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An American in (and outside of) Paris

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#31 Chambolle


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:52 PM

Believe it or not, some people still don't understand what this thread is all about. If you're too lazy to follow the link, here is it front and center:

I'm in deep reporting debt.

You are?

My debt kicks your debt's ass !

I'm in debtor's prison right now and I don't know if I'll be able to eat my way out.

I'm more levered than Lehman at its peak.

I still got Aida to report on from way back in June :) . I got Les Tablettes de JL Nomicos from back then too, not to mention a gazillion others. Someone's breathing down my neck about wedding wines. I'm way too lazy to correct a bunch of nonsense about PC operating systems. I got a month backlog of current Paris insanity that I'm thinking of turning into a short novel and feature film. I got a ton of hypertension-inducing religious and political threads that are all written up in my head and ready to go just as soon as mouthfuls middle management passes some new legislation to open the floodgates to that sort of stuff (hey ADMINS: can we hold a referendum on this politico-religio question shortly? shouldn't we at least give it a try? i can't foresee any problems and it could help me with my future political aspirations).

But that's not even the half of it.

I still got a Moby Dick-lengthed amount of posts about the best month in Nantucket - August peak season.

You know how come I never posted about (non-Hurricane) August ACK adventures and why I never finished that Chambo and the Three Chambolles story? None of you are going to believe this, but here goes ... I was trying to sell a cable network on a reality TV series on the concept. The concept was me, Chambo. The summer show would have been called "Chambo - The Man from Nantucket" and we would have started filming in 2012. They wanted a detailed sample outline of the concept in advance. I said I'd do better than that. I'd write it all up on mouthfuls. Negotiations continued throughout. I had to play hardball with these Hollywood pricks as they weren't giving me a big enough piece of the action. I was forced to string out the content. Finally, I cut them off at the balls. No more content for them until they sign on the dotted line. I broke off negotiations with them.

Why all the effort, you ask? Chambo's not just another pretty face. Chambo has a long term vision. Like Ronnie before him, Chambo is going to get his magical mug on the silver screen, entertain the masses, smoothly switch to politcs, become the Leader of the Free World and get America working again. Granted, it's a slightly aggressive goal, but I can already see it in my mind's eye. We might try again next year on that Nantucket thang, but next year is a long time away.

Anyway, I got better ideas to jumpstart my takeover of the planet.

I'm pursuing another concept right now where I can demonstrate my international experience.

It's called "An American in (and outside of) Paris".

Wish me luck !

Is it about food? Yes, to a certain extent.

But it's about more than just food.

It's about the future.

It's about the future of media. It's about the future of operating systems. It's about the future of human kind. It's about the future of countries. It's about just about everything.

To be perfectly honest, I plan on covering a lot until I sign the big deal. Then again, I may get shut down by mouthfuls middle mgmt.

sounds huluish

Thanks, but Hulu is mainly TV re-runs. I'm aiming much bigger than that.

Just wait til I tell you what's been going on behind the curtain. At first, I got a few nibbles. Then, a couple of bites. Now, I'm getting ready to start a feeding frenzy. The value of this content is about to sky-rocket.

One quick favor, could you PM Steve (and whoever else needs updating) and get them up-to-speed quickly before I go ballistic.

#32 Chambolle


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:55 PM

Too late.

Yeah, this is some real informative stuff. Just one question: we're thinking of visiting France soon... where should we eat?

Short answer: Wrong thread, wiseass! We are already in France. You're seriously lost ! How did you find me here ? Who let you in through that glass that you were staring at ? Who ! Tell me !

You should have been looking here (and make sure that Chambolle guy didn't start the thread ! ). For example, start here. Consider this place. Do you do lunch (or are you one of those "anti-lunch" types) ? Hold on, forget that suggestion, you probably don't like places with stools, right ? Not comfortable enough? You might want to stick your head in there first and see what you think.

Chambo at your service.

Now scram !

Wait. Wait. Wait ! Is that you Steve ! ... Buddy ... Pal ... Come back ... Come back ! Ahhhhh, yes, thanks.

