Saturday, March 31, 2007

What a lovely weekend it has been so far. My friend down the street had an art opening. We beat out three other people to buy a piece K- has had her eye on. You can check out his paintings on his new site Atelier/ Romanos. Another favorite is the Space Bee series one of which is shown on his site- we have one of these as well- I'll post the painting later this week. The opening was great- just a lot of fun people, wonderful paintings in a nice spot- very good energy.

One conversation I overheard-
Woman: Wow I think I slept with most of the guys over in that corner.
Her Boyfriend: We should call my friend Will, you haven't slept with him...yet.
*This is the painting we bought.

Saturday Day: We spent the day getting the house ready to sell. Much cleaning, photos, and trying to get a nice brochure together to give the illusion that the house is worth every penny we are asking.

Saturday night, walking down the main drag I run into Busker playing harmonica with several musicians.
Busker: Hey, I've been reading your blog.
Misplaced: Yea? What do you think?
Busker: It's very...bloggy.
1 hour later
Misplaced to self:" What the fuck does that mean?

Friday, March 30, 2007

I just told my boss I'm quitting in August to move to Paris.
Zoiks! It has begun.
I need to get back into the swing of things and I think I've left a few questions unanswered. I wrote the following post a few days ago and afterwards read from a blog which I enjoy immensly, Self Taught Artist. She talks about the real fears involved with leaving security and pursuing a dream. It's strange but that, in part, is what this post is about but I want to think more about the real fears involved- the fears I've purposely not explored because I thought it might keep me from chasing the dream. I'm pondering that this weekend. I like when someones writing challenges me to do a little soul searching

Paris. It was a great trip and we did what we wanted. Our plan in going there was to walk the neighborhoods and decide if this was a place we wanted to live. Seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it? Paris versus the Midwest….hmmmm. Maybe the choice is obvious but there is a romance factor with Paris that you have to get past. When I think of living in a foreign city I immediately roll into a romantic notion of what it would be and my romantic version of life is nowhere close to reality.

An Italian friend of ours lived in Paris for several years working in restaurants before opening his own place here. He made an interesting and simple point when he said “living in Paris is considerably different then visiting Paris.” So we went to Paris to walk the neighborhoods. We didn’t go to any museums, we didn’t clutch The DaVinci Code in our sweaty little hands as we searched for the sacred feminine and we did not tell one Frenchman that “we saved his ass in the big one” although it was tempting –we, essentially, took a 12 day stroll around town.

I have to be honest -part of it scared me. I haven’t had to live without the security of money for a long time. I’ve always had enough squirreled away that it would take a major financial crunch to unnerve me. I’ve grown used to living in a house with different rooms for different activities and a yard to work on and a car in the garage. It will be different, but of course, that’s the point.

I don’t know that Paris will inspire me as a writer. Truth be told I could just as easily, perhaps more so, write in the Midwest and work a job and keep my house and be near family and friends but for reasons unknown I want to put it all on the line. I want to sink or swim as a writer within the year. I want to be able to look back on it and say ‘I gave this writing thing a fair shake.’

This sink or swim attiude is fine when you are on your own but that is no longer the case for me. K- will sink or swim with me. She is being a good sport in putting our lives on hold for this dream of mine. She has, in fact, made this her dream. She will get her masters She was just accepted to teh AUP (American Univeristy in Paris), study French, and, perhaps, learn to tie a scarf.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What a day. Mediation seems to be a common occurrence in my line of work. 2 or more parties feel they’ve been screwed over and want to sue each other. The contract states you have to mediate before you are permitted to sue.

We completed a project 8 years ago, and this year the owner decides they are entitled to compensation for something they feel was faulty. They don’t acknowledge that with 8 years they might have mistreated this item all they know is they want money to the tune of $90,000. Why they are entitled to this money is unclear. We tell them to take a hike, they sue us, we sue them and there little dog too. Six hours later nothing is resolved- mediation, in this instance didn't work.

Sorry about the dull post, but it was that kind of day.

Wait! It wasn't a completely wasted day- I managed to squeeze in a little personal business. I went to the justice center and got my fingerprints taken. If you move to a foreign country you have to have a complete criminal check by the FBI. I suspect the FBI likes to have fingerprints on file as well. Since we will soon loose all our civil rights I figure I might as well give my fingerprints up now and have a locator chip installed behind my ear (not really). I think I wrote in the past my discomfort with the government having my finger prints on file so I wont bore you with that again...maybe I'll try to find the link but I don't recall the post being that good.

