2015: A Reflection, Part 3/3


  • I became passionate about Elvira. She’s a national treasure, and Mistress of the Dark is a masterpiece.
  • I was missing France, so I drank a lot of Perrier Menthes and sulked while listening to Édith Piaf.
  • I started to compile an Egyptological library. It’s become quite impressive. Amazing what you can find on Amazon.
  • I developed an overwhelming obsession with flat white coffees and succeeded in making my own at home. #blessed
  • I was invited to play tennis and discovered a latent gift for the sport. I’m basically destined for the Olympics one way or the other.
  • I seriously contemplated becoming a Transylvanian hay farmer for the millionth time in my adolescence. I crave simplicity sometimes, especially when I’m feeling a bit crazy.
  • I discovered hibiscus lemonade at the Cheesecake Factory and nearly wept. Tastes just like it did back at the Winter Palace in Luxor. I crave Egypt.
  • I bought an Apple Watch and slowly fell in love with it, and I also fell in love with the man at the Apple store who wore a Harry Styles tattoo sweater. We were probably soulmates.
  • My pumpkin crop wasn’t embarrassing for the first time in years: IMG_1709
  • I made a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, then discovered they were filled with angry bees…and then my house was filled with angry bees.
  • I tried a million times to braid my hair. I failed a million times.
  • I ate sushi.
  • I looked like this: IMG_1807
  • Edwin looked like this: IMG_1755and this: IMG_1795


  • I destroyed my peers in my detective fiction class; my endless devotion to Murder, She Wrote was clearly valuable once again. That show has changed my life.
  • I began a crusade against the accursed Minions that have taken over our culture. They disgust me.
  • I became the kind of student I can’t stand in my college courses, doing things at the last minute with half-assed effort. I still have a 4.0, so whatevs.
  • I installed a big screen television in front of my bathtub so that I can sip martinis and watch movies while deep conditioning my hair. It was the dumbest, yet most luxurious thing I’ve ever done.
  • I nodded in approval when America’s Next Top Model finally ended. That show molded me, but it nearly destroyed me in the process. I love it, but I’m glad to see it go.
  • I saw images from the production of the Absolutely Fabulous movie and I died. It is such a wonderful time to be alive.
  • I bought a new lock for my door that has a security code instead of a key so that I feel as if I’m in a vacation rental. It feels like the future. I love it.
  • I went to a Halloween party as a flamboyant Zorro.
  • I finally found a copy of Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris, a film where Angela Lansbury plays a poor maid that saves up all of her earnings for a Dior gown. IT IS EVERYTHING.
  • I looked like this: IMG_1934
  • Edwin looked like this: IMG_1946


  • I wanted to campaign for president so that I could sign an executive order cancelling daylight savings time. It is a hideous idea.
  • I found a series of books in French about an Egyptologist who works in the Louvre and solves mysteries, so you can understand my total obsession.
  • The new One Direction album leaked and DID NOT listen. But, if I had, I would have declared it a masterpiece of pop, which it is.
  • My best friend opened a bakery, and though it’s an incredible amount of work for her, it’s a dream come true for her and for me. It’s such fun to bake in a professional kitchen, and after all these years, my Le Cordon Bleu training is coming in handy. IMG_1975
  • PARIS WAS ATTACKED BY TERRORISTS and I lost my mind. First the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January and now this. It was too much. I had an anxiety attack seeing bodies on streets I know like the back of my hand. I’m still not over this. It was awful, but I’ll be back a million times. I’ll die in Paris.
  • I wrote this on another blog post in response to the tragedy, and I think it might be one of the finest things I’ve ever composed: “And as soon as I understood my feelings, I started to think. I thought about my Paris and eating Berthillon ice cream while watching the sunlight fade on the twinkling Seine, my mosque where I sip too much mint tea, Miss Manon and the wonderful old woman who is always there, the Louvre and all the art I love, my school, all the friends I’ve made and all the friends I’ve fallen out of touch with. I thought about the quays, the midnight walks through the Marais, the Chanel shop on the Rue Cambon, the green chairs in the Jardin des Tuileries looking on the Place de la Concorde, lemon cakes and Pierre Hermé macarons, getting drunk and dancing in front of Notre Dame. I thought about Anne and Sue and the champagne bottles we downed in front of the Jardin du Luxembourg, and I thought of people I’ve never introduced you to, and I thought and I thought. And then I felt such a great outpouring of love. It was rather overwhelming.

    “If I was shot in the head, I would not care, because I have lived. Paris, that wonderful city, made me into the man I could never have been without her. She woke me up and made me brave and good. And she’s always going to be there waiting for me no matter what happens or how old I become. Paris is my family and the greatest love of my life. She’s Madame Betty and the pyramid in front of the Louvre, and all the things I don’t remember loving until I’m there, like Métro 5 or the green fountains outside Père Lachaise. She’s everything to me. And no matter where I go, I’ll always have Paris within me. I don’t know if you can quite understand what Hemingway was getting at about his moveable feast until Paris is yours. Paris gives itself completely to you, no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter…no matter.”

  • I spent a few days in New York City, which would have been more fun if my thoughts weren’t utterly centered on Paris, but the city did breathe life into me. There were French flags everywhere. I ate at French bakeries, spoke that wonderful language, and wept at the Broadway production of An American in Paris. It helped me a bit, but there’s a wound in my heart that will never ever heal. IMG_2095
  • I bopped between the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan to study two of the greatest collections of ancient Egyptian art on our continent. I am rarely at more peace than when studying a stela covered in hieroglyphs.
  • I discovered how to properly wrap my hair in a towel, and that was quite important. IMG_2088
  • I discovered implanted contacts and couldn’t wait to get lenses inserted in my eyeballs.
  • Edwin looked like this: IMG_2223


  • Allegedly a crazed killer was in the area, so I couldn’t eat my lentil tacos in peace because my kitchen is basically a wall of windows, and what if he shot me eating tacos? What a way to go.
  • I learned that I look terrible in mesh. The VMAs led me astray. But I look great as Santa Claus. 12373166_1260182563999039_5085316360622644096_n
  • I finished another semester of college and felt so FREE.
  • The Dolly Parton movie that I had been excited for since January was FLAWLESS. I watched it in my bathtub theater with a coconut oil mask on my hair.
  • I bought a car, which was the very last thing I ever expected to do. I like it, though. It has a cooler in the dash and there’s a satellite radio and a heater…so I’m a fan. I’d still rather be driven. Oh well.
  • I started a Santa Bread assembly line at Alison’s bakery. ‘Twas a good time. IMG_2346
  • I learned that I should never stay home over work breaks, because I get way too restless. I’m not a homebody. I’m an explorer.
  • My Christmas gifts proved that I’m an old man: new pillows, a comforter, and brand new towels! It feels like a vacation home all of a sudden, and that’s been my goal for years.
  • I got a new tattoo that says, “LUTETIA,” which is the original name of the settlement where Paris is today. I love it. IMG_2368
  • Edwin looked like this: IMG_2390

So, I think it was a very good year. I revisited the three largest cities in America, became acquainted with new Egyptological treasures, returned to San Francisco, stared at Sarah Paulson who stared at me staring at her, delivered a number of lectures on ancient Egypt across the country, walked through Paris once more, made many new friends in Europe, learned a great deal about my grandmother’s life, saw Harry Styles’s golden boots with my own eyeballs, was in a commercial, had the best martini of my life, and learned never to wear yellow short shorts to the beach. I can’t wait for what this year has in store!

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