Friday, June 30, 2006

good Judge Wapner moment

Judge WapnerYou sort of had to be there, but once on "The People's Court," a case came in, of two men involved in a traffic accident of sorts. One man explained that he had his car door open on a street side, and that the other man had threatened to knock the door off if the first man didn't close it.

Well, the second guy did end up taking the door off. His defense was,

"I told him, if he didn't close that door I was gonna take it OFF."

(He lost the case!)

my grandparents, again

Here's a picture, which I like very much, of my grandparents in Edinburgh, Scotland, where they met in 1928. Both were in medical school at the University of Edinburgh.

My grandfather did his first two years there and then went back to finish up at the University of Pennsylvania. My grandmother arrived and also finished two years (she was at the university with my grandfather for one year and finished her second year after he'd gone back to Pennsylvania), before moving to Pennsylvania, marrying my grandfather, and continuing her studies at Women's Medical College.

Edinburgh 110228Edinburgh, Scotland: November 2, 1928

And here's a picture of them in 1994, 66 years later. I miss them.

Lou Ann Long & Carroll Hardy Long, 1994

Thursday, June 29, 2006

my grandmother's memorial poem

:: Lucinda Ann Strong Long: June 3, 1907 - April 23, 2002 ::

Lucinda Ann Strong Longaround 1927

"Because I Could Not Stop for Death"

Because I could not stop for Death -
He kindly stopped for me -
The Carriage held but just Ourselves -
And Immortality.

We slowly drove - He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility -

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess - in the Ring -
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain -
We passed the Setting Sun -

Or rather - He passed us -
The Dews drew quivering and chill -
For only Gossamer, my Gown -
My Tippet - only Tulle -

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground -
The Roof was scarcely visible -
The Cornice - in the Ground -

Since then - 'tis Centuries - and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity -

Emily Dickinson

my grandfather's memorial poem

My grandfather, a lifelong avid reader, missionary, surgeon, and politician, lost his sight to glaucoma and macular degeneration. Yet I never heard him complain about his "plight."

:: Carroll Hardy Long: October 28, 1905 - May 10, 2001 ::

Carroll Hardy Long
around 1928, Edinburgh, Scotland

"Sonnet XIX: On His Blindness"

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve there with my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask; But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies "God doth not need
Either man's work of his own gifts. Who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait."

John Milton

"Ode to a Nightingale"

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow...

  • John Keats

yes, I know

  • Given my recent religious rantings, you can probably tell that I am very bitter about the Catholic Church, and about organized religion in general. I think we'd all be better off if we'd been reared as spriritual (or not) Unitarians (my mother said to me once that I might as well join a book club!).
  • Some of my other posts show that I struggle with things like loss, sadness, grief, fear of the future, existential quandaries, etc.
  • And even more show that I'm a goof.
So please don't take offense at things I might write: I'm just expressing my free-associating, something-to-do thoughts. I don't talk much to people, so this is one of my conversational outlets.

"tit for tat" joke

An oldie but goodie:

"What is tat, and where can I exchange it for some tit?"

religious/philosophical "s**t"

  • Taoism: Shit happens.
  • Buddhism: If shit happens, it's not really shit.
  • Islam: If shit happens, it's the will of Allah.
  • Protestantism: Shit happens because you don't work hard enough.
  • Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us?
  • Hinduism: This shit happened before.
  • Catholicism: Shit happens because you're bad.
  • Hara Krishna: Shit happens rama rama.
  • T.V. Evangelism: Send more shit.
  • Atheism: No shit.
  • Jehova's Witness: Knock knock, shit happens.
  • Hedonism: There's nothing like a good shit happening.
  • Christian Science: Shit happens in your mind.
  • Agnosticism: Maybe shit happens, maybe it doesn't.
  • Rastafarianism: Let's smoke this shit.
  • Existentialism: What is shit anyway?
  • Stoicism: This shit doesn't bother me.

true men of God

Yep. There's God's free will in action.

why I hate Catholicism, even though I am/was one

Let me count the ways:

primarily because of my own experiences...

Pope Benedict1. mental abuse by Catholic school children, physical abuse by nun;
2. religion ruled by guilt and fear;
3. abuse of sister by "counseling" priest;
4. firing of husband from Boston College by priest, never with any explanation;

but also...

5. forbidding use of condoms, especially in countries with astronomical HIV/AIDS levels;
6. unacceptance of homosexuals, women in church authority, divorcees, etc.;
7. Pope Innocent III sponsors 4 "crusades" to exterminate the Albigenses;
8. in July of 1209 A.D. an army of Louis VII orthodox Catholics attack Beziers and murder 60,000 unarmed civilians;
9. at Minerve, 14,000 Christians put to death in the flames: ears, noses, and lips of the "heretics" cut off by the "faithful";
10. wars of extermination committed by the Church against the Cathars, Knights Templars, and other break-away Christian groups;
11. Pope Alexander IV establishes the Office of the Inquisition within Italy in 1254;
12. silence of Pope Pius XII during the Nazi holocaust;
13. children starved to death iconcentration camp of Jasenovec in Catholic Croatia, one of whose commandants was a Franciscan Monk, Father Filipovic: more than 2,000 Eastern Orthodox children die;
14. Monsignor Tiso, head of the Slovak State, delivers first trainload of Jews to Auschwitz;
15. hundreds of thousands of women burned alive as witches in late Middle Ages and Renaissance;
16. Saint Cyril and monks burn the great Library at Alexandria, destroying 600,000 volumes of knowledge of the ancient world, the greatest property crime of all time;
17. Protestant Reformation and following wars during which Germany lost half its population in a generation;
18. destruction, plunder, rape, and papal pillage of the people of the Americas and the eradication of their culture;
19. extermination of the Huguenots in France;
20. issuing of Vatican passports to Nazi leaders after World War II so that they could escape prosecution for war crimes;
21. castration of boy singers in the church so that they could continue to sing in high pitch into adulthood;
22. clergy sexual abuse;
23. Irish Magdalene laundries;
24. church leaders once taught that was acceptable under a wide range of situation;
25. church equates abortion with murder at all stages of pregnancy;
26. church placed under house arrest or burned alive number of scientists and philosophers, such as Galileo and Bruno;
27. church once taught that parents must not give their children inoculations against disease because it would thwart God's will. God was seen as expecting a certain percentage of children to die; inoculations would have prevented those deaths.

If you think bagpipes are supposed to sound like crap... this. For those of you who have only heard awful police- and fire-department bands (no offense to them, of course) and thought that bagpipes were supposed to sound like caterwauling...they're not.

Here's a video of one of the very top pipe bands in the world, the House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, from Shotts, Scotland. This video is of their march, strathspey, and reel (MSR) set from this year's British Championships.

picture on left from 2005 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

a linguistic regionalism

I was helping a linguistics professor with his Mac the other day. Someone else came in and asked if I could look at something of hers sometime during the week. I said something like "I might can come by tomorrow."

