Paris Blogging

Juillet is Full of Glee

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Paris Plages, La Villette (19th arr.) – July 24, 2010

Summertime.

It’s still here in Paris, but in weird ways. Today (it was Tuesday when I started this…), for example, is cloudy with a high of  21°C/70°F. Not really summer-like temps and atmosphere. I’d love to feel a sunshiny 28°C/82°F with humidity below 70%. Maybe a slight breeze. Warm enough to wear a sleeveless top, but pleasant enough that going outside does not feel like going into a sauna and/or steam bath.

Yeah — for those kinds of summertime conditions, Europe is not a good place, I guess, unless it is maybe on Corsica or the Côte d’Azur. Maybe I need to think about moving to somewhere more equatorial someday.

Still, there is a lot of fun going on now that the kiddies have been out of school for a couple of weeks and people are in chillaxin’ vacances mode.

Paris Plages is one of those Paris events that is a sure sign summer is here.

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Categories: Blog Friends, Cross-Cultural Living, Life in Paris, Paris Adventures, Paris Blogging, Things to Do in Paris | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The End of May, Part Two


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The Tour Eiffel – June 7, 2010

With the best of intentions, I hoped to post this at the beginning of last week, but it turns out that it is happening now, just as we are about a week and a half from the end of  June. On the good side of that, I have been busy this past week, and have even more about which to write, and that means this blog is working to the ends for which I started it: to find a deeper, broader life for myself here in Paris. What it also means is that I have less and less time to write and post. Thus is the never-ending blogger’s dilemma: when you have time to write, there is not much to write about, but when you have a lot about which to write, there is less time to do so. It’s a pickle, ain’t it. :)

At any rate, without further ado, here is Part Two of The End of May.

I realized, of course, as I was writing this post that it should really be called The Beginning of June (and is now, with situational irony, being posted at the end of June). Ah well, May ended on a Monday and then the rest of the week was June. It all blends and blurs, doesn’t it. To catch you up, if you don’t have time to read the previous post, I wrote about the various adventures I’d had with some of my friends here in Paris. I wrote about my friends with much gratitude. I am sincerely grateful for the friends I have made here so far. I realized as I was writing about the things I had done in those final days of May (and the beginning of June, too) that friendship has really been the best thing about living in a city like Paris. I realize this is pretty much true of all cities and places where we live and breathe and have our being. It is often (and so it should be) the people who are with us and share our lives that have more meaning than any famous museum, pastry, or monument.

Did any of you ever see the movie or read the book Into the Wild? I saw and loved the movie. I remember the ending of the film, for which I will just give the barest details here in case you have not seen it and don’t want the ending spoiled. The protagonist, “Alexander Supertramp” aka Christopher McCandless, writes in a journal of sorts (in the margins of Dr. Zhivago, a little research turns out), “Happiness only real when shared.”

Photo found at mykdh’s tmblr page: Things I Love – January 15, 2010

It is the grand lesson he learns in the story — the moral, if you will.  I find that in my life this is absolutely true. I think one of the reasons I had so much trouble the first year I lived here in Paris was that I really did not have many people with whom I could experience Paris. It’s really not as much fun for me to visit museums and cafés and monuments by myself. It’s just a lot more fun when you have someone to hold your hand, really or metaphorically, while you see and do things. Sure, I have had to “man up” and find my own Paris cojones and get out there to see and do things on my own. I just like it a lot better when there is someone else to do things with.

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Categories: Blog Friends, Ghetto Paris Living, Museums in Paris, Paris Adventures, Paris Beauty, Paris Blogging, Paris Dining Gluten-Free, Paris Friends, Personal Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Something To Me

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The view of the leaves outside of our window – May 5, 2010

Greetings, dear readers of An Alien Parisienne! Sorry it has been a couple of weeks. The good news is I have been out, living life, and as you know my motto is, “Life first, blog later.” I’ve stolen that motto from a long time online friend, Bonii Jo, to give credit where it is due. It’s true, though, that if I am not writing here, it is often because I am “out there,” doing things.

Or, perhaps more truthfully, I am on the internet superhighway reading as if I am in a 1994 Dauer 962 LeMans (allegedly the fastest car in the world).  The sheer number of open tabs on Google Chrome turns into a solid bar of color where I cannot even see the icons of what is on each tab anymore. Hunting down a web page becomes a game of guess and click, or maybe hit and run, to keep with my superhighway metaphor. I try to use things like Read It Later to little avail. I like to read anything and everything I can get my eager little fingers and eyes on, and inevitably my brain gets clogged up with all of the mental commentary about said readings and all they inspire, and before you know it, I am blogging here. It’s like a brain detritus bomb most times. A blowout on that superhighway when I actually stop to contemplate in writing what I have in mind.

I was the kid who always had something to read in front of her. I read the cereal boxes at breakfast. I read the billboards on the way to school on the schoolbus. I read everything set before me — I even passed that stupid little “pop quiz” that teachers used to give where it says at the top of the test in the instructions, “Before you do anything on this quiz, read ALL of the questions FIRST, then begin to work.” Then the last question says something like, “Only perform the task in item number one, and ignore the rest of the questions and/or tasks on this quiz.” The task in number one is to write your first and last name at the top of the paper, and that’s it: end of quiz. It was the kind of quiz designed to make most kids feel like idiots, laboring over the questions they didn’t even have to do, if they had read the directions. But of course a good percentage had not followed the directions (kind of the whole point of the quiz — to hit kids over the head with the idea that it is always good to read the directions first) and it quickly became obvious who had and who had not done what they were supposed to. I remember teachers sitting, smugly, at their desks, chuckling silently to themselves over the fact that they duped kids into needless work.  I remember the audible groans from the children who realized the error of their ways in not taking care to read the directions first. The whole thing boiled down to rewarding readers and rule-followers such as myself, and shaming the ones who were more renegade in their approach. Still, I am the one who can actually set the timer on the DVD (used to be “the VCR” and I almost typed that — god I am getting old. More on that in a mo’) because I READ THE FREAKIN’ INSTRUCTIONS and therefore know what to do and how to do it.

What I am getting at is that I love to READ and with the interwebz at my disposal, it is like quick and easy crack almost all day long at the crack whore house of endless crack. Until the man of the house gets home and wants his due time on the ‘net, too. He is more of the writer, though. And the organizer of media for his writing. I, on the other hand, cannot seem to stop reading long enough to write, and then when I do: KABOOM.

Here we are for another explosive installment of the life and times of Paris Karin, the Alien Parisienne.

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Categories: Karin Brain Miscellany, Life in Paris, Paris Adventures, Paris Blogging, Paris Friends, Paris Museums, Personal Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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