31 octobre 2005

Not much to say, I'm afraid

Should you get bored, however, you might want to give this little game a try (found it through him).
Happy Hallowe'en?

30 octobre 2005

Week-end stuff you'd never do on a normal weekday, and let that be a lesson to us all

Nothing, right? That's what I thought.
Okay, I'm hungover. Kind of more severely than I thought I would be. Plus the end of daylight saving has seen me awake at 7:30 this morning, after a very fitful and short night. Honestly, if I didn't know better, I'd think life was turning right back on me. But I do know better, and the fact that I'm slightly more severely hungover than anticipated doesn't in fact mean that I'm holding my head and moaning in pain,
whimpering that I want water, paracetamol and cold pizza. Well. I did have a craving for a Burger King bacon cheeseburger this morning, but first off, that is just not manageable in the morning, and second, we don't have Burger King in France anymore. And I can't face setting foot at McDonald's. One of my little quirks.

Man, even hungover, I'm brilliantly clever, cunning and coordinated. Which doesn't mean much, but I really wanted a third c-word.
Why clever, you ask? Because I have been tagged, by Terri, who should know better but is obviously just as much of a rebel as I am, and I'm supposed to tell you of my quirks. See? Clever, no?
Thing is, you know some of my idiosyncrasies, most of my neuroses, and a good deal about my madness. What kind of quirks could you possibly want to know now?
- I see signs all the time. Not dead people, though. But signs. Of course I make them fit my needs and requirements, which implies that the same "sign" can mean this today and its exact opposite tomorrow, but they're still signs. Like the fact that a ladybug has very recently chosen my ceiling as its permanent address is a very good sign (scroll down on that link to see just how good).
- I can ask zillions of questions on any given topic, be it apiculture, Buddhism, or the inner workings of the internal combustion engine, as long as you're ready to answer them. I love when people explain things to me. This is probably why I'm a translator.
- Similarly, I will be ready to try anything (apart from bungee jumping), as long as somebody is willing to show me.
- I actually like doing the washing-up.
- When I'm sitting with friends, my left leg/knee will usually be jigging on its own, and I cannot stop it. It never happens in a formal setting. When I was a teen, a friend told me that heavy metallers did that, make of that what you will.
- I think in English probably as much as I do in French, even though I lack the vocabulary. I wonder if that makes my thinking in English limited, or just more... conceptual.
- In the morning, before going to work, I have a cup of instant coffee. I don't actually enjoy the coffee itself, but I love the ritual. Don't ask.
- I really don't like weddings, and yet will cry at every. single. one I attend.
- The quirkiest quirk of all: I don't tag. Feel free to play, just let us know in the comment box.

27 octobre 2005

Let's face the music...

... and dance, shall we?

This happy-ish state is the pits. The pits, I tell you.
I haven't had a good rant in, like, forever, I'm smiling at random people, and boy do random people smile back or what? And no, surprisingly, not or what. They, in fact, smile back. Like what I have is catching. Like what I need right now is a world where everyone is smiling.
I go to work with a smile, for crying out loud, that is just ridiculous, now. Even seeing and smelling morning-faced and morning-breathed people on the metro doesn't manage to bring me down. Now, granted, the fact that I'm trapped in my own musical little bubble might also be to blame, but come on! On my way to work with a smile, who am I, Laura Ingalls?
Plus I've been supplying my workmates with endless fits of the giggles (first one to read this and comment to the contrary gets... Oh, who am I kidding these days... you'd probably get a sweet smile and a pat on the back). Work and giggles in the same sentence, can you spot the error? What is wrong with me?
I want sour, dour, and... something else -our (flower, this is what I'm thinking. Gah. Or maybe it's flour. That would be only marginally better). I want to stop smiling naffly at that teenage boy who looked oh so tough when he got on the metro, only to fall promptly asleep on the seat and suddenly look 4 again (and he'd probably hate to know that, so why can't I?), and I want to scream at the fact that happy-ish is either too little or too much.
I can't cope!

OK. Slightly better now. With a little bit of luck, I'll have a nightmare tonight and be back to my normal, real, proper self in the morning.

26 octobre 2005

Due to popular demand

Corpse Bride, a review.

It's pretty good, really.
And the musical numbers are good, I suppose.
Oh, and aesthetically, it's really good.
The acting is rather good.
And the story of course is very good.

All in all, I thought it really was rather enjoyable.

And no, I cannot compare it with The Nightmare Before Christmas, because I haven't seen The Nightmare Before Christmas.
And even though I shouldn't compare both, I will anyway, because I'm such a rebel, Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is in fact much better, in my opinion.

Please tell me you won't ask for a review again.