The professor told the person, "That's an example of a linguistic regionalism."

I don't know where it's from, but I suppose Tennessee or Mississippi.

I figure that linguistic construction is my attempt to avoid making a commitment. I can come tomorrow...but maybe I can't!

(Actually, I think this contruction is called a "hedge," which makes sense)

déjà vu

Magritte's Portrait d'Edward James

I read that there's no such thing as déjà vu, that (grossly simplified) it's merely an occurence of a new memory coming in through the pathways of old memories. So what the mind perceives as a reoccurrence of an old memory isn't accurate.

René MAGRITTE, Portrait d'Edward James (La Reproduction Interdite), 1937
huile sur toile, 75 x 65 cm
Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam

the law of loss

From Steven Heighton's novel, afterlands:

"Loss is the world's final law."

Yes, it is. And it's an almost unbearable reality.


Good quotes from afterlands, a novel by Steven Heighton:

afterlands novel"Suicide is one of the few ways for a ruined immigrant to go home."

Who knows what evil

The Shadow knows!
...lurks in the hearts of men?
from "The Shadow": he knows, of course!

I do, and so do most all people, I imagine. For myself, there's the evil done upon me by others, the evil I've done upon others, and the evil I've done upon myself.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

cats and biscuits

From Grandpa Willy, or, as it turns out, Dr. Mary, via Frasier Crane on "Frasier":

Fraiser and Dr. Mary

"A cat may have kittens in the oven, but that don't make 'em biscuits."

another pet peeve add to my list from way back (it's in the archives):

passive-agressive people!

I hate that!! And that shite don't work with me. ;-D As Damon Wayons said in "In Living Color," Homey (D. Clown) don't play that."

"Survival in Auschwitz"

Very good quote from his book Survival in Auschwitz:

"Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, Survival in Auschwitz bookbut there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite. Our ever-sufficent knowledge of the future opposes it: and this is called, in the one instance, hope, and in the other, uncertainty of the following day. The certainty of death opposes it: for it places a limit on every joy, but also on every grief. The inevitable material cares oppose it: for as they poison every lasting happiness, they equally assiduously distract us from our misfortunes and make our consciousness of them intermittent and hence supportable."

"...for he who loses all often easily loses himself."

parting and coming together

To me, such a true quote, from the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer:

"Every parting gives a foretaste of death; every coming together again a foretaste of the resurrection."

Primo Levi poem

from his well-written book, Survival in Auschwitz:

You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:

Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes or no.

Consider if this is a woman,
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter.
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,

May your children turn their faces from you.

Monday, June 26, 2006

sister's wedding

My sister Mary is getting married in October. She's working on picking out bridesmaids' dresses, which I'm none too happy about having to wear (I've never been in a wedding other than my own). I told her,

"Mary, those things better have sleeves, because if they don't, I'm going to wear a t-shirt underneath it...and don't think I won't!"



Before I get too old, I'm going to move to a state where I can buy one of these:

Desert Eagle .357an Israeli Desert Eagle .357

Gotta be prepared, if you know what I mean. It's big enough to do the job, but easy to control.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Was Jesus a cunt?

Or, how about, "I love you! But Jesus thinks you're a cunt"? Or, "I love you! But I think Jesus is a cunt"?

I don't think Jesus was a cunt, actually. I think he was a philosopher. Or a Jewish carpenter's homosexual son, who got lucky. Seriously, though, I have no problem with Jesus...just with how people have distorted any- and everything having to do with him, or with the idea of him.

I might've spoken too soon...because of the post just before this, maybe I do think that Jesus, and/or his father, is a cunt.

Was Jesus a cunt?You want to piss off a man? Call him a "bitch." You want to emasculate him devastatingly? Call him a "cunt."

I'm a pathetic coward.

horrific animal-abuse picturePictures like this make me indescribably mad, devastatingly sad, and suicidally ashamed of myself that I don't have the strength of character or mind to do something about this and innumerable other forms of animal abuse. I'm a coward.

from a "Simpsons" episode:

Homer: What are you talking about? Monkeys don't have feelings. If they did, our experiments on them would be cruel.

King of Queens

In my marriage, I feel about Jerry the way Doug feels about Carrie on "King of Queens."

If that statement makes no sense to you, you'll have to watch the show. It does have something to do, though, with—at various times—being harangued, bossed, criticized, talked down to to, treated like a child or someone with no sense...

patron saint?

In Brighton is a church called "Our Lady of the Presentation."

Jerry saw that and asked: "Is she the patron saint of PowerPoint?"

Ba dum ching!

purpose of blogging?

I use this blog as a kind of journal or diary. I used to write things down in a little black book, but I prefer this way of accomplishing the same thing: I can type much faster than I can write, and I don't have to worry about dragging my writing-hand's fingers through ink.

And since no one I know reads this blog, I feel free to write most anything I want...though I still wouldn't write anything that I'd be embarrassed for anyone to read.

Still, I wouldn't mind if people I knew did read this blog every once in a while! How's that for passive? Some of the things I write, some very subtly and others much more brazenly, are begging to be noticed and asked about. Pitiful but true, though mainly pitiful.

something's missing

Some sort of intimacy is missing in my life, though I'm not sure exactly what kind it is. Obviously there are untold manifestations of intimacy...physical, emotional, etc. Physical intimacy, of course, isn't just a full-on, X-rated happening. It is, or can be, anything, from a handshake, to a pat on the back or a punch in the arm, to an affectionate kiss on the cheek or a platonic kiss on the lips, a romantic kiss, an embrace or a bear hug, and on and on. Add emotional intimacy, and there becomes a spectrum of almost infinite possibilities.

I think what's missing in me does have something to do with my relationship with men, though. Even so, I don't know from where, what time, or with/from/in whom the missing part lies...with a father, brother, husband, friend, doctor, acquaintance, etc. But whatever it is that's missing is unsettling, unrequited (at least in my mind) in a way that I can't figure out.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

un beso prohibido abras más que el fuego

"A forbidden kiss burns hotter than fire."

salutatorian speech 1922, page 2

(For part 1, scroll down a few entries.)

pulls his right ear, rubs his left hip and bows, like this. Well here was the problem before me: should I give you the Tibetan salute, should I merely grunt my approval of your presence as an Indian would, should I shake hands, or as the original expression was slap hands, should I bow, should I take off my shoes in Japanese fashion, should I weep, should we rub noses, whould we embrace, or should we kiss each other's hands or feet or cheeks or even lips?

