Monthly Archives: January 2009

Yeah, I’m a Roman. Noticed the toga?

“Ha’yom  a’ni  ro’mai’ii” I told my randomly chosen ‘victim’. (“Yeah, today I’m a Roman.”
“Sue me.”, I should have added.
     What I did last thursday morning felt good. Too good, considering it was a bad thing.
Background: Every time I complain about the abysmal lack of any semblance of thoughtfulness and consideration in this tiring little Middle Eastern country, at least on the day-to-day level, I hear, from the less-than noble man-in-the-street, the same mantra. “When in Rome, do as a Roman.”

Now a diligent scholar such as moi ought to really examine the context of this famous dictum; perhaps it was actually advice to like, total bar’bar’im (barbarians) to sit up and act right. Here it’s advice to go get your own License to kill.
Anyway, some little ‘jook’ (‘cockroach’) got into my ‘rosh’ (‘head) on thursday, and I decided to do an experiment. Follow along in your textbooks:
Pull out into traffic without signalling or even looking. Turn the radio up full blast to the most vile ‘music’ you can find. Double-park the car in front of a busy kiosk in the center of town. Waddle into the store, and, noticing a line of people, each one waiting for his perfect shopping list of nuts from the one guy on duty, loudly demand that he give you a pack of cigarettes. I did all this. Ok, I started to feel bad even with the double-park, but a deal’s a deal, and I’d decided to learn what pigs feel, if anything. So I mumbled to the lady-in-waiting something like. “Slicha, ani kho’sem me’sha’hu” (‘Sorry, I’m blocking somebody’) This is a standard lie, to which she said, (and I translate): “There’s no ‘sorry’, that’s just chutzpah”.

I loved it! Confirmation that I had, in fact, succeeded so far in my mission. I didn’t remain bullet-less, instead, I defended my manner-less-ness, in line with the local morays’ code of conduct:
“Bitch, whoever the hell you are anyway, my whole history here is one of being tramped on by your kind. Tough shit, now it’s your day to suffer.” I could have added “And you can suck me off…”, it wouldn’t have been an un-precedented remark here.
I ran out of the little store with my purchase, to see not one(1) but two(2) guys trying in vain to get their cars out of my ‘blockade’. They both started to curse at me, and I ignored them like they were worms on the sidewalk, took my time getting in my car, turned the radio back on, and drove off.
That’s about when the feeling of complete success overcame me. I sang along to ‘Umm Cul Faq’u’um, whoevah; it felt like the day the Romans landed a man on the Moon (oops, deviant narrative), and I felt just euphoric and peachey for like five hours.
I’ll never do this again, I promise. But somehow, I Needed to Know. And I Found Out: Boors, louts, ignorant bastards, sick little psychopaths, macho hot-air-balloon types, they feel great, probably around-the-clock. Their joy is at the expense of others’ misery, the knowledge that they have stated their bloated self-importance un-compromisingly. The fact that Hobbes promised them a life ‘nasty, brutish, and short,’ seems not to have been fulfilled by the Ethical ‘Invisible Hand. The guilty go unpunished, by and large. Even sick-ass Bibi Netanyahu, after maybe the worst career as Prime Minister in recent history, is running again. What, the electorate is all Alzheimer’s voters?
I recount this story for educational purposes only. And I now return to my turn-signaled,// ‘No, you were here first’,// ‘Would it bother your dog barking all night if I closed my windows?’ Nachum-Tachum ™ self, named after a famous local toy, an inflated clown, weighted at the bottom so that you could punch him  and he always bounced back up as if begging for more abuse

Q: You happy now?
A: Yup, ‘cept I really shoulda asked her to do me, while I was on a roll…
Q: So finally, a true story?
A: Absolutemente, but with a moral. Hope I made that clear.

Q: I’ll have to read it again…


S&M made easy, I guess, if you go that way.

“You’re not the same, Sam..” I put my hand on his shoulder, on the walk back to our cars in the lot at the assembly plant.
“You seem semi-depressed”. I added, for clarity’s sake.
“Simon’s simply incorrigible.” he explained. They’d broken up a few days earlier, I’d heard.
“So many ‘Someone-special’s out there, Sam“. I consoled him, thinking maybe that would cheer him up.
“I want it with a Sumo; ‘sumptious’, I’m sure it would be, for both of us.” Sam’s eyes looked kinda glazed over as he struggled to fish the keys out of his pocket, I think   

That’s when I realized I’ll never have a clue about the gay-life. At least they have good taste in the Arts… and Letters. Vowels, at least.So… have any of you readers ever fantacized about roping or being reaped by a Sumo wrestler?

