Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
By Francis P. Church
First published in The New York Sun in 1897.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Mountain Pine Beetles are killing the forests in Montana. Estimates vary, but one number kicked around is 300,000 acres dead before the pest is contained (if that proves to be possible). What we need, they keep saying, is a winter with temperatures below 35 degrees, for at least a week. The cold will kill the pine beetle larvae and we'll all live happily ever after.
-35 for a week straight.
So far, we've had 20 to 24 below for a couple of days. It's been so long since we had a bad winter, I had to search for my wool long underwear.
This morning, it's -16. I don't know how the pine beetles are doing, but I'm ready to move on.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you see any bats?
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, did you get me something?
3. Snow is , Over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, the coldest night of the season.
5. Children, Let your heart be light.
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing or hum along.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to wrapping finished, tomorrow my plans include celebrate Husband Dearest's birthday and Sunday, I want to do something unexpected!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
In The Day The Earth Stood Still remake, Keanu Reeves is the perfect actor for the part of an alien with no emotion. Al Gore must have been busy.
Actually, it wasn't that bad, but what's the point?
Special effects have improved since '51. Humanity is still a blot on the face of Mother Earth. When we're not too busy killing ourselves or our neighbors, we're threatening the very viability of the planet, something the helpful, superior, environmentally responsible Overlords of the Universe will not tolerate. Unless, the cold heart of the alien investigator can be warmed by the humanity of the nearest chick scientist whilst dunderheaded governmental bureaucrats strut about complicating matters at the turning points.
And they spent $80 million to make it.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Q1 - 180 Degrees: If you could suddenly proclaim that any one work of fiction (be it a movie, novel/book, short story, fable, fairy tale, play, etc.) was actually true, what would you choose?
Wizard of Oz.
Q2 - Airline Safety: According to a recent report, approximately 96% of people involved in airplane accidents survive the accident itself and, aside from a fear of flying, experience no long-term health problems. When flying, do you take certain precautions or care to increase your chance of survival in event of a crash (i.e., choosing a certain seat in a specific part of the airplane or counting the number of seats between yourself and exit) or do you not like to think about such things?
Interesting question, and what I thought was BULLSHIT statistic. So, I looked it up. In the 2000s decade, the number of people surviving a plane crash is 24%. But I also discovered most aviation safety statistics are manipulated with miles traversed, passenger numbers, trip time vs the same data in automobiles, so go figure. Or as the old saying goes, "You can prove anything if you make up your data."
And with the Wonder that is the Internet, I found an article on HOW TO SURVIVE A PLANE CRASH with lovely tips under the heading "If it seems certain the plane is going to crash."
#4 Empty your bladder to reduce the chance of internal injury.
Anyway, back to the question -- I have a private pilot's license and am married to an Aviation Safety Inspector, so, alas, yes, I know more than I like about Aviation Safety. And, no, I don't do anything about it. I sit where they park me and bleat in my seat like the rest of the sheep.
Q3 - Citizenship: Have you heard about this one? The latest effort to rewrite the election of 2008... an accusation that that President-elect Barack Obama is not a legitimate natural-born American, and therefore cannot be sworn into office. The argument, which is being taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, goes something like this: When Barack Obama was born in 1961, Kenya was still a British colony. Obama's father was from Kenya, and therefore a British citizen. That British citizenship automatically passed onto his son (President-elect Obama), and that means that President-elect Obama--who was born in the U.S.--was born with dual citizenship and should not be allowed to hold the Office of the Presidency. What do you think this? Should the President of the United States be allowed to hold dual citizenship? (By the way, for the record, President-elect Obama's dual citizenship expired when he turned 21.)
The Republicans need to take a breath and get over it.
Q4 - Overrated: Who do you think is the most overrated (you choose... actor, politician, professional athlete, or musician)?
David Letterman. And while I'm at it, Jay Leno.
If you want to watch an interesting late night host, try Craig Ferguson.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower There's one every year on my birthday.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo - Does in the shower count?
11. Bungee jumped - no, and I never will.
12. Visited Paris - no, but I can dream.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning One bad mussel in the whole plate. erp.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty And I'll never forget it. It should be considered a NATIONAL SHAME, that this isn't allowed anymore.
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked - no, bad, bad, bad idea.
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill -- Mental Health Days don't count.
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping -- as I may have mentioned B4, it's pretty cold here.
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community -- Does Hudderite Community count?
