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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"?!!!

Sunday, October 22, 2017


New birth, new blessings.
~ Laila Gifty Akita
- - - - -

You know how when babies are learning to walk and they walk a little bit and then just sit down really hard. Who do they think they're fooling? We know they didn't just suddenly decide to sit down. We know they FELL down. 

Babies are fakers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


A clear conscience is usually a sign of a bad memory.
~ Steven Wright
- - - - -

If I were to choose three or four signs to put on a tree in front of my house, I wouldn't.

Friday, October 20, 2017


I always tried to do the best. I knew I couldn't always be the best, but I tried to be.
~ Frank Robinson
- - - - -

My mentor Frank used to sign notes, "I'm glad you're here." I do that now sometimes, but not for everyone. Let's be honest, I'm not glad everyone is here. 

Now you're going to go back and look at all the notes I sent you and see if I wrote that to you. If yes - be grateful. If no - try to think about what you did wrong.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?
~ Gloria Steinem
- - - - -

Jared put this koozie - that was in the shape of a boot - on Zak's foot. I think it was Jared. I just felt bad for Zak. He looked ridiculous when his shoes didn't match.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.
~ George Eliot
- - - - -

I like a lot of things about living in the South. 
Something I do not like is how hot it is. 
The day before yesterday it felt like autumn for the first time. 
It is mid October. 
That is too late for it to feel like autumn for the first time.
But at least it's here.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


One must also have faith to grow flowers...
~ Stella Walthall Patterson
- - - - -

I think that the quote above represents what George Michael meant when he wrote:

Well I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you 
                  -- "Faith" - 1987


Of course, I suppose there are different kinds of faith.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Cooking is at once child's play and adult's joy.
~ Craig Claiborne
- - - - -

They say you shouldn't play with your food, but I think maybe it's okay to have food with your play. Otherwise - uh, what about dinner theater?!

Sunday, October 15, 2017


I would start a revolution, but I just bought a hammock.
~ Zach Galifianakis
- - - - -

The peep standoff continued for several hours. The sun beat down on them. They knew none of them would last. They also knew none of them were going to back down when it came to the hammock. What they failed to realize (mainly due to poor eye sight) was that none of them - even in attached groups of four - would ever enjoy the hammock. They would fall through to the ground.

There was no relaxation to be had. Not in the midst of conflict. Not in the hammock. No where. 

There was no privacy, either. They were forever bound to at least three other peeps - maybe more if they stayed in the sun much longer.

"So THAT'S why," Wilbert thought to himself, 'There's no such saying as 'To peep his own.'"

Wilbert was wise, but the others didn't want to hear any more from him, so he decided to keep his wisdom to himself.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Laughter is poison to fear.
~ George R. R. Martin
- - - - -

You know what else is poison to fear? Antifreeze. At least it is if Fear is the name of a skunk - and that could be a thing. Fear the skunk.

Friday, October 13, 2017


If I exorcise my devils, all my angels may go, too.
~ Tom Waits
- - - - -

I'm surprised there is as much evil in the world as there appears to be. One would think with people recommending 20 minutes of exorcise at least three times a week that we'd be rid of a lot of it.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


You are my sun,
my moon,
and all of my stars.
~ e. e. cummings
- - - - -

The first time Leslie met Ezra, she sang to him. 
She sang the Bill Murray lyrics to "Star Wars" from Saturday Night Live (Episode 56 which aired during season three).

I don't know what that does to a baby, but hold on because we're about to find out!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Life's not fair. Why should it be?
~ Margaret Atwood
- - - - -

I don't know why they call it a fair. I don't think it's fair that I have to wait in line. I don't think that it's fair that rides cost money. I don't think that it's fair that they frickin' clowns EVERYWHERE.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Yeah, as long as we know we're trapped 
we still have a chance to escape.
~ Sara Grant
- - - - -

I love this photo. In it we see a kid with a bug trapped under her had. She is riding on a school bus. Just as the bug is trapped under her hand, the kid is trapped in the school system and perpetuates privilege and power and diminishes her senses of agency and independence. 

Or maybe this was a bus headed to entomology camp. 

