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Wednesday, July 31, 2013


The stuff of which tragedy and comedy are made is the same stuff. The foibles of mankind work up more easily into comedy than into tragedy, and this is the chief difference between the two. We readily understand the Nemesis of temperament, the fatality of character, when it is exposed on a small scale. This is the business of comedy; and we do not here require the labored artifice of gods, mechanical plot, and pointed allegory to make us realize the moral. But in tragedy we have the large scale to deal with. A tragedy is always the same thing. It is a world of complicated and traditional stage devices for making us realize the helplessness of mankind before destiny. We are told from the start to expect the worst: there is going to be suffering, and the suffering is going to be logical, inevitable, necessary. There is also an implication to be conveyed that this suffering is somehow in accord with the moral constitution of the universe.
~ John J. Chapman
- - - - - -

I have ideas sometimes.  Things just come into my mind.  Sometimes I do things with them - blog them, write about them, tell stories about them.  

One time I had an idea for a play or a short story.  The title was, "A Nightcap with my Nemesis."  I didn't really get further than that.

I also had an idea for a new word - "apricats."  But I couldn't decided if it was a sort feline fruit snack or some cool people who like apricots.

It's rare that the quote for my blog is longer than the entry.  But this is one of those times.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Good intentions are not enough.  
They've never put an onion in the soup yet.
~ Sonya Levien
- - - - -

I love soup.  I think it's because it's a mixing of everything.  It saves time for the digestive system because the veggies and meat and whatever else you put in the soup are already mixed together.  And you don't have to spend time thinking, "Do I want a spoonful of corn or a piece of beef?  Do I want some beans or some broth?"  You just stick your spoon in the bowl and let good fortune decide what each bite will provide.

And I don't have a lot of extra time to wait for my stomach to blend things.  I have to go decide what kind of soup I'm going to make tomorrow.

Also, if you're not eating soup, do you ever have to ask yourself if you want "some broth?"  That's not served as a side dish or a condiment very often.  Except with an au jus sandwich, I guess.  And a bunch of other ways that my cooking friends are out there listing off right now.

Well, you know what?  You go ahead and list off "broth as side item" meals.  I'm done eating and am going to be excused to go play now.

Monday, July 29, 2013


- - - - -

I really do believe that we all have something in us which is special and unique.  I think pursuing the different and special is much more exciting than seeking out ways to conform and be the same as everyone else.  If we really try, we can find things which set us apart and give us the opportunity to make a one-of-a-kind contribution to society.  And then, we can use the wings of our differentness to take flight and contribute our unique selves to history.

Of course, if your differentness is that you actually have wings, you should definitely take off.  If you don't, someone is going to snag you and dissect you to figure out how you got those wings so the rest of us can have 'em, too. 

So fly creative and unique being.  Fly your assumptions off and go change the world!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Conversation, Part 3

Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead 
ought to tell a child to go to bed.
~ Robert C. Gallagher
- - - - -

Kirk:  Which show was it in the 80s where someone got killed?  What it My Sister Sam.

Me:  I don't remember if she was killed, but she was stalked.  Not Pam whatshername from Mork.  The other one.

Kirk:  That's right.  Someone from that show was just on 25,000 Pyramid and I was just thinking it's strange that isn't on in reruns ever.  I forgot that was the woman from Mork and Mindy.  Did you see Robin Williams has a new sitcom that's gonna be on CBS?  OH - long story that reminded me about this...  do you know who Andrea Martin is?

Me:  Yes.  Did she die?

Kirk:  No!  She just won the Tony for best supporting actress.  We saw her in Pippin in Boston before it transferred to NYC and she was AMAZING!  She was the only award I really cared about this year, cause she was SO GOOD!

Me:  I heard about her on NPR and how she took on a lot of the physical aspects of the role she dint' have to but wanted to - even though she is 60-something.

Kirk:  Yeah!  She is the grandmother and wears basically a corset and is suspended from like 20 feet in the air upside down signing.  She was SO GOOD!

Me:  I didn't know she knew sign language.  That is really awesome.  Or is it "sighing."  That wouldn't be that hard.

