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Subject: Barcelona #62 - Picking Partners Presciently
(Posted on Sep 17, 2016 at 09:54AM ) Tags:
We’ve all seen this situation before, if not perhaps experienced it firsthand. It’s when someone (or your own sorry ass) has a new partner, and it seems that new person is not liked by just about everyone.

It’s quite common that new love ain’t gonna be loved by all equally, right away, or ever. But, if said individual is reviled and despised by every single mofo—family, friend and foe alike, one should consider it a subtle hint. Ya think?! It seems that some of us will still continue the mad march to marriage, and dealing with the consequences thereafter. 

Bob’s ass was at a wedding in Barcelona, where there was no such issue at all with the couple of the moment, but he had been thinking about an email from a friend who had gone that route, and that got him thinking about some others he knew of in that predicament. Case in point,

There will always be some people on one or even both sides, who may not like
one partner for whatever reason, but everybody speaking in unison just cannot
be wrong. Not that either partner was
unmensch or shit like that, it was more that
they were not meant for each other, and that portended disaster. Most won’t  listen
in that situation; love made you blind, or you secretly knew and doggedly pressed
on regardless.

All (and Bob means every last one) of this other cat’s friends and family had pleaded with him to drop his bride to be, right down to the day of the big event. He forged ahead regardless and was divorced a year later.

Sometimes, the match is just otherwise bad to begin with, and it doesn’t even take very long for shit to slip sideways, as seen here in Russia on wedding day itself. 


Here’s another white wedding interlude with a completely different slant from China.



These  are definitely not lone or anomalous experiences. Many folks don't sort their stuff straight before leaping into one of life’s biggest commitments, only to be perhaps blindsided later on, if a caustic, misaligned or unbalanced pairing right from the get go isn’t enough. Maybe what's needed is just thinking a wee bit about your "forever" partner beforehand, knowing what they're really about and if a good fit for the long haul. 


For many, the "be all end all" of marriage is having kids. But perhaps, that may also require a little thought on the pros and cons, and if you're hooked up with the right person. Think you’re ready? Try this amusing parent test from a few years back in the UK.

And then, even if you pick your better half wisely, and jump through all the early stage gates and hoops unscathed, replete with seals of approval from both sides of the fence, years later, what with kids and daily family life, things may well turn out like this below anyway.


Ahhh technology, making lives easier and better, even for daily domestic debate and discourse with your loved ones.

But don’t despair, if you find yourself in such a marriage predicament. Depending on where you are in the world, divorce may not be a fast and easy option for many reasons, but there are always other "approaches" to said situation, as nicely outlined here


Problem solved, and now you’re free to shuffle off casually to the next bad relationship in your life. Note said solution need not be limited to the Philippines either. If you dont want to risk doing this on home turf, plan a vacation abroad in some sun-drenched paradise where local "professional labor" skills are a bargain. More proof Bob is an international, out-of-the--box creative thinker to everyday problems. Borrowing from Canuckistani politcos, past and present, "Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways."

Maybe it's all about perspective, separating reality from illiusions, and seeing the bigger picture.

 


Above all, Bob believes in keeping shit in life simple, and to really distill the important crap down to its core. Cuz, like if you pick poorly, it’s all downhill from there, and just a matter of time before stuff goes sideways and ultimately collapses.


And if you feel you don’t have enough sample size or actual "in the field" insights about this, feel free to tuck into Bob’s debut novel. You'll see how this stuff shakes out for real, as witnessed at others’ weddings the world over, through his own eyes and personal interactions be they good, bad, or ugly, but always funny and on point.

The price of entry could sure as shit save your sorry ass some grief and Benjamin$ down the road, and provide a few kernels of wisdom straight from the trenches of modern marriage warfare.



Subject: Barcelona #62 - Of cava, crowns, and craniums
(Posted on May 24, 2015 at 01:14PM ) Tags:
At an early May 2002 wedding in Catalonia, cava naturally featured on the drinks list right after the ceremony as the celebratory bubbles of choice.

With so many great regional selections, Bob was more than pleased to see the couple had picked Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad, not only because it’s a great one (one of his faves)  but also because the bottle has such a distinctive and regal look.



As a major bonus, the bottle is also heavy and very solid. Good for a few things it seems. As taken right from the chapter…

We washed it all down with flutes of Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad. Empty,
the distinctive green cava bottle with its pewter base could be repurposed as
a candle holder.

This hefty bottle could also come in handy for homebound hullabaloo: I
imaginated some chikita banana making a definitive debate-ending point
about sumpin’ or other by crowning her man’s cranium.
OK, maybe twice,
since some hubbies have a really hard head.

