Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Quote for the day: Courage

"Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." Ambrose Hollingworth Redmoon

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Good? Oh Man!

I just finished the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett book, Good Omens. I have intended to read it for a very long time and finally decided to read it as a car book, (for those times I am waiting in a car to pick up a kid-let). The book was so entertaining and witty that I carried it back in the house with me the first day I started reading it and I have carried it anywhere I can sneak a few minutes to read. I have stronger Zygomatic major and Orbicularis oculi muscles from the constant smile that was on my face as I read Good Omens.

It is a satire of sorts of all those Omen movies-- you know, the Apocalypse in near, the End of Days is upon us. But it is also very cheeky in that lovely dry yet loopy British manner. Think Monty Python, Dr. Who, Red Dwarf. It also will be loved by anyone who enjoyed Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book (in no particular order):

"God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players,* to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."
* i.e., everybody."

"Newton Pulsifer had never had a cause in his life. Nor had he, as far as he knew, ever believed in anything. It had been embarrassing, because he quite wanted to believe in something, since he recognized that belief was the lifebelt that got most people through the choppy waters of Life. He'd have liked to believe in a supreme God, although he'd have preferred a half-hour's chat with Him before committing himself, to clear up one or two points. "

'You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?'"

"She herself had short red hair and a face which was not so much freckled as one big freckle with occasional areas of skin."

"Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."

""You see, evil always contains the seeds of its own destruction," said the angel. "It is ultimately negative, and therefore encompasses its downfall even at its moments of apparent triumph. No matter how grandiose, how well-planned, how apparently foolproof an evil plan, the inherent sinfulness will by definition rebound upon its instigators. No matter how apparently successful it may seem upon the way, at the end it will wreck itself. It will founder upon the rocks of iniquity and sink headfirst to vanish without trace into the seas of oblivion." "Crowley considered this. "Nah," he said, at last. "For my money, it was just average incompetence."

"Shadwell hated all southerners and, by inference, was standing at the North Pole."


"You can't second-guess ineffability, I always say."

"In our Sunday paper it said there was thousands of witches in the country," said Brian. "Worshiping Nature and eating health food an' that. So I don't see why we shouldn't have one round here. They were floodin' the country with a Wave of Mindless Evil, it said." "What, by worshipin' Nature and eatin' health food?" said Wensleydale."

"It wasn't a dark and stormy night. It should have been, but there's the weather for you. For every mad scientist who's had a convenient thunderstorm just on the night his Great Work is complete and lying on the slab, there have been dozens who've sat around aimlessly under the peaceful stars while Igor clocks up the overtime."

"Most of the members of the covent were old-fashioned Satanists, like their parents and grandparents before them. They'd been brought up to it and weren't, when you got right down to it, particularly evil. Human beings mostly aren't. They just get carried away by new ideas, like dressing up in jackboots and shooting people, or dressing up in white sheets and lynching people, or dressing up in tie-dye jeans and playing guitars at people. Offer people a new creed with a costume and their hearts and minds will follow."

"It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people."

"There are some dogs which, when you meet them, remind you that, despite thousands of years of manmade evolution, every dog is still only two meals away from being a wolf."

"Crowley always found [Satanists] embarassing. You couldn't actually be rude to them, but you couldn't help feeling about them the same way that, say, a Vietnam veteran would feel about someone who wears combat gear to Neighborhood Watch meetings."

"There were people who called themselves Satanists who made Crowley squirm. It wasn't just the things they did, it was the way they blamed it all on Hell. They'd come up with some stomach-churning idea that no demon could have thought of in a thousand years, some dark and mindless unpleasantness that only a fully-functioning human brain could conceive, then shout "The Devil Made Me Do It""

"...the whole point was that the Devil hardly ever made anyone do anything. He didn't have to. ... Where you found the real McCoy, the real grace and the real heart-stopping evil, was right inside the human mind.

"On those occasions when the angel managed to get his mind into the twentieth century, it always gravitated to 1950."

"[Humans] were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse."

"There had been times, over the past millenium, when [Crowley the demon had] felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look, we may as well give up right now, we may as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there's nothing we can do to them [humans] that they don't do themselves and they do things we've never even thought of, often involving electrodes."

"God does not play dice with the universe: He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."

"Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home."

