Tag Archives: travel

CNN News Headline of the Day: Personal Details of UK Spy Chief on Facebook

marchesa
The Marchesa Casati, by Giovanni Boldini

Marchesa: “Ahh just me and my fine, black dogs today, how fun.”

Dog 1: Hey, I know what we could do! We could update your facebook, maybe add all the new books you have read lately like that new horridly misleading John Grisham novel about spies, or the Mata Hari thriller.”

Marchesa:”Dear me, you are quite the wellspring of education, maldito hijo de puta.”

Dog 1: “When you argue in an Oriental language it is near impossible to understand you. It’s quite becoming.”

Dog 2: “Oh, Mistress Marchesa, I have a better idea. Why don’t we write our own book and make it available for all our, I mean your, friends. Something like “Chameleon Shifters are the New Bildebergs: Tales from the Black Box”

Marchesa: “Well, I must not reveal my employers name too blatantly. I must name it “Tales from the Black Box: A Chameleon in the Big City. Speaking of which, I must go now.”

Dog 1: “Are you joking? You’re hardly discreet in that outfit. You do realize that in America Lincoln has already been shot and buried?”

Marchesa: “What do you know of being a ‘shifter? I have to make an appearance at the Intercontinental this afternoon. What am I supposed to wear–a jumper?”

She began to laugh in a manner strikingly similar to a seal.

Dog 1: No, but something that allows people to think you kiss babies rather than stuff them.

Dog 2: “Just be thinking about that book. I think Chapter One could be about the time that you got lost in a Polish village. While wandering around you stumbled upon a little old lady who thought you were the prettiest thing she had ever seen, not guessing you had just assassinated the entire bevy of church deacons and archbishops. If I remember correctly, within two weeks you had mastered the language, wooed a descendant of the Hapsburgs, and used their funds to return home to us. I remember how lonely and cold those days were without you,” he said furrowing his brow.

Marchesa: “I’m going to be late. Can’t have them thinking that I was busy taping a wire to my chest or making illicit phone calls now can I? Ta ta.”

“Don’t worry I’ll write it all up for you while you’re gone!” Dog 2 shouted as the door slammed behind her.

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Fox News Headline of the Day: Florida Mayor Arrested After Found Nude at Camp Site

campersPortrait of Ambroise Thomas, by Hippolyte Flandrin; Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, by Maurice Quentin de la Tour

“That’s it. He has officially lost his circumcision!” a tall, lanky camper whispered to his wife as they watched Ambroise enter the campsite.  “Ever since the soccer game he coached before the elections, nobody has been sure.”

“Can I help you sir?” he managed to ask Ambroise.

“Yes, indeed. I’ve come to see Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Do you know his whereabouts? It’s a sensitive matter”

“And where are you coming from, might I ask?”

“I come directly from the naturalist colony of Gainsville. I’m on a tour for my new book, Living Al Gore for 365 Days , I was hoping he could give me a bit of old-fashioned…literary criticism.”

The kind stranger went to fetch Rousseau who was humming and whittling a dying Jesus out of a block of wood, “Mr. Rousseau, there’s a gentleman here to see you.”

Rousseau’s ears immediately perked up. “Oh, from where does he come?” he managed to force himself to say while his mind wandered back to the moonlit evening they had shared. They had both been forced to go to the ‘Swamp’ of UF for social reasons, and ended up in a bar, talking about the merits of More’s Utopia. He had the kind of nose that will pierce your skin, flanked by his black eyes. He sighed. Suddenly he realized that he had to buy some time to change clothes and his wig.

“From the noble city of Orlando.”

“Tell him I shall be there soon.”

“He says he’s cold, sir, that he needs a blanket, or some underwear soon, sir, or his testicles will freeze off.”

“Well, that he musn’t worry about,” he answered with a chuckle.

They shared a cool embrace upon seeing each other and Rousseau patted him on the back. “Ambroise, how goes the city of Orlando these days?”

“Oh, it’s dreadful, my dear old friend. Just last week we had a single mother let loose a little too much on the Disney boardwalk, which is technically in the city of Celebration–why in God’s name would anybody want to live there escapes me. Have people forgotten Calvin already?  Anyway, this mother, she had taken her child to take pictures with the infamous Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, the chipmunk children. Do you realize how insane the guy who lives with the 3 chipmunks is? He calls them his children, teaches them to hoola hoop and plays the piano. and I thought it right to intervene, since it only teaches kids to be psychopaths. Unfortunately, she didn’t swallow this very easily and started calling me and my book all sorts of names and went to all the major papers. The Huffington Post even put it on their front page!”

