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Monday, February 19, 2018

Batman

I'm digging Batman. I'm digging that balance, that duality. He's always on the edge and trying to balance himself within the rules of what's lawful and justice, and being Bruce Wayne and being Batman.
~ Ziggy Marley
- - - - -

Leslie: Why hasn't any college chosen Batman for a mascot?

Me: . . . 

I am not speechless often. I am without a smart aleck response rarely. I am completely confused by questions completely obvious and yet unanswered hardly ever.

This was one of those times.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Birthdays

Every birthday is a gift. Every day is a gift.
~ Aretha Franklin
- - - - -

Last night at 10:03 p.m. I got a call from Leslie and some of her friends - classmates from West Point. They are having their annual get together weekend - this year in Washington D.C. Anyway, they sang me happy birthday. Yesterday at 10:03 p.m. was not my birthday. That's not the point. The point is that my birthday is super important.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Grandparenting

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.
~ Alex Haley
- - - - -

I have heard people say that youth is wasted on the young. I think maybe that grandparenting is wasted on the old. I wonder what the world would be like if people were grandparents first and parents second. 

(pause)

No, that's probably a bad idea. Kids would be even more spoiled than they already are and no one would go visit grandma because she would be so mean. 

Sometimes you know what you're doing, universe.

PS. I am in no way calling Leslie old just because her photo is here. She's a super-young and super-awesome Grandma. (I hope I wrote that down the way she told me to...)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Tchotchkes

You know what? There aren't a lot of quotes that use the word "tchotchke."
~ Michelle Boettcher
- - - - -

I love antique stores or junk shops or whatever you want to call them. I sometimes buy things, but I mostly like to look at things from days of yore and think, "What in the world were they thinking in days of yore?!"

Leslie goes with me sometimes. I think she really likes it even though she pretends she doesn't like it as much as I do.

Me: (in a store like the ones described above) What is this thing? Is it a bottle opener?

Leslie: I think it's a tchotchke.

Me: You know who loves tchotchkes?

Leslie: Not me.

Me: Joanie.

(It makes me sad for younger generations who will never really understand how funny that is.)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bathrooms

What makes graffiti special, and worthy of its own entire category, is the uniqueness of the space in which people are writing. Public bathrooms are weird places. There's a tension to doing private activities in a public space...
~ Julie Beck
- - - - -

Overheard...

Kid: Mama, I saw your name on the back of the bathroom door.

Mama: Your dad probably wrote it there.

Kid: Nope. I asked him. He said he always just writes it on the wall.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love

Oh baby there ain't no mountain high enough
Ain't no valley low enough
Ain't no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe...
~ Ashford & Simpson
- - - - -

I like the idea of love that can't be stopped. Unfortunately, I'm pressure sure there are mountains high enough to stop me. I'm sort of clumsy and would likely fall down into a ravine or something.

I hope I wouldn't be trapped and have to cut off my arm, though. I probably couldn't do that, either. 

And if I did, I wouldn't get far because I am not sure I know how to make a - the thing that stops all the blood from falling out of your body? A tourniquet! I'm not sure I know how to do a tourniquet.

Tourniquet is kind of a pretty word. Like banquet. Or bouquet.

Bouquets are sometimes about love, too. I could climb one of those for love. If it wasn't ridiculously huge and didn't have poison ivy in it.

Anyway, love is nice.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Humans

In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.
~ Thurgood Marshall
- - - - -

I wonder what it would be like if a community put up these little tiles and plaques for the less positive characters in town. What if this said, "Local Philanderer" instead of "Philanthropist?" I would love to see and read those tiles. 

Regardless... philanthropist OR philanderer, I have to say that walking 21 miles a per day is pretty impressive. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Fear

Fear is stupid. So are regrets.
~ Marilyn Monroe
- - - - -

Sometimes I stumble upon old deleted stuff that never got fully deleted. That happened the other day in my email. I found a folder labeled "Stupid" but couldn't see what was in it. 

It would be weird if there was a document that just said, "Fear" in there and another that just said, "Regrets" in there. Wouldn't that be weird?

I do not have a folder of clowns because I am afraid of them and I don't regret it because it's not a stupid fear.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Poop

You aren't what you eat. You are what you don't poop.
~ Wavy Gravy
- - - - -

When Jared and Zak and Kirk were coming to visit, Zak was constipated. Jared and Zak stopped to buy prunes before they got to our house. Leslie said that apple juice also helps. I texted them that. I said that I thought Leslie would know because she has pooped before.

