I stepped on a cockroach in my kitchen this morning. I felt bad about it.

I wondered if the Dalai Lama would step on a cockroach. I suppose if anyone was watching he’d take it outside and give it a cracker.

Do proper Buddhists make an exception for vermin? Or did my karma take a small hit? We had friends over for brunch yesterday. They have a couple daughters about Gamma’s age. The girls started screaming because a spider was on the table. I carried it outside, so maybe that made up for the cockroach. But I chased the girls around the house with it first, so maybe not.

Then I noticed the cockroach wasn’t dead, only crippled. It was mashed up, but its feelers were still twitching. So I hadn’t killed it after all.

I felt better. It still had a chance to learn something from this incarnation and maybe reincarnate a step or two up the ladder, as a talk-radio host or something.

I began to tell Alpha about it when she came down to breakfast, but she wasn’t awake enough for a philosophical discussion, plus she’d want to know why I had left a crippled cockroach on the kitchen floor, so I got a Kleenex and carried it outside to the trash instead, where it probably died of cognitive dissonance.

Faster than the lawyers

Two physeter macrocephalus walk into a bar.
PM1: Oh god. [Lowers broad forehead to cool surface of bar, which has a soothing effect for about one second until his body heat warms it up.] Oh god, ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod.
PM2: Don’t look to me for sympathy.
PM1: Just harpoon me now. God.
PM2: It’s the same story every time you eat running sushi. You’re an adult. You have to know this by now.
PM1: I just can’t resist the colossal squid.
PM2: You must have eaten your body weight’s worth of them. The chef was staring.
PM1: If I could move I’d beach myself.
PM2: They say colossal squid make up 70% of our stomach contents, normally.
PM1: [groans]
PM2: In your case it’s more like 170%. You had a plate of gyoza too, right?
PM1: I’m warning you, change the subject now.
PM2: They must be packed in there tighter than the spermaceti in your skull.
PM1: [empties stomach contents in explosive manner all over the bar]
PM2: You weren’t kidding. Feel better now?
Bartender: [Blinks. Looks at rag in his hand.]
PM1: Somewhat. Quite a bit, actually. How’s the family?

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Hyperbolic curve

“You seemed a bit lost at rehearsal,” my teacher said at my lesson yesterday, putting it mildly.
“Yes,” I said, not adding, “I felt like a dog chasing its ass in circles,” which is what I had wanted to say at the rehearsal, and only refrained from doing because a couple of young kids about 12 years old (or younger) were also playing, and I decided to say nothing rather than something like, “I feel like a dog chasing it’s bottom,” because that is not how I had felt.
“Anything in particular?” my teacher said. “What about this tricky part here?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I couldn’t make any sense of that, as you noticed,” I said. In fact, I might as well have been watching flies dance on a zebra’s carcass. But that’s not something one normally says in polite conversation. Or, at least, it would have come out more awkward than I like to think that sort of thing does in writing, because first I would have had to translate it into German, (es war wie Fliegen beim Tanzen auf einem Zebrakadaver zu beobachten, or something) and it would just lose its spontaneity, and so on.
I had a lot on my mind when I was at the rehearsal, and basically could not concentrate. And I just couldn’t figure out the fingerings on the spot like that, and then I got flustered and gave up.
In my lesson, my teacher was kind enough to discuss some basics of figuring out fingerings, which should help in the long run. One of my problems with cello is impatience. I would probably move faster if I went slower.

A coin

Last week at the local supermarket, I put a coin into the slot of the shopping cart locking mechanism but nothing happened that I could see so I tried to get the coin back out to try it in the slot of another cart’s locking mechanism. I couldn’t get a good grip on the coin, though, because less than a millimeter was sticking out and I have short fingernails.

I could get it to move a couple microns, but it kept slipping back in. I couldn’t even get it to move enough to tell whether it was somehow locked into the slot (having engaged some mechanism) or I just wasn’t pulling hard enough. People who had arrived after me were taking carts from other nested lines of carts and going about their business.

Noticing my situation, the man who sells the homeless newspaper in front of the store came over. He took some fingernail clippers out of his pocket and got ahold of the edge of the coin that way. I remembered my mother warning me when I was a kid not to put coins in my mouth; her argument was one never knows where they have been whereas I had been more concerned about the choking danger at the time. Now that I am grown I can put coins in my mouth whenever I want, but if I do I’ll always boil them first I guess.

The coin just wouldn’t come out, though, it did appear to be locked in the slot. So the man helping me checked to see whether my insertion of the coin had disengaged the cart lock, something I had neglected to do after failing to hear the usual “click” upon insertion, or see the key pop out as usual.

Indeed, the cart was unlocked and my only problem was me. Funny how that works, I thought. Upon leaving the supermarket, I purchased a newspaper from the man and asked him how his arm was doing, because we had discussed it a few weeks earlier, and he had told me then about slipping and falling on it. It is doing better now, although he dreads the approaching winter, which is expected to be cold.

An egg a day

Beta: Someone at the subway station had a sign that said, “an egg a day is okay.”
Gamma: Whoa! That’s like, 563 eggs a year!
[Pregnant pause]
Everyone else in the room: 365!
Gamma: Heh.

What about the salt lick?

It’s been foggy lately. In the mornings. Haven’t seen any deer lately, though. Maybe someone told them about hunting season.

Deer 1: WTFBBQ!!1!
Deer 2: Yep.
Deer 1: What about the salt lick?
Deer 2: [Nods slowly.]
Deer 1: Whoa.

A hearse passed me on my way to work yesterday morning, and I was already speeding. Its license plate number indicated it was licensed in a town upriver. Then a whole pod of cars with plates from the same town, about a dozen of them, sped past too. My mind was occupied trying to figure that one out the rest of the way to the office.

I figure they were all late to a funeral, but the hearse too? They’re not going to start without you, dude.

Maybe he stole the body and the others were trying to catch him. Leave your theories in the comments.