Sunday, January 31, 2010

Corporations are people?

People are born, they live, they die.
Vampires are born, they live, they never die.
Corporations are born, they live, they never die.
Corporations aren't people; they're vampires.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Les nouvelles galeries d'art de Belleville

Balice Hertling, un binôme italo-allemand (Daniele Balice et Alexander Hertling), a ouvert l'automne dernier dans le quartier Pyrénées. Ensemble, ils défendent de jeunes artistes (Isabelle Cornaro, Kerstin Braestch…), qu'ils présentent dans les foires internationales de prestige comme Bâle. « Nous sommes à dix minutes de métro de Beaubourg. Les collectionneurs américains n'hésitent pas à venir jusqu'à nous », assure D. Balice.

Galerie Balice Hertling, 47, rue Ramponeau (XXe). Tél. : 01 40 33 47 26.

Marcelle Alix. Derrière cette enseigne sybilline, un autre duo. Isabelle Alfonsi (transfuge de la galerie Michel Rein) et Cécilia Becanovic (commissaire d'exposition), trentenaires superactives, constituent une écurie de plasticiens de leur génération (Ernesto Sartori, Lucy Skaer). « Le quartier nous apporte à la fois une qualité de vie et de travail. Notre façon de travailler est plus audacieuse que si nous étions dans le Marais, où tout est plus convenu. » Un vent d'Est frais, en somme.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

DP Jan 14: All-in-one

Dear Prudence,

I live in an apartment building in a big city. Across the street is an office building, which is great in terms of privacy. My wife and I are usually gone during the day when there are people in the building, and at night, when we like to do the naughty stuff, there's no-one there to watch. This means we can keep the blinds up and the window open, thus lowering our need for air conditioning. I know that an open window is better than air conditioning, because the Green Lantern said so.

Anyhow, our problem is not the night, but on weekends, when even if we wanted to do the naughty with the windows up, we couldn't! You see, Prudie, the offices across the street from our bedroom windows are occupied by a law firm, and the older guy who occupies the large office (must be a partner) in direct view has the habit of working on weekends. I say "working" but I don’t know how many assignments he manages to finish, since he always seems to be accompanied by an attractive young woman. I'm guessing they're law students, based on their age and dress, and there's a new one every weekend.

The street is not very wide, and because we live in the business district, pretty quiet on the weekend, so we can hear the guy talking (he's old and apparently hard of hearing, so his voice carries). The first day he goes on about how unhappy he is since his wife divorced him (he's been telling the same story for three years!), and usually by the second day, he and the law student are going at it big time. Well, not so big time, since he usually has to take a break quite quickly to catch his breath, but he has all afternoon, so there ends up being quite a lot to see.

My wife usually walks the dog on Sunday afternoon (I prefer my pet, an extra cool tarantula… no need to walk them, and it's so neat when they eat crickets!!!!!!), so I can enjoy the show put on by the law students.

I was IMing a buddy at work about the latest show, and the IT guy flagged it for inappropriate use of corporate resources. Normally I'd get off with a warning, but the IT guy happens to be my brother-in-law once removed. Normally such matters are strictly confidential, but he told his wife, who told her sister, aka my wife, that I was into the "assignment viewing". What do you make of this gross violation of my personal life!!!???? Anyway, now my wife wants to punish me by taking away my tarantula!!!! And make me walk the damn dog!!!! The bitch (applies to both wife and dog)!!!!

So here's my question, Prudie: I told my wife I wouldn't watch from the bedroom anymore. But if I watch from the living room (obstructed view, but better than nothing), am I breaking my promise?



Saturday, January 16, 2010

DP Jan 14: One-by-one

A much better lot this week! Not a wedding, shower, or birthday in the lot (well, mostly).

LW1 is a guy who can see naked ladies in their bedrooms from his bedroom window. Should he tell his wife that he leers? Is it "adultery" (WTF?)? Prudie replies that it's not adultery, that he can enjoy himself, and that he might enjoy himself more if he invited his wife to enjoy the show.
My take: Prudie, you once again prove that you are man-hating hag. No, copping a peek at a beautiful naked woman is not adultery, and your advice that LW confess to his wife despite the certainty that she will divorce him for his lewd behavior is totally out of line. Oh... that wasn't her advice? She gave a sensible response that showed that curiosity is normal, that men look, that women might want to look too, and that sheer curtains will protect their own privacy? Never mind...

