Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures



Updates on stuff I’ve written and your comments.

Paul Klee's The Angler is there. I <3 Klee.

Paul Klee’s The Angler is there. I <3 Klee.

→ Don’t know if anyone actually reads these things, but I’ve updated my About page and added a Features page that collects all the recurring stuff. I’d appreciate any input on if this was a good use of my time or if people prefer to navigate with tags.

A recreation of the famous “degenerate art” show held in Munich in 1937 is at NYC’s Neue Galerie through the end of June 2014. An interview with the curator on WNYC gives lots of historical perspective and is worth a listen. A review of the show, with more context is here. Finally, the NYT on the making of the exhibit.

→ Speaking of Nazis and their art-thieving, VANITY FAIR reports on that trove of art stolen by a Nazi found in a Munich apartment.

→ A BBC reporter and film crew got a tour of the art. Can you imagine having this stuff in your house?! We had art in my house growing up, but this stuff is ART. Like, super serious good stuff by actual masters. A. R. T.

Pollution→ The Paris smog situation was really dire. On the days that it was worst, I got home and felt like I’d smoked a pack of cigarettes without any of the actual fun of smoking a pack of cigarettes. Since the pollution was higher than in Singapore, I guess I wasn’t exaggerating (see left). An explanation via Gizmodo says that, in addition to the weird weather patterns we were having, France’s love of diesel engines is at the root of the problem. (Lots of interesting links in the story.)

→ The NYT hasn’t gotten my memo about Catalan cooking; their story about fideuà is mostly correct… except that they spell the name of the dish wrong. It’s made with fideus [noodles], not called that. This would be like calling paella “rice” or a cheeseburger “meat patty.” Angry sigh.

→ My sister suggested that maybe the translation of the Latin mulĭer to “mistress” is less sexist than I thought. My dictionary has the primary definition as “a woman in a position of authority or control,” so maybe it’s my mind that’s corrupt and not the Spanish language. (Regardless, Spanish wouldn’t have won that day.) (Also, Spaniards are totally sexist, so I doubt that she’s right but concede that it’s possible.)

Look at the # of retweets/faves!

Look at the # of retweets/faves!

→ I love how the “fact” at right is presented, as if there’s ONLY ONE place in ALL OF FRANCE that does this. I’m sure variations on this happen all over. For instance, I know that MOST places in the tourist-frequented areas of Barcelona charge foreigners more on principle, so I’m not sure why UberFacts thinks the French would be so different. I mean, the French are better than Spaniards, but not by that much.

Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

4 thoughts on “Housekeeping

  1. I saw the story about the bistro asking for a lot more money if you were rude than if you nicely asked for it and I thought it was so French. For them, politeness is an art and is very important. I quite like it actually and now feels strange when I go somewhere outside of France where they don’t expect a “bonjour” and an “au revoir”…Nice About Pages and I like the Feature pages – easier to find stuff. (Suzanne)

    • I hadn’t thought of the French thing in the way you present it, but I guess you’re right. It’s much more civilized to penalize people for being rude than just for being a foreigner (as the Spanish do).

      But I’m going to disagree with you about saying “hello” all the time. David Sedaris said it best in an interview I heard where he expressed frustration at having to say “Bonjour, madame / monsieur” all the time. His point was that he was pretty sure everyone knew which gender they belonged to so it was added work to have to say so all the time. Could be an Americanism or just a grumpy-person-ism. The less I have to make small talk, the happier I am.

  2. I like your new “about” page. Perhaps the thing I like best is the photo that I think is from “Fargo”, but I also like your FAQS. These always amuse me, because they are so seldom the Qs that I want to ask. If I was to A you a Q it would be “how do you find the time for this?”

    • Ha! Good “Q”. The short answer is that I’m a fast writer and have at least 5 ideas of things to post every day. 3 are usually decent and 2 come fully formed to my brain — it’s just a matter of typing them out. (If this were a blog about doing any calculation totaling higher than 50, I would never post.)

      Ideas that are a little more involved usually get an overnight brain treatment and then I bang them out in the morning as a draft which I’ll revisit with a clearer head at some point later. There are currently 354 items in my blog folder, some of which are lists (i.e. a lot more ideas).

      And I don’t have kids (which a lot of people seem to) so all my time is mine to do with as I choose. Once a week-ish, I choose to schedule a bunch of posts to share with you guys ;)

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