Inspirational Reads


February 2, 2016

The other day, I was asked about breathing life back into this blog by a very attractive, very funny, very sexy young redheaded woman.  I pondered it for a few seconds days and, at her continued urging, decided that, yes, I guess I could maybe string a few words together in a manner somewhat pleasing for your senses.  Because, when have I ever been suggestible to the words of a hot woman?  Right?

Then I realized that it's Groundhog Day.  Groundhog Day!  The symbolism of rebirth, of being dragged unwillingly from a warm den and tunnel!  Oh, the symbolism is strong with this day.

Fear, anger, hatred?
A Groundhog knows not these things.

And once I began thinking about the symbolism of Groundhog Day, I remembered that it was the birthday of on Betsy Hagar, the Teutonic goddess on whom I crushed throughout high school, unrequited, silently, there in the corner...there in the spotlight.

*clears throat*

You get the idea.

At this point, I don't remember all the stories I told in the past, and frankly, I don't feel like going through all my past entries and reading everything that I've already written.  I mean, I like you guys; I just don't know if I like you that much.  Except you.  Yes, you.  You know why.

In movies, there's always the guy pining for the girl who is way out of his league, and he wants her from afar, but he never summons up the courage to tell her that he writes and masturbates to erotica about her that he has deep, deep feelings for her?  And then at the end of the movie, he finally grows a pair, and he walks up to the girl and he tells her that he loves her and then she always--always--falls into his arms and they go off and presumably live a happily ever after life filled with, presumably, lots of sex and blow jobs?

Well, that's what I decided to do with Betsy...from the safety of the other side of graduation.

We were the Vikings.
After we shuffled of the educational coils of one Huntington North High School, I did the graduation party circuit.  I went to a lot of my friends' parties and did what I could with cards and gifts and stuff--it felt a lot like Squidward in that episode of SpongeBob where he's playing Santa Claus but is basically just giving away all his shit to make SpongeBob feel good?  Yeah, that was me with post-graduate gifts.

This is the situation in which I found myself at Betsy's graduation party, cheesy card and shitty gift in hand, my heart racing in my chest as I pondered the speech that would certainly win Betsy's heart and make her mine for that happily ever after story, complete with lots of sex and blow jobs.  I walked in, gave her the card, she gave me a hug, and...I got distracted talking to someone else.

Now, I don't know if you remember a lot of the graduation parties that YOU went to, but, well, they are thrown so that the graduate is the center of attention, so that the graduate is showered with undying adulation from their friends and family, so that the graduate is the center of the spotlight.

They're not thrown so that some other dork can have his teen romcom ending to his high school career.

And so it was at Casa de los Hagars.

The longer I stood in Betsy's living room, the more unnerved I became.  Eventually, I gave up, since she was ringed by a least a dozen other attractive high school girls (all fellow graduates of HNHS Class of 1994) serving as sort of a Midwestern Swiss Guard.  I approached Betsy, got another hug, and told her that I needed to be going.  She asked if I couldn't stay longer (I think I had another party to get to, honestly), and I made the polite small talk of telling her I wanted to, that I would miss hanging out with her, and that I hoped to see her again soon.  Not quite the romantic ending that I had built up in my mind, but it was still gallant.  Ish.

Spoilers:  I never saw her again.

Now, sure, in high school, I was an athlete.  I wouldn't describe myself as athletic, but I also wasn't a tub of lard that hurled himself forward by the mass of my gut sticking three feet out in front of the rest of me, either.  And while I had decent dexterity of foot (pedantry?), I, like everyone else, would still trip and fall slip and make a fool of myself.

As I was walking down the steps from Betsy's living room to the door, a framed photo collage that was propped on the back of the couch and leaning on the banister railing slipped and fell behind the couch.  It was loud, at it startled me a little bit.

Betsy, however, thought that I had keeled over and came running to help me.  There was a look of confusion on her face when I was standing there, quite upright, attempting to get the picture collage unwedged from behind the couch and back in its place of display.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"Yes, quite.  The picture just fell, that's all."

