Thursday, July 10, 2008


I haven't been following the news closely since I've been in Paris. I'm most likely to watch "SkyNews", a British channel and the only 100% English-language channel I receive. (I tune into NPR too, but my timing usually isn't right to catch the news) Yesterday, what was the big story? Knife crime in Britain. Either it's on a huge upswing (according to the news) or it's not (according to the statistics cited on the news). Unbelievable!

They cut into that dramatic, breaking story for a press conference Gordon Brown was having at the G8 summit. I sat, transfixed by real, actual, substantive NEWS. When Brown finished speaking, the first question was a two-parter. Part one was about climate change. Part two was about KNIFE CRIME IN BRITAIN. He answered part two first and then the station cut back to its regularly scheduled coverage of KNIFE CRIME IN BRITAIN. Wow.

In other news, B2 (brother in Israel) called me on my cell phone yesterday (something of a surprise), to let me know that my niece is NOT coming to visit. Perhaps I didn't mention that one of my nieces was supposed to visit the first week of August? Well, she was and now she's not. I'm a little disappointed but it does free up the summer schedule a little. It would have been fun to see her. I can cancel future scouting of kosher establishments.

The second interesting piece of news is that TR, good friend and cause of major work annoyance, just got a promotion and will no longer be my boss. Yes, this is GOOD news. However, there is no sense of who the new boss will be. I wonder if I'm even eligible for the position (probably) and if I want it (um, yes, I think I do!)? And, if I am eligible and I do want it, what should I do? Can I go back in December and become the new boss? If so, awesome! Also, TR's promotion shifts him to a different office, so if I became the new TR, TR would NOT be my boss. My old boss, Larry, would be my boss. And order would be restored to the world.

There is only one other person in my division who could reasonably replace TR. He would do an ok job and I wouldn't have any problem working for him. If he wants it, the job is probably his. However, he is the kind of guy who may not be interested in such a promotion (it wouldn't get him a raise, just more work), so he may decline. It really makes me wonder….

Other than that, it's just the same old, same old incredibly relaxed life here. On Tuesday, I followed the siren call of McD's and had another meal there. I think I'm good for the next month or two. I thought I was meeting my conversation buddy but he proved a no show. He called me later that day, so I think it was a misunderstanding. Instead of meeting him, I went to a movie. I was dying for a movie--any movie--and I ended up at Street Kings ("Au bout de la nuit" in French). I'd heard it was bad and I was prepared to hate it. True to past experience, my ultra-low expectations paid off and I found myself pleasantly surprised by this grim, violent, depressing film: I enjoyed it. I am a sucker for Keanu Reeves and, despite some stilted line readings (what's new?), he was perfect for this part: a blank, ruthless but ultimately good-hearted man. Nice casting, actually. I can't exactly recommend the film, but it hit the spot.

My other activities? On Wednesday, I attempted to see a documentary about the British bike scene in LA. I went to an English pub, talked to no one, observed a lot of French bikers, and waited until 8pm to see a 7pm screening. The running late? Very French. I watched for about 10 minutes and got bored (though I liked the bit where they took apart the engine of a '71 Triumph Bonneville).

I actually meet my conversation buddy on Wednesday. We talked only in English (that was fine) and I learned a lot about the French Foreign Legion: it really is like in the movies, but way, way worse.

I'm off to take a boat ride on the Seine--no, not a tour, a ferry--I think. I will bring my camera.

Grateful for: things to do.

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