Friday, February 27, 2009

They call me Grace Kelly

Sup Den,

C'est vrai, ma petite est tres malade and I'm crossing my fingers that her health improves before our turn as groupies next week. On Monday, we leave for Barcelona to see Mimi's friends' band play. The boys are in an electronica band, which is a musical genre I'm unfamiliar with but fairly certain I don't like. However, as Meg previously mentioned, we'll be able to act out our Penny Lane dreams, so, whatevs (currently on the lookout for my very own shaggy fur lined coat).

In other news, we made quite a spectacle at a dude cafe yesterday. We've already talked about how most of the cafes in Marrakech are spilling over with men, sipping on tea and smoking cigs for hours on end, right? It's rare that you find a Moroccan woman enjoying a beverage at these cafes, as this seems to be a generally discouraged activity for les femmes.

Often I feel intimidated going into these cafes, as typically upon entering, total silence ensues and all eyes are on you for the duration of your stay (not in a sleazy way per se, but more in a totally baffled and confused way). Yesterday, Megs and I decided to suck it up and have lunch in a particularly crowded dude cafe. We entered confidently and ordered two cheese omelets. While eating, we were quietly discussing how we'd each gained some weight recently, and I realized I had an old US Weekly in my bag, with a "Diets That Work!" cover story.

I was covertly flipping through the magazine, which was partially tucked into my bag, softly explaining to Megan that she should go on Kate Beckinsale's "Can't Give Up Carbs" diet, when I tragically over-gestured. I made this sort of karate chop gesture in emphasizing Kate's diet regime, and with that, time slowed down... I hit the side of my plate, causing it to fly surprisingly high into the air, and my omelet to separate from it. With cat-like reflexes, I howled something like "myyyyy omeleeeeeet," and mid-air, CAUGHT the omelet in my hand as the plate crashed to pieces on the floor next to us. Half-way off the chair, and with my hand proudly raised in the air, grasping my miraculously unscathed omelet, I looked at Mimi. Her jaw was dropped to the table and eyes bulged out. A quick glance around revealed a similar reaction from all and I attempted to subtly place my omelet on a little side coffee plate. Well, lunch was cut very short and I was barely able to eat my omelet after that mishap, but I suppose, ultimately, that was good for my diet.


Lady Victory with omelet in hand

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More fun with my sister's boyfriend's facebook

dear den,

at home and sick as sick as a dog. i miss finn. like my sister before me, being sick means hours in bed with only Scizzle's facebook to keep me busy. if the next person to come to morocco on march sixth would be so kind as to bring me the 2nd book in the twilight vampire series, so i can find out if they go to vampire 2nd base, i would be oh so obliged. until then, any suggestions for the facebook will be appreciated and reviewed. today...

Pascal is... on team Rihanna. Did you see the pictures? OMG

tu chiant,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The fair and witty Claire, read on and bookmark away

Mon Best Ami,

Yes, it's true, while you have been spending your hours toiling away at the Yale Libes (ok, looking at cute Art Library boy), I have started my days at a new job. So far it can only rival the previous jobs- smoothie and juice girl, LUXURY apartment building concierge, vintage kaftan salesgirl, mirror-making apprentice- in its bizarre tasks, peculiar hours and low pay.

So far the job has entailed going on market wide searches for a yellow bandannas, a certain brand of tomato can to make a cactus vase, a cactus, the pants that the industrial workers wear, a black baby, a blond man, fabric, pom-poms, red peppers, and the list continues. It has brought me to some of the dodgier parts of the Medina where I am trying to learn how to pronounce "laissez-moi tranquille, s'il vous plait" in Arabic (always glancing at my french-arabic dictionary before I say it). It generally just encourages my gentlemen callers to heckle and hassle me more. While waiting for our fabric to be dyed in one of the aforementioned areas, we had tea with the workers. We all know that I am something of a hypochondriac, and a bit phobic of germs, so to drink from the same cup as the rest of the men caused me distress that I thought manifested itself in being jittery and a bit nauseous. "I have realized, Megan, that the herb that they use to make this tea is absinthe," new boss says, as she tossed back her third cup. That explained a lot. We also eat a lot of couscous together, and complain about men.

