Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's called a spork, the opposite of camping, and also it turns out I like creepy little freaks.

It's not that I hadn't ever heard of a spork; it's more that I'd never been face to face with one.

Also, by creepy little freaks, I don't mean in person. Although for a while it did seem like that was the subtext of my Internet dating profile.

But the spork.

See, last Tuesday evening we got on this flight to Paris. (And if you've ever seen Love, Actually, and you know the part where Laura Linney is about to hook up with the hothothot guy and she excuses herself, goes into the stairwell and does a silent little super-excited dance, well, that's the kind of emoticon I need to insert here.)

So the flight to Paris (yippy kazippee emoticon!). A flight for which I'd received an email saying there would be no meal service. Naturally, I freaked out. Because if you are going to have me hurtling through space for seven and a half hours, I want to be overfed.

So we packed an insane amount of food. Really. Buns and chicken and fruit and more fruit. And when I asked Betty why her carry-on was so heavy, she had no idea. Upon inspection, she had no fewer than 10 Kit Kats, three huge Snickers, and approximately 72 Butterfingers. These will weigh a person down.

If you think I exaggerate, you need to meet Betty. Anyway, we were set. Plus, they did actually feed us semi-wretched pasta. Which I ate, because, you know. The oatmeal cookie was pretty good.

And then they woke us up at 5 am Paris time, which was a scant hour after I'd fallen asleep, and handed me this little packet with a yogurt and a bread product and this sharp edged implement. And I was all, "What the fuck is up with this mean, angry little spoon?"

Then I realized I was staring into the sharp pokey little teeth of a spork, which maybe is useful for varied meals when camping, if one does that sort of thing, but not as clearly so for yogurt.

And then I was wondering why they didn't just put a serrated edge on one side and call it a sporfe. Which so sounds like something you would buy at Ikea, doesn't it?

There would, of course, be the danger of slicing one side of your lip while trying to use it as a spoon or maybe even a fork, but eventually you'd learn to keep your mouth fairly wide open while putting things in. Although it occurs to me that that technique would make those food items more likely to fall out as well.

So then you'd have to choose - perpetually sliced side of lip, or food staying in mouth? Which would really only be relevant if you camped all the time. Or maybe were an astronaut. Do the astronauts use them? The only thing I really know about them is that they like Tang - or anyway they did in the 70s - and so do I.

And also I now recall that the whole bathroom in space thing is kind of iffy, what with the no gravity. Outer space is not so much my thing. Outer space and camping and mean little sharp spoons.

And anyway, listen, enough with the sporfe and the dubious poops in space.

Because, my friends, we are in Paris, Betty and I. Which is kind of the opposite of camping and all around really spectacularly delicious.If you don't know me in person I know it sounds like last week we were just all, "Oh, it's Tuesday, let's fly to Paris."

When in fact this trip had been planned in concept for several years, and in actuality since February, and I was only talking about it in person for weeks and weeeeks leading up to it. To the point where I'm certain everyone who saw me on a regular basis was kind of like, "Paris, yes, yes, I know, fuck you very much."

I was kind of insufferable, I'm certain. "Oh, yah, I won't be able to attend that meeting. Because I'll be in PARIS. Have I mentioned it?"

Things like that.

By the time I left I'm sure my office was all, "GO ALREADY"This is a trip that was three years coming, and when it finally arrived it was kind of perfect timing in terms of family stuff and kind of stressful timing in terms of Betty selling her house and moving in with us. When we return we have three weeks to race to the finish line of empty house and closing. This only came together the day we were leaving.

It's a little bit of an enormous project.

But here we are, and it is amazing. We arrived last Wednesday and we've only got one more day.

We've seen old friends, we've shopped, and we've eaten and eaten and eaten. I had this hot chocolate that was a melted chocolate bar in one jug and hot milk in another, and you just poured whatever amounts you wanted into your cup.

We turn out to be Philistines and so we've spent a great deal more time eating and shopping than doing anything cultural but it seems that whenever we go to a church - Saint-Séverin and Sainte-Chapelle, to name the, uh, two - the things that catch my eye are the creepy little freaks.

No, wait! The well freak was taken at Cluny! Although I must be honest and admit that we arrived just as they were closing, so it doesn't honestly count.

Actually, Sainte-Chapelle has the most extraordinary details, and I took a ton of pictures of little carvings and bits of wall and such and if anyone is remotely interested, or if I decide I want to take on the project of resizing and posting a number of photos, I will post them.

But aren't the creepy little freaks compelling? You can click to embiggen them.

And now, my invisible friends, it is one-damn-forty-something in the morning Paris time, and I am still awake because the time change seems to fuck with me like nobody's business.

Sporfe that, I say.

I hope you're well! I know I'm the one who went away, but I've missed you!

Oh and one more thing. I've disabled anonymous comments because of this one particular dickbag. I delete the comments, because I see no reason to respond to anonymous dickbags, really. And I see no reason to encourage anonymous dickbaggery.

Sorry for the inconvenience, though.

OK. I must sleep now. Bonne nuit!

(Ooh, I'm so bilingual! I think when I get back I'll pretend that I can't remember the right word in English. Because I was in PARIS, did you know?)


  1. so glad you are in a good place; i owe you an email, i know, if we are to continue our imaginary friendship. 'tis forthcoming, i promise! meantimes, enjoy and eat up! i've always wanted to go to gay pari, and will probably never get there...sigh...

