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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Comfort

Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
~ Hippocrates
- - - - -

Dogs are comforting. My friend Wayne got to meet the official comfort dog on his campus. But here's the thing... Wayne kind of weirded out the comfort dog. Wayne is one of the kindest, friendliest people I know. He could get a job as "comfort guy" on a campus. Well, except "comfort guy" is a somewhat creepy job title.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Falls

Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.
~ John Burroughs
- - - - -

But you can get a morel out of the woods.  How about that, John Burroughs?!  Whatcha got to say now, sir?!  I realize a morel and a moral are not the same and wood and stone aren't the same.  My point is that you can get some stuff out of nature.  

I won't be waiting on an actual response since you died in 1921.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Leisure

Leisure only means a chance to do other jobs that demand attention.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
- - - - -

I really do believe that it is important to take time to relax. I think we can't do our work or our lives well if we don't step back and relax. There are lots of ways you might choose to relax. You might read. You might write. You might sit and look at the ocean. You might go for a walk to be with nature. I'm not the boss of you.

Some people relax by doing -- doing something like gardening or knitting. Or crossword puzzles.

Some people relax by doing other things that might purge their systems -- doing things like running or swimming, or cussword puzzles. 

I actually don't know if cussword puzzles are a thing, but they should be. Lots of people would find them helpful for leisure, I think. I mean, I elfin' think.

And I think it's funny that spellcheck corrects effin' to elfin'.  I've never really elfin thought anything. Well, that's not exactly true. I do have some questions about those Keebler elves.

Wait.  What was I talking about?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Treasure

It really takes growing up to treasure the specialness of being different.
~ Justice Sonia Sotomayor
- - - - -

One time when I was a kid, I got in trouble for playing in the barn at my grandpa and grandma's house. Allegedly it was because if I had fallen through the floor of the corncrib in that barn where I was playing, I would have landed on the concrete floor several feet below and been hurt. 

I think I got in trouble because there was treasure in the barn they didn't want me to find.

(pause)

Man, I wish I had that treasure.

(pause)

Of course, maybe the real treasure is the memory of that day.

(pause)

Who am I kidding?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Natural

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever direction they like.
~ Lao Tzu
- - - - -

Nothing in nature is unnatural. I think we should remind ourselves of that sometimes. We are in nature. We are. We need to remind ourselves of the naturalness of nature. Not all the time, though. Some of the things you do are unnatural. Knock that stuff off. it freaks out the rest of us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Glasses

Words, like glasses, obscure everything which they do not make clear.
~ Joseph Joubert
- - - - -

I think it is evident that Aurora and Leslie are related. It's not so much that they both sometimes wear glasses. Rather, it's that they both sometimes make spectacles of themselves.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Spam

I don't eat vegetables. I only eat food like cheeseburgers, Spam, hot dogs, and pizza.
~ Art Donovan
- - - - -

Leslie's mom is an interesting person. She leaves notes and has ideas and knows lots and lots of people. She is friendly and nice but she doesn't like Spam. I found this out by talking about Spam with her. She said it was gross. Well, I doubt she said, "gross." She probably said disgusting. Or repulsive. Or maybe she just said, "I don't care for Spam."

Anyway, we now have a Spam connection of some kind. 

Leslie: (texting)  "Granny: This is something you and Michelle and I should do together!"  Can you guess what it is?

Me: Croquet?  Refinish the bathroom?  Learn to juggle fire?

LL: Go to SPAMALOT.

So we did.

But not because she's the boss of us or anything. Because she isn't. 

(pause)

Well, she's sorta the boss of Leslie.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nest

Anger is as a stone cast into a wasp's nest.
~ Pope Paul VI
- - - - -

I think that they call a wasp's home a nest so it isn't as threatening. If they called it a "Wasp's Stinger Swarm Encampment Center" that's a little scarier, isn't it? 

(pause)

Why do we want to make people less scared of wasps to begin with? I think fear of them is okay. Just like fear of clowns. 

You know what would be super-scary? Wasp clowns. 

(pause)

If you need anything, give me a call. I won't be sleeping again.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Knot

We all have an old knot in the heart we wish to untie.
~ Michael Ondaatje
- - - - -

I saw this sign in SC and took a photo.  I never really watched the show Knots Landing when it was on between 1979 and 1993, but I thought it was funny to see a place called this now.

