Saturday, December 19, 2009

Buh Bye

I know that Mark will never read this, but maybe his dad will: Thank to him for being a part of one of my proudest achievements here at the University--The Freshman 15. This experience ans these memories will fill me for a long, long time. Bye Bye Iowa City and always and forever--GO HAWKS!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cool New Song

I know it's kinda lame to blog about songs that have been featured on JC Penny's commercials. But you know what, eff you! I'm in college, trying to finish a final paper, and I'm drinking Czech beer. So sue me if I've gotten a bit distracted, what between the packing for PARIS and the looking super hot all the time, it's hard to keep my mind in a straight line. But ahhhhh, deep breath, paper is finished, Mark has left me to play CoD and do other unmentionables (like sew...seriously, what a girl! and probably hit the g***a) so ya, guess what, I am gonna blog about that silly little tune that is so freaking melodic and wistful that it makes me wish it was mid- to late-June and I was on the PCH going to Tijuanna with my one true love in the driver seat and my beloved dog Marcel Proust on my lap. Ok, I've got you hooked, I know it. Here's the song (dun da da duuuuuun...!):

Sleepy Rebels' "Kaleidoscope"

It's unavailable currently on their myspace page (u-ugh) and I can't find it on HYPE or LastFM, but hey you criminal! try buying it on iTunes like an honest man would for once. Yep, it's there. I haven't bought anything on that highway robbery market since senior year of high school, but this song will make me change my mind.

In other news, someone ripped off our name. But at least they made really sweet tees:

Some weird band called Freshman 15

Some weird cartoon that kids who shop at HotTopic must like

OK, I gotta go to the bathroom. This Czech beer has gone straight through me (after making a stop at my head first) and I have agreed to go to the Yacht Club for Blues Night. Two more days until I'm done with dis shizzzz...

PAZ,
a

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Peter Rabbit

Selections from the fourth installment of my "Children's Book Series." I decided to take excerpts from Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit." I would have liked to have done the whole thing, but lack of time, money, and energy prevented me. Here are a few of the pages...



Ok, well that's all for now. Two weeks until graduation...

love,
a

Monday, November 30, 2009

One more reason

why we all need to move to Austin. A pre-prohibition style bar in the Music City serving all sorts of Absynthe, Po'Boys, and Gin Amours.

Peche Bar Austin

Monday, November 16, 2009

Michiganders

...is what you call people from MichiganThis is an all-girls dorm! So beautiful. Puts our Burge to shame!
Another shot from inside the vintage store.

State Street Theatre, on State St., JP's street too
I guess wall art is pretty popular in any city. Why is that?
This guy was so great--he was dancing in this graffitti-filled alley dancing to Michael Jackson with ten to fifteen people watching him at any given time (we passed him twice)This picture is for Mark: Hot dog stand "Le Dog" for when he is "le hungry"

Going to Chicago this weekend. I hope to have many pictures from that trip, including those taken on my old SLR. Should be a good time. See you tomorrow in the studio.

Alexis








Saturday, November 14, 2009

Michigan So Far

Beautiful weather is making a great trip absolutely fabulous. And I'm loving Ann Arbor as a 21 year old a lot more than as a fake-id-carting-20 year old. Ann Arbor (or A2 as natives call it) is a great American town--it reminds me of a Midwestern take on Berkley. We had a fabulous (and well priced!) dinner at Satoro (I think that's what it's called?) for sushi and Saporro. Then headed to Charley's, and after that The Brown Mug for more drinks. Oh, and guess what?! You can still smoke in bars here! Long Live America!

My beautiful friends (birthday girl in orange) Jordan and (Wayfare sportin') Kate
Hey look Mark, two can play at your game of hippie lovin hat wearin music listenin hangin--Encore Records in Ann ArborGreat vintage store in a basement on Sate Street, the main drag in A2. I forget the name of it now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Bloodsugars


YELLOW: Jason Rabinowitz
BEARD: Matt Katz
HAT: Brendan O'Grady
BLUE Sweatshirt: Kenneth Salters
Cuties who look like brother and sister: Mark Smith and Alexis Baker

Bloodsugar: makes us hyper, makes us tired, but it always keeps us going. This battle is much like the music of Brooklyn-based namesake The Bloodsugars, in the studio tonight for an hour before their show at The Mill FOR FREE DOLLARS! That's our beloved plug for the unbeatable price of The Mill's Fall Semester Tuesday nights--a great way to spend an otherwise study-filled evening.

