Friday Five

I know there’s an old rule in writing that you’re never supposed to lead with the weather, but can we talk about how glorious the weather has been this week? Mid 60s, blue skies, just the right amount of wind. Spring has certainly, finally, sprung, and while it’s supposed to rain all day today, my mood is irreversibly buoyed by having been able to wear ballet flats to work this week without catching frostbite, thus displaying my blindingly pale cankles for the first time in months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still winter’s biggest champion, but it’s hard not to love spring weather.

Herewith, my top five things this week:

1. The answer Gary Oldman gave to the question, “What is your guilty pleasure?” 

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And the beautiful soul who made it into a gif (his face!).

2. The new blog layout I’ve been working on:


But you’ll have to wait until Monday to see it! Such a tease, I know. It will be worth the wait.

3. This well-timed, eerily accurate fortune cookie fortune:


I had dinner with my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces over the weekend, and I opened my fortune cookie to this little gem. I generally don’t give much weight to fortunes, and I wouldn’t necessarily consider going to Paris to write a novel “exotic,” but this one was too perfect not to share.

4. This wonderfully weird Google Earth screencap:


YOU RAN HIM OVER. This was taken in Parc Monceau, just like this bizarre one, convincing me whoever was in charge of the camera that day must have been high.

5. The new “No Work After 6pm” rule French unions just enacted:


Not only do the French enjoy a 35 hour work week, 6+ weeks of paid vacation per year, and, you know, life in France in general, French unions this week “signed a new, legally binding labour agreement that will require staff to switch off their phones after 6pm.” No work emails, no work texts, no work after 6pm. The unions believe there should be as little intrusion to the private lives of workers as possible, which means that “companies must ensure that their employees come under no pressure” to work after you leave the office. Considering I live with someone that takes work calls at 11 at night and 7 in the morning, this is a rule I’d love to adopt here. (Thanks to my friend Audrey for sending me this story!)

What are you up to this weekend, kiddos? I will be packing, and I’m so excited about it. I already did a test run a few months ago, true story, to make sure I could bring everything, cross-referencing the piles of folded clothes with one of the 345694262413 lists I’ve made. This time I’m making it official by bringing out the suitcases. 19 days!

20 thoughts on “Friday Five

  1. wanking. funny. good god i want to move to france. not that anything would change for me with having my own business. but i think i just might get a job for all the fabulous benefits. and of course the greatest benefit of all – living in france and traveling all over europe forever and ever. i need to play the lottery once in awhile or something. and maybe if you have a lil extra time you could look into how a person moves there with no money, in case i don’t win that lottery ;)

    PS i have never heard the rule of not starting with the weather! i am happy to hear you are enjoying spring. it is such a lovely little season. happy packing! xoxo

    1. I’ve had the urge to ask my French teacher, Rachel, who is from France, what on earth compelled her to leave her home country. You’re French! Do you realize how good you had it?? But I suppose it’s like living anywhere, you can’t appreciate it fully. The proximity and ease of travel around the rest of Europe though would do it for me!

      Oh, the weather thing is just one of those old adages writers are always espousing (these are funny and accurate!). Roz Morris, in “Nail Your Novel” said: “Weather is usually not interesting. Most of the time in real life, weather is a conversational gambit used by those who wish they had something better to talk about. It’s throat clearing. It’s asking for permission for a conversation. It’s perhaps a plea for the other person to think of something less dull to talk about. In writing, it’s often a hesitant moment as the writer wonders exactly how to introduce everything. ‘Er, there was a blue sky…’” Makes sense, but then some writers say that if your character is thinking about the weather, it can work sometimes. Basically like all other writing rules, don’t do it unless it works. Oy. xo

    1. Ha! They’re extensive, but now you’re making me want to take pictures of them for posterity! xo

  2. The weirdness that is sometimes Google maps. Seems the French know how important a life not constantly filled with work is. I get an odd satisfaction when my phone happens to go dead, knowing that I don’t have to talk, text, reply, post, or update until I feel like charging my phone. Looking forward to the new layout, though I have really enjoyed the present one for being so simple and clean!

