June 2011

06.28.11

So you haven't seen a "movies watched while inking" in a while because I had been watching Roseanne. I finished the series about two week ago and I have to say that it aged really well. It was also very progressive for its time- progressive even by today's standards, in fact. I don't think there has been a show since that's handled feminism quite as well!

Right now I'm rewatching Cheers, a tribute to my three month stay in Boston.

Speaking of which, here are some things that I have learned/confirmed so far about my newest adopted home:

1) Eating lobster is totally creepy. They are like eating the bugs of the sea. The one I had this last weekend reminded me of one of those face grabbers from Alien. From now on I'm going to make sure legs are not included in my lobster dish.

2) A lot of people do say "chowdah."

3) I don't know why Boston is called "America's walking city" b/c it looks like a lot of people here drive. Also, Bostonians are slow walkers. NYC should really be given this recognition.

4) Jaywalking here is confusing. Some drivers expect it, others get all pissy and honky.

5) Happy hour was recently banned in Boston. Now there's "hungry hour," which isn't as fun but still nice, nontheless.

6) Everyone is young and sassy. They also have fake IDs. Therefore, I am an old lady here.

7) A Boston summer is much more pleasant than a NYC summer... by a LONG SHOT.

I'm sure more will be added to this list- many more Bostonian adventures to come!

Jen

06.24.11

This is in response to [NAME REDACTED] on GoComics:

In all honesty, I'm always "too busy," but as I said in a blog entry from a couple of months ago, I do try to catch errors in my comic when I can. Sometimes I am not able to, and I appreciate it when people kindly let me know about typos/errors so that I can fix it right away (at least on this site, since once something gets published on GoComics I can't seem to be able to do anything about it).

Also, the strip has always been a labor of love for me, though I did start getting paid for it in 2005. No one's ever promised me print syndication (in fact, I was told that my feature was probably not print appropriate) and at this point I don't think I'm interested in newspapers anymore, since you can do so much more online nowadays. So, no one is really toying with anybody here. I just wanted to make that clear on my behalf and that of my syndicate.

Jen

06.23.11

So I promised readers on the CLV facebook page that I was going to rant in my blog today, but after a couple of glasses of wine I'm feeling that life is a-ok right now. And no, I didn't drink any booze in the A.M., it's just that I wrote this blog entry the previous night.

I swear!

Anyway, I'll do my best...

Let me tell you about what it's like being married to a foreigner and then going to a foreign country for a family wedding. It's not easy.

1) Cultural divide: people were trying to kiss my hand all night, and being American, I am not used to that. Apparently, married women are always greeted with a kiss on the hand. You would think that after the first couple of times I would get used to it, but every time it happened I flinched as if I was going to slap the other person. It's not that I didn't appreciate the gesture, mind you, it's just that this sort of thing has never happened to me without ironic intentions. Someone finally had to point out that I'm American (presumably to excuse my behavior) and from then on I was greeted with a firm, hearty handshake. ONE POINT FOR THE "UNCOUTH" U.S.A.!

2) Names and faces: Ok, so Edouard has a HUUUUGE family. I met a lot of them at our wedding, but at this wedding in Sweden I met many other family members that were not able to make it to the U.S. last August. Figuring out who is who was already difficult, but imagine trying to remember everyone's name when a) some of the names are hard to pronounce Swedish names; b) half of the people there seem to be named "Pierre," "Jean," or a hyphenated French name that includes "Jean" and/or "Pierre."

3) Language barrier: The wedding was primarily in French and Swedish, with some English peppered here and there. Most of the weekend though, I encountered a lot of French. Many people were not comfortable speaking English (much like how I'm not comfortable speaking French), or purposely didn't speak French because they know I'm trying to learn it (something I do actually appreciate), which meant a jet lagged me was doing my best to try to translate everything in my head and to create comprehensible responses. Near the end of the weekend, however, I kind of tuned out about 40% of what was being said, because it's tiring to understand a foreign language and because I have a hard time understanding colloquial french. I'm sure many of Edouard's cousins thought that I'm a mute weirdo who's obsessed with photographing European architecture. Most of the wedding weekend was pretty lonely for me... all the more reason why I'm even more dedicated to learning French!

4) GUILT: When you're in Europe (especially Sweden, it seems), you'll notice that most people speak their native tongue AND English. At this wedding, there were a lot of people who spoke Swedish, French, AND English. Even though I can read plenty of languages and can communicate decently in French and German (though my German is deteriorating), my ability to hold a conversation is essentially limited to English. This made me feel incredibly guilty and I felt that I was acting as a very poor representative of my country. But, as Edouard says, his family appreciates my effort. Furthermore, my French accent- I have been told- is actually quite nice . *toot toot my horn*

Anyway now I must leave, but I will leave you with a couple more fun facts:

1) Did you know that Swedish weddings have a ton of speeches? This one had eighteen!

2) In the spring and summer months, the sun is up ALL THE TIME in Sweden. The sun didn't start setting until about midnight and around 2 am, the sun started rising again. CRAZY.

Jen

06.21.11

Hi all- sorry for the sporadic/inconsistent updates this weekend. I was in Sweden for Edouard's cousin's wedding and I asked webmaster David to take care of the comics for me since I didn't know how regularly I would be able to get on the internet. Because David's a busy guy and doesn't get paid well/most of the time at all for helping me with the website, updating was obviously not top priority. It's ok though- as you know, if you don't see the comic up here, you can go to www.gocomics.com/cestlavie.