The Bloodsugars is an indie-signed pop group, and I mean this in the best sense of the word. Their lyrics, music, and arrangement are all thoughtful and technically sound, while still remaining approachable and understandable for the every-girl. After a little, how do you say, ahem, technical difficulties in the studio (hey you, whoever you are stealing our headphones--return 'em yo!), we were all prepared to get the show started. They played all tracks off of their soon-to-be-released LP (and this stands for Long Player, EP stands for Extended Player which is a shorter album) titled I Can't Go On, I'll Go On. This is the last line in Nobel Prize winning author Samuel Beckett's extitential credo L'Innomable (The Unnamable), but as lead vocalist Jazon Rabinowitz told us, they are completely unrelated: "I came up with it entirely on my own. How crazy is that?...Take 1000 monkeys and 1000 typewriters for 1000 years, you're bound to come up with the same thing as Beckett." Ok, that quote isn't verbatim because I can't host a radio show and type at the same time, but you get the gist.

They were gracious guests to one of the final installments of The Freshman 15, and it was an honor to have them into the studio. I'm hoping that after I get my homework done, I will be able to stop by and share a drink. It was really a great show--they sounded great and I felt confident and relaxed at the same time while talking with all of them. Here's a list of the Qs I lobbed--I look forward to seeing where they go.

Your music is a kind of juxtaposition: emotional and somewhat distraught lyrics set against lighter and more upbeat music and arrangement. How did this unique style develop? Is this contrast between your lyrics and your music a metaphor for something greater?

You’ve been described as making intelligent dance music. What does that mean to you? What does it take to make a song into dance music?

Who or what has been your greatest musical influence?

As music evolves along with technology, politics, shifting cultures, what does pop and specifically dance music have to do in order to adapt and keep-up to stay relevant? Is the evolution consciously forming and influencing your music, or does this change happen subconsciously?

What is dance and/or pop music for you? What does this phrase mean to you?
Iowa City: quintessential American college town. Jason Rabonitz and Matt Katz met in college: what is it about college that inspires music? Is it a fact of young age? Or the learning? Maybe both? When you return to college towns, do you feel nostalgic? Or has the proverbial ship sailed for this time of your lives?

Having released BQEP just over a year ago, what does it feel like to release a second album? Is it more nerve-wrecking or more relieving?

You have a CD release party coming up. Is this for your album? What is it like attending your own CD release party?

The latest LP is I Can’t Go On I’ll Go On. What is its connection to the Samuel Beckett novel “The Unnamable,” if any?

What does the Midwest represent for a group of New Yorkers? How greatly does New York influence your music?

Every member of the band had equally introspective and thoughtful answers to the questions I asked--a nice change from some others where the vocalist seems to dominate. They were witty, biting, while being humble and genuinely funny. Again, a big thanks to them, and to Mark for working the board. We unfortunately didn't get a recording of the show, so I hope it sounded like a success to all those listening.

See ya 'round,
A

Bow Wow

for Mrs. Smith:

http://ledogblog.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARK!!!

HAAAAAAAAAAAAPPY BIIIIIIIIIIIIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUUUU YOU LITTLE MUSIC MONKEY YOU

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Children's Story Series

a birthday card for a friend...it's supposed to be Alice and Wonderland-esque, but I need to find colored pencils or markers. Pastels might be pretty, but a bit messy. Infact, guache might be nice.


Ok, so I need to get a thinner pen--these stabilo brand ones (look up) are great, but like I said, I need to buy a thin-tip in the black.

More Calligraphy

gothic cursive, aka, what i will be using to make my wedding invites.

Monday, November 2, 2009

For Sale

So many things have been happening. I went home last weekend (needed a little reprieve) and found the time away relaxing, albeit a little expensive, as I went crazy shopping. Current obsession(s): trapeze sweaters, oxfords, and high pony-tails. Since my quaint little University job, nor my internship (HA!), are bringing in much in terms "green," I've decided to finally open up that little greeting card business I had always dreamed of.

I have been making cards ever since I was about fifteen, inspired in large part by a friend of mine named Jordan who would often give cards in the form of postcards written on the back of pictures of either herself or herself and the addressee. I have always thought this to be a sweet and unobtrusive (and easy!) way to give a picture that means even more with a note on the back. My greeting card affinity grew ten-fold when I left for college in San Francisco, and began to write home to my love-at-the-time. I sent him a card every week--all handmade, and all sent from the 9...I forget the rest of the zip code. Anyways, it has continued, and now that I am enrolled in a calligraphy class, my love for greeting people with cards has been reinvigorated. Which leads me to my original point: I NEED MONEY YO! So I've decided to be a good little Capitalist and turn my love into the catalyst of me fulfilling my American Dream Prophecy, and turn my crafty little love into a business.

Please review my most current oeuvres d'art and let me know what you think! Coming soon to a Hallmark Mall Store near you...


<--The Donovan song "Colors" that I made into a book
Shiiii...how did this get in here? //-->






<-- My profile and calligraphy en francais!

a bday card I made...who will be the lucky recipient?
And over there in the other corner is an Animal Collective song that I turned into a book as well (sorry, I am not the best at page/caption formating)
Tomorrow's show is gonna be a good one, I can feel it (but I mean, aren't they all?). We're doing a "Name Game"--all songs with names in them. And, to spice things up a bit, we will be having an on-air contest. Be sure to turn in at 6pm sharp to hear what it is--the grand prize is a date with Mark! (And yes, I will probably end up being the one footing the bill.) Thanks for reading, listening, and tolerating. See ya 'round, cowgirl.

A

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Monday

Tomorrow will finally allow the long-awaited A Case of the Tuesdays show for which I have been patiently waiting.

In about two months, I'll be leaving for Paris. Not London, which I'm really ticked about after finding this restaurant: Hache Burgers. It looks absolutely incredible. High-end Scotch beef, beautiful decor, and reasonably low prices (in British Pounds, which according to my recent understanding, still costs about double in American dollars).

And two days ago, I turned twenty-one. My first legally-ordered drink was a bit of a bust: After telling the woman it was my birthday (for which I got no salutation), I asked for a Gin Fizz: the lady had no idea what it was, but ended up making me a Tom Collins--with flat tonic. And she didn't even card me! But all in all, with dinners at 126, Givanni's, lunch from Thai Flavors and a Coors Light Tall Boy at one in the afternoon, it was a more-than-successful birthday. Thanks for celebrating with me. And sorry if I don't remember much.

Listen tonight.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps

Dang, I had such a good intro for this show. Then I realized that woo hoo, go me I turned on all the mics, but I forgot to turn the volume up. UGH. I was trying so hard to do it all right, oh well. The band boys were like most band boys I've met/seen--shaggy-ish hair, with a bit o'grease, and skinny jeans and ratty tees. But they were gentleman nonetheless. Caroline's hair was perfect--the color (it used to be red, it's now blonde) and like perfect waves. ugh ugh ugh, I think I might have a girl crush (shh don't tell Mark, he will get jealous!). She was wearing the AA heather grey hoodie and now i rilly rilly want one! Please daddy please! They ate-up the Hot Tamales I offered them (our director Nathan said they are probably covered in H1N1. Oh well, the candies filled our bellies. The topics of discussion ranged from reasons for being a vegetarian, to exboyfriends, to Caroline's most embarassing moment. PLUS, we got to meet new member Colin Something? and the little brother of one of the Good NIght Sleeps. I really wish I had gotten a picture with the four of them, to add to the blog, and the proove my new Babwa Wa Wa status, but oh well. I hope their show tonight at The Mill was stellar. Instead, I had to stay home and practice my calligraphy (don't worry, I made it "fun."). Just three more days 'til muh burfday, and Arlen Pfeffer wished me an early happy birthday, and told me congratulations. Cool, ya, don't worry, i'm with the band. And then I got to help move a guitar. Ahh, it's hard being a member of the media.

I will add a sweet publicity photo when my firefox mozilla stops not working (there's an endorsement for ya...)

To our parents, Mark recorded this show--it's an excellent showcase of mark's groovy technical work and my sucky ability at interviewing. HOLLA!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

THESEUNITEDSTATES

finally, a famous-ish group of people who, as has been recorded, blog less than we do!! Curious to see what the evening brings us. Looking forward to it. Is Mark?

http://www.theseunitedstates.net/tourhistory.html

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pretty Pleaseeeee

http://www.thehotelutahsaloon.com/

Please Mark please, can we go???

DUDE


Lol Kidz is my new side project. Even though no one reads this, incase there is, pleaaaaaase send in your baby pics so you too can by LoL-icized. Or just cut out the middle man and make your own i guess.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Muy Caliente

September 15th to October 15th is a month to honor, celebrate, and reflect on a portion of our nation's history that is still very much at the forefront of today's political and social debate. Though we share 1000s of miles worth of borderline with Mexico (disclaimer: there are also many other cultures and nations included in tomorrow's set, including Brazil, Colombia, and Beck), we seem to think ourselves completely different, and often superior. But let's face it: we're both the by-products of a colonial mother. But never mind that, let's put aside our differences on the debates of national language, illegal immigration, and J-Lo's booty, and let's listen to some damned music already...

A little bossa nova anyone?
Hm, no thanks, I prefer the guy who Jim Morrison totally ripped off
But really, let's just get high and listen to Thievery

My cheers to the Smith family for finally cajoling mark to not only start blogging but also to cut his hair. Furthermore, we'd love for any aspiring photographers who are looking to build their portfolios to contact us--we are in serious need of some new headshots for this thing.

Thanks for reading, and listening, and tolerating,
alexis

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shwayze and Cisco

This is Mark I am finally contributing to the blog. I know it is a shocker. So here is what i gots to say. Friday was pretty awesome, i got to interview Shwayze and Cisco Adler here at KRUI. They were both pretty tight, really cool guys. And i think the interview went really well. Anyways soon I will have the link to the interview, much talk about drinking and girls pooping on the tour bus. You know...being a rock star. Be sure to check back for the interview.


