Sunday, September 30, 2007

The boobs, the French and home

After a pretty intense and unfortunately pretty humour-free couple of weeks as we rushed to finish up the boob stuff things are now finally back in order. The stuff got done and the client was really really happy. My jet-lag is gone and I haven't seen a French person in at least one week so I'm starting to feel normal again.

Now I'm hoping for some time on the beach before the next exciting adventure here in management consulting starts.

While me, The Boy and Captain Britain were fighting the French and complaining about the project, French food, French people and life in general there has been some great development in the HQ that I have to make sure to give proper attention at some point. It seems like Mr. B actually has managed to get a girlfriend and... might... have his first intimate experience with one of the female species. The whole office is in disbelief.
Also, there's the story of Mr. Chin Jnr. throwing up all over the place in a restaurant at Meg's farewell dinner since she's left the company to spend some time in the blackest parts of Africa doing God-Jesus knows what. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Adventures of a Foreign Salaryman in Tokyo, again!

After almost 5 weeks of living among the barbarians in Paris I am now finally back in my crib in Tokyo! Sunshine and relatively nice temperatures greeted me at my arrival and to my great surprise and relief I had remembered to flush the toilet before I left, I hadn't forgotten anything in the garbage that stunk up the place and the gas, water and electricity was still working although I did cut it a bit close with some of the bills...

To use the words of John Constantine:
"HQ. Sanctuary. Home. I get quite sentimental about this place, especially when I'm away. It looks like a bomb's hit it, but that's normal"

The boob project is unfortunately still not over and I will not be able to completely relax again until sometime next week (hopefully).

Things I really really like about Tokyo:
The number of French people and children per capita is mercifully much lower than in France

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm going home, baby!

I'm going home baby! No more French people. No more French children. No more French food.

Things will be all right again!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I miss Japan...

Now, I'm not going to make it a habit of posting a lot stuff that's not mine here, but thought this instruction video for going to a sushi restaurant is a classic so I think it deserves to be watched. I think I'm getting homesick, but watch the video, I promise it'll be worth your time!

Well, that's a good question

Sometimes people ask me; "Mr. Salaryman, I understand that you hate the French, but what type of French people do you hate the most?", to this I usually give a half-smile, lean forward with my elbows on the table, fingertips together and explain. It goes something like this:

"Well, that's a very good question, it's very important that you understand that this is not a race issue, I hate French people of Middle-eastern, Asian or African descent as much as I hate white French people. The second you become a French citizen, that's when you have crossed the line. The men are slightly more obnoxious than the women, but that doesn't mean that the women are pleasant at all, just slightly less annoying than the men.

But to answer your question, I hate the children the most. They are in the larvae stage of becoming full blown grown French people. I hate the children so much."

Then I lean back, take a deep breath and try to gather myself and after a little while my face will return to its normal color and the throbbing vein in my temple will no longer be visible.

Things I really hate about France and the French 8:
The children

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Been there, done that

Now, yours truly has seen the sights here in the city of frogs and in order to make your stay in Paris as pleasant as possible I thought I could give you all a brief review of some of the main attractions here in Paris.

I will rate the attractions on a scale from 1-5 Salarymen where "1" Salaryman is the worst and indicates that you'd be better off not seeing this particular attraction while a "5" would be the best.

The Arc of Triumph
The Good: It's a relatively big building
The Bad: "Triumph" and "French" doesn't do it for me, the view was in theory good, but unfortunately the only thing I could see was Paris...
Rating: 1.5 Salarymen

The Louvre
The Good: It's got some art and stuff
The Bad: It's too big and it was featured in the God-Jesus awful book and movie "The Da Vinci Code"
Rating: 1.5 Salarymen

Notre Dame
The Good: It's a big building
The Bad: It's a sacred place of worship and a pretty boring one at that
Rating: 1 Salaryman
Monte Martre
The Good: It's close to a relatively mild red-light area with pretty funny looking pubs
The Bad: It's up on a hill and got plenty of crappy artists
Rating: 2 Salarymen

The Eiffel Tower
The Good
: (Nothing)
The Bad: Just a cheap rip-off of the Tokyo Tower and shorter to boot.
Rating: 0.5 Salaryman

All in all, I highly recommend visiting Paris if you are staying in a decent hotel and stay in the hotel room most of the day.

I hate it here and I want to go home!

Scenario from last Friday:
French Manager: (Smiling) 'ello Mr. Salaryman, 'ow iz it going?
Salaryman: (Neutral and slightly tired) Yeah, it's going ok, just a lot of stuff to pull together now before the deadline...
French Manager: (Frown and worried look) Yes? You are having difficult, yes?
Salaryman: (Neutral and pretty tired) Yeah, but we'll be fine, we just have to get this stuff done now...
French Manager: (Theatrical laugh and arms out and upwards) Haha, yes? You'll be fine, yes!
Salaryman: (Neutral and pretty tired) Thanks...

Later on in the day the boy asked me, "Wow, you really do hate the French, don't you?".

Things I really hate about France and the French 7:
The country and the people

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I don't care about the boobs anymore!

