Category Archives: Life

The one reason

Watched Tuesday’s Daily Show last night, the one with Amy Yates Wuelfing & Gibby Haynes. There was much discussion of a particular show at the apparently legendary City Gardens club in Trenton NJ, where Mr. Haynes was playing with his band the Butthole Surfers and Jon Stewart was a bartender. Ms. Wuelfing noted that on this particular night, management had to call the cops to get the band to leave.

Mr. Haynes replied simply, “What’s the one reason a band would refuse to leave?”

So I wondered and pondered, and my immediate first thought was that they were afraid of getting beat up or stabbed in the parking lot. (Mr. Haynes even mentioned that he’d been stabbed on stage once.) Everyone else, including, I’m sure, you, dear reader, knows the real answer. I am ashamed that I did not think of it.

And I really should have known! I know this.

From Cub Koda’s 10 Rules of Rock and Roll:

2. Rock and roll operates on the beat of the Geedus. Put the money in the Cubmaster’s hand and the Cub will rock (that is, no Geedus, no rockus).

source: Marsh, Dave, and James Bernard. The New Book of Rock Lists. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. p 3.

I am never as wise as I hope to be. I am never as smart as I think I am.

Typical Conversation about Comedy

Dawn: There was Laurel & Hardy on TV on Saturday afternoons. And the Three Stooges.

Edward: I never liked the Three Stooges. I liked Laurel & Hardy more. And the Marx Brothers most of all.

Dawn: The Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges are different people?

[long, long pause]

Edward: Please don’t say things like that.

Dawn: [laughs] I guess they are. One is three of them and the other is four.


Edward: We have to stop talking about this.

Math Games

This morning on the train, I sat down and opened up the Examiner to the games page to do the Kakuro. A few minutes in, I notice the guy next to me, with his own Examiner open to the same page. Only he was doing the Sudoku. I saw that he’d already done the KenKen, which was only a 4×4 grid. “Hah,” I thought. “Amateur.” I smugly went back to the big kids’ puzzle.

I was maybe halfway done with the Kakuro next time I looked over. He was finished with the Sudoku and was working on the Kakuro now as well. And he was maybe three-quarters done with it already. I set back to work, furiously now. No way he was going to beat me.

Of course he did. “Wow. You are fast at that,” I told him. He laughed. “I get a lot of practice,” he offered, quite nice and good-natured about it.


There’s been something of a stinkbug invasion here in the mid-Atlantic this fall. We’ve had pretty small ones, though, compared to this honking monster that a friend in California encountered yesterday.



For some reason, the ones I’ve seen have mostly been on the Metro. I guess they’re commuters too. Like me.

This California specimen, though, is a great wonder and mystery to me. We all agree he’s a Pentatomoidea, right? But beyond that, who knows? He’s bigger and much narrower than Halyomorpha halys, our brown marmorated stink bug. He’s narrow like Mecidea major, the narrow stink bug. But, then again, he’s got more of the coloring of Halymorpha than Mecidea.

What is he?

Baby Raccoon on the Metro

I was on a Green Line train on my way home. Our train stopped at Fort Totten, and some girls, clearly tourists, who had boarded with their family at L’Enfant Plaza, spotted a baby raccoon on the wall next to our car. They were charmed, as young girls would be, at such a cute little baby animal, taking pictures of it and all, but then they lost interest in it when it fell off the wall, under the train. I was horrified that it had fallen, and I got off at the next stop and caught the next southbound train back to Fort Totten. I was able to find the little guy on the tracks, and he was going back and forth, crying and fairly helpless. He was tottering back and forth — I couldn’t tell if he was just too young to walk straight yet or if he was maybe injured somehow.

I asked the next train driver if there was anything he could do to help. He directed me to a supervisor, who said they wouldn’t do anything. So then I tried the station manager. Then another Metro worker. Then another. I called Dawn to get the number for the Washington Animal Rescue League, but she volunteers with them and said that she knew that they didn’t do wild animals. She gave me the number for DC Animal Control instead. I called them and they said they might send somebody but they might not. Jesus, would nobody would help this poor little thing?

