Browsing Posts published in June, 2012

What a big load of joy this picture thing has been for me. Next week I’ll tell you all about my excursion to immigration hell, but for now I’m keeping this going so I don’t actually poke my own eye out with a fork from frustration.

From Bipolar Disorder expert (ah, those were the days) to bi-coastal arse expert. For a book that is not easily available in the U.S. it sure gets around the land of the free. Just the other day, the little blook was basking in the California sun and the glare from sparkly awards and sequined dresses. Through the magic of the internet it’s been transported from the land of silicone to the land of show tunes.

Here is yet another famous person (not photo-shopped, I swear) who graciously agreed to pose with a copy of my doodles. Mesdames et Messieurs I give you Vivian Swift, author of When Wanderers Cease to Roam and Le Road Trip, two of the most beautiful books ever created.

Vivian was instrumental in getting this book written. She helped me all along the way and here she is helping me again in fine NYC style. I just hope some drunk and disorderly, fancy-pants NYC publisher will see how good it looks in Times Square, send me a squillion dollar contract and plaster it all over Amazon.com. If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.

 

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You know, it’s funny the people you come to meet on the web, people you would never, ever come across in your day to day life. Shortly after I started the blog (2 years ago next week, wow), just before I left Canada, I got a call from the woman who bought most of the contents of our house. She had a friend from LA visiting who had taken up the blog and was loving it. I was invited to come see how my stuff was doing in its new role as her stuff and to meet the LA Goddess herself who has now become a friend.

Finders will know her as regular commenter Tisha. She is a remarkable woman who picked up sticks to live in London, working as a costume professional in the film industry. Then she picked it all up again, this time to Hollywood where she now lives. Her next adventure will be into the field of homepathy. She’s like totally awesome, like a total amazing robo-babe and no, she doesn’t actually talk like that. That’s me trying to be all Valley girl. Anyway, she loves the blog and she also loves the book…

Now you can see a few awards around there right? I’m getting to that. But first, Madame LA Goddess read the book once, then twice, then said, “Hmmm…”

“Maybe my husband would like this. He loves France. And he probably wants to read about some Newfie talking about her arse ad nauseum.” So she gave it to him to read.

You can see he’s enthralled, blown away by the rich prose and the pictures of dramatically positioned donkeys and chickens. And he would know a little about pictures and such. You see this man is none other than Dean Cundey, a Hollywood legend. He is the guru of cinematography and shot a few little films like Halloween (he was the pioneer of the steadycam), the Back to the Future trilogy, Jurassic Park, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Oscar nomination), Apollo 13 and too many others to mention and, many years ago, the film that began my love affair with movies, Where the Red Fern Grows.

I’m a huge fan of Dean’s work, so to see him holding my book is quite a thrill. Thanks Dean and thanks Tisha (I’m a huge fan of yours as well) for nagging him to pose.

I’ll leave you with this last moment of glory…

My fantasy is he’s thinking: Hey. Yeah. I’d like to shoot a film in France…

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Photo Opportunist

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As a recovering psychiatrist I’m obliged to begin by saying that guilt is one of the most destructive forces on the planet. The cure is to always remember that guilt is a choice. Blah, blah, blah. I’m retired so now I think it entirely appropriate to use guilt as a mechanism to manipulate people to satisfy my selfish needs. I knew if I whined enough someone would send me pictures with the book (I never doubted you for a second).

Here’s my amazing publisher Donna with one of the many copies at her disposal. God love her. How she survives dealing with me remains a mystery. She’s one cool customer.

Here’s a great one of 2 psychiatrists, Melanie and Dawn, former colleagues of mine, who decided the psychiatry conference they were attending needed a little injection of humour. It’s extraordinary how supportive they’ve been of my decision to run away. Thanks for everything ladies.

Next, Ben relaxing at his cottage. I’m especially flattered by this one because, according to his husband Nate, Ben hasn’t read a book in 10 years. He tends to lean toward the magazine-toilet combination, which explains his draw to this particular book.

Not to be outdone, Ben’s buddy Boone also had a go. He writes the book review column for the Globe and Mail, so I hope he liked it.

Here’s Kathleen’s little reading corner with a close-up of the best blook ever written.

And, perhaps the pièce de résistance, a pose with 2 of my neighbour Jean-Claude’s most outstanding vintages.

This is the most fun I’ve had with my clothes on. Who am I kidding? I haven’t had fun with my clothes off since middle age set in, too much work trying to keep everything in the right place. Next time I have a real treat for you, real live famous people and the blook, no photoshop required. Stay tuned…

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Keeping the Faith

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Well, here it is Friday morning and I got nothing. RIEN! Unwisely, I spent last night reading, doing laundry and sighing loudly at regular intervals in a desperate (and unsuccessful) attempt to distract Rusty from the Portugal vs. Czech Republic match. I thought I’d have all kinds of pictures to post today so I wasn’t concerned that there was no goofy tale of my latest humiliation.

