Return of the Csar - Safinette

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Marat Safin has won the Centenary Australian Open 2005, against Lleyton Hewitt: 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

My prediction: Safin will win all the other Grand Slams, except Wimbeldon... which will be taken by youngster Rafael Nadal.

Bring out the vodka and pickled herring...well done you Russian Growling Bear. Grrrr. (Actually, it's back to bed. I'm pooped.)


Ok, so this is a bit raunchy. I stumbled upon photos of Safin's girlfriend and she's like some kind of Britney/Kournikova Shithouse. Now, I'm not one to post porn on my site, so you have to check out the link yourself. But, WTF??!!! During the game? It speaks well of Safin's level of concentration that he manages to "focus" while his little friends were out there, "supporting."

alternative all star sports weekend!

Yeah, it's the finals for Golden Retriever Beach Frisbee this weekend. The hot contenders are Zipper, a 3-year old caramel retriever from East Bankshire, Mustardhead, 12-year old mustard retriever from Thurston, and Fellatio, self-abusing 8-year old from Moncton. They're going hot and heavy with alternate takes from the 80 yard line, striking from upward passes, and the run off. My vote is for Fellatio, he's got some serious Shakespearian tragic hero weight on him, after losing last year's final in under small concentration lapse.

No really, there's lots of stuff I'm going to be up to tomorrow: getting up in 5 hours for the Australian Open Final which I will listen to live, on the bbc. Then it's off to the Prix d'Amerique horse races...only the biggest prize money in the world. After that, gotta catch up on all the latest football results for the weekend. We've already blown our LotoFoot advantage on some misjudges on the Metz beating Auxerre 3-0, Sochaux and Nice posting a tie, and Lille not blowing Caen out of the water. Finally, there's the everlasting final stretches of the La Vendée Globe, where Jean le Cam, my favourite wily sea goat has inched to within 50 miles of leader Vincent Riou. Think about it, you round the Globe, by yourself in a boat, with no aid, and at the end of it all, you're only 50 miles apart from the other racer. MAD! MAD AND FUN!

Speaking of Mad and Fun, had wicked chat with Mr. Outlaw, where some very interesting ground was covered on the Turkanoid end. Turkanoids, Washington Infants and Scurvy on Dune. I think if we just keep working, we can solve all the problems of the 23rd century. You're right, Sultan Outlaw, Anthony Hopkins is exactly like some red-headed Conway Twitty. Plus, he's working on my Superbowl drought problem. At least somebody out there cares!

Also on the chat, the girls were online at around ALL of them. All the girls at home, online, chatting. Then suddenly, they ran out thirty minutes later, to go to some party. I was casually UN-invited, because I'm not a bachelorette, and so have no reason to leave the house already. But les filles, seriously, it's not like I have a 109 pound kid to babysit, or anything like that...

The only thing you're going to be eating are your words...

Friday, January 28, 2005

Well, actually, I wasn't so keen on Anna's little comeback during Homecoming. But it's the one that gets quoted the most on OC websites. There are a ton of "Which OC character are you?" quizzes out there. I picked this one because it gave me back the best picture of Seth. I am Seth in all of the quizzes...occasionally Anna, but mostly Seth. This only confirms what I thought. Seth is secretly in love with Ryan!

"What O.C. character are you?"

You are very funny and fun to be around. Your a little bit of a dork but you stick to your traditions and customs.

stupid french windows

Ugh. it's so cold in Paris now. Probably not any colder than Toronto (thanks Annie for the polar pics), but Parisian apartments are not built for the cold... or at least my charming little apartment, with the giant old french windows, are not sealed off completely. Hence, I have all this temporary caulking to keep the wind out. Every night I open my windows to close my metal shutters, then close the windows, then pull the drapes closed. And still it's cold. Ugh. I can't get double sided windows put in because I rent, so I don't have the right to demand that these buggers get replaced. Can't wait for the weather to get back to normal, aka spitting rain and 4 degree temps.


More evidence of how french administration is STUPID: There's a woman who lost her sister and her boyfriend in the tsunami. They're bodies are still not recovered. She has to file four different kinds of papers, attesting to all various kinds of information, like plane tickets and hotel reservations, register at three different branches of the government, and she still can't get official recognition. Sounds to me like the french modeled their administration after Kafka's Castle.


The cover on today's Liberation was of the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz, buried in snow on a winter's night, lit up in a string of candles. A fitting and elegant tribute, a piece of fire in the snow, like a shard of life delicate that won't go out.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the liberation at Auschwitz. It's an important historical event. FYI, the Holocaust is called the "Shoah" in France, which is actually Hebrew for "burnt offering." But from what I've seen and heard, it's the survivors that suffer, not the dead. So this burnt offering, holding on to all these memories in the hope of staving off a reprisal, keeps the trauma of the living survivors alive.

How can we remember when what is remembered is unfathomable, indecipherable? And why should we remember when the nothing changes. If widespread genocide isn't currently at play, the large scale segregation of the world population based on class/power/royalty/fame already has us already living complicitly in ghettos.

who wears a muscle shirt to a dogfight?

Ok, so it was like last night, around midnight, and I flipped the TV on because france seems to have a new upcoming figure dancing champion, Brian Joubert. But, I really wasn't going in to see him. Who knows about this guy? He looks like Joe Schmo, but french, so Jean Blond. So JB/BJ flips out on the ice and starts whizzing around. My god, it has been a long time since I watched figure skating! Everybody has a quad in their program now! That's normal, to spit up into the sky and spin four times around? Poor Elvis Stojko. He really thought they'd call it the Stojko, instead of the QUAD. But saying Stojko and Quad are remarkably alike:

For example if I say:

Yo! Shut up you stupid Quad!
Stop if with the Stojko!

you get it? you get it? Not so different ain't it.

Anyways, back to JB. He's flying around but I don't really care. Why? Because you only had to have a couple of blinks in the last couple of years in figure skating to know who's the little king out there. Oh yeah, more Russian White Power. His name is Plushenko, and he ain't no pushover yo! He's the mighty mighty force of Quads and spins. The only man on ice to do a Bielman, and the only guy who keep his platinum hair in bowlshape, 365 days/year. And look at the type of costumes he comes up with! Muscle shirt anyone?


Yeah, so last night our Russian prince tore up the ice to a techno version of "The Godfather," specially rendered in E.European humping techno just for the competition. I can't stop watching this guy. Am I being sucked slowly but sure into the hole of bad taste? Gosh, I did just buy a bunch of neon underwear!

This is what happens when you spend the whole day working and hungover

You write posts a 13 year old girl would be proud of. God, the drool factor is so out of neon-skirted control! Tomorrow, only intelligent posts about the Holocaust memorial. That, and ice skating.



ok ok, so yes, Seth's unabashed love for Ryan is the reason we keep watching. In a world with so much betrayal, where girls cannot be trusted to be anything more than ditzy, alcoholic, frigid bitches, or volcanic bitches, the man-love is what keeps the flame of humanity burning strong. Oh Friendship! Thou blessed return to nighttime television has cured us of all possible retaliation. We are the gayest generation! Hurrah!

But seriously, this is the Ryan I drool over...all white shirted and looking for a dirty ride! (I hope Dacnar doesn't read this because he already ragged me out my lake-size drool over Marat Safin.)

return of the csar! part II

Remember in November when I watched the Paribas Masters Tennis Championship, at Bercy Paris, and I babbled about Marat Safin (November 8, 2004)? Well, guess whose got the nose for the next big thing? Yup, me! Marat Safin just kicked ass at the Aussie Open semis, wiping little ole' Federer's butt all over the court.

