31 December, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Well, It is that time of the year again.... Whew where does the time go???
"No se" As is often quoted from many of my Amigos... I suppose New Year's
Eve is the day where we look back at the previous year and see what we have accomplished or what we haven't.. Did we keep that resolution we made, this day last year??? Well, the way I see it is keep it simple... For instance I usually make a resolution not to fall down... Then that way it's a pretty easy one to keep... Though this year I couldn't even keep that one... Tee hee..
Damn knee... So to all of you who are making the grand resolutions here's what I have to say to that... You won't fit in the skinny jeans by this time next year so eat.... You won't just have one glass of wine so drink.. Your kids won't stop being a pain in the neck so let them be.. Your hair won't stop turning grey so quit dying it. You won't get any younger so stop trying and just love yourself for who you are. What I do hope for you is this... If you play the lottery... I hope you win big. If you do plan to take a trip as part of your resolution, it better not be a car ride to your parent's house in the sticks... Ya better go somewhere big!
Okay here is my wish for all of you for the New Year!
Dream big!! Think of the most outrageous thing you can possibly think of and do it!!
and please for God's sake don't use the word CAN'T!!
Okay that's my New Year's wish for y'all hope you have a healthy and happy one...
No matter where you are. If you are watching the ball drop in Time square or playing the Rhumba in Dubai, having a quiet night with your pets, or you are falling asleep on your couch and waking up at 12:30 to kiss your sweetie.. Have fun... And don't fall down!!

26 December, 2007

Happy Day After Christmas!!







Hey Hey!



Well, with all good intentions I had planned on posting yesterday but I decided that I needed a break from technology.... It was an extremely wonderful day... I had a wonderful Christmas dinner with my a friend of mine from London and her family.. Well, we met about 4 or so weeks ago here in Arles. Her son in law cooked and I was happy to celebrate the day with her and her family!!



THANKS FAITH!!



Here are a few pictures of more of the holiday lights that lit up Arles on Christmas Eve Night.


These were lights they used to light up the facade of St Trophime church... It looked like the front of the building had been painted...


It was beautiful!!




I wondered around on Christmas eve night and took some pics of the lights.... Arles is so beautiful this time of the year..... And it's so quiet... Well, As soon as I say that I see a boat load of English speaking tourists take over the Neighborhood.... I can't tell you how many people strolled by my door and laughed...... Okay gang enjoy the pics I'll post more soon


Here's hoping at least one of your Christmas wishes came true!!


~Mel~



Here is a shot of the lights in the "Roquette"

21 December, 2007

Happy 21st of December

It's a fine line we walk when our heart's are allowed to sing... Today I saw a friend of mine who I had not seen for almost three weeks... I know that seems like a short amount of time... And realitively speaking it is... Seemed like an eternity to me.. Three weeks gives you just enough time to run through a whole range of emotions, feelings whatever... It gives you just enough time to be angry... To fill your heart with rage.. To let your head attack what your heart is feeling. You sit and try to justify what you are feeling... You talk to friends your family. They offer your their opinions.. And what your heart feels gets burried. All of the things of the past run through your head and you start to doubt yourself and why you ever did what you did. You start to curse the day your heart ever started to feel the way it did. You wished it would just go away. You simply wish that someone or something would take the hurt you are feeling away.. Further burying the feelig you have in your heart. Well, at least I did. I ran through all of the emotions of why when where, who what..... Made me sad to think about it. Makes me sad now even to think about it.. How could I have possibly pushed something so wonderful away? Then one day it just stops.. The anger goes away. The name calling subsides. And the big wish of "please take this away from me" goes away. You start to feel again, you start to find that little bit of hope deep in your heart that never really left. You know that it's still there.. And again the feeling gets stronger. Again, It comes back.. As if it ever left in the first place. Today I talked to a friend who I hadn't talked to for a while. I asked him how are you? He said to me I am playing again. Honestly, that was one of the best Christmas presents I could have ever had. Made me happy to know that he IS making music again. I had started to get that feeling back a few days ago. I knew that I had to clear through all of the crap to get to what really mattered. Hearing that he was making music again solidified the feeling. It was back. Bloody hard to hold onto but it was back. Tonight I saw him. Tonight I saw something in him that I had not seen in a very long time. I saw him, again. The beautiful soul that connected with mine well, exactly 4 years ago. I saw it again. Somehow through all of the chatter of different voices his song, faint though it may be right now, is being heard. I heard it. Somehow I think, that I am the only one who hears it.. Maybe I am the only one who listens? It made me smile to see him today. Honestly he wasn't feeling all that well.. But I saw it in his eyes. I saw what I saw 4 years ago. He has changed in those 4 years and so have I. Today, today I connected again with the love of my life. As much as we push each other away as much as we try to literaly remove each other from our lives.. We see each other and we smile and it's there. Amigos? Si! It's all we can be. I am not sure I believe in soul mates. I know we connect with certian people and you know when it's right. And right now it's simply RIGHT. Thank you so much for being who you are. Thank you so much for your song my friend. Most of all thank you for your smile.. For it is the one thing that keeps my heart strong and my head at bay. My Christmas has come early. So when I walk home tonight from the hotel where I "borrow the internet" and where I sat for the very first time in Arles, filled with hope and a dream that one day we would be close. I'll look up at the moon and next to her will be a small bright light, the planet Jupiter. And It will all be RIGHT again. I'll smile and whisper a Thank you on the wind and I know he'll get it.. That makes my heart smile. So HAPPY 21st OF DECEMBER MI AMIGO! & THANK YOU!

20 December, 2007

Christmas time in Arles


Hey Hey
Yeah I know it's been a while since my last post.
I thought I would post some photographs of the holiday lights here in Arles and some of my own holiday decorations. OOOh and it did snow here... Once every 4 years... hmm the very first time I came here was 4 years ago and it snowed then too.... So here are some pics of the sites around here.. And my stuff too.. I have offically added a touch of "white trash" to Rue Renan!!
tee hee... No lights... haven't quite figured out how to exterior illuminate my door... Oh well, don't want to piss off the neighbors just yet.. ha ha!!!!!
okay kids enjoy...


Snow in Arles????? Yeah the official "blizzard"... The Saturday market was a bust but this was something to see....

Here are a couple of shots of some of the Holiday lights in Arles. I took these about two weeks ago...



And finally here are some pics of my own holiday decorations.... Tee hee... Okay that's it for now from Roman Gual... I'll post more as the Holidays get closer...

~Mel~

21 November, 2007

Link to my book

Okay gang here it is.. Here is the link to the site that I am publishing my book through.. www.lulu.com/content/1462059. It's my baby.... There is a section where you can preview what's inside and I think you can buy the book now... if ya want that is.. Right now that's all from Roman Gual.. I have my eyes are buggin out my damn head because i have been staring at the computer for way to many days..