I suppose the good news is the lack of blog material means that for the last 3 or 4 days I haven’t done anything particularly embarrassing. The bad news is nobody sent me a picture like I asked (she sniffs as her tears splash on the keyboard). I’ll have to make do with my make believe readers. This one is my favourite so far… Continue reading “Keeping the Faith” »

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So last Sunday I was invited to lunch, always a special affair here in France. Picture a French farmhouse, a table under a tree with a blue tablecloth to match the clear blue sky, fine wine, roasted chicken and potatoes, beans from the garden, and of course, the requisite baguette. As is befitting a guest of my stature, I was charged with the sacred task of slicing the bread.

Now I’m no chef but I was pretty confident that I could serve up a loaf of bread. In the end it proved too much for me. With my trademark grace, I managed to hack off a crusty end and shoot the rest of the loaf like a ballistic missile straight into the ground. Our gracious hosts, who shall remain nameless (Anne and Michel), didn’t mind eating bread with bits of grass and gravel stuck to it, so all was well. You can’t say I don’t bring an element of entertainment to the table. Which brings me to my actual point: entertainment.

Lately I’ve been a little short on pleasing diversion what with being up to my eyeballs in paperwork. So I need a little pick-me-up. I’ve been entertaining you crowd for quite some time now and I rarely ask for anything in return, although cash and jewels are always accepted. The other day a few folks sent me pictures of themselves reading the book and I must say it cheered me to no end. Continue reading “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” »

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Career View Mirror

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I don’t know what riveting activities occupied you this fine weekend but I can tell you my Saturday was rockin’. I spent the better part of the day doing something I’ve been putting off for a while now. I finally opened a file on my desktop called CV. Yes, after 2 long years, my dusty resumé was excavated from the bowels of my computer. I’ve been meaning to update it for ages, but I’ve been stuck on how to mix fancy pants psychiatrist with author of book about croissant gorging and the state of my arse. Tricky, very tricky.

Anyway, it’s time to start reflecting on my next career move, so the logical first step was to have a look back at what I’d done so far. All I could think as I was reading through my work history was who the hell is this about? After a couple of years in pajamas chained to a laptop and a plate of pastry, it’s hard to believe that I ever did anything of significance. I must say I look a whole lot smarter on paper. Continue reading “Career View Mirror” »

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Jaysus, what a whirlwind. I’m a victim. But, overall, my trip was a great success: residence permit is in progress, bank account was established, a business that allows Rusty to continue as my minion was registered. Yet I can’t help but feel defeated. Defeated and summarily rejected.

See, for me, moving is all about the dwelling. In case you’ve forgotten, my better two-thirds and I have a long history of homes. Buying, renovating, selling and so on. Other people have kids, we have buildings. I thought I was cured of my obsession with living spaces. As is so rarely the case, I am wrong.

In the midst of all the immigration mess, I fell in love with an apartment in Vevey. Oh it was too small. Oh it was too expensive. There was no elevator. The closets were tiny. My sensible self knew that this was folly of the highest order. But who can explain the mystery of the giraffe heart? It was the huge balcony (with its view of trees and mountains and sweet, Swissy houses), the herringbone wood floors and the charming Italian gentleman/building manager that lured me in. Within 10 minutes of walking through the door, I was mentally hanging pictures and nagging Neil for fondue. Continue reading “Back in the Saddle Again” »

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The only action movie hero I have ever loved is Jason Bourne and any fan will know that I stole my title today from the movies. Even if you’re not a fan of Matt Damon racing about the globe as a modern day MacGyver, the title applies quite nicely to my little excursion here in Switzerland.

The Great Paper Caper continues. I’m worn out with it all but much progress is being made. We’ve made applications for all kinds of stuff and it feels like we’ve been to every official building in the town of Vevey. It’s all a bit surreal, but in what is likely the paradox of the century, I now have something I never once expected to have, especially given my current state of affairs: a bland, unassuming white folder with a tiny logo in the top left hand corner.

Incredibly, I have a Swiss bank account. It was an interesting experience to enter the world’s most famous money system. Extremely pleasant, extremely efficient. We were treated like royalty despite our less than regal funds. Plus, I love a bank that hands you its own brand of white, milk and dark Swiss chocolate at the end of a transaction. Continue reading “Look At What They Make You Give” »

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Paper Chase

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Oh. My. Jaysus. Well, just as I suspected, I’m in immigration hell. The rigamarole involved in trying to become Swiss residents is a small cauchemar (nightmare). But, as a Swiss friend reminded me today, hell in Switzerland is an oxymoron. Which works very well for me — I too am a moron.