CHL 1924Some of these forms of salutation seem foolish and a waste of time, but in reality each has its advantages and disadvantages; each its possibilities and impossibilities. No doubt different people would choose different methods of expressing this welcome. Perhaps the girls of our class would prefer and opposite mode to that which their mothers would have chosen----well----say fifty years ago. But still I'm the one that has the saluting to do so I considered my situation in each one of them.

The more reserved methods are more in keeping with our Senior dignity of which we boast so much but still this chance comes but once in a life time and I was rather in doubt as to whether these would show the intense love and respect which we hold for you. Still some of this love if applied properly might be misunderstood and lead to further trouble. Also it might be a little painful to attempt to accomodate the whole audience at one sitting so perhaps it had better be done collectively.

Thus my mind wandered growing more and more helpless until now I am no closer to the solution of the problem than when I started, but still----we're glad you're

picture of Carroll Hardy Long at Princeton University, 1924

(page 3 to come...)

being female

Carroll at 12I've never been sorry that I was born female. I've been fortunate that I was never pushed by my parents into being anything but whatever I wanted. My father has always liked motorcycles, and he though I would like them as well, girl or not. So I started that at 6. And I always was an adventurous person, climbing rocks; wearing cowboy boots, hats, and guns; and being Batman, complete with cape, helmet, and Batmobile. I even set out with a rope one day, to find the end of the rainbow. I didn't get far before giving that venture up.

Physically I don't mind being female, except for the hassle (the pain, the inconvenience, the effects of mood, etc.) of menstruation. I wish I could tell my body, "I really appreciate your efforts, but I don't really need them now. If I do need your services, I'll let you know."

One nice thing about being female is that some of the things I like to do have never really been the province of females, like sports, motorcycle riding, going to bicycle rodeos, exploring, and drumming. Even though there are more girls now in sports and in pipe band drumming, the ratio is still lower than with males...especially in the drumming world: I'm in my second pipe band now where I'm the only female in the entire band.

Friday, June 23, 2006

intimate impulse

"We all have impulses we'd like to explore, but we don't." ... "There are certain things you don't do, no matter how tempted you are."

Daphne, on "Frasier"

buried alive in one's own mind

To me, the worst part about the mental pain of anxiety and depression is not being able to take a pill to make it go away, or not being able to go to a doctor or the emergency room for relief, as one might with a terrible headache or a broken bone.

graveyardI've had times when I felt so mentally bad that I didn't know how I would make it through the next 30 minutes, much less the rest of a day...times where I felt so mentally trapped that I thought there was no way out, other than to suffer interminably through it or to commit suicide.

It's times like the above that have made me think of this way of being trapped in one's own head as akin to being buried alive, except, again, in one's own mind...there's no way out.

my creative muse :-D

Okee the Otter
Okee in tub

my grandparents' whale bone

whale vertebraeIn the 1960s my grandparents began the Methodist medical missionary work they'd always wanted to do (they later worked in Nepal, Afghanistan, and, for the most time, Yadgiri, India) in Nome, Alaska. While there they found a single whale vertebra (not -ae) and brought it back home with them to Tennessee.

The vertebra sat at the bottom of the front stairs, on the sidewalk in front of a long boxwood shrub. Over the years, of course, the bone eroded away, little by little. But even as it turned more and more into dust, the bone was still recognizable as what my grandparents had brought home originally.

Though I don't remember when this was, one day I decided that the end of my grandparents' lives would probably coincide with the end of the whale bone's "life." And, in the end, that's exactly what happened: when my grandmother died in 2003 (my grandfather died in 2001), the vertebra was no longer any more than dust.

Maybe it was a fitting end for them all.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

doctors and drugged-out chickens?

strutting chickenfrom As a paper describes it, drug prescriptions have always looked like "the dance of an inked chicken on meth."

(that "chicken" has got some sassy 'tude)


I feel dorky talking about cats, but, still, any living thing one lives with from birth to death becomes special. Gomer was "m' boy," and had a full life. He survived a pretty violent apartment break in when he was a kitten; had to ride in the emergency Pet Taxi to a veterinary hospital because of a urinary blockage; made it through an apartment fire; had diabetes for a couple of years; put up with subcutaneous fluids for a while; and finally dealt with cancer of the jaw. I had Gomer for his whole life, literally.

some days

...I wake up in a depressed funk (to put it more lightly than it actually feels), wondering if this'll be the day that I get a phone call saying a family member has been killed, or has had a heart attack or stroke. Or I go home to find that one of my cats (Daisy, Sue, Tater, Goober) has finally manifested some previously festering illness (like Gomer's acting oddly one day, only for us to find out a few days later that he had cancer in his jaw). :'-(

some mental distractions

...for fun and excitement! They mean, or come from, something and so aren't just schizophrenic ramblings. ;-)

||: 1234543212345432/15432432132124323543243213212432/354321321/354321321 :||

iamasbigasafuckinghouse, afuckinghouseisasbigasi

marathon: ma, a, mar, rat, at, on


5I want to go now--
5please don't make me stay.
5I want to die now--
5don't get in my way.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

an old tale of woe

When my brothers, sister, and I were very young, my mother drove us, in our (my father's, that is) Ford Econoline van, to pick up my father's mother (Edna Aline McCollough Hardin Ford), from wherever it was she was...probably Nashville. I think the story goes that my mother accidentally ran/bumped into some man's vehicle. My mother went in to meet my grandmother, and to find the man whose vehicle she'd hit, and came out to find the van, with me, Jamie, Fred, and Mary rolling backwards down a slope.

My mother ran out, screaming I'm sure, to try to stop the van from its backwards descent, and flung open the driver's-side door, jumping in only to then rip the the door nearly completely from its hinges on a light pole.

The man whose car my mother had hit with the van finally said, "Go, just go," and helped my mother rope the door back on, into some semblance of its normal spot. Who knows what my father said when my mother finally rolled back home to Columbia, Tennessee!

salutatorian speech 1922, page 1

My grandfather's salutatorian speech at Johnson City High School:

picture of Carroll Hardy Long as a young boy

I hope you people feel just a little bit more comfortable than I do. If you don't you certainly have my sympathy. It's mighty queer the way a fellow can get all excited around his epigastric and hypochondriac regions when he's situated as I am tonight.

Mr. Haworth told you I was to make a salutation. Now you are wondering exactly what I have for the past month: what is it; how am I going to do it and what am I going to do it for? In order to find out what the word meant I went to the dictionary. There I found it was merely the act of greeting another person or persons. At first it all seemed very simple. I just had to get up, bow, and tell you how glad we are to come to the graduating exercises of the brainiest class that ever graduated from this wonderful school system in the most prosperous city in the whole world with its oceans of sunshine and crystal waters, with a mayor who is going to Congress so that he can pave the whole United States and then build one broad, beautiful stretch of asphaltum that will lead straight to the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem and furnish every Johnson Citian with a free ticket there to.

