vendredi, décembre 25, 2009

Joyeuses Fêtes

I hereby present to you the most adorable thing you have ever seen.

You're welcome.

Happy Holidays!

mardi, décembre 08, 2009

Girl Crush

Well that was quite a hiatus!

Between starting professional acting classes and dislocating my knee cap yet again (in no way related) I have been a bit busy hobbling around town. From emoting to sweating it out at physical therapy sessions, I haven't been very good at keeping up with this here little blog. (You : yes, we know.)

But! Here is a time waster for all you fashion-loving people. I am in love with this lady's style. And holla to an ATL girl! (I think.) If I ever get my act together in that department, I would love to have a wardrobe as put together as hers.

But mine has certainly proved useful for costumes for the acting classes. I'm not sure if that is a good thing. Would you be surprised if I told you I managed to put together an entire costume in order to play a 17th century Spanish playright using only things out of my closet? No?

Well, I did have to buy the fake mustache.

jeudi, octobre 01, 2009


Would you, in my place, be concerned?

It happened as I was coming back from lunch. I had just come in the lobby and was heading for the elevators. There was one that had just taken on some passengers and was ready to go up. I got there right as the doors were closing and stuck in my hand just in the nick of time to make the doors open again and let me on.

Inside the elevator was the notoriously incompetent and weaselly HR minion I jokingly refer to in private as "Schlepsteak." He is about four feet tall and walks with his neck crunched all the way into his shoulders. All that's missing is lip smacking and hands rubbing together as he contemplates who to flummox next with his awkward attempts to impress and flatter.

He looked at me as I got on, thanking and apologizing like a nimwit (thank you for waiting one nanosecond? Sorry for delaying you one nanosecond? Elevator etiquette, sheesh.) and then he cheerily exclaimed, for the benefit of the other poor soul stuck in there with him,

"That was close! You almost lost your hand!"

"Yes," I say, thinking, let's not get excited here for nothing. I gave a polite elevator chuckle, one of those I am constantly throwing out when I don't know what else to say.

"You almost lost it to the guillotine!" he chortled, mimicking the doors closing in on each other with his hands and looking over to the person on his left for complicity.

"Hmm, yeah," I reply, thinking please just let me get to my floor and out of here.

"Very famous in France!" he proclaims, straightening his jacket for emphasis. This is the man who once asked me how the weather was in the United States.

"We're more reknowned for the electric chair," I quipped.

He didn't seem to hear me. He was off on a roll.

"The widow-maker! The bascule! The monte-à-regret!" he crowed, visibly proud of his ability to wow me with synonyms for the guillotine.

We're only on the fifth floor? Oh please, please hurry up! I silently implored the control panel.

"The bois de justice!" he blurted.

At this, the neighbor to his left muttered, "Ah! The bois de justice, yes, there is that one."

Schlepsteak looked very pleased with himself.

We had mercifully arrived at my floor.

"Well," I said, turning to them both, "on that note, have a nice afternoon!"

It took me almost until I reached my office door to realize : holy fucking shit, the HR guy just spent five minutes talking about the guillotine to me!

Am I supposed to get a hint or what?

vendredi, septembre 11, 2009


I might live to eat my own words, or not, such as the case may be, but I just have to get off my chest that I am officially over the hysteria about the porcine flu (known as "la grippe A" over here).

Not only does every single magazine, free daily and "reputable" newspaper have a headline screaming about how we should all be prepared to drop dead any minute, but now my company has gotten itself all in a dither.

They didn't need to put up signs in all the bathrooms kindly explaining the correct way to wash your hands because those signs are leftover from three years ago from the AVIAN FLU OHMYGOD DON'T TOUCH THE PIGEONS WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!

So they have that covered.

They did make the poor janatorial staff wipe off all our doorhandles, keyboards and telephones with alcohol. Once. In the middle of August. When no one was here but me and other assorted weirdos. And they didn't come near the all-important, touched-every-second-of-the-live-long-day MOUSE.

So, um, ineffectual, but cute.

The security staff handed each and every one of us, as we came in through the revolving doors the other day, a handy-dandy pamphlet entitled : BIG COMPANY YOU WORK FOR AND THE FLU PANDEMIC : YOUR HEALTH IS OUR PRIORITY.

It explained that a "Crisis Unit" had been created (oh, thank heavens!) and reassured us that in case of need, there was a large stock of face masks and Purell (they didn't actually say "Purell" but I can't think of any other way of saying it other than 'alcohol gel solution' which is not what you say, I am sure) and that the "Crisis Unit" would not hesitate to put this germ-fighting material at our disposal in case of need.

It was our intern's last day. I suggested he might want to extend his internship in order to protect himself from the deadly virus. He politely declined.

There is a special section on viruses on our intranet site. I periodically click on it to feel like I am in safe hands. HANDS THAT HAVE NOT ACTUALLY TOUCHED MINE AND THAT HAVE BEEN REPEATEDLY AND RITUALISTICALLY WASHED WITH A SOLUTION SIMILAR TO PURELL.

