tiresome moi

pendant ce temps, à Paris

shoulders of words/ Lipstick traces 034


Lipstick traces, pont Alexander III – 11 June 201620160611 Lipstick traces, pont Alexander III


One hundred years ago today, in Zurich, Hugo Ball (1886 – 1927) introduced the world to Dada.


“How does one achieve eternal bliss? By saying dada. How does one become famous? By saying dada. With a noble gesture and delicate propriety. Till one goes crazy. Till one loses consciousness.”


The full text of the Dada Manifesto read by Hugo Ball at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich on 14 July 1916.


It’s shorter than I’d expected.




Lipstick traces 033

Lipstick Traces, ave René-Coty – 24 June 201620160624 Lipstick traces


La Destruction fut ma Béatrice. – Mallarmé*




*“Destruction was my Beatrice.” – Stéphane Mallarmé in a letter to Eugène Lefébure written Monday 27 Mai 1867.



Two dead mice

Dead mouse, rue de Biggore* – 25 June 201620160625 Mouse, rue de Bigorre


Rats are a regular part of my evening rambles but I rarely see mice. The last time I remember seeing a mouse was on Central Park West in New York, four or five years ago. It was a tiny pinkie, too small to live very long on its own. A young woman and a man she didn’t know where trying to decide what to do about/with it. It’s odd that I have such a clear memory of that mouse.


*rue de Biggore

51 meters long

7 meters wide

Formerly depressingly called chemin de servitude

Became rue de Biggore on 1 February 1877

Named for a mountain range (or maybe just some hills) in the Pyrénées

Not here

Not here* (rue Sainte Anne) – 17 June 201620160617 Not here next to K-Mart



The photo above was taken in the entrance to the parking garage beside K-Mart**. I’ve been lax with my anti-pissoir posts but I think this counts even if it’s less durable than iron or stone. For a few months last year I attempted to keep track of all the instances of public urination I encountered. I have a note on my phone titled Public Urination***. I just looked at the list, I think public urination is actually down since then. Or maybe I’m just not out as much or not out in the right/wrong places. So far in 2016, I’m averaging one public pisser a month. Of course now that I’ve said that I’ve probably jinxed myself.




**K-Mart is a Japanese/Korean grocery store and one of my favorite food shops in Paris. They sell everything from sushi grade fish and unfiltered saki to shiso leaves and (dozens of brands of) ramen.


K-Mart (Opera)

8 rue Sainte Anne

Paris 75001

Open 7 days a week, 10:00 – 9:00


***For various reasons this is only a partial list. All sightings are in Paris unless otherwise noted. Re-reading the list reminded me why I started it in the first place. I’d been at a dinner where I was the only non-French person, typically, I was asked what I liked and disliked about living in Paris. My dislikes where: dog shit everywhere and men pissing in public. Everyone at the table said that the dog shit situation was better than it had been but there was a clear divide between men and women as to whether there was really a pissing problem. The women agreed that public pissers were a nuisance, the men claimed not to be aware of the problem. On the way from dinner to our next destination, I was vindicated when I man jumped out of car stopped at a light, ran between our group, and began unbuckling beside an electrical box. He did not actually relieve himself as all six of us stopped beside him and I pulled out my phone to take a picture. The man’s friends, waiting in the car, alerted him to the fact that he was being observed so he zipped up and ran back to his car (probably cursing us). I started the list so that the next time I was told I was exaggerating/imagining the pissing problem I could counter with dates and times. I stopped updating the list one afternoon while strolling through the Bois de Boulogne deciding I’d rather enjoy the park then keep my eyes peeled for pissers.


Public Urination

12/1/15 17:00

avenue du General Leclerc

Long hair, drunk, pissed right into the street


11/12/15 13:13

Bald man in bright colored sweater with a large dog

rue du Montparnasse


Tuesday, 17 February 2015, 17:30

Peeing against a white van. Brown hair, brown leather shoes, brown leather satchel, jeans, early 40s.


Thursday, 26 Feb 2015, 17:12

Peeing against a Mercedes Vito 111CDI, wearing gray


Saturday, 8 March 2015

12:50: 30s black hair, boots, works for one of the fruit sellers at the Port Royall Market


18:09: 60’s ragged, dirty clothes


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

12:09: Clean shaven, 30″s, black pants and coat

12:12: Second man in less than five minutes

16:06: 7 or 8, red track suit, I probably shouldn’t count boys under 10


No date 19:37

Les Halles blue shirt with thin white stripes, tall, twenties


No date 1:32

Black leather jacket, black pants, neatly trimmed facial hair early thirties. Jules Favre, Lyon


Sunday, 29 March 2015, 11:34

20s, blond, facial hair, jeans. Lyon, rue Gerba?


1 avril 2015 14:17 parish Saint-Vincent-de-Paul thin, jeans, dark hair


Monday, 6 April 2015, Bois de Boulogne

18:46: Blue shorts, beige shirt, short dark hair


18:52: Gray hair, glasses, striped scarf, black pants, black coat, backpack


Well, dog my cats!

Cute dog at Franprixdog at the grocery store


Yesterday, I looked up French proverbs and expressions containing the word “chat/chatte.” There were many more than I’d expected. As it happens, there are also a whole lot of English expressions with the word “cat” in them.



Who’s she, the cat’s mother?

When the cat’s away, the mice will play,

A cat in gloves catches no mice.

Curiosity killed the cat. (Satisfaction brought her back.)

There are many ways to skin a cat.

Look at what the cat dragged in!

You look like something the cat dragged in.

Cat got your tongue?

