My banana is freezing

What are you doing for the inauguration?
I broke into my own house. I forgot my keys at work, and the cats were locked in the house and hungry, and the organic vegetable delivery was outside behind the house, and it is freezing cold now, and driving back to work to get the keys would have taken 90 minutes so I had to figure out a better plan.
So I asked myself, WWMWTMTD?
What would my wife tell me to do?
So I broke in.
I’m not going to say how, maybe a burglar is reading this. It took me about 2 minutes; Gamma used to do it when she was in grade school and forgot her keys somewhere so it’s either not exactly hard or Gamma and I are natural burglars.
I figure a professional burglar could do it in way less time than that.
Then I fed the cats and got the vegetables into the house and ate some organic fruit.
My banana was freezing (not a euphemism).
Later I will give old red cat his dementia pill.
Other red cat gets antibiotics daily. I wrap those pills in bacon.
Bacon is his favorite.
They are easy to remember because he gets them every day.
Old red cat gets his once every two days, so I get mixed up and forget to give him his dementia pills, which is ironic, LOL.
He either sleeps or stares at his water dish, so it’s hard to tell if they’re helping.
Right now he’s sleeping, and I hate to wake him up to give him a pill.

Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my wife and kids and the rest of my family, and all of you, and for this awesome planet of ours, not to mention universe and the sciences, which are really great sciences, the best.

And the arts, seriously.

This year, I am additionally thankful for our new post-fact society, thanks to which I am now extremely handsome and funny, not to mention smart and – surprise! – long legged and adorned with a sixpack and giant schlong. My hair is not thinning, and the hearing aids are a thing of the past.

Now, when strangers see me on the street, they think Most Interesting Man in the World, and not Santa Claus or Kenny Rogers.

Thanks to our post-fact society, I light my cigars with $50 bills and my cigars are from Cuba, my friend, because I am alt-rich or something.

Thanks to our post-fact society, limousines slow down in the street so their passengers can lean out the window and give me high-fives and bouncers give me fist bumps.

Now, global warming is a business opportunity, not terraforming for aliens who swim in acid and breathe carbon.

Now, there’s enough for everyone, as long as they’re not lazy.

Thanks to post-fact society, everything’s great again.

Everything.

Just great. Thanks to whoever invented this!

Practice

(Trigger warning: violence against old ladies)

Last night, I kicked an old lady in the belly.
In my defense she was crowding me.
I thought I just got her leg or something.
It didn’t feel like a belly.
It felt like a leg, or a foot.
And when I was hanging at the end of the lane wiping fog off my goggles and she told me what had happened, I said “I’m sorry.”
Those exact words.
In my defense the pool was really crowded and people in the Austrian pools I’ve experienced have no pool culture.
Normally, you have a lane and you swim laps in it clockwise or counterclockwise.
In a systematic fashion, in other words.
In this pool last night, the left half was being used by kids training for some team and the lower half of the right half was full of very large persons with neoprene gloves standing around for a fitness class, and everyone else was sort of swimming around in what was left over.
Not that it really matters. I also feel uncomfortable in a pool with strict lanes, because what George Carlin says about driving – how all the other drivers are either idiots (slower than you) or maniacs (faster than you) also applies to swimming and I am usually an idiot but sometimes also a maniac, and I don’t like myself in either role.
So I was relieved when my wife got sick of it (and probably didn’t want to listen to anyone else I kicked tell them about the hip operation they just had) and we left and asked for our money back.
We didn’t get our money back but we got credit to use the next time we swim.
It won’t be on a Tuesday, that’s children’s day and they’re the worst.
On paper, Monday looked good – the whole right half of the pool was free, but that’s the difference between theory and practice for you.
Practice is always fucking with you.

