Friday, June 30, 2006

I Can't Stop Myself

This will be the last one today. Shops like this one beg to be photographed. I promise to mentally leave Paris any day now. Although I don't think a visit to Sherman and Dallas is going to provide the same sort of memories. But you never know. There are amazing things everywhere. If you only look. Or so I've been told. How else to explain the current ultra-cool Marfa, Texas scene? Or the fact that I sometimes find cool shop windows here in Austin albeit rarely with that sort of building reflected among the goods.

I'm going to quit uploading these pictures for now. But I do have more.

The Travelers

There's our portrait, in a art gallery window in Paris.

Somehow I prefer this sort of portrait to the ones where you hand over the camera to a friendly-looking stranger and mug in front of the Eiffel Tower or something. But you knew that about me. I also like it when at least one of us is sort of obscured, becoming one with the stuff displayed and the reflection. I also like it if a few stray hairs stick up from my generally disheveled hairdo. That's the 'je ne sais quoi' I'm going for. You guys know I'm mostly kidding here, right?

Culture Shock

I like this one because the graceful Degas sculptures of ballerinas are being studied rather intently by these decidedly punk guys. You have to love those moments. Plus the glass case and movement (no flash allowed in the Musée d'Orsay) provide the kind of reflection and distance I like in my photos. I do them primarily to be exhibited on computer screens after all, creating yet another level of reflection.

Cutlure and fashion and art captured and manipulated by my chosen moment. I like it.

Today I was reading a book (Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light by David Downie) and one of the essays made me want to go back to Paris and go to a particular area and take some pictures. I have been following Paris Daily Photo and I love it. Eric's photos capture current events, details, traditional sights and surprises. I think it's amusing how each of us puts a stamp on the things our digital memory cards capture...even though we might stand on almost the same spot.

A Bit of Time Suitable only for Blogging

I've packed for our little trip, mostly. And we are going out tonight in a couple of hours. I've reviewed the day's Wimbledon play off my DVR. It doesn't seem like a good time to start a project. So blogging seems like a good idea. The place where I have my own WEB pages currently is having a problem with FTP so I can't post anything there. So maybe we should just flip through some more of these pictures....Actually,
I've grown rather tired of my Paris pictures, but there are many I haven't exhibited to you, my three or four loyal readers.

The Montparnasse Tower and the Montparnasse Railroad station and that area aren't much to look at. But there is a park perched up above the tracks. There is a Leclerc Museum of the Resistance up there, too, and some sports facilities. You take the elevators along either side of the station and voilà are in another world. They have this big reflecting sculpture in the middle of the park. A fan of reflections I took its picture.

It was funny. There were kids on a scouting excursion, nuzzling lovers, people kicking soccer balls, old folks bench sitting and below were the tracks. You could just almost peek down in a few spots. A fashion shoot was going on, too, and the model had climbed on one of the odd roofs.

The world is really full of secret places, isn't it? But big wonderful cities like Paris have more of them. I'm going to spend a few days in Dallas with an excursion to the small town where I spent most of my school age years. I doubt I'll find so many things to photograph. Except, you know, my once classmates with graying hair and expanding waistlines. As mentioned in the prior entry.

Less than a Pound a Year

Soon I'm going to a high school reunion and I was thinking how the class changes, as a group. Marriages, divorces, deaths, children. And pounds. Oh, I'm sure there are people who have maintained their high school weight. But as a group, I bet we've gained.

Today's picture shows me reflected in a shop window selling coffee paraphernalia. I am a caffeine addict. At least I don't use cream in my coffee!

But, yeah. I've gained weight since high school. I've done it honestly though. By eating cheese. And foie gras. By drinking alcohol. By choosing rich sauces. By making eating out a hobby.

I did some math, though. On average I have gained .8 pounds a year since high school. If everyone in my class has done the same, then we've raised the weight of ourselves a few tons.

Actually, of course, this has not been a neat linear gain. Rather I've had my ups and downs. And my plateaus. In particular, when I retired in 2002, I had gained about 1.4 pounds per year since high school. But I've since lost about twenty pounds and kept it off. Hence the new .8 figure.

I had this idea some months ago that I'd lose some more of my excess pounds and exercise and build up my muscles and look really good for this reunion. Well, if not 'look good' (there is the matter of the goofy hair and stuff), at least look fitter and thinner. Didn't happen, though. I am pretty active and do some exercise, but with my eating habits it's all I can do to keep off that twenty pounds.

