The Birat Family Chronicles..

Les tribulations d'une famille éparpillée...


I’m not sure who is most anxious to see the weekend arrive. I think everyone is slightly crazy. Last night I was sitting in my office after having spent the afternoon in one more demonstration to try to make the government back off their stupid reform of the university, and a colleague showed up and asked me if I could lend her a desk lamp because the light had gone out in her office (on the whole floor, actually). It’s just one thing like that after another. When I arrived  back in my office yesterday afternoon I had a message from some students who had written to me just before the February vacation and wanted to know why I hadn’t answered them yet. I can’t imagine…

But watch out (if your’re in France, that is) because there are Turkish coins that people are circulating because they look like 2€ coins and there is a epidemic of intestinal flu (another one). I got this information from my Spanish teacher last night. I didn’t understand whether the Turks were also responsible for the epidemic (you never know… If they’re capable of passing off counterfeit money, they’re capable of anything).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Paul Krugman is very pessimistic about 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013….need I go on? But Christine Largarde (the one who did synchronized swimming when she was younger and now practices synchronized lying) does not seem particularly flustered by the alarming increase in the number of unemployed in France.

So all is well and I suppose I should find something constructive to do. What will I find to lie about today?



  1. C’est la comedia del arte classique de la politique en particuliers, et de la vie en générale. Tu ne peux pas dire aux gens la réalité que tout va mal. On est pas consu pour fonctionner comme ca. On a besoin de détourner le regard face à ce qui nous gène.

  2. So I was in Paris yesterday. I met with two stores I work with and everything went really well. They both liked the new collection. I hope they still do next fall when they have to pay for it.
    Paris was gloomy and cold. I tried to get in touch again with the store that owns me money in Montrouge but this time I got a message saying that the number was no longer working. I guess I have to forget about getting my 3000 euros back… that’s a killer. I’m having a really hard time getting over it.
    With 7 hours of train I did manage to prepare one class for Monday. It’s the history of costume during the 70s. It was fun to read about YSL collections and how Helmut Newton did very sexy dirty pictures for Bloomingdales or Vogues.
    Today is an other long day. I have many pictures to format for the new web site. Can’t wait for next week.

  3. Many years ago when I was doing freelance art work I designed a poster for which I charged the customer $35. When he finally paid me, the check bounced! After several weeks and many fruitless trips to his office to try to collect, I was so mad I just stormed in and told the receptionist if I didn’t get my $35 NOW I would have to take her boss to court. Surprisingly she flew into action, and a few minutes later I had a new check in hand, which I cashed at the bank the next day. (I don’t recommend trying this with anyone you hope to do business with in the future).

    Hang in there, Melissa, and don’t let ’em grind you down!

    Aunt Betty

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