30 juin 2005

Oh I don't know, pick a title

I was going to post something along the lines of "sorry, darlings, I can't think of things to talk about".
And one of my friends phoned me right as I was clicking on "new message", and kind of pissed me off by being uncharacteristically involved, in a "things are not good with my boyfriend right now so I've suddenly remembered we're friends" kind of way.
So I thought I'd write something about how friendships evolve and how some of them WITHER AND DIE and stuff.
But as you can clearly see, I haven't yet got past or over it enough to find a way to make light fun of it, so... sorry darlings, I can't think of things to talk about.

Blame it on the cold.

29 juin 2005


I now have this horrible horrible smoker's cough that feels like somebody is ripping my ribcage apart with their bare hands. A little unpleasant but I suppose I should be grateful I have at least recovered my sense of smell.

My parents have just left, and if I may sound ungrateful (which I'm not), I'm kind of happy to have my flat all to myself again, however nice it is to go back to age 9.
They did manage to provide me with hours of entertainment and fun, though, by getting the car towed away for parking it on a no-parking spot. It's a bit stressful to get out, look for the car, not find it, phone 4 different numbers before you're finally put through to the Fourrière (pound), and hear: "oh yes it's here. It'll be €136 for the car plus €35 for the fine." Then we went to pick it up and got caught in rush hour traffic. Hours of fun, I'm telling you.
It's safe to say they're quite chuffed with the exciting turn that their parisian break took. Not only did they suffer from the heat, work for three days and did bugger all else (not from want of offering though, before you go and call me names), but they also spent a horrendous amount of money and they didn't even get a lousy t-shirt.
Mind you, I suppose you could say it's really quite cheap for a car.

28 juin 2005


I have a cold!
There's a heatwave in Paris and I have a cold!
The mother of all colds as well!
I can't believe this!
Thank god for Lemsip!

And why can't I stop using exclamation marks?! It's the cold! It's draining my brains out! Help!

27 juin 2005

Honour thy father and thy mother

My parents are staying with me for a few days. Stress notwithstanding, it's actually quite cool.
Oh come on, who's not stressed to have their parents stay with them for three whole days plus first dinner and last breakfast...? You have to watch what you say and do, you have to juggle the degree of annoyance you're really allowed to show with the degree of maturity you're expected to show and the degree of childishness that you'll let yourself show because really I couldn't be mature all the time, that'd kill me - that's a lot of pressure, isn't it?
Anyway, turns out it's pretty relaxed. Turns out I really need my father to do the DIY for me, and my mom to judge if everything is indeed as horizontal as it should be.
Let's go back a few months. When my bathroom was done over, the shower curtain took a dramatic turn for the lower and the rail had to be rested against the upper tiles. Hence, said curtain had to be cut, to reach an acceptable length and avoid rapid moulding by festering on the bottom of the tub. Are you disgusted yet? The worst is over. Cut I did, in a fit of rage, so the lower end of the curtain was not exactly level. An annoying detail in an almost new bathroom (less annoying than the leak that's ruining the new paint, but annoying all the same).
I tried to lift the rail with my own feeble armlets, but never managed to get to an acceptable height and the suction cups that hold it to the wall (I wasn't about to risk a limb by drilling holes, was I) had the nasty habit of not holding to the wall because the bloody rod wasn't level... Failure.
A friend of mine tried to do it again, because she's admittedly better than me at all this (and her boyfriend went "ooh boy, she's better than me too, let her handle it") and we fought the little shit for a while until she admitted defeat. My shower curtain was still a shaming memento of my inability to do anything remotely DIY.
And then my parents arrived on Saturday afternoon.
And on Sunday, I innocently went, "Oh, dad, d'you reckon you can lift the shower curtain rail a little higher? I really can't stand it at that level." And he did. It took about what, 16 seconds. Lifted it once. "Is that high enough?" Lifted it again. "Now?" Again. "Now?" I suspect he rather enjoyed the fact that still I needed him to do some of these chores that nobody had been able to complete so far.
Isn't it bizarre though that DIY-minded guys are fewer and farther between? Most of my male friends are as incompetent as I am in this department, and that's saying a bit.
Anyway, my parents are here until Wednesday, and I fully intend to make the most of it. I have shelves to put in, frames to hang, curtain rails (real ones) to fix...

