Tuesday, December 29

Waiting for men in white coats

... To come and take the Mac away. OK, so they probably won't be
wearing white coats. I'm just happy that after months of slow
performance and sudden freezes, someone from the FNAC helpline finally
admitted that yes, it could be a hardware problem, and that they would
indeed repair or replace, instead of telling me to do yet another
clean install and implying that I "don't know how to use the Mac".

Actually that wasn't implied, that was actually said out loud. Right,
so for instance all I've got running are Safari and iTunes, out of the
blue the computer freezes and won't respond to trying to force quit
the programs, the disk utility warns that the hard drive is failing,
and it might be my fault because I don't know how to use a Mac? Wanker.

Anyway, here's hoping it gets sorted, and thank goodness we were
obsessive about backing up files!

Monday, December 7


Why would a perfume company hire one the most beautiful women in the world to be the "face" of their new fragrance and then photoshop the hell out of her, to the point where her head looks like it's been stuck on an anatomically incorrect mannequin ?

Monday, November 23

There are days

...when I enjoy Pilates and yoga classes. Not today though. Today they
were 2 hours of discomfort and inadequacy.

Sunday, November 22

A blah day...

made better by a trip to WH Smith.  Got the New Yorker's Book of Food and Drink, Foreign Tongues, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.   New books are always a good antidote to whatever ails you.

Then went out for dinner to a fondue place in Montmartre that serves wine out of baby bottles.  Yes, it's a bit of a tourist trap,  but it was more fun than expected.   I had last been there when I was a teenager, believe it or not, and it hadn't changed a bit.  Even the waiter was the same.  He used to be a metal worker and started working there 21 years ago, is retiring at the end of the year.  Crusty and irreverent and funny and intolerant as only an old-time Parisian waiter can be.  Plus, I scored a phone number.  I've still got it baby, whatever "it" is. 

Friday, November 13


An orange alligator/croc skin pattern iPhone case in a shop window near work has been calling me.  Sounds bling, but trust me, it's a nice shade of orange, and I wear mostly neutrals, so it's good to have a shot of color in a fun accessory.  Anyway, I assumed, as one does, that it was decent quality plastic embossed to look like leather.  Turns out, it's real, and it costs the princely sum of 490 €. 

I'm not sure what is more pathetic, that some people would actually spend that much money on a case for a phone (global financial crisis?  what's that?), or that this is the topic for my first blog post in 2 months. 

Friday, September 25

Missed photo op

Just saw a girl - definitely pre-teen, maybe 10 or so - hurtling along the sidewalk on a unicycle. 

(And no, this probably isn't enough content for a blog post but I can't be bothered with Twitter, where most of my followers are spammers who get banned before I can even click on their profiles to find out who they are and why the heck they would want to follow me).

Sunday, September 20

Mars and Venus brush their teeth

When S first moved in with me, his toothbrush was yellow, and mine was blue.  Since then I've always stuck to the same color code, to avoid confusion and because, well, I admit it, I'm a creature of habit.  

Buy new toothbrushes, point out to S (not one of my more scintillating conversational topics, granted) that they have a nifty thing that's supposed to polish teeth in addition to just brushing them, and conclude perkily with, "and of course there's one of each, yellow and blue!"

Blank stare. 

- Ummmm... you mean you haven't always been using the yellow one?

- No.  I just grab whichever one is on the left.

Some things are not meant to be shared, even in the closest of relationships.  Plaque, to my mind, is one of them.

Strange days

S bought 3 pairs of shoes yesterday.  I think he's turning into me.

Thursday, September 10

30-second review - Inglorious Basterds vs. Un prophète

Granted, the movies have nothing in common other than both being about 2h30mn long.  But while every single scene, every line of dialogue in Un prophète served to move the story forward and/or reveal a bit more about the characters, Basterds felt bloated and pointlessly long, rambling on without making much of a point.  Un prophète was tense and intense all the way through.  Basterds had its moments but never lived up its opening scene. 

getting old...

Did some more strenuous than usual housework - amittedly, that's not saying much - and now I'm feeling twinges of back pain.  Eeek.

Friday, August 21

An unfortunate

...juxtaposition of articles in my RSS feed. One is "How could a
mother eat her baby" immediately followed by "Sometimes abortion is
the better choice".

Wednesday, August 5

Testing mobile blogging

Because I'm off for 3 weeks without a computer but with my trusty
iPhone and I want to see how this works.

Wednesday, July 29

Good grief.

