Honeymoon: Paris to Bruxelles

As I write this, we’re currently on Thalys train 9443, from Paris to Bruxelles, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. This may be one of the few times I’ll get to properly update since none of the hotels we are staying in Bruxelles or Amsterdam have free Wifi. The lack of free Wifi floating around Paris was poor — apparently for many of the free Wifi sites in Paris, you have to pre-register and then login once you get to the location.

For my iPhone, we paid for international data roaming (up to 50Mb) on this trip but you so much as spit while in a another country, you’ve used up a mb so everything has been shut off – data and 3G. I’ve only used data in Paris to Foursquare my way across the city when I could. This is going to be a very quick update on what has been going on for the last week since I only have about an hour before we get to Bruxelles.

Foursquaring, tweeting and other general updating will be done at the barest of minimums for the next 1.5 weeks. Also, all images from our camera are in raw format and I don’t have proper graphic software on my netbook so those will be done when we get back (more or less). If you haven’t been following me on Twitter, here is what you’ve missed:

  • Our flight was delayed due to unknown reasons from Montreal to Paris, which wasn’t so much the issue. The issue was that Delta never bothered to contact me via text or email about the plane delays and I only found out by happenstance when we purchased Wifi in Montreal to find out what the fuck was going on since NO ONE in Montreal, it seems, knew what the hell was going on. None of the desks manned in our concourse for Delta/AirFrance actually HAD people manning the desks. Our flight changed three times, which also included our seating. Now, part of the reason why we booked our trip (in fact the main reason) was that we were able to request and have confirmation for bulkhead and exit row seats on all three legs of our journey (Detroit->Montreal->Paris, Amsterdam->Detroit). I get that due to Ash Cloud shenanigans, flights are going to be screwy, but to change our flight, disregard our requests, not notify us, and then not have anyone available to talk to at the airport? Yeah, fuck you Delta/Air France. What burns, even more, is that when flights were settled and we were ready to board, our tickets that were printed at DTW suddenly were not working at YUL. Air France said it was due to the change over in flight information, we were in the registry and our tickets were reprinted.
  • Due to the above all, Delta/Air France LOST OUR LUGGAGE!
  • It arrived 2 days later, but beating one’s underwear and shirts in the sink and then spending the day wearing damp, vaguely dirty clothes for another run is bleh. Yes, first world problem, but dammit, it’s my fucking honeymoon!
  • We met up with Jon and Alice (from #userfriendly/Twitter/etc) for the weekend and quite enjoyed the drinking, laughing, stumbling, and shopping that took place all over Paris. Since all of us were pretty much in agreement that it would be impossible to do EVERYTHING in such a short amount of time (and to be honest, you would need weeks to do everything in Paris), we just hung out and ate ourselves silly from one end of the city to the other. We also became the masters of the Paris metro.
  • Justin and I actually did spend the entire day at the Louvre, which was not as bad as I would have thought it would have been. Seeing the Mona Lisa was fairly uninspiring (too many fucking people flashing their fucking cameras on the fucking masterpiece that was covered in fucking glass). We did not see the ENTIRE Louvre but we saw a good portion — I also got to knock three Caravaggio paintings of my list, so that was exciting (my lifetime goal is to see everyone of his paintings and I’ve knocked a considerable amount of them off the list since I went to Rome and now Paris). But as for the rest of the Louvre, you get oversaturated with the religious artifacts, the 975 different representations of Christo on a cross and sheer amount of boobage everywhere. Even Justin pointed out that after awhile, you get sick of looking at breasts.
  • Alice turned us into the Le marche aux puces de Saint-Ouen (flea markets of St. Ouen) which was fan-fucking-tastic idea! This was such a brilliant idea and it was a shame we left it for the morning before we left because we could have spent the entire day there and still not have seen everything. I picked up a few trinkets for myself and for gifts while Alice picked up oodles and oodles of beads. We roamed through a good portion of the market and saw everything from used books, post cards to antique furniture and clothes to stall upon stall of Converse, hookahs and the every popular pashmina.
  • My netbook cracked sometime between when we left our hotel in Paris and when we got on the train to Bruxelles and will have to be junked when we get back (which is also why updating is going to be very, very sporadic).
  • In other good news (other than hanging out with Jon+Alice for the weekend), I had a job interview before I left for the trip (literally, the day before) and I have another job interview lined up when I get back from my trip, the first week of June. I’m getting the job interviews — I just need someone to FUCKING GIVE ME A JOB!

 

So, that’s a nutshell of what we’ve been doing (other than eating and drinking bad beer and hanging out at expat bars around Paris).

à bientôt!’

The Throbbing’s Wedding Mix

The Throbbing’s Wedding Mix [77Mb mp3]

I’m still working on the post from our wedding shenanigans, but wanted to put together a mix of songs that we would have played if we had a reception and the reason why I choose these songs. I did not change my name (too much paperwork, also rallying against TheMAN) but “The Throbbings” is a nod to Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies, in which there was a set of characters, Lord and Lady Throbbing. Throbbing has become our personal nom de plum and if we have sign up for anything together, it’s usually under the last name of Throbbing.

I used Audacity to mix the songs together and tried to blend the intros and outros as close as possible, but it’s not absolutely perfect. The track listing is as follows:

Home – Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Every couple has an “official” song, usually some Michael Buble remix or regurgitated Emo bullshit. We have Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, a band we both gravitated to after hearing them on All Songs Considered. Lyrics can be found here and YouTube is here.

Idiot Wind – Bob Dylan

Granted, this is not a typical love song by a long shot but Idiot Wind is off of Justin’s favorite Dylan album, Blood on the Tracks. This album was one we listened to on repeat on one of our second first dates back in 2008 and it is also one of our favorite tracks.

Somethin’ Hot – Afghan Whigs

I do not think I could put together a wedding mix and not throw in some Greg Dulli. The album, 1965 came out when Justin and I were together the first time around (’98-’99) and I played it CONSTANTLY. This track, in particular, always gets me feeling a tad bit frisky. YouTube video is here.

No One Else But You – Louis Armstrong

We both have a love for early Jazz/New Orleans Jazz/Swing/Big Band – pretty much anything pre-Bop. This song is from a compilation of Armstrong tunes that were recorded between 1925-29, entitled Hot Fives & Sevens.

Single Ladies – Pomplamoose

I fell in love with this band once their viral video for Beyonce’s Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) was making the rounds last fall. I started giggling when, during our wedding dinner, our friends Lauren and Eric kept commenting that Justin liked it so much, he put a ring on it – thus this song (and specifically this version) was included.

Cherry Bomb – The Runaways

I went out, begrudgingly, with Lindsay to see The Runaways this past week expecting that as history has shown, most bio-pics about bands tend to suck (more specifically, I was thinking this was going to suck because it has the Twilight goddess in it). But lo! It was actually pretty good and I had forgotten how much I loved early girl-punk (Lindsay hooked me up to keep on reminding me). Thus! This song got included because nothing says “true wuv” like overtly sexual suggestive songs. A video of the original Runaways singing it is found on YouTube (of course).

Ball and Chain – Social Distortion

Right, like how can I NOT include this song? Lyrics and YouTube video.

I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash

We’re both fans of the Man In Black, but, I was seriously contemplating including the Joaquin Phoenix version of this song on the mix instead of the Cash one because the first version of Cash I have is a terribly mixed live one. I found a studio quality version of Cash singing the song and removed Mr. Phoenix from the lineup. This is also one of our favorite songs. Here is 23 year old Cash singing this song on the Tex Ritter show in 1955.

Lover’s Day – TV On The Radio

Justin’s love of music that cannot be easily classified made me think that he would love TV on the Radio – and I was right. Well, he more or less would give them a strong “like” over love. Regardless, this is one of the first songs that we declared as ours and the one that reminds me the most of him. Since this was not a single, and there appears to be no video, only the lyrics are available.

Intergalactic – Beastie Boys

“Intergalactic,” the single off of Hello Nasty by the Beastie Boys, was released in the summer of 1998, right when Justin and I started dating the first time. According to him, I listened to Beastie Boys, Lords of Acid, Sarah Mclachlan and Afghan Whigs nonstop during that period. Since I was not, for the sake of the story, sober for most of that period, I’ll take his word. In 2009, Justin bequeathed me an art poster based off of “Intergalactic.” I knew based on the first few lines of the song, and the history behind it in regards to us, had to go into the mix. Video is available here.

God Only Knows – Beach Boys

In the world of pop and rock music, one of the definitive albums that is still seen as the holy grail of influence is the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Any kind of music critic, if apparently worth his or her salt, will name check this album in their review at least ONCE, regardless of the song/album/band/genre they are reviewing. Most of my die-hard music friends also name check this album and agreed that yes, one should at least have Pet Sounds in their repertoire. For Christmas 2008, I indeed received Pet Sounds as a present from Justin. “God Only Knows,” in stereo not analog, is included in the mix. Again, with the stupid still photos with musical background only available on YouTube or terribly edited live version, there is only lyrics, which are available here.

Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division

I was torn about including this song, since it has many different memories associated with it but I totally wanted to reclaim it for my own again. I’ve always said if I ever got married, I’d want this played at my reception -so fuck the memories, here it is. BUT! As a bonus, Justin is the man who used LWTUA to satire it as Pug Will Tear Us Apart for Valentine’s Day – so obviously in ode to Wednesday, the song had to be included. While I know an official video exists, apparently on YouTube it\’s all about crappy cover bands, still images with the music in the background that take precedence on “official” shit. This version was recorded for the Peel Sessions and was edited with other material, so it’s slightly different than the studio. But I can dig it.