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Saturday, November 30, 2013


I'm youth, I'm joy, I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg.
~ James M. Barrie
- - - - -
People are like eggs.  Fragile on the outside.  Gooey and slimy on the inside.  And we have to be careful with people.  The can be damaged if you let them down too harshly or too suddenly or too often.  They can travel in dozens.  They might look like they hold up just fine in hot water, but after going through that, they are forever changed.
And there are all different types of people with different sensitivites - different levels of pressure they can take before they crack.
As an example, if you have a friend who hates vegans and makes fun of them, there are a couple of considerations.  Your friend might have his own issues that he is targeting vegans, AND vegans can be hurt by what your friend says.  You can be a part of the solution or a part of the problem.  If you try, you can deescalate the situation.  If you don't or if you join in the mockery, you can make it worse.
Basically, never egg on a person who hates vegans.  

Friday, November 29, 2013


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.
~ Masanobu Fukuoka
- - - - -
I love farms.  I love barns and crops and tractors and farm animals.  I remember when I was a kid and we would go to the farm where my grandparents' lived.  I loved it there.  There was so much to explore and things to do.  Some things I probably wasn't supposed to do - like "herding" the pigs in and out of the barn or shooting out remnants of already broken glass from barn windows.  I got in trouble sometimes.
I think I probably learned a lot there.  About land and animals and hard work and what it means to care for something - the time it takes, the energy, the dedication. 
I liked the animals the best.  Sometimes there were pigs (as I mentioned).  I remember a couple of little horses.  There were always chickens.  A dog.  Occasionally a cat. Maybe cows a time or two. 
I know that there weren't any sheep there.  I don't know much about goats or sheep.  I know that wolves kill sheep.  And I know that we should be on the lookout for wolves in sheeps' clothing.  In the end, though, the joke is on the wolves because wool is really itchy. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


If the only prayer you ever said in your life was,
"Thank you," that would suffice.
~ Meister Eckhart
- - - - -
A lot of people are doing 30 days of gratitude or 365 days of gratitude.  November and Thanksgiving are times of gratitude, I guess.  It's good to be thankful.  Why people put a day limit on gratitude is odd to me.  It seems like we should be consciously and intentionally grateful every day.  Multiple times ever day.
I love Thanksgiving because of the gratitudinal foundation.  I'm not sure gratitudinal is a word, but I would really appreciate it if it was.  Anyway, I think it's good to be thankful. 
I'm thankful for way more things than I can list.  I am thankful for farmers and corn and food - things important during Thanksgiving and the harvest celebrations.  I am thankful for family and friends.  I am thankful for a sense of humor - which is the only thing that has gotten me through some of the more difficult times.  I am thankful for love and creativity and harmony and the moments of Zen I think I might have accidentally experienced.
And I'm thankful that we won't be eating seed corn this holiday.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.
~ Winston Churchill
- - - - -
The other day Leslie and I were in a bookstore and I saw pizzas for sale by the cash register.  They were not refrigerated, nor were they cooked.  You took them home, assembled them and then cooked them.
Leslie:  What's wrong?
Me:  This.  This is wrong.
Leslie:  What do you mean?
Me:  It's not refrigerated.
Leslie:  It says it doesn't need to be refrigerated.
Me:  I know that.  It just seems wrong that we would create something like this and sell it and people would buy it and think that it constitutes a meal.  I can't imagine that it is very healthy.  It must be super-preservatived.
Leslie: (mumbles)
Me:  What?
Leslie:  (repeats herself - I still don't hear her)
Me:  One more time?
Leslie:  You worry too much.
Me:  (long pause)  I can't believe you said that.  And I really can't believe you repeated it three times!
You see, Leslie worries A LOT.  So much so that I bolded, capitalized and underlined "a lot" in the previous sentence.  She has a lot going on. You could say we all do. And we all do. I'm just saying she has a lot.
She also is much more responsible than I am. I'm not saying I'm irresponsible. That might be the case, but I'm not saying it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Be what you are. 
This is the first step to becoming better than you are.
~ Julius Charles Hare
- - - - -

I have said before - after a lot of other people said it first - that you shouldn't judge based on appearances.  People, books, etc.  You also shouldn't judge fruits and vegetables based on appearances.  You don't know - you might like those things even if they look odd to you.

