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Monday, June 30, 2014


The fall of a leaf is a whisper to the living.
~ Russian Proverb
- - - - -

Things change.  Sometimes we resist change.  Or are afraid of it.  I think we ought to be more afraid of sameness.  Stagnancy is not particularly appealing, I don't think.  I think we should encourage change and growth and differentness.

If I could go back in time, I'd make some changes.  Like when I signed peoples' yearbooks, "Stay the same," I think - instead - I would sign them, "Please change.  A lot."

Sunday, June 29, 2014


I've never been in love, but if a penguin can find a soul mate, I'm sure I can, too.
~ Rebekah Crane
- - - - -

Today my brother Kirk and his partner Jared are getting married.  I am happy for them.  I like Jared.   He has made my brother a better person - less self-absorbed.  Kirk is a wonderful mix of being a youngest and "almost" an only child (since he is quite a bit younger than Erik and I).  

Kirk's birthday is two days after Christmas.  We weren't allowed to use Christmas paper to wrap his birthday presents so that he could feel even more special.  This is probably part of the problem when it comes to his self-sense of wonderfulness.  

Anyway, the photo above is the wrapping paper I think I used for his birthday gift last year.  You might think at first that it was holiday paper since it was silver and had penguins which sort of get more socially acceptable in the winter months.  But you can see how I cleverly converted it to birthday paper.

I'm brilliant and awesome.  


And maybe Kirk's sense of special wonderfulness isn't due to birth order so much as genetics.  

Congratulations, Kirk.  Good luck, Jared.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Life doesn't get easier.
We get easier with life.
~ Leslie's Yoga Instructor
- - - - -

So there are some of these climbing figures on the side of a building here in Ames.  I imagine they represent the need to ascend.  The desire to move above.  To overcome obstacles.  To reach the top or your dreams or to achieve the ultimate success.

Of course, I made the assumption that they were climbing up.  Maybe they are climbing down.  Maybe the goal is to return to simpler times when life wasn't so challenging and there were fewer obstacles - or at least they were so happy in the moment that they didn't even see the obstacles in front of them.

Or maybe it's a tribute to someone names Wallensclimber.  Which is a pretty cool tribute.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.
~ Albert Einstein
- - - - -

Sara:  What is the opposite of commence?

Michelle:  Ecnemmoc?

Sara:  I think that is the backwards of commence, Michelle.  I think.  Immense?  Portense?  I feel like it's an ense word.

Michelle:  Discommense?  Disco men's?

Sara: Was that and autocorrection?

Michelle:  No.  I just broke up "discommence."

Sara:  Lolololol.  Nice work.

Joe:  Disco Menace is my favorite band.  Just FYI.

Sara:  I just googled synonyms for begin and commence is one.  See?  Confused again.  I thought I was a moron.

Joe.  We all did, Sara.  We. All. DID.

Sara:  Shut up, Joe!

Joe:  Use your big words, Sara.  Just like we practiced.

Michelle:  Discommence it, you two!

Sara:  Why don't you malleable yourself, Joe?

Joe:  I can't anymore.  Doctor's orders.  I can't ameliorate it any other way.

Sara:  More tears.  STFU.

Michelle:  Plethora agnosticism.

Joe:  STFU?  Only when you LMNOP.

Michelle:  Pythagoras shiatsu.

Joe:  Please Ensure Nobody's Incorrect Sara.

Sara: Superdork.

Michelle:  Malfeasance epistemology.

Sara:  Malfeasance?!  That's from Dwight Schrute.  Is there a code?

Michelle:  I'm just using all the big words I know.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Some people believe that when you die, you cross the River of Death and have to pay the ferryman.  People don't seem to worry about that these days.  Perhaps there's a bridge now.
~ Terry Pratchett
- - - - -

I appreciate a bridge.  I like bridges a lot.  You may already know that.

