Open letter to squatters who took over the building in the plaza near where I live

Dear squatters who took over the building in the plaza near where I live,

I have a few bones to pick with you.

First, I know you think you are making a statement by breaking into and occupying private property. I know this because I actually dated a few boys who squatted when I went to University in England oh so very long ago. I thought they were cool and edgy and sometimes I even stayed in them with said boyfriends and the rest of the punk rockers or otherwise who lived in such establishments. I can forgive the old me for these beliefs and actions because I was 17 and liberal and, it goes without saying, ignorant. Sure, many of you may be in your early or mid twenties, but more than a handful of you appear to be well beyond that.

I understand the feelings of camaraderie and maybe even power of a group that believes it is “beating the system”. But you guys, you are too old for this. You don’t even have any system here to beat. The state gives you money every month even though you have never had a job in your life (at least not that you told the government about) and your healthcare (albeit at standards far too low for my taste) is free. You will also get retirement money, having never paid taxes in your life. It won’t be much but enough to buy that nasty beer I always see you drinking and the occasional baguette.

You can steal electricity and water and even hang your laundry out so that we see you actually DO laundry, but the entire neighborhood still thinks that you are dirty and an eyesore and are pissed that you just lowered their property value by hanging your ridiculous signs off your balconies. Like any of us in the neighborhood give a shit what you think you stand for. We see all the booze bottles and trash piled outside your doors every day.

Second. A word about your adopted hair-dos. I know you believe you are being edgy with the business in the front, party in the back hair-dos, but I hate to break it to you (OK that’s a lie, I’ve been dying to tell every single one of you this) but mullets are not progressive. You did not invent this hair do. The Germans have embraced this contemptible look for nearly 30 years. Mullets are, in fact, passe. They have had their heyday, and just because you were little kids during it’s near decade in the spotlight, you can’t lay claim.

Oh sure, you fancy them up by making them more disgusting than a straightforward, brushable shag by adding dreadlocks to the party in the back. Sometimes, you only have a clump growing out of the middle of the back of your head. I have to tell you that either way, the dirty clumps of hair sprouting out the back of your cranium resemble sprouting long, uncoiled poops. Hiding beads and metal bits in the them does not distinguish from plain old poop coming out of the back of your head, it just adds to the effect.

And that is really all the time I have for you.

Sincerely, Me.

Edit: here is a shining example of the hair style in this post…

And here is a spy shot I took while waiting in line at the market of one the squatters nasty feet:

Open Letter to fellow airline passengers

Dear people in the airport with children,

I’m concerned about your health, I truly am. You see, it’s impossible for a normal human being to remain unaffected by the atrocious behavior of your child.  Because when your child repeatedly rams that hard plastic pink travel case she is riding, into peoples shins, you just continue your inane phone conversation as you watch, nonplussed. (Who the hell invented a child’s carry-on/scooter combination anyway? I think the last thing you want is something to slow your journey through they airport even more. Let’s give the kid a bag she won’t even drag, she has to scoot it through the airport. My, how clever. )

And when the person your horrible child just rolled back and forth in front eighteen times, making him perform a kind of little dance and move his bag around to hold his place in line,  shoots eye daggers at you, you are supposed to respond. In case you forgot what actually happens in polite society, that is a nonverbal social cue. Yeah, it is. It means you need to act. When you do attempt eye contact, you unbelievably seem to be expecting a smile from the stranger your kid just tripped. And all the other 457 adults subjected to the little attention whore  wheeling as close as she can to people’s feet, then checking them for a reaction.

So ease up on that Bailey’s and Percoset breakfast combo. Or perhaps it’s time to cut back on that extremely high dose of Benzodiapines you must be taking. You’ve got some serious kid-ass to kick and you are gonna need all your faculties.


An open letter to girls in Barcelona

Dear 20 something girls in Barcelona,

Hello there girls, you all don’t know me but I see you every day. In fact I see a little too much of all of you. because, well, it seems you are forgetting to put you skirt on before you leave the house.  Your stylish sweater, fancy leather jacket, scarf, and sometimes even a sassy hat all look great together. And the leggings too, the leggings would be perfect – if you wore them as leggings.

You see, those leggings, they are not pants. They are meant to be worn with something over them. It doesn’t matter if you pair them with a knee or even thigh high pair of boots, we aren’t looking at your legs. See, those leggings, they are slightly sheer.  So when I, and every student in the classroom or stranger on the street you traipse past turns their head to look at you, it isn’t because we all think you are especially cute or fancy. It’s because the glow of your white butt cheek is shining right through those “pants”.  It’s especially disturbing to all of us on the Metro when you are standing and we are seated, so said ass cheek is right at eye level. And sometimes that cheek is less than smooth. It’s disturbing.

Your friends would all be fired, except they are guilty of the same crime.

Also, not sure if you noticed, but even if your leggings are black, we can see all the details (shape, size, pattern, color, lace, bows…) of the underwear you are wearing, or if you are going commando. So,just a friendly word of advice- next time you wear your “pants” with no underwear and a short sweater, you may want to a get a wax first. Just sayin’.