"Oh, I thought you had tripped and fallen."

There was a long moment where we stared at each other, and then I finally said, "Well, no.  However, I guess I shook this loose while walking down the stairs..."

We bid each other adieu once more, and then I walked out of her life, forever.   And the last thing she said to me was that she thought I was enough of a clumsy lummox that I had fallen down the stairs and done myself a grievous injury.

No.  Not the romantic ending I had envisioned for that particular relationship.  But at least I felt her boobs pressed against me.  Twice.

Small victories.

Happy Floralia

April 28, 2014

I wouldn't want to break with tradition here, and since today marks another obscure Roman holiday, I thought I would go ahead and write about that.  I mean, I could be doing work.  Or writing about work.  But I'm not.  I'm also heading a lot of sentences with conjunctions, which is a no no.  But, what are you going to do?  Not read my blog?  You and 7 billion other people.

Anyway, April 28th is the first day of Floralia, sometimes known as ludi Florae, or the Games of Flora.  Flora was an ancient goddess sacred to the Romans, most likely arriving in their culture via all the Sabine women that they kidnapped and raped incorporated  into their society.  A temple dedicated to Flora was built on the Aventine Hill, very near the Circus Maximus.  There was a second temple dedicated to her, or to Flora Rustica (she liked it rough), on the Quirinal Hill.  One or both of these were dedicated during the Roman "regal period," when Rome was ruled by a king, before the Republic and the Empire.

If I keep this up, I'll name all seven of the Roman hills.  Four more to go, meretrices!

Flora was a goddess of flowers, plants, vegetation, and fertility.  You probably could have guessed that much without the explanation, just based on her name along.  With the coming of the new growth and the reemergence of green vegetation after the winter, it was natural for the celebrations surrounding Flora to occur during the spring.  Thanks to this, she was assumed to be a personification of the spring, or a goddess of the spring.  Thus, she was venerated during the games that came at the end of April; her celebration lasted for six days.  While she was not one of the "big" names in Roman mythology, she was nevertheless important, especially considering her association with the spring, rebirth, and the growing of plants.

One important note about the Games of Flora, especially for us Westerners and especially for Christians:  animals, especially goats, rabbits and hares, were released during the games to celebrate Flora and her gift of fecundity.  These animals were chosen based on their "fertile and salacious" nature, according to Roman poet Ovid.  Another interesting tie-in with modern Christianity, although possibly more loosely tied-in, is the notion that, for Floralia, Romans eschewed the wearing of white garments and instead chose more colorful attire, similar to the pastels we associate with the spring and especially with Easter.  Hell, might as well stretch all the way to the coloring of eggs, too, right?  Why not.  It's Floralia, after all!

The celebrations involved plays, dances, and, of course, games.  Two things of note for the Floralia, though:  one, it was more a Plebian holiday, whereas most of the other celebrations in Rome heavily favored the Patrician families.  Since the common folks participated so readily in the celebration, Floralia was popular with the people, even if Flora was not considered one of the big, important goddesses--especially if you compare her to Ops or Ceres.  The other interesting thing about Floralia was that prostitutes actively participated in the games.  Normally, prostitutes were kept on the edges of society, no matter how valuable their services were to the populace.  Since most prostitutes were slaves, they were excluded from society and were not considered citizens of Rome.  Even women who were not slaves but entered into prostitution were thusly excluded from society.  However, all prostitutes, even prostitutes who were not slaves, participated in the games, showing that even the whores were not completely excluded from Roman society.  Their activities, aside from the obvious, included mock gladitorial battles, dancing naked (now we're talking!) in public displays, and performing their own plays--hopefully naked, as well.  Hooray, prostitutes!

So, gather up your goats and rabbits, pelt your friends with beans and lupins, and go watch some strippers dance around a pole or two.  It's Floralia!  Get out there and celebrate it!

Felix Dies Natalis, Roma!!!

April 21, 2014

I keep meaning to tell you about my new life, but, hahahahahahahahahahaha, whatevs.  I'll get to it eventually.