Kirk:  It was the strangest part of any musical ever.  It was real quiet.

Me:  That made me laugh out loud in my office.  Which I try to never do.  It spoils my ENFORCER image.

Kirk:  They just think you were laughing at someone getting a parking ticket or a kitten getting squished by something like a sack of flour.

Me;  It's wrong, but reading those things DID make me laugh.  I don't think I'd laugh at kittensquish, though. Which would be a good band name.

Kirk:  They do songs like The New Christy Minstrels... and some German Punk rock.

Me:  Der Neu Kristi Meinstrels.

Kirk:  Doesn't that translate to "kittensquish?"

Me:  Ja.

Kirk:  Were YOU a mime in high school????  I think I know about this one.

Me:  I do not think I was a mime in high school.  Where are you getting this information?  It is possible I blocked it out.

Kirk:  I was a mime in high school.  I got in trouble.

Me:  All mimes should get in trouble then get in carcerated.

Kirk:  I think it was cause I made too much noise.

Me:  Figures.  What's mime is yours.  How ironic if a mime does jazzhands, huh?

Kirk:  Like.  I'm running to get some lunch.  Have a good day...  I'm sure it'll pale in comparison to this conversation... but still try.

Me:  I will try.  It will pale.

Kirk:  Oh, did I tell you about the independent study I'm doing next semester?

Me:  No.  (pause)  And you still haven't.

Kirk:  2 of my four classes are independent studies.  I'm TA-ing for the intro seminar in the theatre department... but I'm also doing one in the history department on the history of the minstrel show.  I'm really excited!!!  I've been trying to set up that minstrel show one for 2 years, and found someone who was really excited to help.

Me:  I think I'm teaching Basic Research methods this fall.  Jealous?

Kirk:  Ummmm...  uh huh.  That sounds like a  neat thing.

Me:  I'm going to teach it in mime.

Kirk:  Are you just going to yell, "Get a $%#$#^#$%#$# library card!"

Me:  I am now.

Kirk:  Don't yell if you're a mime.

Me:  Great strategy.  Forget the mime.

Kirk:  Thanks.  I should write educational syllabi for a living.

Me:  You should.  Aren't you so huuuuuungry?

Kirk:  I am wasting away.  Bye.

Me:  Bye.  Go catch a lobster in your back yard or something. (pause) HA.  Knew you were still there.  I see you typing.  Which is very creeperish.

Kirk:  True.  My neighbor can tell the same thing, but he just looks in my windows.  I found a crab in the backyard the other day that a seagull dropped next to my car.

Me:  And then children, he trained the animals to do his bidding and they would bring him treats in honor of his existence.

Kirk:  Don't blog this part...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Conversation, Part 2

I have only made this letter longer because 
I have not had time to make it shorter.
~ Blaise Pascal
- - - - -

Me:  I was in the talent show.  I read from "the diary" of one of the founders of the conference.  It went pretty well.  Not as well as your act would have gone, though.  Clearly.

Kirk:  I would say something similar to that during my act.

Me:  And the crowd would go wild.  Just like I am right now.  In my office.  Freaking out my co-workers.  

Kirk:  They must think you're talking to your awesome brother.

Me:  Why is it that as I'm typing to you, "Land of the Lost 435,313 people like this," popped up in my ad feed column on Facebook?

Kirk:  Cause you keep talking about Will Farrell and Dinosaurs.

Me:  They should make a TV show about vampire teens who go back to the time of the dinosaurs.  I KNOW you know what they would call the show, right?

Kirk:  .....?

Me:  Really?  I'm HUGELY disappointed.  "Land of the Lost Boys."

Kirk:  (crickets chirping)

Me:  sigh.

Kirk:  How'd these damn crickets get in here? AHHHHH!

Me:  Just start signing like Buddy Holly and you'll win them over.

Kirk:  Well played.  I don't remember if I have asked...  have you ever seen the movie Deathtrap?

Me:  You have asked.  My response is that I have not.

Kirk:  Oh. You should have so you had a different answer.