In other news (and in the interest of FULL blog disclosure), I have met a boy at the notorious music night and actually used an emoticon in our conversations to keep up with his excessive use of them. It slipped and I regret it. If we start dating, will I start listening to Norah Jones and having genuine responses when questioned about my passions?

Megan Marion

Monday, February 23, 2009

I have a special box, too!

Salut Saint Denis,

Did you host your annual Oscar bash last night? I hope that you were pleased with the winners (Megs scoffed at me this morning and called me a “such a dork” because when she told me Slumdog Millionaire won, I tried to high five her in joy) and that you did not overindulge in your famous seven-layer bean dip, as you’ve been known to do.

After several nights of my own overindulging last week, I declared this past weekend to be dedicated to physical activity. On Sunday, we drove about 90 minutes from Marrakech to go hiking in Imlil. This is a wonderful little mountain village that is filled with pink mud-brick houses and walnut trees galore. When you drive up to Imlil, you’re basically attacked by dozens of local "tour guides" who offer to take you on a hike. A tour guide is necessary, as you can easily get way off track in the mountains and things could go all Sheltered Sky on you. The trick is finding one that doesn’t totally rip you off and isn’t completely focused on procuring a kiss (a lesson we learned from our guide in the Ourika Valley, who almost proposed to young Mimi and has been calling here for three months, now).

We chose the one guy who was not sticking his hands in the windows of the car, and I think we chose right in young Brahim. He took us on a great hike through a few different villages and into the mountains. From the top of our climb, we could see Ouikaimeden (remember, the ski station with all the cool onesies) and Jabal Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. Pascal thought it was super funny to trip me in the snowy areas and watch me tumble down the hill. Well, I really fell for Brahim when at one point, out of nowhere, he pinned Pascal down and yelled to me in a mix of Berber, Arabic and French, to demolish Pascal with snowballs. I did so and Brahim and I were subsequently partners in all snow ball fights.

He invited us back to his family’s house for mint tea and walnuts and placed this big box on the table in front of me. The Brahim show began… It was filled with postcards from friends, a few pictures of his one year living in Agadir, and ALL of his important documents (he’s also a bus driver and a ski station operator and I saw the paperwork to prove it, yo). After scrupulously examining all of the contents in his special box, he gave us freshly baked bread for the road, and we headed back to the city.

That’s really all the news from these parts, Den. Oh, I nearly forgot, Mimi got herself a job assisting a stylist and is quite the working girl!! She’s 9-5 these days and I think is currently hunting through the souks for a bright orange bandana for her boss.

Missing you,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pascal is a small fish swimming in an ocean of love (last week's status)

Dear Mr. Jones,

I’m over the flu and I think Pascal might be the happiest about it. As Mimi mentioned, I appointed myself Creative Director (and little Megs was given an Editorial Assistant position) to Pascal’s facebook profile. With all of this flu induced down-time, I’ve really been able to commit myself to beefing up his interests and activities and also regularly updating his status. Pascie is extremely complex, with a deep passion for both karate and croque monsieurs. He’s memorized every word in the film Titanic and likes to shake his booty to Beyonce. He’s digs pizza and loves Sunday Fundays. He wishes every day were Valentine’s Day and today, he’s living La Vida Lo Carb (thank you, Dede, for that submission).

Probably almost dumped,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Under Pressure

Dear Den et les autres loyal readers,

It is a special week. This week is reader participation/ testing who really reads our blog because comments have been scarce of late. What do we want? YOUR STORIES! It can be quick, it can be pages, it can be a poem, it can even be a lie. Just a petit ditty about a travel experience. Romance gone wrong (ahem mmhk), food gone wrong (ahem jak), days upon days spent in a Paris McDonalds (ahem Denny), baggage stolen (ahem Tara), comme tu veux.

Please submit in the next week.

This is a test,
the MGMT

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pity City: Population 1

Mon petit prince,

Happy belated Valentine’s Day, my one true love! Did you do anything particularly romantic pour la fete? Perhaps find yourself a pretty, little artsy thing to take to a fancy-pantsy New Haven establishment?

