Thursday, October 27, 2005


Worst Names For Retail Stores/Services In Charlotte

1) Once Upon A Child -- Should be called Pederasts 'R Us
2) EmbroidMe -- Should be called EmbroidThis
3) Outdoors With Leonard -- I'm not exactly sure what else it should be called, but I do know what the name of my next band is going to be. I'll be playing the kazoo and the oval wooden thingy with the nubs on it that you play by rubbing a wooden stick back and forth. I'm an expert on that thing. Years of practice.

With Show Names Like This, Who Needs The Weekly World News (from the Discovery Health Channel)

1) Face Transplant
2) 200lb Tumor, not to be confused with 160 lb Tumor
3) I Am My Own Twin
4) Things From The Human Body
5) Face Eating Tumor
6) Born Without A Face
7) Born With Two Heads
8) When Surgical Tools Get Left Behind
9) You Swallowed What?

All real TV shows, I swear. Most of them are British. Not that I've seen them or anything. Okay, I saw them all but 160 lb Tumor. I saw 200 lb Tumor first and I just felt like I'd be let down.

Monday, October 03, 2005

It's been so long since my trip, and I didn't journal while I was a way like I normally do, so I have to admit that I've forgotten what most of the negative stuff about Santiago is. It amazes me that my brain has started working this way -- I remember the good and forget the awful. While some people have the derisive term 'euphoric recall' for this brain development, I think it's great and much better than remembering resentments. Then again, I might think it's bad, too, but I just can't remember that I do because I've started forgetting all the bad stuff.

Anyway, here is what I do remember:

1) Santiago is the only truly wealthy area/city in Chile. While the outskirts are surrounded by makeshift shacks made from left over wood and metal, complete with mangy-looking dogs and dirty children playing soccer, the downtown area is gorgeous. It has beautiful homes and lots of parks with art, and trails and other shit in them.

This is obviously not the problem. The problem is the Paris-like aloofness and rudeness that the wealthy residents display. They never smile or laugh in public, and their faces seem like they might crack or split in some way if they did. Most people in service jobs have the same snobbishness, also just like Paris.

I just have one thing to say -- I put up with this crap in Paris because they serve the best food, coffee, art, and shopping I have ever seen. In Chile, the food is barely passable even at expensive restaurants, the coffee is mostly Nescafe (instant!!!!), the art is well and good but cannot compare with the Louvre and the Picasso Museum obviously, and the shopping is just like going to SouthPark Mall, only more expensive.

2) In the mid to late 1800's the newly developing country of Chile invited Germans to leave the Vaterland to come teach them about agriculture, economics and living in the European fashion. In exchange, I believe, that got rewards like free land. The Germans came and mostly settled in the Santiago area. They became the 'top dogs', so to speak, as Germans are wont to do. The club where the World Cup was held was very fancy and looks like it was built in the Alps and then transferred to South America. This club, Manquehue, is very exclusive not only in how much money it costs to join but also in that, in order to join, a Chilean must prove his or her German ancestry. I understand that, as in the US, private clubs can make their own rules, but that just doesn't sit well with me. They also don't like to be asked about it. I know because I tried, in a friendly manner, to do so. Maybe I should have told them that my ancestors' names were things like Geyer and Rothharpt.

3) Also, there are stray dogs everywhere. I have never seen this many dogs roaming freely about in packs. I am torn about this one -- I mean as to whether or not this is bad -- because almost all of them appear healthy and happy. They are friendly, don't really get in your way very often, and they know how to cross the street. Honestly, they do. The pack will stand on a corner while the leader looks both ways. When the leader goes, they all go. I didn't see on dead dog by the side of any road. They have lots of parks and the Andes to run around in with plenty of fresh water. None of them looked like they were starving. It seems like a great life for a dog, but I just cannot get over the fact that it is common in Chile to get a puppy and love it only until it gets to be an adult. Then it is released into the city streets.

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