigating.

The hunt is on.

And hey.

If you know of anyone who’s looking to do a San Francisco swap, my friend has a great big gorgeous room in an awesome house out by Ocean Beach, he’s open to a swap.

Hell.

If I could swap my place too I would, but my housemate isn’t into it.

Anyway.

Paris?

Christmas?

What do you say Universe?

I’ve been a really good girl this year.

Pretty, pretty please.

With the Eiffel Tower on top.

What? Aren’t I done yet?

March 3, 2013

Fuck.

I am tired.

My arms are tired.

My neck is tired.

My back is sore.

There.

Done with the gripping.  I really am ok, but I am sore.  I walked a lot today.

A lot.

I walked hours and hours.

I did it slowly though and I took loads of photographs.

I would post some here, but I am too tired to think about doing that again.  If you would like to see some of the photographs I took today please click here for my photo blog and get yourself a gander.

I have already done two blogs tonight, which is why I was none too keen to get in here and write another.  However, that is what I do.

I write.

Motherfuckers.

I write.

I remind myself this as I see myself on the dole when I get a few Euro from a friend or my room-mate takes me out to lunch.

That was a nice steak.

Yes it was.

I had a bavette cut, which is a skirt steak, in French, or that language otherwise known as tasty.

Hey, I am in Paris, I am going to eat the steak frites or the steak tartar when I get treated out.  I will also have some of that there cheese, you say it’s Roquefort?  Gimme.

I made up for lunch by having oatmeal for dinner.

That sounds bad, like poverty.

It was actually quite enjoyable, I use a trick I saw my friend Beth do once on her Twitter/Instagram feed, I made savory oatmeal.  I cook up a cup of oatmeal with some sweet corn, garlic, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of parsley, top with butter and chopped pan roasted chicken breast.

Accompanied with a little salad tossed with virgin olive oil and apple cider vinaigrette and you have yourself a nice tidy meal.

I needed the fuel.

Did I say I walked a little bit today?

From the 7th to the 18th and then down to the 9th.

I probably clocked in over six miles by foot, plus a fair bit of riding the Metro rails.

I went from the 9th to the 7th, which unless you live in Paris or know your way about, is not as close as it sounds.  The trip door to door is about thirty minutes.  After some fellowship in the 7th I walked with my room-mate and a friend from San Francisco (they are just falling out of the wood work, who’s coming next?) down the open air market under the Metro Line 6.

We walked up to the Seine, crossed over the Passy bridge, climbed up and over the Metro stairs, headed over to the Trocadero, wandered through some park, saw the Eiffel Tower from a new perspective, then walked toward the Arc de Triomphe.

We stopped for lunch at a cafe on Rue Kebler.

Cafe Copernic.

The boys digested their food and I thought where next?

They were ready for naps and I was ready for free day at the museums.

I had a friend call me from the line at the Orangerie.  I was tempted to hie down toward her, but I really did not feel like being in the thick of the throngs.

Throngs there would be.

The sun finally came out today.

When I walked outside today and looked up, I gasped.

Blue sky!

“Oh thank you God,” I said out loud.

I just could not have a bad day when the sun was out the way it was out today.

I debated, knowing what I had known since yesterday, I was going to the Dali museum in the Montmartre.

I departed my friends and walked to the Metro on the Champs-Eylsees.

It was mobbed with people and I knew immediately that I had made the correct choice, at least for my temperament.  I don’t mind tourists, I really don’t, I still like to act like one myself.

Aside, my friend from San Francisco told me how he and other friend of ours had walked into a grocery store in the city and walked around asking each other if they had any Grey Poupon.  I just about peed my pants laughing.

I mustered through the crowds of people and got onto the Metro.

I hopped off at Metro stop Anver and walked toward Sacre Couer.

And yes, it was mobbed too.

Nice day and all.

I skirted around the heaviest of the crowds and went off the beaten path a little.

I did not completely avoid the tourists, but I did manage to go where the crowds were a little thinner and I was not so pressed to wait when I wanted to take a photograph.

