20 décembre 2006

Christmas resolution #534928**

Right, OK, well, hmmm, let's face the music here, shall we. I have a crick in my neck the size of... my neck really; Christmas is approaching fast and I'm, gasp, kind of looking forward to it; and although my smooth love affair with sleep seems to be continuing, it's of the brief and intense kind, seeing as I only sleep about 5 hours a night these days - and clearly, when you're making up for lost time, 5 hours is just not enough.
'Tis not the season to be writing then.
Thus... Let me simply wish you a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, wonderful holiday season, joyful non-denominational birth-of-the-baby-Jesus celebration*, blissful (and overdraft-inducing?) shopping spree, and all sorts of other seasonal sentiments. Pick one, several, or all.
Have fun and be merry, people!

* Am I ripping someone off with this? I have a feeling I might be. It just doesn't seem possible that considering the state I'm in right now, I could think up big words such as "non-denominational" all on my own.
** You are quite right. There is not a mention of resolutions in this post. Tough.

13 décembre 2006

Tagging along

All right then, second tag... The culprit is Kyknoord, and I'm not sure which meme I'm supposed to... answer? do? execute? so... in a Christmas-miracle sort of spirit, I'll be... answering? doing? executing? both.
I know. I'm a pushover, let's leave it at that.

The dinner party - it's always the same quandary, isn't it. Who makes the list, who doesn't, and where are we sure to meet the best conditions for a successful evening. To be fair, before I even tried to draft a "serious" list of guests - blame an (extremely) early spring and the related raging hormones - I immediately thought of George Clooney (the guy just doesn't want to leave my mind, OK?), the entire cast of Prison Break (yeah OK, maybe not entire), Daniel Craig (minus a few pecs), Owen Wilson (minus Kate Hudson), John Cusack, the entire cast of Spooks (
yeah OK, etc.), Jeff Goldblum (minus a few inches?), Robert Downey Jr., the entire cast of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (yes, entire), and Jeremy Piven. Aaaand, that's 10.
We'd be holding it in City Hall, 'cause then it'd be easy to tie one of those fine specimens and me through the powers vested in whatever officer who happens to be on duty around the time I get there.
Alternatively, I was thinking of having the HR departments of London 2012, the French rugby world cup, Aaron Sorkin's production company, the Cannes Festival, Eurosport, and several subtitling agencies over for a good talk about the latter's blatant inadequacies and the former's crucial need to have me around. I believe that take-away Chinese is de rigueur in these kinds of meetings, so I guess we'd all convene at my place.

Now. Five things you probably didn't know about me.
Hmmm.
1. I can kill a plant just by looking at it. (and forgetting to water it, but really, it amounts to the same thing, doesn't it?)
2. I love to play games. Not of the mind-fucking variety though, just, you know, games. And I'm a very gracious loser too, even though inside, I'm probably fantasizing about ripping your eyes out with my teeth.
3. I used to swim a lot. These days, just watching a swim meet gives me sore muscles.
4. Stairs scare me witless, especially on the way down. I can picture the fall, the broken legs and probably the bones sticking out the sheen.
5. And oh.my.god. everything else you already know.

Yeah, if you think that the Christmas miracle will extend to me tagging someone, you simply have got to stop believing in Santa.

10 décembre 2006

Riiiight...

It's been a while. Hello, my name is anne, and I'm a lapsed blogger.
In order to ease my way back gently into the sacred art of posting, I'm going to stand proud before the world and clamor "I've been tagged" - twice, in fact, and oh hey, that'll be two posts taken care of already.

First tag was by Alan, and it was a long time ago.
Ten Things I'll Never Do.
Are you afraid? Good.
1. I'll never watch Titanic. I still haven't seen it, and I suppose that now I've typed it, it's set in stone, isn't it? There will be none of that Céline Dion bleating in my DVD player.
2. Talking of which, I'll never go to a Céline Dion concert either (isn't it funny how I keep typing Céline Fion, when Fion means "butt" in French argot...?)
3. As a complete non-sequitur (or... is it?), I'll probably never turn vegetarian. Meat, for lack of a better word, is good. Meat [...] works (for me, Alan. For me.).
4. I'll never
thoroughly answer a meme call. In my usual (now legendary?) cop-out words, I will probably not list ten things. In my defense, there are a whole lot of things that I would consider doing. In my other defense, well, I haven't posted in two weeks, surely that says something about my dedication to all things keyboard these days.
5. With the French presidential elections looming, let me get political - or at the very least, current-affairy. I'll never vote for a far-right party. Goes without saying, but it feels much better saying it.
6. I'll never sing a duet with Dean Martin. Feel free to laugh, but that pains me to no end.
7. I'll never understand the appeal of Antonio Banderas, let alone be part of the female th(r)ongs that follow in his wake.
8. I'll never tag - but please, do feel free to rebel in the comments.

26 novembre 2006

21 novembre 2006

Damn this work situation thing

The work situation is busy, people. Busy busy busy. Busy.
And right now, I'm spending way too much time in front of my computer, which, ungrateful bugger that it is, is sending all sorts of noxious waves to my brain by way of my left eye.
Not in the best of conditions to write raving lunatic mad... stuff, then, except maybe in a stream-of-consciousness type of way, and frankly, consciousness is not a state I like in the best of days, so letting it stream out right now is not an option I'm willing to consider. Let's wait till the laptop's evil waves have fried the one remaining cell in my skull.
Sending that application today might not have been such a hot idea, huh.
Poo poo poo.

19 novembre 2006

You either have it or you don't.

A guy I didn't know raced me today while I was walking my butt off and my calf muscles into a painful lactic episode on my belated way to a movie.
Could that sentence be any more complicated?
I won.

16 novembre 2006

And the dragons were slayed.

George Clooney has regained the place that is rightfully his at the firmament of the world's sexiest guys. At long last.
I mean, come on people now. Jude Law? Johnny Depp? (I'm still reserving judgement about Matthew McConaughey. (Or spreading my options, I'm not completely sure.))
Then again, the good people at People Magazine (how not to make that redundant? I'm confused) seem to make it a habit of losing it every now and again. They must be kicking themselves every year when they look at the previous records and see... Nick Nolte. Wow.
Moving on... Michael Jackson. Not only do they let him sing again, but he's backed by tens of teens and pre-teens? They're just asking for trouble, aren't they (no, I'm not adding credence to, or believing, or saying, or implying, anything. I just thought it was funny. In a sick way, yes.)
And bam... It's 99.9% official: Ségolène Royal will be running for president. Whoa.
I tried to make up for lack of content with a flurry of links. Didn't work, did it. Ah well.

14 novembre 2006

It cannot be Wednesday already, can it?

Because if it indeed was Wednesday, then my ironclad willpower and discipline would insist that I write something - when I don't have much to tell, really, apart from the fact that I'm stuck on a Sudoku puzzle that resists so hard that it wouldn't be out of place in the French maquis. And try as I might to blame the numbers, the stupid buggers will not cower in fear before my ire. Mighty frustrating, that.
Although, my Sudoku obsession is to be thanked for a little moment of sheer, unadulterated joy when a little girl, maybe 7, decided to try her luck with me
on the metro:
- Is that a game?
- Yeah, it's sort of a game.
- How does it work?
- You have to fill in the missing numbers in the grids.
- That's easy. (cheeky so-and-so)
- Yeah well, it's not quite as easy as it sounds. Wanna try?
- Er, no.
And she went back to her mom, looking scared.
anne: 123456789 - little girls the world over: 0.

12 novembre 2006

If it wasn't so funny, it'd be frigging hilarious.

Saturday night, three of my friends were coming over for dinner and a DVD session. On the menu, cheese soufflé and "its" green salad, and lemon meringue pie.
Yes, all of this does, in fact, go well together, shut up. And that's not the point of my impending tirade, stop judging.
Soufflé and meringue. What to these two dishes have in common, apart from an apparent difficulty that is in fact, sheer myth? Egg whites, beaten if not into submission, at least into almost-solidness, that's what. I'm not completely down with the lingo, but you get the meaning, I'm sure.
With everybody expected around 8pm, I started on the egg whites at 7-ish. And wasn't that the exact time that my electric whisk chose to die on me? Wasn't that the exact time that my neighbours chose to be out or without an electric whisk of their own? Wasn't it? Yes. Yes class, of course it was.
It didn't even go gracefully, with a flash, a charred wall and a plug ripped out of the socket by the sheer force of the... something-something. Oh no. It just kind of spluttered to its demise like it was it that had been smoking all these years, and those egg whites were the one marathon that it should never have undertaken.
I did think of calling Pizza Hut to the rescue. And then, something that if I didn't know better I'd call pride - and I know it wasn't, 'cause that feeling is as alien to me as mercy is to the All Blacks -
took over, and I decided to go it unplugged. So I whisked. I whisked like a mad person. I whisked like there was no tomorrow.
And, let me tell you. For my arms, there wasn't.