What's even funnier in all of this was how I found out the news. I had woken up a little fuzzy headed from too many late night drinks with dacnar's crew at some bad party where everybody ended up on the massage table. Yeah, real shiatsu at some dance party. Go figure. Anyways, my head is still too oaken to give you the real shimmy on that party, or the one the night before...

(though the night before, at the Palais de Tokyo opening, really felt like I was in some weird french version of the O.C., what with all the new social developments, people breaking up, strange flirtations, return of guest characters, the beautiful people, old love stories suddenly breaking their unshaven wild man heads over the glacier hole...will have to make quick sketch before short-term memory, already incapacitated by too much beer, takes control of my dried up octopus head...oh, and I almost forgot that I also went to a fashion show and scuzzied some champagne-a-go-go at the after party...hmmmm, fashion week in Paris)

So... I put on my internet radio, that's tuned to the Australian Open Live Webcast. Then, I rolled around in bed, wrote some things down, and started to get ready for work. By then, we were in the third set and the match was heating up, Federer having dropped the second set, and Safin breaking his serve in the third. I jump in the shower. When I got out, the fourth set was underway, with Safin having dropped the third. Predictions for complete meltdown by Safin, after usual racket smashing, line stomping antics. I run out of the house with a promise for the result by SMS. Can't be late for the new job.

Then, in the subway I got my first SMS. "Safin up 5-2 in fifth set!" This is at Parmentier Station.

Switching onto the 8 line at Opera for Balard I get the second beep "Federer breaks back twice! 5-5"

Then I walk into work, and we're all chatting in quite a civilized way. After the papers are shifted around and I sign the contract, I check my phone and, YES, the light is beeping. I flip open, and start to laugh. There it is: "Safin WINNA! 9-7 final set." After which I explain to all of my new co-workers how crazy I am about sports and start reeling off statistics. They run for cover in the coffee room. I have made myself into an instant pariah with sports, again! Either that or maybe the revealing v-neck tight sweater I'm wearing is showing my ever-electric nipples. Food for thought.

God! Why won't he kiss me already!


Chapoulie, During, della Negra, Kinoshita and the rest of the hot french mustard

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

didn't blog this weekend. was knee deep in O.C. land. however, squeezed in a party on saturday night, at Chapoulie's, Mr. Alchimicinéma. Had lovely time with him, several bottles of champagne, various sundry characters, and met Mr. Elie During in person. He's the new hot french philosopher guy, after writing about Bergson, Matrix and Tron...the essay, which I can't find, is in french, and I had a copy of it before I was fully bilingual, so I cannot deign to go into the details. I think he wrote something else for Litterature mag, on the prototype in art. Strange stuff ...apparently also obsessed with new media work.

But, Mr. During is a nice guy, and easily my favourite new acquaintance of the night, despite only having a short snippet conversation that was centred on Castle Wolfenstein. What was nice was how normal he was. I mean, imagine if you met a young Derrida/Sartre, and managed to corner him in a small bustling party filled with art intellectuosos, you'd expect him to hold on tight to his laurels or keep the steady patter of flip canny witticims...but nooooo, this guy is great to talk to, not an ounce of arrogance, quiet and shy.

On the other hand, harrumph, must caution myself to stop gushing about people who I know nothing about and focus on real things, and real people that I know. Will order his book first thing in the morning.


On Sunday I also went out (say it ain't so!!) to the Pompidou to go to a conference on the Sims that some guy was putting on. The round table discussion consisted of a gamer, the C.K., the head bossman at ElectronicArts (Sim's Producer), some other dude, and Alain della Negra, Dacnar's good buddy from school. He and the Kinoshita, his lovely Japanese wife, made a film on the Sims, except it's actually good, minus all those 3D stiffies.

Yanyways, the film seems to have spent the right amoung of time in the oak barrel because it was a stellar hit at the conference. CONGRATULATIONS! Good work guys!

Whole conversation on the Sims, though, was slightly (y)aw(n)ing and bizarro. But, found the discussion on avatars much more interesting. After all, the invention of the notion of the avatar in fiction dates far back to the first diarists who used alter egos, and can be traced all the way to this point here, in my blog. It seems that we are heading towards the full physical realisation of our split self, one that we can perfect and fully implement all our neuroses and eccentricities or dreams or....

OOOhhh, narcissistic we really are. but of course it makes sense. the more depressing real life gets, the more avatars we spawn. The illusion factory is the only weapon against mass societal rioting. Whoaaa! Did I just say blogging is turning us into a bunch of beached jellyfish, incapable of doing real damage and drying up slowly in the sun? Did I?

Did you?

OH MY GOD! Dacnar just caught a fly with his bare hands! Garrrr!!!

Give me a reason to duke it out ducky!

With only a couple of days to go before the finish, previewed for February 2, the Vendee Globe race is still hip deep in briney drama. All our favourite sea dogs are chipping away on the downwind, keeping abreast of the mile high waves and doing a little mast climbing every now and then, just to keep fit. Mr. Scrub Head Professor, Vincent Riou, is chugging along in top position on the PRB. He's starting to remind of Roger Federer, in style and dominance. Only a broken mast can dust his hopes, and he never was a spectacular boater, just consistent and error free.

Jean le Cam, on the other hand, is the Marat Safin. Wily, moody, unpredictable, brilliant and more than a little too cocky for his own good. Le Cam made a terrible error in judgement, hoisting his skirts a little too deep on the African side, but now's he's as content as a sunning sea leopard, after munching the entrails of a dead eskimo, mocking the bad luck of one mild mannered Mike Golding. Where are the honeys hiding le Cam? Extra back cabin weight in the stern or aft? (eww, nasty)

Golding, #3, who we might compare to an unlucky Henman: steady, and engine happy, but prone to unfortunate mishaps. However, Henman did manage to pull one out of the Paribas Masters in 2003, on a surface that everyone had favoured him against. Golding, after breaking his main halyard three times so far in the race, is lucky and brilliant and a force of nature to be in 3rd position. One can only imagine what position he might have been in, had he been more fortunate...

If you want the hi-tech media overdrive on this stunning and splendid race, get over here for the english and french versions.

Dear God, When I Grow Up I Wanna Write Scripts for 90210...

For a long time, being a normal teenager and all, I watched 90210 religiously, despite my father's wordy protestations about it rotting my brain and ruining my values. It took him only one episode to notice that Brenda was a bitch, and that was in the first season. For me, the thing that always rubbed wrong was the picture of Van Gogh's Sunflowers in front of the bookcase. Not that I think hanging a picture of van Gogh in a living room is thoroughly blasphemous. No, it was more the lapse of logic. After all, if a picture is hanging in front of the intersterces of adjacent shelves, how do people find a way to Reed Richards their arms around to get to the books? Not sure, and damn irritating.

Nevertheless, 90210 was one of the classics in tv history; a marvelously logical conclusion to all the teen movie craze that was the 80s breeding ground for endlessly entertaining yet puerile films. It really went downhill was the weezers grew up and headed off to college. Like we needed to know what they did apres teenage-dom. The series started to burn deep after Scott Scanlon shot himself, and hit its peak with Emily Valentine, still cooler than Chloe Sevigny. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The reason why I'm drivelling on like a sick suburban toasted cheese is because I've just dropped back down the hatch, into teenage suburban land, with the show that makes all other teen drama/teen comedy shows go albino in comparison. Yup, the O.C.

So, you're asking, why now?

