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Hello, it seems as though I have been gone a long time and I have. In the past four months all I have been doing culmintaes in this review. Many people write reviews on products that they barely use whereas with this review I can attest that in the past four months I have preprared over 36,000 pancakes on this griddle. I think that is adequate for me to be able to proclaim that this is the finest griddle ever.
I did not plan to cook 36,000 pancakes in the past 4 months but to be frank and honest I had a bit of a problem. See, I steal. I am not a bad person, I just happen to steal things, mostly from stores. It is not like I walk into a store planning to rip off everything that isn't nailed down, I just happen to see an opportunity to sipe stuff and I do it. FOr instance if I was in the supermarket and knew I would buy a case of soda I would pick up a magazine or two and lay it in the cart and then when I got to the checkout the cashier would see the soda sitting there and just scan a card by the register rather than having me pick it up and place it on the conveyor belt. I was also a quick change artist. I learned this skill by watching youtube shorts on the subject. I could walk into any place and rip off the cashier for 10 quid anytime I needed money. I got caught doing this after a local shop went to the trouble of hiring a popular magician just to catch me. I actually had to go to court and my sentence involved that I was not allowed to have any cash on my person for 6 months and had to use a debit card everywhere I went. That is harder than it sounds when you are left passing out postage stamps and ciggies for tips to everyone.
So I was in court again after I accidently took some tools from a building site where I was doing some labour, they just happened to get mixed up with my tools in my tool box, and I could not prove that I even had any tools of my own to begin with. So I was in court which is quit humiliating and I live in a small town. So when you go to court you see a bunch of people you know and everyone sits there and watches everyone elses case like it is some insipid telly program. So the day I go to court one of the witnesses in another case in a local pentacostal preacher named Casiano Carizales. So the judge is all ready to throw the book at me which is fine, I figure I will end up with a few months in jail which is ok. I am so far behind on my fines and court costs that they will never see a tenth of what I owe even if I live to be a thousand yet they keep sending me back to jail and giving me these fines which I can not pay. So Casiano sits there and listens to my proceedings like it is any of his business and then the judge is mocking me telling me how I have not learned to make a contribution to society and all that. I do not know if any of you have even been on the dock and listen to that guy just drone on when you know you are guilty and you already know you are going to effectively get the same as last time and you are like
"Shut up already and let me go to the jail and find out who my cellies are" they just go on and on to hear themselves talk. So this time the judge asks "Is their anyone in this courtroom that has any ideas what to do with this guy? Nothing I do or can do works, its been fifty one more chances with him and here we are today"
So now Casiano gets up there and tells the guy he has an answer. He praises me for what a good cook I was when I worked at Simons, and just for the record I did not steal from there like Matt said, that I am big enough to admit when I do wrong and I did not steal that kids PSP even though he probably stole it to start with. But I swear I was playing it straight and besides from cracking a few extra eggs so I could make an omelet for myself I did not steal from him even after he did not get me a raise because my stupid PO came in there running his mouth how if I lost that job he would send me back to state and then Matt knew that he did not have to give me a raise to keep me from quitting. So Casiano tells this judge that he has a solution, that he has a place I could be useful, there would be nothing to steal and no money to swindle people out of. And since I do not punch people or hurt people or kill people it is a waste to keep me in jail if society can be protected without spending ninety three dollars a day of the citizens money to lock me up.
Long story short a week later I am on an airplane to Mexico. Some guy from Casianos church was willing to give him all the pancake mix he needed because he had a pancake mix plant and some metal shavings got in the product from a thrown bearing and they could not sell it to normal people but it could still be used in missions as long as we would run a powerful magnet over it. So I get stuck in some village 93 miles south east of Alcupulco to slave over a hot grill in 105 degree jungle. All we had to give these people was pancakes with a little fruit or cheese in them. Everyday we would get out two fifty pound sacks of mix and a drum of brackish water and make pancakes and all these kids would come to eat pancakes and they had to sit there and listen to Casiano tell bible stories while they ate pancakes with a few hunks of bananas or something there. Or else Elmira, Casianos understudy would do puppet shows for them. It was all just too scary. And I had to cook all these pancakes so they would come. I was not allowed to hook up with any of the women, even the nasty ones that local men did not want. We did have good coffee though. By the way we ran it off of a generator that could not keep the griddle going at the same time as the coffee maker and they said the pancakes came first.
The griddle was easy to use and easy to keep clean if you were not in a tropical jungle and cared about sanitation. I had these little dials to control the temperature on the griddle and I would let the top piece off because it was hinged and unless you were cooking meat or a sandwich you do not need the top part.
It weighs 16 pounds which might be a lot for some people but for me that is like tossing around a feather pillow. If you wanted to keep it clean these metal plates come out so you can wash them.
Like I said I used it all day long for four months which says a lot and the thing was still working when we got fed up and left that place. None of them people wanted faith they wanted free pancakes. I do not think any of them really understood us or cared and we were just a curiousity to them. So if you want a good griddle go buy this one for 120 squid or you can find the one I ditched in Mexico if you fly into Alcapulco and take the coastal road 93 miles towards Zacatecas.
The Karate Kid is a dark drama/action movie from John G Avildsen who also gave us the heartbreaker "Rocky 2" where another popular champion ultimately loses. The Karate Kid is the story of a hardworking, honest and popular kid named Johnny Lawrence (Famous Academy award nominated actor William Zabka) who has just broken up with his highschool sweet heart Ali played by a very Gentile looking Elishabeth Shue, because she has a nihilistic streak and needs pofessional emotional help instead of being in a serious relationship yet he wants to stand beside her as a friend.
The swarthy villian of the story is a vicious swarthy arrogant troublemaker named Daniel Russo, played by Ralph Macchio, who hints of being "mobbed up" who arrives from "Jerssy" with his mother, probably one step ahead of the law. He shows up at an end of summer beach party and attempts to take advantage of Ali by being her "rebound". Johnny tries to protect Ali's honor and is viciously attacked by Daniel who uses a form of very violent and aggressive Kung Fu taught only in books and at the YMCA. Johnny after being sucker punched at one point barely escapes with his life by utilizing the Karate taught to him by the kind and strong mentor "Kreese" played by Marty Kove. Kreese is an honorably discharged Special Forces sldier from the Vietnam war who teaches his boys self defense that is not anti-western and filled with high faluting Eastern mumble jumble philosophy and anti-Christian rhetoric. Johnny is a good guy who talks about working hard in school, he refuses a chance to drink underage and always wears a helmet while riding his dirt bike. Meanwhile Daniel is a violent tempered disrespectful boy who lies (even to his mother) and bullies everyone.
The movie leads to a predictable end with Daniel antagonizing Johnny repeatedly. He goes to Johnny's Karate School to make trouble and antagonize Johnny in front of his kind and wizened Sensei Kreese then destructively and cowardly sprays steaming hot water on Johnny and his friends at a Halloween Dance. This is while he is misleading and abusing Ali and treating her like garbage. There is no hint of safe sex or protection being used as Daniel clearly has an attitude that he does not care if he gets her pregnant as he simply does not respect anyone.
When Johnny confronts Daniel about burning him with the water Mr Miyagi shows up and proceeds to violently assault Johnnys friends, enjoying it even more since some of them presumably minors. After this "saving" Daniel begins a twisted and complex (implied that Daniel becomes a Catamite as he seeks a father figure) relationship with a wicked Svengali played by Pat Morita who got an Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance. Miyagi was a war criminal who brags to Daniel how many innocent German soldiers he murdered in Italy (presumably while POWs). He proceeds to teach Daniel a very aggressive and violent form of martial arts that is meant to maim and hurt people. They even kill flies with chopsticks just for fun to show off their reflexes and killer instincts.
Daniel begins to stalk Johnny and Ali and even trespasses into their country club to spy on her. Johnny only ever tries to help her and keep her away from this bad guy but due to her mental illness she can not make wise decisions and Daniel is eager to take advantage of this. Everyone finally agrees that Daniel will abate his twisted attempt to take over Reseda and earn street cred by bullying Johnny if Johnny will fight him in an all valley Karate tournament. Then Daniel and Miyagio begin a training montage that is more Dark Jedi than Rocky.
Johnny has to fight many skilled and powerful opponents on his inevitable collison course with Daniel. He sticks in there knowing that enduring this pain is the only way that he can save Ali. Unfortunately in the end he fails and loses when Daniel uses illegal moves and some heathen pain suppression techniques to unfairly circumvent the rules and thus beat the ever decent and trustworthy Johnny. There are a couple of other great reviews athttp://www.billyzabka.com/pb/wp_bff1b346/wp_bff1b346.html?0.37314803089037
Karate Kid is a timeless classic that can inspire everyone. Although the ending is unhappy and the bad guys win by cheating and hating we see that Johnny maintains dignity and self respect through it all. That is the lesson, that doing the right thing is still best even if it does not lead to immediate rewards. Incidently the Karate Kid franchise lived on, in a perverse and new approach of carrying on with the villain being the star.After the first Karate Kid movie Daniel leaves Ali high and dry (some oblique refrences hint that she miscarried his child, which he incidentally did not want and committed suicide but he claims she left him for a USC footballer ) BEFORE Daniel and Miyagi go to Okinawa in part two and creates tension by violating the chasity of a local girl and in part 3 him and Miagi make trouble back in California while running a fradualent counterfeit bonsai tree store and Daniel has yet another new co-dependent weak female to abuse. It is not about a flawed tragic hero, it is a francise of horror films based on the shock of what this misogynist brute will do next to polite society.