Q: Ya done it this time, boss..
A: Hey, all the popular blogs end with a question.  I learned how to do it on the Xanga Front Page.
Q: Yeah, but with a dumb question like this?
A: Generally, yeah. Usually, even dumber than mine.
Q: Good luck, guy. I’m straight, by the way.
A: Me too, and whoopie for us, otherwise we’d be discussing ‘Our Relationship’.
Q: What, straight guys can’t have relationships?
A: Sure, but like, ‘buddy-flick’ stuff, you know, where they work together to find all the S-M words that use like a-e-i-o-u, and in order, too…
Q: Bingo, my question exactly: ‘ order’
A: Duh. In order to say  ‘I’m clever, you’re clever; let’s hug.’

Q: Thought you said you was straight, chum…

Incident Report: “Witch Switches Wishes; now Which Wish was the Witch’s?”

     I knew she was a witch the second she came around the corner. Over a block away, leading a small black dog. Something about the dog, I think. Sure, it’s easy to identify the obvious ones, you see ’em on their broom-sticks at night, at times even flying across the face of the moon like ET, pointy black hats and hooked noses. Get lucky and sometimes you can  hear their unearthly cackles as they achieve cruise altitude and level off, bound for who knows where..
But this one was pedestrian, and in civilian garb at that. As we approached one another I understood the clue of the dog: Not just ‘black‘, no, this creature was nothing but a canine ‘black hole’, a dog-shape with no features except its black invisibility.
    And then she looked at me. The eyes of a thinly disguised predator assessing mainly caloric content, though with a wisp of a smile to throw off the victim.
“I want you.” was her opening salvo. That I wasn’t prepared for. Her purple sweater clung tightly to her breasts, but even on that warm Israeli evening I noticed the frost clinging to her bossom, like on the space shuttle rocket when they load the liquid oxygen. Yeah, witches’ tits. They are real, and a real challenge to warm up to. Or to warm up at all. I wasn’t planning on it. At the time.
“Sleep with me tonight and you get two wishes.” she announced, her voice a little shaky.
Two wishes? What happened to three?”
“Two wishes.” She made it sound like…and that’s my best price, take it or leave it…“You know what I am?”
I shrugged, “…we’re just bickering about the price.”
She thought that was funny. Yeah, witches do sometimes laugh… like, normal, non-maniacal chuckles. I still didn’t like the deal though.
“Wishes first.” I countered. I knew my rights. (yeah, from all the previous times I’ve had to negotiate with other-wordly beings.)
“Ok, Shoot.”, she agreed, with a little toss of her jet-black hair. Hmm.. She folded easily. I liked that in a witch.
“Oy, there are so many things I could wish for;” I stared at the darkening sky, ” friends to raise from the dead, lifetime pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni, (no anchovies), a car that starts without running it down a damn hill….”
She looked at her watch, and her doggie snapped at a moth, which took a few seconds to disappear inside his event horizon. I sensed impatience.
“I just wish I didn’t have to pick one. It’s tough, you know, tryin’” I muttered, stalling.
“Granted.” was all she said. Like a fair discussion moderator, but with more… more oomph. More EQ. Her voice had changed. Wait! Could it really be?
“And your second wish is that our night together shall be The Time to Remember © for the rest of our…”

    I could feel my body start to quiver, then shake.Every heartbeat sent her… her wishy-ness toward my fingers, my toes, and especially, toward… well, I don’t have to reveal everything… My veins felt like the night Flaco finally came through with a bag of un-trod-upon smack, and we banged that shit, me drooling “Esta bien, muy bien..” before I went and puked behind a tree, there in the Park.
But still, this was different. Cleaner. Deathly romantic. I needed her desperately, like a proton needs an electron, like a sodium needs a chlorine, like a rabbit needs a hole, like…
“I get the point.” she put her strong arms around me and laughed. Ok, maybe she cackled, but I didn’t care. I was watching  my wish come true. ‘A Time to Remember’, was that it?

I only remembered the pizza and the new car the next morning. Damn

Q: Finally, a true story.
J: Hah. You wish!
Q: No, that’s your ‘expertise’, J.
J: Oy,don’t remind me, can’t you see I’ve suffered enough?
Q: Still sore, huh?
J: ‘Be careful what you let somebody wish for you’, shoulda learned that a while ago, tell the truth.