Also, gourds and pumpkins - per the photo above - are fruits.  Did you know that?  Fruits, I tell you!  Not vegetables.

Sometimes things are not what we expect.  We should not force things to become things they are not, though.  Like candy corn.  Forcing candy to become corn is wrong. Especially when the candy is so yucky.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Remember that children, marriages and flower gardens 
reflect the kind of care they get.
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
- - - - -
It's funny how we use language.  Bwaa ha ha ha!  Like that.  See what I did?  I tried to use language to convey laughter.  Anyway, that's not at all what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about how we add a word to a word and get very different meanings than the original word.

Let's take the word, "children" for example.  But let's not add just any word, let's add a plant word.  That might seem odd, until you think about how we compare children to plants all the time.  "He's growing like a weed," or "His dad grows weed," or "Let's call that kid 'broccoli boy!'"  Or how about this?:  How come "flower children" are peaceful and kind and easy-going and "children of the corn" are stereotyped very differently?  And why do flower children get the gentler image?  Do we like flowers more than corn?  What about corn flour - doesn't that throw the whole equation off?

Of course if "children of the corn" are scary, then "children of the candy corn" are terrifying.  And I'm not talking about toddlers on a sugar-high.  I'm talking about the fact that I hate candy corn.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow.
~ Lawrence Clark Powell
- - - - -
If you want to, you can write me a letter.  I have to admit that there have been times I have been a phenomenal letter writer.  Now I am not so much of a good letter writer.  There are a few people to whom I write pretty regularly.  Well, maybe only one.  But I am more likely to write to you if you write to me first.
Which isn't really fair.  It's kind of obnoxious, to be honest.  At least I know it is true.  And I can admit it.  And I can try to do better.

But I probably won't.  Well, maybe if you consider my blog posts as a letter to you, then I'm doing really well.
Hey.  How come you never write me?
You should start a blog and tell me that the blog posts are like a letter to me.
No, wait.  You don't need to do that.  We both know I won't probably read your blog.
I still like you, though.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Wherever you are, be there totally.  If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it toally.  If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now.  Then accept the consequences.
~ Eckhart Tolle
- - - - -
I agree with this quote.  I would add that we should remember that not to choose is also to choose.  Inaction may be the action you decide upon.  For some people that works.  They are comfortable with - or reisgned to - the fact that there is "nothing they can do."  And I know I speak from a place of privilege and that not everyone has the options I have and I do not have the options that others might have.
What I think I mean to say is that we should each take responsibility for what we can control.  Like when I told my parents that I didn't want to continue collecting "Dolls from Around the World."  And they agreed to go ahead and keep getting me one each year for Christmas.

Those days have passed.  I don't blame my parents for encouraging me to learn about the world.  I blame them for not knowing me at all.  My resistance to dolls from around the world might explain my lack of geographical acumen. 

It's my parents' fault.

Friday, November 22, 2013


I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
~ Henry David Thoreau
- - - - -
I totally understand what HDT was talking about.  I don't like to be crowded.  I really hate it when people walk to close behind me.  WHY do they do that?  I don't like to share chairs with hardly anyone.  I don't like being crowded.
Plus a velvet cushion is probably all precious and stuff and people get mad if you spill on it or have muddy dungarees.  Or dungarees covered in dung.  Or dungeroos - which, I think, are Underoos covered in dung.  I'm not sure.
But...  Actually, butt - I would not want to sit on the pointy up part of the pumpkin.  If that was my only option, I'd probably rather sit on a crowded cushion.  But not next to those poopy pants people.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I was the kid next door's imaginary friend.
~ Emo Phillips

- - - - -

I think every kid should have a kid next door.  It's good to have a friend.  Siblings are fine, but you're sort of stuck with them.  I think friends REALLY help you figure out how to navigate conflict.  They help you decide what is important and what you are willing to let go of.

