Sunday, April 27, 2008


The steady stream of visitors continues at Hotel Boulé. I was warned of this when we moved to Paris. I live in a destination vacation with a guest room. It's right up there with ocean side Caribbean resort. I adore all the visitors and am happy to receive all our friends but the pitfall is that everyone is on vacation and it's hard not to partake in the vacation festivities 24/7. This week we had three house guests, went out 5 nights out of 7, made fancy dinners and painted the town several coats of red. Spring Break Paris '08!!

The doorbell rang at 9:30AM a few days ago. I was in the kitchen and immediately went into Anne Frank mode. I naturally left the egg I was frying on the stove and went running in terror into the bedroom, dish towel in hand and a crazed look on my face.
ME (frantically whispered to FB): OH MY GOD!!! SOME MAN IS AT THE DOOOOOOOOOR AGAIN!!!"
FB: What kind of man?
ME: I DON'T KNOW!!!!??? How am I supposed to know what kind of man!!????"

As FB answered the door, I ran into the living room and frantically started cleaning while trying to look cool. It seems like that is my instinctual reaction to terror these days. If someone held a gun to my head, I'd probably start mopping. As FB returned from the door I could tell by the look on his face that the time had come. In his hand was the official eviction notice.

Hotel Boulé is closing for the season as we have six weeks to find an apartment and move. I am excited that the transitory period is coming to an end and I will finally have a home to unpack the 43 boxes we have in storage. I want my stuff. I want my blue lamp and my yellow cookie jar. I want walls I can paint purple and I don't want to run in terror every time the doorbell rings for fear of the police again with a search warrant.

The wind is a changin' and it's time to pick up the stakes and move along again.....happy trails mes amis, it's been fun.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


FB: "How about this one?"
ME: "No, my face looks like a fat chimp."
FB: "OK, this one?"
ME: "I look like a horse on sleeping pills."
FB: "OK, maybe this one?"
ME: "Yeah, if the title of my album was Triple Chins."
FB: "OK this? You look beautiful here."
ME: "Sure, if you're into giant bag eyes."
FB: "Where do you see any bags? There's NOTHING THERE."
ME: "If you truly cannot see the steam trunks of luggage under my eyes, then I don't know what to tell you. No way. This is NOT the album cover. NEXT."

My art direction for my album cover has been shamelessly narcissistic and simple:
Hot picture of me.

I don't really care what style, what colors, what genre, whatever. As long as I look smoking hot, it's AWESOME by me. I have picked apart at least 250 photos of myself, crazily scanning every inch of my face for the flaws. The major problem I have run into is that apparently in a photo shoot, my "sexy" look actually reads as "I hate you/die now/I am miserable and want to kill everyone."

Thankfully, before I had to resort to watching America's Next Top Model for clues (actually, I'm lying...I have already watched every episode of every season, who am I kidding?), FB found a treasure trove of photos he took of me in Coney Island before we left New York. The second I saw them, it hit me. These are the album art.

Coming soon, hehe.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


"You will learn to speak it better from women and children in three months than from men in a year." --Thomas Jefferson on the French language in a letter to T.M. Randolph, 1787

I thought by having a French husband, I would learn French easily. I mean, I have a native French speaker living right under my roof! PERFECT! I dreamily pictured the long, complicated, philosophical discussions we would have in French about art, religion, politics, love, life... And if I slipped up the French language, he is right there, gently correcting yet succinctly explaining the hows and whys of his mother tongue.

Sigh, oh how naive I was.
It simply does not work that way.

My questions about French are met with either silence, dead eyes or the "you can't touch me in my special place" look, or a mumbled answer too fast for me to catch one word of. Or, more often than not, a mumbled answer too fast for me to catch one word of that also has 25 parts, 46 subsections and a 34 minute explanation spiraling into another 65 unrelated topics, rendering everything he just said completely useless.
Why is asking what the plural is of a word so often painstakingly complicated?
I don't want 87 answers.
I want one.
Spoken clearly and preferably in slow motion with your lips moving like a cartoon.
I want black and white.
Right and wrong.
And some straight lines while you're at it.
I adore him dearly, but a French teacher he is not.

