Q: WHY CAN’T A SNOWMAN JUST BE A SNOWMAN?

Dear Bohemian,

I was decorating my Christmas tree for the first time in a few years and I rediscovered this ornament, given to me in one of my Christmas Pasts:

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That’s right. A Snowman-Angel-Elf. And that wasn’t enough. He is also playing the violin. Not to mention the fully functional bell on his hat.

When did we decide that a snowman isn’t good enough? Why can’t a snowman just be a snow man?

Frosty

A: WHY CAN’T A SNOWMAN JUST BE A SNOWMAN?

Dear Frosty,

I suspect that in the case of your snowman, some creative genius was trying to artfully marry our Pop Culture Christmas with The Real Meaning of Christmas. That explains the angel wings, anyway. That said, if our creative genius had really wanted to commit, he could have had Mr. Snowman holding the baby Jesus.

OR, perhaps he gave the snowman angel wings because all snowmen must melt and die. So when your child asks if snowmen go to heaven, the answer is, apparently, a resounding yes. See the snowman angel on our Tree? Hard proof, little one.

As for the Elf-gear, I suppose that he could be wearing snowman pajamas, except for the fact that he’s playing the violin. Who plays their violin in their pajamas? Not me certainly. Absolutely undignified. That leads me to believe that those are indeed elf clothes, because we all know about the propensity of elves to sing and dance and play violins (not so much the Lord of the Rings elves, you’ve got me there).

At that, I’d like to leave you with some snowman ornament alternatives.

1. Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Snowman (that is one tiny tree!)

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2. Artsy Icicle Snowman (or perhaps he’s a ghost. What, mom, snowmen don’t become angels? I’m so confused right now.)

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3. Old-Timey Snowman (I think this is what you are looking for. Although, I’m not sure what the cylinder is on his belly. I think there must be a piece missing. Or he’s dropping a beer can. Which would make him Drunk Snowman. Or Obnoxious Uncle Snowman. Sigh, we just can’t win here, can we?)

 

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Enigmatic Bohemian

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Q: CREATIVE AIRPORT LAYOVERS

Dear Enigmatic Bohemian,

I’ve started traveling a lot, and unless Vanity Fair starts publishing weekly, I’m running out of ways to prevent insanity as my life is wasted inside of airports. Seriously, I might snap the next time that I hear “mechanical difficulties” or just “weather”. Epic layovers and a bad attitude – what should I do?

Transport me,

Icarus

A: CREATIVE AIRPORT LAYOVERS

Dear Icarus,

First of all, to state the obvious, you need to invest in a laptop computer or at least a smartphone. Then you can waste your life on the internet WHILE wasting it in an airport. Perhaps the one will cancel out the other, like some some freakish math equation.

Otherwise you might try the magical, mysterious item that I like to call “Books”. Buy a fat one. It will last longer.

Like “Shantaram” by David Gregory Roberts.

Or a series, like Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies.”

If you want something zany, funny, and fast, try “The Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick.

Or if you are a secret Lit Crit or philosophy dork, try “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffery Eugenides.

And finally, for some indulgent classics, start with “Gone with the Wind”, then move onto “The Great Gatsby”, and finish with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Barring those more normal choices, here are some other creative ideas to try AT YOUR OWN RISK:

1. BE INTIMATE: Talk to strangers about your most intimate secrets while having a strong cocktail. If you really want to amp it up, play Truth or Dare. Just try and remember to catch that plane…

2. BE CRAZY: Walk around the terminal greeting strangers like they are a celebrity. Or like you are a celebrity. Have your picture taken with them.

1st Trip to Munich 2009 024

3. SPARK CONTROVERSY: Repeat number 1, except this time tell outrageous lies. Examples: you are headed to your brother and sister’s wedding. That’s right. They are marrying each other. Or you are going to see a specialist in the Caribbean. So you can clone yourself. Fun times will be had by all.

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4. BE AN ANGEL: Buy some flowers and distribute them to people in the airport that you think deserve a flower. Feel great.

Malta Wedding 2009 002

5. DANCE: Instead of walking laps of your terminal to prevent antsy legs, dance. Dance!

Bon Voyage,

Enigmatic Bohemian

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Q: FREE TO BE HUMAN

Dear Enigmatic Bohemian,

I am a woman. I use public transportation. I travel all over the world. Sometimes, alone.

