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Friday, December 15, 2017


Babies are a nice way to start people.
~ Don Herold
- - - - -

Babies are hilarious. They are so surprised by everything. It's like they've been living under a rock. They haven't. Babies can't live under rocks. Like the song about babies says, "Rock?!! Uh, bye!" because that's not where you put a baby.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


I feel exhausted if I teach too long.
~ The Dalai Lama
- - - - -

You can teach a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.


You can take a horse to water, but you have to teach it to drink.


You can't teach an old horse new tricks.


Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to teach.


It's been a long semester.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


We ought to good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
~ Marcus Aurelius
- - - - -

I was looking at one of my strengths quiz things the other day and my top strength was gratitude. I was so thankful it wasn't chalkboard eraser clapping because that is a lost art nowadays.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


If you obey all the rules, you miss all of the fun.
~ Katherine Hepburn
- - - - -

Sara: Can I leave at 4:30? I am supposed to take Japannah III to this church thing.

Me: Is it the Church of the Poison Mind because that was from the 1980s and I think it is closed. (pause) That is fine.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Nowadays what isn't worth saying is sung.
~ Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
- - - - -

Person 1: She used to sing in band.

Person 2: She was in a band?!

Person 1: No. Marching Band. She used to sing when we were in marching band. It was annoying.

Eavesdropping so pays off sometimes. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Positive thinking will let you use the ability you have, and that is awesome.
~ Zig Ziglar
- - - - -

If you know someone named Liz who is always positive and upbeat and smiling and happy, beware. She isn't always those things. Sometimes she is dark and brooding and conniving and mean-spirited.


Oh - wait. You were talking about THAT Liz?! You're right, she is pretty much always happy and optimistic. I thought you were talking about that other Liz. You know the one I mean? Yes. Yes, you do.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
~ Saying I have seen attributed to a bunch of different people
- - - - -

To hear Leslie tell it, tons of practice never made a sailor good at marching, either.

Go Army. Beat Navy.

Friday, December 8, 2017


If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
~ William Shakespeare
- - - - -

What if we literally kept our tears in a shed. What if we stored them up and didn't deal with the sadness (or joy) and pain (or ecstasy) that accompanied them until they could no longer be contained and the burst through the board and the shingles and the doors and swept across the land?

What if?

I don't know, but I will say that I bet the kinds of sheds where we would keep them would be watersheds.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


The butterfly counts not months, but moments and has time enough.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
- - - - -

Given the short lifespan of a butterfly, I hope they don't count months or moments. They should be doing other things because time is short.

Wait. Just like people should be doing other things rather than counting (or worrying about) months. Because time is short!

I get you now, Rabindranath Tagore. Nice job.

On an unrelated joke, today it is seven months until my birthday.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


No change of circumstances can repair a defect in character.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- - - - -

We throw away so many things that we used to not throw away. Like shoes. We used to fix them and make them better when they got worn out. And they were made to last and last long enough to make it worthwhile to get some repairs.

Now we wear shoes and then get rid of them a lot of times.

We throw away clothes and other things we never used to throw away.

Like Sour Patch Kids wrappers. We didn't used to throw those away because they didn't exist a long time ago.

Wow how the times have changed.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


The child-soul is an ever-bubbling fountain in the world of humanity.
~ Friedrich Froebel
- - - - -

Friedrich Froebel was the guy who came up with the idea for kindergarten. According to Wikipedia he founded a care, playing and activity institute for small children in Bad Blankenburg. I would like to acknowledge that a "care, playing and activity institute for small children in Bad Blankenburg" sounds like part of a caption for a piece of Edward Gorey art.

Now that I have acknowledged that, I am finished with this post.

Monday, December 4, 2017


Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.
~ Steven Wright
- - - - -

No where is walking distance if you don't have the time.


You should make some time.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


To custom the infant to get out of its own difficulties or to calm it by rocking may be to lay the foundations of a good or of a bad disposition.
~ Jean Piaget
- - - - -

To place an infant on a mouse in overhauls in order to rock it may be to lay the foundation of just a bad (not good) disposition since infants have neither the motor skills to play on a toy like this nor do they have the intellectual skills to realize how disturbing such play may be. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017


The world is not fair and often fools, cowards, liars, and the selfish hide in high places.
~ Bryant H. McGill
- - - - -

Seeing no one in the high places on the ferris wheel was only mildly reassuring at best and actually more completely misleading because ultimately there were higher places.

