Monday, August 30, 2010

dream apartment - 44

i've written about how important a slide into a pool (preferably directly from a master bedroom) is, but it just now occurred to me that a slide into ANY room would be awesome. obviously. i'm not sure how i feel about the cement, though. what do you think?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

DJ (I Could Be Dancing)

greetings! happy sunday. bleh. my least favorite day of the week! i'm actually at work right now because i dropped off my laptop at the apple store on thursday night (laptop got into a brawl at a bar and had to be repaired) and haven't gotten it back yet. actually, that makes it sound like i came in just to blog, but thats not true. i actually came in to get a lot of work stuff done. i plan to be here au moins 4 hours. i've got a TON of stuff to do, and i'm actually looking forward to doing most of it. i just want to get it DONE and i never seem to have time during the day.

decent weekend so far. friday night... what did i do? oh i went to a movie. alone. dinner for schmucks. which was ... ok. decent. there were a few laugh out loud parts. but i liked the original version better (its french with a very sexy french actor - le herve or something). i went home and caught up a bit on my dvr. tons of stuff recorded from when i was gone. yesterday i got up early and went for a bikeride. i cleaned my room - its SUPER organized now. i LOVE my closet. it almost makes me not want to get anything out of it its so nice. and i watched towelhead, which was a really good movie. i liked it a lot. i def recommend it to people. its about the coming of age of an arab-american girl in the 80s (when the first bush invaded iraq). [dave - you should tell me if it passes the test. i can't remember.]

last night, my roomie had a friend over and made a DELICIOUS dinner - some pulled bbq chicken with corn and onions on a bun with a side of salsa (i've never eaten salsa alone!) and carmelized carrots. delish. we had some drinks and they went out. i did more stuff in my room and started to organize all my books. it makes me want to read more. maybe i'll give up TV for a week or something and try reading more.

this morning we went to starbucks and hung out (and i read!) and now i am at work. i think tonight we'll watch the emmy's. who else is watching? i have two bets with people to see who picks the most winners. i will probably lose. i always suck at things like this.

my brother's bachelor party was this weekend in bismarck. my mom and i commented today that we didn't get a call from the police, so that's a good sign!

well, i have to get going at work. thought you might enjoy this new video that my friend sent me (oh, it might be old - idk. but its new to me). its a fun, upbeat song. and makes me want to dance. maybe tonight during the emmys??

[song by alphabeat - fun name! and the girl is SO CUTE!]

Thursday, August 26, 2010

mama said knock you out

another busy few days - especially at work. i've been at work until 7 the past two days. tonight i am for sure leaving before that - i have drinks with a friend at 5 and then an appointment at the apple store to get my laptop fixed (been in one two many bar room brawls lately) at 7. i also have to pick up the veg today, so i will be lugging around vegetables and flowers after work. maybe the flowers will stay at work one day...

oh. the workers just got here. we are having our patio redone because it keeps flooding. they just poured water down some hole - i'm guessing to see if it worked. looks like it did.

i am making leftover pizza for breakfast - mmm mmm. does a body good. they had pizza at work yesterday and i was craving my favorite pizza (barbeque chicken from canestaros), so i had some last night. i recently saw this article on tipping and i have some issues with it. does one REALLY need to tip when you pick up your own food at a restaurant? i understand tipping delivery people, totally, 100%. but when you pick up your own food? i do it half the time, depending on my mood, because i think its expected, but i don't really know if i agree with it. whats the purpose? because they put the food in the bag for you? but isn't that their job? and aren't you saving the restaurant money because you're not taking up space and they can then serve more people (and make more money)? hmmm....

last night i went to a fundraiser for the governor of MA. my roommate is involved in some way. i only stayed an hour. i think i got there before any of the fun stuff happened because it was kind of boring. but, they got my money. i'm sure thats all they really wanted.

what other random stuff is going on?

apparently there is a hurricane danielle somewhere out there. the other day, i sent this article to my roommate "hurricane danielle strengthens to category 2 storm." i thought it was funny. he replied back "sounds like a status update on my life." mwhahaha. (this was when i got back from fargo). as cool as it is to have a hurricane, i really hope its not destructive. i took a look at cnn and it seems to be ending...? that's good. i can't imagine women named katrina don't hear a lot of jokes about that. and i bet not a lot of people are naming kids katrina these days. wait. . so maybe i DO want hurricane danielle to be bad. i hate it when people have my same name... maybe destructive to something that is already gone... i dont want to hurt anyone, of course.

did you guys know there is a new 100 dollar note? its kind of interesting. i was watching this video on the features and its kind of crazy.

i DO like that our money is more colorful. it doesn't have to not be a green-back, but its nice to not be so boring (my european friends always make fun of me). the video says if you accept a counterfeit bill, you lose out. don't accept fake 100s!

oh! this is great. a new survey says that 25% of men who travel for business do so with a stuffed animal. isn't that great? who here travels with a stuffed animal?? come on, admit it...

and finally, for your enjoyment. for problem solving. its fun.
et voila. c'est tout pour aujourd'hui.

