Monday, June 22, 2009


Three reasons to give this another try:
-use my writing to something else than emails and press releases
-respond to A. who says that this is what happens when you get married.
- avoid brain rot as my favourite Doctor/Employer always said.

Let's see how it goes and if anyone is actually interested. Other than me that is.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just one of the anxieties I daily ignore

Soon, very soon, there will be a wedding.

With all sorts of cheese and various parents-in-laws.

It will be interesting.

I think I'll watch 'The Celebration' by Thomas Vinterberg just to get inspiration on what can actually be accomplished on these occasions. It's a good film on the theme of destruction, saddness and evil that can be brought to light when families come together.

I should organise a screening on the night before the wedding.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Yo soy

You know those occasions when you get to make a wish? Blowing out your birthday candles, blowing on an eyelash that's been placed on your nose, watching a star fall. You know that wish that you make and that you're never supposed to tell? Because if you do, it won't come real.

I'm going to let you in on a secret. I have never made a wish that actually counts on those occasions. Curing cancer, being happy for ever and ever and never letting G. die of some horrible disease. I could wish for all of that but I don't. I figure it's too risky putting that much at stake on only a wish.

So every time I am confronted with these occasions, I wish for being able to speak Spanish. Not for it to come to me just like that, but for it to be easy to learn.

But it's so not. It's difficult. Not like difficult, I'll get through it. More like difficult, my Spanish lessons sound like this: "ehhhh, para que mi, eeeeehhhh, how do you say 'am'? ok, yo soy, eeeehhh, how do you say tired?". And yet I love it so much.

This weekend, G. and I were in Madrid. I spent the two days driving G. crazy by pronouncing every word I saw with a Spanish accent and then asking what it means.

But my God I love it. It's worth every moment of irritation from his side.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


New year's resolutions:
- learn how to control my anger. (practice on incompetent wedding invitation maker who said she would have to get the guard if I didn't calm down).
- really. stop peeling off the skin around my fingers. no one wants to see a bride with bloody fingers.
- actually reflect on what the guy in street wants said with his meterlong sign : "Shopping is not leisure".
- practice on my phobia of not being able to sit surrounded by people and in enclosed spaces. Start with sitting in the middle of a cinema.
- realise that I don't have hair of sufficient quality to be long.
- throw away the Christmas tree before February.
- stop buying salad only to ease conscience.
- be nice to g.

Friday, October 5, 2007

''If you want a good time, she gone give you what you want''

My intention was to write about two fun things in this post: My recent visit to the top of a mountain and a dance class I took last week. But I just witnessed something too interesting not to mention it.

Our TV is working after a break of two months. So, now there's MTV. But it's not like it used to be. When I was younger I watched MTV day and night and knew every video by heart. Now I just watch it occasionally and turn it off understanding why it worries parents that their children stay glued to it.

It's not so much the videos in which the singer flexes her body in every thinkable position, while looking into the camera with a finger in her mouth, that bother me. I've spent so much energy, and time, analysing them that they don't affect me in the same way as before. The intention is too obvious to me and it just leaves me sad that female artists have to go through this - claiming female liberation and calling it freedom to choose - in order to get the notoriety they desire.

Additonally, it scares me to think that this is how role models are presented to the impressable young, still caught in the image-construction phase. But, being part of the system, having been there, flexing on floors of dance floors in attempts to look like Beyonce, or thinking that too thin women are the most beautiful ones, I am exhausted (and maybe still too affectable) to reflect on solutions.

Now, what really bothers me are the sleek videos, made by important producers, featuring talented musicians and dancers. The performers are all dressed in next year's fashion, the sounds have never been heard before, dance moves not thought of until now. It's every artists dream to one day collaborate with them. They're so cool and so sleek and so new and so young. They're it.

Today I watched a video, subconsciously drumming my finger against my thigh, while consciously developing an amazement toward the extrordinary open exploit of the female body and mind. This particular video tells the story of three men, Mr. Timbaland, Mr. Justin Timberlake and Mr. 50 Cents who - through technology- have found a way to film women through walls, cars and buildings. And they discover women are masturbating 24/7! (Only problem though, I don't think the majority of women look like they're in a porn flic while they please themselves. And in the car? Must be dangerous like hell.)

The lyrics are especially interesting as the three gentlemen explain that they're tired of using technology (but aren't they excited to have found a way to see through walls? They could make millions if you ask me). So they suggest to the girls that they just 'sit down on top of me' (yes, it rhymes with 'technology') or that they 'need you in front of me'. (That rhymes too!). It's quite confusing.

