Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gone Fishin'!

Metaphorically speaking anyway.

After an absolutely exhausting weekend that started with shooting bows and arrows with 10 French dudes, followed by margaritas and shots at a "latin" bar, and then ended with a pulled Gluteus medius that left me utterly incapacitated for 72 hours.....I need a break.

Tomorrow we're leaving for a 4-day get-away to London. (Good thing I can actually walk now!) And I won't be back here to blog for at least a week---Maybe 10 days....at which point I will tell you all about the bows and arrows and the Margaritas. And perhaps by then I will have solved the mystery of how I broke one of my ass muscles.

p.s. What the hell is there to do in London?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Two Days in Paris.

Last Thursday and Friday I had the pleasure of going to Paris to do yet another round of gallery research. As research goes, this is about as fun as it gets. I'll admit, gallery hopping is my favorite sort of mixing business with pleasure. To make the trip even more pleasurable I met up with my fancy fashion designer friend Natale and adorable bébé Esmé who were up to the task of wandering around the Marais with me.

Paris Gallery hopping

After checking out abotu 15 mediocre galleries stocked with mediocre work, we all needed a drink. As luck would have it, Natale had been invited to a party Felipe Oilveira Baptista, who she did work for last year. We headed over to the Nike boatfor the AW77 party .....and for free champagne.

Nike boat AW77

Nat's husband Sebastien showed up wearing his Baptista t-shirt that Natale designed for the 2007 collection I believe.

Felipe Oliveira Baptista Nike Party3

After my first glass of champagne I started to have the weirdest feeling of Deja-vu. Suddenly of course it became clear to me. Fashion parties are exactly like Art Openings. All the usual suspects were there: Hipsters, trust-fund junkies, models & fashionistas, they were all there.

Felipe Oliveira Baptista Nike Party1

If everyone hadn't been speaking French I would have sworn we were schlepping it around Chelsea on a Thursday night. Fortunately bébé Esmé stole the show of course with her huge blue eyes and her adorable haute-couture fabric "poisson" bib, hand-made and designed by her fashion mommy of course.

Esme Fashionista

After my third glass of champagne I'd finally drank enough liquid courage to ask Felipe to autograph his book for me. He modestly obliged:

FOB autograph

Roughly translated:
"For K, I'll love you always the most beautiful in the world (after my wife)."

And I swear I didn't tell him what to write. OK, I did. But whatever. It was the champagne talkin'!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Those Crazy Frogs #12: Secret Sales!

So this weekend we did some work on the Barbie Dream House. We’ve been moved in for almost a year now, but we’ve never had "La cremaillere" housewarming party, because we haven’t really finished the décor. We still have bare walls (yeah, yeah, yeah, I should just hang my own paintings.) and a few rooms don’t even have lighting fixtures.

So Saturday we headed over to Leroy-Merlin to get a light for the living room ceiling. (Note to self: next time you build a house, just install spots everywhere. OK? Duh.) Luckily we stumbled upon a very modern set of 4 lights in inox that we liked, and there was a sign stating that it was 20% off that weekend. We skipped on over to the checkout line to pay. As soon as the cashier rung up the light we saw the problem. For whatever reason, it scanned at the regular price. We immediately pointed this out to the cashier and told her that the sign on the shelf stated there was a 20% discount. After a moment of confusion, she turned to us annoyed and said, and I quote: “Well that doesn’t tell me anything. It’s not in the system.”
I, being psycho American and all, immediately flew into a rage. I not so calmly explained to her that I don’t work at Leroy- Merlin, so I don’t know why the correct price is not in the system, and that she should call someone to find out ("You betta aaassk somebody!" ) because I had no intention of paying the full price.

Without another word, Cashier Bitch gets on the phone, quickly calls the department and gets the discount code. She then turns to FrenchBoy (completely avoiding eye contact with me) and apologizes and then explains that when certain items are discounted, you have to take the item off the shelf, find the department manager, then have said manager hand-write the discount code on a special form for you to take to the cashier. Of course none of this is indicated on the big-ass sign that they went through the trouble of printing and posting next to the product.

Aaaah Bravo!

And this, my friends, is a perfect example of both French customer service and efficiency. It’s not good enough to know about the sale, you have to know all the “secret” procedures involved to get it. And I just gotta ask-- why piss off a customer who is about to plop down a hefty amount of cash for an item, when you could just as easily fix the problem with a five second phone call? And last but not least. Why, oh Why, oh WHY WHY WHY wasn’t the sale entered into the f*cking system in the first place?

*deep sigh*

Did I mention how much I love living in France?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Month's Worth of Fancy lunches

Fancy Fusion2

French people hate Fusion food. Maybe it has something to do with their xenophobic suspicious culture or their absolute distain for change or anything new, but whatever the reason they like their recipes with a little dust on them. So the first time we went to Thierry, I knew it would take some time or FrenchBoy to warm up to the menu. I on the other-hand was about to do summersaults as soon as I started reading through the menu and saw the phrase “Wasabi Sauce”.

Fancy Fusion1

FrenchBoy of course was not convinced. His reason being that for the same price we could go to Pampre D’or and eat “real” French cuisine at a Michelin rated restaurant. The idea being that just because its traditional French food, it is immediately of higher quality.

A-ha! And there it is. “Real “ French food. Which is slightly problematic for all sorts of reasons. In fact I would argue that it’s just as problematic as describing what a “real” French person is. What is real French cuisine anyway? I’m not sure who gets to decide these things, but I often feel as though I live in the land of the food Nazis. “You can't possible serve this with that!” "Are you really going to drink that after you’ve eaten XYZ?”

Suddenly it makes sense. I’m not a huge fan of “real” French food because I’m not really French nor according to most, will I ever be “really” French. So technically it’s not that the French hate Fusion food, it seems they may very well hate all sorts of fusion in general.
Moving right along...
Last week we once again went out in search of a decent Chinese food restaurant. In general there aren't many, but finding one that is actually palateable has been even more difficult. For the last 5 years, whenever we've wanted good Asian food of any sort we've been forced to go to Luxembourg and pay an arm and both legs for it. And we have done so quite happily because we love good Chinese and Thai food. So this weekend we lucked out. I found a small little restaurant that had great food, good decor, friendly service, and a decent price. I forgot to take photos of our hot steamy food, but here is a photo of our cocktails, complete with jewelry!

fancy drinks

And last but not least, sometimes you just want a greasy cheeseburger and fries. Hence..


The Mc Fancy lunch!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why I Heart France Reason #11

I haven't done one of these posts in ages, so now seems like the perfect time since, It's that time of year again. Time for the Miss Mirabelle Pageant. You'll have to follow the link back to my original 2006 post if you need background info on what the pageant and celebrations are all about, because today in the right here and right now you are about to experience the loveliness that is the Mirabelle parade!

That's right. After living in Moselle for nearly 5 years, this year was the first time I actually went to the Mirabelle parade. The French in-laws drove into town just for the occasion, and that was all the impetus I needed to join in the festivities. French-father-in-law was so excited to go that you would have thought that Johnny Hallyday was performing.

Anyway, here are just a few low hi-lights from the parade:

There were marching bands.


Kids in costumes.


Hookers dressed like pirates.


Naked body-painted guys on stilts


And people in Black face.




Now, to be fair I should put the whole scene in context for you. The white people, who were dressed up as Africans were accompanying a float whose theme was Africa. (Why? We don't know.) On said float there were several real Africans (Whatever the hell that means.) joyfully playing drums.


Since the parade, I have had several discussions about the "Afrique" float --All of which have ended in ruckus laughter. The intellectual mind of course tries to understand why on earth you would dress a bunch of white people up as Africans. The only thing I could come up with is that perhaps the parade organizers couldn't find enough real people from Africa to participate. Lord knows my Black ass wouldn't be on that float playin' bongos. But then again as my husband often reminds me. "You're not African.". Hmmmm. And he has a point you know. Charlize Theron is technically more African than me. And while I'm off topic, I should state that what I find so interesting to contemplate is, why this type of costuming is considered totally playful and acceptable in France, but would surely cause a riot in the United States.

So, Why I Heart France Reason #11: White people dressed up as Black people.

While you're mulling all this over, please enjoy this video of a Big Blue Opera Singer!

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Last BBQ.

Well summer I officially over. I swear it only lasted 2 weeks! I hate that summers in France tend to fly by and that winter seems to last about 6 months. Weather-wise, this year was even worse than last year. This summer, each day was either scorching hot or pissing cold rain. The earth is clearly pissed off at us. But I digress as usual. This post is all about the end of summer.


Everyone is home from holiday; all the stores have re-opened after being closed for weeks on end for "congé été", and all the snotty French tadpoles went back to school on Tuesday! Now during the day I can open my windows without hearing their constant shrieks and laughter.

Ah, perhaps Le rentrée isn’t that bad after all.


I guess the thing I’ll miss the most is the summer food! Last weekend we held what is sure to be the last barbeque. Maybe it was the black billowing smoke, but I got tears in my eyes as I watched French-Father-in-law survey the fire. It’s simply too sad to think about how long I will have to wait until I can eat another properly grilled marguez.


But on a brighter note, as we waited for dinner to cook, we were lucky enough to catch a hot air balloon race!


How cool is that? Actually, I’m not sure if it was a race. From the ground they certainly don’t seem to be moving very fast, but they sure are purty!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ahhhhh! I'm Hearing Voices!

When I opened and then posted my email address I didn't really expect to get so much freakin' mail. Y'all are some chatty bastards! I'm kinda compulsive when it comes to returning emails so not to worry if I haven't replied to you yet I probably will...

Unless of course you're the creepy person that requested a pair of my underwear. No, I cannot oblige you. However if you happen to pass a Victoria's Secret please feel free to mail me a few pairs of black Body by Victoria Hip-huggers. On second thought, just save the money and use it to buy your Haldol.
Thanks and good luck with your psychosis.