29 avril 2005

In Dino veritas

I've just proven to one of my friends what a sad individual I really am.
Background: I'm a sucker for all songs and films and books and stuff that relates to Dean Martin, but I draw the line at collecting his toenail clippings or false teeth. I stick to the cultural.
It started when I was 11 or 12 - I can say that him and Elvis were two of my most efficient English teachers - and hasn't really stopped. Kind of slowed down, but not stopped.

Anyway, this guy just asked me if I knew who had coined the Rat Pack name.
I did.
Point proven.

C'est pas drôle

How would you react if you were "happy-slapped"? (For some reason I couldn't watch this with sound, but I'm sure the cackles make for even more disturbing viewing.) I didn't even know of the concept, but good grief, what is this? Likening or linking it to Dirty Sanchez or Jackass, of which I'm no fan, is stretching it a bit. At least, those buggers have the decency to put only themselves on the line. I'm outraged.

Today being Friday, I wanted to do something cheerful or even - why not go the whole hog - funny, but that has killed whatever inspiration I may (or may not...) have had.
Inspire me back. Please.

28 avril 2005

Blood hound, repenting

Potentially, my liking of all fictional things blood and brain matter stems from the first time I watched a horror movie. I was 11, my parents and sister were watching Alien on video, and my brother and me had decided to hide behind the armchairs and watch it unbeknownst to them.
Until John Hurt started convulsing and there was blood, guts and a wee monster everywhere, that was. I nearly heaved up on the carpet, and then my parents realised I was here. They knew my brother was here too because the little bastard uttered wild cackles seeing me in my hour of shame. As any normal parents would have, mine ordered us to bed. I looked at them sweetly and said, "well, I've seen the beginning, I just have to watch the end now". They gave in, secretly hoping that the nightmares to come would be silent, at least, as I was already a bad sleeper then. So after seeing Sigourney Weaver save the day, the world and her skin, I went to bed. I wasn't too proud then, a bit scared from the movie, and a bit apprehensive of the nightmares that I was sure to be having.
Well, the only time I had a better sleep was under general anaesthetics. So my mind was made, I was going to watch horror movies to sleep properly.
And I've liked horror movies ever since: I'll cringe with a worrying kind of pleasure when Freddy Krueger attacks, and laugh like a maniac when that kid gets flattened and taken away on a stretcher in Final Destination 2. I'll get all the references on Scream and then some. I've bought most Stephen King's books, but really that's because I like his style. My teenage crisis was vented in closed rooms, curtains closed, with some good (or not) horror flicks, shrieking. Which hasn't prevented me from being traumatised by Jaws, and bitterly disappointed when I watched The exorcist for the second time, as an adult, because it just wasn't scary enough.
So I like gruesome. There is however one kind of gruesome I can't really handle, that's when it's just too bloody reality-based. No pun.
Cue Nip/Tuck. Yesterday, I got a much better insider's view than I was expecting. I'm not sure I really want to see blobs of silicon being inserted, just not swiftly enough, into buttock-al incisions. I'm not sure I want to know how those eyebrows can be lifted, cheekbones enhanced, ears flattened, breasts augmented or reduced, and worse. Actually I'm sure I don't want to know.
I think growing up has finally taken its toll. I'll have to switch over to Bergmanian and French movies. All talk. No action. Just fine.

27 avril 2005

Weird things happen

Let me tell you about my morning routine. Yay!, I hear you rejoice from here. How I love to be loved.
Morning routine, what a horrible term, right? I hate to be predictable but this is just the waking-up thing to do. So basically I wake up at 6.40 with the radio, listen to the sports news (girlie all the way), get up at 6.45, stumble into the kitchen to put the kettle on (instant coffee, how cool can I get?), switch on the computer, spend a good 30 minutes generally waking up and building the energy to go to work by listening to the news, having my brekkie, and browsing the international web spun by you lot while I sleep the sleep of the just and the unperturbed (not even remotely close to the truth) and then get on with the business of making myself presentable to the outside world. Read take a shower and grab whatever clothes are clean. I usually leave the flat at around 8.15.
Every now and again, I slip. As in I go to bed at an indecent hour, only to wake up a mere 5 hours later; sleep isn't so good and I take forever really waking up; or I get completely engrossed in the many things the world has to offer, and totally lose track of the time. Which, let me tell you right out, flies, in such cases.
This morning was a case in point, where all of the above was applicable. I realised at 8.00 that I really needed to put my arse in gear if I wanted to be at work before lunch time. Which I wouldn't mind, but my work mates might think I'm pushing it a bit.
From then I had to hurry. And I hate rushing in the morning. Which is why I need all this time to do sweet fuck-all.
Hurrying means not being sure that all windows are closed before I leave (and it's still kind of cold in Paris just now), taking the much-dreaded metro at rush hour, and not being completely ready to politely face the teeming barbarian crowds that populate this particular environment.
You'll have concluded on your own that this screams "foul mood", which text must also have been adorning the top of my head in big bright capital letters and lightning flashes.
Well, get this. Despite my best efforts, I'm in a good mood.
I don't know. Metro and metro people were bearable, sky is kind of bluish, I managed to get to work nearly on time (by what miracle I'm not sure) and I'm actually more presentable than usual. I haven't yet screamed at anybody on the phone (despite being said "Et merde" to in lieu of "hello there" - and I laughed).
So what d'you think: positive karma or lurking disaster waiting to pounce?

26 avril 2005


It's tropical rain time in Paris! I'm loving this. I believe I was actually meant to be born in India in the 1800s, just so I could experience monsoon Bromfield-style*, and due to some rare glitch in the birth-selection process, was created in France a century later. I've had a lot of fun on the street just now, and might have ruined a perfectly good pair of shoes, but nothing's for free in this world, right?
Anyway, I'm off again, so I have another chance if they weren't ruined yet.