Different people have different kinds of expertise. I don't know half the shit Leslie knows. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Stairs

There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.
~ Zig Ziglar
- - - - -

For a while last summer the elevator in our building was down. I sent myself an email that said:

Make sign that says, "There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs."

I didn't do that. mainly because of ADA. Zig Ziglar should have known better. There are a lot of people who can't take the stairs who are very successful.

Also, there are a lot of places without stairs, so what about that, Zig Ziglar? What. About. That?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Power

The most common way that people give up their power is by thinking that they don't have any.
~ Alice Walker
- - - - -

So power in and of itself is nothing. It has to be put into action. Electricity has to be carried by wires or lightning. Solar power has to be shared with some sort of receptor. The power of a leader has to be supported by followers. Without some sort of enacting body or process, power is powerless.

(pause)

I really have no idea what I'm talking about sometimes.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Tired

I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.
~ Yogi Berra
- - - - -

Sometimes when you're in an architectural salvage / antique store you just get so tired that you need someone to carry you out to the car so you can leave. But if you're a grown-up falling asleep and hoping someone will carry you to the car, you're in for a long wait. Or in for a Lifetime Movie - one or the other.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BIRTHDAY!

Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.
~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
- - - - -

Today is Leslie's birthday. I don't think she worries too much about getting older. If she does she doesn't say much about it.

I worry, though.

I mostly worry about her vocabulary. She's using old people vocabulary. The other day she used the word "fisticuffs" and last night she used the word - I forget what word it was.

Actually, now that I think about it maybe I should be more worried about the fact that I can't remember what that other word was than the fact that she is using old timey language.

Anyway, I said, "You're talking like an old person. You just said [whatever the word was that I forgot] and last night you said 'fisticuffs'!"

She said, "I always say fisticuffs."

I asked, "When?!" 

She said, "When I'm talking about fisticuffs!"

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bowling

After tea, it's back to painting - a large poplar at dusk 
with a gathering storm. From time to time instead 
of this evening painting session I go bowling in 
one of the neighboring villages, but not very often.
~ Gustav Klimt
- - - - -

It is as if Gustav Klimt and I are the same person except that I am not a painter and I rarely go bowling - in neighboring villages or elsewhere.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Spelling

Nanny Ogg knew how to start spelling "banana" but didn't know how you stopped.
~ Terry Pratchett
- - - - -

For some reason lately when I try to type "You rock" to someone, the first thing I type is "You co" Now, fortunately I stop myself before I type and send "You cock." Or maybe I'm about to type "You cork" - transposing the r and the c.

My point is, if I send you a message and say, "You cock" I mean "You rock." 

(Michelle was pleased at how she crafted a narrative whereby she could forever get away with calling people derogatory names and they would actually see it as a compliment. Sometimes she was astounded by her own brilliance. Actually, not just sometimes, but often.)

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Language

The development of language is part of the development of the personality, for words are the natural means of expressing thoughts and establishing understanding between people.
~ Maria Montessori
- - - - -

I think that we are bad at communication lately. And by we, I mean the whole entire world. I know there are a few of you who are exceptions, but for the most part we're horrible at this. 

I think one thing we can do to help resolve this is to listen and try to understand instead of just biding our time until it's our turn to talk. Of course some people don't wait, they just interrupt. But my point is to listen.

And if you hear something and you think you misheard or you aren't sure exactly what it was that you heard, I think it's important to clarify instead of just assuming you knew what was said.

Here is a recent example from my own lived experience:


Leslie: You're such a dimwit.

Me: Did you just call me a dimwit?

Leslie: No. I called you an asswipe.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Neighbor

Your neighbor's vision is as true for him and your own vision is true for you.
~ Miguel de Unamuno
- - - - -

While I feel this quote is perfect for this photo, I'm not really sure that any comment I make could add to it. With that in mind, I will stop here.



Friday, February 2, 2018

Look

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
~ Bill Gates
- - - - -

I hear people talk about the word "empower" as a negative thing. To empower is to authorize or give permission. I think the way a lot of people use it they mean to support and encourage people in doing their own work and creating change. 

Regardless, I think that a show called Mighty Morphin Empower Rangers would be a good show. I think the premise could be the same as how Wikipedia describes Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that their job is to "overcome periodic antagonists."