I fretted and paced and waited while train after train came through, but nobody else came to help. So I emptied out my backpack, thinking maybe if I could get down there I could put the little guy in it and somehow get him back to the grass over the other wall. I waited until a train came through and the big board said it would be six minutes until the next one. I jumped down from the platform onto the tracks and went over to try and rescue him. He was crouched under the high voltage rail, of all places. I grabbed him by the back of the neck, hoping he’d go limp like a kitten and let me pick him up. But instead he tensed all up and started screaming and bared his teeth, so I got scared and let him go. It was only then that I noticed how bloody his front paw was, how hurt he was. I was afraid to touch him again, though, so I climbed back up on the platform.

There’s a camera right there, so very close to where I jumped down. I was sure that sirens would go off, that the station manager would come over the loudspeaker and scream at me to cease & desist, that passengers on the platform would start yelling, that something would happen anyway. But nothing. There was a woman nearby kinda watching me, but she didn’t say anything until I came back up to the platform. She said maybe she saw sparks shooting from the raccoon’s tail when I touched it, like maybe it had touched the high voltage rail or something, but I have my doubts about her seeing any such thing. Surely hope not anyhow.

Around this time too some other raccoons arrived on the scene, an adult and two equally young pups, from up the hill, the same general direction from where this one had fallen down onto the tracks. They were all chattering, maybe calling to each other. Every so often one of the other babies would climb up towards the wall from where the one fell, and I’d groan and yell and tell them to get off there. Would another one of them fall? The adult, the mother I assumed, kept grabbing these by the neck and trying to carry them back up the hill, but she could only take one at a time, and the other would cry or try to climb up to the same precarious wall.

Animal Control called me back, and then I called them back. I kept asking when some agent would arrive, but he was coming from the other side of the city, apparently, and was stuck in traffic. And after all this time I was a nervous wreck, worried about the already poor hurt raccoon on the tracks and scared that one of the other ones was going to climb up and fall as well. I finally had to admit defeat and run away. I boarded the next Green Line train that came into the station and went home.

I called Animal Control again later, from home, talking to the same woman I’d been speaking with before. She didn’t have any news. She said that she’d have probably heard from the agent if he couldn’t find the raccoon on the tracks, so maybe that’s some good news. She said she was working again tomorrow afternoon, and I told her I’d call her back then.

Hundimiento Zona

Hundimiento Zona 2 (1)

Originally uploaded by Gobierno de Guatemala

Really, really, very really, really weird sinkhole. It’s strangely so perfectly round, and the seemingly bottomless-ness is freaky too.

I always find it discomforting, I feel ashamed and stupid somehow, when an event or phenomena is apparently actual and real, but it presents or just feels more like a movie special effect or something.

Forty-six years old


Originally uploaded by ebohls

Here I am, 46 years old today. Just got back from a bike ride around Ocean Avenue. Before that we toured Fort Adams, which tour included a very spooky jaunt through the listening tunnels under the earthworks. Soon we’re going to change and go to dinner at an Italian restaurant up Memorial Avenue, not sure which one yet. Really, having a lovely time. Wish you were here.

Annual Nutcracker Extravaganza

Saw the Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker last night at the Warner Theatre. Gosh, this is my 7th year seeing it with Dawn. And our friend Becky N., too, natch.

You know how much I loves me some Elizabeth Gaither and Jade Payette. Alas, although we could have had either as the Sugar Plum Fairy, or even Elizabeth’s BFF Laura Urgellés, we got Maki Onuki. But Maki Onuki was just fine, of course, and they gave me Ms. Gaither as the Snow Queen and Ms. Payette as the Dew Drop. So all was well.

Rounding out the showy parts were Sona Kharatian in the Spanish Dance, Ms. Urgellé and Tamás Krizsa as the Anacostia Indians, Morgan Frederick as the Lead Cardinal, and Jared Nelson as Ms. G’s Snow King.

Best recovery of the night goes to the poor Ribbon Dancer who wiped out downstage left, pretty much right away, but who got back up and jumped right back into beat. Nicely done. I’d have dashed off in tears.

We went to Jaleo before the show. What a treat, as we hardly ever go out to eat. Since we had a 7:00 p.m. curtain, we sat down at 5:00, before the hockey crush. Oh, yes, lots of patrons in red jerseys. Especially delicious were my choices, the Espinacas a la Catalana and the Escalivada Catalana, which I of course ordered in honor of Stephen Maturin, famous surgeon and spy. We also shared Cebolla asada con queso Picón, Arroz cremoso de setas, and Coliflor salteada con aceitunas y frutos secos.

