Tag Archives: wine

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and my pledge for adventure

3 Dec

When Sleeping Beauty was banished to eternal snoozetime, I doubt anyone took the time to make sure she was on memory foam.

I’d rather be Cinderella.

At least she has stories.

I went to the ballet last night, in case anyone’s wondering why on Earth I’ve chosen to discuss fairy tales.

When I got the invitation, I was less than excited.  I mean, punk-shows are one thing, but the ballet?  Anyone who follows me will recall my childhood ballerina nightmare. So it’s not surprising that I wasn’t overly ecstatic about the idea of watching a bunch of dancers flutter about onstage.

Turns out I was wrong.

With just the right amount of wine warming my cheeks, and the amazing set-design and choreography, Cinderella done post-modern was inspiring.

I mean, not enough to make me want to twirl about in slippers, but still.

The whole show took place in London 1940 and the stepmother was a drunken ballerina.

So that was fun.

They even did an inebriated dance which was pretty creative, all things considered.  I walked in expecting Disney on Ice or some unholy equivilant, and was happy to discover art.

Just goes to show, I should be getting out more and trying new things.

No time to start like the present.  I’m sitting in the Eurostar train station as I write this, awaiting the arrival of one very crazy, very witty, very good friend.

I’m meeting Man Shopper, and yes-we have a plan.

It involves characters, corsets, and my pledge to attempt an evening sans sarcasm.

Stay tuned.  Like the ballet, this could turn out surprisingly inspiring.

Either that, or I’ll be forced to locate some memory foam, a hot water bottle, and my pj pants.

Advertisements

A giant, too many vaginas, and an Iphone

18 May

A giant initiated conversation with me in a bar a few months ago by inquiring as to whether or not I had ever done any nude modeling.

For the record, when I say giant, I mean this creature:

I was somewhere between sizing him up and answering his question, when he busted out his Iphone, scrolled through a group of black and white photos and said:

“seriously, I ask because I am an artist”

Usually when a man in a bar approaches me claiming to be an artist I brace myself for a long-winded monologue laced with philosophy references.  This time however, I was too preoccupied with sizing up his monstrous features to prepare for the inevitable speech and nearly choked on my wine when he proclaimed:

“It’s all about vagina placement.  See, I mean the placement of the vagina in the shot-do you understand what I’m saying?”

At this point I responded with the first thought that popped into my head:

“I mean, I know where mine is, but that’s pretty much as far as my interest in such things takes me”

Which of course, was my downfall.  Evidently, this was the oversized man’s cue to scroll through nude picture after nude picture, and explain to me in detail why the various vaginas were placed in each location within the frame.

At one point he began discussing the importance of labia shape.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens to me when I attend a function designed to unite english speaking ex-pats.

Individuals seek me out and unroll their portfolios to discuss vagina placement, labia size, and the various problems that may or may not occur when shooting such subjects in a desert.

Last I checked, I do not own a t-shirt reading: ‘talk to me about genitalia!!’

Yet somehow, for whatever reason: my face inspires aforementioned artistic discussion.

Next time I’m staying in, ordering take-out, and watching a National Geographic Special.  At least that way, if labia enters the frame, I won’t have to listen to an oversized idiot mutter to me through excessive mouth-breathing and sweaty gasps why vagina placement is important.

wine-tasting zilla-fam style

6 Mar

The greatest defense for any crime ever committed was uttered by my brother as he stood in the driveway, holding the broken antennae of my father’s truck in his trembling fist:

‘Dad, my mind made me do it’.

Yes, we Christen’s are known for our slick, stealth, and graceful behavior in all situations.  We’ve been bred for greatness, thats for damn sure, and absolutely no one is going to take that away from us.  Or at least thats what we tell each other.

For his part, my father has done much to further the public humiliations that tend to scatter our family outings.  In particular-family outings in Paris.

Enter dear reader, into the small cafe down the cobblestone street where one blonde anglophone sits with his two offspring during the summer of 1999.  The children, new to Paris, have been promised a local meal by their father-who is determined to show them how to properly dine in French culture.

Starting of course, with the wine.

Before the waiter arrives at the table with the bottle, the proud father turns to his children and mutters:

‘listen kids, I am going to show you how to properly taste wine.  It’s a big deal in this country, and something you should learn.   There’s a whole process, it’s pretty neat’

The children watch in anticipation as the waiter approaches holding a bottle of what is undoubtedly very expensive, very fine wine.  Both sets of wide eyes gaze upon the label as it is presented to their father.  They hold their breath in anticipation as the cork is popped open, and the thick red fluid splashes into the glass of the most intelligent man they know.  Their eyes sparkle as the ritual unfolds before them, their father holds the glass up to the light, swirls the liquid, takes a deep sniff of the scent, lowers it to his lips, and………

sneezes.

Causing the red wine to cover himself, his children, and the elderly couple sitting next to the American family.

Elderly couple not amused.  Children in a fit of hysterical laughter.  Father frozen like a deer in headlights.

He would later blame allergies.  But kid-ginger and I-we’re pretty sure his mind made him do it.

One for the bartenders

21 Feb

At one point in my not so long ago past I was a regular in the Parisian Latin Quarter bar scene.  Wandering throughout the cobblestone streets after one too many cocktails, getting in ultimately deep late night discussions, and laughing until the sun came up was all part of a normal weekend.  I’ve worked in bars, been engaged to a bar owner, and picked up many a partner in crime along the way.  In honor of all those friends who spend their time serving the public, I hereby state the five greatest ways to keep your bartender happy.

1.  I realize this sounds obvious-but say please and thank you.  You’d be shocked at the amount of people who throw simple manners out the window when talking to someone serving them.

2.  Read the menu beforehand and know what you want to order.  It’s beyond irritating to be incredibly busy at work and have a client impatiently wave their hand over and over to get your attention-only to discover that the idiot doesn’t know exactly what he/she is ordering yet.

3.  Don’t accuse your bartender of being stingy on the alcohol.  I realize that for some reason people think that bartenders are out to be stingy with booze out of spite or to save money-but let me assure you, this is not the case.  A bartender has no incentive to give you less alcohol than what you have ordered.  Accusing them of such behavior only results in making yourself look like some kind of macho ass out to impress people with your so-called massive tolerance.  It’s pathetic.  Your bartender will remember that you did this the next time you order, and are unlikely to be concerned about whether or not you have been served quickly.

4.  Take a minute to ask how their night is going.  Especially if you see someone else being incredibly rude to them (pay attention-its happening all over the place).  Make them smile a bit, roll your eyes at whoever has irritated them-you’ll be instantly liked in comparison.  I had many clients offer to buy me drinks when they would see someone being rude to me-and I always appreciated it.  It usually resulted in them getting free shots from me later.

5.  Tip.  Dear God, tip.  Even in Paris.  Even if you think its not part of the local custom.  If you want better treatment with a bartender, tip them.  You’d be amazed at the difference it can make.

Remember-If you keep them happy, they’ll keep you happy.  The occasional free beverage, discounts, special treatment-all of these are at your disposal if you use a little common sense when talking to the people standing between you and the drinks at a bar.