Eensy-weensy my ass

As things dry out this summer spiders are coming indoors in search of a little moisture, and from a spider’s viewpoint there is apparently no better source of moisture than my bath towel, making morning showers more invigorating than usual.


Our cat was hunting birds on our roof this morning, and fell off. It was about a 15 foot drop. He landed in the mother of all wading pools, though, so was not injured, although he did have a tough time putting an elegant spin on the incident.

Liebestod II

If you can copulate and fly around at the same time, very impressive, but if you do it in my kitchen at breakfast, you get swatted, two for the price of one, live-and-let-live-karmic-considerations-and-non-violence or not. Any flies reading my blog, get the word out.

    Little Girl: What are they doing?
    Man: Fuc…. eh, making baby flies. [SWAT!]
    Little Girl: Not anymore!

Putting the punk back into punctual

I admit it: I’m one of those pathetic assholes obsessed with being, not on time, but ten minutes early. The one waiting for you, ambling around on the sidewalk from the station to the television shop and back to the station, when you finally arrive.

I calculate to the minute how long it will take to reach a destination, adjusted for weather and traffic conditions, the probability of mechanical trouble, and then add fifteen minutes just for the hell of it.

I will never understand people who arrive places almost late (or as they like to call it, “on time”).

I will really never understand people who overcommit, agree to be two or more places at the same time – and then actually somehow manage to keep all their appointments by rushing around.

So this morning, when it looked as if both girls would be ready to leave, not on time (which some people would call ten minutes early) but ten minutes early, hair and teeth brushed, dressed, lunch packed shoes on, glasses found and books packed, I was very pleased.

“Great,” I said to the little one. “Ready to go, are we?”
“Turtle fed?” I asked the big one.
“Oh,” my wife said. “By the way…”
Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck, I thought.
“Have you seen your picture in the paper yet?” she asked our youngest daughter. We get this local paper that stimulates its circulation by printing lots of pictures of lots of people – politicians tapping kegs at one event or another, or toasting each other, some weenie local artist opening an exhibition of paintings of something, various clubs doing various things, flood damage, traffic accidents, people eating sausages, kids who got straight “A”s. Group photos are nice, since they can sell 30 copies of the paper with a single photo that way.

“No! Where?” she asked.
“Papa will show you.”

So I found the paper and found the page. “Here you are,” I said. End-of-year performance by her ballet class. A dozen little girls in pink and white, except that it’s a grainy black and white photo. Our daughter in a correct stance, smiling at the camera.


And it is. We’ve all been in the paper now. Someone we know is in every issue. It’s neat. When I was a kid, none of us were ever in the paper, except for my uncle.

“Oh, look,” my mother would say. “Your brother’s in the paper again.”
“He must have stopped taking his Anabuse,” my father would say.

Finally got the kids packed into the car, dropped them off at their respective destinations and made it to work. Almost late.

Poetry tip

I have a new favorite poem.


Sue asks whether there’s a difference between some blogs and reality shows. I thought about this all day, off and on, yesterday. Arriving home from work to find my in-laws thinking incorrectly that they had fixed our dishwasher, then upstairs changing out of my suit, sweaty from the drive home, it occurred to me that the stars of reality shows cannot select, really, what the audience sees, while we select what we tell here, and how. So there is the factor of control and editing.

Later, reading a book while waiting for my daughter to come inside from the terrace where she was chatting with her boyfriend, I stumbled across the idea that confiding is important and healthy. Diane Ackerman published her book in 1997, before blogging took off, but I bet she would have noticed that is what happens on many blogs.

That’s the difference, I think. The difference between exhibitionism and confiding. Making sense of things by telling stories.

Anger management

The traffic fatality rate in Austria is 13.4 per 100,000 (1999 figure), lower than in Portugal (21) and Greece (20.2), similar to Spain (14.6), France (14.4), Belgium (13.7) and Luxembourg (13.5), but significantly higher than the rates in Ireland (11), Italy (11), Denmark (9.7), Germany (9.5), Finland (8.4), Netherlands (6.9), Sweden (6.6) and Great Britain (5.9).

Continue reading