Why I Hate Football Season

football-stadium-colorado_3571_990x742I look forward to football season about as much as I look forward to visiting the DMV, or renewing my Visa. I fucking loathe American football. Knowing that football season has begun its long and painful journey of 256 games makes me want to crawl under a rock until mid January. I like sports in general, and I love sports movies, but I can’t stand watching sports on TV. Especially football. How can people enjoy the NFL when they KNOW the NFL are liers and money grubbing assholes? Because Football Fans don’t care if players are getting hurt or getting brain disease caused by concussions! Because FOOTBALLLLLLL!  … Don’t get me started on fans. Fans ruin everything for everyone.

  1. Americans insist on calling it “Football”. In a game that asks you to throw the ball, catch the ball, and run holding the ball, it amazes me that we still insist on calling it FOOTball. As for as the rest of the world is concerned – football means soccer. Shouldn’t we just hop on board? I mean the rest of the world uses the metric system and says soccer – we need to learn to just go with the flow.
  2. Live games suck. The last time I attended an American Football game I decided it would be my last. Ever. Maybe there are people out there that enjoy overpriced BudLite, and over priced nachos. Maybe there are people who don’t mind being sandwiched between the face painted dude and the overly aggressive woman who acts like the face painted dude. Maybe there are people who don’t mind huge crowds of grown frat guys. I saw one dude punch another dude because he was wearing the opposing teams colors. Seriously. Grow up.
  3. “Football is my passion. I love football”. Yeah, I had someone tell me that once. We’ve since divorced, but I still think about that statement when football season rolls around. I’ll tell you what I told him – If you really love football, if football is truly your passion, then stop watching other people do it. Get out there and play. But I guess playing actual football isn’t the same as playing it on your game system. Just admit it, you don’t love football. You love getting drunk while watching other people do athletic things.
  4. Bars stop being fun. Anyone who has tried to have a good time at a bar when a football game is on knows what I am talking about. Bars should have designated safe rooms (panic rooms!) for people who are there to have a good time sans sports. And don’t tell me to just go to another bar. I’ve tried. I’ve been to many bars during football seasons and inevitably some asshole and his friends come in demanding to watch The Big Game. Go watch at home, asshole. Annoy your wife and family. They signed up for you, I didn’t.
  5. The “WE” factor. This irritates me to no end. Have you ever listened to someone talk about “Their” team? My team won. My team is going to the finals. It’s all “we” and “us” when the team in question is winning, but when the tide turns so does the language. It goes from WE to THEY real quick. WE won. THEY lost. The main point to understand here is that there really isn’t any “we”. No matter how much you love a team, your love and dedication won’t make you a part of the team. You are not playing. You are not winning. You are watching other men play and win and make money for doing it.
  6. The NFL is an EVIL corporation who lets their employees get sick and die. Seriously. Brain damage since the 1970’s and they don’t give a shit. They cover it up. They lie. You know, what they do every time one of the players hits a woman or kills someone. And yeah, it’s happened more than once. What other multimillion dollar company would not only allow it, but cover it up and encourage more? THE FUCKING EVIL NFL. Thats who. Read this awesome little article and learn more.

That’s all I’ll say on the matter. I don’t want to fight about it, and I certainly am not interested in hearing people defend football, or the watching of it. If that is how you want to spend your free time – go for it. Enjoy your crap beer and your foam cheese head. Just try to do it a little more politely. Just because the team you like is winning doesn’t give you the right to act a fool.

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Zen Habits: Creating Routine

Henry-Millers-11-commandmentsIf you look at any great artist, writer, thinker, dancer, or even athlete – you will see that they have one thing in common: A routine. Most (if not all) highly creative people have a routine, or “a process” in which they traverse in order to create. Just look in the “self help” section of your local bookstore and you will see shelves dedicated to the idea of creating habits – “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work”, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” – just to name a few.

