Monthly Archives: February 2012

New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part II

New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Voliting in New York City

Italian American Museum Manhattan New York

“TAXI! TA–fine… didn’t want a ride from you anyway.”

It was day 2 of our New York City trip when we ventured into Little Italy. We walked, talked and snapped pictures of everything — even taxi cabs hauling ass in front of the Italian American Museum, apparently. We even enjoyed a gigantic thermos full of coffee, which I promptly spiked with whiskey, deeming it my “Manhattan Booty Juice.”

We had a wonderful time in Little Italy, like a montage from a 1980′s romantic comedy — all laughter, permed hair and sporadic food fights in curiously tolerant eating establishments. It was a wonderful time, that is, until we ordered a pizza.

Mulberry Street in Little Italy, New York City

Please don’t put a severed horse head in our bedsheets, oh kind and blog-loving Italian restaurateurs!

Now, I’m not necessarily blaming that restaurant in Little Italy with the huge red banners and awnings on Mulberry Street, but my wife began her nightmare sojourn through the 7th Sphere of Hell exactly 4 hours after eating there. Also, I am compelled — compelled, I say — to mention the prosciutto on her pizza tasted a bit… off. Now, I love eating dead pig parts — hell, I take a bacon bath every Thursday night — but this stuff didn’t taste like dry-cured ham at all. It tasted like thinly sliced Gorgon meat.

Later that evening, as we were riding the A train back to Brooklyn, my wife started pawing at the lining of her coat — like, compulsively — in a way which let me know something bad was about to happen. She jumped off the train at the next stop, sprinted to the nearest garbage can and threw up so violently her back arched with each heave like a greyhound bent over a mailbox.

My heart went out to her, because we all know just how badly this sucks. I helped guide her back onto the train and we rode to our stop at Nostrand Avenue. We barely made it back to our hostel and up the stairs before my wife fired prosciutto goo all over the communal bathroom. Toilet, sink, walls, floor — she hosed that bathroom down like it was on fire. Do you know the difference between regular vomiting and projectile vomiting? Regular vomiting sucks. Projectile vomiting is amazing.

My wife’s torment continued throughout the night. She threw up every 30 minutes, and her nausea was soon coupled with explosive diarrhea. The poor dear was rooster tailing out of both ends, soiling her clothes and the bathroom floor simultaneously. Normally I would congratulate this sort of behavior with a high-five and a slap on the ass, (maybe even take a picture to show our future children), but this time I was just plain worried. And adding guilt to my worry, as I would later find out, she’d been cleaning up her own mess each time it happened rather than asking me for help. On top of all of this… she looked bad. Like, The Walking Dead bad. I wasn’t sure if I should call an ambulance, try and get her to an emergency room myself or just keep holding the hot water bottle against her stomach while stroking flakes of dried yack out of her hair. I kept telling her it was just food poisoning and would run its course after about 4 hours, doing my best to channel the prestigious medical degree I totally don’t have. But hey, blind assurances were surely more appreciated than the hysterical meltdown I was experiencing inside. All told, it was one of the longest, most stressful nights we’ve ever shared, and it didn’t end until we both passed out at dawn.

We slept most of the next day, finally waking in the late afternoon. My wife was predictably weak as she emerged from the bunk beds, shivering like a newborn faun trying to stand in a pool of amniotic fluid. And you know how almost nothing but a few random food items sound good when you’ve spent the last night purging yourself right down to your very essence? My wife had almost no appetite except for two specific things: Coca-Cola Classic and Nabisco saltine crackers. I’m thinking she was severely dehydrated and her body needed to replenish its essential salts, and I know this because I went to art school.

Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part IV
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part III
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part II
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part I

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Pictures: Terrorizing my German Wife with Instagram

Instagram Logo Image

HIPSTER 9000: "What makes you so cool, Dave?" – Image courtesy of wayjar.com

I recently discovered an iPhone application called Instagram. It allows me to take pictures as I normally would, but I can feed them through all kinds of nifty filters and photo settings, then share them with the Instagram social network at large.

So of course I’ve been running around our house snapping pictures of just everything: houseplants, books, lamps, ceiling fans… it’s as if I don’t even care what I’m photographing. And my German wife absolutely loves this newfound obsession:

THE WIFE: “Please stop taking pictures of boring things around the house.”

As a graphic designer, I am ashamed of myself for using Instagram. My profession demands a high degree of proficiency with Adobe Photoshop, which means I can do everything Instagram does, or any other Instamatic / Hipstamatic type application for that matter, only better. So what’s the appeal? It’s right in the palm of my hand, baby! I can snap a picture of a dying houseplant, throw an Instamatic filter at it and POW! I’ve created a stylish, hip and nauseatingly trendy work of art without even turning my computer on! Now get on your knees and bow down to my photographic genius, you slobbering philistines.

Just kidding. Here are the silly pictures I’ve been taking. Please tell my wife they’re actually really awesome.

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Denglish 50: The German Renames a Famous Scotsman

One weekend in August, The Wife and I put a Netflix movie into our DVD player and settled onto the couch as the trailers began. The first one was for some silly re-release of the Star Wars prequels, in which Scottish actor Ewan McGregor is seen prancing about with his glowing lightsaber at full salute.

THE WIFE: “What is his name? George McGuire?”

ME: “Yes.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part I

New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Voliting in New York City

In December of 2010, The Wife and I met up in New York City for a 10-day liaison; she flew in from Frankfurt, Germany, and I came from Portland, Oregon. By some miracle, both our flights and our luggage arrived on time, thus launching an epic saga of romance and sickness so powerful neither of us will ever forget it. Ever.

Packing for my flight to New York City

The essentials: 3D glasses, half-gallon of vodka, jug of cranberry juice and a copy of The Hunger Games.