17 November, 2007

Some Pictures from today.


Hey Hey
Just thought I would check in with the ole blogeroony..
Today was a busy Saturday... Of course I hit the Saturday market... How can you not? Ran into just about everyone I knew... Big event come to find that it's the place to be seen.. Eh me loca Americana shows up to the market looking like a schelp... Eh who cares I am walking through a crowded market with smells from everything from live chickens to chickens roasting to fish to to to to to.. And besides I get all sweaty carrying home all of my goodies... Needless to say Arles is damn cold.... Bugger of the thing is Mel being all wise and thinking that it can't be colder here than in the Northeast... B.S!!!!!! Had to buy a fleece sweater... Anywho I digress.. After the market I made my way to Fontville of course i am spelling it wrong... When I even get wind of a Bullfight I am there.... This was a Novilliada... It's kind of a showcase for the little guys... I would say these three kids had to be no more than 14 years old... And the bulls well, they were little too.. Do not worry the little bulls were not killed... It's just a way for these kids, who are up and comming Toreros, to hone their skills so to speak... And don't worry the sword you see these guys holding isn't used to kill the bull, they use it to tap the bull between the shoulders..







Honestly watching these kids do what they do... It's amazing... They don't have a picador or Bandelilleros to wear down the bull, granted they are only dealing with little bulls but these things charge at them with full force... It will be interesting to see these kids come up in the ranks...


It was fun to watch.. Damn cold but fun to watch...... I could only stay for two of the three fights.... I was freezing and I wanted to go home... I made my way to a cafe for a "petit cafe" oof esspresso at it's finest... Two of those later and I was jumping up and down waiting for the bus...



Caught the bus back to Arles... It was a short trip... 10 minutes by bus and 2,80 Euro one way.. Came back to Arles did a little food shoping... hmm something must have been in my coffee cause i got to the store and had a complete brain fart and forgot why i was there.... OH LA LA well, I figured out what i did indeed need.... Whew... Made my way back home.... on the way there i took few night pics of Les Arenes... So here are a couple of those... It's a beautiful night here right now a little cold and windy but still beautiful... It's one of those nights where I realize why I am here...The kinda creepy looking pic at the end isn't really creepy it's the view from my front door at night.. The way the street lamp lit up the street makes it look like my street was being invaded by the green fog!!!



Well, that's all from Roman Gaul, for now... I'll post more in the coming weeks.. I think I have finally settled into my groove here so I'll be able to post more soon... Oooh before I forget.. I am in the process of publishing a book of my photographs from the Corridas... I'll let y'all know when it's finished....

~Mel~

30 October, 2007

My house and the "hood" in France

Well, kids I finally got settled in my flat in Arles.. I have been in it for a week... Only took me a couple of days to get situated.. I am so happy to finally have a place here in Arles... Okay here are the much anticipated pictures of MI CASA. This is the street I call home.... Rue Renan.. My house is on the right with the light blue shudder..





My living room and kitchen.... Hmm just finished laundry.... So the entire flat becomes my dryer.. Eh viva la france... I am lucky to have a washing machine soooooooo.





Okay here is the shower for some reason people like to see your bathroom I draw the line at showing people my toilet, however, it's just a toilet.. The last two pics are of my bedroom in the cave.. oh wait it's a grotto.... At any rate here it is..........

The last two pictures are pictures of my neigborhood... Not bad digs no??? At any time of the day I have the best view in the world......

20 October, 2007

Well I made it.. And I think it's gonna be all right!!

Well, kids I made it to France...
The flight was pretty much flawless. Though the short flight from Amesterdam to Marseille was the longest hour and a half of my life.... But when I landed in Marseille I grinned from ear to ear!!!
The first night here was nice... Phoned "mi amor Gitano" we met for dinner... He and his "mujer" makes me laugh... I will say this it was good to see that face.. He has the sweetest smile Well, the first time I ever saw it I knew I was in trouble.... Needless to say because of that smile I am here... Now it's not just the smile... It's what that smile has lead me to... Oh la la can I go on about that??? But I digress..
Not bad for a first night out...
Day two was okay.. I didn't sleep very well.... And I decided that i needed to start apartment hunting ASAP...
The day was pretty crappy to begin with and i was not in the best of moods... Jet lag caught up with me....
And it was pretty much a bust on the appartment hunting here in Arles... Looked at a funky little house near the Arena.... It wasn't bad... eh who am i kidding it had this funky smell to it.. hmmm not a good selling point... At that point after looking at a couple of places I got a little bummed out... Things were not moving as fast as i had hoped... but as it has been said everything happens in it's own time... Well, I came back to the hotel and took a nap and a shower and rested for a while then i pretty much decided that i needed to take a drive to clear my head... so i did... Driving through the Camargue at night hmm it worked... I came back and decided that at this point it is out of my hands... Well, that was last night... I woke up this morning with a pretty good feeling that today was going to be okay... Had lunch with a friend of mine at a nice place in the Roquette.. I'll keep it in mind for when visitors arrive.... After lunchI went to a few agencies and looked at a cute little place by the train station, of all places... However, note to all, when trying to rent as an american here in france it's almost impossible... eh i love the challenge!! Yet at this point the challenge has been a sore spot.. I just want to get into a place of my own... Hotels bug me after one or two days... Tooo small.... and I can't cook my own food.... and i hate living out of a suit case.... LA VAGABUNDA PURA at this point.... After looking at the house I came back to the hotel set up another soiree/ dinner with "mi amigo" in Les Saintes... Got there called and called and called... The orginal place we were set to meet was Cerado! For a half an hour I set in my car waiting for the "mujer" to get off of his phone... Finally he answers... QUE PASA??? OH LA LA!! Finally, we met up.... Mira, Los Gitanos y sus mujeres.... Aye dios mio!! Gitanos tiene mucho mujeres. Y solo una amor de sus vidas... El siempre dice a mio, "yo tengo mucho mujeres en mi vida pero yo tengo solo una Melissa" So if you are wondering why i put up with what i put up with that's why.. And yes i know what Gitanos are.. I know how they work... And I know what their game is all about.. As long as I am straight forward with them and tell them where I stand I have no problems... I have had nothing but positive experiences with the Gitan of this part of the world and I like to keep it that way... Digression # 2..... Bare with me.. That's why I am writing a book kids... At dinner "mi amigo" introduces me to yet another, what I like to call, Star of the Camargue music scene.. Juanito... Wow what a talent.. and what a wonderful personality.... I met him and his family... He has a wonderful wife, Maria... We sat and listend to some music that i had with me on my i-pod.. another hint.. want to hit it off big with the gitanos... Bring the ipod with speakers and play some music that they like... Oooh before i forget.... Part of the next generation of Gypsy catadors made an appearance.. Jose, Pablo's son, Miguel, Janito's son and a few of what I like to call the young Gitano bucks were there... I love it they sit there with their cell phones playing tunes that they downloaded to their phones. They pound out rythms on their chests or the table and they all sing... Cool thing is even the older guys got into it.... it's amazing what happens to their faces, when music is heard... How their eyes light up and their hearts song just comes out.... Those really are the moments where you sit there and go wow...... It's what they were born to do.. Funny I seem to think that we were all born to sing our own heart's song, yet by the time we realize that we have it, it gets lost.... These guys never loose it... Needless to say after the conversations I have been having, the past few weeks, with "mi amigo" it was good to hear him sing his heart's song again... Digression #33 We sat and talked for a while then it was brought up that I was looking for a place to live and well, Juanito had studio. Okay unfrigginbelievable..... So tomorrow i look at a flat in Les Saintes... and I spend yet another day with one of the Camargue's finest musicians... I was totally blown away... And yes I do understand why the welcome mat was basically thrown at my feet so quickly.... It's the same old story.... They size you up to see what you have... You play the game.... and if they drop you like a rock then it's their loss.. Ladies, CUIDADO CON LOS GITANOS!! After another wonderful evening with "mi amigo" , his family juanito, and his family.. I made my way back to Arles.... I realized something on my drive back to Arles... That this journey that I am taking allowed me to find something that I lost... My heart's song... And I realized that I am here for me... It seems to be the place where I can truly hear Mi cancion de mi corazon.... Okay gang.. I hope this makes sense... It's 2 in the morning here and i had to write what's happened so far... If you have lost your heart's song GO FIND IT!!!

