I suppose you could link this series of non sequiturs under the rubric of “things you look at,” but it’s a stretch.

So if my most recent blurry (arty!) shots were bugging you as much as they were bugging me, you’ll be pleased to know that I have ordered a new camera! Unfortunately, the camera I wanted (Canon PowerShot SD780IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera) isn’t available in France and even if it was, digital cameras are a lot more expensive here. Just in case you were wondering, yes, all the best stuff does indeed end up in America.  Have I mentioned how much I miss Target?  Oh, okay, I guess I have.  Anyway, I’m using M as a mule to bring back my new camera from the United States, that is, unless she decides to keep my new toy for herself. It must get tiring having to think about depth of field and contrast and value all the time.  My new camera is apparently totally idiot proof and requires no thinking whatsoever.  It’s also has over twice as many megapixels as my current camera, so I suspect the images on Keeping the Bear Garden in the Background will be sharper in the future.  They will still probably suck compositionally, but hey!  At least I’ve learned to turn the flash off when I’m photographing food.  Baby steps to the elevator.

Last night we went to see Inception, which was pretty great!  I’ll admit here that I’m biased because I was really jonesing for a Hollywood blockbuster, as one can only watch so many thoughtful European movies without beginning to long for a car explosion.  I was amazed how easy it was to watch a movie in which everyone is speaking English! Since I’ve paradoxically been watching mostly Italian movies in the theatres for the past six months, I’ve gotten used to reading French subtitles and listening to spoken Italian.  I understand about ninety-five percent of the time, but it’s a lot more work and slows down suspending my disbelief (obviously, Pasolini isn’t really worried about suspending my disbelief, but that’s another thing).

Horrifyingly, however, they turned off the air conditioning about halfway through the film last night, rendering the packed movie theatre into a death sauna.  This seemed kind of ironic, because both B and I had both gone back into my apartment to fetch an extra layer, as we were anticipating a proper American multiplex freezer during the movie.  Instead, we were drenched in sweat.  B whispered at one point that he was contemplating taking off his shirt. The French seemed unbothered by this development.  They were also nonplussed by a public service announcement at the beginning of the film that depicted a child being brutally killed in a car crash. I was too paranoid that somebody was going to sit next to me (weird movie theatre phobia) to pay attention to the ad, but B gasped and said to me “So, apparently it’s all right to show a dead child on public service announcements here!”  The girl sitting next to B, who I’d already decided that I hated because she had taken off her shoes to sit cross legged and her dirty little foot was well within our space, decided to generously “enlighten the English person” and explain to an apparently dense B that it was an ad meant to shock and teach.  No shit, Sherlock.  B responded tersely in French that he understood the function of the ad, but that it’s content wouldn’t likely be shown in an American movie theatre and was jarring to him for this reason.  Apparently she still assumed he was still too slow on the uptake to understand, because she responded in English that “The death was just acting. It was not real!” Really? Thank you, kindly French person! I’ve been in America for so long that I’ve actually come to believe that advertisements on television are documentary reality! I assume everything is reality television! Are you saying it isn’t?!

Anyway, condescending people aside, the movie was good and totally worth a night away from my beloved Latin Quarter Art et Essai cinemas.  We both agreed that we could watch weightless fight scenes all day long.

On our walk home, B said, “You know, I think we’ve been watching Antiques Roadshow for long enough as a couple now…” To be honest, I don’t even know how that sentence ended because the first half sent me into a fugue state.  I hate Antiques Roadshow.  I hate the stupid, rambling, and often erroneous narratives that people give about their treasures.  I hate watching people wait in line to find out how much they can hawk their precious family heirlooms for. Most of all, I hate the smug appraisers, especially the supposedly charismatic ones that make bad puns. But B loves Antiques Roadshow.  I mean, sometimes I find him at three o’clock in the morning deep into Nashville Hour 47.  He has even woken me up in the middle of the night to see a particularly amazing item be appraised. This is especially ridiculous given that he isn’t watching these episodes on television, he’s watching them streaming from PBS’s website.  Meaning I could just as easily watch the clip of the amazing item in the morning. But I’ve been trying to humor him by watching it with him because he is incredibly patient with my atrociously bad, bottom-feeding taste in television.  No one should have to sit through an entire season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey against their will, but this poor guy has and without a single complaint. He even listens to my running unfunny commentary during these shows and makes a valiant effort to be a responsive interlocutor to my pop psychology. “Definitely Danielle is a delusional paranoid! Totally!”  So I feel obligated to try and like Antiques Roadshow, but man, is there something I’m missing?



  1. Hattie

    I have dreadful taste in movies and television. It’s because my dreams are much much better than anything the entertainment industry can dream up, imaginatively speaking.
    I think my all time favorite TV series was Melrose Place.
    I never learned enough French to know when I was being patronized. I laughed at their pretensions, having more than enough of my own to deal with theirs.

  2. seany

    “obviously, Pasolini isn’t really worried about suspending my disbelief, but that’s another thing”

    no, he really isn’t haha

  3. Hmc

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