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March 31, 2003

In which we uncreatively reflect on the age-old gym problem

Loooooooooooooooser. That's the story, folks. We know Girl-E's not the only girl who says every day for weeks that this is the day she'll go back to the gym, but she certainly has as pathetic a list of excuses as anyone. The damn gym is next door. Next door. Right above the McDonalds. One problem we can identify is that she has been signing up month-to-month, and since her last month ran out she's not currently paying for it, hence no financial incentive. Another problem we can identify is that she is a lazy sack of crapola. Don't get us wrong, the less we have to be tortured with this evil contraption, the happier we are, but we also enjoy pointing out what a lazy sack of crapola she is. Every time she goes to the gym she says how energized it makes her feel, healthy, blah blah blah, but we know the truth is that without the medical and societal pressure to work out she would lay on her ass all damn day every day until she got hungry or one of the cats knocked over a flower vase.

Roz and I have bets placed on tomorrow, and hush don't tell but I know I've got the sure thing. I've seen Girl-E's Palm Pilot, she's not even trying to pretend anymore, she's got after work plans booked for the rest of the week. Like I said, looooooooooooooooser.

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March 29, 2003

Boo-blog Breaking News: Amid public fears of sluggish operations, "we have no plans to cease at any point in the forseeable future," say Wonders

Well knock me over with a noodle. Not only did the State-run cable company say they would come to install today, but they said they would come this morning, and then they freakin' came. And it works. Did I mention the cable company is State-run? And this is Turkey? In case that doesn't make an impression, let me just say that Turkey's bureaucracy out-Soviets even the Soviets, and there are people who applied for cable in 1993 who are still waiting for the guys to show up. Waiting for the cable guy from even privately-owned consumer-driven U.S. companies can drive one to near insanity, so this development in the Republic's service is downright mindblowing. I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear British accents. Girl-E and The Dude are so flummoxed with glee that they are intently watching a Roxette video just because they can. I have a feeling Girl-E's impressive book consumption streak is about to come to an end. Granted, the English-language options are still limited to news, videos, and Ally McBeal reruns, but I can't think of anything else one might need to watch during wartime.

Excuse me while I go watch a hilarious montage in which clips of Bush and Blair are edited into a duet of "My Endless Love". What will the geniuses in TV Land think of next.

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March 27, 2003

Just what is it with her and rice bags?

Among Girl-E's many talents is the ability to make a mess anytime, anywhere. Tonight, for the 416th time out of as many attempts to achieve the contrary, she dropped half the bag of rice on the floor while pouring it into a measuring cup. Last weekend she managed to flip an entire plate of eggs onto the book she was reading at the breakfast table. We've already mentioned the body lotion that enveloped the bathroom on Monday. She once went to a bridal shower covered with an entire Big Gulp of Diet Coke that she had purchased less than 10 seconds earlier (wearing, of course, a new white t-shirt she'd only bought the previous day). That was our favorite.

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March 26, 2003

Special announcement!

Join the Twins for Peace Project by clicking the link on the left!

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I laughed, I cried

So, speaking of the cats. Adorable, brilliant children should be so lucky as to be doted on and obsessed over like these two creatures. Believe us, we are in no hurry for Girl-E to have babies, but at least babies justify a certain level of blind adoration. You've never seen such emotional anguish as when Girl-E and The Dude spent nine hours trying to get Turkish customs to release the cats for entry into the country. The cats might as well have been kidnapped toddlers. They still can’t stop talking about it, as if it's one of those close calls that could have spelled the end for all involved.

Probably the most disturbing part is not how they treat the cats in person, but how they talk about them when they're not even there. Usually pets are something that you enjoy at home, and then forget about when you're away, but not these people. If you happen to meet up with Girl-E on a day that Ellis hilariously fell off the table or Myron had the most irresistably cute catnip high, watch out. The Dude is even worse -he'll actually talk about inviting people over "to meet the cats," as if he had spent lots of time happily thinking about how well they would get along.