25 juin 2005

I spied, with my disbelieving eyes

I saw things yesterday. Things I shouldn't have had to see. Things that made me question whether the world really has sunk that low. Haley Joel Osment has nothing on me. Nothing.
I saw people fighting for one garment, in a way that made me want to yell "stop! in the name of love, charity and all that is holy! or at least before you rip it to pieces and it's no use to either of you, you twits!", secretly hoping that it wouldn't fit any of them and I'd get to take it home.
I saw queues outside shops, you'd have thought this was Poland at the height of... whatever it was that made Poland and its mythology.
I saw queues outside "corners" in department stores, the Gucci corner, no less. Yes, people, like Gucci is ever going to be so affordable that if you're not there on time, it'll all be sold out. And Santa will bring you lots of toys if you're nice. Twits.
I saw a horrible dress, on sale for 2000 euros. 2 bloody 000 euros. I can't even recall the name of the designer, but that's all right, because I'm sure he can't recall mine either.
I saw the flip-flops I really really really wanted, but they weren't the right colour.
I never saw one dress that I could wear to the wedding (ugh) I'm attending in a couple of weeks now. That means
either I'm going there in the buff or I'm wearing something shapeless and faded.
I saw people using the weather as an excuse to dress appallingly. And I'm no one to judge, really, but there has GOT to be a limit. Girls, if you're going to wear something that bears your back, please - please - position your bra so it doesn't take up half the bare space on your back. It is supposed to be bare. Please. Similarly, if you're going to wear those transparent plastic straps on your bra,
make sure that the cups of said bra are not actually showing out the top of your flimsy turquoise little tops. That tends to be counterproductive, I find. And guys, that really tight t-shirt that looks so good on David Beckham or other very famous people? Not so good on you if you're so flabby you have man breasts. That's all I'm saying. I'm not judging, take it as free advice. Because I'm kind and only have your best interests at heart.
I saw women coming into shops with babies and prams in tow. I find that unsettling. Do they think that the
shopping savages will actually give them their space in the queue? Do they knowingly take their babies to use them as leverage? That would be sick and perverted. Or are they that oblivious that they never realised it might not exactly be the brightest idea they ever had? In which case, what are social services doing?
I saw shops (I'm not naming names, but Zara, get your shit together) who decided that slashing prices was very 2004. They're going at it in €5 instalments now.
I saw John McEnroe in Galeries Lafayette, with his kids. At least I think it was John McEnroe.

Yes! The sales have started. They'll only last three weeks this time around (as opposed to 6 usually), so that promises concentrated action.
I wish I'd taken my camera. It's fun for all the family.

24 juin 2005

He's making me nostalgic

ForgottenMachine over at Ten Miles Beyond the City has tagged me. Of course, he also said that I didn't have to if I didn't want to but he knows I would never dare say no to him. So he's playing with me like I'm the proverbial lamb. No, I'm not sure there is a proverbial lamb. But there is a very famous fable by Jean de La Fontaine, and take my word for it.
Anyway. Off it goes into the unknown.

10 years ago: Ten years ago, I was getting ready to leave Aberdeen (Scotland)
and quit smoking. So I was feeling a few conflicting emotions, not least of which despair, sadness and your basic "my life is over" drama at leaving Aberdeen, in which I had just spent two extravagantly fantastic years, complete with getting dumped on the New Year, being called a piece of furniture (not in so many words, but we were doing a one-act play by Harold Pinter in a festival, A kind of Alaska, and I was Pauline. The adjudicator trashed us, and went on to add that I had a good silent presence. I had just gotten dumped. He'd called me a piece of furniture and that's that), and drinking a lot more than absolutely necessary at all hours of the day. Happy memories.
Also, I was gearing up for my graduation, because as opposed to you all, I had the added excitement of actually having a graduation. No, I don't mean you didn't have one. I mean we in France don't have those. Nothing like it, except in schools that just love to pretend. It's not part of our culture, so the black robe, the hat, and the rolled up thingy were an even bigger event for me.
I was also psyching up to quit smoking because everybody was telling me to (I have since acquired a personality), and I duly did (I'm nice that way), for a month and a half, in which I gained a zillion pounds and one hell of a temper. Some people are actually thankful I took it up again.

5 years ago: Aaaah. Let me repeat this for emphasis. Aaaah. Five years ago, I was in Sydney (Australia), working as a translator for the Olympic Games and basically having the time of my life. Every day for ten months, I would walk to work in the morning thinking "Oh my gawd, I'm working for the Olympic Games" with several exclamation marks at the end, and that obviously set my spirits very high. It was fabulous. It was fantastic. It was way too fucking short. Of course there was the odd... tension, like when I stormed out of the office in August (the Games were starting in September), going "if he pisses me off once more, I'm quitting", about my boss. Of course, he did and I didn't. I was having the time of my life, after all, I wasn't going to let anyone ruin it for me.
By the way, if you like sport and you're wanting to discover a new one, and you're in Paris, the European
wheelchair basketball championship starts today. I can't urge you enough, it is incredible to watch.

