89 random things about me

Over on Facebook, there’s been a thing going around called 25 random things about me. Inspired by Pim posting hers, I thought I’d do the same.

Except I got carried away, editing and adding a few more.

1. When I started my blog, I wished I have done it anonymously so I could really say what I wanted to say. Now I’m glad I didn’t, because I can actually say what I want to say, and stand behind it, too.

2. Whenever someone who smokes shrugs and says to me, “I don’t care. When it’s time for me to die, it’s time for me to die”, I wonder if they’ll say the same thing when their larynx is removed and they’ll have to say that through a hole in their throat.

3. I am very proud of all the Americans who started small-batch chocolate companies. I think it’s one of our proudest achievements and sums up the best qualities of America.

4. When people ask me how do I stay so thin, it seems like common sense that the answer is because I do the opposite of what people do who become fat.

5. If I have cookies around, I will eat at least one first thing in the morning, before breakfast.

6. I think Flickr is the best-conceived, and best-used, site on the internet. I hope it never changes.

7. I hate being served breakfast. Especially in fancy hotels. I’d rather stay in a dump than face a lavish hotel breakfast and fawning waiters in the morning.

8. I wish I could talk more dirt on my blog but I’m wary of offending people.

9. I wish people were less-concerned about what is “the best.”

10. If I could better in France, I would write my blog in French as well, but my written French isn’t good enough and I’m still smarting from the nasty messages I’ve gotten when I’ve misplace an accent or used the wrong preposition.

11. I’m glad that people in Paris seem to like me. It’s nice to defy the perception that the French are anti-American.

12. I can’t decide if I want to live in France for the rest of my life.

13. I think it’s odd that people say I’m “lucky” to live in Paris. Luck would have involved winning an airplane ticket and a free apartment. (I don’t need a plane ticket anymore, but if anyone knows anything about an apartment lottery, please let me know.)

14. For the life of me, I can’t get my head around all the vocabulary for French banking terms.

15. I really, really want to be able to get American television in Paris. I miss mindless entertainment sometimes. I’m still not able to get Hulu to work for me in spite of installing a location blocker.

16. I think people in America are out of their minds who are against universal health care.

17. I’m afraid to open my mail, because most of it is stuff I don’t want to deal with. Like the bill for my health insurance.

18. I think professional lobbying in America should be illegal. It’s so obviously not fair that the folks and corporations with the most money have so much influence over public policy.

19. I pretty much stopped eating fish because of the devastation fishing has done to the planet.

20. I really miss eating sushi.

21. I rarely buy organic produce.

22. I really don’t like whipped cream and always prefer ice cream.

23. I’m so lactose intolerant that my parents wanted to rush me to the emergency room several times before I knew about it, but I think all those people that are lactose intolerant who panic about consuming a few spoonfuls of ice cream are overcautious.

24. I don’t like things that are terribly sweet. (Except the Chez Panisse Almond Tart.)

25. I don’t care at all about percentages of dark chocolate and wish everyone would stop caring about them as well.

26. One of my life goals is to sit down with the ladies of The View.

27. My second goal in life is to tell off that blond shrew on the program.

28. I’m sorry to say that I do wish the worst on someone: Anne Coulter.

29. I love Asian food so much I wonder why I’m not living in Japan or Korea.

30. I love how Koreans stir their food for five minutes before they eat it.

31. It’s funny that the French are so happy that Barack Obama was elected as President of America, but why when I ask them if they think a minority could be elected as President of France next, they look as though I told them the Martians will be landing in five minutes and turning us all into green croissants.

32. It drives me ape sh-t that there aren’t any minorities reading the news on French television. (Okay, someone pointed out to me on Facebook that there is, indeed, one.)

33. If only Ronald Reagan had mobilized the country during the beginning of the AIDS crisis with the same ferocity that he did when seven people died from tainted Tylenol during the same time period, I’d have a slightly better opinion of him as a leader.

34. I got the same feeling watching George W. Bush leave after the Obama inauguration that I did when OJ Simpson got to just walk out of the courtroom, scott-free, the first time.

35. I think it’s funny that people think I don’t like living in France, because why would I live here if I didn’t?

36. I don’t get angry at nasty messages and comments. On the contrary, I feel sorry for the people who write them because I assume they treat everyone in their life like that.

37. Snark can be funny, mean never is.

38. I’m so sarcastic, I find myself using too many ; ) online so people don’t think I’m being mean.

39. It’s funny that I got bad grades in high school for my writing but I’ve published four books.

40. I love all the stuff I’ve learned from my commenters.

41. I wonder what would happen if we gave the same amount of the attention we give to iPhones to stopping the genocide in Darfur?

42. I have no idea why strangers write and want to get together with me. I’m actually not all that interesting.

43. I think being an inconsiderate neighbor is one of the worst character flaws of all and tells a lot about a person.

44. If one more person asks me why I moved to Paris I’m going to scream.

45. Aside from the food blogger that I have a crush on, I have a crush on the spouse of another food blogger.

46. I can’t figure out why in America, most of my friends were men.

47. I can’t figure out why in France, almost all my friends are women.

48. I’d like to have more men friends.

49. I don’t think I’ll ever use that jar of candied clementines in my refrigerator.

50. I would love to see my abs but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.

51. I stopped caring what people thought about me some time between three and six years ago. It’s been pretty great ever since.

52. I don’t like to pick on television chefs and I think people should give them a break since it’s very hard to make a living in this business.