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing - oy, but it's better than rock climbing watching.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt -- more than once.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies -- bought a bunch.
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving -- There is no reason to jump out of a perfectly good plane.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check -- does kited count?
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle -- maybe it just felt like it was speeding.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book -- I wish.
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible -- just the sexy parts.
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someones' life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one -- misplacing a loved one's a bitch.
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person -- More than once, and it made me cry every time.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day -- sometimes I feel that buying a book is a waste of money, 'cuz the read never lasts very long.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen: Take my advice.
Attend the moments, and the years will take care of themselves.
Moderation's only viable if used in moderation.
Patience is over-rated as a virtue. Don't dally.
Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Today’s Poetry Prompt: Include the word right or rights in your poem.
Which means, obviously, we got rights.
Except if you're a woman, and
expect equal pay for equal work.
Except if you're a senior and would prefer to
be treated like an adult not an impaired infant.
Except if you're a gay person
and feel like pledging your troth.
Except if you're a black man and
want to be President of these United States.
oh wait ...
We got rights.
Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Susan B. Anthony
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Today’s Poetry Prompt: Write a poem that demonstrates strong emotion without ever stating what that emotion is.
Actual ads from my local paper, November 11, 2008
Sheep manure. You haul.
The poo you save will make your neighbors think you’re up to something.
Male cat and kittens.
It’s a miracle!
Rottweiler cross, good w/kids
Or might that be, thinks kids are good?
3 kittens, 2 chickens, 1 hound dog
Mama put her foot down.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Do you ever talk to yourself out loud?
What do you talk about?
Whatever I'm doing. I also talk to the Poppets.
What stresses you out?
Everything. That's the first thing that crossed my mind, but it's not true. We went on a medical call this morning to a patient in serious condition, and I was completely unstressed by that.
So ... time management. Lack of. Other people impinging on mine. Stuff like that.
What are your secret talents?
I can wiggle my nose like a bunny.
On Election Day, as I handed out ballots and checked IDs, one of my senior citizen neighbors paused to recite me a poem. Really, when was the last time a man recited poetry to you?
Follow the link for the rest of this.
Evolution by Langdon Smith
When you were a tadpole and I was a fish
In the Paleozoic time.
And side by side on the ebbing tide
We sprawled though the ooze and slime.
Or skittered with many a caudal flip
Through the depths of the Cambrian fen,
My heart was rife with the joy of life,
For I loved you even then.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
1. The last band I saw live was Willie Nelson or Charlie Daniels.
Good grief, and now I feel old. I can't even remember which one it was or when. Rock on.
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is sitting in front of the fire, post-turkey, visiting with everyone.
Of course, they'll all be in a tryptophan-induced coma by then.
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is fun 'til come time to wrap.
4. Thoughts of pumpkin pie fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear a strapless dress.
6. Bagpipes are way cool.
No. Really. Although, I do admit, one must have a touch of the old lost Gael in 'em to listen to this for long.
This is what I want them to play at my funeral.
Between this and the RIP photo project, I'm all set.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sitting in front of the fire,
It's snowing here.
tomorrow my plans include cleaning house
and Sunday, I want to take some pictures!
It's been a while.
My office is designed so there is nothing to look at out my window, because I am very easy to distract. Very. I used to beat myself up about this situation until I decided all that distracted fidget-fuss behavior was part of my process. Voila. I'm a genius.
What was I talking about? Right, the window. Well, I can see the greenhouse out the window.
Small pocket of warm.
We think, tricks nature so well.
But cold death still waits.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
On The Job Training
They ask, "Do you work?"
I just mumble and hum.
And wait for the look,
That invariably comes.
It's hard to explain,
How I got in this state.
My energy's drained.
My mind wanders of late.
I've developed a squint.
My posture is stooped.
I'm like an old hen,
Kept too long in a coop.
But I won't leave my desk.
Prospects couldn't be brighter.
They say, "Oh, you're a typist."
I say, "No,
I'm a writer."
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
He was blue, she was a rabbit.
He had big ears, she couldn't hear.
He was a mouse, she was green.
Their love affair had the shelf life of stinky cheese.
Monday, November 17, 2008
So, what else is new?
Today’s Poetry Prompt:Write a poem that ends with the word “quiet”.
She never stops talking.
And she never stops talking.
And can't quit listening.
Do birds have blankets,
how's Santa get in,
where do trees come from,
can flowers cry,
look! look! there!
I can read that.
My ears are worn out.
