I woke up this morning

Yesterday morning, too. I told my wife, I had a dream about Uschi Fellner.
My wife said she’d also had a dream about Uschi Fellner, who is a publisher here in Austria.
I said, Uschi Fellner asked offered me “four hundred” to write a music column for her newspaper. I told her (Uschi Fellner) that TH or Horst would do a far better job than I would. In fact, many people would be better-suited than I to write a music column, but those are the two I recommended in the dream. After that, I smoked a cigarette with Uschi Fellner’s hot dark-haired friend (although I have quit smoking in waking life). We started in her living room, but she made us go out onto the balcony to smoke. Everything in her nearly-empty apartment was chic and white.

My wife told me that in her dream, Uschi Fellner’s dark-haired friend had interviewed her.

Oh, wait, I’m off a day. This was not yesterday morning, this was the day before yesterday morning. Yesterday morning, my wife and I discussed dreaming about the Spice Girls (her) and a violin instructor doing naked yoga (me).

One thing this dream was doing (the day before yesterday, at least) was reminding me to finally write a list of songs as prompted by TH here.

I have a policy of never doing lists like this, and another policy of often doing them after all, just to prove my pathetic, in this case, musical taste. Read TH’s answers, and compare them to mine in the extended version of this post, and you will understand why I recommended him to Uschi Fellner instead of me.

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Mr. Evil Update

Man: [At vet with three cats, including Mr. Evil] How soon can I have him castrated?
Vet: He’s gotta weigh five pounds or so. Looks like about one pound now. Few more months.
Man: Grr.

Had the big cats vaccinated and Mr. Evil got wormed at the vet. Also got some ear mite medicine for him that gives him a spiky look, like a skinny hedgehog.

Since getting the worm pill, he has developed a tendency to vomit once or twice a day, although Gamma figures he might have been coughing up the fingers of her pink knit glove, which he ate.

Unlike the house where I grew up, where my mother was the one who cleaned up all the gross animal byproducts, the idea that women are inherently better suited to deal with animal grossness cuts no ice in my current house, and i get to clean up after him.

Also, there is a brand-new scratch on the front of my cello, almost two inches long, that my teacher and I agree looks suspiciously like a kitten scratch.

On the plus side, as I have mentioned, he looks like an emaciated hedgehog with his spiky hair. And he tolerates being placed on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot, while I walk around the house going, Arr.

I am home on vacation over the holidays, see, and for the time being, while the others work and go to school, it’s just me and the cats.

He also likes to be placed under my sweatshirt, where he sleeps. I tried this on one of the big cats, and he took it for a while, and tried to pretend he was a cute kitten as well, but he had a guilty, embarrassed look on his face and then he suddenly panicked and clawed his way out so only Mr. Evil gets to ride that way now. Yesterday I took him outside like that while I fed the birds, his friends.

Last night he found my adam’s apple, which is not especially prominent, and slept there for a couple hours, purring loudly.

Right now he’s on my lap, watching the cursor blink.

He also knows where all the keyboard shortcuts are, and likes to pause, or sometimes shut off completely, the movie when we are watching a DVD on the iBook.

He just now pounced and turned the sound back on.

And so on.

Outside voice

Driving Gamma home from somewhere the other day when some guy in a delivery fan forced his way onto the roundabout in front of me. Had to swerve and slam on brakes to avoid a collision. Very bad driving. So bad, in fact, that I felt compelled to inform him of this fact. Instead of exiting the roundabout where I had planned to, I followed the delivery van.
“Dad,” Gamma cautioned. “What are you doing?”
I just snarled.
He turned in to a supermarket parking lot. I pulled up next to him and rolled down the passenger window and, in my best outside voice, said, “Hey! Hey you!”
He rolled down his window and, with the air of a big, tough-looking bearded delivery truck driver being yelled at by a frothing maniac, said, “Yes?”
“Where did you learn to drive?” I said, pithily.
“Someone already on the roundabout has right of way, don’t you know that?” I continued.
Everyone in the parking lot was staring.
“Yes, but you don’t have to be so stubborn,” he sighed.
I took that as an apology and drove home.
“Aren’t you embarrassed?” Gamma asked from the back seat.
“Nah,” I said. “I won’t be embarrassed until the adrenaline wears off.”


It was a grey morning, raining lightly. I had dropped my daughter off somewhere and was late for work. At a red light, I got out my cell phone and called in at work to tell them I’d be a few minutes late.

I finished the call and put the phone back in the breast pocket of my shirt, where I keep it because it is always set to “silent” and I need to wear it on my body to feel the vibration if someone calls me, plus it’s easier to get to when someone calls me than when it’s in my pants pocket.

I looked over to the right and there sat a police officer in his police car, watching me. I grinned my big boy-am-I-busted-or-what? grin and rolled down my window as he rolled down his.

Normalerweise,” he said, “that costs twenty-five Euro.”
Several things went through my mind simultaneously. First, the joke, “what’s the last thing to go through a bug’s mind when it hits the windshield of a car? It’s asshole.” Second, “Wow, only twenty-five Euro? Christ, that’s a bargain. You can’t even get a fucking teeshirt for twenty-five Euro anymore, you guys ought to multiply that by ten if you want people’s attention.” And, also, “I definitely deserve the ticket. You caught me red-handed. I hate it when people talk on the phone while driving.” Most importantly, however, was the feeling of relief at hearing the word, “normalerweise”. It means “normally,” or “usually” and in this case, “you’re getting off without paying a fine.”

All I said was, “should I pay you right here?”

He shook his head and mumbled something along the lines of I was getting off with a warning. I apologized because I felt apologetic, and explained I was late for work and thought I could get away with a call at a red light. He sort of waved it off and I got the feeling any further explanation might make him change his mind about letting me off with a warning. I wished him a nice day instead.

Not as small as they appear.

So, Beta is studying law, among other things. It seems not a bad choice for various reasons. You have to get up pretty early to win an argument with her, for one thing.
By “you” I mean “I”.
And she can short out electrical circuits with her eyes.
And so on.
Anyway, Gamma, who is ten, is balancing the cats.
She is giving each one the right kind and amount of attention to install a new equilibrium to replace the one that was disrupted when we adopted a kitten recently, Mr. Evil.
The rest of us have followed her example and the cats seem to be adjusting well, after acting like insulted divas in the beginning.
Mr. Evil likes to beat up on the big cats, though. It’s hard to keep him out of their faces. They whack him and he just comes back for more.
Gamma and Beta were fighting a couple days ago, the way sisters sometimes do.
Take it easy, guys! I said.
Misch dich nicht ein*, Gamma snarled.

*Mind your own business