3:45 PM, Thursday, June 18th, 2009:
Can't have a trip to a foreign country without randoms. I'm already doing a friggin' entry per day - so there's no way these could be seperate entries. Which is good. More bang for your virtual buck.
1) Two a Days
In Cross Country we had "Two a-days" which consisted of intense workouts twice a day. This term has now come to refer all Ann and I can possibly handle after walking around and eating the richest food on the planet. We go out once around noon - do something for a couple hours, and then come back and rest. Of course that means I work on entries and edit videos, but watchoo gonna do. That's The Journey. Then around 8-9 we do the whole thing over again. However, 8-9 might as well be MID-DAY here...
2) Here Stays the Sun... doo doo doo doo
There's 16 hours of daylight here. However, there's a good 2 hours of light before sunrise and after sunset. Basically, it's ALWAYS daytime. It's bizarre to say the least. It's 10:30 at night and it feels "dusk". And by 5am here it comes again. Talk about fuckin' with your body clock. So you just end up sleeping and eating at all hours of the day... just 'cause you can. It's like Paris, Antarctica. But it also means you get to see the "Painted Sky" for a lot longer...
3) Sky by Monet
This may just be some sort of mind trick, but I assure you the sky looks different here than anywhere I've ever been.
The clouds that dot the sky actually look painted, and seem to go on forever. I've shown them in 2 videos so far, and I just don't know if it can register online... or if I'm just imagining it. They're certainly not like the clouds in LA, but I remember noticing that difference when I first moved to California - so maybe these are similar to Ohio clouds? No idea.
Would love some theories on this from people who have been here. It could also be all the buildings are so cool looking it just adds to the "painting" feel of it - but seriously, the skies here are gorgeous.
4) The Amsterdam for Overeaters
You have issues with overeating? Steer clear of Paris. I've never tasted food so consistently good. And I don't mean the fanciest places... I mean an omlette at a cafe. You take a bite and it feels like you're in that Albert Brooks movie "Defending your Life" because it literally seems perfect. Like, it stands to reason the french fries would be good here... but WHY? What the fuck? Like - it annoys me that I'm never gonna taste shit this good when I get back to LA. Why are their fucking french fries better? DAHHHHH. But you know what? Thank GODDDDDD for that. 'Cause food that tastes like this does something to my brain. I start to obsess over it and scheme ways to eat more of it. Be rude to me all you'd like, but for Christ's sake take my money and give me your food.
5) Ugly American
It wasn't lost on me that a few of you would call me "Ugly American" for my last entry - and all I can say is: I FELT THE SAME WAY before I got here. I always assumed the stories about how rude French people were was somehow a reflection of those telling the stories. Truuuuuuuuust me - I was hyper-sensitive to that fact, but make no mistake, I had fuck-all to do with those stories I told. I'm not saying that maybe their rudeness wasn't because of OTHER annoying Americans... but once the local woman came up to me after the "Piles Expert" incedent... it was clear it wasn't me. Again, I was speaking French the majority of the time in these situations..... ANNNNNNNNNNNND I'll have you know that I was told I had an "indiscernable" accent by one of Ann's French friends who we met for dinner. OOOOOh... that's a good set-up for the video...
6) Riffin' in France
I've mentioned this a couple times, but usually when I write a song I just get a groove goin' and say nonsense words to find the right feel for the lyric. Some vowels, etc. sound better at some chords, etc. and it's fun to write around those feelings. Well Ann and I met some of her friends who live here and wouldn't ya know there's a gorgeous Yamaha C6, just tuned that week, that was so stunning. I had a C7 in 2005, and I miss it dearly. So I wrote a little ditty - with absolute nonsense words, and used it to pull a whole bunch of random stuff together...
If your computer can handle it (meaning it doesn't stutter once it's loaded) click the "HD" button... incredible.
Fun. Brings up another random:
7) A.D.D...am
It's really amazing how The Journey has forced me to edited my trip footage. Before? There'd be two 2-hour tapes sitting somewhere on a shelf that I would never actually go through. Now? This will be all that's left. I edit it down, and dispose of the raw footage. It's because my own attention span wants nothing of it. Gimme the gist, gimme the feel - I want it over and done with in 2 minutes. And hooray for you... and my friends & family who don't have to sit through 3 hours of vacation slides. I want people in and out of these entries fast and happy. Noooooooooo drag.
8) Smoke up Johnny!