It's me, Chambo.

Ya didn't recognize me, did ya ?

Yep, I sure have changed. We all do. I'm a more clean cut, buttoned-down version of my prior self.

You say you like my new digs ?

Thank you ! Thank you very much. That's mighty kind of you.

[evil laugh] Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!! [/evil laugh]

my world is electric chaos. It's disorienting. I live in total darkness. Those who peek Through the Looking Glass and discover my rabbit hole rarely leave untouched - they are scarred for life by the fire burning within Chambo and his uncontrolled, overflowing lava of lunacy and love.

First off, Welcome to my Rabbit Hole, Steve.

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I haven't seen you since you scurried off to yours while I was tripping on acid a while ago.

You thought I forgot that, didn't you ? It's all coming back to you now, isn't it?

You think that it's an accident that you showed up here ?

Hogwash !

I lured you here with my recent rabbit hole remark, Steve.

The alliteration was too alluring. I know everything about you and I control your subconscious.

Steve, why don't you stay a while. I am planning on blowing your mind in an ensuing post.

And please slide over. We're expecting more guests shortly.

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But some of my current guests are relatively new here (or they have modest memories) and they don't know what we are talking about yet.

Je m'explique ...

You know, with the lack of light down here, I didn't recognize you at first.

But how could I forget you, Steve ? Impossible.

Is it coming back to you yet or is it still a bit foggy ? Has the smoke cleared ?

Me ... I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was the middle of summer a number of years ago. I remember all those good times that we used to have way back then - hanging out in the mouthfuls secret lounge and just shooting the shit about intellectual property rights, capitalism and governmental madness while the radio was playing in the background? I was feeling so gosh darn good chilling with Rancho and you and the whole gang. I felt like I had finally arrived ! I imagined myself to be a member of the mouthfuls kool kids' inner circle. I began to feel at ease and I let my hair down and I let my hair grow long. I started tying it back in a pony tail. Prior to posting, I would put on my purple and pink polka-dotted, tie-dyed bandana and bell-bottom pants (and a tie-dyed T-shirt, for sure), take a powerful puff on our peace pipe and proceed to let my prose flow freely. And Steve, when you then had all those overly kind things to say about me (about my clarity, my directness, my objectiveness and my hitting the nail on the head), I really felt like I loved you, man. Real love. I felt real close. Brotherly love. All cocooned up back in the womb with my twin bro. Unconditional love. Agapé, even. I'm talking about something of Substance. Something real. You dig ? I know that you felt the exact same way at that very moment because we were all puffing on the Peace pipe. And then you start boasting about your big album collection, I was totally transported back to the drug-crazed birth of rock & roll. I imagined that I was at a 1960s groovy love-in with you all.

Did you realize how much I loved you at the moment and how protected I felt ? I don't know. Maybe not. But here is what I do know. I felt so comfortable and protected with you guys at that very moment that I dropped some acid - a Mickey Mouse microdot. Right after that, a bunch of lunatic lefties hijacked your brain, Steve, and you are then telling me and my ideas to go to hell. I value loyalty and I don't like sudden shocking surprises in my friendships. And I surely don't like them when I'm tripping my brains out. So naturally I went all FrankenChambo on you. You started begging for mercy and I ignored that plea. That's when I attempted to blow your brains out the first time. And that's when you went running down your rabbit hole. That's my last clear memory. I have a faint one of your trying to make a truce later in life but the drugs had all worn off by then and the damage was done.

And now we come full circle. The circle of life is completing itself.

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You burst into my rabbit hole without so much as knocking on the door. You don't even bother to say hello and you are only thinking about yourself and your stomach.

Steve, any apologies ?

#33 Chambolle


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Posted 27 October 2011 - 10:42 AM

We're okay for bandwidth, yeah?

Are we still okay ? Good ...

It's about the future of media.

Thought I was joking, didn't you ? Click that image below (and adjust your speaker volume)

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Chambolle, I am imagining you doing that a capella and I am afraid, very afraid.

