Les Fleurs et Le FASHION

French Word of the Day: fleurs (fl-eh)- flowers

I have no idea if I’m repeating words of the day… I should probably make a list of the ones I’ve done, but that involves me being less lazy so it’s not going to happen any time soon.

Because I don’t have courses this week, I’ve been going to work everyday.  I wrote another article with mostly French sources about the Ivory Coast’s newspapers, which the New York Times has linked to on its page for the country (see the “Headlines Around the Web” section)!  I’m glad, because I thought the English-speaking press was ignoring it, and I think it’s a really important story.

Our team has been really interested in the Royal Wedding.  Federica and I try to slip in things from time to time, but today we got an actual story on it.  Teemu, the new Finnish intern and only male, wrote it.  As he has no interest in it (actually, that’s not true… he scorns it, which is technically interest), he was the one who got to write it.

It was his idea to write about it, so I think he secretly wants to be there for it.  I don’t take his excuse of “there was nothing else to write about and it seems important, blah, blah, blah.”

I don’t know if he’d been afraid of us before, but he certainly is after today.  Emma, Federica, and I sent him tons of links and photos.  I don’t believe the Editor’s Weblog has ever had an article that was such a complete group effort before.  At one point, Teemu said, “Does one of YOU want to finish it for me?”  The end result can be found here.  (The teabag picture was one of my contributions.  I’ll be looking for some when I go to England next week.)

As promised, it’s time for the low-down on French fashion.  What’s in for this spring/summer?

Flower prints:

All the flower prints are reminding me of 1995 and also that it’s allergy season.

Tights with shorts:

(I stole all these from offline.)  If you’re a true Parisian, you only wear BLACK tights.  Other tights would make you stand out too much.  The point of being fashionable is to blend in and look like everyone else.  I’m actually glad that someone started this trend, because short shorts alone look good on models… and that’s about it.

Bensimon sneakers:

I think we can all agree these are the fugliest sneakers ever invented.  Regardless, the French LOVE them.  God knows why, and he’s the only one.  I personally think they look like Converse’s stupider, cheaper, less attractive brother.

Suit Jackets:

Fashion suit jackets make EVERYONE look put together.  Parisians try to counteract this (no one must ever look TOO put together) by styling their hair in messy buns that look as thought they’ve been attacked with a weed whacker.

Messy Buns:

This is not messy enough, but you get the general idea.  Google wasn’t working with my “REALLY messy hair” requests.

Ballet Flats with Leggings:

Reese Witherspoon knows how to channel her inner Frenchwoman.  Ballet flats go with everything.  I know what you’re thinking: “But they have no support.”  Well, neither do these:


But comfort is not a French concern.  You’re thinking like a nonfashionable person.  Although, if you really want comfort, you can try these:

Brogue Shoes:

The French are more forgiving of color when it appears in shoes, but black is always best.

Basically, look like this girl:

Although she looks like she’s eating, so I’m not sure she’s actually French.

I’d tell you to get shopping, but chances are that all these styles will have changed by tomorrow.  Except for the Bensimon shoes (picture found by googling “ugly French sneakers”), which have been popular for over two years.  I’m assuming this is because ugly stands the test of time.

Pain au chocolat count: 76


Hi there, Snooki

French Word(s) of the Day: crème de la crème solaire (crem duh la crem soul-air)- cream of the sunscreen

This was on the metro today:

You’re all thinking, “Thank God America can share the best parts of its culture with the rest of the world.”  That’s what I thought too.

I know, I know.  I never update anymore.  I’ve been really boring and doing mostly school work.  I have to try on these because they’re group projects.  If it’s a project on my own/ a test, I could care less.  Last week, I gave a speech on how to properly go through Disneyland.  I rehearsed it once.  I kicked the other speech’s butts.  See?  Not caring makes you a more interesting person.

Louis, I’m sorry I offended you.  I still had a ton of fun with you all at Disneyland and you’re all awesome, but the Americans just know how to get the bang for their buck.  I retract that it didn’t count.

Speaking of Louis (’cause he was there), we were by the Seine Saturday night.  It was such a beautiful day that being outside was necessary.  Half of Paris joined us on the Pont des Arts (the bridge Big and Carrie met on for all you Sex and the City fans) with their wine.  This time, we weren’t stopped by the police.  They tried to slap us with a 350 euro fine two years ago, something about “drinking in public.”  I assume they’ve given up, as everyone in France drinks in public.  (Don’t tell Snooki.)