[song by ll cool j. just cause]

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

dream apartment - 43

i'm not sure i would ruin a beautiful entrance / area with beautiful staircases, with something so blah-looking, BUT the idea of having a small, tall room full of books is kind of neat. i think it'd like it painted some bright colors or have art on the outside or something. what do you think? click here for other views.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

gettin jiggy wit it

another quick update. its 3:50am. i've been up since 2 - have a flight at 5:15 or so... am flying back to boston and heading directly to work. lots to get done. haven't really checked my blackberry since i've been home, so i'm super behind. great trip home. got my dress. found a dress for my mom. celebrated dad's bday. saw new baby cousin. saw grandma (twice). met up with friend for coffee. saw her kids (one is a newborn). saw a famous baseball player (i didn't (and still don't) know who he is). went to lunch with homie. helped mom with work stuff. the ONLY tv i watched was mad men on sunday night (i just happened to be up). also, had my last bit of sushi. [sad]

ok, well i just heard the shower stop, which means my mom is going to take me to the airport soon...

catch ya'll on the flip side.

until then... i've written often about my enjoyment of airborne, the movie. enjoy this video:

Monday, August 23, 2010

happy birthday daddyd!

part of the reason i am in fargo is to help celebrate my dad's birthday, today. he is still under the big 6-0, but only for one more year. and he probably doesn't even get to go golfing since i'm home. that kind of sucks. well, old dad, if you do, don't fall into a sand trap like the guy on the cake i made for you does... happy birthday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

i know what boys like

i know what boys like
i know what guys want
i know what boys like
boys like
boys like me

oh my goodness. a lot to write about today. i just woke up from 2 dreams. the first dream was that i was looking at my planner trying to figure out what i was doing the next day and i realized that i had a flight to hawai''i with my friend miss molly. so i was rushing around trying to pack in time. then i looked further in my planner and realized that the next day (which was a friday) i was flying to hawai'i and then coming back on monday. then the following tuesday, i was going home to fargo for my brothers wedding, but during that trip i had a flight to omaha. why omaha, you ask? i have no idea. perhaps i was going to get stock tips from warren buffett. i always wonder where dreams come from because this dream semi-makes sense. miss m and i have been talking about her coming to boston, so thats probably why she made an appearance. but hawai'i? i dont know. and then i AM going home for homie's wedding in october and while i'm home, i have to leave for california for some meetings for work. so that makes sense, but not the omaha part.

all that happened before i awoke for the day. my alarm went off at 6:07am and so i got up and was about to get ready to go to the gym when i thought "eh... why don't i put on a podcast and relax for a half hour?" of course that turned in to over an hour and i fell back asleep. i was half-conscious because i could hear the podcast and they were talking about moving and movies. so then i dreamt that my roommate, higgs, found an apartment for me and he signed the lease on my behalf, but i had never seen the apartment. and maybe we were in paris. and the apartment he found me as a 2 bedroom one with 2 bathrooms. which was cool, except i didn't know if he wanted me to continue paying rent on the place we had together. and then i was leaving for my trips again and so i was trying to rush pack for hawai'i and then pack to move. and then i met the landlord for the apartment and he was a little weird and was going to show me an apartment LIKE the one i had rented. but it wasn' the one i wanted. i forget how the dream ended, but i eventually fully woke up and thought "i have to write about this!"

what does it all mean?? any dream readers out there who can help me understand?

so last night was cool. we went to a coworkers house. his wife just had a baby so we went there to see the kid. when i got back to my hotel last night (which, btw, was a corner room on the top floor of the hilton, so i had a beautiful city and lake view), i was thinking "holy crap! babies are everywhere!" and they really are. one of my cousin's had a baby in march. then her sister had a baby last friday (friday the 13th baby!). my good friend had a baby in june and i emailed said friend to ask her if she knew of any potential daycares / nurseries for my cousin's newborn (when she starts work again - she's not trying to get rid of him already!). i also asked my friend if she knew of any place we could borrow a car seat because ANOTHER cousin (on my dad's side this time) is coming for homie's wedding in october and they need a car seat while they're here. my friend knew both of day cares AND can lend us a car seat. THEN i found out that my good friend from high school is pregnant. she is due in march. finally, i was hanging out with babies last night. its like an ONSLAUGHT of babies! its craaaayyyyzzzzeee!

i guess i'm getting to that age where everyone (except me) is having babies. oh wait! another friend's sister is having a baby, too. this is starting to weird me out...

