The Obvious

a bit of a filler post, but a true story

Posted in nablopomo, people, weird by theobvious on November 3, 2010

Dear diary,

I stalked someone a bit today. I was meeting a friend for tea up at the bookstore/cafe next door to work, and there were a few minutes to spare, so I got out my reader. This pleasant-looking lady was nursing her little baby at the next table. After a few minutes, she suddenly addressed me in English, asking which model the reader was. Keen as I am to advertise the things I like, I explained about it (it’s a Digma, the webpage is in Russian, but I can totally vouch for it), and went back to reading.

Later, my friend had arrived and we sat chatting, when I saw the lady get up to leave. For some reason, an image flashed before my eyes of her and me getting to know each other, me getting up the courage to say how I admire her for nursing in public (I’m so for that, and I loved this recent heartfelt post on the subject), and so on, so I just rushed after her and stuck my card in her hand, saying she could ask me if she wanted to follow up on the reader, then grinned stupidly and went back to my table. Looking back, I’ve no idea why I did that, but I’m fairly sure I freaked her out.

And that, dear diary, is how I tried being creepy for the first time in my life. Is this how dorky guys feel when they’re trying to get hot girls to go out with them?

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true story

Posted in weird, work by theobvious on April 10, 2010

Our workplace is called the Retrospective Bibliography Department of the National Library. More specifically, our two small rooms are unofficially known as the Jewish division. These present a mystery to the rest of the library: text goes in the opposite direction there, the letters are all scrawls and scribbles, and time flows at quite a different speed. As the rest of the library sees it, in the time it took the rest of the world to get through two millennia, the people who wrote the books in this division managed to whizz through five and a half. Which means that whoever gets employed there is viewed as an oracle: a smidgen loony, but in possession of secret wisdom and privy to knowledge everyone else lacks. This makes for some interesting phone calls, the latest of which came today while I was oraculously and wisely peering at my books on necromancy, also known as Google Reader.

– Hello, – said the lady on the other side in a businesslike manner, – Could you do me a little favour? I have what I think is a date here, could you translate it? It’s M-D-C-C…

– Wait, what? – I asked.

– It’s this date, it says ahn-noh in front of it, which maybe is Latin? Anyway, the date is MDCCC and then a Roman six at the end, like V-I, you know? Can you tell me what year this is?

– 1806.

– Huh?

– It’s the year 1806.

She thanked me quickly and hung up. She never said who she was or where she was calling from, but in all probability the call originated in our very building. The woman was likely to be a real live employee of the Lithuanian National Library, not mopping the floors or managing the keys, but working with real live books (inasmuch as books can be live). Now answer me this: is this the kind of institution you’d like to redirect two percent of your income to, given the opportunity by the charitable IRS and asked nicely in a circulated memo? Not that I need to end every post on a rant, but I think my two percent will go towards feeding the poor or free makeovers for ugly swans this year.

analyze this

Posted in food, random, silly, weird by theobvious on September 9, 2008

Here are some weird things that have happened to me lately:

First, a mate of mine called at 6:50 am on a Saturday morning. I only picked up because I keep the phone next to my pillow and it wouldn’t stop ringing. Oh, and because at that God-awful hour it was surely a matter of life and death.
‘What, are you sleeping or something?’ she inquired in amazement.
‘Yeah,’ I was inarticulate.
‘Anyway, I wanted to ask you, if I go to Finland, will you come?’ she blurted out.
‘Now?’ I asked.
‘No, no, just, you know, in general,’ she backed down, ‘If I were to go to Finland, would you come with?’
‘Probably,’ I said, ‘Ask me when I won’t be asleep.’
‘Oh, okay,’ she replied and hung up.
Life and death? Elämä ja kuolema, I’d rather think.

The following Monday I had my first Danish class. Uh, Dænish is sø hård tø prønøunce! If you thought French was difficult, try following instructions like ‘Say LLL, now lower your tongue to your bottom teeth and do it again, force the tongue down, keep it down there!’ Saying phrases like ‘what’s your name’ or ‘what are you doing’ is not unlike swallowing large portions of deep-fried gravel. Did you know that according to statistics only 7% of the letters in a written Danish text are actually heard in the pronunciation? Okay, maybe there are no such statistics, but I didn’t completely pull the number out of my donkey, either!

Finally, today A. gave me tofu with yellow tomatoes and I didn’t die. I totally expected to, you understand.

little red leather whip

Posted in books, random, weird by theobvious on February 2, 2008

When people ask me to ‘say something’, I don’t like to answer ‘something, haha’. Instead I usually say ‘there was a girl named Little Red Riding Hood’.

Now this suddenly struck me as odd: a riding hood is a weird name for a little girl’s head garment, no? I mean, it’s not like she was a little girl jockey! I don’t believe the story ever mentions her riding at all! Not even in a figurative sense.

That’s not what Google will have you believe, however. For a search on ‘riding hood’, I got close to 3 million results. Most of them seem to be Little Something Riding Hood. Not just red. Suffice it to say, half the image results are PG-18.

