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****Enjoyed it immensely 
 
Review by Ian Gordon Malcomson | Amazon Hall of Fame / Top 50 Reviewer

Sorry, Bob, for taking so long to read this terrific novel. It does everything I expect in a novel and more:

- one, this explosively quixotic and elaborate tale of globe-trotting Bob Bo's strange compulsion to travel the world in search of weddings to attend has my attention;

- two, while on this global circuit in various capacities, our hero enters into a myriad of conversations about the state of culture, economy, politics, and history;

- and three, each experience contributes to a clearer understanding of what both brings people together and pulls them apart.

Weddings are one of the important social mediums by which ideas are exchanged, issues are hashed over, illusions and fallacies perpetuated, and friendships made and shattered. Might it be said that the convention of a good wedding, with all its rising expectation, glitter, and celebration, imitates life in interesting and cautionary ways: rising hopes, nagging worries, mercurial emotions, intensive views, and creative expressions. I see this book as a clever and fun-loving parody of all that modern weddings have come to mean to the human race.

As Bob Bo has discovered in his global jaunt, weddings are all about the individual needs of the guests and not the matrimonial prospects of the happy couple. To make that point, the author quickly sums up the feelings of the bride and groom in a tersely worded e-mail as a convenient prologue to the main story: the re-enactment of life and all its comic wonders for the umpteenth time.

Rating: 5 / 5 *

Original Posting: Ian Gordon Malcomson | August 31, 2015 | Source Link: Amazon.ca
A fun and engaging summer read ...

... to which most confirmed bachelors can probably relate. (Although I've long since given up my own bachelorhood, I found myself smiling and nodding in recognition at many of its wry observations.) Each chapter is self-contained so it's the kind of book you can put down for a while then pick up again days or weeks later without having to go back and re-read previous chapters to get caught up again.

Rating: 4 / 5 *

Original Posting: Trevor | June 15, 2015 | Source Link: Amazon.CA
Subject: Santiago #30 - Pisco Potation Punch-Up
(Posted on Feb 7, 2015 at 11:21AM ) Tags:
So, Bob finds himself  at a wedding In Santiago just before Christmas 1996, and one of the reception hour beverages being plied is that classic cocktail, the Pisco Sour. It’s pushed proudly as being Chilean in origin, when out of the crowd, some cat jumps out to have a say on that  matter.

“Actually, there is some debate on this matter of the pisco sour and where
it comes from,” said a dark-haired fellow with black-rimmed glasses in a
blue suit beside us. “I don’t mean to curtail your enjoyment, so please excuse
me, but Peru believes it is the originator of the cocktail.”

Antonio Díaz Villamil introduced himself. Bolivian, he lived here in Santiago, and
was a friend of the Glüschitz family. “Both Peru and Chile consider it their national
drink and there are two competing tales of its origin.”

The Peruvian story behind the cocktail was that it was invented in Lima by a
Salt Lake City expat, Victor “Gringo” Morris, in the early 1920s at the bar he
ran called Morris’ Bar. The cocktail was essentially an alternative to the whiskey
sour. The challenging Chilean version of the tale attributed the concoction to an
Englishman, Elliott Stubb, a ship steward  who disembarked at the port of Iquique
in 1872 to open a bar where he supposedly unveiled the drink.

So what’s up with all that, and who’s right? There is some debate between Chile and Peru about the origin of the drink; both countries have their own version and claim ownership rights, it can even be a source of friction between the two nations as explained some more here. Wars have probably been started for less. Another little thing to note and factor into all of this, is that back in 1872, Iquique was actually part of Peru at the time, and after the War of the Pacific in 1879, it became part of Chile. 

The history of the base alcoholic spirit, pisco, dates from 16th century Spain and more details can be found here.
There’s a lot more on the drink’s dueling origins here, as well as some differences in the ingredients and preparation therein. And if limes may not be around on some occasions, folks substitute in lemon instead. Reminds one of that whole gin and tonic lemon versus lime debate which got covered here.

