30 January 2008

Hey, Teach

"I haven't done any work; I'm renovating my blog. Can we talk Monday?"

A-Punk, B video

22 January 2008

Do you see what I see?

Yesterday morning we found the above photo pinned to the red painted column in our studio. For five years, passing through the architecture school, I've stopped to look closely at these portals to our little satellite school in Paris. I would study the students' faces (always pale), clothes (always grayscale), for signs that Paris had changed them, as it did Sabrina. Later in the semester, there would be a couple photos from a review, always a student leaning against a wall with arms crossed, another student in a chair, leaning forward with hand on chin, watching another student gesturing at something. Always serious looking. How many of these photos have been posted semester after semester on that wall by the receptionist, I wonder? Sentiment aside, our associate dean, who snapped several versions of this photo, clearly picked the best shot. For those of you passing by the wall, if the same one is posted there, you'll see what I mean. Has Paris changed us? Let's wait for the next photo.

21 January 2008

Le tour de France

Wednesday we go on our study trip. We will visit Lyon, La Tourette, Marseille, and Bordeaux. Will hopefully post photos on Flickr upon return. If not, then thoughts will have to suffice.

My photo contribution

Above are M.A., looking a bit Claire circa 2003, at least in profile, and blogger F (Ce Déchirures). For those of you reading who prefer photos over text, or at least text accompanied by photo, well, tant pis, as the French say. My camera is not well, and I don't expect a remission. I'll start working on getting a new camera, just like I'm working on finding a job, so my readers can enjoy the occasional photo of a rosy-cheeked child on the métro, or possibly even architecture.

20 January 2008


This is a map created by C, for RSAP, by RSAP. Cool! Check for updates!

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Things to remember, in Paris

3. Living in Paris is not an excuse to become an alcoholic.

19 January 2008

Things to remember, in Paris

2. Keep shoes in the entry. It is certain that there is dog feces on the bottoms of your shoes, as you are stepping on it constantly. You don't want to track this all over, say, your bedroom floor.

16 January 2008

Things to remember, in Paris

1. Avoid the sandwich crudités. In addition to the baguette crumbs factor, there is the hard-boiled egg factor, and if you're like me, you'll find yourself picking bits of egg off your desk and putting them in your mouth, for some reason, and later you will find these bits on your computer screen and feel disgusted.

15 January 2008

The laundry event and gender roles

This morning, my roommate, J, and I got the television and washing machine working, respectively. While J, remote in hand, happily watched elephants on the television, I groomed and coiffed myself, listening for promising sounds from the washing machine. It's true that I got the machine working, as it is powered on and doing things, but I would be lying if I said I know much else about it. At one point, I sat down on the kitchen floor and stared at the machine, which I will refer to as Candy. Candy is a 60cm x 80cm white box with a band of five rectangular buttons and three dials at the top and a circular door below. Naturally, the buttons and dials are accompanied by small diagrams, one of which says to me If you want to wash your house key, which is only one of many things that has delayed this laundry event. Currently, I am waiting for the drying cycle to complete (Candy does both). Wish me luck!

14 January 2008

Au Killy-Jen

28 bis, boulevard Diderot 75012 Paris

There is free Wi-Fi at Le Killy-Jen. But the place is nothing special. A man just asked if there is wifi (pronounced wee-fee), I said yes (wee), he acted pleasantly surprised, and clearly expected me to say something, so I said, C'est important pour moi (It's important for me). Moi aussi (Me too), he says. Then, he stared at me some until I seemed clearly focused on my computer screen.

Today we met our French teacher. Her name is Gaelle. She is young, smokes. The proficiency test, for the other intermediate girl and me, involved writing a letter to a couple I'd met once, asking if, while on vacation, I can stay at their home, which is apparently near Nice. My letter went something like this: "I was happy to meet you when you came to visit your son at school…dinner was super, no? This summer I will be on vacation, and is it possible for me to stay at your house during my visit? Would it bother you? We could make a lamb dish. I'll make dessert! See you soon, I hope! Kisses"

French class begins Wednesday.

How's Paris?

A good friend wrote:

but i'm not about to ask, "how's paris?", cause what the fuck are you gonna say to that. just tell me about paris when, you know, when you have something to say about it.


13 January 2008

It just tastes different (and how much does it cost?)

1. Coca-Cola light from a 33cl can, as opposed to "Bouteille nomade 50 cl," "Bouteille 1,5L," and "Bouteille Magnum 2L" (0,50€)

Still missing

Above is Rice student Matthew Wilson's current Facebook photo. Matthew is still missing. He was last seen by his roommate, junior Elliot Harwell, at noon on Saturday, December 15, at their apartment on Dryden Rd. Rice University and Matthew's mother, Cathy Wilson, are offering a $20,000 reward for information. I don't know Matthew personally, but ever since I received the text message sent through the Rice University Emergency Notification System in December, I have been following the story. I was surprised to see it had even made it in The New York Times. I don't know much, but I just don't understand how, in this day in age, a person, or a car, cannot be found.

There are a couple of things I continue to ask myself. What was the cause of Matthew's father's death, in Houston, when Matthew was two years old? Matthew's father's death is mentioned here and there, but there hasn't been an explanation. And why does Matthew's Facebook page say, "non sum qualis eram?" I believe it translates to "I am not what I once was," and is in the title of the poem "Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae" by Ernest Dowson.

You can read a report on Matthew in The Rice Thresher. Below are details from the blog, Help Us Find Matthew Wilson!:

Hair color: red, full beard
Eye color: green, wears glasses normally
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 135 lbs
Race: Caucasian
Car: silver 2004 four-door Dodge Neon with Oklahoma license plate 863 MCZ

Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call the Rice University Police Department at 713-348-6000.

$20,000 reward total -- Rice University and the family are both offering $10,000 for information related to Matt's return.