In theory we're doing a great project but after a couple of days of suffering first a message of "you guys are incompetent and are not doing your job" one day and "wow, you guys seem to be on top of things and ahead of schedule" the next day it could bring much stronger men than me to drink. Which is just what I happened to do, in the Paris Hilton hotel bar of all places with my old friend and current consultin biz comrade Big D who happened to visit Paris while I'm here. An interesting discussion were held, us consultant, about the potential benefits and demerits of hotel bar prostitution, traditional streetwalking and utilizing the Internet. Our view on the current situation and market environment differed a bit but our forecast on future development and trends were somewhat in line. What analysts predict we haven't looked into.
Today was slightly rough so the only solution to stabilize things is some Joy Division ("Unknown pleasures" in general and "disorder" more specifically) and a big fat whiskey.

Tomorrow is sightseeing day here in the city of frogs though, I'm pretty confident that I'll hate it and if I don't I'll hate them for tricking me into not hating it!

Things I really hate about France and the French 6:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Star Wars is a great gay movie

First of all I should state for the record that I'm a pretty good Star Wars nerd, I loved the movies (especially the original trilogy) and I can do my fair share of nerdy quotes from them. However, one thing that I've always seen as obvious but that I discovered from discussions with other Star Wars nerds is that the gayness of these movies is completely overlooked. The movies are such an obvious tale of a confused young man's way to realizing he's gay and exploring that side that I'm actually stunned that people have not realized this before.

Now, you are probably one of those people who had never thought of this before and all I ask of you is a little patience and I will lay out my case and I am certain that by the time you've finished reading this post you will be as convinced as me. Once again, I would like to state that this does not detract from the movie in any way, quite the opposite, this dimension makes the movies even more enjoyable.

The movie is about a lonely young apple-cheeked farm boy living on his farm in a small town dreaming of "going to the stars" and be something more than just a farm boy (que the song "Smalltown boy"). However, by coming into contact with two droids (R2D2 and C3P0) who both appear to be masculine and in a long-term relationship he learns of an old "Jedi-master" whom he seeks out. He meets with Obi-Wan who has lived a different life than him on the farm and promises him to "show him the world" and teach him to "use the force" and "use his sabre".

Luke hooks up with this older man and the lovely droid couple in search of transportation and heads off to a gay club where Obi-Wan disciplines a few roughnecks who try to pick up his young friend. They find the two men Han Solo and Chewbacka that seem to be living in a free relationship which is hard for Chewbacka, but he loves Han Solo so much that he puts up with him playing around with people like Lando and Jaba. After all, the hate that Jaba shows for Han Solo is much more that of a scorned lover than a businessman... (I should also state that my own personal belief here is that Obi Wan and Luke never engage in a sexual relationship, just that of a mentor and apprentice, but that can be argued)

After some adventures in which Luke starts to get some competency in how to use his "saber" the merry team is confronted for the first time with the evil Lord Vader, clad in black rubber and a fiercesome looking saber of his own, red, as if it had been dipped in blood. Darth Vader represent the dark side of homosexuality; sex without feelings and self-satisfaction. Obi-Wan meets his fate and "fades away" but wishes Luke luck before he dissapears. Luke also meets the Princess Leia and is even more confused since he realizes that he has feelings for her as well which is confusing for him since he believed himself to be homosexual.

The movie ends with the climactic scene in which Luke needs to "shoot his load" directly into the "little hole" on the body of the entity they are attacking, but keeping Obi's great advise in mind he manages to unload in just the right time and there is an orgasmic explosion when he realizes that he has succeeded. For me, this is very clear; it is an elegant metaphor for Luke's homosexual sex debut in which he finds himself.

The second movie is very much a middle movie as it's about Luke finding out more about his sexuality and also the risks that he must be careful to avoid. He meets with Obi's old lover, Yoda, who is fading away in a terrible disease (very much colored by the '80s environment) who warns him to give in to his dark impulses but to seek love and happiness. Meanwhile Han Solo is hunted by his former lover and is in turn betrayed by an old lover at Cloud City, if you are observant you can notice how Chewbacka from the beginning is very cold towards Lando. It ends with Han Solo being frozen down in a suggestive pose for Jaba's entertainment.

In the third movie, it is a different Luke we meet, now safe and secure in his sexual identity, now himself a "master" of the "force", wielding his "saber" as an expert. Together with his gay band of friends they rescue Han Solo, even together with a Leia that has butched out as a special performance but later on play the role of a more traditional fag hag. The rest of the movie is a tour de force of the new secure Luke, with the help of a gang of furry dwarves he manages to reach and confront the dark side of his own sexuality and win over his dark urges by throwing it in the well.

I know that there are people who would accuse Lucas of misogyny since there are so few women in the movie and they play such insignificant roles, but I would argue that the trilogy is about "Men who loves men" and not about "men who hate women". For me, it is a touching tale of a farmboy growing up, discovering his sexuality, coming to terms with it and emerging as a secure and strong gay adult. You do not have to be gay to appreciate the message in this movie.

This is also just a brief scratch of the surface, there are so much more of these things to find in the original trilogy that I recommend you to see them again with new eyes if you haven't realized this before!
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