Monday, October 9, 2017


Find a place inside where there's joy and the joy will burn out the pain.
~ Joseph Campbell
- - - - -

If you pay attention, you can see little signs of joy everywhere. If you don't pay attention they are still there, but you are missing out. And if you dwell on missing out on the little signs of joy then you're going to miss more of them. It's like a vicious circle. A vicious circle with a smiley face if you pay attention. And if you don't...  Well, there - you just made my point.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Sleep is the best meditation
~ The Dalai Lama
- - - - -

If you are ever out driving and you find yourself behind this car, be careful. There are a couple of things that could happen: 1. The driver could be asleep and cause and accident. 2. The driver could be a hypnotist and put you to sleep and you could cause an accident.


Those are the only two possible things that could happen, so be careful.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Children learn to smile from their parents.
~ Shinichi Suzuki
- - - - -

Sometimes when the kid with the cape says everyone should wear party hats, you wear party hats. Unless you're the baby brother. Then you don't have to. That's because the baby brother is the boss of everyone. He doesn't even realize his power.

But the kid with the cape realizes his power. And she is not always pleased about it. When he gets a little older she'll explain how things are SUPPOSED to work around here, buddy!

Friday, October 6, 2017


What is a farm but a mute gospel?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
- - - - -

Ken came from a family of very introverted barns. They sat. They held hay. They sheltered animals. They stored tools. Didn't say much. Didn't thrive on drama. Quiet, calm, simple barns.

But Ken wasn't like the others. He had bigger dreams and needed more out of his day than watching the sun rise and later watching the sun set. He wanted action. He wanted distraction. He wanted the satisfaction of the occasional infraction.

Ken was a different kind of barn. In fact the elders could be heard whispering to one another with disappointment and disdain in their voices, "That Ken... he was barn to be wild."

Thursday, October 5, 2017


The land of embarrassment and breakfast.
~ Julian Barnes
- - - - -

Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but you forget that if it's dinner time and you're hungry.

In that case maybe breakfast is the most self-important meal of the day.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply; by the lives they lead.
~ Edith Wharton
- - - - -

Karma is a mystery. You don't know when it's going to happy and you don't always realize why it's going to happen. 

Like this text. I have no idea what it was about.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Wind warns November's done with. 
The blown leaves make bat-shapes,
Web-winged and furious.
~ Sylvia Plath
- - - - -

When we were in Canada, I went and got Leslie. I said, "Um... can you come with me? I think there are a couple of bats in the other room." There had been bats in the cabin in past years, so it seemed believable.

When I showed her these two bats, she was not amused.

I just don't know what's wrong with Leslie sometimes. Sometimes I DO know what's wrong and it's usually because of something I have said, but this time... I have to tell you - I was at a loss.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Success isn't about the end result. 
It's about what you learn along the way.
~ Vera Wang
- - - - -

I learned that whoever had this magazine before me doesn't understand the concept of crossword puzzles.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe.
~ Zachary Taylor
- - - - -

Today is Zak's birthday.
He is two years old.
He was named in honor of Zachary Taylor the 12th president of the United States. His parents both desperately hope Zak will grow up to be a member of the Whig party and reluctantly run for president.

That's not true. I made it up.

But take a look at the photo below and you will notice a striking resemblance between Zak Boettcher and Zachary Taylor. It's a little creepy.

Happy birthday, Zak.


Friday, September 29, 2017


My passions have never jumped out of the fireplace and set fire to the carpet.
~ Mason Cooley
- - - - -


So why isn't a sink or tub a "waterplace?" 
Why isn't a closet a "clothes place?" 
Why isn't a refrigerator a "foodplace?" 
Why isn't a bank going to give me a bunch of free money?

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Having been let out of the barn once, I know I wouldn't be happy if I were at home all the time.
~ Meryl Streep
- - - - -

I love to drive around and take pictures.  I like to take pictures of barns.  You'd think that would be a relatively risk-free endeavor.  You can usually get a good picture of a barn just by pulling slightly off the road and taking the photo without even getting out of your car.

Well, sometimes there is more to it than that...  Like the time I pulled off and took a picture of a barn. Then as I was driving (in the middle of no where) I was being pursued.  It took me a while to know for sure that I was being followed, but when I realized that was the case, I pulled over next to a house where a guy was out mowing his yard.

The van behind me pulled up and the man and woman said, "You gonna go back and get the kittens you dumped in that barn?!"

After a brief discussion, I convinced them I was not a cat-dumper type of person.  Well, I don't know if I convinced them or not, but we concluded our dialogue.