16 October, 2007

"I'm leavin on a jet plane.........."

Wow the day has finally arrived..
I leave tonight for France...
I leave to persue a dream...
At this point it seems that there is a certian amount of fear.. What am I talking about there is a whole lot of fear... What might happen what if what will i do???
oof doesn't seem fair to me that it should be a lot easier to persue something that makes you happy... But I guess, as the saying goes... Anything worth having is worth fighting for...
Dreams are hard to keep hold of... They are hard to stay focused on. And sometimes the fight doesn't seem worth it... Sometimes keeping our eyes on the goal seems more important than the journey toward that said goal..
Ya miss out on a whole lot when your eyes are focused so far ahead.. Jeesh I wish I could believe what i write...
Right now I sit here with a pit in my stomach wondering what if??
and scared half out of my mind.. But then i remember that i felt the exact same way when i moved here 12 years ago.. STRANGE!!
Far to many things to think about when you are persuing a dream... Some say if there were no dreamers we wouldn't have certian things....
Well, I often wonder what if I were just supposed to be a normal person... Workin at Wal-mart. Raising a family.... stuff like that... see plenty of happy people walking with their kids. Taking them to school. Going to work. Living their life and they are satisfied with that... And that's a good thing..... Then I ask my self why can't I be satisfied with that? Then i say to myself well, what is normal... For me running around the world chasing dreams seems to be the normal thing to do.... I often will tell my friends who often times sit back and watch their lives pass by, you have to live your dreams. because then your life becomes a "WHAT IF" I often preach it as if it were gospel. Sure it is easy for me to say you should follow your heart but when it comes to me... It's not as easy as I preach... I just sometimes wish that I would listen to myself...
Maybe i wouldn't throw myslef into fits of panic and i would just let things happen...
Naw that wouldn't be me...
I have been asked to give it up to a higher power... And that God won't give us anything we cannot handle... Well, I believe that most of the time. Most of the time. I suppose the universe only gives us what we can handle. Some of us must be made of iron because the universe hands out some pretty tough shit.. Yet we are still here...... Yet the dreamers keep dreaming and the practial comon sense folks keep the world sane... It's just us crazy Mutha F&*@ *$# That keep the world on it's toes.
It's real hard to be a dreamer and live in a world where comon sense rules... Following your heart in a world full of head followers. WHEW!!
So now I am off to follow a dream.. To have the courage to fail and to get back up and dream even bigger if I do. But some how deep down inside I know I can't fail. I know that I can't just work at Wal-Mart I can't just have a 9 to 5 job I have to follow my dream. I have to make the things that I dream about a reality. And that's why I got a one way ticket to France and a heart full of hope and love... HOW CAN I GO WRONG?
So gang wish me luck and stay close to the blog... It's gonna be a hell of a ride..
~Mel~

11 October, 2007

Excerpt from Paulo Coelho.

This is an excerpt from a monthly news letter that I get from Paulo Coelho's "Warriors of the Light" I wanted to share this with all of you.. His writting has been a tremendous inspiration in me starting my persuit of my own "Personal Legend"
I hope you enjoy it.
~Mel~

Issue nÂș 157

Fragments of a non-existing diary

A Peruvian priest’s sermon
In my book “The Alchemist”, the young shepherd Santiago meets an old man in the town square. He is searching for a treasure, but does not know how to reach it. The old man starts up a conversation with him:
“How many sheep have you got?”
“Enough,” answers Santiago.
“Then we have a problem. I can’t help if you think you have enough sheep.”
Based on this extract, the Peruvian priest Clemente Sobrado wrote an interesting piece, which I transcribe below:
One of the biggest problems that we drag around with us all our life is to want to believe we have “enough sheep”. We are surrounded by certainties, and nobody wants someone showing up to propose something new. If we could only suspect that we don’t have everything, and that we aren’t all that we could be!
Maybe we are all faced with a very serious problem, namely that although we have the opportunity to help one another, the truth is that few people let themselves be helped.
Why is that? Because they think they have “enough sheep”. They already know everything, they are always right, they feel comfortable in their lives.
Almost all of us are like that: we have many things but few aspirations. We have many ideas already sorted out, and we don’t want to give them up. Our life scheme is already organized and we don’t need someone trying to make changes.
We’ve done enough praying, practiced charity, read the lives of the saints, gone to Mass, taken communion. A friend of mine once said: “I don’t know why I come to visit you, father. I am already a good Christian.”
On that day I could not help answering:
“Then don’t come to visit me, because there are a lot of people waiting to see me and they are all full of doubts. But one thing you ought to know: You aren’t bad enough to be bad, nor good enough to be good, nor holy enough to work miracles.
“You are just a Christian satisfied with what you have achieved. And all those who are satisfied have in fact renounced the ideal of always improving. Let’s talk about this some other time, all right?”
Ever since then, whenever we speak on the telephone he starts by saying: “this person who is calling hasn’t yet grown up as much as he could”.
Lord, give us always a dissatisfied heart.
Give us a heart where the questions that we never want to ask can be voiced.
Deliver us from our conformism.
Make us able to enjoy what we have, but let us understand that this is not everything.
Let us appreciate that we are good people.
But above all, make us always ask ourselves how we can become better people.
Because if we ask, then it is quite possible that You will come and show us horizons that we couldn’t see before.

