Monday, June 25, 2007

Urgent News Bulletin

Do not be fooled by common misconceptions. These subjects have
not simply chosen to "tune out" of the art gallery experience.
They are in abdominal crises resulting from acute vegetable overdose.


25 juin 01:15 heures

Today at lunch it was brought to my attention (I was in fact, forcefully informed through a complicated verbal discourse) that there is a direct, cause and effect link between eating too many vegitables and stomach aches.

Furthermore, apparently more than one or two teaspoonsful of the offending food element is more than sufficient to produce this undesired condition.

This phenomenon may reach critical mass as any subject approaches the age of three. However each individual is advised to make his or her own informed medical and nutritional decisions.

No further information is available at this time, however rumors are circulating of a massive and well financed mis-information campaign that suggests consuming as many as five or more individual varieties of the offending elements in each 24 hour nutritional period. Given the current medical alert, any such campagne is clearly directed towards destabilizing the core family unit with chronic abdominal discomfort.

Caution is advised.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Continued Kitten Saga

Well, we are still in major kitten search mode here. Fortunately. The reason I say fortunately is that we went through a couple of days of crisis, where it was almost decided that spending money on a kitten at this moment is totally insane. Which it is. Totally. There is the hardwood floor to be installed. The new “artsy” radiators have to be mounted. We are only just back from throwing money at frivolous objects like flip-flops in London. The list is long and deep and the pockets are not.

That is not the point. The point is, I want a kitten. All pretense that this kitten is for the kids has fallen by the wayside. All pretense that a pet is a good teaching tool, a great mechanism for affective development, is finished, kaput, irrelevant. The only thing important now is that I want a kitten. I need a kitten for my personal well-being. And furthermore, not just any kitten. I need (a) George. Exclusively dog lovers, will never understand. Tant pis.

So, as you might see, I was falling into a major slump. Full-on depression. Turn me into a do-not-talk-to-me, the-world-sucks-lemons, monster. “You want to finish the electrical work in the living room? Don't look at me, I’ve got important blogging to do.” “Finish surfacing the walls in the hallway and paint? Keep dreaming.” “Frankly, I don’t care if the library* stays just like it is - it has books in it - what’s the problem?”

The problem is clear. Some sort of re-incarnated 17th century warlock without his familiar, I have suddenly become a loose, kitten-less, canon. Everything is in danger of being destroyed until this hunger is sated.

Problems of this sort are frequent on the French socio-political scene. And although I didn’t reach the point of taking my cause to the streets with assorted flags and banners, my French companion decided in typically shrewd French political fashion, that it would be prudent to indulge the beast. “What the hell, we might as well go ahead a find a kitten.” Yes, that is, if you ever want to eat another decent meal in this house.

The search for (a) George continues.

By now, the close observer has figured out that the original potential George as posted previously, is a moot case. Sold, vendu, as in doesn’t have a brother, go away, don’t bother me, yes I am a French person raising rare cats for sale, don’t even think I need to be nice to you. Case closed.

So why not just any kitten? Because. Just because. As I said, “I need (a) George.” And just any kitten is not (a) George. A kitten can be cute, even adorable, and still not be (a) George. The kitten can be male or female, but the kitten must look like (a) George.

I will try to illustrate, with 19th century photos from Nadar (Gaspard-FĂ©lix Tournachon) and contemporary photos from Madame Maurel (a nice, courteous, French woman who raises cats at Les Scottish Du Garlaban **)

This is (a) George.
Without pretense, George.
(George Sand, by Nadar around 1864)

This is not (a) George.
She is beautiful,
but not a George.
(Sarah Berhardt, by Nadar
around 1864)

This is (a) George.
Note the lack of pretense.
The calm, matter of fact,
melancholy demeanor.

This is not (a) George.
Adorable, panting,
puppy-like, "pick me",
I can do somersaults,
but not (a) George.

I hope that is clear now. So don’t send me any more pictures of cute, adorable, kittens. I will only entertain the purchase, adoption, or otherwise procuring , or publishing the pictures of (a) George.

Bless you,
Yours Truly,

PS: * Do not take away any fancy misconceptions by the use of the term “library”. The library also happens to be the kid’s room, the office, the guest room, closets...
* *If you are in the market for a British Shorthair or Scottish Fold kitten, do not even think of trying to beat me out of the race to get one of hers. This is a battle that observes no conventions and takes no prisoners. I will use my 17th century warlock powers to have you destroyed.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lesson in Lazy

No excuses.
Just lazy.

Does anyone know the name of this oddly flattened peach? They were delicious. Light peach fuzz on a thin skin. Smell just like peaches. White flesh, delicately sweet, with a teeny tiney pit about 1/2 inch in diameter.

