Saturday, November 26, 2011

"That's where cats have the advantage...

over human beings," said Mr. Baldock. "When they want to get away from people they can climb a tree. The nearest we can get to that is to shut ourselves in the lavatory." ~ Agatha Christie, The Burden

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"'Well, I've got it here somewhere.'...

Mrs. Lawton looked round herself with the vague expression of the habitually untidy." ~ Agatha Christie, The Clocks

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"It was a small dingy bookshop...

in a side street not far from the British Museum. It had the usual trays of books outside..... I sidled through the doorway. It was necessary to sidle, since precariously arranged books impinged more and more every day on the passageway from the street. Inside, it was clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down. The distance between bookshelves was so narrow that you could only get along with great difficulty. There were piles of books perched on every shelf or table. On a stool in a corner, hemmed in by books, was an old man in a pork-pie hat with a large flat face like a stuffed fish. He had the air of one who has given up an unequal struggle. He had attempted to master the books, but the books had obviously succeeded in mastering him. He was a kind of King Canute of the book world, retreating before the advancing book tide. If he ordered it to retreat, it would have been with the sure and hopeless certainty that it would not do so. This was Mr. Solomon, proprietor of the shop." ~ Agatha Christie, The Clocks

"The orange cat...

was still sitting on the gatepost of Diana Lodge next door. He was no longer washing his face but was sitting up very straight, lashing his tail slightly, and gazing over the heads of the crowd with that complete disdain for the human race that is the special prerogative of cats and camels." ~ Agatha Christie, The Clocks

Monday, November 7, 2011


...such an interesting thing. To think what we owe to it throughout history. Curiosity. I don't know who invented curiosity. It is said to be usually associated with the cat. Curiosity killed the cat. But I should say really that the Greeks were the inventors of curiosity. They wanted to know. Before them, as far as I can see, nobody wanted to know much. They just wanted to know what the rules of the country they were living in were, and how they could avoid having their heads cut off or being impaled on spikes or something disagreeable happening to them. But they either obeyed or disobeyed. They didn't want to know why. But since then a lot of people have wanted to know why and all sorts of things have happened because of that. Boats, trains, flying machines and atom bombs  and penicillin and cures for various illnesses. A little boy watches his mother's kettle raising its lid because of the steam. And the next thing we know is we have railway trains, leading on in due course to railway strikes and all that. And  so on and so on." ~ Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's Elephants Can Remember

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Average Raccoon... more affable, intelligent, and tidy that the average meathead who wants them eliminated, and is usually a lot better looking ~ John D. MacDonald, The Long Lavender Look

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Mouse and the Foo Birds (A Fable)

Once upon a time a mouse was scurrying across a field when a  flock of migrating giant foo birds flew over. One let loose and pooped on the little mouse, and he was covered from his ears to his tail in birdshit. He rolled in the grass until he cleaned himself off, and started running again. The next foo bird to fly by swooped down, picked him up, and ate him.

Moral of the story: If the foo shits, wear it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Greenless Child

 by Ann Weems

 I watched her go uncelebrated into second grade,  
 A greenless child,  
 Gray among the orange and yellow,  
 Attached too much to corners and other people’s sunshine.  
 She colors the rainbow brown  
 And leaves balloons unopened in the packages.  
 Oh, who will touch this greenless child?  
 Who will plant alleluias into her heart  
 And send her dancing into all the colors of God?  
 Or will she be left like an unwrapped package on the kitchen table?  
 Too dull for anyone to take the trouble?  
 Does God think we’re her keeper?  

 (from Reaching for Rainbows) 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blogspot Helpful Hint

If you have trouble getting rid of original formatting when you cut and paste something here, run it through Excel first. Maybe there are more logical ways, or other things everybody else knows, but I thought that was pretty cool.

Having discovered that, and being in a design-y mood, here are some fonts I just downloaded to play with:

Licorice Strings
Katy Berry
Kings of Pacifica
Please Show Me Love

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Whole Other Country

Montreal mascot Youppi
When I lived on the east coast of  California I followed baseball passionately. Being close to Nevada casinos I also kept meticulous stats to help with the occasional wagering. (Betting tip: A team winning the first games of a series will likely not do as well in the last game, especially on the road.)

At the time I could name the teams in each division and give the standings within a couple of games, with two exceptions. I never confused the Mets and Yankees, or Phillies and Pirates, or Giants and A's, but always had to stop and think which team was in Montreal and which was in Toronto. Expos or Blue Jays? That makes sense in a way. I had a mental picture of the other places and teams, but the concept of "Canada-ness" as something foreign would override any other categories.