09 novembre 2006

Shuffling my options

We've determined that try as I might, I'm never going to be an Oscar-winning actress. It's also been asserted that winning the lottery is not on the cards for me. So I wonder... How on earth am I going to get to the lifestyle of the rich and mighty that is rightfully mine? Yes, rightfully. You see, I'm a bit like Cinderella's poorer sister, but there's not a fairy in sight, if you discount my best friend. Which means that I'm a princess in hiding, and that particular chip on my shoulder is seriously weighing me down.
There's a poker show on TV right now, and I'm wondering if that couldn't be my way out of the proletariat. We've started a thing with a couple friends where we play belote, but no money's involved. I might have to change that soon and strip them of all their assets. That means I'll have to share the proceeds for a while, but surely that's nothing a good contract killer can't put to right, is it?

07 novembre 2006

Why gawd why?

I am ill. Again. Yes, again.
If things go on like this, I might have to consider giving up the cigarettes for good. Plus, I have this fabulous new red wooly jumper that keeps leaving unpleasant fluff on my butts - my cigarette butts, I'm just not flexible enough to check my rear end for fluff. This whole sentence is wrong on so many levels that I might just keep going down that particular track until my whole mental credibility is down the toilet. There. That should wrap it up nicely.
Needless to say, I am not looking forward to that particular prospect - giving up the ciggies, that is,
I'm kind of used to imagining the whooshing sound of my reputation as it whirls its way down the drain by now - especially as the tobacconists' protest in France is so effective, seven months prior to the elections, that the government has already postponed the smoking ban for one year. Forget public health if it means winning the presidentials, right? I mean, they did get rid of an awful lot of people during the 2003 heatwave, surely a surge in the lung cancer statistics could kill two birds with one stone: contribute toward the complete resolution of the pension problem (again, the heatwave helped) and ensure that we're so busy smoking ourselves to death that we kind of forget to hold our leaders accountable for... whatever.
Damn. I'm obviously running a fever.

05 novembre 2006

Whoa... easy there, tiger.

Either fashion has an extremely quick turnover rate, or I'm stuck in a very bizarre, and not a little scary, time warp. Allow me to explain. This weekend, I saw things that I thought only happened - nay, that should only ever happen off Broadway, in a production of Hairspray that would make John Waters have a tiny orgasm. Beehives that had so much Elnett in them that I could feel the ozone hole widen in sheer awe, female mullets that would make the most fashion-conscious of East-German football players green with envy, and the colours, sweet baby Vidal, the colours. Platinum blonde with black and purple highlights all together on one head? I'm lost for words. I want to believe, honestly I do, that somewhere, a well-intentioned hairdresser did that without snickering, but you see, this close to Christmas, my whole belief system is already stretched to bursting.
And the crux of the matter here - because my whole life is but a series of ordeals all happening in rapid succession - is that I know my own hair desperately needs attending to, but the idea of getting something even remotely close to a platinum-and-purple mullet
beehive - and let's face it, we all know that with the type of luck I've been enjoying lately, this is exactly what I might end up with - fills me with dread. It's OK, I'll just keep my thatch of longish, lank, nondescript but predominantly mousy strands until capillary trends are back to, at the very least, short and curly on top.

01 novembre 2006

Any resemblance to actual persons or events is unintentional and purely coincidental.

Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wasn't so fond of attending weddings. One year, as luck would have it, she was invited
to a wedding that, try cunningly though she did, she couldn't wriggle her way out of. Luckily, she was able to go with a couple of friends.
Once they'd finally managed to wind their way out of the usual pre-weekend traffic jams, the drive to the wee village where the wedding was taking place was uneventful. She even managed to not bend her friends' ears with a rendition of old musicals favorites that would have made The Sure Thing's Gary Cooper and Mary Ann Webster proud. All in all, an auspicious start to the weekend.
Little did she know.
On their arrival at the hotel, they discovered that one of the two rooms booked had two beds, and decided to unbook the second room, to give the weekend a more summer-campy feel.
The next day arrived - way too soon, if you asked her - and after much huffing, puffing and whining that they just. didn't. look. good enough.
, off they went. As they were departing from the hotel, a car parked, and a very good-looking male let his long legs out.
While the crowd was waiting for the bride and groom to arrive at the "town" hall, said specimen appeared again. Add the gorgeous weather, and things were decidedly looking up for our grouchy heroine, despite one of her friends' claims that his shoes were just ridiculous. Which they were not.
The incredibly stunning bride and groom arrived, said "I do" "I do" and happy-ever-after life it was for them. Lucky buggers.
And then
came cocktail time (not soon enough, if you asked the little pest at the origin of this tale). As she was drooling a lot over the long-legged man, she needed to drink a lot - also because she was kind of dreading dinner, as there was a guy that she really really really didn't want to be sitting anywhere near, and feared that she might be. Not him of the shoes fame, that would have been nothing short of a miracle. Thanks to very good nibbles, though, she didn't topple over before she had a chance to sit herself down to eat and drink some more.
This being a sort of a fairy tale, a miracle did happen, and she was sitting right opposite long-legged him for dinner. And when she finally heard the sound of his voice, he was funny! And single! What was going on?
As it turned out, just fate having a laugh, that was what. You see, he didn't have a room booked*, and couldn't find the hotelier on the premises when he arrived. But she didn't have a room to share anymore, did she**? Oh no.
Oh yes, and this being a sort of a fairy tale, all three friends suspect that he was, in fact, gay.
Ah well, a wedding, what did she expect.
***

* So what... good-looking, funny and single never meant organised, right?
** Just to give a poor soul shelter for the night, of course, nothing... fancy.
*** Every tale needs a moral, does it not?

31 octobre 2006

e-roar

My Internet service provider and its hotline technicians can all take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut, preferably in space, preferably without any sort of oxygen source, preferably while an Alien is hatching somewhere close.
Hello people, I'm back, and I'm in a bad mood.

27 octobre 2006

Blah blah... bleuargh?

Damn, I can't remember! My fingers have been poised over the keyboard for, like, ever... or two minutes, but two minutes can feel like an eternity when you're dying for the loo. Right?
Anyway, I can't remember the important topic I had picked for today's endeavour. And it was important, I swear. Not like Wednesday's... debate. Wow, that went well... The good thing is the response was overwhelmingly in favour of my opinion. You... beg to differ? Tough. You should have said something then. That's democracy for you. Or... something.
Awright, m'darlings. I can't find it in me to drag this on and on until Monday comes along, especially as I have a wedding to attend, a bag to pack, several litres of assorted wines and champagne to get through, and no one to hold my head over the toilet bowl. That particular McGyver contraption is not going to build itself.
Have yourselves a merry little weekend.

24 octobre 2006

It's high-school debate society all over again!

Hello people... she says with her most engaging smile. How are you all doing on this fine grey and crisp day*?
I need your opinion on something. I mean "need", as in "will stop breathing until I actually get your opinion" kind of slightly tantrumy need, but need nonetheless. Now is the time to start using that comments link until it fades into the background, because I would very much appreciate a heated debate, the likes of which could make the French Socialist Party green with envy. But let's not get political...

A Year in the Merde.
That's it, that's what I need your opinion on. I had a sort of preview of said heated debate with a friend recently, because I find the book to be a
not-very-funny catalogue of stereotypes (with the occasional chuckle, thank god), but he accused me of showing bad faith, and of not being able to look at (down on?) my own country with a little bit of self-derision. Pah!, I say. As if.

So here goes. Have you read it, and if you have, what did you think?

Small aside, for Stephen Clarke himself - should he ever stumble upon this site (or Voice of a City, because I'm obviously posting this there too...), pharmacies in France never ever ever go on strike. And when the EDF personnel does, you still have enough of the old elektron in the copper wires to boil one kettle or a thousand. There, my bile is spent.

Apart from those petty quibbles of mine, it's probably a pretty good book for people who want to come live in (or visit) Paris. See? See? I am unbiased. There.**

*this is pure conjecture, seeing as, right now, it's more of a "fine cold and dark night" kind of moment.
**Come on, peeps, I'm trying to leave this country. Obviously I love it with my eyes wide open.

22 octobre 2006

Celebration of life

All right, my brother's been a dad for a week, so let's take a moment to celebrate this tiny wee new (and really, honestly, unbiasedly gorgeous) life.
Done? OK then. Let's not get too carried away here. Remember we're all about restraint on this site.
Rather, let's move swiftly on to feeling sorry for me-me-me. Because let's face it, that's why this thing exists, isn't it? ("This thing" referring not to my new-born niece, but to this site. Hard though I may try, I'm not quite that callous yet.)
See, I have lost any trace of novelty that I may have held for my parents and extended family. You know, the whole "she's gone far away to live her life, how's it like overseasin Paris then?" kind of thing.
Well, that's a thing of the past. It's all about the brats now, even more so than before. And I've been relegated to the ranks of spinstery, if a little eccentric, old aunts. It's not completely official, you understand, but I'd started noticing the oblique glances last time I saw everybody, so I can tell it'll be full-blown next time I'm home. For Christmas, for instance. Ugh. Can't wait.
It's all right, though. I'd already started perverting my older niece (she's only eight, but compared to a one-week-old, she's older. Tough, but they gotta learn early. I may have to ask her soon if she's finally met someone.) with inappropriate language and songs, and last time I talked to her, I planted seeds for her to come visit without her mom so I could fully accomplish my life-mission. And I intend to do the exact same thing with the young one.
I'm evil.

20 octobre 2006

"My bed was shaking. I can't get to sleep."

For the love of all that is holy, please make the spinning stop!
It's like this. It's 6:00 am, and I've been awake for about an hour now. Don't believe what the time stamp says, it'll probably have taken me a very long time to write what's about to spew forth from my brain and build semi-coherent sentences with it.
Yes, I was out last night - on a school night, I know... naughty - and I think I'm still drunk. The problem though is I was in bed at around two, couldn't sleep for, like, ever, and now this.
No, I'm lying - which does fit in well with the whole 'Exorcist' theme, but whatever - the real problem is that when I woke up, over a whole HOUR ago, it felt like all my chakras were open and I had access to oodles of information I didn't even know existed, certainly didn't care about until that point anyway, and it was all there, accessible and ready, and it wouldn't stop tumbling the big empty expanse that is my skull at the best of times.
Wouldn't stop, that is, until I got up. Bastard information.
I'm holding on to this little revelation though: I want to marry Lemsip and have its yellow powdery children. The cold that has been making the cyberworld's headlines (please see this (through BoingBoing - in George Clooney's eternal words, "what else?") for other, often more interesting excuses) has come and - all together now, let's cross our virtual but industrious little fingers - gone in less than two days, all thanks to Lemsip. I love you, Lemsip.
See, if I was a TV show host, I'd be in supply for the rest of my life now. Damn the unfairness of it all.
Unless it was the wine last night, in which case, fine, wine, I want to marry you and have your yellowred velvety liquid children. Now, if I was a TV show host, would I receive cases of wine from grateful winegrowers? See, this is probably information that was readily available to me before I got up.

It's going to be one very, very long day.

18 octobre 2006

Got plans?

Now you do.
Wednesday next, be in Paris. One of my friends is playing his very funky* music at 9 Billards, in the 11th arrondissement. And it's free. So really, you have no reason whatsoever not to splurge on that plane ticket you've been dying to book anyway.
(And I'll be taking names.)

Be There...

* Funky is a word I loosely use to describe any music I like. The words true musicians such as himself use are "
a rapper? A punker? Some electro-geek type? Or yet another French singer with a heavy debt to the late Serge Gainsbourg? The correct answer is probably: all of the above!"
There you have it (which apparently is my new favourite phrase).

15 octobre 2006

"Because there are heterosexual couples left"...

One wedding down, one to go.
Boy was I tempting fate with Friday's post - and not in a good way.
To recap. No hired job - just more assignments. No lottery win, which, I guess, makes it a net loss. And of course no man.
Although it must be that I'm too picky, because I almost scored on the way back from the wedding.
At 3:30 am—yeah, the dinner and party were fun. The wedding mass was lovely until the priest decided to go on an anti same-sex marriage (and probably not a little homophobic) rant, which did give me the title for this post, so I guess I should be grateful.
As I was saying... At 3:30 am, the taxi dropped me home, or, more precisely, outside of the ATM next door, because he was rather adamant that I pay him, the moneygrubbing bastard. When I came back to his window in order for my newly acquired cash to change hands before I could get too attached, a man was already hopping in back, about which fact the driver was surprisingly none too happy. Apparently deciding that walking was better than having to hear the driver's griping, however, the man left the car. As I was crossing the street, he approached me, preceded by his perfume, a pungent mix of his own B.O. and, I assumed, the two kegs of beer he'd drunk —so far?— that night. He then proceeded to talk to me, which made me up my estimate. Make it three kegs then.
"Ma'am?"
"Yes?" I replied calmly, while frantically wondering inside how in the world I could ever fend off the inevitable request for my purse.
"Can I go home with you?"
How irresistible can I get? It's anyone's guess.

13 octobre 2006

Finally...!

I'm about to sign a contract for the job I always wanted.
Also, I'm meeting someone tonight.
My lonely jobless days are finally over.
And if my calculations are right, the lottery is mine, mine, MINE, mwahaha!

It's Friday the 13th, people. Surely today, luck will be on my side, no?

10 octobre 2006

The fly in the ointment

Not the one I killed, though - there's that to be thankful for, I guess.
It's a funny thing. You know how I'm slowly getting ready to be a successful freelance translator in Paris, seeing as I can't get a job as a staff translator anywhere else... I'm not exactly looking for assignments - because looking for a job is a full-time one, isn't it... - but when I'm phoned, I'll usually choose to accept my mission.
If we are to believe the weather forecasts, today was the one day of beautiful weather that we are going to get this week. And I don't care that that sentence shows appalling syntax. Nobody wants me as a translator, they're certainly not going to hire me as a copy-editor, are they? Well then.
So today being the beautiful, sunny, warm day that it was, I decided I was going to enjoy the city in the crisp (whatever) and not, oh no, sprawl on my couch and watch whatever crap the telly was showing while pondering the various vicissitudes of my life-changing decisions that have, so far, led to my simply trebling my consumption of chocolate, but not much else.
Now. What was I talking about. Oh yes. So I was getting ready to go out and enjoy life without a proper job like everybody else in the same situation does, when suddenly - ta da - the phone rang. A job.
The way I figure it is this. If I accept translations, I get to exercise my brain a little - and lord knows that's a luxury I certainly can't afford to forgo - while earning a little money, and I get to watch televised crap, since I'm working from home. Almost the best of both worlds, isn't it?
Now, of course, in this particular case, by the time I finish the job and hand it in, Noah will be coming back in a foul mood, hollering something like "Couldn't you learn when I showed you the first time, you bunch of lame-ass shipbuilders?!"
So yeah. I can't remember what my point was when I started this, but there you have it anyway.

08 octobre 2006

Starting a family

Please don't let me reproduce.
The world's stupidest fly has taken up residence at my house. Seriously - the world's stupidest fly. It just keeps flying into me, even though I keep swatting at it, and it keeps missing the windows I leave
wide open for it.
It's also the world's most stubborn fly: it has decided to stay whatever I do to make it leave, force it to leave, cajole it into leaving, bash it effing head in (and boy is that hard to do...). It never dies, and it never leaves.
Not to mention it's a little scary at times. Sometimes it just hides for ages, and when I finally decide that it's probably left, it just zooms straight into me several times like I'm its personal Pearl Harbour.
Thing is, I'm probably perfect for it, as I suspect I'm the world stupidest fly owner. In fact, I suspect that my neighbours might have collectively come to that same conclusion after spotting me several times - through the wide open windows - flailing my arms at very odd angles, trying, with
words I didn't even know I had in me, to discourage the fly from moving in, using blankets or magazines as my weapon of choice.
The problem is, that cretin is kind of endearing, the same way you expect a huge and slightly retarded man to be extremely clumsy hence annoying, but well, you get used to him bruising your arms and back because he wants to hug you by surprise.
I'm not making the least bit of sense, am I... See? Perfect owner for the world's stupidest fly.
It did take me four days to kill it, after all.

05 octobre 2006

Oops, I did it again...

Yeah, I'm nothing if not repetitive.
Something's wrong with me. We're not on the job-hunting front anymore, here, although predictably, the above-mentioned (below? logic dictates 'below'. Screw logic, I say.) people did not call back, but I'm past caring that something might be wrong with them too...
We - and by we, I mean I, because that is the beauty of the blog: you cannot interrupt me - are talking about my complete, utter and shameless lack of sense of direction. So I'm a girl, what can I do.
Thing is, I would expect a little help from the powers that be, and in Paris, they would be the metro and train people. Well, they're not helping, and so I get lost. A lot. It's gotten to such a point that I suspect that one day, I will just stop even trying to find my way around the maze that is Paris transport system and will just be seen here or there, depending on my whim, dragging my worldly belongings behind me, trailing
wild hair (it already is wild and bloody unmanageable, that's a step in the right direction, no?), probably mumbling strings of profanities. And I cannot wait.
Talking of making the same mistakes again and again, a friend of mine was over for a couple of days, so we went for a stroll in the Père-Lachaise cemetery, because the weather was lovely. I was greeted there by the perfect opportunity for a photo. No batteries. My camera even refused to switch on.
And then there's this tiny quirk that I hate weddings - and I think I've made that clear in the past, to my friends as well. Nevertheless (yes, the crusade to save this beautiful word is still on), I have accepted two invitations. October is shaping up to be one incredibly good month.
Also. Grouching. Chances are I'll be doing even more of that for a while.