25 octobre 2005

I'll have what they're having

Some people are getting really disappointed with me these days. I'm talking of all the guys (I say guys, but there might be laydees in there, I don't really know) who stumble upon this site through Google or some other adult search engine, through keywords that baffle me. Sexual keywords. Apparently, some people flock here to get their fix of sex and I don't even know why, because, well. Because. The only thing that it evokes in me is that obviously, they're much, much sadder than me if this is where they think they'll be getting any... thrills.
Sure, I know why, as the string (which is, oh so ironically, French for thong) they used did get some results on this site, and serves me right for using bad, bad language, but I don't understand why, as it's never as a "complete string". So they'll be looking for blonde bimbos in thongs (yes, I figured it was time I let them have a little fun) and will come across a "review" (which, we ascertained yesterday, I don't do) of the French Bachelor's season opening. Or they'll be looking for sex on a washing machine, and they'll have to read through my plumbing fears that my machine might explode one day in a flurry of clothes, foam and soapy water before realising that no, actually, there's no sex involved. Or they'll be googling other strings that my prude conscience has obviously blocked (or maybe I don't really want any more sickos), but my oh my, people are very imaginative.
Or they'll be looking for a Celine Dion instrumental. Which is about as kinky as can get, really.
Anyway. As a... service to these people, I will now talk about sex. Because. No, silly, still single. But yesterday, right in the middle of the work day, in the office, with my workmate sitting right beside me, I shrieked "my, that is so much better than an orgasm!". Which obviously made her snap right out of her iPod.
After a long struggle with the evil powers of the computer, I had finally managed to perfectly align two tables on two consecutive PowerPoint slides that had no template to speak of, you see.
So, yeah, much better than an orgasm.
And then I went for a ciggie. As you do.
There you go, people. Knock yourselves out.

24 octobre 2005

Monday night at the movies

Dire Straits scarred me for life. Anyway.
I've just seen Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. A full review is being edited, checked and proofread as I type, but have no fear, as you will not, in fact, be subjected to it.
A few of us were meeting up for said movie, among which one girl whose birthday it was. We thought we'd go see the film, and have drinks afterwards, in workweek evening celebration manner thing.
She didn't show up. Let me say that again for emphasis. She didn't show up. W
e went to a cinema on the other side of town, saw the movie, and went back home, on the other side of town, and she didn't show up.
Sweet, no? Sheesh. Her loss.
That's all I gotta say.
Oh, OK, and that Corpse Bride is pretty good.

23 octobre 2005

Spoke too soon, eh

Turns out happyishness might be a bit trickier than I thought.
I realised this week-end that I have been living in a self-congratulating and self-deluded bubble all my own. Let me explain - and just so you're warned, this might be a bit hard emotionally, but please don't cry. I'm coping as best I can now, I'm strong enough to talk about it, but if you start crying, I will too, and I've done too much crying as it is already.
OK. Wow, I don't even know where to start. Anne, take a deep breath, it'll be fine. So. This week-end was going to be spent enjoying some me-and-my-flat time, just lolling about doing bits and bobs, at no rush, and it started really fantastically. The whole listening-to-music-and-eating-tartines-for-breakfast-while-catching-up-on-reading shebang. I felt great. Not even good, great. Close on delirious, even. And that's when the shit hit the fan...
I heard my singing voice.
It's horrible. Now, granted, I was at the time blaring Pearl Jam's Alive at the top of my lungs, which can never be flattering apart for Eddie Veder, but still.
As you read this, just know that
I am in fact devastated. Tissues are littering the floor, and I've even refused to pick up the phone, because I'm so scared of hearing it again, as the way I go "oui allô ?" is a little bit sing-song. Oh dear. Even typing the words is painful.
Understand, I am not mad at my voice for dumping me, it's its prerogative after all, even though I did think the both of us were in it for the long haul. I think it was the smoking that did it for it. After a while, it just couldn't take it anymore. Can't blame it. I just wish I could have had a little advance warning is all. Plus I'm so grateful it didn't leave me for another woman. That would have been way too much to bear. Well. At least I don't think it did.
To think only last week I was saying that I could be Bette Midler... Oh shit, maybe it was the comparison with Jessica Simpson that made it crack?!
And why did it have to be my voice?
Why wasn't it my laugh?
Now I'm at a loss as to how to win it back. I thought of appealing to its compassion, by resorting only to sign language until it condescended to come back, but will it ever the same if it does? Surely a reunion out of condescension cannot be a good thing. And only now do I realise that I never said to my voice that I loved it. I was always a little derogatory, a little dismissive of it, I always took it for granted. Never once did I say that I was grateful for what we had, never once paid it a genuine compliment.
I miss you voice, please come back...

Urgh. as in update (sorta)
HaloScan is having the mother of all crashes, it seems. So, on the off chance that you were going to post a comment, don't think I'm banning you. I'm not. Or maybe I am, but that's not the point right now.

Woo-hoo, as in update, bis
It appears HaloScan's working again. Thank whoever for forums.

Can you believe that?