Humans love the idea of a short cut. We love thinking that if we take a pill we won’t have to watch what we eat, or exercise. If we eat this kind of food but not the other, we will be thin. We think that if we adapt the same habits as ‘great minds’ we might ourselves become great. The trick is to find a routine that works for you.

Mark Twain would wake up and eat a huge breakfast, after-which he would retire to his study until five o’clock in the evening. He would work uninterrupted for hours on end, and after dinner he would share his work with his family. While that might have worked for Mr. Clemens, it would be hell for me. I like to work alone, but I don’t know about locking myself in one room until supper. It would drive me crazy! And reading my work out-loud to family? No freaking way. Find a routine that works for YOU, not a famous person you admire. Having role models is great, but admiring someone doesn’t get you any closer to “being” that person. Know who YOU are and what YOU need.

Oh, and speaking of things you need… let me quickly rundown some things you DON’T need. Sometimes habits need to be broken. Here are 3 habits to BREAK:

  1. SMOKING – really? Stop it. You know it’s bad for you. You know it makes you look like shit. It costs a LOT of money over the year. Really, just stop it.
  2. DRINKING – As someone who used to drink “like a man”, I know how fun it is. But, I am a lot happier now that I am sober. I’m alert. I’m hangover free. I’m healthy, thinner, happier… Yeah, I have a glass of wine here or there, but I couldn’t place in a drinking competition any longer. And I’m damn proud of it.
  3. COMPLAINING – Ugh. The worst. Guess what? Everybody has something to complain about. Everybody is as wrapped up in their lives as you are in yours. What makes you think folks want to hear how annoyed you are at the asshole who cut you off, or the clerk who had the audacity to take a phone call in front of YOU? Trust me – if you stop complaining the world will be nicer to you.

imagesMy personal habits are pretty basic. I try to keep a flexible attitude, and a flexible day so that I can take advantage of what the day may bring. Here is what I try to keep in mind, what I try to accomplish each day. Some days I do better than others.

  1. Clean something – I don’t have a regimented cleaning schedule. I do work as needed and since I don’t have a lot of “stuff” I don’t need to work as much. Again, the more shit you own, the more time you have to spend on it. In order to keep a loose schedule AND a clean flat I have a “One a day” rule. I need to do (at least) one chore a day. Whether it’s doing the dishes, the laundry, the tub… whatever. I do one chore a day.
  2. Read & Write – I read every day. I write every day. No exceptions. I think it was Stephen King who said, if you want to be a great writer you need to read every day. So I do. I write too. Practice your art. Daily.
  3. Play! – I do something fun every day. It might be crossword puzzles, and it might be going to Disneyland. It doesn’t matter as long as it was fun. The standard of “fun” is in my head, so I know if it counts. Even if I had fun at work, I try to do something fun for myself. It’s important to keep happy.
  4. Take stock – Sometime before I hit the hay, I take stock of myself. How am I feeling? Did I have a good day, or a bad day? Why? Doing this let’s me reflect on my day in a positive way, and also helps me leave it behind before I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning, yesterday doesn’t matter – it’s in the past. All that matters is today and making today a great day.
  5. Embrace mistakes – Everybody makes mistakes. Half of my day as a teacher is convincing kids that there isn’t anything wrong with making mistakes. Some of my best work has come from what I thought were mistakes. It’s funny, I notice “mistakes” in my paintings right away but nobody else seems to. Mistakes are something we learn from and move on. You might know some stubborn folks who keep making the same mistakes over and over and over, yet never seem to learn from their own missteps. Don’t be that guy. Own your mistakes and grow from them. A mistake doesn’t have to ruin your whole day. Deal with it and let it go. Remember, each time you tell “your story” your ego is getting just what it wants – attention.

The best advice I have is: Do what is right for you. You know what makes you happy, and what you need to succeed. You can design a set of “Commandments” for yourself that will allow you to flourish and be happy while keeping you on the right track. YOUR TRACK. It doesn’t matter what your best friend does, or what the celebrity on the cover of “People” does. All that really matters is what YOU do. And what you don’t do.