I have been travelling again now, after Grams died leaving me a small legacy. It isn't enough money to make a huge impact on my life as far as buying a nice ride or house (with these Boston real Estate prices) but it does allow me to treat myself to great holidays and take along a couple of these sarcophant leeches I call friends if they agree to always wear tuxedos when the are with me and act like my bodyguards.
We went to Madrid last week. We heard they have the running of the bulls there in September but I guess we were wrong an I even had a cute lttle suit made up to play Hemmingway and the cows. So basically we had nothing to do for 5 days.
We did what proper Ryan-Air-Flying Anglophones do on holidays which drink far too much and mistreat locals. I had about 15,000 Euros in my pocket to party on. So I was playing the big shot buying all the drinks and smoke and blow. Plety of Bolivian washed down with the Green fairy.
It is fair to say that the Nightclub/cafe/restaurant found us rather than we found it. I do not remember how we got there. It was of Montera Street if you keep walking uphill and cross that big street that more or less is the unofficial of the Red Light District. We could not find it later in the day time.
So we step down into this dingy little bar with this loud techno music blastng from some well-self-satisfied DJ who apparently thought he was somebody special. All this flashing neon lights were throbbing. The first thing I see is these two guys and two girls dressed in togas like Greek Gods (from Poland) on thrones that were mounted up by the bar and seperated by the liquid stock. I figured they were house dancers or strippers or something but then I see each of them has a tub running from their arm like they are rigged up to donate blood. And I watch a guy slap down a 50 Euro bill and this Francis Ford Coppola does Dracula looking-vampire of bartender tuns this shiny chrome spigot at the end of one of the Polish? (Czech? Serb?) guys tube and the blood flows out into a little perhaps half ounce shot glass. I was like no way. This is whack. The barkeep then puts some rum or vodka in withthe blood and the customer drank it. I am thinking about SIDA and Hep C and all that and wondering if booze can kill those bacteria or worms or whatever SIDA is.
I start throwing money around buying drinks for some hot Catalonian Goth chicks. One asks me to buy her a snack in the next room over. We go through this freaky tunnel with velvet walls with dy glow neon pictures of a british crew from the1700s in an open longboat and pictures of Alfred Packer and Hannibal Lechter. I guess homage to Cannibals. The cafe was all bright and quiet and like an American Diner off of TV.The waitress was a 40 sumthing women who looked like she came from Nebraska circa 1965. Kind ofa Johny Rockets thing.
Now here is what is so messed up. The items on the menu all involved cannibalism to a degree. Toasted Cheese sandwich? They had a scientific word for cheese made from human milk. 50 quid. Blood sausage. Figure that out. And the fat they were using to cook everything was from these glass jars. Lipo waste. The must buy the fat from the hospital or plastique surgeons. I almost threw up. They had an item called "Next best thing", which was Chimpanzee meat slow roasted over applewood. I was freaked out but was so into this Catalonian girl or maybe he was Basque. So this big bruiser of a Eastern European security guard comes up to me and in front of the girl is like "So you a big spender? A girl like this is worth throwing some cabbage up in the air." he does this wink thing and then says "There is another room", I am like oh yeah. He nods and starts playing all silent and coy. "Ten thousand Euro for both of you", he says. "Is it safe?" I implore, "Are they street people or homeless or dead from disease or what?" he just sits there with this smug grin and says nothing cept "You want to go to the next room or not".I was sck from my "Hollywood Hips" onion rings and was drunk so I found my friends and left. Do not go to this place. It is gross. I did get that girls number and had he the next day.
I wasted four dollars to buy this movie on pay per view this week and I am still as mad as a wet hen over how awful it was. I blame Jack Black as he reprised his slacker loser persona that got so stale in "School of Rock". He does not realize that being annoying and nihilistically lazy is not protest nor revolutionay but simply childish.
Really this movie floundered in the same vein as the Saturday Night Live skits that are funny for 8 minutes can not carry a full length film. They have a funny idea, a couple of guys having to reshoot a whole catalog of movies with no money. It really is funny to see them re-make Ghostbusters, yet Jack Black projects his whole lack of respect for other people and there is a scene in the library where he really hows his lack of comprehension that disrespect for society is not humor. Or worse yet Jack's character harassing and mistreating a paying customer in the video store is somehow supposed to be entertainment while any adult woul see this as being a creepy jerk. The no budget rendering of "Puff Puff the Marshmellow Man" is sheer excellence.
King Kong, Rush Hour and Robocop were funny and then suddenly the plot invoves making the movies shorter and shorter as it becomes a distorted paen to Indeedent film and a philosophic foray into the social value of films. We all saw the trailers that showed Mos Def and Jack making horrible tacky remakes not the huge fluff of a silly plot use to tie these skits together.
This long and dull attempt of a plot is just too strained between real laughs. You will never see anything as funny as the camoflague they use to assail the power plant. They also wasted the chance to add hot interracial sex and did not even have a torrid on screen kiss that was so called for. They could have easily got the female lead "Alma" nude any number of times or better yet made a few porno remakes.
The worst part of this move is no "props" were given to the inspiration of homemade movies- the kids who set out at age 12 to make their own version of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It took thm 8 years to do it and this movie, viewed and respected by Spielberg himself and become known as "The Adaptation". You can see a few clips here on yout ube.....youtube.com/watch?v=78AOrMtUiY0 or
I strongly advise everyone to avoid wasting money on this trash. If you do rent it just scan ahead to the parts where they shot films. Also the black and white vintage looking film at the start is actually part of the plot and not the preview of another film.
Please note this review is not also posted on Ciao where I am not a member
I live in the United States in a city with a whole bunch of Mexican restaurants so it seems sort of silly to take home a few shells in a box with some meat seasoning and expect to make something worth eating when I can go to any great restaurant any time I like. The problem is that my favorite local restaurant that really had the feel and spirit of downtown Cancun recently began serving Sam and Ella with all their meals.They poisoned 38 people and I knew it was just a matter of time before the immigration Service took their revenge. The swooped in and nicked 58 employees from one chain and any good Mexican cooks split town. So for the time being a man has to make his own tacos or go to Taco Bell.
Ironically I have been buying these kits when I travel all over. I got painted up with a bunch of Latino prison gang tattoos when I was a kid. So now that I am reformed and got saved everyone still expects me to be able to make a good Taco. So wherever I go in the world I take Taco kits and Tabasco sauce (except to Mexico). I have gone to Russia on my past 5 trips and you should see the look on the customs people's faces when they open my suitcases and see food. They react like"America is a prosperous country why do you bring food to Russia where food is cheap?"
The kits travel well since the corn shells are saddled one inside the other though some do break. The flour shells are as indestructable as inedible. The spice kit to season the beef is simply too weak or too little to produce enough potent beef or chicken to fill 12 shells, hence the need for tobasco and chilli powder. The salsa they provide tastes good but the small metallic pouch it comes in is too small and hard to use.
Typically half of the shells are broken by the time I get abroad so I end up using them as garnish in what I call a taco salad. I am able to serve the corn shells straight but I like to use Sunflower oil to fry the flour shells. I put around an inch of oil in a pan and submere the shells one by one into the oil until they blister and get a few brown spots. Then I flip them over. I leave them on some paper towels to drain off the grease.
I usually use a kg of ground beef, fresh not frozen, I use the seasoning packet that is included but add a ton of onions, a clove of garlic, a little butter and about a quarter ounce of chili powder and then add about half a bottle of regular tobasco. I fry the meat until it is browned. I serve the meat along side bowls of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese (white not yellow), sour cream and black olives and a few peppers. If I feel like it I go Dahmer on some tomatoes and add onion, garlic, lots of cilantro and a touch of vinegar and tobasco to make myown salsa instead of that bland brown sauce that comes with it.
I will never forget the first time I served Tacos to my wife's family. It did not help that my wife (who had only been in America for 4 months) told everyone I was making "Taco Bells". They love spicy food and I made three batches of meat in varying degrees of spiciness as well as a bowl of spiced prawns. It was fun to show them how tacos were made and everyone got to make their own. I noticed that after the vodka was flowing that all these Russians seemed to be using my cheese and lettuce an salsa on other dishes while packing tacos, the corn ones full of beef with Carrot salad (cabbage, carrots, oil, dill). I guess it was easier to fit Russian and Mexican food together than Russian and Mexican people!!!!!
These are good kits if you are serving them to people who do not know any better but also try the Ortega brand. Do not accepttheir wor that the kit include everything you need as you will need lettuce, tomato, cram and cheese. Good luck with your feeble attempt to recreate Mexican food
In the course of life I have seemed to have settled down. While I used to travel the globe in search of debauchery and destruction I now live a calm and purposeful life. It was all about finding the right woman for me. Not merely a good woman, or sufficient woman, but that missing portion of my soul that when recombined elevates me to a higher plan of conciousness and awareness. Long story short- I live near Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky Ohio USA and she was a Summer work-study-travel student in 2003. She went back home at the end of 2003 and we ended up married in November of 2006 and I know the rest is "happily ever after". So let me tell you about my various trips to her hometown of UFA, Republic of Bashkortostan Russia, I will call it Birth, education, marriage and death in the secular muslim world of Russia.