I've been tagged for a literary meme, by Jason, over at Clarity of Night. Let's get this done, shall we?

1. Take the first five novels from your bookshelf.

2. Book 1 -- first sentence.
3. Book 2 -- last sentence on page 50.
4. Book 3 -- second sentence on page 100.
5. Book 4 -- next to the last sentence on page 150.
6. Book 5 -- final sentence of the book.
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.
8. Feel free to "cheat" to make it a better paragraph.
9. Name your sources.
10.Post to your blog.

Of course I'm arranging the rules to suit my fancy. My books are sorted alphabetically, which means that among my first five books are books in French, which is not going to help me or you. So... Not that long ago, I recommended several books, I'm using 5 of those now. I did change the tenses a bit so that the sentences would kind of suit each other, but asked for forgiveness beforehand, and that's really the only tweaking I did.

The library is cool and smells like carpet cleaner, although all I can see is marble.
Slater, affecting boredom, is waving to the witnesses. He believes my killer will be caught. This ghost has been summoned not by Lolita imitating Hermione, or the inscrutable twins disappearing into the night. That much I know.

Cast, in order of appearance:
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
My Life as a Fake - Peter Carey
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Love Me - Garrison Keillor

You wanna play, tag yourselves in the comments, okay?

20 octobre 2005


See, I'm in a bit of puddle (I had to think about this, as I always always always want to say "poodle", and I don't think I can cope with the hate-mail).
Life is kind of pretty good to me these days. I don't want to jinx myself, but it kinda is. All financial trouble aside, which I brought onto myself anyway, all singleness aside, which I suspect those three assholes in their car last week would say I brought onto myself as well: one of them digged me after all, this might have been my chance!, all looking-for-a-job-in-another-country-not-working-out situation aside - oh yes, you might not be aware of that, but a hospital (I've
obviously been applying left, right and center) out in Middle of Nowhere, USA, is currently reviewing my criminal record; however, I've been strongly advised not to take the job should I be offered it: it is the US, granted, but Middle of Nowhere does not have any appeal whatsoever; all that aside, then, I'm generally feeling pretty good.
My problem is, I can't write* when I feel good. And quite rightly, too! Nothing to rant and rave about, nothing to scream obnoxiously in silence about (yeah, I'll let you ponder this one), no names to call anyone... No wonder, really.
Sure I could talk about the fact that I've been having several bad hair days in a row and that, honestly, it's getting quite tiresome, but that's hardly my nails and knuckles, is it? And I've done that already. Or I could post an untimely rant about buses and metros that's been sitting in my drafts for ever, but I don't even know why I'm keeping it, it's that bad.
So should I decide to be
happy-ish (first, I really don't want to jinx myself, and second, come on, if I actually said I was happy, I'd probably get struck by lightning, but, having decided once and for all that I'm not dying before I'm married**, I am not taking any chances...), which would lead to my abandoning this here site and the umpteen stories that I've started and not finished? Or should I go for the doomed wannabe writer attitude, shuffling forlornly while lamenting the unfairness of it all?
I'm not asking for suggestions for (un)happiness, by the way. Just vocalizing my puddle. And yes, I'll let you ponder this one too.

* Yes, OK, I am physically able to write, but I'm putting even myself to sleep.
**Re-reading this, I realise I might have stumbled upon the secret of eternal life...

19 octobre 2005

Goodness, you're all so literal...

I wasn't really drunk or hungover (shhh, my workmates* might be reading...!), I was a bit tired, is all. From all that hard work I've been doing these past couple days. Is all. Really. Honestly. I mean, you trust me, right**?
Well, I'm glad we cleared that right up.
Because... I have a bit of an announcement to make. A bit. Nothing major. But still. (And yes I have decided to speak in fragments today. Because. I. Can.)
OK. So. If you remember, a while past, I mentioned a new site, called Voice of a city, a new "collective" blog written by people in Paris for English-speaking people who might want to visit but haven't yet booked their ticket and are looking for added incentive (ooh, proper sentence). No, I'm not the added incentive, hold your horses right there, bucko. But. I'm in! Yes, I'm tooting my own horn, so what?! I.Am.In!
OK, you're dying for a url, now, right? No can do, I'm afraid. I know. This is mental torture at its best, and it shouldn't be allowed, and someone call the police. But it's. Not. My fault. (What, you thought I had dropped the fragments? My, you just don't know me at all, do you?) We're still in the Beta testing phase (I love the techie talk, it's like I've been using it my whole life, no?) so not just now. But you know what they say. The longer the wait, the better the date. Or. Something...

On the other hand, I could also tell you about that so-called horror movie I'm watching right now. And that, believe you me, would definitely qualify as torture. Thomas Calabro. Surely that's enough torture right there? Oh, OK. Well, in that case.
They Nest. You asked. So bad. Sooooo bad. Oh my god. So bad. They paid people to do that movie. So bad.

