Friday, February 28, 2014

The Harry Potter Cheese Conversion Chart

"He's amazing," my husband, Mika, said. "I love how passionate he is."

He was on the phone to his mom so I wasn't privy to the other end of the conversation, but his praise for some unknown man piqued my interest.

"You'll get to meet him Saturday. You're going to love him. OK, gotta run. Catch you later, Mom."

"Who were you talking about?" I said to Mika after he hung up the phone. I highly doubted my French husband was cheating on me with a man, and then subsequently telling his mom about it. But I was still curious. "Your boyfriend?"

"Huh? Oh, no. The cheese guy at the grocery store."

"You must really love him. You were getting pretty excited just talking about him."

"He's great! He gives samples, he presents his new selections, and he really gets in there and explains the different cheeses."

"No wonder it takes you so long at the store." Not that I should complain - how many husbands handle all the grocery shopping while their wife lazes around on the couch? He even did that before I was stuck on bed rest.

"You laugh, but I noticed you polished off that pesto gouda from last week, no problem."

"True. You can date the cheese guy as long as you keep bringing home that delicious cheese."

"Oh, I will."

It's pretty cool having a husband with a sense of humor, and one who brings me copious amounts of cheese at that. So when I told him my idea for this blog post, which literally came to me in a dream last night, he thought it was brilliant. I can't tell if it's weird or awesome, but since I can't seem to get cheese off the brain, I went with it. Enjoy :)

Harry Potter Cheese Conversion Chart

Select your favorite Harry Potter character to see which cheese suits you best
Select your favorite cheese to discover which Harry Potter character you are!

Harry Potter Cheese Conversion Chart

For the true Harry Potter and/or cheese buff, here's a little more explanation behind the pairings:

Harry Potter = Mozzarella
Known and loved by everyone, Mozzarella is a household name and a worldwide fave.

Ron Weasley = Feta
Versatile and slightly sour, it finishes with a hint of sweetness. Much like his love for Hermione.

Hermione Granger = Cheddar
Sharp and likeable. (And my favorite character and my favorite cheese, not that I influenced the results or anything)

Draco Malfoy = Cream Cheese
Wimpy and easy to manipulate, may think it's tough but can easily be controlled.

The Weasley Twins = Easy Cheese
Inventive and original, loved by many even if it's a little embarrassing to admit.

Luna Lovegood = Gruyère
Starts out nutty but with maturity becomes more assertive, complex, and earthy.

Fleur Delacourt = Brie
Delicate and one of the finer products of France.

Albus Dumbledore = Stilton
Strong and aged.

Professor Snape = Roquefort
Stinky and dwells in caves/dark places.

Hagrid = Camembert
Don't let the gritty exterior fool you, this one's all gooey on the inside.

Professor Trelawny = String Cheese
A little loopy, but good nonetheless.

Voldemort = Tomme de Pyrénées
The black outer shell turns a lot of people off, but when young, it's quite good.

Which cheese/Harry Potter character are you? And which ones would you add?

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Escape to Paris

Vicki Lesage, Author

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Walking Dead Recap: Season 4 Episode 11: "Claimed"

The Walking Dead Recap and Review: Season 4 Episode 11
I love Paris and I love zombies. If you like at least one, you've come to the right place. Here's this week's recap and review of The Walking Dead, "Claimed", Season 4 Episode 11.

We're back with the happy Grimes family: Rick, Turdface (Carl), and Michonne. Michonne and Turdface go out scavenging, while Rick reluctantly stays back at the house. The thing about this show is that you just know something as seemingly simple as this is going to go all sorts of wrong.

Michonne and Turdface come across a house where the entire family offed themselves in the nursery. A nursery that doesn't seem to have the proper amount of exits to be safe for a child, but I suppose that was due more to a dramatic staging choice by the directors. I'm telling myself there was another door in the room (maybe I missed it while I was shielding my face from the decaying bodies on the bed) or else I'll have a claustrophobia attack. Anyway, the purpose of this portion of the episode was to give us a little backstory on Michonne (though we already knew she had a toddler), give her a chance to bond with Turdface, and give Turdface a chance to grieve over Judith, who he doesn't know is alive. Not a bad idea to grieve, though, because if Lizzie hangs out with Judith for much longer, Carl might not ever see Judith alive again anyway. I shudder just thinking about creepy Lizzie, and she wasn't even in this episode.

Meanwhile Rick is playing the scariest game of hide-and-seek ever. I see the writers didn't listen to my request last week that survivors of the apocalypse stop in-fighting. Because just as my sweet post-coma Rick is about to relax with a good book, some d-bags arrive on the scene and start wreaking havoc. We know they're d-bags because they find Michonne's shirt drying in the bathroom (indicating a woman was recently there and planning to return) and talk about who's going to get her first when she comes back. And I don't think they're looking for friendly conversation.

