Who wants to do the next episode of the Lonely Limb of Plastic? His amorous adventures here are over. It's time to move along to the next blog.


I went to pick up Little Z at her preschool today, and I noticed a bulletin board with crapily drawn pictures entitled, "What we're thankful for". It was mostly pictures of people, "Brian is thankful for his mommy and daddy," said one. "Michael is thankful for his new little brother."

Then I found Little Z's. It was a roughly drawn rectangle with a spike sticking out of it. The teacher had written, "Z---- is thankful for Rhino head." Yep, that's my girl, I thought.

Tonight at dinner, I told BAH about "Z---- is thankful for Rhino head." Little Z chimed in,

"I is also thankful for chickens. Rhino heads and chickens."

This makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. Viva la Rhino Head!


A few days ago, a student came up to me at the end of class and said,

"Thank you for being my teacher. Thank you for teaching me to read better."

"What-- what? Seriously? Are you kidding?" (I was completely shocked and a little flustered.)

"Thanks for being my teacher. Today was my last day in this class."

"Oh, well... you're welcome!"

My reaction was typical of me: flustered. It seems like other teachers are so cool, know the exact right things to say, and I'm just... goofy? They're all such- what's the word? Role models. I'm like one of those dumb signs, "I used to not even know how to spell, 'role model' and now I is one!" I feel like an impostor, still, in my job. One day, I shall be called to the office, and the principal shall say, "It appears I was mistaken. You are not, in fact, role model material. I hereby revoke your teacher status." The other day, I was walking through a doorway and really nailed my arm on the door frame something terrible, (it left a huge bruise) but there was this little group of sharply dressed teachers standing there, and they stopped their serious conversation and looked over (They were thinking, Who's that one again? The new one?)... and I pretended everything was a-okay. No excruciating pain here! I'm cool! I'm cool!

I am so not cool. I regularly bump into things, fall over- while I'm teaching!- forget what I'm talking about- get easily distracted- or worse yet, I don't notice something huge and crazy going on in the room- paper airplanes flying by, chairs being thrown- Okay, not really chairs being thrown. But every day I plug on. I do my best. I use the latest methods. I read and read and read to keep up. And usually, no one ever thanks me.

So, hey. That was really nice. I wish him well.

Daydream Believers not withstanding

"The location of the body is much less important than the location of the mind," according to this article. The more let your mind wander, the less you enjoy your life, so says John Tierney. He even quotes Ram Dass, ("Be Here Now") which I find really funny, because I've met him, Ram Dass, and he doesn't seem all that enlightened. I was covering him for the college paper in 1994. Hippies from all over were there, asking him all sorts of questions, and he was answering them all (regardless of the question) with answers like, "You know, just be. Just being is the point of being." He could say nothing and make it something. Forever. On and on. He really has a talent.

Santa Maria.

Which reminds me of a movie I saw, The Answer Man. It was about a guru who wrote a book, but he didn't do any personal appearances because he was a mean tempered fraud who cursed the mailman. This is what I suspected of Ram Dass, aka Richard Alpert, aka Baba Ram Dass... shoot, my mind wandered. What was I saying?

No, not really. He's not really a fraud. Ram Dass is really Ram Dass and he's really all about the here-and-nowedness of here-and-nowedness. I didn't like him, really, because I was very much in the here-and-now at the time. Or was I in the then-and-there? So I thought he was a bit of a fraud to sell it to people like that. And because he was talking about tripping on acid and I thought that was so lame, so ridiculous and annoying.

Now my mind wanders all the time. I don't know what to do about that. Perhaps I should not have dismissed Ram Dass so callously? Now I have no one to turn to- except for you, fellow minions. Except for you.

The Spirit of Vermont: Liberals with Guns

I say I live in Mt. Horeb, and my address is Blue Mounds, but strictly speaking, I live in Vermont, Wisconsin. When I first saw the headline for this article, and I saw "rural Wisconsin" and "Dane County," well, I just knew it would be the town of Vermont.

He shot his TV screen when he saw Bristol Palin on "Dancing with the Stars".

The further adventures of Lonely Limb of Plastic

Gazing at the moon...

"Would you like a ride?"

"If you've got room."

