Heidelberg Dueling Scar


And a few unwanted facial hairs, but at sixty next month, that can’t be helped.

This is the showiest damage, though the most serious and painful part involved the quartet of bite punctures on the opposite side of my jaw. They are in a condition consistent with a resolving abscess (the term used by the hand surgeon who treated my first cat bite over twenty years ago). They may or may not drain but I’m packing them, when I have time, with a revolting soup of warm Irish breakfast tea heavily spiked with Epsom Salt.

Important information:

–The blood all came out of the shirt.

–Due to the antibiotics, which have otherwise proved innocuous so far, I can now fart a descending tonic triad, and possibly the Marseillaise. The change in tone quality and melodic precision is significant.

–He actually got me inside my left nostril, something I didn’t realize until I washed my face with oil and salt.

A person of a spiritual bent was briefly in my house last night, and offered to channel Torvald’s point of view. “I’m sorry I hurt my Mom,” she reported. “It was really big and I was scared but I coulda taken him! I coulda taken him!”

Sounds about right.

That’s Fergie’s ear on the left, by the way — the paragon of cats, giving me aid and comfort. And trying to type on my keyboIOURD.

I think I’ll go back to my bowl of tea now, and make up a story about Schlager fencing in my student days.

Spatter Pattern, or, My Cat Is A Dick

Exhibit A

You don’t want to see my face.

I think it was a raccoon outside. Torvald was looking intently at something out the screened porch, and when I stepped up beside him and bent down to see what it was, he went ballistic, launched himself at my head, bit me on the angle of the jaw and mauled me with all four paws. These were not scratches, these were slashes. I’m still finding and cleaning up the droplets that fell from the curtain of blood I saw when I ran to the bathroom sink to pour peroxide over my head.

Five hours in the emergency room for an antibiotic prescription, a tetanus shot and some bandages. He would pick a Friday at midnight when people were coming in with acute alcohol poisoning.

The Cute Engineer gets a solid-gold star for driving me. I probably would have run off the road.

I’m working on clients, but then, they can lie back and shut their eyes. Eeek.


And he doesn't even know he's a dick.

And he doesn’t even know he’s a dick.

Still My Favorite

I posted about this ages ago, when there were only two minute clips available online.

Now YouTube can blessedly make the whole thing available, no longer limited to those ten minute segments even.

What it is, is the local station broadcast one of Foote’s other chamber pieces — the Piano Quartet — and it set me off, so that I went looking for this, then went for the gold and found the entire score for free, along with a gazillion others by the same composer, Goddess bless the Internet. I restrained myself as much as I could and only printed out this one, so that, despite a pianistic dexterity that could be bettered by a bonobo chimp armed with a two-by-four, I can (as long as I’m alone in the house) go down to the music room and fumble my way through the easier passages to my heart’s delight. I think Foote’s hand must have spanned a major ninth: the piano part keeps heaving them up. (I can just about flog a tenth if I go on the edge of the keys, so I’m safe.) I believe I have heard somewhere that Rachmaninoff had a twelfth. People with these gifts like to show them off.

Right there at 7:35. Or again at 25:00. Shamelessly lush, ruthlessly dense, like drinking Spatlese in a room full of velvet curtains and chandeliers, or a chapter from Huysmans. This guy was a Unitarian kapellmeister? It would probably be bad for your triglycerides to listen to this kind of thing every day but some Bach or Arvo Part ought to be a tonic.

There are a load of vocal pieces, too, with dedications to such entities as “The Impromptu Club of Walton, Massachusetts” and  lyrics by the likes of Tennyson. I’m in big trouble here.

A Forgotten Poem of Li Po

I have it on the best antiquarian authority.

Feline Depredation

Golden lamps totter drunkenly
In the autumn chill;
Should we not do likewise,
we whose little lamps
will gutter in Winter’s breath?

Torvald — large, loutish and ungainly — decided earlier this morning that he needed to get down from the mantelpiece in a tearing hurry. Owing to prudent habits, I was able to replace the original shade, whose fragments are still turning up in odd places, but the lamp standard itself seems awkwardly hors de combat. I ordered a new one from Overstock.

Really: Li Po would have liked the air breathing through the screens of my sun porch, a few days past the Harvest Moon. And my lamp.

Sigh. Another Reason To Hate Pink Ribbon Month.

Because now the dirty energy industry can proudly say it’s making people “aware” of breast cancer.