Heroism by Association

I just had to send a mass email to all the various heroes-in-their-own-right Solbergs, when I discovered that the pilot of the Aerobus-on-the-Hudson was ‘One of Us’.  His picture in the Israeli daily “Yediot Aharonot” was what tipped me off; the proud Emmental  face. A dead ringer for any one of my uncles. Genealogy being an exponential function, I’m not particularly suprised that we we not all summoned to stand on the Inaugaration Stage. Still, coming from a long line of pilots, I do feel a reflected glory…

 Great News (Glory by Association)
Ok, if anyone who read about the pilot of the American Airlines Aerobus 320 who became a national hero by bringing the behemoth down safely in the Hudson River a few days ago wondered whether he was was related to us, well YES! He’s one of Ulrich-the-Brave’s brood. Ulrich Solberg came with his little brother to Philadelphia harbor in 1732. He moved to Lancaster County PA where he had five kids, one of whom was John, our immediate ancestor.
But another son, Michael (born 1786) had Albert (b.1812) who had Samuel Jacob (b.1846) who had Chesley the First (born 1882) who of course had Chesley the Second (born interestingly enough in 1917; ring a paternal bell?) And that Chesley had a son who is Our Hero.
I’m a bit too estatic to figure out precisely what that makes us (sixth cousins?) but I just wanted to let everyone know the good news. The spelling change happened during the historical move from western PA down to Virginia.
That’s all for now. And congratulations on having a president we can be proud of, for now, finally. -js-

“I read what I read” (What’s he trying to say?)

     Spregley apparently thinks he’s my Mom. Maybe I was the first duckling he saw when some maternal instinct blossomed out of his hermaphroditic soul. A cherub face, looking nothing but odd on a 60 year old librarian’s pudgy body, but I was trying to concentrate.
  “You’ll never finish ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’“, he clucked, “Nobody ever does.”

I looked up from what I’d wrongly assumed would be a quiet table in the corner of the Reading Room at the Cofrin.
  “I’ll go get you ‘The Old Man and the Sea’“, he continued, “ hard-cover..” Spoken with a tone which dripped ‘book-fetish’, at least to my ears. I weighed the option of ear-plugs on my next visit.
“Hey, I read what I read.” I defended my lit-list against this horse-fly of an ointment, whispering maybe a bit too loudly for the hallowed hall we were condemned to co-inhabit simultaneously.
“No really, you were on page 287 last week“, he stuck his bloated little pink hand into the book, and pointed to the number in the corner, “…and now you’re back on 193.”
This was none of his business.
“Squeg, go alphabetize the Card Catalogue or something.” I probably sounded pissed. “Sometimes I just read what I read last week, y’know, to be sure I didn’t miss any of the ‘pynschon and pullin’.”
Not a trace of a smile. Yes, it’s tough being cleverer than 99% of the human race, I sighed, thinking of Xanga, for example. But still..
“You’re just here for the heat, Mista Solberg.” Squegley said accusingly, holding out his fat little paw and making a failed attempt at a gesture he’d seen on TV, which if properly mastered is supposed to convey the counting of paper money.
“Comes out of your pocket?” I growled. “Hey I pay my fines on time.” There I was, in two sweaters and a wool coat, allegedly basking in the maybe 50 degree ‘comfort’ of ‘his’ dumb Library.
‘”War and Peace’, twenty days late, ‘In Cod Blood’ four weeks. Four weeks!” he rattled them off. The guy seriously needed to get a real life. It hit me all of a sudden that he knew my name, but first things first:
“Yer mamma’s got ‘cod blood’, you illiterate blow-fish,” I was starting to resent this guy.
“…and what, that’s your job, memorizing my details on the Dis-honor roll? You went and read what I read?”
was all he could say. God knows what Squiggy  meant by that, and God ain’t telling… not me, at least.
“Yeah, I do read what you’ve read” he admitted, as if the revelation would suddenly make us bossom buddies. “It’s part of my job; identify the client base.”
    That did it. We’d hit all the permutations. The novel ‘V’s triumph, I recalled, was in describing the obsessive impulse to ring all the changes, but when the job is through, well,  you can go home again. I pulled on my hat, gave Squggs a dismissive little salute, grabbed my book, not caring to place the bookmark, and ran out the door. The Green Bay cold hit me like a shock-wave, but at least I was free to think in peace. Now where’d I park my car? Lot 49?

