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Thursday, January 31, 2013


A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.
~ Oscar Wilde
- - - - -

So, I was working on my dissertation and I found that I was using the word "unique" a lot.  It is relevant and a theme of my study, however I didn't want to overuse it.  It is good to change up the language so your readers don't get too bored with what you have found.

Anyway, I googled, "synonyms for unique."


That seems very wrong to me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


If it were not for hopes, the heart would break.
~ Thomas Fuller
- - - - -

I am getting close to the end of my dissertation.  I do find that I can only write for so long and then I have to take a break.  Sometimes I go for a walk or go to a movie.  It's too cold to go for a walk right now and often too cold for me to even want to go out to a movie.

I started watching Breaking Bad and that is how I take a break from writing right now.  At times I wonder why I am working on a dissertation to get a job where I will never be offered $3,000,000 for 3 months work.  I wonder if it's worth it.  There are other ways to get by.  And then someone on Breaking Bad gets shot or a windshield gets broken or Pinkman gets the crap beat out of him.

I don't want to be shot and I hate it when my windshield cracks and I don't want to get beat up.  So, then I decide maybe finishing the dissertation is the smarter route for me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
~ Matt Groening
- - - - -

We had an ice storm this weekend.  It wasn't a tree-toppling ice storm.  At least I didn't see any trees toppled.  It was icy though.  And I decided not to venture out into the world until late in the day when it had warmed up and the roads were passable.

Instead, I stayed home.  I felt a little trapped, but there were some good things that came of the situation.  One of those was the fact that I finally figured out how to turn off the closed captioning on my TV.  I have been reading the captioning for more than 13 months, now.  It just took an ice storm and time for me to figure out how to switch it off.


By the way, you'd be surprised how often people "scoff" on TV shows.   A lot according to the captioners.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
~ C. S. Lewis
- - - - -

I'm not sure it's a good idea to keep letters and numbers in a closed ziplock bag.  

"Y," you ask?
B cause what if they have 2 P?
Would U like to B kept locked up in A bag?
I would guess not.
O U might not mind it at first, but eventually U wouldn't B able 2 breathe!
U might first say, "G this isn't fun," but if U had a temper, that could change 2, "FU!"

C what I mean?

So, let's not do that, K?

I wonder what it is like for T in a T bag...

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Cactus aren't very friendly.
~ Robert Taylor
- - - - -

I think cacti aren't friendly because of two reasons.  One, they have pointy spines all over them.  Two, most of them look like they are flipping you off.

I read a post by someone the other day that said, "I know now why rath is one of the seven deadly sins."  I wanted to tell the person it was "wrath" not "rath," but I didn't.  I was afraid it might set him off.  And he might flip me off.  Or poke me with a cactus spine.  

So that is one of the ways that I am friendly.  I let things like that go.  And just blog about them later.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Life is a wretched gray Saturday, but it has to be lived through.
~ Anthony Burgess
- - - - -

I don't know that I agree that life is a wretched gray Saturday.  And if it is, that somehow seems preferable to a wretched gray Monday or a wretched gray Tuesday.  And, again if it is, I think one ought to spell it: saTURDay.

Friday, January 25, 2013


My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.
~ Henry Rollins
- - - - -

I believe I took this photo at the Iowa State Fair.  I like when people wear boots.  I love it when little kids wear cowboy boots and shorts.  I'm not a huge fan of it when adults do that, but to each his or her own.

When I look at it, I am reminded of the Nancy Sinatra song, "These Boots Were Made for Walking," and her follow up song, "These Boots Were Made for Sitting Around."  That second one was not quite so popular.  I suspect a song called, "These Boots Were Made for Kicking A**" would be hugely successful.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Remember when life's path is steep to keep your mind even.
~ Horace
- - - - -

The student perspective on K-12 education.

