Best Friend Forever

Regardless of who you are, what your marital status or what position you hold, you need a BFF.

In this hectic world, it is essential to have somebody to confide to and to consult when life throws a monkey wrench in your routine.

“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.”Maxwell Maltz


True friends are like truffles, hidden, precious and hard to find. After doing some hard thinking, I realized fairly recently that my bestie was nobody but Ernesto, my alter ego. He is always available, always willing to listen, and time spent with him is invariably time well spent.
Few people get ever the chance to meet him, but make no mistake, my consigliere is always by my side.

When you are tired or upset, you can always count on him for moral support. Whenever you say: Ernesto, let’s go somewhere for a cup of coffee… he will never refuse. As a matter of fact, it is often him who makes that proposition. “Let’s blow this joint” he says and I seldom disagree with him.

Regardless how happy you are, you need some “Me Time”. Time to spend alone (or with some friends), to recharge your batteries. Because your state of mind is like an electric battery. It needs to be recharged periodically to go the distance.

Once in a while, you need to break free from your all affective links and spend time away to blow some steam, or simply to pamper yourself. You might look selfish and irresponsible, but you will be better appreciated upon you return.

It is a big mistake to keep anybody on a tight leash. The tighter the leash, the stronger the desire to stray.

I am not saying that Ernesto is always right… I am simply saying that it is good to run everything by him. Weighing the pros and the cons with him always bring some clarity to the problem.

Before making a rash decision, consult with your amigo. And regardless where you come from, Ernesto will always speak your language. Good friends are like this.

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.  Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Play pétanque, have lunch with a friend, buy yourself a present. It is good medicine.

Ernesto said so.
Bons baisers a tous!


Hooking up

Lately, I have been a little slow on the draw. It must be Father Time dragging me down…

Nowadays the know-it-all millennials are constantly talking about “hooking up” and I am not quite sure what it means. It seems that I am not the only one.

Since English is not my native language, like all foreign-born people, I have long been in the habit of translating things rather literally.
Hooking up has its roots in “hooker” right?  Well, I know what a hooker is. Then, are all the people hooking up hookers?
It sounds a little far-fetched… but in America everything is possible… Truth is often stranger than fiction…

Taking my cues from the Net, I noticed that celebrities are constantly doing it… and advertising it… They are hooking up right and left. Does it mean that they are copulating non-stop around the clock? No wonder so many people are hankering to be celebrities…

And what about the simpletons in “reality” shows like “The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise? Are they also “hooking up”? It looks like they do it too… Goodness gracious!

Then there is the word “escorting”, from the French “escorter”. I hear all the time.But I am familiar with that one. It means to“accompany someone somewhere, to honor and to protect.”
When I was in the Army I frequently escorted convoys, and later I often escorted my mother to some events, and she was grateful for that.
Escorting is a nice thing to do.

Not too long ago, after casually petting her dog, I met a very nice young lady; we chatted for a while and over a cup of coffee, she confided to me that she was working as an escort. Frankly, I was rather dubious. She looked a little frail and not very likely to protect anybody… unless of course she was a Krav Maga black belt…

-So, what kind of people are you escorting? I asked to make conversation.
-All kinds, she said. This is what makes the job interesting…
-You are a little bit like a “service dog”? You help people.
She laughed.
-Yes, I perform some needed services…
-Can I call you if I need help?
-Of course. Here is my business card, and since you are so nice, I will give you priority and preferred rates the next time I see you…

It always pays to be nice. You never know when you will be needing assistance… Knowing the right person for the right job is very comforting.

I don’t know if I want to hook up with anybody, but I would not mind calling that young lady once in a while to have her honor and protect me.


Where are the women?

When there is a tournament, weather conditions are important; if it is too hot or too wet, things can get sticky and affect the outcomes of the games.

Yesterday though, we were blessed with almost perfect atmospheric conditions; I am pretty sure that this happy set of circumstances was due to Mark and Sandra Shirkey’s organization and diligence. Without fanfare, this power couple is doing a heck of a job and has to be recognized for their hard work… I petitioned the French government for a medal.

The only grousing I heard on the field had something to do with the lack of available women. I saw a few haggard-looking men (with a wad of dollars in their hands) desperately trying to book a partner for the tournament, to no avail alas.

I believe that we need to address the Board about importing some women from the former Soviet Union where there is a surplus of women.

“The gender ratio in Russia is currently 86.8 men per 100 women, and the ratios in Latvia (84.8), Ukraine (86.3), Armenia (86.5), Belarus (86.8) and other former Soviet nations are similarly low.”

Fifty players  answered the call and showed up on our beautifully groomed field eager to rumble. As usual, 3 timed games were played in the morning to separate the Big Boys from the small fry.

I always believed that my aptitude to function has something to do with the stars’ position and yesterday something was definitely out of alignment.
Tamara and I lost our 3 starting games 3/13, 12/13 and 11/13 and were relegated to the Consolante. I felt totally out of sync and unable to concentrate. Despite some Ibuprofen, my left heel hurt like hell and I almost threw in the towel.

Around noon we were graced by the presence of Calvert Barron and her sister Sally. It was good to see Calvert smile and hear her laugh again. We all miss her and hope that she will soon come back to our field.

In the afternoon, despite my lack of enthusiasm to persevere, the gods took pity on me and lent me a helping hand. I found my mojo back and suddenly everything seemed to click; due to Tamara’s superb pointing, we won every game in the afternoon… and the Consolante.

During our crossing of the desert, a lot of things happened and I was unable to catch any of it. It is only around 3:00 pm that I was able to grab my camera and take a few shots.

In the Concours finals, Tom Lee (the Cobra) and Suzie Lee faced Christophe (freshly inked) Sarafian and Michelle Dang. All excellent players.

Both men and women played very well, but in the end, Christophe and Michelle prevailed 13/7.

Christophe Sarafian & Michelle Dang

1stplace: Christophe Sarafian and Michelle Dang
2ndplace: Tom Lee and Suzie Lee
3rdplace: Toy Vorachak and Cindy Vorachak

1stplace: Alain Efron & Tamara Efron
2ndplace: Jean-Claude Etallaz & Liliane Sebban

By 6:00 pm it was all over and we drove back home to collapse on our bed.


Due to weather conditions (too much shade) the pictures are not outstanding but still pleasant to look at.