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Monday, 4 August 2014

Opinions Galore

Lunch hour conversations can be so entertaining.  Especially when you're eavesdropping (not on purpose naturally), and can just enjoy the blah blah blah flying back and forth.

"The Eavesdropper"Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693)
I wasn't as blatant as this...of course no one was
painting my picture (as far as I know)
This particular conversation I accidently overheard opened with comments about the gym (“the very best in the entire universe except for that trainer Arnold who’s such an asshole”).  This naturally led to deep discussions on politics, the best “secret” wine and then onto how “the woman next door should really sell her house….. well, because.” 

“Of course Scotland should be an independent country.  Why not?  I’m sure they’d do very well.  If California can do it…….no?......oh I thought they did.  Well, I haven’t been for a few years”.

“My friend makes the best Bordeaux wine you’ve ever tasted.  The BEST.  It’s blue.  Have you ever heard of that?  She sold me a carton and it was gone in no time.  I guess that’s the only problem….it evaporates. Although now that I think of it, it could be something to do with our air conditioning….it happens to us a lot”.

“Don’t talk to me about fossil fuels.  Of course they should be eliminated.  Everyone knows that.  The archaeologists must be having fits losing all that material.”

 "The Eavesdropper"
Nicholaes Maes (1634-1693)

“Anyway, I understand that the world will be totally out of food by the year 2016.  Or was it 3016?  Well whatever…..the point is we’ll have no food!  Think of it!  We should start stockpiling canned goods for our great great great grandchildren”!

…."They shouldn't have put that building there….."

…."The buses should be another colour...."

“And the woman next door!  Why does she need such a big house?!  She can’t afford it and she rattles around the place like I don’t know what.  No, I've never spoken with her.  She’s such a snob she won’t let me set foot in the place.  But I know for a fact she could live in Thailand for the rest of her life without any worries”.

Well you get the gist.

Now I'm wondering about this Nicolaes Maes.  He seems to have done an awful lot of paintings of people eavesdropping.  Maybe it was a popular hobby in the 17th century.  In my opinion, he should have done other things.  He was in a rut.  A nice still life perhaps.  Yes.....if only he had had someone to chat with over his lunch break I'm sure his name would be better known today.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Numbed by Numbers


Mush Head

I've been very neglectful of my blog lately and  I feel just awful!  It's working on the computer all can be draining to concentrate for HOURS on end.....

Anyhoo, I just can't seem to shift from the left to the right side of my brain when I get home.  Or is it the other way around? But we can't control what goes through our heads can we?!  And if I can't think of anything intelligent to say, and if my tired mind wanders...

(What happened to Cadbury's Snack Bar?  Why can't we get it now)?

It's not only my blog that's been on the back burner.  I haven't done any art work for yonks and I'm starting to feel out of it if you know what I mean.....focus, focus, focus......oh.....


Aznavour is coming to Montréal in September!  Eeeeeek!  I'm so excited!  September 17 to be exact and I'm off to get my tickets tomorrow.  (Aznavour is 90 and still going strong.  He doesn't seem to have any problem concentrating.  Must be something in the water). 

Aznavour at his day night

(It's really hard to find books on the Amazon from Amazon.  I wonder if you live in the Amazon, if it's harder to make a return? Do they just keep coming back?)

September/October is going to be great.  I'm always inspired with the cooler weather, Aznavour will be performing here, then I'll be heading for France........I can hardly wait.....

I'll forget all about the computer.........
  • negative numbers
  • rational numbers
  • irrational numbers
  • real numbers
  • complex numbers 

Hey!  Just like people!  All hard to understand!  

Aren't you glad I didn't decide to write about the letters too?  ABCDEFG....blah blah blah

Monday, 2 June 2014

Miss Titled (But Not for Long)!

Life, Laughter and Paris has been a little short of something lately -

That's not it.  I'm still breathing.

I'm still laughing at a lot of things.  Most things actually.
Bingo!  Therein lies le problème.  A little lacking in the "Paris" part of the title.

Well after all these years I'm not changing the title of my blog - that would just be stupid.  Much better to go to Paris and get back to writing about the subject I love best.  I have to wait until the end of September but with ticket in hand, I can make my plans.

I've started a little list -


I had to be selective because I'm not going to be there that long.  (I can't even remember where the washrooms are in the Musée d'Orsay - what if someone asks me)?

  • Centre Georges-Pompidou (Unless it's an exhibition of neon chairs or something)
  • Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (I love this place)
  • Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits (I will love this place)
  • Maison de Balzac (I love this place)
  • Maison de Victor Hugo (I love this place)
  • Maxim's Art Nouveau "Collection 1900" (I love this place)
  • Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (I might love this place - my photographer wants to see it)
  • Musée Bourdelle (I love this place)
  • Musée Carnavalet (I love this place)
  • Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (Sometimes I love this place)
  • Musée d'Orsay (I love this place)
  • Musée de l'Orangerie (I love this place)
  • Musée de Montmartre (I love this place more than some of the others)
  • Musée du Luxembourg (I love this place)
  • Musée Picasso (Is reopening in September after being closed for yonks so I haven't missed anything)
  • Musée Rodin (I love this place)
  • Musée Zadkine  (I love this place)
  • Mémorial du général Leclerc de Hauteclocque et de la Libération de Paris (I'm sure I'll love this place)

I've decided to leave out the Louvre.  Really - that's just a bit too much.  Anyway, the list needs work.  I have to do some reading this summer.

Then of course there's the rue de Seine and area with all the great print galleries.  And of course Shakespeare and Co. for a few books.  Oh, and walks along the Seine and Harry's Bar....  I'm going to sleep for a week before we go to have plenty of energy.

Not only has this Paris starvation diet made me post less, but I haven't been inspired to do any artwork either.  It's definitely time to head to France.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Feeling A Little Quasimodo-ish?

With the crappy weather we’ve been having, the lack of sun and all, people seem to feel a tad on the dull side. Snow would almost be better (almost). Waking up to these in-between, dreary, nothing sort of days is beginning to wear thin.

I know you’re thinking “well, it’s probably just HER” - but no…….I’ve even asked people “Hey – you feeling good today?” Mostly they just ignore me or give me “the look”.

"How ya doin' fella?".
The Look
"Great day to be inside huh?"
The Look

It's almost too much to even hope for a response.  Numb.  That's what people are feeling.....just numb, and possibly dumb.

"Had a bad day?"
The Look

I just know come May 1st we'll all wake up, signs of intelligence will appear in our eyes, and we'll possibly be able to think up a good response to "good morning".  Our lethargic states will suddenly disappear and we'll...

I'm too tired.   I'll finish this in May.  Or when the sun comes out.  Whichever comes first.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Amazing Ross Sisters and Family

I don’t often brag about our showbiz relations, but there is talent in the family.  Well, it could be family…..I haven’t checked out that branch yet.

Just take a look at the Ross Sisters.  Are they fabulous or what?  Living pretzels!  I could do that if I wanted to.   So could my sister.  I guess it would seem kind of weird in the office though.  They normally frown upon this sort of thing.

The sisters were named Betsy Ann Ross, Veda Victoria (Vicky) Ross, and Dixie Jewel Ross, who used the stage names Aggie Ross, Maggie Ross, and Elmira Ross respectively.  Aggie, Maggie and Elmira.  I can see why they changed their names…..Betsy, Veda and Dixie doesn’t have that theatrical flair.

You should try this....

According to a note I found at home, my brother thought “Betsy” would be a good name for me.  Of course he was 7 when he wrote it and I was just born.  Can you imagine going through life as “Betsy Ross”?  Maybe the “flag” Betsy Ross could stand on her stomach too but never had her picture painted that way. 

I don't think Betsy Ross' Granddaughter was
as flexible as the rest of us.  But, I could be wrong.

I must get back to working on the family tree.  I still have to check on Katharine Ross, Marion Ross, Shirley Ross, Bob Ross (the painter in the family before me), and Diana Ross (another name my brother thought would be good).  Maybe we’re all just one big happy family.  

Monday, 24 March 2014

Selfies - You Should Probably Keep Them To Yourselfie

There are way too many "selfies" out there of people having breakfast, at their desks, sitting on the bus.....oh God I'm falling asleep just thinking about it!  Just because you can.....(if you know what I mean).

OK - I can see why Ellen did it for the Oscars. People wanted to share this photo on Twitter because it was, after all, the Academy Awards and it was entertaining for those of us (goofs) who stayed up for the show.  Something to do while we waited for the good parts.

Good example of a "Selfie"
And see.....they all look good and well, famous.  No eggs dripping from their chins or lint on their suits.  (Although we all know the dresses, tuxes, and jewellery were on loan).  Still.

But this "selfie" business is getting out of hand.  Waaaaaaay too many!  Apparently, all these photos people are taking of themselves (for no apparent reason) is becoming a problem.

From the International Business Times

According to psychiatrist Dr David Veal: "Two out of three of all the patients who come to see me with Body Dysmorphic Disorder since the rise of camera phones have a compulsion to repeatedly take selfies.

"Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to help a patient to recognise the reasons for his or her compulsive behaviour and then to learn how to moderate it," he told the Sunday Mirror.

I haven't looked up "Body Dysmorphic Disorder" yet but it can't be good can it? 

Anyway, I don't see what the big deal is.  People have been doing this for yonks, even without smartphones.

Selfies by Rembrandt, Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso.  
The difference is (besides the obvious), the artists didn't send their faces to all their friends and their friends' friends because their friends and their friends' friends probably didn't want to see their faces first thing in the morning.

I would love to see your selfies if you're standing beside the Queen, the Pope, an alien or anyone of similar interest.  Also, count me in on your mailing list if your face shows up during an event similar to VE-Day, an Aznavour concert,  anything Paris related or the Apocalypse.  Any photo that includes only you with your arm stuck out just enough to crop the shot to your face at

I bet you're wondering why I was reading the International Business Times.  Ha! Me too.

Friday, 21 March 2014

It Just Shows to Goya

Isn't it funny how one thing leads to another, especially in the middle of the night.....I mean, if you can be bothered and don't fall asleep before the iPod runs out of juice. 

Recently I got to thinking about all the artists I know but only in the "Art History 101" sort of way.  Take for instance Goya.  I know his paintings, particularly "The Third of May 1808", but Manet did a similar subject and really, I thought it was superior to the Goya. (I know, Goya fans will be ticked).  Anyway, I sort of dismissed Goya for a while.


I plead ignorance.  I'm really not up on my Mexican history of the period so I went to the library and  before I nodded off I Googled "Maximilian".

"The sentence was carried out in the Cerro de las Campanas on the morning of 19 June 1867, when Maximilian, along with Generals Miramón and Mejía, were executed by a firing squad".

All this to say that I thought both paintings depicted the same event which they don't.  (I really should have taken a better look).  Goya's depicts the execution of, well, people we don't know.  Manet's depicts Maximilian himself (not that I know him - I'm just saying). 

Well so.  See how confusing this can be?  I mean, they're wearing the same shirts! And grasping this, especially in the middle of the night is tough!

Then, Picasso had to get in on the act.  His "Massacre in Korea", according to the art experts,  was influenced by Goya's "The Third of May 1808".  How come they don't think the influence was Manet?


Anyhoo, I'm still not too up to date on the whole Mexican thing because there are way too many dates/characters/political issues for me to grasp while trying to get to sleep, but I may check it out again some time.

I wouldn't hang any of these works on the wall.  OK, I probably would - but only because they're by famous artists.  Execution images really don't fit in with our decor.  Anyway, if you happen to be up in the middle of the night and are tired of Bejeweled, maybe you'd give me the abridged version of this whole thing.  I'm too tired to think about it and am moving on to something easier.  Maybe the Paris Commune.  It's more familiar territory.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Down With Gluten!

There is no gluten in our house…..we’re totally opposed to it. We are anti-gluten, and proud of it. Even the cat food has no gluten (so it says on the can - we haven't tested it)!

Anti-gluten protest.  Year unknown. 

I didn’t realize how creepy gluten is until I started seeing all the GLUTEN FREE diets popping up all over the place.  The grocery store must think pretty highly of this because they charge twice as much for anything with gluten removed.  (Sort of like Diet Coke used to be - less calories, higher price).

Travelling a problem?  NO!  Even the airlines are getting in on this!

Wow!  I wonder if they'll fling it at you like they do with the pretzels. 

They should at least have a fence!

Our main concern is what to eat in France.  Luckily there are a lot of restaurants in Paris that are gluten free.Pastries, baguettes and all those fabulous things come without the dreaded gluten! 

A few ideas -

Restaurant et épicerie sans gluten

It says it all in the name.  You would think it would be Nonglu, but I guess they know best. We are absolutely going there!

16, passage des Panoramas – 75002 Paris - tél. : 01 40 26 41 24

Helmut Newcake
A few steps from the Canal St. Martin. These people really know how to remove gluten without losing the good stuff!

36, rue Bichat Paris (75010)
MÉTRO : Goncourt & République
tél: 09 82 59 00 39

Thank you, My Deer
No, they don't serve deer.  They serve delicious looking things all "sans gluten".  YAY!

112, rue Saint Maur
75011 Paris, France 

I'm hoping these restaurants have wine.  We're gluten-free but we're not crazy.

We'll be checking out these restaurants on our next visit.  I can hardly wait!

For more ideas on gluten-free Paris, check out David Lebovitz's site - he's the best!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Leonard Cohen's Hat

Saturday night was "Nuit Blanche" in Montréal.  Fantastic.  Art, music, food, drink and the museums and galleries were open until all hours.  A great time was had by all.  What's not to like?  It's free, it's fun and provides some light on a cold February night.

 Rides and music and all those things I mentioned above

Lots and lots of people

That's all well and good but look what I got to see!  

Leonard Cohen's hat and guitar!

It was on exhibition at one of the shows we stopped in to see and....WOW!   Now how fantastic is that?  (Oh yes....there were other things there too). 

I must ask the CBC if they'd like me to cover some events for them.  I think I have a knack for this sort of thing.

Friday, 14 February 2014

From The Heart

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Wish I were in Paris
How about you?
Happy Valentine's Day!

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