No matter whether you want to make the cocktail the Chilean or Peruvian way, you may also elect to try it a la  Anna Kendrick style. There is deffo some “different” ad-lib recipe action going down.


Unless our gal was confused and thinking salad dressing with the yolk, she was probably just having some fun on porpoise [sic]. Either that or trying to be some pisco sour experimentalist cum crazy cocktail scientist. Go on and get creative with your own version. 
 


Here’s another take on it from our outgoing bubbly bartender cum mixmaster of the moment, courtesy of Tipsy Bartender. Note their tagline philosophy of "Shake it and keep it sexy!"


Note she uses lemons, and says that Pisco is from Peru—but hey, we know it also comes from Chile. Oh well—we’ll let that slide. It's all kinda like the stuff they tell you on the news and getting the real truth on what's going down out there in the world. You gotta go and dig for the real deal yourself from multiple sources, and ones that are out of the mainstream media. 

Bob’s seen a bunch of different variations as regards the ingredient quantities as well, so you may want to fiddle around a bit if you try making this puppy at home. Here are two variations alone. Maybe more booze per serving is better. I mean, it 's not like you ever really typically see a recommended serving size on a bottle label of any spirit out there generally, right? 


On another note, Chile produces WAY more of the base spirit than Peru does, almost 14x according to 2013 figures, but it’s made a little differently. Peru seemingly goes to a little extra trouble to manufacture it in smaller artisanal batches and classify it a little more painstakingly by denomination, quality and strength as well.


There’s even a National Pisco Sour Day in Peru (or Día Nacional del Pisco Sour), held on the first Saturday of February since 2007 per this current Forbes piece, and as this ad below from a few years ago plugs.


Uhhmm, yeah, that happens to be today actually. by pure coink-e-dink. Naturally! One would never time the writing of this post so as to tee up with this annual cocktail celebration. Regardless, it’s a damn good excuse to take down one or two of these puppies.

And just when you think the origin battle was solved, something like this creeps into the mix, and introduces some added doubt and mystery, as seen below, and elaborated on in more detail here and here about the origins going back to at least 1903 in a regional cookbook. 



Despite what the evidence may show, and whichever side you want to pick, Adal Ramones, Mexican television show host and comedian, found some politcal pisco punch here, as linked to the 2009 Chile-Peru espionage scandal:

“What do the Chileans want to spy from Peru?
How to make a good Pisco Sour?” 

Will we ever know the cocltail's real origins?  Maybe not.  And which version is better? It seems many prefer the Peruvian version to its Chilean counterpart.  Best you decide for yourself. This piece navigates the middle ground, basically saying both are different. Our globe-gallavanting guy, Anthony Bourdain, throws out his two cents on the Chilean variant in a 2009 episode (5 - 11 to be exact) from his No Reservations series. Caveat potator, as one may say in Latin.


Back in 1996 at the wedding, a younger Bob was just some happy-camper, single wedding guest, going with the flow, open to learning more about the matter and the country's history, and drinking in the scene. 
 



 
Subject: Los Angeles #70 - BFF Neighbo(u)rs
(Posted on Jan 15, 2015 at 08:41PM ) Tags:
You’re at some wedding in Greater LA just after the Blackout of 2003 took out a big chunk of the Northeast on both sides of the border, when the following comes up in conversation about supposed neighboring BFF countries, Canuckistan and Amerika.
 

“Canada is America's invisible, steady, safe-sex partner. The Beaver's only too happy
to just bend over and take it like any good bum buddy. One day, we’ll just take the
place over,” said Jock.

“That won’t happen,” said Wade.

“It’s not imaginable at this very moment, but go back almost 200 years. We attacked 
and invaded Canada in 1812. Then, in the 1930s, there was an attack plot—War Plan
Red,” said Jock.

“OK, I’ll give you that. Canuckistan even had its own cockamamie preemptive plot to
invade south before that, in the 20s—Defence Scheme No. 1.”

“You never know how quickly close friends can become enemies, or vice versa,” said Lamont.

“Betcha there’s still some super-secret-squirrel crank Yank plan in the works under the
guise of liberating Canada one day from its socialist left-wing tyranny—for water and
oil. But,” said Wade, “that’s another topic altogether.”

