E-mail and the French

I’ve decided that I don’t like technology.

This statement is in fact extremely detrimental to my future career considering I want to be a DIGITAL archivist, meaning that technology is at the very core and soul (could you even say it has a soul?) of the occupation. But the reason I make this blasphemous statement as a blogger is all because of Gmail, well e-mail in general.

After a million e-mails sent to directors, coordinators, human resource administrators and faceless employers I’ve realized that no matter how hard you try it is damn near impossible to stand out on the interwebs. At least professionally. I know I’ll stand out if I eat two bananas and drink a liter of Sprite in 5 minutes because people finding puking videos on the internet entertaining, especially if it is a fad (thank you to Daniel Tosh of Tosh.O for your nauseating episode). But I cannot perform such a feat and expect to get a job in a library: Vomit is tough to get off of books (talk about not being acid-free paper, eh?).

I tried being polite, confident, humble, witty, peppy, etc etc etc and no luck. I do have one unpaid internship but like the rest of the free word, I need cold hard cash to keep my bedroom nice and full of lovely lovely books… and my kitchen full of food.

So today instead of banging my head against the wall hoping to get a job without any connections (connections that will supposedly come once I start school) I’m going to read.

Today’s book is brought to you by Elizabeth Robards. Her book With Violets is about the real life relationship between Edouard Manet and his muse Berthe Morisot.

After taking an art history course I fell in love with Manet’s impressionist paintings. Olympia, which is always the favorite, was a nice change up from the leggy seductresses of other paintings. And I like to think each of the subjects in Manet’s paintings have a secret.

So anyway, I was in Borders (RIP) one day with my friend and I said “I wish I could find a novel about Manet” and I looked down at a pile of books on a table, saw the impressionist style cover of With Violets, read the back and said “like this one”. It has been a favorite story of my friend’s for some time now. It was definitely meant to be.

But of course it has taken me some time to catch up on my Bible-length reading list so I have finally rediscovered this book. It is an easy read and very interesting to see into the world of French painting, though when I went to Paris I didn’t quite see the romance of it all. People always tell me about how they LOVED Paris and it was everything they could ever hope it to be but it’s pretty easy to love a place when you’re staying in a 5 star hotel, eating at all the best restaurants and have enough money where it doesn’t matter if you can’t speak French. I could speak a little French, but it doesn’t matter since Parisians wont speak it back. And for your entertainment, just picture me trying to speak French with a severe sinus infection trying to explain to a druggist that I need sinus medicine without psuedophedrine. It was an adventure to say the least. But after hiding in Napoleon’s tomb to cool off things seemed a bit better. Versailles made the trip all worth while.

Napoleon’s Tomb

The front of the palace at Versailles

Anyway, back from my tangent. It’s a decent book. It wont change your life but it’s entertaining and romantic and something good to read after a long day of writing, research and cover letters. And it’s a nice change to read paper after reading so much stuff online. It’s nice to be able to go from blogging to good ol’ fashioned paper sometimes.

P.S: If you’re ever in London and love French Impressionist paintings check out the Somerset House. I think the exhibit is probably still there, if not you can probably ask where it went because it was just fabulous!

World Famous?

So I’d just like to say thanks so far to all the people who have looked at my blog. I honestly didn’t think anyone would be interested. Or maybe people are just creepers (Thanks Facebook!)

Anyway, I was looking at my stats yesterday and saw that 34 people looked at my blog on July 29th and 2 looked on it on July 30th. This was at 8pm. I got really excited. I thought I was connecting to people in the future! (maybe I’m more of a wizard than I thought) But then I remembered: I have friends in other countries who are several hours ahead of the US. So not quite as cool as time travel, but knowing my blog is international is pretty nifty.

With the Olympics going on I’m missing London more than ever. It’s been over a year since I left after having studied abroad. There is really nothing I can say I don’t miss. Growing up the child of an Irish immigrant made London seem more comfortable (I was definitely one of the few Americans that already loved beans on toast). The funny thing is, despite my mom being an immigrant, she’s not exactly worldly.

Now I love my mom. She thinks she’s Mary Poppins and I have to admit, she’s pretty damn close. But being the conservative Catholic she is, sometimes she comes across a bit prudish.

For example:

One of my mom’s oldest friends is a lesbian. She loves her like a sister and they grew up together. But still, whenever she says they word “lesbian” she has to whisper.

And today, I had an appointment with a new doctor. On the way there ,my mom told me that he was very Catholic (figures she’d pick a doctor with a Bible in the waiting room) but she also told me that he was Egyptian… about a hundred times. In reality, the fact that my doctor is Egyptian is no surprised. My surgeon is Indian and my other doctor is Jewish. Sorry about the stereotypes, but generally plain old Christian Europeans tend not to be the majority in the medical field. Anyway, I thought my mom was just being her sheltered self but then I walked into the exam room.

Holy Tutankhamun, Batman!

The walls were covered in gold decorated plates and papyrus paintings of pharaohs and sphinxes.

That’s the last time I underestimate someone’s devotion to their culture in their professional lives.