* I only have a vague recollection of this book, so it is possible that I don't really want to experience monsoon Bromfield-style after all, but it seemed fitting just now.

Dream sequence

This dream I actually had 6 months ago, but I've been thinking about it lately and I kind of like it. Plus I don't usually remember my dreams this vividly.

I am away with a friend for the week-end. New York (I've never been there but it is my dream, so don't say anything about the believability of what's following. And I know believability is not a word either. In fact, I've just checked, it is a word).

We're staying in a motel/hotel (of sorts).

Fast-forward (and that's not because I don't want to bore you with unnecessary details, believe me, if I could, I would).

My friend and I have gone our separate ways for the day. I'm now back from my own errands and errings, whatever I've been doing. Realise at the entrance of the motel that I don't have the key to the room, and I can't even enter the motel itself. But I also realise that this motel is very much like the halls of residence when I was a student in Scotland so I knock on someone's window on the ground floor to ask for him (an un
surprisingly student-like guy) to open up, explain my problem and he lets me in. Arriving outside the door to our room, I find that I do after all have the key. Cow.
Open the door. Some talk radio is blaring in there. I look for it and find it inside a closet (I know. I'm still looking for an explanation for that. I'm very intrigued). Turn it down, or off, can't remember, and go about packing my stuff and tidying the room which I think we're leaving soon.
While I'm busying myself, I see huge-mongous roaches on the carpet. Dead. Instead of fleeing away with arms flailing, I bend down to study them - they are so dead they are nearly embedded in the carpet - and decide to move my bed over them so I won't see them anymore and they won't bother me (I was going to write "decide not to bother with them and to move my bed to hide them under", but that was not exactly how I reasoned in my dream).
That's when my friend comes back. We talk a little, I show her the roaches in a completely undramatic way, and then we see across the street, in a high-rise on the same level as us i.e. apparently quite high up
now, a couple children and their dad waving at us. They are operating a dry-cleaning shop thing.

And I wake up.

Doesn't this seem to say "I'm very disturbed but I've decided not to care anymore"? In a positive way?

25 avril 2005


The new girl has quit. I don't know how it works elsewhere, but in France, there's a trial (probation?) period where you can quit effective immediately.
Well, she gone and done it.
I don't know yet the effect this will have on my little life, leaving date and all.

Urgh, urgh (as in update, not well received)
Apparently, we're starting the recruitment process anew. Oh the impending joy of having to read umpteen application letters and resumes, sorting out the grammatically-challenged and spelling-impaired ones from the potential winners. Oh the anticipated pleasure of calling each of the happy few to arrange for an interview. Oh the ecstasy of spending five minutes with each in English so we know if they're going to handle the phone or not. Oh. Oh. Oh.
Notice how this is a sort of reverse Santa. Well, that's exactly what it means to me. A negative present. Anyway. Might as well get to it if I want to be able to go away as planned, eh!

24 avril 2005

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I've finally been to see Love! Valour! Compassion!, which I was talking about two months ago. I do take my own sweet time.
Actually, it wasn't a my-
only kind of sweet time. It was to be a themed evening, with a couple of friends (gay) and me. As it turned out, it was six guys and me. It was bound to take a while to set a date.
Let me set the stage (ooh, pun.) The audience was made up for 3/4 of gays (which was painful, considering how gorgeous some of them were - then-present company included), 10% of packs of half-naked girls (well one of them was half-naked, and it wasn't me) and 15% of semi-natural straight people. Oh actually, two old ladies were sitting right behind us, which I thought was absurdly cool of them, and then they started commenting on everything during the whole bloody play, in the kind of whisper that can make me want to rip someone's throat, at the cinema or theatre. How feelings can change.

OK, on to the play. I haven't seen either
the movie or the play in English and so can't compare. It's a very good adaptation anyway, in French I mean, well written and with many a reference transposed into French culture. It did struck me as bizarre, in a French context, to see something so American as emotional scenes being immediately followed by funny/burlesque scenes, and it made me feel like I was in an American sitcom, in French, with French actors etc. Don't know if I'm clear.
Two actors were extremely good (Buzz and John/James*), and I bawled. God I bawled. Silently. Which is frustrating when you want to be
really loud about it. The rest of the cast was not transcendental (well, the guy playing Ramon - which they French-ised into Slimane - was taken straight out of the French version of American idol, so we certainly weren't expecting a Molière-worth performance), but I suspect that was also to do with the stage direction hence director, or whatever you call it for stage, because I'd already seen two of these other guys and I knew for a fact they are extremely talented.
Bobby notably was a bitter disappointment. The first time I saw this guy act, I was baffled, lost for words, impressed, in love. Yeah, good acting does that for me. And in that play, I found his character was bordering on the caricature. Too exalted, too nice, too romantic, too rigid when walking - sometimes I felt the guy was not only blind, he was handicapped in many many other ways. But not everyone did in the group, so maybe I'm just setting the bar way too high.
And enlighten me here, when it was staged in the US (or the UK), was the cast naked? Because that struck all of us (interested as we were) as not necessary. They're not naked all the time, but they do spend a fair bit of time in the simplest apparel. Nice (do not get me wrong, it was very nice), but very unnecessary, and probably just meant to attract drooling crowds on all levels of the sexual horizon. Well, it's working.

To sum up, if you're in Paris, and want to go see a modern play, this is as good a choice as any.

* Researching this thanks to IMDb so you can have all the references. I'm nice, aren't I?

