Thursday, September 20, 2007


No, Gentle Reader, this is not a product one purchases from the back of a men’s magazine. It is something I found in the SCHOOL SUPPLIES aisle of the grocery store. The word impressed me so much that I actually wrote it down on the little notepad I’ve started carrying for just such an occasion. I also wrote the price, 18 crowns, which is not quite a dollar. And I think I shall try incorporating it into my daily lexicon, much the way some people say, “Dude!” or “Rock on!”


I’m fairly sure this word is not Slovak because the product was layered in those labels that explain what the product is in Slovak and Czech. As usual, I couldn’t see the original text, but my guess is it’s produced in a German-speaking country. But I could be wrong.

While on the topic of amusing words, I was reintroduced this week to two Slovak words I especially like.

The first is slimak (say slee-mack), which means snail. I like this word because of its proximity to the word slime, which is very snail-like to me. There is even a building near our house called the Slimak Building, because it is designed, with apologies to the Guggenheim, like a snail shell. It could not be farther from the Guggenheim, actually, for it houses things like a DVD rental shop and a pizzeria, but I sometimes think about how it is “Our Guggenheim,” right there on the corner.

The second Slovak word I had forgotten I like is plž, which I cannot really help you to pronounce except to say that the ž sounds like that word tszuj (or zhoosh) made famous by the Queer Eye boys. Plž means slug, like in your garden, but I think the word is an apt description of the sound slugs make when you step on them in bare feet.

You see now the level of Slovak I have at the ready and its impact on my daily life. This is useful stuff here.

Changing topics, the Spouse and I have wasted no end of time this week playing on a website called My hand to God, it all started innocently enough when I saw it in a Men’s Health article about staying motivated to work out. The idea was that you, and in this case they were addressing men, take a photo of yourself, shirtless, and email it to a friend who you could trust to be ruthless. Said friend was to post this BEFORE photo on HotorNot at the end of a designated time period (say, 12 weeks) if you did not provide a sufficiently improved AFTER photo documenting the results of your diligence in the gym.

So, of course, I moseyed over to HotorNot to see what all the fuss was about. And there I found a version of a game I call “Find the Handsome Man.” This game involves being in some public place in Bratislava—the Main Square at the height of the Christmas market, a shopping mall, the bike path—and trying to find one, just one, man who all players agree can be called handsome.

Those of you who know me, know that I am quite vocal about my opinion that there are only five good-looking Slovak men in Slovakia, and they are, in no particular order

1. My American girlfriend’s husband
2. The guy who teaches sports to all the expat kids
3. The clarinetist
4. The cellist
5. The waiter at A Klub.

All the other handsome Slovak men are in Ireland. Okay, there is a guy in the Spouse’s office who I have caught glimpses of from time to time, but there is clearly some conspiracy afoot to keep me from ogling him, so I cannot say with any confidence that he is List Worthy.

On the website, you can vote, on a scale of 1 to 10, on the hotness of an incredible cross section of the public. There is truly everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. And, being that I live in a part of the world where the women are a serious threat, I wanted to see how I might rate with a heavily North American crowd.

So I posted a photo that I really like:

Bublifuk! Now I have a friend who says one must leave the photo up long enough to get at least 100 votes before one can truly have a mean average. Mean being the operative word. I love this photo. I think it captures my personality. But the HotorNotters only scored it a high 7.

Fine. I tried a variety of photos, some with straight hair, others with curly hair, but finally realized that my competition was baring more skin. If you ever went skinny dipping with me in college, you know I’m not a prude, but I wasn’t going to flash gratuitous cleavage on HotorNot. I finally settled on this photo, which earned me an 8.1.

I was hotter than 80 percent of the women on HotorNot. I could live with that.

Now, all this time, I had kept the Spouse informed of my presence on the website, but he is a busy man, and apparently it hadn’t really sunk in what I was doing.

Why are you on HotorNot?” he asked one morning on the way to work.

“To see what hairstyle most people prefer,” I answered.

“Huh.” He considered it for a few blocks. “Maybe I should post a photo.”

So he did. I think it is a very nice picture.

But at first the results were devastating. “I’m a fucking SIX!” he wrote me in a text message later that afternoon. “I’m hideous!”

“No, you are not hideous,” I tried to talk him off his office window ledge. “Just give it more time.”

And so Gentle Reader, your Faithful Correspondent stayed up well past midnight trolling through the Men Over 40 category until she could give her husband a score of 10. Three times.

The next morning after I dropped him at his office, he sent me another text message: “9.2!”



Anonymous Anonymous said...

too sweet...


5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Nice blog! :-)

But bublifuk is Slovak word, I guess... It is made of 2 parts: bublina (=bubble) and fúkať (to blow)

Enjoy your stay in our country :D

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Mz Gentle Writer, I think I like the picture of you in red most. But a little cleavage never hurts.

Colors are just starting to turn in Lower Peninusula, Michigan (Midland area) and it was very nice.

Take care,


12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But bublifuk is Slovak word, I guess... It is made of 2 parts: bublina (=bubble) and fúkať (to blow)"

it might be czech word, thou. Bublina - bubble, fuk - foukat ;) And now what :))

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is he talking about?

Your husband's really cute and sexy!

4:50 PM  

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