The Editor’s Weblog (the site where I work) beat its all time record for number of hits in the month of March.  We had 73,000 hits, I think.  Even if it’s a coincidence that I started working there March 1st, I’m going to take all the credit for it.  I assume you all helped, so THANK YOU!!!!

I wrote an article today using only French resource material.  You should all just stare at it here.  Emma (my boss) also had Federica and I write bios.  I had trouble finding a picture, so I put the one from the Fashion Week party.  I’m such a professional, I know.  Apparently a Finnish guy is coming to join our team on Friday.  I’ll let you know how much we scare him.

Now I must study for a test I don’t care about and write a power point for a presentation I haven’t researched.  Scholarly fail.

Someday, I will give you your fashion update.  Promise.

Pain au chocolat count: 72


French Word of the Day: visite (vees-it)- visit

My mom and her friend, Joan, were here for a visit.  They started the trip off right by bringing me a lot of items with chocolate in them from the States.  Girl scout cookies!  Reese’s Pieces!  Easter candy with more sugar than the French will allow in their candy!

It’s possible that I ate some of it before writing this.

It was lovely to see them both.  We went out for dinner every night, usually with a new French person (and Sam, who is basically French).

Sadly my new schedule doesn’t allow me to just skip days of work whenever I want, so I wasn’t able to join them everywhere, but we did get in some Opera Garnier and Sacre Coeur.

Today at work was exciting.  My boss offered me a job for the summer.  As long as I can legally do it, I think I will.  After all, when someone offers you a job in Paris, you take it.  Unless it’s at the Moulin Rouge, in which case you seriously consider it before deciding that you might want to go down a different career path.

I also did my first journalistic interview (where I was the interviewer and not the interviewee) with someone from Tumblr, the blogging site.  I ended up telling him I have a Tumblr (I’m a fan of the pretty pictures on it and like adding my own sassy comments to them… that no one reads because I have no followers…)  He asked what my name on it was and laughed when I said, “the meghan.”  There is only one Meghan, and apparently it’s me.  I can’t help that.

Mainly, I use the site to entertain myself, so I assume he’ll judge me if he ever looks it up.  I’m okay with that.

I was glad to be able to tell my mom my job news in person.  I hadn’t asked if I could stay, so I was flattered that my boss offered me the job of her own free will.  My mom was very encouraging and happy for me, because she rocks.  🙂

I hope she and Joan had fun!  I had fun with them.

I haven’t done my homework for tomorrow, but I’ve decided to be a slacker this semester because my grades count for nothing.  I’ve never been a slacker before, so this should be an interesting experiment.  I’m not good at not trying, so this will be a challenge…

Pain au chocolat count: 61

Fashion Week

French Word(s) of the Day: Fashion Week (fah-shon week)- Fashion Week (sometimes they don’t change it)

Fashion Week is going on as I type this.  Beautiful, famous people are everywhere.  (I assume, I haven’t seen them.)

This also means that there are beautiful parties with free food and alcohol.

I work for a newspaper organization, but it’s not the type of place that would get me invitations to fashion parties.  Although, we do know how to have fun.

For the Christmas party, everyone gets flown to Germany (man, did I come at the wrong time, or what?!).  They decided to steal some of the wine from the party and bring it back.   Yesterday at the end of the day, we popped open a wine bottle and had more fun writing and editing articles than usual.  I think we still created decent articles.  I actually had finished writing by the time I had a glass, but I think the editing part went well.  It was the first time my boss didn’t have anything to correct for me.  Maybe I should only edit after alcohol consumption?  Here’s how it turned out: http://www.editorsweblog.org/newspaper/2011/03/uk_study_finds_low_numbers_of_women_in_j.php

Roanne has been interning for a PR firm that represents designers, so she’s been partying it up for Fashion Week.  She texted me during the workday and asked if I would like to attend the Marie Claire magazine party.  I was uberexcited.  I’ve only seen parties like that in cinematic gems such as 13 Going on 30 and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.  I assume those are exactly like real life.

I assumed I’d never have the chance again, so I accepted.

Roanne asked Martin to come with us, and it became a reunion of the 3 people who decided to stay the whole year in Paris (such a chore, I know).

The invitations are so artfully displayed on one of my reject dresses.

I had Roanne make sure I was dressed properly.  My clothing was still too bright for the fashion industry (for a group of supposedly “fashion forward” people, their color palate is decidedly lacking… black is the new black), but I assume that I’m also happier and more mentally stable than most of the fashion industry and was completely unconcerned.

