Saturday, 23 February 2013

Fatherly advice (bless it)

My benefactress told me last night that my dad, bless his heart, was concerned about my latest blog post re: Tebow, and that it my 'strong opinions' may adversely affect my employment prospects. I was nonplussed for the following reasons:

Number 1. The idea that my readership might ever be high enough to ever adversely affect anything is a thrilling if unlikely prospect.
Number 2. I live in Prague where everyone is vaguely unimpressed about everything in the first place, let alone some American football player and some American's opinion about him.
Number 3. For every Tebow lover out there, there are probably 2 Tebow haters. The odds are ever in my favour.
Number 4. Would not wish to work for invasive, theoretical company that stalks my facebook profile so hard they 'hack into it' as my mother suggested, just to find my insignificant blog with which they will justify not hiring self.
Number 5.  My username on this blog is 'feministfascist.' Surely that is a greater reason not to hire self for the mere promise of extreme opinions. Further, anyone with 'feministfascist' as their handle surely must be expected to hate Tim Tebow and similar. Cannot be surprising.
Number 6. The William Lloyd Garrison quote which is my life's mantra surely precludes self-censorship.
"I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat and I will be heard."
Number 7. Perhaps most importantly must keep true to my New Year's Resolutions as best as possible. I refer the dear reader to 'I will not' section 6 of the Resolutions, which reads 'Lie about my ideas, my life, my thoughts and opinions, or myself to make other people feel better somehow'. As I was previously wavering in my resolve to abide by this resolution, I can proudly report to not having fallen at first hurdle.

Love the lovely father and his benefactress wife (my mother) for being concerned, and as ever he has sensible and thoughtful advice. This will be one of those potentially regrettable times I don't follow it. I will retreat into my Tebow-trolling lair:

Sunday, 17 February 2013

This bitch.

Not to go all political-blog on you, buuuut...

I hate Tim Tebow. This is not a secret, and it actually has lost me facebook friends! Which is maybe so pathetic, but it seems to be the case.

But this dumb bitch, according to TV Guide, is doing something to make me hate him even more:

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow is scheduled to speak at a megachurch in Dallas whose pastor has spoken out against Muslims, Jews, Mormons and members of the LGBT community.

Tebow is listed as a special guest at one of the First Baptist Church's morning services on April 28, according to its website.

The church is led by Evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress, who has previously denounced non-Christian religions such as Islam, Judaism and Mormonism. Leading up to the most recent presidential election, Jeffress warned parishioners that re-electing President Barack Obama would "lead to the rise of the Antichrist," according to The Christian Post. While denouncing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Jeffress also declared that 70 percent of the gay population has AIDS, and referred to it as "a gay disease," according to

Tebow has made no secret of the fact that he's a devout Christian, but has shied away from taking a stance on controversial social issues.
First the anti-abortion bullshit, now this. He makes me want to vom. The only gratification is knowing what a shitty football player he is. Everytime he gets up to speak, I'm just like...

His momma made the wrong choice. #sorryimnotsorry

A little survey

I've had a posting deficit, so this little survey looked fun to fill out.

1. State your name:

2. State the name that your parents almost named you:
John Robert was a close one, but they didn't want me to be like JR off Dallas. Mom told me that if I had been a girl I'd have been Amanda. Just call me Mandi.

3. Which of your relatives do you get along with the most?
My mom and my dad and my sisters and my aunt and my cousin obviouslyyyy.

4. What was your first job?
Blockbuster Video, WOW! What a difference!

6. Did anything embarassing happen this week?
Something moderately embarrassing happens to me every week, but I'm going to say it was my unreasonably strongly-worded defense of Demi Lovato when my student said her voice sounded 'electronically helped.'

7. Do you miss your ex?

8. Do people praise you for your looks?

9. What is your favorite color of clothing to wear?
Anything NEON! Neon yellow, neon pink, neon green, neon blue... the more offensive to the naked eye, the better.

10. How do you wear your makeup?
I wore mascara once at the behest of my friend and it seemed like a dreadful thing to be constantly encumbered with.

