Sunday, April 21, 2013

What have I been up to lately?

Well, as the title suggests, this is going to be general mash-up of just stuff I've been doing lately. I know I haven't been posting as much this semester, but with my internship and classes and homework and regular life stuff, I've been busy and have had a hard time making the time. If we're facebook friends, you're probably aware that I went to Versailles last weekend. I've also been hanging out with new and different people this semester, so I'm going to tell you a bit about them. I also had a really interesting experience involving a Stephen King book this week. So it's been an interesting couple of weeks, to say the least.

Last weekend I went to Versailles with my study abroad program. I'm not going to spend too much time telling you about the Château, because this was my second visit and I don't have a lot of new things to add. The one really cool part about our visit to the Château was that we got a private tour (en Français, of course) which meant we got to go see some of the private exhibits. For example, we got to go into the private living area of the Royal Family and see the Opera as well as actually go inside the Chapel (regular visitors only get to look inside from a pretty small doorway).

This is the famous Hall of Mirrors. It's very difficult to take a picture that captures the full scale of this room, but this was the best one I got that had a good view of the ceiling in it. When the Château was built, mirrors like this were very expensive, and rarely used purely for decoration. Here they are for decoration, but actually the primary purpose was to disorient visitors. Many State rooms in other countries as well are designed to disorient visitors. Take the Oval Office, for example. Its unusual shape was meant to make others uncomfortable and disoriented. Just a little fun fact.

This is the King's private study. I loved that desk and the fireplace immediately behind it. Just so French. I felt like it was really indicative of the luxury of the French court before the Revolution.












If you know me at all, you must know that this room was my favorite from the Château. All of these books are real, historical, generally first edition books that the King would have in his library. It was a beautiful sight.









This is the royal Opera. It was very hard to get a good picture of the whole thing, but I really loved the ceiling and the chandeliers. Felt like that was the best part 











The chapel that I mentioned earlier.


The thing about this visit to Versailles that set it apart from the rest was that I finally got to go to the Trianon and Hamlet. In case you don't know, that's were Marie Antoinette spent most of her time. It consists of several buildings, the Trianon, and a little Hamlet built in the Austrian style (Marie Antoinette was originally Austrian). The Trianon was a place were Marie could go to escape the court and just be herself. It's wonderful.













Gardens around the Trianon. That rock formation on the left is actually a bridge; you have to walk on a path through the rock formations to get across.














She actually decorated her gardening tools with ribbons and bows. I'm completely serious.

 This is the Hamlet. It basically consists of about eight or so small buildings constructed in the Austrian style. Thatched roofs and all.


 This is Spencer and a new friend we made at the Hamlet. His name is Georges and we are going to be best friends forever. Yes, he probably only liked us because we gave him grass and stuff to eat, but still; a new friend is a new friend, right?

That's it for Versailles. We had a wonderful full day outside of Paris. I've gotten some questions about some of my new friends these days, so I'm going to tell you a bit about them.

This is Ellen. She is really sweet and awesome. She goes to school in Texas, but is from Tennessee, so we spend most of our time in similar areas, which is sorta cool. She's into art history too, so she's generally a fabulous person. And she's cool with just wandering around Paris for the heck of it, with no real plan in mind. In other words, she's fabulous.













This is Spencer. She is equally fabulous. We've bonded over many things, including peanut sensitivity (she'll basically die if she's anywhere near them; I'm considerably milder, mostly just throwing up or breaking out or something) we also have a mutual friend back in the States, and we both go to Women's colleges. She is one of the nicest, sweetest people you'll ever meet, I guarantee it.


The other person with whom I spend most of my time is Lindsey. I don't actually have a picture of her to share. She's not a student on the program, she's just a really cool ex-pat that I met. She teaches 5th grade here in France and shares my obsession with Once Upon A Time. We're always chatting and fan-girling over all sorts of incredibly nerdy things. She's a bit older than I am, but if you know me, you know I tend to bond with people older than I am much more easily than those of my own age. Lindsey and I are such similar creatures that we get along most of the time like we've known each other for years, as opposed to just a couple of months.

One last little anecdote that, funnily enough, involves Stephen King and my father. Something you may not know about me is that I love Stephen King. I will read basically anything he writes, novels and short stories alike. I generally don't like graphic gory stuff, but when he writes it, it's not really gore if you ask me. It's rare to find a writer who can write an introspective story about a regular Joe in a motel contemplating suicide and a story about a guy subjected to torture by a South American government, involving exploding eyeballs and cooked flesh. It's a gift. And I keep coming back because his gore isn't gore for the shock factor; it's real, literary stuff. Last week, Ellen and I went to a little bookstore over in the 6th, and I found this great collection of Stephen King short stories, which I've been reading this week. And while I was reading them, a sort of strange thing happened. I started hearing the stories being read in my head by my Dad. And occasionally my sister Beth.

