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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Saturday, April 30, 2005

I Know This Post is Weak, So Your Comments of 'This Post Is Totally Weak' Will Only Be Acknowledged With A Snide Look

The BF and I lose our sweet visas in August, so we're kind of forced to come home...well...the visa thing AND the fact that this city is ridiculously expensive. The BF and I are currently experiencing the what-the-hell-are-we-going-to-do-now/for-the-rest-of-our-lives/
subject-I'm-only-23-and-why-is-it-so-hot-and-awkward-in-here-suddenly thing. Instead of writing that terribly long phrase over and over, I'm just going to say, life over the past few days has been a freakout hellbus. In lieu of a real post (because you people don't want to hear about small people stomping around angrily or hands being thrown up in mellodramatic dismay...as a friend said directly after seeing Hotel Rwanda...you know...the film about THE GENOCIDE OF NEARLY ONE MILLION PEOPLE..."that's a real downer"), please find below an immature photo I took in London and journal/personal letter excerpts from June 3, 2004 - present. Enjoy.

I call this "Humor Circa Grade Six"

"Smacking other people's children should not be looked down upon."

"People in great hats should automatically be upgraded to first class. In case of an unexpected influx of great hats, all wearers get a free shot of tequila."

"Signs of suspicious activity in an airport: leaving a bag unattended while you pace, far, far away.
Proof you're not worthy of suspicion: reaching in said bag to unwrap cookies and letting the crumbs get caught in your beard.
Further proof: Eating said crumbs directly from your beard."

"A man in a Member's Only jacket is getting searched by security right now. You and I both know that if you're sporting a Members Only jacket in 2005, you're clearly not a terrorist. Other things that should prove you're not a terrorist include:
*A snuff box filled with Big League Chew
*Clothing with 'flame designs' on it

"Gideon Yago is a hot man and although I've never seen him from the waist down and he could very well have crab-like robot legs, I would kiss his sweet metal legs with the same amount of tenderness that I would the rest of his body. Don't worry, I would kiss your crab-like robot legs too, you know, if you had them."

I'm just sayin, I can't prove that he doesn't have robot legs. I can only hope.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Weekend Update

Nothing much to report from the weekend other than I ate lots of delicious food. Basically all of today was spent watching top 40 countdowns on MTVE and VH1E courtesy of a friend's heaven-sent cable television. Now, by a show of hands, how many people out there knew that Christina Aguilera is black and didn't tell me? I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS PEOPLE! I mean, I have always known that Christina Aguilera has terrible taste, but I had no idea she was actually of African descent. Not to rip on someone who's richer, better looking, more talented, not to mention significantly taller, than your humble narrator, but I kind of just assumed that her skin color wouldn't change from this to this. Silly me.

In other news, the writers over at VH1 UK clearly have gone insane since ABBA trumped Led Zepplin, Guns N Roses, The Doors, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles on the list of top 40 bands of all time. The Beatles, The Doors, and The Clash never even made it onto the list, but thankfully Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, and Oasis made it. What the hell is wrong with everyone?

Thankfully our friends at the New York Times have kept their sense of humor and published the best headline ever.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Taxi Cab Confessions

I want to like Parisians. In fact, I want to love Parisians and be welcomed into their warm buttery, cream-filled, it's 4AM and the bakeries open in just 2 hours, bossoms...however, given the fact that I've done nothing but, as my southern relatives would say, "chap everyone's ass here," I don't think that's going to happen. Seriously, I can be breathing quietly alone in a corner (which I do often, wearing all black, listening to Pearl Jam and hoping to get my period...wait a second, that was me in 1992, nevermind) and someone undoubtedly will be pissed off about it. I have tried to be culturally sensitive, respectful, polite, and above all, open-minded, but hot pot of coffee, I'm like a rage magnet.

About a month ago, I was just walking down my one-way street, all casual-like. For those of you who have never seen my neighborhood, I've scanned in a map from the Paris Visitor's Bureau:

Click twice if honestly interested.