“We’d still graciously let you keep all the hockey rinks, polar bears, maple syrup, and
McKenzie brother tuques you’d need,” Jock said. “America’s munificence is unbounded.”

So whaddup with all that?

Not only was Canada attacked as mentioned in the War of 1812, there was an earlier invasion in 1775, and the series of Fenian Raids between 1866 – 1871. Okay, so maybe America officially wasn't involved in these last raids, but it appears they looked the other way. Yeah, go figure like that tactic of tacit approval ain’t never been used since by nobody.

The skinny on War Plan Red and Defence Scheme No. 1 are in the links and are also summarized below. 



Canada has, like, stuff, and shit, as this informative website lays out. Another interesting but much more serious spin on the topic, both historically, and with a modern day slant, can be found here



The pretense of war could all shake out just like this in Canadian BaconIt doesn't take much to start a war, and today, most folks seem to believe what they see and hear on TV about world events unfolding as depicted and being accurate. 


Or maybe it will go down as it did in South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncutit all started from that fine flick the kids saw, Asses of Fire, as previously covered in a blog post here (see Step 2), Next, the kids' behavior gets modified, Kyle's Mom goes apeshit, scapegoats are created, and war breaks out easy breezy before you can say "Bob's your uncle."


That’s when the propaganda machine revs into overdrive and feeds the masses pulp to fan the flames of patriotism and doing the right thing.
 

Bob’s basic premise is that if invasion plans like that existed historically, they certainly exist now. They could now be camouflaged under different guises of economic harmonization, secure perimeter integration and other stuff like, uhm, say protecting against the coming zombie apocalypse as elaborated on below in Canada's Parliamentary House of Commons. Bob be only bringing your ass the important stuff. 
 

Or maybe it will be about the ever au courant, contriived and poorly named War on Terror, really about a state of mind when you think about it. Everything’s relative, depending on your perspective.
 

But if shit shakes out either way down the road, here are some great ideas for a new flag, depending on how the "union" goes.



But really, some others at higher levels are really looking to have things all end up like this below, as taken from that classic 1964 Kubrick masterpiece, Dr. Strangelove. Bob digs this scene, as our man Slim Pickens, playing the role of Major T.J. “King” Kong, rides it out to the end  and goes out with a bang. Yee haw! He shares the same birthday as Bob too, so what’s not to like.


And like all great fairy tales (as with marriage, perhaps, some of the time), there is the stereotypical Happily Ever After, or HEA, as it is labeled  in all them romance novels. Hey, just like in Dr. Strangelove and its full title, learn to stop worrying and love the bomb.  Relax. 


Then there's the momentary happiness when you’re just some guest taking in the scene as two folks walk down the aisle together, the ceremony is finally over, and you're anticipating the start of the reception N.B. This be where the food, drink, music and fun is at.

This is the kind of stuff going down in Wedding Chronicles. In this particular chapter, single simpleton gets caught up in discussion about Canada and USA before Japan-meets-Canada ceremony with his friends at sea, and everything "goes to hell in a handbasket" thereafter.



Sometimes in life, you have these encounters that affect you profoundly—things to be remembered forever. One such one for Bob was way back in the day when he was a teenager and got a very unique and powerful spin on long-term marriage from some life-wi(s/z)ened, gray-haired, French Canadian cat called Lulu he worked with. When hardcore life experience got dished out by him, you know it was real—the kind of stuff you could never make up yourself unless you’ve been through it. To this day, it gives Bob something to think about. But before we get to that nugget of conciousness, let's lay out some basic groundwork in preparation thereof. 

There’s generally a lot of stuff out there on the topic of marriage and how it needs to be done and managed over time as the years and decades go by together in harmony and happiness. Righto. 


Gary Busey had a thought on it. He was married the first time for about 22 years, 4 years the second time, and probably had a few other relationships to form the basis of his wisdom on this topic.

