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Sunday, December 31, 2017


There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.
~ G. K. Chesterton
- - - - -

Leslie is very insightful. She loves creativity, but looks at it with a critical eye. For instance, this is her critique of the Netflix series Stranger Things:

"So do you think it's realistic that that Dart thing was really happy with a Fun Size Three Musketeers bar?"

Saturday, December 30, 2017


It tastes like water spiked with strange.
~ Mary Roach
- - - - -

I think on "Chopped" when the judges say, "This sorta works!" what they mean is that whatever it was didn't make them throw up in their mouths.

Friday, December 29, 2017


I make amazing fried chicken. The secret is taco seasoning.
~ Tituss Burgess
- - - - -

On a recent trip to the dentist, I was waiting after the hygienist finished for the doctor to come in. As I was waiting, I heard the following conversation:

Dentist: It looks like maybe you have a chip on this tooth. Has it been bothering you?

Man: Nope. Didn't know it was there.

Dentist: Well, if it isn't bothering, I'll leave it - but let me know if it starts to bother you at all.

Man: Okay. Don't know what could have done that. Maybe chicken bones.

Are chicken bones really the ONLY hard food the man eats? And he eats chicken bones? Maybe he only chews them - in which case he chews chicken bones?

Life is full of so many questions.

(And, yes, I know this is a photo of a rooster. I see how he has the top of his head combed.)

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Rational thoughts never drive people's creativity the way emotions do.
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
- - - - -

Leslie: All the drivers out today are turd nuggets!

While I appreciated Leslie's restraint when it came to using profanity, I found her alternative phrasing made me queasy. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Never make a companion equal to a brother.
~ Hesiod
- - - - -

This is my brother. 
And today is his birthday.
And this is his gift.

It is both blog post
And a beautiful haiku

oops. dammit I mean SERENDIPITY!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Nothing is beautiful from every point of view.
~ Horace
- - - - -

Kirk:  I keep meaning to ask you...  Any prob if I take the view master reels from the basement to Maine?  Some might have been yours so I want to ask 1st.  I won't if you will want some of them.

Me:  Go for it.  Weirdo.

Kirk:  Cool!  Thanks!  I love them.  You should come to my view master party!Me:  I'm sure it will be s alight to behold.


Me:  Just like reel life.  see what i did?

Kirk:  Yes.  I like it.  I just got a reel from the 50's of Buster Keaton hosting a cabaret in a strip club.  It's crazy.

Me:  Wow.  For Viewmasturbators.  lol.  and gross.

Kirk:  Bwahahahaha.  And yuck.

Me:  Exactly.

Kirk:  You're yucky.  It's 8 am here and I think that will be my least favorite thing today...  Though I wish I'd thought of it.

Me:  I hear that all the time from people.  When is your Viewmaster party?

Kirk:  In September.  I'll send you a view master reel with all the details.

Me:  You have weird but interesting parties.

Kirk:  I'm not actually going to do that, but it's a good idea.

Me:  You should do it.  You could pair appetizers with each reel.

Kirk:  I might.  It'd be a LOT of appetizers.  And it would be gross when we watched the human anatomy reels I got Jared for his birthday.

Me:  Ladyfingers.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Kids believe in Santa; adults believe in childhood.
~ Cate Kennedy
- - - - -

You know anything can be scary if you want it to be scary. A guy sneaking into your house while you're asleep after assessing if you are good or evil? That's scary. The guy is Santa Claus? Oh, well then - still scary if he looks like THIS Santa Claus.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


It is better to risk starving to death than to surrender. If you give up your dreams, what's left?
~ Jim Carrey
- - - - -

Once again, when the shop closed at midnight on Christmas Eve, Blinky the one-eyed owl and the macaroon ornaments were the only things left on the shelf. Well along with the weird snowflake on a hunk of wood thing that Blinky suspected the shopkeeper's doltish child had made. "Ah," thought Blinky, "That shall be the title of my next tale - "The Shopkeeper's Doltish Child." 

You see, while the fact that no one purchased Blinky was sad, the true tragedy was that Blinky's wildly entertaining short stories would never be seen. In addition to lacking an eye, Blinky also lacked paper, pens, a typewriter machine, and fingers. While there were bigger tragedies in the world, Blinky couldn't think of any. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017


Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
~ Nora Ephron
- - - - -

Once upon a time there was a heroine. She was a shy little wallflower, but once in a Blue Moon she would... She would do the thing she is doing in the photo above. 