53. I’ve never made a recipe by Alice Medrich that didn’t come out perfect.

54. I think it’s odd that people say they can’t go to yoga classes because they’re not flexible. That’s like saying you can’t take piano lessons because you can’t play the piano.

55. I have a first-degree black belt in karate and a second-degree black belt in aikido. I guess I should tout is more, but it’s not something I did to boast about.

56. I hate when people ask me if I could kill someone. If confronted with a fight, I’d run away.

57. I was mugged once at knifepoint by a drug-crazed dude in my car in San Francisco and gladly gave him my wallet. When people asked why I didn’t fight him off, I explained that it wasn’t worth $41 to get my throat slashed.

58. Someone once told me I was too nice and wouldn’t get ahead because of that.

59. I’ve had six piercings.

60. I’ve saved, and probably still have, every plastic container I’ve ever used in my life

61. At least a few times a week, when I get into bed, I think about how incredibly thankful I am to have a warm place and a roof to sleep under. And I think about those who don’t, who are outside.

62. I’d rather have a sex change operation without anesthesia than be stuck in an economy-class airplane seat for eight hours.

63. When people ask me, “How often do you go back to the states?” I’m going to refer them to #62.

64. I’m really glad I discovered what a difference good olive oil and salt make.

65. I’m amazed at people who can tell the difference between all those different kinds of fancy teas because I can’t. Like, at all.

66. I once took a comprehensive series of psychological tests and the psychologist told me she’d never seen anyone solve the puzzles or find the solutions so quickly. She didn’t tell me whether that meant I was highly-intelligent or completely crazy, though.

67. According to IQ charts, I’m considered “Moderately” gifted.

68. If I’m so damned smart, how come I can’t figure out Movable Type?

69. It drives me crazy when people don’t load the dishwasher correctly.

70. My best friend for a long time was incredibly good-looking with an amazing body, so much so that people were always hitting on him and he got pretty much whatever he wanted. But I was never jealous because he was such a mess on the inside.

71. I’m the least-jealous person in the world.

72. I worry way, way too much about things. It is my worst quality. I hate it.

73. I just can’t get all that excited about Greek-style yogurt.

74. I never wanted to eat at Alinea until this week. Now I really want to but I live too far away.

75. I always thought it’d be great to have a best friend who’s a huge celebrity.

76. I always wanted to have a television show, not because I wanted to be on television, but because it would give me a chance to interview and feature some of my favorite cooks.

77. I wish every cup of coffee that passed my lips was perfect and I can’t understand when coffee isn’t properly prepared since I don’t know anyone that likes bad coffee.

78. I understand why people dislike Starbucks but I also remember too well the sheer impossibility of finding even a halfway-decent cup of coffee if you were traveling or stuck in the middle of nowhere.

79. 25% of my job is washing dishes.

80. Washing dishes is least-favorite part of my job.

81. Putting the dishes away is my second least-favorite part of my job.

82. I don’t know how he does it, but I think George Clooney seems like a really good guy. I’d be really disappointed if I met him and found out he wasn’t.

83. I wish I saw Funny Girl on Broadway with Barbra Streisand way back when.

84. At €130 a pop, Romain is going to have to be content that I’m not going to see Liza Minelli in June.

85. I really think that Larry King is an alien sent here to do weird experiments on us, like erasing our ability to think.

86. I agree with Laurie Anderson that Dolly Parton doesn’t really want to ‘go back to the country.’

87. I think it’s odd that people want to know how long I’m going to be living where I’m living. I didn’t realize that other people planned out the rest of their lives.

88. If I had one wish, it would be to be able to sing really well.

89. I have amazingly good intuition and I’m always right when I trust it.


  • I’m seriously impressed… I struggled to find 25. Re: #70 – I have only ever had a handful of friends who were gorgeous, smart AND well-adjusted… and all of them were straight. I’m not entirely sure what that indicates.

  • its funny i just finished making my “facebook’s 25 things about myself” before i did my regular visit to your blog!
    my 25th was i thought it would be hard think of 25 things but it wasnt!

  • I loved it when you talk smut on your journal! It’s great to see people come out and talk about their sexuality, and besides, you’re a Euro now, you’re expected to! I’ve unsubscribed from most sweets blogs but i can’t bear to unsubscribe yours because you have a wonderful way of writing, whether it’s about chocolate candy or man candy, i’d read it either way :)

  • Nice! Heh saw this on your facebook….

    I heart caffeine. YUM. I totally understand the thing w/ the dishes and putting away bit…

    Either way, this is great : )

  • One way to get Hulu in Paris is to sign up for a VPN account with WiTopia (http://witopia.net/) – $40 per year, and totally Mac-friendly. Install their software, log in, and Hulu works just fine (though not without occasional stuttering, I should say). Drop me a note if you need any details or help!

  • Very entertaining. I love it that you just let everyone be who they are and not worry about changing. It sure is a nicer way of living ones life than worrying about how everyone else is living theres.

  • I’m curious as to what you think it is that fat people do to become fat. Is the answer “nothing”? Because that’s what I think you’re getting at; however, I know a lot of people who will say, “exercising all the time and eating very little is how you stay thin” — and that’s just wrong.

    Also, I wish I could speak French as well as you, but I can’t. However, my French writing skills are excellent (or they used to be, when I was actively practicing French). Thanks for sharing!

  • LOLFitness: I think you’re confusing “dirt” with “dirty’, my dear. Although I do share stories of men candy, like my torso getting a lot of attention by les jeunes hommes at the Levi store, those instances are (too) few and far between. Unfortunately.