1 year ago: One year ago, in sharp contrast, I was going through what I hope was, is and will have been the very worst time of my life.

Yesterday: was pretty standard in a very hot kind of way (hot as in heat wave - just thought I'd make that clear). Saw a friend, had a few phone calls and, in what is becoming my routine lately, thought about what job would ever want me and where I was going to end up. Except with more optimism than that.

Today: I'm having a busy friends day, I'm supposed to see my friend and her new born baby girl, go back to my former office to pick up a couple of papers, go back to the Assedic office. Oh and the summer sales start today in Paris, so I'm also meeting a friend this morning to start spending as soon as possible. And this evening, I'll go with another friend to a school play starring her daughter. And if I could make my flat presentable at some point during the course of the day that would be nice because...

Tomorrow: a picnic was organised by and with lots of Paris bloggers (and I still don't know what I'm bringing/cooking/preparing) and my parents are arriving in the afternoon to spend a few days in Paris.

I'm quitting here because it's long as it is already.
And I'm not tagging.
But you knew that, didn't you.

23 juin 2005

And that's when you know you're past your prime

- Hey.
- Hey. Wow you're tanned.
- Yeah... God it's hot here.
- Yeah.

(couple of beers later)

- Politics bla bla
- Society bla bla
- Conspiracy theories bla bla
- Nail polish bla bla
- Yeah but politics and society bla bla
- Do you want to come back to ours for dinner? And a game of Trivial Pursuit?
- Sure.

(one dinner later)

- God it's hot.
- Yeah. Makes me all drowsy.
- Let's move to the couch. More comfy.
- We really should have a coffee.
- God I'm tired.
- Oh dear, it's only 11:00.
- We're old.
- Yeah. Thanks. Bye.
- Don't fall over on the street, OK?

22 juin 2005


Tunisie 013
Originally uploaded by annerre.

This is a statue in Hammamet, right in front of the Medina. I just thought monkey 0, mysfit and jenn see might be interested to know that this statue thing is indeed spreading. Fast.

Not quite fully functional

Yet. Still. Whatever.

Having re-read the odious post below (after the last comments), I realised a couple of things:

1. You'll agree with me that it has got to rank at the top of my personal worst-written stuff. For a good many reasons. And this entry is not about to even the score.
2. You deserve to know that I went to the doctor's again yesterday, because it was just getting ridiculous living in my own little bubble, not quite hearing what was happening on the right side of me, and feeling like said right side of me was numb from the top of my head to the end of my toes due to the cottony sensation that prevailed in my ear. Suffice it to say that it wasn't an infection after all and it's all good now, my hearing is normal, and you at the back had better stop snickering, because I can hear that too.
3. You must be sick with worry as I never told you if we made it in one piece to Monastir after that dreadful black-out. Breathe again: we did. And the girl who was listening to her mp3 switched it off.
4. You must be sick with trepidation to know what the deal turned out to be with the bus ride to the hotel: it only lasted an hour and a half, AND the bus was very comfortable. We made it to the hotel at around 4:00 in the morning (yes, I will spare you the queuing at the police gates in Monastir airport), in bed about 4:30. The holiday really started then.
5. You must be thinking I had a horrible time, considering the only things I told you about were the journey, the sunburn and the ear. I had a splendid time. It was fantastic. Brilliant. And I'm not only talking about the sun. That was my first real holiday in two years, and it totally lived up to my expectations. Actually, no not quite, I'm still white in some places, and my legs are doggedly refusing to tan properly. But having a couple people offer a couple tens thousand camels for me did make all this tanning rubbish appear quite trivial. Obviously they know about inner beauty in Tunisia. So there.

Anything else you think I might have left out? Ask away.

21 juin 2005

Longest day, longest post

Far from the madding crowds is what I was hoping for when I went to Tunisia, of all places, fool that I was...
It apparently is one of the most popular destinations among French cheap holiday-makers. I would have guessed Morocco.
Anyway. The crowd was so alarmingly large in that shed of an airport that
is Terminal 3 at CDG that we queued for about an hour before check-in. That's a long time to queue.
A 10:15, the plane hadn't left the ground, when take-off was meant to happen at 9:25. But then, at that early hour, boarding had not even started. Hell, check-in wasn't even finished.
Then they said the flight to Monastir would take 2 hrs, instead of the promised 1.30.
I was beginning to sense a pattern. Did that mean that the bus drive I had guesstimated at 4 hours would last for 6? Did that mean that the hotel would be a rotten-wood shack out in the middle of nowhere? Did that mean that the pool would turn out to be a pond and the sea, well... a bigger pond?
Would the girl sitting next to me finally switch off her mp3 player during take-off and prevent us from plunging to our deaths before finding out?
Quite a few questions whirled through my head, none of which seemed to bother the in-flight personnel, bless their work-unconscious little hearts. Oh, yeah, because we nearly died. Of fright. They switched off the lights at some point. Of the plane. All the lights. Switched off. Well, folks, I love planes, I love airports, I'm difficult to scare, even when it's rough. I might get sick, but scared uh-uh, no siree. Except those two seconds. That they switched the lights off. In the plane. All the lights. That was scary.