Maddie:  Teachers expect that you don't forget stuff.  It's stupid.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
~ Henry David Thoreau
- - - - -
When you go for a walk early on the day after a blizzard, you see things undisturbed.  I know by the time I get home tonight, the yards and walks and other places - smooth and quiet and white this morning - will be ruptured and lived upon and yellowed.  That's okay.  Signs of life are good.  It is nice to see things when they are soft and silent, though.
Not everyone loves winter.  I really don't, but I am trying.  Ebony said when she gets up after a blizzard she thinks, "Why do I live in Iowa?!"  The last time she thought that, right afterward she encountered a woman on campus clearing the sidewalks. The woman cleared a path just for her.  "That," Ebony added, "is why I live in Iowa.  Because the people are so nice."
People here are nice.  Especially if Ebony is yelling at us telling us we better clear the walk for her or she's going to sue everyone.  I'm not saying that is what she said to the woman shoveler.  I'm also not saying that she didn't say that.  I'm just saying.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Anyone's life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air and a happy contented spirit.
~ Lillie Langtry
- - - - -

The other day I had an idea.  I thought I would share it with a company and see if they wanted to make my idea a reality.  Here is the email exchange which followed:

Dear [Company],
I just had an idea.  Soap in the shape of a cell phone.  It should probably be a deep yellow.

And it would be called Butt Dial.

Hi, Michelle,
Thanks so much for the note.

Very funny idea, but it would be a legal nightmare to produce since DIal is actually a soap brand - and highly protected.  Unfortunately, the concept isn't as strong without the name.

Please keep us in mind if you come up with any other ideas.

Thanks again,

Dear Jason,
That makes sense.

What if it was green and you called it "Butt Irish Spring?"


Just kidding.." 

Still waiting on a response to my second email.

I hope that they do not enter my email into their spam mail list because I will probably have a lot of other good ideas.  Like a series of postcards in the shape of SPAM cans called "SPAM Mail!"  I have to go write another email right now!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013


The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.
~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
- - - - -

Grandmother brought three silver dishes out to the table.  She said, "In one dish is the key to happiness.  In one dish is the key to wisdom.  In the third dish is the key to wealth.  You may only eat from one dish.  Choose wisely."

Becky uncovered the first dish.  It was filled with green bean casserole.  "Surely this is the dish of happiness, Grandmother!" she shrieked.  "For it is my favorite food of all!!"

Grandmother smiled.  "Perhaps, Becky.  Let's move on."

Leonard opened the second dish.  He beamed.  "This must surely be the dish of wisdom, Grandmother.  For you have prepared owl-au-gratin!"

Grandmother smiled.  "Perhaps, Leonard.  There is one more."

Little AJ opened the third dish.  It was empty.  He was confused.  "I don't understand, Grandmother.  It cannot be happiness because I have nothing to eat.  It cannot be wisdom, for there is no knowledge within.  It cannot be wealth because it is empty."

Grandmother threw back her head and laughed and laughed and laughed.  "I just made up that story, children.  The third dish was supposed to be boiled potatoes, but the dog got into them." 

"Oh, and Leonard," she said seriously, "That's not 'owl-au-gratin.'  What the hell is wrong with you?!  It's goulash."

Sunday, January 20, 2013


This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
- - - - -

I think if people love one another for their minds they should say, "I lobe you."  Which works out great if you make that typo on your phone when you're texting, anyway.  It turns out to be a compliment to the other person rather than a reflection on your own laziness in not proofreading a text before you send it.

Win - win.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Thousands fo candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared.
~ Buddha
- - - - -

If you think about the idea of brightness being happiness...  Well, you don't notice a candle as much on a bright sunny day.  When things are good, you don't always notice the goodness of others.  But when things are dark, you notice a candle.  When things are bad, you notice goodness.

Some people might think this is my way of validating pyromania.  But those people are mistaken.  And also, they are pyromaniacs.