    1. I hear you. Whenever I leave it at home accidentally (or intentionally, as is increasingly becoming the case) it feels really freeing not having to check my phone to see if anything new happened. I switched back to an old Nokia bar phone for a while last year or the year before, just to detach myself from the internet a bit (because really, do we need internet on our phones when we sit at computers all day??) and that felt great. I’d love to adopt this French rule though!

      I hope you like the new layout! :) xo

  3. Je ne peux pas le croire, ton petit mot chinois est excellent !
    J’ai un petit question pour toi, je sais maintenant ce qu’il pense ton fiancé de ton petit séjour à Paris…mais Gary…il sait que tu parts loin très loin de lui…
    Tu est la reine de suspense…maintenant on attend jusqu’à lundi pour ton nouveau blog! ;)
    Je suis déjà arrivée en Andalousie avec mes kiddos, au menu, plage, coquillages et farniente ! xo

    1. Ha! Gary a une femme, malheureusement, et Londres est loin de moi. Quand il était à Philadelphia, je lui rencontre, mais je pense que c’est un “one time deal” (comment dit-on en Français?) haha. La reine de suspense! C’est une bon titre! La reine de quelque chose, ça marche pour moi. Mon nouveau blog est nee!
      J’espere que tu es en t’amuses, le plage, et tes filles! Ah, Andalousie. xo

  4. oh, you have to love the French. not sure this rule would work anywhere else in the world, but I admire them for trying… xoxo

    1. Haha, let’s see how it pans out for them. The unemployment rate there is so high, and people are so discontent it seems, so maybe this will help turn things around? xo

  5. so excited that you are already packing! as for the no work after 6 pm rule? incredible! how amazing that they really want to take care of their citizens. i always tell steven that i would love to relocate there whether for work or even just retirement, their way of life is wonderful.

    1. I packed! And then my mom convinced me I didn’t need to bring five (five!) black turtlenecks, that two or three was sufficient, and maybe 13 dresses was too many. So I still have some tweaking to do (and I haven’t packed underwear or socks yet which has me convinced I’m going to forget them entirely), and I haven’t weighed the suitcase yet to make sure I’m under the weight limit, but it’s a solid start! xo

  6. I’m 2 days late, but I just love this Friday Five. And that French enacted work e-mail rule has got to be the best thing I’ve ever heard. I just turned to my husband when I heard it like “…you need that in your life..” Just another reason to love France, right Erin?

    1. Right? As if France didn’t provide enough reasons already. J could seriously use that 6pm cut-off rule! But I think instead of relaxing him it would have the opposite effect of making him more stressed out that something wasn’t getting done, haha. xo

  7. In between meetings and a blinding headache and two (TWO) baseball games, I missed your Friday Five. I saw that work text business earlier this week. It’s brilliant. I’ve had bosses who push the boundaries (it’s the bane of freelancing), and I LOVE that plan. Hope you had a good weekend. :)

    1. I’m grateful that when I leave my desk at the end of the day, I don’t have to think about it until I come in the next morning. I couldn’t handle a job I took home every night (boundaries! I get fussy). I think J’s office should enforce it for a week and see what happens ;) xo

  8. You really do make me laugh, you have an amazing ability to create such random yet equally funny and interesting blog posts. Keep it up! Hope you had a good weekend with all that packing… unpacking… packing…. unpacking. I was packing too, for a little trip to Miami with hubster and work will definitely not be involved for the first time since 2008. Quel incroyable! x

    1. Hahaha, well thanks, miss! That’s so sweet of you to say. I’m happy to entertain at least one other person besides myself with my ramblings ;) There was a lot of packing and standing there staring at everything, rearranging, taking pieces out, deciding what to pack in my carry-on and what to pack in the checked bag (because, you know, I’m convinced they’re going to lose my checked bag, and I need to have at least enough clothing to survive until they can deliver it to me in Paris, duh). When are you going to Miami? And no work involved?? Wow! You two are going to have a blast. xo

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