Money ain't for nothing and your tits for free

Friday, December 31, 2004

Give your money to Tsunami Victims. So many ways to do it, and never so pressing a need.


Why are there naked ladies always on my TV? I'll never get used to how lax the french are with nudity at 8pm. Those Folies girls are running around, Vegas style, completely topless. This is less surprising than the amount of topless thongstyle photos I see in subways and pharmacy posters everywhere.


Have an old Toronto friend visiting for the New Year's. He's depressed about his girlfriend dumping him before the trip. She's running around in Paris, with her ex-ex, who happens to be in Paris too. So, instead of hanging out with yours truly, he's decided to take in the Champs Elysees "foule" when the clock ticks down, by himself. While he's doing that, he's missing my little dinner party, chock full of oysters and champagne, and also the fun little after party that will be running at a loft just round the corner. In his favour, I'll admit that last night I told him we had no idea what we were doing. But who really plans New Year's party plans more than 2 hours in advance? Oh well. I can only wish him good luck and hope he manages to snog some random girl under some random french monument.


Had an excellent pre-New Year's celebration last night, at the house of a reputable food critic/food maniac.
We started a soupe de foie gras, that was impossibly light and mousse-like, coupled with Cremant du Loire (a type of white wine) that blew my mind.

That was followed by a green bean shrimp salad (the shrimp crisped with cumin and ginger) lightly sprinkled with a hazelnut oil dressing (accompanied with a kind of champagne) made by his girlfriend. It was equally spectacular, and the beans were perfectly crisp and sweet.

This was then pursued by roast poularde (young hen) that had been steamed with a beef roast inside, then flash roasted, accompanied by green tea (macha) polenta (with more champagne).

I got kicked in the head with four very strong ripe cheeses (a ripe Musster, some crazy tower like cheese that ate my ears, a crazy sweet blue, and a frustra (???) that we ate with cherry jam). The blue cheese was the star, all fluffy sweet white and creamy on top (like a soft crumbly ricotta) with a sharp pungent jab hiding in the blue crumbs underneath. That was paired with some other kinds of champagne (that was decanted!!!)

For dessert we had green tea chocolate cake (barely sweet!) and chocolate chestnut cake that was soft like brownie batter, but crispy all along the edges.

Gazonga! I tottered home with a head full of bubbly and enough sensory experiences to last the year!


I already rented out my New Year's day DVDs. Dark Water and Nemo...laugh it up. I'll be happy toasty comfy in bed all day long. Smell you later

Happy New Year!

Oh Canada!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Felt bad about all the gushing I did on the in-laws. So...have decided to post a lovely photo of my real family, in CANADA!!! Hi guys! Oh, wow, look at all that yummy snow!

Oh home and native land...


My In-Laws

I've come back after spending the Christmas weekend with my new in-laws, and, well, they were fantastic. They're an unpretentious lot, very loud, very "famille," always four kisses on the cheeks, lots of giggling, bad jokes, dirty jokes, funny jokes, silliness, oodles and oodles of food, and genuine affection. We got his dad a magnetic keychain for his petanque balls, and, even though it's tiny and quite cheap, he absolutely LOVED the present! Once they party streamers hit the floor at 3 in the morning, and we all started singing along to Dalida, I knew this was going to be great.

Of course, this didn't happen overnight. When I first started to date Dacnar, I spoke a minimal amount of french. Both Pappy and Mamie were shocked to see their boy with not just an anglophone, but someone who was obviously from a very different culture. Language was a barrier. People were shy, and there was the usual awkwardness.

I remember one shocking event, when I said I thought wild boars (sangliers) were cute, and Pappy whipped out his old cassette of "chasse" (hunting), replete with violent graphic scenes of boars getting their brains blasted out. Arrrr, the horror! Or when we were discussing the Euro (Soccer), and suddenly he yelled "I have one thing to say, in ENGLISH... France, CHAMPION DU MONDE!" Crazy. But hilarious too.

But, in the last year, since I started to play petanque, swear, babble in french, and keep up my drink, things have been going swimmingly. His dad is an avid cycling fan, just like his son, so we have lots to gabble over. His mom is sweetness, and very easy to get along with. His sisters are all very loud and enthusiastic, and genuinely warm. They're an easy family to like.

What really gets me is the curiousity. They are so curious about everything Canadian. This afternoon, I knew I was officially accepted when Daddy Forgeard decided that they would like to take a trip to Canada. This coming from a guy who's only left France once.

I love my own family, even though it's becoming commonplace for me to spend Christmas an ocean away from them. I miss them so. They will always be my family, and the dearest and closest to me. But, having this kind of surrogate family ain't so bad. As far as in laws go, yeah, I'm lucky.

My new father-in-law

This picture was taken around 4am, December 25th. The man puts us to shame.


Castrated Male Chickens are this year's Winners in France

The question was "what was your main dish on Christmas Day?"
Here are the results.


Chicken was the big winner. Under this category were both hens and capons (castrated male chicken). Capons were the bird of choice, if it was chicken, in France.

Overall, all the turkeys, except one Irish and Singaporean exception, came from North America.

Only four people out of the North Americans polled did not eat turkey.
These four ate: tandoori chicken, ham, stuffed pork and guyanese pork. Pig is the big option if you don’t eat turkey.

In English speaking countries, chicken and turkey dominated.

France displayed more variety, with guinea fowl, lamb and, most noticeably, seafood.

France was the only country to have seafood featuring as a main dish. Langoustines, lobster, salmon and shrimp were the options. Most of these results came from areas bordering the coastline, such as the Charentes area, or Normandy.