Now, by pure coink-e-dink, Bob has the same birthday as our marriage-opining actor. Whether or not you believe this is a good thing re shared birthday, and any personality comparison therein, just keep in mind that Gary was out riding his Harley without a helmet back in December 1988, when he hit his head real hard on the curb after being thrown off his machine. D’oh! More details on that serious mishap here and here. Unfortunately, things weren’t the same for him thereafter. It wasn’t long after that he got divorced in 1990. So maybe one wonders if he started to see marriage in a completely different light after all those years, or the accident introduced some clarity on the matter.

One all-important element in the vast majority of long-term marriages that keeps cropping up is one of Kom-mUn-E-Kay-shun [sic] and (starting to try) understanding your significant other.


N.B. Before reading any / all below, be aware Bob did some digging online for equally-dishing stuff from the ladies as regards their men in marriage, but, alas, after a few hours of watching / listening, the stuff he found was either NOT funny, WAY too long and ramblng (like, Hello?!), or was just not edited right at others' hands ... so he just moved on. Ping his ass, and he can send you what he found to prove his point. 

Jeff Allen has some good advice in this area. This is very important to your wife, so pay attention, fellas. 


If this area of focus is a problem for some of the guys out there, there is a "pharma" fix to help quickly boost personal capability in this department.



If popping pills isn’t your thing, there is always the high technology approach to save the day. Plus, this second solution works both ways to help your wife also understand what's being said by you in her direction. 


Another facet in the mix over time is that married life kinda falls into a routine, especially once the kiddies arrive to change the playing field up even more. 


This long-time married cat, Walter (The Old Grumpy Man), has it down pat as well, just like Lulu did. He is steered ably at the hands (and mouth) of Jeff Dunham.



Tim Hawkins, Bob Smiley, and John Branyan have a go on a few of the little things one learns along the way. A few snippets from their 2011 Rock Show Comedy Tour are below. 


Okay, so much for the niceties and polite posturing. It's time to break out one of the Big Gunz of Comedy on this matter. No holds barred with our main man shootin' it straight. 


So ... after all those other menfolks’ slant on things, Lulu’s take was still “out there” and highly unique, as sucked up, verbatim, right out of the book. He was able to sum it up in a simple  and short sentence. 

[BNB] “So, tell me,” I asked, “what’s it like being married 42 years to the same woman?”

No doubt herein lay some esoteric knowledge or a profound kernel of wisdom. I turned to face him and drink it all in. I was eager for a revelation about such a revered institution.

[Lulu] “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, you know,” he said, not skipping a beat, “same old hole …” and, shrugging his shoulders, “… same old hair.” He turned, half-smiled, and grunted, “Back to work, you
maudit anglais cocksucker!”

FYI, "maudit anglais" translated from French equates to "damn" or "bloody" and "English."

No matter how many weddings Bob went to thereafter, that encounter from a summer day back in 1983 was always on his mind in the background—something to make him think about shite. Occasionally, a few well-chosen words go a long way. Stuff runs deep.

You can make of all this whatever you want, but forewarned is forearmed, the omniscient "they" always like to say. 





Bob ain't being cynical about this topic. He's just looking at, processing, and spewing out, in unbiased fashion of course (just as the media does with the news), what other folks be saying about marriage after many years in the trenches with their significant other(s), as the case may be.

His ass has been lucky enough to hit a few weddings all over the world as some single guy, have a little fun along the way, and then observe what unfolds thereafter. And you can read about it all, plus  a whole lot more about what goes on out there in the world, in this book. 

 
 
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: Mustique #47 - Deconstructing that preposterous 'p' perversion
(Posted on Nov 15, 2014 at 01:52PM ) Tags:
You’re on vacation on a luxe tropical island, and it’s midmorning on your sister’s wedding day when one of your British cohort offers up a local St. Vincent Hairoun lager to get the day going after breakfast. 


Hey, it’s always night time somewhere, and that’s the way this lot rolled, especially Paine “Pongo” Lytton-Renworth. So you just go with the flow.

[PPLR] “In your case, this should act as prescient parallel post-party palliative and preemptive pre-party potation.”