I’m So Over… Spring Edition

SN856851It’s that time again. Time to clean out the closets and let my readers know the stupid stuff that is getting on my nerves at the moment. And of course, to bring balance to the universe, the next post will be a Spring edition of “Things I’m Crazy About”.

  1. Allergies – Although Austin apparently fell 38 spots on the worst places in America for allergies list, it still sucks. People who don’t suffer from allergies normally will be a sneezing ball of snot after a week here. People here talk about the Spring being “amazing” because of the weather, (beg to differ) but forget to mention the constant stream of polan in the air. I have never suffered from allergies like I have here. Yet one more reason to leave Austin in my wake. 
  2. Wine is the new Cupcakecougartown_240Can someone please tell me when women in their late 30’s had a meeting to decide that wine was the new accessory of choice? It’s really embarrassing. All over my FB, (and on TV) I see women embarrassing themselves by talking about how many BOXES of wine they are going to have. And then doing it. Courtney Cox even has a show about drinking wine in your 40’s called “Cougar Town”. Yeah. I know. I for one don’t want that association. Please don’t think that all women are that silly. I don’t want to look like a 40 year old lush who uses my shitty job, my boring husband, or my wonderful children as my raison d’être. It’s not a classy look for an adult. These are the women who get together at restaurants in order to pick at salads get drunk. Oh, and talk shit about their husbands/boyfriends. I know, I used to serve them. Gross. Cut. It. Out.
  3. Pictures of your shitty meal – Maybe we could all agree that not every meal we make, buy or happen to see deserves to have it’s picture taken, hm? This goes for pictures of the inside of your freezer or what your cat ate.
  4. Austin, TX320954-austin-texasYep, not a fan. It’s funny. I have lived in a lot of different cities, states and a few countries. When I say a place doesn’t cut the mustard, I have a wealth of personal experience that it is based off of. Most of the people I have met here who “LOVE IT” have never lived anywhere else. I’m not shitting you. I hear “It’s the greatest city in the world” from people who haven’t been outside the state. It’s really frustrating to try and have a constructive conversation with folks here about the city’s vast problems because nobody wants to hear it. My fella (who is from Texas) feels the same way. This city feels dated and unwelcoming. The division between the yuppies and the rest of the population is startling. Anyway, y’all can have it. I’ll be outta yer hair next year. Til then I will keep on letting the folks of Austin know that they are behind the times on just about everything. Disagree? That’s what having your own blog is for…
  5. Guns: I think we should find a remote island. Or maybe just reclaim one of the Dakotas. But we should have a place where all of the nice freedom loving gun assholes can go live and be free with their guns. Did you hear about the little boy who shot his sister while he was PLAYING with his rifle? The rifle was a gift he received for Christmas from his family. So now… how are guns a good idea again, or is this kid another terrorist.
  6. Calling your kid “Monkey”: spider-monkey_719_600x450I’ve got news for you – Just about every parent calls their kid “Monkey”. I see it at work, I see it on FB, I saw it in Europe and I see it in the states. I see it on TV and in movies. I guess it’s not that big a deal, but I assure you, if I ever have a kid I will not call them “Monkey”. Or “Bean” that’s another popular one. People go out of their way to come up with original names for their children and then just call them “Monkey”. What a waste. For those of you without kids (Yet?) – may I suggest some of the following, less used, adorable nicknames for babies: Stinky, Tank, Gus, Chief, Speedy, or Smigel.

News Round Up

There is a lot going on in the world. And rather than write a dozen posts I thought I just put them all together and serve ’em up raw. Here’s my two cents on the news of the day.

