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Friday, August 25, 2017

Army photo

Be as you wish to seem.
~ Socrates
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Early drafts of this quote (as read in Socrates' journal):

"Be as you wish to be."

"Seem to be as you wish you were."

"If wishes were pennies, we'd all be rich."

"The old man and the seem."

"To seem or not to seem, that is the question."


Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.
~ Oscar Wilde
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Don't worry. He's not talking about me. I learn things every day. Like quantum physics and thermodynamics. Or like electromagnetic field theory and neuroscience. I learn that those things are really hard and I should try to learn different things.

Education rocks.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Leslie thinks sometimes I project my own feelings onto her when I write things. I heard the phrase "unreliable narrator" somewhere the other day and wondered if that was what she meant. 

It's hard to tell what she means when she says to me, "You're an unreliable narrator." 

Friday, August 18, 2017


Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart's desire.
~ John Dewey
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I see people posting all these "Post if you remember this!" things. I never do them. In fact, the other day I saw someone who put, "Post if you remember this!" with a picture of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

I remember that.

I had it for lunch about two weeks ago.


Why was that a thing to post?

People are so weird. It's not like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches no longer exist.

Dear Everyone,

I don't understand you.

Love, Michelle

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Only I can change my life. 
No one can do it for me.
~ Carol Burnett
- - - - -

We have to take responsibility for ourselves eventually. I mean, I guess we don't, but I know some people who don't and - I won't call them pathetic... I'll call them sad. They are helpless - or they think they are helpless. They get to the point where they absolutely canNOT do anything for themselves. They cry a lot. And sleep a lot. And eat a lot.

Newborn babies need to grow up and take responsibility for themselves!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.
~ Orhan Pamuk
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Pay attention.

People will show you who they are, you don't have to listen to what they say.

Which is why job interviews don't make any sense. As my brilliant friend Sara always used to say to me, "After an interview all you know about a person is whether or not they interview well."

Which is why it would be a lot easier if you had a job to hire dogs. You'd know right away if they were right for the job or not. And they'd probably be right for most all the jobs. Except those requiring opposable thumbs.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


The wizards represent all that the true muggle most fears: They are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit.
~ J. K. Rowling
- - - - -

"Do you want to be a wizard when you grow up?" the old man asked the little boy.

The little boy was confused. He thought maybe the old man was confused. Wasn't a wizard something you were rather than something you became? Aren't wizards born and not made?

Then the boy realized what the man - who had been slurring his words because of all the alcohol - actually said was, "If you eat that lizard you'll throw up!"

He started to laugh but instead he pointed at a pretty flower and ran away when the old man looked at it.

Maybe the boy - who disappeared to safety and escaped the old man - was a wizard all along.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Instead of putting a quarter under a kid's pillow, how about a pinecone? That way, he learns that "wishing" isn't going to save our national forests!
~ Jack Handey
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My mom has some sayings about wishing:

1. If wishes were pennies we'd all be rich.
2. It ain't what you want, but what you get that makes you fat.

My mom is pretty much a guru. A dream-stifling guru.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Instead of building walls, we should be building bridges.
~ Vicente Fox
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I hate it when there's a big sign out front that says "Open House" and you go up and the door is locked and then some yahoo has called the police because it's the MAYBE 15th or 16th time - TOPS - you've tried to get into that place. And the police say there's something called a "retraining order" but you explain - again for the 15th or 16th - well maybe a few more times than that - that you don't need to be retrained. And then they babble and get mad when you try to run around the house to check the back door.

I mean, why is that sign even there?

Saturday, August 12, 2017


A place where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain... 
~ Dorothy Gale, Wizard of Oz
- - - - -

They all told Dolores she was too old to play Dorothy in the high school play. They also said she couldn't be in the play because she wasn't in high school anymore. But if Dolores allowed people to stop her just by saying she couldn't do something, she never would have started "Dolores High School" where she got to star in "The Wizard of Oz" (though attendance was pretty low). 

The ironic thing is that the DHS got called on Dolores High School (also DHS) when Dolores tried a new education practice of "forced enrollment" by hijacking a school bus. 

Which do I mean - Department of Human Services or Department of Homeland Security, you ask? Yes. Yes, I do.

Friday, August 11, 2017


There can only be one person in the driver's seat.
~ Alanis Morrisette
- - - - -

Perhaps, but there can be more than one personality in the driver's seat. If you don't believe me, just ride along with Leslie when she's behind someone who doesn't use their turn signal, has to come to a complete stop before making a turn, etc. One moment you're riding along with the nicest person in the world. The next minute you're riding along with someone who is not the nicest person in the world. 

