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Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary

You know you've made it when you've been moulded in miniature plastic. 
But you know what children do with Barbie dolls - it's a bit scary, actually.
~ Cate Blanchett
- - - - -

Happy Halloween.  Here is a list of the scariest things in the world.  Please do not reply and say, "Oh, you forgot __________."  I probably left whatever you're thinking of off the list because it's too scary to even type.

1. Clowns.
2. Dolls that come to life and try to kill you.
3. Glitter.

I asked Elizabeth what else I'm afraid of.  She read what I had written and said, "Dolls.  Not just ones that come to life and try to kill you.  You're scared of all dolls."

That was helpful and true, but not reassuring.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mirrors

Look in a mirror and one thing's sure; what we see is not who we are.
~ Richard Bach
- - - - -

I like how mirrors reflect people.  They reflect people even when people don't know they're being reflected.  Rearview mirrors help you look at what is behind you.  Vanity mirrors show you how vain you are.  And also two-way mirrors are a good way to spy on people.

But let me tell you this...  If you try to "fall through the looking glass" like Alice in Wonderland you will end up in another world.  It's called the hospital.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Disco

IMAG0500.jpg

               Disco deserved a better name, a beautiful name 
               because it was a beautiful art form.  It made the
                consumer beautiful.  The consumer was a star.
                                      ~ Barry White
- - - - -
I spent part of the evening putting together disco balls
for the goodie bags for Maddie's birthday party.  One might
not think this would be a particularly challenging task.  One
would be mistaken.  One might be surprised to find Michelle
engaged in such an undertaking.  No one was more 
surprised than Michelle.  She persisted, however.  Even
when some of the silver rubbed off on her fingers.
Like glitter.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Related


All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
~ Buddha
- - - - -

How do I know that Maddie and Chris are related? That's easy. Is it because they look alike? Is it because sometimes they have the same expressions or gestures or habits? Is it because they do similar things when they are frustrated or anxious? No. It's none of those things. It's because I've seen Maddie's birth certificate.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Motion

It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion.
~ Mentat Prayer
- - - - -

We always knew that Elizabeth would be a cross country runner.  She might have short legs, but they can keep moving forever.

As a small kid she couldn't sit still.  I don't know that I saw her sit through an entire DVD until she was at least 10.  She is an old soul who knows that the days each trip on earth are limited.  She has things to do.  People to see.  Lives to touch.  Trouble to cause.  She knows her life's mission, even if most other people don't.

Don't get  in her way.

But if you do, she will wait patiently for YOU to move.  Well, okay, not patiently.  And, actually, she probably won't wait, she might just push you aside.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sweets

I have somewhere seen it observed that we should make the same use of a book that the bee does of a flower; she steals sweets from it, but does not injure it.
~ Charles Caleb Colton
- - - - -

Elizabeth:  Today I had one brownie.

Michelle:  Really?  Wow, I would have thought you would have — wait.  Was it a large brownie?

Elizabeth:  (laughing)  Oh, it was HUGE.  But I ate it slowly.  And with a small fork - so it would last longer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nature

A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.
~ Anne Bronte

- - - - -

I like this photo.  I am pretty sure this is what it looked like back in the days before everything was settled and the prairie was wild and open and peaceful.  Nothing but the natural gravel roads which occurred naturally in nature.  

And also everything then was in black and white because Mr. Crayola hadn't been born, yet.  I wonder if people ever called Mr. Crayola a "colorful character."  I bet if they did that he got kind of tired of that joke.  

Nature is awesome.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mail

Those who are absent, by its means become present: [mail] is the consolation of life.
~ Voltaire
- - - - -

By now you realize that I enjoy mailboxes.  I think the idea of having a place where people can send you notes is nice.  I like email and Facebook and all that, but nothing can replace someone sitting down and taking the time to write a letter.

Except robots.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Shrimp

I have trouble with seafood because it tastes like a dock.
~ Doug Coupland

- - - - -

Tiger shrimp, tiger shrimp, burning bright
In the oceans of the night,
What immortal net or sea
Could frame thy weird-shaped symmetry?

In what distant deeps or nauticai        
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what pereiopods dare he aspire?
What the telson dare seize the fire?

And what shrimpy shoulder and what shrimpy art
Could twist the sinews of thy shrimpy heart?  
And when thy shrimpy heart began to beat,
What dread shrimpy hand and what dread shrimpy feet?

What the scampi? what the skewer?
Who dare clean platters until you're fewer?
What the cocktail? What dread grasp  
Dare its Red Lobster terrors clasp?

When the stars their shrimp forks threw down,
And water'd heaven as if to drown,
Did He smile His sea work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee, shrimpy?  