My only New Zealand contribution had kefte balls (which I assumed are made of lamb) since they were having a Turkey (as in nation) themed Christmas.

The mixed bag was for people who didn’t have just one main dish, but competing main dishes. An outstanding contribution was made by my finnish carnivore ex-rommate, who had three meat dishes: turkey, beef and ham. That was the only entry made by beef.

The weirdest menu was from Singapore, continually paving the way for fusion cooking: lasagna, chicken satay and almond chicken curry. I couldn’t figure out what was the main dish in that one. Her menu was also capped with that stinkiest of king fruits, durian, and a very nice calming jello-like desert, made of seaweed, called agar agar.

Goose didn’t get on anyone’s list, unfortunately.

Results came in from the following countries:
New Zealand

Thanks to all those who participated.

love is in the air

Friday, December 24, 2004

Imagine this: late Thursday night, the crowd is tired on the platform, two days till Christmas. Metro: Reamur Sebastopol. Across from us, sitting on three plastic seats, are three ordinary middle aged black men, one with a small drum, the second with an acoustic guitar, the third with an electric guitar and a mic. The acoustic and drum are tapping out the rhythm section to Carole King's You've got a Friend.

The electric guitar suddenly sits in, playing a very relaxed minimal melody atop the rhythm. Only the very keys necessary, a bit like Thelonius Monk. He's sitting very far backwards on his chair, his belly supporting the white electric. Three teenagers start to dance and clap along to his playing. They laugh. He continues, slow and tender, delicately weaving the outlines of the melody arch, note after note, a very deep quiet settles in over the platform. People are listening. And then he starts to sing.

When you're down and troubled
and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
and you know wherever I am
I'll come running, oh yeah baby
to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
all you have to do is call
and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

If the sky above you
should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
and soon I will be knocking upon your door.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
all you got to do is call
and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well they'll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.
Oh babe, don't you know that,
Winter spring summer or fall,
Hey now, all you've got to do is call.
Lord, I'll be there, yes I will.
You've got a friend.
You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.
You've got a friend.

I'm having such luck these days.

Le Bistrot des Soupirs

It's on rue de la Chine.
What Dacnar ate:
Terrine de Col-Vert (home made duck terrine with cornichons)
Rognons de Veau with Frites (Veal Kidney, with Mustard Cream Sauce, and Fries)

What I ate:
Fricasee de Chanterelles et Pleurotes (with garlicky parsley butter)
La Biche aux Sauce des Bois (Deer -female...Doe- with berry sauce, served with smashed potatoes)
Chocolate Mousse with Cranberries

What we drank
Bordeaux (I forget...was good.)

am drunk, well fed and happy. The biche was spectacular, so tender and tasty, slipped through the knife easily, and tasted like it was supposed to, meat. The sauce rocked. Fantastic.

The restaurant, as I mentioned before, is mentioned in the Guide Gault-Millau.
Oof, now must sleep for feasting tomorrow. How can Audrey Tatou eat here and still fit into her mini panties?

take a deep deep breath and count to ten

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Because it's almost Christmas, and last-minute Christmas shoppers were rushing about today. I really like shopping on a Monday afternoon, or Wednesday morning, when no one else is around. Unfortunately, dacnar, being contrary against gift-buying just until he panics, forced us out into the masses this afternoon.

christmas is scary because not only do you have to get something for each person, you have to calculate what they want against what you could possibly play with the day of Christmas after they get bored, calculated against price, calculated against what the damage against the environment, then packaging issues. It's horrible. I'm bad at wrapping.

Oh well. As a reward, dacnar is taking me out for dinner tonight at a little bistro I've been keeping my eye on since we moved. Le Bistrot des Soupirs (the Bistro of Gasps!), practically just across the street. It's a favourite of little Amelie (Tatou), and is recommended by the Gault Millau. Gosh, there goes all our hard-worked frugality, all out in one seul coup. Tell you about the meal later.

There's something strange in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


How well it holds up. Now that it's that it's the holidays in France, there's a spate of good movies from the late 80s and 90s on the tele. Today was Ghostbusters, CLASSIC! How great is this movie? Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Ackroyd (yeah! My SCTV guys!) rocking it out with Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver, not mention the SLIMER! ...and The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is one of my favourite monsters of all time!

Malbrunot et Chesnot libres!!!

Incredible! Just when I feared that I would forget them, the journalists Christian Chesnot and George Malbrunot have been released. This is gives me some hope. Not all hostages are killed after all. Merry Christmas everyone!

Snow in Paris

That's right! It actually snowed last night. That makes only the third time I've seen the white stuff in France. Not that kind of white stuff, silly!

Christmas survey

What are you going to be eating on Christmas Day?

Other (please specify)

you can email me the answer (find my email on the profile page)
results will be published. anonymity assured.

How people were good to me today

A very warm and gracious day, one of the best so far. Here's the recap:

-Contacted two of my fellow bloggers to find advice on job seeking. Both replied promptly and both offered great practical advice, on top of the usual good humour. Thanks Petite and Auntie M.

-Woke up to the husband vacuuming the house and making breakfast.

-Got a phonecall from Voin in the early afternoon. HE'S BACK from BERLIN!!! Planned a date for tonight at Espace Paul Ricard.

-Updated some ideas and finished the framework on my latest story.

-Ate a big pasta dish that was a mix of bolognaise sauce and spinach with Dacnar. The dish went brownish green, we called it the swamp thing, and it ate my brain. Soooo goooood. The hubby and me laughed it up to "Questions pour un Champion," daft french version of a quiz show. The host is so much more stupid than Alex Trebek ever was.