But now, all that I can think about is gang-rape. It’s happened multiple times in India. It’s happened in the USA. It’s happened in Brazil. I’m sure that it’s happened more than we know.

How do I continue to be free from fear? Free from being seen as an object to be taken? Free to be a human being, acknowledged as such by other human beings? Who are these men? Who are their mothers? Who are their fathers?

Too ill, too angry,

Female Human Being

A: FREE TO BE HUMAN

Dear Female Human Being,

Atrocities have no easy answers. A dear friend of mine was raped in a very similar manner as the Steubenville rape case in the USA, except without any convictions or publicity because she was too scared to come forward. This happened to her roughly 15 years ago and she still suffers mental and physical trauma from it. Who knows how many other untold victims there are?

This blogger’s idea is to teach kindness to our boys (because believe it or not all rapists actually have mothers and fathers) and let fellow rape victims know that they are not alone: Kim Simon: Dear Jane Doe.

It is also heartening to see this:

But I still haven’t addressed the gang-rapes that are occurring to students and tourists in foreign countries. As a traveler myself, I have put a lot of thought into how to avoid being gang-raped myself. Let’s see how this goes. I could:

Option 1.

Avoid traveling to the countries that have lots of rape. Like Sweden, South Africa, and the United States. Hmmmm.

Option 2.

Avoid cities where we know rapes have occurred. Like Rio de Janeiro. And every city and college campus in the entire world. Hmmmm.

Option 3.

Avoid all men at all times. Hmmmmm.

Option 4.

WAIT ONE MINUTE! It’s not a woman’s job to “not get raped”! It’s a man’s job to not rape people!

I don’t know why there are groups of men gang-raping foreigners. They are stealers of freedom, inflictors of nightmares, pain, disease. There is no excuse or explanation. You are right that they have forgotten that we are all human beings. These men are voids, with no empathy or kindness.

Here is a broad look at the horrors of this worldwide rape epidemic:

Soraya Chemaly: 50 Actual Facts About Rape.

Finally, as I have no real answers, only dismay and sadness, I would like to say this. Most of the men that I know are good human beings. So men, if you get the chance, pass some of your goodness on. Be a mentor. Be a friend. Sometimes the smallest involvement in someone’s life can make a world of difference. Friends don’t let friends become rapists.

Something lighter next time, I promise,

Enigmatic Bohemian

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Q: TO THE LADIES

Enigmatic Bohemian,

I see that today is a day for the ladies. International Women’s Day. Does that mean it is celebrated internationally for all women around the world, or does that mean we are only celebrating women who are international, i.e. living abroad or traveling all the time, like Hilary Clinton? I’m confused.

Here’s to you either way (I think you qualify in both categories).

Domestic Man

A: TO THE LADIES

Dear Domestic Man,

I see your point, but this is a day for women of all varieties everywhere on the planet. Here are some women I would like to celebrate on this day:

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GRANDMAS: Because mine taught me how to play poker, dance like a maniac, embrace snorting with laughter, make the perfect cookie, and swear at people in German.

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MOMS: See picture. And because mine still loved me even when I was a teenager, the original princess and the pea, and made thousands of incomprehensible decisions that could have been perceived as risky and/or dangerous and could have given her ulcers/heart-attacks/strokes/burst blood vessels/etc. And because I probably still do all of those things.

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THE FRIEND WHO ORDERS THE PINK LIMOUSINE: Because she’s fabulous. She makes you feel like a woman (cue selection of tunes by Nina Simone and/or Beyoncé).

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THE FRIEND WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK…NO MATTER WHAT: She will punch him. Harder than you would.

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YOURSELF: Because when you feel like your head is chopped off and you want to cry at your own birthday party, you still find the strength not to press send on the most disastrous and embarrassing e-mail you have written in an emotional haze of love/hate/rage/pain.

Now go buy a gal a drink.

Kisses to the ladies and those who love them,

Enigmatic Bohemian

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Q: TOP TEN THANKLESS JOBS

Lady Dude,

Lay it out for me: what are the top ten most thankless jobs? I’m looking for a career change and want to avoid bad decisions. Not my strong suit.