Then I wondered, what if they had a Knotts landing named after Don Knotts.  I bet that would be a wacky place to live.  But I wouldn't have 100% confidence in the law enforcement there.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Steer

The lessons of the past should steer us towards ensuring lasting legacies for generations yet to be born.
~ Hun Sen
- - - - -

There is a restaurant near my mom's house called The Big Steer. I believe it is called that because they serve steaks and it has a big steer out front. I don't believe it is called that because of anything related to driving.

A movie called The Big Steer could be about a person driving down the road and they see a big steer in the road and steer their car and end up taking road they hadn't intended to take. And then they learn important life lessons or meet important teachers they wouldn't have otherwise encountered. And then, at the end of the movie, they turn to their grandchildren (because by now they are very old and recounting the story to their grandchildren) and say, "That big steer changed my life - and that's no bull."

And everyone would laugh and hug and then the old protagonist would peacefully pass away. The person would be happy to have left their grandchildren with such a nice memory and important laugh lesson.

Only the grandchildren would be scarred because they would be hugging a dead person.

Kids these days. You can't teach them anything.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bubbles

We live in a strange bubble.
~ Brian Molko
- - - - -

When Aurora was playing with the bubbles with Leslie, she accidentally got a little bit in her mouth. She didn't like that. Then I offered her some of the bubbles from my root beer float and she didn'tt want those. 

Kids make no sense. It's ROOT BEER, Aurora!

Sheesh.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Silos

Why is it a good thing to break silos? All that happens when you break a silo is that the grain spills out. Or the missile falls over.
~ Frankie Bow
- - - - -

A lot of people talk about working in silos like it's a bad thing. You know who doesn't do that? Farmers. Is it because they keep their grain in silos? Yes. And because they want you to stay out of their business.

There should be a movie about that. A musical. And one of the songs I will write for it is, "There's No Business Like Agribusiness." Another song I will write for it is, "It's Been a Croppy Day." And the featured song I will write for it is called, "Hay, Good Looking'!"

I fully expect to be sued for copyright infringement on that last one. And that's okay because that will make for some interesting scenes in my biopic.

Also another movie I am going to make is about livestock farming. I will call it "Silos of the Lambs." "Wool you please go see it?" she asked sheepishly.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tenses

Everything I was I carry with me, everything I will be lies waiting on the road ahead.
~ Ma Jian
- - - - -

I don't know why some things happen. I don't know why some things don't happen. I know that if you try to be kind life is better than if you settle for being unkind. I didn't say easier. I said better. Sometimes it is very, very difficult to be kind.

Because some people are idiots.

But that's not kind, so I keep that to myself.

In summary, I don't think in past tense, or present tense, or future tense. Mainly because I don't like to be tense.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Knob

I opened the door for a lot of people, and they just ran through and left me holding the knob.
~ Bo Diddley
- - - - -

I think that you should be careful not to trip over floorknobs. If there are doorknobs on doors and then there is a trapdoor in the floor, I suppose you could call it a trapdoorknob, but I'd argue it's a floorknob. Okay, I probably wouldn't argue it. There are more important matters in the world.

One example of a more important matter is why you're in a room with trapdoors to begin with.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Power

The power to question is the basis of all human progress.
~ Indira Gandhi
- - - - -

I often encourage people to use their power for good, not evil. Now that I think about it, that's a pretty subjective assessment, isn't it? What I think is good, you might think is evil.

But you'd be wrong.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Food

Our minds are like our stomachs; they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetite.
~ Quintilian
- - - - -

If a vegan ever went to the store and accidentally bought humus instead of hummus, that vegan would be pretty unhappy after dinner when they realized what they ate. And also, what kind of store is the vegan shopping in, anyway??

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hydrant

A fire hydrant is not something you want to lose, especially in an emergency.
~ Shannon Wiersbitzky
- - - - -

A fire hydrant is also not something you want to find - especially accidentally by kicking it in your bare feet.

So there's that.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Laundry

It's better to have loved and lost than to have to do forty pounds of laundry a week.
~ Dr. Laurence J. Peters
- - - - -

I love laundromats. I don't go very often now, but there were times when I have frequented them. I like them because they smell clean (mostly). I like them because you can go and be with people without really having to interact with them. I like them because they are real life. I like them because it's easy to eavesdrop without looking creepy (even if eavesdropping still makes you creepy).