    I wish I had more smut to report on, but I don’t. I guess I should get out more and see what I can do about that!

    SavvyChristine: I don’t know, but if I had the answer to that question, I’d market the heck out of it and make my fortune. Americans keep asking me why the French are so thin and I don’t know what to tell them, so I toss the question back at them. I’d love an answer; any thoughts on how to respond to that one are appreciated.

    And you can write in French, just to show me up~
    : )

  • Re #42: It’s a combination of wit, good nature and … food!

    Re #67 + #88: I am in that same range of IQ and I’ve decided that even if I’m not musically gifted, I can use my intelligence to at least improve in some ways. After a few years of voice lessons, I’ve gone from “painful to listen to” to “sometimes not too bad.” I consider it quite an accomplishment. I approach fashion and style the same way–if I’m so danged smart, why can’t I put together a decent looking outfit?

    Thanks for entertaining all of us strangers :)

  • I think this is an excllent exercise in self-examination, even if one doesn’t share it with anyone else. Sounds like you have a good handle on who you are and what matters to you. You are fortunate to be in such a good place at such a young age. I always enjoy reading your blog, whether it is about food or just life in general.

  • I’m impressed! I was tagged in that 25 things round robin and I tried to jot my list but I literally couldn’t think of anything to write. I guess I’m rather 2 dimensional.

  • If Hulu isn’t working, try surfthechannel.com. It combines a bunch of other sites, which are mostly non-American anyway, so I’m pretty sure it would work in France. Also, it’s free.

  • Overachiever ;)

  • Congrats on making CNN this morning! Sweet Satisfaction

    Hi Juliana: Thanks for bring it to my attention! -dl

  • Many things on the list reflect my sentiment exactly — the bad neighbor, the Greek yogurt, and small-batch chocolate, especially.

    So, David, why did you move to France? :)

  • I loved this! And like many of the other commenters, I had trouble with only 25 points. Many of these struck a chord, especially #36 (Bravo! Great way to look at it); #50 (I’m with ya! I think I’d faint if I ever caught a glimpse); #68 (Can anyone?); and #75 (I guess your best friend thinks life is pretty great) :) Thanks for an engaging read!

  • Nice list. If you want real honest-to-goodness American TV in Paris you could probably do it by combining a friend who lives in the US and a slingbox. I’d offer to give you access to mine but I don’t have one. Or a TV for that matter.

  • I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now an i’ve read EVERY single post you’ve written. Its funny cos most 16 year old girls i know wouldnt be the least bit interested in blogs like yours ,but i look forward to reading ur posts every night.
    Thanks for another awesome post!

  • This is hilarious. Thank you for sharing. I agree with so many of your comments, such as liking ice cream better than whip cream. Also, like you enjoy having a cookie first thing in the morning, I sometimes like having a spoonful of ice cream right out of the freezer when I walk into the kitchen in the morning. Andy who DO people make bad coffee? It really doesn’t seem that difficult to me.

  • To get your tv fix, try surfthechannel.com.

  • When people ask, “how do you stay so thin?” I like to answer, “I don’t know, it must be all the ice cream I eat.” Either that or, “I picked parents with good genes.” It’s a pretty ridiculous question — why not give a ridiculous answer?

    As to why the French are so thin…perhaps, “it’s been scientifically proven that the French are from a different race of people who needed a higher metabolism to survive. Good thing I moved here because now it’s rubbing off on me,” or “They bathe in the Seine every month 12:13 a.m. during the full moon.” Let’s see if you can start a new rumor and see how fast it spreads. A little snark never hurt anybody.

  • You said – “If I have cookies around, I will eat at least one first thing in the morning, before breakfast.”

    I say – “If I have cookies around, I will eat at least one first thing in the morning, FOR breakfast.”

    Thankfully, I do not have cookies around most of the time (except for today, I have the biscotti I made from the recipe you posted)

  • I also eat 1 cookie first thing in the morning if I have any in the house. I say start the day off right. Nothing like a cookie & some coffee to do that.

  • All the major US TV networks have most of their shows on their websites. Some have better user interfaces than others, but they’re worth a shot. All of them are free. If you’re really desperate, I’m pretty sure iTunes (and other such sites) sells episodes.

  • excellent – good for you for breaking the rules :) when I did my 25 on fb I could have kept going but felt confined by the rules, silly me. I love #38 I am constantly lamenting how hard it is to express sarcasm over the internet. I love reading your posts!! (that’s not sarcasm)

  • A very good list.

    I like #23, since, like you, I’m pretty badly lactose intolerant (luckily, I didn’t develop it until my late 20s, but it was several years before I really figured it out), but I still love ice cream.

  • ditto on surfthechannel.com for american tv shows. most of the popular ones are on there and it works internationally. if you can’t find something, you might want to check out bit torrents.

    cheater with 89 things! the hardest part about it only being 25 is that you have to edit it down to 25.

    love your blog. it’s been a great addition to my blogroll every morning.

  • For 53… I’ve tried on that didn’t work!
    That’s from Medrich’s saucepan fudge drops from ‘bittersweet’ . It was sooooo dry (far from fudgy) and I suspect I should have put less flour than Medrich wrote. Have you tried this recipe?

  • David, as usual you crack me up…ditto on 23, 29, 39, 64, 69, 81, 85, 88….maybe it is the collective Jewisness ( I am assuming Lebovitz is) in our genes but you always seem to write things I think but may never write down, maybe that just makes me a real pansy! Also 25 things just wasn’t enough, I totally agree! Good day sir!

