Flaming drinks, Romanian songs, and some early 80s cartoons

I’m not sure if folks who learn foreign languages will focus on learning pop songs. But that’s now my primary focus.

I was taking Romanian lessons online. I got bored out of my mind.

So instead, I decided to change it up.

I’d asked some of my friends in Romania which songs are hot. And I got two right now – Theo Rose’s Bravo Lor Au Stil Tiganii and Smiley and Delia’s Ne Vedem Noi. I need to not only know the words, their melodies, and what they mean, but I also need to know them well enough to sing them in karaoke.


Because I don’t just want to learn the language. I want to know the culture. And what better way to learn about a culture than from music?

Which goes back to a commonality that people have. We all love music. Even when it’s illegal.

I got a funny story for you

A long, long time ago, I was chatting online with a kid from Iran. A friend of mine showed me how to use this program called IRC.

When I meet someone new, one of the first questions I ask is what kind of music they like. You look for commonalities and I value aesthetics, both sound and visual, above all else.

So I asked him what are his favorite American bands.

Well, he replied that American music is illegal in Iran.

So I said, “that sucks. So, what are you favorite American bands?”

And he replied a wide variety. He was all over the place. He liked some Pop, some Rock, some Metal. It was a long time ago so forgive me if I don’t remember exactly who he mentioned. I do remember owning albums from at least some of the bands.

Which goes back to learning Romanian. You see why it’s important that I know Romanian pop music? If I’m in a bar and someone asks me if I know any Romanian bands, I can not only list a few, I could grab the karaoke mic and start singing them.

We have something in common. Commonalities. I surprise him a bit because I’m this American guy with a horrible American accent who can belt out some of his nation’s pop songs.

Everyone likes flaming drinks

I’m primarily a whiskey drinker. However, whenever you see me paint something with a green background, I’m drinking absinthe.

Absinthe changes my mood from blues to greens. I don’t know why it does that but it just does.

The painting of Roxy as a mermaid in the background was painted in whiskey. It’s primarily blues.

That fire? Absinthe. Directions on the bottom of this absinthe blog post.

So the painting I’m working on now? Greens, of course.

The flames look really cool. I’ll sometimes shoot video of the flames. Just make sure you turn the lights down so you can really see the flame as it’s blue, not yellow.

Speaking of which, absinthe is a great party trick. Bring a bottle of absinthe, three glasses, three spoons, and a box of sugar cubes. And of course a cigarette lighter.

It gets everyone’s attention and the cute girls always want to try it. Absinthe is quite strong. The bottle you see there is 124 proof. However, I water it down so one and a half shots of absinthe and one and a half shots of water with a sugar cube dissolved in it of course.

The taste?

Well, it’s personal opinion. Some folks think it’s too weird. It’s got a lot of herbs and botanicals and for some folks, it’s overwhelming.

However, it makes a beautiful green drink when finished and it kind of looks like it has a glow to it.

For glasses, I prefer using these jelly jars. I’m on a mostly meat diet but I’ll still occasionally enjoy PBJ sandwiches. The jelly’s pretty good and we save the jars for drink jars. Those jars are rigorous and have survived traveling to a lot of parties.

Now, if you want to make a purely girlie drink that’s guaranteed the babes would like it, learn to make a Pink Lady. Absinthe is more showy and it’s not a guarantee that the babes will actually enjoy the drink. I do guarantee they will enjoy the show though. Everyone likes flaming drinks.

The 80s had better cartoons than today

For one, I fucking hate computer animation. It has no soul whatsoever.

I happen to prefer Fantasy or Sci-Fi. When it comes to animated movies, Heavy Metal (the original, not that horrible sequel), Fire and Ice, Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, and many more.

Hand drawn animation. Not this computer bullshit.

I’m going to offend a lot of people here but so be it. We all know it’s true.

Hand drawn art takes significantly more talent than computer art. Computer art, you can undo mistakes and the computer does the heavy lifting for you. Hand drawn – you’re using your hands, your heart, your sweat, and your soul.

Everyone knows this. But watch some people flip out.

Hand drawn, you see what the artist’s soul is showing you. Humans are flesh, blood, bones, and soul. Computers are ones and zeroes. Computers have no souls.

That’s why movies started to suck once you put CGI in them. The actors are literally acting with a fucking green screen behind them. I’ll take real sets or Jim Hanson’s muppets any day of the week over this CGI crap.

Same thing with cartoons. You had true artists draw directly on these things called “cels.”

I fucked up really bad. I had an opportunity to buy a lot of the old He-Man cels for cheap. I was at a convention with my wife and they were getting rid of them. Now, I bet they’re worth something.

Anyways, that’s real art. That’s a flesh and blood human being with real art tools and real paint and a real surface.

So out of curiosity, I bought DVDs of Dungeons and Dragons and Thundarr the Barbarian. I wanted to see how they held up.

Well, the first two seasons of Dungeons and Dragons were excellent. They held up really well.

If you weren’t around in that time period, I’ll make a long story short. Folks got offended by Dungeons and Dragons. They said it was too violent. So in season 3, they changed the format and the whole season sucked. They made the kids helpless, always having to get bailed out by adults.

As a kid, I never saw season 3. I watched seasons one and two. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe the TV station stopped airing it. Or maybe I didn’t know a 3rd season came on.

Regardless the reason, I’m kind of glad I never saw season 3 as a kid. It was just bad. If you’re going to watch it, just watch the first two seasons and keep it at that.

Thundarr surprisingly held up better. No bad episodes.

You’ll see a lot of cartoons ripped off Thundarr. Which is funny because very few people remembered that cartoon. “You mean Conan?”

“No, Thundarr. I can’t believe you’ve never seen it.”

I showed it to one friend and he said “He-Man ripped off Thundarr.” I replied so did everything else. You’ll see what I mean when you see it.

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Categorized as Musings

By Roman

Pinup Artist. Composer. Writer.


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