Now, as if that wasn't strange enough, the next week I shared this story in class.  Afterward I got a message from one of the people in class that a friend of hers had a cat and kittens stolen.  She wondered if I could share where the barn was in case it was the same cat and kittens.  I shared and she said it was probably too far from where her friend had lived to be the same cat and kittens.

I could write something about curiosity and cats, but that would be cliche.

Instead, I'll share that those people who chased me around on those dirt roads freaked me out. 

I should have taken a picture of them... though I suspect that would not have deescalated the situation.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


My favorite review described me as the cinematic equivalent of junk mail. I don't know what that means, but it sounds like a dig.
~ Steve Buscemi
- - - - -

You might think that the dramatic increase in the number of mailbox doors that are stolen is because people aren't reporting the damage. You'd be wrong. They ARE reporting the damage, unfortunately they are doing it by sending letters and without doors on their mailboxes the letters all blow away.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
- - - - -

I saw this in South Carolina last fall. I love seeing things like this. I have never seen anything like this before, so I guess I just loved seeing this thing.

I don't think they were roadside casket-sellers, but they may have been. I wasn't ready to go up and ask for more information.

Monday, September 25, 2017


If I had a free afternoon I would, play music, 
sit in my backyard, and drink coffee.
~ Aja Naomi King
- - - - -

Is there any such thing as a "free" afternoon? I'm not sure. Ultimately, everything comes with a cost. Especially receipts.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.
~ Alfred A Montapert
- - - - -

I think "breakfast ribs" is a good idea. Who wouldn't jump out of bed in the morning if they knew they were getting ribs for breakfast?

Maybe vegans. But vegans are full of contradictions. Like carrot cake. Carrot cake isn't vegan. You probably could make it vegan somehow...  but then it wouldn't be very good carrot cake. That is, if you believe in such a things as "very good carrot cake."

I do believe in that. I also believe the "breakfast ribs" is a good idea.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
- - - - -

So I spent a day working the garage. I cleaned and organized the garage. I stained some furniture. I liked it. Well, other than my allergies. I didn't like that.

It reminded me of my dad and how he used to say, "Why don't you go clean out the garage?" And how we didn't have a garage.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


I'm not fancy. I'm what I appear to be.
~ Janet Reno
- - - - -

I think that this guy serving the Past and the sandwich is fancy. In fact, the sandwich itself is kind of fancy. I hope that this guy is serving himself the fancy sandwich and the Pabst. I hope he works as a plumber or a lumberjack and he comes home at night and gets cleaned up and dressed up and serves himself a fancy sandwich and a Pabst beer.

I'd like to know what that guy's dreams are. I bet they are pretty noteworthy.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


It is important to our friends to believe that we are unreservedly frank with them, and important to friendship that we are not.
~ Mignon McLaughlin
- - - - -

I mostly like frank humans. But if you see someone being frank and drinking out of a huge beer holder, they are NOT a frank human. They are a frank and stein human.

Also, I mostly don't need you to be a frank human with me in terms of what you think about this post.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


In radio you have two tools: sound and silence.
~ Ira Glass
- - - - -

Unless it's a clock radio. Then you also have the tool of time. 

Monday, September 11, 2017


Look on every exit as being an entrance to somewhere else.
~ Tom Stoppard
- - - - -

This sign outrages me.
I don't think the place should ban just bullies from America. We need to say no to bullies from everywhere. I'm anti-bullying on a global level.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


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

Really, Karl?!  REALLY??

I don't believe that for a second. While I don't enjoy dolls, and I wonder about people who collect them, there are lots of things more scary than that.

I think maybe Karl Lagerfeld is a liar.

Also... Happy birthday, Karl Lagerfeld.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


It's hard to find any good quotes about being sarcastic.
~ Michelle Boettcher
- - - - -

You know, you can't spell "sarcastic" without "care." Well, you can if you want to spell sarcastic right, but what's the fun in that.

Maybe I should say, "You know, you can't spell 'sarcastic' without 'scar.'"

Yep. That's about right.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.
~ John Steinbeck
- - - - -

My mom is a good sport. She has to be with her children. I would say it takes a lot of patience, but ye reap what ye sow, Mom. Ye sowed us. And forced us to use the pronoun "ye."

But in addition to sarcasm and practical jokes, we also do nice things for her. Like when we helped with her iPad. She was pretty grateful. I know that is true because I heard her tell someone on the phone, "They put candy something on my iPad." If that's not gratitude, I don't know what is.

It's possible I don't know exactly what gratitude is.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Army photo

Be as you wish to seem.
~ Socrates
- - - - -

Early drafts of this quote (as read in Socrates' journal):

"Be as you wish to be."

"Seem to be as you wish you were."

"If wishes were pennies, we'd all be rich."

"The old man and the seem."

"To seem or not to seem, that is the question."


Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.
~ Oscar Wilde
- - - - -

Don't worry. He's not talking about me. I learn things every day. Like quantum physics and thermodynamics. Or like electromagnetic field theory and neuroscience. I learn that those things are really hard and I should try to learn different things.

Education rocks.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- - - - -

Leslie thinks sometimes I project my own feelings onto her when I write things. I heard the phrase "unreliable narrator" somewhere the other day and wondered if that was what she meant. 

It's hard to tell what she means when she says to me, "You're an unreliable narrator." 

Friday, August 18, 2017


Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart's desire.
~ John Dewey
- - - - -

I see people posting all these "Post if you remember this!" things. I never do them. In fact, the other day I saw someone who put, "Post if you remember this!" with a picture of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

I remember that.

I had it for lunch about two weeks ago.


Why was that a thing to post?

People are so weird. It's not like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches no longer exist.

Dear Everyone,

I don't understand you.

Love, Michelle

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Only I can change my life. 
No one can do it for me.
~ Carol Burnett
- - - - -

We have to take responsibility for ourselves eventually. I mean, I guess we don't, but I know some people who don't and - I won't call them pathetic... I'll call them sad. They are helpless - or they think they are helpless. They get to the point where they absolutely canNOT do anything for themselves. They cry a lot. And sleep a lot. And eat a lot.

Newborn babies need to grow up and take responsibility for themselves!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.
~ Orhan Pamuk
- - - - -

Pay attention.

People will show you who they are, you don't have to listen to what they say.

Which is why job interviews don't make any sense. As my brilliant friend Sara always used to say to me, "After an interview all you know about a person is whether or not they interview well."

Which is why it would be a lot easier if you had a job to hire dogs. You'd know right away if they were right for the job or not. And they'd probably be right for most all the jobs. Except those requiring opposable thumbs.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


The wizards represent all that the true muggle most fears: They are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit.
~ J. K. Rowling
- - - - -

"Do you want to be a wizard when you grow up?" the old man asked the little boy.

The little boy was confused. He thought maybe the old man was confused. Wasn't a wizard something you were rather than something you became? Aren't wizards born and not made?

Then the boy realized what the man - who had been slurring his words because of all the alcohol - actually said was, "If you eat that lizard you'll throw up!"

He started to laugh but instead he pointed at a pretty flower and ran away when the old man looked at it.

Maybe the boy - who disappeared to safety and escaped the old man - was a wizard all along.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Instead of putting a quarter under a kid's pillow, how about a pinecone? That way, he learns that "wishing" isn't going to save our national forests!
~ Jack Handey
- - - - -

My mom has some sayings about wishing:

1. If wishes were pennies we'd all be rich.
2. It ain't what you want, but what you get that makes you fat.

My mom is pretty much a guru. A dream-stifling guru.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Instead of building walls, we should be building bridges.
~ Vicente Fox
- - - - -

I hate it when there's a big sign out front that says "Open House" and you go up and the door is locked and then some yahoo has called the police because it's the MAYBE 15th or 16th time - TOPS - you've tried to get into that place. And the police say there's something called a "retraining order" but you explain - again for the 15th or 16th - well maybe a few more times than that - that you don't need to be retrained. And then they babble and get mad when you try to run around the house to check the back door.

I mean, why is that sign even there?

Saturday, August 12, 2017


A place where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain... 
~ Dorothy Gale, Wizard of Oz
- - - - -

They all told Dolores she was too old to play Dorothy in the high school play. They also said she couldn't be in the play because she wasn't in high school anymore. But if Dolores allowed people to stop her just by saying she couldn't do something, she never would have started "Dolores High School" where she got to star in "The Wizard of Oz" (though attendance was pretty low). 

The ironic thing is that the DHS got called on Dolores High School (also DHS) when Dolores tried a new education practice of "forced enrollment" by hijacking a school bus. 

Which do I mean - Department of Human Services or Department of Homeland Security, you ask? Yes. Yes, I do.