Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Husband and I Talk About Music

Husband: What is this? It sounds like a cat being disemboweled and strangled with its own intestines!
(Query: How does he know this? Surely even the most sordid moments of a doctor's training... )
Me: Actually, it is Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time - what, you don't like it?
Husband (somewhat bug-eyed): No, I don't like it; I don't like it at all.
Me: Really? But it's such a work of genius! And he composed it when he was a POW during WWII - he was in the French Resistance, you know - and they said he had to do a concert for Christmas, and he composed this specifically for the four instruments that they gave them in the camp!
Husband: Well, that explains it - clearly an act of passive aggression against the Nazis. But what did I do that you make me suffer so?
Me *heaves long-suffering sigh* : Alright. *Puts on Velvet Underground*
Husband (plaintively): What's wrong with Eric Clapton, or Elton John, for heaven's sake? Don't you like Sting? Why don't you like Sting?
Me: Listen, this could be the Misfits now. Do you want it to be the Misfits?

At this point, the omelet in the pan and the scones in the oven are simultaneously Done, necessitating a burst of graceless scrambling and juggling on my part. When dinner is plated and Calm restored, my ipod has shuffled over to Mozart's Requiem; as this is something we can both enjoy, I leave it on to as background music for family dinner. Infant hums along to the Dies Irae, which pleases us both and is telephonically reported to Husband's father, who proclaims Infant "a second Rachmaninov" - an improvement on the usual "A second Lenin!" that greets any and all discovery of Infant's genius super-powers.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Life According to Black Sabbath

Saw this on inkstained hands and Material Maidel and thought it would be more fun than anything I'm actually supposed to be doing.

Answer these questions using song titles from only one artist, try not to repeat titles.

Disclaimer (for the easily unnerved, if any such be present): I don't have to tell you this isn't exactly serious, do I?

Pick your Artist:
Black Sabbath

Are you a male or female:
Lady Evil

Describe yourself:
Master of Insanity

How do you feel:

Describe where you currently live:
Heaven and Hell

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?:
Children of the Sea

Your favorite form of transportation:
Time Machine

Your best friend?
Country Girl

You and your friends are:
Too Late

What's the weather like:

Favorite time of day:
Turn Up the Night

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
TV Crimes

What is life to you:
Born Again

Your relationship:
No Stranger to Love

Your fear:
Falling Off the Edge of the World

What is the best advice you have to give:
Keep It Warm

Thought for the Day:
Walk Away

How I would like to die:
Die Young

My soul's present condition:
Selling My Soul

My motto:
Fairies Wear Boots

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

7 more-or-less random things I love

Tagged by inkstained hands:

1. My work; especially those times when I can feel I am doing something of real significance - at least to a give person.

2. People agreeing with me - it happens so, so rarely.

3. James Merrill. He was a poet of whom none of you have heard (if I'm wrong, let me know - I'll actually be thrilled) and I fangirl him with the fire of a thousand suns. Seriously.

4. Music. This means most opera, anything by Mozart, Bach, or Messiaen. Also Metallica, the Ramones, the Cruxshadows, Flogging Molly. &c, &c.

5. Commenting during movies. It is a horrible, atrocious, deeply annoying (to others) habit - I know.

6. Should books even be on here? To me, reading is more like breathing - I don't think I could stop if I wanted to.

7. Learning new things.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Visit the Dentist

Last week, finally emerged from stupor of procrastination and made Appointment for Extraction of Last Wisdom Tooth and Cleaning.

Arrive at Dentist's office only twenty minutes Late and am shown to Room with customary posters depicting the grotesque Fates of people who Fail to Floss. Spend the next twenty minutes listening to Nick Cave on my i-pod and avoiding the gaze of what seems to be a gangrenous Skull on the closest poster.

Hygienist enters and turns on Some Jewish Music; sole word am able to distinguish is "oy." After the obligatory small talk, Hygienist directly proceeds to prod my gums with a hook. It occurs to me that she is Forgetting Something, but no: she pauses and brightly says that We will not be needing any pain relief here. Shallow Pockets, she says. Had my mouth been unimpeded by assorted rubber and metal paraphernalia, should have rejoined that Though she may not need it, I would actually prefer general anesthesia. Like so many others, this Thought remains unvoiced, and I close my eyes and listen to the entirety of "London Calling" while Hygienist Does her Stuff, in the process poking my tongue and almost taking my eye out with her hook. Finally, she instructs me to Rinse; does not appear perturbed by the clots of Blood I spit out.

Am transferred to Room papered with Dentists' Certificates and Diplomas, where x-rays are taken and dentist who looks like Hercule Poirot says complimentary things about my Gums. Cannot think why on earth I feel flattered by this.

Am led to yet third room, where have no time to notice the Decor, as Hercule Poirot instantly proceeds to shine bright light in my face and insert what feels like, but probably isn't, handheld vise into my mouth. He then moves away and shuffles through some papers. To my relief, Older Dentist enters the room and turns off the light, remarking that there is no Need for it, is there.

Tooth Extraction ensues; sound effects are unpleasant and put me in mind of James Herriot's tales of veterinary practice in 1930's Yorkshire. Assistant turns up Jewish Song, where the refrain is now "oy vey vey." Finally, HP tells me I can open my eyes now and shows me the Tooth lying in state on a pad of gauze. He asks me if I want to Keep it, but am disinclined to be sentimental.

Leave office with prescription for Motrin 600 and amoxicillin; about halfway home begin to wish I had asked for Something Stronger.