22 avril 2005

When a fish crosses stories

Mysfit has posted. Mysfit has created a new character. I like Mysfit's new character already.

I'm now hoping that people will write on from gatsby's fantasteeque section, and that both branches reconnect at some point. Wouldn't that be just fine?

In other news, I think that this little apéritif and Japanese restaurant was a great idea.
Have a lovely week-end everyone.

C'est vendredi, c'est parti

I really wanted French to be a little more present on here, but didn't know how to have most people participate. And then it hit me.
You're going to tell me what swearwords you know; if you know their French counterparts, give those too, and if you don't, me or
other readers will oblige. Deal?

21 avril 2005

A little bus story

This morning, took the bus.
Sat down, earbuds in ears, listening to a very mixed mix of music, minding my own brain business.
Bus stop, this guy walks in, sits down across from me.
60-ish, looking it, overweight, a bit of a lech look. Necklace like a dog-collar, humongous rings and an earring of the sort you pinch just above the lobe (or wear on your middle toe). Preposterous "I'm old but I don't want to look it and I'm failing miserably" outfit, the lot.
He winked at me.
I'm still queasy.

20 avril 2005

16 all over

I'm in a bad mood today, for not much of a reason.
Not that I've ever really needed one anyway, but you know what I mean.
Oh, and as of tomorrow, I won't be able to post properly from work (cue even worse mood) as the new girl is arriving and I'm briefing her. For three weeks. I hope she understands everything the first time I explain it.
I'm not good at explaining things.
This should be interesting.

Do I come across as as really nasty person? I do to me.
Now I'm depressed.
It's hard being a teenager when you'd got used to being all mature and grown-up.
I'll be dressed in black tomorrow. See how that fits.

19 avril 2005

Story-crossing, going strong

Well, hopefully this means we will get to read the end of this at some point, and I'll never thank Lucretia enough for giving it birth, and ForgottenMachine and Suzanna for making it grow. Fence has just given it a new breath. It's good and getting better!

Ooh, ooh (as in update)

gatsby has branched out from Suzanna's part. That's it. It's bicephalic now.

Ooh, ooh, ooh (as in update, again)

Lucretia has started a WHOLE NEW BLOG for this. The girl has hope.
Go on, you know you want to. Read, utter all necessary, required and - really - spontaneous Oh's and Ah's in the right places, and get to it.

A site to behold

I went to have a read of Language log last night... (do I sound more intelligent saying that?) and the latest post was about a recently founded British society, S.P.E.C.S, intent on defending proper English spelling and language, the site of which I duly visited, because if Mark Liberman says so, then I do so.
I shared Mark Liberman's dismay at first. And isn't it cool that I share something with Mark Liberman?

Well, go visit is all I can say. They're mad.

18 avril 2005

Quite the civilised week-end...

... that was, with all manners of sociability.

It started off on a bad foot though: I was supposed to meet a friend on Friday evening, but we called it off due to hail and a critical lack of umbrella. Certainly didn't want to be lying all bloodied up in a ditch if I didn't have any alcohol in me, I'm sure that's understandable.

So we met up on Saturday afternoon, for a drink, which I hoped would be alcohol as I was still writhing from Friday's withdrawal symptoms. Alas, she's married and they're trying for a baby, so Diet Coke it was for her. Diet Coke. I couldn't well drink on my own*, could I. Diet Coke it was for me. Lovely time, despite the depressing sobriety. Talked about life, the universe, everything. No, we're girls, so just life. OK, and boys. And why they are so... complicated. No, really, just life. Well, in fact, boys too. No...

Gah, barely managed to get out of this ridiculously girl-logicked whirlpool.

In the evening, went to have dinner at some friends. Two couples and me. I think they take pity. One of the girls is pregnant to the teeth, so cigarettes were had on the balcony (freezing cold, remember, hail the day before), but thankfully alcohol was flowing. Flowing. Girls in the lounge (?**) talking about life, the uni... kidding. We reminisced. As far back as childhood bullies and such. Very funny. Guys cooking in the kitchen - don't faint, that was their excuse to try and get the bottles for themselves. A very good time indeed.

And Sunday was spent brunching (from way way too early) with some friends. All gay and coupled up. Not really all gay, but coupled up. Not really all coupled up either. I could describe the group as a fairly balanced mix if I really wanted to make an unbiased account. But I don't really want to make an unbiased account. So let's just pretend they were all gay and coupled up. Very good time as well. The weather was glorious, so after stuffing our faces (a croissant was eaten for you, Adamant), we strolled around in Saint-Paul, Ile Saint-Louis, the Quais, etc. We saw a little shop of inventions, so full of very clever stuff that my brains are still whirling-dervishing from trying to fathom it all.

And I shall gloss over the fact that when I came back, my flat struck me as being in a horrendous post-tsunami state. Except the tsunami would be me. That was a bit of a downer. So I did what any wonderwoman of the 90's would have done. I called a friend and moaned.

* I'm going to have to learn to accept the disapproving looks, though, because pretty soon I will be drinking on my own, considering a couple of factors at play here: first, as my friends are multiplying like rabbits, alcohol is drying up pretty fast on the girls' side; second, I will be out of work in three weeks, and nothing I've done so far has had encouraging results. The natural progression does seem to be: I'm out of job, I get kicked out of the flat, I go try my parents' house, get kicked out of there too (and completely second their decision - in fact ask to be kicked out), end up living in a cardboard box on the cheapest of wine. Alone. I'm sure I'll get used to it at some point.
** I really have to go back to some English-speaking country soon. Is that the right word?

