Vices we love: May 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Wooing her with my chocolate rod*

Millions of men out there want to know 2 things: how do I get her and how do I get her to stay?** Well, I can't help with the first one, but as for the second, think chocolate.

I might have mentioned before that when I was about twelve, I visited New Orleans with my family. We broke up for the day so that we can indulge seperate passions: photos, clothes, photos of women with or without clothes. In search of the latter, I wondered off the beaten path of the French Quarter and found myself in the Ninth Ward. I soon met an elderly homeless man and although my English was about 0 at the time, I surmised that he wanted some cashola. I had a better idea: take the guy to breakfast. Spend two bucks, get some carbs into him and be certain that he won't blow the money on booze. After watching him like a hawk to make sure he ate it all, we shook hands and parted ways. Years later I took the same approach to the homeless in New York City and it worked out fine.

But hold on to your hats kiddies: Food is not just for the homeless anymore- it's also for dating. Examine closely:


This is no ordinary chocolate wafer mind you. Rather it is the beer substitute of the new millenium. The bar scene goes like this: go in, get wasted, pay exorbitantly for it and, using your impaired judgement, pick the skank closest to your depraved heart. Nothing wrong with this but what about those who prefer the agony of diabetes to the misery of liver chirrosis? Now you wouldn't just hand these wafers out willy-nilly would you? Especially in Poland where store shelves lay bare for weeks and expired food is often the main (and only) supermarket attraction. Rather, the technique is to break it down into bite-sized pieces, like so:

my what big mouth you have

Which assures that, much like beer, chocolate won't be wasted in excess. (I once heard of a guy in Seoul who claimed that his limit was two drinks-if no nookie was forthcoming, he would dump her on the spot and move on, a story which neatly encapsulates everything I hate about the bar scene and Korean male expats.) Tiny weapons at the ready, it's time to walk about in your city/town/village/military base/religious commune and actually talk to people. Now I know that actual human interaction while sober is a scary thought, especially to Americans, but you gotta do it.

What is the worst that could happen? Besides her calling the police and getting you arrested for possessing sugar without a permit, a crime punishable by no less than ten years in prison and a fine of $500,000 for every 10 grams found on your person? Nothing really. So relax. (Oh yeah- she could also dump you- rejection never tasted so sweet.)

*-I believe this was the first time I used a subconsciously sexual/racial title on this blog. A true milestone.

**-Okay, lets be honest. Most guys are only interested in the first part.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

From my mouth to Yael's ears

This is not a Jewish blog.
I mean, I am Jewish (in case you didn't know), but there is so much more to me. Outcast. Exile. Tourettes. Lusting. Teaching. Reading. Dancing badly. Being rejected by unseemly women. Never even approaching said women. Swimming. Hiking. Traveling. PCP. Porn. The list just goes on. Also, to make it narrowly focused would inevitably mean excluding people who did not understand/care about these things and I am not keen on exclusion.

But Yael asked in a comment how I feel about what is said to be the attempt at a Jewish revival in Poland. When I came to Krakow on the second day that I was in Poland, I was overwhelmed by two things- the sheer number of Jewish artifacts- paintings of famous Rabbis, pictures of Torah scrolls etc- and the conspicious lack of any Jews whatsoever. In my current town, Gliwice, which used to have 9000 Jews out of a population of 18,000 I am pretty sure that I am one out of 200,000.

My students know every last little thing about me, including my background, and yes that does include granny's ride on the little engine that could. My job is to teach them to communicate spontenously in English and this inevitably involves subjects both good and bad. Just like life. They have never said or done anything anti-Semitic and I do not expect them to. I get along on the strength of my oft-mentioned boozy midget charm, Jew or not.
I also make it a point not to say or imply anything that may make them feel guilty. I do this because I remember the night in the Quebec hostel where, after copious amounts of Warka, an Austrian lad asked where I was from.

"Hungary but I live in New York."
"What about your family?"
"What about them?"
"They Hungarian too?"
"Do they live in America?"
"Some do. Some stayed in Hungary and some are in Israel."
" Jewish?"
"Yes." (You're catching on kid.)
"Oh I'm sorry."
"About the war."

Now, this kid was twenty-two, twenty-three tops. He had nothing to be sorry about. His sole responsibility, which, if he is reading this he should copy down and paste in the band of his Yankees hat is:


That's it. He can't help his grandfather's time, but he can sure help his.

So I take care not to blame or even imply blame. Although I will admit that if I see elderly Polish men and women, I sometimes wonder. Who are they? What happened to them? What did they do? But still. I'm here to function in the community and I can't do that with a ton of baggage. Which is why I'll never live in Germany.

