Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A September Summary

For many of us around the globe, September signifies a time of change and renewal. While spring embraces the natural dominance in that arena, it is autumn that we are brought up to expect the beginning of a new year... or a new school year at least. Even now, at the age of 35, I anticipate the fall and all of the new adventures I will be embarking on. Since I am still a student in some ways and a teacher in others, I am falling right back into the pattern that really never faltered post-diploma. It actually seems like a much better time of year to consider resolutions and plans, as opposed to New Year's Eve or day, when it is too cold or you are too hungover to consider anything other than warmth and water.

For me, this month has been a whirlwind of work work work and occasional whimsy... definitely a month of musing. My birthday is always the inaugural event of the season, leaving me in varying states of optimism, depending on the year. I would say that my 35th exceeded expectations, especially in light of having had the best Unicorn birthday cake in the history of the world ever. 

As is often the case, September becomes a month of frantic running around while you try to organize your schedule and grasp your new routine. I started french class again, which I make vague and inconsistent appearances at. I had a few male dalliances, frankly only adding to my general confusion and absolutely igniting that frisky fever I tend to develop as the leaves begin to kaleidoscope the ground in layers of color (I mean seriously, what better backdrop for some naughty nestling?). My job has been great, full of promising students, opportunities, and a lot of work (despite wanting to throw things at my boss's head on occasion). The one thing that has stood out is a sad lack of time for social engagements, but even more importantly, that growing spark of inspiration that only seems to shimmer and glimmer when I have approximately zero time to cultivate it.

The creative juices have been flowing, in addition to the oh so hot and sexy allergy toxins that invade my body every autumn (or every season change... or weather change... or frankly, day...). The combination is certainly less than helpful when attempting to utilize my precious free time in any sort of productive manner. But the good news is that I have some ideas and even a bit of will power to accomplish some goals (I bought yet another musical keyboard online the other day in the hopes it will shame me to do some work since my apartment won't allow for throwing things under the bed.) With any luck, October will bring a bit of balance to the universe and some new energy for this wandering soul-rambler... Since the word chanteuse means singer in french, it may be just about time to live up to my name.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

When roaming through the godforsaken treasures of the sea,
Enchanted by the myths and legends, folklore running free,
'Tis never quite as easy marking friend from evil foe,
The treachery of pirate life prevents it being so.
The one exception being allied forces from beneath,
A colony aquatic breathing water through their teeth.
The fellowship between these legendary characters,
Has memories in magic far before the modern world.

While swashbuckling and drinking grog, a pirate oft awaits,
Assistance from below the deck, alliance he creates.
The merpeople from 'neath the sea come bursting through the waves,
Displaying feats of glory in the battle ridden haze.

Most people think of mermaids when they ponder creatures deep,
Though men exist of course they haven't quite the same mystique.
In general they do the bidding of the maidens-queen.
Protecting all the empire, using tridents, rarely seen.
The merbabies are trained in all the underwater arts,
Of swimming, swords, and sirening, bewitching foreign hearts.

Now back to magic mermaids who are pirates' special friends.
One doesn't have to guess to see how such a story ends.
The beauty of these trixy vixen ladies of the mer,
Defending and intoxicating pirates to ensnare.

The arrrs and swash swash buckles are no match for mermaid wiles,
A flip of sea-tinged hair and splash of tail make pirates rile.
Their seashell lingerie is decked in foamy glitter spray,
A casual acquaintance proves these aren't worn every day.
On rare occasions pirates have the luck to fall in love,
A mermaid condescending to the ruffians above.
But just be careful if their aye avast is not in line,
The princesses of ocean castles do not waste their time.
For walking planks is not only a pirate's great demand,
And once they've hit the sea the roaring waves will not withstand.
But in the meantime happily a pirate and a maid,
Enjoy the time together rolling round and getting laid.

Perhaps someday this magical entanglement will cease,
But for the moment pirates and their mermaids are at peace.
So think of daring duos, those who're different close amis,
And Have a Happy Pirate Day while dancing in the sea!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Everyone Should Be A Princess

I have always preferred living in a whimsical world of fantasy, mainly as a contrast to the nightmarish scenarios my brain likes to conjure when left to its own devices. From a very young age, I would imagine brain tumors and apocalypses all the live long day. So I frolic, I galavant, I dance in soul-stream, prance in glitter-dust, and consider life as a super hero goddess wizard fairy hobbit sprite. I also talk about being a princess (I am a certified Lady of the Scottish Highlands, so can only move up from there!) and have accidentally created a sort of folklore around myself regarding Unicorns. Half of this is complete nonsense, because nothing makes me feel more grounded and happy and utterly myself than pure ridiculousness. The other half is entirely sincere, in the way that you must believe in anything worth living for. 