  1. The New PopeurlMeet the new boss, same as the old boss. Why bother with popes? Can someone please explain to me why people still care what some old, religious dude thinks? And do you want to know what he thinks? He thinks same-sex marriage is the work of the devil. He said gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children. Hey Francis! You wanna know what is actually bad for children? Rape. Molestation. Catholicism. Anyone following a strict catholic doctrine in this day and age deserves what they get. 
  2. Daylight Savings – Again. What is the point here? With solar panels, and gadgets and really smart people who make really smart things, I don’t see why we need daylight savings for farmers anymore. I am pretty sure this is like all the “No alcohol before noon” laws here in the land that time forgot Texas. You know, just some old rule that nobody bothered to change and now we just live with it.
  3. SXSWSN856684So, here I am in Austin Texas right down the street from the worlds biggest live hipster festival. It also features music and interactive game stuff and movies. It’s pretty cool. I think. I went to see the gaming part by accident, but it was really fun. And there are a ton of celebrities and famous people in town. Now, I’m from LA so I don’t give a shit about meeting famous people, but I do give a shit about seeing some cool bands for free and drinking some free beer. That’s what tomorrow is for. I’m looking forward to some day drinking.

Wow. I kind of thought I’d have more to write about, but I don’t. Politics change so fast there isn’t really much point in having an opinion. Yes I am watching American Idol and I think a woman can and should win this year. I’m not naming names until I see how “America” voted for this first round. What else…more cruise ships leaving folks dead or stranded. Why do people take cruises again? Who wants to be on a floating hotel for the majority of your trip? Anyway, maybe it’s just not for me. That’s all for now. I’ll have a full SXSW review if I see/hear/play anything worth talking about.

Thanksgiving Playlist

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t like Thanksgiving. For me it is nothing but overeating and sloth sprinkled with a few family fights over silly things like politics or who has to wash the heaping pile of dishes. Ugh. No thanks. This will be my first Thanksgiving in America since 2005 so I am trying to be a little more positive. I am going to bake some soft, frosted Pumpkin Spice cookies and get a new fall outfit to sooth my dampening spirit.

I am thankful for so much. I am thankful for my boyfriend who makes me happy everyday. I am thankful for my job and the cute little brats I get to hang out with and teach. I am thankful for books, music, pizza, pancakes, boots, coffee, my penguin slippers and the new warm blanket my mommie sent. I am thankful for all that I have – everyday. Here is a playlist of gratitude. Play it while you bake some pies.

  1. Little Old Wine Drinker Me – Dean Martin 
  2. The Slackers – Thank You 
  3. Beans and Cornbread – Louis Jordan 
  4. Caveman – Thankful 
  5. Homeward Bound – Simon & Garfunkel 
  6. Making Pies – Patty Griffin 
  7. We All Want To – A La Mode 
  8. Nothing Short of Thankful – The Avett Brothers 
  9. Everybody Eats When They Come to My House – Cab Calloway 
  10. Talking Turkey – Electric Six 
  11. The Long Way Home – Tom Waits 
  12. Maximum Consumption – The Kinks 
  13. Charlie Parker – Carvin’ the Bird 
  14. Eat It – “Weird Al” Yankovic 
  15. Alcohol – Bare Naked Ladies 

I’m So Over…

Here is a short list of things I am so very tired of hearing about, seeing, or doing. I will post a counter list of “Things I’m Crazy About” next, so you can keep your “Why are you so negative?” comments to yourself. Thanks. Enjoy!

