Why won't you let Santa be my friend?

I tried to become friends with Santa Claus on Facebook, today, and it said, "Claus, Santa already has too many friends."


Brian made breakfast.

It was some sort of exotic pancake. Yum. Although, admittedly, it looks like a giant tumor, it was most delicious, extraordinarily yummy, fantastic, delectable, mouthwateringly tasty, succulent, palatable, delish, nummy, finger-licking, yummy, melt-in-your-mouth, exquisitely good!

The Nurse Who Couldn't Complete Her Sneeze

I made this silly video. I had to copy Deadpaninc. He is so amusing. I am but a mere shadow. Anyway, here's my video:

The Tofurkey is in the oven...

The Tofurkey is in the oven, and now it is time to talk about the history of giving thanks in America. It just so happens that I am currently reading a book entitled, "Lies My Teacher Told Me, Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" [I can't get my computer to italicize in these posts. Sorry!]. It's a really fascinating book. I highly recommend it. A few days ago, I read the passages about Thanksgiving, and I'll quote my favorite parts here:

"Thanksgiving dinner is a ritual, with all the characteristics that Mircea Eliade assigns to the ritual observances of origin myths:
1. It constitutes the history of the acts of the founders, the Supernaturals.
2. It is considered to be true.
3. It tells how an institution came into existence.
4. In performing the ritual associated with the myth, one "experiences knowledge of the origin" and claims one's patriarchy.
5. Thus one "lives" the myth, as religion."


"The civil ritual we practice marginalizes Native Americans. Our archetypal image of the first Thanksgiving portrays the groaning boards in the woods, with the Pilgrims in their starched Sunday best next to their almost naked Indian guests. As a holiday greeting card puts it, 'I is for the Indians we invited to share our food.' The silliness of this reaches its zenith in the handouts that schoolchildren have carried home for decades, complete with the captions such as, 'They served pumpkins and turkeys and corn and squash. The Indians had never seen such a feast!' When Native American novelist Michael Dorris's son brought home this 'information' from his New Hampshire elementary school, Dorris pointed out that 'the Pilgrims had literally never seen "such a feast," since all foods mention are exclusively indigenous to the Americas and had been provided by [or with the aid of] the local tribe.'"


"The true history of Thanksgiving reveals embarrassing facts. The Pilgrims did not introduce the tradition; Eastern Indians had observed autumnal harvest celebrations for centuries. Although George Washington did set aside days for national thanksgiving, our modern celebrations date back only to 1863. During the Civil War, when the Union needed all the patriotism that such an observance might muster, Abraham Lincolm proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. The Pilgrims had nothing to do with it; not until the 1890's did they even get included in the tradition. For that matter, they were not commonly known as 'the Pilgrims' until the 1870's."

pp. 89-90,
"Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Loewen

Although, it's still nice to give thanks once a year. The Eastern Indians were definitely onto something.

I'm making a doll.

So far, it's looking creepy. Maybe getting a body will help.

Alternately, I could always make a zombie doll. I know at least one person who might like something like that.

The Missing Pieces

When our light in the kitchen died a slow and unusual death, giving a little less light each day, we decided to replace it with this one. It took three tries to get it up right, and I can't say I recommend this activity for a long and happy marriage, but we did, in the end, install it, and I think it looks okay.

And yet, we have all of these little parts left. Why is that?

This happens to me all the time, whenever I install anything. I have little jars in the basement full of left over (or, perhaps, missing) pieces of things. I don't understand. Are these "just in case" parts, thrown in by a company worker "for good measure"? Or, is there something more sinister going on here, like, "I'll throw in some specifically useful looking parts that don't go with this item, just to make the consumer feel as though she has done something wrong and the light fixture will surely burn the house down someday, because of those little electrical looking things that never actually went into it."


Just drive, already!

Most of you know that this is not a phrase I would normally utter. It takes a special circumstance. The circumstance is this: the auto makers' CEO's went to Washington to plead with congress to give them 25 billion dollars to keep their businesses afloat, but lawmakers are unimpressed, because all of these Mo'fo's hired private jets to get there!

