Saturday night we went down to my wife’s relates' place on the river. (Old southern term for relatives, if I can judge from old-time radio shows.) They have a condo on the river in an old industrial structure, and it has the best view of the Aquatennial fireworks.

They absolutely brought the spizzerinctum.

If you’re wondering about the provenance of that particular word, I discovered it in an old Oz Black Strib feature about the Aquatennial. He used the word to describe the antics of the clowns:

Not a word anyone will be clamoring to bring back. And yes, it was actual slang: "Do you have spizerinctum (or spizzerinctum) and huckledebuck? These terms for passion and energy, respectively, are fun examples of false Latin, meaning they replicate the look and mouthfeel of Latin words but aren’t actually Latin."

The mouthfeel of Latin is something I'd never considered, but it makes sense. I just never thought spizzerinctum had Latin mouthfeel.

Anyway. It was a delightful event, lots of fun conversation, good tequila. Proud of daughter fielding all the questions about her upcoming relocation. Our host asked how I was going to compensate after she left, and I said I was rebranding, changing my avatar, changing my signature color, and starting to vlog. She laughed, as if I was kidding. I wasn’t. That's all I got.

So far.

Earlier in the day Daughter and I went to the bank to deposit some checks and cash in her coins. I love this bank, because I always associate it with trips to get Euros or Pounds before the family vacations. No more; that’s done; good night; ta ta. We arrived at 1:45, 15 minutes before closing. Figured we could dump the coins in the counter and be done - but they’d taken out the machine. Drat. Ah well, never mind-

No, said the manager, we’ll help you count the coins. But there are so many! So we’ll all work together. And so it came to pass that everyone who worked at the bank eventually pitched in to get the coins into the funnels and into the sleeves.

“Any of you worked at a restaurant?” I asked, sorting dimes. “This is like when you’re closing in ten minutes and a party of eight comes in, and they’re drunk, and it takes them twenty minutes to order drinks.”

“You could always say the kitchen was closed,” said the one guy who did not want to be here counting coins.

“Depends on the manager,” I said.

The fellow who did most of the work, who volunteered to help daughter, had a slight African accent. I wish I knew enough to place it. When I came over to his desk to assist with the counting he was talking to Daughter about bitcoin, and I happily joined the conversation, being a skeptic.

“You can’t hold it, though,” I said, gesturing to the coins on the table. “You can’t physically own it. It’s a consensual agreement that it has value - but yeah I know, the same thing’s true with fiat money.”

He looked up from the pile: I had said a magic phrase. This took the conversation to a different level, and we proceeded to talk about Chinese bitcoin miners using invasive scripts inserted into online ads to hijack processing power, decentralized distributed currency creation, and at some point I tossed in “M1,” and that bumped it up to another level. It was just a delight: sitting in a closed bank branch with Daughter, sorting coins, having this intense geeky philosophical conversation about money with this super-smart guy. Daughter was mortified that she was making them stay late after school, but everyone was so nice.

I don't know if there's a nicer place than a suburban bank branch.

Then we went to Traders Joe to pick up sushi for dinner. I saw a four-pack of apricot slices in a small plastic containers, and noted: to this day, years after I have stopped making your lunches, I see this and think this would be good for your lunch.

She gave me a look I can’t quite describe - it’s as if she simultaneously thought “get over it” and “I understand now completely.”

Then Target, for the last time. The gott-damned lasts, another in the series. She had to get some candy and food gifts for her Brazilian hosts - I'm sorry, FAMILY (grr). I had to replenish some stocks. Pesto, for example - that’s rotated into the Pasta Monday every fourth week, but we just had it, and she won’t be here the next Pesto Pasta.

“I think I’ll miss Target,” she said as we drove away, and in the back my mind I’m seeing a little beaming child with a Hello Kitty umbrella in the child seat, but it’s not exactly killing me dead at the moment because we’re having a normal ordinary fun shopping trip. We pass the place where she got haircuts as a kid and this turns to a conversation about Tootsie Pops vs. Dum-Dums, and all the way home we talk about what we remember about the buildings between Target and home, and what was, and what it is now, and how it’s better, how everything’s better.

It feels normal and everyday and I’m happy. When we get home I put all the groceries away as usual, but I am suddenly hit with fatigue, and even though I got a lot of sleep the previous night, some huge accumulation hits me. I can’t stay awake any longer.

Hours later, leaving the condo. The streets are jammed - fireworks and concert traffic. I love it: the city’s hopping. All these new buildings. Summer, warm night, high spirits! On the way home (we got a ride from the condo with the same people who drove us home last year) the driver is calling out some things that used to be here, but aren’t, and lauding the new things that make the neighborhood bettter. She’s old-school Mpls, full of info. I had no idea there was an A&W drive-in on that corner. But I know what it tasted like. I know how heavy the mug felt in your hand.

When we get home Birch is happy to see us. Leaping and nipping and hugging. Not a damned thing I have just described means anything to Birch. He’s happy we’re here in the now because the now is awesome.

Everything about the day was ordinary. Everything about the day was a blessing.



It’s IT Month. Oh no - something's sizzling down to earth on wire!

It fell from the sky! Where could it possibly have come from?

Ah, well, that narrows it down. Let's go to the trailer, to get the flavor of the thing. Or the It.


Do you get a scary vibe? As if you'll see something you've never seen before? Well, let's try another - a bit pedantic, but a nice period piece.

The story: something comes from outer space. An astronomer-type guy thinks it's from outer space, and he goes to investigate.

This doesn't look natural, he thinks.

It's not a BEM movie. Well, it is, but it's much more subtle.

He makes the mistake of talking to the local press, which treats him like the newcomer he is. Ha ha!

He enlists the help of local electrical linemen:

And here the movie makes me think: David Lynch saw this, and never forgot it.

It's not the theramin. It's the way ordinary things - powerlines - are suddenly different and unnerving. Anyway, the Professor and the Genial Guy are soon walking around expressionless, speaking in monotones, and you know what that means: they've been TAKEN OVER.

But why? You figure, the usual: world domination. Perhaps Mars needs women. Like her:


The epitome of poise, charm, style and grace, beautiful brunette Barbara Rush was born in Denver, Colorado in 1927.

. . . she met fellow actor Jeffrey Hunter, an incredibly handsome newcomer who would later become a "beefcake" bobbysoxer idol over at Fox. The two fell in love quickly and married in December of 1950. Soon, they were on their way to becoming one of Hollywood's most beautiful and photogenic young couples. Their son Christopher was born in 1952.

They split in 1955. She appeared in A-list pix, imdb says, but never quite broke through. This is sobering:

She is one of five actors to have played "Special Guest Villains" on Batman (1966) who are still alive, the others being Julie NewmarJohn AstinJoan Collins and Glynis Johns.

Only five.

Anyway, if you're wondering whether she gets taken over too . . .



Yes, aliens always have that look. You foolish Earthlings. You pitiful creatures!

But they're not bad guys. They're trying to repair their vessel and return to the stars. They had to take human form . . .

. . . because we small-minded creatures would not understand their true appearance, and run shrieking in fear.


It's about as rote a story as you can get. There's no single element that seems ingeneous.

But there's something about it. A quiet, unnerved mood. Whatever it gained in 3D, alas, we will probably never know.



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