11. What are some of your nicknames?
Peej, Péj, Paja by certain Czechs... Pavlíčku-Honzíčku??

12. How many bedrooms are in your house?

13. How many bathrooms?
Two, thank heavens.

14. Do you have a job?
Yes. This is starting to feel judgmental.

15. Do you have a car?
On another continent, yes!

16. Do you work out every week?
Umm, I dance to k-pop routines by myself in my room and do cardio. That counts?

17. Did you brush your teeth this morning?
Ew, yes.

18. Have you ever kissed someone you never saw again?
Yes, and if you haven't you're not doing it right.

19. Have you ever sang in front of a crowd?
Yes, a few times.

20. What kind of bathing suit do you wear?
Little trunks.

21. Do you like your eyes?
Yes actually, love them badly!

22. Do you think you are pretty?
I feel charming, it's alarming how charming I feeeeeel

23. Who was the last person you talked to in person?
Laura Jane, Shannon, and Henry

24. How much money is in your checking account?
This is definitely judgmental now.

25. Are you single?

26. Do you want kids?

27. Tell me what your back pack looks like.
Well, it's certainly not a Jansport canvas thing.

28. What celebrity do you think is hot?
Most of them?

29. Last movie you saw in theatre:
Les Misérables

30. Are you dating the same person you dated last year?
I'm not dating anyone! More sexually consistent though.

31. Has someone you were dating ever cheated on you?

32. Have you ever cheated?

33: Have you kissed someone whose name starts with a ‘J’?

34: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Answer stupid surveys, evidently.

35: Do you add randos who request you on facebook?
Ya, totally.

36: What’s the cutest thing someone’s ever done for you?
That's too much sharing.

37: Who was the last person you texted?
That was back in like... October, but it was probably Shannon or Dada.

38: How many boyfriends/girlfriends did you have?
A few!

39: How do you look right now?
Sporty Spice outfit on.. trainers, tee, hoodie, baggy trousers..

40: Who’s the person who first comes to your mind when someone mentions “love”?
Right now, it's TaTa, because she asked me to be her Valentine!

Keeping Self Honest: Progress Report on New Year's Resolutions

So in the interest of being honest and true with myself and my resolutions that I made in good faith last month, I am going to do a brutally honest self-analysis of my progress thus far, step by step and resolution by resolution.


1) Join gym and obviously lose 3000 pounds in one month (maybe just remove two zeros for purpose of ease [surely attainable?]).
          1a) Lose my 'New Jersey 10' with alacrity (good progress already made in this front owing to poverty diet and stark lack of any delicious things at home).

Status of resolution: Total success on Prop 1A! Was right about poverty diet. Mixed success on Prop 1 as have not joined gym as yet due in large part to previously mentioned poverty but have lost more than mere New Jersey 10 in one month.
Prospects for future: Outlook good. Feel inspired by New Roommate already joining gym inside a month of being here and wish to continue to improve self as best way to obtain healthier social life, self worth, and similar.


2) Be diligent about invoices, attendance sheets, timesheets, and similar.
3) Learn how to actually do invoices.
Status of resolution: Total success. Have learned how to do invoices at long last and have developed system for self wherein will never be late with timesheets and attendance sheets and invoices ever again, thereby avoiding terrifying threatening emails and text messages from financial.
Prospects for future: Outlook good. New system totally in place with no signs of falling at last hurdle.

Impressed with self, obviously.

4) Find time to sing as have discovered thanks to time with Yolanda that it greatly improves my mood and generally makes me feel good. Also surely must be type of exercise?
Status of resolution: Mixed success. Recognise this as superfluous resolution and no longer entirely convinced of value of maintaining it, at least not as dubious exercise routine.
Prospects for future: Outlook mixed. Too shameful to walk round house singing at top of voice all the time, but will continue to seize private opportunities.

Cheryl says nahh.


5) Pay all bills on time instead of letting phone, internet, etc be turned off owing to late payment of minimum payments.

Status of resolution: Outright failure. Aforementioned poverty and lack of timely paycheque from work has resulted in the continuation of turned-off phone service. Continued fear that payment on last day of payment tomorrow for internet will result in interrupted service again. Must call company and explain situation. Sure they will be understanding.
Prospects for future: Outlook mixed. In quagmire of bills, as am now faced with 1900kč monthly social security tax payment and 1500kč fee for end of energy bill in flat. Hopeful about phone being turned on next week with arrival of paycheque tomorrow and payment of other essentials.



6) Try new recipes more frequently instead of falling into dreadful rut of making same successful recipe every night for 3 weeks.

Status of resolution: Mixed success. Have successfully taken on delicious new recipes, but have fallen into same habit of making successes over and over ad nauseam until supplies required for recipe run out.
Prospects for future: Outlook good. Feel prepared to continue to try new things, taking inspiration as always from creations of Laura Jane's perpetually interesting cookery.


1) Bitch about missing Tandrew, Alice, Meghan, Simona et al but instead invest time into finding new friends (ideally the more permanent variety).