The one thing that has struck me as strange is that I picked up a new follower, though I can't identify who the noob is.  I find this remarkable because I've been staring at the same 107 pictures and names for the past year or so, and then someone new pops up and confuses me.  Regardless, welcome to the fold, my new friend.  I hope you're not scared away by the word "vagina."

The reason for not telling you about the "exciting changes" in my life today, however, is that we have a very important birthday to celebrate today:  Rome's.  That's right, the Eternal City was founded on April 21st, 753 BC.  In Roman terms, this was year 0 AUC, which stands for ab urbe condita, or "from the founding of the City."  It was a Roman demarcation of time, which makes sense.  The Romans didn't give much of a shit about what happened before their majestic home and city was founded.

They didn't give much of a shit, not because they were proud (well, okay, they were a little full of themselves), but because the place where Rome currently sits was a majestic slophole of a swamp prior to Romulus cracking his brother over the head with a spade and then breaking ground on his new home.  A slophole, I might add, that was inhabited by a bunch of fucking savages--like a town in New Jersey with a Quick Stop.

You've heard about the Seven Hills, right?  The Seven Hills are the seven hills (duh) surrounding the Tiber river on which the city of Rome was built.  The ancient Romans chose to live on those hills because the valley was an insufferable bog rife with malaria-bearing mosquitoes, and the lowland wasn't really all that habitable until the Cloaca Maxima (or, "largest sewer") was constructed.  Even then, in the beginning, it was more for draining the lowlands and may not have been the best at removing waste from the city itself.  It took subsequent improvements on the sewer system to make it more effective.  In the beginning, it was still open the atmosphere around, so mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects could still breed in the water that was being transported away.

It's kind of strange to think about how far we've come in 2700 years...

Romulus went on to become the first king of Rome.  We don't know who his parents were, because he was found in the wild and suckled by a she-wolf until he became a man, along with his twin brother, Remus.  I mean, his real parents.  Romulus and Remus were the offspring of a Vestal Virgin and Mars, the Roman god of war (and, originally, agriculture).  However, Virgil, while writing the Aeneid, was able to link Romulus and Remus (they're a package set, until it became king-making time) to the hero Aeneas, who fled the burning city of Troy after Odysseus et al. snuck into the city and ended the war.  You remember that, right?  Big wooden badger horse and all?  Good.

Aeneas, after doing his own tour of the Mediterranean world--including plowing Dido, Queen of Carthage--went on to become one of the people who helped found Rome.  After plowing Dido's fields for a while (figuratively, as Carthage didn't have a lot of agricultural lands), Dido wanted a little more commitment, and Aeneas said, "Pax, ex sum!"  He then crossed the Mediterranean from north Africa to the boot of Italy.  There, he met a cat named Evander who told Aeneas where a great place to found a great city was.  That place, naturally, was the Seven Hills (and nasty swamp).

So, here we are, celebrating Rome's birthday, with three possible founders.  Incidentally, Evander was a Greek who fled the southern part of Greece and settled with his many followers on one of the hills of Rome--the Palantine Hill, if you must know.  It is from here that we get the word "palace."  When Evander was showing Aeneas around, he probably said something like, "See, this is my hill.  You go over there and settle on one of those other six hills.  Capisce?"  He totally said that, because it's Italian, and when in the place where Rome will eventually be founded, do as the people who will eventually become Roman do.  Er, yeah.

This is what the founding of Rome most likely was:  an accumulation and aggregation of the tribes that lived on the seven hills under one crown, the king being Romulus.  From there, with the city founded, they went on to war with the surrounding tribes, including the Latins (from whom the Romans stole a language), the Sabines (from whom the Romans stole women), and the Etruscans (from whom the Romans stole a peninsula).

So, in your post-Easter ham coma, and before we start planting trees on Earth Day tomorrow, if you're feeling like you need a reason to celebrate, why not take a moment to wish Rome a happy 2767th birthday.  Darling, you look marvelous, not a day over 2500, if I do say so, myself.

