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Confession time: I have sat down to write a blog post at least five times since I wrote the previous one about how I wanted to continue blogging.

I’m not sure if it’s writer’s block, or pressure to be as funny as I was when I was unhappy in Paris (“Losing makes you funny; winning makes you handsome”), or just genuine lack of anything interesting to say. Or just the fact that I don’t feel like I’ve been getting enough sleep. If I start writing now when I’m not really rested…

But the fact is, I need to keep writing. I’ve been applying for writing jobs and using my blog to show that I am capable of some serious commitment to a single project, and also that I can be funny “on task,” as they say. It makes me a little uneasy to have a blog that seems to have been abandoned. Besides, who am I to decide if my everyday thoughts and activities are interesting or not? Surely that should be up to my beloved readers. (But don’t call me Shirley.)

Oh God, I’m not funny anymore.

I was telling a friend last night that being back in the States after a year abroad makes me feel almost as exotic as I did when I was an American student in Paris. In Paris, I was sometimes considered a bit of an oddity–I was an American singer who spoke, if not impeccable French, then at least fluent and almost native-sounding French. But in Chicago, French is not crucial to my survival, so unless I miss my guess, it makes me a little cooler–and cool has always been at a premium for me. Now I walk around Rogers Park in my Galéries Lafayette coat, knowing that just that morning, I painted my nails with vernis à ongles instead of nail polish (in “orange”–the French are not nearly as creative as we are about naming their nail polish colors). I stand on the train platform listening to Edith Piaf on repeat and mouthing the words to “Milord,” and I get the distinct feeling that my fellow passengers are looking at me and wondering why I’m making kissy-faces at nobody in particular.

I use Italian lip balm, purchased in desperation at Roma Termini in November; my day planner is in French (it informs me of saints’ days, but not Jewish holidays). Sometimes I’ll be sitting waiting for the train, or in a coffee shop, writing things in my planner and hoping that somebody will notice that the days of the week are not in English. But it hasn’t happened yet. (In Tucson, I was sitting at Starbucks and an older gentleman commended me on continuing to use pen and paper where most people were dependent on their iPhones or Blackberries. I think I’m just stubborn.)

…I seem to have lost the gift of the witty wrap-up. Euuuuuh.

In other news, I’ve put together a recital program of French operetta. When I had lunch with my former voice teacher last week, she suggested that I do a lecture recital. I don’t really want to lecture as such, but I do want to do a sort of survey of the repertoire, the way Susan Graham did with French art song on her Frisson Français recital. I also finally bit the bullet and bought the score to Reynaldo Hahn’s Ciboulette on eBay, because there is not a single copy anywhere in the Chicagoland area (the closest one is Illinois State, in Bloomington), and given how often I think to myself, “Hmm, I’d love to sing something from Ciboulette,” and then can’t find the score, I thought it was a sound investment. It’s coming from France–ooh la la!