Hakone, Japan

I finally manage to get my editor, Masao Masuda, to invite me to a traditional tea ceremony. We go to a mountain near Hakone, enter a small room, and his sister, dressed in the ritual kimono, serves us tea.
That is all. However, everything is done with such seriousness and protocol that a daily practice is changed into a moment of communion with the Universe.
The tea master, Okakusa Kasuko, explains what happens: “The ceremony is the adoration of the beautiful. All efforts are concentrated on the endeavor to attain Perfection through the imperfect gestures of daily life. All its beauty consists of respecting the simple things we do, because they can lead us to God.”

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

Strolling along the promenade, I hear a young woman saying to another in a very convincing voice: “I’ve programmed my life in the following way ...”
That made me wonder: does she take into account things that happen just when we are not expecting them? Has she considered that maybe God has a different plan, a far more interesting one? Has she thought seriously about the hypothesis that, by including other people in her program, she might be interfering in different ideas and projects?
I am not sure whether the sentence I overheard was born of inexperience or total delirium.

Melbourne, Australia

I step out on to the stage with the usual apprehension. A local writer, introduces me and starts asking me questions. Before I can conclude my reasoning, he interrupts me and asks another question. When I answer, he says something like “that answer wasn’t very clear.” Five minutes later, I feel a certain restlessness in the audience. I remember Confucius, and do the only thing possible:
“Do you like what I write?” I ask.
“That doesn’t matter,” he answers. “I’m doing the interviewing, not you.”
“But it does matter. You don’t let me finish a sentence. Confucius said: ‘whenever possible, be clear.’ Let’s follow that advice and make things quite clear: do you like what I write?”
“No, I don’t. I have read only two books, and I hated them.”
“OK, so now we can continue.”
The camps were now defined. The audience relaxes, the environment fills with electricity, the interview turns into a true debate, and everyone – including the writer – is satisfied with the result.

In the plane between Melbourne and Los Angeles

This extract from the on-board magazine is attributed to Loren Eisley:
“The journey is difficult, long, sometimes impossible. Even so, I know few people who have let these difficulties stop them. We enter the world without knowing for sure what happened in the past, what consequences this has brought us, and what the future may have in store for us.
“We shall try to travel as far as we can. But looking at the landscape around us, we realize that it won’t be possible to know and learn everything.
”So what remains is for us to remember all about our journey so that we can tell stories. To our children and grandchildren, we can tell the marvels that we have seen and the dangers that we have faced. They too will be born and will die, they too will tell their stories to their descendants, and still the caravan won’t have reached its destination.”

"Warrior of the Light, a www.paulocoelho.com.br publication."

04 October, 2007

Amigos

Well,
I just thought I'd talk a little bit about Amigos..
Hmmm where to begin????
Most of the time your friends are there for you every step of the way through your journey through life... They become a sort of extended family when your family isn't near... Sometimes you share things with your Amigos that you wouldn't dare share with your family...
They come in all shapes and sizes and each one has their own unique personality... Some even have more than one personality... Well, see now that makes it even more fun.... MORE FRIENDS!!! It's kinda like a two for one deal... This morning a friend of mine anounced, rather loudly, that he was going back to India.... I felt like telling him that your people left India at least a 1000 years ago... And second I don't think there are any living realitives that you can stay with...... Oh la la!!! But it's one of those things... You sit and you listen to your their crazy ranttings and offer them support no matter how crazy you might think they are.... I have been on the other end of those conversations... where I am the not so sane one... so it's a give and take I suppose.....
Amigos where would we be without them???
LOST!!!

30 September, 2007

I'm gonna take pictures and write a book..

Yeah I know it's been a while..
Last time I wrote anything I was still in Colorado hangin with the world's coolest 2 year old!!
that was almost 4 weeks ago... I miss that little guy... And his dad and mom... My mom and my dad too for that matter... Heck, but that's okay... It's good to miss where you come from, I think, It makes you never forget that you are loved... Now that makes me smile..
I am sittting here thinking about what comes next. Trying to think through the noise of the unoffical block party that takes place every saturday night on the corner across the street from me tends to be a little difficult... But sometimes they play some decent music... No Gypsy Music, but hey we are not all perfect...
Today was my official last day at the Met.
It's been the place where I have worked for the past 12 years.. The frienships I have made there are priceless. And I will say that for the most part it's been a good ride.. But it's time to move on.. I made the decision, this summer, to leave the Met and persue a dream.. Hmm somehow I thought that stepping out of my comfrot zone would be easy... NOT! It's quite unnerving!!
Leaving a place that you have become very comfortable with. A place where you always knew you had it there to fall back on.. It was a safety net..
Left it all behind..
I left it behind to... To quote a line from the Paulo Coelho book "The Alchemist" To persue my own personal legend. In other words I am following my heart and persuing my dream. I'm gonna take pictures and write a book..
I leave for France in two weeks....
At this point there seems to be so many what ifs that it's not even funny... Self doubt creeps in and oh la la is that a killer...
But everyone who knows me seems to think I can do it... I wish I were that confident in myself.
Deep down I suppose I know I can do it. And I know I can do very well at it... But as I said that's way deep down right now. Oh well. For now I will sit and contimplate what the hell I am doing. While listening to the endless round of okay music blaring from the car of some guy who was in charge of music from the fiesta across the street...
Ah New York.
One thing it will be nice to just sit and listen to the silence...
~Mel~

27 August, 2007

Rocky Mountian High!!

Hey Hey Gang!!

It's been a while since my last post.... Glad to hear that Stevie is on the mend and doing well!!

Whew what a relief!!

I have been in Colorado the past two weeks spending time with my family.... Namely my nephew Ryan!! Tee hee... We've been hangin out doing kid stuff riding the kiddie rides at the park goin to the zoo ya know normal stuff a two year old does...
This past weekend we headed for the hills to our cabin in the woods.. Generations of Lanes have been going to South Fork Colorado. I'll add those pictures of the mountains later... It was nice to hang out with my dad and my brother and his family... As for me it's been so nice just to wind down.... not really having to be anywhere... and just all around hangin out with this little guy..
I'll add more to this post in the next couple of days... I got up way to early this morning and i didn't get a nappy!!
okay gang more later....
~Mel~

21 August, 2007

Mi Amigo Steve


Okay just a little thought on friendship..

One of my dearest friends, Steve, is currently in the hospital recovering from surgery..

I wanted to pass my love and prayers along to him and my sistah Karen and Pablo's Amigo, Benji as well as his entire family...

I just wanted to wish him a speedy recovery!! We have a whole lot of hell to raise in France and there is a whole bunch more music the we need to unearth!!