-Luckily I ate a lot because then it was time to go to Espace Paul Ricard, where it's always open bar. Met up with Ana, and on walking through the doors, was hailed with great cry and violent embrace by Voin, who looks fantastic, so fresh from Berlin. T-Bo, his BF, was there too. So fun, so sweet, those two. Despite polishing off 1/2 bottle of wine at home over dinner, still managed to squash down 2 ricards and 1 hefty scotch.

-Bumped into the boy who made my life entertaining in September. He and his friends have decided to end the Cold War. I was friendly with him because I don't like to hold grudges, but have decided that I will not go out of my way to make conversation and entertain people who have deeply offended me. A very good self-realisation I think.

-Went in for more good times with Voin, T-Bo and Ana. On the way back to their place, we picked up McDo Deluxe Potatoes and another bottle of wine. Voin cooked up hamburger with tomato sauce and we giggled over baby photos of my two favourite trouble-makers.

-Ana fell asleep while we watched School of Rock. That's my 6th time seeing this doozy. Have I fallen in love with Chad Black or is it the ghost of my Jimmy Page infatuation coming to haunt me? Earlier on, Ana woke up my rock voice, which was nice because it's been a long time since I've talked the Rob Zombie growl voice. Come to think of it, might've been the first time in France!

-Took a cab home to leave Ana piled on the boys's mattress. Was so great to come back to my warm and lovely apartment, Dacnar still awake, chirping about happily on the computer. He's figured out how to use HTML in email! Watch out world!

-Checked my email to find more goodies. A guy who I thought was leaving hateful comments was actually just joking, which raps bad on my sense of humour, but raps good on the fact that now I know I wasn't being jumped in a digital alleyway by badman. Sorry pomodoro if I rained on your parade.

-Finally, all in all, have come to love the world so much more, and am assured that people do good things, that it has nothing to do with an urge to change the world but out of good nature, and, dare I say it, love. And here's one for Dacnar:

"My baby may not be rich
he's watching every dime
but he loves me loves me loves me
we always have a real good time."
Let's hear it for the boy by Denise Williams


How to be good

Monday, December 20, 2004

Is not for me. It's Nick Hornby's book. I don't think I like his writing, or his humour, or the way I can hear his smarmy smugness of a "oh I'm so hilarious but deep" brit coming my way. It's terrible. And the ending is so heavy-handed. The whole book is an exercise in false apology and some vague kind of soul-seeking. In the end, I thought it ressembled the type of self-help mumbo jumbo he was trying to sympathetically mock and commiserate with. That kind of stuff is for dingbats and loosy goosy lefties. Bah. Back to Coetzee. Only the strong survive.

NON à l'Abandon de Zoo!!

On the eastern edge of Paris lies one of the two forests abutting the metropolitan: the Bois de Vincennes. It's a rather large park than many joggers, pet walkers and, after hours, prostitutes frequent. Tucked away in the Park are many different attractions: The School of Dogs for the Blind, the Hippodrome (racetrack), the Velodrome de Jacques Anquetil (ancient champion of the Tour de France), and the Zoo. We were too late for the Sunday races so we settled for the Zoo, something I have always had mixed feelings for.

Don't get me wrong. It's always stunning and slightly bewildering to find yourself face to face with an animal that you know you'd never see in any other situation, but who's life is reduced to some sort of simulation game. The Zoo happens to be one of those places where both actor and public find themselves trapped in a relationship based in a zone of similitude. Unfortunately for the animals, they don't get to walk away after the day is done and go on with the rest of their lives.

The Zoo covers 14.5 hectares and has most definitely seen better days. We parked a little bit off the entrance and walked. Next to the road was the giant 65m fake mountain they built to house the animals. The fake mountainous range, which looks like it's made of papier mâché, tapers down towards the entrance. At its edge was a sign which read "upcoming lemur exhibit." Definitely a means to get people out of their warm apartments and spend an afternoon in nearly sub-zero temperatures for one of their two days off.

Still, what was even more horrifying was the decrepit state of the building. Hidden behind the sign was a large gaping hold, as if someone had bitten the building, and underneath the hole were several bare plankings, some of them hanging free. If someone hadn't told me, I would suspect that what I was walking into was the set of a film, sometime after some apocalyptic event where people had forgotten what human beings were up to in the early 21st century.

Finally rounding the corner, we came across this sign: "Personnel en Colère!! NON à l'Abandon de Zoo!!" (Workers Angry!!! Say NO to the Closing of the Zoo!!) The sign was spraypainted on white fabric and hung just underneath the metal letters of the zoo, right above a warning sign indicating falling debris. Depressing.

I agree with the Workers! I too would be angry. It's bad enough to have to care, feed, clean and love an animal population that's clearly in depressing circumstances. It's worse that no one goes to the Zoo in the first place. Where is money and support for these poor creatures stuck so far from home?

So, if you're in Paris, and you feel up to it, go to the Zoo. The giraffes, elephants and hippos have gone south for the winter, but everything else is there. Please, even if you think it's a stinky way to spend a wintry day, do it at least once. If those animals are going to be stuck in cages the whole day, at least let them eat cake, or at least enough of their normal diet.

just in case...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Oh goodness me! Forgot to take off my signature, listing this blog, on an email to a possible employer. Hence, they might check this site! Egads. What a mess. In any case, I've started removing all swear words off the blog. I only went through the last six, but I'm going to go through them tomorrow. What a bad mistake.

I am dedicated, motivated, curious and meticulous. You want me to work for you because I am passionate about being a successful and useful person. Thank you and have a nice day.