Ufa is the center and capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan (there are a number of 'republics' in the Russian Federation as well as 'Oblasts' which are states) a city of 1 million in a Republic of 3.5 million. 451 years ago (trust me we all saw the signs telling us 450 years last year) right after Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan and forced the province into the Russian Empire, an event he celebrated by building the big Iconic cathederal at the Kremlin, yes- that one that represents Russia herself, the people of Bashkortastan, essentially the next place to invade, met and joined the Russian Empire peacefully. The people refer to Bashkortastan as Bashkiria, home of the Bashkirs, who had been a nomadic people of Asiatic origins who speak a Turkic language but the population is nearly divided, or rather united, as one third Slavic European Russians, One third Tatar, and one third Bashkir sprinkled with a handful of Jews. My wife is Volga Tatar, a tribe that has taken a long 4,000 year journey from apparently Northern Japan to Bulgaria back to Southern Russia along the way collecting the genes of all of Eurasia so that seeing a person with bright blue eyes and real blond hair but real Chinese facial features is not unusual. There is considerable competition between Tatar and Bashkir with one University dominated by each tribe, or a Hockey club or whatever and once the Bashkirs got their own theater then the Tatars got one too soon after. A person can not avoid noticing the ethnic conciousness or awareness, perhaps a better word is preoccupation, there is not open strife nor violence or anything but each group is obssesed with ethinicity and there is rare intermarriages. Meanwhile the Slavic Russians (all of which proudly proclaim a tatar great grandparent or two-Tatars are some 10% of the Russian population and the largest minority group) lump all of the Turkic language speaking people together and don't recognize the differences. Just for the record, the Turks who came and set up the Ottoman empire and put the Turk in Turkey were from this general area.
The strangest thing for me on my first (2006) of 4 trips to Ufa, and this is after extensively travelling the former Soviet realm, was that no one bothered to change the street names in UFA nor tear down the sundry Soviet statues. A person got a 100 foot tall reminder of who Lenin Street was named after, the newest and busiest temple of Capitalism, a mall is built, literally, right in the shadow of Lenin. The rest of the street have similar names October Avenue, Sorge Street, Revolution avenue, it goes on and on. This is a case where changing the street names would cause too much confusion as well as strife between Tatar and Bashkir so they remain.
I have to mention birth in Ufa since it is in my working title. In Russia halthcare is nominally free but if you have money and connections ("blat") you go to a private hospital. I was standing outside my wife's cousins apartment building, actually I do not think he is a cousin, in the Tatar language or culture, any member of your family of very close blood of your own generation is called your brothers and sisters, you refer to your parents generation's relatives as "aunts" and "uncles" and your grandparents generation gets another term for "old-uncles". There is no need to prattle on about second cousin twice removed. Blood does not require such fanciful desciption, you know who your kin are. I looked over and saw a building that was clearly a prison, stark worn brick, steel roof and concertina wire over tall brick walls. What prison is that I enquired, "It is the house of births" my wife answered and said no more. So it seems in the former SSR you came into this world already born in a prison.
I was able to get a first hand look at the higher education system in Bashkortastan. This was prior to my beginning my present academic work at Harvard University. My wife believes in me enough to risk her reputation as a scholar and professor to loan me out to various colleagues to spice up their classes by having me lecture. When my wife had to work I was passed around and asked to perform my tricks for the students. I prepared lectures on Spanglish and the infusion of Norteno Mexican terms into mainstream English, compared and contrasted Russian superstition with that of German Americans, an explored the concept of Neology, the creation of new words for enterprise. Each of my lectures was well attended by students and professors alike. For the most part I was the first opportunity students had to meet and speak to an almost-native English speaker (my grandmother from Hamburg sort of sullies my "pure" Anglophonic heritage). Teaching was a lot of fun and the student were very respectful and tolerant of me. My favorite lecture was not amongst the brightest and best students at the top university but in a class that my wife's friend, also a University teacher, taught as private English lessons to supplement her meager state wages. These were students that were paying money to learn English without getting credit or certificates or whatever else motivates stuents. One student, who I later found out was from a rich and powerful family actually begin to loudly celebrate if I undestood his questions, despite someone else already having asked the same question. Many of the students seemed to be young women intent on learning English in order to correspond online with Westerners. Their quesions included "Do you have a wife", "Do you have a brother?" "Is your brother handsome", "Can we have your friends e-mail addresses". The professor was humiliated. The best question came from a well dressed young man who had several bottles of beer with him. "Do you like Russian women (yes)", "Do you like Russian women in UFA (some)", "Do you like the Russian women in this class (yes, they are nice)" "Do you like the Russian women in the front row". I was told not to anwer this question and not to call upon Dima again.
Marriage in Russia in truely bizarre, or actually I was not exactly married there but took part in a "signing o the marriage registry". After the Commies became oil moghuls and the State was no longer the highest diety in the land no one could figure out an official wedding ceremony that would appeal to Russians that do not go to church and tatars and Bashkirs who do not attend Mosque, so they kept the Commie ceremony. It was beyond surreal, this severe and stern woman who had to review our paperwork a few days earlier now pointing with a purple plastic wand where we had to sign in the book while some fat guy with a cheap keyboard played wedding songs (50 rubles each 1 pound 10p). I got to hear how I can rely upon the state to ensure my happiness and give me prosperity and security. I am still mad at my wife since Her family is full of very powerful KGB types but she ws too embarassed to admit she was marrying me and never asked for thir help dealing with all of this paperwork required to get married. They had not met me yet and would have opposed the marriage and possibly obstructed it. Now I know I am part of their family and the love me ( they chain me to a stove while I am there and force me to cook 2 alarm 4 way chili and Frogmore Stew and I have half of UFA running round in American collegiate garments..I have won their hearts).
The funniest thing about the "wedding ceremony" is that they are all on Saturday morning, bam, bam, bam on after another, 15 minutes each. So you have 8 or 9 bridal parties jockying for a place to stand and take pictures in the hall of records or whatever "Zags" means. And you have 5 brides glaring at each other and each others hair and dresses while 50 Russian men elbow and push for a place to stand in their famously aggressive society. The brides look like they are ready to pounce on each other. It s funny.
Death in Ufa
I will try to explain an event only two weeks past with grace and dignity. It is something that affected me yet was so powerful and new and exotic and unusual. It is hard to imagine being present at an event that in retrospect seems like some exotic event you viewed on TV from outside looking in. I will try to explain this with class and dignity and if I fail I will delete it, but in death I see such a huge difference between the midwestern USA and Tatarstan.
My wife's 23 year old cousin, a fantastic young man full of life and vigor, love and beauty died while we were in Russia. He was simply a golden child, happiness was a halo that shined above him. 5 time boxing champion of Bashkortostan, 1 time all Russia. I was lucky that I only ever met this boy in happy times, feasts at their home (in my honor) and our wedding reception (which took place in August 2007 not immediately after our wedding). As much as our own selfish needs beg us to exagerate our own loss and draw pity from others, I can not say that I had a long and strong bond with him, but when I review our wedding reception pictures or the pictures I have from Russia he is always beside me and we are always hugging and so happy. I know if chance and fate had differed that we would be friends forever and close. My wife was devastated. She loved him so much. So much of our time in America we would talk about his family and how much we missed them and how we would go to their apartment and eat each others food and we would guess how many servings the father would eat and this boy. Half way across the world they were a very real part of my life. And they would sen pictures, how proud they all were of their Kansas State shirts. I can hardly cry for my own loss when his family, such beautiful people are suffering. So I was just there in this trance, shielded by the language gap as the events unfolded around me.
In Central Asia there is no simple way of calling a one stop Mortuary Service who will take over everything and allow the family to grieve, rather the family must immediately begin dealing with the situation and preparartions amid their pain. I am in no way judging their system or way of death and mourning, I see the value in the grief process and the closure that it may lead to, yet I am just astounded that the loved ones have to rise up and perform these duties.