Friday, December 1, 2017


Don't sleep in the subway, darlin'. 
Don't stand in the pouring rain.
Don't sleep in the subway, darlin'.
The night is long,
Forget your foolish pride.
Nothing's wrong,
Now you're beside me again.

~ Written by Tony Hatch & Jackie Trent
Performed by Petula Clark
- - - - -

I don't know Petula Clark. I like some of her songs and I like her name. 

I will say that she should maybe reconsider her dating choices if the person she is with is going to go sleep in a subway or stand in the pouring rain because they had a fight. That seems not a productive way to resolve conflict.

But I'm not the boss of Petula Clark or her relationships. 


Thank goodness, actually. That seems like a LOT of responsibility.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Every exit is an entrance to somewhere else.
~ Elizabeth Puig
- - - - -

You can never really leave a place behind. It travels with you - like dust on your clothing or mud on your shoes or dirt on your shirt sleeves.

Also, why are you so dirty?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable desire to see the truth.
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
- - - - -

Me: I just mentioned you in a post on Facebook.

Leslie: In a good way or a bad way?

Me: In a completely accurate way.

Leslie: Uh oh. That could be bad.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
~ Aesop
- - - - -

Bathing suits optional is not the sign of noble souls.

Monday, November 27, 2017


When a thing is funny, search it for a hidden truth.
~ George Bernard Shaw
- - - - -

Some people probably judge how funny they are by the likes they get for the posts they post that they think are funny on Facebook. Not me. I judge how funny my Facebook friends are by how much they like the funny posts I post.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


The windows of my soul are made of one-way glass,
Don't bother looking into my eyes - if there's something you want to know, just ask.
~ Ani Difranco
- - - - -

And the windows of my soul are made of fiber glass - not good for cuddling, but they keep my soul warm. Given some of the things I have posted, I might need my soul to be used to the heat.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


There aren't as many quotes about peppers as you might expect.
~ Michelle Boettcher
- - - - -

If I had it to do over again, I'd study plants and write my dissertation about the genus Capsicum. You might think it's because I love banana peppers (which I do), but you would be wrong. I would do that because then I would have people call me Dr. Pepper.

I could do that now, but it would be weird.


WeirdER, I mean.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


I would maintain that thanks for the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ Gilbert K. Chesterton
- - - - -

Today is my favorite holiday. I love gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for - like not being a turkey. Well, in the most literal way not being a turkey. 

I am grateful for the people in my life.
I am grateful for some of the people not in my life.
I am grateful that some people are no longer in my life.
I am grateful for the people who will be in my life in the future (I think. Not all of them, but some of them.)

I have said it before, and I will say it again - I am the luckiest person I know.

Like the saying goes:



Just because you CAN make an acronym out of every word doesn't mean you SHOULD make an acronym out of every word. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


The rain, it raineth on the just. And also on the unjust fella, but mostly on the just because the unjust steals the just's umbrella.
~ Charles Bowen
- - - - -

You know who it doesn't rain on? It doesn't rain on martians because water can only be on Mars in the form of vapor or ice. That's why Gene Kelly is relatively unknown on Mars.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Photography has nothing to do with cameras.
~ Lucas Gentry
- - - - -

I think that is a bit of an exaggeration. It has a little bit to do with cameras. Without them, it would just be staring. And that is less socially acceptable. Trust me. I found that out the hard way. The irony was when the person yelled, "Why don't you take a picture -- it'll last longer!" True, but I just kept staring because I didn't have a camera.

Cameras are an excuse to stare. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017


The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
~ William Shakespeare
- - - - - 

And wicked pigs give us deviled ham.
And wicked farmers give us deviled food.

Actually none of that is true. You have to pay for most of those things. Farmers and pigs don't just give ham and food away.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


The wide world is all about you, you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.
~ J. R. R. Tolkein
- - - - -

People bragged and bragged about Petit and the Wallendas and RØnningsbakken, but they never met Grandpa. Grandpa used to string BARBED wire between the barn and the other barn. Then he did his high wire act. 

Just the one time, but still all those people never met Grandpa.

Monday, November 13, 2017


We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.
~ Kahlil Gibran 
- - - - -

I think maybe if I had a different house I would have different windows. I wouldn't have hard glass. I'd have something more pliable. Something more forgiving. Something soft and comforting. And I would have much smaller windows. A hundred small windows - if they were small enough - would still allow light in and would still allow a view outside, but they could be configured in so many different ways.

Tiny windows. Plush windows.

Yes, in a different house I think I'd prefer to have micro, soft windows.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


We invent nothing, truly.  
We borrow and re-create.  
We uncover and discover.  
~ Henry Miller
- - - - -

I agree with Henry Miller on this. I was going to put, "Except for Velcro. Someone invented Velcro." Sorta true except Velcro is a borrow and recreation of sandburs - just as Hamilton is a borrow and recreation of Aaron Burr.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


If we reflect, we shall recognize.
~ Laila Gifty Akita
- - - - -

You know how you can see a reflection in the water?  And you can see a reflection in a window.  Isn't it also interesting when a water tower sees its reflection in a window?


Yeah, probably not. 

Friday, November 10, 2017


A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache.
~ Catherine the Great
- - - - -

I like windmills like these. If they are broken or if they don't work, I don't care. I still like them. They remind me of hard work and ingenuity. They remind me resourcefulness and slower time.

But they remind me of something else, too. Something that is hard to see. Something that sneaks up on us sometimes and is right in our faces at other times.

You see windmills also remind me of wind.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


As I grow to understand life less and less, 
I learn to live it more and more.
~ Jules Renard
- - - - -

Leslie went to visit her grandchildren over fall break. She has two of those things now - grandchildren not fall breaks. She gets to just swoop in and have fun and play with the children and take them Sleeping Beauty gloves and then leave when she gets tired.

She's like a super hero.

Most grandmas are like that.

Especially Grandma Hulk. Or Grandma Cyborg.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.
~ Henry Lawson
- - - - -

Most popular drinks in the world:

1. Water
2. Tea
3. Beer

Most poplar drinks in the vampire world:

Nothing. Vampires aren't real.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Like fragile ice, anger passes away in time.
~ Ovid
- - - - -

Without ice, we wouldn't have curling. Without curling, we wouldn't have curling teams. Without curling teams, we wouldn't have fun. Without fun, we wouldn't have anything.


Okay. We might have fun without curling teams, but not as much fun.

Thank you, ice!

Monday, November 6, 2017


It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It is my partner.
~ Jonas Salk
- - - - -

I have heard people say that "only boring people get bored." I don't believe that. Actually, maybe there was more to the quote than that. I tuned out after a while because it wasn't that interesting.

But my point is that Kirk has shared that he sometimes gets bored. Take, for example, this series of text messages I got from him a while back:

Kirk:  The airport is boring.  FYI.

Kirk:  Glad I leave soon.

Kirk:  I wish there was a Republican debate here.

Of course his solution to boredom wouldn't work for everyone.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


As a child I thought, 'Once I am a grown-up, there will be no more fear, no more worries, and it turns out that's not true.
~ Olivia Colman
- - - - -

Sometimes I wonder if childhood is about what we let in and what we get into and if adulthood is about what we push away and what we stay out of. Maybe if we went into more and let more in we would be happier and freer. Maybe not. That's why I wonder - because I don't know.

Sometimes I also wonder if grown-up is misspelled. Perhaps it should be groan-up.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


I have to accept the fact that no matter what I do it's going to annoy someone.
~ Nathan Lane
- - - - -

Why a one lane bridge? Why not a fast lane bridge? A bowling lane bridge? A Nathan Lane bridge? A Diane Lane bridge? Hey - are Nathan and Diane Lane married? Wait... probably not. A Drury Lane bridge? 

I love bridges. What about a Beau Bridge? 

The world is full of so many questions. And bridges. 

Friday, November 3, 2017


The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity.
~ Miguel de Cervantes
- - - - -

I wonder if that is true from grapes and berries, too.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.
~ Antoine de Sainte-Exupery
- - - - -

I bet if we could read the thoughts of the butterfly and the butterfly used a lot of profanity we wouldn't think they are all that pretty. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


I'm not really a storyteller myself I tend to get all tangled up when I try and tell stories.
~ Daniel Day Lewis
- - - - -

I am okay with telling stories, but I am not good at telling jokes. I get tangled up telling them. I think the difference for me is that jokes require more structure than stories. There is the set up, the misdirection, and then the punchline. And if you tell those out of order, it sort of ruins the joke.

I don't find that to be true with stories. You can tell the pieces in any order as long as you tell them in interesting ways. The best part is you don't even have to have a point. If people don't understand your stories, you can just pretend the stories are too complex for those people. 

If they don't fall for that you can always ask them, "So... do you know any good jokes?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Nothing scares me more than people with some doll collection.
~ Karl Lagerfeld
- - - - -

I agree, Karl.

Dolls are scary. Also the heads of dolls are scary. Also, listening to a podcast about an unsolved murder while you are home alone and then looking at the window and worrying that the murderer in the story of the unsolved murder is going to be at your window watching you listen to the podcast and then will have to kill you because now you know that they are the murderer - that is scary.

I used to get the same level of fear watching America's Most Wanted and worrying that the most wanted would see me watching the story about them. That doesn't scare me anymore, though because I quit watching it. Maybe it's not even on anymore. Of course, I won't go check because if it IS still on because what if there is an update and I see it, then the person the update is about might be walking by my window and then I'm a goner.

Basically, maybe I'm just afraid of people walking by my windows.

Monday, October 30, 2017


Seeing a murder on television... can help work off one's antagonisms. And if you haven't any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.
~ Alfred Hitchcock
- - - - -

Once upon a time I lived next door to an old woman named Georgia.  We shared a wall in a duplex.  She was loud and she smoked and she watched something hilarious on Friday nights.

Then one day she got a roommate.  I forget who it was, but she and Georgia had while working together on the 2012 Rick Santorum campaign.  Anyway, one weekend Georgia was gone - probably in the hospital.  The roommate...  I really wish I could remember her name... She was making something and she set the smoke detector off about 10 times.

I remember posting on Facebook at the time that I thought she was trying to kill me by setting the house on fire.

Well, a couple days later Georgia was back from intensive care or wherever she had been. She came over and gave me some brownies.  She said they were an apology gift from her roommate.

This is the label that was on the brownies.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


I always just wanted to be funny. I never planned to be scary.
~ R. L. Stine
- - - - -

How do we decide what is scary? Like vegetables and legumes and that stuff? A pumpkin carved into a face is scary. But what if we did the same thing to a cucumber --

Jack - o - Cuke? Is that scary? Or maybe a Cuke - o - Lantern? Is that better?



Cuke-o-lantern?  Is that better?  No.

Anyway, if you don't get my point, it's because I'm really a deep thinker.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.
~ Oscar Wilde
- - - - -

You know the story of the Man in the Iron Mask (or at least you should), but have you heard the story of the Man in the Cow Mask? That's what I thought. I'm disappointed in you.

And how many of you have a papier-mâché cow head in your basement?


That's what I thought. Get out of here. I don't even know what to say to you.

Friday, October 27, 2017


"Meow" means "Woof" in cat.
~ George Carlin
- - - - -

This book is in the basement of my parent's house.
Also we never owned a cat when I was a kid. At least not for long. Just kidding - we never owned a cat.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Learning is a tunnel experience that makes us think more broadly.
~ Anna Deavere Smith
- - - - -

The other way that learning and tunnels are similar is you don't always know how long either one is going to take. And then you get through one experience and there is always another one. And also both have the letters L, N, and E in them.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest.
~ James Lovelock
- - - - -

Last summer my brother Kirk took me to the Desert of Maine. It was a very fun trip. We saw the Desert of Main and a barn museum and the guide talked about am movie called "Dirt." 

Kirk and I are simply people who enjoy simple pleasures. 

And why I thought it was a good idea to sit at the front of the tram when I knew we would be laughing and would bust up if Kirk and I made direct eye contact during the trip... I will never know.

Good choices, bad choices, it's all up to you. Whether it's sitting too close to the tour guide or creating a giant desert because of poor soil management practices.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Life is like a game of cards. The hand you're dealt is determinism;
 the way you play it is free will.
~ Jawaharlal Nehru
- - - - -

When this game originally came out it was called "Yatzie." What a stupid name. I'm so glad they changed it.

Monday, October 23, 2017


There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky!
~ Peter Jennings
- - - - -

The other day I had to go to campus for a meeting. It turned out to be a pretty great meeting, but that isn't my point.

My point is that I wasn't excited about driving to campus for a meeting on a Saturday. 

When you get in your car a little earlier than you wanted and you’re a little grumpier than you would prefer and
Then you have to go around the building because they are refinishing the front doors, but you encounter a puppy named “Sully” and get to pet her.
And then you get to your office and have this note on the door and you RE-realize that you have the chance to work with some of the best students ever...
Sometimes it takes too much work to be grumpy, so you might as well be in a decent mood.

But my point isn't that you shouldn't be grumpy, either. That was my point in my FB post, but not now. Today my point is that when I got in my car to drive home from the meeting that day, the song that came on my iPod was "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," by Thurl Ravenscroft.

My point is that the universe will play jokes on you and you may not think they are funny or you may think they are funny. Either way, you are correct.

Also my point is - how great a name is "Thurl Ravenscroft"?!!!