Zanti Misfits

What was I doing in the yard this morning? I went out for some reason.
I remember: I had my shoes on already and needed to turn off the pool filter, so I went through the cellar door rather than take my shoes off and go through the house.
There were slugs all over the grass. Four-inch brown ones.
It’s a good thing I had my shoes on.
The air smelled briefly of toast, a neighbor was making breakfast.
The sky was blue.
The flowers were tall.
The ants were scarce.
I sprinkled some cinnamon along their trail to fuck with them. Don’t know if it will help – I hear it does – but the house sure smells nice.
When I battle ants I have to think of the “Zanti Misfits” episode of The Outer Limits.
My wife is in southern Austria researching her family history.
My daughters are in Vietnam. They are posting beautiful pictures to Instagram and Facebook.
This amazes me in a couple ways.
When I was their age, or a little younger, you might go to Vietnam but you didn’t go for tourism.
When I was their age, when you went on a trip, your parents just worried for a couple weeks, or months, until you got back. They couldn’t see the awesome things you were doing by checking their social media feeds.
Also it amazes me that they are such travelers, because I dislike traveling.
I like staying where I am.
That’s the secret reason I live in Europe. I couldn’t be arsed to go home.
They are all traveling, so I find myself alone this week.
Except for pets and vermin.
Theoretically it’s the perfect time to be alone, summer. No better time to go out and get into trouble.
Get up to no good.
Commit shenanigans.
Instead, I go for walks or sit around on a lawn chair and stare into space and watch the sun go down because going out is too much work.
But that’s okay. A week of introspection could be a good thing. I’ve been really sick of myself lately, as one is at times. This would be a good chance to figure things out, if one knew what things needed to be figured out.
What have I learned?
I can hold my breath for two minutes and 40 seconds with minimal hyperventilation.
That’s all, so far.
Someone asked me how I was, recently, as one does.
I’m not depressed or sad.
I’m just sick of myself.
A little isolated and creepy, the way one gets when one neglects friendships.
(That’s one thing that gets easier as you get older – creeping people out).
Still amazed at the beauty of the world and stuff.
Need a haircut. This alone would tell me I am not depressed: I called the haircut place and made an appointment, despite my hatred of talking on the phone.
Also, just forced myself to finish a book that had lots of great reviews, although it sucked. A little angry that sucky books get good reviews.
Do you ever wonder how your train of thought brought you somewhere? Like, you start out wondering how to be a good person, or more charming, or how making art functions, and suddenly you’re wondering if anyone wrote a science fiction story about an invasion of alien life forms that people don’t realize are alien life forms because the aliens have no physical bodies: they are ideas.
Such as, for example, Neoliberal Capitalism. Destroying the world, but people assume it was their own idea so they just shrug and think, There Is No Alternative.
Or you wonder if anyone wrote a story about a planet that was terraformed by taking the excess carbon out of the atmosphere (to make the climate and rest of the environment pleasant) and hiding it deep, deep down in the ground where no one would ever find it, in the form of petroleum and coal.
Maybe you don’t.

7 things

At the window in Connemara
I see seven things my father loved:
a brand new sunrise in a rainy sky
ponies in a grassy pasture
trees bending in wind
a white shed
heavy machinery (a red backhoe)
a wood plank corral
his granddaughter, still asleep
me, reflected
8 things

Bifurcation

I woke up, fed the cats, and (here is the innovation) went back to bed for another hour.
Here is one theory of multiple universes: every time you select one of two (or more) alternatives, new universes are created: one in which you did the other thing.
One in which I did not go back to bed, but instead moped around the kitchen for an hour, or went down into my room to write something in a journal.
Or this one: I was standing in front of the Vienna Observatory park making a movie of a tree. A young man nearby waited until I had finished and said, You’re a professor, right? Unfortunately not, I said sadly. (Although we just created an alternate universe in which I am, I did not add.)Undaunted, he asked me if this was the entrance to the Vienna Observatory. I said I believed it was. However it is locked although past opening time, he pointed out (creating an unlocked-gate alternate universe).
I sometimes go for walks in this park, I said, and this is not the first time the gate is locked past opening time. IIRC, there may be another gate up the hill at the other corner, I said.
The young man told me he was to attend an internship for school. Good luck, I said. He left and walked uphill. When I got there (I was dinking around with filters, uploading the film to Instagram) he was nowhere to be seen, and I assumed he had gone in the gate (which was open).
Or this one: in one universe you donate furniture to the Red Cross for refugees, in another you take the furniture apart and drive it to some refugees a friend knows and give it to them personally and you and the refugees and your friends who introduced you carry it up to their apartment (luckily the elevator is working in this universe because they live on the 5th floor) and there you sit amidst a pile of pieces of desk and wardrobe in their living room and realize that, in this universe, you did not think to label the pieces, trusting your memory.
A family of six people watch your every move. Plus two friends and their little boy. ‘No pressure, Mig,’ says one friend.
I took pictures, luckily, you say, unlocking your phone and scrolling through pictures until you find them. In another universe the pictures are really helpful.
You eventually get the desk assembled, or almost – when you are nearly done your wife calls you and informs you you forgot a piece at home. Luckily it is the last piece, so you assemble everything but that, and bring that by the following day.
Also luckily, the refugees are intelligent and observant, and watch you closely, handing you screws right when you need them, or pulling a drawer out so you can tighten a bolt right when you need the drawer pulled out, without you having to say anything.
Forking and forking, good old reality.

Samsara

Dalai Lama: (puts a drinking glass over a wasp, goes back to chopping up a squash, finishes, gives pieces to wife.)
Mrs. Lama: Thanks, honey.
Dalai Lama: Don’t mention it. (goes into living room, checks facebook)
Mrs. Lama: Did you have anything planned for this wasp?
Dalai Lama: Oh, gee, sorry! I was going to let him go and got sidetracked. (pauses video of moose cooling off in a wading pool)
Dalai Lama: Wow, that looks like I set a booby trap for you, doesn’t it. (Gets newspaper, whips glass off counter onto newspaper, but can’t find wasp.) Er… (Looks around for wasp, spots it on the newspaper, puts glass over it, fumbles glass, catches glass.) Oh. (The glass is devoid of wasp. Looks for wasp. Finds wasp on his arm.) Fuck!
Wasp: (Stings Dalai Lama)
Dalai Lama: Son of a bitch.
Mrs. Dalai Lama: Is it dead?
Dalai Lama: (Rolls up newspaper, swats wasp, which is now on floor) Yes. (Picks up wasp with paper towel, carries out to garbage, stands in front of garbage cans looking back and forth between compostable garbage bin and residual waste garbage bin, opts for the latter.)