  2. FUN!!! Have a blast and say Hi to Betty for me.

    There are stupid rules about taking serrated utensils on/off a plane. I found this out when the post customs security found a plastic serrated knife - the kind you get in a plane - in pilots bags. They wouldn't let him take the plastic knife into the airport because "it isn't allowed." They trust him to fly the plane, they trust the passengers with the knife since they give it to them, but he can't take the knife into the airport? Stupid.

    They do make Sporfes, though the design is a bit different, making them more useful for your yogurt:
    They're expensive though:


  3. lucky you being in paris!! and with your mom, no less. have a beautiful time, lisa :)

  4. If you love the little freaks, visit Notre Dame on your last day and climb the tower like Quasimodo. Lots of ghoulish, creepy freaks to see at the top. It's awesome.

  5. I missed you too. I think your trip to Paris was perfect timing for you and your mom. I die at what vvk said about pilots and plastic knives. Just crazy!

    Love and Envy from the Prairie

  6. Hi Lisa,

    Someday I want to go to Paris. Being a cheapskate, I have never strayed far from Eastern Europe, but maybe I'll follow you there in a year or two, since I keep following what you do a year or two later.

    Speaking of which, there's a little person at my house, now. Named Leo. He's no Jordan, but he's pretty cute.


  7. I'm very jealous - I haven't been to Paris since I was 15, which was 16 years ago now. Considering it's only an hour and a half flight for me, I should really remedy that soon. A couple of my friends actually flew there and back in a DAY last year. Why didn't I go????

  8. Oh la la, Paris, and a well deserved break for you and Betty all happenings considered. I used to love that song by I think Maryanne Faithfull about a woman dreaming of riding through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair before she turned forty....alas I am 6 years overdue for this experience so far but one day I will realise the dream lol.

  9. You're in Paris! I'm so glad. Have the time of your lives!

  10. Oh, my word. I'm happy for you, I'm envious, I want one of those hot chocolates...but mostly, I'm happy for you. You totally deserve this.

  11. I'm so using "sporfe" from now on... Have fun in Pareeee!

  12. It is amazing what some people will do when they have the veil of anonymity. Seriously. Thankfully they give you the awesome option of deciding that idiocy must take the form of a name. :) That way at least you kinda know (sorta) who it is that is making the moronic remarks and can there fore turn your wit back onto themself.

    Paris is beautiful like a finely aged matron. She has a sultry wit and a dry laugh that make you want to be her. :)

    Quebec is her younger sister, constantly trying to keep up. :)

    Having visited both I like them equally. Although the Canadian metro is much cleaner smelling.

  13. I am SO jealous!! And I totally want to be the "it's Tuesday, let's go to Paris" type of person. What do I remember about Sainte-Chapelle? The stained glass, of course, but also the gold fleur-de-lis on the floor. Very impressed with gold on the floor.

  14. Fantastique! Can't wait to hear more about it!

    (p.s. What is with airlines these days? How can you trap people in a tube for 7.5 hours and not feed them a proper meal??)

  15. Coleen - You owe me nothing, and our imaginary friendship will continue! In fact, I do think we will meet one of these days. And I so hope you make it to Paris, I really do. It's so amazing.

    vvk - That whole thing about the pilots is just fucking weird. They could crash the plane if they wanted. What are they going to do with one of those stupid serrated plastic knives???

    And I actually really like the sporfes you linked to. Those seem practical. The one I had was a spoon with these sharp teeth cut out. But if you had a whole spoon and then turned it around for the sharp bits, well, that makes more sense. They're like modern art!

    carly - Thank you! It was beautiful, it completely was.

    Dana - We didn't make it into Notre Dame. But I will do it next time (whenever that is). That sounds completely up my alley.

    Lynn - You are right - perfect timing. It really couldn't have been better. Physically walking (flying!) away from all that was going on and then being somewhere so engrossing was exactly what we both needed. Hugs to you, Lynn!

    Alex - !!!! Leo!!! I will email you! Oh, this news makes me all teary and happy.

    Also, hopefully the Euro will take a nosedive before you make a plan. Because right now, traveling with the dollar is pretty hurty, even for the non-frugal.

    P - This is the thing about you lucky lucky people - you can be all these amazing places faster than we can get to other states! It makes me so very jealous! And you haven't been because you've been jaunting off to Spain and such. :)

    Go-Betty - Why don't I know this song? It sounds like one I would love. I must find it...

    Lynn - Thank you! We did! We did!

    freckledk - They were amazing. So rich, but not too sweet. And even better when you dolloped whipped cream on top. :)

    Giggles - I like that is sounds like an epithet. Or cheap Scandinavian furniture. :)

    Moue - DC Urban Moms has all these forums (fora?) for parents and it's an amazing resource...but people are also SO MEAN because they can all be anonymous. I might actually write a post about this. It's extraordinary.

    And that's a beautiful way to describe Paris. AND! I've never been to Quebec. I want very badly to go. Nick and I were going to go this fall, but with his work and a number of other things, it is not going to work out. Hopefully next year!

    J - Oh, so do I. How incredible would it be to have that ability? Oh, I loved loved Saint-Chapelle. I loved all the details. I couldn't believe the details everywhere - the floor, all over the walls, everywhere you turned.

    Karen - It was fantastique! And they did feed us, and the food was no worse than ever. Also, they gave us a snack with Twix and potato chips, and that's a way to make a person happy.


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