“Our hope is from the water cooler to the rig site to the coffee shop to everywhere, someone gets this information to their spouses, their girlfriends, their daughters so we can create awareness and end this disease forever,” said Bill Debo, director of operations for U.S. land drill bits at Baker Hughes.

I don’t know what alternate reality is inhabited by a guy who thinks that it takes a guy who’s seen a pink drill bit to enlighten the women in his life on this subject. It does take “mansplaining” to a whole new level of creative idiocy.

Never mind that the Komen Foundation, the mother lode of the ubiquitous pink things, has made the issue of women’s cancers into a travesty by allowing any and all products, however carcinogenic — cosmetics teeming with xeno-estrogens, or water in BPA-laden bottles, for example — to adorn themselves with that saintly little twist of pink that says the manufacturer is donating a few cents per purchase to “research” and “awareness,” while doing adorable things like trying to off-load Planned Parenthood and utterly ignoring the role of medical, commercial and environmental hormone mimics in triggering cancer.

The fastest way you can make me put your product back on the shelf is to stick a pink ribbon on it.

The Psoasinator

The Minotaur said I could keep some of his kettlebell and sports rehab books for as long as I wanted them. He just set five world records in his age class for Olympic lifting and I guess he is in an expansive mood.

I was actually ready to give them back, because the physical therapist whose book I really liked turned out to have a yea useful channel on YouTube, where you can view short four and five minute videos about various ways to stretch, decompress, shear, and otherwise mobilize reluctant connective tissue. I still have this stubborn ass thing going on — I can’t yet do a butt to heel squat, or proper racewalking without hiking poles — and when I’m tired I walk as if I’m on a ship’s deck in fairly high seas. When I am feeling cussed, or am in a position to prepare myself with snakebite medicine, I try some of his tricks. They do work.

Part of it is just a nerve-muscle unit problem though. I crossed the path of Rehab Babe, my favorite trainer at Gold’s, back on Tuesday and unwisely told her how much her last slate of exercises had revived my ability to move snappily on my feet. I did a few hops and twirls, hitching only slightly. An unholy light entered her eyes and she promptly installed me on top of a box platform, ran a couple of resistance bands under it at oblique angles so that they pulled me toward about one and two o’clock and, of course, seven and eight, if I had been standing on a clock face turned toward midnight, which I wasn’t, but you get the picture. “Hoick the bands up to your shoulders so you get steady resistance and squat,” she said.

I squatted. The drag hit me right at the heart of my left butt where a couple of  muscles have been steadily refusing to do their job without complaining and going on strike. I squatted some more, and kept on doing it in sets of about fifteen until my rear end was probably glowing. “They don’t call me the Ass Whisperer for nothing,” said Rehab Babe, proceeding to truss me up with about four more of the things threaded through my lifting belt. I am not sure what happened after that because it hurt too damn much, but after two days I felt pretty damn good and could actually drop into a squat below parallel without my left hip trying to make a break for my ribcage. There is still a lot of stuff gummed up in there though, and I decided it was past time for me to make a Psoasinator.


That is a quartet of tennis balls, held together by duct tape (yes, Hello Kitty duct tape), forming a stable pyramid that will send compression force way deep into your buttock, your quad, your hamstring, or your psoas, which if you have not met it lately is a ribbon of muscle that stabilizes your center of gravity from the front; it starts on your spine just below the diaphragm, emerges from your interior pelvis by crossing your pubic ramus and dives under  muscles to attach on the inner thigh bone. I work it on my clients, which can include gently jiggling chitlins out of the way and doing a slow deep stroke that traps the thing against the front of the vertebrae. You can kind of do it to yourself too, but not with a lot of force since you can’t lean from your own center on gravity on your own center of gravity. This solves the problem.

You park this contraption on the floor, position your pubic bone over it, drop your weight and proceed from there. It is special. This is the best two-bit fix since someone shoved two tennis balls into a gym sock. It’s like having a third elbow that you can jam anywhere.

Never say I don’t know how to have a hot Friday evening.

What was your last new toy?



It’s late, I’m tired, and I decided to have a surf over music videos before going to bed, but I had to smack myself robustly to make sure I had not already nodded off and started to hallucinate.

I think it’s the gingham and the “lonely goatherd” lederhosen that still have me pulling weird facial expressions. The kid didn’t do a bad job, though.

Chatter on YouTube indicates he is currently a bass. I can’t wait for Sarastro.