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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Table

A single conversation across the table with a wise person is worth a month's study of books.
~ Chinese Proverb
- - - - -

Chris: (referring to the table above and chairs that were near it) Where was that stuff? By Catt Hall?

Michelle: Sort of. By a building a little west of there.

Chris: I know where you mean. They're always leaving junk out there.

Michelle: Uh, no. This is an art installation.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Babies

What is it that makes a complete stranger dive into
an icy river to save a solid gold baby?
Maybe we'll never know.
~ Jack Handey
- - - - -

The other day I was in a store and I heard two friends (friends with each other, not my friends) talking about car seats for their babies. They went on and on and on. It was really a boring conversation. I told myself, "If they don't change the subject, I'm going to quit following them around!" And then I thought, "What's the big deal about a car seat, anyway? They're just babies. It's not like they can vote. Or sue if their car seat messes up." And then I vaguely remembered my own car seat which I think involved black electrical tape.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Coco

This is part of the essence of motherhood, watching your kid grow
into her own person and not being able to do anything about it.
Otherwise children would be nothing more than pets.
~ Heather Armstrong
- - - - -

Elizabeth once had a mouse named Coco. I used to call it "Ratatouille," but she named it Coco. Even though - according to Elizabeth — Coco would sit on her shoulder and watch the movie "Ratatouille" with her.

Anyway, Coco was a fine enough - wait - gerbil not a mouse. Or hamster? Wow, I can't even remember. Not a mouse, though. A gerbil, I think.

Coco was a fine enough pet until Neko got hold of him. Neko bit off part of Coco's tail and Coco died. Elizabeth handled it pretty well. She had a little funeral and gave a eulogy and Maddie said a few words.

Then we kept Coco in a box in the shed until spring. It was winter and the ground was frozen, so we couldn't bury it until the earth in Iowa warmed up. We didn't really have a ceremony that time around. By then Elizabeth had recovered, though Coco had not.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holidays

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.
~ Mitch Hedberg
-----

I think a good movie would be about someone who goes around following people at the holidays. It could be called "Christmas Stalkings." And I think Kevin Bacon could play the villain - because he's good at those parts. But then, maybe at the end, there's a big turn-around and Santa shows up and kills off Kevin Bacon. And he hacks him up into pieces and one of the elves could walk by and say, "You making Bacon Bits?"

That way it would end on kind of a funny note and not make everyone afraid of the holidays. And it would also help with the sale of home alarm systems and bacon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Foot

The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.
~ Buddha
- - - - -

Maddie's feet were cold. I said she could wear a pair of my socks. She put on a pair of my socks.

"Now we're sock sisters!" I said enthusiastically.

"That is something I never imagined I'd hear Michelle Boettcher say," Chris commented.

I am sure it's because she was jealous of our sock sisterhood.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Listening

Listen a hundred times; ponder a thousand times; speak once.
~ Turkish Proverb
- - - - -

This week on "Hard of Hearing House..."

Maddie: I can't hear you. I'm eating.

Chris: Is it good?

Maddie: What?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Home


Better fifty enemies outside the house than one within.
~ Irish saying
- - - - -

I was going through one of my many notebooks and came across this...

Other person: What are you doing?

Me: I'm listening to Irish folk songs and cleaning my bathroom.

Other person: Do you have to do that for a class?

Me: No, it was just really dirty.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Travel

Being sober on a bus is, like, totally different than being drunk on a bus.
~ Ozzy Osbourne
- - - - -

Elizabeth: We had this old guy as a substitute bus driver and he didn't know the route at all. He kept stopping at people's houses and we'd be like — "No, the bus stop is where all the people are. The people just standing around."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Parenting

The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.
~ Diogenes Laertius
- - - - -

Lessons in Great Parenting 101: School Conferences

Chris: I just told her social studies teacher that Maddie did a great job on her India project. But now that I think about it, I think I meant her Islam project.

Maddie: Duh, Mom! I just turned in my India project today!!

Chris: Whew! Otherwise he'd think I was an idiot.

Moral of the story: Having a general idea of what your kids are doing in school is enough. Seriously, they only have a general idea of what they're doing, too.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Signs

Contradiction is not a sign of falsity,
nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.
~ Blaise Pascal
- - - - -

While I was driving through Minnesota, I saw a billboard that said, "Voted sexiest casino in the midwest."

