Monthly Archives: March 2009

Conversations at the Louvre

So the Louvre is open until 10pm on Fridays.  This past Friday we got there at around 8 and decided to check out the wing with Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 16th-17th centuries and also to check out some nearby French paintings as this was a time period we were not especially familiar with.  Friday was an educational day as we spent the early afternoon with the Impressionists at Musee d’Orsay, where I found a new appreciation for Monet and Jeremy and I both discovered that we really liked some paintings by Bonnard and that Art Nouveau furniture and interiors will make you want to die from beauty overload.  But back to the Louvre.

Scene 1:

Scene opens: Our intrepid world travellers enter a gallery at the Louvre at apporximately 9:15.  Carolyn goes to peer, respectfully, at a painting on the far wall.

Jeremy: Hey, Carolyn, come here?

Carolyn: Yeah?

Jeremy: What’s this look like? (points to picture)

Carolyn: I don’t know sort of like George Washington.

Jeremy: Meets Rodney Dangerfield!  What are ya talkin’ about Martha?

End Scene.

Scene 2:

Scene opens: Our intrepid world travellers enter yet another gallery at the Louvre and separate to look at different paintings

Jeremy: Hey Carolyn, come here! (Gestures at a painting bearing only the name of the artist, Henri-Francois Riesener and the name of the painting, Maurice Quay) Needs no explanation.

Carolyn: Yeah, he’s moving to Brooklyn next week, but first his band is gonna play a few shows.  Probably at some small clubs here and maybe one in Shoreditch. They’ll probably get signed right away.

Jeremy: If we ever start a band, we’re totally naming it Maurice Quay!

Carolyn: Will our first single still be 6000 Rulers, 1000 Clocks?

Jeremy: Well, yeah.

 

And really, it’s best not to even bring up the painting of the monkey painting a picture, we were well past coherency by then.

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Postcard from Paris

Dear friends and/or family,

Carolyn would liked to apologize (again) for not buying/sending postcards from her recent trip.  Unfortunately, she was too busy eating crepes and drinking cider and wine to stop at one of the 5 million souvenir shops in Paris to buy you a post card.  She did think of all of you though.  She often said, “Oh don’t let me forget to buy postcards!”  Unfortunately someone who’s name starts with a J and rhymes with Airuhmee DID let her forget to buy postcards.  Luckily, the internet is here to save the day.  So let this series of pictures of Carolyn and Jeremy, taken at the Palais de Tokyo (the modernest of all modern art spaces and full of some of the wankiest art in the world (seriously, Du Champ would be all like, “Are you taking the piss?”) but home to delicious deserts, a Tesla coil and a photo booth) serve as your official Parisian postcard.  Imagine you too are eating delicious crepes, drinking tiny cups of coffee, and looking at feats of architecture, just was we were before taking this series of slightly goofy pictures.

Please also know that Paris was awesome.  We didn’t take enough pictures but we had a really good time.  We took naps every day, we saw the catacombs below the city.  We went to Musee’ D’Orsay and the Louvre.  Jeremy bought some new trousers from a guy who is originally from LA.  We ate a lot of delicious food, drank a lot of delicious wine and coffee and on Saturday Jeremy wasn’t allowed to disagree with me all day.  except for about 15 minutes at 11:45 pm when he was slightly tipsy and forgot the rules.

More stories to come.  Don’t let me forget about Maurice Quay.

Hope you all had really awesome weekends too.  Sorry if crepes and Breton Cider weren’t prominently featured.

XOXO

Carolyn

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Country Music and the AV Club

This is good.  It’s a year long exploration into Country music as written by the AV Club’s main hip-hop writer.  Today’s installment is about my pretend grandad Willie Nelson’s concept albums.  Next week his collaborations.  I am about to read the articles about Johnny Cash.  I am very, very happy about this series. 

Country music and I have a weird relationship.  I used to HATE it.  A lot.  It was all my dad would listen to in the car.  He also refused to ever turn on the AC (it cuts down on gas mileage) no matter how hot it was or how much Nebraska smelled like cow/sheep/pig manure.  The two things may have influenced each other.  I remember he would turn on WWWW, the radio station he liked, all W’s, genius, and blare out whatever twangy hits they were playing and I would just cringe in the back seat and want to die.  It was just too embarrassing, being carted around town with all the redneck hits pouring out the open windows of his Escort.  When I started driving he stuck a W4 sticker on my first car and I spent ages scraping it off to avoid the shame of being seen with such a travesty on my car in the school parking lot.

