Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Living through the End of the World II

Our End of the World Survival 101 continues with HER version. If you have the patience to follow me to the end (of this post, not of the world), you’ll most likely agree that women get a better deal when the apocalypse comes.
For once, you’ll have more choices. One—and probably the one you’re hoping for—is that you are the stunning beauty + nuclear scientist who’s a perfect genetic match to the Achilles in the first installment. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. If you’re both so perfect, you will have reached a genetic dead end. There’s nowhere for you to evolve, so probably you won’t even be able to breed. That’s why mother nature will go with this model:

But don’t despair! Here’s your chance to pig out, as you’ll need those fat reserves. Let’s see what fashion models have to say when you’ll be comfortably living off the fat stored during months of entirely pleasurable eating.
Another chance would be given to you if you are the future mother of some great hero. I only have empirical knowledge here, so all I can say is that you need moderately good looks and nothing special. YOU are not special, but your offspring will be. Especially if his father looks like Will Smith and acts like the characters played by Will Smith.
The last possibility I’m going to discuss here is you being slightly overweight and generally not noticeable. However, all you need is to take off your glasses, change into designer clothes and put on some make up, and you’re Jessica Alba. Of course, designer clothes, high quality make up and make-over counselors will be widely available (free of charge) during the end of the world. As you can see, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about here. The more insignificant you feel now, the more chances you have to be the last woman standing. And talking about procreation, in scientific terms, to be sure, here’s what nature has prepared for you:

Living through the End of the World

It’s been raining these days in Japan like the deluge (I’m talking mythological here) is coming. I mean, it’s just not normal to have, at this time of the year, one feebly sunny day every other week. And a volcano erupted in Iceland, creating an ash cloud which may be seen as romantic—you know, obscurity, raining on a Sunday, nothing to do outdoors—if we didn’t consider that such an ash cloud is supposed to have led to the extinction of dinosaurs. As my grandmother would put it, “The end of the world is coming, I’m telling you.”
So, what do you do if it’s the end of the world? Get rich, of course. And the easiest way to get rich is to write one of those self-improvement + DIY books. Here’s ours, about how to cope with the end of the world.
First, it’s much easier if you’re a woman. If you’re a man, an ordinary man with no superpowers or the skills to take apart a spaceship and put it back in less than 10 minutes, you’ve got zero chances. Unless you’re terribly funny and you get to live so that you could bring the actual hero back to his senses (after he has heroically saved the world) with a witty line at the end of the movie. To which the actual hero would reply with an even wittier line and you would realize that in fact it’s you who’s dying, a shard from Louvre’s glass pyramid artistically sticking out of your chest.
And even if you are the hero. Let’s say you have the looks, the brains and the muscular structure, and the jaw line. Come on, who am I kidding? Nobody has them all. Even Achilles had a weak heel. If you’re still alive, it’s probably because your father was a billionaire and you had wisely hidden in one of his impenetrable shelters, right behind the Ferrari and the shelf with the pickle jars. Well, wise guy, who do you think is going to be your partner for life? Whom do you think you’ll have to re-create the humankind with?
Science tells us that slim, narrow-hipped and flat-chested (surgical enhancements do not count here) females are not exactly fit for procreation. They may be ideal for the process, but nature is interested in the results. Productivity is the key word here. Needless to say, nature will save the female most likely to have lots of offspring. If you want to know how she (aka, your future spouse) looks like, look at some of the prehistoric artifacts or at any of Rubens’ paintings.
I’d say you’ve got a tough one, guys!

To be continued with HER version of Survival Tips.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Facebook Scrabble ( Andrew Fisher vs Adrian Tamas)

Andrew is one of those player who usually beats the living sushi out of me at Scrabble. A player who cowrote the book "How to Win at Scrabble" definitely knows how to do it.For a while, I was considering writing a book called "How to Lose at Scrabble". I`m sure it would have been extremely popular among the Scrabble players. It usually takes me four or five games to beat Andrew once. After rereading "How to Win at Scrabble" though, I must tell you that I`m 4-1 against him. I "blame" it on the good tiles, but also on the better rack balance. Andrew and I shared the blanks, but I had a better flow of the tiles. I don`t if it`s just a coincidence, but before rereading Andrew`s book, I was on a six loss streak against him!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This One Goes to the One I Love

I know our (few) readers are used to funny and ironical posts. This one is different and entirely not related to Scrabble. This is about my grandmother, who passed away last Friday. I was not there and I never had the chance to say good-bye. So this is my farewell to her.
My grandmother was a lovely lady and she stayed beautiful in death. She did not suffer and I am grateful for that. She had pruned her hydrangeas, mumbled and grumbled about the workers in her vineyard (nothing they ever did could match her skills in tending to the grapevines, but she no longer had the strength to do everything herself), cooked and baked some cookies for my parents, then went to sleep. And never woke up. It was sudden and painful, yet I am grateful that she did not suffer and she stayed unchanged to the end.
She passed away with her hair and nails carefully done, as usual. Since I was little, she taught me to always be careful about my appearance and particularly about my underwear, because one could never know when one might suddenly feel sick and be taken to the hospital. And could be more embarrassing than appearing less than perfect in front of doctors? So, the rule was: impeccable underwear and carefully trimmed nails and toenails.
My grandmother was a great cook. She had always been plump and she loved bread, sweets and cheese. I obviously take after her, as neither of us could truly enjoy a life without cheese or without a small dessert after each meal.

My grandmother believed in the old Romanian saying “A fat person is a handsome person” and she did her best to keep me as chubby as possible. She constantly sabotaged all my high school attempts at dieting by making pancakes and cheese pies, because she knew the temptation would be too big for me. Yet she knew moderation, and she had always measured her own food. No more than half a glass of wine a day, two thin slices of bread and small portions. She could have written the health articles on Yahoo.
My grandmother could read the cards. Her ability was uncanny and she knew it. Only once did I convince her to do that for me, and it was enough, because she could read in those cards more than I wanted her to know about my teenage love life.
My grandmother took care of her husband, her two children, a huge house, a vegetable garden and a small vineyard. She used to climb the cherry tree in our yard until she was well over fifty and my mother forbid her to do so. Unfortunately, neither my mother, nor I have inherited her courage and agility. My mother inherited my grandmother’s obsession with cleanliness and I her love for cooking. And baking.
There are many things I could say about my grandmother and I might do so in the future. Today I had the courage to look at her photos again and I’m sharing them with you.
This is for my grandmother, with love.