Monthly Archives: July 2008

Happy birthday Papa

40 years ago you turned 23. And three days later you became my father.

At your age I was debating whether to become a journalist, a banker or go to the 10 pm show of some god-awful movie playing at the Notting Hill cinema. While you were responsible and worked all day at 23, I studied, but mainly had fun at 23.  You fed me when you were 23, while I fretted over how to lose three kilos before I turned 23. You were a man at 23, and at 46 you trusted that your silly 23 year-old daughter would one day grow up too.

You are also the man who took me out to a nice lunch after I crashed my new mini, who took us to see the giant heads on Easter Island and penguins in Antarctica, who bought frites and beignets and ride tickets with abandon when we went to fairs, and the man who spent hours in the many pools we’ve been in, getting us to dive deeper and faster the find the shiny coin. You are the man who devised games to teach us the world’s currencies. You let me cry on your shoulder after King Kong died, and wore the tear stained suede jacket for years. You took us with you all over the world, and with mom you made us feel at home, wherever we were.

I inherited from you the ability to read maps, a preference for dark chocolate, a love of big strong hugs, the appreciation for Italian opera, and a certain nerdy need for contingency planning in all things (plan Bs are very important). I did not inherit your ability to wake up at 6am for a game of tennis.

Today you turn 63, and right now you are on a flight from the Caribbean where you’ve been scuba-diving, to my northwestern airport. You are a 63 year-old scuba-diving history buff who is hurrying back to work on Monday because he’s still at the top of his professional game.

You are a rock star Papa. There are not enough sharks in the water, cigars in Cuba or chocolates in the world to reward you for all you have done, and even if there were, I am quite sure you wouldn’t care as much about that as you would about us.

merci pour tout papa, et bon anniversaire.

de ta fille qui t’aime,

kisses,

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40th birthday countdown

cases of wine purchased: 6

cases of champagne on order: 3

magnums of champagne on order: 2

bottles of belgian beer: 90

metres of string-lights: at least 100

number of calls to caterer in last week: 8

number of people coming to party: 65

stress headaches: 1 (so far)

thank you speech to parents and friends that does not sound like a treacle-ey pathetic sopfest : 0

knowing that no matter what i end up saying in the speech, there’ll be enough champagne to make me forget it : priceless

ps: what would eddie izzard say at HIS 40th birthday???

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why i love summer

here is one reason why this season rocks:

summer

summer

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another reason to love eddie izzard (or how dahlia malloy saved the day)

as the previous post exposed openly, i love eddie izzard. i don’t love him as much as the PB who is marvelous in ways i cannot begin to explain but who i also love bc he too loves eddie izzard. so, that part is clear.

i did not get enough of an eddie fix after the show last week, so i rented ‘circle’ on dvd. it did not satisfy. perhaps it was the lack of three-dimensionalism? perhaps they filmed it on not-his-best night? the extras are worth watching bc there’s an hour’s worth of eddie doing stand up in french. the linguistic barrier is a bit of an obstacle to the brilliant-ness, but he makes up for it in cuteness and ballziness. being funny in a language that is not your own is a challenge with a capital ch.

but my eddie needs had not been met.

and so – hulu.com to the rescue. they have the entire 1st season of The Riches streaming LIVE all day, every day. i am half way through it and it is, at the risk of really abusing the term, briLL-yant. there’s quite a bit of eddie in his character wayne malloy, but not so much that you don’t connect with the character. and minnie driver, who’s been in sort of a hiatus since 1997 (grosse point blank, good will hunting and circle of friends were great, and them – a whole lotta nada, or stuff that’s as good as nada), loses herself in the character of dahlia malloy, wayne’s wife. perhaps it’s bc i don’t know an appalachian mountain accent from a louisiana drawl or a texan twang, but it’s working on me. and i have her accent floatin’ threw ma little bitty brain, thinkin’ – hell (pronounced heyalll) honiee- i lahk the sound of that.

so when the very scary state patrol lady stopped me for going 47 mph in a 35mpg stretch of the road, and lectured me on the dangers of speeding as she walked away with my license, registration and insurance card, dahlia took over. “ah honie” she said. “that’s just awwwful!. “what a trajidy” -“ahm not lahk that, ah was just sneezin’ from these allergies ah got, and did not mahnd mah speed” . (this is true – i do have the most horrible allergies again, and until the claritin hits, i am a sneezy, wheezy mess; and that morning, i was indeed sneezing and not minding my speed).

“that’s right miss malloy ” she said. so remember “safety first!”, and with that she handed me my cards, wished me a nice day, and walked away.

i always thought my instinct in the face of danger and/ or authority would be to cede immediately and bend over. apparently i do have a survival instinct and it has a fake southern accent.