Attention: Falling Prices

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Yesterday the north of France was hit with a particularly violent windstorm. A woman in the 16th arrondissement was killed by a giant tree trunk, crushing her grey Golf VW. Firemen also reported several trees fallen in the Buttes-Chaumont, and 10 Christmas trees tossed around. In the north, on the coast, Le Havre was hit by gigantic waves, reaching more than 5 metres in height, and the winds exceeded 155km/hr. The lower Normandy was the worst hit, with a rise of water level over 30cm in Honfleur. No report yet on the damage to Erik Satie's house.

And two people in metropolitan Paris were hit in the head by plastic signboards, advertising upcoming Christmas sales. Let’s hope that nature’s wrath won’t display such ironic wit anytime soon. (thanks Jeremy for the idea on the title)


Originally uploaded by nardac.
While the winds were wreaking havoc outside, I settled down for a giant ball of chocolate ganache, set on almond shortbread. I went off to get my tea and when I came back, my cookie monster had already started.


sports and erotism

Friday, December 17, 2004

he gnarly french dude with a german accent is at it again! He's got his scrubby pen out, after years buried in the alps. Here's a sportswriter you won't come across every day. A man who knows the value of eating a giant bowl of noodles before jumping on a bike. I would like to introduce the true pagan god of two wheels, the arch-daddy of the peleton, the masterful maniac of sports and erotism, the one, the only Mr. Pascal D'Huez!.

And yes, the blog is in French. So get your translation engines ready.

the married couple!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

So, thought I'd upload this, in case anyone was curious to see how the marriage has been going.

comic characters

I didn't draw this. It did.

FREE, like 1984

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

AHHH, back to my favourite topic, beating up my adopted country. I can't help it if things are just soooo much more civilized in my native country and that france happens to be a country where simple rational reasoning seems to have gone AWOL.

Among all the internet providers available for the consumer is a company called FREE. They offer a very attractive package of internet tv, 10hrs free calls in Metropolitan France and unlimited 2MB Adsl for 30Eu a month. That's what we call a sweet deal. Unfortunately, they don't tell you about how long it takes to get this service.

We mailed (snail mail) our application to FREE in the beginning of September. It was sent back a two weeks later because we needed to sign something, then, repeat the process, they needed another form, then repeat, they needed a variation on the same form. Why snail mail? That's the only way they accept registration. Finally, when it was all said and done, we had waited over a month and half before our application was approved. Yay.

Not. Since then, we've been waiting for the blessed freebox, the modem box that delivers all the services. So, you ask, why don't you start bugging them. Well, we tried. Here's the fun part. They have a phone number, a fax number and a web address. The web address has no listing of a contact email. There is an icon on the bottom right for email, but it's a joke, a free joke! You click on the icon and it gives you a little pop-up in Outlook/Mailer telling you that if this interests you, to visit their website! hahahaha, bleah!

The letter they send you to confirm your registration, the same letter that tells you your box is coming in two weeks, has three numbers. Two of them cost 34cents a minute, and there's one free number for inscription. All of them, when you dial, give you a message saying the following:
hold on one moment please
"Hello, thanks for calling. Due to the volume of calls, we are no longer able to receive your call. If you need help or service, please contact our website at ....."
Finally, you call the fax line, out of desperation, and a little voice comes on telling you that the fax line is no longer in service!!!

So what is this? Jail? I feel so trapped. We have no answer on our situation, no way of knowing when we will receive our "freebox," no idea how long it will take, they keep changing the information on our online file. Our line used to be equiped with ADSL, and now it's not? I don't mind if you can't do something. What I can't stand is the lack of transparency.

And FREE are not the only dingbats around. There's also the government itself. If you need to make a rendez-vous with the Prefecture, you can phone them. Or not. I tried three of the numbers listes on the website, and NONE OF THEM WORK! Is this normal? It is the government, the police after all, isn't it? So, what, we need a calamity to happen before somebody gets on the other line. Even then, I'm not sure.

If terrorism ever came to this country they would have a field day.

Make your own evil plan!

Here in Nardac headquarters, we're coming up with fresh ideas everyday for 2005. Not content with 2004's already high standards, such as a stripping fax machine and auto-burning forest, our great colleagues have come up with a new plan. Check it out:

Congratulations on being the creator of a new Evil Plan (tm)!

Your objective is simple: Destroy the Earth
Your motive is a little bit more complex: Love (Yes, it works)

Stage One:

To begin your plan, you must first Assassinate a Town Mascot. This will cause the world to sit up and take notice, stunned by your arrival. Who is this Ripe Bastard? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good as a Brain in a Jar?

Stage Two:

Next, you will Contaminate/poison the Moon (ooh, tides!). This will cause countless hordes of the Undead to flock to you, begging to do your every bidding. Your name will become synonymous with Fuzzy bunnies, as lesser men whisper your name in terror.

Stage Three:

Finally, you will Covertly Move your Needlessly Big Weather Machine, bringing about Pain, suffering, the usual. This will all be done from a Island of Mu, an excellent choice if we might say. These three deeds will herald the end, and the citizens of this planet will have no choice but to elect you their new god.

Trust us, it'll all come together in the end.

you need to have a very evil plan too? check this out

ester is crazy

This woman is bonkers. She makes her own fresh fromage blanc and yoghurt!!! It's too far out. But, if there's north americans out there who are wondering why I rave about the dairy in France, well, it's because there's maniacs like ester out there, who, malcontent with the already high standard of milk-based products, will go all-out to duplicate the fermentation process inside of a young cow's stomach. Gross.

Still as far out food sites goes, it's worth a gander. Precious-cashew, this one's for you.

