Friday, March 17, 2006

deux ou trois choses qui me plaisent

plaisir being the opposite of s'enerver, of course. I didn't get homesick for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but St. Patrick's Day is giving me the blues. My folks run in the annual marathon, my sister dances in the parade, and me, when I wasn't playing Handel or Bach I was scraping out "Toss the Feathers" or "Gary Owen" (though I will say that my personal vision of Hell is to be trapped in a crowded, smoky gym forced to dance three-hands I can't remember while the Clancy Brothers play "The Sweets of May" on an endless loop). And my family's not even Irish (as far as we know, which isn't very far).

So I thought I'd cheer things up around here a bit. Some stuff that makes me happy:
  • Les Calamités. I found them in the Verdun library and promptly burned myself a copy. Kind of a French version of the Go-Gos or the Bangles.
  • Celtic Hangover. Irish dudes in France. The lead singer sounds like he's been smoking a pack a day since he was four.
  • The Fugee's cover of "No Woman, No Cry"
  • my friend Kevin, who sends me links to rockin' feminist song lyrics (Hi Kevin!)
  • drinking on the job. Yesterday we had a St. Patrick's Day party in the salle de professeurs during lunch. Three kinds of cake, Guinness, and Killian's. And the month before we celebrated a birthday with champagne. It's the school with problem students and unhelpful teachers, but they make up for it with free booze.
  • old French ladies in skirts, heels, and stockings who zoom around town on their motorbikes while wearing neon green crash helmets
  • snuggled up in bed with a cup of tea and a copy of Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen. I found this on the small bookshelf of English books at Leclerc (the French version of a Super Walmart, though hopefully less evil). I decided it was fate. Who else in the entire town of Verdun would have the interest, much less the ability to read such a book? It was Meant To Be.
  • dancing lessons with Laurent. He got roped into dancing lessons at a nearby village and dragged me along to be his partner. The boy has no rhythm, but we learned the Fox Trot. The salsa totally bamboozled us though.
  • Patti Smith's cover of "Gloria". Good golly miss molly. Patti Smith can make me hers any day of the week.
  • French dyke bars. Despite the Parisian attitude and their complete inability to make a decent vodka tonic. It's 100% dyke space, and I can't get enough of it. Plus, one-armed butch bartenders so hot they make me forget my French. "Je...euh...voudrais...erm..."
  • after endless months of rain, the sun has come out
  • chocolate mousse Pims
  • my friend JJ, who, in addition to being a hot, intelligent, funny, kick-ass feminist, actually delivers when she says she'll make you a CD of pictures.
  • Nina Bouraoui, Les mauvaises pensées. French lesbian novelist who's won the Prix Renaudot (whatever that is). A little Jeanette Winterson laced with Virginia Woolf. It's beautiful, intricate and deceptively simple, and I get it. Not just the sense, but the poetry. The rhythm, the feel, the imagery of the language. I have broken through The Wall. It's still tough going (I'm only 30 pages into it), but the work is finally paying off. It's like learning to read all over again, and just as exciting.
  • Jeanette Winterson. I'd resisted Winterson for awhile, out of sheer orneryness, convinced she was probably too stuffy and faux literary for my tastes. But these last months she's been stalking me--I found her for cheap my first visit to Shakespeare and Co, where the salesgirl proceeded to tell me I have to read The Passion, I've been running into her on blogs, people emailing me, "Oh, you should really give Winterson a try", and now I'm totally eating crow. I'm in love. She's brilliant, and beautiful, and passionate, and funny. I'm gonna have to do some book blogging soon.
  • Even though I don't go to Mass anymore, my parents still send me Easter care packages.
  • The track "A Postcard to Henry Purcell," on the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack, which makes me wish I had my violin with me.
  • watching John Wayne movies in French. Cowboy movies are my guilty pleasure, but I figure it mitigates the inherent racist and sexist underpinnings if he's speaking faggoty French, right?
  • Il pleut de gouines!/It's raining dykes!, a bilingual French dyke 'zine I found in Paris, full of hilarious cartoons, cake recipes ("gateau lesbienne!"), and new vocabulary words, such as goudu, the French version of lezzie.
  • and last but not least, bad-ass feminist moms.


At 5:15 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

hmm, proper grammar would be fun too. I think it's supposed to be me plait, or something. Stupid ir verbs.

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Kristel said...

Hmm, I think 'plaisent' IS the correct form, as it's plural?

Mon dieu, il est bien temps de rafraichir mon français...

Anyhow, you've been doing some nice posting lately. Thanks!

At 6:51 AM, Blogger TP said...

I am definately going to check out Les Calamites - a french version the Bangles - that is sweet.

Great, funny post.

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous roro said...

Fantastic post! And thank god I read it before performing my "Anne of Green Gables was doing her best friend" piece in Montreal this weekend. Thanks to you, I knew the french word for lesbian and was able to throw it around liberally (along with my ass) at the big French dyke dance party afterwards. Hurray for French!

Also - I resisted Winterson for ages and then my brother got fed up and gave me one of her books. I don't generally dig the story but the language - HOT. Can't get enough. Good times.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

Thanks guys! I aim to please. Roro, I am *dying* to see your play!

Other things that make me happy: Problem school, in addition to offering free booze, also seems to be turning out more than a few goudus. You should have seen the baby butches hanging out at the bus stop this afternoon. They should just buzz their hair and be done with it.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Winter said...

Glad you've finally caved in to Winterson.

Patti Smith it straight - that's just so wrong.


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