Q: Um, why this, and why now?
A: I just love watching Xanga’s nifty HTML editor do its magic, I guess.
Q: You do realize we’re just hours away from Inaugaration Day?
A: Yup. I’m drinking lots of salt water, so the tears of joy won’t dehydrate me.
Q: And the story, I mean, like, what’s its point?
A: Oh, I just thought you’d enjoy reading it, Otis, while you’re sittin’ on the dock of Green Bay or something…
Q: God, you’re so oblique. That’s a curse, right?
A: I’d have to see the whole triangle before I’d answer that.
Q: Can I go now?
A: Sure. Just remind the Readers of their constitutional duty to vote on my stories, like, once every four years.
Q: “…So help them, God“?
A: Whatever works, Q-sie

In the News: “Fed Waring Sings Impeding Domb”

Yes, I never really sleep. I lie half-awake and ‘read‘ dream-generated Xanga posts, Reuters stories, abstracts from the Journal of Neuro-colonoscopy..whatever’s bugging my subconscious that night.
    And last night I encountered  the headline in the title, and spent all too much Rabid Eye Motion wondering “What can this mean, and should I even risk clicking on it?”
Johnny 1: “It’s a typo, obviously. Who’s the feed from?”
Johnny 2: “Xinhua somebody… it sounds like the owner’s manual for my Air Conditioner.”
J 1
: “Poor babies, they’re just trying to make a living in the global..”
J 2: “Global, Schnoball, lern too speek. before you send the ad copy to the printer, I say.”
J 1: “Ok. But we got a breaking story here, time-critical. What’s the Fed saying?”
J 2: “Saying zip, buddy. Can’t you read? That’s “Fred Waring sings… um.. something.”
J 1: “I extremely doubt it. Nobody’d recognize that old black&white turtle-neck nowadays; they’d have to have put a bio-note right there in the lead.”
J 2: “So then what, ‘Fed Warning’? a sing-a-long ‘warning’?”
J 1:
“No, ass-wipe, it’s obviously ‘warning signs'”
J 2: “I’ll choose to ignore the insult, but do it again and I’ll smother you with the pillow.”
J 1:
“Sorry, ‘Never go to sleep mad’. I forgot that one. Anyway, so now we got ‘Fed: Warning signs impeding..'”
J 2: “Yeah, impeding the dome… They’re trying to build a dome and the signs keep getting in the way.”
J 1
:”Um.. it says ‘Domb’
J 2: “Yeah, as in ‘Comb‘”
J 1
: “Funny. I’d bet on ‘Doom’‘as in ‘Tomb’, or ‘Womb‘”
J 2: “Yeah right. As in ‘wombat’. Yer Mamma’s womb..”
J 1
“Now who’s being abusive at 3:00 AM?”
J 2: “Ok, ‘Impeding Doom’. Funny, never heard that expression.”
J 1
:” ‘Impending Doom’? Is ring bell?”
J 2: “Don’t mention bells. The alarm’s set for 5:30, you know..”
J 1:
“Hey wait, ‘Impending doom’, that’s from the site we were reading, about heart attack symptoms: ‘..a feeling of impending…'”
J 2: “But what’s the Fed got to do with it?”
J 1:
“Duh. They’re like, warning us. You know, ‘We all gonna go broke and die'”
J 2: “Great, in our sleep?”
J 1:
“Yeah, with the Fred Waring Singers on the Victrola, crooning..”
J 2: “I lost my ass.. in San Francisco, up on a hill, it calls to..”
J 1:
“That was Tony Benny-somebody, get your time-line straight”
J:2: “So do we click or not, guy?”
J 1
: “Nah. Just scroll down. The article’s probably all in pidgin just like the header.”
J 2: “Hmm..‘Methane found on Mars’, that’s from AP. What do you think?”
J 1:
“I think you probably just left the gas on. Go check, J”
J 2: “No, you go check, I don’t feel like getting out of bed.”
J 1:
“Great. So we’ll die of one thing or the other..”
J 2: “Nah, You never really die in a dream; you wake up just before you hit the wall”
J 1;
“Maybe ‘Domb’ as in ‘Bomb’?”
J 2 “Don’t start it up again. Plus, we on Mars now.”
J 1:
“Great. No worry. ZZZzzzz.”

What is the best way to show someone that you love them?

Deja voo-doo-doo all over again. I already addressed this here: Looks like my Grammar Lesson didn’t “catch”. But note the stellar comment exchange on the post. We are Not Alone


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