Paris Saint-Germain, the love is growing stronger everyday

Zounds! I'm a Parisienne, but it's still a far shot to find fans of PSG, Paris Saint-Germain, the local football team here in the city of lights. If you ask the common person on the street whether they know who won last night, most of them will look like you as if you're made of glue. It's probably stunningly obvious but Paris does not seem to have a character that lends itself to football. Unlike Boston and Baseball, Montreal and Hockey, LA and Basketball, Paris and football seem unlikely bed-partners.

Don't get me wrong, I think that football, being the national treasure and bastion of pride, ever since 1998, has its place in every nook and crany of this god-forsaken country. There are fans of PSG. But if we're going to speak about sports fans, we'd have to talk about a team that's history runs so deep that it scars the collective memories. France has such a team, and that's Marseille.

There's people all around the country brandishing their pale blue scarves. You can hear some guy in Bretagne yelling about Marseille. Their fans are rabid. They brook no argument on all matters pertaining to les Olympic Marseillaises. The goalkeeper for the french national team, their captain, also plays for Marseille. He guards the clamshell, and should he fail, which he rarely does, the fans are more likely to lynch the referee than his lordly Barthez.

So, a couple of weeks back, PSG went to Marseille to play an away game. Despite PSG's weiner-princess status, Marseille has had distinctive problems beating them. (You definitely don't want to mention this to Marseille). The game was highly hyped as being a real dinger, and it's true, PSG raises the bar when it crashes in on the rowdy southern brothers-in-arms. Still, I think PSG went the first five games without winning, or even scoring a goal. That's a very bad start for a team that finished third in the league last year.

Like I said before, I've never been a PSG fan. If there's one team I could be said to have supported it was Monaco, and, contrary to what France thinks, Monaco is not French. Last year was divine, with an epic run to the finals of the Champions League, recording a gutsy win against Real Madrid (those top heavy over-laiden golden dunderheads...sorry Ronaldo, Zidane, Beckham, Roberto Carlos, and Figo (stars of the past baby!), which was capped by a knockout performance by Morientes, at that time on loan from R.Madrid! Anyways, digression there... it was a great team, which no longer exists. Giuly went off to Barca, Rothen and Cisse to PSG, and Morientes back home to Madrid. s..s..s..sad.

So, who to cheer for? I was watching a couple of the early games and I wanted to cheer for Lens, with the addition of Eric Carriere, one of the more underrated mid-fielders, but that was bad because Lens is really in a bad way... or even for Lyon, with their fresh new crop of exciting Brazilians, plus Juninho and Sidney Govou. Any team but PSG.

As you can see from the majority of this post, I don't follow PSG. I don't have a whole sparkling tray of facts to throw out, nor players names. I don't even know the name of the coach. What I do know is that they have a player called Pauleta.


I started following Pauleta during the Euro, when Portugal lost its heartbreaker to those Grecian scene stealers. The Portuguese team was the finest most exciting team to follow in this year's Euro, withstanding of course the British team when it had Wayne Rooney. Cristiano Ronaldo was so wicked, racing upfield and around, Figo was magisterial, and Deco was, ugh gross, what a gremlin! Hiding around in the attacker's position was a rather anonymous looking player, with close cropped hair and Luke Wilson features. But, like the French team, this guy seemed cursed. No connection, no conversion, couldn't score, completely unlucky some would say, mentally lacking the winner's touch. He did seem active, but just never in the right place, at the right time. That's the attacker's job, that and to be brutally lucky. Still, after hearing Dacnar's comment, "ah Pauleta, il n'a pas chance" *(P., got no luck)" I held onto the name. And, lo and behold, he plays right here in Paris! Incredible. Exciting. Well, if he scores that is.

So, I started following PSG a bit this year, especially after their miserable start. Not severely, but enough to see how inefficient Rothen was in this midfield, how terribly uncoordinated the team was. No chemistry. Passes were all over the place and the upfield seemed always too far behind, and not aggressive enough. There's some good players on the team, Modeste M'bami, Mendy, Cisse, Rothen, Lluboja. They should be able to do something.

I didn't see the game against Marseille, but it was historic because Marseille lost, again. Hahahaha. Plus, they lost because of an auto-goal, Bixente Lizarazu did something clumsy with his head, inadvertently passing directly towards the attacker. BUT!!!!!!! (that means GOAAAAAAALLLLL! in french) Classic Stupidity in the pressure situation, what we've come to expect from those Olympic Marseille guys!

Still, nothing could top the horror of last Wednesdays crazy flat loss to Moscow. PSG actually led at the beginning of the game, and with several chances before the half-time, it actually looked like the score could have been 2-0 going into the last 45 minutes. Then, things started to fall apart. First Moscow tied it up, then grabbed two quick goals for a swift knockout to what was already an over-pressured over-denied team. The team crawled off the field, demoralised. They just had to win to get a berth into the Champions League. Flat, not to mention Mendy's lame-ass red card for swiping the back of guy's head right in front of the referee. You gotta have brains the consistency of marmalade, or one very frustrated overboil to try that out.

But I knew something was wrong, right from the beginning. Pauleta missed a very close header, M'bami broke his leg. There was a sour mood from all the negative press, coming from both critics and the players alike. M'bami said that the team didn't have a chance in hell of winning, that they were "on the side of the road." Tonight, on the radio, one of the commentators said that maybe there just wasn't enough love. The fans don't love the team. That much is obvious. They whistle with derision at any sign of weakness. There is no loyalty, no cohesion, no writhing band of merry madness cheering the warriors on. It's terrible.

So, on the LotoFoot this weekend, when asked who would win the game between Sochaux and PSG, and everyone else picking Sochaux because they had seen the debacle against Moscow last week, I stuck to my guns. I picked PSG. Why? Because, g'dammit, I'm Parisienne, and I'm going to support my team. And you know what, THEY WON! They won in magnificent fashion. Pauleta crashed two goals, and the team played together. They were motivated. The players have decided to take things into their own hands and lead their team themselves...screw the coach, who has agreed to encourage more dialogue between players and administration. Pauleta is the captain all but officially, and I know he's going to do something. Boys got heart.

Because, if there's one thing I've learned from years and years of cheering for a losing team, the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, sometimes there's more glory, drama, pain and love for a shitty team that breaks its heart for a win. The more scarred, the more banged-up they were, they more they took it out to the ice. The Leafs were like Monaco last year, one nasty scarred mini mutt you didn't want to cross paths with. I've cried over their wins, I've cried over their losses. I know to cheer them in the last period, even when the score is evily lop-sided. Because, you have to stick with your team. It's the rule for every sports fan. It's written in the book, look it up.

Which is why PSG needs some fans, because their current lot are lily-livered pea-shooters with less fealty than J'Lo's boyfriends. It starts now. Say it once say it loud. PSG, make us proud! (or, in french, dites moi un fois, PSG, oui les rois!)


mygoodness, I finally let out all my pent-up sports fanaticism, in one go!

And looking at the Eric Pryoz video makes me realize how incredibly universal the idea of little boys jerking off to the 20 minute work-out was. Those self-same little boys are now all grown up and making videos where it's the same thing, spandex, blond big hair, hip thrusts, plus a none too subtle invitation for some rug burn. Jane Fonda inadvertantly spawned a whole generation of boys who pulled the tube to girls in leg warmers and spandex asking you to give them four more. and one, and two, and three...

116 days??!!

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's been 116 days since George Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot were taken hostage. They're the french journalists for the paper Le Monde. When they were first taken hostage, demands were quite specific: France was given an ultimatum to change their law on a girl's right to wear the veil in public school, or the journalists would be killed. The deadline was set for a couple of weeks, which coincided with the date of the return to school. The date came and went, french girls were stripped of their veils before going into class, nothing happened. A couple of week ago, the chauffeur, a Jordanian, was found in an Iraqi town. His keepers had abandoned him.

So, all this has only happened maybe 3 months ago and already it's foggy in my brain. I don't keep these facts in my brain just for the chance to out-trivia someone in a board game or game show. In fact, I don't think I keep these facts in my brain at all.

But when I think that they're still out there, that what was first page news for three days running is now faded, like my memories of a very sexy promising September rife with wild parties, as if we were keen on losing our heads before bowing before the autumn grind, when I think of all that...I can't think about it anymore. Some things, simple, are really incomprehensible. I am supposed to care, right?

Here's the website for those less keen to forget than I.

in my room

If you want to know what I've been thinking, well, it's strange because I can't really honestly say what I feel or think right now, in any exact way. The last couple of weeks have been extremely internal.

(on the tv - there's a fat brunette with glasses, in the middle of the forest, who just sat down to meditate. She's wearing trackpants in pale pink. She's the type of woman you see in the corner of libraries on a Wednesday afternoon, pouring over back issues of Psychology magazine. There's always a sweetly rotten smell about her, as if the water never completely dries. She's breathing deeply, and trying to get into a comfortable buddha position, but it seems hard, to be completely still and one with the ravine, when you're asthmatic. Suddenly, she bounces up, and says "I needed that," and goes running off into the woods.)

I remember a long time ago, when I was child, spending practically a whole summer in my bed.

What did I do? I think that most of the time was spent playing with my stuffed animals. There were 6 of them, all of which I shared with my sister, though common property ended with the white stuffed cat. I made up stories for them, where they were fabulously rich and talented, but also each with a comic-like weakness. One could run around the world 30 times in one second but was very stupid. Another had an enormous brain, very hard head, and legs that broke. A Dull-tective, a Da Catty. Child-like stuff. Repetitive.

The panda was special. He had very stupid looking eyes and when you raised your index finger, he intrigued himself into poking his eye out. Am I in that stage right now? Intriguing myself into poking my eyes out?

When the outside is cold, the sun seems to set too early, and the struggle against possible social boredom seems hopeless, the bed becomes the best haven. Piles of books against the blackness. Comics, jokes, fantasies, short-stories, pot-boilers and polar-noirs, stack them in the painted white corner and one digs into them, one after the other, like hot boiled sausages waiting to smothered with mustard.

But, I know that this doesn't interest the average blog-reader. You don't really care what it is that's pickling in my head right now. You want a story with a witty comment, or something you can relate to and then comment on. A debate! Sorry...I just wanted to tell you, to record it now, I'm at home, on my computer, in my bed, and everything is sweet jim fine and dandy.

just me myself and I

I've been working on a top secret project. An noooooo, it's not the redesign of my blog. Suffice to say, it's not going to be the website that time-warps climate-changing vessels from outta-space...but something nicer, with references to ironic bicycle races from the mid-80s, and a little dose of dacnar pepper. Check in the next two days for the link!

And, yes, btw, this site will be in french. So, for those who are lazy, you can always copy-paste the bastard into a translation engine. Lucky for the ass-pickers I've got a link on the sidebar to a nice little translation engine.

Either than that, what have I been doing? Taking care of business. Like the very seconds before the big bang, I have become an almost static concentrated mass. And, like the birth of our universe, I hope to be expanding in multiple directions very soon.