Status of resolution: Total success. Still missing lovely friends yet have adopted healthy 'if you love them, set them free' style attitude towards whole thing.
Prospects for future: Outlook good. Promising new social calendar and lovely new friends comprised of expats and students.

Self at parties??


2) Let self become bone idle, lazy, demotivated, or sedentary. Will sit with computer at kitchen table instead of tucked away in bedroom like some sort of elderly recluse on disability.

Status of resolution: Total success. Not sure about this one actually but Laura Jane says have been total success. In fact, am seated at kitchen table right now, and have partaken in lovely crafting.
Prospects for future: Outlook good. At least for the minute, am more content sitting here writing than would be if I was curled under my duvet watching Project Runway.


3) Maintain habit of binging and purging re: blogging, i.e. going for days and days without posting until it all comes to a head and I vomit sixteen topics in one sitting.
Status of resolution: Total failure, as evidenced by today's and recent blogging activity. Have not posted in over a week, yet am doing my third post of the day already. Definitive binging and purging.
Prospects for future: Outlook dire. If being totally honest about it, don't see this changing, but will continue to make best efforts.

Representative of the eagerness with which I should approach blogging.


4) Be in any way habitually negative or self-pitying as continuation of last two years' resolutions (only resolution which have ever kept).

Status of resolution: Total success. Have not sunk into any debilitating funks for more than two days at a time, and am always successful at pulling self out.
Prospects for future: Outlook good. Winter fades and with it so too the potential for Generalised Pissed Disorder (new candidate for DSM?).


5) Close self off from opportunities in work, love, or social life. Instead, will extend self more and put self 'out there', as they say, though am unsure and uncomfortable about where exactly 'out there' is. Sounds dangerous.

Status of resolution: Total success. Have done exactly as resolved to do, with tremendous results. Feels like a major personal victory.
Prospects for future: Outlook good. Found that it is easier to keep self in this state of mind than anything else. After all, "Worrying will not change the outcome."


6)  Lie about my ideas, my life, my thoughts and opinions, or myself to make other people feel better somehow.
Status of resolution: Total success. Well, so far at least, but has not yet been really tested as such. Will know more when faced with relevant situation.
Prospects for future: Outlook mixed. Resolve may fade when faced with relevant situation.

So there we have it! A frank and devastatingly self-aware assessment of status of life and resolutions. Will continue to monitor these as the year progresses.


Martian Rubber Bands

In Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, there is a theory that men are like rubber bands. It is as follows: Men have an “intimacy cycle” where they get close to a person, enjoy the intimacy, and then need to back away and retreat. They eventually become saturated with self-time and come in for more intimacy.  It’s a cycle, and a vicious one at that. Until recently, my only self-examination of my relationship philosophies has been as follows:

Now, though, upon further reflection, I have accepted that in terms of the MAFM,WAFV psychology, I am the emotional Venus of most equations regardless of my sex. I do not have these inclinations of withdrawal because I am not an emotional juvenile like most of the rest of my sex. But I am also a champion game player, and while I may be clueless about the psychological or physiological reasons for anyone's actions in their private and personal lives, I AM a winner at all costs. This is a game I can play, and when I play a game, I like to win. So I have a new combat strategy of nonchalance to my personal life. We'll see where the Martian rubber band flings me.

On the other hand, tendency to be a hermit does suggest there is yet some Mars left in me. Hmm. Speaking of same, must remind self to harangue Laura Jane into forcing me into be a better person re: leaving room, keeping blog updated, etc.

Valentine's Day Massacre

So this week marked my 27th Valentine's Day as a single. It passed, as it usually does, without event or fanfare. Normally, my resentful and hate-filled attitude towards V-Day and those who celebrate it is as follows:
I am typically without, as evidenced by the above, any sort of V-Day spirit.

However, this year I felt that the time for negativity about my most dreaded and single-guilt-inducing holiday had passed.

In the spirit of V-Day, I donned my lovingest valentine-red tee shirt, and embraced the madness with Open Arms like Journey and/or Messiah Carey. I did music lessons about love songs in all my classes (music lessons on Thursday are abysmal as future note to self as listening to same songs over and over in 6 consecutive classes is maddening trichotillomania-causing endeavour) and tried to spread as much Love Holiday Cheer as was humanly possible with no significant other or real prospects for same.

Apparently, no one else was on board.

