Thursday, September 24, 2009

Feminist? Or just a Product of my Generation and Family?

A little story for you: (it will give you some context for my next post)

Several weeks ago, I was hanging with some friends at the home of an acquaintance-friend. (Mostly acquaintance, but I'm friends with his friends... you all know what I'm talking about, right?)

So, earlier in the day this guy had purchased two containers of chocolate chip cookie dough from some little kids peddling it door-to-door. Their dad was out of work, and they were selling cookie dough to try and help bring in some money. So he bought two. Sweet, right? I thought so.

A little later that night, we're all hanging in the basement playing a game, and someone mentions that those cookies were sounding pretty good right about then. The problem? They were still in dough form in the containers they came in.

So this guy leans back and smiles like he's really proud of himself, motions to the door leading upstairs where the kitchen is, and says, "Ladies?"

Do I even need to finish the story at this point?

So, apparently the look I gave him was pretty expressive, because another guy friend who was there reacted pretty quickly to my reaction. The gist of what he said is, "Whoa. Sarah looks pissed."

Well, no kidding.

First of all, who's making the assumption that just because someone is female they are automatically at home in the kitchen?

And secondly, where the bleep did his manners go? I can guarantee to you that if he had made the same assumption (that we could all bake cookies well) (incorrect assumption on his part--I can't bake a cookie to save my life), but at least phrased it more appropriately, I would have been happy to head upstairs and bake the freakin' cookies. But what on earth makes him think that his 1) ignorant assumption and 2)smug presentation would make anyone want to go bake him cookies?

Let me be clear--it's not like I threw a fit about it. I don't remember if I even said anything (verbally). My face just conveyed my feelings for me.

I don't consider myself to be a feminist, but I do get annoyed when guys say idiotic things like "The man is the prince of his home and shouldn't have to help clean. When he gets home from work he should just get to relax. He shouldn't have to help around the house or with the cooking or the dishes." (A semi-direct quote. It was said in French, so... you know. But you get the idea.)

So, this leads me to wonder... would you say that makes me a feminist? Is that something that just comes from growing up in the family I did? Or does it just make me a product of this generation?

Would you say that you are a feminist? Or a champion of women's rights (men, if you're not okay with calling yourself a feminist.)

Le Jardin Ephémère à l'Hôtel de Ville

So, since arriving in Paris January 21st, I had seen the square in front of the Hotel de Ville turned into an ice skating rink and a tennis court/arena. So, truth be told, I shouldn't have been surprised to walk out of the Metro and see this:

The Ephemeral Gardens at Town Hall

Grass you can actually sit on!!

Planter "boxes" that I wanted to steal (along with so many of the other things I'm going to show you. It made me want to garden).

This took my breath away. Clever and beautiful. Art made out of terra cotta pots drilled to a wall. Who'dathunk?

And the ever-present statues keeping tabs on everything...

I like to call these "succulent paintings." They are hanging on a wall, just so we're clear. This isn't just a really awkward shot of succulents in planter boxes on the ground.

Close up succulent painting. Nice, right? Is it weird that I think I might want succulents to be included in my wedding flowers? Maybe? At least they're hardy and would last through all of the festivities...

Because grass is often off-limits in Paris, even in public parks, there were signs posted on the patches of sod that had been lain for the exposition. "Pelouse Accessible" let everyone know that they could kick back and enjoy...

This was another display that just took my breath away. Who comes UP with this stuff?

More plant artwork. I absolutely love this idea.

And they covered an entire wall with it!
Wide shot
Hotel de Ville
Whoever originially had the idea to bring all of these different things to the Town Hall square is brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

French Open at the Hotel de Ville

During the Roland Garros (French Open) there was a mini French Open set up on the square in front of the Hotel de Ville, complete with first-come first-served tennis courts lined with sponsorship banners and a huge projector screen showing live action from the courts of the real French Open.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

While lost one day

in the 4th Arrondissement, I saw the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris. (The Historic Library of the City of Paris.)

It's beautiful, n'est-ce pas?

Yeah, I know it would be more beautiful if it weren't crooked. I can't seem to fix my "horizon" problem... I always seem to tilt my camera a little to the right...


The Bastille area in Paris has a lot to offer. (Except the Bastille, since it no longer exists.)

I spent a very small amount of time in that area, though. The Sister missionaries lived near the Bastille metro stop, and the Promenade Plantee (which I am just now realizing I haven't shown you) is just behind the Bastille Opera.

The Place de la Bastille now has a monument right in the middle of the roundabout, and that's pretty much it. :)

You could always go to the Carnavalet Museum and see a model of the Bastille prison, if you really had a hankering to. (Free, pretty interesting, and it had that cool art nouveau room that made me swoon.) (And for some reason I can't find that post, either. Maybe I didn't share that yet, either?? Yikes.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Did I ever mention how most of the paintings I did in Paris got ruined on the flight home?


Except for like three of them (don't worry that there were probably thirty).

But, not to worry* I have repurposed them into new collage-style paintings.

I took the ruined paintings like the one below

cut them into strips, and stuck them to an unfinished canvas with varnish.


This is one of several I am going to make that are all the same size, but the collage elements will be different shapes.

And I finally got around to finishing Happy's 2008 birthday painting.

Here it is. This is the actual color. So, basically, one main color with tons o' texture. She wanted a blue painting--and that's what she got. :)

A detail.

And two more detail shots in bad kitchen lighting. The painting wasn't this yellow-ish, though there were some purple splashes throughout.

I love modeling paste. :)

Another detail I added which you can see in the main photo is some split reeds that I affixed to the canvas with modeling paste.

I was really happy with how it turned out--so much so that I almost didn't give it to Hap for her bday.

But I did. And she loved it. (Which is good, 'cause I would have absolutely taken it back and just given her earrings if she hadn't sincerely loved it.)

Oh, yeah. And my dad told me he wouldn't let me leave the house with it unless it was signed. I resisted at first, but then figured I could compromise. Signing on the front of the canvas seems arrogant to me since no one really cares. So I signed on the frame on the bottom right corner.

*Well, "not to worry" may be a little generous. I was pretty stinkin' upset.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Traveling Man

While on vacation, we brought along a little friend, and sent back pictures for an elementary school class.

Anyone recognize this little guy?

(Ummm, not the statue. The paper dude.)