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Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Time:12:31 am.
earlier: it's early on a sunday morning here...and that means almost noon. sitting drinking mate in the large, white-walled apartment i'm reflecting on the past few months that i've been living here and the new change i've decided to follow...
now: late at night, waiting for guests to show up at my going away party...hour and a half in and no one's here.

january: german girl, fiestas, driving south along the atlantic, slowly falling into love
february: getting work, starting work, starting a relationship
march: continuing work, starting 2nd job, ending and starting again the relationship

oh jonatan. you were the first guy i met here, and you've been with me for this journey...both as a friend and then finally as a boyfriend...i don't know really what happened. you were almost like magic, and then we both fell away. into responsibility. into ourselves.

april: ins and outs of unfortunate circumstances, including being misled to go on a vacation. having some health problems, colder weather, and tough situations at work made things all the much better. it was during this time i decided to buy my plane ticket home.

may: rejuvenation of my energy and point of view...relaxed and now with a new future job in hand.
june: traveling, saying goodbye.

i was offered the french teaching assistantship in nantes for the next year...and i took it. not that i'm completely convinced about how much i might like living in nantes, but the possibilities for my future that this could offer me. buenos aires gave me so much, and tried to give as much as i could. but i wasn't sure if i wanted to live here for a long time, and that having a future in argentina is guaranteed for no one. yes, we all build our own futures...but i already have a place that i love being, and taking the opportunity to live there again is really a dream.

hence, i will be back in the united states, then waiting for a few months until packing up and leaving again.

i'm so happy to get out of here right now.
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Monday, December 7th, 2009

Subject:kind of starting
Time:8:50 am.
im on the 15th floor of an apartment building, my friend who lives in the air force just left. this area of town reminds me more of los angeles, with the design stores, spread out streets, and low-rise buildings with palm trees. today is busy...filing insurance claims, geting alfajores for christmas gifts, writing letters, looking for jobs online...and then looking at a potential apartment in the afternoon. it's in las canitas, a leafy area near the subte and my former upper middle-class haunt of belgrano.

i feel free, after having traveled and been on an agenda for months. but when would i go back to chicago? maybe the spring.
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Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Subject:november
Time:11:51 am.
today > leave Buenos Aires apartment, overnight bus to Mendoza

Mendoza > Santiago

Santiago > Valparaiso

Valpo back through the other cities > Buenos Aires

BA > Igazu Falls

Igazu > Rio de Janeiro

Rio > ?

and then return to BA. i'm not flying home in december...in fact i don't know when i am coming back.
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Friday, November 6th, 2009

Subject:another day
Time:3:05 am.
Things that happened today:

-Woken up by the intrusive maid, who promptly called the landlord to tell her that we were leaving on Sunday.
-Figuring out that I now have ohsomuch credit on my phone, yet it is still malfunctioning
-Getting on the last inbound Subte before the entire system was shut down on a day-long strike
-Finding the French Embassy (in a classy building)
-Getting my Brazilian visa, and finding out that it is a) multiple entry and b) for 90 days
-Finding out that Delta Airlines only charges you a $250 fee to cancel/change your flight, and YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE if you choose another date. AKA I for sure have no clue when I will go back to Chicago/ever.
-Being trapped for 40 min. in a hot cab in traffic due to the almost shut-down of the capital due to protests
-Seeing the extremely touristy/desperate La Boca neighborhood
-Getting frustrated with McKenna's desire to walk 30 blocks and taking another cab, this one for almost an hour, to Abasto
-Having the cab driver almost pass off a fake 100 peso bill
-Ending up in a parilla, watching a fight at the "press conference" for the subte strike, with the waitress being belligerent about the food.
-Walking in scorching heat due to the lack of buses, and then finding a shoe store where I promptly bought two pairs
-Wandering around, not finding a hair salon, and then accomplishing it, with new short hair.
-Extreme amounts of sunburn
-Turning around at home, taking a bus for a half hour and getting nowhere, then putting my life in my hands with a psycho cabdriver who ran red lights and almost hit pedestrians
-Arriving at a gallery in San Telmo run by gay Dutch people
-Getting told I had a beautiful voice by a guy who then wanted to have sex with me
-Having more wine, then leaving the event, only to wander around looking for something to do
-Going into two bars which were empty, asking where to go on the Thursday night before Gay Pride (what?)
-Ending up at Stiges, it being empty, and then eventually pointed out by the emcee drag queen that I wasn't Argentine, ending up being the butt of almost every joke of the evening.
-Going home, being yelled at that I didn't lock the door that has no handle/know on the outside.