Then Anonymous D-bag A tries to take a nap on the bed Rick is hiding under but Anonymous D-bag B comes in the room and knocks him unconscious so he can take a nap. See? D-bags. There are several other beds in this house, as well as sofas. Did he really need to almost kill this guy just to catch a little shut-eye? Seems like fighting to near-death is the opposite of a good idea if you're tired. Then again, my 18-month-old son will kick and scream and bang on everything rather than go to bed, but as soon as you put him in bed he's out. So I guess what I'm trying to say is these D-bags act like very strong toddlers.

Rick escapes by climbing out a bathroom window, but not before killing a d-bag who was using the toilet. I know I said I wished people would stop killing people, but it seems that getting rid of one of these bad guys is probably good for the long-term survival of the species so I'll let it slide.

Rick manages to spot Michonne and Turdface before they get back to the house, and they all run off. Whew! They end up on the train tracks and head to Terminus, which is where Beth, Daryl, Tyrese, Carol, Lizzie, Mika, and Judith were all headed to last time we saw them. Maybe Maggie and Sasha and Bob will end up there, too? I kinda forget where they ended up last episode because I was so mad at Maggie for being such a stubborn stupidpants.

Speaking of stubborn stupidpants, Glenn refuses to go along with our three new characters and instead wants to return solo to find Maggie. Here are all the reasons this is dumb:

  1. Dude, no going anywhere alone. How have you survived this long without learning that?
  2. They were already 3 hours away BY TRUCK from the school bus. I'm not sure how fast the truck was going but I'd say they could easily be 200 miles away. Then their truck got shot up during a zombie attack so now they have to walk back. Doing some quick math, I think it's going to take them several days to walk back, and that's only if they walk all day and don't get killed by zombies.
  3. Our new characters seem interesting and haven't killed any people yet (on screen). And they were on their way to Washington, DC to SAVE THE WORLD. I like Maggie and all but these people sound way more interesting. Why can't we just stay with them?

Oh, but Glenn gets to have his post-apocalyptic cake and eat it too because not only does he head back to find Maggie but all the new people (plus Tara) come with him, since they don't have anywhere better to go without their truck. Lucky!

Will everyone meet up next week? Will Glenn and Maggie continue to be the most stubborn people on the planet? Could my 18-month-old take on a group of d-bags? Stay tuned to find out!

Friday, February 21, 2014

5 Ways Living in Paris is Like Dental Work

Movies and books tend to paint Paris as a lovely tableau of historical monuments, delicious wine, and romantic scenery. Then you get those few snarky commentaries that slip through and show you what it's really like to live here.

Overall, I'd say living in Paris is worth it, despite the infuriating government workers or the Metro smelling like urine. But part of what makes it tolerable is being able to complain about it!

5 Ways Living in Paris is Like Dental Work: From someone who's lived in Paris for 9 years!
5 Ways Living in Paris is like Dental Work

I've lived in Paris for 9 years. And I've had excessive dental work - 13 baby teeth pulled, replaced my two front teeth twice, and had braces, appliances, and pretty much every other dental gadget that exists.

So what better way to illustrate the real life in Paris than with a list of the Top 5 Ways Living in Paris is Like Dental Work:

1. It's expensive

Paris: Your 20 square meter (215 square feet) apartment will set you back at least €700 per month (close to $1000), and you'll consider yourself lucky if the bathroom is IN the apartment and you have a functioning stove.
Dental Work: I've paid over $5000 to get my teeth fixed, and that doesn't count the procedures my parents paid for when I was under 18.

2. It's frustrating

Paris: You show up for your visa renewal appointment with all 10 things on the list they mailed you, only to be met with "What about [item that wasn't on the list]? Pfff. Come back when you're prepared." You mean, come back when I've learned how to read minds?
Dental Work: "So how was your vacation?" "Garg... fleurg..." "Please hold your mouth still while I'm doing this." Then why did you ask, nimwit?!?

3. It hurts

Paris: You attempt to pay for a €12 taxi ride with a €20 bill, only to have the cabbie launch into a tirade about how "you people" never have change and "you people" always expect him to make change. Then he tries to make up for it by opening the door for you, a pregnant lady who just got dropped off at the ER. Too late pal, you already made me cry.
Dental Work: Fewer drills were used to build the Eiffel Tower than the dentist has used on your mouth, and you're only 5 minutes into the appointment.

4. You experience all sorts of unusual tastes

Paris: Escargots are way better than I imagined (mainly because they're drowned in a butter garlic sauce) but I will never get used to kidneys or cow tongue or bone marrow. Thankfully you can wash it all down with a delicious glass of wine.
Dental Work: The dentist thinks he sucked out all the saliva from your mouth so he gives you permission to swallow, and you are met with the taste of cement and blood. Yuck. But if you're lucky they'll give you a cherry fluoride treatment to rinse it out with!

