Sunday, June 29, 2008


Technically speaking, I played and sang for my first Parisian audience last night in a crowded after hours bar in the 3rd arrondissement at 3AM. Upstairs in the corner was an upright piano. As two French boys made their way over to it, my own French Boy convinced me to play a song. I asked politely if they minded if I played a quick tune, they agreed and so I sat down and launched into one of my songs. It has been seven months since I played my last gig in NY and it felt like a crack rush to sing for an audience again. Put a crowd around me and a piano and I could stay there forever.

As I happily rocked late night Paris, the two French boys decided it was a good idea to try and make a duet out of my song and play the piano "with me", one encroaching on the left side of the piano and one on the right. Suddenly I found myself being beaten off the piano altogether. Oh no no no no NO, boys. Sorry, but I am NOT a team player when it comes to a hostile takeover of the instrument I am playing in the middle of one of my own songs. And super especially if you have no idea what the chords are and you are now making it sound like total crap. Soooo...using my sharpened Savate skills, I braced both arms, stuck out both elbows and played harder and harder across two octaves (BAM!), then three (KAPOW!), then four (SHAZAM!) and finally strong armed them both off completely....without missing a beat.
Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

After I finished I thanked them though they looked really annoyed with me as they sat down to play and sing "Georgia" (at least show me up with something French?) The crowd dispersed and the bouncer came to tell them they couldn't play any longer.
Sorry fellas, looks like curtain time for you.
Maybe next time....

On another note, it's male fashion week here in Paris which apparently means an infiltration of pouty pretty boys wearing sunglasses at night and carrying bouncy balls around while striking poses. Awwwwwww....


I wrote and recorded this song this past week. I was putting some books away and it just hit me, the piano was right there and it just kind of came out. Shot and edited by FB......

Friday, June 27, 2008


OK, so I'm a crier. Nothing new there. My initial reaction to stress or anything out of the ordinary has been, and probably will always be a torrential downpour of tears. So no surprise then this morning as I woke up in tears upon realizing:

a. We are moving out of our apartment tomorrow
b. We have no rental van reserved
c. We have no keys to our new apartment
d. We have no bed or ANY furniture for that matter
e. We have 40+ boxes of I don't even know WHAT to move out of storage ourselves and up six flights of steps with no help because....
f. I have nothing and my life is over.

And so the spiral begins. For once I'd like to react to something and NOT immediately go to the worst case/life as I know it is ending scenario. Sigh. But no, there I was with FB this morning...freaking out....again. "WE HAVE TO LEAVE...NOW!! We HAVE...(short of breath)...TO GO GET A BED...RIGHT NOW!!" He was in a great mood this morning and just held my hand as I sobbed my way out the door and into the metro to find a bed. I'm pretty comfortable now openly weeping in public here. People just don't seem to stare at all and I never catch anyone giving me the secret look like they did in NYC when I would shed tears on the subway. So I sat quietly on the metro with my tissue, tears running, dab dab, blow nose, dab dab...
After crying my way out of the metro and down the street for a few blocks, FB's patience with his silently sobbing wife was clearly running out. So I naturally felt the sudden need to kick it up a notch or ten, and stopped in the middle of a crowded sidewalk to exclaim "YOU JUST DOOOON'T UNDERSTAAAAAAAND!"

FB gave me the look of "ohhhhhh kkkkkkk, here it comes..."

ME: "I....sob just sooo nervous....and (sob sob) I don't have anything papers...(cry cry) bank furniture...(hyperventilate)....I can't even RENT MY OWN TRUUUUUCK...."
FB: "Baby. Is THAT what you want? A truck? I'll get you a semi truck, OK? I'm gonna drive you to our new apartment tomorrow in an 18 wheeler, OK? Just you and me. On the road, OK?"
ME: "Buuut...."
FB: "But what?"
ME: "Um...nothing."