15 avril 2005

Story crossing

Lucretia started it on Life as a carrot, ForgottenMachine elaborated at Ten miles beyond the city and Suzanna finished the third leg at Princess of Irony. You want to have a go? Great, just pick it up, and make it up. In the Princess's words though, give credit where it's due.

Can't believe I asked for this. This will self-destruct if you think it's bad.

And many many mercis to Suzanna for acting editor extraordinaire.

It was hot and sticky inside the club, the air hung thick with smoke. Overhead lights threw a sickly, seedy pink hue over everything. Mike was stoned. Way too stoned. And now he was drunk. Very drunk. He leant heavily against the grimy bar counter, the stench of stale urine from the nearby public toilet hung in the air and clung to the walls, insidiously working its way into his nostrils. He grimaced and attempted to focus on anything in his immediate vicinity, anything that wasn’t moving. It was hard. People crushed and crowded against him, all trying to catch the barmaid’s attention. Faces became distorted and stupid looking. He sniggered to himself at the grotesque images around him, he hated it here, he loved it here. The noise and heat engulfed him and for a few moments he felt almost happy, blanketed in the common bond he shared with all the other restless, lonely, souls. Then he remembered where he was and almost immediately, the blackness came rushing back into his head.

He gave up trying to focus on the people and stared instead at the brown bottle in his hand. Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” throbbed suggestively from somewhere deeper in the club and a bunch of Goth chicks began gyrating in time to the beat, behind him. They were all drunk as skunks and teetering crazily all over the place. One of them lost her balance and crashed into the bulk of Mike’s slouching body, half rolling off his leather jacket. He wasn’t sure if it was deliberate on her part, he was past caring. He turned slowly and gave her an icy stare.

“Oops, sorry!” She blurted, giggling at herself. “My mistake.”
She stopped abruptly, taking in his violent gaze.
“Chill, dude.” She said casually.

She looked about eighteen, so Mike reckoned she was probably fourteen or younger. Her face was plastered with thick white makeup; her eyes, heavily black from the Kohl eyeliner, looked like piss holes in the snow. She was wearing a black mesh top and no bra, her nipples poked through the strands of black string. He sneered at her.

“Fuck off.” He said in a menacing tone. He was so sick of adolescent girls. They were all so full of shit. Cock teasers and sluts. The last thing he needed tonight was a potential statutory rape probability

“Fuck you too, shit head!” she spat at him and swaggered off unsteadily back to her mates. Her friends gasped in unison when she told them what he’d said to her. A chorus of “arsehole!” and “dickface!” assaulted his ears; they made gestures with their middle fingers.

He shrugged and went back to his beer, glowering at the faces around him. The place was starting to close in, he felt claustrophobic. ‘Fucking bitches,’ he seethed inside. ‘I fucking hate them all. Only good for one thing.’ He continued to drink heavily and ordered another beer from the frazzled bar lady.

“Geez, Mike,” she said, eyeing him warily. “You’re sure as hell putting them away tonight, hey? Slow down, dude.”
She was fond of Mike, he was a regular patron at the club but she hadn’t ever seen him this tanked up, or as surly before.

“Just give me a goddam beer, Claire and leave me the fuck alone with the lectures, okay?!” His voice was heavy with booze, yet even in his inebriated state, he managed to speak clearly.

“I’m not lecturing you, Mike.” Claire said, uncapping the beer and slamming it down hard on the counter next to his outstretched hand.
“Just take it easy, okay?”
She tossed his loose change close to the beer bottle.
“Give me any shit and I’ll get Bruce to throw you out.”
She glared at him threateningly and then spun around, before he could say anything abusive. A crowd of people on the opposite side of the bar were clamoring for refills. She didn’t have time for arguments.

Fatigue pulled at Mike, dragging him down. He tried to shake it off with a few gulps of the fresh, cold beer but it wasn’t helping. Bruce, the massive bouncer, had always been friendly but Mike knew that it wouldn’t be impossible to overstretch the boundaries and get turfed out into the street. Bruce didn’t take crap from anyone – friend or otherwise.

Mike was getting sick of the place, sick of the babies, the endless parade of schoolgirls.
‘Why the fuck do I come here?’ He mulled to himself. ‘It’s not like I even enjoy it anymore. Always the same bunch of losers and wannabees. They all think they are so cool but they’re just a load of posers, trendies.’
Vivid images erupted in his head – he was striding through the crowded club, gun in hand, taking pot shots at whoever put a face in front of him. Graphic pictures of bloodied bodies and screaming teenagers, flooded through his mind. He was enjoying this day dream; a deep secret smile in his eyes, when he saw her standing across from him. His heart almost stopped beating.

She'd been dead all of three years, but it was still a breathless fall to sobriety every time he saw her. Well, not dead three years, but died three years ago........shit, he couldn't even wrap his head around it in the cold, clear light of day, let alone with the fog that was currently loitering in his mind.

He watched her walk toward the bar, a clinical stride that didn't seem to belong to her; or maybe it did, maybe the warmth he had always associated with that movement was the real illusion. As always, she was dressed plainly in a black garment that shifted unnaturally, almost as if the touch of her skin would leave some dread taint.


How could he bear to hear that voice speak his name, that as it had been stripped of any notion of intimacy, so was he stripped of the last vestiges of sanity every time he heard it.

"You're looking well." She could have at least made an effort at candidness, but Mike reckoned once you'd been to the other side, sincerity was an expendable commodity.

Who would have guessed that science would beat Christ to the resurrection? When they successfully brought that boy back 10 years ago, Mike had not an inkling of the impact it would have on his life.
Why had she just not told him? He could understand the right of every individual to request the procedure, if it were possible, yet it angered him that she'd concealed her decision. She should've been mangled by a train, not that fucking pussy of an aneurysm that left her in such 'pristine' condition.