5. It's all worth it in the end

Paris: Where else can you picnic in front the Eiffel Tower, being treated to a sparkly light show on the hour every hour? Or view some of the world's finest art in the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay? Or (have I mentioned this yet?) drink some of the best wine in the world?
Dental Work: I've literally had people come up to me on the street and say what a nice smile I have (see, I must like Paris if I'm smiling like an idiot while walking down its streets).

Have you visited Paris? Currently live in Paris? What would you compare Paris life to?

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Life's short. Laugh more. Buy my books at

Vicki Lesage, Author

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday was easily one of the worst days of my life. I had my monthly check-up at the hospital. It had been nearly three weeks since I'd gone into premature labor and was put on strict bed rest. I had left the house once to do my blood test for gestational diabetes (5-minute walk down the street) and once for an ultrasound (took a taxi both ways, for what would normally be a 10-minute walk).

I've turned into a bit of a hermit these days, so I was overly apprehensive about going all the way to the hospital for my appointment. Mika had ordered me a taxi, and the driver did me the favor of showing up 10 minutes early so that he could start running up the meter. Luckily our apartment has a view of the street and I saw that sneaky devil so I waddled down the stairs and got in that taxi early. The meter was already at €9.20. Gee, thanks.

David Salafia / Foter / CC BY-ND
I asked him to drop me off at the ER, simply to avoid walking up the hill and stairs at the regular entrance. But he didn't know that - for all he knew I was going to the hospital to have my baby.

The meter stopped at €11.80 so I handed him €20 and asked for €8 back. Hey, I'm practically French now so I don't have to tip taxi drivers anymore. That's when he proceeded to yell at me. A pregnant lady being dropped off at the ER.

The taxi driver

"What's with you people? Everyone expects me to make change. I'm not a bank! Why don't you people ever go to the bank and get change? You just expect me to make change! It's ridiculous."

Um... what? I wasn't asking him to break my 20, I was asking for change back on my 20 for a service provided. Totally different. It's not like I flagged down a taxi hoping he could make change so I could then do laundry. And paying a €12 fee with €20 is not ridiculous. Unless I had a 10 and a 5 or exact change, there's actually no smaller way to get the job done.

But more importantly, why was he yelling at a pregnant lady he had just dropped off at the ER? Who does that?

"I'm really sorry, sir, but I haven't been allowed to leave the house for three weeks." I tried to lighten the mood with a laugh. "I'm lucky I even have €20!"

He grunted, gave me my change, then opened the door for me (at least that part was nice). I held it together until I made it inside the hospital, then started crying. Great.

Next up, more crying, this time from the sage femme (midwife).

I was ready and sitting in the waiting room at 2:28, two minutes before my appointment. Technically I'm supposed to be laying down at all times but I really didn't want to lay down on the gross hospital seats. I don't know why I cared - I should have just done it - but as each minute ticked by I thought "Surely she'll call me soon so it would be pointless to lay down now."

After twenty grueling minutes had passed, where I nearly fainted from the heat in the waiting room and really felt like I needed to lay down, the sage femme came out and spat at me "Madame Lesage? Your dossier wasn't included in the files they gave me." And then she just stood there.

What did she want me to do about it? The hospital is responsible for my ginormous dossier, not me. But since she looked like she wanted an answer I said, "I was transferred to Port Royal when I went into premature labor so maybe they still have my dossier?"

She clucked - literally clucked - then stormed off to look for my dossier.

What did I do wrong? Was I supposed to work a part-time job (while on bed rest) organizing their files? I showed up with MY dossier but I can't control theirs.

After 10 minutes she came back and spat out, "They couldn't find it but I have another place to check." She sighed. "Can you wait here, please?" Then dashed off.

This encounter was slightly nicer than the first, but she somehow managed to ignore my green face and the tears forming in my eyes. What kind of a medical professional does that? I figured I might have another long wait ahead of me so I finally just laid down on the damn chairs, looking ridiculous but caring more about the safety of my baby than what the chic Parisian bitches in the waiting room thought.

After another 15 minutes, she finally returned and brought me to her office. There was a student in there as well. Wonderful. The more the merrier. I set my stuff down on the chair and immediately felt like I was going to faint.

"We still don't have your dossier," she said in an accusatory tone.

I still didn't understand why she was so mad at ME about it, but I didn't have time to care. I needed to lay down on that exam table, stat, or I would faint. So I handed her my dossier, explained that the most recent papers, including the summary of my hospital stay, were on top and said that I didn't feel well and I needed to lay down. Then - horror of all horrors - I went to lay down on the exam table before she had given me permission. Because, you know, when a patient is feeling ill and has already been waiting for nearly an hour when she's supposed to be on bed rest, the important thing is that she ask permission first and be polite to the medical professional who is supposed to be helping her. The ensuing conversation was unreal.

