Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dr. Pepper and Moonshine

They don't sell Dr. Pepper in Russia (anymore -- I'm told they did for a short time, but it was not well-received.) There is, however, a local version of it called "Baikal" -- at least it tastes fairly similiar.

I have long heard of something called "samogon" which is not a Japanese giant monster but is in fact home-made herb-infused vodka. I'd never tried it, but I asked a colleague who often travels to her girlfriends village to get some for me.

She presented me a few months ago with a plastic bottle filled with murky yellowish liquid and also one large red pepper and a whirling interior cloud of mint flakes.

I was afraid to try it until last Monday. I had one shot of it, and my head exploded, showering the walls with bloody chunks of brain. My corpse staggered about for a few moments, then burst into flames, incinerating everything in the room.

However, I didn't have anything to drink in the house tonight as I watch the bootleg DVD of CLERKS 2 that I bought last Sunday, so I've mixed a few fingers of samogon with some Baikal soda.

Each sip is like drinking a spicy glass of Drano. I don't think I'll have sinus problems for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Masturbating to ROADHOUSE

Looking at the last entry, I was afraid the the phrase "masturbate to ROADHOUSE" might have been one that I had read somewhere else, like on MADDOX or somehwere --

But a search on Google reveals no less than eleven hits for "masturbate to ROADHOUSE." Ewwwww! Gross. None on Maddox's site, though.

Apparently during the fight I didn't come away unscathed -- I found a lump on my head, near the temple -- man, I hope I don't have any drain bamage.

HAHAHAHAhahahahrmm hrmpf . . now that joke I derinitely stole from somebody -- a guy I went to college with.

Monday, September 25, 2006

TEFL Nightmares

I was just informed that I passed my DELTA Course. I am now a SuperTeacher. Please do not look at me directly when you address me.

Funny, because I had a dream last night that I completely fucked up the final teaching test -- over thirty students who I didn't know showed up for the final class, and we had to change classrooms, which was crammed full of desks in was necessary to arrange, which took forever. Then I couldn't find a marker that worked. Then the students in the back wouldn't stop talking together, and I didn't have enough photocopies. . . finally students were making rude comments and walking out the back.

(The reality of my final teaching test was quite different -- in fact, we almost didn't have the mandatory minimum of students. There were a few classes vaguely similiar to the nightmare back in New York, however.)

I woke up in a cold sweat.

And I'm really fucking ashamed of myself by being panicked by such a pointless dream. Of all the scary things in the world, from biological terrorism to cannibalistic hillbillies to castration to killer stingrays, I have a nightmare about failing the DELTA. Shit.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Another Bar Fight

So I went out with last night and got in a bar fight. Rather silly, actually. We
had smoked a lot of pot, as well as drinking a lot, and I was trying to
talk to some girl, and looked up and I saw my colleague English Teacher A being fronted by some guy -- a rather tall, biggish guy.

I still don't know what this was all about -- I guess it had something to do with one of the girls we had gone there with --or why I suddenly decided to jump on his back and try to choke him, but after a brief skirmish I found myself on the floor. He tried to come at me and his testicles ran directly into my foot, which rather cooled
him on the idea of fighting. Then the bouncers took him out.

Interesting that they should take his side, because as I recall it, I completely attacked the guy for very little reason.

I guess I got off easier than my first bar fight, in which I ended up with a foot the size of a pumpkin, or my second, which shook me up quite a bit psychologically. My shirt collar did get torn, but it's not a shirt I like all that much.

I should say that this at one of the sleazier clubs in town -- had this happened at one of the better clubs, we would have all been methodically pounded into paste by the extremely professional bouncer squads. (These are guys who masturbate to ROADHOUSE.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

New Pictures

I posted some new pictures on the website just now. Rock on.

Open Manholes

I have bitched at some length about all the shopping malls and office buildings springing up in my neighborhood here in Vodkaberg, but the streets and sidewalks are still a rubbish-strewn, crumpled, collapsing mess of potholes and uneven concrete. And there are open manholes everywhere, often difficult to see because they're in the middle of vacant lots and/or hidden by either the high snow in the winter or all the overgrown shrubbery everywhere in the summer.

(Pictures, including one of open manhole.)

There is a story, perhaps an urban myth, of an English teacher working in St. Petersberg who fell down an open manhole while drunk one evening and died (either from the fall, the cold, or drowning, depending who tells you the story.)

Anyway, just as well he fell down the hole. If he'd fallen asleep in the snow, the stray dogs or rats would have eaten him.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

All Cultured And Shit

Oh sure, you may say, Vodkaberg has plenty of shopping malls now, but what about true cultural opportunities?

Not just one, but TWO will be arriving this winter.

1) Electric Light Orchestra, live at the Philharmonic
2) A-Ha, live at the Sports Arena

Man, I wonder if ELO will play anything off the "Xanadu" soundtrack. I'm taking my roller-skates.