Sleep.
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Monday, October 12th, 2009

Subject:calle arcos
Time:1:59 am.
This is a city filled with drifters, people not sure of what may be to come, not seeing where they want to go.

Past the Catholic grade school, with "Help Fight Meningitis" designs painted on the sidewalk, past the gated apartment complexes, the Mexican Embassy, and the cafes lies my school. It was an intense week, teaching every day for 40 minutes, complete with my own lesson plans. The students are either professionals, housewives, or unemployed with lots of time on their hands. Most of them went away during this holiday weekend (Dia de les Razos) to go sail, visit their country homes, or even horseback ride. My apartment, located nearby, is small though not a shoebox. Belgrano is filled with old people, yuppies, and other characters of the upper middle-class.

Besides school, singing Fleet Foxes in my head, seeing people who were hit by cars and also stabbings, I have managed to be given the title of 'Master of Understatement' and have ignored most of the siren songs that Chicago has been calling to me. The boys, well they could be better, but I've been firm. And Castellano, while still a challenge, has been coming easier. Hopefully next month, I will have moved to San Telmo to live with Mimi & co.
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Monday, September 14th, 2009

Subject:real update?
Time:8:43 pm.
Just returned from a week of travel. New York (for the first time), Grandma's, and EIU. Basically a roundup of old friends and family. Drinking, sightseeing, and idling by my days.

Because I leave for Buenos Aires in about a week.

The Logan Square apartment is no more, and my residence is currently with the parents. Going through boxes, sorting through papers and cherished items, I am throwing so much of my past away. As for the next few days before my departure, I am making the most of it...so let me know if a drink would be in the works.

I don't know when I may return.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Subject:another farewell
Time:6:02 pm.
Dear Chicago,

Fool me once. Disappointment rang in my head last year, on the plane, as I thought how everything would go back to the way it once was as soon as I returned. That life I started to build in Paris would disappear, a full-reverse would occur.

And that's kind of what happened, either due to the continuous thoughts/anxieties that crept back in, or...a return to the same job, some of the same problems, and you can probably fill in the rest right here too. Let us just say that the seemingly six month winter you then proceeded to throw in, with the depression, weight gain and such piled more of the same on.

So, at the moment where I am done with obtaining my undergraduate degree at one of your prestigious/ insert an expletive here about the quality university, ending what my boss describes as a "thankless and pointless job," having some friends leave by choice others by seeming disappearance...well let's just say that the moment has arrived again.

I'm leaving you...again.

That wasn't so hard was it? We will keep in touch, with the family relations, old friends who may keep in contact, and other small badges that you have pinned in and on me. My bitterness, apathy, and sense of directionless wandering at times was too much, so I picked somewhere new, somewhere else. Buenos Aires. Maybe I am subliminally making you jealous, but it should be respect, not the malicious feelings as you sometimes demonstrate about leaving your insular confines. Ok, blowing it out of proportion, maybe.

The point is I move out of my apartment in two weeks, and next Saturday I will have a party at my place. September is when I leave. Just enough time to maybe see some of your elaves change, to feel the air grow crisp. But the journey south, that's what will happen. Embrace me till then, and I will to you. Our time grows a bit more fragile, but it will melt away nonetheless.

