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Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've made up stuff that's turned out to be real, that's the spooky part.
~ Tom Clancy

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When I told everyone that I heard a ghost in the building where I work — which used to be the "infirmary," no one believed me.  I realized later it was just the old radiator.  That is where the ghost lives.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


It is easily overlooked that what is now called vintage was once brand new.
~ Tony Visconti

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I have discovered that what many people market as "vintage," "shabby chic," and "retro" is really just old junk.  I don't think my mom minds me calling her "vintage" or "retro," but she gets so upset when I call her "shabby chic" or "old junk" or just "shabby."

Monday, November 28, 2011


There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; 
not going all the way, and not starting.
~ Buddha
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Is the road to truth a one-way street?  If so, I know some people who are not following the signage.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I much prefer a compliment, even if insincere, to sincere criticism.
- - - - -

I was in line in the convenience store the other day and the woman working there said to the man in front of me, "I like your outfit.  You look nice."  Now, I think  this is a nice thing to say.  However, I also think that people in the military refer to them as "uniforms" not "outfits."

Saturday, November 26, 2011


There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.  
~Mohandas K. Gandhi
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A couple of years ago, the dining halls on my campus went "trayless."  This was intended to reduce food waste.  I think it was pretty effective.  I am just waiting for the dining halls to adopt my plan of "plateless" dining.  I think that will cut down on food waste even more.  "Yes, I'll have a handful of spaghetti, please!"

Friday, November 25, 2011


A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist.  
~Franklin P. Jones
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Elizabeth:  I told Maddie that I'm going to have to drink some diet Coke, so I'm awake for black Friday.

Maddie:  Yeah, why?

Elizabeth:  So I'm awake, and I don't buy random things!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
~ Alice Walker
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Gratitude is under-utilized.  I think it's important to acknowledge things and to say thank you.  I encourage you all to thank me for something today — even if it is something small.  I think you'll all feel more human and more fulfilled when you thank me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I feel a very unusual sensation - if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.  
~Benjamin Disraeli
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"What do you want for Thanksgiving, Elizabeth?"

"Chicken and bacon and pie."


"What do you want for Thanksgiving, Maddie?  Elizabeth said she wanted Chicken and bacon and pie."

"Chicken and green beans and mashed potatoes...  Wait.  Is it chicken or turkey you have for Thanksgiving?"

Traditions are so important.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book...
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
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I don't believe in burning books.  I do remember, though, being a small child and seeing a scary book at my aunt and uncle's house and being so freaked out by it that my aunt threw it in the burning barrel and burned it.  I have to say I did sleep better when I spent the night there with my cousin knowing that the creepy, Goodnight Moon book was gone.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
~ Isaac Newton
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I like shells.  I like to find them - as if they didn't exist before I saw them.  Anyway, I think I like them because they remind me of my name.  Michelle.  My shell.  I'm glad my name isn't Miglitter or Mimanure.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I washed a sock. Then I put it in the dryer. When I took it out, it was gone.
~ Rod Schmidt
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I think you should wear socks as often as possible.  If you don't and something comes around and knocks your socks off, how will you know?

I do not think you should wear socks without shoes and walk around in the backyard, though.  If you do, you might step on a dead bird and then your gag reflex will kick in and you will be scarred for life.  


Or so I would imagine.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The mere thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.
~ Douglas Adams
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I like railroad crossings.  I like them because I like the signage and the lights and the tracks.  It is also the crossroads of hobo and non-hobo culture.  Really.  Literally.  That's what it is.

I would be interested in learning more about hobo culture.  The little I know is that it is a pretty violent community.  One aspect of hobo life I wouldn't really have an interest in researching is their reproductive practices.  I'm not opposed to hobos, but I think it's fair to say that I have no interest at all in hobo sexuality.  That doesn't mean that I'm hobophobic.  I just don't think they need to force their lifestyle on the rest of us.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Let the dead have the immortality of fame,
but the living the immortality of love.
~ Tagore

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Michelle:  How is Social Studies going, Maddie?