But upon consideration the matter became more complex. Was this the proper method after all? In order to get still more information about the styles of saluting I looked in up in the encyclopaedia. I was astonished at what I saw there. Probably you didn't know that in Tibet when a fellow meets his best girl he sticks out his tongue,

(page 2 to come...)

Afghani women

79% of women in Afghanistan have never learned to read or write! The Taliban is working to keep that number very low.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

dreaming of brothers and husbands

My brother Jamie died in 1991, three years after a head injury in 1988. I still dream about him sometimes, but oftentimes get him confused with my husband Jerry, who's just two weeks younger than Jamie.

When I do dream of Jamie himself, I can tell that my mind is confused: in the dream I struggle between accepting that he's alive and wondering how it's possible.

But most times I'll think of Jamie as Jerry, or vice versa. I might have Jerry drumming (Jamie was a drummer, like me), but I'm thinking of him as Jamie.

race-horse breeding

An interesting term:

A stud horse, when mating with a female, is said to be "covering the mare." Interesting. Better term than "mo-ing," I guess. ;-D

Malibu Stacy panda love

Waylon Smithers: "Uh, sir, I have a...small...personal request."

C. Montgomery Burns: "Oh, of course, Smithers. Anything. (frantically pushing trap door button)."

Smithers: "I disabled the button, sir. Anyway, I need some time off. Oh, as you know, (Burns still pushing trap door button) I've been writing a musical about the Malibu Stacy doll."

Malibu StacyBurns: "A show about a doll? (HI-larious cackling) Why not write a musical about the common cat? Or the king of Siam? (more cackling) Give it up, Smithers."

Smithers: "Actually, sir, we've been booked into a small theater in New Mexico."

Burns: "Whoa, whoa...slow down there, maestro. There's a New Mexico?"


Homer Simpson: "I may be naked and reaking of panda love..."

Catholic liturgy...huh?

"Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof."

• the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a 173-29 vote, decreed that this will be among the new translations of the liturgy included in American Roman Catholic masses


Is hell conservative or liberal?

From, via Newsweek magazine:

Conservatives are more confident than liberals that they'll avoid hell—and that they know someone who won't. Liberals are less confident about their own chances of escaping hell and less sure they can identify the damned.


In what may be a worrisome sign of the state of family relations, those who thought their family members were headed down were very likely to think of hell as a place of fire and torment. Oh, and eternal. It was unclear whether the respondents were expressing a prediction or a wish.

"People" magazine's aversive electroshock

I was looking through People magazine while waiting at a doctor's office this afternoon. In the magazine was an article on a boy who'd been sent by his mother (she regretted the decision later on) to a camp where aversive-therapy electroshocks were used to help break some of the son's bad habits.

Anyway, the article went on to say that the band around the boy's wrist only delivered a small, two-second electroshock, comparable (in feeling) to a bee sting. Then, in parentheses, the article lost its mind and said, "These are much less damaging than the electroshocks made famous in (the movie) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

I felt as if I were insane! Talk about apples and oranges...other than electricity, what on earth do those two things above have to do with one another? Absolutely nothing, unless the article's writer was equating the two with discipline. And what does the author mean about "damaging"?

Someone needed to do a little more thinking before making a statement as off-the-hip as the one in the article. Aversive electroshock for him or her!

Monday, June 19, 2006

ESPN sports terms

Aagh...I don't know why it irritates me, but I hate the folky terms that ESPN Sports Center uses. Ones like:

  • the hoop and the harm
  • taking it to the house
  • taking it to the hole
  • a buck forty-five left on the clock
  • the rock
And tons more, though I'm going blank on them right now.

broken-heart syndrome

I read this in The New York Times Magazine:

human heart"First described by the Japanese 15 years ago, this disease occurs when an emotional trauma causes the brain to release high doses of stress hormones. This hormonal blast paralyzes the muscle cells of the heart, preventing them from working to pump the blood. Typically only one section of the heart is spared this devastating paralysis—the part closest to the aorta—so that with each heart beat only the upper portion contracts and the heart looks like a narrowed-necked vase. The Japanese called it takotsubo after a type of trap that is used to capture octopus and has the same vaselike shape. For reasons that no one understands, this mostly affects post-menopausal women.

There is no cure. There is no clot to bust, no bugs to kill. Like its metaphorical counterpart, the only treatment is support and the passage of time. The initial burst of hormones subsides and the patient must be kept alive until the heart recovers. For those who survive long enough to reach the hospital, the prognosis is good."

mortality and missed opportunities

A moving song from Rosanne Cash...a gravely ill Johnny Cash, Rosanne's father, joined her for a rare duet, one that would prove to be his last:

"September When It Comes"

There's a cross above the baby's bed,
A Saviour in her dreams.
But she was not delivered then,
And the baby became me.
There's a light inside the darkened room,
A footstep on the stair.
A door that I forever close,
To leave those memories there.

So when the shadows link them,
Into an evening sun.
Well first there's summer, then I'll let you in.
September when it comes.

I plan to crawl outside these walls,
Close my eyes and see.
And fall into the heart and arms,
Of those who wait for me.
I cannot move a mountain now;
I can no longer run.
I cannot be who I was then:
In a way, I never was.

I watch the clouds go sailing;
I watch the clock and sun.
Oh, I watch myself, depending on,
September when it comes.

So when the shadows link them,
And burn away the clouds.
They will fly me, like an angel,
To a place where I can rest.
When this begins, I'll let you know,
September when it comes.

to see the streaming video of this song from the memorial tribute held at Ryman Auditorium

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Another good saying...

"Power corrupts...PowerPoint corrupts absolutely."

fantasy and gratification

From Norah Vincent's book, "Self-Made Man":

"Fantasy is a necessary veil, and when you rip it away, the opposite of what you think will happen, happens. Gratification kills desire. And constant gratification kills it permanently."

an easy grammar lesson!

Back when, it seemed as if everyone was saying things like, "Me and him are going to the store, and "Them and us went out last night." But then people got with it and realized that they should be saying, instead, "He and I," or "she and they."

Well, then people went the next unecessary step and figured that the "he and I" and "she and they" were inviolable units, that they had to be kept together no matter what and no matter where in the sentence they ended up. So here we are now with sentences like, "Throw the ball to he and I," and "Let Jerry and I know when you're coming over." That's an example of a hypercorrection, just as "I feel badly" is!

Anyway, the perplexing thing is that I doubt anyone would say, "Throw the ball to I," or "Let I know when you're coming over." But add someone else into the mix, and the grammar goes haywire. It doesn't have to, though! Here's how to know whether to use "he/him," "she/her," or "I/me":

• If you'd say, "Throw the ball to me," then if you add someone else into the mix, you'll then say, "Throw the ball to Jerry and me," or " me and Jerry."

• If you'd say, "If you have any questions, let me know," then you'd say, "If you have any questions, let Mary or me know."