It's always an adventure going to the justice center. The last time I was there I was bailing Aaron out for robbing that convenient store(Christ another link is needed). Sex offenders are there registering their new addresses and everyone wants to borrow your phone because "my bitch ain't come to pick me up and she knewed I was gettin' out" When the lady who did the prints asked me why I needed them I said, "because I'm moving to Paris" and she said "Wow, that's refreshing"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I went to an AA meeting while I was in Paris- actually a couple of them. AA is the same everywhere. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are the same characters are always represented. I could be in a meeting in the middle of the Serengeti listening to someone click and knock about their life in sobriety and I’ll think, “hell, he’s just like Junkyard John from back home.”

I have a lot of issues with AA- but I try not to bitch too much about it because it did save my life. But the one thing I will say about it is that there is a fine fellowship involved. We went to a meeting in the south of France a few years ago and immediately were taken under the wing of several very nice people. To not know anyone in Nice and after one hour to be enjoying the sun and a cup of coffee in an outdoor café with 6 people talking about things you couldn’t share with someone who hasn’t gone through the dark years, laughing about stuff that you’ve been through that others might find horrifying but your new friends not only understand but did.

There can be a creepy cult factor to AA- but only if you want to join a creepy cult. I use it as a stepping stone to what I think can be a higher plane. It’s a step- not the final destination.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

All and all I think working in the video store was an incredible experience. While I don't think I was homophobic before I worked there (I wouldn't have taken the job) but now I could put a friendly face to the 'love that dare not speak its name'.

I don't really consider myself tolerant because that suggests I tolerate homosexuals and that would misrepresent my feelings. I can honestly say that I trully do not care who is sexually attracted to whom. It means nothing to me at all- it isn't enlightenment or tolerance, its apathy.

There is one final story that I can remember from the store.

As I mentioned, I was relatively young and naive about the ways of the world when I moved to Chicago. The first time I saw a string of hookers lining the street on Broadway I couldn't believe it- I felt that, finally, I was seeing life.

A fellow came into the store and wanted to ask me for particular gay porn advice. Instead of explaining that I never watched it and would therefore have no opinion I tried my best at costumer service.

Customer: Yes, I'm looking for gay movie (read: porn) that involves water sports.
Misplaced: Hmmmm. Well all our gay porn is in that corner... water sports you say?
I have no idea what this means but I want to be helpful.
Misplaced: There is a video with a guy sitting in a swimming pool, that may be what your looking for.
Cusomer looks confused and goes to the porn corner
Reid: after I explained the exchange So you think water sports might be about playing Marco Polo or Volleyball in a pool?
Misplaced: "Perhaps- it might be a frolick of some sort in a pool"
Reid: Yea, no it means one person urinating on another"
Misplaced: Oh my

Now you may say:Midwest, quit living in the past, what does this little story have to do with today? Well, I'll tell you.

A few nights ago I was looking up stuff for our move and I came across a site that that was for people who have moved to Paris. From what I could gather it sounds as though these English speakers get togther a few times a month for dinner or picnics- basically its a chance to meet other expats. Since I am not a big fan of making friends I thought that I better extend myself and build a support network for those days that K- isn't talking to me. I signed up on-line, sent a picture and a brief introduction. After I became the newest member I began to realize that this group might actually be a singles club. This, in itself, is not bad but I thought my wife might take issue with it- she's funny that way. K- got a kick out of it and checked out the site. She informed me that it wasn't only a single place it looked as though it might be a a gay single site. That's what I get for trying to extend myself. But the point of this long, drawn out, sordid story is that if one of my new buddies emails me asking if I'd like ot join in their water sport activities in Paris I can say, with confidence, that... "No sir, I do not"

Monday, March 26, 2007

The post from last week got me thinking about the gay, pornagraphic video store where I workled- It's funny how stories that you've long since forgotten come flooding back all of a sudden.

