I usually read Oddly Enough just for the sake of irrelevant stuff that happens around the world.
The first article I will point you towards is, of course, about death. It seems that some Canadians have the correct attitude towards death, their tombstones engraved with witty last words. This caused me a lot of trouble. Usually when I think of some stuff that's "so cool, man!" I can't wait to have it done. So now I can't wait to die and have "Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish." written to my tombstone. That's so fucking twisted. No! And usually when I can't wait for something, time starts going faster. No. I want to live! I've got stuff to do here, God damn it!
The second one is really nice. Pure urban poetry.
And finally, it's official: you don't have to live in France! :D
*) I don't like France. I don't like words having genders (especially when those genders are different from my own language -- like, is this a gay fork or what?). I don't like using the plural of "you" as a mark of respect, even though yes, I'm forced to do that here also. (What's with some people here addressing their parents with the polite plural form of "you"? Is that your idea of teaching kids about family ties, parents?) I travelled on both Boeings and Airbuses and only the latter gave me an allergy from whatever they were freshening the air with. I don't like the French calling computers "ordinateurs" when "computer" is a word of Latin origin. I don't like the French Wikipedia page saying that ordinators interface the environment through peripherals such as keyboards, screens and modems. That sounds straight out of an eighties textbook. I agree it's true, but sincerely, a network card or mouse would be more widespread than a modem as of 2007. I don't like the same page describing a computer's insides in a style reminiscent of a seventies textbook. For instance, a modern bus isn't made up of address, data and control lines anymore. Hasn't been this way for at least 15 years. Oops. Let me check the real page to see if that's also written there. Nope :) And it's also more fun and informative. People don't read Wikipedia to learn that computers have a CPU and a modem. They read Wikipedia to learn about interesting aspects in the history of computing, about various contemporary achievements, to see a picture of a computer inside a watch, to see a punched card or an ISA slot and understand that's history, stuff like that. I don't like the French Wikipedia, just as I dislike all its other local variants. I don't like the French being so fanatical about their language, though the dot-berliners get first place for this. For example, the article mentioned above is about ordinateurs, but they contain cache memory, not cachée as would be appropriate French. Screw this. I also think the French Revolution is a bit overrated. I like France for using nuclear power and for having nukes and the balls needed to keep them, I don't like France for anything else. And all the new Peugeots or however they're spelled seem to be laughing at you with a dumb grin. In fact, some other new cars seem to be doing that as well. So to be fair, I should point out that bad taste is in the eye of the beer holder, and irrespective of nationality.