You know what? Ew. Good thing that in Russian she’s just Red Cap.

cheap tricks

Posted in random, weird by theobvious on December 2, 2007

This blog only got ten views today. All through a Google search for “I’m a Little Teapot”. All of one post. I wonder what is up with these people – it’s not even on the first page in Google. It’s actually on the third. Yes, I checked. And someone who’d be looking for the actual rhyme would have found it way before they got to the third page.

I mean, this is nothing compared to being found through a search for ‘shemales in Vilnius’ (happened once, still proud), but I’m still wondering whether it’s worth it to risk posting on a more Google-friendly topic to increase my traffic? Like… ENLARGE YOUR PENI$!!! FREE TODAY!!! HOT STRIPPER BLONDE DELIVERY WITH EVERY PURCHASE!!!!!!!!!!

There, now I’ll sit back and wait for the lonely male visitors to come pouring in – to face a great disappointment. Bwahaha.

Updated in a couple of hours: No blonde lovers as yet, but another, differently phrased, request for the damn little teapot. This is starting to get annoying.

thinking my own bird fairest

Posted in vilnius, weird by theobvious on November 18, 2007

What I love about my city is the charming air of randomness it exudes, – thought I today, staring at a graffiti in a trolleybus, which read SHOE. In white block letters, stacked in a column.

There is a district in Vilnius that has declared itself an independent state. It has a President, a Constitution (read it on their website, it’s pure genius), an Independence Day (April Fools), even a radio.

There is a festival of one-minute-long films, held annually. 99 best features are compiled into a set and shown in movie theaters. I’ve never been – the tickets are always sold out way before the premiere.

There is a beggar lady who they say comes to town every morning and asks everyone very politely for change, until she collects enough for a cup of coffee, a cake, and the bus fare home.

There is a seventy-percent student discount for opera tickets an hour before the show. (We will go snatching this week, probably. This feels like a spy movie. Operation Madama Butterfly.)

There is an insistent job ad running on the trolleybus screens for workers at a mannequin factory. We need you! Come and work for us! Students too! Competitive salaries!

There are black faux-Christmas-trees on sale at the supermarkets, along with black decorations and black tinsel. Right beside them on display are hard glistening polar bears.

There are about 600,000 people living here, most of whom are extremely weird. Every home, every car, every child, every dog, every item is totally random. I love this place.

i… love… writing… wha?

Posted in weird, writing by theobvious on November 17, 2007

Okay. They told me this would happen, so I was kind of prepared. It’s called the mid-month crisis. Well, maybe it’s not called that. I made that up to make it sound cooler. But you know what I’m on about. Well, it’s here. I have it. No surprises there.

The strange thing is the way it manifests itself. I seem to have too many things I want to blog about. I’ve started three posts already, erasing each at an early stage, adding it to my ‘blog ideas.doc’ and thinking screw this, I’ve got something better for today.

Doctor, should I be worried? This feels a bit like when you’re so in love with something or someone and you try to talk about it, and all that comes out is this excited gushing noise, as though the flow of words is choking you from the inside.

KING LEAR
/…/ Now, our joy,
Although the last, not least; to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interess’d; what can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

CORDELIA
Nothing, my lord.

KING LEAR
Nothing!

CORDELIA
Nothing.

KING LEAR
Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.

CORDELIA
Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to my bond; nor more nor less.

I think I am in love with writing. So much in love I can’t actually write anything. I hope the day will come when I’ll be as good at it as I am obsessed with it. Meanwhile – oh.

you got 1 new message

Posted in funny, weird by theobvious on November 10, 2007

Millicent Connors has notified me of the following:

Mine Is Bigger Then Yours !
http://roderickgg33.googlepages.com/ok.html
jelly kelp watery opal.we aerial date jeep grip grid java.
? ado ice oldy…oppose you old.

I am glad to know that God hasn’t abandoned Millicent. It’s crystal clear what exactly Millicent is so proud of. However, I’ve always thought that was a woman’s name. If that is indeed the case, then I am being spammed by an infantile (see first sentence) rambling (see last two) shemale.

Before you have me tagged, I want to add that I don’t have anything against shemales as such! Nor against people of any other gender, or combination thereof. However, I certainly don’t envy them and wouldn’t want to take pills to become like them. Sorry, guys (girls).

I wonder what Millicent is playing at. Is this a valiant attempt to combat society’s stereotypes against her (his) kind of people? Is this email supposed to draw our attention to the fact that everyone could be like Millicent? Is the underlying theme here that of pain and loneliness? Does Millicent just want to make some friends?

We’ll never know. But hey, Millicent, don’t hesitate to write me another email! Or two… dozen… hundred? Oh, I forgot, you already have.

and allikaylor was her name, oh!

Posted in i don't know, weird by theobvious on November 4, 2007

Okay, can’t write on account of rolling on the floor laughing. Let me address you to this bit of sheer genius so you can join me down here.

Seriously though, what’s with the Pippi Longstocking syndrome*? Why do people call their children names that imply their parents hate them? What is the overwhelming need to use nouns as names based on? I mean, Summer?! Really?

Some people seem to think that a child is not a whole new person as much as a creative project. Well hey, I’m not here to judge. I am here to feel deep commiseration. Dear mistreated children of the world, all you Jairickas and Irelynds and Alliwens out there – I’m feeling for you.

*You do know her full name was Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim’s Daughter Longstocking, don’t you?