"It wasn’t a dark and stormy night. It should have been, but that’s the weather for you."

"It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people."

"Along with the standard computer warranty agreement which said that if the machine 1) didn't work, 2) didn't do what the expensive advertisement said, 3) electrocuted the immediate neighbourhood, 4) and in fact failed entirely to be inside the expensive box when you opened it, this was expressly, absolutely, implicitly and in no event the fault or responsibility of the manufacturer, that the purchaser should consider himself lucky to be allowed to give his money to the manufacturer, and that any attempt to treat what had just been paid for as the purchaser's own property would result in the attentions of serious men with menacing briefcases and very thin watches. Crowley had been extremely impressed with the warranties offered by the computer industry, and had in fact sent a bundle Below to the department that drew up the Immortal Soul agreements, with a yellow memo form attached just saying: 'Learn, guys.'"

"He was just killing time until the main event, but he was killing it in such exquisite ways. Time, and sometimes people."

"NOTE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND AMERICANS: One shilling = Five Pee. It helps to understand the antique finances of the Witchfinder Army if you know the original British monetary system: Two farthings = One Ha'penny. Two ha'pennies = One Penny. Three pennies = A Thrupenny Bit. Two Thrupences = A Sixpence. Two Sixpences = One Shilling, or Bob. Two Bob = A Florin. One Florin and one Sixpence = Half a Crown. Four Half Crowns = Ten Bob Note. Two Ten Bob Notes = One Pound (or 240 pennies). One Pound and One Shilling = One Guinea. The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated."

"The device is named after a real person?" he said. "Oh, yes. Fine old Lancashire name. From the French, I believe. You'll be telling me next you've never heard of Sir Humphrey Gadget--" "Oh, now come on--" "--who devised a gadget that made it possible to pump out flooded mineshafts. Or Pieter Gizmo? Or Cyrus T. Doodad, America's foremost black inventor? Thomas Edison said that the only other contemporary practical scientists he admired were Cyrus T. Doodad and Ella Reader Widget. And--"

"He'd have liked to believe in a supreme God, although he'd have preferred a half-hour's chat with Him before committing himself, to clear up one or two points."

"Getting in touch with Heaven for two-way communications was far more difficult for Aziraphale [the angel] than it is for humans, who don't expect an answer and in nearly all cases would be rather surprised to get one."

"It was then that Marvin got religion. Not the quiet, personal kind, that involves doing good deeds and living a better life; not even the kind that involves putting on a suit and ringing people's doorbells; but the kind that involves having your own TV network and getting people to send you money."

"On the orders of Head Office I will encourage the belief in Intelligent Design – despite the fact that the human airway crosses the digestive tract. Who thought that was intelligent?"

"Have a nice doomesday."

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Mom Overture

I found this at YouTube and couldn't resist sharing. Great to watch when you have had a stressful day with the kids.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


"Dentopedology is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. I've been practising it for years."
Attributed to Prince Philip

I don't know if this is truly a word, but it should be. I have suffered from the affliction of foot-in-mouth disease for most of my adulthood. I thought of it privately as my own cogno-linguinistic dysplasia but I think the Prince Philip word has a bit more panache. I also think that since a British Royal said it, that should make it an official part of the lexicon.

If it became an official word, then it could be a truly recognized affliction.

We could form a new branch of speech therapy - Dentopedologists or cogno-linguinists.

We could possibly even have some brilliant inventor create a braking appliance for our tongue.

I can see it now..............


Friday, August 03, 2007

Tales Of Mere Existence

The title should be Universal Tales Of Mere Existence and I could have written "I Have To Get Ready" --- as well as several of his other tales.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Finally, the truth can be told.

Hello, my name is Atlas Winks and I have a secret crush on Severus Snape.

I have felt sorry for him for some odd reason since the end of the first book and my feelings for him have grown over the course of each book. At the end of Book 6, I was aghast that he actually KILLED Dumbledore -- but my feelings for him were still there. Surely, I thought, he didn't really kill Albus! I won't spoil Book 7 for anyone, but regardless of what happend, I still have a secret crush on Severus. That poor, poor man. If I had been a character in the series, I could have made him happy, I just know it.


On a brighter note - if you wish you could laugh with Snape? Check out this video: Snape is a Sex God.