The other exception? Rangers and Astros. I couldn't even remember from one day to the next which team dressed like layered Jell-O molds. That either says something about the foreignness of Texas, or its overwhelming identity as a state that the other 49 lack.

After beng here 20 years, I'd say it's both of those. The state tourism board used to have a slogan, "Texas: It's Like a Whole Other Country". They probably don't know how true it really was. And considering Gov. Rick Perry's prayer rally and other recent lunacies, I don't necessarily mean that in a good way.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dead and Dying Whimsy

August already. Beginning of the end of summer in the academic calendar, descent into hell in terms of weather. Highs this week close to 110. Nowhere near the end of summer, which happens in these parts around mid-October. (Just in time for the Texas State Fair and this year's specialty, fried.... beer???)

I've missed posting here, the weird little funny, whiny, self-mocking things I was really starting to get into that don't belong anywhere else. But whimsy is the one of the first things to go this time of year as leaves and lawns shrivel, and energy wanes.

What kind of brush fire happens in a field of dead and dying whimsy?


Which of course reminded me of this...

Harlem [Dream Deferred]

     by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Life with Luther

I never had a "binky" as a child, but these days I may be sharing my bed with a blanket that's a sentient being. We've been together about a year and a half, ever since I found him (yes, him -- he says his name is Luther) at the dollar store rolled up and packed on a shelf. Luther is not quite as tall as I am, much fuzzier, and happens to be a particularly sixties-nostalgia-inducing shade of avocado green. On a later visit to the store I saw a blaze orange cousin of his, and that night as I was going to sleep I had the passing thought that I wished I had waited until the new shipment came in to have a more, well, blazing blanket.

At that point, Luther (I didn't know his name then) hit me with such a wave of despair, shame and feelings of inadequacy that I still cry when I think about it. Being at that point of almost-gone where telepathic blankets make perfect sense, I apologized and  gave him a pep talk that must have been sufficient since we still talk most nights. He still has a tendency to sulk, and I admit I once had the inadvertent thought that maybe having two fleece blankets might not be a bad idea. His reply was that bringing home that orange thing would make me look like a Miami Hurricanes fan, and when he put it that way I had to agree.

Yes, Luther sounds a lot like me.

Yes, I'm more aware now how annoying and unattractive reliving old hurts can be, and I'm also trying harder not to say something hurtful to other people.

 And, yes, I'm glad he's around to talk to.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

In the Good Company of Divas

In a discussion the other day about birthdays ending in that big zero I said that, for a year and a half before I turned 50, I practiced *saying* I was 50 so it wouldn't be such a shock when the big day came. It worked. Unfortunately, I mentioned that I was this was about ten years ago. Fifty, plus 10? No. I cannot do this. This is not happening. I'm still saying I'm 50- *lowers voice* -something. Dammit, I still listen to loud music and drink Boone's Farm and stay up all night and wear leopard print underwear. *opens another bottle of Strawberry Hill*

Tomorrow's the official half-year day, so there's less than 24 hours to relax before starting to try to say it. Wonder if it's coming as big of a surprise to these ladies as it is to me...

CCH Pounder
born 12/25/1952
in 2010

Pat Benatar
born 1/10/1953

in 2010

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pimento Cheese

I just made some pimento cheese spread. I used Swiss cheese instead of cheddar. I used olives instead of pimentos. I used yogurt instead of mayon-naise. I used sourdough bread instead of white.

It was delicious. But if anyone finds out I will be run out of Texas.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Case You Were Wondering...

[in Just-]

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan          whistles

Warning: Nothing Profound Here

Yeah, it's my blog. There was something the other day I needed an URL for so I did this. Balloonman Whistles is from an e e cummings poem, and I like the image of flying around the room backwards. There will be nothing profound here, and probably very little at all. Then again, things change, so who knows. But right now I tweet profusely, just started a tumblr (addictive!), write African American history posts for another site and occasionally drop by Facebook to see  how Clayton and Cynthia's cat's butt is doing. Enough.

Having said that, why am I saying this?

Because I'm about to start writing about Thurgood Marshall (it's his birthday), and wanted to share what I liked to do when postage went from 37 to 39 cents.

Cute, but disrespectful. (The mailman used to really like it.) But postage has gone up 2.5 squash blossoms since then, and disrespect ain't what it used to be either. *Pondering whether to call Clarence Thomas a dick, and deciding it would be tacky and gratuitous.*

I wanted to share, but I didn't want anybody to see it. So here it is.