The midwife

"Madame, you are not allowed to talk to me like that."

What? Talk like what? I'd relayed the information nicely and then simply went to lay down without asking. We all know I'm going to have to lay down on that table at some point, better to do it before I faint. So I guess the stress of it all got to me and I said, "I'm sorry but I'm not feeling well. I'm supposed to be on bed rest so I really need to lay down. Something I wasn't able to do while I was in the f-ing waiting room for 45 minutes." I know it's wrong to drop the f-bomb but I felt the situation had warranted it. It WAS an f-ing waiting room and I wasn't feeling well.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Madame," she shouted. "You need to calm down. You are NOT allowed to talk to me like that. I will NOT be treated like that." Still shouting.

"I'm sorry but I'm not French so maybe sometimes I don't use the right words." I mean, I did know what putain meant but I had to try something to calm her down. Because, you know, as the distressed patient, it's MY job to calm HER down.


"Then I will just stop talking."

"I'M SERIOUS! YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN, MADAME. CALM DOWN! CALM DOWN! CALM DOWN!" Was she talking to herself? Because SHE was the one who needed to calm down. Any minute now her head was going to start spinning around and spitting pea soup.

At this point I was curled up in a ball on the exam table, crying my eyes out. Then - yay! - I had a contraction.

"I'm having a contraction."

"Then you should calm down."

"It would be easier if you stopped yelling at me, please."


More crying. I had my back to her and decided to just not say anything for the rest of the appointment.

Two silent minutes passed, the only noises breaking the stillness were my sobs. This was the exact opposite of what I needed to be doing to keep my baby in for another two months. I figured my best option was to remain quiet and kiss this bitch's ass, for the health of my baby.

Finally, after shuffling through the dossier I had so thoughtfully brought, she came over.

"Bonjour, I'm Sage Femme Bitchface. I'd like to start us off on the right foot. Can we do that?"

I wanted to say "I f-ing hope so" but held my tongue. "OK," I managed to say nicely.


The rest of the appointment she walked on eggshells around me and seemed nice enough. I furnished as much information as possible and strained to use the most polite tone I could manage.

The good news is that nothing has gotten worse since my last appointment, so I just need to keep on taking it easy. Which should be easy to do since I don't have another appointment with that bitch until next month.

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Life's short. Laugh more. Buy my books at

Vicki Lesage, Author

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Walking Dead Recap: Season 4 Episode 10: "Inmates"

The Walking Dead Recap and Review: Season 4 Episode 10
I love Paris and I love zombies. If you like at least one, you've come to the right place. Here's this week's recap and review of The Walking Dead, "Inmates", Season 4 Episode 10.

Last week we saw what happened to On-Death's-Door Rick, Turd-Face Carl, and Bad-Ass Michonne. It was great (minus Turd Face) but who else was impatient to see the rest of our crew? Ask and ye shall receive - this week's episode brought us up to speed:

It's like in the movie "Clue" (one of my all-time faves) - there are some random pairings of people in the group, no doubt not really "random" choices by the writers but rather an intentional move to show how some characters interact with each other. I'm cool with that.

We start with Beth and Daryl, polar opposites. Beth is sweet and still pretty naive when it comes to the ZA. Daryl is a man of action and few words. So to fill their screentime, we have Beth doing a voiceover from diary entries she wrote back at the prison. The VO highlights some major optimism on her part, which is just sad when juxtaposed with the scenes we're seeing on screen - running, fighting zombies, seeing what looks to be the dead body of a child who had previously been in their group. The only plus is that they seem to be on the right track (Literally! They're on a railroad track!) to meet up with the others.

Next up Lizzie (Children of the Corn 1) and Mika (Children of the Corn 2) and Tyrese. Oh, and Tyrese turns around slowly to reveal... Judith! See, I told y'all. First rule of TV - they're not dead unless you see them die. Which unfortunately means my poor Hershel is deader than dead. I'm still pretty sure I'm never going to get over that.

Anyway, Tyrese and the Kids (funk band name?) have a few rough encounters and we see Lizzie in an even crazier light. First, she kills bunnies just to kill them. I mean, we didn't even see the group eat them so I'm pretty sure we figured out who was doing those weird science experiments back at the prison. Then, Tyrese (stupidly) runs off to help someone screaming and leaves the kids alone in the woods. Mika flips when she hears a noise (understandable) and when Judith starts crying Lizzie starts to smother her and only gets stopped in the nick of time by...Carol! She's back. And not a moment to soon. Everyone needs to sleep with one eye open around this Lizzie chick. Carol and the kids (definitely not as cool of a band name) meet up with Tyrese the Zombie Slayer, and luckily for Carol, Tyrese doesn't know she's the confessed (doesn't mean it's true!) killer of his lady friend and that other dude. So they team up and head down the same tracks. Oh, and left a man for dead among some zombie remains. Why not mercy kill him? I guess Tyrese likes to minimize his killings and Carol doesn't want to show Tyrese how easy it is for her to slay humans.