From our point of view, the cats are none too awesome. We won't even talk about their behavior when we're trying to sleep, for that could get us too worked up with rage to continue writing. They puke on the floor, T.P. the apartment, drop all manner of thing in their water dish, get hair EVERYWHERE, scream for no reason, and generally do nothing at all useful to society. But a purr here and a cuddle there, and all is forgiven, the little schmoopies.

The only time we get any enjoyment out of the cats is when Girl-E or The Dude get out the laser pointer. Even they appreciate the joy of tormenting those you love, so they'll send the cats all over the apartment on a hunt for a little red fleck of light for hours, and it's the most satisfying goddam thing you've ever seen. It sends Ellis into such a frenzy that he actually starts panting like a dog. He scuttles around the house Rambo-style at lightening speed, running into walls and Myron and brushing it off as if the cause is worth any pain short of death.

But then again, it only gives Girl-E and The Dude another reason to showcase the cats for visitors, encouraging the obsession and making them look crazier to each new acquaintance. Sigh.

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March 24, 2003

I fix broke stuff

Still not having cable (don't get us started), we've managed to essentially avoid the round-the-clock war coverage (cable=news in English). However, Girl-E and The Dude can't be satisfied with blissful ignorance, so there has been some friends-with-cable-apartment-hopping. Tonight, BBC World broadcast the Iraqi television video of captured U.S. soldiers. Apparently, some of the prisoners are not frontline servicement but part of a maintenance team. When asked why he came here to kill innocent people, a young man from Kansas replied "I did'n come here to kill nobody, I fix broke stuff."

While the first reaction is obviously to giggle (partly from the statement itself, partly from the nervous uneasiness of the whole scenario), we started to think about what a pure, positive thing it is to be able to describe your purpose in life as fixing broke stuff. So what if the broke stuff is a machine of destruction, it's still broke stuff that needs fixin, and the world would be nowhere without the folks who know how to do that kind of thing. There is not much broke stuff that Girl-E can actually fix, and we even less, but if ever granted with such talents here is the broke stuff that we would like to fix:

race relations
the body lotion cap that exploded all over the bathroom this morning
the cats' water-recycling kitty fountain*
the Blogger function that would allow us to erase the empty week from our archive index
the printer's paper tray*
public school funding
the death penalty
John Ashcroft
the handheld shower head
Girl-E's gym attendance
free-market capitalism
the zipper on most L.L. Bean jackets
widespread use of public transit
the conscience of warmongers everywhere

*stuff broke by the cats, abridged list

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March 21, 2003

Children, settle down - your mommy will be angry - when I crush your head

There probably exists no blog in cyberspace that doesn't have an entry of haikus, but at the risk of being cliched we'd like to offer a few on the subject of Girl-E's students.

Semih, you are bad.
Please put down my stapler, boy
Now they are all gone.

So tell me this, Cem.
Does your eraser have legs,
Or did you throw it?

Please please please please please
Please please please please please please please
Sit your ass down NOW!!

Today the kids said
"You is very teach English!"
Apparently so.

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March 19, 2003

Turkey is Funny

While friends and family in the States are fraught with anxiety about our being in Turkey during the impending war, Girl-E and The Dude are laughing at Euroleague basketball. Compared to the NBA, it's sort of like watching Division III try-outs. The game currently being broadcast is between a team from Moscow and a Turkish team named after beer. Of course the game is interrupted frequently with war updates, as Iraqi refugees are flooding into the country and Turkey continues to struggle with its position as the only NATO ally to be bordering the "rogue nation", its loyalty to the United States and its people's passionate opposition to the war. But 2,000 kilometers from the border, we are both far away from the imminent fighting and close enough to have an understanding that we are relatively safe. At any rate, when folks at home ask Girl-E what it feels like to be in Turkey right now, her mind usually turns to salty cheese and the difficulty of adapting to a culture of people who can't wait in lines rather than anything like fear.

