I am feeling out of sorts today primarily due to the bloodwolves have started sniffing around House Rabey, coupled with work pressure as this is the last week before the end of the semester. I have also been doing a lot of writing for work and profesh related things, so I need a break from looking at a computer screen for awhile. I thought instead of writing, I’d offer up more images from my grand adventures across the seas. As always, you can find more at this collection on Flickr.
TheHusband and I opted to head out to dinner when we got out of work Wednesday night (“Jesus Lisa! Why must every outing turn into a trip to Target?”). Over our plates of meat (after our trip to Target AND Staples), we ended up having a good discussion on writing. He says this compulsion of mine to over share my self-absorption is cheapening my talent (“You’re not writing for meaning, you’re writing to fill the space”), which lead into a conversation about what writing means as a whole, what it means to me and what I want it to represent. TheHusband is obsessed with CBC’s Writers and Company podcast which he uses as his basis for everything and anything when it comes to writing. So he judges me, fairly or not, to the quality of those who came before me but on a much grander scale.
Unfair? It is my carrot to succeed. If HE thinks I can be as good as this person, then the world can grovel at my feet.
There are times when I am feeling choked upon the ground, unable to get out what it is I want to say in the manner that I need to say it. I’ve noticed the more stable I am feeling mentally, the less forthcoming the muse is. My purest power is when I’m manic, so it is a shame I cannot turn this disease on and off like a switch because if I could, I would make my life a whole lot easier.
Trying to balance my own mental disability without drugs while living a full life while then attempting to use said broken brain for MOAR work is exhausting. And taxing. But especially exhausting. But I feel, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, as this is my life line and I cannot let go.
I do agree that not every day is like sunshine and rainbows around here, but my argument is neither is life. To wish for everything to be perfection is ludicrous. I live and thrive in the chaos and uncertainty of what exists here in this space. But I know not everyone is in agreement, but it should be remembered I am here for me and not for them. The fact you are reading this is a delicious bonus.
As work is wrapping down for the semester before winter break, I’ve decided to make the next few days image heavy from pictures of my various romps around Europe while I get sorted on some kind of schedule and process for writing. A few days ago, I gave TheHusband a few short stories to edit which I heard some grumping about how much work said editing was going to take because the stories were that bad. It’s hard to swallow the imperfections, I want to believe everything is as it should be and just call it experimental. Rather, I will re-read the pieces, guffaw at the obvious problems and fix them.
In the interim, enjoy your trip to Scotland, France, England, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
“Foreign’s where they gabble at you in heathen lingo and eat foreign muck and worship, you know, objects.” – Granny Weatherwax, from Witches Abroad
One of the projects this summer was to finally get our honeymoon pictures online, which began to prove itself to be a daunting task as we had nearly 1000 images taken over our 2.5 week honeymoon. Justin and I shifted between being the paparazzi which explains why you’ll find shots of beautiful architecture (him) mixed with trash found on the street (me).
We arrived in Paris on the morning of the 12th and left the afternoon of the 16th, which gave a scant few days to get the gist of the city. We were totally okay with this as I had been to Paris before so our goal was to eat, drink and museum hop rather then float around the tourist traps.1 I wrote a summary of our time in Paris while on the Thayls train to Brussels, but what has kept with us is not so much as seeing the great pieces of art and architecture, but the beginnings of a dear friendship with Jon and Alice, who came from UK for their own mini-break to visit us in Paris. So much so, Alice2 and I have already started plotting a take-over of Dublin next fall, which hopefully Justin and I will get to do.
I’ve spent the last few days sorting, cleaning up and organizing the photos up into Flickr and are organized below by general collection, city and by tag of interest. Justin, Alice and Jon all pop in and out of photos, with my promises to Justin that I would only upload photos including him if absolutely necessary. This is why you’ll tend to see the back of my husband or as an accessory to the photo rather than the focal point.
Flickr Collection: Over the Pond Trips (all trips)
Flickr Collection: Over the Pond Trips: Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam (Honeymoon) (all)
Flickr Collection: Over the Pond Trips: Paris […]: Paris – May 12-16 (all)
Flickr Collection: Over the Pond Trips: Paris […]: Paris – May 12-16: Eiffel Tower
Flickr Collection: Over the Pond Trips: Paris […]: Paris – May 12-16: Louvre3
Flickr Collection: Over the Pond Trips: Paris […]: Paris – May 12-16: Arc de Triomphe
1. We “did” the Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe and such, but we cruised by and took pictures rather than shell out tens of Euros and hours of our time queuing to get INTO the sites. And oh yeah, French National Guard with machine guns patrolling the sites also turned us off from hanging about longer than necessary.
2. I have a HUGE girl crush on Alice, who is not only a geek but she’s also beyond creative. I love her jewelry, Snapdragon Beads, and totally pimp her out when I can because she does just simply amazing work.
3. Anyone who has museum hopped with me knows that as an art history student, I’ll cut a bish if I see someone taking photos in a museum with their flash on. Thus, all interior shots of the Louvre were taken with the flash off and the color and tone corrected in post processing via Photoshop.
Just a short note that I’ve changed the headers on the blog, which are rotating by the way, to images from my international travels. So far I’ve jumped the pond to Spain/France (2004), Rome (2005), Edinburgh/Highlands (2006), Reading/London/SW England (2008), Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam (2010). Flipping through the images always makes me long for the nights and beer in Scotland, the warmth and food in Italy and the people watching in Barcelona.