[i woke up with the "i know what boys like" song in my head... i don't know who sings it]

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

doin' my job

so just a quick note to say hello from burlington, vermont. i am here for work for today and tomorrow. i hope we get a lot done. i should be at work right now, but wanted to write really quickly.

last night was fun, i went out with a friend from high school. he picked me up at my hotel around 7pm and then we went to this restaurant (bluebird or something like that). its a cool restaurant, they use mostly local products. we had a drink at the bar and then got seated to eat. i had a salad, burger (which was ground there at the restaurant), and we shared a charcuterie board. mmmm mmmm good. i do love me some meat. oh, and a delicious bottle of wine. we were there for quite a while because his boyfriend came around 1030 to meet us for dessert. we didnt like anything at the resto, so we hustled to downtown burlington to the ben and jerry's store (they're from vermont, so it was a very "local" night) before they closed at 11pm. they dont serve my favorite ice cream in the store (just in pints - grrr!), so i had a scoop of cookies and cream or whatever its called. i should've just said goodnight at that point, but of course i didnt. the two of them walked me to my hotel and we had a drink in the lobby. then we came up to my room to read some emails from long ago. they left around 1230 or 1 and then i had to get ready for bed. i was up until at least 130. the alarm sounded much too early this morning.

i'm going out with coworkers after work, so i wont be able to come back to my hotel and relax (like i'd like). i have a ton of movies to watch. and i feel like i havent seen nearly enough in the movie theaters lately. anyone seen any good movies they want to recommend? i'm feeling off my movie game...

[song by t.i. since i'm in btv for work...]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

dance before the police come!

just a quick note for today. have to head to work and am leaving there at 2:30pm for vermont for 2 days of intensive work. should be a good time, but will probably be busy. not sure i'll have a ton of "me" time, so i have to mentally prepare for that. i hope to be back in boston by 6 or so on thursday. then i leave 12 hours later for fargo. woo woo!

tonight i am hopefully meeting up with my friend, shad, from high school. he now lives in burlington, so it will be fun to see him. tuesday nights are usually wipeout nights for me. (btw, it was renewed for another season! it'll be back next summer! i think i should TOTALLY try out for it, dont you think?? i'm going to look into it. adding it to my to do list.) but it'll be nice to see someone from back in the day and have a few glasses of wine.

last night i watched weeds. i didn't think i'd stay awake the whole time, but i did. it was ok.... so-so. i think i've probably seen a lot of the episode in previews for the rest of the year. PLUS this is the first time i'm watching the series in real-time. normally i just watch it on dvd... what did you guys think about the show? i was checking out this link about upcoming tv shows this fall and i got a little excited for a few of them... check out this link for some previews. which ones look good to you? i'm looking forward to L&O: LA, of course (so sad lupo is gone!). outsourced looks funny, but potentially toooo much making fun?? idk. the defenders could be decent. i'd love to love running wilde, but the preview kind of looks like crap. but i love keri russell and will arnett. i'll probably have to check it out. oh, and i'm def looking forward to my generation since its basically about people my age. but thats too many shows to start watching. i'm going to have to reevaluate. especially because i'm trying to cut back on tv. what are you guys looking forward to?

i'm sure you're all wondering about the title for this ramble. its thanks to a coworker of mine. he sent me this link at huffpo of stupid album covers. this is my favorite.
i hope you're all dancing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

happy jack

3 hours of sleep last night. oof dah. i was busy cleaning and organizing my room. which, i always put off put off put off doing, but once i do it, i looove it! i now have a clean closet, organized dresser drawers, clean under the bed. etc. its all good. i'm not quite done, of course. but i will be! soon. tonight, in fact. because i am super busy (and not here) this week. tomorrow i leave for vermont for work until thursday night and then friday morning i head to fargo for a few days to hang with the family and pick up my bridesmaid dress. i am actually completely dreading the picking up of the dress. i woke up yesterday morning from a dream that i had picked up the dress, and was trying to get ready for the wedding, but i couldn't put the dress on properly and so they had the wedding without me. the dress was a big, blue skirt with a vest and two white fluffy tops that were meant to go UNDER the vest, but i kept putting the white shirts on top and the dress just didn't work. it was horrible. a bad dream, in fact.

anyway, weekend was good. could've been longer. friday night i dont think i did anything. oh wait, i went out for a drink with a friend then went to the apple store to see if they could fix my computer (they couldn't) and then walked home. saturday morning i got up early and went for a bike ride and then went to see inception in imax with the roomie. it was good. good flick. i recommend. home again, and i ... hmmm, don't remember what happened after that. oh right. i went swimming at the gym. good stuff. i should've gone yesterday, but didnt. i spent like 12 hours cleaning my room. saturday night i watched whip it. cute movie. makes me (almost) want to be a roller derby chick. almost.

tonight is a good night for new tv shows. the roomie and i are making dinner - gazpacho and my favorite potatoes. mmmmmm mmmm good. then i need to finish my room and head to bed after i pack for my few trips this week. i feel like i had something else to write about, but now i can't remember. so you've just wasted your time reading this. apologies.

oh, you can check out this really funny video:

thanks to jezebel for putting it up.

happy monday!

