Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pizza and Beer.

It occurred to me last night as I ate my dinner,  that pizza and beer might not be the very best combination,  but it seems to have been OK.
 There was a time when I decided to take a little visit to the Doc back in Canada after experiencing some strange goings on in the nether regions of my guts,  and when he asked what I had been eating,  I confessed,  "Pizza and Beer".   He didn't exactly approve.   Seems there was this slight issue with something called "diverticulitis"  that I then had to contend with.  I now actually have to be mindful of what I shove in my pie hole.
 Sucks to get old,  but better than the alternative I suppose.  I've heard it said that it's not for sissies.


Once again I'd like to compare our life here in Wienerland to sailing a boat.   We're presently on a long tack,  and we're using the autopilot.
 Our fourth group of visitors for the summer arrived on the weekend,  have already wandered around and scoped out a large chunk of the first district,  have been taken to a concert at the State Opera,  and are now in Slovenia.

 Well,  none of them had been to Slovenia.   They wanted to check it out.  Pretty sure they're on a beach today in Portorož

 I took them to pick up their rental car at the airport on Tuesday morning.   I took my travelling companion to the airport on Wednesday for her flight to Serbia.

 So here I sit.

And now for a little photographic interlude:

Here they are opposite the Opera.   I probably should have tried to do the touristy thing and include the building,  but as usual the place was mobbed with tourists.

I had given a not too subtle hint that we were NOT going to the Opera house in our shorts and tee shirts,  so everyone had obliged by getting a little dressed up.
It's not easy to pack nice stuff for travel,  so I do appreciate their effort.

I didn't see anyone in the place that was shabbily dressed,  and there's even a guy in the background of this photo wearing a suit and tie.   Pretty sure that's where I draw the line however.

As for the performance,  it was the usual suspects.   You may recall we had been to a virtually identical performance two sets of visitors ago at the "Musikverein".   We were even able to identify some of the same musicians.   This bunch have a whole roster of singers,  players and conductors that they change more often than a major league baseball team.

It was fun.   Really.

Even though it's supposedly a Mozart concert,  tradition has to be upheld and the last two pieces of the evening were more of the "Strauss"  variety.  First of which was the Blue Danube
("An der schönen blauen Donau" op. 314 by Johann Strauss Jr.,)
 That's a youtube link of just under 12 minutes if you want a little music in your day.

 I don't profess to be a music critic,  I just happen to be cursed with relative pitch,  so when I say they did a decent job,  that's actually quite something,  since it's a tough piece,  especially if you only have a couple french horn players.
 (they tend to try a little too hard and end up being consistently sharp....GAH!!)

Oh,  speaking of "off key",  you'll notice in the above photo that there are of course a couple heads in my way,  which is only fair,  but for some reason they didn't come back after intermission.   Either they thought the thing was over,  or they really,  really didn't like what they were hearing.
Don't know.
Don't care.
I had a better view.

HOWEVER,  it was only during the Blue Danube that I was then wishing that the lady beside me on my right had also decided to leave,  since she started humming along.....
 ....and she wasn't very good...

 Perfectly acceptable at a hockey game.  Not at a f**king concert!   I knew we were almost done so I wasn't about to tell her to zip it,  but OH MY GOD!  I just might have had a bad thought or two.

 Then of course the last piece of the evening is.....wait for it....The Radetzky March.
Also written by a Strauss,  but this time Johann Strauss SENIOR.  

If you're still remotely interested,  I've managed to find a performance by the Vienna Phil under Daniel Barenboim. 
He does manage to inject a little humour.

  One of the things that I had scheduled to happen in the absence of the rest of the household was my "German lesson",   which took place yesterday afternoon.  Since we typically run out of time after a couple hours,  we decided to schedule a three hour session.   I know?   Who the hell can yak in German for three hours you ask? 
 Well,  apparently it's quite possible.   Pretty sure six months ago that would have given me a huge headache,  which certainly wasn't the case this time,  so I guess something must be going on.
 Anyway,  at some point along the way,  the door bell rings,  and we both look at each other with that sort of, "Are you expecting someone?"  look.
I answer the door,  and there stand  a couple Jehovahs!   I didn't quite pick up on it at first,  until I saw one of them (both women,  which is not unusual) clutching a copy of the "Watchtower".    Actually in German it's the "Wachturm",  but there's no fooling this old dog.   I'm not putting in a link.  If you don't know what that is,  you can do your own search,  unless you're reading this on a stone tablet somewhere.

I sent them on their way.

Turns out,  it might have been good sport to invite them in.  Well,  except for the fact that we're hanging around here in Wienerland for a while and they'd just come back.

 Here's the story:

 I may or may not have given any clues to the qualifications of my German teacher,  but he's kind of a died in the wool academic and has a great long string of letters behind his name,  none of which are entirely relevant to our little story,  except to say he has a certain intellectual curiosity.   The story goes that,  many years ago while doing some work with a college at his house out in Langenzersdorf,  there came a knock on the door,  and there stood two Jehovahs.   Two men this time,  and they were invited in.   Since they wanted to discuss the Bible,  the two learned academics thought that would be great fun,  and decided to start off with the Book of Job. 
 Now,  I have no desire to reread the Book of Job to know what's going on there,  but suffice to say,  the two Jehovahs didn't quite have the answers but promised to come back in a couple weeks time after having consulted with some of their learned higher ups.

This went on for six months!

But here's what happened.  After the six months, the two Jehovahs actually left the cult.  (lost their faith!)   Became agnostic!

One of them lost his job since he was working somewhere where it was all Jehovahs.   Couldn't stay there.

Now,  my German teacher actually felt quite bad about this,  as that was never their intent,  since it was really only intellectual curiosity that killed that particular cat.

For my part however,  I damned near fell off my chair!

Always good to have a good laugh.

So here's the question.   If I ever see these two Jehovahs again,  do I tell them just how close they came to having a life changing experience?

Nah,  didn't think so.



  1. Wow! You managed to squeeze Pizza and Beer, Strauss and Jehovah's all in the same posting.
    I am awed by your blogging prowess great Yogi.

    This has to be the best entry yet!
    I love the internet!!!

  2. Thank you grasshopper. Your kind words have been duly noted in the big book.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.