So, I'm off to the reunion a little heavier than when we graduated. (Of course, I don't honestly remember my weight in high school. I'm guessing.) But it's only a .8 pound per year gain. And that's only like twenty-four ounces of cheese. Per year. Or twenty-four Guinnesses. So two ounces of cheese or two Guinnesses a month over what you burn...and there you are, decades later, that much fatter... thirty-two pounds fatter. (Imagine, again, if I put cream in all that coffee.)

I'll bet my classmates have some gray hair, some balding, some drooping, some wrinkles to show for our years. And some pounds. I've got all of that. Actually I'm not very gray yet but my barber claimed the other day that my hairline was receding.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Food is Serious Business for the French

In France, food is serious business. And there are still many specialists. Bakeries, pastry shops, fish shops, cheese shops. Waiters are professionals, chefs are revered. The U.S. (thankfully) is getting more like this but I doubt we will ever catch up. The picture shows a detail from a poissonnerie (fish store) that was around the corner from our hotel during our trip in May. Notice that the tile is in the form scales. These details make it so much fun!

I spent some time over the weekend collecting bits and pieces of info about the food I ate while in Paris and have posted a draft on my regular WEB site. I loved thinking about the food, the locations, finding information about places on the WEB. I kept having to go get a cup of coffee while I worked on it, though, because I kept thinking of all those café visits!

I love travel. My favorite thing about travel is eating in new places. My second favorite thing is museums. Some museums are starting to have fairly well-acclaimed restaurants (for example, the Modern in Ft. Worth and the MOMA in NYC). Now, that's what I'm talking about!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I Want My Rachael Ray

I knew I should probably get up, but there was this gentle rain falling and the bed felt so good. Then the phone rang. Well, it was nearly 8AM. I hadn't made a welfare call to my dad. So I expected it would be him. And it was.

"Are you still asleep?" Obviously not, I wanted to say.

"No, but I'm in bed." I admitted.

"There is just this nice, gentle rain falling."

"Yes, that's why I was still in bed. I wasn't really asleep." I wasn't actually.

Changing the subject deftly, he said, "I can't get channels 31 and 32. It's the food channel. And HGTV. They are just black."

Ah, my dad loves Rachael Ray. I said I'd check into it and got up and found the channels on my cable. There was Rachael all right. I checked and found the same channels on the digital spectrum and called and told him those numbers. No joy. After getting some coffee, I tried an online chat with Time Warner. I got a note that my analyst had 'left the room.' So I tried the phone number for service, reluctantly. I was fearful that they had decided the channels belonged in a separate layer which we were no longer providing for the astronomically high charge we pay for his cable. But, no. The guy I got on the phone (after only a few button pushes and amazingly quickly) said that the channels were being provided in a 'new way which requires two-way communication.' Hmm. Is someone monitoring my dad watching Rachael? Anyway, it was the old and universal answer to computer problems. (Yes, that cable box is just a computer.) Boot to the head. In other words, I had to convince my dad to cycle power on the cable box and wait for it to boot.

My patient explanation of the process didn't raise his confidence or mine. "I'll try it as soon as I'm finished watching this program," he said. I haven't heard if it worked. A check of the line-up showed that he could catch Rachael at 10:30.

Today's picture is from a market in Paris. Something to go with the food channel theme, you know. I guess I have to check out this Rachael Ray. And wonder if my dad is spending too much time alone.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Cows in Paris

I'm posting this because I noticed that the Paris Daily Photo blog had exhibited some of these. This cow was in the Place de Marché St. Catherine. It's a little square where there is a magic club opposite the bistro. We went to see a magic show there in 2004. This spot is near Place des Vosges, but not nearly so well-known.

I've been in London when they had cows, in Baltimore when they had crabs (well, you know big, decorated plastic ones) and in Berlin when they had bears. It is something different to point your camera at. What I was going for here was the cow's intrusion into that square (place) with the typical bistro with the typical name 'Au Bistrot de la Place.'

We've done our Father's Day duty here in Austin and I'm about to put together a little summary of our Paris dining experiences.

It's All Relative

Today's picture shows a couple of glasses of Picon Bière (beer with a shot of Picon pastis) on a table at the famed Café de Flore in Paris. FFP is not much of a beer drinker but does like this concoction. Beer drinking was something my dad and I shared for years. He doesn't drink much now in a nod to his nine-decades-old liver.