1. I live in France, we just got the O.C. this season, in V.Francais, no less, and how can you translate all of Seth Cohen's drivel into zippy Parisian patois? What happened to all that coffee-bagel slacker sun when it gets transversed onto concrete foggy damp baguette land? It doesn't translate. Hence, never got hooked, not after the pilot, where I was intrigued (by, sigh, Ryan and his hunky white shirt). But, nope, didn't cut the mustard. However, just got the V.O. versions of the O.C., and baby, just call me old red eyes because this sugar can't stop watching them, one after the other, like eating pork rinds at the drive in.

2. I resist. I'm good at resisting. I can hate people, fictional characters, popular sitcom freaks, after 3.4 minutes. I stopped watching Ally McBeal because of Ally, who makes me what to choke. I never watched more than 10 seconds of Felicity, because who can pity a little Princess White Girl who's as boring as day old pancakes. And, I now have a complete ban on films starring George Clooney, Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg, for more than obvious reasons...they're related, and thus incestuous.

3. Seth Cohen reminds me exactly of my ex-boyfriend's best friend, Josh, the talkaholic self-obsessed Jewish Aunt Mamie, who I always thought was the best walking sit-com in the world. The guy could talk his way around a potted cactus. Josh and Seth are more than a little alike, and when Seth is running around obsessing about how not to be self-obsessed but instead more altruistic, albeit in the most earnest and honest possible way, I shivered with intense memories of the labyrinthine Mars one way journey that is Josh's mind beam. However...suddenly, I start to like this show, because, I used to find Josh really really funny, even if you wanted to slap him compulsively for no apparent reason.

Which explains the last 3 days, where, thanks to a little help from digital friends, I have managed to turn into a cooing squeaking teenage girl everytime Ryan puppydogs after Lindsay. Yuck!

But, what is the deal with the O.C.? I'm sure there are other more qualified, more tv-obsessed pop culture maniacs out there who can give a thoroughly well-argumented theses on the cible-zeitgeist that is Josh Schwartz's full blown Athena. I only have really one thing to say. How far we have gone, in television land, that we have been able, finally, to spawn the perfect amalgamation of daytime soap with Pretty in Pink. I'm in heaven...

Though I do think they're overplaying this whole Lindsay-incest thing. HELLO? It wasn't incest, it still isn't incest, and if it was incest, they'd still be rabbitting like mayflies on their birthday. Incest is really excellent, like pedophilia, when it's shown on the TV without the heavy taboo. And aren't we more worried about Marissa's dad getting a boner everytime his gorgeous daughter swans around in her nightgown?

and the punchline is...

Saturday, January 22, 2005

VLC Player works about 50% of the time.
Will someone please standardise AVIs. Thanks.


Other tip, run the AVI on Quicktime. After the error message pops up, look under movie properties, video, to find out what the codec on the film is. After that, download the appropriate codec, pop it back in library/quicktime, and taaadaaaa!

Still, VLC does take half the frustration out.

AVI Player for Macs

If you're a Mac user, and you have problems reading AVI files, you can use this: VLC Media Player.

That's all for today.

Dantec, or why a baby screams louder than a grown man

Thursday, January 20, 2005

ok, so, I know I'm supposed to write about Dantec, after seeing him last night, doing some weird entrance on pseudo-third reich mania, complete with candles and screaming guy in rocky balboa hat. the auditorium in the national school of management is packed for this, the french rabble-rouser, the guy who says he's not anti-muslim but pro-catholic.

FYI, Maurice Dantec is a great and intelligent french writer, now living in self-imposed exile in Quebec. He has a remarkable way of retelling history in a new light, as if you were to discover the holy grail after 600 years hidden in Arab deserts.

god, I know I should write about this because so much of me is spilling into hatred filled goo, and if I could just sort the mania out something would come of it.

So, follow me, into the auditorium.

It's a rainy night, in Paris, the south bit, where I've never been before. Outside the door are a bunch of black coated revolutionary types, looking skulky and but almost invisible in their pack-rattishness. I can't distinguish one fucking revolutionary from another.

So we get in, and are ushered into what is essentially an auditorium of a school, replete with management student's graffiti, which consists of this:

1. analyse the situation
2. find the problem to solve
3. propose a strategy
4. create a program of action

are these crib notes for a management exam? Is Management really for idiots?

What's making the ambiance even wonkier are the mixture of people and music in the space. Nothing but weird teenage fascist types, italian mobsters, leftover management students, and arty literature types, hiding their bottles of wine. For fuck's sakes, buddy, drink it in the open. God knows we'd all like a draw.

These types of performances give me headaches. Because, in fact all these people here would like to be memorable for being part of movement that preaches to see the difference between truth and the lies the media and history has fed us. this type of self-righteous attitude is so scary it makes my socks itch.

So, we're waiting. It's already 30 minutes past the start time, and all I've seen is the measly little intellectuosoes and fascistas staring around, waiting for something to happen. My GOD, anarchy is dead!

The whole scene reminds me viciously of my old art theory class, where Dada Raspor and I were juvenile enough to think that drinking a quart of scotch before going to class was going to make us geniuses in contemporary art. which it did, not because of the scotch, but because we figured out that the fuckers here were shitting around and that contemporary art is now the domain of the twirp-meisters.

On going... Maurice Dantec is one of the leading forces in the Nouveau Reac, the Nouveau Reactionnaires. Wheee... I love those kind of names. I'm the nouveau couch potato, and you? Nouveau Parti Fascionista! Wow, let's all have a party with the Nouveau Racists, because we're all on the vanguard of the Nouveau! Let's have a collective nouveau pat on the back.

But, apparently he's written some good books. You know, he gets looped in with the Houellebecqs, guys who are too DANGEROUS to write in their mother countries. Funny, I don't see Houellebecq writing about Ireland and I don't see Dantec writing about Quebec. I just see them as freaks living out their french fantasy in a far away country, where taxes or drugs are practically free! Yo, that's how hard it is to find real rebels in France?

Back to the land of the nerds. So, we're going on 1 hour and still no sign of the Dude. Some Rocky Balboa guy comes creeping up and starts yelling at a guy about how there's not enough chairs on the stage. Jeezus, there's already 52! Are all of those guys going to speak? I better get some dinner.

But no sooner does this marvelous thought hit me that the fascist music starts its magical braying. Whoo, the apocalypse, I feel your pain! I start to get all excited, like I did to my Finnish ex-roommate's excellent art performance. Everybody thought he was fascist when really he was just obsessed with poking himself and eating apples.

So Rocky Balboa guy comes on the mike and starts talking about how he's happy we're here and how we have to "patient" for the next couple of minutes, because Dantec is coming in 10 minutes.

After he says that I start to count the wankers who are creeping on the stage. There's now maybe seven of them, all dressed in black except for some smiling blond bearded guy, wearing his workmen's blue shirt. you know that blue shirt. it's the same asshole shirt all those computer geeks decided was the new uniform. And, to drive the whole point through, he starts pointing at random people in the audience, and winking, smiling, and giving little gunshot hand gestures. yeah, buddy, we care how many of your loser friends showed up at this non-event.

Actually, if you look at the huddle of dingbats, what becomes clear is how much they ressemble an image from Watership down, where all the rabbits are quivering in their corner, and smiles are actually grimaces of terror. They're huddling out of some collective need to show courageness, and failing in their utter lack of comprehension that the show is NOT OF THEM, and thus they are rendered comic fools. but every drama needs its fools and damn if they're not ripe for the roles. Fucking rabbits, trix are for kids.

Just then, the lights dim down on the stage, leaving all of us in blazing fluorescent light while the dingbats continue sporting smiles, complicit smiles. Their smiling twitchy smiles in the dark. My god! No wonder the new world has no more truly revolutionary intellectuals left. The horror! The horror!