Yes, and I am ALWAYS surprised when someone does something mean, bad and nasty. You might think I'd have given up that attitude by now, but no.
If you could change the custom of shaking hands, what would you replace it with?
A cheery wave would suit me. Or maybe we could flash each other the peace sign.
What is something that you enjoy that is a chore for most other people?
Mail merge on the computer. Weird huh? Which is why I'm in charge of sending FD Training notifications.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
America voted heart
Most people happy!!
Some people cranky!!
Match to candidates
Saturday, November 15, 2008
"Clinton, 61, has extensive foreign policy experience, having travelled widely when her husband was president from 1993 to 2001...."
Well, I've watched my husband make thousands of car repairs, maybe I can get a job at Ford.
Palin Returns to Snow and Cold of Home
Her last ride
in the cold and the snow
reach out to
the rest of the country
have gone rogue
Ha. Somebody close the freakin' door.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I used to say,
old age is creeping up on me,
when I looked,
it was just my husband.
Then, I'd laugh.
I think old age is creeping up on me,
and when I looked,
it was me.
Clinging to the hand rail going downstairs.
It was me.
Turning on all the lights to read.
It was me.
Asking, what'd he say?
It was me.
2. When I open my gym locker, I can't help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is Thanksgiving dinner .
4. Books are something I can't get enough of.
5. Entertaining myself -- that's the thing I love most about writing.
6.Bigotry always makes me think to myself, what the heck?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to I have to go to a Community Board meeting :P, tomorrow my plans include Irish class and Sunday, I want to go to a movie!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I followed a link in the Movie-Bytes newsletter, to buy the Hollywood Creative Directory on sale and found this article instead.
Three Cosmic Rules of Writing.
Today’s Poetry Prompt: Go outdoors and get some fresh air. Find a comfortable spot and write a poem.
Okay, not for nothing, but I appreciate we've gotten away from all that iambic pentameter stuff, (like that was going to happen), but this is still Montana and it's freezing-ass cold outside. I prefer my fresh air slightly warmed.
Some people will complain about everything. Yes. I know.
cut my finger half off today.
as I swayed nauseously from room to room
nobody cares about a half-off finger.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Today’s Poetry Assignment: Write a poem as if it were an entry in someone’s journal or diary or even their Twitter account.
What's the past tense of twitter?
Do you really want everyone to know what you're doing this second?
Do you think anyone cares?
We send our aspirations into the Ether
And the Ether replies
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today’s Poetry Prompt: Write a poem that tells a story.
According to Jewish legend,
Eve was Adam's second wife.
The first being an unrepentant, uppity gal
Lilith ran off to live the good life, au solitaire.
Leaving First Husband wifeless,
and the Deity supremely pissed.
Or so they say.
Ladies, take heart.
God created the universe and all the stars.
Set the earth in perfect balance.
Filled creation with a multitude.
From mighty tyrannosaurus
to tiny hedge-hog.
But to make a woman,
took TWO tries.
Eventually, Eve became Adam's rib mate, but
she didn't turn out
exactly as expected,
Monday, November 10, 2008
Pantoum? I cling to the low brow and say that sounds like a plantain gone bad.
Sorry, they pantoumed two days ago.
True Love 4-Ever
I have a billy goat in love with me.
Not a leering, old human goat.
A four-legged, fur-covered, yellow-eyed herbivore,
with lungs of iron and a will of steel.
He calls to me all day.
But sends no soft-voiced request.
Come get me, baby.
Full-bore, he bellows.
MY HEART IS BREAK-KING.
I am the source of his dinner.
From this has distilled true love.
Capital T. Capital L.
Big Red Heart.
When I stomp to his pen, determined to turn him into goat burger, he rests his head against my hip, and fetches up a sigh from the bottom of his being that swells his chest while he slowly blinks his devil eyes at me.
According to Chaucer, "Love is blynd."
But it is not deaf, I can attest.
I have a billy goat
in love with me.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
And when I don't
Days are gray.
Nights are black.
But when I do,
Days turn brillant.
Nights pulse fun.
You'd think that'd make it easier.
Friday, November 07, 2008
We surf and don't get wet.
We browse and never get full.
We tap but there's no answer.
We're trapped and no one cares.
Which reminds me of an old joke, Why do they call it dope?
I actually looked that up to use in a script. Drugs affect dopamine, increasing or restricting, causing differing results. Hard to believe the first old doper said, yeah, let's call it that. Dude.