Cisco ended up stopping by the George's Gyro's kart to grab a bite after the party at Union. He told me to check out his newest production, Beardo so google him. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ROOMMATES

seriously, we love you guys. Just think, you have to put up with Mark's farting and my occasional naked Tuesdays. We know it ain't easy, and we thank you for all that you do for us, so today, the show is dedicated to you. Pat, Matt, Brondyke, Maggie, Rosalind, Hannah, Maya, and anyone else who may occasionally crash on our floors or find their way under our beds. I've got some lovey-dovey songs from HR, some hits from a few years ago from RS, and some weird stuff from MT like I expected. I can't wait to see what Mark brings in (or rather, what the boys cajole him into playing). See you soon. www. krui.org/listen.

Monday, September 7, 2009

British Invasion

I'm in this calligraphy class, and we just started working on writing words, any that we want, so I decided to start with song lyrics. And for some reason, Beatles lyrics got into my head (little factoid: I was very very obsessed with them when I was in eighth grade, so I know quite a few by memory). Then of course realized that Tuesday was fast approaching, and Mark is off doing God know's what, and we were in desperate need for a theme. And so, British Invasion is what I decided. And after making my playlist, I realize I didn't even add any Beatles songs! Instead, I took cues from both this article (Damon Albarn) and my dad...

As far as British invasion goes: start with the Stones (12x5 is a great early record, and 2120 Michigan Avenue is the only instrumental they've ever done--it's great! and a great opening song). Others, besides the Beatles, you gotta play are The Kinks (You Really Got me and So Tired of Waiting), Gerry and the Pacemakeers (Ferry Cross the Mersey (sappy, but good), as much Animals as you can, The Hollies (Bus Stop), The Who (Magic Bus), Zombies (She's Not There), Yardbirds with Eric Clapton, The Small Faces (ITchykoo Park and anything with Rod Stewart singing), Donovan (kinda lame, but a part of it), the Troggs (Wild Thing), Manfred Mann ( Doo Wah Diddy), Chad and Jeremy (had a big hit with a Lennon and McCartney song), Herman's Hermits for fun(like Mrs. Brown or Henry the Eighth), and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (a blues band that spawned several great guitarists, like Clapton and others. Led Zep was a little later, but you could probably include them.

Looking forward to tomorrow. Hope you are too.

love,
alexis

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

my new obsession

First episode of 2009/2010 school year a huge success. Be sure to tune in next week for our Six Word Memoir show--and please feel free to offer any of your own memoirs written in six words or less. And now in fashion news, my new obsession: Costume Dept. leggings. Pick 'em up at Karmaloop.com or 80spurple.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lazer Low--Diplo

An under-the-radar DJ playing at France's Dour Festival (July 17) and Chicago's Lollapalooza (August 8th). Give it a listen. Like a harder-edged Girl Talk.

http://www.myspace.com/diplo

Monday, July 13, 2009

Authenticity is in authentic...?




My dad and I were discussing the digi prints from our time in France. He explained that the more and more we remove ourself from the original image (like after taking the picture, the transport of file from camera to computer, to internet, to new computer, to email, to drugstore, to printing), the more and more the quality of the picture decreases. Makes perfect enough sense, right? Right. So how does this translate into other aspects of the photo, of our memory of a trip or an event, and ulitmately to our lives? The more and more I distnace myself from the image--by the way I talk about the photo, about the event, how I live my life today, how I think about the memory and continue to distort as I move into the future either conciously or not...I'm going to leave this question to the scholars.

I've decided to distance myself from the phenom of online albums (which is totally inauthentic if I have a blog, but at least I have an authentic awareness of my behavior), so I have started organizing photos from the trip in both an album (pleather) and gold frames I bought from Salvation with fellow blogger Ellen Swiss. No gimicky scrapbooks, no digital frames, no plastic--100% metal or wood, and 100% my photos. No copyright infringement, and all mine.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The 15 on France

Two extraordinary things happened to me today.

One, I came home early from class to find my mummy and daddy eating lunch while Lilou slept in her room (damn Mono). Catherine, like any good doting mother, immediately fetched me lunch. Turns out, that left-over sausage that I ate last Friday after school was actually chopped up cow stomach in sausage casing. Today, it was my lunch. I thought it tasted a little slimy last Friday. Now I know it's better suited for cats than for an uppity American. After learning what it was, I told them in all honesty, it has great taste, disgusting texture, and I just don't like eating cow guts. They reassured me that is was fine and commended my willingness to try it. For the second time.

Two, I saved a honey bee who was drowning in the pool because the bees are dying, you know. Seriously! My kids (or yours) won't know the joys of mass-grown fruit! I watched to make sure the little bee would dry off and fly away. But it was too late. Instead of watching him or her gain its strength, I watched it die. First time I've ever seen something die.

I've been listening to Michael Jackson's song Will You Be There from the Free Willy Blockbuster. His greatest yet. I really want to start dressing like early-90s Michael--short, skinny black pants, low tight white tshirt with white button-up over this, thick white socks, and black patent leather penny loafers. The guy had moves in so many ways.