Monday, July 23, 2007

For to wish for a hand on one's hair is all but to feel it.......

For need can blossom into all the compensations it requires. To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing - the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on one's hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again. Though we dream and hardly know it, longing, like an angel, fosters us, smoothes our hair, and brings us wild strawberries [152-153].

Marilyn Robinson, from her Pulitzter nominated novel, Housekeeping.

Friday, June 15, 2007

To quote Jerry Springer, no less.

"Part of finding happiness in life, is to love your Monday mornings, as much as you love your Friday afternoons."
~ Jerry Springer on career advice.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Atlas Winks: I would turn on the TV but it's so heartbreaking ....

I would turn on the TV but it's so embarrassing ....

I made the linked post above on April 2nd without any comment so the lyrics could speak for themselves. The words are even more relevant today after the horrible violence at Virginia Tech. In an I-Tunes interview, Jack Johnson talks about his song Cookie Jar and about how he wrote it after Columbine and how everyone was pointing fingers and blaming all these different factors, when in fact, we are all guilty to some degree. It is a powerful song and I can't say it often enough that I think Jack Johnson is a Genius.

He takes such a soft and calming sound, adds suprisingly simple lyrics and somehow he says the things I have been thinking, but haven't found the words to really talk about. The incongruity of how he says what he says and its ultimate message make his music even more powerful and profound. A lot of his songs - like Traffic in the Sky, Fall Line, Cookie Jar, Times Like These and Gone - share similar ideas about how the materialistic underbelly of our society causes a spiritual disconnect, especially with our most vulnerable of citizens. Such a lovely melody and such simple words to indict us all - that we are all to blame, sneaking a cookie from the cookie jar and then insisting that "It wasn't me." We all share in the blame when we watch the sensational journalism instead of finding intelligent news media. We are all guilty when we let the not yet 17 year old see the R rated violent movie. We all are culpable when we buy the tabloid. We enable pandering to the lowest common denominator by not insisting on better or nothing at all. Yes they are small sins, like driving a gas guzzler or not turning off the lights, but when massive amounts of people let their apathy cause them to do small acts of evil, the ultimate consequences can be devastating.

"It was you it was me it was every man
We've all got the blood on our hands
We only receive what we demand
And if we want hell then hells what we'll have

God Bless all the people that are grieving the losses from the Virginia Tech Massacre. And God Bless Jack Johnson.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Kurt is up in heaven now.

I was sad to hear that Kurt Vonnegut passed away last week. He was 84 and led a long and full life. Here is a link to a good article. I still remember the first time I read Cat's Cradle and Slaughter House Five and Breakfast of Champions. I very much enjoyed his works that I read, even if he did love the "anti-hero" a bit too much.

In his honor, here are some of my favorite quotes of Kurt Vonnegut's that I have saved. Starting with the most appropriate one from his work A Man Without a Country: " I am, incidentally, Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that totally functionless capacity. We had a memorial service for Isaac a few years back, and I spoke and said at one point, "Isaac is up in heaven now." It was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. I rolled them in the aisles. It was several minutes before order could be restored. And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, "Kurt is up in heaven now." That's my favorite joke." -- Kirt Vonnegut

Other personal favorite Kurt Vonnegut quotes:

Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be. (or a different version) We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.

Beer, of course, is actually a depressant. But poor people will never stop hoping otherwise.

I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone.

History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.

The two real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers. The people don't acknowledge this. They claim membership in two imaginary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, instead.

The public health authorities never mention the main reason many Americans have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide.

One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.

We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.

If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy.

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.

Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.

What are your five most favorite books?

I was talking to an online friend about favorite books and she can't decide on a list, it is just too hard to limit them for her. But I am still curious what folks would say, sort of like a Rorschach test. IF you are too shy to actually post your list, want to e-mail it to me?

I so understand the hesitation to try and rate your favorite books, so just jump in like I did. (Especially as I would be very interested to see what ones you mention off the top of your head.) I was actually thinking about this kind of list the other day and I thought that it should be a multiple option question. That folks should have the option to answer the question from a few different angles.

Feel free to answer it from any angle you want.

