Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Climbing walls

I was standing beside two elderly men at the grocery store yesterday when suddenly one turned to the other and said, "You know, the first time I put on my kilt, I thought 'damn, I've got some nice legs.'  The second time I put it on I thought, 'well, shoot, where did those nice legs go?'"

I love living in English again.  If you're within earshot of me, I'm listening to you.  And even if you don't make a whole lot of sense, I'm giddy about it.

Look at this crazy drama with the school bus. There was a truck parked too close to the roundabout so the bus couldn't make the turn and got stuck.  A fire truck happened by and the firemen jumped out to make sure everyone was OK.  Then the firemen turned on the engine lights to entertain all the kids stuck on the bus and we all said, "Ooooooh."  (Not much happens around here on a weekday afternoon... it was a really big deal, I swear.)

Bear with me, everybody.  Little light on blog material today.

When Lucien was four years old and living in the super-white 6th arrondissement of Paris, he saw an African American boy at the park and asked me if he was burned.  Jesus.  I told him sometimes people are just different colors and he looked at me like I was batshit crazy.

Now that we're home, he gets it, and doesn't care a whole lot.  None of the kids do.  We're happy Lucien now lives and schools with people of assorted colors.  His school is a beautiful rainbow of skin color, a cornucopia of language and ethnicity.  I'm pretty sure I even saw a purple boy in his class but maybe that kid just had measles.

Sometimes adults don't do as well with the concept of race.  I'm sorry to say there's some racial tension in my neighborhood, and it's getting stirred up by the contentious issue of dog poop --

(I'm not sure why "black" is in quotes.)

I hate to think someone is purposely letting their dogs poop in this specific yard because the family is black.  If so, this dog owner is way worse than your average poop-ignorer; this person is a whole new level of shitty (HA!)   If the dog owner is racist,  I hope that person visits Paris, and then I hope they trip and fall face first into a steaming pile of Parisian dog sidewalk offerings.

What?  You want to hear more about poop?  I must obey!

Now that I'm back in a land where picking up dog poop is an absolute duty that must never be shirked, I'm hearing about lots of people having dog poop problems.  L.A. Mom is borderline obsessed with identifying a dog owner that regularly leaves poop in her yard -- obsessed to the point of sitting up all night with a pair of binoculars, a stun gun, and a maniacal look in her eye.

A woman recently left a note in L.A. Mom's mailbox addressed to L.A. Mom's husband.  The note said, "Brian, I need to talk to you.  Call me, Katie."  There was a phone number.  L.A. Mom did not immediately think, as I would have, "Katie is my husband's mistress and I must now challenge her to a duel."  Instead she thought, "OMG, I bet this woman knows something about the dog poop."

L.A. Mom called Katie.  She excitedly dove into her questions -- had Katie seen something in their yard, and did she know who the mystery shitter/owner were?  There was a long silence, as any person not emotionally involved in the poop situation would expect.  Katie then explained the reason for the note in the mailbox.  It was not only NOT related to poop, it was not even related to L.A. Mom and her family.  The previous owner was named Brian, too; L.A. Mom's family has only recently bought their house.

Please, people, take a deep breath.  I implore you, let's not let dog poop cloud our reasoning and make us suspicious, angry people.  Let's not be racist.  And let's all just pick up our dog's crap, okay?

Lucien, my recently turned six-year old, after three years of Eurodisney, finally had a real birthday party.  Us being us, we made it a DANGEROUS birthday party --

Seattle Bouldering Project.  Best birthday party ever.

The birthday boy climbing through a hoop

Here are the rules for birthday parties at Seattle Bouldering Project --

Here's what happened at our party --

The women who led the climbing part of the party said Lucien has incredible energy.  One said he could be an award-winning climber with that kind of energy.  The other woman said he could probably be an award-winning anything (except quiet person) with that kind of energy.

This was Lucien's cake --

 Dinosaurs, volcano, edible "rocks"

A mother of one of Lucien's classmates asked me if I baked it myself.  She doesn't know me so didn't realize how funny the question was.  Alex however, who was standing nearby, nearly passed out from lack of oxygen due to maniacal laughter.

Today at the bus stop after school one of Lucien's classmate's moms said, "Hey, does Lucien want to come over for a playdate now?" and I said, "Yes, take him."  I love this neighborhood, even if there are some questionable dog owners with possibly racist evil intentions.  

