I NEVER thought I would go more than a week without gabbing on here! Wow... where did the time go?
To the movies, that's where. Since I've had this unlimited movie pass, I have been UNSTOPPABLE! I mentioned the movie pass last time, right? The one where you pay about 20 Euros a month and you can see as many movies as you want in ANY theatre in France (and maybe in Europe, but I haven't really needed to check).
Okay, so here's some funny shit. Tuesday before last, I got both D and Flavia to meet me at the Dog for trivia night. We all got there about the same time (7-ish) and found it already nearly packed. So, we kicked some dudes out and staked our claim on the corner table. I bought the first round--D a Tequila Sunrise and F and I a couple of pints of Leffe--and we sat down to catch up. Half-way through that first pint, F starts telling us about a book she wrote when she was in Brazil. And AWESOME story idea that I won't divulge here for proprietary reasons, but let's just say that it's pretty fuckin' awesome. She said she never finished it because she never thought anyone would read it. ...
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
So, I spent the rest of my pint trying to talk her into finishing it (and hopefully re-write it in English *grin*). I didn't know that Flavia was a writer. I wish I had known. I'm glad I now do. Because I'm gonna spend some time trying to talk her into getting into it. I remember how I felt when I was all, "I'm not a writer" and whatnot (as I still am sometimes).
Flavia got up and got us a pitcher of Leffe this time. The rest of the night is a drunken blur. I remember "The Gaffer" handing us out our trivia sheets and it being about "football" (soccer). Probably because they had two European cup games going on in the bar--one in one room and the other in the other room. I remember that one of the trivia sheets was a black and white photocopy of a bunch of soccer jerseys and we were supposed to guess the country. Give me a goddamned break, y'all. A black and white PHOTOCOPY? SERIOUSLY??? Anyway, and I remember some British chick spilling her drink on Flavia and not saying she was sorry and Flavia wanting to kick that skinny Briton's ass and talking so loudly about it that the Briton turned and apologized. I remember that one of the trivia questions was how old Yoda was when he died (like 900 or something like that.. I guess 700, so that was close). I don't remember the other questions. I remember taking pictures of the football jerseys with my phone so I could send them to Sam and he could help me cheat. But it didn't work. I remember it being WALL-TO-WALL people in there and having to literally smash my breasts and butt against all of them to get to the bathroom (I can't imagine I would have survived had there been a fire). I remember myself buying a second pitcher and having a conversation with a cute little British guy at the bar and me going on about how I was buying a pitcher because of my Irish blood needin' a fix. Look, he started it. I remember we didn't win our trivia (I'm not sure we got even one answer right). I remember going out for food afterward and eating a cool vegetarian wrap thing with deep fried broccoli in it and drenched in spicy Harissa. I remember that that wasn't enough to soak up the pint-and-a-pitcher I had had on an empty stomach and that we went next door to buy a French fry from the kebab place but that D and F said they didn't want any but helped me eat them anyway (making me need even more fries but not getting 'em... I figured I'd just buy some more on my way back to our bus stop). I remember Flavia saying that Gilles was on his way to pick us up. And that D said, "I think I lost my gloves" and me insisting that we go get 'em. And us coming back and Gilles being hopping mad and him saying something insulting about me and D. And I got pissed at being insulted and jumped out of the car at the red light (even though Gilles had attempted to lock me in) and started walking back toward my bus stop, thinking mainly of the fact that now I would be able to buy my French fries!!! I remember looking up and seeing Gilles there and wondering how he got BACK that far on a one-way street... fast enough to hop out of the car and walk up to me on the sidewalk and ask me to forgive him and let him take me home (which I did, begrudgingly thinking about my lost French fries). I got home and begged Sam to go to the kebab resto down the street and buy me some frites. He called them and they said they were closing. In my drunken stupor, I didn't believe him, so though I had already put on my nightgown, I put my jeans back on, my Ohio State hoodie on over it and my Asics and RAN down to the resto. Sure enough, he was closing and had already turned off the fryer. So, I walked even further down in search of frites... From ANYWHERE... I swore out loud about how I hated living in the rich old lady neighborhood because it meant I couldn't get decent frites after a night out. I walked around after midnight in the freezing cold, completely bombed out of my mind. And then, I took a seat on a bench to think about it. I considered going back down town, but then I looked down to see my nightgown around my denim knees, whipping in the breeze, so I got up and walked home. Cussing at Sam. I said something really mean because the next morning, he was all sad and asking me to cuddle with him. He said, "I need a hug." So I snuggled with him and told him about my night. When I heard his breathing deepen, I said, "You're falling asleep. You don't even give a shit." And he said, "I only wanted a hug!" We both laughed and used it as a joke for the rest of the week. Any time I would offer a hug, he'd put up both hands and go, "No, no. I don't think I have the time." LOL!
