I Want To Celebrate This But I Don’t Know How….

Ya’ll. THIS happened. And it is so majorly cool and I history geeked out pretty hard when I read that article and I really  want to celebrate this. I mean, they found Richard III’s body. Under a car-park. People have been parking their cars on Richard III. (Which I bet the ghost of Henry VII has been laughing his arse off about, amiright?)

Anyway, I feel the need to celebrate this discovery. But how? How does one celebrate the discovery of the body of a long-dead King of England? I assume tea is involved somehow….

Forsooth.

I wonder why we don’t say “forsooth” more often. It’s so deliciously snarky. According to Le Dictionary, it’s “used to give an ironic politeness to questions”. For real y’all. Ironic politeness. That’s a thing and that’s a thing I need to make more use of.

For example, next time one of my friends starts dating a guy I think is a douche-canoe, I can say something like “Forsooth, I think he is swell.” And they will think I’m being nice when I’m really saying he is a Jerky McJerkerson. It’s ironic politeness because social conventions dictates that I have to be cordial because my friend likes him, but my inner truth dictates that I despise the very sight of him. “Forsooth allows me to maintain my borderline socially acceptable behavior and keep my inner truth happy.   Boom! Be A Lifehacker for the win.

I feel like this “forsooth” thing is really going to work out well for me, prepare yourselves for excessive amounts of ironic politeness. Also, I may occasionally use it as a substitute curse word. For example, if I were to drop a heavy book on my toe, I would say “FORSOOTH!”, or if I found out that someone was talking mad trash about me I could say “She’s a forsoothing forsoother.” Man, this word is a gold mine!

The Ides Of March.

The Ides of March

It’s March 15 and I think we all know what that means. It’s time, once again, to fear being stabbed by your closest friends as well as your worst enemies. Usually, I would be holed up in my apartment with a baseball bat until March 16 but I realized you really only have something to fear if you meet all of the following criteria.

1. You and Cleopatra made a baby. Which, I will be the first to admit would be both impressive and gross seeing as how Cleopatra is dead. (Or is she?)

2. You have a frenemie named Brutus. (If you have a dog named Brutus, maybe send him to a doggy hotel for a day)

3. You know anyone named Plutarch. (And who doesn’t?)

4. You are the ruler of any place. (Playgrounds count)

5. A seer has foretold of your assassination. (Telephone psychics count)

So, as I only meet two of the criteria (and wouldn’t you like to know which two), I think I can make it through the day safely. Also, my friend sent me an email assuring me she wasn’t going to stab me today, so I’m feeling pretty confident. Of course, if that confidence proves false, you can refer to this post mockingly when you’re writing my biography.

The Best Way To Embarrass Yourself At The National WWII Museum.

German 88s

In case y’all were wondering, the best way to embarrass yourself at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans is to walk up the exhibit of a large artillery gun and try to see through the barrel instead of the sight. Oh, and also a WWII veteran tells you you’re looking in it the wrong way and shows you the right way which is really sweet but still incredibly embarrassing. Anyway, I thought you guys might like to know that for future reference. It didn’t really happen to me. Probably.

The Candy Hearts Think I’m Cute!

Vintage valentines

Today, my friends, is St. Valentine’s Day. Instead of lecturing you on who the real St. Valentine was (or wasn’t) and the sticky end he came to (pun intended because there was a stick involved), I’ve decided to share some of my absolute favorite things about Valentine’s Day. I’ve always loved this holiday and not just because I think it’s hilarious how a nasty execution spawned a lovers holiday. I mean, sure, that’s part of it, but I also like other things.

1.Chocolate is everywhere. This is never a bad thing. Also, if you eat it on strawberries it’s probably good for you.

2. Flowers are everywhere. It’s lovely to walk into a store and see Spring when it’s definitely Winter outside.

3. Valentines are so delightfully corny. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, the cornier the better.

4. Teenagers are making out EVERYWHERE and it’s really fun to make disapproving faces at them and remark on their lack of modesty. It really makes one feel like a grown-up.

5. Loads of people are wearing red and then I can say things like “Does your shirt represent the blood of St. Valentine?” and make people pretty uncomfortable. Sometimes, playing Debbie Downer can be fun.

6. Any reference you make to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre is both unwanted and necessary. History is fun!

7. Champagne y’all. Lots of it.

8. I get to hear Boyz II Men songs all day long.

9. There is guaranteed awkwardness to witness and participate in. I will have blog fodder for weeks!

10. The candy hearts with phrases on them. They say such nice things! It gives my self-esteem a little boost and that’s quite the accomplishment when I’m also concurrently stuffing my face with candy. Well played candy hearts. Well played.

Happy Valentine’s Day dearest readers! I love you with my whole aorta!

WWII Made Me Panic.

 

We Can Do It!