My love and prayers to you sweetie!!
~MEL~

20 August, 2007

Look what we picked up!!

Allright I was asked to put these on my blog.... Hmm it's amazing who will pop in front of your camera when you flash a smile!!!! Mi primos & Mi hermanas!!!! Little fond memories of our Gitano weekend!! Thanks chicas!!!

13 August, 2007

Back from the Gipsy Fiesta and then some...

Whew what a weekend!!!
Well, it started Thursday night...... Long weekends are pretty cool when you share them with your Amigos and Amigas... Thursday we headed down to Virginia for a concert with the Gipsy Kings... The concert wasn't until the next day but we decided to get the fiesta started a little early... Besides Mi Amiga de NOLA was heading in and I had to get down there muy pronto!!!! Okay I was 45 minutes late picking her up but.. We stopped for lunch and there was trafic.. If you don't know me by now when I give a time add at least a half an hour to the specified time...
At any rate... We picked her up and headed to the hotel.... Got settled and decided that we would take a drive into DC to grab a bite to eat... Well, we get there and there was a Byonce concert tying up all of down town DC and there was no parking to be found anywhere.... Scratch that idear... ooh a little aside.. At first it looked like maybe we had driven by the Hooker's ball or something...
All of the Hoochies with their silver shoes and minnnnnny skirts.. Oh la la... After we got out of the mess of down town we did a little drive by monument seeing... Honestly if you wanna see all of the monuments in DC... Just do a drive by..... Beats the hell out of doing all of that walking...... Anywho... We drove back to the hotel and found a place to eat there... After that we made it back to the hotel and decided that rest was in order...
The next day we spent the morning yakin and doing our nails... oooh how girlie...
Then we headed off to the Mall... oh la la... At the mall we met up with some chicas that i had been yakin with online.. It was good to finally put faces with names I am just bummed that we didn't get to spend more time together... We wondered around for a while then headed back to my room for a little R&R... And we met up with La Amiga De Gypsy Soul... Woo hoo... It was awesome to see each other out of France....
We left for the concert fairly early.. Met up with another bunch of chicas that I had spoken to online... It was pretty cool meeting up with them as well..
Finally the Concert rolled around... I was a litte anxious yet a litttle disapointed.. I knew Pablo wasn't going to be there so... But I went to see the rest of the band.. The show was fun... But the band seemed to be lacking energy? I guess that's how you can put it.... It was hot and muggy first of all thus making it look like a really bad Gitano wet t-shirt contest up there... tee hee. The music was amazing as always.. And Nicolas was in top voice... Besides all of the sound problems... oof one of these days they'll get a friggin sound guy who can actually make them sound good... The show was good... but flat... and i would have to say that 99% of the people there didn't really care but there were those of us who knew better...
After the show we went back to my hotel had a bite to eat, talked with Canut for a little while and hung out with Pacheco and a bunch of other folks in the lobby looking at some of his photographs.. He's a doll...
Finally at about 1:30 in the morning we headed back to my room where the yak fest continued... It's amazing to sit and share things with your friends who have the same passion for this stuff as you do... Finally at about 3 in the morning the fiesta was over... and i fell asleep..
the next morning i packed up my stuff and headed downstairs for a cup of tea..
I met up with three amigas from the night before it was cool.. At least we had a little bit of time to at least get to know each other before we all had to take off again.. Thanks girlies!!
My ride arrived and as I am walking out the door of the hotel the two amigas are chatting it up with Mi Primos de Gipsy Kings... Ale!!! These two broads yakin with Canut and Nicolas.... Hmmm i see how it is... tee hee...
I am glad I caught them, they were on their way to the airport and i didn't want to miss saying hello to Nicolas..
Caught him!! Whew!!
I can't say enough about these guys... when i stepped out of the door the welcome look and the sheer joy i saw in both he and Canut's eyes.. is priceless... oof..... Seeing these guys in a concert situation is iffy at best I never really get to sit and have one on one time with them... But I am used to it...
We catch up on family and make plans for dinner while we are in france and that's really all we have time for but hey it works for me...
After the Gitanos boarded their bus and we all blew kisses and peed our pants laughing at each other.. We took La Amiga De NOLA to the air port... BOOOOOO
Ya know!! Honestly we need to spend more time together other than just these little weekend thingies.. FRANCE ANYONE!!
After we said our hasta prontos and see ya laters... We headed back to DC for the NMAI Nation al Pow Wow
It's a little known fact... I have been so wrapped up with the Gypsies that I have almost neglected this part of my life... I have a great interest in Native People's Art, Music, and Culture... So perfect the National Pow Wow was also this weekend so we decided to check it out.... It was one of the most amazing events I have ever witnessed.. 1000 dancers from all over the Americas and 12 drum groups from through out the country... WOW!! I will post some photographs from the event as soon as I can... It was overwhelming at times to see these people living their culture and expressing it through song and dance...
For me it was the recharge that my soul had needed...
okay that's it for now i'll post pics as soon as I can
~Mel~

04 August, 2007

Nothing to do with Anything..

Okay here's one for the Wow there's thirty minutes of my life I am never going to get back file.
I was sitting in Union Square park yesterday, trying to recharge tan I got while in the South of France... I was sitting next to a small fountian watching people go by all around me was a market filled with vendors selling everything from "Bush buster" t-shirts to art and I think there were a few American Indian crafts artists there too... Actually the funny thing was this Gitana fortune teller/ Tarot card reader (Aren't they all?) She and her daughter were direct decendents of Roma Royalty... I swear to whatever, that was her shtick.... She sat at a small card table covered in a worn red velvet cloth, while her daughter worked the crowd...
Once in a while she would catch a passer by off guard.. Usually some dude with his I-pod turned up way to loud off in his own little world.... Made me laugh to hear some of the questions people would ask her.. Anywho I digress..
The cool thing about living in NYC is you see everything.. And usually it's right in front of your face.. This day, I felt it necessary to count the crack heads. Hey just when I think there is nothing to do I go out sit in the sun and count the crack heads...
The park is full of loons, crackheads, protesters who protest the air, there was one guy who wore a rather large hat made out of plastic bags... He must have been the poster child for recycling. At any rate the dude made me hot just looking at him... That's not hot in a good way!!!
Ooh where was I? Ah yes Crackheads!! I have gotten to the point were I can almost name them..
There is crazy kung foo crack head who felt the need to chase after something only he saw then he put the Jackie Chan moves on it.... Funny thing is, yeah as if this weren't funny enough, he would run right up to people, stare them in the face then take off.. oof me without my camera!!! I think I am gonna try that the next time I am in Arles and a pack of German tourists walks into the plaza... Mental note to self....
There was the tatoo lady
She had the names of either they were her kids, somehow i doubt that, or her boyfriends tatooed on her back.. I thought maybe she forgot her name.. But upon looking closer at the names they were all guys names. She found it hard to stand up without the aid of Tom, Jerry, or Ed... But whoever he was she loved him dearly... At least that's what she kept saying to him.
And finally there was the cigarette lady. It took her twenty minutes to light a cigarette. She kept missing it. It would either jump from her mouth. This I saw. It sprouted little legs and ran from her mouth. At least that's what she told the guy next to her. He asked her if she needed help and she said "it keeps trying to get away from me." Finally she caught the little bugger and in one of those "evil villan" laughs she anounced to the entire park that she caught the little F*%*#$$*
At that point I felt it necessary to leave.
I had enough fun for one day.. Funny thing is if you come to the same spot at the same time they are all there... It makes for some great blog entries. TEE HEE!!
Well, that was my day. It was hotter than hell out. And I decided to share my day with the crackheads. Ya know someone has to do it.
Now I know you are saying to yourself gee ~Mel~ after reading this there's fifteen minutes of my life I'll never get back...
But I know it made ya laugh..
I'm off..
Next NYC story may be my bus ride from 72nd street in manhattan all the way home..
~Mel~