My nose is really red in this picture, but I had just come from outside.  It isn’t red in the later pictures, but that was when Roanne told me to stop smiling because models don’t smile.  Instead, they look like they’re in pain.  I assume this is because of their shoes.  But anyway, I wanted to look like I was having a good time… and not like I wanted to kill whoever was taking my picture.

The main photographer snapped a picture of Roanne and me.  I assume this will be in every Marie Claire magazine next month- all 25 of them.  Roanne and I are Very Important People, even if we don’t have Porches or BMWs.

You do get free food and drinks at these parties, but you must pay for it in pain.  To be “in fashion” means wearing stilettos: shoes designed by a man who hated feet and wanted them to die.  I actually did engage in this fashion ritual.  I will never be going to a Fashion Week party ever again so I wanted to do it right.  My heels were 4 inches.  That was high enough.  I don’t know how anyone could go higher and still walk.

It was worth it.  The food was fabulous!  We had crab sushi, risotto, paté, shrimp, and fillet mignon served on sticks.  I’ll have to make a few million dollars before I eat that well again.

The champagne and cocktails were also quite lovely.  God bless the man who invented the “open bar.”  (Don’t worry, I didn’t overindulge.  Even if I had, fillet mignon cancels out alcohol.)

The space was a bit cramped.  I think I would have chosen a bigger place.  We mostly stood by the bar and the stairs to ensure we got first dibs on anything food-related.

There weren’t any famous people there, but we did talk with a boy sporting black fingernail polish and a brooch of Marilyn Monroe.  He assured us that brooches were coming back.  Of course, his brooch was black.  If I hadn’t been able to see the color on my dress, I would have assume that the room had some kind of color-changing device that automatically made any color black.

Roanne managed to find the only straight male in the entire room.  I don’t know how he even got in- everyone else I met definitely batted for the same team I do.  I think they’re going out today.  I’m glad she’s expanding her contacts in the fashion industry.

We all got to take home a magazine.  I took one in Portuguese and one in French and Roanne took 3: French, Italian, and Arabic.  Martin didn’t take any, but he wouldn’t have been able to carry anything as he was in charge of helping me walk.  (By this time, I had stopped being able to feel my feet.  It made walking more difficult.)

All-in-all, I gave the party an 8.  The lack of famous people and space brought it down 2 points, but the food and drinks brought it back up.

I might be a tourist today in hopes of seeing some celebrities breaking up.  I’ll keep you updated.

Pain au chocolat count: 60

Meghan Works in France

French Word(s) of the Day: Je suis toujours en vie (juh swee too-jur on vee)- I’m still alive

It’s been so long that I’m sure some of you are convinced that I went back into the hospital/ have been kidnapped and sold into slavery.  Fear not!  Je suis toujours en vie.

My neck finally decided to start working again on Friday, which was good.  My doctor told me that stress was making my lupus act up and that I should be “all good” now.

It was quite the event-filled weekend.  My friend MJ, Théo and Théo’s dad all had birthday parties this weekend, so my days were spent recovering.  They were mostly in French, and I found that I now understand people when they speak in French.  I no longer have the deer-in-headlights look.  Sometimes, I can even respond properly.  Successsssss.

I started my internship today!  I wrote an article that can be found here (though will probably not interest any of you… look at it solely for the byline): http://www.editorsweblog.org/newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/bbloomberg_lpb_the_success_story_that_ke.php

In my excitement, I forgot to properly cite my sources, so anything that says “according to” has been added in by my editor.  Oops.

Everyone was really nice.  My boss took us all for lunch at a cute cafe to welcome me to the group.  Everyone speaks English, but we do sometimes translate French articles/ have to communicate with the French IT guy.  I was misinformed about the French levels.  I’m not sure how good everyone’s French is, but I do know that many of them at least can understand it.

My neighbor and I had to have a talk a week ago when she decided to turn on her television at one in the morning.  She answered her door naked (why?!) and stood behind the door the entire time glaring at me.  I wanted to say, “Look, you’re the one who decided NOT to put on a towel or something before answering the door.”  Instead, I just ignored it and continued to talk to her as if she were fully clothed.

She unwillingly agreed to wear headphones if she turns on the tv after midnight.  This really means that she has just lowered the volume slightly.  As I can now sleep, I don’t care.