Oh Den, I cannot say my Valentine’s Day was all that I’d dreamed of. Pascal planned a lovely weekend trip to Essouria, the little seaside town in Southern Morocco that we’ve mentioned before. Our plans to leave first thing on Saturday morning were thwarted by what I thought was a passing stomach ache. Around noon, I feigned recovery and we hit the road, Jack. The drive is just over two hours and is typically very pleasant, as you pass through some wonderful country side, olive tree farms, quaint towns, etc. But, when you are entering into the initial stages of war with a vile stomach flu, it loses its charm. I tried to keep up the charade of feeling well but that was difficult to pull off, when, at one moment, I was forced to curl up into a ball in excruciating pain, and the next, I would unintentionally fall into a deep, sweaty, flu-ish sleep. He called my bluff soon enough, but I convinced him that I would recover by the time we arrived to the sea.

That was not so. Upon arrival to our perfect hotel, I went directly to sleep. Later that evening, I pulled myself out of bed and insisted that we could go to our romantic V-day dinner. I’m not sure why he agreed to be seen in public with me as I looked like I’d been run over by a bus and had no energy to primp myself. My super hot outfit consisted of a black hooded sweatshirt, sandals with purple socks underneath and my hair was, well, I suppose its usual unkempt-self. Dinner was brief. I had a sprite and he had carpaccio and chocolate cake. I tried to be cheerful and cute, but again, that is hard to do when you have to stop talking every five minutes to wince in pain. I was asleep by ten.

Next morning, same charade. I pretended to be okay for our day on the beach but after a few minutes, I insisted he go surfing so I could camp out in the car. We called it a weekend after that. Oy va voi.

Lots of love,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My sister is a freelance writer based in Marrakech and New York

William Dennis Jones:

Julia Kelly is a freelance writer based in Marrakech and New York and has written for Interview, InStyle and InStyle Weddings.

Julia is practically famous. Denny, I am so proud.

Off to celebrate at Music Night! Rumor has it there is a battle between Trio Lab and Azziz no Good.


What's eatin' Zubides

Our femme de ménage, the illustrious and oft-spoken about Zubida, is in a huff today. Is there a problem with the engaged-to-be-engaged engagement with Mohammad? Is she offended that the amount of empty wine bottles in the house has multiplied since our return to Pascal's? In my pursuit to discover what's irritating our easily affected friend, I am discovering perhaps it is time for me to get a full time job.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Denny, I have been reading, reading, reading my days away

"By now I was beginning to form some generalizations about the International Set (not that I ever even found out if they were the Real Thing, I mean what standards would I have to judge them by anyway?). First of all, though very few seemed to be married at the time, they were all passionately involved with one another, This had a way of making conversations rather difficult. For instance, when one of them began talking to you it was impossible to predict which of the others was going to get sore. And the reason they got sore was that it was assumed that the one talking to you was also making a pass at you, and the reason that was assumed was that it generally was true. And the reason it was generally true, was that they had nothing else to talk to me about. Past parties-past and future parties, resorts in and out of season, their own lineages, and those of their friends were their only real contributions to a conversation, except for the one that went "I was in America once..." and then petered into a series of place names, so that by making a play for me I suppose they felt they were keeping their end up. Another thing about them was the way they kept inviting you places; they invited me to a different place on an average of every five minutes, but I discovered there were two rules of governing this: first, it had to be a place you'd never been to, like "What, you've never seen the Blue Grotto? I must take you there on the yacht this summer"; and second, it was understood that each invitation canceled the previous one- I'll leave you to guess what the very last one always was."

-the Dud Avocado, 1958

Sally Jay, you explain so much! I have a proclivity to reading literature that idealizes wherever I am living. I ready John Fante and Charles Bukowski when I moved to LA (okay, so they don't exactly romanticize the city, but somehow it did the trick) , switched to Paul Bowles and Gertrude Stein for Morocco (again, maybe they didn't paint the best picture and Mom almost didn't let us go after reading The Sheltering Sky) and now Elaine Dundy is almost convincing me to move to Paris.. in the 1950s. Well, Ms Dundy, thank you for explaining why Julia and I keep invited to go places, never with a follow up call, and why the married and "taken" men of this international set seem to continue to omit mention of very significant others. Oh, le Maroc!