Some possible options:

a. What five would you take if you were going to be stranded somewhere (and they were all you could read for a very long time)?
b. What five were the most transformational in your life?
c. Which five do you think were the best writing?
c. Which five had the best characters?
d. Which five kept you on the edge of your seat?
e. Which ones did you feel almost homesick when you finished the last page?
f. Which ones made you feel the most as if you were in another world?
g. Which ones caused the strongest emotional reaction in you?
h. Which ones caused you to laugh out loud and tickled your funny bone the most?
i. Which ones made you hope it was the beginning of a series because you wanted to read more about its characters?

and for those still having problems ...
j. Who are your favorite five authors?

You now only have three minutes to decide.....


Monday, April 02, 2007

I would turn on the TV but it's so embarrassing ....

"Cookie Jar"
by Jack Johnson

I would turn on the TV but it's so embarrassing
To see all the other people I don't know what they mean
And it was magic at first when they spoke without sound
But now this world is gonna hurt you better turn that thing down
Turn it around

"It wasn't me", says the boy with the gun
"Sure I pulled the trigger but it needed to be done
Cause life's been killing me ever since it begun
You cant blame me cause I'm too young"

"You can't blame me sure the killer was my son
But I didn't teach him to pull the trigger of the gun
It's the killing on this TV screen
You cant blame me its those images he seen"

Well "You can't blame me", says the media man
Well "I wasn't the one who came up with the plan
I just point my camera at what the people want to see
Man it's a two way mirror and you cant blame me"

"You can't blame me", says the singer of the song
Or the maker of the movie which he based his life on
"It's only entertainment and as anyone can see
The smoke machines and makeup and you cant fool me"

It was you it was me it was every man
We've all got the blood on our hands
We only receive what we demand
And if we want hell then hells what well have

And I would turn on the TV
But it's so embarrassing
To see all the other people
I don't even know what they mean
And it was magic at first
But let everyone down
And now this world is gonna hurt
You better turn it around
Turn it around

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Favorite Books.......... Part One

When asked the mind boggling question, "What are your favorite books and why?, the only way for a bibliophile like me to answer is quickly off the top of my head without thinking too hard.

I just did this on another forum and here was my rash answer:

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, because it changed the way I think about altruism, obligation, charity and personal sacrifice, etc.

To Kill a Mockingbird, because Harper Lee's southern voice resonates with me to this day. It also helped me to be more mindful of prejudice and superficial first impressions. I identified with Scout and I think secretly I adopted Atticus Finch as a surrogate father.

Nickel Mountain by John Gardner. A brilliantly simple and quiet book that lingers emotionally. I read it over a decade ago and when I think of it, it still evokes the same feelings of quiet melancholy, of yearning to be accepted and to not feel alone and the feeling of finally being able to gracefully accept our own limitations.

Ishamael by Daniel Quinn. I had never before thought of the Homo Sapien hubris at assuming because we are the top of the food chain we are entitled to whatever we take and also the that we act in many ways as if evolution stops here.

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, the scariest book I have ever read. Even more so that is was non-fiction.

Contact by Carl Sagan, again it changed some of my perspectives.

I imagine later I will hit myself on the head with the ones I forgot to mention. I can hear myself now - "How could I forget that one!?!" I will be berating myself I am sure for days.

Hence the "Part One" addendum to the title.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Two cool websites

If you are like me, you will waste quite a bit of time playing with this color-decorator-thingee.

Have you heard of If you want to get more organized at home - check out this article.

My Son, the World Traveler - A Few Images

Brad and a few of this friends on the Great Wall:

Brad half way up to the top of the Great Wall:

Brad at the very top!

One of Brad's Favorites - click for large version and to see Brad more clearly:

Brad in the Forbidden City. Brad said that there were street vendors all over the place selling these, shouting, "Commie Hat!Good Price! Commie Hat!"

The Three Stooges

Quote of the day:

"Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard."
Coach Bill Restler in Heart of the Game

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Oprah Epiphany

We usually don't have tv in the house. We watch DVD's, but don't subscribe to cable or have an antenna and for us it works. The kids are less sedentary and they play outside and read more because of the no TV standard. I think my husband misses it the most, especially during football season and so this year, he decided to get cable, just from October until the Superbowl in February.

Well, now it is March and he still hasn't called the cable company to cut the cord, pull the plug, and we have all become addicted again. I think we need an intervention. A television intervention.

