I’m getting very negligent about having my links posts on Fridays but as it is I don’t have enough links.
However I will always be blessed with the horror shows that are the English and French languages.
14 days until I fly home!
- pellucid- meaning both translucently clear and/or easily understood
- bombogenesis- weather throwback
- ensorcell- to enchant or fascinate
- farrago- a confused mixture
- clafoutis- a baked French thing
- en revanche- on the other hand
- le silence qui parle- silence that speaks volumes
- l’amour en cage- the French name for physalis, or the Chinese Lantern plant. Literally, Caged Love.
- hirondelle- the swallow of the bird variety
I’m mid-viewing of There Will Be Blood and mid-studying after a kind of abortive trip to Paris. Never trust weather.com when it predicts no precipitation. Always bring your umbrella. Because if you don’t it will rain in the morning and snow in the afternoon.
- The top Welsh names in Wales. There’s something intriguing about Welsh names- from the enigmatic (to me) spelling and pronunciation to the Lord of the Rings- vibes. Not to mention names like Angharad and Gwilym- characters from one of my favorite films, How Green Was My Valley.
- Speaking of movies- an enjoyably extra idea for creating memorable movie nights for the family- themed invitations and menus.
- Remembering Hubert de Givenchy, a brilliant couturier and the designer most associated with Audrey Hepburn‘s rise as a sartorial star.
- This movie looks insane-in-a-good-way. Also excited to see Lakeith Stanfield in another role post-Get Out.
- I would watch a Jared Kushner musical.
- A visually beautiful article about the production of roses for Chanel No. 5. Via my Mom. (Also, I’ve been to Pegomas just this year!)
- Am I the only person who’s thought about what I want done with my body when I eventually and inevitably kick the bucket? This natural burial ground in Tennessee is actually closest to what I’ve imagined. Except god forbid my final resting place be Tennessee.
- Surprise surprise: A huge MIT study finds that fake news stories are much more likely to spread and go ‘viral’ than real news stories on Twitter. Kind of expected but no less scary for that.
- Having never been married and having no children of my own, I can’t realistically vouch for any of this advice- but I do like it.
- The mysteriously adorable allure of maternity overalls.
- Are intimately subtle, barely there perfumes having a renaissance?
- Taking down the single versus spoken for binary. “Does the idea that people have to “love” — or simply feel any specific way about being single — give the concept of romantic attachment too much power?”
- This French food waste law is changing how grocery stores approach excess food.
I’ve been falling back on word posts fairly often recently because they’re easy to churn out and I’m lazy- but when you’ve been hitting a lot of museums it’s also the case that there are a lot of fun and exciting words coming to your attention.
- stele: a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument
- pyx: is a small round container used to carry the consecrated host to the sick or those otherwise unable to come to a church in order to receive Holy Communion
- stevedore: a person employed at a dock to load and unload ships.
- gussy: as in, to ‘gussy up’
- bodhisattva: a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so through compassion for suffering beings
- catafalque: a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state
- parure: a set of jewels intended to be worn together
- cuivrer: to copperplate
- chameau: camel
épingle: pin (n)
- saule: willow
It’s been a weird weekend. And it’s only Saturday. Hopefully grocery shopping is uneventful tomorrow. One minute you’re sitting on the train and the next you’re disembarking and for some reason your right hip isn’t letting you walk?
Pretty sure I’m too young for hip replacement.
SO I was talking to some friends yesterday and said I would send along a list of recommended French films. And SO I figured I would post it since it’s a list.
That said, full disclosure: I haven’t seen every French film ever so this is a superbly and spectacularly incomplete list.
Let’s Start with animated:
- Ernest and Celestine: Bears and mice and based on a lovely children’s book series that I want to buy for my potential offspring.
- Nocturna: Amazing world building. So much imagination. Cats.
- The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart: I walked in on dad playing music from this. He’s never seen it.
- A Monster in Paris: There’s a giant bug and it’s a beautiful heartwarming story. Also beautiful music.