* Nah, don't worry, only the good ones do. Hi! Oh. Boss. Hi...
** What do you mean, no??

I think I might be in denial

Drunk on a school night, nice.
Hungover on a school morning, not so.
Coffee, lots.
Metro, arrrgh.
Work, oh pooh.
Music, mmmm, nice.

18 octobre 2005

Ouh la la

Today is my first day at work.
I know. Scary, isn't it?
It's OK, it's only for 3 weeks, but it still means I have to be up and productively active straight away (well...) instead of faffing about for a couple hours after falling from bed as I've been doing so far. I still faf about, it wouldn't be a workweek morning if I didn't, just less. But it's hard.
I don't know how I'll handle the rush hour people on the metro, maybe I'll turn into the commuter from hell due to lack of practice? Retrospectively,
the metro ride was smooth. People don't look happy though.
I don't know how I'll handle having coworkers again, should I ask them if they want a coffee or bark at them to go get me one? Retrospectively, I was asked if I wanted one. Twice. I think they remember me well.
The good thing is I know everyone in the office.
The bad thing is I know everyone in the office.
Och well, we'll see. If you don't hear from me again within the week, you'll know that I was driven crazy by structure and organisation. I got used to not having either very quickly. And now of course it's hard to get used to having either again.

16 octobre 2005


Every now and again, I have to do this, i.e. write a completely useless (not to say bad) review of something very cultural that I have attended.
Today, I give you... Richard III. Yes, I spent a whole afternoon in a very crowded theatre, watching Billy Boy's tragedy, sitting elbow to elbow with Claudia Cardinale, to whom I totally forgot to mention that I was completely available these days, should she need a younger version of herself for a biopic of some sort. Oh well.
OK, so I'm not a younger version of Claudia Cardinale, I am just living in my own little Murano glass bubble. And?
It doesn't change the fact that Richard III as directed by Philippe Calvario is really brilliant, even despite the "slight" liberties that said Calvario has taken with the costumes (Japanese samurai kimonos, stunning, and other more controversial stuff, to me anyway) and even with the text sometimes (which had me in all sorts of befuddlement as I wondered what exactly the point was of changing a word, or adding a lame French cultural reference), but I hear it's very in, this.
Also, the soundtrack was really... interesting. Yes, a soundtrack. I know. I was surprised too. But once it started, I really couldn't dispute the legitimacy of Marilyn Manson's cover of Sweet Dreams. Or of the drums intro of Queen's We Will Rock You.
Acting was flawless (mostly, anyway), and even though I'm not a big fan of Philippe Torreton, I have to admit that his Richard was impressive. Oh, OK, let me a bit particular. "My kingdom for a horse" might have been said better, but one line, who am I to say anything? Nobody, apparently, that's who, because the friend to whom I spoke my mind in no uncertain terms afterwards (judge by yourselves: "I thought his rendition of "My kingdom for a horse" was a bit lame." I don't mince my words, right? Oh dear, I hope nobody overheard) had
in fact found it sounded very true. Oh well.
In any case, they'll soon be on tour across France, so if you have 3 hours and 40 minutes (...) that you just don't know what to do with, I suggest you go and seat yourself in a red
plush seat and take a long look at the evil that power hunger can bring.
If you're not in France, well, I don't know, go watch Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. That's very very good too.

15 octobre 2005


Now you people are just doing this to me. Tagging. Meme tagging. This time, it's Flare and the Five Thing Meme, where you're meant to say 5 random things about yourself.
Here goes, then.
1. I was a politics freak when I was 7. I loved everything politics. I loved to listen to politicians, I loved that I could recognise them and remember their names, I loved that I could understand about 1% of what they were saying, I don't know. I just really liked politics. And then it passed.
2. As of last evening, I've been stalked 5 times in my life. Stalked as in wondering how exactly it's going to finish. Each time as bloody terrifying, although flattering in a "listen, I really appreciate that you or your buddy find me to your liking, but really, it's late, I'm walking alone on a not so populated street, and I'm pretty sure that if you attempt anything, I will have to hurt you. Hopefully I'll manage to anyway. And it will hurt me more than you in the end but it's for your own good, you understand. And stop telling me that you/your pal really dig(s) me, I don't care"
way. Fucker. That's two fuckers in one week. Two too many.
3. If I had any real talent, I could be... Bette Midler. I love both acting and singing. OK, so I'd probably turn out to be the less-something-something Jessica Simpson. And believe me, I'm so not trying to flatter myself here.
4. Sometimes I think so much that I can't actually think. Does that make sense?
5. I can bend only the top knuckle on all
my fingers. Freaky. Love it. That and the knuckle cracking will ensure that I suffer greatly in my old days, à la James Coburn. That's all right though, I've just made a sentence that contains both James Coburn and me.

You want to tell us random things? Tag yourself in the comments.

