Thursday, December 8, 2011

Well here we all are in a different place

Well hello there.  I am the blogger formerly known as An American Mom in Paris.  I am now a blogger called Seattle Moxie.  I hope that clears up all the questions nobody had.

I'm back in Seattle, posse, and I'm confused as hell.  Not only am I lost in the city, but also, surprisingly, French is still my go-to language.  Greeting people in English feels unnatural so I've coined a new salutation -- "Bonj-ello!" 

I also had a lengthy internal debate while riding in an elevator with a man about whether to say "hello" or "hi" to him.  I finally made my decision and yelled "HELLO" at the back of his head as he got off on the second floor.  He looked startled but gave me a cautious wave.  I've seen him a couple times since and he gives me lots of space.

Once the greeting has been decided upon and spoken, however, I can't shut the hell up.  I am using all the words I know just because I can.  Sometimes my tongue trips over itself because I'm in such a hurry to share all the words I know that you know, too!

I love that these guys are still playing downtown

To say I'm striking up conversations with everybody is not an exaggeration.  I walked the kids down to Westlake Center Tuesday to ride the holiday carousel and visit Santa and eat bagfuls of mini-donuts from the mini-donut stand.  I talked to people on street corners while waiting for traffic lights, people in Starbucks, downtown bicycle cops and one nice lady who stopped me to tell me SHE LOVED MY COAT.  I made her talk to me for hours and she was like, "Jesus, I'm sorry I mentioned your stupid coat."

I bought my first Real Change newspaper and struck up a conversation with the homeless man selling them.  Good guy, good heart -- he has two kids you know, both in the military.

I didn't realize how starved I was for conversation with complete strangers.  There's something incredible about smiling at a stranger on the street, sharing a few pleasant words, wishing them a good day and being on your way.  It's not that it never happened in Paris because of course it did, especially if I had kids in tow.  The difference is now I don't walk away from the interaction hitting myself in the forehead, thinking, "I just conjugated that verb like an asshole."

Miles, man, I don't know what to tell you.  Maybe try running forever.  Good news is they seem unsure how to spell your name.

The kids and I went to Top Pot donuts a few days ago (we may not have croissants but Top Pot donuts are a fine consolation prize).  While standing at the counter, Coco tugged on the festive holiday garland on the display case and pulled it halfway off.  I apologized profusely to the smiley young man behind the counter.  He did not seem to mind; instead he leaned over the counter and said, "It's OK, I have to resist pulling on it all day long, too!"  Then with great flourish, he pulled the garland the rest of the way off.  Coco laughed.  Lucien laughed.  Everyone in line laughed.  What the hell?  Was he judging me?

I asked smiley young Top Pot man if he had any orange juice for the kids.  He looked stricken and said, "Oh gosh, ma'am, I'm so sorry but we only have tangerine juice.  I'm so, so sorry; is that OK?"  I just stared at him.  What kind of sick game was this freak playing?  I agreed tangerine juice was a fine substitution for orange juice and he looked relieved.  Jerk.

We haven't seen too many friends yet, thanks to the jetlag that's had us in bed every night by 8:00 p.m. and a miserable clingy sickness on the part of Coco, but those we have seen have confirmed what we always suspected -- our Seattle friends are batshit crazy.

We went to a two-year old's birthday party and our friend Santa showed up to hand out toys.  Lucien's head nearly exploded when Santa handed him a dinosaur.  Things took a strange turn, however, when Santa started bending adults over his knee and spanking them in an aggressive manner.

It's like they can't help themselves; they're parents and "role models" or whatever but still... still...  things get said and sound effects made.  It was probably inappropriate for a two-year old's birthday party, and likely more than one child is now terrified of "that creepy guy in red."

I've finally been inside the goddamn house.  It's a total mess.  I love it.  I have not yet met the supermodel who lives next door but saw him from a distance -- in his downtime, it appears the supermodel prefers to look like a homeless lumberjack.

I have so many things to say.  So, so many.  It's tough with both kids hanging around me all day, which will be the case until after the holidays, but I'm committed to the blog, more so than to anything else in my life which is probably not good?

Thanks again for making the jump with me from Paris to Seattle.  I hope I don't let you down, but if I do, I hope I do so fantastically,



    Just so you know, the word on the street is that BONJELLO is the new PIRATES. BONJELLO!