In serious, non-pretentious fucktwattery what does actually occur in my brain is how badly I need to learn how to use my cameras. Many of the pics from Rome (2005) are almost worthless for anything except for viewing on the web as the pixelation is so poor, printing and extensive editing are out. Our honeymoon pictures (Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam (2010)) are an interesting case study because we’ve got plenty of room for fudging about since we shot the images in raw format but not having trained on our beast of a camera before leaving leaves some pretty poor images as well. But that will soon be rectified as I’ve been learning how to use the damned camera, though several months too late. It also doesn’t help that we found out, after we came back, that the OEM lens is pretty poor. The goal right now is to get a better handle on using our camera.
I finally found the images from my Spain/France (2004) trip and will be working on those along with my honeymoon photos at some point in the near future. I just recently uploaded the last of the photos my UK (2008) trip, so I’m obviously not in a huge hurry.
If you hold down shift + reload, the header should rotate through seven different header images: Two from Paris, one from Rome, three from Scotland and one ‘henged image. If you’re interested in what I have uploaded from my trips thus far, you can find all of my (and our) trips on Flickr.
As I write this, we’re currently on Thalys train 9443, from Paris to Bruxelles, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. This may be one of the few times I’ll get to properly update since none of the hotels we are staying in Bruxelles or Amsterdam have free Wifi. The lack of free Wifi floating around Paris was poor — apparently for many of the free Wifi sites in Paris, you have to pre-register and then login once you get to the location.
For my iPhone, we paid for international data roaming (up to 50Mb) on this trip but you so much as spit while in a another country, you’ve used up a mb so everything has been shut off – data and 3G. I’ve only used data in Paris to Foursquare my way across the city when I could. This is going to be a very quick update on what has been going on for the last week since I only have about an hour before we get to Bruxelles.
Foursquaring, tweeting and other general updating will be done at the barest of minimums for the next 1.5 weeks. Also, all images from our camera are in raw format and I don’t have proper graphic software on my netbook so those will be done when we get back (more or less). If you haven’t been following me on Twitter, here is what you’ve missed:
Our flight was delayed due to unknown reasons from Montreal to Paris, which wasn’t so much the issue. The issue was that Delta never bothered to contact me via text or email about the plane delays and I only found out by happenstance when we purchased Wifi in Montreal to find out what the fuck was going on since NO ONE in Montreal, it seems, knew what the hell was going on. None of the desks manned in our concourse for Delta/AirFrance actually HAD people manning the desks. Our flight changed three times, which also included our seating. Now, part of the reason why we booked our trip (in fact the main reason) was that we were able to request and have confirmation for bulkhead and exit row seats on all three legs of our journey (Detroit->Montreal->Paris, Amsterdam->Detroit). I get that due to Ash Cloud shenanigans, flights are going to be screwy, but to change our flight, disregard our requests, not notify us, and then not have anyone available to talk to at the airport? Yeah, fuck you Delta/Air France. What burns, even more, is that when flights were settled and we were ready to board, our tickets that were printed at DTW suddenly were not working at YUL. Air France said it was due to the change over in flight information, we were in the registry and our tickets were reprinted.
Due to the above all, Delta/Air France LOST OUR LUGGAGE!
It arrived 2 days later, but beating one’s underwear and shirts in the sink and then spending the day wearing damp, vaguely dirty clothes for another run is bleh. Yes, first world problem, but dammit, it’s my fucking honeymoon!
We met up with Jon and Alice (from #userfriendly/Twitter/etc) for the weekend and quite enjoyed the drinking, laughing, stumbling, and shopping that took place all over Paris. Since all of us were pretty much in agreement that it would be impossible to do EVERYTHING in such a short amount of time (and to be honest, you would need weeks to do everything in Paris), we just hung out and ate ourselves silly from one end of the city to the other. We also became the masters of the Paris metro.
Justin and I actually did spend the entire day at the Louvre, which was not as bad as I would have thought it would have been. Seeing the Mona Lisa was fairly uninspiring (too many fucking people flashing their fucking cameras on the fucking masterpiece that was covered in fucking glass). We did not see the ENTIRE Louvre but we saw a good portion — I also got to knock three Caravaggio paintings of my list, so that was exciting (my lifetime goal is to see everyone of his paintings and I’ve knocked a considerable amount of them off the list since I went to Rome and now Paris). But as for the rest of the Louvre, you get oversaturated with the religious artifacts, the 975 different representations of Christo on a cross and sheer amount of boobage everywhere. Even Justin pointed out that after awhile, you get sick of looking at breasts.
Alice turned us into the Le marche aux puces de Saint-Ouen (flea markets of St. Ouen) which was fan-fucking-tastic idea! This was such a brilliant idea and it was a shame we left it for the morning before we left because we could have spent the entire day there and still not have seen everything. I picked up a few trinkets for myself and for gifts while Alice picked up oodles and oodles of beads. We roamed through a good portion of the market and saw everything from used books, post cards to antique furniture and clothes to stall upon stall of Converse, hookahs and the every popular pashmina.
My netbook cracked sometime between when we left our hotel in Paris and when we got on the train to Bruxelles and will have to be junked when we get back (which is also why updating is going to be very, very sporadic).
In other good news (other than hanging out with Jon+Alice for the weekend), I had a job interview before I left for the trip (literally, the day before) and I have another job interview lined up when I get back from my trip, the first week of June. I’m getting the job interviews — I just need someone to FUCKING GIVE ME A JOB!
So, that’s a nutshell of what we’ve been doing (other than eating and drinking bad beer and hanging out at expat bars around Paris).