The rest of the week a bit of a blur, too. Mainly because I've just been busy. Writing and trying to get things reorganized around here. I must have seen a kazillion movies though. I saw The Wrestler, which I LOVED. And I saw a movie that was set in Lyon (SO weird to see my apartment building in a movie, I'm telling you!) about a girl who moves here to study piano but gets sucked into a violent and imbalanced psycho-sexual relationship with her female roommate. The cool part was that the producer, director and one of the main actresses were all there. I got a free copy of the soundtrack, the actress' autograph and asked the director a question about the movie. That was cool. I saw Revolutionary Road. And something else, I can't remember.
Then, on Saturday, I went with Flavia and Gilles and a friend of theirs to a kick ASS wine convention of sorts. We spent the afternoon and early evening sampling wines from different regions. It was so cool. There's a whole science to it, you know? You start out with the dry whites, move to the reds, go to the sweet whites, the cooked reds and then the cremeux and champagnes. And these were GREAT wines, yo! I only spent like 60 Euro (because Gilles pretty much cut me a deal) for 7 bottles of like gold in a bottle yo, but the next one I'm going to, I'm going to REALLY bring some home. I was being conservative this time because I knew Sam would flip (and he did: "Why did you buy all of that? We don't NEED that. We don't even DRINK wine." me: "Uh, but we WOULD, if we HAD some, now, wouldn't we?" *eye roll*). There was a slight snafu when the sandwich place wouldn't make me a vegan sandwich. All they had there were meat or cheese sandwiches or meat AND cheese, or pate, or whatever. When Gilles asked if the lady could please just cut open a baguette, slide some lettuce in and sell it to me, she said no. Can you believe that fucking French cunt? I was ready to pay the price of a rotting flesh sandwich for a few fucking peices of lettuce, but she said no. And she said it with a huge smile on her face, shaking her head no. I CUSSED like a SAILOR in French as we walked away. And then, later, Flavia got pretty pissed when Gilles couldn't guide us back to where we had really loved this sweet white wine she wanted to get for her mother (she's going back to Brazil for two weeks... what the HELL am I supposed to do without F for two weeks?!?). There were a few insults thrown, some yelling and some cussing, but I found the guy and it was exactly where Gilles had thought. But, I think they made up with each other later that night (sort of a couple's goodbye for two weeks dinner).
The next day, we went to the movies to see Cyprien (a French comedy) and then drank beer at the bar afterward. On the way home, Flavia and I BEGGED Gilles to drive around and find us some frites, but once again, we still couldn't find any. *sigh* I think I'm going to just buy some frozen goddamn frites and bake the shit out of 'em whenever I get drunk... GOTTA be cheaper, eh? I was tempted to peel potatoes that night, but instead, I just ate a handful of chips.
All this past week, Sam and I have been tag team movie watching. One of us will go at 6pm and the other at 8pm. The one who goes at 8 has to feed and bathe the kids and the one who goes at 6 has to do the dishes. Then, on Tuesday, because all the kids were at school or day care, Sam and I went to the movies again as our little date. I make vegan sandwiches and sneak them into my bag but stop at the concession stand and WASTE money on OVERPRICED Pringles and drinks (to sort of balance out the dishonesty of sneaking in sandwiches--Look, I don't wanna eat popcorn for EVERY meal, you know?). And yesterday, after Sam left, I hung out with my friend Iv for about an hour or so (at the movie theatre cafe) and then went and watched ANOTHER movie. I was planning on seeing yet another one last night (one where the actors and director were going to be there again) but since I am a BONEHEAD and didn't reserve, they were sold out when I wanted to make my reservation. I thought about going to see a different one, but at that point, I was just tired. I think I ended up going to bed around 9:30 (after Sam got back from the movies).
Two movies surprised me this week. I really didn't like Gran Torino at all. Most of the acting sucked and I just couldn't figure out what the movie was trying to say. And I didn't like what I found it DID say. So, that sucked. But I was so pleasantly surprised by Miss Pettigrew. *gasp* I KNOW! I wouldn't have seen it had I not had my free movie pass, but I'm so glad I did. I also went to see a French movie yesterday that my neighbor told me she didn't like *eye roll* but I LOVED it (just another testament to how different we are), laughed like a toddler at all the jokes!!! So, there you go!
