Motivational tip

Child reluctant to go to school? Try setting it (the school) on fire. Big trucks, sirens and flashing lights capture a child’s interest 9 times out of 10.

There were a couple firetrucks outside the kindergarten next door to Gamma’s school, which is about 100 feet up the street from our house, this morning. On a normal day, she likes to go to school; today, she ran there in her nightgown before breakfast to see what was going on and came home shouting the news.

Flirting tips

Speaking of flirting, here’s how I usually handle it when it comes up:

  1. Pretend I’m invisible. And if that doesn’t work,

  2. Pretend the other person is invisible.


So she’s having a bad time lately. Squints eyes, snorts, pinches nose, blows on fingers as if she’s blowing out a match, brushes hair back behind her ear, little cough. Everything in pairs. Can’t get through a song practicing a piano without doing it. So he talks to her.

    I did stuff like that when I was a kid, too.
    Squinted. Made bubbles with my tongue and blew them out. Opened my mouth real wide like a big yawn. Like this.
    You should have seen me. I was a mess. Drove my little sister crazy at dinner.
    Did this thing with my fingers, if I touched one thing with one finger, I had to do it with all my other fingers, to be fair or symmetrical or something.
    And this other thing with my fingers, tracing around the nails of my fingers with the tip of my thumb. Both hands of course. And this little prayer I’d repeat in my head.
    Hundreds of times a day.
    Some of them I still find myself doing.

What about you?

Pink, pink, brown, pink, blue

Pink, pink, brown, pink, black, brown, pink, pink, pink, brown.
The gathering was international.
There was even a blue man.
Imagine someone with blue skin: that’s what he looked like.
Pesticides will turn your skin blue. Always wash your grapes.

Job Coach

Me: Eh, it was just the first session, guys. She had to find out what I was there for, exactly, and what I…

Gotten today:

Yelled at, sad, hungry, sandwich, two bananas, rained on, money from the cash machine, no cellphone, in roughly that order.

I’ve been without a cellphone for some time now. Maybe I give good emergency, because I am regularly told I should have one so I can be called in an emergency. Have an emergency? Just call me. I’ll say, Oh that’s too bad. And, What sort of an emergency are you having, and You, of all people.

I’d have gotten a replacement long ago but the very idea makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to go into an electronics store and weigh my options. I want someone to go, Here is your cellphone.

The money is for a job coach. I have made an appointment to meet with a job coach, recommended by a friend. That is, this particular job coach was recommended; the idea to see one was my own. It has to do with my idea that if one knows exactly what one wants, one is unstoppable to the extent of one’s abilities, resources and luck. And the fact that I don’t know exactly what I want.

I don’t even know approximately what I want. Do I want to punch my irritating co-worker in the face or push her down a short flight of stairs into a dark cellar? Or just let her step into an open manhole? The possibilities branch endlessly in life in even the simplest things; when applied to a person of my looks and talents the options are daunting.

Actually, that was a bad example, the open manhole is it, 100% sure. But you know what I mean. I was eating bananas today as I walked around in the rain; it was all I could do not to drop them onto the sidewalk and stand across the street waiting for furniture movers to carry a piano past. But like I said, it was raining, who wants to stand around in that?

I have been taking the train more lately, until my newish car is delivered. I didn’t feel like sitting with strangers so I stood by the door and stared morosely out the window at the grey morning sky and the near-autumnal landscape whizzing by. I tried to think of a word for what trains do when they go past besides “thunder” or “rumble”. A dam went by and some freeway bridges and I saw the old painting of Bob Marley someone had done there – some self-taught artist – was still in place, it must be fifteen years old now. Someone else had more recently tagged a small prefab concrete office building with “ASSHOLE” in black and white letters taller than a man.

End of an era

My mechanic has a big barrel in his office he has you lean over when he tells you what’s wrong with your Dobl