Are we our genes or our experiences? A little of both? On Father's Day, we take the parental units out for brunch. From these people we get our genes. But our experiences reach out in different directions...other people we've encountered, places we've gone, things we've read and seen. FFP's parents have not left the state, I don't think. Except maybe his dad crossed the border to Mexico once, long ago. Maybe. My dad has visited all fifty states of the U.S.A. And Russia, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Iceland. Still his experiences are different than mine. In spite of thirty years in a technical trade, I'm not always at ease with techonology. But our parents are really at odds with it. Only my (late) mother would try a computer and her struggles revealed the gap of generations. FFP's parents' phone is out of order and we leave a cell phone over there and they seem uneasy about using it. Our dads worked with their hands, though, and understand tools and things that baffle us since we spent our lives in professional jobs.

Still I often observe some of my actions and see my dad's influence...whether his genes or just his influence. And sometimes those actions, the one that seem most like Dad, seem the most beyond my conscious control. Lately, there have been newspaper accounts about genes maybe being responsible for traits like risk-taking. I think that's probably true. I certainly think certain forms of shyness are genetic. Or that's just my excuse. Everyone needs excuses. Even relative ones.

Friday, June 16, 2006


I got an e-mail from a friend today with the subject line 'Left Field Connections.' He and his wife met some cool young women and thought that FFP and I should meet them. We may never actually do that but the e-mail exchange let us catch up with one another. His kids are growing up rapidly and he's had to face some untimely deaths and, well, the usual. I'd like to keep up with everyone I'm acquainted with, especially good and interesting friends, but it just doesn't happen. He also mentioned that there might be a casual party at 'the company.' The place where he works and where I once worked.

We are connected to lots of people and that's what keeps us going. The oddest or the most mundane things can make us think of one another.

I recently wrote an e-mail to a friend who lives in the Ft. Worth area. She reads my WEB stuff sometimes but I often wonder how she's doing. She answered the e-mail and we caught up a little, promising to have that 'face-to-face' some time soon.

And I'm actually going to, gulp, my um (many years later) high school reunion soon. Sadly, going to high school together isn't much of a connection. I haven't kept up with many of the people. But there are a couple that I'm eager to talk to again. And, heck, it might rekindle an old connection or common interests. Or reveal new connections now that we are older. Several people, though, who would be interesting to see again don't seem to be coming to the event. That's always the way, huh?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What Cheers Me Up

The picture shows a sign pasted on a tombstone at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris. Basically I think it is saying that the gravesite is considered abandoned and will be reclaimed to bury someone else unless you pay up. Actually it doesn't say anything about paying up. I'll appeal to the French language experts reading along. Still it was jarring to see the disrepair and the labels slapped over them.

No, that doesn't cheer me up.

But something has and does. I think it has to do with beginning to figure out how to simplify and get rid of some stuff.

Or it may have more to do with listening to jazz. We've wandered into the Elephant Room three times in the last week or so. And I bought one band's CD at one of the shows and listened to that a bit in the car. Jazz cheers me up.

Movies don't always cheer me up. Especially some movies. I like to watch them. I'm sometimes educated or entertained. Sometimes I'm disturbed and upset by them. Rarely cheered up. Except for some food movies. Even sad food movies like Big Night can cheer me up.

But it's the jazz, I think. Or the getting rid of stuff. (Actually more like planning to get rid of stuff. Does that count?) Or just giving in to the way things are. Or maybe it's getting out on the tennis court or getting some exercise. Maybe it's knowing that everyone has problems and, really, I have less than the average person.

Sometimes I think that chemicals (or electrical charges) flow in the brain giving one the gamut of emotion from euphoric to depressed. And that what happens hasn't much to do with it. Unless what's happening is jazz.

Monday, June 12, 2006

You Dirty Dog...Spamcommers

Spam comments showed up on this blog site last night. They had links in them associated with a question mark or other bit of punctuation designed to suck my (nonexistent) readers off into (at best) some ad site or (at worst) to some site that would download vicious stuff. Not that I followed the links. But that would be the pattern. I removed them all and changed the options to moderate comments. So if you are a real person and show up to say something real (not "I like your color scheme" or "you are awesome") then there will be a lag of unknown duration before your comment appears. Also you may have to type a nonsense word from a picture to prove that you are, um, human. Or a reasonable facsimile thereof. I haven't had this at my halo scan site yet if you want to comment there. The world is becoming so inhospitable. Well, not becoming. It always was. We just hide in our little corner of it sometimes and forget all the bad actors who are out there, forget all the pain.

As to the picture, which kind of follows my vague thesis for this post...I think that they didn't want dogs inside this area of the market in the 16th arrondisement in Paris where (I think) meats were sold. So they constructed a leash tie-up point. It's funny to think if there were really six or more dogs tied up there! Would they calmly wait for their owners to buy some meat (and perhaps a bone or two?)

Yep, the world is not always charming.

I was going to do some work in the yard this morning. Instead I'm waiting for my dad to call. He's trying to get a repair on his van and may need a ride. I don't have any other duties today other than getting the great streamline my stuff project under way. Yeah, right. And, of course, try to get my daily workout. Well, at least I cleaned up this blogging site. Not like that is an accomplishment.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I Think I'd Love some Simplicity

I was trying to think what would make my life better and decided that I need to simplify. I need to see some clean corners and surfaces. To have one thing to concentrate on. Otherwise my life is nearly perfect. Except for friends who are ill or who have died.

It will take some work to simplify. As a buddy of mine says things are always more chaotic initially as you pull things out and sort them. This random shot of stuff in my office is an illustration of the problem. Books and such just piled on the shelves. Some of this stuff I'll never refer to again. Even if there are books I'd like to read or keep for reference, all needs to be organized, some things discarded or given away and some things boxed up.

This doesn't get done by just thinking it would be nice, however. Nope. Gotta do something.

My first task is to catch up the finances so that less time has to be devoted to that. Perhaps I'll blog my progress. Or not.

Just Enjoy It

This one, taken in Paris (yeah, still with those), is a riot of round shapes and reflection. I really like it.

It's important to like things. To enjoy them. Right now (as in on the TV sitting above this monitor) I'm watching the French Open Men's Final. I was hoping for an epic battle. It sort of is. Ebbs and flows and amazing shots. When you give yourself a few hours to indulge in watching a match like this while drinking coffee, eating and reading newspapers during breaks, then you should revel in it and enjoy it. It's three hours in at the moment. It might have been over before the three hour mark. But wasn't. Federer pulled it back out. I'm enjoying it. Like I say, if you are going to devote time to something you should get into it. I'm enjoying my papers, too, even though I'm hopelessly behind in controlling them. If you are going to do something, especially something that is supposed to be leisure, dig in and revel in it. Don't think about the next thing. Enjoy now.

That is going to be my mantra for a few days. I have a plan to do some rather distasteful chores around the house and yard. To do some more of the financial stuff I need to do. And of course to continue our social life and the fun things and the workouts. But I'm going to be in the moment by golly. Really.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sometimes it's All Too Easy

I guess there might be a question of whether it's art if you find windows to photograph that are already so artistic. It's kind of stealing just adding the texture of the reflection. This shop, in the St. Germain area I think, was displaying odd collage art they had for sale. We didn't go inside. We merely stole the image and stole away.

In fact, we didn't go inside too many shops. I convinced FFP that the clothes he was attracted to were both too expensive and that he would have trouble fitting into them. We didn't go into too many food shops as we didn't picnic. We didn't bring home souvenirs. We did wander around Bon Marche’s Le Grand Epicerie and even considered buying some Picon but we didn't buy anything. I'm not much into shopping and bringing things home any more. A few postcards, mostly from museum shops, giveaway maps and ticket stubs. That's about it. Except for all the sugar cubes and giveaway chocolates that come with the precious little espressos.

Feeling odd is good. For me. But I'm thinking about other people more than usual.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Den of Bacchus