[song by the who]

Friday, August 13, 2010

imma be

eeek! i practically forgot to write today. its not my fault. something else came up. i can't remember what, but something. and its friday. so there. i made pesto last night. i'm going to have to write about it for mad tasty for monday - eek! another thing i shouldn't forget about. man, my brain is becoming full with stuff. i need to empty it out. how do i do that? any suggestoins?

until then, here is some fun friday fluff for you:

check out this link for some funny signs.

my dad used to drink pbr and i even had some when i was like 6 years old (sorry, dad, you left it out on the deck in our house in minot. i had to have some. blame erin. she told me to do it.) and so i've always associated pbr with my dad, even though he's moved on to much better beers since then (like michelob ultra). :) but my friend [dave] suggested this article to me and i really found it interesting. its on pbr in case you can't tell.

i was going to put this video in here for you (i guess i still will), but it ended up being not as cool as i thought it would be...

does that work? i think not. hmmm. stupid. maybe check it out here. whatever. BUT it makes me want to be in a world record. except maybe i don't want to share it with 10,000 people. so maybe i have to BE the world record... hmmm... what could i start aspiring to??

[song by bep. i'm hoping i haven't used it before...]

Thursday, August 12, 2010


ugh. super busy at work yesterday. didn't leave until 630 or so, then had to stop at cvs and was too exhausted to think about making a salad (which is really what i should've done), so i picked up dinner. i had the leftovers for breakfast, so thats good. writing this just now i realized that i have to get vegetables from the farmer's market today. i forgot bags to bring. shucks. i guess i'll have to figure something out.

anyway, i wanted to go to a movie after work yesterday, but was at work too late. maybe i'll try again today, except looking at my calendar, i am in meetings from 11am to 4:30pm with a one hour break at 1. crazy crazy. tomorrow i am in meetings from 9:30-2:30. basically i won't have any time to do the work that i get assigned in all these meetings. sigh. i shouldn't complain. i actually prefer to be busy.

ok, i actually have two questions. first, i realized last weekend that i am missing my copy of love me if you dare (jeux d'enfants in french). did i lend it to one of you?? i don't necessarily need it back, but i'm just surprised i don't remember who i gave it to...

second, i need a new moisturizer. any suggestions on brands? i like biore, but their moisturizer comes in two different parts that you have to mix together and sometimes one part doesn't come out, which is annoying. PLUS, the bottle is so small, i keep buying it every month, and that is annoying. i'd like a moisturizer that scores high on this cosmetic database site that rates products based on their ingredients and how good they are for you. yesterday i bought aveeno moisturizer with spf 30, but it scores a 6 on this database (which is a different color and therefore more dangerous...?). i'd also really prefer for it to be organic and made in the US. is this asking too much??

i think i've made a decision on my room. i'm going to keep the bed the way it is now. maybe try and turn the mattress. i'm not sure about that part just yet. but then i am going to move my dresser in to the corner of the room (next to the bed) and then put the chair back where it was. i am sure this makes no sense to you, but i am just talking it out right now. i need to get my room back in order. its kind of driving me batty. AND i am going to go through my clothes AGAIN and try to get rid of more other stuff. i'm trying very very hard to be more streamlined. trying is the key word.

oh crap. i just realized i'll have a ton of veg tonight so probably won't go to a movie. that might be weird to bring a bunch of vegetables to the movie theater. but... hmmm... we'll see, i guess.

what are you up to tonight?

[i'm listening to this song "home" by edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros. i LOVE this song. have you heard it? and how fun of a name is "edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros" especially when no one in the group is named edward sharpe!]

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

mr. jones

whew! expensive few days! and very unproductive days. i have been pretty busy and productive at work, but have done nothing good at home. in fact, monday night, i was frustrated with my room, so i rearranged it. but now its a mess again. i can't decide if i want to keep it this way, so i'm kind of just waiting until i make up my mind. and am living in chaos until then. i hope to decide tonight or tomorrow. i'd def like to have a clean room by the weekend.

so that was monday night. last night, i planned to fix my room, but i got distracted by two things: 1) talking to a friend online for 2 hours who i hardly ever talk to now and 2) helping my brother and his fiancee buy a ticket for their honeymoon to cabo in november. i'm really really excited for them to go. AS LONG AS THEY WEAR SUNSCREEN. hear that, homie?? i'm super nervous about them getting burnt and ruining their vacation (and that whole skin cancer thing). so maybe for their birthdays i'll get them some sunscreen. yep, i just decided. thats what they'll get. sorry to ruin the surprise.

so yeah, ticket last night, then i bought another ticket this morning. i got an email alert that the price of tickets from bos to orlando has gone down. so i bought one. just cause. ha ha. not really. my littlest brother is playing basketball in florida over thanksgiving. so i'm gonna go! woo hoo! so this means i'll have to take the day after thanksgiving off, which i NEVER do because i never go home for the holiday. its always a nice, easy day at work. but i guess i'd rather be with my family instead. so i head there thanksgiving day and then back on monday morning, where i'll go straight to work. and i have 2 trips planned before then to head back to fargo. i'm gonna see my family so much! i'll probably get sick of them. :)

and i need to start budgeting. good thing i have some leftovers in the fridge downstairs. and we're getting more veg tomorrow. i need to start bringing salads to work. save some money and eat healthy and dont let food go to waste. thats my new motto. or something.

so tonight i need to get back to the gym or do something to move my body. i've been feeling rather sedentary since my trip. not good. and i also need to decide on my room. if anyone is available tonight and wants to give me some tips via skype, let me know. i'm happy to show you my mess.