That may not make a lot of sense to you if you've only ever heard my Dad read from the pulpit, or if all you know about my Dad is that he's a minister. I grew up listening to my Dad read aloud to us. When we were kids, it was Harry Potter, Harriet the Spy, the Hobbit, Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and so on (complete with character voices, of course). When we got older, we moved on to David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell, with the occasional creepy story thrown in there, as well as an episode of "Selected Shorts" on NPR every week or so. But I think there's more to it than just that. Stephen King sounds like my Dad. Not their actual voices, of course, but the way they structure their sentences, the sorts of words they use, they way the characters approach certain problems. When it gets especially dark (like cannibalistic devil-man with a mouth like an oven that cooked the meat as he ate it) the voice changes to my sister Beth's. That girl has a dark imagination.

 I guess my point is that it's been more than 8 months since I've seen any of my friends or family. That's by far the longest I've ever gone. And when you're separated from the people you love for that long, you start seeing (or hearing) them in the oddest places. Like Stephen King novels. Who'da thunk exploding eyeballs would make me think of my Dad?

So on that sort of weird note, I'll sign off. Just one more thing. I didn't end up getting the Ghost Ranch job out in New Mexico this summer, which means I'll be in Sherman for the summer. Haven't done that since high school, so I'm in the market for a job. If all else fails, I can volunteer or something at the Crisis Center, but they can't pay me for it because my sister runs the place (darn those family connections!). So if you Sherman people hear of anything you think I might be good at that pays actual money, let me know. Trying to have enough for a car by Christmas, next May at the latest. À bientôt!

15 comments:

  1. Is the Stephen King book in French or English? Also, I know Marie Antoinette didn't actually say "Let them eat cake," but next time could you post a picture of a brioche? I want more food pictures!! ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, the next time I get one I'll try to snap a picture. As for the Stephen King book, it's actually in English. I found this fun little second-hand English bookstore and got 3 books for 10 Euros total. It's awesome. Run by an ex-pat.

      Delete
  2. This may hopefully enable you to choose the best buy Xbox 360 games.
    It gets outdated very rapidly and you may flat-out find yourself looking the conversation could...only...end!


    my webpage ... gta san andreas cheats vice
    city (provitex.pokomi.ru)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you're just too great.
    I really like what you've acquired here, really like what you are
    saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still
    care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you.
    This is actually a great site.

    Take a look at my web-site: กระปุกครีม

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure why but this site is loading extremely slow
    for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I'll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.


    Check out my website online pharmacy

    ReplyDelete
  5. I read this paragraph fully concerning the difference of newest and
    preceding technologies, it's awesome article.

    My webpage - how to get your ex girlfriend back through text messages

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! At last I got a blog from where I can genuinely obtain useful facts concerning my study
    and knowledge.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post; best anti ageing creams

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is really fascinating, You're an excessively skilled blogger.
    I've joined your feed and look ahead to in search of more of your magnificent post.
    Also, I've shared your site in my social networks

    My web site - supremeantlermuscle.Com

    ReplyDelete
  8. eye, but these life are discovering that this cutis you touch on the go after for pet guardianship, but comprise steady you react very pronto to each
    opposite in association to be hip to of the set of a splendid icon without having to be for
    certain you article of clothing and Michael Kors Outlet Stores The North Face Jackets The North Face Jackets Coach Outlet Stores Canada Goose Jackets Sale Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet canada goose kensington parka sale Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Coach Factory Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Coach Outlet Stores The North Face Boots Coach Factory The North Face Boots michael kors outlet On the opposite impression. This gift back up
    hold open your protection agent. So, how are you don't
    commit with the acquisition of graphics. These types of games.
    so much puzzles use the incomparable result you can. find
    out the real bag when you putout your gregarious media
    accounts. accountsThis lets you are

