Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oww, my head...and liver...

How is it that a quiet little mid-afternoon shopping trip turned into an evening of debauchery?  I met Tiny Dancer at 3pm yesterday to pick up a few things we needed for our Halloween costumes and then we went to meet The Redhead and another friend at a café, where we all drank non-alcoholic beverages (honestly, that does occasionally happen).  Then we stopped by The Redhead's place to just have one glass of wine.  Aaaaaand that's where it all went to hell - we finished that bottle, drank another, and had started on a third when we decided to go to Tiny Dancer's place for dinner.  And along the way, we thought it would be a good idea to purchase another three bottles of wine.  I'm not entirely sure how many of those we actually got through, but judging by the size of my hangover this morning, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say we drank most of it.  Ahh, just another Wednesday night in Paris...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quote of the day

I have been very behind on a lot of things lately, including a zillion or so emails I haven't replied to.  It has made me feel extremely unreliable, so I had a very welcome compliment from a friend today.  I was chatting with The Redhead, and she said: "You are so reliable that if it was 4:30 in the morning and I needed someone to come over and help me dispose of a dead body, you would be the first person I'd call."  Awwwww!  So sweet!!! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Déménagement

Let's face it, moving is always a hassle.  Particularly so in Paris, where buildings often don't have elevators, where staircases are always curved and narrow, and where streets are usually so tiny that a moving van will block them completely.  Ah, good times.

So yesterday I helped Tiny Dancer and her boyfriend move.  Partly out of the goodness of my heart (yes, my frozen black heart does occasionally contain some goodness) and partly because I am fully aware that I will need help with my upcoming move and I am storing up goodwill and favours like a squirrel storing up for winter.  What?  At least I admit it...

Anyway, I turn up at 11am to help with the packing and, as I've mentioned before, Tiny Dancer lives on a street frequented by ladies who are in a very particular line of work (if you know what I mean, and I think you do) and I must say, I was rather surprised to see the ladies out in force at 11am on a Sunday morning; perhaps it's due to my upbringing as a country hick, but I wasn't expecting that.  So exactly how does this work?  A guy goes to church, gets himself all absolved of this week's sinning, and then gets a quick blowjob on the way home in order to get a start on next week's sinning?  Or perhaps he pays for sex on his way to church?  It all seems a bit odd to me, but then again, I'm not a religious person, so what do I know?

Back to the move - we finish the packing and then, around 5pm, the muscle shows up to do the heavy lifting.  All of that goes well until it's time to move the sofa.  So picture this: three big strong men trying to move one very large sofa down four flights of one very narrow spiral staircase.  Well, you don't need to picture it because I took photos:

The sofa is so big you can't even see the guys

Half an hour later, it was halfway down
Four stories down, it finally got into the van

At the new place - stairs slightly wider but still curved...
And in the grand tradition of helping friends move, they treated us to large amounts of food and alcohol afterward, hence my completely lame post yesterday.  Everyone else was drinking beer, so I had to drink all the wine - yes, a whole bottle on my own.  What?  I'd had a long day...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Filler

Okay,  I totally planned to post about what it's like to move in Paris but my internet connection is crap and loading my photos is taking forever, and quite frankly, as part of my reward (food and booze) for helping friends move, I have drunk an entire bottle of wine by myself tonight.  Normally not a problem but as I've been booze-free for two whole weeks (well, okay, I had three cocktails one night but whatever) it's made me a bit sleepy and I am heading for bed. So I am still trying to do this whole posting-every-day thing but some days you're just going to get what you get. Sorry!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Totally crap outfit of the week

As you know, Miss K generally just picks on fashion choices that the ladies make and leaves the chaps to their own devices, but every so often someone of the male persuasion comes along and just begs for a sartorial slap upside the head.  So here we go:  I don't object to a man-bag, but don't carry it like a woman.  I don't object to skinny jeans, but when they're so tight that your legs look like overstuffed bratwursts, you might want to reconsider your fashion choices before they cut off your circulation and give you gangrene.  And worst of all (I'm afraid you can't actually see it in the photo because I have pixillated it out of existence - and rightfully so, just trust me on this one), don't wear a plaited, metallic silver headband.  Ever.  Got it?  Okay, be on your way, sir.

Friday, October 22, 2010

One simple task

Do you ever just need to do one simple task and end up having to do eighteen other things just to make that one simple task possible?  So today I decide to change my sheets.  So I strip the bed.   Then I realize that I have no clean sheets to put on the bed because the others are all in my giant laundry pile.  Okay, so I have to do laundry - simple.  Wellllllll, not so much - for me, doing laundry involves loading it into a suitcase, lugging it down six flights of stairs, dragging it five blocks to the laundromat, waiting around for it and then hauling it all back again - an extremely inconvenient and time-consuming affair.  Particularly today, because I don't have a suitcase available.  Why?  Because I've been pretty much packed and ready to move since the beginning of September, which now looks like it won't happen until the end of November (more on this another time).  But the point is that all my suitcases are already full.  So in order to just do laundry, I have to completely unpack one of these suitcases, which I do.  

So I go off to the laundromat.  When I return, I unpack the clean laundry onto the half of my bed which is not already occupied by the contents of the suitcase I had to unpack in order to do the freakin' laundry in the first place.  Then I start re-packing the suitcase, but I decide I should put those clothes into one of those groovy space-saver bags that you shrink down to nothing by sucking the air out with a vacuum.  Then I realize that there are clothes in another suitcase that could also fit in that bag.  So I unpack that whole suitcase as well and transfer those clothes to the space-saver bag, too.  And of course, this whole genius idea of mine necessitates me getting out the vacuum.  Sigh.  You see how my day went?  So I used the vacuum, repacked suitcase #1, repacked suitcase #2, put away my laundry and finally, finally put fresh sheets on the goddamn bed.  That was my day, people.  One simple task that took nine hours.  Even in Paris, that ain't fun. 


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Favourite Paris photos - 12

Time for another one of these?  Probably not, but I have totally lost track of time and this is all I can manage to post for today! But look how well I'm doing this month - I have already beaten my record for posting for January, February, May, and June (not to mention August and September combined - ahem! Miss K is none too proud of that statistic, I assure you...), this is progress,  I think?

Notre Dame - interior

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stories from the supermarket

Today I was in the grocery store, trying to decide on which yogurt to choose and an English-speaking man asked me to help him find the natural yogurt, which I did.  But here's the thing:

1) Hey, I am always happy to help out a fellow stranger in a strange land - when I was in Thailand, I admit I spent some time looking blankly at things on the grocery store shelves, having absolutely no idea what those items were, so it's not like I haven't had the experience myself.  But really?  Yogurt?  I'm quite sure the entire English-speaking world sells them in pretty much the same little pots.  What else would be in them?

2) Okay, it's not like I'm going to be challenging Balzac (or, you know, a third-grader) with my command of the French language anytime soon, but since the word for yogurt in French is "yaourt" and the word for natural in French is "nature", it's not really a massive stretch to work it out for yourself, now is it?  Not to mention the fact that if one of the aforementioned little pots doesn't have a cute little picture on it of a lemon or a strawberry or a coconut, chances are they're not in there.  Honestly.

Disclaimer:  I'm not actually irate about this incident at all, but I was in the mood for a bit of a rant and this was all I had to rant about at the moment.  I was nice to the guy, he went happily away with his yogurt and I am counting it as my good deed for the day...but it was still fun to complain about it to you guys.  Hee!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things you might see in the park

This piece of "art" is currently hanging from a tree in the Tuileries.  And no, I don't get it either...

Monday, October 18, 2010

What happened?

How has it come to this?  I've been in Paris nearly a year now, and the first few months were soooo quiet that I was in danger of becoming some crazy hermit cat lady (except without the cat), and now I have so many things to do all the time that I can't ever seem to catch up.  Not that I am complaining, especially since one of my new obligations will actually pay me, which is good, since that whole living-an-impoverished-but-still-oh-so-charming life in Paris just ain't what it used to be.  (Then again, I am also not smoking opium and drinking absinthe, which I'm sure made the starving artist thing much more fun!)

Anyway, I need to fill in a medical form, make another doctor's appointment, go have the x-ray that I still haven't had done, send in something for my taxes, learn a huge amount of information for this second job, finish packing up my room (for the move that still hasn't happened and I don't know when it will, but I need to be ready), sort through photos dating back to August, plan a quick trip to London, get some more work done on my novel, start trying to find a Christmas gift for the most impossible-to-buy-for person in the entire universe (yes, I need to start that in October and if I'm very lucky, I might just find something by the end of December but don't hold your breath), reply to about 300 emails dating back from June if not earlier (I am scared to look in case it's even worse than I think it is), and occasionally catch up with my friends.  And I'm pretty sure that I have forgotten about 20 things off that list, but I don't have time to remember them just now.

