What day was it.
It was Sunday, the Sunday following the Saturday where we got together in a restaurant across the street from the cemetary to discuss what needed to be done in the event of a (theoretical only) death in the family (never hurts to be prepared) and who wanted Viking funerals (Gamma, me) and who would settle for something more realistic and legal, who to contact, etc. followed by a trip to a doctor due to chest pains and a dislike of irony (dying after the death meeting) who ordered further tests in the hospital that found nothing leading to a diagnosis of probably carrying the refrigerator was a bad idea.
It was Sunday, and latish morning, and Alpha and I went for a walk in the woods, by ponds and the Danube and back to the car with wet feet and a feeling of accomplishment and also a feeling that we had earned lunch at the local wine tavern (Heuriger).
We were the first guests at the Heuriger except for some dudes playing cards and we took a table outside in the sun/shade. I tried to fit myself into the shade. Our food came (I had the large round sandwich, Alpha had the Wildplatte i.e. the wild plate, consisting of game animal products. It was all pretty good. She had a spritzer, I had Sturm, i.e. pre-wine, the cloudy, sweet kind.
We were enjoying sitting there etc when Alpha goes,
“Honey, there,” and gestures at my chest where, when I look down, I see 3 enormous shiny black and yellow wasp family dudes fighting on my shirt pocket.
And I go,
“Oh. Hornets fighting on me.”
Have you ever had hornets fighting on you? It’s fascinating.
I was enthralled, it’s really cool. Shiny ectoskeletons, shiny black yellow patterns, like some athletic device you might have had years ago until it went out of style and disappeared under the bed.
They were kind of distracted by each other trying to kill everyone so I calmly watched them for a while (few seconds) but then their proximity to my heart occurred to me, you know, ‘Man stung in heart by three fat hornets’ and I whisked them away with a napkin. Two flew away immediately, one fell to the bench I was sitting on and *then* flew away.
And that was that. They might be big and scary, but at least they didn’t stick around after I whisked them the first time, like wasps, who are always, “ya whisking me ya think ya gonna whisk me who ya whiskin there fella I’ll whisk ya I’ll show ya whiskin,” etc.
Then we went home.
Now it’s Tuesday all of a sudden.
What day was it.
I recently had a conversation about works of art that stick with you. At different times in my life I have been absorbed by various sculptures, compositions or images.
Once it was a stone lakshmi sculpture in a museum (I can’t remember which one) in Pasadena. I was strolling around looking at stuff in the museum, and had to stop and stare at it. I stood there for at least half an hour, sketching the ancient sculpture.
Once I walked into the Museum of Art History in Vienna and was gobsmacked by Rubens’ ‘The Little Fur Coat’ hanging on the wall.
Or Bach’s cello suites.
Anyway right now it is this photograph. Together with the title, which I have used as the title of this post and which is also the headline of the article the photograph is originally from, it strikes me as no different in any important way from, say, Renaissance paintings along the lines of ‘Bacchus and Ariadne’ by Titian or maybe Jan Steen’s ‘Argument over a card game’.
‘Tennis umpires reportedly considering boycott of Serena Williams’ matches’ by Julian Finney (Getty Images) is currently hanging right at the front of my mental museum. I can’t look away. It’s perfect.
Yesterday I had the day off and did some family things with my daughters. We leveled my wife’s parents’ refrigerator, which a friend and I had delivered to them recently and which had been rocking. I tipped it back and Beta screwed one leg (of the refrigerator) out until it was the right length to make the fridge level. I changed a lock at the inlaws’.
Stuff like that.
Then we drove to the girls’ place where I drilled holes in the concrete wall (in order to bracket a bookshelf to the wall) with my new impact drill, which I bought a while ago after my old drill died in a shower of sparks while trying to drill holes in a concrete wall.
We had lunch. Then we briefly strolled to the bookstore, which this year was voted (I don’t know by whom) the best bookstore in the country.
We went in and the manager either recognized us or is just a nice guy. We asked him for coffee and he made us some. We fanned out and started filling up on books. This is one of the family traditions the title of this post refers to. When we collectively visit a bookstore, it is more of a raid than shopping. We fan out and meet at the cash register at closing time, arms full, no two books the same.
I only planned to buy two books but the manager started telling me about good books so I got six, then I saw the new David Sedaris book so I got seven, then two for my wife, then I ordered another one for her, after consulting with the manager again. He didn’t ask my name when processing the order, so I suppose he really did recognize us. Since I stopped buying anything through Amazon I order all my books from him and Beta or Gamma pick them up for me.
Then we left and I carried my loot to the car, and my drilling gear, and forgot one more fatherly task I had planned to do, and went on a date with Alpha, to celebrate the 38th anniversary of our first kiss. Alpha wore a dirndl and we went to a Japanese restaurant that was okay. It has received good reviews but served modern sort of fusion food based on Japanese cuisine, too many spices and mayonnaise for our taste, and the service was a little too attentive in our opinion, but it’s always nice to go on a date with Alpha.
Then we went to bed early because we’re trying to sleep 8 hours at night. And we both had dreams, which is unusual for a work night.
Which onea you fuckers
peed on my phone
on the kitchen table last night?
When I picked it up this morning
it swished not swiped
It’s a miracle it still works
I don’t wanna know who it was
Just don’t let it happen again
or I’ll i don’t know what.
not that I’ll forget so quick,
whenever I pick it up to
check likes on Instagram
it smells like betrayal
First poach the apples. Today it worked liked this: along the creek where we took a walk there are various wild fruit trees including pear, quince and in larger numbers apples. I don’t know who they belong to, I assume the farmers who own the fields bordering the creek. We filled our pockets with the apples.
Back at home we got the roast ready. You can roast whatever you have. We had ground beef so I made a meatloaf by chopping up some old bread, adding milk and an egg to it, as well as salt, pepper, garlic, mint, and a little sage. And the ground beef. I put that in a roasting pan and added the apples (cored and wormed but not peeled) and some sweet potatoes (peeled and quartered). I had planned to add potatoes but the potatoes had gone bad. Some were rotten, one was green and a couple had an attitude. Chopped up a couple small onions, added a little vegetable broth and a little dry white wine. Put the pan into the oven for an hour at 200 degrees celsius.
In the last few minutes I added a few sage leaves I had forgotten to add earlier.
Then we ate it. It made six portions, so we ate one portion each (there were three of us) and I packed 3 portions for later.
I feel like such an idiot.
For days I’ve been thinking about the Leonids and when the best time will be to watch them.
And the best place.
Lying in my hammock staring skyward.
And it’s the PERSEIDS!
The Leonids aren’t until NOVEMBER!
Plus the Leonids make me think of Brezhnev.
“The body takes what it needs,” said my acupuncturist about my acupuncture treatment, during which I had fallen asleep, head back mouth open.
So I went to bed early that night and had a dream, the first in a long time.
The wall was covered with something that looked like corrugated cardboard, seen end-on, this rough uneven texture, and that was covered with all kinds of moths of all shapes and sizes – clothes moths and kitchen moths and porch light moths all flying about and walking about on the walls and I was trying to kill them all, mostly by swatting them with a rolled-up periodical, but also by clapping them in my hands when they flew around.
The wall was lit gently, as if with evening light through a window or one or two 50-watt bulbs, and I went about the killing calmly and with a sense of purpose, until my alarm went off.