Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Culture Vulture

I know that some of my readers like to live vicariously through my assorted cultural sorties when I am away from home, so this post is to reassure you that I have not been neglecting the cultural side of things.

For instance, on Sunday I went to see the fine new Justin Timberlake movie "Friends with Benefits". It was just the ticket on an overcast Sunday in Paris, and helped avoid the frenzied media re-living of the events of September 11th. Although the movie is a rom-com that follows a well-known formula, it was surprisingly well done, with a light touch and an air of not taking itself too seriously. I saw it in English, with French subtitles, and kept wishing I had bought a pen to note down assorted very useful sexual slang terms. As this is a family blog, I'm sure my readers have no interest in knowing that the French for MILF is "mere baisable". Or that .... never mind...

Perhaps tonight's performance of "Le Songe d'une nuit d'été" will garner me more points on the culture scale. I just spent 10 minutes getting reacquainted with the plot on Wikipedia, before giving up with the realisation that most of the point of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is that the plot is so fiendishly complicated that nobody can follow it.

On the literary front, I have been reading the short stories of Carson McCullers in French, which are surprisingly accessible, and just as delightful as I remembered. I bought a paperback edition of her collected works for a mere 25 Euro on Saturday, but am steering clear of the longer works ("Le Coeur est un Chasseur Solitaire", "La ballade du cafe triste"), as these have the kind of melancholy that is potentially wrist-slittingly depressing if you are living on your own in a Paris garret ...

Also, today, I took an important step in the serious phase of learning any language, and bought my first French-French dictionary - "le petit Robert".

In other news, I have finalized arrangements for a one-week trip to Ireland, from October 1st to October 8th. Happy to report that both the Aer Lingus fare, and the rate at Jury's hotel in Cork, were surprisingly reasonable. (Though I could stay with friends while in Cork, the Jury's splurge is my little present to myself, to make up for the slightly spartan conditions here in my little garret).

Anyway, that's the news here in Lake Woebegon, where the quality of profiteroles continues to be extraordinaire. The pigeons, on the other hand, are definitely up to something:

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