Me:  I have played the game "Mousetrap."  Are they similar?

Kirk: Yes. But it's a thriller, so don't tell people cause then people will be disappointed by the surprise guy in the 1930s bathing outfit who jumps into the tub at the end of the first act.

Me:  With God as my witness, I swear I will never watch Deathtrap now that you have ruined it for me.  (pause)  I am wearing curtains right now.

Kirk:  LOL.  Ummm...  that sounds nice.  Why?

Me:  And there are a bunch of German kids flocked around me.  Wait -- haven't you seen Carol Burnett's version of Gone with the Wind?!!!!

Kirk:  Are you doing a production of Sound of Music.  OH.  Yes.

Me:  Sheesh.  Those are the only two "clothes from curtains movies I know."

Kirk:  Yeah, that's a genre that never really took off.  I've never understood that.

Me:  Unless you count togas which are often made from bed sheets which sometimes people use for curtains.  (pause)  It's going to take me a long time to type this in my blog.  And you and I may be the only ones who read it.

Kirk:  LOL.  I think a lot of people read it.  I like it.  But I always like when people talk about me.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Conversation, Part I

Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other 
so we can have some conversation.
~ Mark Twain
- - - - -

Kirk:  Do you have cable?

Me:  No.

Kirk:  You probably wouldn't have liked my suggestion anyway...  It was to start watching Sale of the 
Century.  It's HILARIOUS!!

Me:  YOU are hilarious.

Kirk: It's true.  You are some funny as well.

Me:  I am.  Some.  How many chapters of our book have you written?  I'm looking for a career change and I'm thinking I'd be good at "renowned author."

Kirk:  Cool!!!  I like that plan!  

Me:  It's going to require a lot of travel and then more collaboration on our parts as we convert it into a Tony Award Winning Musical.

Kirk:  I can't wait to see the tap number called "Make That Ark!"

Me:  I concur.

Kirk:  I'm starting all of my writing for the summer in about two weeks.  Memorizing for this play (we open a week from Friday) is kicking my ass!!!  The show is going really great - but I've got a few bits of 2-3 pages of monologue...  it's fun...  but UGH!  Memorizing is NOT my strong suit.

Me:  I find that an easy way to memorize is to read something and then keep it in your mind forever and don't forget it.  Try it and see if it works for you.

Kirk:  Crap!  That would have saved me a ton of time.  I keep reading it and then use finger paints to describe how I feel.
     Other Actor:  How could you say something like that?
     Me:  Red swirl... is that a tornado?  Or a mouse foot?
     Other Actor:  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
     Me:  Is that your line???

Me:  Wow.  You so need a different acting coach.  I can do that.  Why don't you start by running stairs and then I'll yell at you and tell you what a sissy you are.  Wait that's the wrong kind of coach.

Kirk:  I've worked with choreographers like that.  

Me:  Nice.  Dancers are mean.  

Kirk:  Especially if they have tap shoes on and step on you...  a lot.

Me:  Seriously.  Have you seen "Black Swan?"

Kirk:  I HATED that movie.  I almost had to walk out.  Only movie I've ever almost thrown up in.

Me:  At the conference I attended a few weeks ago a woman spontaneously performed tap to a guy signing a song from Monty Python.  I know it sounds amazing.  And it was.

Kirk:  Like in line at dinner?  Or in an elevator?  That would be amazing.

Me:  Oh, sorry.  Neither.  At the talent show.  It might have gone over even better in an elevator, but there aren't any elevators at that conference.  And the audience would have been markedly smaller.

Kirk:  Oh.  Were you in the talent show?  What'd you do?  I would like to be in it displaying my talent to the judge.  Then I'd just get up there and talk about why all the other acts weren't as good as me...  and everyone would appreciate my feedback and I'd get the ribbon for best talented person.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013


You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn 
a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.
~ Dr. Seuss
- - - - -

So, when I was working on my dissertation, I did a lot of sitting.  I was unaware that you could sustain an injury to your coccyx by sitting.  Guess what?  You can.  Guess what else?  I did.