-James
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Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Time:7:13 pm.
road trip to montreal, be back in a week.
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Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Time:1:09 am.
the more this city depresses me, the more i've decided that leaving is the best way. it's now been a year since i came home, and a year since a good friend died.

i've had a few come and go, specifically the last of my tom friends, martin. lately it's been a disappointing go with guys who either want to wait, have someone else, or just don't seem right.

and indifference is the worst offender. blase and bored, there is no way to advance. i finish my finals in the next week or so, and then the foreign officer test.

i might go to buenos aires. talk me out of it, talk me into it...or just talk.
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Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Subject:I don't want to leave
Time:10:03 am.
I find myself near the end of my stay in Paris...again. It's hard to leave again a place where I feel like I've actually got a beginning, and not a contracted obligatory stationing. So here is a playlist that reminds me of this visit:

This Tornado Loves You-Neko Case
Saturdays-Cut Copy
Fancy Footwork-Chromeo
Love is Gone-David Guetta
Hearts on Fire-Cut Copy
Wrapped Up in Books-Belle & Sebastian
I Won't be Left-Teagan and Sarah
Comment te Dire Adieu-Françoise Hardy
Skin-Andrew Bird
White Winter Hymnal-Fleet Foxes
Darkmatter-Andrew Bird
Ceremony-New Order
The Start of Something-Voxtrot

Now to wait for the return...perhaps sooner than many expect.
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Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Time:8:08 pm.
so, i'm about to impulsively buy a ticket for Paris, from the 18th till the 30th. my head says no, and my rampant desire to almost be let down says yes.
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Subject:wtf
Time:6:30 am.
you see, i would think, when you have a midterm due, especially a midterm where you are asking your students to cite 50 sources and write a half-page each about them, you think that that would be enough.

but oh wait, i guess it is completely fine at 3 am the morning it is due to change the format you need to turn it all in with. i don't seriously think i can copy and paste my documents into the 120 page one she sent us as a "form." thank you, heidi nast.
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Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Subject:Sounds of lemonade
Time:11:00 pm.
I woke up on the Red Line near Grand today and realized that the ville, Chicago, and the U S of A have been surrounding me now for a month and a few weeks.

How suddenly I became a part-time wine merchant, an almost full-time office slave, and a person who woke up on the smelly CTA upholstery wearing khaki pants with unkempt hair.

Here's to being 22, but not to the confined space.
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Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Subject:homecoming
Time:8:08 pm.
Getting back to the United States has been almost returning to another world that I had left behind, and which I'm not sure I want to return to.

Adjusting had been rough, but then someone died. RIP Matt Wolf.
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Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Subject:Goodbye...Paris
Time:9:47 am.
The slow pull of the last few weeks was intoxicating, mesmorizing. Traveling to the far-off destinations-Montpellier, Nice, Monaco...Morocco-made me feel a bit less restless. Changing time zones, climate zones, continents.

And so it's the last day of living in Paris for now...my flight leaves tomorrow for another destination, another continent and time zone. Chicago just seems like a place to rest my hat, my wanderlust not put to rest completely. And for leaving here, where I somehow developed a sort of life, well, it seems like I'm leaving my oeuvre to go lounge about in a humidity-filled bubble of cookie-cutter everything I know. Yesterday I said goodbye to Gerald, the sweet man who is obsessed with Little House on the Prairie, who had held me gently as the rain was pouring.

But I woke up in the museum, alone. Jose was flying home today, while Jacques left yesterday for Italy. The light was slowly filtering in as the birds sang and the breezes pushed the window pane open a bit more. Today I want fine elegance, parading through some parks, sipping some coffee at a cafe. No agenda, no moving. Just here.
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Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Subject:anxious
Time:12:48 pm.
So, I think I am dropping my easy class...bad idea? Now I will have just 5 classes...

-Islamic Art
-Media and Democracy
-Culture and Grammar
-Internship Class

Plus...the class I started yesterday at the Sorbonne. Talk about scary. The room was gigantic, and no one listened. Besides attending the hour lecture, it is obligatory that you also attend a TD session, where the real work happens.

I had the misfortune of getting one of the last seats, therefore making me mere inches from the teacher. My french is getting better, but this was crazy. Not only was he speaking rapidly, his grand arm motions gave hints of something more. Luckily though, he knows that there are some Americans in his class, and also luckily, he kind of teaches like an American. Like how 55% of the grade is homework? Strange.

