Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mad Ramblings...Again

     Sooo… here we are again. Seems I have a way of pissing people off. Eh, it is what it is, I guess. Sorry if I freaked some people out last week. But hey, you had to get all the way to the end to get it the full story. It wasn’t my intention to freak anyone out. Ooops, Sorry. Kinda. 

     Not sure what to ramble on about today. I’ve been trying to think of something substantial to say, but nothing has really come to mind. So, I’m just gonna wing it and see what happens. Who knows what that might be? Knowing me, I’ll piss someone else off.

     Earlier this week I was challenged to post at least five pictures that made me happy on FB. So I did. I think I posted more than five. I actually could have posted a lot more. I think I might just do that on my Tumblr page sometime today. I’m in that kind of mood. 

     One of the pictures was of a plate of escargot that I had in small bistro in the Marais district of Paris. It was one of the goals I had for when I got to the capital of France. I wanted honest to god éclairs. That was at the top of the list. There is nothing better than real French pastry. I also wanted a good bowl of French onion soup. Sadly, I didn’t get that though. I’m thinking it is a winter thing. Then I wanted snails. I love escargot; one of my favorite treats. 

     When I posted that photo I got all kinds of remarks. I think you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. For those who have never had them, give them a try. You just never know, right? 

     I’ve had them and made them all kinds of ways. I had the traditional way, in shells, baked to perfection with lots of garlic butter and parsley, served with French bread to sop up all the yummy goodness. That, as I said is the most traditional way, but not the only way. 

     I’ve had them in dishes, especially made for snails. These are great if you’re working in a kitchen. You’re not having to mess with the shells, making sure that they are all sitting up right before sticking them in the salamander. When using the dishes, just drop the little suckers in the hole, cover with garlic butter and fresh parsley and in no time you’ve got these rich and delicious delicacies ready to savor. Don’t forget the bread! 

     Another way is in mushroom caps. Equally scrumptious and sometimes they are even topped with phyllo pastry and parmesan cheese. This has got to be one of my favorite ways to have these little morsels of heaven. Really need to try these. 

     There is a reason why they are often only served six at a time. They are so rich, that if you have more than a dozen, I’m afraid you’d be sick. Yes, they are that rich. So, give ‘em a try some time if you haven’t. I think that some people may be turned off by the shell, so try them another way. I highly suggest the mushroom cap idea. 

     I don’t think that I’ve said much about my time in Paris this past summer on here, have I? Well, it was a trip that I had only dreamed about, never thinking that I could possibly make it there. Well, I did and it was the trip of a lifetime. I kept thinking that I would like to actually live there for a year and just write. I came back with so many story ideas. 

      My good friend, and French translator, Bénédicte Girault, was a real jewel of a find. She arranged for me and the lovely, simply lovely, lovely-lovely, K.C. Wells, a.k.a., the little English washer woman, to do a book signing there. That was a trip. (I’ll include more photos of this on Tumblr as well) I have to say, I was a bit overwhelmed at the turn out. What I found to be a lot of fun was going to the Café, and having drinks with quite a few of them after the signing. 

     We stayed in this apartment that was god-only-knows how old. It was so old that the treads on the stairs were concave from all the foot traffic. It was great. Close to everything that we needed to be near and was on this street that was, to me, perfect. Yes, it was on the third floor, but I didn’t mind the climb. I was in Paris after all! 

     One of the highlights was going to Père-Lachaise, the famous cemetery and final resting place of many famous people, such as… 

Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Claude Debussy, Edouard Manet, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, General Lafayette, Napoleon I, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and nearly all the kings and queens of France, Honore Balzac, Jacques Offenbach, Stendhal, Heinrich Heine, Hector Berlioz, Marie and Pierre Curie, Voltaire, Rousseau, Dumas, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Edgar Degas, Gertrude Stein (and Alice Toklas of course), Marcel Proust, Moliere, La Fontaine, Amadeo Modigliani, Colette, Georges Bizet, Camille Pissaro, Francis Poulenc, Heloise and Abelard, Jim Morrison, Auguste Comte, Eugene Delacroix, Georges Seurat, Isadora Duncan, Richard Wright, Edith Piaf, Francois Truffaut and Charles Baudelaire. 

     I specifically went to visit my all-time idol, Frederic Chopin. I even listened to most of his Polonaise while standing there. Gave me goosebumps. The sculptures there are just amazing. I could have spent an entire day, or two, just wondering around. Unfortunately, I had an appointment that I had to keep with Armando Santos, Mr. Gay Europe. All I’m going to say about that is that you’ll be getting to know him a lot better in the coming months. Nope, not even going to give a hint. 

     The experience is something that I will always treasure. Honestly, there is no other place I’ve ever experienced like Paris. The closest I’ve ever come is New Orleans, which, of course, was modeled after this wonderful city. I hope to go back in the very near future. I know that I mentioned him before, but the homeless lad that we kind of helped, Alexandre, has been on my mind a lot lately. I know it is getting cold there and I can only hope he has gotten back on his feet and is no longer on the streets. If there is anyone out there who lives in Paris, and in the Marais district especially, ask around and see. I would really like to know how he is doing. The little bit of change in our pockets had enabled him to get a cheap phone so that he could receive calls for possible employment. I hope it worked out for him. 

     Do you know what is coming next? I hope so. 

     Please, do something for someone else. A reader that I’ve become friends with recently recited a story about how she helped a disabled man at a grocery store by helping him get a case of bottled water down from a shelf. She told me that while doing it she thought of what I’ve been preaching. It doesn’t take money. It takes heart and a moment of your time to sometimes help someone who can’t do it themselves. Such a simple act of kindness will not only make someone else’s day, but will make you feel good as well. 

     Keep racking up those Karma coins, people. It will all come back to you with interest. 

     Till next week, y’all, 


French Meat. :D


  1. Great ramblings and stories! Maybe snails chinese style is good too. ;-)

  2. Angry post, funny post, French's always facinating spending time with you. I hope someone passes along good new about Alexandre. Thank you for the donation oportunity info. I will get on that.
    Glad Paris lived up to your dreams, my three days in France are still great memories 30 years later.