Friday, November 02, 2007

Departures And Arrivals

Joshua and I moved over to my parents’ house tonight after work, and we will remain here until Monday night, November 12, Veterans’ Day.

Tonight we helped my Dad get his things ready for Zurich, and we had a special dinner. After a few phone calls yesterday, my mother succeeded in locating a fresh carp she was promised she would like, and we had baked carp for dinner, one of my mother’s many, many specialties. It was superb.

She served it with twice-baked potatoes and fresh green beans and fried red tomatoes and grilled red, green and yellow peppers. Before the main course, she served us one of her most complicated garden salads. It was a magnificent dinner. For dessert, she had made a raspberry-white chocolate torte. It was divine.

We will take my Dad to the airport early tomorrow afternoon. Afterward, we will come home and begin to get things ready for Thanksgiving.

Over the next week, Josh and I will help my mother get the house ready, and get lots of foodstuffs stored. We will have a lot of fun, and before we know it my Dad will be back and we will be joined by everyone else.

My Dad will get back next Friday, in the middle of the afternoon. My Mom will pick him up at the airport. That night, Josh and I will go to the airport and pick up my brother from Denver. Late the next morning, we will all go to the airport to pick up my older brother and his family.

We will all be together for the long Veterans’ Day weekend. At the end of that weekend, my middle brother will return to Denver and Josh and I will go back to our apartment. That will give my parents and my older brother and his family four days to spend together before my middle brother returns that Friday.

We are pretty much going to work on the house this weekend, all weekend, getting as much of it as possible ready.

On Sunday afternoon, we will go to Saint Paul to see a performance of “Agnes Of God”. Josh and I have seen the movie, but neither of us has seen a staged performance of the play.

My parents attended a performance of the original Broadway production of “Agnes Of God”, which starred Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Ashley and Amanda Plummer.

My parents say that they remember very little about that original production except for the fact that the stage, for most of the play, was enveloped in a thick cloud of cigarette smoke!


  1. Please tell me what will happen in the 2008 Presidential Election. I asked Joshua last week. He said he had no idea and to get back with him a year from now.

  2. The outcome of next year’s election is a foregone conclusion.

    88 out of 89 studies show that the winner of American Presidential Elections is always the candidate with the most pleasing ear shape.

    Just last evening, I completed reading the most recent research on this subject, the 72,000-page study by Professor Finneas Flitnostril, noted American Studies scholar at The Piedmont University Of Upper Northwest Silesia Minor. Professor Flitnostril—with assistance from his cousin, Melchior—analyzed data from the 1852 contest between Franklin Pierce and Winfield Scott and reaffirmed this longstanding principle.

    Professor Flitnostril’s publication will be available in Britain in time for Christmas through prestige publisher White And Feld, Nickels And Son.

  3. "White And Feld, Nickels And Son". I died laughing!

    Do you know I met Lord Weidenfeld once?

    Well, 88 out of 89 studies surely can't be wrong! And with such an esteemed figure as Professor Flitnostril behind the studies, I think we can all be assured that the research is credible!

  4. And cousin Melchior.

    Don't forget cousin Melchior.

  5. No, I most certainly shall not fail to credit cousin Melchior!

    I plan to place a pre-publication order tomorrow at Waterstone's in order that I am assured of getting one of the first copies!

    Do you know whether Professor Flitnostril (and cousin Melchior) plan to do any book signings in London?

  6. Professor Flitnostril is currently in Salamander, holed up in The Plantagenet Suite at The Pallisers Hotel, consulting with the Vicountess Egmont-Saxe-Mildew on her forthcoming book, “Housing Shortages During The 1952 Helsinki Olympics And Their Effect On Post-Allende Chilean Agrarian Reform”.

    Apparent the Vicountess is having some problems with her research regarding The Duke Of Omnium, who is covered in some detail in a lengthy footnote.

    This does not bode well, I fear, for any forthcoming London book event.

  7. I am very sorry to hear that the Vicountess is having footnote problems!

    Is Madame Max Goesler there, too, at The Pallisers Hotel?

  8. Alas, Madame Max had to return to Vienna, where one of her relatives was involved in a tragic flugelhorn accident.

    Can you forgive her?

  9. "Can You Forgive Her?"

    I am dying laughing!

    Let's hope Madame Max makes it safely to Vienna.

  10. It is probably all for the best that Madame Max was called away.

    Remember that nasty litigation involving the Vicountess and Madame Max?

    You know, that dreadful lawsuit in which Madame Max accused the Vicountess of plagiarism in her 19-volume masterpiece, "Cooking With Pickles"?

  11. Ah, yes, "Cooking With Pickles".

    I received the deluxe edition as a Christmas gift several years ago.

    Hardly a day goes by without my consulting one of its nineteen volumes.

  12. My favorite concoction from that essential publication is "Lobster And Pickles A La Risholme", the very recipe in dispute during that unfortunate lawsuit.

  13. Ah, yes, I remember it well.

    The tabloids here devoted massive coverage to the emotional breakdown of Miss Mapp during her testimony. She was unable to carry on once she was questioned about the recipe theft.

  14. Miss Mapp was at sea over that matter, wasn't she?


    "Miss Mapp was at sea over that matter, wasn't she?"

    Yes, she literally was!

    I am literally screaming!

  16. I can't believe how funny you are!

  17. Well, I am running out of jokes, Calvin.

    Do you remember that the musicians in "Can You Forgive Her?" were named Flutey and Blowhard?

  18. Were they really?

    No, I had forgotten that.

    "Flutey and Blowhard"--good names for Tony and Cherie Blair.

  19. The musicians were, indeed, given the names Flutey and Blowhard. Trollope sometimes got carried away with his names, didn't he?

    Cherie's shenanigans got very little coverage over here. Oddly, her oddball doings received tons of coverage in Australia, perhaps more coverage in Australia than in Britain. I always thought she was a real piece of work.

    The oldest Blair son, however, turned out quite well, I am told. He worked here for a time, on Capitol Hill.

    What is hard to believe is that, on Capitol Hill, the Blair son worked for Republican legislators, not Democrat legislators.

    I would not have thought that would have played well back home, and certainly not played well with other members of the Labour Party.

  20. The Blair children were given a pass here, primarily because the Royal scandals are always so much more interesting.

    Do you read the Australian press?

  21. Not really, but I have four friends from Australia, and they send me articles quite a lot.

    We met when we were all 14 years old. We had all been sent to a tennis camp in the Austrian Alps, to learn to play on clay. All five of us went to the same camp, for two summers in succession, and then none of us ever returned.

    We always kept in touch, and we all met again in Italy in 2002, and traveled throughout Italy for a month.

    We found that we still all got along so well that we did the same thing in 2003, except that year we traveled through Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and The Czech Republic. In 2004, we all spent a month in England, Wales and Scotland.

  22. Have you ever been to Australia?

  23. No.

    One of the guys got married last year, and he asked me to come down and stand up with him.

    I couldn't go, however, because I was studying for the bar exam.

  24. I've never been to Australia, either.

    A friend of mine, Edythe Harrison, is reading your blog.

    I told her about you guys.

    She says you have the most acute mind she has ever encountered.

  25. Tell Edythe she needs to get out more.

  26. She's a quant. Edythe knows brains when she sees them.

    How was "Agnes Of God"?

  27. Interesting premise, but the playwright did not know how to shape or develop his material.

    We had a good time, though. It was a nice Sunday afternoon out for all of us.

  28. Have you heard from your father?

  29. He sent my mother an email when he arrived at his hotel Sunday morning, and he sent her another email early Sunday evening just before he turned in.

    He will send her an email tonight before he goes to bed.

  30. Did he have a chance to do anything yesterday?

  31. He walked around the Altstadt all afternoon, and visited the two Munsters.

    He was afraid to go to a museum for fear he would become tired, so he mostly stayed out-of-doors.

    He says he likes Zurich.

  32. Well, then, it's good he got to see the heart of the city.

    It's too bad your mother did not go with him.

  33. She didn't want to spend four days on her own in a new city.

    I can understand that.

    If one of us had been able to go with her, she would have gone in a heartbeat.

  34. Your mother is a very nice woman, Drew. You are all very lucky.

  35. Boy, don't I know it.

    My brothers and I hit the jackpot when it came to both parents.

  36. You are a lucky guy.

    I'm going to turn in soon. I have a very early meeting in the morning.

  37. You, too, Drew.

    Greetings to Joshua and your mother.

  38. Calvin, my sister-in-law, Lizbeth, (Chief Of The Grammar Police and a psychiatrist, to boot), wants to pass on two points of interest to both you and me.

    First, she says we should both be awarded certificates of retardation for misspelling "Viscountess". She has not decided which of us is more at fault: me, for starting the misspelling; or you, who she says should know better.

    Second, she is ready to sign commitment papers for both of us.

  39. She will need to sign papers if I am to get any assistance from National Health!

    And I really MUST be more careful in the spelling of titled nobles, imaginary or real!

  40. I had to read this eight times to be assured of catching all the jokes, and I am still not sure I caught all of them. You should be a playwright, Andrew.