Can’t-Miss New Year’s Resolutions

I’ll take “Wildly Fluctuating Body Weight” for fifty, Bob.

Michele’s wedding with Heath Ledger (dream)

So Michele’s down ten pounds and getting married to Heath Ledger and we’re all there. I mean, we’re all there in the wedding suite as he carries her across the threshhold, throws her onto the large heart-shaped bed with all those mirrors all over the place and starts getting undressed. And he undresses and undresses, and doesn’t stop when he gets down to his skin, and peels that off too and UNDERNEATH HE’S FRED DURST!!!

And we’re all laughing and laughing and I fall out of bed and wake up, still laughing.

Okay, it wasn’t a real dream. I’ll try again tonight, Michele.

Feral Dreaming

The intro video alone is worth the price of admission.

Sound of Music II

While shopping in Vienna yesterday, Alpha consented to a quick visit to the Virgin Megastore. She sat at the cafe while I looked for the CDs I wanted. I bought one by Apocalyptica, a Finnish cello quartet who play heavy metal; the new one by Laurie Anderson, the new one by Iarla O Lionaird and J.S. Bach Suites for Violoncello Solo, BWV 1007-1012 played by Anner Bylsma on the Violoncello Stradivarius “Servais” from the Collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Alpha ordered a cappucino. She was sitting at a small cafe table in the style of American steel-tube dinette sets, between what looked like a visiting hard core rap group on the one side and some heavily tattooed youngsters on the other side. The man working the cafe was himself heavily pierced and so on. But, because this is Vienna, he brought her a perfect cappucino with a perfect little dollop of steamed milk on top, with just the right amount of cinnamon sprinkled over it; and served it in traditional, proper Viennese coffeehouse style, formally, and with a little glass of water on the side.

Attack of the 50 Foot Ball Gowns

When I was a boy, I made a list of about 30 things I wanted to do or achieve when I grew up, and shopping for a ball gown for my wife at a winter ball gown clearance sale in Vienna without an oxygen tank or sherpas was not on it for good reason. There is a limit to the danger I will expose myself to in my international search for adventure and thrills.

The cell phone came in handy. Alpha could call me from the dressing room to come and give her a thumbs up or down if I happened to wander too far off. Eventually I sort of hung around the dressing rooms which of course got me some funny looks from the salespeople, like, who’s this man hanging around the ladies’ dressing rooms sort of looks.

Like, watching matrons and pimply debutantes climb in and out of taffetta sausage skins is a source of arousal for me. My favorite part was when Alpha sent me off into the fray to find This Same Gown in a Different Size and Different Color. And when I got back with it, proud I’d found the right size, she explained that it was purple and not dark red like she’d wanted. And I told her, dark red was only available in really small or really large sizes. Just as well; I didn’t tell her that I’d accidentally kept stepping on the dragging hem of the dress with my muddy steel-toed boots as I carried it across the shop.

I seem to be telling this story backwards, sorry. Ball season is coming up, which is a big social event, or series of big social events; kids all go to dance school here. All adults with my sole exception can perform ballroom dances at varying levels of proficiency. The winter clearance sales started this week. 30%-50%-70% off various items. Including ball gowns. The department store was packed. Alpha stood in line for 45 minutes at the cash register, just to pay and get her dress packed up.

The Nightstand

Alpha: Would you please clean off your nightstand so I can dust?
Miguel: [Notices a Japanese retractable pruning saw on his cluttered nightstand, picks up journal, starts making list] I have to write all this down.
Alpha: What are you doing? I’d like to dust.
Miguel: Reading lamp with frosted glass shade, broken in pillow fight. Travel alarm clock, purple, set to 6.00 AM, turned off for holidays. Sexy new silver Siemens cellphone. Scrap of paper with note to self about next parents’ association meeting at music school. Box of matches. Japanese retractable pruning saw.
Alpha: You’re blogging, aren’t you?
Miguel: What are you talking about? Don’t be absurd. I’m making a list for posterity’s sake. I mean, pruning saw on my nightstand, man.
Lava lamp. Various books, including Neil Gaiman American Gods (read), urban legend book I gave Beta for Christmas because I wanted to read it (almost finished), Sun Tzu The Art of War, Old journal, rediscovered, old address book containing what are either uncashed paychecks from Japan or (hopefully) receipts for the same, film script by D., UN document on corruption, Bill Bryson book (read), Al-Ghazali’s Path to Sufism, The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale (somehow hard to read), another old journal, dream journal, more notes and cards, old Xmas card, auto club info, torn up because I mistook it for junk mail, receipts and pens, box for cell phone, full of unread info and instructions.
Alpha: Move so I can make the bed.

Ethics question

Situation: You are playing the card game “Uno” (on-line java version of the game here) with a 12-year-old girl who 1) is on the verge of tears after hearing a story about the cute little kitten of a friend of her little sister which was playing with its dog friend in the family’s garage by the father’s truck and got squished by a falling truck part, fatally, and 2) really, really hates to lose games when you 3) deal yourself a hand full of penalty cards with which you could, according to the rules, make her draw +2 and +4 cards several times, causing her – hypothetically – to suffer humiliating defeat.

Do you 1) play the cards anyway out of a sadistic well-meaning and pedagogically-sound desire to teach her that, sometimes, life sucks, and she should get used to it as early as possible or 2) avoid playing the cards, even after she gives you several such penalty cards, making you draw extra cards?