Danse, Danse, Danse, Danse

French Word of the Day: danse (dawns)- dance

Entertainment is a beautiful form of escapism, and music is one of my favorites.  I’m a big fan of things that are happy and bubbly (I know I hide it well under a dark and depressing exterior), so it comes as no surprise that one of my favorite artists, Mika, sings pop songs.

Many people haven’t heard of Mika, but he’s a fabulous British man who (like me) lived in Paris and speaks fluent French.  I went to one of his first concerts in Chicago, and it was more like a carnival than a concert (in the best way possible).  They handed out lollipops, threw balloons into the audience, and came out on stage dressed in animal costumes.  Basically, he acts exactly like I would if I’d ever made it big as a singer.  Except at my concerts there would be an enormous spray of glitter from the ceiling at the very end.  And possibly a rainbow.

Record labels and concert venue managers would LOVE me.

So you can enjoy Mika’s talent, I’m posting a few songs.  This one has a few swears, but I’m hoping you’ll forgive me when you hear it:

And because we always need more French in our lives:

I’m not the only one who loves Mika.  His live show in Chicago was so popular that it sold out in presales, and tickets never made it to the general public.

My dad is also a Mika fan, and he was unwilling to accept that there weren’t any tickets available.  He began his quest for tickets during my last chemo session and sent out a few emails.  The venue manager took pity on his illness-ridden daughter (moi) and gave us guest passes.  (I’ve probably just spilled some great, unknown secret of the music world.  Oops.)

Mika Lincoln Hall

Our fellow concert goers used the occasion to express their creativity through their clothing.  One of the girls in front of us was wearing a glitter top hat.  I completely supported her because other than Halloween, Mardi Gras, your birthday, New Year’s Eve, and Saturday mornings at my apartment, there are only so many places you can wear a glitter top hat.

Mika’s show began with the most eclectic mix of songs I’ve ever heard- from the Beach Boys to Jay-Z to the Spice Girls to the Little Mermaid, he made sure everyone was represented.

Mika singingMika singing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I realize these are all very blurry.  My phone camera keeps everything in perfect focus until the moment I snap the picture.  I think it’s playing games with me.  I continue to blame the phone; there’s no way it’s user error.

Mika holds the lightbulb tragically

Those fairy lights are going to play a major role in my next apartment.  I will also grab them dramatically while I’m singing, because nothing makes you a better singer than grabbing onto a fairy light.  (It’s the electricity and the pain from being burned.)

Mika, fairy lights, and his gay back up people

Mika, my musical soulmate, I will go to your next concert in Chicago, so please return to me.

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Joyeuses Pâques!

French Word(s) of the Day: Joyeuses Pâques (juh-why-oose pack)- Happy Easter

In France, the Easter bunny doesn’t bring French children chocolate.  Here, it’s the bells.

Church bells don’t ring on Good Friday, so parents tell their children this is because the bells have gone to Rome to see the Pope.  When they come back on Easter, they bring chocolate and candy with them from Rome.

I suppose it’s just as plausible as a giant, white bunny hiding eggs everywhere.  It makes finding chocolate bunnies much harder in France, though.  I’m not kidding: I can find chocolate cows, but not chocolate bunnies.

Brittney invited Martin and me to a concert for tonight, so I spent part of my Easter here:

Brittney and I were interested in one of the opening acts.  We had no idea who the headliner was.  Imagine our surprise when it turned out to be this guy:

Yes, that is a large feather on his hat.  He’s also wearing a pooka shell necklace with giant, plastic shrimps on it.  His name is King Khan, and Brittney’s description of him was “the middle eastern James Brown.”

His band did remind us that it was Easter.  His drummer looked exactly like Jesus.  I attempted to take a picture of him, and this happened:

His hair and his beard are the white light shining in the pink background (I outlined them in orange for you), which is strange as he had brown hair.  Brittney likened it to Shroud of Turin.  We declared it to be one of the magical mysteries of Easter.

Martin disappeared, but I suspect that’s not as much a mystery of Easter as it is that he found a romantic interest.

During one of the sets, a French man rushed onstage and bisous-ed (gave kisses on both cheeks) to every single band member.  Only in France would anyone decide that this would be the proper course of action after rushing the stage.

