Mini-Celebrities I Want to Meet in Paris

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It’s one of the cool things about living in big cities, the awareness that at any moment one of the people you know by name and face- but have never met before- might be just around the corner.

I’ve got a few people that I’m thinking of reaching out to when I return to Paris, in the hopes of meeting.  It’s a short and eclectic list, but true to me.

If you’re familiar with me (or my Instagram habits) the lack of ‘French Girls of Instagram’ might surprise you, but they’re really more people whose style I admire- it’s hard to want to meet them knowing relatively little about their interests and personality (beyond shared tastes in bathing suits, jeans, and sweaters).
But I wouldn’t say no to a patisserie with Sabina Socol, any day.

So who’s on the list?

  • David Lebovitz: I recently finished reading L’Appart and the story of the author’s harrowing journey to owning a Paris apartment really resonated with me, in terms of expatriate growing pains.  And as a big fan of home renovations, I’d love to hear more.
  • Rosie McCarthy: Speaking of expatriate growing pains, Rosie’s youtube channel, Not Even French, is a recent favorite discovery of mine.  In her videos, the native New Zealander discusses the surprises (both good and bad) of life in Paris.  She seems like such a lovely person, and I can only imagine how interesting (and informative) a talk with her would be.
  • Paul Taylor: I may have shared one of Paul Taylor’s videos in the past, because they’re quite funny.  He’s a British comedian responsible for the What’s Up France?/What the Fuck, France? series.
  • Jessie Kanelos Weiner: Jessie Kanelos Weiner is the writer and illustrator of Paris in Stride, a gorgeous book for the dedicated flaneuse (me) who wants to explore Paris. It’s currently hiding in my Mom’s closet for my July 25th birthday.  Sometimes she holds watercolor classes.  And I really want to attend one!

You may have noticed that this list is super expat-heavy.  This isn’t because I have no interest in native Parisians… so much as I think expats subconsciously strike me as being much more approachable.  Parisians have notoriously close social lives and with expats, I have the benefit of a shared language (frequently) and similar experiences.

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Mid-week Links

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It seems like every time I’ve been posting recently it’s been prefaced by an apology about my lack of consistency.  I’m here again and again with another excuse- you would think being homebound with a bad ankle would lead to more posting rather than less, but instead I’ve just generally been very off my game for the last week.  Thankfully I’m starting to shape up and am more or less ready to rejoin the land of the living/productive, which is good because we’ve got some family trips lined up which I would never for the life of me be missing.
But that does also mean I’m unlikely to be posting consistently for another week and a half.  The boondocks of PA doesn’t even have phone connection, much less WiFi.
See you on the other side!

In the meantime, I’ve amassed a hideous army of motley links from around the interwebs.

Why so many posts about Instagram?

Peace and Acceptance:

On Films:

  • The trouble with Hollywood’s gender flips: “These reboots require women to relive men’s stories instead of fashioning their own. And they’re subtly expected to fix these old films, to neutralize their sexism and infuse them with feminism, to rebuild them into good movies with good politics, too. They have to do everything the men did, except backwards and with ideals.”
  • The Pop Culture Detective strikes again! The topic: Abduction as Romance.
  • The Hate U Give. This looks pretty great.
  • What is Cinemascore?

Miscellaneous:

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The Trailer for Tim Burton’s Dumbo is Heresy

I feel like the internet at large has turned into a howling/stomping ground of enraged fans (or maybe it’s just what you run into once you start getting into following film news)- and I hate to be the one to add to that mess.  But I get so few chances to be an angry neckbeard (given that I’m pretty flush with estrogen) I figured that this was my moment.

That, and the fact that this trailer is blasphemous.

Why? You ask?

I’m no big fan of the original Dumbo. Actually, if you’ve read this blog for any period of time you might be aware that I can’t heard the song Baby Mine without sobbing.  And that’s not the only seen of the movie that drives me to tears.  Add to that the not-so-subtle racism with the jazzy crows and laborer roustabouts, and I can’t really say that the film is vindicated by excellent songs such as ‘Casey Junior’ (the train song), ‘Song of the Roustabouts’ (kind of hardcore for the House of Mouse), and ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’ (in which Dumbo gets drunk and hallucinates). No lie, I like all these songs.

But this film promises to one-up (one-down?) my feelings about the original Dumbo with a response of disgusted and mildly enraged ennui.