Also, I got on the tram today and sitting in one of the front seats was a young guy bleeding profusely from a scalp-wound. He was fucking gushing the stuff. Not sure if he was drunk or had been beaten up . . . but of course, people on the tram, including the ticket-taker, had no idea what to do about the situation, other than stay well enough away from him not to get bled on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tanks For The Memories

Well, looks like there's been another military coup in Thailand. It's no big deal though because the King always tells them to back off after they gun down a few hundred innocent civilians.

Probably because of that goofball English teacher that confessed to the JonBenet Ramsey murder. Reprecussions which shook up the government.

Man, I wonder if you can still buy beer during a military coup. I remember when the King's mother died back in the 90's, you couldn't legally drink for three days. Which didn't mean you couldn't buy beer, you just had to put it in a glass and hide the bottle under the table.

Oh, I posted a new cartoon on the website, too. Hopefully start updating the sight more, since my dozens of fans are clamoring for it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Golden Age of Staying Home

I tell you -- I honestly can't understand why anyone would travel of their own free will in this day and age. Okay, well, business and whatnot, topping off the war chests, that I understand. But why would ANYONE willingly subject themselves to modern-day travel, which is something similiar to being trapped in a shopping mall for endless, indefinite amounts of time, except that you're subject to cavity searches and being ripped to pieces by bombs?

I mean, I did most of my travelling in the 90's -- it was still stupid then, granted, but at least then there were a few pluses --

1) People in other countries still liked Americans
2) There were still places in the third-world where accomodation and food was really cheap.
3) There were no internet booking agencies, and no Expedia and no Easyjet, so it took at least a slight modicum of gumption to go somewhere -- you needed to actually go around a city looking for a room and stuff, at least. Now any moron with a few hundred bucks can do it, no matter how basically unadventurous they are. . .
4) Tourist nightclubs, hotels, trains, buses and planes were not randomly and routinely blown up by Al-Queida
5) Going through an airport did not involve a background check and a CAT scan
6) There were no STARBUCKS coffee shops, anywhere in the world except America.


Friday, September 15, 2006

. . . and then he walked away, never to return

Well. . . hundreds of photocopies, dozens of pages of essays, hours and hours and hours spent hunched over the computer, a good ten or so coma-inducing books I had to read, and 10 hours of assessed classes later. . .

I'm finished.

I think I passed. If I didn't, I will only return to London to hunt down and kill painfully every person involved in this program.

Something of a sense of anti-climax, of course. One expects a moment of truth, but it turns out to be just another day.

I'm off to get drunk! Y'all take care.

Friday, September 08, 2006

If the stingrays got Steve Irwin, what chance do the rest of us have?

A very particular hell is reserved for all of us, of this I have no doubt, and the one waiting for English Teacher X would be very much like the one that I am now experiencing.

Forced to chop up endless pieces of paper, make detailed lesson plans, dig through tons of resource books and cut out picture after picture from magazines and such, tightly controlled drills and every class moment accounted for. . .


But I'll bullshit my way through it. I always do. Although if English Teacher X still had any balls, I'd go into my final class and talk about the phonemics of porno sounds, the various grammatical forms of FUCK and do a reading exercise based on Chuck Palahuniak's GUTS story. See if I could make somebody faint.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

London Calling

I was originally a bit hesitant when I saw the neighborhood I'll be staying in during my time here in London. It's one of the few un-re-gentrified areas of the East End, Hackney, in an area in which I hear very little English and see very few Anglo-Saxon faces. There are immigrants from China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Jamaica, Africa, and India, and a lot of barbershops that seem to cater solely to one nationalitiy, a lot of fast-food restaurants with names like 'Bess Bite Takeaway' and 'Perfect Fried Chicken'and a lot of signs warning about CCTV cameras watching you. There are also occasional signs asking for anyone with information about this-or-that stabbing to come forward, and something of a propoganda blitz of goodwill posters, which I'm noticing is typical of London. " I love Hackney! 800 new officers on foot patrol this year!"

Yes, I was initially hesitant, until I spent a few hours wandering around central London, in the swirling seething mass of touristy, globalvillage, hipsterdoofus, yuppie shoppingmalls.

Terrified, I retreated into a Borders bookshop and read graphic novels (comic books, to you uninititated) for an hour, then retreated back to the third world, where I'm more comfortable.

Actually it's not that bad. Compard to Vodkaberg, I'm sure it's safe as houses. The people in the shops have been very nice to me, anyway.

The place I'm staying is a tiny and not especially nice, but it's hardly the worst, or even the smallest, dump I've ever stayed in. It's a 'student residence' with a fabulous view of the Hackney housing estates across the street.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Unfortunate Position of Having to Give a Damn

I'm in the unfortunate position on having to give a damn about something, and have been for some time now -- I've been doing a DELTA course on a part-time basis for nearly three years now, staying home on weeknights (well, some of them, anyway) to write papers about Phonemics and Gerunds and Phrasal Verbs and such.

Tomorrow I'm going off to London to finish the fucker off once and for all.

It's high noon at the OK Corrall man. . .