There is a completely awesome Twitter account that I follow called @RealTimeWWII, which live tweets WWII as it happened day by day from 1940-1945. I am a giant history nerd and am absolutely infatuated with this twitter account. If y’all are on the Twitter, I suggest you follow it. You needed to know about @RealTimeWWII because it’s awesome but also because it’s relevant to the story I need to tell you.

This is a cautionary tale. You would be wise to learn from it.

The other day, I was skimming quickly through my Twitter feed and noticed this tweet: : “USA protesting British warships detaining its cruise liners at Gibraltar; UK insists it’s necessary to enforce blockade on Germany“. These are my paraphrased thoughts after reading it.

Oh no. Oh no. This is really bad. When did the UK put a blockade on Germany? How did I miss this? What could have led up to this? I don’t recall reading anything in the news about it and I read BBC news, surely they would have included something about a UK blockade on Germany in the news. I just don’t understand how I missed something so major. This is really, really bad.  It’s like WWII all over again. Oh……oh wait. What Twitter account am I looking at? Oh. Oh I see. It *is* WWII. Whew. That’s a relief. Ok heart, you can stop racing now. Crises averted. Or, you know, crises passed because it was all well over before I was even born. Sheesh. I really need to pay better attention to what I’m reading on this thing. 

Y’all. I literally started having a panic attack based on something that happened in 1939 because I thought it was happening now. It really makes you think about how we’re all just driving like bats out of hell through life and maybe it would be better if we just slowed down every once in a while and paid better attention to what we’re reading on Twitter.

Henry VIII Makes An Appearance on Maury

Henry VIII

You ARE the Father!

I love history. I also love really terrible television. I don’t know why, but I feel like those two things should be mutually exclusive, however, in my brain they’re not so there you have it. Luckily for me, I found a wonderful way to marry these two loves of mine. It occurred to me whilst having a discussion about Henry VIII- I mean, for reals y’all that guy would have been an ideal guest on the Maury show. You know the one, it has  lots of paternity tests and you only watch it late at night while binging on Taco Bell. It’s hilarious. Probably unintentionally. Once I realized how ideal a guest Henry VIII would be on Maury, my imagination sort of went wild. Please enjoy.

Maury: Now Henry, I understand you’re having some women troubles.

Henry: Verily I say I am, Maury.

Maury: Tell me what’s going on.

Henry: I am surrounded by witches and daemons. Women possessed with an intent to hurt and malign my good name.

Maury: You have baby Mama drama?

Henry: Too true sir, too true.

Maury: Tell me about it.

Henry: I was married to a woman I admired very much but she failed to produce a male heir. Clearly, this was a sign of her inferiority as a wife and it became very clear God was cursing us because she was once married to my brother.

Maury: You married your brother’s wife?!

Henry: Indeed. She claimed the marriage was not consummated.

Maury: You mean they never went to sexy-town?

Henry: That is what she claimed, yes. So, I married her but obviously that was against God’s will because she could produce no male heir, so I was forced to divorce her.

Maury: You know it’s the Man who determines the sex of the child, right?

Henry: Heresy! Blaspheme! Burn him, he’s a witch!!!

Maury: Moving along. Was there another reason you wanted to divorce your wife?

Henry: Um….God’s will????

Maury: Is “God’s will” named Anne Boleyn?

Henry: You are a very cunning speaker, sir. I should have you beheaded.

Maury: Like you had Anne beheaded??

Henry: She was creeping out on me, yo! I mean….she hath displayed herself to be unchaste and unfaithful.

Maury: Were you chaste and faithful?

Henry: Off with his head!!

Maury: Yeah, that’s not going to happen. You had a daughter with Anne, yes?

Henry: Indeed. A most beautiful and bright daughter, whom I occasionally chose to alienate.

Maury: Not going to win “Father of the year” are you?

Henry: As King, I can declare myself “Father of the century.”

Maury: Touche. Which one of your many wives came next?

Henry: Sweet and simple Jane who bore me a son.

Maury: How dull.

Henry: Yes, she was.

Maury: And then?

Henry: Then came Anne of Cleves, a most ugly but kind woman who we considered to be our sister.

Maury: You slept with your sister?

Henry: No, we never consummated the marriage. It was annulled but she lived happily ever after in England.

Maury: She was probably your only wife who lived happily ever after.

Henry: Katherine Parr lived quite a happy life after I died. 

Maury: Wasn’t there one in between? 

Henry: Perhaps. 

Maury: Her name was Katherine Howard, you beheaded her. 

Henry: She-who-must-not-be-named deserved it. 

Maury: Why is that? 

Henry: She was unfaithful? 

Maury: So were you.

Henry: Enough you foul jester! You will hang for this impertinence!

Maury: No. I won’t.

Henry: What is this place? Why am I here? Who are you witches???

Maury: Sure, sure, blame this all on witches.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode where Henry is confronted by all his wives!!! There will be tears, yelling, and security will have to break up a fight- but you’ll never guess which two were fighting! Isn’t history thrilling?!

A Year In Books

Hadley and Ernest Hemingway

For the last couple of week, I’ve been reading Paris Without End by Gioia Diliberto. It’s the true story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. I am a massive fan of Hemingway’s writing and was very intrigued to learn more about his first wife, but what started out as an interest turned into a full blown love. This is one of my absolute favorite books I’ve read this year and not just because the story is so good, but because it was written with such sympathy and insight.

One of the most interested things I learned reading this book was that Hadley was such an inspiration in Hemingway’s writing. The more you learn about Hadley, the more you see her in some of his most famous female characters. In so many ways, Hadley represented the perfect woman to Hemingway- her naturalness, her strength of character, and her complete devotion to him. The life they created together was so beautiful, so full of love and joy. When they were together, it seemed as if they were one person instead of two and Hemingway drew extensively from that to create some of his most romantic couples. Hadley not only inspired him, she encouraged his writing and supported them both financially for the first years of their marriage. She never minded being poor, as long as Hemingway was writing, and write Hemingway did. Some of his best work, and certainly the work that defined his voice, was written while he was married to Hadley.

Of course, we all know how things ended between them. Hemingway fell in love with another woman, cheated on Hadley, and then left her and their son Bumby (Jack). It was very difficult for me to read these parts. Not only because I felt heartbroken for Hadley (she loved him through all of it), but also because it’s very difficult to reconcile the disdain you feel for one of your writing icons actions with the brilliance of their work. At some points, I never wanted to read Hemingway again (That would show him!). But, that’s certainly not what Hadley would want. She always loved him and supported him, even after their divorce, and for his part, Hemingway always regretted leaving Hadley and if you have read A Moveable Feast, it’s obvious how much he loved and idolized Hadley as well.

This book is amazing. Honestly, it was so illuminating to learn more about Hadley and it gave me so much more insight into Hemingway’s writing. It is written beautifully and it tells a pretty amazing story. Paris in the 20’s y’all. Paris in the 20’s with the Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and the Hemingways. Spectacular read.

What are you kids reading?

I Will Never Look At A Mime The Same Way.

Mime

I learned something life changing a few days ago. Something I never knew before. Something no one had ever told me. Prepare yourselves….

Pantomiming used to be pornography.

BOOM! That bomb just got dropped.

I’m reading a very interesting book about the emperor Justinian the Great (I haven’t gotten to the part about why he is great but I think it was his hair) and the author just slipped that little ancient Roman tidbit in there. During the time of the Roman Empire, pantomime was basically pornography. Uh-huh. I know. I freaked out too. All I could think was “Aww man. I bet there was white face paint everywhere!” Which, should probably not have been my first thought, but it was, and there you have it. My next, possibly more appropriate thought was “No wonder they all got the plague.” because actually that’s what the book is really about, but now I’m having a difficult time focusing on the gravity of the plague because pantomime was porn and that’s not something you can un-read and it seems like something that should definitely get a fair amount of attention. I keep waiting for the author to circle back to it, but alas, it seems one sentence is all I’m going to get from him.

So, I did what any normal person would so which is Google “pantomime” and read up on what wikipedia has to say about it. Wikipedia alludes to it, but doesn’t say outright that pantomime was ancient porno. But it was. The very well educated and researched author of the book I’m reading says it was, and so it was. Silly wikipedia. I did learn something from wikipedia though, apparently pantomime and mime are not the same thing. BOOM! Another knowledge bomb just got dropped on your cranium. But you know what? I don’t care. It’s too late for me – I will forever look at street performing mimes as pornography actors. So, I figure there are a couple different ways I can play this. The first it to shout my disgust at every mime I come across, and let them know how appalled I am that they would perform pornography on the street. I imagine the conversation would go something like this…

Me: How dare you?! How very dare you?! There are children about you scalawag! You should be ashamed. I know what that “box” you’re trapped in is, it’s sin!

Mime: ?????????????  :(  

The second way I can play this is to lecture old ladies on art when they complain that the young people’s dancing these days is nothing short of pornography. I imagine that conversation would go something like this…

Old ladies: Oh my! How very scandalous! These young people’s dancing is practically pornographic. Get me my smelling salts! I’m feeling faint with scandal!

Me: (Snorts in derision) Ladies. Don’t you know pantomime when you see it? It’s a form of art. And you call yourselves civilized…..

But then I thought, why choose just one? Why limit myself? I realized that true happiness could only come from treating mimes with self-righteousness and treating old ladies with condescension. That’s the secret of life y’all. And I owe it all, nay, we owe it all, to pantomime.