  1. Hangovers – Thanks, but no thanks. You’d think after seven years in the Czech Republic I’d be used to hangovers. But here’s the thing: most Czech beers don’t leave you with a hangover. True story. So, fast forward three months and give Alicia some American beers, whiskey and one night out on the town and I’m over it. Done. Spending the day feeling like I want to barf, poop and die all at the same time isn’t very alluring for me. For that matter either is getting shit faced drunk. There are plenty of other ways to have a good time.
  2. People who use the words “Fail”, “Brosef”, “Amazing”, “Genius”, “Shaming” – Please stop. You are only hurting yourself. I know it seems cool to jump on the Trendy Bandwagon, but it isn’t. That bandwagon is full of other people JUST LIKE YOU who think they are being clever and witty and original when in fact they are just regurgitating phrases they heard on SNL, Twitter, Facebook or Buzzfeed. You are better than that and you know it. Stop trying so hard, because it just makes you look sad.
  3. Bad SportsmanshipI can’t tell you how completely exhausting it is to play games with children who haven’t been taught how to lose. It is an elegant skill that seems to have been totally forgotten in this country. We are teaching our youth that they should expect to win, that if they get bored (read: they are losing) they can just quit, and that whining when they lose is acceptable. Where do they get this? Oh, right… grown ups. Just look at the Presidential debates of this last month. The President of the US was condemned for not being aggressive enough in a debate when I thought he showed poise and grace. Contestants on reality shows whine or cry when they lose. Teaching people that if they follow the rules of the game they will win is not a good idea. Just because you lose doesn’t automatically mean the other guy is cheating.
  4. Women who use ‘The F word’ excessively, and give ‘The Bird’ in pictures  My fella and I went into a little shop yesterday. Within five minutes of speaking with the female clerk I was ready to leave. She dropped the F Bomb at least ten times in that five minutes. Classy. I don’t like it when men do it either, but I feel a special kind of gross when I hear women do it. It doesn’t make you cooler to talk like a trucker. It doesn’t make you look like Johnny Cash when you throw up the middle finger in a party picture. It makes you look like an idiot. A cliché. Kristen Stewart. Excessive cussing coupled with tongue out, middle finger up pictures are no better than the stupid looking “duck lips” photos that ladies are ever so fond of. Please stop. You look like a tool.
  5. Owls, Sloths, and other animals that look like Zooey Deschanel I know, animals are cool. And the baby ones are super cute. I get it. But maybe we can all decide that just because Kristen Bell is into sloths doesn’t mean I have to be. Just because Zooey Deschanel’s stylist decided that owls were hip, doesn’t mean you have to go along for the sad ride. Just because H&M is selling printed screen T’s of owls playing with kittens doesn’t mean it is a good idea to wear it. Why? Well, because everyone else already is. Yeah, you are so off the beaten path, so totally not mainstream with your owl ring that everyone else has. Le sigh…
  6. GLEE I tried really, really hard to stick with Glee. I suffered through love triangles, John Stamos, and even a horrific retelling of The Rocky Horror Show. But I stuck with it. Why? I am a musical theater geek. I admit that proudly. I love movies and TV shows that have singing and dancing. But Glee jumped the shark this year with the introduction of Wade “Unique” Adams – a cross dressing, singing and dancing, pro equality character who looks like a cross between Tyler Perry and Patti LaBelle. The dude is talented, no doubt. He can sing. But why, WHY do I have to watch that? I get it, Glee is a show about including everyone, and a show that promotes gay equality. YAY! But putting a teen kid in drag and having him sing Beyoncé songs doesn’t further your platform. It makes your platform look like a joke. Glee made a few wrong turns this year, but none as wrong as Unique.

2012 – Looking Forward: “The Year of Cage”

Usually I am the first person to trumpet the words, “Last year sucked. This year will be way better.” But I can’t really claim that this year. I think 2011 was pretty darn good, and in the last two weeks of said year I find myself happier than I have been in a long time. I know the trend, the common response at the end of the year is to look back and take stock of what you have done, but I am not going to do that this year. Nope, I am going to resist the temptation to list all the crazy, (Cain, Gingrich, Bachmann, AND Perry all running – who left the doors of crazy town ajar?) amazing, (OWS, I actually completed NaNoWriMo) and downright absurd (Rebecca Black sings about days of the week and becomes famous) things that happened this year. Instead, I am going to jump in my time machine and look forward to 2012. Come with me!

Jan. 1, 2012 – I ring in the New Year while singing karaoke in Prague. I kiss my fella and raise a glass to toast the new year. I also look incredibly fabulous in a floor length purple Halston style gown.

Jan. 3, 2012 – I wake up groaning at 6:22am and head back to work after my winter break come screeching to a halt.

Jan.11, 2012 – It’s my Birthday! I go out to dinner with my friends, and see a movie.

