Friday, July 18, 2003

48 HOURS LATER . . .

To: The Poor Man, Body and Soul, and The Rittenhouse Review
From: Arne Adolfsen [ ]
Date: July 16, 2003

You wrote, in response to J. Capazzola [sic]’s riff on Norwegians (and by extension my) personal hygiene, this:

“I’m sorry, but the Norwegians may know what they are doing on this one. Listen: Norway’s a cold place. How cold? I don’t know, but pretty fucking cold, I can tell you that much. And where there’s cold weather, you can bet there’ gonna be polar bears.”

And Mr. Capazzola [sic] labelled [sic] you some kind of jeeenyus (TM) for that comment. (Mr. Capazzola’s [sic] wide-eyed-with-astonishment-betcha-didn’t-know-this comment about Scandinavians having founded the city of Kiev -- this after his self-congratulatory comment that he’s researched the history of the Scandinavian countries, and even looked into their languages, and really, really, really wants to travel there some day. (I’ll note here only that he hasn’t deigned to answer my email that the Swedes (mostly) who founded both the Russian and Ukrainian states, and founded Kiev, which he found so astonishing that he had to write about it, and Novgorod and who knows how many other Russian and Ukrainian cities, referred to themselves in their own language as the “Rus[.]” Gosh, where did the word “Russia” come from? Let’s ask Jim! He’ll tell us based on some over-elaborated and -- for non-Philadelphians -- terminally skippable post about some Philadelphia thing or other, along with fey semi-comments about his clinical depression and multiple fatal conditions. Jeesh! You’re the only person on earth with 1) clinical depression, and 2) one or more mortal diseases! I’ll have to alert my parents, a couple of my cousins, my lover, several co-workers, and probably lots of tourists I try to shove out of the way in Hollywood as I’m going to work.

Feh. I hate bloggers who just bounce idiotic crap around from site to site (“well, X said y, and here’s what I think about y”; oh, well, “X” said “y”, and here at “h” we say “y” is the Golden Standard and here’s what I think about what “X” said).

All AVERAGE (day and night, combined and averaged) temperatures are given in Fahrenheit measurements from

This is the average temperature, in Fahrenheit, for Oslo from 1816-1991

Jan: 24.3 Feb: 25.2 March:30.9 Apr: 39.9 May: 50.5 June: 58.8 July: 62.4 August: 59.7 Sept: 52.0 Oct: 42.4 Nov: 32.9 Dec: 26.8 Year: 42.1

And here’s polar-bear ridden Edinburgh between 1764 and 1960:

Jan: 37.2 Feb: 38.5 March: 40.5 Apr: 44.8 May: 49.8 June: 55.4 July: 58.5 August: 57.7 Sept: 53.8 Oct: 47.7 Nov: 41.5 Dec: 38.7 Year: 46.9

Oh, and from their igloos, fighting off polar bears and saber-tooth tigers with pitch-and-resin torches, not to mention fighting away those menacing mastodons, the unfortunate residents of Chicago have announced that their average temperatures between 1873 and 1988 were:

Jan: 24.8 Feb: 27.5 March: 36.7 Apr: 48.0 May: 58.8 June: 68.5 July: 74.1 August: 73.0 Sept: 66.0 Oct: 54.7 Nov: 41.0 Dec: 29.5 Year: 50.2

And those cave people bereft of heat and light in Paris! What can you do but sigh, shed a tear, and move on when confronted with the average temperatures for Paris from 1981-1990 figures:

Jan: 38.7 Feb: 38.7 March: 45.1 Apr: 49.5 May: 56.7 June: 61.7 July: 66.2 Aug: 65.7 Sept: 61.0 Oct: 54.5 Nov: 45.1 Dec: 41.4 Year: 52.2

And, gosh, those folks unfortunate enough to huddle in Budapest must be really miserable (or were from 1953 to 1990):