High fives all around,

Seth

A: TOP TEN THANKLESS JOBS

Dear Seth,

For future reference, Duding a lady is not cool. That said, here are thankless jobs to avoid if you need a lot of congratulations from people other than yourself:

10. Poison Tester – This is the guy/gal who tastes your food, your highness, to make sure it’s not poisoned. The only time you get thanked  is after you’re dead…from poison.

9. Sports Referee – The fans on both sides waver from wanting to make-out with you, to wanting to smash beer cans on your head. It’s extremely violent for your emotions.

8. Bathroom Attendant – this is on the list because whether people thank you for handing them a towel/lotion/perfume or not, you still have to spend hours in a public bathroom with excrement and gossip, which the dictionary says are not the same thing.

7. Health Insurance employee of any kind in the USA – Everyone hates you. Period.

6. Spammer – You hate yourself.

5. Server – You physically exhaust yourself and become a vampire based on the hours you work and lose all of your quality friends who aren’t servers because you’re sleeping through their lives.  You put up with inhuman dialogue and treatment from customers while you whore out your personality to them, all to receive an extra five dollars when they leave. It makes you feel dirtier and dirtier all the time until you start to feel that you really understand prostitution and at least they make better money than you do. And at the end of the day, all that work you did is unquantifiable and you’ll probably never see the customers who really appreciated you ever again, and your manager doesn’t care that much about you either because let’s face it, there are millions of cuter, younger things out there that are dying to have your shitty serving job.

4. Writer – Similar to the server, there are millions of writers. Whoever is employing you to write has no qualms about finding someone else who will probably do it for less money or for free. Actors – same story. But it’s more fun to keep telling yourself that you’re a genius who will rise above them all. Like me. See how that works?

3. The Messenger – whether you are a history buff or a fan of Game of Thrones, the Messenger always buys it. No one says, “thanks for that news delivery, that was very helpful, good sir”. No. They chop your head off and jam it on a spike, probably before you’re even done talking. Seriously, do not ride a horse a few hundred miles, deliver news to the enemy, and expect to get a high five. Just don’t do it. Don’t. Do. It.

2. Host of the Oscars – Seriously. Why does anyone agree to do this? I envision (insert Star’s name here) in their therapist’s office, and the therapist saying, “I hate to tell you this, but all other treatments have failed. There’s only one thing left to bring your ego back down to a size that will allow you to keep your family and friends. That’s right. I’ve got the Academy on speed dial. Why do you think Franco got the job?”

1. President of the United States – Unless you are the freakishly charming Bill Clinton, like the poison tester, people only really appreciate you after you’re dead. Otherwise, during your reign…ahem…term(s), at least half the US population despises you despite the ridiculous challenge that is your job. As for the rest of the world, millions of people hate you. And the ones who like you will only be lukewarm about it, so they can avoid sounding too pro-American. No one wants to be caught sounding like that. By that, I mean that poorly traveled foreigners *often* see the United States as a war-mongering nation of obese people with no culture or taste who all carry guns and talk at ear-shattering decibel levels. To that, I say…stereotypes do exist for a reason…ouch.

Good luck on the job search, dude,

Enigmatic Bohemian

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Q: LET ME KEEP MY EVIL

Dear Enigmatic Bohemian,

Why are people spending time and money digging up Richard III and trying to rehabilitate his image? There are plenty of living things that need rehabilitation such as orphaned children, abandoned pets, and ahem, our planet. But more importantly, why would you want to destroy the best villain in all of Shakespeare? (Sorry, Iago. Just my opinion.) No actor wants to play Richard with a conscience! They want to tap into their inner evil and bathe in it and splash it all over the audience with glee! And the audience loves them for it. Richard is the villain we love to hate. Don’t diminish that. Let us keep our evil, please.

In the winter of my discontent,

Willy

A: LET ME KEEP MY EVIL

Dear Willy,

Yes, spending money to rehabilitate things that are still alive is definitely the better, saintlier decision. However, the people who have decided to spend their time and treasure on this clearly have ulterior motives. No journalist has uncovered this yet, but the diggers clearly must be the descendants of Richard III. They need to rehabilitate his image before they can make their case that the throne of England is rightfully theirs, that the kings and queens of England have been false since the time of the Tudors, and therefore they are the ones who deserve to live in Buckingham Palace and have the paparazzi photograph them on the beach when they’re pregnant. No one will anoint them such privileges as long as Richie III looks like the spawn of Satan. If you want to campaign to keep evil Richard alive, here are a few resources you might enjoy:

Al Pacino analyzing Richard:

Looking for Richard (1996)
http://www.imdb.com/rg/em_share/title_web/title/tt0116913

Gandalf as Richard:

Richard III (1995)
http://www.imdb.com/rg/em_share/title_web/title/tt0114279    

The Best Richard (perhaps):

Year of the King: An Actor’s Diary and Sketchbook

by Antony Sher

Hope that helps, Willy. I’m on your team.

Keep it evil,

Enigmatic Bohemian

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Q: WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

Santana takes the plunge to figure out her roots.

A: WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

Dear Santana,
If I could deliver the DNA results to you myself, I would. But in the end, this man’s genes gave you the ability to make a bicycle t-shirt look hot. I have no idea what you’re so worried about. Unless you think he might be an alien. Do you have magical powers that you’re not confessing to us in this video? Or green blood? You know I’m joking. You’re brave. You’re beautiful.

Love you,

Enigmatic Bohemian

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Q: SOCIAL NETWORKING NIGHTMARE

Dear Enigmatic Bohemian,

As all good introverts and Oscar Wilde fans know, the most interesting person that I have to talk to is myself. But as I am as intelligent as I am fascinating, I cannot ignore that social media is a necessary evil to get ahead in this world. Especially now that law degrees won’t guarantee my golden ticket. So the question is, what the devil should I be tweeting? I have tweeter’s block. I feel exactly like this:

Blah

Yours truly,

Die Twitter Die

A: SOCIAL NETWORKING NIGHTMARE

Dear Die Twitter Die,

You sound like a real charmer, so I cannot imagine why figuring out what to post on Twitter is a challenge. That said, all you do need is blah! Try live tweeting everything that you do tomorrow. Seriously, every little thing from waking up to hiding that magical aging picture in the attic. You can try to make some of the posts witty, a la Oscar Wilde, but you don’t have to. There will be so many tweets out there that it will take the pressure off any single tweet. More is more, after all. Plus, all of your adoring fans will be so thrilled to have too much information about you, YOU who is clearly a future celebrity. So, if law school can’t be your golden ticket, perhaps reality television is waiting for you in the wings. Happy tweeting!

cheers,

The Enigmatic Bohemian

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Q: FOREIGN LANGUAGE FAIL

Dear Enigmatic Bohemian,

Your name is too long. Can we shorten it? How do you feel about E-Bo? Next brilliant question: is it okay to laugh when people speak English by, I assume, literally translating it from their own crazy language? This lady I work with, whose wine-guzzling, baguette-chomping, oh-la-la nationality shall remain nameless, referred to the trash can area as the “harvest of the waste”. I nearly pissed my pants laughing. The look on her face made it worse, like she was about to spit fromage at me, and I fell on the ground, laughing even more and gripping my belly which was full of giggle-cramps. After I finally smashed my cheeks down from their Joker-in-the-Batman-movie face and stood back up, she slapped me! She slapped me like a teenage girl would slap teenage Ron Howard after trying to kiss her. Hello! Over-react much? Seriously, the slap was not called for, right?

smooches,

I Really Love Frogs

A: FOREIGN LANGUAGE FAIL

Dear I Really Love Frogs,

Inappropriate France references aside, for someone who thinks my name is too long, you really should reconsider yours. Perhaps, just “Frog”? Anyway, I’ve found that highlighting the language errors of others is a bad idea for many reasons, but mainly because it will come back to bite you, hard. When it’s your turn to open your mouth in someone else’s native tongue, you probably won’t speak that language nearly as well as she speaks English. You need all the kindness that you can squeeze out of the locals, whose ears, after hearing your accent (which sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard blended with the crunch of a giant cockroach being slowly extinguished under the boot of Ron Howard), will be hurting much more than a teenage girl slap-in-the-face. The fact is that you will be desperately asking them where the toilet is right when you are about to have another episode of Montezuma’s revenge, and you want them to respond with the truth. You need them to respond with the truth. If you’ve been a tool-bag by laughing at their English mistakes (they switched to English – your accent – see above), they’ll forget about sending you to the toilet and direct you to a pile of sand………or a leafless tree. So, I guess the answer to your question is laugh all you like. Oh, and let’s cool-it on the name shortening for now.

Au revoir,

Enigmatic Bohemian

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