13 octobre 2005

A dilemma

Note to my neighbours: listening to a panpipes instrumental version of Celine Dion's My heart will go on will never ever ever be OK around here. Ever. The fact that Celine Dion's voice cannot be heard is definitely a good thing, but don't think it makes it OK, it doesn't.
Plus it's panpipes. Plus it's Titanic. Plus plus plus...
Anyway. So 9:15 yesterday morning, someone in the building or its immediate vicinity had a craving for a panpipes version of My heart will go on and on and on and on. 9:15, people. I'm barely on my fifth cup of coffee, and definitely not ready for that kind of crap yet.
I stayed in and closed the windows. Should I have resorted to violence? I'm only asking because my first reaction would be to say I'm opposed to violence in that case: see, I think violence should be an end in and of itself, not a means to an. If I had used it then, sure I
probably would have felt great joy at trashing their sound system or whatever it is you call those big machines that make sound through little pinholes, but the violence cycle would have started as a way to eradicate the sound that was attacking my delicate ears, not because I had a sudden urge to use brute force and make my neighbour cry. So I don't know. What was I supposed to do? What? What?

12 octobre 2005


So, we're on to the final phase of the WorldCup and Ireland isn't. Sorry about that, and thank you for keeping Switzerland at bay. Maybe someday we'll repay the favour (I wouldn't hold much hope, though).
Yes, soccer - the Americans among you can now run away screaming -, or football, as it's known around our part of the world, and really there was no reason to change the name. Now, I don't know shit about football, and I'm about to show it rather gloriously. But nature abhors a vacuum, and I have bugger all else to talk about, plus I have two football-related pet peeves.
First. I like Domenech, I really do. Everybody in France has been slagging him off, but I stick by my opinion: I like the guy, and I certainly hope that he'll show all the nay-sayers wrong. The whole thing reminds me of 1998, in fact, when the whole country (except me, of course) had united against Aimé Jacquet. Then we won and all was forgiven/forgotten. I'm wondering if the journos and football fans aren't doing it to Domenech for good luck now, after the 2002 fiasco.
Second. Zidane. He's a brilliant player, of course he is, but come on. Nobody seems to see just how blatantly wrong it is that he's become so indispensable. You can't depend on just the one player,
people, it's a team sport! Granted, he's the team leader, but he's 33! If you made me run on a field for 90 minutes, I'd die wheezing after 90 seconds tops. And I'm only 32!
OK, so maybe that isn't a show of good faith, and yes, he scored first today, but he
wasn't particularly convincing against Switzerland, and he's not in great shape these days, and he'll be a year older next year, what do you think he'll be doing? Cheerleading from the sidelines, I bet. And I'll be expecting nasty laughs in my face in June-July if it turns out I was wrong.

Ooh I'm glad I got that off my chest. I'll go back to talking rags and lipsticks now.

I have heroes

Cereologist: One who specialises in investigating crop circles.

I am amazed at human ingenuity. So two clever pensioners think "wey-hey, let's have a bit of fun, shall we, and pretend that aliens have mowed (or whatever) circles in the wheatfields and see how everyone reacts".
Which I think is brilliant on its own, as a prank, as a plot, as anything. Guys, I salute you.

But then somebody came and was even more clever. Somebody saw right through them and said "oo ooh, I'll invent me a new job and pretend that's exactly what I study! Surely, gullible as they are, people will fall for it!"
And now it's today's word on Wordsmith.org.

Some people deserve to rule the world, I tell you.

10 octobre 2005

Open letter

To the fucker who nearly ran me over today,

Dear Mr. Fucker,

When the bus stops right before a crossing, there's usually a good reason, considering Parisian bus drivers are not exactly known for their indolent driving. Now, I understand that due to the bus, you might not have been able to see the light, but I'll give you a hint. If pedestrians are crossing the street in droves right in front of you, if the bus has stopped, and if cars are zooming across said crossing transversally to you, chances are the light is red for you. That's your cue to stop. Not, repeat NOT, to press the bloody gas pedal. Let's have a little practice, you and me. Gas - right; brakes - middle. Got that? Gas - right. Brakes - middle.
The fact that you cannot see that the light is red will never ever ever mean you're right in the eye of the law or of your insurance company; and I suspect that, considering the car you have, you don't want to increase your premium any.
I am single, childfree, and jobless, and you could almost say I have no real prospects right now, but those are no reasons why I should just
be an easy target and stand there to let you drive over my unattached body.
Also, when I almost die of fright because you stop millimeters from me and I look at you disbelievingly, it is not a good idea to try and stare me down. A simple hand up, meaning "sorry, or whatever", would have sufficed. The fact that you tried to stare me down made me want to yank you out of your death machine and shake you until the walls of your brain collapsed. You see, that's the difference between you and me: I thought about it so I didn't have to stop at the last second.