[Mr. Jones from 1993 is a song from VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s by Counting Crows. i have absolutely no relevant reason for using it here. just random.]

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

dream apartment - 42

i've already declared that a secret room would be fabulous, and here is an even better secret room that i should have. you can see another view here and read about what the owner did. its basically for kids - is it sad that i am so excited about something designed for a child??

Monday, August 9, 2010


just a quick update...

i'll have to talk about this more, maybe when i know more (if ever), but i feel like i have been super spacey lately. apparently when i got home last week, my roommate told me where my mail was. i vaguely remember this. but last night, my little brother called to see if i had gotten his letter (if you could call it that!:)) and i said i had no idea what he was talking about. i ask higgs and he says that he showed me where my mail was. 6 pieces were there (including players)! its so weird...

anyway, since i've been so spacey, i haven't noticed this, as posted on an old friend's site:
"Today at At 6 minutes and 7 seconds after 5 o’clock…it will be 05:06:07 08/09/10. The next time this excitement happens is 3010."

so... happy 8/9/10 day!

jump around

my favorite day of the week! zaz!

i actually have very little to write about today. i'm not sure why. writers block or something. so i was looking for fun videos for you to watch.

first, if you want to check out a whole bunch of videos (titled the funniest sketches of the 90s), check out this link. unfortunately, i can't embed any of the ones i like. which is your favorite? i love the census taker one and most of the snl digital shorts (dick in a box and mother lover).

my littlest brother, player, is FINALLY getting in to 30 rock, which i have said is an awesome show since forever. and i saved this link of videos of old people doing weird things, and found this one for him:

and then i thought i should do something informative... so this video talks about things that can make you more prone to sunburn.

but really, i have to end with something fun. this link talks about how arrested development (was so great and) always had shout outs from the actors to their previous roles. its really fun to read. and makes me want to rewatch arrested development. just add it to the list of things to do...

[song by house of pain because this is like the most random posting ever.]

Friday, August 6, 2010

all i wanna do

so for some reason, people didn't realize i was back in boston. i am. yippee! i actually didn't cry when i landed, which i have done in the past. i was quite glad to be home and unpack and get moving again. actually, i think i moved MORE in paris than i do here... i should work on that. anyway, its too hot in boston to actually move. i hate it. hate it hate it hate it hate it. waaaay too muggy. yuck yuck yuck. i got back on wednesday around 5pm. i have some stuff i wrote on the plane which i'll have to post later, but for now i thought i should write to say that i am back. my brother asked me yesterday "are you in boston?" to which i replied "yes." and then he said "good job blogging." and i thought he was taking the piss out of me because i didn't blog yesterday. but i guess he meant while i was away - woo hoo! so yeah, now i just need to stay on top of it... and i have to start doing my mad tastys, too.

anyway, so just quickly - got back on wed night. had indian food. fell asleep watching mad men season 3 (i'm trying to catch up so i can watch season 4 - currently airing - in "real time"). yesterday i went to work super early (by 8!) because i woke up at 5 because i was slightly jet lagged. i was super busy at work with a ton of meetings and a lot to do. i headed home and got more indian food (i was craving since being in london) and ate that while i watched more mad men. this time, i fell asleep on the couch. it was a struggle to get up and i actually took tylenol PM so i could stay asleep longer (need to try to get back on boston cycle). i woke up this morning and finally unpacked. i have to head to work and then have some plans tonight (including making FAJITAS - mmmm mmmm!). this weekend, i have lots of plans with higgi. i'll write more about that later if we end up doing anything interesting.

oh, i've decided i dont like my bed. like, hate it, in fact. its waaay too soft. i need a harder bed. i am
what do i do?? this is the bad thing about buying your bed in fargo then promptly moving it 1500 miles... ugh. its really annoying. AND i have too much stuff in my room for it to stay cool. i need to do some reorganizing. or rearranging. maybe thats a project for this weekend...

what are you up to ce weekend?