That's the story of our lives, isn't it? That we try to overcome periodic antagonists? And who couldn't use a little support in that. Support - not permission. 

Bring it on periodic antagonists! Well, bring it on later. I'm busy right now.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Collector

I'm not a hoarder, I'm a collector; if you have something you like, every time you see it you have a little happy hit.
~ Douglas Coupland
- - - - -

"Well, we have to honor him," declared the mayor. "After all he was a member of one of the pioneer families in this region." 

"I concur," bellowed Councilman Lyon. "After all he did for the trees in this area - he deserves a marker in commemoration of his contributions."

"But what about the collection?" asked the County Recorder. "I mean... dare we mention that he collected --"

"The collection," stated Councilman Lyon firmly, "Can be acknowledged, but not named."

And so, they designated him a "collector" but did not share what it was he collected. It helped many rest easy. It helped many maintain their high levels of vigilance. One could call it win-win, but only if one didn't know all the details of the situation. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Surprise

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.
~ Henry J. M. Nouwen
- - - - -

If you expect a surprise, is it really a surprise? I think maybe if you seek surprises you can find them, but if you expect them you just get your expectations met. If that is your preference, then expect really great surprises because you don't want to have low expectations. 

Or maybe have low expectations and hope to be surprised when they are exceeded. 

Do what you want. I'm not the boss of you.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Music

(original photo by Leslie Lewis)

One good thing about music: when it hits you, you feel no pain.
Bob Marley
- - - - -

I think it's cool when kids are little and they think their parents are magic. Sadly, that doesn't last very long. 

Unless your parents are magicians.

(pause)

Also "music" and "magic" not only have the same number of letters but also a lot of the same letters. 

(If you didn't think that first part about parents being magic was deep and insightful, I'm hoping you'll think this second part is even though it's really just knowing spelling.)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Art

No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
~ Ingmar Bergman
- - - - -

I want Leslie to get a job writing movie synopses for Netflix or someone. Here is her description of Masterminds:

That movie with what's her name and what's his name. Where they steal some shit. The woman who played Hillary Clinton on SNL. And that bowl haircut dude.

She is brilliant.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Reward

Every society has the criminals it deserves.
~ Emma Goldman
- - - - -

That seems harsh, Emma Goldman. And true.

I hate it when things are both true and harsh.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Grandpas

When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.
~ Ogden Nash
- - - - -

I think most people are better grandparents than parents. I think it should be that way. You can't replace your grandparents. You can replace your parents with teachers or stuffed animals or a jar of apple butter. But not grandparents.

And I think grandparenting should be verb. However, every time I type it, the technology monsters correct it to "grandpa renting" which seems exploitive.

Also, I don't really think you can replace parents with stuffed animals or a jar of apple butter. But you can replace them with robots. Well, and maybe with a few select stuffed animals. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Kindness

There's no use doing a kindness if you do it a day too late.
~ Charles Kingsley
- - - - -

Do I believe that you may as well NOT do kindnesses because it might be too late? No. That is something that I do not believe.

Do I believe in killing people with kindness? Yes. I do. Even the rotten people. And for the super-duper rotten people I believe in doing it, but just without the kindness.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Path

Every path serves a purpose.
~ Gene Oliver
- - - - -


Jared showed me the tag from the hiking backpack he and Kirk got for Zak for a trip to the Grand Canyon. Among the warnings included "Do not go running or swimming with baby in backpack." While I'm glad Jared and Kirk are responsible parents who read the warning, I am sad and afraid for the parents who would go swimming with a baby strapped to them. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Messages

Honestly, if everyone like what you say, something is wrong with your message.
~ Ashley Ormon
- - - - -

A good day is when I have only two (or fewer) messages in my inbox. A GREAT day is when I have five messages in my inbox, but three of them are marked, "Notes to self."

(pause)

Yes, that has really happened to me.

(pause)

Yes, more than once... or twice...

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Books

No two persons ever read the same book.
~ Edmund Wilson
- - - - -

Leslie: SH!

Me: Because you're a librarian?

Leslie: Because I'm reading!

Me: Is it good?

Leslie: I don't know, I haven't started reading it, yet.

Me: It can't be that good if you waited all these years to read it.

Leslie: What if it just came out?

Me: It can't be that good or someone would have written it already.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Rooster

Even when there is no rooster, the morning will still start.
~ African Proverb
- - - - -

"Tell someone you love them today." 

I saw that on my FB once. Followed by:

"I'm pretty busy, so this post will have to suffice."