I haven't posted since June 14th?

That's also the day I started dieting. Coincidence? I think not. Not stuffing my face = too depressed to blog.

I did lose 3 kilos, though. 2 of which I gain back instantly as soon as I have a "normal" meal so I'm not sure a) how sustainable this is going to be in the long run and/or b) how reliable my scales are. And is it somewhat worrisome that I find it much easier to give up desserts, and second helpings, and fries, and so on than I do my daily glass or two of wine? Nah, I didn't think so either...

In other food related news, it's not "la crise" for everyone - I just called 5-6 restaurants before I could score a table for tomorrow night. Will be checking out Pramil with two dear friends who just happen to be very fit athletic men with healthy appetites, so I will eat and drink with them to my little heart's content and not mention calories, or they will mercilessly take the piss out of me for being such a girl.

Sunday, June 14

Good, Bad and Ugly - a frivolous post

Good: tried out a new nail place near home which is open on Sundays (yay), good (double yay), and cheap (triple yay). Now have a lovely bright orangey-red polish on toe and finger nails, and my feet are as smooth as a baby's bottom.

Bad: except that I went for a rather long walk today and as a consequence of having had my calloused skin pumiced off the soles of my feet, I now have blisters there instead. Booo.

Ugly: well, not really ugly. And I don't want to turn into one of these neurotic women who talks of diets and calories and nothing else, BUT, at my work medical on Friday, the Dr. pointed out that I had had gained a kilo a year since 2005. "It's normal", he said, "the metabolism slows down, your lifestyle becomes more sedentary..." (he didn't add "as you get older", but that's what the little rascal was implying). Extrapolating for photographs and clothing that I still have in my closet, dating from 2000, or even, gasp, the late 90's, I can safely assume that the one kilo a year gain has been going on for the last 10 or so years. So normal it may be, but FFS, I'm only 36 - if I continue gaining a kilo a year for the rest of my life I'll soon be larger than I am tall. Guess this is the start of a new era, one of will power and portion control in the face of salty greasy goodness. Bummer.

Friday, June 5

30-second review - Looking for Eric

I never thought I'd mention "Ken Loach" and "feel good movie" in the same sentence, but there you go: Looking for Eric is a real feel good movie, directed by Ken Loach.

Official site of the film here - careful, it opens with music and the trailer.

Tuesday, June 2

Over 5 years

... we've been together, and during that time I've counted on him to introduce me to All Things English. 

Not to, say, Jane Austen, or Emma Thompson, but more prosaic, everyday pleasures such as Marmite, bitter shandy, pork and leek sausages, and weirdly flavored crisps.  Not necessarily all at the same time, though.  And while I can happily say crisps instead of chips, I refuse to spell flavor with a "u".  But I digress.  

Why, then, had I never tasted milk chocolate Hobnobs until this most recent trip ? 
Why ?  WHY ? 
Oh the bitter, wasted years. 

"Oh, you'd never had Hobnobs before?  They're classic." 

Well yes.  Indeed. 

Tuesday, May 19

My job

... is simply not interesting enough to wake up thinking about at 4 a.m.  Unlike, say, Hugh Jackman's chest or Fergus Henderson's marrow bone and parsley salad, or Matthew Williamson's colorful 70's style print tunics for H&M's summer collection. 

Of course, as S helpfully pointed out, it's not really interesting enough to think about much at 4 p.m., either.

But at least from 9 to 6 I'm getting paid for it.

Wednesday, May 13

On a slippery slope...

... to trashiness.

Monday after Pilates and yoga I was too lazy to change back into street clothes, so I took the metro home wearing sweatpants.  For the first ever, I wore exercise clothes "out" in public. 

Yesterday after going to the movies (Wolverine, fab eye candy, not a great movie, but hey, Wolverine has always been my favorite superhero, and how could I resist an ensemble cast including Hugh Jackman, Ryan "The Abs" Reynolds, and Liev Schrieber looking as butch as I've ever seen him?) we had dinner, at, foodies please forgive me,  KFC.

And today I was seduced by a buy one, get one free offer and succombed to the allure of white wine in a plastic bottle. 

This is the end, my friends.  I used to be a fairly classy chick.  It's all downhill from here. 

Thursday, May 7

Riddle me this.

The movie The Boat that Rocked was released in France this week with the title Good Morning England.
Not "Bonjour Angleterre", mind you, but "Good Morning England".
Why bother ?*

*I don't mean why bother seeing it - please please do - it's great, the music is, of course, fantastic, but so is the cast, and it's a real feel good movie.