Anyway, never mind. After the masturbation scenes, Mr Timberlake is in a car with binoculars directed towards a bourgeois building where a young lady is undressing in the window (behind a curtain of course, she is not an exhibitionist!). Mr Timberlake then suddenly manages to control her moves (he violently reaches out his hand - her back arches so much that you think the spine is going to break). He then finds himself, fully dressed in front of her door, and she is there as well, almost naked, (how did she know he was there? Did he ring the bell?) with her legs around him while he presses his big leather-gloved hand against her throat. But she still wants him there and then (well she is ''always ready, when you want it she want it, like a nympho'' like Mr 50 Cents adds).

The next scene pictures our three gentlemen in a very classy apartment with girls who wear expensive lingerie and dance and flex and bend and who give them lapdances although our heroes do not seem very interested with their best 'I'm not bothered'-face.

And then: The end.

Wait! I forgot the end-lyrics sung by Timbaland: 4x ''You're hips, you're thighs, you got me hypnotized, let me tell you''.

Well, it was the first time I saw it, but I can't make out if this video is meant to be: (choose one)
a) a tribute to strippers (''She work it girl, she work the pole'')
b) a tribute to prostitutes (If you want a good time, she gone give you what you want'')
c) a tribute to handicapped (''Think she double jointed from the way she splitted'')

Either way, it's deeply disturbing as it is very demeaning either way. This video has nothing, not even a slightest resemblance, to what real life looks like. You might argue that not many music videos do, and I agree. But the glamourized and nonchalant way of presenting (either one) of these important and problematic issues is just wrong. In every way.

So, you've understood why it intellectually bothers me. However, the frustrating part for me is that I enjoy it. Well, parts of it. They could have left out the story about the three gentlemen and their ladies. But the clothes, the moves, the beats and the filming are really good.

Thus, brainquizz for the weekend: Does this kind of music compulsory need these types of videos in order to be popular? If not, would squaredance be more popular?

You can read the lyrics here
And watch the video here

Friday, September 28, 2007

New Rushes

I guess my life has come to some sort of standstill - despite wedding plans and an exhausting job. So, I am looking for new rushes. Just like the ones you got when you discovered that alcohol has an influence on you. Or when you went on vacation for the first time without your parents. Or when you, without trying, managed to construct a near-to-perfect-sentence in that foreign language you'd been struggling with for years.

But all rushes come to an end. Having wine is nice but not exciting anymore. I go on vacation without my parents all the time, and as for my foreign languages, I have reached a point where I don't progress anymore.

Therefore, my new rush consists of eating grapes while taking a shower.

It provokes a very strange mix of feelings: like something is completely wrong. Water is running over your head and yet you're chewing.

Eating in the bath is normal, but in the shower.. no. It's so utterly against your normal habits.

When this one doesn't do it for me anymore, I'll try a sandwich. With cheese. Or a cup of tea.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tappeti tap - - Clappeti clap

I have discovered that I prefer to put on shoes that make a tapping sound against the pavement.

Not because I want to disturb tired people in the mornings when I walk past them on my way to work.

Not because I want people to look at me when I dress up at night.

And not because I want to pursue my passion for tap dancing.

No. It's because I like to hear the sound of my own existence. It feels like the universe acknowledges me when I can trace the sound that my feet make.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bleeding heart

There is one thing that people need to know about me in order to say that they know me. It's my bleeding heart. My sister has the same type. Sometimes we act on the injustices we see, other times we just cry about them.

This heart is what has made us, since the age of being able to speak, force our Dad to change from the crowded, popular restaurant to the empty one, with bad food across the square, just because we imagine the owner being sad about not having any customers. We have also, through the years, made my Mum give beggars some money and then some more, made parents and friends invite weird neighbours over to parties, force strangers to take care of run-over birds, rats, mice and hedgehogs. If the animals are not dead, we've made scenes about not mercy killing them but instead taking their remains to the vet to be fixed.

This bleeding heart is also what makes my sister cry everytime her boyfriend leaves. As he works as a pilot, and hence leaves at least a couple of times a week, it is quite an inconvenient heart to have. I think she is handling it though. Her boyfriend as well. And if he isn't, then at least it's nice to know that your girlfriend is sad because you're leaving and not because you're coming home.