I'm a real jerk sometimes. But in a charming sort of way, I think.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Butler

It is said that no one is a hero to their butler. The reason is, that it requires a hero to recognize a hero. The butler, however, will probably know well how to estimate his equals.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- - - - -

We were driving and passed a sign that said "Belvedere."

Leslie: Wasn't that a show about a butler?

Me: Yes. I believe it was called, "Mr. Belvedere."

Leslie: My favorite butler was Mr. French.

(pause)

Me: I can't believe you have a favorite butler.

(Also, the correct answer to "Who is the best butler" is Alfred Pennyworth, not Mr. French)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tea

If a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.
~ Japanese Proverb
- - - - -

There must be a LOT of non-tea drinkers trying to lead and be the bosses of us these days. It's ironic because truth starts with T(ea) and beau-tea ends with tea.

Wait, I don't mean that it's ironic. I mean that we have a bunch of liars as leaders. That's what I meant.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Yield

You win the victory when you yield to friends.
~ Sophocles
- - - - -

I think Sophocles came up with this quote at the end of a game of Monopoly he lost.

So wise, Sophocles. So very wise.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kids

When I was a little kid we had a sandbox. It was a quicksand box. I was an only child... eventually.
~ Steven Wright
- - - - -

I don't know why, but Aurora went through a phase where she was saying "Baloney Gundark." I think she was using it as a name for someone or something. I heard her say it and I heard her repeat it more than once. I never heard anyone else say it before she did, so I think she had to have made it up.

I can't remember when that all happened, but I know that it did.

(pause)

I am really excited about one day becoming a great storyteller. That said, I realize that I haven't quite gotten there, yet.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Gravity

Gravity hurts.
~ Viktor Alexandrov
- - - - -

I like it when kids are learning things. I like to help teach them things. History things, literaturey things, sciencey things.

Like a while back when David, Leslie, and Aurora and I went on a walk. There was a bridge that crossed over a little creek. Aurora was collecting rocks, and I had an idea.

I called her over to the edge of the bridge that looked over the water. I said, "I have a rock and a leaf. I'm going to drop them both into the water. Which one do you think will hit the water first?"

"The leaf," Aurora said confidently, without hesitation.

"Okay," I said. "Why?"

"Because I'm going to take the rock."

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bread

If you have extraordinary bread and extraordinary butter, it's hard to beat bread and butter.
~ Jacques Pepin
- - - - -
We stopped at an inn and restaurant one time. It was on a college campus and college students worked there. Our waitress came up. She was a first-year student and this was about her third day on campus. She said she was a little homesick, but really liked her job and the people she was working with.

Then she asked us if we wanted some of the house specialty for that particular inn / restaurant.

Waitress: Would you like to try the spoon bread? It's 70 years old!

Me: It's probably a little stale then, isn't it?

She stared at me blankly. 

I stared at her blankly.

The food was good even if her sense of humor lacked taste.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Fitting

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
~ Arthur Conan Doyle
- - - - -
Once upon a time on a road trip, Leslie and I passed a "Jasmine Cain" trailer. We didn't know who that was, so I looked it up. Based on my preliminary research, she apparently sings at a lot of motorcycle-related events. That sort of fit with the images of her with motorcycles on the sides of the trailer.

Me: I didn't know there was a big market for music for motorcycle people. (pause) That's how out of the loop I am. I just called them "motorcycle people." There must be another name for that demographic other than "motorcycle people."

Leslie: Bikers.

Me: That would be it. 

(pause) 

Leslie: I bet "Jasmine Cain" isn't her real name. It's probably "Jasmine Chain."

Me: (pretending to read information online) Her real name is Hulgu McButtonstuff.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mirth

I never get any protests from children. All I get are giggles of mirth and and squirms of delight. I know what children like.
~ Roald Dahl
- - - - -

Natalie gets more than giggles and squirms from children. One time she posted she got vomit, urine, and feces from them - all in a single day. 

(pause)

I bet there were some squirms in that mix, too. Maybe not of delight, though.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Photography

In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more than reality.
~ Ansel Adams
- - - - -

Every time I'm flipping through TV channels and a I see a Polaroid and the show is called "Snapped," I think the show is about photography. It's not. It's about murders. Polaroids mean murders.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Enjoy

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.
~ Richard Bach
- - - - -

You know how computers are taking over the world? You know how algorithms tell us what to buy or for whom we should vote? I say we rebel against that. I say we stand up for our own likes and dislikes. I say we do it for ourselves and we do it for our future.