I got lost looking for the Dali museum, overshot by a few streets and went to the Musee de Montmartre.  However, they were having a special exhibit and it was not free.

No thanks.

I wanted free.

Ha.

I did not get free.

Indeed.

I ended up paying 11 Euro to get into the Dali museum.

I waffled.

Then I felt the stack of coins my friend had pressed into my hand last night before taking my leave.  “I am not going to play the money exchange game,” he said, “I don’t have the time, take this.”

I had it.

I had also been given 50 Euro from another friend the day before and instead of letting myself do anything with it, I had handed it directly over to my room-mate for rent.

I fingered the pile of coins.

There was 11 Euro here.

I could see down into the gallery, the lights were shining and the art was calling.

And there was no crowds.

There was no line.

There was no one but me.

I nodded to the woman and pulled out 50 centime pieces and 1 Euro pieces and clicked and clacked through the coins until I had piled up a little stack of gold and silver.

I got my ticket and I descended into the surreal.

Oh Dali.

There is nothing quite like seeing the real thing.

Especially when I recalled the poster I had on my wall in the living room of a second story walk up in Madison on the East side.  I had two Dali posters for years that I had picked out with my then boyfriend.  To stand before the original piece, to have the experience of standing before the original over fifteen years later, in Paris, by myself with the light falling on the painting, is an experience I will not soon forget.

I spent a good bit of time slowly walking around the museum.  It was small and bereft of people.  I watched a Dali movie of a Don Quixote type tilting at the Moulin Rouge windmills in a trompe l’oeil cathedral space tucked into the corner.  I went to exit, found the bathrooms, used them, then turned back around and went down for another spin through.

I had paid 11 Euro after all, I was going to get my fill.

And I did.

I made a faith-based decision to let myself be gifted an experience.

When I left the museum it was sunset and I was at the pinnacle of the Montmartre, minutes from walking out to the cobblestone streets winding around Sacre Couer.  I went into a park and looked out over the city smothered in sunset and breathed in deeply.

I am here, in Paris.

I walked down the stairs, winding down the hill toward the 9th, toward Rue Bellefond.

I came home.

Down loaded the photographs and got onto the second part of my “work day”.

Editing the photographs I had taken.

Posting to my photography blog.

Putting up photographs on Instagram.

Tweet that shit.

Post to Facecrack.

Make dinner.

Pause for tea.

Then I went back into the blog that I had written for my friend about turning 40.  I spent time editing and rewriting it and after about an hour of that I had a nice 1300 word piece to send off to her.

I’ll post a link to the blog when it goes live.

I was tempted to just post it here as my daily blog post, but I knew that was cheating.

So, I sent out a query for agency for my memoir, girded my loins and hopped back into this forum to write this blog.

Not bad for a Sunday in Paris.

The Surrealistic Eye

The Surrealistic Eye

Tour Guide

March 1, 2013

I got to take some folks out and about today.

We went to the Eiffel Tower and walked over to the Passy Metro stop, went to Montmartre, walked up to Sacre Couer and ended with dinner in my neighborhood at Odette & Aime.

Sacre Couer

Sacre Couer

It is fun to have folks in town and be of service.

Plus, I got fed like no bodies business.

I was loved.

I am really in a place of gratitude right now.

Full and replete.

I read some more of the King memoir, although I did not do nearly any writing today.

I am doing my best to rectify that tonight.

I do not believe I will write much past my blog tonight, however.

I did send out another query, just a few more and I will hit my goal of 40, then the follow-up e-mails will begin.  Since I have a full week without any gigs lined up I am going to see how much work I can get in on the writing, see if I can really set up a nice schedule for myself.

I realized one thing today, which when I look back at it, I see it again and again, but I don’t always remember until it is too late; sleeping in is not much fun.

Oh, I think it’s going to be great, but then my whole day is thrown and I get off track and I don’t get in the things that really settle me in my day.  I am still new to this town, although tomorrow marks four months, four!  Having a schedule, even without a “job” in the typical sense of the word, is a vital thing for me.

I slept until noon this “morning”.

Two hours plus past my normal get up time.

It just throws me.

I think that I am giving myself some sort of extra pleasure, but in the end it is never worth it, as I look at the day and go, what did I do?  What did I accomplish.

Now, granted, I had a lovely day with my friends.

Cold.

But lovely.

So, I have not a one excuse to complain.

No one is allowed to complain when they have been fed steak tartare.

Least of all me.

Had I gotten up at my regular time, however, I would have gotten in a lot more writing.  That is what I missed today.  Ironically after just reading the part of the memoir that King writes about needing to devote 4-6 hours a day to reading and writing.

I do actually hit damn close to that when I look over my habits and writing patterns.

I write a half hour every morning, the blog typically takes another hour, and I read for at least an hour everyday.  That puts me at two and a half hours with just my typical output.

I need to up that a little.

Which is why I want to be writing more in the afternoon, finding a way to schedule that, make it a priority.  Having the faith to allow myself the wherewithal to actually sit down and write more.

I have to say it is a little overwhelming.

This non-paying job is starting to really be a full-time job.

I know that I am being paid, but as of yet it is not in money.

I have been getting support though, financially here and there, friends slipping bills into my pocket, which I will be readily handing over to my room-mate as soon as he walks in the door tonight.

Another fifty Euro to rent.

I am still shy the rest of the month, but I have groceries and two and a half weeks paid off.

Taking it day by day.

One minute at a time, sometimes.

I also get overwhelmed with the amount of ideas coming at me.

And how to do the rewrites on the next two books in front of me.

Do I continue to flesh out fresh stories, or do I start in on the manuscripts taking them from first to second drafts?

Can I do a mixture of both?

I have another short story idea pop out at me.

I have the novel to keep writing.

Sigh.

If I just did not have to worry about working or rent right now.

That would be a dream.

I have so much to do.

Damn it.

Whew.

That’s a load of bullshit.  I have to be present, it will all work out.  I have the committee in full force shaking the tambourines and clattering the tin pans in my head.

Quiet down up there.

I got a weird message from my pops last night, on facecrack, and he posted it publicly to the page, I took it down and sent him a private message to not down that again.

Dad’s a drunk.

I’m a drunk.

But dad’s still drinking.

I, on the other hand, am still thinking.

The thinking can get to me bad, like when I am brushing my teeth and the words from my dad’s message keep replaying about the house that may or may not be in the family that he stayed in here in Paris decades ago, you know the two-story with fire places, which is probably, his words, worth 2.5 million right now, look up your aunt so and so and see if….

Sure dad.

How about the pony you promised me too?

Ugh.

My dad’s still alive.

I have not seen him in nine years.  I would love to see him and give him a hug, but I don’t need to be sold a pipe dream.  It is a big enough struggle to just stick to the dream in front of me.  The challenge of allowing myself to write.

So tomorrow, I will play tour guide a teeny bit more and go out with my friends to dinner, and I will then begin the fifth month of my stay here in Paris doing what I came to do.

Write, in Pars.

No matter what that I am not being paid for it yet, I have to put in my time.

It will happen, here, there, or elsewhere.

But it will happen.

Ah, Warm

January 20, 2013

So good, having heat.

Simple things, like heat, electricity, hot tea.

Fuck.

I was not a happy girl last night when I could not figure out how to get the electricity back on.

I was an even unhappier girl when I realized the radiator’s were all electrical.

Fuck me.

I went to bed wearing tights, socks, a turtle neck, a scarf, a fleece blanket, and a top quilt.

Of course around 4 a.m. I was so hot I thought I was going to die, but for a little while there, I was freaked out.  In the dark, literally, figuratively, and alone.

Ha.

Worst nightmare ever.

However, I did not die.

Nope.

I woke up crabby though.

No coffee.

No hot oatmeal.

