Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mr. Cranky

Friday, April 29, 2005

Getting Ready For Guatemala

Just checking this blog out today to see how it will operate when, and if, I get to Guatemala for my Peace Corps Training in three more days. At the moment I'm stricken with the "willies" about the whole thing and wondering if this isn't the grand-daddy of all: "This sounded like a good idea at the time" ideas. A few weeks should tell.

With nothing to do I plan to fill the day with make work issues like buying batteries, a few books and anything else I can do to keep my mind off this upcoming event. In reality I shouldn't be this nervous, but am because, I'm guessing, the Government is involved. And having experienced their expertise in running things in the Army for 3 years I have serious misgiving about their ability to help another country run itself.

That said, I am counting heavily on the hope that I will be unsupervised; or that those who are supervising me have not yet risen to their level of incompetence as posited in the book the "Peter Principle."
At the very least, deduced from those I have spoken to, it will be chock a block full of young 20-30 somethings who's idealism and do goodism is only eclipsed by their inability to make a decision not already made in some handbook or manual. (Or on a more cynical note unable to get a job in the real world in this tough economy.)

So, if your interested, Mr. Crank will give you and unvarnished view of what the Peace Corps accomplishes and how it does it in Guatemala.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Cuernavaca, Mexico (CM)

Cuernavaca, Mexico (CM)

Well I’m back from my trip to CM for language training (for the dummies ..it is Spanish speaking country). Three weeks of delightful people, weather, and food. There was nothing, alas to complain or crank off about; which is bit uncharacteristic of your writer.

Well of course there is shit to bitch about, but it was all minor. For example we did have one cranky old broad for a week, thankfully she busied herself during our weekend trips thus making herself unavailable to, at least, my delight. But I digress, it is preferable to start from the beginning.

This trip was undertaken by me because I am a man on mission who is planning on going into the Peace Corps. And, I wanted to see if I could deal with living with a family in my assigned country for three month while I train, which they require – the perky name for this is “home stay” -- and to also learn a little Spanish. I needed to see that I could deal with Senior Pedro his wife and six kids. Not to mention a room with no TV or radio, a four foot bed, and beans and rice ad on infinitum. I have returned reasonably assured that I can adjust to a life of depravation and aggravation for at least the three months training although my home stay in CN was with Senoria Nelly who, while not having a TV, was an excellent cook, and did provide me with a nice room and bed. Like I said … it was a test run. I liken it to my Army training where they shot at us, but used firecrackers and blanks instead of the real bullets …. although thankfully the parachutes were real. Why kill yourself in training?

I need to do this because being half agnostic and half Christian I am unsure if there is or there is not a final reward, and at the moment if there is one I would venture a guess that by any religion’s tenants the ledger book is not overly weighted in my favor under the heading of “good deeds” and would get me on the escalator going down in short order. So!, I must make an effort to undo the years of drinking, smoking, cussing, and screwing around, that where, for the most part a lot of fun. But like the saying goes “the spirit is willing but the flesh fails me”. Thus the time came to quit. That said, I wonder if turning into a good guy because your candle is near its end wins you any points with the guy upstairs? is another whole theological argument. I hope, though if there is a higher power, he or she does give me some points here for this last moments effort …… I could be out buying Viagra & tequila and trying to do some mayhem to the very end. So, I am counting on wining a few points even as my heart leans toward continuing the mayhem till they plant me somewhere.

So, my stay in CM was bien! As they like to say down south of the border. I met some wonderful, young Americano Senioritas, whom befriended me and let me buddy around with them with …. In spite of my potential “dirty old man status”. And I, dear reader, was the model of maturity and sobriety for these young women. Most of whom would have ran for the hills had they known me in earlier years. Yes, alas, sadly, a reformed man.

Now dear reader I can highly recommend the climate, food, and people in general. Albeit, I just don’t know about the women as I was to busy trying to learn the language. Nevertheless, I would suspect like anywhere else in the world, if you have a great body, and good looks you will, as a man make out OK. As for the women, with the same characteristics, and looking for a guy, I suggest you dye your hair blonde and your on your way to establishing a serious line of hombres.

Sadly, if you’re lacking the above characteristics, and many are, and your old and quirky your going to need some serious bucks to overcome those personal shortcoming hurdles. CM, while less expensive than the US, is not poor, so the chicas and chicos do not need some geezer – male or female -- on Social Security. No my friend it will take significantly more than that.

Well it does appear that I digrest somewhat from my true mission in CM, but hey who wants to hear about Spanish school.

Friday, January 21, 2005

"Have a terrific day"

Considering that the U.S. has given away its manufacturing base we're not left with much to export that anyone wants. We have though one thing that we may have overlooked. While we have given away the store by way of shoddy services and goods, we have masked these shortcomings quite well with our perkiness. We are, excepting myself and a few others, a perennial happy people .... we no longer have problems we have challenges. Crap service and tortuous customer service has been met with the ubiquitous "Have a nice --great -- terrific day". (the gradient is in inverse proportion to the agony the company or person you have just dealt with has put you through). To take anyone to task on these things today labels you as a "negative" person. Therefore, I suggest we export this American cheerfulness. We should start with Iraq ..... a real chance for the Republicans to show their stuff. We need them to fill the streets with happy face posters and balloons for the kids. So a few of the kids are shot or beheaded for collaborating with us by the insurgents, that's part of the challenge as Paul Wolfowitz would tell us. Also, we need to tell them to stop praying to Allah and get with the Christian message of being born again. They need to know that they will be "left behind" when Jesus returns if they don't drink the cool aid from our chalice today.
This, then will begin to bring them into the American fold. Basically, unfed, and unwashed but with a forced cheerfullness millions will be smiling and saying "have a great day" thus re-transforming the country into what it was to begin with: basically an unhappy,unproductive,oil producing country but now with a freely elected theocracy consisting of religous nuts. Nevertheless, the catch is that we get to charge a penny for each "Have a nice day"; payments will be deducted from oil revenue ... and like America your fired if you don't say it and we smart bomb you if you don't pay it. Ring up another win for the Republicans and capitalism.

Cold as a brass monkey's ass

Well Johnny boy here it is. Mr. Cranky writes his daily shit for all the world to see; another dubious electronic communications venue of which I am sure you to will, at some point, avail yourself of. Which as the diva of good taste Martha Stuart says: "Is a good thing" because it is, unlike the cell phone, quiet, thus we are spared listening to you loudly forewarn your overweight significant other, while on the train, through the transparent ruse of telling them your on the way home and asking "what's for dinner?" thereby alerting them to get other guy -- as if you care; just not tonight -- out of the house.

That times a million other loud driveling conversations that I, just me, don't want to hear ..... because it appears most everyone else does it. They are of course the strident neurotic New Yorkers who make the city tick and believe themselves exempt from decent behavior and are entitled to behave in the loud and abhorrent ways such as buying side by side twin strollers for their artificially conceived brats that take up the whole sidewalk.
On that welcome note, welcome to another frigid NY day ...... it's as cold as a brass monkey's ass ...14 degrees (My dear old granddad used to say .. "as a well diggers ass"); but the meaning of that I suspect is lost on a younger generation.

Time to bail out of NY and head for some warmer climes. Albeit, somehow I think we are a little safer from the local religious lunatics when it is this cold as it does keep people in. Then again that logic may not hold up for the the car bombers who can run their heaters and keep their little asses warm while they do their murder & mayhem.