Nothing to fear, my fine furry friend. Nothing to fear at all.

That and the rest of my back catalog, in full high-res video, is coming to Netflix in the near future.

where should we eat?

With an appropriate apology, I may opt to take a few commerical breaks for food-related posts. I hope you wouldn't mind.

But Steve, I'm still planning on blowing your mind. I have a few questions for ya ...

Do you recall anything unusual from later that year ? Later in 2007 ? Like towards the end of 2007 when you went to our nation's capital ? You posted about it, remember ?




Did you experience any unusual sensations ?

Just asking ...

#34 Chambolle


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Posted 01 November 2011 - 08:13 PM

What, not been to Terres de Café yet? Or to Malongo? Or to brûlerie Marna? Or tasted anything from Hippolyte Courty's L'Arbre à Café? Tsss.

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Does her tone up there seem as though she is busting Chambo's chops ? Oh my oh my, that would be a most unwise thing to do, wouldn't it ? I mean, really, can't Chambo bust chops with the best of them ? Chambo knows kung fu and his kung fu ain't weak. She's obviously counting on Chambo being a gentleman and being chivalrous. Lucky lady ! (or is she ? ...) I'm not close to done with that Steve guy yet either, but ladies first because Chambo is a well-known knight in shining armor ...

Short answer: For the most part Milady, Chambo has been chronicling The Good and The Cappuccino.

Although left unsaid, for the most part, I was leaving The Bad and The Meh to you.

For those who are not fully up-to-speed, let's remember what happened to Chambo in the spring:

After being so smoothly seduced
And sirened astray,
Chambo was left shipwrecked on the shoals
of San Jose

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How did this happen to you, Chambo ? Fuck the poetry. Just give us the facts, dude ! Who were these sultry sirens of whom you speak ? And how exactly were you sirened astray ?

I'm embarrassed to admit it :blush: but it was as simple as one siren singing me that sixties swan song and as you guys already know, Chambo's a sucker for the sixties and they drive him crazy:

So that's how it happened. What can I say ? I let you guys down. I'm sorry. :( I willing to (sort of) submit my resignation.

I hope to redeem myself though.

By the way, Mouthfuls Nation, what do you think the chances of Chambo - your fulltime, still-underpaid chronicler of his Cappuccino Capers - not knowing all of these coffees ? Pretty darn small, right ? Not quite 0.00%, but pretty darn small.

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Okay, good, I just wanted to make sure that we were all on the same page.

Anyway, Milady, being the gentleman that I am, why don't I let you go first and tell us about them all.

Après vous, Madame ... Please proceed, Lady Peas ...

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#35 Chambolle


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Posted 01 November 2011 - 08:23 PM

Hold on, hold on. Wait wait wait. Merci. Merci beaucoup ...

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Pardonnez-moi Madame, excusez-moi, un petit second, juste un petit second ...

Please proceed carefully when discussing Terres de Café.

Because I had a cappuccino at Terres de Café, rue Rambuteau about a month ago. They weren't doing cappuccinos at the Blancs Manteaux address (effectively, around the corner). I remember that day like it was yesterday. I went to Munch at the Pompidou. Not to eat, but to Munch - to see Munch. In addition, I went to that area to munch just a bit. I first checked out the brand spanking new Pain de Sucre patisserie that opened pretty much next door to the old location. It was completely redone and reconceived - très très chi-chi ! Not quite at Patisserie des Reves level of chic-dom, but it surpasses Pierre Hermé. I'm talking about the physical store itself - the modest-sized physical store. (Oh, just in case you all were wondering - yes, Chambo does indeed moonlight elsewhere on the Interwebs to supplement his stingy salary by serenading des citoyens about sweets and sugary treats. So there ! Are you going to fire me now, mouthfuls middle mgmt ! If you don't pay me a decent living wage, what else am I supposed to do !) That old Pain de Sucre location is now selling a bunch of salé stuff that I swallowed hook line and sinker - nothing great, nothing to write home about. I naturally followed the salé avec un café. En fait, c'etait le cappuccino dont j'ai parlé au debut du paragraphe. How was it, you ask ? For the moment, let me be brief - I wanted to scream.