Friday Morning Latin Lesson: Vol. CX

March 14, 2014

Much to do this morning and many things to see, so let's jump right in, shall we?

Today is March 14th.  The significance? you ask.  Well, shame on you for not knowing that today is a holiday--two holidays, in fact, rolled into one.  And, oh my stars and garters, what a beautiful pair of holidays we have--delicious holidays, even.

March 14th, or (as we Americans note it) 3-14, is special because 3.14 is the first three significant figures of the number pi, which is the universal ratio of a circle's circumference (distance around) to its diameter (cross-section).  No matter the size of the circle, no matter the location, pi is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter.  It is an irrational number in that it has no end, so while we may conveniently refer to pi as 3.14, the actual measure of the number is 3.1415926535897...  The ellipses mean that pi continues on forever without any repeating sets of numbers deep within its minuscule fractional world.

Go check out Boomerang's Aussie Pies!
Pi is also a Greek letter, the Ancient Greek equivalent to our "p," which happens to share a pronunciation with our tasty and delicious dessert treat, pie.  Naturally, one wonders if there's a connection between "pi" and "pie" (especially given this blog's predisposition and love of ancient languages).  The answer is...not so much.

However, the word "pie" is, most likely, a derivation of a Latin word pica, which means "magpie."  No, seriously.  I'm not kidding you (this time).  The word magpie itself arrives in the langue from the word pica, coming into English sometime in the late Middle Ages, when magpies were simply "pies".  As magpies tend to be mottled, black-and-white, things that were a mixture of black-and-white were described as "pie" or "pied."  A horse or a dog with large portions of black and then smaller patches of white are described as piebald; a certain Piper from Hamelin probably also got his epithet from this source.

Now, there are two schools of thought as to how "pie" went from meaning "black and white" to "Oh my God, I'm so full but I NEED another slice!"  The connection is made either through the lighter crust of the pie standing as a stark difference to the dark and mottled interior of the pie.  This is feasible, sure.  However, pie used to be less like the delicious dessert we so enjoy nowadays, and more like an entire meal shoved in a crust and baked.  Bits of meat, vegetables, grain and sometimes fruit were all put together and baked within a flaky fold of dough.  It was nutritious, fairly balanced, and, more to the point, fucking delicious.  It might not necessarily have been dark or mottled on the inside.

This whole discussion is even more amusing when you think about pie as being a euphemism for pussy.

Getting back to magpies and their close avian relatives, crows and ravens, these birds are famous for collecting bits of string or brightly colored cloth or other such trinkets.  The notion that lots of little pieces of whatever, coming together, was something that a foodstuff "pie" resembled is not necessarily a stretch.  Think of chick pot pie (something I do on a regular basis...) and you can see the connection.  This could be the link between a raucous, obnoxious bird and a delicious treat made up of lots of smaller bits that come together with delicious consequences.

Thanks to pie (our dessert) and pi (our circumstantial ratio) being homonyms, some of the more mathematically- and gustatorially-enthusiastic decided to link the two on March 14--hence, Pi Day, on which you eat a pie!  Just, be sure to pace yourself...

Non possum credere me totum edisse...

Pronounced:  "Nohn poh-soom cray-day-ray may toh-toom aye-dee-say..."

Get it?  Because it's Hot Pie, from Game of Thrones?!?!? Delicious translation in the hovertext...

As mentioned, pie did not necessarily start out as a delicious, fruit-and-sweet-filled concoction, but instead was more savory, featuring meat, some delicious sauces, and a bit of salt.  Since Pi Day falls on a Friday in 2014, and it's during Lent, Catholics will have to get a special dispensation from the Pope in order to enjoy the more traditional pie filling today.  However, Francis seems to be down with that sort of thing, so I'm sure he'll be more than happy to let you enjoy your meat-filled pies on Pi Day.  So long as you share.

Speaking of delicious meat, saltiness and sauces, March 14, as it falls one month after Valentine's Day, is also known as Steak and Blow Job Day.  The logic here is that, since men did so much for their ladies a month prior, it's time for the fellas to recoop some of their losses spent making their women happy.  Hence, Steak and Blow Job Day, which are two things that (most) men dearly love.  Because, you know, I want to eat a steak and get blown only one day a year...