Brittney and I also hung out yesterday and walked around the passages of Paris. They’re gorgeous… If I ever become rich, I’m basing my house off of them.

We also went to the Palais Royal; a place I’ve shockingly never been before.  It’s absolutely gorgeous.  I’m ashamed of myself for having missed it thus far!

One of my doctors here told me that it was absolutely necessary for the health to have one glass of red wine a day (two for men).  Brittney and I have taken an intense concern for our health and have been following her advice.  We’ve tried to have at least one everyday this week.  Health is very important, you understand.

Now I’m off to prepare for London.  I have my camera prepared to take pictures of the strangest Royal Wedding paraphernalia I can find.  I promised my coworkers I’d bring them back something.

Pain au chocolate count: 77 (must buy TWO tomorrow for London…)

Busy, Busy, Busy

French Word of the Day: pompiers (pomp-ee-eh)- firemen

I have homework, but this is ever so much more interesting.

Besides, it’s my mom’s birthday.  I have to wish her happy birthday!

Happy birthday, Mom!  Here’s a crown with star jewels.  Star jewels can only be molded by unicorns, so they’re pretty special.  And expensive.

It’s been quite the eventful week.

Friday, everyone in the office (there are only 12 of us… yay poor economy!) went out to a Moroccan restaurant.  The meal was paid for by the company to say goodbye to one of the women (coincidentally one of the two French women in the office), so everyone went all out and got expensive meals.  Mine easily could have fed three people.  We also got wine and coffee.

The coffee came with the best truffle I have ever before consumed.  I immediately went back and researched where I could buy it, like any good journalist would do.  They are on sale here.  Note the Speculoos for sale underneath it.  It’s like they can read my mind.

If I had known coffee always came with a present, I would have gotten a lot more of it.

Needless to say, the coffee-wine mixture was not the best for productivity.  I can normally slam out 2 articles in the afternoon, but I barely wrote one.  Luckily, no one was judging my slow brain.

That night, I did laundry WITHOUT BREAKING THE MACHINES!!!! It’s only taken a year, but I’ve finally figured out how to work them.  I have clean clothes!

The next day was also awesome.  I went to DISNEYLAND on Saturday.  For all of you who are sighing, “Meghan, again?!  Didn’t you JUST go?”

I went with French people.  It didn’t count.  This time I went with Americans.  We got there when the park opened (none of us were hungover… which wasn’t true of the group last time), we left when it closed, and we went on 14 rides.  We also ate a ton of candy and fast food.  Because America wins.

No offense, French people.

I actually did get sick from the food.  Apparently my body now hates grease and refined sugar.  I would say that it hates chocolate, but it’s not allowed to hate chocolate.  The girls I was with were all really nice and friendly, which helped because no one was mean or insisted on having her way.  It made for a much better outing.

Sunday, I had a ton of homework, so I cleaned my room instead of doing any of it.  I also went to Sam’s and watched the Wedding Singer with him while drinking mimosas.  I have such a great work ethic.

If you had to write 150-200 words in French about Guy de Maupassant’s works, you’d probably procrastinate too.

My neighbor tried to play her tv last night, but I threw a pen at the wall.  It was the loudest pen I’ve ever heard, probably because I have a lot of pent-up frustration towards her.  Needless to say, the tv turned off.  Violence every time!

I managed to save myself at work today by writing four articles (compared to Friday’s two articles… fail).  After work, Théo and I met up for sushi.  (I looooove sushi.)  While we were there, a fire truck pulled up right next to us.

Note that sassy, shiny hat.

When they actually started running around doing things, we had to check it out.  Normally, it ends up being nothing.  Not this time.  There was a HUGE fire.  It was easily 6 apartments long.

We watched for about 20 minutes before leaving.  As we walked away, we saw (I’m not kidding) over 20 fire trucks in the area.

Just a few…

The shiny helmet men were having a pow wow over the apartment plans, so I took a picture of that too.

We don’t think anyone was seriously injured, so that’s good.  Well, the building was, but no people were.

So yes, never a dull moment in Paris.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go figure out something about Guy de Maupassant’s stories.  The fashion and Aix-en-Provence pictures I promised will sadly have to wait.

Pain au chocolat count: 68

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