Friday, February 29, 2008

John's Visit A Recap

Wow what a crazy crazy week it has been with John in town. I can honestly say that I have never in my life laughed so much and enjoyed myself so much in one week. There were multiple occasions when I was brought to tears from laughing so hard. Unfortunately, we spent so much time partying that we didn't get in a lot of sight seeing and cultural things but I have a feeling John didn't mind.

Let's see if I can sum up the week for you dear readers. There was drinking and dancing on Saturday evening. I refer to this as the warm up. Sunday was essentially a day of rest but I did manage to drag John to the Aligre marché, my favorite Sunday morning activity. Monday was more drinking and dancing in the Marais. John participated in a ad hoc dance off at CUD with a fella named Stevie. It was close throughout but unfortunately, John was served. Tuesday was Ladies Privilege at L'Etoile. Somehow I managed to score my cronies and myself free bottles of champagne. It seemed like a good idea at the time but one of us who remain nameless ended up over served (no dear readers, it wasn't me I'm a complete angel).

On Wednesday afternoon we strolled Père Lachaise and by the end of the afternoon we were completely exhausted. Instead of retiring for a quiet evening we decided to meet John's friend Lamia who was showcasing her line high end women's line Asudari at the Vendôme Luxury Trade Show at the Hôtel Ritz. There was a cocktail reception where we enjoyed complimentary cocktails and were even treated to a Kafkaesque spectacle. On our way out we spotted Milla Jovovich taking a smoke break. The rest of the week included much of the same drinking, dancing, laughing and meeting new people. John had a blast and was extremely sad to leave me this afternoon. He's even flirting with the idea of moving to Paris himself he loved it that much.

As much fun as we had together I'm looking forward to a low key week ahead where I can give my body some much needed rest and recuperation before I begin my final weeks of teaching.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Gays Love Me

It's official, the gays in Paris love me. The not so gays, not so much.
If I were a marketing genius I'd figure out a way to market myself better to my target demographic in this crazy city.

Alas, 4AM, 5AM, and 6AM are not appropriate bedtimes even when one is on vacation. My body is starting to rebel on me and I don't know how much more of this it can take.

One last note, I normally find birds to be pleasant little creatures and I even photographed a couple showering in a puddle in the park the other day. However, the sound of birds chirping loudly as I lay me down to sleep, not so pleasant.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My Friend Miss Vancouver

So I have this friend Amy here in Paris and she has been my partner in crime in many of my Parisian escapades and we've jokingly nicknamed her Miss Vancouver. Initially, she protested against the nickname but now she pretty much embraces it. If you met Amy you would realize how fitting the nickname is on so many levels. For the record, I consider Amy one of my really god friends here in Paris.

Now, with that said, I must put Amy on blast. Several weeks ago when the sales started Amy decided that she wanted to buy a new pair of boots. I agreed to tag along with her as a shopping buddy to offer feedback on any purchase. We travelled to multiple boutiques and large department stores but were unfortunately unable to find the specific style boots that she was looking for. About a week before the sales were to end Amy asked that I accompany her to the mall in the St. Lazare area. I insisted that there was no other mall in the area that we had not already checked out yet she assured me that a mall existed and went on to explain that it was fairly large and that it had 7 floors of stores. Intrigued I agreed to meet up with her. After waiting for Amy to arrive for 15 minutes we walked down Boulevard Haussman to the address that Amy had identified. To make a long story short the "mall" that Amy was referring to was actually les Galeries Lafayette. Folks, les Galeries Lafayette is not a mall rather a large upscale department store.

Fast forward to today. I had recently purchased some books for a language course at Gilbert Jeune. After purchasing the books I decided to change the course I was taking and this in turn required that I had to buy new books. Amy is taking a language course as well but hers is located in the St. Germain area. Since Amy and I were hanging out today I decided to go with her to class and then stop by the bookstore nearest there. I go into the store, asked someone for assistance, picked up my books and went to the register. In French I told the cashier that I wanted to do an exchanged because I had purchased the wrong books. The man looked at me like I was absolutely crazy because I wasn't in Gilbert Jeune, I was in Gilbert Joseph. That's like trying to return a book purchased from Barnes and Noble at Borders. I scraped up any dignity that I had left and walked out of the store all the while cursing Miss Vancouver in my head.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Inside the French Mindset

American Woman: "French men are so skinny."
French Man: "We like to wear slim, form fitting clothes. If we had more muscles our clothes just wouldn't fit right."

LA to Student: "A hotel is a place where..."
Female French Student: "People go to faire amour (make love)."
LA to Student (laughing): "Sometimes."
Female French Student: "Non, souvent (often)."
LA to Student: "Moving right along."

LA to Students: "We're not going to play a game today."
Students: "Aww but you played with the other class."
LA to Students: "I know but I don't want to play the game with this class."
Students: "We're going on strike."
LA to Students: "FINE, we'll play the game."

My First Visitor is Coming

My most wonderful, colorful, fun, famous and long time friend John is coming to visit me in 5 days. I'm one of the people in John's life that keeps him grounded and he's one of the people in my life that let me know when I'm walking the streets looking like a homeless gypsy. So it's a perfectly symbiotic relationship. I'm really looking to his arrival so we can paint the town pink like good old times.

He arrives early Saturday morning at CDG and little does he know that I will not be waking up early to meet him. He's a big boy and is perfectly capable of navigating the metro on his own. I gotta get my beauty rest if we're going to be partying non-stop once he gets here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

On the Road to Recovery

After 3 days of not getting out of bed (except for a quick trip to the pharmacy) I am on the road to recovery no thanks to the crack cocaine that I was sold at the pharmacy on Sunday. Maybe I got a placebo or maybe my specific package was manufactured in some crazy factory in China.

French Pharmaceuticals

Oh and here's the other thing. Being sick in a foreign country sucks because even though France is renowned for its healthcare system if you can barely speak the language it makes it a little difficult to get the care you need. Oh and you never know if the pharmacists is selling you Tylenol or crack cocaine.

Lastly, before I fell ill I purchased some pretty daffodils from a cute florist. I suspect the flowers had more to do with my improved health than all the meds that I have taken.

Please note the lack of a proper vase *hint* *hint*

Monday, February 4, 2008

Musée des Arts et Metíers

Museum Entrance

Last Thursday on my day off I went to the Musée des Arts et Metíers. Now for those of you that don't know, I am a hardcore math, science and technology person so this museum was right up my alley. I might even go as far as to say that it may be one of my favorite museums thus far in Paris (you heard it here first kids). This museum houses a bunch of scientific instruments and inventions such as Foucault's Pendulum. The museum was founded in 1794 and even though it underwent a huge renovation in 1990 the floorboards still squeak like hell.

Huge IBM Computer from the '60s

Hello Space Rover

Invading Someone's Privacy

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Je Suis Malade

Today I'm feeling a little under the weather. I've been fighting a cold for the past few days with homeopathic remedies such as AirBorne and Zicam but with little success. I've had a persistent headache for the past two days that has been completely unresponsive to my good old American pharmaceuticals.

I managed to get dressed in my favorite sweatshirt and dirty jeans and make my way to the local Pharmacy. I had to walk a bit (two blocks instead of one) because the two nearest pharmacies were closed because it is Sunday in Paris. After paying almost 2 euros I walked away with some Claradol with caffeine. Hopefully, it's the French equivalent of Tylenol or something similar and not your garden variety crack cocaine. We shall see!