01 octobre 2006

Oops, I did it again...

It is entirely possible that I have finally cracked the secret to a successful job interview. Of course everybody had it cracked before me, but what can I say, I'm slow.
So, anyway, apparently the trick is not to give a fuck. In fact, the less you care about the job that you're being interviewed for, the more likely it is that you'll be seriously considered. And therein lies the rub, doesn't it. When, on the other hand, you do care about the position, you're such a sweaty mess of I-want-to-please-everyone neuroses that no one in their right mind would be prepared to hire you.
So. How to show you don't care?
I'm going to just go ahead and take me as a shining example of what to do - or not as the case may be.
The first time I didn't care, I just went there and we both established that I shouldn't even have come. So far so good...
Then I went for a job that I actually wanted, and ten months on, I'm willing to bet a nice chunk of my next salary that my ex future potential employers are still laughing about me, over there in that country that is never getting named here again.
The second time I didn't care about a job, I went and actually said "I'm here because the job office forced me but I'm being considered for a job in a country that I vowed never to blah blah blah, and honestly, I'd rather go there than come here". They phoned me a couple days later to say that if the country-that-blah-blah-blah were to change its f#@king mind, they were very interested. Have you no self-respect, people?
And on Friday, I had an interview for a job that I do not, do not, repeat do not, want. I arrived late - like twenty minutes late -, I'm pretty sure I visibly zoned out several times during the interview (blame my sleep issues, but also? boooring...!) and I asked for more money than they'll ever be willing to give me. They're phoning me back tomorrow. Honestly, if they really do phone me, and if they make so much as a pretend effort to up the salary, I think I'm just going to take the money and run.
Because it's all well and good to have principles and to want to stick by them, but seriously, who gives a fuck?
Life... it just keeps getting better.

29 septembre 2006

hallelujah... or... is it?

Sleep and I are finally reunited. It's been a week now, and I can't keep my hands off it. I don't know how I could live without it so long, because it's the only thing I'm interested in right now. I wake up in the morning (in the morning! not 'several times at night'!) and I think of joining it again the following night. I go to bed in the evening, and I marvel at the softness of my sheets.
Yes, everything's better now and my sheets are softer. Sleep is magical like that.
So after a week of newly found bliss, I think we're good. We might even be in it for the long run.
Except sometimes, I wonder whether our relationship is healthy. I mean sometimes, it feels like if I'm doing anything else that is remotely boring, like, say, working, sleep will be the only thing I think of. That's a bit excessive, isn't it? Shouldn't I be thinking of chocolate every now and again?
And yesterday, I was watching 'The Meaning of Life', which, even though John Cleese hated it, is my favourite Python movie, and guess what. I fell asleep. Right in the middle of it. On my couch. Before M. Creosote's segment. And I even turned the volume down at some point during my sleep.
So now I'm a bit scared. Will I have to turn my whole life around to accommodate it? Will I have to give up everything that I care about because it cannot stand to not be the only one in my life? What if I don't and it leaves? Oh god. I'm going back to bed now.

27 septembre 2006

It's official

I am a great person.
Yes.

OK, so it's not really official, but I hereby proclaim that I am a great person, and surely that makes it official.

Also, I'm a very tired person. I suspect this explains that - or vice versa.

Also, after mulling this over for about 3 seconds, it transpires that I might not be quite that great after all.
Damnation.

Still, it's good to be deluded every now and again. Not only because in those deluded and delusional moments, one can believe in one's own greatness, but also because if one plays one's cards right and with a little help from one's friend, aka the right medication, one might believe in it forever.

It's difficult to sustain a sentence with "one" as a subject, isn't it. Yes.

God, I wish I could go back to bed.

24 septembre 2006

Content may be unsuitable for sensitive minds

My eye itches every now and again. When that happens, I usually rub it. As a rule of thumb (ta da...), I'll use my index finger. However, it sometimes strikes my fancy to use my pinky. Which, as is the case with everyone, I believe, is a lot smaller than my other fingers.
The other day, my eye was itchy. Fancy struck, so I rubbed it with my pinky.

Now is a good time for squeamish souls to look away.

The sneaky bastard slid right underneath my eyelid.

Now, those of you who didn't believe the title or subsequent warning, or believed both but thought that you could handle the truth, and went ahead and read anyway, if you found that was a leetle too close to information overload and went 'ewwwww', well, that'll teach you. But know that it reads a lot more icky than it actually felt.

Still. It did feel icky. Also unsettling. And, in Carrie Bradshaw's own slightly overused words, I couldn't help but wonder. Shouldn't my own pinky finger be grateful that I have use for it every now and again, instead of turning on me like that? Will the infernal cycle of death ever end?
Nah, don't answer that.

21 septembre 2006

Well, hello, sunshine

8:20 a.m., the phone rings, caller unknown. Now, class, what does this spell? Anyone? Anyone? Telemarketer. Or my mum, but she's learned not to call at such ridiculous times.
"hello my name is robert langdon* i work for bleuargh marketing company
* would you mind answering a couple questions this won't take long" (audible lack of punctuation.)
"(Chuckles (more like snorts) in an annoyed (and possibly annoying) way.) Er, yes, actually I do mind. No time, too early."
"OK, then I'll be quick. What do you think-'
"I'm hanging up now. Bye**."

Seriously.

* Names made up because I didn't think I would need them and they didn't register. Infuriating as it was, believe me, I wish I could spell both out.
** I also wish I would have been less polite.

19 septembre 2006

Oh. Good. God.

Yeah. Whatever, right?
Hmmm.

OK. I've calmed down a bit.
So. Who's in for a huge big hearty laugh straight from the belly?

You know the company that contacted me back in December, from a country that is never ever getting named on this site again? The company that made me take three tests, all of which I apparently passed? That made me sit two interviews, both of which were apparently conclusive? That, every time I called them, all the way to that country that is never getting named here again, told me that they were still very much interested in my application? That sort of offered me several cities to choose from? And that just dropped off the face of the bloody earth?

Yeah. Them.

They've just posted another job offer on a professional board.

Something is obviously not quite right with me, karma-wise.

17 septembre 2006

Brussels!

Yes, two weekends in a row, I know, deal with it.
And just so we're clear, I know it might be annoying for you, but you really do have to realise how much fun it was for me.
You may however take comfort in the fact that the weather was gorgeous only one day out of the two, that no excessive amount of beer was consumed, that no excessive amount of waffles was consumed, and that no amount of mussles or chocolate was consumed at all. We did make up for that seeming exercise in moderation with an orgy
of fat, there can be no other word, on Sunday. Even though the sausage, fries and churros were all organic so, really, healthy, right?
Still, I suppose that actually feeling your bloodflow slowing down is as good a sign as any that now is the time to start enjoying the car-free day and walk all over the city. And man, walk we did. And pictures were taken - not all of them good of course, but some even with people in them!
And then it was already time to go. Oh how time flies when you're having fun.
However, for some of us, the fun didn't quite stop in Brussels. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the really very pretty girl on the train for providing us with some mean-spirited entertainment as she slept, oblivious to the fact that we could almost see her tonsils, while we eagerly waited for either some healthy snoring or some light drooling. Unfortunately, neither came, but the suspense does make for a very short journey.