I had a dream...

... about Hugh Jackman last night.  I was in a bar with a group of friends (one of whom admitted to me that she had for years been the lesbian lover of the mother one of my ex-boyfriends, in the dream that is, not in Real Life.  But that's neither here nor there). 

Hugh was there, wearing a black leather jacket (well of course), sort of at the periphery of the group.  We kept looking at each other from across the room.  I couldn't take my eyes off him for more than a few minutes at a time (well of course not) and whenever I glanced back at him he was already looking at me, and smiling, and I knew that he loved me already.  We went out for a stroll in the night and and nothing bad could ever happen to me while he was near, and we kissed and it was all magic until I told him I couldn't possibly run away with him and leave S.

When I woke up and told S about it he was amused but not, I feel, suitably impressed by my loyalty.

Yes, it's kind of adolescent to have celebrity crushes, but isn't there something simply irresistible about a man who can sing, dance, snarl, and kick ass all with equal aplomb and grace ? 

Tuesday, May 5

late adopter

Years after everyone else in the Western world, I now have an iPod.  No, actually, I have an iPhone, and I'm such a loser that I kept the automatic email signature that says "Sent from my iPhone" because I think it's the coolest thing since,  well, warm baguette.  

So now I can be even more spaced out and in my own little world than ever before, listening to my private soundtrack while balancing precariously with my nose in a stranger's armpit on the metro at rush hour.  

Having Born to Run come on the shuffle while grocery shopping, though, that's a bit anticlimatic.  So much for rolling down the window and letting the wind blow back my hair.  Instead I chose white toilet paper (instead of pink) and muttered to myself at the price of broccoli.  (2,40 euros for a little head of hardly 500 grams, outrageous...).  But I did it all with Bruce instead of supermarket muzak, and that, my friends, can only be a good thing. 

Monday, May 4

No comment.

- groooooaaaaaan, I've eaten way too much. My stomach is huuuuuuuge.
- you have the experience to cope with it.

Friday, April 10

30-second review - Chéri

Fabulous art direction - I wanted to wear every single one of Michelle Pfeiffer's outfits (and there were many) and the interiors were stunning. 

Other than that, a disappointment.  I expected better from Stephen Frears.  The editing was seriously awkward - some cuts between scenes seemed very strange, the more serious bits of dialogue were laughable, and for a 90 minute movie, it sure felt long.  Not at all up to par with The Queen or his other work.  Too bad...

Monday, April 6

You know...

... how sometimes you just have to take the blame for something even though it's not really your fault, because in certain circumstances, saying "it's not me, it's so-and-so" would just make you look worse than calmly saying, "my fault, sorry", and even though it's taking the high road, it still sucks ?

...how 98% percent of the time, you double-check that everything is just so, and the one time you don't , because you assume that other people do their jobs correctly, it all goes pear-shaped and you're told that you should verify instead of assuming ?

...how half your working day is spent doing what constitutes your job, and the other half is spent writing e-mails just to cover your ass so that you have things in writing just in case you have to justify something you've done, or haven't done ? And another portion of your time is spent reading e-mails written by other people who are just covering their asses ? (And yes, of course yet more time is spent faffing around on the internet, but I didn't blow off steam from time to time my head would implode.)

Anyway. All that.


...how restful a short weekend away can be.   A one-hour train journey, one night in a different bed, a different city to stroll in, and I feel like I've been on holiday for a week.  Which is wonderful except that the Monday blues are all the more hard-hitting. 

Soul-destroying corporate whoredom, as I said to a friend last week.  Tongue in cheek, mostly.  Well, partly. 

Well, actually, let's face it, if I never had to work for another day again in my life it's not like I would miss the challenge, is it.  

OK, now I'm just blathering.  Enough. 

Tuesday, March 24

In breaking news today,...

..."A government-financed study finds eating red meat increases the likelihood of death"

As opposed to just being born, which also increases the likelihood of death to, oh, about 100% ?

OK, when you go to the actual article it specifies "early death", but the title of the RSS feed blurb didn't say that...

Tuesday, March 17

Anger Management

First words out of my mouth this morning (aimed at my computer, thankfully, not at a human being):

"No, I don't want to change my fucking password again. Fuck off!"

Closely followed by, "Oh for fuck's sake you've got to be fucking kidding me!"  once Outlook opened and I got my emails up on screen. 

