Three Months, Nine Days...

That’s how long I was unemployed. Yes, you read that right. As the French are going on strike, I’m taking a part-time job showing vacationers into their apartment rentals in the center of Paris ( It’s a hand-me-down job from another American, working for an American-speaking American who the rents the flats to other American Americans. I meet them at the office, show them to their flat, and learn them the right (or left) way to turn a French key in a French door, so they can get into the bedroom and French kiss in private. In case you are nosy like me, it pays 700 euros a month, which at press time is like $125,000 a year. Also, I get a small commission if I line up clients, so if you are really rich and want to stay in a private apartment in Paris, email me.

After the first four hours, I have to say that the best thing about the job is the location at 274 Rue Saint Honore, one block from the Louvre and the Jardin du Tuileries. It’s a mind-altering experience to see some of the most famous and beautiful sites in the world while riding your bike (in a dedicated bike lane) to work in the morning. It certainly beats the hell out of almost getting run over by some redneck Longhorn fan in a seven-ton pickup and then sitting at my desk all day. Vive le France. Or, if vous ne parlez pas Français, here it is in bumper sticker: Tuck Fexas.

Here we see a map of how I get to work in the morning, riding along the Seine. Green = home, red = work:

All told, it was a great 98 days (+/-) of blissful freedom. I managed to visit such desperate locales as Real de Catorce, Zacatecas, and San Tiburcio, Mexico; New Orleans, Louisiana; Albertville, Alabama; Clarksville, Tennessee; Springfield, Missouri; Bartlesville and Norman, Oklahoma; Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Bethany Beach, Delaware; Paris, France; and Prague and Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. Quite an adventure after 13 years of static cling.

In homage, here are a few panoramic photos from our trip to Mexico in August:

Real de Catorce: The Lucero

Real de Catorce: The Road to El Quemado

Real de Catorce: Looking West from the bottom of El Callejon Zaragoza

... and a special shout-out to recently unchained Plus Tard donor Shawn Badgley
who will be taking an immersion course in Zacatecas (pictured below) before going to Real de Catorce to write a novel about what an awesome friend and confidant I have been to him. Good luck, buddy. Say hi (and then adios) to that delicious sopa de mariscos (and a shot of Don Julio) at La Leyenda for me.


  1. gracias, señor.

    the first 100, huh? the honeymoon's over. les jeux sont faits. translation: the game is up. your ass is mine. ... what's the score? nothin'-nothin'. who's winning? the Bears.

    gainfully employed? gimme my dollar back then. what a racquet.

    i've entered the second week of my strike. i'm in St. Louis. almost didn't make it: my passenger-side back tire exploded en route outside of Tulsa last night. i spun out – onto the shoulder. blessed be the angels sucking the dicks of my fingertips, or whatever Psalm 26 says. (that one's for you, Puddles.) & blessed be Ron of Whitlock Towing (aka the Purple Avenger) & John of Hibdon Tires Plus off Admiral. i hope the Urban Tulsa Weekly gives them both Best of Tulsas this year.

    by the way, for those of you keeping score at home, that's three flats driving through Oklahoma. i've had two other flats in my life, both of which came courtesy the Austin Chronicle parking lot. & so i ask you again, what are the chances? "are you havin' a laugh? is he havin' a laugh?"

    joke time: Q: what did Milton S. Hershey say to the priest? A: i've got a confection to make.

  2. Yep, I preferred riding in my #25 double-decker bus past The Tower and St. Paul's to work, so I get excited and can relate with your work commute. Screw Longhorn Chevy S-10s and Suburbans. America really sucks sometimes. Chris and I hope these monstrosities on our roads explode or that gas prices reach a ridiculous price forever. And congrats on the job...ha, when we visited London we rented a flat. It really is the way to go, and we shall use your services should our little one let us go to Paris whilst ya'll are there.