Le cul entre les deux chaises

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


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Portandia Loot

A friend of mine from college gives the best hugs I’ve ever gotten and is also one of the few people who can consistently give me gifts I like. This is the care package he sent from Portland, Oregon over the holidays (the furthest any love has ever travelled to get to me).

Portandia Loot
Contents

plain Cheerios
Hostess cupcakes
2 marbled composition notebooks

I am not at all ashamed to admit that not one of the eight cupcakes lasted longer than 24 hours in my presence. I felt so sick afterwards, but it was totally worth it and I’d do it again.


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The Loot Came From London!

What’s the adjective for London? London-y? London-ish? Years ago, I would have been able to intuit this, or at least know how to find the info, but I am getting rusty. Talking to my best friend recently, I told him that I was not only having a hard time figuring out lots of words, I also wasn’t able to determine “good Google words” for them. Later in the conversation, I remembered that the phrase I should have used is “optimal search terms” and chastised him for letting my poor language skills slide.

Regardless, here’s some stuff I got from London when my family hopped the Channel, er la Manche, this summer.

London Loot

  • It’s Only A Movie, by Mark Kermode
  • The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex, by Mark Kermode
  • M&S Chocolate Mini Bites
  • M&S Chocolate Brownie Mini Bites

Kermode is the film critic for the BBC’s “flagship film programme,” the podcast of which is the highlight of my week. His latest book just came out, but I’ll be waiting for the paperback because I really dislike hardcovers. (For the record, they’re heavy, uncomfortable for in-bed reading, big, generally cumbersome.)

The M&S stuff weren’t requests, but I do love local junk foods, so they were interesting to try. The Mini Bites were fancier, mintier versions of Ho Hos, a Hostess product I’m not crazy about, so an elevated take on them seemed kinda silly. The brownies were pretty good, though they were on sale because they’d passed their sell-by date the week previous. To M&S’s credit, they actually did taste a little stale so they presumably use fresh-ish ingredients and not all chemicals. These might be worth taste-testing again.

But, wait! There’s more!

→ The words that describe the people of a place are called demonyms. The US, with its odd state names, has some good ones.

→ If you want a primer on Mark Kermode (pronounced KERH-mode), check out this great compilation of his best rants. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I lovelovelove the one for TRANSFORMERS 3. It’s got some of the best Mark-made soundeffects.