Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page


So far, we’ve had a few people come stay with us.  The first people who stayed were also our newest friends—the Kristines from Canada.  We met them in Berlin, and our paths crossed again just as we moved into this place.  Connie Lum, a friend from Susie’s high school, came recently.  She had some unexpected time off, something to do with an FBI raid, and her parents had just moved to Germany, so she went to visit them and stopped by on the way back.  While she was here, Paris had its first snowfall of the year.  We were out shopping for fabric, and were walking down one of the streets close to Sacre Coeur, when some guy threw a snowball and hit Susie right in the side of the head.  There’s apparently a tradition in Paris of throwing snowballs at everyone else upon first snowfall.  Its what comes of having strict laws against possession of handguns—people think they can get away with stuff like that.  We also hurried past the Opera Garnier, and I took some cool photos of it.


All this talk of photos, where are they already? Well, they will one day be on my web site.  Until then, you’ll just have to dream.  The personal web site and journal, located in spirit at, hasn’t yet appeared.  Most of my web time right now is spent on the Daily Trojan Alumni site and on various web projects HOP has undertaken.  Ill let you see some of those when they’re complete.  In the mean time, visit, to see a basic site redesign we undertook.  And buy the book; its a good read.


My good buddy George Stankow also took it into his head to take leave from work and visit Paris.  He spent Christmas here, and it was a joyous occasion.  The big win for me was a popcorn machine.  (Susie got some art books.)  The ironic thing about the popcorn machine is, a) we don’t have a TV so watching movies is a trial, and b) I couldn’t find any popcorn for weeks!  So once I used up the first bag, I was pretty much out of luck.  Paris does have several specialty food stores with U.S. things like Oreos for $12 per bag and PopTarts and Kraft Mac and Cheese and Mexican taco mix and Campbells soup.  But the popcorn at the U.S. stores was Jiffy Pop, and I’ve never gotten enough pop per kernel for my liking from Jiffy Pop.  But then I found a small store close to the Hotel de Ville that has 3 different kinds of popcorn.  Its a real oasis.  Point is, having George here was fun.  We saw a lot of the city, including the rather morbid Catacombs and the uplifting Louvre.  We’ve now got another USC-er in the area as well.  Eddie Siegel, Daily Trojan photographer who was working in Hong Kong, moved to Fontainebleau to get a Masters from INSEAD, a French business school.  We’ve visited him and he’s visited us, and its been really interesting to see his campus and his house, which is called “Le Grimondey” or something like that.  That’s a more suave name than “The Pink House,” which is where I lived when I was going to USC.


Well so far, I know that Toni Sciacqua and Brian Cochrane are coming over in May, Ken Braslow and my mom and sister are visiting in June.  I’ve got a chance to see Dorothy Ingebretsen in June and Dan Gaines in a week or two. Some other folks have talked about coming, or have asked me to meet them in various other European locations.  Susie and I are keen to have visitors and would also be happy to travel a bit to cross paths, so let me know.


The catch is, at some point, and I don’t know when yet, Susie and I will have to leave this apartment.  Mlle. Benzaken will be returning this summer to start a project doing stained glass for a church just south of Paris.  Shell either be returning June 1 or August 1 or some other date.  That’s about as much as you can pin the French down on these kinds of life-altering deadlines.  So, we are definitely looking for a new place to stay for the summer, even though it might not be necessary.  I’m really not looking forward to the process, though I guess it might be more accurate to say that I’m already putting off the process.


If by any chance you need a house sitter, or know someone who does, were the people for you.  Just in case.


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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