Saturday, November 13, 2010

All my friends in high school were wrong.

This is the Red Army and the Leningrad Cowboys singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Which means that the Leningrad Cowboys actually exist. They are not a delusion of my adolescence.

And apparently The Leningrad Cowboys Go America is one of the top 100 world films of all time. It is superlatively weird... I mean, they have a dude chasing them for the entire movie, carrying a fish. The band manager keeps an endless supply of beer in the ice-filled coffin on the roof of the car.

The mystery of how said film made it to the local Video Village remains.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sea Change

People ask if being married is different. It is! I swear! There are lots of ways, most of them depressing. For instance, more people treat you like your romantic attachments have value!

But at the moment, I'm more interested in my transition from non-toucher to toucher.

I think it was the wedding that desensitized me. The wedding photographs show me hugging an unending succession of people- including a woman who wandered in, took a plate of food, and left. Hugs! And there were Chileans- months after my last visit to Chile, people would hold out a hand and I'd reflexively kiss their cheeks. Now, I just assume I'm supposed to dole out a little arm pat, a comforting hand squeeze. It's like writing thank you notes: significantly easier after the first hundred.

I didn't realize that I'd become a... toucher until last night. We were at a party typical of my hometown- first there was a potluck and lawn games, then there was a drum circle, a bonfire, and a small ceremony honoring everyone who had died this year. You know, Samhain. I gave a reflexive shoulder squeeze to a sobbing neighbor, and realized that I had crossed over to the physical affection side.

Hello, people back on the sane, WASPy side of the divide! I salute you! Please do not sue me for sexual harassment!

I should have seen this coming. This summer, my supervisor and I were standing in a jungle, trying to decipher 35 year old notes on plants about the size of a throw cushion. I had just handed off the map so that I could decamate the mosquito population- and one of them landed on his cheek. So yes, I reflexively slapped my boss- and he has not yet done anything to deserve it.