Friday, January 18, 2013


At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom.
~ George Carlin
- - - - -

The other night Leslie said that for the first time in a long time she expected to be the only one in the house.  She doesn't get a lot of alone / down time, I don't think.  I get a lot.  I enjoy it much of the time - not always.  Sometimes I need to be around other people so I remember not to talk to myself in public.  I thought it would be nice for her to have some time for herself.  She said she thought the boys were both going out with friends.

She said her mom was going to, "old people's party time."  Which made me laugh.  And then I realized that if "Old People's Party Time" was a show on TV, that I would probably watch it.  And I convinced myself that "Old People's Party Time" would involve accordions and polka music.  And then I realized I was probably just remembering "Bandwagon" on KEYC in Mankato, MN from the 1970s.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


"Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face."
~ Victor Hugo
- - - - -

So my friend Dave says that I should write a blog just about movie reviews.  I would love to do that - especially for a job.  If anyone knows anyone paying anyone for doing such a thing, please let me know.  Until then, I may occasionally write about movies (because I LOVE movies), and I think Dave for the encouragement.

All that said, I do not understand the love for "Les Miserables."  I saw it on opening night.  It was fine.  I thought the cinematography was good and the costumes.  It just didn't resonate with me at all.  It was way too long.  

I felt like the whole last third of the movie Hugh Jackman kept singing about dying and I just wanted him to do.  That song that Anne Hathaway sang was a pretty song.  I liked it.  But I don't think she deserved an oscar nomination for singing a pretty song and getting an ugly haircut.  And I like Anne Hathaway.  I think she's a good actress.  And I didn't think Russell Crowe was as awful as everyone says.  He was just Russell Crowe.  That's what he does.

People said they cried the entire time.  I will admit I got a little choked up at the very end because the woman next to me bolted out and kicked me and kicked my friend Ebony's purse all over the theater.  The woman probably thought the movie was only an hour and a half long instead of nine hours long and she probably had to go to the movie.

I might have been more touched if the film (or musical too, maybe.  I haven't seen it, so I'm not sure) had focused on the inequities of justice for the poor.  Jean Valjean went to prison for stealing bread to feed his family.  Then Anne Hathaway had to sell her body - literally and figuratively - to support a daughter left to the "kindness?" of strangers.  People are all sobby about the tragedy of it, but I really wonder why they don't feel the same way when it isn't white French people, but people of color here in the U.S.  Because guess what?  That stuff still happens.  People just aren't singing about it most times when it happens...

All that said...  this is what I learned about myself from Les Miserables.  Sunday night I was going to the store and  I heard parodies of the songs from Les Miserables on Prairie Home Companion.  Sometimes I like that show.  This segment, was HILARIOUS and captured a lot of what I felt about the public's response to the movie.

As I was going to the store I thought, "Oh my gosh!  How do I get home and tell everyone that PHC got it right and that I agree and that we know that Les Miserables wasn't really that good of a movie?  They will want to know.  What can I post on Facebook about this?"

Okay, I'm not sure that's exactly how my mind worked.  I'm pretty sure the, "Oh my gosh!" part was right.  And I remember thinking people would really think the songs were funny.  But what I learned was that I'm really self-absorbed.  


Well, I already knew I was self-absorbed.  But how can I NOT be?  I have such interesting thoughts that I think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.  With confidence you have won before you even started.
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
- - - - -

I'm a pretty big fan of myself.  At least that is what I project.  I'm just as insecure as the next person.  Or more.  What if I'm more insecure than the next person?  What does that mean for me?

Anyway, here is a bio I wrote about myself for a recent speaking thing:

Michelle Boettcher is a photographer and thinker.  She created the blog “Realizing Zen” and tries to post random observations about the world which are both profound and hilarious.  She does indeed enjoy long walks on the beach, though that is not really relevant in this context.  

In addition to her life, Michelle works.  She currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Judicial Affairs at Iowa State University.  In that capacity she has the opportunity to help students learn from their experiences through dialogue and listening.  Mostly her dialoguing and them listening.  