    Top Pot is possibly the most awesome name for a doughnut store ever. Way to lure in that Seattle munchies crowd.

    Ah MJ, such a reliable source of smiles. And a distraction from things I should be doing so stop being so freaking hilarious so I can get some stuff accomplished. I dropped the kids to school today wearing Snoopy pajamas and flip-flops and the day has gone decidedly downhill from there.

  2. bonjello to you ..... i think i am going to bring this one east coast side.... STARTING TOMORROW- i'll let you know how it takes off...welcome home again!! you are funny and i really dig your take on or seattle...

  3. ahh.. what a great post.. I was beginning to think you were just teasing us all with your first one! :-) Good to see you are settling in to your new surroundings lovely... a little bit more on the supermodel would be nice :-)
    I am heading back to Paris next month to experience my first Winter there! God knows how I will cope coming from Down Under but I'm determined to embrace it! I'll say "bon jello" to some passing strangers for you and see what reaction I get :-)

    Thanks again for your wonderful Seattle posting.. I'm so going to enjoy your rants!


  4. Bonj-ello, Bec, G, and Roniece. You are my reason for living. Thank you. If I could give you my firstborn, I would. Seriously, he's bugging the crap out of me.

    Thanks much, ladies (G, are you a lady?)

  5. I'll take him lovely.. have him priority posted to me Down Under.. I will take good care of him and introduce him to kangaroos and dropbears.. :-)
    BTW: I added your blog to my blog :-)

  6. I can totally relate. I remember being so excited about the fact I could actually eavesdrop on everyone's conversation...since they were speaking my language! I am hoping you will get over the jet lag real soon (and all at the same time). Welcome home MJ!

  7. My dear sweet girl,
    You haven't changed a bit. This is the first blog that I have read but I will continue to do so. Welcome home.....sorta

  8. are back!! wasn't just a Paris affair, I love you just as much on the West Coast as in Paris!
    I was afraid we wouldn't hear from you till after the holidays, now I can take a break from the madness to sit down with a cup of coffee and read my favorite blog! Well, I probably still spend more time with my blog than yours, but you know what I mean.
    Welcome back!
    PS- love the new name!

  9. Surely you've rushed right out to trade your lovely french-ified coats and scarves for some North Face and an REI membership?? Getting re-Seattle-ified may be tougher on the wardrobe than on the brain.

  10. Welcome home and glad everyone made it back in one piece. I'm glad to see you're the same person as Paris Mom, only here in the States. Yay!

  11. YES! You finally posted. You don't know how boring my work days have been!

  12. I'm really glad you're still writing even though you've left Paris, total anonymous reader (stalker) here...... looking forward to hearing about your family's adventures in the states =)

  13. Howdy doody girlie...good first post but sadly no mention of penises...

    And since you mention it where did you get that coat...inquiring minds need to know

  14. MJ,
    Soooo happy to have you blogging again. I truly felt sad when you left Paris. Excited to learn about Seatle. MUDEC Jen K. B.

  15. YES i am a girl- LADY well that is debatable! well as promised used bonjello to a few peeps today...everyone smiled....i think it's a winner!!

  16. I'm determined to get you more readers and a book deal...hope you don't mind the publicity.

  17. "Good Jello." I like it. The new Hi. So Good Jello to you from Idaho! Here's to a wiggly weekend.

  18. MJ

    About the house - I read the comments on your posting about the house. The graffiti is hysterical and I know you can't wait to paint over it. How about considering the following:
    1. photographing the "art" and framing it in a smaller version somewhere playful so you will always remember the BEFORE - you could even print the images on canvas and canvas wrap the images (one of the latest trends in digital photography here in the states)
    2. Cut out the sections with graffiti and frame them or better yet place the removed section on top of an old door. Attach legs to the door and you would have a few awesome outdoor tables :-). Trust me you will wish you had cut them sections out because painting over the "art" is going to be a nightmare due to the colors of said "art". I know from renovating way too many homes.

    Hope you get the house because it has amazing bones and will be incredible renovated.

    Welcome home!

  19. What's with all the politeness and efficient service?! Freaks!

    Hmmm doughnuts:)

    So, is the house yours yet?!:) And have you sold the old one?