But a Jewish revival? Let's not get carried away here. Jews are part of Polish history and people understand that. But as far as actual living breathing Jews doing Jewy things like davening and kvetching 24/7? can't revive something that has been made extinct. Half of the 6 million Jews who died in the camps were Polish. Those Polish Jews were joined by Polish Catholics, resisters, the disabled, Roma and political enemies like communists so there was plenty of misery to go around. Still, 3 million is 90% or so of the pre-war Jewish population. There is just no way to replace a loss like that. There just isn't.

More stories coming soon

Although it has not yet been decided if my students will get grades, or if they will get credit for the classes or even if we will have classes-such trifling earthly matters are no concern of ours- I am still shifting through the story submissions and they look very promising including a bit which seems, on first hopeful glance to be the most perverted Polglish take on Little Red Riding Hood ever.

A note of thanks to my female students. I'll never lay a hand on you-by never I mean not until July or so- but your stunning presence brings a ray of sunshine to my unstructured and often student-free days. Thanks again.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Action always beats inaction unless you're doing something stupid

My friend, potential enemy and fellow would-be Ghanian Dave decided a while back to create a place for overly educated jaded Westerners to hang out and discuss the general shittiness of the human experience. If you are twisted enough to actually read this thing, I urge you to mosey on over and join. By the way, that sentence wins the prize for worst construction ever.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A harrowing confession

I'm no good at sugar-coating things, so I'll just get right to the point, which is:

I have never smoked pot.

Now, I realize this makes me the only person in the Western Hemisphere under the age of 65 never to have done so. Really.

Our stoner ex-president? Done it.
Your family physician? Prescribed it.
The preacher? Condemned people for doing it. And done it.
The baby? He has the giggles.
Your little girl? She got the munchies again.
The child you'll deliver in two months? Check that sonogram REALLY closely.

Not I however. I say this with not a little amount of shame and feel the need to explain myself.
You see, being the small sickly sort, I realized early on that the only way I will get by in the world is with my brains and boozy insincere charm. As well as my genuine bitterness. Pot was not necessarily going to endanger these qualities, but from what I have seen it does not enhance them either.
My fellow students in high school fell into three categories: Oppressors, oppressed and outcasts. I was an outcast with oppressed tendencies.

The oppressors were the football players, the cheerleaders, the guys who were on a first-name basis with steroids and STD's. Oh how we envied them! We still do of course. We long for them to mock and rule us-hence we elect them to the White House.

The oppressed were the usual suspects: Black kid, Indian kid, cancer kid and anyone caught hanging out with them. Their presence taught legions of healthy white kids that even if they shtupped their cat in the outhouse every night (where do you think "more than one way to skin a cat" comes from?)and had no prospects beyond the local military recruiter, they were still better than other people.

The outcasts were the ones you wanted to oppress but couldn't because they didn't give a shit either way. This drove the oppressors up the wall as new and innovative ways were devised in hopes of garnering some attention and they all failed. I hung out with them but the accent and headgear made for easy oppression.

In hanging out with these kids, I realized that the only way they got through the day was pot. Blissfully stoned, their daily degredations washed away in a sea of artificial bliss and levity. I wanted in on the action. But couldn't, and this conversation illustrates why:

Me: "Yadda yadda yadda ad nauseam."
(25 hour pause)
Pothead: "Huh."
Me: "I said yadda yadda ad nauseam."
(75 day pause.)
Pothead: "Dude. You're way harshing my mellow."

This conversation should tell you five things:
1. I am way to stubborn to be a pothead. To be a pothead means being stubborn about nothing except getting pot.

2. I am so annoying even the potheads wanna beat me up.

3. Pot does not equate brain power.

4. Potheads can't be bothered with faking charm so they're not getting anywhere.

5. I don't get potheads. Or anything/anyone else really.

Which takes us to Silesia. I don't live here on a permanent basis. My chance of doing so is about the same as my chances of moving back to Korea. Maybe less. Which means that in a few weeks, if I manage to get a summer camp job in the UK, I'll be off. If not, I'll sulk and drink warka. Or just sulk.

My students, on the other hand, do live here. And considering the level of education that takes place at my Uni, they ain't going nowhere. Hence, it is understandable that they don't show up for class and when I see them around town, a good percentage of them smell very much like Jamaica Station did in Queens. I don't condone it, to quote a wise angry black midget, but I understand.

I do kids. Really. But remember- I will always be an outcast.
And all the oppressors are snitches for the Man.
And the Man smokes pot just like you. But he can't admit it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The inappropriate graffiti of the day award goes to...

As seen on the wall of a commercial building up the block from me as of May 19th....