I swear to you on any holy book you like that I was just walking down the street when a cab backed into me going on the wrong way on my street. Luckily the guy saw me and slammed on the brakes, so he just barely tapped me and I wasn't injured. Being, by nature, a moron, I just kind of stood there looking really freaked out that a taxi had come in contact with my body and could have seriously hurt me. I don't know how it happened, but the driver was so enraged that he actually got out of his cab, pounded his fist on the hood, flicked me off, and yelled at me in French (the only words I could pick up were 'slut' and 'stupid'). I had no clue what to do, so I just started crying like a six year old girl in the middle of the street and, let me tell you, nothing, NOTHING says 'awesomely confident' like a grown woman bawling and mumbling the words "I does not know mys mistake."

But its true, I dids not know mys mistake then and I does not know it now. I've lived abroad before and NEVER have I made so many people, not just angry, but red-faced, vein-bulging infuriated on a weekly/daily/hourly basis. More to come on this topic later. I'm off to drown my misery in an almond croissant (drool).

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I checked the site meter on this bad boy because I look at it obsessive compulsively because I’m an insecure jerk had to...uh...fix it or somethin, and I stumbled upon this which made me blush to no end since I have never known anyone who has responded to any of my open letters. Much love you to guys. Come back soon! Today if you can! I'll even meet you at the airport this time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Yesterday was my grandmother's 85th birthday, which I wouldn't even mention if she wasn't the kind of lady who could get away with signing the phrase "total badass" after her name. My grandmother is hands-down, the greatest storyteller on Earth, mainly because you don't know if the story is going to be absolutely mundane or pure punk rock until the very end. Mama J, as she is known around the family, will spend 40 minutes building up a tale about someone she is convinced you know, only to have it stop without an ending at all or with something shocking like "too bad he later killed his wife with a hammer." (seriously, she once told me a story that started about sewing things for soldiers during WWII and ended with that line.) Blue-balled or dumbfounded, that's just how she leaves you.

Mama J. is a classy mix of southern charm and cold, scathing, Jesus-Christ-on-a-bike-why-did-I-spend-my-weekend-visiting-you honesty. She's not afraid to tell you things like "you used to be attractive" and "it's a good thing you're smart, you'd have a hella time otherwise," in the same breath as she explains what a good person you are deep down...you know, beneath that face of yours that makes amputeed lepers grimace.

The grandmother loves family chats, sweet tea, home cookin, country music, Dairy Queen, Bill O'Reilly, card games, Kahlua, and talkin trash. She'll even tell you when you've gone and stepped in the No Spin Zone, but she's civilized enough not to cut your mic. If you put on a George Jones record, she'll dance with you in her living room for hours or sit with you at the piano picking out tunes from her childhood. These two things are the best memories I have of her and when I think of her small house in rural VA, the soundtrack of Hank Williams and Conway Twitty inevitably come to my ears.

She's old and wrinkled and like everything else, she wears these things with pride and grace. Here's to you Mama J. May we all be so lucky.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

As far as I can see, gay rights is the last major civil rights battle for U.S. citizens our country has left to win. I think that when people of all sexual orientations have equal rights, our country won't be equal, but legally, we will be on a more level field to work out the details in court over the next fifty some odd years.

Moving from a place that still has the occasional Klan rally to the neighborhood next to the gay district of Paris is a cultural leap of elephantine proportion. This morning I was waiting for the metro and I saw two women making out. This wasn't your standard, two-girls-kissing-in-public image, these women were passionate and firey and, if nothing else, tremendously attracted to each other. Faces buried, you could tell that to them, only each other existed at that moment. I could forgive the dreadlocks with suspicious crumbly things in them. I could ignore food-stained designer pants and matching pit-stained designer shirts (with accompanying hats). Seeing two people who love each other, kiss is one of the most beautiful sights in the world, transcendent of gender, race, or hygene. What truly made me smile was when a group of high school French boys came in and not one head turned. As I looked around, the only person gawking at the scene was me, and that was out of sheer delight. In a small way, history was being made and repeated and I was filled with happiness and hope. If this kind of scene could happen here, it could happen at home too someday, maybe even in the same places where blacks were lynched and women were denied the right to vote.

The train across the tracks arrived and through the open windows, I could see the two bodies part. One turned just before getting on the train and I realized instead of a triumphant, ass-kicking, homophobia-conquering, lesbian of my idealistic dreams, it was just a really dirty man and it's hard to feel anything but complete hopelessness when you've just seen filthy people slip each other the tongue. Shaking my head in a cross between disgust and disappointment, I got on the train and hypocritically wished for a law banning those people* from receiving tax breaks or joining the boyscouts.

