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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Music

The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?' My answer would be, 'Yes.' And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?' My answer to that would be, 'No.'
~ Aaron Copland
- - - - -

Elizabeth:  Our music teacher told us, "They changed the password and I lost your garage band projects."  And I was like, "Whatever, dude!  You just want us to learn to play the frickin' guitar!!"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Roads

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
~ Buddha

- - - - -

I think you can also cross a street by calling it a "road."  I'm pretty sure that streets don't appreciate being called roads anymore than roads appreciate being called "glorified car paths."  Streets are kind of snooty like that.

But not as snooty as Avenues and Boulevards.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lunch

I'm not cynical about marriage or romance. I enjoyed being married. And although being single was fun for a while, there was always the risk of dating someone who'd owned a lunch box with my picture on it.
~ Shaun Cassidy

- - - - -

Elizabeth:  I think she has some friends now.  She eats with the kids who read at lunch.

Me:  Do you read at lunch?

Elizabeth:  No.  Lunch is for friends.  And eating.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Obedience

There was a time when we expected nothing of our children but obedience, as opposed to the present, when we expect everything of them but obedience.
~ Anatole Broyard

- - - - -

Mrs. Richardson, my sixth grade teacher always used to say to us, "Sit down.  Keep still.  Shut up."  I think that would be frowned upon today.  But I remember that was also the class where a kid (yes, I remember WHICH kid, but I will protect his anonymity here.  At least for now) got a rock from the playground stuck in his ear.  I guess we probably needed some pretty specific and strict direction.

Who puts a rock in his ear in SIXTH grade?!  (Again, I know whom it was, but I will exercise restraint).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Story

A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. 
Because that is how life is - full of surprises.
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

- - - - -

A text exchange.

Kirk: Just sat down to see Obama.

Me:  Michelle?

Kirk:  I totally read that & thought...  yes, I know who you are.  Then I got it.  No, her husband.

Me:  You had to sit down to see him?  How short is he?

Kirk:  Like Tom Cruise short.

Me:  Wow.  Call him pipsqueak.  Then write me from jail and tell me what happens.

Kirk:  Is that just so you have material for your blog?  Cause it seems like a crappy idea.

Me:  Maybe.  Actually, I was thinking I could just blog the texts we're writing, but if you actually do call the president a pipsqueak, it would be a more engaging blog...

Kirk:  Would I have internet in jail?  I really feel like this is a lose-lose situation for me.

Me:  When did you get so cynical?

Kirk:  When my sister tried to send me to jail in order to increase her literary fan base...  also known as like 7 minutes ago.  Before that I was a bundle of positive energy. Now' I'm dead on the inside.

Me:  Oh.  Well, the way you wrote that, you make it sound like it's all MY fault.

Kirk:  I am a fiendish crafter of language.

Me:  Yes.  And you probably use glitter in that crafting, too.  I don't like glitter, Kirk.  Although if there was a doll called "Glitter Kirk," I would buy it for you.  My guess on the doll's backstory is that he and his friends "Pipecleaner Pete" and "Ms. Googly Eyes" go around the world helping people make crafts and helping them linguistically.  Interestingly enough, Pipecleaner Pete - the linguist - also loves linguini.

Kirk:  I feel like it's a claymation...  or more appropriately...  CRAFTMATION show that teaches the values of grammar, art history, friendship, and FUN!

Me:  yes.  And frequently Glitter Kirk ends up in jail.  Seriously, that guy just can't keep his mouth shut!  He's always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Kirk:  I don't want to spoil the hyjinx, but I will mention that Pipecleaner Pete is bendy and can pick locks!

Me:  How do you think Glitter Kirk gets out of jail every week?

Kirk:  By believing in the power of crafts and friendship!

Me:  Yes.  That is it.  Sigh...  Oh Glitter Kirk, you are so naive.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jobs

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
~ Confucius
- - - - -

I completely agree with this quote.  The problem is that when I chose the job of CEO of HBO, they didn't pay me.  They also didn't let me work that job a day in my life.  They instead asked me to leave - really very directly and with the support of a number of so-called "security" people (who actually seemed rather insecure, if you ask me).  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Leadership

Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
~ Thomas Paine
- - - - -

Do I think everyone is a leader?  Yes.  

Do I think everyone has followers?  No.

Can you be a leader with no followers?  Yes.

Do you look kind of silly sometimes if that's the kind of leader you are?  Yes.

Is being chased by angry villagers with pitchforks and torches the same as being a leader?  No.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Up

Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
~ Winston Churchill

- - - - -

I forgot for a while that the sky offers the same kind of peace to me that the ocean does.  I think it's because I often forget to look up.  Looking beyond what is right in front of me or beyond what is ahead of me is something I don't do often enough.

But looking up is good.  Like looking up at the clouds.  Or looking up at the stars.  Or looking up words you don't know the meanings of.  Like lethologica.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weather

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.  
~George Santayana
- - - - -

Winter is coming weather I like it or not.

Ultimately, aren't we all under the weather all the time?  Maybe not if we're in an airplane or a rocket ship or levitating really, really high.