Yeah...the Repaire de Bachhus. I actually bought all my wine in restaurants on our visit. But if the weather had been more hospitable for a picnic...I might have gone in this place instead of just shooting the window. I don't regret not buying some French wine and bringing it home. There is lots of good French wine available right here in Austin. What I regret is not buying a bottle of Picon and bringing it home. French peasants mix this with beer and maybe a little lemon syrup. Yum. (I say peasants drink it because it is widely available in places we've been but was not part of the bar supply at the Ritz when we went there in 2004.) Also called Amer Picon this liqueur appears not to be available here. In fact one WEB site says "Amer Picon is a bitter cordial made with orange, gentian, and other ingredients. It has a bold bitter flavor and is often used as a digestive. At the current time, this product can be fairly difficult to find, and in fact doesn't appear to be available in the US at all." This wasn't always so. After our 2004 trip to France, we bought two bottles at Austin Wine Merchant. But that was their last and they never got any again. So if you are headed to France, pick me up a bottle. It's cheap but, of course, the reason I didn't bring any back was that carting bottles on the plane is a pain.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I love words but I'm not a fan of puns really. I kind of miss Paris. As cool as shop windows can be in Austin, you are lots more likely to see cowboy boots or punk clothing than absinthe paraphernalia. In an attempt to capture the fun we had in Paris (or maybe just to get back to our roots of having fun in Austin) we went to the Elephant Room last night. ("Cool Jazz in the Basement 365 Days a Year...3426 consecutive nights of music and still counting."). Paris wishes they had a place like this with NO SMOKE. I used to think about going there and then think about the low ceilings and the exhaust of all those smokers and think 'nah.'

Another acquaintance of ours, roughly our age, died. That either means I should keep living with vigor like I did yesterday or get a checkup. You know...I'm thinking the former. Didn't know this guy well. We worked with him long ago and then we would see him and his wife dining at a restaurant near us in recent years. (Fonda San Miguel if you must know.)

But, yeah, I do love words. Lately I've been thinking how I like foible and today I'm thinking how I like paraphernalia which has an obscure meaning as well as the one we are familiar with..." A married woman's personal property exclusive of her dowry, according to common law." Not so much use for that one anymore. We've come a long way baby.

This has to be the most rambling entry I've ever made. So be it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Artist's Statement--More Silliness

A friend reacted to my artist's statement with tongue firmly lodged in cheek as follows:
"At times even the artist herself is reflected in the photograph, hazy and indistinguishable from the artifacts or other viewers. Trapped in her own work, the viewer can feel her struggle, yearning to be independent and free of influence in her art yet included in the world at large. Her unclear image personifies her struggle, her reflection on her place both outside and inside the everyday experience."

That is hilarious I think. Particularly when you look at this picture from my Paris trip. (And where else would it be from at this point?)

Blogger has been sort of flakey today. Indeed all my online interactions have been troubled. Someone is using my e-mail address to spam people. Sad.

But there I am in the picture. My unclear image.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

You Know You Want Another One

Same shop window, totally different look and feel. For those of you returning here for pictures of the Eiffel tower or Notre Dame, though, perhaps a disappointment.

Artist's Statement

My friend SuRu says that (and I do paraphrase because I can never remember exactly what people say) artists are the ones who take what they create and themselves seriously and that I should work on my artist's statement for my shop window photography. So why not:
The photos are intended to use the glass enclosed shop windows (les vitrines en Français) as a second lens and then, by displaying them on WEB sites, use the reflective LCD and CRT screens as yet another way to include photographer, viewer and passers-by in the process. In the gallery or home, of course, reflective glass should always be used in the framing process and, perhaps, even a shadow box with real objects included along with the print. While France does provide some of the more interesting shop windows, my work encompasses examples from Texas to Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon.
Yeah, well, maybe. I may even try the shadow box thing in real life. Anyway, there you go. I'm taking myself seriously. I'm an artist. Not.

In this photo, the unknown couple with their interesting fashion, the stringed instrument and plant in the shop window and the traffic cones create a vibrant environment and a certain tension and intensity that any individual picture of the building across the way, the people or the items in the window would lack.

Whoa...maybe I should take up ghost-writing artist's statements!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Yep...another shop

Just off the Place des Vosges there is a store selling musical instruments. Makes for great shop window pictures. I reeled off a bunch of pixels trying various aspects of it. I think I shot the same store last trip. Or one very like it.

More Paris Fodder

I just finished sorting out the Paris box to go back in the closet. Inside are ancient guidebooks, new ones, newspaper articles, cards from hotels, restaurants, shops. And lots of maps, all useful but none more so than the Michelin 55/58. I've set aside phrase books and menu and food guides and a couple of things about places outside Paris. They belong in the France box, of course.

I love Austin and I have fun here day in and day out. But I sure long to be tramping around Europe when I look in these boxes and open various books looking for things or just at random for fun. The picture, by the way, is FFP, wearing a cap because of the wind that day, staring toward the Seine from the outside escalator area of the George Pompidou Center while the camera shows Sacre Coeur up there on the hill in the distance.