Truthfully I lost track of days and hours and the exact chronological order of things. I remember this band of boys, his friends and students, arriving at their 9th story flat with him in the casket and they placed him in the center of the main room. The mullah came and said prayers in Arabic and Tatar and they placed a pair of scissors on his chest. The mullah brought a roll of fresh clean white linen and cut off many pieces that he measured against the body. I was always confused, always wondering what my role should be, I was raised Christian but at this point in life am not entirely sure who Jesus is. I did not want to taint the ceremonies with my ignorance of their traditions or customs yet I got the impression that I was really part of the family not the novelty and distraction I had been before. People started coming to the flat and for some reason we were wearing shoes inside for once. I would sit and watch the Olympics with the uncle. Then boxing would come on and he would begin sobbing and show me all of the sons certificates and trophies. I broke down so often, not for my own loss but just the gravity of pain covering this family. My own sister and mother had just left for America a few days earlier and we had so many happy times, all I ever saw of these people was happiness and celebration that was now grief and mourning. I was so confused, so afraid my tears I was shedding for these people's pain would somehow being misinterpeted as self pity when I was just beaking down by seeing such magnificent people suffering. They had so much work to do and my wife was constantly in and out and my only job was staying with the uncle or staying beside the body which can not be left alone. Somehow in the midde of all this they were organizing buses and buying a plot and preparing a feast for the mourners. I read Economics at Harvard, and everywhere I go I am always telling people how this, that, and the other thing could be done more efficiently or profitably the American way, now I had to sit back in wonderment and keep my mouth shut and respect their traditions and appreciate the beauty of their culture. My mother-in-law, thank God she was already there from Kazakhstan (to see us), stayed up all night next to the departed with his mother sewing this burial shroud out of the linen the Mullah brought. I just cannot fathom this. I do not think Americans could ever endure the pain of remaining beside a corpse and sewing all night long. Then at some point his friends and Mullah came to ritually clean the body and dress it in the shroud. I remember wanting to walk to the cemetary with the crowd of his friends but I was in a bus with the family. I had been instructed to obtain a thick role of 10 ruble notes (25p) and at the gravesite I had to go around and pass them out to everyone, some other men did this too and somewhere along the line the women passed out bars of soap, towels, and handkerchiefs. The people are supposed to use the money right away and in his honor. Free money attracts drunks to the graveyard. Had I known such people would have been there I would have brought several small bottles of vodka to give them to leave us alone. The burial was so much more interactive than anything American. Two of his closest friends actually climbed into the hole, in their best clothes to lower the body into the ground in just his shroud. Then, while my wife informs me that this is not tradition and just "happened" as the casket was only used to get him to the 9th floor and not a usual part of a funeral some of his friends savagely and brutally assailed the casket and busted it into small pieces that were then tenderly laid upon him. Then the women who had been waved away came and we all threw earth onto the grave. Now that I think about our staid and calm funerals in America I can not help but thinking how false and empty we are in the moments we should be expressing emotion. Somehow our dignity is maintained by how well we conceal our emotions. Somehow we retain respectability by how much we hold back when we say good bye to our loved ones? I appreciated the wails of those women. It was like the crescendo and climax of the ill fated opera that was the soundtrack of a 23 year old boy's life. After the funeral so many people crowded into their home for an absolute feast. My wife, her mother and aunt had the humble role of serving all the food. I wonder why the mother herself was doing this work. Not because they could not hire someone or some other tatar girl would step forth to do it, I understood that this was what is normal and expected, this was part of life, this is what they do.
It certainly is strange to finally encounter some bounderies in this world. My whole life is wrapped up in eliminating ineffciencies and improving operations at a fortune 300 corporation. My mind is so dedicated to constantly improving processes to be more efficient and profitable and to relax and know I have to "sit one out" and not tell people how they could do something so much easier or better. I have not been a spectator for many years and I think I found a bit of my own humanity when I let go and quit being the consultant, critic and analyst. I realize the absurdity and arrogance of my own people, 300 years as a nation, exporting our ways to a culture that has endured 4,000 years. Even at the graveyard, celebrating life through a window of death all the kids were wearing American clothes, ameican shoes and so many of our words ave entered thier language, I just hope that while the world may unite in peace we never lose the flavor of diversity and discard our individual cultures.
I just came back from a wonderful five months in El Salvador. Ironically someone told me after I came back that the name "El Salvador" means the saviour in Spanish. It was one of those unplanned trips that I am open to taking now that I have retired from the police force after 25 years and I am still just 48 years young and feel like I have so much to do. One day me and my close friend Jim, who was also a cop but has been on disability for several years after a brutal attack by a citizen (she got what she deserved, she died in prison at age 71 aftere spending her last 4 years there for this horrible crime), Jim and me were watching the telly and there was a program about some footballers from someplace else who went to some other place where nobody spoke any English and taught the kids football and kept them from joining gangs. I guess they all join gangs down there or something, they seemed rather poor and dirty. We were both so inspired. We sat there giddy with excitement and drank a couple bottles of pink Catawba wine and talked about how we would use our retirement to go help young people. Oh how we clasped hands an pledged to each other that we would make a difference in the world.
There was a slight problem, neither Jim or me had any idea how to play Football nor speak Spanish. We tried watching some Footie on the telly but mostly it was just some spry lithe young men dandying about and pretending to be hurt kicking a ball. We were neither what you would call "Outdoorsy kids" I guess we were indoor kids and so sports seemed an unlikely way to reach the at risk youth. Then we realized that the solution was right in front of us. We would bring peace and harmony through four part harmony!!! We had both been in the Police Barbershop Quartet for years and we could go help kids in Peru or Samoa not join gangs by joining Barbershop Quartets instead. For those of yu who do not know much about barbershop quartets, they are an acapella group of four singers that harmonize. Evidently they arose from the barbershop being social centers of the latter part of the 19th century. We decided to call our mission the Vox Pax, voice of peace and we would teach the boys how to be part of this great activity. It is acapella so they would not need music or instruments although a few of the iconic striped costumes would be nice.
We had some fundraisers and it was simply amazing how many people that we never would have expected to help us dug deeply into their pockets to help us reach our dream. Even my own children, Sarah and Pete gave a lot of money for kids their age, and Pete was so kind as to review all my insurance papers with me, as he is an insurance guy. Even my neighbors guy who has been nothing but hostile, especially when I spoke to his teen age son, contributed a large sum of money to the cause. He used to make stupid jokes about how our music which is homophonic, oh never mind, but homophonic means that the chords are of one texture. We had car washes and bake sales, I enjoyed the car washes but Jims ex, Sabrina told me those six high schoolers from the church softball team did not need such close supervision despite the fact they kept spraying each other with the hoses and taking off their shirts and wetting them and snapping each other. It seems the whole community pitched in to help.
We decided to go to El Salvador. We flew down there in February when it was rather chilly up North where we live and found a lush paradise of merely 7 million people. At the airport in San Salvador, which is the capital we tried to get some of their money and had to trade our american dollars to get other american dollars which seemed sort of strange but the commission was a reasonable 7 percent. We fund out rather quickly that they must like coffee there, it is all over the place, absolute heaps of it. I had my firt negative experience with the people when I tried to get a cup of Kenyan Peaberry or Sumatra and they look at me like I do not know what I am talking about. I am like, "Hello, do you not import coffee into your raggedy country". Oh well I forgive them.
We found us a nice little quaint place out in a pleasent rustic area called Soyapango. We got a flat near a big mall called Plaza Mundo and found a little store front that had once been what they call a papusa shop. Papusa is the food they eat, all this meat and stuff wrapped into tortillas. All the windows were busted out and there were all these holes in the war and some dark black liquid had been poured all over the floor but we got it all cleaned up. We started cleaning our store front and a young boy named Miguel came and offered to help and we hired him on the spot. We explained that we were not so much into the foreign language thing and he would need to pick an english name so I think Miguel in Spanish is Jack in English so we renamed him Jack.
We introduced ourselves to the locals and we would sit in our store front and drink cheap local beer and grill corn on the cob which we gave out free to all the kids. One by one the local boys came and we spent a bit of of our money paying them a few dollars here or there to keep them around doing odd jobs. One by one we got to know these boys. We had my son Pete arrange to send some charity boxes from the states down there full of stuff from the second hand store. The kids liked that stuff. We found a decent lead and a mediocre tenor right away. I swear we could not find a decent baritone in the whole country and the bass was tough too. But we flourished. We met a lot of great guys and started to form barbershop quartets. It is kind of funny because their word they use for "four" sounds a lot like quartet I think it was quattro or something like that so you would think that they would understand that each group would have 4 members. Some of the barbershop quartets had only one or two guys and some had seven or eight but then some of the smaller quartets joined the biggest one. At times it really felt like we were reaching them and then at other times it felt like they were really not serious and were just taking our money. The largest quartet announced to us that they were now called themselves the MS 13 which stood for "Magic Singers" and the 13 was for the original 13 singers although there were like 25 of them. The did not want us to hire the one boy Who-lee-oh whom we called Julius, who had a grandma to have her make nice proper barbershop outfits, instead they wanted to wear their normal clothes with these red bandanas pulled down low over their eyes. The boys all called us "the Poodles" which seemed odd since I do not think we look like little dogs, and then the one kids dad came and hit me in the side of the head with a rusty monkey wrench and called me a "Merry cone" which seemed odd since I might be merry when I sing but I am not really conical in shape, except when I started wearing my belt above my belly after too many papusas and beer. The guys in MS 13 told us that we had to stay away from our shop so they could practice in private and not have to worry about us and they did not want us around much. The kids often felt insecure around the police and since we had made some generous donations to the local policia at their request, such as we got a few police departments in the States to send down some old equipment and stuff coupled with our being Americans the kids felt safe in the haven we provided. The odd thing is the guys suggested that the police would really appreciate some night vision goggles and bullet proof vests and armor piercing bullets and we begged some contacts we had back home to ship this stuff to us. It is strange but that stuff went missing from our store before we could donate it to the local police.