02 August, 2007

Concert Season

Well, it's that time of the year again....

The Gipsy Kings are rolling into the States in about a week or so...

WOO HOO!!!!

I personally can't wait.... Yeah yeah it's not like I haven't seen these guys lately... But ya know seeing my friends in France and the Gipsy Kings are two totally different things...

Strange as it may seem... When I am in France they aren't the world famous band that has won over the hearts of millions of people the world over... They are just who they are... It's almost surreal for me, when I see them play... I often times throw myself into fits of hysterical laughter. Simply because they are so serious on stage... Eh I guess it's their job and as that, they have a certian persona that they have to keep... FRIGGIN ROCK STARS!! :-)) Still... Makes me laugh to see them... Actually, hearing their music, is one of the true joys in my life... And it is a treat to see them live.... The only thing that really bugs me about this time of the year are the e-mails and the occasional phone call that I get asking if I can get tickets, backstage passes, or the "do you know where they are staying" question.. Now that one makes me laugh... Those usually come from the "lobby stalkers". Or the ooh well I "know the band" I can get a backstage pass if you can't. All I have to say to that is GOOD LUCK!! BUENA SUERTE!! BON CHANCE!!! I know the band and I don't get backstage passes... Maybe because I actually watch the show and I don't spend my time hunting down management, or plotting my next scheme to see them for a few hours after the show... Oof! But enough about what bugs me... I would much rather talk about how special these guys are. How their music has been a source of inspiration to me. How through their music a whole new world of music has been opened up to me.. I have seen things and been to places that I would have never dreamed of seeing or even going to.. And the friendships I have made through their music are priceless... As I said before I can hardly wait to see them again... Somewhere.. From a little bird, I heard that Pablo is singing in concert.... Now how do I feel about that?? Well, how do you think I feel about that... Poulette is singin!!! I get to hear him sing at my kitchen table when he pops in for a visit... Now the whole world gets to hear him sing... Hmm if I were the posessive type I would have to sit him down and say woah wait a minute "AMIGO" but honestly it's a rare treat to hear Pablo sing and I am glad he has the chance to do it!!! Makes the ole ticker smile!! Well, as I have said the concert season is upon us. I'll catch them at a couple of places this go around... I am looking forward to catching up with friends that I see at these places. Most of all I am looking forward to just hearing them play... Doesn't matter where I sit.. I get the same feeling no matter where I sit, when I listen to their music... Absolute Joy!!!! There ain't no high in the world that can compare to a Gitano High!!
So 8 days until I see them play eh but who's counting??
tee hee


24 July, 2007

Jose Reyes A small homage to one of the fathers of Gypsy Music..

The video in my blog is of Jose Reyes, in the middle, Manuel Arenas,to the left and Bambo Baliardo to the right. Jose Reyes along with Manitas De Plata, along with these guys and handful of other artists are single handedly known as the "Fathers of Gypsy music" I believe that the video was taken some time in the mid 70's... I know there are a whole bunch of you out there who have seen this one before and have it actually linked to your sites... I wanted to put this on my blog to introduce those people who don't know about Gypsy music to it's foundation.. Where it all began, so to speak...
Jose Reyes, is also the father of the Reyes brothers of Gipsy Kings fame... His soul stiring voice and unique brand of "Cante Jundo" (Deep song) has captured my heart.. It has been almost thirty years since he last stepped foot on this earth but his voice is timeless.... One note from that golden voice and you hear countless generations of Gypsies that came before him... He is now the standard from which all Cantaors in the Camargue go by..... But that's just my opinion........Needless to say I owe a great debt to him, for without this man, we would not have the music of his son's in our world.
I feel honored and blessed to know his sons.. Through them I have had the honor of knowing a little bit about their father and his music...
Enjoy this clip...
~Mel~

23 July, 2007

Back from the land of Wagner..

Oh la la!!

Well, that was an interesting two weeks...

Sorry I haven't been around for while... Actually I made the best of it... I got to know some interesting people and now I have a place to stay should I ever find myself in St Petersburg. I had the chance to work with a great bunch of people, our local crew was a group that I had worked with at the Met before so it was very easy for all of us to work together and we are all friends so it was nice... I met some wonderful ladies from Russian company.. Lena was the one that I worked closest with.. It was fun, she spoke Spanish so there was hardly any comunication gap... It was fun but I am glad it's over.... I am in the process of a transition. Deciding if I really want to head back to the Opera this season. 12 years there is enough, at least for right now... At this point I think I need to spread my wings a little and see what is out there..

Well, I did it 12 years ago when I moved here from Colorado... Now I think it's time to do it again.... One would thing that at 35 I would start to think about setteling down??? NAW!! I'll let someone else live that life... I need something just a little more challenging then 9 to 5....

14 July, 2007

Happy Bastille day!!

HAPPY BASTILLE DAY!!! So everyone get out there eat your stinky cheese drink that bottle of wine that you smuggled back from your last trip to France... Smack the one you love with a large baguette and don't for get to polish your Patanque balls.... Today is your day, French citizens and Francophiles alike, to celebrate like the french do...... OH LA LA!!!!! Well, I figured to day was a good day to get back to the ole blog.. I am sorry I haven't been around for a while.. For the past week and a half I have been working at the Met doing the Kirov Opera's production of the Ring cycle... Oh la la Russian Opera at its finest.... tee hee... Actually it's been a hoot.... It's Wagner's epic masterpiece of the gods VS. man.. Well, some of you may be familiar with the Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd "Kill the Wabbit...."

