Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That's a Wrap!

Well it's just after 8PM and Sarko has just finished giving his annual New Year's Eve address. This can only mean one thing: In a few hours, 2008 will be over, done with, and long gone.
I love the magic of New Year's Eve, but late December I do tend to get a case of the blues. Do you ever get that "not so content" feeling towards the end of the year?

As a natural born over-achiever, I tend to look back on the year and say to myself: "Crap, I wanted to get all this stuff done and I didn't even complete half of it." Like, what happened to all my New Year's resolutions I made last year? Why didn't I reach more of my personal and career goals? And most importantly, why am I not rich and famous yet?
So about two weeks ago in particular I was kinda having a really really miserable day. Aside from having a rather severe case of post-show blues (I had just finished the first weekend of my Christmas promo at the Artshop. More on that later.) I just couldn't shake this general feeling of lethargy and dissappointment.

It's so odd. I am thrilled with almost every aspect of my life, but when it comes to my career. I hold myself up to these insanely high standards, which of course only leads to dissapointment when I can't surpass the nearly impossible goals that I've set up for myself. It's a big doofus boobie-trap that leads to a downwards shame spiral that ends with me curling up on the sofa and eating like 30-40 chocolate cookies. The whole process makes about as much sense as me beating myself up for not being able to summit Mount Everest.

Luckily, art consultant extroardinaire Alyson Stansfield's end of the year Newsletter landed in my inbox just when I needed it.

She starts out:

"TIME OUT! Instead of thinking about what you still want to accomplish, consider acknowledging all you have done. Take time to write down your accomplishments for 2008."

So I did it. (With the help of this blog actually.) And I was amazed at how much I'd gotten done and how much I'd totally forgotten I'd done. So here's my list, I'm still adding to it, but it's a good start.

Art Accomplishments 2008

1. I did a much needed May website update.
2. I bought and started using new E-mail campaign software.
3. I bought two new database softwares for record & bookkeeping.
4. Added 100 people to my mailing list.
5. Spent time helping 3 artists with planning, ideas, for their careers.
6. Gave my first Artist lecture in French!
7. Met 4 local French journalists that lead to publications.
8. Met at least 10 artists from the local art community and did studio visits with several.
9. Got a new logo and letterhead. (Which I now kinda hate but whatever.)
10. Developed a concrete marketing plan for my work.
11. Researched and found 3 French galleries to introduce my work to.
12. Met a gallery that is interested in including my work in a group show.

13. Three- page article published in Liberator Magazine.

Liberator magazine cover

14. Full page in La Semaine Newspaper about myself and my work.
15. Work appeared in Nuevo Luz Magazine as part of New works award.


16. Exhibited new work from “The Girl Who Became an Eagle” series at La Galerie Culture Plastique.
17. Participated in La Foire Européenne Art Contemporain.

artist talk1

18. Exhibited 15 photographic works from the (Re)callng (Re)telling series at Taller Boricua Gallery in New York.


19. Had Two works accepted into Double Exposure: African Americans Before and Behind the Camera that opened at The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and will continue on to several museum and gallery venues until 2011.


20. Completed a series of commissioned hand-made books for the New York Foundation for the Arts.

21. Completed 10 new paintings specifically for La Foire Européenne Art Contemporain.


22. Completed a series of Gocco Screen prints: “I’ll Fly Away” and “Le Papillon Noir”.
23. Finished (Re)callng (Re)telling Photo series with the help of the En Foco New Work Photography Award.
24. Signed paperwork for two first edition prints of my photographs from the (Re)calling and (Re)telling Series to be acquisitioned into a Museum Permanent collection
25. Set up a Gallery share in downtown Metz with another artist.
26. Organized a very successful mail art exhibition at my new gallery space.

opening 003

27. Planned and organized Premier opening at my new gallery space.

28. Saw the Francis Bacon Show at the Tate Britain
29. Saw the Rothko show at the Tate Modern.
30. Went to Paris to see the Louise Bourgeois retrospective.
31. Saw the Traces of the Sacred show at the Pompidou Center Paris.
32. Attended the 2008 Fresh Meat Transgender and Queer Performance Festival in San Francisco.

