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Getting Cheeky: Kiss Like a European


    You’re about to say goodbye to your good friend, Monique who is visiting from Paris. You go to hug her and she goes to kiss your cheek. Do your noses collide or are you clued-in as to which cheek gets kissed first? And how many kisses will this farewell take?

    In Paris and central France, most people give two kisses – one on each cheek. But a swath of northern France, from Normandy to the Belgian border, opted in general for four. And southeastern France, from Marseilles to the Alps, preferred three. The French upper class seems to go for two kisses. But which cheek first, dammit!!

    The answer? Nobody knows. The Italians kiss all over the place — left, right, it doesn’t matter which is first. In Spain you have to kiss the right cheek first or risk having your toes stomped. The French may prefer that you kiss the left cheek first, but this is heavily influenced if you are dyslexic.

    Photo: moonsoleil on flickr

    We Are Not Two, We Are One

    This charming piece is by the quite talented Christopher Bettig.

      Bettig is a French/American artist living in Los Angeles. He has done commercial work for Converse, Urban Outfitters and Fila.

      I love what he does here with color, how his blue lines intermix with white space and obviously the concept of two lovers becoming one through in shape of a heart is adorable.


      If you like this, be sure to visit Bettig’s website and his etsy shop where you can buy spiffy posters like this for your friends, neighbors and generational cohorts.

      Asleep and Dreaming

      Every once and a while I’ll see a music video that knocks my socks off. In addition to being a lovely daydream of a story, this video for the song “Her Morning Elegance” by Oren Lavie is super well-produced. And while very simple in scope, the film is incredibly innovative in its use of setting, stop-motion and production design. Lavie is an Israeli-born singer/songwriter/director. You can find his album here: The Opposite Side of the Sea

      Samberg and Timberlake Love Their Mothers

      Just when you thought there was no possible way to follow up D in a B, Samberg and Timberlake do it again with ‘Motherlover.’

      This time they bring Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson along for the ride. It’s nice to finally have found something sweet and thoughtful to post for Mother’s Day.

      Can a Kiss be Stolen?

      by Vic Shayne
      Entertainment Reporter:

      It sounds so romantic, stolen kisses in the night. You can see the words in a brilliant but sensitive and heartwarming novel of star-crossed lovers who were reunited at the end of WWII …


      There we stood, alone and breathing hard like two school children full of expectation and hope. The others were laughing gaily as the orchestra played our song. Under our own gazebo of stars, for the first time, we held one another and gazed into each other’s eyes. It was magic, but not the kind involving a rabbit and a hat, or even a girl being sawn in half. No, this was love. No, better than love. Beyond earthly description, like Orion’s Belt. The entire evening swirled around us and we were alone in a sea of people, drunk on foolish romance. Not the people, I mean us. Dorothy and I. Alone for perhaps a minute, but not before sharing those unforgettable stolen kisses in the cool autumn breeze of the inky inky night.

      I wrote these words in a book I entitled “In a Sea of Your Love,” and was told by no fewer than fifty editors that it was sappy, cliché and amateurish, yet in places spotty with an unconscious intent to be altogether droll. Moreover, ten of the editors chastised me specifically for invoking the phrase “stolen kisses.” What do they know? They sit in their offices on piles of manuscripts and critique the works of others. Is that any way to make a living? I’ve had it with them all, especially that creep Lenny Birnbaum from Simon and Shusters in Manhattan. I doubt that’s even the name of a real publisher.

      Anyhow, between you and I, separated now by fifteen years since I wrote that novel, though it’s not easy for me, I have to admit I don’t even know what “stolen kisses” are. I’ve read about them, but the phrase confuses me to no end. How can you steal a kiss? See what I mean? Doesn’t make sense. You can’t even borrow a kiss, let alone steal one. You can give one and maybe take one, but you can’t steal one. There’s no quantitative way to prove that a kiss is missing, proving that it can’t be stolen. Ask any police detective. It’s not even a crime to steal a kiss. Why? Because it’s not possible.

      Nor can you have one out on loan.

      image: julianrod