All cats are gray in the dark/at night.

Well, dog my cats!

It’s raining cats and dogs.

You have as much chance as a wax cat in hell.

Cats have nine lives.

not enough room to swing a cat

like a cat on a hot tin roof/on hot bricks

[put the] cat among the pigeons

a cat may look at a king

a cat nap

a fat cat

a scaredy/fraidy-cat

alley cat

like herding cats

purr like a cat

weak as a kitten

to be the cat’s whiskers

bell the cat

play cat and mouse

cat ice


like a cat in the/a sack

let the cat out of the bag

fight like cats and dogs

fight like Kilkenny cats

cat’s cradle (a string game)

he/she is the cat’s meow

the cat’s pajamas

as conceited as a barber’s cat

he/she’s a cool cat

dead cat on the line

dead cat bounce

faster than a cat lapping chain lightning

feel as if a cat has kittened in (one’s) mouth

grin like a Cheshire cat

like the cat that got the cream

to look like the cat that swallowed the canary

mad enough to kick a cat

have a kick at the cat

see which way the cat jumps


*Not as unsavory as I’d imagined: catsup; ketchup.



The Farlex Dictionary of Idioms, there you can click on the entries to find their meanings.


Happy Bloomsday!

Bon chat, bon rat


Chat, rue du Roi de SicileGraffiti cat large, Paris

This morning, I happened upon the expression « Quand le chat n’est pas là, les souris dansent » which translates to « When the cat’s not there the mice dance.» French mice dance, English mice play: When the cat’s away the mice will play.
I’m not a soccer fan so instead of watching the France/Albania match I thought I’d look up French proverbs and expressions containing the word « chat/chatte. » Turns out here are a lot of them. I’ve only included English translations when a direct equivalent came quickly to mind.

Les proverbes et expressions liés au chat/chatte



« Chat échaudé craint l’eau froide »

« Les chiens ne font pas des chats »

« La nuit, tous les chats sont gris »

« Il ne faut pas réveiller le chat qui dort » « Let sleeping dogs lie»

« Ne faites pas confiance au chat quand il y a du poisson au menu »

« Ne faites pas comme un chat qui cache ses ongles »

« Peu importe que le chat soit gris ou noir pourvu qu’il attrape les souris »

« Qui est né chat pourchasse les souris »

« Le chat aime manger le poisson, mais pas le pêcher »

« Si les chats gardent les chèvres, qui attrapera les souris ? »

« Le chat a reçu un ordre et il l’a transmis à sa queue. »

« On ne saurait retenir le chat quand il a goûté à la crème. »

« Chat timide fait souris effrontée. »



chatte : organes génitaux féminins



« avoir des yeux de chat »

« avoir un chat dans la gorge » « to have a frog in one’s throat »

« être gourmand(e) comme un(e) chat(te) »

« donner sa langue au chat » « cat’s got your tongue »

« acheter chat en poche/sac »

« avoir d’autres chats à fouetter » « to have other fish to fry »

« il n’y a pas de quoi fouetter un chat »

« être comme chien et chat » « (fight) like cats and dogs »

« il n’y a pas un chat »

« appeler un chat un chat » « to call a spade a spade »

« jouer à chat » « play tag »

« jouer au chat et à la souris »

« jouer comme un chat avec une souris » « (cruelly) to toy with someone »

« jeter le chat aux jambes de quelqu’un »

« retomber comme un chat sur ses pattes »

« emporter le chat »

« pipi de chat »

« Passer comme un chat sur la braise »

« De la bouillie pour les chats »

« Écrire comme un chat »

« Faire une toilette de chat » « sponge bath; army shower»

« Aller comme un chat maigre »

« Une chatte n’y retrouverait pas ses petits »

« Cela ferait pisser un chat par la patte »

« Jeter le bout au chat »

« une vie de chat »

« coûter le lard du chat »

« s’entendre comme chien et chat »

« passer comme un chat sur la braise »

« payer en chats et en rats »

« avoir trop de chats à courir »

« lâcher la queue du chat »

« propre comme une écuelle à chat »

« un oiseau pour le chat »

« Qui étrangle le chat? »

« laisser aller le chat au fromage »

« À chacun son chat. »

« Dès que les chats seront chausses. »

« amoureuse comme une chatte »

« Un peti chat apprend bien à pisser. »



Liste de proverbes et expressions sur le chat

Expressions et proverbes avec le mot “chat”



Tall Bike, rue Cabanis 1 – 17 May 2016Tall Bike, rue Cabanis

Tall Bike, rue Cabanis 2 – 17 May 2016Tall Bike, rue Cabanis 2

Tall Bike, rue Cabanis 3 – 17 May 2016Tall Bike, rue Cabanis 3



A few weeks ago I passed a double-decker bike chained to a light post on rue Cabanis. I stopped, ogled, then took a few pictures. After doing some internet exploring* this evening, I’m pretty sure the bike above is TallTwin. You can see TallTwin in action here.


*I started by looking for double-decker bikes but quickly learned that I was looking for a Tall Bike, not to be confused with an Upside-down bike. An early version, perhaps the mother of the Tall Bike, was called a Giraffe bike (un velo giraffe), also known as the Eiffel Tower Bicycle. The Eiffel Tower (Giraffe) Bicycle was designed by Parisian Leon Lyon and built in Beeston, Nottingham, England. You can read an article from the April 4. 1895 Toledo Blade titled: Eiffel Tower Bicycle here.


This site has great pictures of very old tall bikes like the 1896 Nelson Special and a 1915 ‘bunk bed’ vertical tandem.