I’ve also started classes.  The infamous Madame Dubois is baaaaaaaack.  She seemed excited to see me, and there ARE other Americans in the class, so I’m hoping I won’t be attacked this semester on behalf of my country.  You all are hard to defend sometimes.

I’m off to analyze some poems in French.  A student’s work is never done.

Pain au chocolat count: 58

If you’re the person who stole the pains au chocolat from my bakery, read no further.

French Word of the Day: héros (air-oh)- hero, as in “did you ever know that you’re my…”

I have some bad news and some good news.

The bad news is that my bakery ran out of pain au chocolat, which means that it’s possible for that to happen, which means the world just got a little darker.

The good news is that Brittany, my college roommate, sent me a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which have chocolate AND peanut butter.  They’re already gone.  I was going to save them, but then I remembered that bakeries could run out of pain au chocolat, and the Reese’s were needed.  Sometimes I eat my feelings.

She also gave me a historical trashy romance novel… which is the best kind.  I give her a 20, which is the best French grade you can get.  And also this personalized gold star that I made with Paint:

(Coincidentally “gold star” is one of the most commonly searched terms for finding my blog.  True story.)

I also had a good interview today (you would think THAT would be my good news, but chocolate always comes before work).  I think the woman really liked me.  She’s British, so we both have our Anglophone-ness in common.  She was excited that I knew French, because apparently no one on her team has a strong French background (she speaks Italian).

It’s a good thing they’re working in Paris.

I don’t know if I got it, but she’s British, and will therefore probably let me know BEFORE I’m suppose to have completed my internship.

*EDIT*: The British are way faster.  I got the job!

Pain au chocolat count: 50…  sigh

Un Travail Finalement?

French Word of the Day: anglais (awn-gleh)- English

I didn’t get the internship.  When the person who finds us internships told me the news, she said, “She really, really liked you, but she just couldn’t find time in her schedule to train you.  I think you’re probably better off.  I get the feeling they weren’t very organized.”

Their “tomorrow” lasted two weeks.  I’m positive they weren’t organized.

But fear not!  I have an internship tomorrow with a major newspaper company IN ENGLISH!!!!!!!  As French has far too many grammar rules, I prefer writing in English.

I think it’s impossible to be completely perfect in French.  Why?  In past century, someone decided to make everyone start adding random “e”s and “s”s to the ends of some words even though they’re not pronounced just to complicate things… and to show plural and feminine words… but mostly just to complicate things.  For example?

  • Je l’ai envoyé. (I sent it)
  • Je l’ai envoyée. (I sent it with a feminine noun)
  • Je les ai envoyés.  (I sent it with a plural noun.)
  • Je les ai envoyées. (I sent it with a feminine, plural noun.)

Envoyé , envoyée, envoyés, envoyées are all pronounced the same way, but if you don’t have the proper ending, it’s wrong.  And someone decided to make this rule for fun.  Probably someone who was really bored and had the time a lot of time on his hands.  And no girlfriend.  Or boyfriend.

Of course, I’m not a fan of masculine and feminine nouns either.  I want all my words to be equal and not be judged by their gender.  This is generally the reason I give when my teachers tell me that I’m using the wrong gender.

It’s never worked as an excuse.

But anyway, the newspaper job will be in English!  If that doesn’t work out, I have another job opportunity also in English (that my internship person assured me was mine for the taking if I don’t like the newspaper one).  Regardless, I WILL HAVE AN INTERNSHIP IN A WEEK AND A HALF!!!!!  Deep sigh of relief.

Because I forced you all to take a French lesson, here’s something that’s not French and is called “La Joconde,” but you might know it by another name:

I was at the Louvre on a random Wednesday right before closing, so there weren’t many tourists.  (Note: This rarely occurs.  Normally this wall has a zoo in front of it.)  I like the bullet proof glass and the fact that she has her own wall.  She also has her own guard, precautions all courtesy of an Italian attempt to bring it back to their country (by stealing it… gotta love the Italians).

Little known fact: The painting was named for Lisa del Giocondo… this is a prominent theory. Through UV rays or x-rays or infrared rays or whatever types of rays they were doing on the painting (I would make an awesome scientist), they just found that she originally had a hat painted on her head.  This would have fit in with traditional maternity wear of that time period, solidifying this theory, as the painting was commissioned in honor of the birth of her second son.

I don’t know that they’ve let out the information about the hat yet, but you all now have insider Louvre info.  It definitely wasn’t on wikipedia.

Enjoy being smarter than everyone who only uses wikipedia as their source of information.

Pain au chocolat count: 50… fail.