about last night

Friday, October 28, 2005

So there he was again, wearing a dark fedora and still without any hair. His sweater seemed pulled from the depths of his grandmother’s trousseau. It was Annabelle’s birthday, yesterday, and among the many strange things, he was one.

There was also the boy who looked like a young Axl Rose, who I had met earlier at a fashion shoot. Apparently from Switzerland, I wasn’t sure if he was artist, designer, model or actor. He even had Axl’s hair.

I had bought Annabelle a plastic mouse that runs inside a transparent plastic bubble. The thing was cheap. The thing never stopped running. It was horrible. An ugly present which provided endless hours of distraction for weary party bombed minds, or a cat. Chinese people are slowly taking over the world with these plastic geegaws. They don’t even do tests to find out if people will like mice running around in bubbles. They just know it’s going to work.

I was dressed in a pale lace jacket, over a black unitard and Audrey flats. At some point, all the lights went off and some man, it might be Otto, crouched down to caress my ankle. All the while my husband stood talking to Austrian architecture students. I yelled “Concrete! Concrete!” The lights came on.

Hendricks had hit his head on the shelf and had bled so much he had to take a shower. Kim and I discussed how people seem to mix us up, which is really funny because we don’t look at all alike. Cecile screamed that I was out and Kim was in, at which point I screamed for her to clarify, and she said, Kim guards her inside. I open towards the outside. It was, all in all, a remarkable recovery.

All the men love my husband. All the women too, but they’ll never say it in front of me.

Eventually we left for the Rex, after stopping at the Pearl, and kissing Alfredo to get some pictures, yelling at scooters, cyclists and other motorists. I told some guy on a bicycle to go take a shit. It goes downhill from there.

Eventually as I’m leaving Pulp I see him again, the one with no hair. He’s in the lineup, by himself. I tell him that the party is terrible, that’s it’s not worth the bother. I can barely control myself I’m so tired. He walks me home and we stop at what must be the only place to eat choucroute at 4am. We confess secrets. Bad secrets. The dinner goes cold.

Then he walks me home. We stop at the cross-section. He tells me he likes sad people. I tell him that I’m not sad. That anger is my primal emotion. My husband is someone who’s primal emotion could be sadness. And that’s how the night ends: with me telling him that’s why he likes my husband, and not me.

one year anniversary

Monday, October 24, 2005

It's my first wedding anniversary tomorrow. We're going to burn some paper Monopoly money in celebration tomorrow. I'm still married, surprise, surprise.

By the way, if my posting is irregular and thin these last two weeks, it's based on three things: Boggle-addiction, party-panthering, and, actually, work. I almost missed two parties this week because I couldn't tear myself away from online-Boggle. Sad? Don't care. Prefer playing word games to dressing up in fancy clothes and getting wasted.

In unrelated news, I ate sushi, done by a veritable Japanese pro, and a very sinful pot au feu this weekend, on succeeding nights. Of course, Friday night, I almost killed myself on some nasty satay squid. Tonight, it's confit de canard, chocolate and champagne... in pajamas.

Only in Paris can a married girl with almost no income still live the high life, with no regrets.

character assassination

Friday, October 21, 2005

I met her, completely by accident, at the crossroads in Belleville. At first I couldn’t recognize her, but I had only seen her twice before.

My first thought was regarding her beauty. She had the kind of fine, even and pointed features that looked even fresher with the sunlight. Her light creamy skin glowed over pouty coral lips. Her eyes were dark and round.

She stood there, on the other side of the grill, inadvertently telling us everything about her life. How her school had kicked her out, how she wasn’t officially registered in class anymore, how her ex-roommate had kicked her out, how she was moving from house to house, and how she was afraid because she had no legal papers. I listened to all of this from a girl in ugg boots and a faded stretch black jean miniskirt.

She kept talking so much we eventually moved to a café to keep away from blocking traffic. She kept on going. How she didn’t like this person, how she didn’t like that, how there was nothing to do, and how people didn’t like her because maybe they had a problem with their relationship. She couldn’t help it if she was so beautiful that immediately all the girlfriends were jealous. How one girl wore too much make-up, and the other one not enough.

I have never seen anybody so clearly refute any possibility, in her mind, that it could have been her who was really offensive.