[BNB] “That’s a plethora of p-p-ps, Pongo. Ten. Well done.”

[PPLR] “I take pains to perform and please.”

[BNB] “But not as many as in, say, uhm, uhhh…Peter Pocklington picked a peck of pickled Popocatapetl peppers with a passel of partisan professional paella peddlers from Pontevedra province peripheral to Portugal.”

[PPLR] “Good heavens. What preposterous p profligacy.”

So just what was Bob's crazy-ass parade of 'p' words all about? The basic building block is that classic tongue twister about Peter Piper, which is included in the Mother Goose collection of rhymes.


Of course Bob, being the eccentric and twisted character he is, had to go jazz that up a bit for adults and take it one step further. So let's look at those elements one at a time. 

First, about that Peter Pocklington cat (we'll abbreviate him as PePo) … if you ain’t a certain age and don’t hail from Canuckistan, you are likely not going to know of our man who used to own the Edmonton Oilers ice hockey team from 1976 to 1998.  


For those not in the sports know, that type of hockey is kinda different from that other hockey some folks play with a curvy stick on grass or artificial turf. Per below, you decide which one is better; not that Bob has any personal preference or bias at all. It's kinda just like how the mainstream media reports the news. 




Now, back to PePo, who was perhaps most (in)famous for signing Wayne Gretzky to the team in 1978 and then later trading his ass to Los Angeles in 1988. Hey, shit happens in pro sports, and that’s the way the ball bounces or puck passes. It’s about da bidni$$, Bobbolin(o/a), and maximizing value on a “depreciating asset.” Get over it.  Local folks in Edmonton at the time of the trade wuz real pissed though.


They sometimes also used to call our PePo guy Peter Puck (and Peter Puke for a bit post trade), but he sure as shit wasn’t the original NHL Peter Puck that Bob remembers as a kid.

Note that in those good old daze, folks playing the game mostly didn’t wear helmets either, and they only became mandatory in 1979. Back in that period, even wearing car seatbelts wasn’t yet legislated either.

Popocatapetl? That’s the active Mexican volcano, most properly spelled with the accent included as Popocatépetl, for those that need to be (anally) accurate.


This video below from 2013 shows a UFO ducking down into the active volcano. Perhaps they were looking for our guy PePo and them pepper pickers cum paella peddlers.


Passel is just some fancypants word for pack, as in a large group of an indeterminate number of people. How big? Who knows … and who cares really. It was all about the 'p' sound stuff anyway at the time. Maybe that and Bob wanting to mess with Pongo's head a bit.

Then we had the bit about the paella, that famous Spanish dish with a long history, and some folks who were selling the stuff in a certain part of Spain. Yo, check out these big-ass paella pans being used. 



 
Pontevedra is both a Spanish city and a province. It’s the province that touches Portugual per this map below.


Note that Pontevedra makes way more sense in the whole tongue twister equation, than, erhm, say other provincial places in the world like Perugia or Pampanga. Hey, it’s entirely plausible that if you wanted special peppers to put in your paella, be they pickled or not, you would do as these folks did, even if you had to go a very long way away to get them, and then bring them back to Spain for the preparation and subsequent peddling in province.

And as for our guy PePo being there at the volcano, maybe he was still in hiding after the whole Gretzy trade debacle and his other follow-on business activities that may not have worked out exactly the way he intended.

Bob always strives to bring you things of consequence in our world, even if he's just some single stumblebum attending weddings around the world, and randomly spewing stuff out on the fly. Bob's take on Peter Piper still isn't as good as the Run-D.M.C. rap take on it and other nursery rhymes from 1986. 




Subject: Singapore #77 - Kicking 'round the Kaaba
(Posted on Oct 4, 2014 at 01:20PM ) Tags:
So what gives with that Kaaba reference and analogy toward the end of that chapter, when Bob and a couple of the lads were decompressing at the end of the night after they left the wedding. They were having drinks and chatting to a posse of females inside the ever-interesting Orchard Towers with its famed nightlife that was otherwise covered in this other post.

