Mar 30, 2008

Berkeley, CA. United States of America



In response to the LBAM aerial spraying my mother-in-law says: "I plan to hold my breath every other 30 days for a month and wear protective clothing, like astronaut suits." I told her she'll blend in perfectly with such a suit in Berkeley.

Paris—perpendicular parking

Paris—billboard



If you ever forget which country you're visiting, look at yoghurt/shampoo commercials or surrounding billboards, and if you see naked women or a singer's crotch, then my friend you are in France.

Mar 28, 2008

LBAM: Arnold, go back to your weight lifting.

"Rather than correctly reclassifying the LBAM (Light Brown Apple Moth) as is indicated by modern scientific research as a negligible pest, the governor and the CDFA are willing to aerially spray 7 million Californians with known carcinogens to protect trade profits, while calling their product a harmless pheromone."

We are getting sprayed:
San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, Albany, and more residential areas are going to be aerially sprayed with a biochemical as often as every 30 days starting August 1, 2008!
Santa Cruz & Monterey County residential areas are going to be aerially sprayed with a biochemical as often as every 30 days starting June 1, 2008!

CASS (California Alliance to Stop the Spray) is providing non-violent civil disobedience training this Saturday, March 29, 2008.

George W. Bush said it was "Irresponsible"

To the two democratic presidential candidates and their broad government rescue plans proposal for homeowners, President Bush and his top advisers say "that it would be a bailout for both irresponsible lenders and irresponsible borrowers." Irresponsible?! As in starting a war based on lies and sending thousands of soldiers to death, without counting all the innocent dismembered victims lying six feet under? As in supporting a health care system in which health insurance companies spend millions of dollars trying to figure out how NOT to insure their clients? As in the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools? As in signing a law prohibiting constitutional abortion rights? As in hindering scientific research for decades to come? As in not ratifiying the Kyoto protocol? Irresponsable? As in we the people have not yet managed to IMPEACH you?

Mar 27, 2008

The war in Iraq costs

One of the other reasons why we moved outside of the U.S.A: so that our tax dollars don't go to a war we did not vote for.
Wouldn't it be powerful if every City Hall displayed a war counter for their community? Just another reminder why not to vote for another GOP cracker in support of the Bush War.
And how can that Texan pretzel choker (still) be in power?!

Mar 26, 2008

Beaubourg—online tickets and pass



Skip the queue, buy and print your ticket online.
For more information click here.
If you are going to visit Beaubourg at least 4 times/year check out the pass options here.

Rétrospective Louise Bourgeois at Beaubourg—not to be missed



In her nineties and still producing art. Louise, the one-of-a-kind woman who used to iron her newspaper before reading it (and maybe still does).

Mar 25, 2008

L' Enfer de la Bibliothèque, Eros au secret—prolongations!



A few more days to go check out erotic drawings at the BnF. Lots of great illustrated small books, very entertaining illustrations (i.e: a man sharpening his penis on a grindstone, a bunch of nuns gathering around one who has a lobster hanging onto one of her coochie lips, a series of drawings where men are represented as dicks and women are doing all sorts of things to them...), a copy of Histoire de L'Oeil by Georges Bataille aka Lord Auch with illustrations by the awesome Hans Bellmer, and much more.

Here are a few quotes of lines seen along the exhibit:
-"Almanach des adresses des demoiselles de Paris, de tous genres et de toutes les classes ou Calendrier du plaisir."
-"Liste de tous les prêtres trouvés en flagrant délit chez les filles publiques de Paris, sous l'Ancien Régime avec le nom et la demeure des femmes chez lesquelles ils ont été trouvés et le détail des différents amusements qu'ils ont pris avec elles."
and in a more graphic style:
-"...et tu gobes le foutre quand tu suces une pine" excerpt from "Trois filles et leur mère" (1926) by Pierre Louÿs. A prostitute telling her daughter that she will swallow when giving head. Basically.