She was ugly in the way so many pretty girls are. Self-obsessed, narcissistic, incapable of seeing beyond their pointy noses that their litany of blame was manifest of some deep insecurity.

I remember her phone call, almost two years ago, about the house. She had wanted to take the room we were leaving. I had refused her over her blatant hostility and stress on the phone. A couple of months after that, she wheedled her way into the house by sleeping with one of the flat mates. And now, with that flat mate/ex-boyfriend gone, the others had kicked her out. She had blamed their sudden violent reaction on her ex-boyfriend, whom she claimed had never paid the rent with her money. I know her ex-boyfriend, having lived with him for a year, and he may have been a lot of things but dishonest he was not.

I wish I had something nice to say about her. That the sight of her wouldn’t make me ill. That I could have pity for her endless chattering over her poor victim self. But, in the end, this is what it comes down to. People like that make you want to puke with disgust. Why are there some beautiful girls who ruin it all?

Ralphing with the Amateur Gourmet

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I can't get over this. Now I have to change my pants because I laughed too much.

Nardac, you big longwinded gasbag...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

La Dauphine handed me a well-used meme last week. 5 Random Things. I know I got a little carried away. So, without further ado, Nardac's Long-Winded explanation of 5 random things about her egotistical self.

1. Richard D. James
aphex twin
While some people’s lives are saved by bonafide miracles, my life was saved by a rock star. Well, technically not a rock star but an electronic music guy, with long shaggy hair, a giant beard and gorgeous eyes. I’m speaking of none other than Richard James, a.k.a., Aphex Twin. And his life and mine would cross one fateful autumn day, 1993.

I’m not sure if you remember 1993. It was my first year in university. I was a baby-faced freshman with an unattractive brit-pop haircut, a dandy-ish men’s blazer that I wore everywhere, who listened to nothing but Joy Division on her CD walkman, non-stop. I think Unknown Pleasures was glued on the central spindle. A bit morbid, but morbid is beautiful when you’re eighteen.

Besides Joy Division, while everyone was listening to Nirvana or the Pixies, I had gotten myself tangled with a rather strange breed of abstract designer electronic music, mostly put out by Warp during it’s early years. The mad scientist genius of this scene was Aphex Twin. Mr. James has always been renowned for his eccentricity and enigmatic presence. I loved his slit-like English eyes, his large frame, his orange hair, and the fact he bought a tank because he said it was like driving inside a womb, with a gun.

So, when I heard that there was going to be a stop in Toronto for the NASA See the Light Tour, starring Aphex, Orbital and Moby (I always hated Moby!), I immediately pulled all the stops out to get a press pass and an interview. And it was thus that I found myself, one late afternoon in October, in front of the Opera House, armed with a Pentax K1000 and a pen and paper, shaking like a leaf. And, suddenly, he was there, before me, taller than I expected. A broad-chested lad standing straight underneath layers of sportswear. Even now I shiver slightly at the memory. A teenage crush never loses its bloom.

I suggested going across the street for the photo. I can’t remember anything that he said. I can barely remember how he was except that his feet seemed silent. We walked, side by side, between the parked cars as the full sun cast sharp angles all around us. I stole looks at him from the corners of my eyes, numb and excited at the same time.

Suddenly, I found myself standing in the road, a car screaming towards me, a taxi, screeching its horn. Everything passes in slow motion. I was so sure to be hit. My feet couldn’t move. Softly, I felt a very sure arm grasp me from behind, pulling me back. Seconds later, the taxi had passed. He was very close and I could still almost hear him breathing. He whispered, “watch yourself there.”

2. Oo-Gee, Oo-Gah, Minerva, Felix and Boxer
My family was unenviously poor when I was young. I grew up with library books, homemade or second-hand clothes, second-hand beds and second-hand toys. The army of stuffed animals, two of which were sewn together by our own hands, were our only toys. There were two mon-chi-chis, a white bedraggled dread-locked cat, a black and fuchsia cat with fuchsia overalls, a skunk and a panda. Somehow, they provided enough daily entertainment for hours. I would spend large amounts of time creating little scenarios for them, little character traits, talking in different voices as I changed characters. I can still call up these voices, and it’s ironic that it’s in my play that my Singaporean accent is preserved whole.

