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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.

Friday, August 11, 2017


There can only be one person in the driver's seat.
~ Alanis Morrisette
- - - - -

Perhaps, but there can be more than one personality in the driver's seat. If you don't believe me, just ride along with Leslie when she's behind someone who doesn't use their turn signal, has to come to a complete stop before making a turn, etc. One moment you're riding along with the nicest person in the world. The next minute you're riding along with someone who is not the nicest person in the world. 

But we all have pet peeves about driving, right? Especially children because they don't get to drive very often. However, when little children who don't know how to drive are out there driving irresponsibly, you can bet that Leslie is probably in the car behind them swearing her head off.

And seriously, Leslie! How do you expect them to learn with you screaming at them?!

Thursday, August 10, 2017


There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.
~ Janet Kilbourn Philips
- - - - -

The isn't a picture of what we grew this summer. We grew tomatoes and peppers and basil. But if we had grown this in our garden and realized it wasn't a vegetable, we would call it an experiment.

That's a lie. We wouldn't call it anything. We probably would have pulled it and thrown it aside as a weed. And then we wouldn't have this pretty picture.

That reminds me of the old saying, "A pretty picture of a weed is nice."

Granted it's not a common saying.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Scarecrow: Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?
~ Wizard of Oz
- - - - -

If I was a dentist, I'd call my practice the "Wizard of Aahs." People would like that and they'd think, "Now here's a dentist with a sense of humor." They'd come in and be all relaxed. 

The best part of it is when they come in and instead of working their teeth I do brain surgery on them or give them a heart transplant. Then they'll see how powerful I REALLY am.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


True luxury is being able to own your time -- to be able to take a walk, sit on your porch, read the paper, not take the call, not be compelled by obligation.
~ Ashton Kutcher
- - - - -

I don't know that I think we ever really own time. I think we all have time. Some of us get the freedom (luxury... privilege...) to decide how to use that time. Others don't.

But then time is made up anyway, right? That's why I don't wear a watch. And when I'm late and people get mad I just scream, "TIME IS AN ILLUSION!" and then I pull a rabbit out of my hat.

They forget I'm late because they get to play with a little rabbit.

Monday, August 7, 2017


In their brief time together Slothrop forms the impression 
that this octopus is not in good mental health, 
though where's his basis for comparing?
~ Thomas Pynchon
- - - - -

This is a gift I got from Kirk and Jared.

I love it.

The octopus is attacking the ship and bringing it under the sea with it.  And that is how I feel about my relationships with other people. I just want to grab them and drown them!

Not really.  To be totally honest, I'd rather not touch most people.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Dance when you're broken open. Dance if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.
~ Rumi
- - - - -

I love wisdom in unexpected places. If you listen, there is wisdom all around us.

Like the other day I was in line for the bathroom and a woman said, "If you really have to pee and you dance to 'All the Single Ladies' then you won't wet yourself."

She was talking to her friend and maybe didn't know I was standing behind her. 


To her wisdom.

Was it creepy? Well, that's not really the purpose of this post so we can discuss it another time.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


You don't paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars.
~ Kris Kristopherson
- - - - -

Oar do you...?

Friday, August 4, 2017


A story is how we construct our experiences.
~ Doris Lessing
- - - - -

My friend Amanda posts stories about her kids a lot. I love those stories. One of my favorite characters in her stories is "Doris." Doris' is Amanda's daughter when she is being... Outspoken. Fierce. Strong-willed. Maybe even obstinate.

I wanted to share a Doris example in this post, so I wrote Amanda and asked if she'd be okay with that. Here is the response:

I asked. I was actually nervous, but she said, "Hell if I care. Nobody listens to a damn thing I say in person. Probably won't read me in print either." I think that's a yes. Let me know if you need help tracking one down.

I think I love Doris because she is what we all should aspire to be - honest, funny, and -- that's it. Just honest and funny.

Thanks, Doris. Thanks, Amanda.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Variety's the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavor.
~ William Cowper
- - - - -

About a year ago when Erik was finishing chemo, he couldn't really taste anything. That said, one time Mom made mashed potatoes with dinner. This is a pretty big deal because growing up we only had boiled potatoes never mashed potatoes. I asked why we were having mashed potatoes. Erik said, "Chemo!" implying that since he was sick he could get whatever he wanted.

Then he also ate Toxic Waste candy because he could almost taste that.

Is this my not-so-subtle way of suggesting that someone come up with Toxic Waste candy-flavored mashed potatoes for people whose sense of taste is compromised?


