Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s Friday, September 8, 2017, and in Dobrzyn the rain has abated, we see a bit of sun, and daily high temperatures should rise to the low to mid 20s (Celsius) today and tomorrow. It’s National Date-Nut Bread Day (another superfluous hyphen), though I prefer my dates au natural, and as plump Medjools. It’s also International Literacy Day and World Physical Therapy Day (bless the PTs, who have helped my finger and shoulder).

I had two dreams last night that I remember. In the first, I was introducing an old friend to Japanese food; she’d never had any despite being an adult. After I discovered she liked sushi, I told her I knew of a place in Washington D.C., near DuPont Circle, where you could get a bento box with a cat toy in it—a Japanese version of a Happy Meal, I suppose. (No such place exists; it was produced by my slumbering brain). She didn’t know what a bento box was.

In my other dream I was watching a television documentary being filmed in which children were tested for three types of cancer, and then lined up to get their results. The man giving the results was sitting at a desk, and as each child approached, anxious to hear the outcome, the man would joke and delay giving the results to prolong the suspense for television. The kids, naturally, got very anxious. The man asked one little girl, “Have you ever had cancer before?” She said, “Yes—skin cancer.” At that moment the dream ended as I awoke. I won’t attempt to interpret either of these.

On this day in 1504, Michelangelo’s statue of David, arguably the world’s most beautiful statue, was formally unveiled in Florence. Intended for the roof of the Cathedral, it proved too heavy and was eventually moved to a piazza nearby. It took Michelangelo two years to carve the statue, beginning when he was only 26. On September 8, 1892, the American “Pledge of Allegiance”, composed by a Baptist minister, was first published in the children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion. Generations of kids recited it in school, with most of us adding the words “under God” after “one Nation”—a religious gloss added only in 1954. On this date in 1930, the MMM company first sold Scotch tape. On this date in 1935, Senator Huey Long, former governor of Louisiana, was assassinated in the Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge; the old demagogue died two days later.

Exactly six years later, the Siege of Leningrad by the German Army began; it lasted 28 months and resulted in the deaths of around a million Russians, many of starvation. One was Tanya Savicheva, who kept a notebook recording the successive deaths by starvation of her family members. Here are the contents, also displayed in the photo below:

Zhenya died on December 28th at 12 noon, 1941
Grandma died on the 25th of January at 3 o’clock, 1942
Leka died March 17th, 1942, at 5 o’clock in the morning, 1942
Uncle Vasya died on April 13th at 2 o’clock in the morning, 1942
Uncle Lesha May 10th, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, 1942
Mama on May 13th at 7:30 in the morning, 1942
The Savichevas are dead
Everyone is dead
Only Tanya is left

Tanya died of intestinal tuberculosis on 1 July, 1944. She was 14.

On this day in 1966, the first episode of the television series Star Trek (“The Man Trap”) was broadcast. On September 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned his predecessor Richard Nixon for any crimes committed while he was in office.

Notables born on this day include Siegfried Sassoon (1886), Sid Caesar (1922), Peter Sellers (1925), Patsy Cline (1932), Bernie Sanders (1941) and Ann Beattie (1947). Those who died on this day include Hermann von Helmholtz (1894), Richard Strauss (1949), Zero Mostel (1977), Willard Libby (1980) and Leni Riefenstahl (2003). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wants OUT, something that happens many times a day:

Hili: You are neglecting your duties.
A: What duties?
Hili: I’ve been waiting for a long time to have the door opened.
 In Polish:
Hili: Zaniedbujesz swoje obowiązki!
Ja: Jakie?
Hili: Od dłuższej chwili czekam na otworzenie drzwi.
 Here’s the sight that greeted me when I woke up this morning: a cat and a dog spooning!  That’s not right!


  1. David Harper
    Posted September 8, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    “Here’s the sight that greeted me when I woke up this morning: a cat and a dog spooning! That’s not right!”