Speakin' of drags, the friggin' DOGS smoke here. If I see someone not smoking, it makes me turn my head. Granted, I come from the anti-smoking capitol of the world, but it really is excessive. And it looks SOOOOO COOOL. Need I remind you of my issue of wishing I could be this cool:
When in reality my only vice is wanting to eat every freaking piece of food I see. Damn that picture is such an illusion. The reality smelled so bad and my eyes burned a bunch. :-)
9) Olive You
When the menu said green olives in the duck dish for 2, we figured - whateva. I'm a black olive brotha myself, but when in Rome... err France. However, this, again, felt like being Punk'd.
That's what was left of the duck, and it's on a BED of olives - that fill the whole tlatter. Hundreds and hundreds of olives. Are olives just super-cheap in Europe? I mean - a jar of olives in the states is a couple bucks...this was just, a humorous amount of olives.

10) Brethren Counterraction
Doh, meant to move into this before and got side-tracked again. How random of me. So Ann's friends that live out here know her from "Sordid Lives" and her following for that show is just incredible. It was fun to see her in her element and they simply couldn't have been more accomadating or pleasant. And the food? Have I mentioned the food? Even homemade, I'm just taken aback by how much pride they put into it. Veal like I've never tasted, course after course, culminating with homeade apricot pie on a bed of rasberries? And of course they broke out the good stuff:
Just, wow. You could sip this for decades - and they probably have.
To me, going to the fancy restaurants is one thing, but it is an absolute treasure to be invited into someone's home and share something they worked on together. If they were trying to counteract their ASSHOLE brethren we had run into up to that point, they did so with flying colors. Thaaaaaaaaaank You!
11) Let's Not Bomb Iran
They will need our support, but we have to be verrrrrrrrrry careful. Can you imagine McCain in this situation? Whew. I have no doubt Obama will continue to respond appropriately to this uprising and it could end up being very positive if played right. What I wish the world would do however is find a way to circumvent the Iranian government and get the citizens free internet access. Hackers are finding ways around the blackout, but the world community could come together - and that could be the determining factor. This is Tiannmen Twitter. It's the most incredible example of how much information changes a society. I am completely fascinated by the entire situation and although it's incredibly volatile, I have hope this brings the internet world together. Us 'net-junkies don't give a shit where you're from, we want your thoughts. We want to share ideas. Imagine if everyone could?
Heh, yeah - imagine if information could cross freely throughout borders the same way clothing does...
Ha. Go bucks. That was awesome to see sitting in France. Buckeye fans are NUTS. :-)
12) Brotha really is HUGE overseas
And goddamn the world really is nuts for our president. However every time people talk about over-exposure and give him shit for being a celebrity, I have to laugh. Do you have any idea how bad the last 8 years were? There is a good, full, YEAR'S worth of rejoicing and excitement to give this man simply for NOT being Bush. Throw-in his demeanor and good looks? There's no way around it. Like it or not he's gonna be everywhere his entire administration. When people stop buying the magazines? It'll stop. Good luck guessin' when that'll be.

13) Frangrish?
I know some things are lost in translation, but for the life of me I can't grasp why "Very Bad Trip" is more appealing to French people than "Hangover". I'd actually venture to say they feel the same considering the original title is in parenthesis. Maybe hangover has a different connotation in Europe? Maybe it's not considered a bad thing here?
14) Breathtaking
I've refrained from showing pictures of paintings in the museums etc, because zzzzzzzzzz - you can google that shit. However one picture absolutely stood out at the Musee D'orsay because it was not only massive, but the color palette was different than nearly everything else there. I just said, "wow".
...and they're all naked in the paintings so don't think I picked this out just for that. :-) But if you ever visit this museum, I'm certain you'll have the same reaction. You go through rooms and rooms of grey paintings (certainly gorgeous) and this takes up an entire wall and is just absolutely stunning. If you want to learn more about the history of the painting, Wikipedia to the rescue.
15) Dearest Suspension of Time
I've left the mushy stuff to Ann for the most part, not because I don't feel the same, but because I just find it incredibly sweet through her eyes. It really has been very storybook and I'm so happy to have been able to inspire her to jump. It really is the epitome of what I'm about and most certainly this site. Don't, fear, failure. Take it from the guy who continues to fail, on every level, as publically as possible: there's nothing scary about it. Scary is NOT TRYING. Scary is watching days, weeks, months and years pass because you're scared you might fail. I am convinced the world is full of brilliant ideas and incredible experiences and the bearers of those treasures are oftentimes too scared to share them. Don't be one of 'em.
Alright, I'll stop playing self-help guru long enough to say goodbye to Paris and all the wonderful memories that go with it. Ann's entry will be up on Saturday.
My homeland awaits...