Monthly Archives: December 2009

Paris, J’arrive!

Gearing up and getting ready to haul ourselves, our bags, and all our Christmas presents to Paris through the snow. I just really hope that the trains will be running on time (HA, right…) and that we are not a day late due to strikes. Makes everything run so smooth, those strikes. But I cannot wait to get there! Clairouin family Christmas parties and a MAJOR PARTY with my parents, sister, god parents, and god sister. Paris better get ready! They won’t know what hit them once we’re all there…AMERICAN EXODUS TO PARIS! (Can’t wait to report back how the Parisians act towards us, this is going to be hilarious.)

But right now I’m running off to a friend’s house for the last international party of the semester (SOOOO SADDDD). I cannot believe that everyone is leaving and that people I’ve come so close to are now going back to their home countries. Well, it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. (And you know, my international friends, that I love you all so much!)

What are your plans for Christmas? Tell me!

Hope you’re all doing well and not buried in 10 feet snow (like most of the East Coast right now) and Europe’s going into a deep freeze now too. Get your longjohns on and grab a hot toddy!

PS – I finished my paper today and I gave money to both the women, in case you were wondering 🙂


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“You Are Your Own Devil,” Georgina Spelvin

Mhm…yes…so true are the words of Ms. Spelvin, former porn actor, now 73 years old. And I guess she would know a thing or two about that…but, anyways! I really should be writing my last paper, but I’m deviling myself, and stopping my own success by painting my nails and trotting around online. All I want to do is go Christmas shopping, wrap presents, and fill the kitchen with Christmas smells. Especially since ITS SNOWING! The first snow of the year!!

Anyways, I’m writing about the gay community as immigrants to New York City in the 1960s and how they are actors of innovation and creativity. Awesome topic, non? I am so excited to write this paper, I don’t know why I am avoiding it. I guess I just don’t want to fail myself, nor our good family friend, the late Mr. Herbert Muschamp, genius and prolific architecture critic for the New York Times. Writing something on Herbert’s work has been brewing in my mind for several years now, one of the reasons why I’m psyching myself out about writing this paper. It’s most definitely my tribute to him, my auntie. I’ve even gotten the advice of my daddies to write this paper, which is what happens when you are the daughter of two deans of architecture, and even freaking know the writers I am citing – Sennett and Sassen. Damn It Lise, Get On With It. You Know You Can Do It. Ah, but to walk in the footsteps of geniuses is soooo scary. At least I don’t have any expectations to fulfill, definitely no genius here! Just one lazy girl who wants to be done with her exams so that she can go fuel the Christmas economy and buy lavish presents for her family.

PS – A major dilemma occurred the other day, which I thought was very ironic, and makes me feel terrible. Across the street there is a homeless woman who always sits in the same place outside the department store. Each time someone walks past, she says hello. I always say hello back and once I gave her two euros. Now, because it’s the Christmas season, there is also a woman from the Salvation Army, ringing a little bell, and asking for donations for the homeless. Now, what do I do? I’m a bitch if I give the homeless woman some money and don’t give the Salvation Army woman money. But then I’m also a bitch if I give some money to the Salvation Army woman and not to the homeless person. So, my instinctively selfish side cut in, told myself that I don’t have much money either, and kept on walking. Ah, the holiday season. Makes all of us bitches, no matter what we do. I’m going to give money to both of the women today.

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The Anthropology of Youtube

I’ve been casually watching Youtube as a sociologist-in-training for two years now and am astonished that I never found this video sooner. If you have even watched one video on Youtube, or even if you don’t know anything about Youtube, you need to watch this! It will freaking blow your MINDDDD.

(and even though it is long, it’s definitely worth watching the whole thing!)


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Cough, Cough…Sniff, Sniff…Oink, Oink

Just kidding – no swine flu here – but I am sick, have semi-lost my voice, and, of course, just in time for exams! Amazing…What timing! What precision! What skill!

Three exams and two papers. This can be done. I just hope my eyes/nose stop watering.

How are you all? I hope the flu-cold season hasn’t reached you.

In other news (and yes, actually in the news) I watched the opening ceremony of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit and am absolutely thrilled for a city so dear to my heart to be hosting such an amazing conference.

I know there’s a lot of talk about the carbon footprint of the conference (Bill even joked about the fact that the airplane travel alone is causing climate change) but if something can be done to reduce carbon output worldwide, I’m all for it – yes, I am a tree huger, and so what? (I also think it’s majorly impressive that 2/3 of the food at the conference is organic…this must mean that the entire organic production in Denmark is going straight to the conference!)

What do you think about the conference?

PS – A small update on the metro story. I’ve been carefully analyzing the metro system (yes, this is what I do in my free time….no, you silly!) and have noticed that it’s not the people’s fault, but rather the construction of the metro car and metro station is, well, just bad. The cars are very small and don’t leave enough room for people to stand. The metro station platforms are not wide enough and therefore a major jam occurs when passengers are trying to get on/off the metro. While Lille’s metro system is the first fully electronic, ie: no driver, metro system, they perhaps didn’t think the planning through all the way. It was also opened in 1983 – maybe they never expected so many people to use the metro?

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Musique to my ears

Some classic French tunes and KUB3’s December playlist to keep you boppin’ through exam season!

I am seeing M tonight!! WHOOOHOO!!! This concert has been sold out for months. Best French guitarist and absolutely one of the coolest musicians ever.

Phoenix – epic.

And, of course, an oldie to warm your hearts.

Please comment below and let me know what you are listening to right now! I want to hear your beats!!

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Fire? Fire! Oh well.

This morning we had a fire drill at Sciences Po. Of course, there was no previous warning that there was going to be a drill, and so I thought it was a real fire. Especially when people actually came looking for us in the classroom (because my professor just continued to teach…!).

After living in Los Angeles, where earthquake drills are a regular activity, and in Charlottesville, Virginia, where fire drills are normal because delinquent kids pull the fire alarm all the time, I know the drill – do what you’re told, do it efficiently, and do it fast. So, you can understand my surprise (and the surprise of all the internationals students) when we saw the French students shuffling slowly out of the building, cramming onto the stairs, and blocking the sidewalk just in front of the school, creating a HUGE human traffic jam. People were just hanging out, smoking, even singing. Is this how the French react in times of emergencies? If there had been a real fire, we would have been absolutely screwed – and, perhaps, dead. SWEET!

Assume what you will…I’m not saying that the French cannot get their shit together (and Olivier assures me it’s because they just don’t care). But, really?

In other news, got my hair cut (and it was extremely weird because the hairdresser used an electric hair trimmer the whole time. No scissors! Is this a new technique?) and my LG Shine phone has a problem with its Bluetooth, so I couldn’t show you photos or a video of the fire drill. If you are considering buying an LG Shine, don’t.


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