Archive for January, 2011

A Touchy Subject (Part One)

January 17, 2011

Put delicately, I have what one might call a “highly developed sense of personal space.”

Put casually, I don’t like feeling crowded.

Put bluntly, don’t touch me unless I know you extremely well . . . and maybe not even then.

Mind you, I also have a fairly well-developed sense of politeness (if only so I can ignore it when I so choose), so I can shake hands with a smile, and have adapted fairly well to the South Florida custom of hugs and cheek kisses.

Sometimes it’s more effort than others though.

Insert Your Own Deforestation Joke Here (PG-13ish, But Subtle)

January 14, 2011

The other day I was told that a certain variety of lice was becoming less common, particularly around Brazil, due to “habitat loss” caused by the styling practice named after said country.

While this may or may not be true, it does make me wonder if a more in-depth study (so to speak) would find the species desperately hanging on around airports . . . (And since this reference will be obscure for some, think landing strips and just be happy I decided making a rainforest joke would have been too tacky.)

Philosophically Suspect

January 13, 2011

Last night the idea of “If you don’t directly know that something exists, does it exist at all?” was brought up to me in conversation. 

Irritated, I retorted “I’ve been told that some philosophers have claimed that it does not, but as I have no direct knowledge of their existence, clearly their argument doesn’t exist either.”

How Do You Think You Got Here Anyway?

January 12, 2011

So I was talking with an old college chum last night.   (If I call her a “chum” it makes it seems less like I’m talking about a girl yet again.)

Now one of the great difficulties with spending time with people that you share any sort of past with is determining which things are still safe to tease them about, because, for example, just because they laughed at the time when they ended up dousing themselves in the fountain, doesn’t mean they still find it funny.  (For the record, I do still find that funny.  I really didn’t think that fountain would be slippery enough to make me lose my balance.)

So I thought I’d stick to safer topics for a while, and mentioned yesterday’s post about “joie de vivre.”  The conversation meandered for a while after that, until a story that I hadn’t heard before was told about her parents, prompting me to make a comment about her parent’s own “joie de vivre.”

And then . . . the same person who had nodded approvingly at the idea of my joie de vivre, was suddenly begging for a toothpick to gouge her own eyes out at the idea of her parent’s joie de vivre.

Somedays it amazes me that humanity manages to reproduce at all.

How Do You Think I Got That Way In The First Place?

January 11, 2011

One of the most amusing things to me about fatherhood is how some people (none of who are L’s Mother) seem to have difficulty with the concept that I maintain, and plan to continue to maintain, my . . . my . . . let’s call it my “joie de vivre.”  While no one has been gauche enough to out and out confront me on this, there are times I can almost hear their thoughts:

Among other things, it’s time for you to stop appreciating pretty girls.  You’re a family man now!

Anyone who knows me at all, should find my response to that notion . . . predicitable.

Technical Difficulties (Part One of One . . . If I’m Lucky)

January 10, 2011

My computer up and died over the weekend.  Fortunately, if it was going to pick a time to die without warning, it picked a time when I wasn’t on any particular writing schedule. 

So far that’s the extent of the good news, but these are the early days, and yea, though I call to the center of the support of technical, I shall fear no frustration, and all that.

It’s Still Easier Than Juggling Knives

January 7, 2011

It’s been almost a full work week of it just being L. and me alone during the day, and some of you may be wondering how I’m holding up.  Let me put it this way . . .

Things this week actually went smoother than I anticipated.  So much so that in my minutes of spare time, I’ve started developing a circus act for myself:

I’m going to bill myself as “The World’s GREATEST juggler.”  When I’m introduced, I’m going to walk out to the center ring, hold up L. and say “I’m a single father. (1)  Think about it.”  Then I’ll take a bow and walk away.

(1) Yes, I know that’s not what the term “single father” generally means, but I’m L’s father, and there is only one of me, after all.  It’s a showbiz thing.

P.S.  About the title . . . I really, really mean that.  I still have the scar on my foot, you know.

Grimm Reminders (Part Three)

January 6, 2011

Upon further reflection I, of course, realized that . . .

Actually that was the moral.

Spelled out in a typically over the top Grimm fashion, mind you, but the fairy tale is basically the tale of a man who fears not the vengeance of the Sparrow because he figures there’s nothing a mere sparrow can do to him.

Lot of good wisdom in those old tales.

Granted, if it was my story, I’d think the point would be made just as well if the dog were merely almost hit by the cart, and the Sparrow’s vengeance stopped at the casks, if only so I didn’t have to hear my audience protesting “That is not the way it happened!  Tell the story right!”

On the other hand . . . there’s something to said for any story that tempts me to say “Back off, man!  Or I will go completely sparrow on you, and I do not mean Captain Jack!”

Grimm Reminders (Part Two)

January 5, 2011

Now I’ve read a lot of Grimm’s tales in my time, but I don’t pretend to have read all of them, so some of these stories are new to me, and one of the new ones I’ve read so far particularly stands out, a tale dealing with a Sparrow’s revenge.  Even by Grimm standards, this one’s pretty dark; by tale’s end we have:

Body count

  1. One dog (the Sparrow’s friend he’s avenging)
  2. Three horses (innocent bystanders, killed by an ax-wielding merchant aiming for the Sparrow)
  3. One heartless cart-driving merchant who ran over the dog despite the Sparrow’s warning

Property lost

  1. Two casks of fine wine (the merchant’s cargo, drained into the dirt after the Sparrow pecked out the corks in the casks)
  2. One cart (abandoned after the merchant was tricked into killing the horses needed to pull it)
  3. One field ready for harvest (devoured by a flock of the Sparrow’s friends so the merchant would have no food)
  4. One house and assorted belongings (destroyed by the merchant in an attempt to kill the Sparrow)

Psychological victims

  1. One merchant’s wife (tricked into killing her husband as she aimed for the Sparrow)
  2. Arguably, at least, every reader of this tale

Given all this, I think it’s forgivable that my first thought after finishing this story was:

And the moral of this story is . . . do NOT **** with Sparrows!

Grimm Reminders (Part One)

January 4, 2011

So I got a compilation of Grimm’s Fairy Tales for Christmas.

Technically, the book is L’s, and he shall certainly have it . . . someday, but as these are the largely undiluted Grimm’s tales, and as such tend to run pretty . . . well . . . grim, I want him to have enough language skills for us to talk about them before hitting him with any “And the sisters cut off their toes in an attempt to fit into the glass slipper” stories.  And I’ll be waiting a few years after that before even thinking of discussing that some people claim an even older version of the story involves, euphemistically speaking, a “fur slipper,” not a glass one, which puts a really different spin on things.

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Particularly when one starts to wonder how the sister’s toes fit into the picture in that version . . .