Anyway, now I have to be careful not to sit and write for too long a period of time.  If I forget, then I hurt it again.  The last time it happened, Leslie asked me if there was any medicine I could take for it. 

I replied, "So far as I know only ibuprofen or aspirin."

"ASS-pirin!  HA HA HA!" she replied.

Leslie has told me before that she doesn't think she would make a very good nurse.  I concur.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


A journey is like marriage.  
The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
~ John Steinbeck
- - - - -

When you read this, I will be in Canada.  I will not be here now.  Unless your "here" is Canada. 

I'm excited to travel there.  It's the first time I've needed a passport since the third move in the witness protection thing.


I live in Canada now.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise."
Stephen R. Covey
- - - - -

I like the people with whom I work.  They play jokes on one another.  It is a fun place to be most days.  Above you see some signs that one of my colleagues made for another.  Well, signs that someone made for Joy. 

And below you see a copy of a sign (there were actually several) someone made for Joe who was a suspect in the making of the signs above.

Of course it is possible that Joe made both the signs on  Joy's door and the signs on his own.  We can't be sure.  The DNA evidence hasn't come back yet.

The moral of the story is...  everyone in my office thinks he or she is the chosen one.


But really it's ME.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Open your eyes, look within.  Are you satisfied with the life you're living?
~ Bob Marley
- - - - -

Wouldn't it be nice if people came with "open" or "closed" signs?  Then you would know where you stand.  You would know if someone was safe to share and process and take risks with your ideas and questions.  Or if someone was not approachable or might use things you shared with her against you.

Of course, I guess if you can read non-verbals you can tell if someone is open or closed and you might know where you stand.  And where you stand might indicate whether you are open or closed.  If you stand with your arms outstretched and welcoming, you are probably open.  If you stand behind a fort you built out of old pallets you found in the alley and some bags of recycling, you are probably more of a closed type of person.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem.  
There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside.
~ Mitch Hedberg

- - - - -

I think I have posted this sign before.  This is a new picture of the sign if I have posted it before. 

I just think that it's interesting...  Of ALL the things in the WORLD we could be warned to watch for, whoever made this sign thought cars backing up would be most important.  A few things I can think of that might be more important:

* Watch for buffalo stampede.
* Watch for live electrical wires across your path.
* Watch for sasquatches.
* Watch for spontaneous combustion.
* Watch for cash on the ground.
* Watch for trucks backing up.
* Watch for steamrollers backing up.

See what I mean?

I also think "Watch for Sasquatches" would be a good name for a memoir, a reality TV show, or a band.  I think it could lend itself to some good visual marketing (book cover, t-shirts, CD covers).


Saturday, July 20, 2013


For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel's sake.  The great affair is to move.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
- - - - -

A few years ago Jessica and I went to a conference in Dallas.  During our time there we rode in a cab with a woman who gave us a business card.  It said, "Lady Cab: Excellent Customer Service and Conversation."

I don't remember what all we talked about on our trip, but I distinctly remember that she was friendly and talkative.  I also remember that she had to stop and find out how to get to our hotel.  I don't remember how much that cab ride was, but I remember not calling the number she gave us when we needed a ride back to the airport.

Still, Lady Cab was a fun experience.  Sometimes we have experiences to learn.  Sometimes to grow.  Sometimes to affirm what we already believe.  Sometimes to give us a story.

Thanks, Lady Cab.  You did - per your slogan - get us to our destination "in style."  Freestyle, I think.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I do a lot of curiosity buying; I buy it if I like the album cover, 
I buy it if I like the name of the band, anything that sparks my imagination.
~ Bruce Springsteen
- - - - -

Recently David asked Leslie to help him with his grandmother's record player.  Sara also told me that her daughter just got a record player and some albums.  Leslie and I talked several times about why people would be drawn to record albums now instead of CDs or other digital music formats. 

While we were talking, I remembered that my grandparents had an old Victrola - the kind that plays the cylinder records.  And I was fascinated by that.  

Why is it - with all the technology that we have - that we are drawn to the technology of the past?  Photography is like this too.  Now we make photos look like the sun-faded, over-exposed strangely tinted photos of our childhood albums.