They've even gone so far as to suggest that we no longer greet each other with the traditional "bise."

But now, today, they have sent out a company-wide email that on Monday morning, the poor security personnel will greet us with "Safety Kits" as we walk through the revolving doors. These reassuring "Safety Sits" will each contain :

- a mask
- a bottle of solution similar to Purell
- an instruction manual

But do you know what the best part is?

This "Safety Kit", we are told, is, and I kid you not, FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY and to be used ONLY WHEN INSTRUCTED TO DO SO BY HR.

Jesus fucking christ on a cracker.

It makes me want to lick the pole in the middle of the metro car at rush hour.

mardi, août 25, 2009

More List-y Things

To continue the list of things I'd like to do someday....

11. Get a French driver's license (sounds simple, but oh boy, is it ever complicated. And expensive!)

12. Pay off credit cards (DONE!!! That feels so good! No more debt in the US. Only apartment mortgage debt here, which is cool. Thanks again for the advice on how to do it, Momsie!!)

13. Make bagels from scratch (If I can do this, I can do anything....)

14. Beat Handsome more regularly at the French version of Trivial Pursuit (three times in four years is NOT ENOUGH)

15. Re-tile the bathroom and kitchen floors. The linoleum needs to go. Soon.

16. Get a PADI Open Water scuba diving license. Handsome loves to dive, and it would be nice to be able to share one of his passions with him. Now that I had the hole in my heart repaired, I just might be able to! (More on that later. If you insist.)

17. Update my blog more often. I do like sharing my stories, and it does me good to exercise the writing muscle.

18. Have my portrait taken by a professional photographer. And maybe some nudes - 15 years after the first ones I ever had done. I am totally crazy. Or masochistic. Or narcissistic.

19. Finish framing the pictures and art I have been wanting to put up but haven't because - wait for it - they aren't framed.

20. Avoid killing the flowers and herbs in the window boxes. I am usually lethal to green things, but so far, so good...(maybe that's because Handsome is taking care of them....hmmm.....)

mercredi, août 05, 2009

10 Trendy List Things

Sorry about that rather long hiatus.

I have felt rather uninspired as far as this blog goes, despite the collection of scraps of paper and random notebooks in which I've scribbled ideas for what to write here. The problem isn't a lack of stories to share. Boy, do I always have stories. As my mom once said, my life is never boring. Thank goodness. It has been more a case of hating everything I wrote. I typed up numerous tidbits of things I thought I could write down and share, hated them, saved them in draft and never opened them again. Which doesn't really ever lead to progress, now does it?

As a remedy, I thought I'd take a stab at that ultra-trendy list: the list of things you dream of doing one day before your time is up.

This wouldn't be the first time I've made a wish list. My first was right after my divorce, when a good friend convinced me to go to a workshop to learn how to connect to your inner voice. Well, actually, the technical term was "angels", which really didn't work for me, so the instructor told me to substitute whatever word spoke to me. I think I went for "universe" at the time. Semantics aside, the idea was to clearly identify what you wanted for your life, write each item down as if it were already fact, and then use the list to recite them out loud after doing some brief meditation and breathing. (I very badly needed to breathe at the time.)

I still have the list, and aside from some rather embarassing items : "X is my regular lover", "I weigh 125 lbs" (seriously? dream on, honey) there are a few like these : "I live in Paris with Max in a nice apartment where I feel comfortable" , and "I have a job I like in Paris". Pretty cool that I can look back at that and think to myself "I did it!"

So I think it's time for another list. Which will not include who is my lover or how much I weigh. These are things I would love to do some day. In no particular order. Maybe I will, and maybe I won't, but as I now know from experience, dreams can come true.

1. Act in a play on the Paris stage. (I start professional acting classes in October. Whee!)

2. Act in a movie, either as an extra or in a larger role.

3. Write a novel. (Nevermind that I have been saying that for over ten years and never actually doing it. And nevermind aforementioned hating everything I write. Maybe someday I will get up the courage.)

4. Re-visit the Cairo Museum and spend as much time as I want in the collections. The first time was really cool (I burst in to tears I was so moved to see in person the things I studied in college) but way too short.

5. Visit Thailand.

6. Spend a romantic weekend in London (it is only a train ride away, and we still haven't done it!)

7. Spend a romantic weekend in Rome.

8. Spend a romantic weekend in Venice. (I detect a theme here...)

9. Make a successful tarte tatin.

10. Be able to do a series of 10 manly-man pushups. I'm still on the girlies.

There is so much more, but I'm starting at 10.

What do you dream of doing?

jeudi, juin 11, 2009

I Take That Back

If you told me a few months ago that a cat can go from normal to diabetic to normal and back again, I would have been all, "Duuuude! No way!"

Way, dude. 6.98 glycemic index.

So back to square one. Or two.

Back to twice daily insulin injections. Back to special diabetic food.

Maybe he'll cure himself again.

Good lord.

I mean, seriously, what the fuck?

dimanche, mai 31, 2009

Art Therapy

Good News!