13 septembre 2006

Caution, self-linking ahead

Haven't talked about the building from hell for a while now, have I.
Changes are afoot in the landlords' council, or whatever this thing is called. I for one am going to escape this thing soon, although they don't know that yet. It's a matter of life or death, or sanity, or something equally important like that, you understand. I fear they're trying to do me in. In fact, I believe they have cunningly planned this so that I will do myself in and they'll be a bunch of happy bunnies frolicking over the ruins of...
Hmmm. To think I was so close to being certifiable, all they had to do was wait...
Anyway.
My neighbour - the infamous err-ing and emm-ing person - has stopped phoning, lord be praised for small blessings, but she's now taken to sending several emails in quick succession, most of which say the same thing.
Even though, to her credit, she doesn't spare her efforts for the building, this particular trend annoys the shit out of me. Call me quick-tempered.
My other neighbour, the previously cool guy, is making a mountain out of a molehill these days, and he's been calling everyone with the same quavering voice that I used on the electricity repair men. I'm obviously not about to swallow that particular line.
Back to my favourite neighbour of them all - the infamous err-ing and emm-ing person. She's found a new ally. And this new girl, wow, she just takes the cake. I'm not going to hold it against her that she plays trance music all day loud enough that I can sense the bass in the back of my throat, three floors up*, but she speaks in such a high-pitched tone that it's a wonder she's not being constantly followed by a pack of dogs howling at the moon. And the two of them together... well, wow, really.
In two weeks, we'll all be gathered in the one room. And there'll also be all the other neighbours. Good times.

* might be a slight exaggeration.

12 septembre 2006

London!

Extortionate prices - check.
Works complicating an already complicated underground network
- check.
A
very cute hotel receptionist, who looks so young that you wonder whether talking to him qualifies as statutory rape - check.
Blue skies and balmy temperatures the whole time - check.
Indecent amounts of money spent on all those good book and DVD deals - check.
Many a picture taken while my friend frowned at the silliness of most of them - check.
Reasonable amounts of beer consumed, all things considered - check.
Sore feet from all that walking - check.

Fish 'n' chips - not check.
Supermarket visit for day-to-day groceries - not check.
All the other books and DVDs that I had thought of - not check.
Buying those really very cool clothes in Camden Lock - not check.
Getting to talk more than fifteen seconds to that seriously charming guy at the restaurant on Friday evening - not check.

I'm just gonna have to go back soon, aren't I.

06 septembre 2006

Crossing over to the dark side

There is something deeply disturbing to waking up to absolute darkness, turning your head to check the time on your usually very bright digital clock, and being uncharacteristically met by more darkness.
Yeah, OK, maybe not deeply disturbing, but I was hoping it would sound cool, in an "oh my god, some guy invaded her home and slashed all the wires and he's probably wearing night-vision goggles now, which means he can see everything, oh god, is that a thread of dribble down her chin?!" kind of way.
Still, when you have a lot of words left to translate, a limited time to do it, and, in the immortal words of Derek Zoolander, all of "it's in the computer!", a block-wide power outage does tend to trigger a vague, but definite (is it antithetical to use 'vague' and 'definite' together?), sense of panic. Not to mention the fact that your kettle, microwave and stove
all being electric, lukewarm instant coffee with water straight from the tap is not an auspicious start to the day at the best of times.
Panic notwithstanding, however (is it pleonastic to use 'notwithstanding' and 'however' together?), a phone call to the power provider informed me - at 6:45 - that the A-Team of electric repairs was already on their way.
At 8:30, there was still no trace of Hannibal and his buddies. I began to wonder whether my deep-freeze was going to last long enough for them to find that shortcut that David Vincent was still looking for. I'm digressing a lot, today, aren't I.
When I finally spotted the blue vans, it was 9:30 and my blood pressure was at least twice that.
After they informed me that my computer and kettle would only be working again some time in the afternoon, I did something that I'm not very proud of. I looked at them all doe-eyed and,
with a very clear hint (is it...? never mind) of despair, said, "That's awful..." - slightly quavering lip - "I don't mean to be a pain" - apologetic smile - "but, you see, I work from home, and this... this..." - more quaver - "this is really bad for me" - I believe a tear glistened in the corner of my eye. Or maybe it was a glint of something darker, but we'll never be sure.
Anyway. At 11:30 a.m., I was switching my computer on.

05 septembre 2006

Reincarnation. It's a bitch.

There can be no other explanation for this... complete, blatant, and absolutely outrageous injustice that is my life. None.
You be the judge. Arrested Development is finally being shown on cable in France, on a channel that does not require paying too much money to get and that allows you to choose what language you want to watch (most) foreign (
read US. And, if you're really really lucky, British) programmes in. So far so good, I hear you mumble, what's she on about then?
Several things really. First off, I programmed my VCR - do NOT make fun of my technological challenges - to record the first evening as they were showing several episodes and a behind-the-scenes doc, and apparently forgot to select English as audio language. I say "apparently" because I know I did select it. It is clear to me that the cable decoder thingy just canceled my selection to spite me.
Second, checking on things about forty-five minutes into the recording
(which, considering there were three episodes that night, makes it half-way through, really...) I realised that this was going to be in French and, after much cursing, switched the languages, so that for five seconds, there's a big blue selection screen of concentration's death on Jason Bateman's face. That's a little annoying, but I guess in the grand scheme of annoying things, I can live with it.
Third, I then proceeded to watch said show, got 45 minutes of it in French and thought I was going to tear my own hair up and eat it
in protest, in true trichotillomaniac fashion, and then probably move on to someone else's toenail clippings - that's how bad it was.
I just don't get this. When they started showing Friends in France, there was an uproar at how bad the subtitles and voice-over were - you'd think they would have learned... No they didn't. Or they did, but thought they could fool us again. But, in George Bush's immortal words, "fool me once, shame on... shame on you...
If fooled, you can't get fooled again." Well, I have news for you. George Bush was wrong. We can. That dubbing is a shame, a shame!
Fourth, a couple days ago, in fact, I applied for a job, with a company somewhere in a country that will never ever be named on that here site again, that does exactly that: translate and subtitle and/or dub TV programmes. They didn't even think it fit to acknowledge my application. That country is seriously never being mentioned by name here any longer.
Fifth, you are not going to believe this. I was recording Some Like it Hot and The Misfits a while after that incident. I checked the recording. It's in English. Apparently, I learn from my mistakes. NO! NO, I DON'T! The blue screen of f#&@rhaaaaa#ing death stayed on for the whole first film and half of the second. What is wrong with my brain???
Honestly, whatever horrible, horrible things I did back then when I was a Pharaoh's whore or the lord of all that he surveyed, I certainly hope I had mucho fun and didn't care one bit for the
diseases or misery I was gleefully spreading. Because I'd hate to think I was paying for the quart of milk I stole once from my sovereign in the dark ages. That would seriously be adding insult to injury.

02 septembre 2006

White rabbit, white rabbit, my foot...*

Yes, this thing is slowly dying due to lack of care and general ill-treatment. Someone call the WSPCB before it's too late.
Thing is, I'm up to my eyebrows in work, and although it's actually a very enjoyable translation, I'm not exactly in the mood for more computer usage after my ten hours' grind every day.
However, due to the guilt that's been dogging me for a while, I'm using up precious minutes of my Saturday morning to try and come up with something remotely readable. Except it is Saturday morning, of course, so there's no way that would ever happen.
Admit it though, I had almost fooled you into believing it.

In other, interesting news, Carl V. has started a... thing, to needle us slackers into reading a little more. It's not exactly a contest, more of a challenge sort of thing - duh, it's in the title: The R.I.P. Challenge.
Right. Anyway. Pick a list of five books that you feel embody the spirit of Halloween in some way ("
gothic, scary, moody, atmospheric stories", he says) (let him know in his comments once you have) and try to read them. Preferably before Halloween, but who cares as long as you read them.
Here's mine then:
- The Moonstone, because I loved that book, and I'll take any excuse to reread it.
- Frankenstein, because I hated that book, but I'm willing to give it a second chance, and I think that is mighty good of me.
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories, because it's been so long since I read that book that I can't actually remember it.
- The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings, because I still haven't read any Poe - don't hold it against me, I knew not what I was (not) doing.
- The Lord of the Rings, because, having neither read the books nor seen the movies (I just heard your collective gasp. I haven't seen Titanic either. There.), now is as good a time as any to commit to it, innit?!
- And if one of those (probably Frankenstein, I guess) really doesn't do it for me, I'll switch to The Hound of the Baskervilles. This I'm sure I liked and would enjoy again.
And now, as Alice's long-eared companion once famously said, "Oh, my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!" In fact, I might re-read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland too.

* Yes, I started this yesterday. But look how beautifully it ties in with the end. I'm so clever.

Edit
- Oh dear. I'd forgotten Wuthering Heights. Yeah, well, it's not scary, but surely it's
gothic, moody and atmospheric, right? And the Stanley Kowalski-esque 'Cathyyyyyys'? Or is it the Heathcliffesque 'Stellas'? Hmmm. Think of the possibilities had those four ever douple-dated. But I digress.