Wednesday, August 2, 2017


I've always said the rubber duck is a yellow catalyst.
~ Florentjin Hoffman
- - - - -

I've always said, "Rubber ducks?! I LOVE rubber ducks!"

Except before I could talk. Then I said, "goobledy ga du bubububuh," and who knows what the hell I meant by that?!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


In department stores, so much kitchen equipment is bought indiscriminately by people who just come in for men's underwear.
~ Julia Child
- - - - -

On a recent visit to see my brother and his family, we were talking about a friend of his (and now a friend of mine) who is in the food business. She is doing quite well. Actually, this is how Kirk put it:

"Her business is taking off like nobody's..."

He stopped himself before finishing the sentence. 

It was a good visit. And it is very, very good food.

Monday, July 31, 2017


The first man gets the oyster. The second man gets the shell.
~ Andrew Carnegie
- - - - -

And the third man gets angry because the second man pushed him down.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


I can wear a hat or take it off, but either way it's a conversation piece.
~ Hedda Hopper
- - - - -

I think conversations are good things. To talk and then listen and then talk based on what you listened to. That's maybe why some electronic communications aren't so good. You talk, but you don't really have to listen to anyone else. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of people are really good at that talking without listening part. SAD.

On a very loosely related note, a good name for a book would be Hedda Hopper's Hats.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Living in a tower, however secure it may feel, is hardly a social attribute.
~ Dirk Bogarde
- - - - -

A lot of people think Rapunzel was antisocial because she lived in a tower.

1. No. She was held prisoner in a tower. She didn't choose to live there of her own accord.
2. She was antisocial because her name was Rapunzel and the other kids made fun of her.

Friday, July 28, 2017


If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.
~ Raymond Inmon
- - - - -

Just watch where you're going and try not to knock over a bunch of motorcycles while you're walking because Devil's Angels whisper to a man when that happens. And it's not good words or creative ideas. Also, it's probably not whispering.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.
~ Shirley Chisholm
- - - - -

A seat at the table of change is rarely an easy chair. A folding chair is better because you take it with you to the next place where you need to do the work.

Just be careful when you fold it up you don't pinch your finger. Been there, done that. Squawking like a little baby because you hurt yourself has an impact on the degree to which you are able to create change.

Or so I've heard.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude.
~ Brene Brown
- - - - -

A lot of people say they are blessed when something good happens. Or they use #blessed when they share that something good has happened for them.

Does that mean the rest of us are cursed if that didn't happen to us?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.
~ George Bernard Shaw
- - - - -

I agree with that quote.

A kid gets that a pork sandwich is pig. 

A kid is also outraged when we lie and call a pig sandwich a pork sandwich.

But he's not outraged for long because mmmmmmm.... Pig!

Monday, July 24, 2017


A good farmer is nothing more or less than a handyman with a good sense of humus.
~ E. B. White
- - - - -

Leslie is picky about the farmer's markets she goes to. One time I asked her if she wanted to go to a particular farmer's market with me and she said no. When I asked why, she responded - "I don't need to go to a farmer's market where a person can buy a monogrammed pie for their dog."

She is so wise.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Lite Brite making things with light.
What a sight, making things with Lite Brite.
~ Lite Brite Commercial (1960s-1970s)
- - - - -

Cyrill was so excited to use his new Lite Brite. He had wanted it for so long and had saved and saved and almost had enough money. His parents were proud of his hard work and agreed to make up the additional funds so her could purchase his new Lite Brite.

He ran home from the toy store with the prize in his arms. He fell on a crack in the sidewalk and squashed a corner of the box and skinned his knee. He was panicked and finished the dash home. He opened the box as blood ran down his pale skinny shin. Thankfully, the toy was intact.

Sadly, he didn't have a lightbulb, but then he got an idea (which is interesting since the symbol for an idea is a lightbulb above one's head). He went to his room and took the lightbulb from his bedside lamp. He wouldn't be able to finish reading Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Midnight Visitor at bedtime, but it was worth the sacrifice.

He scrambled back to the living room, sprawled out on his stomach on the thick, green, shag carpeting on the floor and after putting in the lightbulb, selecting "House & Light"and tearing the edges of the paper as he fastened it to the plastic screen, he created his image. He smiled to himself and thought, "It really DOES look like a house and light!"

His parents looked on proudly and decided to take Cyrill out for dinner and ice cream to celebrate. 

While they were gone, the Lite Brite caught on fire and burned down their house.

The moral of the story is "What a sight, making things with Lite Brite" has multiple meanings. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017


We had two grand antique professors who had been teaching at Lombard since before I was born.
~ Carl Sandburg
- - - - -

I think Carl meant that as a compliment, but not sure if it was taken as one.

