Archive for December, 2012

Lucky New Year, Everyone!

Canon Speedlight 580EX IIHow has this year treated you? Surely, some of you are saying, “not bad,” some of you are saying, “like a hockey puck covered in horse vomit” and some of you are saying, “how in the name of Steve Guttenberg did I end up on this f*cking blog?”

No matter how bad or good a year has been, on December 31st we always reflect on the passing year’s joys and successes, failures and arrest warrants. New Year’s Eve also prompts one to look forward with hope to a better, richer, and more plentiful new year.

If you’re anything like me (first of all, my sincere condolences), you need all the help you can get.

With T-minus 10 hours until next year comes pressing through like a prolapsed hemorrhoid, I hit the Internet, books and almanacs to find the world’s leading strategies to bring in a lucky new year.

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Avoiding the Post-Christmas Crash

Lakeville CemeteryDecember 26th

We all know the feeling. The previous month (and a half) has brought us from a festive atmosphere of holiday cheer and expectation. Then we rise in an arcing crescendo of holiday anticipation, shopping, music and parties before climaxing in a day of glee, fatty meats and gift wrapping. And then, it’s over. It’s December 26th. That anticipation is gone, and what lies ahead is only work, two plus months of dismal weather and no more holidays.

Some people claim that it doesn’t bother them. They are lying. Here are some ways to deal with the Christmas Crash.

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Tis the Season to …

7.5 ft Asian Themed Christmas TreeTis the holiday season, and this means many things: Family, alcohol, work parties, alcohol, gift giving and receiving, eating and some other crap about generosity, peace among humanity and stuff. Here are the five (real) main aspects of the holiday season as I see it.

Christmas Specials

That’s right, Christmas. Since I do not recall ever having seen a Hanukkah special and Kwanza is generally left out of the holiday special rounds. Granted, I have lived in the Czech Republic for the last 342 (8) years, so chances are good that things have changed due to political correctness. That said, I am moving into grumpy curmudgeonry so I am sticking with what I know and that is Christmas. Christmas specials hit every holiday G spot: family, generosity, sharing, peace, blah blah. But we all know the most important part is watching children’s TV specials in search of hidden adult themes. Get a little stoned and try to find the morphine addict in Charlie Brown Christmas or the homosexual love affair in The Grinch.

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Pantless in Krumlov Revisited: A Morning of Shame

DSC_13068:02 a.m.: Upon checking my phone first thing in the morning to ensure that everyone I know is still alive, I see that I received a call from family at 00:24 a.m. This leads me to a panicked state and so, after turning on my coffee, feeding my cat, singing Octopus’s Garden, I turn on my computer to find the problem.

8:09 a.m.: The ‘problem’ is realized. I look playful in the photos, smiling, pointing at centuries-old monuments, gracing a 600-year-old bridge with my presence. My pants are around my ankles in every photo. They are on Facebook. I scan them in a ‘please don’t let this get out of hand’ panic over my morning coffee.

8:11 a.m.: Relief overtakes me. Boxer flap has done its job (despite overwhelming…oh forget it), and I am not documented breaking any serious laws. Thus, I still have a job, a visa, and my future as a senator is still a theoretical possibility. Also, happy about state of cuteness embodied by my tushy.

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My Sunday starts with a jolt: Napoleon Bonaparte was not short.

As a short guy, Napoleon is one those guys. And I don’t mean that he’s a role model like Prince, Tom Cruise or Gary Burghoff. Napoleon is the ‘Well if you think I’m short, take a look at this guy,’ of short guys.

He was 5’2 (157.5 cm), got exiled twice, has an entire psychological complex named after him, evidently had a one inch prick, got cheated on by wife Josephine (see previous mockery), and, and, as though that all wasn’t enough, he was French.

But now, because of the bloody Brits, Napoleon was my height.

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Club Blue

That Awkward Moment When...I would have married him! M types into Gmail IM.

You knew him for one month, I respond.  

I could have loved him! He was perfect!

My eyes begin rolling like a Magic 8-Ball.

My writing soul mate is having a crisis. She has been dumped. Not even dumped, but pre-dumped. Dumped in the pregame show to dating; as though someone ended the Kentucky Derby by shooting a horse in the gate. Only instead of a gun, there was a Smartphone text message. Also, no oats.

I begin typing my way to an IM escape route: My connection has be—.

However, before I can tunnel into the loving, rave-free confines of my flat, my computer rings. I grumble in annoyance for several selfish reasons. Just off the top of my head, I don’t want to hear the details of a failed relationship when I have so many of my own to keep me warm at night. Also, and as we all know, it’s impossible to talk sense to a recently dumped person. And, most importantly, I was just about to put on an Oreo cookie, M*A*S*H, and bourbon festival in my living room.

The computer stops ringing and I hold my breath. Then it rings again.

Skype. I hate Skype. To answer or not to answer, that is the question.

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Ideal Comfort

Dickens Village 2010The weather outside is, in fact, frightful. The temperature is six below zero Celsius, the snow is beating against the windows and blinding our view of the city and it has been pitch black since 4 p.m.

The only thing missing is a loaded .32 and a book of Sylvia Plath’s poetry.

But inside the mood is far more pleasant. We are in a warm room, comfortable, listening to mildly upbeat jazz and the cat is curled up on an armchair sleeping in content. We are sipping Jamesons Irish and a hearty venison stew is simmering on the stove.

There is a sense of familiarity to this scene, and at first I can’t put my finger on what that might be. I refill my glass of denial juice (tomorrow is not Monday) and let that feeling recede. But the euphoric calm peeks through as we toast baguettes and talk books and movies. I have enjoyed this before, but when?

I rack my brain until it’s time to eat, at which time I forget all thoughts that are not primal.

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Enemy at the Plate

Angry kittyFrom the Writing Desk of Chirps at Birds (Human Alias: Bela)

The fat one has returned and is evidently in a sour mood. His dealings on the outside must have been less than successful this day, for he has arrived in a huff and once again neglected to reciprocate the traditional end-of-day Egyptian Anus Greeting. Further, he brought with him packets of those brown edible dining circles that he submerges in the milk.

Three packets. Must have been a bad day.

I am slighted that he is in such a condition as I have been hoping to call attention to the overflowing state of my commode. In fact, I have lowered myself to let out a few of these asinine high-pitched meows that seem to be effective in gathering positive human attention. But it has been to no avail this evening.

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Play Dead

Potsy Plays Dead 1/2“So S, how long have you been studying English?”

We are studying the present perfect tense today, and to illustrate a present perfect continuous question, I have asked S the above in hopes that she will simply answer. However, S looks directly at me, yet makes absolutely no move.

I wait, knowing as both a teacher and student of language that one must have a short period of time to register the language.

So, I wait.

S has not made a move. A quick visual canvas of the room shows that the other students have also frozen in position. I feel like Medusa after a temper tantrum at the post office.

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