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Does that screamer look happy ? Je pense pas ! What was I hoping for instead ? Well, naturally I was hoping for this:

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Please proceed carefully when discussing Malongo.

Because I know Malongo, rue Saint André des Arts, depuis longtemps. And it's pretty much crap. I don't know what you see in Malongo, so please explain. If you see a Disneyland and lots of seats upon which to sit, then I'll see your Malongo and I'll raise you a Starbucks, boulevard Saint Germain, pres de l'Odéon. It has much better viewing from those outside tables. And I mentioned Starbucks for a specific reason. The Malongo baristas probably all got fired from Starbucks prior to their new employ because they don't know what they are doing. If, on the other hand, you see a bunch of coffee capsules masquerading around as real coffee, then I'll see your Malongo and I'll raise you a Nespresso, rue de Bac ou rue Bonaparte. You choose. In case (better yet, "When") your coffee starts depressing you at either location, at least you can find a good patisserie on these streets to cheer you up (links have already been supplied above).

Please proceed carefully when discussing brûlerie Marna.

Because I am starting to get extremely suspicious of when you were last in any of these places. Although I do not know brûlerie Marna by that exact name, I am aware of the prior existence of Café(s) Marna aka Torréfaction Marna. Hence, some clarification will be needed on your end. For the record, let me add that I do have firsthand experience with Café Lanni (also referred to as Brûlerie Lanni, by some). Firstly, Café Lanni (54 Rue Fbg St Denis) doesn't do cappuccinos. Secondly, they barely even do an espresso - they have one little crappy machine out front that seems to be rarely used. They are an old-school roaster where you go to buy beans. But let's get real - I mean, how could Chambo NOT know the place ! It's right around the corner from my best friend Pierre Jancou's place - Vivant, for goodness sakes ! We all know that Pierre is one of the most extreme of the extremists in the natural wine camp, but don't you think that Chambo and Pierre talk about things other than wine ?

And what does Café Lanni have to do with Café / Torréfaction Marna ? I'll let Lady Peas address that. (Please recommence googling now ...)

And before some of you fine folk attempt to go googling for gotchas, let me save you some time and embarrassment. You may quickly stumble upon Café(s) Marna (aka Torréfaction Marna) and you may be tempted to go rushing off to 24 rue Fbg Montmartre to check out the place. But you will be wasting your time, notwithstanding this seemingly convincing storefront photo. For well over a year now, it has been this.

How can Chambo speak so authoritatively on this subject ?

That's easy to answer.

First of all, this is my profession and Chambo is no slacker at his day job.

Secondly, remember when I went on that Montmartre stroll and I gave you that quick update on Kooka BooRa and I said I continued merrily on my way:

I decide to walk a bunch more via a route that will take me past rue des Abbesses towards and down rue des Martyrs, while passing the Kooka Boora coffee shop (its terrasse was filled to the gills on this crisp day), then swinging through the bobo heaven that is the area around St Georges and continuing merrily merrily on my way.

Take a wild guess what I merrily merrily walked past right after scoping out St Georges? Correct - 24 rue du Fbg Montmartre. I was a hop, skip and a jump away. Cafés Marna hasn't existed for well over a year now. To the best of my knowledge, brulerie Marna has never existed. Hence, I haven't been.

My Sunday stroll wasn't for fun.

It was a work day for me.

And I didn't get paid one coffee-picking centime of overtime.

I was going above and beyond the call of duty in an attempt to help the Mouthfuls Nation to avoid wasting their time.

Chambo at your service.

And we can now see with ease
That Our First Lady of Peas
Is just googling bruleries
Sans une entrée, sans sorties !

It seems to me that you haven't been to Marna in ages. I await further clarification. (And yes, I do know that Café Lanni sells beans in a bag that has the name Marna on it. Not brulerie Marna, though.)

Please proceed carefully when discussing L'Arbre à Café.