Fast-forward to Saturday. Remember that my back got badly sunburnt - and in fact my ear did get sunburnt too. That's a first.
So I wake up on Saturday with a deaf ear. Spend the whole day trying to do something about it, to no avail. Realise that I'm taking a plane on Sunday and might either suffer a brain leak from the pressure or kill someone if what is blocking my ear suddenly escapes it due to the pressure. Pressure is indeed a tricky thing to master, and I'm only just starting.
So we call a doctor. Truth be told, I was a little apprehensive of a ruptured eardrum in the plane. So I thought I'd be a sissy and have a doctor come. Oh yeah, because there is no actual first-aid station at the club. To warrant attention, you have to hurt yourself. I suspect there should be profusion of blood for them to take you seriously.
But still, they call the doctor, who says he'll be here in 20-30 minutes. Forgot to say "an hour and". Finally arrives, checks my ear, pronounces an ear infection, gives me a prescription for an injection and antibiotics so I can take the plane the next day and tells me I'll be fine in the morning*.
So off we go into Hammamet for the Pharmacie de nuit, where I can take my drugs and get my injection, among lots of Tunisians and tourists who have come to get their (daily) dose of Biafine. We take a taxi into town. Now, for those of you who have never been, driving is a very personal experience in Tunisia. The line in the middle of the road is a concept on which cars try to be balanced, as opposed to an actual partition between two directions. Fun. Although to be honest, if I'm not driving, I'm kind of oblivious do dangers and threats. So when the taxi suddenly swerved to avoid being hit by another taxi who was dangerously close to us in a curve, I hardly batted an eyelid. Not so my friend and the driver. Said driver goes into a frenzy of phone calls, in which I understand the make of the car and the fact that he was with tourists (not because I'm really gifted with languages, but because they're the same words), and when he drops us at the Pharmacie, he asks us if he can wait for us so he can go lodge a complaint at the police and we can testify. And he looks at us with that amazing look that all guys seem to have there, and he says how important it would be and what a good thing we would be doing. And we just give in.
So I go have my cheek punctured, pick up my drugs, among an actual crowd of people, at 9:00ish p.m. on a Saturday (I thought they were all there for methadone**). And hop back in the cab, off we go rolling into the sunshine to the police station. He parks in front of it, gets out, we wait in the car, he comes back five minutes later, smiling, it's done, we drive away.
Uh? Whatever.

*It's three days later and I'm still not better.
** By the way, some of you are here because of this page http://www.aspma.com/term/methadone-withdrawal-symptoms.html. Care to explain?

20 juin 2005

Some anti-climax

Tony.T has once more expressed it better than me.
I'm completely depressed to be back (from being back?) from my holiday, which was fantastic, sunburn and leprosy-ridden back notwithstanding, and although a couple of interesting (to me anyway) things happened, I can't seem to be able to put them down properly in pseudo-writing.
So I'll just visit y'all and comment (or lurk if I can't think of anything intelligent to say or if I realise it's not intelligent before I hit the post button) for a while.
Plus it's way too hot in Paris right now, and not a pool or a beach or a couple of drop-dead gorgeous guys
in swimming trunks, with light-coloured eyes and a fantastic smile, in sight, no blasting music within earshot, no elderly couples criticising the food begging for a good smacking anywhere around, and so much laundry to attend to that really, count your blessings. I could have ranted and unashamedly felt sorry for myself.
Ooh wait, I'm doing just that.

15 juin 2005


Sun, beach, pool, and a team of people on crack to entertain you at all times of the day... It's good. In a very strange, I-hope-I'm-not-doing-it-again-anytime-soon-because-I'm-just-too-young-for-this kind of way.
People here are absolutely lovely, and smiling, and funny... And I do love the fact that in Tunisia, "random storm showers" (?) translate into a hot and sunny - if ever so slightly overcast - day...
I'm burnt to a crisp, so I guess that'll teach me to go to a sunny country without my skiing outfit, and I'm generously letting my back take a breather lest I spontaneously combust and before I go back to turning an ever-deeper shade of prune.
I hope you're doing good, I'm just dandy myself.

12 juin 2005


This is because I was told in capital letters to write some more fiction. I'm not sure I should, after this.