Friday, December 22, 2017


The inmates made jokes about the chair, the way people always make jokes about things that frighten them but can't be gotten away from.
~ Stephen King
- - - - -

I didn't realize it before, but this looks a lot like the front stoop of Leslie's mom's old house. Well, how it looked when they lived there, at least. Except they didn't have these kinds of chairs. There was a swing thing and an adirondack chair and I think a director's chair. The rest looks similar.

I love these kind of yellow chairs. I don't know if my grandparents ever had them, but I seem to associate them with their farm, so maybe they did. I would like to have some of these chairs, but I don't really need them right now. We already have some chairs and I tend to use just one at a time. And I don't love visitors - with some exceptions of course.

I think if you have too many chairs about your home and property,  you're just asking for guests. And you know what they say about guests... They say, "When are those people going to leave?"

Well, if the guests don't have a chair to sit in, they don't stay long.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Santa's coming girl!

Yeah yeah yeah yeaoooh
Santa Claus is coming to town
~ Justin Bieber
- - - - -

The fact that these words exist make me sad for Santa Claus, for the holiday season, for language, for music. Also, "yeaoooh" is not a word. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


The last dead leaves of fall crackled underfoot, winter-crisp.
~ Neil Gaiman
- - - - -
When summer goes, she burns out.
When spring goes, she storms out.
When winter goes she melts away
And when fall goes, she leaves.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


By late autumn the yard would grow thick with fallen leaves, causing the landlady to heave many deep sighs.
~ Takashi Hyrande
- - - - -

I remember as a kid that my dad used to get annoyed with me sighing. I sighed a lot. I think he thought I was annoyed or bothered or felt inconvenienced and that was my way of voicing my displeasure. 

I don't know why he got annoyed. I was just thinking and being reflective and breathing deeply to get myself centered.

I needed to make sure I was centered because of how annoyed I was.

Monday, December 18, 2017


Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
~ Blaise Pascal
- - - - -

I should come up with something like this for every person who asks to borrow my stapler when I'm in my office.


I would either increase the rates because of inflation or require exact change. I think the latter. And I think I'd charge 1 1/2 cents per staple.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.
~ Paula Poundstone
- - - - -

I was once told that I am funny enough to be on NPR and that I am as funny as Paula Poundstone. I was told that while being interviewed by Paula Poundstone on NPR.

Part of that is not true. 

Look - a moth!

Saturday, December 16, 2017


I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world.
~ Frances Willard
- - - - -

I have read a lot of quotes that start with, "Life is like riding a bicycle..."

No it's not. Life is life. Riding a bicycle is a part of it. If life was like riding a bicycle then it would be full of bumps and accidents and having fun and coasting and working hard and...

Oh. I see.

Friday, December 15, 2017


Babies are a nice way to start people.
~ Don Herold
- - - - -

Babies are hilarious. They are so surprised by everything. It's like they've been living under a rock. They haven't. Babies can't live under rocks. Like the song about babies says, "Rock?!! Uh, bye!" because that's not where you put a baby.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


I feel exhausted if I teach too long.
~ The Dalai Lama
- - - - -

You can teach a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.


You can take a horse to water, but you have to teach it to drink.


You can't teach an old horse new tricks.


Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to teach.


It's been a long semester.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


We ought to good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
~ Marcus Aurelius
- - - - -

I was looking at one of my strengths quiz things the other day and my top strength was gratitude. I was so thankful it wasn't chalkboard eraser clapping because that is a lost art nowadays.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


If you obey all the rules, you miss all of the fun.
~ Katherine Hepburn
- - - - -

Sara: Can I leave at 4:30? I am supposed to take Japannah III to this church thing.

Me: Is it the Church of the Poison Mind because that was from the 1980s and I think it is closed. (pause) That is fine.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Nowadays what isn't worth saying is sung.
~ Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
- - - - -

Person 1: She used to sing in band.

Person 2: She was in a band?!

Person 1: No. Marching Band. She used to sing when we were in marching band. It was annoying.

Eavesdropping so pays off sometimes. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Positive thinking will let you use the ability you have, and that is awesome.
~ Zig Ziglar
- - - - -

If you know someone named Liz who is always positive and upbeat and smiling and happy, beware. She isn't always those things. Sometimes she is dark and brooding and conniving and mean-spirited.