* By those people, I mean individuals who clearly have the money and resources to bathe once every three days, but don't...indie rock kids, hardcore hippies, and 50% of the people who showed up to the toga party my apartment threw Senior year of college, I'm looking at you here.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Can't post, too much work. Since nobody should have to stare at my the last entry for that long, here's a little something special.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Double click for larger view of cock-free zone

E-mail received from my mother today (she endearingly types in all caps for no discernable reason):




For the past three days, I've been in a pseudo phone battle with the employees of The Erotic Museum. I've called no less than 10 times and each and every time the conversation has ended with me saying something like "On the highest story of your house, there was this man that erased all the clothings and had a desire to use his thing with which you can release urine nearest to my face. Things of these natures was not going well with me."

Passé composé: 1
Chris: 0

In all fairness to the French, there's really nothing you can say to that. Sure there was crazy American girl, now back on the bus and back to your group home. Every time I try to tell the story of what happened, I just come across sounding stupid, crazy, ignorant, or a sweet combination of all three. With one rep, I said, "I saw a peepee in real lifes," to which the woman replied, "How old are you again?" Like a version of 50 First Dates even crappier than the original, every day I speak to someone new and every day I get a reaction worse than the day before. One person thought I was trying to solicitseedy products, one thought I was offended by the subject of the museum, one even thought I was asking if visitors were allowed to touch their own genitals on the top floor and replied, "No mademoiselle, you can't do that here." If I didn't have a picture of a man in pants so shiny I can actually the reflection of my own camera in them, I would begin to doubt that the story ever happened to begin with.

Tomorrow is my last ditch, phone call #11 and if I can't make anyone understand, then I'm going to have to let everyone down and leave all the exposed-genitals-in-public-museums complaining to the French, who, if nothing else, are excellent complainers. All I can say is, I'm sorry too Mom, I'm sorry too.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

This Story Involves Bodily Fluids, If You're Grossed Out By That Kind of Thing, You, My Friend, Have Been Reading the Wrong Site

I said, "No, I can't do this. I'm sorry"
To which he said, "Just tell me if it's too hot for you."
So I said, "I have to go right this minute."
"Fine, it's too hot, fine," he said, zipping up and stomping off.

The above conversation happened yesterday and wouldn't have been nearly so weird if any of the following conditions hadn't true:

1) I wasn't speaking with a middle aged man wearing a chain mail demi-shirt, knee-high boots, a Carnevale mask, and a zip-up leather diaper
2) He hadn't been trying to rub his exposed penis on me
3) We weren't in the middle of a Parisian museum
4) After the conversation, he didn't look over his soldier and say to me, "The last American woman let me ejaculate on her face."

Yesterday I went to Paris' Erotic Museum to do research for an article I'm writing. Despite the fact it covers a seedy subject, the museum itself is classy, you know, as classy as a building containing a larger-than-life statue of a vagina smoking a cigarette can be. Marble floors, gold bannisters, a giant glass cock stuffed to the brim with small, plastic pigs, the museum is seven stories and contains any and everything you could even remotely consider sexual. As opposed to the streets containing real lives prostitutes in Paris, the Erotic Museum tries to exhibit the amusing side of sex rather than the disgusting body fluid aspect.

In making my way through the Sex Museum floors, this man:

stopped me and asked if I would be interested in seeing le exhibition. Silently appreciating the fact that even museum security fit in with the sex theme, I followed the man in the diaper to the top floor to see what I thought was the museum's temporary exhibit. "Sit here," he said in French pointing to a chair against the wall. "If you want to take some pictures, you can." Since museum staff knew that a writer was reviewing their galleries, I figured the personalized service was part of their press package. I sat down, snapped some photos, and waited for other museum attendees to come see the performance art.

But nobody came and suddenly out of nowhere, leather-clad cock was being rubbed on my favorite green sweater, which is, as some of you know, a distinctly cock-free zone. Honestly, wtf? I promise you that on any given morning, the last thing I need is foreign penis anywhere, much less close to my face. I'll even expand that to any kind of bodily fluid. Nobody suspects that they're going to go to a public art gallery and wind up scraping dried semen from their hair. That's just normally not part of your ticket price.