They were brought to me from one of the outdoor markets yesterday. Sort of like when your cat leaves a mouse on the threshold of the front door. Voila, just for you... see how much I care.

But I need to know what their name is. Where they come from. How much they cost. How long is the season? Are they likely to be there next week?

I mean really, some people just don't use their head.
"I am too appreciative! But I need to know this stuff!"

Anyway, I'm going to do like the plant people say, stick the pit in a plastic bag with some soil-like junk in it and let it uglify my refrigerator for a while. Then I can give it to one of my rich land-owner friends to grow into a tree and 30 or 40 years from now when I'm dead and gone, everybody can get together and have delicious peach deserts from my tree.

I hope I don't have to let it sit in my refrigerator until next year. My generosity has limits. Remind me to tell you how long my dilapidated 1959 Hillmann Husky sat in my sister's driveway. We don't be wantin' the word "trash" batted around in the same sentence with our family name.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

From Eggs to Babies

Can you die from eating eggs of questionable age? They didn't smell bad, and the omelet tasted pretty good. Oh geez. Maybe the herbs hid the smell of imminent death. Maybe I'll just spend the evening kneeling before the porcelain throne - wishing I was dead. Why didn't I just throw the eggs out? I can't die yet, my family needs me. The little monsters are hardly more than babies.

Speaking of babies. Do women just loose all sense of reality when it comes to infants or what? Have you seen some of the examples being splattered across the blog-o-sphere lately?

I've been following (at a safe distance) several examples in our own little expatriate microcosm. The list is too large, and you are unlikely to follow all the links so I'll just give you one example.

Doc, at 10 Rue De La Charme, has added a charming young lady to the list. To whit she has posted a photo for all to see of this unsuspecting child all done up in a Sumo wrestler fashion diaper, captioned "Hope this makes you giggle as much as us." Pause. Where is Doc? Where is the woman of superb dry wit that can reduce a sacred subject to melted jello? This was the woman who could deftly and mercilessly place the killing blow to my already weakened sense of fashion self respect. It must be postpartum hormones. Or maybe it is simply the genetic female response to seeing a newborn infant. Yes, it must be that. And forthwith all those comments of beautiful baby solidarity.

All, or at least most babies are ... charming? They certainly have some sort of pull on us. But beautiful? Ladies, I'm sorry but I have yet to see a beautiful newborn infant. There must be a hormone thing going on here. A genetic compulsion programed to keep women from grimacing and drop kicking that red, wrinkled, mass of unformed flesh into the next field. Wait. Don't get me wrong. This is a good thing. They do turn into cute and beautiful babies at some point. A good 6 months or more if ours were any example.

Here you see an example at over 3 months, still bordering on hairless grimlens, not to mention the very spooky eyes. I don't have the nerve of showing anything younger. Way too scary.
They probably shouldn't let guys see babies soon after birth. Although, personally, I think it would help if women could get a grip with the hormones and be just a little more honest about this beautiful baby thing. A lot of guys must think they are wandering around in the twilight zone when they hear all those comments and look at the subject. We are in a try to match the words with the image game, and it kind of makes us feel like there must be something wrong with us. "Uh, yea, er, sure, of course, he's gorgeous." (Oh my god, my kid is going to look like J. Edgar Hoover.)

It is a wonder I didn't have a heart attack.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

As usual, there is lots of catching up to do. Any number of subjects to broach. Photos to post. Smiling faces. Tears.

I'll get to it.

But first, this is George.

Well, for the moment he is a potential George. He may actually be a Fred or a Tom or more likely a Pierre or Jean-Luc. He may already belong to another family because I was late in finding the advertisement in the kitten column.

The monsters are absolutely cat CRAZY. Anything cat or cat-like. And since I come from a very cat oriented family, and am very susceptible to little girls whining with batting eyelashes, and little boys plaintive si-tu-plait-ing, we are in the market for a furry feline. At 3 years, I'm figuring I can convince them not to squeeze all his insides, out.

George is of course adorable and George is more likely to have a personality that allows himself to be dressed up in doll clothes, pushed around in baby strollers, and otherwise tenderly tortured. But there are all those other Georges and Georgettes out there with little chance for a warm, stable, wholesome, and reasonably well decorated home.

Not that I care about the drapery ending in shreds, but my experiences with street smart genetics have proved risky in the past. And forever bandaging wee little hands and drying tears because the fur ball won't leave the security of his under-the-sofa-hideaway is not the purpose. What to do, what to do.

There is no question of physically going to an animal shelter. Speaking of risky past adventures. The resulting car filled to the brim with a collection of dogs, cats, hamsters and assorted furry critters is just not acceptable. And I own up to having no, absolutely not an ounce, of willpower when faced with all those pitiful little upturned faces.

I'm going to nap on it, and we'll see how it all pans out.