And, while I certainly appreciate a bridge over troubled waters, I really appreciate a bridge over any waters.  Deep waters.  Muddy waters.  Stagnant waters.

Especially if I am wearing socks.

I hate wet socks.

But sometimes there are puddles on bridges over waters.  How ironic is that?!

But my feet are dry right now and - so far as I know - all my socks are dry, too.  I need to let go of the past, I guess.

As Patty said the other day, "That's all water over the bridge."

So wise, my friend.  So wise.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Loyalty to a petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul.
~ Mark Twain
- - - - -

If we aren't willing to change our opinions, then we are never open to new information or discoveries or knowledge.  We can - because we are creative beings - make any set of facts conform to the beliefs we want to hold.  Not all facts or information are accurate or good.  Some are actually bad.  They weren't researched well, they weren't properly documented or reviewed.  They weren't examined with a critical eye.

In short, in order to create informed opinions, we must take the good and the bad.  We, in fact, must take them both.  

And there you have the facts of life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


You have to write a book that wants to be written.  And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
~ Madeleine L'Engle
- - - - -

Today is Elizabeth's birthday.  She is part of the reason I started the blog.  To capture her wisdom.  There are other people and other reasons I started it, but she is part of it.

She has always been wise beyond her years.  Sometimes we notice that in people and sometimes we don't realize it at the time.  I like it better when we notice it.

Anyway, the other day I was going through a sketchbook I have and I saw I had scribbled this down.  I think it is just one example of how wise Elizabeth is.

me:  Elizabeth, what makes a good day?

Elizabeth:  No diarrhea, no upset stomach, and I make good choices.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Monday, June 23, 2014


A city whose living immediacy is so urgent that when I am in it, I lose all sense of the past.
~ Kenneth Tynan
- - - - -
In judicial affairs, we are always looking for ways to be as efficient as possible.  There are times when we have to respond to things immediately.  What I think we have learned is how to discern between a real emergency and something perceived as an emergency by others.  It doesn't mean that we are dismissive of others - at least we don't try to be.  However, we can take our time on some things.
Joe:  I can do this tomorrow.  Urgent is a funny thing.  Urgent to some...  not urgent to all.
Me: Thanks, Joe.  I believe in this case we should spell it urgen't.
Joe:  Or N'urgent?
Me:  Y'our correc't.
Joe: T'ank y'u.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.
~ Walt Whitman
- - - - -

I remember growing up.  Let me be more specific.  I remember growing up in a house without central air conditioning.  As I recall we had a lot of fans and a window unit in the kitchen.  As I recall people were cranky when it would get very hot.

Then we got central air.  As I recall, we were all a little more tolerable with A.C.  I think my parents have always loved us, but they loved us more when were weren't all sweating to death.  They loved us enough to get central air.  My parents showed us air conditional love.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly, one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.
~ Aristotle
- - - - -

I like summer.  I like the other seasons, too.  I'm usually ready for summer to end about the time it starts because I love fall so much.  I'm usually ready for winter to end after a few weeks, too because I enjoy spring.  

I like how people make connections between the seasons and life or moods or other things.  We need to pay attention to the seasons so that we aren't wearing Halloween costumes in August - because it's too hot.

A while ago Leslie and I were playing a finish the quotation game.  I like that game.  I often like the quotes we come up with better than the original ones.  Unless I'm losing.  Then I like to know the real quotes.

Anyway, we were playing and this happened:

Game: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day...
Leslie:  (pause)  Or do I have other things to say?

She's the best.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Good conversation is just as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
- - - - -

A few times Joe and Sara and I have found ourselves all on Facebook in the evening when we are at home.  By "found" I mean through shared private messages we found each other on Facebook.  Not by peeking in windows and stuff.  Well, I can only speak for myself.  And I plead the fifth on speaking for myself.

