Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The train is beat up, marked with graffiti. It’s old and has been relegated to spend it’s final days on this crap run from Carcassonne to Nime- I’m going as far as Montpellier, where I’ll transfer to a more glamorous route- non-stop to Paris. For now we are just a commuter train. We make stops at Lezignan- Corbieres, Narbonne, Bezier, Agde and more. Train stations are always in the shit part of town as we roll in I wonder how anyone can live here.

There is a group of old people on the train- long retired, they are traveling together- it seems cozy and comfortable. They break out the picnic as soon as they board- drinking beer and wine, eating cheese and smelly foie gras sandwiches like we had on the drive down. Big, generous slabs of expensive foie gras between a soft baguette- no condiments needed. There are 7 of them 4 women, 3 men; I can’t tell which is the widow. I use the bathroom- the toilet is normal enough looking until you look in, it opens to the track below. What if a rock was kicked up while… I prefer not to think about it.

We pass mules, windmills, truck depots, stuccoes houses with satellite dishes, grape vine, grape vines, grape vines, rocky hills, windmill, canals, dieing brush. The Mediterranean is on the right, flat farmland that looks like central Ohio on the left. I’m reminded of my time in Chicago, not because of the landscape but because JML commented on my blog the day before. A name from the past- I had to think about the initials. Time clicks by quickly, jobs, houses, marriages, children, death, dreams, addictions, and breakdowns. It all goes by so quickly.

I think it’s been 13 years since I was living in Chicago. I was there from ages 21 to 30. The first 7 years were great the last 2 not so much. A little spiraling out of control blew me back home- leveling off and then spiraling again. It’s easy to dwell on regrets- but then again every bump in the road brought me to where I am today- and I like where I am. I’m not talking about Paris- but I like that too.

It is windy outside; leaves are blowing off the sycamore trees- a mountain range is on the left, Montagne Noir- Is that right? I bought a map of France at the train station this morning. I like to know where I am at any given moment. I like to see the big picture. Unfortunately, I spend so much time with my head buried in a map, looking for the big picture, that I often miss the small details that make up the moment. It drives my wife nuts. “Can’t we just walk?” It should be apparent by now that we can’t- at least I can’t.

The train is pulling into Bezier- a big church sits on the hill, we go over the Canal du Midi- same canal that runs through Carcassonne. It turns right before emptying into the Mediterranean, we continue straight toward Montpellier. I’ll get on a different train in Montpellier, a nicer, faster train- there will be no graffiti on that one. In four hours I’ll be back in Paris- I miss my wife.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It was a regular, old-fashioned road trip. We drove from Paris to Carcassonne- 7 ½ hour’s south- a relatively short distance from Spain. The snow capped Pyrenees showed themselves for a moment but disappeared. I’m not sure where 280 miles of mountains disappear to- maybe we just stopped looking at them. Kelly was unable to go- midterms but it was my brother and his family from Brussels. My 15-year-old niece discussed boys- a Dutch boy seems to be the newest beau and the fact that she will be able to drink at 16. (The driving age is 18which just makes good sense.) My 9-year-old nephew fell asleep with his head on a soccer ball and his goalie gloves still on.

I read to them the description of the town from the guidebook as we drive. “Carcassonne is where Cinderella lost her slipper, Beauty nursed the Beast, and Jack’s giant lived a happy life until the beanstalk affair…the dream fades fast as you enter the town…thousands of visitor jostling for space…Frances largest tourist trap…”
We all get quiet for a moment- but since we have driven 7 hours at this point- we decide to keep good thoughts.

Carcassonne is a complete medieval fortress town. It was actually reconstructed in the 1840’s. Another guidebook says, “To avoid being disillusioned later on, the visitor should be warned at the beginning that he is looking at the appearance of a great medieval fortress and not, for the most part, the actual stones of one.” I don’t know why the guide books complain about it being reconstructed- it began serving as a fortress for the Romans in 118 B.C. and was held by Barbarians, Gauls, Visigoths, Arabs, Franks etc, until 1659 when is was abandoned. Each new tenant re-constructed the city to suit his own needs. This last remodeling has achieved its goal of tourism- 3 million a year come to see these walls. While the fortress might seem hokey it is, in fact, pretty kick ass. The streets below the city are dismal. One chronology states that in 1353 the “Black Prince” attempted to lay siege to the fortress but was unable to penetrate it- he then completely sacked and burnt the surrounding areas. Apparently no one has tidied up since then.