If the weather was always warm out and high heels weren't so insanely impractical, I would absolutely wear ball gowns around town, hoofing it like Marie Antoinette and dilly dallying in fields of wildflowers. The main problem is that I think princesses have gotten a little bit of a bad rap. They are often associated with the bad parts of Disney, the submissive gal pining for her prince to save the day. Newer stories are depicting princesses as sassy broads off in quest of a goal, though underpinnings of love still seem to make the heroine weaker than need be. And pink or purple plus a skirt do nothing to help this young lady's sense of strength and self. Don't get me wrong, I am all for feminism. I have been blithely unaware of the real struggles that so many women face because I never took a path that seemed to cross those obstacles. Either that, or I simply didn't stand for them and narcissistically overlooked their very existence. I've had my own trials to be sure, and I have shed many a tear over an undeserving male. But this has never prompted me to want to cut my hair or put on a pair of pants. It has never made me any less interested in living in a castle or wearing a dress made of fresh violets sown together by small woodland creatures. 

Even so, the clothing has very little to do with it. A princess can be equally enchanting in a ball gown or a baseball cap. A real princess is confident and creative, making choices and moving forward. Yes, she by all means demands attention, respect, and anything else she should desire. That doesn't mean she takes it without asking, selfishly waits for it to happen or relinquishes any of the power she was born to radiate. But she does light up the horizon with her dreams and is metaphorically (or not) raised up on a cloud of soul-petals and adored. Why? Because everyone should be a princess. A person who loves and is loved, helps and is helped, creates and is created for. Idealistic? Yes. Naive? Most likely. Absolutely absurd? Without a doubt. But so is life, when you are lucky enough to dream.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cosmic Connection or Coincidence

I have always believed in the cosmos. I don't always know what it means nor that it even has specific meaning. But I believe in energy, I believe energy can change and move and affect other energy. I also believe that energy and magic are the same thing, the only difference being how it is used and frankly who can use it (aka wizards). But I say none of this to ponder endlessly the meaning of life or all paradoxes included in that thought. I say it only it as a preface to those bizarro world moments we experience sometimes and can't help but wonder what the purpose or meaning was, if any. Those moments when you're talking about a movie from 20 years prior and all of a sudden it is on tv the very next day (before google existed and could read your mind through its Big Brother technology of course). That guy who came into your life for no other reason than to remind you he existed after inexplicably knowing you had started to move on. Even those times when something tragic occurs and the only way your brain can function is to grasp onto the hope that it is all part of a greater plan.

I recall a couple of years ago finding myself in the company of a man I thought was akin to my guardian angel. He was a customer at Nespresso when I worked at the boutique on Madison ave on and off for several years. He would come in and sit at the bar with his espresso and his newspaper and occasionally flirt with us ladies in service. Now let's be real, I am blonde and cute, sassy and smart. It is a combination that generally works very well for older men. We struck up a bond of sorts, and he seemed endlessly fascinated with my insanely impractical manner of existence, always encouraging a more pragmatic line of work and way of thinking. Interestingly enough, this was around the time I was about to quit Nespresso for the first time, in pursuit of my real estate license and desire for new and more flexible way of money making. Right before I jumped into this new career (which lasted approximately 2 months btw), I randomly ran into him on the street where my real estate office was, far away from where we both lived or worked. I considered it a good omen and went on with my life. Almost exactly a year later, I had been back at Nespresso for several months but this time working in the retail area, and instead of quitting for real estate I was a week away from leaving for my first Parisian adventure. I was walking past the bar and who should I see but the same guardian angel, once again heralding a new phase in my ever changing life agenda. This time we exchanged information and he ended up giving me a great deal of advice and info whilst I was abroad. He also started sounding a bit more lecherous than my innocent little brain had been able to anticipate. When I returned to NYC a few months later, it was clear he had other expectations which I quickly rebuffed as best I could. And once again several months later, while on my way to an interview around Grand Central station, I walked straight into this gentleman, who acted distinctly cold and odd and I frankly never saw him again. Needless to say, I did not get the job I was interviewing for and truth be told I actually did see him one more time, very briefly. He walked into Nespresso again one day, not at all expecting me to be there, and when he saw me behind the registers, he promptly turned around and fled.