Next we see Maggie, Sasha, and Bob. No-Booze Bob is a mighty cheerful lad. And he seems to be putting the moves on Sasha, while she's simply trying to bandage his wounds. Maggie doesn't give three hoots because she wants to find Glenn. Not that I wouldn't want the same in her position. But she pulls the same crap every idiot on this show does and insists on going to find him even though they should probably find food and shelter, and then inadvertently guilts the rest of the group into coming because they don't want to leave her alone.

Note to the world: you would totally want me with you in the ZA. I would never go all macho pants and declare I was going off on my own while secretely hoping you'd come along and help. Nope, I'd stay put and help gather food and build a shelter. And then if you told me to move on, I'd move on. I'd be helpful and complacent. Pick me! Pick me!

So Must-Find-Glenn Maggie and her crew magically find the school bus that Maggie is sure Glenn is on. It's filled with zombies so they let them out one-by-one to kill them/check for Glenn. Of course the zombies get the better of them and it gets tense but of course they kill them all but of course the last one standing keeps its Glenn-looking head down until Maggie kills it. And we only find out it's not Glenn when we segue to...

Glenn! Alive! At the prison! Once he gets his bearings, he does the other thing I would do in the ZA - STOCK UP ON SUPPLIES WHILE YOU CAN. It's amazing these knuckleheads have survived as long as they have when they go off on stupid missions and spend half their time talking instead of gathering supplies. I would have a backpack on me at all times and if someone wanted to talk I would remind them of the old adage for restaurant workers - "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean." But I would modify it to "If you have time to talk, you have time to pack supplies and kill zombies and contribute to the group." Not as catchy but very applicable.

So props to Glenn for stocking up before heading out. Then more props for devising a smart plan (Molotov Cocktail + riot gear = Glenn's escape route throught the zombie horde that has invaded the prison). And even more props for saving Tara because while she's not my favorite character, she has a moral compass and potential. They make their way to the bus (so they're probably close to these tracks everyone eventually ends up at) but then they get stopped by three people who are clearly straight out of the comic books. Oh, excuse me, graphic novels.

Something tells me these people aren't good, but could they just for once not be totally bad? I'm kind of sick of all the baddies. There are, like, hardly any people left on the planet but instead of banding together they all have to kill each other? I'm not asking for drum circles and noodle dancing and eating shrooms (actually, that DOES sound like a fun way to pass time in the ZA), but people could at least pool resources and stop killing each other. I love this show (and I know they're somewhat limited by what happens in the comics) but COME ON. I could handle things being just a smidge less bleak, if only for a short time.

We'll see if I get my wish next week!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Be My Valentine

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl sold a fair amount of copies in its first month, so I'd like to thank everyone who bought it! Through the support of friends and family and other early supporters, I can get the word out and eventually (hopefully) make it big. I'd even be happy making it "medium." To all of you who helped kickstart the book's success--je t'aime!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my fans!

If you've finished reading "Confessions of a Paris Party Girl" already (bravo, you read WAY faster than me!) please consider leaving a review. Even 1-2 sentences helps other people decide whether or not to buy my book. The two best places to post are:

On the fence about buying the book? Check out the reviews:

I love to hear from everyone, so if you have any feedback on my book, blog, or zombie obsession, shoot me an email! As I'm stuck on the couch for the next 2-3 months, I have nothing but time and promise to write back as soon as possible (read: as soon as I wipe the crumbs off my chin).

Joyeuse Saint Valentin et bon week-end!

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Escape to Paris

Vicki Lesage, Author

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Walking Dead Recap: Season 4 Episode 9: "After"

The Walking Dead Recap and Review: Season 4 Episode 9
I love Paris and I love zombies. If you like at least one, you've come to the right place. Here's this week's recap and review of The Walking Dead, "After", Season 4 Episode 9.

Yay! The Walking Dead is finally back. Without further ado, the recap:

Michonne takes in the damage at the prison. I'm really glad we start with Michonne because I could use some badassness (especially given how the rest of the episode goes). She "makes" two new zombie pets and walks around the rubble.

My heart nearly stopped when she came upon Hersel's zombified head. I shouldn't have been surprised - I mean, The Dick-tator or whatever his stupid name was, beheaded him so according to the rules of the show Hershel's head would inevitably zombify. But, like, I'm kind of still having a hard time dealing with his death from the last episode, which was a billion years ago. I just loved that guy and it was just so cruel and pointless what Dick-head did.