Friday, June 16, 2006

"take" and "bring"

I can't believe that so many native-English speakers don't know how to properly use the words "take" and "bring." But, I'll admit that, even though I know how to use the two, I also find that the difference is hard to explain: I had a Spanish teacher in high school, Ms. Hayden (from Chile), who asked me to explain the use of those two words. I didn't know how to do it. Do you?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

more Homer quotes

Marge: "Quick, somebody perform CPR!"

Homer: "Umm (frantically singing)...'I see a bad moon rising.'"

Marge: "That's CCR!"

Homer: (still singing) "'Looks like we're in for nasty weather.'"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

1999 World Pipe Band Championships

Here's the Midlothian Pipe Band in action at the '99 World Pipe Band Championships, in Glasgow, Scotland.

practicing at our dorms

Midlothian practicing

on the field

Midlothian on the field

and a group photo afterwards

Midlothian Pipe Band

me in pipeband action...well, waiting to go into action

from the Celtic Classic games in Bethlehem, PA last year:

Bethlehem 2005
I don't know what the hell is up with that expression, though.

favorite pipe bands

Manchester logo

Midlothian Pipe Band

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"The True Story of Okee the Otter"

...the best book in the world, sin duda!

Okee the OtterI got this book from the always exciting Scholastic Book Club!

"Tikki Tikki Tembo"

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Anyone remember that book? It's based on a Chinese folk tale.

"Tikki tikki tembo, no sa rembo, hari bari ruchi, pip peri pembo"

"Are You Being Served?"

Are You Being Served?L to R: Mrs. (Betty) Slocombe, Miss (Shirley) Brahms, Mr. (James/Dick Lucas), Mr. (Cuthbert Rumbold), Mr. Mash, Mr. (Ernest) Grainger, Mr. (Wilberforce Clayborne) Humphries, Captain (Stephen) Peacock

Lyrics to a British comedy show I like, of the 1970s. Even though it's British, the show makes me feel at home, comfortable:

"Are You Being Served?"

Ground floor: perfumery,
stationery and leather goods,
wigs and haberdashery
kitchenware and food. Going up!

First floor: telephones,
gents ready-made suits,
shirts, socks, ties, hats,
underwear and shoes. Going up!

Second floor: carpets,
travel goods and bedding,
material, soft furnishings,
restaurant and teas. Going down!

family desktop-picture collage

Here's a desktop-picture collage I made of my family, using the shareware program "Photo Collage."

As always, click the picture to see a full-sized version.

Monday, June 12, 2006

persuasive facts on proper hydration

These facts are far more persuasive than the typical "You need to drink 8 glasses of water a day."


1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
(Likely applies to half world population)

2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.

4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a U-Washington study.

5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

two good phrases

"Donde los yikes!"


"the heebiest of jeebies"

longest English word



A lung disease caused by inhaling fine particles of silica.

At 45 letters, it's the longest word in any English language dictionary.
It's a trophy word: its only job is to serve as the longest word. In day-to-day use, its nine-letter synonyms "silicosis" or "black lung" work just as well, and the latter is more descriptive. Whatever you call it, it is deadly.


A position of authority is wasted if the holder isn't allowed the authority of the position.

(No, this isn't about me.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I told you so.

From "The Simpsons":

Waylon Smithers: "I told you Simpson was a poor choice, sir."

C. Montgomery Burns: "You know, Smithers. 'I told you so' has a brother. His name is 'shut the hell up.'"

Saturday, June 10, 2006

a drunken search

All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

  • James Thurber
Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.
  • Bertrand Russell
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
  • Isaac Asimov
Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
  • Edmund Burke

sausage or tacos?

I'm vegetarian, but I still prefer sausage to tacos.

If you get it, it's crude, I know...I read it in Esquire.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Farewell Address

(My grandparents were Methodist medical missionaries in Alaska, Nepal, Afghanistan, and, finally, in Yadgiri, India)

to Dr. and Mrs. Carroll H. Long
by Central Methodist Church, Yadgiri, India
31st March, 1968.

"To come, to meet, to love and then to part
Is the saddest story of many a human heart."

Beloved Dr. & Mrs. Long:

It is with an emotion charged with sadness we have gathered here this afternoon to bid you a farewell. It appears but yesterday when we with anxious expectation received you into our midst with open arms and bound our fellowship with hoops of steel. The inexorable hands of the clock have moved and moved with such relentless rapidity that it is impossible for us even to imagine that you will be missed from this gathering in a few days.

The Church in India has arrived at a perilously critical juncture. The era of rapid change in political, econonic and social spheres have demanded a rethinking on issues vital to its very future. The days of passive and callous dependence are giving way to a more intense active independence. There is a discernible change in our mental attitudes from that of utter indifference to immense involvement. It is in this context that you have come here with your reputation as a greay lay leader in your own national church.

You have set an example of how our frontiers of lay activity could be expanded. At a time when the laity is urgently summoned to march towards the new horizons, hitherto untread, we have drawn inspiration from you as a remarkable giving layman—giving not only money but time, talent and energy.

As a man you have a rich glow of Christianity about you. Easily accessible to all levels, you had a comforting honesty, humour and modesty which endeared you to all. Your sympathy was evoked from every quarter, be it the poor hosteler's food in Gulbarga or a struggling church at Yadgiri to build its parsonage.

As a Surgeon Sir, you brought to your professional work a refreshingly rare combination of skill of your hands, the cool reasoned decisions of the head and a compassion of the heart. A willingness to suffer for and with the patient added a novel dimension to our routine. No wonder there will be a countless numbers of patients who, being recipients of your succour, will profoundly miss you henceforth.

Your service was not constricted by narrow considerations of denominations nor restricted by geographical confines. You were ready to serve humanity whenever and wherever—a veritable ambassador par excellence of your God and Country.

Mrs. Lou Ann Long, you have been a delightful companion and a fountainhead of inspiration to Dr. Long. In your own quiet way, unassuming and uncomplaining, you have put the artistic touch of your hand to scores and scores of letters. We will remember you not only for the courageous donation of your blood to a poor Indian child but for more profound qualities of perception and kindness.

Both of your lives have been lives of usefulness and there is nothing in the world as important as that. It binds your fellow creatures to you by bonds far more secure than steel and gives you importance much beyond and far superior to what artificial station can bestow.

We, the Members of this Church will miss you both immensely as you go back to your country. But in a strange way your presence will always be felt.

May God bless you both and use you even more in future.

Respectfully submitted,


"retrogenesis" = reverse childhood

From Jonathan Cott's book, on the sea of memory: a journey from forgetting to remembering.

An interesting precise inverse relationship exists between the stages of Alzheimer's and phases of child development in the areas of cognition, language, feeding, and behavior.