This story has always fascinated me because while I had originally interpreted these strange encounters as the cosmic work of a guardian angel bringing omens of new adventures, I realized that in fact none of these ventures ever worked out and it is very possible he was in fact always the devil in disguise, toting negative karma under his fictional facade.

Now to be frank, this now leads me to a more recent suspicion of cosmic coincidence. We all know that I engage in dalliances on occasion. I sometimes fancy myself Carrie Bradshaw, happy to report my ridiculous moments with the even more ridiculous males of the world. There has in fact been a certain male figure who has popped onto the scene a few times over the past year, never luckier than to be the recipient of some tipsy teasing and goodnatured making out. But since I exclusively participate in absurdist escapades, these particular moments have only ever happened in his car. Say what you will, a city gal is lucky to have a high school age hookup in a car on occasion. The point of my story, however, is that every single time this rendezvous has unfolded, I somehow end up leaving an accessory in his vehicle. The first time an earring, the second time a shoe (don't ask how that went unnoticed) and the third time a cardigan. I say none of this to emphasize the fact that I am in fact a lushy lip whore. That is all fairly well established already. I merely mention it to point out the eternal conundrum of why some things happen when. Perhaps these are all clues to a much greater mystery. Or perhaps, as often the case may be, simply the life links that connect one day to the next, an ongoing stream of moments and memories.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Angela Is A Unicorn Birthday

Birthdays are often strange things to coordinate. I have had many good birthday over the years, and several lackluster affairs. I have had large parties of 50 or more and intimate dinners of less than 10. I have spent a couple of birthdays in different cities or countries, going to Los Angeles or last year in Prague. I admit that I like the idea of traveling on my birthday. Seeing foreign lands and reveling in how special and lucky I am to see so much of the world. This year, it turned out however, timing and scheduling would not allow for such adventures. Instead, I would have my first real Parisian birthday since making this city my home. I had actually arrived in Paris on my birthday two years ago and a good friend of mine was able to take me for dinner and drinks, though of course this year my network has grown. But in recent weeks, I became nervous that most of my friends abroad would not be available, I was missing my friends and family from home, and a stupid boy managed to make me feel less than important for a hot 5 seconds, so the stars just did not seem to be aligning. Despite all, though, I decided that I was going to have a party, it was going to involve Unicorns, and it was not going to be subtle on any level. The time for 35 had arrived and I was going to act as young as possible.

Now, once I create a notion in my silly little head, there is very little that can stop me from getting what I want and going all out. I specifically do not do half-assed when it comes to fantasy and magic. I therefore created my "Angela is a Unicorn 35th Birthday" invitation and set the wheels in motion. I ordered Unicorn plates, napkins and cups, spent some time googling for custom cakes, and finally decided on the location. I chose the Frog and Princess Pub for obvious reasons pertaining to its name but also because it is located on Rue Princesse and offers BBQ as part of their american-themed menu. After several calls to make sure I could bring my own cake and that I didn't need a reservation for what I thought would be a small handful of attendees, the scene was set. Happily, one of my best french friends here in Paris was also able to switch her work shift and join me for the evening. She came over to my little apartment early to help me carry things to the bar and I was happily given my first birthday present of the day: a lovely bouquet of pink flowers, absolutely making me look like a bride en route to the alter. Since I have no vases at the moment, we stuck the flowers into a plastic pitcher and I stood them in my shower while we galavanted off to the pub.

In reality, the first present I had received that day was an amazing music video that one of my best college friends had put together, calling in the troupes to create a lip-syncing spectacular. I spent the morning breathing laughter through tears and knew that my day was likely to only go uphill from there. It therefore did not come as a huge shock when approximately 15 people ultimately ended up stopping by my soiree, showering me with friendship and love. In return, I created a party that only the girliest little 5 year old would probably ever really want. I printed out small pink Unicorns for all of my guests to wear as a talisman of good. I had Unicorn coloring pages and markers laid out on the tables, an activity that soon turned into an all out coloring contest. I even created a Unicorn quiz with accompanying prize. However, since the questions were hard and it came down to a 4-way tie that not evening a lightning round could crack, the Unicorn face mask I had ready for the winner ultimately went to the crowned champion of the coloring contest instead. And of course, the icing on the already immaculate festivities was in fact the birthday cake itself. Chocolate and raspberry creme layered and covered in pink frosting, the cake was a visual masterpiece with Unicorn mascot delicately painted atop. It was truly a spectacular 35th day of my ever-more lucky and amazing existence. I may have my ups and downs, be a bundle of emotion and ridiculousness, but I can't say I would have it any other way. And just to offer proof of how true that statement is, I give you "La Vie En Angela" to boot...