Archive for April, 2013
There is no better way to enjoy a Sunday morning than to drink coffee while you read a story featuring a ghost, a werewolf or a German dictator. And if you can’t get any of those, you can look at Wikipedia’s page on people who have recently become dead.
Though grisly in some – all – people’s eyes, my interest in the Recent Deaths page is that it’s usually a springboard for interesting and totally random reading. Today is no different.
It all starts with Yuri Yudin, who was an unfortunate addition to Wiki Deaths and whose claim to fame was that he was the sole survivor of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Now, if you’re a nerd and a doom and gloom loving fool, you know that no phrase in the English language arouses your morbid side like ‘Sole Survivor.’
Her: “Only if you get down on your knees and please me.”
Him: “Yes Ma’am!”
The beginning of 83% of the porn you’ve ever seen? Nope, it’s the mixture of English and Czech that makes one glorious, confusing language: Czenglish!
The main culprit of Czenglish is when a Czech speaker uses a direct translation of a Czech word or phrase in English. The above is a perfect example. In Czech, the word prosím idiomatically means please, but it comes from the verb prosit which means to beg. Our girl is using the word literally in English and thus instead of telling her boss to beg, she offered him the single greatest recompense on Earth.
Her: “I think Paris is the most beautiful city in the world.”
Him “You have true!”
OK, she has true and may now pass into the valley of the Elves, right? And dialogue for this blog has been brought to you by J.R.R Tolkien? No! It’s Czenglish again! In this case, he is directly translating the Czech phrase Máš pravdu, which means you are right but is literally translated into English as you have true.
It all starts with a light tapping at the bedroom door and a peepish mewing that is meant to draw me out of bed with its cuteness. It never works, so the tapping progresses to a scratching and the mewing goes to a deranged sound, sort of the way the Swamp Thing might moan if he were hungry and tripping on acid. She’s giving me the opportunity to let her in before she lets herself in.
I stuff my face back into my pillow, and hope that she’ll find a tiny animal to torture – maybe that bee that flew in the flat last night or a spider. Perhaps I’ll start importing mice.
In my dreams, Benedict Cumberbatch and I are having a picnic on a red and white blanket. We are both wearing suspenders and he’s telling me about the new season of Sherlock. I hear a click. In the dream, and in reality, I pull the blanket over my toes; she always goes for the toes first.
I look at the clock: 6:12 a.m.
Since she has learned to open doors I haven’t slept past 7 a.m.
The first book I ever wrote wasn’t called Senseless. It was called Harry and the Fairy. I came across it about a year ago as I scoured my parents’ attic for proof of a high school sweetheart that is still, sadly, pending.
The book was well-received in my close-knit literary circle (mom said ‘nice job’), the public (teacher gave me a gold star, and one to my sister Amanda, age 10, for illustration) and critics (I was invited to the Young Writers of America festival at the Bucks County Library). Everyone was, I think.
But how can you miss with such a plot line? A troublesome young boy named Harry goes into his closet and finds a fairyland (Yes, a fairyland. Yes, in his closet). Once there, he meets some helpful fairies who have a hell of a chat with him and show him that being a bad kid is no way to go through life. Harry comes out of the closet a changed boy.
I was throwing rocks into an empty paint can in the middle of a dried out field. The sun was baking everything, including me and my pile of rocks, which were becoming hotter by the second and therefore more difficult to curve. Mark was huddling under the seventeen inches of shade being provided by the oddly shaped ferry building. In the window of the building there was a handwritten note in Arabic, which gave us indecipherable bad news from right to left. A drawn clock with the hands on the 3 was more succinct.
Right now, both the little and the big hands were on the 1 and we were baking in the sun waiting for ferry officials that we needed to see today and who would not return for at least two hours. There was no place to go in the meantime, so we hid under the brims of our hats and threw rocks. This was our low point and it had come as a result of bad decisions.
We had one rule in Egypt: No being outside in the afternoon hours.
Hiya folks. So, a few weeks ago I was interviewed by excellent Prague writer (and literary mover and shaker) Sonya Lano about my last book, my next book, how Ernest Hemingway would have hated me and battling with peanut butter and jelly fish. Click the link below and read if you’d like a little entertainment and maybe a sneak preview into what I’m working on as well as insight into why I’m so screwed up.
Enjoy your Friday and your weekend! DG
Being without the ability to smell is sort of like being paralyzed from your pinky knuckles to the fingertips. People vaguely understand that you have a disability, but it isn’t really taken seriously despite the fact that it is a massive pain in your ass. And we’re definitely not getting a celebrity charity.
So, in order to make the life of an anosmiac close to you a little more comfortable, get him a non-scented gift. Some ideas below.
Their ugliness is spectacular. It’s as though they are either missing a chromosome, have crashed on Earth in a saucer-like craft or have some illness that devolves them to a physical state similar to our cement-browed Paleolithic ancestors. The man is drooling. Yes, drooling. Lady Macbeth seems incapable of not squinting, as though she is actively trying not to crap her pants or wincing in pain at the sight of herself in a mirror. As she never stops making this face, it’s clear that this look is a permanent feature of her face, along with her variety of chins, her topography of moles and the sixteen teeth that dwell in her mouth.
What is most amazing about this couple, aside from the fact that they don’t live in a zoo, is that they are standing over a baby carriage. These people have procreated. Together.
Now, anyone who has seen how I dress daily knows that I am not only unwilling to make a decision before 9 a.m., I am incapable of doing so. Therefore, my morning tram ride racks me with an anxiety that leaves me unable to make important (gastronomical) decisions throughout the rest of the day. I’ll walk you through a daily Tram Game.
The Tram Game
The Tram Game starts at the tram stop, where you must decide between standing next to two homeless guys (literally covered in feces) eating rolls or the young couple procreating in the tram stand. You choose the homeless guys, since you have always liked the monkey house, and public arousal has gotten you nothing but grief, an orange jump suit and the name #2918302983.
It’s time to get on the tram and now you must decide if it’s OK to elbow old people in the throat. Here’s the thing, old people are far craftier than they appear; they have been alive for a long time. There are never any at the tram stop, but as the tram approaches they come out of nowhere to stand directly in front of you. So, you do one of two things. You elbow one (nobody’s judging you) or you find an alternative, non-geriatric route onto the tram.
I am getting ready for my shower. Usually, this involves a misdirection regimen that I have been perfecting for two decades. I suck in the belly, tie the towel like a mundu, and focus on my good side in the mirror (if I look at my left eyebrow while squinting, I sort of look like Tom Cruise).
Like all other men who aren’t Ryan Gosling I am drawn to the changes in my body’s landscape. Freckles appear on my body like a constellation of fruit flies, and the rebel grays in my hair are starting to take over the Death Star. Hair is growing out of everything. My ears have a coat of fur on them and a fleece lining in them, there is a Bering Strait connecting my eyebrows. I am stunned by the hair follicular fertility of the top of my nose; I’m thinking of selling the skin to the guys at Baldies.com.
I am feeling very middle-aged.