27 août 2006

"Lonely Moon" short-story contribution

As soon as he came to, Rafe started screaming for help. He yelled until his throat was raw, until his voice cracked, until he had no voice left. Fear was making him sick.
How long had he been out? How late was it?
He knew he’d hurt his leg when he’d fallen down the hole, but he didn’t dare reach down to find out how bad - as long as he couldn’t feel anything from the knee down, then he couldn’t feel the pain either, and that suited him fine.
He tried to sit up, but it felt like his bone was tearing his leg open and the pain was suddenly blinding, so horrible that he couldn’t remember hurting so bad, ever. He screamed and sobbed for his parents, his voice miraculously brought back by the sudden need for his mom’s warm touch, for his dad’s stern talking-to. How many times had they warned him not to wander out after sunset, and never behind the barn where the ground was known to be treacherous?
How could he have been stupid enough to do it on the one evening his parents were out? Would they ever forgive him?
Please God, please. Please let my parents come back and find me. Please God. I’ll never do it again. Please God. I’ll be good. Please God.
Still sobbing, he looked up through the opening, willing the clouds to move away from the moon. Surely, that would make it easier for God to hear.

Jason's blog here.
Competition rules here.

24 août 2006

The use of brackets may not necessarily add clarity.

Let's see if this works... Yeah, the words do appear and they seem to make sense.
Hmmm. Not so much apparently, I typed "to make to make" and it took me a while before I realized that I was not, in fact, drunk and seeing things double, they were double.
A-a-nyway. Things are just a little bit hectic these days, and I'm not good when things are hectic. I tend to not write anything because well, things are hectic, and I am tired - even though, ironically, as things are hectic, the days are filled to the brim with hilarious events (deciding to take on a huge big long translation from a language I hardly ever use anymore), non-events (deciding not to take on a shortish translation from a language I almost use everyday), missed events (meeting with Colin Jackson - yeah, not really missed, and not really an actual event for that matter, but I'm hoping he'll google himself and land on this site one day), almost missed events (meeting with Terri and her husband and taking three hours to get there when it really should have taken half that time), stupid decisions (volunteering for an international sports event), etc., so it would be just the perfect time to try my funny writing bone, wouldn't it...
(how they would fare in the retelling is another matter but hilarious they were. I guess you'd have had to be there...)
Life's unfair, innit. Oh. Well.

In other, real news, Jason at Clarity of Night is staging another short fiction contest, so I suggest you go have a look-see and maybe even contribute.

13 août 2006

Salut les p'tits clous

That is one reference that none of you will get (unless you were growing up in France in the mid-eighties? I didn't think so), but I like to retain some mystery. Ha. Ha. Ha.

The meme monster has struck again, this time through Nome, who is apparently curious as to my musical tastes. She'd better gear up for a nasty shock - I'm hoping she'll be fine once she's read the answers. But she might need every help she can get, I'm counting on you.
Rules:
Post your top ten artists, the first song you heard by them, the one that made you fall in love with them, and your current favorite.

Riiight...
Numero Uno - Dean Martin. He gets first place even though I hardly listen to him anymore, but he had such an impact on so many things... First song I heard was probably Everybody Loves Somebody. The one that made me fall in love was probably Things, or Corrine, Corrina. Or Houston. Yeah, probably Houston, in fact. King of the Road? Hmmm, maybe... Anyway. My current favorite would be Hey Brother Pour the Wine, or Sway.
Living Colour. First song was a whole tape, in fact (yeah, that far back...), Pride. The one that made me fall in love (although the love of my at-the-time life made me discover them, so I was pretty much going to love them all anyway... I'm a lot harder to convince these days.) was Solace of You, and my current favorite is Love Rears Its Ugly Head (Soulpower Re-Mix).
Let's face it, I'll never make it to ten. I might copy Fence and stop at five.
The Beatles. The first song I heard was probably
Girl, in school, when we started studying English. The one that made me fall in love would have to be Drive My Car, and my current favorite is definitely Come Together. Definitely.
Queens of the Stone Age. That's really all because of one song, conveniently the first one I heard, the one that made me fall in love with them, and my current favorite: Burn the Witch.
Four? Hmmm...
M. Yes, he's a singer. A French singer, ooh, ooh... Some of them are good, let it be known. First song I heard must have been the same one as everyone else in France, Machistador. It's also the one that made most fans fall in love with his peculiar style (can "peculiar" be used when reviewing a singer? Do you call that "reviewing"? Well then.). My current favorite, not sure... Qui de nous deux, maybe.
Camille Bazbaz. Also French. Very cool, slightly eroticizing, a mix of French variété and reggae, and, and, and... First song I heard, Sur le bout de la langue. Song that made me fall in love with him, Tutto va bene, and current favorite Souviens-toi.
And, ex-aequo for the rest of the rankings, Fishbone, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cream, The Little Rabbits, Nappy Roots, Death Cab For Cutie, OMD, Spoon, etc., etc., etc.
Etc.
My problem is I don't really go for artists, more for tunes. I know, I know, I know. But that's the way I do it.

By the way, lots of these could help you find the answers to the musical quiz. Just sayin'.

10 août 2006

I'm drunk on power and melon juice.

Really more on melon juice than on power, but what can I say, it sounded good. Didn't it? Didn't it?
The power trip, if you really must know, came from my monthly walk to the post-office. August being what it is, it was almost empty: there was one person ahead of me in the queue. Now, that's really unheard of. Typically of course, there were more people manning the counters than at peak hours during the proper working months, when the lines are two or three folds deep, but who would I be to complain? Yeah, don't answer that.
So there I was, not believing my luck that this was really going to be that quick and painless.
Well it wasn't.
Two guys turned up behind me, waving frantically at the woman I was just. about. to go up to, going "you just phoned me?" in stereo, and advanced triumphantly to the spot that was rightfully mine, after a token 'sorry'. The woman at the counter apologized, saying something about parcels, bla bla bla, but they were kinda cute, and I was in a good mood. I smiled it off.
That unsettled her deeply, I could tell.
When it was finally my turn, she apologized again. Gave me my stamps, took my letters, apologized again, offered pre-stamped envelopes, which I turned down, apologized again, thanked me for my change, apologized again, and wished me a good day.
Those four-inch high shoes are working like I would never have believed.
Now, the melon. Well, it was very ripe. I suspect I'm on a sugar high. Thank god I've kicked off my shoes, or I'd be hitting the ceiling right now.

09 août 2006

An idle brain is the devil's workshop

Ever noticed how, in the morass of set sentences that people will throw at you when they're at a loss as to what to say, one will shine through that is at least half-true? And how, if you look closely, this sentence may not, in fact, make sense?
Take my personal favorite
for instance: "it's when you're not looking that you'll find it". Wrong! If I'm not looking, I'll just miss it, won't I?!
Or "the sun always shines after the rain" - tell that to Noah. The guy had to endure 40 days of unrelenting rain, and what for? He was the one left to scoop up all the happy couples' poop after that. I'm pretty sure he'd beg to differ.
Oooh, oooh, and "where there's a will, there's a way". Now. I wonder how no one (or if someone, for that matter) has ever used that one to justify rape, fraud, murder...
OK, I'll stop here. But you see? Three examples - and they do say that good things come in threes. And right there, we reach the crux of my quibble. Because they're not always good, those threes. I very much wish they were, though, because two of my friends whose lives had already taken a turn for the better have just recently found a job, and it would be much appreciated - very. much appreciated - if I made up the third part of that decent threesome. But previous experience tells me that a third friend will phone soon to let me know that they too are on their way to professional happiness.
Anyway. I do sense a pattern of threes these days. Like the number of bills I have to pay, or the number of films I've seen in the past three days (oh my god. two threes in one sentence?!), or the number of people I've seen picking their nose, for example. So there was the lady on the train the other day, and some undetermined person (surely there was some undetermined person, there's always an undetermined person picking their nose somewhere), but the one that will stay with me for a while is the guy on the street yesterday. He was being so thorough at it that I almost patted him on the back in congratulation when finally, after a couple of unsatisfactory forays up his sinuses, he was happy with what his finger had excavated. Definitely, for him, third time was lucky.

07 août 2006

Poll time

Dear [insert name of potential boss here],

After reading your ad on [insert name of job forum here], I would like to submit my resume for your consideration, even though I'm not sure it will help my cause: it will tell you that I'm an English-French translator, hence that I should be able to write - who knows, though... -, but it won't really mention my passion for all things cinema, American or otherwise. Similarly, it won't mention that I'm a contributor on a collective blog about Paris, for a Britain-based readership (Voice of a City Paris*, if you want some writing samples). And of course, there is the conspicuous absence of any experience in production.

Having no precise idea of what this internship covers, it's difficult for me to say that I'm the best candidate for the job, but hey, it's worth a try: I'm the best candidate for the job, and I really hope that you will consider my application.

So... you think it would fly?

*Notice the clever plug...

04 août 2006

i'm sorry - it's what?