But when I moved to Detroit something changed (I know, Detroit is not where you go to learn about country music, Detroit is where you go to learn about techno or old r&b, what can I say, I’m backwards.) At the end of the night at the Garden Bowl they would always play Patsy Cline as the signal that it was time for people to get out. This triggered memories of a little girl at my elementary school dressed as a cowgirl and singing an admirable version of Crazy at the talent show one year, and of my dad being excited when the Patsy Cline biopic came to the movie theater where he worked as a projectionist, and also (deep down in some drunk corner of my mind) of the drowsy feeling of being on vacation in an overwarm car with my parents murmering to each other in the front seat, my brother passed out next to me, and a book in my hand as I watched the landscape along the Pennsylvania turnpike pass by.  This memory was not bad.

So I started paying better attention.  I realized I actually really like Patsy and Johnny (there was a picture of him (a very famous picture I now know) flipping a crowd the bird behind the bar) and on the ride to get my sad Shakespearean inspired tattoo my friend Renee plunked a Freakwater tape into the car and started putting the song Hero/Heroine on repeat and I was converted.  From that moment I started listening to the stupidly titled Americana (just call it Country, jerks.) and then slowly began branching back into the old world of the Escort.  Until I reached the point of no return  and started devoting a goodly portion of my IPod to C&W of all forms.

As a kid I used to say I liked all music except Country and Rap.  I now realize that I was an idiot on both counts and I’m glad I figured it out.  Because, shit, otherwise I would miss out on the awesomeness of a morning commute into work soundtracked by a shuffle setting that brings me Sleater Kinney singing I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone then Willie Nelson with Good Times followed by Kanye West with All Falls Down.  It’s all right.

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Sartorial discussions regarding my youth:

Email from my friend HP to me:

Speaking of that BRMM trip* – I found an awesome pic of all of us before they set us free in Boston for that afternoon of wandering in the sun.  I’ll get it up for all to see – bad hair, questionable fashion, braces, the Dorkiness is cranked to 11, seriously – as soon as I get the scanner to work again. 

From me to HP:

Oh god, was I wearing either a baggy t shirt, men’s suit vest or both?  Because I’ve come to realize that that combo pretty much made up the whole of my wardrobe.

HP’s Response:

 

I can’t really tell what you’re wearing under that big ol’ trench of yours, but I’d bet baggy tshirt & vest, if’n I had to put $ on it.

Later that same day:

Over Vietnamese food in Shoreditch (Hanoi Cafe on Kingsland Road = AWESOME!) I say to Jeremy,  “So then she writes back, I can’t really tell what you’re wearing under that big ol’ trench of yours.” And hang my head in shame over my noodles.

 

He responds, “What was with you always dressing like an old man back then anyhow?”

 

To which I respond, “I liked ugly things, it was the 90’s,  we were kooky!’

 

*BRMM = The Big Red Marching Machine.  The Big Red Marching Machine = the marching band from my Alma Mater, Port Huron High School.  The trip in question was a 5 day trip, via bus, to Boston for a marching band competition.  If I remember correctly we placed in the top 3 (nothing to do with me, I probably just pretended to play and tried to stay in step) we were also allowed to roam free in Boston for one entire day during which I purchased one oversized t shirt with the word Harmony on it and one black and white checkerboard mini skirt, very mod and feminine considering my normal slouchy old man style.  This skirt would later go on to be paired, often, with a black velour short sleeved mock turtle neck, white bobby socks and chunky oxblood and black saddle shoe style shoes that I purchased from Showtime (where I also purchased my Manic Panic, Punky Colors and many a vintage frock and polyester blouse) after working two jobs and attending school full time in the summer of 98.  So now you know.

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A little Neko Case for your Monday morning

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Worth looking at

My co worker just sent me this link.  The pictures are really sad and beautiful

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Holy Crap!

The internet works!  My mom sent me flower seeds (and tax information) in the mail. All because of one mopey blog post.  Thanks Mom!

Other holy crap worthy points of interest:

  1. We have had 5 full days of sun in London.  It has been nice.
  2. One week from right this very second I will be in Paris and I will have some sort of pastry based item in my hand. 
  3. An old high school acquaintance thought I had a daughter because I posted an old picture of myself playing with the Star Wars Ewok village as my profile photo on Facebook. 
  4. Oliver tried to choke me by sleeping on my neck this morning.  I was too tired to move him and nearly died.  It was harrowing.

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Filed under Memory lane, olimuhver, SHUT UP pollyanna, the travails of living abroad, travel