Oh! How I nearly completed the nablopomo challenge and I was super planning on playing catch up today.
But it seems something dodge happened to my stomach, which has me farting like a trooper and running to the bathroom on very short notice, if you catch my drift (no pun intended). So sod it! I’ve chosen instead to stay in my bathrobe and have tea and toast and watch cartoons with the husband all day, under the duvet.
Sometimes, the body tells you what it needs when the mind is too bloody stubborn to listen.
I hope you are all having a relaxing Sunday wherever you are (sans le shits) and thank you all so much for stopping by and saying hello this past month. It means the world to me.
If I could record all the snippets of conversations I’ve had and overheard in my lifetime, it would make for a hell of a book.
Example: Summer of 2008, in the kitchen of a woman whose apartment I was renting. We called the apartment the boat because it kept us afloat whilst we recovered from tormenting breakups. It was a great apartment. I remember it was hot that night. The back door was open onto the back alley, people were walking by. Fabie. Short for Fabienne. But might as well be short for “fabulous french woman”. Bisexual. Switched on. Brilliant writer. Very liberal. The kind of woman who didn’t take no shit. The kind of woman who was involved in every community outreach program you could imagine. The following week, she’d be heading North to a small Inuit village to teach for nine months.
After 2 glasses of wine and too many cigarettes, she starts in with a monologue, out of the blue.
I remember in 1987 when I slept with an Algerian man in the toilet of an airplane from Paris to Montreal. I looked at him after a couple of drinks and I said “I get the feeling you want to fuck me“. Let me tell ya, you really have to want to get laid to join the mile high club. The toilets are small, it stinks, you have people knocking on the door, feet up in the air. It’s awful.
And after all that, we landed, he asked for my number, I said no then jumped in a taxi and left and never saw him again.
Having never met Fabie, you might be judging her right now. Slut is one word that might come to mind. But she was so far from being a harlot. She was just a free spirit. She knew what she wanted and she went after it. And I have nothing but awe for her. I wonder what she’s up to these days? If she’s still smoking fags and sipping cheap wine on her back porch? If she’s found someone to love? If she’s still regaling the world with her crazy stories?
For you Frenchies, it sounded so much better in her mother tongue:
“Aye, je me rappelle en 1987 quand j’ai couché avec un algérien dans les toilettes d’un avion de Paris à Montreal. Je l’ai regardé après une couple de drink et j’ai dit: “J”ai l’impression que t’as envie de baiser avec moi.” Faut vraiment vouloir. C’est petit, ça pu, t’as des gens qui cogne sur la porte, les pattes en l’air. Pis après tout ça, on a atterri, il voulait mon numéro, j’ai dit non pis j’ai sauté dans un taxi et je suis partie.“
i’ve had my head in the clouds lately. actually, scratch that. clouds imply airy, fluffy, feet not touching the ground, la la la trailing along.
no. my head has not been in the clouds lately. it has been a tornado, a hurricane, a tsunami. my head feels like a natural disaster. a constant little hum of angst. life is very busy and i am buzzing along with it and everything that i should be taking time for has fallen to the wayside.
as humans, i think we forget that we are, in essence, animals. vertebrates of the class mammalia of the order of primate. a-nim-als. and i do believe that our natural instinct wants to follow the rhythms of nature. but in an age when people can reach you any time of day (and night) and with the pressures of ’i need this on my desk yesterday‘, my inner compass has spun itself out of control and is stuck on north. i’ve lost my bearings.
the winds have been fierce lately. joe and i watch the clouds in the morning and even they seem to be moving faster than usual. everything around me is quite literally swirling and falling and changing. for all its beauty, autumn is a time of flux and little deaths. if i follow my earlier rationale, i suppose it’s normal that i would feel… deconstructed too. my instinct wants to prepare for the long hibernation ahead. my reality is 10,000 times faster than the slumber of hibernation.
all i know for certain is that this pace doesn’t feel right but i haven’t quite figured out what to do about it. so for now, i am simply going to escape to fantasy land, where it rains glitter and houses are made of lollipops and trees of popcorn and blue birds really do sing.
i’m going to escape to fictional places i wish existed:
- the valley of the truffula trees (the lorax)
- smurfland (mushroom houses in an enchanted forest? hello!)
- the shire
- amélie poulain’s apartment
- any set from any of wes anderson’s movies
- gingerbread houses (human size)
- the little mermaid’s underwater kingdom
- willy wonka’s chocolate factory
- pippi longstocking’s house, horse on the porch and all
- diagon alley (harry potter)
- one-eyed willie’s pirate ship (the goonies)
- the labyrinth in labyrinth
- the forest and cottage in legend
where would you escape to?
When I was a kid, I grew up in an English household in a French village outside of Montreal. In that little village, all day long, people would talk funny and say strange sentences like “Monday, y va falloir que t’ailles au dépanneur changer quat’ trente-sous pour une piasse.” My 4-year old brain could not compute what was being said. Why did they have to go to the corner store on Monday? Where was this mysterious 30-cent coin they spoke of? What was a piasse?
By high school, I’d begun to grasp the fine subtleties of the language, the intricate merging of English into French, the Québécois patois. Monday in this instance is not Monday at all. No, ladies and gentleman. It sounds like Monday but in fact, it is short for mon idée, as in “my idea” or in my opinion.
