Archive for February, 2014

My Harold Ramis Movie Marathon

LEGO CUUSOO Ghostbusters Ecto-1I am sensitive to words these days. Especially since a lot of people throw them around haphazardly. This is never more true than when someone describes an artist with words like “brilliant,” “genius,” or “hilarious.”

Brilliant. Andy Warhol was so brilliant. Really? If you make me believe that in thirty minutes, I’ll buy you a car.

Genius. This one comes with a whole string of adjectives: i.e., musical, literary, comic. Mozart was a musical genius. I agree, but I don’t really know why. Do you? Joyce was a literary genius. Yes, he probably was, but are you saying that because you’ve done an in-depth study of his work or because you can’t understand it and you’ve heard everyone else say he was a genius?

Hilarious. Lenny Bruce was hilarious. No, he really wasn’t. I mean it, go look him up on YouTube and watch five minutes of his stand up. Daring, yes. Groundbreaking, yes. Important, yes. Hilarious, no.

Every once in a while a person comes along who really deserves these words, since they somehow amaze or thrill us. And Harold Ramis was one of these people. He was, in fact, the man.

In a popcorn and cookie fueled homage to him this weekend, I will watch the following films and laugh at the hilarious antics and scenarios and the brilliant dialogue of a true comic genius.

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Breaking Hibernation

deep sleepI haven’t left my bed yet today. I’ve been lying here reading and sleeping. Sometimes I ponder something: Why do Sundays move so fast? When did I start needing two pairs of glasses?

Adding to my lethargy is the fact that I am sick and every move seems to propel mucus from some bodily orifice. I ache: knees, head, and back. A shuffle to the bathroom is an adventure in wincing and groaning.

To boot, the upstairs neighbors are once again doing their part to send me to a high tower with a long range rifle by doing karaoke and stomping like Irish step-dancers.

It’s February, a month which was meant to be hibernated throughout. Bears, birds, even fish sleep through this shittiest of shitty winter months. And I am following this ritual as well. So pretty much since January 3rd, I have been hibernating in my flat as though it was a cave. A cave with internet access and a stove, but a cave nonetheless. There’s a visible funk, it’s dark, I have the feeling I’ll stumble across a pile of bones and a fur bed.

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The Linguistic Woes of the 1994 Time Traveler

ProgressCan you imagine going back to the time of Shakespeare? Right now you’re probably shivering with terror as you imagine dealing with the thous and thees and hithers, not to mention wearing tights and having a pointed beard.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like for someone to visit 2014 from the past? I mean, besides the fact that they’d have to live in a world with Kanye West.

I am talking about linguistics.

Language constantly changes and as a language teacher I’ve come to understand that I don’t really teach English, but English as it is at this point in time. So if someone came here from Shakespeare’s time, he would probably be just as terrified of our English as we imagine we’d be of his.

But in the last 15 years our language has undergone a serious upheaval due to technology, the Internet, and social media. With our dictionary of new, daily-used jargon, the world would be a cacophony of confusion for a time traveler. And I’m not talking about someone from Shakespeare’s time, but someone from 1994. Consider the following.

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Insomniac Theatre

Baldrick

Baldrick

It’s 3 am and God hates me.

I am sitting in an armchair in my bedroom. I am holding a book, but I am not reading it. I am distracted by my enemy and keep sending glances over the top of the pages to look at him. His flat expanse, his ruffled skin.

The bed.

He mocks me. He has been mocking me for four days. I will kill him.

Every once in a while I suffer a bout of insomnia. I believe that my body and brain just throw me the occasional curve ball to keep my on my toes – things could be a lot worse, bucco, so cheer up! So I take the opportunity to read, watch movies, and send death threats to my bed.

As any insomniac knows, a few nights without sleep cause one to slowly lose their mind. Your mind begins to skew your ability to make clear and reasonable decisions. It’s been four nights. Below is an unofficial journal of sorts of my activity and viewing choices, just in case someone needs to tell this to a mental health professional in a few days.

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At Your Service

berlusconi jokerValentine’s Day can be tough on people, no matter who you are. You can be under immense pressure to plan something romantic, under immense pressure to put out after something romantic, or sad about being in neither of those positions. You could be dreading the looks of the shop assistant who hands you a bucket of brownies and a bottle of bourbon. Or you might just not give a flying frick.

Why is it so tough? Well, because this is the god of all non-holidays. Valentine’s Day is like a day ostensibly conjured up for lovers, but really just serves to make people uncomfortable and unhappy.

As a man for others, I am offering several services this Valentine’s Day. These services are unisex offers.

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7 Reasons to Party in February

Winter RoadAs I sat down a couple of hours ago to write my blog, I realized that I was a bit gloomy. I glanced at the list of blog ideas I had jotted down. How to strangle your neighbor’s dog, 5 Writer Suicides, and Stories about dying kittens.

It was clear: I was depressed.

And is it any wonder? It is a Sunday night in February. Sunday. February. I was sitting down to write a depressing blog on the most depressing day of the week in the most depressing month. The odds were stacked against me.

But I persevered.

Instead of writing about things that will make you want to shoot yourself, I ultimately decided to write about seven great reasons in February to shake your booty and give you an excuse to drink frosty drinks. Here are seven reasons that make February party worthy.

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Simple Pleasures

Lazy DayOne of the most enjoyable parts of this alarming activity known as ‘aging’ is that the world moves insanely fast. I don’t mean people speeding around me, though that is the case as well. I mean that time frickin’ flies. It was just last week that I was leaving the university for summer holiday, Christmas was yesterday morning, and surely June will be here again tomorrow morning.

It’s work day in and day out, jogging, read on the tram, watch a sitcom over dinner, sleep. And before I blink, another year has gone by. This is especially true since I tend to worry about the future rather than the right now.

Do you? How often have you said something like: I can’t wait for this day to be over, Once this class/meeting is over, I can relax, I need spring to be here, Come on Friday!

Moreover, happiness is always just around the corner, something that will come at some other time than now. 5 pm on a Friday, on December 24th, after my proctology appointment, on the first day of holiday.

In the interest of not missing my whole life waiting for something else to happen, I am making an effort to savor the small moments. I want to enjoy the little daily joys, the things that happen here and now. And so here are some of my simple daily pleasures.

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How to Annoy Tall People

Corey the Lobotomizer doing his other job: clothes dryer

Corey the Lobotomizer doing his other job: clothes dryer

There’s a pull up bar in the doorway of my bedroom. It has been there for seven months and it has seen eight pull ups. This is mainly because the squad of pygmies I hired to raise me up to it quit amidst salary disagreements.

Take it down? Never.

The pull up bar now has a new use and a new name. It is now Corey the Lobotomizer. It gained that moniker and use after I watched two tall friends walk forehead first into it. And despite the rather painful sound, it did provide extreme momentary comedic entertainment.

Sadist, you say. Well, I guess if you define ‘sadist’ as a guy who gains pleasure from occasionally hurting or being cruel to others, then fine, label me. To be fair, it’s nothing really against tall people specifically. As a short person, it’s always good to keep a few tall people around. They’re great for testing water’s depth in a murky pond, reaching things on high shelves, and providing scouting reports at crowded clubs.

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