Monday, December 31, 2007

An Anti-Resolution New Year's Manifesto

Embracing Myself in the New Year (or, a Resolution to Stop Making Resolutions)

1. Lose 5 pounds. Embrace the curvy, food-loving me (and a new era of comfortable girdles called Spanx).

2. Be less judgemental. Embrace the critical thinking me (and move to the East Coast).

3. Exercise more. Embrace the sedentary, intellectual me (and live on the top of a hill).

4. Make more money. Embrace the carefree, bohemian me (and get another credit card).

5. Choose a career, for God's sake! Embrace the charming dilettante me (and pad that resume).

6. Moderate drinking habits. Embrace the happy, extemporaneous, drunk me (and buy some milk thistle).

7.Be more consistently productive. Embrace the last-minute, cramming, term-paper-in-an-hour me (and invest in a good espresso machine).

8. Be more diligent about writing this blog. Embrace the impetuous, unpredictable me (and revel in the fact that Blogger lets me post retroactively!).

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mid-December Paris Light

Taken near the Seine, just as we were finishing up an afternoon of pre-Christmas window shopping...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

English Christmas Pudding

Just before it got covered in brandy and lit on fire....whee! Nothing like a little pyrotechnical action to spice up a holiday!

A Champagne Christmas

Oysters and caviar in agar-agar (seaweed gelatin), frost outside the window, truly monstrous cheese platter (yikes!), and the last of some really simple, really yummy potatoes.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

After All is Said and Done...

...getting married was a great excuse to throw a party! Though strangely, possibly because my adrenalin was so high (?), I couldn't even get drunk (though I certainly tried!). Cognac was no match for the excitement of being surrounded by so much love, friendship, and laughter. We finished the evening at 6 a.m. dancing to rap music in the living room, until it was time to clear out and get some sleep. We had almost enough beds, but not quite. The best man curled up on the floor in front of the fireplace, and someone threw a tablecloth over him...c'est la vie, c'est la fete.

(photo: Lance Lee/ombre chinoise media)

Presto Change-o

While we're on the topic of the shoes, here I am changing into them at the Mairie, after coming in from the rain. Rock 'n' roll!
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"The Shoes"

Here they are, ready for their close-up! (Jill asked about them so I thought I'd give them a little blogging air time. I don't usually talk about fashion or clothes, but these seemed too good not to feature!)

I bought these babies back in April, in a fit of reckless credit card spending (is there any other kind?) just before my show at Bar Fleurs, when I quite deludely (delusionally?) believed that I would sell all of my paintings and get rich quick (NOT). Never have I worn, or considered wearing, such high heels (about three inches I think - but they seem even higher). They transform me from the size of a basketball guard like John Stockton (whom I once saw on a TV show referred to as "the diminuitive John Stockton" - at 6'1") to the towering stature of a forward like Kevin McHale (hopefully without the Herman Munster shoulders). Needless to say, it took me a while to get the hang of such high heels, and it's still a challenge to walk in them without looking like an inhabitual male cross-dresser.

But all that being said - I love these shoes. They are completely unnecessary and yet I couldn't imagine my closet without them. And because my wedding dress was borrowed, I can totally rationalize spending money on them "instead of" a dress - yay! (I'm very good at rationalizing purchases, BTW, in case you ever need any help with that).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Le Mariage

It's been almost three weeks and it already feels like ancient history! At 4 pm on a rainy Friday in early December, we made our way to the Mairie de Xeme in Paris (with its Salle de Mariage shown here in photo, quite an impressive place) and tied the knot (don't know the French equivalent expression - anyone?). As I walked into the Mairie, shaking out my soaked umbrella and taking off my waterlogged boots, someone said consolingly, "Mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux!" (translation: "Rainy wedding, happy marriage." Interesting that mariage covers both the ceremony and the state of being married in French...)

