Aussi Froid Que Le Cul d'Un Mort

Arizona meet-up & "Shoulda Coulda Woulda" in French


"Moto Mama." I should have posted this photo a long time ago. More shouldas in the following ramble, below, and an update on the next French Word-A-Day meetup in Phoenix. Read on!
PHOENIX MEET-UP: See info at the end of this post! Scroll down for directions to our next meet-up! 

A Day in a Mexican Life.. by Kristin Espinasse

J'aurais Pourrais Roarais

I should not write these posts far from my desk, far from my dictionnaire.

I should not make up a funny French equivalent for the Anglophone expression Shoulda Woulda Coulda ... nevertheless:

J'aurais Pourrais ROARrais!

I should not tack ROAR onto the end of an almost correct French equivalent, but it is so much more fun to say it that way, so much more exhilarating-- what with the ROAR in it: j'aurais pourrais roarais!

Back to those shoulds woulds coulds, to those AURS POURRS et ROARS... which do not, after all, exist in the mind of a French purist. (I should try to be a French purist... I should I should...)

I should tell you about the people I have met here, while visiting Mom at her home in Mexique...

I should tell you about all the chick magnets (how does one say "chick magnet" in French? Chick magnets: those charismatic characters that cruise this Mexican marina with parrots or rabbits or puppies in their arms and on their shoulders. How we chicks can't resist chickadees and animals of all varieties. 

I should tell you about ma soeur cadette and the surprise visit she paid me. How she did agenda acrobatics with the airline where she works, in time to make it south of the border to bavarder or chat with me. (Thank you, Kelley.) I should show you a photo of her (I should tell you there's one here, at the end of this post - click here). 

I should tell you about the sweethearts, Colette and Abdalla, that Mom and I met that first day on the Malecon (sp?) and about the instant connection... but you can see it for yourself in this photo: 


and here, in this one:


I should share with your their secret to a happy union (because, of course, I was itching to ask them): respect and space! and knowing that a relationship is like the waves... I should go on about this couple who might have been Love incarnate.

I should tell you about Morlis (pictured below), who chased Mom down in time to ask her about her fish purse and how Morlis is our kinda man, one who can appreciate a purse! and I should tell you how Morlis helped Mom up, onto the bus, before the door closed shut and lurched forward, rumbling, jumbling, and bumbling all the way back to the marina and I sat there with my stomach beside me.


I should not forget to mention the man who chased us off the bus, with Mom's purse in hand : "Listen! Listen!" said he, guessing what the English word for "Hey, you forgot this!" might be, and waving the purse, which he returned to us lest we leave it behind.

I should tell you about the Croatian couple whom we met at the bus stop in front of the marina and how they offer bright smiles each time we bump into them - how I wish I knew their names, but didn't want to be intrusive. How touched I am each time they remember us with a sparkle in their eyes. 

I should tell you about the fashion designer, Oded, from Tel Aviv, who reignited Mom's longtime dream: to visit--or, rather, live, in Israel. "You must go! It is only a 4-hour flight from Paris... You will love it there."

I should remember to be here... to be here now... 

I should tell you about how many times I have started and stopped and flopped this post - as I try to type out of my comfort zone (here in a cantankerous cafe where a new acquaintance is just a table away. I chat with the ladies from Toronto and the family new arrivals from New Jersey).

I should stop shoulding and start coulding: I could rest and relax and take a break.... for more than my own -- for everyone's sake :-)

And I should finally remember what I came here for today: to remind all Arizona-based readers of our next meeting place: so please, listen up: the next AZ meetup entitled "The Horizontal Hike" (we're taking any and all pressure off the lazy lizards, such as myself...) will be on Feb 11th (Friday) at 8:30 a.m. I hope you will make it out to see us. Here are the particulars - any questions should be posted in the comments box so that one of us might answer. Again, here's the info:

Phoenix, Arizona Meetup: "The Horizontal Hike"*

8:30 a.m. at Starbucks -- 7th St and Thunderbird.
The address is 13240 N. 7th St.

*wear your tennies or sneakers or hiking boots!

Le Coin Commentaires
Comments, corrections, and stories of your own are welcome and very much enjoyed. Thanks in advance! Click here to leave a message.



Click to enlarge photo ... Finally, I shoulda told you about these guys. Oui, j'aurais pourrais roarais!

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Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
It looks like you are having a great time in Mexico with Jules and meeting some great people! I love Jules fish purse. Have fun hiking in Phoenix. Wish I could be there!

Vera Marie Badertscher

Any chance of a meetup in Tucson? Where Aztec dancers were performing last week at the Indian Arts Exhibit part of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.


Close, but oh so far! I will be in Tucson on Friday morning. I need to be on campus at UofA at noon so no way I could do a horizontal hike in Phoenix and get back to Tucson in time. It would have been such fun! I'm sure you will have great fun without me. Maybe next time! Sounds like you have been having great fun meeting new people. Continue on!


Everyone has such a big broad smile on their face........fantastic trip! for one & all..........Enjoy enjoy.

Carol McFarland

Kristin: This is one of your best posts ever! Thanks for trusting readers to share the bits and pieces, and thanks for not worrying that we expect you to be "perfect" and precise at every turn. We tune in because we enjoy hearing about your real life adventures, not because we are English or French profs (I am, but don't hold it against me!). Keep going!!

Carol McFarland
Arcata, CA

P.S. I may have missed it, but is this an annual visit or some special event?

Julie Schorr

Salut Kristin! I love this blog today and all the pictures! What a wonderful time you must be having. Wish I could meet up with you in Arizona. I know you will have many more tales to tell!
Add an "s" on to your french verbs to make them conditional. I tell my students this is tricky because they sound the same in French "j'aurai, j'aurais, je pourrai, je pourrais".
Can't wait to see more pictures. I would love to go to Puerto Vallarta some day. Jule's dog Breezy is precious!
San Diego, ca

Candy in SW KS

Love love love everything about this posting, Kristin!!! I so wish I could be in Phoenix. With a little more notice I probably coulda (keeping in the spirit of the posting) made arrangements. Maybe next time!

Michael Schnur

Rather like the stream of consciousness style of writing. I think that it is very effective in reaching your readers, at least me. I almost wish that I was back in Phoenix (I just left the Boulders up in Carefree a couple of weeks ago) to share a good hike and cup of jave with you. Maybe next year if I know your dates ahead of time.


Hello Kristin,
Wish you could come to Utah and meet with your blog readers, there's quite a few here that would love our books signed and spend some time with you. Looks like you're having a great time in Mexico. I love your mom, she seems adorable. Kisses to Breeze.

Suzanne, Monroe Township, NJ

What fun ... for you and for us. Thank you, Kristin. I love all of the photos.


What a cute picture and have to say too I like the braking system on the three-wheeler with thonged tootsies!


lovelovelovelove the blog!!!! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!!

Herm in Phoenix, AZ

Salut Kristin,

For those wishing to attend the meet-up, but may not want to hike, there’s an excellent ramada where they could gather and share stories. The Phoenix weather today is clear and sunny with a high of 72 degrees F. expected. Some sun protection might be appropriate for those not accustomed to the sun. I’m looking to see you, your sister and lots of FWAD followers.

À bientôt

Karen from Phoenix, AZ

I'll be there. Looking forward to it.


Yes, enjoy the moment - they don't last forever. Thanks for the delightful post and pictures.


.......how I hope you can keep your joie de vivre, your effervescence! It is so infectious and bubbly! Like a sip of real champagne!!!


Wonderful post. Yes, me, too, I'd love to get to Puerta Vallarta someday. abrazos para ti y tu mama.


Oh, I so wish I could go to Phoenix and meet you. From the perspective of a global society, my home in North Las Vegas is just a hop-skip-and-jump (perhaps you could invent the French equivalent?) from there. Unfortunately, as a freelance writer, I have a 2-11-11 deadline, and with four dogs to care for, I just can't make the trip, not without a lot of planning. Perhaps next time? Will there be a next time? I certainly hope so.

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

I loved the whimsy of this post and all the colorful pictures and people. Wish I could be at the meetup -- especially since we're expecting more snow here in St. Louis -- but I won't be in Phoenix until April. Wish you could plan a Midwest one (don't you have a cousin or someone to visit here?)

gail bingenheimer

My mom lives in Scottsdale, so I plan on seeing her over Easter Vacation. gail


Planning to be at Starbucks on Friday morning!! Very much looking forward to it. It's gonna be great! :-)


I love Jules' poodle. What a great visit you have had. Have fun in Arizona.

Vance Anderson-Inks

Thank you for giving your mother my message, Kristin. I've know your mom for many years, like before your FWD site. She used to come into the "Pink Place", She is indeed precious, and I do wish I could have been in my home across the marina, to meet you, and, knowing your mom, get in a wee bit of mischief. I'm happy you had the time to spend some time with her. I will be good for her.

Lynn at Southern Fried French

Just the cutest post ever, Kristin. Have fun. Gros bises to you and your mom.


Love Jules - what fun she must be!

Something about you (or your writing) has changed since you have been in Mexico/Arizona.
I think it is so free and so full of fun. Love it.
I hope you continue to enjoy yourself.

Dave de Garis, Melbourne, Australia

Hi Kristin, love these posts and so does my Ruby, my 9 year old Golden who eagerly waits for picks of her francais amis B&S. I'm thinking from my french class that the french for "chick magnet" is chaud lapin (not me!). You are such a positive person exuding buckets of positive energy .... keep it up. One of your FWAD downunder (from "droughts to flooding rains") followers.

june furey

Hi Kristin,
your latest postings have been so full of the joy you must be experiencing in such a happy place particularly to be able to share time with your Mother.
I have been sharing time with my family at
my grandsons wedding, which was held on the edge of the bay on the most perfect day
in the Bay of Islands NZ.
It is a spiritual environment for the indigenous Maoris and we all felt the peace of our surroundings during the service.
Thank you for sharing with us your photos and experiences in Mexico.
June Furey, Auckland NZ 8 Feb 2011


Greetings Kristi! I have been buried elsewhere and just got caught up on your trip to the US and now Mexico. So lovely to see you and your mother,and the incredible colors of the country as displayed on a living model. Enjoy the warmth of sun and motherhood. Bises, Eugenia


Hi Kristin,

A bouncy litany of I should, I should, I should.... and such lively photos to pass on to your readers avid to read all the 'celebrity' gossips! Light entertainment, great fun, big smiles and I can even 'hear' giggles and laughters in the background. You can now tick each item off your long 'I should' list. All said - all done! Bravo!
BTW, talking about photos, we haven't had the pleasure of getting one of John yet - or one of Jules & John - Who is shy here?

Now, for you Kristin, and for the FWAD readers who are interested in the French language, here is a clue:
--> when "should" means "ought to", translate by the Conditional of the verb "devoir" (JE DEVRAIS... nous devrions... etc)

I'll send a separate post about these "RAIS ..."

short hours of sleep, long chats, full fun days... you must feel happily exhausted, but most probably have no time to think about it!
Que la fête mexicaine se passe au mieux.

