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Subject: Westport #94 - Reactive vs Proactive
(Posted on Feb 13, 2016 at 04:01PM ) Tags:
What with Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not cover something different? When everyone is thinking all hearts, roses and chocolates, look to Bob N. Boguslavski for an alternative view on that ever so highly commercialized take on relationship romance.

It provides a nice and smooth lead-in to what someone really wants to talk about today.

An ages-old conundrum over what wins the day, strategy versus tactics, or being proactive versus reactive, can be applied to almost any situation in life. This no doubt includes when to puke, chunder, regurgitate or whatever other euphemism one prefers to employ, even if it’s the Cockney rhyming slang expression, Wallace and GrommitBob’s also rather fond of another British term, pavement pizza. One can always rely on the Brits to keep things classy!


Nothing like a little recycling, where one person's late night kebab indulgence becomes others' breakfast the next morning  If you’re really into the alternative terminology thing, here’s a long list of words and expressions to enlighten and impress family, friend and foe alike on this topic. 


Said ‘act,’ no matter how labeled, can occur anywhere heavy drinking is on deck, including a wedding. But sometimes, it may be done on porpoise [sic], to reposition or refortify oneself for yet more imbibing, or to void off future ill effects which can happen when one is passed out or sleeping. Some of us remember what happened to Bon Scott of AC/DC back on February 19th, 1980 in that regard as a sobering and cautionary tale. 

Basically, tactical chunder is on the proactive side. Then there is the closely related strategic vomit, which is talked about a little more here from the female perspective. The reactive side, well, that’s a whole lot simpler, and usually a lot less pretty too, since it’s unplanned and there ain't a whole lot of time to think about where it's going.  As at that classy Westport dinner scene a couple days before the wedding ...

"Reactive chunders are not nearly as controlled as proactive ones,” I sympathized.
“It typically results in much more mess to mop up. Reactive leads to unplanned
spillage with unintended consequences. Proactive is more focused and guided.
"

Suddenly, Horace sat up ramrod straight and stiffened with alarmed eyes. A spout
of spew erupted from deep in his throat, cascading over the table in front of him
and sideways as he instinctively turned his head, right into Little Timmy’s adjacent
martini glass.


"Ewwww!" winced Little Timmy, looking morosely at his newly infused cocktail.

This led to coining of the word chunkitini with its fresh reddish pink hue. Chundertini is just as good though, so we’ll use it as a synonym. Remember, you heard these new words here first. The above interaction from the book can act as a definition of sorts—it's pretty clear what happened there!

A little poking around reveals that there’s a cocktail out there called Steel Vomit. It sure sounds like a nasty concoction even if the bonafide stuff above ain’t in it per se. Bob reckons a few of these puppies pounded in quick succession may well lead a few punters to the above type scenario.

On this topic of 'regurgitation' generally, classic movie scenes always come to mind and here’s a well done “puke nuke’em” montage of merriment for all you cinephiles, which includes a few select snippets from that classic Monty Python flick, The Meaning of Life, among others.
 

Don’t act all grossed out on this topic. Hey, if you like honey, you’re actually eating bee barf, so put that in your pipe and smoke it, as this Straight Dope piece elaborates. The quibble and riposte at the end is good, defending use of the word 'barf' versus regurgitation in this context.


As some single cat hitting up weddings all around the world, sooner or later, your ass is gonna see this act … live. Proof pository is right here with a couple of select moments of wedding magic. 


You can see those subtle movements in her throat nicely telegraphing it all as she arises from her stupor-induced nap. To be fair to the ladies, Bob must include a guy doing similar. 


With a litttle practice, you too can wind your way down this road, be it reactive or proactive for even more punishment later on, and then end up looking like this pair of fine, rather relaxed folks. It's all about how you carry yourself and hold that grace right to the end, Nice touch as our gal still has enough sense  and wits to hold her hair back from dangling into her product delivery on the floor. 
 