3. How to seduce a girl, art-boy style.
My ex-boyfriend, Yuri, was an art-girl’s wet dream. Tall, skinny, dirty blond messy haired, soulful eyes, and a knack for doing unbelievably poetic things. He even plays guitar. The first time I met him, there were no sparks. And then, one dark winter night, I saw him again.

He was coming out of an Italian café, clad in a chocolate coloured parka, yellow cream toque, jeans and puma sneakers, when I practically slid into him. The snow was falling thick and the temperature had dropped. It was already late. I had bought magic mushrooms and was about to take them with my girlfriend, Nancy. The three of us headed back to my place, took the mushrooms, and went to the Beat Junkie to dance to some music. Forty-five minutes later, we were too high to stay inside.

And so began the epic trip. Tromping deep in snow, which blanketed the city in sleep and quiet, we sang the Laverne and Shirley theme song, kicking our heels out. We jumped into snow piles and screamed into dark alleyways. Yuri pointed out the colour of the sky. Then he pulled out a matchbook. Without tearing out the match from the row, he struck it on its backside, then tipped the match upwards, and set it on a snow bank. The match was a like the sole candle on a birthday cake, and as it burned down, the book burned into the snow. Just as it disappeared into the snow, the match fluttered out. There was a lick of light inside of the snow… just a flicker.

Later on in the evening, I played Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations, the later version, and served my cat dinner. Yuri pulled out a tape recorder and taped the sound of my cat eating with the music in the background. Just before the sun came up, he fell asleep on my couch. His knees were folded into his body and his eyelashes were the colour of wheat.

4. Laughing Monks
I think it was 1996 and I was on a strange voyage. That summer, completely by chance, I had managed to orchestrate a trip that would cover all the major religious centres of the world. I was to go to Israel, Nepal, India and Tibet. Tibet.

Tibet is one of the most beautiful and tragic places I’ve ever been to. The countryside is staggeringly sterile and the mountains stand so high they’re often shrouded with clouds. The sun is a little too bright and clear, and Tibetans make stretched dry skin the most beautiful accessory for broad high cheekbones.

I was at a monastery. We had woken up rather early, at our hotel in the city, to drive out for the morning prayers in the deep countryside. You could barely make out the road in the stark landscape. We walked into the main prayer hall and were hit, full body, by the reverberating chants of the monks. The difference between the daylight and the hall, lit only by yak-butter lamps, made the hall initially a large chasm of blackness before us.

Later on, I strayed from my parents and walked up the mountain by myself. I thought I was following a path, and I soon saw two elder monks before me. They smiled and pointed up. I continued for several minutes more. I lost track of time. Suddenly, stretched before me, was a huge plain with a giant mountain gaping over it.

Having drawn my fill of the view, I tripped lightly downwards, thinking the path would loop on itself. I got lost. The path disappeared. I figured to keep going down and to my right. Suddenly, looping up over a creek, I saw the squat rectangular building of the monastery. As I approached, I heard a chatter rising. Novices, young men clothed in red cloaks, poked their heads out of all the windows. There were thousands of them, and they were all clucking and pointing in my direction.

Tibetans give the impression of innocence. There is a gaiety in their laughter that seems untouchable. I walked between all this laughter and chatter, buoyed by the sound and the absurdity of all these boys popping their heads out of windows like soap bubbles exploding in the air.

5. The Shirt
The most expensive item of clothing I have is an Alexander McQueen shirt that I will love till the day I die. Savile Row tailoring on one side, and cut away on the other to reveal my shoulder.

I'm passing this onto Real Gem and EmmaB.

Oh Larry....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fuck! That stupid shagging shambula list is up my wazoo! I just woke up from dreaming I had been chosen by Larry David to accompany him to a gala dinner and I ended up having sex with him while people all around were pointing in surprise to something behind us, and I craned my head to see what it was and Larry said "What? Why are you looking up? What's over there that's not over here? What? Am I not good enough?"

