Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Haircut for me, a Nobel for Djebar?

Some of you may know that I came to Paris with the goal of growing out my hair. It has now gotten to that "oh-my-god-give-me-a-freaking-razor-already" point of annoying. Here is a 100% real picture of how I (feel I) look. I have also realized that if I'm going to grow out my hair, I'm going to have to actually..you know...DO things to it. Like brush and blow dry and mousse. I'm a fan of my comb, handful of gel, air-dry and go! routine. Also, I have decided that I look even younger with longer hair, which makes my already existing problem of being assumed to be a teenager worse. I now have an appointment for a 7 euro cut at Jean Louis David's training studio next week (a stylish chain that gave me the best haircut of my life for free the last time I was in France...ask me for the story, it's a great example of me being stupid and having things work out great regardless).

Exciting news: Assia Djebar has been nominated for this year's Nobel Prize in literature. We find out Thursday if she "wins" or not...fingers crossed, but I just checked the nomination list and she's up against some pretty steep competition.

In other news: I visited Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte last Friday with the (snotty, trust-fund, intimidatingly fashionable) undergrads. I don't have a whole lot to say about the actual Chateau...if you've seen one before you'll understand, they're beautiful but all pretty similar. Apparently this is the Chateau that inspired good ol' Louis to build Versailles out of a desire to out-do it (he succeeded, of course, but it's impressive nonetheless). It's also where Moliere and Jean de la Fontaine hung out all the time, where Man in the Iron Mask and Marie Antoinette and many more French movies were filmed, and also where Tony Parker and Eva Longoria were recently married. Whoever they are. Seriously, I had no idea (to the disdain of aforementioned undergrads), but if you do then feel free to be jealous.

Basic summary: beautiful, meticulously manicured gardens. Many lavish rooms, each with a theme pattern or color (meaning that the fabric on the couch matches the walls, which always reminds me of that scene in Garden State where he's wearing the shirt made out of the wallpaper fabric). Trompe l'oeil ceilings, adorned with classical paintings. The occasional "exotic" artwork imported from a colony--in this case, a pretty inaccurate painting of Istanbul and a few wall-mounted candle sconces painted to look like African arms bearing a light (creepy).

Being the foodie that I am (I love that they've created a word for that...it sounds so much more distinguished than "pig") my favorite part of the visit was our gourmet lunch. Quiche and salad to start, duck for a main and chocolate fondant for dessert, with wine and home-baked bread throughout, of course. We had to take a walk around the grounds before getting back off the bus to work off that Thanksgiving-esque sense of food lethargy. Delicious.

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