Maybe the past is safe.  Maybe it is less intimidating than the future.  Maybe old record players and old-looking photos remind us of "the good old days."  Maybe it's about fearing the future.

Everything old is new again.  Well, not cheese.  I don't care what my mother says, scraping the green mold off of cheese doesn't make it "just as good as ever."  And leg warmers.  Those shouldn't become new any more times.  There are some other things too.  I think you know what I mean.  If not, between the two of us we could generate a pretty good list, I bet.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


You yourself create the greatest energy.  I can come to your house and do all your Feng Shui, but if you allow yourself to be very negative, then you create that kind of energy.
~ Lillian Too
- - - - -

I know just a tiny bit about Feng Shui.  One of the things I think I know about it is that you shouldn't sit with your back to a window.  It makes your Feng uncomfortable to not know what might sneak up behind you.  And then your Shui can't concentrate. 

You also can't see people slip and fall on the ice if you have your back to a window.  And you can't hear the people falling yell, "What the FENG!  I fell!"  or "Holy SHUI!  I could have broken my neck!"  Well, I think that's what they're yelling.  It's hard to hear them through the window and over all of my laughter.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Nothing scares me more than people with some doll collection.
~ Karl Lagerfeld
- - - - -

I had a doll collection when I was a kid.  Every Christmas I would get a "doll from around the world" to add to my collection.  I had a Dutch doll with wooden shoes, an American Indian doll, a German doll, I can't remember where all of the came from.  For a long time I had them on a shelf in my room. 

I'm not really sure why my parents gave me those dolls.  They weren't really dolls that you would play with.  And I didn't play with dolls much, anyway.  One time I had a nightmare about a doll chasing me and trapping me in the wooden oven I had in the basement.  My dad made it for me.  Then when I woke up the Dutch doll was lying on the floor.  She had fallen off the shelf. 

She was just staring straight up at me when I looked down at her.

I think that was the day that my dolls got packed in a box.  They are in the basement of my parents' house now.  (pause)  The stove my dad made me is in that basement, too.  (pause)  I guess I can never visit my parents again. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.
~ William Blake
- - - - -
I think that creativity opens the door to the infinite.  That we have so many ideas and object and personalities that we can create and recreate in infinite ways.  That each context in which we create means that even a recreation is new because it is done in a new moment.

A while ago I visited friends and their child was singing...
Jordan:  Oh, my darlin', oh, my darlin', oh my darlin' Clementine...
Jordan:  Oh, my darlin', oh, my darlin', oh my darlin' Valentine...

The song existed before.  The child existed before.  The new combination was created and unique.  Maybe someone else thought of it in some other context, but it was new and unique and individual to this set of circumstances.

Or you could just say that the kid got the lyrics wrong.  But that would make you a butthead.  And not all enlightened.  Like me.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.
~ Jean de La Fontaine
- - - - -

I wonder why we are drawn to certain things.  Certain expressions or things like stuffed animals.  I wonder if the first stuffed animals were actually taxidermy toys for the little ones.  But I digress...

My point is that the face of this little stuffed dog looks really cute.  It looks like the kind of creature a child might like to have near her when she goes to sleep or rides in the car or goes to the dentist or to grandma's house.  This face looks sweet and cuddly and attentive. 

Maybe too attentive.

This little dog face could be scary, too.  If it was rabid.  And chasing you.  Or if it talked and it's voice sounded like Elmira Gulch from The Wizard of Oz movie. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013


It takes a long time to grow young.
~ Pablo Picasso
- - - - -

So, I got this birthday card for my friend Shanda last year well in advance of her birthday (which is today).  The most amazing part of the whole thing is that I remembered I had it and I was able to find it when her birthday came around.  The most disappointing part of the whole thing is that somehow, over the course of the months during which I possessed the card, the envelope became completed glued to the card.

I sent it to her, anyway.  Inside I wrote the following: 

Remember that, Shanda?  Well, if you don't get a card this year, that will probably be a relief to both of us...