Mar 24, 2008

Beaubourg museum(2nd attempt)—I voodoo you



After waiting 45 minutes (20 of them standing outside in the really cold winter wind) i finally get to the ticket window and ask for 3 passes to the Louise Bourgeois exhibit. The ticket vendor tells me the show is momentarily closed and the next time i can get in that part of the museum is 8pm - that's 4 hours later. When i ask why nobody had let us know about it (the line was huge and i wasn't going to be the only one disappointed and exasperated) the guy says that they are about to announce it. I'm ready to buy tickets for the 8pm access but i ask him first if i'll have to wait in line again. He can't really assure me that i won't have to and then adds that the museum closes at 9pm. Good piece of information. I remind myself once again why i never go to museums on weekends and holidays. NEVER. Unfortunately that's how i ended up missing the X exhibit at the BnF, and that is partly why i ended up accepting to go to Beaubourg today, even though it is a big holiday. On my way out i'm not seeing anyone announce that the Louise Bourgeois exhibit is momentarily closed, but then i hear a very faint voice coming out of some speakers. If that's the announcement, let me tell you, nobody will hear it. I think the Centre George Pompidou speakers are blown!

Mar 22, 2008

Patrón Tequila in Paris, search no more!



It's not that my life revolves around good tequila but it did make me extra happy to get a bottle of Patrón Añejo from our Philly friend. I squeezed a shitload of lime (my bi/triceps were a little sore the next day, a bit pathetic but worth it) and made a big-ass bowl of guacamole. The tortilla chips weren't good. I haven't yet figured out where to get some good tortillas and tortilla chips.
More motivated than ever to find Patrón in Paris i finally ended up checking out IZRAEL - I guess finding out whether the store carried picante paprika wasn't a sufficient reason for me to go there - and to my delight it turns out i could find both the Silver/Reposado/Añejo Patrón tequilas AND pimentón picante. What really calmed me down though were the prices... 75€ the Silver tequila vs $40 in the U.S. That's a $118 bottle. Ouch. Aïe.

hours:
tues-friday: 9.30am-1pm – 2.30pm-7pm
sat: 9am-7pm

Mar 21, 2008

When a roman emperor leads you to french tapenade

If you type "seventies porn Caligula" in google, your search engine will take you to my blog about tapenade!

Mar 20, 2008

Pregnant Man



One of the things i really love about the United States is how many daring and courageous individuals can be found when it comes to setting themselves free of all sorts of social and culture taboos or condemned actions. This is the story of a trans guy (female to male) who decided to have a child because his wife -who had had an hysterectomy- couldn't bear one herself.
Good luck to him, it will take a lot of strength living his pregnancy in a world not at all ready for it.

Blister and wither!

"the fucking Puritans and their sex-hating, Jesus-freaking, GOP-voting descendants"
Dan Savage.

Mar 18, 2008

"In Most Species, Faithfulness Is a Fantasy"



"Dr. Gumert determined that male macaques pay for sex with that all-important, multipurpose primate currency, grooming. He saw that, whereas females groomed males and other females for social and political reasons — to affirm a friendship or make nice to a dominant — and mothers groomed their young to soothe and clean them, when an adult male spent time picking parasites from an adult female’s hide, he expected compensation in the form of copulation, or at the very least a close genital inspection."

Paris—tapenade (and Caligula)



Tapenade: i have found the one that makes me go back to the same old place over and over. It's the shop that sells all different kinds of olive oils from all different places around the Mediterranean sea, at the Marché Beauvau, place d'Aligre, and it is called Sur Les Quais.
I've only tried the green tapenades so far and my favorite one is the one with lemon. Sort of like the sangria from Taller de Tapas in Barcelona, it has that subtle element to it that very powerfully sends me way back in time. This particular tapenade takes me to Marocco when i was 10 and ate some kinda paste made out of herbs and olive oil at my persian friends in Casablanca. That's my North African version of les petites madeleines de Proust. Martini Rosso takes me back in time and place even further: Gabon, early seventies.
On a different note but still within the same theme, there's one word that when heard or seen brings up very specific images to my mind: Caligula. That word takes me back to Casablanca 1983, in the house of two friends, twin sisters, who owned a VCR (back in the days most people who lived comfortably had a V.C.R - at home there wasn't even a T.V.) That one day they had managed to pull some forbidden videos out of their parents' closet and that movie about the roman emperor ended up being my first porn. At 12 you tend to remember those kind of images. That's my visual madeleines de Proust.
All roads do indeed seem to lead to Rome. I mean, how do you end up from tapenade in the 12th arrondissement to the capital of Italy?