And he was a great kisser.

the late night munchies

I've got the late night munchies, and it has nothing to do with anything inhaled or imbibed. It's because of a certain lady named Julia from a certain island called Singapore. Yes, that crazy island where I was born and where I don't seem to like anything besides the food. Well, call me a filial daughter because I now count two Singaporean foodblogs in my blogroll. Julia's got the skinny on everything from Chwee Kueh to where to get the best satay on the island. I feel I can trust her because, as is apparent from her reviews, not everything is delicious in her mouth.

I like people who can take a critical stance. You know, not the little cheerleaders fluffing their chests at the next available ham, but, that girl, the dark haired one sticking the butt end of her pencil in her mouth as she dreams about making out with Stephen Hawking. Actually, not Stephen Hawking... eeks... am I still doing this crazy list about shabby shaggamuffins?

No, erm... I like food blogs where it's not all "it's the best thing I ever had where you have to hike over ten hills" or "the most incredible vegetable seller in the universe with perfect organic what-a-ma-call-its." It's hard to believe anyone who can lay claim to gustatory orgasmic pleasure everyday. I secretly believe these orgasmatrons are lying to us, taking pretty digital pics, Martha Stewart style, of mediocre food, and then stringing us along with superlatives. After all, you can't lick a computer screen, can you?

Anyways, I'm getting off track. Give Julia a peek if you can. I like her writing.

(I ate a full bowl of polenta chicken soup, 12 prunes and two glasses of milk reading her. Now must sleep otherwise will keep eating till the birds start singing.)

Techie, Geeky, Sports Cognoscenti

I've managed to teach myself some basic CSS programming, courtesy of W3C schools. Hence the changed layout. It's remarkably easy and surprisingly fun. A good thing to do when you're sick in bed. I'm currently tinkering with Flash to prepare for my all new artistic project... which will go up January 1st, 2006.


Have switched from Firefox to Camino, Mozilla's lightweight browser created for Macs. You can't really fiddle with the extensions as much, but it's faster, has less of a tendancy to crash, and, personally, I like the layout much better. Bigger windows, smaller icons, and none of this titanium silver bullshit. Looks like white paper. Plus, because the search engine plugins need to be installed manually, I'm learning even more about html.

Today, three boxes worth of books arrived at my doorstep. It's the three boxes of books I managed to whittle down from the over twenty-one boxes of books standing guard in Canada. It's out of control. I need two new bookshelves. There's a mixture of fiction, poetry, art theory, philosophy, and guides to the occult, mysterious places and extinct species. My mother also packed me some fresh white undies from the Gap, moisturizer and very fancy La Creme de Earl Gray tea. Thanks Mom!


Sports Cognoscenti:
The French National football team are finally qualified for the World Cup. None of this sudden death second place loser crap. They won, fair and square, against a very weak team. The fact they only scored 4 goals was shocking.

For those who saw the game: What the hell were they doing in the second half? Sleeping? Complete lack of rhythm and drive to create space and passing. There was this one moment, around the 78th minute, when Dhorasoo held the ball for a throw-in and after almost ten seconds he dropped the ball and Sagnol took his place. Sagnol didn't have anyone to pass to except Dhorasoo's slowly receding back. What was he doing with his back to Sagnol? What was he doing not turning around? What the hell? Don't you run when you play football? Don't you face your teammate who's holding the ball? Don't you get ready for a pass? So STOOPID!

Another thing that really bugged me, that has bugged me about the French national team since the Euro... Where's the eye of the tiger? We saw some good attacks tonight but there was still a serious problem with energy and aggression. It seems they spend so much time being veterans you'd think they were already disabled and on their pension... take the money and run, so to speak. They can literally blank out for a whole game. I'd like to give them some cocaine one time, just so they can feel what it's like to play Maradona style.

But, technique is really important. Look, the first goal was scored by a spectacularly technical pass by Sagnol to Zidane. Gorgeous. With passes like that, how can you help but score. If Cisse missed the mark, it's because sometimes this guy's wooden leg needs some more GPS. He gets there with pure arrogance and chutzpah, which, hell, this team does need. Train your wooden leg, Cisse!