So, the problem, as I see it, is two fold:

1. This is not a prudent use of finances.

2. Car manufacturers should drive cars.

I don't go to dentists on a liquid diet, I don't go to a bald hairdresser, and I don't think we should drive cars if the manufacturers won't drive them from Detroit to Washington! It's a nine hour drive, according to Maps.google.com, and you can stop for lunch in Pittsburgh! What could be better?

Okay, I've stopped for lunch in Pittsburgh before (on the way to London, no less) and I guess some things are better, but still. Take a minivan and carpool, why don't chya? Car manufacturers. Geese.

Things that make you go, "hm..."

I was just out hanging my nifty new LED Christmas lights. A gentle snow was falling. I wanted to get them hung before it accumulated. Across the street, my neighbor was making a racket, mowing his lawn, turning white to green in neat twenty-two inch strips as the lawnmower bag filled with snow. I've never seen anyone mow snow before.

The Mini-Xylophone

Just last night, I replaced the keys on this xylophone with the ones you see in the picture. This is an antique xylophone built for a toddler to play. It's really cool. A good friend of mine got it for me when I was pregnant with Zelma. The only problem with it was that the metal keys had rusted, and turned so grossly out of tune that it was a little bit horrifying. (This good friend says she is tone deaf.) Initially, I replaced the keys with more metal keys, but then the parts that held the keys in place looked really dangerous when Zelma played it. They were these little rusted pieces of metal sticking straight up from the top. Zelma really likes to play it, though, so I was hesitant to just take it away. Also, I wanted to keep it in use, because it was a gift. Finally, I decided to just somehow get rid of those rusty metal pieces on it and put some nicer sounding, wooden keys on it from my dad's old xylophone (sorry, dad!) which has been sitting out back on the porch since we got the piano. I didn't want to ruin the keys, though, in case we ever want to play the regular, big xylophone again, so it is lucky for me that each key has two holes in it, which you can run a string through and attach to a different box. That's what I ended up doing. I ran some hemp jewelry making thread through the keys, bent those horrible pieces of rusty metal down inside the box (where they won't poke Zelma's eyes out), and then attached the string between each key to the rusty metal thing, to keep each key in place. Zelma played it today, delightfully. It sounded good!

It's got no sharps or flats, just G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. The hard wooden mallets came with it. They work really well with the wooden keys.

I like meddling with instruments.

R.I.P. Sweetie the Cat

I guess I could say a lot about her, but mostly I just think she was the perfect pet. She was the perfect combination of sweet and cruel (only cat lovers can understand this comment). She spent most of her life looking cute and purring, but I also remember her amazing love of Miller Moths. We had a regular infestation of them in Pueblo, and Sweetie would jump up and catch them between her paws, mid-air, and then eat them as soon as she hit the ground. She would have black Miller dust on the white fur around her whiskers. In true cat fashion, she would then go about her business, strutting over to the couch for a nap as though nothing at all had just happened, but she would have the evidence there, all too clear on her furry face.

The other thing that was funny about her was that she had a spot over one eye, and she would spy on people. She would only open the eye that was camouflaged by that spot, and that one only just a slit. She would pretend she had her eyes closed, but she was watching. Here's a picture of her, about a month ago, doing that eye thing:

Sweetie died this morning. She was sixteen.

Barack O'Bama

One of these two is the feel good video of the week, but I can't decide which, the produced one or the pub version?

This next one is also wonderful because it was filmed at the Starry Plough in Berkeley! (Aunt Lou used to play there.)

Innuendo Madness

This claims to be from an actual children's program, but I don't believe it!

One of Us*

A few days ago, I had this lingering despair, and the funny thing is, I didn't even realize it was there. It was like a house guest who was there so long, I thought it was part of the family. But like fish after three days, it was stinking, and the smell, too, had lingered so long, I didn't even realize it was there. Now that despair is gone, though, the air smells so fresh. It's like I can breathe again.

I didn't vote for him because he's black, and I'd wager that you didn't, either. We voted for him because we thought he'd actually do a better job, right? He'd be a better president. He will be a better president than the alternative.

