Stories from the City

Musings about life, living, Paris & other places

Pretty awesome stuff this week

This week has been shiny and bright: plenty of sun and some serious blue skies in Paris. While March can be quite chilly, we’ve been very lucky this year. The first week of March has been a delight with temperatures of 15 degrees on average and an even better weekend weather forecast (20 degrees Sunday!). Seems like spring arrived early in Paris and you don’t hear me complaining! Some other pretty awesome stuff, frings (fun things), and discoveries this week:

The discovery of a ball point pen with ink you can erase. Oh yeah! When shopping for stationary supplies for my beau yesterday (he is doing a one-year school programme to bump up his career – brave man!), I saw the Pilot Frixion hanging in the racks. Since I am a pretty sloppy writer and note-taker, the idea of a pen whose ink I can wipe out with some sort of little gum at the back of the pen seemed pretty amazing to me. So I bought it and it works brilliantly! Spelling mistake? Wacky sentence? Ugly writing? No problem! From now on, we can erase it and maybe save some trees in the meantime!psycho test cover

The Psychopath Test. No, I didn’t take one (although I would love to, would be pretty exciting not?!). It’s actually the title of a book by Jon Ronson. You might know his The Men Who Stare at Goats which was turned into a movie by George Clooney. The Psychopath Test is a very interesting read, a brief journey through the world of psychiatry and psychotherapy. And about the most commonly used psychopath test, the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R in short), which assesses in 40 questions whether you are a true sociopath or not. Jon dives into this wacky world to try to get a better understanding of psychos, mental illnesses and how we define ‘crazy’. His book questions our society in which we seem to categorize people more often than not and where every behavior or characteristic which is determined by someone as ‘less normal’ can be linked to a certain mental illness or affliction. Did we (shrinks, pharmaceutical industry, even the government, and your average Joe) all go a little mad over this? Did the madness industry get out of hand? I thought it was a very intriguing read and fascinating too. A real page-turner (I finished it in four days!). Definitely recommended, and you can buy it here.

Booking a mini-holiday with one of my besties. We both live in separate countries, my friend in the lower lands (Netherlands) and I in Paris. While we try to see each other as much as possible whenever I am back home or whenever she has time to travel to France, we realised we never went on a trip together. So we lay our virtual agendas side by side and decided to pick a weekend to go somewhere, just the two of us. That her relationship of years and years just stranded naturally added to the urgency to plan a fun getaway. I let her take the pick – she was in a real need of thinking about anything else than her broken heart – and she indicated a high preference for some ‘beach-and-cocktail’ time. Crossing out some options, some too expensive and others just not cool enough, and Palma de Mallorca was left as the perfect destination: very reasonable flights (130 euros return!), a town right at the beach, a little bit of culture to explore, nice apartments for rent (Airbnb.com), and plenty of sun. The ideal spot for a four day escape from heartbreak-reality and where better to catch up than a terrace with a cocktail in your hand or a towel at the beach?! Mid May cannot come soon enough!

Being a detective. There are few things during the week (besides a good work out) that relax me as much as solving a murder. Not in real life of course (I would probably not relax at all when standing over a dead body), but in the world of television. We watched the second final episode of True Detective with the brilliant Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. If you are not following it, wait until the final episode is on this Sunday in the US and binge-watch the whole season. The first few episodes are a little slow, but set the tone for the big murder mystery pretty well, and towards the end of the season things are speeding and heating up. It’s well-written, the story haunting and dark, and it benefits from a stellar cast. I won’t reveal anything about the plot here, but the reviews on IMDB say enough. If True Detective is not your thing, try The Killing (which has three real good seasons now and the fourth one is coming out this year) or The Bridge (forget about the American remake, it’s terrible, and watch the original Swedish/Danish version).

A fun-packed weekend with friends and my lover. Weekend will kick off awesome style with a birthday bash of a friend of mine (whose real age I’ll never find out because he keeps it a secret for basically everyone) and a few glasses of champagne. That promises to be a good start of two days of non-working. Saturday we’ll have dinner with two of my favourite people (who happen to be a great couple too) at a new Japanese restaurant in town: Tsubame. The spot serves tapas food Japanese style. Curious to try it out and I’ll share my thoughts on it here soon. Sundays are for relaxing, de-stressing, and all other things lovely. That includes a brunch with a few lady friends at one of the Parisian quais (watersides) at the Seine river, and a violin concert of the great Janine Jansen (who happens to be Dutch) at the amazing Salle Pleyel – a Valentine’s day gift from me to my man. Sunday evenings are reserved for homework (I started French classes like I promised in one of my previous posts!), and a good night’s sleep.

Hope your week was pretty awesome too, and that your weekend will be filled with blue skies!

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Categories: Life, Paris, Pretty Awesome Stuff

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