Because when asked me if I had tasted anything from Hippolyte Courty's L'Arbre à Café, you surely knew that Chambo had been to Saturne many times. Maybe you didn't know that Hippolyte's coffee is served there. I understand that you may not have known that Chambo has also been to Autour d'un Verre where they used to serve Hippolyte's coffee, but now you do (yep, I moonlight and write about natural wines, too. That's correct mouthfuls middle mgmt. That patisserie moonlighting job pays crapola also. Why don't I write volumes about natural wines here on mouthfuls ? Oh, that's simple to answer. I'm Chambo here. For the sake of brand clarity, I try to mainly stick to my Chambo schtick. But elsewhere on the Interwebs, I'm a natural wine nazi extremist. And quite frankly, unlike here, I can be a bit overbearing when I'm playing a nazi)

Frankly, it seems to me as though you might still trying to hock Le Verre Volé:



http://chowhound.cho...m/topics/788527 (Spiders in their black pudding ? That doesn't translate all that well into English for me. En français, SVP ?)

Others here may be wondering why Chambo summoned Le Verre Volé. Here's why.

What I find quite curious is that L'Arbre à Café's list of other addresses to find their coffee has seemingly disappeared from their very own website.

What I find even more interesting is that they talk about discovering their coffee at wine events ? (ie Hey, come taste our coffee when you're already shit-faced ! You'll love it !) Fine, whatever, market your product however you want to. That's not my problem nor interest at this very moment. My interest is that they talk about having been invited to Coinstot Vino. Does that ring a bell, anyone ? You all remember how Antonio went to work there after Gocce di Caffe disappeared, right ? Regarding Coinstot's coffee, remember when I said "the taste seemed directly in line with that certain Italian flavor profile". Why did I say that ? Because they were using a Rome-based roaster and it did indeed taste very Italian. That's why. Now I read that l'Arbre à Café is chatting about being invited chez Coinstot Vino. Chambo is rightly slightly confused for a microsecond because he knows that Coinstot doesn't currently serve L'Arbre's coffee. If one goes to the source to survey the situation, one finds the true coffee status chez Coinstot - they are still using a Roman roaster (dans la plus pure tradition italienne) and, in addition, they are offering a Chemex filtered-coffee using Lomi's beans. You remember Lomi, right ? Lomi's beans were being used by Le Bal and KooKa BooRa. By the way, Antonio is still at Coinstot. By the way, Coinstot loves natural wines. Presumably, Coinstot invited L'Arbre into their house one evening, but didn't opt to change the coffee that they buy and offer to their clients.

By the way, L'Arbre's coffee ain't cheap.

Cut the bullshit, Chambo. You are changing the subject away from yourself. Have you or have you not had a l'Arbre à Café cappuccino at Le Verre Volé? Yes or no. It's a simple question.

No, I haven't !

You want to know why ?

Well I'm going to tell you anyway.

Because they don't do cappuccinos there. That's why ! Le Verre Volé simply doesn't do caps. And Chambo only does caps, full stop. (Well, mostly ...)

How are they going to try to trick Chambo next ? Ask me about some artifact like Brûlerie Maubert?.

Look, everyone has their favorites. I'm totally OK with that. Just don't bust my chops. If you do, expect in return a Kung Fu karate chop to the cheek. Folllowed by a swift kick in the teeth.

Please treat me with some professional respect. Please assume that I'm doing my job with a modicum of diligence. I take my day job seriously. This is how I support my family. I can't afford to be humiliated in public by a wise guy (or gal). I live off my reputation. And if someone tries to unfairly denigrate my efforts, I will put on a brave face and fight like a mad dog to save my job and show my superiors in the mouthfuls middle mgmt plantation mansion that they are getting more than their money's worth and more than they bargained for.

Anyone can google. Even Chambo can google bruleries with the best of them. But Chambo's motto is "Been there, Done that. If you are any good, I'm coming back".

Oh yeah, why the delayed response?

We just had a long weekend here in La Belle Patrie.

One of the perks of working here in France is that the mouthfuls middle mgmt slave drivers have to respect French law and hence Chambo gets all those French Holidays off, with pay.