  • It’s fascinating to read this post. I have to confess, if it wasn’t because of you, I don’t think I will still blogging. I remember when I made your Kouign Amann for the first time, I was so scared being sued, I called my husband (he was overseas/business trip), asked him lot’s of question wether I should post it. Then I send you e-mail, you replied “yes, of course you can”. That was it for me! It made me proud, and I felt confident that I could post my recipes. It was really true, if not because of you, I would never share my posts with anybody, except my family. So, I thank you for this!
    I always know that you are very sweet person inside and out, and Iike you, I trust my instinct because it’s almost always right!
    #4 100% me (before blogging I was 102lbs and I’m 164cm, now after blogging and bake a lot. I am 107lbs. So I am skinny, I think) I exercise well (kickboxing) and try to eat balance food. My husband is the opposite…ha..ha..ha..
    #53 100% same here (agree)
    #55 I took American & Shaolin Kempo all the way to blue belt, but always scared when it time for spar. So, I decided to quit!
    #62 Are you crazy? have you been on the operating table? Because I had been through this couple of time, I can assure you I’m on the opposite, I’d rather be cramp on the economy class for 18 hr (from SFO-DPS)
    #69 100% ME! it drives my family crazy!
    #74 NEVER! I’d rather spend all of my money to go to Charlie Trotter!
    Apologize for the long comment

  • I’m not sure how you can say you are uninteresting, and then come up with 89 interesting facts about yourself.

    You have me intrigued about the good quality salt comment, perhaps I should re-read that article on the different types of salts I once ripped out of a magazine.

    I have been following your blog for about a year now, and never once wondered why you live in Paris … it just seemed obvious. What strange questions?

    Thanks for the great list, it was a delight to read with my morning tea and breakfast!

  • Thanks for sharing your 89 random things! I have to say I agree with almost all of them. I wanted to say amen to #61. I wish that more of us were thinking about what we have and about those who do not even have the basics of a bed and a roof over their heads.

  • Just writing a quick note to tell you how refreshing I found this post to be. And how much I agreed with some of the numbers, like the one with the fish, but how you miss sushi…. Though about the one with plastic containers, I recycle them. I can’t bring myself to throw away glass jars, I always find use for them, and they’re pretty.
    Anyway, I’m glad you spoke your mind a bit, it reminds us readers that you’re a human being as well.

  • This is a fun read. I’m new to blogging and am still in private mode. I’m a home cook and have been learning so much from you and other bloggers that my confidence in both is growing daily. Thank you for all you put on here for our use and enjoyment.

  • Oh David you make me laugh and inspire me to do great things – and say what I really think!

    To put your mind at ease, #82, is an absolute gem. I was a corporate flight attendant for 9 years (what an adventure) and brought him from Cabo to Las Vegas a few years back (along with 11 other equally stunning friends) for his birthday. They closed the Vegas airport so we sat on the ground in San Diego (our customs stop) for hours playing poker in the airplane. So adorable, my god! I’d had a decadent chocolate (can’t recall the %) birthday cake made for him that said “HB to the “True” Sexiest Man Alive” since it was the year Matthew McConaughey won. He took the cake with him to carry around and deservingly (not a real word) won the next year .

    So, how much longer do you think you’ll be in Paris?
    Boner Voyage

  • As a yoga instructor, I love #54. You are right on!

  • Debby: I had a yoga teacher who was circus-performer flexible and her body was so flexible, she could do a bridge, then walk around with her feet in a full circle. Easily.

    She told me that she didn’t get all the benefits she could from yoga because she was too-flexible. That was the best lesson I ever learned, and I think about her often when I’m trying to reach my feet in a forward fold. Which are just too darned far away for me to get to.

  • #28 – i just busted out laughing b/c i have the same feeling

    #29 – have you ever been to taipei? dizzying lights and crowds, but wonderful sublime yummy yummy food

  • Great “25” things. I can’t believe you are lactose intolerant! How the heck do you keep from eating all that delicious ice cream?!? I fall into the “severe” category, as well, and the years of pain before I figured out the problem have kept me away from all things dairy for quite some time. Maybe I’ll try a few spoonfuls and see what happens…

  • It is very rare that I come across one of these types of lists that I have any desire to read, but David, I for some reason found yours weirdly compelling. I totally agree with you on the Greek yogurt by the way. What is the big deal?

  • Great list…. and I’m sure that if you really wanted to continue, you could have had at least double those. I loved the political etc smackdowns
    Did you try fancast.com? It also has all the episodes and is a free site. My adult kids were amazed when I told them about that. They hadn’t heard about it.
    You were on the Today show several years ago with Katie Couric–maybe someone somewhere is reading this and will invite you on The View.
    Thanks for the uplifter!!

  • you can get your fill of mindless tv at abc.com. also, check out http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com for lots of good snark :)

  • Re: #3, Did you hear that Hershey is closing the Berkeley Sharffen Berger plant and moving it into a Hershey run factory?

    Re: #42, You are interesting! I did this and struggled to come up with 25 things. You were able to 89!


  • I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a post this much.

    1 & 8- you can start your anonymous blog on Blogger

    9- especially when “the best” is a moving target

    19 & 20- can I recommend “Fish Forever” by Paul Johnson?

    28- Who are you wishing Ann Coulter on? If it’s Ann Coulter, you got your wish.

    29 & 44- So why don’t you move to Asia? We’ll still love you.

    49- They must be really pretty.

    58- Did they ever say what they meant by “ahead?”

    62- You’d be amazed at how many people will think this means you want a sex-change operation.

    72- What percentage of your worry is caring? It may not be as bad as you thought.

    75- There’s gotta be a big celebrity out there whose wish is for a web-savvy friend.

    88- Can I recommend “Set Your Voice Free” by Roger Love?

  • Singing is overrated! I’d want to be able to dance. Of course, I can dance, just not well.
    Anyway, I love your list. (And I love George Clooney, too, all the more because he seems like a genuinely good guy.)

  • Bless you, David for # 43. For years I’ve been talking about the importance of being a good neighbor. It is part of the foundation of a caring and healthy society!

  • I was really bored when I came across this and it really made me laugh. :)

  • Loved the list.

    I have not been to Korea yet, but all my trips to Japan have been life changing. You must spend a spring in Kyoto to truly experience beauty. I cry just thinking about it, the pink rain. All the islands are filled with fascinating culture, people, food, art, landscape, and knowledge. Don’t skip the small towns. The people are incredibly warm and accepting to all foreigners, which I found remarkable as an American. And the food is beyond beyond. From tiny street stalls selling fresh hot ramen to the Tsukiji (sp.?) fish market offering specimens I have never seen, to the world class exotic fare of Kaiseki. Everything I ate in Japan was interesting and new if not delicious. They do everything with so much passion and a striving for excellence. Don’t get hysterical, but they have French bakeries there that blew my mind! The candy is joy inducing. It reminds me of Papabubble. But don’t go if you are still off fish, it would be a rough trip to see all that delectable sushi and sashimi and pass it by :-)

    But for the love all humanity fly first class! Beg buy borrow or steal to make it happen. Coach is cruel and inhumane. Unless great sex is involved I am not interested in being that close to anyone for that long in such uncomfortable cramped ugly scratchy surroundings for hours and hours on end while flying over the oceans. In the better world of my dreams nobody has to fly that way regardless of cost. That kind of treatment simply does not exist in the world of my dreams. Yes, that comes after cures for all diseases, a clean safe planet, and peace and justice for all etc…. I’m not a clueless celebutard. But I have flown both ways. And there is no comparison. International coach is evil ;-)

  • Boy, that was great fun!! I loved getting to know you better. You are making me want to post one of these lists, now. Hmmm…

    It was hard not to respond to most of the items on your list, but I reigned myself in so as not to be a complete comments hog. ; )

    #17 – Me too. Don’t you just wish the excruciatingly mundane stuff could be dealt with once a year, instead of monthly? I get such an angst about that stuff. Must be my sensitive artist’s temperament. Thankfully, my husband now deals with most of the bills and such for us (and I love him for it!). But, I dread when he hands me some Dr.’s bill I need to call and dispute, or something. I will put it off until the last half hour of the last possible day, and it will be torture to do it.

    #27 – Just tell her off?

    #30 – I did not know that! That’s very cool. Is it part of a prayer or gratitude ritual?

    #31 – I think it’s because the French have such occupation-phobia, and such a die-hard necessity to hold on to tradition and that which they feel is theirs, and which represents true French heritage. I like that about the French, actually.

    #46 & 47 – Very interesting… I have a theory. It may or may not apply.

    Here goes:

    In the U.S., women are generally insecure about themselves, their bodies, and especially about eating. A reality driven by both the media, and centuries of Puritanical emotional bondage. American women also tend to suffer from a lack of self worth, in general.

    French women, on the contrary, celebrate their their femininity, and lack self consciousness. They enjoy food without fear or shame, and embrace their sensuality fully. In fact, they wear their womanhood and sensuality with great pride. French women are confident in their individuality, rather than fearful of their need to conform. Hence, French women are more free with themselves, which I find significantly more fascinating, alluring and fun.

    Perhaps, they reverse it true for the men? It appears to me that French men do tend to be tethered to the point of constriction by some need to conform, and be accepted. I have not spent enough time on the latter to nail it down yet, by I suspect that may be the case.

    How am I doing with my theory so far?

    #55 – That is so unbelievably hot!!! Damn…

    #58 – I still get that from people. I think it says a lot about the adviser.

    #59 – You know we all want to know where now, you big tease!

    #71 – Because I am – just slightly – competitive, I will say that you can’t be, because I am. But, if indeed you are the least-jealous person, I am totally happy for you. :D Drinks are on the victor!!

    Great list, David! Thank you for sharing and sharing!! I look forward to more.


    ~ Paula

  • I, too, am wondering where your piercings are. I love your writing – your post about Ikea ranks as one of my all time favorites. Also, I always appreciate your advice in some recipes about when not to take a bathroom break. Who else does that?

  • l o l

    it’s your space, you could write dirty as you like – at least if you stopped listening to what other people think ;-)

    what about sending the candied mandarines to me ;-)

    amazing things, I admire your blackbelt in aikido

  • #42 — wrong, wrong, wrong. You are VERY interesting. Witty AND thoughtful, two of my favorite traits in a person. Loved your list. And the idea that anyone ever “graded you down” on your writing is also hard to square with your gifts! (I know that school doesn’t always “get” people right).

    Thanks for sharing!

  • I love these things. Thanks for sharing 89 random things with us. (And it never occurred to me to ask why you moved to France. The answer always seemed pretty obvious to me.)

  • Damn, and now I have a crush on a food blogger too (as it appears that many of us now do)! Because I work in San Francisco social services, I can’t afford to routinely follow you around Paris, so you’re safe ;) What a writer you are.

  • 59. I’ve had six piercings.
    Really? (How intriguing….you just mention it and leave it dangling there…Ooo, ooo, is that a clue?)

    10. If I could better in France, I would write my blog in French as well, but my written French isn’t good enough and I’m still smarting from the nasty messages I’ve gotten when I’ve misplace an accent or used the wrong preposition.
    Seriously, people, unclench. (I can’t stand when people mix up “loose” and “lose” but I would never presume to actually write to them about it. Jeeesh.)

    35. I think it’s funny that people think I don’t like living in France, because why would I live here if I didn’t?
    They think that because they lack nuance.
    My mom thinks I’m on the brink of divorce if I vent about my husband’s quirks. She’s Old School, and thinks “happily married” = “Stepford Wife.” So surely I must be out of my mind with dissatisfaction if I voice that I wish he would leave the seat down once in a while.
    A lot of people are so simple-minded that anything short of full-throated exhultation 24/7 is the equivalent of simply disliking living in France. Their loss. Their very weird, very emotionally-shallow loss.
    (For what it is worth, I consider it a sign of your thoughtfulness and intelligence that you can love something AND think the quirks are funny/maddening/etc. “Perfect” is boring, at the very least.)

    I absolutely LOVE the stuff you write, especially about the quirks of Paris. (The tampon and Les Soldes entries are excellent recent examples of things you write that make your impossibly fabulous sarcastic charm grow ever larger in my heart.) I love all of it. Bring on the snark, baby.

  • 1) If you ever get over the 8-hour economy seat thing, New Zealand (and I’ve never figured out why this is) has the BEST coffee
    2) Your George Clooney is my Christian Bale – I just got my heart broken http://defamer.com/5144753/audio-christian-bales-apocalyptic-terminator-salvation-meltdown
    3) I don’t think I am ever going to master writing french. I was just told I had to sign off an email “Remaining entirely at your disposal”
    4) You’re great! Gotta love someone that can make you laugh out loud at your computer screen, repeatedly.

  • # 54 is my favorite – i teach yoga and always struggled with how to answer the same question about flexibility! great analogy. and…alinea is an out of body experience.

  • 1. I agree with a lot of what you’ve said.
    2. I do not agree about The View, except for the Blond Shrew part.
    3. I hope you never see the inside of my dishwasher.

  • WAIT please tell me: where can I find Lactaid pills in Paris??? Every time I go to the pharmacy looking for them, the pharmacist gives me a look like I have five heads and says… “quoi?”

    Although this happens to me when I go into basically anywhere here… oh the luxurious life of the foreigner…

  • Really?

  • PS

    I live in Chicago and would love to read what you thought of a meal at Alinea. It was one of the most memorable 4.5 hour meal/events of my dining life. So save up some miles and get a free ticket to Chicago, first class of course. This city is a great restaurant city and I have lots of suggestions. So come to Chicago, just not in the winter or summer, they suck!

    And Anne Coulter is EVIL!

    The fact that you are subjected to The View all the way in France saddens me. The blonde shrew is Anne Coulter’s “mimi me”, ick.

  • O.K… I keep thinking about #12. I am always curious when someone would consider leaving France, only because I would like to be there so much. I’d like to hear more about why.

  • David, I thought you were a neat person before reading your list. Now I think you’re a REALLY neat person. Wish I lived in Paris & could join your group of female friends. (Oops – you said you wanted male friends. ‘-)

  • BTW – I’m still giggling about the Vanity Fair ad here.

  • This is my absolute favorite. I travel too much and sit in first too infrequently. After you fly on the “lay-down seats” nothing else is even comfortable.

    62. I’d rather have a sex change operation without anesthesia than be stuck in an economy-class airplane seat for eight hours.

    one more thing-you love to cook and eat and live in a fantastic city. i think its cool for people who have the same interests to want to meet up with you, but of course you’d never have time to see us all. :)

  • That was really interesting. I like that you did more that 25.

  • Regarding #15 – Check out surfthechannel.com, sidereel.com, alluc.org, fanpop.com, or tvshack.net. They work no matter what country you’re in. Although the quality typically isn’t quite as good as hulu, it’s better than nothing.

  • Hi, David,
    It was really a treat reading this list – thank you for posting it!!
    I am curious about #21 when you say you don’t buy organic produce. Why is that? I’m always intrigued by organic vs. non-organic buying decisions at the market!

  • I have to strongly disagree with #42: You are terribly interesting, funny, FUN, generous and quite humble. The day we spent with you in Paris was our favorite day in Paris (and it was a pretty good week all-around).
    I have to completely agree with #53. Alice has such wonderful and reliable recipes, I’m confident enough to use them on company without having made them before. I wish I was that good!

  • David,
    When I was going to read your blog today I was thinking that I love you (you know, in that way that you can adore someone you don’t know based on some public facet of their life), and then I read your list and this is EXACTLY why. The same way you think (and I also think) George Clooney seems like a good guy. As some other commenters have pointed out, re #42 — this list shows why. You seem like someone who shares my values, is funny and smart, and is out there in the world making a good life for himself, and, along the way, helping others do the same.
    I won’t go on, except to say, re: #49: go eat one! Just go eat one, right now! (Maybe with a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream and a sliver of pound cake?) Then use the ones that are left to make a batch of lemon ice cream with candied clementines mixed in.
    p.s. Was it an accident that the clementine item was #49, Oh my darlin’?

  • #15 – My expat friends, especially those in China asks their US friends or coworks to put a Slingbox in their house for them. In China you can’t get US Football, but you can if you have a Slingbox. It should work for you. A friend of mine stationed in Iraq uses our when we are alseep.

  • It would be impossible NOT to love you!

  • Fun to learn more about the boy behind the baking. I’d love to hear some of the dirt. Oh well, one day you can write a “Valley of the Dolls” style expose (excuse lack of accent!).

  • Re: No. 38: Me too!

  • If I have home baked cookies in the house I eat one dozen before breakfast and one dozen FOR breakfast, And that Dear David, is why I am fat and you are not.

    Now, I have come clean and so must you. No one who really thinks they are uninteresting posts “89 random things about me” when everyone else is struggling to find 25. And I mean this in a snarky, not mean way.

  • We have about 30 attitudes and observations in common. The remainder were impossible–I don’t live in Paris, am female, don’t write books…
    This post was very interesting and fun. Thanks!
    Oh, and I could tolerate the breakfast and the waiter.

  • Such interesting thoughts to peruse!

    I must, however, comment on one:

    “When people ask me how do I stay so thin, it seems like common sense that the answer is because I do the opposite of what people do who become fat.”

    Alas, like so much common sense, such a proposition falls flat on its face in light of epidemiological data. Indeed, one of the enduring challenges in explaining both human physiology and social life is that similar conditions so often fail to produce consistently similar outcomes.


    Harumph and double harumph!

    How does one pronounce Alinea? All EE NAY AH? or A LINE A? or aLIN ee ah?

    Barbra Streisand is one of the most overrated singers of this or any other age. Beautiful voice but cold, cold, personality. She exhibits no real emotion…seems all staged.

    If you like Liza Min, you should look up the New Yorker article about her (recently) new show in NY. Brutal and, in my iron-claddedly correct POV, absolutely spot on!

    I feel I can write all this because nobody will ever see it.

    One of the absolutely TRUE things you wrote was that you’ve never made any of Medrich’s recipes that weren’t perfect. It’s true! Even her dried fruit loaf, the dough of which is sticky and disgusting and the end product of which looks like a piece of wood, is delicious as well as nutritious.

    End of rant.

  • i think you’re pretty amazing!

  • This was so fun to read. Once I filled out my own, I understood why this is so viral: it’s ADDICTIVE. I loved filling mine out, and reading other people’s answers is just so thrilling and voyeuristic.
    My name’s Remy and I’m one of the many (many, many, many) people who follow you but with whom you are absolutely unfamiliar. I’m 17 years old, but don’t let it deter you from talking with me as a fellow foodie and writer. I have many, many, many reasons to contact you, but I will spare you. Mainly, I really just love your site, love your writing, love your musings on Paris, love your sarcasm, and love your experience as a pastry chef. I am a dessert aficionado and just posted a ten-minute video blog in which I did an epic chocolate-chip cookie bake-off!

  • I do have Alinea just a short drive away…but I can’t afford a second mortgage on my house to buy a “sensory experience” from there. And the plain, unmarked facade of the restaurant along with poetic reviews only makes me want to go there more. Maybe some day.

  • Another random thing about you – you are, in fact, interesting. I read every single one of of these 89 items without being bored. If I had to pick out ONE thing about me, it would be that my biggest problem is that I’m easily bored and always looking for the next new thing.

  • #69 What IS the proper way?

  • 4. LOL
    10. Well, I for one am glad for that because otherwise I will have to whip out a French-English diction just to read your blog. I fail as a Canadian =(.
    15. *whispers*surfthechannel
    59. Oooh where? ;)
    82. OMG I feel the exact same way about David Tennant, I have a big fear that he’s actually an ass. I don’t even know why =(.

  • I love your blog—you are hilarious!!!

    #34—I’m so with you on that one.

    You’re my “George Clooney.” :-)

    BTW—I’ll be in Paris soon, want to get together?

  • Hi Kira: I do buy some organic things, but I live a few blocks from 3 outdoor markets and the one or two stands that sell organic produce are astronomically expensive. I don’t mind spending more, or twice as much even, for produce. But the mark-up is often 4x or more. But the main reason is that I think the other half of the “organic” equation is local. If a onion is organic, but flown in from New Zealand, I’m not all that interested.

    I do buy from a local producteur who’s at my market on Sundays and I really stock up, but it’s hard to find locally-grown produce in Paris. There are 2 bio (organic) markets, but they’re far from where I live, and at one, you run the risk of being bulldozed by women in fur coats and their Hermès-clad kids.

    Anna: I’m going to write something up about Alinea soon. I think it’d be interesting to eat there, but I wasn’t all that interested until I read all the introductory essays in the book.

    oakjoan: I try to respond to comments randomly—there just isn’t a method to my madness! But I do read them all..

    j: Food allergies are kind of a “new” thing around here. I just saw that a gluten-free restaurant opened, and I’ve also seen ads for soy milk touting it as something for people who can’t digest regular milk.

    Kristacular: Well, the large dishes go in the large slots, and the small dishes go in the small slots. Which seems like common sense to me, but not to everyone who loads my dishwasher…Oh, and please, please don’t put pointed steak knives in the silverware caddy with the sharp pointed ends sticking up. Ever.

    valentine and JudyH: That, my dears, would fall into the category of TMI. But I will tell you that I don’t have any more; they’re all gone.

    (Hint: One I lost while surfing in Hawaii, and it wasn’t one in my ear.)

    btw: Thanks to all for the sites to watch movies and US tv. Unfortunately most of them block foreign IP addresses for accessing them (you don’t get the ‘blocked’ message if you’re in the states.) There are ways to get around that, and thanks for tips about doing that. Will give them a try!

  • 29- As an American living in Japan, I say it is totally worth it to live in Asia for all the amazing and cheap food. I have learned to appreciate noodles, cold and hot, spicy and salty, drowned in broth or sprinkled with seaweed. The Japanese cook Asian noodles so well, yet we are mired in chain Italian restaurants that serve only pasta dishes. It has confused me to no end.

    62- I have a 14-hour flight from Osaka to Chicago. If I’m stuck away from the aisle, I get jumpy and claustrophobic.

  • Read your 25 on Facebook and love that you continued the theme here!

    # 41 – Sad, isn’t it?
    # 28 and # 33 – Couldn’t agree more with you on these.
    # 38 – I do that too because I have had people think I was being mean when I was just trying to be funny.

  • Nice…I had actually considered trying to contact you to see if you’d meet up with me in Paris over my winter break, not because I think you’d be absolutely amazing but because you obviously know Paris (and the best parts–where to get good, amazing, or just decently cheap food). But I don’t know; I think you sound pretty interesting too. Just let me know if you’re up for it ( ;) ). I’ll only be in France for 5 months and have resolved to see Paris even if I have to do it alone.

  • # 9 why?
    # 20 tried the vegetarian sushi?
    # 29 You must at least visit. I was not a big fan until I went to Japan last year. Almost everything I ate was excellent!
    # 42 Yeah, you’re probably just a big bore (I’d use a ;-) here but I hate hate hate them). Still, when I was in Le Marais in November I was curious to meet you. Maybe my version of meeting a celeb.
    # 44 Why’d you move to Paris? (I’d love to hear that scream)
    # 84 Go to Patricia Kaas instead. Or what are her tickets going for?

    Love your blog,

  • I was just working on my 25 things too! Just joined FB 5 days ago and am addicted. I love your blog and made your ginger cake at Chow tonight with almond flour. I have done this about 5 times to make it gluten free and everytime it overflows but tastes so good with pumpkin (or tonight ginger rosewater icecream). I think I am going to pour it real thin next time and almost make a lacey gingersnap florentine cookie.

    My food, snark, and needing guy friend ones…
    # can sharpen a knife
    # prefer my stainless henckels to globe or wusthof
    # have a hard time being brief
    # am generally too enthusiastic and need to take a chill pill, spazz
    # am 1000 times nicer than I was in high school. swear. and apologize for being a raging bitch
    # decided being too nice isn’t that fun, so please don’t wear sandals with socks or crocs, I can’t handle it
    # secretly miss having lots of guy friends and am still pissed at my ex-roommate, the house DJ, who said at my age it wasn’t possible anymore cause they’d all fall in love with me. of course…. (i’m a girl)
    #am pissed being in the hospital wiped out 3 days a week of italian study. como se dice? qu’est-ce que c’est? come si dice? non capisco.

  • wow… you DID get carried away.. haha. 89 things. weird #.

  • Hi, David !! About #29,as Japanese woman,I’m glad to hear that !!
    Please publish your books in Japan and visit !!!

  • david,

    thank you for all of your posts :)
    it inspires me more to learn and discover about my passion of food and that just today i landed on soe websites from your posts that i have clicked and clicked i found a great recipe and just made Gnocchi and basil pesto and a simple italian tomato sauce. yum** just happy :)

    and you post “89 random things about me” is very informative and interesting too :)

    thank you so much…

    keep it up ;)

    God bless!

  • Re 15. try surfthechannel.com – they have all the shows there!

  • # 60 – we’ve seen pictures of your apartment…. so where do you keep all those containers?????

    I have to respectfully disagree on the greek yogurt though. On it’s own it’s rather ordinary, but with home made granola and some fresh berries thrown in it can be divine!

  • Oh God, one should never be served at breakfast. Anywhere that has table service at breakfast is terribly, terribly unclassy and just plain rude, imo!

    That’s why an Englishman (and as this Englishwoman can testify, it goes for us too) is never served at breakfast. You should be allowed to help yourself from the hot buffet in peace.

  • I was going to suggest that you send the clementines to me but someone beat me to it…

    Can’t agree with you on greek yoghurt and I’m also guilty of ditching yoga because of my lack of flexibility. I knew I would improve if I kept going but I got bored of feeling like the class dunce for not being able to touch my toes.

    I would love to never fly economy again but at this point in my life it is all I have ever experienced and hotels without breakfast are fine by me, it’s usually overpriced and not very good anyway.

  • #16…Universal health care is a wonderful idea. The problem is the organization that would run it! The US govenment? Heaven help us!

    As a new blogger, I am looking up to those I have followed for years…David, Kate and Judy, “The Diva”. Hope you have help screening all those comment!

  • Mariann: I don’t know, the Internal Revenue Service does a pretty good job handling all that paperwork. And as much as folks complain about it, the US Postal Service is rather good, too. From what I recall, both do a better job than my old HMO did. Plus when it’s government run, there’s no one to deny claims, and pre-existing conditions don’t mean anything. And when you’re not paying a for-profit company to run things, then costs are lowered and doctors aren’t burdened with all that insurance paperwork.

    Claire: Obviously I need to spend more time in England. Although some of those English breakfasts! I’m not sure I could face that much food in the morning.

    Shira: I had a big clear-out a few months ago and was planning on posting about it, with some photos, but the recipe I made to go along with it wasn’t up to snuff. So it’s lounging somewhere on my hard drive.

    Brenna: Sounds like an apartment swap to me : )