“Mercy, have mercy on me! That places puts Gomorrah to shame! I think that that blasphemous Eisenhower, or whatever his name is, must poison the waters. My worst suspicions are confirmed. He is a warlock, maybe even thousands of years old”

“That is why I’m here. I thought it would be good to take an extended rest in nature, find myself again, and do a little personality searching. I’ll probably even write the sequel to my book, maybe Living Karl Rove for  365 Days. I’ve always admired his fortitude.”

“You should put on clothes.”

“No! They remind me too much of where I come from.”

Just then they heard sirens.

CNN News Headline of the Day: India’s Farmers Cursed with Severe Drought

sneaky
Portrait of Caterina Cornaro, Wife of King James II of Cyprus, by Titian

Caterina was gazing in the far away mirror during spin class, keeping up with the electrifying classical music while her mind drifted. She began to think of her birthday party that year. She had met a girl from Holland in a club who fell in love with her. “Where the fuck are you from,” she had slurred. But the Dutch girl just purred back that she was from Amsterdam and slipped an ice cube down her shirt. Suddenly, she bent the space-time continuum.

Her sweat was stopped in mid-air. “Whoa, the Indian master in Mexico told me I would have flashbacks from that peyote, but I only had one hit!” She wandered out into the main chamber of the gym to cool off, but noticeably cheered up when she saw the thick chested men lifting weights. She couldn’t help but reach out and stroke the steely muscles and smell the sweat on her fingers before wiping it off on her gym bag, saving it for a happy memory later.

She continued out into the parking lot where she saw her Tuesday/Thursday spinning instructor in the middle of inhaling some thick smoke from a a suspicious device. She got in, sucked it down for him, checking out the outlines of his bulge in spandex while she was at it, and got back out. Little did she know, this man would end up accompanying her to India. She restarted time by concentrating very hard on a happy memory. “Oh yeah, the guy I met last week was insane. He showed his passport to me in the bar and it only said “42” where his name should be. He just said that he and his body had all the answers to the world. Later on he admitted it was just for a prank he was going to play on his friend that worked at the airport.” Just then the scent of sweat from her gym bag wafted up to her nostrils, and the whoosh of traffic and the cawing of birds started again.

She knocked on his window, and he motioned her to come in. Sitting there on the warm felt seats, they sat and listened to the radio DJ who was saying “Peter Pan…dies.” She could feel each individual palpitation of her heart, her every nerve was stimulated. “I have found my purpose in life, and if it happened while I was smoking with a spinning instructor, so be it. I must stop this evil from happening.” She looked at him and thought, “No, this was destiny, he will come with me. I can’t do it without him.” With the most coy smile she could manage she asked him out for coffee. She prayed that the ploy would work, just like she looked out the window and wished for her little brother to die every night after she said her prayers and drew naked ladies in her diary.

That night, once again covered in sweat, she held her hand on his chest, and once again began concentrating on a very happy memory, but this time his whole masculinity was involved and around them everything stood still. His cat had his arms stretched out at the foot of the bed, the Fox News pundit glared at the camera. He looked at her and asked her, “Am I dreaming?”

“No, no, you’re passed out. You’re having the coolest dream you will ever have,” she answered.

He closed his eyes and when he opened them again, they were in a foreign place, all he could hear were wind instruments and murmuring.  Nobody spoke English, he very soon realized. Meanwhile she was cursing to herself “Goddamn, Caterina, this isn’t Neverland, this is bloody India, some battle camp.” She shut her eyes with all her might but could not concentrate well enough with the screams coming from what she assumed to be the infirmary and the smell of mountain lion waste. She was just thinking that she would have to spend years there, learning the language, when she was approached by a man, muscular and seemingly a Greek hoplite. She smiled.

Her spinning instructor pulled her toward him and whispered, “I dated a Greek girl, ok, am dating a Greek girl. Let me handle this.”

“Hallow, barbarian. I am a representative of Alexander the Great. What news do you come bearing?” the tall fellow said.