The Romans did not eat a whole lot of beef.  Typically, especially in earlier civilizations, cattle provided a lot more than just tasty hunks of meat.  Milk and cheese were more valuable commodities.  Sure, if a cow got old and could no longer produce milk, then she might get slaughtered and be eaten for dinner; for the most part, cattle were seen as a source of wealth.  Not to back ourselves into a corner here on Steak and Blow Job Day, the Romans did enjoy the sensual pleasures of having a mouth wrapped around their cocks.  The word "fellatio" comes from the Latin word fello, fellare which meant "I suck" and was taken a step further to mean "I suck cock."

I hope you see what I did there in the paragraph previous...

If you're lucky enough to celebrate both holidays today, don't forget to praise your partner:

Quod fellas et aquam potas, nil, femina, peccas!

Pronounced:  "Kwoad fay-lahs et ah-kwahm poh-tahs, nill, fay-mee-nah, pay-kahs!"

More deliciousness in the hovertext!

The actual, word-for-word translation would probably better read "you can do no wrong, woman" or "you do not err, woman," but I went ahead and extrapolated some meaning.

Again, don't forget that it's Friday and it's Lent.  Celebrate the holidays as best you can during this holy time...just don't expect the Pope to give you another dispensation for the second celebration tonight.

Personal Failing

March 11, 2014

If you are familiar with the story of the Odyssey, you might recall that Odysseus plied the waters of the Mediterranean for several years after the end of the Trojan war, sharing in madcap adventures with his crew, getting up to all sorts of antics on the shore, fighting monsters, and sticking his dick in just about anything that he could stick his dick in.  I'm looking at you, Calypso.

As one familiar with the Odyssey, you probably remember the Sirens.  The Sirens were a group of comely young women with beautiful voices who sang across the waters surrounding their island home, promising riches and carnal delights to anyone bold enough and capable enough of plying their waters.  However, when the lusty sailor reached the island of the Sirens, hoping to partake of their sensual delights, the Sirens ripped him apart and ate him, swallowing down his flesh and bone--and not swallowing in the good way, and not the naughty, fun kind of bone, either.

The Sirens' Song has thus come to be connected with anything that carries with it an allure of the forbidden:  we know that it's not a good idea to go visit the Sirens' island, but, damn, look at the ass on that singing demon, would you?  It might be worth having my flesh rent from my bones and my blood staining the waters near the isle if only I could feel the firm curve of her breasts upon my palms...

Along those same lines, we know it's wrong to eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies, and yet...

Okay, fine.  I caved and went full motherfucking cookie monster on those things.  It's easy; there's like five in a package anymore.  Each packing 7000 calories of sweet, chocolaty (or peanut buttery...or even better, chocolaty peanut buttery!!!) deliciousness, they go down a little too easily.  Sure, I broke my self-imposed cookie ban, but it was worth it.

So.  Fucking.  Worth it.

Though the self-imposed cookie embargo has been broken, I'm still ice cream free, which I consider to be a victory of sorts.  The Girl Scout cookies were just a small blip on the old radar, something that happens once a year.  I can get past this, no problem, and be back on my cookie tee-totaling ways soon enough.

Of course, the sooner I get the last of these things out of the my house, the better.  The most efficient way I know of ridding myself of the Girl Scout cookie menace is to shove entire sleeves of thin mints down my gullet.  Chewing?  That shit's for sissies.  Savoring the Samoa that I just threw into the back of my throat means there's less time for me to start eating the NEXT Samoa in the package.  Or Caramel Delight.  Or whatever the fuck happy sappy slappy name they've hung on the cookies this year.

Eventually, I'll pick the cookie embargo back up, but it won't be until I am without Girl Scout cookies.  Fortunately, the sales are done.  Now we just have finish off the stockpiled wafers of deliciousness and I can get back to life without these sweet, little treats.

Just, let me have one more before we go...