And so we entered the futon store, one man and his disheveled, tear stained wife.
FB:"Bonjour. We need a bed. (pause) Right away."

As we laid on various beds, I felt a sudden wave of calm and the tears magically stopped. I could just liiiiie here on this futon in this sunny store window foreeeeever because everything is suddenly...awesome. As we left the store with a receipt in hand and a delivery date all set up, I smiled and said, "Um...merci...I really love you...uh, sorry I flipped out...heh...heh.."

On my subway ride back, it hit me. Today is June 27th! I arrived in Paris six months ago today. It's been quite a ride and I thought about all the things I have accomplished since I got here...

I finished my album.
I made one French friend.
I learned how to do Savate and take out someone's knees and then head.
I can say "suck my dick" in French.
I wrote three new songs.
I learned how to snowboard.
And I fell madly in love with a new city.

Life is grand. Happy six month anniversary, Paris. I really do heart you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WHAT did you just...?

I was walking down the street today in my own world when a man walking past me gave me the leary eyes and said "something something mon cigar". My first thought was, hmmm I am not smoking a cigar, why would he...maybe he meant cigarette...but I'm not smoking a cigarette either so...I was 20 meters past him when it hit me....ohhhh WAIT A MINUTE (as the anger started to boil)...
That guy just said SUCK MY DICK to me.

Maybe it was the heat outside or the fact that I just had wasted 30 seconds of my life trying to translate what this guy had said to me...but I was SERIOUSLY enraged. I had just come from Savate class too so it took no time at all for me to wheel around, march right up behind him and yell "BOIS VOTRE CIGAR! TOUT SEUL!" (my bad French roughly translating to Drink Your Dick! All Alone!'s all I could think of). Then I added a firm "AAAASSHOLE!" just to drive my point home. Before he had a chance to respond, I marched off in a huff. Some people on the sidewalk were laughing and said something else to me but I had already decided my "translate what the nice French people on the sidewalk say" game was OVER for the day and I just kept marching, thinking of a litany of curses I could have said in English.

Five minutes later I entered my neighborhood bakery. Every single person who works there is always really nice and smiley with me (I am there every single day) EXCEPT this one woman who messes up my order every single time and then acts like I killed her family when I correct her order. She is seemingly the only person in Paris who can't ever understand me, she rarely makes eye contact except to sneer at me and oftentimes she will not say the mandatory "Au Revoir" after I have already said it upon exiting the shop. So there she was, Miss Sunshine in all her glory and me, fresh off a badly executed French insult and still racking my brain trying to figure out how to say "suck".

I ordered two baguettes, she gave me one, I said no two please, she sneered, briskly took another baguette out and just dropped it clumsily on the counter, not even wrapping it for me. We've played this scenario out about 650 times since I moved here and frankly, it is getting a little old. As I paid today and said "merci" twice followed by "Au Revoir!" she was silent. I stopped in my tracks and thought, "You know what, Sneer Lady? NOT TODAY. NOT. TODAY. Because I have officially HAD IT." I turned back around and said "Au Revoir!" again.
Still, nothing.
So I walked back up to the counter where she could not possibly miss me and gave my best stickily sweet "Au revoir!"
I clearly wasn't ever going to win this battle so I just said to her "Vous etes siiii gentille, merci beaucoup." (you are soooo nice, thanks a lot) before smiling, mumbling "asshole" under my breath and waltzing out the door.

Au revoir!!!! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I live very close to Passage Brady, a quaint passage of Indian restaurants that I've been meaning to try. After Savate class recently, I announced I was going to meet a friend at Passage Brady to have lunch. The local students asked me in unison if I liked to eat rats. At first I thought I misunderstood the translation. "Uh....rats? You mean Nan? I like Nan." But no, they informed me that if I was a lover of rats, I would REALLY REALLY LOVE Passage Brady. I decided to forego the lunch there and instead check it out later myself. That night I happen to pass by it after the restaurants were all closed and there, through the gates, I saw my personal version of hell. Rats, rats, and more rats. Young, old, little baby rats and giant gargantuan monster rats. I seemed to have interrupted their relay race from one restaurant to another. One big rat fiesta. All that was missing was the pinata.
I almost barfed.
Then I cried.
Then I ran home.
Thanks for terrorizing me, Rat Alley.