I normally worked alone in the video store- it was small and there wasn’t unreasonable amounts of traffic. As with any job were you work costumer service there are always customers who are assholes. That’s just the nature of the beast. I see them now as I stand in line at the grocery stores or a gas station. Little people bitching at the cashier because of some minor inconvenience, usually something out of the cashiers control, like the fact that their coupons are expires, or the price of gas is going up. It used to piss me off, but now I see it for what it is- pathetic. These are people with absolutely no power- they are taking swings at someone who they know can’t swing back.

At Specialty Video and Audio I was once entrusted with doing the front window display- which, if you think about it, is a pretty major accomplishment. Its no Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus-but when gay guys let the straight guy do the window display well, the times they are a changin'. I can say that I, too, have been to the mountain top and it's very tastefully done.

It was an important window display because two events collided in the gay community in a way not seen since Wham got together. First: The new Jeff Stryker porn video, Powertool, was due in any day. Second: Barbra Steisand’s, Color Me Barbra CD was coming out. So, as you can imagine, we were all a-tizzy. There was excitement in the air.

I hung the Barbra CD’s and movie’s on fishline so they appeared to be magically floating (if you were legally blind, otherwise they looked like they were hanging from fishing line.) and I used those peal off letter to spell her name at the front of the display. I wont say I was proud of this work- I actually would have forgotten the whole afternoon if there wasn’t an incident. There is always and incident. An hour after I had completed, a man came busting through the door. His face was red and he was livid. I quickly assessed the situation to see if I need to fake some Kung fu moves- but I recognized him as a regular who was always kind of rude to me.

“I can’t believe it!” he screamed at me. "She is a big enough star that one would think that even you could spell her name correctly."

I tried to remember my customer service manual chapter entitled "How To Handle An Irate Client" #1 Establish what the problem is.

"What the fuck are you going on about?" I queried

“You spelled Barbra’s name B-A-R-B-A-R-A”

I answered with a furrowed, confused brow

“It’s B-A-R-B-R-A.!!” He stammered- unable to control his rage.

He was steamed but you have to admire the loyalty he had to her, well…maybe you don’t.

You have heard the line “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” I know this to be true.

As the new Assistant Manager I wont say that I had absolute power at the gay video store, but when a limited number of Jeff Strikers "Powertool" hit the shop and the throng of gay man pleaded for a copy its safe to say I misused what little power I had. I kept all the copies behind the counter and would only rent it to the people I liked. He who controls the porn- controls BoysTown. When the irate Barbra Streisand spelling-bee champ asked for a copy I looked behind the counter pretending to search.

“…hmmm P, P, P, Powertool, P,...P as in People Who Need People? hmmm... Powertool, Powertool No, I don’t see it back here. Could you spell it for me”

Coming between a gay man and the new Jeff Stryker video is a dangerous game but I was young, reckless, had really nice hair and that's how close to the edge I rolled back in the day.

Most of the people I worked with were great guys. My musical tastes were effected enormously, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone- all the great women jazz singers where played in the shop- music I still listen to today.

I even got confortable enough with one of my workmates, Reid, to ask the question I've always wanted to ask.

"So Reid, really, how can you kiss a man? I mean.. the lips and face are all hard n' shit" I was 20 and literate like a mother- fucker.

Reid responded, "that's what makes it so great. I'll tell you, once in high school, I touched a girls breasts and it was like falling into something."

So there you have it, the main difference between gay and straight men.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Here's a picture I took with sexual chocolate- I probably should have shaved before visiting Paris.
Cool metro sign. I stared at it for a second before I could place it. Anyone want to venture a guess?
Hint: 28IF (warning the hint my be trickier than the puzzle)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I came from what some might consider a large family... but in my Irish Catholic world, having 6 kids was pretty average. Everything had to be larger in a big family, meals were an assembly line. Only a VW bus would do, and school lunches lined the table like paper bag soldiers. The bill for groceries must have been outrageous. There has to be more of everything when a family is large.

As a child, I watched as my father and older brothers wrestled with our new kitchen table. They had bought it in an auction- a large, wood, second-hand library table. Dad brought it home strapped dangerously to the top of the family VW. Somehow they managed to get this oversized table into the kitchen, but once in they were unable to turn and position the table where my mother wanted- it was simple too large. In exasperation, my father fired up the circular saw and cut 4 feet off one side. “This side will be the one against the wall,” my father proclaimed.

