Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

Three years of Xmas sweets

September 12, 2017

On the 8th, a posting about Ann Daingerfield Zwicky’s notebook of memorable meals at 63 W. Beaumont Rd. in Columbus OH from August 1969 (when we arrived in Columbus) through 1974. After that there are only a few scattered pages, including one in Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky’s hand that reports on the 1980, 1982, and 1983 versions of a long-standing household custom: making great piles of sweets (candies and cookies) for guests at Christmastime.

These three lists make for warm memories, but also sad ones, since 1983 was the end of the tradition. In December 1984, Ann was too close to death for there to be any kind of Xmas celebration. She died a few weeks later, in January, and the Ohio Christmases came to an end; Christmas 1985 was Jacques’s and my first one in California, in a new and different life.

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Further adventures in medicine

September 12, 2017

Background: I’ve been a bit short of breath for some time, but with stretches of phenomenally hot days (starting back on a day in May when it was 110 F in downtown Palo Alto), things got dramatically worse. The nephrologist at first thought it might be connected to my reduced kidney function (there’s a complex story of possible connections there), and then the cardiologist was quite sure the problem was with my heart, probably the coronary arteries, and ordered up a series of scans and tests. (I’ve endured a great deal of doctoring, with lots more to come: cataract surgery starts on the 27th.)

In there were heart CT scans, which showed nothing that would explain my shortness of breath. Nobody was particularly concerned about my lungs, however, since they sounded so great on stethoscopic examination. But a chest CT scan, done on August 29th, however, showed two things:

Calcified granuloma in the right lower lobe. Areas of subsegmental atelectasis, especially right lower lobe.

I will explain. In any case: spirometry and a pulmonologist’s appointment on the 25th.

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Dinners at Beaumont Rd., 1969-1973

September 8, 2017

Samples from a notebook kept by Ann Daingerfield Zwicky (with my help) of dinners at 63 W. Beaumont Rd., Columbus OH, for 1969 through 1973 — dinners that were notable for their food, their occasion, or their company. We moved into the house in August 1969, after Ilse Lehiste engineered my move from UIUC to OSU, so she was our first guest. On a very yellowed page:

(#1) 8/14/69

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Locked out, memorably

September 8, 2017

A little while ago my old friend J, an American, went to an international linguistics congress. From a message to me yesterday (edited to conceal identities), about an encounter J had with a European colleague, G, there:

(Note: not an accurate depiction of my Staunton Court condo, or of J or G.)

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Sex puppies for the holidays

September 3, 2017

(Talk of men’s bodies and mansex in very plain language, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Two holidays and anniversaries: yesterday, today, and tomorrow, the Labor Day weekend in the US (the unofficial end of summer, made dreadful this year in the Bay Area by relentless all-time record-breaking heat; today in Palo Alto is merely predicted to roughly tie the all-time record, which means that it’s billed as MUCH COOLER than yesterday); and then on Wednesday, my birthday, #77, bringing images of Ed “Kookie” Harris snapping his fingers on the Sunset Strip and of the rainbow element, atomic number 77, the metal iridium (named for Iris, the goddess of the rainbow).

So, yesterday, along with the escapist pleasures of binge-watching police procedural tv from several continents, my customary weekend gay porn break (a tonic for both body and soul). Specifically TitanMen’s Closed Set: Titan Stage One (from 2006), which I turned to because of a Falcon Studio Labor Day porn sale ad, with an actor in it who reminded me of sex puppy Cole Ryan (who figures prominently in Closed Set).

Yes, my mind takes many twisty turns.

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Annals of NomConjObj: Miss Adelaide

August 24, 2017

Yesterday from Ben Zimmer, e-mail saying that he’d recently seen a performance of the musical “Guys and Dolls” and thought I’d appreciate an exchange in the song “Marry the Man Today” (one of the songs that was cut for the movie adaptation), a duet for the characters Adelaide (Miss Adelaide of the Hot Box girls) and Sarah (Sister Sarah Brown in a Salvation Army band):

Adelaide: At Wanamaker’s and Saks and Klein’s
A lesson I’ve been taught
You can’t get alterations on a dress you haven’t bought.
Sarah: At any vegetable market from Borneo to Nome
You mustn’t squeeze a melon till you get the melon home.
Adelaide: You’ve simply got to gamble.
Sarah: You get no guarantee.
Adelaide: Now doesn’t that kind of apply to you and I?
Sarah: You and me.

(referring to Adelaide and Nathan Detroit, who runs a crap game; and Sarah and Sky Masterson, a high-rolling gambler)

You can listen to the song, in the original cast album, here.

A NomConjObj (nominative conjoined object) from Adelaide, corrected by Sarah. The first instance of NomConjObj in my life that I actually noticed — surely not the first that came past me, but the first I was conscious of, and tried to locate in its social world (working-class NYC low-lifes, in the show) — also part of my first experience of a live performance of a musical, in the original Broadway production, which opened in 1950. I was 10, and it was stunning.

(#1) Playbill from the original production

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Future’s so bright

August 22, 2017

(Mostly about my life, but there’s some medical vocabulary in there.)

At the dentist’s last Thursday, me wearing 😎protective eyeglasses😎:

(Photo by Kim Darnell)

After cleaning, just before setting up a long appointment for next week, to get two crowns, the day after an appointment with the nephrologist and not long before two months devoted to cataract surgery begin.

This week is the only one in months without a single medical, dental, or optical appointment. Whee! It’s vacation!

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No moths, no squirrels, no rats

July 24, 2017

Also no blue jays, but the three-NP version has the best music.

This is mostly about pests and my life, but there’s language and music in there too. Also a pro wrestler performing angry rejection:

(#1) Daniel Bryan of WWE’s SmackDown show

I’ll start with my pests (in more or less chronological order) and go on to uses of negation.

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Neighborhood gardens, heavy on purple

July 12, 2017

Walking around the neighborhood these days, in between heat waves, alone and with friends, mostly enjoying gardens and street plantings and identifying what we see. Most delightfully, this elaborate container garden in front of a house on Bryant St., just a block from mine:

(#1)

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Chast, Haefeli, Kaplan

July 6, 2017

Three cartoons from the latest issue (July 10th and 17th) of the New Yorker, by Roz Chast (heirloom hot dogs), William Haefeli (gay couple with dog and baby), and Bruce Eric Kaplan (a visit from Dr. Seuss).

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