Golf game

A nematode, a group of self-organizing slime mold cells and a brown bat are playing golf.
“I’m just sick about the Germany-Turkey game,” says the nematode.
“Fucking Ballack, man,” says the self-organizing slime mold cells.
“I hate Ballack too,” says the brown bat. “Hate him.”
“Worst thing is he’s so good,” says the nematode.
“I hate his face,” says the self-organizing slime mold cells.
“Damn, I wanted the Turks to win,” says the brown bat.

Then they get into an argument over which is better, joy or happiness.
“That’s where America went wrong,” says the nematode. “Enshrining the pursuit of happiness like that. Like happiness is a sensible goal.”
“I’m all about joy,” says the self-organizing slime mold cells.
“I’ll tell you where America went wrong,” says the brown bat. “It went wrong in the 1970s when Jane Fonda got everyone going on the aerobics thing.”
“I think it was the eighties,” says the nematode.
“Late seventies and early eighties,” says the self-organizing slime mold cells.
“That’s where the country went wrong. There was a fork in the road and they took it,” says the brown bat.
“Yogi Berra,” says the nematode.
“What would the other option have been,” says the self-organizing slime mold cells.
Solid Potato Salad,” says the brown bat.
“Awesome,” says the nematode.

Little-known facts about the cownose ray


  • The Cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) is considered a nuisance fish by fishermen in Chesapeake Bay, where it is the most common ray.

  • As if it cared.
  • The Cownose ray can grow up to three feet wide, maximum, and has spooky eyes.
  • However, one was 84 inches wide.
  • The Cownose ray floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.
  • Chesapeake Bay fishermen have to release Cownose rays they catch if the ray tells them a story. This is why they consider them nuisances. Here is a typical Cownose ray story:
  • “A group of friends visited some old guy they knew somehow and at some point complained about life. The old guy said, who wants gin? They all did so he went to his bar and came back with a tray with a couple bottles and some other ingredients — vermouth, soda, tonic, lemons, olives, and ice, to be specific — and a whole bunch of different glasses: some fine crystal, some styrofoam, and so on. The guests all selected glasses and poured themselves drinks. One, who was especially alcoholic, curled up on the sofa with a bottle. Another drank no gin and ate only olives. You wanted gin, said the old man, yet the styrofoam cups are all still on my tray and you all took crystal. Gin is life, he said. And the glasses are homes, jobs and all that shit. You get just as drunk drinking life straight out of the bottle as you do drinking it out of a crystal goblet. What about him, they asked, pointing to the guy eating olives. I wanted whiskey, he said.
  • No wonder the fishermen throw them back.
  • The Cownose ray can grow to a width of 45 inches.
  • The Cownose ray is born tail-first.
  • The Cownose ray loves to eat invertebrates, which it crushes in its jaws.
  • This includes you, oysters.


Tuesday was cello recital. It started quite early in the evening because some choir had booked the room for a rehearsal later. I wasn’t the only student who made it in the nick of time. I had just enough time to run upstairs and go through the piece, a duet, with the woman who was playing it with me.

I had asked my teacher for two things: an easy piece, so I could concentrate on the music and not the technique; and a duet or something, so I could play with other people. He found something and we practiced it a few times.

There was one hardish part in the middle, but the rest was pretty straightforward.

I was a little suspicious at the recital, because I wasn’t a bit nervous. Then we sat down to play, and we played it.

In the middle of playing, I realized we had made it past the hard part with a minimum of messing it up, and that the rest would be easy. And it was. I enjoyed it.

My wife told me I looked relaxed as well, and had smiled the whole time.

Gamma told me that the wee girl who played a concerto I had played a couple years ago didn’t play it as well as I had. I said thanks.

I’m relieved that the music school year is over, though.


They are at church because her cousin is singing in a new choir.
This being an Austrian church, they are standing around afterwards, drinking wine.
“You bought an electric cello,” she sighs.
“Remember when we first discussed it and you said okay?”
“And then you said, hey, wait for a while? Well, I bought it in that window of opportunity between those two things.”
“Sigh,” she says.
“So what else’d you buy?”
What are the chances of getting murdered in church? he wonders. Certainly smaller than elsewhere. Plus, confession, church, right?
“A Moog Etherewave theremin, a musical saw, and an electronic doo-dad.”
“A doo-dad.”
“Exactly. Remember those sad frogs that were so beautiful? A digital recorder that looks like a Tazer and can serve as a USB interface for electronic instruments and computers,” he says.
“Or something like that.”
“Man, I feel so much better,” he says. “I totally get this confession thing now.”

