Monday, June 14, 2010

Day8: one week in Paris

So it has been only one week since we arrived and it feels like a month!
My computer is held at Paris customs (Douane) sent from Tekserve in New York via FedEx. They warned me we will have to fight to get the computer without paying the sales tax, since it is an old computer. I have all the documents to prove so, husband wrote a hand-written letter as requested, and with all the forms one can possibly think of, I faxed it from IRCAM this morning. We will see what happens.

Then I spent all afternoon getting ready for the presentation tomorrow. Things are working except I'm using husband's computer which is bigger (17") but slower. I have some audio interruption problem, but will have to live with it for tomorrow. I am starting to like the Keynote (slide) presentation, as it keeps me on track and will go through things that have to be said. My last slide will show a picture of the Sake (Dai-Ginjo) bottle I got in the "Japan town" in Paris, which I am serving tomorrow for those who will make and stay through my talk :)

I am also preparing for our first recording/experiment on Wednesday with Frédéric Bevilacqua, using the gesture follower in a musical context. We will start simply but try to get some concrete results; I am in the hands of one of the most brightest group of people, being so well situated; I feel so responsible and obligated to get things done as much as I can, while I can. Especially when my parents-in-law in Picardie are taking the heaviest load of the summer, the KIDS...

Husband came back to Paris so we went out for dinner. I spent all day working so it was a nice occasion. We decided to eat out as I hadn't done so since he left. We wondered into Jewish town; a lot of Kosher bakeries here--then went into Marais and found a restaurant. Husband did his usual menu evaluation, approved, so we sat down. When we were first married and lived near Antibe/Cannes (he worked at Sophia Antipolis, the 'silicon valley' of France) he used to drive me crazy looking for a place to eat. While I was starving and ready to dive into MacDonald's, he would read each and every menus of rows and rows of restaurants and do a detailed and comparative study: "This is for tourist, this one is too chic, this is too pretentious" etc. But I always trust the outcome, so no matter how hungry I am, I wait. Today he relatively quickly said 'yes' to this one, and he was right. It was perhaps the heaviest meal I had so far since arriving to Paris, but I took Piccata de veau with mushrooms; heavenly, heavenly "pleurotes" oyster mushrooms (and no doubt the second 'heaven' came from the obscene amount of 'beurre'). Then just to go all the way, just because I have a talk tomorrow, I had my first Crème Brulée this year, which was of course the best I've had in a long time. The cream part wasn't like a hard custard which they usually are, but was creamy... how do they do that? They recommended Cahors, which was just right. Then husband did what any tipsy French mathematicians would do at this point--show his wife "Caustics" (Caustique).

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