Friday, April 9, 2010

Random Photo Album Excerpts

One of the nice things about writing an amateur blog (yes, this is an amateur blog, hard to believe...) is that you're not beholden to management, readers, the press, HR, the police, Nancy Grace or anyone else. 

You can just do as you please. 

Don't get me wrong, however -- I do feel an obligation to amuse and entertain you, dear discerning readers. 

With the goal of keeping The LG Report fresh, and not caring about starting sentences with prepositions, I decided to grab a random photo album from the bookcase and post some of its pictures with captions. 

We'll see how this idea goes over.  Probably like a Rosie O'Donnell sex tape.  

Please feel free to post a comment with your reactions.  Or comment on something else, anything.  I'm in the market to increase my comment count, it has been sadly lacking.  You can even post a "no comment" comment if you'd like.  As the street beggars will tell you, "Even a penny will help."  They don't really mean that, of course, and if you ever did dare to drop a mere penny into their cup they'd spit hepatitus on you, but it sounds good.

The photo album that I randomly pulled (as audited by Price Waterhouse) contained pictures of a 1987 trip to Greece with my friends Anthony and Mike.  Without further adieu, let's embark on The LG Report's first foray into the world of random photo album posting:

This is Mike, me and Anthony (in that order, coincidentally) posing in front of a police tank in the Athens airport, shortly after arriving.  If I recall correctly, there had been a hijacking somewhere in Europe or the Middle East not long before we arrived, and the Greek government rolled out the tanks to show would-be hijackers that they shouldn't mess with flights in or out of Greece.  How exactly you would stop a hijacking with a tank, I'm not sure (hide it in the overhead, maybe?)  Please note the two Greek policemen in the background, arguing over whose turn it is to get the next pack of cigarettes and soccer score update.

This is Mike in Athens at the Acropolis.  He's standing in front of the Parthenon posing in his Santa's hat.  I'm not sure if this was the first time he did this, but Mike has made it an annual tradition to send Christmas cards with pictures of him (and, later, his family) in unusual locations wearing a Santa's hat.  If you're not on his distribution're not missing much.  This was the best one in my opinion.  We made a tent out of the extra material in Mike's shirt.  I think that may have been a prison jumpsuit tucked into his shorts.  

Surely you're familiar with the guards at Buckingham Palace.  They're traditionally very rigid and straight-faced soldiers who can't be rankled or unsettled in any way.  Greece has an similar corp of guards called Evzones (or Σύνταγμα Ευζώνων for those of you who read Greek; I can copy it from Wikipedia very well.)  Here Anthony tries to intimidate the guard with his massive biceps and intimidating baby blue shorts.  Anthony received a bayonet to the rib cage shortly after this photo was taken.  Man did his rib meat make for a tasty souvlaki!  Fashionistas please note: the guard is wearing the first version of Ugghs ever created.   

This was my father's Dodge Caravan (the auto industry's first minivan by the way; so named because it was a cross between a car and a van.)  He had it shipped from the United States to his childhood home, Andros Island.  We joked that it was the largest car in the country because, with gas at roughly $10 a gallon, Greeks mostly drove (and still drive) small, fuel-efficient vehicles.  It was also the only car in Greece with Pennsylvania license plates.  This would not have been a good getaway car in Greece.

 This is a more traditional mode of transportation on Andros Island.  It gets 10 miles to the bale of hay.  If you get cut off, you call both the driver and the vehicle a jackass.

Anthony skips rocks along a secluded beach on Andros.  There happened to be a comely young lady from the Netherlands, Peggy, lying near us this day. Peggy had a Mickey Mouse beach towel.  Anthony used the towel as an excuse to start talking to this hottie about Disney and things American.  Soon, employing very broken and sketchy English, Peggy agreed to go to dinner with us that night.  When we arrived at her hotel to pick her up in my dad's impressive Dodge Caravan, Peggy came out halfway to the car and turned to yell something in Dutch at her hotel room.  The next thing we knew, her mother, Ella, was coming along for dinner.  Peggy then told us that her boyfriend, Dino, would be meeting us at the restaurant.  This story, absolutely true, is a textbook case of a failure to communicate.  Mike and I advised Anthony that in the future, when he asked out a girl, he should  insist that she leave her mother and boyfriend home.  That's a good tip for everyone. 

If you're old enough to remember 1987, you may recall that Calvin Klein was running ads in those days featuring models in weird poses looking away from the camera.  This attempt to mimic that genre was really and relevant in 1987.  Yes, I know, it's no longer 1987. 

Yes, look closely, there is indeed a fish at the end of that line. It was Mike's biggest catch while in Greece.  This occurred on my father's last boat, a modest one, as detailed in My Old Man and the Sea.  I don't know what that weird red splotch was on Mike's left thigh but he's still kicking so it wasn't anything serious.  And, no, a long-sleeved dress shirt and tropical bathing suit would not the traditional garb for a Greek fisherman.  Wouldn't you think he'd at least roll up the sleeves?  Mike's foot, as you can see, is nature's water ski.    

I honestly wish that I could say that this is a photo of something other than Mike protruding from a sewer pipe but, unfortunately, I can't.  Yes, this is the kind of photographers, and nutty people, we were.  And still are.  But hey, at least not fecal discharge is visible! (not counting Mike...)  

Here we're seen posing on our rental mopeds on the island of Santorini, one of the most beautiful places in the world (in my biased opinion.)  Mike would later skid out on his (or "lay the bike down" as we biker-types say) but he was unharmed.  Greeks may have invented a lot of things, but political correctness is not one of them.  On a 1990 trip with another group of friends, a moped shop owner on Mykonos admonished us to make sure that we locked up the cycles wherever we went because "...there are a lot of Italians on the island right now."

This is one of my favorite all-time pictures.  We were on a ferry between Santorini and Crete, just enjoying the sea breeze, warm weather and sunshine.  Also, some Greek bread and feta cheese.  The Greek Tourism Authority has my permission to use this photo in any upcoming tourism campaigns.  Of course, if they're actually reading this blog, then they're pretty hurting and might as well just throw in the towel.

Here's a view of Santorini's capital, generically called "Thira," from the small village of Oia, which is further up the cliff.  Just off the coast of Santorini and its beautiful black-ash volcanic beaches, is, according to legend, the Lost Continent of Atlantis.  If you'll look closely, you can see our hotel in this photo, it's the white building.

I have much better pictures of sunsets in Greece than this, but not in this particular photo album.  So, adhering to the strict-yet-arbitrary rules laid down by The LG Report earlier this evening, I will use this photo to close today's posting.  The uninhabited island in the center of the photo lies just off the coast of Santorini. 

So that's it, our first foray into a random photo album posting.  Leave a comment if you're so moved.  And, as always, thanks for reading The LG Report!

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