Mar 15, 2008

Elevator out-of-order

Today we helped Albine move to her 6th floor apartment with no elevator, a bunch of really nice old ladies climbing up and down the stairs, one of which i had to make conversation with (she was 3/4 deaf so it quickly turned into a monologue) when stuck between two flights of stairs while the boys were carrying the big furniture up, and a fuckin' weirdo down in the basement, half enclosed in his garage box, smoking out the whole underground parking lot with some kind of illegal car-fixing activity! When i suggested he wears a mask he said no, i'm perfectly fine thank you like i should've minded my own business. Next time i'll straight up tell him to go take his offensive polluting hobby out in the boonies. That was so wrong. I walked into a shitload of toxic gas, and i'm not talking elevator full of people "toxic" gas... With a little bit more luck i could've stepped in canine excrement and that would've been the perfect picture. A fantastic illustration of how, at times, your fellow french citizen couldn't care less about his neighbors!
Albine leaves on the other side of Place de la Nation from me. On my way to her apartment i walked through the Place de la Nation to get a closer look at the statues. Oh my. La République (the statue at the very top) had a post-it on her belly; one of the two statues representing Work had a band-aid on his forehead; the statue of the child lifting a big heavy book symbolizing education and intellectual work had a condom on his penis and, last but not least, La Paix (the statue representing Peace) had a bunch of chewing-gum stuck all along her ass crack!

Mar 13, 2008

The other main ingredient...

...for a successful party:
M U S I C (as indispensable as sugar in pastry)

I miss my West Berkeley backyard



Recipe for a good time:
-a backyard
-afternoon rolling fog (not indispensable but almost always present)
-firepit (completely illegal)
-liquor (indispensable and always present)
-priceless friends (first and foremost)

Troglodyte



I've been doing some thinking and it looks like a troglodyte home would be a good solution to our need to party hard without bothering anyone.

Mar 9, 2008

Paris—twins

Today i saw identical twins, when i say identical i mean identical: the two sisters had the same haircut, same fiery auburn hair, same outfit - green top, green pants, same silly gloves - greenish with a different color for each finger, same shoes, same hat, same lipstick, same umbrella - only one was holding it a bit to the side. That must have been the only difference i noticed between the two of them. I wondered if that was a one time thing or a habit of theirs. Then i was told about the famous San Francisco twins, and those two do dress up exactly the same way, every day. They eat the same things too.

Mar 8, 2008

Tequila with Stéphanie à la Perla.



It is possible to find good Tequila in Paris but unfortunate that bars use lemon instead of lime for their Margaritas. And if anyone out there finds a place in Paris that compares, even remotely, to Doña Tomás or even Tacubaya you ought to let me know. Please. French people tend to think mexican food isn't worth a detour! Such snobbery. Introduce them to Doña Tomás and you'll get converts. I've done it, it works.
You are visiting and you are wondering what to bring me... here's an idea:
-Don Julio (Añejo for the shots or Blanco for the Margaritas)
-Patron Silver and i'll make you the same Margaritas that got us all wild back in the days when we partied all night in the backyard. Until the po-po came over and threatened to fine us if there were any more complaints from the neighbors. Which leads me to think i'll never party as hard in Paris - where we all live so much closer to each other - as i did back in West Berkeley (don't know why but it sounds funny to say this, Berkeley vs Paris...). It'll be a while before we own a Hotel Particulier in Paris that will allow my girl to spin records as loud as she wants. And by then i'll probably be too old to handle loud music and shake my booty until the crack of dawn! Actually, how hard we can party at home without disturbing the neighbors has become a rather determining factor as to which city we will settle down in. Barcelona, so far, seems like a good choice.