Dear Jules, Kristin's visit must be the most valuable 65th birthday present for you. Has Kristin seen all your favourite spots and those horses you mentioned once?
Kristin, I've just realised you'll be back to celebrate "la Saint Valentin"! Perfect timing!


~~~as promised in my previous post~~~

When "should" means "ought to", translate by the Conditional of the verb "devoir"
(JE DEVRAIS... nous devrions... etc)
-> Je devrais te / vous parler des gens que j'ai rencontrés ici.... /
= I should tell you about the people I met here

-> Je devrais te / vous dire combien de fois j'ai pensé à toi / à vous.
= I should tell you about how many times I thought about you.

-> Je devrais te / vous montrer une photo de ....
= I should show you a photo of ....

-> Je devrais te / vous dire comment Morlis a aidé maman à monter dans le bus ...
= I should tell you how Morlis helped Mom up, onto the bus ...

-> Je ne devrais pas oublier de mentionner l'homme qui....
= I shouldn't forget to mention the man who ...

Another "rè" sound in the bargain?
Here is the more formal "IL FAUDRAIT"
It is the Conditional of the verb "falloir" (only used with impersonal "il")
-> il faudrait venir / vous devriez venir
= you should come

-> il faudrait que tu me dises / vous devriez me dire
= you should tell me...

-> il faudrait que tu fasses un effort / vous devriez faire un effort
= you should make an effort.

Note: "que" + verb in the Subjunctive mode, so, "que tu dises" (Subjunctive of verb "dire")
"que tu fasses" (subjunctive of verb "faire")

Coming to the rescue, here is " JE POURRAIS"
It is the Conditional of the verb "pouvoir". You can often sense the idea of 'but' in the background ...
-> Je pourrais me reposer
= I could have a rest

-> J'aurais dû mentionner ...
= I should have mentioned

-> J'aurais dû vous le dire
= I should have told you about it ...

-> J'aurais pu le faire moi-même
= I could have done it myself

Note:these examples illustrate the Past Conditional of "devoir" ("j'aurais dû") and "pouvoir" ("j'aurais pu")

= I would be, I would have/get, I would come, I would go

more to say but that's quite enough.

I'll stop here with the hilarious sounds of all the Conditional Endings, given in order:
...Rais ...Rais ...Rait
...Rions, ...Riez, ...Raient.

Note for the purists:
each time I said "Conditional", understand "le conditionnel présent".



Hope this will give you a satisfactory answer to your question about the 'chick magnet'.
Here are a few words to choose from:

un Casanova -
un tombeur de femmes / un tombeur,
un séducteur,
un Don Juan

un coureur de jupons is a picturesque expression for a womaniser
(un jupon = a petticoat)

Bonsoir from Dorset in the South of England, where we enjoyed a gentle Spring blue sky today.

Pat Cargill

Oh, Newforest, I want to meet up with YOU! I'd just trail along beside you and learn and learn and learn...or try to. So enjoy your posts.

Kristen, sounds and looks like you are having a marvelous visit w/Jules. So nice for you and your Mom. Bonsoir from a cold Roanoke.

Jennifer in OR

Fish purse and poodle, she's a purple-scarved princess.

Jules Greer

My Dearest Friends,

Kristi has quietly slipped out the front door (8:00 a.m.) - she is off to Starbucks (a new addition here at our Marina this past year.) I have offered her my cozy bed with my lovely view of the jungle but she needs her space to create in her own way. She will be gone for approx. 4-5 hours working away on todays post, answering all of her email, and all of the other details she has to attend, just to keep us all happy while we await another glimpse into how her mind works.

Needless to say, I am exhausted. I have never been one to entertain. My husband has always taken over this responsibility.While we have been running all over Puerto Vallarta John has been restocking our pantry and creating lovely dinners for us to feast and recharge on each evening.

About my purse - John brought that home to me one day about seven years ago. I am crazy about this purse, people run across busy streets to ask about my purse. That is how we met Morlis (in the photo above) he told us he works with leather and wanted to see it up close. Morlis is going to take a pattern off my purse and hopefully start a business here in P.V. making and selling these purses on the beach where he normally sells jewelry. When Morlis first approached us I thought he wanted to sell us something so I made it very clear that I was part of Santos, Valentino, and Gregorio's family here in the village...these three guys are all my maid's brothers and Gregorio just happens to be the 'kick-boxing' champion of our city and state. Whenever I drop their names I am immediately paid much respect from any approaching beach or street vendor.

Time for my morning siesta - I notice the sky is clear and blue this morning and hopefully it will be about 78 degrees today.




Love it! BTW, sheesh, Kristin - do you EVER take a bad photo? Great hat!

Kit Wilson

Look how contagious a holiday mood with Kristin, Jules, Breezy and John and their pals can be! What a sublime blog this is, afloat in a punchbowl of sparkling champagne. The trail of appreciative comments bursts like splashy fireworks at a uniquely merry Party! Am lapping up every iota of described delight from Kristin's fans around the world. Me too -- just the sunny spirit needed to offset the bitter cold here in Ontario, Canada as winter freezes on toward spring!

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