On a positive note though, I have been able to have all sorts of mini-epiphanies. Between Oprah and Ellen and Rosie on the View and Martha and even Dr. Phil, I have been pushed and pulled in so many domestic and self-actualized and improve-yourself directions that I feel like a fully kneaded loaf of bread just proofing in the dough bowl.

Make that Fruitcake dough - a la Jimmy Buffett.


You know, the lyric "human beings are flawed individuals. the cosmic bakers took us out of the oven a little too early." I hope I get to cook long enough. I hope I don't end up half-baked.

Anyway, I digress again.

So, back in February, I thought this was so important that I typed it in here and saved it as a draft. I think I wanted to blog about it, but I forgot to blog about it. I still don't feel like taking it somewhere, but maybe just putting the beginning idea out here is good enough.


On Oprah just now was this idea that was one of those, well duh, but head nodding, oh yeah, need to remember this more often, kind of ideas. Sorry I don't remember any more who said it.

"You want them to never ache, but in reality you need to teach them what to do when they ache. Learning how to be self soothing in healthy ways is one of the most important things that mother's can teach their children."

To say that another way -

The nature of maternal love is to want your children to never ache. The nature of being a human being is that you are going to ache. So one of the most important jobs of a mother is to teach your children healthy ways to deal with life when it hurts.


Sometimes this is a tough one. Sometimes it is a lesson that grown ups need to re-learn as well.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Some light reading .......

Yes, that is what my granddaughter and niece were reading for pleasure - don't all 6 year olds want to read a book on how to prep for the SAT and don't all gorgeous 16 year olds stay home on the weekends to prep for AP history?


My twelve year old daughter was upstairs practicing piano without being prompted. If she had been with them, reading for pleasure, it probably would have been a book on acing the MCAT.

Can you believe they are related to me?


Saturday, March 24, 2007

The struggle between Should Do and Want To

I Want to leisurely drink my cup of coffee, surf the web to numb-butt nirvana, then get up and take a hot Lush bath and stay in the tub until I am one big white prune.

I Should wash my cup as well as the other dirty dishes, sweep the wood floor and use that hot water to do a few loads of laundry before I get the kids ready to go to the Rodeo.

Sigh ..... the struggle between Should Do and Want To is a battle I wage daily. How about you?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Politically Eclectic.

I want to start a new term. I am serious. Really. And I do have good reasons I think.

I am not politically conservative, nor politically liberal and I am definately not politically moderate. I am politically ECLECTIC. My personal views go all over the place.

I believe that sexuality has nothing to do with ANY human rights and I think that as long as your love is the same species, you should be able to make legal and medical decisions for each other --- but I don't necessarily think the term "marriage" is a necessity for equality. Call it a civil union and let's all be civil about it.

I believe in the right to choose reproductive issues. I don't think you should suffer from either choice in any public way. I think if pro-lifers really want to help pregnancies in crisis, then do more to support unwed mothers-to-be. Use your voice and finances to help support the lives once they are out of the womb, not just when they are inside one.

I think I should have more control of where my tax money is going. I believe in a very conservative fiscal policy. I believe that government funding in many instances actually creates more problems than it helps. I think that welfare causes an emotional and psychological bankruptcy far more devestating than the fiscal need. I think we need to re-haul the system and spend more on job skills and childcare.

I believe the Kyoto accord did not go anywhere near far enough and I am still stunned we didn't sign it. I believe that global warming is THE most important crisis the globe faces right now. I think if there is a sin tax on cigarettes, there should damn well be sin-against-nature taxes on everything that is wasteful of natural resources or pollutes the earth.

I am irritated by smug conservatives and even more irritated by intellectually arrogant liberals. I know a lot of both and it amazes me how they feel about each other. I secretly think we need to dramatically change our Two (really - there are two different ones? Could have fooled me.)Party system.

I think most contemporary politicians are in it for power and not to serve. I am for severe election reform. I AM in favor of my tax dollars going toward election expenses. I think that every candidate that can get a specific number of petition signatures should get the same amount of cash to run an election and THAT is your campaign finance. I think that politicians should get a better salary and that they get incentive based raises. I think they should punch a philosophical time clock. I think they should be held to a higher standard than normal folk.

I think women are not really represented in politics, that some of the female politicians are more masculine acting than some of the their male counterparts. I think we should allow the voucher system, because public schools are failing and the teaching lobby is failing to encourage real teaching.

