So Claudia is not back yet.
She flew into Munich... and they promptly closed the airport; heavy, heavy snow.
She's now in London, trying to catch the afternoon flight to Yerevan. If it works, she'll get here tonight... 18 hours after her scheduled arrival, most of which will have been spent in planes and airports.
The boys took it hard this morning. Alan didn't want to go to sleep last night, and he was up in my room looking for her first thing this morning. David wailed at her on the phone: " But I MISS you, Mommy!!"
Well-oh. In the meantime, I have learned to make pancakes. I am no sort of cook, and they're strangely flat and crepe-y, but they are recognizably pancakes and the boys eat them with gusto.
Oh, and we had a burst pipe last week, with water pouring through the living room ceiling all night and half the house without electricity for a couple of days. But that's so last week. We're over that now.
Claudia and the boys left for Germany this morning.
A peculiarity of life in Armenia: almost all the flights from Europe arrive between 2 and 5 in the morning, and leave between 3 and 6. So, if you're flying here from Munich, you arrive at 3:30. Flying out to Prague, leave at 5:10.
This is a bigger deal than it seems, because if you're going anywhere in Europe or the US, you change planes in Prague, Munich, or Vienna. So you'd better get used to Zvartnots Airport in the wee, wee hours of the morning.
A few quick links.
Here's a fun link from local blogger Christian Garbis about style in Armenia. It's funny because it's true.
Here's a thread over at Crooked Timber which sucked up way, way too much of my time in the last couple of days. Short version: the Exile is mildly amusing and occasionally interesting, but, well, not all that. I just got annoyed at... well, read it only if you're a completist. I don't know why I'm even linking to it. Come to think of it, just skip it. Moving along.
Totally randomness: this morning I heard Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" coming out of the radio. Damn, I thought, I haven't heard that on the radio in years... but radio here is pleasantly idiosyncratic, and all sorts of odd stuff gets played.
This evening I find that Andrew Sullivan has posted the video. Go figure.
(My God, Gabriel looks so young.)
We're not finished with those chipmunks! More animated rodent madness next week.
And that's all.
You think I'm joking?
We get one cartoon channel here. It's German, which is fine -- the boys need to keep up their German anyway.
The cartoon channel always has a big Sunday afternoon matinee movie. Since it comes in by satellite, and we're three hours ahead of Germany, for us it's a big Sunday night movie. It's always a feature-length animated film, shown intact without any commercial interruptions. Which doesn't mean it's any good, of course... in fact, the norm is some dreadful straight-to-video cartoon.
But this week it was The Chipmunk Adventure.
(Do you want to read about the Chipmunks and the Chipmunk Adventure? No? Then go away now and click on something else.)
Backing up the old computer in preparation for the new. Wow, my computer is so old...
The Pure Product of America: How old is it?
It's so old that the USB transfer to the back-up hard disk isn't compatible with my ancient operating system! [rimshot] Wait, that wasn't funny.
Anyway. I'm not dead. I am a little tired and bored with myself, to use a lyric I have been throwing around lately. I'm thinking about mirroring content elsewhere, so I can post those pictures of
Lindsey Loh Denmark. Also, libel!
Additionally, if anyone knows of a way to download comments from Movable Type, lemme know. I'd want to keep the metadata, not just the HTML.
Never fear, I'm not going to leave Doug by himself. (What do they say these days? "Oh noes!")
The Pure Product of America: How old is it?It's so old that the USB transfer to the back-up hard disk isn't compatible with my ancient operating system! [rimshot] Wait, that wasn't funny. Anyway. I'm not dead. I am a little tired and bored with myself, to use a lyric I have been throwing around lately. I'm thinking about mirroring content elsewhere, so I can post those pictures of
I used to hate mornings.
I like staying up late at night. I'm not even going to try defending or explaining that. The hours between 10 pm and 1 am are just a particularly sweet part of the day for me. Seems to be pretty deeply wired.
I like staying up late at night, and I like sleeping. If I don't get enough sleep, I get dopey and easily distracted. Also, I'm just unhappy. I miss getting enough sleep. I miss it like you miss... something you really miss a lot. You know. Like that.
So, hardwired night owl + need my sleep = don't much like getting up early in the morning. I can tolerate it if I can get a nap in the afternoon, but there's this thing called "work" that somewhat complicates that. Once in a while I can slink home for a long lunch hour, but, you know, when you're the boss that's actually harder. When you're an employee you just have to avoid the boss's attention. When you're the boss, you have to somehow avoid everyone's attention. I'm not complaining, just saying that the afternoon naps are not so easy to come by.
Up to now, having small children hasn't made any of this better.
The title says it all.
If you're not reading Claudia's blog, here's what happened: a couple of weeks ago, we found an injured kitten in our back yard. (The injuries looked like cat scratches. Best guess, a tom had attacked the litter.) Then, a bit later, we found its sibling -- the neighbor boy had it on the blade of a shovel. So we adopted the two kittens and tried to keep them alive.
Short version: It didn't work.
Actually, I was back Wednesday. But you know how it is.
I have pictures of random stuff in Denmark! if I can figure out how to download them.
The Pure Product of America: zzzZZZzzz. What kind of random stuff in Denmark, Carlos? Any hot chicks?
Cool Greenlandic Eskimo artifacts, some waterfront shots, the corpse of a two thousand year old murder victim they found in a bog (male), a guy near Christiana wearing a Brett Favre jersey. Some art. Noel recovering.
The paper went pretty well. A little bit of vaudeville. One person asked if we had rehearsed it. (Not as such.)
Danish beer, while good, is (gasp!) overrated. However, Danish smorrebrod, with shots of snaps -- cognate to schnapps -- is excellent. Good herring produces an almost ridiculous sense of well-being.
