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Saturday, June 30, 2012


Big cities are chaotic. And chaos for humans - who have experience from their ancestors - is the last step before conflict. So, in the park, every kind of visual contradiction has been eliminated.
~ John Hench
- - - - -

I was looking over my notes from a meeting and I saw that I had written this, "pre-50s park movment more than the soft edges of romanticism..."  I emailed the phrase to myself in an email entitled, "what the hell did this mean?"

I googled the phrase and can't find it.

That phrase had absolutely nothing to do with the meeting I was attending.

I don't know how my brain works sometimes.

Friday, June 29, 2012


In diving to the bottom of pleasure, we bring up more gravel than pearls.
~ Honore de Balzac
- - - - -

When I saw the little kid lying on her back in the gravel and flailing her arms and legs about, I was concerned that she might have fallen and was injured.  Then I heard her mother yell, "Are you making another gravel angel?!"

It was a little funny, but somehow it was also rather sad.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.
If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot
has enough happiness provided for it.
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- - - - -

The other day I bought "six deviled eggs" at the grocery store.  I know, I should have made my own deviled eggs, but I wasn't sure if the eggs I had were still good.  Anyway, there weren't really SIX, there were three eggs each cut in half.  And yet the deviled egg business has convinced the rest of us in society that such a way of counting is legitimate.

I guess the deviled eggs are in the details.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Ideas are elusive, slippery things.  Best to keep a pad of paper and a pencil at your bedside, so you can stab them during the night before they get away.
~ Earl Nightingale
- - - - -

When the waiter brought me my burger with deep fried chili he said, "Be sure to stab that before you eat it."  

I had never been given those directions by a waiter before.

I enjoyed the experience, but I did not enjoy the deep fried chili that much.  

Sometimes you do things so you can say that you've done them or so you have a story to tell later.
This is one of those cases.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Any fool can have bad luck;
the art consists in knowing how to exploit it.
~ Frank Wedekind
- - - - -

Tina and Amy were telling me about Rodney and Christopher's trip to Germany.  Tina said in one of the castles there was a well in the basement and that's where they used to throw the witches in days of yore.  "I wonder if that's where the idea for a witchin' well comes from," I wondered.


I bet it is.

Monday, June 25, 2012


I'd much rather hang out in a cafe.  
That's where things are really happening.
~ Joe Sacco
- - - - -

I would not want to eat at a possessed place for dinner.  Well, for any meal.  Even if they had things on the menu that kind of sounded good, I am sure there would be a catch.

For example, "Witchcraft Macaroni and Cheese" or "Demon Meringue Pie" or "Beelzebubblegum Ice Cream" or "Deviled Eggs."  Well, I'd be okay with the deviled eggs.

I bet the wait staff there would really be angry if you tried to order angel food cake.  Or angel hair pasta.  Of course being a wait staff person would be hellish anyway, even if you weren't working at a possessed diner.  At least for me.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


If my kid couldn't draw I'd make sure that my kitchen magnets didn't work.
~ Mitch Hedberg
- - - - -

Elizabeth: I like seeing little people play soccer.  They're so cute.  But I hate how they suck so much.  They can barely walk.  They're like five.  How hard is it to kick a soccer ball?!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
~ Marcus Aurelius
- - - - -

My mother always cooks for our holiday dinners.  One of the things she always makes is "fruit salad."  Above is a photo of the fruit salad.  Back in the olden days, the fruit salad actually included a variety of fruit and probably whipped cream or something.  Not ambrosia salad exactly, but maybe a can of fruit cocktail and grapes and bananas.  

Somewhere along the line the whipped cream and the fruit besides grapes all disappeared.  I'm sure it must have happened because Kirk said one time that he only liked the grapes or something like that.  There is no doubt in my mind that it had to do with what Kirk wanted.

Anyway, now every time we have this, someone has to ask for the recipe.  Last time we had it, it was Jared.  That is a good sign for Jared.  He is paying respect to my mother's cooking by asking for a recipe.  And he is conforming to our family's smart-aleckiness, which one must do in order to survive in our world.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Breakfast is a notoriously difficult meal to serve with a fluorish.
~ Clement Freud
- - - - -

This is the "toast press" my mother has on the refrigerator in my childhood home.  If and when that home becomes a museum in my honor, the toast press thing should be removed.  It was not in the home when I was a child there.  My mother never - not one time - wished me a good morning on my toast.

Rather, I remember most mornings positioning the cereal box so that it would block Erik from my sight.  I could not stand him.  And he could not stand me, either, I am sure.  I read a LOT of cereal boxes when I was a kid.  And Erik chewed loudly.  Or at least I remember yelling at him about that many times when I was growing up.


I was not so much of a morning person then.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Any good music must be an innovation.
~ Les Baxter
- - - - -

I enjoy lots of different types of music.  I am curious, however, why some musicians "make it" and others do not.  For example, I am glad to know the music of Fats Domino and Chubby Checker, but I do wonder sometimes why other artists of that era - such as Husky Backgammon and Beefy Parcheesi - were less successful.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I wonder if other dogs think poodles 
are members of a weird religious cult.
~ Rita Rudner
- - - - -

Often when I am out and about, things catch my eye.  Rarely is it a person.  However, if the person has a dog, I am likely to check out the dog.  Depending on the type of dog and the demeanor of the dog and the approachability of the owner, I may even ask to pet the dog.

In the case of the above photo, both the person and the dog caught my attention.


I did not ask to pet the dog.  And it was not solely because they were floating down the river.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.
~ William Shakespeare
- - - - -

Leslie called me when she was leaving the party which was held in a casino.  She was having problems finding the exit.  "I can't find my way out of this sin maze!" she fretted.

Monday, June 18, 2012


There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- - - - -

Sara sent me an email.  Then she sent this follow up email about her previous email, "I said, 'here is my updates.'  I am turning into an uneducated."

Sara is awesome.  And marginally literate.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start 
with bad communication. Someone isn't listening.
~ Emma Thompson
- - - - -

The following is an exchange between my father and I.  My dad can make anything out of wood.  I had written to ask if he would make me a thing to go on a desk (a hutch, if you will) when I got one, but that I didn't yet have a desk.  

His comments are in black.  Mine are in blue. 

I think I could build something like that.  Good.  Would you want it the full width of the desk?  I am not sure.  How wide is the desk?  I don’t know, yet because I haven’t gotten a desk yet.  I’m going to look at one tonight, though.  If you could draw a picture with dimensions I could give it a try.  I will do that when I have a desk.  If you want to draw in the the drawers you want, I could make them too.  Okay.  I already have a couple that I would like to use.  I saw this thing where someone just bought old drawers and then made a cabinet to hold them.  They were all mismatched and it looked really cool.  Maybe we can mix and match yours and ones I have / find.  I made the drawers in our bathroom vanity and I don't think they look too bad.  I have seen them.  They don’t look bad.  You are correct.   What kind of wood would you want it made from?  I am not sure, but will let you know when I find a desk.  Pine would be cheaper and lighter weight and could be stained, but oak or one of the hard woods would probably look better and they could also be stained to match the desk.  I will let you know when I find a desk.  Would you put the finish ( stain, polyurathane, etc ) on it or want me to?  Either way.  Depends on when I find a desk and what else is going on at work / in my dissertation stuff.

  It would take a while.  That is fine.  I don't put in very long days in the basement anymore.  Good.  You are old.  And tired.  I will attach a picture of a TV stand I made for Sheri several years ago.  It has no drawers, but will give you an idea of what oak can look like.  You understand that I want drawers, though, right?  This is with walnut stain.  Okay.  That might look good depending on what kind of desk I find.  Oak is much lighter if finished just with polyurathane.  That might match better depending on what kind of desk I find.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Education is the best provision for old age.
~ Aristotle
- - - - -

Leslie:  I always think a principal should be old and wise, or at least EXUDE old and wise.  This guy exudes young and dumb.

Friday, June 15, 2012


(Photo by Catrina Wagner)
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemy, but the silence of our friend.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- - - - -

I visited my friends Laurie and Catrina many years ago and they had posted the sign on construction paper on the door that leads from the garage into their house.  I added a post-it note to the sign.  Mostly for my own amusement (which is often my primary motivation).  I would estimate that I wrote that post-it about 12 or 13 years ago.  

Catrina sent me this picture in February and said, "In case you're wondering, we think of you every day; each time we go into the garage."

