Sheila and I got up at 11 to have our breakfast, then we got ready in our respective rooms. I chatted with my mom over Facetime as I did my hair and makeup before Sheila and I found a map of Père Lachaise in one of the many guide books in my room. It was supposed to be around 11-12 Celsius today, and we knew it wasn’t going to be getting any warmer, so if we were going to to Père Lachaise at all, it had to be today. One of the books had a map, so we headed out around one, and sat on ligne 3 for nearly an hour (or so it felt) to Gambetta, and we set off on our search for the key graves in the cemetery that we really wanted to see: Oscar Wilde, Molière, Jim Morrison, and Edith Piaf…
Oscar Wilde was the closest to where we had entered the cemetery, so that’s where we went first. We found out as we continued along our journey through Père Lachaise that the more famous graves had been… barricaded in one way or another. Oscar Wilde was no exception. He had some plexiglass around his tomb, and fencing further surrounding that. You could barely see how the tomb looked. The plexiglass was covered in writing that said things like “We miss you Oscar” and some of his famous quotes. What was more shocking was this…
|Make-out time with Oscar’s Tomb, much…?|
Perhaps these lip marks were placed on the tomb before the fencing was there, maybe even before the plexiglass barriers were put up, but I was still a little dumbfounded when I saw all of this nonsense. I have to admit, part of me thought about jumping the fence and convincing Sheila to give me a boost to plant one on the tomb myself since I had my red lipstick on today, but I thought better of it… We attempted to find Sarah Bernhardt‘s grave after this, but we had a really hard time with that one, so we gave up in favor of trying to find Molière. We passed the Crematorium and two buildings where peoples ashes are interned in small drawers. I forget what the name of the building is actually called…
Sheila had me take a picture of her here since it’s really pretty with all of the flowers. She asked me if I wanted her to take my picture here. “Does this look like Molière’s grave to you?” “Why did I bother asking…” He’s buried next to La Fontaine. We managed to get a little lost trying to find them despite our map in hand, but we managed to figure it out eventually…
Once we were done here, we headed off to find Jim Morrison‘s grave. We knew this one would be easy to find once we got to the relative area since everyone and their mothers would be around it… In one of the guide books I had in my room (one without a map), it had said that security at the cemetery had to be increased around this grave since it had become “a thing” to take drugs and faire l’amour on top of the grave. I found it really appropriate that a group was smoking pot near the grave when Sheila and I got to it. There was some kind of monument near the grave that partially blocked it from view that people had been writing all over, and the entire area was fenced off (as expected).
|Writing on the monument|
|Jim’s actual grave|
We got our pictures, then headed off in the direction of Édith Piaf‘s grave. This one wasn’t as noticeable as most of the others, and Sheila and I passed it twice as we were looking for it, which sent me into a grumbling rant of “come on, France, this is your ‘national singer’ and you can’t be bothered to do something special for her?!” We ended up finding her after a tour guide came up with a group and flat out pointed out her grave… We’d had so much trouble finding it because it was a family grave. Édith is buried with her last husband and her daughter. The only real “special” thing to denote that it’s her grave is the giant EP on the vase for flowers on the top of the grave…
Sheila and I headed home around 10. I got a chance to Skype my boyfriend while I was checking my email, and one of the emails I’d received cracked me up, so he asked me about it… and it required a bit of a lengthy explanation. The email in question was one from eHarmony, and my profile had apparently “melted someone’s icecaps.” That was why I was laughing. I now had to explain to my boyfriend why I had a profile at all. A year ago, I took the introductory Psychology course at my college, and one of the professors in the department gave a guest lecture all about personality. She talked about the Big 5 personality traits (openness, agreeableness, extraversion, emotional stability, and conscientiousness) and mentioned that eHarmony has a great personality assessment that you could take for free to get all five traits… but you should sign up with an email you don’t use often since they’ll continually keep sending you emails like the one I’d just received. My boyfriend’s immediate response was to make his own account to take the test himself! We compared our personality assessments… and then both of us got relatively addicted to eHarmony’s “Q&A” portion that’s put on each user’s profile. They’ll ask you questions like “Can you light a fire without a match?” and they’ll give you anywhere from two to four options to select as your answer. In that case, it was “Yes, No, Yes: It’s called a blowtorch.” People looking at your profile can view the questions you’ve answered, and answer them themselves to see if they think the same way you do. We were discussing our answers to some of the funnier questions. I find it rather hilarious that my boyfriend and I are quite stable in our relationship… in yet both of us have eHarmony profiles now… I went to bed around 1 AM.