Alex is in Europe right now for work.  Today he's in Munich; tomorrow it's Paris.  He's in Paris for less than 24 hours so I know he won't be having any fun but still, I wonder how tomorrow will feel for both of us.

He should probably go get liquored up and yell at cars on Boulevard Saint Germain so he can say goodbye to the city properly.  Always worked for me.

Where did MY nice legs go?


  1. Love the cake!:) Bet the Loosh was thrilled!:) Was it as good as it looked?

    What a great birthday party!:) That kid is very lucky:) We never had birthday parties at my house when we were kids (plus I'm a Christmas baby, so...). Once, when I was 12, I asked my mother why I had never had one, to which she replied: "Have you ever thrown ME a birthday party?!"... Funny... to this day, I still don't think it was a child's job to throw her MOTHER a birthday party, but maybe that's just me...:))

    Ahhhhhhh dog poop... Let me tell you, Paris has nothing on my neighbourhood in The Hague when it comes to crap on the sidewalks! And there's noone here paid to clean it up. People are expected to be responsible, considerate citizens and do their duty... so they do their DOODY! Urgh... (Couldn't resist the crappy pun, sorry;))

    1. Duchesse! The dog poop stories just keep on coming. I don't think we're ever going to stop talking about the stuff.

      I'm pretty sure no child has ever thrown his/her mother a birthday party. That being said, it's a damn fine idea, and I will start demanding exactly that from my offspring. Thanks for the idea!

      Do your doody, everyone!

  2. I trod in some dog poo in Nice, once, on the port, and thought the best way to get rid of it would be to wipe my shoe on the doormat of one of the posh yachts. There was a handy one on the quayside too...

    1. Sarah, lovely little tale. You are probably not welcome back there.

      Have a good day!

  3. Dog poop....don't get me started with my next door neighbor and the horror that is her backyard....can't wait for the spring thaw smell.......

    Al in Paris.......yelling at cars

    Love the cake looks yummy

    1. Hi Debbie, well at least the poop stays in the neighbor's yard, I hope? Al in Paris.... sigh.

  4. i love poop stories...but then my sister always tells me i have the maturity level of a twelve yr. old boy-but i don't dig racism-so i agree pick up the poop people!!!

    1. Who doesn't love a good poop story, eh? Hi, g!

  5. I love listening in on others conversations!! It drives my husband crazy when we are out since I ususally don't hear a word he says but hey I live with him.

    We have someone who doesn't pick up their dog poop in our neighborhood as well and it drives my husband up a wall, that and when out neighbors park on our grass. Funny what suburbia does to ya.

    1. Yo C Rouse! You better get outta there -- suburbia can make you batshit crazy, or so I've heard. Terrified of the place.

      I never used to be a chronic eavesdropper but now I can't stop. It's like magic. I hear words and I understand EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. When will it stop being so incredible? I have no idea. Until then, I'm easily entertained.

  6. Having a 90 lb. golden retriever makes dog poop a constant subject in our house, but since he would give his life for us, we figure we can at least pick up his crap!

    Here in the Philly suburbs they have special garbage cans with lids for it on the main roads. There are even bag dispensers if you forget your own.

    1. Way to go, Philly. *solo clap* We are not that advanced yet here in the near-downtown Seattle area. It really seems to be an issue that makes most people crazy, though, so we should all keep talking about it, get our feelings out.

      Bye, Lou, have a good night over there in enlightened dog poo pick-up land.

    2. They have those special garbage cans with lids (and a picture of a dog sitting on a toilet on it!) and free bags and dog crap patrol... and still, the sidewalks are a disgrace...

      Ahhh poop! An inexhaustible subject!:)

  7. Couldn't help but laugh: is a black person in France an African "American"? :)

    1. Damn. Good point. Auto pilot.

      So... He wasn't American, but he wasn't French either so... Got me, I'm tired.

  8. I'm not clever as the rest of your posse, but I do love to read your updates. Keep 'em coming!

  9. A friend of mine suggested your Paris blog after I mentioned that most of the blogs I checked out were family blogs which were a little too tame or my tastes.
    You manage to keep yours edgy in spite of its family-oriented nature and its an enjoyable read. I hope Seattle keeps going well for you