Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Minogue Accused of Lip Enhancement Surgery

I swear to God this is a headline at IMDB today. The best thing? The blurb treats this as a serious transgression, with Kylie Minogue's spokesman (presumably with furrowed brow) "refus[ing] to comment on the allegations."

Good God.

Does anybody remember my Wall of Things Humanity Should Be Ashamed Of? It starts anew today.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Pictures: The Eiffel Tower

It's been a while since I last posted any pictures, so here go a few. The Eiffel Tower, December 17th and 20th, 2004.

and, finally, just because You Deserve It -

Here is an elephant who says "don't touch me".

Molière's a Bastard

The play that I got a free ticket to? Yes, it was in French. One thing I didn't mention was that it was in 17th century French, though I'm told it holds up fairly well as understandable fare for the French of today.

So the play was called George Dandin. Judging from audience reaction, it was quite funny. Certainly the set design was hot stuff, at least in the more modern Let's Not Pretend We're Actually In A Forest, Hey? school of spare design. It was a wooden circle set on the stage and tilted almost perilously toward the audience. There were nine trapdoors in this wooden platform, arranged in a square like the spaces you'd fill in in tic-tac-toe. The tic-tac-toe reference may have been intentional, but I'd have to see the text to figure that out.

Three of the trap doors had ladders poking out, which gave it a sense of depth beneath the stage that it didn't have. Furthermore, at a couple of points characters jumped off the back end and didn't make a sound when they landed - it was just like they'd jumped off a cliff, and it made for a really neat moment while I was waiting for the person to land. After half a moment I realized that they had just exited (poof) stage up. Nifty.

But as for the play? Afraid I fell asleep, but don't tell! At the end of the night, all assembled agreed it was quite well done. I nodded along with, because I liked the design and I could tell the acting was good. 'nuff said.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Molière and Meat

Okay, jet lag has almost released its horrible grip on me. At this point I am sleeping a ton, but I'm back to the daylight schedule set by France, so you may now consider me back to life and posting like usual.

Two bits of news today -

1) I am not what you call a natural cook. I am very comfortable in the kitchen, true, but that's because I have a plush chair there, sitting right by the microwave. I am not *bad* at cooking so much as unskilled. My nightmare is that there are bits of common knowledge that I have never encountered, some folksy rituals that I will screw up like 'if you don't add two thimbles of eye of newt just before the meat is braised your steak turns to deadly poison'. You know, the sort of thing that nobody bothers to mention because *everybody* knows it? I am that person who is dumb enough to think that eye of newt is not necessary. For that matter, I have only the vaguest idea what braising is. Also thimbles. Are they like brambles?

So my mom, right? She has just written me the best Hamburger Guide ever, in that it is tailored exactly to people like me who are afraid of the Oh I Never Knew That Part class of error. I am now excited to cook something basic, and I really hope someday to feel wild and free in the kitchen, instead of comfy in my nice chair. Thanks, Mom!

2) Ever heard of Jean Baptiste Poquelin de Molière? Of course you have! You know, the 17th century French comedic playwright! Yes, that's the one. I've just been given a free ticket to a showcase tonight of some of Molière's stuff. In French. Everybody says it's great, but, you know, they are French people and understand the French language.

We'll see how I do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

What the Hell?

Okay, I guess I live in France again. I'm confused, though - the sun is just coming up and by all rights it's time for my mid-afternoon nap.

On the plus side - it turns out that I don't have any classes the first day back, as the kids are all sweating it out in mock exams of the biggest, bad-assest variety I've ever seen.

On the minus side - it looks like I missed another compulsory medical appointment with the French government by virtue of being out of the country. What is it with countries that want to make you turn your head and cough? Creepy!

Also it seems that it's possible I didn't pack any and all cameras that I was planning on packing. Sad, isn't it? I separate the things into a separate pile so I won't lose them and whoops - they don't get into the bag.

So forgive my rambles - jet lag cracks its whip.