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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 Grommit. Bob'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 little 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.
A couple weeks before Christmas 1996, Bob was sitting in a rather sturdy church in Santiago, Chile, and trying to distract and amuse himself with different musings and thoughts during a tedious, full-on Catholic wedding ceremony. One such thread was about his general attendance, or lack thereof, in houses of worship.

That I needed such diversions at all reminded me why I limited my presence in
religious venues to begin with
--weddings and funerals only. Call it WaFO. I wasn't
even a part of the seasonal C+E crowd. OK, maybe add the odd baptism or bar
mitzvah
or if there might ever be need to stave off hordes of zombies taking
over the world.

Many churches were solid enough for such a siege, but it would be paramount to
hole up in one with minimal windows
high enough up to be inaccessible to marauding
fleshseekers. In Manhattan, the AT&T Long Lines Building was
arguably much more
zombie-proof than most houses of worship. It also held the advantage of not being home
to a
particular religion--unless of course spiritual suffusion itself provided protection.

Not being a regular attendee, Bob was thinking about the fortress-like state of many churches, and comparing to that other edifice mentioned above. And why not? That's the way Bob's brain ticks along. You never know when zombies might strike. Always good to be aware, if not prepared per se.

Here's a frontal of the Iglesia de los Santos Angeles Custodios from the wedding, followed by that NYC structure.


Do zombies even really exist, apart from our fascination with them in movies and TV? Some say there is indeed a basis there, but that is for another discussion altogether. Do your own research and make your own determination.

Regarding picking a suitable spot to make a stand, the downside may well be that if they can't get in, you may consequently not be able to get out either. It goes both ways. Long term survivability is tied to a host of other factors, once you start to think about it. Depending on where one is, and how they are encountered, and with various means and tools haphazardly at one's disposal, any reaction to them will vary, even if it's Grandma, as seen in Scary Movie 4.


The lads in Shaun of the Dead make some exemplary use of old 12-inch vinyl LPs in an inspired creatve moment, in the midst of their off-the-cuff defense tactics.


Bob commends their musical choices, sacrificing some for the sake of others. Do-or-die situations call for tough decisions.

Another facet to consider, is whether the other side will be the more traditional, slow-moving ones, or the newer, more agile fast ones (a la 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later), and how you need to react.


No matter where you are, beyond being holed up somewhere (hopefully) safe and defendable, your ass will need lots of supplies (e.g., guns, ammo, food, water, and other weaponry) in order to keep up the good survival fight.

Here are two highlight reels of improvised, imaginative methods on dealing with and dispatching zombies, doubling down on a Top 10 list approach from some of the cinematic genre's finer splatterfest moments over the years.


Bob particulalry digs the chainsaw bride scene, at position #2 in the second reel, seeing as the damndest things can happen at a wedding, so best to keep ever alert. Here below is the English language trailer on that Spanish flick, [Rec]3: Génesis.


Ladies, talk about being real pissed when your big day doesn't go down the way you had it all perfectly planned. Survival (and marriage) is all about pivoting and adapting.


Now that's spicing up a wedding day somewhat. And as with any good romance story, there is that mandated Happily Ever After" (or HEA, per short label in the trade) for the couple ... sorta ... kinda, in a dark and different way. But hey, that's the way love and weddings shake out sometimes in the real world.

You could also plan your very own zombie-themed wedding, as some have done.


Note it's pure coink-e-dink this post came up in time for Halloween.



No matter if at a wedding, or anywhere else, the Zombie Apocalypse, or a smaller, localized, regional variant therein, may sneak up on your ass when you're least expecting it. That's why some single dude traveling the world for weddings is always open to the possibilities of stuff happening around him. And you can read all about it and much more in this offbeat, and unique novel. Bob's got you covered if you want something different to read.



When Bob was down Mexico way years back and sitting around the pool killing time before a wedding, between arguments with his then girlfriend, he was pondering the following, all the while gandering at her.

She took proud pleasure, whenever asked, in confirming that they were notbolt-on
bazookas. As with car configurations, I tended to agree that OEM, straight
off the
assemblyline, was best, albeit with certain de rigueur manufacturer installed
options.

Adding aftermarket parts denigrated total package value and complicated maintenance
on a long-term basis. Once you started visiting the likes of Manny, Moe, and Jack at
Pep Boys,
it could be hard to stop tweaking and fussing over "improvements" in a
slippery-slope spiral.


Bob draws on this automotive analogy, as applied to people parts, to illustrate his point.

One can do these modifications (mods, for short) well, or ... poorly. You choose. It's all just a little consideration, or not, as the case may be. If you're going to go down this road, pardon the pun, doing things properly is the way to go, whatever your ride may be.


Seeking competent professional help may well be better than a being a passionate, yet probably inept, first-time DIYer. And then, if you decide to press on yourself regardless, with things gone bad, that may breed a future cascade of additional corrective actions, and ongoing issues ever after. Here are a few to consider.


Some of the ones above are definitely a little more creative / artistic than others, making up for any budgetary constraints with sheer chutzpah. But, even if your wallet's thick and you can throw mucho $$$ at the task, getting things done purrfessionally [sic] and all, you still may not get the desired "organic"and "tasteful" end result. But like with many things, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and ultimately, the one with the check book.


Back around the time of the wedding in the mid 90s, the range of going aftermarket with one's body (i.e., plastic surgery), was mostly confined to the aforementioned bolt-on (boobies), nose jobs and other facial plastic surgery. The field actually goes back to ancient civilizations and its earliest methods.


This link has a nice overview for those with a more historical interest in all this.

Sure, there's a bonafide need for this whole area of medical practice, for those that really need it for serious reasons. Where the more amorphous judgment call falls is when folks opt for it, based on insecurity, and low self-esteem. No doubt, a lot of that also has to do with the "ideal" human imagery as constantly portrayed in and perpetrated by the media.

Fast forward a couple of decades from the wedding, and there are a whole range of improved procedures and enhancements that can be had today. Here's a good list from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Try one - try them all, over time. Be the first kid on your tony block to tick them all off the list. It's all gone way deeper and wider now than Charles Dick's classic, A Tale of Two Titties.

Today, it's not just about slicing and dicing, but there are also interesting injectables for those that wish to avail of the miracles of modern medical science to look and feel their youthful best. Some are deemed less invasive than others, and cost less $$$, but still can have some known (and unknown) long-term, undesired results to keep things interesting and with an ever--evolving look.

Bob will let all y'all decide for yourself what looks good, based on a few extreme examples.



And remember, apart from the odd DIYers that took things into their own hands to cut corners and save some do$h, most of these "improved" looks below were done by those who knew the trade, and were well paid for their skills.


If all those follies aren't enough to make one pause a bit on all this, here's a litle more on Monique Allen's cautionary tale to draw upon.


Yikes, after that parade, it makes one think about the risks versus benefits of these aftermarket aesthetic enhancements.

Your ass is much better off plunking down way fewer dollars and dive into a copy of this quixotic, funny, off-the-wall tale about some single guy traveling the world over to exotic weddings.



Bob's sorry ass has been to way too many weddings all over the place, spending a ton of dough in the process. At the end of the book, he just wants to try and put some sense to it, together with all the other stuff in life and what's generally going on out there in the big bad world.

Kidding aside, deep down, my relationships have been like all my other life
experiences: they immerse themselves into the mix like new ingredients in
an ever-evolving simmering stew. They are combined with my ongoing exposure
to the world
's ways, my deciphering of what the news media says supposedly
happens out there, friendly advice (sometimes delivered with mixed messages),
and crossed signals, all exerting their collective influence on me.
I am
infiltrated by all, inculcated by none.

So, whaddup with all that?

N.B. That subtle single word above makes all the difference.

At first, when younger and more naive, cuz that's all you are taught and know, you're led to believe that the news is accurate and true, hopefully most of the time, right? I mean, you gotta sorta trust in the system.

Then, slowly, certain telltale things and events transpire in the world on your watch that make you start to question it all. You do some investigating on your own. Dig a bit, and find some good stuff. Dig some more, and a whole mess of things comes to light from a trickle to a torrent to a tsunami. Bob likens this to finally figuring out the real deal on Santa Claus when you were a kid, but on a much larger scale on steroids.

Here are some short clips that may well pique your curiousity on this whole element of the news. It all starts with being open to the possibility that things aren't as they appear, and how you're told things operate. This is certainly NOT the case with many things in this world, and it starts with the mainstream media, which may as well be re-badged as the Ministry of (Dis/Mis)Information.




It's just like that very old, wise, and really deep saying in the restaurant business (that Bob just made up right now actually).

That's not chicken in your chicken chow mein.
What?! You mean it's turkey? The bastards!


And then when/if you do start to suss things out, you'll need to decide whether to take the red pill, or the blue pill.


Then when things really start to change in the world, you'll be in a position to at least not be surprised by it all or already know what's happening, if not necessarily being able to do much about it. Or consider taking neither pill, because no news is also possibly a solution.

All in all, for a break, Bob would rather be at a wedding somewhere exotic having fun as some single cat, and not worrying (too much) about what's (really) going on in the world. I mean, despite what the mainstream news media says (or not), depending how and where you get your information and process it, you still gotta live and enjoy life, right? At least until other bigger, long-planned, behind-the-scenes events manifest, stuff spins out of control, and everything goes to hell in a handbasket thereafter.


