Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Feelings on This Weekend's Snowfall.

I hate snow

Now once more, with feeling:

I hate snow this much

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Hate Winter. How 'Bout You?

I hate winter. I mean really really hate it. Each year when September rolls around I get this small anxious rumble in my belly and I start to fight the very idea of winter any way I can---full spectrum lightbulbs, tanning salons, vitamin supplements—you name it, I’ve tried it. Yet, by the time the leaves start to change colors on the trees, I still go into full-on panic.

The only thing worse than the pissing-rain winter of Eastern France is winter in Upstate New York. Here, it rain’s everyday for 4 months. Upstate, it SNOWS everyday for 4 months and to make matters worse Beaujolais Nouveau costs $12 a bottle! So I try to console myself with this as the days grow shorter and the nights last longer.

Now, over the years I have devised several strategies for surviving winter---some more effective than others. The year I swam all the way to November on a sea of Grey Goose vodka was not one of my better strategy years. I have long since learned from my mistakes. I may never truly enjoy winter, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let it put me into a creative coma for 4 months each year.

Now that I am older and, well, wiser, I’ve taken to making my winter coping mechanisms more productive-- I have projects! I make a list of stuff I want to do get done, and then one by one I work my way through them over the winter. The theory behind this is that by setting up these insanely ambitious deadlines for myself, I will feel as though the winter is passing faster than it really is. I mean after all, nothing seems to make time vanish faster than an approaching deadline.

So, since I’m a desperate over achiever I set up the following impossible goals for myself:
- Do the 29 days of giving challenge
- Learn to play the guitar
- Write my first novel in 30 days
- Finish an entirely new body of work either paintings or works on paper
- Bribe my hair into growing another 4 inches
- Lose 30 lbs.

And I have to do all this by March 1st, 2009. No problem right?

So, thus far my project strategy is working miracles! I am so busy every day doing “stuff” and working towards my goals that I feel as though I’ve practically been robbed of the month of November. Yippee! That means Christmas will be approaching soon, which means more busy holiday work, which means that New years will creep up on us in no time, which leads to Valentine’s & St. Patrick’s day and then TA-DAAAA It’s April already.

You see where I’m going with this?

But just yesterday I realized something. The problem with speeding through 4 months out of the year is, well, you speed through 4 months of your freakin’ life. And life is so short and precious and blabetty-blabbedy-blah-blah-stop-and smell-the-roses- blabbedy-blah-blah. So I’m just gonna try to focus on my projects, and let winter worry about itself. So help me God, I’m gonna focus on the enjoyment that’s the reason behind why I chose these particular tasks in the first place.

Also, on a hilarious note, my project goals aren’t exactly going swimmingly:

- Twenty 29 days of giving stuff away is hard when I don’t actually leave the house for days on
end, and the neighbors get mad when I toss stuff off the 4th floor terrace.
- The farthest I’ve gotten in the guitar playing venture is to buy a guitar case for my guitar so I
can haul it to the shop to have the strings changed.
- My novel which involves a murder and magic charms is a bit stalled at 10,000 words.
- And do NOT even get me started on my hair and my weight issues today. My treadmill has
dust on it and who knew it would be so difficult to bribe hair?!?

All that said. I’m optimistic. It’s only November. I have months and months to meet a few of these goals. And I’m not gonna freak-out or beat myself up if I don’t complete them all.

I will however, have a freak-out attack which would require me to be hospitalized and put into a padded room for my protection if it snows this weekend.

So, wish me luck.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


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To be fair, I have to admit that I actually started partying even before the election results came out. I dunno, for some reason we were cautiously hopeful even the night before. So at the Election party in Luxembourg we had a great time...for about an hour.

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Then, I started to suspect however that the crowd was only about 50 % American, and of the Americans 98% were democrats……over the age of 55. I felt like a kid that got dragged to a grown up party. I very boring grown-up party with really bad "hamburgers" made from questionable meat content. (Turtle? Pigeon? Otter?)

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At about 10 we got bored and decided to head back to Metz because we’d heard there was a mock election at CafĂ© Rubis. By the time we got there of course both the election and the voting were finished. (Apparently French bars are much more efficient at holding elections than American polling sites.)

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All that was left over was a few crumpled up ballots, so we drank wine and talked with random people in the bar until they closed at midnight and we had to go home. But to be honest, by then I was exhausted from all the drinking and anticipation. It was killing me. I went home and fell into bed. For a few hours anyway.

Around 5 AM my eyes shot open. And I had this terrible feeling of dread. My mom told me that no matter the hour, she would call me as soon as she had the election results. Still in bed I turned to look at the alarm clock. Still no phone call. SHIIIIT!

I tried to stay in bed a few more minutes but I couldn’t. I wanted to know whether I needed to start celebrating or mourning. I flew out of bed and went downstairs to my studio to turn on my computer to see the election results. As soon as I read Obama elected president, I actually had the thought: “Hmmm, maybe I’m not really awake.” But hey-- if it was a dream, it was a good dream, and I wasn’t in a hurry to wake up. I went in the living room, fumbled with our 7 TV remotes, and was finally able to turned on CNN just in time to hear Anderson Cooper say that President-elect Obama would be speaking soon in Bryant Park. At this point I knew I must be awake because I never dream about Anderson Cooper. (Seriously folks. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. He looks like a freakin' cyborg.)

Time out---at some point I ran back upstairs to tell FrenchBoy that Obama had won. I believe his exact response was: “Grrrfntpl.” And then he went back to sleep.