Either than that, people need to just get off Domenech's back. He's your coach, whether you like it or not. Changing coaches and doubting their choices only makes for an emotionally fragile team that doubts the head which governs the body. Look at how messy Marseille is now. What a disaster. Domenech was criticised for cleaning house but he's right, in many ways. The French young'uns need to get some serious play action otherwise this generation will suffer for lack of experience when Zidane, still the footie wizard that he is, finally makes his curtain call. Fresh blood! Fresh blood! Even if you lose the World Cup 2006, you'll stand better prepared to really kick ass in 2010.

Final note: Domenech should never be mic'd when singing La Marseillaise. It's a very disconcerting, not to mention disconsonant, sound.

And bye bye Thuram. On vous adore.

Colostomy Bag vs. Douchebag

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

How can somebody's favourite word be Colostomy Bag, even if they once sported mile-high bangage? That's just wrong. Nobody's favourite word should be that. But...

Actually, Colostomy Bag makes me laugh too, in a shameful way, in a penguin showing off his spiny red penis kind of way. But is it good? I have a test for that. Hold on... *running to the bathroom to get available literature*

I will now present to you five random words that I have picked from my prize toilet collection...

1. acid
2. mobile
3. brownie
4. evaporation
5. professional

and add them to Colostomy Bag:

colostomy acid bag
mobile colostomy bag
colostomy bag brownie
colostomy evaporation bag
professional colostomy bag

In fact... Colostomy Bag is a remarkably useful and versatile word, but I just might like Douchebag more... or even Penisface.

Temporary Numbness

Monday, October 10, 2005

I cry less but sometimes I forget what I’m looking at. I have to give myself things to look forward to. Is it as simple as that?

Last night, during dinner with friends, I had a moment. There, before me, was a sparkling crossfire from interested minds, eager to entertain, toil and trouble over thoughts, words and inaction. I watched them abstractly until I came across his face. This is my husband’s face, I thought to myself. I repeated the words slowly in my head, unbelieving. His face, I don’t recognize his face.

After that I borrowed her copy of Anais Nin’s Journal of a Wife. Later on in the night, unable to sleep, I was both relieved and horrified by the parallels in our lives. The same insecurities, over writing, over making something to stand proudly next to, about love, about sensuality, about the limits of experiences, gratefulness for all that is given and yet the blackest mood cutting all.

How can hot sauce go bad in a fridge after only a week? I can’t believe I have to throw it out. What a disappointment.

I have appointments to fill, people to meet, projects to finish. But it’s becoming hard to get just one thing done a day. Today I promised myself to buy an ironing table and some hangers. While ironing a green dress, I wondered about the generosity of men. The generosity of men in love knows no bounds.

He took me to the park today, to feel the warmth of a fugitive summer day. We sat with a view overlooking all of Paris. I recounted the last story of Joyce’s The Dubliners. Can this be the same woman who stood poised and composed beside him all evening? All that time, Michael Furey was there, in his grave, dead so many years before. She had had a romance and now he could hardly remember what it was like, that they were husband and wife. The snow fell equally upon all the living and all the dead.

The sound of a scooter whining on my street makes me ache vaguely.

I'm married to the Soup Nazi!

Friday, October 07, 2005

This must have happened, somewhere in New York. Some ordinary woman, standing in the queue at a check-out counter, starts screeching on her cellphone. All you can make out is “I can’t believe it… I cannot believe it. You’re going to be on Seinfeld? That’s a-mazing. What?! You’re a Soup Nazi? What the hell is a Soup Nazi?” And then we all get to hear about how her husband is about to star on Seinfeld, and how it’s not a regular gig, but it’s still Seinfeld, and for an ordinary New Yorker like herself, that’s reason enough to scream histerically into a phone at the local grocery store.

why is this guy smiling?
the husband

Well, I’m not married to the Soup Nazi, but my husband, who I neglect constantly and leave behind, chained to his computer, is about to play a secondary role in a tv show. Granted, it’s a french tv show and it’s a comedy, which automatically means it won’t be funny. But, this means maybe one day, his character will become eponymous for some greater understanding of our culture. Some one-liner you can rip and everyone’ll be like “yeah… he’s so Crockett!”… right… ok… shut up, you sneering over there.

Anyways… where was I… “And he’s not even an actor by profession! Crazy. Am I married to the french version of Larry David? Will our marital misadventures one day be fodder for night-time laughs? Will he go bald? "

Shamefully Shaggable

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Another meme… this time I was mercifully tagged by Geraldine.

