If you haven’t heard, there’s a canicule in French or heat wave (oddly, heat wave is two words in American English or heatwave is one word in British speak). But no whimpering allowed. After all, it’s far better than the ice age — and France is en fête during July and August. There’s a party to your right, a free concert to your left and you’ll likely walk smack dab into an impromptu poetry reading or pop-up art fair. All you need is the […]
At Paris Lit Up at Culture Rapide in Paris, we were all on fire…reciting poetry with no air conditioning (although to Emily’s credit – or somebody’s – there were three fans). The stage is painted a fiery red and there was quite a crowd, adding to the searing (and soaring) heat of it all. Adorning the red lacquer walls are bumper stickers, strange drawings and vintage concert posters. So if you hated the poetry (or whatever), you could literally stare at […]
Summer Solstice 2019 has arrived! In France, the first day of summer is also the Fête de la musique with music wafting (wailing?) through the air…from the town square to an open window to a park bench. For 24 hours, everyone is encouraged to make music and the French police can’t arrest you for disturbing the peace (gotta love France!). So put on some stylish shades, grab a bottle of rosé and make some music people!
I looked up the word “poetry” on a whim in my trusty Webster’s New World Thesaurus and was happy to discover a complex amount of synonyms …”poem, song, versification, metrical composition, rime, rhyme, poesy, stanza, rhythmical composition, poetical writings. Forms of verse including the following: Shakespearean sonnet, Italian sonnet, Miltonic sonnet, Wordsworthian sonnet, Chaucerian stanza, Spenserian stanza, heroic couplet, Alexandrine, iambic pentameter, rhyme royal, ottava rima, couplet, distich, epode, triolet, rondeau, rondel, rondelet, tanka, haiku, ballade, destine, villanelle, limerick, blank […]
3 is my lucky number and if you turn a 3 on its side, you have a nice set of breasts, boobs, boobies, tits, udders, jugs, knockers, hooters, peaches, rack, guns, missiles (what’s with those violent references?) or puppies-under-a-blanket, which was my Dad’s favorite — yes, I had an inappropriate father. Is this just another cheap tactic to denigrate women? Probably. And I haven’t even brought up all of the nicknames — or should I say “pet names” (wrong on […]
‘I’M CLEAR’ is one of the hidden phrases inside the word ‘MIRACLE’ and let’s face it, unlocking words makes me feel like I cracked part of the code. This inspiring code cracking made me spuriously write down 44 words (plus an acronym) contained inside of the word ‘MIRACLE’ and some are nothing less than miraculous. ace air ale am are arm calm came car care clam clear cram cream crime ear eclair el ice ire lace lair lame liar lice lie […]
I am pretty sure the mothership has landed. I took this photograph while running a boring domestic errand. It was one of those magical, mystical photos that looks even more layered and magical as you keep looking or re-looking at it. This is one of those. Oh, and yeah, they’ve landed!
I just moved house and everywhere I looked there was ‘Fragile’ tape adhered to everything. Little did it help because the movers managed to break most of my breakable stuff, which I had to tearfully paw through and chuck. This lesson in letting go of family heirlooms and other fragile bits had me staring intently at the word “Fragile” and deconstructing it. In breaking it down (pun intended), I spied no less than 50 words contained in the word ‘Fragile’ […]
Winterize your lips…that’s what I told myself I needed to do. So I bought some coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax for a home made lip balm. Unfortunately, my lip balm was more of a winter candle for sale at a discount store because it was missing a wick, than something that I could possibly use on my lips. In fact, I’m thinking about adding a wick to the hot mess and selling them on eBay. In the meantime, I […]
In 2004, Wangari Maathai (b. 1940 – d. 2011), an environmentalist and women’s rights advocate because the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” It is said that Ms. Maathai planted 30 million trees across Africa to help protect the environment. This photo which I recently came across again (and again and again and again — okay, I get it Universe! Published! Done!) jarred my memory and I thought Ms Maathai […]
My wine opener resembles an angel, which is a good thing — and not a good thing. I mean, yeah, wine has always been a religious experience. I get that. The vineyards were created and toiled by nuns and monks since the beginning of time. Now wine is made by the likes of Angelina Jolie (not exactly a nun) and Brad Pitt (not exactly a monk). But I fast forward. Angels spur my drinking trajectory into “In Vino Veritas”, the […]