 

Life just seems so incomplete until you've been there. That, and also reading this book to keep you highly amused (and bemused at times). Bob digs deep about everything, to bring you the very best. 
Subject: Westport #94 - Large Wedding Parties
(Posted on Nov 25, 2014 at 02:44PM ) Tags:
There seems to be a trend the last few years to ever-larger wedding parties. 




What is "too many" in a wedding party? It sure can make the whole experience like herding cats in a few ways and create some problems. A couple pieces that argue to keep it small and some reasons why can be found here and here, but the trend to "bigger be better" continues, even while other elements of a wedding may be getting smaller per here. But is there a "right" number on this matter? Wedding planner David Tutera weighs in with his opinion on bridesmaid count. 


Too many people in the mix can slow things down, in terms of the ceremony processional, the receiving line and/or introductions. Wedding party photos are that much more lengthy and troublesome to coordinate as well, with so many present. Stuff also gets more complicated, especially for the ladies, in terms of dress and shoe styles and keeping them all happy, but a bride can always try and work around that and get creative. There possibly needs to be more talk and planning too on hair, make-up, and accessories, but Bob don't know so much about all that stuff.


If you do want to play this "go big or go home" game, you may want to try and keep things balanced out more or less equally on both sides of the aisle. 


Bob’s been in back-to-back wedding parties that featured a larger than normal bodycount so he speaks a little from firsthand experience. The one before this wedding in Westport, Bob was in a 9 + 9 balanced situation. The Wesport affair here was a bit different, cuz like, he was also a bridesman (or male bridesmaid).

This one featured an accompanying 12 + 7 formation for the groom and bride sides, respectively, but ALL were guys, save the best maid / woman / person (or honor attendant if you are going more gender-neutral). Having the guys in tuxes all lined up in a long row made it a pretty homogenous blend of bridesmen and groomsmen. Bob was curious as to why a bride would have only male friends stand up for her, and no females, but hey, some folks roll that way in life. The ladies can stew and gossip some more on that element. 

Here's an example of more bridesmaids but not too off-kilter on the male-female, groomsman–bridesmaid balance. This also shows the processional parade angle taking longer too. 


Many groomsmen are in the mix here. 


.
If faced with tough selection choice, a bride could also adopt an alternative approach and hire her bridesmaids if friends can’t make the cut one way or another.


Hollywood has already glommed onto this “for hire” concept, what with this coming movie on that very same idea.


So, if in the end, one decides to go big, what is up with the folks that specifically select 13 per side, and tempting their marital fate that way? Be safe, and go 12 or 14. Bob already had a take on the number 13 and its potential significance on wedding day in this other post.


Sure, you can have a LOT of close friends, making it hard to decide on who to include, not hurt anybody’s feelings, or other reasons, but hey—buck up. Either that or include nobody and make everyone miffed. Or better yet, run away, make it far away (as discussed in this practical post) and you have a valid excuse to put into play. Or get married in a country or culture where there is no such thing as a wedding party, like when Bob was at #25 in Santiago, Chile. making things much simpler.

The other extreme is go somewhere where they be splashing it out BIG in that wedding party count department. Take this one outisde Colombo, Sri Lanka, between Nisansala Kumari Arivasiri (bride) and Nalin Pathirana,  with 126  bridesmaids, 25 best men, 20 page boys and 23 flower girls. That be some serious action, and more people than some have in total as guests! This wedding happened in November 2013 and set the Guinness World Record in this department of most bridesmaids to one bride. It broke way past the previous record at a Thai wedding with 96 bridesmaids. More pictures of this massive wedding party can be found here.


The corresponding record for most groomsmen / ushers for one groom is a relatively paltry 47 per here in 2003 in the Toronto area, between Suresh Joachim Arulanantham with his bride Christa Rasanayagam. However, despite the record on one side, note that the guys were still upstaged by 79 bridesmaids.


I guess they like to supersize that angle when you hail from Sri Lanka. Our main man actor here was also in the record book for a couple other mentions too. Note as a small aside, Bob got invited to a wedding in Sri Lanka back in the summer of ‘99, but that tale is for another time.