R.E.S.C.O.R. He couldn't even think the word without feeling the bile rising in the back of his throat. You thinking of donating your organs when you kick it? Fuck that! Resurrection is the way to go, provided you have enough cash and have managed to keep yourself from splattering all over the pavement. Why no-one seemed to be bothered about the secrecy surrounding the procedure was beyond him. Could the joy of being re-united with a loved one truly blind you for so long? Surely they could see that what came back was like an image in a mirror, that something was lost in the transition?
Perhaps that was why he hung out at the club so often; it was as close as he could get to the sheer desolation, the intoxicating loneliness of death. Here, he could worship at the feet of his beloved Mistress. He was sure that She would whisper to him Her design for vengeance against those who would dare defy Her will and encroach on Her domain.
For a moment he again saw himself, gun in hand, blowing away these pathetic freaks. Rescor would have a bloody field day.

He tried to straighten up, to stare the true freak in the eyes.

"Kira, my darling wife." The sarcasm peeled from his voice like burnt skin. "What do you need this time?"

Kira slid onto the barstool next to him like it was a well worn saddle. She was totally comfortable in her surroundings whatever they may be, a characteristic that was completely foreign to Mike, in his own life and in the life of the woman he once knew as his own. Once she was brought back, it seemed she was made into some sort of chameleon as well.

As she edged closer to him he noticed the pleasant effects of his alcohol induced haze retreating into a mild numbness of his senses. However, his eyesight was on alert and he noticed the standard Rescor barcode tattooed on the inside of her right wrist when she reached for his bottle of beer.

“I’m just a bit parched my love, mind if I have a sip?” She said as she took his beer and downed what was left in one fluid motion. Kira motioned for Claire to bring Mike another bottle. Claire stepped over to the pair, aware of their history and of the potential for disaster whenever the two were together after Kira’s transformation. They were both as volatile as gun powder next to a grease fire and Claire wanted no part of the fireworks.

Claire set Mike’s new bottle of beer down in front of him and retreated quickly as Kira swiped it and took a long pull, placing it back in front of Mike with a teeth-jarring thud.

To think of putting his mouth to the same place this thing beside him had just touched her lips to, made the acid in Mike’s gut rise. He eyed Kira warily and said with great disdain, “Keep it sweetie.”

He couldn’t stand this back and forth banter she insisted on every time they were in the same zip code. It was almost like she had some sort of tracking device on him and she knew when he was vulnerable and when his soul was raw from life.

She found him. She taunted him. She made his life hell showing him that he could never have it the way it used to be.

It tore Mike’s heart out to think of the love he once knew with Kira and that it all was boiled away when the mad scientist bastards at R.E.S.C.O.R. woke her from what should have been death.

Kira swung towards him on her barstool, seeming to almost float in her supernatural way of moving, and Mike; lost in his thoughts; inadvertently flinched. She laughed low and throaty and sprung from her perch, rabbit punching Mike in the back of the head and leapt away to taunt, tease and harass a group of burly bikers in a darkened corner.

‘Those guys have no idea what they are getting into.’ Mike thought to himself as he rubbed the back of his head. Claire stepped over to him to ask if he was ok. “I’m fine Claire, thanks for asking.”

Claire thrust out her chin determinedly and said, “Mike, I don’t know why you let her do that to you. It is like she hurts you on purpose every time she sees you. Either she hurts your feelings or hurts you physically or both. She is just a cruel woman, no… scratch that… She’s a Monster! I don’t know why you don’t turn her into that group of Blade Runners that have popped up over in Dallas. I mean, man… I know she used to be your wife and all… but dude… that thing ain’t nobody’s wife!”

Mike thought for a second and then replied, “I guess I just feel a little responsible for her Claire.” He shook his head sadly and walked out of the bar.

If only he had read the fine print on the medical release form at the hospital.

But he had always thought he was better than the rest of them, hadn't he? That no one could ever screw him over because he had all bases covered. Well, screwed him over she had, good and proper.

The day she... died, it had all started with a headache. He'd thought nothing of it at first, she was tired from working all hours at the office, and her father's heart scare had kept them on edge for a few days. The worry had only come later. Much later. Too late. By then, Kira was weeping from the pain, and her skin looked taut, stretched across the cheekbones, and glistening with sweat. Very unhealthy. Very worrying. That's when he'd realised that she needed the ER.

Every time he'd thought about that drive to the hospital, inevitably the words ‘movie clichés’ came to his mind although, it had definitely not felt that way at the time.
He had driven like he'd never driven before, clutching the wheel with both hands, aware that if he took Kira's hand, he might crush it with the sheer strength of his worry.
He lifted her gently from the passenger seat after a screeching halt right in front of the entrance, and run to the first nurse he’d seen. He was nearly incoherent. They'd thankfully taken over from there.

"You OK, Mike?" Claire inquired, snapping Mike out of his memories. It took him a second to actually remember where he was – in the bar’s parking lot, absently standing in front of his car, dangling car keys in hand – and it came crashing down. Kira was back. Again. Yet, somehow, this time, he had a nagging suspicion that she very much wanted to outstay her welcome.
"Yeah, just, y'know, had a few too many, I guess".
Claire didn't insist. She'd told him that Kira was bad news. There was nothing else she could do. And she couldn't afford to get tangled up in the lives of her patrons, however nice the patron. Not that Mike would listen anyway. She threw the stub of her cigarette, and went back in.

