Friday, June 27, 2008

An inconvenient truth...

Apparently, at Adobe, the customer counts for nada. Bear with me here... this will only take a moment. I won't tell you how much money I have thrown their way over the past year... suffice it to say that as of yesterday, I have upgraded to Design Premium CS3.3 (now with Fireworks and Acrobat 9 Pro!). It's even legal... and registered!

Following my registration, I was sent an email that said "Your registration benefit is waiting." I was waiting for it. I eagerly anticipated my chance to have a one-month free trial at

Alas, it landed in my spam folder. The untouchable folder, the one where I have to send a request to the sender to have the email resent. But, in the "reason it got rejected as spam" field it said, "Level 2: anywhere in message Match: PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE".

So... rather than replying to the message, I called Adobe's support line. That's an international/really long distance call from Paris to California. First, I had to press my way through the voicemail map and listen to all the options. Then I got Roger. Roger was very friendly as he put me on hold until he "located my records". He came back after a few minutes and told me that while he sees all my purchases, because I had DOWNLOADED the upgrade, I was not eligible for a registration benefit. WHAT??

I'm sorry, but in this day and age of global warming and trying to save the planet, me accepting to purchase my software via a download and not have a CD/DVD (not to mention the accompanying manual) pressed, packaged, processed and mailed should be incentive enough for EVERYONE to be downloading their programs AND getting their registration benefit. Honestly! All I want is my free one-month trial at street value, $25. I'm not asking for the moon here, folks!

Bottom line, I need the programs and Adobe has me by the you-know-whats (if I had them)... If any nice people over at are reading this... I sure wish you'd rethink your incentive package policy with Adobe. And to Roger at Adobe, it doesn't take much to please your customers. Bend a little.

Thank you for letting me rant.

Have a nice day...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Bottom Line...

I've had this post on the back burner for 2 days now.... debating the option of using a web photo or something of mine. I have to be true to myself and use one of mine, but I just wanted to add the following:

Saturday's NYT had an article about the, "Strange Habits of Successful Tennis Players". Guess what? Remember my Bucket seats... post? Seems I'm not the only one who noticed...

"...Nadal has more elaborate behaviors that have nothing to do with his wicked left-handed hooking forehand. There will be kangaroo jumps in the locker room, ultra-precise drink bottle positioning on changeovers, obsessive toweling off between points and equally obsessive wiping of the lines between points with a sneaker sole, even when those lines are already clean. Above all, there is his backward grab at the seat of his tennis shorts that one imagines has not helped sales of the clam diggers that he has otherwise popularized.

When reporters once tried to get to the bottom of the habit, Nadal said the problem was actually his bottom. “A little bigger than usual,” he explained."...

A little bigger than usual. Wow.

This is a young guy, in fine shape, and he's got a big butt. What hope is there for us slightly older, pre-menopausal babes who are carrying around a little extra tonnage in the derriere?? Ack!

Because I wanted to stay away from pulling shots off the web... and I do not have any photos of Nadal, you'll have to accept the above.

This is back when I was a babe... in the woods...under the hair dryer. Reading the phone book?? Nice shoes, eh?

Oh, very young...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Slow Motion...

My son's band, Slow Motion, played this afternoon at the Malakoff Town Hall's Fête de la Musique. The weather was sunny, there was a good crowd, and friends and family of the band were there to cheer them on. They did a few covers and then wailed on their song, "Baby, Oh". The crowd seemed to enjoy it! I did!

I think the upcoming rock and roll summer camp is going to be a great thing for him... he's had a bit of experience now and he will learn a lot during those two weeks. It was good to see all of them up on stage enjoying themselves.

It's only rock and roll, but I like it...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hot, sexy men...

Yeah... I thought that would get your attention!

I've been reading all the blogs that Blogger pushes, plus a few that I particularly like (see sidebar) and it seems they get a lot of hits when they include photos of hot guys; dressed, semi-dressed, undressed, as you wish... oldies in their prime, youngsters in their glory... Let's call it what it is. Beefcake. Back in my Flight Attendant days it was, "Cheesecake, 4C"... Yes. We did that. Where do you think the phrase "coffee, tea or me" came from?? Not all of us were brainless, and we were definitely not blind. Amen.

Take a good look at this particular ad (...sigh...if only...go ahead... "Click to enlarge!"). I am sure the geek guys meant well with their text. It is so inviting... "Add to cart"... Can I??? OMG!!! Thank you!!!! What I would really like to know is.... just how much IS that additional service to "See it Mounted"? 'Nuf said.