And when Chambo is on holiday, Chambo goes outside of Paris.

And when Chambo goes outside of Paris, he forgets his day job.

And when Chambo forgets his day job, his worries dissolve away and he's a happy camper.

My advice - Be like Chambo:

So much for holidays and vacations and the good life ... Poof, it doesn't last very long at all ...

And at this very moment, I back to the grind and back on the job ...

I'm Chambo. I'm an American in Paris. And I'm chronicling Chambo's Cappuccino Capers.

Once again, Chambo at your service.

#36 Orik


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Posted 03 November 2011 - 12:50 PM

See, on espresso we largely agree. Posted Image
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#37 balex


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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:08 PM

I thought the Munch exhibition was a little disappointing; and it's a type of painting I adore. Some of the paintings are really brilliant, but many are quite weak , and there are a lot of rather uninteresting photographs, some home movies of great tedium etc.
But seeing all of the background does help you appreciate his pictorial vocabulary, and the good ones are so good that the overall impact is considerable.

("The Scream" wasn't in the exhibition -- and what is waldo doing there? Baffled again)

There was a fun Yayoi Kusama exhibit too on the ground floor: shallow but entertaining.

#38 Chambolle


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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:12 PM

Yayoi Kusama. Centre Pompidou.

Greetings, once again, Sir Balex.

I must admit that it is always a great pleasure and honor for this knight to chat with a like-minded and respectful fellow member of la haute aristocratie européenne.

That said, all great minds don't necessarily see and think alike about art.

Hence why our world is wonderful.

Je m'explique respectueusement.

Allow me to shed some light on our perceptive differences from the prism of this sentence:

There was a fun Yayoi Kusama exhibit too on the ground floor: shallow but entertaining.

I agree with your observation that this exhibition was fun and entertaining.

I respectfully submit that I found that it had a bit more depth and personal resonance than it might have had for you.

Let me recap why and then please share with me your thoughts ...

The exhbition starts with her monochromatic Infinity Nets. I was wondering if Robert Ryman liked them.

One continues and observes her various "accumulations" and "environments" with phallus furniture and macaroni floors.

That's indeed fun for all.

Movies of naked painted bodies squirming in a real live orgy gets one dreaming of revisiting the 1960s.

But then, when one actually enters and walks through this 1960s-NYC-based, happening, nude-streaking, free-loving, Japanese female artist's ensuing "environment" with those different-sized balls of blinking light that slowly but surely keep changing their vivid colors and are reiteratively reflected by mirrors into infinity:

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then you are playing with The Doors of perception and you start to fully appreciate that this woman who desires to self-obliterate and de-body herself is very strange indeed:

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But to me, she is a soulmate.

Total absorption in something can drive you insane. And it did her.

She was institutionalized almost 40 years ago and she remains so. She is still alive. She is still creating. We should all be so blessed.

But most importantly, let's surely not forget her butterfly-filled and caterpillar-laced 1972 self-portrait.

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I see a reflection of myself and my interior world in that painting.

I don't know how strongly that painting struck you or stayed with you, but that image burned a major impression on my retina and has been frozen forever in my cerebral cortex, Sir Balex.

But then again, I'm kaleidoscopic fauve if you remember. And I'm crazy like a bat.

Would you agree, Sir Balex ?

#39 Chambolle


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Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:34 AM

Edvard Munch. Centre Pompidou.

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Greeting, once again, Sir Balex.

I must admit that it is always a great pleasure and honor for this knight to chat with a like-minded and respectful fellow like you, even if le chat's got your tongue.

Given that your tongue is occupied, I'll improvise ...

I thought the Munch exhibition was a little disappointing; and it's a type of painting I adore. Some of the paintings are really brilliant, but many are quite weak , and there are a lot of rather uninteresting photographs, some home movies of great tedium etc.

I appreciate your disappointment with this exhibition.

The photographs and movies were indeed weak and they were too numerous but they were there to reinforce the proposition of the exhibition - that is, Munch's Modern Eye.