We stayed in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, and if you’ve ever lived in Brooklyn, you should be ashamed of yourself for failing to warn us about this place. At one point during our trip, we told a bartender in the Lower East Side we were staying in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and he shuddered visibly, peering nervously over each shoulder. “Bedstock…” he whispered, filling two shot glasses with rye. “These are on the house.”

New York hostel street view Nostrand

"Not so scary in the daylight, ARE you, Bedstock."

Bedstock, or “Bed-Stuy,” can be seen in just about every Spike Lee movie ever made, and is home to such hip hop superstars as Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Mos Def and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Though it is being swiftly and inevitably gentrified, Bed-Stuy can make one hell of an initial impression upon two white people who just stumbled off the A Train.

We arrived late at night in the pounding rain, huddled together like a pair of tiny stars in a sky full of midnight. But to be honest with you, no one seemed terribly impressed with us. In fact, the locals seemed to disregard our physical presence entirely, which is one of the things I like most about visiting New York City — the ability to lose one’s self in a quagmire of anonymity and thinly veiled contempt.

We stayed in the very heart of Bedstock, in a tiny hostel called 272 Putnam. Though we had our own room, the walls were paper thin, so the other hostel guests were privy to every sound we made — and you know exactly what I’m talking about here, dear readers. Our fellow travelers received an audio feast rich with safewords (ours was “banana”) and German expletives muffled by an orange ball-gag with a smiley face drawn on it. Just kidding! It was a frowny face.

Inexplicably, the private hostel room, which we’d specified was for just the two of us, contained two bunk beds:

Our bunk beds in the hostel in New York City

Figure 1: How we found them.

Bunk beds pushed together in a private hostel room

Figure 2: How we arranged them.

The space was incredibly cramped, but we pushed the beds together anyway, forming a cozy little love-cage with no practical entrances or exits. Notice the crossbeam in Figure 2, hovering innocently at pubic level. Sliding beneath it required a new limbo world record and carried a 75% chance of paralysis, so I generally opted to climb over. Whenever I needed a glass of water in the middle of the night, I would toss one leg up and over, extending my toes toward the floor, and slap that Godforsaken crossbeam with my pendulous nutsack. (Have you ever thrown a pair of seedless grapes at a stop sign? Me neither, but I bet it makes the exact same sound.) I would then crumple to the floor and assume a fetal position until my wife noticed I was still in the room. “Honey?” she called, peering down at me. “I thought you were getting some—are you crying?

Our room came with another interesting feature: the saddest house plant on the Eastern Seaboard. I think our hosts were attempting to enliven our room when they placed it on top of the mini fridge, but my wife and I died a little inside each time we looked at it.

“What should we name our house plant?” I asked.
Horst,”  replied my wife, without the slightest bit of hesitation.

Hostel room mini fridge, vodka and Horts the house plant

Horst was a total drunk.

Horst is probably dead by now, but I want him to know, although he failed to improve our hostel room’s prison cell aesthetic in the slightest, we greatly appreciated laughing at his expense. Oh, and I’m really sorry for pouring the watery remains of all my vodka cranberry drinks into his flower pot. That’s probably why he’s dead.

New York Hostel building Putnam Brooklyn

272 Putnam... where worlds collide.

An interesting feature of the hostel overall (or any hostel, ever) was the clientele. Each guest had flown in from a different part of the world: France, Japan, England, Germany, Kenya… and we all had our cultural idiosyncrasies. For example, when I tried to make tea in the shared kitchen area, I discovered someone (I’m looking at you, Kenya) had diced up red potatoes with herbs and boiled them inside the tea kettle. Inside it! So instead of chamomile, my wife watched in confusion as I filled her mug with starchy cubes of retardation.

To be fair, 272 Putnam is a great hostel; it enjoys a fantastic reputation, charges very low rates, and the owners are extremely accommodating. The Wife and I just needed a little privacy, which is exactly what hostels tend not to provide. And on a side note, I would like to stay in a proper hotel next time so I can avoid sterilizing myself while making a hasty exit from bunk beds engineered by the Antichrist.

Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part IV
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part III
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part II
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part I

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Denglish 49: The German Evaluates an Ugly American Baby

Ugly Baby with Elephant Stuffed Animal

“KUATO LIVES” – Image courtesy of http://www.motherblogger.ca

Sometime in July of 2011, The Wife and I were enjoying a beer at Crow Bar on North Mississippi. We were sitting near the windows overlooking the sidewalk, when a woman pushing a stroller stopped in front of us. She held a cell phone in her free hand and spoke very loudly into it, in that special way which lets everyone within earshot know she’s kind of a big deal. The baby contained inside the stroller was equally hideous; waving its sticky little meat hooks in the air like a boiled lobster. My wife stared at the baby for a moment, looked up at its mother, then turned to me…

THE WIFE: “Her child looks just like her, which is not a present.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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For another laugh (and the source of the image above), check out Ugly Baby Alert on Mother Blogger, by Vicki Combden Murphy. And don’t worry — her baby is much cuter now.

Denglish 48: The German Discovers Dave’s Killer Bread

As you may have guessed, my wife is German. And as a German, she has a powerful taste for hearty bread — tough, dark and heavy — with as many seeds crammed into it as humanly possible. She calls it her, “Seedy Bread,” and during the summer of 2011, she discovered a whole new brand: Dave’s Killer Bread. She loves all of Dave’s Killer Breads, including Good Seed, Powerseed and Good Seed Spelt, but her absolute favorite is their seed-covered mini-baguette* (depicted). While at a Fred Meyer supermarket in Northeast Portland, I pointed to one of these baguettes and asked what she thought it was called, to which she replied…

THE WIFE: “It is a peace stick.”

*The Peace Bomb Mini-Baguette from Dave’s Killer Bread

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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