Jan. 14, 2012 – My Birthday Party! Through a miracle, I find karaoke on this night and dedicate it to myself. I sing all night while consuming many cocktails, none of which I purchased for myself.  And, I look incredible again.

Jan. 15, 2012 – I don’t leave the house. I stay in bed all day and watch movies to cure my hangover. My always sweet fella surprises me with Phó. I do not look incredible.

Jan. 20, 2012 – I remember that I vowed to read at least 60 books this year and stop playing Angry Birds.

Jan. 28, 2012 – The day I stop writing the year as “20112”

Feb.8 – I cook a birthday dinner for my man. He is happy and thinks I am rad. Later this week I will try to throw him an understated, adult Birthday party which quickly turns into a night of drinking and debauchery.

Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day. I make a card for my guy and take him to the movies.

March 16 – I realize that my plan to wait out the New Year rush at the gym was a good one, but I could probably have gone back a month ago.

March 17 – I go back to the gym.

April 3 – The secret plot i am hatching for a new career is coming along smoothly and I start getting motivated.

April 27 – I find 100kc on the ground and do not look for the owner.

May 8 – I go to the park at Riegrovy Sady and read for three hours. It’s Spring in Prague, and therefore time to be out in the nature.

May 22 – I buy an outfit for the two weddings I will be attending next month.

June 12 – Leave for Cesky Krumlov!

June 13 – Attend Allie and Davey’s wedding with my guy. We have a great time, and I am surprised by seeing a slew of old friends. I sleep happy.

June 16 – Attend wedding number two in Prague!

July 27 – Summer Olympics begin

July 28 – I realize that I have little to no national pride and resume playing Angry Birds

August 4 – I land in the USA where I am on a road trip taste testing sandwiches across the country. (What?! It could happen…)

September 7 – I eat a sandwich that is so good it disrupts the space-time continuum. I blog about it, and then quickly delete the post out of pure selfishness.

September 27 – I wonder what I am still doing in America.

October 1 – I start planning my Halloween costume and vow it will be “dope”.

October 23 – I re think my “dope” Halloween costume when I notice that I haven’t done any shopping or planning for it. I decide to dig out that old French Maid outfit and that’s that.

October 31 – I end up going as a Zombie French Maid and feel less like a slutty 25-year-old in her underwear on Halloween.

November 1 – NaNoWriMo begins and I am off to a great start!

November 30 – I complete another consecutive National Novel Writing Month! <Streamers are thrown and I get a book deal>

December 2 – I start watching a bunch of “end of the world” movies to get tips on what not to do. 

December 3 – I try to track down Nick Cage as he is obviously the only person who will survive the Mayan Apocalypse. I vow to become his accomplice and sassy side kick.

December 22 – The world didn’t end, but I am now friends with Nick Cage and feel all the better for it.

December 25 – Christmas Day! All is well and I am happy. I Skype with Nick and he sings “Deck the Halls” dressed up as Santa Claus for me.

December 31 – New Year’s Eve and I look incredible yet again. I vow to make THIS year count and no more procrastinating. Nick Cage just smiles and laughs, he knows me better than that.

 

Temperance ‘Tember

Living in Prague is awesome. I love it. I love the seasonal changes. I love the fact that even though I have been here almost five years, at times I still look around and say “Holy crap! I live in Europe!” I love the massive amounts of holidays in this country and I love the fact that the culture isn’t centered around work/business. I love sledding in the winter and the beer gardens and parks in the summer. I love the cheap booze.

This is a city of excess. If you want it you can find it in Prague. And you can find it 24 hours a day. (Unless of course if what you want is food. If you want food you have to get it before 11pm or wait til the stores open. Sure you can get hookers at all hours, but not a hamburger. Oh Denny’s! Where art thou?) And that is one of the great things about Prague cheap booze 24/7. But it can wear on you.