LW2 is a guy who works with his wife's sister. SIL told his wife some office gossip, and wife told LW, who let it slip that SIL's confidential communication was not respected. SIL furious, and relationship between SIL and wife now damaged. Prudie says to apologize profusely, and to avoid blaming the wife as he seems to want to do.
My take: Mostly agree with Prudie. But I do think the wife has a share of the blame, even though it's not productive to bring it into the discussion. But you're all being pretty silly about this, you babies. Let it go! Unless we can learn more about the funny story, I don't see why you're all so worked up about it. Wives share confidences with husbands. Husbands blurt out crap during lulls in conversation.

The video letter writer is a woman whose fiancé ransacked their home to find her diary, in which she wrote some less than flattering stuff about him. Now he insists she share her text messages, her email accounts, etc. Stupid VLW asked her future inlaws if they agreed with fiancé that this was normal behavior. They took his side (duh). Prudie says run.
My take: VLW is so stupid, she deserves this dude.Maybe he'll kill her in a jealous rage before they reproduce more psychopaths and cretins.

LW3 is a woman who gave in to her whining husband's plea to get a tarantula. She hates spiders and now has panic attacks and nightmares. She's preggers and worries about risk to baby. Prudie says there is a risk to the baby, and a compromise would be to put the critter in the garage.
My take: Lots of babies here. He's a baby for whining to get a pet you hate. You're a baby for not putting your foot down once you realized how disturbing the presence of the critter was for you. And now you are having your own baby. I think there's still time for an abortion and a divorce. Why would you want to stay with this man who loves his tarantula more than you? Why would you want this man to be in your life forever as the father of your child?

LW4 is a female law student looking for summer work down the line. A lawyer proposed that she work two days on "an assignment". The whole first day the recently divorced dude sobbed about his lovelife, and asked about hers. She was uncomfortable, and emailed him that she wouldn't be coming in for the second day. He now keeps calling, texting, and emailing to find out what the problem is. Prudie says to write and tell him clearly that his behavior was inappropriate and that he must refrain from any further contact. If he persists, take it to the cops.
My take: What's so hard about ignoring him? You delete the emails (or block his address), you don't take his calls, you block his number on your cell phone. I agree with Prudie in principle, but worry about your situation as someone about to start your career, and the influence a conflict with this guy can have on it down the road. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd keep up the ignoring. Another suggestion: have your husband reply, and have him say that the next time he has to do it, it'll be in person.

Top Chef and Masterchef in France?

It appears that French versions of Masterchef and Top Chef will soon be on French TV, TF1 and M6 respectively.

M6 has had a series of successful cooking shows, notably the import Un dîner presque parfait (Come Dine With Me), and a home-grown star chef, Cyril Lignac.

I do doubt the success of these new shows. The French are quite able to destroy a proven concept, such as Dancing With the Stars, or, closer to the subject at hand, Ready, Steady, Cook.

Hosted by a pleasant and attractive host, but scheduled on a Saturday at midday (ratings death),rather than daily, the show failed above all because it was French. The contestants all were proud of their own cooking, and brought ingredients they already knew how to make into a good meal. Even worse, the chefs could only make French dishes the traditional French way, and showed none of the creativity and spirit of improvisation that makes the original so entertaining. Rather than the three or four dishes a British chef would make, the French chefs laboriously put out a single, perfectly crafted dish showing all their technical skills.


Let's hope Top Chef and Masterchef have better producers (they're on private channels, so there's a chance).

(But can Masterchef be a success without Lloyd??? Masterchef Goes Large was a great disappointment....)

"We want our money back"

I just got this message from my BFF Joseph Biden (I call him Joe: you can too!). This is what he wrote:

Marc --

Yesterday, President Obama announced our proposed Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee on the country's largest banks:

"My commitment is to recover every single dime the American people are owed. And my determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of the very firms who owe their continued existence to the American people...We want our money back, and we're going to get it."

