Monday, March 31, 2008

CHICKY & BYRD

This is Byrd. Jeff Byrd but most people call him Byrd. He produced my album with me and we've been having a blast in London listening to each song come alive, one by one. This album has been in the works for almost two years now and hearing our hard work mixed into one big beautiful album brings tears to my eyes.
Byrd rules.

This is Chicky. Charles Reeves but a lot of people call him Chicky. He is the reason we came to London, to work in his studio. Chicky is a true master of sound and I would trust no one else to mix and master my songs. His ears are golden and he is taking each song to a completely new level.
Chicky rules.

I wrote this album but these two creative forces are making it come to life.
Work with talented people.
Always.
Especially with Chicky and Byrd if you're an air sign like me. :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

I SEE LONDON, I SEE FRANCE

Woke up at 5:15AM this morning to catch a 6:40AM train to London where I am mixing and mastering my album for the next two weeks (YAY). I am an ALWAYS on time person. It disturbs me DEEPLY to arrive anywhere less than 15 minutes early. I usually average 30-45 minutes early because I probably have some big issue I never dealt with somewhere in my past but I like to think that I just don't like rushing. Yesterday, I had even gone to the trouble of picking up my ticket from the station early and going to scope out where the gate would be.

With this in mind, it was especially perplexing to me that I left myself exactly 26 minutes this morning to drag two giant bags and a 40 lb. accordion on my back into the subway, take the metro to the train station, go through immigration, fill out customs form, push and cut to the front of the line and then RUN to the train while shouting "OH NOOOO!!!!WAIT FOR MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!" as the departure bell rang. Sweating profusely and gasping for air, I practically hugged the steward as I literally fell onto the train. "OH MY GOD (pant pant)....OH MY GOD....MERCI MERCI MERCI"

As I loudly tripped over a passenger's foot and huffed and puffed my way into my seat, I saw the others on the train staring at me...hair a mess, visibly heaving, pained expression. Oh my god, I'm THAT GIRL. The one I always think is SO DUMB. The one I always say to in my mind "if only you had gotten up 30 minutes earlier...YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF, STUPID".

It's nice to see how the other team plays but I'll happily take my anal retentiveness over cardiac arrest any day. I did this to MYSELF. Next time I'm totally getting up at 4AM.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

FISH HEADS AND ASSHOLES - DAY 90


Today marks my three month anniversary of moving to Paris. Between the mix of traveling and having a stream of friends stay at our apartment, I feel I've only dipped my big toe into this city.
Now I want to stick my face in it and open my eyes.

Yesterday, after a most annoying 7.5 hours spent yelling at my computer and trying in vain to upload the latest Les Alpes video installment (I have not given up), FB and I went to dinner. I had but one request. FISH. I wanted grilled whitefish. No sauce. No butter. Just grilled fish and vegetables. Having gorged myself on a mixed medley of red meats and cheeses for weeks on end, I yearned for a simple piece of whitefish sans le gravy, merci.

We found a nice place by Odeon and I smiled in anticipation as I ordered my grilled fish. Just as I was sitting back sinking into Frenchness, the aural missile entered my left ear like an unexpected A-bomb. "I THINK THAT A PRESIDENT OR A PUBLIC LEADER HAS A MORAL OBLIGAAAATION AND MUST STICK TO THE MORAL CODE THAT HE PREACHES!"
I whipped my head around to see who had launched the missile into the middle of my French bubble. And there they were.
AMERICANS.
BIG.
LOUD.
AMERICANS.
I quickly snapped my menu up to hide myself should anyone mistake me as "one of them". Blood boiling, I started my litany, spit flying across the table towards FB. I first tried in French so I could further separate myself from the apes but as "to speak strong, it's BAD...MUCH noise" didn't really showcase my wit or allow for the full expression of my deep disdain, I instead launched into an angry whispered "WHY does that guy feel it's necessary to YELL what he thinks about MORAL CODE to the ENTIRE RESTAURANT? IN ENGLISH! You know, they are EXACTLY the reason why people think Americans are loud and obnoxious. BECAUSE THEY ARE! THEY ARE RUINING EVERYTHING AND RUINING MY DINNER!"
Before FB had a chance to respond, another missile was sent our way, only this time in English with a heavy French accent, "I THEENK THE FRENCH AND ZE AMERICAINS HAVE SOMESING TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER! SARKOZY FOR EENSTANCE!"
This was yelled at an even louder decibel than the American.
I was struck into silence.
Wait.
AMERICANS are loud and obnoxious.
FB gave me the look of "See? We have assholes here, too".

And then our fish arrived. As the waiter set the fish down in front of me, my first thought was "Houston, we have a problem". It was the whole fish. Tail, head and charred eye staring straight at me. I have a history of not eating food that can look at me but I didn't want to come off as amateur or unworldy so I carefully set a piece of lettuce over the eye and got busy with the middle of the fish. Digging straight in, I filled my mouth with a hefty bite and then....
CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH
OK my mouth is filled with fish bones. Shit. I've heard people die from this. OK just keep chewing like it's totally normal. Alright, just nonchalantly slip that bone out of your mouth, ok, next one, ok number 3, 4, 5...no one noticed, keep going.

But when I got to 8 bones picked and spit out of my mouth, I gave up and looked at FB's plate. With surgeon-like skills, he had neatly spread his fish apart, extracted the bones and was happily and precisely eating just the meaty parts.
My plate looked like a murder gone bad with a lettuce cover up. I decided to come clean.