“Hello, noble gentlemen. Behold, we are from the future! But don’t worry, Alexander wins” he proclaimed with his left hand raised in a salute, not realizing, yet, that it was not a dream, and that actions have consequences. Seeing no response on the man’s face he beat his chest twice with his fist.

“Come with me.”

They were dragged before the King himself. He was not a gorgeous, muscular blond, as he is sometimes shown in the movies, but more like Danny Devito, a gay one dressed in costume for a low-rent Broadway play and covered in blood and horse manure. “I guess money really does work miracles,” she thought to herself.

An interpreter with his head bowed spoke very quickly, making it difficult for the spinning instructor to understand the dialect.

“I’m pretty sure they want us to be the court fortune tellers and snake charmers” he told her, seeing the confused look on her face, then turned to the man and demanded, “What! Why snake charmers?”

“It is custom”

“Please explain.”

But he just looked away and put his thumb to his left eye ball and grimaced, “Please cooperate or I will die, right now.”

Seeing no other course of action he nodded his head. Just then a crazy man ran into the room brandishing a knife screaming in a language he assumed to be Aramaic until his eyes rolled back into his head. Caterina concentrated as hard as she could to get out of there, but there was a tyranny of motion all around her.

“He has cursed you but…I cannot believe this, you are still standing!” the interpreter screamed with his hands on his cheeks.

When she turned around she could see that the once lush landscape was now barren. A tumbleweed blew into the tent.

“Oh, by the shield of Achilles you must have deflected the curse onto the land!”

She laughed at the sight of his face and finally she felt spacetime bending around her again. The Indian reds and golds morphed into a beach and a gaggle of what she presumed to be bridesmaids. She judged that it was around the time of the Renaissance. “Shouldn’t St. Thomas be around here somewhere? Or Martin Luther, or something? ”

“How did a street walker get in here!?” one of them demanded, pushing her out of sight. But a stocky man silenced her by raising his index finger from his glass. “Her skin radiates dew and the fresh morning sun,” he thought. “My, what shapely ankles, so unlike my sister’s,” he noticed.

“I demand an audience with you” he said in Catarina’s general direction.

“Ok”

“What a silken accent the vixen has!”

Without realizing what he was doing he pulled her aside and got down on one knee.

“Please, consider me, creature from another world, my tender alien, as a husband. Let us be as two chess players, thinking of the other’s moves at all times. Let us be as the pages of a book, stuck together until one takes a knife and cuts them apart. Let us..”

Seeing no choice of action while the knights surrounded them Catarina responded “OK”

Immediately he whisked her away to find the artist for the ceremony who was to paint the swarthy bride. He paid him a handsome sum and he began to paint Catarina’s portrait instead. (It now hangs on her bedroom wall as the only memory left of a happy matrimony)

After the consummation of the wedding, she lay watching his ball of a belly move steadily up and down, and thought of the gold coins in her pocket. With a shocking pain, she was able to return to her spinning class again in the year 2009, just as she had left it. She finished the class and went to do some bicep curls. During rep number two, Cooper Anderson began panicking on screen, “The worst case of drought in 500 years has struck India…” She moved closer to the television and thought to herself:

“Man, India’s fucked.” She had forgotten all about Peter Pan.

Sunday Edition-This Week in Pictures: Magic Mushroom Imperialism Begins

Kuwait City, Kuwait:
belshazzar
The Feast of Belshazzar, by Rembrandt

Little Rock, Arkansas:

drownDrowning Girl, by Roy Lichtenstein

Buffalo, New York:

guitarThe Old Guitarist, by Pablo Picasso

Las Vegas, Nevada:

sleepingSleeping Gypsy, by Henri Rousseau

Kingston, Jamaica:

dance-to-the-music-of-time-4971-midDance to the Music of Time, by Nicolas Poussin

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:

tigressDes Caresses, by Fernand Khnopff

BBC News Headline of the Day: Fleeing Romanians are Rehoused

wwashyWashington Crossing the Delaware, Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

A pair of black eyes gazed up at a man of Olympic proportions. Her hand reached out to stroke the long cape that hugged his body.

George, ever the silent fellow, gazed off into the dark waters, his leg hiked up on the side of his noble lady-ship and his head slightly cocked toward the setting sun. He slightly twitched at a tug on his cape.

The black eyes spoke: “I cannot go back to Transylvania for there is a dark lord awaiting us! You’ve all read Bram Stroker! To my dear relatives in the Carpathians, these recent events spell out a dark omen, indeed. He wants us to leave and is backing the IRA. This can only mean one thing–the Count is back in London!”