Prior to her current position, she worked in in residence life at Iowa State University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Cincinnati, and Ohio University.  She also worked in academic affairs at Dartmouth College where she simultaneously served as the Recorder for the Lyme, NH Zoning Board of Adjustment.  

In her free time Michelle is also a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education.  Which means she has no free time.

She is just as excited as you – maybe even MORE excited - to hear what she has to say today and is grateful for the opportunity to speak with you.

Wouldn't YOU want to hear that speaker?  I know I would.  Um.  I did.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


- - - - -

I think it is fun to try to find words in word.  For example, how many names can you find in the word, "JALAPENO?"

Pole An

And if you didn't find Michelle in the word jalapeno, then you didn't look hard enough.  And you're not creative.  Shape up, buster.  Because my name is totally in the word jalapeno.

Oh, wait, I meant "Lea" not "Michelle."

My bad.

Monday, January 14, 2013


If the King loves music, it is well with the land.
~ Mencius
- - - - -

A rundown of the songs in my head for the past several months...

13 - Maybe - Sick Puppies
11 - Crimson and Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells
  7 - Something's Got a Hold of Me - Etta James
  6 - Lies - Andrew Allen
  3 - Master of the House - from Les Miserables
  2 - Arms - Cristina Perri

30 - You've Got Growing Up to Do - Joshua Radin
29 - Take Me Home Tonight - Eddie Money
27 - Amazing - Andrew Allen
26 - Master of the House - from Les Miserables
25 - Time of the Season - The Zombies
24 - Don't You Wanna Stay - Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson
23 - Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
19 - Three is a Magic Number - Schoolhouse Rocks
18 - Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top
17 - One and Only - Adele
16 - Winter Wonderland - The Eurythmics
14 - It's Friday, I'm in Love - The Cure
13 - Home - Phillip Phillips
  8 - Call Me - Blondie
  7 - I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  6 - Take Five - Dave Brubeck
  5 -  Ride of the Valkyries (Die Walk├╝re) - Richard Wagner
  4 - Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys

30 - Wild Ones - Flo-Rida
29 - Onr More Night - Joshua Radin
28 - Lonely Boy - Paul Anka
26 - Winter Wonderland - Annie Lennox
25 - What Do You Want From Me - Adam Lambert
24 - Leaving on a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary
22 - They Bring Me to You - Joshua Radin
20 - Blue Monday - Fats Domino
18 - Brand New Day - Joshua Radin
16 - You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
15 - It's Thanksgiving  - Nicole Westbrook (Song Elliott posted on my Facebook wall the previous day)
14 - 7 - Prince
13 - Sky - Joshua Radin
12 - Starships - Nicki Minaj
11 - Everything - Lifehouse
10 - I'd Rather Be With You - Joshua Radin
  7 - Wouldn't It Be Good - Nik Kershaw
  2 - This Time - John Legend

31 - Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
29 - This Life - Curtis Stiger and The Forest Rangers
28 - Abilene - George Hamilton IV
25 - All I Have to Do is Dream - The Everly Brothers
22 - And So It Goes - Boyce Avenue
21 - Amazed - Lonestar
20 - Whatever Lola Wants - Sarah Vaughan
19 - Beautiful Girls - Boyce Avenue
16 - Jackson - Johnny and June Carter Cash
14 - Classical Gas - Mason Williams
13 - Everybody - Ingrid Michaelson
11 - Nothing - The Script
10 - I Feel the Earth Move - Carole King
  8 - Arms - Cristina Perri
  6 - I'm Glad You Came - The Wanted
  5 - Anything Goes - Cole Porter
  3 - What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
  2 - Blanket On the Ground - Billie Jo Spears

28 - Save Yourself - The McClymonts
26 - Sky - Joshua Radin
25 - Give Your Heart a Break - Demi Lovato
24 - Old Apartment - Barenaked Ladies
22 - Bad Reputation - Freedy Johnston
20 - When You Say Nothing at All - Allison Krauss
19 - Drive - Incubus
17 - No Matter What - Def Leppard
16 - Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
15 - Sky - Joshua Radin
11 - Amazing - Andrew Allen
10 - Taking Care of Business - Nina Simone
  8 - One Fine Day - The Chiffons
  1 - Sooner or Later - Gavin Creel

August 31
31 - Wild Ones - Flo-Rida
30 - Two Tickets to Paradise - Eddie Money
29 - I'm Just Beautiful Me - Selena Gomez
28 - King for a Say - Thompson Twins
27 - Perfect - P!nk
25 - A Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley
21 - One of Those Days - Joshua Radin
19 - Give Your Heart a Break - Demi Lovato
17 - Come on Get Higher - Matt Nathanson
15 - Domino - Van Morrison
14 - Blowin' in the Wind - Peter, Paul and Mary
11 - I'd Rather Be With You - Joshua Radin
10 - Teenage Queen - Johnny Cash
  9 - You Don't Know You're Beautiful - One Direction
  8 - Alone - Heart
  7 - Talk Dirty to Me - Poison
  6 - Crazy for You - Heart
  5 - Talking in Your Sleep - Crystal Gayle
  4 - I Want You - Andrew Allen
  3 - Sussudio - Phil Collins
  2 - No Air - Jordin Sparks

Sunday, January 13, 2013


He wears a ten dollar hat on a five cent head.
~ American Idiom
- - - - -

My friend Liz wrote me and asked, "Would squirrels look better wearing crowns?"  So, I had to stop and think.  If I saw a squirrel wearing a crown, I know I would notice that.  Would I think, "Hm.  That squirrel looks better than other squirrels?"  or "Wow.  That squirrel looks better than I do?"  I can't say for sure.

Well, actually, I would probably think, "Holy kamoley!  A squirrel wearing a crown!  I can't wait to tell Liz I actually saw a squirrel wearing a crown!"

It did get me to thinking, though, about whether or not ALL animals would look better wearing crowns.  Maybe they would.  Not every animal has a good headshape for crown wearing, though.  Some would look better in ball caps or those kind of head things that dancers in Las Vegas wear.  Or birthday party hats.

Ultimately, I think you're just asking for trouble, though.  There is bound to be envy around who has the nicer crown or hat.  And the donkeys and goats might eat the hats off other animals.  And somehow I think it would create confusion around the idea of "pulling a rabbit out of a hat."

Finally, for the record, if I opened a store which made hats for animals, I would definitely call it "The Animilliner." 

Saturday, January 12, 2013


One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.
~ Antonio Porchia
- - - - -

I do hope when I am gone that people remember me fondly and say kind things about me.  I hope that I have made a difference in the world and in the lives of others.  However, when I die, I don't need a little monument at my favorite place or where I have worked or in some park.  I need a HUGE monument in all of those places.  That would be about right.

Friday, January 11, 2013


For it is dangerous to attach one's self to the crowd in front, and so long as each one of us is more willing to trust another than to judge for himself, we never show any judgement in the matter of living, but always a blind trust, and a mistake that has been passed on from hand to hand finally involves us and works our destruction. It is the example of other people that is our undoing; let us merely separate ourselves from the crowd, and we shall be made whole.
~ Seneca
- - - - -

I am not sure if cows, cattle, steers, bulls - whatever - like wearing earrings.  I kind of have to think that they do since so many of them have them.  Or maybe it's just that they are doing it because their friends are doing it.  Groupthink.  Or following the flock -- er, herd. 

I'm so glad that human beings have evolved brains and can think for themselves and don't do that.

Can you imagine if they copied one another in some weird or unattractive fad?  Just to fit in or do what the media told them to do?  It makes me sick to think about it.  Ugg.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Don't marry the person you think you can live with;
marry only the individual you can't live without.
~ James Dobson
- - - - -

My brother recently got engaged to his partner Jared.  I like to say that they got "MENgaged."  Well, I just wrote it, I don't think I've actually spoken it. 

