Le cul entre les deux chaises

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


Le futur loin?

There’s le futur proche verb tense in French, so I guess this has to qualify as its opposite, the distant future.

Pre-order in 2999


To be tracked or to be insulted, that is the question

I have a lot of anti-tracking plug-ins on my web browser, partly because I’m a bit of a privacy freak (says the girl who blogs about her life five times a week) but also because I just don’t want websites following me around everywhere trying to sell me stuff. Part of the reason why I left the US is because I didn’t want to be so relentlessly marketed to.

Most of the time, this works out well since my browsing is so masked that it confuses the algorithms that are trying to fit me into some demographic but sometimes, not presenting myself as who I really am means that I get stuff like this:

Senior dating site

It’s hard to count how many ways this does not apply to me.

At least it wasn’t porn.

Protect something

If you want to get a basic level of anonymity online, I recommend installing Disconnect in your browser and getting a bunch of Firefox add-ons like Click&Clean, NoScript, Self-Destructing Cookies, DoNotTrackMe and TrackMeNot. Alternately, you could just start using DuckDuckGo instead of Google, but you’ll have to relearn how to search for things since DDG doesn’t know where you are, who you are or what you’re looking for, unlike Google which is always watching.

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Links / Enlaces / Liens

One Link...

One Link…

On this day, God said, “Let there be links!” and there was much rejoicing.

→ France’s continued problems assimilating immigrants into the culture is against the founding principle of the Republic; Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. But, writes Justin Smith in a NYT Op-Ed piece, the French can justify everything:

“…when equality is invoked … it is understood that this is equality *among equals*.”

Other interesting thoughts on the perceptual differences between expats and immigrants in France follow. (Spoiler: one group is welcomed, the other reviled.) 

→ David Crystal is my new Richard Lederer! If either of those names mean anything to you, you are a word nerd and we can be friends. Leonard Lopate reran an interview with the former over the holidays. Crystal’s books The Story of English in 100 Words and Spell It Out are currently top-lining my ebook reader. Tl;dr — the French are to be blamed for everything wrong with the English language (see 1066). 

→ Stefan Stasse, the German co-host of my favorite ASOIAF podcast, posted the second in a series of occasional podcasts he’s doing with a history PhD candidate about different cultural perspectives vis à vis Important Historical Events. In this most recent episode they discuss what Europeans know about the American Civil War and how Americans understand WWII. Asking Germans about the war (even though you’re not supposed to mention it) is a hobby of mine, though you really have to get to know one before you broach the subject. They’re pretty touchy about it. 

→ Speaking of die Deutschen: “Not one frown in the place, which is exceptionally rare for such a large gathering of German people.” The blog Oh God, My Wife Is German is consistently amusing to me.

Two Links!

Two Links!

→ Boston neighborhoods corresponded to their Manhattan equivalents (based on median rent). Interesting to compare the two and see what the locals value most in each city. Freakishly (or maybe totally predictably), my dream neighborhoods in each city are counterparts.

→ Do you ever get totes emosh about something and think, “I can’t EVEN handle this because”? If you have no idea what any of that means, you need to read “A Defense of Internet Linguistics” cuz it’s amazeballz. 

→ Wikipedia “is like walking into a mental hospital: the floors are carpeted, the walls are nicely padded, but you know there’s a pretty good chance at any given moment one of the inmates will pick up a knife.” 

→ My brother, the only other person I know who also loves podcasts a lot, told me that 60 Minutes is available in an audio-only format. I got crazy excited about this since the show was, as the NYT once said, “one of the most esteemed newsmagazines on American television.” The writing is significantly less good than it used to be — any given story has copy filled with clichés or misuses of words like “literally” — but they still report some fun things. 


Are you my mother?

Are you the person who entered all of these search terms in one day?

WP search terms

If you are, and are not my mother, you should be my new best friend. If you are my mother, just bookmark the damn blog already or subscribe to get new posts in your inbox instead of getting me all excited that there’s another weirdo just like me out there.

are you my mother

[Apologies to P. D. Eastman. I would have sworn Dr. Seuss wrote this book.]