First date. First date! Excitement, butterflies buzzing around in her stomach, hours-long preparation, dressing, undressing, re-dressing, screaming in frustration, giving up. Oh well. He had asked her out, had he not? He wasn'’t expecting Cameron Diaz.

She'd come back to hers alone, fully intending not to screw up this time: he'd laughed at her jokes. He'd also said he'd call her, and he'd looked keen. He wasn't particularly good-looking, but he had the most incredibly winning smile, corny as that sounded, and that was all she needed, really, someone who smiled like life was good, like she was funny, like he wasn't going to hurt her. And that certainly was a welcome change after the pain James had put her through, both during their time together and after she'd decided that she was maybe worth a little bit more than that. Maybe, mind, but that maybe had been all the possibility she'd needed.

Oh come on, they'd been out THREE whole bloody days ago now, why wasn't he calling her? Had he had second thoughts? He'd had second thoughts. Obviously, he'd had second thoughts. He'd realised that she wasn't that funny, she wasn't that interesting, she certainly wasn't that good-looking, and she wasn't worth a second try. Should she have asked him up? She should have asked him up. Well, of course she should have asked him up, they weren't pimply teenagers anymore, that's what happened at their age, you went on a date, if it went well, you asked him up, if it didn't, you went Dutch. Bloody hell, was she going to screw up every bloody time?


He couldn't believe he'd asked her out. He couldn't believe she'd said yes, for that matter. Oh well, crunch time now, and she hadn't phoned to cancel. He'd half expected her to. Something about her attitude said she didn't really need anybody.

Well, that had gone well! He'd wanted to kiss her, and he'd hoped she would ask him up, although he was kind of glad she hadn't. Plus, when he said he'd call her, she hadn't replied with the "No, I'll call you" that he was dreading. Surely that was good.

Except there he was now, still wondering if it was too early to phone. Typically, Jon and Nick were not helping. And what if she said it wasn't a good idea? He'd be in for a good ribbing then. That'd teach him blabbering about a girl after a first date. But maybe Nick was right. Maybe he shouldn't wait too long. Yet again, as Jon had said, it was only one date, and he hadn't made any promises. "I'll call you" didn't really mean anything. Even if that felt alarmingly like chickening out.


- Hello?
- Hi, it's Bruce. Is this a good time?

I'm gone now. Honestly.

Questions, questions

I'm away again, but this time, I'm coming back with a tan. Yay!
I know, I'm overdoing this catching-up on lost holiday time, now. I'll be away for a week: off to Tunisia with a friend, with the lightest bag I've ever taken with me.
We'll be arriving in Hammamet at about 2:00 a.m. tonight, so I'm expecting the same kind of surprises as Adamant was describing in Athens..., things you can't guess from the brochure and when you do notice them, it's just too late. But we don't care, we'll be in the sun, toing and froing between the pool and the beach, along with half of Germany's pensioners.
Chances are I won't be able to update at all during this time. I'd like to ask somebody to blogsit for me, but that would just be pretentious, wouldn't it.
Anyway. You all have a fantastic week while I miss you a lot, alright?

In the mean time, I have a couple questions I'd like answers to (I just love leaving prepositions at the end of my sentences - such a rebel)
, and I would probably show long-lasting gratitude if you provided said answers (and one confirmation, really).

1. Why is it that at rush hour, you can wait forever for a bus, but at 10:30, you'll see three empty ones, each one hot on the (w)heels of the previous one?

2. Why, after Star Wars and the Anakin/Padme age debacle, did Sin City think it would be all right for Bruce Willis to be, and I quote, "pushing 60" at the beginning of the movie, which in all logic means he's pushing 68 at the end, without it showing at all, and with a little bit of an inconsistency re his wife...? (if you answer this, don't spoil anything for those who have to wait till September (!) to see it, please)

2b. While we're at it, can you explain Josh Hartnett? Careful again with the potential spoilers. e-mail me (address in the sidebar).

3. I've just escaped a re-run of The Equalizer, which prompts me to ask: who in their right mind would name their child Edward when their last name is Woodward? And why did nobody protest?

4. Isn't Johnny Bravo an excellent show? I might be in love.

5. What is that Thomas Vinterberg "Dear Wendy" movie? (can't be bothered looking into IMdB, I'm THAT lazy just now)

6. mysfit and monkey 0 need your help. What does FCL stand for?

7. For those of you who've seen The Interpreter, what did you think? For those of you who are interpreters or translators (ahem), isn't the following dialogue just fantastic?
Tobin Keller: How do you feel about him?
Silvia Broome: I don't care for him.
Tobin Keller: Wouldn't mind if he were dead?
Silvia Broome: I wouldn't mind if he were gone.
Tobin Keller: Same thing.
Silvia Broome: No it isn't. If I interpreted gone as dead I'd be out of a job, if dead and gone were the same thing there'd be no UN.