Anyway, I really enjoyed using a James Dobson quote with this post.

That's all I have to say about that.

(Except CONGRATULATIONS to Kirk and Jared.) 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work,
from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.
~ Henri Matisse
- - - - -

The fog moved in without exactly settling.  It was constantly in motion - sometimes slowly other times erratically.  Slow, but never still.  Like a 4 year old who has to go potty.  Only quieter.  And without the urine.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I can't bear art that you can walk around and admire.  A book should be either a bandit or a rebel or a man in the crowd.
~ D. H. Lawrence
- - - - -

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog about bridges and bandits.  In it I said that bandits couldn't hide in a covered bridge.  Why did I think that?  If you look at this photo, you can easily see a number of places where bandits could hide. 

Now, I assure you I am not a bandit, and I did not post that the other day to lure you into a false sense of security.  Not at all.  I cannot, however, be sure that I was not a bandit in a former life.  Not so much because I like to rob people, but I like surprising people.  It could be a carryover from a previous bandit life. 

I also like surprises and I imagine that when bandits robbed people it was always kind of a surprise when they got to see what people had. 

Also, I like to hide and climb things.  I probably would have enjoyed climbing the trestles of this bridge and hiding so I could jump down on the wagons of passers-by.  And I like wagons.


I'm pretty sure in a previous life maybe I was a bandit.

Monday, January 7, 2013


The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
~ Oprah Winfrey
- - - - -

I took this picture yesterday morning.  January 6th marked my half-birthday.  I never really thought too much about half-birthdays until I met Elizabeth.  She used to make a big deal out of hers.  Her half-birthday happens to be December 24th, so many people kind of make a big deal out of it.

Anyway, I was thinking about all the photos I see on Facebook of people's kids half tipped over in a photo on the couch marking off their 3 week-birthday or "I'm 7.24 months old right now!" or whatever.  I know that babies change a lot and it's good to document them for future research.  So, I thought I would do the same thing.  

I also thought this might help people practice their division skills.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Let every man praise the bridge that carries him over.
~ English proverb
- - - - -

For some reason, Leslie and I have seen a lot of different bridges together.  She wasn't with me when I drove down to see the Bridges of Madison County a few weeks ago, but I will take her there sometime.  And it's not because The Bridges of Madison County is her favorite book and movie.  Because it's not.  Trust me, you don't even want to joke about that.  

I guess they made the bridges covered to protect the wooden trusses from the weather so that the bridges would last longer.  Also, I think it probably made the journey more interesting for the horses who seem to enjoy having tunnel vision.  At least people put those blinder things on horses a lot.

One final benefit to the covered bridges is that the bandits couldn't hide in them.  Of course,the bandits could block each end and you were trapped there.  Like what happened to Sonny in "The Godfather."  Only about 40 years earlier.  With horses instead of cars.  And without the machine gun part. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013


By getting up early in the morning one also gets more time at his disposal for work as compared to late-risers.  Scholars and thinkers get up early in the morning and contemplate.
~ Rig Veda
- - - - -

I am a morning person.  That said, I'm not suggesting that I am always fun and pleasant in the morning.  I am simply suggesting that I enjoy mornings.  I like them a lot.  I like to get up early and accomplish things before the sun comes up.  I feel like I tricked the rest of the world and got ahead of them.  Not that we're racing or striving for the same goals.  I'm sure what I'm working toward is different from the things for which others hope or to which they aspire.

There's probably something about also beating nature to the day.  As if the day or life doesn't start until the sun rises.  Lots of things happen in nature "when the lights are out," so to speak.  I just feel like I do better thinking before the traffic starts and the birds are chirping and all that.