But we all have pet peeves about driving, right? Especially children because they don't get to drive very often. However, when little children who don't know how to drive are out there driving irresponsibly, you can bet that Leslie is probably in the car behind them swearing her head off.

And seriously, Leslie! How do you expect them to learn with you screaming at them?!

Thursday, August 10, 2017


There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.
~ Janet Kilbourn Philips
- - - - -

The isn't a picture of what we grew this summer. We grew tomatoes and peppers and basil. But if we had grown this in our garden and realized it wasn't a vegetable, we would call it an experiment.

That's a lie. We wouldn't call it anything. We probably would have pulled it and thrown it aside as a weed. And then we wouldn't have this pretty picture.

That reminds me of the old saying, "A pretty picture of a weed is nice."

Granted it's not a common saying.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Scarecrow: Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?
~ Wizard of Oz
- - - - -

If I was a dentist, I'd call my practice the "Wizard of Aahs." People would like that and they'd think, "Now here's a dentist with a sense of humor." They'd come in and be all relaxed. 

The best part of it is when they come in and instead of working their teeth I do brain surgery on them or give them a heart transplant. Then they'll see how powerful I REALLY am.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


True luxury is being able to own your time -- to be able to take a walk, sit on your porch, read the paper, not take the call, not be compelled by obligation.
~ Ashton Kutcher
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I don't know that I think we ever really own time. I think we all have time. Some of us get the freedom (luxury... privilege...) to decide how to use that time. Others don't.

But then time is made up anyway, right? That's why I don't wear a watch. And when I'm late and people get mad I just scream, "TIME IS AN ILLUSION!" and then I pull a rabbit out of my hat.

They forget I'm late because they get to play with a little rabbit.

Monday, August 7, 2017


In their brief time together Slothrop forms the impression 
that this octopus is not in good mental health, 
though where's his basis for comparing?
~ Thomas Pynchon
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This is a gift I got from Kirk and Jared.

I love it.

The octopus is attacking the ship and bringing it under the sea with it.  And that is how I feel about my relationships with other people. I just want to grab them and drown them!

Not really.  To be totally honest, I'd rather not touch most people.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Dance when you're broken open. Dance if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.
~ Rumi
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I love wisdom in unexpected places. If you listen, there is wisdom all around us.

Like the other day I was in line for the bathroom and a woman said, "If you really have to pee and you dance to 'All the Single Ladies' then you won't wet yourself."

She was talking to her friend and maybe didn't know I was standing behind her. 


To her wisdom.

Was it creepy? Well, that's not really the purpose of this post so we can discuss it another time.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


You don't paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars.
~ Kris Kristopherson
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Oar do you...?

Friday, August 4, 2017


A story is how we construct our experiences.
~ Doris Lessing
- - - - -

My friend Amanda posts stories about her kids a lot. I love those stories. One of my favorite characters in her stories is "Doris." Doris' is Amanda's daughter when she is being... Outspoken. Fierce. Strong-willed. Maybe even obstinate.

I wanted to share a Doris example in this post, so I wrote Amanda and asked if she'd be okay with that. Here is the response:

I asked. I was actually nervous, but she said, "Hell if I care. Nobody listens to a damn thing I say in person. Probably won't read me in print either." I think that's a yes. Let me know if you need help tracking one down.

I think I love Doris because she is what we all should aspire to be - honest, funny, and -- that's it. Just honest and funny.

Thanks, Doris. Thanks, Amanda.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Variety's the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavor.
~ William Cowper
- - - - -

About a year ago when Erik was finishing chemo, he couldn't really taste anything. That said, one time Mom made mashed potatoes with dinner. This is a pretty big deal because growing up we only had boiled potatoes never mashed potatoes. I asked why we were having mashed potatoes. Erik said, "Chemo!" implying that since he was sick he could get whatever he wanted.

Then he also ate Toxic Waste candy because he could almost taste that.

Is this my not-so-subtle way of suggesting that someone come up with Toxic Waste candy-flavored mashed potatoes for people whose sense of taste is compromised?


Wednesday, August 2, 2017


I've always said the rubber duck is a yellow catalyst.
~ Florentjin Hoffman
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I've always said, "Rubber ducks?! I LOVE rubber ducks!"

Except before I could talk. Then I said, "goobledy ga du bubububuh," and who knows what the hell I meant by that?!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


In department stores, so much kitchen equipment is bought indiscriminately by people who just come in for men's underwear.
~ Julia Child
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On a recent visit to see my brother and his family, we were talking about a friend of his (and now a friend of mine) who is in the food business. She is doing quite well. Actually, this is how Kirk put it:

"Her business is taking off like nobody's..."

He stopped himself before finishing the sentence. 

It was a good visit. And it is very, very good food.