Girls, smelling money, gathered like the slow counterclockwise-circling pilgrim swarm around the Kaaba in Mecca during Hajj.

Bob was thinking in that general sense of Islam, as Ramadan was full on during that October 2004 wedding trip to Singapore, and the locals of that faith were adhering to that month-long practice. Note that Ramadan and the Hajj do not coincide, but Hajj does coincide this year with Yom Kippur, for the first time in three decades. Bob just figured to cover it off today, since it is Eid al-Adha, after all. Call it coink-e-dink if you prefer.

The Kaaba (or Ka’aba) is the cuboid building and most sacred site inside the most sacred mosque in Mecca, the Masjid al-Haram. The book's tie to the circling swarm can be seen in reality below.



The circling is called Tawaf, and is always done in counter-clockwise fashion. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that busy in the bar … Bob was just using a little hyperbole and artistic license to make his point. Here’s a 3D animation of the inside and some more background information here for those really curious about the structure.



This video explains the rites of Hajj in six minutes for some added depth. Seems like things are all mapped out for folks on the pilgrimage.


This great VICE documentary really gives one some good perspective on what the scene is really like during the Hajj. Makes the logisitics behind Burning Man seem like child’s play in comparison.


A pretty crowded scene, and I imagine it is tough to actually be allowed to get inside the Kaaba these days, unless you are some VIP cum special guest. In case you are wondering what the inside is like in reality, the answer lies here in this clandestine video that does us all a favor. 


It makes me wonder what this guy’s treatment would have been if he had been caught filming. Most fulfilling their pilgrimage will never get to see the inside of the place. It looks like a tough ticket to get, especially if one is non-Muslim, since only Muslims are allowed inside Mecca, unless one sneaks in somehow. I’m sure that has been done before.

There was a bit of brouhaha earlier this year, as recounted here, when a local cop on duty took a decidedly more relaxed pose on the shrine, and placing the sole of his shoe against it. He looks pretty weary, and probably just needed a rest. However, it certainly wasn't interpreted that way, per this longstanding gesture in the Arab world and what it means as discussed here.


There was a temporary outcry back in 2006 when Apple unveiled its iconic Fifth Avenue store in NYC. Perhaps just another coink-e-dink in the world, as opposed to some porpoiseful [sic] ploy on the wrapping during construction. You can be the judge of that, based on these photos before and after, as compared to the shrine.




Anyway, this whole Kaaba analogy was just a throwaway late night comment by some wedding traveler in a bar with his friends for those that might pick up on the reference. So now you know what's behind it and the link to girls and money. 



Subject: Hawaii #54 - When lads look for lingerie
(Posted on Sep 21, 2014 at 10:28PM ) Tags:
So you’re out shopping to get your gal some fine underwear or lingerie, and what to do and how to go about it all? If you’ve never gone down that road before, don't despair. It’s really not all that complicated or intimidating.

First, you just better know her size, up top, and down below. That’s VERY important. Some referenced pieces below suggest a strategy there if you need some help. Next, we'll deal with the two basic building blocks for most situations. 

There are many types of bras for up top, and here's a basic array of the styles out there to choose from.
Then for the panties down below, you also want to know the general cut and style preferred, as explained here in words, and seen below. Looking at this matrix from top to bottom, I hear some guys going "Meh…" on Row 1, "Getting a little more interesting” on Row 2, and “Now we talkin'!on Row 3.
Here’s a little video advice to get started, as espoused by a few of the ladies. 



Here are two better, more detailed and helpful written pieces on getting started in this whole area, here and here. There’s generally a ton of information and guidance out there if you want to dig some more.

But the real golden nugget of knowledge here lies with what all of the above or anyone else AIN’T gonna tell you.

That’s where Bob dishes it out to Jock Finn, late at night at a fancy Hawaiian reception, after the lads have some underwear on the brain, as it were. It will deffo win a guy a major future hall pass and/or brownie points from the lady in his life. Unless, like, uhm, he got several on the go. But hey, that angle be for another time, and another chapter in the book, with other characters and discussions. For each and every one he does buy lingerie for though, this tip still applies.