Don't hesitate to contact me should you need any more driving/avoiding-to-kill-people lessons. I can also provide you with a list of driving schools, which I have no doubt would be delighted to have your custom for a while.

Yours sincerely, xoxo, etc.
anne, your almost dead victim

08 octobre 2005


Second picture from the top here.

Mark was running. He'd been running for a while now.
He didn't know if running was going to bring him answers, but at least, focusing on his breathing kept him from thinking, and he'd done way too much of that lately. It was time he acted. Of course, action could mean decision, choice, responsibility, and he wasn't sure he was quite up to that yet. Better to run and exhaust himself that way than to think of things he could do, things he wanted to do, but things he was scared shitless of doing.
OK, so maybe running wasn't quite as efficient as he'd hoped in preventing the same train of thought he'd been following since he'd met her. Don't. Think about her.
The road was too easy, that was the problem. Mark suddenly veered into the cornfield on his right. The cornstalks were high, slapping his face as he ran. He had to find a rhythm. Breathe, run, swat the stalks out of his way, breathe, run, swat, breathe, run, swat.
Good, that seemed to be working.

Mark suddenly heard a rumbling noise, and felt the ground vibrating. Shit. Harvest, or something equally annoying. A tractor was apparently coming his way. If the guy on the tractor - hopefully there was a guy on the tractor, otherwise his indecisiveness would seem the least of his trivial worries in a few minutes - spotted him, he could be in a world of trouble. Trespassing or some such. Mark had no idea if private-property laws applied to cornfields by the side of a public road.

Shit. He just wasn't catching a break, was he? He contemplated continuing to run, pretending he hadn't heard. Then he envisioned his own body in a tractor-trampled mess, stopped running and turned around. The sun was extremely hot, he hadn't realised. He was covered in sweat. Mark shielded his eyes as he looked up to the driver who was approaching at a leisurely speed. Maybe there wouldn't be trouble.
"What do you think you're doing? These are delicate, you know. What if you ruined any?"
"Sorry, sir. I don't think I did, though. I was careful."
"Yeah, sure you were. Running like a maniac across my field, I'm sure you took very good care of my corn. You in trouble?"
"No! Not at all", Mark chuckled "I'm just trying to... escape my thoughts. If that makes sense."
Oh good, now he sounded like a pretentious city boy. That was going to help.
"Yeah well, couldn't you use the wood further up? It's dense, you'd have plenty to swat at. And stop thinking."
Mark looked at the man on the tractor. Seventy-ish, laugh lines, and a very kind look in his eyes.
"Hey, listen, I'm sorry about the corn, if I... broke any, I'll pay. It's just... I'm... Ugh. Sorry. I'll... go now."
"Yeah. Try that, and I'll be seeing you running in circles tomorrow. You're pretty far in, y'know, I doubt you'll find your way back. Hop on."
Mark hesitated a second.
"Oh, come on. Never wanted a ride on a tractor, city boy? I'll drop you at the road. Besides, it gets lonely up here, I could use the company for a while. You tell me what it was that was so appealing about the corn. Earn your wreckage a little bit." The man smiled.
Mark hoisted himself up on the seat. Tight, but comfy. The man let him have a little bit more sitting space.
"Lionel", the man said, extending his hand.
"Oh, um, how do you do, sir, I'm Mark".
Lionel laughed.
They drove in silence for a while. The field was beautiful from above. Like a sea of green leaves and yellow foam. Oh god. He had to stop. Thinking. Ever.
"So. Don't mind me asking, but seeing as you potentially ruined some of my plants there, I sure would like to know what it is you're running away from. Hmmm?"
"Oh, just... this and that, you know. Annoying thoughts. Hey, that "city boy" shot. That stung a little. That obvious?"
Lionel let out great peals of laughter. It was a perfect soundtrack to the whole scene. Oh dear lord, stop thinking!
"Y...", he started laughing again, "yeah... The whole 'running' thing screams city around here. Y'know?"
"No, I don't, actually. I'm just here on a whim. I took the first bus for a week-end-in-the-country thing. Stopped randomly. I don't think I could even tell you where I really am staying."
"You must have stopped at Dyersville, that's the closest from here. Still. Quite a while you've been running, here."
"Yeah. I feel it."
The silence wasn't uncomfortable.
"So, you don't wanna say. That bad?"
"Oh", Mark chuckled self-consciously, "no, it's... really silly actually. Boy meets girl, boy can't get girl out of his head, boy decides to run to stop thinking. Simple."
"Yeah, cause running will definitely help you make the right choices, eh."
"Uh, no, it's just... I don't... Yes. I don't want to make choices. I don't want to take a risk. I don't want to end up biting the dust. Do you often do that?"
"Play shrink to people you find running in your field?"
"Yeah. Corn doesn't pay that much, you know. I had to diversify. Psychology is as good a way as any, I guess." Lionel laughed again. "Don't be silly. You're here, you need to talk... You talk, I listen, is all. Here's the road. You wanna keep running away, or you wanna keep an ol' man company?"
"Oh. Oh. Um, I'll be happy to stay. If you don't mind."
"Yeah, I do, but what can I say, I'm all about other people."
They laughed. It felt strangely natural, to be sitting there with a man he'd only just met. Mark knew then he was going to tell him the whole thing. He knew he was going to listen to what the old man had to say. Hell, he knew he wanted to listen. He was so glad he'd taken that bus. He was even gladder he'd hopped off where he had.
Not thinking. Sometimes that was key.

