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That time I wanted to pass myself off as Joyce Carol Oates #TBT

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I submitted my first piece of writing when I was seventeen, a story about my first job, working at the employee cafeteria at General Telephone where my mother was a dispatcher. Rolling the 20# white bond backed by a sheet of thin blue carbon paper into my Smith Corona, I typed it out slowly, carefully, on a piece of erasable paper—and mailed it off to Cosmopolitan along with a cover letter. Not just to any editor at Cosmo, by the way, I sent it directly to Helen Gurley Brown. 

The piece itself, meant to be comical, was full of clumsy attempts at self-effacing humor.  I strived for a similar tone in the cover letter I addressed to Brown, completely clueless that the high powered editor in chief wasn’t the one reading unsolicited manuscripts. After I signed off I added the following PS. I could have said I was Joyce Carol Oates. What I thought that would accomplish I can’t imagine. That an unsatisfactory submission would get published because of a lame joke? 

No surprise, in the SASE I’d …

Dreaming of France: The Paris Metro: It's a work out



One thing we noticed while we were in France last month; there are an awful lot of fit people in Paris. An awful lot of fit and trim, sexy and slim, attractive people. 


Casting Call: Slim, attractive French types please line up

I blame it on the Metro. My theory is that all the walking to and from the metro, and especially going up and down the stairs of the Paris Metro system has something to do with it. You see, there are very few elevators and escalators. 



The first metro line was opened in 1900 during the Paris World's Fair at a time when no one really thought about elevators. While the system is not so good in terms of its accessibility to the disabled, it's a built-in exercise regime for everyone else. 



By everyone else, I mean the 4 million plus people who use the Paris metro every day! Parisians walk from work or home to and from the metro, rush up and down those stairs, hurry along the sometimes long and winding passages. I say it must be part of what keeps them all looking so trim and slim. Like the trio of modelicious guys I snapped a furtive photo of below. They just happened to be sitting next to each other at the station, waiting for their train, strangers to each other, oblivious to what an excellent advertisement for the health benefits of using the Paris Metro system they were. Ironic isn't it, that they happen to be sitting in front of a billboard for Heineken? My hunch; the only Heineken beer carbs being consumed would be by the guy standing on the platform to the far right. That, my friends, is the very definition of a beer belly. A votre santé!

A question for Monsieur Millennial, Le Professional and Sportif.
Does taking the stairs chase the pounds away?

My husband and I have a lot of marvelous memories of our trip to France. 
This one? It's all mine.

Connect with Paulita at Dreaming of France where Paulita and her husband are mulling over where to live in France.

Comments

  1. Any city where people walk seem to have much fitter people. All those stairs cannot hurt.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and those of us who live in cities where people don't walk, (like Los Angeles, where I live) have to find a reason to. My husband just asked me where I wanted to walk today! We find lots of errands can be combined with a walk of a few thousand steps towards our 10,000 steps a day goal.

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  2. Sim, I agree, but I bet all three of those guys drink beer, or wine at least. While we were in France, I ate more in quantity than I eat at home. I actually walked fewer steps than I usually do at home on many days, yet I managed not to gain any weight. Of course, in Paris, I was exceeding my step count, but I walk a lot at home too. Exercising, especially walking, is great for keeping people slim, but I do think the food in France is healthier. Even the eclair cafe, which I sometimes ate two of each day, didn't add pounds. Now that I'm home, the pounds are creeping back up. I start a diet again today.
    Thanks for playing along with Dreaming of France! Love hearing about your latest trip and seeing the pics. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I ate so much delicious and pound packing goodies in Europe but we probably walked twice as much as we do here at home, which at 10,000 steps day is more than most Angelenos do. We probably averaged about 18 to 20,000 steps a day —on our first night in Paris we walked all the way from Blvd Saint Germaine to the Eiffel Tower along the Seine and all that tromping around Pompeii and the Forum added up as well. I'm still slightly puffier than I was when we left! I blame my ancient metabolism not the pain au chocolate and sfogliatella!

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