Bob is NOT covering off the wedding party fashion angle here, because that was already done in this earlier post. Yet another way to make a wedding party statement or cater to specific situations in certain destinations, like say, wanting lots of firepower for some added oomph and protection, was done here.

But at the end of the day, when making your own personal decision, do whatever the hell it is you want, and/or your budget will allow. It’s YOUR day after all. Unless of course, someone’s mother-in-law wades into the fray to have her way.  But hey, that mother-in-law topic will be dealt with some other time. One topic at a time, people.
 
Subject: Westport #94 - Whaddup with Whiskey vs. Whisky?
(Posted on Jun 4, 2014 at 03:34PM ) Tags:
So what is it all about when you see that word spelled both ways, with or without 'e' in there? Supposedly a logic to it all drives that, but it is not always adhered to it seems. Go figure. Kinda like with a lot of things in the world.

As mentioned in the book, it is dependent on where the drink comes from, but many times, in practice, folks just spell it the way they want, based on what part of the world they are from. This includes writers and copy editors alike. 

First, here’s the Wikpedia skinny of what a whisky / whiskey is, to begin with. As for 'correct' spelling, there seems to have been a rethink on this the last few years though. This fine piece on The Kitchn goes into good detail on the whole matter, and settles on the following rule (going by country of origin, and what is on the bottle label):

- E in country name (e.g., United States / America and Ireland), then spell it whiskey, and the plural as whiskeys.
- No e in country name (e.g., Canada, Scotland, Japan, Australia, Finland, and India), then spell it whisky, and the plural as whiskies.

Note how the dueling plural forms of the word  can further bamboozle folks. Overall though, I  dig this simple rule and it makes complete sense by what it says on the bottle.

But then, Germany, England, and Wales had to come along and $%@* that up and spell it whisky nonetheless with their own products. So much for what makes sense in the world.


When using the term generically, go ahead and write it anyway you want, depending on where you are in the world, and your audience, as long as you are consistent. The venerable NY Times Dining column used to try and do that per here through late 2008, but then seems to have capitulated to the newer thinking here in early 2009. Hey, shit happens. Deal with it and move on is the motto to follow. 

These older chaps below, earlier on, went and messed the spelling up with their rendition of the word as whuskey in song.

Red Ingle and the Natural Seven singing "Cigareetes, Whuskey, and Wild, Wild, Women"  (1948)
The Muppet Show (special guest Peter Sellers), season 2, episode 18, original airing Feb. 25, 1978

Words of wisdom for the ages, unless you want to nail the trifecta, pardon the pun. There are many versions of this song, but the two here were mentioned in the book, in my conversation with Pops di Tomaso and his favorite rendition. There was no debate either back then about whether it was whuskey or whusky. That was for wussies, no doubt.

As for any other countries making the spirit that may or may not adhere to that rule, you can check that out, one by one, on Malt Madness if you have mucho mas time on your hands, and looking for something new to sip on. 

A place like Thailand and its whiskies adhere to the spelling rule, but those tipples are not actually officially deemed a whisky to begin with, per this 2011 Intoxicated Abroad posting and the Wiki definition above. BNB very much digs our main man Matt’s slogan, “Life’s too short to be sober at home.” It’s way better to be some single guy abroad, be it at weddings, or on other (mis)adventures cum vacations.

Like many things in life, best not to think about stuff too much, and just go friggin’ do it. And then, I suppose as long as the bartender knows what to pour, then you are golden. I end this post with a nifty little infographic on whisk(e)y to mull while sippin’ sumpin’ smoooooove.
 

Cheers, and bottoms up, Bobbolin(o/a)!

Subject: Westport #94 - Fat, Fluff, Froth, and Fizz
(Posted on Feb 22, 2014 at 02:11PM ) Tags:
That 840-page issue of Vogue back in September 2007 was a fitting symbol of the apex of the financial markets and an omen of things to come before the subprime housing crisis bubble burst and everything went to hell in a handbasket thereafter in the financial world.


