Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The good, the bad, the ugly

-Got a visa to Frahnce! A process begun in June and pursued on and off since then has now come to a close. Now I just have a bit more non-visa-related paperwork to complete, a ticket to purchase, and a whole lot of esteemed French profs to email about meeting to discuss things French-Jewish.

-Also to file under I-forgot-I-ordered-that-but-what-a-pleasant-surprise, these shoes, which I ordered a long, long time ago, but which arrived yesterday. The idea is that they'll be an alternative to my usual favorite, ballet flats - chic, flat, slip-ons - but one with a more rugged sole, important because my walk to the subway involves dodging horse manure (yes, in Manhattan). I also hope that these shoes serve as a giant 'Why yes I am American' announcement in Paris, leading me to be served extra-large portions everywhere I go.

-Last Legs Laptop is kaput. Now it's the screen, and the tendency of the computer to seem as though it might electrocute me and/or the couch I leave it on. Nothing like needing to buy a plane ticket to mean another purchase of the same magnitude is in order.

-I witnessed a real-life instance of too-brilliant-to-bathe, a scene so perfect I must recount it here. A beautiful woman of about 30, casually but elegantly dressed, slim but shapely, with an oh-so-sexy French accent, was sitting near me at a café with a man in his 50s or 60s who was, it seemed, her editor in some capacity. They were, at any rate, both intellectuals. Granted the meeting seemed to be work-related rather than a date, but she was giggling and otherwise enthralled as the man held court at his table. He was out-of-shape, had hair that far exceeded unkempt, but most crucially, had filth, serious filth, under his nails, on his hands, to the point where I had been fairly certain he was homeless - a not unusual situation in NY coffee shops. But he was quite clearly the boss of some kind of major and elite operation - I'd speculate which one based on key words but I don't want to reveal anyone's identity.


FLG said...

What's the deal with the visa? Whenever I go to France, they just stamp one right there on the spot. Or does that default visa not allow you to go to libraries and talk to esteemed professors?

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

Depends how long you're going for, maybe also whether you're studying at a university that requires one.

Britta said...

On too brilliant to bathe: Zizek is apparently married to a supermodel, which did not prevent him from having an affair with a girl in my program (who is in her mid 20s.) I'd imagine as well that he has a "grad student in every port" so to say. I don't know if you've ever seen him or a picture of him, but he kind of fits the bill of hideous academic superstar.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...


Just Google-image-searched. The guy I saw was far, far greasier-looking. I'm talking caked-on black dirt covering his pasty hands. But for all I know in person they'd be comparable.