In the mean time, just kick back and read this book to take you far far away from the madness and have a few chuckles. Either that, or watch the mainstream news for comedy relief alone, in conjunction with all that finely crafted "reality" television like Keeping Up With The Kajagoogians that is helping us all get smarter about everything.




Subject: Apple iBooks Consumer Review
(Posted on Jul 27, 2015 at 03:06PM ) Tags:
Wow! A fascinating, offbeat, creative, entertaining, commentary

This book is hilarious.

Bob has a unique style. He chronicles his experience at weddings all over the world, including cynical, humorous commentary on culture, politics, gender, food, religion, and just about everything.

It's a travel guide wrapped in a wedding guide wrapped in a comedic rant. His prose is peppered with hilarious Bob-isms. Will he ever settle down? Hopefully not, because we need him to continue cranking this stuff out.

Rating: 5 / 5 *

Original Posting: ToughGuy3 | July 25, 2015 | Source Link: Apple iBooks (US)

This is absolutely hilarious, and a very different book from any other. You won't stop laughing out loud and being surprised by the intelligent and fresh humour throughout. If you're looking for comedic escape delivered with insight into relationships, cultures, and political issues against a global wedding backdrop, this read is a must.

Rating: 5 / 5 *

Original Posting: Jose Garcia | October 25, 2013 | Source Link: Goodreads

Subject: Apple iBooks Consumer Review
(Posted on Jun 26, 2015 at 08:49AM ) Tags:
Brilliant

Laughed out loud and enjoyed every character ... Couldn't stop reading it! It's a must if you like comedy, traveling, journey books.

Rating: 5 / 5 *

Original Posting: Ibero33 | September 13, 2013 | Source Link: Apple iBooks (ES)


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: Montreal #12 - 80s hair and other things
(Posted on Apr 26, 2015 at 04:47PM ) Tags:
So your young, dumb ass is 21, having fun, and "best" man at some friend's wedding in 1987.

Hey, it HAD to be a great year, just because that's when The Simpsons first came into being, as episodic shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show. And a game-changing tune (stitching together an impressive array of song samples), Pump Up The Volume by one-off UK outfit, M|A|R|R|S, broke out big.


Beyond music. the 80s had a lot of stuff going on, with memorable (if not always classy) developments in fashion, cars, entertainment, lifestyle, and culture.

And this is not factoring in all the serious (and arguably more important) geopolitical events and disasters that otherwise framed the decade (e.g. Iran-Iraq War, Falkands (Malvinas) War, Bhopal, famine in Ethiopia, Space Shuttle Challenger, Chernobyl, Ronnie Raygun and the other Star Wars, Black Monday, and fall of the Berlin Wall).





This link lists several 80s websites to revisit that decade, or yield insight into what was going on if you weren't yet around (or were way too young to remember).

One of the 80s things that stuck out, pardon the pun, was the hair. It was BIG!

And it wasn't necessarily the preserve of the better, smarter sex either, as the guys also dove in eagerly. There were many ways to wear it, be it frizzy, sporting a mullet, Jheri curls, flattop, spikes, half-fro, or rattail.





Yo, they weren't called "hair bands" for nothing, and having it bigger and better than your competition was de rigueur.


Which brings Bob back to the scene in the book on this very topic.

The trio of bridesmaids sported 80s' signature big-hair, achieved with lots of layering,
mousse, and curling iron action, and finished off with heavy blasts of hairspray.

That didn't come naturally after rolling casually out of bed in the morning, and it spawned a whole industry of products like colored mousse and Bold Hold hairspray to help meet demand.

Here is a montage of exemplary 80s hairstyles.


To compete with all this new energy up top, fashion had its own complementary evolution and flair as well.


Some folks went with a decidedly cleaner, minimalist look. Keeping it simple was another statement, as our Oirish singer explains here and her reasoning therein back in the day as she shot to fame. Think of all the time and expen$e saved as a bonus.


Imagine if all of us were like that - about everything, from our clothes, to our food, be it by choice or not, as this 1985 ad toys with.


It's one of Bob's all-time advertising faves from that decade. Hey, it's about food, ties to his Eastern bloc heritage, and good old days of the USSR and Iron Curtain. Plus, the ladies remind him of his grandmothers (or Babas).

There was a lot happening on that particular day at the wedding, but the hair still strikes a chord. Decades later, there's no desire to relive that youthful period though, apart from the memories, until Alzheimer's sets in, one gets hit by a bus, or abducted by aliens to make it all irrelevant.