We planned several concerts but none of the kids could make it except our very best quartet. Quite a few people came to see it. But we had the kids sing some popular ballads such as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the crowd got rather disruptive and raucous and threw things at us. It was a failure. All a failure. We tried our best to reach these boys and I think we did. It was almost like a movement we created. And when we would happen to see some of our boys on the street interacting with the locals we were so proud. It seemed the local stores would give our boys free sodas and even cash and the other kids seemed to have such awe and respect for our boys when they walked around in a large group. The boys convncd us that since walking canes were too frail for the rough streets in the city that they should carry baseball bats around in place of canes.
El Salvador really was a beautiful country. The beach was fab. So many tourists came there and our boys were so interested in having us drive them to tourist areas although they never wanted to sing for them. Our one good quartet did like to go to the beach resorts to perfrom for the touristas. Unfortunately we could not get enough of the boys to learn English and we did not have a good way to communicate. It was all good. there is only one airline that flies direct to El Salvador from Europe.
I was pleasently surprised to find my home town of Fort Wayne ready and waiting to be reviewed on Dooyoo. Even though we are a simple city of just a quarter million souls lacking professional sports and big city glitz we have a sundry of exciting family oriented activities.
Our city was founded 10 1794 on the basis of a Fort Named after the pre-emiminate Indian fighter named Mad Anthony Wayne who I believe was also famous for fighting some other European Country who would lock our children in schools and churches and burn them down until a guy who looked like Mel Gibson made them stop, but that was a long time ago.
What we are famous for are all of our festivals. Our biggest and happiest festival is the annual Macedonian festival in June. We have the largest number of Macedonian people outside of Skopje. We have good music, ethnic dancing, and of course delicious food. Why not come and have some pastrmajlija just like your grandmother used to make? Note- unlike other macedonian festivals that are often marred with violence caused by ethic Greeks and violent football matches between macedonians and Greeks, in Fort Wayne we just have nice greeks and they have not yet once ruined our festival.
Johnny Applessed Festival. Johnny Appleseed is buried in Fort Wayne. He is famous for being a work shy idle bastard who instead of holding steady work went all over the Midwest territory planting appleseeds. At this festival we have a Johnny Appleseed look a like contest for the boys (the fact no accurate depctions of the man exists is ok), we have homemade apple butter and plenty of bobbing for apples. We celebrate the apple as our city's official fruit. Why not come and try your hand at some games of chance and try a thick slice of Dutch Apple pie?
The annual St Mary's river dance of the Crawfish. On the first full moon of June, unless it has been unseasonably warm, then the first full moon of May all of the carwfish in the St Mary's river climb to the muddy banks and dance in the moonlight signing an ninty song. The past few years have been complicated by a large number of Canadian Geese who wait to eat them. But the police have taken to using their stun guns to disperse the annoying birds so that children can see the tiny american fresh water lobsters sing and dance. You have to wait behind that orange mesh security fence they put up and they do have cops on horses again that will beat the hell out of you if you act up and try to disrupt the crustaceans.
The allen County Steam Show. This steam show is probably the biggest and best in the country with a huge variety of agricultural and industrial steam applications being showcased. Unlike Ohio steamshows our steam engines do not blow up and kill spectators all the time. Enjoy a rustic return to simpler days and learn about Indiana's proud role in Agricultural and Industrial science.
Bridge Day. Bridge day celebrates fort Wayne's rich tapestry and ethnic diversity. Indiana used to not be so modern and enlightened and as a matter of fact once in the 1920s had a huge number of Klu Klux Klan members. In 1953 Myron Riedy attempted to marry Miraslava Marzona. He was a black Man and she was Macedonian american. The couple announced they would come to town to get married and a Judge named Haskell R. Pickens instructed the Sheriff to interecept them on the way to the courthouse. There is a clip of the sheriff that is often played in filmas about hate and ignorance where he holds up his shiny black baton and makes derogatory comments about Ms Marzona. the sheriffs department met the young couple on the bridge in full rior gear and ready for battle. What they were not prepared for was the hundreds of thousands of people who came to sing hymns of love and joy and bombard the cops with fresh cut flowers. Hate and ignorance lost that day. In the past ten years it has changed from areverent quiet vigil and memorial service to the couple to the loudest and most garish celebration of interracial sex in the world. Now it is a week long celebration in July. There are usually exhibits at the local museums celebrating the long and varied history of Interracial sex featuring artwork from ancient egypt and China. The local resturants all make a special treat this week it is a liver sausage served with a glazed donut. there is a parade of bi-racial children and a beauty contest for them. Some people find it rather offensive and it is misinterpetted and some feelings get hurt. I overheard one man telling his 9 year old daughter that this is a party for all the women who will have black boyfriends and white husbands. It is not about that, it is about love haveing no limits or boundries. In the past few years the festival has been losing too much money due to high security costs of hiring State Police to protect the participants from the Hate groups and to watch the militant blacks who show up to protect the same people. It is a madhouse. it is the right thing, for the right reasons but we got lost.
Fort Wayne used to have one of the largets spool factories in the world making spools for virtually every spool of thread in the country. In mid-April they hold the spool show where kids come and show off the brightly painted snake and animal puppets they make out of spools. Sorry to my aunt nancy who runs this, but you seen one spool show and you have seen them all. What a waste of time and spools.
In November is the annual Corn Husk Doll show two weekends prior to Thanksgiving. It demonstrates this old prairie art of making precious dolls from corn by products. The reverand Jim Abbot denounced the festival in 1893 and making "the babes of satan" and admonished that people should not make corn husk dolls but then he shut up and we kept making corn husk dolls.
In Early March we have the annual used phone book jubilee. For years Fort Wayne's stodgey and prudent German-Americans tried to utilize old phone books in novel and practical ways. Now there is a contest each year for the best idea of re-using old phone books. The spirit has caught on to some a degree that people literally must go to other cities to obtain phone books for their projects as all the local ones are spoken for. Last year Hiram Okforkene a local student from gabon won the contest with a chaise lounge made entirely of crinkled and wadded up phone book pages then covered in clear orange resin. Rudy Buchholz won second place with a dining room table made by compressing phone books and plugging 2 inch circular cores out of it that were then arrayed to make a set of chairs.
I was going to talk about the Yorkie terrier festival and the Horseradish summit and how Sir Alfred o Sidon brought the first horseradish from the old world but frankly I have written enough and I know all of you are sitting over there in the glitz and lights of london laughing at me and calling me a dumb farmer so I will not tell you any more about our lives and I really hope none of you ever come here where people are still nice and do not talk like thy think they are Monty python or something.
I guess this is sort of a funny topic for me as I am one of the people who suffer from Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Basically I am the hairiest person around. As a child I was called Captain Cave Man or monkey boy. I honestly have what could be called a pelt my back is covered with a grove of thick long hair. people mock me at the beach, some women even retch when they see me. If I would have lived in the wild west had I not been killed by cowboys who mistook me for a Sasquatch I would have baffled the Indians who would have had no idea how to scalp me. I wish I could just make a trite joke about this and say, "Would I ever wear fur? Only my white fox fur until labour Day"
I wish I was rich so I could answer that question. I can not afford fur, hardly can afford denim since it is so hard for me to hold a job. I can not work with the public since they often get so grossed out and my only trade I know is that I am a damn good welder-fabricator but I always catch on fire and no one wants to risk me around fire or machines, i got tangled up in a dough press at a restaurant one time. I am good with dealing with animals and dogs and cats seem to trust me more but there is no money in that. I would love to have a long trench coat made out of dalmations or a purple fluffy coat. I would wear lots of jewelry with it. I do not know if this is an animal cruelty issue or not. Why should anyone who eats any meat or wears leather shoes or has leather couches or interior in their car, why should they have a right to judge how animals are used. I know it is possible to live a healthier life, perhaps even healthier by consuming no animal products. I watch animals kill each other on Tv every day, should they be found guilty or abuse?
I do not know what I think of fur. There are far better ways to abuse animals, take my friend Helmut, he loves the feathered warriors, the gamecocks. He was once humiliated by a chicken in a big wooden box who would play tic tac toe with you for a quarter at the county fair. He was beaten by this chicken three times in a row and even though he was only 9 years old he had a girlfriend then and she told him she could not be with a boy who was dumber than a chicken and left him. She got hot later and was on the TV news but then some pretty wild lesbo sex tapes from her soprority days got her fired. But then Helmut worked at KFC in his teens and became completely apathetic to the humanity of chickens and now he just got busted for raising game cocks. Is it really abuse?
I wish I had furs. I mean beyond my own grizzly pelt. Not any old rabbit but mink. I would feel so sexy.
okk so here is my resolution. It is only right to wear the fur of animals that would eff you up if they had the chance. Essentially I am content to say, ok, you have declared war on humans so this is what you get, your fur taken as trophy to clad our warriors and lithe models. So it is ok, by my reckoning to use Grizzly bear, Polar Bear, Puma, Mountain Lion, Lions, Tigers, Saber tooth tigers if they get brought back by mad scientists, and of course bats. It is not okay to use rabbit, fox, mink, sable, cat or ground hogs. I think this is fair, if some animal has it in him to try to tear your head off and feed you to his babies he has no grounds to complain what we do to him. So I am like bring it on if you want some of this biped. Come on squirrels and chipmunks if you think you want to take it to the next level.