I also found out that I might be working for a service organization near the suburbs which helps bind community members together to stop the effects of splintered communities (because of race, religion,etc.). Aka, I'm nervous.
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Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Subject:on and on
Time:10:12 pm.
well the story has begun again.

i won't delve too deep in to all the comings and goings. but i will say that i was in brittany a few days ago, and now am living in paris. all the emotion, all the idealism, the angst, the beauty...i'm not sure where it has gone, or my direction with it all. i don't know whether to feel elated or swallowing in self-pity.

all i do know is that i'm working on my french, i live in a fancy home with 18th and 19th century paintings which crowd the walls, stairs, and even my bedroom with the large floor to ceiling windows. the dining room is a large tapestry, from which all glasses, cutlery, dishes, and life here originates. it's cold, so i turn up the heater by my new cell phone.

he'll come back soon, and i don't know whether it will be goodbye again, or maybe, "till next time...because we both ache."

someCollapse )
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Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Subject:Warm light, on a winter's day.
Time:2:04 pm.
I'm almost done moving back to Naperville. Currently my room is a smorgasbord of boxes, lamps, and a vast array of clothes from my lifetime. Christmastime was better than many in years past, which I attribute to the large amount of wine and generally better family relations as well as no retail slavery.

I feel pretty removed from a lot of things, almost as if a chapter is ending. It's kept me listening to older favorites, such as the Shins and an old Death Cab album. The verses tingle my spine with wifts of the memories long gone of Seton, of trips, and of a few relationships.

Three weeks till I leave the country.
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Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Subject:Crystal
Time:5:53 pm.
Junior year is busy. If I could boil life down to a single, serious point, it would be that.


The fantastical nature of the relationships that I've developed has begun to show another side of staying here. The house on Diversey is nothing of what was imagined. The promise, the dream was broken by pure misunderstanding and forceful anti-grandmotherisms. Two against one hurts the full house of dolls, in my opinion.

Otherwise, people I'm related with, or know from the homestead keep telling me that I look good. It's weird, because I never know how to react to this statement. Modesty says yes, but the gay says no. I quiet this image with a sense of self-being. It was today that I saw Leona, who sat eating sweet potatos, cauliflower, and rainbow sherbert behind a cloth bib and a nurse seated beside her, watching her cautious moves. At first it was the curious look she gave me, but after speaking she knew who I was. Asking me about school, about work, about how I liked things. "I hope you're doing something you enjoy," to which I replied that I was, and how busy I was with life. She gave a blank look, but was happy that she knew. "You need to shave," she said.

This elongated summer has weathered many fraying social connections, to which there has been nothing but pure carelessness. It's also been the difficulty of work, of the drift. I hide behind the work though, cause it's easier. Now I am perched on an office chair in a cool basement, lounging on the fringes of the past. Escaping those at the diversey castle. Perhaps it was the jarring statement my father made today..."You know, I want to be cremated and spread out upon a trip," that really struck me oddly, if not in a Priscilla Queen of the Desert sense. Along with many things, it vageuly reaffirms that I am older. That I cannot "hide" anymore. My decisions haven't always been the best, but I made them. It makes me happy though to leave in almost a mystery to a land far away very soon. Bonds will stay or break, but the ones which enduce the seratonin, the dopamine, will continue. They have and will. But the direction is strong, the winds delightful.
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Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Time:6:09 pm.
Dear James' Livejournal,

Remember me? We don't have that relationship we once did. Just thinking about writing this first sentence seems corny to me. I know how close we once were, but we changed, and grew apart.

To basically sum up my life in a few sentences: I'm halfway done with college, have a new place, new job. The summer if proving to be an experience in boredom, waiting for school again, and waiting for something different. Something exciting. Friends are either farther away, working, or enjoying different things than what we used to.

So good, since it's all summed up, we can quickly talk about how I still religiously scan your pages, hoping for a response from your zeros and ones. But I know there will be none. Hence, I'm concentrating on my bike, on small things, on catching up. Call me if you desire, or send me a text. Since you are an automaton of incredible strength, I can only imagine what kind of powers you have in acquiring such information.

Love always,
Grandmother

P.S. I need a vacation.
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LiveJournal for raoulism.

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