Thursday, August 31

Looking forward to...

...November 27th - got tickets to see Madeleine Peyroux at the Olympia - one of the most prestigious concert halls in town. Yay !

Of course, there goes my concert budget for the next couple of months - usually I prefer to see lesser known artists in more intimate venues - cheaper, and often more fun as there's more of a connection between small audiences and artists but hey. Once in a while it's nice to splurge on a big name show.

Having said that, a friend of mine just saw Madonna on Monday and her ticket cost 180 euros - madness...

Wednesday, August 30

Tonight's menu

On Wednesdays S doesn't come home until after 9, so it's my turn to cook dinner. Last week I reheated a frozen (good, though!) pizza and made a salad, lazy bum that I am.

Tonight I was a bit more ambitious: sea bream fillets, lightly coated in flour and cooked in a little butter with lemon juice drizzled over them in the pan, sauteed carrots finished off in a creamy sauce with shallots and chives, green salad (romaine - love it), and Saint Felicien cheese on 6-grain bread.


...across this blog and found it really moving. Just wanted to share.

Monday, August 28

Three things

... as tagged by Ms. Cookie.

3 Things I'm proud of
1) Becoming financially responsible (having to say "I can't afford it" all the time sucks, but on the other hand, it's nice to receive a letter from the bank and think, hmm, what could this be about ? instead of instantly having a panic attack because I know it's going to be bad news).
2) Not caring as much about what people think of me as I did throughout my teens and twenties. It's so liberating !
3) Being "a serious person in professional terms" according to my new boss. Although I'm not quite sure whether I should be proud or amused. Both no doubt.

3 Things I wish for
1) Peace on earth. Failing that, a reconciliation between my mother and my favorite auntie, which is just as unlikely.
2) More motivation, less procrastination. That covers a lot of ground ! Also, I wish it were as easy to pick up good habits as it is bad ones.
3) Continued health and happiness.

3 Things I like about myself
1) I don't take myself too seriously.
2) I'm generally good-natured and optimistic. Generally.
3) I never get PMS.

3 Things I would like to do this lifetime
1) Visit the new museum at Quai Branly (there's one goal I have a good chance of achieving!)
2) Have a garden to tend to, with a vegetable patch.
3) Learn how to ride a goddamned motherfucking bicycle. Little kids can do it. Idiots can do it. Why can't I?

Sunday, August 27

Random Sunday evening thoughts

Late August and it feels like fall, has done so for days and days now. Some leaves are turning already (and I have photographic evidence, but Blogger is being a pain*). I blame it on all the people who complained about the heat in July. Happy now ?

La science des rêves (Science of sleep) by Michel Gondry, with Gael Garcia Bernal and the fabulous Charlotte Gainsbourg. See this if you liked Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Or even if you didn't. So original and inventive and completely fantaisiste, but so real.

It's hard to be torn between a yearning for minimalism and a tendency toward being a pack rat. Every few months (seems to be a change of season thing, come to think of it) I have an overwhelming urge to clean, tidy, purge, organize and get rid of stuff I've accumulated, trying to comply with William Morris's oft-quoted instruction, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful". Easier said than done. My home is filled with things not really beautiful but sentimentally meaningful, and stuff not useful, but who knows, they might come in handy some day.

* This Blogger beta still has a lot of kinks in it. Uploading pictures always fails on the first attempt, and is impossible via Picasa (which is a Google tool just like Blogger - you'd think they'd get compatibility issues between their own family of applications sorted in priority, no ?). The format of old posts with photos has gone mildly wonky and I've read that users of the classic Blogger can't post comments on beta Blogs. However I do love being able to add and edit sidebars and change colors easily without having a clue about HTML.

And a propos of nothing, S has the loudest sneezes I have EVER heard. Seriously. When he sneezes it's like the sound is coming from a 20-foot tall ogre. No idea how a skinny guy like him can produce such a noise. Quite startling.

Wednesday, August 23


There are lots of people I admire for their work (and sometimes, let’s be honest, for their looks as well) but I’m not celeb mad as a rule, and wish pop culture didn’t encourage vapid bimbos of either gender to be famous just for being famous.

But I was thrilled to bits to walk just behind Charlotte Gainsbourg for a few minutes on rue Clément Marot.

Funnily enough - although perfectly in character for me - I noticed her bag first.

"Ooooh, that's nice. Looks like a new version of a Darel bag, must be this season's ... wow, she's very slim and graceful. Wonder if she's a model ? She looks like.... no.... yes ! It's Charlotte ! Squeeeeeeeaaaaak!"

This was an internal monologue, of course. I didn't actually squeak out loud.

She turned to go into a restaurant (Chez André, if anyone is interested) ; I went to my salad bar. And on my way back, I went past the restaurant and caught a glimpse of Yvan Attal.

Excited, me.

(And really, this mostly a post for Julia – or are there other fans out there ?)

Saturday, August 19

Beta Blogger

Thanks to the new beta version of Blogger which I simply had to switch to and play around with, I've obsessively cyber-doodled and pottered with templates and fonts and settings all evening and did not get around to doing any (much needed) tidying or cleaning.


Thursday, August 17

Just noticed

... that in all three corporate-ish companies I’ve worked in so far, the conference rooms are named after cities.

As in, “Mr. Important Client is waiting in Tokyo”;
or “Are there enough chairs for everyone in Amsterdam ?” ;
or “Sydney has a better view than Dubai, why do I get stuck in Dubai all the time ?" (stamps foot)

Is that just a coincidence, or is it an unspoken rule that It Must Be So ?

So much for thinking outside the box...

Tuesday, August 15

Gorgeous market, Annecy again

Over-blogging, yes, but I love markets, especially in the summer, and this one was great. All the produce looked so perfectly fresh and good, and there were several stalls with spices and herbs heaped high. So lovely.

The salt & pepper grinders

... as well as the minimalist place settings were what made me chose this restaurant for lunch. I thought any place with proper grinders and not shakers on the table would be good. I was wrong. It was decent, but nothing special. The kind of food that is "prepared" (from frozen ? sous vide perhaps ?) and then plated rather than cooked properly from scratch on the premises. But that's OK. Location was great and waitstaff were friendly. And it was such a glorious day. Posted by Picasa

Browsing cookbooks on Amazon

and found this :

"Vegetarian cooking without: Over 100 easy-to-follow delicious recipes free from wheat, gluten, sugar, salt, dairy products, yeast, saturated fat, and meat."

How depressing.

Necessary no doubt (although food intolerance seems to be a recent issue - did people just suffer in silence before, or is it a relatively new problem, and if so, what are the causes ?) but depressing all the same.

Monday, August 14

The beauty that is the Lac d'Annecy

The beauty that is Annecy

I'm ba-ack !

  • being on holiday and not doing ANYTHING is bliss.
  • tomatoes and figs fresh from the garden are simply amazing. Even farmer's market produce isn't quite the same.
  • my mother drives me crazy sometimes (often?) but I do love her to bits.
  • trying to learn to ride a bicycle as an adult sucks, truly. See how I had to say "trying to learn", and not "learning" ?
  • cooking shows are great entertainment. I *heart* Rick Stein and the Masterchef competition.
  • those scales that not only weigh but also calculate body fat percentage are a bit scary. Especially when one's 10 day holiday consists of vegging on the couch, reading, watching cooking shows and eating ice cream.
  • 90% of the ads on British satellite TV are for car insurance and debt consolidation services. I realize debt is a huge problem but how much car insurance can each household possibly need ?

Friday, August 4

how on earth will I survive

...being off line until August 15th ? My 'net addiction is more worrying at this point than my smoking, or my fondness for sitting out in the sun with no SPF.

Anyway I'm off to the Alps for 10 days. The house where we're staying does have a computer but apparently S couldn't get the broadband connection working. We'll fiddle around with it, as I would like to blog (and post piccies !) but not too much as I don't want to blow up hardware or unintentionally disable firewalls and such.

Wednesday, August 2

S and I

Poorly framed attempt at self-portaiture, or conceptual art, as per Li(ii)sa ?

New job, Day 3 update

Since Jules asked...

Well, it's certainly been interesting. My boss has been assistant-less for 2 months, and has kicked off a huge project so there is LOADS to do and organize, which is fine, but I'm having to scramble to get all the information I need together.

And since it's August, 80% of the staff is on vacation, so there are precious few people around to give advice, let alone formal training.

But hey, I can manage. I think.

And in other news, because of my start date, vacation plans were slightly messed up, so S left today for Haute Savoie where he will spending 2 days alone with my mother before I get there on Friday...