"My you're attractive!"


"Oh, such a leg!"


"That's my boyfriend! Hide!"

"He's mean!"

"Please don't hurt us!"

"No, Leg, no! He's too much for any toy."

"Ouch! He kicked me! Ouch!"

"But I showed that leg who's boss!"

"Oh my love no!"


"And he's down!"

"My love!"

"Here comes my horse!"

"I'll just hop on here."

"Hi ho Silver! Away!"

"Oh, yeah, baby, uh, you can come too."


"I'm so unhappy."

"Guess this is goodbye!"

This has been the latest edition of a continuing tale...


When I was a kid, we used to watch "The Today Show" before I went to school in the morning. They had this weatherman who would congratulate people who were over 100 years old and celebrating a birthday. (Do they still do this?) One day, he was interviewing this lady who was turning 108 years old. She didn' t look a day over 80.

Weatherman: "What's your secret?"

Happy 108 Year Old Lady: "I drink two fingers of whiskey every morning before breakfast."

She said it like one might say, "I read the scripture every morning before breakfast, and the good Lord chooses to keep me alive another day." And she smiled sweetly.

But that's not what she said. She said,

"I drink two fingers of whiskey every morning before breakfast."

I still am not 100% on what "two fingers" of whiskey amounts to, but I think it's a lot to have before breakfast. Perhaps her pseudo-religious glow had something to do with what she had already imbibed?

I have this sort of cache in my mind of things that make no sense but make me happy, things to revisit and smile about now and then. This is one of those.

You know you're a ____________ when...

I've changed a lot in the past year, but I don't know what I've changed into. Maybe you can help me? Here are some things I have done recently that I never did before (but I'll say "you" so you all can relate):

1. You watch a horror movie that's supposed to be about demons, but all you can think the whole time is that there's a raccoon in the house and they need to call an exterminator.

2. You watch your house for an hour and a half in the freezing cold, as the sun slowly descends on its nightly twilight path, watching for a bat to come out, somewhere. Where does the bat get in? is the foremost question in your mind. In the end, the bat eludes you, and you decide she is sleeping away the winter in your ceiling, and resign yourself to that.

3. You enjoy burning things for pleasure and heat (the heat part is what you tell yourself).

4. You sell eggs.

5. You spend ten minutes talking with sales clerks, two hours socializing with insurance agents, fifteen minutes with hunters wandering the area.

6. You see an old man standing in the freezing rain, by a mailbox, by a farm, in the middle of nowhere, and you pick him up and drive him all the way into town, even though he turns out to be one of those folks who talks with dead people.

7. You eat lamb.

8. You remove a dead, orange cat from a country road and set it down carefully in the grass, out of some hither unknown sense of common doom, of pity, and of a love of cats, even though they kill birds.

9. You think vegetables aren't fresh anymore if they've been separated from the earth for more than two hours.

10. You look down on people who drink "skim milk".

11. When your daughter bids good night, sleep well, I love you (in Swedish) to her butterfly wings, you feel an unearthly sense of Déjà vu.

My contribution

I drive a VW Bug, so whenever I drive past kids of a certain age, they slug each other and say,

"Slug bug!" And then they argue over who saw the bug first. I think.

It doesn't happen too often, maybe once every couple of weeks. I just see some kid slug another in the arm and the other kid looks startled, and sometimes slugs back.

Today I was merging onto the four lane [that's what they call freeways out here in rural southern Wisconsin, "the four lane"] and there was a school bus. I merged behind it. It was a school bus chock full of teenage boys.

It was a domino effect. At first, just one boy saw the Bug and slugged another boy, across the aisle from him. Then that kid saw the Bug and slugged another kid in front of him. Then that kid in front of him saw the Bug and slugged the kid across from him. And then, very quickly there were all sorts of fists flying across the aisle. Fists in the air. Bodies in the aisle. Within a matter of seconds, everyone on the whole school bus was beating the living crap out of each other.

Hey, at least I can say, "I made a difference in some kid's life today."

I painted this picture of Little Z today

I asked Little Z if she liked it. Initially, Little Z appreciated the intense realism of my painting. ("That my teeth!") Later on, however, she changed her mind. ("I don't like it. I not a monkey.")