I got dressed, I made my bed, I lit up some candles.  I actually managed a little makeup.

Then I got annoyed.  I went out and I started knocking on doors.  Barnaby had not gotten a response back from the land lord and I was over it.  I found the guardian for the apartment and he came in and flipped a bunch of the fuses I had and nothing.

He went back to his apartment and got a flash light.

He found the problem.

He fixed it.

Sort of.

There is one fuse that does not work.  He told me I would discover it whenever I was to turn on the item that was connected to the blown fuse.

I was in a hurry to get out and late for my Sunday morning commitment, so I just fled.

Only to come back later this evening, cold, hungry (I had an apple and a banana for breakfast) and ready to eat some lunch and start my day over.

I filled the kettle and turned on the stove.

NO!

NO!

NO!

Fuck my mother.

It is the stove that blew out.

I burst into tears.  I  just wanted to make a coffee and a fucking pot of oatmeal.  That’s it.

Like that’s all it takes to make this lady happy.

Fortunately, the microwave does work.

I scrambled up a couple of eggs and made my oatmeal in the microwave and blasted a cup of water for tea.

I got happy.

I ate hot food.

It really is the simple things.

Warm bed, roof over the head, electricity, heat, hot food.

Simple, really, really basic.

There is a part of me that does not want to admit this, but really, I do not need a lot more than this.  I need companionship, that I do need, and I can forget that quickly and get isolated, especially in the land of I don’t speak French that fast.

I went out today and hung out at the cafe and had good check ins with folks and also met a new face and reunited with a friend who was away in India over the holidays.  It was good and I am pushing myself to continue to go out and fellowship even when I don’t want to.

It is necessary.

Because I am not alone.

I am not in the dark.

I have candles just in case.

I am being taken care of and I can pause and breathe any time my head says otherwise.

Once I had that hot cup of tea and some eggs and oatmeal I knew it was time to get back out there.  I had not gotten to take any snow pictures that had made me happy.

I took a nice long, cold, walk up around Sacre Couer.

There were quite a few more people out than I thought there would be.  I was not alone in wanting to take photographs of the neighborhood.

Plus, as I heard the peels of laughter drifting down the hill intermingled with six o’clock bell tower striking, I realized that there were children sledding down the hills of Sacre Coeur.

Not one of them was on a sled, mostly plastic bags and sheets of cardboard.

Yet, the unmistakable sound of a child careening down a snow-covered hill blew right over me and through me and suddenly I was in Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was on a sled and it was a moment of pure magic.

Standing in Paris at the foot of Sacre Couer covered in snow listening to children laughing with abandon, sliding down the hill.

Snowy Sacre Couer

Snowy Sacre Couer

“If you feel like you are falling down the hill, then you are in God’s will,” her voice came to me.

That is the kind of attitude I am going to cultivate.

Instead of screaming and shrieking with fear, I can choose to a laugh and squeal with delight as I fall down the hill.  There’s a fence at the bottom, I am not going to fall through the cracks, I am not going to be dropped.

Enjoy the free fall.

Enjoy the wild abandon.

Follow your bliss.

I trampled through the snow and slipped behind the cathedral to the other less travelled side, I took photographs and I smelled the delicious tang of wood smoke lacing the air and got pelted with snow balls as I inadvertently got caught in between a couple of kids tossing snowballs at their father.

Who was probably glad for the respite.

Je m’excuse madame!  Je susi desolee!

No worries kids, I smiled, I breathed in the air, I climbed the stairs and revelled in the beauty of the city sprawled out cold and snow-covered.

I transversed the slippery streets back to 36 Rue Bellefond and happily warmed up inside, a house with electricity and heat and made a cup of tea.

Barnaby offered a dinner at Odette & Aime and I said, “oui!”

Hot bowl of soup.

Simple.

Soup.

So good.

After dinner, back to the flat, still happily electrified, and into the hottest shower.

Ah, warm.

Happy, joyous, free.

Not in the dark at all.


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