I think I would be good as a forecaster.  Not a forecaster of weather, but a forecaster of aspersions.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Words

I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.
~ Mark Twain

- - - - -

I am not sure what this recipe has to do with Maddie not needing a massage.  Perhaps E's use of "kneed" triggered her thoughts about what Maddie does and not not "need."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Frog

Ambition is like a frog sitting on a Venus Flytrap. The flytrap can bite and bite, but it won't bother the frog because it only has little tiny plant teeth. But some other stuff could happen and it could be like ambition.
~ Jack Handey
- - - - -

You know that saying, "There's no frog like an old frog except another old frog?"

(pause)

Me neither.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Intoxication

The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication.
~ Aristotle

- - - - -

First off, let me tell you - despite her woozy appearance - that the bottle Elizabeth is holding is sparkling grape juice.  Not alcohol.

Of course she may have been sniffing glue or markers before coming out to get something to drink.  I am positive, however, that she was not eating paste.  There isn't any paste at her house.  Because Maddie ate it all.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bed

So, I sit at the hotel at night and I think of something that's funny. Or, If the pen is too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of wasn't funny.
~ Mitch Hedberg
- - - - -

Me:  Elizabeth, you need to get to bed early tonight.

E:  What?  Why?!

Me:  Because you overslept this morning and missed the bus.

E:  Exactly!  I got TONS of sleep this morning, so why do I have to go to bed early tonight?!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jalapenos

"Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you're just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. "
~ Pam Brown

- - - - -

I remember when my grandma used to make old fashioned jalapeno eggs.  She used to spend hours forcing her chickens to eat jalapenos and then...

No.  That's all a lie.  

(pause)

She could get those chickens to eat jalapenos in just a few minutes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Impact

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
~ Jackie Robinson

- - - - -

Elizabeth:  We had a teacher at school - um, it's Bully Awareness Week or something — and this teacher came up with some mottos for the week.  One was, "My bully can beat up your bully."  The other was, "I'm a bully, but at least I get attention!"

I don't remember what teacher it was.  And I am NOT pro-bullying.  At all.  But I have to say that I really like the creative way that teacher thinks.  Elizabeth remembered the mottos.  That's worth something.  So long as she doesn't adopt them.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thinking

There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.
~ Hannah Arendt

- - - - -

I like to pretend to figure out what people are thinking when I look at them.  With little kids you don't have to do that.  The pretty much tell you what they're thinking.  And when they don't tell you what they're thinking, I think you can bank on the fact that they are plotting their revenge.  'Cause that's how they are.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mud

Life is made up of marble and mud.
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

- - - - -

So the other day I was out walking and I saw this almost dried up river bed with all these rocks in it.  Except they weren't rocks.  They were little frogs.  I probably spent two hours watching them and taking photos of them.  Thus the number of frog blogs I have and will compose.

What was really interesting to me, though was how they emerged from the mud, blinked and then just sat there and watched what was going on around.  Sometimes they moved.  Sometimes tadpoles moved around them.  It was just really fascinating.  I've never seen anything like it.

Unless you count when my family used to hide in the mud bogs behind our house to stay away from the space aliens.  That was kind of the same.  Especially since we were wearing our frog costumes.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Candy

A lot of people like lollipops. I don't like lollipops. To me, a lollipop is hard candy plus garbage. I don't need a handle. Just give me the candy.
~ Demetri Martin

- - - - -

Why is it "As easy as taking candy from a baby?"  Shouldn't it be "As easy as taking money from a baby?"  First of all, I don't think it's good for babies to have candy.  And second, if you're going to steal something, why would you steal candy?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ideas

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
~ Oscar Wilde
- - - - -

So, I sometimes type blog ideas into my phone.  Unfortunately, there are occasions when I go back and re-read my notes and don't remember what I was going to blog about them.

Examples of this include:

1. "I knew the convenience store woman didn't like me when she went to the back room as soon as I walked in..."

2. I once read where if you work hard you should never say thank you when you get your pay check.

3. I don't think children should go to the chiropractor.

The common theme here?  Backs.  Back room.  Greenbacks.  Back doctor.

The blog point?  Priceless.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vocabulary

Good art provides people with a vocabulary about things they can't articulate.
~ Mos Def

- - - - -

When I was in Mrs. Richardson's sixth grade class, I remember a contest we had.  She had us come up with as many ways of saying the word "said" as possible.  I totally won that contest.  Know how I did it?  Reading Hardy Boys books.  Biff chortled.  Frank pondered.  The other Hardy boy agreed.  Seriously, they hardly ever used the word "said" in those books.

"I don't think I got a prize.  I should have," she grumbled.  Bitterly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Band

We're not a political band. We don't want to tell people what to do or what to think. We just want to tell them to think.
~ Billie Joe Armstrong

- - - - -

Me:  Elizabeth, your band teacher contacted me today about you dropping band.

E:  Oh.  Um...  what did she say?

Me:  She wanted to know why you were dropping band since your grades are so high.