Monday, June 23, 2008


And I work from my home alone in Paris, France. I like unicorns, rainbows and long walks alone by myself, with no one else. I enjoy talking to myself, writing songs, fucking up the French language and doing shows for pretend stuffed animal audiences in my living room. This is from my hit one woman show called "DEAD EYES ALONE TIME".

It's a tragicomedy monologue song medley that frankly, brought the house down in tears and applause.

As I was writing tonight's hit show (titled "For The Love Of God Can Anyone HEAR Me?!"), I looked out the window and saw this image which lasted all of 45 seconds but enough time for me to get the picture. I'm gonna print it out and use it in Act II of the show tonight for the "Silent Thunderdogs Night" section. It's REALLY gonna help further the narrative and I know my audience is just going to love love LOVE IT.

Gotta run, have to go to hair and makeup now. Call time is in 30 minutes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


"So...what exactly do you DO all day?" is a question I am frequently asked.

This is what I do. I spend my days gorging on cheese and sucking down canned Rosé and Chardonnay from juice boxes on sunny days in Jardin du Luxembourg.

Sometimes I have lots of powerful internal revelations.
Like....I can BEEEEE somebody.
Or...That cloud is AMAAAZING.
And...I LOOOOVE juice.

Yeah yeah, I took a day away from my press lists and contact spreadsheets to live up the Barbie Dream Life Musician Vacation Fantasy.

Then I went home and ate a whole chicken.

It ruled.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


My finished album arrives to me in Paris today.
And now, after a six month is truly GO TIME! (punch punch).
My "Paris Launch" excel spreadsheets are completed, my new army is in place and my big beautiful album in the palm of my hand today.
Nothing in this world beats the feeling of finishing something big.
I made this.
And here I come......

Friday, June 13, 2008


Up, down, up, down.

UP = Yesterday, I spent an hour with a French friend speaking mostly in French. Came home in a frenzy of confidence, did air punches around the room and made mental note that I might be ready for the golden chalice of comprehension, see a French film sans subtitles. Yeah, NO PROBLEM! (punch punch)

DOWN = Today, I had the following conversation with the chicken guy in French...

CG: "Where do you come from?"
ME: "Very well, thank you! And you?"
CG: "No, WHERE do you come from?"
ME: "Ohhhhh! I live near the train station."
ME: "Um (getting flustered)...I....I...arrived in January?"
ME: "Oh my God. Yes. I mean, no, I mean, wait....ok ok, I'm from New York. (verge of tears and suddenly blurted out) and I don't know why I talk like this."

I am leaving in a few minutes to go spend the weekend in the country with a French family. FB is not coming with me. It's the first time I will spend two days without my safety crutch. I naturally decided to pack every French book I own along with 1500 flashcards and 58 French podcasts. You just never know.

French french french I come.....but hey, at least they already know where I come from.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Dear H&M Store in Paris,

Thanks for being here for me on my very first birthday spent in Paris. Remember those times I yelled and cursed at you in NYC for only selling clothes for short people who have no ass? Or the times I sat in the corner of your dressing rooms crying my eyes out because I couldn't get your stupid dresses over my hips and I burst the ass out of your pants when I tried them on and had to call my friend crying to talk me down? Well, I didn't REALLY mean it when I called you a no good horror house of badly made clothes for midget fashion lickers. Actuuuually...I DID mean it...but whatever, you were HERE for me this week. I thought long and hard about what I wanted for my birthday and in the end, all I wanted was a small piece of familiarity. Forget the shops where I'd be force to say "um do you have size USA 10 1/2 shoes?" or " do you say...does this come in A LOT BIGGER?" No. I chose YOU. I knew when I walked through your doors, I was going to be sold some disappointment and a side of "not the right cut" frustration. But you know what? I didn't care. Because I know you. I spent over an hour in the dressing room pretending I was both short and pretending the too short cut of your shirts didn't make me look like Asbury Park, NJ '87.
I didn't even cry.

