Just Another Manic Monday

I’ve decided to have a post once a week dedicated to things I like/love. Yes, I am just that narcissistic. I don’t want to attach a number because I tend to droll on and I would hate to have you read 10 novel-length like/loves every week. And I think I’ll do this on Mondays. Monday is usually such a mundane day that I think I’ll grace the blog-sphere with my witty cynicism on a more regular basis while simultaneously giving myself a gold star for accomplishment. What a great way to start the week, right?

1. To start, I love the movie “Paris Je T’aime”. Although released in Denmark in 2006, I saw this beauty of a movie in 2008 at the Student Cinema on my college campus. There is something unrefined and free about watching a movie in that theatre. The jokes are funnier, the emotions more real, and the entire movie more tangible. College students are an interesting breed of people. College releases people from all barriers of the outside world. A college campus is a sacred place, like an embassy. While in that embassy, you are released from the laws and barriers of the country outside the front doors. Similarly, college students have that release in all aspects of their lives, including the basic decorum of public movie viewing. They laugh much too loud, have the most unusual reactions to scenes, and talk to the actors. Which was completely wonderful for the handful of movies I saw in that cinema. “Paris Je T’aime” is a series of 18 short films created by at least that many directors expressing love in Paris. The film questions how and where love can be found. In the midst of loneliness or despair? As well as the different ways in which love is expressed. Through arguments or kindness? Or beating up another man in the middle of a metro station out of jealousy?
It’s beautifully filmed despite the different directors and the order in which the films were presented is absolutely perfect. Each short film has it’s own unique style and while Elijah Wood playing a man who falls in love with and then becomes a vampire doesn’t necessarily scream love, it shows a unique perspective. I like to see this movie as 18 uniquely beautiful perspectives.

2. I love big words. My brain has this bizarrely uncanny ability of fitting random words into my spoken sentences. Most of the time I don’t actually know the meaning of the word or at least won’t be able to give a dictionary definition on the spot, but research later confirms that my brain knew what I didn’t.
What I love most about using big words is that most people don’t know what the words mean, so their eyes get this glazed look and their mouths open slightly with their heads involuntarily nodding as they say an applicable but generic response awkwardly transitioning to another subject while I gloat in silent triumph.

3. Clotheslines. For some reason, I really like clotheslines. I think it has something to do with growing up in rural New Jersey (go with me on that one). Our house was a mile from a small airport that frequently gave hot air balloon rides and ten miles from the nearest grocery store. Behind our house was this open field with a barn off to the side. There was never anything in the field, just tall thick grass. Right where our yard met the field we had a clothesline due to the absence of a dryer. I remember one day all of our clothes were hung up on the line and it got so windy that I felt like Dorothy right before a Kansas cyclone. My Mom and I rushed out to the backyard, scrambling to take all the clothes off the line; racing against the rain. Suddenly, a pair of my underwear yanked itself loose and flew off into the giant open field.
(photo on the left courtesy of National Geographic)
I am reminded of my love for clotheslines because in Prague, while they advertise for “dryers” all over the place, their definition of a dryer is a portable clothesline. I am perfectly fine with hanging all of our clothes on a “dryer” rather than having a machine do it for me. While it is not as efficient, it certainly saves on the cost of electricity and allows for some nostalgia.

4. Reading while traveling. I travel a lot for work. And not in the “I am a prestigious international businessman who travels throughout Europe and greater Asia in my business transactions” category of traveling. It is more akin to simply commuting but on an increased scale. As I am a teacher of English in a foreign country and Prague is a big city, a lot of the classes I teach are not in the same place. Today alone, I believe I spent 2 hours (at least) traveling on the metro and/or tram and/or bus.  But I love to read while traveling. I get lost in books and the movement of whatever mode of transportation I am currently on acts as a portal into my beautiful world of books. Lately I’ve been getting so lost in the world of Dostyevsky that I’ll look up from my book for a moment and be 7 stops closer to my destination. And yes, I do state that in a pompous “look at me for reading 21% of a widely known difficult Russian novel in two days” manner.
And while I stated above that this was going to be a Monday tradition, apparently what I meant was that I would start writing this on Monday and finish sometime on Tuesday morning. Same difference.
“Just another manic Monday.”

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