Karma showed me how irritating and depressing I must have been to everyone else over the past years of life by having my students be overwhelmingly negative and cynical about 'commercial holidays' and 'silly American traditions'. Felt self grow so chippily resentful as day passed that by the last class, I was like, 'we are going to listen to LOVE SONGS and you're going to LOVE IT because it's VALENTINE'S DAY and you all LOVE English and LOVE me.' Was a bit, counterintuitively, belligerent about love. Was a bit like this:

Oh well. By the end of the day was treated to leftover coq-au-vin from Laureš's romantic V-Day french-style dinner date (after Aleš tried unsuccessfully to make me go by flowers for Laura when I walked in the door) which was v good. Not ashamed to admit eating it also following day when was sitting cold on the kitchen counter. Still delicious.

Also enjoyed Shannon's visit to discuss her résumé which she could not, inexplicably, figure out how to open on her computer (nor on mine as neither of us rich enough to afford luxuries like Microsoft Office) during which I probably terrified her again with my silent end-of-12-hour-day surliness. Lucky to have prends who understand my passing moods.

And speaking of lovely prends, just back from BRUNCH with Laura Jane at Bohemia Bagel. What in the world is better than starting off your day with a mimosa, super strong coffee, and huevos rancheros?! Nothing, that's what.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

It's happening again.

So, it's happening again.

Friends with whom cannot live without (slightly dramatic interpretation of future events necessitated by looming despair) have begun to moan about Prague and talking about all the places they'd rather be and where they're going next etc. It's the moaning about Prague that maybe peeves the most. I still feel, after more than two and a half years, that I'm lucky to be here, that I'm happy with my life (less than ideal financial situation notwithstanding), and that I am both too tired and too satisfied to want to wander on somewhere else. Besides, hello. Prague.

How much do you really have to complain about? Really? We could be back home stuck in a dead end or we could be here forging names and lives of our own for ourselves. Even at my poorest and lowest, I'll take the latter.

In the past the offenders of this grievous Crime Against Me have included some of my best friends (Tandrew). I bore it all as best I could at the time, choosing to smile through my gritted teeth instead of unleashing some probably unfair rage in their direction. And of course, when they left, it sucked and a big piece of my Prague heart went with them, and in the weeks after their departure I started doubting myself. I asked questions like, if they want to leave so badly, shouldn't I? Aren't I in more or less the same situation as them? Same age, same kinda jobs, same or similar problems? It took a while of an ugly funk before I began to grow indignant with myself for asking stupid questions. I am happy, I am content, and just because those closest to me sometimes aren't, doesn't mean I need to feel the same way. Why should I care what dictates the paths other people take?

I don't care. But unfortunately I have this obnoxious personality trait that when others who are close to me are experiencing extreme moods, I seem to soak them up and they become my own. Tara knows every day she came home pissed, I would soon be pissed as well. Once she tried to hide that she was pissed so I wouldn't be pissed residually. It didn't work.

So I promised myself that if it started to happen again, I would speak up and say something, and then otherwise be a good friend and normal person who could listen to friends' problems without taking them on myself or being pissed at them for having them.

Cut to present day, where the latest offender of the Paul-John's Hate Crimes Act is none other than essential, life-enriching besty Shannon. At first I actively participated in Shannon's ideas and plans about leaving, since she was saying it would be more than a year away and wish to be good, supportive friend. Slowly it became a topic which has appeared every time we see each other. And I guess last night I was too tired and beer-loosened, and I had to open my mouth and say something.

Was probably more curt than was necessary, but feel I explained self reasonably, and in true Shannon form (thankfully for me) her response was more 'Got it. Cool. Slow down with the moving talk' than 'How DARE you?' But it was essential manoeuvre of self-defense! If not, was about to be mired deep down in stress and angst which do not need. And I wasn't wearing my bullshit-wading boots.

Then of course I felt bad for shutting her down, and she probably was terrified of me, like the time she said 'you would like this song' and I replied 'Fuck you.' Come to think of it, she must have been, because not twenty minutes later she was like, 'Sooo, are you mad at me, for anything right now, orrr...?' Was glad that she asked because if being perfectly honest about it did look sort of pissed, but only owing to fatigue.

Spent the day, much against my New Year's Resolution, in bed-swaddled funk. Then as I was enjoying the brisk coldness of the balcony, one of Shannon's road trip songs (Can't Go Back, by the Weepies) from the Croatia trip came on my iPod. Some of the lyrics struck me as poignant and befitting my mood:

I can't really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
But in the end the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself

So Shannon, me and you walk on, walk on, walk on, cos you can't go back now.

And in future, will try to be more gracious in social situations featuring conversations which do not want to hear: