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Thursday, May 31, 2012


I like light green, sometimes red is fun to look at,
not a fan of yellow, unless it's in a rainbow or
on a coffee mug or on a happy face.
~ Chris Kattan
- - - - -

Sara:  This morning I said the word "yellow" three different times.  It's one of those words that when you say it over and over again it sounds strange.  Yellow - yellow - yellow.  Yellow is a weird word.

Me:  I wonder what makes people's brains do that.

Sara:  I don't either.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. 
It is the source of all true art and science.
~ Albert Einstein
- - - - -

Sometimes I see things and they make me wonder.  I guess that is the basis for this entire blog.  The other day I was in Target and I saw a shopping cart abandoned in the greeting card aisle.  The cart was empty except for two neck pillows.  This prompted a lot of questions in my mind:

1. Why would someone "need" neck pillows and then abruptly decide they didn't need them?
2. Were they going to get the neck pillows for someone, but just couldn't find the right card to go wtih them, so they ditched the whole idea?
3. Were the neck pillows for one person?  A neck pillow and a back-up neck pillow?
4. How come you never hear about neck pillowfights?
5. What kind of card were they hoping to find?  Get well soon?  Have a safe trip?  Happy Grandparents' Day?

Life is a huge mystery.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
- - - - -

So, I did some checking because I was wondering why we draw hearts like this since that's not what they look like.  Apparently, the type of heart in the photo above looks like a silphium seed which used to be used way back in the day as a contraceptive.

I think we draw it this way because it's way easier to draw.

Monday, May 28, 2012


He who learns but does not think, is lost! 
He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
~ Confucius
- - - - -

He who is lost and in great danger is just a complete mess.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.
~ Wolcott Gibbs
- - - - -

My friend complained and complained and complained.  I wanted to tell her that I thought maybe she was having an intrapersonality conflict, but I didn't think that would help.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I don't like that man.  I must get to know him better.
~ Abraham Lincoln
- - - - -

I think when we reach out to learn from and connect wtih people who are different from us, it is like crossing a bridge.  From where we are to where they are.  What I hate is when people just stand there on their own side of the bridge and wait for me to come all the way across. Why not try to meet me at least part way?  Even if I have to come more than half way, a little effort would be nice.

I also don't like it when someone meets me half way and then wants to PLAY bridge.  They know I don't know that game!!

Friday, May 25, 2012


With lies you may go ahead in the world,
but you can never go back.
~ Russian Proverb
- - - - -

I would not want to travel back in time because then it would alter the present and the future.  And I don't want that responsibility.  Well, I do, but I only want it to get credit for the good things, not to be blamed for the bad.

It's kind of my life philosophy:  "I don't time travel, but praise me."


It's not that catchy of a philosophy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I need to go someplace faraway that doesn't have telephones and doesn't have a record player and doesn't have movie theaters and people walking down the street in order to not do anything.
~ Will Oldham
- - - - -

When I went to California to visit, there was confusion about where we would actually be spending our time.  After much dialogue back and forth, I finally wrote, "I will plan on arriving somewhere so someone can take me someplace."  And added, "It's kind of my life's mantra."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
~ Jim Rohn
- - - - -

We need people to build bridges in all those places where the other people have burned them.  And if the builders could build them out of fire resistant materials, I think that would be wise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Aim for the sky and you'll reach the ceiling. 
Aim for the ceiling and you'll stay on the floor.
~ Bill Shankly
- - - - -

Aim for the floor and - SUCCESS! 

Monday, May 21, 2012


Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
~ Buddha
- - - - -

I think that Bonnie Tyler should release a song called, "Partial Eclipse of the Heart."

I found out in doing my pseudo research for this blog that at one point Meatloaf was going to record the song.  I also found out it was written with Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights in mind.

I think that is interesting. 

If I am not mistaken, I believe that "I Got You Babe" was inspired by Moby Dick, "Dancing Queen" was inspired by The Sun Also Rises, and "I Want to Break Free" was inspired by Atlas Shrugged.

It is possible that I am mistaken.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


A lot of life is dealing with your curse, dealing with the cards you were given that aren't so nice. Does it make you into a monster, or can you temper it in some way, or accept it and go in some other direction?
~ Wes Craven
- - - - -
Ultimately, who are the monsters referred to in the sign above?  Abstract creatures of doom?  Villains who walk the earth?  Or those who enforce the no in-line skating, roller skateing, skateboarding, and bicycles rule?

For the record, I have learned from personal experience that you don't want to outline too specifically your rules.  As an example, I am tempted to go to this place with a unicycle (I can borrow one from Kipp.  He said so.), a motorcycle, a pogo stick, a small trampoline or a large trampoline as those things are not expressly forbidden.


Take that monsters!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


The naming of cats is a difficult matter.
~ T. S. Eliot
- - - - -

Sara: I would love it if my initials were W.T.F.  Then I could sign all of my emails, "WTF."

Me:  Willa Tyler Frankenberry?

Sara:  Yes!  I like "Willa."

Friday, May 18, 2012


Today I accidentally stepped on a snail
on the sidewalk in front of our house.
And I thought, I too am like that snail.
I build a defensive wall around myself, a "shell" if you will.
But my shell isn't made out of a hard, protective substance.
Mine is made out of tin foil and paper bags. 
~ Jack Handey
- - - - -
I saw this shell and took a picture of it.  I didn't take it from the beach.  I thought it might have germs or something on it.  Or bacteria.  Or bubonic plague.  Instead I left it there for others to enjoy.  

I think I enjoy shells because the word "shell" is in my name.  Except spelled differently.  "Michelle."  Or "my shell."  And if I was going to make a shell to protect myself, I would not use seashells or tin foil and paper bags.  I would use a shell of kindness to ward off evildoers.  And also that candy shell stuff you put on ice cream because who doesn't love that?  And also a little bit of tin foil.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
~ St. Augustine
- - - - -

People are always talking about the "roadmap to success."  Well, not always.  I suppose that is an exaggeration.  My point is, how do you fold the roadmap to success?  And is there not now a GPS for success?  Because I'd really like it for that GPS to success woman to say, "Your destination is on the right," or "You have arrived."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. 
~ Mark Twain
- - - - -

I like this sign, but do Zombies use restrooms?  I know it's gross to think that they don't.  It is also gross to think that they eat human brains.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Folks still remember the day that ole Bob Riley came bouncing down that dirt road in his pickup.  Pretty soon, it was bouncing higher and higher.  The tires popped, and the shocks broke, but that truck kept bouncing.  Some say it bounced clean over the moon, but whoever says that is a goddamn liar.
~ Jack Handey
- - - - -

When Jordan and I went to the park, an ice cream truck drove by.  About three times.  I told Jordan it was an ice cream truck and I didn't have an ice cream truck in my neighborhood.  He looked confused.  Later Laurie said she told Jordan it wasn't an ice cream truck, but a "music truck."

We don't have music trucks in my neighborhood, either.  But we do have some cars with really loud bass.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Are we observing or measuring what we think we are observing or measuring?
~ Sharan B. Merriam
- - - - -

I love to go out and drive around and take photos.  I see really interesting things.  As I have learned in trying to figure out what qualitative research is, the researcher can never fully remove himself or herself from the research.  In the same way, a photographer is never fully removed from the photograph.  This is a pretty literal translation of that.

And also the sky is really pretty here.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
~ Mark Twain
- - - - -

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the world.  You are not as appreciated as you ought to be, but I appreciate you.  Not enough to buy you all a cake because I don't have that kind of money, but I do appreciate when you raise children who don't kick or hit or say bad swears.  Ultimately, it makes my job easier.

Happy Mother's Day - especially to my mom.  I hope you enjoy your day and that people are nice to you today. 

In addition, I would like to say, "You are welcome" to my brothers because if I had acted like either of you, our parents wouldn't have had more kids.  And here, today, I will publically acknowledge that, yes, I am the favorite.  Sorry to spill the secret Mom and Dad, but it's not like the boys didn't already know.


Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
~ Henry David Thoreau
- - - - -
I wonder if the abominable snowman has an amiable, agreeable cousin or aunt or grandparent known as a "Yepi." Or an alternative, non-conformist uncle known as a "Yippee." 

Saturday, May 12, 2012


 This is the part in the movie where that guy says, "Zombies? What zombies?" 
just before they eat his brains. I don't want to be that guy.
~ Holly Black
 - - - - -

The other day when Kirk was back visiting to be in his friend Angie's wedding, we spent an evening together and ended up at a place in Des Moines called "Zombie Burger."  It was a great adventure.

We each had a burger.  Only Kirk's burger was served between grilled cheese sandwiches instead of on a bun.  When we were done eating, I said, "I don't think we needed the fries or two burgers."  And Kirk said, "Or  six grilled cheese sandwiches."

Friday, May 11, 2012


Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia. 
Everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated.
~ Jean Baudrillard
- - - - -

Yesterday my friend Ryan called me.  He said he was driving to work at the NPR pledge drive was on and he doesn't care to listen to the pledge drive, so he called me.  That piece of information allowed me to place the level of engagement of my conversation somewhere between NPR Pledge Drive and NPR regular programming.  I am hoping I am closer to the latter. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Only sick music makes money today.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
- - - - -

I wonder if Nietzsche and Kelly Clarkson would get along in real life. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Nobody likes a clown at midnight.
~ Stephen King
- - - - -

When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote, "I wonder if this kid has read It."  Then I looked for a quote from It to include in this post.  And I accidentally read a passage from It.  I don't like that book.  And I hate clowns.

So now my own photo totally creeps me out.

Just after I took this photo, the kid's dad took his hand and the kid stepped tentatively on the grate.  You could tell he didn't know if it was safe or not.  His dad showed him it was safe.

Or is it?

Or is It?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I could not tread these perilous paths in safety, if I did not keep a saving sense of humor.
~ Horatio Nelson
- - - - -

Maddie:  (cooking dinner) Did you ever notice that dried onions look like toenails?

I didn't eat much dinner that evening.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Have enough sense to know, ahead of time, when your skills will not extend to wallpapering.
~ Marilyn vos Savant
- - - - -

Elizabeth:  I am NOT going to do high jump. The high part freaks me out.  And I can't do hurdles.  I wish I could, but I can't.

Me:  So, if there was something low that you went under instead of high that you went over, you'd be all over it.

Elizabeth:  Yes.  (pause)  Like if The Limbo was a track event -- I would be AWESOME at that!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.
~ Will Rogers
- - - - -

Yesterday when I texted someone "Happy Cinco de Mayo," my phone autocorrected it to "Happy Concorde de NATO."

I worry about the day that machines take over the world.  They aren't really as smart as you'd think. 


Smarter than some of our world leaders?  Maybe.  I won't say which ones because that way everyone agrees with me about some of them and everyone will think I'm right and much-beloved which is what I want to be known for when I become a world leader. 

And fly on my Concorde to visit a NATO meeting.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
~ Dalai Lama
- - - - -

Well, Moingona may have a population that is always happy, but the visitors aren't always happy.  Like when that certain happy family let their not-so-happy looking / sounding pit bull run up toward my car.

Or maybe they were happy because then I drove away.

Maybe the dog knew I did NOT have my passport ready.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, 
our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
~ Karl von Clausewitz

- - - - -

When I saw this, I wasn't sure if it was in regard to someone who grows something from the asteraceae family or someone who was the master of something in the distance.

Please signmaker, please.  Be more clear.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
~ Mark Twain
- - - - -

Leslie:  Why did you take a picture of that?

Me:  I don't know.  You never know when you might need a photo of a Do Not Enter Sign.


Now that I look at this photo, it looks like it could be posted on a back gate to Heaven.  Or the front door of Heaven — for some people.  Who shall remain named, but I won't name them here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


 The whole secret of existence is to have no fear.  
Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one.  
Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.
~ Buddha
- - - - -

When I went on the ride along with the police, there were times I needed to stay in the car.  One time, while I was waiting for my officer to return, a guy came up and knocked on the window.  He said, "That police officer?  The one who was in here?  He just went in that building!"  I looked at the building and nodded.  "Well, he hasn't come back out, yet!" the guy added.

I said I was sure the officer would be back soon.

Later, as I reflected, I didn't know if the guy was concerned for the police officer or if he thought I was a prisoner and he was trying to help me escape.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic.
~ Dan Rather
- - - - -

Well, let me just say that when I was driving that day I actually was quite cross, but the officer didn't really seem to understand or care about that when he wrote me a ticket for running that stop sign.