  • Disney needs to stop making live action remakes. I haven’t liked any of them (maybe you have, if so, sorry) because they’re such bare-faced and obnoxious cash grabs that lose any sincerity of the originals in favor of extensive CGI and poor writing.
  • Where is TIMOTHY MOUSE?!
  • What the fuck is Colin Firth doing in here?
  • Why are these humans… sympathetic? The human world of Dumbo is supposed to be harsh and foreign.
  • Get rid of these simpering children.
  • What on earth is this 50 Shades of Grey-esque cover of Baby Mine?
  • This is a teaser trailer and it’s full trailer length.
  • Ugh, it looks so Tim Burton. The only thing that would make it more Tim Burton is Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp.

Guys, I’m not going to go see it. I only made it through Beauty and the Beast because I was on a plane. I failed to make it through The Jungle Book and Cinderella. Haven’t seen Maleficent.

Links 6/15

Hi hi hi. I missed the links post last week not because I didn’t have enough to share, just from pure laziness.  So it’s a bit heavy on the links today, but I have broken them down into bite-size and easily digestible categories.

Trailers:

Father’s Day:

  • A wince-worthy compilation of Dad Jokes.
  • The New Dad: What the evolution of stock photos shows about our changing understanding of paternity and parenthood.

Identity:

Miscellaneous:

  • How ASMR became an internet phenomenon.
  • This Parisian restaurant only lets you in with a baby or a bump.
  • I’ve been following this illustrator for a long time and now she’s selling some of her prints of Etsy!
  • Bumblebees use scent and color patterns to tell flowers apart.

I Wish I’d Had Home Ec

Although I probably would have skipped it a la Physical Education.

But now that I’m 22-almost-23, struggling with adulting like any millennial worth their salt, and patiently waiting for my copy of ‘Investing in Your 20s and 30s for Dummies’ from the library, I’m wishing high school had done more to prepare me for the simple facts and tasks of everyday life.

I’m not one of those students who begrudges time spent learning about the French Revolution (still some of the most interesting shit ever), Trig-PreCal, or even Socratic circles (although I do question whether spending hours copying definitions from the back of the Trig textbook was really a good use of my time, Mrs.C!)- but some old school advice would have been excellent.

Here’ my wish list for an ideal Home Ec course (required for every student, regardless of gender):

  • Financial management and planning: paying bills, budgeting, saving for big expenditures and retirement, investing in your 20s and 30s as well as later in life (don’t worry, there’s a For Dummies book for that one too).
  • Cooking: I’m a chef par excellence, but in my opinion everyone needs to know a bit more than how to make a sandwich.  It’s especially important in a low-income community (like mine) because cooking and eating at home is so much less expensive than eating out- and buying ingredients in bulk to make dishes from scratch is less expensive (and healthier) than processed foods.
  • Cleaning: Would make college life with roommates, dorm-mates, and those guys across the hall who share your bathroom much easier.
  • Comprehensive European-style sexual education: Beyond the American basics, prudish even in liberal Massachusetts (we are descended from the Puritans, after all), I want discussions on navigating relationships, domestic abuse, masturbation, and sexual compatability (and let’s be honest- there’s an ocean of sexual or sex-adjacent topics that it would be good for teens to know and that they’re not going to get bored learning about).
  • Parenting: Different styles and philosophies, keeping your baby happy and healthy, the basics of childcare so that both parents can partake equally (and so that people can consciously choose how to raise their children rather than falling into the patterns of their parents).
  • Sewing/mending/handiwork: The benefits of knitting should be mysteries to none and everyone should be able to mend their own pocket holes/reattach their own buttons.
  • Basic handy(wo)man stuff
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Navigating the workplace: From writing a decent email to networking to successfully advocating for yourself.
  • And let’s just throw in basic massage technique, because there is nothing a hard-working adult needs more than a massage!

What am I missing?

An aside on physical education in high school, only to excuse/redeem myself: Throughout high school I was working on recovering from anorexia so exercise was pretty touchy.  My activity amount was under review by my doctor and parents, but unchaperoned exercise was off the table.  Instead of giving up the physical exertion that gave me happiness and my life meaning (weekly riding lessons, hours or significantly active volunteer work, and more-than-weekly dance classes), I got a doctor’s note to excuse myself from high school PE. Which also enabled borderline OCD me to get a higher GPA by taking a higher proportion of honors and AP courses.

