Friday, March 30, 2007

Well, the talk has started about that scandal in my library. Why would anybody make a huge mess, pull all the books off the shelf, pull others out of storage, sort yet another whole category, start doing the same with magazines, making a mess of epic proportions and then not finish the task?

Simple. Stress behavior. Happens every year in February.


The Kan 'EWA

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Her Holiness, The Psycho Therapist, in a command performance, designated me to highlight the ones I've read. Good list. Chows wanna know: so now, do we like get miles or something?


1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMavrier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

The 'Kan EWA

Saturday, March 24, 2007

MDA called from I-5 last night to laugh about seeing the waiter exchange in print. She claims she's going to post the observers' version of that same exchange. I didn't EVEN get into the 'oh I don't eat lamb' and 'the halibut is just flying out of here tonight' part.

I don't care what THEY are eating. What you think as you serve it all, see it all, and eat your choice is what I want to hear. And if I want to be sold, I'll go buy a TV. And if you will get real with me as I sort out the menu, quite likely when it comes tip time, you'll be looking at 3 bones, as The Chows like to say.


Having said all that, it makes me quite nervous to have my personal faves put in a prominent position. And the Paris/Rome contrast is a perfect case in point. I like to do different things in different cities. The fishing culture which was the origination of Paris is really, really interesting to me. I don't get too far from that river and watch it all day long on an ideal day. Commerce and pleasure co-exist splendidly on the Seine and I love to watch it. It's my pagan soul stirring but I feel those Parisii; their industry and ambition inspires and soothes me. The chugchugchug of the barges carrying tourists and cargo reassures me that we all can live together. We just have to think about it. And find beauty and purpose in each day.

The other part about Paris besides the Parisii that fascinates me is the Revolution. So I like to go to all these places to learn more about the Power of the People. That's my Marxist spirit that ebbs and flows as I wander the streets in search of evidence of the manifesto. Those Parisians, then as now, are quite in touch with their inner selves and their emotions do not lie deep. It's all right there, easy access. I love them. It doesn't help that I have read all the books and biographies and I know about them as I march their streets. I know what Victor Hugo's thoughts were. I love the French and the Parisians: then, now and then. That's past, present and future. French parents are raising delicious children, who hold hands with each other and their parents, and are decidedly non-vocal, but visually absorb every aspect of their radii. My ransom for a French child to dress up and walk to school!

Rome on the other hand, for me, is a completely different deal. I love Roman history, too. all right, all right, all right. Enough. I love all history. All ancients. All texts. Anything. I like it. I admit it. I should be boring 18 year olds in a university somewhere. I don't have a sweater, though. Or a pair of Birkenstocks. So I travel instead. And in Rome, I just love to literally roam around. The city truly is eternal, with Greek and Roman pagan temples and Catholics churches being one in the same thing. Huge cranes soar over the walls of Vaticano, 12 feet thick walls built in medieval times, putting the latest incarnation on the Vatican Museum. Which is spitting distance from Circus Maximus where many a Roman was martyred , well before Peter and his friends came to town. I belligerently stride the Jewish ghetto. Did you know that no Pope ever crossed the river into the Jewish Quarter until JP2? True. After all, it was the JEWS who murdered Christ! Never mind he himself was a Jew, our Lord was, and the last supper was a Seder. Just keep moving. I do, back and forth and in and around the Jewish Ghetto.

The Romans had a completely different relationship with their river, not at all wholesome, and the River Tiber holds nothing for me. I bet it's the only river in the world that I can stand on and say 'nothing. I got nothing'. In Rome, it's the architecture and the business of being Rome that really interests me. The rebuilding, the international outreach, the absence of celebration. It's quite different from other Roman cities and the Italians that are there are different, too. The men are still wear beautiful silk suits and have perfect hair cuts but they hurry about worried. They don't ride bikes. And they enjoy the pleasure of women much less than in Milano or Firenze or Napoli. And you see fewer professional Italian women in Rome than anywhere. You do see many, many grandparents enjoying each other's company, sometimes in the company of their grandchildren.