Writing... Heard back from Boudy with some great suggestions that I've been letting fester and bubble in my all day. Thinking about getting to work on some of that tomorrow... I actually feel a great urgency to do so today, but all three kids are here (it's Wednesday), so it'll have to wait, but I'm optimistic.
Reading... Finally finished that goddamn Obama book and have to say that I just absolutely worship him as a memoirist. (I'm coming around on the whole president front, too... we'll see how that changes--for good or bad--after I read the second memoir.) I also read Coraline by Neil Gaiman (FINALLY) and LOVED it and can't WAIT for the creepy ass movie. Then, I started a Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman book called Good Omens that I'm just rolling around in. I love their shit apart, so why wouldn't I worship it as a collaboration, huh? When that's over, Iv has offered to lend her copy of Nation by Terry Pratchett, so woo HOO! On the side, I'm working on a green gardening book.
Cooking... My vegan cooking experiments have been AWESOME this past week. First of all, I tried making a new kind of bread. The recipe called for soy milk, but I used a combo of soy and almond milks. I also added sunflower seeds to two loaves and sesame seeds to the other and they were AWESOME!!! They were "boules" (a ball-shaped loaf) and that was my first time to do that. I made vegan reuben sandwiches using vegan thousand island dressing (which I made myself), avacado, mustard and saurkraut and that shit was delicious!!! I also made this kick ass winter vegetable stew with a savory biscuit topping that I found on Vegan Dad (vegandad.blogspot.com). I modified the stew adding broccoli, carrots, cabbage and fennel. The biscuit part was AWESOME!!! And though I didn't have marjoram, oregano substituted quite nicely! We're going to the in-laws' house this weekend for the Feb/March birthday party, so I think I'll make this and take it with me since I doubt very seriously they will prepare anything vegan.
I had a lamb's lettuce salad that had a vinaigrette using tahini instead of oil and that shit was AWESOME (especially sprinkled with wheat germ and nutritional yeast).
And then today, I had my first experience cooking with tofu. I know I've probably mentioned I wanted to avoid the whole overdosing on soy that many people do when they go vegan/vegetarian, but I figured that I'd need to speak from experience, so I tried it. I chopped up some fresh spinach and some blanched broccoli in my food processor. I put that in a big bowl. Then, I mixed about a pound of firm tofu, about 2 or so Tbsp. flour, about 1/3 or so cup lemon juice, about a Tbsp of olive oil, some nutritional yeast, some ground ginger, turmeric, paprika and oregano. Then, I added 200 ml of coconut milk and some crushed red pepper. I thinned it down with some oat milk (any milk alternative would have done the trick) and I added this creamy stuff to the chopped green stuff. Then, I threw in the two or three cups of cooked brown rice I had leftover in the frige. I mixed it all together and spread it out in a gratin pan. I put in the preheated oven at 170 C (Look it up, but I think it's around 350 F maybe) and let it warm up and solidify a little. It was AWESOME... The spinach and broc weren't overly cooked and the aftertaste was pleasantly spicy/coconutty like a thai dish.
Oh yeah, and... I made vegan pancakes this past weekend!!! I used three mashed ripe pears in the place of the egg and added a touch more baking powder than called for. I used almond milk instead of cow's milk and made sure to put in a splash of vanilla. It was a huge hit with the kids! I finally got to use my new pancake griddle!!!
I also made some more vegan lunch meat and then sliced it up on my slicer and put it in the fridge... I've been chomping on it all week.
Let's see... what else...??? I'm gonna refrain from discussing the psychological problems of my marriage since I'm PMS-ing. Anything I'd say would be uttered through a hormone-induced fog of crankiness and that just aint fair, is it?
Oh, my sister is coming!!! We got the tickets!!! woo HOO!!! I'm gonna take her up to Paris to stay the night and then maybe down near Marseille and definitely up to meet the in-laws so she can get a view of the Alps and maybe taste some good cheese. I'm so excited for her! I wish I had seen France with my own personal tourguide and translator!!! LOL!
And then, just a couple weeks later, my Grumps will be here!!!
Alright then, all the kids are up again and buggin' me... guess I had better go check what movie I'm gonna go see tonight! LOL!!!
Take 'er easy!