Deep breaths, and more deep breaths.

Saturday, March 14

30-second review: Pranzo di ferragosto

Charming and unpretentious film, about a middle-aged man living with his elderly mother, who ends up mamma-sitting for 3 other old ladies during a mid-August bank holiday. And that's all the plot there is. Nothing much happens. He cooks, the old ladies eat, and bicker amongst themselves, and sulk, and make up. No earth-shattering revelations about the women's pasts, no deep reflections on growing old, on time passing, on family and responsibilities. But there are looks exchanged, and quantities of white wine drunk, and a ride through Rome on a Vespa, and wrinkles galore, and how nice to hear Italian being spoken, and to see the summer sunlight, even if it is only on a movie screen.

That's not slime, that's radiance.

The text on the packaging says "(Insert name of fabulously overpriced product) intensely corrects all visible signs of aging and helps recreate the deep radiance of a visibly younger skin".

I apply in lieu of usual moisturizer and prance around S until he starts paying attention. 

-  Do I look radiantly youthful ?
-  You look slimy.

Oh.  Good thing it was only a free sample then.

Monday, March 9

Yes !

Isn't it great when you read something by an author you love that describes you perfectly ?

Case in point, Kate Atkinson in an August 2008 interview in The Times: “I was an only child and read a lot. You can be a happy adult - I am - not a happy child, or a happy child and not a happy adult. I think I was probably just too solitary.”

Sunday, March 1

Twittering, twattering

Not sure whether it's a good idea to join Twitter. Is it just another webpage to update, in addition to the blog and Facebook ? What's the difference between Twittering and the FB update thingy ? Can I be witty and interesting in 160 characters or less ? Does anyone care ? Does it matter ?

Saturday, February 21

30-second review - The Wrestler

Just give the man the Oscar already.

This film took all the elements of a cheesy underdog sports movie and turned them around into something that left me in an emotional stupor for the rest of the evening. 

For Rourke fans, this is a great interview on Charlie Rose. 

Wednesday, February 18

Just one of the many reasons why

...I love Pajiba so much. 

From their review of The International:  "At some point, the suspension of disbelief required by The International becomes equivalent to lynching a hippo with dental floss."

Of course I'll see it anyway, but forewarned is forearmed. I'm just in it for the eye candy.

Saturday, February 14

And a happy Valentine's day to you, too!

Seen today:
A couple in front of a clothes shop window, woman ooh-ing and ah-ing over a skirt. Man with her says curtly "That style doesn't look good on fat people".
Think they're going to have sex tonight?

Tuesday, February 10

The 2-mn serious conversation in our household

- Honey, do we have a long term plan ?
- No.
- Oh.
- I was just thinking about that this morning, actually.
- About a long term plan ?
- Well, I thought about the fact that we don't have one.
- Oh? And?
- I didn't really come to any conclusions, though.
- Well that's fine. I never have long term plans, I was just wondering if you did.
- No.
- OK.

Thursday, January 22


Well and truly flummoxed.  Where is my red wallet ?  Huh ? Huh ?  Where is it ? 

In other highly exciting news, the new DSLR has been upstaged by an even more recent new toy - we've switched over to Mac and we're not coming back. 

Which is great because everything just works, as all Mac users say - you turn it on and there it is.  Easy to use, intuitive commands in the various applications, fast, and yes, ridiculously good looking.  

Which is not so great because after resisting the iPod siren for years, I now have iPod/iPhone lust, and we need a new external hard disk for back-ups (you never know...) and this, and that, and everything else, so a major purchase is now being followed by smaller but not inconsequential purchases, and if I'm spending all my money on tech stuff I don't have any left over for shoes and handbags, and surely that's not right. 

Friday, January 9

New Year's resolutions

It's going to be hard to top last year's triumph of learning how to ride a bicycle.
So this year's resolutions, in no particular order, are:
  •  keep a clean and tidy house so that I can consider having people drop in at short or no notice without having a panic attack. (Should be feasible, if S cooperates...)
  • develop a better attitude about my job, or find a new one. (Attitude adjustment, meh. I'll try, though. New job, perhaps feasible but not ideal due to economic downturn)
  • become a better photographer instead of just a snapshot taker (yeah, I can do that. And it will be fun)
  • exercise, exercise, exercise. (So far so good: 3 yoga classes and 2 Pilates classes this week. Effects probably counteracted by having brownies, more brownies and nothing but brownies for dinner last night, but never mind)