"Sir, hi, I’m Dr. Edwardes. I'm going to have to skip the niceties, here, time's running fast. You are aware that your wife signed up for Rescor procedure?"
"Er, n... no...?"
He'd hated the sound of his voice at that moment. Whiny, scared, choking. He wasn't like that.
"We found the acceptance card in her purse. Unfortunately, she was in a coma on arrival, so we couldn't get her formal confirmation."
Dr. Edwardes proceeded to brief him on what exactly the resurrection entailed. Mike hadn't even paused to consider the consequences: Kira was dead, Kira could live again, the answer shot out of his mouth like a hot breath.
"Yes, go on, do it."
Just like that, he’d allowed his wife to live again.
She’d stayed at the hospital for a couple of days, and he took her back home with the same kind of feeling he’d had on their wedding day.
The trouble became apparent fairly rapidly. He’d first noticed the mood swings. And it escalated fairly rapidly; she needed more and more time on her own, locked up in the bathroom, or out, just out, he’d never known where. Up until the point when she’d simply vanished. She’d even kissed him goodbye that day.

“Hey, Michael.”
Kira caught up with him sitting in his car.
Not surprising considering that the old piece of shit he used for transport usually required a few minutes warming. Fuck.
“Kira. I’ve asked you before. What do you want?”
She was bending low to his level, showing more cleavage than he cared to see. It made his skin crawl that at some point he’d loved making love to her. She was so alien to him now.
“Michael, darling, don’t do this. What do I want? I want my husband back.” She started toying with the buttons on his shirt. The way her nails would grate the fabric against his skin used to drive him insane with desire for her. With love. That’s what it was then.
“I want children. A home. A fa-mi-ly.”, she sing-songed.
“Oh Kira, give me a break. You don’t want a family, you want new toys. What?
That bunch of apes in there didn’t perform? I have to go.”
He gunned the car. He felt sober. He felt scared.

Au moins, c'est vendredi

Sweet baby J, what a day I'm having.
I was going to post a long rant about public transport in Paris, one of my very favourite pet peeves, but first, Blogger wouldn't let me publish. Three long hours I tried. I finally got the hint and decided to drop the issue.

Second, Tony.T has just made me laugh. For this, I'm very grateful and shall not bore you to tears. Merci beaucoup.

This new-found good-ish mood shall not however extend to the office. Oh they're paying. They are going to be so relieved when I leave tonight...

13 avril 2005

Something has to be done

It has been ascertained that I have no creativity. No, I'm not just saying this, I know it for a fact. I'm working on it though.
Anyhoo, there's some very creative and interesting and what-not (see? not creative) story-crossing going on at Ten miles beyond the city and Life as a carrot that I, among other people, would very much like to see continued. It seems, though, that I'm not the only one to have run dry of creative juices.
Who's up for it?

Thanks a bunch for your comments, as Marge Gunderson would say, but my creativity was soooo not the point. What was is who's going to take a stab at that story... Apart from Suzanna, and I certainly hope she doesn't chicken...

Non sequitur

I hate people who look at themselves and re-do their hair or arrange their lapels, collars, belts, what have you* in the door-windows of the metro.

Yes, I do that sometimes.

No, I don't hate myself.

Yes, I'm inconsistent. So?

don't go there

12 avril 2005

Memories can't wait

That was so clever I nearly hurt myself.
Living Colour.
I was wondering whatever had happened to them as I was aware they had split back in 1995; but apparently they reunited two years ago. Well, they released one album, the rest is all re-releases and stuff, but still.
You have to understand, I have no musical culture or education whatsoever, I judge music by the effect it has on me, period (and that explains the variety of music I'm "into"). Plus, I've never had any music-reading classes or whatever you might want to call it, and as I lived in Algeria and Cameroon until I was 18, current music was not exactly my forte. I knew about it, sounds and stuff, but I only heard the most popular bands because they were they only ones who'd made it across.
And when I was 20 and back in France, the guy I was madly madly in love with then decided he would make my musical education. As far as I was concerned, he could do whatever he wanted with me. So when he gave me Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone and Living Colour (and Joe Satriani, but that I'm not going into) to listen to, I was game.
And Living Colour I even saw in concert, in Lyons' Transbordeur (they were not that big in France and I've had this crazy misconception since then that this venue is the height of hip). And it was cooooool. The frequencies were so high I felt the music in my throat, the roadies when doing the "balances" (?) checked the mikes by going "How are you, mo'fuckers?" at the top of their voices, and the whole audience went bonkers. And I kept thinking that everybody was cheering at the fact that we'd just been called motherfuckers. I was young and innocent.
The concert started with two guests, Therapy? and somebody else I can't remember (ooh the shame...). And then they were there.
OOOH, I nearly forgot. We were having a ciggie before the concert, on the parking lot, and we saw Doug Wimbish. And we talked to him, saying something like "Hi Doug" (pronouncing it à la French...) and he walked towards us, smiling, ready to have a pre-gig chat with us. That's when we just deflated. There was no word in English left in us. Actually, there were a few in me, but I was so afraid to say something completely ridiculous that I held my tongue. So we just smiled. So he just left. Probably thinking something like "Pah, those French. What a bunch of idiots." Except not in those words.
The concert started, and I had a connection with Vernon Reid. I just know that, OK. Nobody believed me then, but to this day, I am convinced that he played exclusively for me the whole concert.
That's it.
Oh, also it was a great concert. My personal regret was that they didn't play "Solace of you", but then, I'd been warned it was highly unlikely, considering the type of concert it was and the type of music this particular single is.

Anyway, have a listen to Love rears its ugly head. It's the best love song evah. The link is for a sample and it's crap, so if you want to listen to it in full, let me know, I'll send it over. I have no idea how to do it otherwise.

And OOOH again, apparently they have a blog where I'll bet they're not telling us about their childhood memories.