One and a half weeks until I return to the US. Things I still hope to figure out: why french people don't shower, what other body parts of cows they eat, why they love beverages so much, where is EuropeMTV?, why is their music scene so much better?, is it awkward when Sarkozy and Carla Bruni try to kiss?, do people really order heineken's with their croissants, why everyone parts their hair so damn far to the side.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I get this feeling sometimes, or really quite often actually, where all the stuff that i've accumulated (clothes, books, music on my itunes) starts to make me nervous--like when there's too much food in the fridge. So I do a massive revamp and get rid of it all. I've been using that past few days to really rack my brains and the items I have here: what's useful, what will I need later?, what am I keeping around for nostaligia's sake?

Completing this task every three, four weeks always gives me a new, fresh start: like running a net through a leaf-ridden pool. Afterwards, I can swim without being grossed out. And, the timing really couldn't be more perfect, as the French Sales (a bi-annual event where all commercial stores put inventory on dramatic price-reduction). Being the good little retentive girl i am, I have made inventory and a list of the things I want to buy (assuming of course that I have the money and that I can find them). Things that top my list are...
1. Longchamp laptop case (retail, 42 E)
2. Panama hat (size 60...i know, it's effing big)
3. Button-up over-sized shirts
4. leather sandals (love the gladiators, but will they be obsolete in a season?)

In other news, I am still cracking away at Alice in Wonderland. And in other, other news: yes, French people practice the most backwards form of personal hygiene: perfect makeup, sensual thick parfum, and oodles of body-odor (i'm sorry, it's true--they don't care for showers!). Speaking of which, I am still hard-at-work on my mediteranean tan (yes, i saw the sea this weekend too!) and my sister Lilou and I have made tentative plans to go salsa dancing this weekend. Ole!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Everything Will Be Ok

The first in a three-part series video that has won numerous awards. The second installment, entitled I'm So Proud of You was just released this year. Google this.

http://www.everythingwillbeok.com/

Three Things

I don't know what it is, but once I was at WalMart and the check out man was asking me about my mother (as it was mother's day). When I reciprocated the question, he told me his was dead. Sometimes I feel like people tell me too much than they mean to or should. Even in France, I can't avoid this uncomfortably bizarre ability, along with a few other freaky things.

Example one: In the pool today, with my Speedo-wearing host-father, I am told that the marriage of my "parents" is surviving only because of a contract. Questions about my own parents' divorce proceed...

Example 2: I SAW A GHOST! I'm not kidding--it (I think it was a boy) shook my legs to wake me in the middle of the night from sleeping. Once I opened my eyes, he slowly disappeared. I only saw his tshirt. Probably just wanted to ask me if I work out...

Example 3: Last night I had this weird thing, as I was falling asleep, on the back of my eyelids where all I could see was white. Felt like the ligths were on, even though they weren't.

Lyon for the most part is going very well. The weather finally as started to improve. Geneva last weekend, the Auqeducts this. Considering taking an au pair job with a family in the 6th arrondissmet, that, by the sounds of it, has more money than they know what to do with. Who knows. Still have yet to perfect French style, but the sales start next week and maybe I'll be able to make up for lost time.

xxoo

Friday, June 12, 2009

eat good food

Me, the girl who can say no to nothing, especially food, can get into a lot of trouble in a city named the gastronomic capital of France. And it's true--okok, so I gained five pounds, lay off. No biggie. I'm just filling out! It's my late growth spurt, big deal. But seriously, how could I have avoided the extra weight. The food here is, well, to die for.

But it's true, french women really don't get fat. At dinner tonight on Rue Merciere with my dad, Diane, and sis, I realized that I think the French, and maybe Europeans in general, have a different, and healthier, relationship with food. It seems like food isn't a Frenemy. Meaning, food isn't constantly a love-hate relationship for them. Food is a necessity for living, and because of this, it can't be avoided. So instead of trying to fight it (like adding loads of refined sugars or trans/saturated fats or robbing it of all taste by making it "diet") they eat the food as it really is. They embrace it, I guess. It sounds cheezy, I know, and I'm really not poo-pooing america because it's like trendy or something. It just seems that the French have so much more fun with food. Because food will be around for eternity, they have come to appreciate it the same way that we appreciate our family, our community, our, um, our cars?

Call me crazy, but I think these French are on to something.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Where is Mark?

photo courtesy of: http://www.clic-studio.com/var/ezwebin_site/storage/images/community/lyon-pictures/lyon-river/706-1-fre-FR/Lyon-River_imagelarge.jpg

Speaking of which--this french pop thing I just really don't get. LIke, they are just now listening to Natasha Bedingfield's "These Words?" At least they know who Kanye is...at least...