I got up at 10:30 and Facetimed my mom. Sheila had said last night that she wanted to wake up no later than 11 in case Madame came home early in the morning. Noah was having a bit of a moment while I was talking to my mom… he has trouble understanding that I’m in the computer, and not in my room, so he was sitting by my bedroom door and barking at it. My mom kept scolding him, but he wouldn’t stop barking, so I yelled at him (at the computer, really)… and Sheila got her wish. My scolding Noah from France woke her up around 11… It worked, though. He stopped barking for a few minutes… Because it was raining and both of us were tired (probably because of the weather), Sheila and I weren’t sure if we wanted to go out at all. We consulted out “Paris To-Do List” and checked off what we’d done recently. We definitely still have a few things to do, and we added a few more to it. I double checked some things in one of the guide books, and we realized we could do Centre Pompidou or Musée de la Magie (museum of magic) on a Wednesday after our classes, so we’ll save those for a middle of the week treat. We need to do Musée des Arts et Metiers (literally the oldest Arts and Crafts museum in Europe, but it’s all about science, technology, and how things work) sometime soon. We even realized that we’d never been to the top of Tour Eiffel yet… Sheila wants to be out for the entire night when we’re set to leave France so she can sleep on the plane, so we might do Tour Eiffel then, but I’m not so sure. I have enough trouble sleeping on planes as it is, I doubt being physically exhausted will help at all.
We opted to stay in and have a homework day instead. Sheila was much more productive than I was. For the first part of the day, I managed to read all of Acte II of Le Malade imaginaire, and Sheila got about a page and a half (tiny font, not your mom’s 12 point) of one of her papers done… and then I got incredibly distracted between the House M.D. game on Facebook, to Facebook itself… to those blasted Q&A questions on eHarmony… I’m a mess. A couple of our friends are starting to “threaten” that we won’t be seeing anymore of them until we go back to America since they have lots of papers to do. My solution for things like that is always to have “homework parties” where we all get together and study at the same time, then we take breaks after an hour or two to reward ourselves for the work we’ve done (and to de-stress a little), and we get back to work.
After Sheila went back into her room, and Madame came home around 4:30, I managed to finish reading Le Malade imaginaire. I’ve figured out that I can “cut” a great number of scenes by combining them (there are a ton that are all of maybe five lines long), and I’ve managed to cut two roles in entirety. I can double-cast two roles (have one actor play two parts), and have a final cast of nine: three women, six men. I think I can fudge Monsieur Diafoirus, Monsieur Purgon, and Monsieur Bonnefoy and have all three of them be women if I don’t have a lot of men on hand. I should probably take that into account when I do my costume project and have a costumes for a male and female version of each of those characters… After a bit more procrastinating, I managed to whip out my costume sketches, and finish tracing the fashion forms for all of the characters, gender-bending for the three characters mentioned above included.
Madame made those galettes du sarrasin with ham, egg, and cheese for dinner. I think this is fourth or fifth time we’ve had it… and I’m starting to get a little tired of it. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but this is one of those dishes that you can have once or twice a year and not crave. We told her that we went to Père Lachaise yesterday, and that we stayed in today to do homework. Her response: You didn’t leave the house at all? Not even to just walk around and get some fresh air? …I swear, we cannot win with this woman. It rained today! We didn’t want to leave the house! Good lord! The end of the day was spent with Sheila in my room, both of us on our computers. My boyfriend Skyped us… and he was eating Thanksgiving brunch. Sheila and I about DIED. He wasn’t shy about it either, he quite happily showed us every single bite of pumpkin pie before he shoved it into his… pumpkin pie hole… I wanted to cry. He made up for it
a little by showing us his new nephew.
I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me with my project, and Sheila managed to finish one of her essays today. That means she has two of her four essays done. Half of her work is done. I have to admit, I’m incredibly jealous. I know I need to buckle down and get my stuff done, and I’m working on it… but there are so many distractions around… and I don’t exactly know where to start with my set designs… I think once I get the dimensional conversions done, I won’t be so afraid to really hit the ground running.
Le Roi, juste et prudent, ne veut que ce qu’il peut. Corneille: Nicomède