So, when my friends' children and cousins' co-workers want info on where to go and what to do, I can only think that they could find much better information from anyone anywhere, starting with the Barnes Noble travel section. From me they are going to get a decided slant in favor of a personal experience. If I knew particular people were much more interested in ancient history, I would completely recommend skipping Vaticano when in Rome, if it's the season. It is soooo crowded and Rome, The Eternal City, is chock full of antiquities. Vaticano is really special, but crowded, and you can't really see past that frenzy unless you are Catholic so why put yourself through this travel trauma when you could be strolling the piazzas, the Pantheon and the Forum?

So I know why I like any given place. It feeds my quirky set of curiosities, which are greedy. Whether the needs of those curiosities sate others' appetites is another question. And the thing publishing houses are built upon: what really appeals to most people?

The 'Kan EWA

Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm fielding requests from friends for my personal favorites and recommends in Paris and Rome. Spring brings busy travel schedules for the lucky. One thing that I detest in a waiter is this:

me: what's do you think is the best thing on the menu?

he/she: depends on what you like.

me: steely gaze. silence.

he/she: if you like fish, or beef, or.....

me: wide eyed stare.

he/she: it just depends on what you like. what the best is.

me: silence

he/she: we have a lot of great things on the menu!

me: (very quietly) what is your personal favorite?
what do you like on this menu?

I think the ideal travel adventure, anywhere, centers around your interests. In both these cases, Rome and Paris, I would ask, do you like history? art? architecture? food? fashion? shopping? music? other?

And the answers to those questions are found in the best of any city. What to see in Paris and Rome? It's all there. Depends on what matters to you.

he/she: (shifting nervously to other foot) (putting pen and pad at side) well ME personally you wanna know what I like right? yeah okay, I think the ribs are the best thing here and for the appetizers, I like....

So. Here it is with no apologies. Take your pick. Paris: the perfect day in Paris is spent at Les Halles, wandering around the markets and culinary arts stores. Duthilleul & Minart on Rue de Turbigo is an institution in Paris for commercial cooking clothes and apparently has been for generations. Really interesting place. Next: the Marais for the museum of Paris, Hotel et Musee Carnavalet. So much of French Revolution remains in Paris. You can see where they ripped off pieces of sculpture from walls of Notre Dame in a complete fury. This museum tells you the story. The Bastille no longer stands. This museum tell you why. It's utterly fascinating and gives you the 411 on Paris, then and now. Stop in at Josephine Vannier on your way over to St Paul-St Louis. Mme. Vannier makes chocolate. She always has something that's Valentine's or fall harvest or for whatever the season is. If I hated chocolate, I'd still go. She's an artist. It' a gallery. I love it. St Paul-St Louis is the Parisian Il Jesu and looks very much like the real Il Jesu. For me, it's a don't miss. I have never been to Paris without stopping in here. The love the feel of the parish life in this church.

I love a stroll up St-Honore. The stores. The French White House. The American Embassy. LOVE IT.

Catch Blvd de Sebastopol back over the bridge to Ste-Chapelle. This church, this ~* is really hard to me to explain. If there was one and one only place I would go in Paris, it would be here. The most astounding thing in all of Paris. Maybe France. You can spend 3 hours there, slack jawed. I am fairly sophsticated when it comes to churches and museums but this place still leaves me speechless. And then you know what? as you are going on the door, utterly exhausted, wholely, deeply, seriously overstimulated, there is just one little thing or deal that puts you into yet another involuntary gasp and leaves your mouth wide open. If I remember, this costs in excess of 10E, which will put it just south of 15$. I would pay. And if given a choice between here and the Louvre, I'd go here.

Keep going on the same bridge you came in on and go over to St-Germain to the Abbaye de Cluney. As you hit the Boulevard after crossing the bridge, you turn right towards the Eiffel Tower, Tour Eiffel, and follow it to Blvd St-Michel and turn left. You'll see it. I know I said what I just said above about Ste-Chappelle, but Hotel de Cluny is my favorite place is all of Paris. Enjoy. By now, it's 2 in the morning and you'll be all alone. Only kidding. It's a jam-packed day but you can do it. I do.

I'd go Marais/Les Halles/St-Honore/Ste-Chappelle/Abbaye de Cluney.