OK. After only four months, I KNOW I am low on the patience. I am frustrated and cranky that my comprehension lies below that of a two year old. When I am at a party like I was last night, where everyone is speaking French, I cannot make out one word above the white noise. Even though everyone I met spoke perfect English and I had a lovely time, I still INSISTED on making each person I met suffer through at least 5 minutes of my 2 year old talk. It's as though I am more embarrassed that I only speak one language. Who cares if all I can say is the equivalent of GOO GOO GA GA? At least it's in FRENCH.

How many languages would a Kung Fu master speak? More than one.
An international jetsetter? DEF more than one.
A dark haired woman of mystery who might possibly be involved in international espionage? AT LEAST FOUR. DUH.

So I will continue to ask as many questions as I have. I will continue to try and decipher the whispered/I'm speaking in code/Merlin riddle answers and I will continue to say "GOOGOO GAGA ME LIKEY YOUR CHEESE" to strangers at parties.

Why? Because one of these days, the airplane I am traveling on from New York to Moscow will emergency land in a small village in France. The passengers will all panic and the pilot will announce "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DOES ANYONE SPEAK FRENCH?!@#"
I will quietly rise from seat 1A in first class, gently set my my champagne cocktail down, brush off my black Chanel suit, flip back the hair from in front of my giant dark sunglasses and huskily proclaim while turning 3/4 to catch the optimal light...

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Yesterday on my taxi ride to St. Pancras train station in London, the driver asked me where I was going. When I told him I was returning to Paris, he asked, "Do ya work in Paris then or ah you a lady of leisure?" I laughed when he said that as I suddenly got a picture of myself leisuring...giant pink house coat, feathery stilettos, stuffing my face with chocolate and drinking champagne straight from the bottle while watching French soap operas. "No", I answered, "I am not a lady of leisure. I'm a musician. I just finished my album here in London and am returning to Paris to launch it there."


Last night FB brought me champagne and the best steak I ever ate, cooked to perfection. We sat on the couch and listened to the final master of the album and smiling ear to ear. It turned out EXACTLY like I wanted it to. Now onto the CD artwork so I can release this sucker asap before I become a Laaaady of Leeeeeisure (which is now the title of my next electro record).

Monday, April 14, 2008


This is my personal nightmare on a plate. I once started hyperventilating and crying at a restaurant when the "seafood tower" my friends ordered arrived and I was visually assaulted by giant cockroach like bug creatures staring at me at eye level only inches from my face.
Apparently this is what I ordered for dinner last night.

I found myself at a large dinner with 15 French people in the Brittany area of France. I got my first glimpse of the French side of the Atlantic Ocean and was very excited to eat at the seafood restaurant we went to. I've gotten used to the surprise element when ordering food in a foreign language. I never get what I think it will be. It's actually best that I DON'T understand because I doubt I would end up ordering half the things I do if I really knew what they were. Half the time I just take the easy route and order whatever FB has. "Oui moi aussi" (me too) has become a popular phrase of mine.
Dinner went something like this....

FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH waitress asks for drink orders FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH FB says "one" FRENCH FRENCH guy next to FB says "two" FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH I naturally say "three" FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH three giant gallon tumblers of beer arrived FRENCH FRENCH i don't even like beer that much FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH oh well FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH waitress asks for dinner orders FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH i say "uh, yea i'd like le panaché" FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH pretend I understand FRENCH FRENCH FRENCH

Bugs on a plate arrive.

ME: (whispered to JB) I don't know what to do here, I'm about to flip out.
FB: (picks up crab and moves it in my direction) eek eek eek eek, look, he likes you.
ME: (crazed whisper) Get that the hell away from me! Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT make it pretend move. I DON'T find it funny and I am going to seriously scream and you will be mortified by my loud American meltdown in front of EVERYONE. DO NOT MAKE THE FOOD PRETEND MOVE. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!
FB: ok, ok. (pause) But you know the oysters are alive.
FB: Yes, they are. You don't eat dead oysters. (he goes to move one)
FB: but watch, if you pour this vinegar on them and..
FB: ok, fine!