I am so drunk
For some of you people it could suffice that Halo is simply the best First-Person-Shooter (FPS) game around, the pinnacle of the whole video game that some people think started with Castle Wolfenstein while others correctly know began with Atari's Carnival.
The game takes place in the year 2520 as Earthlings expand our realm and run into an alien race known as the covenant. Basically any colonial person who today speaks english can predict what happens. Obvioulsy it is a first person shooter game not a first person make friends and peace game. Amid some cool music that changes and adapts to the action and some neat weapons you kill off the aliens in a wide variety of terrain and environments. It is a cool game because you can get cyborgs to join you and lead an army of sorts. The game also involves vehicles that you can drive. it is a good game, but here is the real story.
I was recently put in jail for fighting Mexicans at the laundrymat again. This has sort of been a recurring problem for me. Usually my mom comes there and cries and tells me how much money she is losing by missing a friday lunch shift at Bob evans by coming to bond me out and put a guilt trip on me. Instead my mother's Uncle came and got me. He is a good enough bloke, I never trusted him, not that he did the same stuff to me as all the other so called uncles that came in and out of my life as my father's address was often a correctional in stitute while ours was a council flat. My dad did not like this Uncle and called him a spook, which was strange since that is kind of a racial slur that does not apply to him. The word was that Uncle Ralph worked for the government but he always told me he worked as an inventeor of toys and gave me cool gifts. When my dad went to prison for killing the owner of the local malt shop in a botched robbery it was very hard on me. Old ignacio was the only guy in town who could make a good chocolate shake uusing this fancy italian syrups and my dad killed him. So walking around all the kids would see me and say "hey lets go get a shake, oh that's right Camjacks' daddy killed the man who made them". It was hard on me. So Uncle ZRalph gave me the coolest bicycle ever made. It was light and shiny and indestructible, I was a husky child to say the least but with this bike I could ride off the flood wall and the slides at the playground and not break my frame or forks. I was actually well respected for the feats of danger i learned on this bike and then one day it was gone. I woke my mom up and she told me that when she came home from the volunteer fire brigade auxillay bingo night at 430 am it was gone, stolen by mexicans. So since then I have been inclined to fight Mexicans and the other kind of Mexicans called Puerto Ricans and the other kind of Mexicans called Greeks.
I do not know why my Uncle, a toy inventor got into the jail to see me outside of visiting hours but he did. He must of impressed the jailkeeper as they have been nicer to me after this. He came to me and looked at me with such shame and pity. He asked me how I was doing and I confessed that I had not been able to start a gang or race riot yet but other than that I was doing okay and had turned some cute younger guy into my wife. He then told me the truth about my bike, the game halo, bungy jumping, cornhole and pennies.
He told me that i should stop fighting Mexicans and be kind to all people and make friends across all racial boundries. I could tell this was not his real feelings but a desperate draconian move. He told me that Mexicans did not steal my bike that aliens did. I told him I knew that not all mexicans are aliens that some were born in Texas and he shouted at me and told me to shut up and listen. He said real aliens, like ET or Predator stole my bike. He went on to explain how Corsicans from Alpha Centauri were friends with us and they were helping earth to prepare to fight some people from a place called magna sephiax or something and they are called Bradissians or something and eat each others turds for a courtship ritual. He simplified it by saying that it would take these bad guys many years to get here to kill us off as if they had buses but no bus schedule that worked with quantam quarks wormholes or something. I got lost. He said in the meantime the earth has to prepare to fight them. He told me that is why we have wars to keep the military active and so people justify paying taxes for guns because we have to be ready for the aliens. He told me my bike was constructed by galusium 43 a metal alloy the nice space monsters wished to prove to Ralph and ralph had told them the best test for it would be a bike for me or something. He told me the aliens realized that I should not have such a bike and took it back, not mexicans. He also told me that he does work for a government organization so secret the CIA has never even heard of it and that his job is to train our populace to fight aliens in a round about way. He told me that bungee jumping was started to expose young men to deal with zero gravity free falls, that the game cornhole was invented by him since people do not poitch horseshoes no more and it is going to be vital we can lob anti-matter plutonical grenades or something about botanical grenades, I forget. He also said that Mario Andretti has been hired to promote the survival of the common penny, the coin, since the coin somehow foils the aliens tools and that the specific metal composition messes them up and we will all be screwed if people did not carry pennies in their pockets, it makes a force field or something, I am sorry I am not so good at science. But the most important thing he has done is get kids to play halo. He said that it is a lifelike simulation that the corsicans made but had to adapt since they only have one arm but three legs and 7 tenacles. He said that by playing Halo kids will know how to fight the monsters when they come here to take over earth that they will instinctively know how to wage combat. Ralph says that the army sponsers all the Halo tournaments all around the country. I was sad, I kind of like my odds fighting Mexicans more than space monmsters. One other thing, Ralph told me not to tell anyone about this stuff so do not run out and tell any of your friends who have big mouths
If you ever look at the media coverage of a filmakers event such as the sundance film festival or Cannes you see all these beautiful people and the smug arrogant directors and producers who make our films for us. They really think that they can change people's lives through their films. Sure I have seen some films that shook me up for a few days, this latest emotional rubbish I have to watch in order to see Leonardo made me feel bad for Africa and I actually bothered to sign up to sponser a child on Tv but then cancelled it. Hollywood really thinks they can change our lives.
Not that my life needs changed. I finally achieved my lifelong dream of working in law enforcement. I am only 5 foot three and a hundred and thirty pounds so I have not been able to get a job as a patrolman anywhere. But I got hired to be a security guard at the wheat docks and I was able to move out of my grandparents basement. I have the respect and dignity of a nice crisp uniform and I even have handcuffs and a stick but I don not get a gun, instead I have a little black thing that looks like four tootsie rolls stacked on each other than if I can grab a person and hold them still I can press it onto their wrist and hurt them. I now feel able to go to the Law Enforcement night at a local pub, and although many of the so called "real cops" mock and taunt me and ask many patronizing questions about my uniform I still can walk in there with my uniform.
I can finally say that I am happy. And now I am very happy because there is a labour strike in Canadia and because of that no ships are coming to the docks so I have nothing at all to do all day long. I used to have to open and close the gate for the seamen who come in and out on ratty old bicycles. They are quite scary fellers. he night that my friend Ned was training me one of thses transient hobo looking guys comes pedalling up to my gate with the look on him like he expected to enter the docks. On the surface someone who did not pay attention to their 5th garde geography lessons about Arabs could mistake these guys for desrt nomads, the long beards, and stench....but these are closer to biker trash than terrorists despite the wild look of dervishes. My point is that I basically just make sure that it is sailors and not terrorists that come through the gate. If it is terrorists I will stop them with my little black wand that looks like a giant tootsie roll.
Now due to this strike there are no boats so I just sit all day long vigilantly guarding freedom. I recently traded my PSP and some of my comic books for a really cool portable dvd player. So I watch movies I get from the public library and I got this movie since it was about soccer and had Vinnie Jones in it. See at my size and stature the only sport I can excell at is a game like soccer. I never did well at sports that required strength, size or bravery but did well at soccer.
Apparently the people who made the movie "12 things I hate about you" decided to make another teen movie that ripped off Shakespeare. Which is fine by me, I remember that rip off of Shakespeare called Hamlet that Mel Gibson was in, I forget what Shakespeare play it was based on but it sucked. These guys do not hide the fact that they are ripping off the play and make the names of charcters the same and named the schools after Ilryia which was the country "Twelth Night" was made in. They also hide little things in the movie such as a poster showing a Shakespeare play in the background.
SO in the movie this girl who plays soccer (is that a redundant phrase?) gets her team cut off and her brother is one his way to London (imagine that a guy who could be impersonated by his sister would be the type to go to London). So she decides to take his place at school and play for the footie team and defeat her old school who would not let her try out for the boys squad once the lesbian squad got clipped.
So from that point forward it is just a cliched gender bender film akin to any other that pops up from time to time. A few years ago they had one called Ladybugs about a boy pretending to be a girl in order to play soccer. it is implicitly anti homosexual because when the main character falls for a guy and errantly makes a pass at him while portraying a male we all should laugh when he flips out. It makes me wonder if we are really laughing at his situation or as sophisticated people are laughing at him for his stupidity, ignorance and closed mind. I am so like, "hello, if it looks like Amanda Byrnes, I do not care what tackle is in those footie shorts I am going to figure out a way to enjoy it" I do not care if it is a male, female, or person of the third gender if it looks like Amanda Byrnes I am going to tap it. They also made a nuanced gay character who wazas portrayed in the worst stereotype as a catty meddling simpering wimp.
This movie is a travesty. Even the girl on girl bathroom fight lacked any real passion. The directors need to get some of those topless women's fist fights from Russia off the internet to see how women can fight. At the end of the movie the brother has to prove he is a boy and she has to prove she is a girl so they do some lame shots that avoid any nudity. They just cut out a view of her breasts and then when the brother drops trou they show a back view and then a number of people make snide comments to the effect that a large phallus is enviable or somehow better than a smaller one, which is basically a hurtful, painful concept that cruelly causes society to value some big donkey over a kind sensitive guy like me. Furthermore 4.5 inches is completely within the normal range and is entirely nough to have a normal sex life and all these guys running their mouths about theirs are not measuring the right way and even if they told Sandy all that they put all their emphasis on size not technique.