Tiger shrimp, tiger shrimp, burning bright
In the oceans of the night,
What immortal net or sea
Could frame thy weird-shaped symmetry?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Water

There are some people who leave impressions not so lasting as the imprint of an oar upon the water.
~ Kate Chopin

- - - - -

Once when I was a kid and we went on vacation, my brother Erik and I tipped over a canoe.  As we struggled he kept screaming, "We're going to die!  We're going to die!"  I told him we weren't going to do.  We had life vests.  And that meant we would live forever.  Otherwise they wouldn't be called life vests.  They would be called, "Gonna try to help you live" vests.

I wonder why people don't walk around wearing those things all the time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Paths

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. 
We ourselves must walk the path. 
~ Buddha

- - - - -

Sometimes the path we are supposed to follow is covered with sand.  Sometimes it is covered with sharp, pointy rocks.  Sometimes it is covered with hot lava.  Rarely is it covered with hot cocoa, but it could be.

My point is, we need some better paths.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kites

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.
~ Winston Churchill
- - - - -

I think flying a kite is a lot like fishing.  Except instead of catching fish you are trying to catch wind.  And, at the end of the day of fishing, you have a fish fry and break bread.  At the end of a day of kite flying you eat granola and break wind.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Shells

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach.
 One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

- - - - -

I realize that by selling shells down by the seashore she reduced her overhead in not having to  transport the shells inland, but is that really where she had the greatest potential for maximizing her profit?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Superstition

(photo by Maddie Fowler)
“It is safe to say that no other superstition is so detrimental to growth, so enervating and paralyzing to the minds and hearts of the people, as the superstition of Morality.
~ Emma Goldman
- - - - - 

On our campus we have a zodiac in the entry to the Memorial Union.  Superstition has it that if you walk ON the zodiac, you will fail your next exam.  I was walking by the union the other day and I overheard this conversation.

Student 1:  DUDE!  You just totally walked on the zodiac.  You're going to fail your test tomorrow.

Student 2:  You know what?  That's superstition.  I don't have to walk on that thing to fail.  I can fail that test without even stepping on the zodiac.


For the record, I don't know if I agree with the Emma Goldman quote above or not, but it certainly gives us all something to think about now, doesn't it?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Books

~ Christopher Morley
- - - - -

I have the books in my office arranged by color.  I read somewhere that this is supposed to put people at ease.  I figure if you have to come into a judicial affairs office, the least we can do is try to put you at ease as we sit in judgment.

That said, I know there are some specific people out there who are not put at east by books arranged by color.  Let's just hope none of them ever get called to my office.  Or that if they come to my office that they are choosing to do so of their own accord.

Random thought: People who drive Honda Accords most always go places of their own Accords.  Don't they?  Unless they get a ride with someone else.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Seafood

Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....I could be eating a slow learner.
~ Lynda Montgomery
- - - - -

One of my family traditions is getting smoked oysters and kipper snacks in my stocking.  I don't really remember when or why this started.  As a kid I got an apple and an orange and other little things.  For the record, stockings are my favorite part of Christmas.  

Anyway, I like getting oysters and kipper snacks, but I have always found that unless I am in the house of my heritage where my parents live, I always have to find a time to eat them when no one else is around.  I'm not sure why seafood in a sealed metal container is so displeasing to people, but it is.

Which reminds me of the time that I went to Epcot and suggested that we eat lunch at Norwayland or Scandinaviaville.  All they had was fish.  The people with whom I went were not pleased.  I, however, really enjoyed the huge number of varieties of pickled herring that were available.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

X

In all the years I've known Francis, I've never seen him like this. So if you break his heart, I will kill you. And bury you body in the woods. 
~ Victoria (Helen Mirren) in "Red"
- - - - -

Maybe if we all lived our lives like we had a big X on us or a target or something and if we messed up someone would kill us and bury our bodies in the woods, it might make us be on our best behavior all the time.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mistakes

The day is committed to error and floundering; success and achievement are matters of long range.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- - - - -

I agree with the concept that if you don't make mistakes you aren't taking risks.  We wouldn't have things like airplanes or hotdogs without risk takers.

I also agree that this is another examples of a situation where deconstructing a word helps us understand it better.  

"Mistakes" = "my stakes."  MY = something belonging to me.  STAKES = A piece of wood or metal pointed at one end for driving into the ground as a marker, fence pole, or tent peg.  Therefore, mistakes literally means my thing for holding up a tent.

The other way of deconstructing this is "mist" "akes."  That means that your body hurts when it's misty outside if you have arthritis.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Babytalk

For success in training children the first condition is to become as a child oneself, but this means no assumed childishness, no condescending baby-talk that the child immediately sees through and deeply abhors. What it does mean is to be as entirely and simply taken up with the child as the child himself is absorbed by his life.
~ Ellen Key
- - - - -

Chris (to me):  Aww... do you need hewp wif your wittle shoesies?