Jan: 29.1 Feb: 33.1 March: 41.7 Apr: 51.6 May: 60.6 June: 66.2 July: 69.6 Aug: 68.5 Sept: 61.5 Oct: 51.6 Nov: 40.6 Dec: 33.4 Year: 50.7

Hell’s-bells, you’d freeze in Oslo unless you were eaten by a polar bear first. You’d be SO MUCH warmer in Budapest, where I guess you’d be eaten by a Black Sea sturgeon thrown-off the track by one of Condoleeeeezzzzza (I can’t remember how many e’s or z’s) Rice’s warnings of WMD terr’rist combat units who’ve infiltrated/spread around the US. Oh, wait. She hasn’t any such announcement. Err, am I halucinnating [sic] that the Bush Jr. administration is acting responsibly?


You will give up your brain for the next ten minutes.


Ummm, where am I? Uhhhh...color me Pale Apricot to match my bedroom’s off-white walls according to Asscrack’s terr’rism alert color symbology. I can’t think of one of them (Bush Jr.’s cabinet folks) who I’d even consent to share a football setting for a picnic with. I think they’re all completely corrupt.

Still, total stupidity about the climate in Norway by self-proclaimed pundits is truly embarrassing and sheds -- in my opinion -- an EXTREMELY suspect light on ALL bloggers who have unthinkingly linked to this dunderheaded thepoorman post.

Arne Adolfsen
Los Angeles

Jim Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review responds:

Sorry about that, readers. Mr. Adolfsen apparently really, really needed to get that out. He was up all night writing it.


To: The Rittenhouse Review
From: Arne Adolfsen [ ]
Date: July 16, 2003

Better yet, did you know that the Vikings who settled in Russia and the Ukraine -- mostly Swedes; my Norwegian ancestors went south (Normandy), southwest (Scotland, England, Ireland) and west (Iceland -- actually, the first couple waves of Norwegian settlement of Iceland were made up largely of men of Norwegian origin/ancestry settled in Ireland along with their Irish Celtic wives, which explains the appearance of Irish names like Ciartan in Icelandic -- Kjartan) -- called themselves “Rus”? (What a convoluted sentence! But what an interesting factoid!)

And why don’t my Norwegian cousins change their underpants more often? Shudder. The two Norwegian nationals I’ve slept with in my adult career as the very model of a modern homosexual had clean shorts on (for part of the evening, anyway) as far as I could tell at the time. I guess I should have been more attentive. Maybe Norwegians changed their undies more often 20 years ago than they do now? (They did, didn’t they? Pretty please?)

By the way, I really love your blog. We have similar, but just different enough to make it interesting, takes on things.

Arne Adolfsen
Los Angeles

Tuesday, July 15, 2003


To: The Rittenhouse Review
From: Melanie Mattson
Date: July 14, 2003

The cicada invasion was in 1987. I was in Washington then and still am, so I look forward to the return of the 17-year cicada next summer.

Actually, I’m not looking forward to it, as I found it quite dreadful on the last go-round.

I moved to Washington, got married in 1986 (that date is memorable), and now-ex-hubby and I were just getting ready to put our house on the market in April 1987.

I was actually walking to the subway to go downtown and see a client the morning they emerged. The ex and I had been up all night dealing with printer problems for my client presentation that morning. Having given up on thinking of sleep at about 5 a.m., he turned to painting window frames, and I helped until it was time to head downtown.

We watched them all emerge from the ground, which was eerie enough, and climb onto trees to dry and change color, which was past wierd, and then there was the sound!

Funny you should bring this up now. On my way out to the parking lot to get in the car yesterday, I was remembering horror and doing the math in my head to figure out when we were going to have to deal with it again. Next year. Maybe I’ll move to Ohio for the summer.

Melanie Mattson
Falls Church, Va.

Jim Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review responds:

I forgot about the crawling out of the ground part. Fortunately I missed that aspect last time around. I wonder how people in earlier times interpreted that event!