December 10, 2009

Blog to not think about upcoming horror that is the GRE.

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 10:50 am

Blogging adds to my list of things done today that did NOT help me prepare for the GRE, which is taking place tomorrow.  Other self-occupying activities include: reading a 10-page article on marriage in the NYT, running five miles, reading all of your blogs, catching up on former students’ lives via FB, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning sink, counter, toilet and shower, restringing a broken curtain, making myself a cup of Fortnum and Mason’s peppermint tea, reading an article in Elle about a Korean supermodel who recently committed suicide in Paris, and eating at least 3 clementines.  A lot of these things can even be construed as constructive (the cleaning for example, the curtain repairs, the eating fruit), but when I probably should be reviewing vocabulary or characteristics of an isosceles triangle, these things maybe shouldn’t be priority, especially considering I skipped class today to “study”.  I should maybe have one these standardized test things every so often just to make sure I get my room super organized and clean.  (I do clean regularly, but today was like extra mega cleaning.)

But really, the test is tomorrow, and my life has been this:

I know, I think the big black mass on the right is my strap. I’m sorry about that.  This was my table at Starbucks.  (Going here instead of a real library is probably a denial thing: as long as I don’t go any quiet and really conducive to studying, I don’t REALLY have to take this test…) Reviewing and Strategizing with notebooks and a Bic.  Accompanied with processed food stuffs and fizzy Italian mineral water.  And once a cheesecake au speculoos (amazing).  The point is, I’m tired of this freaking GRE crap.  And I’m excited for this test to be over. And I want to do well, because I don’t want to feel stupid. I know that this isn’t any real measurement of intelligence, but in a way it is, and in a way I really want to do well.  It’s a shame I’m horrible at multiple choice tests and when I can get it down to 2 answers I unfailingly convince myself to choose wrong one, but Seriously. I CAN DO THIS.

I mean, I have memorized a box of 500 vocabulary words that Kaplan has deemed important, I’ve resurrected math skills that have been dormant since the earlier part of this decade. I paid for an app to study words on public transportation.  I’ve given up downloadable television. I walk around with huge books of practice tests.

Really, who knows how I’ll do.  I just needed this half hour to stare at this pile of words.


December 8, 2009

Champs-Elysées in the rain

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 6:01 pm

It’s Christmastime!  (I love that that is one word.)  Which means lights! and happiness! and decorations!

December 6, 2009

Flores del Sol

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 5:55 pm

I don’t speak Spanish. No, not a lick.

The point is to lead you the Flores del Sol blog and etsy store, where you can enter to get FREE STUFF.

Beautiful flower arrangements! (and beautiful photos of them)

Vintage goodies (these were my favorite),

and more!


December 4, 2009

Today in Paris. Latin Quarter, Christmas market, and Notre Dame.

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 5:46 pm

I loved today.  I left the house around eight, the crisp morning welcoming me with its light breeze and partly cloudy skies.  Chillier than usual, I stuffed my hands in my pockets and hunched my shoulders, pushing my scarf high on my neck.  Most days, music adds to my AM metro walk, but today it seemed as though every element was present for a perfect cold morning without a soundtrack.

Sunny for the first time in days, after class I enjoyed a walk from St. Sulpice to Chatelet, puposefully making my way to my first Christmas marché (=market) of the year at St. Germain des Prés.

Not sure why I spent all this time labeling this map, but I did, and I enjoyed it. So don’t judge me.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS MARCHES.  Love them.  I love the hot drinks they serve and the overpriced crepes. I love the wooden cabin things they sell their trinkets out of. I love seeing mounds and mounds of caramelized cakes.

The parts south (“left”) of the Seine where I walked are part of the Latin Quarter. I love the Latin Quarter. Affordable restaurants, people that stand outside trying to make you come in, cheesy souvenir shops, a place to walk around at night that isn’t scary.  It’s great.

Then, I love making my way across the Seine to the Notre Dame.

It may be cliché, but still one of my favorite places in Paris.  I love the open sitting area in front. I love that it’s not gated off at night. I love that it’s right on the river. I love that it’s huge and everytime I look at it I let out a small audible breath of amazement.

And guess who hangs out here?  Quasimodo.  Yeah. Pretty scary.  This guy stands in front and asks people if they want to take pictures with him.  Creepster.

Not bad, Quas, Not bad.

UPDATE:  My sister, Michelle, brings up a good point.  My poor nephew, Ephraim, recently had periorbital cellulitis:

Ephs wins because he doesn’t have to wear a mask.

Oh and I forgot to mention anything about the George Pompidou (or the Pomps, for short as I call it).  The thing is, is it’s ugly.  And i can’t seem to photograph well.  Because it’s so stupid looking.  They have done a cool thing though recently where they painted a huge calendar on the pavement.

I guess it’s not supposed to be be pretty or anything, and I can appreciate its place in history and effect on culture…  i just wish their putting pipes on the outside to create more space on the inside (and color coding them?? really??) could have been more aesthetically pleasing, but hey, I guess that’s the point.  So i’ll shut up about it now before I sound like a huge architectural doodoo.  (too late.)

Fall has come and almost gone!

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 11:00 am

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