One must be able to think like an ant

He wipes up the ants with a sponge and washes them down the drain, figuring it’s better for his karma than squishing them outright because it gives them a theoretical chance. He mixes baking powder and powdered sugar and sprinkles it along their trails.

Naturally, they keep coming.

She observes them. She notices where they are going. They are going to a pot of chives on the windowsill.

She puts the pot outside. End of ant infestation in the kitchen.

More or less.

She is promoted to Ant Queen.

Radio play

Scene I

[Sound effects: squish, squish, squish, squish]
Slug officer: Company, halt!
Slug officer: Scout! Anything good up there?
Slug scout: Sir! It’s just an old picnic table, sir!
Slug scout: Sir! I can scale it if you wish, sir!
Slug officer: That won’t be necessary, scout. We have reports of hydrangeas in the vicinity.
Slug officer: Company, march!
[Sound effects: squish, squish, squish, squish (fade out)]
Big pot of lettuce on picnic table: Whew.

Scene II

Woman: What’s that on your shirt? Is that a leaf?
Man: Where?
Woman: Turn around. On your back.
Woman: Ew! It’s a slug!

Slug: I’m the KING! OF THE. WORLD!

Man: Eh, get it off, please?
Woman: I’m not touching a slug.

Slug: I claim this territory in the name of my QUEEN!

Man: Here, knock it off with… with this watering can or something.
[Sound effect: watering can knocking slug off man's t-shirt]
Man: Thanks.
Man: I knew I was moving kinda slow lately, but this is ridiculous.
Woman: I don’t see a slime trail, though.
Girl: Maybe it jumped onto you out of a tree.

Scene III
Hedgehog: Ew, this cat food they put out for me is yucky.
Hedgehog: Pass.
[Sound effects: squish, squish, squish, squish]
Hedgehog: Yum, slugs!
Hedgehog: Ew, they taste like that cat food now.
Hedgehog: Pass.

Timeline of the decline of the human race

  • 2,000,000 BC: fire discovered.

  • 1874: Othmar Zeidler synthesizes DDT.
  • 1934: Enrico Fermi and colleagues split the atom.
  • 2008: Mig discovers ebay.

This weekend we celebrated father’s day in Austria. I tried to spend quality time with my family, when I wasn’t checking ebay for deals on an electric cello, and maybe a musical saw. Beta gave me tasty cookies, Gamma tasty ice cream, and we went out to a Mongolian barbecue that is new in town.

The food is not bad at the Mongolian place, but I question the concept of all-you-can-eat restaurants, especially at a time when I am trying to eat less than all I can.

But the weather was perfect all day. Then it rained at night, which is a sound I love, rain, especially at night; but then it rained harder and harder, so that I couldn’t fall asleep, and got up and checked on the pool, which I could totally imagine bursting in all that rain and flooding the cellar. But it was okay. A little full, but otherwise okay.

Yesterday I put the pot of lettuce plants onto the picnic table in our yard because the slugs had totally discovered it, and I figured if I move it it’ll confuse them for a while.

We went for a walk in the woods this weekend, Alpha, Beta and I. We walked past one small pond and heard, for the first time, sad frogs. I guess it’s a new kind of frog. They sounded like sad pan flutes. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard, and made me want to buy a portable recording device so I could record it if I ever heard it again, and stick it into a composition or something.

I don’t understand how metamorphosism became a music blog. I am about as equipped to write a music blog as a bug stuck to the windshield of a truck is to write an automotive blog.

    Driving rawks!1!

I’ll eventually get over it.

A hedgehog was walking around our yard in the daytime yesterday. He was all, dude where are the slugs? You moved the lettuce or something! I tried to give him a dish of catfood, but he said no thanks and went back into the bushes after a while.

In the evening, just as the first gentle rain was starting, Alpha and I sat on the terrace and had a glass of wine and listened for hedgehogs. She heard one scratching himself, but he was too well-hidden to see.