So, I had typed a bunch of stuff that we shared, but then realized that not everyone might appreciate that.  While I readily admit that this blog is pretty much stuff I write for my own amusement, I do try to sort of on rare occasions make sure that I'm not putting someone else in the public eye by writing about them.  The public eye being the 20 people who read this.  Which makes it about 40 public eyes.  

Instead, I'll pull just a few quotes, maybe.

Sara:  My daughter just looked over my shoulder and told me our convos reminded her of high school.  I told her we are wayyyyy more funny than stupid high schoolers.

me: We are all legally drunk.  Well, two of us are.  (pause)  Just kidding.  (pause)  We all are.

Joe: "Unemployed and sulking" sounds like the motto for a generation.

me:  When you cry it helps others decide how much you mean to them.

Sara:  Just saw a thing about the Ames Sesquicentennial.  I almost got excited because it looked like "Sarasquatchtennial."  That would have been cool.  Except the whole thing about having to be 150 years old.  And a hairy monster of some kind.

Joe:  Nobody has ever said that I am too mature for anything.
me:  Have they ever said you are too manure for anything?

Sara:  Sometimes our messages are like three people reading the same book with completely different interpretations.

me:  Please give me an example of speaking in the 5th person.  Would it be, "The mysterious person later identified as Michelle Boettcher was identified the day before yesterday"?
Joe:  I think you have to have a special license from the APA to talk in the fifth person.

me:  Have you two ever watched "The United States of Tara"?
Sara:  I have not, so - of course - confused.  But I like the sound of it.  Like The United States of Sara.

I think a good TV show would be "OJA is the New Black."  

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
~ Albert Einstein
- - - - -

The other day my friend Suzy said that it was probably time for another post about assholes.  She lets me know when those kinds of posts are needed / helpful.  I didn't have one ready to go at the time, but in sorting through my information, I found a draft based on a conversation with Leslie one night.

What I take from Leslie's quote is that it is okay to give yourself time when dealing with difficult people.  It is very good if during that time you can channel your frustration, energy and disappointment into some sort of creative project. 

Leslie:  Sometimes when faced with dealing with assholes or writing about bats, you just have to write about the bats.

And sometimes, when faced with dealing with assholes or blogging about people writing about bats, you have to blog about people writing about bats to help peopel deal with assholes.

I would suggest writing or blogging about bats as animals rather than about bats as softball or baseball utensils.  Otherwise you might give people some counterproductive ideas.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Any idea, plan or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.
~ Napoleon Hill
- - - - -
Ideas are so important.  Without ideas we can't be successful, can we?  Hm.  I'm not sure.  I mean, I guess it depends on how one defines success.  I suppose some one could define success in a way that requires the successful person not to have any ideas.  I don't think I would define success in that way.  Like they say, "You can't spell accomplished without 'i, d, e, and a' not necessarily in that order."  Actually, not many people say that.  But they should.
Anyway, I was going through old email the other day and I came across an email I sent myself.  Here it is:
Subject: really good idea day
“Get a Room!” campaign for residence hall recontracting
Attach a tiny straw to a blow horn and give it to the next person who asks for some compressed air

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.
~ Anthony Bourdain
- - - - -
I agree with this.  I think it is true whether you go out to eat or eat in someone's home.  You probably learn a little more about them when you eat in their home.  For example, you learn how they cook, how they host, what their world looks like.  You can also learn what medications they take or what ointments they have to use or even what they write in their diaries - depending on how long you have to yourself while they're cooking.
You also learn a lot about people when you invite them to your house.  Do they arrive on time?  Do they offer to help?  Do they clean up after themselves?
One time I invited friends over for pizza.  One of them asked if she could bring anything.  I thought that was very nice.  I responded, "Yes.  Pizza.  Side dishes. Plates.  And silverware and napkins."

Monday, June 16, 2014


We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
~ Stephen King
- - - - -

The scariest thing you will ever see posted by a friend on Craigslist:


Sunday, June 15, 2014


If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.
~ Emile Zola
- - - - -

I really love music.  It can change my mood.  I like to put together playlists, but I also like for songs to come up randomly.  I know that music - well, if it doesn't dictate my mood, it certainly helps my mood.  