I just got back to the States last night at around 1 am and now I'm up and about getting ready for my day job as an Egyptologist. I'll let you all know about my trip to Sweden soon but if you can't wait that long, be sure to follow me on Twitter @clvcomic.

Jen

06.17.11

Look! Claire, a reader and fellow alumni of UCLA, crocheted Monsieur Smokey! Isn't it cool?!

She didn't use any patterns. M Smokey was created just by using the drawings in my comics. I have to say that he looks great!

I'll post any other CLV related creations you may send along btw. jen_babcock(at)hotmail.com

And now I'm off on a research trip/wedding. I will not be gone long though and CLV will continue to update as always!

Jen

06.12.11

Well, I'm several hours shy of completing my first week in Boston and I'm starting to really enjoy it here. I admit, the first couple of days here were difficult becaust Edouard had not yet arrived, and because I was not used to being alone in a city that does actually sleep. I'm also living in a neighborhood that is primarily college students so I felt like a creepy old lady (ok, I *still* feel like a creepy old lady). However, once I got into a routine and discovered that my job at the MFA is really awesome, Boston started to feel more like home, albeit a temporary one.

Edouard and I really enjoy travelling and exploring new cities so I know we're going to have a great time here this summer. Edouard suggested that I take up these kinds of temporary positions more often so that we can explore other new cities. I'm not sure if that's doable, but it's tempting because this is the best time of our life to do that sort of thing. I guess we'll see what happens!

Here are some movies I watched while inking (and while I was experiencing homesickness for New York):

1) Hannah and Her Sisters: Of course, when you want to see beautiful shots of New York (SoHo in particular), you turn to Woody Allen. I liked this movie as a character study though it involves an extramarital affair, a topic that I really don't enjoy to begin with, but which is even more disturbing here b/c it involves a man and his sister in law.

2) Manhattan: I guess this is why Disney used Gershwin to accompany their Manhattan clip in Fantasia 2000. The black and white worked really well for this film- NYC looks especially great, especially with that iconic scene at the Queensboro bridge (which is where Edouard and I got hitched btw). The entire time, I kept seeing this movie as a foreshadowing of Woddy Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read the synopsis.

3) Crimes and Misdemeanors- Well, I told you that I don't usually enjoy movies that involve extramarital affairs, but for some reason it didn't bother me so much in this movie. Maybe it's because I enjoy watching crime. I also found myself feeling a lot of sympathy for Woody Allen's character in the end, which is saying a lot because I usually find most of the characters in Woody Allen's more dramatic films to be completely unlikeable- mainly b/c they sound snotty, pseudo-intellectual, and completely pompous.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @clvcomic to read about comics, CLV news, and receive updates of the crazy stuff I'm seeing in Boston.

Jen

06.06.11

Things that happened this past week (or actually the past 5 days):

1) packed up and moved out of my old apt in Manhattan to a new apt in Manhattan

2) bought some new furniture

3) unpacked and cleaned at my new apt.

4) went to a Mehndi party, a pre-wedding cocktail party, and an actual wedding in NJ

5) prepped the new apt for a subletter, packed and moved up to Boston via car

6) currently sitting here waiting for my first day of work to start at the Museum of Fine Arts

Needless to say, it's been an eventful 5 days. And by eventful, I mean mostly stressful and white knuckled. GI problems to follow, I'm sure.

Just a reminder: you can follow me on Twitter @clvcomic to read about comics, CLV, and my inner thoughts summed up in a succinct 140 words or less.

Jen

06.03.11

Happy wedding day to my friend Miki! I've been looking forward to it for YEARS for the following reasons:

1) I've always wanted to go to an Indian wedding.

2) You're one of my best friends from college.

3) You deserve a fine lady, which your wife to be definitely is.

Anyway, Miki, I'm super excited for your big day- it's almost as if I'm reliving my big day except for the fact that all eyes will be on YOU (but mainly on your bride) today.

Back to my readers- I went to the Mehndi party for this wedding, which is an Indian custom where the bride and the bride's family and friends get their hands decorated with henna. My hands look pretty awesome- it makes me feel edgy and cool.

Jen

06.02.11

Well, I moved yet again. This is officially my fourth apartment in New York City and so far my nicest one. I lived in my previous apartment for 4 years, which is the longest I've ever been someplace since leaving my parents's house when I was 18. Needless to say, I got very attached to it and the beautiful neighborhood (some people say it reminds them of parts of London, actually), which also happens to be, in my opinion at least, the most tight- knit and neighborly community in Manhattan.

My current apartment is larger, nicer, and brighter than my previous apartment and is more conveniently located with its easy access to multiple train lines. The neighborhood is much more urban, however, and I'll miss walking down the street and seeing familiar faces day after day. I miss the tree lined streets as well...

Nonetheless, I'm sure I'll find my niche here and I have to say that one of the best benefits of this area so far is that even though it's in a more dense and commercial part of New York, my apartment is actually the quietest I've ever lived in!

Anyway, it's usually a huge emotional strain on me when I move because I'm a sentimental fool but I'm doing well so far. Unfortunately though, I have to do this all over again when I move to my summer sublet in Boston on Sunday...

Blaaaah.....

(BTW there hasn't been a "movies watched while inking" in a while b/c I'm currently finishing up a TV series via Netflix).

Jen