Rest at home for about an hour before leaving to attend employment discrimination seminar, where, against all reasonable expectation, am alert and even Participate in Discussion. Call home during break at 8:00 and speak to Mother, who says that Everything is Alright, but the Toilet is a little broken. Ask her whether she has tried the Plunger; she says Is that the black stick and What do you do, you just stick it in? Tell her to call Upstairs Neighbor in case of further Trouble and return to seminar.

Arrive at home around 10:00 to find children Asleep and Mother reading. For reasons unfathomable to myself, proceed to log on to Facebook and scroll through my friends' photo albums until suitably sleepy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Some Of My Best Friends Are Conservative

...therefore it sometimes disturbs me when they announce online that They are Right and Everyone else is an Idiot. This clearly untrue, as I am the one who is Right; in more sorrow than anger, can only express bemusement at the fact that not Everyone seems to have grasped this. Yet.

Have also noticed that, invariably, it is sensation-mongering talk-show hosts whose iron-clad logic is brought to bear on the issues. Should like to see someone quote, for instance, Stephen Carter-- a conservative thinker who seems to prefer boring and reasonable arguments to Exciting past-times such as name-calling and asking people to pry things out of his Cold, Dead Hands.

As to myself, I find it very hard to respond rationally to rants. Am instead almost irresistibly impelled to to wave Red Flag (or suitable substitute thereto available to hand, such as the recently arrived Netflix envelope) and recite Communist poetry, though am not able to remember any. Am aware, however, that this solves no problems; am further unaware of any way to accomplish what so many call for with much rhetorical (and perhaps even literal - who knows?) Foot-stomping and Arm-waving: namely, the elimination of Human Stupidity. Not even the abrogation of all Civil Rights except the Right to Bear Arms will accomplish that. No, really.

Have noticed that Political Discourse has induced excessive alliteration. Shall henceforth try to avoid this: next, expect the riveting Tale of the Raccoon in My Tree which will not give my kids rabies because the tree is too far from our window for the Raccoon to accomplish the Death-Defying Leap that would enable it to actually come into contact with any of us. Your expressions of Concern are thus Noted, Appreciated, and Dismissed.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April Is the Cruelest Month

Am pleased to inform the Public of my continuing presence on this Earthly Plane.

Am, however, much less pleased to be informed by Daughter's school that I am expected to appear and sign in at yet another gathering concerning the Dangers of the Internet; am also informed via Green Note that I should not consider myself off the hook if I have attended similar gathering at Son's school, as Girls face considerably Different challenges than Boys. Concur with the last, as problems of sexism and misogyny do present Considerable challenges, but highly doubt that any undertaking by aforementioned school likely to ameliorate this.

Also wish closer venue than Boro Park had been found; however, discover that question is moot as shall have no one to watch the kids Sunday night. The School can, nevertheless, rest assured that I shall not allow 7-year-old daughter internet access, cell phones, or video games - all this without being shouted at and told horror stories about how Bruchie got a Cell Phone, then a Boyfriend, and then Went Off the Derech and Now Lives Under a Bridge and Does Drugs (or was that a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers?) Perhaps such stories more Effective if told in darkened room with flashlight held under speaker's face? And we could light a fire and toast some Marshmallows?

In other news, have moved into new apartment on 5th floor a week before Pesach; having entire kitchen uncovered throughout Pesach was oddly satisfactory. Still not completely unpacked, and, last week, I horrified Husband by referring to our Second Bedroom as the Storage Room. Process of unpacking Books and Clothes (not that they were packed, exactly, but that discussion far too Embarassing to be undertaken publicly) equally fascinating, as both pursuits turn up Items I had lost all awareness of owning. This especially nice, since live in constant Fear of becoming like the man in Candide who had read everything worth reading and lost all interest in Life.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What I Did this Weekend

At eleven this morning, am disturbed by bathrobe-clad Neighbor ringing bell. Upon my opening the door, he informs me that my Children were banging on the Wall early this morning. Look him up and down and pointedly ask whether, by Early, he means Just Now. His Mother cracks open the door and whispers to him that it was Around Six. It was around Six, he says to me. Tell him that it could not have been earlier than Seven. Should also like to give him to understand that Drinking Less would Help and, inexplicably, to bring up the incident a few months earlier, wherein police officers were rather loudly Asking Questions concerning some of his associates. Moreover, the topic of Smoking in the Stairwell rises to mind. Repress all such ad hominem rejoinders and apologize - though am afraid apology rather lacking in proper Feeling. Really, does he think I enjoy being woken up at seven on a Sunday Morning?

Morning is spent in taking all three Children to Birthday Party at Kids in Action via bus and subway and subsequent desperate Crawl through colorful padded labyrinth in hot pursuit of Infant, who seems intent on sampling every slide, but is eventually persuaded to adjourn to the ball pit, where he proceeds to throw balls at unknown little girl. Journey home is further complicated by three helium balloons, which threaten to enmesh fellow-Passengers, as well as loudly-expressed desire of all three Children to sit next to the Window, on my lap. Can only be thankful that the last, at least, is not physically possible.

At home, receive call from Husband (who is on Call tonight), urgently enquiring Who was the First Pope? After some thought, dredge up memory of reference to Peter's Chair and venture that It was Probably Peter, which turns out to be Correct. Husband informs me that this question was posed by Nurse, who was disappointed that none of the Catholic staff knew this; whereupon my loving helpmeet bet them that I would know. Am certain this way of spousely showing-off is preferable to that described in Remarque's Black Obelisk (the only part of the book am able to recall is a man asking his wife to come downstairs and pull large Nails out of the wall with her posterior, to the admiration and astonishment of his Friends).