Oh - wait. You were talking about THAT Liz?! You're right, she is pretty much always happy and optimistic. I thought you were talking about that other Liz. You know the one I mean? Yes. Yes, you do.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
~ Saying I have seen attributed to a bunch of different people
- - - - -

To hear Leslie tell it, tons of practice never made a sailor good at marching, either.

Go Army. Beat Navy.

Friday, December 8, 2017


If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
~ William Shakespeare
- - - - -

What if we literally kept our tears in a shed. What if we stored them up and didn't deal with the sadness (or joy) and pain (or ecstasy) that accompanied them until they could no longer be contained and the burst through the board and the shingles and the doors and swept across the land?

What if?

I don't know, but I will say that I bet the kinds of sheds where we would keep them would be watersheds.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


The butterfly counts not months, but moments and has time enough.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
- - - - -

Given the short lifespan of a butterfly, I hope they don't count months or moments. They should be doing other things because time is short.

Wait. Just like people should be doing other things rather than counting (or worrying about) months. Because time is short!

I get you now, Rabindranath Tagore. Nice job.

On an unrelated joke, today it is seven months until my birthday.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


No change of circumstances can repair a defect in character.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- - - - -

We throw away so many things that we used to not throw away. Like shoes. We used to fix them and make them better when they got worn out. And they were made to last and last long enough to make it worthwhile to get some repairs.

Now we wear shoes and then get rid of them a lot of times.

We throw away clothes and other things we never used to throw away.

Like Sour Patch Kids wrappers. We didn't used to throw those away because they didn't exist a long time ago.

Wow how the times have changed.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


The child-soul is an ever-bubbling fountain in the world of humanity.
~ Friedrich Froebel
- - - - -

Friedrich Froebel was the guy who came up with the idea for kindergarten. According to Wikipedia he founded a care, playing and activity institute for small children in Bad Blankenburg. I would like to acknowledge that a "care, playing and activity institute for small children in Bad Blankenburg" sounds like part of a caption for a piece of Edward Gorey art.

Now that I have acknowledged that, I am finished with this post.

Monday, December 4, 2017


Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.
~ Steven Wright
- - - - -

No where is walking distance if you don't have the time.


You should make some time.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


To custom the infant to get out of its own difficulties or to calm it by rocking may be to lay the foundations of a good or of a bad disposition.
~ Jean Piaget
- - - - -

To place an infant on a mouse in overhauls in order to rock it may be to lay the foundation of just a bad (not good) disposition since infants have neither the motor skills to play on a toy like this nor do they have the intellectual skills to realize how disturbing such play may be. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017


The world is not fair and often fools, cowards, liars, and the selfish hide in high places.
~ Bryant H. McGill
- - - - -

Seeing no one in the high places on the ferris wheel was only mildly reassuring at best and actually more completely misleading because ultimately there were higher places.

Friday, December 1, 2017


Don't sleep in the subway, darlin'. 
Don't stand in the pouring rain.
Don't sleep in the subway, darlin'.
The night is long,
Forget your foolish pride.
Nothing's wrong,
Now you're beside me again.

~ Written by Tony Hatch & Jackie Trent
Performed by Petula Clark
- - - - -

I don't know Petula Clark. I like some of her songs and I like her name. 

I will say that she should maybe reconsider her dating choices if the person she is with is going to go sleep in a subway or stand in the pouring rain because they had a fight. That seems not a productive way to resolve conflict.

But I'm not the boss of Petula Clark or her relationships. 


Thank goodness, actually. That seems like a LOT of responsibility.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Every exit is an entrance to somewhere else.
~ Elizabeth Puig
- - - - -

You can never really leave a place behind. It travels with you - like dust on your clothing or mud on your shoes or dirt on your shirt sleeves.

Also, why are you so dirty?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable desire to see the truth.
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
- - - - -

Me: I just mentioned you in a post on Facebook.

Leslie: In a good way or a bad way?

Me: In a completely accurate way.

Leslie: Uh oh. That could be bad.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
~ Aesop
- - - - -

Bathing suits optional is not the sign of noble souls.