And, really, that is all that I ask.  That everyone think of me on a daily basis.  It does not have to be when you go into the garage, though.  It can be at any time.  I'm far too humble to dictate where you should be when you think of me daily.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed through your life - and it was you.  It is not too late to find that person again.
~Robert Brault
- - - - -

I think it is good to look back every now and then.  Maybe not if you're running a race.  Unless that race is with a bear.  Then looking back might be a huge motivation.  Except, I think you're supposed to play dead if you are chased by bear.  So maybe if you're chased by a squirrel, domesticated pig, or a chicken (according to the interweb), it is okay to run.  But not a cat.  Even a housecat will catch you.

And what is it that you've done to all these animals to provoke them into chasing you to begin with?  Maybe that is where you ought to start your reflection, my friend.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


There is superstition in avoiding superstitions.
~ Francis Bacon
- - - - -

The other day Sara and I were going to the Memorial Union.  I knew when we approached the zodiac what was going to happen.  I mumbled, "I'm not with her.  I'm not with her," as Sara pushed the cart right across the zodiac.

"What's wrong with you?" she asked.

"You will fail your next test if you walk across the zodiac," I explained (for the forty billionth time).

"Oh.  I don't believe in that.  I went here for my master's, but not my undergrad degree.  I think that only applies if you were an undergrad."

We'll see, Sara.  We shall definitely see.  And don't come crying to me the next time you take an eye exam or test your smoke detectors at home.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Be able to draw an illustration as least well enough to get your point across to another person.
~ Marilyn vos Savant
- - - - -

If there was a ever a class that gave "Pictionary Exams," I think I would do pretty well in that class.  Unless it was statistics.

Monday, June 11, 2012


A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.
~ Novalis
- - - - -

You know those photos of kittens clinging to ropes or tree branches?  And then the caption says, "Hang in there!"  Those images do not help me.  In fact they make me MORE freaked out for the kitten.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Sports do not build character, they reveal it.
~ John Wooden
- - - - -

You might think this little kid watching his sister play ball was really cute.  You might not realize, though, that he was a big, huge trash-talker.  That was bad enough, but a trash-talker who doesn't really know the rules of softball is REALLY annoying.

Kid:  I'm cheering for the purple team.  We just got a hit.
Me:  No, you didn't.  That was a foul ball.
Kid:  No, she hit the ball with her bat.
Me:  Right, and it went foul.
Kid:  She's not out.
Me:  I didn't say she was out.  I said it wasn't a hit.
Kid:  She's good. I'm for the purple team.  Are you for the orange team?
Me:  Yes, I am for the orange team.
Kid:  I hope your team loses.
Me:  (silence.  lots of ideas of things to say, but I chose silence.)
Kid:  That's my sister on first base.  She's really good.
Me:  That's nice.  It's good that you cheer for her.
Kid:  I do.  I cheer really loud for her.
Me:  That's good.  I'm sure she appreciates your support.
Kid:  I always cheer, "GO, SMELLY!"
Me:  Oh.  Maybe she doesn't appreciate your support, then.
Kid:  What?
Me:  Nothing.
Kid:  We just got another hit.
Me:  It was another foul ball.
Kid:  But she hit it.
Me:  See, the field has boundaries and if you hit outside of the boundaries, you don't get to go be on first base.  You have to try again.  That's because you hit the ball foul of the lines.
Kid:  She hit it hard.  It went over the fence.
Me:  That's a backstop.
Kid:  It's a homerun.
Me:  Then why is she still batting?
Kid:  Because she ran all the way around and gets to go again.  We're mostly winning this game.  Orange is mostly losing.
Me:  The game isn't over yet.
Kid:  (As one of the purple players comes home and scores, looks at me and smirks as he claps and says) Yay!  Woo-hoo!
Me:  You should be watching the game.
Kid:  I was.  I saw what happened.  We scored.
Me:  You scored one point.
Kid:  Yep.  One homerun.
Me:  It wasn't a homerun.  She just got to come home when the other player hit the ball.  That's called an RBI for the batter - a run batted in.
Kid:  And it's called a homerun.  Because she RAN home.  A homerun batted in.