More to come.
The Pure Product of America: zzzZZZzzz. What kind of random stuff in Denmark, Carlos? Any hot chicks?Cool Greenlandic Eskimo artifacts, some waterfront shots, the corpse of a two thousand year old murder victim they found in a bog (male), a guy near Christiana wearing a Brett Favre jersey. Some art. Noel recovering. The paper went pretty well. A little bit of vaudeville. One person asked if we had rehearsed it. (Not as such.) Danish beer, while good, is (gasp!) overrated. However, Danish smorrebrod, with shots of snaps -- cognate to schnapps -- is excellent. Good herring produces an almost ridiculous sense of well-being. More to come.
Been a little busy lately. To tide you over until I can breathe again, here are some of my creepy Onion friends' (TM) links:
Joe Garden has a blog. He has far more crap than I do.
Dan Vebber has a website. He watches far more cable shopping television than I do.
Maria Schneider has it. She expresses it far more capably than I do.
Todd Hanson has a job. (I think.) He has far more bizarre correspondence with Merrill Markoe than I do.
Amie Barrodale has dating advice. She uses parallel constructions far more than I do.
Over to you, Doug!
From the Washington Post:
"Ta Mok, known as "The Butcher" for his brutality as military chief of the communist Khmer Rouge, died July 21 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, his lawyer said. He was believed to be 80.
"Ta Mok had been in and out of consciousness since last week at the military hospital in the capital, where he was being treated for high blood pressure, tuberculosis and respiratory complications, attorney Benson Samay said. Ta Mok had been in government custody since 1999."
What caught my eye: the name of the lawyer.
Some idiot attacked my parents and my sister on the Chicago El. I say 'idiot' for a number of reasons, not least because this person started a fight over her own bad manners, nor that she attacked them with a CTA person in the next car, but mainly because she let my parents get the drop on her, with the result that this crazy woman ended up with her legs pinned to the floor of the car by my mom, and her arms held behind her back by my dad.
Anyway. It's funny (although my sister got a hank of hair pulled out, interceding). But, gentle readers, you would not believe how angry it made me. I have not been that angry in a long time. And, as some of you may have figured out, I'm already kind of an angry guy. I've repressed it, most of the time. (Now it comes out as 'pissy'! Woo.)
"But," as Carrie from Bad Mama said, "you haven't maimed anyone." Which is a common career path for very angry people from our neck of the woods. I did unconsciously twist an innocent coat-hanger into a small metal ball while brooding about this incident, which freaked the hell out of me. The proximate cause of this post.
I believe I've mentioned before that I dislike being angry? There are some bloggers who thrive on it, who go out of their way looking for reasons to be outraged. Apparently their lives are that inane! Junkies.
Me, I like other things. The anger is secondary.
Also, the troll magnet? It's hereditary.
Okay, I need a short break. I feel as sharp as a not very sharp thing. One of those. You know. Things. Not sharp.
So I will be going on a super-glamorous retreat for a few days! a happy place, where I can sip wolfberry tea, realign my chi, and rub suntan oil on well-read dancing girls.
(Well, no. I will be staying at home, eating butterscotch pudding, and watching Justice League Unlimited torrents in my boxer shorts.)
In the meantime, I have some guest blog posts lined up: we will be finishing esteemed commenter Noel Maurer's trip in the Philippines; we will be starting young master Luke's series on life in Cairo; and we even have some wartime stories from Noel's father, Leon.
Sounds good? Like you have a choice. Ah, well. Trust me.
I'm feeling better! Thank you, A New York City Math Teacher for the turkey stock and the beer-making equipment, and Leah for the wild blueberry muffins.
The plan is to make a summer lager, with maybe some elderflower and lemon or citron peel. (We've done this before.)
Also, a Trader Joe's has opened in Manhattan on Union Square, and it carries Usinger's bratwurst and knockwurst! Woo-hoo!
I may be the last person in Brooklyn to have heard Matisyahu. (I've seen the posters. I don't live under a rock.) Wow. Hasidic reggae, and let me tell you, that combination works. People -- all sorts of people -- in the mosh pits dancing to "Jerusalem, if I forget you". (Let my right hand forget what it's supposed to do.) Jamaican dialect and Hasidic nigunim scat.
My antibiotics can cure ulcer bacteria and chlamydia! I am set.
There used to be a set of long staircases going from the World Trade Center's lower level down to the PATH train to New Jersey. I once managed to trip and fall down about a third of their length. This hurt much less than you might think, and I got up and went down the rest of the steps (more slowly) to work.
Today, I know where the pain from that day went. Gah. Some sort of viral muscle joint throat horror.
Despite having glowing reviews from Gordy Doctorow and Emma Bull, Stephan Zielinski's Bad Magic is actually good. C/D, Yerevan (y/n)?
My friend Alexandra gave me this behemoth jerrycan of official State of Vermont Pure Maple Syrup. A gallon's worth, about four liters, five and a half kilos. It looks like this, but even more so. Z gave me a bag of Vietnamese coffee beans from her recent trip (we're pretty sure it's not this kind). And Onion John recorded some Killdozer for me. Perhaps I will sing some for you. Yes.
You know, considering that this line connects us to the world, to newspapers, blogs, email, to friends and relatives, to facts and trivial stuff, to music, videos and online kids' games -- for all that, it's a remarkably unremarkable cable. It's thin. It sneaks in over the roof and through the window into the study. Thin, black, a little twisted. But it's a DSL line and the force is great with that one! Yohoo!
Well. Excuse me. It's important to us.
A nice weekend, everyone.