25 January 2009


I’m not getting my hopes up because I know how these things go, and I haven’t even gotten anything yet, but I did receive an intriguing e-mail from the Columbus Dispatch late Friday night.

I applied – late – for a summer copy-editing internship with them. They have just informed me that I am among the five or six finalists that they are considering for the position. If they decide that I am one of their preferred candidates, they will be setting up a phone interview this week.

I’ve never really interviewed for a position of this caliber so if I am selected for an interview, I am going to be nervous beyond belief. I don’t particularly interview well, but maybe I look good enough on paper to make up for it.

It’s funny that earlier this week, I was settling into the idea of actually being home for the summer. I haven’t been home for more than two weeks in almost two years, so it would be pretty nice to be nestled into the West Michigan area for an extended period of time, especially after being in a (literally) foreign land.

This revelation made the contact from the Columbus Dispatch unexpected and nearly disconcerting. I at first was not sure if I would even want the position anymore. But it does pay well, and in this difficult economic climate that is hitting newspapers across the country, it is my (hopefully) extensive experience that will set me apart. Plus, Columbus isn’t so far from home that I couldn’t drive back for a weekend or two throughout the summer.

I’m just trying to keep my mind and options open and not set my sights on anything in particular. I learned the hard way how much it hurts when you put your heart into something, so I’m trying my best to stay completely impartial, and come what may, I will be happy.

Musique: "Against All Odds" The Postal Service

19 January 2009

Fitting Rooms


Musique: "Natural's Not In It" Gang of Four

15 January 2009


I have recently rediscovered my immense love for two things: books and music.

I have been in constant contact with these two forms of media, but the increasing mundanity of this contact has made me forget how much I love them. The activities of listening to music and reading are daily occurrences for me: I constantly have my iPod on as I commute and my iTunes is almost always up when I am at home. And, as a lit major, I always have some sort of reading associated with my classes. At times, I do both activities simultaneously, switching my iPod on as I plow through a text.

Finding myself with a bit of free time, however, I finally returned to my mythical and beloved pastime of pleasure reading. There is nothing better than sitting down to read a book of my own choosing which I can breeze through at my own pace and my own leisure without concern for a deadline or for the quotes that I will pull from it for my essay. Yesterday, I spent all afternoon curled up in the windowsill of a random, third-floor room of the Louvre finishing off a Patrick Modiano book that I had been wanting to read. The room’s aubergine walls, Dutch paintings and perfect view of the Palace Royal made the experience all the more magical. I had forgotten that magic.

Likewise, in constantly surrounding myself with music, I had forgotten its power. I forgot its magical ability to transport the listener across space and time to past eras – its ability to make memories come alive. On a recent stroll through my iTunes catalogue, I haphazardly clicked on the music of Linkin Park, a band my “Last Played” column revealed that I had not listened to in over two years. As the songs played, I was suddenly immersed in the faux teenage angst of my freshman year of high school. My musical tastes may have changed since then, but I still knew all the words, and I was pleased to revel in the memory of it all, no matter how unsophisticated the music may be.

Going further back, I recently acquired a Nanci Griffith album on my computer. This same exact “retrospective,” in cassette-tape form, was one of a number of albums that served as the soundtrack of my youth. Certain classics from my dad’s massive tape collection – which I distinctly and fondly remember organizing and re-alphabetizing each year with my brother and dad – are ingrained in my subconscious. Whenever I hear these songs, I am transported back to the pleasant memories of that safe and simple time when I still had a home and our family was all together, when I didn’t have to worry about the future and I didn’t know what stress what. What’s more, when the songs are actually great, it’s even more of a pleasure to return to them. When I was young, I may have liked the songs, but I didn’t understand how amazing of a songwriter Nanci Griffith is.

I am glad I have rediscovered this magic.

Musique: “Love at the Five and Dime” Nanci Griffith

08 January 2009

Top 10 Albums of 2008

As an amateur music critic, I present to you my list of my top 10 favorite popular music albums released in the year 2008:

1 – Narrow Stairs, Death Cab for Cutie 2 – Santogold, Santogold 3 – Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne 4 – Modern Guilt, Beck 5 – Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend 6 – 808s & Heartbreaks, Kanye West 7 – Partie Traumatic, Black Kids 8 – Rising Down, The Roots
9 – Third, Portishead 10 – Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, Lupe Fiasco

If you (1) read this blog – which I’m not quite sure that anyone does, besides my parents – and (2) listen to contemporary popular music, please weigh in on my list or offer your own in the comments.

Musique: Kala, M.I.A. (which was atop my list in 2007)

05 January 2009

Mind Maps

Let’s not have a breakdown
No, not another breakdown
You’re on your own a long way from home
Let’s not have a breakdown

(J. De Martino and K. White)

Who knew that under their fun and friendly dance/electro beats, the Ting Tings could offer me such an appropriate reminder?

Thankfully I have taken those words of wisdom to heart, and although I have been on the verge of breakdown since yesterday evening, I am somehow keeping things together.

A number of different anxieties from various aspects of my life are hitting me hard all at the same moment. My biggest concern at present is my post-colonial-cinema final exam which is a three-hour, fun-filled extravaganza that counts for half of my grade for the semester in the class. But no pressure or anything.

Presently, I am managing to keep my head above water as it were. I actually accomplished a great deal toward preparing for my exam during my five-hour rendez-vous with the library at Paris VII.

I also invented my own anxiety-management technique. I created a fifth-grade-style mind map of all the things that were stressing me out at that exact moment. After everything was down on paper, I violently crossed off those which I should not be worrying about either because they are frivolous or much too far in the future. I prioritized the remaining anxieties so that I can address them systematically.

I know the context is different, but Kanye sure has me pegged – “You worry about the wrong things, the wrong things” – and this priority-based method helped me sort this all out.

Also, remembering to breath, that’s a good thing. A very good thing.

Musique: “Traffic Light” The Ting Tings

04 January 2009


My Christmas presents:

Manteau: Zara (49,90 €)
Bottes: Bata (29,90 €)

Musique: “Get Busy” The Roots

03 January 2009

New Year. New Blog.

I’ve grown tired of polluting my Paris blog with anxieties and reflections of the navel-gazing variety that have little to do with la vie parisienne.

Donc, I am creating this auxiliary blog for my random, non-Paris-related musings.

Perhaps I am devolving to a genre of fruitless self-reflection akin to that which I previously resisted. I had always thought blogs of this nature were silly and self-indulgent, but now that I have gotten a taste for the intriguing genre of prose that manifests itself within a blog, I can’t get enough.

My first self-indulgent reflection: New Year’s resolutions. I am never big on these. I rarely make them and am even less likely to stick to them. But I have a couple for this year:

I hope to stay close to my loved ones and keep in touch with friends and family afar. I have always had trouble keeping in touch with people, but I feel like I am already doing better at this since I’ve been in Paris. With so many means of communication at my fingertips, it shouldn’t be hard, but I know it will be a challenge nonetheless.

My second resolution will be infinitely more difficult for me. I vow to do what makes me happy. It sounds easy enough, but there are a number of factors involved in this. The most difficult aspect is to attempt to stop thinking of what others would think of my choices. I have always had a weakness and a fear for some mythical force of peers who I believe to judge my every decision. I need to overcome this self-consciousness and reliance on others. Instead, I need to prioritize what it is that truly makes me happy and do it. Simple as that.

Simple as this.

Call me a navel-gazer.

Musique: "DontGetIt" Lil Wayne