Sometimes I add or make up words to go with songs.  I have changed some lyrics in some songs and the songs are much better.  I won't go into detail here, but I'm good at making songs better.

Other times I change the words to further improve my mood.  For example, I encourage everyone to sing "For Sentimental Reasons" (I prefer the Sam Cooke version) and change the word "you" to "me."  Trust me.  It will boost your morale.  And ego.  Perhaps too much.  But it's worth it.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Sometimes the wind will take you, or sometimes the wind will carry you.
~ Anthony Liccione
- - - - -

I love wind farms.  I don't know why.  I think they are striking and fascinating and big.  I don't just think they are big, they ARE big.  Our landscape is forever changed because of them.  I know some people don't like them at all, but I do. 

They are pinwheels of power on the prairie.  

Friday, June 13, 2014


I'm not making any plans.  I'm just going to let the universe surprise me.
~ John Cusack
- - - - -

Patty:  What do you want for food & drink at your party?  No, we can't have martinis!!!

Me:  I don't really care...  I like the buttermilk brownies.  Maybe some veggies or fruit?  Punch or lemonade is fine.  Or could we publish it as "BYOB"?  lol  

Sara:  I'm really hoping you say steak and shrimp.

Me:  And also steak and shrimp.  

Me: I think you and Sara and Joe should each choose something, too.  Sara is sort of the one who chose steak and shrimp.

Sara:  Let's add popcorn and cotton candy and mini donuts, and maybe we can rent a clown??  (pause)  But we can't eat the clown.

Patty:  That is a good idea.  I like the carmelitas!! Steak & shrimp, popcorn & pretzels, BYOB!!!  Sounds like a very fun party!!

Me:  And sounds a little like Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Absolutely no clowns. Why isn't Joe commenting?  The ghosts at Sloss House must have gotten him.

Patty:  They must have.  No comments from Joe?!?!?!?!

Joe:  It's not the ghosts, it's the lack of air conditioning, really.  Steak and shrimp sound good.  No way no how on the clown.  Put me down for some beer while we're at it.

Sara:  We all know he was sleeping.  And he is also locking the house and leaving at 3:30.

Me:  What Joe doesn't know is that you've been working from home all day.  By your 3x3 above ground pool.

Sara:  I soooo much wish I had a 3 x 3 foot above ground pool.  I would just sit on one of those floatie things (with a cup holder on it) with a pillow.  I would be happy.

Joe:  Gonna go ahead and just throw this out there:  How the hell do you fit in a 3ft x 3ft pool?

Sara:  ON A FLOATIE, Joe.  I could put a little coffee table on the one end where my pillow was, or let my legs hang off the other end.  I use my FLOATIE.

Joe:  Oh ok.

Me:  It's not 3 FEET by 3 FEET.  It's 3 inches by 3 inches.  It's actually just a cup.

Patty:  There is no getting around her Joe, let her enjoy her pool and floatie!!!!  She has it all figured out.  Do you really have one, Sara?

Sara:  Heck no. I do however, have an almost finished deck, half-painted, but with the paint peeling on that side.  And a couple large buckets.

Joe:  Then you have a party!!! I always hear a lot of buzz about your parties.  I even heard Sting came by.

Sara:  That is not funny.  But I know you think it is.

Joe:  No I don't.  I judge everything by if you think it's funny or not.  So far nothing in this world is funny.

Sara:  I laugh all the time.  Just not at you.  Wait.  Sometimes I laugh at you.

(source: interwebs)

(source: interwebs)

 (source: interwebs)

Patty:  Awww this is so cute.

(source: interwebs)

(source: interwebs)

Sara:  This is terrifying.

Me:  I concur.

Sara:  Joe has left the building.

(source: interwebs)

Patty:  That could be Sara on her back on her floatie and Joe is coming over to dump her off!!