San Francisco 116

33. Snuck into the San Francisco art institute to see the Diego Rivera mural.
34. Visited at least 20 galleries in Paris.

35. Organized and implemented a new studio set-up and bought new work/studio furniture.

new brushes

36. Invested in New brushes and amazing new brush wrack.
37. Cleaned and organized my sink working area and studio storage.
38. New File cabinet with organized hanging files.
39. Learned that getting up and dressed and keeping business hours makes me more productive than lounging around in my pajamas all day. DUH?
40. I learned that I cannot listen to music while I work. However listening to an audio book seems to help me concentrate.

Accomplishment of the year: (insert drum roll here.)

41. Finally, Finally, Finally, I have 2 complete shows worth of work, that I really love,
that are ready to rock and roll at ANY minute!

So that's that. The year 2008 didn't suck afterall. In fact it kinda rocked out. And on that note I'm gonna go get dressed so I can head out the door to go to my first French New Year's Eve party.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Enough Already!

I hate to say this, but I am so freakin’ happy that Christmas is over. I love to eat, but Christ on a cracker! ---This year the eating aspects of the Holiday were taken to an extreme. Of course no one force fed me, so I have no one to blame but myself. On the other hand, as far as gifts go, this year we streamlined. After last year’s gift extravaganza that resembled a wrapping paper and ribbon orgy, we decided to scale-back this year.

So, besides the 6 or 7 lbs I gained over the last week, I also got these 2 things for Christmas:

FrenchBoy snuck out and bought me a bottle of Hermèssence Rose Ikebana by Hermès. Whenever we go to a Hermès store to window lick, we beg the sales ladies to “spray us up” with the fancy perfumes. And sometimes they give you samples. (Note to anyone who likes free stuff: Go to Hermès and ask for samples. I think they are required by Hermès law to give them to you. Also, the samples are huge. By measurement, they are worth about 12 euros each and come in a mini version of the trademark orange box! So there ya go. Don’t say I never gave you nothin’.)

Gift#2 I bought for myself.



I found this little gem by Blue Finger Studios over at Etsy.

It’s a teeny tiny pendant made from a reclaimed Scrabble tile. It is so cute and little and perfect and it came with its own little silk necklace. I like it so much I may buy a few more as gifts in the coming year.

Anyway, that’s what I got.

What did y’all get (or give) for Christmas?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So Long Eartha Mae.

R.I.P. Eartha Kitt

January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why I Heart France Reason #13: "Ohhhhhh, Ooooh, OOOOH!”

Last night FrenchBoy and I were up late after treating ourselves to a little Christmas Eve Eve sushi dinner. I finally turned off my computer, put on my pajamas, and plopped myself down on the sofa to watch a bit of TV and possibly drift off to sleep. As soon I started flipping through the channels I knew it was going to be a tough task to find anything good to watch past midnight, so I immediately flipped over to the Sc-Fi channel. Much to my disappointment, there were no episodes of Deep Space 9; instead there was Alien Sex Attack 3.

I heart France: Reason #13: Girl-on-Girl soft-core Sci-Fi porn dubbed into French on the freakin’ Sci-Fi channel.

We have Canal satellite TV, so both soft-core and hardcore porn start showing up on certain channels anytime after about 11 PM--especially on the weekends, but I was kinda shocked to see it on the Sci-Fi channel. After the shock wore off, FrenchBoy and I just started laughing-- partly because of the fact that there was porn on Sci-Fi, but also because the whole film had been dubbed into French, including the totally ridiculous moaning! Apparently French porn audiences are so cultivated that they can distinguish an American “Ohhhhhh, Ooooh, OOOOH!” from a French "Oooooo, Oooooh, OOOOH!” Authenticity is everything---especially in porn.

All of this leads to one inevitable question: Who are the actors that dub Girl on Girl Sci-Fi porn into French? Exactly how crappy does your career have to be going to get that gig? Or maybe I’m kidding myself. Perhaps these are the most sought after voice-over jobs in the French film industry.

If anyone has the answers to these questions, please do share.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just in time for Christmas, I bring you Thanksgiving!

Yep, I'm a little slow on the uptake. I've been meaning to blog this forever, but I just kept getting sidetracked. You'd think I'd be a bit more excited to talk about it since it was in fact my FIRST Thanksgiving dinner in five years. Thanksgiving is the one American holiday that I simply can do without. And as soon as I moved to France I dropped it like a brick. Besides the food, there isn't much of anything that I find particularly special about it. I loath the whole Pilgrims and Indians mythology and I much prefer Christmas because you get to stuff your face and people give you stuff!

Thanksgiving 2008 009

But when my California Ex-Pat friend Heidi proposed that I invite people over to her place and she would cook us a whole traditional American Thanksgiving meal, I immediately said yes for two reasons: One, I never turn down free food, and two, she is an AMAZING cook. She's the kind of foodie that loves to cook and that makes food so yummy that I've taken to inviting myself to stop by her apartment on my way to ___________ (fill blank with any random excuse that will get you in the door) because I know there will probably be fresh baked treats of some sort popping out of the oven the very moment I arrive. I heart Heidi. If she ever moves back across the pond I will shed many a tear, and NO, not just because she'll be taking her cookies with her. But anyway...

The guest list included: one Aussie, one Greek, two Americans, and 5 Frogs, and about 8 bottles of Pinot Noir.

Thanksgiving 2008 002

Everyone that wasn't American was incredibly excited to be invited to a real live American Thanksgiving. For most of their adult lives they had witnessed this mysterious holiday over and over again through Hollywood movies and they were all excited too have been invited to eat some Thanksgiving turkey.

Thanksgiving 2008 013

The turkey of course had to be special ordered from the butcher well in advance because you have about a snowball's chance in hell of finding a turkey in a grocery store or butcher in this region of France. (Frogs don't eat Turkeys.) But Heidi saved the day by planning ahead, and thus we had had turkey for dinner and not a chapon.

Thanksgiving 2008 007

Thanksgiving 2008 012

Thanksgiving 2008 010

Needless to say, everything Heidi made was wooooonderful.

Sorry there aren't more photos.

I was too busy eating.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My 100 Things.

I love these little getting to know you posts so I stole this one right off the pages of my artist pal's blog. The idea is to highlight the stuff you've done.

1. Started your own blog. (I have 3 or 4 actually.)

2. Slept under the stars.

3. Played in a band (I played clarinette until I was 15 years old.)

4. Visited Hawaii. (No, but I had a friend who was on teh 'Real World' Hawaii.)

5. Watched a meteor shower.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain ( FrenchBoy forced me to send 2 days hiking around the volcanoes around Puy de Dôme and I'm glad he did. On the way up we got caught in a swarmed by a flock of sheep wearing cowbell necklaces which filled the entire side of the mountain with windchime music, at the lip of the dome I saw a dude wearing an 'Iowa State' sweatshirt, and then we hiked down into the crater where huge boulders of lava rock only weight 5 kilos. It was mad cool!)

9. Held a praying mantis. (Not gonna happen. Ever.)

10. Sang a solo.

11. Bungee jumped.

12. Visited Paris.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.

15. Adopted a child.

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. (Does ridign past it 10 times a week for 2 years on the Staten Island Ferry count?)

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.

20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight. ( I have 2 younger brothers who I used to beat the crap out of on a regular basis. I'm sure at one point pillow abuse was involved.)

22. Hitch hiked. (Shhh, don't tell my mom.)

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.

24. Built a snow fort. (Dude, I grew up in Iowa. I can build you damn near anything in snow. Forts are for ameteurs.)

25. Held a lamb. (but I've eaten many.)

26. Gone skinny dipping. (Never. And I'm not just saying this because I know my mom is reading.)

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (150 euros an hour? No thanks.)

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run.

32. Been on a cruise. (From New York to Bermuda. It was Awesome.)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. (Which ancestors? There are so many?)


35. Seen an Amish community. (Again, I'm from Iowa so that's a big yes. I even ate dinner once at the Amana Colonies. Is it just me or is it funny when Amish people have websites?)

36. Taught yourself a new language. (No , but I'm thinking of creating my own.)

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David (totally hot!)

41. Sung karoke. (Yeah. I vaguely remember singing one line of a Melissa Etheridge song in a bar in the West Village before being dragged out and thrown into a cab.)

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt. (I'm not going all the way to Yellow Stne National Park to see hot water shoot out of a hoel in teh ground. Bite me.)

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa. (I went to Tunisia and hated it. But technically it's Africa , so yeah.)

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance (But I was just tagging along with someone else.)

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Snorkeling. And I saw a sea monster and nearly had a heart attack. Really!)

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business (several.)

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies ( I think I was a registered girlscout until I was like 18.)

62. Gone whale dolphin watching. (Taking a private Dolphin watching kyaking lesson is WAY cooler than being on a big ass boat with a bunch of people and hoping to see a whale rom afar. Also, Dolphins are smaller, but scary as hell!)

63. Got flowers for no reason (I used to buy a bunch of flowers every Sunday mornign and then I got bored with it. Also, once my mom had a bouquet of flowers delivered to me at school for no apparent reason. It was very cool.)

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. (I had my Barbie Dream House until I was in highschool I think.)

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (Very lame Jr. Highschool trip.)

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square (....everyday for almost 3 years. My gradschool art studio was on 41st street, so naturally I spent alot of time at the 42nd street Times Square subway station.)

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London. (Not so impressive)

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. (My mom's boyfriend once took me to school on his motorcycle when I was in 2nd grade. I was both terrified and embarrassed.)

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car (see this post)

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper (Just last week in fact.)

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury


91. Met someone famous (Like every New Yorker, I met Kevin Bacon TWICE in Central Park while he was walking his dog.)

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Read an entire book in one day

Ok, you're turn.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twins of the Lamb.

I think one of the reasons I was so freaked out by yesterday’s “de-ringing” incident was that, I really really love my wedding ring. I mean adore it. I have more costume jewelry than you can shake a stick at, but the thing I love most is the huge ball-buster hunk of titanium that is my wedding band.


Long story short, when we were shopping for wedding bands I couldn’t find one that didn’t suck, so while FrenchBoy was getting fitted for his ring, I stuck my finger out and said, “Just give me the same one.” The salesdude was a bit baffled at first, but with a bit of coaxing we got him to order two identical rings for us. We ordered engraving on the inside of each band, but the metal was too hard. The engravings didn’t really take. And years of wearing them has left the so-called engravings rubbed so shallow and faint that now only one of those hi-tech microscopes that the scientists on CSI Miami could detect that they were ever there. Tant pis.

I love wearing a men’s wedding band. Although I can girlie-it-up with the best of proper French ladies, I’m also the kind of “lady” that enjoys wearing Harley-Davidson motorcycle boots. That’s just the kind of girlie-girl I am. And on a practical note, a big chunky titanium band is heaven for people like me who work with their hands. Paint and India ink wipe right off it. It’s perfectly indestructible. And most importantly, whenever I look at it, I think about how FrenchBoy is wearing the exact same ring.

In fact, we do this thing. It’s a stupid inside joke that began with one of many incidents where I made a French language pronunciation mistake. You see, years ago I didn’t know the difference between the French word anneau -which means ring, and the word agneau - which means lamb.
(Dude, go listen to the sound clips. They sound almost the same.)

So one day, I was just looking at my wedding band I looked over at FrenchBoy and I tried to say "We’re ring twins!” But instead I blirted out “Nous sommes des jumeaux des agneau!”, which kinda means “We’re Lamb Twins!” I still thank God we were home alone when I made this mistake. (To my credit, at least I never used the verb baiser when I meant to use the verb s’embrasser!) Ever since that one first slip up, which resulted in laughter so hard that it inspired tears, FrenchBoy and I have been “Lamb Twins” and to this day I refuse to correctly pronounce the word anneau.

So now, every now and then I look down at my ring and then turn to FrenchBoy and ask: “On es encore les jumeaux des agneau?” (“Are we still the Lamb Twins?”) In response he wordlessly raises his ringed hand in the air, palm facing towards me. Then I run at him and give him a really hard high five. With any luck, on the first try, our wedding bands collide making a dull, metallic clicking sound as we collapse into laughter and cheers. On the rare occasion that my aim is a little wonky and I miss, and our rings don’t touch, I just keep smacking the hellout his hand over and over again until our rings finally make contact and then …we collapse into laughter and cheers.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The One Where I Chuck It.

The weirdest thing happened to me yesterday morning.

I woke up an hour before my alarm went off rather disoriented. I had been having one of my familiar dreams where either I’m chasing someone, or someone is chasing me, and the whole thing culminates in one final apocalyptic battle scene in which I either win, or get bored and choose to wake-up. (I’m a semi-lucid dreamer.)

I opened my eyes at about 6 AM and our bedroom was pitch black due to the fact that sun doesn’t rise these days until about noon these days. I went into the bathroom and went about my regular morning grooming routine, but my feet were cold so I walked back into the bedroom to get a pair of socks. As soon as I entered the bedroom, I saw a small dark object sitting on my side of the unmade bed.

It was my wedding band.

At some time during the night, I had taken off my wedding band...and just chucked it.

This just completely freaked me out. I couldn’t have been more shocked if I had woken up downstairs on the sofa wearing nothing but my sleeping cap. (Yes I wear a sleeping cap.)
I ran downstairs and told FrenchBoy what had happened. His response. “Were you fighting people in your dream again?” At that very second a tiny tid-bit of the dream came back to me. I remember that in the dream I was fighting someone and that my finger hurt so I took off my ring. (“Hold up. Lemme take off my jurry right quick.”) But that’s all I could remember. Anyway, I freaked out a bit more and then we both had a really good laugh about it.
Then a few hours later I’m sitting at my computer, typing another blog entry and WHAM it hit me.


5 years

Now, how on earth does one go about forgetting something like that? Part of it could be that we’re so wrapped up in Holiday and Birthday preparations (Why was everyone we know born in December?!) that it just slipped our minds. But FIVE years is kind of a big deal, not just because its this many *holding up hand like a 5 year old* but because at FIVE years of marriage I am now officially, no matter what, eligible to become a French citizen!

That’s right. Last Monday morning I could have walked into the Prefecture and asked for a citizenship application. Sure, it’ll prolly take 2 years, and who am I kidding, there’s no WAY the prefecture is open on a Monday morning, but still, it’s pretty cool.

If I want to, I can now become a frog.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why I Heart France Reason #12: BJ Newvo!

I can never correctly spell Beaujolais Nouveau. From here on out I will refer to this wine as BJ Newvo and I encourage you to do likewise.

I know it’s a bit late to be blogging about the BJ newvo, but this is my blog so I can blog about whatever I want. And right now I want to blog about this singular question: Why is it that to endlessly pontificate about BJ Newvo has become the benchmark for whether or not you are a too-cool-for-school-wine-know-it-all-hipster?

OK, OK, the French tradition of rushing out to buy the BJ Newvo is a bit over the top, but then again---so are the French. Frogs have a flair for the dramatic. Can we please just leave it at that? Everyone knows that Georges Duboeuf is pimping us jail-bate wine. Stating this fact repeatedly is like standing up in a crowded room full of cartographers and proudly proclaiming: “I have discovered that the earth is round!”

F*ckin’. Duh.

Do these people actually think they are saying something that other people haven’t been saying for at least the last 50 years? Someone in the United Nations general assembly should draft a resolution that declares BJ Newvo bashing a form of torture or otherwise cruel or inhuman treatment because I don’t know how much more I can take.

Footnote #1: You know you’ve been “French-ified” when you find yourself getting into by-proxy arguments over Beaujolais Nouveau.

Footnote #2: Note to the wine producer who makes the wine pictured below, courtesy of my local Match supermarché. BJ Newvo already gets a bad enough rap. The naming of your particular brand does not help matters. Thanks for nothin'.

beaujolais pisse

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You Might Be a fat Ass.....

This post is just a riff off of yesterday's post.

Does anybody remember that comedian Jeff Foxworthy's stand-up routine from the 90's called "You Might be a Redneck." Well, when I finished my last post I thought up my own version called "You Might be a Fat Ass".

Top of the list: You might be a fat ass if off the top of your head you can name more than 5 French Pastries by their commonly used/historical names.
1. Opera

2. éclair (extra "fat-ass points" if you can name the 3 most common flavors.)

3. St. Honoré

6. Religieuse

See? Fat Ass.

p.s. Lovely artwork supplied by New York artist Carol Gillott at Paris Breakfasts, who makes amazing and very afordable watercolors of French pastries which you can buy in her Etsy shop.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The One with the “Lady Menu”.

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve been to Paris now, but each time I go I still swoon. I always wonder. “When is this gonna get old?” When will I stop getting giddy at the sight of Galeries Lafayette all lit up?

Paris Weekend November 2008-7

Paris Weekend November 2008-10

When will I stop giggling at the graffiti in the Metro?

Paris Weekend November 2008-3

Paris Weekend November 2008-5

But it never does get old, and I don’t want it to! For this reason I’ve decided that I will never live in Paris. That way, in my head it will always remain a magical place of charm, romance, and possibilities. Of course there are other reasons I will never move to Paris as well:

Paris Weekend November 2008-6

But whatever, back to the charmy stuff.

On our last weekend trip we spent all of our time shopping at the high-end boutiques. And by shopping I mean walking in all wide-eyed, and touching and drooling on stuff until they asked us to leave. I think I scared the lady at the Ferragamo boutique.

Anyway we eventually found ourselves exhausted and starving from all the window-licking and we started looking for a place to grab a bite to eat. Unfortunately, we were at Place de la Concorde and the only thing around was The Hotel Crillon. I of course insisted we should eat at their restaurant.

Now, FrenchBoy was extremely leary of dropping into the fanciest hotel in France and asking for a table sans reservation, but I guilted him into playing along by reminding him that it was Saturday and on Saturdays dammit, we have fancy lunch!

Obelisque Restaurant

So that’s what I did. I walked into the fanciest old-school restaurants in France, without a reservation, wearing jeans and sneakers, and very politely asked –in French--for a table….and got one.


Side note: This is where FrenchBoy and My sensibilities part company. He would have never strolled in there had I not forced him. I am constantly forcing him to do stuff he doesn’t want to do. Even after all these years, I still think he sees me as this crazy American girl. And if he is honest with himself, I think he would admit that this is one of the reasons why he married me.

So, we’re sitting at our table at L’Obelisque and I’m so excited because I’m thinking that my ass is firmly planted in a chair that at some previous point in time probably held the celebrity ass of Thierry Henri, Johhnny Depp, or Madonna… and I’m checking out my menu---which has no prices. I ask FrenchBoy if we should order champagne and he chuckles. It took me a second to realize that he was laughing because he thought I was making a joke. But I wasn’t making a joke at all because my “Lady Menu” didn’t have prices. Meanwhile on the other side of the table FrenchBoy has the “Messieur Menu” which DOES have the prices clearly marked, and he can see that the price of the fancy vintage champagne is 23 euros per coup. Uhm, voila.

Paris Weekend November 2008-13

I was too embarrassed to whip out my camera and take pictures of each course of our lunch, but I did take a few shots on the sly. Over-all the food and the ambiance were excellent, but the service----the service was absolutely fantastic. Fantasic I say! You see, good service is all about anticipation of a client’s needs. A good server knows what you need before you have to ask for it. I got a kick out of how often they refilled my water glass. It’s as if they magically know that in exactly 3.3 more sips, my glass would be empty and a momentary empty water glass would ruin my entire dining experience.

Anyway, I’m not sure what the name of my dessert was, but it was so incredibly creamy and delicious that I had to sit awhile and sip my coffee as I waited for it to digest before we could leave. I don’t recognize the shape, but the components were a bit like an Opera.

Paris Weekend November 2008-12

Paris Weekend November 2008-11

Anyway, don’t ever let anyone tell you that money can’t buy happiness. That’s all bullshit, because happiness = cake and money can buy fancy lunches that end with cake. And thus money does indeed buy hapiness. It's simple f*cking math people.

End of discussion.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fancy Fungi.

Whenever I look in the mirror and think to myself: “Damn, how did I get so fat?” I only need to look to my own blog for answers. I eat a lot. But I figure it’s a good trade off. I take on a few pounds (each year) but I get to taste all this magnificent food. And anyway, who really ever regrets eating French pastries? The only reason I'm even nice to people is that when I die, I desperately want to go to pastry and champagne heaven.

El theatris7

One of the best things about living in France is the food. Face facts, if you have an American-style metabolism and an American-sized appetite, France is not a country you move to in order to shed a few pounds. I always joke that I moved to France for my husband, but I stay for the pastries. And it’s not so far from the truth. The food is AMAAAAZING. Whenever I go back to the US I am constantly complaining and moaning about the food. I am a traitor to my own country’s cuisine.
(Except the Cheeseburger. The French will never master the Cheeseburger. Never. They can't even say it correctly. "Sheesbergeeer?" "No, CHeeeeZbURger m*therf*cker!")

To make matters worse, since moving to France I have had the occasion to sample over and over again the things that I had previously only read about in books or seen in films. Foie gras? We eat eat it on a bi-monthly basis chez nous. Champagne? Once a week! And this you see is the ultimate luxury for a girl who grew up in Des Moines, Iowa where champagne (from California) passes over the lips only once a year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. So it’s no surprise that in November of this year I had truffles for the first time in my life. And not just any old truffles. We went all out and ordered the full truffles menu et El Theatris.

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Truffles on risotto! Truffles on Carpaccio St. Jacques!

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Truffles on Filet Mignon! Truffles on Duck!

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El theatris2

Truffles on ice cream and crème brûlée. OK, not really, but still you get the point.

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That’s a lot of fungus my friends!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't Call it a Comeback!

The funny thing about blogging (at least for me anyway) is that even when I don’t blog, I ‘m thinking about blogging. Sad to say, that after having been doing this for so long, there are times when I’m in a situation and I think to myself: “I cannot wait to blog this!” The flip side of that funky coin is that eventhough I think about blogging all the time---sometimes thinking about blogging things, substitutes for the actual blogging of things. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, although I have forsaken thee for almost a month, No, I haven’t quit blogging. And to prove it to you, I bring you:

The MSCL Blog-athon 2008.

Ok, I’m not promising you anything, but I am going to try to blog EVERY DAMN DAY from now until January 1, 2009.

Now, some blog-athon theme music…

Don't front. You know you love this song too.