Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ops Meeting Notes, November 24

The Deputy Assistant for Hair Whipping and Dairy Product Consumption begins the meeting by noting that she will require disbursement of additional funds (€ 1) for the upcoming Charismatic Transportation project (A.K.A the Field Trip.)

The Managing Director and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee thanks the Deputy Assistant for her feedback and affirms that an R & D team will look into the matter. She then asks for updates from each unit.

The Vice Chair for Fried Foods and Belated Laundry Folding begins by noting some extant confusion in his department regarding use of the Cast Iron Pans. Is it the smaller one which is only for roasting, and if so, will the Managing Director please define "roasting"?
He also reports that Bed Sheet Replacement and Sanitation was completed at approximately 17:20 Sunday evening.

The Junior President in Charge of Kitty Litter and Chortling notes that, as the Deputy Assistant has yet to return her balloon, the Deputy Assistant will henceforth be referred to as "caca." Or possibly "lulu."

The Deputy Assistant registers an objection to this comment.

The Junior President continues, noting that the Second Undersecretary for Rodent Removal has been bathing in the toilet again.

The Second Undersecretary affirms this last, and adds that any and all household entities resembling mice--including shoestrings, wet sponges and the feet of the Junior President--have been warned to get out of town or face immediate Mexican drug cartel-style retribution.

Duly noted.

The Managing Director and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee reports that the Holiday Celebration (i.e. Thanksgiving) will be downsized due to the absence of most of the usual suspects in the greater Vienna area.
She adds that "roasting" shall consist of, but not be limited to, preparation of onions, Grieskoch and pasta re-heats. She further notes all use of said pan is predicated on a mandatory and subsequent hydration process (i.e. "soaking.)
In addition, The Managing Director reports that immediate action is required on the Kitchen and Bathroom Sink Washer Replacement project, the Cellar Clearance and Moldy Furniture Destruction Initiative and the immanent Prague Visitation.

The Vice Chair inquires as to whether immediate action may be postponed until tonight after the Simpsons?

Meeting adjourns.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Needs versus Wants

Need: Chips and salsa
Want: Nachos

Need: Motorhead-Ace of Spades
Want: Deep Purple-Who Do We Think We Are

Need: Bic Medium Ball Point pens (black or blue)
Want: a laptop

Need: my family
Want: my family in good spirits

Need: Robert De Niro
Want: George Clooney

Need: a hot bath every once in a while
Want: Sauna Night with Anette

Need: a public library
Want: Facebook, Pirate Bay, Demonoid, all blogs

Need: long underwear
Want: my fuzzy gray pimp coat

Need: coffee
Mindless Self-Indulgence: ginger tea

Need: Barack Obama
Want: a hero

Monday, November 15, 2010

My First Therapist


That hurt a little.

* * *

So Anette and I decided to go see a family therapist. We thought it might help ease the chaos in our house, maybe help us avoid some of those special Shouting moments.

So we get to the place on the appointed day, and we meet the good doctor. She talks to the kids for six or seven minutes, and talks to Anette and I for more than an hour. At the end of it, she says, “The kids are fine.” Then she looks at me and says, “But you, I want to talk to.”


I flashed on a close-up of Anthony Hopkins, wearing that cute mask, in The Silence of the Lambs. I never actually thought of myself as a fruitcake, but what the hey, everyday’s a journey, right?

But the doctor, who I’ll call Frau M., said some sensible things. She actually said some of the same things I’ve been saying about our family dynamic for awhile now. Anette smirked a couple of times and said to me, “You like her, don’t you?”

Still, the idea of seeing a shrink was a bit, um, daunting. Scary. I said as much. The doc put on her best quizzical face and said, “Why scary?”

“Well, you want me to talk about some personal stuff,” I replied, “And I don’t even know you, do I?”

I agreed to try it. I mean, back in the day when I interviewed that French performance artist who broadcasts her own plastic surgery operations, and she asked me to eat foie gras with her, I did it, didn’t I? Would this really be any different, any more scary, any more icky-squishy? No.

I went back to her office, alone, the other night. We had a very expensive 85-minute conversation. It was sort of exhausting.

But I think it was also…good.

We started off talking about some of the challenges of parenthood, then she took me back, back, farther back to my own childhood, and some of my challenges in those days. As we talked, she found something that happened to me—a little thing, honestly—and she started turning it over in her hands. Or, really, asking me to turn it over in my head. She asked me to go back in time and talk to my seven-year old self, to help him. That was cool. Because I could do that, you know? It was easy for me to be a dad, big brother, hero--whatever—to that kid, because I’m all grown up now. I’m a man.

Then she brought it all back around to me trying to deal with V. in a better way. Now I think I can do that too.

And it made me think about my Dad and my Mom and Adinah and my life in a different way too.

Today, I went back to work, and met the usual mix of good, bad and ugly. But I felt like Mr. Clint Eastwood—cool, glacially chilled, unmoved by both nonsense and aggression.

No. That was a cheap movie metaphor. Here’s a better one. I actually felt more like that guy in Office Space, who gets stuck in a psychiatrist-induced trance, and goes to work not giving a fuck. And everything is just No Big Deal, my friend. No problem, hey that’s okay, sure, that sounds…fine.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Halloween and All Saints (Holi)Day 2010 Top Ten

(not necessarily in order of enjoyamability)

1) Giggling hysterically as me and four little girls made two videos at Jib one with V. as a rappin' Dracula and me as a very green Frankenstein; the other with me and the little girls as, uh, Chippendales dancers. (Is that wrong?)

2) Walking through the enormous Zentral Friedhof (Central Cemetary), past other tourists and mourning Serbian families, on a brilliant autumn morning.

3) Walking down from Leopoldsberg to Nussdorf, looking through crimson and golden leaves, across rolling hills and vineyards, at Vienna laid out below us, nice and cozy-like.

4) An apparently limitless stream of bad-good and bad-bad Drive-In Sci Fi flicks uploaded at Demonoid by a mysterious schmaltz hound named Bippy Dog. It has included amazing stuff, like The Navy Versus the Night Monsters, Daughter of Horror and The Brainiac.

5) Laughing, holding hands with and just watching V., as she comes into her own. She is more confident, articulate (with actual words), and well, happier, I think.

6) Donning the Monkey costume (full-body fuzz, with an enormous cartoonish head) for the first party I've been to in a long, long time.

7) Reveling in Hot Blood's classic 1976 album Disco Dracula, which includes both "Soul Dracula" and "Baby Frankie Stein," which sound like Barry White with fangs, in a soft-core porno film.

8) Noticing that Adinah is still wearing her costume: sweat pants and a shirt printed with the image of a skeleton. Now it's her pajamas.

9) "Arguing" with Jan about whether or not zombies are monsters. (Of course they are, just like Sharon Angle and British Petroleum.)

10) Fondly remembering Booberry and Chocula.

Monday, November 1, 2010