This movie basically sucked and was entirely predictable. Should someone warn, "This is a spoiler" on their review, if they do not wonder if for a second she will not get the guy, score the winning goal and get her parents back together? How about a dose of reality in a film for once? Maybe she gets busted for fraud, her brother gets thrown out of school for cheating since she does his school work, and then she gets put into intensive pschotherapy to sort out her gender identity. I had some issues in my youth because my mother really wanted a girl so bad and then realized that i did make a nice pretty girl and until I was 13 and reached puberty was forced to live as a girl. Guess what? My life did not end like an Amanda Byrnes movie, I am now 37 years old working a $7 per hour job and drinking two liters of cheap whiskey each day. I spend half my time dressed as a man and half the time presenting myself as a woman and then when I find my self in a sitch where I am the dominant party I am having the neighbor boy wearing wigs. This kind of mivie makes fun of crossdressing like it is some kind of big game to play and trickk people, and I am telling you it isn't. I hope all you miserable people watch this movie and realize that Amanda Byrnes is so much more hotter when she is pretending to be a boy. That is all I have to say
I realize most people do not wait until the middle of April to profess and declare their new years resolutions. Of course I had the normal resolutions that most everyone else does but they basically all fell apart Friday night all at once. Who could of guessed that the mime that my mom hired for my niece's birthday party was a person of the third gender and showed up for the gig with an eight ball and a teenage runaway. So basically I get a mulligan to start over with a new series of life improvement goals for the next year.
I got remarried in November so for the most part I have to behave myself and not fool around with other women. I think it would be quite disrespectful to my wife to mess around with other women and it would certainly hurt my wife's feelings and make her feel insecure. For the next 8 months I will not attempt to hook up with any person whose gender presentation is female.
My biggest goal of the rest of 2007 is to have an affair with the former American rules Cricket player known as Carl Yastrzemski. He was the last player to achieve a feat known as the triple crown which means he had the highest batting average, rounders and runs batted in. I want to show him a feat that some of us guys call the treble crown. granted he is 68 years old so I have to hurry and make this happen before he croaks. He hit 452 home runs in his career but I doubt he ever has been to fifth base yet. Please do not confuse the triple crown with the hat trick which involves a father, son and grandson or a triple treat which I should not discuss here.
My next most important goal is to get some of my university credits by distance learning from Leicester in Archeaology.
My next resolution is to stop making fun of so many people. I used to be so unimaginative in my choice of targets to ridicule. I used to just start in on people for their race and religions or maybe their national origin. Now last yer I got my priorities straight and realize that it is only ok to mock poor people and maybe short people and women who have a lot of facial hair.
I resolve to give blood at the blood drive. Of course they will just throw my blood away when they see my answers about tattoos, needle drugs, prostitute and people from Haiti but in all fairness I am really not a dirty person, actuually just one person in my life makes me have to answer yes to haitians, needle drugs and prostitutes. Even if they will throw my blood away I should still have to go through the tedious process and pain like decent people who care to give life.
I resolve to give more of my time and energy to charity and help people in need. Ok I thought about it and it was a pretty thought now I will get on with my life.
I resolve to learn how to play the whole song "sweet child of mine" by guns and roses, just not that intro riff.
I resolve to let all my house plants to live a full rich life span and take them on trips to the beach and countryside and rides in the car. Can you imagine how boring life would be if you were stuck in one 8 inch pot on a window sill for your entire life?
I resolve to get a valid drivers licence and auto insurance. I know I said this last year and i really did sign up for a learners permit but I made the mistake of driving to the berau of motor vehicles and parking in front and I smelt a bit like gin as it was january 2nd, my point is I really did try to comply with my resolution, I will be elligible to apply for a new permit on June 16th or sometime, I do not know for sure I leave that paper in my mapcase of my car, I will look at it on my way to work in the morning.
I resolve to actually keep a job more that six days in a row.
I resolve to quit buying more screwdrivers at the everything is a pound store. I won't promise to clean the garage or put my toolbox in order, I don't feel strong enough to face that challenge. Maybe on New Years eve with a few empty botles of Beefeater at my feet and my wife mad at me for pissing my britches I will promise to clean the garage and I may actually mean it.
I want to write about this little operation called Luftwaffe which I have recently taken a few trips on, from Detroit to Frankfurt onto Samara Russia and back and also I took a flight from Detroit to Vienna. Lufthansa has to have the most complicated and difficult system of buying tickets that I have encountered in this age of using micro computers at home to buy tickets. It is never easy to find fares directly at their web site. If you look up a fare on orbitz or kayak.com and then try to find the same fare on Lufthansa you never will, and even calling them will not help.
The flight itsself is not so bad. They keep bringing alcohol until they get bored. The movies were a decent selection but on my last flight my head phones did not work so I sat and watched some scary people lurking around the plane. I will not mention what area these people are from but it seems to be that certain jerks feel empowered by trying to look like terrorists and then enjoy instilling fear in other passengers by lurking around looking all subversive. I am frankly sick of this crap going on with airlines.
I tried a neat trick on these Germans. First off you got to realize the last time the Germans headlined a so called "star alliance" that them Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Italy laid dover and Whitechapel to waste under Herman Goering. So I realized that my best bet to not be harmed was to pick up a German newspaper on the way to the plane, by the way they give out a nice selection of newspapers. But see on my ticket I signed up to get "Asian vegetarian" meals. So I would always get my meal served first and everyone of the hungry people look at you with envy. The food was Ok. Buit then you have to either eat the whole meal and dirtch the plates under the seat or sneak back to the galley and ditch it. Then they come and give you another meal with everyone else. Of course they are shocked to see me, a big Honkey get such food. They caught me doing this ploy and began to berate me so I started yelling at them in German, "Warum Ich bekomme diesen Tschungel Nahrung?" (why do I get jungle food) and they said because I ordered it and then I flipped out and asked them if I look like I am from some other place and all that. It is fun.
All in all it is a good airline. My mom felt secure knowing that I was being flown around by Germans. Everything seems to be done properly. Their inflight music sucks and their magazine sucks and their duty free sucks. But i would rather all that stuff suck and have a German pilot than have nice stuff and end up in the ocean. Another thing I noticed was they have really nice blankets for people to use. I really wanted to steal mine but did not know if I could get away with it or not. Oh and another thing the staff in Detroit are really nice.
Now about Luftwaffes routes. In this day and age a person who can not fly often, or rather choose which airlines to fly. ( on several flights guys with dark blue jackets with big Yellow "US Marshals" on the back took me right to the gate and once I even got to be cuffed to an FBI agent on the plane and in neither case did anyone ever ask me my flight, seat, or meal preferences nor did they ask my frequent flier account numbers to ensure I would get my miles) But in this day and age to get treated better than a tree slug you really have to pick one airline and be loyal and earn miles and status miles and all that jazz. Luftwaffe goes to lots of places, and frankly a lot of the places they go are where the women really do have beautiful feet, I think Russian women have the most beautiful feet of all women but it is usually cold there and you have to go to Turkey to see Russian womens feet, by the way I have lots of good pictures of womens feet, in and out of shoes if anyone is interested in trading. But Luftwaffe does not have so many routes outside Festung Europa. I did get to go to athens and hitchhiked to the beach and set up a booth on the beach giving pedicures and I had so many colors of nail polish and woman were actually paying me to take care of their feet. I am not supposed to talk about that stuff because I focus on other things,, productive things.
I do strongly recommend Lufthansa. I got a real sense of safety and security from them. I do not know if you can put a price tag on that or not. My only complaint is that when I was whining about the headset not working on my chair they really did not give a damn. They also did a really mean trick to me and asked me to switch seats with some bloke so he could sit with his girlfriend. I was not my fault they wait to the last minute to buy seats and save ten pence but can't sit aside each other. I agreed and was sat next to the fattest woman I had ever seen and she smashed me so bad that I had to sit halfway in the aisle. But then when she was eating, and mind you she had to hold her tray right under her face as she was too fat to let down her table thing I began to push back with my back and shoulders and squeeze her. Then her stupid fat daughter was always coming to talk to her and the women sitting in front of us blocking my view of this very intelligent and complicated movie where I could not miss a minute or lose the plot, it was called happy feet, and so this woman is standing there talking to this woman and blocking her view and then she threw up all over the woman who was sitting down. That sort of thing scares me, I wonder if I willed it to happen so for the next few hours I would focus on making this hot little frauleins top come unbuttoned, but it did not. I love you all.
When I was a kid one of the neighbor kids got a brand new shiny bicycle for Christmas. He was so proud of it. I knew good bicycles from bad bicycles since I was a prominent BMX racer in my youth. This bike was no where near the quality that any of the four I rode was, but this kid was far too dumb to even realize it. His family really did not have much money at all and it retrospect I realize it was a huge sacrifice for his single mother to purchase it for him. I am guessing he probably got it from some charity. I did the only thing a person in my shoes could do. I broke into their flimsy tin shed at night and stole the bike, of course there was nothing on th bike that was usable for me, the handle bars were junk forged steel, the mags were rubbish and the crank was nothing like my three piece shimano. So I did the proper thing. I raced it down the hill and launched it into the river and I watched it sink into the moonlit murky water. I simply could not allow him to even begin to think that he could ever even desire the source of my pride. He had to go back to riding a rickity old huffy with a banana seat. He was depressed for weeks, you could see the evident pain in his eyes. I even offered to go riding around with him through the council blocks to look for his bike since he assumed someone stole it to keep it. We even found a kid who had a new bike just like his that seemed to be new and his mom called the police to report it but that kids mother had all the receipts and the paperwork from having it on lay away. that was just good fun knowing his bicycle was in the river being ridden by a fish and now the coppers were being called.