Thankfully Michonne put him out of his misery. At least I think she did but I had to cover the screen with my hand.

Then we see what's up with Carl and Rick, the only other people in this episode. Remember that one episode with Rick, Carl, and Michonne where Carl was a little turd and Michonne put him in his place and it became OK to like Carl? This episode isn't like that. Because Michonne is off on her own path of discovery and we're stuck with angsty little turd Carl being nothing but a miserable turd to his near-dead father. Every. Single. Conversation is a battle of wills between those two, where Rick is right, if a bit naive, and Carl is an obnoxious little turd who thinks he doesn't need his Daddy. We'll see about that, turd-face.

They go to a Mexican restaurant (oh my god, how much would you miss good Mexican food in the ZA?) and loot it, but not before nearly being killed by a ridiculously tall zombie. Which made me think. My husband is super tall and I would have a hard time killing him (for many reasons) if he ever became a zombie. Let's sincerely hope that never happens (for many reasons). They score some food, mainly tortilla chips, and it makes my mouth dry just looking at it. These dudes need to find a water supply, stat. They need to shower, for starters, clean their numerous wounds, and wash the delicous salty tortilla chip goodness down. Man, I really shouldn't write my recaps right before dinner.

Michonne crosses a path and notices some fresh human footprints. Rick and Carl? Other prison survivors? Other survivors? She doesn't give a hoot, choosing instead to cross the path and head into the woods with her pets. Her tiny group slowly turns into a horde, and within the horde she notices a zombie much like herself. Well, not really because the zombie's shirt is fugly but she's black and has dreads and bears close enough resemblance to get Michonne thinking about her fate. This is probably more due to the fact of the nightmare she had which gave us a glimpse into her backstory - she had a cute little baby boy (we KNEW she must have had a kid, based on her reaction to Judith's crying), a "lover" named Mike, and Mike had a douchey friend. Mike and Douche eventually went a little nutso with the ZA and thus became her pets. We weren't given conclusive proof on what happened to her son, but sounds like Mike likely killed him then killed himself because he didn't see the point of living after the ZA. At least we were spared the Lori-like conversation that must have entailed but man, Michonne had it rough. No wonder she usually scowls.

Anywho, she falls in with this horde but then is all like, "You know what? F this, I'm a badass." So she katanas everyone last one of those zombies, including her pets, then goes back to pick up the trail. Wheee! Maybe she will find Rick and Carl and make the scenes with Carl more bearable!

Back with Turdface and Rick, we have more of the same teen angst. I have never disliked a child as much as I disliked Carl this whole episode. With his stupid rage and his stupid pouty lips and his stupid mouth hanging open I just wanted to slap him over and over again like an animated gif.

At the same time, I get it. He's actually scared of being alone and just doesn't know it yet. So I should probably sympathize with the little turd but it's really hard when he's yelling at his dad and blaming him for everything (right, because it's ALL Rick's fault) and being reckless and stupid and leaving his mouth open.

Like, first, he yells really loudly and attracts zombies' attention. Then he tries to lure them away by walking backward and not looking where he's going and -shocker- one comes up from behind him and he almost dies. Luckily he's able to use a bunch of bullets from his enless supply (oh...wait) and survive. So of course this makes him cocky. God, he's insufferable. Then he gets into another embroil with a zombie, and this time loses his shoe. Why couldn't it be the hat? Why is he even still wearing the hat if he hates his dad so much?

Then, and this is the worst, he eats an entire 112 oz. container of chocolate pudding. Why is that the worst? Because he takes tiny little wussy bites. I know actors aren't supposed to stuff their face while filming because after 42 takes they will have consumed way too much food/drink/whatever they're supposed to be consuming. But I'm sorry, it just wasn't realistic. I remember when my brother (who still doesn't read my recaps, boo) was that age and he would eat everything in 3 bites. Burger? 3 bites. Piece of chocolate cake? 3 bites. I would say "Why don't you slow down and savor it? That way you can really enjoy it." And he would respond, "This IS how I enjoy it." So, yeah, sorry, but I don't believe that a starving teenage boy with no adult supervision would eat pudding like the Queen of England. Just add it to the list of reasons I can't stand the kid.

Then he comes home to his comatose dad and I'm all, "They wouldn't actually kill Rick, would they?" First Hershel, then (maybe) Judith, then Rick? I don't think I can watch The Carl Show without Rick.

