And It’s Only Wednesday

So far, this week…

…I ran over a not-quite-yet-dead pigeon by accident with my shopping cart.

…My mobile phone died.

…My ATM card expired.

The bank told me to wait for the replacement card.

Which was sent in May.

…My credit card was cancelled, which I learned while at the cashier with a overloaded cart at BHV.

There were thirty people behind me. And they were not happy.

…I’m almost completely out of money here.

…I got a letter from the IRS that said I underpaid my taxes, and owe more.

Plus interest.

…I got a letter from the State of California that said I underpaid my taxes, and owe more.

Plus interest.

…The cash wire transfer paperwork that I filled out when I was last in the US was incorrectly prepared by the person at the bank.

So they told me I have to go back to the branch, in California, and re-do it.

…A French friend explained that iced drinks make you very sick, since they cool down your stomach too much.

(Er, I suppose traveling a few minutes through my digestive tract won’t have any effect on warming up the cold liquid.)

…I got falling down drunk at my friend Olivier’s last night.

(He has air-conditioning and my original ruse to to pretend I was drunk and had to spend the night, but then I really did get drunk and was worried about making a fool of myself.)

…I was giving myself a haircut and my hair clippers inexplicably quit halfway through.

I would go to the BHV and get another pair, but my credit card was cancelled.

And my hair looks a little funny.

…There’s a new movie with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock coming.

…My absolute favorite olive oil shop in Paris, which has the best selection of oils, is closing for good this Saturday.

(All oils are on sale, 30-50% off, at Allicante, 26 blvd Beamarchais.)

…When I went to pick up my sheets at the cleaners, I found out they’re closed until the end of August.

All my sheets are there.

…World War III appears to have started.

…George W. Bush, the most powerful person in the world, has over two years left on his term.

…My manuscript for my book is due on Friday and my Mac feels like it’s on fire.

…The temperature in my apartment hasn’t dipped below 100 degrees in over a week.

The government says“…go into a store for 2-3 hours a day, to cool down.”

( Gee, I wonder if Monoprix would mind if I set up my laptop there?)

…I have a canker sore.

…I feel another one coming.

…I made Peanut Brittle, and left it to cool by the open window…


…then I came home later and found a pigeon feather next to it.


  • I can just say that I feel for you. I hope you will survive.

  • mercury is retrograde… it happens 3x a year. It lasts 3 weeks each time. It has an eerie effect on all things electronic, communications, transportation, etc. It will be direct this friday. whew!

  • Pour yourself an absinthe and try to forget, forget, forget…

    A friend of mine says that very few diseases are passed from bird to human (other than the famous bird flu, of course.) Then again, this is a guy who used to keep dead pigeons in his parents’ freezer when he was a kid…but still, I say eat the peanut brittle–with the absinthe!

  • I’m pretty sure the pigeon just laid that feather there to freak you out and was watching and laughing at you. (And then, perhaps, lay down so you could run him over. Or was this after the not-so-dead pigeon incident?)

  • You sound like you need a hug…. :(

  • Aw, you are just so darn funny even when everything seems to be falling apart. Maybe you should actually go see that new Keanu movie–it might be so bad as to actually cheer you up. Oh right, you have no money. Maybe you can trade some of that peanut brittle for a ticket? The pigeon feathers might actually be a bonus!

  • Keep laughing David…..
    I’ve got some dog clippers you can borrow for your hair!!
    I guess chocolate won’t even make you feel better, it will melt in this damn heat!

  • Wow David. what a week! I know that things will get better, but I hope they will soon for your sake! Perhaps a couple of hours in an air conditioned museum looking at beautiful art will help? Keep us posted!

  • David, I am so sorry that all of this is happening. I hope that everything straightens out soon. Please don’t feel too bad about getting drunk last night. It happens. Don’t worry about the feather. It was actually a sign that all things related to writing are destined for the best kind of success. Eat the brittle with no fear.

  • Have you ever read the children’s book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”? It’s hilarious, and I think you have the makings for “David and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad WEEK”. Hang in there! And if you feel like trekking down to Montparnasse, the cafe on my street has air conditioning!!! (not sure if that would make up for the sweltering metro ride, though)

  • you need a vacation to a colder climate! where to head? australia maybe?

    hope you sort out the credit card/atm card/taxes.

  • I’m impressed that you didn’t go all “Naomi Campbell” this week.

  • That isn’t bad Dave, we had a week with no power here in Sunnyside Queens! Drink heavily!


  • I’m impressed that you didn’t go all “Naomi Campbell” this week.

  • I’d say “bad thing come in three’s” but clearly you’ve disproved that one!