We got there late in the afternoon and the streets were empty- we were assured the throng of crowed would return in the morning but they did not. In off-season the area is quiet. It was spooky walking through the nearly deserted city- very weird bird noises and feral cats. We ate the traditional dish called cassoulet (white beans, pork,sausage), which was excellent and listened to a Gypsy jazz band.

The following day we continued our exploration until early afternoon when the Brusselsprouts continued on to Barcelona. As I mentioned, Kelly was to come with me so we booked the room for an additional evening. Since she didn’t come I am left here by myself and will take the train back to Paris tomorrow. The town is quiet, it begins to darken early, and the rains start. The only sounds I hear as I walk through the wet streets, my glasses fogged from the mist, is the sound of the shops closing up- their doors slamming. I’m eating dampened burnt Panini. There is no one here- seems like the perfect opportunity to lay siege to the city.
In Carcasonne the horses where doillies on their heads. Everything is more fun when doillies are involved.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kelly and I are going to Carcassonne, in the south of France until Tuesday- I doubt that I will have internet access. My life is hard...real hard.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I did this once before but I thought I better re-post it. I was worried that my blog wasn't reaching the kids or my balla', shotcalla friend Taryn- click here for a blog translation and gather the children.

I do it for the kids.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I ran to catch the train at the Hotel De Ville but I just missed it. I was alone on the platform until a guy dressed in a clown suit carrying a suitcase came down the stairs and stood by himself. He set the suitcase down next to his oversized red shoes. the clown looked sad as he stared at the ground- deep in thought. His sadness was palpable. Had his girlfriend broken up with him and kicked him out of the house? I wondered if he was he going over everything she said to him that morning.

“It’s over Blinky- I just can’t see a future for us. I’ve packed your horn and the bucket of confetti/water in your big cardboard suitcase. No, no put away the balloons- a weiner dog can’t fix what’s wrong with us.”

It’s hard to keep your dignity when you’ve been asked to move out. It must be especially hard if your dressed in a clown suit.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Let's say, for the sake of argument that you lived in Paris. Imagine now, a lovely fall day- the air is crisp, the sky is blue. What would you do? Where would you go?

I'll tell you what I did. My brother and I saw Rush Hour 3. Wow! That was some crap- and at $14.00 per ticket it was especially crappy. My brother sold me on it because it was filmed in Paris- that only elevated it from "crap" to "merde", but it inspired a haiku.

Oh, Rush Hour Three
To Google "Dancing Popcorn"
Is so much more fun

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It’s a beautiful day; I decide to walk along the river. I find a great spot near Pont Louis Philippe and I stretch out with my book. Instead of reading I watch the Seine. I watch the garbage, which isn’t much, a bucket, a soft drink can. The big boats float by- their wake slaps against the stone embankment. It sounds like a dog sneezing when it hits. The blocks that make up the some of the wall are the same blocks that build the Roman Arena in the 5th - the blocks were removed before anyone realized or cared that they were part of something else. These blocks once protected the people from the wild animals on display, now they protect the people from the Seine. Another boat goes by, “Europa”- more dogs sneeze. I’m wearing my sport coat and scarf- sitting in the sun- it feels hot but if I take them off it will be too cold- that’s the nature of autumn in Paris- at least this year. My shoes are off. I’m sitting on the edge of the bank- leaning against the iron fence I climbed over. My legs are stretched out; my stocking feet hang over the edge. I half expect to see a bloated body float by. I‘ve been trying to get the statistics on the number of people that have committed suicide by jumping into the Seine- there is no information that I can find. I guess it isn’t something a city likes to advertise. Another boat goes by, bigger than the last two- I don’t catch the name. The wake is larger- the dogs sneeze louder. 350 people have jumped off the Eiffel tower, that number is published, almost in a boastful manner. They keep mum about the Seine- a family skeleton they don’t want discussed- protecting it the way you would protect a family member that committed a crime. They can protect the Seine all they want, I don’t care- I’m just enjoying the day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It’s funny, as I get older I am convinced that there is good and bad energy in our lives. I believed this when I was much younger but as I got older the concept seemed silly and annoyingly “new age”. Now, in my 40’s, I’m once again in search of the positive energy and people.