[... is clean my room! 1993, VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s by Sheryl Crow]

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

dream apartment - 41

i'm in france when i am writing this (but it might not go up for quite some time) and i saw this post on apartment therapy about stickers (i guess?) that you can put on a doorway that makes it look like the doorway goes somewhere else or is full of empty hangers or something like that. check out the post here. which ones are your favorites? i obviously love the stairs and the closet full of books and since i'm in paris and love LOVE love caves (pronounced here as "cahvs"), i have to request that i have a doorway like this in my perfect apartment. it would be EVEN BETTER if it actually went up (or down) to a cave filled with delicious bubbly or sexy men...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

i wanna be rich

i feel like i keep complaining about my trip. and that is really NOT my intention - i have actually had a fabulous time! and once i write about the wedding, you will see it as such... BUT i do have one more thing to complain about (for now, anyway). and that is the return from paris to london on sunday.

originally, elaine and i were meant to take a 7pm train from paris gare du nord (north train station) to london st. pancras (which i always thought was st. pancrEAS - why would you name a station after the pancreas??). elaine is a frequent eurostarer, heading to paris on fridays after work and then back to london on sundays, so she often books her return trips for later on sunday. since we had been in paris for 9 days anyway, i suggested we just take an earlier train. 1) we had to check out of our apartment around noon, so we'd have to either drag our stuff through paris or figure out what to do with it 2) we could get home and she could unpack and get ready for the week and 3) i kind of wanted to spend a bit more time in london (which is slowly becoming a favourite city of mine [notice the "u"!]). elaine agreed with the idea, but felt pretty certain that eurostar would charge us to change our tickets because we have, of course, bought the cheapest seats that are non-refundable, non-returnable. so we have our french friend call eurostar for us and he makes up a story about how his "friends who don't speak french didn't realize that their flight back to america was when it was, so they have to get back to london earlier." apparently this sort of thing works well in france. instead of calling and politely asking them to change the ticket (which is what i would've done), if you make up a story that the other person can relate to and/or help "conspire" on, then they are more likely to help out. so we changed our ticket to be on the 15h07 train (3:07pm). which would get us in to london around 4:30 and back to elaine's around 5:30pm with plenty of time to relax, eat, etc.

so we arrange to check out of our apartment at 1pm. the landlady's daughter gave us 70 euros back for the one night that we didn't have water (which was nice, we decided to use the money on a nice dinner in london sunday night). we say goodbye to our friend and hop in a taxi to gare du nord.

[side story: the taxi driver was BIZARRE. he was half-hong kongian and half-european. he spoke english (but his native language is french) and also speaks chinese. we only know his dad is from hong kong because he said if we guessed where he was from in asia, we could pay half the taxi fare and if we didn't guess, we would pay twice as much. he said it was a fromer british colony, so we guessed taiwan, but that was obviously wrong. as soon as he said hong kong, we were like "of course!" and i felt very stupid. anyway, he kept telling us how he was a chemist by trade, had his masters and all of these degrees, but since he bought a taxi license, he can earn just as much money by driving taxi as by being a chemist and the hours are better, so now he does that. and then he kept asking what we did and when he found out elaine was irish and lived in london, he got very excited because apparently his son is single. (his daughter is married and has been for 10 years without giving him a grandkid and he is unhappy about that.) then he asked where i was from and i said i was from boston. he asked what i did and i said i worked in finance and so he said "well, you must be rich! i like rich american better than irish." the whole ride to the train station he kept asking if i was rich! i said i wasn't rich or poor. when we got to the train station, we paid our regular fare and ALL of the taxi drivers seemed to know him. it was funny.]

so we got to the train station earlier than we expected. we wanted to be there by 2, but we got there around 1:45. we headed up to the eurostar platform, but the business class stairs were closed. so we head to the "regular" stairs. also closed. there are MASSIVE lines everywhere. people just hanging about, trying to go up the stairs. there are eurostar people standing in front of everyone not allowing anyone to go. elaine leaves me with the bags to go see what has happened. apparently, some idiot left his (or her) suitcase unattended and has not come back to reclaim it, so they had to evacuate the whole eurostar terminal, wait for the bomb squad to come, etc. it happened just 10 minutes before we got there. so we wait. and wait. our train is at 3:07, but there are trains at 2:13 and 2:47. more and more people are starting to come.

around 3pm, they decided to let the people who have tickets for the 2:13 train go up. elaine is crafty and says that we had called to change our tickets but had to pick them up, so she is one of the first people allowed to go up. she says that it is complete chaos up there. she comes back down and they slowly board the 2:13 train.

the problem is that you have to go through the ticket agent, then you have to go through french customs and then english customs. then there is a waiting hall where you stand before you can go get on the train. this whole thing take a long time normally. they suggest you arrive 30-45 minutes before your train. so they're already an hour behind, then they are EXTRA precautious because of the "bomb scare." after that train is loaded and gone, they allow the people for the 2:47 train up. the whole time, we are standing patiently waiting to go up. we wanted to go sit at a restaurant because we haven't eaten anything, BUT we didnt want to miss the slim chance that they allow people up the stairs.

we walked back over to the business stairs, even though we dont have business class tickets. we were looking up at the platform above with the MASSIVE queues of people and we thought "we can't wait in that. absolutely not." so we stand in front of the stairs for business class. we kept asking "can the 3:07 train go up? can we board?" and they kept saying FIVE MINUTES. cinq minutes! they don't haev a good understanding of the fact that once 5 minutes goes by, if you keep saying 5 minutes, its probably better to just say "a half hour" the first time you're asked. we could've gotten something to eat or i could've bought some souvenirs. so we were frustrated.

meanwhile, more and more and more people are starting to show up at the train stations. for their 3:30, 4:00, 4:45, even 5pm trains. and NO ONE FROM EUROSTAR TELLS ANYONE WHATS GOING ON. so people from evening trains are trying to get up and they are turned away. in addition, the announcements are the automatic ones saying "the train for 3:07 will board now" but it isn't actually boarding.

and then... dum dum dum... they finally announce that the 3:07 train can enter. we were worried that they would notice our tickets clearly say "standard" and not "business" so i was super sneaky and put my passport over that part of the ticket. elaine did the same, and they just looked at the time to ensure we were at 3:07. we headed up and missed about a thousand people who had to wait separately. i forgot that since i am not european, i have to fill out a boarding card for england, so there was a slight hiccup in the process there. but elaine moved forward to the security section where you have to put your suitcase through. i met up with her in line (i'm normally AGAINST cutting in line, but we were traveling together). we didn't have any time to get any food in the waiting area and just went directly to our seats. from the time that we sat down in our seats to when we left, it was 45 minutes. thats how long it took to load the whole train. it was kind of crazy. i ended up getting some food in the food car and elaine slept. we ended up getting back to her place around 7:30pm, which is when we would've normally LEFT paris, so all in all, we made up some time; although not as much as we wanted to.

when we got to her flat, there was a menu for an indian restaurant, so we ordered and i went down to the corner store to get some beers. peroni - my first time having, very good! the indian food was DELICIOUS. mmmm... now that i'm thinking about it again, i'm craving it. ha.

we watched coco avant chanel, which was a good flick. we were in bed by 11 (only an hour later than we wanted) and all in all, a good end to our french trip, but still frustrating to think about: WHY don't the french just TELL everyone what's going on?? then people could leave and come back. oh and WHY didn't the little old lady whose train was at 7pm, NOT move from in front of the stairs?? why did she just stand there??? ugh.

[song by rich calloway]

Monday, August 2, 2010

hit the road jack

[editor's note: i started this the other day on my blackberry and am posting for you today.]

Omg! I really can't believe this. I'm sitting at a cafe in paris waiting for a friend and thought "I HAVE to blog about it. " So.... Its about 1030 in the morning on saturday. I was meant to meet my friends at 9 am. Elaine stayed at a friends house last night and the three of us agreed to get an early start in paris before the tourists got up. That, and, the wedding was great and we were up until 5am the night before. So last night I planned to go to bed around 1030 so I could get a lot of sleep. Of course I ended up checking my bb and then called my people at work. So I don't fall asleep until after midnight. This is important bcs I really really wanted to get at least eight hours of sleep. My alarm went off at 745. I was still tired so I stayed in bed. The next thing I know, its 815. I'm thinking that it'll take me 15-20 min to walk to the place de la bastille, where we are meeting. (for those who know paris, we're in the 6th arrondisement right off of st. germain.) mThat means I had 20 min to shower and get ready. I rushed and when I got out of the shower, I see elaine had called. "please tell my you're running late" I said when she answered. "Yes, I overslept" she replied. We were going to meet at 10 but then we decided we should meet at 930 instead so I didn't fall back asleep, which was very tempting.

i used to live in paris, and used to walk all over, so i feel like i kind of know my way around. and i'm pretty good with directions. so i take out my paris guide, which is the same one i had when i lived here, and open it up to the 11th arrondisement, where bastille is. i look at the main road leading there and see that i can cross the seine and then head past chatelet all the way up. when i left the house, i put on a podcast that was about 52 minutes long. "no big deal," i thought. "i'll finish it when i get home later." so i start walking. and walking. i look at my guidebook to make sure i'm going the right way. i am. and then i'm like "oh, i remember this road! great. i'm almost there." then my podcast stops. and i was like "holy crap! i can't believe how long it's taken me!" so i keep walking. finally, i get into the place. elaine had emailed my blackberry to say they were at a restaurant having breakfast. she gave me the street and the resto name. i look in my guidebook to find the road where she's at, but i can't find it. i also had a missed call from her, so i call her back. i'm like "i JUST got here - i can't believe how long it took me!" she thought i must've gotten a late start. so she tells me the name of the street again, and says they are in the 4th arrondisement. so, i look in the guidebook and i finally find the road. i tell her i'll be there in 5 minutes. i'm looking around the place and i can't see the opera, where we said we'd originally meet. i'm kind of confused. i look at the street sign to see where i am and i see "place de la republique." NOT "place de la bastille." i went to the wrong effing place. i call elaine back. "i'm in republique!" i scream. we both start laughing. i walked an extra 2 miles north of where i was supposed to go. and all of a sudden - everything made sense: bastille REALLY IS only 20 min from our apartment; the street i was on looked familiar because thats the street i used to walk home on when i lived at REPUBLIQUE; i couldn't figure out why they were in the 4th, when i was in the 3rd, etc. it was soooo silly and such a STUPID mistake that its just a huge joke. to compare, this is like saying you'll meet someone at west acres and then end up at moorhead center mall. or saying you'll meet someone at harvard and going to havard street on the green line instead of harvard square on the red line. it was bizarre.

so anyway, since they were in a car, they drove to me. which was good. i spent 70 minutes walking and was still tired from the past few nights. i got a tea and waited for them. they came and elaine stayed with me while our friend went to run errands. elaine and i then walked from republique to my old apartment (oh, we took a picture, i'll have to download for you!) and then past le canal st. martin (right by my old place which is where amelie was filmed). we walked up to this new area we had never been, for about an hour, and then it started raining, so we ducked into a cafe and had a drink (martini blanc, pour moi!) while we waited for the rain to finish. then we hopped on the metro to le sacre coeur - my favorite place in paris. it would be SO fabulous if there weren't a ton of tourists and fake deaf kids trying to get you to give them money. (who, btw, were NOT deaf, because they kept pointing at the word "deaf" on their sheet instead of "sourd" (the french word) which means they HEARD us speaking english to each other.) we had lunch at this really really french place in montmartre and then walked down from le sacre coeur, but accidentally went the wrong way down and ended up heading OUT of paris. so we jumped back on the metro and headed home. i finally got a nap in, which i desperately needed, and then we met our friend again for dinner at a very very french restaurant just below our apartment. was good fun for last day in paris. i still can't believe i walked to the wrong place.

if you look at the map below, we are kind of by the jardin de luxembourg. then you see how far i walked when i didn't go to la bastille. then we basically walked form republique to sacre coeur and montmartre (we only took the metro 4 stops, which was really close, but we were super tired). lots and LOTS of walking today.

[ray charles - because i really hit the road today. and sometimes they call me jack.]

Sunday, August 1, 2010

goodbye blue sky

greetings! just a quick note to say hello. am in the apple store - last day in paris. its sunday and i originally had a train back to london at 8pm tonight. we changed it to leave at 3pm instead. we didn't want to get back to london so late. this way, we get to elaine's flat by 5pm, can unpack, relax and have a nice dinner (if thats possible in london!) before heading to bed since we both have to work tomorrow. i am working mon and tues from the london office and then flying back to boston on wed. i imagine that i'll be pretty busy on monday and tuesday nights. going out with friends and my coworkers might want to go out. who knows?

anyway, things have been busy. the wedding was great. we got the water back. i'll write more about it all later. this morning, i allowed myself to sleep in as long as possible. i thought that might be until 10am or so, but it ended up being 830. that was fine. i got up and realized i could get some stuff done at the apple store, so i came in and i have been a multitasking FOOL! i went through 100+ unread emails, blogged, am listening to podcasts on my headphones (am SUPER behind on all my podcasts - rarely have been using my ipod since i've been here and now i have 131 unlistened/unwatched podcasts - crazy!! normally i have 30), AND i have been putting CDs on my computer. the apartment where i am staying has a bunch of nice jazz CDs, and so i thought i'd put them on my computer (i like to have lots and lots of music). BUT when i put them on in the apartment, there is no internet, so the computer can't tell what CD it is. that is the main reason why i came to the apple store, so i could download a bunch of music data. its going well so far.

oh! and you wouldnt BELIEVE the queues here. i crossed the bridge to the louvre and thought "do i go in the solitary entrance to apple, or do i go by the main entrance?" i decided i'd go in the main entrance and then leave via the solitary door. i entered under the back entrance of the louvre (outside) and saw THOUSANDS of people standing in line. it was 9am. then i realized why. its the first sunday of the month - all museums in paris are free. there were sooo many tourists waiting in line, it was wrapping around the pyramid, then around the building and into the other side of the building. it was crazy. and it also meant i couldnt go in the main entrance. so i headed across the louvre to the other entrance. it's a REALLY long walk. the louvre is soo big. anyway, got to the apple store right when it opened (10am) and have been busy doing stuff ever since. i have to head back to the apartment soon so i can pack, clean a bit, grab some breakfast, and maybe stop by to get my jewelry that i kind of really want... we'll see...

i've taken lots of pictures, and will hopefully get them up this week. i have a lot of funny stories, too. can't wait to write about them! will maybe do on the train back to london...

catch ya'll on the flip side.

[goodbye blue sky is a song by Pink Floyd because i am leaving paris today... sniff, sniff]

dream apartment - 40

i saw this post that said people could make their homes look like a deserted island. although, i kind of think this picture is FROM a deserted island, which means that making your home look like a deserted island is pretty easy. but yeah, my dream apartment would be near the beach. but in a city. the beach city.