And sangria. Yum.

SNL & the War on Christmas

It may be just that I’m getting older, but I’ve been really enjoying Saturday Night Live this year. And, more importantly, I’ve been thoroughly and utterly charmed by the guest hosts these last two episodes. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Blake Lively, despite being awfully young and apparently very successful, seem so earnest and hard-working and also just so genuinely pleased to be hosting. They both totally won me over.

Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s take on Donald O’Connor’s Make ‘Em Laugh was a terrific homage. And Blake Lively (despite being distractingly attractive: she makes me feel kinda like Norm McDonald’s impression of Larry King: “Blake Lively? She should be called Blake Lovely!”) had her own charming musical number monologue, this time with various cast members as Muppets. There was snow and singing and general merriment. And who knew Jason Sudeikis could be such an amazing Fozzy?

One minor quibble, though. They sang Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, but, weirdly, removed all the God and Jesus references. So, instead of:

Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’ angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.

We got:

Hark the herald angels sing
[Animal sings grunts instead of lyrics]
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
[Swedish Chef sings smorgadyborgady gibberish]
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’ angelic host proclaim
[Beaker sings gibberish meep meep beep]

[skipped line]
[all sing smorgadyborgady gibberish]

They cut out Glory to the newborn King and God and sinners reconciled and Christ is born in Bethlehem. Kinda weird, huh? It was otherwise a wonderful performance, both funny and warm at the same time. They either had some sort of weird reverence for the God stuff, so they excised those bits so they wouldn’t have Muppets and the Gossip Girl chick seeming to make a mockery of it, or they just wanted to remove Christ from Christmas, like Bill O’Reilly says they do.

Or maybe I’m making too much of it. Probably.

Still, fun hosts and good episodes. Although I also feel the need to note that Potato Chip at the end of the Blake Lively episode was easily the worst sketch I can remember in all 35 years of the show, ‘cepting the Jean Doumanian years of course.

Wrong Number

[Text message 1:23 PM] Wat yuh doin?dis bubbles.

[My reply 1:24 PM] I don’t know anyone named Bubbles. I think you have the wrong number.

[Text message 1:26 PM] Nigga frm da cfe I meet yuh on da train carter I can’t beileve yuh don’t rember mah name.

[My reply 1:29 PM] No, seriously. I’m a 45 year old white guy named Ed. I don’t think you’ve got the right number. Sorry.

[Incoming call 1:30 PM]

“Hello. This is Edward.”

“Oh, I guess I do have the wrong number.”

“Yeah, sorry about that.”


A Tale of Two Peters

I only remember seeing one show at the old 9:30 Club on F Street. Was Peter Case and must’ve been 89 or 90 or so. We got there really early, Gordon and Babs and I, and planted ourselves right up at center stage. I’m sorry to say I can’t remember any song that he sang, though. He only had two solo albums out at that point, so I suppose I can guess a bunch of songs he mostly likely would’ve sung. But I can’t specifically remember any one.

I do recall this one story he told, about a friend of his, who remarked about the fall of Communism that was happening at the time. His friend was now waiting for the fall of Capitalism. He said that somebody else hearing this asked, “What are you, an anarchist?” “No,” said the friend, “I’m a Christian.”

I remember also that Peter Buck jumped onstage at one point. After the show I dashed downstairs to the dressing rooms to get Peter Case to sign a poster and some 45s and a CD that I had with me. While he was talking to somebody else, Peter Buck wanted to see what I had brought. He fancied himself a collector of Peter Case 45s, but he didn’t have any of the ones I brought. I was awfully proud as he flipped through them. “I don’t have this one! I don’t have this one either!” Then he noticed that they weren’t US pressings. “Oh, they’re European,” he said. “I don’t collect European.” I was of course heartbroken.

I don’t know what happened to the poster or the 45s, but I still have the signed CD. In the jewel case is a guitar pick that I must have grabbed at some point.

A year or two ago I saw Peter Case at Jumpin’ Java in Vienna VA. I talked to him after the show and mentioned the old 9:30 Club show. Peter Case remembered that Peter Buck joined for the encore and they played a Plimsouls song, “A Million Miles Away.”