Also kid-focused but not animated:
- Le Petit Nicolas: This is what being a child is like. But kind of more so.
I’ struggling with categorizing all the rest so I’m just going to throw them at you in one big lump:
- Belle de Jour: Catherine Deneuve is bored and fantasizes about BDSM so she decides to be a prostitute. Also her name is Severine, which is an excellent name.
- La Vie en Rose: Marion Cotillard is Edith Piaf and it’s as amazing as it sounds.
- Les Trois Couleurs: Three movies which you can kind of trace from the Nouvelle Vague style. Loosely connected, all individually perfect as stand-alones. I think Blue was my favorite.
- La Double Vie de Veronique: For some reason this hangs out with Les Trois Couleurs in my mind. Some lovely music.
- Huit Femmes: A Christmas musical murder mystery with a who’s who cast of great French actresses.
- Les Choristes: A teacher positively affects students lives through music. But it’s actually a good film.
- Bonjour, Tristesse: The book is better but this is nice and light and summery. Still not a huge Jean Seberg fan.
- The Intouchables: I always confuse this with The Untouchables, a film about taking down Al Capone. This is great too.
- Elle: Isabelle Huppert is bae and this Oscar nominee (did it win? I don’t remember) from last year is fantastic.
- Tous Les Matins du Monde: Music again. But also period drama stuff and sex.
- La Pianiste: Isabelle Huppert being sexy again. But this time even more mentally off-kilter.
- La Piscine: Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin and Alain Delon are all fabulously attractive people. And the film is suitably sexy.
- Les Enfants du Paradis: A long film that flew by. It’s actually a work of art and quite possibly one of the best films I watched last year. It is inspiring me to fall in love with a mime.
- Eyes Without a Face: French New Wave does Hitchcock. I am obviously a fan.
- Diabolique: More Hitchcockian stuff. A wife and mistress conspire to kill the guy. Then come strange events.
Weird stuff that I’m not sure I can recommend:
- Last Year at Marienbad: I will never forget the word ‘couloir’.
- Triplets of Belleville: What…?
It’s soooo rainy but guess what?
I have a pair of waterproof shoes now. I’m retiring my 10+ year old riding boots (I feel like they should be ritually cremated or something). It’s the end of an era.
milquetoast- I forget if I’ve included this already, but it can’t hurt to do it again. Does it have to do with milk and toast? I don’t know. But literally refers to a ‘meek, submissive character’.
mobius- mobius strips=science magic
capsicum- bell pepper
execrable- it’s the same word in French!
platititude- almost a platypus but not quite
harridan- basically a harpy. Rude words you shouldn’t call people
louche- ‘disreputable or sordid in a rakish/appealing sort of way’
soigné- neat/well cared for
I was too busy shopping. Whoops.
But the good news is that I now have a pair of winter gloves (that lack was getting a bit problematic in this negative Fahrenheit New England paradise. Even in France I had some trouble with my keys and doors).
And also a pair of fishnet socks, because not everything can be practical.
- condiment: a spice, sauce, or preparation added to food to give flavor
- calcify: to get all calcium-y
- cajole: this is a word with so much imagery behind it, for me. Kind of like guffaw.
- nematode: ‘Sa worm
- toff: pejorative British slang for the overly aristocratic/pretentious/landed gentry. A very Britishly British insult. In the US we don’t even have landed gentry.
- peccadillo: a small and trivial offense, not to be confused with the very inoffensive armadillo
- glaucous: dull grayish green or blue color. Also the powdery bloom on grapes. I like the connection.
- pernicious: credit to Roald Dahl.
- cusp: like Leo on the cusp of Cancer.
- festoon: a chain or garland, more commonly what you do with it.
- égérie: muse
TEN DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!
I’m so ready.
Here’s what’s happening:
I have fairly few links to share so the regular (really not fair of me to call it regular anymore) will be postponed for a few days.
