Today at lunch

I… Maybe you’re like this too. Pregnant women, especially the over six-foot-tall ones, do they make you think of Highlander too? There was one at the deli at lunch today, god, perfect posture, and a grace that comes from chopping off dozens of heads during the centuries, that otherworldly loneliness, but okay with it. She could have whipped out a samurai sword and let someone have it, the kid with the tattoos stocking shelves, zing, blue sparks everywhere, and we would have all been, ah, there can be only one.

Then I bought these peanuts, and now I regret it.


I have been afraid lately. This struck me on my drive home this evening. Mostly but not only I am afraid to play the cello. This happens, I suppose, when you go too long without playing. And having received a piece from your teacher to figure out on your own over the summer, a piece that is rather slow and sad and simple except that it is composed largely of chords, double notes, that seriously challenge your coordination and immediately prosecute the slightest intonation problems does not help. But mostly the former, I guess.
Anyway I finally found time to unpack the cello today and after weeks of inactivity it was still in tune.
Gamma and I had the same dream a couple nights ago. This is not the first time we’ve done this, either. I had a dream about a kitten, I said. Me too, she said. Was it black I asked. Black and white, she said. Mine too, I said.
We went to the Rosenburg in the Waldviertel to visit some people and watch Shakespeare, As you like it. I thought they did a great job, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Wonderful actors for the most part. We walked around looking at the gardens in the intermissions. Lots of roses everywhere. Somebody sure likes roses, I thought.
Then I made the connection with the name of the place and said, Doh. The people we visited served three different apple-based dishes because they have six trees and they all ripened at the same time. They also had a fair number of flies and wasps, to the swatting of which the man of the house devoted great energy.
Conversation went here and there. Beta was at a party, one of us told them. They went swimming. She gave a boy an uppercut, because he asked for it.
Violence is not always a solution, the man of the house said.


Happy birthday, Beta.

One-act play

[setting: breakfast table, early morning. a couple is drinking coffee and trying to wake up.]

    woman: Georg isn’t a very popular name for boys now.
    man: Oh.

Last night, I couldn’t stand the heat

anymore so I bought crushed ice on the way home and made frosty drinks for everyone. Gamma was having a pajama party so I made drinks for her and her friends too, only without rum.

Steven Isserlis was playing the Song of the Birds a couple mornings ago, it is a Catalan folk song. Blue lights flashed in the morning traffic, and there were sirens, and everyone pulled over to let by an ambulance followed by two more ambulances and three police cars; everyone except one fool (not I) who took a terribly long time to notice. Have you heard Isserlis play the Song of the Birds? Please do.



Rock festival venue design has improved since I was a kid. I think so, anyway. The festival this weekend was my first so I can’t be sure. They have this security fence around the mosh pit, see, and then an eight foot wide security lane full of bouncers and then another security fence. The advantages of this are the main crowd can’t rush the stage and squish those in the mosh pit, and it’s easier for bouncers to keep an eye on things and evacuate people who pass out, and 10 year old girls attending with their dads can lean up against the second fence and sort of see the stage when their dads are taking a break from carrying them on their shoulders.

This system is better than what I gather it was 20-30 years ago, mostly involving mud.

Gamma and her friend also enjoyed watching the bungee-jump crane and razzing chickens who rode back down in the platform instead of jumping.

Before we went back the second day, I explained to Gamma: I have a slipped disc. I cannot carry you on my shoulders all the time, so please don’t ask me to, because if you ask I can’t say no. When I am able to, I will offer and then it’s okay.

And you know what? She went along with that. The first evening had totally been a study in the economics of love and pain, i.e. “I will carry her for one more song, just one more song, and then put her down before nerve damage renders my leg entirely numb; just one more song, one more after this. Or after the next one.”

She is an understanding and loving person.

She also enjoyed winding up the big kids. I asked her what she and her friend were doing up on their fathers’ shoulders and she said aping the kids in back of them. Doing the same dances and stuff. Some people at the festival thought, hey, cool little kids. Others were obviously miffed, because they thought they were cool, with their dreadlocks etc, and little kids taking the piss out of them made it harder for them to maintain that illusion.

Gamma was illustrating to her big sister various dance styles she had observed at the festival. “One of the people they let up on stage was dancing like this:” (headbanging/hairswinging dance). “And the girls behind us were dancing like this:” (Shakira-hipswinging). She nailed each style. Beta was infused with mirth.

Gamma was great the whole time. Her little friend got tired and whiny and demanding, and Gamma tried to cheer her up. We left when the aggressive bands came on at night, due to the squishing danger. Gamma was cool about it.

She liked different music than I did, but was nice about it. We both liked Kosheen. Calexico was great. Lambchop was good. Tinariwen was a surprise – Tuareg rock. The Roots (from Philadelphia) were a surprise. Gamma liked Senor Coconut, which I thought was lame because Latin lounge type music? Two marimbas? Horns? But no percussion section (that is, percussion from a computer?). Gamma liked Silbermond more than I did. We both sort of liked Wir Sind Helden (I like the singer’s enunciation).

And so on.