Kids who have a mean old lady next door have a different kind of experience.  A mean old lady can help you figure out how to navigate conflict.  They help you decide what is important and...

Wait a minute. 

I guess what I mean to say is that kids shouldn't live next to an empty lot.  If they do, the other kids might gather there and say it's THEIR lot.  Then the kid will have to figure out how to navigate...


I guess it doesn't matter what a kid lives next door to.  I just hope they don't live next door to me.  I don't need to live next door to kids with all these conflicts. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.
~ Kurt Vonnegut
- - - - -

I like this quote.  I don't believe it exactly literally, but I believe it sortofally.  Like, I don't think that because I have a colleague who believes he is Batman that he really IS Batman.  But I think that maybe he makes his decisions with a focus on justice.  Which seems to fit with his career path.

I also am pretty sure he has a secret lair because we can never find him when we need him unless we shine a bright light in the sky - which is tricky since most of the times we need him are during the day.

Also, he is clever like Batman.  (see aforementioned bright light / daylight observation).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Any landscape is a condition of the human spirit.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel
- - - - -

I love the world.  It scares and excites and intimidates and engages me.  It is huge and minuscule at the same time.  It is overwhelming and comforting.  Sometimes we miss too much of it because we rush through it and see it as a series of obstacles - or worse - patterns.  We don't see the exceptional only the anticipated.  Other times we become overwhelmed because it is too huge and there is nothing we can do to control it.  But changing the world and controlling it are different things, and we change the world every day that we are in it.  Every one of us changes it every day just by being present in the world and exerting our will and our spirit and our influence.

Sometimes the sum total is a positive change.  Sometimes it is a negative change.  The beauty of it all is that in the next day - actually in the next moment - we get a chance to make more positive changes.  Our influence is a total of the moments we live.  The moments we show kindness or choose to hurt.  The moments we share love or share hate.  The moments we give or we take.

Every moment is important.  But not precious.  Because the disproportionately large eyes of the Precious Moments creatures kind of weird me out sometimes.

Monday, November 18, 2013


The traveler sees what he sees.
The tourist sees what he has come to see.
~ G.K. Chesterton
- - - - -

I was out driving in eastern Iowa and I came across a sign for a historic "Stagecoach Inn."  I drove to the Stagecoach Inn and a woman and the little girl in this picture were carrying wood into the inn.  The woman said, "Are you here for the Halloween thing?"  I looked at her unsurely.  She then asked, "Are you here to see the inn?"  I said that I was if it wasn't inconvenient.  "Well, we have to leave after we bring in the wood, but you can look around."

The girl put down her two logs and immediately began giving me a tour.  There were pieces of candy and Halloween-themed pencils sitting out.  She grabbed a pencil and used it to drum on the artifacts in the Stagecoach Inn as we walked through.  At one point she tried to sharpen her pencil in what looked to be an old meat grinder.

"Is it okay to go upstairs?" I asked.

"It's okay as long as they don't have rooms roped off with signs that say not to go in there."  She said.  She looked at the stairs and then bolted up them, "And I don't see no signs!"

I followed her around.  I asked questions about the inn - how old was it?  Who used to run it?  How long had it been a museum?  She didn't know the answers to any of my questions.

So then I started to pretend like I knew something about what we were seeing - what things had been used for, why the house was built the way it was - things I really knew nothing about.

Then we came to a room and she went into a crawlspace and turned on a hidden light.

"This," she said in a whispery voice, "This is where the children hid when the Indians came."  She went on to point out where they had kept food and toys.  I asked what tribe of Indians came and why they came and why weren't the people at the inn and the Indians friends.

She looked at me for a moment and then said, "See where they hid?  The children hid in here."

I realized that either the story was too painful for her to tell or she didn't know it.  I suspected the latter.

When we were done inside, I walked around outside.  There was an outhouse and I asked her, "So what is that little building for?"  She motioned for me to step closer.  I did.  She whispered, "That's where they would poop."

Sunday, November 17, 2013


If the Frieze Art Fair ever catches on, I imagine two great things happening.  First, we will once again have a huge art fair in town that isn't too annoying to go to.  More importantly, Frieze may finally show New Yorkers that we can cross our own waters for visual culture. That would change everything.
~ Jerry Saltz
- - - - -

I was looking for a quote about towns.  Then I saw this.  And I swore it said, "If the Frieze Air Fart ever catches on..."  And I tried to imagine what a Frieze Air Fart was.  And when I imagined two great things happening, neither of them had anything to do with art.

Then I re-read it.

I'm glad there is no Frieze Air Fart.  Or Freeze Air Fart.  You'd think they would make for good pranks, but I bet once you get pranked with a Freeze Air Fart the smell of that never really gets out of your nose.

If the Frieze Art Fair catches on, I imagine at least two great things happening. First, we will once again have a huge art fair in town that isn't too annoying to go to. More importantly, Frieze may finally show New Yorkers that we can cross our own waters for visual culture. That would change everything.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, 
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
~ William Shakespeare
- - - - -

I believe that fear of the unknown probably is the strongest kind of fear.  I think that we make up horrific tales in anticipation of events - most of which are unlikely to occur.  We worry about things - "could be" things and "what if" things and "might be" things.  

And worry is a waste of time - though you can successfully do that and do other things at the same time.  I don't believe in multitasking, but I guess you can worry and drive or worry and run or worry and look under the bed simultaneously.  Of course that means you aren't worrying or driving / running / looking under the bed as effectively as you would be if you did those things separately.

Now, I do not believe that fear of the unknown is the oldest fear.  I think the oldest fear is fear of crumbs in pockets or drawers.  I hate that.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one 
person and everybody else.
~ George Bernard Shaw
- - - - -

People are grossed out by different things.  Some people are grossed out by love, George Bernard Shaw!  Some people are grossed out by people vomiting.  Some people are grossed out by public displays of affection.  Some people are grossed out by public displays of infection.  

My point is that we are different.  We like different things and we are bothered, disturbed and grossed out by different things.  That is what makes the world interesting and allows for the unexpected.  Difference is good.  Well, difference with RESPECT is good.  Difference makes us richer and more dynamic as individuals and as a culture.

For example, the woman in the movie theater restroom was grossed out because one of the toilets wasn't flushed.  I, on the other hand, was grossed out because she didn't wash her hands after she went to the bathroom.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language
until it finds a willing and prepared hearer.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
- - - - -

I think that people allow themselves to be too constrained by language.  Some things go beyond the words we know or the words which already exist.  It's okay to take language further.  Of course, when we do this - like anytime someone does something new - others might not be ready.  They might be afraid or intimidated.  

This happens to me a lot.  People are afraid of the new ideas and words I make up.  I give them space to be afraid.  I don't want to hurt or overwhelm them.


Me:  Jackerwobby?
LL:  Jackerwobby?  And you haven't even been drinking.

See?  My language went further than CS Lewis took it.  

Also, I have no idea what I was talking about.  I mean, what the context was of this exchange.  

But does that scare me?  Am I afraid of the new language I seem to have claimed but now have forgotten?

No.  I'm not scared of that.  I'm scared of dolls that come to life when you're asleep.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- - - - -

When I see abandoned houses, I wonder if anyone ever loved them.  And if someone loved them once, why didn't someone love them next?  How did they come to be empty and falling down?

Or maybe no one ever loved them, but just lived them.  Or survived them.  Some homes have dark stories.  Others have two or three stories.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Love the trees until their leaves fall off, 
then encourage them to try again next year.
~ Chad Sugg
- - - - -

I like that things change with the seasons.  I have lived places where the seasons aren't as visible as here in Iowa.  I like that the leaves change.  The leaves fall.  The leaves get buried under snow.  The leaves spring from the trees again.  The leaves provide shade in the summer.  The leaves fall.  The leaves get buried under snow.  The leaves spring from the trees again.  The leaves provide shade in the summer.

You get the idea.

But I also love the other changes during the seasons.  The stuff they sell in Target changes with the seasons.  The clothes people wear change with the seasons.  The foods we eat and the drinks we drink change with the seasons.  We anticipate those things.

Like the other day, I was having a meeting with Sara at The Hub.  She said, "If they have apple cider, I'm gonna get it.  I bet they don't,, but if they do, it will make me so happy."

I said, "Okay.  But if they have banana cider, don't get it because I bet it's blecchy."

They had apple cider.  She was so happy.

I love fall.

Monday, November 11, 2013


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
~ Oscar Wilde
- - - - -

When I was a kid I liked mysteries. I loved Encyclopedia Brown, but I also liked Hardy Boys and sometimes Nancy Drew.  My favorite Nancy Drew book was The Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion.  I don't remember much about the story, but I sort of remember the cover.

And a moss-covered anything is mysterious.  But a moss-covered MANSION?  What is going on there?

I liked trying to figure things out.  I suppose it is sort of because when you are a kid, everything is a mystery.  Why are adults so stupid?  Why are the other kids so mean?  Why can't I find my shoe?  Why did that boy cry when I called him stupid?

Sunday, November 10, 2013


You cannot write for children.  They're much too complicated.  
You can only write books that are of interest to them.
~ Maurice Sendak
- - - - -

Books and children go together really well.  Children learn to stretch their imaginations through reading and being read to.  They create stories within stories.  They ask questions about how things worked based on the stories they hear.  They find the world and their places in the world through stories, storytelling and literature.  It is important to read to them and to read for them and to encourage them to read for themselves.  Reading is exploration and helps sustain growth throughout a person's life.

More than books and children going together well, they belong together.  But when you're moving or going on a trip, they should be packed separately.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events.
~ Albert Einstein
- - - - -

I don't think that mailboxes hold memories.  I think that because new mail comes most every day, that they are not connected with any specific memory of any kind.  They are so full of correspondence and sharing and sometimes the giving of unwanted news or insurance offers or home service deals that the mailboxes themselves are without individual memories.

For example, when I think of my parents' mailbox, I don't think about the mail I got.  I don't think about when I sent of to Pueblo, Colorado for information (because when I was growing up ALL information got mailed to you from Pueblo, Colorado).  I don't think about the day that we found a little kid's t-shirt with "KGGO" written on it after my brother Erik answered the phone the day before.

Erik:  Hello.

Little Kid:  Hello, this is KGGO!  You just won a free t-shirt!

Erik:  Great!  Since I'm having this call traced, I can't wait for the shirt to get here.

I don't think about the summers I would run to the mailbox - after watching for the mail truck each day - in hopes that I had gotten a letter from a friend or relative.

I think that mailboxes hold memories.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Don't you realize that the sea is the home of water?  All water is off on a journey unless it's in the sea, and it's homesick and bound to make its way home someday.
~ Zora Neale Hurston
- - - - -

I love the sound of water.  The ocean.  A river.  A creek.  A big fountain in a park.  A little fountain inside.  A water fountain.  I love it.  I think it's because it's about motion and water as a core part of us as human beings.  Or maybe it is the energy or the sense of change or cleanliness or something.  I'm not sure why I love it, but I do.

I don't understand why some people don't like the sound of fountains.  I know a lot of them say that the sound makes them have to pee, but why?  Why would a fountain do that, but not the ocean?  I'm sure there is WAY MORE pee in an ocean than in a little fountain on my desk.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Time is money says the proverb, but
turn it around and you get  a precious truth.
Money is time.
~ George Gissing
- - - - -

Time is an interesting thing.  I am probably the first person to ever make that observation.  We force our days into structure - false structure and false units - rather than just letting it go on as it will and managing our days by light or energy level or whatever.

And we put expectations on one another for what we ought to be doing at certain times.  The time in our lives by which we ought to be talking or dressing ourselves.  The time of day we should be going to sleep.  The time we should spend slowing down to apologize after crashing into someone else's car.

There are a lot of expectations that come with time.  Don't let anyone tell you differently.  And if they tell you that "time is money," then you charge them for taking your valuable time to tell you something you already knew.  And charge them handsomely so they will remember what you have taught them.