Finally, while I'm starting to die of boredom, some guy comes chipping off the edge bringing, you guessed it, MORE CHAIRS. And more anonymous fuckers, looking pretentious and well-read, keep creeping in to fill them. I'm so overwhelmed with a need to vomit that I almost chew the desk.

AND THEN.....Suddenly it happens. The lights dim down and the fascist music starts again. "The Pharaoh is coming! The Pharaoh is coming! But we're still in the tub."

THERE HE IS! He stalks in, looking like a version of Sam Elliot from Mask, but with sunglasses, asymmetric pyramid head, leather jacket and a joint. The sunglasses are the round! just like J. Lennon. This is some dudey damn look.

And he slips onto the stage while Rocky Balboa is screeching at everybody to get on their feet, and the sound is blaring some sort of Third Reich like anthem and the stage is illuminated with candles. Where are the books we're supposed to burn! I'm ready to burn them, all of them! Burn baby BURN!!!

He starts going on about how he has become the pariah, the unforgiven, for writing what can't be written. He is the anti-french establishment, he is the scourge of the intellectual french community, he is coming of the third-coming, after the squooze dirt of common sense, here he is! He's the PRO-CATHOLIC GUY!

That's essentially his discourse for the whole evening. Freedom of expression and the freedom to print the truth, what won't be said, that Islam's first victims are Muslims, that nobody has the right to abortion, and that the Holy Inquisition was a good thing. And, when challenged on all of these notions, he backs off by saying he's not ANTI-anything but PRO-Catholic.


The guy, first of all, is a new convert, and like all new converts, I will be quick to surmise, he is a fanatic. Catholicism has been ripe and excellent breeding ground for all the major movements in lit, all the way from Dylan Thomas to Benny Hill. I'm all for the bloody imagery in the Dream of the Rood, and vague satanism lurking in Jarvis Hills, save my soul from those who don't love the blasphemous. But, these new converts, they miss the whole point. It's not about being against anything. As Joyce will teach us, there's enough sin and guilt in Catholicism to keep one jiggling with mischief and terror for a lifetime. We don't need to be anti-anything when our GOD hates us so much already.

So Dantec rolls on, talking about how his new book is a new kind of science fiction. It's a science fiction that purports that we are in a new movement in science, a devolution, where science promotes a degeneration of the mind and human values. What the fuck! Does this guy read? Doesn't he know this is the oldest theme in science fiction! Time Machine, buddy, read it. It's puerile, but that's where you're coming from.

My favourite comment, though, and one that I do agree with, is when he talked about multi-culturalism in canada. he said, in France, because there is a dominant race, one can actually be racist. eg. frenchies against arabs. However, in canada, because there's multi-culturalism, there's also multi-racism. Essentially, the generally mixture of movements of hate evens itself out in this salad bowl. Pepper and mustard and honey, YUM!

But what I don't understand is all this whining about his publisher curbing his freedom of speech. First of all, if you want freedom of speech, you publish for FREE on the NET! The moment you expect to sell anything, expect to be prey to popular demand. Second of all, if you're prepared to say inflammatory comments, be prepared to stand by the all the shit that comes pouring down after. If you don't, we'll all see you for the hypocritical bastard hiding behind his wax-paper thin irony that you really are. If you want to say you're anti-Muslim, don't fucking run away. It's not a toy, you idiot. A writer must be courageous, otherwise he should just be a lawyer.

There was a baby in the audience. Everytime it screamed, it completely drowned out the voices of the speaker. Do you want to know why? it's because a baby senses the urgency of its need with none of the debilitating self-consciousness. it knows the horror and cannot shrink from screaming about the shit in its pants. FUCK, I wish I shit in my pants that night.

The night ended. In all fairness, Dantec on paper is a mighty thing. He is, to his own confession, a much better writer than a speaker. but, perhaps it's like that old journalism trick of calling somebody up at 6am. When you get them on the phone, before they've prepared an answer, they actually give you the shit truth.

odd sense of humour

Saturday, January 15, 2005

SEA-EAT. This is a blog, for those SE-Asian Tsunami Victims. But, it's such an unfortunate name.

jerk off

Hey, I had my first pervert experience in ages today. But, because I was rushing off to a job interview, I totally missed out on the whole trauma of it all.

So, I got off at Richelieu-Druot, and was high-tailing it out of the subway (on very clickety clack heels). However, in excitement and panic, got confused as to what exit to take. The underground labyrinth was largely empty. Just passing the first exit, I saw this black man in a dark ski coat on the right...he started saying "excusez-moi...excusez-moi" but I was too busy to turn around. Then he hissed, or at least that's what I thought the sound was.

I'm still rushing for a map to find my good exit, when I hear this sssshhh sssshhh sssshhhh sound, that follows me. Then, the sound gets faster and faster: ssshh sssh sssh ssshhh. Then the sound disappears and there are some people ahead. I spot the map.

The map tells me I've already passed my exit. So I turn around.

As I walk back, there he is again, looking very excited to see me. And he moves in my path. I rush by, and miss my exit again. sssh shssh sshshs shshs shshs hs shs s.

I turn around, and that's when I suddenly realize what he's doing. The sound is coming from the arm of his ski jacket as he is violently jerking off. I don't even bother looking. I don't want to be late for my interview.

So I pass him again, and this time, he really tries to stop me. shs shsh shs shsshshshssh

And then I see a guy in a green jacket (usually the metro staff), and I yell out "EXCUSEZ-MOI!! MONSIEUR" But, instead of telling him about creepy jerking off guy behind me, I ask him immediately for directions, which I get, with a smile. And then I rush up the stairs and see the rush of the post-lunch crew in the 9eme arrondissement. People.

I'm not really traumatized, because I didn't look, and because adrenaline makes you capable of ignoring what is not necessary for survival. And I did have pointy high heels, the ballbusting kind.

Totally Bogus

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The DVDs came in today. Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey hasn't aged too well. It's no longer the heinous mind trip I once held it up to be. And Death hogs up too much of the limelight. I preferred Sokrates, Napolean and Lincoln in the original, even George Carlin as their mindful guide, excused despite the fact he makes them look like sartorial geniuses. But STATION is still totally heinous.


And, did anyone else pick up on the fact that this is the first series with Keanu that features a telephone booth as a reality-altering vehicle? Hmmm... does that feature in other films besides Matrix and Bill and Ted? And why is Keanu always the saviour of humanity? He's played Buddha, Ted (who changes the fate of humanity), Neo, and the son of the Devil himself. For such a bad actor, he does manage to swipe some pretty hard to play stuff. Think about the pressure dude! You're saving humanity!


now for story to get our minds off horrible thoughts:
this story came running at the heels of a post by Petite Anglaise, on her most embarassing moment, which took place at work, and involved snoring and two split shins. That's awful.

My moment runs further adrift, backwards, before the idea of work had appeared on its nasty horizon. I was but a wee lass...back in the day... Imagine a time when schools were red brick and shaped in perfect cubes, three cubes in total, and the cubes all sitting adjacent to each other. Now imagine this school next to a ravine...look a little further, there's a very skinny small black haired girl running round the field, in circles, talking to herself. That would be me.

It's the end of winter, and now we move to the centre of town, inside another brick building, where a gigantic gymnasium holds court. Inside, are the finalists for the Canadian Legion Toronto Public Speaking Contest, of which I am one. All us sparkling-eyed children, ready to tell the world what to do, how to do it, all dressed up in plaid shirts or jersey one piece dresses.