Max is no longer diabetic. Yes, apparently cats can cure themselves of diabetes (with a little help from insulin and good nutrition). Who knew? Now if only he could cure himslef of chronic kidney disease, things would be just perfect. Ha! Seriously, though, he is back at home and back to his old self. We are so happy to have him back.

Two weeks ago, I had a little procedure done to correct a heart murmur. This was of course in the middle of Max's health crisis, so that was a fun few weeks, lemme tell ya. In a way, though, the fact that I spent every waking hour worrying about Max instead of freaking out about my heart procedure was a good thing. But I do tend to work myself into quite a state, so in order to stay zen in the hospital, I brought along a children's watercolor set I have had for years and never touched. The nurses thought it was an eyeshadow palette, and were quite amused when I explained it was for painting. I haven't drawn or painted a picture in well over five years, but man, was it the most perfect way to pass the time and keep calm.

But I apparently have a one-track mind.

First feeble attempt at portraiture

I kind of ruined a good thing with the whiskers there, but I only had one brush, and it was pretty thick.

But the first attempt encouraged me to try something a little more developed.

I took my time with this one. I think it shows.

I was very pleasantly surprised with the results. Incidentally, I think I will make this into a card to send to the vet clinic as a thank you note for everything they did.

One day when Handsome and I went to visit Max in the clinic, we took him out of his cage to hold him and pet him better. The poor boy was hooked up to an IV and in pretty bad shape, but as Handsome, his buddy, held him in his arms, he rested his head on his shoulder and put his paws around his neck.

I thought I would die.

Buddy Love

This is the best I could do to capture the image that will forever be sealed on my brain as the sweetest thing ever.

vendredi, mai 08, 2009

Poor Boy

I have tried to write about our trip to Egypt here. I hated every word I wrote, even the paragraphs I redid three times.

I tried to write about my trials and tribulations with a hurt knee and the physical therapist who later came on to me, leading me to drag him to a mediation with the professional order of physical therapists. It all sounded like crap.

I haven't wanted to freak out my friends and family members by writing about my scary exam.

But typical of me, it takes something happening to someone I love for me to get off my ass and write, and more than anything, not give a shit if it sounds good.

Today, we hospitalized my darling boy cat, Max. He had been uncharacteristically lethargic and apathetic, not to mention drinking copious amounts of water and peeing so much that we had to change his litter almost every two days. I had made an appointement for Monday with a different vet than the one we had been using, sensing he needed better care than he was getting.

I came home last night to find him weak, disoriented and unstable on his feet. I called the emergency veterinary service, which sent a vet to the apartment 40 minutes later. He diagnosed him with possible diabetes and constipation, giving him a dose of children's laxative and telling me to continue with it one to three times a day. He urged me to have him seen by another vet who could do bloodwork to confirm the diagnosis as soon as possible.

It's a holiday weekend here. Most everything is closed today. I had very little hope of finding a vet clinic open, thinking the earliest I could have him seen would be Saturday.

This morning, he had still not eaten or relieved himself, even after two extra doses of laxative, except for the tiny amount he expelled right after the vet had given him the first dose twelve hours earlier.

In utter panic, I called the clinic where I had made an appointment for Monday. Miraculously, they answered, and agreed to see him at 12:30.

We rushed him there, where after x-rays, a urine sample and bloodwork, they diagnosed him with stage II diabetes, dehydration, constipation, and possible bladder infection and kidney failure.

My sweet, clever Max is fighting for his life right now in a swank veterinary clinic in the Eiffel Tower neighborhood.

I feel so awful that I didn't take better care of him. I feel so guilty that I didn't realize how sick he was.

Please send your thoughts, positive vibes or prayers his way.

My poor, poor boy. He'd better get well soon, because I don't know what we will do without him.

photo byDavid Monjou

mardi, avril 07, 2009

Lazy but Not Dead (Yet)

Hello there!

I seem to have neglected this little blog, and I am truly sorry.

My only excuse is that February and March were weird months. There were Official Complaint Letters and Mediation Sessions and Scary Medical Exams and Trips to Foreign Lands.

Slowly but surely I will be updating you on the trials and tribulations. Promise.

While I get my shit together, here is a silly picture to tide you over.


vendredi, février 13, 2009

Love, Love, Love

Four of my dear, dear friends have finally found love.

The Sweet Southern Belle - found a guy who treats her well, truly loves her, and makes her happy. They're getting married in May!

The Tazmanian Devil - found the guy who gets as much a kick out of her as the rest of us; she is now serene instead of frenzied. They cannot keep their hands off each other, and it is the most beautiful thing ever.

The Noshtna Ptiza - the gorgeous polyglot professional who never thought she'd ever love again has fallen! Head over heels! With a Frenchman! Ahhhh, l'amour, l'amour!

The Ivy League Rapper - after several disappointments, is now, as she puts it, "madly in love" with the father of her child.

To you, my gorgeous lady friends,

to all of you in love,

to those who are searching for love,

to all those who have ever loved,

and to my love,