  • Give the banks hell. They tried that stuff on with me and I was on them like a rat on a bug. When you live abroad, you can’t be told stupid things like come back and we will fix our mistake.
    The rest I wouldn’t worry too much. You’re cute, the hair doesn’t matter. Take frequent soapless showers through the day.
    Have a pro go through your taxes. I did and filed a 1040X and they owed me money.
    Buy a set of sheets. Get oral anesthetic. It’s the damned stress that gives you cankers.
    You’re young and live in Paris. You have a book contract. What more do you want?

  • Oh David – how you made me laugh! And then I felt instantly bad because what I should be doing is inviting you over for a pity party… I gues calling this a bad hair day would be a teensy weensy little understatement? Never mind – you have beautiful feet (!), the absinthe will kill whatever the pigeon might have brought you, and we all love you. Not sure what to say about the banking situation though… I have discovered that living in two countries becomes tricky when shi1t like this happens. Then you need to have somebody really forceful at home to go and yell at the bank till they do their job. I have a sister-in-law who’s a lawyer back home and she’s forever yelling at people on my behalf. Hope your week improves – and soon.

  • Nothing like a little (lot!) misfortune to bring out the comments! All I can add is that my brother-in-las is also under the impression that cold drinks are bad for you and warms up his “cold” water in the microwave before drinking it.

  • Mon dieu. I’m sorry you’re having such an unbelievably bad week. It can only get better…

  • We feel your pain, David!

  • David,
    Miz D over at Belly Timber declared today Whine Blogging Wednesday — but you’ve totally outclassed her.

  • That’s such a crazy bad week it’s hard to even respond. Sending you good thoughts that things improve, or that at least you get to finish trimming your hair.

  • you poor thing! make yourself some strawberry frozen yogurt,that will make you feel much better

  • you are so kind to put everyone else’s petty problems in perspective, and in such a delightful manner. (altho we all suffer equally under the black reign of “W”.)

    perhaps your shopping cart helped propel the half-dead pigeon one step further into the blissful afterlife. meanwhile, i believe vogue just pronounced “asymmetrical haircuts” as The New Black

  • Ah, but your silpat is beautiful and pristinely white.

    Seriously, though. I live in Berkeley. If you need someone to apply pressure to the throat of a bank employee while you scream at them on the phone. I’d be more than glad to help. Or if you just need someone to do something like pick up a form and mail it or whatever. I’ll be glad to help. It’s the least I could do for all the enjoyment I’ve gotten from your writing.

  • If it makes you feel any better, you just made my day seem a lot brighter by comparison.

  • This reminds me of the time my dog’s anal glands (that I didn’t know he had) became infected. The vet said I had to put hot compresses on the dog’s butt three times a day (oh sure). Did I mention I had a screaming three-week-old baby at the time? I found it only worked if I pinned the dog up against the wall so he wouldn’t run away while ignorning said screaming baby – for 15 minutes.

  • well, if you do have to come back to California, San Francisco is a lovely 65 degrees! it’s a “heat wave” one can enjoy. hang in there!

  • David, what a lousy week! Is it bad that I laughed out loud (because of the way in which you write, not your circumstances!). Did I mention I laughed REALLY loud and that I work in a library while doing said laughing? I second the advice from Judith in Umbria. Does 2-3 hours in a store have to be when it’s open? Perhaps you could set up a bed in the Monoprix and sleep there at night….

  • Hmm – this is one crappy week you’re having. I say, repeat to yourself “this too shall pass” and go see a movie in a nice, air-conditioned theater where you can drink all the cold drinks you want and forget about your bloody taxes and your haircut (which I’m sure looks cute, actually) and the damn pigeon who tried to eat your peanut brittle. Cheeky monkey. Good thoughts and vibes coming your way from NYC – hope the bad week ends soon!
    PS: as for WW III and The Decider: my only advice is to make pretend it’s not happening, LA LA LA I can’t hear youuuuuuu crazy mister “president”

  • sorry, David, the engagement is off.

  • when a bird poops on you, it means someone loves you…wonder what that feather could have meant?

  • when a bird poops on you, it means someone loves you…wonder what that feather could have meant?

  • But don’t you just love this incredible storm we’re having here in paris right now? i just arrived here yesterday, and so far my credit cards are still working, but I expect them to self destruct any day now too, probably while I’m stocking up on euroelectronics at FNAC or something. thanks for the olive oil tip, I love your blog!

  • Hang in there.. Well, like they always say, it couldn’t get any worse..

  • Well! You got an offer from me that you have ignored: that seems to have been a slight mistake given the parlous state you find yourself in, wouldn’t you agree? And you think that whinging recitation of your woes and miseries will engender sympathy? Empathy probably, laughter definitely, sympathy – ONLY if you have a lover who has loadsa spare cash and central a/c and, if even now, there isn’t a subpoena winging its way towards you from the society for the protection of pigeons for running over a wounded bird – NOW you know what the feather on the brittle is all about! It’s beaks at dawn, honey and I’m gonna play morticia! It’s glorious here, on the island in the blue Aegean…….mmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • What World War III ?
    Simona from Israel

  • Mouth cankers: otherwise known as mouth ulcers – get some powdered alum (ALUM) from the Pharmacie and dab some on the ulcer three times a day – it will dry it up very quickly; cheaply and effectively. Drink more plain water; avoid sweet and spicy foods for one week – cankers away!