It did not bother me that she was talking baby talk to me when I was complaining about my shoe coming untied.  No, what bothered me is that she mocked me while standing there with her skort inside out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Food

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.
~ M. F. K. Fisher
- - - - -

The other day I went to an event with some people from work.  It was at the Women's Center open house.  I was in the kitchen sipping apple cider when I heard some colleagues talking about food - something people in kitchens are prone to do.

I believe they were talking about eating the cookies that were provided or maybe going to sample night at Sam's Club...  I really don't know.  I wasn't paying that much attention.  All I know is that the conversation hit its high point when Elliott said, "You don't want to have taste exhaustion!"

Now, I don't know exactly what taste exhaustion is, but I can speculate.  And even if I am wrong, I think I must concur with Elliott.  I do not want to have taste exhaustion at all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NCOD


The pride of youth is in strength and beauty,
the pride of old age is in discretion.
~ Democritus
- - - - -
My parents are crazy about the Noah's ark story. My dad makes stuff out of wood and my mom paints it and they have made a TON of Noah's arks. And ark wall hangings. And ark puzzles. Ark toys. You get the idea.  And what do you see with arks?  Rainbows.  LOTS of rainbows.

Anyway, with that many rainbows in our living room, I'm not sure what they expected to happen, but Kirk and I turned out the way we did. Am I saying sexual orientation is environmental? No. I'm saying it's magic.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Maine


- - - - -
A Facebook Exchange between 
Kirk Boettcher and Michelle Boettcher

Kirk's Profile · Kirk's Wall

Kirk Boettcher Next to Normal last night = AMAZING!!!!!
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike ·

Michelle Boettcher NOT as amazing as the middle school band concert I attended. Well, I'm wrong. Yours was better because I bet they didn't play anything from "The Music Man" in "Next to Normal."
54 minutes ago · LikeUnlike

Kirk Boettcher I think one of the playhouses in Maine is doing Music Man this fall. You should get tickets!
13 minutes ago · LikeUnlike

Michelle Boettcher I believe they're doing a musical called, "The Music Maine" featuring songs like, "Lobster, Lobster, Whole Stole My Lobster?" "The Rain in Maine falls Mainely on Maine," "We're Not Quite Canada," and "Damn It's Windy Here."
11 minutes ago · UnlikeLike · 2 peopleYou and Kirk Boettcher like this.

Michelle Boettcher I rarely feel compelled to like my own postings, but I had to on that last one. And I actually want to write those songs.
10 minutes ago · LikeUnlike

Kirk Boettcher If "Lobster, Lobster, Who Stole My Lobster?" were a song I think it'd get stuck in my head a lot.
about a minute ago · LikeUnlike

Michelle Boettcher It's stuck in my head now.
2 seconds ago · LikeUnlike

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Words

When someone says, "How do you do?" just say you didn't.
~ Eeyore
- - - - -

I was looking at some words the other day.  I do this on a daily basis.  Some call it reading, but I think if you look at words like puzzles it isn't so much reading.  It's more dissecting.  Or resurrecting.  No, maybe insurrecting.

Anyway, I was looking at either the word "Eeyore" OR the word "everyone."  Regardless, I came up with this observation:  they have almost exactly the same letters.  N and V are the two letters that everyone has that Eeyore does not.  So you could say that "everyone" = NV Eeyore = envy Eeyore.

(pause)

But what does that mean?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

World

I have climbed several higher mountains without guide or path, and have found, as might be expected, that it takes only more time and patience commonly than to travel the smoothest highway.
~ Henry David Thoreau
- - - - -

I have a blog tracker thing that I use to look at who is reading my blog.  I'm not sure how accurate it is, and I can't really tell who is reading my blog unless I know a particular town has only one person there whom I know and it looks like that person has read my blog more than once.  In those cases, I assume I know the person.

Anyway, sometimes I get hits on my blog from other countries.  One time I looked and I had several little tag things in Europe.  I think when that happens to an American blogger in Europe instead of people saying that blog is "trending," I am pretty sure they say it is "Hasselhoffing."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Water

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. 
~ Mark Twain 
- - - - -

Today is my dad's birthday.  He used to play pranks on us when we were children.  One time he gave my brother Erik a penny and put a funnel in the waistband of Erik's jeans.  Dad said if Erik could roll the penny off his nose and into the funnel, he'd get a dollar.

Erik leaned back to put the penny on his nose and as he was rolling it down to the funnel, my dad through a glass of water in the funnel which then made the water go into Erik's pants.