11 juin 2005

Meme'd. Again.

Brian in Sweden has tagged me with a movie meme. After long deliberations, I've decided to forgive him because he told me jokes yesterday.

Total Number of Films Owned: 27 on DVD, about 50 on tapes, most of which were recorded from TV (yes, I still own a VCR - but then it did take me about 5 years to get a toaster).

Last Film Bought: Either West Side Story or La Meglio Gioventu.
Last Film Watched: The Interpreter. Are we talking at the movies or on DVD? Because that would be, I'm not sure, Shadow of a doubt, maybe.
Five Movies that I Watch Frequently or Mean Something to Me: I don't know, I haven't watched movies frequently for a long time now. And be grateful for small favours, because among the ones I do remember watching frequently is a small gem called Dirty Dancing (I was 15, give me a break!), even though there are real goodies: The Sure Thing, Ferris Bueller's Day off, Rio Bravo (well... not much to say against this one, have you?), Lost in Translation. I'll have to watch Sin City again, does that count as frequently? Actually, La Meglio Gioventu means something to me too. Woah! I can't believe I was forgetting Zoolander. Well, there you go. Deleting the older proposals, that means we're clear of Dirty Dancing.

I'm still not tagging, because I'll only inflict a meme on those who want them.
Is it OK if I don't hyperlink the titles either? It is Saturday morning...

10 juin 2005

It can't all be about me, that's boring

Hey. Let's change the rules.
One of my friends is in the hospital right now, giving birth to her first child. That has me in all kinds of turmoil, elation, joy, fear for her, etc. I can't
concentrate on anything really. I'm here all day, as I'm supposed to be doing the housework (before I go on vacation for a week, but more on that soon).
Why don't you talk to me instead?
Plus, that'll give me an opportunity to know my lurkers, who keep coming to this site (thank you) but have never given me a name to put on an IP address... If you're shy, just leave a name.
Or a joke. I could do with a joke, I haven't heard one in a while.
Come on, you know you want to.
Or else I'll have another go at fiction. Now, you don't want that, do you.

YAY! (as in update)
It's now 2:15, I'm just back from a night out with the girls, I had a text message that I couldn't read till now (dead battery): it's a girl, and both mummy and baby are fine. Thank you for bearing with me and for wishing them well.

09 juin 2005

People were wrong

Wrong, I say.
Little bit of context. Last year, at a month's interval, I twisted (or sprained, not sure) my right ankle twice. It hurt like a bitch, not to mention the fact that falling on your face, while you're walking like the world's your oyster, has a knack for making you feel über ridiculous, and tends to indicate that the oyster has gone way past its best-before date.
The thing is, both times, I was wearing flip-flops. So most of my friends, instead of showing the commiseration and concern I was entitled to expect, pointed and laughed at me, advising me to get a crash course in walking (that unintentional pun is mine, thank you), and change shoes for orthopedic ones rather than trying to be trendy.
My osteopath asked me if everything was alright in my life, because "you know what they say, right, you twist your ankle, but are you really twisting your ankle?". I have to admit that he had a point. Each time, right after making a complete arse of myself, I did cry for help. Sob for help even. I got help the first time, as I had fallen from my pedestal right in front of a restaurant and the waiters rushed to my rescue, and I nearly killed everybody who'd surrounded me the second time, because they weren't helping, they were just smothering me. Apart from my niece, the little gem, who stood there looking scared that my ankle might explode, it was swelling so fast.
But I'll admit that I myself was a bit apprehensive of wearing flip-flops after that.
Well. Let me say it again, people were wrong. Why, just today, I had to run for the bus, because you just never know when they're going to go screeching into the horizon, AND I was wearing flip-flops, AND I was on the phone. The moving picture of a catastrophe in lurking.
HA! I sauntered gracefully onto the bus, and wasn't even out of breath. That rules flip-flops out of the equation, methinks.
However, both times, the first one right before, the second time the day after, I ran into Laurent Lucas, in two very different areas of Paris. Coincidence? I don't think so.