For my part, this heart is what makes me, quite often, seriously question what I am doing in Europe when there is so much to be done in developing countries. Every time I see a film or read a book about war-famine-drought-genocide in Africa, I want to give up everything I have here and go work for the UN. When I realise I'm too selfish to do that, I cry --

Or I have, up until yesteray when I saw the film 'Blood Diamond' with Leonardo di Caprio. It had all the necessary elements for my heart to start bleeding: an African country at war, desperation, horrific actions and a 'true' story. I didn't feel a thing. I wonder if it's because of the Hollywood bangbang-bloodsplash-runrun to hysterical music or because my heart has gone numb?

But this is easy to test. I'll just go looking for a café where an old man sits at a table. Alone. Eating cake. In his best Sunday-suit. That always does it for me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


At lunch today, I was telling my colleagues about the air hostess at Virgin Atlantic.
The one who screamed 'WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE' over the loud speaker.

I made them laugh their heads off.

That got me very smug and I continued the performance by laughing just enough myself to make them think that I'm always this funny - that it's part of my personality. I also did a little mimic.

I am still laughing at the poor lady, still smug and still incredibly proud over my little gag.

But also wondering how she managed to, in a panic state, locate the interphone, push the button, and then blurt out that information.

Then it struck me that I probably didn't have my facts right. Because, really, how could she have? Sweating, I looked the event up on the internet and realised with horror that I was right about myself. She didn't scream over the interphone. She just screamed every time there was turbulence and there were only a couple of passengers next to her who heard it. Neither did she say "We're all gonna die" but a lot more boring "We're gonna crash". That's not nearly as funny as my version.

Now I keep thinking about how all my colleagues look it up on the internet, realise I was wrong, and then start to send emails to eachother with the actual article, discussing what a pathetic attention-seeker I am, distorting facts to make them laugh.

I am torn in between putting up a casual note by the lunch table, explaining the real facts and just leaving the joke as it is, hoping that no one doubts the veracity. It's like the battle of consciences. One part of me wants to prevent my poor self from evil things said behind my back. The other one just want to continue riding on the glory of being considered as a fantastic joke-teller.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blue cheek

G's parents have a summer cottage where they spend all their holidays. It's not actually a cottage, but a small studio. G. and I barely fit in there.

The studio is part of a lot that lines up about 20 little homes. They're all attached so you basically see your right hand neighbour, as well as your left one, every hour of the day through the holes in the fences that are situated on both sides of the houses. Three studios share one small yard. This doesn't bother me at all. It provides me with insights that not everyone spends their vacation in Hawaii.

The neighbours to the right are called Mr and Mrs Lopez. They're not old but they're not young either. They have three grown-up children who come to visit regularly with their own children. Mr and Mrs Lopez are quiet and friendly and not at all invasive. They say 'hello' in the morning and 'goodnight' before they close the curtains. They smile when you walk by.

As a couple, they represent something special to me. Because deep down under that cynical facade of preparing for divorce before getting married, I do want to spend the rest of my life with G. This couple embodies in many ways how I picture us when we're old.

They play cards in the afternoons and always have a drink before dinner. At night, they sit and talk quietly next to each other. The only thing that interupts the humming sound is Mrs Lopez' laughter. On other nights I see them walking by us in town, holding hands. Sometimes they see us and say 'hi' but most of the times they're in their own world where everyone else is excluded.

This summer, there was no Mrs Lopez.

G's mother told us that she died in June.

Arriving at the studio, we said hello to Mr Lopez. He seemed frail and I didn't know what to say. The compulsary 'ca va?' wasn't appropriate anymore. So I said nothing. Feeling bad because I don't know him well enough to give him a hug, and not little enough to pretend I don't know. Later that night I saw him standing at the gate and went to express my condoleances.

He cried in front of me.

I cried in the shower afterwards.

Then, I thought to myself that Mr Lopez is lucky to have his daughter and her two children, a boy and a girl, staying with him at a time like this. They're gorgeous. Quiet, with luminous eyes, the children stare at us through the fence. The boy never speaks. G. and I wondered if he was autistic.

The next day, I heard the first slap.

A little later in the evening the second one.

When we left a couple of days later, the little boy waved bye to us by the gate. Smiling, his cheek was blue.

I wondered, in the car home, if we should have done something. In France, it's accepted to slap your child. Not to beat, but to slap. It's a fine line. Between what's accepted and what's not. Between how much you can observe and when you have to intervene. Between to what extent grief can be the scapegoat and when you use grief as a reason to.

I wonder if the grown-up boy will think about us sometimes and blame us for our passiveness?