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

another gem from the student underground

MS Paint and my students' sudden verbosity have been very good to me. (Not to mention getting a roster of those students so that I can learn their names. Sure comes in handy, as thus far they have gone by such monikers as 'vodka boy' and 'businesswoman'.)
I made this!

This is the story of a man. A naked man. One day the naked man woke up on the park bench. Naked and alone, surrounded by many beer bottles, he felt a green light shine down on him. He was a confused naked man. Soon a little brown dog came up to him and started sniffing the beer bottles around the bench. The naked man sat up, unsure of where he was or what he has done. All that he could remember was that the day before he had gone to teach English at school and when he finished he went to a club to meet a nice girl. He met a lot of nice girls. They wore short skirts and had on pretty dresses.

The man thinks that he went home with one of these nice girls, but he cannot remember. He is all alone now except for the dog and the beer. There is a strange green light in the sky. What could it be? is a UFO! But that is not important. What is important to the man is that he likes beer. He leans down and picks up a beer to look at. The bottle is empty. Green light shines over it. He picks up another bottle. It too is empty and filled with green light. All the bottles are empty! Yet, all shine with green light. The man looks up and yells bad things at the sky and the UFO. Why does he have no clothes? Why does he have no beer? This is so unfair. The man screams at the skies. The screams....he can hear himself scream as he wakes up.
Thank goodness, it was just a dream.

(Please forgive me. Please forgive my students.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The story of the goblin, the goat and the hermaphrodite princess

(As told by the goblin)
An Asiatown illustration
Once upon a time there lived a beautiful Pricess in a lovely castle surrounded by a garden of pretty flowers. It was a beautiful time. However, the Princess, who was a hermaphrodite, suffered from constant diarreha. Such an affliction was brought about by having eaten a poisoned banana given to her by the goblin who guarded the garden, the castle and the princess.

Why would she eat the poisoned banana, especially since the castle had no bathroom, only a window for her to do her business? Well you see, this princess was not very smart and she would eat most anything a man or creature offered. Soon, she was afflicted with diarrehea day and night as she waited to be rescued from the goblin and the castle.

Her rescuer was neither a prince, princess or combination thereof. Rather, it was the zebra who had escaped from the zoo to munch on grass throughout the countryside when he happened upon the garden and goblin. He and the goblin fought ferociously over a patch of dead grass when the zebra knocked him over with his own horns (it was a special kind of zebra straight from Chernobyl.) The creature charged the castle and was soon inside the castle and the princess with whom he or she lived happily ever. Or at least this was the story my class told me when I was a fledgling student teacher in Silesia.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Virtual pals

I find more and more people are tormenting themselves...I mean reading this blog. So it's time to let people know about blogs I read and blogs I should urge people to create so that I can read them. In no particular order:

Dave the wandering Jew - From Israel to Ghana to England, the man takes his trusty pork chops wherever he goes. You want to see rootless? Well do ya? Wait, I define rootless. Never mind.

Peemil the sockless one - This kid is amazing. And by amazing I mean batshit insane. He will climb a tower one day, dressed as a clown.

My favorite porn-loving Asian girl - I find that Asian men generally think of porn and gore as being more or less interchangable. Thankfully this Buddhist Oreo-loving aspiring screenwriter is here to prove you wrong and not a moment too soon.

Green shoed granny - from porn-loving Buddhists to Jewish grannies. That black and white picture is adorable. I can't believe I just said the word adorable. I gotta wash my mouth out with soap.

The original queen of porn and comedy - I only read the entry about giving head but if that's any indication of what's to come, please, please, please resist the advice of the doctors and don't even think about Xanax. That shit kills creativity.

Professor Oleh Girl - Hey there, wanna swap your student-free classes for mine? Or do your students actually show up? They do? Then phooey, I'm staying right here.

Ari and Zev get ANGRY - Finally, guys who don't need a lot of booze to get into a good barfight. Praise ________!

Ad hominem in action - Ahhh the "ooogh me good...oooogh you bad" politics of taking the lowest common denominator and dividing it by two- now in blog form.

Pedantic doesn't begin to cover it bub -There are bad people in the world. You're gonna save the world from the bad people. I'm gonna move to Poland and try to learn how to become bad for the sake of self-preservation. And so it goes.

The wiki is awesome - The Wikipedia is the greatest thing ever. Wanna know which Congressman exposed himself in front of the Iwo Jima memorial? Play a computer game based on Chernobyl? Learn about the so-called Statue of Responsibility which will never, ever get built? Wiki it dude.

Hungarian wikipedia-Nerds in Paradise II - I'm a geek in two languages.

The Daily Dish of porn, politics and palinka - What is palinka? It's the most awful thing ever concoted, kimchi and soju excepted. I assume that porn and politics require no explanation as they are pretty much the same thing.

