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austin_dern

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Mar. 19th, 2012

My boss needed me, urgently, for a presentation at 10:30 am that Thursday and much as I wanted to be with my fiancee, he couldn't do without me. So like a good trooper I got up early in the morning --- and saw my mother in her rapidly deteriorating condition --- and made my way.

I was unhappily separated from BunnyHugger, but we got back together, in time for me to learn how badly off my mother was.  )

Back home, the Toyota Something was outside, so I supposed that whatever my mother had wasn't too serious. Inside, it turned out my mother was staying in the hospital overnight, but, she was resolved to be back out Friday. [livejournal.com profile] bunny_hugger and I had a mildly early bedtime, because I had work on Friday, but, better work.

Trivia: Annual gin production in England in the middle of the 18th century was about eight liters per capita. Source: Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants, Wolfgang Schivelbush.

Currently Reading: Steel Pier, Atlantic City: Showplace of the Nation, Steve Liebowitz. Among remarkable things shown off at the Steel Pier: the Gemini VII capsule, the world's largest typewriter (keys had to be pressed by a person jumping on them), Rex the Wonder Dog who turns out apparently to have been for real and not just a sarcastic reference to the dog who's done something dopey in your sight (seriously, doesn't ``Rex the Wonder Dog'' just sound nearly as sarcastic as, say, ``Lord High Admiral'' or something, and not just the name for The World's Only Aquaplaning Dog?), and then you get into ``what the heck, people?'' territory. Putting to the side the chapter on the diving horses but what the heck with those, people, there's Professor Nelson's Steel Pier Boxing Cats (``the funniest animal act on the American stage today'' and probably source of that grainy black-and-white footage Letterman drags out now and then), Abdy's Boxing Kangaroo, and then about Gargantua the Great, a gorilla who went from the Steel Pier to fame and fortune with the Ringling Brothers. But says the book:

``During his voyage to the United States in 1931, a sailor had accidentally thrown nitric acid on the gorilla's face, leaving a scar that looked like a hateful sneer.''

Oh, yeah. Sure. Nitric acid in the face accident. Happens all the time. What is wrong with people?

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