Rome. Rome. oh my. Here's the thing about Rome and about any city: you see the most and see the best stuff when you walk. It's quite tempting to take a tour or hire a car, but I'd cab and walk. I would. First, I'd cab up to San Pietro in Vincoli on the Esquiline Hill. This is my favorite in Rome. The chains that bound Peter in his martyrdom are there as is Michelangelo's Moses and the Pope Julius tomb, the Holy Grail of Michangelo's career. Moses is my favorite sculpture in all of Rome. It's spooky, it's energized, it's real. It's real. I love this church. Santa Maria Maggiore is also on the Esquiline hill but unless churches are your die hard passion, I'd skip it and walk down the hill toward the Colosseum. You pass the Forum and I would definitely go in. There is much there, beware. Don't try to absorb and integrate each piece, but rather take it as a whole . You can read about it later--every part of it is documented widely along with much commentary. It's awesome. Head over to the Colosseum. It's become quite the tourist attraction in the last 10 years, to my dismay. I'd still go and I'd still pay. 10? 15? E? It's worth it because you understand how ancient Rome recreated and considering they were the civilized of the civilized, you begin to see things in a new light....

It's midday now and you are foolish indeed if you don't observe the local custom of an extended lunch and perhaps a nap. Many places are closed for several hours during the day. The local customs I would not ignor are honor and respect for the Italian language: look up a few phrases and use them. You will make friends. The Italians love to hear you speak their language. As well, dress. This is the city and the Italians and dress up, buff up and groom people. If you honor them in this manner, they will show you their wildly generous side. Wait and see!

Finally, I don't use public transportation in Rome because of the pick pockets and the Gypsies. I walk everywhere and cab if I have to.

Strolling the piazzas is the most delicious of pasttimes in Rome. Goto the Pantheon, don't miss the Pantheon, and then stroll the Piazza di Sant Ignazio. The Spanish Steps is a beautiful sight, although I like them early in the morning when they are not littered with tourists. Stroll the Piazza del Popolo and cafe, but beware, Rome is sooooo expensive. Don't order water and sip the expresso. It will work out. Never leave a cafe without using the toilet. The public toilets in Italy are... well...I don't use them. The Via Condotti emanates from the Piazza di Spagna and has much of the high end shopping in Rome. Rome is not a good shopping city, by the way.

I love the Campo de' Fiori and highly recommend it. Just strolling around. Head to the Piazza Navona for the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome, Italy maybe: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers. sigh. sigh. sigh. Also, you can drink the water in all the fountains of Rome. It's pure and fresh. Comes from the mountains and hills outide Rome through the aquaducts the Romans built. Unreal.

All the piazzas are lined with churches and museums and shops and cafes. The people watching is second to none. The beautiful, contemplative life style of the Italians is in high evidence here and you are smack dab in one of the most congested, polluted cities in the world. But to me, this is one of the true essences of Rome. I loves me some Piazzas.

You have to see St. Peters and Vatican City. My favorite is to sit at one of the cafes on Via Conciliazione and sip coffee and watch the people. Bellisimo. You will see one of everything. St. Peter's is a mondo tourist experience these days so you can't get there early enough in the morning. I always stay in Vaticano, get over there at 5:30 and walk about and then leave for the day as the tourists bein to arrive at 7 am. I flat leave. When I come about 8 or 9, it is dark and very, very quiet. The Vatican Museum is splendid. You'll need to be there no later than 7 am. Audiences with The Holy See are on Wednesdays in the Piazza but you'll need tickets. The Vatican Museum/ticket office can help you and are terrific on the phone.

I think that stroll out from St Peter's along Via Conciliazione out to Castel Sant'Angelo is absolutely second to none and will situate you perfectly to cross the bridge to the Spanish Steps or the Piazza Navona. I don't do a lot of shopping in Rome so I can't give you my favorites for shopping areas. I just buy what I like, wherever I am. I would not miss the Trevi Fountain. The Pantheon. Il Jesu. I love Trastevere. Ara Pacis.

It will be nice and warm/hot when at this time of year. You should remember to have a shawl to cover your bare shoulders or arms. Short skirts won't get you in. Shorts, neither. Local custom. Beware of lines. Dio Mio, the lines. You are going to have suuuuuch a wonderful time.

Be safe.

The 'Kan EWA

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Just in case those folks over at Kellogg Bloggin' think we don't know how to give props.
The 'Kan EWA

Loved the garden pictures enough to do it again. Hello Spring.