This meme reminds me of some crazy psychedelic rock group that I sometimes listen to on Thursday evening when nobody has phoned me for a little pick me up or party. There I am, violently headbanging when suddenly the doorbell rings. The pizza guy is really too gangly and his peach fuzz moustache supports his apathetic glance. He just might skateboard after work with his buds, using pocket money to buy some weed, or he might just surf the internet and download porn. Maybe he has a blog somewhere which shows photoshopped naked Irish cheerleaders. Somehow, in just the right hallway light, he seems like the best deal for Thursday night.

I’m getting ahead of myself… this list is supposed to be about the people I’m ashamed to say I’d love to shag. But, it’s a bit of a paradox. When I find a reason to find someone sexy, I can’t feel ashamed. Respect/awe = sexy = no shame. But whatever…

Larry David
Larry David: writer, producer, actor

Larry, you’re looking fit. You stand nice and straight, and you’re never short on a good joke. I like the way your nose is slightly long, yet fine. The crooked thin mouth when you tell a retarded joke. And the eyes that are confident and arrogant, while being completely bitchy. That’s right. You are the bitchiest Jew man ever born and I love you for it. Love you enough to cut a hole through a sheet and call me Hasidic.

Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke: actor, boxer

Mickey, my love, you really made some mistakes in your life, and I’m worried about the places you go for surgery. Are they licensed? But, even with all the face work, the lumpy bits, I still dig your voice. The voice has a note of ease in it, as if defeat and victory were the same, the devil may care. The way your eyes laugh and cry at the same time, as if the way to sainthood was in absolute hell.

But, most of all, I liked your sex scene in Angel Heart. Do you know that I looked like Lisa Bonet when I was young? Well, I kinda did… anyways… Yeah, you’re always sexy, even when the outside is all broken and baked potato. And I know, under those striped linen pants, you’re hanging strong commando style.

Jan Ullrich
Jan Ullrich: cyclist

Jan, honey bear. I watch you every year with hope, hope that fades fast in the mountains, bittersweet hope that somehow you’ll find your old form one day. I fell in love with you in 2003, when you shit in your pants during the Tour de France. Even now, when I see a minty green Bianchi bike, I think of you, face gloriously chiseled and burnished by the French sun, waving your second/third place flowers in the air, still nursing a mudpie in your shorts. Lance may have won seven times, but I’ll never want to have his little german baby. Sometimes second place cops more ass.

Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi: actor

Steve reminds me of this crazy boyfriend I had when I was nineteen. He was a guitarist, the biggest guitarist from a very small Canadian town. He’d had a brief brush with success, but when I got to him, he was already over-the-hill. I slept with him on a dare. Afterwards, he fell in love with me. I can still remember the instant shock of seeing him naked the first time. True to stereotype, he was tall, impossibly skinny, and lank of hair. But, that schlong was a third arm. So, when I see Buscemi in an undershirt and plaid dressing gown I get a special glow. You get the sneaking suspicion that the floridness of his lips is a riddle to the treasure map we could call his whole body. Plus, he’s an ex-fireman.

Stephen King
Stephen King: writer, pop culture columnist

I saved the best for last. This guy is really ugly, but, that’s only on the outside. On the inside, he’s a little boy who still lives with his monsters, toys and carries an unrequited crush for the little girl next door. I’d like to be his pony-tailed girl next door, reading comic books in the basement while he regales me with pithy everyday wisdoms and fears, sweating behind his glasses. I guess this is less a shaggable than it is more the holding hands shy kisses behind the schoolyard kind of thing. I bet he’s still in love with his wife. That’s kind of nice.

I’m passing this meme on to Jermunns, because I’m sure he’ll give good copy, and possibly pass it to Kris, who, being the Hasselhoff of the blogworld, must surely be an expert in this field. I’ll also pass it to my cousin, who is some type of carrier for this chronic disease.

Fashion Week

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ok... It's fashion week. Blah blah blah blah blah blah...

However, am a little too busy to blog right now. So Geraldine/Schuey's lists on the Shameful Shaggables, plus my little adventures, are on pause. Shit... Have 20 minutes now to get ready.