And watch out for time wasters.  And by "watch out," I mean - literally - have your watch out to time things that are wasting your time.  So you can bill people for those things.  A lot of people might not pay those bills, but if even a few do, that's money in your pocket.  And you can't put a price on the money you have in your pocket.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity 
than straightforward and simple integrity in another
~ Charles Caleb Colton
- - - - -

Leslie and I were talking about a person the other day.  I had written Leslie earlier to say that I wasn't sure if I hated anyone, but if I DID hate anyone I would probably hate this person.  Though I've never met her, let's just say her actions speak loudly enough for me to make this sort of assessment.  Because I'm judgmental.  Or so I've been told.  Which is why a career in judicial affairs suits me.

Anyway...  Leslie said, "I don't know that you should hate her.  I don't think you should hate anyone.  Well, maybe Hitler.  He'd be higher on the list than she would be."

I said, "I don't rank the people that I hate or almost hate.  I just almost hate them."

Leslie, "You don't score them on a Likert Scale?"

I said, "No.  I score them on an UNLIKErt Scale."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem.  
We all have twenty-four hour days.
~ Zig Ziglar
- - - - -

Sometimes I get stuck because I'm not sure what I want to do.  It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes I just am not sure what I want to do with my time.  Some time is rather prescribed for me, going to work, 10 o'clock, nap time, snack time, coloring time, overtime, time out...  But other time I get to decide what I want to do and just can't make up my mind.

Even when I can't make up my mind, that time passes.

Sometimes people give me suggestions...  Like a conversation I had with Leslie not too long ago.

Leslie:  It's 10:35.  Wait.  Not there.  It's only 9:45.  Time for you to go party.

Me: Do you even know anything about me?  Go party.  I do not think I have ever used party as a verb.  Even when I was going to an actual party.

Monday, November 4, 2013


There are times when to be still demands immeasurably higher strength than to act.
~ Margaret Bottome
- - - - -
I'm not sure we know how to be still.  By "still" I mean not moving.  Not drumming our fingers on our desks.  Not shaking our water bottles with one ice cube left. 
By "we" I mean the guy sitting next to me in the library right now.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I do not understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us 
where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
~ Anne Lamott
- - - - -

I have always liked mysteries.  I like not knowing all the answers - or at least not knowing them all right away.  I think it keeps us engaged.  Mysteries - or the possibility of mysteries - sometimes keep us paying attention.  And mysteries keep us thinking.

I like seeing movies or reading books with mysteries.  Usually, I like them more if there is information for you to be able to solve the mystery if you are paying attention.  I don't like them as much when at the end they say something like, "But what you didn't know was..." and then throw in the mystery-solving information.

I would not like the end of my life to be an unsolved mystery.  A solved mystery might be okay.  Well, as long as the solution was something happy and not something tragic.  (pause)  Mysteries are usually solved by tragedy, though.  Or so it seems.

I think more mysteries should be solved by comedy.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


To err is human, to forgive divine.
~ Alexander Pope
- - - - -

I am very good at forgiving small unkindnesses.  I understand how they happen.  I do small unkind things every day.  

I stink at forgiving big unkindnesses.  I know I would be better off if I knew how to forgive them.  I'm even very interested in exploring how to forgive them.  I just don't know how.  When it comes to those sorts of things, this quote works better for me than the one above:

There is something to pardon in everything.  
There is also something to condemn.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
That should not be confused with, "There is something of Dolly Parton in everything."  While that might be true, that is not what I'm focusing on here. 

Friday, November 1, 2013


I can't bear the silent ringing in my skull.
~ Jonathan Lethem
- - - - -

When I saw this in the window of the hair place, it made me chuckle.  It is funny on a number of levels...  The skeleton doesn't have any hair.  The skeleton is either laughing or screaming.  There isn't much you can do - short of paint or a bone saw - to change the way a skeleton looks.

But it made me think of other things, too...  To what extent will people go in the pursuit of a socially-constructed beauty?  How many "bones" are they willing to pay to look the way the world wants them to look?  How different are we, really, under the surface?  Is beauty truly only skin deep?

You know what else is only skin deep?  Skin.