Alzheimer's unravels the brain almost exactly in the reverse order as it develops from birth, revealing a kind of reverse childhood in a process that Barry Reisberg (an NYU neurologist) terms "retrogenesis." The charts, as paraphrased in David Shenk's book, The Forgetting are:

Child Development

Age: Acquired Ability

1-3 months: can hold up head
2-4 months: can smile
6-10 months: can sit up without assistance
1 year: can walk without assistance
1 year: can speak one word
15 months: can speak five to six words
2-3 years: can control bowels
3-4.5 years: can control urine
4 years: can use toilet without assistance
4-5 years: can adjust bath water temperature
4-5 years: can put on clothes without assistance
5-7 years: can select proper clothing for occasion or season
8-12 years: can handle simple finances
12+ years: can hold a job, prepare meals, etc.


Alzheimer's Disease

Stage: Lost Ability

1: no difficulty at all
2: some memory trouble begins to affect job/home
3: much difficulty maintaining job performance
4: can no longer hold a job, prepare meals, handle personal finances, etc.
5: can no longer select proper clothing for occasion or season
6a: can no longer put on clothes properly
6b: can no longer adjust bath water temperature
6c: can no longer use toilet without assistance
6d: urinary incontinence
6e: fecal incontinence
7a: speech now limited to six or so words per day
7b: speech now limited to one word per day
7c: can no longer walk without assistance
7d: can no longer sit up without assistance
7e: can no longer smile
7f: can no longer hold up head

Thursday, June 08, 2006

drumming career thwarted at Christmas

In seventh grade, my family went to Christmas at my mother's parents' house, in Johnson City, Tennessee. Having just joined band at Waverly Junior High School (TN), I wanted to play drums (well, saxaphone at first, but the person I sat by was so terrible that I never wanted to play sax again).

My parents couldn't afford the $350 marching snare drum I needed, very disappointingly. But I had high hopes that Santa Claus might could bring me one. Here's the note I wrote him:

Dear Santa Claus,

Do you happen to have a silver-sparkle parade drum like they use in Waverly in parades and at school? It's like Andy Oglesby's and Joey Rumsey's. I would give you all my presents and candy for this year and next year. You could give the presents + candy to people who don't get any. It would make me very, very happy!!! I'd rather have it than anything! Thank you!!! Love,


P.S. Do you have a spare dog collar? And do you have any way or any advice on how to make me feel happier at school? It's getting better I think.

I didn't get the drum, and I wasn't much happier at school, either. I probably should admit that I was hoping that one of many relatives would donate some money and help Santa out! I think my feelings were hurt a bit by not getting a drum, especially given that impassioned (and sincere) note.

what I wanted for my 10th birthday

I don't think I got much of this, no surprise! I even marked all the relevant page numbers on my list, too...probably from the Sears catalog. Just as I wrote it out...

Big hall Dump Truck $5.88
Evel with stunt cycle $7.97
Unycycle $9.99
stilts $4.99
Ant city $5.29
slides $7.66
styro stone kit $8.99
Voice of Mummy $7.33
Table Tennis $7.79
Pivot Pool $12.97
Sub Search $5.88
Magic Window $2.99
Charle MaCarthy $9.97
Hound Dog
Pocket size set chess $1.49
Space Probe $5.99
Labyrnith $9.99
Magnetrix $6.99

Not counting "hound dog," which I didn't price out, the total is:

$112.16, a lot for 1975! I don't remember what, if anything, of this I got, but I do remember, though, getting the Ant City. I couldn't find ants big enough to go in there, so they were always getting out. Then Dusty knocked the thing off the 2d-floor back porch and Ant City was "awae," as the Scottish say!

"My Life:" a cannibalistic story?

(all sic and with good lines, I think, marked in bold!)

"My Life"

Well, here I am, Miss Cookie Coconut. I was born on June 1, 1976. I was born on a coconut tree in Tennessee. If you think there are no coconuts in Tennessee your wrong. I was born in a rich family. Everybody says if your rich you can go anywhere you want. So we got an all-weather coconut tree and moved to Johnson City, East Tennessee.

When I was one year old I weighed two pounds. That's a lot for a baby coconut! I got a coconut cream pie for my birthday. When I was three I fell off the tree. I fell 12 feet. It didn't hurt very much because of my hard shell. What a relief! One morning while I was asleep I felt that I was being carried. I looked up and saw a human being. They're our worst enemies! It took me into a room and then went out. When it came back he had a hacksaw in its hand. I rolled off the table and rolled away as fast as I could. But it caught me and put me back on the table. He was about to saw me in half but I rolled off again. I waited for it to put me back on the table. Then I jumped up as high as possible and landed on his head. I rolled fast as a coconut can go and rolled through the screen door. I kept on rolling until I went into a bush. Right about then I heard a noise. I was scared. Was it the human being? Then I saw it was just my big brother. I told him what happened and we rolled away.

When I was five I went to a beauty pagent. There were five other contestants. Miss Rutabaga, Miss Cherry, Miss Corn, Miss Pineapple, and Miss Rhubarb. Miss Corn was first. She was very shy and walked fast. Next was Miss Cherry. Boy, she looked liked a cherry. She was the cheeriest, cherriest cherry I ever saw. Her face was red as a radish. Then came Miss Rutabaga. She thought she was beautiful. She walked like a tomato. She must have really wanted to win. After her came Miss Pineapple. I don't know how she could think she would win. She had an ugly face but a pretty body. Then right before me came Miss Rhubarb. I've never seen a rhubarb before. I wonder why? I thought she was the prettiest. Then came me. I was so nervous I almost fell out of my skin! After I was through the judges went out. I wonder who won? Then the judges came out. Miss Fruit and Vegetable Queen 1975 came out. She was a peach. They announced that Miss Corn (had won). She nearly fainted. The runner-up was Miss Coconut. I won. I was so happy. Miss Corn and I went backstage and everybody congratulated us. That was the happiest day of my life!

I remember when my mother died. It was so sad! She fell off the tree and broke her head. I didn't say a word all day. They buried her by the coconut tree. Now I am ten. I will die soon because most coconuts die about now. I want to be buried by my mother and father. It's time for me to go to bed now.

This last paragraph is a harsh segue from the previous two: I suppose that the joy of doing so well at the beauty pageant didn't overcome the stresses of the near hacksaw trauma by the "human being"! (I told a therapist a long time ago that I thought that people were more likely to do me harm than good.)

Seriously, though, I had a tough year around when I wrote this. My life followed a pattern just like the story above: Something scary or traumatic might happen to me, which would make me anxious. Afterwards, I might become distracted by something fun. But before too long, the depressing reality of life landed on me again.

To me, that last sentence of the story is one of total resignation to my dreary fate!