Review: Moviepass and Recent Movies

Moviepass and I have a love/hate relationship.  It is hard to rationally hate a program that allows you to see 4 movies a month (or a movie a day, depending o your plan) for a fraction of the regular cost.  And yet.
Most people who have Moviepass, myself included, still somehow manage it.

Why?
Because the customer service is straight out of the seventh circle of hell.  Imagine the speed of the DMV and the helpfulness of, well, something extremely unhelpful.

I’ll share my own personal story, but if you want details there are tons of anecdotes online of various customer service fails.

Having heard about Moviepass while in France, I was very excited to sign up when I returned to the US.  As I understood it, Moviepass was a risky business venture that would allow one to see a film a day for a fixed price (approximately $10).  My guess is that they operate this way in the hopes of raising theater attendance enough the theaters come to rely on the new influx of viewers, and are willing to give into Moviepass’ demands. A cut of the ticket or concessions sales, perhaps?
Anyway, I have no idea how that’s working for them or even if it is actually their planned course of action.

When I got back to the states Moviepass had just stopped offering one-a-day passes in favor of four movie a month passes and access to some radio channel.  The two plans are approximately the same price.  When I first saw this on the Moviepass website, I emailed asking if it were no longer possible to sign up for the film-a-day option.  After a week and a half with no answer, I subscribed to the only plan available to me- the four film a month one.  It has been just over a month since my account was activated (ten days later, when I received my card).  I have never used my radio account (as pretty much expected).  Maybe another week later, around the time I got the Moviepass card, I received an email back from a customer service representative, telling me that they had checked my account and I was subscribed to the four-film option. No shit, Sherlock. That’s because I didn’t receive a response for more than half a month.
Shortly thereafter, Moviepass beginning offering the unlimited option again. I emailed explaining my position and saying that I would like to switch plans.  After another rather extended wait, I was told that that was not recommended and that I could wait until my three months of plan had elapsed and then could switch.  If you cancel your plan before it is completed, you must wait something like nine months before you can sign up again.
So yes, Moviepass, super bad customer service.
Also, not my complaint, but the complaint of many others- they have a tendency to change the conditions of your contract without giving you the option to opt out, without forewarning, without any price change.
Meh.  It’s a first world problem to the tenth degree but it’s frustrating and rude.

Films I’ve seen since I got home:

No spoilers.

A Quiet Place: I wasn’t super into the trailer but heard so many good films I had to see it. They were all true, it’s amazing.  And worth seeing in a theater, the eerie and tense silence of everyone in the audience is a really interesting atmosphere.

Solo: Not so great, guys.

Deadpool 2: I liked Deadpool better, in large part because it was such a breath of fresh air and had never been done before. Of course, a sequel doesn’t have that advantage. The humor was still good, if you liked Deadpool the first you’ll probably like this, and it was a fun watch, but I don’t need to see it again.

Will You Be My Neighbor?: Mr. Rogers is a prince among men and we should all emulate him.

American Animals: I have very mixed feelings about this film and it’s subject: the true story of four college freshmen who plan and execute a heist on one of their campus’s rare book library.  They’re both disgustingly entitled and kind of sympathetic. The soundtrack is great.  Some interesting film and narrative choices are made that slow down the action and pull you out of the story a bit, but they ultimately make the film much more unique and interesting and give it more depth.

Hereditary: An amazing amazing film. Scary, yes. But there are so many layers to it, so many readings and so much subtle foreshadowing that you only notice in hindsight. Ultimately a viewing experience that left me feeling respected by all involved in the filmmaking process, which is pretty rare. And it’s a film for which close-watching really pays off. Like you feel rewarded watching it by all of the little ties you notice. Brilliant.

Coming up next?

Incredibles II.

 

Links 6/4

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Due to a weekend-trip hiatus (NYC was great, thanks), this links post is a bit later than usual.  Coincidentally, many of these links seem to have a bit of an LGBTQ theme.
Happy Pride!

Let’s get the smell stuff out of the way first:

  • Auklets are a bird species in which males demonstrate fitness not only by very fancy and sexy crests, but seemingly also by emitting a strong tangerine scent, research finds.
  • Study finds that activation of a certain smell receptor speeds the progression of prostate cancer, suggesting new treatment methods via blocking of the receptor.
  • Department stores reevaluate traditional beauty and fragrance marketing techniques as the beauty industry changes.

All the feels:

Film thoughts:

Current events:

Odds and Ends: