I went into town early this morning to get the groceries, and then came back home expecting to post to the blog, but then the whole day romped away from me! Followed by a deep need to nap.
The lawn guy was here earlier, informing me that baseball season is officially over for the local kids and now football season has begun. (This is, of course, assuming that none of the kids develop COVID symptoms, because as soon as one of them gets it, the whole team goes into quarantine, etc., etc.)
Well, this switch from baseball to football is an indicator that the summer is as good as gone here in the Hinterlands! How the fuck does that happen, gang?! I mean, come on. 4 seconds ago, it was early June and the world was my (COIVD-19-infused) oyster.
Time indeed marches on. Even though I’m not happy about it.
As loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall, Mondays are now my days to catch up on other writers’ works, give them feedback, etc. Today, I am still focusing on the Netherlands travel guide that my friend, Roger Gaess, in Brussels wrote. (Whatever Comes My Way: Travels in the Netherlands.) I really love this book. I’m learning so much about places in the Netherlands. And also a lot about the beer he likes to drink, how frequently he likes to drink it, when & where he likes to smoke weed (and how much), and what he thinks about while doing these things in various locales in the Netherlands. (I haven’t even gotten to the chapter on Amsterdam yet. I imagine that will be of great interest.)
He also notes architecture a lot, which is really interesting, but then it makes me wish he had photos accompanying his comments. (He’s a photo journalist by trade, so he must have photos somewhere!)
But, seriously, I am really enjoying the book. And I am sort of marveling at his bravery — to just go wandering, with only a general idea of what he hopes to find and then usually finding it.
For whatever reason, whenever I am in Europe or the UK, I am almost always staying at the homes of colleagues. And here’s something important to know about me: I have no sense of direction. None. Even all those decades that I lived in NYC, I had to pay extra special attention to which river I was heading in the direction of in order to know for sure that I was almost always going the wrong way.
ME (thinking anxiously): Shit. That’s the Hudson River. I’m going the wrong way! Now I’m going to be late for my fucking meeting!
ME (thinking anxiously): Shit. That’s the East River. I’m going the wrong way! Now I’m going to be late for my fucking meeting!
Always. One time, while staying at a colleagues house in London, I came up from the tube station and immediately, without any hesitation whatsoever, began going the wrong way. It was after 11pm and it was, of course, dark. And it was just a neighborhood, you know? Just houses and streets. I had no landmarks. Everyone in every house seemed to be in bed asleep. Everything was just dark.
I wandered the neighborhood and sort of began to panic. I had brought my cellphone on the trip but had left it in my room because I couldn’t get service on it in the UK. But thank god, I found one of those things called a phone booth. And I even had British coins in my pocket!
And so I went into the phone booth and realized I had no clue what my friend’s phone number was because I always called him on my cellphone. I couldn’t even remember his address, although I knew the street name. I had of course forgotten that I would be coming back to his place in the dark of night and that recognizing his house in the pitch dark wasn’t something I had practiced, or anything.
It was really a scary feeling. Thank goodness two young women came down the street I was on and helped me at least find the right street. And eventually I stood in front of what I thought was his house for several moments before going up to the front door and letting myself in (they were all asleep).
But that is just so me. Generally clueless about where the fuck I am, no matter what language anyone speaks. So Roger’s book is really fascinating to me in that regard. He just sets off, in some other language, and arrives generally where he wants to be.
I’m guessing you’ve heard by now that President Trump wants someone (like Microsoft) to buy TikTok really soon or it’s going to be banned here in the US, as well. (It’s already banned in India and Australia is considering banning it, as well. And all US federal employees are banned from having it on their phones.)
I hope somebody does buy it because I really did enjoy it, I just didn’t want the Chinese tracking everything I did on my phone…
(Of course a certain NYC-based newspaper that I no longer give much credence to assures us we are all over-reacting, but it was also a NYC-based bunch of officials who assured us that the Coronavirus (as it was once called) was not contagious. And to date, of the 231,000 people in NYC alone who got the virus, 23, 021 New Yorkers died from it. So, you know. I’ll get my news somewhere else now, thanks.)
It’ll be interesting to see. Hollywood is dying to make a truckload of money off of TikTok so it’s really important to not ban it for any pesky national security reasons. And we need Hollywood to make a truckload of money. It’ll re-assure us that COVID 19 has not ruined absolutely everything in our culture.
Well, sorry this post came so late in the day. I’m going to get back to reading Roger’s book now. I hope that what’s left of Monday is really good to you, gang, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with my jaunty driving-to-town music from this morning. I’ve posted it here before, but here it is again. Einstürzende Neubauten, “Ten Grand Goldie,” from their new album Alles in Allem. I don’t really know what it’s about because I don’t speak German, but the song is still really catchy! So enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!