That concept is certainly something to think about and reflect upon, isn't it?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Zombies

Burnout is nature's way of telling you you've been going through the motions, your soul has departed; you're a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.
~ Sam Keen
- - - - -

When you car battery dies and then you jump start it and it runs again, is it then a zombie car battery?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Doors


The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
~ Confucius
- - - - -

Teacher: Elizabeth is doing well in class.

Michelle: She doesn't bully other students, does she?

Teacher: No. She did stomp out and slam the door when the substitute made her go to band practice. But, I guess that's not about picking on other kids.

Michelle: No, but we don't really want her bullying teachers, either.

(Good thing her grades are good).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.
~ Tennessee Williams

- - - - -

As I was walking across campus this fall the week before classes started, I overheard an upperclass student talking to his friend about being a leader for some group of first-year students. This is what he said, "Let's play volleyball. Let's run. Let's go - let's go. And I'm like — goddam it — Can't we just take a nap?!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Appearances

The non permanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of summer and winter seasons.
~ Bhagavad Gita
- - - - -

Chris: Do I look goofy or will I fit in at Wal-Mart?

I was unable to respond since those things are not, to me, mutually exclusive.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Italian

He who knows little quickly tells it.
~ Italian Proverb
- - - - -

Kirk: We should go to... Remember? There was a billboard... What's the name of that Italian place?

Me: Italy?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Food

It's amazing how pervasive food is. Every second commercial is for food. Every second TV episode takes place around a meal. In the city, you can't go ten feet without seeing or smelling a restaurant. There are 20 foot high hamburgers up on billboards. I am acutely aware of food, and its omnipresence is astounding.
~ Adam Scott
- - - - -

I was in a pizza place the other day and their chalkboard menu claimed that they had "Glutton Free Crust."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Infants

He continued to be and infant long after he ceased to be a prodigy.
~ Robert Moses
- - - - -

Something interesting I learned about Chris in the past year is her anger toward parents at Halloween. Mainly, her anger toward parents of infants. She said, "I don't think it's right. They're both out carrying their baby around to houses to get candy! First of all, that means no one is at home at THEIR house giving kids candy. Second, that baby can't even EAT the candy!"

I think she's right. I also think - if she shared this point of view not only with me this year, but also loudly and in a variety of public settings - it might explain why we didn't have very many trick-or-treaters at our house.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fear


Fear not those who argue, but those who dodge.
~ Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
- - - - -

Maddie: (to Elizabeth while applying zombie makeup on her) You're acting like my friend, [name deleted]. She's never worn makeup before and I helped her and she thought I was going to poke her in the eye and I never did.

Michelle: You mean the friend who wears an eye patch?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Service

Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favours you have received.
~Seneca
- - - - -

"Why is she giving me so many ketchup packets?" I wondered. Only later did I realize it was because they were all coagulated together into a giant ketchup clot. I refrained from ringing the "Ring this bell if your service was GREAT!" bell as I exited the establishment.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Signs

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read "President Can't Swim."
~Lyndon B. Johnson
- - - - -
If you are out walking in the woods and in the middle of the woods not by any water you see a sign that says, "Danger: Swim in Designated Areas Only," you might think, "Why, that's odd that such a sign should be posted on a hiking trail in the middle of the woods. I wonder if there is indeed an area near here — non-designated — that would make a nice place for swimming."


And then you might walk on and find just such a nice non-designated swimming area. It's true! It could happen! That's what happened when I saw this sign in the middle of the woods!


Duh. That's the whole basis for this blog post.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Compromise

The big misperception is that compromise takes you down.
Compromise does not take you down.
Compromise elevates your project
beyond your own expectations.
~ Vern Yip
- - - - -

I think compromise is really important. I think it's SO important that I use all of my energy to convince [force] people to agree with me. I value it so much that I absolutely must get my way and have everyone think like I do about the topic.

That's how important compromise is to me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Skills

The opportunity being a festival queen gives to a young woman is remarkable. It teaches them a lot of life skills.
~ Robin Abshire
- - - - -

When Neko was a kitten, we tried to teach her to run the DVR. Unfortunately, she never sets it up to record any of the shows WE want to see. Instead, it's mostly soap operas and waterfowl hunting programs.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Family

There is no such thing as, "fun for the whole family."
~ Jerry Seinfeld
- - - - -

Elizabeth: (singing) Doe.. a deer, a female deer...

Michelle: Do you know what show that song is from?

Elizabeth: Yes... It's — the one with the big family... The Brady Bunch!

