Friday, October 11, 2013


Let's not be coy. We all know that, just before coming to France for the first time, I did the unthinkable and joined Facebook. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and to be fair, I think it does serve a purpose. But one negative side-effect has been that this blog has suffered, languishing at times for long periods of neglect. (I am making a conscious effort to do better this trip).

Facebook has its pros and cons, and I certainly don't want to exaggerate its benefits. The great majority of my posts over there represent nothing more than banal commentary on the quotidian details of my life, dressed up in a kind of brittly amusing, see-what-a-witty-guy-I-am prose, all the while conforming to the unspoken rule of Facebook, which is that everyone is out there CONSTANTLY DOING EXCITING INTERESTING MEANINGFUL THINGS AND HAVING ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF FUN AND/OR RAISING INCREDIBLY TALENTED, PHOTOGENIC, DELIGHTFUL OFFSPRING WITH WHOM THEY SHARE AN INFINITE SEQUENCE OF ADORABLY GOLDEN MOMENTS. Because people don't go on Facebook to share their defeats.

So you can be thankful that you are spared most of the nervous chatter that makes up my Facebook feed. With that caveat in mind, I am now going to cheat, and copy a few recent FB posts directly into this post. Because I'm lazy, and because I think they do convey something interesting or potentially amusing. For you FB users, it will be déjà vu from here on out.

Thursday October 10th:

From an e-mail to Paddy right now:

"I am noticeably less anxious than at any time since coming to Paris. Because today finally confirmed that my plan, hatched what - about 15 or 18 months ago - is NOT suddenly going to turn to shit or crash in flames. Which I suppose my inner demon had been secretly fearing all this time. Now he can just shut the f### up for a while (not that he isn't skilled at 
conjuring up other things to obsess about, but he has been put in the corner for now)."

And if you are thinking "only a bozo could be anxious in Paris", you're not wrong. And it's not that I haven't had a good time this past month, it's been great. But there was that niggling worry* that maybe this Sorbonne thing might not have been such a good idea. That worry is now gone. So, yea!

* My capacity for niggling worries is stupidly large.

Friday October 11th:

My phonetics placement test today was hilarious. About two sentences in, the prof asked me if maybe my mother had been French, because usually anglophones had all kinds of problems which I didn't seem to have. The rest of the time she kept racking her brains for sentences to stump me with, eventually she had to call over two of her colleagues and we all had a hilarious time. Finally they decided that my nasal consonants could use some work, so with obvious relief were able to assign me to a group that would be working on that.
Also, mercifully, I got bumped up from "advanced" to "superior" (or will be on Monday). In the new group I will have the same teacher, but there are only six students, many of them adults like me (nobody in the previous group was over 24). 
I have been accused of many things, but never - until today - of having a French mother.

Friday October 11th:

Went to see a bunraku performance at the Theatre de la Ville tonight. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. However, 25 minutes is an awfully long time to watch two marionettes die in a tragic suicide pact (particularly when part of theritual involved them ripping her sash-thingy and then tying themselves together with it; this gets difficult when each marionette is being manoeuvred by three not-so-unobtrusive ninja-type handlers, so now you had six people trying to make us believe the knot was being tied by dainty puppet fingers - it was like some kind of hideous topology problem gone horribly, horribly wrong, and given that they were going to die by stabbing anyway, what was the point really, though I did enjoy when the music sped up to a nice jaunty rhythm to accompany the frenzied stabbing part, and it's way past time to close these parentheses). So anyway, it was quite unlike anything I had seen before, but did manage to be quite moving and here is a link:

1 comment:

  1. SpuriousLitigations R UsNovember 14, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    I hope you are suing yourself over the egregious case of plagiarism.