Joe:  Like a plan, that does sound.

The moral of the story is I'm not sure if there will be any food or any party.  The morale of the story is quite high.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Your purpose in your life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.
~ Guatama Buddha
- - - - -

I have had the greatest job ever.  I have done it fairly well.  I have tried to do the best I can.  Most importantly, I have gotten to work with some of the best people ever.  They did this (the above) to my office.  Who doesn't love that?  They even tagged evidence at the scene:

So - again - who wouldn't love that?

Some people might get upset if someone came in and vandalized their office like this.  They might look into filing both university harassment and criminal charges.  They might be laughed out of the police station when they went in with photos to file their complaint.


Fortunately, not me.  I just laughed and laughed and laughed.  That's what I do a lot at work.  And hardly ever was it inappropriate.  I mean hardly ever was I caught laughing when it was inappropriate.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


In dwelling, live close to the ground.  In thinking, keep to the simple.  In conflict, be fair and generous.  In governing, don't try to control.  In work, do what you enjoy.  In family life, be completely present.
~ Lao Tzu
- - - - -

Last weekend Joe and Sara and I went to a baseball game.  I thought it would be good for them to learn about how baseball is sort of representative of teamwork and teamwork is important.  I'm not sure they really understood the analogy.  

The Cubs won, though, so that was good.  I think what they learned is that the two of them are in competition and they are always trying to "beat" the other (sometimes literally).  I always say, I can't tell people what to think, I can just give them things to think about.

Anyway, it was not overly crowded at the ball park.  We decided we would sit somewhere other than our assigned seats where it was less crowded.  The first time we tried it, our usher came down and said, "Are you in section B?  I thought your tickets said section C." Then he made us go to our assigned seats.

Well, we waited a while (almost all of the game), then decided to sit somewhere different for the last 3 or so innings.  We came back, found a section where there wasn't an usher guarding the stairs, and went and sat down.  A new usher came up and said, "I don't think I saw your tickets."  That was only because we hadn't shown them to him.

We showed him the tickets and he said, "When you leave your section, you should let your usher know."  He did let us stay in our new seats, though.

I said to Joe and Sara, "We should let him know?  Was our other usher worried about us when we didn't come back to our seats?"

Joe said, "I am going to raise my hand and ask if I can go to the bathroom."

Sara said, "I think they went through some sort of Navy Seal training for baseball park ushers."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I think college administrators should encourage students to urinate on walls and bushes because then when students from another college come sniffing around they'll know this is someone else's territory.
~ Jack Handy
- - - - -

Somehow Joe and Sara and I got on the topic of Slim Jims hidden in Sara's office.  Don't ask how.  Or why.  Is it because I can't remember?  Maybe.  Maybe I just don't want you nosing around and asking me a lot of questions right now.  

Anyway, this happened...

Joe:  No, she doesn't [have Slim Jims in her office].  I would have found them when I was putting more eye tape around her office.

Me:  Good point.  And we would have smelled it by now, too.  I know Slim Jims are hermetically sealed or whatever, but still...

Sara:  He would have sniffed it out like a dog.  Or a vulture.  Or a fly.

Me:  Or a snake.

Joe:  Thank you.  (pause)  Or A BAT, man.

Sara:  Or a lamb.  Or a bunny.

Me:  Or a fish.  Or a whale.  Or a ladybug.

Joe:  I'm just saying...  a Bat.  Man.

Sara:  Or a pink fairy armadillo.  (she provided an image of said creature)

Me:  Can I say that when I read this before I saw the photo, I thought you were doing hate speech?!

Joe:  Armadillos are a protected species, Sara!

Sara:  Are you fishing for complements?

Me:  Or compliments?

Sara:  Potato potetoe.

Me:  Yes, exactly.

Sara:  TOTALLY crying.

Me:  Technically, that makes you a baby.

Sara:  A nice way to start the day.

Me:  Agreed.

Joe:  This usually works:  If you want to cry, go to your room, otherwise sit down for family dinner.

Sara:  No.

Me:  How much time do you spend in your room, Joe?

Monday, June 9, 2014


For they two (Love and Strife) were before and shall be, nor yet, I think, will there ever be an unutterably time without them both.
~ Empedocles
- - - - -

Sara and Joe bicker a lot.  Almost always good-naturedly (I think).  Joe has a talent for identifying things that annoy Sara and doing those things.  Repeatedly.  

Recently, Joe started using "technically" all the time.  Then it was "thus."  Sara does a pretty good job of using her words when Joe annoys her.  And Joe does a pretty good job of disregarding those words.

A recent exchange....

Sara:  I vote Joe stops using the words THUS or THUSLY or THUSFORE or any derivatives of "THUS."

Joe:  Henceforeth I shan't use such prodigious vocabulary as it perplexes thy feeble mind.

Me:  What if he wants to listen to THUS Spoke ZaraTHUStra?

Sara:  Here-to-fore I shall dub you modern day Empedocles.

I think she meant Joe is Empedocles, but I'm not sure.  I also am not sure which of "they two" is Love and which is Strife.  But I have a pretty good guess.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


You must pass your days in song.
Let your whole life be a song.
~ Sai Baba
- - - - -

 I just found this post.  I haven't posted songs for a while on Facebook.  Obviously for almost a year now.  I figured I would post this list rather than have it go to waste.

Hm.  I wonder why I didn't post it "back in the day."

July, 2013
10th “Sooner or Later,” by Gavin Creel
9th “Say Anything,” by Tristan Pettyman
4th “Oh I Wish I Was an Oscar Meyer Wiener”
3rd “Light My Fire,” by The Doors
2nd “Three Is a Magic Number” from Schoolhouse Rock
June, 2013
30th “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” by John Phillip Sousa
28th “Take Me Home Tonight,” by Eddie Money
27th “Anticipation,” by Carly Simon
26th “Excited,” by Roxette
25th “Drive,” by The Cars
24th “Sister Goldenhair,” by America
23rd “Only You,” by Joshua Radin
22nd “Barbed Wire and Roses,” by Pinmonkey
21st “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” by The Rolling Stones
20th “Everywhere,” by Michelle Branch
19th “Rocky Top”
18th “Hip to Be Square,” Huey Lewis and the News
17th “From a Distance” by Bette Midler.  Just Kidding.  I do not like that song.  Or “Wind Beneath My Wings.”  Song in my head, “Crazy Love” by Oleta Adams
16th  “Unbroken Promise,” by Erick Baker
13th “She’s Come Undone,” by The Guess Who
12th “Everyday,” by Buddy Holly
11th “Sunshine,” by Jonathan Edwards
10th “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” by Jim Croce
9th “I’d Rather Be With You,” by Joshua Radin
7th “Sooner or Later,” by Gavin Creel
6th “Some Nights,” by Fun
4th “Rhythm is a Dancer,” by Germon eurodance group Snap!
3rd “I’m Yours,” by Jason Mraz
2nd “Ships in the Night,” by Mat Kearney
1st “Next Best Thing,” by Nikki & Rich
May, 2013
30th “Hold on Tight to Your Dreams,” by ELO
29th “Beautiful Day,” by Joshua Radin
22nd “Like Shops in the Night,” by Mat Kearney (ships, not shops)
20th “Sooner or Later,” by Gavin Creel
19th “Home,” by Phillip Phillips
9th “Theme song from Scooby Doo”
6th “Too Busy Thinking ‘Bout My Baby,” by Marvin Gaye
5th “One More Night,” by Andrew Allen
April, 2013
25th “I’m Yours,” by Jason Mraz
24th “Walkin’ After Midnight,” by Patsy Cline
23rd “A Little Less Conversation,” by Elvis Presley
19th “Time is on My Side,” by The Rolling Stones
16th “Tulsa Time,” by Don Williams
15th “Girl on Fire,” by Alicia Keys
9th “Who’s that Lady,” by The Isley Brothers
6th “Electric Avenue,” by Eddy Grant
3rd “Amazing,” by Andrew Allen
1st “Loving You Tonight,” by Andrew Allen
March, 2013
27th “Take it Easy on Me,” by Beth Hart
25th “Baby, You’ve Got What it Takes,” by Brooke Benton and Dinah Washington
22nd “Too Shy,” by Kajagoogoo.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