Here's a selection of some of the goodies I've been munching in the last couple of days:

Hey Big Honey - Letters to Thai Whores
Le Trou Bleu - Hoshino (Japanese Manga on Time Warping Ocean Holes)
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
The Invention of Solitude - Paul Auster
Objective Mat - ??? (chess book)
Abelard and Heloise - The love letters

Plus I finally watched Manhattan, the Woody Allen film, which love love love, and cook some roasted lamb, and host a blind test for 80s music fans. Packed weekend.
That's in the last 2.5 days. Now the birds are singing, I've finished doing something other than getting bed sores, and it's time to go to bed.

This is not stupid

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Well...actually it is a bit, kind of.
Went out last night with the Manue for some quickie action in the L'ile Saint Denis, suburb of Paris. It was stupid cold last night, so walking was shitty, especially over the bridge where icy wind turned yours truly's haircut into flippy flop washed out mohican do. Headed off to the Dude's 'cause he was having a make-up dinner.

Make up for what, you ask? Well, since I've been abstaining from blogging, due to personal reasons, I haven't told you about last friday's mysteriously boring turn of events. All the girls were invited for a dinner at the Dude's, and, for some reason or another, all the girls didn't show up. Scoobs said she was tired, and she did look like a bag of rags, Queenie was on a rage, Manue was busy making fake IDs, Jules was cleaning her toilet, and I was just scared of taking the RER by myself. So we suck and that was it.

Later in the night, we miraculously transformed to party panthers and attacked the dancefloor at what was one of the most boring techno parties ever, at VooDoo. I got only one word for what went on over there: LAME. I don't think Queenie ever recovered from eating too much roast-chicken potato chips anyways. Also, at Voodoo was this weirdo, and I mean serious bail-breaker weirdo who tried to grab me and then stalked me around the dance floor all night. Luckily Manue did funny over-ecstatic dance to a mediocre techno buildup, and managed to bounce his ass outta there.

Anyways, back to the dinner party this week. So we're on our way and who should we run into but Mags, ex-girlfriend of the guy who made me life very entertaining in September. You remember the story, crazy Pashmengas and some guy freaking out and leaving me at Republique in the middle of the night. That's him. He was nice, then really nice, then too nice, and then the cold water came, then not too nice, bad SMSs, very sordid really. At that time, he was still dating Mags! And, after a couple of crazy run-ins with the two of them, where Antarctica seemed fucking warm, I guessed the what the relationship actually was. Jeez, somehow the french code of the "drag" (automatic flirt response)seems contradictory with other moral code of absolute fidelity. How the two manage to be compatible in France leads me to think that there is a mysterious and powerful core to Catholicism.

Yo, so seeing Mags is tantamount to wearing a winter jacket all night long. But, surprise surprise, she gives me a bisous, and SMILES?! Still, things remain frosty, all night long, and I notice her ignoring several of my questions and comments. The bisous were probably perfunctory. Gosh, why in the hell do people go through all that trouble to kiss you twice on the cheeks if really they don't give a damn. Makes me feel sad about kissing. But, I have to hand it to Mags, she's a classy gal who takes things in stride. And, she was funny, laughed, and did have an unbearable cute grin. Wished things never got stupid with her. Ah well. Such is life... roll with the punches. Anyways, from what she said, she's not seeing him anymore. Claims it's changed her life in a really great and surprising way. It's true, she looks a helluva lot better, less mouse-like. Still, I get packaged with the nasty baggage of her breakup, I presume.

.....So, I digress, the Dude made Cassoulet for dinner. That's beans with preserved duck and sausage. Sounds gross? SHUT UP! It's french! Well, it was ok...not spectacular, but definitely delicious. But, he also made brandade de morue, cod smashed milk and olive oil...and goddam, I want the recipe. It was formidable!

What else to say, got stupidly drunk, smoked copious amounts of stuff, did an impromptu version of "Love is in the Air" in a very cold lobby completely covered in puke-green painted concrete, endured some very pretentious talk about computer music (yawn) and the value of the "geste" (double yawn) in making music, and impromptu fashion show with caps from the Dude's collection (for fuck's sakes, he has a fluorescent green poor-boy's cap to go with his Simpson's yarmulka). Come to think of it, the Dude is the only guy I know who has a collection of yarmulkas...he's not Jewish either. He has the hulk, the simpsons, nike swoosh... By the way, did you know that those yarmulka's have the same kind of padding as padded bras? Me neither.

this is not completely stupid

yeah yeah, those guys up at Vodkacoca are up to more good stuff. Audio blog called micronuit, where you phone in and tell them what's hot in Paris tonight. Just heard one of the entries, which was just some dude singing about how he likes the site. Obviously it hasn't taken off yet...which is why I'm telling you! Yo frenchies, get hot on the touch pad!

this is completely stupid

I took another one of those stupid tests... this one said "What kind of rocker are you?" Turns out I'm a punk rocker. As if! If I'm punk rock, then punk rock is DEAD!


That said...I actually took the test again and cheated, just so that I could be something else than the White Stripes. Because, Jack White is a very cool guy, but he's not as rock as I'd like to be. But, I guess I over-reacted. Sorry Jack.

further evidence our generation is doomed

phish fans: incidentally taken at Bangor, locale of many S. King horror storiesphish fans: photo taken at Bangor, locale of many S. King horror stories

The following information is taken from wikipedia.

