Monday, August 10, 2009


Thanks to friends, especially mangled ones, I have plenty to blog about, but I'm not feeling it. There will be a short hiatus.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Yes, But it's OUR Filthy, Disgusting Misbegotten Excuse for a National Dish

The New York Times* has an editorial today discussing heinous allegations that haggis might have been created by the English instead of the Scottish. Surprisingly, it's the Scottish that are up in arms about this, not the English. How would Wisconsins feel if they were suddenly accused of creating cheese curds? Or Nevadans for Rocky Mountain oysters? If I were the Queen (insert your own joke here), I'd clap this wanker in irons until he stopped the treasonous slander about jolly olde.

* Motto: "All the news about sheep's stomach-cuisine that's fit to print."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Year of Good Books: July

After my series of craptacular reads in 2008 (I'm looking at you, "Wuthering Heights"), I vowed to have a better year of reading in 2009, and so far, so good. Here's the July rundown:

"The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific" - J. Maarten Troost: Big shout-out to Higgy for this one. Hilarious non-fic account of a guy mooching off his girlfriend's NGO work in Tarawa. Apparently, island paradises aren't as paradaisical as they appear. His attempt to fight the omnipresent Macarena with Miles Davis is hilarious.

"American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House" - Jon Meachem
: An engaging look at an amazingly influential president, for good and for ill. From the mudslinging campaigns to cabinet officials prowling the streets of Washington looking to kill each other, Jackson definitely did not have a quiet political career.

"Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith" - Jon Krakauer: As is Krakauer's habit, a fabulous non-fic story of the history of Mormonism and the variety of "fundamentalist" offshoots of it interwoven with the story of 2 grisly murders carried out at the claimed behest of God. While I didn't think it was anti-Mormon, it does lay out quite the spectacle of its history as a faith. Fascinating stuff.

August looks to be lighter and with some fiction, as I've been reading more non-fic the last 18 months or so than I'd planned on.

Living The American Dream

So, you graduate college with a BA in Business Administration and a 2.7 GPA*, and you can't find a job after 3 months. What do you do? Well, sue your college for $70,000 in tuition and an extra $2,000 for stress. After all, what makes you more attractive to potential employers than dealing with adversity by blaming others and then suing? A dream employee!

* Right in the meaty part of the curve - not showing off, not falling behind.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Introducing... Curly Howard

Regular blog readers* will remember my story of buying a potentially stolen bike for 20 Euro. 110 Euro later, and the aforementioned bike is the newest member of my two-wheeled harem: Curly Howard. I'd been waiting for an appropriate bike to take the moniker of the most beloved stooge*, and I've found it.

So, my current bike harem numbers four (Moe, Curly, the injured Larry, and the injured-but-not-yet-introduced Margaret Dumont***). Anyone interested in joining for a daytrip need only ask -- the Stooges Bike Service**** is open for business.

* Obviously, George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan are more beloved Stooges amongst conservatives, but I'm a purist**.
** I.e. flaming liberal.
*** Yeah, I know she worked with the Marx Brothers and not the Stooges, but she's the only female comedic foil from that era whose name I actually knew.
**** Dewey, Ridem, & Howe.

Living The High Life in Europe

So, you've been hearing me gloat over the good life in Europe, and you wonder, "What, exactly, is a day of the good life?"

Allow me to break it down for you:

10:15 am: Depart the 'dorf on bikes for Krefeld
10:45 am: Stop to eat wild blackberries on the roadside
11:15 am: Stop again to prevent the impending ecological disaster that is blackberry overload.
11:45 am: Gorge oneself on large amounts of tasty Vietnamese food (including barbecue), accompanied by Cobra beer
12:30 pm: Ignore urge to nap in the sun
12:45 pm: Stop to check out wine store and verify that "Probiertheke" does, indeed, mean free samples. Repeat as necessary.
2:00 pm: Mock eurotrash jackholes while waiting for friend to complete quixotic quest for jalepeƱos in Germany
2:15 pm: Enjoy glasses of refreshing vinho verde for 1.50E per glass
4:00 pm: Switch to equally cheap Sagres
5:00 pm: Go home to fulfill blogger's obligation to taunt friends.