August. We're in August.
I know we've been in August for a couple days, thank you, but I've only just realized exactly what it implies.
Paris is now deep in estination* (same as hibernation, except in the summer, and don't look it up, i don't think that word exists.) - half the shops are closed, half the people are gone, strangely though, the metros are as packed as ever. Also, it's cold. It took less than a week to go from sweltering to slightly chilly.
I wish that fifty
years ago we'd all decided that body odors were something we could all deal with and that we'd collectively agreed to stink to high heavens, instead of using those CFC-filled cans of deodorant - the seasonal divide would be a little more reliable.
Whatever. Even though it takes the bulk of this post, I'm not here to talk about the weather. There are much more important issues at stake. What am I going to wear when this translation is over and I have to face the outside world, for instance - because it's hard to dress in this weather. Damn. Again about the weather. I'm turning British.
More importantly though, I'm wondering how time can fly by so quickly that my whole life will be over before I can say "where the hell did all the time and fun and games go that I can't even tell where the hell they did go question mark question mark question mark, and exclamation mark for good measure".
Seriously.

* estivation. there. that's the proper word.

02 août 2006

Acting rich isn't all it's cracked up to be...

So I'm still as sane as I was before - or no more insane than... you get the gist.
And you know why? Because this is the first class that I had to deal with on my trip back: no fancy lamp on/in the head rest, hardly any leg room, a bit of tomato stuck between the window and the air vent... Second class, then, except cheaper.
I'm seriously considering asking for reimbursement.
Also. If you think that rich people act better, I have news for you. They pick their noses in public like the best of us beggars.
Now... when I say I'm no more insane than last week, I might be stretching the truth a bit. I actually lost the remainder of my marbles due to the very deliberate attack of a dragonfly, aided and abetted by a mammoth moth. Yes, they were ganging up on me, I could tell, stop it!
Now... when I say "attack", I might also be stretching the truth ever so slightly. Still. There was definite waiting. For me. For the right time to pounce. For the right area of flesh to be attainable for easy biting. I suspect that if my dad hadn't come back and killed them both ruthlessly to save me, I wouldn't be writing this. I'd be wearing a nice padded jacket, arms firmly folded against my chest, eyes rolling wildly, mixing profanities and high-pitched shrieks with the skill of a very experienced DJ, while a tiny but growing thread of spittle glistening in the glare of the neon light would finally justify the title of this blog.
But hey. They're dead, and I'm still loose. Acting rich mightn't be all it's cracked up to be, but it sure beats acting sane.

27 juillet 2006

The wonders of balance

My going to my parents' place for a few days today has led to a strange experience of how good and bad can balance each other out quite unexpectedly.
I realized this morning with shock, horror, frustration that I was not, in fact, coming back on Monday, as I'd been telling everyone for a week, but on Tuesday. Evening. That may seem like a trifle to you, but you haven't lived with my parents (whom I love dearly, please discard that hate-mail draft now, thank you). To me who has, though, one more day means I am as yet uncertain to come back sane.
And I wondered for a few hours how I could have made such a rookie mistake. I have, after all, been going back to my folks' for a limited period for about 15 years now, I should be used to planning those breaks.
Well, it seems I'm not the creature of habit I feared I had become. Or else I slipped. Noooo, I didn't. The reason is this: train fare. It was apparently much cheaper to come back on Tuesday. And why was it that much cheaper? Because they had a promotion on first-class tickets. That's right, you plebeians. First-class tickets. And apparently I decided that dirt-cheap first-class tickets were
after all a good reason to sacrifice my sanity and that of my parents.
Boy was I right. I may be short but hey, more legroom is more legroom, right? Not to mention a chair that reclines at the lightest touch of a button, air-con, and no crying children (I suspect that children are altogether banned from first-class. If, after a lengthy investigation, it turns out that this is indeed the case, I'm never travelling anything else.), and a very small tiny wee lamp on the headrest - I wanted to dismantle the chair right there and take the lamp home. I might do that Tuesday. Especially if I need the stress relief.
To sum up, then, so far so good. I'm still as all there as I was yesterday - for now, and that's not setting the bar or the expectations too high, is it... - and I may have a new lamp.

26 juillet 2006

It's raining!

The wind, it very, very cool...! The thunder, it is scary...! The words, they are almost failing me...!
People are staring out their windows at this little miracle! Seriously, the way the tenants all around the yard have opened their windows to look out, you'd think a flying saucer was landing. I don't care, as long as the aliens are friendly and the flames from the engine thingies don't bring the temperature back up. I'm afraid to go to sleep, lest (lest... see what the cooling temperature is doing? I'm using "lest"!) I wake up, and the heat, it's back! (obviously, I'm not using "lest" properly, though. that's comforting.)
It was high time too, because you know how you've been complaining that the only thing I could talk about was the heat? Yeah you have, no use denying it. Well anyway. I was only talking about it. But some people, they were going mad from the heat. Mad, I say. Another couple of days like that, and Paris streets could have turned into something from Mad Max. In fact, some people sporting Tina Turner hair were already being spotted. Scary stuff.
I was at the supermarket yesterday, and Murphy's law being what it is, the queue I was in got held up because the till stopped working. It just stopped working. It was too hot, you see. Tills can get heatstrokes too, apparently. So we were waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and you know how tills are extremely rarely placed near the cool frozen food areas, but close to where the windows are, that let all the glaring sun in, and close to the exits, that let the four-letter word that starts with an h in every time somebody enters or leaves? Well, suffice to say, tempers were starting to flare. The cashier being an underage slave hired for the summer at a wage that would make Bangladesh jealous was evidently started to panick. I was tap-tapping on the conveyor belt with a close-to-hysterical grin plastered on my face. The man behind me was playing Joe Cool and cracking unfunny jokes every other second, and the older man behind him was being generally unpleasant while pretending to be joking. We were that close to tragedy. And then the till started up again.

All of which goes to show that sometimes,
in the nick of time, miracles do happen to good people.
So why haven't I heard from those two (or three companies) yet? Nah, don't answer that.
The rain, it has stopped...

25 juillet 2006

This summer just isn't pleasant

And no, I'm not just talking about the heat. Although I could. But I'll spare you: my fan is working! How to confuse an already confused left-hander? Invert the screwing directions. That's really all it takes. But I made it! Granted, the fan makes slightly worrying sounds every now and then, but I'm hoping that if it falls apart while in operation, the blades will lose velocity before they attack my neck in a Piranha II - The spawning fashion. Although, as freak accidents happening to single gals go, that probably is way cooler than being eaten by your own cat because it's unexpectedly turned feral.
Anyway.
Tell me one thing, am I missing something here, is it the new "in" thing to do to start a recruitment process and drop off the face of the earth once you got the unsuspecting applicant's hopes up? How can a hiring company that made you take a test and an interview (or several) not even answer an email? How can a hiring company not answer two emails, for that matter? Is there some sort of etiquette that I'm royally screwing with when I send said emails?
I don't mind them telling me I'm not good enough (obviously that's a lie, I'd mind that very much. very much indeed.) (plus it'd be blatantly untrue. I am good enough. I say so.), but I certainly do mind them not having the courtesy to answer.
So that's two companies so far - in two different (albeit neighbouring) countries. Maybe I should take the hint, stop looking and resign myself to a life of misery here, but that is, in fact, not an option.
Oh I so want to be a drama queen right now, and start wailing that life is hard, unfair, and generally just very very unpleasant, but truth be told, it's much more rewarding to do that out loud. I can screw up my face, start sobbing, make loud blubbering noises and complain that nobody understands just how hard I have it. Also I seem to prefer doing this in French. Man, you are one lucky, lucky bunch of people, aren't you.
Also.
Oh yes. That big huge company that I was talking about the other day - tough luck if you don't remember - aw, all right, let me refresh your memory: they're big and huge and they're looking for my type of person - well, they're still looking. Except now their system won't even take my umpteenth application, because I've already applied.
Honestly. How do you type out the sound of an ear-splitting sob and accompanying blubbering noises again?

22 juillet 2006

It's the weekend and I've homework

Fence, bless her cheeky yet oblivious little soul, has tagged me.
Let's get straight to it.

I am thinking about
the heat. It's pervasive.

I said
"bloody children" when they woke me up at way too early *cough nine cough* this morning.

I want to
live in my fridge (the heat, it's pervasive - have I said that already?)

I wish
I could unscrew the blade cap on my newly bought fan. Because until I do, I can't use my newly bought fan. And if I can't use my newly bought fan, then I will keep thinking about the heat.

I hear
hammering. Several people have chosen the height of summer to redo their flats. It's fun.

I regret
not telling some people that they (had) mattered.

I am
what I am.

I dance
like there's no tomorrow. You know, depending on the shoes, the music, the atmosphere, the weather, and all...

I sing
on the PlayStation karaoke thingy. Once. I was a Young Talent. Yes I was.

I cry
like there's no tomorrow. You know, depending on... not much, really.

I am not always
that boring. Or maybe I am. I'll blame the heat anyway.

I make with my hands
not a lot. DIY is not my forte. Cooking? Does that count?

I write
hardly anymore. But I type a lot.

I confuse
"we'll be in touch with you next week" with an actual commitment to mail me next week, hence...

I need
someone who will really be in touch with me next week, preferably with a job offer.

And finally
I don't know. It's still as hot as it was fifteen minutes ago?

You know I don't tag, but I trust you'll let us know in the comments if you decide to play, yes?

18 juillet 2006

Also.

Don't get me started on the mosquitoes. For some reason, those little suckers seem to think that the fact that I'm leaving my windows open come evening - because, again, it's hot! - even though I know better than to switch my lamps on, is their cue to come in and perch on the ceiling, way out of my reach, threatening my sleep with their buzzing sound and their sucking little mouths, and no, none of this is a good sign.
And don't get me started on my neighbours either, who think that because it's hot, they're allowed to run around their homes buck-naked with their windows open and their own lights on.
And now that you have got me started on both, explain this to me. Why do the mosquitoes choose me over said neighbours?

Oh, yeah - and they want us to jump today. Aye right. Fat chance of that happening, I'm telling you.

OK. This is going too far.

Up the mercury thingamajig, that is.
It's so hot in Paris right now that even the inside of my flip-flops is hot.
Whoa. I was going to write "the inside of my thongs" and realized in the nick of time just how horribly wrong that whole thing could have gone.
I kid you not, though. My flip-flops are hot. And walking bare foot is not an option, even though part of the floor is tiles, because I'm slightly afraid I'll catch
bilharziasis. Yes, my floor is dirty as Harry before he told a punk to go ahead, make his day, and redeemed himself forever. (Or after he did? I don't know. It's too hot.) And let's be frank here, I'm not going to risk a heat stroke by those temperatures by cleaning and wasting precious energy. Even though a close encounter of the fireman kind might do wonders for my social life - which is not a given considering the hygienic standards I've set here - the rise in temperature that would ineluctably follow my meeting a fireman would probably kill me. Which would, in fact, ruin any wonders that my social life might have briefly enjoyed. I hope you understood that particular sentence, because I'm not seeing the end of my thought process, and I'm not sure I could explain.
All kidding aside, life is hard here, I hope you realize that. So hard in fact, that I'm thinking of switching my entire diet (understand that to mean my feeding habit, not my starving myself in order to become more presentable. I've entirely given up on that.) to diet soda (OK, not entirely), ice-cream (told you) and ice cold melons and cantaloupes (just because when they're really really ripe, they're like healthy candy).
I haven't got air-con, I haven't got a fan, I haven't got a muscular man to fan me non-stop with a freshly cut banana leaf, and my freezer cannot make enough ice cubes for me to wait for fall in my bathtub. I'm screwed.

14 juillet 2006

The weekend's here, and it shows

Hello, all of you people coming from your favorite search engine looking for "Zidane apology".
You're not going to find it here
, I'm afraid (although I can point you to a civilized debate there), but we do have a few songs that remain to be named, a couple of posts below. The two are completely unrelated, I'll grant you that. But the songs are there, and they're titleless, you can't deny that, can you, and no amount of video refereeing will ever change that, will it? Unless... you give me answers, that is.

Today's the 14th of July. Fireworks, firemen, drinks, etc. More importantly (more important than firemen? Who am I kidding...), it means that most shops will probably be closed, hence that I'm severely screwed: I said I would bring a homemade dessert to a friend's dinner tonight, but I don't even have eggs. Which means I'll probably be running around like a headless chicken trying to think of what to do, what to do, until I give up, buy a bakery cake (hopefully, bakeries will be open), and pretend I've made it myself.

There was something else, but I can't remember now. All I know is that some birds should be killed. The loud ones. In public, so they set an example for the rest of the avian population. Maybe with a couple of my neighbors, just to be on the safe side.

12 juillet 2006

One of these days these shoes are gonna walk all over me

I bought new shoes not long ago. I don't know, it was the sales, and I just splurged, shoes being only one of many items that I bought that day. And just to finish on this consumerist note, it felt good. Being self-employed is nice, but considering I'm not actively looking for gigs while I look for a job overseas (I blame a rare case of ADD), my finances aren't all that healthy. So going shopping felt extremely good.
Now to the real problem though... It is thus, people: I can't walk in these shoes. It's been a good few years since I last willingly wore heely shoes, and those, well... let's just say that I'm 5'3", and yet, with those on, I'm tall enough that I could apply to be an airline stewardess. Much like a straight drag-queen without the make-up, then.
I'm seeing things I never saw before, it's giving me a new perspective on life, trees, normal-height people... I'm dreading the moment when it gives me a new perspective on street surfaces. Although I guess I would then be that much closer to being a made-up wannabe drag-queen, and it would give me an excuse to go see my osteopath, so that would be nice. Oh wow, almost a win-win situation...
The way I look at it, though, is I'm giving many a girl a chance to get their own back on all those times when I laughed cruelly at their obvious lack of skills in the "walking in heels" department. And I guess that's just proof positive of my own total lack of self.

11 juillet 2006

Everybody else is doing it...

... and it's not like I'm bursting with things to say...

OK. Dennis!, Alan, Fence, and ForgottenMachine have done their version. Crushed by peer pressure, I am now doing mine. Needless to say, I sucked eggs at that game, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't play...

Now for the rules: I shuffle-played (making up words, me? Shut up, Sue Ellen, you're drunk.) my mp3 music and posted the first line of the first 25 songs that popped up (discarding any really obvious ones where the title is in the first line, and only using the first one by each different artist). You lucky lucky buggers get to guess what songs (and artists) they are.
Correct guesses will be credited as soon as... I want to credit them. Check the comments if they aren't yet, what can I say.
NO GOOGLING, NO PRIZES (except for my endless admiration).
Right. Without further ado...
Oh, and NO CRITICIZING my shitty/easy/oldies tastes, thank you.
OK, here we go.
Oh no, one last thing. Some of those I didn't look up, the lyrics might be slightly off. Tough.

1. When I was a little girl, I had a ragdoll, only doll I ever owned - Fence has the artist, Tina Turner, we still need the title Ady has the title River Deep, Mountain High
2. She packed my bag last night pre-flight - Rocket Man (Elton John), Ben O.
3. Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly - Come Together (The Beatles),
Ben O.
4. Oh let the sun beat down upon my face - Kashmir (Led Zeppelin), ForgottenMachine

5. Don't you know that I'll be around to guide you

6. Maybe you remember, maybe you're locked away

[Depuis tout' petite, t'es très sympathique]

7. I could be loud man, I could be silent - Zebra (The John Butler Trio)
, ForgottenMachine

8. For millions of years, in millions of homes

9. Ready for action, nip it in the bud

10. I was working part time in a five-and-dime - Raspberry Beret (Prince), Ady
11. With your feet in the air and your head on the ground - Where Is My Mind (The Pixies)
, ForgottenMachine

[Quand j'étais petit, j'étais un jedi]

12. Yo, I snuck a dollar out my momma purse, headed for that juice joint

13. I always thought that our relationship was cool

14. It's getting near dawn - Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
, ForgottenMachine
15. It was 100 degrees as we sat beneath a willow tree - Crooked Teeth (Death Cab for Cutie), ForgottenMachine

16. Pull me close look into my eyes

17. Well I'm saving some mystery for a gold-shackled bed

18. Don't ask me what you know is true - Never Tear Us Apart
(not the original, who then?), Ben O.

19. I feel a boom and a bang beating in my broken heart

20. Waiting for the last time for my friend to change my mind

21. Son, she said, have I got a little story for you - Alive (Pearl Jam)
, Ben O.

[D'quelle imagination ça sort, la chose qui balance ses trésors]

22. This is just the basic, this is not the best

23. Oh we're drinking and we're dancing and the band is really happening - Closing Time (Leonard Cohen), Jen
[enta alakE kinnerasaani maavanI cherE allarI maani]
24. Holding hands, skipping like a stone - Burn the Witch (Queens of the Stone Age)
, ForgottenMachine
[Sous mes doigts il y avait ta peau]
25. Ahhh see, right see the thing that's got it all fucked up now is camera-phones - When You Wasn't Famous (The Streets), Fence

And those of you who may know French (or otherwise foreign) songs get more chances to make fools or heroes of themselves (in the fancy brackets).