Love you dearly,
I really do,

file under good ex boyfriends

Dear Denny,

You remember Amir and Jon from our glory days in LA? Well the boys of Jogger have been featured as Urb magazines top 100 new artists for 2009. Alas, I know not what Urb magazine is, but I swell with pride all the same. The handsome duo are off to tour Europe this month after a hot gig DJ'ing a Valentine's Day Dance at Princeton University. Well, finally Julia and I are to live out something of every girl's rock star (groupie) fantasy. Penny Lane. Thanks to Mr Mark Stinson, a clip of dialogue:

William Miller: You said we were going to go to Morocco. There is no
Morocco. There's not even a Penny Lane. I don't even know your real
Penny Lane: When we go to Morocco, I think we should have completely
different names and be completely different people.
William Miller: What will our names be?

Yes, maybe it had something to do with us moving to Morocco.. And now, we are scheduling (albeit carefully, impulsively is not a trait of our American selves) to follow the band. This blog may really change directions now that we are band girls. Oh dear, I though I gave up boys-in-bands-in-tight-pants-who-prefer-whiskey-to-me during my Wesleyan Days.

Inside of your heart,
Megan Marion Lane

Monday, February 9, 2009


Hi dude,

The sun has finally returned to Morocco after an unprecedented ten days of non-stop rain. Let me tell you, ol' boy, this town is not equipped for that much rain. The streets were constantly flooded and there wasn't a roof sans leak in sight. We celebrated le retour de soleil yesterday with a Sunday Funday that involved eating various fatty things in different outdoor locations (chicken sannies and Rose by a pool, chocolate fondant on a deck, etc.). We ended Sunny-Sunday-Funday with dinner at Pascal's house avec his lovely neighbor Marco. Mimi prepared harira, a traditional Moroccan soup that is filled with lentils, onions, saffron and various other spices. Typically, we purchase vegetables only to watch them rot in the fridge and occasionally comment on their slow demise, but in our efforts towards self-improvement, we tossed every last veggie in the fridge into a huge salad. Finally, Pascal prepared some sort of baked cheesy pasta dish that was pretty yummy.

Den, I'm not giving you all of these food details because it was some sort of culinary masterpiece to be replicated, rather to help us both understand what happened at the end of our meal. It was that post-feast moment of satisfied silence and digestion. I had just taken sip of wine, when from across the room came a distinct, not-to-be-messed with, burp. My eyes widened when I saw that the origin of the burp was none other then our beloved little Mimi. Yes, the delicate, lovely and always proper Mimi quite unintentionally let out a very gratified and guttural belcheroo. All guests were in a state of collective disbelief and Meggie herself looked rather baffled. Though, within just a few seconds, I was barreled over in hysterical laughter, attempting to keep the not yet swallowed wine in my mouth. Pascal then erupted into laughter and Marco soon joined in. After Mimi recovered from her initial shock at the most distinguished burp of '09, she, too, fell victim to an uncontrollable giggle fit.

I mean, people burp all of the time and it's no big woop, but ma belle soeur simply does not…If I only had a video of the whole fiasco to send around, many pants would be peed in...many, many pants.

Lots of love,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

There are two types of people in the world

Dear Den,

Remember when we were living with my mama for a bit before our "unique" living situation in the attic of the mansion? Well, I know you will appreciate the new theme of things that Libs is saying because honestly, Den, Mother is still making the most silly comments. It delights me to no end.

Elizabeth: i don't think that my daughters are interested in communicating with their mother who carried them each around for nine months throwing up and losing her youthful and perfect body to bring them into this world. i guess i will have to adopt new daughters.

Libby, what are you talking about?!?

Saturday night and I ain't got nobody,

Friday, February 6, 2009


In lieu of posting a blog entry today, I will redirect you, my faithful four blog readers, to an apt description of our year of spiritual discovery.

Perhaps someday though, I will tell you about my visit to the home of the former fashion editor at Italian Vogue to see her collection of vintage Italian designer clothing, Julia's sabotaging of Scizzle's facebook (he is now a fan of Beyonce, rose and karate), the mysterious "chocolate pudding" that we ate at a dinner party the other night that was certainly, we found out ex post facto, infused with a certain something that I will not disclose on our blog (Brokedown Palace? We always thought Claire Danes could play Julia in her biopic) but that makes me a bit anti-social and Julia a bit completely giggly goop (a word we just taught Pascal...), and the new game that the cleaning lady likes to play with me, where she hides my belongings all over the house and then pretends not to understand when I ask where they are. So for the moment I am off to find my running shoes, which could be under the kitchen sink, in the garage, or au salle de bains.