06 octobre 2005

Let us reflect...

... upon the brevity of life, especially for an ashtray that crashes at my place. No pun intended, but it's really rather appropriate considering that it plunged to an untimely death this afternoon, causing an ear-shattering noise and quite a few shards.
I suppose it is only fair that it should go out with a bang, considering I loved it to bits. It was a beautiful glass ashtray, round and smooth.
I'm sad. I might even quit smoking now, but I'm not sure, I have other little ashtrays who need my full attention, even though or especially now that they have lost their more beautiful brother.

Rereading that, I should really stop smoking. I'll probably end up alone, or with cats, lots of cats, same difference, and I'll burn to death in a freak accident involving my friend the bottle of vodka, a lit cigarette and a broken ashtray. I can tell. Unless I'm certified and put away for the good of society, not to mention to avoid harming myself and/or others.

That's a distinct possibility.

Yay for lovely evenings

And pooh for all the cleaning that ensues.
A couple of friends came over for dinner and a movie last night - I'm considering watching the second part of La meglio Gioventu without them, they were so funny. If I ever give you one piece of really useful advice, let it be this one: don't watch a sad-ish drama with funny people because that is bound to be somewhat counterproductive. Lacrymal glands need practice, and tears do not stream down my face when I laugh my ass off. My ass doesn't fall off either, mind you, and more's the pity.
Oh, also, white wine (Californian, mesdames-messieurs, my first foray into America's vineyards)
, yes. Mead? Not so much. I had an unopened bottle of mead in my fridge, so we decided to try it. Anyone wants a three-quarter full bottle of mead? And no, mead isn't just something out of Harry Potter. But now, I wish it were.
And that translation is still there, lurking and taunting "you'll never finish me, you'll never finish me". No, not before I do the washing-up I won't. But once that's done, I'll be kicking your anorexic and botoxed TV-show ass. Yes, I know - hope, anyway - that asses don't get botoxed, call that... poetic licence.

04 octobre 2005

Or soy sauce? Is soy sauce bad for you?

And this time, I shall mention it straight away, lest I forget to part with that valuable piece of information. I love soy sauce. Probably as much as I love cumin seeds. I might have spontaneously decided today to stop buying salt and use exclusively soy sauce. I'm not completely sure though, because it's hard to know when you're taking such a momentous decision on such short notice, isn't it? I mean, who can tell that it's actually a decision, and not an "ooh, let's taste the wind" moment... ew. Did I mean test? I might have meant test. Rewind. I mean, who can tell that it's actually a decision, and not an "ooh, let's test the wind" moment?
Not me, that's who.
Who can say that I won't be craving salt in a couple days, when I'm not even sure if I want short or long nails? That's more manageable as a day-to-day situation, and yet, guess what... I'm lost! I had long nails until this morning. Not Florence Griffith-Joyner long, but you know, girlie long. After a couple repetitive mistypes on the translation from hell (apparently, I make my own hell: I was praised for my thoroughness and told - at the same time! people manage to juggle job-changing decisions in a split second, why can't I choose between salt and soy sauce? Hmmm? - to not bother and go for quick and easy), I decided that it was all the nails' fault and trimmed them. A lot. I feel I have to say a lot, because in my mind, trimmed means a little. Well, no. In that case, it was a lot. And of course there have been as many mistypes since then. And now I miss my nails. And they're going to take for ever to grow back, and we'll be back at square one.
So maybe I should just buy both soy sauce and salt. But it feels like a cop-out.
Or I could say I keep salt for the guests.
Oh yeah, before you go all "but what are you talking about, soy sauce is sweet!", it's the salty soy sauce I like. Sweet, not so much. Well, I do like it, but I'm never sure if I like the salty one better.
Oh god.

03 octobre 2005

When is eating cumin seeds eating too many cumin seeds?