(image courtesy of Chuck Jones and Warner Bros. Company) I love the fact that this music is so universal that most everyone knows it from a Bugs Bunny Cartoon... So that's what has been keeping me busy and somewhat out of trouble for the past week and a half.. I am not sure how much more of this normalcy (is that a word?) I can stand, however..... I am in desperate need of a Gitano fix.... HOW MANY DAYS UNTIL AUGUST 10???? Oh well, that's all for now gang.

04 July, 2007

LXXX


De viajes y dolores yo regerese, amor mio,
a tu voz, a tu mano volando en la guitarra,
al fuego que interrumpe con besos el otono,
a la circulacion de la noche en el cielo.
Para todos los hombres podo pan y reinado,
pido tierra para el labrador sin ventura,
que nadie espere tregua de mi sangre o mi canto.
Pero a tu amor no puedo renunciar sin morirme.
Por eso toca el vals de la serena luna,
la barcarola en el aguade la guitarra
hasta que se doblegue me cabeza sonado:
que todos los sesvelos de mi vida tejieron
esta enramada en donde tu mano vive y vuela
custodiando la noche de viajero dormido.
Pablo Neruda
My Love, I returned from travel and sorrow
to your voice, to your hand flying on the guitar,
to the fire interrupting the autumn with kisses,
to the night that circles through the sky.
I asked for bread and dominion for all;
for the worker with no future I ask for land.
May no one expect my blood or my song to rest!
But I can not give up your love , not without dying.
So: play the waltz of the tranquil moon,
the baracole,on the fluid guitar,
till my head lolls, dreaming:
for all my life's sleeplessness has woven
this shelter in the grove where your hand lives and flies
watching over the night of the sleeping traveler.
Pablo Neruda
Translated by Stephen Tapscott

03 July, 2007

DON'T MESS WITH ME!!





Just thought I would share this with everyone!! Tee hee!!! This is my nephew Ryan... And my new body guard!! I think I am pretty safe.... I would highly suggest that anyone who is in need of any type of personal protection hire a 2 year old.... Hey if anything they'll give the bad guys bloody shins....

01 July, 2007

XLVI

De las estrellas que admire, mojadas

por rios y rocios diferentes,

yo no escogi sino la que yo amaba

ydesde entonces duermo con la noche.


De la ola, una ola y otra ola,

verde mar verde frio, rama verde,

yo no escogi sino una sola ola:

la ola indivisible de tu cuerpo.


Todas las gotas, todas las raices,

todos los hilos de la luz vinieron,

me vinieron a ver tarde o temprano.


Yo quise para mi tu cabellera.

Y de todos los dones de mi patria

solo escogi tu corazon salvaje.


Pablo Neruda



Of all the stars I admired, drenched

in various rivers and mists,

I chse only the one I love.

Since then I sleep with the night.


Of all the waves, one wave and another wave,

green sea, green chill, branchings of green,

I chose only the one wave,

the invisible wave of your body.


All the waterdrops, all the roots,

all the threads of light gathered to me here;

they came to me sooner or later.


I wanted your hair, all for myself.

From all the graces my homeland offered

I chose only your savage heart.


Pablo Neruda

Translated by Stephen Tapscott

28 June, 2007

Blah Blah Blah




Hey Hey Y'all..
Just posting cause I can.... Not much going on.. Not much to Yak about... Just posting to post blah blah blah..... I am working on getting the "Cheese song" posted to my blog... When that happens I'll write more about that.... It's hotter then you know what here in NY... Well, Okay, this girl from the American Southwest is not used to all of the humidity that comes around this time of the year...... This desert rose wilts in all that moisture.. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! I know there are some of you out there who deal with far worse then I do... And please feel free to comment on that.. Hey why not it's one of the few things that we all have in comon? OOh I know... There are a few of you out there who will be seeing "The Boys" in London.... WOO HOO!!! Lucky buggers!! ;-))))))))) I gotta wait until August.... Oh well, I always have my pics from FEBUARY!! oh la la... tee hee..
Oh well, That's all fer now....
~Mel~

24 June, 2007

WOW!


It's really hard to believe it's been a month since I left for France.. To borrow a very cliched phrase It only seems like yesterday since I left for this very special part of the world. The sites the sounds the music, the air, the sea... The friends... WOW... How can I even begin to forget the friendships that I have forged there... It all seems like a very distant blurr yet it's still very close to my heart..
I woke up this morning to the sound of silence... For the past 4 Saturday mornings had woke up to the sounds of pipes clanging and people setting up for the Saturday market in Arles.. Right outside the bedroom window I could see the vendors selling everything from Mou Mous who danced when the wind blew... To me it almost seemed that these crazy print polyester dresses just came to life as the wind blew through them... To luggage to toaster ovens, all outside of the window. I missed the sounds of people meeting friends as they walked through the market... I miss the Arab men sitting at L'Ecluse, a Gypsy bar for 6 and three quarter days of the week but during the market it would fill to the brim with Arab men having coffee and talking about whatever suited them. I miss walking through the market and getting my tomatoes from one special place... I miss trying to muttle through french just to get a bag of olives or 4 different kinds of dried sausage... Always getting a smile just for trying... I miss seeing the colors of the tables of spices.... I miss I miss I miss...
It's very hard to leave a place that you have fallen madly in love with.. It's hard to come back to a place where you are just another face... Even there you realize that if someone has seen you only once they know who you are.. That's what I miss...
I miss hearing songs sung by tiny Gypsy children's voices... Not really knowing where they are coming from but when you hear the song you realize that it's been sung for generations and it will be sung for generations to come. I miss big Gypsy Boys telling stories of when they were young. How things in their neighborhood used to be when they grew up. I miss hearing their song as well. Most of all I miss their smile.. I miss sitting around a table with friends and just talking about our comon passions. Our life's ambitions.
What we want for ourselves.. Most of all I miss their laughter..
I miss not hearing a Television. I miss the way everything smelled after a day in the sea air. I miss seeing the rain make bubbles in puddles of water.. I miss the hot sun that always seemed to be kissed by a cool wind..
I suppose I could look back on it all and remember when I walked into Les Vagues and seeing that smile from one of the Gypsy Boys.. Or when I sat and watched as a second and third generation of Gypsy musicians played and sang their hearts out. I can't even count the number of times I witnessed such greatness... The special week that I had with my dear friend from the UK... Getting to see Arles from an tottaly new point of view.. Seeing Lucien Clergue leading a group of school kids through his exhibit.. The shear awe and spectical of a bullfight.. Getting to Arles from Marseille via Tarascon.... My first adventure driving in france... The bus ride to SMDLM and seeing the old Spanish Bull everytime we passed through "Le Paty" Watching the wind blow the waves against the rocks. Hearing that sound of waves crashing felt very comforting for some reason.. Seeing NY NY sung by some guy in a white polyester suit while 4 or 5 dancing girls with really bad boas and crazy magic dot panties and bras danced with him.. And no I only had one pastis.. So that was not a crazy halucination.. I miss dinner with friends. I miss hearing my name yelled out all over the Roquette... It's almost like the Gitan cell phone company!! I miss looking out of the window on a clear and calm night and seeing the fire flies dancing in the trees. I miss falling asleep on the terrace looking straight up at the big dipper.. I I am sure there are more things to remember and as I go back and look things will come up.. And I'll write them down.... For now these are just some of the things that I have been thinking about. I'll write more soon. ~mel~

22 June, 2007

My Final day in Arles & Day 5 of my birthday!!