I am one of 23 tweenie hopefuls, wearing a very nice dress and little white patent shoes. I had already delivered my little lecture, which was completely ridiculous, on "the grass is greener on the other side." My mom, because she's a cheater, had helped me write it. Anyways, so there was an intermission, during which they served little finger sandwiches and Kool-Aid. Walking back from the buffet table, my nascent hormones detected a cute boy, sitting four rows in front of my parents. I struggled for poise, arching my back, and kicking my heels out. But patent heel shoes for children often have plastic soles, which are extremely slippery on gymnasium floors. Rounding the final corner to walk up the aisle, I suddenly found myself in mid-air, only to land unceremoniously at his feet, surrounded by the remains roast beef finger sandwiches, and peach Kool-Aid. I think I kept a slightly dazed and horrified smile, the whole time. I should have known. I'm pre-programmed for calamity in high-stress moments.

Later on, after accepting my prize (2nd baby!), I stood off to the corner, hiding myself. The boy came up, he was gorgeous, and offered to shake my hand. He said quite loosely "very good performance." I peeked up as he was shaking my hand, and noticed he was laughing. Bastard! Though, in retrospect, it's the sort of thing where one looks so ridiculous that everybody should laugh. Like what happened to Carrie in the Stephen King book...

who's for Nellie Olsen?

oh nellie!

Maybe she just had the face of a little blond bitch, but she's our real original go-getter, cheater, she'd be a finalist on the Apprentice. She's such a super-bitch, but look, if you spent all your life finishing second to a buck-tooth whiner like Laura, you'd be pretty bitter too. Sometimes I wish they'd just let Nellie win. Oh Little House, now in french reruns, how your world is full of contradiction...contradiction and love. Look, like Jesus, she also bled for us:

"Her signature "Nellie Oleson curls" were a wig, which was held so tightly to her head that her scalp bled." - IMDB Database

Crazy sounding board on Little House in case you don't have a job too.


So, last night I went to have sushi with the swiss+japanese connection. The two Swiss brothers were in town, looking to buy an apartment in Paris. Yeah, you heard me right... "BUY" and apartment. I have no idea if it's easier or harder than renting, but those guys are only here till tomorrow, so they're looking for a sweet deal in under 72 hours. That's a tall order.

Also saw a catalogue of Leo's work, which was mighty impressive. Does that mean that artists have to make things?

It started off quickly, with the rapid polishing off of four beers. Then Leo came in double fisted with carrier bags full of more bottles. It looked liked he might have over-estimated a little. But, we were to find out later how little our estimation was. Finally, mildly tippled, and having gabbled on about something, to be honest I have a very dim memory of what exactly was said last night, we made it to the dinner table, which was covered in tuna sushi, natto sushi, spinach sushi, scallop sushi, tuna sashimi, and fried scallops with ginger and algae. Crazy fun time, especially natto.

So, besides the food, what happened. There was a very funny guy called Stefan, who had shaggy black hair, was Alsatian/Spanish, and worked in a newspaper magazine stand. He had a funny way of describing a chicken "this big thing (flapping arms) with the little tiny feet (two fingers wiggling before his eyes)." I wish I could remember more. I really do. He's also a mad TAB fan, and a Michael Moore freak. Ewwwww, Michael Moore is so uncool, and kind of nasty, and kind of gross, but not in a good way. He reminds me of Piggy from Lord of the Flies. Will somebody just lynch this guy already.

Yeah, and you know what the funny thing with Michael Moore fans is...they're as unbudgeable, inflexible, as Osama fans. I'm not down with the M'n'M because I got a fever, a fever for some COWBELL! Oh the long lost Afghanistan...I tried to make a song for you the other day.

Taliban Taliban
Does whatever a bad guy can
Spins a web, any size,
Makes the videos no one likes
Look Out!
Here comes the Taliban.

Are they strong?
Listen bud,
They've got radioactive blood.
Can they swing from a thread
only when their beards are wet
Hey, there
There goes the Taliban.

In the chill of night
At the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light
A mean death toll they do chime.

Taliban, Taliban
Friendly neighborhood Taliban
Planning freaks
Executive geeks
Afterlife is their reward.

To them, life is a great big bang up
Whenever there's a hang up
You'll find the Taliban.


Yeah, I know, these kind of things are comedy killers.
Well, the night went on till 3am, after which numerous bottles, beer and wine, were lined up on the table. It's nice how friendly empty bottles look. And I'm sucker for an empty mike.

I'm outta here...woooosh.


And yes, I'm still looking for job, evil conscience!


Winter Jaguar
Originally uploaded by jmv.
yah, poule blanc is some good stuff. like little coquilles, so pale and white, nesting in their perfect caramel wine shells, I like shushu, sushi, very well, thank you very much. It's good raw, and then eating rotted tofu beans, sweet and string and hearing people imitate Tab, the softdrink of the select nation, and then she said that she was not a PSG fan and I thought that was really too bad. The soup was the best thing. and Leopold Rabus is fantastic artist. He sings like Johnny Hallyday, which could be considered a bad thing, but actually works out to be charming. night night, bite bite. don't forgive the bad typing. I'm still thinking of you.

There ain't nobody here but us chickens

Like my father I believe that wine should be enjoyed not idolised. I have created this blend with pure hedonistic enjoyment in mind! Wonderfully fresh with an elegant character easily glugged with a rocket and parmesan salad or seafood linguine. A side order of Louis Jordan's jumpin' jive completes the scene,

"There ain't nobody here but us chickens." - Sacha Lichine

This is on the label of La Poule Blanche, a wine from le Pays D'Oc. Who says those frenchies are weiners when it comes to selling wine?

The desert years are over!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Yah. Brad broke up with Jennifer. Now all of us get a second round of dreaming about hunky Brad rippling his naked pecs at the foot of our beds. Garrrr... makes me want to bite. Remember that scene in Troy...remember? God, how I would have died to a be a vestal virgin right then.

But I'm lying. I'm actually not into Brad. I just thought I'd write that so you'all would have something to identify with in my blog.

I like fish.

Mutton, the HERMIT!

What I did today:

Spent the first 6 hours of my day looking for a job, sending out CVs and writing letters. Then had lunch, then wrote a bit on other stuff. Then sent out various random emails, some of which were returned, many of which were not. Ate more toast. Thought about stuff, wrote more, checked my mail, discovered Glowria, downloaded all the latest stats, went back to reading, fielded some random phone calls, had a disagreement over how paint drips, thought about future and past, wrote a bit more, ate a bit more, now updating blog with handy useful information for the future. Am I retired?


1. - french website where you can, for 24Eu, rent an unlimited number of DVDs per month. You pick your DVDs out on the website, 3 at a time are delivered to your house, when you're done watching them, you mail 2 of them back in a pre-stamped envelope that arrives with your package. You can do this as many times as you want in a month. It takes around a day for your selection to arrive, it takes about 3 days for each time you exchange. So, you can take out about 23 DVDs in a month, if you plan it well, for 24 Eu... and it arrives at your door. Right now, they have a special offer where the first month is 1Eu...and you can give up your contract at any time.

WatchoutJEAN! That's Jean le Cam. He's in second place, behind Vincent Riou, in the incredible round the world boat race, Le Vendée Globe. He skirted round icebergs at Cape Horn, and now they're racing back. There's only 1.2miles between the two top skippers. Think about it, you race, day and night, around the world, for months, and, at the end, you're only a couple of minutes ahead! That's excitement baby!

3. We're having sushi with the Swiss Japanese faction tomorrow because both Dacnar and myself are have love affairs with our computers today.

4. Why do they call that tsunami thing an act of God? And then why do people still pray?

5. I'm too far away from North America and the NFL Playoffs have started. Can anybody help me here? Will Peyton Manning carry it off? He certainly got off to a ripping start! But the steady money will always be on Brady. Man's a winner.

