The Magic of: Paris

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8384/8597547158_63e3788d03_b.jpg Photo Credit: returnofkings.com

I have always loved Paris, and though I’ve been to Paris, I probably would still love it even if I had never been there before.

I love the culture, the food, the fashion and style. Not to mention the architecture, the people (I for one, do not think they’re rude), croissants, macaroons, did I mention the food?

The list could go on and on. To me, it’s one of the most inspiring cities. The fashion, the weather, and the seasons (they actually have 4, unlike California) are all endlessly inspiring and constantly facilitating creativity.

So many influential people and ideas are from this city. But one of the things I love the most is that even after all the darkness that has happened there, Paris is still of the brightest cities in the world. Paris is the City of Love and Light, and that will never change.

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Superstition

With all that happened in the world this past Friday, there’s no way I can help it – I’ve become a little superstitious. Through many terrorist attacks, the world truly changed. And they all occurred on Friday the 13th, a day known to be bad luck.

Although worse than others, these attacks are not the first thing to go wrong on this unlucky day.

In October of 1307, Crusaders were captured, tortured, and later killed. On Friday the 13th of course. Flash forward a few years to 1940, when the Nazis bombed Buckingham Palace. In 1970, a cyclone hit Bangladesh, killing 500,000, later being classified as one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in the world. In 1972, a plane crashed in the Andes, and 12 died.

Even creepier – on Friday the 13th in 1989 a virus crashed IBM computers in Britain. In 2012 a cruise ship, by the name of  Costa Concordia sank, killing over 3o people.

Coincidence? I think not.

Photo Credit: http://www.warrenphotographic.co.uk

The Watchful Poster

Three o’clock, sharp. That’s when the metro train always comes along. And yes, there it is, you can just see the bright headlights of the train. I glance at the ground, taking heed of the chipped yellow “CAUTION” paint. I put my feet squarely on the line and lean forwards slightly.

The oily, grungy, and smokey smell of the tunnels rush up onto my face as the train speeds by, missing my face by inches. I always feel a slight sense of ecstasy whenever I did this. “It’s the adrenaline rush,” I’ve been told, “you’ve probably turned yourself into and adrenaline junkie.”

Adrenaline junkie or not, this is what I did every day, and this is honestly what the highlight of my day is. Sad, isn’t it? That my life is so lifelessly boring that the only joy I feel is having a metro train decapitate me.

After sitting in the train for around four minutes, eight minutes tops, I would squeeze the horde of people and make my way up to my workplace. Well, not before pausing to look at a poster.

That poster had been there since I was just a little girl. After my parents died in that train accident, it seemed like that poster was the only family I had left.
She was a beautiful woman, with long raven hair and a shapely face with soft features. She was posing similar to the world-famous Mona Lisa, the only difference was that she lacked a smile. Her dress, though I could only see the top part, was a stunning emerald-green, still shining through decades of dust on the glass covering of the poster.

Her eyes were coloured out. I know now how or why, but I remember one day looking up into her eyes, the original colour I remember not, and seeing that her eyes had been scribbled out. It looked as if an infant had taken a chalky black crayon and coloured her eyes. The only issue with that theory was that the glass case was framed to the wall with solid steel bars.

Her eyes were so startling black against her milky white skin.

I loved that poster. Like I said, she was almost like family, as I had never missed a day where I would not look up to her beautiful face and give her a swift not, a curt wave, or even a rare smile. Every day was the same; boring, rut-like, and lacking of everything any human could ever want.

Her eyes would always follow me. Every once in a while I would lean in closer to the passing train, allowing it to clip my bangs or chip my nails. Every time I do that I can feel her unseen eyes burning onto my body, either as a warning or an encouragement, I do not know.

So I leaned closer every time. I began to get bruises on my forehead, my hands, even my shoulder once. I was called in for suicide attempts but was released, for there was nobody for them to call to confirm my personality or histories.

Her eyes had never felt so hot in my entire life.

One day I may have leaned in too far. Too soon. I may have fallen in. I saw the familiar headlights, the rushing of the oil-stench wind, but this time I felt the ecstasy before even the train reached me. My, how wonderful that felt.

Really, it only hurt a little.

Printemps dans Paris

My school is going to France and Spain over spring break.

I can’t go, but I think it’s so exciting that Ojai Valley School gives its students the opportunity to travel in Europe!

OVS is collaborating with a company called Education First, and will be traveling in France and Spain for 11 days in April, 2013.

But the part of the trip I think is OUTSTANDING is that our students are going to Paris in the spring.

They’re going to visit:

Notre Dame Cathedral

Place de la Concorde

Champs ÉlyséesRead More »

The Red Necklace

I rather like audiobooks now.

I found this novel through Wikipedia, picking it up after discovering that the audiobook is read by my favorite actor, Tom Hiddleston.

I downloaded the audiobook, 6.6 hours of his beautiful voice, and finished it in 2 days.

I have bought several audiobooks and left them all unfinished.  I credit my inability to finish them to the fact that most of the readers have boring voices and their method of distinguishing each character is to merely lower or heighten the pitch of their voices throughout the dialogue.

However, not surprisingly, Tom Hiddleston broke that standard.

Tom Hiddleston

I could hardly tell one person was reading the book, the voices were so different.  He used a score of accents, ranging from his native English accent to Scottish, Irish, French, even vaguely Russian and more.

Aside from my obvious satisfaction with his reading, the book is quite gripping.

The title is a reference to the guillotine, the “bloody altarpiece” of the French Revolution, and to the necklace of red garnets found on murder victims throughout the book, the gems described as looking “drop of congealed blood.”

It tells the story of a Parisian Romani boy named Yann Margoza, a magician’s assistant and a young French aristocrat, Sidonie de Villeduval, at the time of the Revolution.

“Sido” is a beautiful, kind girl with a limp, and she is despised by her father, the Marquis de Villeduval.  The Marquis is obsessed with possessions and his estate, spending lavishly even though he is bankrupt.  He is indebted to the illusive and fabulously wealthy Count Kallivoski.

Following a fateful final performance, Yann is forced to flee to London.  He grows up, becoming a gentleman with a bright future.

Kallivoski has taken an unhealthy interest in Sido and blackmails the Marquis into consenting to a marriage between the two.  Yann embarks on a journey to save her from the Revolution and the Count alike.

It is an extremely well-written book.

Gardner writes exceedingly clever phrases to describe the setting and characters, using “varicose veins” to describe hidden passageways and citing that one man has an”entirely too generous helping of teeth.”

Check out this book or order it on amazon here!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLARA AND CELESTE!!!

It’s happened.

The unthinkable.

My sisters are coming into the end of their pre-teen years.

Or is that “tween” years…?

I really hate the word tween so let’s just stick with pre-teen.

Today my little sisters turned 12.

I met them 12 years ago in the San Diego International Airport, five minutes after they came off the plane from Guatemala.

They are twins.

Identical opposites.

One is right-handed and likes English.

The other is left-handed and likes Math.

One is an amazing artist.

The other is a technology whiz.

My little sisters, Clara and Celeste, are twelve years old today.

They were born in the year of the Dragon.  Personally, I think that’s the coolest Chinese Zodiac animal in our family (I’m a rat, so…).

I literally have the coolest sisters ever.

They know I love Doctor Who so they sent me a little email…

I'm a weeping angel give me your energy!!!!!! Rawwwwrrrr!!!!! Come and get me DOCTOR...........

For Christmas, they gave me lip gloss inside a plastic hamburger, a Pikachu t-shirt and a tiny dolphin pillow-pet.

For my birthday, they got me shea butter-infused fuzzy socks, Pink Chiffon and Paris Amour lotions from Bath and Body Works, and MADE ME A TARDIS!!!!

Love you little sises!

Ran for Japan

Today I partook in a nice run along Santa Monica‘s beach in the rain with a few friends. We ran for two miles and hung out for a while afterwards with all the snacks possible available to us. Why were we there you might ask. The title explains it all.

The Tokidoki relief run took place this morning and I wanted to partake. The funds from the 10 dollar entry fees went to the relief effort for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. We would have bought T-shirts but thanks to the beaten up anime characters on them, we thought “yeah, a simple white t-shirt will do just fine.” They were cute little drawings though. The power rangers were there, and we took pictures with them. For more information please visit my Facebook account.

Josh Duhamel was running it which is the main reason why my friends and I ran into Fergie. Why Paris Hilton was there, well, we won’t argue with another good thing. For us, it was a good incentive to keep running. We wanted to catch up to them. Honestly, they’re well put together, but look the point is it was all in good fun for a good cause.

The day turned beautiful, we enjoyed the beach and chilled for a while afterwards, and got to see the hottest of the Black Eyed Peas. It was a good day to go to the beach, and we all walked away feeling like we had accomplished something special.

If you pay 10 dollars, you might have helped a small piece of Japan, but if you tell your friends and they tell theirs, then you have saved a nice chunk of it.