Me:  (pausing for a brief staredown with the kid, then -)  Hey, look!  There's a ball in the grass over there.  You should go get it for the umpire.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Music is a bridge between earth and heaven.
~ Yifei Liu
- - - - -

June 8, 2012 – “A Brand New Day,” by Joshua Radin
7 – “One More Night,” by Andrew Allen
6 – “No Matter What,” Def Leppard
5 – “Moondance,” Van Morrison

May 31 – “baby I’m Yours” by Barbara Lewis
May 30 -  “Perfect” by P!nk.
May 29 – “causa y Effecto,” by Paulina Rubio
May 24 – “Born to be Wild,” by Steppenwolf
May 23 – “Drive By” Train
May 22 – “let’s Go All the Way” by Sly Fox
May 21 – “I’m Moving On” by Rascall Flatt
May 20 – “All I Wanna Do,” by Sugarland
May 18 – “Hungry Like the Wolf,” by Duran Duran
17 – “Only You” by Alison Moyet
16 – “You Changed Me” by Michael Warren
14 – “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” by One Direction
13 – “wild Ones” by Flo-Rida and Sia
11 – “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt
10 – “Halo” by Beyonce
9 – “Let Me Give Your Heart a Break” by Demi Lovato
8 – “Loving You Tonight” by Andrew Allen
6 – “wild Ones” by Flo-Rida and Sia
4 – “Last Night” by the Mar-Keys
3 – “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
1 – “L.O.V.E” by VV Brown

April 30 – “Loving You Tonight” by Andrew Allen
29 – “Somebody that I used to Know” by Gotye
27 – “Drive By” by Train
26 – “Somebody that I used To Know” by Gotye
25 – “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction
19 – “Glad You Came” by The Wanted
18 – “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye
17 – “Club Can’t Handle Me” by Flo Rida featuring David Guetta
16 – “Everything” by Michael Buble
14 – “Give Your Heart a Break” by Demi Lovato
13 “Give Your Heart a Break” by Demi Lovato
11 – “Everything” by Michael Buble
9 – “Arms” by Cristina Perri
8 – “If I Only Had a Brain”
5 – “Not Over You” by Gavin Degraw
4 – “December, 1963” by The Four Seasons
3 – “Built for Comfort” by Howlin’ Wolf

31 March – “Come by Me” by Harry Connick, Jr.
30 – “Drive By,” by Train
29 – “I’m Glad you Came” by the Wanted.
28 – “I’m Glad You Came” by the Wanted
26 – “A musical montage of Hebrew kids’ songs and a song about the rolling river care of Jordan. “
25 – “Blue Suitcase” by Erin McCarley
24 – “I Want it All” by Queen
23 – “Up, Up, and Away,” by the Fifth Dimension.
22 – “Hold Me” by Jamie Grace
21 – “Baby, What You Want Me To Do,” by Etta James
20 – “Make You Feel My Love,” by Adele
19 – “When you’re Good to Mama,” by Queen Latifah
16 – “Stuck on You,” by Elvis Presley
15 – “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree
14 – Couldn’t remember, but pretended it was “Enter Sandman” by Metallica Or anything by R.E.M.
13 – “right Now (Na na)” by Akon
11 – “Delta Dawn” by Tanya Tucker
10 – “Not Over You” by Gavin Degraw
9 – “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
8 – “Route 66” by Manhattan Transfer
6 – “Club Can’t Handle Me” by Flo-Rida featuring David Guetta
5 – “Hold Me” by Jamie Grace
2 – “Feelin’ the Same Way All Over Again,” by Norah Jones
1 – “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri

February 29 – “Living on a Prayer,” by Bon Jovi
28 – “Lovefool” by the Cardigans
26 – “Who You Are” by Jessi j
25 – “You and I” by Lady Gaga
24 – “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry
23 – “Tim is on My Side” by The Rolling Stones
22 – “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight,” by Genesis
21 – “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
20 – “Come Monday” by Jimmy Buffet
19 – “Drive” by The Cars
18 – “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer
17 – “If I had $1,000,000” by Barenaked Ladies
16 – Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glen Miller
15 – “Love Me” by The Bieber
13 – “Dominique” by Soeur Sourire
8 – “Causa y Effecto” by Paulina Rubio
6 – “Rock and Roll Fantasy” by Bad Company
5 – “Wrong Baby, Wrong Baby, Wrong,” by Martina McBride
4 – “I’m yours” by Jason Mraz
2 – “Call Me” by Blondie
1 – “Whatever Lola Wants,” by Sarah Vaughn

January 31 – “You Make Me Feel” by Cobra Starship
29 – “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards
27 – “Mr. Know It All” by Kelly Clarkson
26 – “Ain’t Nothin’ ‘Bout You” by Brooks and Dunn
25 – “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
24 – “Keeps Getting’ Better” by Christina Aguilera
23 – “Closer to Love,” by Mat Kearney
22 – “Sunday Kind of Love” by Etta James
21 – “Not over you” by Gavin Degraw
20 – “Time is on My Side” by The Rolling Stones
19 – “Melt With you” by Modern English
18 – “Mr. Know it All” by Kelly Clarkson
16 – “Jackson” by Johnny and June Carter Cash
15 – “I Wanna Go” by Brittney Spears
14 – “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
13 – unidentified Shania Twain song
12 – “Ain’t That Peculiar” by Marvin Gaye
11 – “Mr. Know It All” by Kelly Clarkson
10 – “Wake Me Up” by Wham!
9 – “Grenade” by Bruna Mars
6 – “We Found Love” by Rihanna
5 – “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
4 – “You Make Me Feel” by Cobra Starship
3 – “If you’re Out There” by John Legend
2 – “Forever Young” by Audra Mae and the Rangers
1 – “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime,” by Dean Martin

December, 2011 31 – “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry
27 – “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” by Julie London
26 – “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce
22 – “At Last” by Etta James
19 – “This Time,” by John Legend
17 – “Fist City” by Loretta Lynn
16 – “Rain is a Good Thing” by Luke Bryan
15 – “Little Red Corvette” by Prince
14 – “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes
13 – “Bungle in the Jungle” by Jethro Tull
12 – Theme music from Looney Tunes
9 – “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes
7 – “You Make Me Feel So” by Cobra Starship
6 – “Mercy” by Duffy
5 – “Someone Like you” by Adele
2 – “You and I” by Lady Gaga
1 – “Hold Me” by Jamie Grace

November 30 – “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin
29 – “You Make me Feel So” by Cobra Starship
28 – “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
27 – “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine
26 – “Love Me” by the Bieber
24 – “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5
23 – “This Time,” by John Legend
21 – “Hey, Mama” by Mat Kearney
18 – “Adele mash-up from Glee this week”
15 – “Someone Like You” by Adele
14 – “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive
13 – “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People
12 – “Arms” by Christina Perri
11 – “Nothing” by The Script
10 – “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People
4 – “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes
2 – “Blame it on the Bossa Nova” by Eydie Gormet
1 – “Someone Like You” by Adele

October 31 – “When You Come Back Down” by Nickel Creek
30 – “Taking Care of Business” by Nina Simone
28 – “Bang Bang” by Melanie Fiona
26 – “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner
25 – “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Ozbourne
24 – “Wrong Baby Wrong” by Martina McBride
23 – “Mambo Number Five” by Lou Bega
22 – “Here Without You” by Three Doors Down
21 – “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield
20 – “Fallin’ for You” by Colbie Callait
18 – “Come on Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson
17 – “The Only Exception” by Paramore
13 – “Come by Me” by Harry Connick, Jr.
6 – “Can I Walk with You” by India Arie
5 – “Fireflies” by Owl City

September 29 – “Who you Are” by Jessie J
28 – “No Air” by Jordin Sparks
26 – “No Other Love,” by John Legend
22 – “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
20 – “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield
19 – “Dear Mr. President” by P!nk
16 – “No Other Love” by John Legend
15 – “All the Single Ladies” by Beyonce
14 – “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga
10 – “Perfect” by P!nk
9 – “Piece of Me” – Brittney Spears
8 – “Beautiful Nightmare” – Beyonce
7 – “If You Only Knew” by Shinedown
6 – “I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
5 – “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett
4 – “Wrong Baby Wrong” by Martina McBride
2 – “Wrong baby Wrong” by Martina McBride
1 – “Everything” by Michael Buble

August 31 – “Fire” by The Pointer Sisters
29 – “Walk with You” by India Arie
27 – “That Thing you Do” by The Wonders
25 – “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz
24 – “Bad Things” by Jace Everett
23 – “Hold On, Hold On,” by Neko Case
22 – “Paparazzi,” by Lady Gaga
21 – “Teach Me Tiger” by April Stevens
19 – “Keeps Getting’ Better” by Christina Aguilera
18 – “I Run to You” by Lady Antebellum
17 – “Dirty Laundry” by Bitter:Sweet
16 – “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” by The Police
15 – “Tainted Love” by Sweet Signatures
14 – “Life Uncommon” by Jewel