George: “Why, you’re a regular francophile!”

Romanian vixen: “Please hear me out. Why else would Gordon Brown take such pains to conceal his membership in Fight Club? Why else does the Mari Juana strike at our youth like Napoleon struck down nations? And why does Stolichnaya burn green in the presence of the Japanese?

George felt his back turn to ice at the truth in these statements, but he soon recovered. “Your words do not convince me. In fact, we can fit at least 25 more people in each boat. It will be back to the land of goats and cowboys for all of you!”

The vixen resigned and laid back, feeling the husky wood bind her to a flaxen sailor. A lonesome star began to twinkle in the distance. She wondered if it were part of Taurus like the man next to her must be.

Fox News Headline of the Day: “I Am a Princess of Sodom”

ermineLady with an Ermine, by Leonardo da Vinci

The fair lady gazes at her pools of ocre eyes in the mirror nearby, “Oh where are my pretenders of the afternoon? Shall my tea take a chill while I await?”

Ermine: *snickers*

Lady: Silence, wretch! Care you to be the laughing stock of Italy, or, I know, my handmaiden’s shawl!

Ermine: Why are your hands so large, and so very deathly cold, my dear Lady of the Night? Is your headband cutting into your skull, center of all motor functions, or is my prodigious weight forcing your back to arch as your pitifully weak arms give out?

Lady: Why are your arms are so muscular, you little albino dinosaur.

Ermine: Listen, my princess, you humans have already ceased in your evolutionary path, while my species is destined to very nearly over-populate the earth. While you grow weaker and your technology less inspired, I grow stronger and less needful of melanin. I will be almost self-sufficient, and you will be as dependent on your many lovers as ever.

Lady: Your soft pelt draws people in, it is true. But every boon can just as easily be a curse. Just consider my beauty in its many forms. I have a very curious second eyebrow gracing my forehead, a part in my hair that could do a farmer proud when he lays the rows for corn…And yet I cry every night! It is true what you say, I need Mr. Donne, oh, and Mr. Cornwallis, and Mr. Botticelli…

The Ermine interrupts to slap her across the face, “God rest your mother’s Danish soul should she witness this spectacle! Be chase, lassie!”

The lady spun on her heels and faced the mirror, disconcerting the ermine. “Good day! I see that some pondering lies ahead of me. That and a bottle of wine and some cheese, perhaps with Mr. Modigliani, atop the paints in his studio…No! I shall mount only my great stallion and go directly home, not even stopping at the baker’s.”

CNN Headline of the Day: Chinese Mystic Sells Curses for Bad Bosses

both Faune Blanc, by Pablo Picasso and The Advance of Socialism: A Crowd Tramples a Bourgeois, by Anton Hansen

Chinese mystic: Hark! I smell pigs! Yes, pigs, indeed. Pigs and silk and leather and blood,  oh that most overwhelming smell makes my own bile boil!

He looks out into the crowd of raving peasants. One whose voice carried over the rest could be heard to say, “Let us burn their Armani-Chang ties, and feast on their butter for dinner! Ay, throw them through 5 rings and hear their skulls ping pong down the falling waters of Beijing!”

Chinese mystic: Calm your souls. I have composed a tune on my bamboo tube, our new national anthem. Let it be heard that freedom rings–that means clap your hands!

The crowd drifts into a serene swaying motion, as if it were one mass of grain or, perhaps, a bag of sand, thrown off of a hot-air balloon, and it unconsciously begins to chant.

“I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier
I told the man, when he came around,
that it doesn’t matter any more.
My soul is not for sale, and it need not be

for now I have liberation and buttery mastication

I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier.
As the old saying goes,
a bird in the hand…”

Suddenly the famed Chinese mystic is grasped with terror, seemingly paralyzed as he lets the bamboo fall to the earthen ground.

“Is that a child being clasped to the breast of one of you noble herdsmen?! What is your name, dear cadre?” he cried out. “Why you shall be on every poster in the Old Kingdom! The new face of the people!”

A random passerby pointed out that he was not Chinese, but Indian, the son of a prince from Kashmir.

“SILENCE, you porcine beast masquerading as an ivory knight. Hark! The game of chess is over. Who is with me?! The pawns revolt has begun! Cast him to the ground!”