David Austin 'Something'

Joanna's Roses

'Midas Touch'

'Brass Band'


The 'Kan EWA

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Chows are quite busy. This is a heavy pre-production time at Bellemaison and they are hard at it. They have taken all the pine needles off the roses and accumulated huge piles everywhere in the garden. They leave the dirt mounded around the roses for the time which I don't understand because they are working quite hard with the secret production strategy which gives Bellemaison the absolute best roses in all of The 'Kan EWA. They take great pride in this known, but little-employed tactic that produces canes and canes and canes of lush, waxy foliage and handsfuls of fragrant, dewey roses.

That's right. They are scratching one half cup of epsom salts in the drip line of each of the 400 roses at Bellemaison. P33t's the big dog, so he has been covering the shrub roses, some of which extend 8 feet in diameter. P33t says those roses are just like him: big and bushy. Cle has been working with the antique roses, the white ones, in fact. He, like me, just loves white roses and we have the same favorite: Jacquelin du Pre. Do', of course, has been taking care of all the red hybrid teas and Sylvie tends the Victory Garden, planted for the Portland Pilots. She says that's because she's loyal.

The hydrangea canes blow in the March winds and the rhododenrons stand by stoically, ready for action. Soon the secrets of the winter will be revealed.

The 'Kan EWA

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Oh dear. I'm afraid Tony Lehman is not so happy with me at the moment. I have been outspoken in my criticism of Josh Hevtvelt. Tony would want me to be much more patient and forgiving. Tony would remind me that we are men and women for others. Tony would challenge me to be generous. And Tony would be exactly right.

But there is an excellent case to be made that Josh Heytvelt should go quietly in the night. He should leave campus and restart his life in another community where he would survive solely on his character and his personal merits, not on his height and potential as a elite basketball player.

Just what did Josh do that caused student body and alumni alike to turn their back on him? He turned his back on us. A Jesuit education is a serious commitment. At Gonzaga, it costs in excess of $35,000 to attend school there for one year. Families take on second jobs, go deep into debt and scrabble together every resource possible to see that kids get to go to Gonzaga. The alumni raise a great deal of money each year and give over 20 scholarships. The application pool is staggering. We fund a pitiful few compared to the need. The alumni have funded most of the beautiful new buildings on campus including the MAC, the Rosauer, the Jundt, the law school and the library, to name a few. Mostly, when you commit to a Jesuit education it becomes a life long commitment, although you don't know it when you sign on.

Neither Josh or his large, loving extended family will ever know the sacrifice and the tenancity that many families undergo in connection with a Gonzaga education. That's because Josh is a full scholarshipped DI athlete, driving a brand new SUV around town. Many of the students I talk to tell me that they are afraid that very image is what people will think Gonzaga students are. None of the students that work in my office drive to work; know why? They don't have cars. They walk from the Gonzaga campus to downtown Spokane to work to pay tuition. They are at the top of their game, too. All have been on the President's List every semester at Gonzaga. That would give them a collective GPA of at least a 3.7. On the nights before big tests, they are at home, studying hard. They all express impatient disbelief that Josh would be in Cheney at midnight the night before a big, big game, in possession of felony drugs to boot. They do not think that Josh honors the Gonzaga experience, but rather think he's a spoiled, privileged brat, not old enough or willing enough to understand what's at stake.

The alumni tend to agree. But we have also been around long enough to remember what the Jesuits taught us then, as now: we are men and women for others. It's easy to be compassionate with crack addicts in the South Bronx or the homeless in Los Angeles; we know, though, that compassion should show no probation and that even immature, cocksure basketball players deserve forgiveness and redemption. We know this. And so we lean heavily upon the shoulders of the collared men that show us the way. Like Tony Lehman.

The Catholic Church is not a democracy. It is not run by acclaim or by popular vote. But rather in accordance with the principles of our faith; and in this case, Ignatian Spirituality. Reflective, contemplative time each and every day to examine how best to live as an authentic human being is absolute. And it's this reflection that I would really like to see from Josh and his family. It appears that, one way or another, his legal problems are over. What's next? I hope the family that stepped up four-square for him are encouraging Josh to think about how best he can live a whole life, where he can be the best father, son and relative possible.