I’ve been trying to “get healthy” for a while now, and I have been doing an alright job. I lost some weight, exercised sporadically and cut back on booze and smoking. I even gave up gummy bears. My body responds well to being treated nicely. When I don’t drink or smoke, I feel good. When I spend 45 minutes running, I feel good. When I eat a salad rather than a frozen pizza, I feel good – and a little hungry.

Temperance is a core virtue in Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism. It is having control over excess. And for me, that is what September is about. Buddha said, “Temperance is a tree which as for its root very little contentment, and for its fruit calm and peace.” And I agree. I am not giving up the joys of alcohol forever. Nor am I judging those who keep drinking. I am detoxifying my body as I have my life. I seek total peace in my surroundings, my relationships and in my professional life. I have made it a point to get out of toxic relationships with friends and other people in my life that are not a positive influence. I have left behind jobs that lead me to feel stressed and taken advantage of. My home is now a place of light and air and comfort. I now need to make peace with my body.

I don’t think it will be difficult. I start a new job that will have me up at 6a.m. every day so, that will in and of itself modify my behavior on week nights. That just leaves Saturday and Sunday. It will be a challenge not to get wasted with my friends, laugh, and act like a jack ass; but I think if I keep in mind that it is just for thirty days it will be no problem. It will also solidify my decision to not use cigarettes any longer. The only time I seem to want one is when I get drunk. So, remove the alcohol and the smokes will follow. I think my friends will be supportive of my decision and not make fun of me. And I promise not to tease them when they are hung over and I am awake and feeling good.

Wish me luck and good fortune on my journey friends, and I will see you on the other side. I will let you know how it goes either way. 

Bar Etiquette

Alcohol is a way of life here in the Czech Republic. I don’t mean to say that Prague is like one big, never-ending Frat party, (even if for some that is not far off) but Czechs take alcohol seriously and don’t find anything wrong with drinking. Most Czechs try alcohol well before they hit their teens. The legal drinking age here is 18, while the age of consent is 15. Don’t get me started.

Now, take some American kids who have not been allowed to drink legally before and ship them off to a foreign country where the beer is cheap and they can legally consume whatever and however much they want. You now have a recipe for why Europeans hate Americans. No etiquette. Americans are loud, bossy and seem to have no idea that there are other people in the world. Not all Americans, but enough for me to group them together.

Going to a bar should be a fun thing to do – not a time where you feel like you have to keep your defenses up. But, alas it is not always the case. Many times here (and in the states) I have encountered bad etiquette in bars. Some if it gets to the point of harassment. I have been yelled at and called a bitch, followed home, grabbed, pushed and man handled. And not all of the above offenses have been perpetrated by men. Women are just as big of assholes as men are. So, without further ado, here is a simple list of “rules” to follow in a bar to make sure that you and your friends are not the douche bags everyone is talking about the next day.

  1. Don’t buy or accept drinks from strangers. Sure it seems fun to get a free drink, or feel like “the man” when you buy a pink beverage for a woman, but think about it. The woman in question might feel uncomfortable about it and feel like she “owes” the guy something. And the guy kind of comes off like he is trying to hard. So ladies, buy your own drinks and if you like him, talk to him anyway. And you don’t want to be “that girl” at the bar who just gets wasted off free drinks.  (And if you DO accept a drink, don’t be an asshole and choose something expensive.)
  2. Leave her alone the FIRST time she says no. That’s right guys, the FIRST time. She’s probably not being coy or flirtatious, she probably really wants you to go away. So go away. If she wants to talk to you, she’ll come talk to you. But don’t be the bar pest who thinks he will break through to her. We have a name for that guy  – asshole.
  3. Don’t get wasted and pathetic. Ladies, this one is mostly for us. Being turned down or rejected totally sucks and feels like poo, but it is no reason to drown your sorrows in cosmopolitan’s and confront the poor guy who wasn’t interested in your drunk ass. If you are wasted, grinding up on a guy, and yelling “I am SO wasted!” and he STILL isn’t interested – maybe it’s you, not him.
  4. Don’t abandon your girlfriend – unless she wants you to. You guys got all dolled up together, planned cute outfits and bought each other rounds of drinks. Don’t wander off without telling her, and don’t leave her with that dude she just met. I have been abandoned by my lady friends when I needed them most and had to fend off some tremendous jerks all alone. Stick together. If she likes the guy and he doesn’t seem like a serial killer, then fine. But be a pal and make sure.
  5. Don’t be THAT GUY. You know “that guy”. He comes into the bar with a pack of friends who all seem to have popped collars and khaki pants on. They are already wasted. They yell a lot. They have a mission. “That guy” is their leader and he sucks. He picks fights with other dudes and calls women names when the refuse his advances. If you see “that guy” leave the bar and go some place else.

