Wednesday, October 31, 2007

RAMBLIN' MAN.'re probably wondering if there's a good reason why I haven't blogged lately.

Yep, there is.

Now that we've resolved that...let's dip a pewter flagon into my stream of consciousness and take a little drink, shall we?


Happy Halloween. It's my favorite holiday.


I can't say I was looking forward to my recent business trip to Kiev, Ukraine. I envisioned it as being a drab, dour place--much like East Berlin when I visited it in 1988. Or K-Mart when I visited it in 2005.

Beyond that, I really didn't know what to expect--except that the trip would end with my lifeless body being stuffed into a industrial drum and tossed into the Black Sea by a neckless, hairy ogre purporting to be my taxi driver.

Well, I was a bit hasty in my pessimism. Kiev is actually a very nice town--even if my taxi driver (who, in fact, had a neck) did point down-river as we passed over a bridge and said, "Cherynobl."

Kiev's buildings were clean and brightly painted. Golden minarets shimmered. Highways were lined with old growth white birch trees. And the women?

O! M! G!

Guys, come closer and listen carefully. If your life's "To Do" list has an entry that says, "Find a tall, thin, ridiculously beautiful eastern European-ish babe," then go buy yourself a ticket on the first available flight to Kiev.

She's there. In fact, she's everywhere.


Meet my girlfriend.

Her name is Agatha Szczykutowicz. Yes, yes,'s pronounced as it's spelled.

What? You're shocked, shocked to discover that I have a girlfriend?! Why?

Oh, yeah...I guess I've failed to mention her up till now. You might even say that I was keeping her a secret. A secret, that is, except to Mr. & Mrs. The Big Finn and Michael. The five of us pigged-out on Q at a restaurant in Chicago last summer.

Thanks, guys...for invoking the cone of silence.

By way of history, I met Agatha when I worked for the Niagra Mohawk power company in 1979. I was inspecting some electrical wiring in the attic of a raised ranch in Buffalo, NY. Agatha was sitting at a spinning wheel in a far corner of the attic spinning cotton thread into gold.

I lured her downstairs with a freshly sauteed pierogi and into my canary yellow '73 Plymouth Barracuda. The rest, shall we say, was history.

Agatha has an adorable black schnauzer named after a beverage cup, and an adorable set of parental units. Her father is 8'4" and once rested his ashtray on Andre the Giant's head. Andre thanked him politely and offered to fetch him another beer.

In her free time, Agatha enjoys playing Baroque music on her accordian and cracking walnuts between the muscles of her six-pack--although not necessarily at the same time.

Agatha came to visit me in Spain a few weeks ago, and we spent a romantic weekend in Barcelona. She loved Barcelona. Said it was better than any K-Mart she had ever visited.


Yeah, it's true. More on that later...


At 6:44 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

You hid her that long?! Bad Sal! But ok, you're already forgiven ;)

Honestly tough, I had to click on that picture, and your eyes say it all. You look sooo happy! Only the best wishes to you both!

At 6:45 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Oh! BTW, you're moving back? Or am I misunderstanding?

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hey C-Swiss:

Nope, you're not misunderstanding.

And, hey...we would've been happy to snarf Q with you and Orangie in Chicago, too. We had a plenty big table, and TBF brought enough beer and wine for the entire restaurant.


At 9:11 PM, Blogger christina said...

:-D :-D :-D How cute are you guys???

Sometimes...truth is stranger than fiction. Or is it the other way around?

At 3:55 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Hello Gorgeous - so good to see you again. you need to figure out which of you that is directed at?

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Admit it, Michael. It was directed at Yakov Smirnoff. Yeah...I find him irresistible, too.

At 6:55 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Yeah. Rub it in, pal! (Droool, drool)

Especially now that our move to Canada has been postponed about 4 years! Maybe we can arrange something. Just keep in touch, 'kay? Any plans to come visit before you leave??

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Actually, a visit from me might be a possibility. Just waiting for scheduling info from a large, friendly Finnish guy.

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Di Mackey said...

Cone of Silence, I see.

Hey congratulations though, sounds grand - the piece on Kiev had us in hysterics here.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

No matter where, I hope we get to meet personally. How long will you be in Europe? Just send me a short mail, 'kay?

At 9:33 AM, Blogger The Big Finn said...

T'ank God I can finally unseal my lips.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Angie said...

Oh, how we've missed you! :)


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