Awkward Library Moments

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Libraries were made for PDE (Public Display of Embarrassment). The librarians may work in hushed voices, but the rooms are seemingly designed to amplify every trip, book drop, or sneeze.

PDE #1: There’s a moment when the person who is playing “Beez in the Trap” for the fifth time in a row is tapped by the  librarian, who informs them their headphones were unplugged for the last twenty minutes. An awkward silence fills the space where Nick Minaj used to be.  I thought they just wanted everyone to hear Nicki, but apparently that was not the plan.

A Movable, Embarrassing Feast

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I found a few euros today while cleaning my room, and I found myself missing Paris. Every country has their own rhythm, and every city keeps time. If France perpetuates the idea that life can be controlled and created with beautiful precision, Paris proves that living perfection exists. I visited Paris with a school group when I was 16, and again at age 22, with my family.

I am saving money to travel through Paris again in May, and I always hope that I will learn the same calm, beautiful approach to life that every Parisian seems to naturally possess.

During my second trip to Paris, I was determined to act the chic 22-year-old woman I was convinced I was. This meant wearing ballet flats at all times, drinking wine at any time of day, and not embarrassing myself.

Two out of three isn’t bad. I ate dinner at La Alsace with my family, where an incredibly handsome waiter served us escargot. The waiter joked with us about John Wayne, and asked if we rode horses everywhere in Texas. I informed him we only rode horses on special “fancy” occasions, usually when while attending the weekly John Wayne movie festivals.

The first round was perfect. I had tried escargot before in Texas, so clearly I felt fearless and unstoppable.

The Burgundy snails rest in fat, shiny shells filled with hot butter, garlic and herbs. They didn’t look like garden snails, but more like lovely, perfectly formed mushrooms served on a silver platter; the tiny escargot forks gleamed. I picked up the small fork and found the snail eating process both delicious and intuitive. We enjoyed the first order so much, we ordered another.

Halfway through the second plate, I found a stubborn snail, refusing to leave its shell. I forced it out, just a little too hard.The shell flew into the air and landed behind me, coating the booth window and seat with hot butter, garlic and herbs. The slug catapulted across the room, narrowly missing a small Asian tourist who ducked at the right moment. As he hid under the table, the snail whizzed past his head, where finally it finally landed in the middle of the restaurant floor. 

I look up and saw handsome waiter shake his head at me, looking bewildered before rolling his eyes and walking away. I began to apologize profusely to the tourist and his wife, who had been enjoying a romantic dinner, but they didn’t speak much English. Once they saw the shame on my face and my hand gestures, they burst into laughter for a good ten minutes. They smiled and said “It’s O-kay! Thank you!” Embarrassment, I discovered, was a globally recognized language.

My family sat, staring at me in amazement, “And you were worried we would embarrass you,” my mom chided me.

I’ve begun planning my next trip through Paris, and I’ve set more realistic goals which include: eating as many macarons from different patisseries as I possibly can in a twenty-four hour time frame, to finally view the stained glass windows at the Saint Chappelle (it has always closed for renovation during my visits), and to visit the Musee d’Orsay again. I can only hope the secret to Paris’ precise beauty will be revealed to me someday, but I am grateful for the people who recognize the movable, embarrassing, but sincere feast that is my love for this city.

An Accidental Leap

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I have a bad habit of leaping into elevators once the doors slide open.

I know this is rude and obnoxious habit, and that other people in the world use elevators to come and go places. It’s not logical, I could potentially leap into an empty elevator shaft. Yet every time the doors ding, I impulsively jump forward and into the elevator, as though I have a few seconds before the doors will slam shut on me. Sometimes, my thoughts of avoiding a squished fate are interrupted by a full room of people, waiting to exit before I can carry out my plan.

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Today I leaped forward into the elevator, only to face an elderly man with a walker and a disgruntled pregnant lady. “This is not your finest moment,” I thought, frozen with embarrassment, standing in the doorway.  I quickly moved backwards and tried to cover my tracks by holding the door open with my body.

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“You coulda killed someone,” the old man said sarcastically.

“Sorry, I just really wanted you guys to go first,” I insisted, my face flushing, despite my best efforts to keep cool.

“Yeah, we can tell.”

As the angry pair hobbled towards the front lobby, I shuffled my way into the elevator, next to a mother and daughter who tried to stifle laughing at me.

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…I’ve resolved to check elevators before I leap in the future.

Good Vibrations

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I recently made a resolution to work out for an hour every day. (Confession: I started this fitness resolution yesterday, but I’m on the right track.) I am the type of individual who cannot exercise without music, and I work best with a selection of high-power ’80s and ’90s hits. Day one of my fitness plan, and I was already tired of running while Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch cheered me on from my phone. I turned to the Internet for inspiration, and found a great site with Joseph Gordon-Levitt GIFS and photos.

JGL and Marky Mark were the perfect combination of handsomeness and energy

JGL singing

Feel it Feel it

Marky Mark

And then I saw this

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and paused just a moment too long

My phone flew into the air and moved in pinball motion between my treadmill and the treadmill next to me, which belonged to an easily frightened middle-aged man. (He bolted once he saw the photos on my phone).

I tripped as I rushed to stop the machine, but gracefully caught myself as the treadmill came to a stop.

As embarrassed as I was after retrieving my phone, I realized I needed twenty minutes of exercise to achieve my one hour goal.

…Thank goodness for Prince.

Falling Up

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Description/ Intro:
I am a 25-year-old woman, with a BA in Photocommunications, and I live with my mom and brother in a big city that feels like a small town. I moved back home a few months ago to begin my freelance career as a food writer and photographer, which is fun, confusing and as low-paying as everyone told me it would be.

I know life is a process, but my life looks and feels like a mash-up of the world’s longest John Hughes film and deleted outtakes from The Barefoot Contessa. I’m the self-described “awkward” female protagonist, determined to create a career and a life that reflects her dreams and capability (which includes making French macarons as perfectly as La Duree, and inviting all my friends over to laugh and eat macarons  as the credits roll).

Cliché ends here.

I know should write everyday, but I can’t seem to force myself to write for my regular blog. I know I’m not a complete cliché because funny things are happening to me, and funny things have always happened to me. Falling while walking upstairs is not a cliché. Neither is a deer jumping towards your car, when you simply wanted to sneak out at 2 am and eat Whataburger. Or accidentally breaking your wrist because you were breakdancing. If I can’t find the inspiration to write about news stories or recipes, I can at least share some of my life adventures and misadventures.

If you’re still reading this post, thank you. I’m not sure what will happen with this blog, but I’m determined to see it through. Maybe we will find some inspiration in the stories.