11 avril 2005


That's it. I've gone and done it. I've got a Gravatar now.
Problem is, I so don't want it...
Second problem is, they don't tell you that it's automatic, and looked I have, but they don't tell you HOW TO REMOVE IT.
Anybody out there know how to do that?

Update - 12 Apr. around 9:30am
AH AH. They're aces at Gravatar. Apparently, you just have to remove your e-mail address, which I did the first time round, but there was evidently a problem with it, and the site threatened to call the FBI. I kid you not.
But now it's worked. And I suspect Tom thinks I'm the biggest brain-dead moron the earth has ever borne. That's OK. Gravatar has gone.

09 avril 2005

A travesty of democracy

Fooled you there, didn't I. You thought I was (ugh, not a-gain) going to make a complete fool of myself by talking of things I just don't understand. Well no. And, just so you know, I hate being predictable.

I need your help, in the form of some sort of vote. I know there are e-tools for that, but frankly, I'm not sure I can handle them, and I'd rather read your opinions than figures.
I finished Peter Carey's My life as a fake, which I highly recommend: I've already professed my love for the guy, and I'm sticking by this. Although you don't have to believe me, as I used to enjoy reading Jilly Cooper. Oh, come on, I was 20, living in Scotland, and I needed a sense of British culture. Hee. British culture. Jilly Cooper.

Anyway, Anne. Focus. I will be reading Krishnamurti's De l'amour et de la solitude (On Love and Loneliness
in English) (and boy I can't wait, but I figured the sooner it's read, the sooner I can move on - and somebody lent it to me, so I can't decently procrastinate indefinitely...) for the coming week (small book, but I'm obviously expecting arduous reading and a lot of falling asleep and eye-rolling in-between), and after that, I'm at a loss.

I have quite a few books that are begging to be read, and I'm not sure which one I should start with.

In order of appearance on my shelves, so that's alphabetical. Boring. So boring, in fact that I'm going to sort them by colour theme instead, I think.

Monica Ali: Brick lane
Christine Angot : Pourquoi le Brésil
Margaret Atwood: The blind assassin
Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
Desmond Bagley: Die Täuschung (I'm
evidently showing off on the language, here, not on the author... plus I'm sure it'd take me for ever to read)
Mongo Béti : Remember Ruben (French-speaking in fact)
Louis Bromfield : Mrs. Parkington (in French)
Marcus Clarke: For the term of his natural life
Michael Curtin: The Cove shivering club
William Faulkner : Oeuvres complètes (complete works, in French...)
Gustave Flaubert : L'Education sentimentale
Jostein Gaarder : Le monde de Sophie (Sophie's world)

John Galsworthy: The Forsyte Saga, Vol. 1
Denis Guedj: Les cheveux de Bérénice
Thorkild Hansen : La mort en Arabie (no idea what it would be in English but I can give you the original Danish title - that's the country, not the lovely little pastry that would go so well with the book and a cuppa: Det lykkelige Arabien; I might as well do it for Sophie's world too, eh: Sofies Verden in Norwegian)
Michel Houellebecq : Les particules élémentaires
Daniel Mason: The piano tuner
Alexander McCall Smith: The N°1 Ladies' detective agency
Ian McEwan: Enduring love
DBC Pierre: Vernon God Little
Edgar Poe: Selected poems (not big on poetry, so that will be kind of like feeding jam to pigs)
Edgar Poe: The fall of the House of Usher and other writings
Malcolm Pryce: Last tango in Aberystwyth
Alain Robbe-Grillet : Les gommes
William Shakespeare: The two gentlemen of Verona
Anton Tchekhov : La mouette
William M. Thackeray: Vanity Fair
Rose Tremain: The colour
PG Wodehouse: A damsel in distress (how fitting)

I am counting on you here. If you've not read any of those, just pick one out at random. Please.
I had something else to say, but I can't remember what now, and that's long enough anyway.

08 avril 2005

Generation gap

Went to the cinema last night with some friends, to see a spur-of-the-moment kind of movie, one I'd never make time for otherwise. It's called Brice de Nice (the beauty of it is you can pronounce it whichever way you care to, as long as it rhymes - part of the plot, you see). It's based on the sketch character (sketch, yes? no?) of a surfer guy waiting for the big one. On the Côte d'Azur. Mediterranean, no waves. You get the picture.
I don't think it could be much fun to non-French speakers, except it struck me as being very American somehow (in a good way). It's not a particularly good movie or anything, but it's really quite funny, with a few Grease or Bollywood elements to it, and I'm definitely not sorry I went. Apart from the fact that we were probably the oldest people in there and the majority of the audience was laughing at stuff we didn't get; and "Big yellow taxi" is going through my head as I type this, a song which not one member of the audience would have ever heard of if it wasn't for Janet Jackson's sampling.
I'm hesitating between old and immature. Typical.

07 avril 2005

No post today

Very tired due to last night's pub session, so I thought it was only fair not to inflict it on you but exclusively on my workmates - especially since two of them were involved in yesterday's shenanigans.
And shenanigans it was, believe you me: there were three of us out, girls, resolved to have a good time, without nobody getting hurt. We selected an Australian pub because, well, I insisted. And out we went. And they loved us there. Especially that obnoxious French bloke, completetely off his face, just... ew... whom I had to shove off of me at some point. And he came back. Prob'ly that librarian thing, huh.
And the two Aussies, who were so young I'm wondering if taking the mickey like we did wasn't illegal. They were awfully sweet, though. And I think they did love us.