A family needs a big kitchen table to conduct its business. Meals are only one of the tables duties. Report cards were scrutinized here, molten candy was poured on slabs of marble and cut on this table, dough was kneaded here. I hurt my shoulder as I walked by the corner of the table when I was a boy, and I hurt my hip on the same corner as an adult. We toasted the life of my grand mother here. I overheard my parents discussing my runaway brother at this table. The kitchen may be the heart of a house, but the kitchen table is the soul.

We grew older and each of us moved into our own homes with our own kitchen tables. My parents no longer needed the large table and gave it to a workman. As much as they would have liked to have kept the table it was time for it to go to another family.
What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The South
The Northeast
North Central
The West
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
I lived in Chicago for 10 years, but I always thought I had a slight southern accent being so close to Kentucky, maybe not....oh wait, is taking a silly quize like this considered stealing from work?

Friday, March 23, 2007

I completely forgot to mention two important Paris experiences.
1. I stepped in dog shit
2. Someone Pfffted* me.

I teared up a little when they happened.
Aaahhhhhh, Paris in Spring.

*Anyone from Paris please feel free to correct this: "pffft" is a sound parisians make when they are annoyed (I think). It's a short burst of air through the teeth. I don't remember what I did to deserve this honor, but K- was giddy after it happened.
I have got to rethink a few things.

I have this plan to write a book. The plan does not involve getting the book published, only writing it. I used ot laugh at myself for this goal, if your going to plan why not plan big, plan the publication, the movie rights, the classic status? I can get lost in the dream sometimes- I could easily have an Oscar speech completed before I've ever taken an acting class, so I'm trying to keep it simple. I need to work in baby steps and not lose sight of what is important. What is important is that I'd like to write a complete story that I believe in. I'm beginning to think that an entire book it too much to chew. I will focus on a smaller goal- write a chapter, write a page, write one decent paragraph.

The weather in the Midwest has been beautiful. It was 70 degrees yesterday and I even heard the faint rumblings of a spring thunderstorm. There is nothing I like more than thunder that rattles the windows- it makes me feel safe and secure in my house to hear all hell breaking loose outside.

Ponette, the tricolored bitch cat from hell, vomited on me last night while I slept. Actually she threw up on the downcomforter that covered me. When I was naive I would have explained this away as just an unfortunate accident. I even would have picked her up and said, "ohh does my little kiddy widdy have an upset tummy wummy?"- now I know- cats are the vengeful agents of Satan. This is what I remember of the events in question: As I made my way to the bathroom, in the middle of the night, I accidently kicked Ponnette, who was sitting on the floor. She threw up on me after that...coincidence? I think not. Cats are very resentful which is why there are no cats in heaven- that is absolutely true. They go to cat hell where, for all eternity, they try to play with kitty toys that are just out of reach under the couch.

(This is my second post regarding cat vomit -yea team!)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

After college I moved to Chicago to begin my adult life in the working world. I did not actually have a job. My major was in sociology and my grades were pretty bad but that didn’t get my spirits down, I knew that with my can do attitude and cursory knowledge of sociology I could land a fine job with many perks.

I began working at the gay video store about 3 weeks after moving to Chicago. The perks included free video rentals and since I didn’t have a VCR they also let me lug home the rental VCR which came in a huge plastic suitcase and weighed about 20 pounds.

Specialty Video and Audio wasn’t actually a gay video store- it was a video store that happen to also carry gay porn in a part of town called Boy’s Town, across from a bar called “The Closet” and a block over from another place called “The Manhole”…ok maybe it was a gay video store. Have I mentioned I’m not gay? I’m relatively thin, neat and I like (dare I say, adore?) musicals so every once in awhile I like to interject that I am, in fact, not gay.

I easily moved up the corporate ladder to become assistant manager…and no, you little perverts I did not sleep my way to the top, I didn’t have to- they could spot my can do attitude, problem solving skills and desperation for 25 cents more an hour.

Everyone else that worked at the video store was gay (we have established that I’m not gay, right?) and they gave me the endearing nickname of “Breeder”. It was a bit of a misnomer as I don’t recall doing much ‘breeding’ at all back then. I had not yet met a woman with a can do attitude that would allow me to prove my heterosexuality on a consistent basis.

The women that did come into the store were lesbian. A nice enough group when sober but a treacherous mob when coming out of The Closet on a friday night. It seemed that every friday night I had to listen to the same slurring lesbian and her lover angrily explain the problem with the “painfully obvious MAN produced girl on girl porn” that we rented. “It’th a beautiful thing.. two woman” one would belch at me as her girlfriend held her steady. They would rent “On Golden Blonde” and stagger out arm and arm.

As the Assistant Manager I probably should have defended our gay films (I was at this point calling them films and not movies) but the real life lesbians scared me. The ones that frequented The Closet were a rough and tumble bunch that were quick to fight when liquered up. I can only assume that kicking the ass of heterosexual male would make for a good story around the old lesbian campfire and my self esteem had been battered enough.
I had forgotten how important it is to step back from my world every once in awhile- to look at my life with fresh eyes. What seemed important no longer matters, what is truly important I've been taking for granted. I hope I wont always need to be reminded of this, but I suspect I will.

My goal is to look at my life with fresh eyes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Well, the blogging in Paris did not go as expected. There were three reasons for this, I began to loose interest in writing at the end of each day, it was a bitch to get Internet connection, and at some point you are given the opportunity to write about it or do it and I opted for the 'doing it'. These, of course, are lame excuses but I'm sticking to them.

One of the WiFi hotspots that I could connect to the Internet was at a bench in front of a sexy lingerie shop and since I did my posting late at night I must have looked like quite a little pervert- banging away on Sexual Chocolate and giggling- it probably made for a disturbing picture (which I could have taken because my new computer does that)

I'm not certain where the French get the reputation of being rude. We met some of the kindest people on this visit and others. There are, of course assholes, but that's to be expected in a big city. It was certainly better than New York. It could be that I'm the asshole- some guy was trying to sell some braided African thread to K- at the base of Sacre Cour- when he didn't listen to her saying 'No!' several times- I told him to "fuck off" which he repeated to me and then he fucked off. We also had one waitress try to get us to give her an additional tip even thought the tip was included which annoyed me, but in retrospect it was pretty minor. I was trying to figure out why I was so pissed about that and I think it was because I realize that when we move there we will be vulnerable to scams, such as incorrect change, tipping, etc. There was some rudeness in waiters as most people have heard about- this bothered K- but I didn't care if waiters are rude or not, as long as the food shows up their opinion of me means little

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

11:00 Am

K- is interviewing with the American University this morning and I have part of the day to myself. This is a good thing. It used to bother K- about how much 'alone time' I need- I hink we've compromised well. I'm sitting in a park on Ille de St. Louis listening to David Gray on my iPod and enjoying a moment in my head. I'm on my way to Jim Morrison's death apartment in the Marais and I'm already disappointed. I'm making this little visit because I told myself I would. He mattered to me in high school but, as a grown man, I'm less intrigued. Pills and alcoholism are less romantic when you've awoken in your own piss and vomit because of them. Maybe this little pilgrimage is a reminder of how my life got better. I am in a mental place that I could never have imagined. Good lord, that brought a little tear to my eye, time to move on ands see where that fat motherfucker died...there now I'm better.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


K- and I strolled through the Luxembourg Gardens this morning. It was already close to 60 degrees. We walked several miles and bought lunch items for a picnic and walked back toward the Seine for a snack. We were side -tracked when we passed rue du Cardinal Lemoine. It was at 74 Cardinal Lemoine that Hemingway his wife and their child lived, and where his memoirs, A Moveable Feast, took place. We walked around the area and photographed the apartment exterior as well as the studio where he wrote. Unfortunately, I forgot the cord to connect the camera to the computer so I can’t actually prove we saw any of these places- you’ll just to have to take my word for it.

In his book, A Moveable Feast, Hemingway writes about the time between 1922-1923 when he, his wife and their son were staying at this apartment. It was so cold, he wrote, that he would spend the day out at a cafe drinking and writing. He doesn’t mention what his wife and child were doing during these cold snaps; presumably they managed to stay warm. Not to belabor the point, but he also writes of being broke and hungry and going to the American Express office to get some much anticipated money. Prior to going home with the paycheck, starving he stops at the Café Lipp for a meal- again, no mention of what his wife and kid were doing at the time. She did survive, at least long enough to divorce him.

