This is an installment now! Dig it! August is always slightly depressing because it's the end of summer, Wah. I start work in a week, so it was also my last month of legitimate, unemployed bliss.
5. French Pop Songs
I love the French, from their food to their clothing, everything the French offer to the universe I gladly accept with a "oui oui!" The pop music of France filled my August days and nights with it's upbeat flavor, and lyrics that I can't understand. One francophone artist that captured my heart was Belgian's Plastic Bertrand, whose 1977 hit Ça plane pour moi made a reprise this month by being featured in gossip girl promotions. I really am obsessed with songs in commercials.
Apparently, the performer tearing it up in all video versions of Plastic's song isn't really Plastic! According to experts on this matter (i.e. people on the internet who post on Plastic Bertrand forums) the real Bertrand suffered from fat Elvis syndrome, and they used a body double! Regardless, this song fascinates me because not even people who speak French know exactly what it means. Translations have Plastic Bertrand singing about his whiskey stealing, alcoholic cat Splash, an Indian in an igloo and a cellophane puppet with Chinese hair. If there is one thing about this song that is not up for debate it is that "Ça plane pour moi" means "I'm really high on a cocktail of drugs and I love it!"
Other French artists I've been listening to have been Diam, Koxie and of course, Yelle:
In August I went canoeing for the first time. Word to the wise, don't have your first canoeing experience involve a partner whose sole mission is to get as drunk as she can during the "voyage". Otherwise, you can end up with bruises in the form of foreign countries.
When you don't have any responsibilities there emerges a wonderful opportunity to delight in the arcane activity of reading. During the course of one month, I've gobbled up a handful of books including, The Time Traveler's Wife, Sex and Temperament, and Holy Anorexia. The last tome, I'd like to expand on. Growing up in a Catholic household, the tales of the saints are something sort of on periphery of the religion. They're only mentioned once or twice in mass and the only time I ever really had to study any sort of saint was during my confirmation rites in eighth grade. What I remember of saints the most is that, if you need something, there's usually a saint out there who can specifically hook you up with heavenly help. For example, say, you lose your keys, "Shit!" most people would think, but not a Catholic. Instead, we've got this guy, Saint Anthony of Padua, patron saint of lost things, who will dig through your couch until those keys are found! In Holy Anorexia, scholar Rudolph Bell, hypothesizes that Saint Catherine of Siena (patron saint of Italy and doctor of the church) was, in fact, an anorexic recluse! Dying at 33 from self inflicted starvation, Catherine indulged more in matters of church politics than in meatballs and sadly, ended her own life.
2. The Olympics
If you've ever read this blog, you know that we love the Olympics. What is there not to love? 2 weeks of international prize fighting, controversies, outlandish displays of nationalism from the host nation and attractive, athletic people wearing tight clothing! The only thing I dislike about the Olympic games is that they only come every two years.
1. Star Gazing
Sure, the stars are always there, have been for eons, but this month I actually took the time to appreciate the celestial bodies. In late July, I had the pleasure of seeing the stars from a new perspective. Thanks to Don, the badass astronomer who curates the state of the art telescope at Cornell University, I saw the rings of Saturn, dying galaxies, and a landscape of ancient pinpoints millions of years older than the galaxy and Earth we inhabit. Talk about feeling insignificant. The beauty of the universe is astounding. I cannot describe to you what it is like to see for your own eyes (with the help of the coolest laser pointer I've ever seen), the furthest object known to the naked eye, the Andromeda Galaxy. In early August, the Perseid meteor shower occurred, and while these spectacles of fleeting light shimmered down on the Earth, I remembered my time at Cornell and knew that Don and other star gazers were appreciating the same beauty as myself, and that may be the most inspiring thing I've felt in a long time.
See you in September!