Me: *conducting book research*
Me: Jesus. Lermontov was only 26 when he died? Jesus. What a moron.
Mr. B: ?
Me: Well he died by duel, right? Who does that to themselves?
Mr. B: You can’t equate yesterday’s standards with today.
Me: Yes you can. It’s like *reaching for an analogy* huffing paint.
Mr. B: Yes, it’s exactly like that. I’m sure Lermontov today would be like, “Yeah, I think I’ll huff some paint and kill myself.”
Me: So you’re saying that you would never defend my honor by duel?
Mr. B: What?
Me: If we lived back in the day and someone insulted me, you wouldn’t duel them?
Mr. B: Well it depends. What are we talking about here? Like if someone steps on your toe? Or, like, physically assaults you?
Me: It doesn’t matter. Honor’s honor.
Mr. B: It kind of does if I’m risking my life.
Me: You wouldn’t do well in the 17th century.
Mr. B: Actually I think I would because I wouldn’t be dueling all the time.
I am looking for someone to give our house a good spring cleaning. Here’s a before shot:
Don’t get me wrong, Mr. B and I spend around hours every week cleaning our house. But as soon as it’s clean on Sundays, it magically starts to become dirty again, and thus the cycle restarts. We also haven’t deep-cleaned for months, meaning there are some corners where it’s possible the fifth dimension exists amongs the lush vegetation and spider webs. Our domovoi is probably angry.
When you add the fact that right now my MBA and the ebook have top after-work priority, and for Mr. B is working on two online classes, you get something extremely terrifying.
So, Mr. B and I are trying to hire someone to take care of it in a deep spring cleaning. The problem is that we are afraid of Russian cleaning ladies and even more afraid to hire an American one that we don’t know.
This is how our conversation about it went the other day.
Me: Maybe we should hire someone Russian? Don’t you know some family members that have cleaning ladies?
Mr. B: *pointed look* Yes, but do you really want that?
Me: What do you mean?
Mr. B: Cause they’re going to come by and sooner or later it’ll get back to us. “Oh, Vicki and Mr. B? THAT Vicki and Mr. B? Yeah, my aunt’s sister’s cousin’s brother’s niece cleaned their house last week, and let me tell you all about it.
Me: Good point.
Mr. B: Do you really want some Russian women you don’t know telling the Russian women you do know what’s inside of your house and what a disgrace it is?
Mr. B: *mimics older Russian woman in Russian* Oh, Zoyachka. Those young people, the way they live-I disapprove of everything. And let me tell you all about it.
So, we are still looking for a house cleaner. Preferably one that won’t murder us, or gossip about us. Although at this point, I don’t know which is worse.
On St. Patrick’s Day, it was warm enough to go bike riding for the first time in 2012. We went to Spring Lake, New Jersey, which, in addition to a really nice boardwalk, actually has the largest Irish-American population on the East Cost. We didn’t know that until we got there, though.
I took work, school, the book, and stress, and sealed them neatly into a little envelope in my mind, and focused on riding.
The sea was on our right. It was so cloudy you couldn’t see anything, but you could smell the salt, a little bit, and feel the sea wind the whole time on the board walk. There were a couple of people surfing. Everyone else was walking by dressed in green, headed to and from the bars. Their dogs were wearing green bandanas. It created a strangely festive atmosphere.
We went maybe 9 or 10 miles, which is nothing on a bike. But the sea wind was really cold and we hadn’t exercised outside this year yet.
It was nice to be by the sea. It was nice to be traveling. It was nicer to not be in Philadelphia and in my own head.
A mortar shell killed or wounded everyone but Churchill, who was playing “Will Ye No Come Back Again?” on his pipes as the Germans advanced.
Churchill was said to be unhappy with the sudden end of the war, saying: “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.”
“ On the same motorcycle he had traveled the 500 miles through Burma from Maymyo to Rangoon, a trip substantially complicated by an absence of roads. He therefore followed the railroad line, crossing the dozens of watercourses by pushing the bike along a rail while he walked on the crossties. Everything in life was a challenge to him. Included in the challenges to which he rose was mastering the bagpipe, a peculiar attachment for an Englishman. His love affair with the pipes seems to have originated in Maymyo, where he studied under the pipe major of the Cameron Highlanders.”
But wait, bro. There’s more:
Later, Churchill engineered the evacuation of some 700 Jews—patients, staff, and students—from the university and hospital atop Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus. Churchill made an early run up Scopus in his jeep accompanied by Eli Davis, the deputy medical director of the hospital.
Here is how Davis later told the story: “Major Churchill told me there was slight chance of getting through … because the Arabs saw the British meant business. He agreed to make the trip up to Scopus and invited me along. The Major took a Jeep and his driver. I sat while he stood in the Jeep twirling his stick. He looked as though he were on parade in London…”