We could spend hours and days of posts expressing why Turkey is one of the most wonderful, fascinating, important countries in the history of the world, and that you should not die without coming here, but the purpose of this blog is not to get all Fodors on your ass. Instead, we will give a top ten list of curious things that for the reason that we just can't resist we'll call "Quirky Turkey," har har har:

10) They name their basketball teams after beer (ok, already mentioned, but still makes the list)
9) The standard way to both answer a phone and say "excuse me?" translates to "My lord".
8) Every movie in the theater has a five minute smoking break.
7) Turks didn't have last names until the mid-1920s, when each head of household could choose his own, the result being that a significant number of people have family names like "Son of Chicken Man" and "Fingerless".
6) Any Turk would argue to the death that drinking cold water or sitting on stone steps might make you morbidly ill, but they will laugh at you if you reach for a seatbelt in their car as they are considered wholly unnecessary.
5) During the month of December, store fronts and greeting cards are flooded with red and green New Years lights, New Years trees, New Years wreaths, and New Years Santa displays.
4) The people who work at McDonalds are the most helpful, cheerful, competent folks you ever could meet.
3) There is not a place you can go, including a gas station, that a bow-tied man will not offer you a glass of tea.
2) One of the most popular traditional desserts is a pudding made from milk, sugar, and chicken breast.
1) The word for kitchen is "mutfak".

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March 18, 2003

Oh, there will be M&M's tonight

Girl-E is a little stressed. Not that, 'oh my god I have so much to do in so little time' kind of stressed, but that 'people are making my life hard, why don't they just stop sucking and let me drink my coffee without making me feel hostile' kind of stressed. The problem is that she's got a dirty job that someone's gotta do but it would be far nicer if that someone weren't her. We won't go into details, but the main facts are that it involves a) whiny, spoiled children who don't speak English, b) whiny, discontented adults who don't speak English, c) projectile items, and d) ear-shattering volumes. If she wasn't sure before, it is now quite clear that she should limit her business with these things in the future. Someday she'll chalk it up to the character-building experience that prepared her for some of her greatest successes, but right now it's pure dread.

It's times like these that cheap beer and contraband Easter M&M's play important roles. The absence of bacon in this country is leaving a large gap in the comfort food inventory, but she seems to be improvising well enough. Frankly, we think this suffering is good for her. She has a bit of a superiority complex that lowers her tolerance for unintelligent behavior. As far as we can tell, there's a lot of it that goes down in this world, and she'd be well off to learn to cope with it. Speaking from sheer self-interest, though, the discomfort caused to us by her stress outweighs our satisfaction at seeing her flail, so we'll be happy enough when she returns to her natural surroundings. Oh fab, here she goes to the CD player, please woman lose your "hip-hop makes me feel empowered" thing.

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March 16, 2003

Go Tell it on the Mountain

Greetings, and welcome to the birth of the Boo-blog. We are Leto and Roz, a pair of not-quite-identical twins belonging to a twenty-something lady called Girl-E. We have a love-hate relationship with Girl-E. We suspect she feels the same. We're sure that she is at times quite proud of us, but at others we think she would be happy to disown us altogether and chuck us into the street. She treats us fine, but doesn't give us all too much freedom, which is one reason we decided to branch out with this blog. We spend hours every day staring at a computer anyway, so we might as well be productive about it.

We grew up with Girl-E in Southern California, but didn't really gain a mature consciousness until a stint in New Jersey. Something in the water, maybe. Anyway, we have faithfully if grudgingly stood by Girl-E through all kinds of things she thinks are important. We usually live in Boston, but have somehow found ourselves in Istanbul, Turkey. The food's good, so we can't complain. Girl-E and The Dude seem to be making plans to head home soon, though, so we'll have to find our baklava elsewhere. Oh, The Dude is the guy who's been hanging around Girl-E for a while now. Unlike Girl-E, The Dude thinks we're the best gals to ever grace the face of the earth, but we are not quite impressed. If Girl-E happens to give us a moment's freedom, The Dude swoops in and infringes on it. He means well, so we try not to be bitchy, but it's tough.

Anyway, so as not to take any readership we might have for granted, we'll cut this one short and plan to spread out our profound observations over future dates. Since we don't get out much without Girl-E, many of our posts will unfortunately be about her, but we'll try to make it interesting. Someday we're sure she'll stumble onto this blog and read what we've said about her, but we won't let that censor us, she already thinks we're suspect anyway. Till next time,
We are most humbly yours,
The twins, Leto & Roz

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