Oh, quick side-note. There was a girl, 14 years old or something, on the metro this morning, reading Paris Metro, how fitting, seeing as she was on it in it... I'm tired, I tell you. Well, I hate metros in the morning, I do, but for 15 seconds, she made it nice. I hope she has a very good life.

Anyway, I said I wouldn't post, so don't make me lie.

06 avril 2005

And then it all made sense

Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses
Dorothy Parker, "News Item"

You gotta admire the perceptiveness of the girl.

Isn't it bizarre

I followed Mysfit's advice over yonder at following my fish and took that BBC test designed to determine your sexual identity, i.e. it tells you how feminine or masculine you are. Well, I'm strangely more of a girl. Some people will be surprised.

That's not the strangest though.
There's this question where you're meant to put your hands together and interlock your fingers to see which thumb comes out on top. As I'm left-handed, it seems only natural that it should be the left one with me.
Here goes their analysis.
Right thumb on top: This suggests the left half of your brain is dominant. Many studies have tried to establish whether there is a relationship between handedness and brain dominance. Some scientists believe that if you are left brain dominant, you would be more verbal and analytical. The left side of your brain is said to be more adept at language, logic and linear thinking.
Left thumb on top: This suggests the right half of your brain is dominant. Some studies theorise that as a right brain dominant person, you may excel in visual, spatial and intuitive processes.
However, these theories are debatable and leave much to be said about the small percentage of people who are ambidextrous. Find out why right-brained people may be
better fighters and artists.
Now, the ONLY thing I'm any good at is language(s) (and cooking, but that's beside the point). And I'm anything but ambidextrous, penmanship-wise anyway.
Also, the last time I fought, I was something like 13, it was outside a classroom with another girl, and it was thankfully limited to a couple of frantic slaps and high-pitched yelps (no mud, sorry). And well, I've always wanted to act for a living and I'm certainly neurotic like a true artist (I'm aware this is a widespread misconception but it does help my case here), but that's hardly enough qualification. Last, I haven't got the start of a sense of orientation (even though I can read a map).

I'll give them one thing: I'm not logical, and I don't know what linear thinking is, but I suspect I ain't got that either.

05 avril 2005


As I was saying to Pink, of a girl with a dot fame, I think I might just be stalker material.
Even though, you can calm down now, I have yet to actually stalk someone or boil their rabbit or anything.
I'm a bit scared of the day when I actually snap and start showing my face in somebody's doorframe, in true "Here's Johnny" fashion...

Och well, que sera sera, eh.

04 avril 2005

Monday morning gloom

I had a lovely afternoon with a couple of friends and their 8-month old wee son yesterday. I hadn't seen the baby since he was born, and he's one big boy now, who takes after his father (very tall bloke, he is). He's really sweet and cuddly and smiles a lot, and he didn't even cry when I took him - actually even smiled (the baby. the father is nice, but not that cuddly).
I love babies, I do. I love children all ages for that matter. They could probably get whatever they ever want from me. Anything for them to not ever point at me and go "you mean bad person", and to preferably pick me to go play or look at bunnies or tell them a story before bed.

Being the bitter cow I am, though, I'm not likely to leave it at that, am I.

t is frustrating, isn't it (or is it just me?), when you haven't seen someone in a long time, not to be able to talk properly, among girls or blokes as the case may be... Adults anyway. The baby is going to be here, and so is the father/mother. My friend will never just be her anymore, she's me-and-my-baby-and-the-father-of-my-baby now... whereas I'm still me-me-me-me-me. And me.
Although I did have a lovely time (and I know it's the second time I say this and some might oppose that I sound as if I'm trying to convince myself, but I did, honest), and I really hope they did too (how could they not however, when they were spending time with me-me-me-me-me. And me.), on the metro going home I couldn't help but wonder (how very Carrie Bradshaw of me) if really that didn't mean that I was failing my duties as a friend, a person, a girl.
As a friend, because here I am somehow criticising the fact that for the next twelve years, I'm not having a proper date with my friend when I should just rejoice in the fact that she is obviously one very happy gal; as a person, because let's face it, I am kind of jealous that this hasn't happened to me (but I'm gearing up for the best April of my life so far); as a girl, because well, I'm soon past procreation age, aren't I.


02 avril 2005

Whoa, woo-oow!*

What's going on here, ladies and gents?
I type a couple of sentences on Friday and I get more comments than for all of my posts so far put together, and three times as many visitors as my usual daily rate?
Is that some elaborate April's fool prank played on me by the blogosphere at large? Have you all been conspiring behind my back? Well, please, go on! I'm loving this.
Unless... you're trying to send me a message: the shorter the post, the better. In which case... well I don't know, I'm torn. Either I obediently follow that unspoken piece of advice (or plea) and I keep my personal record-breaking stats, not to mention you, my dear dear readers.
Or I pig-headedly plough on and waste more valuable hyperspace (cyberspace?) with each long-winded, oh so long-winded, probably extremely boring too, oh so boring, and wobbly English-wise, oh so... no my English is perfect, you said so yourselves (go on, check in those numerous, oh so numerous comments) posts. Are you loving this yet? Because I am. I'm not even sure if the sentence above makes sense, but believe me, in the state of tiredness I'm in right now, I'm sure it could not make any more sense.
Yes, my neighbour has been walking again. Well, that's all it takes. Her walking. On her floorboards. At bloody 8:00 am on a Saturday. We're going to have us a little talk, her and me. I'll bring my baseball bat.

* I'm not sure how you type this particular onomatopoeia, but you know what I mean, right: whoa, woo-oow!

01 avril 2005


I was going to post some joke/hoax thingy for April Fool's day (however that is spelt), but then I got up, and I took the metro, and I arrived at work and I tried to make a coffee.
You understand, I'm sure.