We know, too, that we are mandated to see the potential in all; but we would be foolish not to acknowledge cruelty, injustice, and abuse. The struggle between good and evil lives in each one of us each day and it's our job to decide anew, every day, how best we can be men and women for others and what is the highest use of our service.

We will not turn our back on Mark Few and the program. Josh Heytvelt can't take away what Gonzaga has given us, then or now. Or never. But we will be thinking about justice and all of the students that attend Gonzaga and their passion, ambition, potential and divineness. Because in each and every one of them, even Josh Heytvelt, lies the face of God. And it is all these faces whose talents should be rewarded and who should be given every opportunity to build this world in faith, justice, peace and love. And Tony would think that's just right.

The 'Kan EWA

Monday, March 12, 2007

Went to our friend Pat's funeral mass today. It was your quintessential Irish Catholic funeral where you bounce from tears to laughter, grief to joy, pain to relief, twice a minute. Pat was a beloved husband, father and friend and we all sat helpless in the pews as the liturgy of saying goodbye unfolded in and around his parish church. His granddaughter spoke of his deep, mellifluous voice that "just wrapped itself around you" and made you feel so protected, both as a child and an adult. His daughter spoke of the rich one-on-one time they spent together on the golf course; his son related the stories of their goose hunting trips. His five adult children just held onto each other as they stood together in the pew, putting the final goodbye in place and preparing to move on. We were all free from burden knowing that Pat died at home and deep in love, yet heavier knowing his place at the table will sit vacant.

He was a fire commissioner and we stepped out of the church to watch Spokane County's Bravest afford Pat their highest honor as the bagpipes wailed mournfully in the windy March day. Finally the flag was folded and handed to his widow and as I turned back into the church, I saw 200 wide eyed children in red school sweatshirts and navy blue cords on the school playground, stopped at play. They stood completely still with balls at their side, paying their final respects, too.

Pat would have been deeply honored.

The 'Kan EWA

Saturday, March 10, 2007

March. What's the deal with March?

My first memory was that it was my mother's birthday and all her girlfriends celebrated with luncheons and cards and little gifts. Only now does it seem odd that my father didn't gather us all together and create a celebration/commemoration of my mother on her birthday. And come to think of it, I always felt left out of that day and wondered why.

My next memory of March is seeing the grade school bulletin boards, "In like a lion..."; that never connected to any extent with me.

My next memory is of Julius Caesar and high school Latin and English. Beware, the Ides of March. THAT connected with me with all contacts solidly adhering. Treachery, betrayal, secrets. March.

My next memory is of those Irish Catholics partying their hearts out. Curious. Always have felt really disconnected from that celebration but made sure my little Irish kids had lots of shamrocks shakes and green frosted cookies. Do you know the American Bishops issued a special dispensation last year so Catholics could eat corned beef on Friday, a meat day? Seriously curious.

My next and now memory is March Madness. Just lately, one of my alma maters routinely packs up the band and the cheerleaders and takes them with the team to run with the big dogs in March. Hopeful. Hopeful; drama. Disappointment. And after that's over, Lent is in its final excruciating mile, spring arrives with a wobble, and the daffodils shiver bravely in Bellemaison.

The 'Kan EWA

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

So You Know

The 'Kan EWA

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Today is a very special day in Paris. It's Sunday. I lay in bed and listen to the quiet but then after a time, slip into my crisp and sparkling white bathroom and wash my face with warm water and scented soap as the night begins to leave the city. I stand in my window that stretches ceiling to floor, six feet wide and dry my face with the deep, soft, white towel and watch the street come to life below me. I turn back into my warm bathroom and moisturize and apply my make up in the most thoughtful of manners, because only a best effort will do for this day. I dress carefully in a thin cashmere sweater, tailored slacks, smart but sturdy French loafers, all in accomodation of my raincoat and scarf, absolutely obligatoire when in Paris. I carefully brush and style my hair and select dazzling earrings that accent my Italian handbag. I carefully, carefully apply deep red lipstick. I put on my best gold bracelets and smooth black gloves onto my hands that fade into the black raincoat, black scarf, black slacks, black sweater and black shoes. I'm off.