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Faith -- is the Pierless Bridge
Supporting what We see
Unto the Scene that We do not --
~ Emily Dickinson
- - - - -

A trestle is a rigid frame used as a support.  We all need support.  We don't stand alone.  We all need things to lift us up, hold us up.  But if you are in a line and that line moves really, really slowly, and if someone asks you, "What's the hold up?" they aren't really interested in all in the people and events supporting you.  They mean something else. 

And if they say, "What's the trestle?" you should let them go in front of you.  You don't want people like that behind you.  And if they say, "I have two tickets to Trestlemania," you probably just misheard them and should ask them to repeat themselves.

Friday, July 12, 2013


The author of The Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer,
somebody else of the same name.
~ Aldous Huxley
- - - - -

I like that central Iowa is flat.  You can look across the prairie or the cornfields or the soybean fields or the wind farms and see where the next town is.  The grain elevators or water towers or buildings stand out on the horizon.  Even if you're in the middle of nowhere you can see somewhere.

I wonder whose idea it was to put the name of towns on water towers.  It's a good idea.  I mean, then you can see what town you're in. 

And if you're welcome or not.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
~ Mark Twain
- - - - -

The other day someone asked a question and I had a bunch of ideas.  That happens to me sometimes.  Kind of a creative mania.  A rapid-firing of inspiration and contemplation and ideation.  I like it when that happens sometimes.  It really makes me feel good about being creative - especially if it has been a while since I have had some good ideas.  Or a chance to share them.

I have good ideas all the time, but they aren't always ideas which fit in the context of the conversation I'm having at the time.  And then, when I wait, sometimes I forget the idea.  Sometimes it is lost forever.  Other times it comes back to me later. 


Usually after someone else has had it and made a bunch of money off of it.  But that's okay.  I get the moral victory.  And you can't put a price on that.  But if I figure out how to do that, I'm going to be so rich.  I suppose I could start a cult.

Why is that always one of my great recurring ideas?  I think maybe I should just go for it.  I think I'll call it a Lisa-Lisa cult and maybe we will make jam to sell along side the road.  Or I could start one called "Cult: You're Club" and we could make chameleons out of caramel.

See?  Those are money-makers.  But I'm kind of too busy right now to start a cult.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- - - - -

I love creating images.  I love photography.  A photo is never revealed until after it is taken and then revieweed and considered.  There are photos I take - ones I think are spectacular in the moment and then - upon further review - they aren't quite as striking as I originally thought. There are others that I think are poor images, but upon scrutiny reveal themselves to be beautiful or thought-provoking or hilarious.

I like the element of surprise.  The images are never really exactly what the original thing was.  They are more and less and different. 


As an example, the photo above didn't seem nearly as phallic when I took it as it appears to me now.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


It doesn't matter what the temperature in a room is, 
it's always room temperature.
~ Steven Wright
- - - - -

It only takes me about 2 days of 88 degrees or more to be done with summer and ready for fall.  This year we had a very odd spring.  It snowed later than usual and was cool later than usual.  Now it is pretty warm, so I'm ready for fall.

Of course fall is my favorite season, so I'm almost always ready for fall.  Not only do I like the temperature, I like all the changes taking place during autumn.  Including daylight savings because we get an extra hour.  And who can't use an extra hour every so many months?  So, yes, I'm ready for fall.

Not that I'm ready for winter.  It only takes me a day or two of 88 degrees below zero and I'm ready for spring.

Monday, July 8, 2013


The world is full of cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.
~ Will Foley
- - - - -

I recently injured my tailbone.  It is unpleasant.  And stupid.  Well, I feel like it is stupid to have an injured tailbone.  I am not enjoying the experience even slightly.

Anyway, I have been attending to it and I am recovering.  I was talking to Leslie about it and she asked if there was any medicine I could take for it.  I told her mainly just ibuprofen and aspirin.

"Ass-pirin!" she repeated and laughed.

And she says she wouldn't make a good nurse, but she is mistaken, I think.  Laughter is the best medicine.  She probably would have gotten an A+ in bedside humor class in nurse school.