  20. OMG, Santa spanking grown-ups, LMAO!!!! You kill me. :D

    "I didn't realize how starved I was for conversation with complete strangers."

    Remember how I said to you that it is like when you are back, you don't realize all the ways you had been bending (over? lol) until suddenly you don't have to bend anymore, and it is this huge release. That all sounds a lot dirtier than when I talked to you about it in your dining area in Paris, haha. But I think you know what I mean. It's a weight that is suddenly released, and you didn't even know how heavy it was when you were carrying it, until you no longer had to. Paris is heavy. Beautiful, but she makes one carry a lot.

    This is just so funny, MJ, and look at all the fantastic number of comments already! See? People like YOU, whether in Paris, or Seattle, or Croatia... So, so hilarious. Bonjello. Tangerine juice! And forgive me, I have a dirty mind, but I guffawed at this, too:

    "It's OK, I have to resist pulling on it all day long, too!"

    An new euphemism: "He's pulling his garland." Hee hee hee hee!

    Keep on blogging, missy. So happy to be a part of the moxie! :D

  21. Look at all of us here! This is so exciting.

    Janey, so true. I'm talking to everyone, listening to everyone. I love English.

    Thank you, Anonymous. You think I'm sweet? So cool!

    Melanie, thank you, thank you. There's no way I could have waited much longer to post, even with the clingy sick kid and chaos. Sorry, Cokes, but mama's gotta type.

    ADoC -- no way. Back off my coat and scarves and Frenchie wear. I will stay true to Paris and continue wearing things that are seasonably inappropriate just because they look good.

    Thanks, Terry. Good to be back, and all in one piece to boot.

    Tara -- get back to work.

    Hi stalker Momma expat. Good to have you around, hope I have some entertaining stuff to share.

    Debbie -- PENIS. And the coat is from Kookai.

    Hi Marie! Thanks, and good to be back.

    Jen K, hello fellow awesome MUDEC grad. How you doin', beautiful?

    G -- Bonjello again.

    Michael Strangeways, YES, let's do it! Thanks so, so much for the publicity, thanks for the kind words you wrote about me. And sure, you can be my gay best friend! I've been looking around for one!

    Good jello to you, too, Anonymous.

    Mrs. Howard again makes me laugh.

    Hi Academic Mom. Thanks for the suggestions -- I'm already itching to get back in the house to photograph some of the graffiti. It's really, really funny stuff, including one quote about lesbian ninjas. You better believe I'm going to share it here. Priceless material, angsty teenage boys.

    So you're saying there ain't enough primer in the world?

    Duchesse! Makes me so happy to see you here! House isn't ours yet, still trying to get a couple liens removed. Good times. We're keeping our other house, renting it out.

    Karin, my sweet friend, miss you! You were so spot-on with the "weight being lifted" thing. I haven't felt this light in years. I'm still riding the high of "LIFE IS EASIER" but realize that won't last forever and soon enough I'll be suffering from crippling depression because Paris can be a bitch, but she's still awfully hard to leave behind.

    When I wrote the words, "It's OK, I have to resist pulling on it all day long, too!" I wondered if anyone would take it the dirty way. Shoulda known it would be you. Heh heh.

    Love to all of you, really, mean it, you guys complete me and whatnot.

  22. MJ: Here's the link I was too technologically incompetent to send you via Twitter.

    They actually stock it some grocery stores, not even the gourmet fancy kind.

  23. Metropolitan Market in Queen Anne carries Biscoff Spread. Yum yum.

  24. MJ
    You will be AMAZED about primer. JUST when you think you have it covered, you get up the next day and guess what is ONCE again bleeding thru the paint. I tried white primer, dark tinted primer etc.

    One more think NEVER EVER use a sharpie to even make a dot on a wall NOTHING and I mean NOTHING will permanently cover a sharpie (maybe that's why they are PERMANENT markers ?).

  25. Hey MJ,

    I discovered your Paris blog a couple of months ago and loved it, so much so that I switched continents with you too! I lived in Seattle five years ago, so I'm excited to hear about your Seattle adventures.

    Artsy English Doll <3

  26. She is back in Paris doing Rude Rue again, but this is a blog about her rentree to California. I think you might like it. (and her other blog is great too).

    Glad you are still blogging. Paris blogs are interesting, but so is what happens after Paris when people go back to the US with new eyes.