So when Netflix suggests that I would like 
Cheapest Weddings
Lock Up
Women Behind Bars
and 
Bad Santa II

I'm not going to watch those things! I'll watch what I WANT to watch. And if I happen to want to watch and enjoy Lock Up, that's MY choice - not you computers and machines and algorithms!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Colors

Color is a power which directly influences the soul.
~Wassily Kandinsky
- - - - -

I showed Leslie a car that was the color of the car I almost bought. We talked about what they should dame the color - it was sort of gray and blue and maybe a little green. Leslie suggested "glacier silt" and I favored "stagnant pond."

We both have our fingers crossed we'll be hired to name paint colors for cars one day. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tongue

Teach your child to hold his tongue. He'll learn fast enough to speak.
~ Benjamin Franklin
- - - - -

The other day I was in a crafts store. As I was waiting in line to check out, I heard a mother snap at her child who was licking an item he picked up in the check out line, "STOP THAT! That's disgusting! That thing is covered with sickness and diseases and stuff!"

"If she really believes that things in the store are covered with diseases," I thought, "Why does she shop here?"

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bell

Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh.
~ William Shakespeare
- - - - -

It seems like they might need more of this.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Boats

Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
~ Mark Twain
- - - - -
Not sure, but since the Oconee Nuclear Station is pretty close to the lake where I saw this sign, maybe it should read "In the event of an emergency involving Oconee Nuclear Station... or other conditions requiring evacuation of the earth..."

If the nuclear power plant goes, maybe just enjoy the last few minutes on your boat.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Similes

It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble and then not worth much after you get it.
~ Zora Neale Hurston
- - - - -

How would she even know that? 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Sunrise

Someday is not a day of the week.
~ Denise Brennan-Nelson
- - - - -

Good one, Denise Brennan-Nelson. But don't you come around on July 6th trying to tell me birthDAY is not a day of the week or we're going to have some trouble between us.

Have a nice day.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Going

Only those who will risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T. S. Eliot
- - - - -

The other day I saw a hearse pulling out of QuikTrip. I guess hearses have to get gas somewhere, but it struck me as odd. I wonder if the driver got a slushy drink thing while he was there.

I have so many questions about this world.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Words

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.
~ Henry David Thoreau
- - - - -

Remember my post yesterday that used this same image? I have a confession to make. When I pulled the blog idea from my email, this is what I had typed to myself:

When you say words can't express I think you're just showing how limited your cocabilary is.

Pause.

That makes me sad for you.

I think I'm funny and then I go back and read stuff like this. Well, one thing I know for sure - I think  I'm funny.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Words

Where words fail, music speaks.
~ Hans Christian Andersen
- - - - -
I don't like it when people say, "Words can't express how..." and then go on to use words to express whatever they are talking about. Of course, I hate it when people say, "No words..." and then do the same thing. Obviously they do have some words, probably just not very good ones.

Really, instead of, "I'm sorry your cat died. I have no words to express my sorrow," they should write, "I"m sorry your cat died. I have a poor vocabulary."

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Be

Be -- don't try to become.
~ Osho
- - - - -

Leslie and I play games sometimes. One time we were playing this game called "Finish Lines" where you get part of a quote or a song or a piece of dialogue from TV or movies and you have to finish it. It's pretty fun. It's also challenging sometimes. 

Leslie: If you can't be good...

Me: Be very good.

Leslie: No.

Me: Be bad.

Leslie: No.

Me: Be quiet.

Leslie: No.

Me: Be yourself.

Leslie: No.

(pause)

Leslie: Be careful.

I think that this game sometimes reveals a lot about people. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Danger

Never was anything great achieved without danger.
~ Niccolo Machiavelli
- - - - -

I recently found an email I sent to Sara and Joe in 2014. 

Subject: Not sure
Me: But I may have heard a Geiger counter in our lobby a minute ago.
Joe: It might have been because of you radiating awesomeness.
Me: I'm sure that had to be it. There aren't any Geigers around here.

You'll note that Sara is noticeably silent in this exchange. You probably think it is because she was either trying to work or she went to investigate what was going on since clearly neither Joe nor I was going to do anything about the situation.

But the reality might be that she was laughing and laughing and couldn't really type.

(pause)

You're probably right, though. She was probably trying to work.