The fee would recover every penny loaned to Wall Street during the financial crisis and stop the reckless abuses and excesses that nearly caused the collapse of our financial system in the first place.

But the banking industry -- among the most powerful lobbies in Washington -- is already launching attacks to stop Congress from enacting the proposal.

Barack and I aren't backing down. But to win, we'll need the American people to add their voice right away.

Thankfully, OFA supporters are already signing on to a bold statement of support: "We want our money back -- and we stand with President Obama to make sure we get it." You can add your name by clicking here.

The message had the subject line: "We want our money back". And the first thing I thought of was of all those of us who contributed to the campaign of Barack Obama on the basis of a commitment to repealing DOMA, ending DODT, a public option for health care reform, the end to the State's secrets argument... you know the kind of things I'm talking about.

I want my money back.

PS: Sure, I'll support you on the bank tax. Or maybe not... since I'm pretty sure this is the only thing we're gonna get. I really don't see any real reform of financial institutions coming from the Obama administration. Tools.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Education Minister admits plagiarizing text from internet...

Marc explains the news from France...

The story HERE. (The photo shows an arrow, not a penis.)

The theft of intellectual property by the party and government of Nicolas Sarkozy (the one who wants to censor the internet in France to prevent illegal downloading) continues. Education Minister Luc Chatel has admitted stealing from a website called Wikiberal the answer he gave to a MP (noted homophobe from Chatel's party, Christian Vanneste). 

The question referred to school vouchers... which is ironic in France, where Catholic schools already are financed in large part by tax dollars (they pay the teachers' salaries). This is just one of the many facts about France that make me guffaw when the Frogs go on about the lack of separation of Church and State in the USA...

Back to our subject: so the Minister of Education is copying stuff off the web for his homework. Okaaay.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jimmy is an avatar

How to explain the fact that JM can fall asleep at the drop of a head on a pillow, cannot be roused, and doesn't appear to move in his sleep? Could he be an avatar?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Islam, a religion of hate...

Imaginary dialog:

A: Islam is a religion of hate and violence.
B: If that's the case, so is Christianity.
A: What do you mean?
B: You know: mass murder, the Inquisition, the Crusades...
A: Oh, but that was way back in the olden days. Christianity left that kind of thing behind long ago.
B: [cough] Uganda [cough] 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

DP Jan 7: One-by-one

Boring lot.

LW1 is a private tutor whose male teenage pupils keep putting their hands down their pants. Prudie consults her expert (14-year-old daughter) who says that the boys do it when they need to motivate themselves or when they're nervous. Prudie tells LW to just keep using disinfect. Prudie is whacked.
My take: Sorry, it's gross. Maybe an ahem and a raised eyebrow would be effective. And "it itches" is not a good reason. If he says "it itches", pull out the jock itch spray.

LW2 is a woman whose father is about to die. Father was an alcoholic who was emotionally absent from her life and about whom she has nothing good to say. Mother wants LW to deliver the eulogy at the upcoming funeral. LW doesn't want to. Prudie says she should talk about father's "struggle with alcoholism" (of which LW gives no indication there was one...) and find something, anything, nice to say.
My take: No comment. (But skip the alcoholism thing, maybe....)

LW3 is taking piano lessons from a teach with whom she's become friends. But she has also started taking lessons with a better teacher who is cheaper to boot. Can she dump her friend-cum-teacher? Prudie says yes.
My take: Prudie's advice is good. If the friendship doesn't survive, it wasn't a real friendship, was it?

LW4 is a woman who objects to receiving requests for first dates by test message. If they can't get up the nerve to call, why should she go out with them. Prudie tells her to stop being a Luddite and catch up with the times.
My take: Text them back: "Sounds interesting. Give me a call."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Muffins à la compote de pomme

Petit rappel car c'était bon...

1 oeuf

15 g sucre

1/2 sachet de sucre vanillé

1 petit pot de compote sans sucres ajoutés (100 g)

50 g farine

1/2 sachet de levure chimique

raisins secs gonflés

Friday, January 1, 2010


Tu ne peux pas savoir combien je suis content d'etre avec doudou.