Fever! till you sizzle

On holiday next week. We will spend it in a small cabin in the Alps somewhere, the four of us. First family vacation in a while. Weather outlook for the week: cold and rainy. We offered to maybe look at a last-minute trip to Greece instead, but the kids insisted we go to the cabin. I’m happy about that, because I have been dreaming of a trip like this for a long time, going to a cabin in the mountains instead of spending days in airports.

In unrelated news, a few nights ago a nightmare woke me  up. I guess it was terrifying, because my heart was ‘racing’ and it took me a long time to get back to sleep.  Actually, it was 4.50 so I gave up and got up and didn’t go back to sleep until the following night, I remember now. It, the dream, took place in a mountain cabin. There were a couple strangers there, on the edge of the dream, guys I didn’t know. The cabin was weathered and reminded me more of the mountains (and cabins) I have seen  than the cabin we are going to (knock on wood).

There were two spiders in the cabin. One was large, as big and heavy as a crab, and was climbing around on the back of the door and making a lot of noise. The other was ‘smaller’, with the body the size of a birds and long, long legs and very fucking fast. It was spinning a web in the room and got in my face and started spinning a web around my face and head real fast, jumping around the way some spiders do when prey lands in their webs.

I was ripping spiderweb from my face when I woke up.

I figure it means, bring lots of books and Uno cards with us.

Doblo, Doblo, Doblo, Doblo, Doblo

Prompted by a friend, I am working on seeing whether or not  I can possibly get enough of the posts from my  blog edited into readable-enough shape to make it worth while to make them available in book form. I downloaded an export of posts from the last 10 years (older ones are no longer available, having evaporated or whatever happens to blogspot posts and so on). For all the migrations and moves they have undergone, the texts are in remarkably good shape. There is a bit of a truncation problem, some posts end where the first unusual (typographic) character appears – umlauts and accents seem to be truncators, which might explain why the Fiat Doblo posts are all killed from the first mention of the Doblo – i think I was spelling that word with an accent over the final O.

So if there is a book, it will be without Doblos.

It’s an interesting trip down memory lane. Interesting to see who is still around, who is still blogging, who isn’t, who has died, who has not.

Blogging seems to be dead, sometimes, then you find all these people till up to it after a decade. So who knows.

The text file started out at over a million words, BTW. I’m starting with the oldest posts, deleting the lamest ones. Also deleting the comments, to avoid the hassle of contacting every commentor and asking for permission… and also for length reasons. It’s too bad, though, because at least in the years I’ve done so far (2002-2003), the comments were the best part.

I have it down to under 800,000 words already. (By the time I get to 2012, maybe it’ll be down to chapbook size, with any luck).

Evil Mig

My wife told me I was laughing in my sleep so hard and so long I woke her up the other night. She says it was an evil laugh, not my usual laugh.

I wish I could remember the dream, I think.

Careers in Science: Selenology

What is the air speed of a swallow?

Tired of quoting from Monty Python and the Holy Grail to his teenaged daughter on their commutes into town, the selenologist orders a DVD online. When it comes in the mail, he opens a couple bottles of Radler, which he calls Kinderbier and watches it with her.

He tries to give her some context as she churns through information on her smartphone while watching and talking to him.

“When I was your age, we could do only one thing at a time. We had to get our information from books and our movies in cinemas.”

“Ja, ja.”

Here in Castle Anthrax, we have but one punishment…

“We watched this movie over and over and recited it and watched it until we knew it by heart.”

He looks at the box. “This was made in 1975. Thirty-seven years ago.” He repeats the word thirty-seven several times at different speeds.

“Thirty-seven years ago, the world was a different place. Telephones still had rotary dials, anyone could change a headlight bulb, and I was exactly your age. Okay, roughly. One year older maybe. But without your grace. Anyway we went to movies, mostly. Luis Bunuel, Monty Python, whatever. Different things.”


None shall pass.

She laughs a few times, this makes him feel better because he didn’t remember the movie being this slow.

“Geeze. Thirty seven years ago, time moved differently. In my memory, the movie doesn’t drag on like this.”

The status update his daughter posted two minutes ago has seven likes and two comments.

Your father smells of elderberries.

“I have to watch Sound of Music someday, too. Being American and Austrian, and living in Austria, I mean.”

“Totally. Like, you’re like a trifecta or something, only without whatever third element would make it a trifecta.”


“Forget it.”

“Anyway, this movie is engraved on the brains of a generation. I wanted you to see it so you would understand.”


I’m not dead yet.


Turns out I was wrong about summer lasting only a week in Austria. Our garden has been exploding in the heat. The tomato plants are as tall as I am.

The heat has its nice aspects. I prefer less dramatic weather. A little cloudy, a little drizzle, like the Pacific Northwest where I grew up often is, but it’s nice to sit in the back yard naked  pitting cherries.

And the heat does keep the slugs at bay.

I was coming to terms with the heat when my wife asked me to take out the compostable garbage. I don’t know what the system is like where you live, but in my village we have three garbage cans, one for paper, one for biodegradeable garbage, and one for burnable, sundry garbage. Glass and tin cans you have to take to a central collection place. Oh, and we also get these large plastic bags into which we are to put plastic garbage, such as plastic bottles – they’re collecting those tomorrow, can’t forget to put out the yellow bag. My wife called me from Japan this morning to remind me.

Apparently it was the first time the compostable garbage bin had been opened since the hot weather started. Not only was the interior absolutely alive with maggots, it was also dense with flies. They can’t have been flies that somehow got into the bin, they must have been former bin maggots that had completely passed through that phase and grown wings and so on and were just milling around in there waiting for someone to come and open the lid so they could all swarm out in this Carlsbad Caverns-style swarm.

So there I was, engulfed in rambunctious flies.

I don’t know what you think about at a time like that. I instinctively clenched every orifice tightly shut and thought about imprinting – that phenomenon where a baby duck decides the first thing it sees is its mother.

Luckily, flies don’t imprint.

At least not these flies.