Very well darlings, here it is friday night in Paris and where is the intrepid explorer? Laid up in bed (tout seul, how sad) with her swollen foot all covered in frozen peas, elevated and with a very becoming red scarf wound round…yes, the same ankle I did in shortly before Bangface weekender last year. Hmm…I just realized that tonight is the first night of this year’s Bangface weekender. It would appear as though a festival has it in for me…Damn you Bangface, you will not win! I didn’t want to go and encounter your sweaty beersmelly underventilated insane on every level bruhaha anyway…I’m just too close this year. Flying to England for the weekend last year was so very rock star. If all I have to do is dash across the channel, it would just be so common. Anyone can do that. Though I hear there’s a fabulous party in Bali, Indonesia this weekend…perhaps I’ll just pop over and be back in time for a friend’s show next week.

At any rate, the ankle thing was a stupidly preventable incident, regardless of weak ankles having a tendency to want to roll at the most inopportune moments. I started tango lessons on wednesday and wow! I love the tango. I knew this already, but it’s been so long since I danced it I had forgotten just how enamoured I am. The teacher is fantastic (as long as his patience holds out, he does make a tsk noise at me an awful lot) and has just the right balance of stern taskmaster and light humor to enable me.

So here’s where the irony kicks in.

The last thing we spoke of at my lesson on thursday(with another scheduled for friday) was walking versus falling. The example he used being a baby’s development. When a baby learns to walk, she doesn’t step so much as starts to fall forward and her foot somewhat instinctively lurches out to stop her. Then she does a series of falling steps until she lands in mum’s or da’s arms.  Her weight moves forward, the foot shoots out to catch that weight and so she’s not walking so much as falling forward in a path of sorts. But with tango, the foot goes out, the balance shifts from front to back (or vice versa) and then the foot the weight used to be on comes to meet the foot the weight is now on. Equilibre, as le professeur would say. Which is something I certainly need to work on. So after the lesson I went to musee d’orsay (very impressive, or was it very impressionive? ok. that was kinda lame) and as I walked the galleries, I walked like this. Foot sliding out, weight changing over, back foot sliding forward to touch and pass the front foot…granted, it took me a long time to wander through the museum. But they’re open until 930 pm on thursdays and if you go after 6 pm, instead of 8 euros, it’s 5,50!

Then I went dancing. Again, everything was fine! I met this lovely girl named Capucine who dreams of going whale watching, I danced with an overzealous wanker who wore the most insane amount of cologne and tried soooo hard to get laid, it would have been so much funnier if it wasn’t so incomprably sad. Don’t get me wrong, I laughed like a fiend watching him walking up to girls and trying to hit that…all he was missing was the purple satin shirt, some bling and excessive chest hair to be a stereotype. I’ll give him this, he was a good dancer. He knew all the twirl and ballroom-y type moves, sadly he used them to try and bring you in for the “accidental” kiss. So I ended up slapping him, which was quite satisfying and enabled me to meet the guy I was supposed to go out with tonight, except that here I am. He thought that Swayze wannabe was my boyfriend and was so delighted to find out not. But it was loud and whoever was working the smoke machine was trigger happy so we went outside to speak that lovely version of fringlish I’ve come to be so good at. I walked out the door, missed the very slight step and went down like a graceless bird. All squawk and no rock. He was so sweet and offered to put me in a cab right there, but I said no, I’m not so bad, I just need to sit here for a while(and try not to cry like a little girl who’s just twisted her ankle real bad) and when I feel better I’ll take my bike because that’s not like walking at all. And he brought me beers and we talked and he’s sweet and maybe a little young and who cares and when I told him I wanted to go home alone there was no insistence as I’ve grown accustomed to with these frenchies…So that was nice, but no tango lesson today, no dancing tonight, nope, nothing but for me to blog like a blog fiend and upload the insane amount of pictures I took at the musee d’orsay yesterday, the musee picasso wednesday and the second hand vintage clothing stores I spent all day tuesday tracking down!!!

WHOOOOO! Second hand clothing appears to be called fripperies. Hence the names of the various stores The King of FrippKing of FrippI realize it might be difficult to see but yes those are giant plastic bags in the doorway crammed with oodles and snoodles and things. And then there is Vintage Desir, also crammed with goodies and people..Vintage DesirThe touted grandaddy..Free ‘P’ Star, which makes great sense to me now that I know about fripperies. Crammed with clothes, more downstairs, 3 euro bins, it tends to be blissful, but packed.Free 'P' StarThen there was the Frip’irium.Frip'iriumOh, and by the way, that salon de the in the foreground which was the place one used to be able to buy mini molleux(delightful chocolatey goodness in tiny cakey package) is no longer the place one can buy mini molleux….sadly. So don’t go there with any expectations.

And then there is Mamie Blue. While I didn’t get a picture of the outside for some reason, I was blown away by what was inside. This is a picture of the third floor down from street level. When one enters, it seems to be just a little shop, some dresses, hats, coats and the like. Typical second hand fare, prom dresses intermingled with polyester 70’s superstar jumpsuits. But down the rickety winding staircase to a jeans and converse section. Then down more stairs into this,InteriorUnbelievably organized, an amazing selection, I can’t understand why I was the only person in there. And then I started looking at prices. Now I’m all for charging fair prices for vintage. And yes, that neon blue catwoman from the jungle gonna skin you alive shirt is likely the only one in existence and so okay charge a bunch for it. But if you’re gonna charge 60-80 euros for used chuck taylors? I can get new for less! And they have no holes yet. I actually started to think I was mistaken, and the extra zero on things was like a signature. 20 euros for a t-shirt? 15 for a tanktop? Puhlease. I know it’s Paris and everything, but serieusement. Ok, 150 euros for that chanel 3 piece suit, but more than 5 bux for a second hand tshirt is likely the reason there was such a huge selection. Although, to be fair, this is all coming from someone who, until very recently, felt that if you spent more than 10 bux on a pair of pants, they saw you comin.

Mamie Blue was the exception on my excursion, being that it’s located and hop and a skip from Bastille, though there is one near Les Halles I haven’t hit yet. Most of the second hand stores I found are in the 3rd/4thy zone, Le Marais. It’s probably one of my favorite neighborhoods, not just because of all the gay bars, the awesome frippery and not frippery stores but this. Chocolat chaudStraight up chocolat chaud at L’etoile Manquant. And delightfully it’s on the way to my tango lesson! Chocolate melted in a cup with frothy milk to pour on topFrothyWorth the pain and suffering that oft accompanies ingesting dairy? Hells yeah darlings.  But I have noticed lately, my dairy allergy/intolerance seems to be lessened. Especially since I stopped eating wheat(much). I’m starting to think that all those years of believing that I was reacting to dairy, it was actually wheat that was giving me trouble. I am told that sometimes when the body craves something in particular, this is the body’s very sneaky and somewhat ineffectual way of stating an allergy.

You could drink the chocolate without the milk, it’s fabulous by itself, but the milk adds so much of a…mmm…oooh…and just a little bit of oh. Plus there’s a patisserie right next door so you can pop in and grab a viennoise, or a pain au chocolat or a (irresistably fine) croissant aux amandes. Though it should be said, I’m thinking the patisseries in Paris have not yet made the switch to amarant/quinoa/buckwheat flours yet. Hmmm, that could be quite the niche.. how fab would that be. Yes, after touring the world tangoing in every country on the planet, I decided to settle in Paris for a time and open a patisserie that specialized in wheatless baked goods….Wow, I think my brain just had an orgasm, not to mention my drool factor just increased by at least an oodle.

Also, I’m pretty sure I had that idea about bringing someone flours before they used it in Stranger than Fiction, but Will Ferrell pulled it off so well and Maggie Gyllenhall is just so damnably cute that I feel I can forgive them.

Oh! And a quote from fictional hero number one…Pastry from my future bakery if you can tell me her last name. Because I don’t know it.

“Vice, Virtue. It’s best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, then you’re bound to live life fully.”   -Dame Marjorie….

Okay, enough rambly for now, I have some arty pictures to upload.

Bisou a vous.