I quickly summed up the situation and realized that I was in the middle of the table and there was simply no escaping this one. I took a deep breath and decided for once, the sea bugs were NOT going to send me running. I decided to cross my eyes a little bit so everything went blurry. Better to look slightly retarded than to lose it crying on the floor in front of strangers. My best plan of attack would be to remove all the heads and the eyes as quickly as possible. Shrieking inside, one by one I tore off the heads while trying to think of happpy thoughts like rainbows and gummy bears. After strangling all the shrimp, I arranged them in a circle like the Pathmark generic shrimp cocktail circles. Uncrossed eyes a little. There. Much better. Crossing my eyes again, I moved on to the pretend alive oysters and just slurped them all down without looking to see if they were actually moving. DIE OYSTER, DIE!

After my eye crossing headache began to take it's toll, I focused my eyes for a moment to really take in the plate of destroyed bugs I had effectively disemboweled and sucked the guts out of.
I did it.
One step closer to actually eating frog legs....(cue the gag reflex) steps, baby steps....

Friday, April 11, 2008


Without really giving it much forethought, I did the unspeakable. The unthinkable. The UNCONSCIONABLE. In one sentence, I managed to summon up the ghosts of ten centuries of conflict...writhing demons from yesteryear, howling and shooting fire straight from the Battle Of Hastings directly into my living room.

Upon returning to Paris from London, I turned to my French husband and casually declared "you know, I think the food in London is way better than Paris."

In the distance I hear a rumbling...
A sloooow sinking feeling that I have just stepped straight into a historical beehive.
Hmmmm, I think....don't think THIS is gonna go ooover so well.
The rumbling in the distance quickly approaches, black smoldering smoke as the fiery cannonball releases and aims directly for my American skull.

"ARE YOU FUCKING SEEEEERIOOUS?!!!!!", King Philip II Of France roars (now in the form of my enraged husband).



" had a lot of sushi there and some uh...really good Indian food and...."

"EXACTEMENT!!! SUSHI and INDIAN food. NOT BRITISH FOOD! BRITISH FOOD EES DEEESGUSTING!" (as his face twists into utter disdain, he draws his sword and I see my reflection in the flames of his eyes, must think quickly)

"Wull...all I'm trying to say is that um, I ate a lot healthier food there and like, they have take out and delivery food, not like here. And like, I REALLY like the steak frites and paté and duck and headcheese and all that stuff here but I just haven't found the good Asian or maybe Indian restaurants here maybe and..."

"You want INDIAN FOOD? I'LL show you INDIAN FOOD! Passage Brady is a ten minute walk from here. That's IT. WE'RE GOING. NOW!" (he rears on his horse and reaches down to grab me violently and whisk me off to a row of Indian restaurants)

"No wait, it's cool, it's cool!! Yeah TOTALLY, I know what you're saying and that's like, TOTALLY what I'm saying TOO. I just need to LOOK HARDER here, you're absolutely right."

(He dismounts from his horse and stands, armor drawn so the full Hundred Years War effect will burn itself into my memory)
"You weel take thees back what you say and you weel say to me ze FRENCH food ees superior and you weel NEVER say eet again ze BRITISH food ees better. Eet ees NOT BETTER."

"Yeah dude, totally. French food is really tasty. In fact, I could go for a steak frites RIGHT NOW."

(I sense the retreat of the fire as he lowers his sword) "OKAY. NOW we are talking. You want steak frites? I breeng you right now to ze best Cote de Boeuf een ALL OF PARIS."

Whoa. I narrowly escaped the guillotine with that one and I know now to choose my words more carefully when comparing historical rivals. But as I chowed down my steak frites later that evening and listened to the list of restaurants and other food items we are going to try, I somehow think this worked to my advantage as I envision our impending food tour. I may have just insulted his nationality but he wants to prove me wrong and I am happy to eat my way across Paris proving him right.

Sometimes you just need to light a little fire. YUMMMMMMMYYYY.....

Monday, April 07, 2008


Shot from the local taxidermy shop.

