"To be a man or woman of adventure and courage; to be truly ALIVE, to know what fear tastes like and to swallow it-sharp pointy bits and all-this is what it is to have pirattitude."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Toast to Aleksei!

With the endin' of the last post I posed a profound question regardin' the mixin' of pirates and baby showers, and whether or not such a mix would end with disaster.

We all knew it, but the answer, of course, is yes, it would.

Pirates and baby showers DO NOT MIX.

(for purposes of clarification, in the following description of the events of said baby shower, pirate actions performed in my mind, not in real life, will be highlighted in italics. No blood was shed at the actual event, which sorely displeases Sinister-Boots)

The only upside was that everybody was wearin' hats provided by the teahouse (by gar, a dastardly womanish place if ever I laid me eyes on one!), so they let me keep my plumed pirate concoction on. But they urged me to choose a more appropriate sissy hat with a veil or some such nonsense. I ran the first woman to do so through, so no more was said about that.

Well, there was one other upside, which was that the dainty finger sandwiches, while difficult to hold (I ended up spearin them with me knife in order to grab a hold of 'em), were delicious, and finer food than a pirate has eaten in a while.

But sittin' for over an hour drinkin' tea with my pinky out (and reg'lar tea, me hearties, not tea with a shot o' whiskey in it) while the baby-bearin' wench opens pink gifts causes a pirate to get mighty restless. It was all I could do to resist the urge to jump up on the table, crushing the china beneath my boots, and jump from table to table swinging my cutlass and emitting loud growls of disapproval.

But I don't really want today's post to be about a situation which we all knew was fated for disaster. I'd like to discuss a man I came across in the New York Times today, a man whose actions are so piratical that I am obliged to hoist a mug o' rum into the air in his honor.

(okay, the pirate English has ended. This is just too important to mess around with grammar)

The man's name is Aleksei Plutser-Sarno (he's a Ukranian bastard, he is), and he's part of a radical Russian art collective called Voina (which means war-arrr). This be his likeness (note the colorful slippers that a pirate would be proud of):

Wait, you may interrupt, a sissy artist a pirate, you say? Poppycock!

Well listen to this! Voina is dedicated to undermining the status-quo and making extreme commentaries on government and the law (YARRR!). As such, their actions have included: 1) painting a 210-foot penis on a St. Petersburg drawbridge, so that when the bridge rose it pointed at the offices of the Russian security service, and 2) running up to parked police cars and flipping them over as a commentary on police corruption.

Individually, Mr. Plutser-Sarno has compiled a multivolume dictionary of Russian obscenities and hosted a TV talk-show he described as "52 minutes of noisy philosophical debate, with shouting, uproar, and fisticuffs."

Truly, Aleksei's love of fisticuffs, loud cursing, and bawdy damn-the-man actions make him pirate enough. But as icing on the delicious, delicious cake, he is running from the Ukranian authorities and keeps giving them the slip. And there is a beautiful paragraph in the article that reads as follows:

"When he was asked whether the lifestyle had come to weigh on him, Mr. Plutser-Sarno responded with a radiant smile. He likes it very much."

It brought tears to me eyes, mateys. And this time, it wasn't my stench that did it. 'Twas the miraculous and profound discovery of a true pirate both in action and temperament, which is hard to find in this age of sissy latte-drinkers.

So let's hoist a mug and sing a bawdy shanty for this brilliant man and the other artists of Voina (many of whom have been captured and detained-a prayer for their souls, mateys). May the grog be sweet and the women be plentiful.

If ye be wantin' to read the article yerself, navigate to http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/world/europe/22voina.html?_r=1&ref=ukraine.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Best Scribblin Ye'll Ever See

Ahoy, me beauties! Ye'll be happy to know that the landlords came through, under extreme threat of pirate violence, and left a key to the apartment for me, so I was able to get in without too much door bustin'.

Of course, by the time I busted in ex-Mr.-Sinister-Boots was back, so 'twas a useless venture, but the point be that I got me stuff! Yar!

Fer today I'd simply like to share with you one of the finest pieces of art I've ever laid me eyes across. 'Tis genius the likes of which I've never seen before in all me life! And the subject matter...excellent beyond all reckoning!

Feast yer eyes on this, ye talentless band of scalawags:

This Danny (Domy?) clearly be leagues ahead of his classmates in both intellect and social skills. 'Tis a wonder they don't string him up the flagpole as penance for his superior nature.

I'll have more mayhem tomorrow when this pirate goes to...a baby shower! Can Sinister-Boots manage her swashbuckling tendencies when surrounded by such sissyness? We'll find out, mateys! (methinks the soothing presence of cake will help...)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dark Days for Sinister-Boots

Yar mateys, these be dark days for Sinister-Boots, for several reasons.