Indeed, things aren’t always what they seem in French Canadian. For example “dewow” is not meant to represent awe, amazement, Le Wow! It is, quite simply, the French word dehors for outside as said by my grand-ma, sometimes with her teeth in, sometimes without, in which case the ‘d’ was a little muffled but the whole word was phonetically wrong anyways so it didn’t make much of a difference. Bless her soul.
A while back, in a Nablopomo of yore, I wrote a post on funny little expressions the Québécois use. Seeing as there are so many indigenous French Canadian expressions, I couldn’t possibly sum them up in one post and so today, I present to you “Expressions Part Deux: En bon Québécois”.
Gelée comme une crotte
Literal translation: Frozen like a little poo
Meaning: Have you ever seen dog poo on the sidewalk in the winter? It becomes as hard as a hockey puck. That’s how cold it gets in Québec. We freeze like little poo pellets.
How to use it: I can see there’s a meter of snow outside but is it cold? J’suis gelée comme une crotte, osti!
Etre dans les patates
Literal translation: Being in the potatoes
Meaning: In a state of confusion. Not knowing what you’re talking about.
How to use it: If someone says to you: “Mercury is the biggest planet in the solar system.” You can let them know they are “being in the potatoes” with a simple T’es din patates, man!
J’ai mon voyage
Literal translation: I have my trip
Meaning: Expressing awe or exasperation or both at the same time, if you fancy. The English equivalent might be “Shut! Up!” Or, “I’m fed up! I’ve had enough of this s$@%”.
How to use it: Sarah is dancing naked in the village fountain again. J’ai mon voyage.
Assis-toi sur ton steak
Literal translation: Sit on your steak
Meaning: Sit your butt down and take it easy/shut up. The “sit down” bit is clear and it can take on a different meaning depending on tone and circumstance. The steak part, however, is totally whack and makes no sense what-so-ever.
How to use it: “Come in, come in. Assis-toi sur ton steak. I’ll grab you a beer and some ketchup chips.” Or alternatively “Come in young lady. Assis-toi sur ton steak. We need to have a serious talk about your poutine addiction.”
Mange un char de marde
Literal translation: Eat a car full o crap
Meaning: In Québec, we don’t just tell people to eat shit, we tell them to eat a whole car full of it. We’re classy that way.
How to use it: Use as needed.
Je cogne des clous
Literal translation: I’m hammering nails
Meaning: I’m tired. The expression refers to when you fall asleep and your head starts knocking and how it resembles the action of a hammer hitting a nail.
How to use it: I have to pull over and grab a large double double at Timmy’s, je cogne des clous.
Tomber dans les pommes
Literal translation: Falling in the apples.
Meaning: Fainting/ losing consciousness.
How to use it: Can you believe the Montreal Canadians won the Stanley Cup? My God! Jai faillis tombé dans’ pommes.
J’ai les yeux dans’ graisse de binnes
Literal translation: My eyes are in the bean lard
Meaning: Expression of fatigue.
How to use it: What time did you get home from the hockey game last night? 2 heure du mat. J’ai les yeux dans’ graisse de binnes.
Péter de la broue / Péter plus haut que le trou
Literal translation: Farting foam, froth, bubbles or farting higher than the hole (I’ll leave you to infer that one)
Meaning: Being pretentious, a show off or the kind of person who loves to hear the sound of their own voice. In other words, people who think their shit don’t stink.
How to use it: For example, if someone goes on and on about their collection of vintage Hermès bags, you might say:“Non mais, c’est une vraie péteuse de broue celle-là avec ses maudits sacs Hermès”
Literal translation: Ayoye!
Meaning: Ouch! or Wow! Not so much a word as an exclamation.
How to use it: “You won the robot dance competition? Ayoye!” = Wow! “Ayoye! J’ai cogné mon pinky sur la boîte à bois.” = Ouch!
And my personal favourite:
Swing la bacaisse dans l’fond d’la boîte à bois
Literal translation: Swing the “back ease” at the bottom of the wood box
Meaning: The “back ease” is like a tarp used to transport wood logs in from outside. The expression is meant as an invitation for the person who just came in from the wood shed to drop their load and join the party. It’s like the do-si-do of square dancing except in the tradition of call and response songs (an old folk custom in Québec).
How to use it: Next time you sing a call and response song, just throw a little Swing la bacaisse dans l’fond d’la boîte à bois in there. The great thing about it is you can say it anywhere and it’ll sound good.
P.S. ”Monday, y va falloir que t’ailles au dépanneur changer quat’ trente-sous pour une piasse,” means “I think you’re going to have to go to the corner store to change those four quarters for a dollar”. Why they say 30 cents for something that is worth 25 cents, I will never know.
this our new house as it currently stands
it’s a bit like this scene from money pit
it is both daunting and exciting
and it’s going to require a hell of a lot of imagination
as all good things do
One of the many joys of going to a gig are the pre-gig tunes. It’s what gets you amped before the band comes on.
A well thought out playlist may very well make the difference between a crowd of limp noodles and a crowd gone wild.
Before the Arcade Fire show, I shazamed the shit out of the tunes that were being churned out and today, I share them with you.
This mix was meant to be shared on Friday. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Friday night mix.
Sundays are made for fat pants and movies, not pre-gig tunes (unless you are going to a gig, in which case, by all means, turn it up).
Otherwise, stay in Sunday mode and keep this mix for next Friday. It’s well worth the wait (I think).
You are welcome.