A rose-flavoured cheesecake s'il vous plaît

I took a detour to Paris over the Easter weekend to see Alexis and once again it's left its impression on me. Granted it was mainly an impression that Paris was bloody cold, but still... Completely underestimating the amount of jumperage needed ("It's the continent, it's bound to be warm...") is not a good game plan as it leaves you completely crippled when it comes to the simplest tasks, such as untying shoelaces, or wrestling a jam-covered crêpe out of its wrapper.

One thing Paris does do well, is designer shops. I stood in queues stretching around the corner (cursing the cold in French - as everybody knows, the first things you learn in any new language is how to curse) for designer bakeries, chocolate shops, butchers, cheese-makers, and Magic The Gathering suppliers. The last one probably being research of course. Oh yes.

I've never known a chocolate shop to supply a season catalogue, but maybe that's what we should be doing. It's quite a humbling, and poverty-causing, experience. With the Magic shop, if you wanted to browse through their catalogues, you have to make an appointment. I had a very interesting conversation - I say conversation, but I didn't do much talking on account of trying to follow what he was saying - with the owner, who complained that the game was becoming too mainstream now. Personally, I'd agree with him. If I created a game like Magic, I'd bloody hate it if it exploded in popularity.

I did get to take some pictures of the rarest cards, including the Black Lotus card (which I was assured was one of the best - who knows?). They're shown small here cause they turned out all blurred and crap.

Some of the rarest cards in MagicThe Black Lotus Magic card

Given that I was heading over there, I decided to take it as an opportunity to brush up on my French (mostly how to curse). I'm using the Pimsleur tapes, which are actually quite good, though I'm noticing a strange trend in that most of the conversations you partake in involve asking random women for drinks and dinner (At the restaurant? At mine?) and getting repeatedly shot down. Something like this:

Hello, young miss.
Hello sir.
Would you like to drink something with me?
Would you like to drink some wine, or some beer?
I don't want to drink any wine or beer.
Cool, what time would you like to drink something with me?
I don't want to drink with you.
At 8, or at 9?
Not at 8 and not at 9.
At 1?
Not at 1, and let me make this clear, not at 8 or at 9.
So, when would you like to drink something with me?
You don't understand, I don't want to drink something with you.
Ah! Okay. But you would like to have dinner at my place?

So when the time comes that I'm able to ask an impressionable young woman out for drinks, I'll be so demoralised that I won't be able to. Which I suppose suits everyone involved except me. Maybe someday it'll work and I'll find out where this mythical restaurant on rue St. Jacques is.

As for what I'm doing at the minute coding-wise, I'm trying to fix Super Multiplayer Online Card Game, as I ported it over to XNA 2.0 and the card selecting mechanism is now inexplicably not working. Sigh...


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