Instead, I walked around Paris smiling all day in your 2 euro bug eye sunglasses and 1 euro plastic piece of crap bracelets. So thank you, H&M. Thanks for selling me your cheap dates who will fall apart and leave me in a month. Because in the end, you gave me a really good birthday. :)

xo Dana

Monday, June 09, 2008


Part II of the Ce Que Tu Dis film series. Though I try my very best and I have no problems actually speaking it, I study all the time and listen sooooo hard, my French comprehension is still, lacking. Shot in the countryside and inspired by the beauty of a warm spring day, I tried to invoke the spirit of Baudelaire to spin the poem into my head....

Friday, June 06, 2008


This is a tip for all you single ladies in Paris who are looking for a way to pick up super cute French boys. It's very simple. Wear fitted black workout gear (skull on shirt optional but helpful) and carry a pair of boxing gloves around with you.
That's it.
That's ALL it takes.
Your hair can be a total mess, you can be sweating profusely and you can have no make up on too but if you have the gloves, you are GOLDEN.

I know this because I received my boxing gloves this week at savate. Today I decided to take them home with me over the weekend but I forgot to bring a bag to carry them in. So out the door I whisked, skipping down the stairs. Sweaty and disheveled, my little purse over one shoulder and my boxing gloves in the other. Two cute boys were on their way up the stairs so I smiled brightly while chirping a "pardon!" They eyed the gloves, eyed me, smiled and backed up against the wall "Ohhh, pardonnez MOI" said one as he gave me the ole' flirty eyes. I decided this would be a great opportunity to pretend I was in a Cover Girl ad so I winked and gave my best drawn out "Meeeeeerci" as I breezily slung my gloves over my shoulder, danced my way down the stairs and looked back with a wispy "Au Revoir!".

Giggling my way down the sidewalk, I decided to really test this theory out. I purposely pranced my way up the street, carrying my gloves as conspicuously as possible.
Are you talking to ME Monsieur?
Or the SKULL?
Or my GIANT boxing gloves?
Come a little closer garcon...and you might SERIOUSLY regret it.

Ladies, I am telling you. THIS WORKS. If you want to meet men, CARRY BOXING GLOVES EVERYWHERE. The chicken guy started asking me flirty questions about the class, then the two guys in line behind me joined the conversation. The fruit guy made a comment, along with the post office guy followed by the grocery store clerk. This is in addition to the countless smiles and stares along the way. Something about a girl with boxing gloves just REALLY intrigues the manfolk. I am totally happy with my most perfect French Boy at home but today left me with a smile on my face because it's nice to know sometimes....oui, I still got the goods. ;)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


It's HERE!
May and June!
BEST times to visit the major sites of Paris!
Come one, come all! Stand in line for hours for the opportunity to be pushed through famous sites such as Monet's garden with jovial and decibel breaking tourists including my personal favorite...SCHOOL GROUPS!
Looking for really loud and unsolicited running commentaries on art? We've got EVERYTHING you could want.....AND MORE!!!
Are you stuck at the Museé Orsay silently pondering...Hmmm, I wonder what that sculpture IS?
Well, Jean from Rhode Island has your answer:
Thanks, Jean!
Never again will you be lonely.
May and June in beautiful Paris, France.
Half the world is here.
Come join the fun!

DISCLAIMER: I am actually happy to see that most tourists do not in fact, go off the beaten path here and it is easy to find alternative and interesting sites in May/June without the crowds. You just have to look. :)