He was indeed a man looking outward and forward in life and willing to embrace the 20th century.

This is in opposition to the usual, simplistic viewpoint that he was an inward-looking artist of the 19th century.

For this reason, I applaud the exhibition for causing us to think a bit, even if the visual fireworks could have been more explosive.

"The Scream" wasn't in the exhibition -- and what is waldo doing there? Baffled again

You are indeed correct that there was no Scream. (Re Waldo: Are you sure that's Waldo and not Chambo ?)

However, there were kysses, plural. There were sick children, plural. There were puberties, plural. And let's not forget the vampires.

Nor should we forget that one room dedicated to his multi-faceted meditation on the photo of that Femme en Pleurs. I did not know that Munch did sculpture. Now I do.

Posted ImagePosted Image

I saw a man age before my very eyes - from his first kyss and observations of puberty and the fully-formed female figure to his watching the clock tick tock until he is no more.

But there was more.

There was perspective. Unusual perspective. His trademark. There was color. Unusual colors. His trademark. And there were self-portraits. Plenty. Dans la dernière salle. It was his obsession.

Unusual perspective. Unusual, bright colors. Une obsession sur l'auto-portrait.

All this got my mind wandering. Frankly, my mind was wandering very very early in the exhbition towards ...

Van Gogh.

I was observing and thinking about Munch's brushstrokes. About the eeriness of his spatial perspective. About the frenetic use of line. About his moody use of color. About the repetition of the subject matter. About plein de choses.

I was staring at Munch but I was seeing and feeling Van Gogh. I don't know why. That's just the way I felt. That's just where my mind was at.

Then, I was quite taken aback when I saw Munch's painting called Starry Night. Whoa ! What's going on here ...

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You with me at all, Sir Balex ? Were we of one mind on our different days or nights when we were in the presence of this paint on canvas ?

But Van Gogh has way more power and force and intensity, doesn't he ?

Munch suffered from depression. Van Gogh was certifiably insane. What does this show ? What does this tell us ?

In the arts, the crazier, the better.

Walk with me, Sir Balex. Let us jointly revisit that final room. Let's take a look at these auto-portraits together. And let's imagine that Van Gogh is in the room too.

Here is Munch:

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And here is Van Gogh:

Posted ImagePosted Image
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The differences are clear.

On the one hand we have an old man situated in an environment and ready to die. His body is now a mere carcass. There are deep thoughts and there are philosophical musings but life's candle is fading.

On the other hand we have pretty much nothing other than a torso and eyes. Eyes burning with intensity. A psychological penetration that is piercing. A super nova that is about to explode. We are confronted by nothing other than a madman.

These are my memoirs of a madman. Flaubert's were better.

#40 balex


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Posted 07 November 2011 - 02:00 PM

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Maybe that is Chambolle lurking in that picture?

The women in tears room was the most interesting in the exhibition.
The problem I had with a lot of the paitings was the handling of the paint -- the surface was very flat and lifeless, whereas Van Gogh really knew how to make the surface fizz.

#41 Sneakeater


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Posted 07 November 2011 - 03:49 PM

Not that it matters, but totally with Chambolle re Yayoi Kusama.

(Maybe balex isn't old enough. You sorta had to be there -- even if only as a sniveling early teen.)
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#42 Chambolle


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Posted 07 November 2011 - 11:28 PM

Dîner. Lundi.

There are only so many meals in a row that you can eat out, so after a big lunch out earlier today, supper was simple:

Two toasted, Bordier-buttered slices of Maison Kayser's rue Monge miche (because man cannot live on baguettes alone).

Mounted on the miche, an overlapping, wall-to-wall, water-resistant tarpaulin of glistening, glowing, oily Terra de Bellota Chorizo de l'Espagne (a professional roofer would have been proud of the chorizo craftsmanship).

Hovering above this ham, two sunny-side-up, poivre et sel-ed eggs of fine free-range, organic origin, carefully cooked with a fine coat of Bordier butter between said eggs and the non-stick pan (of course, the pan was heated using a next-generation De Dietrich induction cooktop. No BOOST mode needed.)

Now imagine the decadent, dripping disaster before me.

Rich, oozing yellow goo sloppily sliding over the oily ham which is being butter-massaged on its bottom by brother Bordier himself. All the while, the well-toasted miche maintains its crunchy, crisp, slightly-burned beauty.

Just imagine the overly-rich, highly-flavorful, miraculous mess in my mouth as I attempt to taste and swallow all this gooey goodness.

It's just too much. It's simply way too much. I can barely swallow such viscousness. It's too big a burden to bare.

I'm about to cry for help. I am ready to surrrender.

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I cry. I scream ...

Aidez-moi ! Sauvez-moi ! J'ai soif !

Racing in from the sidelines to save Chambo are two beautiful, bracing warriors from south of La Cote d'Or.

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On his left, Domaine Daniel et Martine Barraud Pouilly-Fuissé La Roche 2006.

On his right, Domaine Valette Pouilly-Fuissé "Tradition" 2007.

Chambo is no longer thirsty.

Vive le chardonnay ! Vive le Maconnais !

Chambo n'est pas mort. He lives to dine another day.

#43 Chambolle


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Posted 08 November 2011 - 10:47 AM

Chambo: on Boxing.

Ali is not looking to vital these days himself.

Nor has he looked good in well over a decade or two.

Boxing is an absolutely brutal sport.

The training and power of these gladiators nowadays is at the point that their lives are truly on the line when they dare to enter that ring.

Today, a punch like this can kill a fellow gladiator:

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It's almost too much for me to take. I don't enjoy the sport anymore. I opt not to watch for the most part.

Furthermore, all the current heavyweights are unfortunately lightweights in the personality arena.

But once upon a time, it was very different ...

But sadly, these warriors leave the ring forever changed.

The brain was not built to take such beastly blows.

Note to parents: I'd advise ping pong or badminton over boxing for your cute kids.

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Or netting butterflies and raising bees.

But then again, some dream of glory. Some dream of being The Greatest.

To the victor, go the spoils.

#44 Sneakeater


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Posted 08 November 2011 - 02:33 PM

Very few recent examples of someone else surrendering to the French.
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#45 Chambolle


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Posted 08 November 2011 - 06:48 PM

It's just too much. It's simply way too much. I can barely swallow such viscousness. It's too big a burden to bare.

I'm about to cry for help. I am ready to surrrender.
I cry. I scream ...

Aidez-moi ! Sauvez-moi ! J'ai soif !

Racing in from the sidelines to save Chambo are two beautiful, bracing warriors from south of La Cote d'Or.

Very few recent examples of someone else surrendering to the French.

You probably think that I surrendered just to give those 2 guys on the sidelines a little game time, a little exercise and a little action.

You would be wrong.

Being generous of heart and willing to share freely, let me give you a free dating tip.

Normally I charge for advice like this but I'm going to make an exception for you because you're my beloved boss and you're an esteemed member of the mouthfuls middle management administrative machine.

This little nugget that I'm gonna give ya is part of what we in the trade call "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

That the tip. That the dating tip ! Back scratching !

You see, I didn't actually, seriously surrender to la francaise. Phew ! Get real !!

It was in fact a strategic maneuver of caligulan craftiness. It was a make-believe, post-dinner "pseudo-surrender" to love.

I told her that I surrender.

I let her tie me up after that strategic maneuver.

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I then let her scratch my back.

She then said that she wanted to go to the ladies' room for a moment to "freshen up" just a bit.

I nodded. She left. I unkotted.

She did not realize that I am a master escape artist with substantial linguistic capabilities.

She thought that I was a stupid American. She didn't realized that I have skills avec la langue francaise.

When she returned, I was hiding behind the bathroom door.

I pounced on her and I proceeded to tie her up this time.

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I then scratched her. Scratched her back, that is. She started purring like a kitten. We were now even-steven.

I'll skip the rest.

You should try it out. Tell us how it goes. But it's not for everyone.