As Bobby Bo discussed with Jock Finn, one important secret sisterhood tip the ladies ain’t usually sharing on lingerie purchasing is this below. As a guy, you need to know. This is deep insight destined for application in the trenches of mandom.

[BNB] “When you’re buying lingerie for your honey, buy a double set of
matching lowers to go with every bra up top.”

[JF] “Why?”

[BNB] “On account of they can wear the top a few times no problem, but
down below, being a bit more squishy squashy and all, they tend to change
the bottoms out more frequently. With two bottoms, the overall set lasts
longer between laundering than with just the one.”


[JF] “You know, that is a good one. As a guy, damned if I’d ever think of that
myself.”

That’s a top tip if ever for the guys out there when it comes to buying this stuff, but may on occasion need to be tempered with the actual retail experience. 

[BNB] "The only practical issue I’ve encountered on occasion is with the salesgirl
in the store; 
sometimes you need to wrassle for that second pair of bottoms. They
tend to not like 
breaking up matching sets and being stuck with a bunch of extra
tops …. 
One way around it—buy a thong, a full-seat jobbie, or a cheeky, along with
the bra. 
It seems to be far less of an issue. But then your honey has to be into those
as opposed 
to just the thong."
 
There's quite a bit more to their actual exchange in the chapter. Bring Bob a problem, and he brings your ass (or her's, perspective dependent) a solution. He ain’t just some single guy hitting weddings around the world. There be a ton of deeper matters delved into about how our big bad world out there works in the shadows. You ain’t gonna be seeing this stuff on TV, learning it in school, or even dropped in some women’s advice column either.

One of your bigger decisions in this purchase process is how much "jingle jangle from Juan’s bol$illo" you want to be  plunking out here, cuz, like, you can drop a lotta dinero on this stuff, depending on your budget, taste, and lust factor at play in the moment, stage or state of the relationship.

And like with anything you do in life, including buying your gal some lingerie, there's a need to pay a little attention to detail, yet not lose focus of the big picture and surroundings, as this fine European ad demonstrates.


Further, when you’re that dude venturing into a lingerie shop somewhere, stay sharp as well, lest you get taken advantage of by some casual chikita banana shopper or salesgirl looking to have some fun at your expense. D'oh, Homer!


Last, this compilation can also be used for even more ideas and style inspiration on the matter if one needs to dig even deeper. 


Now, for the other side of the coin, what about the fellas and their underwear selection stuff? Quick like a bunny, it’s way simpler, as main man rapper MF Doom throws out here on his "Space Ho's" collaboration with Danger Mouse, where they are collectively known as Danger Doom


Note the strategic silence in the lyric line above is paying a bit of homage to Notorious B.I.G. in "Unbelievable," where he raps, ”Wear boxers so my dick can breathe.”

So, ladies, between MF Doom and Biggie, with a little help from Judy Jetson, all y’all got your answer on shopping for your guy down below. Maybe, sorta, kinda ... sometimes.


But you may otherwise find the book way more insightful and entertaining, especially as it comes to some guy's global observations and spin on weddings, marriage, and relationships.



In keeping with the name game practice of hidden meanings and/or famous references sprinkled throughout the book, some of the characters in this beachside wedding chapter down Mexico way circa winter 1996 fall into ths category. 

There was a porpoiseful [sic] musical theme going on with the names of Bob's former classmates that attended from Europe, whether they be Dutch, Norwegian, Cuban or Spanish by origin. They were all lumped together in a single sentence in gang-of-five fashion.

There was Anouk ter Eeuw, Dutch, here on vacation with a female friend of hers,
Norwegian Morten Furuholmen, his Cuban wife Ana Cristina, and from Barcelona,
Jaume Sisa, with his wife Malú, which was short for María Lucía.

 
Here’s the deal on all of the names and references therein. 

1) Anouk ter Eeuw was a play on Dutch singer Anouk (Teeuwe). She's probably best remembered for 1997's "Nobody’s Wife" and picked no doubt for the marital theme there, and perhaps the blonde hair in common with Birgitta Henriksen at the time.


Her surname, ter Eeuw, translates from Dutch meaning "for centuries" and sums up how long Bob felt the two-week vacation and wedding trip had seemingly dragged on for with girlfriend Birgitta at the time. 

2) Morten Furuholmen and Norway are the clues for the take on A-ha from back in 1985, and their biggest hit "Take on Me". This was a combination of the names of two of its three members, Morten Harket (vocals) and Magne Furuholmen (keyboards). Hey, bad on Bob for not working in third member Pål Waaktaar (guitarist), but hey, Paul had a few variants on his name it seems, so it was kept simple.


3) Ana Cristina borrows the name of current day singer-songwriter of Cuban descent, Ana Cristina (Álvarez). But in 1996, our real-life, yet-to-be entertainer was not even 11 years old at the time of the wedding, so Bob just time-traveled her name back as needed. Yo, artistic license allows for this kind of crap anyhoo. It's Bob's book, and he can do whatever he wants.


4) Jaume Sisa and Malú (María Lucía), the couple from Barcelona, were named after the two Spanish singers. Our guy definitely has his own style, and defines himself as "Galactic." Makes one wonder if any alien abduction stuff is at play here. Her style is a little more conventional, and she's the niece of Paco De Lucía, the renowned guitarist, and daughter of the flamenco singer, Pepe De Lucía. There be a whole lot of music going on in that family. 
 

In aggregate, Bob was going with names that fit with the countries of origin, and not necessarily that the music by some of these artists, if a little mellow jello at times by some folks' judgment, grooved with his own personal taste. Currently, Bob is more likely to be listening to something more energetic and punchy, or a little Austin Powers shagadelic and groovy, Baby, just like these two tunes.


5) Last, but not least, for non pop-culture, bookworm types, I threw in a solitary literary reference in this chapter with Juan Rulfo, who was named after the Mexican author (1917 – 1986), screenwriter and photographer of note. His character in the book is the Mexican friend of the bride's family, who worked as an economist in Phoenix. He was the guy mixing up the micheladas that afternoon and pouring out the fine tequila later in the evening.


Sometimes you go with fame, and sometimes you go with a name that just sounds really kool. From the sporting world, in this latter category, the likes of Coco Crisp, Dick Trickle, Fabián Assmann and I.M. Hipp spring to mind and provide for inspiration there. With names like that, it makes one wonder if they actually "are" and/or "do" when met live in-person. 



Bob is saving a few of these neater sounding (but completely fabricated) names for the next two instalments in the trilogy. Here’s a prime tandem example to come: 

 Jack Goff and Holden Hiscock—they were the best of friends.
 
There’s also gonna be some cat called Chris Peacock and a “chikita banana” named  Selena Goodhead. As regards the banana angle in that expression, it was covered off in detail here recently. 

Hey, don’t look at Bob that way regarding all this movie-based naming innuendo! It’s all in keeping with tradition and the likes of Alotta Fagina from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), on down to Dr. Holly Goodhead from Moonraker (1979) and even further back to Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964).


One would need to do some much deeper research to see if this goes back even earlier than the start of the first Bond flick, Dr. No (1962), or predating Ian Fleming's original book series.

My all-time favorite with this naming convention comes from the same Fagina bin, in this scene from Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), with Austin going Japanese (in stereo to boot, for added aural fidelity) with them sassy twins Fook Mi and Fook Yu. There's so much more to this scene between the dialogue, body language / physicality, visuals and even Austin's ten-deep bucket list, the details of which are listed here if one is so-ever curious and discerning to dig deep on them there devilish details. 


There’s alotta good material to play with here, and so little time.

So sayeth Bob N. Boguslavski, some single guy meeting all kinds of interesting people at weddings around the planet. With a name like his, makes you wonder if it’s real. But then all you have to do is compare his name to some of those last ones above, and you ain’t gonna be spinning many cerebral cycles for long.

After all, as stated at the start of the novel, "this is a work of f(r)iction, where fact and fiction rub up against each other, and nobody wants to know it regardless."



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