I think America has turned into an international embarrassment, especially in the areas of science and socio-philosophies and in matters of the spirit and heart. I am aghast at our focus on trivialities and our myopia about the environment and human rights and world politics and our focus on all the superficial noise we earphone into our top ten list of priorities.

I think most if not all news reporters should hang their heads in shame at what they put on television as news. Where is the national enquiry about most news being the quality of the National Enquirer? When did almost everything become an infomercial to sell something else? Do we not see the inherent materialism we allow ourselves to be subjected to at every turn? When did an ex-stripper's drugged out life and death become more newsworthy than hundreds, no, THOUSANDS of brave volunteers losing their lives in a cause that is so controversial it has divided a nation? Where is the real world outcry about relevant issues that might possibly have the positive side effect of drowning out all the vapid celebrity obsessed twittering?

Ok ... I started ranting and got off topic.

Here is my reason for wanting a new label. I don't want to be labeled a Conservative or Moderate or Liberal. I don't want some focus group or survey to tell my politicians how they need to "spin" themselves to get my vote.

I am politically ECLECTIC. My opinions are all over the place. You can't spin me Wall Street. (Who I think really drives the American engine these days.) I want to see a dozen parties instead of just two that are not really two. I want to see so many folks embrace eclecticity that no poll is going to tell politicians what to pretend to think. I want the majority of folks to stand up as NOT in a niche that can be categorized. If you want my vote, show me what you really stand for in general and that you really want to serve to make my country what it can be, let me vote for your character in general because hopefully THAT can't be as easily lobbied away.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Check it out:


OR gaze to the right and check out the ten random books generated from my database or you can even search my home library --- IF YOU DARE!


Check back as I have only added a part of my library at home to the database. I got a lifetime membership for the whopping price of $25 and I bought their "Copy Cat" scanner for $20 and it actually does a GREAT job!

(I also must admit, I love seeing my "copy CAT" scanner sitting next to my optical MOUSE.)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Are you still in love with your husband?

I was asked on a forum I frequent if I love my husband. I was asked to select an answer from several that ran the gamut from obsessively to hate him.

Here was my reply that I decided I wanted to keep so I am posting it here!

I selected "if I work at it".

I love him and am in love with him, and I think he would say the same thing, but it takes work and effort to stay connected to the level we want.

The best advice I ever got about a committed relationship is that someone told me that "Marriage is a verb, not a noun". That meant to me that you don't stop the courtship once the ring is on your finger. Marriage is WORK and if you take it for granted it could slip between your fingers before you even realize the relationship is gone.

There are days I want to wring my husband's neck, days I love him to the point of obsession, days I wish he would just give me some space, days I can't stop touching him, days where just a look makes me feel 16 again, days I love him more, days he loves me more than I love him. There are days when we are like horny teenagers and days when we are best friends and not much of a sexual spark (remember we have five kids and have been together 20 years.) There are days I need to lean on him and days I feel like a fierce momma lion protecting her cub.

At first it was a bit disconcerting to me because I thought that my feelings for him would be constant and grow in only one direction, but it has been more like a day at an amusement park. Some thrilling highs and some gut wrenching lows, lots of excitement, but also periods when I just want a nap.


Friday, February 23, 2007

My next 2 Week resolution

The Optimist Creed
By Christian D. Larsen

Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

Make all your friends feel there is something in them.

Look at the sunny side of everything.

Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

Give everyone a smile.

Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.

Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jack Johnson is brilliant.

I am a deep fan of Jack Johnson. I found him first in a quirky way. As most of you know, I love the song Plastic Jesus and so I was doing an iTunes search of the covers they have of it. At iTunes, there is a video of Jack singing a medley in concert that includes Plastic Jesus. If you don't mind the loss of $1.99, go download it.