Everyone except Erik thought it was funny.  In retrospect, it was also a very smart trick because Erik's pants soaked up the water so it didn't spill on the floor.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Organization

First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination. 
Napoleon Hill 

- - - - -

So, I don't think I really have OCD, but there are some things that I think make sense and other things that do not make sense.  There is a certain way to fold a towel that makes the towel easier to use than folding it differently.  There is also a certain way to stack towels so that they look nice in a linen closet.

It also makes more sense for toilet paper to go over the top than under the bottom.  The park ranger or whoever stocked this lovely toilet paper holder in some park somewhere, does not understand this.  More annoying than the toilet paper going under the bottom, though, is the fact that it is on a rack that does not allow the roll to roll.  That really bugs me.

Also, if I had named OCD, I would call it Compulsive Disorder Obsession so that the letters (CDO) would be in alphabetical order.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sand

Even Castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually. 
~ Jimi Hendrix 
- - - - -

Sometimes when I have ideas, I email myself.  Then I save them for my blog.  Or I save them for other things.  Here is an example of something I found online regarding making sandcastles:

FROM:  Michelle
SENT:   Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:08 PM
TO:        Michelle
SUBJECT:


things you'll need:
  Sand Castle Carving Tools
  Shovels
  Sunscreen
  Internet Access
  Paper and Pencils
  String
  Various Sized Buckets
  Shovels

FW:   Boettcher, Michelle
SENT:  Thursday, May 12, 2011  1:37 PM
TO:    Michelle
SUBJECT:


Uh...  sand?

And now, as I reread the list above from some website, I realize that not only did they omit "sand" from the list, but they also have "shovels" down twice.  And "internet access?!"  Why do you have to have that to build a sandcastle?!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

House

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. 
~ Khalil Gibran 

- - - - -
My house is an interesting place to live.  You may have surmised that reading some of the other entries in this blog.  Or you may think that I made all that stuff up.  Either way I win — I either live in an interesting place or I have a freakish imagination.

But I digress...

There are lots of different kinds of houses:
Almshouse - charitable housing provided to people to allow them to live in a particular community.
Boardinghouse - lodgers for extended periods
Chouse - cheat, trick, defraud
Clubhouse - a house where cavemen kept their clubs.  why they lived in caves and kept their clubs in houses remains a mystery of the ancient past.
Flophouse /  Dosshouse - cheap lodging, minimal services

So what kind of house do I live in?  A slaughterhouse.  Except without that first s.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Random


There are few things so futile, and few so amusing, As a peaceful and purposeless sort of perusing Of old random jottings set down in a blank book you've unearthed from a drawer as you looked for your bank book.
~ Amy Lowell
- - - - -

 I save random thoughts I have.  Sometimes I use them in this blog.  Sometimes they are the inspiration for other creative projects.  Sometimes they just sit there.  Saved.

Anyway, one thought I emailed myself was this:  "Johnny Pajamas."

Now, I'm guessing someone else somewhere in the world has had the thought "Johnny Pajamas" before.    The closest thing I found on Google was "Frankie and Johnny Pajamas."  And, no, this is not a paid promotional product placement.  (But if they send me a check, I'm likely to cash it).

In my mind Johnny Pajamas is either a superhero (of course, because superheroes are awesome) or a gangster who introduces people to "the big sleep."  And he lives in a gangster world where they use phrases like, "I'm going to introduce you to the big sleep."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dialogue


I really don't like going out. I don't like restaurants because I don't like the idea of someone, a waitress, being responsible for my evening. I like seconds, and more, and lots of conversation, and I've always hated the idea that in a restaurant an evening just ends. I find that incredibly depressing.
~ Amy Sedaris

- - - - -

From: Michelle 
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 8:08 AM
To:  Ryan  
Subject: Questions

1.      How is Emi?  I saw she tried a shrimp po’ boy (I always hated saying “po’ boy” when I lived in Arkansas, but I loved them, so I adjusted).
2.      When do you come back to town?  As Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding said in the movie Shawshank Redemption, “Sometimes it makes me sad, though, [RYAN] being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.
3.      How was the conference?

I hope you’re having a great time.  See you soon.

Michelle.

From: Ryan 
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 9:21 AM
To: Michelle 
Subject: RE: Questions

Hi Michelle. Flat emi is now in nyc with uncle rod. I return to ames on the 20th. Rock on!

Do I think my friend Ryan only answered certain questions or responded to certain things because he is too busy to engage with my full topics of conversation?  No.  I think he only answered certain questions or responded to certain things because he was so moved by (concerned about?) my connecting him leaving Iowa to a movie about prison that he couldn't fully respond.

You will note that he DID respond in a very timely manner, though.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Shoes

It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe. 
~Robert W. Service 

- - - - -

Michelle: (looking at a stumbling person trying to walk and put on his shoe at the same time while tailgating at a football game)  You know you're drunk when you can't put on a flip flop.