Anyway, back in the day when I was thinking and shrinking for a living, whenever I ran into situations that frustrated the arse off me (like, every 2-3 hours), I would ask somebody on the team to pass me a fork to stick in my eye, accompanied by a dramatic pantomime of me stabbing myself in the eye with cutlery (so professional, me). I’m proud to say that this became my trademark, a Bobbi-ism if you will. Well, to anyone who has ever worked with me, I ask you, is this not the perfect town for me?

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to take in the sights of Vevey today, what with all the friggin’ paperwork and sudden, violent rainstorms, but still, I can’t help but be undone by this place. I love it here. I must to be seeking this kind of chaos.

Wish me luck Finders. Tomorrow is another day of the Great Immigration-a-thon. Forms, forms and more forms, a brainstorm session about my much talked about return to the land of the working, two apartments to see that I can’t really afford. I can’t help but feel there’s a storm brewing…

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Swiss Miss

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So I haven’t forgotten about that decision, that move to Switzerland or stay right where I am thing. It’s a hard one, a true win-win situation if ever there was one. Certainly all your feedback was very helpful. I must say I was surprised that so many of you were in favour of it. I was expecting a bunch of “don’t you dare” and “are you mental” sort of comments. But I’m on to you. I imagine the possibility of endless additions to the humiliation chronicles is what leads you to encourage me toward this madness.

The other day, iScott (technical blog wizard and expert in getting people unstuck – mentally, that is) gave me a psychological test he developed designed to uncover the unconscious processes that influence decision making. It was really enlightening and interesting and confirmed what I probably already knew. Viva Vevey. Let the fumbling and bumbling begin, and let it begin tout de suite. Continue reading “Swiss Miss” »

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You know, it takes a strong marriage to do what we’ve done. As I contemplate the next stage of our adventure, I feel comforted by the solid nature of Us. I wouldn’t have gotten into any of this if I thought our alliance couldn’t bear the weight of such a caper. Over the years we’ve endured many a challenge and overall I think we’re better for it. Certainly we’ve learned and grown a great deal, both as individuals and as people who’ve pledged to love, honour and disobey each other through thick and thin.

This past weekend I was reminded of just how far we’ve come. About a year into my relationship with Neil, I asked him a stupid question. Some of the details are fuzzy but I think we were watching Sleepless in Seattle and I made the colossal error of asking him how long he’d wait to date again if I died. Serious as a terminal illness, he said, “I’d say a month.” Call me a romantic but this answer left me a little cold. Let’s see, a week for my cremation, televised funeral, lying in state fanfare and national parades and then, just three weeks later, he’s buying drinks for some spray-tanned floozie in a sequined tube top and hooker heels. Continue reading “Till Death Do Us Part” »

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One way to look at today’s post is to see it as a flagrant act of self-indulgence. The other way to look at it is to see a geeky first time author so excited that a professional reviewer said so many nice things about her book, she just couldn’t help herself. It’s one thing to have someone write a positive review, it’s quite another when you can tell how much they really loved your book. I’ve decided that if there are any others, I may not be able to bring myself to read them. It’s spoiled me for good.

If you are so inclined, all you have to do is look under “What People Are Saying” and click on “read the whole article” in the first quote by Monsieur Mark Vaughan-Jackson in this link (the book page here on le blog). Click and drag your cursor anywhere on the page to move the article up and down and see what you think of it.

I couldn’t be happier with it if I wrote it myself. Poor Neil. Since this came out I’ve been more insufferable than ever. I keep walking around the housette with a print-out, quoting hourly from it. I think he’s hoping this will be my first and last print review. Fine by me.

 

 

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Why would anyone in their right mind, at the exact moment of final immigration that took 18 months to secure, want to move to another country? I say it depends entirely on which mind and which country. Let me tell you how I came to be considering this new level of chaos.

Once the book was published, Rusty and I had several long chats about what was next for us. May I remind you that he’s been supporting us for almost 2 years now. While I say doing laundry and sipping wine counts for a lot, it was never my intention to be unemployed forever. I haven’t ruled out the position of Euromillions lottery winner, but the time has come for me to figure out what to do with myself. And in our discussions one fact became very clear. Whatever I decided to do, it would likely not be done in a French town of 4000 people.

We thought about Paris, ooh la la, but in reality way too big and hectic for me. We thought about medium sized towns in France, but we feared feeling isolated moving to a place where we had no connections at all. As we were reflecting, I had been talking with a friend who lives in Zurich who has more connections than the internet. We talked a lot about Switzerland and how much she enjoys it there. She introduced me to another incredibly connected woman who happens to live in Vevey and she’s agreed to meet with me to brainstorm about a career path. Continue reading “Fortune Favours the Foolish” »

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