Year: 2016

Thanks / No Thanks

Well, all of a sudden I’ve been in France for a full month! Boy has it flown by or what?! Little by little I’ve been settling into Marseille, into my new job, into different expectations and realities, with help from so many people (and in despite of some others…) Thanks to my mom who dropped me off at the airport. No thanks to my 25kg suitcase (plus 2 other bags). Thanks to the AirFrance employee who let the extra 2 kilos slide with no fee. No thanks to the diva in front of me in the ridiculously congested customs line at Charles de Gaulle airport who yelled at me for apparently cutting her in line when I was merely trying to take the outside lane on a turn, rather than bottleneck all 3048302 of us through the inside curve. Thanks to whatever caused a ten minute delay of my TGV that allowed me to make it on with a few minutes to spare! No thanks to metros without escalators, train platforms with large gaps, cobblestones and sidewalks full of dog …

Every. Vote. Matters. – How to vote from abroad

In the past 24 hours, I inadvertently sent myself down a 9/11 rabbit hole, beginning with this extremely well done Politico feature about the reporters, advisors and pilots with President Bush on September 11 and culminating with 5 hours of History Channel and MSNBC anniversary specials. Probably not a great idea to inundate myself with images of horrific plane crashes 7 days before boarding a flight… But it’s really motivated me. It’s reminded me that every single person’s contribution to their country matters. Small actions have the potential to create waves. And less than 60 days before a major presidential election is the perfect time to be reminded of this responsibility. If you are voting from abroad, you must request an absentee ballot in advance. Luckily, it’s super simple. I requested mine in about 20 minutes, and by the next day was notified by my local election board that my request had been processed and my ballot will be emailed to me at the end of the month! Go to and select your state to see registration deadlines. In my …

the vicious TAPIF cycle

Recently I found a notebook that I bought in Chambéry and used throughout my year as an assistant. Tucked among the pages, I found a cootie catcher/fortune teller, made in Turin and filled with ridiculous jokes and general absurdity. It contained fortunes such as: One of the richest men in Christendom will take a shine to you and marry you. You will return to Chambery and NEVER LEAVE. You will become the conductor of the little train. Like Hannah, you will be trapped in the vicious TAPIF cycle and shall be an assistant for the rest of your days. Turns out, those things are powerful. 22 months later, and I’ve just received a second French long-stay visa in the mail. Yes, just like Hannah, I found myself drawn back into the TAPIF cycle and am doomed to return to France again! Here’s what I know so far: I’ll be teaching in three (3) primary schools in the 9th and 10th arrondissements of Marseille. None of these three schools have ever had an English assistant before, nor …

Americanah Discussion! — present perfect book club

Have you read this remarkable book?! I haven’t finished yet, but I want to know what you think!!! Come join our discussion 😀 Hey guys, So, full disclosure: I’m only about 150 pages into this book…it took me a while to get it from the library and then it’s been just about the busiest month EVER which makes reading hard… But excuses aside, I am seriously loving it so far!! Even from about 10 pages in, I felt […] via Americanah Discussion! — present perfect book club

Bel Canto Discussion

Originally posted on present perfect book club:
Today we have TWO moderators for the price of one!! Julia and Kristina suggested we read Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, and here they are with some thoughts and questions! Julia says: I finished the book yesterday and I loved it, although I think I’m still recovering from the last chapter and the epilogue … but more on that in the discussion, I hope!  Q1. As in February’s book club pick, Station Eleven, the story is told from multiple perspectives. Is there a specific character that stood out to you or that you warmed to in particular (ex. for his/her heroism, growth, etc.)? How do you think the story would be different if it were told through the eyes of a single character? Q2. Some of the most striking passages in the book are the ones that describe music. Music represents different things for different characters – safety, escape, or even God – and Roxane Coss’s singing has a mesmerizing, even magical, effect on both the hostages and the terrorists. I was already a fan of classical music and opera before reading Bel Canto, and I’m curious to know whether you think…


Currently: Perusing sonnets Responding to a job posting for an assistant director position at one of my favorite theatres! Searching my Google Drive for old cover letter inspiration Listening to an album I just discovered and can’t stop listening to: Rufus Wainwright’s Take All My Loves Checking my email inbox Jotting replies to everyone whose emails I’ve been ignoring all week Reflecting on what it means to be “serious in love” (Thanks, Shakespeare) Plotting to watch last week’s episode of Game of Thrones Reading the book club book we start discussing this week, though I have had trouble getting through this one… Sending positive vibes into the universe Considering a deer puppet Anticipating a long weekend of relaxation, rehearsal, and hopefully reading Sipping iced tea Playing around Pushing my covers back What are you doing, currently? ❂