In the meantime, words!
- scoundrel- preferably of the dirty and rotten variety
- umbel- just roll it around in your mouth a bit. Umbel.
- newel- meet my twins, Umbel and Newel.
- insoumis- unruly, rebellious
- imprévisible- unpredictable, capricious
Clearly my French personality is having some feelings at the moment.
Much as I’m loving living in France, there are some things that just aren’t the same and that give me a little ache when I think about them. This variety of homesickness is a lot less all-encompassing than the kind I had to deal with when I turned up at Yale four years ago (couldn’t tell you why), but for whatever reason this transition has felt much easier.
I do of course have thoughts about why, but that’s a topic for another day.
In the meantime, I’ve been finding it interesting to consider what it is I miss most about home (not necessarily America, but my own life there) and how there are some senses that are missing America more than others. Oddly, I feel like what I’m missing most are specific sounds, more than sights or smells or even tastes (though taste is a close second).
- Autumn color. Take it from an entitled North East girl who has spent all of her autumns surrounded by yellows and golds and oranges and reds. You definitely miss it. Leaves turn yellow and brown here- which is quite pretty- and you get the snow-like leaf shedding in the wind that I love so much, but the wonderland created by the other colors is just missing. Sighing for maples.
- Giant supermarkets. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll choose France’s small stores and open air markets over a Costco or Stop&Shop any day, but there is something oddly compelling (and reassuring) about that almost inappropriate abundance.
- Canada geese
- Sirens. The sirens here sound different and much more musical. I miss our sinister alarms.
- Blasting reggaeton. There are not enough people blasting reggaeton from car windows here. Though mercifully there are more than none.
- English. Hearing people speaking your own language as you walk around. You don’t realize how subconsciously comforting it is until everyone around you is speaking French.
- There isn’t anything tactile at home that I can’t as easily palpate in Versailles, except maybe my bed. It’s very easy to miss your bed.
- Not anything really. The thing about perfume school is that your nose gets plenty of exercise and novelty.
- Good lord home-cooked food. I miss it so much. I am cooking for myself here, but not any of the larger and more time-consuming recipes I would undertake at home. Partly because I’m sharing a kitchen with a host family. Partly because vegan ingredients are harder to find in these parts. Like the French don’t do vegan cheese. Why would they? Their cheese is a national treasure. But Dad’s pizza? My banana bread? Chickpea cutlets? Cornbread? So many foods.
And of course I didn’t list anything relating to the people and animals I miss. Beings are amalgamations of so many senses. The feeling of a hug or of soft cat fur. Every person and animal’s individual smell and the sound of their voice…
I did something kind of dumb- which is, having never had a Tinder in America, I created a profile when I got to France.
It’s been a good way to practice French, truthfully, but also I’m learning (and noticing) some odd things. Fill me in- what’s normal for Tinder and which of these are weird specific to a 40 km radius of Versailles?
- I’ve learned a lot of great but not widely applicable/appropriate words and phrases. Some favorites:
Enculer- to ass fuck
Je te mange le cul- I can eat your ass.
- A guy named Adrien who looks weirdly like Adrien Brody.
I do not mind.
- A lot of Yankees hats.
I DO mind.
- A good number who are mutual friends with friends of mine from college and even high school. It’s a small world after all.
- The stereotypical douchebag look (lots of squinting, a fair amount of pouty lips and duck face, etc.) is alive and well across the Atlantic.
- Someone who said their favorite things are penguins and waffles. Am ready to marry.
- Too much facial hair. Although I do understand this is a matter of opinion.
- A lot of people from this Middle East. I think because I am closer to the Middle East here.
- A lot of guys giving health advice in there profiles. Like “Eat healthfully and live well, strawberries are good for the stomach.”
- So much smoking. So much for living healthfully and strawberries.
- A lot of guys named Quentin…?
- Speaking of names… I never realized there were so many Thibaults. I dig it.
- Also a lot of Mehdis.