I few weeks ago I was having coffee with K- and MQ. We were shooting the breeze discussing what we were doing etc. I suddenly realized and blurted out, “It’s so strange, all three of us are doing exactly what we want to be doing- none of us would trade our lives at this moment.” It was a peculiar realization- usually someone is longing for something else- some dream, a different job, a different relationship- something that they feel they are lacking. Here we all were completely content. The more content and positive you are the more you attract those types of people in your life and the more you attract the people the more positive and content you become. It never occurred to me that contentment could feed on itself just as misery can.

Today K and I had 3 women over and it was such a positive conversation that I was reminded of that again. As they were leaving to run errands Melissa put her hand on my back, was quite for a moment and said- “you have good energy- you will write well today.” We all need more people like these in our lives.
Kelly and Katherine walking down the street singing,"bam doobie doobie wop a-doobie wop a-doobie wop"

Friday, October 19, 2007

I’m not certain what the “trick” is to learning a language. Actually, I suspect the “trick” is studying and maybe taking a class or two- but I prefer to learn French through other means. I’m not certain what those other means are but I have overcome one of the more important aspects of learning a language. I am no longer afraid of making a mistake and looking like an idiot. Some might use that important first step to get out there and practice, practice, practice. I have opted to not learn the language and not worry too much about it. This means that what would take a normal person one hour to complete a task takes me the entire day- luckily time is the one thing I have in abundance.

Today I must buy clothes hangers and I treat it as a military maneuver. I scoped out the BHV yesterday on different errand but did not locate the hangers (recon)- this will mean that I have to interact with someone in the BHV (engage the enemy). I go home, I plot my course of action I pour over maps of the battlefield…I mean the different floors and departments. I look up the word “hanger” it is "cintre". This will be the key to the operation. That’s the only word I research. I attempt to memorize the word and I do not take a copy of the word with me to the BHV in case there is a hostage situation. My game plan is to find someone that looks official and say “CINTRE!” Damn pronunciation, forget about verbs, Prepositions…I think not. All I want is “CINTRE” nothing more nothing less. I am not going to muddy the waters with a lot of unnecessary words.

Of course I forget the word as soon as I am there. Since Marcel Marceau passed away, quiety, I feel the art of mime is now open to every one. I mime taking of a shirt and putting it on a “CINTRE”. I might as well have had doilies on my nipples because I looked like I was stripping for either a security guard or a meter maid who had the misfortune of shopping over lunch. The battle was over before it began. The lady said, “Oh you mean hangers? First floor all the way to the back.”

Keep on taking those French classes, Suckas- I’m going to hang me up some clothes

Thursday, October 18, 2007

There is a time to speak and a time to sit quietly. I’ve always had trouble with the later half of that advice. I am having dinner with 3 woman. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll break their ages down to the closest decade 20, 30, and 40. I mention to them an advertisement I saw on the Metro.

Misplaced: “Woody Allen and his jazz band are playing Paris on Christmas night! How great would that be to see”
40 year old: “I have a real problem with Woody Allen concerning the Soon-Yi thing”
30 year old: “He slept with his daughter!” she looks at me accusingly.

What I should have said was , “Oh my God, I know- I'm talking about picketing the event. You in?” Instead I say.

Misplaced: “Actually he didn’t sleep with his daughter or step daughter. Soon-Yi wasn’t related to him.”

20, 30, 40:

30 year old: “You want to re-think that?”

Misplaced: (digging in deeper) "No, people always say he slept with his step-daughter, he didn’t. He might have slept with his ex-girlfriends daughter- who was of legal age but it wasn’t his daughter. (at this point I forget the point I’m making) I don't think they ever proved he slept with her- he did have naked pictures of her...but..."

<20,30,40, again, very quiet. The 20 year old scoots her chair away from mine.>

Misplaced: He and Mia weren’t even married. So you see it wasn’t his daughter or step-daughter or anything like that… So...anyway- You all want to go?

The conversation awkwardly shifts to a new topic.

Side note: Woody and Soon-Yi have been married for 10 years. Now they are related...then they weren't, y' know ...related.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

She’s sitting in one of the hard wooden chairs in Notre Dame, sunglasses are perched on her head, her hands are folded on her lap. She looks angelic, her head is still, and her face has a calm, serene look. A man three rows ahead is taking her picture. He is crouched low so that the west window, which represents the Virgin Mary, will frame her face. The window is blue and dark. The man is eager to please.

The flash goes off, her smile disappears. She reaches for the camera- her boyfriends fumbles with the setting and rushes to her so she can view the photo. She is annoyed, it’s an ok picture but it can be better. She hands the camera back to him, he tries harder. 7…8...9 shots -none of them are right. They are good but not great- they aren’t conveying what she wants to show. she doesn't want to explain it to him again, - she rises to leave but he hands her the camera and sits down in the hard wooden chair. She’s confused at first but understands after he says something to her. She takes his picture- once, very quickly. His shoulders are thrown back- he has a pensive, defiant air about him- a man to be reckoned with.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I've come down with a chest cold or something. So I'm using my sit at home time to update the blog. On the right you'll notice that I changed the picture- I've always found that sepia tones hide a multitude of sins. I've also updated my favorite blog-links which I've been meaning to do for awhile. I've deleted the blogs that no longer post or the people who have had children and now only talk about what "tater-tot" is doing. A couple of poster namely Vexed in the City and Dyna Girl have about a thousand different blogs- I've posted the one I read but if they would prefer I link to a different one -feel free to email me.

If you have a blog let me know the address- I'd love to read what you are doing. If you have a suggestion regarding the blog let me know that also. Actually, you can email me about anything as I am bored out of my mind right now.
I was in the Darty today to buy a beard trimmer- because I was apparently mistaken when I said it was hip to be scruffy in Paris. Anyway, the lady infront of me was purchasing an electronic contraption. From what I could gather you place this machine over the area on your body where you want to lose weight and magically the weight disappears. After the sale she remained at the register, opened the box and pulled all the pieces out -making sure everything was accounted for and nothing was broken. She didn't want to get ripped off.

Sometimes life just hands you moments of serendipity- that's how God tells you he loves you.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I wrote for about 2 hours in Notre Dame this morning. I'm surprised more people don't do that. It's a very comfortable place- noise levels are low and surrounded by inspiration- the people as well as the architecture.
Anyone can do downspouts, Ile St. Louis does them a little differently.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It was a beautiful fall day for a walk with friends.

We have friends visiting from San Francisco this week so the posts will be minimal- but we are checking out the restaurant/ cafe that Kara recommended, Petit Fer Au Cheval- thanks Kara.

I got no reaction what-so-ever from the cornrow/ Carribean post. What, you people have never cornrowed your hair?...I mean...I haven't either.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee- every hour on the hour.

Scene from our living room

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When you first visit your city of choice in Europe you are struck by the ridiculousness of the jeans. Why would anyone have 20 zippers on their jeans, or a pocket sewn at the knee? In Paris you see the jeans of the world walking around unashamed. But after a couple of weeks there is a strange shift in thinking. “Man, look at all the zippers on those jeans…I wonder if I can find a pair with even more pockets. Suddenly having “Porn Star” in shiny studs embroidered across your ass seems like a statement that you’d like to make. I know- I’m there- I feel your pain. It isn’t common sense that has kept me from buying jeans in Paris but a simple lack of funds. I also try to picture myself getting picked up by family or friends at the airport after our Paris trip is complete. Hopefully the following memory will ensure that sanity prevails.

Remember the first time you visited the Caribbean? The surf, the sand, the exotic locals- Bob Marley was playing out of every club- the smell of marijuana was everywhere. Remember how you kept seeing all those black people with their hair in cornrows. The sweat glistening off their toned bodies and you said to yourself. “I’m gonna get me some cornrows- Sharisa whatchyu tink about dat!” And you actually went through with it because Sharisa is even a bigger idiot than you and she didn’t talk you out of it. Remember how you looked at yourself in the mirror and you saw how it really looked but as you walked the streets of Montego Bay you honestly thought of yourself as ebony skinned beauty with a muscular, toned body and a slight sheen of sweat and exotic oils when, in fact, you are a chunky, pasty-skinned white girl whose muscles have atrophied and the only shine coming off you is from the Big Gulp Slurpee you spilled on yourself while you did a marathon viewing of “Saved by The Bell” 2 days ago?

It wasn’t until you landed back in the United States and walked through the airport concourse that you saw the other white girls with cornrows and sun burnt scalps. You could faintly hear the suppressed laughter of those around you as they passed. You and the other white girls looked to the ground as you walked, the smiles slowly fading, the coconut pirate-head grasped in your sweaty little hands, the fake green parrot peeking it’s head out of your duty free bag. It was then you realized that cornrows might not have been such a great idea- and then you began to wonder what happened to Sharisa and that maybe you should have rousted her after she passed-out on the beach in low-tide.

...and that, my friends, is why I wont buy jeans in Paris and why Sharisa’s mom wont talk to me anymore.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In Paris for only 2 months and I'm already being showered with gifts. I didn't realize it was a girls bike until I viewed the picture.
I am getting behind in writing. I’ve promised several topics and have forgotten to follow through with any of them. These are a few of the posts I owe you.

1. Why the Gypsies feel they are permitted to steal. Helpful Hint: Jesus told them they could.
2. Why pigeons are missing toes and feet. I’m glad I haven’t written about this one yet because the topic makes me throw up a little in my mouth and because I’ve had some great feed back from Nicole, Alice and Celia (oops updated Cecile.)
3. A fire I saw in an apartment next to our old place on rue Cambrone- and while I didn’t take a picture of the flames I did take a picture of the snacks the fireman ate while combating the flames. Care to take a guess?
4. I also wanted to get one more post in on my luxuriant hair. I questioned whether I had exhausted the topic, but after brushing it (50 strokes on each side as I do every night before going to bed) I laughed to myself and easily prepared a 1000 word essay.
5. Post pictures of the new apartment.
6. Update a list of everyone who has ever done me wrong. Providing the details of their infractions along with phone numbers so you can call them late at night or have pizzas delivered to their houses. Helpful Hint: You may need to remind them of their wrong doings as some of these actions took place a few decades ago.
7. My quest to answer the 25 year high school reunion invitation by casually mentioning that I live in Paris as a writer but down-playing the fact that I have never actually been published and have no apparent means of supporting myself.
8. The incredible spirituality that comes with living next door to an old church and the next week screaming out the window, “Do you need to ring those Goddamned bells every Goddamned hour!”

My work is cut out for me but I feel I am up for the challenge.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The lock on our new apartment is a hazard. You have to use a key to deadbolt it from the inside. Let's say for the sake of argument you can't find your keys when you wake up- you would be locked inside the apartment. K- finds it humor that I'm bothered by this "He has a fear of fire" she will tell anyone who has bothered to remain friends with us. I don't fear fire I have a healthy respect for it. The house I grew up in caught on fire twice, both times on my birthday- age 2 and age 13- I don't want to draw parallels between myself and Harry Potter- but it's obvious I’m a wizard with a price on my head. I even have a lightning bolt on my forehead, but I have to re-draw it every time I take a shower. Anyway- my point is if the apartment catches fire I want to be able to get out- and, if I think about it, get my wife and cat out too. So I copied the complicated front door key (17 Euros!!!) and put it in the lock. Yea! My family is safe!!!! Kelly doesn't care- she can be such a muggle sometimes.