Michelle: Uh, no.

Elizabeth: Oh, Sound of Music, then! I always get those two mixed up. The dads are exactly alike.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bridges

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.
~ David Russell
- - - - -

Elizabeth: So you can be fined $250 for jumping or driving off of this bridge?

Michelle: Uh, re-read that sign. It isn't about driving off the bridge.

Elizabeth: Okay. That makes sense. I didn't think you could get a car ON this bridge.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flight

To fly we have to have resistance.
~ Maya Lin
- - - - -

Flight Attendant: Please keep bags stowed. (pause) Ma'am, please put your bag away. (pause) Row 15, please put your bag away. (longer pause) They make us watch a lot of movies in training and one thing they teach us is that most injuries on airlines are caused by flying debris.

Older woman behind me mumbling to her husband: Yeah, row 15!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Strong

The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
~ Mohandas Gandhi
- - - - -

Maddie is very strong. I mean she's strong physically because she swims about 19 hours a day (or so it seems). What I really mean, though, is that she's strong mentally and emotionally. Otherwise, how could she possibly survive her sister? Elizabeth is clearly an oldest child who was born too late. Maddie was an only child who accidentally got a younger sister.

Now that I think about it, I think I'm an only child who accidentally got younger brothers, too. I wonder if all oldests feel that way? It could be a research study! But not one that I want to do. I don't really care that much. As an oldest, I know I'm right without any data to back it up...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sleep

We learned a lot and lost a lot of sleep.
~ Mabel Smith
- - - - -
So, I was looking at this photo and thinking, "Hmmm... What could I blog about this?" Then Chris walked in and was looking at it with me and said, "Where was that taken?" I said, "At Backbone when we stayed in the cabins there."

"Oh, that was a lot of fun!" Chris said.

"Why was it so fun?!!" Maddie asked.

You see, Maddie didn't go with us to the cabins at Backbone. It was just Chris, Elizabeth, and I. Maddie was at camp, I think.

(pause)

It really was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trampoline

- - - - -

If you ever are sitting on a trampoline and trying to sell drugs or you shoot someone while you're sitting on a trampoline or if you use a trampoline to jump up and look in the neighbors' windows, I think someone should call the police. And I think there should be an elite force trained to address these kinds of issues. The Trampolice. And they should have areas of expertise like jumping and spring-cutting skills, and stuff like that. And their symbol should be the kangaroo. A kangaroo who carries a lot of guns and handcuffs and stuff in its pouch.

Either that, or the police on that squad should be experts at driving a tram.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ripley


- - - - -

When Ripley was a puppy I taught him to carry a toy in his mouth when I played with him. He had those freakishly sharp puppy teeth and I didn't like getting bitten.

Now, whenever someone comes to the house, he runs all over like a maniac looking for a toy so that they will play with him.

He is the greatest dog in the history of dogs.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Costumes

Some people wear their smile like a disguise.
Those people who smile a lot, watch their eyes.
I know 'cause I'm like that a lot.
You think everything's ok, and it is . . . 'til it's not.
~ Ani Difranco
- - - - -

At the homecoming football game (2010: ISU defeated KU), the band all dressed up in costumes. As I was leaving the game, someone called my name. I walked over. "I'm sorry," I said waving, "But I have no idea who you are." "It's Mary Beth Golemo, the guy next to her said."

While it was concerning that I was being greeted by someone I could not at all recognize, what really freaked me out is that both the woman who said hello and the guy who told me who she was were wearing Wizard of Oz flying monkey outfits. One of the few things on earth that maybe scares me more than clowns is one of those flying monkeys. And here was one calling me by name.



Cinderella

I am a typed director. If I made Cinderella,
the audience would immediately be looking
for a body in the coach.
~ Alfred Hitchcock
- - - - -

How can you tell the photo above is NOT Cinderella? There are several cues:

1. The outfit is fairly color-coordinated. Pretty sure Cinderella just had rags that probably were mismatched.

2. While Elizabeth is barefoot, she DOES have on a colorful ankle bracelet. "That could be an electronic monitoring device!" you might say. Fine, smarty. But they didn't have electronic monitoring ankle bracelets in Cinderella-times.

3. K-Mart bag. No K-Marts in Cinderella times. Unless there was a store owned by royalty called "King Mart" that the serfs referred to as "K-Mart." But even if such a place existed, I bet they didn't have plastic bags.

4. Cinderella isn't real. Duh.