So I went back downstairs to watch Obama’s acceptance speech. Now, I’m a fairly emotional person, but I don’t exactly go teary-eyed at movies or sentimental TV commercials. So when Obama walked out on the stage with his family I was surprised to find myself sobbing. I blame Sasha and Malia. The camera zoomed in on them and I just lost it. I thought to myself. “Oh my God, these two little Black girls get to live in the Whitehouse!” And with that, snot flew out my nose and almost landed on the flatscreen, not far from Michelle Obama’s left foot. Thank God I was alone. FrenchBoy would have never let me live that one down. Not in this lifetime anyway. In my head I could already hear him retelling the story to our grandchildren 30 years from today: “And when President Obama came on stage…your Granny got so overjoyed and she got to cryin’ and carryin’ on , and she shot boogers all the way onto my new flatscreen TV set!” *insert laughter of grandchildren here. Not because of the snot, but because they can’t believe people actually got their information from TV back in the olden days.*

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Wait. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah. Obama won. Time to Party!

Jill said that if Obama won she would invite a bunch of people over for Champagne breakfast at her place starting at 10 AM. I popped a bottle of champagne in the fridge, got showered and dressed, threw the fore mentioned, now properly chilled, champagne into my purse, and ran out the door. (yeah I have a really big purse.)

Instead of taking the car, I decided to walk. Besides the fact that I knew I would be doing lots of drinking that day, I wanted to walk because, I needed to walk. In the matter of a few hours the world had changed on me, or at least the way I saw it had changed and I know it’s ridiculous, but I wanted to go out and see if the world looked...different. That type of seeing has to be done on foot. Yep. I needed to walk.

Also, there was the fact that I was a bit afraid to drive. Between being jittery and wired from having less than 4 hours of sleep, my ever so slight hang-over, and the fact that every time I even thought of Sasha and Malia my eyes would go all glassy with tears, I feared I might become distracted by my joy and blissfully drive my new car directly into a tree…and not even care that much. How’s that for a definition of “euphoric”?

Photo by Doug Mills for the New York Times.

Even on foot, I made it to Jill’s house by 10AM, in record time inspite of having to hop-scotch over an epic amount of dog poo en route. When I finally arrived, instead of ringing her kitchen door bell I peered into the window, held the champagne up next to my head, and did a little dance until she saw me and let me in. “Can we have champagne for breakfast?” I asked. “YES WE CAN!” I answered my own question. And that was before we started drinking.

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From here it all gets a bit fuzzy. There was lots of champagne and even more laughter. Somewhere around the third bottle of champagne we got a phone call. The local France 3 station was looking for Americans to interview about the election results. “Sure!” we said. Cuz getting’ interviewed on TV, in French, when you’re really really drunk is always a good idea!

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I got interviewed, then immediately forgot what the hell I said, but I hear I didn’t make a complete ass out of myself.

After my drunk interview I headed back to Jill’s for coffee and a ceremonial burning of a Sarah Palin mask that she had made for her Halloween costume. The whole neighborhood got in on the excitement. Well, they kinda had no choice since we were standing out in teh middle of the street yelling.

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It took forever to burn her. She wouldn’t stay lit. ( Which in my humble opinion is just one more piece of evidence that supports the widely discussed theory that Palin is demon spawn sent to destroy our mortal souls in service of the great powerful destructor of all things holy and just---Lucifer the fallen angel himself.)

Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, burning stuff.

We managed to finish burning all of her head, excluding her left jawbone, moments before the police arrived. Clearly, luck was on our side that day.

On my walk home I called my FrenchBoy to tell him about the burning. His response: “That’s not normal.” (Oh how I will always adore this man for his understated sense of humour and deadpan delivery.)

But he was right, ya know. It’s not normal. In fact there was nothing normal or typical about this day.

This day was simply fantastic.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I would blog more right now...

But 10 minutes ago I finished my first round of dancing around my living room in my shabby Ikea bathrobe, and after I eat breakfast I need to go work on round two. In fact I may not be done dancing for days!
I'm convinced I look only slightly less goofy that Colin Powell doing the Yahoozee.

But whatever, WE WINNNNNED!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And the Winner is....

The suspense is just about killing me. I may be in fact have developd an election stomach ulcer which an imaginary endoscopy would reveal is perfectly shaped like John McCains mishaped head.

I can't even watch the news anymore without having heart palpitations. And whenever I see a news program launching to a segment about the US Presidential elections I have the sudden urge to bash my head against the wall in order to render myself unconscious. I wish I were exaggerating.

So what can a girl do to ease her pre-election jitters? Drink herself into a coma with a bunch of Ex-pat Americans living in Luxembourg of course.

Tonight I will most likely be here:

Election Night 2008

The part of the invitation flyer that cracks me up is "supporters of both candidates and other nice people". I know what they meant to say, but still it just sounds kinda funny. Also, how on earth can they advertise that nice people will be there? Can they somehow guarantee this? Did they borrow Santa's naughty and nice list and send invites to the better half? What gives?

"Nice people" suspicions aside, I very much enjoy the rest of the invitation--especially the part that reads "Drinks---Whatever you want."

God Bless America.

Anyway, years from now, when I'm old and gray, if someone asks me "Do you remember where you were when Obama was elected?" I'll reply sheepishly, "Not exactly, but I vaguely remember BBQ, tequila, and playing quilles."