Hey hey gang

Well, as of this post I made it back to NY... Just thought I would post about my last day in Arles.

The day it''s self was busy.. I usually wait until the very last possible minute to pack... hmmm no comments on that please!! tee hee..... The last night was well, evening # 5 of my birthday... It started with the usuall gathering of "La Familia" at the house... Let us not forget the obligitory Yelling of my name through out the Roquette. We decided on a little Vietnamese place, that I just adore and the food ain't bad either, that wasn't more than a short walk away from the house... One of the coolest moments of the evening had to have been when we were walking through the Roquette and Pablo and Canut were talking about the neighborhood and what they used to do as kids... That was one of those moments that makes ya smile... Well, there were a few of those moments.... Like when they all decided to start singing to the neighborhood... AWESOME!!!!!!! Or when they decided to sing Happy Birthday to me over a plate of flaming bannanas in Gitane.... It's little things like that that just make ya go wow... And I really count my blessings when I am around "La Familia"

Okay I am going to share this pic with all of you...

I mean honestly doesn't this look like every other goon head family photo you have ever taken??? That back row of people looks fantastic but those three stooges in that front row!! Oh la la!!

Well, Gang that's it for now. I will post more in the coming days.... I need a day or two to regroup...

VIVA LA FAMILIA!!!

MEL

20 June, 2007

Happy Birthday to Moi!!!



Whew!!!


First of all where did the time go... Today is my last full day here in Arles... I'll probably post more about my whole experience here when I get back to the States..

As for today.... Well, today is Day 5 of my birthday... My actual birthday was on the 16th of June. I celebrated with Mi Amigas... It was a perfect evening 3 Gypsy bands in one night... We started the night back at El Campo with Soy.. Being serenaded by three Gitano hotties ain't to bad for your birthday.. WOO HOO!!!Neneto, Manero, and some dude who we liked to call cousin hottie... So that's his name.... LOL!! Again if there is anyone out there who can identify who cousin hottie is feel free to post to the blog.......
El Primo Caliente!!!
Manero



Y Papa, Neno....


After a fantastic evening with Soy we headed for La Pampa for a quickie pastis and To see Luna Yena avec, Pablo!!!


Esteban y Pablo







Luna Yena avec Pablo..


After our stop at La Pampa we headed off to Beaucaire to see a version of Gip'Soy play..
eh by this time it was almost midnight and we piled int to Cathy's car and raced off.. We got to Beaucaire just in time to hear their last three songs... One, I might add beautifully sung by two rather intoxicated dudes that decided they needed to be superstars and pick up a mic and start singing.... LOUDLY!! AWESOME!!!!!


Thank God David decided that we needed to hear the song sung correctly and he and the rest of the group sang it again...


Kinda blurry but here's a pic of the band that night, Otro Pablo, David Patrac and yet another Pablo... Hmm I was being inindated by Pablos that night...
That was my birthday Gypsy Soul style!!! A huge MERCI BEAUCOUP to Cathy and Alexa for making my 18th er um never mind how old I really am, very special.

DAY 2 June 17th
Well, day 2 was spent back in SMDLM avec, la famille. Pablo, Canut and their families.... Woo hoo... We spent the early evening shopping and we wondered around SMDLM looking for a place to eat. We first stopped at Yes you guessed it El Campo... Oh la la!! We had to leave that place after drinks because there were far to many dogs sharing your space... LOL!!! Well, we wondered around again, for a while looking for a place that had Coquilage..... If you are not familiar with it... it's this huge pile of sea food.. served cold... oh la la,... Being right next to the Med. sea... This stuff still was crawling on the ocean bottom that morning.. We finally found a place to eat Le Vagues!!! Needless to say it was a total adventure in dining... More like full combat eating... Needless to say the seafood was fresh and the company was amazing.... After we ate we wondered around a carnival that was going on that night... The kids needed to blow off some steam.... And so did the big kids... After wondering around the Carnival for a while we finally made our way back to Arles... Yet another fantastic evening with "La familia"

DAY 3 June 18th


Day three was dinner A mi casa!!! The day started out rather gloomy.. It rained pretty much all day.. Oh well, it didn't really stop us we had shopping to do!!! Okay it's Monday in Arles and it's pretty much like a Sunday in the US... People open their shops only if they want to... Awesome.. We got everything shopped for except for the chickens... oops.. Well, we thought that our little butcher would be open Voi la no problem.... eeeeek not!! so we wondered all over arles looking for chickens.... finally settling on three from a supermarket on the other friggin side of Arles!!!!!! waoh!!


We got everything prepared and told everyone to be at the house around 8 okay.. well, 7 ish rolls around and i hear from outside my window MELISSA!!! being screamed through out the roquette Again... MELISSA!!! It's Canut!!! He was looking for the house... Gotta love it! Now the entire Roquette knows who I am!! Oh la la!




Not more than 20 minutes after Canut shows up Pablo busts in and Sings, in his own very special Pablo kind of way HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!


WOO HOO VIVA POULETTE!!!

Mis Flores de Familia!!!!

Once the entire family arrived Pablo's son Jose pulled out his guitar and started to pluck away at the strings.... Well, he handed the guitar to his Pa Pa... El Maestro and Jose, and his sister, acompaied by Pablo, They sang... A little pre dinner music GITANO STYLE!!


Finally the food was ready... Oof I will say this never keep a Gitano waiting for his food.. LOL!! Canut did the honors of carving the chicken.... Okay if that's what you wanna call it...








Actually it was another lesson in full combat eating!!! Woo hoo... It was yet another amazing night with La Familia y mis Amigas!!


DAY 4


June 19th


BBQ a la casa de Poulette....


What more can I say.... Spent the day with La famila sitting around Pablo's pool, eating and drinking and laughing.. Pablo grilled sausages and chicken. We ate way to much and I had a wonderful time spending time with him and his family playing around in the pool and getting to know them better.... It was just a lazy day sitting in the sun with dear friends....


Well, gang today is day 5 of my birthday... I am not sure quite yet what the day will hold.. It's also my last day here in Arles.... I am feeling a little blue about that...


Take care gang...


Mel