Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Day My Ass, It's Turkiversary Day!

I haven't done anything to celebrate Valentine's Day since I was in grade school and we had those Valentine's Day parties in class where everyone has a shoebox with a hole cut in the front and everyone else in the class had to stick those crappy cards with crappy puns into everyone else's shoebox. You had to sign all the cards the night before with your mom watching over your shoulder to make sure you didn't write something shitty to the kids who were assholes.

Lucky for me, 14 February is also my anniversary of the day I came to Turkey. So this is not a bitter Valentine's Day post. It's just a post wherein I extoll my gladness for having come to Turkey 12 years ago.

At the time I came here, I believed I was coming to Istanbul for love. In retrospect that whole thing was a delicious delusion but it turned out very well indeed because it wasn't love at all, though in the end it ended up being something like that.

And so I've decided to grace you with one of these damned lists that the Internet keeps churning out. In honor of my 12 years in Istanbul, here's a list of 12 things that tell me I've been in Istanbul for 12 years.

Please note that I will not mention tea or people's hospitality because yawn. I'm bored to death of those newbie lists.

1) The other day I marched into the eczane and requested yeast infection medication. Then I asked for some cream for the itching, and the guy asked where it itched, and I said, "My vagina." The eczane crowd of gawkers wasn't as big as usual, but it was all male. What can I do sometimes?

2) I remember when there were trees on Istiklal.
Now they've paved the cobbles along the tracks to make it easier for TOMAs to pass.
3) When my kid has friends over and I bring them a snack, he asks if it's haram before letting his friends eat it. He seems to think all we eat is haram.

4) I've started telling people off for stuff like cutting in line or polishing their nails in restaurants.

5) Forgetting my wallet at home is no reason not to do the grocery shopping. You can always pay it back later.

This, for example, is not traffic.
6) I can tell how long we'll be sitting in traffic based on who is begging or what's being sold. Water, flowers, or simit-- not long. Toys or balloons arranged on a long stick-- longer. Small child beggars in between lanes-- pretty long. Legless beggars in between lanes on the freeway-- screwed.

7) I went to the dentist last week for a filling and he offered to do it without anesthetic and I accepted. He didn't even charge me for the filling.

8) I can sometimes tell what people really mean in Turkish by how and when they say it.

9) I have never bought terlik in my life, yet I have a healthy supply of terlik.

10) An empty water bottle makes an excellent football. All the kids in the schoolyard are doing it.

11) When going to have a meal or a drink outside any time that's not summer with a group friends that has Turkish people in it, I check with the Turks if they have issues about getting cold. If they do (and this is a thing), then we sit inside.

12) Even before the trees started blossoming, I knew it was going to be an early spring because the cats started fucking a few weeks ago. Still, I'll find someone to confirm the cemre are falling right this year, and I'll hold out for the leylek to be sure.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Celebrity Death Triad: Complete

Is nine days too long since the last Celebrity Death to count today's death as part of the Triad?

Oh, you'd better believe I made a meme.
I'll be honest. I thought Shirley Temple had died like 20 years ago. So naturally I got to wondering, "What did Shirley Temple look like as a grownup?" Thanks to Google images, there's an answer to that question.

Yup, she looks just like a grownup.
I wonder if she knew her real age when they took this picture?
I want red lipstick to make a comeback.

The 40s were awesome, seriously.

The first non-Shirley-Temple pic that Google images turned up.

When I was a kid, Shirley Temples were the best thing ever. Grenadine and soda with a maraschino cherry. We mostly only got to have them in restaurants. A heavy grenadine pour was like kid crack.

That's what I think of when I think of Shirley Temple-- going to restaurants with my family.

And also this:

The olden days were seriously fucked up.

By the way, it's possible the last two celebrity deaths didn't hail a Triad, and this most recent death is the start of a new Celebrity Death Triad.

One can never say for sure. Celebrity Death Triads are slippery things indeed.

Ba da ching!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jinx Post: Celebrity Death Triad

I had a spam comment on this post recently, and I got to thinking about superstition.

I think by now you're fairly clear on my religious views and whatever else, but the thing is, there are a few things I'm superstitious about. One of them is the Celebrity Death Triad.

And the reason I bring this up is that given recent circumstances...
... we could be in for a bad Celebrity Death Triad. As in, someone very cool is due to die soon. I base this near-groundless premise on the fact that because Pete Seeger and Philip Seymour Hoffman were for-real talented people, another for-real talented celebrity is due to die next.
And this bums me out.

I see dead people.
If you don't believe me about Celebrity Death Triads, just check the Internet because the Internet knows everything. If that doesn't convince you, check your Facebook feed for the last year or two. You'll find the Celebrity Death Triads once you're looking for them.

Thomas Kincade-Mike Wallace-Dick Clark. What does it mean?

What's worse about the Celebrity Death Triad superstition is knowing that (according to what be my own superstition) if a lesser and somewhat anti-climactic celebrity dies first, that will complete the Triad, thus saving a more beloved celebrity from death.

For now.

But if this happens, a less-important celebrity is sacrificing him or herself to prevent a really awful Triad, you're left wondering why, for example, Jonathan Winters had to be in the same Triad as Margaret Thatcher. And where did Annette Funicello figure in? But sometimes that's just the way it happens.

The worst thing of all is how completely unpredictable the superstition is.

Anyway, this Celebrity Death Triad had better lay off Dawn Wells.
So I wrote this post to jinx it and arrest the Triad at two.

We'll see if that works.