Four Days in Paris Part 3

“I love Paris in the summer, when it sizzles.”
― Cole Porter

We couldn’t have had better weather for our Paris trip and in spite of liberal application of sunscreen, I still managed to burn my neck and shoulders. However, it was all in the cause of vintage hunting and I did come home with treasure, so I begrudge my extra dose of Vitamin D nothing.

This vintage shop sells by weight!
THIS gem is getting its own post so stand by.
I flirted shamelessly with some hand inked fashion prints from the 1910s on this street, but I’m pleased (re: pissed) to say that financial virtue won the day.
This is almost the closest we got to the Eiffel Tower this trip, and I don’t fee bad about that.
We were treated to an impromptu concert whilst at lunch on our last day.
Snail sighting!
So charming I might actually die from it. An overdose of loveliness.

Four Days in Paris Part 2

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

We had next to no agenda in Paris, except to enjoy the company of Caitlin and her darling husband Jose, see one museum, and eat as much French food as possible. I’m thrilled to say that by this account, our trip was a stunning success. I gained about a million pounds (all due to cream and butter, so zero regrets there), and I was so pleased to spend time with friends who are so generous not just with invitations, but with wisdom, humor, and GREAT stories.

On our second day, while Caitlin shopped til she dropped (go check out her blog for some of her posts on Paris fashion, where to shop, and general notes from the road–she’s on a full travel campaign this summer!), Jeff and I took in the Musee D’Orsay and wandered some streets for some beauty therapy.

Apparently Hemingway loved this place, so of course we had to wander by–for Jeff’s sake.

This place was a bar, wine shop, library, book store, and “literary salon” all in one, which is about the most French thing I’ve ever seen in my life!

Four Days in Paris Part 1

“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.”
― Angela Carter

I’ve been putting these posts together for a while now, and the day I was going to post the first part of the story, there was another attack in Paris. The information of this us still being pieced together.

The city of light is a resilient old girl, just as London is a crusty old guy, and both are holding it together spectacularly. And yet. It does feel like there are people who want to rip it to shreds because it’s beautiful and (at it’s best) it an be seen as a symbol of people getting along in spite of forces trying to rip it apart. Sometimes failing miserably, but still trying.

There’s a reason people fall in love with Paris. It revels in beauty and thought and language, which is dangerous to the harsh and the narrow. It’s sumptuous and gauche and luxurious and wretched all at the same time. It wears its age and its history well, and it doesn’t seem to be ashamed of even its own darker moments. It’s easy to love and so I think it must be easy to hate too.

It’s not surprising to me that Paris is considered female or feminine in its language or its characterization. It’s not safe to be beautiful, disappointing, sexy, boring, interesting, complicated, conflicted, contrary, romanticized, fetishized, put on a pedestal, found lacking, found transcendent, loved, or hated. Paris is all of these things. I’m always glad when go and I’m sorrowed that I or other people have to second guess whether or not it’s safe to right now. We need her romance and charm and pleasure and sober history more than ever.

Weekend Links

“If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper…”
― Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

Hi, kittens. It was another rattling week of news and the general sense of overwhelm continues. Between acts of violence, tragedies, media shenanigans, Twitter-happy trigger fingers, ongoing debate or outrage over American legislation, grumpiness over British politics, and goodness knows what else, there was a lot to absorb.

On the personal front, work continues to plug along and the benefits of my Paris break seem to be sticking around. I put to bed a yearly budget, sat down with some creative pals, am back to working on some of my 101/1001 goals, and Jeff is acting a personal training and nutrition coach as we try to get back to being healthy. You may imagine how the last bit thrills me.

Here is a nice batch of links for you, some funny and some serious, to help kick off your weekends. I’ll be at the gym. Crying.

I mentioned this last week, but this summarizes why the Comey Hearing had so many specific overtones to women.

HIDEOUS.

Summer street caller response prep.

There’s little I love more than a good disruptor story, particularly in the world of beauty!

When I first saw this story, I legitimately thought it was satire. It’s not.

Shut up and take my money!

Seriously, just take my money. I mean it.

Alas, poor J. Crew.

Having said that, I appreciate the kitsch quotient in this sweater.

After multiple mass shootings this past week, which were all horrible, let’s talk about it and some facts around it. Also, here’s an overview of the mass shootings of the last 18 months. In fact, here was an overview of all the shootings that happened that same day.

I indulged in some major vintage scouting while in Paris but at the moment, a lot of easily accessible vintage pieces are not from the eras or decades that I like and so I sat on my hands on all cases but one. But it got me in the mood to read more about vintage, so this article was right on target!

This piece from the Columbia Journalism Review is nicely thought provoking.

Album of the Week: How Did We Get So Dark, by Royal Blood

Summer Bucket List

“London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation.”
― G.K. Chesterton

Any good holiday will impart a little bit of wisdom and our half week in Paris provided plenty of teaching moments to leaven the hedonistic pleasure of good food and good company. I got to reflect a bit about the last year, what we’ve been able to do, and what we’d like to do more of in the near future. It’s been a big year–in some ways a rough one, but a good one overall. It got me thinking of what I’ve managed to do and what I want to do more of in the foreseeable future. More on this later as my thoughts coalesce into something more cohesive.