But it's so much more than that, isn't it? If you're black, you can say, "It's so nice that one of us with soon be president. Finally! Four hundred years is so long to wait! And it finally happened, it's happening now." And you're right! It's wonderful!

But the other thing is, he's one of us, too. The white folks, I mean. I don't mean that because he's half white. I mean that he's one of us who is sick of this crap from the White House. I mean that he's one of us who talks plainly, who thinks things through, who doesn't want to be ashamed of what he does each day or to hide it in a sea of ridiculous, hypocritical banter about religion and patriotism. I mean he's a Midwesterner, he's a child of divorced parents, he's a parent himself who reads Harry Potter books to his kids, and he's an optimist, and he says things that I, personally, me, understand perfectly clear. He owns less than five houses. That sort of thing.

He's one of us.

I found myself worrying because his grandmother, who raised him, died a day and a half before election day. Died! Before she saw him elected! I thought of Grandma Amy and how she never met her great-grandchild. And then I realized: Holy crap! I'm thinking about a politician like a real, honest to God person.

He's one of us.

I used to think like it was only "the issues" that mattered. Part of that was just that "the religious right" relied so much on "character" ( like in the Bush Jr. campaign! Seriously?) that I didn't want to have anything to do with all of that. The issues. Stick to the issues.

Now, I don't know. Now I think I've changed my mind. Maybe we should look at the whole person. Maybe it matters what you do in your personal relations in life. A lot. Maybe humanity is just precisely what we need. We don't know exactly what issues will actually come up in the presidency, do we? What we need to know is that we've hired a good person. One of us. One of the caring human beings of this world.

Obama has done something for me that I didn't think would happen, ever. I'm convinced we've elected one of us to the presidency. A caring person. I've lost despair, for a moment. Perhaps it will return someday, and like a destitute old friend, show up begging at the front door for a place to stay. But for now, it's gone. The guest bed has dirty sheets, recently vacated. The windows are open, and we're airing things out. The smell of despair will be gone, soon. And that's a very, very good thing.

* Yes, there's always the chance that things will later fall apart. But "all we have is now," to quote the Flaming Lips. I like now.

Wilma the Whale

May favorite little person is going to get a home-made stuffed whale from Mommy for Christmas this year. I clipped the pattern from one of those 1960's women's magazines that I was reading in Pueblo. The pattern did not specify that the bow in the hair (hair? on a whale?) that the bow would be a Wisconsin Badger bow; that was my own, personal touch. Think she'll like it?

That Unreasonable Guy

Has anyone ever asked Ralph Nader why he runs for President of the United States every four years? Or, really, more interestingly, why doesn't he run for one of the following positions, which he might actually win:

* County Alderman?
* Mayor?
* PTA President?
* Neighborhood Association President?
* School Board Member?
* State Senator?
* Community Organizer?

Think small, Ralph.

Seriously. I wonder. Why not start with something smaller, and work your way up?



I don't really think Mr. Obama is the Messiah or anything, but the music expresses my feelings at the moment.

Everything looks a little bit prettier today, somehow.

Later edit: The "he shall reign for ever and ever" part of this somehow makes it seem a completely inappropriate choice! Yes, I know about the two term limit on the presidency! Again, the song is about the Messiah, I just enjoy the joyful expression of emotion in it. I feel like a dork having posted it. It's a beautiful song, though, so I'm leaving it!

Old School

At the school where I substituted on Monday, there was a phone like this by the door in every room:

I tried to use it. No dial tone. Somebody then directed me to a modern telephone, back in the corner. Phew.

I'm predicting that one of these people will win.

Edit: I guess a lot of people don't recognize Ralph Nader in this picture. He's on vacation. I always look a lot better (and different) when I'm on vacation, too.

Some Election Humor

No joke, though: don't wear an Obama t-shirt to the voting booth! They won't let you vote. Or a pin. Don't wear a pin. You can't have any ads on you for a candidate. They won't let you vote. They can legally keep you from voting if you are wearing paraphernalia. I'm sure all you minions knew that, though, right?

I love Autumn

I love spooky trees...

old bridges...

us, of course...

and squashes from the garden.