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Monday, 15 December 2003

Pulling Power

Now Playing: Philip Glass, 'Vanessa and the Changelings'

Last night I got back from visiting Toulouse in Paris. It was definitely the best weekend of 2003 by a long way. It was such a fucking relief just to simply not have to be me for two days. Added to that I now have a sappy schoolie crush on Toulouse's boyf, Ernesto, who is exactly like every flamingly masculine boy I ever fancied at school.
Thank you to JatB, who's been posting up my old crappy discarded draft-blog-posts in my absence. I notice she didn't pick the one about the alphabetti spaghetti recurrences in her sex life .... ;o)

* * *

Toulouse made me go to parties, and kept dragging over gorgeous but rather straight women for me to chat up. My technique was somewhat less than successful.

"Was that a secret lesbian code?" asked Toulouse, the morning after the night before.
"For what?"
"Reading a comic book and ignoring attractive women who try to speak to you at parties."
"Oh, that code. Yes, it's part of an elaborate lesbian seduction ritual. When they try to dance with you, you must face the other way with your arms folded."
And a face like thunder.
"Thought so."

Perhaps I need to brush up on my technique.

* * *

At a party in Paris, I kept hiding in the coat room and stroking the apartment cats. That's awful, isn't it?

* * *

Arriving at Gare du Nord, I was horrified yet again by the sameyness of French fashion. For a fashionable nation, the denizens of the capital don't half look generically downtrodden and grim. I was, I admit, wearing way too much red - patent red knee boots, long red coat, red belt, red socks, multicoloured striped sweater. And at rush hour on Friday at Strasbourg Saint Denis, everyone else was wearing sober black, sober blue, sober grey ...
I got to Toulouse's place, and although unutterably more stylish than most, he too was wearing black.
What's with the black? I had paranoid internal conniptions the rest of the weekend that I looked like a mental defective escaped from the country asylum in my clownish brights.
By Sunday, I was panickily counting every red coat I could find. With relief, I noted eleven red coats, only one of which was in the Eurostar terminal (and therefore possibly not French at all). With typical gaucheness, I assured myself that in a day and a half flat, I'd started a city-wide trend. Rah.
Back in London, I travelled the Jubilee line, the only red-coat-wearing passenger in sight. My fellow Britishers were there in abundance; wearing sober black, sober blue, sober grey ...

* * *

As well as taking me to a party in the largest, most bizarrely constructed Parisian loft I've ever seen, Toulouse and Ernesto took me out for dinner somewhere real ritzy on Friday night. Explaining that French menus go in for much colourful allusion, that French waiters just shrug when quizzed about contents, they guesstimated I'd ordered a pork dish. When it arrived, faces fell, and Toulouse said the description had been 'literal'.
Literal? Literally food? He refused to elaborate until I'd eaten it. It did actually taste nice, but my mind was racing as I digested. What could it be? It had to be offal, for him to refuse to translate like that. Ernesto said his Argentinian grandfather had used to eat it, worrying me further.
I made believe I was eating morel mushrooms and strips of fried squid. My mind couldn't help wandering: Lips? Cheeks? Trotters?
Finishing the dish, I reasoned with myself that whatever it turned out to be, it had tasted salty, baconish, nice. I wouldn't balk too much at eating it again. Mild flutterings of panic across my stomach couldn't change that. What was it?

I'd eaten a pig's ear.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:47 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 December 2003 11:59 PM GMT
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Monday, 15 December 2003 - 8:38 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

Vanessa wrote, "At a party in Paris, I kept hiding in the coat room and stroking the apartment cats. That's awful, isn't it?"

My hiding places at said party were the bathroom, and, just as unoriginally as it turns out, the coat room, where I stroked the apartment cats. Funny we didn't run into each other! Seems like perfectly normal behaviour to me: one always needs a bit of solitary respite before sallying forth to Thor-facedly ignore the next ambiguous metrosexual in the line...

By the way, WTH did Liesl come from?! Thank God I didn't e-mail him the link to this blog, his Latin pride would NEVER get over the description "slightly girlie" (and nor would your and his friendship if ever he found out!).

Oh, and what exactly does "not being me" mean? You seemed just like you to me! Good to have you back in the land of strikes and monotone fashion conformism.

Monday, 15 December 2003 - 8:47 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Toulouse said: Funny we didn't run into each other!
I guessed when you wandered onto the rooftop yard with a cat on your shoulder!

By the way, WTH did Liesl come from?!
I dunno, possibly because a syllable matched; if you can think of a better one, I'll go back and change it!

what exactly does "not being me" mean?
It means being more like me than the boring depressed fucker who's been crawling about in my skin this year. It means I had fun, whereas the rest of the year was pretty crap. Still, next year might be better.

Yay, only three things wrong! Tell me a better pseudonym for L.

Monday, 15 December 2003 - 9:17 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

"Only three things wrong!": is it like psychiatrists needing analysis, ********s feeling the need for someone to grade their behaviour? NOT that I had or have or will have ANY intention of taking on that role where you are concerned!

Liesl sounds somehow very Austrian and Alpine to me, which is why I queried it. But why not, it's no worse than Toulouse, or Banana come to that...

Mi-iss, you didn't comment on the "before sallying forth to Thor-facedly"; I was very proud of that bit!

Monday, 15 December 2003 - 9:18 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

I was very impressed with it, yes. It was poetic and true.
And now I'm going to moderate your first comment - no mention of jobs on this blog, pleasey.

Monday, 15 December 2003 - 9:24 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

I would never have dared make such a mention if you hadn't once pointed out to me that you blogged a whole entry on exactly that theme and its relation to 11 September...

Monday, 15 December 2003 - 9:42 PM GMT

Name: Kat
Home Page:

Pig's ear, eh? You did say it tasted good, so maybe you'd have been better off not knowing what you ate.

One of my friends described to me how her mother-in-law serves calf's head. Roasts it and serves it on a platter and they fight over who gets to eat the cheek meat because it's so tender and good. I'm sorry, I'm a HUGE fan of beef but I really don't want to peel my dinner off of a cow's face, thanks.

A party with cats or with docile dogs is great because if you get bored you can always entertain yourself with the animals and no one really thinks all that much of it, except that you must be a real, big animal lover.

Monday, 15 December 2003 - 10:06 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

That's lost in the archives of hell and it doesn't count. [stamps foot]

Monday, 15 December 2003 - 10:09 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Ugh. Reminds me of that scene in some James Bond where he has to eat monkey brains.
It's funny how disgust takes over, though. I know logically that the food tasted really good, but instinct tells me know I know what it was, it makes me feel sick to think of it. Bonkers.

Tuesday, 16 December 2003 - 6:05 AM GMT

Name: Lux
Home Page:

1. Rather straight women?
2. I'm going to have to run out and buy a red coat now, so I can be ahead of the curve over here.
3. I believe Liesl is a girl's name, as in the oldest daughter in the Sound of Music.
4. I have practiced the hetero version of the lesbian seduction ritual. Wasn't too popular with the boys either.
4a. Thank goodness for apartment cats.

Tuesday, 16 December 2003 - 7:21 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

I thought Liesl was the oldest boy's name. Oh dear, I'm going to have to think again, aren't I?
Rather straight women are women to whom you haven't given the full 40 question sexual habits / proclivities / future tastes survey, but you fancy, although you feel you may just be wasting your time. ie, not necessarily straight in the slightest, but probably so.

Tuesday, 16 December 2003 - 6:54 PM GMT

Name: Lux

That sounds v. complicated. Women never have it easy.

Tuesday, 16 December 2003 - 7:27 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

But that's why they make such interesting partners. :o)

Tuesday, 16 December 2003 - 9:28 PM GMT

Name: jatb

Liesl was definitely the eldest girl. The one in love with the boy who signs up with the Nazis...

Tuesday, 16 December 2003 - 10:28 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Dammit, but what was the boy's name? That's who I meant. The one who clicks his heels?

Tuesday, 16 December 2003 - 11:32 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

Oh no, I've got to the great old age of ** without ever seeing it, please don't make me have to watch it now just for the sake of your blog...

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 3:12 AM GMT

Name: Lux

Friedrich, I think? I'll go look it up on imdb.

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 3:18 AM GMT

Name: Lux

Aye, Friedrich it was.

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 10:17 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Oh dear, Friedrich isn't the rightname at all for him. Now I need another name that reminds me of people who click their heels and stamp on the floor rather dangerously. Otherwise he'll end up being called Cortez or Vasco de Gama or something really really stupid.

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 10:18 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Really? That's insane. Never? Call yourself gay?!
Hah, that's your Christmas present sorted then. See you in Salzburg, as soon as you're addicted.

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 10:30 AM GMT

Name: jatb

Um, Jurgen?

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 10:42 AM GMT

Name: jatb

Or Naomi?

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 2:04 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Jurgen? Ewww! An Argentinian name?

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 6:06 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

Ah, but don't forget, I don't even have a television!

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 6:15 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

Vasco de Gama was Portuguese...

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 6:42 PM GMT

Name: sarah

yes, but how are you sleeping these days? Still on the wobblies?

(I've just remembered I have an open invite to visit an ex.. ex-something.. in France soon. Can't believe I'd forgotten that)

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 7:31 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Wonders if the stage show is touring......?

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 7:32 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

He could hardly have been anything but at the time. Amerigo Vespucci?

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 7:34 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Sarah said: yes, but how are you sleeping these days?

I'm shattered from the weekend, actually. I blew out a pub do yesterday and a party today, so I could sleep, then remembered HarvardBoy is visiting from Germany tonight. Bah. About missing the sleep, I mean!

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 7:42 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

If not, there's always the coach tours round the sites where it was filmed (once saw a documentary on this on someone else's tv).

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 7:45 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

Shattered from the weekend!!??? But you were only awake for about 8 hours!

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 7:49 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

Well I guess he was Italian, ergo more suitable since a lot of Argentina is much more Italian than Spanish, esp. U-know-who's home town (which, incidentally, is where Ernesto "Che" Gueverra came from - you can even visit the apartment where he was born).

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 8:23 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Okay, it's got to be Che or Ernesto. Which do you prefer? Some people have always wanted to be loved by a man who is Ernest(o)...

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 8:24 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Zigackly! You see the sheer scale of the problem?!

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 8:37 PM GMT

Name: Toulouse

While others prefer them Placido... "Che" was a nickname (in Argentinian Spanish it means "hey", and Sr Guevarra used it so often that his Cuban chums started calling him it), so it seems a bit silly to use a nickname for a nickname, if you see what I mean. Ernesto, however, would fit certain aspects of his personality perfectly...

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 11:49 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

...... in Salzburg ......

Wednesday, 17 December 2003 - 11:51 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Ernesto it is. Off to change it now. Which will make all these comments look rather silly.

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