E:  In band?!  I don't know how my grades are high in band!

Me:  I think she meant that your grades in other classes are high so you have time for band.

E:  Oh.  What did you say?

Me:  I said that your classwork was getting more challenging and that you are going to be taking on a lot of spring activities and you won't have as much time after school to finish your homework, so you need more time in school.

E:  Oh.

Me:  And I said that band is not your passion.

E:  That's the truth!!  I hate it!

Me:  Why?

E:  Because who wants to sit around and blow through a pipe all the time!

Me:  You're the one who chose your instrument.

E:  I know.  I wish I had chosen the trumpet.  Or the flute.

Me:  I think you should have chosen the drums.

E:  Oh, seriously!  Yes!  They just get to stand around.  And I just have sit next to Bella and Trenton.  And if I had played the drums I'd walk around and beat on things all the time.

Me:  You kind of already do that.

E:  I know!  (and bangs the table like bongos)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Go

There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.
~ Roger Staubach
- - - - -

Go for it!  I don't think you should let anything stop you.

Except barbed wire.
And gunfire.
And vampires.
And a flat tire.

On second thought, don't go for it.  Just stay home and read a good book.  Unless staying home and reading a good book is what you were planning on to begin with.   In that case — Go for it!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Advertising

Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.
~ George Santayana
- - - - -

Truth in advertising.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sweets

Change in all things is sweet. 
~ Aristotle 

- - - - -

Elizabeth:  Did you know they got rid of Cookie Monster?  Now they have some carrot guy!

Maddie:  It was probably Michelle Obama.

Elizabeth:  Now we can't have ice cream in school any more.  Because it makes kids plump.  I'm tellin' ya - that's why this country is shrinking away!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tanks

Civilization is a youth with a molotov cocktail in his hand. 
Culture is the Soviet tank or L.A. cop that guns him down.
~ Edward Abbey
- - - - -

I bet if you are in a tank and someone shoots off the tank without warning you and you say, "Tanks for the warning!" and you're all sarcastic and stuff, I bet they might shoot off the tank again just to punish you for the bad joke.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mercury

The reason we're successful, darling? My overall charisma, of course.
~ Freddie Mercury

- - - - -

Elizabeth:  Fewer and fewer people are eating swordfish.

Maddie:  What are you talking about?

Elizabeth:  Because of the mercury.  Swordfish are at the top of the food chain.

Maddie:  What?!

Elizabeth:  A little fish eats something with a little bit of mercury.  Another fish eats a bunch of little fish and has more mercury.  Then a swordfish eats a bunch of the middle-sized fish and has a lot of mercury.

Maddie:  Oh.  (very slight pause).  Are the Kardashians on TV?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Monkeys

It is not so important to be serious as it is to be serious about the important things. The monkey wears an expression of seriousness which would do credit to any college student, but the monkey is serious because he itches.
Robert M. Hutchins
- - - - -

I don't like it when monkeys wear clothes.  For some reason, though, I don't mind it when people wear clothes that look like monkeys.  This is why life is so interesting — because it is filled with wonderfully curious incongruities.  

And, if you rearrange the letters in "curious incongruities" you get "Circus Ingenuous I Riot."  So what about that?

Life is amazing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Water

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. 

- - - - -

Elizabeth:  We're doing a project on the water cycles.

Me:  OH!  Like those bikes you ride on the water?!

Elizabeth:  (a look of disgust on her face)   Uh...  no.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Terror

Action cures fear, inaction creates terror.
~ Douglas Horton
- - - - -

Why the antique store hid this clown tambourine in a closet to scare the poop out of me, I will never know.  Why I knocked over the cabinet and stomped on that tambourine until you could no longer discern the clown face was clear to everyone.

The Clown in the Cupboard would be a terrifying title for a book.  Or a movie.  Or family member.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Deterioration

To cease to admire is a proof of deterioration.
~ Charles Horton Cooley
- - - - -

Elizabeth:  I don't understand why people have crappy homes, but then have ADT.

Michelle:  What are you talking about?

Elizabeth:  ADT - the home security system!  Why would they have that?!

Elizabeth just hasn't met enough eccentric millionaires, yet.  She really needs to broaden her social network.  A lot of eccentric millionaires are old and old people like Elizabeth.  This is because - as you know if you follow this blog - Elizabeth is a 90 year old woman trapped in a 12 year old's body.  (I used to say 80 year old woman, but E is older now).  Anyway, I think she could get lined up for some inheritance if she played her cards right.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happiness

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.
~ John Barrymore
- - - - -

I hope this is a year of happiness for everyone.  Some years are marked by sadness.  Others by drama.  Others by nonsense.  The happy years, though, those are the ones that get us through the others.

And we have to remember that happiness is really hard work.  Much more difficult work that being unhappy.  But the beginning of a year is a good time to decide to do hard work.

And if you can get someone else to do most of that work for you, well then, you'll be all the more happy.  Which is why I think some people have a lot of children.  Because children = happiness.  And children = happiness because children can do a lot of work for us.