I left this morning- the door automatically locked- I put my key in to dead bolt it but the key won’t turn. To make a short story even longer, I'm locked out of the apartment. I'm outside digging through the garbage looking for anything that will help me jimmy the lock. Isn't it funny how all guys think they are MacGyver in these situation and use words like "jimmy the lock". I can't jump start a car but I think I can build a nuclear device from scraps in recycling. The guardian of the building says- "Maybe you can use something off this rusty old bike- it was abandoned” I look at the bike- the chain is broken, it's completely rusted, the seat is missing but the bell works.
"Wow, can I have it!"
"Sure you can" she says almost as enthusiastically as me.
This day is looking up- I've been given lemons and I'm making me a little lemonade.

I yank a spoke off the wheel (which took about an hour) and try to jamb it in the lock- amazingly, that doesn't work- now I'm out of ideas. The guardian informs me that a guy in the building had to have a locksmith come over and let him in, replace the lock etc it cost 1000 euros! She studies my reaction as she tells the story- she wants to memorize the look of terror in my eyes. She then asks what I intend to with the rusty bike- I think she is suggesting that she doesn't want it on the property and would like me to remove it.

I assess my situation. I'm locked out of my apartment, and I now own a rusty bicycle that will never, ever be fixed. It seems bleak. In a fit of exacerbation I did the only thing I could do at the time and I grabbed the doorknob of my apartment and shook it as hard as I could, back and forth. My little kitty, crying on the other side of the door. I heard a thunk, a clank and a sad yelp. The key fell out of the lock on the inside of the door, bounced off my kitty's head and onto the floor. I stepped in to my apartment vowing to never leave again, but I think to myself- "I bet I could fix up that old bike and make it better than new."

*Ponette and I survive another brutal day in Paris- and I'm growing beard (in the loosest sense of the word) because looking scruffy in Paris encouraged and admired

Monday, October 08, 2007

After the match on Saturday night, five drunken idiots broke into the Musée d’Orsay. One of them punched Claude Monet's "The Argenteuil Bridge" painted in 1874. Remember back in the day when these fools used to beat each other up. It's a shame they've moved on to items of importance and worth.

The people that did this will be caught (because really, how smart can you be if you punch a painting) and they will share the same public shame as Rodrigo Rafael Ortega who, after the 1998 World Cup between France and Mexico, urinated on the 'eternal flame' in front of the Arc de' Triumph extinguishing it. Almost 10 years later his name is still known.

So, to the drunken slob who did this, once you are caught you will have the dubious honor of never getting laid again. Good luck with all that.
There was a convergence Saturday night in my little corner of the Marais. Nuit Blanche- a night that they keep everything open from 7PM to 7AM. The streets are packed music in the street, light shows, and beautiful people. The church next door to us was open, Notre-Dame-des-Blancs-Manteaux Church - they had a light show. People were lying on the floor of this old church listening to space music and watching a light show on the ceiling. I would imagine many were stoned...if they weren't they should have been. Everything loosened up considerably after Vatican 2.

Hotel De Ville is down the way from us. The streets are closed because France is playing New Zealand in the quarter-finals. The rugby match is being shown on a huge screen in front of the mayor’s office. New Zealand is favored to win- it's a no brainer. Thousands of people are there. Sitting on metro signs, in trees. Screaming, singing, drinking, dancing. It's festive but it also seems volatile- there are so many people. We watch for awhile- we don't know what's going on but how can you not watch the crowd- "Are we for France or the All Blacks?”, my 15 year old niece from Brussels asks her dad- tonight we better be for France. There is an eruption from the crowed. France wins.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Something isn't right, I can't place it. I'm in the office/guest room. A red flag went up a couple of minutes ago. I retrace my steps. I'm ill at ease, what happened Ahhhh I remember.

I was sitting at the table- drinking a San Pellegrino- looking through the books to see what I wanted to read. The cat, Ponette, was walking around the table she put her face in my glass and drank some of my water. I looked at her and, withou thinking said, "No Ponettes, that's daddys"

Oh my god....I've become one of "them" and I don't think there's a twelve step program for least not yet anyway.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

We are moving tomorrow to a new apartment, which we will have until October 2008. It is an excellent apartment- 2 bedrooms, larger kitchen and excellent location The corner of Francs Bourgeouis and Veille du Temple). We even like the couple that are subleasing it to us. They are a young couple moving to Argentina for 1 year with their lovely child. The only negative thing about is they are leaving which is sad- because we like them.