People who really should blog:

The kid in my class who used the following sterling example about if-then conditionals: "I I met the president (of Poland) I would kill him." Attaboy.

The president(s) of Poland: Twin brothers, child actors, destitute farmers and accidental leaders. A vision of post-Communist kleptocracy in action.

The Indian dude in Iatewon who had two wives and was constantly searching for #3 and #4. Anyone want to land him a hand?

The night clerk at the 24 hour market by the university: The fascinating variety of homeless folks, drunks, half-naked students and macho closeted homosexuals walking their pitbulls would be a great read.

The girls at the local disco: On second thought, please don't. Blogger has enough problems without pages of "You handsome man? Rich? Buy me warka (beer)? Come on motherfucker buy me warka!"

And so much more....

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This is gonna hurt you for the rest of your life

U.S Presidents 1980-2040:

1980 - 1988: George W.H. Bush is Vice President

1988: George H.W. Bush becomes President

1992: George H.W. Bush vs. Bill Clinton

2000: Clinton's boy, Gore vs. George H.W. Bush's boy, George W. Bush

2008: George W. Bush's bro, Jeb Bush vs. Clinton's wife, Hillary

2012: Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton

2016: Jeb Bush finally takes back the White House for the Bush family

2020: Jeb Bush wins second term

2024: Constitutional Amendment allows Bill Clinton who is 78 years old to run and win his third term as president

2028: Bill Clinton loses re-election to hotshot Senator George P. Bush, son of Jeb Bush and a half-latino who wins 59% of the votes, most of which come from the majority of Americans who are themselves latino

2032: George P. Bush wins second term and dubbed the latino JFK

2036: George P. Bush wins third term in office thanks to the constitutional amendment passed in favor of Bill Clinton in 2024

Bloviating for a living

As I mentioned before, one of my recurring dreams is to be tucked away on some tropical island, fruit smoothie in hand, watching the procession of bikin-clad ladies pass by while writing sundry inanities on my laptop and, with the click of the send button, go from beach bum to respected writer. To that end I registered at Direct Freelance in January, not long after finishing my first set of classes here. For the past four months I have been bombarded with the deceitful, the insane, the dreamer and the halfwit all of whom want something-usually not sure what exactly-for nothing. But today, yes today, a day that shall live in famy (hah!) I actually completed a project with them AND got paid for it. Maybe it is time to open up a quasi-professional website like and take my act world-wide. Whoo and hoo.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Worth the wait

First, a resolution: I will not mention the fact that my work-study gig is going down the tubes due to incompetence and that the Masters program, my whole reason for being in pierogi country, is not looking all that secure either. Nor will I mention that it is academically a pretty solid program and if you are so inclined you can give them a shout at I will not say that they have five spots available for June and that from an academic/career perspective it is a definitely worthwhile gig, especially if you choose the commuter option. I will not say any of that.

So what is there for me to say? Well, scanners are out. In a moment of revolting optimism I had thought otherwise- I was wrong and hence we now go back to our regularly scheduled pessimism. In this morose state, I will tell you about my little holiday trip to Cracow, but first a brief intro.

I am pretty sure my father thinks I'm gay. I don't remember ever bringing a girl home which was largely for two connected reasons: most of the ladies whom I was friendly with were black Americana and I have never heard my parents say anything good about that group. When I moved to Memphis for college (70% black population), my mother took to asking everytime I mentioned a friend "Is s/he white?" 'Nuff said.

Now, due to his concern that I might be getting gay, every time I mention a male friend, my father wants to know if that person is gay. As if I know. This may shock readers of this blog but I do not ask friends, acquiantences and future enemies if they are gay. Not really my business, see.
When I moved to New York, my father showed ever greater concern by asking that I please avoid prostitutes because many are transvestites "with schlongs bigger than yours." Thanks dad.

I am glad to report that I have been avoiding transvestites quite successfully. With that in mind, take a look-see at the Cracow Glowny train station platform.

if you look real close I'll give you a treat

If you spend enough time analyzing this picture you will see the stocking-clad bony leg of an actual Polish transvestite on the wooden bench to the left. I was hoping for a better shot (how often do you see trannies in Poland?) but he (or she) did not seem the most sociable sort so it's not like I could ask for permission to take a photo.

Incidentially, I have an interview with a college in Qatar on Wednesday, because I heard that Doha is the Mecca for Jewish not-gay bloggers who aspire to take pictures of trannies.

I certainly will

P.S.: Not that I have any problems with gays, many of whom run away from home and become EFL teachers. Nor do I have any objections to transvestites who usually advance on the career ladder to school directors. It's just that I happen to be neither. There goes my shot at a promotion.

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