My tailbone still hurts, though.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
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I am always amazed at how social some people are.  Extroverts are fascinating.  That they would draw energy from spending time around people...  Just amazing.  I am not like that.  At all.  In fact, I recently found a note I made to myself while at a conference.  It read, "I'm no social butterfly.  I'm more like an isolationist moth."

So true.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


On my Rolling Stones' tour, the camera was a protection. I used it in a Zen way.
~ Annie Liebovitz
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On a visit to my parents' house, I saw this on a shelf in the basement.  It is my first camera.  I vaguely remember that the photos were of a farm or animals or something.  The flash bulb turned when you clicked the button and there was a viewer where you could change the tint with a little wheel that made the image look red, blue, or yellow, I think.

I was destined to enjoy photography from the time I got that camera, I think.  I loved that thing.  It didn't actually take photos, but it did get me in the habit of looking through a little circle at the world.  Which most of us do if we use our eyes to look at the world.  They are little circles.  And the photos we take with them are kept in scrapbooks in our minds.

I think I always was interested in how people look at the world.  Photography was one way of showing that maybe I saw things differently.  That reality is in the eye of the beholder.  Or the camera of the beholder.  But even then, additional reality is made from the photographs by those looking at them.  An endless continuation of observation and interpretation.

I'm pretty sure that was what I was thinking when I was four and using this toy camera and apparently eating the sticker off the front of it.

Friday, July 5, 2013


With foxes we must play the fox.
~ Thomas Fuller
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I saw this fox one day.  It was walking around and ended up eating a frozen rabbit off the ground.  Clearly the rabbit didn't fall under the "three second rule," but I don't think foxes play by that rule.  Or maybe any rules for that matter.

Which is probably why it's called a werewolf and not a werefox.  Because of the rule of the pack.  And the rule about turning into a werewolf during a full moon.  And also because of alliteration.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Before I can live with other folks, I've got to live with myself. 
The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.
~ Harper Lee
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I like the Fourth of July.  It is a time when we can be thankful for the things our country does well but also reflective about ways we could improve things.  We aren't a perfect nation.  No such thing exists.  A lot of people have dedicated their work and their lives to our country and I am grateful to them.  We ALL have contributions we could make if we put forth the effort.  And acknowledging and working on our shortcomings is just as important as celebrating our successes.

It's not just today that matters.  Or yesterday.  Or tomorrow.  They all matter.  Today is built on yesterday and provides additional foundation for the future.  We have a lot to work on and a lot to celebrate from yesterday, today and tomorrow.

It is also important to remember that when it is July 4, my birthday is overmorrow (a word I learned in the past year).  So, as you can see, we have a LOT to celebrate this year. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


That's me: an old kazoo with some sparklers.
~ Bette Davis
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Leslie's Mom:  I see you got sparklers.  (dramatic pause)  You know your dad's story about how his sister caught her dress on fire with one of those.

Leslie:  (murmuring to me) I knew we wouldn't get through the day without that fireworks story.  (to her mom)  Don't worry.  I won't let Michelle catch her little dress on fire.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Police arrested two kids yesterday.  One was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks.  They charged one and let the other one off.
~ Tommy Cooper
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Leslie:  We were never allowed to have fireworks because my dad knew someone who got their hand blown off.

Me:  I think my dad was friends with that same kid!

Monday, July 1, 2013


Books can also provoke emotions.  And emotions are sometimes even more troublesome than ideas.  Emotions have led people to do all sorts of things they later regret-like, oh, throwing a book at someone else.
~ Pseudonymous Bosch
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Elizabeth and I were talking about movies and she was talking about how Maddie would cry at the preview for Hunger Games when the sister who one the academy award for Silver Linings Playbook volunteered to go into the Hunger Games for her sister who had to stay at home with the dysfunctional mom.  Elizabeth said that Maddie cried at the preview... when she was watching it...  at home.

Elizabeth then added, "I don't get so emotional about movies."  She paused and added, "Except sometimes I get goosebumps.  Like when Morgan Freeman starts talking and he just gets you going in the goosebumps."


Her mind is fascinating.