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