In the meantime, here’s a zero pressure bucket list I came up with for the summer, based on some of my swirling ideas

May we all be as content as this Parisian shop cat.

Travel more–we’re thinking Greece as a couple and I hope to have a bit of a jaunt with a friend if she’s able to make it across the pond.

Buy new glasses.

Get another piece of furniture for the house. And plants that I won’t easily kill.

Read a new heap of novels, both trashy and classy.

Finally get that call with my bank scheduled to kick off the proper investment and savings plan we’ve been talking about for months.

Do another month long blog project.

Lose some weight. I’m typically wary of goals like this, but I’ve decided to just acknowledge that I’m going to work hard on some health and fitness goals explicitly.

Catch up with some long lost pals.

Knock out my audiobook goal.

Leave the office at a sensible hour most days.

Go to more movies.

Throw some kind of party or get together.

 

Do any of you have a summer bucket list? If so, what’s on it? 

Weekend Links

“When good Americans die, they go to Paris.”
― Oscar Wilde

So, we went to Paris for a few days, and didn’t miss any news at all.

Just kidding! Because it’s 2017 and the pace of the spacetime continuum is on warp speed!

The UK had a general election that did not quite go according to the Prime Minister’s plan, and Mr. Comey testified before Congress on the investigations into Russian interference in the US election–sounding for all the world like a victim of sexual assault or pressure from the way the president behaved to the way people are trying to make the subsequent decisions of all involved Mr. Comey’s own fault. It’s been shocking. The US president continued to tweet up a storm (which, let’s be clear, is precisely what kicked off this whole mess with Mr. Comey in the first instance), leading to his own teammates delivering the weakest defense possible to explain away his actions: “He’s just new this this.” No shit, Mr. Speaker. That’s always been the problem, and in no way absolves him of the responsibility of catching the hell up with professional expectations.

At time of writing, the White House has canceled an anticipated state visit to the UK. Trust me, President Trump would go down like a lead balloon at the moment, following his outbursts in response to the London attacks. Current reports are that he doesn’t want to have to deal with prospective protests or negative coverage, the poor dear. Though let’s be clear, the UK government is far from having its ducks in a row at the moment! Nevertheless, it astonishes me how he continues to casually do damage to some of the most enduring relationships in Western democracy, and I continue to be dismayed by the failure of his own (supposedly constitutionally mad) party to check him. The fact that the most likely outcome of the Comey hearing is, at this moment, nothing at all is deeply disheartening.

But a break from that, ducklings! I’m feeling marvelously refreshed after our short holiday–posts coming as soon as I clean the house, do masses of laundry, shop for food, go the gym, try to meditate, and generally try to get our lives back into some semblance of working order. Stand by. Not sure for how long. Meanwhile, I’ve put together a delightful batch of links to make you feel prepped to take on the coming week, regardless of whether or not you are currently stuffed to the brim of delicious French food.

A diverse list of female medieval writers.

I loved–LOVED–the Amazons of Wonder Woman, both the fictional characters and the casting. Different sizes, shapes and colors. Some were teachers, some were fighters, some were senators, some were thin, some were highly muscled, and every last one of them was a badass. Where the hell do I enlist for the Claire Underwood battalion? The outpouring of love and appreciation from other women for this film has been a source of internet joy for me from the get go, but

In tragic nerd news, Adam West passed away. A writer I enjoy pays tribute here.

In heroic and joyous nerd news, the first Black Panther trailer came out!

This generator gave me quite a chuckle. My favorite thus far have been “Islamic Revolutionary Thatcherite” and Post-Colonial Anarcho-Communist.”

Nope.

A fashion designer urges consumer to not buy anything this season. I see the appeal!

 

Album of the week: Ti Amo, by Phoenix 

Weekend Weeks

“Men argue. Nature acts.”
― Voltaire

This year is absolutely flying by, how on earth is it June already? I’ve taken some work home with me this weekend, but it’s all for a good cause as we’re off to Paris next week, and I plan on rewarding my unbalanced work ethic with a trip to see Wonder Woman. Proper summer has finally arrived, but there is one last push required to get to it!

The news this week continued grim and bad for the planet–this week a bit more specifically than usual. Because when you are talking about the entirety of the globe, there’s not much difference between Pittsburgh and Paris. Until our policy is realigned with facts–not just on climate change but on crime and labor and economic growth–we will do damage. Yes to other, but mostly to ourselves.

Here are your links, kittens. Cheer me up with good news or pictures of puppies in the comments.

Go ahead and weep, I welcome the tears. This is how it feels to be systematically excluded; and these dudes are getting a single taste of it and losing their ***. Over a single movie screening. Even if you’re not a fan of the decision, do me a favor and step back to consider the wider optics of that for a moment. 

Here’s some ice for that burn, hapless dudebro.

Trolling is not leading!

Three very different men, all harmed and two dead, but they all decided to step in because they saw that two women were being targeted by hatred and aggression.

Short poems to wreck your insides.

In honor of “covefe.”

Our robot overlords are coming.

I found this piece on President Trump’s rise to power as something of a personal tragedy, a fairytale warning of hubris, an interesting and thoughtful take. Give it a try, even if we disagree politically.

Because one’s need for certain types of healthcare does not depend on how you pray, but whether or not you have a uterus.

Album of the week: Different Days, by The Charlatans