Kate Beckinsdale

Libby Andrus is so hot right now!


My sweet, sweet mother is being so redunkulously funny lately. I don't know what to make of it! Until recently, some technological advances have been rather intimidating to Libs. Pour exemple, le cell phone. She TOTALLY freaks out every time her cell phone rings. A common scenario: we're driving in the car (when her reaction is most perilous for bystanders) and her celly rings... a look of panic/doom falls over her lovely face, she begins waving her hands violently, forgetting entirely that she is operating a moving vehicle, and screeches something like, "there is a RING, coming out of this BOX, what on earth do I do, Julia??" She's slightly more comfortable with computers then cell phones, and has become a fairly adept e-mailer. In the last week, though, her hipness and techiness have reached insane new levels. The following are direct quotes from e-mails she wrote us via "interweb" correspondence:

"You ask me if I know how to skype? I am the QUEEN of skype!"

"I am starting my own blog soon and your lives will never be the same."

"The Frey has a new album coming out. FYI."

"I saw your birthday pictures on flickr and you look slammin'"

Holy cow, Momma. Keep it up!!

Signing out,

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Les enfants

Hey boy,

Alors, mon petit garcon. Mimi and I visited the orphanage yesterday where we will be working. There are about sixty five children living there, ranging in age from a week old to a few teenagers. Many of the children were abandoned by their parents in Marrakech and the surrounding villages. I have never actually been to an orphanage and was a little worried about how hard it would be to see these kids, but they all seemed surprisingly happy and were smiling and playing and having fun. The building is new and clean and they're even building a lovely little library. Tomorrow morning, Meggie and I report to the orphanage first thing in the AM to feed the babies. Eh, Deni, YES with bottles.

Love love,

Not to make light of this subject, but have you seen the movie El Orfanato?? About the woman who returns to her childhood home and it is an orphanage for handicapped children and they come back from the dead and sing really creepy songs in the yard? Holy crapsville, I have never been so terrified by a movie in my life. IN MY LIFE.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Neutral Zone

Oh me oh my, Denny, Flickr has been updated. Photos from the fete, lots of pictures of Pascal, Julia and me (the gang, you know.. Jesus Christ), and all the pictures from Morocco August- December that were hiding on Julia's camera until now. So if you have an hour, or five, take a looksies and don't hesitate to comment on any pictures where we are looking skinny or tan.

Breakups = great for the waistline,
Megan Marion


Mon chere Den,

Well, the party was wildly successful. I shall recount the events of Saturday, January 31st as best I can. Zoubeeds, Megan and I went to Marjane (a gargantuan grocery store that makes Sam’s Club look like a corner drugstore) on Saturday morning. Zoubeda went a lil’ bananas with the shopping and bought half the store. We returned to Pascal’s and proceeded to chop, peal and clean for several hours. Much like preparing for a party under my father’s charge, Zoubeda ran an extremely tight ship. No breaks were allowed and we couldn’t eat lunch until most of the work was done. At one point, I tried to covertly paint my nails in the living room and was immediately busted. She shook her head at me in disapproval, brought in a bowl of potatoes and asked me to peal them mid-painting. Anyway, thank goodness for her work ethic as the place looked fabulous and we served at least ten lovely dishes (including mini burgers!!) to our guests.

Megs and I wore our best party dresses and of course had a pre-party pump ourselves up dance to the Macarena and YMCA (see above). We had about eight Americans and ten Frenchies over, and somewhat unfortunately, there was not much mixing between countries. The French were firmly planted in the living room and the Americans took over the hallway. Despite la separation, I think each group had fun. Pascal’s apartment was pretty much hot boxed with the amount of smoking. That was gross. Megan made a super awesome party mix. The notorious and enigmatic Leonard returned from his travels and he and Mimi engaged in their typical … banter, let’s call it. Zoubeed's future fiancé attended the party and though he only spoke Arabic, he actually mixed among everyone far better then the French or Americans did. He obvi gets most valuable player award. We had a delicious strawberry birthday cake and champagne. The night ended with Pascal and I singing Serge Gainsbourg’s “Bonnie and Clyde” as I danced atop a table. How very Paris Hilton of me.

Older and questionably wiser,