I'm not a poet, but DO know it

From 1981, 11th grade, at Biloxi Senior High School, Mississippi:

"One Day"

I was there one afternoon watching the day go by
In that golden meadow, toasted by the sun, alone
Except for nature at my side. That day the magnificent
Sky of royal blue was immaculately clear; only a few
Wisps of clouds, looking like unspun cotton, laced the
Sky. The constant twittering of the seemingly myriad
Of birds mixed wtih the gentle swaying of the meadow
Weeds like a fine stew. When at long last the sky
Darkened and there was no more day, I did not
Mourn, for I knew that there would be many more
Days as beautiful as or more beautiful than this
Had been.

" a stew"?! Holy moly, rock 'n' rolly!

memories of remembering and forgetting

on the sea of memory bookAll from Jonathan Cott's on the sea of memory: a journey from forgetting to remembering

Part One: Forgetting

Yes, there were times when I forgot not only
who I was, but that I was, forgot to be.

  • Samuel Beckett, Molloy
Chapter Two: On Wanting to Forget

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
  • William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Chapter Three: On Alzheimer's Disease

Just as the child loses, as he comes into the world,
his angelic memory, so the man, as he grows old,
loses his memory of this world.
  • Bronson Alcott, quoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Chapter Four: On Memory Enhancement

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue.
  • Billy Collins, "Forgetfulness"
Part Two: Remembering

Remember me.
  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet (the ghost)
Chapter Seven: On Memory, Imagination, and the Soul

If you can't remember something,
imagine it.
  • Agnes Varda
Chapter Eight: The Griot—Storyteller and Remembrancer of the African Tribe

Every man is a charabanc on which
all of his ancestors ride.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
Chapter Ten: Remembrance in the Jewish Tradition

Remembrance is the secret of redemption.
Forgetfulness leads to exile.
  • Baal Shem Tov
Chapter Eleven: Divine Remembrance in the Sufi Tradition

I was dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing.

The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.

He said, "You'e not mad enough.
You don't belong in this house."

I went wild and had to be tied up.
He said, "Still not wild enough
to stay with us."

I broke through another layer
into joyfulness.

He said, "It is not enough."
I died.
  • Rumi, as rendered by Coleman Barks
Part Three: Afterthoughts

When you awake
You will remember everything.
  • Richard Manuel—Robbie Robinson, "When You Awake"
You can't take from me what I've danced.
  • Mexican Proverb

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

evil anniversary?

It's Jerry's and my 19th wedding anniversary today, 6/6/6, though there's debate about whether the number of the beast might actually be 616 or 636. Anyhoo...

For our exciting gifts, though ones that are much appreciated!, I got Jerry a Kitchenaid stand mixer (which I have no idea where it's going to go...along with the bread maker, FryDaddy, and rice cooker. I didn't particulary want to get a mixer, but Jerry wanted one. I made it my choice, though, to pick the match our paint trim. Who wants a black or grey behemoth sitting in a yellow-and-white kitchen? Well, Jerry did. ;-D

Jerry got me a blender and an ice crusher. We've gone through more blenders than I would've thought possible, all of which said they could crush and blend ice with no problems. Yeah, right! We have had the same ice crusher for 19 years though, from his grandmother, Ma Maw (Cadden). That, our Kenmore microwave, a big knife, and some Revere Ware pots have served us well since 1987. Not bad.

a rendezvous with death

"I Have A Rendezvous With Death"

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the fist meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
And I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

  • Alan Seeger

Monday, June 05, 2006

last note to my grandmother

I Fed-Exed this note to my grandmother, just a few days before she died. I think it's a nice note:

Dear Grandmother,

I'm sorry not to have the time to write a longer or more elegant note, but I want to send this off to you quickly.

Just from habit, I found myself about to write, "I hope you feel better," but I immediately thought that that was too hackneyed and insubstantial a wish for you. But now that I've given it a little more thought, I think that "I hope you feel better" is a good thing to say in this situation. I know you're ready to feel better as well, and I can't help but think that you're ready to move on to something different. I don't know what comes next in life, or death, but I hope that whatever it is is what you want it to be.

I love you very much and am glad I was able to know you. You've made a big difference in my life.


P.S. I'm still trying to play a good host to your father's amethyst stickpin ring. I'll keep it safe.

(handwritten 4/18/02...Gradmother died 4/23/02)

cat nicknames

This post is mainly for myself, to remember all the free-associated names I've given my cats over the years:

  • Tater
Tate; Potentate; Tater Mater; Trater; Mate; Tantor; Buddy; Tate-a-Mate; Tatter; Flater; MCutie; Redbeard; Chief EconoTate; Mater Tate
  • Sue
Super Sue; Sousa; Sousaphone; Phone; Book; Phonebook; Suuuue; Booker T; Supersuelious
  • Daisy
Daise; Z; Z-Bart; Bart; Bartsky; Z-Bartsky; Bartskaya; Chielf EconoDaise; Bartholemew J.
  • Goober
Goober Wayne; Grooper; Goooober; Scoober; Goober J; Diamonique; Super Goober; Goober Joe Wayne Bob Eefus Cat; Gooberus Maximus
  • Gomer
'mer; 'merman; 'mermangelo; 'mermaid; 'mermangelo; G; T; J; TJ; GJ; J Joe; Joe; Big T; Big J; Fluff; Puff; Little Fluff; Little Puff; Little Fluff; Fluffity; Fluff 'n' Puff; Puff 'n' Fluff; TJ McNamara; Rambunctor; Mr. Joe; Super Sam; Gomer J; Gomer Joe; Chubbity; Chubby; Fluffy; Silly Sam; Jilly Joe; Fatboy Fauntleroy; Fatboy; Jim Bob; Manjor; Sunshine; Starbright; 'mer J; McJ; McFluff; Jilly Jam Jilly Pop; Fluffinzy; Super Silly Sam; Super G

more "If I could do my life over..."


  • not get cats?
  • get married?

sex and love

"Sex is emotional. It's connection; it's intimate. It's looking into somebody's soul. It's naked in every sense of the word. It's the hardest thing in the world."

  • Faye Dunaway
Love makes us speak;
love makes us moan;
love makes us die;
love brings us to life;
love makes us drunk and bewildered;
it sometimes makes one a king.

Whichever direction the lover takes,
Lover and beloved,
rememberer and remembered,
are ever in each other's company,
always together.

  • the Sufi Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak

birthday happenings

"Wednesday's child is full of woe."

April 15 events: lots! See link above.

moral bankruptcy

"Evil lurks where disappointment lodges."

  • George Foreman

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking...into the future.

If I see my family twice a year, on average, that's only 20 more times that I see my mother?