So my parents arrived Saturday, and just as expected, they stress me out to the extreme--my dad never makes plans, and I like plans, so I guess our views on appropriate vacation time-spendature-idge is just diff. Never the less, it's great to have Jim, D, and Audy here. They look very un-American and I couldn't be more proud. We had a great dinner Saturday night in the Roman part of town called Vieux Lyon--the typical style of eating/food/dinner-restaur
ant assemblage is called "bouchon" and the restaurant we went to specialized in it. I wasn't too hungry, so I just had a big salad with smoke duck procuitto--the verdict is still out. But the rest of the gang had the prix fix, complete with melted chevre, pommes de terre au gratin, and praline tartes--Superbe!

Sunday was French Mother's Day so we went to my "house" for linner (my word for lunch that starts at two and ends at six and requires three bottles of wine) and Dad and Diane, I could tell, were impressed, humbled, and a little jealous. We laughed as we tried to translate french to english and back again. Jose and my father settled on Spanish--even though both can only really say ''un poquito.''

Class tomorrow and meeting up with the fam at 3pm. I hope to get a little shopping in--there was a dress at zara that I eyed the other day (very French--boat neck, white with thin navy horizontal stripes) and another good meal. You know, Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France? Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? I hadn't 'til I came here--wiki that shit.

It's so weird--on this trip, I feel like not in France at all. I kinda just feel like I'm about to see a familiar face any moment, but it never happens. I kinda like it, and at the same time, it's challenging my ability to both adapt to one place and leave the other behind. Perhaps I'm changing the boundaries of my comfort zone.

Oh, and I took you up on the Otis Redding challenge. My god, the man is vocal sex, love, mystery, fatigue, weary heart and mind and soul--like a coffee table book that makes me feel good just looking at it. Send me anymore suggestions you have.

Limewire just so happens to work in France as well.

really awesome pic of N.B. courtesy of:http://musicremedy.com/webfiles/artists/NatashaBedingfield/Natasha_Bedingfield-17-big.jpg

Thursday, June 4, 2009

One Week Ago Today I was...

Um, drinking in my basement, I think?

OMG, i'm picturing you and the burly man at Graceland--like two batty grandparents who seem to have forgotten who Elvis was (NO IS--HE'S STILL ALIVE).

Ok so remember when we were in Neice (jkjklol) and there were those kids from Minnesota with frizzy hair and pale skin and braces (because, ew, who has braces after Junior year?) and there was that boy who we had all hoped would be super super hot and he was super NOT? Well I feel like that's about every kid on this trip.

Except there are about two that I can stand, in fact, adore. They're fabulous and i find them to be genuinely unique and interesting people. Today I went to the parc de la tete d'or and much to my dismay, there was no big golden head. Just a lot of nursery kids with their tattooed and smoking nannies. What's up with that? Get 'em hooked early, i spose.

I made my first real purchase today after the Parc which was a Longchamp bag and it's currently sitting at the end of my bed. I occasionally glance up from my computer screen to admire it. Ahhhhhhhh...

Dad and Audy and Diane come on Saturday. A little nervous for them, but also excited. Have a few other weekend sejours planned--Paris at the beginning of July. Tell me how Maine is/was. And how are the girls? (I mean like Maya, Elle, your sis...not your boobs, dumbass.)

bisous,
a

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ma petite chou

it was an uneventful plane ride. i was terribly gassy though, and the plane was bound for Mumbai, thus all these elder women dressed in saris and sandals kept smelling me and (i think) giving me strange looks. I watched "The Reader" and it changed my life--please see it if you haven't already.

i arrived with ease, found the two girls i was to meet, and we took a taxi (60 effing euros!) to the University where I met my "mohzzair." Her name is Catherine and is about as big as my little finger. So so sweet though. She is an architect. The dad Jose is Portuguese and moved to france when he was nine. He doesn't work, but used to work in hotels as a maitre and in the restaurants, where he once served Gorbachev! I know, right?! My sister is named Eulalie (pronounced eu-la-lee) and she just turned twenty-one and currently doesn't go to school, but used to for biology and she is wonderful and her friends--omg the hottest french girls i've ever seen. The brother is named Jean-Hughes; he is 26? and lives in Annecy and does computer work--dresses sooo dorky--you know, like dorky european? ugh, it's the worst.

One night, I met a co-worker of Catherine's, as he came over for appertifs/dinner, and he said "Oh you mean all the cars in America are automatic? It's genius that is!" I also visited Catherine's parents for Sunday lunch and Jose's after that. They both live in the Bourgogne region near Macon, which is a very quaint mid-sized town.

Perhaps one of the greatest reliefs so far has been Eulalie's boyfriend named Sean. He currently lives with close family friends (think Penningtons-McBrooms) at the cause of his mother's passing, and his father not being in "za peekchure." I am sure there are more details to this story that were, how do you say, lost in translation. Anyways, so this is how Sean and Eulalie met. He is from south london, and lemme tell you, he is a hoot an' a holler for sure! He says shit like sick and has tattoos but also drinks tea at every occasion and refuses to accept that American breakfasts are anything like "proper English breakfasts" (even though they are the exact same effing thing). Basically, he is a God-send because he (a) speaks English and (b) his crazy Brittanic ways never fail to make me laugh, or at the very least, miss being drunk and talking in british accents. Or just talking in british accents with all you gals back home.