I had a dream last night in which I was trying to hide a grand piano from the police. I rolled it down the street at night in slow motion. All I could hear was the rumble of the wheels on the pavement, the swish of wind in the bushes and the quiet exhales of my own breath. Rumble, roll, swish, breath, rumble, roll, swish, breath...the dream seemed to float on forever. I finally rolled the piano into an open theatre but there was no place to hide it so I pushed it into the back of the darkened stage and stood in front of it, making myself as big as I could in an effort to hide it.
The End.

Not too hard to figure that one out. Tomorrow is our last day of mixing. The end is near and I am about to bare my most personal songs out there like a skeleton thrown to an audience of taxidermied dogs.

At least I know I'll have a rapt audience who are glued to their seats.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


What the hell, London? SERIOUSLY. I've been cold since OCTOBER and I'm DONE.
Take your freakshow snowstorm and SHOVE IT.

You can't just dangle some candy, START springtime and then do a FULL ON TAKE BACK. But on a lighter note, Scotch Beef guy both disturbs and amuses me on so many different levels.

Friday, April 04, 2008


And just like that....SPRINGTIME HAS SPRRRRRRRUNG. The flowers apparently bloomed overnight in London and this morning's walk to the studio was a Snow White-esque jaunt through tweeting birds, butterflies and smiling faces. I feel a country-wide collective mood lift as everything and everyone looks better drenched in sunshine. I had the urge to burst into "Who Will Buy?" and wished I had packed a skirt and an old timey milkmaid hat. My fake accent threatens to rear it's head if this weather keeps up. I had a flare up of Madonna-itis when I answered the grocery store clerk yesterday with an affected "sorry" (came out more like sohrey). I wanted to punch myself in the face after I said it but I resorted to verbally berating myself internally during the walk back to the studio until I realized I was doing the berating in the fake accent.
Screw it. When in London....

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Just call me a murderer.
Or better yet, an abandoner.
Or in reality, just another stupid idiot moron who loses her shit all the time.

Once again, I saved up my money to purchase something that I really really needed and once again, I had them in my possession for all of two weeks before they met their demise somewhere, somehow. I waited to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase these "best $100 I ever spent" headphones and now they live in some other person's hands. Or most likely, they are rotting in a trash can somewhere. Either way, I promised myself when I bought them that THIS TIME WOULD BE DIFFERENT. DIFFERENT than the time I accidentally sold my passport for 50 cents because it was stuck in a purse I sold at a yard sale. DIFFERENT than the all times I dropped a wad of cash somewhere, DIFFERENT than the dozens of jackets, hats, wallets, books, CD players, ipods, plane tickets, scarves I have dropped, misplaced or thrown out over the years.
In fact, the day before I lost these headphones, I managed to drop my scarf somewhere on the street AND IT WAS TIED AROUND MY NECK AT THE TIME.
You tell me HOW exactly that is possible and I'll show you the high level of professionalism I bring to involuntarily donating my belongings.
If you lose something around me, check the trash can. My talent is not limited to my own things.

I wanted to believe this time would be different.
I get pissed off every time, spend two days cursing before I kiss goodbye to another "thing". Sigh. At least this makes me less of a pack rat.

How am I supposed to stare out the window and play "I'm in a music video" while listening to my finished album on the train ride back to Paris next week?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008



Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Yesterday I recorded the last song on my album on the very same piano that P.J. Harvey recorded her whole last album White Chalk on (her producer's studio is in the same complex here at Kilburn Studios). Of course, my first reaction when told this was "well DUH, we are SO BFF". When I meet her I will breezily say..."yeeeeah, I TOTES recorded my last album on that piano TOO" or "Hey PJ, remember that time at that studio where we used the same piano to record our albums on? Remember that time? Remember?" or "Oh my god, we're like, the SAAAAAMMMMMMME!" or "Wow, your last album sounds SO MUCH like the piano I used on MY know, the one I recorded in NEW YORK and LONDON. Did I mention I live in PARIS?"

Seriously, P.J. Come off it. I have brown hair and frown a lot too.
You KNOW we're BFF.

xo Dana Christine