1) I received a lovely little parchment from the bilge-rats over at Wells Fargo containing a rejection letter, mayhap due to the violent nature of me interview style. This means that I'll continue to have to board on me mother's* ship for a while, which is not very piratey. Yar, the situation be killin' Independent Sinister-Boots (even pirates watch Seinfeld on occasion).

2) I was goin' to show me well-endowed assets off to two good-lookin' gentlemen on two separate date-like occasions, but both were canceled (one in a dastardly manner, and the other due to the weather, which makes the weather not the gentleman dastardly). It appears, me hearties, that Sinister-Boots' love life has been cut off at the knees before it's even been given a chance to get off the ground. And due to her tempestuous and fiery nature, Sinister-Boots needs herself a love life!

3) Apparently Sinister-Boots, while well-endowed both fore and aft, is not so well-endowed in manners of intellect. I piloted four hours north to the cold waters of Upstate NY to pick up the rest of my belongings from the man who was formerly known as Mr. Sinister-Boots. Unfortunately I neglected to bring my key to the apartment with me. Meanwhile, Ex-Mr.-Sinister-Boots is en route to New York City, and my ex-landlords won't pick up their phone. If I were a true pirate I would fearsomely blast in the door, but since I have neither a cannon nor the body weight for such a feat, I am forced to turn tail and slink away in a very un-pirate-like fashion.

'Tis a beauty of a situation, me lads and lasses.

Now I be sittin' in a fancy-pants "coffee house" cryin' into me fancy-pants latte (apparently they don't serve grog in such places), and I be needin' yer help (yar, smart pirates ask for help betimes). What would a pirate do in the situation, keepin' in mind that the destruction of property and the takin' of landlord hostages be not a real option in this case?

Either yer suggestions or an overnight shipment of a cannon would be most welcome!

*Sinister-Boots has given her the name of Fancy-pants Les, unbeknownst to her good self

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some clarrrrrifications

It has come to my attention that this whole "live like a pirate thing" is a little confusing to us all. What does it MEAN? Well, after a week or so of experimentation, I can sure tell you what it doesn't mean:

1) It doesn't mean I want to talk like a pirate all the time. I mean really, have you tried it? It's exhausting, and I need that energy for other activities such as napping and eating cake. For example, after my last post I slept for three days, due to the extremely high level of pirate-talk involved. That's valuable swashbuckling time lost. I AM hoping to get my pirate-talk stamina up, but these things take a while.

2) It doesn't mean that I will actually be doing illegal activities such as pillaging and, heavens to betsy, raping. Mayhap I will board someone's cubicle by force (yarr) and commandeer their pen, but I think that's pretty much going to be the extent of it. And I'll probably give their pen back the next day with a pretty bow wrapped around it and an effusive note of apology.

So by now you may be saying "without raping and pillaging what's the point, ye lily-livered pansy?"

Well I'll tell you.

The point is to do all the piratey things in your head while the mild-mannered people swirling around you have no idea. They have no idea that their nasty email just placed them on the "to be keelhauled immediately and forthwith" list, and that plans are being made as they speak for the implementing of said nasty death. That handsome bartender over there doesn't know (yet) that you want him to "take a climb in your rigging" (oh but he will, and he will).

While thinking like a pirate, life may just take on a slightly more hilarious air, a sheen of ridiculosity, if you will. It will lose some of its seriousness and gain more swagger. If you carry yourself with panache on the inside, chances are you will also carry yourself with panache on the outside, and by god people will notice.

Plus, pirate-bantering with your pals is really fun. Like, really really fun. Pirate banter may be one of the purest joys of life.

By purest I mean really, really dirty. Just filthy.

And when else in your life can you be so disgustingly filthy and degenerate?


I think I've made my point, people.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Battle on the High Seas...or my first job interview as a pirate

Ahoy, me hearties! 'Tis only my third-ish day as a pirate, but today I was forced at even this early stage into an epic battle with the most feared of vile enemies: The Man.

I went to a job interview.

Oh, it was a beauty of a battle. Cannons were fired, insults were exchanged, and prisoners were forced to walk the plank. Well, at least it was a fearsome battle in my mind. To regular onlookers, it looked like any standard, run-of-the-mill job interview, which is really a shame for them, because they missed quite a show.

Here are some highlights:

When I brought my vehicle/ship up broadside and boarded the enemy vessel I was told my parking would be validated. Yar, that pleased Sinister-Boots heartily, as now she would not have to vex herself by forcing such validation at cutlass-point.

The interviewers asked me if I liked working as a team and why, and if I would be willing to work in this kind of environment. Sinister-Boots growled "Here's teamwork for ye," knocked their heads together like coconuts, and drank a long draught from her boot flask while they lay unconscious on the table before her.