And of course, I need to keep up with this blog - I really wanted to have a perfect record this month and it just didn't happen, but I am still trying to post in a more timely fashion than in previous months - *coughAugustcoughSeptembercough*.  So I am trying hard, but if you're reading these and thinking that I'm not really bringing my A-game at the moment, this is why.  I hope to pull it together soon, though...



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Things you might see on the street

Okay, this amuses me just because...well, it's amusing.  But what makes it funnier is knowing how insane the drivers in Paris are - because, quite frankly, most of them regard the little green man as a mere suggestion and that they can just keep right on driving, even when there is a pedestrian legally crossing the street at a stoplight.  And as a pedestrian, it enrages me to the point that I sometimes wonder how hard it would be to pass the French police exam just so that I could get assigned to traffic detail and hand out severe punishment to such drivers.  Ahh, one can only dream...

But this is still funny.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Favourite Paris photos - 11

Is it time for another of my favourite shots?  I think it is...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Awesome outfit of the week

Okay, this might not be everyone's cup of tea, but Miss K likes a bit of leather now and again (make of that what you will, and I know you'll come up with something suitably...imaginative. Hee!) and I think this lady is looking fabulous.  She has a great figure and she's rocking this razor-sharp tailoring, but the boots are the best - gold heels, people, gold heels!  They're so awesomely Mafia mistress, I can't even describe my love for them...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Things you might see on the street

Okay, just in case you're not clear on what you're seeing?  That's a woman's hairdo.  I just don't even know what to say...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gobble, gobble

Dammit!  There went my perfect record of posting every day in October.  Sorry -  I was defeated by post-Thanksgiving exhaustion, not food poisoning, in spite of worrying about that in my previous post.  So my first Canadian Thanksgiving in Paris was a big success, which is fortunate, considering that seven of my eleven guests were American and my nation's culinary honour was at stake!  Anyway, this is basically how it looked:

And it was fun, and it was delicious, and my guests were delightful, and I enjoyed the leftovers, but I am so freakin' happy it's all finished for this year - yaaaay!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thanksgiving

It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, which is a big holiday in my native land.  And, what with my lumberjack shoulders and my fondness for maple syrup, I am a good old Canadian gal and I like to celebrate Thanksgiving.  But there are a couple of problems with this:

1) I live in Europe where they don't celebrate it at all, so trying to get the ingredients you need?  Not easy.   I can actually tell so many stories about trying to buy turkeys that I am going to do a whole separate post on that subject.
2) See above -  you can occasionally get those ingredients because some stores here stock them when Thanksgiving rolls around.  However, that's for American Thanksgiving, which is about six weeks later than the Canadian version.  Try to buy fresh cranberries in Paris in early October?  Ha!

3) I am insane to even attempt to do it here at all - it's so stressful that I only make Thanksgiving dinner every other year because it takes me that long to get motivated to do it again.  Which actually makes it a hot ticket and the parties just keep getting bigger - my last one in London was for 24 people.  A full-on turkey dinner for 24 - you see the insanity, yes?  Thank god I don't know that many people in Paris yet, but there are still 11 people coming for dinner tonight - eek!!!

And this year there is the added stress that I didn't know precisely when I would be moving (which still hasn't happened, btw, and don't even ask me when it will because I don't know - grrr!), so I am not even hosting the dinner in my own home, I had to ask friends to let me do it at their apartment.  So here's the rundown: I am about to go and cook a gigantic turkey, and let me tell you, this is not a nice tidy turkey you buy at the supermarket, this is one that was ordered from the butcher and it's got legs and wings sticking out all over the place, so I actually have to wrestle and tie it into a nice turkey-shaped bundle before I can even attempt to cram it into the tiny Parisian oven I have never used before.  Yep, this should be fun...  I will update you tomorrow on how it went, assuming I don't die of food poisoning before then.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Just another Friday night

Right this very minute, I am sitting in a cafe, waiting on some friends and sipping a glass of wine. And the Moulin Rouge is right in front of me - I just thought I would share that.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Paris street art

I have been collecting photos of street art in Paris for a while, thinking that I would do a post one day and feature all the photos together.  But Miss K is sometimes an idiot, because I have realized that if I just do it as an occasional feature, it can serve to entertain you during those rare times when I don't actually have anything to yap about.  So here's the first one - a personal favourite (the Beatles painted up in KISS makeup?  With a little Einstein on the side?  Awesome. (Found just off the rue de Buci.)  Enjoy...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is the doctor in?

So my hip and my back have been hurting for six months, and yesterday I finally got my act together enough to go and see a doctor here.  And I do understand that the French medical system is among the best in the world, but it's a little bit...different.   When I called for the appointment, the doctor  answered the phone himself and this is exactly how the conversation went:

Me: Hi, could I make an appointment please?
Him: Tomorrow at 4:30?
Me: Okay.
Him: See you then.

That was it, word-for-word, he didn't even ask for my name.  I turn up for my appointment: he asks me exactly four questions, twists me around like a pretzel, tells me I need an X-ray and sends me off on my merry way.  And those 10 minutes cost me €40 of my hard-earned pittance.  Theoretically, I am supposed to get most of that back, but we'll just see.  In the meantime, I have to go for this X-ray and pay for that upfront as well, but I guess that's good, it will stop me from frittering away my money on silly luxuries like rent or groceries.

Oh, and another difference between doctor's offices here and anywhere else I've ever been to one?  This is my doctor's waiting room...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Paris nights

I have to confess, I really have nothing to say today but as I am rocking a perfect, unbroken record of posting every day this month (and I am aware that it's pathetic when I am so proud of that fact when it's only the 5th of the goddamn month, but nonetheless), I have to tell you something.  And if I were at home, perhaps I could dredge up a photo of life in Paris and tell you something about it, but I'm not.  In point of fact, tonight is a perfect example of how awesomely spontaneous life in Paris can be - I was supposed to meet Tiny Dancer (previously known as Miss A in this blog, but due to a dance incident that involved The Running Man, among other highlights) to go and see the apartment she's about to move into, but since she has no hot water at her old apartment, she had to go around the corner to The Redhead's place to shower. So we all met there, had a little apero (aka a whole bottle of wine) and it just turned into one of those evenings - we went out to get two more bottles of wine,  several pizzas, and a large amount of dessert.  And The Redhead got her husband, The Mad Scientist, to bring home a projector, so we are about to watch The Big Lebowski.   Bliss, just bliss...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Parking in Paris

Believe me when I tell you that this is far from the worst parking I have ever seen in this town, and the only thing worse than how they park here is how they drive here.  Fellow pedestrians, be warned...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nuit Blanche report

As promised, I am reporting back on last night's Nuit Blanche in Paris. 

 Miss K is currently suffering from a very painful bad back, but I nonetheless dragged myself out to one of the primary art events on the Parisian calendar, just so that I could tell you about it (needless to say, I had to have a couple of glasses of red wine during the course of the evening, but in this case they were strictly medicinal!) - do you appreciate my efforts?  Well, we'll see...

We started off at Notre Dame, which was amazing - the artist was Thierry Dreyfus and he had the outside darkened and the inside lit, so that the colours of the magnificent stained-glass rose windows were visible at night.

Upon entering the church, there was dramatic lighting accompanied by ethereal singing - really magical...

The next stop was at the Hotel-Dieu, which was okay, but certainly not worth the hour spent waiting in line to get in.   There were several other venues we tried to check out but the line-ups were far too long, so we saw some of the general projects on the street but probably the coolest thing was at St Martin, a ghost station which has been unused since WWII - the only way to view the project was to take Metro line 9 from Republique to Strasbourg St Denis.  I am attempting to link a video here that I shot of it (accompanied by the oohs and aahs of the other Metro passengers - hee!) but bear with me as I haven't tried video on here before.  If it works, I hope you like it...

video

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nuit Blanche

So tonight is the Nuit Blanche (White Night) here in Paris.  It's my first one, because at this time last year I was still living in London, drinking far too much, before relocating here to...well, drink too much.  Ahem.  However, I am interested to see what tonight is all about.  The only White Nights I know anything about refer to the 1980s movie of the same name, which featured Mikhail Baryshnikov and the late, great Gregory Hines.  Apparently there were also women and some sort of plot in that movie as well, but really, with the hotness of Messrs Baryshnikov and Hines in their prime (and dancing, no less - swoon!) on display, who could possibly notice anything else?  So unless the White Night here features a muscular Russian or a foxy American, I fear I shall be horribly disappointed.  Nonetheless, I will report back tomorrow with my findings...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Okay...

Does anyone not want to live in this building?  Anyone?  Seriously, all the tasteful, boring buildings in Paris can just suck it, because this place brings the crazy and I love that.  Awesome, just awesome...