See? I told you it was pretty simple. Just use common sense and try to respect other people. We all like to get fucked up and have fun every once in a while, but just don’t include anybody in your fun if they don’t want to be included. Capiche?

Barbiedrinks

Every once in a while I have a moment in my life where I am reminded just how much of a “Girly” girl I am not. Most recently I was trying to braid my hair. Nothing fancy mind you, just two Laura Ingalls style braids. It took me a frustrating hour to complete the task only to have friends re braid it. Twice. One of which was a guy.

That has just never been who I am. I won’t go so far as to say that I was a Tom Boy, but I was pretty close. I have an older brother so I have always been comfortable around guys and been privy to their habits and conversations. But, I don’t have a lot of make-up. I don’t know how to use a curling iron. I hate shopping. I don’t dress with any particular “flair”, (which I gotta say, I am quite pleased about. I have a distinct style of… me But at least I don’t follow EVERY trend that comes along. I saw two girls out the other night that looked like they had escaped an 80’s video. One had on a silver head band, and the other had the TIGHTEST, BRAIDED side pony tale. Yeah. I know. These are fashion mistakes that only “Girly Girls” make. Anyway…) and, I drink Whiskey, or beer.

I’ve never really been one for fluffy “girly” drinks. Sure, back in my misspent youth I guzzled a few wine coolers in my cheer leading uniform. And, in my early twenties I recall being fond of amaretto sours for about six months. But other than that I have never been partial to the special drinks designed for “girls”. And I mean GIRLS, not women. You know the type of cocktail I am referring to – they are usually pink or purple and smell like watermelon or flavors of Bonnie Bell Lipsmackers. They come in a martini glass but have no relation to a martini and they are sweet enough for someone wants to get plastered, but doesn’t “like the taste of alcohol”.

Blatant sexism aside, these kinds of drinks bother me. Or rather, the type of girl who drinks them bother me. First, they are MARKETED to “GIRLS”. Girls, not women. Girls means… well girls. You would never see a Beer ad for “Boys”. Nope only MEN drink beer, but drink it next to a hot GIRL! In America I have seen pre packaged “Cocktails” that come in pink packaging and are pre mixed (because us dumb girls couldn’t possibly mix our own) and undoubtedly involve fruit. The name is usually written in a fancy, feminine font so that the fairer sex knows it is for them. Then it will pander to a woman’s sense of vanity by calling itself “Light” or “Skinny”.  The label will say “Half the calories and half the guilt”. The liquid inside will probably be pink, and the actual bottle of alcohol will look like a toy for children or a perfume bottle. None of these things are mistakes. And sure, there is tons of alcohol marketing for men, but it usually doesn’t make them feel stupid. Hell, even one of those (and I use this term loosely here) women from the “Real Housewives” series has a line of Margarita’s called Skinny Margarita.

I don’t know. But I am tired of seeing pink razors cost double the amount of the blue ones. I am tired of seeing adds for things like pink tools. I am annoyed at the amount of women who count calories when they are out having fun. I don’t need everything I own to be pink for me to know that I am a woman. I know that I am a woman because I am not stupid. The only woman that the “Everything must be pink!” idea ever worked for was Barbie. And last time I checked she was a brainless, plastic doll with a shit load of clothes and no job.

Actually, I think she also has a silver headband.