Phish, a US band, was formed in 1983 (1983 in music) at the University of Vermont by guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio, rhythm guitarist Jeff Holdsworth, and drummer Jonathan Fishman, later joined by bassist Mike Gordon. Jeff soon left the band (he found religion) and Page McConnell joined on keyboards, finalizing the lineup.
Phish began playing at local clubs in Burlington, and their live shows gained a reputation for extended improvisational jams. Their musical ethos is a playful mix of skilled improvisation, psychedelic rock, folk, bluegrass, funk, a capella/barbershop quartet, and intricate compositions. Some of their original compositions (such as "Theme from the Bottom" and "Farmhouse") tend towards a psychedelic-rock and bluegrass fusion, with more rock and funk elements than the Grateful Dead and other earlier so-called jam bands. Their more epic compositions (such as "The Divided Sky" and "You Enjoy Myself") are often said to resemble classical music in a rock setting.


The following information is taken from


(fish´ing) (n.) The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has.

Phishing, also referred to as brand spoofing or carding, is a variation on “fishing,” the idea being that bait is thrown out with the hopes that while most will ignore the bait, some will be tempted into biting.

Other forms: phish (v.)


I dunno what makes me shudder more, the fact there's still Grateful Dead spinoff fans, or the fact that there are so many asshole scams on the internet they had to give it a name. But, was I put off when SPAM, that great lunchmeat option, get sidled into computer terminology? hmm, not really. Come to think of it, SPAM and PHISH becoming computer words only shows you how deeply uncool techies are... and how muttonlike we're becoming to gobble up these terms without proposing a more salacious alternative.

had a bad day

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

You, who are you?!
I had a hard day

80s overdrive... not just bat wing sleeves either

Saturday, December 04, 2004

80s knowledge your thing?

take the test to see if you need a life outside of the 80s

happy birthday TERZ!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Originally uploaded by nardac.
Happy 33 year birthday, you gun crazy maniac you.
(He's my cousin's husband.)
And no, sometimes he is kind of human.


HOLY SHIT! I just found out that this little punk kid I know from junior high, the funny clownish brat who I never thought would amount to anything, wearing backwards baseball hats and always stretching for a pool game, that little kid is now the POKER CHAMPION OF THE WORLD. No kidding. Daniel Negreanu! For all you freaks from Zion Heights Junior High, I bet all you friggin' doctors, lawyers, accountants are so smug about your lives, but do you get to be Number 1 in the whole world?! Holy crap! And he coaches Tobey Maguire, an avid poker fan. Whoa. Talk about following your dream.

how to cook a wolf

M.F.K. Fisher
Originally uploaded by nardac.
The bookshelf we kept in my home, made of plastic covered particle board, was stuffed to the brim with sociology books, of which my father was a fan, and sundry mediocre hardcover fictions. Fantasy was an underrated virtue in my family.

As I grew up, I slowly plowed through the collection, growing more wary of dense sociology texts while discovering odd hidden gems, such as Maxim Gorky's Mother. The dictionary, an ancient Chamber's Dictionary, already fragile and musty, gradually fell apart over the years, dissolving into two separate sections, then lost it's heart somewhere around Garrulous and Histrionic.

Somewhere between all that, I discovered a book whose name I have since forgot. It was a slim paperback with a blond braided string for a bookmark. I must admit that the book's initial appeal was that rather girlish bookmark, but, eventually breaking the spine, I found myself transported into provincial France.

Thus began a lifelong inspiration, M.F.K. Fisher. Respected as the doyenne of culinary writing of her time, she has since faded from view. But her respect extends beyond the gastronomic realm. W.H. Auden wrote, in the preface for "the Art of Eating," that Fisher was the greatest prose stylists of her generation.

It's easy to understand the laureates, if one has actually read the thing itself. Her descriptions of food, in their settings, often beyond idyllic, seared my pubescent imagination. It was not food writing; it was pure sex. The sensuality of her prose, the way she eased the reader into sympathy, then intimacy, that gradually receding, witholding details, let the imagination flood with sensory frisson.

I remember one particularly singular chapter. She had stopped in a small restaurant, by the side of the mountain. Madame came by with the menu, and a blue trout was ordered. The air was clean, as befits mountain clime, and outside was the clean trinkle of the brook.

The trick with blue trout is technique. A fresh trout must be caught, kept buckingly alive, then thrown into hot boiling stock. If done right, the trout will curl up immediately. The trout is served with this customary twist, as if the pain of it's death was so extreme, so exquisite, that in it's death throes, an ecstatic vision was thrust upon its visage.

I haven't read this passage since my early teens, and yet it stands emblazoned in my mind. I dreamed, and still dream, of having such a dish arriving at my table. The event emphasized by appropriate surroundings, and a worthy candidate whose performance can be immediately assessed by its form. It must be emphasized that what Fisher brought to the table was experience, less taste.

And thus is all good food writing. One cares less whether the thing could be real in any objective sense. One wants to be carried away with the fantasy of the moment, a heightened extra-sensory experience. If you remember a great eating experience, it's usually highlighted by both foreknowledge, a certain foreplay, coupled with performance, the slow dissection and saveur of the plate itself.

If I write about this now it is because, suddenly, Fisher's writing has been reissued. All her classic tomes have been rereleased by Farrar, Stauss and Giroux, including "The Art of Eating," a glorious compilation of "how to cook a wolf," "serve it forth," "consider the oyster," and "an alphabet for gourmets."

Furthermore, Fisher was the translator for Jean Anselme Brillat-Savarin's legendary treatise on gastronomy, "The Physiology of Taste; or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy." And yes, he's the guy who's quote prefaces Iron Chef: "Tell me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are."

Not just a pretty face, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher will make you rething the idea of culinary writing. Nigel Slater, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, I'd trade them all for this slim elegant seductress who brings the romance back into the kitchen.