I Saw Dead People


A couple of weeks ago I found myself in Paris with some time to kill and instead of purchasing Nintendo stock like I should have been doing, I decided to fritter away my time at a sidewalk cafe eating batter-fried foods.  I found finding French fritters a frustrating fiasco however, and so I elected instead to head to the local cemeteries, as I have been dying to get into them for some time and take selfish selfies with the post-mortem celebrities interned therein.

The first cemetery I went to was the more renowned Père Lachaise (pictured above), which is a French term for ‘two matching Lachaise’.  Père Lachaise is chocked full of superstar corpses, many of which are tied to French history and culture.  Thanks to my public school upbringing, I was familiar with exactly none of them as they were named neither Napoleon nor Gérard Depardieu.  There were some names I recognized however, and I put together a quick Wander Around and Stumble Upon strategy to miss almost all of them and take up as much time as possible making U-turns and backtracking.

Like most Ugly Americans, the first grave site I visited was that of Continue reading


This Post Is Over The Top!

There have been great debates throughout history that have often resulted in shouting matches or fisticuffs or shooting wars such as East v. West, Democrat v. Republican, Protestant v. Catholic, La Niña v. El Niño, The ’97 Bulls v. Ditka; the list goes on and on.  These conflicts are not only dangerous to talk about at full volume in a restaurant, but have come to define us as a civilization who whispers in restaurants.  Butt there is one debate that has divided us such that it is worthy of an extra ‘t’ in ‘but’: that of the Over v. Under dispute with regards to toilet tissue dispensing.

Studies show that a vast majority of users (roughly 70%) are reasonable and right-minded as they prefer their tissue to come over the top of the roll.  If this percentage were to vote one-sidedly in a presidential primary, they would be the ones considered to have ‘stolen’ the election.  The remainder, for some illogical and completely insane reason, prefer to reach behind and underneath for their squares, rapping their germ-infested knuckles along the wall where they conveniently leave their diseased putrescence for future patrons.  These people are thus referred to as Continue reading

The First conTIMplating Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown

We have a tradition here in the conTIMplating home that every Christmas before bowing to the idol of excessive consumption, we read the story of The First Christmas and revel in all of its bell-jingling yuletide merriness.  But never before our November gluttonous ode to gratitude have we sat down and reminded ourselves of The First Thanksgiving.  So by golly, this year I am going to use the expression ‘by golly’ more often and do something about it.  And you can too!  Simply gather about the victual-laden tabletop, get out your various electronic devices that are out anyway, and read aloud to one another in your best Charlton Heston voice this,

The First conTIMplating Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown

Continue reading

Shouldn’t Veterans’ Day Be March Fourth?

This past week was Veterans’ Day here in America and, as always, it brought to the fore awareness of correct apostrophe usage.   Veteran’s Day was originally established as “Armistice Day” to commemorate the aptly-named Treaty of Versailles being signed in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles but was later changed to Ve’terans Day to recognize all the new and improved veterans after they realized that The Great War that was The War to End All Wars wasn’t actually that great and didn’t end all wars at all but instead caused a number of follow-on wars and thus created more veterans that needed recognizing.

And so traditionally on Veterans D’ay, the government shuts down in such a way that doesn’t even make the news and people get together to post gratitudinal platitudes on Facebook.  Being a veteran myself, I received a number of thank-yous for my ‘service’ that included keeping America safe for democracy, defending the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and seeing how many foreign-made beverages I could get past the customs agent. Continue reading

I Would Have Driven Boston’s Freedom Trail, but I Lost My Khakis

Boston CommonIf you are familiar with Boston, you know that it is famous for its garden, its baked beans, and its 2013 baseball team resembling the cast of Duck Dynasty.  It is also arguably the educational capitol of the U.S. with such respected universities as BU, MIT and Harvard, where you can get a prestigious degree in Ancient Greek or Women’s Studies that is sure to jumpstart your career as a barista.

I had a day off there this week and I was going to follow the typical American crowd and go to Cheers, but nobody there knows my name.  So instead I ventured down Boston’s famous Freedom Trail and its many sites dedicated to the distortion of America’s founding.  And of course, I took copious notes so that upon my return I could save my readers from spending upwards of $3 on an official infomap and offer up this,

The Official conTIMplating Guide to The Freedom Trail for Those too Cheap to Shell Out $3 for the Official Infomap Continue reading