Sunday, October 02, 2005

Have just gotten back from a lovely young family style tea at Petite Anglaise. We had yummy homemade scones, to die for crumble, courtesy of PA, and finger sandwiches, courtesy of moi, as Miss Piggy would say. Laughs, lot of mumbo-jumbo Mia talk, good fun even though Stephan was missing. You poor thing, we missed you!

It has been a rather sweet series of days, from Friday onwards. I’m feeling much perkier, as evidenced by my ability to now trade shy smiles with complete strangers on the street, as we watch white cars pass us by. Smiles that have everything to do with finding serendipity in a traffic conundrum. I like those kinds of stranger’s smiles.

Last night, I had a rather silly time with Annabelle, Helene, Henrik, Cecile, Thibault, Benoit and Esty. We did something with our Nuit Blanche.* Between automobile disasters, drinking lots of beer, watching the 120 geeky guitarists on the Sacre Coeur hill riffing in unison, then flying all the way down to Versailles for contemporary art and Alain Ducasse, I found myself laughing the most at those who couldn’t stay awake. While munching on a Boudin Burger, Ducasse style, at the L'Orangerie, we couldn’t stop goggling at a young family: a father and his two young children. He was sunk deep into his seafoam-eggplant-black ski jacket, drooping precariously off the chair. His younger child was completely off as well, face first into his father’s sleeve. The third child was sitting, quietly and self-contentedly, playing with his father’s pocket organizer.

That’s the thing about the Nuit Blanche: people who aren’t normally awake at this hour, pushing themselves to the limit to have some culture. Culture Culture Culture… you just couldn’t get away from it, the power it wields, after witnessing Versailles. Versailles is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in France. Power relations, the fallacy of the French notion of democracy, the weight of culture, are visible in all its unadorned no-bullshit glory. Punk my ass. The real punk of Versailles is that it’s the expression of one man’s vision upon all of his nation… a giant fuck-you to everyone he was supposed to be benevolent about. I always marvel at how the French love their dictators.

But art is never democratic. Nor should it be.

The art: Markus Hansen’s piece was the most beautiful elegant thing I saw that night. Two sentry posts, screaming through their CBs about the king, while giant rectangular lights lit up the small field: a space of glorious absolutism where light and darkness played out the invisibility of the powerless. Stricken and struck by beauty. Do you want more?

Yes, I also saw the Grand Palais earlier that day… The immense Coronelli globes, one of the earth, one of the sky, the giant cranes holding them up were themselves suspended 6 inches off the ground, the mirrors that reflected people contemplating the globes in infinity… mystic beauty. The funniest thing was that it wasn’t even intended as an art piece. It was just a way of showing off the 17th century globes. Thierry Dreyfus, Frédéric Sanchez and Patrick Bouchain have my vote as best accidental artists of the year. Popular art that appeals to the senses and the soul at its finest.

What did I miss: the sound piece at the Parti Communiste Headquarters and the Andrea Crews catwalk thing at Couronnes. Both were scheduled for later in the night, but satisfaction is a good weapon against over-indulgence. Plus, I think I’m looking these days for a way back into my soul, and a moderation of my nihilistic/narcissistic tendencies. Anyways, a populist idea is not necessarily a profound one, and I’m nobody’s sycophant.

Driving home, I caught a glimpse of a lion-headed man, lit from behind by a spot next to the catwalk. Tricks of light and fatigue. When I was a child, I was convinced a wasp, crushed on our windshield, was the corpse of a dead fairy. Until we stopped and I could move forward to examine it closely, I was filled with dread excitement. Even then I was not prudent with chimeras.


Today's word of the day was "nadir." I say fuck you word of the day. You can't be my horoscope.


La Nuit Blanche is Parisian mayor Bertrand Delanoe's great annual invention to reawaken the city's bright cultural heritage. Certain key institutions, like Versailles, open their doors till 7am, hosting various contemporary art projects. The only drawback are the ridiculous queues for each event, a glorious testimonial of French devotion towards both art and bureaucracy.

A most wonderful and warm thank you to my great true friend, Cecile, who conducted us on our voyage to Versailles, even while "supporting" the last vestiges of her grape cure.... some weird french thing where you eat grapes for a week to clean out something....