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eddie izzard, stripped, portland performance: the review

brilliant. absolutely brilliant.

the lovely PB planned this as an early bday present and what a brilliant plan that was. we had dinner with a view and loads of champagne (brilliant!) followed by excellent seats of the great cross-dressing izz (not cross-dressed tonite) and then drove back and under a brilliant dark sky sprinkled with stars.  yes i am using ‘brilliant’ a lot, but it the only word that encompasses the excellence of the evening.

the performance:  my face hurt after 2 hours of the izz’s tireless brilliantness because i laughed so much. there’s one bit where he is both messenger to a roman general and the roman general. the messenger is trying explain in latin the arrival of hannibal – this is a bit that question latin’s efficacy as a language since it is so bloody complicated – his 5 minute conversation with himself (via the two characters) in the most hilarious latin (latin-ish) sprinkled with german, spanish and a lot of physical antics is side-splitting.

and then there’s the bit about the animals on naoh’s ark. or the relativity of time when it comes to computer updates. i could go on, but won’t. i will never do him justice. so if he’s coming anywhere near where you live, do not miss it. and if he isn’t, just get on a plane to where he is. the tour is nearing its end (last dates are in LA in very early august). you will not regret it, because he is quite simply

….

wait for it

BRILLIANT!

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“wanted”, the review

starring lara croft angelina jolie and the rather nice but monochromatic james mc avoy with an extremely rare appearance by morgan freeman’s smile (think about it – when was the last time that actor smiled on screen?)

the movie is fun, providing special effects surprises not experienced by this member of the audience since the first matrix. i mean honestly, we got “crouching tiger, hidden dragon” and the first “matrix” almost 10 years ago, and while i am not a specialist in these things, all i can say is that i haven’t be very wowed by special effects since (except in CSI, where the repetition of their special effects always enthralls, altho that may be residual grissom enthrallment on my part). sorry, i digress.

back to “wanted”. special effects = cool. acting = minimal : angelina plays the same part she plays in the lara croft series and in mr&mrs smith. she had one great role in “Gia”, which I think was made for HBO, and since then she has managed to recycle herself and her role. she is stunningly gorgeous tho, but even with the 10 pounds the camera adds on, she is scarily skinny. james mc avoy does his grinning, side squint best, and buffed up considerably for this role. he almost pulls the american accent off, but the scottish accent’s there, lurking below the surface, and i wish they had let him keep it, it is one of the things i may like best about him. in any case, however many bullets he bent, he’ll always be robbie turner to me – i thought ‘atonement’ – the book – could not be topped, but he was perfect in the movie. and yes, morgan freeman’s smile has a tiny tiny role, mostly eclipsed by morgan freeman’s ‘somber- and- possibly- evil- but- we- can’t- be- sure- because- didn’t- he- drive- miss- daisy’  look.

i still haven’t told you much about the movie bc there really isn’t anything to say. it’s entertaining, not completely asinine, the script is irrelevant, although you may find yourself using “they’re just decoys” for a while after seeing it. it does have more staying power than “get smart”, which i forgot i saw, that’s how vapid that one is.

now, if you want true summer blockbuster material, take thee to amalah.com. her deodorant wars are ON, and they are very very good.

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happy bastille day

ah yes , the french. i’ll say this for them, they know how to throw a revolution. complete with guillotines, they lopped off heads, began a reign of terror and autocracy to defend democracy (ring any bells?) and sent fashion into a tailspin. bye bye crinolines and powdered wigs, hello long coats and and empire waists (all of which would be reclaimed by the most wonderful vivienne westwood in 20th century britain, casuing a revolution of another kind).

cuisine-wise, the french are pretty good too, and let’s not forget the wines. revolution might have involved some hardship and tragedy. and danton and his pals were serious aesthetes. i can’t imagine they had much time or care for a braised capon with fennel and prune sauce and a nice rhone wine. on the bright side this may have helped reduce the incidence of gout among the french. not that public health was much a concern for the dictature.

anyway. all this to say i found a turkey baster! (baster – cooking – french cuisine – bastille day. that is how this shell of a brain works).

some of you may remember the hydrogen peroxide incident, a rather nerve-wracking experience because it involved a dog with a belly full of raw rice and the imminent explosion of said belly. and while the dog has an incurable and quite infuriating need to get into anything potentially edible, i am quite fond of her and would rather not have her succumb bc of one of her vices. part of the nerve-wrackingness of the incident was the fact that after 9pm, there isn’t much open in these parts of the woods, and the local safeway aka the “we do not carry turkey basters when they are not in season” store, was useless . therefore, HRH and i were locked in a rather messy embrace while i attempted to shoot hydrogen peroxide down her gullet with a child-sized medicine syringe. it took five shots of the syringe to get to the canine dose of hydrogen peroxide that would induce vomiting, thereby saving HRH. let’s just say that her vomiting was the easiest part of the transaction.

we now own turkey baster bc even if safeway won’t carry them until november, the local dollar store is not so seasonally strict. i found the perfect huge plastic baster. it was lying among kitchen towels, wooden spoons and beach balls. now , should i need to, i can shoot a whole cup of hydrogen peroxide down her throat in one go.        bring it on crouton *.

*crouton = french for bread cube, translated and used in honor of bastille day

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