Coming in at some 4 – 5 lbs., depending on your source(s), (but it’s not like I dug an old back-copy up to weigh it in realty, so omelette you do the “trust but verify” thing there), and with most of it bumpf hawking fashion, accessories, and cosmetics, it was a nice tie-in to the excesses of the period. There wasn’t a whole lot of substance to it, doing the simple math of 840 – 727 pages of ads, leaving 113 pages of arguably what could be construed as advertorial.

This is a good piece going back to look at it with bit of a critical eye. It does a way better job than I could ever do, since this cat ain’t no big fashion boffin with any bonafide qualifications. They even bothered to make a documentary about it all, called The September Issue (2009), if you really want more insight on the matter. 


I always find it funny about our world that we can get more folks to care about stuff like this, than about the more important stuff, but yo, that’s the way stuff shakes out today, with many of us having the attention span of goldfish, and where we would rather be entertained than know the real deal, as that requires a lot more work. Hey, it’s all good, but don't be surprised by stuff happening later on that was always there to begin with.
Most fellas won’t be into the movie or the mag (except for checking out the chikitas), but it was fun to have a conversation in passing at that Westport, CT wedding with Tristan Alford, knowing his wife was all over that publication “ to advertise some hip disguise,” and eye up even more unnecessary haute couture for her walk-in closets.

The ladz in Rage Against The Machine had it all down pat and then some, about entertainment in general, with their 1998 tune, "No Shelter" and the lyrics therein.

,

One could sit there and analyze the meanings of the lyrics / messages 25 ways to Sunday, but I think it's just a great song when all is said and done to keep it simple.

Since that time back in 2007, Vogue outdid themselves, taking things to a higher level in September 2012, with that issue eclipsing the 2007 record and clocking in at, yowza, 916 pages, but trimming back (a tad) on the ads.


Jumpin’ Jehovah’s Witnesses, that’s the kind of stuff a single guy at weddings needs to be able to deal with randomly  as cocktail and appetizer time beckons. No topic is too frivolous or sacred to be managed or mangled in one way or another, be it good, bad or ugly (whatever her name is). That’s just the way the world is, but as one wise person once quipped, it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is. You know it!
Subject: Westport #94 - Subprime made easy for all
(Posted on Jan 29, 2014 at 04:07PM ) Tags:
Around the time of that mid September 2007 affair for Bob and Natasha, rumblings were emerging from the financial markets about all that global money crammed inside the US subprime mortgage market that was making financial institutions and hedge funds alike a fortune up until then. It was a massive feeding frenzy, and it was supposedly all bullet-proof safe, paying out high returns, and was endorsed by the brightest minds and leading lights in the industry. Yeah, sure.


Then we all saw what happened thereafter by the fall of 2008 when the crisis hit full on. Bob’s chat over a drink with Tristan Alford, then at a purposely anonymous hedge fund, and a former colleague of Bob “The Banker”,  was tied to this. Tristan knew what was coming down the pike, and had the good sense to want to get out of Dodge while the getting was good to preserve some of his wealth, and keep that Mrs. of his happy with her high-end baubles, haute couture, and gal pal spa getaway weekends with her "ladies who lunch" set, or what I like to call LaWLu. Good work if you can get it!

Since that time, and the subsequent market meltdown, a lot of analysis, debate, and discussion has happened about the whole subprime crisis, and numerous books, TV shows and even movies have covered the topic 25 ways to Sunday.

This great little presentation is still one of my favorites for explaining subprime to just about everybody and their dog in very simple terms. One can well forgive the couple of typo errors with the spelling of “traunche” (tranche) and Caymen (Cayman) Islands for the otherwise humorous insight.

This shorter animated piece is a little more serious, but also very good.


These two cats below, Bird and Fortune, also did a bang up job explaining it all with typical British flair and sophistication.


Alas, John Fortune passed away this past New Year’s Eve, but he wasn’t on the lads’ DeathList 2013 roster.

When this single guy is out there hitting weddings all over the place, the topics of conversation aren’t always just fluffy and funny. There's real other stuff going on out there that surfaces every now and again and is worth bringing to light.