The Art of Nothing

Tomorrow is 1 May, labor day here in Austria. It is a national holiday. Most people go on hikes or attend socialist functions. I will do nothing. That is, I will practice the art of nothing.

Oh, wait. It’s Gamma’s fifth birthday and she’s throwing a Princess party! I’ll be stressed out of my gourd! At least I’ll have something to blog about…

[link via Vex]

License plate says stunner #1 superstar

There are worse things in life than cruising…
[excuse me someone just brought me chocolate cake]
Now, where was I? There are worse things in life than cruising down the freeway on a sunny day in a big honking black Mercedes with diplomatic plates with Pink on the radio turned up loud. And then when you get back to the office, someone gives you cake.
Yes, sir.

Meanwhile, there are new shoes at the Shoe Project (send me yours if you haven’t already) and go enter the Mother’s Day contest at Raising Hell, already!

Also, I see Feral Living is #12 for “my filling fell out of my tooth” in this search. Googlebombing not necessary! Save it for something important!

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75 Euro

Beta just demanded 75 Euro from me, I’m not sure exactly what for, I no longer really ask. I gave her 100 and she made change. I’d been avoiding payment for the last couple days but she just won a bet about ladybug spots and in return I had to pay up immediately. Also my resistance is down because we had Alpha’s relatives over for sort of a pre-birthday party for Gamma and I’m pooped. Although the visit itself was entertaining, watching one cousin’s disturbed kid tear the heads off all my flowers – dandelions, pie-cherry, daisies, tulips and kerria japonica among others – and another wet her pants and try to hide it from her mother with maneuvers infinitely more amateurish than any of the inspired stunts Gamma comes up with, and the cats try to eat the cold cuts off the open-face sandwiches on the picnic table. Also my mother-in-law is losing her voice and my father-in-law is losing his hearing, which is a sad but interesting combination. Later on my father-in-law gave his wife’s sister a tour of our house which was okay because when I went outside and was asked where he was, I was able to say, “in our bedroom with his sister-in-law”. Gamma rode in circles on her new bike. Then the sun went down and it got cold and everyone left, after spending 15 minutes chatting in the doorway and 10 more chatting at the gate, and another 10 minutes looking for a bracelet one girl discovered she’d lost and never finding it (they called later to tell us she’d found it in her pocket). I practiced cello and Beta harp and Alpha put Gamma to bed and we drank tea and then Beta just now went to bed and asked me to tuck her in and since I of course must grasp any chance she gives me to interact with her in an affectionate manner – she being almost 13 and therefore often distant – I hid behind her bedroom door while she was saying goodnight to her mother and when she came into her room she opened her door wide, crashing it into me. “I knew you’d be hiding back there,” she said and I had known she’d know and I tucked her in and we said goodnight, her 75 Euro richer and me 75 poorer and yet a rich man.

The Bug

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[With apologies to Franz Kafka]

The Lost Boy

He was there again, as I drove home from my evening cello lesson, sitting on his bike in his army coat staring out over the field where the gypsies camp when they come to town. The same brainless smile on his face as always. Frightening in his simplicity. He is young, but not so young anymore. In his thirties. He is going to seed.

I don’t know why he is the way he is, whether something happened to make him that way or whether he’s always been like that. He has a savant’s knowledge of local plant life and, I suppose, gardening, and oddly strong opinions about the appropriateness of plants occurring naturally in the local environment – which have always been there, which are recent imports running wild.

Mostly he rides his bike.

Here and there. He is a fixture. You see him everywhere you go, everywhere within bicycle range. It’s as if he’s a set of energetic, smiling, cycling, muscular quintuplets in matching army coats.

I don’t know how he lives or any other circumstances of his life. When the reporters come around and stick a microphone in my face and ask me, “what do you think about that?” I won’t say, “I’m shocked, he was always such a harmless, quiet man.” I will say, “I always thought that nutty, smiling bastard was up to something.”