6. Whatever happened to the California Raisins?


Here's a true story:
Mutton, the meditating Manatee, decided to leave his swamp on a dare. He wanders around and falls asleep on the street. Suddenly, a fast sports car crashes into him. Out from the car pops a raccoon, looking really speedy and coked up. "Dude! You look like a rock! Here, get a shirt on!" So Mutton gets a shirt, and, as people keep bumping into him, thinking he's a wall, a shelf or a giant public sculpture, he finds himself accumulating more and more clothes. But, you see, Mutton is on a mission. He's out to find the GPC, Great Philosophical Centre, where he will present his new treatise on the ubiquitous presence of salt proving the non-existence of bad action in life. When he finally gets there, he's sweating a storm. He takes off his hat and the secretary invites him inside, where many venerable animals are debating the reality of teeth. Suddenly, as he steps up to the podium to deliver his speech, he notices, to his great disgust, that all of the others are flashing him.

because his name is Kafka

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Did you know that Kafka was a really good writer? You should.
Here's some aphorisms, from his aphorism stage:

1. "The true way goes over a rope which is not stretched at any great height but just above the ground. It seems more designed to make people stumble that to be walked upon."

36. "One cannot pay the Evil One in installments - and yet one perpetually tries to do it."

3. "There are two cardinal sins from which all the others spring: impatience and laziness. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of laziness we cannot return. Perhaps, however, there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out, because of impatience we cannot return."

29. "The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens. Doubtless that is so, but it proves nothing against the heavens for the heavens signfy simply: the impossibility of crows."

26. "The animal snatches the whip from its master and whips itself so as to become master, and does not know that all this is only a fantasy caused by a new knot in the master's whiplash."


Miss Fortune has invited us to tea, so I must go. In fact, it was to take place at the Bastille, but because she is too busy, we will have to see her at Strasbourg/St. Denis. If you want my honest opinion, I think she's just to lazy to move her ass from her boyfriend's apartment. I'm really lucky I'm not that busy.

George Washington Outlaw

The Lacombite told me some stuff about Mr. Outlaw. It's good stuff, like a major theatre piece based on a ratcatcher who imitates George Washington. Genius!

But don't take my word for it. Visit him for yourself.

holy shy octopi!

So, as fitting the new year, I decided to brace myself for the oily jellyfish slick waters of rue Louise Weiss, stinging monsters lurking in overbright art galleries. Normally one needs at least a couple of shots of the good stuff before showing face at this, a series of monthly art openings that doubles up for the hunting grounds of all the unconfirmed young overfashionable artists buzzing around Paris. Lucky me, my stomach is the now famous reversing quicksand so no booze.

The beginning: I had just passed a rather dreamy day with the vacuum cleaner, followed by a brief introductory meeting with the Lacombite, friend of a certain Mr. Outlaw. I drank a lot of coffee and he ate my Madeleines. The book exchange was a success, though it did become transparent during our meeting that perhaps I was not in need of another english book, but perhaps a gigantic shot of caffeine to face my Kojève (it's a guy who writes on Hegel, as if that wasn't terrifying enough). So many unreadable books in the library, sent off in the heat of some academic ambition, now rotting, with full spine unbroken, on a white Ikea bookshelf.

Aside: two years ago, when I first arrived in France, I was supposed to be going to a contemporary art school. I had given up reading fiction because that's what school teaches you, that fiction is mostly worthless unless it can be thoroughly dissected in the most unimaginatively jacketed books. After arriving, I tried to my best to chew threw the pages, but my guess is that Kojève and co. come laced with sleeping powder. I realized my mistake several months later, after buying my Lovecraft compilation. Ahhh, Lovecraft made me love fiction again. Cthulhu, Come to Me!

Anyways, so, the Lacombite borrows some Gunther Grass, W. Sebald and Foucault's Madness and Civilization. He obviously likes to snuggle between the pages. To my credit, I suggested the Sebald/Grass combination, a nice way of getting the quick skinny of new modern german fascism. I think Dacnar is convinced I'm going fascho. Given my latest rantings against the moderate left, I'm not sure he's so wrong.

So the Lacombite, who is a mild mannered man with a very amateurish moustache, decides to join me, Leo, Dacnar and the gang for the jellyfish attack. We show up at gallery #1 and, as expected, it's instant retardation. Like, the first thing we see are all these pulsating speakers, organized in descending order, with no sound. That's not so bad. But what's bad is all the other speaker shit. Like a fucking baby head doll with a mini umbilical cord speaker, humming some lullaby. I tried to laugh but it was weak.

Second show, better. Just water dripping from the ceiling into a bucket, making a friggin mess. I can't even imagine how much work went into that one. There was also a pile of rockets with a timer, next to fireworks. The timer counted down. When it got to zero, small fizzy sound, and then nothing. Just like the whole show.

Third show, even better, lots of silver wrapped glass blobs around. Like, lots of blobs, some of them even looking like mutations on artistic bongs. The silver was great. The two Japanese assistants, reading out the prices in crazy japanese/french was better. The price was good. SOLD!

More stuff, painting, photography, yawn yawn yawn.

Then, saw a really nice piece. It was just a bunch of ceramic pots. Then, written next to it was an extensive story about how people used to fish octopi, in Japan, using tiny ceramic pots. They would just throw them into the water, attached to little buoys. Then, returning a little later, all they would have to do is retrieve the pot to profit from the octopus's rather timid nature.

You see, octopi like to hide in small spaces, and little pots are just their favourite thing. So, they crawl in there, and you fish them out, simple as that.
There was a little video next to it, showing the Japanese guy pulling pot after pot out of the water, and screaming madly with joy, as, hidden within, were pulpy little octopi.

In a small room adjacent was an aquarium on a pedestal. Inside the aquarium was a funny little object, made of lace, styrofoam, beads and plastic. It glided around slowly, turning to face his various onlookers. So sad and lonely, his little cloak of lace so fine, just a piece of goop going round and round. I liked it.

Then, we went off to meet some real octopi and jellyfish. I sought quick refuge in my little ceramic pot, and was fished out by my curator. She was ok, no severe poking and nice friendly chat where we giggled over the idiocy of BLES. Apparently she thinks he's a jellyfish too. hahaha.

Finally headed off to Buffalo Grill, the shittiest restaurant idea in France. My bison hamburger was cold, and it took ten minutes to get out the ketchup. Luckily they had the latest finals from the Denver rodeo on the tele. While somebody was calling me a bitch, and I was realizing how strange it was that Marlon Brando seems to die in all of his films, some calf got killed when the rope jerked his neck too hard. I choked on my burger, finished the water, and went home. Stone sober. I am one sick octopus.

Dear Johns

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I peaked into Voin's mailbox the other day when he was over. Not to read his messages, because he was right next to me, but just to see who he regularly conversed with. What I saw shocked the living daylights out of me.

In his mailbox were names like Anya, Lexi, Marushka, Dusan, Michiko, Jorge and Famir.

I mean, I should have known. His name is Voin de Voin, he comes from Bulgaria, he is a European Socialite, with specialties in Paris and Greek culture, and he was based in Amsterdam for the last seven years. So, obviously, unlike me, he hasn't had a time in his life where he's known four "Mike"s, three "Jason"s, three "Chris"s," three "Jeremy"s, two "Dan"s, two "Natasha"s, three "Carolyn"s, two "Karen"s...etc etc etc.

North American people generally choose to anglicize and uncomplicate their ethnic heritage. So, while we can have people called John, in France it can be Jean or Yann or Yannick, all within a span of kilometres, not including, Italian, German, Spanish, Nordic, Slavic or Russian variations.