So this man is rubbing his 'bathroom parts' (please someone use that in bed with a loved one at the next opportunity) actually on me and my favorite green sweater and I was so shocked that I just didn't move, like maybe if I just pretended to be inanimate, the giant dong would go away and hump something else. But it didn't, and then he started to unzip his diaper and when I saw testicles, the above conversation was had.

This is Paris, a place where anything and everything goes. I'm still not sure if the man actually works for the museum or if he's just a perv who takes advantage of public places with subpar surveillance. What shocked me more than the act itself was the fact that I didn't even do anything wrong or uncultured or stupid this time and I still managed to piss off another Parisian. Every single day I've pissed off a new person without trying. I've lived here 9 months now, and if my Math/Sci high school training serves me, that's approximately 270 angry French people, swarming about this town in a foreign frenzy. There is no winning in Paris. Ever. That should be their 2012 Olympic slogan.

Tomorrow I have to call the museum's press box and wade through the "Do you people actually let men masturbate on the faces of women in public?" conversation in French, which should be fun, since looking at that sentence, I can translate exactly two of those words. Better shot of leather diaper and how awfully close it was to me below:

Good night everyone. Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Viva La Sleep

In general, the boyfriend and I get along fairly well; however, we both work a buttload of hours, so sometimes there's a bit of crabbiness. (First person to say anything about a 'case of the Mondays' gets a boo/hiss combo from across the sea)

Setting: A few days ago
Location: A small apartment my mother would classify as a tenament

[Me]: Hey, do you think we should get another comforter for our bed? It's kind of cold at night.

[BF]: Yeah, I'll buy a duvet this weekend

[Me]: Do we really want to get a duvet? I mean, they're made out of down and I feel kind of bad sleeping under duck feathers. You can go ahead and call me a liberal weenie, I deserve it.

[BF]: I don't care if they're made out of the sauteed eyeballs of homeless third world children, a duvet is the most comfortable thing on God's green earth! If you want to sleep under rice patties and patchouli, go right ahead, but I'm daaaaaamn it! I'm buying a duvet.

[red face, one drop of sweat pours from the BF's bald head, scene]

So that's the story of how I lost the last hint of college radical liberalism I had (the arm pit hair went a few years ago) and we came to be sleeping underneath the rightfully dubbed 'most comfortable thing on God's green earth.' Ever since the gloriously comfortable duvet of heaven came into our tenament, I've been looking over my shoulder to make sure the dreadlocked (shudder), natural tampon-wearing, deodorant free (double shudder, use the natural stuff people!), fruitarian kids of France can't see that my social consciousness has been replaced by a really good night's sleep. Readers, all 10 of you, please be inspired by this photograph of a real radical liberal:

If you believe (as I do) that the strength of a man's ideals is indirectly proportional to the clarity of his face, you've got yourself a bastion of conviction. Here's a guy who probably wouldn't compromise his ethics for sleep or vanilla salt water taffy or topless making out on the floor or anything else I would readily disavow my ideals for. I don't know who this man is or even what he believes, but I do know that his sweet visage comes up when Google image searching 'radical liberals' and in this day and age, sporting a flat-top like that is a revolution in itself.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

R.I.P. John Paul II, Mitch Hedberg, and Frank Perdue.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Open Letters to Some People On My Mind

Letter #1:
Dear whoever found this site by googling "women from excitebike nude:"

I don't know you, but I imagine you're the kind of guy who only listens to 'emocore' and owns at least one shirt featuring a metal snake biting the head off a baby rhino or something equally bizarre. Hope you found what you were looking for somewhere on the infinite web. Drop a comment next time.



Letter #2:
Dear honeymooning couple my boyfriend met at an airport and invited to stay at our house:

First off, thank you for not being thieves. I fell in love with you people, and I don't bandy that word about willy-nilly. You crazy kids had me at:
"Tomorrow morning, we're going to the taxidermy store David Sedaris goes to. Wanna come?"

You seduced me with:
"Yeah, I have no problem taking a trip just to get some good butter."

But you really sealed our love when, in my favorite French restaurant, you pulled up your sleeve and said:
"This is my tattoo of a scary-ass virgin mary, but instead of having a real head, she's got a house with a face built in. Also, she's all pissed off and got these crazy, spikey teeth where the garage door goes. I hope there aren't any Catholics around."


~C to the izzo~

Letter #3:
Dear cleaning lady who pours bleach on our steps for no discernable reason:

Sorry you don't have any teeth.