ME "Um, I have never actually eaten a fish like this before".
FB "Never? As in, never in your WHOLE LIFE?"
ME "No, never in my whole life. I never liked things looking at me while I eat them."
FB "Ahhhh, I was wondering about the way you were cutting into it! Do you want me to help you?"
PAUSE
ME "Um....yes."

I quietly sat like an embarrassed five year old while FB reached across the table, cleaned up my murder victim and cut him up correctly for me. He explained what the different parts of the fish were and as he cut the slimy egg sac out, held it up and asked me if I wanted any, I was able to hold my gag reflex down while muttering a "no, no, no, I think that's enough for tonight."

Lessons learned after three months in France: There are assholes everywhere and fish have lots of bones. Maybe I'm actually getting somewhere.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SHOCK AND AWE

This is by far the most dramatic example of a public safety image I have ever seen. In addition to the universal lightning bolt sign, it includes the addition of the dramatically bent over backwards victim, head arched to the sky as if to say "MON DIEUX, why oh WHY hast thou forsaken me?" Be warned, my friend. If you touch this box, YOU WILL BE STRUCK DOWN BY GOD IN HEAVEN and this is EXACTLY how you are going to DIE. So get that Shakespearean speech out and do it with FEELING this time!

I found it yesterday on the train station platform as we waited for our train back to Paris. I found it particularly appropriate as we had just come from FB's parents house where, yet again, I attempted to set something on fire. How was I supposed to know that the U.S.A. 8-plug super-sized extra wide power strip would not be magically converted by the tiny adaptor I had but instead would make a large hissing sound, followed by a loud pop, a small flame and then permanently shoot the lights out of my in-laws living room? They happened to be in the living room while my dual attempt at self-electrocution/familial arson occurred. I managed to mutter a quiet "oh shiiiiiit" as they rushed over to inspect the damage. My remedial French could only muster a "I am sorry for fire. I don't know. I am sorry. Fire so bad."

Fortunately, they didn't care so much about the lighting situation or my "Chaka hungry" explanation and after opening a door to let the smoke smell out, the incident was left alone. I am grateful to have such understanding in-laws and as we left, I looked them in the eye very seriously and let them know in earnest..."A promise. The fire. The light. It is last time. I no make the fire in the light."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

LES ALPES PART 1

Ok ok ok ok, I can do this, I can do this. So what that my legs are shaking and I feel like vomiting? It's just a mountain. A really really big mountain. That looks like, way bigger when I stand on it. At least there aren't any bears. I think. OK. Three year olds are passing you. You have officially been passed by a class of preschoolers. So quit crying like a baby, you idiot. STOP IT. You CAN get down this mountain...without your pride and your self worth in shambles but maybe also with no broken bones. Stand up straight, stand up STRAIGHT! WATCH THE TREE! OK, ignore the guy that just yelled at you, what does he know anyway? He's been born with skis on like apparently everyone else in this stupid country. IS THAT A TUNNEL? WTF??? I'm gonna rip his face off when we get down this mountain for talking me into going to the top.

I'm not gonna die, I'm gonna live, I'm not gonna die, I'm gonna live...


video

Coming soon..."SLOPE COP"

Friday, March 07, 2008

UNSETTLED - DAY ????

There's nothing like a good police raid of your apartment to take whatever little sense of belonging you have and throw it out the window. And did I mention it was in French and I did not understand one single word? Fun times yesterday morning, fun times. More on that later.....(and we're fine, I'm just psychologically traumatized and my paranoia has reached disproportionate levels and I've developed an eye twitch and night terrors but whatever, it's all cool).

Hmmmmmm.....I'd say it's the perfect time to get out of town and THROW MYSELF DOWN A MOUNTAIN! Today we leave for Les Alps and YES, I found an outfit.
Tragically, it is not inappropriately tight.
Ironically, it has fake leather patches and looks like a police uniform.
(Hmmmm it seems I was psychically tuned in when I purchased it last week).

I'll be busy patrolling the slopes for the next week, video camera in hand but with no internet connect. Be back soon. And by the way, never answer your door.

xo

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

YO FRANCE - TU ME MANQUES?

Yo France...I'm back! Did you miss me?

Sure France, I missed you too but I spent 2 1/2 New York weeks of kicking ass really loudly and it RULED. I ate bagels, pizza and Mexican food every day, walked around slurping a ginormous coffee and most importantly, I finished my recording my album. FUN.

But now I return to you, France. I always come back, don't I? I had a good two week run of the mouth but hey, it's silent time again for this compadre, France. No problemo.

And I have to say France, you are looking GOOOOD. You are WAY prettier than New York and the pretty girls always win. So let's just have a second go at this, OK? I don't need to understand everything you say anyway, I'll just nod my head smiling and you keep looking all pretty and we'll do ok in the end, you and me.

My heart is here with you, France. I ain't goin' nowheres, baby.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

This is what I want. This. As a ski outfit. WHY DOES THIS NOT EXIST?? It is 2008. There is NO WAY that technology has not come up with this. As a ski outfit. For me.
There is no suitable ski outfit in New York City. I know this because I have been to every ski store, sports store, whoever the hell sells skiing clothes store in the ENTIRE city. And there was not one thing I would ever even CONSIDER throwing myself down a mountain in.
Not one.
So I stepped up my game.
I ordered some online to deliver on Monday. A friend sent me a link to a couple of snowboarding jumpsuits that are closer to what I want. I mean, they are still way too padded and everything but I ordered two sizes and two colors to see which looks cuter with a sparkly gold belt.
I guess I have to get a ski hat and gloves and lip gloss and whatever special socks or whatever things you have to wear under your ski outfit. Gave up on the light up goggles. Could wear a headlight but that'd just be lame. I feel this coming together...I got my nails done today and everything.