When the douchebag regional manager fired rapid nonsensical questions at me, all the while refusing to look me in the eye, Sinister-Boots jumped onto the table yelling "Belay, you scum-sucking bilge rat! If ye cannot look me beauty in the eye, by gar' I'll take it from ye!" She then trussed the vile "manager" up and made him walk the plank out of the fourth-floor conference room window.

The interviewers asked me to describe a time in my life when I had reached a difficult sales goal. Sinister-Boots answered "well, there was the one time we were about to set sail and my mates turned mutinous and killed the bo'sun. I had urgent need for a replacement, so I had my crew kidnap the next villain we laid eyes on and force him into service at gunpoint." The interviewers were duly impressed with such a fine answer, and with the loquacity of the speech.

When the interview was over Sinister-Boots politely said "Oh, is that it? Well thank you so much for this opportunity! I really enjoyed...AAAAARRRRRR!" With that, her crew mates swarmed in the very same windows armed to the teeth, as a cannon blast ripped into the opposite wall, smashing the odious whiteboard into smithereens. The interviewers were forced at pistol-point to offer Sinister-Boots the job, to which she heartily replied, "I work for no Man, ye scurvy dogs!" They were then forced to join the crew.

So all in all, a fine and productive battle/job interview it was! Men were killed and criminals were created. Sinister-Boots the Well-Endowed expanded her crew and taught The Man who was the real boss of the high seas was.

In other real-life words, I conducted myself cheerfully and answered all their questions earnestly. I even lied about being a "team player," as we all must do at all job interviews, no?

Well, at least the lying was piratey.

Until next time, mateys! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Rules

Because all pirates just love rules.

Nevertheless, there are a few guidelines that should be followed, in pirate life as well as in regular life. Even pirates followed certain social strictures, such as the common idea that clothing should be worn at most times (AND HOW did they follow that one!).

The rules are that I will attempt to do one piratey thing, or think in a piratey way, each day from now on for the entire year of 2011.

My source material for the project will be the books Pirattitude! and The Pirate Life: Unleashing Your Inner Buccaneer. Both books are by John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur and Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers. As the year progresses I may add more books to the list, depending both on the state of my wallet and the state of my reading ability due to consumption of copious amounts of grog.

Most importantly, henceforth I will be known as "Sinister-Boots Em," and for fancy occasions, "Sinister-Boots Em, the Well-Endowed." This name has been specially chosen for me due to my penchant for fabulous footwear.

And now if I may wax poetic: I would like to share a quote from page 2 of Pirattitude! that I feel sums up the spirit of the project. The quote is as follows:

"To be a man or woman of adventure and courage; to be truly ALIVE, to know what fear tastes like and to swallow it-sharp pointy bits and all-this is what it is to have pirattitude."

It brings tears to my eyes.

Oh wait, that's me. Yar, the brine o' the sea be my shower, mateys!

I invite you all to choose your own pirate names for our adventure.

If ye be needin' help, just let ol' Sinister-Boots consult with her pirate gang to choose ye a moniker!

Let's LIVE, mateys, LET'S LIVE!

The Beginning

2010 was the year of the Buddha.

2011 will be the year of the Pirate.

Let me explain.

For Christmas I bought two books for my sister and brother-in-law. The first, for my sister, was a Zombie Combat Manual, because I happen to know that she stays up a-nights putting her plans together in the event that a Zombie Apocalypse should occur. Which is a good idea, really, because all emergency preparedness experts say the best way to survive an emergency is to put a plan in place and mentally and physically practice said plan.

The second book was for my brother-in-law, captain of the canoe The Salty Wench, in which has been experienced many a drunken midnight adventure. He has a fondness for "Pirate Juice," and I'm pretty sure he stays up a-nights dreaming of an unfettered life as a sailor in the Carribean.

So shortly after the New Year I was sitting in their house, dreaming the day away as usual, when genius shot down out of the heavens and made itself known to me. I suddenly sat bolt upright and told my sister,

“You know, I should really just start living like a pirate this year."

What I meant was, last year was hard. In 2010 I went through a separation, a serious bout of joblessness, and the realization that the thing I had been working towards for ten years was probably not going to happen.

Living like a pirate seemed, and still seems, the obvious solution. I need a little swagger, a little civil disobedience, and a little reminder that a purpose-filled life is not always as good as it's cracked up to be.

Plus, I love me some rum.

And while I was at it, and while she was sitting next to me and commending me for such a glorious plan, I suggested that my sister spend her year preparing for when the zombies come, and that we both blog about our experiences. Because let's face it, we are nothing if not narcissistic.

Which, might I add, bodes well for Pirate-making.

Thus the plan was born. My sister will systematically prepare and implement a zombie-combat course of action, while I drink rum, insult people, and search for wenches.

Frankly, my plan sounds like a lot more fun, but when the zombies come (and they will), I'm hoping I can hide behind Lil and just wave my cutlass around in return for a cask o' rum.