Friday, June 25, 2010

Tattoo Spelling Mistakes

Looking at these makes me feel good about myself.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Directorial Debut

Well, after all my fretting, complaining and yelling- West Side Story is over. This was undoubtedly the most stressful part of the past nine months for me and I'm really glad it's over.

People have been asking me how it went and basically my response has been "not horrible" or "as good as could have been expected." The kids didn't come out of nowhere and blow me away, but they did do just slightly better than I'd expected.

If you ignore:
- the two times groups walked onstage before they were supposed to and turned around and walked off- only to walk back on seven seconds later when the music began

- the one time a girl (onstage in the middle of a song) saw me miming the choreography in the wings and hit another girl on the shoulder and pointed to me to show her what to do

- the fact that the singing was either incomprehensible or inaudible pretty much the entire time

then it wasn't half bad.

Watching the video after the fact, I felt that it must be something akin to giving birth, even beyond the fact that it was nine months in the making and painful to watch. Once all the stress and worry and screaming is over, and you're just left with the result, you kind of forget all the stuff that came before and just appreciate the finished product. As I watched it the next day, I just felt happy and accomplished.

All in all I'm proud of the kids and proud of myself.

Doesn't mean I'm ever trying to do it again though.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Potty Mouth

Today I was teaching one of my brightest young students. He is a 13 year old who speaks better English than many of the adults I teach. He always surpises me with his vocabulary. For example he was telling me today how he likes to cook, but doesn't follow recipes because he "likes to improvise in the kitchen."

Today, however, it wasn't his vocabulary that surprised me, it was his bluntness. He was in the middle of talking and said "Excuse me, I need to go to the toilet." I said that was fine and didn't question it. Then on his way out of the room he turned and said, "I have dee-ah-ree-ah. I don't think you want I do it here."

Now I don't know if he felt a greater explanation was necessary, or he just wanted to show that he knew the word, or if he saw an opportunity to make a (sort of) joke in English and just went for it. If it was the latter then I support it completely; I'll bust out a poop joke at every opportunity.

Either way, that combined with all the children's songs I've been singing lately got me thinking about all the silly little songs I used to sing with my brother and sister and friends and cousins when I was little. Particularly this baseball-themed classic that I vaguely remembered but had to Google to see all the words...

When you're sliding into first
And your pants begin to burst
That's diarrhea, diarrhea

When you're sliding into two
And your pants are filled with goo
That's diarrhea, diarrhea

When you're sliding into third
And you feel a greasy turd
That's diarrhea, diarrhea

When you're sliding into home
And your pants are filled with foam
That's diarrhea, diarrhea

I literally was doubled over screeching with hysterical laughter (alone) when I read this song. It brought back so many memories that I had to share it. I hope it's brought you as much joy as it did me.

P.S. In case this wasn't enough for you, there is a blog dedicated to variations of this song. I think the person who created it may be my soul mate-

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Good Week

Last week was quite busy, but in a good way, as I had some new private students (i.e. more money) and fun things to do at night after work. Of course, having a lot going on, some interesting things are bound to happen. Here are some stand out moments.

- Riding the metro to the city center on Wednesday night, Laura and I were standing in the space between two cars. There wasn't really anyone around us and we were just chatting quietly. Then after a brief lull in the conversation, I went to say something and turned my head slightly to the left as I did. During that lull in which I'd kept my eyes looking straight ahead, a woman had sidled up so close to me that when I did turn my head I was able to count the number of unruly eyebrow hairs that were sticking out over her right eye. I jumped back immediately and then Laura and I were both so overwhelmed with laughter that we ran to the next car.

- As I mentioned in a previous post we've had a visit or two from certain multi-legged, attennaed friends recently. This week Laura discovered a giant one in the bathroom. Her solution was to put duct tape over the cracks at the top and bottom of the door and hold her pee till she got to work. I'm usually pretty squeamish about bugs but in this domestic situation I am the tough guy. So I got home from work, took everything out of the bathroom so there was no place to hide, opened the window, wrapped the fly swatter in duct tape and wrestled a giant cockroach to the death. I won.

- On the train ride back from a day trip to a beautiful beach I spotted what I like to refer to as a Canadian Tuxedo trifecta. This consisted of denim shorts, a short-sleeved denim bolero jacket and a long-sleeved more traditional denim jacket tied around the waist. It really made a great day at the beach truly complete.

- Later that night before going out, I made myself a glass of tinto de verano to have with dinner. This consists of red wine mixed with lemon Fanta and it's a popular summer drink, particularly in Southern Spain. The small glass went down really quickly and I told Laura that it was already starting to go to my head. "Well yeah," she replied. "You drank it really fast, you usually sip your red wine." "I know," I said. "That's how you're supposed to drink red wine. But you mix that stuff with soda and all bets are off." It was a good precursor to that Saturday night, where we drank caipirinhas, which are basically Brazilian moonshine and lime juice.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Addendum- Things I Can't Stand

It has come to my attention recently that one of my posts may have offended a reader or two. Since I only have seven readers, I feel I need to rectify this to maintain my audience.

In my post regarding Things I Can't Stand (, I said that one of those things included holiday ties. Let me alter this to say that, if you are a smokin hot 23 year old gay man, you can pretty much pull off anything, including a classy, well-knotted holiday tie.

That being said, I would also like to add to the list of things I can't stand, these two items:

- Guys carrying their girlfriends' purses

- People panhandling on the metro who have highlights in their hair

And if you have a problem with either of these, then we just can't be friends.

2010 By The Numbers

Wow, it's June- already. That means we're about at the halfway point of 2010. I realized this yesterday and I started reflecting on this year so far. It's been really good overall, probably one of the best of my life. I decided the best way to paint a picture of the first half of this year is to do it the only way I can paint anything- by number. So here are my first six months of 2010 by the numbers:

9- the number of planes I've been on

8- the number of airports I've gone through

57- the number of little Spanish lives I've enriched with the joys of the English language

6- the number of students of mine who can actually form a sentence in English

2- the number of occasions this year(so far) in which a guy didn't kiss me goodbye because he feared he might vomit on me if he attempted to do so

3- the number of times I've had to teach the word "poop"

0- the number of times I've taught the word "poop" without laughing

2- the number of parties we've had at our apartment

4- the number of old Spanish lady neighbors we've heard complaining about our parties the next day

8- the number of wonderful visitors I've had here since January

4- the number of of wonderful visitors still to come

12- the number of different pastries I sampled during a 2.5 day stay in Paris

34- the approximate number of prostitutes working the street outside my hotel during said Paris visit

1- the number of cockroaches I've discovered crawling on me in my sleep

5- the number of times I've had to tell a four year old student to stop staring at my chest when I speak to him

1,583- the number of times I've completely lost my cool at West Side Story rehearsal

2- the number of rehearsals left until the actual production

11- the number of celebratory drinks I plan to have when West Side Story is finally really over

Infinity- the number of times I've agonized over what to do with my life for the second half of the year and beyond...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

La Cucaracha

I had a busy couple days this past weekend, running all over the city with Jackie and Andrew. So I was pretty excited about getting a good night's sleep last night. My wish was coming true too, I was in a sweet, deep slumber, (which I think may have even included a dream in which I was really skinny) until about 4am.

I was awoken by a tickling feeling on my arm. Right after I became aware of the tickling, I realized that the tickling was moving (crawling, you might say) down my arm. I didn't need to be wide awake for my skeeve reflex to kick in and I swatted at my arm. Immdiately after, I felt the tickly feeling reappear on my leg, so I swatted again and then turned on my lamp.

There on my bed was a little fella that looked something like this:

I picked up about five different objects, including books, a mug, and my cell phone charger trying to figure out how to handle this. It was too big to step on, I didn't want to do anything where I would have to feel it through a tissue or something, and I didn't want to smash it into my comforter. I finally decided to get a plastic cup and guide it in there with a book. Unfortunately, he wasn't too enthusiastic about that idea and scuttled away a couple times before disappearing under my bed.

There's tons of crap under my bed and I can't lift the bed to move any of it without help. I stood there in my room for a good five minutes, looking around as if I expected someone (preferably my dad) to appear and make it all better. Finally I accepted that that wasn't going to happen. I decided to take the path of least resistance, which at 4am I will opt for every time, and took a pillow and blanket out to the couch.

I drifted off with elaborate plans in my head for fashioning screens for my windows and woke up about every 35 minutes to glance at the crack under my bedroom door to make sure he wasn't coming to get me.

I haven't seen any sign of my late night guest today. Laura and I are going to take all the stuff out from under my bed and see what happens, but I have a feeling he'll only reappear at night. I think he might just want to cuddle.