  • OH:( I hope you feel better soon but in the meantime, getting falling-down-drunk isn’t a bad idea;)

  • You poor divil, is it any wonder you got drunk? I am visiting Paris in September and am going to bring you a big bag of dried cherries. And at least it was only a feather that pigeon left you.

  • I feel your pain! Mon Dieu this has been a crappy week. The pigeon feather wouldve sent me over the edge. It did make me laugh out loud though .

    stay cool

  • David, it could almost be a stand-up routine! Hang in there!!!

    Simona – Iran is offering to jump in and help Lebanon eradicate Isreal off the map… it’s just frightening to think of what could happen.

    Now I need a drink! (and some AC!)

  • I have a canker sore, too. And my credit/check card was canceled, the bank didn’t tell me, and I was trying to buy Tanzanian Peaberry from Peet’s one week only-sale, of course, and missed out on that.

    Hope you saved the brittle and rinsed it off a little. You made me laugh out loud with your comedy timing.

    If you need me to Paypal you some Euros, I’d be happy to.

    and F the IRS. Whatta they gonna do?

  • Who’s Alphonse?

  • These days it’s not tax evasion, it’s patriotism (ie, not subsidizing the heck of a job W is doing on us all) so pretend you’re a GOP chairman of something or other and take another extension while asking for a detailed IRS clarification.
    Re haircut–barter with someone decent to repair the job for you. Offer the (beautiful-looking) peanut brittle if they snicker–feather? what feather?

  • It seems like the planet is freaking out, so it no wonder that all of us are feeling more than a little bit off-kilter as well. Hang in there! We with hangovers and anemic bank accounts are with you.

  • from another ex-pat to another, i feel your pain.
    did you buy a fan yet?

  • Sending you big hugs from very hot and humid NJ. Hope today is a much better day. Or, at least a much different day.

  • think of it this way David.. things prolly can’t get worse ;) God Bless !

  • I feel your pain, but I’m glad it’s not just me having these sorts of crises.

  • Sounds like a bad week! I think the worst thing of all is Keanu Reeves and Sandra bullock. Just remember, there will always be better days.

  • things can only get better now, right?!? although it does make me feel better to know that someone else is having a shite week!

  • Your writing is very humourous. Although you seem to have hit a rough patch, it will certainly improve! Have some chocolate!!

  • I don’t suppose you know Judith Viorst’s brilliant children’s book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”? Alexander would know *exactly* what you’re talking about. He’d probably also advise you to head out for Australia IMMEDIATELY!

  • You poor man! I suppose the pigeon feather was a warning to watch your back because of the little incident with the shopping cart.

  • mmm, feather peanut brittle!! my favorite. :)

  • Tour de France riders falling down from …. what?

  • David:
    If it is any consolation, Signora Italia, Madame’s sister, has similar compulsions when it comes to concerns about too much ice, air-conditioning, and use of fans. Seems, too, with signora, that all windows must be absolutely shut tight at night, with no fans or air-conditioning, either, because you might catch a “draft,” then a horrible “cold” (yes, in the middle of a 95+ degree summer!). You see, both signora and madame have long memories, along with some of their European cousins, and common folklore held for years that illnesses could be caused by abrupt gusts or currents of air; hence the term “malaria,” or bad air; people believed it was contracted through exposure to the cooler and breezier night air (concidentally, mosquitoes are more active during dusk). Old beliefs change slowly!

    Condolences on all the problems this week. Bonne chance with getting them fixed.

  • My son lives with the black cloud of your terrible week year in and year out, for no apparent reason. Has your ex-wife had herself declared insane in order to receive spousal maintenance from you for the next five years? If so, you need to get in touch with my son and have a chat. If not, maybe this current week has brought solutions. I hope so.
    Your brittle looks perfect and perfectly delicious.
    Best regards.

  • I’m kicking myself in the butt right now for not discovering your blog a couple of weeks ago. Just got back from a week visit to Paris and just fell in love. I’m already harassing my husband about relocating there with reassuring him that it would be a wonderful adventure. If we do make this crazy leap your blog will help in so many ways. Do you have any advice about getting a job there with no or very little French at hand? I mean anything other than teaching English? Currently I’m finishing up my degree in graphic design..

  • Hi Nicole: Check out Working in Paris from my friend Heather, who’s been living in Paris for many years.

    She has good advice. Hope it helps!

  • Thanks David, I’ll check it out. By the way made your chouquettes tonight and they were very delicious, everyone loved them.. light and delectable, I could have sat there and eat every single one of them, but didn’t..