Le cul entre les deux chaises

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


It’s Memorial Day!

Thanks to a practice which really annoys me, I am now going to be able to remember which holiday marks the beginning of the summer season and which one ends it. The key came in the form of a movie I will never see called LABOR DAY. Here’s the US poster:


And here’s the French one:



Can you guess what, under normal circumstances, would bother me about this? It’s changing an English title into another English title. I mean, I get it: no one in Europe knows what Labor Day is but this practice is generally dumb and confusing.

Even before I heard and read the positively dreadful reviews for this movie (notice complete absence of reviewer quotes!), I wouldn’t have seen it for one big reason: it’s based on a book by Joyce Maynard and I don’t like her at all. I was studying writing when her book At Home in the World came out and one of my professors was exactly the kind of hippy-dippy person to eat it up and she made us read it too. I found the whole thing to be in poor taste and indicative of a person who was still not mature enough (then aged 45) to own up to any decisions she’d ever made. Other opinions are available but that’s the nice version of mine. The mean version is quite nasty and includes lots of foul words used to describe women of whom of I have a very low opinion.

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More lies in advertising: McDonald’s edition

I’m American and I can assure you that I have no interest in tasting whatever the hell this thing is. However, I am equally grossed out by the idea of a cowboy eating this while wearing leather gloves. Who knows what he’s touched with them?!

2013 Paris McDonalds ad

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Another Camper fail

Sigh. Why can’t my full time job be correcting things*? If someone at Camper (or whoever does their not-good marketing) had just asked me to glance at what they were working on, I could have told them that in English, our colas are Diet, never Light.

Camper Light fail

diet coke coca light*This job kind of exists in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel where Judi Dench is hired by an Indian call center to school the operators on how to be properly British. I would love doing something like this, especially since my General American accent (that is to say, one which isn’t specific to any region) is highly prized by people who are interested in such things.


Happy Thanksgivukkah


The day before I left Paris for the US I noticed ads like the one pictured at right all over town.

JDate, in case you can’t tell from their pretty straightforward logo, is a dating site for Jewish singles.

Days later, while in New York, I saw ads like the one below which alerted me to the confluence of events now known as Thanksgivukkah (since Americans will never turn down an opportunity to portmanteau).

Gobble Tov

People who can math have said that this is the first time in history that both holidays have fallen on the same day, though this is kind of a cheat since Thanksgiving didn’t exist as a nationally recognized date until 1863 and the Hebrew calendar isn’t as immutable as the Gregorian one (has been since 1582). Regardless, I won’t be celebrating either holiday for two simple reasons: I’m not Jewish and I don’t have an oven. (You totally need an oven for Thanksgiving.)

Turkey bread

In French, a turkey glougloute [gobbles].

Here’s hoping that next year I’ll be able to cook up a bird and some green beans and maybe get a fancy bread like the one I saw at Poilâne.

UPDATE: Man, I was really trying to avoid making more SNL references for a while but then HAIM, who appeared on my 2012 Winter Playlistreleased a cover of Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song,” first performed on Weekend Update on December 3, 1994, so I clearly need to link to it.

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Great eggs

I didn’t grow up eating eggs ’cause my mother didn’t love me. Actually, she claims that she never made them because she had some traumatic egg experience a long time ago, but the fact remains that it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I ate a plate of eggs.

My boyfriend at the time made them for me and I was really apprehensive since he was trying to impress me and I didn’t know if I liked eggs. Generally if I don’t like something, I’ll just spit it out, even if I make it myself, but I knew that his ego wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of rejection.

Fortunately for us both, I thought eggs were great. After that, I went on kind of an egg overload and tried cooking them all different ways to see which was best and discovering along the way that eggs go well with just about everything on the planet, meaning I totally agree with their incredible status.

Since those early days, I’ve settled on a few different ways to prepare my eggs at home and have been perfectly pleased with them.

Until I discovered Gordon Ramsay’s eggs. I was looking for info about Soccer Aid 2012 (don’t ask) and somehow ended up watching this video.

Holy shit are these good eggs. I made them last week, changing some things around. I only used two eggs and ate them in a baguette which I’d torn open and melted some cheese into. There are my new Go To Eggs. I want to eat them all the time.