I went to pick up the keys this morning – I took three trains all of which were hot- I was wearing that green corduroy jacket that I always wear- it was cold when I left so I wore a scarf. By the time I got there I was sweating- as we sat, I sweated more, my hair was saturated with perspiration- it dripped down my neck- It occurred to me that I probably looked like I was on crank- just waiting for the next score- which would involve selling their appliances and, of course, turning their lovely home into a crack house. Oh well, I guess that’s the risk you take in advertising an illegal sub-lease on Craig’s List.
A quick post today. Kelly and I are moving to our new, permanent digs in the Marais. The picture was intercepted by the CIA, NSA and the Harper Valley PTA- They've been tracking my moves for a little while- I'm kind of a big deal. If you want to send me peanut butter or oatmeal just print out the closeup picture of my building and glue it to the envelope- the Paris Postal Services is just that good.

If you're wondering what that patch of dirt is next to the building it's an arena where Christians are sent to do battle and die. It is sooooo much better than HBO.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

In 1870, Yvan Salman, a journalist, was shot and killed by Pierre Bonaparte, great-nephew of Napoleon. Yvan, whose pen name was Victor Noir, was just 22 when he was killed. He was delivering the terms of a duel that was to occur between Bonaparte and the editor of Noir’s newspaper. Bonaparte angered that “minions” were delivering the terms slapped and then shot Victor Noir. It was all very manly, except the slap.

This would be just another forgotten, great moment in male history except for two factors
1. The monument, by Jules Dalou is excellent- it is a bronze statue of Victor Noir, dead in the street, his top hat laying where it fell, and his pants, for some reason, unbuttoned at the waist.
2. If you look closely at the shiny part of the statue you will notice that his… well….his …. Rather large… err…there is a protuberance ...ummm. As you can see his feet and hands are quite large -yes indeed they are. As are many parts of his anatomy.
It is said that if one part of his anatomy is …touched in almost a … rubbing manner the one rubbing will become pregnant very quickly. There has been quite a bit of rubbing going on these many years- quite vigorous indeed as you can see from the shine. This constant rubbing has begun to wear away Victor’s …. shiny part. A fence was erected to save the still ample …shine but was removed after scores of protests from impatient moms-to-be.

Hang on…I’ve got to chase Kelly from a grave.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Remember several months ago when I tried to introduce some learning in this blog, but then we decided that learning things was stupid and that the only reason we sent kids to school was to get them out of way during “our shows” because they kept saying ridiculous things like “there really isn’t any such thing as a weather-changing machine” or “I don’t think she would survive a brain transplant” Which, would of course ruin the soap opera but we weren't allowed to hit them because of some law. Remember that? Man, those were good days.

Well I’ve been thinking about a couple of things lately…actually I’ve been thinking real hard about about them.

Number 1: What is going on with the Gypsies? How do they justify their less than above board manner of getting money? It’s politically incorrect to discuss it but since the Gypsies aren’t concerned with it (yes I’ve asked) and I’m more envious than judgmental- I feel entitled. I’d love to pick a pocket or two- I'd take a tip from Bill Sykes he can whip what he'd like, I recall he started small he had to pick a pocket or two*. Of course the key of theft for me would be getting away with it because I’m far too good looking to spend time in jail- it’s the hair, I think we’ve discussed this. Remember?

Number 2: As I wander the city looking for gypsy encampments and giving unsolicited advice to people who seem happier than me, I’ve noticed an extraordinary number of pigeons are missing their toes. When I first saw it I thought, “oh those darn gypsies”, but this caper is too big even for them.

So I’ve decided to research both of these topics and write about them. And, as with the first time we tried to get our learn on, when I say “research” I mean “google” and when I say “write” I mean “cut and paste” whatever I find.

Much Love,

P.S. Write when you get work

*all these musical references are doing nothing for my claim of heterosexuality