Thursday, January 19, 2006


The receipt on the left (who I'll refer to as Figgy) is from 8/17/03 at 3:26pm. Mine, as you can see, is from yesterday. I checked out the same copy of Lost in the Cosmos as Figgy along with two titles that have the word "Peace" in them. But why did Figgy check out a different copy of the same book at the same time (items one and three on his receipt)? I want to know. You're Worthless and Other Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom is item two on Figgy's list and The Rough Guide: Europe is item four. Those two don't seem to go together. The first three or rather two books go together for those who are mildy depressed or questioning their existence (or so it would seem from the titles). But a travel guide suggests hope, fun, adventure all lovely things. Perhaps Figgy was hoping to dump depression or find meaning through travel.

I do have a mild curiousity now to read You're Worthless just to see if it matches my own conception of what makes me (or one) worthless. That, and I like the word nuggets.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Fashion Flare

Are these for Mennonites, Mormons, or Muslims? If they were more retro, say circa 1907, they'd be a fashion trend, but as is I'd fear for the mental health of my child after being seen in public wearing such a garment. The taunts would haunt her well into middle-age. I know from personal experience what can linger on when all other memories fall away. Hint: It's usually not the pleasant memories that last. I believe the promises for this piece of clothing are doubtful at best. However, I do double dog dare you to purchase and wear to determine if there is truth in their advertising.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Fatwah of Futility

Did you hear about the fatwah issued by an Egyptian Cleric declaring that any Muslim couple having sex in the nude had thus annulled their marriage? Their nakedness defeated their union. As they say, you can't make this stuff up!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Is this Cynicism on Display?

I bought this postcard and others like it at the Museum of Communism in Prague because it lampooned Communism and made me laugh in the process. Steve's father, however, thought they were cynical. I paused and thought about it because that's not the first word I would use to describe them. Are they cynical? Cynicism has always had a negative connotation in my mind. I think it's more apt to say Communism is cynical rather than those attempting to poke fun at it, which is a very healthy response to the evil that was /is Communism. Perhaps the one positive definition of cynicism is when it's regarding Communism!

To be honest I had hoped for sensational stories of rescue and escape from behind the Iron Curtain, tales of heroism and subversion. But what we got were the pedestrian details of "normal" life lived under government scrutiny and control. It reminded me of that statement about the banality of evil. Evil can be so prosaic that we forget it's evil. The sensational details of arrests, interrogations, deportations, and gulags boil our blood and convict us to do something about the evil, like naming it such.

The Czech people got the last laugh since the Communist museum is squashed between a McDonald's (Go American Imperialism!) and a Casino (Yeah Greedy Capitalism!).

A Tableau of Domesticity

I'm giving you a peek into the domestic life of me and Steve. Adventures abound in this realm as neither of us like to clean (so we invite people over so we're forced to clean) and if we fight it's usually over food (see previous posts). Anyway, this night I call Steve, who acts as my prep chef, while on the road home and tell him to prep the asparagus for roasting. I instruct him to dab the asparagus with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper (my favorite way of eating asparagus). Now Steve is a great helper but I forget that he doesn't actually cook (except on rare but utterly delightful occasions) and therefore, doesn't understand certain terms like dab, as in place small pieces of butter at varying points across the row. As you can see from the above picture, Steve interpreted dab to mean "butter the asparagus", which for some reason struck me as hilarious. I can see now, in this retelling that the humor may not translate. Say "buttered asparagus" out loud though and I'll bet you giggled...or not. Maybe it really only tickled me. But he did a damn fine job of buttering the asparagus and I heartily ate all of mine.

After dinner Steve read the first pages from a bunch of essays from Air Guitar by Dave Hickey. The first pages are the best because it's all concrete writing. After those introductory pages Hickey delves into the meaning and interpretation of the events he describes at the beginning. Those bits aren't as interesting to me, but maybe they are to his erudite readers, like his wife Libby Lumpkin. What a marvelous name, but I certainly hope she doesn't look like her name sounds. The onomatopoeia of it suggest dumplings, soft and squishy. I guess for BOTH their sakes I hope she's neither. The one exception was his homage essay to deceased friend Grover Lewis, who sounded like just the sort of character you'd want as a life-long friend. But if you wonder what I mean by that you'll have to read the essay yourself.

I'm notoriously bad at remembering band names and song lyrics. In fact I'm not really musically inclined at all (sorry, mom and dad, that you shelled out the bucks for my nine years of piano lessons) especially when it comes to modern music. I'm simply clueless on my own, but Steve keeps me educated and open minded to new music. However, he does have his moments of frustration. I'll ask him over and over again the name of a band I should know (I think I have a tumor) and he patiently tells me over and over after offering me a few clues that I never get. Well, tonight I think I asked one too many times. He just wouldn't tell me, but I kept nagging. He then drops to the floor and starts rolling around. Then comes up and makes the characteristic signs for a charade. Yeah! I love charades! My man plays charades so I can guess the band and now it's fun for both of us. His rolling around on the floor (plus some other not so clear pantomimes that had me guess culvert originally) led me to the correct answer: Catherine Wheel. He wasn't so good out of the gate on the next charade since the miming of shooting a bow/ arrow doesn't lead one to naturally guess Slayer as the band. However, the sword thrusts certainly did.

So folks, that's a not so normal night behind the domestic curtain.