Now, in the North America, we live in a world where there are less variations in names, based on dialect differences, but where one name can stand for many, like Britney. Ubiquity you ask? No, ubiquity would imply that there is one individual particle, that can be differentiated, that is present in many. Not ubiquity. Dilution.

the cat doesn't fall from the apple tree

Last night, while watching Kill Bill 2 in VO, Dacnar noticed a funny saying: the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He'd never heard it before. Since it's pretty self-explanatory, I asked him what was the french version of the same saying. He said "Des chats ne font pas des chiens." Cats don't make dogs.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

And I forgot to list the g'damn blog. Yes, that was one of the best things to happen in 2004, sad me. It gave me something to do besides watching TV, and making actual artwork. And thanks to all those new blogger friends out there: Petite Anglaise, Auntie M, Jer, Kevin, Frilly, plus all those I already knew, like the cousin and her husband, all the others out there!

Whew. Check the sidebar.

a little late

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Best and Worst of 2004

It’s taken me awhile to care, and now that everyone’s hopped onto 2005, I thought I’d give a look back at the year, on a personal angle, and tell you my best and worsts.

Best Films (that I saw in 2004, not release dates)
1. School of Rock
2. Dogville
3. Le Dernier des Immobiles (hard to describe, like On the Road for France.)
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5. Kingpin/Two for One/Dodgeball (OK, they’re not masterpieces, but they show how strangely fresh formula comedy films can be.)

Film that came out that I missed, and really really regret missing
1. Before Sunset (because Richard Linklater is the best director alive)
2. Mean Girls

Worst films of the year
1. Master and Commander
2. The Village
3. Ken Park
4. Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason
5. The Chanel Ad with Nicole Kidman (so laughable, including the 7 minute long “making-of.” I saw this on the list for best film, from a french art critic…only more proof of how misplaced irony is a thin blanket for bad taste.)

Favourite books/short-stories read
1. Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
2. The Fly – Katherine Mansfield
3. Carrie – Stephen King (his first book!)
4. Abelard and Heloise – The Love Letters
5. Elizabeth Costello – J.M. Coetzee (he is that good)

Best Moments of 2004
1. Finding out we had the apartment on rue de la Chine in Paris.
2. Riding my bicycle with Voin, peeing in the Seine naked
3. Getting married on a Monday afternoon, then watching everyone get smashed drunk by 4 in the afternoon.
4. The non-stop party that was the first weekend in September.
5. Winning money at the tracks in Oostende, Belgium then eating giant steaks and smoking cigars with Scoobs, Gasp and the husband.
6. Getting Syksy to rerun his Big Lebowski line over and over again on utter lunatic statements by yours truly, thus proving that logic can be foiled by sheer madness. Plus body slamming the sleeping guy on the broken couch.

Worst Moments of 2004
1. The night of the FIAC/ The night of the Balle Jaune
2. The week before my opening when I realized my old programmer had massive psychological issues.
3. All the fights with my husband.
4. Turning 30.
5. Pashmenga
6. Syksy falling down on his face.

People I hated in 2004
1. My old landlady
3. all the administration in my old school
4. the boy who made my life entertaining in September (BLES)
5. N. Reich

People who I discovered hated me in 2004
1. My ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend
2. BLES’s girlfriend
3. numerous old schoolmates from very old photo school

People who I surprisingly realized I loved in 2004
1. My sister
2. Scoobs
3. Voin
4. The In-Laws
5. Jaci
6. Juhana (I miss you little man!)

Bad things that keep popping up, then disappearing, then popping up again
1. smoking
2. insomnia

Worrying things
1. More white hair
2. Turned 30
3. Am officially out of school
4. Funny ankle sound is permanent now
5. My teeth are fucked

Happy things
1. My life is fun
2. Making my first bona-fide narrative film, and listening to the laughter (intended) in the cinema.
3. Working with non-professional actors who were perfect.
4. I am still beautiful, and aging does not seem to be a big deal yet.
5. I have an IQ of 169 (or so the internet tells me)

Musical Highlights
1. Mocky with Jamie Lidell – How Will I Know You
2. Scissor Sisters – Lovers in the Back Seat
3. Cobra Killer in Concert
5. Sunset DJ set by me and Voin

Sports Highlights
1. Hicham el Gherrouj, Paolo Bettini, French fencing team and Ian Thorpe in the Olympics
2. Portugal vs. England, Euro Semi-Finals (game of the year)
3. Gaudio at Roland Garros
4. Voekler in the first Alp stage, Tour de France (all of france crying)
5. Max Mirnyi in the Paribas Masters

Sports Lowlights
1. Lance Armstrong bullying Simeoni, Tour de France
2. Tyler Hamilton testing positive
3. No NHL season
4. Ladji falling in the 110m hurdles, Olympics/ P. Radcliffe in the Marathon
5. Monaco losing to Porto, Champions League Finals; Greece in the Euro.

How TV Sucked
1. December 26, 2004
2. Bush getting re-elected despite all the bullshit in Iraq
3. Hearing people whine when Bush got re-elected
4. Seeing the scary face of facism everywhere until became so banal about it. No, this isn’t new in 2004, but it still bugs me.
5. Star Academy proving that talent doesn’t get you anywhere
6. Miss France. Terrible waste of time, and making me sad that they can’t update pageants for the 21st century…for that matter, why don’t they have a Mr. France? I’d like to see that.

TV ruled
1. Chesnot and Malbrunot released
2. Raphael killing the shark on Survivor
3. Scissor Sistors, Tracks on Arte (berlin version)

How many hours I spend on the internet per day: 2.5-3.

How many hours I spend in front of my computer: 6.

How many new clothes I bought for the whole year: not much, really. Like maybe three pairs of pants, five tops, one jacket, socks, underwear, two sweaters, four dresses, 1 skirt.

How many shoes: 4 pairs of boots (all second-hand), and 3 heels

Number of books I acquired: 26

How much orange juice I drink a week: 4 litres

How much alcohol I consume in a week: over 2 litres of wine

Weight before Paris: 50kg
Weight in Paris: 53kg

Number of Plants killed: 3

Number of times ate foie gras: 5

Number of Chanterelles bought: 9kg

Number of times ate pasta out of a can: 1

Number of times had real Russian Beluga Caviar: 1

Highest win at the tracks: 187Eu for Purple Rain

How many hours I log on my cellphone (outgoing-monthly): 4

Overall Verdict: 2004 was an eventful, significant, and frustrating year, career-wise. The end was especially disappointing. Emotionally, this was second heaviest year, only topped by 2003. However, I can safely say that 2004 is a turning point in my life, and not just because I turned 30. In this year lies the realization that I am not a child anymore, and definitely aiming at good things. I didn’t stagnate mentally, and I’m older, wiser, and married.

hanging out with the Mafia

Despite trying desperately to lead a normal life, I keep getting sucked back into the Eastern European Mafia connection. This time, I was out of my league.

Last night, very very late, I went to a bar near the Concorde, down the street from Maxim's, hidden in a very exclusive hotel. It was a very chic place, quite luxurious, and the company was dressed and coiffed in appropriate high fashion style. I didn't peak at what the drinks cost because the Mafia were taking care of things tonight. Which is a good thing because I think a gin and tonic cost upwards of 15Eu each.

We got there and the first thing was I got the lookover by the stunning Greek Triumph, Ella, decked in Bulgari satin pleated cocktail skirt, white frilled Chanel shirt, long heels, platinum blond hair, Chanel bag and Veronique Branquino Silk Dressing Gown. She was something else, all oily Greek drawled English and funny slangwords. Sitting across from her was Angelo, the designer. He lives in Rome and was sublimely coutured in the best richest wools and finest cut fabrics, very subtle stuff. They both made me feel extremely dirty!

Let me tell you, my Bulgarian Chic was not going to cut it. I must have been the only girl there not wearing make-up. My nails were not cut, my hair was not washed, and I was in a wacky t-shirt. Rock and roll, baby, but messy, and not fashion enough. I'm just not fashion enough.

Voin, of course, was fine, looking fabulous in some crazy metallic v-neck sweater, think Jewish princess meets V, the tv mini-series, tan leather pants and sultry rouge button up satin boots. Ouch. This guy does this, everywhere he wants, and it kicks so much ass. He can charm the pants off a potato.

So, night was fun, and got very drunk, plus laughed while watching them try to eat onion soup, at 5:30am, at a very shitty bar near the Gare de l'Est. Poor things. The chef was really lucky he didn't get killed. But, you know, they took things in good spirit, and the two of them are actually very sweet, if Angie can be a touch bitchy.

I am outclassed when hanging with the Mafia. Earlier, I had managed to earn my keeps by steering them to Serge Gainsbourg's house, at 4am, where Ella signed her name on the wall in lipstick. Lucky for me, I had Dacnar on the other end of my GPS mobile. Whew... Still alive. Next time, must remember to dress up when Mafia comes in town!

Le Tour Eiffel: hier et aujourd'hui (yesterday and today)


Funny how in love people are with the Eiffel Tower. For example, my sister, instead of sending me an appropriately Canadian Christmas card, sent me the card on the top left, picturing an old illustration of the Eiffel Tower (circa 1910, so the back says). She’s sending this to me, her sister, who lives in Paris. I suppose I could see it as funny. I mean, if I found a card with the CN Tower on it, in Paris, I most certainly would have sent it over.

What’s really striking, though, is how unparticular the Eiffel Tower has become as an object. I mean, would you ever imagine finding pictures of Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty or Golden Gate Bridge in normal bookstores around the world for Christmas greeting cards? Maybe, if they happened to be romantic old vintage daguerrotypes or prints. However, I would hasten to remark that the Eiffel Tower is becoming more and more an aesthetic symbol of romanticism, rather than bearing any concrete relation with Paris itself.

Another strange thing, we just received my sister’s card about 2 weeks late. Was this a mailing problem? The postal code was stamped: HOHOHO, Canada Post’s little joke for saying it was from Santa Claus himself. Nevertheless, I will precise that the date of arrival was this afternoon, January 5, 2005.

While this in itself is unremarkable, what is even stranger is how, for no rhyme or reason, I pushed dacnar out the door yesterday to visit Mr. Tour Eiffel himself, and took the picture on the right, dated January 4, 2005.

The two pictures are almost exactly alike, and, if you’ve divined from the dates, it’s quite extraordinary that both pictures should come out so identical, from almost the same point of view and cropping, and focal length. I guess they built the Trocadero to make sure you got the best shot possible.

Strange how old things seem new, year after year, and the Tour Eiffel always has its individual effect derived from universal appeal.

darth vader was right

Tuesday, January 04, 2005 you have a sister. If you will not turn to the darkside, well perhaps she will!.

too late. now she has a blog too.
short: obstetrician in Milton Ontario, makes more moolah than I'll ever see in my lifetime, and takes care of the parentals (whew!). Like everyone else I know, seems to be concerned about her weight, which is a really stupid thing to blog about just after the hols... Hello? Do we need more depressing things in January?

a frangipane disaster

Monday, January 03, 2005

So, after spending the beginning of the year in pajamas, I finally made it out of the house yesterday evening. Scoobs was in the neighbourhood. However, something bad had been brewing since the morning and the evening turned out to be quite a fallen soufflee.

Preamble: unknown to me until recently, I happen to be living in one of the best little corners for noshing in Paris. Located roughly on rue Pyrenees as it runs to meet Place Gambetta, are a series of great shops for food. My poissonier (fishmonger), boucher (butcher) and a series of fromageries (cheese shops) and traiteries (caterers) are all famous. Surprisingly, this is not the first time I've picked an apartment because of it's price and light, and ended up chock centre of gustastory nirvana. In Toronto, I found myself stepping distance from the best coffee and fruit and vegetable market in the city.

But, most happily of all, I happen to have a delightful selection of good bakers. While I know of a really great bakery right at the end of Olivier Mehta, or another one tucked deep in the corner of Place Gambetta, our baker of choice is an Antillais whose little shop stands at the foot of the Passage de Soupirs. It's a lovely lively place, and his baguettes are delicious. So crispy crusty, without gum-bleeding toughness, and soft fluffy insides, the little lineup he gets knows what a good deal they're getting.

Most of the time....

Here's what happened yesterday. I was in bed and Dacnar went out to the baker's to fetch breakfast. He arrived with a lovely baguette and two Galettes de Roi. It's the season for those cakes, fluffy crispy buttery pastry wrapped around frangipane. Traditionally, as the photo below illustrates, a little crown is attached to the cake. One eats the cake until they find the little toy hidden inside, known as the fêve (bean), and then, while choking tragically, shoves the crown onto head, thereby saving oneself from imminent death.


Frangipane is made from butter, cornstarch, rum and eggs. Why are eggs highlighted? Because, in my humble opinion, those eggs were responsible for my debilitated condition yesterday.

Dacnar brought those cakes home at 2pm, since we woke up at 1pm. Then...I waited till 4pm to eat them, since I was too busy typing out my next unfinished masterpiece. At 4pm, while sipping cool tea, I bit on my first galette. It tasted fine, really good to be honest. I started to munch more. Then I left the cake on the side for a bit. At 5pm, I finally took another bite of the cake but, by then, my stomach was feeling topsy turvy. I stopped eating and gave the rest to Dacnar. I spent the rest of the evening in a lamentable state of mild nausea (never getting the to point of chucking my cookies), holding back weird rolling burps, and trying to keep myself together.

Mummy: You can't leave raw eggs outside too long. They make you sick.

At 7pm, Scoobs phoned to meet up. Now, I definitely wanted to see her because I hadn't seen her for New Year's and we're both in such a strange trying-to-work funk that planning soirées together is unpredictable. Before running out the door, still in gross burpy state, Dacnar plied me with some kind of weird fizzy drink that he made from a pill. It was supposed to calm my stomach, he said. Unfortunately, I hastily ordered some grog from the bar, and, while the grog was fun for my head, it did very little good for my stomach.

I hurried home soon after. Then, while at home with Scoobs, I realized I was having quite a difficult time keeping up conversation. I kept yawning, and stretching, and feeling overtired. Which is strange since I had only woken up 7 hours before. Dacnar made some dinner, fried frogs's legs, which under normal circumstances have me giggling with glee. This type I almost puked my guts out...and, I couldn't get that terrible image from Les Triplettes de Belleville out of my head. So, super nauseous now, Dacnar rushed once by my side with a green pail, I threw myself into the bed. He shoved in a DVD, Jack Black in Shallow Hal, and suddenly, halfway through the movie, I was out.

Those g'damn drugs! They'll do you no good! Or maybe it was a good idea...Because, for the first time in weeks I saw the sun rise because I had woken up for it. Plus, I slept for almost 10 hours.

Anyways, that's what happened yesterday. Thank goodness for holidays...and watch out for bad frangipane. (btw, I don't blame my baker. I think this is a combination of accumulated holiday over-indulgence and leaving my fresh frangipane outside for too long).

Meilleur Voeux/ Best Wishes

Sunday, January 02, 2005

To herald the New Year, Marie gave me this lovely bouquet. Only two days later the roses are almost past. Those most lovely things that can only exist, untouched, for a short time. Or so the romance inside me divines.

My resolution this year is simple: to finish what I start.