Monday, April 26, 2010

Sleighs 'n' Roses

(aka "How a moment of compassion can screw your head up for ever")

A couple of days ago, my mother showed up on our doorstep in a true 'Balkan grandparent' fashion - meaning, armed to the teeth with sweets, home-made traditional dishes, and random gifts for grandchildren. Being an adult (no, really!) I managed to refrain from burrowing into the goody bag for a respectable amount of time, busying myself with brewing coffee and distributing fizzy drinks instead (we Serbs have a thing for tormenting our livers)...

...only to join the kids in squeeing over the latest Ancestor Allowance as soon as the front door creaked shut on the said ancestor's skirtsuit-encased back.

It turned out to be quite an experience.

You see, the 'entertainment' part of the offering contained a DVD of 1957's "Snezhnaya koroleva" - one of the first feature-length animated movies 'yours truly' has seen as a preschooler. Which wouldn't register as more than a blip on the remembrance radar, if it wasn't also the first animated movie Dags has spent crying over 'the bad guy'.

Yep. Dags and the underdogs go that far back.

And you can pick your jaw up from the floor right now - I didn't say I saw it the year (or even the decade!) it came out, did I?

For some inexplicable reason, the whole 'BFF' theme didn't impress ickle Dags at all: apart from the initial "That Kay is an evil boy, wanting to burn the Snow Queen like that!", the kids' characters left her completely 'blah'. Poor Gerda's trials and tribulations were met with barely concealed glee ("Now the Queen will be able to spend more time with Kay!") and the remaining movie time was spent contemplating the sad fate of the slush sovereign, who "had to live without love, because everyone who could love hated her".

Kids' logic. It a wonderful, wonderful thing...

That very same evening I snuggled with my kids on the living room sofa, fully intent on atoning for my childhood delusions by rooting for the BFF. As it turned out, it was already way too late...

You see... Gerda spent her life surrounded by family and friends. And all the Snow Queen had was Kay.
Click... you know you want to

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Pros & Cons of Life

(aka "Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.")

My significant other was never known for his ability to turn experience into sanity-preserving snideness, but lately he seems stuck in some sort of a defeatist limbo - so much so I can almost imagine him switching his morning coffee and strings of work-related expletives for tea and "Shikata ga nai". And if there's one thing Dags can't stand...'s self-inflicted passivity; it drives her up the wall.

And not in a small vehicle, either.

Let's make one thing clear from the start: life is a cheat. There's no way in hell you're winning the round if he gets to deal the cards, and he almost invariably does. And seeing as declining the game is not an option, either... the best you can do is use the (limited) time you have as a kibitzer to work out a way to keep yourself out of debtor's prison.

In other words:

a) you either come up with both the tactics and the poker face and turn pro...


b) you keep acting like an awestruck teen and end up a con for the rest of your days; there's neither reprieve nor remission for that particular offense.

Now, usually, I wouldn't bother with free lessons. But seeing as I ended up partnered with the man and there are two novice players to consider...

*takes a deep breath and counts to 100 Hufflepuffs and back*

"See, love... this is what you do: you take this card here and..."

Men... Their unarmed combat skills suck. *rolls eyes*
Click... you know you want to