Nous Sommes Charlie

Nous Sommes Charlie

Our little house in the French countryside sits somewhere between Paris and Chartres. Barely visible from the road, it hides in the middle of several tall pine trees where squirrels, pheasants and frogs bounce around doing things that busy animals do. Upstairs, in the attic of our house and in my husband Olivier's home office are several tall stacks of newspapers. Newspapers that look like this: When I moved to Paris in 2006, Olivier had these papers stacked all around our tiny apartment in Montmarte. "What's up with these?" I'd wondered. He told me they were a satirical newspaper, which didn't surprise me at all because he and I met through our mutual love of The Onion. One of the reasons we ended up as a married couple in the first place was due to our love of mockery and funny shit. As time went on, I realized he wasn't just a fan of the newspaper. He was fucking bonkers about it. He...
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Fluent in Fromage

Fluent in Fromage

After exchanging emails, letters and phone calls for 8 months with a French guy I'd met online, it was time to go to Paris to meet him face-to-face; time to look one another in the eye and discover if our long-distance chemistry would hold up in the flesh. I'd been in Paris one other time, 7 years before, but this time was different. This time, I wasn't a tourist. This time, I was on a crazy, international, first-date adventure that would last for 2 weeks. Olivier picked me up at Charles de Gaule airport. We went to his apartment in Montmartre and listened to April in Paris. Because funny enough - it really was April and we were in Paris. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCJRoG6W8yQ He told me he'd planned a road trip for us and that he wanted to introduce me to some of his friends. After talking every day for almost a year, I knew quite a bit about most of his friends already, so I...
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Boobs Are Cool. Bras Are Dumb.

Boobs Are Cool. Bras Are Dumb.

Earlier this year, a French doctor announced that women are better off without bras. Now, I know some women are quite fond of their bras, or feel the need for a bra. Cool. Keep on rockin' the harness, ladies. However, I read the article and said, "Well, no shit. Bras are stupid." I have always hated bras. I feel stiff and restrained. Tied down. Strapped. Saddled. Shackled. I scratch and claw, twisting and reaching, trying to bite at it - much like my cat when someone is foolish enough to put a collar around her neck. That said, I'm going to tell you that there is one benefit to binding your boobs. When you move to France, there's a whole laundry list of things that a person must do in order to obtain their carte de séjour (their residency card). One of those things is to get a chest x-ray to make sure you don't have tuberculosis. So, back in 2006 when I was...
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8 Reasons Why French TV Sucks

8 Reasons Why French TV Sucks

I admit it. I'm a TV junkie. Okay, well... that's not accurate. I detest TV, but am addicted to various TV series. I've been this way ever since the first time I saw this: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoILzi5thYg Don't even get me started on my movie problem. Now, it's worse. TV has become so much better. The writing is tighter. The production value is higher. Many of the actors are more skilled. There's more networks. Even with handful of channels, there's probably something on. Reruns of an old sitcom. News. A documentary. A ridiculously censored version of an otherwise great movie. When I lived in the States, there was something on at any time of day. Maybe not something I felt like watching, but there was always something. But, now... now I live in France. And French TV sucks. Here's why:   1. IT'S FULL OF CANCELLED SHOWS (THAT WERE CANCELLED FOR SUCKING) French networks can cheaply acquire forgotten TV shows. So, they do. The result is several lousy shows on...
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The Unintentional Comedy of French Movie Titles

The Unintentional Comedy of French Movie Titles

It recently occurred to me that I haven't made fun of any French weirdness in quite a while. I mean, it's been like, 2 whole blog posts ago. It's not that I'd stopped noticing, having grown accustomed & become part of the weirdness. Okay, okay... I may have become a wee part of the weirdness, but that doesn't mean I don't take notice of it. One thing that has been a constantly baffling source of amusement here is the French titles for American movies. This isn't something confounding only to Americans, either. There are plenty of savvy French movie goers who understand the absurdity & hilarity of the French titles, but those bizarre titles keep showing up, anyway. It often seems that there is no rhyme or reason to it. After seeing countless movie posters, TV spots & theater signs, there is no discernible pattern to this madness. Believe me, I've tried to make sense of it. I can't do it. Sometimes, they...
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Awkward Adventures in the Socialized Healthcare of France

Awkward Adventures in the Socialized Healthcare of France

Before I even get started, let me warn you that if you get squeamish when it comes to chatter about doctors poking around in lady bits, then this post will not interest, amuse or inform you in any way. You'll likely be too preoccupied with all of your squeamishing to to focus on reading, so... off you go while the rest of us talk. Like a great many people, I've never cared much for going to the doctor. Any doctor. For anything. I'm not afraid of doctors, but in the past, I usually had to feel as though I were at risk of coughing up my aorta, or maybe shitting out a spleen or several yards of intestines. Even when I had broken bones, I was reluctant. I didn't mind carrying my broken wrist with my good arm if the alternative was sitting in the emergency room. A busted eye socket... well, I didn't even go to the hospital. Luckily, I...
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