I’m always gobsmacked by the elegance and simplicity of French women. And now that I’ve lived in France for 13 some odd years and I’m somewhat privy to their beauty secrets, I’d like to share a few tips I’ve learned over the years… add tap water to your hands when you apply face creme or body lotion – and your products will last twice as long! buy products if you happen to find yourself in an airport so it’s duty […]
I own a painting of vaginas. That said, my husband thought they look like surfboards so the painting ended up hanging in our dining room (a long drawn-out argument). But really what a better setting now that I think of it! The artist himself informed me quite deadpan that they were vaginas, although he himself is a dude so in the world of genitalia, he is a penis. I wasn’t sold that he knew how to paint a vagina but […]
A bronze of Jeanne d’arc (Joan of Arc) proudly stands in the center of Poitiers, a lovely French city which happens to celebrate women. Recently someone applied a little makeup to Joan. And who am I to argue that Joan didn’t need a little lip gloss? Cute hairstyle by the way. Lipstick, cute hairdo and the crusades – way to go Joan! The first time I visited this city, there were posters plastered all over the city celebrating the […]
I photo-grabbed this portion of a wall where the shop owner had painted out the graffiti. A rare sight in France. So I stopped and studied it until I found the bit that looked like a piece of art – art but not art – anti-art, if you will. In France, “they” (you know, the-powers-at-be) believe that graffiti is an art form (yes…hello?) so they typically leave the graffiti wherever the artist laid it down…a wall, a train car, an […]
Gotta love France in that the French are huge fans of rich food, tobacco (still!) and alcohol (mostly wine and weird liqueurs like Pastis, in the absence of Absinthe). ‘Tabac & Bar’ go together like peanut butter and jelly on white — or apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can buy a box of smokes and drink all in the same place in a convivial setting. There are also shops subtitled “Tabac, Bar and Pain”…of course, […]
I am an electric person also known as a SLIder, partial acronym for ‘Street Lamp Interference’ AKA HVS (high voltage syndrome), and there are a few other labels for people who are affected — and affect — electrical currents. I manage to disrupt common household appliances, make my computer go wonky, blow out lightbulbs and street lamps, particularly when I’m over excited or stressed out. I joke about it so people I hang out with aren’t too alarmed when it […]
Oh Shit!…what an indispensable expression! I saw this graffitied on a wall in downtown Tours (a fabulous medieval French city) and thought “Oh Shit!…what a great shot”. But then remembered that I forgot my camera back at my hotel room (Oh Shit!). Thinking on my feet, I quickly hoofed it back to the hotel to grab it, worrying that the light would change (Oh Shit!). But happily, I made it back to the spot with a good deal of sunlight […]
This shot was taken in a bathroom in a dive bar while I was really sauced. Despite my saucy state, I still manage to see images that strike me — and this was definitely one that struck me, with it’s frightening skeletal-like teeth at the top of the photo to the word “Magique” to the thorny red chain and torn paper. To most, it would be a barely noticeable image but to me, it slapped me in the face and […]
From possessed puppet I once met in Prague – to porcelain dolls for sale in flea markets throughout Europe – I have met puppets and dolls with otherworldly presences surrounding them, who appear to be far more than their humble porcelain or plastic origins. In this series, I capture those puppets and dolls that possess a living energy and spirit, which shines through in a moment of time.
Deep in the heart of a France, an activist named José Bové galvanized an entire community, including men, women and children, to dismantle McDonalds. Later, the region continued to protest against various developments and giant ‘Oui’ and ‘Non’ signs were erected, among others. I braved a ditch and an embankment and got a shot of both signs but ultimately the “Oui” took pride of place and became a piece of art.
I had no idea there was such a thing as a medieval wine bible but apparently there is. I learned this while on a wine tour in St Emilion in a former nunnery. I asked for permission to take a photo of the ancient text from the 90-year former nun owner and I was ready for her to say “Non!” in her scariest French nun voice but instead she said she’d be honored. I was so honored. The paper, bindings and […]