One of the more amusing aspects of my daily life in Lithuania is reading the English on products and menus. I am certainly not denigrating Lithuania or Lithuanians for especially improper use of English; these sorts of confusing phrases can be found all over the world where English is used as a second language. And, after all, not a particularly large percentage of US citizens can even begin to use a second language. However, when I read Lithuanian potato sausages called “intestines with potatoes” or potato dumplings called “zeppelins”, I find it funny. “Beef in own juice” is just one of those product names that make me laugh. I haven’t tried it yet.
The same music plays three times in this mp3. The first pass is the standard pickup sound from my Godin Multiac Grand Concert SA, while the third and final pass is the sound of a software synthesizer meant to sound like a string quartet playing the MIDI data from my Axon AX 50 guitar-to-MIDI controller connected to my guitar with a 13-pin cable. Playing between those two passes is a mix of the two.
The toy store from afar.
A little closer.
The pictures say it all.
I recently performed a faith-healing on my two-year-old son’s stuffed puppy. Usually I feign veterinary skills or at least explain the need to take any ill member of his fabric menagerie to a veterinarian, but this time I needed the bathroom fast, so I simply placed my hands on the little toy canine’s head and cried out “you’re healed” in my best impression of a stereotypical evangelical preacher.
As I mused on my little mockery of that spiritual nonsense, I realized that even doing just pretend science is a more arduous task than doing pretend religion. Science is a rigorous and methodological examination of truth, while religion, astrology and all that nonsense have no such standards. And after all, those metaphysical systems are, in the end, all pretend.
Living in Lithuania, though it has already been a total of nearly ten years, I am forced to face many unfamiliar and, often, disturbing cultural differences. In fact, this particular ad, which I think would be impossible to find anywhere in the United States and which I photographed just over one year ago, really sets the tone for this blog, and, in fact, was partially what inspired me to create it. This Chinese restaurant is actually a relatively new one in a popular Lithuanian chain that mainly sells pizza.