Bob reckons the metal base and its sharp edge would do a bang-up job, and provide extra strength against breakage if a woman really wanted to do her man in. Talk about perfect product placement at work here. One reckons the Segura Viudas folks would be more than proud to know their class product doubles down as the drink and instrument of choice (more than adequate for the task)  for settling domestic discontent that has reached a critical point. 

Ladies, best to celebrate the occasion and drink it all down first with your guy, before the devilish deed, so as not to risk wasting any of the beautful beverage. It will help settle the nerves, and take the edge off. Nothing like a little liquid courage to help things along. And a couple glasses might make it all hurt a little less on your guy's receiving end as well.

As with many things in life though, you gotta walk before you run. "Practice makes perfect," as the old adage goes. Start small, practicing on oneself, working one’s way up from beer bottles to wine bottles, just so it is all done right.  A few guiding technique tips to be gleaned below watching these folks with various degrees of expertise and knowledge making their attempts. Some get it, and some don’t.




With beer mastered, you work your way up to wine.


Bob's always generally amazed as to what a little alcohol intake combined with some spare time can result in—human creativity and ingenuity at its finest. The possibilities are almost endless if we really put our heads to it.

These are indeed the kind of pleasant thoughts, simple solutions and worldly insights running through Bob’s mind as he roams the world to far flung places attending weddings as some single guy. Cheers to your health (and to your head, for the fellas)!

Subject: Barcelona #62 - Cookin' Cucu in Cugat
(Posted on May 17, 2014 at 02:57PM ) Tags:
So, you find yourself on your way to some outdoor wedding ceremony in Sant Cugat del Vallès outside Barcelona, sitting on a bus (or motor coach if you wanna be fancy pants about it) with other guests. You’re killing some time in your mind, and wondering about the origins of the place, its name, and what was up with all that trying to get rid of some cat called St. Cucuphas way back in the daze of antiquity. The place ended up being named after him (initially, it was Castrum Octavianum) because of what happened next. 

Well, it seems the Roman prefect at the time was going a tad creative with trying to get rid of our man. Judging by the following 3-step process, you’d think like maybe, somebody was going to consume our cat Cucu once he was deemed "ready."

1) Tenderize - Get a dozen soldiers to soften him up by whipping him, and then tear up his skin with nails and scorpions. Inspired
2) Marinate - cover him with vinegar and pepper. Creative kitchen
3) Cook – Roast him alive. Wuz it low 'n slo'? I dunno.
 
But something miraculous seemed to happen, and our man Cucu escapes death and injury per the tale. Hmmm, the prefect has a rethink on things, deciding to have a really BIG bonfire made and burn him up. Ooopsy, next thing you know, something backfires, and his executioners all die in the flames, but Cucu's okay. Righto.

The prefect has him thrown back in his cell, and then softened up some more with iron whips this time around. Presto majesto, said prefect mysteriously went up in flames in his carriage by divine intervention or sumpin' like that. Lesson learned, and his replacement decides to keep things really basic and has our man finally done in the old fashioned way by having his throat slit. See, keeping it straightforward and not trying to get fancy worked just fine in the end.

                                 Painting: The Martyrdom of St. Cucuphas, (Public Domain); Ayne Bru (1504-07 estimated)

And that’s the way it supposedly went down for our man Cucuphas back in AD 304 during the Diocletianic Persecution.

Now, as a take away point, you generally don’t see girlfolk messing around with making things complicated for no good reason. Case in point was these two women deciding to take out a “player” back in March 1881. In this fine recounting, our man Francisco "Chico" Forster, 40, was sleeping around  under the guise of marriage promises when he got his sorry ass caught out in L.A. Here's some more detail on all that.

Our slighted gal, 18 at the time (guess FCF was goin' younger), just popped him straight through the eye with a pistol shot. Ba-Blam! No messing around entertaining more sophisticated torture approaches a la Roman prefect earlier in history per above. 

           Image: Twoons.com | 2009


Then, as a huge bonus, and no doubt benefiting from a crack legal team, our girl Lastania Abarta gets off employing a defense of “female hysteria.

         Artwork: KarynIronSides on Deviant Art

Go figure. Alas, the ladies can no longer plop that ploy away for potential recycling down the road when there is a need to get rid of your man, whether he be cheatin’, or not. Said medical condition was taken off the books as this informative video points out.


