Friday, October 29, 2010

La Vie En Rose

While swimming around the internet tonight I came upon the Edith Piaf classic, La Vie En Rose. I know it's overplayed and overdone, but there's something about it that makes a heart shudder a little, and I get lost in a daydream of what I want Paris to be. It makes me homesick for a place that doesn't exist. There are other songs that have this effect (actually,just one other), but this one especially takes me somewhere. It got me thinking about the little trip I took to Europe last October--a week in Florence and three days in Paris. I'd dreamt of Paris for years, how I'd live there one day and that it would be my dream city.  It was lovely--eating lunch outside of Cafe de Flore, the famous existentialist hangout, meandering the busy streets and stumbling into beautiful cathedrals. However, as Paul Theroux said in The Washington Post(1941)--

Which is absolutely true. Looking back on Paris, the light was this bluish-gray tint, almost like rain was coming even when it wasn't, and it was quiet, even with people moving everywhere. The truth of the matter is, it was cold and lonely as I stayed in a dingy hostel and peed into a hole in the floor. I spent a good part of my first day there lost and crying and confused. A year's time is long enough to forget the sordid details and remember just the beauty.
Things don't usually look the way you pictured them, and life certainly doesn't go the way you planned. But I'm starting to find that that's ok. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two for the Road [movie sunday] 1967

Mark Wallace:   "Who are you?"
Joanna Wallace:    "Some girl."
Mark [Albert Finney]:   Darling, what's French for 'Inspector, I don't believe a word you're saying and you're not gonna get a damn penny?' 
Joanna [Audrey Hepburn]:  'Oui, monsieur.' 

I'd like to start a weekly movie sunday post, and figured it would be most appropriate to begin with an Audrey Hepburn classic. I have a special, sort of sentimental love of really good, old movies. My dad's of the generation that listened to the Rat Pack and the Four Seasons, watched old Westerns and Singin' in the Rain and falls asleep to TCM every single night, without fail. 
I know that most girls (maybe not most, but I certainly do) idolize Audrey Hepburn and want to look just like her, but not as many people comment on the way she speaks. I would give anything to have her voice and talk the way she talks.
When Two for the Road first came out, it was considered confusing and choppy the way it jumps around to different times and places, but I completely disagree. The execution is flawless, and the placement of each little vignette perfectly displays the stages of their relationship--first as unlikely hitch-hiking partners, then lovers, then volatile husband and wife--they provide an exquisite juxtaposition of single, carefree life to married, married life. 
In the beginning, she's so naive and eager; he's so "wise" and full of little quips and full of himself. He's arrogant and annoying. Throughout the movie, you love him and you hate him.  

"If there's one thing I really despise, it's an indispensable woman," Mark says--and that's exactly what she is to him, an indispensable woman who always knows where his passport is when he doesn't.

The way that the movie portrays the couple, or love, is so real--it isn't nearly perfect, but in some twisted way it works. 

Mark:    "If you want to live in one half of a suburban shoe box like your parents, you married the wrong man."

Joanna:   "I don't want to live in one half of a suburban shoe box, and I married the wrong man."

They are so in love and then they take each other for granted, he resents being married and having a child. But, despite it all and through everything, they're stuck with each other. In the end I think that's what love really is--knowing that no matter what, no matter how much you can't stand the person you're with, you couldn't live without them.

Out of four stars, I give this movie ten.

last lines of the movie:
Mark:    "bitch."
Joanna:    "bastard." 

Audrey playing around on the set between shoots

making the best of it

Within the past year, I've made some decisions that I'm not proud of and repeated some mistakes that I said I wouldn't do. Learning from mistakes is not one of my natural traits. I took a leave of absence (twice) from the College of Charleston, and during my time off I've moved to moved to Georgia to be a working student under a renowned dressage trainer, moved to Savannah, moved back to Charleston, and back to Georgia again. As the result of all this, I find myself living on my father's couch. It's easy to get down and out, to get anxious about what to do next, and I do all the time. But I try to use my time constructively, by learning how to sew, by starting this blog, and by (hopefully) learning how to make jewelry. It's something that I've recently become inspired by, and I've been collecting things from everywhere I go to use once I learn how to drill and solder.

I have to remind myself that I've been learning about myself through the mistakes I've made. That I'm not passionate enough about writing to study it in school, that maybe I'm not cut out to train horses professionally, as much as it pains me to say so.
I just want to make sure that the next move I make is what I want to do, not what I feel that I should do.

On another note, today we drove to Beaufort to celebrate the 90th birthday of my dad's double cousin (or something). Ten years ago we celebrated his 80th, when I crashed his golf cart into a tree and begged to go up in his little airplane (daddy said no, of course). This year I was a little more subdued, and listened intently to his stories of flying for the navy during WWII. There's something so inspiring about talking to someone who has lived through so many monumental things--what I wouldn't give to be able to see into his brain, to have his memories.
His property looks out over the marsh, and the view is spectacular. As much as I like to hate on the South and its ideologies and ways of thinking, it's hard to beat the oak trees and spanish moss and the marshes and beaches. It's little towns like Beaufort that remind me that it's not all bad.

oh, and his old cars weren't too bad, either. My dad had a Model A when he was fourteen. I love it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fido Friday!

For as much as I like to talk about my dog (and other various creatures--cats, other dogs, horses), I thought it would be fun to dedicate every Friday to one of them, all of them, how I keep them healthy, my training methods, and most importantly, how I keep them happy. 

Meet Sabrina! Her two favorite places in the world are at the beach and at my feet.  She's almost two and she loves sticks, cats, car rides and high-fives.

Sabrina's best (feline) friend is Kit Kat. For as long as I can remember, she's had a strange obsession with cats--She'd follow our cats around the house for hours, relentlessly. I was so worried that she was trying to hurt them, and scolded her accordingly. I tried everything to keep her from terrorizing them, until Kit Kat came along. It was then that I realized that Sabrina's obsession for cats stemmed from a strange love for them, and I stopped worrying. She will still intently watch a cat for hours, but when they're next to her, she licks them. As for Kit Kat, she treats Sabrina like a mother cat, nuzzling and snuggling with her whenever she can. My heart melts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010



i get so down and out reading and worrying about the plight of the earth, that on the rare occasion i read about something good being done, it's like breathing a huge sigh of relief. this article is a reminder that there are still good people out there, and that they haven't given up the fight.

this article about former RAF pilot Jack Walters' idea of using the idea aerial bombardment techniques to reforest the earth is from The Guardian. 

"He said a man on the ground can plant 1,000 trees a day. 'If we are going to combat global warming by collecting carbon in the wood of trees, we will want millions of them a year. Airborne planting is probably the only way.'"
"In five years he believes that his company could be planting a billion trees a year - enough to reforest 3,000 square miles."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

first blog post. [travel]

traveling in the rural south:
the past two weekends have been dedicated to discovering new places: the first being pendleton, sc--
we stayed in a good friend's bed&breakfast, where we were served home cooked polenta and salmon cakes for dinner on the front porch.
beautifully restored 1854 house
old barn in back

 that night we were taken on a trip to the islander, a downtown pendleton karaoke bar. the next day we acquainted ourselves with the vultures and the chickens, and spent the rest of the day lazily watching the sun go down. 

a hen and her eggs