So what is my point? We have had nukes for sixty years and we showed them at Hiroshima that we were plenty happy to use them, now 60 years too late all these people come along and think that they are going to come join the club, and somehow they think that having a nuke made out of old refridgerator parts and duct tape that they can launch off a medieval catapault will somehow make them equal to Americans. We have all sorts or really cool stuff and these jerks think having some antiquated technology will some how give them status. I say light them up, send them a real nuke and show them what real nukes do, hitting them right between the eyes from 12,000 miles away.
I do not care about it being our fault that we may have caused the revolution by installing a shah in place of a democratically elected government or that we stirred up all this new wave of mahdiism by propping up Saddam so he could tar them good. To hell with them, they are just too proud of their new bicycle instead of envying mine. Nuke them now.
Why not? Because then the people over there might quit liking us? It just isn't about nukes either. If they had a good health care system or a building nice cars we should bomb that too.
**********Update after too many people thought I really think that Iran should get bombed**********
No wonder why i took a few months off. I was going to give you people a chance to learn what satire is. The simple fact of the matter is this, as most of my work is satire. What the piece does is basically eqaute the actions of Albion and their overgrown child, particularily their leaders as acting and thinking like teenage boys. I do not believe that anyone should be nuking anything. i do not write fancy reviews about ibiza or Crete because I do not go there, where I have been lately is Ukrainia to see first hand the effects of Nuclear devastation. All I tried to do is make it clear that President Bush is acting like a mean child and obviously we as democratic nations need to elect new sensible people
What is the worst movie ever? Everyone thinks they can be a film critic and talk about movies like "Death Cheaters", "North Sea Hijack", or "Ishtar" or the Kevin Costner "Dances with Fish" or "Fishtar" which he called "Waterworld" They can use words like "transparent plotlines" "Cardboard characters" "woody dialogue". Why do people go see movies and then complain? Let me see Heath Ledger naked or a few good car crashes and I am just fine, and the trailers and ads on the Telly make it clear to the potential viewer ht the movie is about. The last movie I saw was called "Snakes on a plane". What did I imagine the movie would be about? It wasn't like the "notebook" where you had to waste your time reading a book (which is so 1835) to guess what it was about. Hell I saw that notebook movie 6 times and still don't know what it is about. My point is that most of you trite people can watch a movie and if it is bad you are out 7 quid and two hours of your life, true some good movies like "Children of the Corn" or "Amityville Horror" can wreck you for a few years of childhood sleep quality. But if you see a crummy movie you are out of a few pence, let me tell you what the worst movie ever cost me.
First let me tell you about my life. I am a 43 year old recently retired firefighter from Akron Ohio. I am a little rough around the edges. I am only 1.6 m tall and weigh 100 kg. I started losing my hair in highschool and I have lots of warts. I had just started wearing my belt over my belly instead of under my belly making me have a pretty prominent "Frass"- short for front ass. I used to have another wife but she left me for some bikers the last I heard. So about 5 years ago I met a nice girl on a web site named Zanya. She was from Macedonia and 19 years old. I thought it would be like all the other ones where she would write me four letters and then proclaim that I am the man of her dreams and she feels our hearts are as one and then tell me she needs money for her mothers surgury and then i would send it and then she would say she needs $4000 to get a visa to come live with me forever and then I would send it and then her email address would change and I would call the macedonian embassy, to see if she was ok, maybe something happened, and send her picture and they would explain that the picture is actually that of a famous soap opera star. I am not saying that scenario ever happened, or happened three times with girls from Russia, Romania and Macedonia, I am just saying it could happen to a lonely heart like me.
I met Zanya online. She had been the winner of a beauty pageant in Skopje in 1999. She was the spokesmodel for the Kandik Cheese company. I personally feel that the pageant was just a few kegs of draft beer away from a wet T-shirt contest in Acapulco, but she was quite proud. We got married and she came here and we lived a happy life and had two children, a boy and girl. I was a fireman and she worked at a childrens clothing store until she got preggers. We would go bowling and ice fishing and were so happy. It is hard to imagine I would ever find such happiness.
Some of you self appointed film critics see where this is going. You are thinking, that Nicole Kidman movie where she is a Russian passport whore, his wife saw it and it caused problems. I wish.
We had the perfect life. I retired just 6 months ago after 20 years on the brigade and have a substantial pension and I took a part time job selling fire safety supplies, fire alarms, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers at one of those big huge home supply stores.
One day I was sitting at home. The wife had taken the brats to go get their portraits made at k-mart where you get like 146 pictures for $5.95 then they try to upsell you on all sorts of stuff. We had been fighting because she does not understand that at the home supply store that i had a bro-mance going on with a young man in the landscaping department. You know what I mean, you exchange gifts and call each other a lot and all that, but not like gay or something. She said it was ok with my mates from the fireshouse since we spent 24 hours at a stretch together, cooking, showering, working out and all that but she thought it was ok to have close friends at the fire house but "I will not to take anymore this not for an 8 dollar one hour job". So she did not let me have friends. So I was watching TV all alone. A movie called Juwanna Mann came on.
It was a gut wretching treatment of truth and a poignant adventure into the psyche of questioning how far extraordinary men, who still remained accessible and relevant, will go to chase their dreams, no actually it was some silly inane predictable crap about a guy named jamal jeffries who gets booted out of pro basketball for being a jerk and then pretends to be a woman to play womens basketball and along the way becomes a better person, loses his attitude, and falls in love. You can know the movie was garbage because Kevin Pollak was in it and he only participates in projects that are rubbish. There was nothing at all interesting in this movie. The plot was so thin and there was little surprise or suspense. There were some funny lines. It was the dumbest movie ever.
What was the worst part about this movie? I have seen movies before like Steel Magnolias or Fried green Tomatoes, or Benny and Joon, or Gilbert Grape or Tron Deadly Discs where you just have to sit and sip coffee and think about all of what you have seen, to sort of digest it, or at a minimal get on Nitpickers.com or spoilers.com and try to sort out the plot and see what really happened. Or worse yet a movie like Titanic makes you run out and get the book to see if all that really happened. When my wife and kids got home 6 hours later I was online alright, yes I was.
I became obsessed with ethnic transvestites. From this movie. Both of my sisters date afro-caribean men and they are quite honest that they would never date white men after being with these men. I am positive that they are the best lovers. And to see how hot Miguel Nunez was as he dressed as Juwanna. When he portrayed Jamal Jeffries I was like, wow, now that is a handsome man, I am comfortable saying that one guy or another is attractive, it is ok to do that but when he became Juwanna Mann I was just held captive by her. What more could a man want in life? Think about doing the Hot Carl or Polish bicycle ride with your wife, or any tart for that matter, now imagine doing it to a 6 foot five inch tall muscular black woman....brb....ok I am back, needed to take a break.
My life began to revolve around TVs. I am not talking about televisions. All I could do all day long is look up websites and buy porn online, if I ventured out of the house it was to go to the dirty book store. My wife became a constant terror to me, either mocking and taunting me and ridiculing me or else she would go and play the victim crying about how she gave me her whole world and i "did this" to her. She never said what "this" was, just that I "did this" to her. I quit going to my job or taking any role in parenting. I found chat rooms where I could talk to people about thier experiences and some even proprted to be black TVs. About a week after seeing the movie, which I promptly went online and bought on Ebay but then decided that I could not wait 5 days for it to arrive so I stole a copy from the video store since it wasn't on sale. So a week later I bought an alternative newspaper that had advertisements in the back for such people working as escorts. I had my first f2f a few days later in a motel six on the outskirts of Detroit. I will spare you the details.
I am now living in a beach front cabana in Rio, Brazil, my credit cards are maxed out, i have tricked most all my friends and family into sending me money "so I can come back and get help". My retirement fund is drained dry and all my savings are spent. I also had to deal with the traumatic experience of both my kids grabbing my legs and holding on crying that "daddy stay home", while I tried to leave the house. Meanwhile to have this angry Greek or Bosnian or whatever the hell Macedonian women are, making obscure obscene gestures at me as I drove away with my eyes flush with tears was not nice, I could hear her telling my precious babies, "Your daddy not real man, he go to be with man-women", I can see how Zanya could be a sore loser, but she didn't need to be so critical and abusive.
I do not know what happens from here. I am doing carpentry work here and there to try to stay alive and then I am out to the early morning with some girls that make Juwanna man seem like Mike Tyson. I don't know if I am happy or what, I just know I could not be anywhere else right now. If I had not seen that movie none of this would have happened. This week would have been my vacation and we were going to take the kids to Epcot and go whale watching. I just wish I had never been born.