Monday, November 27, 2017


When a thing is funny, search it for a hidden truth.
~ George Bernard Shaw
- - - - -

Some people probably judge how funny they are by the likes they get for the posts they post that they think are funny on Facebook. Not me. I judge how funny my Facebook friends are by how much they like the funny posts I post.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


The windows of my soul are made of one-way glass,
Don't bother looking into my eyes - if there's something you want to know, just ask.
~ Ani Difranco
- - - - -

And the windows of my soul are made of fiber glass - not good for cuddling, but they keep my soul warm. Given some of the things I have posted, I might need my soul to be used to the heat.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


There aren't as many quotes about peppers as you might expect.
~ Michelle Boettcher
- - - - -

If I had it to do over again, I'd study plants and write my dissertation about the genus Capsicum. You might think it's because I love banana peppers (which I do), but you would be wrong. I would do that because then I would have people call me Dr. Pepper.

I could do that now, but it would be weird.


WeirdER, I mean.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


I would maintain that thanks for the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ Gilbert K. Chesterton
- - - - -

Today is my favorite holiday. I love gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for - like not being a turkey. Well, in the most literal way not being a turkey. 

I am grateful for the people in my life.
I am grateful for some of the people not in my life.
I am grateful that some people are no longer in my life.
I am grateful for the people who will be in my life in the future (I think. Not all of them, but some of them.)

I have said it before, and I will say it again - I am the luckiest person I know.

Like the saying goes:



Just because you CAN make an acronym out of every word doesn't mean you SHOULD make an acronym out of every word. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


The rain, it raineth on the just. And also on the unjust fella, but mostly on the just because the unjust steals the just's umbrella.
~ Charles Bowen
- - - - -

You know who it doesn't rain on? It doesn't rain on martians because water can only be on Mars in the form of vapor or ice. That's why Gene Kelly is relatively unknown on Mars.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Photography has nothing to do with cameras.
~ Lucas Gentry
- - - - -

I think that is a bit of an exaggeration. It has a little bit to do with cameras. Without them, it would just be staring. And that is less socially acceptable. Trust me. I found that out the hard way. The irony was when the person yelled, "Why don't you take a picture -- it'll last longer!" True, but I just kept staring because I didn't have a camera.

Cameras are an excuse to stare. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017


The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
~ William Shakespeare
- - - - - 

And wicked pigs give us deviled ham.
And wicked farmers give us deviled food.

Actually none of that is true. You have to pay for most of those things. Farmers and pigs don't just give ham and food away.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


The wide world is all about you, you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.
~ J. R. R. Tolkein
- - - - -

People bragged and bragged about Petit and the Wallendas and RØnningsbakken, but they never met Grandpa. Grandpa used to string BARBED wire between the barn and the other barn. Then he did his high wire act. 

Just the one time, but still all those people never met Grandpa.

Monday, November 13, 2017


We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.
~ Kahlil Gibran 
- - - - -

I think maybe if I had a different house I would have different windows. I wouldn't have hard glass. I'd have something more pliable. Something more forgiving. Something soft and comforting. And I would have much smaller windows. A hundred small windows - if they were small enough - would still allow light in and would still allow a view outside, but they could be configured in so many different ways.

Tiny windows. Plush windows.

Yes, in a different house I think I'd prefer to have micro, soft windows.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


We invent nothing, truly.  
We borrow and re-create.  
We uncover and discover.  
~ Henry Miller
- - - - -

I agree with Henry Miller on this. I was going to put, "Except for Velcro. Someone invented Velcro." Sorta true except Velcro is a borrow and recreation of sandburs - just as Hamilton is a borrow and recreation of Aaron Burr.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


If we reflect, we shall recognize.
~ Laila Gifty Akita
- - - - -

You know how you can see a reflection in the water?  And you can see a reflection in a window.  Isn't it also interesting when a water tower sees its reflection in a window?


Yeah, probably not. 

Friday, November 10, 2017


A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache.
~ Catherine the Great
- - - - -

I like windmills like these. If they are broken or if they don't work, I don't care. I still like them. They remind me of hard work and ingenuity. They remind me resourcefulness and slower time.

But they remind me of something else, too. Something that is hard to see. Something that sneaks up on us sometimes and is right in our faces at other times.

You see windmills also remind me of wind.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


As I grow to understand life less and less, 
I learn to live it more and more.
~ Jules Renard
- - - - -

Leslie went to visit her grandchildren over fall break. She has two of those things now - grandchildren not fall breaks. She gets to just swoop in and have fun and play with the children and take them Sleeping Beauty gloves and then leave when she gets tired.

She's like a super hero.

Most grandmas are like that.

Especially Grandma Hulk. Or Grandma Cyborg.