Friday, July 21, 2017


To reach a port we must set sail --
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
- - - - -

If I were a boat, I think a sailboat would be a nice kind of boat to be. 
I wouldn't be a submarine.
I wouldn't be a rowboat.
I wouldn't be a tugboat.

Unless it was because this poem is so cute that it sort of tugs at your heartstrings.


I'd be a tugboat.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I'm sitting' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sitting' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time
~ Otis Redding
- - - - -

This song is a good song. "The bay" is just the right choice of this song.

Sitting on the dock of a pond
Watching the tide quickly abscond...

Sitting on the dock of a puddle
Watching for little ducky puddle...

Sitting on the dock of a lake
Watching the boat making a wake...

Sitting on the dock of the ocean
Watching the waves making motion...

See how those other versions suck?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Then I grew up and the beauty of succulent illusions fell away from me.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
- - - - -

This quote makes me sad for F. Scott Fitzgerald. For me the opposite has been true. I grew up (still working on it) and the beauty of succulent illusions has been revealed to me.

And I'm not sure they're illusions.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


The dog is the god of frolic.
~ Henry Ward Beecher
- - - -

Today we are heading to Canada. It's the first time we will go there without Bill's wonderful dog Sadie. I'm sure we will think of her and miss her a lot this year. I'm not sure who will stnd at the door waiting for Bill to get back from playing tennis. I'm not sure who will leap into the bay to save Leslie when she goes swimming and doesn't need saving. I'm not sure who will help Suzanne in the kitchen in case she accidentally drops something while she's cooking dinner.

Actually, I'm sure Sadie will still be doing all those things. I just wish we could see her doing those things. 

Monday, July 17, 2017


Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things 
which escape those who dream only by night.
~ Edgar Allan Poe
- - - - -

Why are these called fire escapes instead of flood escapes? Couldn't you also use the stairs to go up higher to get away from the flood? Or a cow / horse escape if you have cows and horses on your roof since those animals can't really go down stairs.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


When I was young I found out the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.
~ Albert Einstein
- - - - -

I think if someone knocked my socks off I would be quite upset with them. Unless said socks were on fire. Then - thanks for that.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


All our sweetest hours fly fastest.
~ Virgil
- - - - -

"Why are they called flyswatters instead of fly smashers and gut spillers," you ask?


Friday, July 14, 2017


We take care of our health, we lay up money, we make our roof tight and our clothing sufficient, but who provides wisely that he shall not be wanting the best property of all -- friends. 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- - - - -

As we were leaving our house one day...

Leslie: (looking at old man who was on the neighbor's roof - no, not Santa. Smart aleck.) I saw him on the roof earlier. He's too old to be on that roof.

Me: Well, he's on the ground power washing something now. I hope he's not power washing the hell out of her plants.

Leslie: or her dog.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


What good is speed if the brain has oozed out on the way?
~ St. Jerome
- - - - -

The other day I was walking and listening to a podcast. The host's voice was weird. She had a very non-podcast rhythm. It's like she was super-nervous or in a huge hurry.

Then I realized that you can set the speed to 1 1/2 times normal speed. 

Then I realized I HAD set the speed to 1 1/2 times normal speed.

Ultimately, what I learned is that I don't need life to go faster than it is. I'm annoyed enough with people at regular speed. I get super-annoyed with them at 1 1/2 times normal speed.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?
~ Ernest Hemingway
- - - - -

It is 345 a.m. as I am writing this. I should be in bed asleep, but I am not. I am awake. I am flying to Maine to see my brother later this morning. Am I not sleeping because I am excited? Maybe. I don't know why I can't sleep.

If I AM awake because I'm excited - what a harsh irony since by the time I get there I will be too tired to enjoy spending time with him.

Luckily, I am such a ray of sunshine that he will enjoy my presence no matter what. Plus, it's not like I haven't fallen asleep during our visits before. 

Is it because he is boring? I wouldn't say that. Not because it's untrue -- I just wouldn't say that.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
~ Voltaire
- - - - -

When I have an upset stomach I think, "I should probably eat something that horses eat or something made from horses. I think that will settle my stomach." 

Thanks, Dr. Bell!

Monday, July 10, 2017


Big wheel keep on turning
Proud Mary keep on burning.
And we're rolling. Rolling. Rolling on the river.
~ John Fogerty
- - - - -

John Fogerty wrote that song the day he got his discharge papers from the Army. I guess that means that the first line could have been, "Left a good job in the Army..." 

Of course I don't know if he had a good job in the Army. John Fogerty and I are not close.