Maddie:  Good.  Oh — we have a project!

Michelle:  Great!  What is it!

Maddie:  We have to go to a cemetery and find the grave of someone who died in the Civil War and take a picture of the capstone.

Michelle:  Capstone?

Maddie:  Oh, I mean headstone.  You've just been using that word a lot lately.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Every contrivance of man, every tool, every instrument, every utensil, every article designed for use, of each and every kind, evolved from a very simple beginnings.
~ Robert Collier
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This is a gift I put together for my colleague Brad.  I bought this "Zen Garden Accessories" box for myself.  I chose the accessories I wanted and left other for him.  I felt free to do this because the box said that the items inside might not match the photo.

The things I left included a very small packet of sand and some rocks.  In place of the items I took, I put a small thing of bubbles, a telephone adapter thing, a clip shaped like a little person and a fork.  I wanted to include a spork because sporks are funnier, but I didn't have a spork.

I think that when people cuddle and they call it spooning that...  Okay, I actually never really think about that.  What I DO think though, is if you spoon with someone and you're a little mad at them, that you should call it sporking.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


If you can't convince them, confuse them.
~ Harry S. Truman
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So, yesterday I defended my capstone.  I passed.  I am now a doctoral CANDIDATE.  According to:  "Etymologically Speaking" ( this word comes from the Latin candidus which means "bright, shining, glistening white."  I happen to think that it comes from the combination of the words candy and date.  Yesterday, Dr. Ryan Evely Gildersleeve brought candy on the date of my defense.  I think that is because he concurs with my understanding of the origin of the word candidate.  And because he knows that Skittles induce a sugar high that is helpful to your committee when you are doing a capstone defense right after lunch.

Anyway, as I was finishing up my conversation with my co-chairs, Dr. Ryan Evely Gildersleeve and Dr. Ann M Gansemer-Topf, I suddenly remembered a dream I had the night before...  Somehow I was in the ocean. I was on a dock or a boat or something that flipped. Then there were these big air pockets under water called "the buffalo." If you were in one, you could keep breathing until you got to the surface. That happened to me 2-3 times, but every time I was able to get in "the buffalo."  I would panic a little, but then I'd make it to the surface and be okay. 

They mystery is: What could this dream have possibly represented?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Education is the best provision for old age.
~ Aristotle
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Chris:  Maddie has swimming and is a sophomore.  Elizabeth has softball and cross-country and is an 8th grader.  Michelle has school work —

Michelle:  — and I'm a 24th grader.

Monday, November 14, 2011


(photo by Elizabeth Fowler)

I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things. 
~ Franz Kafka 
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Elizabeth:  I want to go and get an iPod.

Maddie:  What?  Why?  

Elizabeth:  Because I want it.

Maddie:  But why not wait until Christmas?  You might get more money or someone might buy it for you.

Elizabeth:  (in a British accent) But Daddy, I want one NOWWWWWW...

Thank you, Veruca Salt.

Maybe if she hadn't wanted so many things and been a little more responsible, less selfish, and reliable she might have been named Veruca Saltoftheearth.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Creativity is...seeing something that doesn't exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.
~ Michelle Shea
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I don't know who the kid in the photo is.  I think it's pretty bold of him to have a photo made with his art in front of what might be the most known sculpture in Minnesota.  You go, kid.  And if anyone asks you why you think you deserve to have your art captured with this other art, you ask them, "What have you created lately?"

Then, while they're trying to figure out an answer, start crying and maybe they'll feel sorry for you and buy your art for a billion dollars.  That'll show them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.
~ Abe Lemons
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After a discussion about hard work and having a good work ethic and the satisfaction of a job well done, Maddie said, "That's why I'm not gonna work.  I'm gonna be a plastic surgeon.  Then I can do - like - 20 surgeries and retire."

Concerns I have with this plan:

1. I think there is some work required in becoming a plastic surgeon.  I have not been one, but I think there are some things you have to do that are at the very least "work-like" in order to become a plastic surgeon.