It is wonderful and the man is also very easy on the eyes. I now have about 4 of his compilations and there is a real variety there. I love how his music has a light sound for the most part - but when you really read the lyrics, there is a much deeper meaning than you might think. Take this upbeat little tune:

"Fall Line"

And by the way
You know that hope will make you strange
Make you blink, make you blink
Make you sink
It will make you afraid of change
Enough to blame the box with the view of the world
And the walls that fill the frame
I turn it up
But then I turn it off
Because I can't stand
When they start to talk about
The hurting and killing
Whose shoes are we filling
The damage and ruin
And the things that we're doing
We gotta stop
We gotta turn it all off
We gotta rewind
Start it up again
Because we fell across the fall line
Ain't there nothing sacred anymore
Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah
Somebody saw him jump
Yeah, but nobody saw him slip
I guess he lost a lot a hope
And then he lost a grip
And now he's lying in the freeway
In the middle of this mess
Guess we lost another one, just like the other one
Optimistic, hypocrite that didn't have the nerve to quit
The things that kept him wanted more
'Til he finally reached the core
He feel across the fall line
Ain't there nothing sacred anymore
Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah

Lets see if this Rhapsody link works: Fall Line by Jack Johnson

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Too Funny Not To Share

This website, that has overheard snippets of office conversation, has had me laughing for the last few minutes.

Here are a few examples:

2PM Dr. Seuss Successfully Split the Difference

Yuppie girl: I found a turtle over the weekend. I put it in my backyard.
Flakey girl: What did you call it?
Yuppie girl: Myrtle.
Flakey girl: Is it fertile?
Yuppie girl: Is it what?
Flakey girl: Is it fer-tile? I was rhyming...
Yuppie girl: No, it's a turtle.
Flakey girl: Myrtle, the fertile turtle.
Yuppie girl: You're like Phoebe of Friends.
Flakey girl: You're like Ross.

3PM Really? Baghdad?

Woman: Oh, I love that place!
Man: Wait, which place?
Woman: I don't know, whatever place you were just talking about.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Soy Vey too

Check out these web pages for more information on the decimation of the rainforest.

Last of the Amazon:

and these images:

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Soy Vey

So, here I have been happily buying soy candles and eating my Edamame and thinking it was all better for me and for the environment --- and then I read that the dramatic increase in soybean demand is decimating the tropical Rain Forests in Brazil.

What is a green-girl to do?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Patrick Dempsey on Letterman

Grey's Anatomy is my guilty pleasure.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

18+ IKEA add

This was just too funny not to share. But it is only for the grown-ups.

(I will take it down in a day or two.)

Monday, January 22, 2007

I think this is still a brilliant solution

This was in my draft folder, so it is a bit dusty, but I think it still has merit.

What to do about the Grey's Anatomy homophobic remark.


I am having the head cold from hyperbaric hell deja-vu ... and the partial soundtrack in my head is the beginning of that old 80's song "Under Pressure" sung by Queen with David Bowie.

Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you
no man ask for
Under pressure -

Those lyrics and these two 100+ temperature fever driven poem-lets I wrote during my last achoo-vu just keep playing on in my poor pressure cooker of a noggin.

#1 - Snotty Head
Is the plural of sinus, Sinai?
Is Mount Sinai just a big hill of snot?
Is that why I keep thinking "HELP me Jesus!"
with all this head pound pounding I've got?
Is that the nails in his hands boom thud thudding at my face?
Is that his crown of thorns causing this headache
in my upper inner space?
I wish this influenza
were of a nicer kind.........
and not severely causing
this stigmata of my mind.

#2 - Martyr Express
I'm so tired of achoo-chooing
all over the friggin' place.
No, that's not a damn steam whistle,
its this nasal horn on my face.
My train of thought is just this cold my blood is taking chase.
I fear the Illness Limited
is still laboring
in second place,
with the Martyr Express
today's race.

How come we don't have one of those little wobbly steam vents like my Rival pressure cooker has? Man oh man, do I need a release valve on my brain right now!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I struggle with where to draw the line with responsibility -- where something is my responsibility and how far that obligation goes, but also I struggle with when I need to let others take responsibility. I struggle even more with what I call respondability. I swear that the organizers in every group I belong to have my number on speed dial. See, I have a hard time saying NO to requests, especially from casual friends, committee members, and teachers. I think I heard Oprah once call it the "Disease to Please".

If that is a disease, I definitely have a chronic case.

Take today for instance. I work once a week with the lunch program at my daughters private school. They don't have cafeteria workers, so if the parents don't volunteer, the hot lunch program will collapse. Most folks volunteer once a month, some volunteer twice a month. Me? I do it every week. Why? I saw that no one yet was working on Tuesday, so I offered without thinking. I like the job even though it can be hard work. I get to interact with a lot of the school I would never see otherwise. I also get to meet other parents and we usually have a ball for the three hours we are there.