Speaking of which, I am not homesick at all and I mean that in the best way possible. Things so far are so very good.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

In The France


After three days of being here, there are many things I have come to love, or at the very least, appreciate about Les Francais:

--> stupid picture, but that's me (!) in my French sleeping quarters.
  • condom vending machines
  • any excuse to have a glass of fruit juice
  • pastis
  • politiques
  • my name (um, Alexis?) is really a French boys' name, and they are all very amazed by my gender-bending
I think that is all for now. One more day of vacation before school starts on Tuesday. A tout a l'heure! (See you later!)

--a

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Farewell America

Today at noon commenced my last 24 hours to be spent in the United States for the next six weeks. And to begin preparation for my stay, I had to acquire a few things:


1. red lipstick (c'mon, I have to wear rouge in France, duh)


2. Paisley shorts (um, because J.Crew doesn't exist in France?)


3. Playlists (currently obsessed with Bob Dylan after watching a Mad Men episode that ends with "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright)

And then there was this tricky business of getting a gift for my host family. Granted, they could be complete weirdos--coneheads, brain scientists, who knows--but I still can't show up at their house with my bags (and "baggage" if you catch my drift) empty-handed. AND THE ECONOMY! Gah! What can I get them that is both (a) amusing (for me or them, whichever) and (b) CHEAP! Let me introduce: Mr. Half Price Books.





I rummaged through the coffee table book section and found them a perfect bound story about my lovely little city (Des Moines, you jerks). OK ok .... still ... need ... something ... american .... that won't offend the French like Sees Chocolates or Kraft ... music ... yes ... that vill work!





I bougght them a Nat King Cole CD. I know, totally random, right? But maybe not...

THE GUY SANG L-O-V-E. He is the American baritone. Nat King Cole is probably one of the most prolific, not only jazz musicians, but Black musicians this country will ever know. And so, in honor of my soon-to-be ex-Pat status, here's to you Mr. N.K. Cole: For being an incredible musician that has been the genius behind the songs of so many love stories (on and off the silver screen). And for reminding me what it means to be a part of the history of American music. There is nothing like it in the world. Take that EU.

DISCLAIMER: I actually really like our NATO allies, and all members of the world community really, so please don't take that "jab" at the EU too personally; I'm just being theatrical. Vive La France!

See you all in Lyon, where I will be writing posts to keep you all (ok, really just to document for myself for future reference) posted on my whereabouts and happenings.

Bon sante,
a

Saturday, May 9, 2009

One Saturday Afternoon


I'm sitting in Mark's dining room--it smells like a seventh grade locker room and I'm thinking that's due in large part to the bowl of rotting salad with equally as rotting red onions that's been left to fester here. I have been trying to study as final exams are upon us, but the going is rough. (A) I'm a wee bit hungover. (B) I'm fitting back tears because this is our last show and the salty drops are ruining the pages of my notes. And so with that, I guess this has become my retrospect, where I will review the highlights (and lowlights) of this very topsy-turvy world of a year...

1. Mark moves into own house, Alexis into sorority house
2. Mark and Lexi's respective relations subsequently end, for better or worse
3. Mark and Alexis take up smoking, quit, start up again, quit, . . .
4. CHRISTMAS VACAYYYY!
5. Mark and Alexis record their first show (please contact if you would like a copy!)
6. Alexis' parents get facebooks; Mark resents her for this
7. SPRING BREAAAAAK! Alexis avoids Mark at all costs
8. Mark gets accepted into the J(ournalism) School!; Alexis resents Mark for this
9. Alexis buys a plane ticket for Lyon, France; Mark starts working a real man's job @ Marco's
10. Mark completes his schooling, is now a bonafide Junior!; Alexis still does not know how to study but hopes to graduate in December

You see, our year can be summed-up in ten easy steps. But really, on a more serious note, this year has been much different from any I've ever had. It's the last full year I will spend in school. Both Mark and I had grandparents pass away. And I think I did a lot of "growing up" this year (whatever that means). I always ask Mark if he refers to himself as a "man" or a "boy" and usually, like with all of my questions to Mark, he just laughs at me and does not respond. I ask because I myself don't know how to refer to myself...girl...lady (ew)...woman (no way)...chick (ya probably) Maybe it's a pointless quest to find a word to identify myself. But I think that if anything, I'm just me--a sweet dudette--who is practicly perfect in every way (catch the Mary Poppins referrence with that one?)...even despite my 15 pound weight gain.

love to you all,
a

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Video Time

video

Hoppy Easter!