2. What the heck kind of surgeries is she doing and for whom that she only has to do 20 of them?

3.  I hope when she is a retired plastic surgeon she doesn't spend her days of leisure lying around on the floor with her cat.

4.  If she does lie around with her cat, I really hope it's just one cat and she doesn't become "Crazy Cat Plastic Surgeon Lady."

5.  "Crazy Cat Plastic Surgeon Lady" might be a good name for a super-villain.  Though it might be confusing and people might think she did plastic surgeries on cats.  I guess that could be the case since she'd be a super-villain.  That seems like a villainous thing to do.

6.  The point behind this blog is pretty much lost by now.

Friday, November 11, 2011


We make war that we may live in peace.
~ Aristotle

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.  
~ Elmer Davis

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. 
~ José Narosky 

When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? 
~ George Canning

Thursday, November 10, 2011


All serious daring starts from within. 
~ Eudora Welty 
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Elizabeth:  Guess what I want to be when I grow up!!

Michelle:  I am afraid to.

(Elizabeth poses with her fists up.)

Michelle:  A boxer?

Elizabeth:  A professional boxer with a bejeweled cape!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

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I will not wear my "Please Don't Shoot Me" t-shirt around the people who shot this sign.  Okay, I don't even have a shirt like that.  And I don't know who assaulted the sign above.  

And, in their defense, I guess it doesn't say, "No sign shooting."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote.
~ William E. Simon
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I like to vote. I like election night. I like to watch election results because they're stressful. And I like to watch the political reporter people be amazed with their own technology. Just because you can make that map appear out of no where and make it look like you're broadcasting someone else into the space virtually... I'm not in awe of that Mr. Reporter Guy. I grew up with Princess Leia being broadcast out of R2D2's head. You're not going to impress me.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.
~ Socrates
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Oh, my friend Socrates, how the times have changed....  Wait, never mind.

By the way, I don't think parents should paddle their kids.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Are you going to come quietly or do I have to use earplugs?
~ Spike Milligan
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I once taught a class called, "The Power of Quiet."  I thought it was a good idea and I liked the curriculum I had planned.  What I failed to consider, however, is the fact that the students who would sign up for a class like that might not be super-active in terms of class discussion.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Kodak sells film, but they don't advertise film. They advertise memories.
~ Theodore Parker
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So, yesterday's post was about chicken salad.  Today's is about potted meat food product.

I do think "truth in advertising" can be taken too far.

Friday, November 4, 2011


People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.
~ Bill Watterson
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There is no reason that squirrel underpants need to exist.  And yet, I am strangely drawn to them.  Why is that?  And who had the amazing foresight to think there could be a market for such things?  And why couldn't it have been me?  I would love for my biography (or one of the many written about me in the future) to include the line, "Though many doubted her, Michelle did go on to make most of her fortune from the marketing of squirrel underpants."

Thursday, November 3, 2011


(photo by me, art by Amy Guinn)

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.
~ M. C. Richards
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I would love to be an artist.  I would like to make a living just creating and thinking creatively and stuff like that.  Maybe I am.  Maybe, like the quote above implies, we all are artists.  I just worry that too many people's lives are "paint by number" art when they're really destined to be multimedia mobiles or repurposed sculptures or papier mache and glitter puppets.  Even though I'm not a fan of glitter, if that's the art of your life, pursue it.

And clean up after yourself.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.
~ Henry Beston
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I would like to live near a beach someday.  And by beach I mean sandy or rocky area near a really BIG body of water.  By beach I do not mean a small fuzzy fruit.  That is actually what is known as a "peach."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.
~ Aristotle
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I think it's interesting that "urbane" which looks a lot like "urban" means polished and sophisticated.  In my experience cities aren't always polished and sophisticated.  But I'm not suggesting that we change it to "countrane" or "smalltownane" or "suburbane."  In fact, "suburbane" would probably mean slightly less than urbane.