Thanks for not taxing anyone’s imagination,

Wherein I criticise my fellow US citizens fashion sense

I love my country, but I have some criticisms about people here. Lots of them, actually, but today I’m going to comment on our appearances in the corporate workplace.

First, gentlemen, what is the deal with the lack of grooming? It’s not unmanly to make sure that at age 36 your ear hair does not disgust your neighbor in the work team meeting. It is irresponsible is what it is. Wayward eyebrows and hair growing out of the top of your noses should be left for when you are 89 and don’t care anymore. And if you are married and have any of this going on, you definitely need to fire your wife because making sure you don’t look like this is in part of the job description.

Moving onto clothes. The American corporate culture (among others) dress really f-ing poorly. People, you need to buy clothes that fit you. That means pants, shirts, shoes, undergarments – everything. Dudes, your dockers need to at least reach the tops of your shoes. In fact they need form a break above the ankle, but we will move onto that when we cure you of the fear of shoe dirt on your pant hem. Also. Buy the correct waist size, ok? I know you are deathly afraid of appearing the slightest bit “gay”, but buying pants 3 waist sizes too large, year after year, just looks sloppy. Seeing a hint of the shape of your ass is not a bad thing. That’s why they curve the seat area. This goes for shirts too. Swimming in a sea of blue fabric is prison wear, not office wear. But hey, here is the good news. Your socks? Crazy as you want them to be. Really! Go nuts with them. As long as they aren’t white. Unless of course you are wearing running shoes, and are in fact, going running Then white is OK. Don’t even get me started on workout wear as office wear.

Ladies, I am talking to you too. If you are not a size 4, don’t buy a size four. Or, if you must have that size hanging in your closet so you can keep that delusion going, have a couple of big girl pants and skirts that you wear while you wait for whatever it is you are waiting for. By the way, stretched out purple cable knit sweaters were never intended to be worn to the office. Those are for cleaning out the garage when it’s cold, or painting in, or washing your giant Newfoundland dog in. Undergarments are important too. V necked sweaters over strapless tube dresses form a strange X shape on your chest and it’s visually disturbing.

Fellow citizens, please choose the correct size teeth.

It’s great that we go to long lengths to take care of the teeth, and I agree that their appearance is important. I mean, some of the chompers I see in Spain are, to put it bluntly, frightening. I don’t just mean crooked. I mean such rich shades of brown I am certain they brush with tobacco. And snarls so broken and overlapped I wonder how they can close their mouths. In fact, I have seen many an errant tooth poking out of a lip, prompting me to quickly look away lest they smile.

But no, there is a limit people. One can go overboard. Straightening, whitening, whatever – it’s all good. But if you are going to replace your real teeth with big shiny fake ones, then they must fit the mouth they are in. See, not only do they look strange, but we can hear if they do not fit you. You may as well stick Chiclets on your teeth and hold a business meeting while trying to talk through the giant gum squares. It just doesn’t do you any good in the whole gaining respect arena.

Dear Spain: We need to have “the talk”

Hey Spain, can we talk?

We just passed the 5 month mark, and I think we are getting to know each other pretty well, you and I.  I feel like we tolerate each others quirks and can appreciate our good qualities. And I really appreciate the slack you cut me in the airport travel department, for example, the full bottles of water, lighters, screwdrivers and pocket knives that you have let go through security in my carry on. All those things come in very handy and when I only have a carry on, well, there is no where else to put them, so thanks for turning a blind eye every time. Oh, and its nice that no one ever looks at my passport when I enter the country. Though the last time I returned from Italy, no one was even in the booth for non EU citizens, and that meant no line, which was excellent as I wanted to get home quickly.

But listen. I don’t want to push or anything, but I really have to know if this is going anywhere. I mean, I never expected it to get this far when we started out. But I have gotten to know so much about you and, well, the more I get to know you the more I like you. So I have to know if you want me to stay,  because sometimes I get the feeling that you don’t. You know, like the fact that I haven’t had any overhead lights in my flat, and none at all in my bathroom, for almost a week now. I know, I know, not a huge deal in the scheme of things, but OK what about your weather? I mean, it was Spring for two weeks and now what the hell? It was freezing today! And don’t even get me started on all these amazing racetracks that I can’t even ride. Well I can’t because I don’t have a bike because I don’t have a job. Which brings me to the point that you really need to get moving on helping me find a job, because, frankly, my eye is wandering. Oh yeah, it is. I’m no going to lie. I’ve been talking to Italy, did you know that? And you know how charming and good looking he is.

OK, now I’m not saying I want to stop what we have going on or anything, but seriously, you need to get your act together, because I cant stand this limbo much longer.  There, I said it.  Now come on, let’s hug it out.

PS:  By the way, your little friend Catalunya isn’t helping. That the whole two languages to learn thing?  That’s just bullshit.