A lot of people asked me afterwards if I cried or felt emotional during the ceremony. In fact I didn't - which is ironic, because I've cried at every other wedding I've ever been to, including when I went as a date to weddings of people I didn't know! How then could I have been so sang-froid at my own? Perhaps because the ceremony was in French, and I was using most of my energy to understand the formal, legal language as it bounced off the cavernous, museum-like spaces of marble and glass (that, in addition to making sure that my new Spanx girdle - something new- stayed up, and the asymmetrical shoulders of my designer dress and slip - something borrowed - remained in place). Thus I couldn't tell you everything that was said, though I don't think any of it was too bad, since the Maire and his assistant were smiling throughout (or perhaps they were just drunk from lunch? Because I have to say, for French officials, they were quite jovial). I know they read our names, and our dates of birth and occupations, and who our parents were (I think), and where we live, and so on. After that there was some stuff about marriage itself, and what it means, but the main thrust seemed to be about taking care of any children we might have, i.e., providing for them financially (interesting how French property laws reinforce this focus on children inheriting their parents' wealth - making me wonder about the historical details which created the need for such laws...).

The whole thing took about 20 minutes from start to finish, including the bride and groom (les maries - with accent on the "e", but i can't seem to do it on blogger) saying "Oui" (instead of "I do") and signing a bunch of papers up at the podium to seal the event (that part was a little stressful, I admit, as any bureaucratic moment is - I always feel that I'm signing my life away, or my soul or something. I think it goes back to early experiences with grammar school IQ tests...).

The only rather strange bit (I mean, other than the whole idea of marriage and all being strange, but we'll leave that for another discussion!) was when, at the very end, after the Maire said he hoped we'd stay in the 10th arrondissement (um, sorry, actually we're leaving!), he thanked everyone for coming and then passed around a collection plate...! (Holdover from the Catholic Church? It did seem strange to do at a wedding, although I admit he had a captive audience...)

(photo collage: Lance Lee/ombre chinoise media)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Solstice Sunrise

Wishing everyone a warm and peaceful holiday, wherever you are!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Back to the Blogging Board!

My, my, but what a long hiatus this has been, even for an on-again off-again, ne'er-do-well blogger such as myself. Somehow the combination of computer woes, out-of-town guests, and GETTING MARRIED (more on that later) have conspired to keep me from my habitual musings on Life As I Know It (or rather, Life As I Think I Know It). So please accept my profuse apologies for this upsetting disruption in service and know that I'll make it up to you in the future (hmmm...perhaps I could also blame the Writers' Strike? now there's an idea...). The good thing about winter hibernation (a mode which I am now quite comfortably slipping into) is that it keeps me at home and without much to do, except, perhaps, read, sleep, eat, and blog (probably in that order, too).

Anyway, I'm sure my readers have been chomping at the bit to hear all about the last few weeks' glamourous events (who wouldn't be?), and I promise that the scintillating details are forthcoming. But first, here's a glimpse of what I was doing while not blogging during those crazy weeks: making lists! That's right, leading up to the Big Event on December 7th, my desk saw a veritable flurry of list-making: lists within lists, lists re-copied and edited and scratched out and given to other people (my helpful minions, who arrived none too soon!), lists written only to be discarded or stuffed into a bag and written again, etc, etc. (I even thought of keeping some of them for old times' sake, but honestly, who wants to look at old to-do lists? Especially when, as we got closer to the Big Day, the lists became increasingly filled with almost panicked admonitions to do the simplest things, such as "Get up. Take shower. Get dressed"....and so on.)

Now the lists are gone, as well as the guests, the pressure, and the excitement (not to mention the champagne), and life is getting back to "normal" - meaning, no longer at such a fever pitch (I like the fever pitch, don't get me wrong, but I think I operate more productively at a slow crawl). It is wonderful to be on the other side of those overbearing to-do lists, and have time to reflect on everything that's happened, instead of just swirling around within the events. So now I have lots of time to me to reflect and think and look at photos! Yay!