Thursday, February 21, 2008

Moving Day Only A Week Away!

(No photo today because the sky is the color of graying underwear.)

I'm moving - I'm crazed - I have a million (ok, only 899,000) annoying little details to attend to before the shippers come tomorrow - and meanwhile I have this almost fervent urge to blog, to write, to paint, to stand on my head and get the blood flowing, to complete at least one of the many projects I promised myself I would finish before I left Paris - but nooooo, I must not stray from the task at hand! I must be diligent and organized and efficient, because, because, well, because if I'm not then... all hell might break loose!

OK. I'm a bit calmer now after my walk. I forced myself to leave the house before the sun went down, because - oh yeah! - that's another thing I want to do, get in shape! And there is just no time to do everything I want to do, because, well, there is no time! (Weird how that can trudge about for months, feeling like time is this long spool of thread you're obliged to unwind, slowly and hypnotically and always in the same direction, and then all of a sudden time becomes a whirling dervish knocking all your tables over, and all you can do is grab what you can and run!)

Here's what I saw on my walk, in case you're curious:

- a man wearing a red scarf
- a man who looked like Harvey Keitel (but only from a distance)
- at least 12 woman pushing baby strollers (separately, of course)
- a flock of teenagers outside a school, giddy and screaming (was I really ever one of them? I can't imagine getting giddy about anything at the moment, except perhaps a hot meal cooked by someone else)
- an acquaintance whom I had just been thinking about, but never thought I'd see again, who was the subject of some mild gossip which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with me but which upsets me (mildly) nonetheless

And finally - as I was leaving the park, an older Frenchman passed me and said what sounded like: "Tu as une belle chasse," which makes no sense because chasse means "hunt." I have a nice hunt? Huh? Maybe he said "Tu as une belle chatte" - which is vulgar, to say the least (and not a typical older Frenchman's one-liner). Or perhaps he said "Tu es une belle chiasse" - I am a beautiful pain in the ass? Yeah, well....aren't we all?

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Pinks and Blues of Spring

Well, almost spring. We're still, after all, in February. But the colors are coming back, and like happy pills, they certainly do add a lift to the days..

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hello, Super Tuesday! (or, The Naked Truth)

*Blogger's Note: Today's blog strays widely from my usual non-political, artiste-in-Paree ramble. But - and this is the honest-to-god truth - I had a dream last night in which a Dutch blogger who I met back at France 24 last spring told me I had to blog about the election. I know it's weird, but here I am.

Part of the silver lining of being raised by narcissistic parents (besides the fact that it makes you prone to always look for the silver lining!) is that it gives you a really good bullshit detector for the rest of your life. The constant task of monitoring other people's moods for your own survival makes you hyper-aware, hyper-alert to every nuance in human behavior, like some sort of 24-hour emotional sentry (unless of course it makes you crazy, which is also a possibility). Since you spend your earliest days sifting through lies and distortions, you are - in my humble unlicensed opinion - pretty darn qualified to tell when someone is being real.

Which brings me to today's primary.

Much has been written, said, debated, blah blah blah, about the candidates, who, in the case of the Democrats, have now been whittled down to two. Much of the recent "news" about them has in fact been commentary on the news about them (as friend V said, "The media love commenting on the media"). So how do we sift through all of this and vote for the person we think will do the better job?

For the last eight years, Americans have been deceived and lied to in ways I never thought possible in the richest nation on earth. Talk about narcissistic parents! These people make Joan Crawford look like a walk in the park. Do you remember the window of time that was post-9/11, pre-Iraq? It's hard to believe that there was ever a time when Americans could still make a choice about being in Iraq. But there was. And our leaders, our Democratic leaders, were in positions of power to make that choice. And Hillary Clinton was one of them. And she voted to give the president power to make war.

This was not "a" mistake on her part, it was "the" mistake of our era. Americans have lost so much since then, as a result of hers and other Democrats' cowardice: human lives, billions of dollars, international goodwill, not to mention a whole generation of seriously damaged men and women coming back from Iraq. (Can you say Vietnam II?)

Why didn't she read the documents which only she, as a Senator, had access to? Why didn't she do her job and protect us from the insanity of the Bush administration? How on earth can I vote for someone who, when in a position of power, went against every single core value and belief in my being?

Moreover, why didn't Clinton speak out against the war at the beginning? Didn't she feel in her gut that it was a bad idea? Millions of Americans already did. I was with about 100,000 of them marching in San Francisco in October, 2002. These people knew that going to war with Iraq was wrong, wrong, wrong. They didn't need to split hairs over it, or pore over legal documents with a microscope, or worry about how it would affect their career, to know that this was a fishy war, a trumped-up war, a war with other motives than protecting Americans from terrorism.

I guess our numbers just weren't enough yet to make the politicians worry about anything other than their jobs or "looking tough."

Meanwhile, there were a few glimmers of sanity, of reality, in all that mind-boggling mess. Barack Obama was one of those glimmers. Ted Kennedy was one of those glimmers. These are the people whom - regardless of whatever other flaws they may have - I look to for hope, for leadership, in a world where both qualities are sorely needed.

Now we get to the lie detector part. What can I say? I can only listen to people, and look at their body language, and like a dutiful jury member, decide for myself what's real or not. When Obama speaks, I feel - in my gut - that he is telling the truth. When Clinton speaks I feel that I am being served up a calculated plate of politics. Same sh-t, different politician.

In the end, it comes down to a simple matter of gut feeling. How else can we know anything in this life, after all is said and done? We can read and talk and listen and learn, but ultimately, as e.e. cummings said, "feeling is first." And so it is with our votes. We go with what we feel, even if we call it "what we know".

Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps Obama is simply doing a better acting job and I've been snowed (though I don't think so). And I can't guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt that Obama will be the Kennedy-King dream that some are hoping for. But I'm willing to give him a chance. Clinton had her chance to decide on America's future, and in my opinion, she blew it. Big time.

Friday, February 01, 2008

T Minus 30 (and counting)

If nothing else, moving makes one aware of the incessant ticking by of time - as these expired pharmaceutical items bear witness (did I ever even use any of these? I honestly can't remember what most of them were for - although NausiCalm seems pretty obvious).

So this is it. The last four weeks in our apartment in Paris, the last four weeks of My Glamourous Life in Paris. After this it will be My Glamourous Life in Limbo (but since when was Limbo ever seen as glamourous? I may have to rethink this...)