    Obligatory Ghostbusters quote:

    Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted September 8, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Funny in the animal world we see different species getting along when within our own?

    Big earthquake in southern Mexico last night, reported to be 8.1. And Trump joined the democratic party for about 15 minutes…go figure.

  3. Art
    Posted September 8, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid…”

    Oh well, close enough.

    • David Coxill
      Posted September 8, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      But only the Leopard is get up.

  4. Posted September 8, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I love cat

  5. Liz
    Posted September 8, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I woke up and reset my alarm for an extra 15 minutes which is still before I had to get up. I do this to try and remember my dreams and also so I can go back into them. When I finally have to get up, they sometimes slip away from me regardless. That happened this morning. I usually remember them a few times a week. It’s easier on the weekends because I can slowly work the dreams to the forefront. I know I was dreaming last night but can’t remember. I’ve only written down a few dreams several times so I don’t usually use that method to remember.

    The sashimi deluxe is my favorite. I sometimes don’t know what the assortment of raw fish is but I eat everything. No rice. Just the fish. Some sushi places offer a complimentary wrap after a meal. I’m not sure what they are called and I always refuse it. It’s just that I don’t care for them. If you have come across those, maybe that’s the reason for the “toy” part. Unless bento boxes actually do exist and I have just never seen them.

    The cat and dog look nice and snuggled.

  6. Posted September 8, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Your dreams are far more coherent than mine. Also, mine often end with me trying to find a place to go pee.

  7. Barry Lyons
    Posted September 8, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I just love how those two are always together. They’re such good pals!

  8. Hempenstein
    Posted September 8, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Around 1985/6 there was a marvelous Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin recites the Pledge, approximately like this:

    I pledge allegiance
    To Queen Fragg
    And her mighty state of hysteria

    And to the Republican witch she stands
    One nation
    With Liberty and Just Us for Oil.

    I know this because I had it taped to my office door for some time. But the only version I’ve ever been able to find is this seemingly sanitized version. If anyone out there remembers it and could scan it and sent to PCC[E], I’d be eternally grateful.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 8, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    On the one hand, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance was precisely what Glenn Beck would scornfully refer to as a “social justice Christian”, a socialist, and a major advocate of complete separation of church and state. (Hence, his omission of “under God” although he was a Baptist minister). He was forced from his Boston pulpit for preaching on the evils of capitalism.

    “Democracy Now” has a terrific article on
    “The History of the Pledge: How It Changed from a Socialist Peace Pledge to a Patriotic Tool to Root Out Communists in the McCarthy Era” here.

    Glenn Beck’s publication The Blaze has actually owned up to Bellamy’s socialism here.

    On the other hand, Bellamy was somewhat anti-immigrant, and he composed the pledge as an ‘inoculation’. He had views that today would be called racist, though he greatly objected to the racism he observed in Florida churches.
    “democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth.”
    And also: “Where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another every alien immigrant of inferior race may bring corruption to the stock. There are races more or less akin to our own whom we may admit freely and get nothing but advantage by the infusion of their wholesome blood. But there are other races, which we cannot assimilate without lowering our racial standard, which we should be as sacred to us as the sanctity of our homes.”

    • KevinP
      Posted September 9, 2017 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      I don’t understand the statement about the “omission” of “under god”. Not only do those words not belong in there, the phrase “one nation under god” just makes no sense.

      In my mind there’s a delicious irony in the fact that the beautiful phrase “one nation, indivisible” gets divided by these two words. It always feels to me as if they were trying to stick the words “under god” somewhere and this was the least egregious place they could find.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted September 9, 2017 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        Different folk interpret it differently.

        The Christian Legal Society says the phrase supports the concept of limited government, serving as a reminder that ”government is not the highest authority in human affairs” because ”inalienable rights come from God.”

        George Bush said it proclaims ”our reliance on God” and of ”humbly seeking the wisdom and blessing of divine providence.”

        This image of a rooster (“cock”) in a field of poppies is more or less my own view or the matter.

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