08 juin 2005

It's not even in se7en

NightFly, on his (sorry...!) first visit to these parts yesterday, hit the nail right on the head and asked me if I was a consummate liar. I said yes, of course. But I'm not sure. Of course I am a liar, I wouldn't be writing this if I weren't (can't see the logic? Tough. I certainly can't explain it.).
I'm just not convinced I'm consummate about it.
I can tell you this much: I think I'm good.
I used to do stage-acting, have I told you that? I quit a few years ago, because of multiple reasons, first and foremost the fact that I thought I wasn't particularly good at it anymore.
And then I took my life in my own hands, changed a few things around, quit my job, and bam! it seems my acting ability has now come back.
I was spending a lovely evening with some friends a couple weeks back, and psychic handicaps were mentioned (one of said friends is a therapist). Somebody cracked a joke, because that's what we do when we're together, we crack jokes. Never-ending fun. Anyway, once that joke was cracked, I felt the urge to just pretend to cry, say that it was cruel to make fun of the pain some people (i might have said "we") are going through and bla bla bla. Which of course I'm convinced is true, except come on, it's Saturday night, we've had a couple... there's no need for PC anymore. So I quaver and burble and. I suddenly have to stop, because if I don't, I will be crying.
And everybody in the room has suddenly gone quiet, thinking they really have hurt me and my feelings. It took me about 5 minutes to make them understand that no, really, I was just faking it and I didn't really have a psychic handicap. Let me reassure you, it didn't kill the party, but the mere fact that I'd faked it made them question the "not having a psychic handicap" part,
and I'll admit that believing I suffer from a psychic handicap is not after all so ridiculous.
Second case in point, even sillier.
Last Saturday, at some point, somebody mentioned George Clooney. For what reason, I honestly can't remember. I do remember however casually barging into the conversation saying something to the effect that I'd bumped into him on Rue de Rivoli, and gone talk to him and he was lovely and funny and very approachable and he'd given me his e-mail address. I slipped into character effortlessly obviously, but still, they tried to trip me, and never could. Being good fun (...) but not pathological
(really) about it, I eventually told everyone that it wasn't true. Except one girl to whom I never got round to admitting it. For all I know, she still believes it now. George, if you read this, make me say the truth, for once. Contact me.

07 juin 2005

Status symbol

That's it. I'm now officially unemployed. I'm not sure though that I have really fattened the ranks of jobseekers, considering the sorry state of our economy right now (oh, by the way, have you heard that argument according to which companies would hire more if they could fire more easily? Call me thick, but I don't really get it).
Anyway. I arrived at the Assedic office (where you go to register as jobless) not a minute too soon this morning. Had I got there ten minutes later, the queue would have been two or three folds deep. Unreal. As it was, there were only 6 people ahead of me.
So I waited with my fellow parasites of society.
I have to say right now, it went extremely pleasantly. Quelle déception...! I was hoping for drama, shouts, tears, brain-dead and/or smug civil servants: that would have been proper, bloggable material.
Well, none of that. The staff was even pleasant AND helpful (unheard of!). Of course there was your usual queue dodger, who today chose my rank in the line (she can thank the fact that I was taking notes and couldn't afford violence to destroy my reputation as a moderate, even-tempered, sweet person. Plus, come on, one flick and she would have been down. Too easy). No, really, everybody was rather subdued, and if it wasn't for the standing, it was all very reminiscent of a doctor's waiting lounge, to which it is very close, I suppose: some waiting to be reassured, others expecting bad news, people coming in for a routine check of things, and everybody knowing full well that whatever the outcome, there's not much they'll be able to do
alone to change it.
And what a mixed bag of people it was. From the immigrant with a poor grasp of the language, to the "executive" (who, by the way, seemed to be the only people, yours truly included, who didn't know how to work the door), from the older guy (I feel for him), who senses that his working life has probably just passed away, to the student barely out of school, from those who bring a book (or a notebook) for the wait to the mother of two very cranky toddlers... Jobless of the world, unite.

05 juin 2005

Er... come back, I wasn't joking!

