It is brilliantly sunny and

It is brilliantly sunny and wonderful out today. One thing that has been going exactly right these days is that the mild Paris winter that stood up in bold and all caps on the “Pro” side of my Pro/Con-moving-to-Paris list is panning out. It’s been a just-right winter of 50 F for weeks and weeks now. No hats, no scarves, no gloves – yes! And as i am the first to whine about the chill in my bones, i ought also to be the first to rave about brilliantly blue skies where i can have my sandwich and Orangina on the banks of the Canal St Martin.

But speaking of winter accessories, my quest for new boots has ended in utter failure. Everything i found that i liked (even when i was willing to shell out the euros like it was the nu-economy) was Not Available In My Size. As brilliant Darleen says, if you’re a size 8 shoe and there are sales on, forget it. So instead i want a hat. A big floppy 70s type hat. Maybe like this, but definitely not with that gawd-awful animal print. Or maybe more on the Calamity Jane stylo. Or maybe something just in between. I’m thinking i need to be rockin something fabulous on my head just now. There’s a great store near chez moi, but it’s always closed whenever i go. Even though the hours posted indicate it should be open. That seems to happen a lot here. Also, the post office sends your packages back if you don’t claim it with in 2 weeks. Someone sent me something and it got sent back. I have no idea who or what. Reveal yourself at once!

I spent the morning catching up on my blog-mail, which i adore. Send more. More more more! Even if it you just need to comment on Saran Wrap (TM). Otherwise, rumors abound concerning a considerable reduction in the weight of my office. But i’m going to spend my lunchtime in the winter sunshine and pretend that nothing else matters.

+ * + Happy Birthday

+ * + Happy Birthday Dad + * +

IM – Instant Messenger Yeah

IM – Instant Messenger Yeah i’m thinking about it. It’s been my saving grace, here an ocean (and sometimes more) away from the folks dear to me. It’s a place we can chat about the serious or the mundane, with no phone bills, no immediate sense of concentration. No sense of urgency in the voice on the other end. All modicons and ellipses. It works a lot, and sometimes not at all.

Sometimes you look at the chat window and see it for what it is, a lot of pixels rendered into what you recognize as letters on an expensive device with a bunch of cords coming out from all ends in a display of messiness that means, well, not so much. You know when the window closes, when the hard drive stops spinning, that you get to touch the silence of your little apartment. The thought that whoever saw you through that little window is gone, attending to the needs of his life, makes its way into your own thoughts. And you push that away, and think about the needs of your own life, as if to compensate somehow. As if to compensate for the true true fact that a human presence actually really means something.

Just when you think everything’s

Just when you think everything’s going well, something shitty happens. At least that seems to happen to me a fucking lot. Last weekend Paris was treating me really well. It still is i suppose. And i’m going to try and focus on that. In fact i was walking home in a light mist on Saturday night (the trains quit running at 1am here), and i had spent the evening acting silly and speaking a bit of french. The thing about being an outsider is, of course it’s hard, but it’s also really liberating. I can go to parties full of hip young things, and dance like a fool because, well, nobody knows me and most likely never will. I’m totally free to make a complete ass of myself. Which i am now doing with abandon. If i’m going to be an outsider, i’m going to embrace it damnit.

So i’m walking home in this mist, my hair frizzy, still sweaty from the party, thinking i want to see springtime in Paris. And then i get home, and in my mailbox is the acceptance for the cheap french class, which i was convinced i wasn’t going to get into.

Then some shitty news this am. Shitty news on express e-mail delivery from New York. But what the fuck? I’m going to try and apply my new “embrace” technique of dealing with difficulty to this thing too. Shitty things are almost always liberating if you look at them in the right way. So here’s to some more liberation in my life. One can never have enough, right?

So the show was just

So the show was just exactly as ridiculous as i imagined. Remember those sunglasses, Oakley’s i think, that were so super hip a few years ago? Ok Laurent Laurent’s sidekick was wearing regular eyeglasses in that wrap around style. There is something about those glasses that make me cringe for the wearer. They only really work on top of a snowy mountain, or maybe in a boat in the middle of a sun bleached ocean. And they pretty much only work as sunglasses. I cringed again when i saw the banner that Nils and i were supposed to hold. It was tiny. It was exactly the same as the other logo they had scotch taped to the metal fence behind the performance space, totally boring, totally unworthy of a pair of super hip performance artists like myself and Nils. I cringed one last time when a completely shaved Laurent Laurent came running out in nothing but his red bikini briefs.

Do i really need to go into further details? Yes, probably i should. Let me start with the space. The Palais du Tokyo is housed in an amazingly beautiful building. It is basically two separate buildings joined by a courtyard of pillars which open to a lovely view of the Seine. The type of architecture common in Paris in that it constantly reminds you that, yes, you are in the most beautiful city on the face of the earth. One of the buildings is the Museum of Modern Art, which i’ve never been to. The other side is where the newly opened Palais du Tokyo is. When we first walked in, i couldn’t help turning to Nils with some disappointment and saying, “I thought the space was finished.” He took a few minutes to look around, at the sand blasted beams, the exposed wiring, the crumbling bits of plaster everywhere, and said “It’s finished.”

“Noooooo”. I protested. The space was magnificently huge, but in the sort of disrepair that i spent a year trying to wrench my dumbo loft out of.

“It’s supposed to be hip and edgy you know?” Nils said.

“It looks like my nasty loft”, i protested.

“Yeah exactly, like brooklyn loft-like.”

Hmm.. Well at first i thought this was pretty much lamer than lame, but as i think about it further it’s maybe not *so* lame. Thing is, Paris has no history of industry. There aren’t any old factories, or old warehouses. Paris was already a fully built center of life pre-industrial revolution. Unlike places like New York, Chicago, San Fran… So whereas those of us who live in post-industrial cities are used to seeing unfinished factory or warehouse-like spaces in the possession of a group of not-that-clean 20 somethings and maybe a few cats, (“and watch out for those nails sticking out of the wall over there, we haven’t gotten to those yet”); this is a whole new world for Parisians. It’s new, it’s interesting. It’s “Hip and edgy”. Hey before you laugh mockingly, keep in mind that in the States we pay $3.50 for a flat and mediocre espresso, and eat Wonder Bread, willingly. I may be getting a bit of cultural sensitivity in me after all.

The art, however, can not be explained away. It was crap. There was the obligatory “Mounds of Dirt in Middle of Room” art, the “Continuous Video Loop of Someone Doing Something Mundane” art, the “Disturbing Photos of Women Being Raped by Inanimate Objects” art. Blah blah blah. In a word, boring. The performance you ask? From what i caught of it, since i was ahem “performing”, i would say it was also crap. The night was nicely themed i guess. Later on Nils and i got interviewed on French TV, much to my mortification. The guy thrust a microphone in my face, and i think i prayed for death. Luckily this old woman came over and started having a long conversation with Nils about second hand clothes. I stood with a dumb smile on my face, and took care not to make eye contact with anyone who might ask me a question. All in all, in spite of my bitching, it was a pretty fun night. I did manage to have a 25 minute conversation completely in french with Nils’ friend Benedicte, which is a major breakthrough for me.

I also got into that French class starting in Feb – phew!

Pre-Date Confidence Builder via all

Pre-Date Confidence Builder via all sortsa folks. Way funny.

This is good. Campaign finance

This is good. Campaign finance reform resurrected

French Performance Art (cont’d) So

French Performance Art (cont’d)

So Laurent Laurent was more “Laurent Laurent” than i ever could have imagined.

We met him in a very charming hole in the wall place in the 10th. Laurent Laurent is man of many talents, he writes, he dances, he puts on art shows. He also puts away his drinks with a vengeance. His gig right now is his group “MalsapĂ©-Paris”, which is French slang for “Badly Dressed – Paris”.

He takes a quick and deep drag off his cigarette and leans in close to us,

“The question,” [pause for effect],

“is,” [another pause and a quick drag off his cigarette after which he tosses his head back dramatically and exhales],

“here, now, in the year 2001,” [excruciatingly longer pause for effect],

“Who is badly dressed?”

A smile creeps across my face. Since this entire conversation is in French i’m wondering if i am understanding it incorrectly. I’m hoping not because this is the best entertainment i’ve had in months. He continues on, with total seriousness. He explains that through this question, we can get to a deep philosophical understanding of the nature of man. Laurent Laurent’s thesis is that, in fact, no one can be called badly dressed anymore. Everyone has a valid style and statement with their clothes. Everyone has something to say. “What about people who try too hard?”, I ask, “I mean they come off pretty badly don’t you think?” His face lights up, “But no! There you can see the man’s weakness. [pause for effect] The weakness of man.” I’m sort of confused at the point, but i try to go along with it. “You see all styles are valid!” he exclaims. He finally admits that there is one exception, fanny packs. I can’t keep a straight face anymore. It’s a miracle that i haven’t openly started guffawing. So i’m attentive at the table with an enormous grin on my face.

Nils, on the other hand, is hanging on his every word. he keeps saying, “Yes! Yes! You are soooo right.” Much to my relief, i discovered later this was all an act. You see, Nils has this dream to be famous and rich without actually doing anything, except for being goofy. See his Stupid Dance to get an idea of this. So he’s convinced that if goofiness is going to get him to notoriety and riches, performance art is the medium that will expose his talents to the universe. I love Nils, btw. If anyone deserves riches from sheer goofiness, it’s him.

After trying to keep up with Laurent Laurent’s drinking, we’ve each put away 5 beers in under an hour and a half. I’m kind of tipsy at this point, but mostly i’m gassy – that’s a lot of carbonation for under an hour and a half. Our role in this piece tomorrow night is to carry a huge banner through the crowd while smiling in a Vanna White kind of way. The Palais du Tokyo is the spot in Paris this week, so Laurent Laurent must be doing something right to be invited to perform on the Friday night of it’s opening week.

After we parted, Nils and i walked for about 25 seconds, a safe distance away, and then we grabbed one another, the two of us just reeling with laughter. We kept going over parts of the conversation and cracking ourselves up. After we took our separate trains, i continued chuckling to myself the whole ride home. I must have looked like a loon. And all morning today, every time i think about it, i start giggling. My face hurts from all this laughing. Thank god for Laurent Laurent. I was having a really shitty week before last night.

So anyway the performance is tonight. I’m hoping someone will be documenting the spectacle, either in photos, or even better in video. I’ll be sure to give a full report.

Oh and here’s an interview with The Artist that i found – The google translation is in the link… hehehe

So i’m not really sure

So i’m not really sure how this happened, but while in a line miles long for the opening the other night, Nils called some friend to ask if we could cut the line somehow and got in touch with some other friend of a friend (i think), and now the two of us are going to be in some performance art at the Palais de Tokyo tomorrow night. Yes, french performance art. If the line’s too long, might as well be in the show doing something ridiculous, no? The best part is the artists name is, get this, Laurent Laurent.

We’re meeting Laurent Laurent at a cafe to discuss the details tonight, planning is for amateurs apparently. It may involve ironing, lipstick, both or neither.

Stay tuned.

A fantastic story of how

A fantastic story of how AppleScript helped recover a stolen iMac.

This is really heartwarming. It almost brought a tear to mine eyes..

via The Morning News