I just got back from a lunch shift. Today you say? Today wasn't Tuesday, but the coordinator called me 15 minutes before lunchtime to see if I could substitute for a no-show. I was half way across town and not dressed for Lunch Duty so I said ... "Sure! No problem."

Sigh ... I give good respondability, so I get these kinds of calls more often than most.

Funny thing was, I got to school and my dear friend, Jeanette, was there. She is a Tuesday lunch lady. I work with her twice a month and she is one of my favorites. I see her and I say, "What are you doing here, Lady? Did you answer the SOS?" She looked at me, shook her head then grinned, "Yeah, I couldn't bear to think of no one here to serve lunch. My responsibility gene just wouldn't let me ignore the message." I laughed and agreed and then she said, "We might get taken advantage of because folks know we are the responsible kind, but I guess it is better than folks not knowing they can count on us."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Two Weeks

My New Years Resolution this year boils down to Two Weeks.

Every Two Weeks, I am going to do something or stop doing something that I feel I need to change. I mean, anyone can do something for two weeks, right? Then I can decide if I want to keep working on it, or let it go for now.

My first two weeks I quit smoking. It was hard, but I did it and I feel better already. The gain outweighs the loss. So I think I will stay a nonsmoker for two more weeks and then I will reevaluate again ... and again. This one looks pretty hopeful. On January 14, I started a low-carb diet. Nothing crazy, just nothing sweet or starchy. So far, so good.

I am feeling really good about this kind of New Year Resolution methodology. Two weeks isn't that daunting and fits in with my moving a mountain a pebble at a time focus. I also feel really charged because if I keep this up, it means in a year, I will have tackled 26 things about myself I want to improve.

Two weeks is fourteen days and so seven days doubled is two weeks. Hmmm ... seven is lucky ... so double seven should be doubly lucky.



Wish me double luck....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Chili Beans

This is THE only good thing about the rare occasion in Texas when it gets below freezing - My beloved Human Beings enjoy turning into Chili Beans!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Too much and not enough.

Here lately, I don't get the joke. I am not feeling Atlas Wink-ish at all. I am feeling more like Atlas Sleeps and Atlas Weeps and Atlas Stares Like A Zombie At The Wide Screen TV.

I am in that awful place where you feel too much and not enough. You know, when there is too much life you don't like and not enough life you love. Too much of nothing good and not enough of something great. Too much bullshit and not enough beauty.

Today at one point I was sitting in my easy chair, with my warmest blanket and my Uggs boots and not one but two boxes of Kleenex. I just started crying for no apparent reason really and I leaked sadness all day long. When I wasn't feeling sad, I was feeling a little scared. That uneasy almost anxious feeling decided it wanted to be my friend today and I couldn't shake it. It played tag team with sad little Mr. Blue Violet. (Mr. Neon Pea Green, meet Mr. Blue Violet....)

I should probably say something here about what is going on with me or I will get a dozen e-mails of worry and concern, so please don't worry. I am O.K. with feeling crappy. It is appropriate for where I am right now. See, I have a cold and a sinus infection and allergies running wild and a middle ear infection --- all that I just can't seem to shake. It is also cold outside and I dread and despise cold weather. Give me 100+ temps and I am fine. Maybe a bit moist, but a happy sweaty thing at least. Let the temp drop under 50 and I start worrying about hypothermia and having enough groceries in case it freezes and will my pets stay warm and will my kids get too cold. I really do start to have a bit of anxiety when it is getting chilly.

Oh and one other thing --- my Number One New Years Resolution is to quit smoking.

Which I have done so far.

Tomorrow will be the 2 week mark.

I am doing fine on the no smoking, I don't really crave the nicotine. What I do crave is the side effect of emotional anesthesia. I didn't realize how often I would smoke instead of feeling something I judged as negative. If smoking didn't work, then I would eat. Sometimes I did them both - repeatedly. I decided to try feeling the feelings for a while instead of smoking or eating them away. Instead, I declare them to myself. This past week I just let myself feel what I feel. When appropriate, I even announce them to my husband.

If you want to email Bob your concern and worry for him, I understand.