For example, right now it is 437 a.m.  I am sure there are raccoons and owls and bats going about their business.  But they aren't messing with me and I am not messing with them.  Maybe raccoons and owls and bats are the scholars and thinkers of the animal world.  Funny, owls kind of have that reputation already.  Whereas raccoons have the reputation of being vandals / thieves and getting into garbage cans and bats have the reputation of being creepy and carrying rabies.  Wait, raccoons also have a reputation for carrying rabies.

That is probably where the phrase "Stay up too late, don't wake the babies; Get up too early, you're bound to get rabies," comes from.  It's not a common phrase, I know.

Friday, January 4, 2013


There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
~ Mother Teresa
- - - - -

So my brother and Jared got engaged the other night.  They are happy.  I am happy.  Jared seems to balance Kirk - which is a feat unto itself.  And I'm sure their dog, Vegas, will be relieved that they are no longer living in sin. 

Anyway, as part of the Facebook celebration of this event (now a formal step in the process of love in our culture), Kirk's friend Kristy said she thought they were calling her to tell her she won something and that maybe she won the part of the flower girl.  Here is part of the exchange which followed:

Me:  I think you ought to be a flour girl instead of a flower girl.  Because it's the yeast you can do.

Jared: Kristy, I like Michelle's idea.  Start getting bready.

Kris:  Yeah, stop loafing.

Me:  She's quiet.  I hope she's ocake.

Kris: Actually, I heard she's on a roll.

Kristy: I'm going to throw croissants down the aisle!

Me:  Rye would you do that?  Wheat are you thinking?

Kristy:  You are right.  That was silly, instead I'll play hot cross buns.

Jared: Kristy, I donut think you understand how this works...  Please rise to the occasion.

Kristy:  Dough!  I'm such a goof.

Kristy:  I can't come up with any wheaty replies.  Bryan wants to know if this will be a shot pun wedding.

I am thinking of re-writing this as a novel called The Bread and Grooms. (pause)  It will be a pretty short novel.  (pause)  And more character- than plot-driven, I suspect.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat.
~ Fran Lebowitz
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I think it is nice when people can like different things and still be friends.  Pizza, for example.  Different people like different pizza toppings.  Or pizza places.  Some people maybe don't like pizza.  But there is something wrong with those people.  Like Joy.
I cannot tell you why (because I don't know, not because it is a secret), but Leslie and I were discussing multiple personality disorder and pizza the other night.  I had ordered pizza and she asked what kind. 
Me:  Pepperoni and mushroom.
Leslie:  Really.  I thought you'd have gotten something with pineapple.
Me:  I think I did last time.  Sometimes I get it half and half, but tonight I wanted this.
Leslie:  Imagine if you had multiple personalities and couldn't agree on a pizza.
Me:  Well, separate human beings have individual personalities and I've been able to agree with others on what kind of pizza to get.
Leslie:  No.  I mean what if your personalities wanted to order half meat-lovers and half vegan.  "Excuse me, can you use some kind of divider so that the vegan side doesn't contaminate my meat lover's?"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


How can you expect a man who's warm to understand one who's cold?
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Sometimes in Iowa it gets cold.  If you dress appropriately, though, you can still enjoy the weather. I am trying very hard to enjoy winter this year.  I got up very early on the first snowstorm day and went out and took photos.  Like the one you see here.  So far so good, but it is still day ONE of the snowstorm when I am writing this blog.
When I got to work, I talked with Ebony for a while.  She said, "I can't believe I spent my first four years in Iowa without long underwear.  Thermal underwear - they're like a hug for your legs."
And I thought about when a little kid hugs your leg and how that also kind of warms you up on the inside.  Because of the heartburn little kids give you.  A different kind of warm from thermal underwear, but warm just the same.  Only different.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Never confuse movement with action.
~ Ben Franklin
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I love that quote.  I know some people who think that moving or talking or interfering is the equivalent of doing.  I'll tell you what it's doing.  It's annoying me.  Sometimes I try to help them understand that what they are doing is not productive.  And if that doesn't work, I start talking about Batman.  My motto?  "If you can't convince them, confuse them."

And also, Batman is awesome.