I like real life. I like to hear how people navigate their lives and their dramas (petty or major). I like to get a tiny snapshot of who they are and then imagine what the rest of their lives look like. It's kind of like reality TV only not on TV. It's kind of like...  reality.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Deposits

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
~ Charles R. Swindle
- - - - -

When we were kids, we weren't allowed to cross the street. I am not exaggeration when I tell you that Mom used to say if we did cross the street and tried to run away that, "A truck driver will pick you up and take you to California and cut you up and mail you home in a shoe box."

I know I've posted about that before. Every time I type it, I realize how messed up that is. And how effective. At least for me. Erik probably ignored it, and Kirk had totally different rules growing up so he probably just wasn't allowed to leave the state...  on school nights...  unless he left a note...

I'm not bitter about the inequitable treatment we got as children. I am just painfully aware of it.

Of course, it could be that I was far more precious to my parents than Kirk. Or maybe they just were aware of my love of semi trucks. 

It's so hard to understand parents sometimes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Children

If your parents never had children, chances are... neither will you.
~ Dick Cavet
- - - - - 

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. Today is not, but it's close to her birthday.

I think my mom might have challenged the sign in this photo. It implies drivers should look out for kids in this neighborhood. I think if my mom designed a sign for her neighborhood it would read, "If you love your children, don't let them play in the street."

Monday, September 5, 2016

Mom

Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.
~ John Steinbeck
- - - - -

My mom's favorite Looney Tunes character is the Tasmanian Devil. I think it's because she's a satanist.

I'm just kidding. 

It's probably more than just that.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Nature

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
~ Henry David Thoreau
- - - - -

So, when someone says, "This is God's country" it confuses me. If your faith and religious traditions lead you to believe in God, isn't everywhere God's country?

Also, this is not the only thing that confuses me.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Barn


Architecture is the very mirror of life. You only have to cast your eyes on buildings to feel the presence of the past, the spirit of a place; they are the reflection of society.
~ I. M. Pei

- - - - -

I bet if barns could talk, they would talk about how communities come together to build them -- or at least communities used to do that. Barns would speak about how when everyone failed to work together, there were no barns. 

Like this barn might say that without lots of people it wouldn't exist. I think of barns as not only holders of animals and hay, but holders of history and wisdom. Some buildings don't look wise - like parking ramps or casinos, but they still might be wise. But I think barns look wise and are probably stuffed full of wisdom. Barns are like the grandparents of the family of buildings. 

In fact, on the very day that this barn was completed it probably said something like, "I wasn't barn yesterday."

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rest

We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don't allow our bodies to heal and we don't allow our hearts and minds to heal.
~ Thich Nhat Hahn
- - - - -

When Leslie was in the hospital a while ago, she got tired of being in the hospital. I don't think this is uncommon for people in hospitals. Anyway, Rachel helped me out with a couple of things while we were out of town because Leslie wanted to spend time in a hospital away from where we live. 

I texted Rachel to thank her for her help. She asked how Leslie was. I shared that Leslie was - as previously mentioned in this blog post - tired of being in the hospital. To be honest, I don't know why Leslie chose a hospital for this little vacation for us, but she did. I would have rather gone to the beach.

Anyway, Rachel suggested I write haikus to cheer her up. Rachel suggested that because Rachel is brilliant. With her suggestion in mind, I wrote the following:

"Advice for the Next Time You Need a Break Sans Gall Bladder"

Need some rest? Instead
Of the hospital - next time
Let's use Rachel's pool!

I texted it to Rachel and asked if she liked it. Rachel responded, "I like the length of the title."

(pause)

Rachel is brilliant, but she doesn't exactly know how to stoke my haiku ego.

Leslie is feeling better now. So that's the point, I guess.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Grow

Out of difficulties grow miracles.
~ Jean de la Bruyere
- - - - -

I bet carrot parents, even when they are completely frustrated, don't tell their children to grow up. Sure there is a stalk up there and everything, but any carrot of substance is all about the orange-y part. They probably tell their kids to "dig deep" or "take root" or something like that. Or maybe they tell them scary stories about what happens to "bad baby carrots." And I bet the carrot's natural enemy is hummus - which is ironic because the carrot and the hummus have a common enemy. If they would only use their powers to fight together instead of fighting each other... But they never do.

Also, this is not a picture of a carrot stem.