OK, people, I've now finally understood something vital for the rest of my career (heh, I said career), life, happiness. I am blatently disorganised when working from home. You could probably call it a disgrace. I prefer to say it's... not quite well thought out yet. Or ever. Really, I shouldn't be fooling myself here, and I certainly hope I'm not fooling any of you.
See, one of my friends phoned me when I was at my parents'.
Her: "We have this TV show-related thing to translate. Wanna do it? Well. Part of it?"
Me, shrieking down the phone: "Ooh, ooh, do I get to meet him, do I get to meet him?".
Her: "No. Wanna do it?"
Me: "Oh. OK. How many words, what's the deadline?" (Notice how professional I can be? Blink, and you'll miss it.)
Her: "11,000 words, due in 10 days. Don't think it's easy."
Me: "Excellent. And I'm so not thinking it's easy."
Me, inside of my own head, where only my other me's can hear me: "So easy! I'll have done that in no time! Ha ha ha! And the world will be mine! Ah ah ah!"

Oh how the world laughs now. Mainly at me. Also because it turns out it won't have to be putty in my hands, and it's a hysterical, relieved, nervous little chuckle. But mostly at me. And the bugger is loud.

02 octobre 2005


Through the bars, Sam could make out a tiny rectangle of gray sky, with a dark blob in the corner. A rain cloud, she figured, considering the tap-tapping noise she had heard continuously for the past two hours. She could have done without the rain. Rainy days had a funny way of bringing her back to her first hours in the US, a full two years before.
She'd been eager, back then. She had barely been able to contain a childish scream of joy when the cabin crew had opened the aircraft door. She was in New York! Who cared that it rained, that the temperature was 53°F., she didn't even know what that was in Celsius - although, judging by the way people were dressed, she should have taken a jacket. Who cared? She'd made it to New York City. The place where she would start over. That was the plan and she fully intended to carry it out. She'd joined the flow of passengers into the terminal, with a tiny apprehensive pinch in the stomach when the police booth came into view. She couldn't stop the apprehension. She'd been waiting for this moment for so long, she'd die on the spot if there was a hitch.
Right in front of her in the queue, a family with a lot of pink was chatting away. The little girl was dressed top to toe in pink, with a pink Barbie suitcase, her mum was also dressed in pink and had her own pink suitcase, and her dad was wearing cream-coloured cords and a cream-coloured denim jacket. Sam couldn't see his shirt, but she would have wagered her first monthly pay that it was pink. She'd have gagged if she was still back in Edinburgh. She wasn't, though: she was in NYC, and she felt very forgiving. The old lady right behind her was also very obviously relieved to be out of the plane. Something to do with her legs and her bloodflow, or the stuffiness of the carriage, or both... Sam tuned her out quickly.
Looking around, she saw several couples happily making out in front of everybody, all alone in the joy of being together again. Seeing them, she felt like chuckling quietly and crying at the same time. Chuckling because there was nobody waiting for her, and it actually felt really good to be that free, and crying because if he hadn't screwed up, Paul would have been with her.
What a twat. They'd been planning that trip, that exile, that second birth, for months together. They'd even tried to decide exactly what area of New York they would want to live in, and of course they hadn't agreed, she wanted Brooklyn, he was set on Soho. One thing was for sure, they were sharing the same dreams, it was only a matter of time before they all came true.
And then he'd cheated on her. And the arse had told her about it. Sam had been devastated. There was no fucking way he was going to New York with her now. But there was no fucking way he was going to live happily ever after with that tart either. Oh no. She'd never been so mad. Five years they'd been together! Five years! And he'd blown it.
Sam took a deep breath. Thinking about Paul wasn't going to help her get started in NY, now, was it? Especially where he was. Ew. Sam didn't want to think about that. She couldn't even believe she'd done it. How possessed had she been that she'd actually done it? How could she have even thought of doing it?
She had to stop remembering, though. It was the pretty-in-pink family's turn - bingo, dad's shirt was indeed flesh-coloured - and right after that, it'd be her. She got her passport out of her bag, opened it on the picture page, pinched it with the boarding pass and inhaled deeply. This was it.
She smiled at the police guy, handed in her papers, and waited. He looked at the passport, at her. Back at the passport on his tablet. Sam tried to still the shakes in her left leg. What was taking so long? The passport was valid! He picked up his phone. She panicked. Two armed, uniformed cops appeared as if out of thin air, grabbed an arm each and dragged her away screaming. Turned out there was a hitch, and she hadn't died. But a killed dream was not a pretty sight either.
After spending all of five hours in NYC, Sam'd been deported that same day. She'd been heavily medicated during the whole trial, but the psychiatrists had declared her sane, and she'd been rotting away in that cell in HM Prison since then. Rainy days were the worst.

01 octobre 2005

It's official, I love smart people

Through them, and aren't they the epitome of smart? I found this, this, and this: revisited movie trailers, so you can imagine The Shining as a rom com, West Side Story as though it'd really been done by George Romero, and Titanic as a sequel to The Terminator. Or something. Although I do have reasons to believe that Titanic really was a scary movie, but I guess it's a matter of taste (haven't seen it, couldn't face the prospect. Plus I knew the ending, and that just spoilt the whole thing).