We didn't have a great experience this time at this museum. For a couple of reasons. But it was the first time I'd gone inside the center. So it was OK. We did it. We retreated to a nearby café after we'd visited and the waiter made fun of me ordering a Croque Monsieur. He said something like all English and Australian people order that. It was the only one I had. What's not to like about bread, ham and melted cheese with, more than likely, some butter to fry it in? Waiters were friendlier about orders of achovies, steak tartare, baby squid, rabbit and the like. But I just laughed. And gobbled down my snack while watching people troop by.

Last time I posed FFP with all the 'sights' but this time I mostly left him to be a reflection in shop windows. He seems happy to oblige either way.

This was really a great trip and sorting through the Paris box just makes me want to go back. Doesn't help that I'm watching the French Open.

Another Picture

Here is another Paris shop window picture for those of you (all two or three of you) who love them. I guess pigs figure in it somehow, but the cans look like paté of the fattened duck or goose.

I'm multi-tasking at my desk. I'm sorting out the Paris and France boxes and getting ready to put them away. I'm watching TV coverage of the French Open. I'm typing this. Obviously. And I should be doing a few other things.

A friend of mine calls shops the 'museums of popular culture.' I agree with that. She likes to go inside and actually shop, though. Me, not so much. But I love the windows.

Blogging Lazy

The blog 'machine' here makes you lazy and is an invitation to avoid any rules. You just type and everything is dated, arranged and archived. When I was hard at work at I made myself put up an entry for every day and tried to post a picture and arrange all those links I liked to have. The downside of this forum is that I don't know what will be preserved into the future and I get blog-lazy. If I feel like posting, I do it, that's it. I seem to be above rules. I can go back and edit later for typos, but will I?

I also no longer feel compelled to be completely transparent. There were times when I tried to publicize every thing I did or ate, every bit of exercise; I would virtually expose anything that I would happily tell a friend. All the non-secret parts. I am now keeping an off-line journal. Even there I'm not obsessing over recording every thing I eat or every rep of bicep curls.

I definitely like to swim in the online world, making connections with you folks by writing and reading blogs and journals myself so that I can know something about people I almost never get to see in person. There's never enough time for it, however. We make so many choices in life about how we spend our time. Currently I'm spending a lot of hours screening films for a local film festival and working on the business of my country club. I consider the former very educational about the film business which I profess an interest in. I consider the club essential to my health and happiness and so have decided to contribute some time for a term on the board. I have also been spending considerably more time on the finances of my life since the untimely death of our bookkeeper.

Last night we saw the premiere of "Ride Around the World" at the IMAX theater at the Bob Bullock State History Museum. Wow. The footage of cowboys and horseman in seven locations around the world is amazing. If you are in Austin, you should go see it. Night before last we went to an opening at d Berman gallery and saw the current show at AMOA and then braved rain to eat at the new Mexican place downtown and wander the Second Street district and have some coffee and gelato. FFP took the picture at one of the hip Second Street shops. I'll go back to posting pictures from Paris, I'm sure. But I just wanted to be a little more au courant.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Probably My Favorite Paris Shop Window Pic

I took this somewhere near the Place de la Madeleine, I think. It will be my favorite until I have a new favorite. I have combed through all my digital shots and fooled around with them a bit. I'm still toying with the idea of a proper, dated and detailed travelogue.

Meanwhile, life goes on. Big news in our world is that our Capresso machine is the subject of a recall for faulty wiring that might cause a fire. So we have to risk it or else pack it up and send it in for rework and, gulp, be without our caffeine machine for weeks. It has also developed a habit of saying it needs cleaning all the time, even after you clean it. I love my Capresso. It has been in for repairs two or maybe three (more?) times and I missed it so. Back from Paris I am, of course, more addicted than ever. It's not that I can't find peace with other coffee. But I love that perfect temperature concoction that has the creamy foam on top from the pressure and the so NOT burned effect of the burr grinder and the pressure brewing (rather than heat). Cheaper by huge amounts than a coffee shop product, too.

On the other hand...I wouldn't want it to burn my house down.

Of course, if I were still in Paris I could sit down to a tiny perfect espresso for only four or five dollars...but including a life lease on a sidewalk table. I noticed by watching the French Open that the weather is still chilly with scattered showers and wind, though. Not as friendly to cafe sitting. But there is that enclosed NON-SMOKING area facing the boulevard at Deux Magots. But back to reality. I'm in Austin. Summer is coming. Thank goodness for air conditioning.