Hemingway loved Paris. In 1944, after the liberation, he famously said that he and his troops were off to liberate the brandy from the Ritz, of course today we would call that looting but back then it was considered “folksy”.

Here's the funny thing about Hemingway- everyone praises his writing but you know he was probably an asshole. Who wouldn’t want to sit down with the man for a drink? But it seems to me that after he's thrown back a few pernods or whatever the kids were drinking back then- he's going to start pestering you to arm wrestle. "What ya think ya can take me!" he'd scream as he slammed his elbow on the table (trying not to cringe at hitting it too hard.) I would imagine that of all the writers in Paris, he'd be the first one to call you a pansy. I suspect that Gertrude Stein could have taken him ...but my visit with him would have been as short and to the point as his sentences.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I’m sorry about the lack of posts I’ve had a terrible time getting on-line and getting blogger to do what I want it to.

Thursday March 9, 2007
5:50 PM

It’s neither here nor there but K- has given away all the girl scout cookies I bought. I had stock piled enough to last me until the next sales drive. We’ve been married a little over a year; I guess the honeymoon s over.

I intend to write about every mundane thing that happens on this trip- and where better to discuss mundane items than the airport. We ran into P. J. at the airport, she was working one of the counters. After speaking to her for a while she reached into her Delta drawer, I thought she might be pulling out an upgrade to business, instead she handed us a stack of complimentary drink tickets. Why she thought we might want 18 free beers is unclear but we thanked her. Since neither K- nor I drink you may think this is a wasted gesture… but free drink tickets on an 8-hour flight is cold hard currency. Our fellow travelers will be our prison bitches by the end of this flight-sweet.

Friday 2:15 AM
Somewhere over the Eastern US

Miscellaneous flight information: Flight attendant would NOT give the guy in the cowboy hat an empty cup because “I know what you’ll do with it” I was intrigued but it just turned out she knew he would use it for spittin’ tobacco. Smokeless tobacco has been banned from flights for 5 years, did you know that? Of course you didn’t because you aren’t a red neck. She left, he turned to his friend and said, “like I aint gong to be chewing”

Hs friend commented that they had a 9 hour lay over in aris, some across the aisle said it would be a chance to check out the city, he responded “I fuckinging hate Paris”- so there you have it. These are just two of the people representing America. Yea Team!

Hints for the airplane: Buy the adapter to convert your iPod headphones into the movie headphones.

Kelly and I slept 5 hours thanks to Dr. Swing’s natural sleep aid. I believe this is the first time I’ve gotten solid sleep on a plain.

Guys that wear baseball caps on the plane look silly
Girls that wear sweat pants with writing on the ass look as silly even if they do ‘Love Pink”

Friday 12:15 PM

It can’t get any easier than this. We landed early, we breezed through customs, our luggage was waiting for us was we entered the baggage area. The RER at 8 Euros apiece brought us to Gare du Nord where we switched to the metro line- took the #4 (purple line) got off at St. Germain des-Pres. It was all quick and painless- a rarity.

We met Stephanie Palmer at the apartment in St. Germain des-Pres. Her mother purchased the place when she was 18 for a song. It’s perfect. She has a place that she thinks will come available next year in the 7eme. We are having a problem connecting to the Internet but she assures us that she will have it figured out.

Friday 11:45 PM: We just got back from very long walk. The streets are jammed with people around St Michael- in the dark people are still photographing Notre Dame. We had a late dinner at la crepe rit du clown, just a few doors down from out apartment. Crepe entre and chocolate crepe for desert is a bit much- a strong café helped us through the first sleepy day here. The weather is chilly- a sudden rain and then it clears again. We are having trouble with the wireless network, which we are hoping will be resolved by Saturday. We’d rather these posts be somewhat more timely but that hasn’t happened just yet.

We are both tired and our legs our sore, but we did well our first day here.


We slept in until 10:00- and moved very slowly. I went out for a stroll with Sexual Chocolate looking to tap into someone’s WiFi- I was finally able to on a bench about a half a mile from the Deux Magots- thank you to the Thomas family, whoever you are.

We had heard the 10th might be a nice place to live so we went there first. Most people, myself included , know this area from the movie, Amelie- this is where she skipped stones in the St Martin Canal- I liked the area very much, a little more quiet and I would assume a bit more affordable. We took the metro to the Marais and had a Café Crème near the monument to the Bastille- The storming of the Bastille involved several thousand Frenchman attacking 9 people and eventually winning.- I’m sure there’s more to the story but I’m too tired to look it up.

We walked from the Marias to the Tuileries Garden amid a sea of people. The weather is beautiful, 60 degrees and sunny. Everywhere you look are people, people who smoke, people who smoke and look great. Damn these French bastards- its been awhile since I’ve truely wanted to smoke but they make it look good.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

K and I leave tonight for Paris. We are all packed up, we have someone staying at our house and she has been approved by Ponette the tri-colored cat from Hell, which, as most cat owners know, is quite an accomplishment. Ponette did vomit by my airplane snacks- so she isn't 100% comfortable with the trip but it wasn't on the snacks so she isn't totally against it. My new black macbook, Sexual Chocolate, has been charged up and is awaiting furious and inspired typing with a cafe creme. A very sharp man bag has been procured from my artist buddy down the street.

There are two reasons for the trip, the first is to go to Paris again, no explanation really required with this reason. The other is to see if we really want to live there for a year, leave our family and friends, give up our jobs (more importantly our paychecks) and pursue our own desires for one year. I want to write and K- wants to get her masters degree. To that end K- will be sitting in on classes at the American University in Paris Monday and Tuesday and I will pretend to write but more likely wonder around aimlessly. No matter what we decide it will be a great trip.

I will, of course, blog but if this is the last entry it probably means I was unable to get an Internet connection, although I think it will be fine.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Strangely, I am fairly productive at work today even with the imminent trip to Paris. But I was stopped in my tracks with a sudden thought. I am researching some items we will need to provide for an MSD project that is being bid. A few of these items are:

Parshall Flume
Biotrickler Scrubber
Open Channel Flowmeter, Bubbler Type

So, this is the sudden thought I had: What are these things? Why am I researching them? What happened to my plans to become a sociology professor? Wasn't I supposed to be published by now?

That’s all- time to resume my research of Hose Reels- Reelcraft Model 83050.

* By the way, the photo is a picture of the Macho Monster Model 40002-0024-DL. It grinds sewage waste, that's right- shit, it's a shit grinder- I will know more about this than one man should- kill me now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I have my very fancy BlackMac (Sexual Chocolate), I’m sitting in a coffee shop and wireless connection has magically appeared. This is the first time I'm blogging while out and about. I’m sitting, sitting, sitting. A latte has been ordered, I’m sitting, sitting sitting …nothing, I’ve got nothing. This fancy Mac isn’t working at all. It’s like the Kabala of writing implements- it's just not working. No clever observations, no sweet childhood reminiscences, hell I can’t even muster up a story about alcohol, drugs and death.

I will say that I’m pretty useless at work…way too much time spent dreaming about Paris and since my internet use is unsupervised you can imagine there is very little project management occurring, which is fine. Sometimes its best to let the work progress as God intended, at least that’s what I tell myself.

Time for French, this has been a lame entry but it's my first, be kind.

Monday, March 05, 2007

What a lovely weekend we had- at the start it seemed overwhelming. We had dinner plans every night beginning last Wednesday. Other than going out with our friends down the street I'm not a big 'going outer'- Sometimes? yes Every night? no. But we went out with K-s father one night and her high school friends another night and there were threats that we would have to go out with her Grandmother last night but I could handle all of that because there was also a plan of us going out and buying me a Mac notebook. The laptop is all part of the moving to Paris and writing plan. Moving to Paris involves many plans and sub plans and plans of making more plans. I am of the mistaken notion that if I have the very latest and expensive technology it will make me a better writer- I know this is foolish, but it is a belief I can't shake.

Saturday I tried to play it cool with K- "No hurry in going to the Apple store," I say as though I had forgotten the plan, - "I'll work out first -well see if we can squeeze it in today" Inside my head I'm saying "gimme, gimme, gimme, now, now ,now". The plan (or was it a sub plan?) was to buy a Mac Pro. Those are the Silver laptops that Mac makes. They are a lot more expensive but that must mean they are better, right? The woman, Barbara, who was helping us, and with whom I might be having coffee with tonight*. said "No! You do not need the Silver one- you need the Black one which is much less expensive"- I don't deal in gigabytes, googleplex of ram mean nothing to me- I deal better in colors. Silver is very good, Black is not as good but it is cheaper and will suit my needs and White is a little less than black but still better than we can imagine. So I decided on the Black one. With money saved and joy in my heart I caressed my new Black Mac- I've nicknamed it Sexual Chocolate- I understand and accept that there is a creep factor involved with that and I'm ok with that. We were budgeted for a certain dollar amount and we were spending considerable less than than that until... we bought The White Mac for K-, because that's how we roll. (This gives you a good idea of how fiscally irresponsible we are)

Sunday we both spent most of the day loading stuff on our little books. I would gently wipe away imagined fingerprints and specs of dust off my beloved Sexual Chocolate and gently stroke its cover as it slept. Poor Ponette the cat realized she has been replaced -at least momentarily.

*It turns out that Barbara lives near the coffee shop I go to before my Monday French class- and seemed to suggest that she would be there. It should also be noted that she continuously stared at K-'s breasts the 2 hours we were there and then gave us (K-) a student discount. I'm not certain if we inadvertantly whored K- out for that discount, but we will find out tonight. It was a pretty good discount so ...y'know... K- may have to take one for the team.

Friday, March 02, 2007


I was going to write a little about this house and what it meant to me. As I began I realized what I was writng was very familiar....ahh becasue I already wrote about it in October. A quick, cut and paste of the relevent items and here is the homage to the house on Hays.

This was the first house I owned. I lived in it as a tenant, drank too much in it, didn't pay rent, detoxed in 2nd floor front room and slowly got my life together.

I bought the house for cheap -which is exactly what I could afford. After the sale I walked through it, looking at it with fresh eyes. I would stand in a room and think to myself 'I own this'. Even the scraggly, Charlie Brown Christmas tree in the backyard didn't escape my figurative spraying of ownership, "yup, that diseased looking stick in the ground is mine." I was proud to own this house. The bank, of course, could argue who actually owned the property but screw them, the house was mine- I had earned it.

This morning a left the realator's office with a nice little check in my pocket and a spring in my step.
Last night we saw a 3 hour rendition of Hamlet. Three hours of anything is too much but even worse if you can't hear what's going on.

If a company wants to put on a Shakespeare play, more power to them, but if their actors can't enunciate or project their voices there is no point in it. Truth be told, I couldn't wait for them all to die at the end- even as Hamlet lay dieing and utters his last soliloquy, I'm thinking, "stab the motherfucker again."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I don’t think I’ve ever really written about my job. Most articles I’ve read about blogging suggest that you should not mix the two. I avoid writing about it, not because I’m afraid I would get dooced*, but because it isn’t that interesting- it’s a job, it’s a paycheck. I don’t get much personal gratification from a job well done- because I’m paid to do the job well. I am the project manager for multi million dollar building projects.

The first thing that you would notice about this job is the level of confrontation involved. It is an angry, testosterone-filled industry with head-on violent confrontation. It's peculiar that I'm in this industry because I do not like confrontation at all- I never have. As soon as people start yelling I want to be gone. I used to think that aversion to confrontation was a good, peace loving, spiritual character trait, but I know it was just cowardice. I don’t like confrontation because I don’t like to be yelled at and I’d rather not have to standup to the person yelling.

That has changed in the 8 years that I’ve been here. I have been in a room full of idiot male behavior, every one of them screaming at me, brow beating and trying to bully me and I stand my ground. If someone slams the table I slam the table harder- if someone cusses me out (which has happened many times) I sling it right back. If someone threatens to kick my ass (which has happened many times) I say “really?” and call the police right then and there. – I’m not going to actually get in a fistfight over anything, and it’s worth the look on their face to know that I’d have them arrested.

It has been a good experience to learn to say “No” and not be bullied into a “Yes”, but…I’m getting tired of the confrontation. I’m tired of the lawsuits and the yelling and the sticking out of the chest. I’m tired of the playground male bravado. Learning to defend my position is good, learning that not everyone has to like you is good but I’ve learned that lesson and I’m ready to move on.

*Dooced is an actual term, which means to get fired for blogging about work or during work hours. I, of course, would never do either of these things, and if you suggest I would I’ll have you arrested.