Wednesday, May 29, 2013

But I Did Not Shot No Deputies


             Doing a blog, I'm discovering, might be a bigger project than I originally considered and, lately, motivation's been a problem. It's not that it's particularly difficult and time consuming or that I have to knock myself out to post anything. But considering I've kept this up for nearly a year it's, become a habit that's extended far beyond my usual span of attention. Still, I haven't felt much like writing because I didn't think I had much of anything worthwhile to say and the number of blogs about ex-pats in France must number in the thousands. But this was, after all, only supposed to tell family and friends about our experiences across the ocean, maybe it's time to remember its not literature. So with that in mind, here's a couple of things that happened recently.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Phil Wilson


            In the category of Famous Trombone Players I've Had On Speed Dial, there's only one member. My gig with the ITA, writing about the folks to whom they've given awards, sometimes means that I get to spend time talking to some of the world's best musicians. This can be a bit intimidating for me, especially in the case of someone like Phil Wilson.
            When I write these Journal pieces, I usually start by sending emails and sometimes the subjects will send me their numbers and suggest a phone call. On the day I called Phil, for some reason he asked to call back and when he did, my phone captured the caller ID. We talked for over an our and he turned out to be such a nice guy that what I had planned as kind of interview ended up being a really loose bull session.  Most trombone players, even great ones are really just regular, unpretentious kinds of people.  Fortunately, I had a recorder going so got all I needed for the article and after it was all over, I saved Phil's number to my phone. Anytime another musician came to the house I'd casually say something like, "Hey, know anyone with Phil Wilson on speed dial?" Unfortunately, that phone didn't make the trip over here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I ♣ Guignol


         
           We just finished two weeks of home exchanges in Dijon and Nîmes. Both places were interesting and fun but we were eager to get back "home" so I think Bordeaux's beginning to get comfortable.
            Having never been to Dijon, all I knew was it's in Burgundy and back in the States its name is on mustard. As it turns out, there really was a guy named Poupon and Dijon really is known for mustard. In fact there's a store there, Maille, that's has it on tap and you can take your own container to be filled with one of three different moutardes du jour. We felt right at home, though, since one of the wettest, coldest and longest winters in Bordeaux history followed us right up north.