Better to forge new experiences and attend more weddings around the world. As the ad may have foretold with its authoritative delivery and definitive accent, "Is next - rest of life. Very nice."



Subject: London #15 - In the pub (on the piss)
(Posted on Mar 2, 2015 at 12:56PM ) Tags:
Pubs-there certainly seemed to be a LOT of them about in the UK in '89 when Bob first visited the place. At a March '91 wedding, the topic of their number came up in conversation. The lads were standing around for a few hours in The Kings Head in Shepperton, to "take the edge off" before that much more serious church ceremony stuff began on a Saturday afternoon.

Pubs and churches went hand in hand, and were often physically side-by-side--as
close
as possible to marrying the two, short of actually serving alcohol during the
ceremony.
Now that would be awesome.

This physical proximity to pubs wasn't reserved solely for churches; pubs were
everywhere
in this country.

"Some 74,000 or thereabouts per current measure,"Rowland had told me. "Factor in
another
35,000 on-license locations between restaurants, private clubs, other residential,
and the
off-licenses, and there is no shortage, my boy."

You could be anywhere, doing anything, and if you fancied a pint, a short walk or drive in
any direction would lead to a place to wet your whistle.

Pubs are friendly places, where even complete strangers can have a deep and meaningful conversation on just about any topic. This classic Monty Python sketch originally aired in 1969 (when Bob was not yet even in kindergarten) ably demonstrates that.


Yo, that's the way British humo(u)r rolled back then. The Two Ronnies take another run at things in the pub with their approach to getting pleasantly pissed.


And what cultural pub overview would be complete without a little "mixing it up a la Hale and Pace.


In all fairness to the ladies, we must give them a say about the pub, drinking, and what their guys may be up to, especially when the girls may have other things in mind ... nudge nudge wink wink, know what I mean? Here's the Loose Women crew having a natter on the matter, even though it takes them a few minutes to make their points.


Say no more! Remember ladies, even if you're not from Purley and haven't been around, menfolk are simple, and not mind readers. Best to always give them a heads up on things, especially as a relationship / marriage (d)evolves over time.

So, back to the numbers and related things about pubs. The count quoted above re watering holes matches up with this source here, but seems to be significantly different from this source here and echoed here. Well, you can chalk that up to being the nature of statistics many a time someone always has a different way to count stuff of note. Dig deeper on your own if you feel the burning desire to demystify that.

Anyway, bottom line, it's always better when one need not stray far for a glass of liquid cheer. With all the pubs out there, it seems many names get used repeatedly per this piece. Regarding the specific pub on that particular wedding day, it is but one of 240 with that name. There may not be a lot of creativity at play. The Red Lion takes top spot with 518 places electing to name their establishment with that. But there are still a few examples of imaginative names with the likes of The Pyrotechnists Arms, The Cat & Custard Pot, and The Legend of Oily Johnnies, among others, as this piece highlights.

The number of UK pubs has actually been in a slow and steady decline the last decades, as pointed out here and here, for a few reasons. Other options for drinking are present now with bars and clubs, consumption patterns are changing, and lots of supermarkets are selling too, so one can drink at home more easily than ever before. Historically, there's a long and deeply ingrained culture at play, going back to a time when drinking water may not have been so clean, so beer was a better, safer option one simply had to go where that was to stay hydrated. Some of the history and background can be dug up here and here.

Despite the modern day decline, there are still plenty about today if you need to get your drink on. If you've never been to a real authentic pub, how does one explain the differences between pub and bar cultures? Two pieces here and here expand on that. The best way to sort it is experiencing it firsthand if you can.

With this talk about pubs and drinking, is it all a bit too much, and is there a problem? Australian comedian Jim Jefferies may have the answer, with his focused and artful spin on drinking, and subtle comparison between the UK and US.


We won't bother to dig further on comparisons with other pub cultures such as Ireland and Australia--let's save that for another drink and time. However, Bob couldn't resist pulling up an Oirish gem (from some refreshment oasis, no doubt) that wisely tells folks not to worry about most matters in life. It adheres to the KISS principle.


Whether or not hanging around the pub fits with your own personal socializing style and/or life-knowledge gathering modus operandi, as some single-guy, occasional wedding guest and part-time typist, Bob has gleaned the following kernel of wisdom, as this pub signboard below points out. More similarly insightful and informative pub signs can be seen here.


This be TRUTH and deffo, is stuff they ain't teaching your sorry ass in skool [sic]--maybe sumpin' best mulled in situ in some "appropriate" spot with our culturally- and world-aware Aussie mate, Jim from above, and those of similar ilk.


If you're lucky, the opportunity to experience this may be there just as it was for Bob, traveling the world for weddings. Or just read about it all in his book.