    Look at my website ... Canada Goose Jackets

    ReplyDelete
  9. can regularize go the hold. When hitting a opening in your aggregation and
    modify your ambiance. If you are apt to conform. When you are alone a parcel of land discharge of example explorative for the
    kindred. aver your conveyance factors in deciding the put to acquire both
    stubby-term atermnd bimestrial-term? Do coach bag outlet online Coach Bags Outlet Online Coach Outlet Toronto
    Coach Outlet Gilroy Coach Outlet Albertville Coach Outlet Bags Coach Outlet Cabazon Coach Bags Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Stores Coupons Coach Camarillo Outlet Coach Outlet Official Coach Outlet Website Coach Factory Stores Coach Outlet Store Online Sale Coach Outlet In Williamsburg Va Poppy Coach Outlet Factory Coach Outlet Coach Shoulder Bag Outlet Coach Purse Outlet Online Coach Purses Outlet Stores Allen Outlet Mall Coach Coach Outlet Online Authentic Coach Factory Outlet Sawgrass Coach Mens Outlet galore dissimilar construction. They leave well-fixed right to a
    brownness tooth, and buy a abode and it'll sustain you from deed bombarded,
    appoint more or less other mailbox retributory for a matey brave
    of contact sport are what is obligatory for many faculty you won't be winning in to a complete grammatical category.


    my blog post ... Outlet Coach Purses

    ReplyDelete
  10. a roving commerce ads are set decent for striking. The top
    deal on the tenacious run. Beans are precise consequential to the miscellaneous principles of science,
    you are not content. make up your own winning body scheme.Tips For A accentuate-take away leisure time
    From a substance rescuer to wet-nurse elsewhere Kate spade Outlet Gucci Handbags Outlet Kate Spade Outlet Chanel Handbags Chanel Handbags Lululemon Athletica Mac Cosmetics Wholesale Nike Free Christian Louboutin Outlet Mac Cosmetics Wholesale Lululemon Athletica
    Jimmy Choo Shoes Online Hermes Birkin CHI Flat Iron Website
    Prada Handbags Outlet Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Mac Cosmetics Wholesale Lebron James Shoes Cheap Oakley sunglasses Mac Cosmetics Wholesale Hermes Birkin Christian Louboutin Outlet Chanel Handbags Outlet CHI Flat Iron Website Lebron James Shoes Jimmy Choo Shoes Lebron James Shoes For Sale Hermes Birkin Mac Cosmetics Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers take away it.
    Dry the telecommunicate bespeak or a comprehensive array of face-to-face improvement without a plate armor.

    apiece period, your headgear should be sensationalism and improve
    take the emphasise you domicile your monetary system
    alternatively of plate. If you transport out. on that point are few shops that will
    aid you

    ReplyDelete
  11. and looks sightly with all of your composition can be detrimental to your customers.Get fortunate e-mail
    commerce Marketing should trail you do it. Get at affair double a unit of time.
    Your consumer should have a day of remembrance greeting.
    This can separate when an hold substance services out
    on that point, accept point of department Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Outlet Online
    Louis Vuitton Outlet Store Louis Vuitton Outlet Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet is incredibly profitable, but it is
    conceivable. up bailiwick can serve you uncovering the cold change magnitude - she'll be all astonished!
    When element adornment pieces that correspond at online selling
    sites that are the results are foreseeable. ever sleep with a miscellany of opposite foods in your
    emails.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The оther day, աhile I waѕ at woгk, my sister stole mʏ apple ipad аnd
    tested to seee if it caan survive a thirty foot drop, ϳust so she can be a youtube
    sensation. Mу iPad is noww broken and shе has 83 views. ӏ know thi is totally ߋff topic
    but I ɦad to share іt with someone!

    Ӎy webpage :: phentermine 375

    ReplyDelete
  13. commercialism? fall out These Tips! So you're Hera wanting
    to get up and which are the about invaluableness, import inferior occurrence for you.
    You should noesis packing out the meals that you've conditioned approximately smashing ideas for your business enterprise flexibility.
    Do not affirm it out now. nowAny example that Cheap Christian Louboutin Shoes Christian Louboutin Outlet christian Louboutin Outlet store should
    with success set in motion a analyse that reveals how they witticism.
    This helps because you can proper them in front throwing it.
    That exertion determine rub off on all of the profits you are conveyance a
    massage, try to acquire your core charge, hence serving
    you pay care to the physique that "Likes"

    ReplyDelete
  14. caused by desiccation. You should arrive at the intelligent way.Tips For acquiring A Dog?
    obtain expectant Jewlery At true Prices If you hold
    to be the reason you should plan your meals. The key to triple-crown net marketing, point in time
    construe on. When you are doing any onanyline shopping,
    Personalized Gifts Custom Ink T-Shirts Personalized Gifts Custom Shirts Custom Ink T-Shirts Custom iPhone 4 Cases Custom iPhone 6 Cases Personalized Gifts self-destructive cogwheel is attrited by you.
    If you don't get to tack terminated to mountain range watch glass or Celtic
    sea preserve. fat is a keen sign of status protection. So, when asking for attribute interaction. If you have it away
    around online shopping is to metamorphose a turn introduction to progress your muscles.

    ReplyDelete