Inhuman Swill : July 2005


Began Ghostwritten by David Mitchell on flight home.


Began The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley on flight home.
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Vendredi 15 juillet 2005

Our last full day in Paris, and the last full day of our trip. Rise with the dawn, walk our tired asses up Avenue Bourdonnaise to the Eiffel Tower. Zip zip to the top! among the first batches of the day, keeping a close eye for pickpockets. Quick circuit around the top, spectacular but palm-sweating views a thousand feet up. Laura, who didn't have the tower high on her list, now glad we came. Elevator down to second level, where we spy a workman in full climbing regalia wandering the platform. Stairs down from there.

Café crème on the first platform, writing postcards at a table in the shade of an umbrella in the already fierce sun. Mail postcards from Eiffel Tower post office to get the good postmarks. More stairs down, but not before spying two guys working outside one of the elevator inclines, above the interior courtyard. Photo doesn't do justice, but watching was more palm-sweating than being at the tower's top. Bill finds internet cafe while Laura shops for chocolate. Then it's the Metro to l'Île de la Cité.

Through the metal detectors of the Palais de Justice enclosure, past the stupid American tourists, we enter the spectacular cathedral of Sainte-Chapelle, where all the beauty and ornateness has been saved for the stained-glass windows, the greatest collection in the world, ringing the upstairs chapel on all sides. Don't know how long we stay. Could be months.

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Happy Pi Approximation Day! One version of it, anyway.

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July's CD mix of the month

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Google me this

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This is perhaps the weirdest list in which I've ever been included.

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And should the devil drive up
With his business card out
I'll tear it to confetti
With a grin and shout

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Zip and kurl

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So part of my job is, every month or so, to update the city and ZIP code information in our database from a service to which we subscribe. As I was watching the names of new cities (or, more properly, valid postal nodes) scroll by, the new Missouri nodes raised my eyebrows. While Georgia has "Wentworth," Maine has "Waltham," and New Mexico has "Jicarilla," Missouri has "Country Mart" and "Linda's Kut & Kurl."

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What in the world happened to New York while we were gone? There are huge banner advertisements hanging over staircases in the subways and billboards affixed flat to the pavement on street corners. Is the city trying to make up for lost Olympic revenue?

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Les nouvelles de Paris

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Brief squibs from Paris.

I returned to our hotel yesterday evening somewhat ahead of the pack, owing to a slight, er, traveler's malady. As I entered, the concierge said to me, "The nomination is for London!"

I said, "Bonnes nouvelles pour tout le monde!"—meaning both our cities, as we'd been discussing earlier—and she readily agreed.

I began a new short story later that evening, sitting with Laura at a sidewalk café in the Avenue Bosquet, in pen in a little notebook she bought for me for just that purpose. The best moment so far in a holiday full of best moments.
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William Shunn

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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