But fortunately they just did a little fake-out where we thought Rick was dead and zombified but really he's just in super bad shape and making zombie-sounding wheezing noises. Whew. Thank god Carl was too big of a wussy to actually shoot his dad, giving him enough time to realize his dad didn't actually need to be shot. And, ok, I guess I need to not be too harsh with him. He already had to shoot his mom and it's actually a good thing he wasn't able to shoot his dad so easily. Fine, the kid's alright. I said it.

Then, we end the episode on a nice note - Michonne managed to track them down and knocks on the front door. Reunited!

Can't wait to find out next week what happened to the rest of the crew. Who's alive? Who's in whose group? What's their plan? See you next week!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: Fan de Chick-Lit

Review of "Confessions of a Paris Party Girl" on Fan de Chick-Lit
I'm a loyal reader of Fan de Chick-Lit, a blog for "fans of chick lit, love stories, and romantic comedies." My favorite things! So I was thrilled that Sissi de Beauregard (admittedly a friend of mine) reviewed Confessions of a Paris Party Girl on her blog.

Most of her blog is in French but this particular post is in English. If you like chick lit and read French, you should totally follow her blog. Her book reviews are honest and hilarious and very helpful. I've added many books to my shelf because of her, and also vowed never to read certain books after reading her reviews. Hey, life is too short to read crap.

And now, for all the related links I can cram in:

Sissi's review of Confessions of a Paris Party Girl
Sissi's Blog
Sissi's Facebook page
Sissi on Twitter

Were you on the fence about Confessions of a Paris Party Girl but Sissi's review swayed you? Pick up your copy today!

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Life's short. Laugh more. Buy my books at

Vicki Lesage, Author

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Paris Valentine

I write about the ups and downs of Paris, which includes plenty of rants about long lines and annoying government workers. But I have to admit there are some pretty nice ups. While not a huge fan of Valentine's Day (my French husband treats every day like Valentine's Day, and yes, you have my permission to slap me now), you have to admit that Paris and Valentine's Day are a sweet combination.

So I've compiled a Paris-themed Valentine Gift Guide for that special someone you're shopping for - friend, lover, or lover of Paris: A Paris Valentine
A Paris Valentine: gifts for the Paris lover on your list
A Paris Valentine: gifts for the Paris lover on your list

1. Paris Love Card, $4.50
To love someone more than Paris is to love them more than cheese, wine, and croissants. If you love someone that much, hold on to them forever!

2. Paris Print, $14
I love the color and font of this piece - they just pop! And of course the message is sweet. Since I live in Paris I guess it wouldn't actually mean as much to my husband; "You love me from here to here? That's not very much." But for all my non-Parisian dwelling friends, this would be a very sweet gift.

3. Laduree Gift Box, $25
Laduree is a must-do when visiting Paris. Though I'm the one person on the planet who's not fond of macarons, I still like the shop. The decor and all their other offerings are just wonderful. And how classy is their packaging? The box would be perfect for storing jewelry or all the beautiful Parisian scarves you picked up on your last visit.

4. Confessions of a Paris Party Girl, $15
OK, I know it's a bit gauche to put my own book in my gift guide but I really do think it would make a great Valentine's gift! It's funny (hello, it's ME who wrote it) but it also has a sweet Parisian-themed love story. If you love Paris and you love love, you'll love this book.

5. Parisian-decorated Cookies, $17
Splurge on these or make your own. Either way, your Valentine will feel like they're in Paris!

Happy Valentine's Day from Paris to all the Paris lovers out there!

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Escape to Paris

Vicki Lesage, Author

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Zombie Valentine

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Need a gift for your zombie-obsessed lover? Or looking to make an Anti-Valentine's Day statement by giving a gory gift? I hear ya. That's why I've curated a special gift guide just for you: A Zombie Valentine.

A Zombie Valentine, for that perfect gift (besides brains)
A Zombie Valentine, for that perfect gift (besides brains)

1. Zombie Love Card, $4.50
Be mine? Puh-lease. Heard it before. But a card that declares your undying love for me even after the undead rule the world? I can bite into that.

2. Zombie Love Coffee Mug, $20
One of the things I'm going to miss most in the Zombie Apocalypse is coffee. I mean, sure, I'll scavenge and will drink stale coffee, no problem. But I don't know how to make coffee without my automatic coffee pot, complete with timer, so that the magical brew gets going before my alarm even goes off and I wake to the smell of caffeinated heaven. (*Scribbles note to self: Learn how to make coffee without use of electricty or the apocalypse is going to be unbearable.*) Where were we? Oh yes, I plan to share my morning cup of post-apocalyptic joe with my hubby in this adorable mug. Good plan.

3. Daryl Dixon Valentine Card, $4
Single on Valentine's Day? So's Daryl Dixon! Give those biceps a squeeze and team up with your post-apocalyptic knight in shining armor, also known as Pookie. Swoon.

4. Zombie Apocalypse Buddy Rings, $30 for a pair
Don't go it alone! Who's your buddy for the ZA? Whether it's a friend or your valentine, your bond is the strongest - not even brain-eating zombies can break it. Show it off with pride with these hand-stamped rings.

5. Zombie repellent soap, $8
Lighting a few candles, filling the tub with bubble bath, and sudsing down your valentine in zombie-repellent soap - have you ever heard of anything more romantic?

From my beating heart to yours, I wish you a Happy Valentine's Day. That is, until a zombie comes and rips that heart out. Hey, they can't help it.

Want more zombies? Check out my Walking Dead Recaps and Reviews!

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Vicki Lesage, Author

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Be Honest: Does This Look Like a Turd?

My first Goodreads giveaway was a success! Nearly 900 people entered and 400 people added it to their to-read list. Woot woot!

I prepared a handwritten note for the winner, thanking them for entering, and then stumbled across my nifty wax and seal set. That would make it extra special, right?

Except this is me we're talking about so wax started dripping all over the place, then the whole darn stick got stuck to the envelope, so I had to gently pry it off, then try to reheat it enough to mark it with my seal, resulting in this burnt turd:

Turd or awesome, you decide

So... is the seal worthy of the Iron Throne or should I have chucked it and started over? Answer: too late, already mailed that sucker.

Oh, and in case anyone was worried I'm not taking bedrest seriously, I was seated the whole time I was trying to burn my house down. And just to be extra safe, I'll let Hubby put everything away when he gets home. Best. Wife. Ever.

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Life's short. Laugh more. Buy my books at

Vicki Lesage, Author

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Bed Rest

This post was originally published right after the crazy events unfolded. I've since updated it with more info, including the wonderful news that Stella was born healthy and nearly at-term. Bed rest was a weird time for me, so I wrote about it A LOT. I've included links to more stuff about bed rest at the bottom of the post, for anyone who is going through it or is just curious what it's really like to be told to lay down for three months. It's not as hard as some stuff, but it's harder than you think.

As they say, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. But what if the lemon life handed you was premature labor and you were stuck in a hospital all weekend? My doctor would have killed me if she saw me squeezing up a citrusy, sugary lemonade-y concoction instead of adhering to strict bed rest. So I passed the weekend relaxing in my hospital room as best I could.

Or hotel room as I inexplicably kept calling it. Power of positive thinking?

My "hotel" breakfast during my hospital stay for preterm labor
My "hotel" breakfast, complete with a note wishing me "bon appetit"

So what happened exactly? I'll keep the use of the word "cervix" to a minimum and give you the rundown:

Friday, 11:30 am: Show up for my monthly check-up. Realize I forgot to take a shower that morning because I was so busy trying to get work done before my appointment. Probably going to regret that.

12:00 pm: Exam is almost done, then the mid-wife notices I'm dilated "two fingers." I really would have preferred a less-graphic measurement, like millimeters, but there you go. She calmly says we're heading to the ER and I calmly ask if I should call my husband. She calmly says that's not a bad idea. This is the last bit of calm we see for a while.

12:30 pm: Waiting to be admitted to the ER, waiting for Hubby to arrive. I decide to disturb my dad by calling at the butt crack of dawn in sunny Florida. "Sorry honey, can't talk, about to go into surgery." Click. You have got to be kidding me. The day I go into premature labor my dad is having surgery? This is supposed to be all about MEEEEE!

1:00-4:00 pm: The fetal monitor shows what I already know--I'm having contractions. The rising and subsiding bulge in my tummy every few minutes is scary as hell. I'm only 25 weeks, 3 days pregnant and you have to pass 37 weeks to be out of the premature zone. Past 26 weeks and you're out of the gray zone. Thanks to modern medicine I get on an IV drip that eventually slows the contractions to a stop. Then I get transferred (via my first ambulance ride!) to a hospital that specializes in babies born before 26 weeks, just in case.

Over the next few days I stabilized, and was able to leave the hospital (hotel) after 4 days. I was placed on on strict bed rest until the baby came, which, incredibly, ended up not happening until 38 weeks and 5 days.

The upside was I was put on medical leave--three months off work!--and was subsequently able to write a book about it (Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer), market my first book (Confessions of a Paris Party Girl), and write loads of blog posts.

One last note to end on: I love the French healthcare system. I was 100% cared for and comfortable from the onset and was 100% confident in their ability to help me keep that baby in. America is great for many things (Taco Bell, I'm talking to you) but I was glad to have been in France when all this went down. I gripe about France all the time but I have to give credit where credit is due, and their healthcare system, pregnancy/delivery/postnatal care in particular, is superb.

If you've ever been on bed rest or know someone currently on bed rest, then check out these related posts:

Vicki Lesage, Author

Saturday, February 1, 2014

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