I am woman, hear me roar.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Star people...

This gets filed under the "15 minutes of Fame" category... Google Analytics said I had 80 hits the other day! Woo-hoo!! Considering I have an average readership of 3 (thank you, all!), I was pleasantly surprised! :-) I tracked it down to this link, a French blog dedicated to Amandine from Nouvelle Star. So, what am I gonna do now?? Exploit the crap out of it!

The post says, "Un américain qui vit à Paris à écrit ça sur son blog à propos d'Amandine" and quoted "And the winner is..." from June 12. Someone else (a real French person) agreed with me that there are quite a few of us out here who would have enjoyed seeing/hearing Amandine do anything from Janis Joplin. She has the range and the pipes for it. At least this time around it went to someone with real, raw talent. As one commenter (the only one!) pointed out, "...for someone like her [it] is like winning Thermophilae's battle. This is what happens to the rare people who don't act like a clown but who live their true feelings and who give everything to their art." Thank you, Anonymous.

I've watched a few of these shows... Star Ac, Nouvelle Star, Fame Academy... call me a glutton for punishment, but I like this kind of stuff. This year, NS aired the auditions. I can't imagine having to sit through the number of hours that must take! They also had a new crew of judges, which included André Manoukian, Philippe Manœuvre, Lio and Sinclair. I was really impressed by Philippe Manœuvre... I had seen him in assorted music shows over the years and I always thought he was a pretentious asshole, but his comments were concise and his judgments fair. He is a purist and his roots lie in his involvement with the music scene over the past few decades. I'm a new fan. He done good. They done good. Let's see what Amandine does.

In the second half of my 15 minutes of fame (tick, tock...), a few days ago I was contacted by a marketing associate at Spiegel and Grau, a division of Random House in New York. I think this is one unexpected perk of blogging, free stuff!! :-) She asked me if I would be interested in a book which was written by a British expat living in France... the American edition has only been on the shelf for 2 days, and my copy arrived today. Thank you, KN! I will be happy to give a review once I have finished reading it.

If there is anyone else out there who would like me to read, wear, sample, sip, taste their works, wares, goods, potables or comestibles, please... by all means... get in touch! Red is the preference, and I'm a willing (shameless) promoter of free enterprise!

Fame is a bee. It has a song. It has a sting. Ah, too, it has a wing.
~Emily Dickinson

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rattle and hum...

U2's "Rattle and Hum" is on the tube. When my son was little, one of his favorite songs was "When Love Comes to Town". We listened to it over, and over, and over, and over... He also liked Rossini's "William Tell Overture" from a CD my mother had called "Switched on Classics". I think he liked the trumpets best... or maybe it was the cannonball finale?

We were listening to Pink Floyd earlier tonight and I told him the story of "Comfortably Numb" and how it related to me. (My cousins and a few of my brothers will know what that story is about... REM, too...) Anyway, I told him that a lot of the music he is listening to now is the music I grew up with. He said he's "growing up with it, too". I guess he is, just not in the same way. I saw Led Zeppelin back in 1975 at the Nassau Coliseum... I still love listening to "Ramble On" today. I was very happy to take him to see The Who last summer here in Paris (so many old farts in the audience... me included!). He's going with his dad to see Kiss tomorrow night (there's no accounting for taste...!)

I guess I'm on the music thing because he's been turning me on to some of the stuff he listens to. Through him, I found Andy McKee and Cinematic Orchestra, and I now know almost every bass line of every Red Hot Chili Peppers song. (He and his band, Slow Motion, have been practicing for their upcoming set at the Fête de la Musique concert in Malakoff on June 21.) I guess it's the love of music that crosses the generations and cultures.

I was looking for a photo to use for this post, and came across this and showed it to my son. It's my mother (his grandmother), circa 1985. I won't tell you what was going on, but my son was WAY impressed with my brother's old Rickenbacker bass. I wonder if he still has it? Music is magic.

In the name of love...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And the winner is...

So, without singing anything from Janis Joplin at all, Amandine won Nouvelle Star. Although, it was a bit strange, you'd think she would be ecstatic about it... but her reaction was very low key. Maybe she felt bad that Benjamin didn't win?? Hopefully, she'll get used to the fame, work on her diction and put out a decent CD. Looking forward to seeing what she does over the next year.

My friend Kim over at Parisian Events was rooting for Benjamin, as she calls him, 'Benji'... see how I segued into that shameless plug? :-) She cooed about his James Dean good looks and suave style... I just wanted him to move the arm that wasn't attached to the microphone! What's next for hot summertime French TV viewing? Koh-lanta! Oo-la-la!!

Today was another long day at the computer, so I will call it an early night and spend some time with my son. Most likely, he's watching something on his laptop, which will leave me in bed early with a good book. With the temperature currently at a stormy 60F, it's great sleeping weather!

I love Paris when it fizzles...!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Ramble on...

"This election is a turning-point election. And it is critical that we all understand what our choice really is. Will we go forward together, or will we stall and slip backward?"

I watched Hillary Clinton's speech on Saturday and I had to hold back a tear or two. In August 1992, as I was preparing to leave the US to live in Paris, France, I watched the Democratic Convention. It was the first time I was ever fully engaged by what was going on politically. I can still hear Fleetwood Mac's song, "Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow..." and I remember the energy that Mr. Clinton exuded in his speech. For me, it was a moment in my life I will never forget. There was hope in the air and there I was, on my way across the pond.

In the years that passed, Bill brought a lot to the international stage, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Whatever his transgressions (honestly), he held the country together. I don't know why he never got behind Al Gore during his run... although Al is way cooler now with the global warming issues.

Then, we got W.

I worked for a non-profit American association through both those elections. I can't tell you about the depth of depression that was felt and expressed by many who called or came through the office doors. His record speaks for itself.

The photo above was taken of my TV screen during Hillary's exit speech. It was at the point where she spoke about her mother's generation and her daughter's future. Then she said, "Let us resolve and work toward achieving very simple propositions: There are no acceptable limits, and there are no acceptable prejudices in the 21st century in our country."

We now have a chance to bring some hope and change to the country and its perception on the international front. In the next coming weeks we'll see what the ticket brings... whoever it is, it can only be better.'s the time, the time is now...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bucket seats...

This afternoon was the men's final at Roland Garros. Again, it was down to Raphael Nadal and Roger Federer. I like them both. Roger is absolute Swiss elegance and Rafa is primal Espagnol. The only thing that bugs me about watching Nadal is how often he has to tug at his drawers. Granted, he has an adorable derrier, but it didn't take long for him to dig in and then, he didn't stop... I'm sure I won't be the only one to say, "Can someone please get him some breathable undies that don't ride up?" In any case, congratulations to both for making it to the finals and to Rafa for taking his 4th French Open win.

This is another short post. I've been spending a lot of time on the computer with work and I need some down time. So, quote of the day, and I'm off...

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
~John Lennon

Friday, June 6, 2008

I want to ride my bicycle...

My brain is melting. I've been doing web stuff for the past 4 days solid. I have questions out on forums all over the place... I would love to learn PHP, but it might put me into overdrive. I'm dreaming in code... I need to get out and not think for about an hour.

I have to admit, I like the learning process, although it can be a bit frustrating at times. If anyone can give me a synopsis of Community Builder, I'd be much obliged! ;-)

It is cold here in Paris... it was maybe 17C today... that's a little over 60F. The folks at Roland Garros were wearing scarves and jackets. It's June!

This is a short post, I need to step away from the machine for the evening. Hopefully, it will be a little warmer out tomorrow and I will be able to make the time to get on a bike and do a slow ride...

Take it easy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I spy with my little eye...

Today has been a web day... working on a site now, had the key people over to discuss content and placement... all the while watching the restoration progress of someone else's site that got hacked. What is wrong with people in this world that they need to hack websites? I don't get it. Hacking and spam. Ugh. Welcome to the internet, let's all be friends (not fiends!).

In the "this is not spam" category, I got an email notification this afternoon that Stephen Stills will be playing at the Olympia Theater in Paris this October. I have 8th row center seats! This will be a nice follow up to seeing CSN in Boston this summer. I love their music and I am really glad to finally hear them play. It will be especially nice to see Mr. Stills play solo in a small theater... he's my favorite!

The above photo was taken at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Although we didn't have enough time to enjoy all the beauty there, I did manage to get a few photos in the time allowed. This was taken in the Orchid House. I have a Sri Lanka slide show here. I'm sure you'll recognize a few shots! It is nice to remember some of those locations.

If you have never been to Sri Lanka, make the trip. Your senses will be overwhelmed... gonna go light some incense now...

Breathe in, breathe out...