There is no blue without yellow and without orange.
~ Vincent Van Gogh
- - - - -

Shouldn't it be "Beige" or "Tan is the New Black?"  Or "Khaki?"

Friday, June 6, 2014


Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends.  Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness.  You say what you want to say when you don't care who's listening.
~ Allen Ginsberg
- - - - -

This photo is of the place where I write my blog.  And surf my internet.  And write on my papers.  

My birthday is a month from today.  

What does my writing place have to do with my birthday?  Well, this year, for my birthday, I think you should all write me a very detailed note about what a positive force I have been in your lives.  How your world is a little brighter because I am in it.

I saw someone the other day ask people to post something on his timeline for his birthday.  I think it was something like, "Instead of birthday greetings, post something that makes you happy today."  Or "For my birthday, on my timeline I'd like you to post your favorite thing about yourself."  I can't remember what it was exactly that he wrote.

Some people might think that is nice.  That it is a nice way to celebrate your birthday.  Or to help other people focus on positive things for a day.  

It is nice.  

I'd rather have a long and very detailed note, though.  Or cash.  Cash is always good.  It's the gift that keeps on giving when you spend it.  Then it stops giving.  Unless you use it to buy a chicken - then you might keep being given eggs.  Or if you use it to rent a clown.  Then it keeps on giving you the creeps.  And nausea.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


My formula for living is quite simple.  I get up in the morning, and I go to bed at night.  In between, I occupy myself as best I can.  
~ Cary Grant
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Last night when we were talking on the phone, Leslie said, "Don't let the bunk beds bite."  Then she said, "Don't let the bud bags bite."  She meant to say, "Don't let the bed bugs bite."  But then, you had already figured that out.

I was thinking about it later.  And if the saying really was, "Don't let the bunk beds bite," how terrifying would it be for people who sleep in bunk beds?  Pretty terrifying is my answer to that question I just asked.  Because if bunk beds could bite, I bet they would bite a lot harder and do a lot more damage than bed bugs.

My preference is not to be bitten.  And for Leslie to learn to speak gooder.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
~ Jonathan Safran Foer
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I think we can all find happiness in lots of ways.  I think sharing is one way to create bonds and happiness.  In the case of this display, happiness is sharing music.  For other happiness might be sharing stories.  For others happiness might be sharing a good meal or a drink or a great conversation.  For other it might be sharing needles.  Like if you are making afghans.

Monday, June 2, 2014


Criticism, that fine flower of personal expression in the garden of letters.
~ Joseph Conrad
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Some people have a gift for making simple statements that sound like accusations.

Old lady:  I have a mullet.
Old man:  Oh.
Old lady:  Do you know what that is?
Old man:  It's some kinda flower, ain't it?

I thought the woman in the conversation below sounded accusatory when she ask if the guy knew what a mullet was.  Maybe she was just old and talking loudly.  Maybe he had a history of just going along with her conversations and not really paying attention.

Anyway, as I overheard this, I looked at the woman.  I think she was talking about a flower.  Or maybe a fish.  She was NOT talking about her hair.

I wish she had been.  I think the conversation would have been pretty interesting if she had been discussing her hairstyle with this particular guy.  He didn't seem to invested in the conversation.  But then, neither did she.

I was.

Good thing I was there.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
~ Chinese Proverb
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But you just feed him fish which isn't really a very balanced diet.