So the Easter Bunny didn't come to visit. But Mark spent $1.50 to bring Easter cheer to Iowa City and purchased an egg dyeing kit. So we spent the afternoon watching the White Sox win and dyed our eggs. Things were going real well until mark decided to pour all the colors into one cup. Then he dyed his hand. And THEN he poured red dye into the toilet to trick an unsuspecting roommate that someone has a bleeding digestive tract. I felt really bad for Mark because he was acting sad that he couldn't be with his familia Italiano back in the Windy City. I told him to suck it up--he's in college now! But I have to admit, I shared the same sentiments--I wish I could have been able to go home as well. So I dyed him an "Italian egg" to replicate the Boot's flag. I think he was touched.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gza the Genius

This is my first post; I really had nothing that important to say up until this point. Ladies and Gentlemen, one of the greatest rap lyricists of any time is going to be in Iowa City tomorrow, Gza/Genius! At the Englert Theatre April 1st(tomorrow), one of the founding members and leaders of the Wu-Tang Clan, the Gza will grace us with his presence. I am not afraid to say that this will be the best show in Iowa City. So go and enjoy as he play’s his entire electrifying album Liquid Swords. Thanks Mission Creek.
And on a hip hop/rap note, this week is full of related events, including KRUI’s 25th Anniversary Bash on Saturday the 4th, as they host the Cool Kid’s at the IMU...fo' free! So check out some coolness happening in Iowa City.-mark(the male of the f15)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Check...

...this out. An incredible culinary arts school in NYC dedicated to teaching the art of naturally gourmet, high-end, marketable cuisine. 

www.nationalgourmetschool.com

NOW, that's my idea of a Graduate School! ech.ech.ech.

And Bethenny, from Real Housewives of New York, is an alumne. OMgOmgOmGlasdkfj;owiemfnOmgOMgoMGLOLOL!!:) I love celebrities. 

mwah.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Break was sooo 5 minutes ago.

Well actually, it ended about 48 hours ago. But nonetheless, I can speak for Mark and I both when I say we are begrudgingly happy to be back. The last half of the semester has gotten off to a rather grey start. And, to top it off, I'm reading existential French lit. Not the most uplifting of scenarios, and my spoonfulls of Nutella have done nothing to ease the pain. And so with that, I am uploading my father's meatloaf recipe (an all-time fave comfort food). And because nothing goes better with meatloaf than dancing, next week's show will (tentatively) feature me and Mark E. Mark's fave groovin' tunes.

12 oz ground beef chuck
12 oz ground beef round
(1.5# of hamburger would be ok--or even mix with turkey. Sometimes I do .5/.5/.5 beef, turkey pork sausage)
15. c finely chopped onions
1 c roled oats, or breadcrumbs
2.3 c catsup
2.3 c. finely chopped parsley
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1t ground thyme
1t salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Mix everything together. Fill a loaf pan, place pan on sheet. Bake about 1-1.25 hours. Pour off grease. Eat.
let's make a bet at who can get mark to post a post first...tag, you're it.

ketch ya latur.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Psychedelic Power Hour



It's a grey grey world. So come groove and let go...

Today's Playlist:
Incense and Peppermint by Strawberry Alarm Clock
Drummer of Your Mind by United Travel Service
Sky Pilot by Eric Burdon and The Animals
Itchycoo Park by Small Faces
Time of the Season by The Zombies
Somewhere by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix
Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles
Still I'm Sad by The Yardbirds
Soul Kitchen by The Doors
White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane
See Emily Play by Pink Floyd
Mighty Quinn by Manfred Mann

During the show, I couldn't help but laugh - hippies are crazy. What a life - living to figure out what living is all about. It sounds exhausting. And getting high makes me paranoid, so no thanks.

But regardless, a girl needs her chocolate, and baked goods are usually the best vehicle of delivery. Here's my mother's prized brownie recipe:
INGREDIENTS:
2 (yes, 2!) sticks of butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 cup Hershey's coco
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup "spices" (not optional)

Stir together vanilla, sugar, and melted butter. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure that each eggs is blended in well before adding the next. Add coco, beat well (a whisk or hand blender works well...my mom uses a wooden spoon). Then add the flour, baking powder, and salt - beat well until blended thoroughly (and get rid of those effing lumps). Stir in chips, nuts, and other "condiments." Pour into greased 9"x13" pan. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. NUMMERS!

enjoy. love you all.
-lex

Friday, March 6, 2009

Little Thoughts


This is where we live. In Iowa City the past summer, our little town was drowned in river water, so much so that the radio station was closed. It was a sad time indeed - no live broadcasts of great music. I think I speak for the both of us how happy we are that the water has subsided and the music has been turned wayyyyy up. Iowa City doesn't sit well with silence. Yay music!

Just Saying Hey

The Freshman 15 here. Mark Smith and Alexis Baker are proud to present our newly-created blog. Just checkin' the waters at the moment. We love food and music and food about music...I mean music about food. Tomorrow's show will be a groovy hour of a time, so stay tuned. KRUI 89.7 The University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa