Monday, May 30, 2011

Isn't there an app for this?

I rarely talk about my job on here because, well, it's boring.  But I found myself so mindboggled by a work situation last Friday that I had to share it.  I had to send a courier from Paris to the south-west of France where my boss will be staying on Tuesday and wants the package waiting for him when he arrives.  Simple, right?  Except that this was my first time sending a courier package from our Paris office, and let me tell you, if you'd like me to perform brain surgery or build a cyborg army or program a rocket to Mars, just let me know because I am pretty sure any of those tasks would be easier than this. 

First of all, our mailroom doesn't help with couriers.  The mailroom. Doesn't. Do. Couriers.  (Which makes me wonder what exactly they do do, other than drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes all day, but that's beside the point.)  Anyway, after discovering this, it took me 45 minutes and asking no less than six of my colleagues for assistance with various aspects of this ridiculously complicated task.

So after all that, today I go online to track the package (because it's not like I could ask the mailroom to take time away from their busy schedules to do any such thing), and I discover that the package which I was sending from Paris to the south-west of France was first sent to Germany to be processed and sorted and THEN sent to Spain to be processed and sorted AGAIN.  How much processing and sorting does one little envelope need???  I shouldn't be too annoyed, after all, it seems as though the package has finally made its way back to France (although not to its final destination yet - what, are you crazy?  It's only been 3 days, let's keep our expectations reasonable, people).  I'm wondering why I bothered with any of it - I am pretty sure I could have walked the package there more quickly.  Hell, I could have crawled there on my belly, backwards and blindfolded, and gotten it there before now. 

And I'm trying to detox at the moment - to borrow a phrase from Airplane (one of my favourite movies): "Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up drinking..."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Things you might see on the street #18 (buskers)

You know, I never really expected this to become a regular feature because when I started, I didn't realize how much crazy, quirky stuff I would see on the streets of Paris.  But it's out there and I keep running across it, so I'm going to start being more specific with the titles so that I can keep track of which is which (I suppose that means I will have to go back and re-title the previous posts as well, but that's a task for a rainy day when I have nothing better to do).  

Anyway, here is the latest:  I have seen a lot of buskers in my day - singers, guitarists, sax and trumpet players, you name it.  But a pianist?  It's a new one for me...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This isn't how they do it in Texas...

As you know, I like to keep my beady little eyes open for all things quirky and different here in Paris, and I'm pretty sure that seeing a line dancing lesson (in French!!!) taking place in front of the Hotel de Ville qualifies for that category.  You know, the French are talented at many things, but going by this, line dancing just ain't one of them. The only good thing about the lesson is the little kid on the left who is awesomely trying to follow along. 

I'm sorry, I shouldn't be mean about people trying to learn something, but Miss K has a little fantasy involving line dancing and a hot cowboy and this is really spoiling it for me, because he most certainly wouldn't be a Parisian cowboy.  Can you imagine?  A Parisian cowboy would have perfectly polished boots, a perfectly ironed shirt, a big scarf with a complicated knot, and he'd wear his ten-gallon hat tilted to the side like a beret.  If you'll excuse me, I have to go watch "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" again, just to get that image out of my head... 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Totally crap outfit of the week

Can someone please tell me what's going on here?  Is she wearing a potato sack with holes cut out at the bottom?  Or perhaps it's a new style of straitjacket and somehow the straps have come loose and wrapped around her legs?  I am not only baffled about what it is, I'm also completely mystified as to why anyone would wear such a thing in public.  I will concede that the shoes are kinda cute, but not cute enough to distract from the potato sack straitjacket - hell, she could be pushing a wheelbarrow full of frisky kittens and fluffy bunnies, and even they wouldn't be cute enough to distract from the horror of that garment...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Things you might see on a balcony

Well, you might see a cow.  It's not quite as awesome as the gold-painted bust of Elvis that my neighbours in Toronto used to keep on their balcony, but it's still pretty fun...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It started with nudity...