"Wheel of Fortune"

Peter Griffin on "Family Guy"

Pat Sajak: "All right, Peter. You made it to the bonus round. Congratulations."
Peter Griffin: "Thanks, Regis."
Pat: "OK. The category is Actor & Show. So...we need five consonants and a vowel."
Peter: "Uh, OK. Um...Z...4...Q...another Q...uh...a third Q, and the Batman symbol."
Pat: "OK. No help there. Um...fifteen seconds, if you want to take a shot at it. Talk it out."
Peter: "Is it 'Alex Karras in Webster?'"
Pat: "I...don't...believe it."
Peter: "Oh my God, I just took a shot in the dark. Holy crap!"

Who are we?

  • Dick Cavett
  • Roland Kohloff
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Lou Reed
  • Billie Holiday
  • Brian Wilson
  • Bud Powell
  • Charlie Parker
  • Del Shannon
  • Don Simpson
  • Elliot Smith
  • Eric Douglas
  • Frances Farmer
  • Judy Garland
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Michael Hutchence
  • Peter Green
  • Phil Hartman
  • Robert Walker
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Louis Althusser
  • Antonin Artaud
  • David Helfgott
  • Janet Frame
  • Pat Ingoldsby
  • Jonathan Cott
  • Mervyn Peake
  • Robert Pirsig
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Dory Previn
  • Cole Porter
  • Robert Lowell
  • Paul Robeson
  • Vivien Leigh
  • Clara Bow
  • Gene Tierney
  • Vladimir Horowitz
  • Oscar Levant
  • Thomas Eagleton
  • Richard Brautigan
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Martha Manning
  • Homer Simpson
  • Sam Beckett

Esad, mf!

Try it yourselves and see what you think (or don't...or can't),

  • Max Fink
  • Harold Sackheim
Keep working for us, CTIP.

"Kill Your Sons"

All your two-bit psychiatrists/
Are giving you electroshock/
They said they'd let you live at home with mom and dad/
Instead of mental hospitals/
But every time you tried to read a book/
You couldn't/
Get to page seventeen/
'Cause you forgot where you were/
So you couldn't even read

  • Lou Reed

Friday, June 02, 2006

exactly, Herr Ratzinger

From The Week:

"Pope visits Auschwitz: Pope Benedict XVI, the first German pope, prayed this week at the concentration camp of Auschwitz. Benedict said the the Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews was 'particularly difficult and troubling for a Christian, for a pope from Germany,' to confront. 'Why, Lord, did you remain silent?' he asked. 'How could you tolerate this?' ..."

For a Christian, a pope, and a former German soldier as well.

The Pope's point was a good one, though: Why do so few question or hold God accountable for the bad things that happen in the world? When things go well, it's thanks to God, their Lord and Savior. But when things are bad, it's because it's what God wanted...there was a plan, a reason, for whatever it was. God can't lose.

Why don't people question God's role in the world's events? Maybe there isn't a God; or maybe he gets his jollies watching the world fuck itself up, that he's not a good God, a benevolent one.

But we have free choice, don't we? That seems to be party line of the opiated (religious) masses. It's a convenient explanation/rationalization for God's failure to intervene. (I'll continue later.)

Christ reaped what those Catholics sowed

From The Week:

"Church asks forgiveness: The Catholic archbishop of Boston and more than 20 priests prostrated themselves before the altar of of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross last week, asking forgiveness for their part in the clergy sex-abuse scandal. Since 2002, the Boston Archdiocese has paid out more than $100 million to settle hundreds of sex-abuse claims, many charging the archdiocese with ignoring or covering up the scandal for decades. Addressing churchgoers during the first of nine days of public atonement, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley called the abuse 'wounds on the body of Christ.'"

There are no more wounds on His body. The abuse was and is so widespread that those wounds annihilated Christ long ago. You screw, or screw with, children, you lose churches. Too bad, so sad.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

baby picture

My mother said I was an ugly baby, though I'd come into my own by my first-birthday's baby picture, my profile's picture. Even if that weren't I, I'd still think it was cute! As well, my mother said that baby pictures of her and me (though I'm not sure at what point) were nearly identical!

I've looked at that picture and thought about how those are the same hands and arms, for example, as I have now...albeit a different size. Still, it's neat to think about!

Even though I still have red (and grey) hair now, at that time my hair was carrot red.

lucid dreaming

As I alluded to in the previous post, I'd like to be able to do more lucid dreaming. I've been able to manage that a couple of times, but not very much, all in all. I know that I do some lucid dreaming, though I'm not able to implement it earlier on in a dream. When I notice that I am lucid dreaming is when I force myself awake when something bad is bad to happen in a dream. For instance, in a recent dream someone was going to cut me with a knife. Before he could do that I pushed myself to wake up.

One interesting thing is that I can sometimes try to wake myself up but struggle really hard to do so: I imagine this is when I'm really pretty deeply asleep. And I can feel the time pressure of trying to force my eyes open, before the bad thing I'm trying to avoid comes about.


I wish I had the discipline to sit up after my dreams and write them down in a journal. I have lots of dreams, and they're in great detail. I'd like to be able to be better at lucid dreaming...I've managed it a couple of times, but not for many years. I love both sleeping and dreaming: I can't imagine not being able to remember my dreams, as Jerry can't. Dreaming lets me see places I've been, and not been, in all sorts of different ways. I can think of most any place, or thing, and without even working hard, run through examples of whatever it is, without even working hard.

Oddly enough, even though I've lived in Boston for 7 years, I've only had a handful, if even that many, of dreams that've taken place here. I'm not sure why that is...maybe because I don't care much for Boston; but still, I would've thought Boston would show up more than 3 or 4 times.

I had a dream last night that might've reflected some of the blog entries I've made recently: I know that the one about my mother hearing that one of her eighty-year-old friends still had her own mother living was one of them. Though I can't remember it in any detail, I had a dream about my grandmother's dying.

In the dream my family was on a school bus for some reason. My grandmother and grandfather were up front. My grandmother was sick and told my grandfather that she didn't want to have any resuscitative means used on her next time she was in troubled health. Within a minute or two she had a heart attack, or something similar, and died right there on the bus.

The interesting thing was that her mother, whom I never met, and whom I know (in the dream) looked nothing like her real mother, was there. We all cried and cried, and mourned throughout the rest of the dream. All the above is a gross simplification of the dream, but covers some of the high points.

flying turkeys...who'd'a thunk it?!

A compadre told me he'd seen a turkey in his yard, and it flew! I couldn't believe it: I thought turkeys were some of the birds who couldn't get off of the ground. I believed him, but grudgingly! ;-D

So what did I see this weekend? A giant bird flying low across the interstate. I thought it was a pheasant, not knowing what else to think. Jerry said it was a wild turkey, instead. I guess I can believe the idea of a flying wild turkey, since I don't know much about them. I thought my friend was talking about one of those Ben Franklin kinds of turkeys!

So there you have first sighting of a flying turkey. I'm still waiting to see my first moose.