I walk briskly toward the river and turn the corner to what is perhaps the Mother of all shrines: Notre Dame. I'm early for the first mass so I slow my pace to wonder at morning on the river, one more time. Did Gertrude Stein stand on this bridge and ask if all the rivers in the world, at some point on their journey, are this beautiful? What did the Parisii think when the sun would rise as this each morning? Did they have any idea how exquisitely, supernaturally beautiful it was? Or was it a race to get the kids ready, feed everyone and get out the door on time to get to the fishing? If no one notices, is beauty still beauty?

I have time to walk around Notre Dame before Mass starts and the thing about Notre Dame is this: if you are an American, if you are a clueless American such as me, you take a lap around Notre Dame and pretty much get the entire of French history laid out in dazzling display, right before Mass. First, the dirt itself was the site of a Roman temple to Jupiter. Mon dieu! But true. The Catholics snatched it at a point and during the middle ages, Notre Dame was where the homeless slept and ate. Notre Dame survived the Revolution because it was rechristened, "Temple of Reason", the Catholic school there eventually chunking out a place called the Sorbonne. You see all this in sculpture and art all throughout the sanctuary. My favorite among the feast are the chancel screens. They tell a certain story magnificently. But you will see for yourself when you go.

Mass is lovely, in French, soon the beautiful late winter sunshine beckons me back into the street. I stop for hot chocolate, of course. A beignet, too. This is Sunday. Now the French are up and are everywhere, strolling with their dogs, snuggled into their raincoats and scarves. A gracious, elegant custom of city living, this Sunday walk, and I am quietly thrilled to be with them today, in the city that epitomizes good manners and good food.

I turn and walk up Boulevarde de Sebastopol, toward Les Halles. I turn at Rue Ste-Denis to stop in at St-Leu--St-Gilles between masses. It's an odd church from the street as it has a glass door. I go in to the quietness and wander around the eclectic collection of sculpture, art and glass. Delicious.

I nip back out the door and keep going. I cut over past the new Forum des Halles to St-Eustache, where the midnight mass is better than Notre Dame, a man tells me. St-Eustache himself had quite a life as he was roasted alive with his family inside a bronze bull, a culinary tradition that's been discontinued here in Paris. St-Eustache is a very famous Parisian church and I slip in and listen as Mass continues with presence of a very vibrant parish life everywhere. The small children sit quietly with their parents, dressed in wool jumpers and jackets, with leather Mary Janes and oxfords. They are the quintessence of well groomed, well behaved children. French parents are completely in control of their families and I do not see crying, loud, rowdy children anywhere in Paris.

Out the door, my special, special treat for the day looms: Rue Montorgueil. Les Halles, as this neighborhood is known, was the great marketplace of Paris. The old market was torn down and the Forum des Halles was built, an enormous underground shopping experience of a kind. I do not know the particulars as I have never ventured there, always being absorbed with the sights, smells, and sounds of Rue Montorgueil. It is one of the few surviving streets of the market and still maintains cobblestone paving with fishmongers, meat markets, cheese shops, boulangeries and patisseries, wine and kitchen shops lining the sidewalks. It is the ultimate foodie experience.

Today booths are set up in the street and vendors sell an array of mouth watering dishes. I am dazzled by the lentils and sausage and the spicy paella. The man selling the chicken and rice out of huge flat pans tells me that I should have some of all. The chicken and rice is steaming hot, expertly seasoned and tastes like nothing I have ever eaten and it is chicken and rice with peas and little pieces of ham. I eaten just this a million times but never until today. To suspend my belief a little further, I select baba ah rhum for dessert and succumb completely to it's silky, potent flavor on my tongue and in my mouth. I need to go to confession. Maybe not. I do not order pigs' feet and onion soup, even though I want them badly. I am too full. I struggle down Rue Montmarte and head for St-Roch. It's the best baroque church in Paris and Louis XIV's gardener is buried here, but it's lost on me as I fall in love all over again with the neighborhood and Sunday afternoon in Paris.

I wander up and down the streets until I end up back at the Louve. I am bedazzled and befuddled. I decide to stop at a souvenir store to find out for sure: is absolutely every corner and moment of Paris drenched in light and beauty?

Inside the owner shows me the exact post card that I must buy. She and her dog wave good bye and make me promise to come back in the summer. The light now heads for the beaches of Los Angeles and the late winter winds pick up. I head over the bridge to the red door once more and know, I know, that I have lived here and wandered through these streets for a thousand years and that I will be here for at least a thousand more.

The 'Kan EWA