So this is how things went the other day - I was out on my postcard-sized balcony, drinking a cup of tea (as is my habit of a morning), when I noticed that in the building across the street, there was a woman sitting in the window one floor lower than me.  She was bent over, painting her toenails and all I could see was her back - I assumed she was wearing a halter top because it was a hot day, but noooooo.  When she sat up, there she was in all her nakedness, and I do mean all.  I nearly choked on my Earl Grey - Miss K is not what you'd call a prude, gentle readers, but if I'm going to see that much unclothed flesh that early in the morning, I'd really prefer it to be in male form and look like Hugh Jackman, if it wouldn't be too much to ask?

Anyway, after that, I thought I'd go for a little stroll around Paris, which somehow turned into a rather long hike from where I live in the Marais over to the Eiffel Tower and back again.  And along the way, there were some moments (nice ones, odd ones, and just plain perplexing ones) I thought I'd share with you:
Sweet elderly couple snuggled up together in the Tuileries.

Another "Paris being ridiculously picturesque" moment.

Why is there a large statue of South American revolutionary hero Simon Bolivar in Paris?  I'm rather intrigued -  am going to have to look that up...

A brass band playing a somewhat unexpected choice of music:

And not far away,  a French dixieland band - who even knew that there is such a thing as French dixieland??  It was news to me...

Then a whole skip full of books being thrown away, and people swarming in like sharks to get them:

Yeah, because you just never know when a French book on cardiology or a German book about make-up techniques will come in handy...
Some rather awesome street art:

A bridge which I am always nervous about walking beneath, because it looks like it's held together with spit and baling wire:

A guy practicing his tightrope walking skills:

And a large display of power tools.  I don't know, I never really pictured Parisian guys being that interested in the relative merits of different types of band saws and drill presses, but apparently power tools are a universal thing for guys...
And that was my day...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Things you might see in Montmartre

Ahh, Montmartre.  Great big cathedral?  Yep.  Moulin Rouge?  Absolutely.  Guy wearing a vaseful of live goldfish on his head while wearing a tie-dyed shirt and making balloon animals?  Oh, you bet...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Things you might see on the street

The McMammoth.  Not quite as well known as the Big Mac, but perhaps it will catch on...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Things you might see in a shop

I was in my local supermarket yesterday when I noticed what the guy in front of me was buying (I took it on my phone very quickly, excuse the blurriness): paper napkins, seven bottles of wine, and that really blurry thing on the far left, which you can't quite make out, is a can of whipped cream.  Dude, I like the way you party...

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Top 10 (so far)

I was looking at my blog stats today, and it's quite interesting to see which posts have been the most popular with you, gentle readers.  And since it also seems that I've had an influx of new readers recently (welcome!), I thought I would let you know what this blog's  Top 10 All-Time Most Popular Posts have been thus far:
10.  No surprise that another compilation made it into the Top 10 - I had so many left-over photos of crappy outfits from 2010 that I needed to do a whole extra post just to share them all:
Totally crap outfits of 2010 (previously unseen)

9.  Ahh, the glamour of living in Paris.  You seemed to enjoy hearing about how moving is just as stressful here as it is anywhere else...

8.  Not much in the way of writing, but some of my prettiest photos ever:
Jour Blanche

7.  Same again - minimal writing in this travel post, but y'all sure seemed to appreciate the photos:
Charming Chartres

6.  One of my sillier moments, but I had fun writing it and it seems you also enjoyed this story of doomed feline romance:
"Tails" of romance from the City of Love

5. Another post about travel - I personally think you only liked it because you're all now hooked on cheese crack:
Why the Belgians are better than the French (Pt 2)

4. Aaaand you're back to the topic of love (although human this time, not feline); coming in at Number Four, my romantic travails in the most romantic (yeah, whatever) city on the planet :
Paris: City of Love. Really?

3.  Seriously, you guys?  This is what you clicked on enough times to put it into third place?  Jeez.  Glad you were all so amused at my hideousness.  Hmph.  And I'll have you know that my eyelashes are, in fact, growing back - I expect to look human again sometime around the end of...erm...June, or thereabouts...
The eyes have it. Well, they used to...

2.  In second place, one of my more educational and well-written (if I do say so myself - it amused me to re-read it, which is always a good sign) posts, featuring the ever-popular Tiny Dancer (previously known as Miss A before I decided I had to give people proper nicknames):
Nature Capitale

1.  And at Number One, this is hands-down, by-a-mile, the most popular blog post I have ever written - I don't know if it's because it features the awesome Mr and Mrs Redneck, or because I took some mighty pretty photos, or because the subject matter (champagne) is interesting to a lot of people, but whatever the appeal is, here it is again:
Reims with the Rednecks

So, having seen what you like (not all of which would have been in my own personal Top 10 of my best work, I have to admit - which goes to show how little I know of popular opinion!), I must conclude that you're totally down with my pretty pictures, but not so much with my yapping.  Hmmm - I am not sure if I should consider that a big "yay!" to my photographic skills and a giant "booo, you suck!" to my writing skills, but I'm hoping it all just averages out over time.  Regardless, thanks for following/subscribing/visiting, and I'll try to keep up with your high standards, gentle-but-demanding readers!  Much love, Miss K

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Things you might see on the street

Well, I really hope this banner is for some kind of art exhibit, because otherwise it's somewhat of a downer, don't you think?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Things you might see in a shop

Okay, I'm not really sure what they actually sell in this shop because it's always closed, but I wouldn't go in there anyway -   these hands in the window are just creeeeeepy... 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Things you might see at the Louvre

Well, if you are at the little park between the Louvre and the Tuileries on a warm day, you might see this gentleman taking his parrots out for a walk and some time in the sunshine - I saw him there last summer and again this year, so it must be a fairly regular thing.  Taking your parrots for a walk seems as though it might be slightly odd behaviour, but I am becoming so blasé and Parisian that I can't really tell anymore...


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chic chiens?

I think there is a doggie fashion show taking place around the corner from my apartment right now.  And the reason why I think this is because when I was walking home this afternoon, that street was closed off (with security guards in attendance, no less) and there was a big catwalk (or should it be dogwalk?) laid out in front of the very large pet store there.  And now, a couple of hours later, techno-ish music suitable for a fashion show is pumping out, I can hear an announcer yapping  away (although it's too far away for me to actually make out the words) and I can also hear an awful lot of dogs barking.  Gentle readers, I could go investigate this for you, but that would involve traipsing down my five long flights of stairs and then dragging myself back up them again afterward.  And what if I'm wrong?  A doggie fashion show in Paris would be just weird enough to be kinda awesome, but I'm not about to take the chance.   Besides, and more importantly, Furry Man-Whore is completely flaked out on my lap and if I disturbed him to go and check out a bunch of dogs, he would take his little kittycat revenge out on me somehow - it's just not worth the risk that he might vomit in my hair when I'm sleeping.  Not that he's ever done such a thing, but that's why I try not to make him mad at me...


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crab bread

Everyone knows that the French make the best bread in the world - baguette, batard, brioche (to name just a few) - ooooh la la!  But perhaps the bakers here are getting a little bored and need to amuse themselves?    I passed a local boulangerie the other day, and couldn't quite believe the awesomeness of these loaves (please forgive the poor quality of the photos, I was in a hurry and was shooting through the window glass):

Turtle bread

Gator bread
My personal favourite - crab bread!!!
Sea creatures at the bakery
Totally amazing, and although you can't tell from the photos, they're really big as well, a good couple of feet long (or wide, as in the case of Monsieur Crab).  I was very impressed with these, although not quite as impressed as I was with the local boulangerie which makes bread shaped to say this delicately?...well, it's shaped like male genitalia.  That's right, it's penis bread.  (Which is yet another sentence I never thought I'd say.)  Well, that's a photo for another day, gentle readers...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Things you might see by the canal

I was out for a stroll beside the canal the other night, and I happened upon this sign.  You might be wondering what it means, and you are not the only ones.    I can't even begin to guess.  Watch out for chickens walking on top of hotdogs?  Seriously, I do not have a clue.  Paris is a mysterious place sometimes...