Should I let the whole world (well...) know how neurotic I really am?
See, I've developed this thing - not quite OCD yet, but working on it - where I crack my fingers, my right-hand fingers, to be precise
(I'm left-handed, and not taking any chances), every time I'm feeling stressed or sad or lonely or annoyed or murderously angry or scared of what the future really has in store for me.
So I start with the index finger, go on to the middle one and finish with the "ring" finger. I crack them with my thumb, in one nifty little move. Somehow, the feeling of the finger
cracking combined with the sound of the finger cracking is soothing. (No, not really, but I thought if I'm going to come clean about my magic thinking, I might as well try and make it worth something. I could have gone with self-mutilation, but there was no way I was going to pull that one.)
And tonight, I was watching an episode of a series about, what do you know?, the love life, or lack thereof, of a 30 year-old girl in Paris, and at some point, something made me feel a little blue, or lonely, or identifying - anyway, I cracked my fingers. The middle one, rebellious little bugger that it is, didn't respond.
See, that shits me. When I want to feel sorry for myself (and you'll have to excuse me here, honestly, I'd started this in the privacy of my flat and wasn't going to share, but when things go wrong and you can't place the blame, someone still has to pay. In that case, I suppose it's you), I like it when things go smoothly. I either have a good cry (which I haven't had in a while because my lachrymal glands have been on an indefinite strike lately) or I crack my fingers, which is a lot more discreet and a lot less messy, and I think that is ultimately nice of me. So why? Why can't it be working? Why can't I get the stress-release that I crave (don't you dare) and crack my fingers properly?
Have I in any way offended my joints that they do not want to respond anymore to the little prodding that I give them every once in a while? Are they fed up with thinking ahead to those fantastic, osteoarthritis-ridden thirty years that I am preparing for them? Would they rather I bit my nails?
But I've done that already. My nails paid a heavy tribute to my nerves from as early as I can recall until I was 18 or 20. My hair did too. The price was not as high in its case, it was more a case of looking completely retarded while my fingers, seemingly of their own volition, would twist it around and around. And it usually unwound in completely random fashion, generally falling on my forehead, even if the strand I'd been torturing was starting right on the top of my skull. Nice.
If all else fails me, I guess writing it's going to have to be, eh: I told you, someone always pays. I'm just a teeny wee bit tired of it
always being me-me-me.
Oh, and thank your lucky stars that it's not full-blown OCD (yet), because a programme on TV was showing some pretty horrid stuff the other day, which grossed me out actually, so I decided I'd stop short of clinically insane. Just short.

Ooh, listen, it's all fine again.

04 juin 2005

Starting over

How nice it is to have a tidy flat, clean clothes, squared accounts, and the prospect of a party in the evening.
Oh and internet's working again. That's nice too.
It's all coming together (and it's 2 a.m. in Honolulu, so this works. Have I finally got it right, monkey?).
I'm sending CVs out starting Monday, I'm just hoping something nice happens there too.
That's it. Have a lovely week-end.

03 juin 2005

There's no other case in her family

Went to see Star Wars yesterday.
I'm not sure what I thought of the movie, but I know I blew it with lots of people, with whom I'm sure I could have otherwise been friends (except for that couple who were sitting right beside me, because he was explaining lots of things to her, much as he would be, I'm sure, if they were in the privacy of their own home - I mean, there are lots of things that I still haven't understood, like why did no one react to the preposterous fact that Anakin met Padmé when he was 4 and she was already 20, and then poof, he grows older, but she just... stays there and watches or something, but still, you didn't hear me talk about it
with my friend during the movie, now, DID YOU?), *when we started practising the "vzeeoum", the "shhhhhhh" and the "Luke, I am your father". But hey, we thought it was funny.
Oh. Before you think I'm mad and once again accepting things from myself that I do not tolerate in others (like breathing sometimes). That little practising session? That was before and after. Not during.

* can you spot the beginning of that sentence? And John, what's a sentence?

02 juin 2005

Oi, lightning, strike me!

Or something.
I don't think I've ever felt more... unproductive, uninspired and uncreative than since I quit my job.
Obviously, my metro commute, for all the foul talk that it triggered in me, was acting muse. Or maybe it was the tedium involved in part of my job description. Or maybe, just maybe, it was going out and seeing people?
I spent yesterday locked up at home, trying to work on a translation that my boss - sweet man - gave me to get me started on freelancing. Well I think it's safe to say now that I've tried that I
badly need to clean up my act (and my flat) and get organised, or I'll never be an efficient, money-making, hard-talking freelancer. Which is in any case fine by me, I've always said I needed to be around people to function properly, or as properly as is physically (and mentally goes without saying, but you know, just to be on the safe side...) possible with me.
Anyway, this wasn't particularly meant for me to mope, or in any way, shape or form convey some "oh she's feeling sorry for herself a-gain" kind of tone. I really meant it as a warning - which goes to show that try as I might, this writing gig is really way out of my league. You, my faithful readers,
either need to consider taking me out of your favourite links, or will forever take the chance of misinterpreting this not-so-daily-anymore meaningless drivel.
Back to the warning that didn't dare show its true face. The translation is reaching completion. Watch out, people, watch out. Because I'll soon be living the life, walking the walk, talking the talk, and whatever else of which you can use the verb and noun in the same sentence*. Also, I'm going to have to spend hours at administrative and public offices, with lots of civil servants (and you know what they say about those in France. I usually try not to howl with the crowds, but when I signed up on Blogger, I think it involved selling a litle bit of my soul to the devil).
All that means I'll have plenty blog fodder to throw at you until you are nauseous. And I'll expect you to read it all.

* Oh, I was told that British schools don't teach proper grammar anymore, so instead of saying "verb", for instance, they'll call it "action word". Debate.