So tomorrow/today (Friday) I am going to feed the homeless at the American Cathedral. I've always enjoyed homeless people...they are generally more interesting than homed people. But I will say that the Romanian gypsy variety that frequents the Champs-Elysees and follows me around asking "do you speak English" (which in turn forces me to speak in French) are annoying as hell.

Anyway, if no other options present themselves you can probably find me with said new friends, lighter fluid and some twirling batons outside the Pompidou center. No lie. Roll Tide.

yada yada

Evidently there are those who disagree with my stance on "Le Vide."



L'Ambassade d'Auvergne

Just one of our desserts. I haven't been this disgustingly full after a meal in a long time.

Images from sleepy, beautiful St. Emilion

After the jumping event (Feb. 5-9) I went to St. Emilion, a little vineyard town about 30 minutes from central Bordeaux. It was just beautiful, although rainy and mostly closed due to the fact that it's not tourist season.

Would love to go back. The wines are to die for. And everyone I met was genuinely helpful. The tourist office set me up with a free, personal tour of the town...and even drove me around in their own cars...I'm a "journalist," you know. The guest house where I stayed went out of their way to pick me up and drop me off at the train stations. Not part of their job...very nice.

The town of St. Emilion was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is made entirely of limestone quarried from underneath the village. Catacombs span the entire town...there is even an underground church. The other use for underground caves is....you guessed it...wine cellars. Perfect damp conditions whose temperatures don't vary much throughout the year. The town was named after a monk named Emilion who lived underground here for years and performed miracles. He was most famous for making young women fertile. They asked me if I wanted to sit on the fertility rock to which I gracefully declined.

Seriously the most beautiful horse.

And another good-looking equestrian, Tina Lund of Denmark. Google her if you want more "fun" pictures. Let's just say she's already been discovered.

Pictures from Rolex FEI World Cup Bordeaux (and more proof that equestrians have good taste and are beautiful)

The grey horse is the 2M champion horse of Belgium's (beautiful...this isn't even a good picture of her) Judy Ann Melchior.
UGHHH. I just googled her and she is YOUNGER than me (born 1986) is 5'6 and weighs 117 pounds. Now I really hate her!

more museums

Sorry. I started the previous post off talking about merde and baiser and never got to tell you about the actual merde I saw on Sunday. Thankfully it wasn't real merde Check it out...

and speaking of merde, just fyi, the nicer, cuter word would be "caca." Like poopoo versus shit.
Just for fun, this is an online game that my boss' kids used to play. Just pick out the food you want to eat, put it in the boxes...and see what happens. I promise the fact that you can't read French won't hinder the fun you'll have. Good ole mind-numbing fun. The music is a doozy as well.
See it here.

So, the Pompidou Center. The fourth floor is quite modern. Some of the large paintings were nice. But THEN there were eight rooms...8...with nothing in them. This was part of an exhibition, I kid you not, called "Void." Eight different artists, each with their own room. Outside of each room was a BS explanation for what we/I should gather from this nothingness.

I mean I'm lazy, but even in college I wouldn't have had the balls to turn in a paper meant to discuss let's say "The Meaning of Life" with 8 pages of blank paper. WTF. I mean, I would just not turn the paper in. Or turn it in a semester late with an excuse blaming depression or "getting my life together," etc. But I wouldn't say "oh yes, here's my paper which I feel, as a good writer, is worthy of an A+," which is essentially what these artists are doing. And to give some of these artists a fair chance, the museum had some of their other works in other areas. It too, though not white, was merde. Give me a break about how all this white means virginity and purity and how I should contemplate it.

Outside the merde, however, there were some cool displays on the fifth floor. Namely some Matisse (from the Fauvism era) and Kupka (one of my new faves), Delaunay and Roualt. A part of the top floor was devoted to Madame Pompidou, the former President's wife who founded the museum. Some of her favorite artists were on display. My favorites of her favorites are below.

Lastly, there was an Asger Jorn exhibit that was nice. I started taking pictures but then got in trouble by the security guard. Embarrassed, I left...sans pictures.


Which translates to French shit.

Now, this week is my Museum week. And seeing as most museés in Paris are free on the first Sunday of the month, I was on that. The FABULOUS Rodin Museum was my first stop. I found it on Sunday morning while attempting to find the American Church of Paris. I guess it was a sign from God because I walked past the Rodin Museum about 4 times, but never the American Church. After browsing through all the listings of museums and exhibitions in Pariscope (the weekly 'what's on' magazine) I had actually decided this museum was one I didn't want to see.

And I'm so glad I found it. For those of you who don't know, Rodin sculpted The Thinker
among thousands of other sculptures. The museum is informative without being overloaded or stuffy. It used to be a hotel for artists and is therefore surrounded by really nice gardens. It was a très bien way to pass a pretty morning. Perfect for a picnic, reading, etc.

Something I learned about Rodin that probably contributed to my affinity for his work is that he failed many, many times before he succeeded...and many, many times after he had earned critical acclaim. He was denied acceptance by the Fine Arts school (Ecole des Beaux Arts) of Paris three times and when he wanted to become a priest, he was denied that as well.

Another great point about this museum was the room devoted to Rodin's student, Camille Claudel. I like her work as much as his.

Oh, and one more thing I like about Rodin. He gives his works totally straight-forward names. Here you have The Kiss,The Thinker, and Girl with a Flower Hat. The title of The Kiss in French is Le Baiser. Don't forget the "le." In French, the verb baiser is a very vulgar word for "sex" that starts with an F. But put "le" in front of it and it means "kiss." The French would get these two confused.

How to earn money on the mean streets of Paris

Exhibit A is a lady I presume to be middle-aged who is dressed as a sheep (I think?) and dancing to bizarre music. She has no talent, which is probably one of the reasons she's wearing a mask. She picked a good location though...Pont Neuf at midday. Don't know if she made any money or was just gawked at...but it did give me ideas.

Second picture is of a fire twirler behind the Pompidou center...who I made friends with. Here's how it went down...
My English friend Carly calls me around dinner time and says "Hey I'm broke so I'm going to do a fire show. I need to go to a supermarket and buy some lighter fluid. Want to come?"

I would think this a strange idea, but coming from Carly it seemed normal. It would be like if Allie said "hey let's go hang out with homeless people and prophesize."

And considering the fact that I had nothing ELSE to do on a Friday night in Paris I said "sure let's do it."

Unfortunately we never found the lighter fluid. But we still had a fire show. Because our new friend pictured below had lighter fluid. And beer. Me and the Gothic French and Italian kids actually had a ball. We made no money. The night ended with an after-party at my good friend Louis' apartment in the Marais.