All I can say, as some simpleton single chappie out there attending weddings all over the place, is a man gots to stay on his toes. Sometime, reaching deep for knowledge is needed to remedy what ails, just like our man Dr. Swift here below, and the tale of his special treatment for female hysteria. 
 
                                                                   Vintage Ad: Dr. Swift's "Healing" Massage


 
Subject: Barcelona #62 - When Storms Happen
(Posted on Apr 16, 2014 at 05:23PM ) Tags:
After all those weddings over the years, there have only been a handful where the weather didn’t cooperate, and even fewer when one was outside at the time and Mother Nature was keen to show who's da Boss. 


On that late afternoon back in May 2002 in the mountains of Sant Cugat del Vallès outside the city, the memory of the storm that descended on the outdoor wedding ceremony sticks out to this day. The weather changed for the worse really quickly, the skies darkened, and we were all a little in awe at how intense the rain, hail, thunder and lightning  got, all perfectly timed of course for the ceremony, peaking with the couple’s vows. We were surprised again at how fast it all went away and the sun came out thereafter. Throughout, the couple were really calm, and seemed completely unfazed by it all. There was a METAL roof over our heads (nice for attracting lightning strikes), but the sides were all open air, allowing for the wind to whip the rain and hail into the left side of the seating area.

This completely separate video shot here on an August 2008 evening shows what things can get like in Barcelona in terms of electrical storms. Keep in mind that the wedding that afternoon was in the hills where all the lightning happens here in this video, so we really felt like we were in the thick of things.



The storm's impression certainly made for a memorable experience overall on that day, but it was all quickly put behind us when the sun came out and bottles of cava were being cracked open in volume. 

Overall, Barcelona’s an awesome place, and I always feel blessed to have been able to live there for two years of school between 1991 – 1993 and get to experience a good deal of all that the city and its surrounding areas have to offer, incluidng some spectacualr electrical storms.

While the wedding on this day was just outside the city proper, I have been to four others there in or around the core that will be covered off in future chronicles in the trilogy.

If you have never been to BCN, maybe the aluure of these two highlight videos will tempt you to put it on your own bucket list.


Subject: Barcelona #62 - Chopsocky cinema and that Ghanaian proverb
(Posted on Jan 31, 2014 at 04:22PM ) Tags:
That Ghanaian proverb quoted in the book is a classic that has long vexed me since Ananse first told me of it years ago.

“It requires a lot of carefulness to kill the fly that perches on the scrotum.”


It opens up a whole line of questioning, and I wonder if whoever came up with it meant to believe it applied only against their own set of cohones cum huevos, or someone else’s too. Who knows on that? That’s why I figured one might want to have a more swift and skilled set of hands take a swipe there, if in fact a swipe, slap or short sharp shot of any sort was indeed the optimum  strategy here. But I ain’t here to question the wisdom of that tproverb to begin with.

Ergo the four chopsocky cinema stars thrown out there as a non-exhaustive shortlist of example candidates suitably skilled for the task, but only two could be trying that on their own set.



Lo Lieh had the same birthday as yours truly does too (but he was just a little older is all). Connie Chan Po-chu and Cheng Pei-pei were born six days apart, and as for Bruce Lee, most know about that cat, so his name should have tipped the hand of the other three in the context of the discussion. A lot of flicks were made between all four, but as far as I know, there was never a scene there anywhere involving flies on someone’s scrotum. Geez, some of them were into swords and stuff as well, so you can just imagine some other potentially interesting solutions that might come into play with such implements/weapons in such a scenario.

It all reminds of me of that line from the 1970s TV series, Kung Fu, when Caine is told many a time by his Master that “When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.” It seems Master had the good sense to NOT envision, yet alone allow, multiple learning attempts along the way with flies located strategically somewhere else on his body. But as with many things in life, and after a lot of hard work, training and practice, that “time to leave” eventually comes, and you head off to the next set of challenges.


This Mail & Guardian (South Africa)  piece from 2011 touches on a few more proverbs from other countries on that continent that are cutfrom the same cloth and looks at  them a little bit deeper. Whaddup with all that? 

All in all, I think such proverbs are best left to thinking about, and not actually attempting them at home alone, or together with friends and family. Some things in life, you don’t necessarily need to experience. Maybe you also just don’t let flies have much access to the jewels to begin with if you can help it at all. Even when you’re some single guy sippin’ on cava at a wedding in Spain, you can still reflect on the deeper things in life, in between all the other goings on of the day and night.

Gong Hay Fat Choy or Gong Xi Fa Cai—take your pick. It appears that this entry and Chinese New Year are just pure coink-e-dink.